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

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 Post subject: Like Magic
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:15 am 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

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Title: Like Magic
Rating: PG13/R for eventual language and sexiness, also alcohol consumption if anyone is bothered by that.
Summary: It's her final semester of university, and Tara Maclay could not be more thrilled at the idea of leaving her old life behind: no more hometown, no more witchy rumors, no more dangerous obsessions with knowing redheads. But when the girl Tara has wanted (and disliked) since day one makes her a very tempting offer, will Tara take the high road, or show Willow Rosenberg a little something like magic?

Chapter One

It felt somewhat disingenuous, unfair, unnecessary fuel for an unnecessary fire. Still, when Geology 102 rolled around at 3:15, Tara couldn’t help herself – she always looked. It was like a beacon, a devilish spotlight that blinded her even as it claimed more of her focus than she could afford. From her seat in the fourth raised row, Tara’s head sank further into the palm of her hand. Her eyes still managed to find a clear shot down to the first bank of auditorium-style seats, sixth from the right, twelfth from the left. A recent haircut left the spotlight smaller in size but no less infuriatingly difficult to ignore, and from here, the cropped, messy back shone like copper mixed with blood.

Willow Rosenberg tilted her head to the murmur of the blonde at her elbow, a short, light chuckle carrying easily over the quiet rumblings of the rest of the class. Tara closed her eyes. Why, why, why had she thought Rocks for Jocks would be a good way of snagging that last handful of credits? Of all the freshman courses in the world, this one was the most likely to attract other last-minute seniors. Like Buffy Summers, illustrious owner of the blond ponytail to Willow’s right. Like Willow herself, who by all accounts should have been a department head by now. Tara supposed that was the consequence of only caring about one thing and neglecting every other trivial detail, such as “graduation requirements.” Rosenberg may have been the darling of the Comp Sci hall, but Tara shouldn’t have been shocked to find her here.

That being said, it was only two weeks into the semester and already Tara found the mere thought of Geo 102 exhausting. An entire two hours of trying to look anywhere but down at that shining coppery head, an entire two hours of kicking herself for once again being unable to seat herself safely. It was like a goddamn drug.

When class finally ended, Professor Baynard having closed with a rousing lecture on seismology, Tara debated just hunching further into her chair and waiting it out. By the time she realized her mistake, it was too late.

“Maclay,” Willow said, standing on the level just below Tara with her hands in the pockets of her tight dark jeans. Her mop of hair fell over her forehead in a perfectly messy way, her greenish hazel eyes coolly amused. “Waiting for something?”

Tara met the other woman’s gaze with some reluctance. How was it that Willow, short and slim enough that Tara was pretty sure she could throw her down the stairs without breaking a sweat, and standing on a lower level, could manage to look so imposing?

“Nope, I’m good,” Tara said. She didn’t quite have Willow’s brightly threatening tone down, but at least her voice was steady. “Do you need help?” she added, going for condescending.

The redhead smiled, a twisty little thing that made Tara’s stomach lurch in a not-entirely-unpleasant way.

“Sure do,” she replied. She jerked her head towards Buffy, who stood by the door like some kind of miniskirted sentinel. “We were wondering what you charge.”

Tara blinked. Willow was still smirking.

“Excuse me?”

“You know,” Willow went on. “Your little act. Your magic thing. Reading fortunes, telling futures, all that.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Tara said, her mind a blur of surprise and irritation. She got to her feet, folding her laptop under one arm. “Thanks, but no thanks.”

She made to jog down the low steps leading to the lecture hall floor, but Willow grabbed her arm. The hair at Tara’s nape shivered on end at the touch, a thrill that added extra bite to her tone as she spun around and yanked her arm away.

“I’m not interested,” Tara snapped. She could still feel those thin fingers on her forearm, their grip quick and surprisingly strong.

“You haven’t even heard me out yet!” Willow sounded distressed, but it was faked; her eyes, greener in this light, glinted with that same wicked humor.

“I don’t need to. I’m not some kind of sideshow.”

“Willow,” Buffy called from the door. “Come on! If she won’t do it, she won’t do it.”

