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

General Chat  || Kitten  || WaV  || Pens  || Mi2  || GMP  || TiE  || FAQ  || Feed - The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe

All times are UTC - 8 hours



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 55 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (August 2nd 2021)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2021 2:12 am 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:19 am
Posts: 228
Topics: 2
Location: Wales
shirrey wrote:
I am loving how this is unfolding!! There are many layers, all these stories creeping in that are intriguing

Tara is the sweetest!! (which I know is like a duh statement- but still) all the little things she does for Willow are wonderful. I love the slow burn too.

I really liked the reaction to, what I assume is, Tara's mom's chair. It says so much about about the whole family felt about her.

and hell yes Mayor Wilkins is in town!! He is one of my favorite characters and always fun in stories

Nice build up of both of the girls' pasts- can't wait for more!


Yes, That was Tara's mums chair :)

There's a few more buffyverse characters to come, but Wilkins is fairly important. I don't tend to see him in fics either so it's going to be interesting writing him. There's a few characters coming up where I'm a little bit like "how on earth do I write for them" but we'll see how we go haha, I'm glad you're enjoying!

Will's redemption wrote:
Like Shirrey I suspect that the chair the family "protected" so fervently was the one Tara's mother used to sit on. It wouldn't have hurt if they had told Willow so to explain the collective "outburst".

Quote:
“I came here early this morning to make sure it was in order for you.” Tara explained, blushing to herself before continuing the tour.

Willow smiled and then realized something. “You dried my clothes and folded them for me as well”.

“Uhm, yes. I get up quite early normally and I, well, I knew you didn’t have any spare clothing with you.” Tara shrugged, trying to play down the gesture in case Willow took it the wrong way.

Willow took a beat to take in Tara’s appearance and shy demeanor. She already knew she liked her, but was deeply touched by the consideration she had already been shown in the brief time they’d known each other.

Willow walked towards Tara, who was looking away from her, and surprised Tara by taking her hand.

“You have been incredibly kind to me, I really appreciate it. Thank you.” Willow said, squeezing the hand briefly before dropping it.

Tara had to remind herself to breathe, and decided she needed to remove herself from the situation a little as the touch of Willow’s skin on hers had sent her nerves reeling.

Awww, Tara caring for Willow like this is sweet. I like that Willow acknowledges it and thanks her instead of taking it for granted (considering that she has always been waited on at home).

Quote:
Willow smiled in response, but the reality of the level of self sufficiency she’d need to employ was beginning to dawn on her. She had always been waited on, as her privileged life had allowed, so she wasn’t quite sure how to take care of herself but she knew deep down that this was part of her desire to leave her home, so she decided to brave it all.

I see some funny situations in the future (Willow burning her breakfast, struggling with washing her clothes etc.). But I'm sure Tara will be happy to help Willow and show her how the household work is done.

Quote:
Wilkins' charisma received some applause and raised delighted voices from the crowd.

There was a sea of eyes watching him in the mass of people in front of the lectern, but from the basement window of a nearby house, another set of eyes held Wilkins’ in their sights.

Now I'm wondering if Wilkins will be some of the villains of your story or just another victim of the demoness (?) which has been killing all those guys.


Regarding not explaining to Willow about the chair, There's a lot of unsaid things within the family since her passing, and I felt they wouldn't be entirely comfortable discussing it openly, especially with a relative newcomer. That's my logic, anyhow.

As for Willow being appreciative despite her privileged background - She spent more time with employees than she did her own family and has a lot of resentment for her father and his wealth, so Willow grew to really see and appreciate all that was done for her. I'm not sure I'd bring it into the story but the staff at her fathers home are a little responsible for Willow's freedom of mind (bringing her books and things that her father wouldn't approve of, essentially raising her and unknowningly reflecting their own values in her, etc).

Wilkins has an important part to play. I'm glad you're enjoying!

Laragh wrote:
I love all of these different stories weaving together. I admit though, I am especially excited to see the W/T bond grow!


Yeah there's a lot going on, it's essentially a lovely little love story of these two women who happen to be caught in a whole mess of crap haha. Glad you're enjoying :)

_________________
- I am a poster girl with no poster, I am 32 flavours and then some -


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (August 2nd 2021)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2021 2:17 am 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:19 am
Posts: 228
Topics: 2
Location: Wales
Sparks In Dust - Chapter 7

Rating - R (I barely understand USA ratings, but this is for language really. I will try to note when the chapters are a bit more crude, and of course when we eventually get to the good ol' smut).
Notes - Sooo we're starting to touch on the meat of the story a little here. Despite this being an AU fic, and obviously not cannon following as it's set about 100 years before Buffy, I have actually tried in many places to keep some specific characters and arcs somewhat in line, but I have moved things around and changed things slightly for the story I want to tell. Just keep that in mind.

CHAPTER 7

Angelus held his stare out of the basement window. The house they had taken over had been vacant for quite some time and the window was conveniently out of direct sunlight, being tucked away in an alley next to another nearby home to avoid any potential deathly rays.

He watched on at the mayoral candidate and how he seemed to have enough gravitas to woo the more simple minded townsfolk. There was something reminiscent about the man, but Angelus could not place it.

There wasn’t a lot in the cramped basement. Two women in slightly ragged finery were sleeping soundly in the corner on a makeshift mattress, near the completely drained, disfigured remains of a young woman's body. Directly behind Angelus’s dark suited form, sat a blonde man on the ground in a brown tweed three-piece suit, appearing less sophisticated than one would expect with a loose open collar and some dubious staining on the fabric.

The man took a long drag on his cigarette, and looked coldly at the back of Angelus’s head, before addressing him with a plume of smoke.

“Why the bloody hell are we camped out with our thumbs up our arses, mate?” his jovial language not matching the frustrated tone in his english voice.

“Quiet, I’m listening.” Angelus' rough Irish lilt responded in a heavy whisper.

The man rolled his eyes and stood up. He hated feeling caged, and he hated being submissive even more.

“I’m sick of this. We’ve been here for weeks and I’m bored out of my mind. When are we heading out?” The man paced around the small area, annoyed but cautious about waking the women.

Angelus moved his head slightly to respond but kept his eyes on Wilkins.

“You need to remember your place, William. I’ve told you, this is where we need to be right now. I just need time. I have a plan.”

The man threw up his arms and mocked frantically “Oh yes, the great plan! We travelled the world killing who we liked, having a grand foursome of fun across the states when one day, we’re feasting on some Romanian peasants in New York and Mr Big Teeth suddenly wants to go all the way back west and settle down in some tiny town in California. You say jump, we say how bloody high and here we are.”

“This town is more than you think, William.” Angelus responded, continuing to keep his back to the man.

“Stop calling me that!” The man yelled, suddenly. The women in the corner made some incoherent noises in response. Both men paused.

When the women had clearly fallen back to sleep, Angelus turned around.

“Look, Spike.” He paused, adding emphasis to the preferred name “We have a lot of fun, but aren’t you tired of living in the shadows and moving from country to country avoiding demon hunters and the like? I may have a way for us to actually live our endless lives, not just survive them. I have a plan - “

Spike interrupted Angelus with a snarl “Enough with the fucking plan, Irish. You can’t expect me to play lap dog when you won’t tell any of us what this ‘plan’ actually is.”

Angelus chuckled sarcastically “Play lap dog? I asked you to keep a low profile and you start ripping people to shreds!”

Spike shrugged. “Well, I was bored. Besides, can you really expect a bunch of us to all feed on one body at a time and not make a mess?! We’re DEMONS!”

Angelus sighed, shaking his head. He walked up close to Spike, and kept his voice low. His height towering over Spike as he spoke.

“I know you’re hungry and I know this makes no sense to you and I know I’m frustrating you. But I need you to trust me. Can you do that?”

“Oh alright, alright, don’t get your knickers twisted.” Spike relented and pushed Angelus back lightly, knowing he was at a disadvantage. “I trust you, just don’t take the piss with this.” He stared, unblinking into Angelus’s eyes. “And don’t call me William.”

Angelus nodded, and turned back towards the window. Allowing a smirk to play upon his lips when his back was turned to Spike.

“You may not have to wait much longer, brother.” Angelus muttered to himself, returning his gaze to Wilkins.

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

Dylan and Donnie rode their wagon into the main road of Sunnydale town. The back had already been loaded with wooden planes ready to fix the fences on the ranch.

Donnie pulled up in front of the general store. “Okay son, you go enquire at the saloon about Miss Rosenbergs things. I’ll start unloading the milk”.

Donnie nodded at his father and headed towards the saloon.

As Dylan started retrieving milk pails from the back of a wagon, Mr Wilkins and two large stern gentlemen walked up behind him.

Dylan, unaware of their presence, turned from the back of the wagon with a milk pail in his hands and immediately dropped it, upon the proximity of the men. The milk pail barely missed his feet as it landed on the ground.

“Jesus, Ricky, you scared me”. Dylan laughed off the shock but was visibly shaken by their presence.

“Dylan, my old friend. How have you been?” Wilkins asked in a polite and friendly tone that didn’t reach his eyes.

“Oh, um, fine! Just fine. How’re you doing? I heard you’re running for Mayor?” Dylan stammered slightly in his response, looking quickly between Wilkins and the two men that flanked him either side.

“Yes, I’ve done so much for this town, for it’s … “ he paused, looking pointedly at Dylan “...people. I think I could do more, this town deserves someone firm, disciplined.” Wilkins continued to smile joylessly at Dylan as he spoke.

Dylan gulped slightly “Yes, of course. I’m sure you’ll do a wonderful job, Ricky. You were always good at running things.” Dylan smiled meekly at him.

“Quite. Now I hate to talk business on such a lovely sunny day but, I’m afraid you’re a little behind on what you owe me.” Wilkins continued smiling, with his arms behind his back, slightly bobbing on his heels.

“Y-y-yes, yes. I’m sorry about that, there’s been a lot of problems on the ranch and…” Dylan’s stammer became more pronounced as he frantically tried to explain himself.

“Now, now Dylan! We’re old friends, there’s no need to panic.” Wilkins' tone soothed Dylan slightly but the continued smile he received felt quite sinister to him.

“Thank you, Ricky. I have $12 on me right now, I know it’s not close to the full amount but I will get it. Soon! I promise!” Dylan quickly retrieved the rest of the money Willow gave him and handed it towards Wilkins. Without a word or an interaction, the man to his left took the money, pocketed it, and then started writing in a notebook.

“Why, how kind of you Dylan. You know I’m a civilised man, money issues between friends can be… unseemly. I will give you a week to sort the rest of the payment out. I hope you don’t let me down. You know where I am.” Without waiting for a response, Wilkins turned on his heel and started walking down the street, waving and smiling at the townsfolk while his men followed just behind him.

Dylan, shaking and seemingly frightened, looked on after him. Donnie, standing across the street outside the saloon, looked on at the scene concerned.

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

The chickens pecked happily at Tara’s feet as she spread handfuls of seed across the ground of the chicken coops’ fenced area.

She hummed to them as she fed them, and the chickens responded with warm clucking. She frequently infused her magic with her work without even thinking about it, this song had accidentally ensured that the chickens were happily full and were keen to drop a few more eggs than is normally naturally possible.

She heard a noise from across the ranch and watched Willow helplessly try to fill up two buckets of water at the pump.

She quickly finished feeding the happy chickens and jogged over to Willow.

By the time she had gotten to the red head, she had vaguely filled two buckets of water but had attempted to carry both back to her cabin herself, resulting in a damp Willow dragging two spilling buckets.

“Do you need a hand?” Tara asked, finding Willow’s dishevelled and clearly annoyed state incredibly endearing.

Too annoyed and tired to be embarrassed, Willow simply nodded and dropped the buckets in front of her.

Tara looked at the now practically empty buckets, picked them up and started back towards the pump.

“It may be an idea to do these one at a time, if you’re doing this alone” Tara suggested, over her shoulder. Her tone was lightly teasing.

“I guess I’m going to need to start helping you out around here so I can be strong enough to carry my own buckets” Willow good naturedly accepted the teasing and owned up to her own ineptitude.

“Let’s refill these, we’ll take one back each, okay?” Tara smiled at Willow, and demonstrated the right way to use the water pump.

Willow watched Tara effortlessly pump the water into the bucket without spilling it everywhere, the ground still wet from Willow’s previous attempt.

When both buckets were filled, Tara handed one to Willow and started carrying the other one back to Willow’s cabin.

When both were outside, Tara put her bucket down on Willow’s porch and Willow followed suit.

“Everything going okay inside? Anything I can help with?” Tara asked, wanting to make her father proud by being a gracious host while also just wanting to spend more time with Willow.

“Uh… yes.” Willow responded, feeling more embarrassed than before.

“What do you need?” Tara asked, beaming at her.

“Well… gosh, this is embarrassing. I feel rather uncomfortable after last night's rainfall and I would adore a bath but, well, I’ve never drawn my own bath before. I always had maids at home who helped with that sort of thing. I'm ashamed to admit that I don’t really know what I’m doing… Could you show me?” Willow asked, twisting her hands slightly. She hated appearing so privileged, even if it was sadly true.

“Oh, you poor thing, of course. I should have drawn you one last night, how silly of me.”

Tara, flooded with guilt (and some other feelings she was trying to ignore for the time being) started apologising to Willow.

“Oh no, no you were so welcoming and I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me so far already, I am just a damsel in distress once again.” Willow joked, trying to alleviate Tara of her guilt.

“Well, I don’t mind rescuing you.” Tara responded, without thinking. Quickly realising what she said her cheeks reddened and she watched to see if Willow would react poorly, but surprisingly Willow smiled wide in response.

“My hero! So, if you show me how to do this then hopefully I won’t need your bathing help again.” Willow continued to smile and Tara decided not to push her luck with that line of conversation.

Tara helped Willow set up the tin bath in her cabin and arranged the divider along the right side. Tara sat in the kitchen next to the divider while Willow stood next to the bath on the other side.

Tara had shown Willow how to heat the water and fill the bath, and then had sat on the other side of the divider so Willow could get accustomed to it.

Willow disrobed and dipped a toe into the water, finding it mildly warm but not as warm as she was used to at home.

She allowed herself to sit in the bath as comfortably as she could and started to soap herself up.

“This is what I needed. It’s not as warm as I would hope, though” Willow muttered out loud, not really expecting a response.

“Oh, I have a jug here, I can put some heated water in it so you can top up your bath when you need to.” Tara offered, immediately retrieving water from the stove to fill the jug.

She gingerly passed the jug around the side of the divider, trying to resist all of her urges to look at the woman bathing.

“Thank you so much for this, Tara. I imagine most people don’t bathe with company but, I’ve never bathed alone. It’s nice to have someone to talk to” Willow admitted, feeling thankful for the women in her fathers employ and their years of accompanying her in day to day life. She did find her present company far more interesting, though.

