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

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 Post subject: Snapshots: A Love Story (Updated 10/1/15)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:46 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
Posts: 1120
Topics: 1
Location: Easton PA
Story Title: Snapshots- A Love Story

Overall Synopsis: A Series of Vignettes Featuring Willow and Tara from 1984 to 2037, or maybe beyond. Including Re-posts

Rating, this Chapter: PG

All non-original characters and settings are the property of Mutant Enemy Productions and its associates. No Compensation is being received for this story.

Chapter synopsis: Two little items showing how Willow and Tara were meant for each other from the beginning.

February 1984:

Rebecca Maclay coughed again and stubbed out the barely burned cigarette. She smiled at her distant cousin and childhood friend Thalia Maclay-Riordan and said, "Good thing I never developed the habit; I'd have a dickens of a time quitting."

Thalia kept hers going, "You always were one of the good ones, Bec, and not just about that. You had to hear a lot less stuff growing up than I did. Then again, you do have to hear more now, don't you?"

"I'm happy, Thalia, this is what I've always known I was meant to do with my life. I'll admit sometimes I envy you breaking away but I wouldn't trade Donny and Tara for anything, and things are good enough." The son and daughter she had just mentioned were playing in the living room with Thalia's daughter Maureen while their mothers got caught up in the kitchen.

Thalia looked at the children. She couldn't see Donny but Tara and Maureen were sitting backwards on a couple of dining room chairs, their legs stuck through the opening in the back, kicking up and down.
"What are you two doing?" she asked with a smile.

Tara turned to her and said "Widing a horsey wide!"


Turning back to Rebecca, Thalia said "Okay, I don't want to start any arguments, sorry," she held up her left hand and wiggled her fingers so that the fat diamond ring sparkled, " so to more pleasant things, I know you're dying to ask about this."

"Yes, give. I know how hard it's been for you two since Ben died and I need some happy news."

"Well, his name is Tim Cutter, he's a financial consultant and so good at it it's almost like magic. His hair is almost black, not quite, deep brown eyes, pale though, I gotta get him to a beach. Good in the kitchen too, loves movies, reading, snuggling, only a little bit younger, and he doesn't nag me about these," she gestured with the cigarette, 'well, not technically."

"'Not technically?"

"No, he's worse, he kids me about it," at which Rebecca laughed," so if I don't quit in the next couple years I'll go nuts from his jokes."

"How do he and Mo get along?"

"Like a real father and daughter; they're already conspiring to do stuff behind my back," another laugh followed from that, "and she's totally excited over knowing she'll have a couple little brothers or sisters in a few years," Thalia said as she finished her smoke. "No real chance of a family resemblance; Mo has her face entirely from her father's side. But he's made us both smile again."

"God, I am so happy for you."

Their conversation continued along these lines for few minutes as the children came in from the living room. Maureen towered over her younger cousins, her true red hair, almost blazing, and mixed Irish-Ashkenazi Jewish features were easy to see.

Rebecca looked at her daughter, then at her adult relative, and shook her head, "I'm still amazed, okay, I know our family faces come in only a few standard models, but even with that it's still surprising how much Tara looks like you as a child. She'll grow into a real beauty. Of course, I'm sure Maureen will, too."

About then the kitchen door opened and a slender sandy-haired man walked in. His face quickly twisted into a scowl. He looked straight ahead and said, "Rebecca, why do I smell cigarette smoke? And why is Thalia sitting in the kitchen I’m paying the mortgage on?"

Thalia immediately stood up and said, "I dropped by unexpectedly, Bo, just to share some good news with Rebecca, and she was kind enough to let me in. Come on, Maureen. Becca, it was great seeing you again." Rebecca just smiled nervously and gave a half-wave.

Donny sort of edged back towards the living room. Tara hugged Maureen and whispered, "Don't worry, Mo. Someday after I get bigger enough I'll have my own house and you and your mommy can come over and play anytime you want." The red-haired girl thanked the smaller child and smiled warmly at her.

Thalia and her daughter walked to the door, passing near Bo, also a very distant cousin of hers by a different chain of relatives. She leaned toward him and whispered, "Like I said, Bo, it was my idea to come here. Becca doesn't need to hear any of your nonsense over this, and more important, Donny and Tara don't need to overhear it."

He looked sternly at her and said, "I can handle my own family Mrs. Riordan, Good day to you."

"Yes, that's always been the problem, hasn't it?" she muttered as she and her daughter left.


Spring, 1999

Seniors Willow Rosenberg and Xander Harris were sitting on a bench outside the school before classes; it was a traditionally fine morning. Junior Jared Milik walked up to them and they turned and looked at him silently and with blank expressions, knowing he had something he felt he needed to tell them.

"Hi, guys, I figured I'd do a trial run with you since you're less likely to kill me than Buffy or Giles. Sorry I Steve Urkel-ed up that demon last night."

The two older teens looked at each other, and then Xander said, "I notice you didn't mention apologizing to Faith."

"Yee-eah, I figured with her and Mr. Price the safest thing would be to let them just forget about it instead of apologizing. They might not settle for a figurative killing"

"Well, I can forgive you, Jared, we've faced worse," said Willow, and Xander sort of nodded affirmatively.

"Thanks, it means more than you might believe. That Cutter was quite an interesting guy, wasn't he? Although you sort of seemed more interested in the picture of his late family, Willow."

"Yes, I can see why losing them to demons would make him want to hunt them. Forget that his stepdaughter looked like me, and their two little girls looking like Baby Buffy and Baby Harmony, his wife; I don't think I've ever seen a woman who looked more beautiful to me. Funny, I remember how I felt, but I can't really remember what she looked like."

Jared smiled a bit and said, "I do. What a face, I mean, those eyes, so full of secrets she'd never choose to tell, and those cheekbones, not to mention the lips."

Xander said, "From the way you were talking last night, you seemed more interested in her nose."

Jared bristled a bit, only mostly kidding, "Hey, anytime I see somebody with enough up front to fit in with my own relatives, I get a lift from it. Is he staying around any length of time?"

Willow said, "Well, like he said, he doesn't stick around anywhere too long, but we discussed some ways of laying whatever's rising on Kingman's Bluff. And I won't tell you what they are, Nosey, so just stay home tonight."


"Hey, like I said, there are some people I want to avoid for a couple days," and with a half-smile, Jared made his way to the school doorway.
_______________________________________________________
Author’s Note:
I promised myself something at the beginning – that I wouldn’t start posting this until I had a really large portion of the new material typed and ready to post, because like most of us here, I get bothered by long update breaks. But, I’ve gotten impatient, even though I’m even further from getting my own laptop now than before, and my typing time at work and library show no signs of increasing. I want to read what some of our newer readers have to say about some of my older material, and plus I just plain want to get going on this!
I’ve been thinking, since Cutter's wife looks like Tara, so if this were filmed (HA!) she'd be played by Amber, so I've, sad to say, joined a certain club with these stories.
A note about the original characters. Cutter is basically a classic, story-dominating Mary Sue and so I really haven't used him much in my fics. (Just in a little S-3 "bottle" story, "No One Knows What It's Like, Behind Wood Doors.") Jared is similar, a Self-Insertion character I invented to give my own viewpoint in some fics. He's not a true Mary Sue since he's no big, dominating hero, mostly just an observer-type with some bumbler and a tiny little bit of helper mixed in, and appears in quite a few of my stories.)
This chapter isn’t the only appearance little children will make in this omnibus, and I’ll be probably be incorporating more cutesy things I picked up from my daughter and my niece. (The “horsey wide” and “bigger enough” are from my niece.) Assuming I still remember them anymore; my daughter’s 21 and my niece is 43!

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Last edited by DaddyCatALSO on Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:28 am, edited 23 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (First Post 8/11/12)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:34 am 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
Posts: 1120
Topics: 1
Location: Easton PA
This *is* a prologue so it's not much of a muchness, really. That *wil* be coming, I promise.

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (First Post 8/11/12)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:52 am 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:12 am
Posts: 121
Location: England, UK.
Hiya.

I like the story so far even if I'm still confused with the whole story and where it will go.

I will stick around to see where it will go. After all I always love a new story.

I hope you don't take too long to update another chapter.


:kitty
Tay


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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (First Post 8/11/12)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:23 am 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:33 pm
Posts: 567
Location: Los Scandalous, CA
I'm confused.

Are the girls parents related?

Gonna read thru it again, then wait for the next updates for clarification.

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (First Post 8/11/12)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:24 am 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
Posts: 1120
Topics: 1
Location: Easton PA
Akk, sorry, no - I was just working on the "everybody has a double out there someplace" principle with Willow and Maureen; I kinda figured it would be cute. Combined with the whole idea that sometimes a child looks way more like one parent than another and giving Maureen's father a similar ethnic heritage to the real-life Aly.

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 8/15/12)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:39 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
Posts: 1120
Topics: 1
Location: Easton PA
Story Title: Snapshots- A Love Story

Overall Synopsis: A Series of Vignettes Featuring Willow and Tara from 1984 to 2037, or maybe beyond. Including Re-posts

Chapter Title: It’s In Her Kiss, That’s Where It Is


Rating, this Chapter: PG

All non-original characters and settings are the property of Mutant Enemy Productions and its associates. No Compensation is being received for this story.

Chapter synopsis: My version of their first kiss, hope it's believeable. This was the first thing I posted here at Pens and the second Willow-Tara centered vignete I wrote. Hope it holds up



Late Winter/Early Spring 2000



“So, if you really want to see if those sunstones work properly this early in the year, why don’t we just meet in the Old Quad by the flagpole tomorrow at 12:30PM and try them?” Willow Rosenberg asked as she was preparing to leave Tara Maclay’s dorm room. It was almost midnight and they had been practicing some magical rituals which work best in the evening hours. To unintentional musical accompaniment; Tara’s neighbor had an affection for dinosaur R&B and couldn’t seem to comprehend study conditions after 7 PM, and the strains of Dolores Troy’s “Just One Look” were quite audible through the wall.

“Sure, we c-could do that, I mean, if you w-want to, you know.”

“Of course I want to, I wouldn’t have suggested it if didn’t. Is something wrong?”

“W-well, I know you have your old friends from town, and a whole course load. I, I just don’t want you to feel ob-obligated to do magic with me.”

“Hey, I don’t, not even close. My friends see plenty of me, plus they have their own lives. Every minute I spend with you, I want to.”

“Okay, I don’t, don’t want to crowd you.”

“You aren’t, and that’s the bottom line.” She stopped for a few seconds, considering, then went on,” And, well, I don’t want to pretend I can read your mind, and if I’m wrong I apologize. But if you’re at least partly thinking what I think you’re thinking, I want you to know you’re not barking up the wrong tree.”

Tara had not expected Willow to say that, and all she could manage to say was “Uhh . . . .” Willow moved closer and took a hand in each of hers, like Anna and the King.

“Look, again, if I’m wrong, sorry in advance, and if I’m right, I have to admit that, as of now, I don’t know how far I’ll be able to go. But from where we stand, right here, if that’s what you want I’m definitely interested.”

Tara took a deep breath. Her eyes shone a bit brighter with just the little added moisture of unshed tears.