Tara glanced at the blond, then back at Rosenberg. Suspicion gave her curiosity, something she definitely didn’t need. Still…

“What is she talking about?”

The redhead cocked her head, sending a lock of bright hair spiking down to her nose. It was, to Tara’s great disgust, very cute.

“Buffy’s getting engaged,” Willow explained, making what looked like an attempt at sincerity. “I’m throwing her a party. We want you to read tarot, play it up, that kind of thing. A paying gig.”

Unsure if that addition was a potshot at her financial straits, Tara narrowed her eyes.

“You want me to play fortune teller at her engagement party?”

“Faith wanted something else,” Willow admitted, “but I wanted you.”

But I wanted you. A tendril of something hot and sharp curled its way around Tara’s belly. She quashed it.

“Why?” she asked, years of practice keeping her face blank and bland. The redhead shrugged.

“We’re out soon,” she said. “I want to stay local, like a last hurrah.” There was that half-smile again, one corner of her mouth tilting up at an angle that really should not have been as attractive as it was. “And besides. We’ve spent four years calling you a witch. Might as well give you the chance to prove it.”

***


Tara flopped back on her bed, an Oreo minipack on her stomach. Otter-like, she dropped a cookie into her mouth and rubbed her forehead with her free hand.

She was conflicted. Actually, it was a little disappointing how conflicted; Tara had thought that she was too old for this kind of bullshit. At 22, she'd had about a decade of practice ignoring comments about her questionable status as "the witch." Rumors had only started here because of the charming Cordelia Chase, the only other alum of Tara's high school to venture towards college. She suspected they'd chosen the school for the same reason - money, and its generous scholarship towards local students - but Cordy had quickly and deftly risen above whatever social status that implied and insinuated herself into a more popular crowd. Naturally, that process had managed to include setting herself apart from fellow townie Tara Maclay by virtue of just enough sly, offhanded comments to make sure that half their graduating class thought she was a hippie-dippy Wiccan, and the other half thought she practiced Satanism and had at one point sacrificed a chihuahua.

Tara hadn't actually cared all that much about the rumors; they were nothing new, and now that she was older, she understood that Cordy didn't even have anything particularly malicious by way of intent. She was just a nervous girl taking the easiest route to social ingratiation, and who was Tara to judge, really? It wasn't like she didn't have her own group of friends to gossip with, though their rumors tended a bit more towards the contemptuous. The fact that anyone that knew who Tara was had heard that she might be a witch wasn't a bad thing, since it acted as a fairly effective litmus test... but this was the first time someone had actually sought her out because of it, in four long years. And for it to be Willow Rosenberg, of all people.

"You know what you should do here," she said aloud. In the corner, her guinea pig burbled happily. Tara squinted at Natalya, the pet she'd been suckered into buying with her first college girlfriend. "Don't judge me," she ordered, but the thing just sat on top of its plastic castle and chewed on nothing. If Tara didn't know better, she would have sworn Natalya was laughing at her. Not for the first time, she wished Erika had taken the damn fuzzball with her when she transferred to New York. It had been almost two years since they'd both been abandoned, and Tara still considered herself on eggshell terms with the animal; she could have sold her or given her away, but... Well.

Tara got up and reached for the bag of raisins by her bed. Natalya heard the crinkling and started squeaking in impatient excitement, snatching the gift out of Tara's fingers and retreating inside the castle.

"Smug little thing," Tara murmured, but fondly. Erika had said that Tara needed the company more than she would. At the time, Tara had taken that as a dig. Now, long after the sting of the breakup was gone, she could admit (if only to herself, in the privacy of her own head) that she was grateful.

She sat back on the bed, slumping onto her side to watch the guinea pig through the door of her little translucent house.

"What do you think?" she asked. "Is this some kind of Let's Scare Jessica To Death thing? Are they going to dump pig blood on me?" She paused. "Real pig, don't worry." Natalya finished the raisin and returned to her lookout perch. Tara sighed. "On the other hand, it's an engagement party. So they'll be drinking. Probably a lot." She rolled onto her back, remembering the Oreos and popping another one into her mouth. "So," Tara continued through the cookie, "if I wanted to be really devious and self-destructive, this could by my only shot."