“You’re welcome.” Tara squeaked out, distracted by the sounds of the water's movement and letting her imagination wander.

“I never really had a lot of company on the ranch, you know. I like having someone to talk to as well” Tara admitted, trying to keep things light.

Willow relaxed more into the bath after topping up the level with fresh, hot water from the jug.

Without conscious thought, she let out a satisfied groan as the warmth caressed her muscles.

Tara had to stop herself from moaning in response purely at the sound. She felt foolish and uncomfortable with how she felt listening to Willow, knowing how one sided it all was.

“Um, I should get back to my work. My father and brother should be back soon with your things. I’ll see you soon.” Tara spoke quickly, getting up and making sure her back was turned to Willow’s direction as she quickly vacated the cabin.

Willow called after her with an “Okay, see you later” without noticing Tara’s distress.

She sat for some time enjoying her comforting bath and thinking about her new friend, feeling an excitement in her core that she couldn’t really understand.

She liked her new friend a lot.

END OF CHAPTER 7

_________________
- I am a poster girl with no poster, I am 32 flavours and then some -


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (August 22nd 2021)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 1:36 am 
Offline
6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 498
Dibs! :whip
So now it seems that the mysterious killers are "just" vampires after all - Angelus, Spike and probably Darla and Dru (who seem to be surprisingly heavy sleepers - or were eavesdropping on the guys' quarrel?). Like Spike I'm wondering what Angelus' plan is.

Quote:
There was something reminiscent about the man, but Angelus could not place it.

Maybe he encountered Wilkins way back in the past (if Wilkins is no mortal but a demon in your story, too)?

Quote:
Now I hate to talk business on such a lovely sunny day but, I’m afraid you’re a little behind on what you owe me.” Wilkins continued smiling, with his arms behind his back, slightly bobbing on his heels.

“Y-y-yes, yes. I’m sorry about that, there’s been a lot of problems on the ranch and…” Dylan’s stammer became more pronounced as he frantically tried to explain himself.

“Now, now Dylan! We’re old friends, there’s no need to panic.” Wilkins' tone soothed Dylan slightly but the continued smile he received felt quite sinister to him.

“Thank you, Ricky. I have $12 on me right now, I know it’s not close to the full amount but I will get it. Soon! I promise!” Dylan quickly retrieved the rest of the money Willow gave him and handed it towards Wilkins. Without a word or an interaction, the man to his left took the money, pocketed it, and then started writing in a notebook.

“Why, how kind of you Dylan. You know I’m a civilised man, money issues between friends can be… unseemly. I will give you a week to sort the rest of the payment out. I hope you don’t let me down. You know where I am.” Without waiting for a response, Wilkins turned on his heel and started walking down the street, waving and smiling at the townsfolk while his men followed just behind him.

Dylan, shaking and seemingly frightened, looked on after him. Donnie, standing across the street outside the saloon, looked on at the scene concerned.

Ohoh, that leaves me very concerned for Dylan's wellbeing! I fervently hope Tara won't become a full orphan in your story!

Quote:
“Well… gosh, this is embarrassing. I feel rather uncomfortable after last night's rainfall and I would adore a bath but, well, I’ve never drawn my own bath before. I always had maids at home who helped with that sort of thing. I'm ashamed to admit that I don’t really know what I’m doing… Could you show me?” Willow asked, twisting her hands slightly. She hated appearing so privileged, even if it was sadly true.

“Oh, you poor thing, of course. I should have drawn you one last night, how silly of me.”

Tara, flooded with guilt (and some other feelings she was trying to ignore for the time being) started apologising to Willow.

“Oh no, no you were so welcoming and I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me so far already, I am just a damsel in distress once again.” Willow joked, trying to alleviate Tara of her guilt.

“Well, I don’t mind rescuing you.” Tara responded, without thinking. Quickly realising what she said her cheeks reddened and she watched to see if Willow would react poorly, but surprisingly Willow smiled wide in response.

“My hero! So, if you show me how to do this then hopefully I won’t need your bathing help again.” Willow continued to smile and Tara decided not to push her luck with that line of conversation.

Aww, very cute interaction between the girls.

Quote:
Willow relaxed more into the bath after topping up the level with fresh, hot water from the jug.

Without conscious thought, she let out a satisfied groan as the warmth caressed her muscles.

Tara had to stop herself from moaning in response purely at the sound. She felt foolish and uncomfortable with how she felt listening to Willow, knowing how one sided it all was.

“Um, I should get back to my work. My father and brother should be back soon with your things. I’ll see you soon.” Tara spoke quickly, getting up and making sure her back was turned to Willow’s direction as she quickly vacated the cabin.

Willow called after her with an “Okay, see you later” without noticing Tara’s distress.

She sat for some time enjoying her comforting bath and thinking about her new friend, feeling an excitement in her core that she couldn’t really understand.

She liked her new friend a lot.

Poor Tara, struggling with her feelings for Willow without any hope that Willow could requite them. I'm looking forward to Willow becoming aware of more romantic feelings for Tara. Hopefully she won't panic about them.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (August 22nd 2021)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2021 6:33 am 
Offline
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:22 pm
Posts: 4626
Topics: 46
I'm surprised by how much I love this story! It wouldn't traditionally be my 'thing' (old west) but I'm super into it. It must be the great writing! I'm so curious to see how all of the storylines will come together (and I'm intrigued about what other 'coming together' there may be :wink :D )

_________________
Amber Benson killed me once.

Check out my finished fics

Love, The SeriesTwo For Joy/21+Inevitable/Infinitely

Confidential EternalA Twisted DateDachsund Through The Snow


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (August 22nd 2021)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:03 pm 
Offline
5. Willowhand
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 285
Topics: 8
Location: Pacific Northwest
Ooh Angelus is in the game! I so love the vamp quartet and you have Spike so well... Spike. All these threads coming together! I am really intrigued to see where you take it!!

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (August 22nd 2021)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 11:52 pm 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:19 am
Posts: 228
Topics: 2
Location: Wales
Will's redemption wrote:
Dibs! :whip
So now it seems that the mysterious killers are "just" vampires after all - Angelus, Spike and probably Darla and Dru (who seem to be surprisingly heavy sleepers - or were eavesdropping on the guys' quarrel?). Like Spike I'm wondering what Angelus' plan is.

Quote:
There was something reminiscent about the man, but Angelus could not place it.

Maybe he encountered Wilkins way back in the past (if Wilkins is no mortal but a demon in your story, too)?

Quote:
Now I hate to talk business on such a lovely sunny day but, I’m afraid you’re a little behind on what you owe me.” Wilkins continued smiling, with his arms behind his back, slightly bobbing on his heels.

“Y-y-yes, yes. I’m sorry about that, there’s been a lot of problems on the ranch and…” Dylan’s stammer became more pronounced as he frantically tried to explain himself.

“Now, now Dylan! We’re old friends, there’s no need to panic.” Wilkins' tone soothed Dylan slightly but the continued smile he received felt quite sinister to him.

“Thank you, Ricky. I have $12 on me right now, I know it’s not close to the full amount but I will get it. Soon! I promise!” Dylan quickly retrieved the rest of the money Willow gave him and handed it towards Wilkins. Without a word or an interaction, the man to his left took the money, pocketed it, and then started writing in a notebook.

“Why, how kind of you Dylan. You know I’m a civilised man, money issues between friends can be… unseemly. I will give you a week to sort the rest of the payment out. I hope you don’t let me down. You know where I am.” Without waiting for a response, Wilkins turned on his heel and started walking down the street, waving and smiling at the townsfolk while his men followed just behind him.

Dylan, shaking and seemingly frightened, looked on after him. Donnie, standing across the street outside the saloon, looked on at the scene concerned.

Ohoh, that leaves me very concerned for Dylan's wellbeing! I fervently hope Tara won't become a full orphan in your story!

Quote:
“Well… gosh, this is embarrassing. I feel rather uncomfortable after last night's rainfall and I would adore a bath but, well, I’ve never drawn my own bath before. I always had maids at home who helped with that sort of thing. I'm ashamed to admit that I don’t really know what I’m doing… Could you show me?” Willow asked, twisting her hands slightly. She hated appearing so privileged, even if it was sadly true.

“Oh, you poor thing, of course. I should have drawn you one last night, how silly of me.”

Tara, flooded with guilt (and some other feelings she was trying to ignore for the time being) started apologising to Willow.

“Oh no, no you were so welcoming and I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me so far already, I am just a damsel in distress once again.” Willow joked, trying to alleviate Tara of her guilt.

“Well, I don’t mind rescuing you.” Tara responded, without thinking. Quickly realising what she said her cheeks reddened and she watched to see if Willow would react poorly, but surprisingly Willow smiled wide in response.

“My hero! So, if you show me how to do this then hopefully I won’t need your bathing help again.” Willow continued to smile and Tara decided not to push her luck with that line of conversation.

Aww, very cute interaction between the girls.

Quote:
Willow relaxed more into the bath after topping up the level with fresh, hot water from the jug.

Without conscious thought, she let out a satisfied groan as the warmth caressed her muscles.

Tara had to stop herself from moaning in response purely at the sound. She felt foolish and uncomfortable with how she felt listening to Willow, knowing how one sided it all was.

“Um, I should get back to my work. My father and brother should be back soon with your things. I’ll see you soon.” Tara spoke quickly, getting up and making sure her back was turned to Willow’s direction as she quickly vacated the cabin.

Willow called after her with an “Okay, see you later” without noticing Tara’s distress.

She sat for some time enjoying her comforting bath and thinking about her new friend, feeling an excitement in her core that she couldn’t really understand.

She liked her new friend a lot.

Poor Tara, struggling with her feelings for Willow without any hope that Willow could requite them. I'm looking forward to Willow becoming aware of more romantic feelings for Tara. Hopefully she won't panic about them.


Glad you're continuing to read and enjoy!

Regarding the fanged 4 - Yeah, the bodies are more mutilated / damaged than most would expect from vampire victims because they're all feeding on one body at once and are fairly desperate and hungry in the story, hence Spike's frustration, and probably they were letting off some steam - with all the hiding out they haven't had much fun, and I imagine that's what blood sucking fiends find fun.

Wilkins - aaaahhhh you'll find out soon enough haha

Tara & Willow - glad you like! It's hard, because I also want them to just get on with loving each other, but realistically in that time period it'd be a damn difficult slog and I'm aiming for a level of authenticity with the time frame (well, ignoring all the vampires and magic of course).

Laragh wrote:
I'm surprised by how much I love this story! It wouldn't traditionally be my 'thing' (old west) but I'm super into it. It must be the great writing! I'm so curious to see how all of the storylines will come together (and I'm intrigued about what other 'coming together' there may be :wink :D )


It's definitely a weird branch for me too. I had no interest in wild west type stories or even period specific stories, I'm actually a huge sci fi nerd normally and tend to prefer my literature or TV shows to be modern or futuristic. However, I played red dead online, fell in love with my horse, and then bought the full game, and fell down a huge wild west rabbit hole. Kept talking like a cowboy to my fiancee (much to her disappointment) and this simple idea of merging the worlds came to me so I started working on it and then suddenly a huge back story emerged by accident.

I kind of like that no one seems to be huge into those games who's reading, because while the story is completely different I have taken a lot of influence from it (again, not including the magic, but technically there's actually a vampire in red dead and a bunch of other weird stuff).

and yeah, I'm looking forward to sharing the overall story more. I'm hoping I won't disappoint!

shirrey wrote:
Ooh Angelus is in the game! I so love the vamp quartet and you have Spike so well... Spike. All these threads coming together! I am really intrigued to see where you take it!!


Yeah I'm a little unsure writing Darla, Dru and Angelus so I'm cautious with them as characters. Angelus isn't going to be quite like the show anyway as technically he should be getting souled canon wise any minute now, and with bigger plans in mind he's going to be less insane and more calculated. Spike however is easy as hell to write, I'm actually British so his cringy britishisms come naturally to me haha.

Technically I should have Spike's language be a bit more flowery considering the time frame but honestly that's just less fun.

_________________
- I am a poster girl with no poster, I am 32 flavours and then some -


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (August 22nd 2021)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2021 11:57 pm 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:19 am
Posts: 228
Topics: 2
Location: Wales
UPDATE -

Howdy ya'll, thanks for sticking with. hoping this is a good chapter for everyone. I do need to mention that I know absolutely sod all about horse riding or horse care so if you know a bit and you're reading going "yeah, no, that's not how that works" I apologize. The chapters are getting a little racier / more dodge language wise so I would just assume things will continue to escalate, I'm terrible at ratings so just assume the worst and be sad when the sex isn't there yet.

CHAPTER 8

It had been a full week since Willow had moved onto the ranch, and Tara couldn’t remember a happier week in her life.

Willow would mostly keep to herself in her cabin, working hard on her book, Tara had assumed, but she would venture to the main house at 6pm on the dot every evening for dinner with the Maclays.

On her first evening meal, Willow had quietly asked Tara about the sitting situation that had happened that morning, wanting to understand the tense moment. Tara had explained about her mothers passing briefly, not wanting to dwell, and Willow had not pried further.

The meals had been a little quiet. Willow and Tara would have some polite small talk, but both Donnie and Dylan had been oddly silent. Tara was too distracted by Willow to really pay too much attention to Dylan’s worried face and Donnie’s sideways glances to his father.

Apart from evening meals, Tara mostly would just see Willow on the grounds if she had asked Donnie for a ride into town, which she had done twice that week. On one of the occasions her father had gone instead which surprised both Tara and Donnie, as Dylan was not usually keen on driving into town unless he absolutely had to.

The sightings of the redhead, however brief, had warmed Tara’s heart each time. The more she saw her and spoke to her, the more her feelings swelled within her, and she couldn’t help but smile and sing and accidentally release joy around her. The herb garden and vegetable patch she took care of behind the house had been flourishing during this time, soaking up her energy, unknown to her.

Her only sour moment that week was discovering that she had somehow managed to lose some of her late mothers jewellery. She had always stored them in a box underneath her bed but one morning when she was looking for something, she saw the box open and empty.
Her heart ached at their absence, as they were long treasured heirlooms from their family line and made her feel close to her mother since she died, but she could find no logical reason for their disappearance, and had no earthly idea where they could have ended up.

She pushed the missing jewellery thought aside, and focused on the other jewel in her life.

Tara couldn’t take not speaking to Willow more for much longer, and forced herself to take some initiative.

She walked down to the cabin and knocked, and the redhead responded with such a distractingly beautiful smile that Tara had to remind herself why she was there in the first place.

“Hello, I just thought I’d check in to see if you were settling in okay. Haven’t seen you around the grounds much. Everything okay?” Tara asked, trying to be polite and professional.