“Oh, Willow, you aren’t wrong! I just didn’t expect you just to come out and say that even though I’ve been imagining what it’d be like to hear it but I didn’t know how to ask and I didn’t want to scare you off because I’d rather have you as a friend than as nothing and . . . .”

“Hey, hey, hey!” Willow interrupted, “You don’t babble, you stutter, I babble, remember? I’m feeling confused enough as it is right now.”

Tara smiled and said, “Alright, sure, sure, so we’re cool right now?”
“Right now I want to try one more thing,” said Willow. She leaned forward and gave Tara a quick but warm kiss on the lips.

“Hey, I liked that,” Willow said after a split-second’s thought, “Of course, I’ve done as much before, with friends.”

“Same for me, on both counts.”

“Then how about this?” asked the redhead, leaning forward and kissing Tara again, a bit more demandingly. The ash-blonde woman responded in kind, just an affectionate tipping, tentatively at first then with more vigor.

Pulling back, a pair of sapphire eyes ringed with glacial gray met a pair of emerald ones flecked lightly with bits of hazel. They stayed this way for a few heartbeats, not knowing quite what they were reading in each other but liking it nonetheless. Then, neither too quickly nor too slowly, they let go of each other’s hands.

Willow spoke first, only a hint of nerves audible under the happiness, “That was great, it really gives me some energy to burn off during the walk back to my dorm.”

Tara responded, in a similar tone, “And it makes me feel happy and warm about settling down for the night.”

“So, okay, see you tomorrow?” said Willow, gathering her things.

“Yeah, in the Old Quad, I’ll be there. Good night.”

“’Night.”

The door closed and Tara stood staring at it for a few seconds, then she became conscious of the music. The speakers next door were pouring out “The Shoop-Shoop Song” by Betty Everett: “If you want to know, If he loves you so, It’s in his kiss, That’s where it is.” She walked over to her mirror.

As Willow walked down the hallway, she heard the same words, while asking herself silent questions.
“Right brain- Do you have any idea what you’re doing, Rosenberg?’
“Left brain- Not a clue, it’s just what I want to do, Rosenberg.”
“Right brain- Well, think it out!”
“Left brain- That’s your job.”
“Right brain- Okay then, I will.”
“Left brain- Fine, I’ll send you plenty of first-hand data to work with.”
Meanwhile, Tara was staring at her reflection.

“Alright, you’re at least started on getting what you’ve wanted since you first saw Willow. Goddess knows, you’ve wanted somebody special for so long now, Maclay.

“So why am I so scared? Guess Mom was right again when she warned me that my own feelings wouldn’t play fair with me.”

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 8/15/12)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:10 am 
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10. Troll Hammer

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Thanks to Kajun, Laragh, and Finey Mcfine for helping me with a posting problem I was too cyber-dense to cipher out myself.

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 8/15/12)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:33 am 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
Posts: 1120
Topics: 1
Location: Easton PA
Story Title: Snapshots- A Love Story

Overall Synopsis: A Series of Vignettes Featuring Willow and Tara from 1984 to 2037, or maybe beyond. Including Re-posts

All non-original characters and settings are the property of Mutant Enemy Productions and its associates. No Compensation is being received for this story.

Chapter Title; You Can Almost Hear the Evening Fall
Chapter Rating: Between R and NC-17

Summary;My version of a "first-time" story
Feedback; Hey, if I messed this up, let me know. Or if I didn't. All forms of cosntructive criticism are welcome

A word about euphemisms; We all have hang-ups and one of mine is "four-letter words;" I rarely say them and can't make myself write them, and I don't want to just re-use medical terms over and over. "Loveflower" is a word I made up for a fantasy novel I work on ocassionally. "Hera triangle" isn't my own term- I found it in a trashy old novel.
"Shake box" isn't a sexual euphemism; it's just another name for a "nervous Nellie" I learned from my ex-wife, who used it a lot. While Tara's Gen Y-rural California-WASP background is veyr different from my ex's Baby Boomer-North Philly-Irish and Italian, it just sounds right for her to use it, I think.

You Can Almost Hear the Evening Fall

The ash-blonde woman came back to her dorm room after her shower and dried and brushed her hair. Normally she left her robe on while doing that, but tonight she doffed it. No reason explicable in words, she just did; this wasn’t really a night for many words.

Tara never wore much make-up but she applied what she did use, then put on just the right amount of fragrance, made in small batches by a local manufacturer in a nearby town, all natural and heavy on patchouli. Walking to the closet, she hung up the yellow terry cloth robe and thought about what to wear instead.

“Not a nightgown, I know, the other robe,” she thought, reaching for one of aquamarine silk, patterned in blue and green teal. She considered putting on slippers or sandals, decided against it, then, for no logical reason, just on impulse, put on a sheer white nylon half-slip. Then Tara perched on the edge of the bed and said to herself, “Calm down, it’s not like this is a new experience for you. That is, lying to myself is nothing new.”

Tara sat and thought about the experiences she had had in her past, which had barely even qualified as relationships. But what she had with Willow was already more than just the first real “thing” of her romantic life. Tara sensed something in the slim redhead that was more than anyone she’d ever known could have even dreamed of giving her. And Willow had a need of her own greater than any of the others had had, a need for a partner who could give totally. Tara knew she could never be happy just receiving, she had to have someone who would allow her to give, and Willow seemed to offer her that.

(“Thump!”) “Ooo,” Tara actually jumped when a knock sounded at the door, then muttered, “I can’t believe I did that” as she made not unseemly haste for the door.

Willow was wearing a simple sleeveless ecru dress dotted with fuchsia, an ivory jacket, her good gold-tone sandals, and a nervous smile. “Well, here I am,” she half-joked, then they hugged loosely, exchanged pecks, and the redhead came inside.

The door closed and they felt free to hug tighter. Tara noticed something about Willow’s fragrance. Normally, during the course of an evening, the Jean Nate` Splash she wore reacted with her body chemistry and changed as time went by and as they touched each other in different ways. After a while, Wil’s scent would be different from what it had been at the beginning of the night, and Tara had learned to recognize the different stages.

Even though it was the barest beginning of this particular evening, Willow smelled more like the middle. Tara didn’t say anything, but she smiled inside.

Tara stepped back a few inches while Willow removed her jacket. The blonde girl opened the knot in the sash of her robe, letting the ends fall, and stage-whispered the first words that came to her mind, “Come on, baby, unwrap me.”


Willow stepped forward and reached out, then hesitated. She couldn’t put into plain words why, as they had seen and touched each other’s breasts before, but she froze just a little. Tara pulled on the robe a bit, baring part of her shoulders and saying, “Hey, see how easy it is?” while thinking to herself, ‘Why am I talking like a character in one of those stupid romances Cousin Beth reads?’

The red-haired woman took the invitation at last and in a split second Tara was standing before her in, to coin an oxymoron, all her half-naked beauty. Lightly, they touched each other. Whatever familiarity they had had with each other before, this was definitely different. Willow seemed to feel an energy flow out of Tara’s body into her arms and she grew bolder, caressing more vigorously and moving from fingertips to her whole hands.

She literally explored Tara, stroking neck and shoulders, lightly but firmly over the chest, pressing the stomach, lifting the round, ample breasts, kissing them again and again, then caressing down Tara’s sides and around her waist.

Willow heard, “Darling, I don’t need that on, either,” and she tried to answer, but her throat was tight with her tremendous desire, mixed with a little fear. As much as she wanted to do this, would she be able to go through with it?

She could barely choke out an “Okay” as her fingers pushed down on the filmy garment. It fell to the floor and Willow ran her hands over the smooth, round curve of Tara’s hips, lightly brushed the soft Hera triangle in front, then brought her hands back up, running the backs of them over and over Tara’s nipples.

“Hmmm, guess we know what you like,” Tara said with a grin, then opened her arms. She embraced Willow and their lips met, the classic picture of lovers together, one fully clothed, one completely nude.


The two had exchanged several passionate kisses before, but this was different also. Tara’s tongue literally probed every corner of Willow’s mouth, as if marking them. Wil could just stand there, stiff with amazement, and enjoy, while running her hands up and down Tara’s sleek back and over the rise of her buttocks.

Pulling back, Tara asked, “You feel up to kissing me that way?” and Willow did her best to do just that. Then Tara, in a very smooth move, surprising even to herself, pulled Willow’s dress over her head, unhooked her bra, took her by the arm, and led her to the bed.


Willow lay down on her back and tried to give Tara a seductive look, clumsily but of course it wasn’t needed. Tara unbuckled Willow’s sandals and tossed them to the floor, caressing each foot as she did so. Then the blonde climbed onto the bed on her knees and reached up, pulling the redhead’s panties down and off, then lay down herself. They kissed again, pressing their bare, beautiful bodies together, limbs entangled.

One here to one there, another here to another there, they touched each other, hands and arms, knees and legs, each making real to herself the other’s body. Not wanting to change position the two beauties kissed where they could reach, necks, shoulders, then lips again, round and round. Their nipples pressed together, breast tissue bulging and curving as it rotated from the motion of their torsos.

Tara felt something not cold, but definitely cool, gripping her spine. Once again, it was the definite feeling she had about this woman, that specialness of her. Except for her mother and very few others, the people Tara had grown up around had taught her that love was only given by people if you gave them what they demanded. On those terms, Willow was still a mystery to her; what would be the redhead’s demands? Tara was acutely aware not only of what she had to gain, but of what she had to lose.

Willow was worried in her own very different way. She was wanting to do this more and more the farther they went, wanting it more than she could easily recall wanting anything before. In part, she was simply afraid the reality would fall short of the fantasy. Mainly, she was afraid she’d lose her nerve, not be able to put a fair amount of effort into it, not be able to give back the way she knew she would be getting, or even truly to please Tara.

Tiring briefly from their energetic snuggling, they relaxed and lay a few inches apart, fluttering their fingers against each other’s vaginas. Her mind racing, Willow decided to suggest something.

“Uh, baby, do you think maybe I should go down on you first? I mean, since I’m the newbie here, that’ll commit me so that I don’t chicken out and I could probably concentrate more on pleasing you if I wasn’t all afterglowy and if it turns out that I just can’t do it then we’ll know right away and you won’t have to and that’s only fair becauff . . . .”


The country-raised girl silenced the suburbanite’s babblings with a long kiss. Coming up for air, Tara told her lover sweetly but very firmly, “Willow Danielle, you know very well you don’t really want to do any such thing. Now stop being such a shake box and just enjoy yourself; you’ll be fine. As for who goes first, I know it’s a cliché, what with me being a little more experienced, but I want to take care of you before you do me. What other involvements I’ve had, they’ve always gone first, and now it’s my turn.”

Willow, relieved but still nervous, flopped onto her back and said, “Go right ahead, Tara Jeanne.”

Tara ran her fingers down Willow’s firm, flat stomach and said, “Been waiting to hear that since I first laid eyes on you.”

So saying, the blonde moved to the foot of the bed and put her hands on the redhead’s thighs, slowly massaging them. Farther and farther up, Tara’s fingers found places in Willow’s leg muscles the latter had never even known were there. More and ever more electric-like impulses flashed up Willow’s nervous system as Tara reached more and more sensitive areas, until her fingers finally parted the loveflower which was her goal.

