The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe - Willow & Tara Forever

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 Post subject: New: Revealing Strength
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 8:37 pm 
This is my first fic, so please be gentle!! ;)



Title: Revealing Strength

Author: CopperAndGold

Feedback: Please!

Spoiler Warning: None, really... but it is set in season 5, after Family.

Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me... me as in moi... not ME... Mutant... Oh, and to hell with it! You know what I mean. *grumble*

Rating: R? Who really knows... there will be swearing and if the mood strikes me, maybe some witchy lovin'.

Pairings: W/T primarily, but the whole cast is there.



On with the show...



**************



Revealing Strength

*******

Part 1

*******

Willow was sitting at the Magic Box’ research table, hugging a cup of coffee while Buffy was in the back, training. They were waiting for the others to arrive so they could figure out what had happened the night before. The witch could hear her best friend taking out her frustrations on the punching bag, and her mutterings between hits. “Great job at being The Slayer, Buff.” Thump-thump “Can’t even protect your best friend’s girlfriend!” thump-THUMP



Willow was about to go to the training room to try and placate her friend when she was startled by the chime of the bell over the door. Xander, Anya and Giles rushed into the shop.



“Willow, what has happened?” Giles exclaimed, seeing the troubled look on the redhead’s face. “Are you alright?” Willow simply shook her head from side to side, knowing that if she tried to speak, her voice would get caught in her throat.



“Where’s Tara?” Always straightforward, Anya ploughed on not noticing the look of anguish wash over Willow’s face. “If this is a meeting, shouldn’t everyone be here?”



“Guys?” Buffy rushed out of the training room when she heard the others arrive. “Good, you’re all here. Something happened last night and we need all the help we can get.” She wiped a towel over her face and sat down next to Willow, offering her a sip from her water bottle. Once the redhead declined with a shake of her head, Buffy guzzled its contents down.



Anya’s patience was growing thin. She hated when people didn’t answer her questions, as if she wasn’t standing in the same room as them. “Where’s Tara? She should be here. She’s good at figuring things out once she decides to speak.” Having noticed his best friend’s reaction to the mentions of Tara, Xander stepped next to his fiancé. “Ahn…” He gave her a reproaching glare, his eyes quickly darting back and forth between Willow and Anya. The latter, of course, didn’t get the hint.



“What? It’s true! She’s shy and all, but she only speaks when she knows what she’s talking about. Unlike some of yo-”



“Tara’s been kidnapped.” Willows voice was so soft and pained, a pin dropping could have been heard. A tremor could be seen in her limbs as tears silently made their way down her cheeks. Her efforts at keeping a cool demeanour were shot once Buffy laid a hand on her shoulder. She started crying harder, and ran to the bathroom.



Giles took off his glasses, and pointed them towards his Slayer agitatedly. “Buffy, could you please tell me what in the bloody hell is going on?”



Buffy sighed and rubbed her forehead with her hand, trying to get all the facts straight. Truth was, she really didn’t want to be the one telling the story. “See… last night, Willow and Tara… well, they were… uh… sleeping? And I guess while they were, you know… sleeping, something came and took Tara away.” She knew she looked far too uncomfortable to be credible, but she couldn’t help but think Willow should be telling the story. Especially if the details counted, which lets face it, they always did.



“Wouldn’t’ve Willow noticed something, or someone come into the bedroom and take her girlfriend out of bed?” It was a perfectly reasonable question, thought Xander. So why was Buffy looking at him with her Slayer glare?



“Well, normally she would have… but she was really, uh… distracted?” Buffy tried her best fake smile, but it came out as a grimace. Noticing the disbelieving looks from her friends, she grunted irritably as she pushed up from her sitting spot, and started pacing. “Okay, so they weren’t sleeping. They were… they were…”



“We were making love.” Willow walked back into the room, a determined look on her face. The usually shy witch bore no sign of embarrassment as she sat at the table. “She was making love to me.”



“Oh! Uh, Right… right.” Giles took the opportunity to clean his glasses, and blush.



Xander got a far-away look in his eyes, and started grinning until he received a swift slap behind the head. “Ow! Okay, so I deserved that.” He said, casting a sheepish look around the room.



“Okay,” Having recovered from Xander’s libido, Anya broke the uncomfortable silence hanging between them, “so, how could you not notice her disappearing?”



Buffy lowered her head and knocked it softly on the table’s surface with a grunt. She’d heard parts of the story before. Willow had been hysterical, running into her bedroom only clad in bed sheets. Between the witch’s sobs, Buffy had made out most of the important information. After calming her friend, she’d convinced her to put some clothes on before running out to find Tara.



A three hour search at two in the morning, had turned nothing up. They’d decided to go back home, and call the gang to the Magic Box to let them know what had happened.



“I was… uh,” Willow squirmed in her seat, some of her shyness making an appearance. “I was sort of… levitating, at the time. I uh… I wasn’t really aware of my surroundings.” She found an interesting piece of lint on her sweater, and decided to study it at length.



Anya just nodded her head, as if everything had been made clear. She was so pleased, in fact, that she decided to let Xander drool a bit. Giles, on the other hand, tried his best not to look too interested. His interest being on a purely scholarly level, of course. He really needed to understand everything that had happened. But the questions that needed to be asked, he had no interest in asking.



“I uh… I said something to her and she wasn’t answering,” Willow mumbled, “and when I came back down, she was gone. The window was open, and it hadn’t been before.”



*******

Part 2

*******

Candlelight flickered across the jagged rock surface of the cave, shadows moving in and out, as if in a shadow-puppet show. A man hovered over a form in a corner, chuckling to himself.



“What’s so funny over there?” A booming voice came from the back, making the man flinch slightly before chuckling again, and answering. “I was just thinking how, back in the day, I would’ve thought she was a sinner, or a whore. She’d’ve made me sick!” He kicked at the slumped form covered with a dirty blanket, causing a yelp from below his boot. “Now, all I want to do is sink my teeth in’er.” He crouched down and peered into the folds of the blanket. Among tangled blond strands of hair, and reeking, soiled cloth were two, deep blue eyes staring back, petrified.



“You leave her alone, Thomas. Once we have what we need from her then you can indulge.” With that, Evandor walked into the room, putting a satchel down on a table, before walking towards his friend. “You’re really a twisted fuck, Padre.” Evandor slapped Thomas on the shoulder before continuing. “Who knew turning a priest would be so much fun?”



It started as a heave, then grew into a bouncing of shoulders as Thomas started laughing uncontrollably, trying to say something between spasms. “Y-you remember the look on the—“ He sucked in a lungful of unneeded air, at which point Evandor also started snickering. “The look on the face of those—those kids at communion!?” He slapped his knee with a loud snap and doubled over, wheezing. Evandor laid a hand on his childe’s back, trying to control his own laughter. “Yeah, I remember. The first kid in line opened his mouth and stuck out his tongue, waiting for the—“ He lifted both his hands, making air-quotation-marks, “’body of Christ’ you just leaned over and bit it right out!” They were both roaring at this point, lost in their memories.



Behind them, Tara struggled to make herself as quiet and small as possible. If she was, they would forget about her. It always used to work with dad and Donnie. Well, it sometimes did. It would work now. She hoped it would.



***



“Okay, so why don’t you just do your Tinkerbel thing? Could find her that way.” Xander was really trying to keep his mind on the problem at hand. The fact that Anya was ever vigilant of his every reaction, made it much easier.



“I-I can’t get to her. It’s as if someone’s blocking me.” Willow looked down at the table, twisting her fingers together in her lap. “I can’t feel her. She – I could always feel her.” Xander reached over and laid a hand on his best friend’s shoulder. He turned to Buffy, sending her a pleading look. Buffy could only wince, she had no idea what to do… unless.



“Spike!” At the look of confusion on the four faces turned towards her, she continued hesitantly. “Uh… h-he might know something. You know, he might want to help. A little bribery here, a little pummelling there…” She said, tipping her head and hands from side to side, emphasising each iteration, “makes Spike a useful thing.”



“Oh, and there’s always Willy. You can torture him, and get important information that way!” Anya said excitedly, happy she could help and be an important part of the group. Truth was, she liked Tara. The blonde witch was the only one out of all of them -- except Xander of course -- with whom she had a connection. Well, not a lesbian-orgasm-friend type of connection, but still.



“Good thinking, Anya.” Willow, Xander and Buffy all turned to look quizzically at the Watcher. “Erm… yes, well. As much as it pains me to say, she has a point. Buffy, you should go to Willy’s bar and try getting information there.” He then pointed at Xander and Anya, “You two should go to Spike’s crypt, and see if we can buy his services.”



As the assigned members of the Scooby gang started to march out, Willow piped up. “Uh, Giles? What about me? I have to do something! I have to help find her…” She looked pleadingly at the Watcher. She felt so useless. She couldn’t use her magicks, and without those… what good was she?



