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

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 Post subject: Developing: W/T in WW2
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:00 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 4:50 pm
Posts: 63
Location: Texas
Hey everyone. Well, here goes with my first Kitten fic. There are lots of mistakes, either that I'm stuck on or haven't realized yet, and good parts too! Your suggestions and comments are readily welcomed. Thanks for reading.

Working Title: Far but not away
Author: histchic
Feedback: If you would be so kind
Disclaimer: The story is mine, the characters belong to Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy

Disclaimer: Though most of the details of this novel are accurate, a few have been fudged or completely twisted in the interest of writing instead of doing research. The names of some of the supporting characters have been made up, so please say so if their real names were revealed in canon. Also, I've played with timelines a bit so if there is a chronological error, please say so.

Now on with the story

Chronology of events

December 12, 1901 Henry born to John and Ethel Summers in Rochester, New York
***
August 1, 1902 Joyce born to Roger and Harriet Williams in Saratoga Springs, New York
***
January 26, 1904 Ethan born to Albert and Mabel Rayne in Birmingham, England
October 4, 1904 Rupert born to Andrew and Elizabeth Giles in London, England
***
March 12, 1913 Alexander born to Steven and Marjorie Harris in Baltimore, MD
***
1915-1919 E. Rayne and R. Giles serve together during WW1
1917-1919 H. Summers serves in WW1
October 3, 1919 Tara born to Donald and Susan Maclay in Standifer Gap, Arkansas
***
February 22, 1920 Faith born to Richard and Nancy Wilkins in Boston, MA
March 1, 1920 H. Summers opens Art Auction House in Ithaca, New York
June 19, 1920 Daniel and Joyce marry in Ithaca, New York
November 18, 1920 Willow born to Ira and Sheila Rosenberg in New York City, New York
***
April 2, 1921 Buffy born to Daniel and Joyce Summers in Ithaca, New York
***
Early May, 1922 Joyce becomes pregnant with second child (boy)
September 5, 1922 Joyce miscarries
***
August 31, 1924 Rupert Giles marries Gwendolyn Post in Hertfordshire, England
***
March 19, 1925 Dawn born to Henry and Joyce Summers in Ithaca, New York
***
May 17, 1930 Gwendolyn Giles dies of typhoid fever in South Surrey, England
***
September 1931 Xander moves from Baltimore to Yale University, Hartford, Connecticut
***
December 1, 1933 Ethan transfers within the SIS to Berlin, Germany as a spook of Reinhardt Heydrich

***
May 1935 Xander graduates from Yale University, Hartford, Connecticut
September 1935 Xander begins medical school at Johns Hopkins
Baltimore, Maryland
December 1935 Summers family moves to New York City
***
January 1936 Giles takes in Wesley Wyndham Price, a local history professor and fellow bachelor, as a renter
September 1936 Joyce begins teaching Art at New York University, New York City, New York
***
September 1937 Tara moves from Standifer Gap, Arkansas to New York University, New York City, New York
***
May 1938 Xander graduates from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland begins internship at Grace Hospital in Chicago, Illinois
Summer 1938 Buffy, Willow, Tara spend the summer at the Summer’s vacation home in Ithaca, New York
September 1938 Faith moves from Boston to Columbia University, New York City, New York
***
Summer 1939 Buffy, Willow, Tara, Faith spend the summer at the Summer’s vacation home in Ithaca, New York
July 5, 1939 Willow and Tara become an official couple
August 25, 1939 Willow moves from New York City, New York to Radcliffe College, Boston, Massachusetts
August 30, 1939 Buffy moves from New York City, New York to Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts
September 1, 1939 Hitler invades Poland
September 3, 1939 Britain and France declare war on Germany
***
Summer 1940 Buffy, Willow, Tara, Faith spend the summer in at the Summer’s vacation house in Ithaca, New York
August 16, 1940 Xander enlists in the Navy’s Medical Corps as a surgeon.
***
June 8, 1941 Tara graduates with Bachelors of Arts in Art History from New York University, New York City, New York
Mid June, 1941 Tara begins an internship with Hank and Joyce’s art auction house
December 9, 1941 Pearl Harbor is bombed in what is considered a sneak attack by the Japanese
December 17, 1941 Willow graduates from Radcliffe College, Boston, Massachusetts
***
January 1942 Buffy, Faith, Willow join WAC (Women’s Army Corps), and ship out to Des Moines, Iowa for basic training
Tara joins the WAVES Nurse Corps
March 1942 Tara is transferred to USS Hospital Ship, where she works under Second Lieutenant Alexander Harris
Willow, Buffy, Faith are all given assignments in the European War Theatre, therefore they all initially go to South Surrey, England. Willow goes to Intelligence (Enigma Corps) in England, Buffy to a supply office also in England, Faith to Intelligence (Office of Strategic Services) in France as a saboteur
Late March 1942 Willow meets Giles, they become friends, he invites Willow, Buffy, and Faith to his home on weekends.
May 1942 Faith is transferred to Berlin, Germany and her contact person is William “Spike” Sothesby, an agent of England’s MI5.
Late May 1942 USS Hospital Ship docks in England as a makeshift Allied Forces hospital
Early June 1942 Willow and Tara reunite
July 1942 Spike introduces Faith to Ethan, who by this time is Heinrich Himmler’s personal secretary, though neither Spike nor Faith knows Ethan is actually on the German side.
***
April 1943 USS Hospital Ship is bombed in South Surrey, England. Both Tara and Xander are on furlough at the time, Faith is involved in the bombing