“Oh, uh, yes. I’m great. Thank you for asking, I love it here.” Willow responded, using her body to bar the crack in the door so that Tara couldn’t see her desk covered in some disturbing paperwork.

“That’s great. You’ve been back to town a few times right?” Tara asked, hoping to find anything to extend the conversation.

“Yes, I’ve needed some texts from the library. That’s the only issue with being this far out. I want to go back soon but I don’t like imposing on your family so much” Willow lamented.

“Well, I mean, if you wanted - I could try and teach you how to ride? That way you can go whenever you like and you don’t need anyone to go with you. Although I’ll happily take you too” Tara smiled at her genuinely.

Willow paused to think, biting her lip as she did so. She completely missed the slight intake of breath from Tara in response.

“It would be really helpful, but I’m quite frightened of horses. You may regret offering tuition” Willow joked self deprecatingly.

“Don’t be silly, I’m sure you’ll be okay. I can introduce you to my horse Jack if you like, he’s a big softie. I was about to brush him down anyway.” Tara offered, gesturing towards the stable.

Willow hesitated, looking worried.

“I’ll take care of you. I promise” Tara followed up, wanting to spend as much time with Willow as she could.

Willow knew it was a good idea and internally fought her fears with her own logical strength.

“Okay, let’s do it!” Willow nodded and closed the door behind her, walking down the steps with sudden determination.

Tara, slightly surprised at the change in demeanor, muttered an “Okay then” to herself and jogged a little to match Willow’s speed.

Once entering the stable, Tara started to walk towards Jack, but paused realising Willow was just standing in the doorway looking a little alarmed.

“It’s okay. They won’t bite, I’ve got you.” Tara tried to calm Willow with her words, but also guided Willow with her hand on the small of her back.

She was telling herself it was purely for moral support and to help keep the woman calm but Tara also enjoyed the opportunity.

Without meaning to, she had transferred some of the tranquil feeling the stable always had for her through her palm into Willow.

With even, slower breaths, Willow strode with slightly more confidence towards the horse that Tara had previously aimed for.

Tara walked in front of Willow and opened the stall door, she quickly attached his reins and pulled him out of the stall.

“This is Jack. He’s my baby, I’ve had him for 8 years now.” Tara beamed, stroking Jack’s flank, who softly snuffled in response to her attention.

Willow, unsure of herself, gave a little wave to the horse and said “Hello”, a gesture Tara found absolutely adorable.

“I figure, if you want, I can guide him around the paddock and just have you sit on top of him for now. Nothing major, you’re not riding him, you’re not in control, it’s just to get you used to sitting on a moving horse. I promise you’ll be safe, I trust Jack with my life, and I’ll be with you the entire time.”

Tara suggested, and with the small amount of Tara’s energy still calming her system, Willow reluctantly agreed.

Tara grinned at her and then immediately grabbed Jack’s saddle and got him ready.

“As it’s your, uh, first time… do you want my help lifting you up?” Tara asked, trying to eliminate any inappropriate thoughts.

“Oh, yes I dare say that’s a bit of a jump by yourself” Willow ventured.

“Trust me, you get used to it. If you put your foot in the stirrup here, I will help push the rest of you onto his body, okay?”

“I imagine my long dress isn’t really riding appropriate, is it?” Willow asked, wondering how she was going to manage this.

“Ah, well, usually women in finery on horses are riding side saddle but it's not the safest way, nor is it advisable for sole riders. We’ll get you in some trousers for next time, it’ll be okay for now. It’s just us.” Tara reassured her, eager to see where this went.

“Okay” Willow responded, more for her own benefit than Tara’s, and put her hands on the saddle to give herself balance while she lifted her leg and put her foot into the stirrup.

Tara came up behind her and told Willow to jump, while simultaneously pushing the back of her thigh upwards towards the back of the horse.

With a small wobble, Willow slipped slightly and Tara’s hand ended up firmly pressed against her buttocks.

A pleasurable shiver flowed through both of them that they both chose to ignore, and Tara attempted again to push Willow upwards.

Eventually she managed to swing her other leg over, bunching the bottom of her dress into a bulge in front of her on the saddle.
Willow giggled at herself “Wow. If my father could see me now. This is quite undignified” she continued to laugh, slightly worried she was hysterical with fear.

“I’d say you’re a natural. Shall I take you around?” Tara asked, smiling up at the beautiful woman.

“Lead the way” Willow smiled back.

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

Tara had led Willow slowly around the paddock. Jack naturally followed Tara’s lead with a slow walk, but after Willow relaxed on his back and from Tara’s silent communication, he sped up to a slow trot, which Willow found exhilarating.

After arriving back at the stable, Tara instructed Willow to move her leg from one side, and sit side saddle, so that she could assist her down from her hips.

She knew it was probably the most delicate way down for the shy redhead but berated herself internally anyway for suggesting such an intimate position.

Willow did as instructed, moving her leg over the side and turning her body to face Tara.

Tara reached up and put her hands on either side of Willow’s hips and instructed her to hold onto her shoulders to help with the maneuver.

Willow followed her instructions, and Tara lifted Willow down slowly, pulling her in close to her body as a form of anchor.

They stood next to the horse, slightly pressed together, with Willow’s feet now planted firmly on the ground, but nevertheless she found herself breathless and unsteady.

They were face to face, staring into each other's eyes. Tara’s stunned into submission and incapable of moving, while Willow’s darted around with inquisitive confusion.

Suddenly, a gunshot broke the silence. Outside the stable the rushed sounds of loud men and galloping horses were coming closer.

Without a word, Tara grabbed Willow’s arm and dragged her towards the ladder inside the stable.

“Up, let’s go” Tara whispered, directing Willow to climb.

At the top, Willow found the upper level to be mostly empty, with only a few hay bales resting in one corner and some old boxes. She held her hand out to Tara who was following her up the ladder and as soon as she found her footing, Tara gestured to some of the boxes near the edge of the platform, overlooking the stable below.

“Get down, stay quiet” Tara instructed with an authority Willow was not used to her possessing.

Tara sneaked further along the upper level to a small window, and opened a box near it, which contained a Spencer Repeater Rifle.

Quickly, with an ease and confidence Willow was surprised by, Tara loaded the weapon and looked through the scope to the ground level below.

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

Six men had ridden into the area outside of the stable. With their horses untethered nearby, three of the men stood menacingly with their guns in hand, seemingly standing around with only intimidation in mind.

One of the men was pounding on the front door. “Mr Maclay I have to insist that you show your face, you’re behind on your payments and uh, well, Mr Wilkins isn’t a big fan of being kept waitin’” He yelled through the wood in front of him.

At the same time, the other two men came around the side of the house, carrying a slightly beaten Donnie with a face of fury. He was struggling as much as he could to get out of their hands and the men seemed to have trouble carrying him, until one of the men standing by came over and used the butt of his gun to hit Donnie in the stomach, causing him to grunt in pain and fall forward, stopping his resistance entirely.

The man at the door looked over, pleased. “Well what do we have here, seems we have your son! Ain't that a find! Maybe my boys should look around, see if we can find that daughter of yours too. My boys are awful lonely Mr Maclay, you best not wait too much longer!” The man turned and nodded to the three men left standing and they immediately turned towards the rest of the ranch. One was headed towards the stable while the other two fanned out for other parts of the premises.

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

Tara watched the interaction through her scope and felt torn. She was filled with a rage she didn’t think she could have upon witnessing her brother being attacked, but knew that one rifle wouldn’t be able to deal with all of those men fast enough without potentially harming her brother.

Upon realising one of the goons was heading towards the stable, Tara instinctively dropped the gun and moved quickly back to where Willow was hiding against the boxes.

Tara tucked herself behind the same boxes, trying to conceal herself from the ground area as well as Willow, and pulled her knife out of her belt, ready for a confrontation.

She got close to Willow’s ear to whisper, terrified of alerting the men.

“Someone is coming in, stay close, do not move. Don’t make a sound.” Tara alerted her, scared for them both but more adamant that she must keep Willow safe.

Willow, although scared for her life, was also scared for other reasons.

She had known for the entire week that her affection for Tara was strong, in a way she didn’t know how to interpret. She assumed it was from years of loneliness and only having company in the form of hired help, but she was starting to realise that there may be more to her feelings.

When Tara had hoisted her down from the horse, and briefly held their bodies together, Willow felt a rush she could not explain. She felt flush, nervous, and yet excitement vibrated through her entire body. Looking into Tara’s eyes afterwards had made her heart leap forward and she couldn’t pinpoint what was happening between them.

The current scare, although frightening, wasn’t the reason for her current fear.

Tara had leaned in close and whispered, her words softly caressing the curve of her ear, the experience sent electricity throughout her veins, and she felt a soft pulsing in her forbidden core.

The continued closeness to Tara’s face, while they waited in silence for their potential disclosure, just intensified the feelings coursing through her.

She would need to do some research, but she could only conclude from her current knowledge that she was experiencing lust.

A lot of lust. For a woman.

That was the most terrifying moment of her life.

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

The man walked slowly into the stable with his gun drawn and started walking past each stall, checking in each one.

He spat on the ground and stopped to listen out for any noise, but heard none.

As he continued checking each stall, he noticed one of the horses was still saddled, and there was a ladder slightly further down.

Liking his odds, he headed towards the ladder. Just as he rested his foot on the bottom rung,
A loud yell came from outside, causing the man to pause.

The yell of “Well there you are!” from his boss made him retreat back outside.

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

The two women were clutched together, foreheads close, holding their breath as they heard the man start to leave. Tara took a chance to look around the box and saw the man retreating.

As soon as he was out of sight she let out the breath she was holding, and looked back at Willow, realising the woman was shaking.

Mistaking it for fear of their current fates, Tara stroked Willow’s arm reassuringly, then held her finger to her lips in a ‘shhh’ gesture, urging her to continue her silence.

Willow just nodded, so Tara gently went back to the window, put her knife back in her belt and picked up the rifle again, following the scene below through her scope.

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

Dylan was outside the front of the house, seemingly in discussion with the boss of the group.

He handed over some cash and what looked like some jewellery to the man, which Tara immediately recognised. He looked to be pleading with the man with a level of desperation she had never seen from her father.

The man seemed to throw his head back and laugh, taking the cash and jewels. He pocketed them and then grabbed Dylan roughly by the scruff of his shirt and threw him against the front door.

He got close to his face and said something, which caused his fathers face to go white, and then punched him hard enough to knock Dylan to the ground, completely unconscious.

The boss signalled to the men to mount their horses to leave, with the two holding back Donnie dragging him over to a hitching post and using one of their lassos to tie him there.

Satisfied he wouldn’t escape immediately, the two men joined the others in retreat.

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

As soon as Tara saw the men had left out of sight, she dropped the gun again and immediately went for the ladder, completely forgetting about Willow in her hurried state, who followed at a slightly slower pace.

She practically jumped off the ladder from half way down and lurched into a full sprint as soon as her feet hit the ground.

She ran towards her brother first, needing to untie him. Struggling with the knot, she pulled out her knife and cut her brother loose.

She immediately tried to touch his face to assess the damage done but he flinched away and waved her off, muttering “I’m fine, check Dad” at her, hating needing to be rescued.

Tara immediately got up and dashed to their front door to the crumpled mess of her father on the ground.

She held his head in her lap and started to cry as she looked at the harsh bruise developing over his eye.

Willow had walked over to Donnie and helped him stand, which Donnie accepted and nodded at her gratefully.

The sound of more horses coming from the nearby road alerted the group, and Donnie ran for a shovel leaning nearby, holding it like a weapon, ready for whoever may enter.

But instead of a gang of horseback tyrants, a small wagon rode in with one horse in front, and a young man with messy black hair at the helm.

As soon as he saw the sight in front of him, the man jumped down and ran towards the group.

Donnie yelled “Alex!” while throwing the shovel back to the ground, and the man just looked at the scene in front of him, remarking.

“Damn, what did I miss?!”

END OF CHAPTER 8

_________________
- I am a poster girl with no poster, I am 32 flavours and then some -


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (September 6th 2021)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2021 1:54 am 
Offline
6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 498
Dibs! :whip
Quote:
Her only sour moment that week was discovering that she had somehow managed to lose some of her late mothers jewellery. She had always stored them in a box underneath her bed but one morning when she was looking for something, she saw the box open and empty.
Her heart ached at their absence, as they were long treasured heirlooms from their family line and made her feel close to her mother since she died, but she could find no logical reason for their disappearance, and had no earthly idea where they could have ended up.

I instantly guessed that Dylan stole the jewelry from his daughter - proving how desperate he is. What a shame that he didn't tell his children about his financial problems so they could look for a solution together. By his silence he put both Donnie and Tara in grave danger.

I loved the riding lesson Tara gave Willow and that it led Willow to this epiphany:
Quote:
Willow, although scared for her life, was also scared for other reasons.

She had known for the entire week that her affection for Tara was strong, in a way she didn’t know how to interpret. She assumed it was from years of loneliness and only having company in the form of hired help, but she was starting to realise that there may be more to her feelings.

When Tara had hoisted her down from the horse, and briefly held their bodies together, Willow felt a rush she could not explain. She felt flush, nervous, and yet excitement vibrated through her entire body. Looking into Tara’s eyes afterwards had made her heart leap forward and she couldn’t pinpoint what was happening between them.

The current scare, although frightening, wasn’t the reason for her current fear.

Tara had leaned in close and whispered, her words softly caressing the curve of her ear, the experience sent electricity throughout her veins, and she felt a soft pulsing in her forbidden core.

The continued closeness to Tara’s face, while they waited in silence for their potential disclosure, just intensified the feelings coursing through her.

She would need to do some research, but she could only conclude from her current knowledge that she was experiencing lust.

A lot of lust. For a woman.

That was the most terrifying moment of her life.

I really hope that Willow will soon overcome her shock and that she won't try to "flee" from Tara as an attempt to surpress her feelings.

Quote:
The man seemed to throw his head back and laugh, taking the cash and jewels. He pocketed them and then grabbed Dylan roughly by the scruff of his shirt and threw him against the front door.

He got close to his face and said something, which caused his fathers face to go white, and then punched him hard enough to knock Dylan to the ground, completely unconscious.

The boss signalled to the men to mount their horses to leave, with the two holding back Donnie dragging him over to a hitching post and using one of their lassos to tie him there.

Satisfied he wouldn’t escape immediately, the two men joined the others in retreat.

I guess the money and jewels are still not enough to settle Dylan's debt? I'm wondering what the guy threatened him with before he knocked him down. I'm glad that they left without searching further for Tara and / or harming Donnie more.

Quote:
But instead of a gang of horseback tyrants, a small wagon rode in with one horse in front, and a young man with messy black hair at the helm.