Giles set an indulging gaze upon his protégé. “Willow, you and I must stay here and research how to break whatever barrier is keeping you from sensing Tara.” At the noticeable sag of the witch’s shoulders, he added, “That is what Tara needs from you right now. That is what’s most important.”



She wanted to be out there, helping find her girlfriend. As if the physicality of searching the streets, or roughing up a snitch – even glaring menacingly at Spike – would be a balm to her worries. It would make her feel like she was doing something. She knew she wasn’t the roughing-up type of gal. She knew she couldn’t glare a puppy to a whimper, much less a former Big Bad. No, Willow Rosenberg was not the avenger; the hero out to find the love of her life – no, that was left to those who wield the strength of body needed to cut, slash, fight, mangle, bash there way through, and save the damsel in distress. Her damsel.



Willow resigned herself to the fact that she was still bookish. Sure, they were Witchcraft books, but still – bookish. She tightened her lips in a pretty, straight-pink line – almost cartoon-ish in nature – and nodded once, acquiescing to what the elder patriarch of the group was suggesting. Still, not liking it one bit.



“Alright then, off you lot go and please do be careful.” Giles waved them off. He walked back towards the table, sat opposite Willow and waited for the chime of the bell before saying anything more.



“Um… Willow, there are more things I need to know. Details, and such.” He took his glasses off to polish them, but they slipped and clattered across the table. Reaching for them, he continued with a nervous waver to his voice. “Y-you said that you were levitating…” He cleared his throat, pink tipped high on his cheeks. “W-was it a-a result o-of um.. o-or maybe, maybe Tara was sustaining t-the… the levitation…”



Willow sighed loudly. She didn’t want to talk about this, she always had difficulty with sexual discussions. She was not shy in the bedroom, neither was Tara. But these were things that were kept there. The safe place where little curses whispered in the dark didn’t make it past a lover’s ear – trusting it would never leave that room, their sanctuary. Now this. Having to reveal a very private and intimate part of her sexual relationship to-to a father figure! “Do you really need to know this Giles? I-I mean, what does it have to do with Tara being kidnapped?” She squirmed uncomfortably in her seat.



Giles pinched the bridge of his nose. “I believe it is important for me to know who was doing the magick. Who was left vulnerable, if Tara was somewhat left weakened by-by… casting.” He put his glasses back on, not realising he hadn’t polished them. “If your levitation was the culmination of-of the… um, the evening…”



The witch was getting frustrated with the Watcher’s uncomfortable mutterings. She just wanted to get this going; her girlfriend was still out there! “Giles, don’t bust a blood vessel!” At Giles’ stunned reaction, she shrivelled. “It happens, sometimes… it’s not a spell or anything. No one casts, it just happens.” Truth was, she didn’t really know, herself. “Tara said that it might be natural magick… you know? Like, when the soul feels so happy and light, it can just float.” Thinking of the blonde witch, her eyes brimmed with tears; her chin started quaking. She shook her head, and cleared her throat. “So, yeah… It just happens.”



Giles became very silent, and looked as though he was trying to stare a hole through the table. “Giles?” At the redhead’s voice, the Watcher started. “What? Oh, yes… right. This doesn’t happen every time, then?” He was onto something, Willow could see it. She shook her head. “What is it?” she was getting curious.



“Well, one would suspect the best time to kidnap Tara would be when you least paid attention, as it were.” His embarrassment lifted with his new train of thought. “One could come up with thousands of other, less intricate instances when Tara would have been vulnerable...” He slowly pushed his glasses back up his nose. “Why then did, who ever this was, choose that particular time to take her? It doesn’t make much sense, I’m afraid.”



A worried frown crept across Willow’s face, she didn’t understand either. There were plenty of times when she and Tara were apart. School, for instance… they didn’t have many classes together, having chosen very different majors. And, again, times when either Tara or herself would get home hours before the other. Or, when Tara would go out to her two day a week job at the small art gallery downtown. It was all so confusing.



“Okay, lets just regroup, and look at all the facts and things that don’t add up.” She was in full investigation mode, reaching for a pad and pens she’d brought to the table on her way back from the bathroom. “One,” she said aloud, with a pause as she was writing the word down in blue, “Why Tara?” She looked up at the watcher then, “I mean, she’s not exactly Ms. Dangerous you know?” Finding nothing to say, Giles could only give a small reassuring smile that didn’t quite make it to his eyes. With a shaky sigh, Willow continued, “Two, why at that particular time? Why not take her when she’s at school, coming out of class… or on her way to work on the weekends?” Giles shook his head, and tipped it upwards, letting Willow know she should continue further. “Okay, so we know they took her at night. Probably someone with magical skills since she wasn’t able to fight back or say anything…” the last word was strangled in her throat, “they just bound her magicks and-and ripped her away fr-”



“Willow,” Giles whispered, laying a hand over the witch’s trembling one, “Are you sure you’re up to this?” She looked at him through watery, dull green eyes. Clearing her throat, she gave one sharp nod. She had to do something. “Right then, shall we continue?”



“I don’t know what else Giles… I mean, we don’t have much to go on.”

Something didn’t seem right. Giles shook his head, he too was feeling as though they were missing something. “Was anything in the room out of place or any sign of a struggle?”



Willow shook her head, and wrote it down in purple. “The only thing that was different was the window being open.”



“Hmm.” Giles hummed.



“Hmm.” Willow replied.



This was going to be a long night.



***



“So, is the stuff ready yet?” Thomas was growing impatient. The pretty little thing smelled like lilacs, jasmine, vanilla and terror. He could just taste the sweetness in her blood, tinged with the tang of her fear. He swallowed audibly – just like the blood of Christ, he thought, except that was just cheap wine.



Evandor walked towards the table in the middle of the makeshift room, and deposited a plastic bag full of herbs. “Almost ready, Padre. The warlock said we needed this potion for it to work, you know that.” He said to his childe, a reproachful tone to his voice. “You know she needs to be calm and relaxed for us to do the spell. For a witch, having her powers bound is like having a cross two inches from your face.” He chuckled lightly, “she’s anything but calm right now.”



Thomas laughed and walked towards Tara who was still cowering in the corner. “Yeah, I can smell her Evan. She smells so…” He reached out quickly, grasping the blanket in his fist and yanked on it sharply. The blanket ripped partly before tugging Tara into a twirl. She shrieked as her body was flung forward in a spiral, the blanket flying through the air. She landed with a painful thump at the vampire’s feet – naked, shaking and embarrassed – much to Thomas’ delight. “She smells like a choir boy…” He crouched to be eye-to-eye with his snack-to-be, and whispered, “who was asked to stay late again.” A sinister grin tugged at his lips when he noticed the fear in the girl’s eyes. He demurred at what he saw next, deep in the pools of blue. Defiance. Anger. Righteousness.



“Stop playing with your food, and come help me.”



*******

Part 3

*******

Buffy walked into Willy’s bar, a determined grace in her every step. As usual, the clientele quieted. Most averted their gaze, not wanting to be noticed. Others, the more rebellious of the bunch, stared as she made her way over to Willy. The bar tender noticed the change in the atmosphere before seeing the tiny blonde reach the bar. Too late to run away, he just clutched his towel, resigned to the inevitable. “What is it this time, Slayer? I don’t know anything.”



Buffy put on her most innocent smile. “Now, Willy. Didn’t you go to school? Don’t you know it’s bad luck to answer a question before you know what it is?” He fidgeted, and motioned her towards a more private spot. She followed quietly, knowing that she would need to put on some kind of show for him to live through the night. He was a valuable snitch after all.



When they reached the other corner of the bar, she reached over and grabbed his shirt. Yanking him halfway across the bar, she punched him sharply in the nose. “Ow! Why’d you do that for!” He bellowed, covering his bleeding nose with the towel he still held.



“A friend of mine is missing; a witch. You’re going to tell me what happened to her.” When he started shaking his head, about to say he didn’t know anything, she reached across the bar and grasped his shirt again. She stared into his eyes, a promise of pain in hers.



“Okay, okay!” He hissed, “A witch? Which witch? The redhead?” The lighting from behind him shimmered across his glossy head, and she couldn’t hold back the look of disgust as she asked herself, for the hundredth time, what in the world he could possibly be using in his hair. It sure didn’t smell like gel. “It doesn’t matter which one it is,” she tightened her grip around his shirt, “who do you know would need a witch?”



He looked nervously from left to right, making sure no one was listening in on their conversation. “There were these guys… vampires,” Buffy shook her head, vampires… figures, She thought. “Go on.”



