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

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 Post subject: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:07 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:22 pm
Posts: 3931
Topics: 32
Location: Ireland
********

TITLE: Adult Confidential

WRITER: Laragh

STORY RATING: PG-13 to NC-17

CHAPTER RATING: NC-17

DISCLAIMER: Willow, Tara and any other characters from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise belong to Joss Whedon, FOX, ME and a whole host of other entities, none of which are me.

SUMMARY: They’ve graduated, now they’re faced with the big, bad world of adulthood…the second part in the prequel series of Hacker Confidential and Family Confidential (and follow-up to College Confidential)

SPOILERS: Perhaps minor references to the show or stealage of dialogue, but nothing that would spoil the series.

FEEDBACK: Yes please

Chapter 1

********

Tara followed Willow out onto the curb where she was waiting with their belongings, saying one last goodbye to the place she'd called home for the last four years.


She wasn't sad; though her time there had been life-changing, life-affirming and the best years she'd had, she was moving onto the next chapter and that excited her. She couldn't wait to make a new home and a new life with the woman she loved.


As she approached said woman, standing divested of her graduation gown, ready to enter the world of adulthood in jeans and a sweater devoid of fluff; two cars came skidding past them. Well, one car, a shiny, silver convertible Mustang came skidding past with Becky inside, while Jack's sensible Hyundai pulled up gracefully behind.


Becky had the top down and sunglasses on, milking every ounce of 'cool' points she could. She motioned for Willow.


“Get in loser, we're going shopping!”


Willow's eyes glazed over as she looked at the brand, spanking new vehicle and she turned to Tara, hands pressed together in a prayer pose.


“Can I?”


Tara hated to be the one to burst the bubble, but they were literally surrounded with baggage she had no hope of carrying herself.


“We have all of our things, Will.”


“Do you want to ride with me, Tara?” Jack asked as he rolled his window down, “That looks like a lot of stuff to carry across town.”


Tara smiled gratefully. She hadn't been enjoying the thoughts of hauling stuff on a bus or paying a cab for the length and loading of that trip.


“Thank you, Jack. I would really appreciate that.”


Willow took that as permission and hopped into Becky's car.


“Meet you there!”


They were both squealing excitedly and they sped off like they were in a getaway car.


“Did they say they were going shopping?” Tara asked wearily.


“I hope not, Becky treats it like an Olympic sport,” Jack replied with a fond smile, “She's so excited about that car. Shame her parents had to take off so soon. I only met them for a second.”


Tara nodded; that was hardly a revelation.


“From what I've heard, that might be for the best. At least when they're both together at the same time.”


“I think you're right,” Jack replied with an easy smile, “Let me get this stuff in the trunk for you.”


Jack got out and helped get the boxes and suitcases into his spacious trunk, which already had some of his own moving boxes. Tara was glad for the strength; the suitcases were difficult enough to wheel, she would have seriously struggled to lift them alone.


They fit everything in without much difficulty and walked around, getting into their respective sides.


“You guys moving into your new place today too?” Tara asked as she fastened her seat belt.


“I've been getting furniture and stuff in there for a few weeks,” Jack replied, indicating out of campus with neither of them looking back, “But yeah, today's the last of it and Becky's things. She says she doesn't know how long she'll need to say, but I figure she should just unpack her stuff anyway. Who wants to live out of boxes?”


Tara smiled to herself. Becky was being guarded, but she was still taking the next big step - moving in together - even if she wasn't admitting it yet, and Tara was glad Jack was willing to wait her out. She was glad for both of them to be entering the next phase of their lives in as much happiness as she was, and just feeling a lot of general joy from the world.


Jack disrupted her thoughts to ask for directions and Tara realised she wasn't quite sure, having used the T or walked from the Public Gardens on the other side of town. Together, they negotiated their way to Fenway Park and Tara was able to guide Jack down the side streets from there.


Jack pulled up on the curb and smiled out the window.


“Nice building.”


“I think so,” Tara replied modestly, “Thanks so much for the ride.”


“Happy to do it,” Jack replied with a smile, “Let me get that stuff out of the trunk. It was heavy, don't lift it on your own.”


Jack popped the trunk and began to lift things out onto the street. Tara started to carry the boxes upstairs since they were mostly light with the odd slightly heavy one, with things like Willow's books or the TV. She fished the key out of her pocket and opened the door to their new apartment, though not for the first time that day.


Whilst off 'finalising paperwork' that morning, at least as far as Willow was concerned, she had really been stocking their kitchen with dishware and silverware, as well as filling up the fridge with supplies to last them until they did a proper tour of the neighbourhood and found a local supermarket.


She'd hoped to have the whole place kitted out and ready to step in and be liveable for Willow, as a surprise, but that hope had been dashed when she'd realised how much stuff there was and how unable she would have been to get it there herself.


She stacked the living room boxes in by the table and bedroom boxes in the bedroom so they were accessible and headed back downstairs.


Becky had pulled up behind Jack as he unloaded the last of Willow and Tara's stuff from his trunk, with the top still down and music playing louder than was necessary. Both Jack and Tara shared a grimacing look, but they both softened when they heard their respective girlfriend's laughing.


Becky shut off the music and eyed Jack over her sunglasses and wolf whistled.


“Hey, where can I get a hot mover? 1-800-Great-Butt?”


Jack's cheeks tinged pink, while Willow stepped out of Becky's car, feeling too cool for school and grinning at her inner thought's graduation pun.


“Looks like I missed all the heavy lifting,” she said, obviously not too cut up about it.


Tara put her hands on her hips.


“Not quite, missy, we still have to get these upstairs,” she said, gesturing to the suitcases.


“I'll help out,” Jack offered.


Tara shook her head.


“Thank you so much, but you've done more than your share. I know you have your own unpacking to do.”


“Oh, he's packing all the time,” Becky called out with a lascivious grin.


Jack blushed to his toes and hurried back into his car.


“Bye. I'm sure we'll see you soon.”


“I'll be seeing you soon!” Becky heckled after Jack, “All of you, baby.”


Willow grinned at her friend, admiring her boldness.


“Four for you, Glen Coco.”


“Boo, you whore!” Becky called, pulling off the curb and following Jack in his car, “Laters!”


Tara blinked a couple of times and dropped her hands off her hips.


“Well, now that whatever that was is over…”


Willow held her hands up defensively.


“Alright, alright, I'm lugging. I'll get the rest in. Thanks for doing all the work.”


They got the three heavy suitcases inside the door and there was one last box of lamps and ornaments, which Tara grabbed to carry up with her. She set it carefully on the floor and opened it up to unpack. When she had taken most of the contents out with still no sign of Willow, she grabbed the keys again and went to search for her.


She found Willow on the landing between the first and second floor, collapsed and panting on the stairs, surrounded by the three suitcases. Tara stood over Willow, who weakly flicked a hand at her.


“Go on without me,” she panted, eyes closing, “I want you to have a good life. Be happy.”


Tara rolled her eyes.


“Willow, it was one floor.”


Willow mumbled something incoherent, so Tara turned the two lighter suitcases onto their wheels and got them up inside. She repeated the process to get the last, heaviest one in on its own, then descended the stairs one last time to help Willow up.


“Come on,” she said, holding Willow by the waist, “Why did you try to take everything at once?”


Willow leaned right against Tara, still slightly out of breath.


“Always been…an overachiever…”


Tara couldn’t help but smile, and brought Willow to the couch.


“Rest, and when you feel up to it, unpack these boxes, okay?” she said, and saw Willow pout, “All you have to do is put up a few lamps around and organise the kitchen appliances. It would really help me out. I don't know how half those things work anyway.”


Willow sat up sheepishly.


“I wasn’t complaining. Of course I’ll do that. Sorry for being a baby.”


Tara held her hand out for Willow’s, then lifted it to her lips and kissed her knuckles.


“A solid hour and we’ll have our place just how we want it.”


Willow nodded, perking up.


“Our place. Love that. Hasn’t hit home yet.”


“Well it should, this is our home now,” Tara replied, returning Willow’s hand to her.


She went off into the bedroom and Willow lazily caught a box between her feet and dragged it over to where she was sitting without getting up. It was the one Tara had already opened, and contained an Eiffel Tower lamp, which had been brought home from Paris; their framed photos; candle holders and a collection of penguin figurines that were actually holiday ornaments, but Willow enjoyed having up all year round.


She left the penguins and most of the candles on the coffee table, arranging them so the penguins were warming themselves around the candles. The photos were lined up at various angles along the breakfast bar separating the kitchen area from the living space. She put the only two matching candle sticks either end of the bar and stood back to admire her ‘artistic’ work.


She nodded once, pleased, then sighed when she turned back around and saw Tara’s lamp still lying on the sofa. She knew Tara had painstakingly carried it all the way back from Europe with great care and was almost afraid to touch it.


She went over and delicately lifted it up to put on the coffee table, then realised there was no power outlet in reach. Her eyes followed the walls the whole way around the room as she tried to find a spot for it.


She was about to give up and leave it for Tara to figure out, when she spotted the empty TV stand. She put the lamp down, opened the box with their TV packed away and set it up on the stand. She happily found she had enough room for the lamp to rest beside it.


“Excellent!”


She plugged it in and tested it to make sure it worked, smiling as she did so.


The rest of the boxes were all filled with Willow’s books and miscellaneous electronics, most of which were kitchen appliances. Willow got her books on the shelving and fit the most important appliances on the counter-top in the kitchen, tidying the rest away in the cabinets.


She noticed the dishes and wondered how they got there, or where they’d even gotten dishes from. She decided to play detective and had a look around the rest of the kitchen. She found bread, cereal, pasta and bagels and then peered in the fridge, seeing her favourite sandwich fillings and snacks, pasta sauces as well as bacon and eggs for the morning.


She smiled, leaning against the fridge door.


She got us all set up. Of course she did.


She realised she probably shouldn’t be standing there with the fridge door open, so closed it and headed into the bedroom to tell Tara how grateful she was for everything she’d done for her that day.


She smiled as she passed the bathroom and saw their robes already hanging up and toothbrushes laid out, but the real moment of truth came for her when she walked into the bedroom.


Various artworks that Tara had collected were hung on the walls; like the prints of 1920’s Boston she’d bought in the bookstore, which were framed above their bed and other paintings on the walls. Their nightstands were each setup with lamps; a couple of each of their books that were their current reads and had been packed with the bedroom things so they wouldn't get lost; candles on Tara’s side and a cell phone holder shaped like a hand on Willow’s. There were more books on top of the dresser, as well as some incense.


Willow could see their clothes hanging neatly in the closet and shoes set out in pairs on the floor. It was a larger closet than at school and there was a hanger for each item, unlike the pants/shirt sharing combo they’d had to do before.


There were new, or at least new to Willow, swish red curtains hanging off the windows that matched their red bedding, which Tara was currently finishing assembling.


It was absolutely beautiful, even in its simplicity, and Willow felt the warmth Tara had imparted just in setting it up for them.


This all hit her in the first few seconds of walking in and she had to move back against the wall to stay upright.


Tara looked up when Willow came in and noticed she got a bit unsteady on her feet.


“Honey, are you okay?”


Willow’s eyes slowly lifted to Tara’s, and she swallowed audibly.


“You know when I said it hadn’t hit me yet?” she said, touching the corner of the dresser reverently and moving her hand around to touch everything in the room, “Well it just did.”


Tara smiled at Willow’s reaction and waited patiently for her to get a proper look around. Finally Willow stood opposite Tara on the other side of the bed and returned the look.


“It looks amazing in here. I… I just… this is it. This is our place.”


Tara’s smiled turned into a grin and she tossed an undressed pillow towards Willow.


“Make yourself useful, then.”


Willow grinned back and together they finished covering the pillows and plumping them up in their spots. When the bed was fully made, Willow made herself comfortable by stretching out on it and kicking her shoes off.


Tara joined her and Willow gave a little testing bounce.


“What do you think? Can it handle three nights a week?”


Tara’s head turned to Willow, eyebrow quirked and lips sloped on one side.


“Three nights a week? Are you losing your stamina?”


Willow poked Tara in the chest.


“No, but you might, now you’re a working girl and everything.”


Tara grabbed Willow’s wrist and rolled on top of her. She pressed her hips right into Willow’s and wiggled them.


“I’ll show you three times a week in one night.”


She dropped her lips into Willow’s neck and kissed it multiple times before blowing a raspberry.


Willow snorted and giggled and Tara smiled. She left a kiss on Willow’s jaw, then laid close to her on her side, head propped up on her elbow.


“Anyway, I can’t work until I have my license. The exam isn’t until next week and then I have to wait a couple of weeks for it to come through, if I pass.”


“‘Course you will,” Willow replied assuredly, “No doubt. Hey, you were out getting us food and stuff this morning, weren’t you?”


Tara nodded softly.


“I wanted you to walk into it all done, but it was too difficult to sneak everything out and I was running out of time to organise a cab and get back on time to see you graduate.”


“I would’ve felt like a rat if I hadn’t helped at all,” Willow replied, then sighed, “You’ll probably want to change everything I put out though.”


Tara patted Willow’s wrist.


“Come show me.”


Willow took Tara’s hand and led her out into the living space. Tara looked all around, then hugged Willow from behind.


“I think you did a lovely job.”


“You do?” Willow asked, lifting up onto her tiptoes.


“I do,” Tara confirmed, kissing the back of Willow’s neck, “The penguins look right at home. I don’t know if they’ll like it when the candles are lit though.”


Willow shook her head.


“Penguins are warm blooded.”


Tara smiled against the back of Willow’s ear and kissed her there too.


“I didn’t know that.”


They stood like that for a few moments and took in their new surroundings.


“This is…perfect,” Willow said finally, exhaling a slow breath, “Hey, where’d you get those curtains in our room?”


“I’ve had them for ages,” Tara replied, gently tapping her fingertips against Willow’s stomach, “$5 in the thrift store. I figured we’d need them someday.”


Willow broke out of the embrace and turned around to face Tara, eyes slightly down.


“You really organised yourself for all this.”


“All what?” Tara asked, reaching out to rub Willow’s shoulder.


Willow tossed her hands up in the air.


“This…adult business.”


“Well, it was predictable,” Tara replied, shrugging one shoulder.


“Not for me,” Willow replied with a self-deprecating laugh, “I feel like it’s all snuck up on me.”


“Well…” Tara started, dancing her fingertips up into Willow’s neck, “We don’t have to be adults tonight.”


“We don’t?” Willow asked, perking up and grinning from the tickle.


Tara shook her head.


“Feel like a pizza and ice-cream party?”


Willow bounced on the spot.


“We have ice cream?!” she asked excitedly, then halted and held up her fingers about an inch apart, “Wait. We can be adults a little. But we should restrict it to the square footage of the bed.”


Tara winked.


“Good call.”


Willow blushed and leaned over to press a kiss to Tara’s lips.


“Let me go online and find a local pizza place,” she said as she bounced over to her laptop case, then paused again, “Shit. Wi-Fi.”


Tara just smiled and Willow stared right at her.


“You’ve organised all the utilities already, haven’t you?” she said, shaking her head, “I’ve barely had time to pee lately. How did you do all this?”


“I had fewer exams than you, most of my finals were assignments,” Tara replied as an explanation, “That’s why I wanted to have it all done for you. You worked so hard to graduate with honours like you did. I’m so proud of you.”


Tara was also very aware Willow was in for a bit of a reality shock for life after college and wanted to ease her into it as much as she could. Her girlfriend’s uncertainty about her future had not been lost on her, but she thought it best for Willow to come to her instead of confronting her with it. Whatever the future held, it would be together, and it was up to Willow to determine the rest.


Willow left her laptop case at the table and came back over to hug Tara.


“Baby, you should have graduated.”


Tara shook her head.


“It wasn’t that important to me. Not as important as it was to see you. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.”


Willow nuzzled her head against Tara’s chest.


“That’s gonna stay with me forever.”


Tara dropped a kiss on top of Willow’s head.


“Just like me.”


Willow squeezed Tara tightly.


“God, Tara, I love you so much. And our home. I’m so happy right now. I feel like I can’t express it enough and you don’t know.”


“I do know, and I feel the same,” Tara reply, adding a soft sway into their embrace.


Willow pressed her lips against the V of Tara’s shirt, then continued kissing up Tara’s throat and finally held her face as she planted a warm kiss on her lips.


She lingered for several seconds, then pulled back with a ‘mwah’ and a grin.


“Pizza!”


She grabbed her laptop case again and set herself up on the couch with her feet up on the coffee table. She asked Tara to call out the Wi-Fi password, and in minutes she had the area figured out.


“Okay, there’s three places that deliver close by; one Domino’s, one Italian restaurant and one trendy pizza bar.”


“You look very at home,” Tara commented, coming back from the bathroom.


“I am,” Willow replied happily, “I vote for the Domino’s. Guaranteed consistency and there’s 10% off a first online order.”


“I don’t mind what we get, honey. You choose,” Tara replied, cosying up to Willow with her feet curled under herself, “You can order online now?”


“Uh huh!” Willow replied, clicking through the ordering process.


“Cool,” Tara replied, resting her head on Willow’s shoulder and watching her do it.


Willow leaned her head back against Tara’s and pointed excitedly at the screen.


“Look, there’s a tracker. So you know exactly when it’s coming.”


“And we can make sure we have clothes on,” Tara commented with a softly sloped smile.


Willow set the laptop down on the table and cuddled into Tara, holding her around the waist.


“Remember the time I almost went out to collect with no pants on?” she asked as she traced Tara’s toes in her plain black socks, “Your socks are so boring.”


Tara tilted her head inwards and kissed Willow, whose hand moved back up to Tara’s hip.


“Mmm, but your lips aren’t.”


“Do they make up for my lacklustre under-shoe attire?” Tara asked, pulling gently on a piece of Willow’s hair.


Willow’s hands slid down and cupped Tara’s rear.


“They might have to show me some pomp and splendour.”


Tara moved to hold Willow’s face and rubbed both of her thumbs across her girlfriend's lips.


“I can make them plump and tender…”


“Oooh…” Willow replied, sighing as Tara’s arms crossed behind her neck and the thumbs were replaced with lips.


They made out fairly innocently for several minutes, but were starting to heat up when Willow noticed the tracker bar was filled with colour.


“It left the store!” she said, then looked alarmed, “Shit, do you have cash?”


Tara messed up her own hair as she puffed out a breath, then stood up and went over to her purse. She took out a couple of bills from her wallet and left them on the corner of the table before heading into the kitchen.


“I got you beer, do you want one?”


“Are you having one?” Willow asked, perching herself on the corner of the couch.


Tara slid out a bottle of red wine from beside the new bread bin she’d bought.


“I might open the bottle of wine I got.”


Willow stood up and walked over.


“Can I have a glass?”


“Of course you can,” Tara replied and turned to open the silverware drawer.


“Wait do we have a…” Willow started, then grinned when Tara spun around with the item in question, “Bottle opener. You don’t miss a trick. Guess I don’t need to ask about wine glasses.”


Tara produced two wine glasses from the cabinet and spun them around by the stem. Willow shook her head in amazement at the attention to detail Tara had paid to their new home, knowing that ten times the amount of work she’d done that afternoon had gone in to making it as homely as it was now.


“Do we eat at the table?” she asked, wondering if she should set plates.


“Wherever you want, sweetie pie,” Tara answered as she poured two decent glasses of wine.


Willow stood up on her tiptoes and turned her ankles out as she leaned against the breakfast bar.


“I think that proper pizza and ice-cream party etiquette dictates that you share the box and the tub all cuddled up with no silverware for the first and only one spoon for the second.”


Tara held out one glass for Willow.


“Couch it is.”


They went back to the couch and Willow held the body of the glass in both hands and sipped from it like it was a bowl. She swished it around in her mouth and licked her lips as it went down.


“It’s nice. Fruity.”


Tara leaned over and pressed her lips into Willow’s neck.


“You’re nice and fruity.”


“Is that a gay joke?” Willow asked, trying not to giggle as Tara’s lips tickled her skin.


“This is pretty gay,” Tara conceded, gently scraping her teeth against Willow’s pulse-point, “But I’m also very serious.”


Willow shivered and would have sloshed some of her wine had she not taken that generous first sip. She felt Tara’s mouth get dangerously close to that dip in her throat which would have signalled game over for any resistance, when the intercom buzzed through the room and forced Tara back.


“I’ll get it,” Willow squeaked, leaving her wine down on the coffee table and snatching the cash before Tara was even fully upright.


Tara sat back and smiled to herself, until a minute later there was a knock at the door. She answered and Willow walked in sheepishly.


“Gonna have to remember that key. Can’t just walk back in anymore.”


Tara closed the door behind them.


“Pizza smells good,” she said as she followed Willow back to the couch and pressed a kiss to the back of her neck, “So do you.”