As soon as he saw the sight in front of him, the man jumped down and ran towards the group.

Donnie yelled “Alex!” while throwing the shovel back to the ground, and the man just looked at the scene in front of him, remarking.

“Damn, what did I miss?!”

Yay for the introduction of Alex (aka Xander) into the story!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (September 6th 2021)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2021 3:21 am 
Offline
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:22 pm
Posts: 4626
Topics: 46
What an exciting chapter! Even though Tara's father in this isn't the guy we know from the show, I'm still wary of him. Same with Donny. I just can't get past that initial revulsion of the men we knew. But I do hope they stay the better men they are here.

LOVE that both Willow and Tara are aware of their burgeoning attraction and excited to see how Willow handles it (hopefully by handling Tara :wink )

Also very intrigued as to how Xander fits into all of this!

_________________
Amber Benson killed me once.

Check out my finished fics

Love, The SeriesTwo For Joy/21+Inevitable/Infinitely

Confidential EternalA Twisted DateDachsund Through The Snow


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (September 6th 2021)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2021 9:13 am 
Offline
5. Willowhand
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 285
Topics: 8
Location: Pacific Northwest
Agree with Laragh that it is taking me some effort to try and trust the Maclay men, although they do seem pretty decent so far- stealing jewelry is not cool but the family is clearly in some trouble. That said, yay for bad ass Tara! It seems like this is not the first time this or something like it has happened- although maybe a little worse than usual,

Willow's almost detached, researchy realization of her lusty feelings was so delightful and speaks to who she is- a little sheltered from the physical world, but when she fully embraces those feelings... I can't wait (well, you know I love the slow burn, so I both can and can't wait)
And I love that Tara is just like, yup, I'm hot for Willow- she is shy and hesitant, with good reason, but she knows who she is. They are two sides of a coin in some ways, but drawn together enough that Willow lets Tara teach her to ride- I love seeing their connection grow.

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (September 6th 2021)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:00 am 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:19 am
Posts: 228
Topics: 2
Location: Wales
Will's redemption wrote:
Dibs! :whip
Quote:
Her only sour moment that week was discovering that she had somehow managed to lose some of her late mothers jewellery. She had always stored them in a box underneath her bed but one morning when she was looking for something, she saw the box open and empty.
Her heart ached at their absence, as they were long treasured heirlooms from their family line and made her feel close to her mother since she died, but she could find no logical reason for their disappearance, and had no earthly idea where they could have ended up.

I instantly guessed that Dylan stole the jewelry from his daughter - proving how desperate he is. What a shame that he didn't tell his children about his financial problems so they could look for a solution together. By his silence he put both Donnie and Tara in grave danger.

I loved the riding lesson Tara gave Willow and that it led Willow to this epiphany:
Quote:
Willow, although scared for her life, was also scared for other reasons.

She had known for the entire week that her affection for Tara was strong, in a way she didn’t know how to interpret. She assumed it was from years of loneliness and only having company in the form of hired help, but she was starting to realise that there may be more to her feelings.

When Tara had hoisted her down from the horse, and briefly held their bodies together, Willow felt a rush she could not explain. She felt flush, nervous, and yet excitement vibrated through her entire body. Looking into Tara’s eyes afterwards had made her heart leap forward and she couldn’t pinpoint what was happening between them.

The current scare, although frightening, wasn’t the reason for her current fear.

Tara had leaned in close and whispered, her words softly caressing the curve of her ear, the experience sent electricity throughout her veins, and she felt a soft pulsing in her forbidden core.

The continued closeness to Tara’s face, while they waited in silence for their potential disclosure, just intensified the feelings coursing through her.

She would need to do some research, but she could only conclude from her current knowledge that she was experiencing lust.

A lot of lust. For a woman.

That was the most terrifying moment of her life.

I really hope that Willow will soon overcome her shock and that she won't try to "flee" from Tara as an attempt to surpress her feelings.

Quote:
The man seemed to throw his head back and laugh, taking the cash and jewels. He pocketed them and then grabbed Dylan roughly by the scruff of his shirt and threw him against the front door.

He got close to his face and said something, which caused his fathers face to go white, and then punched him hard enough to knock Dylan to the ground, completely unconscious.

The boss signalled to the men to mount their horses to leave, with the two holding back Donnie dragging him over to a hitching post and using one of their lassos to tie him there.

Satisfied he wouldn’t escape immediately, the two men joined the others in retreat.

I guess the money and jewels are still not enough to settle Dylan's debt? I'm wondering what the guy threatened him with before he knocked him down. I'm glad that they left without searching further for Tara and / or harming Donnie more.

Quote:
But instead of a gang of horseback tyrants, a small wagon rode in with one horse in front, and a young man with messy black hair at the helm.

As soon as he saw the sight in front of him, the man jumped down and ran towards the group.

Donnie yelled “Alex!” while throwing the shovel back to the ground, and the man just looked at the scene in front of him, remarking.

“Damn, what did I miss?!”

Yay for the introduction of Alex (aka Xander) into the story!


Thanks for your continued reading! I had to include Xander. There's a lot of characters still to come into play and all have an important role in one way or another.

I hope to answer some of your questions/hopes with the next few chapters :)

Laragh wrote:
What an exciting chapter! Even though Tara's father in this isn't the guy we know from the show, I'm still wary of him. Same with Donny. I just can't get past that initial revulsion of the men we knew. But I do hope they stay the better men they are here.

LOVE that both Willow and Tara are aware of their burgeoning attraction and excited to see how Willow handles it (hopefully by handling Tara :wink )

Also very intrigued as to how Xander fits into all of this!


Dylan and Donnie are completely different to the show, to the point where Dylan looks different in my head to the show version. Donnie just looks a little less like he stuck pubes to his face.

It's hard to divorce them from the show version, but some of my favourite fics are when they're actually decent people. They're good at heart in this story, just obviously flawed human beings. I love Tara too much to do to her what the show did.

Xander as well I want to have some redemption in this story - make him a little less selfish, a little less useless. He's another one where if he wasn't burdened by toxic masculinity he could've been a swell dude, so this version is me trying to make up for it.

I think this next chapter might help your feelings regarding both Xander and Donnie, but we shall see!

Thanks for continuing to read.

shirrey wrote:
Agree with Laragh that it is taking me some effort to try and trust the Maclay men, although they do seem pretty decent so far- stealing jewelry is not cool but the family is clearly in some trouble. That said, yay for bad ass Tara! It seems like this is not the first time this or something like it has happened- although maybe a little worse than usual,

Willow's almost detached, researchy realization of her lusty feelings was so delightful and speaks to who she is- a little sheltered from the physical world, but when she fully embraces those feelings... I can't wait (well, you know I love the slow burn, so I both can and can't wait)
And I love that Tara is just like, yup, I'm hot for Willow- she is shy and hesitant, with good reason, but she knows who she is. They are two sides of a coin in some ways, but drawn together enough that Willow lets Tara teach her to ride- I love seeing their connection grow.


Yeah I want to flesh Tara and Willow out as people more, and their feelings blossom, before we "get down to business". me and you have discussed in length the whole slow burn for the win mentality haha, and as much as I'd love for them to literally have a roll in the hay right now, it needs some time to be as good as it can be (I hope).

Thanks for your continued Beta support, you absolute gem!

_________________
- I am a poster girl with no poster, I am 32 flavours and then some -


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (September 6th 2021)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:03 am 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:19 am
Posts: 228
Topics: 2
Location: Wales
Mild trigger warning - As much as I hate sexual assault/suggestions of it used as some form of character development or brutal excuse in TV and films, for something set in the old west it kind of narratively makes sense for the world they're in. it is briefly suggested in this chapter, and will come into other chapters occasionally. I will try to have a little trigger warning before those times in case that's upsetting for anyone. I will never be particularly graphic or obscene with it though, because...well who wants to write that?!


CHAPTER 9

1885

A wagon bustled through the winding paths along the edge of the mountain, the sun starting to set on the other side.

Two happy parents and a young boy sat in front, singing together to pass the time.

“Oh my darling, oh my darling
Oh my darling, Clementine
You were lost and gone forever
Dreadful sorrow, Clementine”


Tony Harris briefly looked over at his son Alex, his toothy grin warming his heart, he moved his gaze forward to concentrate, but continued to sing with his family.

“Drove the horses to the water
Every morning just at nine
Hit her foot against a splinter
Fell into the foaming brine”

Jessica Harris closed her eyes with the song, enjoying the last of the sun.

“Ruby lips above the water
Blowing bubbles soft and fine
But alas, I was no swimmer
So I lost my Clementine.”


Tony slowed the horses slightly to more safely pass a tightening bend on the mountain’s edge.

“Alex, did you enjoy staying with the Maclays this weekend?” Tony asked, keeping his eyes on the road.

“Yes, sir.” Alex nodded politely. Jessica smiled briefly at the response with her eyes still shut.

“Did you have fun with Tara and Donnie?” he pushed.

“Yes sir, me and Tara played dominos. Donnie didn’t want to spend much time with me, but he did show me a dead frog he found near the pond! We poked it with a stick!” Alex said excitedly.

Jessica opened her eyes to shake her head slightly at the perplexing entertainment choices of young boys.

“That’s uh, great son. We’re sorry we had to leave you for a few days but you know how this works, sometimes our deliveries are to dangerous places and we just want you to be safe.”
Tony explained for what felt like the millionth time to Alex, who understood, but Tony felt guilty nonetheless.

“It’s okay sir, I don’t mind. I did miss you both, but Mrs Maclay made little cakes! They were yummy!” Alex smiled at the memory.

Jessica nudged her son with her shoulder and smiled at him “We missed you too”.

They rode on for another hour, singing through their repertoire, until they were back on even ground, past the base of the mountain, just outside of a town.

They were coming up to a corner , when Tony saw out of the corner of his eye, a flash of movement through the trees a little way along in the other direction. He recognised the glint of metal.

He immediately stopped the wagon and turned to Alex, speaking quietly and hurried.

“Alex, remember what we taught you. The road isn’t always safe. I need you to get under the seats, now remember - Do not make a sound, do not move at all, not until we tell you to.”

Alex looked alarmed but never questioned his father, immediately climbing into the back of the wagon and crawling underneath the bench seat his parents were sitting upon.

He tucked himself up as small as he could, his eyes focusing on the gap where his parents legs rested. He tried to calm his breathing.

Tony looked at his wife with concern and mouthed “I love you” before restarting the wagon.

Within seconds of the horses moving forward, three men on horseback rounded the corner towards them.

On the left was a man with dirty blonde hair underneath his tatty cowboy hat, with a clear scar across his cheek. In the middle sat an older gentleman with a large, unkempt beard, and on the right was a younger, clean cut looking man with cold eyes.

Tony pretended to act normal and carry on riding, hoping his panic was premature.

Unfortunately, his panic was entirely justified.

As soon as the men took sight of the wagon full of supplies, they blocked the path in front of the wagon.

Tony slowed the horses to a stop and smiled at the men.

“Can we help you gentlemen on this fine day?” he offered, hoping kindness could alleviate any potential confrontation. Alex watched his mothers hand twitch towards the gun by her legs.

Without saying a word to each other, the three men simultaneously drew their guns on the couple. The man in the center held up two revolvers, while the men on either side pulled repeater rifles.

Jessica and Tony held their hands up in surrender immediately.

The middle horseman immediately distinguished himself as the leader by roughly barking at the couple.

“What’s in the wagon? Don’t try nothin’”

The other men kept their guns aimed eerily still at the couple, allowing their leader to run the show.

“It’s just some food supplies we’re taking to town to sell. Milk, eggs, that sort’ve thing.”

Tony responded truthfully, wanting this ugliness over quickly.
The leader chuckled humourlessly. “Likely story. Get out. Now.” his tone of voice giving no room for argument.

Jessica and Tony gingerly stepped out of the wagon on opposite sides, trying to be as accommodating as possible, desperately trying to keep Alex safe.

As they dismounted the wagon, the leader nodded at his two men who immediately flanked the vehicle. The blonde grabbed Jessica, the other grabbed Tony.
The man holding Tony threw him to the ground and hit him in the stomach with the butt of his rifle to ensure he understood he needed to stay put.

Meanwhile the blonde man holding Jessica threw her against the side of the wagon.

“We got time for some fun, boss?” the man asked his leader, keeping his eyes leering at Jessica, who was grateful her son couldn’t see from his current position.

The leader aggressively barked in response “Are you kiddin’? We’re way too close to town, we’ll have law on us any minute. Check the wagon ya goddamn fool”.

The man rolled his eyes and threw Jessica to the road next to the wagon.

He climbed into the back of the wagon, quickly peering under the tarp to see much of what was already described, some milk pails, egg boxes, and some other groceries.

He started moving further into the bed of the wagon, closer to the seats.

Jessica, terrified of the men finding her child, quickly jumped to her feet to lunge towards the wagon, and managed to exclaim “Wait - “ before the leader shot her in the chest, killing her instantly.

Before Jessica’s body had managed to fall to the ground, Tony screamed and got up to run towards her, resulting in the leader shooting him directly in the face.

The two bodies laid either side of the wagon, blood seeping into the dirt.

“Goddamn it, is there anything good? We gotta go” the leader gruffly yelled at the man in the back of the wagon, while searching the bodies, still warm to the touch.
“It’s just goddamn food supplies and shit all else” the man responded, jumping off the back of the wagon.

“Well, these wedding rings may fetch us somethin’, what a waste of time” the leader pocketed the jewellery and mounted his horse.

“Let’s get goin’ before the law finds them” the leader said, signalling to his men to follow him down the road they initially were heading on.

Underneath the wooden seat, Alex stared unmoving at his parents' prone bodies on the floor, with tears silently streaming down his face.

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

Upon seeing the crumpled bodies of his surrogate family, Alex ran immediately towards Tara and Dylan.

Kneeling on the ground next to Tara, Alex quickly checked Dylan over. He turned towards Tara and tried to carry her burden.

“Let me help” he spoke simply, looking her in the eye. She nodded wordlessly, getting herself into a standing position.

Alex put Dylan’s arm around his own shoulder and gently pulled himself into a standing position, supporting Dylan’s body on himself. As soon as he was righted, Tara put her father’s other arm over her own shoulders, and slowly they moved into the house.

At the same time, Willow - briefly stunned by the scene - managed to break her reverie and untie Donnie from the hitching post.

Donnie thanked her gratefully, and immediately stormed into the house after his family.
Willow, completely lost for a course of action, paused for a few moments before she followed Donnie into the home.

When she walked in she immediately took in Donnie now standing at the kitchen sink, staring hard out the window with his back to the room, drinking large mouthfuls of bourbon straight from a bottle.
His face was covered in blood and it had matted some of his hair, his stature clearly showed some discomfort on his person.