He swallowed and continued, “They came in here two nights ago, talking about some crystal they needed for a ritual. Somethin’ about plungin’ the city in darkness, or somethin’.” Buffy’s eyes grew wide at that, but she still didn’t know what that had to do with Tara. “What does that have to do with them needing a witch?” she pulled on his shirt, twisting her fist so the material would strain against his chest.



He winced as the few hairs on his chest were painfully pulled taught. “They-they said something about a witch having the crystal. Something about one of the Slayer’s people.” That got Buffy’s attention. She asked, “Anything else?” A crystal? Which crystal!? Willow and Tara have hundreds… She was trying to figure out the logistics of having to go through all of her friends’ witchy paraphernalia, when Willy started talking again. “Yeah, they said something about ancestry, about it being the only one they could get because it was so old. But that’s all I know, I swear!”



She looked him in the eye, and decided he was telling the truth. She needed to get to Willow and Giles as soon as possible. She cocked her free arm back, and slapped him across the face with a resounding smack! The blow was meant to make more noise than to inflict pain. It still stung though, proven by the bar tender’s “Ow!”



Buffy let go of his shirt, and with a satisfied smile, said in a perky voice, “Thanks Willy!” before walking quickly out of the bar.



She was definitely onto something.



***



Willow’s head was resting against the cool surface of the research table. They had been talking about last night for what seemed like hours now, reducing its subject matter to a more clinical, descriptive dialogue. Both of them decided that the levitation had something to do with the reason why someone would chose that particular time to kidnap Tara.



But why?



“This is useless. If levitation is random, there’s no way to make sure that this was a calculated attack!”



Thinking back to the night before, Willow could remember every detail, and her heart ached. She could remember how Tara had approached her, wrapping her arms around Willow’s tiny waist. She whispered soft little nothings in the redhead’s ear, knowing that it didn’t matter what she said. It was the tone of her voice, the honey-filled low huskiness of Tara’s voice that turned Willow’s knees to butter. The way she’d felt her lover’s soft hands whisper up her thighs; her warm breath across her stomach. Willow felt a shiver run up her spine as another memory flashed through her mind. Yes… God, I should have known!



“Giles! It wasn’t like other times!” She snapped her head off the table, a wide grin crossing her face. Her hands started fluttering through the air in front of her as she was trying to find the words, and get the Watcher’s attention.



“What do you mean, Willow?” Seeing the excitement on the witch’s face sent relief through his veins. Willow turned her body towards him, taking in a big gulp of air before explaining. “Usually, when I levitate… it feels like Tara’s holding me. L-like she’s hugging me a-and there’s nothing but her. I-I can feel her all around me, and in me.” At that, her cheeks flushed, but she ploughed on. “But, last night it didn’t feel like that.” Eyes wide, she looked at Giles, an expectant look on her face. She’d figured it out, surely he got it too.



“Go on…” Apparently, he hadn’t. She sighed, “Giles, it wasn’t like other times. I-it wasn’t… the experience that made me levitate. I-it was something else… or, maybe even someone else!” Her hands spread the air in front of her, as if the meaning of what she said would appear in the space between them.



Giles whipped his glasses off his face. “Of course! Whoever took Tara made sure you wouldn’t notice by making you levitate. Something that happens on occasion, enough for you not to think it out of the ordinary. So, it wouldn’t alert you to what was happening!” His excited expression darkened as another realisation struck him. “That must also mean that whoever is behind this has been monitoring you; watching you for some time.”



Willow felt her stomach churn. Eew! Those perverts! Then again, whoever would take Tara away wouldn’t be upstanding citizen material. She sighed, and heard Giles make a noise between a grunt and a hum. “What is it?” she asked, wondering if he’d thought of something else that could disturb her even more.



“If you could remember the last time, last night excluded of course, that either you or Tara have levitated during… well, yes… levitated, we could reasonably determine a vague timeframe in which this person might have been planning the kidnapping.” He looked towards Willow, expectant.



She glanced at the ceiling, as if it held the key to the compartment in her brain where that memory might be stored. After a few moments, she looked at Giles and said, “I think it was a week ago… yeah, I remember because we’d killed that J’ehfro demon that night. We got home covered in goo, and decided to take a shower…” Realising she might be over sharing, she quickly amended. “Uh… a week ago.”



“Right… right.” Giles was too busy adding the data to his mental list to even notice Willow’s blush. “So, there is reason to believe that they might have been studying you for a week.” He quickly realised something, and asked “Is there a window in the bathroom, through which someone might be able to see?” After noticing the stunned look on Willow’s face, he added “Because if this levitation happened in the shower, they would have needed to be able—“



“No, Giles. It wasn’t in the shower… In the bedroom. There’s a window there, and it being on the second floor…” She blushed for what felt like the thousandth time that night, “we don’t usually mind the curtains. So, yeah… a week of Tom peeping.” Stupid curtains.



*******

Part 4

*******

The door to Spike’s crypt swung open, sending a draft of air and sunlight through the small space. Xander and Anya walked in, looking for the resident vampire. When they didn’t see him on the upper level of the crypt, they walked further in as Xander called “Hey, bleach brain! We have to talk to you.” Anya slapped him across the arm, hissing “Xander! We want his services. You’ve told me a hundred times that if I want something from someone, I should be polite and ask nicely.” Xander turned to his girlfriend, “Ahn, that’s with regular people. They have feelings we actually care about. This is Spike. An undead, leashed, rabid dog.”



“Well, if it’s not the whelp and his lunch special.” Spike stepped onto the top level, having ascended the ladder from bellow. “What do you want, and why do you think I’d give it to you?” He threw himself into his lazy-boy, draping one leg over an armrest. Flicking open his precious Zippo lighter, he lit the cigarette that was perched precariously between his lips. “And make it quick,” he said through an exhale of smoke, “Passions is about to come on.”



Xander’s patience for the bleached vampire had always been very short. He didn’t appreciate having to keep company with a soulless, evil creature. But, he had to admit, Spike had come in very handy in the past. Besides, surely he could keep his anger in check to help Tara?



“Come on, monkey boy. I haven’t got all day.” Or maybe not. At Spike’s taunting remark, Xander stormed forward and grabbed the vampire’s shirt. Pulling him out of the chair, he hissed “Tara’s missing. She was kidnapped last night. Do you know anything about it?” His dark eyes piercing into Spike’s blue ones. A nasty grin spread across the vampire’s face, his tongue lightly grazing the tip of a canine. “So Glinda’s gone missing… bet that got Red’s knickers in a twist.” He chuckled softly.



Before Xander could say a word, he heard his girlfriend speak. “Actually, Willow wasn’t wearing any panties at the time of the kidnapping.” Anya gave helpfully. Xander’s eyes bulged before he twisted his head towards the ex-demon. “Anya!” Is all he could muster. At Spike’s laughter, he turned back to look at the vampire still in his grasp. “Shut up!”



Spike swept the offensive hands off of himself, wincing at the warning zap of the chip in his head. “Listen, I don’t know a bloody thing about the witch, okay?” He brought the cigarette back to his mouth, pulled hard on it, and blew the smoke into Xander’s face with a smirk. “Besides, I wouldn’t tell you if I did.” Xander’s face hardened, his jaw muscles clamping. “Not without getting something for my troubles, anyway. A vampire’s gotta keep up the lifestyle you know.” He twitched his eyebrow, and glanced in Anya’s direction. She shuffled her feet uncomfortably, a blush gracing her cheeks. Still got it, he mused, proud of himself.



“Right, you want money as usual,” the carpenter spat, “before you get anything, I need to make sure you know something.” He leaned into the vampire, his deep brown eyes boring into blue ones, “Make it good.”



“I know somethin’ good about your precious Glenda, Red’s bird. Somethin’ that might be useful. Plus,” he grinned, “I know a couple o’ blokes who’ve been askin’ ‘round for a witch. For the right amount of cash, and stock of AB, might know where they shack up for the night.” He winked then, and slithered away from Xander before popping another cigarette in his mouth. “Three hundred for the info,” he glanced down at the television before growling, “bugger! Make that four, you made me miss the beginning of Passions!”



***

TBC…



Please feedback!!! I wanna know if I'm pissing some kittens off. ;)



Edited on Sept. 9th to change the rating from R to NC17. ;)

Edited by: CopperAndGold at: 9/9/04 2:17 am


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 Post subject: Re: New: Revealing Strength
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2004 10:28 pm 
This is a great start! I really like the complexity of your story and I am very intrigued. I can't wait for more!



:peace

-pipsberg



"We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep - it's as simple and ordinary as that."