Tara couldn't get enough of Willow's skin and just wanted to have her lips against her constantly. Willow blushed as she sat down with her legs under her. She opened the pizza box and inhaled it.


“Pizza steam is my second favourite kind of steamy.”


Tara sat beside her and pulled a slice up so the cheese stretched. Willow turned her head in and nibbled it free, making Tara laugh. They were both starving, having grabbed a quick breakfast that morning and not eaten since. The pizza was quickly demolished and they ended up cuddling back up together, sharing sips of each other’s wine.


“You know what we’ve never done?” Willow asked, resting her chin on Tara’s shoulder, “We’ve never had a bath together.”


Tara’s eyes sparkled and she smiled.


“That sounds like something we should fix.”


“Right now?” Willow asked eagerly and got a nod in response, “I’ll go start it!”


She scurried off and the sound of the tap starting came moments later. Tara broke up the pizza box and disposed of it.


“Willow, do you want more wine?”


“Grab me a beer!” Willow shouted back.


Tara refilled her glass and popped the cap on a bottle of beer. She then brought their drinks into the bathroom with the ice cream tucked under her arm. Willow was midway through the panty-push shuffle, so Tara joined her in removing her own clothing.


When she was undressed, she embraced Willow from behind.


“Is it nice and hot for us?”


Willow pushed her naked butt back into Tara.


“Come closer, I can’t hear you.”


Tara pressed herself flush against Willow’s back and nuzzled her nose to Willow’s ear from behind. Willow giggled and rubbed the hands splayed on her stomach.


“So how do we do this?”


“I think the traditional way is to sit in,” Tara replied as she watched the soap bubbles float around the surface, “While it’s warm.”


Willow poked a good-natured elbow behind.


“I mean do we do both do back-to-tub or one back-to-tub and the other back-to-front?”


Tara tilted her head as she considered the tub.


“I think we should start either end and see what happens from there.”


“Okay!” Willow agreed and bounced over to turn the tap off and take her side.


She decided not to mention her carefully calculated water displacement math to allow them both to sit comfortably, mostly because she was distracted as Tara’s pendulous breasts hit the water and floated.


“So…this is nice.”


Tara handed Willow her bottle of beer and relaxed back against the tub with her own glass, leaving the ice-cream on the side.


“We should get a bath pillow.”


Willow sipped some beer and left the bottle on the toilet cistern to rest, then ripped the lid of the ice-cream. She enjoyed some generous spoonfuls, then fed Tara some across the bath. Tara got the taste for it and took the tub. Willow took one of Tara’s feet under the water and massaged her thumbs into the sole.


“I could so get used to this.”


“And you’re not even the one getting a foot rub,” Tara replied with a content sigh, letting the cool sweetness slide down her throat, “But I can fix that too.”


She put the ice-cream on the shampoo shelf and took Willow’s foot to return the gesture.


Willow’s foot was particularly ticklish, and in response her other foot kicked out and had a toe land in a particularly sensitive spot of Tara’s.


“Jesus, Willow,” Tara groaned, her legs squeezing together to ease the pain in her groin.


“Sorry, sorry!” Willow replied with a blush, “Never shared a bath before. Navigating the space issue.”


Tara shifted her hips a couple of times, then started to scoot around.


“Let’s try this way.”


She settled her back against Willow’s front, who rubbed Tara’s thigh under the water.


“This is definitely good for me. I am a-okay with this arrangement.”


Tara settled back against Willow.


“Now this is a comfortable bath pillow.”


Willow’s hand snaked up to cup Tara’s breast.


“And this is my favourite bath toy.”


“I bet you had a hundred toys in the tub with you when you were little,” Tara replied with a crooked grin, “And your ducks weren’t just ducks…they were superhero astronaut ballerinas.”


“No!” Willow retorted, “They were superhero astronaut scientists.”


Tara rubbed her toes against Willow’s foot.


“Of course.”


“What did your duckies do?” Willow asked, running some water through her fingers.


“They were just a family,” Tara replied, closing her eyes as she thought back, “With two mommies.”


“Really?” Willow giggled, “You really were a baby gay!”


“My mom never minded,” Tara continued quietly, “One time my dad overheard. I remember shouting.”


Willow closed her arms around Tara’s stomach and kissed her cheek three times in quick succession.


“I love you so much and we’ll be our own duckie family someday.”


Tara lifted one of Willow’s hands to her mouth and kissed the back of it.


“We already are.”


Willow placed both hands over Tara’s and linked their fingers through. She whispered in Tara’s ear and they relaxed together until the water turned lukewarm.


“Prunification is occurring,” Willow said, wiggling her fingers in demonstration, “And meltification of the ice-cream. Might be able to save it if I get it back in the freezer.”


Tara glanced at her empty glass.


“And my wine stores are depleted…”


“I think you’re developing novinophobia,” Willow replied with a grin, “The fear of running out of wine. Geddit?”


Tara rolled her eyes as she stood up and stepped out.


“I think you have badjokeitis.”


“You can talk,” Willow retorted, taking Tara’s hands to help her up when offered.


She grabbed a towel and started to pat Tara’s chest, then got on her knees to dry her legs.


“Drying you off is the best part.”


Tara looked down at the top of Willow’s head.


“I wouldn’t say I’m dry…”


Willow paused with the towel around Tara’s feet, looked up, then straight ahead at what was in her direct eyeline. Her eyes clouded with arousal and she straightened up quickly.


“Wanna go be adults now?”


Tara grinned and offered her hand again, which was readily taken. They hurried into the bedroom and Willow eagerly guided Tara onto the bed before crawling on top of her, ice cream forgotten and left for better tastes.


Willow kissed Tara immediately and deeply, while their damp bodies slid together. There was some slipping and Tara narrowly avoided another sensitive hit, but Willow pulled her leg back in time and managed quite a graceful slide of her thigh between Tara’s legs.


Tara’s ass skated down the sheet at the same time as Willow’s thigh slid against her and resulted in a happy accident of friction. Tara pulled at Willow’s hip to repeat the movement and thrust up when she obliged.


The action caused a steady movement in the bed, and in turn, the headboard started to knock back against the wall. Tara was used to a squeaky bed, but the thump of the board was new and very palpable as it matched the way Willow moved.


It made her uneasy and was very distracting.


“That headboard is really loud,” she said with a very slight pant in her breath.


Willow started kissing Tara’s neck and palmed a breast in her hand.


“Who cares?”


“Our neighbours might,” Tara countered, pushing Willow gently off her, “This is a shared wall.”


Willow puffed out a breath of frustration.


“So we can only have sex that doesn’t move the bed?”


Tara rubbed the front of Willow’s shoulders to calm her down.


“I just don’t want to piss off our new neighbours on the first night.”


Willow calmed under Tara’s touch, let herself breathe for a moment, then hopped off and walked over to the closet.


“Where did you put all our scarves and stuff?”


Tara sat up and watched Willow’s butt as she walked.


“…on the floor somewhere.”


Willow, predictably, bent down and started trying to root them out. After a few moments, she felt something dangling at her head. She looked up and found the scarves all hanging up. She retrieved two and brought them back to the bed.


“You put them on a hanger.”


“Oh, did I?” Tara asked innocently, “My mistake.”


Willow tied a scarf to each headboard post, where they were hitting the wall.


“Now. It’s padded.”


Tara glanced either side of her at the dangling scarves.


“I thought I was getting tied up.”


Willow’s eyes went wide and before Tara knew it, her arms were bent up against the headboard and her wrists were being bound by the scarves. Willow didn’t tie them too tight, but they were secure enough that Tara couldn't slip out.


Willow ran her fingers from Tara’s wrists down her arms and sat into her lap.


“Do you remember our word?”


Tara’s head was swimming with arousal but she was coherent enough to nod.


“Tell me so I know,” Willow prompted, trailing her fingers down either side of Tara’s clavicle to meet at her chest.


Tara swallowed a few times to regain some moisture in her mouth.


“Hippopotamus.”


Willow started to grin, then stopped.


“Are you saying it so I know or because you want to stop?”


Tara quickly shook her head.


“No, don’t stop.”


Willow nodded and resumed her touching.


“Oh, I won’t,” she replied seductively as she pressed her torso against Tara’s.


The scarves suddenly pulled against the wood as Tara’s wrists strained against the fabric and her cheeks turned a bright red. Willow turned and teasingly shook her butt a little.


“You want to grab my ass, don’t you?”


Tara’s fingers splayed and curled in a claw motion and Willow knew she was going to have a lot of fun that night.


She bounced back around in Tara’s lap and watched Tara’s face instantly drop to follow her breasts. Willow put her chest close to Tara’s face, then pulled back right before the moment of contact.


Tara’s eyes were pained but her mouth was silent. Willow stretched her arms out either side of Tara so again, her breasts were close but not quite within Tara’s reach.


“You’re being verrrry quiet.”


Tara tried to swallow again, but moisture wasn’t coming.


“Ah, I get it,” Willow continued with a grin, “It’s all gone a little…south.”


She used her index fingers to tickle each of Tara’s cheeks, then brought their mouths together in a soft kiss.


“You don’t have to say anything…” she whispered then pulled Tara’s bottom lip between her teeth, “But I bet I can make you moan.”


Her lips moved down to Tara’s throat and she kissed the protuberance of her girlfriend's larynx as she swallowed. Her tongue dipped out and down to the hollow of Tara’s throat and licked right back up to her chin.


Tara’s head lolled back as she moaned and elongated her neck, offering it all to Willow.


Willow scraped her teeth along the most sensitive patches of Tara’s skin, paying particular attention to her pulse point and right under her ear.


“You like that?” Willow asked, tickling Tara’s ear with her tongue.


Tara shuddered and her hips squirmed on the spot. Willow gently grinded down so their thighs skid against each other, making their mounds momentarily graze. She took Tara’s lips again and the kiss was passionately returned.


Tara used her tongue to show the domination her hands couldn’t, but Willow remained in control and pushed the kiss back into Tara’s mouth. She kissed Tara until she was breathless, then moved her mouth down to her girlfriend’s nipples.


Her hands curved over Tara’s hips and behind her rear, then slowly slid inwards along Tara’s thighs. She palmed them until they were warm, then slid one finger between Tara’s lips and raised her head to look her girlfriend in the eye.


Tara was heavy-lidded and still straining against her restraints. Willow pressed their torsos together again as her finger swirled around in Tara’s arousal.


Tara’s blood was pumping hotly through her veins and she loved being at Willow’s mercy. Being restrained made her ironically feel totally unrestrained and aroused beyond belief.


“Please, Willow,” she begged breathlessly.


Willow licked up from the base of Tara’s neck.


“I like the sound of that…”


“Please, Willow,” she repeated throatily.


Willow dragged her fingertip up to Tara’s clit and applied some pressure. Tara’s hips jerked.


“More.”


Willow’s finger paused and Tara quickly corrected herself.


“-please.”


Willow smirked and resumed circling Tara’s clit. Her other fingers dropped, gathering moisture on the way, and slipped inside Tara in one quick movement.


Tara immediately cried out in pleasure and the scarves grew tense under the straining of her arms. Willow dragged her fingers in and out to the sounds of groaning until Tara was red-faced and panting.


Willow contemplated some more teasing torture but decided Tara looked too much in need. She curled her fingers inside and watched Tara as the nuances of ecstasy rode out across her face.


Tara came hard and fast, all over in a second but filling her entirely. Her whole body wracked and shuddered until finally her wrists hung limply and her lungs fought for breath.


Willow brought Tara down gently, then finally left her, wiped her fingers and loosened the scarves from Tara’s wrists. Tara slumped forwards against Willow, who started to gather her in for a hug, but instead found herself pushed on her back with her arms pinned above her head.


She could only grin.


“How the tables have turned.”


Tara was still sweaty and mussed, but she had Willow exactly where she wanted her. Their feet were up by the headboard and playing with each other as Tara brought her lips into Willow’s neck.


She held Willow’s wrists tightly to mimic the sensation she’d had and thoroughly enjoyed the power of being on the other side. Willow squirmed and kicked as Tara’s stomach brushed against hers.


Tara released Willow’s wrists and grabbed her hips, to make a speedy journey downwards. She bent one of Willow’s knees up and exposed her slickness to the air for a moment before moving her mouth in and tonguing her greedily.


Willow’s head was dangerously close to hanging off the end of the bed, with her body pushing upwards under the weight of Tara’s head dipping into her again and again. Her neck eventually gave way and dropped over the side, but she was too far gone to notice the rhythmic thump of her head.


Tara’s hands moved from Willow’s thighs to her stomach and gently raked her nails there. The groan that followed floated down to her ears and she moved her tongue in against Willow’s clit to hear more.


She felt that squirm in her girlfriend’s hips and held them down to keep her mouth on point.


Willow went wild feeling Tara’s firm clutch and her fingers started to tighten in the sheet. Heat was pulsating through her and her muscles began to grow taut with building tension. She felt Tara take her clit into her mouth and hum to create a vibration, making her explode on the spot.


She ripped the sheet right out of the corner of the bed and it landed over Tara’s head. Tara wiggled her face out from under it, just as Willow lifted her head up to see what had happened.


She stared at Tara’s messy hair and face encased in the fabric for a few seconds, then started to giggle and accidentally slammed her head back down against the bedframe.


“Ow,” she said, but made no effort to straighten herself out.


Tara took the corner of the sheet and wiped her mouth with it, then fixed it and climbed the rest of the way up Willow’s body. She leaned over her girlfriend's hanging head to place a kiss in the hollow of her throat.


“You’ll wake up with the worst neck cramp if you stay like that.”


“Good excuse for getting a massage from you,” Willow replied, glancing up at Tara without moving at all.


Tara drew a circle on Willow’s collarbone.


“I’ll give you one anyway…I'll give you anything.”


Willow blew out a breath, then lugged herself up with a huff of air. She collapsed onto her stomach the other way around, and Tara joined her, with a few kisses to Willow’s butt and spine on the way. She settled her head on the pillow beside Willow and pressed their lips together.


“Didn’t imagine that when I first saw the headboard.”


“I did,” Willow replied with a blush, “You know, if you ever wanted to play with scarves on me…you seem to be the only one getting tied up or blindfolded.”


“S-sorry,” Tara replied, feeling inadequate for not initiating.


“No, no!” Willow said quickly, “I wasn’t criticising. It’s me, I never said anything. So now I’m just…saying something.”


Tara put a finger on Willow’s lips, then threw a leg over to straddle her.


“Well, now you’re going to listen to me say something.”


Willow grinned.


“Ok–”


“That wasn’t a question,” Tara cut her off as she started to tie the scarves to Willow’s wrists.


Willow’s eyes went wide and she turned her lips inward to stop herself from speaking so she could enjoy every moment of this.


“Hello, Ms. Take-Charge Tara. It's been a while.”


Tara paused.


“Did I ask you to speak?”


Willow quickly shook her head.


“No, ma'am.”


Tara pressed her face up close to Willow's.


“Then don't,” she said in an evocative whisper.


Willow's eyes stayed locked on Tara's, wide and unmoving. She nodded quickly and Tara rewarded her with a steamy kiss. Willow found herself in the same trap as Tara, her wrists pulling at the scarves to grab her girlfriend's cheeks.


She was surprised by how intense the accompanying gush of arousal was but not in the slightest displeased and moaned into Tara's mouth. She felt Tara's tongue enthusiastically attack hers in response, making her skid and squirm.


Tara broke the kiss and looked at Willow with that sultry look in her eye that made Willow tremble.


“Here's what I have to say,” she said, sitting back to give Willow a full view of her body, “You're. Mine.”


She kissed down to Willow's bellybutton until her girlfriend's scent caught in her nose. It made her belly flop and she made a sound akin to a growl.


“Jesus,” Willow panted upon hearing it, her hips lifting and twisting in the way her hands were stopped from doing so.


Tara yanked Willow's hips down until she was lying with her arms splayed above her and moved over Willow's body, hovering so they were just barely grazing.


Willow's eyes pleaded silently with Tara's, who grinned and turned the graze into a grind. Willow felt the prickle of Tara's hard nipples against her own first, then the slide of their bellies and finally their mounds brushing together. Willow's legs spread and she welcomed the more direct contact.


“Oh my god,” Willow groaned, neck tilting back into the pillows.


Tara tongued Willow's bared neck, licking the beads of sweat falling down. Her hand palmed Willow's thigh, pulling her up and in so they were both getting alternating contact. Her lips moved down to Willow's chest, nibbling on her nipples and areolas to satisfy her own oral fixation.


Her nerves were on fire and Willow seemed to be feeling much the same way, judging by the sounds coming out of her mouth. Tara lifted herself back up and took Willow's lips again for that final push together.


Willow came instantly, violently pulling against the restraints and Tara came with her, holding her down with the weight of her body, which only heightened Willow's pleasure.


Tara slumped against Willow's body, smiling and very gently continuing to rub herself against Willow until the tingling subsided. She yanked at the scarves until they became loose and Willow took her wrists back, rubbing them but with a very satisfied smile on her face.


“Yep, that's decided - scarves are my new favourite accessory.”


Tara's lips curled against Willow's chest and Willow crossed her arms above her head.


She stretched all the way down to her toes and sighed contentedly.


“Maybe this adult business won't be so bad after all.”

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Current Series: College Confidential ... Adult Confidential ... Hacker Confidential ... Family Confidential


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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 08/05/15
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:23 pm 
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Dibs-y Goodness! :banana

Yay for excellent update-y goodness... I really liked their first day out of college...

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 08/05/15
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:05 am 
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As a big fan of the Confidential series, I'm very happy to see this! Thank you for sharing this with us :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 08/05/15
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:16 pm 
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Oh my god, you're back!!! YAY, YAY, YAY!!! :applause :banana :applause :bigwave
I'm so glad the wait is over and I can have my weekly dose of confidential again!
I loved that Tara managed to make their new appartment feel like home already. Yay for their first bath together. The thorough christening of their bed was also very much appreciated! :drool
I'm looking forward to Tara making them their first "real" breakfast with funny shaped pancakes and stuff - and to the " breakfast for champions" before Tara's exam, of course...

I hope your move went smoothly and that you settled into your new place nicely.
Glad to hear (read) from you next week!


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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 08/05/15
PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:14 pm 
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JMT...

You're back! Which means Wednesday's are the happiest day of the week once again. Well, at least every other Wednesday, but I can handle that as long as I get a bi-weekly dose of Willow/Tara goodness:)

I loved the length of this chapter, it was a great launch point and very nice transition into their adult life. It's clear from the start that Willow is going to have a rough go it for awhile and I'm happy to see that Tara is conscious of this as well. For Tara, her adult life began the day she left home and she is well versed on adult responsibilities. Willow hasn't quite grasped that yet and it's evident when she jumps in the car with Becky and speeds away, leaving Tara with all the heavy lifting...literally. But Tara being Tara, patiently deals with Willow's immaturity by giving her some responsibilities and tasks to complete on her own, which I loved. She could have easily have just gotten pissed, but she let Willow be Willow, knowing that she needed to come around on her own.

As for the rest of the chapter...hubba, hubba. VERY nice breaking in of the bed:) I look forward to more!!

-Shelb

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 08/05/15
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:07 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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zampsa19752001 -

Quote:
Dibs-y Goodness! :banana


First fic dibs!

Quote:
Yay for excellent update-y goodness... I really liked their first day out of college...


Glad you enjoyed it, hope you enjoy the rest :)

Thanks for commenting!

JustAKitty -

Quote:
As a big fan of the Confidential series, I'm very happy to see this! Thank you for sharing this with us :-)


Thank you for sticking with me!

Thanks for commenting :)

Will's redemption

Quote:
Oh my god, you're back!!! YAY, YAY, YAY!!! :applause :banana :applause :bigwave


:bigwave

Quote:
I'm so glad the wait is over and I can have my weekly dose of confidential again!


I'm glad to be back with it and to have you on board!

Quote:
I loved that Tara managed to make their new appartment feel like home already.


You know all they need is each other for it to be home *ends cheese*

Quote:
Yay for their first bath together. The thorough christening of their bed was also very much appreciated! :drool


:wink

Quote:
I'm looking forward to Tara making them their first "real" breakfast with funny shaped pancakes and stuff - and to the " breakfast for champions" before Tara's exam, of course...


You get both now!

Quote:
I hope your move went smoothly and that you settled into your new place nicely.


That hit a...bump. That's why it took me so long to get back to writing, but I figured I was better off starting up again and taking a week or two off if I need it in the future rather than waiting forever for life to work itself out!

Quote:
Glad to hear (read) from you next week!


Hope you keep enjoying it :)

Thanks for your feedback!

Finey_McFine

Quote:
JMT...


JMT!

