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

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 Post subject: Anthology of Interest! featuring 'Sunnyvania'
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:28 pm 
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17. Mega-Witches
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Anthology of Interest!


Note: In the vein of the old Futurtara version, only without having to write a Futurama-themed framing device each time, this is... well it's just a thread I'll post random short fics in, since unlike the last couple of times a random idea has popped up, this time it isn't in the course of feedback to someone else's challenge entry, and it does seem like this is going to keep happening every now and then. Enjoy!

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Kiss like a Pirate Day

Author: Chris Cook
Email: alia@netspace.net.au
Rating: M for sauciness
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters are the property of Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy, and who knows what other stuff I'll end up borrowing from elsewhere in this, but for now nothing else specific.

Sit ye down, weary traveller, and harken to me tale of the high seas! I see ye be wantin’ the latest news of none other than Cap’n Tara, the fiercest, fairest, and flirtiest pirate hunter that ever sailed, pride o’ the Admiralty and scourge of all lawbreakers ‘tween here and Barbados? Well let me tell ye, lads and lasses, she be the subject of a fine tale of intrigue and romance, so she is..

T’all began one fine day when our dear Tara was sailin’ along in search of wrongs to right, and spotted a sail on the horizon. What this, she wondered, putting a telescope to her emerald green eye, be this some honest merchantman about his business, or plucky explorer charting the seas at the behest of the Royal Society? Nay me hearties, her fair brow creased as she saw the black flag of a pirate, and no mere two-piece buccaneer of no note either. For t’was the kitten and crossed whips flag of no less a lass than Red Willow! Aye, ye’ve heard that name, and the tales of treasure fleets vanished and strongholds pillaged of their loot from one horizon to t’other, and let me tell ye those tales be but a pale shadow of her true audacity and cunning. No bounty be safe from Red Willow, who gathers to herself all things fine and fancy in these Caribbean seas, but be she ever so daring there be not a man in the Navy who’s come close to reeling her in, for she be not that way inclined you understand.

Now Cap’n Tara had many a time run out the guns and run some piratical scoundrel to ground amid shot and shell, but she knew such malarky would avail her not against such a wily and comely lass as Red Willow, and so she shadowed her foe’s ship, the feared Sea Sweetie, awaiting her chance to enact some clever scheme to entrap its devious mistress. And such a scheme she devised when her quarry put into port at none other than Port o’ Bronze, where sailors from all the seven seas revelled and likewise partied their fortunes away on drink and dancing and bewitching sirens o’ the night. Knowing that Willow were no bilge rat who wasted her time on grog, Tara suspected it was the finer things in life she sought at that den of delights, and thus contrived to sneak herself ashore and infiltrate herself stealthy-like into the assortment of likely lasses vying for Willow’s attention.

Now betwixt her beauty and her famed wealth there was quite a crowd seekin’ to be chosen to entertain Red Willow, but Cap’n Tara proved herself as fine a seductress as she were an officer, and bedecked in finery of the silkiest and frankly most scandalous nature, which she had had delivered direct from Gay Paree in the hope that just such an opportunity would present itself, she danced the dance of love before Willow, moving in such a ways as to arouse the ardour of the dreaded pirate lady until nothing would do but that she must have Tara aboard her very own ship in her luxurious and well-appointed cabin to sample all her earthly delights. So did Tara play the role of the lustful maiden of Venus looking forward to following her calling as Willow’s crew, who were in fact a polite and well-mannered group, fetched her at their captain’s request, brought her aboard the Sea Sweetie, and invited her to make herself at home in the stateroom, never suspecting that that was exactly where she wanted to be, or rather that was the impression she gave, but for reasons of passion, whereas Tara had in fact her mind set on apprehension of the dastardly pirate, although truth be told passions be stirring alongside such noble thoughts and no mistake.