Chapter 1
Additional disclaimer: Most of this story will be told through letters. The exception to this is the group scenes, such as summer or at Giles’ home.

Maybe this would be the day. Blue eyes searched the day’s mail for that one letter, her Holy Grail. She had mailed her admissions packet, complete with transcript and portfolio. Truth be told, it was the best work she had ever done and for which she received endless ribbing from her classmates and endless praise from her art teacher, Ms. Walsh. If NYU didn’t accept her, what hope was there for the American art world? Long tapered fingers began to tremble as she saw the letter addressed to her. “Ok, Tara, the worst they can do is say no.” She told herself as she ripped the envelope like a young child opening a Christmas present.

“March 30, 1937
New York City, New York

Dear Miss Tara Maclay:

After evaluating your application for admission along with your art portfolio, the Admissions committee is proud to offer you admission to New York University. Welcome!

Enclosed with this letter you will find information about the housing on campus and the freshman orientation before classes start. We look forward to you joining us in the fall.

Sincerely,

Joseph Washington
Director of NYU Admissions”

A wave of blonde hair raced back into the house from the mailbox. Tara Maclay had waited three years for this day. Three long years of mixing colors, sharpening dull pencils, drawing and painting until her right arm hurt all the way down to the stubby nail of her pinkie finger. “Daddy! Donnie! The letter came! The letter came!” she exclaimed at the top of her lungs. Flinging open the screen door, the high school art scholar took a moment to catch her breath and regain her composure. Yes, this was her dream coming true. Entering the kitchen as calmly as possible, she found her father with papers scattered across the table, looking crossly and columns of numbers. “D-d-daddy, I got into NYU.” The blonde stammered as she offered the letter for her father to read. Turning his attention to that particular piece of paper, Bill Maclay read it quickly and looked up at the glowing face of his youngest child. Tara was the pride and joy of the Maclay clan, and everybody in the county knew it. Even Donnie, her older brother, would boast that his little sister could “out paint any frou frou”. Bill ran his fingers through short brown hair, not knowing whether to be happy or worried. “Baby girl, that’s wonderful. Have you heard anything about your financial aid?” Tara felt a little bit deflated. “No sir. I sent that packet the same time as my admissions. I guess it takes them a little longer.” Seeing her change in mood, the cotton farmer said, “Well, I tell ya what. Donnie’s out in the barn, call him up to the house, I’ll telephone Uncle Bo and his bunch and we’ll all get ready and go into town for supper to celebrate.” At that, Tara Maclay skipped out to the barn eagerly anticipating the rest of the evening.

“July 4, 1937
Ithaca, New York

Dear Papa,

Happy Independence Day! Dawn and I are having a grand time in Ithaca, helping Mother in her studio. Dawn has even found a group of friends down at the gallery, and is usually spending the night at a sleep over. As for me, Willow has agreed to come up here and keep me company. We usually spend the mornings in the studio, and swimming in the afternoon. Evenings are spent with Willow, Dawn, Mother and I playing Scrabble. At any rate, that’s the news here. I love you Papa, and we are all eager to see you again when we return home on the 30th.