Michael Cunningham, The Hours



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 Post subject: Re: New: Revealing Strength
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2004 7:43 am 
Really cool. Poor Willow. Poor Tara. I take it they are after the Doll's Eye? Looking forward to the next update.

ladydameon

----------------

Goddess of Violence



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 Post subject: Re: New: Revealing Strength
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2004 8:26 am 
Cool start. Although I hope Will and Tara will be o.k soon? :sob



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 Post subject: Re: Revealing Strength : Update
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 8:30 pm 
Thank you to the three of you who replied! Muchly apreciated. And of course Willow and Tara will be alright!! This is the Kittens' forum, right?



Warnings: Bad language (bad scoobies!), violance... drama, and a bit of angst...



Other disclamers, see previous post!



And, on with the show....



*******

Part 4 Continued

*******



Willow… Her head was filled with cotton, Tara felt as if she had sand on her tongue. She’d drifted in and out of consciousness for the better part of an hour. The bigger one of her kidnapers – Evander, was it? – had made her drink something. It had tasted awful, the mere memory of its chalky and bitter taste making her stomach convulse. But for some reason, she didn’t feel scared or alarmed. It all felt as if it were a dream.



In her haze-filled mind, she could see flashes of red whipping by… only glimpses, as if she were seeing them from the corner of her eye. Willow… She could see her beautiful witch dancing, her pale skin glistening with sweat; dancing, twirling alluringly. Willow cast a shy, yet sexy grin her way, and Tara could do nothing but stare, her skin buzzing with want. Willow, oh Willow… “Mmm, Oh..” she sighed.



“Thought it was s’posed to calm her down?” Thomas asked, glancing quickly at Evander before setting his eyes back on the moaning blonde. Evander was just as surprised as his childe, “Well, it did… sorta, didn’t it?” He smirked, “I think the word is relaxed.” He chuckled softly, “I’ll want to hold onto this recipe Rack gave us.” But the comment only elicited a grunt from his friend who was still enthralled by the flushed, juicy girl in front of them.



Evan slapped his childe behind the head. “Hey!” The ex-priest shouted, making Tara startle and yip lightly. She giggled then, looking up, but her gaze was set somewhere behind them, as if she was seeing right through them. “We have work to do, you can have fun with her later!” Evander growled. “Sweet Willow,” they heard her say, “come find me,”



“Fuck!” Thomas cursed, suddenly scared, “she’s calling that other witch, Willow!” He remembered Rack telling them about the redheaded witch, the Slayer’s best friend. He knew she was powerful, but that she didn’t realise yet just how much. The warlock had mentioned to them to be careful nonetheless. Since they were attacking what Willow loved most… the resulting rage could be disastrous for the vampires. “Relax Thomas,” Evander growled, “the only thing she can cast right now is a shadow.” He pulled on his childe’s arm, “Come on, time for phase two.”



In her corner, Tara’s hands gripped the stone wall in front of her. Willow’s figure had stopped dancing, and winked at her. Baby, where are you? The figment asked, Tara, baby… tell me so I can find you. “’m right here W’llow,” she reached out a hand, brushing her knuckles softly against the moist rock. She smiled, “right here,” and pressed her cheek against the cool surface. Tare-bear, you’re not safe. Dream Willow whispered, an edge of dread in her ethereal voice, this is not real baby, remember this is not real, please baby you have to. “R-real?” Tara moaned, her glazed eyes confused. Whatever happens baby, it’s not real. Willow’s figment warned before twirling away, blowing a kiss and a wink. the blonde giggled and whispered, “Sexy, sexy Willow…”



Thomas chuckled at hearing the last of Tara’s ramblings. “Didn’t you tell me before how some of our kind,” he dipped his head in the blonde’s direction and continued, “sometimes take in human pets?” He cocked an eyebrow at his elder, a wicked grin on his face.



Evan alternated looks between the girl and his childe, a matching grin growing steadier on his own lips. “You know what Padre? That might not be a bad idea.” He shook his head, “But we have to find this crystal first, so lets start the spell.” Thomas nodded excitedly, loving the idea of keeping the little witch as a pet. That look she’d given him before, that insolence and defiance. Yeah, he thought smugly, it’ll be great breaking her in.



“Okay, you draw the circle around that altar over there,” Evander pointed in the centre of the room, where an old altar stood. “make sure you make it big enough for both her and that thing to fit.” He shook his finger at Thomas, resulting in his childe rolling his eyes. “Pff, easy,” Thomas grumbled, making his way toward the altar with a bag of sea salt in his hand, “you act like I can’t do anything.” Evan waved his hand dismissively, not wanting to get into the old argument about the time the ex-priest had accidentally bumped into the large bowl of holy water during mass. The water splashing alarmingly close to Evander’s face who was seated two pews down, waiting for the right time to start the attack on the unsuspecting believers. A drop of water had landed on his cheek, making him growl and reveal his demon for all to see, therefore blowing their cover and that night’s meal.



He left the grumbling vampire to his duty, and walked towards the table. Evander picked up candles, a dagger, and an amulet before making his way to the circle that was quickly taking shape. “Don’t close it Thomas, not yet… we have to put her in it, remember?” The fledgling nodded and muttered, “yeah, yeah, yeah…”



Shaking his head, the elder vampire walked into the open circle, and placed the dagger on the altar next to a candle that he carefully lit. Briskly, he walked out again and placed the remaining four candles around the circle, and lit them sequentially, clockwise. “Okay, fetch the witch.”



Thomas crouched behind Tara, and leaned into the soft body before him, licking his lips. His hands balled into tight fists, his nostrils flared as he growled low in his throat. “Thomas!” He heard his sire below, “quit fucking around and bring her over here already!” He leaned closer, his lips grazing the witch’s warm ear, “Soon little witch, soon I’ll have my way with you.” With that, he reached under her arms and pulled her up. Tara squirmed, “Will’you’re all butchy!” she giggled. Chuckling, Thomas dragged her into the circle, but kept her upright. “Now what?” he asked, trying to keep a hold of the squirming girl.



Without answering, Evan walked up to the altar and picked up the dagger. He motioned to his childe to bring the witch towards the altar. Once Tara was standing across from it, Evander grabbed her hand and ran the sharp knife against her palm. Tara groaned, and tried to pull her hand away, but he held firm, letting a few drops fall on the altar’s surface. “Sit her down, rest her back against this thing” he cocked his head back slightly, “so she’s looking at the wall over there.” Thomas did as he was told. “Owie,” Tara whined softly, cradling her hand.



Both vampires exited the circle. Evander closed it with the remaining salt before sitting cross-legged, outside the circle, to Tara’s right. “Sit like this on the other side.” Again, his childe followed his orders. Evander then pulled the amulet around his neck, and took a piece of paper out of his coat pocket. “What’s that necklace you’re wearing?” Thomas asked, brows furrowed in question, “Makes you look all girly.” Evan sighed loudly, not appreciating his childe’s curiosity. “Rack loaned it to me. He said there wasn’t a magical bone in either of us, so we need to borrow from him. He put some of it in this. Now shut up, and read along.” Thomas was peeved. He wondered why his sire hadn’t told him about the shinny necklace before. Probably didn’t want me to wear it, scared I’d be more powerful than him, he thought angrily. He pulled out a copy of the text Evander was holding, and cleared his throat.





They started chanting.



Lords of the dark

Hear us now

Make memories appear

Make truth reveal



Lords of the dark

We command thee

Give onto us

The power of knowledge





Tara’s teeth started chattering as a cold breeze whistled through the cave. The candles flickered a moment, before blazing high. The cave wall facing her shimmered and rippled, like water disturbed by a skipping stone. She closed her eyes as a bright white light erupted from the wall. As it dimmed, she started rocking back and forth, her back tapping against the altar.



An image developed against the now white wall.



A small, blonde girl was running through a meadow, skipping and giggling as she went. The sunlight reflected against her golden hair, making it look as if a halo was hovering above her head. She squealed, a high pitched happy sound, as she hastened her gait towards her goal. A tall blonde woman, who’s resemblance to the little girl could only be attributed to that of blood kin, stood patiently in the high grass. The woman fell over with a ‘oomf!’ as the speeding child collided into her legs. They toppled together to the soft ground, laughing.



“Holy shit, it worked!” Thomas whispered. His sire shot him a reproachful look, “Shush! Watch, make sure we don’t miss it! We have to know where that damned crystal is!” Thomas rolled his eyes, but didn’t say anything else. He heard his witch giggling next to him, making him smile as she laughed, “Momma!”



*******

Part 5

*******



The Scoobies (minus one, plus a bleached vampire), were scattered around the magic box’s research table. They’d regrouped a moment ago, exchanging the information they had. All but for the exception of Spike, who’d kept quiet, deciding instead to enjoy watching the Slayer.



“So, we know they’re vampires, two of them.” Buffy was saying, pacing a groove into the floor as she continued, “That’s why they couldn’t take Tara away during the day, and why they couldn’t just come into the house to do it.” She looked around at her friends, seeing the agreeing nods. “Right, so they’re looking for a crystal, a really old one apparently. They want to,” she made air-quotation marks, “plunge the city into darkness.” Buffy sighed, “When are they going to become more original?”