Quote:
You're back! Which means Wednesday's are the happiest day of the week once again. Well, at least every other Wednesday, but I can handle that as long as I get a bi-weekly dose of Willow/Tara goodness:)


I'll be here every Wednesday!

Quote:
I loved the length of this chapter, it was a great launch point and very nice transition into their adult life.


It ended up being double the length of a normal one and I contemplated breaking it up, but I think the flow would have been disrupted and I try not to break up same-day chapters unless I have to because I don't have time to finish.

Quote:
It's clear from the start that Willow is going to have a rough go it for awhile and I'm happy to see that Tara is conscious of this as well.


Well, she is, there was just no way around it given the back story I gave them in Hacker. It would have been very un-Tara like to not notice, I think.

Quote:
For Tara, her adult life began the day she left home and she is well versed on adult responsibilities. Willow hasn't quite grasped that yet and it's evident when she jumps in the car with Becky and speeds away, leaving Tara with all the heavy lifting...literally.


And Tara has contributed to that a little bit. Doing her laundry, keeping their room clean, encouraging Willow to eat her vegetables. It's the roles they naturally fall into, but Willow did show (when Tara was in Paris) that she could do that stuff on her own as well, and that'll be important as she settles into this new life, that she at least has some confidence that she can cope.

Quote:
But Tara being Tara, patiently deals with Willow's immaturity by giving her some responsibilities and tasks to complete on her own, which I loved. She could have easily have just gotten pissed, but she let Willow be Willow, knowing that she needed to come around on her own.


Tara knows how to handle Willow. They've been living together two years at this stage so they're both well versed in each others' routines and habits. Willow always works better when she comes to things on her own instead of viewing it as a chore. I think, stemming from her strained relationship with her parents, she resents having expectations put on her, so Tara saying something like 'I need this done in the next hour' might grate her and cause her to want to rebel but 'can you get this done and in an hour or so we'll both be finished at the same time and be together' makes her feel more included. Tara definitely chooses her language carefully around Willow, but because it stems from kindness she can do it without making Willow feel manipulated. Conversely, Willow does the same when she wants something or wants to coax something out of Tara. I think one of the big parts of being in a relationship is speaking each others' language and getting the best out of each other through it.

Quote:
As for the rest of the chapter...hubba, hubba. VERY nice breaking in of the bed:) I look forward to more!!


ImageThank you, kind lady.

Thanks for your feedback :)




Update Directly Below

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 08/05/15
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:08 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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********

TITLE: Adult Confidential

WRITER: Laragh

CHAPTER RATING: NC-17

DISCLAIMER: Willow, Tara and any other characters from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise belong to Joss Whedon, FOX, ME and a whole host of other entities, none of which are me.

SUMMARY: They’ve graduated, now they’re faced with the big, bad world of adulthood…the second part in the prequel series of Hacker Confidential and Family Confidential (and follow-up to College Confidential)

SPOILERS: Perhaps minor references to the show or stealage of dialogue, but nothing that would spoil the series.

FEEDBACK: Yes please

Chapter 2

********

Willow stumbled out into the living room, rubbing her eyes.


“Morning, sleepy,” Tara greeted from the kitchen, moving a wooden spoon around a large bowl.


Willow picked up her phone from the coffee table and checked the time, surprised.


“I never sleep this late.”


“Well, it was technically morning when we went to sleep,” Tara replied with a smirk, “I thought you could use the extra zzzs.”


Willow nodded gratefully and approached the kitchen.


“What’s going on in there?”


“Just something I used to do with my mom,” Tara replied softly, smiling down fondly at the bowl, “Picked up the ingredients in that store on the corner. The owner was there and he rounded down the price for the ‘pretty lady’.”


Willow brow furrowed.


“It wasn’t creepy, it was sweet,” Tara clarified when she saw it, “At least it was with his big toothy smile and cheery Indian accent.”


Willow relented and shrugged, trusting Tara’s judgement.


“Pancakes?” she asked as she looked over Tara’s shoulder and saw the batter mix, “Wait, you told me about this. Pancakes and The Beatles on weekends.”


Tara smiled over at Willow tenderly.


“I love that you remembered.”


Willow matched Tara’s smile and kissed her softly.


“Wait there,” she said and went over to open up her laptop.


After a couple of minutes ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ started to play and Tara’s smile couldn’t have gotten bigger.


“Funny shapes or rounds?”


“Both,” Willow answered with the same smile, “I don’t suppose some maple syrup made it onto your list?”


Tara nodded towards the fridge and Willow hurriedly went over to procure the amber nectar. She got two plates down and stood over Tara to watch her.


“Hey,” she said sweetly when she saw Tara make her a heart.


“Wait ‘til you see the next one,” Tara replied confidently, having gotten her practice in, “Eat this while it’s hot.”


Willow stood at the breakfast bar and smothered her heart in syrup.


“Gweat pamcakes!” she complimented around a full mouth.


“Thank you,” Tara replied modestly, then finished up her current one and moved over to slide it onto Willow’s plate.


“Whoa!” Willow exclaimed wide-eyed as she looked at her pointy-eared Spock pancake, “You did that from memory?”


“That poster did greet me every morning for two years,” Tara replied with a wry smile.


“Colour me impressed,” Willow replied giddily, deciding to take a seat at the table, “You having some?”


“Uh huh, I’ll be right there,” Tara replied as she whipped up some rounds in a stack for them to share.


She put all of the dishes in the sink to soak and joined Willow at the table, bringing along two glasses and the orange juice with her.


Willow downed a glass on the spot and Tara found herself eating hungrily after the first bite, her appetite whetted. She thought back to the last time she ate and suddenly stood up.


“Crap.”


Willow watched in confusion as Tara went into the bathroom, then grimaced when she returned holding the dripping, melted carton of ice-cream.


“Whoops.”


“Whoops indeed,” Tara replied, trashing it and washing her hands, “I hate throwing food out.”


Willow grinned.


“There was no chance when you got naked in front of me. Its fate was doomed.”


Tara blushed and sat back down.


“I think we can consider it worth it, this time.”


Willow ran her finger along her plate to gather every last drop of syrup.


“Well so far I’m liking being graduated. Booze, baths, sleep-ins, pancakes, free time with my missus.”


“At least until next week,” Tara replied, cutting up the last of her pancakes, “We should get out and see the neighbourhood today. Properly, as residents, not just strolling through.”


Willow’s hank snuck up on Tara’s and circled on top.


“But there’s so much to christen…”


Tara dabbed her mouth with her napkin and left it on her empty plate. She turned her hand in Willow’s, eyes taking on a certain sparkle.


“Are you saying it’s our spiritual duty?”


Willow fixed Tara with a provocative grin.


“I’m saying this table looks like a pretty great place to start…”


Tara's lips quirked with more than a slight sultry undertone.


She scooted her chair back and pounced.





Tara woke up with the sun to find herself already mid-stretch, with her arms extended above her head.


Her fingertips brushed against the wood of the headboard and her palms pressed flat against the slats as she finished off the stretch. Her fingers closed around the slats and she gave them a little tug, smiling and deciding that after a few days of thorough testing that the headboard really was a nice addition to the bedroom.


She accidentally jostled the bed as she did so, which made Willow stir.


“Hmmmph?”


Willow turned her head on the pillow and her eyes slowly blinked open. She smiled at her favourite morning sight, Tara's sleepy face.


“Morning,” Tara greeted, stretching her toes and wiggling them against Willow’s under the blanket.


Willow rubbed her toes along Tara's foot, then up her calf and scooted closer. She cupped the back of Tara's neck, splaying her fingers out and pulled her in for a leisurely good morning smooch.


She left three long, soft kisses on Tara's lips before pulling away, but staying close enough that their foreheads and noses touched.


“Good morning,” Willow returned, massaging the back of Tara's neck, “How are you feeling?”


“Okay,” Tara replied sleepily, “Better waking up with you.”


“Not so nervous anymore?” Willow asked, softly twirling the hairs on the nape of Tara’s neck.


Tara had her licensing exam that morning and her nerves had been fluttering the night before. However…


“You calmed me down…” she replied with a sultry, sloped smile.


Willow blushed and slid her hand off Tara’s shoulder and down her arm. She took Tara's wrist, then linked their fingers.


“Is it just me or are we having amazing sex in this bed?”


Tara pressed a kiss to Willow's jaw.


“Just the bed?” she asked in a throaty whisper.


Willow shuddered and shook her head.


“Definitely not.”


She tilted her head until her lips were at Tara's lips and she could kiss her again. Her hand dropped Tara's to slide around her waist and pull them in close, while Tara's hand curved over Willow's ass to really get them locked together.


Tara slipped her hand under the back of Willow's top and ran her fingers along her girlfriend's spine as she eased off the kiss.


“I have to go soon. I better shower…”


Willow pouted and didn't let go but eventually relented.


“I’ll make you breakfast!” she offered cheerily, then added on sheepishly, “Well, I’ll pour some milk in your cereal. We haven’t been making much use of that oven.”


Tara swung her legs off the bed and pulled her arms above her head for one last stretch.


“I know, I need to start cooking us meals. A few pasta salads and pancakes doesn't count. Plus, take-out is expensive and bad for us. I’ll cook this evening.”


“I’d offer, but you remember the whole camping frank’n’beans experience…” Willow replied, scrunching up her nose.


Tara smiled back and affectionately plugged that cute, scrunching nose.


“I’m not that great but I’ll rustle us up something. I’ll get some real groceries on the way home.”


She leaned over and placed another kiss on Willow’s lips, then stood up and disappeared off into the bathroom. Willow watched her go until the last of Tara's ass wiggled out the door. She smiled and laid back to do her own happy stretching, then rolled out of bed with a bounce and headed out into the kitchen to pour her some cereal and juice.


As the stream of orange juice hit and sloshed around the glass, she suddenly became very aware of her full bladder. She pulled the juice back so she wouldn't be subjected to the analogous sound and crossed her ankles. She moved between leaning dramatically against the counter and dancing around to ease the ache, but nothing worked enough to make the fullness go away.


In their dorm, when Tara had been in the bathroom and she needed to relieve herself, she ran down the hall to the communal toilets. What little she knew of her closest neighbour, who had only ducked his head out a few times to leer at them as they came and went, made her think he might have cameras installed in his bathroom. She would prefer to pee in the sink than step over his threshold.


She glanced at the sink, then quickly away again before hurrying over to the bathroom door and knocking loudly.


“Tara?” she called, one hand holding her crotch as the sound of the shower water beating down made her sweat, “I gotta go.”


“Okay!” Tara called back.


Willow waited for some kind of continuance, desperately leaning against the door.


“…are you almost done?”


“There’s shampoo in my hair,” Tara called out again, “Come in, just go.”


Willow writhed uncomfortably and cracked the door open.


“But you’re in there.”


Willow could see Tara’s outline through the shower curtain, who was shampooing her hair and had her head tilted back so the water was hitting her body.


“Dorm walls are thin, Willow. I’ve heard you pee before.”


Willow was distracted watching Tara's silhouette for several seconds before the trickling water seeped into her subconscious and she couldn’t bear another second. She ran over to the toilet, dropped her pyjama bottoms and finally emptied her bladder with a relieved sigh.


“Just don’t flush–” Tara started to say, just as Willow flushed and made the stream of water in the shower turn molten hot for a few seconds, “Fff…!”


“Shit!” Willow said, pulling the lever up as if she might be able to stop the flush, “Sorry!”


There were a few moments where Willow could practically hear Tara grimacing, before she spoke again.


“It’s okay. It’s normal again. No harm done.”


“I’ll just, um…” Willow stumbled over her words, before just running out and washing her hands at the kitchen sink so she didn't have to stay there another second.


Tara appeared in a robe, towel-drying her hair a few minutes later. She smiled at Willow when she saw her breakfast set out on the table. Willow didn't return it, though, instead staying behind the breakfast bar and fidgeting with her hands.


“I’m so sorry.”


“Don’t worry about it,” Tara replied easily as she dried her ears and left the towel on the back of the chair, “Just don’t flush next time. Leave the seat down and I’ll do it when I get out.”


Willow blushed and smiled gratefully.


“Thanks. I don’t plan on busting in on you all the time or anything.”


“When you gotta go, you gotta go,” Tara replied, taking her seat and pouring milk into her cereal from the carton.


Willow made a face and turned away, pretending to busy herself making toast. She just nibbled at it as Tara ate up her cereal and finished her juice. Tara came to bring her dishes into the sink and noticed the avoiding eyes.


She put a hand on either of Willow's shoulders to get her attention.


“Are you embarrassed you had to pee in front of me?”


Willow turned a crimson colour and nodded. Tara pecked her on her red cheek.


“Well, don't be. It had to happen at some stage if we’re going to live together for the rest of our lives.”


That actually comforted Willow and she finally smiled.


“Yeah, that’s true.”


Tara lifted her hands and held Willow’s face gently.


“So don’t worry about it.”


She brought their lips together and kissed Willow softly. Willow settled her hands on Tara’s hips and pulled her close, then pushed her up against the sink.


She pressed her hips into Tara's and took a firmer hold of her hips.


“You know, we haven’t christened in here yet…”


Tara got that look in her eye and smirked. She closed her hands around Willow's neck and nodded behind over girlfriend's shoulder.


“We started off against the fridge last night…”


Willow’s hands moved to cup Tara’s behind and she lifted her up, with Tara's help.


“But the counters are totally virgin.”


Tara leaned back as Willow pulled on the tie of her robe, letting the fabric fall off either side. She opened her legs as Willow's hands palmed her thighs and her head tilted back as Willow's mouth met her neck.


She felt Willow's lips in the hollow of her throat and glanced down to see her head getting lower and until it was bobbing between her legs. Her fingers curled under the counter, hanging on as Willow’s mouth found her clit and paid it the attention it was throbbing for.


Her breath hitched as Willow's tongue coaxed her clit out and she moaned as Willow's mouth and lips worked her just the way she liked. She put all her weight on one arm so she could press the other hand onto Willow's head and hold her there.


Her hips thrust up faster and faster as she grew closer to orgasm, until her toes finally curled in against the silverware drawer and she called Willow's name out towards the ceiling.


Both hands gripped the counter to keep her steady, one with a few stray red hairs she'd accidentally pulled out. With her heart still hammering she lifted her hand up and let the hairs fall away, until her eyes focused on the flashing lights on the oven. She saw the time flickering and suddenly didn't have time to be out of breath or have a racing heart.


“Shit!”


She jumped away and made a running start for the bedroom.


“What?!” Willow asked, stumbling back a bit from the force, “What did I do?!”


There were sounds of rustling and banging in the bedroom.


“I’ll be late! They won’t let me into the exam!”


“Oh. Yeah, that's 'shit' worthy,” Willow replied, straightening up and wiping her mouth, then calling louder, “I forgot. Sorry! I'll help!”


She went around and gathered Tara’s things into her purse and waited by the door to hand it off.


“Bye, I love you. Good luck,” she said as Tara sped past her, her feet pounding down the stairs moments later.


Willow watched her leave, a little disappointed with no goodbye, but remembered why she was late and let it go. She went to wash up Tara’s dishes and pour some cereal for herself, before going off to shower and get dressed.


She tidied up a little bit, proud of herself for taking the initiative, then watched TV and browsed the web until Tara came, smiling, through the door, carrying a paper bag a few hours later. Willow shut her laptop on her lap to give her full attention.


“How did it go?”


“Really well, I think,” Tara answered, going straight into the kitchen to drop the groceries off, “Now I just have to wait, but I'm not too anxious.”


Willow visibly slumped with relief.


“Oh, thank god. I felt so guilty.”


Tara came back over to Willow, very light on her feet and cheery. She sat down and placed a hand on Willow’s knee.


“You have nothing to feel guilty about,” she said, leaning over to give Willow a long smooch, “And I’m going to return the favour, don’t you worry.”


She threw a wink in Willow’s direction, making her blush.


“I wasn’t,” she said, standing with Tara as she went back to unpack the groceries, “Worried, I mean. What did you get?”


“Grabbed a few things,” Tara replied as she put the milk in the fridge, “I can make lasagne or chicken and rice tonight. We really do need to find a well-stocked supermarket so I can get fresher things.”


“I love lasagne,” Willow replied eagerly, “I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I’m kinda sick of pizza. All that dough.”


“So no homemade garlic bread?” Tara asked, pulling out a French baguette.


“Let’s not go crazy,” Willow replied quickly, “I mean, you bought the stick. It would be rude not to make it now.”


Tara smirked and laid the bread out on a chopping board.


“Did you eat lunch?”


Willow shook her head.


“Okay, I’ll save half of this for later and make us some sandwiches now,” Tara said, filling the kettle with water and putting it on the burner, “Coffee?”


Willow nodded.


“We gotta get a coffee maker. Instant is killing me.”


“Let me start my job first,” Tara replied, picking out sandwich fillings from the fridge, “Which will hopefully be very soon. As soon as I get my licence, I can go down to HR. Salami or turkey?”


“Turkey, please,” Willow answered, enjoying seeing how Tara made up the sandwich with just the right proportions of cheese and mustard, “I should be doing this, sandwiches is one of the few things I can’t mess up.”


Tara handed Willow the knife with a smile.


“Make me one. Salami and pepper jack. A little mayo. Please.”


Willow smiled back and started to make Tara’s sandwich. She painstakingly filled the sandwich so there would be a piece of everything in each bite and scraped the mayo on with laboratory precision.


Tara watched her, smirking, and when Willow’s concentration was at its highest, reached out and grabbed her ass.


Willow leapt up on the spot and spun around to Tara, shocked. Tara grinned, hooked her thumbs into Willow’s belt loop and pulled her closer.


“Your concentration face is very sexy.”


Willow blushed and toyed with the hem of Tara’s shirt.


“I want you to have a nice sandwich. You always give me nice things.”


Tara put a finger under Willow’s chin and lifted it to kiss her. As their lips met, the kettle started whistling, making them both smile against each other. Tara lingered for another second, then went off to make them coffees, or a mocha in Willow’s case.


Willow brought their plates to the table at first, but Tara joined with the mugs and motioned her over towards the large window.


“Let’s eat on the fire escape.”


Willow shrugged and walked through the big window to sit on the fire escape. She scooted over to make room for Tara and smiled.


“You love it out here.”


Tara nodded.


“I think it’s cool.”


Willow grinned and bumped Tara’s shoulder.


“I think you’re cool. The cooliest.”


Tara nudged back.


“That’s not a word.”


“You’re so cool they had to invent a new one!” Willow retorted, then rested her head on Tara’s shoulder.


Tara kissed the top of Willow’s head and smiled as they looked out onto the street.


It was everything a peaceful weekday afternoon should be and she enjoyed every moment of the time she got to spend with Willow.


They ate and chatted for the afternoon, using the web to find all kinds of neighbourhood locations and making a list of places to visit and check out. When it came time for dinner, Tara was on cooking and Willow was looking after setting the table.


Willow stood back to admire her table-setting; clean silverware that had gotten an extra shine in the material of her shirt and neatly folded triangular napkins. Three tea lights were lit in a diagonal line between the two place settings and two long glasses sat at the head of each knife. A jug of water that Tara had prepared with citrus fruit had been transferred from the fridge to the table and the light hanging over the table was dimmed to complement the mood of the candles.


It was their first dinner not eaten out of a take-out box of some description and Willow wanted to contribute to it as much as Tara's incredible smelling lasagne that was spending its last few minutes crisping up in the oven.


She adjusted the napkins to have them at a straighter angle, then went into the kitchen where Tara was checking on the garlic bread.


“What else can I do?”


Tara straightened up and dusted her hands free of crumbs.


“Want to make a salad?”


Willow nodded and started to make a salad by throwing some chopped red onion and tomato into some lettuce leaves and pouring a bottle of ranch over it. Tara halted her by putting a hand on her wrist, and showed her how to grate some carrot and slice some cucumber.


Willow was out of her comfort zone by the time Tara crumbled some feta cheese over the top and scratched her head in confusion when her girlfriend began to make up a balsamic vinaigrette when there was a perfectly good and delicious bottle of ranch just sitting there.


In truth, Willow hadn’t even known what the glass bottles of oils and vinegars sitting alongside the burner had been and had sort of thought they were just there for decoration.


Tara offered a little bit on the end of a teaspoon and Willow eyed it warily for a moment before tasting it. Her eyes grew wide as it spread over her tastebuds.


“Holy crap, that’s delicious. What’s in it?”


“I just told you when I was making it,” Tara replied with some genial frustration, “It’s just olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a little mustard and garlic, salt and pepper.”


“I didn’t know we had any of that,” Willow admitted, “Except the mustard.”


“I went to the market on the way home, remember?” Tara replied, pouring some dressing into a little bowl with the spoon and leaving the rest of the jar in the fridge, “It lasts a long time and tastes even better when the garlic infuses a bit.”