Love,
Buffy”

“September 10, 1937
New York City, New York

Donnie,

I have arrived in the big city, and what a city New York is! There are constantly people coming and going at all hours, never is there a moment of quiet. The lamplights on the streets burn throughout the night, and I can’t see the stars. Cordelia, my roommate, seems accustomed to all of the noise, all of the constant activity. She comes from Connecticut, but says things are not much different there. I miss you and Daddy. Send him my love would you? I miss Mother too. Donnie, I feel adrift here, as listless as a vessel in the middle of the Atlantic. Though the Atlantic Ocean would be quieter. Well, I must go and finish my readings and essays, the professors are quite demanding. There is one teacher, however, who is quite kind, not cold and brash like the others. Her name is Dr. Summers, she teaches my Art Appreciation course. At any rate, that is all for now my dear brother. Don’t forget to feed the horses corn with their oats; they take to it much easier that way.

Love,
Tara”

“September 24, 1937
Baltimore, Maryland

Dear Fred,

Why hello my soon to be distinguished friend. I read of your achievement in the Herald and absolutely had to write you a hearty congratulations. At Hopkins, I am disheartened to say that we are making no such discoveries about the human body as astute as the appendix being nothing more than a nest for bacteria. However, Mother is unrelenting in her efforts to keep our family together. No one misses the Sunday dinners. In all honesty, it’s the only square meal I eat all week. Any other time, I catch what I can on campus, you know how that goes. It seems odd to me, as if we are the experiments in human efficiency instead of our patients! Anyway, congratulations and I hope to see you in Maryland for Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,
Alexander”

“October 3, 1937
Standifer Gap, Arkansas

Dear Tara,

Happy Birthday, baby girl! We just got your last letter, and it tickles me to death that you have carved out your niche up there. Your mother would be so proud. Here you are, still just as sweet as the day you were born, though a little more stubborn. I reckon that would be on account of your daddy’s influence. The farm turned a decent crop this year, Donnie and me are anxious to take it down to the gin. Your cousin Beth has been a tremendous help, taking on the housework and all. To boot, she is a fair cook, so us Maclay men have not been lacking in vittles. Oh, and yes, the horses are still being spoiled by having their corn and oats too, though I suspect you sweet talked Donnie into doing it while you’re up there getting a fancy education. Just do not forget we are proud of ya, baby girl, and do not forget to come home for Christmas. The whole town is still shaking in their boots that somebody from Standifer Gap went to a Yankee college. That friend of yours, Anya, has been telling any body who will listen she is going to go up there just like you did. Says she’s gonna show Arthur Murray a thing or two. We love you Tara, and we’re awful proud of ya. Take care.

Love,
Daddy”

“November 2, 1937
New York City, New York

Dear Mother,

Daddy arrived in the city last night without incident. I was with the Summers family, of course, and came home after he called for me. One of Dr. Summers’ students, Tara, has also been spending time at the Summers’ home. She is quite shy, but highly artistic. I saw some of her paintings yesterday, and they were quite good. Daddy and I anticipate your arrival home on the fifth. Daddy had so much to say about California; usually he is so quiet, as you know. Los Angeles seems to be a town of people who are larger than life, and they know it. I received my marks for the first quarter, and they are high as usual. I even got an “A” in Physical Education! I, Willow Rosenberg, am now a calisthenics expert. At any rate, that is all the news here.

Love,
Willow”

As the last bell rang, Buffy Summers practically skipped out of McMillan School’s main building. No more teachers, no more assignments for at least a week. A whole week to relax and spend time with Willow and Tara, while Dawn was hopefully preoccupied with Riley, the boy du jour. She hadn’t seemed very interested in him at first, in fact the blonde had wondered if her younger sister was a dyke, as it was called in hushed tones. But she seemed happy with the very dashing football player, and so Buffy was happy with the match. “Hey Will, wait for me!” She called out at spotting her best friend amid the sea of newly released students. Catching her breath, Buffy inquired of the redhead “Are your parents going to be home for the holiday this year?” Willow winced at the innocent question. Hazel eyes saw the young girl‘s struggle to act as if nothing was wrong, though something obviously was. “No, the Puritans need somebody to bless the turkey.” She pouted. Buffy put her hand on Willow’s shoulder and smiled. “Look at it this way. You won’t get to miss Mom’s Thanksgiving feast and the yearly struggle to keep Dawn out of the kitchen.” Willow smiled. "Buffy is such a good friend. She can always make me feel better. At least I have a friend that cares, instead of parents" she thought.