“And I can’t think of any old crystal we have that could do that… the oldest crystal Tara and I have, is the Doll’s Eye,” Willow sighed, pained by the memory of Tara giving her the crystal. “And the Doll’s Eye can only be used as a focusing crystal, to channel benign energy.”



Giles piped up, “Right, so we need to be able to find the vampires’ hideout, yes? Willow can’t reach Tara magically.” he gave the redhead an apologetic look to which she merely shrugged, and looked at the twisting fingers in her lap.



“Hey!” Anya shouted. She continued, not minding the startled looks on her friend’s faces. “Didn’t Spike say he knew where they were?” she asked, looking at Spike. The vampire was apparently not paying any attention to the conversation, his eyes resting softly on the Slayer, a whimsical look on his face. Buffy noticed, her brow wrinkled questioningly. What the hell’s he looking at? She thought, perplexed, before saying the vampire’s name loudly. “Spike?”



Buggar! “Oh, uh… yeah. I know the blokes.” He said, lifting a cigarette to his lips. Anya swiftly knocked it from his hand, scowling. He growled, wanting to rip the shopkeeper’s head off. Bloody chip. “I want cash. Three hun—“ he stopped and looked at Xander, smirking, “right, forgot. Four hundred and plenty of AB.”



“Four hundred dollars!? You have to be bleeding mad!” Giles shouted. “I know somethin’ ‘bout Blondie the merry witch, you’d want to know.” Spike said, “really interesting stuff. Four hundred. Take it of leave it.”



Willow had had enough. Her head shot up, “What do you know about Tara!?” She yelled, and stood up quickly. Two strides and she was nose to chin with the vampire. “Tell me right now what you’re talking about!” She yelled again, “Tell me everything you know, you stupid evil bastard!” Spikes eyes bulged, mimicking the other four pairs of eyes that stared at the redheaded witch in awe. “My, Red… got you some claws?” Spike snickered. Willow grasped his leather coat collar in two, small fists. She pulled the vamp’s face down, inches from her own. “You’re fucking with the wrong witch, beastie.” She growled, her eyes dark and menacing.



Spike found himself feeling something he never thought he could feel around this tinny woman. He was scared.



“Whoa,” Xander sighed, “check out the Willster.” He whispered conspiringly to Buffy who was stood next to him, completely baffled. “I guess you shouldn’t mess with her Tara.” She said, a proud tone in her voice.



Spike spoke up, looking away from those hating green eyes. “Tara can bloody well take care of herself.” A chorus or “huh?” was heard. Bloody hell. “When I knocked her on the nose? Her father and bro, standin’ right there?” He pointed at the steps behind him, “had blood on my knuckles, yeah?” Spike shrugged, “had me a taste is all. Was high as a kite for four whole bloody nights on that witch’s blood, I was.”



Willow’s head was reeling. What? What does that mean? But Buffy beat her to it. “Spike, what the hell are you talking about? And don’t think I’m about to forget about you tasting one of my friend’s blood.” She added as an afterthought, “And eww!” Buffy wrinkled her nose.



“Her blood made you high!?” Anya shrieked from her corner, “Oh my God, she made you high!?” Xander was getting annoyed by his girlfriend’s antics. “Ahn, honey… want to enlighten us mere numb-nuts?”



The blonde shopkeeper continued, “When a vampire drinks a normal human’s blood, he’s satisfied… almost warm and comforted. When they drink a Slayer’s blood, they’re all fired up and very, very horny. But, when they drink the blood of a powerful witch, they get a buzz. Almost like they’re a bit drunk.” She took a breath then, assuring herself she still had everyone’s attention, “If Spike got high on Tara’s blood, not just high, but for three nights…” she trailed off, hoping they would catch on.



One by one, the Scoobies caught onto what Anya was saying. “So, Tara’s like… Uber Witch?” Xander asked, looking at Spike. The vampire rolled his eyes, and looked away. “Right, she’s the bloody wicked witch of the west, you wanker.” He huffed. “Bottom line is, she’s really powerful… more so than carrot top here.” He pointed at Willow. The redhead’s eyes bulged. “How do you know that?” She asked. “Had me a taste of you too, Red, remember?” He waggled his eyebrows in a suggestive way, sending shivers down Willow’s back. “Yeah, that time you couldn’t perform, right Spike?” Buffy said, laughing. Spike whipped around, looking at Buffy, then at Willow, “You told her!?”



The witch only grinned smugly.



“Let’s get back on track here, shall we?” Giles said, “we can deal with Tara’s newly discovered power after we find her, yes?” He took his glasses off, and looked at Spike. “So, where are they Spike?”



****



It was pitch dark. She couldn’t see her hand, even if she hovered it two inches from her face. But, Tara wasn’t too scared in here even if it was dark. The kitchen cupboard wasn’t as scary as daddy when he was yelling like this. She closed her eyes, even in the surrounding darkness, and thought of reciting a little chant her momma had taught her to calm down. She would have to whisper it though, so Donnie wouldn’t find her… and whispering wouldn’t drown out the awful yelling from the living room. Tara covered her ears with her small, shaking hands and sang softly. “Goddess touch my life and light it with love…” she sang-whispered, a tear making its way down her pale cheek, “Goddess bless these kisses, these kisses…” She jumped, startled by a loud clang of a metal pan hitting the kitchen floor. Shaking, she pressed her tinny fingers deeper into her ears. “Goddess free me from hurt and pain, make this love be not in vain…”



Across the cave, these images flickered against the white wall. Tara, the grownup was still rocking back and forth, mumbling softly the lyrics to the song in time with her younger self, her eyes closed.



“Man, how long’s this gonna take?” Thomas whispered harshly to his sire, “Are we gonna see her whole fuckin’ life, or what?” Evander shrugged, wondering the same thing himself. “Rack told me it would show the surrounding four years of whatever we’re looking for.” He sighed, “hopefully, we’ll see it soon. I can’t take this maudlin crap much longer.”



*******

Part 6

*******



They walked through the woods, every one of the Scoobies holding at least one weapon. “Now, lets not forget these particular vampires seem to have some magical abilities.” Giles huffed, trying to keep up with the younger of the group.



Willow’s blood was boiling. She couldn’t wait to make it to that cave, and teach those stupid vampires a lesson about messing with her Tare-bear. “Yeah, well so do I. Just let me have a good shot at them,” she growled, hefting her crossbow, “I want them flying in the wind, and I want to be the one doing it.” The other Scoobies all looked around, casting worried glances at each other. They’d never seen Willow this mad before. It was scary.



“Right around this tree here, there’s a cave,” Spike said, pointing forward, “That’s where they are.” Willow started running.



“Will! Wait for us!” Buffy ran after her best friend, “speedy little redhead.” She grumbled, catching up. The others making their way to the mouth of the cave where Buffy was holding Willow back by the arm. “Just wait a second Will! You can’t go in there alone, for god’s sake!”



Willow whirled around, eyes wet with unshed tears. “Tara’s in there! She’s in there and I have no idea what those, those fucking bastards are doing to her Buffy!” Her breath hiccupped, “I have to save her. She’s my everything Buff, don’t you get it? If she… if…” Buffy took her friend into her arms, the others averting their eyes, embarrassed by the show of emotion. Except for Spike, of course. “Shush, Will… We’ll save her, don’t worry okay? She’s going to be just fine…” The Slayer hoped she was right.



“MOMMA!!!!!”



The gang jumped, startled by the sound of a woman yelling from inside the cave. Willow immediately recognised the voice, it was Taras. “Tara, Baby!” She pulled away from Buffy, and raced into the cave, the Scoobies right on her heels. “Tara!” She yelled again, her voice echoing against the cave walls. “Well, that puts the ‘ole sneak attack out of question.” Spike grumbled.



Willow came to a screeching halt when she found herself face to face with a tall, thin vampire, his priest collar standing out in the dim lighting of the cave. “Well, what do we have here? Visitors?” The witch pointed the crossbow at his stomach and fired quickly. She knew it wouldn’t hit the heart, but it would be enough to get him out of her way so she could get to Tara. Plus, she had the gang behind her ready to mop up. She pushed her way passed the whimpering vamp, and into the room where Tara was--



Where Tara was sitting, naked, rocking back and forth, mumbling and crying.



With a gun to her head.



“Well, well… look who’s joined us.” Evander said, cocking the gun. “Care to catch the show?” He nodded towards the white wall.



Buffy was clutching Thomas’ priest collar in one hand, whipping dust off of her shoulder with the other. She said to the others, as she walked into the room, “Oh poop, I killed a priest!” she turned around when she saw the shocked looks on her friends’ faces.