Natalya chirped, hopping off the castle and trundling over to her water bottle. It rattled against the cage.

"But that's a bad idea, right? That's very immature. And I don't even care that much."

Rattle, rattle.

"Okay. You're right. It's a once in a lifetime chance. But isn't it really sleazy of me to do this just in the hopes of getting Willow wasted?" Tara considered this. "Definitely sleazy. So, but, listen - I'm not going to do anything! Just do the tarot thing, read some palms, make some pronouncements; college girls love that shit. Even smart ones, which I guess these are, but that's why booze exists. It'd just be fun to see her off her game." Tara glanced over. Natalya was facing the opposite direction. "Come on, don't be like that. We both know there's no way in hell she'd actually go for - " Tara stopped herself. "I'm not going to try anything," she said again. "They're like a pack of wild wolves, anyway, they'd kill me if I..."

Red hair is shoved out of the face with one of Tara's hands; the other slides down the smooth, narrow waist as she pulls Willow close.

"What are you doing?" Willow breathes, shock and arousal turning that light, cruel voice heavy and slow.

"What I've wanted to do for four years," Tara whispers back, her lips brushing Willow's, and then the gap closes and she pushes Willow back into the wall and slides a knee between her thighs -


Tara bit her lip and forced herself to focus. Not cool, brain. The images retreated, but not for long. She'd have at least one Willow-dream tonight, she was almost certain.

"Maybe," Tara said then, not even pretending to address the guinea pig, "I just need to get it out of my system. See her drunk and sloppy and obnoxious, with the rest of her minions." No one, not even Willow, could be cool and collected all the time, and nothing was less attractive than a loud drunk. An idea struck, and Tara smiled despite herself.

And maybe Willow just needs to see a little magic.

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:04 pm 
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9. Gay Now
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Holy cow! How hasn't this gotten any feedback yet?! This is great! :D

I'm really liking this so far. Having Tara and Willow not particularly liking one another at the start is an interesting approach ,since we all know they'll eventually end up together and be happy. But it's the journey there that's the interesting part. I can definitely relate to Tara having to deal with rumors of being accused of being a Satanist, since I'm Wiccan and some people at my school have gotten it into their heads that I'm a devil worshiper. Sad, but true part of life, so my heart definitely goes out to Tara here.

That mental image towards the end. Tara, such naughty thoughts :blush

I really hope you post more of this, cause I'm really interested to read more :)

Colton :flower

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Last edited by Pavlov'sBell on Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:23 am 
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5. Willowhand
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Oh. I like this. I like this a lot.

A new take on our favorite characters, and from this first chapter you've definitely got a refreshing tone and voice down that feels very realistic. I look forward to see where you take this.

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:28 am 
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13. Big Knowledge Woman
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Very interesting start. Poor Tara, trying and failing not to torture herself by watching Willow. I really like your ability to describe all the little details. I can't wait to see how you manage to turn this all around.

Hope to read more soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:26 pm 
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Definitely an intriguing beginning. Question : does Tara actually perform readings but she's just reluctant to work with this bunch, or is that just Willow and company's projecting their idea of what a witch is onto Tara. (Anxious to find out if Buffy is engaged to Faith or if F&W are just party co-planners.)

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:30 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

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Just a quick thanks for the feedback, and a promise that chapter 2 will be posted tomorrow afternoon! Because I have great timing, I went on an internet-less vacation the day after posting chapter 1, but I'm excited to get back on track. : )

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:51 pm 
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Very interesting beginning....I have a feeling this story is going to be very much up my alley. :applause

Great start, and I am looking forward to the next chapter!

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:58 am 
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Chapter Two
Chapter song: Recover - CHVRCHES

“Heard anything?”

Willow turned, meeting a bright brown gaze with a wry smile.

“Only a matter of time,” she said, patting the phone-shaped lump in her pocket. Faith LeHane, resplendently grungy in plaid and fishnets, dropped down onto the stone wall beside her.