Willow Looked over towards the seating area in front of the fireplace, Alex had gently sat Dylan down, who remained unconscious.

After ensuring Dylan was safely seated, Alex wordlessly headed towards the wash room.
Tara watched Alex’s retreat to the wash room, understanding his intention, and turned her sights back to her brother.

She stood and moved into the kitchen, picked up a clean cloth and started dabbing at Donnie’s face. He immediately winced, but allowed her to continue. The blood had made the wounds seem more substantial, but after a cursory wipe Tara happily realised that her brother had only minor cuts and bruising.

Alex returned to the living room with a jug of water and various cloths, he poured the water into a spouted pot and hung it over the fire to warm up.

He waited a minute or two for the water to warm and then poured some into a small dish, dipping a cloth into it, and then started to clean a cut on Dylan’s face.

Throughout the tense wound cleaning circus in the open space of the house, Willow sat silent and still at the kitchen table, feeling entirely useless.

Alex cleaned the cut as best he could, and walked over to the standing Maclays in the kitchen.

“I don’t know what’s going on, but I need to unload the wagon for you guys and I wouldn’t mind getting settled. Is the first cabin still free?” He asked, pointedly looking at the red headed newcomer and back to Tara.

Tara nodded “Of course it is. Thank you, Alex. Welcome home” she smiled weakly at him, wishing his return had been less dramatic.

Alex quickly tucked Tara into his arm for a brief hug and kissed her on the forehead before heading out the door.

Willow, watching the exchange, felt a mild jealous rage rumble through her that she did not want to think about. She had no idea who this man was but the familiarity between him and Tara made her uncomfortable in a way she had never experienced. She felt a little sick.

A few moments passed with these new feelings squirming in her stomach before she stood and started for the door, briefly stating that she’d leave the family alone.

Tara started to respond but Willow had already left, the door gently closing behind her.

-----------

As soon as she walked outside the house, Willow saw Alex unloading some hay from his wagon.

She started to walk on, deciding it would be smarter to not engage, but instead he dropped the hay bale and walked over to her, smiling easily and extending his hand.

“Hi, sorry for not introducing myself in all the confusion. My name’s Alex Harris. What brings you to the ranch?”

“Oh. um, hello! I’m Willow Rosenberg. I’m just renting one of the cabins for the time being” she responded as vaguely as possible, not entirely wanting the conversation to get very far.

“Oh good, they haven’t had any tenants in quite a time. What has you here then, if you don’t mind me asking?” He continued to smile at her, which Willow tried to dislike but had to admit that he seemed very friendly, and she had to remind herself of how well he’d handled the traumatic situation they’d found themselves in.

“I’m writing a book, needed inspiration and wanted to be close to Sunnydale. Not sure how long I’ll be here, so this seemed like a good place to stay while I work.” She gave her vague book lie, trying to remain consistent, but hating each time she had to use it.

“Oh wow, a book! You should talk to Tara about it, always was a reader that one! I’ve never been great with it, but I can read enough to get by.” he looked genuinely impressed at the notion of Willow’s literary skills.

“So um, do you stay here often? You seem close to the family” Willow pried, hating her own curiosity.

“I live here. Sometimes. It’s kind of complicated. I do a lot of supply work and when I’m not travelling all over, I stay here” he responded simply, his smile falling a little bit.

“Wow that’s amazing, getting to travel around like that. I must say I’m a little jealous, I’d never really left Los Angeles before coming here, you must have a lot of fun” she smiled, imagining the adventures he must have, going from town to town across the country.

Alex’s face kept a polite smile but the light in his eyes dimmed considerably when he responded
“Well, it has it’s downsides.” without elaborating, he turned back to the hay bales.

Willow, mildly concerned she’d said something wrong, followed him to the back of the wagon.

“Would you like some help unloading?” she offered.

He smiled wide in response.

“I would, thank you”.

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

Donnie and Tara sat either side of their fathers unconscious form. Tara was in the middle of the sofa next to her father, while Donnie sat in a chair to their fathers right.

“What the hell is going on, Donnie?” Tara asked, looking at her brother with worry.

“I’m not sure to be honest with you, sis.” he responded, taking another swig of his bottle.

“You must know something. Daddy has been acting odd this week and you haven’t exactly been yourself either” she pushed.

Donnie nodded, relenting somewhat.

“I don’t know details but, I have some hunches. Daddy was talkin’ to some business man when we went to town last week. Had some goons with him. Daddy didn’t look too happy and neither did that man. I was comin’ out of the saloon so I didn’t hear them talkin’ but I’m pretty sure Daddy handed over some cash.”

Tara looked more concerned and shook her head, wondering what mess her father had landed them into.

“It sounds silly but, I swear I know the man. He’s runnin’ for mayor but politics ain't my thing as you know. Somethin’ just looked familiar to me. I can’t place him. Anyhow, Daddy’s been all quiet since and I’ve been worried, we ain’t exactly flush for cash at the moment so, I’ve been tryna keep an eye. Then those two men jumped me when I was cuttin’ wood, didn’t explain nothin’ just hit me a bunch and dragged me out. I was a bit out of it but they kept sayin’ Daddy owed their boss money and his time had run out.”

Tara nodded sadly.

“I was watching, from the stable window. I had Willow with me and wanted to keep her safe, but I had my rifle sights on them in case… well, in case I had to. There were too many of them, if I’d managed to get one or two of them they could’ve easily killed you two, but I kept sight on them anyway” she confessed to him, feeling guilty she hadn’t done something more proactive to help her family. She put her head down in shame.

Donnie looked up at his sister with surprise.

“That was real brave, sis. And the right call. If you’d shot off they’d probably have ended us then and there. And you protected Willow, she looks like money, they would’ve been on her for sure”.

Donnie moved to sit on the other side of the sofa, next to his sister who was still looking down.
He put his arm around her on the sofa, pulling her close.

“You did the right thing, I’m proud of you.” he held her to him and rested his head on top of hers, closing his eyes and letting the comfort cool his anger at the day's events.

With her brother's acceptance and love, Tara finally felt the rest of her adrenaline melt away, and the safety of her brother's arms allowed her to unleash all of the repressed fear and worry. She cried into his chest.

Donnie, upon feeling the dampness on his shirt and hearing her sniffles, just continued to hold her, knowing they both needed this moment.

Within a minute of the tears falling, Dylan started to stir at the noise.

He groggily looked at his surroundings, registering he was inside their family home, and looked to his left to see his two children's faces staring at him with anger and confusion, one still stained with blood, the other drenched with tears.

“I guess I owe ya’ll an explanation” he sighed.

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

Elizabeth barged into the sheriff’s office, feeling restless.

For the last week or so, she had fought every demon and vampire she came across, looking for any information she could on the local attacks, or any connection to the mysterious red head she had rescued.

She had shied away from the ranch itself, knowing their knowledge of her could be detrimental should the red head actually be involved with what was happening.

She had a hunch that, despite the reported brutality, this was still vampire specific attacks. Blood draining and random victims seemed a little odd for your garden variety demon without other, more insidious markers.

She had broken into the Sheriff’s office a few times over the last week to look over evidence but hadn’t found anything particularly substantial, and she had beaten as many vampires she encountered as she could for information before staking them.

She had nothing. And she was annoyed.

“Finn, you got anything for me?” She asked with a bored tone at the Sheriff’s desk.

Finn was bent over some paperwork and looked concerned, his usual humour and laid back approach seemingly gone.
“I’m afraid there are no recent outlaws for you to pursue, Summers. We’ve been focused solely on these attacks and frankly gettin’ nowhere. I assume if you had any leads you’d let me know?”

He asked, looking at her almost hopefully.

“I have absolutely no idea” she responded truthfully in a flat tone, turning to leave the office.

Finn sighed, and then held up his finger.

“Hold up, Bounty hunter” she stopped and turned around, crossing her arms and looking at him with little patience.

“While there are no new cases for you, Some man named Snyder from a detective agency did drop by with some old cases they’re trying to track down across the states. Some are as far back as 25 years old. Highly doubt there’s much to go on but, they’re still fugitives and have gotten away with it for far too long, I’m sure you’d agree. Feel free to look through, take your pick. There’s good money in it, they seem to want to crack down as much as possible”.

He dropped a large file of various papers on his desk in front of her, and then proceeded to go back to his own work.

Elizabeth shrugged, needing something to keep her attention, and picked up the stack, moving over to an empty desk to have a look through.

After a few pages of uninteresting old cases, she stopped dead at one particular wanted poster.
Staring back at her from the page was the face of her own watcher, with a different name.

END OF CHAPTER 9

_________________
- I am a poster girl with no poster, I am 32 flavours and then some -


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (September 15th 2021)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:58 am 
Offline
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:22 pm
Posts: 4626
Topics: 46
DIBS! :D

Poor little Xander but I'm glad he had a family he could go to. Interesting that it's Tara who is his lifelong friend in this as opposed to Willow - I'm not sure I've ever read that and I'm intrigued. Love the little spark of jealousy in Willow, even if we know, in fact ESPECIALLY because we know it is unfounded. But I like those moments in people, I think they can be very defining for a person to figure out why their feelings go wonky like that.

You mentioned picturing Dylan different, do you have a fancast of any description of this Dylan? (Also seriously :lol ing at your description of this Donny and his pube-less face :laugh)

I'm very interested to see when the demon/etc fighting will reach the Maclay ranch and perhaps even if they, or Tara especially, might already have some inclination toward the supernatural!

_________________
Amber Benson killed me once.

Check out my finished fics

Love, The SeriesTwo For Joy/21+Inevitable/Infinitely

Confidential EternalA Twisted DateDachsund Through The Snow


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (September 15th 2021)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:27 am 
Offline
6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 498
Poor Xander, what a childhood trauma, having to watch his parents get murdered. Plus he probably lived with the nagging doubt that the robbers wouldn't have killed his parents at all if his mom hadn't panicked and jumped up to protect him.

I'm curious if the murderers will show up in the present of your story as well and Xander will get revenge / justice. It seems improbable that Wilkins himself started his career as a robber 14 years ago, but maybe those guys are some of his henchmen now?

Quote:
At the same time, Willow - briefly stunned by the scene - managed to break her reverie and untie Donnie from the hitching post.

Donnie thanked her gratefully, and immediately stormed into the house after his family.

There's a glitch here: Donnie had already been freed by Tara and rushed to the defence of his family and Willow (armed with a shovel) at the end of the last chapter.

Xander's immediately concerned and caring reaction at the beginning of this chapter is endearing but doesn't totally fit to his "cool" reaction at the end of last chapter either:
Quote:
Donnie yelled “Alex!” while throwing the shovel back to the ground, and the man just looked at the scene in front of him, remarking.

“Damn, what did I miss?!”


I assume that after Xander's parents had been murdered the Maclays took him in and cared for him until he came of age, making him almost a sibling to Tara and Donnie?
If I'm correct I find it a bit weird that Dylan called him "Harris" instead of "Alex" in the first chapter when he talked with Tara.

Quote:
Alex quickly tucked Tara into his arm for a brief hug and kissed her on the forehead before heading out the door.

Willow, watching the exchange, felt a mild jealous rage rumble through her that she did not want to think about. She had no idea who this man was but the familiarity between him and Tara made her uncomfortable in a way she had never experienced. She felt a little sick.

Willow's little fit of jealousy is cute. I hope she will soon learn that Xander is just a friend / surrogate brother to Tara and that she and Xander will soon become sort of friends, too.

Quote:
Donnie looked up at his sister with surprise.

“That was real brave, sis. And the right call. If you’d shot off they’d probably have ended us then and there. And you protected Willow, she looks like money, they would’ve been on her for sure”.

Donnie moved to sit on the other side of the sofa, next to his sister who was still looking down.
He put his arm around her on the sofa, pulling her close.

“You did the right thing, I’m proud of you.” he held her to him and rested his head on top of hers, closing his eyes and letting the comfort cool his anger at the day's events.

With her brother's acceptance and love, Tara finally felt the rest of her adrenaline melt away, and the safety of her brother's arms allowed her to unleash all of the repressed fear and worry. She cried into his chest.

Donnie, upon feeling the dampness on his shirt and hearing her sniffles, just continued to hold her, knowing they both needed this moment.

Awww, I really like your Donnie! I fervently hope he will continue to be there for Tara after he'll find out about her magic and her love for (and future relationship with) Willow later in the story.

Quote:
For the last week or so, she had fought every demon and vampire she came across, looking for any information she could on the local attacks, or any connection to the mysterious red head she had rescued.

That confirms that Elizabeth is indeed a slayer, but also makes me wonder how many vampires roam this small western town and how they get enough blood to feed without swiftly killing / turning the whole population...

Quote:
After a few pages of uninteresting old cases, she stopped dead at one particular wanted poster.
Staring back at her from the page was the face of her own watcher, with a different name.

Ripper, I presume? I hope Giles will be able to convince Elizabeth he isn't a murderer.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (September 15th 2021)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:59 am 
Offline
5. Willowhand
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 285
Topics: 8
Location: Pacific Northwest
Alex's backstory was so well done, and of course heartbreaking. Little Alex is adorable and I am so impressed by how you not only showed us the layered family dynamics of the Harris', but always broadened the world in which all the characters live.

in the present- I love how the stories are intertwining and also solidifying- the attack on the Maclays put everyone in a situation where they cannot be coy and tiptoe (I mean I guess Willow could- but I am glad she doesn't) I can't wait to find out what Willow is really up to, why the vague book lie

I really dig Buffy in this- something about her being a (nearly) silent stealthy presence in chaps (ok I added that) just fits

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (September 15th 2021)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2021 1:55 am 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:19 am
Posts: 228
Topics: 2
Location: Wales
Laragh wrote:
DIBS! :D

Poor little Xander but I'm glad he had a family he could go to. Interesting that it's Tara who is his lifelong friend in this as opposed to Willow - I'm not sure I've ever read that and I'm intrigued. Love the little spark of jealousy in Willow, even if we know, in fact ESPECIALLY because we know it is unfounded. But I like those moments in people, I think they can be very defining for a person to figure out why their feelings go wonky like that.

You mentioned picturing Dylan different, do you have a fancast of any description of this Dylan? (Also seriously :lol ing at your description of this Donny and his pube-less face :laugh)

I'm very interested to see when the demon/etc fighting will reach the Maclay ranch and perhaps even if they, or Tara especially, might already have some inclination toward the supernatural!


I can't really think of how I'd explain how I see Dylan. Just a friendlier, less pointy faced man.