The first thing that caught the Slayer’s attention was the gun. She couldn’t stand the sight of those things. The second was the hand holding the gun to her friend’s head. The third, as she heard a loud cry from the other end of the room, she noticed a scene that sent chills up her spine. There was a slightly younger Tara, kneeled at her mother’s feet while the older woman was convulsing in mid air. Blood oozed from the woman’s mouth, her hands were tightly fisted. “Ta-ta-ta-ta” she was choking on her daughter’s name, trying desperately to communicate one last time with her Tara.



And Tara couldn’t do anything but reach out, crying. “Momma!!”



***

TBC…



Please, please, please!! I need some feedback people! Please? *puppy eyes*



Edited by: CopperAndGold at: 8/31/04 8:31 pm


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Revealing Strength : Update
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 8:47 pm 
Excellent! I like it a lot so far.



Top
  
 
 Post subject: story part 4
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 11:41 pm 
Hay wonderful story:D



what more soon please. Tara powerful and Tara's Mother:applause



Very well written and a joy to read.



Snuggles



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 Post subject: Re: Update!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:15 am 
First, a quick thank you!!! to all who've given me feedback so far! Please, keep it coming! Good or bad, I'd like to know.



This is my first fic, so I'm really nervous... and would like to know if I should bother continuing, or if I should go back to lurking in the shadows!



The update!



I've now ventured into the realm of NC17... so, be warned, witchy lovin' coming your way. All other disclamers, read above postings!





*******

Part 6 cont.

*******



There was a dull crack as Willow’s crossbow fell from the shaken witch’s hands, and landed harshly on the cave floor. “Oh Goddess,” The redhead inched into the room, two small steps. “Tara, baby?” Her vision tunnelled, everything surrounding the beautiful blonde became a dark haze. She could hear gasps and words being said but couldn’t make out their meaning, or who they originated from. She reached out a shaking hand, as if it could span the ten or thousand feet separating her from the woman who meant everything, was everything to her.



Tara was soaked through, her pale and naked skin dripping with sweat as she kept rocking back and forth, her back slapping dully against the cold stone of the altar behind her. The blonde’s face was a twisted mask of pain, her mouth gaping wide as if trying to expel a painful sob that just wouldn’t come. Willow could feel the anguish crashing through her, waves of it rolling outward from a central point; where her girlfriend was seated cross-legged seemingly oblivious to her surroundings. She couldn’t bear looking at the images flashing on the far wall. Her limited knowledge of her girlfriend’s past, and the fact that these memories were being played out in some twisted nightmare-reality show made bile rise up her throat. The loud, angry tones of the Slayer’s voice snapped Willow back to reality, as if a stretched rubber band had been cut loose.



“Let. Her. Go.” The veins in Buffy’s neck stood out, pulled taught by her clenching jaw. Every nerve in her body wanted to explode. She wanted to spring onto the snickering vamp, and plunge her stake home. Her fingers twitched their readiness, their acceptance of violence. She was the Slayer. Buffy killed these monsters every night, yet she couldn’t move. The certainty of Tara’s death loomed over her head as inevitable as sunrise, were she to take one step closer.

Spike, Giles, Xander and Anya stood at the entrance, not knowing what to do. Xander’s eyes were riveted on the scenes reflecting across the room, his mouth agape, horrified. Anya clutched the carpenter’s arm, tears welling up in her deep brown eyes, wondering why this was happening. Giles’ eyes bore into Evander, a hint of Ripper showing in his gaze.



Spike’s nostrils flared. He was torn between two very different emotions. Seeing the beautiful blonde’s agony, the smell of her blood still dripping from her palm, made his demon want to claw its way out and roar. But, one look at Buffy made his unbeating heart twist onto itself. He needed to do something, his hands balled in two tight fists. “You’re dead mate.” He growled.



“Now, now… why don’t you pull up a seat? Sorry I don’t have any refreshments,” Evander smiled and looked at the far wall where an image of a casket being lowered into the ground could be seen. “Man, sucks to be her, huh?” His eyes scanned the shocked faces until his gaze settled on Buffy’s fist, her small hand still gripping Thomas’ collar. “Padre?” he whispered, a stunned look fluttering across his face.



“I swear by the Goddess,” Willow said through clenched teeth, “if you pull that trigger, you will feel pain the likes of which no word has ever been created to describe.” Her palms crackled, the green of her eyes slowly being eclipsed by her growing pupils. “Stop. The spell.” her voice booming in the hollow of the cave.



Evander grinned, seeming to have already gotten over his childe’s demise, “See, here’s the thing… I don’t know how to!” His eyebrows rose high on his forehead, amused at his own bewilderment, “I mean, it was only supposed to show four years…she’s been acting like a crazed wind-up toy for two hours now, and there doesn’t seem to be an end to it.” He shrugged, “I got what I came for.” His head tipped to one side, a mock look of indecisiveness fluttered across his face. “Oh well,” He shrugged again. Lowering the gun, he sited along the barrel, about to pull the trigger. A flash of energy propelled him into the wall, the gun skittering away from him.



Buffy and Spike, in a blur of movement, made their way towards the fallen vampire. Willow and Giles rushed towards the entranced witch, then stopped abruptly at the edge of the circle as the watcher pulled sharply on the worried redhead’s arm. “Don’t cross, Willow.” Understanding sparked in green eyes; Willow fell to her knees. “Baby, look at me!” Tara didn’t open her eyes, instead mumbled something under her breath. Willow cried, “Tara, baby. It’s not real. Baby, please remember it’s not real.”



Evander crab-crawled away from Buffy. He found purchase on the jagged wall, and pulled himself up quickly. “See you later kids,” he quipped before grasping the amulet. In the blink of an eye, Buffy’s fist swung through thin air where Evan’s face had been. Spike crashed into her, having jumped from the other side, intending on capturing Tara’s assailant. They fell to the ground, the bleached vampire on top of the Slayer, a wicked grin twisting his lips. “Ew! Get off me!” Buffy kicked him off. She looked towards the middle of the room, where her friends were standing at the edge of the circle. They both got up, and quickly made their way towards the others.



“What are you doing standing there!” Spike shouted, “get her the hell out!” He went to reach into the circle when Giles shouted, “No! you will kill her!” The vampire froze, fingers inches from breaking the circle. “If you cross, it will kill her.”



“Oh god,” Xander gasped, trying to keep his eyes away from Willow’s very naked girlfriend, his gaze had inadvertently fallen on the memory wall. “God,” he repeated as the loud and winded voice of Mr. Maclay resonated throughout the cave. “Cassie told her father what you did, Tara.” The sound of a belt slapping against skin, and a pained cry accompanied the remark. “You do these things because of the evil inside you.” Xander watched, transfixed as Mr. Maclay pulled his arm back, readying for another blow. “Did you think I wouldn’t find out?” Tara’s body was draped across her father’s lap, her shirt lifted high up her back. Angry welted lines crisscrossing her pale skin. “kissing other girls! Evil makes you do these things, Tara.” Anya buried her face in Xander’s chest, not wanting to see anymore. “Make it stop Xander!” Xander tightened his arms around the ex-demon, he turned his back to the wall, roughly wiping the back of his hand across his eyes.



*******

Part 7

*******



Willow tried to block out the sounds from the memory wall. “We’ve got to stop the spell.” She looked up pleadingly at Buffy, hoping to see an answer in the Slayer’s eyes, but all she saw were tears. “Damnit Buffy, I need you!” The Slayer shook herself, and sniffed loudly. “What can we do?” Willow looked around, taking stock of what littered the ground. “I-I don’t know this spell.” She said, panic in her voice.



“Blood,” Spike was walking slowly around the circle, “I can smell it, her blood.” His nostrils flared, the memory of Tara’s blood on his tongue made his palms itch. He looked at the altar, noticing a small bowl sitting on it. He pointed, “There, on the altar.”



“This is dark magic, blood magic.” Giles said, “These spells are extremely fickle. It might be too dangerous to stop it…”



Willow looked up sharply, “I am NOT letting Tara go through one more minute of this.” She shook her head, “There’s got to be a way to stop it.”



“You know it’s for your own good, Tara.” Mr. Maclay’s voice could be heard in the background, deceptively soft. “You know it’s your demon making you disobey me. I told you not to practice that sorcery, didn’t I?” Buffy sniffed, and put her hands over her ears, not willing to hear anymore. “Now, you go in there and I’ll lock the door. We can’t risk your demon making you do something tonight. Reverend Parker and his daughter are coming for dinner. I can’t have you around Cassie, you understand don’t you?” Willow’s fists clenched painfully at her sides. “Yes, sir.” At Tara’s soft and pain-filled voice, Willow lost it. She screamed, a low howl, a wordless sound that came deep from inside the redhead’s stomach. Rage.