“You know this is going to go terribly awry, don’t you?” Faith asked. She lit a cigarette, and Willow wrinkled her nose.

“Your lungs are going to go terribly awry if you keep that up.”

“Beauty has a price,” Faith said, and gifted Willow with a lazy grin. The redhead admitted, not for the first time, that Faith did have beauty. In spades. Even the smoke drifting up to brush her cheek served to highlight that stupid air of confidence and mystery. Luckily, those looks were paired with a hard wit that bordered on abrasive, and Willow had no desire to file down the edges. Besides, someone else already had that job.

“Yeah, well, good luck with that.” Willow braced herself on her hands, gazing up at the blue sky. For late spring, it felt a lot like June. “And your doubts are not appreciated.”

“I’m sure.” Faith matched Willow’s pose. “But someone has to say it. What if she waits until we’re drunk and sets everyone on fire?”

“A valid concern.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully prepared to take a bitch down,” Faith added on a laugh, but then paused. “I don’t know,” she said after another drag. “I just… I want this party to go well, you know?”

“Dude. It will. It’ll be off the charts.”

“I know you talked B into this woo-woo magic stuff, but - I mean, screw dangerous, what if it’s boring? What if blondie just reads a bunch of cards and tells us we’re all going to meet handsome men and die old and fat?”

Willow laughed out loud, and Faith gave in and chuckled with her.

“At least then we’d know for sure it was bullshit,” Willow said. “But come on. This is my last chance.”

“Aside from, like, all the chances in the world. If you just asked.”

“Okay,” Willow amended. “It’s my last sneaky chance.”

“Your last immoral, unwise opportunity.”

“My final shot at trickery and manipulation.”

“Or you could just say, ‘Hey, Tara, I know I’ve been kind of a dick to you for a few years, but -’” Faith stopped and grinned. “Yeah, no, that does sound bad, huh?”

“Go away,” Willow said. “Someone must want your attention more than I do.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Pretty sure. Don’t you have that fiancee somewhere?”

“She’s busy.”

“With what, the copious amounts of drugs she has to take every day in order to put up with you?”

“Fine, fine.” Faith swung her legs down off the wall and dropped lightly to her feet, her years as a dancer showing through the layers of rebellious imagery. “Try to be a good friend, they said. Talk idiots out of more idiocy. It’ll be fun.”

“But all you get is scorn.” Willow shook her head, mournful.

“Scorn and hateful slander,” Faith agreed.

“Tragic.”

“I’ll leave you to your plotting.” The brunette strolled off in the direction of her off-campus apartment, leaving Willow to stretch out on the wall and cushion her head with one slim forearm.

She was pretty sure Faith was right, for once the voice of actual reason. But Willow had spent each of the twenty-two years she’d been alive finding the loopholes and the fun ways around otherwise boring or obnoxious problems, and this would be the jewel in her questionable crown.

She was going to seduce Tara Maclay, finally, and that was that.

***


There was someone leaning against the door when Willow approached her own apartment with a sixpack in one hand and a bag of Chipotle in the other. With a tingle of surprise and equal parts alarm and delight, she realized it was Tara. The blond, taller than Willow by some inches, looked up from her book as Willow drew nearer.

“I don’t have your number,” Tara explained. Her voice was flat, but something glinted in her eyes that set Willow’s nerves jittering. She hid this unexpected reaction, along with the jolt of embarrassment - of course she didn’t have the number! - and lifted the sixpack.

“Want a beer?”

Tara glanced at the offering, then back to Willow’s face, her expression somewhere odd in the realm of confusion.

“No,” she said bluntly, and then quickly added, “Thanks. I just wanted to tell you I’ll do it. The party.”

“Great.” They stood in silence for a moment, staring at each other. Willow cleared her throat, nodding at the door behind Tara, who flushed and stepped aside. The red in her cheeks made her eyes look even darker blue, her hair even deeper gold, and Willow thought she could see a hint of a freckle or two on the ridge of Tara’s cheeks. Gorgeous.

She stepped up to her door, pinning the beer between her elbow and side as she fumbled for her keys.