She left Willow in tension for endless seconds, meanwhile moving her arms under the legs for a better grip on her lover’s cement-hard rump. Then, gauging the moment perfectly Tara brought her lips onto and around Willow’s clitoris, tongue moving warmly against it. The paralyzed silence, which had gripped Willow for several moments, was broken as she gasped and her abdominal muscles lurched.

Tara went slowly, pulling back and caressing the inner wall, the tiny folds of the lips, then licking downward to the lowest part of Willow’s anus, Back up, first paying attention to that spot of sensitive skin between the two openings, then once more going to the places she’d been previously. Teasingly, Tara circled around and around the tiny jewel up top, then returning, the flat of her tongue going left and right, up and down, and with the tongue, the lips, too, the full kiss, again and again, another cycle and another. Willow’s hands clutched the bed linens almost convulsively.

Then Tara decided to take a chance, Using the full length of her tongue, she penetrated Willow deeply in the middle of her vagina and allowed the redhead to come back down a bit. Tara knew being let down a bit and brought back up could be an amazingly satisfying feeling, but it posed the risk of Willow’s completely losing the orgasm she was working up. The ash-blonde decided to herself, “I’ll only do it once. Hopefully I’ll have a lot more chances to see how long I can drive her crazy before my neck gives out.”

Willow’s muscles relaxed a little and her breathing slowed. She had had enough experience with oral sex to know exactly what Tara was doing, but she couldn’t keep from muttering, “Oh please, please don’t, don’t stop.”

After a few moments of this, Tara went back to her previous actions, hitting every love nerve Willow owned in the process. A step at a time, at first slowly then accelerating with her own momentum, the gorgeous redhead drew closer as she twisted on the sheet.

Suddenly a feeling like a thousand hot golden needles shot through Willow’s body and she gave voice to a strangled sob. Muscles contracting on their own, her back arched so fiercely every part between her head and mid-thighs lifted up off the bed, again and again as her palms pressed down against the mattress.

To Willow, her climax seemed to go on and on, all-of-forever-after compressed into only a few seconds, but still it seemed to end too soon. Shivering with the intensity of her afterneed, her arms reached up in front of herself, frantically, almost blindly, clutching at the air. Tara moved up and let Willow’s embrace surround her, pillowing her blonde head between the two small, perfect breasts. Willow hugged Tara tighter than she ever had as she floated in a soft warmth, aware of nothing but the feel of her own body and of her lover’s, her mind a mist which could not even hold half-thoughts, just sensations.

Pressed against Willow’s chest, Tara listened to the air rush in and out, the pounding heart, as the first slowed and the second quieted. As the redhead’s arms relaxed, Tara moved up higher and they kissed ravenously.

With the odd clarity which often occurs in moments like this, Willow noticed something. While she’d never had a particular problem kissing Oz right after he’d been down on her, it had never been her favorite time to kiss him either. But Tara’s mouth seemed somehow even sweeter now than it had before. “I guess it’s because I know I’m kissing a woman’s mouth and this is how it’s supposed to taste,” she reasoned.

The blonde pulled back to find Willow looking at her with wide eyes and a broad grin. “Now it’s your turn to lie back and relax,” whispered the latter, and Tara did. Willow ran her fingers up and down the other woman’s belly and said, “And let me blow your mind.”

Willow’s lips followed her left hand, pressing against the yielding flesh of Tara’s softly rounded stomach. Then Tara bent her right leg, Willow moved down, encircled it with her arm, and lovingly kissed the kneecap. Moving to the side, she smooched her way down the inner thigh, at times mashing her tongue into the muscles beneath. As she got further down, she slowed a bit, running her lips lightly up and down the crease at the top of the leg.

Willow hesitated. Well aroused now, Tara fought down the impulse to say, “Decide, decide,” remembering any number of things she herself had been slow to do in the past. Deep down, she had no doubts of Willow’s intent to follow through and she was happy enough to be patient.

It wasn’t fear or doubt, just Willow’s taking time to figure out her next move. The first thing she could think of was to flick her tongue gently but quickly up and down the lips of Tara’s vagina; she’d remembered enjoying this from Oz, who called it tickling pink. Tara’s gentle sigh indicated she didn’t exactly hate it herself, and she flexed her upper and lower legs together more tightly.

Willow realized that just having had this sort of thing done to her before didn’t make her an expert, but she did know that, once you make your mind up that you’re definitely going to do something, all that’s left is to do it. With that bit of self-reassurance, she buried her face in her lover’s softness, her mouth experiencing for the first time the deliciously clean non-taste of a woman’s freshly-washed body. Inexperienced, she plunged her tongue in deeply again and again, improvising as she went along. Tara, not accustomed to being an order-giver in any phase of her life, made only a few suggestions.

Not many were needed; if Tara’s pleasure was any indicator, Willow seemed a natural at this, keeping the tiny nerve-button between her upper lip and the flat of her tongue. Tara literally vibrated until Willow felt her hands were cupping an outboard motor rather than her lover’s soft glutes. Then suddenly Tara’s little vocalizations of pleasure became soft yells and her thighs closed tightly on Willow’s skull as she came.

Willow thought “I did it! I didn’t choke and she enjoyed it, wow!”

The ash-blonde woman’s reactions afterward were also very different. Muscles relaxed, she lay limp, the mattress holding her up in her glad feelings.

Willow let Tara relax, not clutching her lover, merely moving up and supporting her own weight partly on her arms, chest resting on Tara’s stomach. The redhead gently but enthusiastically attended to the other woman’s nipples, licking and kissing the right, the left, the right again, over and over, until each realized, by a kind of telepathy, that the other was sated.

Willow moved up further and Tara, putting her hands on the other girl’s cheeks, pulled her head down and they kissed. Tara gave Willow the full length of her tongue, finding every spot where her own taste lingered. After a few minutes of this, Willow relaxed and they snuggled, smiling, her head on Tara’s right shoulder, while the latter’s hand drifted down the former’s back and lovingly stroked her butt.

“Mmmm, you like that part of me?”

“I like every part of you. How you feeling?” Tara answered, her voice involuntarily catching just a bit.

“Just great! I never imagined anything could ever feel so good as just lying here with you, remembering what we just did, how we made each other feel. But it does, it just simply does.”

Willow looked up, a sweet grin on her face, and noticed her lover shedding tears, and not entirely happy ones either. Almost frightened, she blurted, “What’s wrong, honey?”

Tara wiped her eyes, drew a deep breath, and said, “Nothing’s wrong, that’s what. This feels so r-right. You know I’ve h-had chances at relationships bef-before this, and I always made myself think they were-were the one, but deep down I always knew they never were. But you’re different, and for once I know it, I’m not trying to pressure you here, but I really know it. And I can’t help it, it-it hurts, b-because I just can’t believe I’ve finally found you.”

“Oh, I believe it,” Willow responded firmly, “I’m good at being found; I mean, oh, hell! That doesn't make any sense!” She lay back down and stared at the ceiling, angry with herself for blithering again during one of her most important conversations ever.

Turning back to Tara, she said, “Okay, here’s what I think I’m trying to say. If I’m interpreting the principles wrong, tell me, but I think it has to do with getting back what you put out. I’m pretty sure you gave as much of yourself to anyone before me as they were interested in getting, just the way you’ve done with me. Well, you put your love out there, and it finally came back to you. And you can trust me on that, because one person I really know is me, and I wanna be different, I wanna be that one you’re looking for, if I can give you what you need.”

“Well, first, you made a few things too simple, but that’s not bad thinking for a relative newbie. And second, you’re doing it already, darling. I know I’ll be good with you. I can’t see myself without you anymore, and notice I’m not stuttering.”

“And I can’t see myself anyplace but next to you, baby,” and they kissed.

A bit tentatively, Willow asked, “Not to be too curious, is there anything you want to tell me about them?”


“A lot, only not right now. Is there anything I need to know about…. ?”

“Oh yeah, definitely, but, like you said, not right now. Hey, I’m just thinking, you’ve put your love out there before, and now you’ve got me. I have a lot to live up to.”

“Nobody’s keeping score; Willow, whatever’s coming back to me, it’s a process of the world, not some emotional package you’re expected to ‘deliver’ on. What I said before still goes, stop being a shake box.”

“But there’s definitely a symmetry here. You’ve been touched but never loved; I’ve been loved but never touched. And now, here we are.”

“That’s sweet, Willow, but I don’t want either of us throwing around words that are bigger than we are right now. In its own way, this is new for both of us.”

“So I guess we just have to wait and just see what happens.”

“That’s what I’ve been hoping you’d say all along. Let’s just live this, no pushing things, okay?”

“Your wish is my command, O Tara of the, err, Queens.”

“Oh, don’t get cute, just let me kiss you.

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 9/8/12)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:21 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
Posts: 1120
Topics: 1
Location: Easton PA
Story Title: Snapshots- A Love Story

Overall Synopsis: A Series of Vignettes Featuring Willow and Tara from 1984 to 2037, or maybe beyond. Including Re-posts

All non-original characters and settings are the property of Mutant Enemy Productions and its associates. No Compensation is being received for this story.

Chapter Title; Cross-Country Cousins


Chapter Rating: PG-13, or maybe more 11 :-).

Summary; Reprise of "Family" but adding a relative from a more openminded branch of the family to the mix. (Note: When I came up wiht "Glenwood," I decided he'd be from a more deeply rural group of Maclays. Once I decided that, I just went a little overboard.)

Feedback; Pretty please ? Hey, if I messed this up, let me know. Or if I didn't. All forms of constructive criticism are welcome





Glenwood Maclay

Sunnydale Motor Inn

October 22, 2000

Dear Josh,

I know an E-1 at Cherry Point is a busy guy, but we’re overdue for a letter from you.

That said, kid bro, I wanna fill you in on my little joyride down here. I had some time off at the marina and decided to drive down to San Diego and spend a few days with Debbie while her ship is in port. We’re still jawing about it but we’re probably going to get married as soon as she gets her next shore billet, she says she can save on a gown by wearing her dress whites. You know, as happy as Mom and Dad have been, I’m so glad they decided not to rear us expecting to marry cousins like so much of the family.

Anyway, I had a little more time off than I needed just for that so I decided to stop by here to see Tara at her fancy school. Sure I wanted to see her for her birthday, but I also knew Uncle Bo and Donny were heading down too, and bringing Beth along, so I figured she could use a little support. Unbeknownst to me she already had some.

As we’ve been suspicioning, Tara’s living openly here as both a lesbian and a Wiccan , and she’s the happiest I can ever recall seeing her. Her girlfriend and fellow witch Willow Rosenberg is cute as a shoe button, built like a prize whippet, and to hear Tara tell it the greatest computer whiz outside Silicon Valley and potentially a scary powerful spell-caster.

From keeping company with Willow, Tara’s found herself dropped right into a bunch of friends Willow already had. Her oldest friend is a fellow name of Xander Harris who works construction, a working guy like us, pretty near. His girlfriend Anya is a nice gal but she sometimes talks a bit peculiar.