On a different campus, the last bell also rang, releasing its prisoners from the confines of learning. Tara was happy to be free from class, but her heart was heavy at the thought of not spending the holiday at home. McDowell Hall was having a dinner for students on Thursday; at least she wouldn’t be alone. “Have a great holiday everyone. And don’t forget about the test we’re having the Wednesday after your return.” Dr. Summers said as the mob rushed their way to the door. The shy blonde quickly made her way down the steps of the auditorium style classroom. “Tara, I’d like to speak with you for a moment in private.” She walked over to the large desk where concerned brown eyes studied her. “Yes, professor?” “Tara, one of the other students made a comment that you won’t be going home for the holiday.” The blonde would have ducked her head to hide behind her hair if it hadn‘t been tied into a bun at the back of her head. “Y-y-yes, Professor Summers, I was planning on staying in the dorms. McDowell Hall is having a dinner for students on Thursday.” Joyce rose from her seat and gathered up her coat and briefcase. “In that case, I insist you have Thanksgiving dinner with my family.” Tara cheeks turned a very deep crimson. “Professor Summers, that’s a very generous offer, but I wouldn’t want to impose…” Joyce turned sharply. “Tara, you wouldn’t be an imposition at all. Nobody should be alone for Thanksgiving, especially one of my best students. I’ll come by McDowell on Thursday around ten to pick you up. You can spend the day with the girls and Buffy’s friend Willow. I‘ll need all the help I can get keeping Dawn from setting the house aflame.” At the comment, Tara grinned with a new twinkle in her blue eyes. “Ok, Professor, and thank you so much for the invitation.” The burden lifted from her heart, she practically skipped all the way to her room to write a letter to Anya.

Dawn couldn’t believe her good luck. Riley was driving her home. She liked the way the wind felt in her hair, and how handsome he looked in his letter jacket. Leaves on the trees that lined Revello Drive had already turned their colors, and now were falling in preparation for the winter. “It’s the one at the end of the block, on the right.” She said, and Riley obediently pulled up next to the brown two story home. He quickly got out and opened her door, grinning to himself as he saw her cheeks become rosy from something other than the cold. As they walked up to the porch, the brunette noticed that her mother’s car was already in the driveway. Hmm, that’s odd. Well maybe she cancelled the night classes. I hear they can do that in college. Dawn thought to herself while she fidgeted with the strap of her bookbag. “Riley, would you like to come in for a Coke or something?” she asked. He hesitated for a moment. “Actually, Dawn, I would love to but I need to get back to campus, big game next week, so lots of practice this week, even if we don‘t have school.” The image of a crashing plane making its landing was all the teenager could see. So, she smiled brightly at the strapping boy in front of her. “Well I guess I’ll see you on Monday. Unless you’d like to stop by sometime this week.” The blond man grinned. “Yeah, Dawn, I’ll definitely stop by. See you around.” At that, he kissed her on the cheek and headed to his car.

With the time on her clock showing that she had fifteen minutes, Tara ran a thick brush through her hair and contemplated for the tenth time if she should leave it up or down. Tara, if you leave it down then you’ll want to hide. Dr. Summers is nice and her family will be nice too. Or at least funny, from all the stories that she tells. You won’t need to hide. With her sudden burst of courage, Tara twisted her hair up and pinned it to her head. Once again she looked in the mirror, wondering if her tan sweater and blue skirt were a little too, well, casual. Well, it’s not a gunny sack so I won’t look too casual. Blue eyes searched for a nice pair of ear bobs and found her favorites, a pair of diamond studs. Making sure she had both her coat and keys, the blonde quickly shut her door behind her and made her way down to the lobby to meet her favorite teacher.