The air in the cave rippled, the candles flared high and then died out. She closed her eyes, and tried to concentrate on reaching her girlfriend. “Tara?” she sent out through her mind, her fisted hands shaking “Tara, baby can you hear me?”



The memory wall was now dark but for little cracks letting tendrils of light through into what looked like a closet. Dark-blonde hair could be seen, Tara crouching in the tiny space, singing softly. “Goddess touch my life and light it with love. Goddess bless these kisses, these kisses--” Memory-Tara stopped signing, and raised her head, “Willow?” Everyone but Willow turned towards the wall, surprised at hearing Willow’s name being spoken from behind them.



“It’s me baby! Can you hear me?” Willow kept her eyes on her girlfriend sitting inside the circle, not wanting to see what was on the wall. She’d noticed that Tara’s lips hadn’t moved, quickly deducing that they could communicate telepathically.



“I can hear you.” Tara’s voice said, “Why are you in here with me? I can’t see you.”



Buffy looked at Willow, noticing her concentrated expression. She elbowed Xander in the arm, urging him to turn around. “I think Will’s talking to her.” Giles nodded. “I had no idea Willow could communicate telepathically. It’s remarkable really, for a witch at her level.” They turned back towards the memory wall, hoping Willow could stop the spell.



“I’m not in the closet with you baby. You’re not in the closet either, it’s not real, Tare-bear.”



“W-Willow, if daddy finds you… I have evil in me. You h-have to go.” Tara said in a strangled voice.



“Tara, you don’t have evil in you. You’re with me, in Sunnydale. This isn’t real baby. You have to wake up.”



“Sunnydale? I don’t understand… Willow?” Tara was confused, trying to piece together two realities. In one, she was locked in the basement closet. And, in the other, Willow was waiting for her to wake up. She got startled out of her thoughts when there was a knock. The Scoobies heard the familiar voice of a young man coming through the wooden door. “Hey sis, got locked up again, huh?”



“Oh, no.” Realisation struck Willow like a sledgehammer, knowledge of this particular memory making her insides twist. She became frantic, needing to make it stop. “No, no, no! Tara wake up now, damnit!” she yelled.



Buffy walked over to her best friend, “Will?” she crouched down and put a hand on Willow’s shoulder. “what is it?” The redhead could only shake her head as tears welled up in her eyes. “Is it bad?” Her friend asked, already knowing the answer.



“How about I let you outta there sis? Would you like that?” Donnie said in a sickenly-sweet voice.



“Dad w-will kill me if you let me out, you know t-that.”



“Bloody hell.” Spike muttered, realising what was going to happen. “Red, do something.”



The closet door opened slowly. Tara blinked, trying to get her eyes to adjust to the light.



“I won’t tell Ta, I swear. It’ll be our little secret.”



Willow shut her eyes tightly. “Tara, listen to me. You have to realise this is not real. These are your memories, baby. These things are in the past, they can’t hurt you anymore. You’re safe now. Baby, please.”



“This isn’t real?” Tara asked, her soft voice confused. She stepped out of the closet and looked at her brother. Her brows knitted as she wondered why he hadn’t reacted to what she’d said. “I heard what you were doin’ with Cassie. R’you a dyke Ta?” Donnie asked, disgust written on his face. The blonde lowered her head, covering her face with a curtain of hair. “You know what they say ‘bout dykes sis, just haven’t been with a man before is all.” An evil glint in his eye, Donnie continued. “You know,” He reached out and grabbed Tara’s arm as she tried to get away, “I can teach that demon ‘o’yours about being a good catholic girl.”



“Tara, don’t listen to him! He can’t hear you when you talk to me because he’s not really there. These things are in the past, they can’t change. But you’re not there anymore. Come back to me, please!”



Tara looked up, and interrupted her brother, “Do you hear Willow, Donnie?” and noticed he kept talking as if she hadn’t said anything at all. “This isn’t real,” she shook her head and stepped away from her brother. He stood there, his hand gripping thin air as she backed away. “This isn’t real. Willow, How do I--”



The memory wall blinked, and the images vanished. Inside the circle, Tara moaned and fell over, exhausted. Willow rushed to her side, and took the blonde into her arms. “Ssh baby, it’s over. I got you.”



Xander wished he’d had beaten Tara’s brother when he had the chance. Buffy slapped Spike’s arm, “Gimme your coat,” The vampire huffed, “Not bloody likely!” The Slayer glared back at him, “I said, give. Me. Your. Coat.” Spike grumbled, but handed over his leather duster. She walked over to the Wiccans, and bundled Tara in black leather. “We should get out of here Will. You guys wanna stay at my place tonight?”



Tara tightened her hold on the redhead and whimpered. “I think we should go to the dorms. More familiar.” Willow said, “But thanks.”



***



They had made their way out of the woods, and back to Xander’s car. The ride to Tara’s dorm was made in silence, no one knowing what to say. Even Anya kept quiet. Tara stared out the window at nothing.



“You’ll call me tomorrow?” Buffy was asking. At Willows nod, she continued, “We’re probably going to need to have a meeting. I wanna find that creep.” Xander waited for Willow and Tara to make it safely into the building before pulling away.



***



“Lift your leg, baby.” Willow was worried as she slowly dressed Tara for bed, the blonde hadn’t said a word since they had left the cave. “Lets get you all snuggled up in bed, ‘kay?” Their eyes met for a brief moment, before Tara nodded and laid down. As soon as Willow had pulled the covers up, the blonde witch tightly wrapped herself around her.



Thirty minutes passed, and not one word was spoken. Willow knew Tara wasn’t asleep, she could tell by the blonde’s breathing pattern. “Do you want to talk about it, love?” Tara sighed softly, and tightened her grip. “It’s weird. It’s-it’s not like I didn’t know all those things already…” Tara said, “I mean, the memories? I h-had them before that. Just… it f-felt so real, you know? Like I was living them all over again.” Willow traced small patterns on her girlfriend’s back, trying to calm her with every gentle stroke of her fingers. They staid silent, just holding each other for a long time.



Tara was holding onto Willow as if latching onto a life preserver. She couldn’t stop thinking. She couldn’t get those memories out of her mind, she felt hollow and numb.



“Willow?” She whispered. Willow kissed the top of her head. “Hmm?” Pushing her hand under her girlfriend’s shirt, Tara rubbed a soft circle on Willow’s stomach. “Make love to me?” Raising onto her elbow, she looked down into Willow’s eyes. She could see the love and devotion in those eyes, true and pure. She could also see confusion. “I-I can still feel the pain… I need to feel the good things you make me f-feel.” Tara dipped her head, somewhat embarrassed by her need to reconnect with her girlfriend.



With a delicate push of a finger under the blonde’s chin, Willow brought Tara’s eyes back up and looked into them. Love shone emerald in the redhead’s eyes as she whispered, “Loving you and making love to you are the easiest things I’ve ever done.” She blinked slowly, her eyelids making it only halfway back to the top. “And I would die showing you just how loved and cherished you are.” The hand that had been under Tara’s chin made it’s way to the back of her head, tangling fingers with soft hair. Willow pulled her girlfriend’s face down to her own, and pressed their lips together. It was a soft and delicate kiss, a whisper of a touch that expressed protectiveness and love.



Not breaking the kiss, Willow pushed up and rolled herself atop Tara. She pulled back to look into deep blue eyes. “I love you baby.” She reached up, and wiped a tear that was making its way down Tara’s cheek. Willow leaned down and pressed a kiss on each of her girlfriend’s eyelids. Another on her nose, then her cheeks. Every kiss peppered with sighs and soft words. When she made it to the blonde’s neck, she took a small piece of flesh between her lips and sucked softly. A part of Willow wanted to mark Tara as hers, the night’s events awakening a fierce sense of possessiveness. When she was satisfied with the mark, she pulled back and traced her tongue around it, slowly.



“Oh, Willow.” Tara moaned. The fingers of one hand tangled deep into red tresses as the ones of the other pressed, almost violently, into Willows back, urging her ever closer. “Take me,” She pushed her hips high, pressing into Willow. “show me, Please.” Her breath coming in deep, shallow gasps.



Willow lowered her mouth onto Tara’s collarbone, and pressed an open-mouthed kiss against the soft skin there. Peeking her tongue out from between her lips, she flicked it across the bone before closing down on it. “Mmmm” she sighed, and repeated her actions lower, in the hollow between the blonde’s clavicles. She ran her hands slowly down Tara’s sides until they reached the hem of her shirt. Willow pushed up, onto her elbows, and pressed her hands firmly against the blonde’s abdomen. Locking eyes with those of her lover, she proceeded in running her hands, palms flat against warm skin, up Tara’s body until her thumbs bumped against the soft yielding underside of full breasts, effectively baring the blonde’s stomach. Tara whimpered and arched her back, “Willow, please.”