And so, at the dark hour of midnight did Red Willow find Cap’n Tara fetchingly bedecked in jewels and lingerie of a highly suggestive make, all fit to stir the lustful thoughts of the scarlet pirate to the high heavens and back again, and as Willow sat back in her comfy captain’s chair and invited Tara to work her skilful whiles on her heartstrings, Tara did contrive to dance across to the wall where a sabre be hanging among the assorted trophies of piratical victories, and drew it to make good her capture. Red Willow be no clueless landlubber though, and so had ensured that for just such an eventuality her chair be fitted with a concealed blade of her own, which she now drew to drive off the Crown’s champion in all her golden and nearly-naked glory.

The prospect of a duel between two such peerless swordswomen would no doubt cause any audience worth their salt to be imagining a great cavalcade of acrobatics, death-defying leaps and lunges, parry and thrust, and all manner of artful manoeuvres, and Willow and Tara did not disappoint! All over the piratical stateroom did they fence, across table and bed, balancing on chairs, swinging one after t’other from the chandelier, swatting at gilded cords to bring down tapestries from the ceiling in attempts to trap one another which were lithely evaded, all the while their supple and outstanding bodies did work up a gleam of sweat, and bosoms did heave as they pushed their stamina to its very limits. Red Willow was as wily as you might imagine a practiced pirate lady to be, and at one moment seemingly on the verge of defeat did distract her opponent by the cunning ploy of slicing through the gauzy fabric of the fine negligee holding Cap’n Tara’s bountiful chest at bay, causing her to burst forth most distractingly, but even though she be an officer and a gentlewoman, Cap’n Tara proved to have her own stock of cunning ploys up her nonexistent sleeve, for seeing Red Willow entranced by the oceanic undulation of her fine boobies she did use her free hand, whilst their blades were locked, to reach behind Red Willow’s magnificent posterior on which she bestowed a most lascivious slap, causing her foe no small amount of panty-wettin’ distraction herself.

And just as they... wait a minute, I’ve got this... wait!” Willow shook her head and pressed a hand to her mouth in a futile attempt to prevent herself bursting out laughing.

“So does this mean Cap’n Tara prevails, and puts the dastardly Red Willow in irons?” Tara asked mischievously, keeping her feather duster ‘sword’ locked against Willow’s kitchen spatula above their heads.

“Uh... um, nay, dear lass,” Willow managed to resume, “or at least, maybe every now and then but not permanently, for y’see, such was her enjoyment of their duel that neither wished for it to conclude, so their ongoing rivalry for command of the fair waters of the bedroom waged on over and over and... hmm, over and over,” she purred as Tara leaned in to nuzzle at her neck, “and probably in the end I’m sure they retired together to some tropical paradise island or something?”

“A proper and fitting reward to two such daring lasses of the high seas,” Tara agreed, struggling not to giggle herself. “Happy talk like a pirate day.”

"Happy kiss like a pirate day."

“It's called that now?”

“I'm stealing the day and renaming it.”

"Very piratical of you, so how do pirates kiss?"

"It involves plunderin' ye booty."

"Yarrr," Tara managed, as they collapsed onto the bed in a shared fit of giggles.

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Through the Looking-glass - Every world needs a Willow and Tara.


Last edited by Artemis on Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring 'Kiss like a Pirate Day
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:58 am 
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Yay for excellent and funny story...

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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring 'Kiss like a Pirate Day
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:41 am 
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See, Roleplay can be both fun, AND sexy :)

R :flower

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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring 'Kiss like a Pirate Day
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:01 pm 
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Thanks both :grin

I did want to hit the fun button pretty hard, yeah - naturally the whole pirate setting could go very steamy and sultry (one of these days...) but for this one I really liked the idea of the two of them just being doubled-over-laughing silly. I didn't want to overcomplicate the fic itself, but my headcanon for it was that Willow had started with the pirate-speak just as a joke, then kept at it just to make Tara laugh, then Tara had started acting along with whatever she made up about Cap'n Tara, and it just snowballed from there.

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Through the Looking-glass - Every world needs a Willow and Tara.


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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring 'Kiss like a Pirate Day
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:45 am 
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I really liked this funny pirate-speech story. Was Willow doing all the "pirate-narrator-stuff" or were she and Tara taking turns in spinning the story along?
One tiny mistake I spotted:
Quote:
putting a telescope to her emerald green eye

Shouldn't Tara's eye be (sky, azur or any shade of) blue?