“Yes, of course,” Willow replied, not wanting to appear as culinarily challenged as she felt, “Infuses. The garlic, that is.”


Tara took the garlic bread out of the oven and tasked Willow with slicing it, while she brought the lasagne to the table and cut it up. Willow joined with the bread and salad and took her seat while Tara dished her up a generous portion.


It was perfectly layered and steaming, lifting the herby smell to Willow’s nostrils. She used her fork to cut a section off, making sure there was some of each layer, and tasted it hungrily. The harmony of flavours was better than any lasagne she’d tasted, even when she’d been in Italy, though she could admit to some bias towards her girlfriend. She quickly took another bite, then one more, before pausing briefly to wipe her mouth with her napkin.


“How did you learn to cook this good?”


Tara was eating slower, savouring everything.


“The only joy I had growing up was food. I learned how to make the most of it.”


“But weren’t you really poor?” Willow blurted, then immediately cringed at herself.


Tara just smiled.


“Food bank parcels can be surprisingly diverse.”


Willow grew quiet and pushed some lettuce around her plate. After a moment, she felt Tara’s hand cover hers and she looked up with a sheepish smile.


“Sorry. Just thinking. You’re poor and…going through a lot… and you're working your ass off to make gourmet and I have all the money I want and I'm living on Chef Boyardee Surprise,” she replied, then puffed out a breath, “I’m lazy.”


Tara shook her head.


“You didn’t know how to eat right. Most teenagers don’t. Don’t beat yourself up about it.”


Willow turned her hand over in Tara’s to link their fingers.


“Will you teach me how to cook some things? I wanna know, and be able to cook for you too.”


“Of course I will,” Tara replied without hesitation, “I bet you’ll be a great cook.”


Willow happily took another big bite of lasagne, coupled with some garlic bread.


“With as you as my teacher, how could I not!”





Willow sat, slumped in bed, with her hands resting over her stomach. There was still a pouch there, even though it had been a couple of hours since she finished dinner.


“I can’t believe how good your lasagne was. And that I practically ate the whole thing.”


Tara sat on the bed and swung her legs in.


“You have a stomach of steel,” she replied with a smile as she rubbed lotion into her arms, “I’m glad you liked it. I’m a bit rusty, but I have a few recipes up my sleeve.”


Willow jiggled her belly.


“Forget the freshman fifteen, I’m gonna get a graduate gut if you keep cooking like that.”


Tara playfully rolled her eyes.


“You didn’t have to eat the six pieces of garlic bread.”


“Oh, I definitely did,” Willow replied with a grin, “How’s my breath?”


Tara leaned over to smell Willow’s garlicky breath.


“Let’s just say it’s a good thing you’re too full to romance me.”


“Ouch,” Willow replied, holding her hand over her mouth and nose to try and smell her breath, “I double brushed!”


Tara settled under the covers and pulled Willow over to her. She pecked Willow’s cheek, then kissed her lips.


“You’re worth it.”


She was mostly teasing Willow, but she would have endured much more than some residual garlic to see the smile produced on her girlfriend’s face. Willow draped her arm across Tara’s waist and pressed kisses onto her shoulder.


“I’m excited for you to start your job…but I wish we could stay like this forever.”


“You know I’ll be home every evening and night, right?” Tara asked, quirking an eyebrow.


Willow’s fingers lifted away from Tara’s hip and wiggled in gesticulation.


“I meant…worry free.”


Tara linked her fingers into Willow’s wiggling ones.


“Why would we have worries?”


Willow settled her cheek on Tara’s shoulder so she her breath hit against her girlfriend’s neck, making the stray hairs on the nape of her neck float away from her skin with each soft exhale from Willow’s lips.


“We can’t be young and reckless anymore,” Willow explained, seeing Tara’s lips part each time her breath warmed the skin of her neck.


Tara smirked, lips quirking on one side to show her amusement.


“Were we ever?”


“Maybe once or twice,” Willow replied seriously, “Some days we never had breakfast. Most important meal of the day.”


“We always had breakfast,” Tara countered, “It just wasn’t always food.”


Willow blushed and hid her smile in Tara’s shoulder.


“You’re so pretty.”


Tara's eyes narrowed suspiciously.


“What do you want?”


Willow rested her cheek on Tara’s shoulder and kissed inside her neck.


“To tell you you’re pretty.”


Tara’s features softened and she turned her head to look in Willow’s eye. She tucked a piece of hair behind Willow’s ear and kissed her nose.


“You’re pretty too,” she said sweetly, “Cooking lesson tomorrow?”


Willow nodded.


“Although I did make dessert today.”


“And you’re the best ice-cream scooper I know,” Tara agreed, “At least we got this one back in the freezer.”


Willow smiled.


“Thanks. The trick is letting it melt just enough to let the spoon go through while still letting it be solid.”


Tara nodded.


“I’ll remember that.”


Willow threw her arm around Tara’s waist and tangled their legs together. It was the first night since they’d moved in that neither had initiated sex, but she didn’t mind. Cuddling and sleeping close was hardly a consolation prize.


“I love you Tare-bear. ‘Night.”


Tara wrapped her arms around Willow and kissed her forehead.


“I love you too.”





“Willow, are you ready?”


Willow looked up from her laptop, brow creased.


“For what?”


Tara sighed from the kitchen.


“You’re cooking dinner tonight,” she said, leaning against the counter, “Or, I’m showing you how, at least.”


“Oh yeah!” Willow replied enthusiastically, abandoning her computer to come and join Tara, “What are we making?”


“Hamburgers,” Tara answered, gesturing to the various foods she’d taken out to prepare their meal with.


Willow’s nose scrunched.


“Jeez, Tara, even I know how to make hamburgers. Just take it out of the freezer and throw it on the skillet for 10 minutes, maybe turn once or twice.”


Tara smirked, her lips quirking up on one side.


“We’re making the hamburgers from scratch.”


Willow’s eyes bugged.


“You can make hamburgers? Just here, in a regular old kitchen?”


“Yes,” Tara answered, then picked up some kind of vegetable that Willow couldn’t identify, “And we’re going to make some corn on the cob and sweet potato fries to go with them.”


Willow was mildly alarmed by the dented, rough looking skin of what she could only figure was the sweet potato, because it sure as hell wasn't corn, but smiled when she realised what Tara had planned.


“Hey, that was one of my favourite cafeteria meals.”


“I know,” Tara replied softly.


Willow leaned over and pressed a kiss to Tara’s cheek.


“Thank you. Where do we start?”


“By washing our hands,” Tara replied, bringing Willow over to the sink.


Willow washed her hands with surgical precision and dried them on the dishcloth, which she then handed off to Tara to dry her own.


“Okay, first we have to preheat the oven. Food should always go into a warm oven.”


Willow nodded and approached the oven, eyeing the different temperatures on the dial.


“How do I know what to put it to?”


“Well most things come with instructions and you’ll get a feel for it as you cook more,” Tara replied, “We want the oven hot for the fries, so let’s go 450°.”


Willow turned the temperature dial and then looked at the other one.


“Bake, right? I’ve cooked fries before, but they were of the frozen variety.”


“Right,” Tara smiled, then bumped Willow’s shoulder, “See, you know stuff already.”


Willow blushed, but was pleased. She peeled one of the sweet potatoes with the peeler, while Tara more expertly used a knife on the other one. Tara showed Willow the kind of size they were aiming for, and Willow cut hers up with no injury to herself or the sweet potato.


“Here’s my cheat,” Tara said, taking out a Ziploc bag and putting all of their fries in, “Best way to coat them in oil. That’s what will make them really crispy.”


Willow gestured towards the oil and Tara nodded for her to go ahead. Willow gently poured some oil in, looking at Tara to indicate when to stop and twisted the cap back on when about two tablespoons had gone in. Tara closed the bag and handed it to Willow, who looked at it blankly for a second, then got it and started to shake it with a giggle.


“Shake, shake, shake, shake, a-shake it!”


Tara grinned, finding Willow’s silliness infectious.


“I’d like to see you shake it.”


Willow turned around and shook her butt. Tara burst out laughing.


“Now there’s some buns I can get behind.”


Willow jumped back around with a lascivious grin.


“You can get behind ‘em later,” she said, moving in until their noses were touching, “Or any position you want…”


Their lips brushed and Tara cupped one of Willow’s cheeks, her fingers splaying out across Willow’s face. She tilted Willow’s chin down and kissed her softly for several seconds.


“Spread ‘em,” she said, and Willow’s eyes immediately clouded with lust, which made Tara smile, “The fries. Spread ‘em out on the sheet.”


Willow looked down at the bag in her hands.


“Oh.”


She turned back around to the baking sheet and Tara followed, grabbing Willow’s ass and standing over her from behind. Willow grinned downwards at the sweet potato and arranged them neatly exactly one inch apart each.


“That looks perfect,” Tara complimented, “Nice and even. They’ll crisp up better like that. Let’s get those in the oven so we can start on the patties.”


Willow put the sheet pan in the oven carefully so as not to throw any of the fries out of their place.


“Done!” she said as she closed the oven door, “Let’s get a-pattying!”


Tara brought forward a bowl with the ground beef already inside, a whole egg, half an onion, a clove of garlic, a smaller bowl of breadcrumbs and salt and pepper shakers. Willow looked at it all in surprise.


“All this for a couple of hamburgers?”


“Uh huh,” Tara replied, bringing the onion onto a chopping board and offering Willow a knife, “How are your chopping skills?”


“Non-existent,” Willow replied, making no move to accept the knife, “Maybe you can show me this time.”


Tara agreed and started to chop. Willow moved around the other side and turned the hot faucet in the sink on.


“Stops your eyes from watering,” she explained off Tara’s confused look.


“Great tip,” Tara replied with a smile, “Thank you.”


Willow waved it off.


“Don’t thank me, thank science. And the steam bringing those onion-y vapours away from your eyes.”


Tara’s eyes did water a bit as she chopped, but not uncomfortably so as she eased the knife around the onion. Willow could tell she was slowing down the process for her benefit and really did try to commit the technique to memory. She knew it would be a long time before she would be able to chop as finely as Tara was, but she figured she could get the same effect with no sliced fingers if she just took her time.


She offered to do the last little bit, mostly as a show of her dedication, and had fun mincing the garlic and mixing it all into the meat. Tara added the egg and breadcrumbs and Willow used her hands to keep mixing it all together. A few shakes of salt and pepper and Tara’s hands joined in the meat to show Willow the size patties they wanted.


“Wow, they really are burgers!” Willow said, impressed, as she shaped some more meat, “We’re gonna get like six…am I going to be the food vacuum again tonight?”


“No, we’ll freeze half,” Tara replied, “Then we’ll have some in the future when either of us is too tired to cook. I had planned that with the lasagne too, until somebody came along…”


Willow blushed.


“Good idea. The freezing.”


Tara got out more Ziploc bags and a label and showed Willow really quickly how to pack and label things while the oil heated up on the grill pan. Willow approved of the efficient abbreviation and date system.


They put their leftover patties in the freezer and Tara tested the oil with a small piece of leftover onion. When it sizzled, she nodded for Willow to bring over the patties and arrange them. Willow pressed each one down against the pan and left the bowl in the sink.


“Now, while they cook, we’ll make the corn,” Tara explained, “A lot of cooking is all about timing. Plan things out and it’s nice and easy.”


“It is with you,” Willow replied sweetly.


Tara put her arm around Willow’s shoulders.


“Corn is the easiest part. Just peel the husks and leave them in the water.”


“I can peel!” Willow replied eagerly, going over to where she saw the corns, “Get the water on, assistant!”


Tara smiled and dutifully got a pan of water on to boil. Willow brought the de-husked corn over and put them in the water, while Tara turned the burgers.


“They’re looking good. Want to do the buns?”


“Sure,” Willow replied with a nod, “Wait, I know this. You like lettuce, onion, tomato, mustard, ketchup but NO mayo, right? That always confused me because you like mayo on other sandwiches.”


“I don't like it with beef,” Tara replied, “And you like lettuce, tomato, mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise.”


Willow held up her hand for a high-five, which Tara returned. They prepared each other’s buns side-by-side and Willow squirted a happy face with the mustard on the top bun. Tara saw it and made a heart on the other one, like the pancake, which Willow smiled at.


When their plates were ready to serve up, Tara showed Willow how to melt some cheese on top in the last minute of the patty cooking, then transported the steaming meat to the buns, one on Tara’s and two on Willow’s.


The sweet potato fries came out next, crispy and slightly charred on the ends. Willow tried to make them look pretty and presentable in stacks while Tara drained the corn and skewered each end with corn holders, melting a knob of butter over each.


They each took their plate and they finally sat down to enjoy their meal. They sat in an L shape at the table so they could hold hands on one side.


Willow dipped one of her sweet potato fries in some ketchup, then smiled lovingly over at Tara as she ate it.


“I love this.”


“Yeah, they’re good,” Tara agreed, returning the smile mixed with one of pride, “Well done.”


“No,” Willow replied softly, linking their fingers as well as their palms, “This. Living, like this. Us. Together. This is what I want, forever.”


Tara lifted Willow’s hand and kissed her knuckles.


“Then this is what we’ll have. Forever.”

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 08/12/15
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 11:29 am 
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Dibs-y Goodness! :banana

Yay for excellent update-y goodness... I really loved Willow's first cooking lesson...

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 08/12/15
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:37 am 
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It's great to see this part of the ongoing story start off so well. I especially liked the fact that even though they've been living together for a few years already they still had to make a few adjustments when moving to a new kind of domesticity.

And the christening of various parts of their new tiny apartment was fun too. though I'm wondering if at some point soon Becky will end up on their couch and send those little play session on hiatus.

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 08/19/15
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:09 am 
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zampsa19752001 -

Quote:
Dibs-y Goodness! :banana


Woop!

Quote:
Yay for excellent update-y goodness... I really loved Willow's first cooking lesson...


Glad you enjoyed it :)

Thanks for commenting!

Citanul

Quote:
It's great to see this part of the ongoing story start off so well. I especially liked the fact that even though they've been living together for a few years already they still had to make a few adjustments when moving to a new kind of domesticity.


It is different, I think. And in a way, it actually helped them live together better, because they coped in a small space together and moved into a (slightly) bigger place. There's also more responsibility, of course.

Quote:
And the christening of various parts of their new tiny apartment was fun too.


They wouldn't be them if they weren't thorough!

Quote:
though I'm wondering if at some point soon Becky will end up on their couch and send those little play session on hiatus.


I have no doubt Becky will end up on the couch...

Thanks for your feedback :)




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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 08/19/15
PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:11 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Location: Ireland
********

TITLE: Adult Confidential

WRITER: Laragh

CHAPTER RATING: PG-13

DISCLAIMER: Willow, Tara and any other characters from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise belong to Joss Whedon, FOX, ME and a whole host of other entities, none of which are me.

SUMMARY: They’ve graduated, now they’re faced with the big, bad world of adulthood…the second part in the prequel series of Hacker Confidential and Family Confidential (and follow-up to College Confidential)

SPOILERS: Perhaps minor references to the show or stealage of dialogue, but nothing that would spoil the series.

FEEDBACK: Yes please

Chapter 3

********

Tara wrapped her robe around herself, relaxed after a long, steaming shower.


The room was still misty and she could feel her pores unclogging and refreshing. It was still a treat to take her time in the shower and not worry about the timer blasting her with cold water while still having conditioner in her hair.


She moisturised her face and neck and rubbed the excess into the tops of her breasts to keep them soft to the touch. Her legs were smooth and her hair smelled great and she was just generally feeling pampered and joyful. She'd be starting work soon and it was thrilling to be at the point she'd worked so hard to get to.


She exited the bathroom and turned into their living space, where Willow was sitting on the couch with a ripped envelope lying beside her. She had a letter in her hands, which she was peering at intently.


Tara came over and dropped into the seat next to her.


“Did we get our first mail at our new address?”


She rubbed her toes along Willow’s calf, but Willow unusually didn’t respond. She was nervously thumbing the corner of the letter.


“Forwarded on from campus. I didn’t know they did that.”


“They do when you have an ‘in’ at the admin offices,” Tara replied with a grin.


“Oh, right,” Willow replied absently, “Yeah. I forgot about that.”


Tara glanced over Willow’s shoulder and noticed the school emblem in the corner of the letter. Her eyes scanned a few words in and she inhaled softly, feeling the mood shift.


She’d been waiting for this conversation ever since they'd graduated, and guessed that the catalyst to having it had just been introduced.


“Whatcha got there?” she asked, keeping a casual air to her tone.


Willow’s knees started to clap together and she stood up to stop it being so noticeable.


“It’s, um…from the graduate school I applied to. They wrote before graduation and said I was on a waiting list…and now there’s a place.”


“Wow,” Tara replied, picking up the letter from where Willow had left it on the coffee table to read properly, “Well, that’s amazing.”


“Uh huh,” Willow replied, gnawing on the skin in the corner of her thumb.


Tara wished she was in something other than her somewhat-skimpy robe, so she made sure it was tied tight and her knees were closed before addressing Willow again.


“You don’t seem very pleased,” she said softly.


Willow shrugged both shoulders, trying too hard to seem indifferent.


“I’m just…thinking, you know. About the logistics. I’d have to take out a student loan.”


Tara nodded.


“Yeah, you would.”


Willow snatched her thumb away from her mouth, accidentally drawing blood but too preoccupied to notice. She yanked the nearest chair at the table out to sit on.


“That's a big deal. Saddling me – a-and you – with debt for the rest of our lives. You know, when we get married and stuff. Laying it all on you. Legally and such.”


“If it’s what you want, it’s worth it,” Tara assured, wanting Willow to work out her own decisions without her being a factor, “We’ll pay it back. A lot of people do.”


Willow’s face was creased with concern and worry and when she finally looked up, it was the most scared Tara had ever seen her.


“What if it’s not what I want?” she asked, her voice barely above a hollow echo.


Tara’s heart broke; she knew how difficult it was for Willow to admit that. She knew Willow's heart had never been totally bonded to the area she'd chosen to study and Tara got the impression it had been that way since the rift started with her parents. By then Willow wouldn't have had the confidence to change her major and her interest had slowly dwindled since.


Tara had begun to wonder after the research project and picked up on Willow’s uncertainty since.


She was very pleased Willow was finally being honest with herself but was under no illusions how difficult this could be. She came over to Willow and knelt at her feet, taking Willow's hands in hers and holding her fingers gently.


“Then don’t do it.”


Willow forehead creased and uncreased several times, moving between relief at the thought and confusion at the consequences.


“But if I don’t do it…what do I do?”


Tara reached up and brushed some hair from Willow's brow.


“Do what makes you happy.”


Willow stood up abruptly, unable to stay still, and accidentally knocked Tara over in the process. She was too busy beginning to hyperventilate to notice.


“But I don’t know what makes me happy. Apart from you. I thought what I studied did, but it doesn’t, not, not like I thought. I turned into a horrible person during the research project and I felt like I was living at home again, jumping for any kind of scrap of attention and feeling like I was only worth my work. It was the whole reason I chose it in the first place; to impress my parents. I don’t like the academia and I have zero interest in listening to people’s problems all day or hearing the hells they’ve gone through and I just don’t, I don’t–”


Tara brushed herself off quickly; she knew it was an accident. She stood up and grabbed Willow by the shoulders.


“Sshh,” she soothed calmly, “Breathe.”


Willow’s cheeks were starting to flame and her eyes were wild.


“How can I breathe!? I just spent four years getting a degree for nothing!”


Willow was struggling, but Tara kept a firm hold on her.


“Having a psychology degree doesn’t mean you have to work in psychology. It’s a broad degree. It wasn’t for nothing.”


“So what the fuck do I do?” Willow asked, almost physically tearing her hair out.


“Do you need to know right now?” Tara asked, tone gentle and calming.


“Yes!” Willow screamed.


“Why?” Tara asked, placing her hands delicately on Willow’s face.


“Why? Why?” Willow spat, jaw clenched, “Because, because what the fuck do I do with my life?”


She pushed herself out of Tara’s embrace and Tara’s face hardened.


“Willow, stop pushing me.”


Willow flattened her balled fists and looked contrite.


“Sorry, I’m sorry. I didn't mean to. I'm sorry.”


Tara approached Willow again and took one of her hands.


“Can you please take a breath and come sit down with me so we can talk?”


Willow swallowed and let herself be lead back to the couch without argument. Tara got her a glass of water and oversaw her drinking half of it, before sitting beside her again.


“Okay. Now let’s not freak out. You don’t need to know exactly what you want to do at this moment in time. You know how some people take a year off between high school and college?”


Willow nodded, holding the glass in both hands to keep them occupied and not flailing.


“Yeah.”


“You can take that time off now,” Tara suggested easily, “Figure out what you want to do. I start work soon, we’ll have money coming in. A roof over our heads and food to eat. You can find yourself, or your interests, or whatever you want to call it.”