“Ssh love,” Willow whispered, “we have all the time in the world.” Lowering her head to her lover’s stomach, she licked a wet circle around Tara’s navel. “Just feel, baby. Let me love you.” She said, and blew a cool breath against the wet path. Tara closed her eyes and tried to calm herself, her girlfriend’s actions effectively eclipsing all thoughts of the night’s events. She took a deep breath, and decided to give herself to Willow completely.



The redhead slowly licked a trail up the middle of Tara’s stomach. Nuzzling the underside of the blonde’s right breast, Willow pressed her mouth over the heated flesh and sucked softly, flicking her tongue against it. Tara’s hips started an unconscious rocking, her center barely making contact with Willow’s pelvis. “Oh Goddess, Willow” She moaned, gripping the back of her lover’s head. Willow ran her hands further up Tara’s sides, under the blonde’s arms, pushing them up. She then pulled her lover’s shirt off completely, and latched onto Tara’s engorged nipple. “MMmmm God, baby.” She mumbled around the puckered flesh, not willing to let it go.



Tara arched her back high, pressing her breast deeper into Willow’s mouth. “Yes, Oh Goddess,” She ran her hands down the redhead’s back, and tugged sharply on her shirt, wanting to feel Willow’s skin against her own. “Off, baby. Oh, Mmm please, I want to feel you.”



Reluctantly, Willow let go of the nipple to pull her shirt off. She lowered herself back down again, pressing her own modest chest against her lover’s fuller one. “Oh, Mmm” she moaned, pressing her pelvis against Tara’s, sending a tendril of electricity up her spine. She ran her tongue against the blonde’s full bottom lip before latching onto it with her teeth, and flicking her tongue against it. At the same time, her thumb flicked against Tara’s left nipple. Her other hand made its way down her lover’s body, raking her short nails against soft flesh. Reaching the waist of Tara’s boxers, she dipped her fingers just inside, teasing the skin there. The blonde thrust her hips, her moans swallowed by her lover’s mouth, silently begging Willow to push lower.



Willow broke the kiss, looking down into Tara’s blue eyes made a shade darker with lust. She kept eye contact, trying to communicate all the things, all the emotions she was feeling that couldn’t be conveyed through words. Willow pushed the boxers down Tara’s legs, torturously slow, slinking her body down the blonde’s torso, dragging her firm, pert breasts against her lover’s heated flesh. At the juncture between Tara’s legs, Willow drew her nipple against the blonde’s soft, crisp hair, goosebumps rising on her skin. “Goddess, you feel good baby,” She moaned, and pressed harder, pushing her breast between silken folds. “Ahugh, yeah,” Tara whimpered, rocking her hips harder against Willow’s breast, pulling softly on her hair.



Keeping the pressure against her lover’s engorged clit, Willow raked her teeth against Tara’s stomach, flicked her tongue against the skin, before dipping it deep into her lover’s navel and swirling it around twice. She pushed away from her girlfriend then, eliciting a groan from above.



After pulling her bottoms off, Willow sat on the bed, her back pressed against the headboard next to her lover. She reached her arms out towards Tara, “C’m’ere, baby.” Somewhat confused by the change in position, Tara sat up and scooted over to her girlfriend. Bringing her legs together, Willow then said “straddle my legs, love.” And guided Tara’s left leg over to the other side of her hip. “That’s it, now I can feel you.” She grasped Tara’s hips, and pulled, coating her thighs with her lover’s juices.



“Oh, sweet Goddess!” Tara groaned, bucking her hips harder against her lover’s thighs. “Oh, Willow touch me, please baby, please touch--” her words were cut short as Willow slid her right hand down her hip, through crisp hair, and into Tara’s soaked folds. Tara’s head fell back, her long pale neck exposed to Willow’s hungry eyes. “Oh, yes!” She rocked her hips harder, pressing her clit against her lover’s fingers, her fingernails digging into the wood of the headboard.



Willow gripped Tara’s hip harder with her left hand, pushing and pulling along with her lover’s rhythm. “Goddess, Tara you’re so wet.” She rasped, feeling her lover’s wetness trickle onto her thighs. She leaned over, latching onto Tara’s luxurious neck with her lips, kissing the delicate skin there sloppily, running her tongue up and down the pale column, tasting every drop of the blonde’s salty sweat. Licking her way up to Tara’s ear, never letting up on the pressure bellow, she breathed, “Do you want me inside you? Tell me baby.”



At Willow’s words, Tara’s hips stuttered, skipped a beat and pushed hard against her lover’s fingers without pulling back. Her hands left the headboard and gripped the back of Willow’s head, pulling it roughly towards herself. She devoured the redhead’s mouth, plunging her tongue deep inside, and swirling it against her lover’s. Her body hummed with want, with need. She pulled her mouth away, and pressed her cheek against Willow’s. Sweat beading down her back, Tara could feel every little drop making its wet way along her overheated flesh. Each heartbeat pounded against her eardrums, Willow’s quivering fingers poised there, just there, a hair’s breadth from filling her need. Time stood still.



She couldn’t breathe.



Every inch of her body was shaking.



Willow felt a tear roll down her cheek. Realising it wasn’t hers, she pulled her face away. “Baby, are you okay? I didn’t hurt you, did I?” She asked, worried. She was about to pull her fingers away when Tara stopped her. “No, d-don’t,” She took in a gulp of air, “Goddess, Willow I love you so much.” She looked deep into emerald eyes, and whispered, “I need you inside of me.” She brought her full lips to Willow’s ear, and sighed, “I need you inside so bad, it hurts.” She relaxed her hips, and pulled them back, making room for her lover to reposition her fingers.



“Oh, Tara” Willow moaned, and pushed two fingers slowly inside, letting the warm, moist walls grip her tightly. “Baby, you feel amazing.” She dipped her head, and took an erect nipple deep into her mouth, and sucked hard. Tara’s hips started rocking again, “Yes, Willow… oh, yeah..” Willow pumped her fingers faster and deeper, guided by the hard rock of Tara’s hips, her lover’s wetness pooling inside her palm, the headboard clacking against the wall. She bit down on Tara’s nipple, and curled her fingers to rub against the G spot she knew would be easily accessible from this position.



The quadruple sensation of Willow biting her nipple, Willow’s wet palm rubbing against her clit, her fingers filling her completely, and the pressure against her sweet spot proved to be too much. Tara screamed as she was pushed over the edge, her thrusts becoming erratic as she rode Willow’s fingers. “Wil-low!!! Aagh, yess!” Three sharp thrusts, the fourth kept her hips high against her lover, impaling herself onto Willow’s fingers, keeping them deep inside. She gripped her lover’s back desperately, as if letting go would mean falling off the face of the earth. Tara Buried her face in Willows neck, shaking and vulnerable, every muscle in her body, taut and quivering.



“Ssh baby, I got you.” Tara still tightly wrapped around her fingers, Willow circled her lover’s waist with her left arm, and rocked her slowly, back and forth. “Ssh, I love you. I love you.” She could feel her girlfriend shaking against her, silent sobs racking the blonde’s frame. “I’ll never let you go baby, I’m right here.” Feeling Tara’s body relax, she slowly pulled out and brought her right arm around to hug her lover tightly.



Tara’s tears stopped, and she turned her head to deposit light kisses onto Willow’s neck. “Goddess, you’re amazing baby.” She rasped, her body submitting to exhaustion.



“I love you.” Was all Willow answered.



They staid like this for a long time, and once Tara fell asleep, Willow let go and cried silently, so relieved and happy her Tara was safe.



*******

TBC…





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 Post subject: Update
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 7:21 am 
Hi



Wonderful again so sad to read Tara and her Memories.:cry



Looking forward to more. Keep writing you a doing really great and the story is good to read keeps you wanting more and more.:pray



wtsnuggles



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 Post subject: Re: Update
PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 5:26 pm 
I agree. more please. I really like this story.



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 Post subject: Re: Update
PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2004 3:46 pm 
Hey. I just caught up. This is great. But is there something wrong with tara?:confused



Well more soon, please.







brittney







~Good friends help you move. Real friends help you move the body.~



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 Post subject: Re: New: Revealing Strength
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:26 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 38
Topics: 4
Location: Portland, Or
Copper and Gold, i didn't know you have been writing on this board so long and am glad I found this work in the archives! I love your writing. I have been searching for fics that deal with Tara's past in more than just a passing way and as hard as her memories are to read, you have a way to make it both painful and a testament to the brave, beautiful woman she becomes. I know you have other fics in progress so I don't expect an update to this one, but I wanted to say, again, what a big fan I am of yours.

Beth

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


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