“Here,” Tara said, and slipped her hand around Willow’s arm to take the sixpack. She did it quickly, and without awkwardness, but Willow still felt the sudden lightness in her arm like fire. It distracted her, and she forgot to say thanks. Getting the door open seemed a lot harder than usual. When she finally managed it, Willow turned back to Tara and held out her hand for the cardboard handle.

“You’re a champ,” she said. Tara gave her that weird look again.

“Uh huh,” she replied, drawing it out just enough to make Willow regret everything she’d ever done, said, or thought about saying. Tara handed her the beer. “So when is this thing?”

“Let me grab your number,” Willow said, setting her dinner supplies on the floor and pulling out her phone. “I’ll text you the details.”

Tara rattled off a string of digits, one hand going to tuck her hair behind her right ear in a way that made Willow very interested in licking the exposed shell, where a silvery cartilage hoop caught the light.

“Cool,” she said instead, all offhand confidence. “Thanks for doing this.”

“No problem. I owe you,” Tara added, and for the first time in Willow’s memory, smiled at her.

“Owe me?” she repeated, talking so she wouldn’t look too obviously dazed. “For what?”

But Tara just fished her own phone out of her pocket and held it up in a half-salute as she turned to go.

“See you at the party,” she said, already walking away.

Willow stood in her open doorway for a long moment, her heart thudding. That too sly, ultra-female smile lingered in her mind, gutwrenchingly sexy - and unnerving. It appeared as though she wasn’t the only one with an ulterior motive. Tara had a game, and she was playing to win.

The question, though, was what.

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:20 pm 
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9. Gay Now
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Dibs! :)

I'm definitely liking where this is going. It seems that both Tara and Willow are both looking to manipulate one another, and I think they're going to find that things don't' work out like they want them to. It doesn't seem like Faith really has any belief in Magick. Definitely realistic, considering I only knew two people in believe in it. People are like that.

Tara lingering in Willow's mind? Oh Willow, you can't lie and say you're not attracted to her. :blush We all know what you're thinking.

I look forward to reading more! :)

Colton :flower

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:54 am 
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What a fun and intriguing start. So Tara's the outcast but has always been into Willow and Willow has been a jerk and now wants to get with Tara? I'm guessing that Tara is really magic? At least I hope so. Can't wait for more.

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:20 pm 
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Hmmm a small touch of the "Women Smoking In Films" fetish for Faith? (Seriously, there was or is a website with that exact name.) And it respects canon :-).

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:56 am 
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An interesting beginning for a story. :glasses

You could have perhaps procrastinated a bit letting us know about their mutual attraction. :blush

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:56 am 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

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Pavlov'sBell - Glad you're getting into the twisty web of manipulation! Not that anything is quite as it seems...

JustSkipIt - You'll find out a lot more about Tara and her magic in the next chapter, which will be posted later today!

DaddyCatALSO - Hell yes.

Phantasyland - Heh, don't get too comfy...

Chapter 3 en route!

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:10 am 
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Quote:
, which will be posted later today!


???

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:33 pm 
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You are off to a good start.


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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:44 am 
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Ooh, another interesting update. I liked the Willow/Faith banter here, and apparently Faith is aware of how she's treated Tara, and maybe also how she really feels about her.

The Willow and Tara interaction made me chuckle a little, with Willow trying to play off how the blonde truly effects her, i.e. heart thudding, desire to do some ear licking (and how many of us have had the same thoughts about Tara's cute ears), etc. Then Tara gives her that smile. I'm very curious to see their next meeting and if Willow can keep up the "you're driving me crazy but I'm not going to let you know that...yet" charade.

More soon please.


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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:52 pm 
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Really liking the Willow and Faith friendship. But oh, this only get more curious as Willow and Tara dance around eachother.

Also, when you come back to update, please say, "It's been a long day," that would absolutely make my life

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"Friendship is obviously magic. Love is a sorta super strong friendship. We gay people love so hard we broke 'Social Norm'. Ergo, we gay people are ultra-strong wizards."


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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 5:12 pm 
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Author's Note: I am SO SORRY, you guys! It has, in fact, been... a long day... But more importantly, I have a new computer and a new job, so all is well and here is chapter 3!