Since I just finished rereading Hellebore again (one of my alltime-favourite Willow-and-Tara-stories) I can't help asking if there is any chance that you might post some shortstory(ies) about our beloved amazon-sorceress-couple again, one day? I would love to see a glimpse of their travels through Westmark and I'm really curious what your ideas of an amazon-wedding are...
If your muse happened to lead you into the Hellebore-verse again I would be forever grateful! :bounce :banana :dumbo


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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring 'Kiss like a Pirate Day
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:20 pm 
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Drat! Well-spotted - I actually switched their roles while I was writing (Cap'n Willow and Golden Tara, originally), since I could kind of more imagine Willow cheekily narrating Tara disguising herself as a dancing girl (and Tara then hastily stripping down to her underwear to play along). Got the names, but missed that one - she'd probably have gone with something like "blue as the morning skies over the far-off South China Sea". In my head it was Willow doing the whole story, with Tara alternately acting out whatever Willow described her doing, and laughing, but it works either way.

Re: Hellebore - thanks, and I'm tremendously flattered :blush I think I'm kind of resigned to not doing the story that was going to follow it - Hellebore itself was a year of pretty much non-stop writing, and I don't know that I have that kind of focus in me these days (not to mention, job and all that). Also Diablo III happened, which was a fun in gameplay terms, but really reduced the world to a bit of a thin caricature of its original self, so that sapped away some of my enthusiasm for Sanctuary. I used the basic storyline I'd planned out as a Mass Effect adult film adaptation of an asari epic poem, of all things, if you're curious. Short stories though, that's a possibility, there are a couple of ideas I never got around to that wouldn't have to be too enormous in length to write out, so maybe one of these days. I didn't have the specifics of an Amazon wedding worked out, but I did have a few basic ideas, and I ended up using them for the wedding at the end of She-Ra season one - the main element I wanted to get in there was that the marriage ritual didn't actually form the marriage, that was the couple themselves, and the ceremony was an expression of thanks from the Amazon culture generally to Willow and Tara for deciding to express their love through its traditions. I did actually write a brief scene of the Hellebore marriage itself, but that was as a private gift (for an actual wedding) and if I ever got around to it in the course of the rest of the story I'd have written it fresh again anyway. So the She-Ra ceremony is kind of how it would go. Um, sorry it's not 'I'll start posting next week', but it's what I've got :ashamed

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Through the Looking-glass - Every world needs a Willow and Tara.


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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring 'Kiss like a Pirate Day
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:41 am 
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Hero


Author: Chris Cook
Email: alia@netspace.net.au
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters are the property of Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy. Captain Marvel is the property of Marvel (although that’s a sentence with a long and tumultuous history, if you’re curious about the bizarre convolutions of the name’s ownership, this is a good watch.
Notes: Inspired by her being the only Rock Candy figurine available to accompany Willow, and helped along by thespian_phryne and Laragh playing the shoulder angels whispering “Go on, do it.” I kind of threw together a couple of separate ideas, and this could probably use another draft, but it’s 3:30 in the morning (it’s okay, public holiday tomorrow), so let’s just throw caution to the wind and go. Hope it kind of comes across as it's meant to.


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“Did you get to the hairdressers- wow.”

Tara chuckled, blushing, and tucked an errant - and short - strand of hair behind her ear as Willow slowly moved around the edge of the bed, wide-eyed, to gaze at her full height as she stood in front of the bedroom mirror.

“So, you’ll be okay with this until it grows out again?” she asked, venturing a grin.

“Are you okay with it?” Willow asked at once, taking Tara’s hands and gently squeezing. “Honestly?”

“I’m okay,” Tara nodded. “Honestly. It’s just I haven’t had it this short in ever, it’d be weird if it didn’t feel weird. You know?” She glanced at herself in the mirror, and smiled at Willow’s reflection there smiling back at her.

“You like?” she asked, running a gloved hand through her hair.