“Don’t people travel and stuff?” Willow asked, looking down into her lap, “When they're 'finding themselves'?”


“Do you want to travel?” Tara asked.


Willow shook her head.


“Not without you.”


Tara scooted closer and put an arm around Willow’s shoulders.


“There are no rules. You can volunteer, learn a new hobby. You never let yourself breathe. You’re allowed to breathe,” she said softly, but Willow’s brow remained permanently creased, “I know you’re terrified not to have a plan. But all you’ve ever known is school. It’s okay to take a break.”


Willow was, quite literally, at a loss. It was all too big to contemplate in a few moments.


“…I never intended for you to be paying all the rent and stuff.”


Tara waved a hand.


“That doesn’t matter. How much did you pay for when we were dating?”


Willow shrugged.


“It’s not like I kept track.”


Tara leaned over and pressed her lips to Willow’s cheek, sweetly.


“Exactly.”


Willow accepted the few seconds of comfort and stayed close to Tara when she pulled away. Her eyes were sunken and she looked up at Tara like a lost child.


“I’m scared,” she admitted.


“I know,” Tara replied, rubbing Willow’s arm, “But it’s a lot less scary than facing into a life of something you don’t love.”


Willow considered that and actually seemed a little shocked that Tara wasn't wrong.


“Yeah…you’re right,” she said, swallowing again, then offering a weak smile, “Guess you can call me Willow No-Plan. There's a Western name to be jealous of, huh?”


Tara kissed Willow's forehead and Willow leaned her head against Tara’s chest.


“I wish I knew like you do. I wish I had that conviction.”


“You’ll find it,” Tara replied, with plenty of that conviction in her voice, “I believe that. I believe in you.”


Willow closed her eyes and tried to block out the sound of her hammering heart.


“At least someone does.”


Tara kissed the top of Willow’s head since the kisses seemed to be soothing her.


“I always have.”


Willow swiped at her eyes with her sleeve and took the letter again in her shaking hands.


“So, this is it…I'm rejecting the spot.”


Tara rubbed the small of Willow's back.


“Take some time to think it over if you need to.”


Willow suddenly had a flash of herself in the future; hair greying, smile non-existent and her face pinched and full of disdain as she was surround by books and papers. She looked way too much like her mother.


The letter was ripped in half immediately.


“I don't.”


Tara put her arm around Willow's shoulders, squeezing with praise and pride.


“See, you're sure of something already. Knowing what you don't want to do is just as important as knowing what you do want to do.”


The two halves of the letter fell back onto the table and Tara pressed a long, reassuring kiss to Willow's lips.


“Everything will work out. I have no doubt.”


Willow pressed her palms together and interlocked her fingers, in her lap.


“How can you be so sure?”


Tara closed her hand around Willow's wrist.


“Because I have faith in you. And that's unwavering.”


Willow's head bobbed in a nod and her palms hit together with a nervous twitch. She stood up and looked around, acting as lost as she felt.


“I think I need to lie down?” she asked, smoothing her hair back with both hands to disguise further fidgeting.


“Yeah, come on,” Tara encouraged, standing and offering her hand, “I'll lie with you.”


Willow took it gratefully and clung to Tara like a child. Tara brought them into the bedroom and lied down with her, on her stomach so she could reach across and play with the ends of Willow's hair, while still sharing the pillow so they were close.


She felt the effects of the hair-playing calming Willow down and matched her breathing so they synced up and created a tranquillity in the air.


Willow felt safe and comforted by having Tara around her and finally felt together enough to turn her head and meet Tara's eyes with her own vulnerable ones. Tara leaned in and pressed a kiss to either eyelid, then an even softer one against her lips.


“I know you're scared and unsure and confused and a thousand other terrifying things. But know, this is where I'm going to be through it all.”


She leaned in, forehead to forehead and nose to nose.


“Right by your side.”





Tara gently patted her face with a cold washcloth, careful not to disturb her lightly applied make-up.


She checked the buttons on her blouse to make sure they were all tied to the right hole and checked her neck again that it was hickey-free after Willow getting a little excited the night before.


When there was nothing left to fuss over or recheck, she took in a soft but deep breath and left the bathroom. Willow was carrying a flask over to the table to accompany a lunchbox and water bottle.


“Flask of coffee, packed lunch with completely inoffensive smells to not piss off new co-workers, bottle of water for your desk and an extra apple and banana for energy boosting snacks,” she said, feeling very useful and very domestic, “I would have chosen a Snickers myself, but I figure the fruit was more up your alley.”


Tara was touched by the effort and walked straight over to embrace Willow. Willow noticed she was clinging on extra hard and returned it with a reassuring squeeze.


“Hey…it’s gonna be okay. You were all excited last night. 'Can't wait to start my job, Willow'. That was my impression of you, by the way.”


“I am excited,” Tara replied, but her voice was less than convincing.


Willow put her hands on Tara’s shoulders and looked her square in the eye.


“It’s okay to be nervous. First days are like that. But you’ll do great. You already did great. They offered you a job before you even graduated for god sake! You’re a freaking rock star, Tara Maclay.”


Tara smiled bashfully and gave the ends of her blouse another tug.


“Do I look okay?”


Willow nodded.


“Smart. Professional. And very sexy. But don’t worry, that’s a requisite when it comes to me.”


She pulled lightly at Tara’s collar, smoothing it, then began gathering up the things on the table and packing them into Tara’s new ‘work bag’ – a plainer, black messenger bag that was wide to accommodate files and had plenty of pockets for miscellaneous other items, like a lunchbox, a water bottle, and Willow’s favourite pen that she’d given to Tara as a gift for her first day.


Tara spotted the pen again as Willow zipped up the bag.


“I’ll take good care of it.”


Willow smiled and placed the strap around Tara’s body.


“I know you will. That’s why I gave it to you,” she said, smoothing out the strap and centering the bag, “Look at my working girl. You know your way on the T, right?”


Tara nodded nervously.


“Yeah, I think so.”


“Want me to come with?” Willow asked, squeezing both of Tara’s upper arms, “Not like I’m doing anything else while I’m, um, ‘finding myself’.”


“Are you making fun of my phrase?” Tara asked wryly, “You can call it whatever you’d like.”


Willow pursed her lips in an attempted smile. She wasn't totally okay with her new life not-quite-a-plan but she was also trying her best to embrace it. After a few days of being uneasy about it all, they had switched roles as Tara became nervous about starting work and Willow became the reassurer.


“My Not-Gotta-Clue Vacation.”


Tara relaxed and grinned back.


“You can be my little housewife-y.”


“Okay, okay,” Willow replied with a playful roll of her eyes, “Right now I’ll be your escort – wait, not that ki– oh, just come on.”


She took Tara’s arm and her set of keys and walked her out. As they walked down the hallway, their grimy neighbour passed with his mail; his robe way too loose and face dirty, made dirtier by the seedy grin he was shooting at them.


“Ladies.”


Willow’s nose scrunched and she marched Tara right past him and onto the stairs.


“He is so gross. He looked down my top yesterday when I dropped my keys on my way in.”


Tara cast an angry look over her shoulder, but they were already out of sight.


“Make sure you never go into his apartment if he invites you.”


“I’m not a total idiot,” Willow replied, holding the building door open for Tara, “He won’t be getting any more than thought-jollies from me and I won’t be giving him much to work with either! Baggy jeans and too-big hoodies when I’m collecting the mail from now on.”


“Are you trying to turn me on?” Tara asked with a lopsided smirk.


“Not this early, but hold that thought ‘til later…” Willow replied with sparkling eyes.


The T stop was only around the corner, but it took them several minutes to get through the crowds to wait for the train. There was standing room only and zero chance at conversation, so the trip was quiet apart from the bustle of people and the occasional bump into each other.


Willow didn’t envy Tara having to make that rush hour trip every day but kept her mouth shut as they walked off the platform back onto the street. When they got to the large office building, Tara started fidgeting with her clothes again.


Willow took her hands to stop her, well-practiced from Tara's handling of her.


“You look great. You’ll do great. You are great.”


Tara turned her hands in Willow’s and squeezed.


“Don’t know what I’d do without you.”


Willow smiled and forewent a kiss, not wanting to draw attention to or embarrass Tara.


“I’ll be here at 5:30pm on the dot.”


“You don’t have to,” Tara replied shyly.


“I’ll be here,” Willow repeated insistently.


Tara smiled, kissed her own fingers and pressed them against Willow’s lips.


“Wish me luck.”


“Won’t need it, but good luck,” Willow replied, releasing Tara’s hands, “I love you.”


“I love you,” Tara replied and went into the building with a wave.


Willow waved back excitedly until Tara was out of sight, then sheepishly lowered her hand as busy people continued to bustle past her. She swung around to join them in-step and made her way back to the T station, where thankfully the line going back wasn't as chaotic. She sat in a seat and played on her phone, hidden in her sleeve.


When she stepped back into the apartment, she felt herself deflate slightly. She had no plans, nothing to do and no Tara to distract her or take care of. It really hit her that they were living real lives now and she was responsible for scheduling and occupying her day.


She had a look around and there was nothing really to do; the place was tidy, the dishes were done, but there was a hamper full of laundry. She considered it, and decided it would be great to be helpful, so she searched for detergent and hiked it downstairs with the bag of clothes.


She had the run of the laundry room to herself as most other people were at work, so she picked out the least old looking machine. She almost emptied out the entire thing straight in, but remembered at the last second about sorting colours and put them on the floor instead.


She carefully considered the machine and filled the tray up with detergent, then set it onto a spin wash like Tara had showed her how all those years before.


She smiled at it confidently as it started to whirr up, for all of ten seconds until suds started bubbling out over the top. Her eyes bugged and her arms flailed before she tried the fruitless endeavour of trying to catch the bubbles as they escaped. When that plan failed as soon as it began, she ran around to trace the plug and yanked it from the socket.


Thankfully, it stopped and Willow grimaced at her wet shirt. She did some sleuthing around the machine and figured out her problem fairly quickly.


“Fill to the line, Willow, not the whole thing! Dammit!”


She spent a couple of minutes pondering what to do and finally decided that she had to finish the clothes now they were thronged or they'd be ruined. She switched the clothes into a different machine, very cautiously put new detergent in to the line and set it to spin again. She waited with baited breath and heaved a huge sigh of relief when it just rattled on like it was supposed to five minutes later.


She looked guiltily at the corner machine and glanced out the door at the landlord/super's office. She knew she had to be and adult and face the music, so she knocked timidly. A grunt gave her permission to enter and she nervously pointed over her shoulder with her thumb.


“Hey, so, um, the machine in there-”


The landlord grabbed a laminated page from atop a filing cabinet and shoved it at her. Willow read the 'Out Of Order' sign and figured if there was trouble enough for him not to even ask what the problem was, she didn't need to alienate herself any further or admit being the culprit.


“Well, okay then. Thanks.”


She shut the door, grateful to get out of that little corner of hell and carefully placed the out of order sign on the corner machine.


She hung back and watched the machine shake and jostle and had a naughty thought or two of sitting on top, or sitting Tara on top, though she knew the fear of breaking another machine would keep that fantasy firmly in her head and nowhere else.


When the machine came to a halt, Willow checked that the dial was definitely fixed at the end of the cycle. When she was sure she wasn't causing another sudsy Pompeii, she transferred the load to the dryer, which was a lot easier to use with just a minute timer to negotiate.


There was an old, ripped sticker with time guidelines for the size of the load and Willow was able to estimate from it. She stayed with it to stop and check intermittently, determined not to mess up her first attempt at keeping the chores and their home in order.


She smiled when it was all done and warm to her touch; it made folding less of a hassle and more of a comfort. She decided she liked that part, even if the rest had been gruelling. Finally she arrived back upstairs, quickly got changed out of that damp shirt and packed all their freshly laundered clothes away.


When everything was in its place, she stood in the middle of the living area and checked her watch.


She slumped.


Even with all the excitement, it had only killed a little over an hour.


With not much else to do in the apartment, she chose a book as her next task of choice, and she decided to use her Kindle to find something new she could sink her teeth into. She spotted a leaked copy of a new book called The Hunger Games and figured it looked right up her alley, so she cosied up with a tall glass of iced tea and her reader.


She was halfway through before she looked up again, from a hollow rumble in her stomach. She smiled, happy to have gotten so engrossed and saved her page to come back to the next day; giving her something to put on a schedule and something to look forward to.


Sure, reading wasn't a new experience or discovery, but it was also never a bad thing, and you never know when a book can surprise you or introduce you to something new.


She made herself lunch and made the decision to dedicate the afternoon to really discovering new things she liked - to 'find herself', using the words she'd teased Tara about. She set up her laptop on the table and did a variety of searches related to finding new interests and learning about yourself.


She waded through a lot of wishy-washy blogs and websites promising the secret to enlightenment for the low, low price of $19.99, but nothing with a lot of substance or that she personally found very helpful. She pushed her computer away in frustration and crossed her hands behind her head as she took in a deep breath.


She wasn't sure where to go or what to do next, when she got an IM chat from one of her hacking buddies, inviting her into a challenge.


Willow grinned at her screen and pulled the laptop back to her.


She closed all the tabs, stretched out her fingers and began to do what she did best.





Tara rode the elevator, trying not to feel intimidated by the other professionally dressed people and thankful that she was the only one to get off on her floor.


She didn’t allow herself to pause to take any more breaths, lest she pass out and walked straight into the Department of Children and Families offices. It was just starting to get busy but the receptionist wasn’t there yet, so Tara waited. After a couple of minutes, a familiar face popped her head around and spotted her.


Alice walked over with a pleasant smile.


“I heard that we’d hired you. I’m glad the boss took my recommendation.”


Tara immediately stood up, her mouth opened in surprised that she’d been recommended at all. Before she could say thank you or form any other thought, Alice jumped right in.


“Do you remember the young mother you visited with me last time?”


Tara’s head bobbed quickly. She’d thought about her almost every day.


“Yes, of course.”


Alice smiled.


“She got her son back last week. Doing well, both of them.”


Tara was slightly stunned at the surge of emotion that stirred in her. She had to quickly pull herself together so she could speak clearly.


“That’s wonderful. I’m so happy to hear that.”


Alice put a hand on Tara’s shoulder, then nodded towards the boss’s office.


“Go see the boss, but a little birdy told me you were being assigned to my team, so we’ll be talking soon.”


She winked and went back to her section of cubicles and Tara approached the office in the back. She knocked politely and waited to be called in.


Mr. Evans beckoned her forwards as she entered, looking through his cluttered desk for papers.


“Hello, hello, Miss…” he started, continuing to root before pulling out a file and reading her name, “Maclay. Nice to see you. We were glad you accepted our offer.”


He gestured for her to sit, so she did.


“I was honoured to be asked.”


“Well you gotta act fast when one of my best staff says you’re one of the brightest young workers that have come through those doors,” Mr. Evans said with a jolly Bostonian laugh, which then turned serious, “We know this is your first assignment, but we expect the best from our case workers. There are real children and families in our care.”


Tara was still lingering over the first part, but quickly nodded solemnly.


“Yes, sir. I want to do my best. I want to help people.”


“If you’re still saying that in a couple of months of this day in, day out…then you have a future here,” the boss replied slightly jadedly, “I’m putting you on Alice Kenter’s team since you worked so well with her last time. Team meetings on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, she’ll tell you the times. Here’s your computer and email log-in, you’re on desk 4.”


He handed her a sheet with information on it and nodded at her once. Tara stood there a little dazed for a moment, then realised he was waiting for her to leave. She stood up a little too quickly and clumsily stumbled out of the door, blushing and clearing her throat as she closed it again.


She wandered over to the section Alice had come out of before and found her desk easily as it was the only one empty. She sat on her chair and patted the desk for a moment, appreciating what a big deal it was that she’d gotten there. She’d barely had a moment when Alice was beside her again, this time holding a pile of files.


“Don’t get too comfy, team meeting time.”


Tara left her bag down and stood up, eager. Alice beckoned her into a conference room, where three males and two other women were already sitting, some looking a bit worse for wear and all nursing a large coffee.


Alice pointed downwards at a seat, which Tara took quietly. Alice stood at the head of the table and dropped the files in front of her.


“Good morning everyone,” she said cheerily, though to little response, “First, let me introduce Tara, our newest member.”


People’s eyes diverted to Tara, who tried her hardest not to avert her own.


“We all remember our first day, so please be helpful,” Alice continued, a slight warning tone in her voice.


The others did all offer smiles and Tara felt like the moroseness was Monday morning blues instead of any animosity towards her. She smiled back, then gratefully at Alice, who acknowledged her with a small nod.


The meeting was fairly standard and almost entirely conducted by Alice, handing out assignments and casework. Tara gathered that the Friday meeting would hear a lot more from everyone else as they reported back and she used Willow's pen to jot down some questions to remember.


When there was only one file left, Alice slid it across the table to Tara.


“Jennifer Patella. Seven years old, first reported last year by her teacher for bruising around her arms. Parents claim clumsiness, daughter backs up the story. She was in the ER again this weekend for a cut lip. We’re checking up on her later this morning. She’s yours.”


Tara stared down at the file and Alice clapped her hands.


“Okay team, let’s get to it.”


Everyone else ambled back out into the office and Alice pulled her chair around to sit by Tara.


“Don’t look so terrified, I’m coming with you,” she reassured, opening the file to brief Tara, “The parents are tricky and know how to work the system. I need to catch them unaware or get the girl to talk. You have to understand, even abused kids are scared to speak out and there’s only so much we’re allowed to do.”


Tara swallowed. She knew that all too well.


“I understand.”


Alice handed Tara the file to read and learn and sent her back to set up her desk and computer. Tara logged in and started writing up her impressions on the case. She appreciated being able to jump right in but not being overloaded with work – she would have hated to let something slip through the cracks.


She noted from the medical reports that the girl shared some of the same injuries she herself had sustained, especially the bruising in places that would be hidden by most clothing. She was most disturbed by the persistent evidence of bruising on her thighs, something she’d only experienced when a kick landed the wrong way.


She poured over everything again and again, getting a feel for the language used by all sides and to know the girl as best she could, having never met her. Eventually Alice came to get her and they drove to a suburban street and approached an older looking, slightly crumbling house.


A woman answered the door with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth and Alice flashed her identification. The woman rolled her eyes and grudgingly stood back to let them in. A man was standing behind her, looking over her sternly.


“Here to harass me some more?”


“We have some questions,” Alice answered in a neutral tone.


He gruffly moved into the living room and sat down on the couch. Alice sat in an armchair opposite and Tara hovered by the door to observe. Alice had a clipboard and pen and started going through standard questions on a form.


After a few minutes, Tara noticed a flash of dark hair was poking out of a doorway up the hall. Tara raised her fingers in a wave and the girl hesitated, then waved back. Tara glanced at the parents whose faces were burrowed as they focused completely on answering Alice’s questions with methodological evasion.


She silently pushed herself off the door and walked down to the little girl’s bedroom. She was playing with some dolls and looked scared as Tara came in, so Tara hung back and waved again. It pained her to see the girl's swollen lip and the fresh stitches.


“Hi. I’m Tara.”


The girl gave Tara the once over and finally answered.


“I’m Jenny.”


Tara gestured towards the dolls.


“Can I play with you?”


Jenny seemed both confused and pleased and handed up a dolly for Tara to take. Tara did and came to sit with her, brushing the dolls hair with a mini comb. She didn’t make any attempt to push the conversation, and finally Jenny spoke up.


“I don’t like it when the people with the clipboards come here.”


“How come?” Tara asked, twisting the doll’s hair into plaits.


Jenny started brushing her doll’s hair much harder.


“He gets mad when they leave.”


A lump caught Tara’s throat, but she pushed through it.


“Your dad?”


Jenny nodded and Tara inched just a tad closer.


“What happens when he gets mad?”


Jenny’s brow furrowed.


“I’m not supposed to talk about it.”


“My dad used to get mad too,” Tara replied, covertly watching Jenny’s face intently, “Does he only get mad when we leave?”


Jenny shook her head.


“When else?” Tara asked.


Jenny’s eyes travelled to her bed, then to Tara. They were glassy and Tara saw her fighting between blurting out and shutting down. Jenny looked at her bedroom door, then scooted over to Tara and whispered in her ear.


“During bed games…when I cry. I’m not supposed to cry.”


“Does he touch you?” Tara asked, and continued much too fast when she nodded, “Where?”


Jenny retreated again, back to her dolls.


“Mommy says you shouldn’t talk about your privates,” she answered, giving a cursory but not unnoticed glance to some small, pale marks on her arm that Tara knew all too well were healed cigarettes burns, which weren’t mentioned in any of the medical reports.