Willow carefully set the table, making sure to put forks on the left and knives on the right, exactly like she had been learning in Home Economics. Buffy was in the kitchen, folding napkins as a cover for being the oven’s bodyguard. Joyce had said to set an extra place because one of her students, Tara Maclay, would be joining them. Willow wondered what the girl would be like, and why she wasn’t spending the holiday with her family. Suddenly the door opened, and coming in behind Buffy’s mother stood the most beautiful woman Willow had ever seen. She was not quite as tall as Joyce, had lovely golden hair, and the redhead could see the slight twinkle of baby blue eyes. Willow smoothed her dress and set down the silverware she was holding, lest the girl think the redhead was trying to skewer her. Walking into the main room, Willow said, “Hello. You must be Tara. I’m Willow, Buffy’s friend. Joyce said you’d be coming.” Tara couldn’t believe this girl with enchanting green eyes was standing before her. She had brilliant red hair which barely covered the tops of her shoulders, skin the color of alabaster, and a grin that gave Tara’s stomach a serious case of butterflies. “H-h-hello Willow. It’s nice to meet you too. Professor Summers was very kind to invite me over here for dinner.” Hanging up her coat, Joyce said, “And let you spend the holiday alone? Forget it. Buffy and Dawn must be around here somewhere.” Hearing her name, Buffy came out of the kitchen and hugged her mother. “Riley came by for Dawn about a half hour ago. They left to take some dinner to his Uncle Adam and Aunt Margaret. They couldn‘t get out for the holiday.” Seeing that her mother hadn’t come in alone, Buffy said, “Hi Tara. I‘m glad you decided to take Mother up on her offer. The more the merrier.” The blonde smiled. Everyone seemed so warm and inviting. “I’m just thankful for the invitation. And I’m happy to meet her family. She always tells such funny stories in class about y’all.” Willow crinkled her nose at this new term. Y’all? What’s a y’all? Buffy asked the same question out loud. Tara’s cheeks turned a deep crimson as the others looked on in genuine curiosity. Clearing her throat, the blue eyed girl responded, “Y’all is the shortened version of you all. In Arkansas, we talk slow and shorten words or squash them together to make up for it.” Willow’s eyes lit up like the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center. “You’re from Arkansas? That’s so neat. What’s it like there? Did you come from Little Rock? Does it get cold there, being so much closer to the equator?” Now it was Willow’s turn to blush. “I babble a lot, some people find it irritating. Sorry.” Tara smiled gently at her. “It’s fine Willow. I don’t mind, really. Home is wonderful, with the cotton fields, all the animals and its really clean, not like the city. I come from a little town called Standifer Gap, its north of Little Rock. It gets pretty chilly in the winter, because it‘s in the mountains. Now I‘ve been the one babbling.” Smiling, Joyce said, “Since part of one of the Inquisition is over, would you girls come in the kitchen so we can get started on dinner?” The group filed into the kitchen. Buffy resumed folding napkins, while Joyce started fixing up the turkey. After much protest from the other women, Tara enlisted herself in the ranks of helping slice vegetables after Willow peeled them. The two fell into a natural rhythm, Willow asking Tara about her home, the farm, college, and Tara asking Willow about New York and growing up in the city. Turning to hand Tara a freshly peeled potato, Willow‘s fingertips lightly grazed Tara‘s and she felt a jolt go down her spine. In turn, Tara just smiled and began slicing. Whenever she didn’t think the green eyes could see, Tara stole little glances at Willow, growing fonder of her by the minute. Finished with the napkins, Buffy asked, “Hey Will, you wanna help me place these in the dining room?” Knowing that Buffy wanted to gab, the redhead washed her hands and proceeded behind the other girl.

As soon as they were out of earshot, Willow grinned from ear to ear. “Buffy, Tara is so neat! Not to mention completely beautiful.” Buffy chuckled. “Yeah, Will, it was pretty obvious that you were into her. I wouldn’t be surprised if she felt the same way.” Willow looked at her friend, pretending to be confused. “Tara doesn‘t seem like the type to be into herself” she deadpanned. Both girls giggled at the joke. Although Willow wouldn’t let herself believe she liked Tara romantically, the seed had been planted.

“January 2, 1938
Nashville, Tennessee

Dr. Summers,

I am writing you en route back to school. I hope Winter Break with your family was a pleasant one. Coming back home to Arkansas after living in the Big Apple, I see things quite differently now. My Daddy is such a strong man, to keep the farm going after all these years, especially the lean ones. Donnie, my older brother, has always seemed like a man to me, but appears as such to the rest of the town too. Cousin Beth is growing into a young homemaker, caring for Daddy and Donnie while I am away. A young man is also courting her, Patrick I believe is his name. They seem happy together and I am genuinely happy for them. How are Buffy and Dawn? I am quite sure they wish for the break to be until March, not having to go out in the bitter cold. Willow, sweet Willow, she is doing well I pray. I am excited about my classes for the spring, and especially your Art History course. Our train is leaving, so I shall see you in New York.

Sincerely,
Tara Maclay”

“January 3, 1938
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Hey Willow,

How are ya, Red? Things are just grand here in the vineyard, preppy guys ogling preppy girls who pretend not to notice. Daddy went back to Boston early, said something about a crises overseas, so I have the place all to myself. It’s pretty great, actually. Go wherever I want to go, do whatever I want to do. You should try it sometime Red. Sleep all day, dance all night. Well, not just dancing of course. I have to say, I haven’t left the male population unsatisfied. I can see you blushing all the way over here, you prude. You know, it just is not the same here without a sidekick, like in the picture show. Faith, the Dating Dynamo, and her loyal sidekick, Red. Sounds like a winner to me. So, give Sheila a hug and Ira a kiss for me. Take care.