“Baby you’re stunning,” Willow said. “I mean, that’s a given, but - you’re like - your eyes, your face, it’s like... You’re beautiful as ever but this is, like normally it’s beautiful like a lake, an especially gorgeous lake, of course-”

“One of those Italian ones?” Tara suggested.

“Yep that’s what I’m thinking,” Willow agreed, “and now, this is you beautiful like, like lightning, is this simile off the rails? I feel like comparing you to a lake started it off on a weird footing and it’s not getting any more rational.”

“My Willow,” Tara smiled, kissing her.

“My hero,” Willow smiled back. Tara glanced down.

“So you did notice?” she teased.

“Hand on heart, I genuinely didn’t for the first few seconds,” Willow insisted. Tara laughed, then stood fully in front of the mirror, and tried a hands-on-hips pose. She was pleased the costume had come together more or less as planned, but the reflection staring back at her - navy blue bodysuit, red boots and gloves, a sash sitting around her hips, and red shoulders bordered by golden bands merging with the gold star in the centre of her chest - just didn’t fit into her mental image of her, even if it was her face atop it all, framed by short hair tightly bound at the sides.

“Does she have a catchphrase?” she asked. “Like to infinity and beyond, or up up and away?”

“Captain Marvel? Not sure,” Willow admitted. “Xander’ll know. He’s going to be blown away when he sees you, you look great. And that’s me being as objective as I can possibly be with regards to how good you look.”

“How objective is that?” Tara asked, a grin tugging the edge of her lips.

“Not very?” Willow said. “Seriously though, just... it’s great, you look amazing. In terms of, of accuracy to what it’s supposed to look like, and the costume fitting properly, and everything looking really top quality and all that important costume stuff, on top of the standard Willow feelings vis-a-vis any time you’re in my line of sight.”

“Your hero?” Tara joked, sitting on the edge of the bed. Willow sat beside her, and Tara glanced at her curiously when she didn’t reply.

“You are, you know,” Willow said after a pause.

“What?” She was no stranger to Willow staring at her, and the warmth spreading through her as her heart sped up was as welcome as always, but there was something deeper in her eyes.

“Remember your bag, at school?” Willow said softly, and Tara understood, and felt her eyes well up as she smiled and nodded.


Image


One year, Willow thought, as the din of the rest of the class gossiping washed around her without registering. A whole year. Her heart was beating ridiculously fast, but she had rehearsed this moment over and over, all through the summer break. One year ago, that first day then, she had fallen in love. Looked across the classroom as Tara had come through the door, and seen not Tara the quiet girl who seemed nice, but Tara, who... Tara who was incredible, who was beautiful, who was radiant, and how had she never seen her like this before? How had she not noticed the most beautiful girl in the world? The sensible explanation, as-you-grow-up-you-start-to-have-feelings, seemed like it may have had something to do with it, but still, she had wondered, and replayed every memory she had of Tara before, and couldn’t believe she had thought she was just another girl.

And for that whole year she had gazed, nervously and covertly, and marvelled, and dreamed, and hoped... and done nothing. Certain that Tara was the one but uncertain what that meant, she had imagined talking to her so many times - all the paths their conversations could take, all the possibilities - but the one possibility she hadn’t imagined was the one that had happened: that she never spoke to her to begin with, any more than the pleasantries of everyday school life. And it was over the summer, cut off from Tara, missing her painfully each day and finally awake to the possibility that she could be in love with a girl, that all the happy endings in stories and movies could be her and Tara - she realised that all her dreams depended on her taking the first step to make them real. And now she was going to.

And there she was.

Impossibly perfect.

And Willow’s heart leapt as, just as she had hoped, Tara skirted the edge of the crowd of children still on their feet chattering, and took a seat at the same desk she had the whole year before. The one that, who knew when and how, some long-ago art class perhaps, had been painted all over with random splashes of colour, one of a kind amid all the interchangeable clean wooden desktops around it. The one Tara sat at, and somebody else alongside her, but not somebody else, Willow told herself, not this time. Please.

“H-hi,” she managed to say, only because she had imagined saying it so many times even her scattered nerves couldn’t quite trip up her tongue. “Can-I-sit-here?”