Tara knew she’d come on too strong and needed to reign in her emotions.


“Are you scared?” she asked softly and timid eyes rose to meet hers, “Is there any time you aren’t scared?”


Jenny finally smiled.


“At my nanny and pop-pop’s house. They read with me and make me hot chocolate.”


Tara smiled back.


“Do they live nearby?”


Jenny thought about it, looking away pensively before looking back at Tara like a normal, happy little girl.


“Two bus rides away.”


Tara was contemplating what to ask next, when Alice appeared in the doorway and intently beckoned her over with her eyes. Tara could tell she was in trouble and handed the doll back to Jenny.


“I have to go now.”


Jenny looked saddened, but resigned and it broke Tara’s heart.


Tara walked over to Alice, who took her arm and spoke in a hushed voice.


“Tara, don’t just run off like that.”


“I’m sorry, I was speaking to the girl,” Tara replied.


“You’re lucky the parents didn’t see you talking to her alone,” Alice said sternly, “I should be supervising your first interviews. I had to say I needed to use the bathroom to come find you.”


“I know, I’m really sorry,” Tara repeated, voice lowered to a barely audible whisper, “But she told me her father is molesting her.”


Alice’s face shifted and she brought Tara further down the hall.


“What exactly did she say?”


Tara recounted the whole conversation and Alice’s body language completely changed.


“Okay,” she replied, matter-of-fact and brought Tara back to the living area, “That will be all for now, Mr. and Mrs. Patella.”


Tara’s eyes went wide, but she remained quiet until they were back outside.


“What are we doing, we can’t leave her.”


“We’re going to file an emergency petition with the court for removal and see if the grandparents are suitable and willing to take temporary custody,” Alice replied, walking briskly back to the car, “Then we’ll come back with the authorities.”


Tara was stalled on the road and Alice had to come over and drag her to the car.


“Come on Tara, there’s no time to waste,” she said, then held Tara by the arms seeing the conflict in her eyes, “It’s the safest way to do this. Any step wrong and we jeopardise the entire investigation. We need to have a place lined up for her to go. We’ll work quickly and we’ll get her out of there as soon as possible. Now come on.”


Tara got in the car and stared glumly back at the house. They were the last moments of quiet she had for the rest of the day, as she went through the whirlwind process of going to family court, testifying, sitting in with the grandparents during an interview and finally returning to the house with the police to remove Jenny from her parent’s custody.


Her cut lip had been reopened in the intervening time and Tara felt completely sick over it. She comforted Jenny through the process, assuring her she was being taken to her grandparents, who were thankfully willing and able to take her.


The parents caused a scene, screaming and shouting, and the father was arrested. Both parents were brought into the police car to go for questioning and Tara tried to shield Jenny as best she could from the whole ordeal by playing music with her in Alice’s car.


Finally Alice returned to the car, frazzled. She’d been pushed around a bit but straightened herself up in just a moment. She turned off the music and made sure Jenny had her seatbelt on while they went to drop her off with her grandparents.


Jenny just seemed to think she was going on a little vacation with her nanny and pop-pop, which was the best way she could be thinking at the moment. She hugged Tara when they got there and thanked her for bringing her there. Tara just smiled, unable to speak.


There was lots and lots and lots of paperwork and Tara was amazed at how much work was involved in one case – especially considering she’d eventually have many on her plate all at once. She remembered her templates from the internships but it still took her the whole rest of the day and scoffing her lunch at her desk to get everything in place for another court appearance the next morning.


She appreciated how quickly family court worked, but if she let one thing slip through her fingers it could ruin their entire case. It was a lot of responsibility, but she took it on in the knowledge she had someone looking over her to watch her back.


Finally everything was in order and Tara realised it was past 6pm. She gathered her stuff to leave.


“Great job today, Tara,” Alice said, still at her desk and the only other one left in the office, “You were thrown right in at the deep end and you treaded that water. You helped that girl. Keep it up – but don’t sneak off again. Stick to the protocols. Be creative where you have to, but stick to the protocols.”


Tara nodded repeatedly.


“I will. And I'm sorry, again.”


“Make sure to look after yourself,” Alice advised kindly, “Take a bath. Pour a drink. Have sex. Do all three. Just make sure you unwind.”


Tara blushed.


“Thanks. I will. I mean, um…thanks.”


“Next day like this I will bring you out for a large glass of wine,” Alice replied with a tired smile, “Today, I need to get home to my new kitten. Now there’s a de-stressor. One rub of that little belly and I’m golden. You have someone to go home to?”


Tara smiled and nodded again.


“Probably waiting for me outside actually.”


“Have a nice evening,” Alice replied easily, “Bye.”


Tara lifted her hand in a wave and left, riding the elevator with her earlier fears alleviated but new ones on her shoulders.


Willow was outside, leaning against the wall and Tara hurried over.


“Willow, I’m so sorry. I didn’t see the time.”


“No big,” Willow replied tiredly, though not annoyed, “Didn't want to call and disturb. How’d it go?”


Tara made a non-committal gesture and Willow didn’t push. The T ride home was as busy as the morning ride and totally sapped the last bit of energy from Tara. She was slumped walking home and went straight to the couch when they got in.


“I made some–” Willow started to say, but came over to Tara when she saw her hanging her head in her hands, “Hey…you okay?”


Tara’s hands slid behind her own neck to massage it.


“Really…intense day.”


“Wanna talk about it?” Willow offered, rubbing the small of Tara’s back.


Tara opened her mouth and started to retell the whole tale, but only got about halfway through before bursting into tears. She vaguely finished it out that they’d gotten the kid to her grandparents for the moment but was mostly just blubbering, remembering the pain and hurt in Jenny’s eyes and how it had mirrored her all those years ago.


Willow just held Tara and let her let it out, but as it went on and on, she really started to worry.


Was Tara going to be able to cope with this day in, day out?


Could she subject herself to this kind of evil without destroying herself?


Would all she worked for be for nothing?


Could it reduce her to nothing?


A long, long time passed until Tara was just sniffling and she finally looked up at Willow, surprising her to be smiling through her glassy eyes.


“I helped her. I really helped her.”


All at once Willow’s fears were broken and she knew this was it – this was what Tara was put on the earth to do. She pulled Tara into a hug and wiped the last of her tears with her sleeve.


“You did. You should be so proud of that.”


Tara dismissed it with a shake of her head.


“It scares me how much people can get away with until we can intervene. Even the medical reports weren’t up to snuff. She had healed cigarette burns that weren’t noted in any of them. If someone had noticed those, we would have had proof of intent to cause harm.”


“You noticed them,” Willow pushed, wanting Tara to recognise her very noticeable achievement for her first day, “I wouldn't even know what healed cigarette burns look like.”


Tara’s brow furrowed slightly, then she angled her back towards Willow and lifted her shirt up. Willow wasn’t sure why she was doing it, until she connected what she had said with the markings on Tara’s back. She was shocked.


“I thought they were beauty marks,” she said, swallowing, then touched each one reverently, “You are beautiful.”


Tara smiled, although sadly, at the sentiment and lowered her shirt. She noticed it was dark and was surprised at how long she’d been crying.


“I’m sorry,” she said, sniffling once, “Made you wait and cried all over you. I don’t even know if I was allowed to tell you all of that. I shouldn't have. I can't do that again.”


“My lips are sealed,” Willow replied lovingly, “What about everything else? Are the others nice? Do you have a desk?”


“Yeah, and a work email,” Tara replied with a lopsided smile, “Everyone is really nice. Alice is my supervisor, she was the one who I shadowed during my internship. They’re government offices, so everything is kind of old. The lights kept flickering.”


Tara didn’t notice the guilty look on Willow’s face.


“Well, I’m super proud of you,” Willow said, changing the subject, “You must be starving. I made a pasta sauce.”


“You did?” Tara asked, impressed, “I’d love some.”


Willow jumped up and kissed Tara’s cheek.


“You sit, I’ll get it all ready.”


Tara sat back and settled a cushion in her lap.


“So how was your day?”


Willow had her back turned and scrunched her face as she decided how much to reveal.


“I did the laundry,” she said eventually, “Fresh clothes await your donning.”


“You did the laundry?” Tara asked, surprised, “…and they all came out okay?”


“Yup!” Willow replied quickly, “No big deal. Now where did I put those bowls?”


She ducked down under guise of a search to avoid any more discussion. She didn’t need Tara knowing about her near-catastrophe with the rabid washing machine, especially when she’d figured it out eventually. It was embarrassing.


As for her online dalliances…there was nothing to gain from another conversation there. She knew Tara didn’t like it. It would just make her worry.


She found the bowls and hummed while she served up leftover penne with the new sauce she'd made after her afternoon keyboard fun. She felt sophisticated as she cracked some black pepper and grated some parmesan over their dishes.


Tara shook out a napkin in her lap and inhaled the steam.


“Smells great,” she said, then had to try really hard not to choke when she took a bite, “Lots of oregano.”


“Is it no good?” Willow asked, worried, “It said put five tablespoons in. 5 T-S-P!”


“Oh, honey,” Tar replied, gently, putting a hand over Willow’s “T-S-P is teaspoons. T-B-S-P is tablespoons.”


Willow hung her head.


“Damn it. Spoons are not used as units of measurements in science!”


She slapped her palm against her forehead, but Tara took it and squeezed her hand.


“Easy mistake.”


“I wanted to make you dinner after your big first day,” Willow muttered, mad at herself for not double checking, especially since she figured a basic pasta sauce would be the simplest thing she could make from scratch.


“Is there more pasta?” Tara asked and Willow nodded.


Tara gestured for Willow to follow her and went over to the pot of sauce. She stirred in another tin of tomatoes, a little cream and some lemon juice. Some dried basil was tapped in on top and Tara made a note in her head to get the fresh stuff in the future.


They stirred it together so it blended nicely and let it simmer, then Tara offered some to Willow on a wooden spoon. Willow tasted it and smiled wryly.


“Delicious. Should have done that tasting thing before I unleashed it on you.”


“That’s how you learn, and next time you’ll know,” Tara replied kindly, “Let’s eat on the couch and cuddle. It has definitely been a cuddle-worthy day.”


Willow leaned her head in against Tara’s shoulder, taking a moment with her.


“Every day is a cuddle-worthy day with you.”


Tara leaned back, secure knowing she could get through any day with Willow on the other side.


“And every day with you is a joy.”

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Current Series: College Confidential ... Adult Confidential ... Hacker Confidential ... Family Confidential


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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 08/19/15
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:26 am 
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Dibs-y goodness! :banana

Yay for excellent update-y goodness... I'm really glad that Tara has Willow to take care of her after a hard day at work...

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 08/19/15
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:04 am 
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Well, done all the way around.

This makes my Wednesday's happier for sure.

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 08/26/15
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:08 am 
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zampsa19752001

Quote:
Dibs-y goodness! :banana


:)

Quote:
Yay for excellent update-y goodness... I'm really glad that Tara has Willow to take care of her after a hard day at work...


I'm glad they have each other!

Thanks for commenting :)

vampyregurl73

Quote:
Well, done all the way around.


Thanks!

Quote:
This makes my Wednesday's happier for sure.


And that makes my every day happier for sure :D

Thanks for the feedback!




Update Directly Below

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 08/26/15
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:10 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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********

TITLE: Adult Confidential

WRITER: Laragh

CHAPTER RATING: NC-17

DISCLAIMER: Willow, Tara and any other characters from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise belong to Joss Whedon, FOX, ME and a whole host of other entities, none of which are me.

SUMMARY: They’ve graduated, now they’re faced with the big, bad world of adulthood…the second part in the prequel series of Hacker Confidential and Family Confidential (and follow-up to College Confidential)

SPOILERS: Perhaps minor references to the show or stealage of dialogue, but nothing that would spoil the series.

FEEDBACK: Yes please

Chapter 4

********

Tara took a slow sip of her wine as her toes curled and uncurled under her pantyhose.


She was using her evening to relax with a book and her feet up, and enjoying it immensely after a long day.


They’d had a nice dinner of chicken and rice, which they had cooked together as Willow was still getting the hang of the balance of flavours. She'd lost some confidence after her first attempt at pasta sauce, though subsequent attempts had been perfectly palatable.


They’d retreated to different couches to stretch out and Willow had been playing on her laptop. She'd been developing an ever-drooping frown until she suddenly dropped the lid with less care than she normally afforded to one of her most prized possessions.


Tara was startled for a moment, then looked over. She knew something was up by the look on Willow's face. She dog-eared her book and left it in her lap.


“Honey, what’s wrong?”


Willow couldn’t meet Tara’s eyes.


“I can’t pay our cell phone bill.”


“What are you talking about, I got paid yesterday,” Tara replied in confusion, “There's money in my account. Just take my card.”


Willow’s teeth gritted.


“I mean, I can’t pay it.”


“Yes you can, because we have enough money,” Tara said back insistently.


Willow was still starring at her lap.


“I’ve always paid it,” she said quietly.


“And now we’ll pay it together,” Tara replied softly, “And you don’t have to come to me if you need to pay for something. You don’t need my permission.”


“Well, yeah, I kinda need you to give me the money,” Willow snapped and kicked the leg of the coffee table before muttering, “In return for my dignity.”


Tara’s eyes creased at Willow’s woe.


“Will…”


Willow slid her laptop off her lap and brought her knees up under her chin.


“I’m sorry. I just hate that I can’t buy us anything, or even myself a new pair of underwear or…just know I have a few bucks if something pops up. I kept seeing my balance get smaller and smaller and thought by magic it was going to go up again.”


Tara nodded sympathetically. She could understand why Willow was finding her newfound financial situation so difficult. From Tara’s perspective, she had more money than she’d ever had, but she knew it was hard on Willow with her account practically empty. That had never been her ‘normal’ and she’d been managing her own finances since she was a preteen.


Tara couldn’t fix it all right then, but she did have an idea that would at least be a step towards easing her girlfriend’s sour feelings. And until she could organise it, there was always a hug available on demand.


So that’s exactly what she went over to give. She embraced Willow and stroked her hair.


“Everything I have is yours. And I would hope the least important thing is my money.”


“Of course it is,” Willow replied, automatically and genuinely, leaning in to Tara's touch.


She could accept that Tara would share what she had, because Willow would do the same, but she still felt guilty that Tara was paying for absolutely everything. In her mind, it was entirely different than her being the main ‘provider’ when they were in college, seeing as Tara was paying for such basic necessities like food and shelter.


It made it bearable to know that she herself would be happy to keep Tara in house and home. She would have to push past her insecurities to once again force herself to recognise Tara loved her as much as she loved Tara. She truly hoped one day that would be something she wouldn't have to think about.


“Same for me,” Tara replied, tickling the corner of Willow’s mouth to produce a smile, “Bottom of the list.”


The tickling worked and a smile pulled at Willow's lips.


“What’s the top?”


“Oh, definitely your ass,” Tara replied with a crooked grin.


Willow let out a deep belly laugh and some tension floated away. Tara smiled and put an arm around Willow.


“Let’s watch some TV.”


Willow curled her legs off to the side and cuddled into Tara’s side.


“I love you.”


Tara turned her head in and kissed Willow softly.


“I love you too.”


A kiss from Tara was only a band-aid over Willow’s torn pride, but a band-aid would at least last for the evening.





Tara came through the door from work, cheerily smiling.


“Hello my love.”


“Hi,” Willow replied, standing up from the couch to welcome Tara with a cheek kiss, “How was your day?”


“Good, good,” Tara replied easily, then took out a large brown envelope and small boutique paper bag out from behind her back, “I have two presents for you.”


She thrust the bag out first and Willow took it curiously. She peered in and took out a pair of black and red lace panties, hanging on one finger. Her face was perplexed.


“Panties?”


“A new pair of underwear,” Tara corrected precisely, “And…”


She handed off the envelope and sat down with Willow. Willow turned over the envelope and lifted the flap, then slid out the papers. It had a bank letterhead.


“What’s this?”


“It’s an application form for our joint bank account,” Tara explained, pointing out where it said so on the front page.


“Our joint bank account?” Willow asked, an eyebrow lifting.


“Yes, because you shouldn’t have to come to me every time you need or want something. It’s needless and a pain, really,” Tara replied with a one shoulder shrug, “I trust you and you trust me, so this is the best solution.”


Willow suddenly understood the panties, and had to smile, but it turned self-deprecating quickly.


“If I didn’t feel like a mooch before…”


Tara sighed. She would push that attitude out if it was the last thing she did.


“When we get married, would you be against us having this?”


Willow thought for a moment, then shook her head.


“No, I guess not, that's pretty normal.”


“Well, we’re going to be married someday, so…” Tara reasoned, gently covering Willow’s hand and rubbing her thumb against the promise ring, “We’re a duckie family aren’t we? Quacking along?”


Willow smiled again.


“Yes, we’re a duckie family.”


Tara wanted to see more of that smile.


“Who’ll have some little ducklings someday who will benefit from parents who've learned the finer points of shared living.”


Willow chuckled, then puffed out a breath of air.


“Slow down there, I can’t have a baby and a quarter life crisis at the same time.”


Tara sighed softly and brushed the back of her hands against Willow’s cheek.


“I wish you didn’t think of it like that. Lots of people take time off to figure themselves out.”


Willow nodded; her research on the internet told her she’d done the right thing in not jumping into a career she didn’t want, if the amount of blogs by worn-down people on ‘sabbaticals’ were anything to go by. Her heart also reaffirmed it every time she imagined her life as it would be should she have gone down that route.


“I’ve just never had nothing to do before. There’s always been a book report, or lab write-up or research project to work on.”


“But the whole reason you declined grad school was because you didn’t want to be ruled by that stuff anymore,” Tara replied, letting her hand fall off to Willow’s arm.


“I know that,” Willow replied, at least happy that she was sure of what she didn’t want, “I just want… something.”


“Have you looked into volunteering at all?” Tara suggested.


Willow shook her head.


“I don’t have any volunteer-able skills. I’m not good with kids or the needy, like you.”


“Of course you do,” Tara replied emphatically, “What about teaching the elderly how to use a computer?”


Willow turned her head towards Tara.


“I didn’t think of that.”


Tara rubbed Willow’s arm encouragingly.


“I bet there’s a senior centre nearby that would be interested.”


Willow smiled, pleased to at least have somewhere to jump off from.


“I’ll look into it. Thanks.”


“Good!” Tara replied, delighted, then tapped a finger against the form, “Are we filling this out?”


Willow stared hard down at the pages, then back up at Tara.


“You really want to?”


“I really do,” Tara replied without question.


“As soon as I have an income, it’ll be ‘ours’ too,” Willow reassured, though she was the one who needed to hear it more than Tara.


“I know,” Tara replied with a smile, “And until then, we will both have access to our money, as it should be. Our relationship, our life, our money.”


Willow started to get a little choked up at the gesture.


“This means a lot.”


Tara stroked one hand down the back of Willow’s hair.


“It’s as it should be,” she repeated softly.


“I won’t abuse it,” Willow replied quickly, “Just for groceries and things we need.”


“Well, why don’t we say we have to discuss purchases of more than a hundred dollars with each other,” Tara reasoned, “And it’s okay to have some ‘wants’ too. We’re not exactly rich, but the whole point of this is so we both have more freedom. We’ve worked out our budget for bills and stuff, so we just check in with each other to make sure we don’t overspend the rest.”


Willow hugged Tara, sidelong.


“I love you so much Tare-bear.”


Tara smiled and kissed Willow’s temple.


“Now let’s hurry up and get this done. I want to see those panties on.”


She smirked and let her fingers brush the nape of Willow’s neck.


“And then off.”


Willow’s cheeks flushed and she stuffed the panties into her pocket. They went over to the table with a pen and filled out everything on the form. They each signed it, smiling at each other, then hugged after putting it back in the envelope. Their lips met and they kissed tenderly for several seconds before popping off and nuzzling noses. Willow dropped another kiss onto Tara’s lips, then pushed her chair back and stood up.


“Go sit on the couch.”


Tara watched Willow run into the bedroom until she was out of sight, then went and sat on the couch as requested. She kicked off her shoes and opened her top button, then settled back and relaxed with her arms behind her head.


It was only a couple of minutes before Willow came back out, nude apart from the new underwear. Tara cast an appreciative and leering eye up and down.


“I have excellent taste.”


Willow pulled at the little bow on the front of the underwear.


“In girlfriends or panties?”


Tara cocked her eyebrows enticingly.


“Both.”


Willow blushed and smiled at the same time and came over to sit in Tara’s lap. Tara settled her hands on Willow’s hips and rubbed there.


“Are you going to give me a little lapdance?”


Willow wasn't about to risk Klutzilla making an appearance, so she just swayed her body from side to side, then did a little more insistent grinding and finally pulled Tara’s face into her breasts. The top of Tara’s hair was slightly mussed as she popped back out, but she was grinning wildly.