Anya works in a store called the Magic Box where the gang hangs out a lot. It’s owned by Rupert Giles, a stuffy but friendly English feller who used to be their high school librarian. Willow told me the school blowed up real good one day and he had to go into your private sectors, so since he knew a lot about magic he bought the store. I got the feeling he’s sort of a wise old dad for all of ‘em, kinda like a headmaster in a really old English movie.

Willow’s best friend and college roommate is Buffy Summers, who’s pretty and big-city stylish enough to be a make-up model. That gal is short as a blink and skinny as a promise, but a great gymnast and faster and stronger than any black bear I ever did see. Turns out she’s some kind of super-hero or something who fights demons, which goes a far piece towards explaining what Tara did to the gang night before last.

Buffy’s sister Dawn is 14 but hangs out with the 20-year olds a lot. Their mom, Joyce, who I didn’t meet, is like a den mother to them all. I get the feeling Willow, Xander, and Anya, maybe not as much as Tara but enough so, were badly done by coming up.

Anyhows, I got to the Magic Box a couple minutes after the others. Tara was telling Uncle Bo she’d be pleased to have dinner with them all but I could tell she was more a’feared than anything.

After they left, Tara introduced me around and I told her I’d come down by myself and would be around a brace or two of days, and told her “I’d like to have lunch, catch up a mite, maybe you could show me the town.”

She said, “ I’d like that, Gled,” and even if she hadn’t used her baby name for me I could’ve told she was in earnest.

I had a bite myself then drove around for a while. Now I didn’t know where Tara’s dorm room was and I was pretty sure she’d be upset after dinner and figured she’d want to talk about it and thought maybe she’d be with her friends at the Magic Box. I drove past and noticed the lights were still on so I stopped figuring the latchstring was still out.

I walked in the door and Tara wasn’t there, but all hell had sure enough let out for noon inside.

I saw a big guy wearing what looked like a bad-dream idea of clown make-up trying his darndest to kill all her friends except Buffy, who I found out later was in the back room fighting two others. What made it so much worse was it seemed those rascals were invisible to all of them. But they weren’t to me so I took it in my head right off to help.

Now, I know you remember my Cruncher, that overhand right which helped me win a heap of those Police Athletic League boxing matches back home. Well sir, I ran up and dropped that on that cruel clown and if I do say so myself he felt it. So I followed it up with a bolo punch to his labanza, and gol’durn it if my left hand didn’t bounce off bruised.

I regarded him for a bit and declared, “Tough bastich, ain’t ya?” and by way of an answer the demon –I’d figured out what he was by then- struck me an open-hand blow to my chest that sure ‘nuff sent me flying across the room, just as Buffy came out the back room and joined in, without much more success. There was a fellow in a leather jacket coming in behind her.
.

I had commenced picking myself up when Tara came in the door, took the Lord’s Name in vain, and yelled “Buffy, behind you!” Then she did some kind of very quick spell that let everyone see the demon, and Buffy lit into him like a windmill in a tornado.

Boy howdy, I do vow I’ve never seen anybody fight like her. She got the best of that demon right quick and threw him towards the door.

Just then, Uncle Bo, Donny, and Beth came in and natural enough it surprised them. With the demon so big they couldn’t dodge and Bo ended up flat on his bunghole. Buffy jumped over and snapped the demon’s neck with her boot.

Anyways, Uncle Bo picked himself right up and started right in on Tara how she needed to go home with them that night, which really scared Willow.

That’s when Tara confessed she’d placed a curse on her friends so they wouldn’t see her demon side when it came out. That’s what made the clown demons invisible to them. She told them how sorry she was but Buffy and Mr. Giles were powerful het up because she could’ve gotten them all killed dead. Bo told all of them that the magic came from her demon heritage, that the family knew how to control it, and that was why she had to come with them.

Right then Willow had had enough and asked Tara flat out if she wanted to leave and Tara shook her head.

Leather-jacket decided to put in his two cents and offered to settle matters, meaning by that punching her in the nose. Soon’s I saw that I went for him but stopped when I saw him double over like he had a whacking headache. When he could talk again, he said Tara was all human, no demon in her.

(They told me later the guy’s name was Spike, he was a sure enough vampire, and some government agency had put a computer chip in his head that hurts him if he attacks any normal humans but doesn’t go off if the person has even a smidge of something else.)

Spike looked at Bo and told him how he liked his style, spinning a story to “keep the womenfolk in line.” From the looks on Bo’s and Donny’s faces, it looked like they had already ciphered that out. And you can bet your best pair of boots I was on the phone to Ma as soon’s I got back to the motel telling her that what we’d worried about for so long was a lie.

Now you’ve seen it your own self how Maclay men and respectable Maclay women get when fallen Maclay women talk back to them so Bo told Tara plain that she was coming back with them willing or not. I started to tell him, “Uncle Bo, you don’t want to mess with these folks,” but of course I got the usual “Shut up, Glenwood” back.

Well, Buffy stood in front of Tara and said they could come and take Tara, but they’d have to go through Buffy, and ‘course Dawn and Giles and Xander backed her up. So, when Tara said, “Dad, just go,” Bo, Donny, and Beth backed off, but not without a few parting statements, which drowned out my saying softly, “Alright, honey-cuz!”

They did hear me after the others left when I said, “Sorry, Tara, I gotta say this out loud or I’m gonna bust. What you did to your friends wasn’t the least little bit nice.”

Willow snapped her head around and glared at me – I do not <i>ever</i> want to get on her bad side, and I don’t mean because of the magic, either- then said, “She knows that, Glenwood, so I think you’d better go with your family.”

“In a minute, Miz Rosenberg,” I replied, and without even a by your leave I walked right on over to Tara and said, “Hey, sprite, what I just said doesn’t mean I don’t understand why you thought you had to do it, recall I saw it happen when you were comin’ up. But I can’t say how tickled it makes me to see you so happy and strong. Ma and Pa and Josh and me, we’ve been prayin’ for you right along.”

“Thanks, Gled, I’ve sometimes been so afraid I’d wake up and find it was all a dream, but I’m not anymore, and I really hope you’ll like Willow and the gang.”

“I already do, honey-cuz.”

Something in her face told me she’d thought of something. She turned to Willow and asked, “Will, would it be okay if Glenwood comes to the party tomorrow night?”

Everybody seemed pleased with that and they gave me directions to the club where it was.

Of course Tara’s family so I couldn’t resist a little parting shot. I was pretty much through the doorway when I turned around and asked Tara, “Do you recall that joke Donny told us once about the duck, the frog, the pair of earrings, and the two empty beer bottles?”

“Yes,” she said, very slowly.

“Well, I promise that, unless you make me very mad someday, I will never repeat it to any of your friends.”

I don’t know what she threw at me; the door was closed behind me before it got to where I’d been standing.

I got to this place called The Bronze a mite early and had made acquaintance with a very pretty blonde named Harmony. She mentioned she knew the gang but wasn’t friends with them. She barely looked eighteen and was pretty silly but something about her eyes seemed very, very old.

By my watch it was about time for the party so I wasn’t surprised to see Buffy walk up and say, “Glenwood.” Harmony sure seemed surprised though, she said “Buffy!” in a yelp, jumped half-way out of her chair, and spilled most of her drink.

Buffy leaned on Harmony’s chair, put her face into the natural blonde’s personal space, and said, “Harmony, maybe you already know this is Tara’s favorite cousin. You do know what Tara means to Willow, and you know Willow’s my best friend. That means you aren’t even going to think about asking him outside for a bite. Got it?”

“Got it,” Harmony answered, nervous as a jackrabbit. She got up, and I swear she said “It’s been nice talking to you, Glenwood, but I need to go find someone to eat,” and headed for the door.

Buffy said, “Glenwood, this town has a lot of dangerous things in it. Harmony can be one of them if you don’t know to watch out for her. We’re mostly set up if you want to come over,” and she led the way.

Well, the party proceeded and even though I saw it I still have trouble picturing how happy Tara was, that’s how different she looked. And I found out the gang were as good folks as I’d thought; I also met Buffy’s boyfriend Riley and some other friends the girls had made in college.

One surely strange thing did happen later. Willow and Tara were slow dancing when all of a sudden, and this is the God’s honest truth, they started levitating and soon their feet were about two feet off the ground. ‘Course, they’re witches after all, but the even stranger thing is nobody on the dance floor or anywhere else seemed to be paying attention. I couldn’t tell if this was somehow not surprising to them or if it was more that they didn’t care.

I asked Anya about it and she said, “If people in this town paid attention to everything they thought they saw, they’d never get anything done.” Like I said, she’s nice folks but something all-fired weird about her.

_________________

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 9/8/12)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:37 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 469
Location: North Carolina, USA
Great take on Family!!! I really enjoyed it.

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 9/8/12)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:40 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
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Thank you. (I once had plans on re-doing a number of episodes from the perspective of an add-on character witha different viewpoint but I never went far with it.)

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 9/8/12)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:43 pm 
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32. Kisses and Gay Love
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Location: Texas, Y'all
I really like the first kiss vignette. I've reread it quite a few times. Very believable and in character.

This latest is quite awesome. The tone is fun and it was funny in places. Well done.

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 9/8/12)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:21 am 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
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JustSkipIt: Thank you. In addition to being neither female nor gay, I've also had rather a limited number of romantic involvements, so I do a lot of guesswork on these.

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 9/8/12)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:51 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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I liked Glenwood. The Family vignette was awesome.

The Harmony and Anya bits were very funny.

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 9/8/12)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:30 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
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Grimm: Thank you. I can't intentionally write humor but it tends to be in there, regardless.

I've fallen into the trap I wanted to avoid. I have no access to a computer except for library (which, for personal reasons, safety and length of commute, is Saturdays only) and work, and I do post at severla sites. So, typing time is limited, and I do not have enough financial cusshion to afford evne a used laptop, even without Internet, just for word processing.

And I have several logn chapters coming up, an S-6 one, and folloiwng that (and soem brief S-7 stuff which is ready to go, but, well....) chapters from Willow's "luck-wish quest" to get Tara back. None of which are ready, and I'm not finding the time to type them up.

Anyone itnerested in my various "post-resurrection fics," several of them are ion the Completed Fics archive.

See you when I can!

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 9/8/12)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:28 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
Posts: 1120
Topics: 1
Location: Easton PA
Story Title: Snapshots- A Love Story

Overall Synopsis: A Series of Vignettes Featuring Willow and Tara from 1984 to 2037, or maybe beyond. Including Re-posts

All non-original characters and settings are the property of Mutant Enemy Productions and its associates. No Compensation is being received for this story.

Chapter Title; Excerpt from “The Admirer Chapter 10 ‘Table Talks’”

Chapter Rating: PG.

Summary; "The Admirer" is my working title for a memoir, covering all 7 seasons of the show plus some background stuff, written by a wannabe-Scoobie, Jared Millek, who's a year younger than the gang and tends to be grandiose and a bit, umm, clumsy. I actually came up with him when my first attempt at a Self-Insertion Character, "Cutter the Rogue Demon Hunter," turned out to be almost unusable. Jared appeared in the Prologue and, if things go as planned, will drop in on rare ocassions later on. This is about half of the S-6 chapter of that planned mega-fic which is entitled "Table Talks.")