Tara seemed to understand the sentence as it came tumbling out, smiled - smiled! - and nodded.

Willow sat.

A moment later the teacher arrived, and the school day began. There was work to do, and No Talking In Class, but that didn’t mean absolute silence. Tara found the eraser on the end of her pencil worn down a bit too far, and borrowed Willow’s for a moment. She offered her set square when it was called for, and even though Willow had her own in her bag, she shared Tara’s with giddy elation. During morning recess, and lunch, they talked - actually talked - about home, and school. Willow desperately hoped telling Tara about her extra math tutoring wouldn’t seem boastful, and had to fight to conceal a great gasp of relief when Tara seemed interested. Tara’s mother had agreed she could learn to play the violin, and she was looking forward to her first lesson. The day flew past. The best of Willow’s life.

And at the last minute, it all came crashing down.

“Can I sit next to you again tomorrow?” she had asked, after the final bell had rung and people were packing their bags and heading for the door. She didn’t want to just assume she could, and every time she had run the conversation through in her head, the bloom of affection in her chest when she imagined Tara agreeing had been irresistible.

“Why, you gonna kiss her?”

It came from one of the trio of girls who always hung around together and looked down on everyone else with scorn - Willow was so stunned she couldn’t even tell which of them had actually spoken - and as they sauntered away, already talking loudly about something else and the moment forgotten, Willow’s cheeks burned with panicked shame. She dimly heard Tara call her name as she muttered something about having to go, but her legs carried her away, out of the classroom, out of the school, and it was over.

In her room later, she dreaded seeing Tara again. She wouldn’t be angry, she was sure - Tara wasn’t mean, Tara was kind, and gentle, and wonderful - but she couldn’t take back what she had done. She had spent a year, a year, falling in love, wanting to be in love, with Tara, and a single snide remark had sent her running for her life. Away from Tara, who would never hate her, but must have been hurt, and deserved better. Better than Willow. Willow wrestled with such a pang of sorrow that she wondered how it could be real, how her life could have gone so wrong in an instant, how she could have chosen so wrong - how wasn’t it a nightmare she’d wake up from, and heave a sigh of relief that that was all it was? But reality continued.

The next day she had actually considered feigning illness to stay home, but the prospect of her mother calling out the lie she knew she’d never be able to follow through with kept her silent, and there was nothing for it but to face Tara, and the future she had earned without her. And there Tara was, at the colourful desk that for one glorious, agonising day had been their desk, looking up at her, and smiling, and... and her hands on her bag, her grey canvas backpack, sitting on the desk in front of her, only not grey any more. Coloured, and the edges of the stripes were a little ragged because she had obviously done it herself with markers, but Willow had had a whole year to process that she was a girl and she was in love with a girl, and had been too shy to ask anyone but had learned haphazardly from television and the internet what a rainbow could mean. And Tara, with her rainbow bag in front of her, was looking at her, hopefully.

Anxiety had made her slow to arrive and the class started almost as soon as she sat down, which was just as well because it took half an hour of steady breathing and focusing on exercises before Willow felt like she wasn’t going to burst into tears. And it would be years before she had matured and learned enough to understand what she had felt, truly, and tell Tara - as if she hadn’t known, but Willow wanted to say the words to her anyway, because every day it seemed she was learning more about herself, and how she felt, and loved, and she wanted Tara to know all of it - how much that rainbow meant to her. Right then, she only knew Tara had given her back her dreams.


Image


“My hero,” Willow said, suddenly filled with a meaning that had nothing to do with Tara’s costume, as she held her gaze and willed Tara to see completely inside her and feel what she felt, right from her heart. And so, so in love, because Tara met her stare, and Willow knew she did.


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Through the Looking-glass - Every world needs a Willow and Tara.


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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring 'Kiss like a Pirate Day
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:39 am 
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Excellent story...

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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring 'Kiss like a Pirate Day
PostPosted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:45 am 
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Seriously... I mean. How do you do it? It seems so effortless for you to write our favorite ladies. Especially your Willow, she always comes through genuinely Willow.