***

If her mother could see her now, Tara knew, there would be a whirlwind of disappointed speeches about irresponsibility and immorality. But her mother couldn’t see her, and for once, she felt a guilty little sting of relief. She’d had over twenty years of morality, oh, yes - some kind of it, anyway. And the look on Willow’s face! That alone had been worth the uneasy knowledge that she was playing with fire.

Back in her room, Tara sat cross-legged on the floor. A series of stubby candles stood in horseshoe formation, connecting her knees. Earthy brown (unfortunately scented with a powerfully fake cinnamon), for friendship. Deep pink candy-striped with red, for attraction. Purple, to uncover hidden things. This wasn’t a powerful working, just a series of influences, a hushed dip into sympathetic magic. It wouldn’t, Tara reminded herself, affect anything not already in existence, wouldn’t force anything not willing to be forced.

That didn’t make it right.

But retrospect is retrospect, and right now, Tara was still smirking at the memory of Willow’s flush and the way her eyes focused on her figure. Served her right, honestly, to feel a little of the stubborn lust that had sparked in Tara all those years ago. It was also downright satisfying to know that there had been that ember her magic could fan - that Willow, for all her jokes and biting comments, wasn’t as immune to Tara’s charms as she’d seemed.

Tara had known for ages that Willow wasn’t particularly straight. She did make a habit of befriending people like Faith, who had broken female hearts up and down the freshman dorms before hitting a wall in the most unexpected place on earth: the chipper resolve of ex-cheerleader Buffy Summers. Though she’d stayed away from that crowd from day one, thanks to Cordy’s rumors, Tara had been as surprised as anyone else when Faith and Buffy stuck together. It had been like their own little soap opera, watching Faith struggle like a fish out of water; Tara did not understand how Buffy had put up with that kind of drama for years before the brunette finally decided that maybe falling in love wasn’t the worst way to go.

And now they were engaged. And Tara was playing the bachelorette party. How does that work, anyway? she wondered. Was it for both of them? Was Buffy the ‘bride,’ and Faith would go out and smoke cigars later?

Not important. What was important, was that she had cast a tiny, harmless spell and it was working. Willow wanted her. A lot. And she’d apparently wanted her before, but it had been buried beneath layers of disdain and amused noninterest. Now, at last, it was Tara’s turn to hold all the cards: Let Willow see how she liked being the wallflower, wanting what she couldn’t have. Better yet, let her get drunk and say something stupid for all the world to see! Then no one would pay any attention to Tara Maclay, not for these last few months of school. She would have the last laugh, to her mother’s disapproval or not.

Or so she’d repeated to herself, ad nauseum, right up until two days later. Friday night, the week before the party, a beer in one hand and a copy of the latest New York Book Review novel in the other; everything seemed in place for a relaxing night with just the right amount of eye candy… and then, scanning The Bronze mid-page-turn, Tara’s eyes caught on two glints of darkened green. Across the bar, her long legs encased in leggings that must have been painted on beneath a top so shimmery and spare that Tara was certain it belonged to Buffy Summers, Willow didn’t drop her gaze.

Tara pulled her own eyes away, forcing them back down to the book - European, historical, something about a murder - and taking a hefty swig of her drink.

“I too find libraries oppressive,” offered a light, mocking voice. Tara wasn’t sure how the redhead had crossed the bar this fast, but took her time looking up. When she did, Willow was almost smiling. “Why read in silence when you can drown out the literature with a dozen drunken grad students?”

“I always thought your philosophy was closer to ‘why read at all’,” Tara replied. There was something rushing in her chest, a heady, secretive push.

“And yet, top of the class,” Willow said, moving to lean against the wall opposite Tara. One finger traced runes on the round high-top table between them. Unwillingly drawn, Tara watched for a second too long.

“Can I help you?” she asked, annoyed, dropping both the insults and any hint of flirtation.

“You can, actually.” Willow picked up Tara’s beer and, with a casual insolence, took a sip. “You can tell me why you agreed to do the thing.”

At that, Tara laid her book down flat.

“You did say you’d pay me.”