Feedback; Pretty please ? Hey, if I messed this up, let me know. Or if I didn't. All forms of constructive criticism are welcome






From an account written in summer of 2003, by someone who remembers.



A few days after Xander and Anya’s non-wedding, I noticed Tara about 6 people ahead of me in the line at the dining hall, and my mind went back to the first long conversation I’d had with her.

I’d seen the gang at the Bronze just after the end of the college term (even though I was now a senior in high school, I still had some days to go) and joined them. As happens in any group, for a bit Tara and I were talking mainly to each other. As she’d mentioned earlier she was staying over for the summer, I took my usual course of action and offered to take her on my version of a tour of all of the town’s “sight.”

“Oh, uh th-thanks, really b-but I can’t, I-I ......”

Willow had heard all this so she intervened, took Tara’s hand, kissed the back of it, and said, “She’s spoken for, Jared.”

My lips moved for a couple seconds with no sound, but when I could talk I said, “Way to go, Wil.”

Willow took on a wry expression, looked at Buffy and Xander, and said, “I tell my two closest and, I thought, totally progressive friends about Tara and me, and they hem and haw and I’m still not completely sure how they feel. And who gives me an unconditional positive reaction? Ronald Reagan’s love child!”

Leaving the memories behind, I joined her at her table and we talked about, well, the things friends talk about.

Eventually we got around to, "And you haven't seen Anya either afterwards?"

"No, she's been completely out of sight since Xander walked out, and he's disappeared, too, Buffy told me. But I can see it; they both have a lot to think about."

"Yes, and being Scoobies, they figure the best way to work things through is alone."

"That's always been the group affliction, you're right, but did you really need to say that?" She looked at me, not in a stern way but completely matter-of-fact - she knows I respect that.

"No, I didn't. Yes, you're my friends but that doesn't give mea right to, well, I won't lie and I just can't help it, watching what you all sometimes do to each other hurts me."

"It's perfectly okay to hurt for us, friends do that. But you don't stop there."

"I hope you're not asking me to stop admiring the good things about you. And I don't expect Anya to come to me for consolation on the rebound, or Buffy to come to me ever. You know I'm not that unrealistic."

She gave me an almost-smile, "Sure, I do know that. But what you shouldn't do is, well, you cast your friends in roles. Like Willow and me, I know in your head you labeled us the Most Exactly Matched Couple Ever or something like that. And then when we broke up, just like you do when any of your friends step out of those roles, you started punishing <i>yourself</i> for, I don't know, mislabeling us or something, or maybe because the world again just wasn't as perfect as you wanted. but you shoul;dn't hurt yourself ebcause the world lets you down, that's going to happen. That's not why you're here, and that's not why we're here."

I exhaled a little, frustrated with myself. "Too true that. And I do work on that sort of thinking, well, sometimes."

"Also, Jared, as for the crushes, and all the other women know about them as well as I do, we know you know that nothing is ever likely to come of them, and that you're never going to 'expect' anything from any of us. I know we rarely mention those, we don't need to encourage you, but we do give you that much credit."

"Thanks, but I do want you to know, I don't put you all on a par, some stand out."

She smiled knowingly and said, "Buffy, right? Or, maybe Cordelia?"

"Well, Cordelia is amazing, as she well knows. As for Buffy, she's gorgeous, and a hero, and I adore her. Plus you know how I dig dominant women.

"But really, okay I know 'If-Only' is a fool's game, and maybe I shouldn’t say something like this at all, but if instead of who you are, you had come into the gang as Willow's new <i>gifted and straight</i> friend from the Wicca Group, I'd be trying a lot harder to impress you than I ever did Buffy, religious differences be damned." Even while speaking, I'm usually better at grammar and syntax than that, but this had been in me for two years and it felt good to give it some air, badly constructed or not.

Her face went a little blank for an instant and I immediately started to worry she was angry, but then her expression softened, which I'd hoped for, and she even smiled, which I had not expected. "Believe this or not, Jared, I actually consider that a compliment."

I must have shown relief, or something like it, because she continued, "Look, you know that if anyone understands shyness, I do. But just in the two years I've known you, you've come a long way. And someday, there will be a very smart woman, maybe a straight, Lutheran version of me, maybe not, who'll look <i>through</i> your spazziness instead of <i>at</i> it, and when that happens a bunch of other ladies will suddenly realize what they've missed out on.

"As for that Best Matched Couple notion, together or apart Willow and I will always love each other. We're keeping our distance, that's best for now, but Buffy's told me she's working on her issues, if it's right we'll work it out, and if not we'll both be okay. Get it?"

"Got it," I answered with a smile, and our conversation switched to those everyday things people discuss over lunch.

I saw her a few times after that, walking around campus, but that was the last real talk I ever had with that wonderful lady. It's been almost a year and a half now, but the feeling doesn't go away.

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 1/26/13)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:19 am 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
Posts: 1120
Topics: 1
Location: Easton PA
Story Title: Snapshots- A Love Story

Overall Synopsis: A Series of Vignettes Featuring Willow and Tara from 1984 to 2037, or maybe beyond. Including Re-posts

All non-original characters and settings are the property of Mutant Enemy Productions and its associates. No Compensation is being received for this story.

Chapter Title; Two Poems
Chapter Rating: PG.

Summary; These are both post-"Grave", pre-"Lessons." The first I wrote shortly after the orignal run of S-6 ended, as I was trying to focus my feelings on how this so-significant relationship had ended, in the form of Willow's thoughts on the plane to England. The second was in the fall - I was living in my car, working as a guard, and wrote it in the shack during downtime. Tara quite literally (it's a fanatsy show, right) speaking from beyond.

I Instead of You_


Had I been the one instead of you,
I know you wouldn't be where I am,
Your quiet mask, your tiny frauds,
Never hid that strength within.
I spoke plainly, i had the friends,
But the staunch, eternal heart,
Was always yours, my lost one.
Without your sweetness, where am I?
The gulf inside me holds,
Nothing; not even darkness is left.
And my need and rage sent me into that gray,
Now what have I become?
Something that has no place in,
Can never come to where you've gone.
Had I been the one instead of you.
You would have hurt,
You would have been strong,
You would have gone on, knowing,
I was in a better place, that my pain was done,
Your anger would have been human and true,
Not my embracing of the death which took you away.
You would have missed me and stayed true,
To yourself, and lived the rest of your life,
The course which I can no longer take,
I can never be what I would have been,
Had neither of us been taken.
And the last wish I have, not to be granted,
Would that I had been the one and not you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What I Want from You

"Be nobody's darling but mine," said the singer,
On a record my grandfather played.
Do you think that's what I want from you ?
I wonder, and it makes me afraid.
You were the power and I was the base,
In this love that we had in our time,
Our souls brought to each other the things,
To fill the gaps that we felt in our minds.
But like everyone else, we lived in a world,
Where life is often a storm,
And something found us, like it always can,
From your side, 'gainst my will, I was torn.
But I can't take the rest that now should be mine,
Your sadness is still just so great,
I know you need time, that you have to grieve,
But I worry how long you might wait.
Live for me, love for me, let yourself feel!
Touch someone that I've never known,
No truer way is there to keep it alive,
That love to each other we've shown.
Go places that we would have liked to have shared,
Please, darling, please tell me you know,
That after the love that the two of us lived,
Where you venture I always will go.
People will die, true love never does,
We've made one from two for all time,
No matter whoever 'tis touches your heart,
By your memories of me , they'll be mine.
Your crying is real, but life also goes on,
We've both always known that that's true,
For you to be happy, awake, and alive,
You know that's what I want from you !

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 1/26/13)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:51 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
Posts: 1120
Topics: 1
Location: Easton PA
Story Title: Snapshots- A Love Story

Overall Synopsis: A Series of Vignettes Featuring Willow and Tara from 1984 to 2037, or maybe beyond. Including Re-posts

All non-original characters and settings are the property of Mutant Enemy Productions and its associates. No Compensation is being received for this story.

Chapter Title; Excerpt from "Forests Made Of Stone"
Chapter Rating: PG.

Summary: S-7, included for completeness and, like the poems, for the picture of their thought processes.This is the (modified to fit my since updated fic-canon) "Willow section" of the tile fic, a sentimental piece (at the Guild) in which Hank, Ethan, Cordleia, Giles, and Willow remember.

5-November 22, 2002

The pretty red-haired woman carried a large pebble, which she placed at the base of the gravestone, then communed silently for a few mintues..

Looking down, she noticed asimple bundle of flowers; she had seen a similar bunch before, on one of her visits, but it had been too withered to see colors or details. This one was fresh, the spray around it lavendar, lilac, and jacaranda, tied with a metallic silver thread. The individual flowers were a yellow rose, a red carnation, an amaryllis, a white rose, a red rose, and she ran her fingers across them, reciting the symbolic meanings in her mind. "Friendship, admiration . . . unsurpassed beauty, purity of heart . . . passion. Looks like I may have some questions for someone." Her mind moved on.

Willow Rosenberg knelt in front of the gravestone, which said "Tara Jean Maclay, October 1980-May 2002. She Loved And Was Loved", contemplating her latest stone of remembrance, the ones she'd laid before, the flowers and the grass on which they lay. As always, questions flooded her mind, then gave way again to an inner silence as she sat, staring at her lover's name and listening to the wind

It seemed to her that she heard a whispering in the breeze, in the voice she would always remember.

"I love you, I always will, wherever we are, and I'll always be glad for every day you have, for every moment you live. I tried to be strong for you, to be who you needed, because you were who I needed, and you'll always be part of the light for me here. And wherever you go, I'll be there, whoever you love, I'll love them too. Whatever strength I gave you on earth, it's yours to keep, to use, to live with. Use it. Live for me. I know you can."

Willow continued to listen, but she heard only the light rustle of the wind. In a hushed voice, she said, "Tara, please don't be disappointed in me, but I don't know if I can." Without sound, tears rolled down her cheeks.

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 1/31/13)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:18 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:59 am
Posts: 160
Great, I search something to cheer me up after reading the last chapter of "The Apothecary" and now I sit in front of my computer crying like a baby! Thanks a lot!

But seriously, these pieces are so wonderfully written that I'm simply in awe! Especially the poems! You are really a true poet and I bow before your talent!

But now I have to go to dry my eyes...


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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 1/31/13)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:43 am 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
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Topics: 1
Location: Easton PA
Well, I hope the earleir chapters helped. And, while I don't necessarily want to upset anybody, I do thank you for the compliments. And I start to "fix the 'verse" in the next chapter, so be sure and come back :-).

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 1/31/13)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:22 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
Posts: 1120
Topics: 1
Location: Easton PA
Story Title: Snapshots- A Love Story

Overall Synopsis: A Series of Vignettes Featuring Willow and Tara from 1984 to 2037, or maybe beyond. Including Re-posts

All non-original characters and settings are the property of Mutant Enemy Productions and its associates. No Compensation is being received for this story.