Your writing moves me in so many different ways. I chuckle, and grin... laugh and cry. All in the span of a short story. You are truly gifted.

Kiss like a pirate day... The silliness was amazingly endearing, sweet and loving. I love how seamlessly you weave their story to again, seamlessly bring us into this little moment in time with them. Intimate and sweet. I love love loved it!

Hero... You made me cry. That bag, the rainbow. Those are the facts of the story but, the way you used words was striking. I could feel hope well up in my chest, as if I was Will sitting there, wishing and hoping.

I'm so grateful to you for sharing your work! Thank you sooo much :love

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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring 'Hero'
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:09 pm 
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The rainbow bag, the secret language of us gays <3 That was just...

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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring 'Hero'
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:41 pm 
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Thanks all :grin

That little fic really came about by total fluke - I only spotted that Willow figurine because I was browsing around a shop that was having a sale, and I only found out that shop existed a couple of days earlier. And I only have the Captain Marvel (now Tara) figurine because I only have one other figure of Captain Marvel in that costume, and it's just a regular action figure that doesn't really look that impressive, whereas the Rock Candy one is cutesy but good within that style. As I recall I nearly got a Rock Candy She-Hulk at the same time, but passed since I've got a few good She-Hulks already, so if things had been different Willow might've been helping Tara with the green body paint. (Actually, that'd be a fun twist on the calligraphy on her back scene, so maybe one day... Tara might decide cosplay's a lot of fun and make a habit of it.)

CopperAndGold wrote:
How do you do it? It seems so effortless for you to write our favorite ladies. Especially your Willow,

Thanks :blush Honest answer, I don't know, I just wing it - you can tell in this case, since (I realised after finishing it) I wrote a fic to explain why Tara's dressed as Captain Marvel, but forgot to include an explanation for why she's dressed as Captain Marvel. (There was going to be a bit about Sunnydale Comic-Con, but it interrupted where I wanted the conversation to go and I forgot to get back to it.)

I've actually often felt nervous about writing Willow, since I'm more smitten with Tara (obviously both of them, but more Tara) - although in a weird way, I've come to think that makes Willow easier to get into character for, since "You're in love with Tara" is an easy thought exercise :heart

Laragh wrote:
The rainbow bag, the secret language of us gays <3

The notion from that actually came from Love Heals, the bit with Charlie and Vickie looking at the house and our girls being openly a couple - and also the various 'vote yes' signs and chalk hearts and whatnot springing up because of our (stupid) marriage equality postal waste of time just do it already argh... Anyway. But yeah, that's where Tara and the bag came from, that her moment when she was Willow's hero was her raising her rainbow flag (or bag rather) to tell Willow (and everyone) there's nothing to be ashamed of, at a moment when Willow really needed that. I imagine the evening before Tara poured out the whole story to her mum, who helped nudge her in the direction of making a statement, because Tara's mum is also awesome. (The one desk being randomly painted with colours all over though, that was from my school years.)

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Through the Looking-glass - Every world needs a Willow and Tara.


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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring 'Hero'
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:19 pm 
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Sunnyvania


Author: Chris Cook
Email: alia@netspace.net.au
Rating: G
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters are the property of Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy, and this one’s partially inspired by a comic I read ages ago called Clockwork Girl.
Notes: It’s Friday the 13th, so here’s something spooky... a little bit. Not really, but it’s kind of using the spooky aesthetic?


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While much of the rest of the world regarded the day with degrees of superstition and wariness, Friday the 13th was a cause for much celebration in Sunnyvania, where the town’s population of monsters, critters, creepers, ghouls, goblins, and a handful of humans who liked the whole gothic-cute look of the place, were enjoying the traditional fair and public market to mark the occasion. Not everyone was out having fun though - the windows of Mad Professor Rupert’s workshop, overlooking the bustling fairground, were lit with the glows and erratic flashes of scientific mayhem, and as a convenient thunderstorm rolled in (fully expected by the townsfolk, who had brought umbrellas) a lightning rod was being squeakily winched into position above its tiled roof.