“I would pay top dollar for you.”


“Hey, maybe there’s a career opportunity…” Willow replied, matching her grin.


Tara shook her head and wagged her finger, then slid that finger down Willow’s chest.


“This…is just for me.”


Willow caught Tara’s hand by the wrist, lifted it and took that finger between her teeth. She bit gently and then released.


“What are you going to do with it?”


Tara dipped a finger into the front of Willow’s panties and snapped the elastic.


“I’m going to start with this.”


She lifted her hands to hold Willow’s face and pulled her down to kiss. Their lips brushed gently at first, but as Tara’s hands slid down to cup Willow’s breasts, her tongue pushed its way past Willow’s teeth and into her mouth.


Willow squirmed as Tara’s palms brushed her nipples. The room was warm, but she didn’t need the cold to help stiffen them; Tara’s thumbs were doing the job all on their own.


“Mmm, baby,” she moaned against Tara’s lips, “As much as you are rocking this power suit…”


She popped open the single button on Tara’s jacket and used her hands to slide it off her shoulders. She flicked it down Tara’s arm, caressing her along the way. When it was off, she caught each of Tara’s wrists, kissed inside where her pulse pounded, then crossed them behind her neck.


She turned her head in and kissed the crook of Tara’s elbow. Her lips trailed up Tara’s inner arm and along her shoulder blade before finally pressing into the tender skin on her neck.


Her hand moved to Tara’s knee and caressed her through the sheer of her pantyhose.


“I love you in these skirts,” she whispered into Tara’s ear, hand sliding down, “I love that flash of leg…that glimpse of your calf muscle.”


Her fingers dragged back up and crept under Tara’s skirt.


“I love imagining it riding up…exposing your thighs.”


Her hand fell away and she could see the flush rising in Tara’s cheeks. She dipped a finger into the hollow of Tara’s throat.


“Seeing you in them every day has sure fueled on my librarian fantasy.”


Tara was busy being aroused, but had to smile at that.


“Oh yeah?”


Willow nodded.


“I like big…” she started, letting that finger fall into Tara’s cleavage before glancing up with mirth in her eyes, “Books. And I cannot lie.”


Tara grinned but didn’t break the mood by laughing. She undid the rest of the buttons on her blouse with one hand and brushed the fabric either side. Willow kissed Tara’s shoulder where her bra strap was, and followed the line down into her breasts.


She pulled the blouse down, trapping Tara’s arms so they both felt that moment of rousing resistance. Finally she released the garment and climbed her way down to her knees, kissing Tara’s stomach on the way.


She reached under Tara’s skirt and pulled her pantyhose down to her knees, carefully not to rip them as she had on an overzealous occasion or two. She then reached back under and hooked her fingers into Tara’s panties. She tugged them off, taking the pantyhose the rest of the way with them.


She twirled her finger, motioning for Tara to turn around so she would have access to the zip on the skirt. Tara turned on all fours on the seat and wiggled her butt a little, provocatively.


Willow got up behind her, pressing her hips into Tara’s jutting ass. Her nose pushed Tara's blouse upwards as she pressed kisses down Tara’s spine, then took the slider of the zipper in her mouth and pulled it down. The skirt fell down to bunch at Tara’s knees and Willow continued kissing her newly exposed cheeks, uncovered by Tara's thong.


Tara lifted one knee at a time to kick the skirt away, then swung around and threw one leg over Willow’s lap so she was straddling her. Willow’s hands curved around Tara’s buttocks and she was close to having her tongue hanging out of her mouth as Tara shrugged off her blouse. Tara snapped off her bra, wriggled it in Willow’s face and tossed it behind her.


Willow buried her face between Tara’s breasts and palmed her thighs, enjoying her girlfriend’s fleshiest places under her touch.


Tara guided Willow’s mouth to where she wanted them to be – lips clasped around her nipple to pull that surging arousal out from between her legs. She felt Willow’s fingers tease her damp lips and it only made her wetter.


Willow twisted her wrist under Tara's panties and teased her opening. She dipped her finger inside and then dragged it out and up to circle Tara’s clit. Tara’s inner muscles clenched trying to pull Willow inside and a soft groan of frustration passed her lips.


Willow moved one hand to Tara’s shoulder to anchor herself while the other angled and entered her fully. Tara let out a keen humming sound and her hands clawed at the back of the couch.


She lifted herself up and took Willow’s fingers inside her again, then again, faster. Willow matched her stroke for stroke, pushing hard enough for her wrist to hurt but enjoying the sounds coming from Tara too much to notice.


Tara rolled her hips against Willow’s hand with a neat but needy flourish. Her teeth lightly indented her bottom lip as the pleasure swelled in her abdomen, ebbing and flowing, leaving her constantly trying to catch it.


Willow’s breath huffed in sync with Tara’s flaring nostrils, as she intently watched her facial contortions of pleasure. She felt Tara start to really heat up inside and twisted a well-timed thumb around to put pressure on her clit.


Tara’s teeth trembled as she finally coaxed over the edge and her body naturally fell forwards against Willow. She panted into Willow’s neck, shivering as Willow pulled out the last spasms from inside her.


Willow slowly slowed her fingers to stillness, resting them there for a few moments. She then used both hands to stroke Tara’s spine and turned her head in to kiss Tara’s cheek repeatedly.


Tara smiled and nuzzled her nose into Willow’s neck.


“That tickles.”


Willow lifted a finger to Tara’s cheek and turned it inwards to meet her lips. They kissed softly until Tara got a second wind and moved Willow into lying flat on the couch.


Tara kneeled between Willow’s legs and pulled her down by her hips. She pressed a finger on Willow’s clit through her panties, enticing a soft gasp.


Tara could feel Willow was wet through her panties, so pulled them slowly down her legs and off. Her fingers brushed against Willow’s curls, making her thighs twitch. Tara grinned, dragged one finger between Willow’s outer lips, then brought it up to her mouth to suck on it.


She could see Willow’s body shaking with need, so moved her knees back as far as the couch would allow and bent over the rest of the way to have her tongue land between Willow’s legs.


Willow’s arms reached behind over the arm of the couch, stretching her body out luxuriously. She arched her hips up to meet Tara’s mouth, slowly, enjoying each caress of Tara’s tongue.


“Yes, baby…”


She moaned and squirmed through each wave that jolted between her legs and pulsated throughout the rest of her body. When she could feel herself near climax she brought a hand to Tara’s head and held her there throughout the orgasm.


Her toes curled into the couch and she let out one long, strained breath before finally collapsing back.


Tara waited for Willow’s legs to flop down before wiping her mouth on Willow’s thigh. She then climbed above her, hovering on her arms with their hips pressed together.


Willow caught Tara by the back of the neck and pulled her down to smooch. Tara rested her upper body on Willow’s and returned the kiss.


Tara trailed kisses along Willow’s jaw, then rested her cheek against Willow’s shoulder.


“Mmm, now that is what I like to come home to.”


Willow drew a circle on Tara’s ass.


“See, I have some use.”


Tara’s head lifted and she looked at Willow sternly.


“Don’t say that.”


Willow threw up a hand defensively.


“I’m just joking.”


“Except you’re kinda not,” Tara replied, taking a breath to keep herself from getting riled up, “Do you respect my opinion?”


“More than anyone,” Willow answered honestly.


Tara tenderly brushed some hair from Willow’s brow.


“Then why don’t you believe me when I say you’re wonderful?”


Willow swallowed and averted her eyes. Tara kissed Willow’s cheek affectionately.


“I get it,” she said softly, “For a long time, achievements were your only praise. But you have to get over that mindset. You have to understand that you matter more than your achievements. You have to get that I want to be with you for you.”


Willow’s eyes flicked towards Tara’s, who held her gaze.


“Would you consider seeing a therapist?”


Willow shook her head.


“And not because I’m too proud. But it would just remind me too much of my mother…who is the main source of my issues. She’s the reason I got into psychology…and the reason I’m now running as far away as possible from it.”


Tara linked one set of fingers and squeezed their palms together.


“The bravest thing you ever did was decide to live your life for yourself and not to follow blindly something you didn’t love. I’m so proud that you did that; please don’t belittle that bravery because you’re in a bit of a lull. Who cares if you do nothing?”


“Me,” Willow replied, almost inaudibly.


Tara understood, and wished she could do more to help.


“What about the computer stuff we talked about earlier?”


Willow ran her thumb over Tara’s knuckles, helping her to relax.


“Yeah, as a volunteer maybe. No one is going to hire me without the relevant degree, even if I could out-hack them all three times over,” she replied before adding on sheepishly, “I already checked. People with masters and PhDs are fighting for entry level jobs.”


“So maybe eventually you try out some less skilled jobs for a while. Play the field a little, see what suits and what doesn’t,” Tara replied easily, hoping if she showed Willow she wasn’t worried about her, she might not worry so much herself, “But take your time. That’s a life skill all in itself and one you could do with learning.”


Willow had to smile; that part was true and there were areas of herself she could benefit from some introspection on. Particularly surrounding her self-esteem and worth within their relationship.


She wouldn’t be running to a therapist, but there were other things she could do. She could better herself physically and emotionally, and she could bulk out the non-working related aspects of her résumé, so then maybe, when she felt ready, she could try some low-skill jobs and get a feel for where she was suited in the labour force.


It was all things Tara had said before, but she finally listened. Tara was right, she couldn’t say she valued her opinion if she never took it on board and the truth was Tara was absolutely the person the trusted most, especially when it came to her, and their, happiness. She leaned in and rested her forehead against Tara’s.


“Thank you for putting up with me.”


Tara kissed Willow gently.


“Go easy on my girlfriend. She deserves some kindness,” she said, brushing their noses together, then inhaling softly and sliding a hand along her own stomach, “I think we could stretch to some Chinese food. You in?”


Willow lifted her eyebrows.


“Does that mean you’ll stretch out and I’ll eat Chinese food off you?”


“If you’re lucky,” Tara replied with a crooked smirk.


Willow leaned up and pecked Tara’s lips.


“I’m the luckiest,” she said, kissing Tara once more before resting her head back on the arm of the couch.


Her laptop was sitting on the floor, just out of arm’s reach, but she was able to get it with a slight stretch. She rested it on her stomach, and a little on Tara’s hip since she was lying alongside her.


She did a quick search and pulled up a website for Tara to see.


“This is the other Chinese place in the area we haven't tried yet. Want to try it out?”


The pictures of dishes on the website looked nice, so Tara nodded.


“What do you want?” Willow asked, clicking on the menu.


“What are the chef’s specials?” Tara asked, casting her eye over the page.


Willow scrolled down to the right section.


“Sesame chicken and Peking duck. I love those little pancake-y things.”


“Let’s get both with some veggie lo mein,” Tara suggested, feeling her stomach warm up at the thoughts of food.


“I want egg rolls,” Willow added on.


Tara agreed with a nod.


“And get some spicy green beans.”


Willow’s nose scrunched.


“There’s veggies in the noodles!”


“You don’t have to eat the green beans,” Tara placated with a slight roll of her eyes.


“Yeah, you say that now but I’ll still get ‘the look’,” Willow muttered in response, “Hey, I can order online here too. I love the future.”


She went through the process and submitted their order, then returned her laptop to the floor as it was starting to burn her stomach.


“30 minutes,” she announced, then turned her attention back to Tara with a smile, “Thank you for the gentle-yet-persuasive kick up the ass. My head feels clearer than it has in a while.”


Tara smiled back, warmly.


“I’m so glad.”


“And you’re right; ‘you’re only as good as your achievements’ is destructive thinking,” Willow replied with a definitive nod, “I’ll try to pull myself up on that. But I don’t want to slouch around either. I want to contribute to the household. And I think I have a plan for that. Work on Willow a bit and then work on work!”


“As long as you’re happy,” Tara said, tapping Willow’s heart gently.


Willow covered Tara’s hand on her chest and gave it a squeeze.


“It’s pretty amazing to have someone care so much about that.”


“Well to quote my very favourite person,” Tara replied with her lips quirked up on one side, “I love you, doofus.”


Willow scooched her butt down a little so her face was in line with Tara’s. She cupped Tara’s cheek, brushed away the hair at the tops of her fingers and moved her lips in to plant them on Tara’s.


The minutes passed quickly and they were in much the same position when the buzzer for the intercom sounded. Willow’s lips popped off of Tara’s and glanced at the offending sound.


“Shit!”


She jumped up and ran over to the intercom.


“Be right down!”


She flew into the bedroom and was out again in mere seconds with a hoody on and zipping up her pants. She bolted out the door, but almost immediately came back again.


“I don’t have any cash!”


Tara pointed to her purse sitting on the table and Willow rooted through to find her wallet and take out what she needed. She pounded down the stairs, paid and collected the food, then back up them, wheezing slightly as she got to the top.


I need to get in shape!


She came back into the apartment and Tara was just coming out of the kitchen with two soda cans, two glasses of ice and wearing a tank top and teeny tiny shorts. Willow gulped.


“Food…I have.”


Tara was about to respond, when the room was suddenly plunged into darkness.


“Uh oh,” Willow’s voice spoke out.


Tara manouvered her way around the furniture to peek out the fire escape.


“The whole street is out.”


Willow found the table and left the bag of take-out on it, then got her phone from her pocket and used it as a partial source of light. Tara took it and rooted out some matches and tealights. She placed several around their living space and lit them all, resulting in some low mood-lighting – plenty to see each other, especially when they sat close on the floor on some cushions.


They didn’t bother with plates and just used the chopsticks that came with the food to eat out of the boxes.


“Try this,” Willow said, holding a piece of sesame chicken between her chopsticks and up to Tara’s mouth.


Tara closed her lips around it and savoured the soft burst of flavour and texture.


“That is yummy.”


“Yes you are,” Willow replied, watching Tara’s lips move, before producing a hidden blush in the dark, “I mean, yes it is.”


Tara was able to coerce Willow into eating a couple of green beans by feeding them to her, though they were washed down with a quick swig of soda.


“That is love,” Willow said with a smile, “I won’t eat a green bean for just anyone.”


“Well now you’re one-up in the quid pro quo stakes,” Tara replied with a twinkle in her eye, visible even in the dark, “How are you going to collect?”


Willow eyed Tara’s cleavage. A black-out wasn’t about to dampen her spirits.


“Oh…I have a few ideas…”

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 08/26/15
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:25 am 
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Dibs-y Goodness! :banana

Yay for excellent update-y goodness... I'm glad that Tara gave Willow a slight kick in the ass to get her to look for volunteer work and other low-income jobs. I guess that's the beginning of Willow's string of part-time jobs until the FBI shows up on the door... Big yay for joint bank account...

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 09/02/15
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:09 am 
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zampsa19752001

Quote:
Dibs-y Goodness! :banana


:bounce

Quote:
Yay for excellent update-y goodness... I'm glad that Tara gave Willow a slight kick in the ass to get her to look for volunteer work and other low-income jobs. I guess that's the beginning of Willow's string of part-time jobs until the FBI shows up on the door... Big yay for joint bank account...


Little steps, little steps...

Thanks for commenting :)




Update Directly Below

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 09/02/15
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:10 am 
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********

TITLE: Adult Confidential

WRITER: Laragh

CHAPTER RATING: PG-13

DISCLAIMER: Willow, Tara and any other characters from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise belong to Joss Whedon, FOX, ME and a whole host of other entities, none of which are me.

SUMMARY: They’ve graduated, now they’re faced with the big, bad world of adulthood…the second part in the prequel series of Hacker Confidential and Family Confidential (and follow-up to College Confidential)

SPOILERS: Perhaps minor references to the show or stealage of dialogue, but nothing that would spoil the series.

FEEDBACK: Yes please

Chapter 5

********

“Willow…Willow dear!”


Willow walked across the small classroom to a little old lady sitting at one of the few computer desks. She was stout and frumpy, but had kind eyes with a twinkle behind them and wrinkles around them.


“Now I’ve typed the words I want to find like you showed me, but how do I make it 'go'?” she asked, taking her lesson on all things internet very seriously.


“Oh, that’s easy, Mabel,” Willow replied, showing her the enter key, “You just press this long one with the arrow and…there you go! All the results come up.”


Mabel brought an arthritic hand up to pat Willow’s arm.


“Thank you dear. You’re a real mensch.”


Willow waved it off with a bashful smile.


“Look, there’s a bunch of options for that recipe you’re looking for. This one is kosher. Want me to show you how to print?”


Willow had taken Tara's advice to put her computer skills to good use and volunteer with the elderly. She'd done some research online of ones close by so she would be able to walk, and found a Hebrew senior centre in the neighbourhood.


Thinking her Jewishness might give her an ‘in’, she’d exchanged a few emails with the centre manager and said she was interested in volunteering and relayed her skills. It had worked and she had been invited down to run a small computer class on a Friday afternoon to see if she fit in.


Surprisingly, she hadn't been all that nervous as the residents took to her straight away and were interested in what she had to say. She'd given a very basic lesson in email but it had been received well and the residents were pleased to have the opportunity to learn.


After the first one had gone successfully, she offered to make it a regular thing and her help in other areas. They’d taken her up on it and she now had a daily run of meals on wheels lunch time deliveries around the neighbourhood too – they’d even provided her with the bike and wagon to get around on.


It gave some structure to her day and let her have her ‘Willow time’ guilt free; she loved having down time to read, be on the internet, listen to music as well as getting things like laundry done and making some semblance of a tasty dinner for Tara. She felt better about herself from helping people and despite all her protests about school, she had to admit liking having an assignment of sorts in preparing her ‘lesson plan’.


The clientele who frequented the centre were a nice mix of people, some quiet and some louder, like Mabel. Mabel with her loudness, talkativeness and overbearingness was almost a caricature of an older Jewish mother or grandmother, but Willow enjoyed her – she reminded her of a Bostonian version of her Bubbe.


Willow's fondness did retreat on occasion, as Mabel had taken a shine to her and was making gallant efforts to talk her around to dating her grandson. Willow, being the right age, a volunteer and most importantly, Jewish, was apparently absolutely perfect for him.


“Have I told you about my grandson?” Mabel asked Willow in a clucky mothering voice, “He’s not a schmuck like some men you see around these days, and he has a very cute tuchis!”


“I’m, um, in a relationship,” Willow repeated for the nth time.


“Oy vey iz mir,” Mabel muttered under her breath, “All the good ones are taken. Are you sure?”


Willow just smiled awkwardly, nodded, clicked the print button as fast as she could and hurried off to help someone she’d ‘heard’ call her. A shyer man did catch her eye as she passed, and she was able to show him how to open picture attachments from his first new email of his grandchildren.


He covered her hand warmly when the pictures came up on screen and gave it a squeeze. He wasn’t frail, but his demeanour was very delicate and even in the rare times he spoke, it was very soft.


Willow could see the gratitude in his eyes and smiled back. Those were the moments she loved, when she felt like she was making a difference. She knew what it was like to be ignored, and a lot of the people attending that centre were getting to the stage where they were starting to be ignored by their families and society.


Willow felt bittersweet about not having to worry about doing that to her own parents. She felt a pang when she wondered if she’d even be told when they died, but she had to put that out of her mind. She could help these people in the here and now and that would have to be enough.


The centre only had four computers, so she had enough time to give to every person who came in some attention, and there were different faces each week. Some needed to be shown the same thing each and every lesson, but Willow surprised herself with not getting frustrated.


Even the age-old, super slow computers didn’t bother her; she just fell into the sedate pace of the centre. It actually gave her an excuse to shut her mind off for a little while.


Finally the last person shuffled off to their next activity and Willow shut down all the computers, tidied up the area and got her jacket on to leave. She passed by the lobby to sign out of the volunteer’s book and as she set the pen back down, the centre manager rounded the corner from his office.


He was tall, very tall, about 30 and very sedate in his manner, like everything else in that place. He was quiet, calm, pleasant and easy-going. His eyes were the same colour as Tara’s, which had endeared him to Willow and she always had a smile for him when they passed each other.


He approached, returning the smile, and leaned gently against the empty reception desk.


“Hey, Willow. I was coming to see how you got on.”


Willow nodded jovially.


“Hi David. It went well. Did you know Mr. Blumenthal was a poet? I showed him how to write on Word, he had lots of fun working out the fonts and stuff.”


“Ezra is our resident story-teller, so that doesn’t surprise me,” David replied with a kind smile, then straightened himself up and ran two fingers down the length of his tie, “So, weekend finally. Have you any plans tonight?”


“Oh yeah, I’m going to a friend’s for dinner,” Willow replied, hands closing around the list in her pocket with the things she needed to get for the salad they’d said they’d bring to Jack and Becky’s.


David slicked back his messy brown hair, but it fell back into his eyes almost straight away.