Chapter Title;"Preparations," from "Willow's Quest."

Chapter Rating: PG.

Background note: First, I'm aplogizing in advance for the unresolved cliffhanger at the end. A proper body for this section of the larger story is just too big a project, so I'm setting the stage to show what happens, how Willow resolves the canon-based absence of Tara, then jumping to the end. ("Willow's Quest" is a most likely novel-length fic which I would still like to write but won't have the opportunity; this would probably have been the first real chapter, following a prologue in which She Who Is Not To Be Named gets all honest with Willow about their future and tells her she needs to look into the possibility of using a wish, since they know nothing else will work, to get Tara back. It would've involved all kinds of tasks and encounters with mythological beings and so on, but I really have other writing projects I should spend time on. But I have a scattered few chapters sketched out and will be including the most relevant ones here. And, so nobody knocks themselves out trying to place it, "tubaad-tubaar" is just a nonsense name for a group of magical artifacts that I cooked up back in my high school days.)

Early August 2005, somewhere in the Plains States.

It was 6:30 on a Wednesday morning, and Willow had finished her projects for the middle summer session and was not scheduled for anything in the final session.

She had already laid out sheets of drawing paper with the appropriate types of magic circles drawn on them, and at the center had placed a small statue of Bes, a few relevant charms and symbols, and a wallet sized snapshot of Tara and a piece of jewelry she'd worn, when the apartment phone rang, a newly familiar number showing on the Caller ID.

Answering, Willow said, "Good morning Ms. Marquez, how's Michigan?" in a much lighter tone of voice than how she was feeling.

"It's just fine, Ms. Rosenberg, and I'm calling to tell you that I'm hoping and even praying a little that things go well for you today. I think you deserve it."

"Thank you."

"And, hey, if it does work out, and if I'm ever in town, by myself or with somebody, if you and Tara would be interested in a threesome or a foursome, just let me know."

"You know Tara and I don't play golf," Willow deadpanned, or would have if anyone had been there to see her,, raising a happy chuckle from the younger woman.

"Well, I'd better let you get back to your setting up. I just wanted to wish you the best and one more time to say thank you, for everything."

"You're welcome, and thank you back."

Hanging up the phone, Willow turned to the active phase of her preparation. Fully clothed, she walked the pattern of the connected circles, once turning to the right then again widdershins, then four more times to the right, twice sky-clad and twice dressed but barefoot.

Stopping for a moment, she took stock of what she was going to take on. Quests included so many risks; that she herself wouldn't come back was only one, and not the most important to her. Those risks could easily spill out to hurt others; was earning divine-level intervention, and a wish with it, even for the sake of her being with Tara, truly justifiable. There were other ways to gain wishes - she had researched almost all of them when seeking to raise Buffy.

"And I rejected all of them. Wish magick is like will magick; it channels right through the caster, and true control is almost impossible. The risks on a quest are actually far less, more a danger to me but less chance of spillover hurting innocents, since I'lll be elsewhere.

"Of course, any reasonable person can ask if even the smaller risk is alright. But why fight it, I'm doing this, so I'd better stop complaining to myself. When it comes to me and Tara together, reason only goes so far. But if I win, i absolutely will not make the choice for her. If she won't return, I'll use the wish for whatever else I can."

So resolved, she clipped on another belt with two belt packs on it, on each side of her hips and worn a little behind, and lit candles placed in various spots near the pattern. She picked up small items she was taking as an initial offering for Bes, which she needed to present to him before she requested anything of him

Still barefoot, since she was going as a supplicant (although one pack held a folded up pair of Isotoners and the other a pair of gym socks rolled up, in case she needed either one on her quest,) she sat down at one end of the pattern and went into a meditative state.

She went through the required exercises which she had memorized and after a time found herself in a great hall, walls constructed in an Egyptian style but with little furniture and only one other person she could see, sitting on a high stool behind a pedestal with a broad top, almost a small table. There were openings in the walls, landscapes and seascapes and skies, which Willow knew opened on destinations in many different dimensions.

She approached, laid down her offerings, and bowed her head to the incredibly ugly-faced but smiling dwarf behind the pedestal; as a Jewish woman, curtsying, kneeling, or making a full incline to an ancient Egyptian deity would be hypocrisy, not reverence, and the god would know this as well as she.

He let her that way for a bit, then spoke, "Face me, Willow Rosenberg, and state your reasons for seeking this audience."

"Lord Bes," she replied, as courtesy demanded, "I am here to beseech you for a luck wish, to mend that which is absent in my life and world."

The god's face went solemn and he asked, "And if I choose to have you earn this boon by hazarding yourself and all you have on a quest through places of challenge and danger, are you willing to undertake one, knowing that other Powers, besides those you would normally encounter in the places where the quest takes you, may interfere?"

"I am."

"Very well. I know you are familiar with the tubaad-tubaaren and I require one which is being kept under guard in a fortress on a knoll in an isolated spot of the acid swamps in the hell of Caena, and you must retrieve it. It should be needless to say you cannot proceed directly there, the only path lies through a series of destinations in various dimensions. Each site will have both its challenges and show the way to the next. Have you any questions before I send you to the starting place?"

"No, my lord."


"Then on your way," Bes said, and without his even gesturing Willow found herself lifted from the floor, then hurtling towards one of the openings in the wall.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

It was not the entire cabal, but D'Hoffryn was entertaining a number of guests, most much stronger than he, who were involved with their great plan. He turned away from the view crystal which had allwoed them to observe these events, and nodded to them.

Typhussis, the Diseased Ram, cried out "It's begun! She will soon be ours!"

Tataka, princess of the Rakshasa, was more skeptical, but had no wish to argue with this or any other of her more impulsive companions. She merely turned coolly to Mephistopheles, and asked "Are you as confident, my dear?" He was after all, the Spirit That Ever Denies, and an expert on the winning of allies and pawns, even though he had been among the last to join their plans.

"Willow has it in her, no doubt, and I know we can present appetizing morsels which would bring her and her power right to us. But getting her to taste them, well, I for one look forward to designing ways to tempt her."

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 2/16/13)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:12 am 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
Posts: 1120
Topics: 1
Location: Easton PA
Story Title: Snapshots- A Love Story

Overall Synopsis: A Series of Vignettes Featuring Willow and Tara from 1984 to 2037, or maybe beyond. Including Re-posts

All non-original characters and settings are the property of Mutant Enemy Productions and its associates. No Compensation is being received for this story.

Chapter Synopsis: Bringing Tara into the quest.

Chapter Notes: This is still from the beginning of my imagined long fic "Willow's Quest," and again researching and writing the whole idea is just too big a project for me now. (Anyone who is familiar with a wide range of mythologies and folktales, and the motifs of heroic quests, who wants to take it on, PM me and we can discuss it :-D) After this, I will be jumping to some of the concluding chapters.
Also, in this chapter is a throwaway reference to one of my non-Pens fics. Based on the idea that people will mention past events of their lives, if it seems relevant to a discussion they're having (and, too often, even when it isn't,) there will be more of these conversational references in future chapters. If anyone is curious, again, PM me and I'll direct you to a website where they're posted or just send you a copy, depending on length and whether they <I>are</I> posted, many aren't.



From "Willow's Quest"

She looked like a beautiful, fully adult woman on a throne-like stool in a large room. Her clothes were more Achaean than Cretan, but showed elements of both cultures. Her name was Kythera, goddess of love and the sea in the long-forgotten pantheon she belonged to, and she was ruler of this dimension. She was looking at the entrance to the room as a younger-looking woman, dressed in a simpler version of the same style, came into the room and towards her, sandals tapping softly against the marble floor.


The newcomer assumed a stance of polite greeting to a superior and said, rather than asked, "You sent for me, My Lady?"


"Yes, Tara. are you aware that Willow has begun her quest to gain a wish from Bes?"


" I wasn't. This is about when I expected her begin, but the last few days there has been interference whenever I tried to check on her directly." Tara straightened a bit and the conversation went on with them facing each other directly.


"Not surprising. You know quite well by now that a quest for a luck-wish, especially by someone as powerful and also so flawed as Willow will attract the attention of many Powers, some Evil. Those latter will seek to either corrupt her or at least turn the outcome to what they prefer."


"Kythera, I have been taking that for granted."


The goddess almost smiled. "Now, the question I've avoided asking you before; if Willow succeeds and gains her wish, will you choose to return to earth, as she hopes?"


"Yes, My Lady. I mean no ingratitude, but I believe she needs me, and so do our other friends. And as I've said before, as beneficent as this dimension is, it's the wrong heaven for me. It was so hard for my Mom and I to find each other on this side, we really should be closer together, and I know Willow will not be coming here."


Now the Lady did smile, "Of course you know there were reasons, the work you've done with us as a benevolent spirit, not even especially the work you did with Cordelia last earth-summer, rallying the mortal and the departed to stop Eyekhonus's attack on earth's past. We will miss you, but you're right, there are heavens in which you'd fit better.



Which brings me to the greater reason why I called you here. Neither of us may attempt to help Willow on her quest, and I am also forbidden from following her progress directly, as are most of the Powers who have chosen to involve themselves, except if her quest takes her through their dimensions. But I and my allies will require eyes and ears tracking her. I wish to send you along as a spirit guide, transparent and distant but recognizable. Do you wish this?"


"Very much," said Tara, growing honestly excited.


"There are some caveats. One concerns your friend on earth, Anya Jenkins. Against her will but as a condition of her parole," Tara quirked an eyebrow at that," she will be serving in the same function for some of the Evil Powers, I have no idea which, will be seeking to hinder or turn Willow. Neither of you may communicate with Willow, by words, gestures, obvious face or body movements, nor may you speak to each other where Willow might hear you." Tara nodded her head.


"Also, Bes being who he is, has insisted that you and Anya be disguised as one another. Still agreeable?"


Tara's smile turned grim, "Yes, no such conditions would stop me from wanting to follow Willow in this. And both Cordelia, when she was still on this side, and I have been almost desperate to know what happened to Anya after she was hacked to death. I hope I get a chance to ask her."


Kythera did not tell what she knew of the situation, such things were for Tara to find out on her own. She did smile again, a bit sadly, and said again, "You will be missed here, but go with my blessings, on both you and Willow."


"Thank you, Lady. I won't be tiresome and repeat my reasons. The future is up to Willow, now."

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


Shortly after Tara was flying from Kythera's heaven into an interdimensional space, from which she would proceed to the first stop along Willow's path. She was heading towards the portal to that dimension when a familiar voice called out, Honey-girl!"


Tara turned, smiled, and said, "Oh, Mom! How did you get here?" They floated together and embraced.


"It wasn't hard, dear. All the Outer Realms, Upper, Lower, and Gray-Half, are feeling the turmoil, not just from Willow's quest but from other things, and traveling is easier for everyone right now. I just wanted to assure you, you've made the right choice, and I do hope Willow succeeds. It's not truly time for you to be at peace over here. Bless you and her both."


They parted, as they knew they must, not without tears. Tara continued to and through the portal.