Hilariously, I actually picture a different bad guy from buffy for Donnie but obviously as a good version of himself. Jack from The Zeppo
Image

I'm pretty sure I've read a fic or two where Xander is more Tara's friend than Willows but not sure if it's from childhood, I can't pretend it's an original idea though haha

Tara has her subtle magic that she is aware of, but I haven't overtly made it super obvious in the fic yet. I see it more as just a passive part of her than like, a defining element of her personality that she specifically works on, not sure if that makes sense. But yes, all the ties come together eventually. There's a long way to go haha, glad you're enjoying!

Will's redemption wrote:
Poor Xander, what a childhood trauma, having to watch his parents get murdered. Plus he probably lived with the nagging doubt that the robbers wouldn't have killed his parents at all if his mom hadn't panicked and jumped up to protect him.

I'm curious if the murderers will show up in the present of your story as well and Xander will get revenge / justice. It seems improbable that Wilkins himself started his career as a robber 14 years ago, but maybe those guys are some of his henchmen now?

Quote:
At the same time, Willow - briefly stunned by the scene - managed to break her reverie and untie Donnie from the hitching post.

Donnie thanked her gratefully, and immediately stormed into the house after his family.

There's a glitch here: Donnie had already been freed by Tara and rushed to the defence of his family and Willow (armed with a shovel) at the end of the last chapter.

Xander's immediately concerned and caring reaction at the beginning of this chapter is endearing but doesn't totally fit to his "cool" reaction at the end of last chapter either:
Quote:
Donnie yelled “Alex!” while throwing the shovel back to the ground, and the man just looked at the scene in front of him, remarking.

“Damn, what did I miss?!”


I assume that after Xander's parents had been murdered the Maclays took him in and cared for him until he came of age, making him almost a sibling to Tara and Donnie?
If I'm correct I find it a bit weird that Dylan called him "Harris" instead of "Alex" in the first chapter when he talked with Tara.

Quote:
Alex quickly tucked Tara into his arm for a brief hug and kissed her on the forehead before heading out the door.

Willow, watching the exchange, felt a mild jealous rage rumble through her that she did not want to think about. She had no idea who this man was but the familiarity between him and Tara made her uncomfortable in a way she had never experienced. She felt a little sick.

Willow's little fit of jealousy is cute. I hope she will soon learn that Xander is just a friend / surrogate brother to Tara and that she and Xander will soon become sort of friends, too.

Quote:
Donnie looked up at his sister with surprise.

“That was real brave, sis. And the right call. If you’d shot off they’d probably have ended us then and there. And you protected Willow, she looks like money, they would’ve been on her for sure”.

Donnie moved to sit on the other side of the sofa, next to his sister who was still looking down.
He put his arm around her on the sofa, pulling her close.

“You did the right thing, I’m proud of you.” he held her to him and rested his head on top of hers, closing his eyes and letting the comfort cool his anger at the day's events.

With her brother's acceptance and love, Tara finally felt the rest of her adrenaline melt away, and the safety of her brother's arms allowed her to unleash all of the repressed fear and worry. She cried into his chest.

Donnie, upon feeling the dampness on his shirt and hearing her sniffles, just continued to hold her, knowing they both needed this moment.

Awww, I really like your Donnie! I fervently hope he will continue to be there for Tara after he'll find out about her magic and her love for (and future relationship with) Willow later in the story.

Quote:
For the last week or so, she had fought every demon and vampire she came across, looking for any information she could on the local attacks, or any connection to the mysterious red head she had rescued.

That confirms that Elizabeth is indeed a slayer, but also makes me wonder how many vampires roam this small western town and how they get enough blood to feed without swiftly killing / turning the whole population...

Quote:
After a few pages of uninteresting old cases, she stopped dead at one particular wanted poster.
Staring back at her from the page was the face of her own watcher, with a different name.

Ripper, I presume? I hope Giles will be able to convince Elizabeth he isn't a murderer.


You're right that I cocked up the end of the last chapter/beginning of this one. Small oversight, I meant for Willow to untie Donnie in the first place. I apologise!

As for the xander issues - This Xander, although a little more earnest and family orientated, is still quippy, hence his initial reaction, but him immediately rushing to familial action is just who he is. He's caring but defensive on instinct, hence the joke first help after approach.

Dylan calling him Harris is entirely intentional, hopefully it'll make more sense to you as the story goes on.

Buffy - Don't forget, Sunnydale is still the hellmouth. Sunnydale is a growing town at the start of a turn towards civilization, filled with danger and intrigue in their current predicament. There's people travelling through, livestock, violent gangs abound - there's plenty of people and creatures for vampires to feed on. Buffy is also more focused on hunting in this specific time period, so it makes sense she'd find more than usual, and travel outside of the town as part of her search. I can imagine it was a lot easier for vampires to hunt and survive back then with people going missing being a lot harder to find.

I hope that clears some things up.

shirrey wrote:
Alex's backstory was so well done, and of course heartbreaking. Little Alex is adorable and I am so impressed by how you not only showed us the layered family dynamics of the Harris', but always broadened the world in which all the characters live.

in the present- I love how the stories are intertwining and also solidifying- the attack on the Maclays put everyone in a situation where they cannot be coy and tiptoe (I mean I guess Willow could- but I am glad she doesn't) I can't wait to find out what Willow is really up to, why the vague book lie

I really dig Buffy in this- something about her being a (nearly) silent stealthy presence in chaps (ok I added that) just fits


There is going to be more bouncing back and forth from everyones past and present, due to the story I'm telling, so it needed to be a little deeper in that way. Harder for me to write obviously but my brain got me into trouble haha.

I've purposely written all of the characters a little different. Xander is more capable, Buffy is far rougher around the edges. Buffy's past will explain that too, when I get to it *cough* foreshadowing the chapter I'm about to post *cough*.

It'll all shake out eventually. In my head she isn't wearing chaps, but, thanks to you she probably is now haha.

_________________
- I am a poster girl with no poster, I am 32 flavours and then some -


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (September 15th 2021)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2021 2:12 am 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:19 am
Posts: 228
Topics: 2
Location: Wales
NOTE - Thank you again Shirrey for your help as always.

CHAPTER 10


1893

Elizabeth felt weak. She hadn’t eaten in days, and had had even less sleep. She felt irritable and desperate for a warm bed and a decent meal.

She nestled herself silently into some tall bushes and watched the small camp ahead of her. A man, woman and little boy, presumably a family, were sat around a small campfire eating stew.

Elizabeth’s heightened senses could pick up the scent from her location and she felt her stomach churn. Her senses also afforded her the knowledge that three vampires were coming towards the family from the tree line, opposite her location.

She silently sighed to herself and sprung into action, leaping from the bushes towards the vampires, effortlessly throwing a stake towards the leading one as she jumped.

Before the front vampire could even register the girl’s presence, the stake flew directly into his heart and he dissolved into the night air, causing his following vampire cohort to run through his dissipating remains.

The following two spotted the teenage girl in tattered, ruined clothes and altered their course from the camp to the girl, wanting revenge for their leader.

Elizabeth ran straight at them, managing to reach the right vampire first, kicking him in the side of the head, forcing him to fall backwards, just as the left vampire grabbed at her clothing and pulled her back towards his front, in an effort to drink from her.

She elbowed him in the face, turned and kicked him in the crotch, and staked him as he fell on the ground clutching himself.

As soon as his body started to dissolve, the other vampire was towering behind her, ready to attack, but while her back was still turned she swung her arm behind, without looking, perfectly staking the last vampire in the heart.

She stood, pausing to make sure no other vampires were nearby, and then walked towards the campsite.

The family appeared to have fled during the fight, their belongings still in place and some of their stew bowls were slightly spilled.
Elizabeth shrugged, and eagerly grabbed a bowl, ignoring the spoon nearby and drinking it straight from the dish. She grabbed at a nearby bread chunk and greedily smashed it into her mouth.

A man walked towards the camp, seemingly from nowhere, dressed in a green tweed suit. “Do you always rob the people you save?” He asked, in a posh English accent.

She did not turn towards him or react in any way. “What do you want?” she said, between sips of stew.

“You’re a young girl, barely a woman, alone at night in the woods, why aren’t you afraid of me?” he pondered out loud, his strides continuing until he was at the threshold of the camp.

Still not bothering to look at the man, she rifled through the family's belongings, pocketing the occasional money or jewels. She addressed him as she looted.

“Well, you’re human and you’ve been there long enough to see what I was fighting. You clearly aren’t a threat to me, but you don’t seem too bothered about seeing vampires”. She finished her petty theft and turned back to the food, picking up another chunk of bread.

“I’ve seen vampires before.” he stated, matter of factly, while keeping his hands in his trouser pockets and pacing the camp's perimeter.
She ignored his response, continuing to eat.

The man watched her for a few more seconds, then strode into the campsite fully, standing behind her.

“My name is Rupert Giles, and I’m a watcher. And you are Elizabeth Summers, a fugitive wanted in 4 states… and the slayer” he softly spoke to her, with eyes full of wonderment and recognition.

Elizabeth finally turned around and looked at the man, in complete confusion and asked thickly around a mouth full of bread.
“What’s a slayer?”

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

With his head in his hands, Dylan sat next to his children in front of the fireplace. “The short version is we’re havin’ money troubles. I’m tryna sort it but, I’m not doin’ a great job.”

Donnie snorted and snapped. “Well no shit, Daddy. We worked that out.”

Dylan gave Donnie an annoyed side glance but quickly realised he didn’t exactly have the right to be surprised at Donnie’s tone and attitude considering the situation they found themselves in.

“I know. I owe you more. But it’s very… complicated.” Dylan rubbed his eyes as he spoke, struggling to ignore the pain he was currently in on top of the difficult conversation he was about to have.

Tara took her father’s hand in hers and held it, giving it a slight squeeze. “We need to know Daddy, please tell us.” she asked gently, wanting him to feel comfortable.

Dylan looked at his daughter gratefully, and was once again reminded of the girl’s mother. He sighed to himself, knowing it was time.
“It’s kind of a long story. Me and your mom have a bit of a past that we never wanted you two to know about. Didn’t want to put ya’ll in danger or have you think any less of us.”

Tara immediately shook her head “We could never think less of you” she responded with absolute certainty. Donnie didn’t look quite as sure as his sister.

“You can’t judge what you don’t know, Tara. I appreciate it nonetheless” Dylan smiled at his daughter slightly for her faith, but couldn’t bring himself to look over at his son.

“Alright. So… about 20 years ago, me and your mom used to move around a lot. We used to live and work with a gang of outlaws, but to us they were like family. There were loads of us, maybe 25 in total. Men, women, children. As a group we were involved in some unsavoury work but, me and your mom weren’t really doin’ all that. Your mom was in charge of things like laundry and mendin’ and such, and I took care of all the horses. Hard work takin’ care of so many horses when you’re never settled. It felt like good honest work, even if it wasn’t necessarily for good honest people. We all cared for each other so, the legality never really mattered to us, at the time.”

Donnie started to nod. “Wait, I remember that. We lived in a camp with loads of people.”

Dylan nodded “Yeah, you were about 5 or 6 when we left. Not surprised you remember some of it.”

Donnie looked confused. “I mean, I knew we lived with some people but… I didn’t really… they were criminals?” Donnie looked at his father, bewildered.

“Don’t look so horrified, we weren’t livin’ rough with a bunch of psychopaths. We were just interested in livin’ life on our own terms, not interested in this so called ‘civilized’ world that was starting to develop. We just wanted to be free.”

Donnie looked slightly shocked, but Tara’s face was scrunched in thought. “What has any of this got to do with needing money now?” Tara pushed.

Dylan sighed again.

“Well, the crime caught up to all of us, something happened… it’s a longer story so I won’t go into it, but, we all had to leave.
Most of em’ I’ve never seen again, except for the Harris’s. Mr Giles moved down here a few years back, he used to run with us. The only other person from back then that we see around is Mr. Wilkins, the bank manager in town? Well, he ran the gang. He went by ‘Watson’ back then.”

Donnie’s face lit up with realisation. “Wait, that man you were talking to was Uncle Ricky?!” he exclaimed with a raised voice.

Dylan looked slightly surprised. “You saw that?” he asked.

“Yeah, comin’ out of the saloon. Didn’t look friendly.” Donnie stiffened slightly, not liking keeping things from his father nor his father finding that out, regardless of the circumstances.

“Well, it wasn’t. Ricky is an old friend but, times change.” He rubbed his face again and sighed, knowing he needed to get into the details but not wanting his children to think less of him.

“A little over a year ago, a detective came to the ranch. He knew who we were, he’d figured it out. He threatened to turn us in unless I could make it worth his while. We weren’t exactly well off, but I couldn’t let it happen so… I talked to Ricky. As he was the bank manager he could make us a deal, under the table so to speak. He’s essentially given us a second mortgage on the ranch. I used the money to pay off the detective and had a deal with Ricky that I’d pay him back in installments…”

Tara interjected. “Then mom got sick.” she stated, working out the timeline in her head, remembering a short balding snake like man visiting the ranch around that time.

Dylan nodded in confirmation and repeated “Then your mom got sick. she got sick and nothin’ else mattered, and because nothin’ else mattered I didn’t do as well with the ranch as you both know, let things slide, money got tighter, and everything just got more...difficult. After she died, it had been left too long to recover, and we’re still trying to recover now. So, I was lax on payments. I dodged Ricky for a long while, I just didn’t know what to do.”

Donnie stood up angrily. “Why didn’t you talk to us?! I could’ve gotten a job in town for extra money, I could have helped you Daddy!” he yelled at his father.

Dylan stood in response, turning to his son at a matching volume. “I am your father, I’m supposed to provide for my family, take care of my family and I needed you here, working on the ranch, getting us back on our feet!”

Donnie shook his head in anger and started pacing around the room.

Dylan’s shoulders dropped in shame, and he sat back down. “Ricky gave me a week to put together what we owed and I couldn’t do it. I sold what I could, even tried to sell some of your mothers jewellery, but it weren’t enough. He got impatient, and sent some men. I never thought he’d… resort to all that.”

Donnie looked at his father in disbelief. “Well, aren’t you a poster for poor judgement and bad choices, Daddy. He clearly could resort to it, me and your faces prove it. And what they said about Tara?! - "

Tara, disliking all the confrontation, interjected again. “What did they say about me?”

Both men immediately shut up, silently communicating with eye contact. After a beat, Dylan continued.

“It isn’t important. What matters is it’s happened, and we need to make some money fast and sort this out because we could lose the ranch, or worse.” he said sadly.

Donnie continued to pace, while Tara looked at her father in concern.

He looked at both of his children, with slight tears in his eyes. “I’m so sorry, I’ve failed you both.”

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

Willow quickly left Alex after finishing helping him unload his wagon, and headed directly for her cabin.

She sat on her bed completely lost in a flurry of emotions.

She felt scared from the attack, jealous of the new arrival, worried for the Maclay family, and confusingly warm about her close encounters with Tara.

She stood, needing to work out a logical reason for her conflicting emotions.