“And that’s it?” Willow shook her head, short bangs swinging. “I don’t think so.” Tara’s eyes narrowed in slight surprise. Willow shouldn’t be questioning anything, not now.

“Maybe I was curious,” she said carefully. “Maybe I just want to see you all get sloppy drunk and tell you bad fortunes.”

“And maybe you’re full of shit.”

“What - ” But before Tara could finish her righteously irritated exclamation, Willow’s thin lips curved into a wide, self-satisfied grin.

“Admit it, Maclay. You’re just going to get a shot at me.”

“That’s right,” Tara said, that damn rushed feeling making it hard to stay detached. “I’d love to get you nice and sauced.”

“I bet you would.” Willow leaned on the high-top with both elbows, her neckline dipping to reveal a surprising swell of cleavage. “But I don’t get... sauced... for just anyone, Tara.” As she said her name, that knowing grin still playing at the corners of her mouth, Tara’s belly dropped.

“Could have fooled me,” she said, and immediately regretted it. Willow didn’t seem overly offended, though, her eyes flickering with something that looked a lot more like amusement than anger.

“You’ve been keeping track?”

“No!” Tara yanked her beer across the tabletop, but didn’t drink. Willow’s lipstick, pink and far too innocent, had made a clean print on the rim. “Now, if you don’t mind, I’m busy here.”

“Hey, don’t get all offended,” Willow said, and tipped Tara’s book back towards the table from where it had drifted up. “I’m just a skeptic. Sue me.”

“If you’re so doubtful, why invite me at all?” Tara asked, wondering what Willow would say if she knew there was magic being worked on her at this very second. Clearly not strong enough magic, but still.

“Maybe,” Willow replied, her eyes slipping to Tara’s lips and then back up in a flash, “you’re not the only one who’s curious.”

“And it’s now or never, huh?” She’d meant the question to be light, condescending, but Willow’s emerald gaze was serious on hers.

“Exactly.”

For a long, odd moment, they stared at each other in silence. Around them, the Bronze tumbled in a sweet, Friday night cacophony. Then, Willow pushed herself off the high-top and tapped the top of Tara’s book.

“Don’t work too hard,” she said, already turning. “Everyone needs a little fun.”

As Tara watched her leave, the thin material of her top leaving half her back bare and glowing white, she had a strange thought:

She didn’t like watching Willow walk away.

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 8:05 pm 
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8. Vixen
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Dibs!

I'm curious abut the past interactions between Willow and Tara, is this long time animosity or more of cat and mouse type thing between them? :hmm

Looking forward to more.

Wait a minute....

I just noticed your signature block - YOU'RE WICCANHANDPRINTZ?!?!?!?! :applause

Is it too much to hope for more on "The Girl With the Silver Key"? :grin :kdevil

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 12:48 pm 
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13. Big Knowledge Woman
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Hey, so glad to see you back!

Wow, I am so curious as to exactly how Willow has treated Tara over the years. It must have been really crappy for Tara to resort to something that she knows without a doubt is wrong. So now Tara is fanning Willow's embers and there are mutual lusty feelings. Oh boy, I can't wait to see what happens when things really start heating up. And now Willow shows up and pretty much calls Tara out on her reason for doing the party. Even though Tara has done the spell on Willow, I'm not really sure who has the upper hand here. This is getting soo interesting. Can't wait to see what happens next!

Wimpy

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 2:26 am 
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1. Blessed Wannabe
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Really interesting concept for a storyline. Love it so far!

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 10:09 pm 
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3. Flaming O

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I'm glad you pulled thru' the long day. ;)

And this is an interesting beginning. :hmm

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 Post subject: Re: Like Magic
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 1:41 pm 
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9. Gay Now
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The plot continues to thicken. I really like how you portrayed the spell Tara did. Again, being Wiccan, and knowing a thing or two about candle magick, the descriptions were spot on (As far as I recognize. I'm in no way an expert).

I definitely agree with wimpy0729, Willow must have been completely horrible to Tara in order to get her to do a spell that she knows from the start is wrong.

I'm really liking where this is going! :) :bow

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