She looked around and saw . . . herself, dressed in different clothes but the same face and body. She looked down at her body and saw the same clothes she'd worn before but her hands, feet, and figure were different. Calling out to her once and, she hoped, future friend, she cried out, "It's so wonderful to see you."


"Same here , bestie," her disguised twin called, "but we can't talk now, and pointing, said, "there she is." Tara looked down and saw Willow, doll-tiny with distance, crossing a little sandy desert."



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

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 3/22/14)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:54 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
Posts: 1120
Topics: 1
Location: Easton PA
Story Title: Snapshots- A Love Story

Overall Synopsis: A Series of Vignettes Featuring Willow and Tara from 1984 to 2037, or maybe beyond. Including Re-posts

All non-original characters and settings are the property of Mutant Enemy Productions and its associates. No Compensation is being received for this story.

Rating: Between G and PG.

Feedback: Pretty please? On this or anything earlier :-).

Chapter Synopsis: Willow matches wits with a powerful demon.

Note: Again I'm skipping something, in this case basically the entire quest, for reasons I've shared previously. Willow has retrieved what Bes sent her for, but she is not home free. The middle section, where Tara and Anya catch up with each other, is talky and a bit slower than I wanted. But the final section, well, when I wrote the draft I never realized how tense it would seem when I was typing it. Hope you like it.



From "Willow's Quest"



Willow was crossing between dimensions again, walking through the expected portal and tunnel, at last with the gem she had been sent for; despite the weight of it, secure in the tote she'd brought, she felt lighter. Soon she would give it to Bes. She began to rejoice then stopped, looking up at her spirit guides and thinking, "It ain't over til it's over."



She thought she recognized Bes's audience chamber ahead, but she was suddenly yanked aside by an invisible grab, and practically pushed through a different portal.



Willow emerged standing on a rock ledge, between two columns of the same rock. The ledge was broad and perfectly flat but had a few shards scattered on it, harsh against her suburban-middle-class-pampered bare feet, and it wound out and around each column, making its way around what seemed to be an absurdly high mountain peak. She heard a moaning as of mighty winds, but felt little breeze in her cul-de-sac.



She checked her trackers again, and there Tara and Anya still were, unaffected by the winds. Reluctant to face another trial when she was so close, the redhead leaned back against the peak and stared at the two guides. Something had been bothering her form the start, and she understood now. The body language she had grown familiar with by spending years around these women was wrong, like these were disguised beings, angels or demons wearing Tara and Anya costumes of a sort.



She looked closer, and realized the way they held and moved their bodies was not just wrong, but reversed, like these were truly the shades of Tara and Anya, but disguised as each other! It seemed an absurd game for whichever Powers had sent them to be playing, and she tried testing it by flashing the spirits a very recognizable grin, but as always they gave no sign they had seen.



"Rosenberg, you aren't going to finish anything just standing here. Start walking," she told herself. As she rounded the front column, the wind both pushed and tugged at her, and at her tote. Fearful ,she gripped it closer and considered the wind. Despite the near-unimaginable gale suggested by the sound alone, it did not feel all that bad. "This wind is obviously meant to torment any poor souls condemned here, and can't affect a solid person very much."



There was a sound of flapping wings, and she turned to see a fifteen-foot figure flying not far from her. It had the body of a man with huge raven wings sprouting from its back. The face was strongly bird-like and the demon's smile showed far too many teeth for the size of its mouth, but was oddly handsome despite those things. The teeth opened, and the voice that came out was incongruously like the sound of pigeons cooing. "Greetings, WIllow Rosenberg, and welcome to my not-so-little corner of the Abyss. I am Pazuzu."



Willow inclined her head slightly, in respectful but cautious acknowledgment of his power. She stole a glance at her guides, but they still showed no obvious reaction. The demon lord looked briefly at her parcel, then said, "Congratulations on finding the item you sought. Once you traverse my realm with its winds and cliffs, you will find yourself at the portal to Bes's reception area."



"I doubt that's all there is to it, Lord Pazuzu, as I do not trust you."



"A wise choice, young Willow, as you shouldn't." His grin became more sinister and, unbelievably, even wider. He flew off a bit farther and somewhat behind her., following as she and her observers continued the journey.



The path remained reasonably clear. It narrowed at points, and some of the broader parts had rockfalls which needed to be climbed. There were gaps, most small enough to step or jump over, a few requiring Willow to fly. The tug of the dimensional wind increasede when she did so, and she wisely decided to minimize such takeoffs.



Of coruse, she soemitmes saw a lost soul condemned to this plane, bweing blown by the winds or huddled in hollows along the cliff face ,adn some of those called out to her. She had learned the har dlesson in some of the other palnes she had passed through and so, cognizant of the impossibility of helping them, steeled herself to disregard any appeals and kept walking forward.



At one point , she looked and noticed a cloud bank had obscured her sight of Tara and Anya. "What's going on, Pazuzu?" she called.



The demon's voice was a laugh. "Come now, Willow, you can't expect I'd reveal all the rules of the game to you. I'm evil, remember."



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



Anya and Tara could still see and hear Willow, but recongized the cloud as one which would block her both from seeign and hearign them. Tara turned to her friend, and explained why she was here, as disconcerting as it was to explain this to "herself." Then she asked. "Would it be prying to ask where you've been since you died on earth? Neither Cordy nor I have been able to find you on this side."



Anya half-smiled and rpelied, "Tara, you were my best frined for years, and I've elarnewd to hear what you aren't saying when you aks me something. You guessed right, I was in a hell. but not as a spirit."



Tara, wearing Anya's face, blinked a bit but didn't say anything. Anya continued," D'Hoffryn just couldn't take a chance that I might escape to a heaven dimension and be beyond his normal reach. So, he snet a minion of his to magically heal my body, then drag me, alive, to a hell run by a friend of his. where I was tortured. But, apaprently I'd gained enough principles as a human to hold up under it and eventually they grew bored with me and decided to return me to earth.



"D"Hoffryn is part of the conspiracy of evil Powers who have been trying to derail this quest since Willow started, and they have bigger ambitions, of course. So, they couldn't resist playing a little game with Giles; if they won, I'd be returned in a dnagerous and tmepting environment, but if he won I'd go back to a safer palce. One of them had tmeporarily stolen the shades of Giles's old girlfirned Jenny, Kendra the Slayer, Joyce Summers, and Watcher Lydia, and were ntitled to hold, but not torture, thme for 100 yeras.



"They said if he palyed and won, they'd allow Giles to choose one to raise from death and send to where Giles had been before the game started, two to return to their proper heavens right away, and one to hold for only 19 years. He chose Lydia to stay in hell, and she thanked him for giving her this chance to research the Lower Realms, and for Jenny to return to earth.



"That wasn't exactly what they had wanted, so, while they kept their bargain and sent me to work in Vegas at the Hotel Calicut, they laid a restriction on me. If I allow Xander to find out I'm there, if Xander sees me except by an accident, he'll be killed. The owner of the hotel is a powerful demon in disguise, and trust me, he'll use a very narrow definiton of "accident." So, you have to promise me, not a word to Willow, Buffy or Dawn about me, and especially not to Xander. Giles, Jenny, and my friends the Fthantis have already promised, and please, I really need you to do so as well."



Tara looked at Anya as sympathetically as she could and said, "I do, with all my heart."

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



Cloud or no cloud, Willow had been continuing her journey, face turned resolutely ahead, until one of the lost souls called her by name.


She turned and saw a small man huddled in a cave, almost in arm's reach of her. He was dressed in a epasnat's smock straight out of the ancient Middle East, but his face was fmailair. "Jonathan?" she asked, in genuine shock.



The shade answered, "Yes, Willow. Not really a big surprise I ended up here, is it? I was always looking for some bgi thing to chnage my life, and I guess I got it." Willow cringed a bit; she was a mortal woman, and a living human mind isn't meant to hear the kind of despair Jonathan put into those everyday words.



"But Jonathan, even at your worst, you were never really that bad."



"Bad enough. And anyway, when Andrew and I came back to town, secretly, my motives were still selfish. I thought I could buy all your friendship by helping you against The First. I wasn't really sincere enough, so here I am, forever, I guess."



Even knowing she was on dangerous ground, Willow couldn't turn away; she had known this man since they were both three years old and felt compelled to say something. "Goddess, Jonathan, not knowing is one thing, but knowing for sure that someone I was once friends with is in hell like this, it's too much for me. I really wish I had some way to help you."



As soon as she said that, Jonathan began to glow, then took off like a rocket, passing right through the roof of the cave, up into the sky and out of sight.



Willow turned to Pazuzu and demanded, "What just happened?"



The demon prince asnwered, in a superfically friendly voice, " Isn't it obvious Willow? You wished you could help him, so I granted your wish and sent him back to earth. Wasn't gaining a wish your whole reason for taking on this quest?"



"No! I mean, yes!" she shouted. "I came on this quest to gain a specific wish, to regain the lost part of myself!"



Still grinning, Pazuzu said, "Well, if it's that important to you, I do have a window before his resurrection becomes permanent; you may recall, I once released him temp[roraily to help Xander keep Eyekhonus's demons away from Sir Philip Sidney. Change your mind in the next hour, and I can bring him back here. Just tell me to do so."



Willow was stunned, if not actually surprised, at what she was being asked to do. She turned toward her observers but the cloud was still there. "Are you telling me that either I give up the love of my life forever, or I have to make myself the judge who sentences someone I know to this horrible place? How can I do that?"



"All I said, Willow, was that I can bring Jonathan back if you say so during the next hour."



The witch struggled with herself for a momnet, but then realized something. "Wait a minute, Pazuzu, I never made a deal with you. I made one with Bes, to grant me a wish in return for this piece of jewelry, and i haven't deliuvered it to him yet. just because I used the word 'wish' doesn't mean a thing. Live with your own choices and let me proceed."



Pazuzu tossed back his handsome head and laughed heartily. "Brava, Willow! Except for the winds ahead of you, and you're almost at the portal, you've won. And thank you for the game; I've not had a battle of wits like this for a very long time."



Willow had read of Pazuzu's reputation as a game player, and a good loser if his opponet offered a real challenge, but she still wasn't convinced this was over. She asked, "So this was your last throw, you're saying."



"The only one for me, Willow. I am not a memebr of this cabal of poerful fools who sought to corrupt you, and had nothing to do with the previous challenges you faced. They simply hired me to provide a final hazard, and believe me, they had to pay me quite well just for me to risk giving up Jonathan's soul to tempt you. If we ever meet again, it's not likely to be fun, but let's enjoy your victory for now." The demon laughed again and Willow thought it prudent to join in.



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

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Help Wanetd 9/27/14)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:45 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer

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I'm stuck on this for a number of reasons. I know exactly where I want the next couple chapters to go, but typing time for me has contracted even more now.
Does anyone actually want to see a whole chapter of Willow sitting having a beer with Osiris while he tells her, "Yes, we actually wanted you to bring Tara back but don't ever try this again."? Or should she just hark back to it while standing in her apartment waiting for Tara?

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Help Wanetd 9/27/14)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:39 pm 
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8. Vixen
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Sure, i'd be up for that.

I mean, it's always interesting when we find out why things are the way they are.