She tried to rationalize to herself that her excitement and fear regarding Tara was just a projection brought on from her immediate
experience with horseback riding, as she had just faced a large and exhilarating fear.

That must explain her emotions, purely latching them onto the person responsible for her facing those fears.

She nodded to herself, thinking that made sense, but then she remembered how wonderful it felt to be close to Tara’s face. And how badly she wanted to kiss her.

Frustrated, she lay back down on her bed, and screamed into her pillow.

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

As the sun set over the hills, and the light started to dim, Elizabeth had arrived at Giles’s house. She dismounted Faith, gave the horse a quick hug around her neck, and hitched her safely.

Without knocking or politeness, Elizabeth kicked in Giles’s door and roughly stomped into the premises.

Giles was sitting at his table, various papers in front of him, sipping from a cup of tea, seemingly undisturbed by Elizabeth’s violent entrance.

Elizabeth slammed the wanted poster in front of Giles on top of his other pages. She stared at him, with angry eyes, silently demanding an explanation.

Giles’ held the wanted poster up thoughtfully, with no sign of surprise on his face. He nodded slightly and merely muttered.

“I swear, they never manage to draw my nose right.”

END OF CHAPTER 10

_________________
- I am a poster girl with no poster, I am 32 flavours and then some -


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (September 27th 2021)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2021 5:25 pm 
Offline
5. Willowhand
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 285
Topics: 8
Location: Pacific Northwest
this just keeps getting better and better!! you have such a rich and complex tale happening- and I love how you are weaving everyone's experiences together!

and then, the sweet budding romance (or love story) between our girls that is always in both of their minds :flower

I love Giles' reaction to the poster!! He is so suave

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (September 27th 2021)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2021 9:19 am 
Offline
6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 498
Quote:
“Well, the crime caught up to all of us, something happened… it’s a longer story so I won’t go into it, but, we all had to leave.
Most of em’ I’ve never seen again, except for the Harris’s. Mr Giles moved down here a few years back, he used to run with us. The only other person from back then that we see around is Mr. Wilkins, the bank manager in town? Well, he ran the gang. He went by ‘Watson’ back then.”

Wow, so Tara's and Alex's parents and Giles and the bank manager and would be mayor Wilkins were all members of some criminal gang, I certainly didn't see that coming!

The murderers of Alex's parents didn't seem to be members of the same gang because there was no indication that they new each other.

Quote:
Donnie looked at his father in disbelief. “Well, aren’t you a poster for poor judgement and bad choices, Daddy. He clearly could resort to it, me and your faces prove it. And what they said about Tara?! - "

Tara, disliking all the confrontation, interjected again. “What did they say about me?”

Both men immediately shut up, silently communicating with eye contact. After a beat, Dylan continued.

“It isn’t important. What matters is it’s happened, and we need to make some money fast and sort this out because we could lose the ranch, or worse.” he said sadly.

Donnie continued to pace, while Tara looked at her father in concern.

He looked at both of his children, with slight tears in his eyes. “I’m so sorry, I’ve failed you both.”

My guess is that they threatened to rape Tara or force her to work in the town's brothel or something like that.
I hope that Willow will learn about their financial problems because I expect that she could lend them the needed amount without difficulty. They could agree that they'll repay it with decent interest so it wouldn't feel as an act of charity.

Quote:
Without knocking or politeness, Elizabeth kicked in Giles’s door and roughly stomped into the premises.

Giles was sitting at his table, various papers in front of him, sipping from a cup of tea, seemingly undisturbed by Elizabeth’s violent entrance.

Elizabeth slammed the wanted poster in front of Giles on top of his other pages. She stared at him, with angry eyes, silently demanding an explanation.

Giles’ held the wanted poster up thoughtfully, with no sign of surprise on his face. He nodded slightly and merely muttered.

“I swear, they never manage to draw my nose right.”

Oh come on Liz, using force against that poor door was totally unnecessary! :wink
Like Shirrey I loved Giles' reaction, he is cool as a cucumber! :laugh


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (September 27th 2021)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 3:00 am 
Offline
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:22 pm
Posts: 4626
Topics: 46
Ooh, very, very interesting! A criminal commune?! I wasn't expecting that! So excited to see how these stories weave together!

_________________
Amber Benson killed me once.

Check out my finished fics

Love, The SeriesTwo For Joy/21+Inevitable/Infinitely

Confidential EternalA Twisted DateDachsund Through The Snow


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (September 27th 2021)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:06 am 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:19 am
Posts: 228
Topics: 2
Location: Wales
shirrey wrote:
this just keeps getting better and better!! you have such a rich and complex tale happening- and I love how you are weaving everyone's experiences together!

and then, the sweet budding romance (or love story) between our girls that is always in both of their minds :flower

I love Giles' reaction to the poster!! He is so suave


I'm having so much fun with Giles and he's become a much bigger part of the story than I imagined, glad my affection for him is accidentally shining through! and thank you, I obviously know what I've got planned but I keep thinking of more and more connections and elements, honestly I'm shocked buffy westerns aren't more common, it super works haha

Thank you for your wonderful beta-ing and support, dear!

Will's redemption wrote:
Quote:
“Well, the crime caught up to all of us, something happened… it’s a longer story so I won’t go into it, but, we all had to leave.
Most of em’ I’ve never seen again, except for the Harris’s. Mr Giles moved down here a few years back, he used to run with us. The only other person from back then that we see around is Mr. Wilkins, the bank manager in town? Well, he ran the gang. He went by ‘Watson’ back then.”

Wow, so Tara's and Alex's parents and Giles and the bank manager and would be mayor Wilkins were all members of some criminal gang, I certainly didn't see that coming!

The murderers of Alex's parents didn't seem to be members of the same gang because there was no indication that they new each other.

Quote:
Donnie looked at his father in disbelief. “Well, aren’t you a poster for poor judgement and bad choices, Daddy. He clearly could resort to it, me and your faces prove it. And what they said about Tara?! - "

Tara, disliking all the confrontation, interjected again. “What did they say about me?”

Both men immediately shut up, silently communicating with eye contact. After a beat, Dylan continued.

“It isn’t important. What matters is it’s happened, and we need to make some money fast and sort this out because we could lose the ranch, or worse.” he said sadly.

Donnie continued to pace, while Tara looked at her father in concern.

He looked at both of his children, with slight tears in his eyes. “I’m so sorry, I’ve failed you both.”

My guess is that they threatened to rape Tara or force her to work in the town's brothel or something like that.
I hope that Willow will learn about their financial problems because I expect that she could lend them the needed amount without difficulty. They could agree that they'll repay it with decent interest so it wouldn't feel as an act of charity.

Quote:
Without knocking or politeness, Elizabeth kicked in Giles’s door and roughly stomped into the premises.

Giles was sitting at his table, various papers in front of him, sipping from a cup of tea, seemingly undisturbed by Elizabeth’s violent entrance.

Elizabeth slammed the wanted poster in front of Giles on top of his other pages. She stared at him, with angry eyes, silently demanding an explanation.

Giles’ held the wanted poster up thoughtfully, with no sign of surprise on his face. He nodded slightly and merely muttered.

“I swear, they never manage to draw my nose right.”

Oh come on Liz, using force against that poor door was totally unnecessary! :wink
Like Shirrey I loved Giles' reaction, he is cool as a cucumber! :laugh


The criminal gang / Alex's Parents - Yeah the Maclays and The Harris's and many others were all in a gang together (under different names) but yes you're right about the Harris's, they were killed by just random outlaw thugs, The Watson Gang were not a lone oddity, there's a lot of violence abound!

Tara - confirmation of what was said is in this next chapter!

Elizabeth - Buffy is... less emotionally controlled in this story haha, In some ways because Faith is a horse I've kind of merged a bit of her darkness and background into Buffy's story more, so as a result she's much rougher around the edges and tortured. all that good stuff.

Thanks so much for sticking with the fic!

Laragh wrote:
Ooh, very, very interesting! A criminal commune?! I wasn't expecting that! So excited to see how these stories weave together!


I'm glad it's surprising and interesting - It's really not if you know the red dead inspiration haha but it works so well. Thanks for reading!

_________________
- I am a poster girl with no poster, I am 32 flavours and then some -


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (September 27th 2021)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:17 am 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:19 am
Posts: 228
Topics: 2
Location: Wales
CHAPTER 11


1878

The sun had begun to set, light peppering through the gaps in the leaves amongst the tree line surrounding the camp.

The main fire had been lit for many hours, warming the many inhabitants who were unloading boxes from the backs of wagons, pitching tents, and moving quickly around the area, in a flurry of chaotic organisation.

Horses had been collectively hitched to recently installed posts, and a pot of stew had been quickly prepared and left to heat up for the exhausted and soon to be seated folk.

The tired but busy air was interrupted by the sound of three approaching horses, one with a jovial and painfully sarcastic “yeehaw” screeching slightly above.

The three men, Rupert Grant, Ethan Rayne and Philip Henry, all hitched their horses and walked into the camp.

From the largest tent, the first to be erected, stepped out a 40 year old Richard Watson.

“My boys! How did you get on?” He yelled and started walking towards them.

Ethan strolled forward with boy-like confidence and a chuckle in his throat.

“Our luck is in, Ricky. We have discovered quite the town of imbeciles! Definitely some easy pickings for our resident scam artist” he winks at Rupert whilst elbowing him slightly in his side.

Richard nodded enthusiastically and commented “That’s good news, isn’t it?” while looking at Rupert’s face as he approached.

Rupert looked much less enthused than Ethan. “He’s not entirely wrong but I feel we should proceed with caution - “ Ethan waved away his concern and interrupted, throwing his arm over Rupert’s shoulder.

“Oh lighten up, Ripper! This will be a doddle. Hell, it could even be rather dull!” Ethan laughed at his own remark while Rupert rolled his eyes, struggling to hold back a slight smirk at Ethan’s attitude.

Watson turned to Philip “Outside of their grand schemes, what does the ground level look like?”

Philip nodded reservedly “Pretty good. It’s a standard town, typical small businesses, but I heard talk in the saloon of some rich locals. I will need to keep an ear to the ground but there’s definitely potential there.”

Watson nodded and started to grin, looking over at the men with a sense of pride.

“Good work, boys. Good work.” he responded, looking each of them in the eye in turn, conveying his gratitude for their loyalty and work on the camp's behalf.

All three nodded in response, with Ethan seeming to sober up at the exchange, happy to have done the man proud.

After silently conversing with the three men, Watson walked into the main open area of the camp and loudly drew everyone’s attention.

“Can I have all of your attention, please?” he barked, his tone unquestioning despite his words, his charismatic power automatically captivating his audience into focus.

The people all immediately stopped their work and walked into a rough circle around him with eager ears, a general chatter of curiosity and excitement emerged. Meredith and Dylan came out of their tent with their young son, and their baby daughter nestled in Meredith’s arms. Men, women and children all gathered.

Watson held his arms up to indicate he was ready to talk, and the small murmurs of conversation amongst the group immediately ceased.

“Now I know we had to move on quickly from our last camp, and I’m sorry for that, sometimes this way of life catches up with us. But it looks like we’ve got potential for a good thing here, at least for now. We need to get our funds back in order and obviously take care of our own. Our english cohort has scouted some potential jobs but I expect the rest of you to pull your weight with some honest work. Ms Walsh, can you make sure camp is set up proper, get everyone to work, Matthews I’ll have the boys help you set up a more permanent ‘stable’ for our horses, Harding I’ll need you and your wife to look into the supply situation in the town, get a good idea of what’s available. Now for the rest of you, we need food and money, so do what you can, we’re all in this together!”

At the end of his speech, he turned on his heel and walked back in the direction of his tent, leaving the group to disperse. An older man, with thinning black hair and a portly frame jogged along from the crowd to Watson’s side quickly, catching up to walk in tandem.

“We are good for guns and other weaponry but we’re dangerously short on ammo. You might want the guys to pick some up when they’re out. I’ve also prepped some poison for arrows and throwing knives, should it come to it. Got a lot of Oleander stored in case we need more.”

Watson nodded in response, maintaining his stride and muttered “I’ll tell them, thank you Ted” before stopping at the front of his tent.

Rupert stood alongside Ethan, watching as the gathering of people moved back to their jobs with slightly more enthusiasm than before.

Rupert pulled out a cigarette from a pack in his pocket, pursed it between his lips and lit a match, holding it in his cupped hands around the cigarette, lighting the end and shaking the match to put it out.

Ethan waited for Rupert to finish his first inhaled puff before leaning over to quietly ask him a question that had been burning in him since they had arrived.

“There’s power in that town, Ripper. Did you feel it, too?”

Rupert, keeping the same low pitch, but looking directly forward responded. “Yes. Yes I did.”

Ethan smiled and nudged Rupert with his shoulder again.

“This might be fun” he remarked before walking off towards his own tasks.

Rupert looked on after him, with concern in his eyes. He took another drag and then walked over to Dylan and Meredith’s tent.

Inside the tent, Meredith was rocking baby Tara in her arms, quietly singing to her, as Rupert stepped into the opening.

“Where’s Dylan and Donnie?” he asked, noticing their absence.

“Dylan has taken Donnie down the lake to teach him how to fish” Meredith responded without looking up from her child.

“Donnie is a little young for that, surely?” Rupert remarked in surprise.

“Well, after Ricky’s little talk Dylan wanted to get Donnie out from under everyone’s feet. You know what he’s like when there’s excitement around, people have work to do.” she smiled and her kind eyes lifted to meet Rupert’s.

“Is everything okay?” she asked him softly.

Rupert quickly looked behind him to check no one was within ear shot.

“Have you...felt anything, since we’ve arrived?” he asked quietly, with slightly worried eyes.

Her smile immediately fell, and she pulled Tara slightly closer to her.

“Nothing specific, but… there’s darkness here.” her brow furrowed in concern as she told him.

“We should meditate later” Rupert asserted, continuing to check no one was eavesdropping.

“Yes, but late tonight. After Dylan and Donnie are asleep.” Meredith responded, with a strict tone.

Rupert sighed in exasperation. “You’re going to have to tell him eventually” he pointedly whispered.

“Why should I? We’re safe, we’re a family, he doesn’t need to know. He could never understand it.” her aggressive whispered response slightly heightened in pitch.

They briefly stared at each other for a second, and Meredith’s features softened.

“He doesn’t need this in his life. I love him, I don’t want to make things complicated.”

Rupert was about to respond when nearby voices started to raise, distracting the pair.

“The only honest work I can do is on my back, why can’t I go into town?” Catherine Madison stomped her bare foot on the ground, kicking up mud and staining her already raggedy red skirt and white petticoat, adding to her dishevelled fashion of a loose fitting chemise with no corset.