Faith”

Joyce hurriedly set another place for dinner. “Buffy, I‘m leaving in ten minutes to meet the train with or without you and Dawn.” She called up the stairs while removing her apron and smoothing her dress, wondering what to do with her hair. She wondered if Hank would still be hungry after supper.

Sitting at the Summers’ dinner table amid a stack of books and papers, Willow had never felt such a sense of family. It’s not as if my own family abandoned me, per se. Abandoned children are the ones who sleep in the street and beg quarters from passersby. Or the paper boys with their nickel Times. I just wish Father and Mother could do their speeches here in New York, instead of going to Boston, or Chicago, or California. But I have the Summers, and Tara is such a dear to let me sleep with her… I mean, not sleep sleep with her, because that would just be wrong, but it does feel wonderful to hear her slow and peaceful breathing at night. In a completely non romantic friend only way. She is a girl, and you are a girl. Sheesh, Rosenberg, get a grip. The green eyes flickered out of their haze as she stopped the internal babble in her mind.

“Where did you go Will, to Never never land?” Buffy asked teasingly. The redhead smiled back at her friend and turned to Dawn, who held an equally far and away expression. “So, are you going to finish off those crossword puzzles without me tonight?” “Huh? Er, I mean yes, I would like more meatloaf.” The older girls laughed as Tara came back into the room. “What did I miss?” the blonde asked, confused. Through giggles, the elder Summers girl explained that “Dawn here seems to be studying only food at the moment” at which the younger Summers girl blushed profusely, realizing what had just occurred. Tara had noticed that during this whole exchange, Willow had not taken her emerald green eyes away from Tara’s baby blues. She smiled softly at the younger girl, and resumed her seat next to her. The younger girl was quite brilliant, more so in fact than many people Tara had met at college. She found Willow to be a complex and fascinating person, but found herself drawn to the world behind those green eyes in a romantic way. Tara knew she had to keep those emotions at bay, because after all, Willow was straight. Whenever Buffy had mentioned the other girl’s ex, a boy named Daniel but everyone called Oz of all things, Willow would look quite sad for hours afterward. It must have been a really bad break up, Tara mused. But just because of one bad break up, it doesn’t mean she would ever be interested in girls. Just as the thought occurred to her, Willow gently touched the back of the blonde’s shoulder and whispered in her ear, “Do you want to get some air?” Tara nodded her assent and followed the shorter girl out the back door onto the porch and the still warm mosquito filled night. Willow gazed at Tara, letting her thoughts overtake her. Gosh, she’s so beautiful, she just seems to take in everything about the earth and become part of it. And the moonlight on her face and hair, it makes her seem like an angel. Rosenberg! What is wrong with you? You are just friends, nothing more. Because there is no way…even if I do like her like that, there’s no way she would feel the same. Tara smiled at her friend, saying gently, “It certainly is busy in there.” Willow blushed, realizing that her internal babble had once again been the victor in a war of consciousness. She watched as Tara sat in the swing, motioning for Willow to join her. As the redhead sat down, Tara noticed Willow’s lack of breath. “Sweetie, what’s wrong?” She asked, wondering what could have the redhead so upset. Turning to the girl who meant everything to her, Willow tried to hold back her tears. “I like you, Tara, a lot. I know this is going to seem totally random, and please tell me if you get disgusted--” Tara put her hand on Willow’s trembling one. “Willow, there’s nothing about you that would or could disgust me.” Her calm blue eyes persuaded Willow to go on. “Well here’s the thing, Tara, I want to be more than just friends with you. I know that I’m a girl, and you’re a girl, and that two girls shouldn’t be more than just friends, but--” Again, Tara stopped the younger girl’s very adorable babble, by kissing her gently on the cheek. Tears now streamed from green eyes, completely confused by what the older girl must be thinking. Wiping tears away from alabaster skin, the blonde explained, “I like y-you too Willow. M-more than just f-friends.” Hearing those wonderful, sweet, life-affirming words, the redhead cupped Tara’s face in her hands and kissed her squarely on the mouth.

Tara responded by deepening the kiss, and when they both pulled away for air, her face resembled the color of Willow’s fiery tresses. She tucked a wayward strand of that beautiful hair behind Willow’s ear, resting her hand on the very soft cheek. “That was quite different from how I pictured this conversation going. But in a really good way. The best way it could have gone. And I’m completely babbling, aren’t I?” Tara chuckled. “I like it when you babble.”

_________________
"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it"--Winston Churchill


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