“So what’s this one gonna be, boss?” Xander asked, dropping down from the winch platform and landing on the laboratory floor in an ungraceful heap.

“My greatest creation!” Rupert boasted, sparing a glance to make sure his patchwork manservant hadn’t broken any limbs that would need replacing. Before him, reclined on a steel table and plugged into an assortment of the kinds of things Tesla would cobble together in idle moments, was a woman made of metal. Rupert finished tightening the final bolts holding her together, and stood back proudly.

“Behold, the Transcendant Analytical Reasoning Automaton!”

“Tara,” Xander read from the chalkboard off to one side of the table, where the acronym was helpfully on display. “What does she do?”

“She is the pinnacle of science,” Rupert explained. “I’ve incorporated into her a multitude of instruments capable of perceiving every facet of the material universe, and her peerless intelligence will comprehend every law and principle of existence.”

“Nice figure too.”

“Don’t be lewd, I could only miniaturise the radio-telescopes so much.”

“What about magic?” Xander asked innocently.

Magic,” Rupert shook his head scornfully. “Don’t be such a credulous simpleton, there’s no such thing.”

“Uh, we live in a town full of monsters and ghosts and stuff.”

“There’s a perfectly scientific explanation for everything,” Rupert insisted. “As Tara will prove to the world - and specifically that unbearable witch down the street - as soon as she is brought to life.”

“Yep, storm should be a good one tonight,” Xander agreed, picking up a heavy-duty insulated cable and attaching it to the dormant automaton’s head.


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Down, as the professor had indicated, the street, a similar scene was playing out in the eclectic cottage of Janna Kalderash, witch, herbalist, fortune-teller, tea-leaf-reader, astrologer, and so on and so forth.

“Rupert’s got his lightning rod up,” her assistant, a tame forest sprite, noted from her perch atop a bookcase which gave her a view out the window.

“Let him play with his toys, Buffy,” Janna smiled confidently. “My latest creation will put his pretentious lectures about ‘science’ to rest once and for all! Ridiculous notions.”

“What about that clock he made for the town square?” Buffy asked innocently. “That whole clockwork idea he came up with seems to work pretty well. There’s little painted figures come out and do a dance every hour.”

“There’s a perfectly magical explanation for everything!” Janna snapped. “As Willow will prove to the world.”

“Willow huh?” Buffy said, dropping down from her perch and inspecting the carved wooden figure in the centre of the cottage, surrounded by magic circles and candles. “Cute name. Cute butt. Slightly jealous. What’s she do?”

“My ritual will imbue her with life, and understanding of the totality of magic - every principle of mysticism will be at her fingertips. And then we’ll see what mister smarty-pants ‘rational explanations’ has to say for himself!”

“Okay, I’ll start stirring the mana pool,” Buffy nodded.


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Later, once the lightning had died down and Janna’s cottage had stopped phasing in and out of reality, the townsfolk mortal and ethereal gathered in the square around the debating stage, sure of another evening’s good entertainment as Rupert and Janna both emerged from their respective residences with armfuls of charts and diagrams, and inscriptions and grimoires as appropriate, and began to set up their presentations. The good folk of Sunnyvania were not disappointed, as three minutes in the ‘debate’ had degenerated into a shouting match, while Xander and Buffy scurried about throwing cabbages at their opposing patrons, and intercepting said cabbages on behalf of their own (Xander was reckoned a good blocker by the locals, but Buffy was known to have a knack for topspin).

At the periphery of the mayhem, remaining untouched by it, two women found themselves seated beside one another on a bench - one of shining metal, the other animated wood.

“H-hi?” Tara ventured, after a hesitant pause.

“Hi,” Willow replied, with a hint of a smile. They held one another’s gazes for a moment, then looked back at the stage.

“This wasn’t quite how Miss Kalderash explained it to me,” Willow admitted.

“Or Professor Rupert to me,” Tara nodded. “I think I was s-supposed to be doing a presentation to everyone. I’m not sure when my cue is.”

“Yeah I think the part where I demonstrate magic got skipped over too,” Willow sighed. She ventured a sidelong glance at Tara.