Though i'd suggest running a spell checker through the story before you post it, you make the same kind of transposition typos that i do when i'm tired. Dyslexia is fun :gnome

R :flower


P.S: i enjoy beta-ing, so if you want a hand, just let me know.

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 2/19/15)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:23 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
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Location: Easton PA
Story Title: Snapshots- A Love Story

Overall Synopsis: A Series of Vignettes Featuring Willow and Tara from 1984 to 2037, or maybe beyond. Including Re-posts

All non-original characters and settings are the property of Mutant Enemy Productions and its associates. No Compensation is being received for this story.

Rating: Between G and PG.

Feedback: Pretty please? On this or anything earlier :-).

Chapter Synopsis: The immediate aftermath of Willow's journey, and return home.

Note: A bit of a cliffhanger, I suppose, but two of the 3 following sections are done, so no long waits for a while.

From "Willow's Quest"





Willow walked through a portal and found herself back in the inter-dimensional chamber, facing Bes still on his stool behind the podium. She missed a step when she realized Tara was standing a bit behind him on his left, dressed in a vaguely Classical Greek outfit. The urge to speak to her lover was enormous, but "I'll be damned if I'll play Orpheus after all this," Willow thought.

She walked to the podium, head unbowed, and handed Bes the bag with the amulet in it. Bes, looked in the bag and solemnly, said, "You have fulfilled Our conditions, Willow Rosenberg, and earned your wish, What shall it be?"

Willow looked the god in the eye and said, "I wish, only if she agrees, that Tara Maclay be returned to earth, at this time and to where I am living, and that all shall be as if she had never died."

Bes turned to Tara, who leaned towards him and they spoke inaudibly. When they stopped, he nodded and she was transported, too quickly to see, towards the portal leading to earth.



Willow realized she was trembling, too many thoughts to follow racing through her head. She didn't even realize at first that Bes was speaking to her when he said, "Willow, not only the evil powers take an interest in you," as a new portal on her right opened, "and One requires you speak with Him now." Bes's tone was not hostile, nor even neutral, almost friendly, but also recognizable as a command it would be unlucky to defy. She walked to the portal and found herself in . . a moderately sized study of some kind.



There was a table in front of her, with stools around and a large, elaborate chair behind it, and a man sitting in it, long blue-black hair, angular Mediterranean features, skin the black of river delta soil . . . .



Recognizing Osiris, the young witch fell into a terrified full incline. The god's voice spoke, carrying tis own echoes in the small room, "Arise, Willow Rosenberg. You've a fetching hindquarters but that is not the part of you with which I wish to speak. Come, join me, take a seat."


She did so, shaking a bit, and sat silently. A side door opened and a creature with the upper body and head of a beautiful woman affixed to a lioness's body brought in a tray with a pitcher and two goblets of electrum. She poured ach full of beer and palced goblets in front of the God and Willow, then retired. Osiris gestured to Willow to take drink, which she did, as did He.


"Do you like the brew, Willow?"


"Yes, very tasty. I assume it's peculiar to this dimension and not available on earth." She was trying to follow His lead in the conversation, mainly out of fear.


Osiris reached forward, handing her a very ordinary business card. "Yes, but there's a brewery which make s a close equivalent. My sister Nephthys is part owner. Mention me on your order and you'll get the 15% discount."


Willow looked at the card "Casey Moe Breweries, huh?" she tucked it in a vest pocket and said, "But. . . "


"A copy of the card will be in your pocket back on earth. Now, why do you think I want to talk to you?"


"Perhaps for blasting your messenger some years ago?" she said, deciding to go for boldness.




Osiris sort of chuckled and said, "No, Pnantes often carries my bad news to people and is used to such reactions. No, it's about your power. You have often worried us in the Lands of Light, with your great ability and your tendency to misuse it."


"Worrying the Gods, not a thing I want to be doing."


He grew stern for a bit, "No, you shouldn't. But your natural tendency is to do things we agree with. Tara has been much help to us in spirit form, but actual back on earth is where we want her now. And while getting her, I suppose you're aware you've foiled the plans of a cabal of Evil Powers? We liked that, especially since most of us were not free to act, a s Odin has already mentioned to you."


"I wasn't sure how much I'd accomplished but theta's good to hear."


"Keep in mind your tendency to go astray. it might help you to, at times, act as a booster battery for your spell-casting friends rather than cast yourself. And it might ground you to investigate your own traditions- Kabbalah Center, Reconstructionism, Jewish Science."


"Thank you, I'll keep those things in mind."


"Now to a related second point, the raising of your friends." Willow gulped softly. "We saw the need for both Buffy and Tara to be back on earth, but as mentioned, We also have roles to play, from which we can only deviate so far and no farther. And given that the same group of people are involved in those two and other raisings, the freedom to allow things is exhausted.


"Willow, given the life you've chosen, even if you go into semi-retirement soon, the time could very easily come when you may wish to bring back someone else."


He looked hard at her; she held up but quailed inside. "Do not. if you try, ever again in your life, to raise someone, it will fail. And there will be drastic consequences for you and those around you. I trust a plain statement is all that is needed."


Osiris saw that Willow understood and said, cheerfully "Come, finish your drink. Things are good for you all right now, as you will see over the next few days."


Willow drained the goblet, stood up, and Osiris waved his hand.


She looked and was back in her apartment. Without thinking, she checked her pocket and the card was there.


Glancing around the room, she saw changes. Some things that had been in plain sight were gone, and she knew where they all were. Other things were new. some were things she had had, associated with her time with Tara, which had been put away, thrown away, or sent to Mr. Maclay. others were things she had seen since and known they'd be perfect for her and Tara together, which she'd never gotten. She immediately wanted to look at the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, but held back. she knew Tara was close by.


She stood, staring at the door. Had anyone else been in the room with her, they might have said her face was shining with its own light. Waiting for a knock, she heard a scratching at the doorknob. "Make sense they'd have given her her own key, since she lives here, too. She lives here!"

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 2/27/15)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:14 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 2/27/15)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:17 am 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
Posts: 1120
Topics: 1
Location: Easton PA
Story Title: Snapshots- A Love Story

Overall Synopsis: A Series of Vignettes Featuring Willow and Tara from 1984 to 2037, or maybe beyond. Including Re-posts

All non-original characters and settings are the property of Mutant Enemy Productions and its associates. No Compensation is being received for this story.

Rating: Between G and PG.

Feedback: Pretty please? On this or anything earlier :-).

Chapter Synopsis: Tara's return and interior monologue.

Note: A bit of a cliffhanger, again, and short, and there is still a chapter before the reunion, but soon. (As to the graffiti, it's derived from a limerick challenge on a nother site. One poster put up 2 verses ,a nd we were in invited to complete it. I coined "lostita" in search of a rhyme on a Willow-themed one, and eh found the word "disturbing.")

From "Willow's Quest"

Tara passed through the portal to earth and made the first part of the trip without disorientation. Gradually, the clothes she had been wearing as Willow's observer faded into what she remembered as her best black dress, soleless crepe slippers on her feet, and a set of keys appeared in her left hand.. Then she experienced some dizziness as the transition continued, until suddenly she landed on an unfamiliar street, next to a sign post.


She grabbed the post for some seconds until the dizziness passed. Then she looked around, but nobody was staring at her, or running away, and thought," Okay, good news there, no one saw me appear out of nowhere."



Without actively trying to think about it, Tara knew in what direction to go and how far Willow's apartment - now theirs, with her signature on the lease, she knew - was, and she began walking . She could sense changes; this body was not of a woman 21 and a half, but of one almost 25, filled with the knowledge of a completed education and student teaching work, and other things that she would have known if she had lived those many months. And the longings, the feeling in her body that it had been that long since she had seen Willow, as if she had been longing for the redhead all that time. She trembled a bit.



"Did Bes leave some embalming fluid in me? No, if he had I'd feel sick, not like this. It's just being in a body again after so long without one, and adjusting to these two sets of memories. Yes, in a body walking down a street at 9:30 on a Saturday morning in a good black dress. I look like I'm coming back from a one night stand; it'd complete my humiliation to have guy walking near with his coat slung over his shoulder," and, suddenly alarmed, she looked around and breathed a sigh of relief, "Shut up, Maclay, Bes has a crazy enough sense of humor, no need to give him ideas."



Taking thought, she began the task she, and all her close friends, would need to do, of sorting throught both the real memories, and the false ones the world at large would have, of Rita, the twin sister who had been killed, of a grief-stricken Tara's transferring to another school to finish her degrees, a B.A. in art history, with a minor in classical civ, and a B.Ed. in art education. "Would've been nice if you were real, Rita, we coudl've really had the fun I'm remembering, and it's certainly a help now!"



Speaking sub-vocally to herself, Tara went on "What was that ad slogan my grandpa used to say so often? Oh, 'I'd walk a mile for a Camel." Wonder what he'd say about his grandaughter walking a mile for a redhead? Something like 'whore of Sodom,' which doesn't make sense even if you're reading the story of Lot.



"Sure, I want Willowhand and Willowtongue and Willowlips, but you need to hear some things. I know you know them, but I think you need to hear them from me to really understand.


"No, ma'am, Willow, if you think we're just going to fall into each others arms and settle right down to a nice helping of each other ala mode you've got another htink coming."



Tara stopped and said, a bit louder, "'Each other ala . . .' I don't talk like that, and it doens't even apply to girl-girl. I msut have come back a little different, hope it's not too much.



Walking on, she felt a catching sensation from both feet. She checked, and found both slippers, and the pantyhose under, had good-sized holes in them. "Not surprising that burial footwear don't hold up to concrete," she thought, pulling them off and depositing them in a nearby litter basket," I don't especially like walking outside in bare feet, but I certainly got enough practice at it growing up on the farm," she giggled a bit and muttered, "Who was that singer who wore fancy dresses and no shoes that Donny had such a crush on a few years back? Just call me Deana Carter for a few blocks."



She continued walking until she came up to an apartment complex and without conscious thought turned into it, passing between rows of white-sided, multi-pane windowed buildings. She stopped by one which had some very fresh-looking red-painted grafitti on it. She thought, "Hmm, 'lostita'? That's a very disturbing word, and how the heck does anybody in this town know about me? And, I guess that means I'm here."



Tara concentrated for a few seconds -sometimes, sometimes, it is appropriate to use magic for simple things - and the red paint sloughed off as red, black, and pale gray dust. Then she reached toward the knob and began to unlock the door.

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 2/27/15)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:20 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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I like this vignette series. The occasionally oddball original characters add a bit of fun and change up the pace every now and then.

Were any of those side characters from the early chapters the earthly versions of Bes or Pazuzu from the last few updates? Or is that reading into it too much?

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 Post subject: Re: Snapshots: A Love Story (Update 2/27/15)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:44 am 
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10. Troll Hammer

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Citanul they aren't but it's food for thought. Jared is just a MAry Sue, not so much me but me if I were my own son with an appropriately geeky mother, Cutter is a failed Mary Sue, Glenwood was my attempt at giving Tara at least one decent relative, etc. These stories take place in (and eventually, will be the main vehicle for, my own main ficverse,) so I use the various characters in it as needed.

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