Maggie Walsh watched Catherine’s outburst with crossed arms and a bored expression, responding only verbally.

“If I was remotely confident if your ability to actually make more money that way then I’d let you, but there’s more money to be made in a wash room than a whore house with a face like yours”

Catherine’s jaw dropped and she paused momentarily, seemingly in shock from the insult, before turning away and storming off yelling “You piss beaten old hag!” over her shoulder as she left.

Ethan walked up behind Maggie, clearly a witness to the scene, gripping his stomach and laughing hysterically.

“Pipe down, Mr Rayne” Maggie muttered, shaking her head and walking off, with Ethan holding his arms up in disbelief at her dismissal.

Towards the back of the camp, a collection of boxes were stored in the back of a wagon. Willy was struggling to lift the smallest box off the back, and yelled towards the tents “Hey, Hank! Help me unload the still parts, would ya?” Hank walked out of a nearby tent sluggishly while a baby squealed from behind him.

As Hank jogged towards the wagon, Ethan joined the pair, taking the box off of Willy who could barely hold it.

“How long will it take you to get a new moonshine set up then, Willy?” Ethan asked, while carrying the box over to the area reserved for the still.

Willy followed Ethan with nervous energy. “Not long, not long. Don’t you worry! You’ll have plenty soon enough.”

Hank followed with two large boxes and set them down at the same time as Ethan.

“Good, been ages since I had a good drink” Hank muttered, walking back towards the wagon to fetch another load.

Ethan brushed imaginary lint off of Willy’s shoulders. “If you make some good batches, we could probably make quite the profit around here. I’ll investigate” he smiled at Willy, leaving with a small punch on the arm, which Willy desperately tried not to wince at.

Throughout the exchanges, Watson stood in front of his tent, watching all the hustle and bustle, and slightly smiled to himself.

From inside his tent, Gwendelyn Post popped out and stood beside him, wrapping her arms loosely around his waist and resting her head on his chest, looking on with him.

“I think we can finally do it. Live as we choose. Be free.” he told her softly, feeling his heart warm with the sight of his family working together to set up their new and hopefully last camp.

Gwendelyn looked up at him briefly, and kissed him on the cheek. He smiled at her.

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

The streets were dark. Most of the lamps had burned down, and merely the sound of the wind and the occasional horse snort could be heard.

Angelus crouched on the rooftop, overlooking the back alley of the local bank.

A man was having a discussion with Wilkins.

“He didn’t have all the money but we took what he had on him, oh and these” the thug handed Wilkins a necklace and a broach with an Ankh symbol on both pieces, indented in the metal.

Wilkins held the jewellery in his hand and paused.

Without looking up at the thug, he coldly asked. “What did you do?”

“We roughed him and his son up, scared the shit outta him, oh and told him if he didn’t pay you back quick we’d run a train on his daughter” the thug grinned and chuckled as he retold the story.

Wilkins fingers gripped around the necklace, keeping it in his fist while he punched the thug hard in the face.

The man’s nose erupted in blood, and he staggered backwards from the impact.

“What the fuck?!” he yelled and clutched at his face in pain.

Wilkins took out a handkerchief and wiped the blood away from his fist and the jewellery while calmly addressing the man.

“I told you to pressure him, not to rob him, or threaten his family. You disobeyed me.”

The thug started to protest in anger but Wilkins just held up his hand.

“Enough. You are dismissed.” and walked away, leaving the thug bleeding and annoyed.

Angelus tailed Wilkins from above, waiting for a moment where Wilkins would walk into a deserted street, and discretely climbs down.

As Wilkins walked, Angelus called out to him from behind.

“Looks like you’re having trouble findin’ decent workers” the Irish lilt coloured his ominous statement.

Wilkins stopped, and turned toward the vampire.

Suspiciously, he asked “What do you mean by that, my good man?”

Angelus walked towards Wilkins nonchalantly, “I’ve been watching. Looks like you need more reliable men. I’m available in the evenings, for more... discrete work.”

Wilkins looked thoughtful.

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

Elizabeth stood, arms folded, staring daggers into Giles as he continued to look at the wanted poster with indifference. After a few moments, he looked up at Elizabeth’s expression and rolled his eyes.

“Come now, you can’t be surprised. I know I haven’t given you details on my past but you know enough to assume a certain level of criminal activity” he waved away the issue, trying not to get into a bigger discussion.

Elizabeth started pacing around his table in anger.

“I can’t believe this. I hunt down fugitives, with your encouragement, and this whole time you were one too?! I trusted you, and you're just another criminal?!”

Giles calmly lifted his cup to his lips, fixing his eyes on Elizabeth and muttered “You’re one to talk” before taking a sip.

Elizabeth stopped her movements and looked at him in hurt surprise. Her eyes softened as her past indiscretions coloured her vision.

“How dare you.” she whispered, before storming out the door.

Giles watched her leave and sighed, ashamed of his pettiness. He looked back at the table and noticed part of a newspaper article buried under other papers, mentioning four figures being seen near one of the recent attacks.

He stared at the paper while touching a ring attached to a chain around his neck, and softly spoke to himself.

“Maybe it’s finally time”.

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

The next morning, as the sun began to peak over the hills, Willow jumped out of bed in panic.
Covered in sweat, with her heart pounding, she tried to calm herself down and remember her dream to work out what had alarmed her so.

A quick scan of her short term memory revealed that instead of some monster attack, frog infestation or horse arm biting massacre, she instead had dreamed of Tara.

She felt heat radiate through her body from the hazy memory of her dream. Tara and herself back in the stable, with Tara pressing Willow against one of the wooden beams, kissing her with abandon and covering her body with desperate touches and caresses.

Willow sat on her bed trying to slow her heart beat and mentally berated herself for having such disturbing thoughts about her friend.
There was a sudden pounding on her door, and Willow briefly hoped it was Tara to fulfill her unconscious requests.

Opening the door did in fact reveal Tara, to Willow’s paired excitement and terror, but she looked troubled and meekly asked to be let in.

“Of course, come in, come in! My home is your home… well okay the cabin actually is inside your ranch and not technically mine because I’m renting it and even though that gives me certain access and rights within the property it doesn’t actually belong to me in any sense other than what your family affords me out of politeness but, in more of a welcoming gesture I mean… make yourself comfortable?” Willow awkwardly babbled in skittish nerves, trying to reign in her tumultuous feelings that seemed to quadruple in force around the beautiful woman in front of her.

Tara picked up on the nerves and energy but assumed Willow’s actions were based on fear from the previous evening and immediately felt guilty that Willow had somehow ended up involved in the family drama.

“I- I didn’t want to t-trouble you, and I won’t stay long, I just c-came to apologise for last n-night.” Tara stuttered through the sentence, filled with a lot of confusing feelings between her family revelations, the fear from the violence, and the close proximities she had experienced with the gorgeous redhead.

“Oh” Willow responded almost sadly, feeling silly for her babble and sad that Tara had said she wouldn’t be stopping by for long.
Tara mistook this for Willow being uncomfortable from the previous day.

“I j-just want you to know, that s-sort of s-stuff doesn’t h-happen very often. You s-should be safe here. B-but I’d understand if you w-wanted to l-l-leave..., though I h-hope you d-don't.” Tara struggled to get her words out even more, finding her emotions getting the best of her, desperately wanting Willow to stay on the ranch for her own selfish reasons but knowing that wasn’t fair.

Willow saw the slight anguish on Tara’s face at her own suggestion and walked towards the woman, resting her hands gently on Tara’s arms in comfort.

“It was definitely scary, but you were so brave. You protected me. I’m okay, and I have absolutely no intention of leaving.” Willow smiled at her, leaning slightly closer to the woman’s frame without being aware of her actions.

Tara looked at the closer proximity of the woman and felt her heart beat faster.

“I’m glad” Tara whispered in response, starting to lose herself in the green eyes in front of her.

Willow heard a voice in her brain scream “Kiss her” which caused her to take stock of their current close positions, and forced herself to step backwards slightly.

Wanting to diffuse the confusing tension of the moment, Willow grasped for a different topic.

“How is your family? Is your father okay?” Willow asked, holding her own hands to keep them to herself.

Tara, missing the contact, paused briefly to get her bearings before answering the question.

“Uh, Yes. He’s got a lot of b-bruising and some cuts but, he should h-heal up fine.”

Willow nodded, glad to know the damage was minimal.

“Did you find out what the attack was about?” Willow pushed for more information.

“Sort of... It’s daddy’s business, though. S-some money troubles, n-nothing for you to worry about.” Tara tried to give a vague description, not wanting to embarrass her father further to their tennant.

Willow sensed there was a lot more to it than that but ignored her more inquisitive nature to find out something else.

“And that Alex man? Is he staying? He seems nice.” Willow hoped her question would give any indication to their relationship.

“Yes...he’s staying. He’s an old f-family friend, h-he lives here occasionally.” Tara responded, finding herself stuck on Willow saying he seemed ‘nice’ and panicked that Willow was attracted to Alex.

The answer gave Willow absolutely nothing to confirm or deny any of her theories or concerns, and neither she or Tara spoke for a few seconds, an awkward tension standing between them.

Tara broke the silence and turned for the door, but turned back to ask Willow if she would like a riding lesson soon. Willow eagerly nodded in response, which Tara smiled at before leaving, closing the cabin door behind her.

Willow stood a while in the same spot after Tara left, feeling confused, worried, and aroused.

--------

As Tara left Willow’s cabin, she walked towards the pig pen to continue with her morning chores, needing to focus on something practical amongst the sea of problems that seemed to have encapsulated her family.

Unfortunately for her, she spotted a lone man on horseback gallop into the ranch and stop near her path.

The man jumped down, in pressed trousers and a paisley waistcoat, and walked towards her. She prayed there wouldn’t be even more violence, but the man gave her a genuine smile.

“You must be Tara. I doubt you remember me, but I'm your uncle Ricky”.


END OF CHAPTER 11

_________________
- I am a poster girl with no poster, I am 32 flavours and then some -


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (October 13th 2021)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:31 pm 
Offline
5. Willowhand
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 285
Topics: 8
Location: Pacific Northwest
The Sunnydale reunion!! Love seeing all these familiar names and their new (but apropos) roles!

I said this to you already, but I really like Willow's role as the observer, it fits the character you developed and is an interesting point of view for the larger story at hand

Can't wait for more!

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (October 13th 2021)
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2021 12:14 am 
Offline
6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 498
Surprising to myself I'm not worried for Tara now but pretty convinced that Richard came to return her mother's jewelry to her and will leave her in peace afterwards.
He seems to be no "ordinary villain" but a complex character. I gather from the glimpses into the past that he really cared for the members of his "gang /commune", even seeing them as his family here:
Quote:
“I think we can finally do it. Live as we choose. Be free.” he told her softly, feeling his heart warm with the sight of his family working together to set up their new and hopefully last camp.

He doesn't seem to have the same feelings towards his present henchmen.
I have no doubt that he is a very dangerous man and that Dylan still has every reason to fear him, but I believe that he won't try to hurt Tara or Donny who he remembers as babies / little kids to make their father suffer.

Quote:
As Wilkins walked, Angelus called out to him from behind.

“Looks like you’re having trouble findin’ decent workers” the Irish lilt coloured his ominous statement.

Wilkins stopped, and turned toward the vampire.

Suspiciously, he asked “What do you mean by that, my good man?”

Angelus walked towards Wilkins nonchalantly, “I’ve been watching. Looks like you need more reliable men. I’m available in the evenings, for more... discrete work.”

Wilkins looked thoughtful.

I'm wondering what Angelus is up to and if Wilkins is aware that vampires exist (and that Angelus is one of them).

Quote:
He stared at the paper while touching a ring attached to a chain around his neck, and softly spoke to himself.

“Maybe it’s finally time”.

Hmm, very mysterious. I have a hunch that Giles might approach Tara now because of the magical abilities she inherited from her mother (that might be more extensive than she herself is aware of).

Quote:
“Of course, come in, come in! My home is your home… well okay the cabin actually is inside your ranch and not technically mine because I’m renting it and even though that gives me certain access and rights within the property it doesn’t actually belong to me in any sense other than what your family affords me out of politeness but, in more of a welcoming gesture I mean… make yourself comfortable?” Willow awkwardly babbled in skittish nerves, trying to reign in her tumultuous feelings that seemed to quadruple in force around the beautiful woman in front of her.

:laugh Very cute babble from Willow.
Quote:
Willow saw the slight anguish on Tara’s face at her own suggestion and walked towards the woman, resting her hands gently on Tara’s arms in comfort.

“It was definitely scary, but you were so brave. You protected me. I’m okay, and I have absolutely no intention of leaving.” Willow smiled at her, leaning slightly closer to the woman’s frame without being aware of her actions.

Tara looked at the closer proximity of the woman and felt her heart beat faster.

“I’m glad” Tara whispered in response, starting to lose herself in the green eyes in front of her.

Willow heard a voice in her brain scream “Kiss her” which caused her to take stock of their current close positions, and forced herself to step backwards slightly.

Awww, what a shame that Willow didn't listen to that inner voice! :bigkiss

Quote:
“And that Alex man? Is he staying? He seems nice.” Willow hoped her question would give any indication to their relationship.

“Yes...he’s staying. He’s an old f-family friend, h-he lives here occasionally.” Tara responded, finding herself stuck on Willow saying he seemed ‘nice’ and panicked that Willow was attracted to Alex.

The answer gave Willow absolutely nothing to confirm or deny any of her theories or concerns, and neither she or Tara spoke for a few seconds, an awkward tension standing between them.

Tara broke the silence and turned for the door, but turned back to ask Willow if she would like a riding lesson soon. Willow eagerly nodded in response, which Tara smiled at before leaving, closing the cabin door behind her.

Willow stood a while in the same spot after Tara left, feeling confused, worried, and aroused.

Drat, now both girls are jealous because they fear that the other has feelings for Alex. I just hope that this misunderstanding will be cleared during the next riding lesson - and maybe they could admit their feelings regarding each other afterwards? Probably too soon for that and some smoochies afterwards, but I can dream, right?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sparks In Dust | UPDATED (October 13th 2021)
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 5:43 am 
Offline
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:22 pm
Posts: 4626
Topics: 46
Ooh, all of the little strings of connection are getting pulled tauter and tauter! I love this great ball of yarn, it's so well-paced and thought out!

I, of course, am eager for Willow and Tara to explore their connection more and to see how it comes about in this repressive time period and also if their 'ship' be it friend- or relation- is key in helping the whole storyline come together!

_________________
Amber Benson killed me once.

Check out my finished fics

Love, The SeriesTwo For Joy/21+Inevitable/Infinitely

Confidential EternalA Twisted DateDachsund Through The Snow


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 55 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron

W/T Love 24/7 since July 2000
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group