“So,” she said, “you... you know all of science?”

“Uh-huh,” Tara nodded. “Apparently it’s all I need to understand everything. I’m... not sure about that. It seems a bit... everyday.”

“I get what you mean,” Willow agreed. “Miss Kalderash said there’s only magic. I mean there’s a lot to it, obviously, but it’s kind of... I don’t know.” She shrugged, and the two sighed at the same time. As they waited for their possibly forgotten cues to join the debate and prove their creators right about everything, snow began to drift down over the town square.

“Oh hey,” Willow piped up, still sounding unenthused. “Snowflakes.”

“Mm,” Tara nodded. “They nucleate around atmospheric particles. Supercooled water freezing in hexagonal crystals.”

“Nucle-what?” Willow asked.

“Formation of a structure,” Tara explained. “Self-organisation or self-assembly. Also entering a new thermodynamic phase.”

“Huh,” Willow said, intrigued. “As in, water turning to ice below zero?”

“Yes,” Tara nodded, turning to face her. “Although if a volume of water is only a few degrees below zero, it can stay ice-free for some time. At lower temperatures ice nucleation is much more rapid.”

“Really?” Willow said - all of a sudden she seemed much more animated, and Tara found herself smiling as well. “I only know snow spells, not all like this.”

“There’s snow magic?” Tara asked, wide-eyed.

“Oh, yeah,” Willow nodded. “The individuality of the snowflakes actually creates a sympathetic form of sorcery, based on the coexisting unity of the snow and its inherent individuality, one thing existing as more that one thing, so it’s actually really useful in all sorts of transformation and transfiguration spells. Like water freezing, at a basic level, for instance - water’s water, but ice and liquid are individual expressions, so if you magically link them to the concept of a snowflake, which can be so many different things while still being the same thing - actually I guess that’s tied to, what did you call it, thermodynamic...?”

“Phase,” Tara said, taking Willow’s hand without realising it as they leaned closer to one another. “Where physical properties are uniform across a region of a thermodynamic system - so a phase transition, which I think is like what you were saying about transformation-”

On the stage Rupert and Janna continued proclaiming, at the tops of their voices, the superiority of their preferred fields of study, blissfully oblivious to their respective creations becoming enthralled in one another as the evening wore on.


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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring 'Sunnyvania'
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:14 pm 
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Awe. Some.

That is all.

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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring 'Sunnyvania'
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:18 pm 
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Excellent as usual! Nice how you changed Tara to be the manifestation of science and Willow be the manifestation of magic.

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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring 'Sunnyvania'
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:06 am 
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Chris, Chris, Chris.

We are blessed to have you in this fandom and on this board. You wield these universes so well, showing us such wonderful and full snapshot, like glimpsing into a snowglobe and knowing there's a little world inside ticking away. Your site tagline 'A Willow and Tara for every world' always stayed with me and helped me through the hard arc in the show, knowing there were so many worlds where they were safe and sound and happy. You popping up with all of these wonderful ficlets and broadening their happiness just makes me so...

:heart

Thank you.

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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring 'Sunnyvania'
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:56 am 
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Thanks everyone :grin Well, that was the story idea I'd had in my head as maybe something to do for Halloween, so now I have to think up something else - lucky there's still time.

Probably unsurprisingly, I did at first imagine them the other way around - Tara magic, Willow science, with this vague kind of idea that they'd be created with different names, and take their real names and start building their true identities by encountering each other (Tara naming herself from the initials on Willow's CPU, Willow naming herself after Tara's willow tree hair - I hadn't figured out both of them but Willow would have been called Mathematica up to that point). Seemed a bit awkward though, and deciding to do this quickly as a Friday 13th thing (it didn't occur to me it was coming up until the evening before) I ended up making it simpler, and the story overall lighter and funnier. I kind of like it that way, that the thing they're most passionate about isn't built into them, it's each other.

Laragh wrote:
We are blessed to have you in this fandom and on this board.

Aw :blush Honestly, without the board there's no way I'd be doing this, so the credit needs to be shared around a lot.

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