“Maybe some other time when you’re not so busy, I could take you out,” he said, before finishing with a hopeful and slightly needy smile, “On a date. There's, ah, nothing in the rulebook to say we can't.”


Willow’s eyes widened and her voice stalled for a moment.


“…you’re not Mabel’s grandson, are you?”


David laughed.


“No, no. Not at all.”


Willow’s cheeks burned and she struggled to keep David’s gaze.


“I’m really sorry, I’m seeing someone.”


David just nodded, accepting it.


“Well we sure do appreciate your help. The elderly are the most forgotten about when it comes to those volunteering. People don't have the patience.”


“Well, my girlfriend suggested it, so you can thank her,” Willow replied automatically.


David smiled and threw his eyes up to heaven.


“Ah, okay, so I never had a chance.”


“Sorry,” Willow replied sheepishly.


“No problem, just don’t go spreading my embarrassment around. These guys love gossiping,” David replied good-naturedly, then lifted his hand in a wave, “See you around.”


“Bye,” Willow replied, returning the wave.


She stood there awkwardly for a moment, then when she realised he’d taken her brush-off without incident, she carried on and went home via the grocery store.


Tara had already done the 'hardest' part of the salad, made up a dressing, so Willow just chopped up the lettuce, tomato, cucumber and red onion, shredded some carrot and then crumbled some feta cheese on top. It was Tara’s favourite salad and the one dish Willow had absolutely perfected because of its ease.


She covered it and left it in the fridge, then went off to shower and change. She was in a dress and was running a brush through her blow-dried hair when she heard the wiggle of the key and then the front door opening.


“Honey, I’m home.”


Willow smiled; she knew Tara said that just because it amused her. She came out of the bedroom with a big smile on her face.


“Baby, you're the greatest,” she quoted in return.


Tara dropped her purse on the table and came over to give Willow a hug.


“Hello, you,” she said, pecking Willow’s cheek, “I bought wine.”


“Oh, I got beer,” Willow replied, pointing her thumb in the direction of the fridge.


“We’ll bring both,” Tara reasoned, holding Willow gently by the arms, “You look just lovely. I’ll go get changed.”


She wandered into the bedroom and Willow followed, sitting with her feet up on the bed to chat.


“How was work?”


“Good,” Tara answered, going over to the closet to decide what to wear, “We found two residential kids a foster home. The system is so overloaded, it’s ridiculous.”


She sighed and held a red dress against her body to see in the mirror.


“How was your day?”


Willow shrugged one shoulder.


“I got asked out today.”


“By whom?” Tara asked without turning around.


“The senior centre manager,” Willow answered.


Tara quirked an eyebrow through the mirror.


“He asked out a volunteer?”


Willow shrugged again.


“He said it’s not against the rules.”


“How enticing,” Tara replied dryly, “What did you say?”


“I said I was seeing someone,” Willow replied, offering her arms for Tara to drape her dress across.


Tara smirked, her eyes lifting on the same side her lips did.


“Oh, is that what we’re doing? ‘Seeing’ each other?”


Willow grinned back.


“Well…I saw you this morning, and I see you right now and I’ll see even more of you in a few seconds, so yeah!” she said with a giggle, “It was actually my second proposition of the day. That darn Mabel is determined to set me up with her grandson.”


Tara leaned over and pressed a smouldering and somewhat possessive kiss on Willow’s lips.


“You’re just hot stuff.”


She nipped at Willow’s bottom lip, then proceeded to strip down to her underwear. Willow stood up when Tara slipped the dress over her head and helped her zip it up. Her fingertips brushed against the nape of Tara’s neck, then she scooped her hair to one side and kissed the patch of skin where Tara’s neck met her shoulder.


“It’s flattering…” she said, sliding her other hand up Tara’s thigh and bunching her dress up past her stomach, “But I only want to be hot for you.”


Willow’s fingers fluttered past the front of Tara’s panties, making Tara's heart catch in her throat for a moment. Willow’s hand fell away and Tara spent a minute composing herself until Willow returned and closed Tara’s locket around her neck.


“You look beautiful,” Willow said with a smile, then fixed the neck of Tara’s dress so more cleavage was on show, “Make that yummy. Both. You’re simply irresistible.”


Tara smiled to herself. She could see Willow had gotten a little ego boost and was projecting it back. She didn’t mind; she enjoyed being ‘flattered’ too. It wasn't an everyday occurrence, but she'd gotten a glance or two and a dance request or three in Paris. She'd always politely declined but it had boosted her confidence and contributed to the boldness that had emerged when they'd engaged in the hot cloakroom sex in the club.


She could see that same glint in Willow’s eye as that night and knew she was probably in for an evening of teasing.


“Down, girl,” she said, scooting some hair behind Willow’s ear, “We have a dinner to get through.”


Willow leaned in to whisper in Tara’s ear.


“I’d love to get through your pussy. Actually I'd love to just stay in there.”


Tara cleared her throat and she very gently pushed Willow away.


“You’re being very naughty,” she said in a mock-scolding tone, then grinned, “I’ll have to spank you later.”


“Do you promise?” Willow asked, eyes lighting up.


Tara pointed out the door towards the kitchen.


“Go drink a tall glass of water.”


“I have a tall glass of water right here,” Willow replied, eyeing Tara up and down before dropping to her knees, “And I’d be happy to drink you.”


Her hands slid under Tara’s dress to the back of her thighs. Tara felt her knees shake and reached out a hand to Willow's shoulder to steady herself. It was hard to resist Willow at the best of times, but having her on her knees was a huge temptation.


“I have to finish getting ready…please don’t do this to me, you know I can’t resist you.”


Willow nuzzled her nose in against Tara’s panties for several long seconds, then extradited herself and stood back up. She pressed a soft and very promising kiss against Tara’s lips.


Tara almost melted on the spot and her mouth physically followed Willow when she pulled away. Willow put a finger against Tara’s lips, shook her head, then sauntered off with a confident butt wiggle.


Tara watched her, as was intended, then went into the bathroom to cool off a little and put some make-up on.


When she came out, Willow was sitting on the sofa, flicking through a magazine. Willow looked up, less seductively but still with that look in her eye.


“Ready to go?” she asked, standing up and hooking her arm through the bag she’d put the salad, dressing and beers in, “I have everything but wine.”


“I have the wine,” Tara said, picking up her purse, “Are you going to be good?”


“Aren’t I always?” Willow asked with a dazzling smile.


“Dangerous, more like,” Tara muttered, then got her own back by pinching Willow’s ass as she passed.


Willow jumped, eyes going wide, then smirked.


Game on.


They held hands as they walked to the T stop and it was just enough past rush hour for them to get seats. Willow rested the bag on her lap and held it firmly so it wouldn’t fall. The train jerked into motion and Willow turned to get Tara’s attention.


“I meant to talk to you about our phone contract. It’s up at the end of the month.”


“Can you renew it?” Tara asked, having to delegate anything like that to Willow’s expertise.


Willow nodded.


“Yeah, just wanted to check with you that that’s okay. Cost and stuff.”


Tara pressed a sweet kiss to Willow’s cheek.


“You have my implicit trust in all things technical. And in general.”


“I can probably get us new phones,” Willow said, already having her eye on the new iPhone, a considerable upgrade from her non-smart phone for a geek like her, though she wasn’t sure she’d be able to snag one as a freebie on their contract and they didn’t have any spare cash for things like that.


“Please don’t,” Tara replied, shaking her head, “I just got used to this one and it works perfectly.”


“Only because you never use it,” Willow replied with a grin.


Tara nodded.


“Exactly, so why get me a new one?”


“Okay, if that’s what you want…” Willow replied, all the while sneaking her hand from behind the bag on her lap onto Tara’s thigh.


Tara tugged the end of her dress down to dissuade her, but Willow’s fingers continued to creep up the fabric.


“Willow!” Tara hissed quietly, physically taking Willow’s hand away.


“You started it,” Willow retorted quietly.


Tara pursed her lips, but that didn’t deter Willow, in fact Tara's pouting, ruby-red lips just turned her on even more. She kept her hands still, but did sneak a few peeks down the front of Tara’s dress, which didn’t go unnoticed.


At one stage Tara reached up and covered Willow’s eyes with her hand, but Willow just responded by nibbling the tip of Tara’s fallen pinky. When they got to their stop and walked back onto the street, it had gotten dark, so Tara continued the little game by hooking her arm around Willow’s waist and rubbing her hip, exactly on her panty line.


Willow closed her eyes momentarily and imagined Tara ripping those panties off. In those few seconds, she wandered a bit too close to the road and was beeped back onto the sidewalk.


Tara’s hand immediately retracted and went around her shoulders protectively. Willow had to smile and leaned her head down against Tara’s shoulder.


Becky and Jack’s apartment was just three blocks from the T stop, in a large, very corporate high-rise. They’d been there a few times, but Willow always mixed up which number they were in. Luckily Tara had a memory like an elephant and was able to guide them up to the seventh floor and to the right door.


They knocked and moments later, Becky answered the door in a summery dress and with a smile on her face.


“Hi lovebirds.”


“We have beer,” Willow replied, holding the bag up to indicate.


“And wine,” Tara added, producing the bottle from her purse.


Becky threw an arm around each of their shoulders and kicked the door closed behind them.


“I knew you guys were my besties for a reason.”


“Hi ladies,” Jack greeted warmly from the kitchen area of the open plan living space, “I hope you brought your appetites. Willow, you eat pork right?”


Willow nodded.


“Oh yeah, I’m not kosher.”


“I told him I’ve seen you annihilate a plate of bacon,” Becky said with a grin, nudging Willow in the side and making her blush.


Jack turned some meat on the gridiron and steam blew upwards.


“I’m serving dwaejibulgogi.”


“Bless you,” Willow replied, trying to wrap her brain around the word.


Jack laughed cheerfully.


“I know, it’s a mouthful. We’re having poutine on the side.”


“I don’t think I’ve ever eaten of those,” Tara said, softly inhaling the spicy meat fumes as they danced her ways, “Looking forward to it.”


“My mom is Korean and my dad is Canadian, so I like to mix and match my roots,” Jack replied with a demure smile, “Some Asian Fusion. It’s good, you’ll like it. Like Korean barbeque and dressed fries.”


“Jack is a fantastic cook,” Becky gushed, taking the bottles from Willow and Tara and bringing them into the kitchen, “Wine or beer?”


Willow nodded towards the six pack.


“I’ll have beer, thanks.”


Jack took the bottle off of Becky to read the label.


“That’s a nice bottle, Tara, thank you,” he said warmly, “I’m going to have a glass right now.”


“Oh, well I’ll join you if you’re opening it,” Tara replied, taking a glass moments later when Jack pulled the cork, “Thank you.”


They clinked their glasses together while Becky popped the caps the beer for her and Willow.


“Serving up in five,” Jack advised, taking a slow but long gulp from his glass before getting right in to the burner to finish everything off.


Becky indicated for them to sit around the table, which was decorated simply but beautifully with clean silverware, napkin rings and long candles.


“Nice job on the table,” Willow complimented as she took her seat.


“All Jack as well,” Becky said with a loving look over her shoulder, “He really is amazing.”


Though there was no official announcement of it, Tara's prediction that Becky was essentially moving in with no intention of finding her own place was evidently becoming true. The place had obvious decoration input from them both and not a word had been said about house hunting in the months since graduating.


Willow had only realised when Tara pointed it out to her later, but it was quite obvious then and she was happy to see her friend settling into post-college life well, too.


Jack served them each up a plate with grilled pork decorated with sliced onions, button mushrooms and chopped green peppers with the poutine – French fries, topped with a brown gravy and cheese curds – in a decorative basket on the plate alongside it.


Willow was slightly put off by the cheese curds, but kept her mouth shut when Tara looked at her sideways. Tara sliced some of the pork and her knife just glided through it. She put some in her mouth with some vegetables and it just melted, contrasting beautifully with the crunch of the bell pepper.


“This meat is so tender, Jack,” she said when she swallowed, “Thank you for having us.”


The two wine glasses and two beer bottles all clinked together again and everyone complimented Jack on the delicious food.


“How is work going, Tara?” Jack inquired across the table.


“Good,” Tara replied pleasantly, “It’s tough, but we help a lot of people and it outweighs the bad. What about you, last time we spoke you were just starting at your dad’s accounting firm.”


“Yes, nepotism is alive and well,” Jack said with a laugh, “But he doesn’t go easy on me. I like that though, the others in the office don’t treat me like the boss’s son either. It doesn’t make a fire in my belly but it’s not a bad job, really. And it gives me evenings and weekends.”


“What about you, Beck?” Willow asked, “When does the teacher interviewing season start?”


“I’ve already sent résumés out and gotten a few call-backs,” Becky replied, picking up a fry in her hand to eat it, “There’s so many new graduates in the same position, but I’m hoping to get a middle school gig. Catch the kids between young brats and moody brats. Also, whose foot is that?”


Willow straightened up in her chair and cleared her throat and Tara shook her head in Willow’s direction. Becky grinned but off a relenting look from Jack, didn’t enflame Willow’s cheeks any more.


“And you, Willow?” Jack asked, courteously changing the subject, “Are you pursuing grad school?”


Willow’s eyes were on her plate and she shook her head. She'd been keeping quiet about that whole subject.


“No, actually.”


“No?” Becky asked, surprised, “Since when? You haven’t gotten a psych gig already have you?”


“No, I’m…checking out other avenues,” Willow replied cagily, then quickly ate some of the poutine, “Hey, the cheese curds kinda threw me off, but this is delicious.”


“I’ll give you the recipe,” Jack offered graciously.


“Better give it to Tara,” Willow replied sheepishly, “Still working on the ole’ culinary skills. I did make the salad though.”


“And it’s lovely,” Tara complimented, discreetly taking Willow’s hand under the table and giving it a squeeze.


Willow shot her a grateful look and squeezed back. The topic changed to a concert Jack and Becky had recently attended, then to Jack’s newly born nephew and back to music and cooking.


“I made dessert,” Becky announced as she stood up and took Jack’s plate on top of her own.


“You did?” Willow asked, quirking an eyebrow.


“Well, I bought it,” Becky admitted with a grin, “Help me serve?”


Willow nodded and followed Becky into the kitchen with hers and Tara’s plate. She rinsed them in the sink while Becky retrieved a chocolate cake from the fridge.


“So no grad school, huh?” Becky asked as she peeled away the packaging, “You always talked about needing to do a master’s program at least to work in the field.”


Willow shrugged a shoulder.


“I’m just working things out. It’s not worth the debt, really.”


“So what are you going to do?” Becky questioned, bringing down four small plates.


“I fill the time,” Willow answered, handing Becky a knife when she pointed to the block beside her, “I’ve been volunteering. Do meals on wheels for a senior centre.”


Becky snorted.


“They let you behind the wheel?”


“I aced Driver’s Ed I’ll have you know,” Willow replied indignantly, “But I use a bike and wagon. It’s only around the neighbourhood, but damn, I’m so out of shape. I was thinking of trying to get fit while I have this time figuring out career stuff.”


Becky cut the first slice in a perfectly decadent prism.


“Join my gym. It’s got good facilities.”


Willow watched the gooey fudge topping pull away from the cake and her mouth began to water. It took her a second to register Becky had spoken.


“Oh, well…you know, with just Tara’s income we don’t have much money for things like that.”


“I can get you a guest pass,” Becky offered.


“You can?” Willow asked, intrigued.


“Sure,” Becky nodded, “Just don’t kill yourself.”


Willow rolled her eyes.


“Thanks, Beck. I appreciate that,” she said sarcastically, “So…seems like you’re pretty comfortable here.”


Becky put her hands on her hips.


“Can you believe we’re graduated and living with our partners who have real, live jobs?” she asked, shuddering a tad, “It’s scary.”


“It’s fun,” Willow amended with a smile, “I love having a real home with her.”


Becky glanced over to the TV area where Jack was setting up the DVD player, while Tara sat on the couch beside.


“I know the feeling,” she said tenderly, then sighed and retrieved some dessert forks, “You squirt.”


Willow’s eyes almost bugged out of her head.


“What?!”


Becky paused for a moment to understand why Willow was looking at her like that, then physically hunched over with laughter.


“Oh man…oh man,” she said, rubbing her chest to catch her breath, “The cream, Willow. The cream. Squirt the cream.”


Willow spotted the bottle of whipped cream sitting alongside the cake and her cheeks flushed wildly. She grabbed it and squirted some onto the side of each plate before shoving it back in the fridge. Becky was still grinning from ear to ear as she picked up two of the plates.


“C’mon, Jack has been dying to show off his new short. It’s about a lactose intolerant guy who inherits a dairy farm,” she said, then continued off Willow’s quizzical look, “He’s branching out into comedy.”


Willow took the other plates and brought them over to sit by Tara.


“Here you go, baby,” she said, offering one of the plates.


Tara took it and kissed her cheek.


“Thank you.”


Willow smiled back and got comfy as Jack lined up his new short to play for them. She avoiding Becky's mirthful grin, but her own lips did quirk at the thought of their exchange. Not least of all because it put some enjoyable images of Tara in her mind, but also because she appreciated the camaraderie.


She hoped her cheeks didn't give her away to Tara, because she knew Becky would jump on the teasing if it was brought up.


Evenings like this reminded her that there was so much more to life than career paths, schooling or vocational callings.


Friends, family and chocolate cake ranked much higher on the list.

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 09/02/15
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:42 am 
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Yay for excellent update-y goodness... I'm glad Willow has fun volunteering with the old folks... I'm really glad that Becky & Jack have settled...

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 09/09/15
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:21 am 
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Quote:
I'm glad Willow has fun volunteering with the old folks... I'm really glad that Becky & Jack have settled...


And I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter :)

Thanks for commenting!




Update Directly Below

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 09/09/15
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:21 am 
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********

TITLE: Adult Confidential

WRITER: Laragh

CHAPTER RATING: NC-17

DISCLAIMER: Willow, Tara and any other characters from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise belong to Joss Whedon, FOX, ME and a whole host of other entities, none of which are me.

SUMMARY: They’ve graduated, now they’re faced with the big, bad world of adulthood…the second part in the prequel series of Hacker Confidential and Family Confidential (and follow-up to College Confidential)

SPOILERS: Perhaps minor references to the show or stealage of dialogue, but nothing that would spoil the series.

FEEDBACK: Yes please

Chapter 6

********

Willow stood at the top end of the gym, taking in all of the various machinery at her disposal.


She’d gone home after delivering her meals on wheels to change into a t-shirt and sweats, then walked the 10 blocks or so to the gym as a warm-up of sorts. She knew nothing of stretching or the technique involved, so headed straight for the elliptical trainer. It was the only machine she recognised apart from the treadmill and bike, and she’d done enough of the outside version of the both of those for one day.


She stepped onto the pedals and poked at the display until everything was set to zero. She closed her fists around the handles and pushed forwards with her feet until she was doing the right climbing motion.


She got into it and pumped her legs hard for a solid two minutes, before her heart really started to hammer from the unexpected cardio workout. It got uncomfortable quickly and she had to slink off in embarrassment to down the contents of her water bottle and refill it at the fountain.


She stood around for a minute and decided to go over to the weights instead and to build up her cardio another time. She picked up some one pound dumbbells and did a few experimental squats and bicep curls. When that didn’t go disastrously, she sat into the leg press and tried to straighten out her legs to lift the weights.


She hadn’t checked what weight they were slotted in at, however, and they slammed back down the moment she tried to lift them. A few ripped men glanced at her in annoyance, and a young woman in full spandex get-up stopped from where she was walking across the and came over to Willow.


Willow fought to try and pretend she didn’t see her very apparent breasts.


“Have you been trained in weight-lifting?” the woman asked bluntly, continuing to motion a gentle jog on the spot.


“Um, no,” Willow replied, bending her legs back so there was no risk of more mishap.


The woman gestured around.


“How about any of these machines?”


Willow shook her head.


“No.”


The woman sighed.


“Have you ever been to a gym before?” she asked, and got an answer in the form of Willow’s red cheeks, “A class might be better as a starting point. Aerobics and step are popular. I’m about to go teach a step class, do you want to join?”


She was impatient, but not unkind, so Willow decided there was little she could mess up just by stepping.


“Yeah, okay,” she said, stepping out of the machine, “Thanks.”


She followed the woman upstairs to a machine-free room with lots of mirrors and other women setting up the individual platforms. The instructor set the boom box she was carrying down, pressed play so that loud, energetic music began to play and wasted no time bringing her own platform to the front.


“Come on ladies, let’s do this!”


The class started as it meant to go on; vigorous, intense and rhythmic. Willow didn’t have that last one, nor the coordination required to learn it, but her brain was so wired to learn patterns from her hacking skills, that she could follow every second step in time without getting flustered.


She was starting to sweat, but she could just about breathe and there was a pleasure in watching the bouncing bosom of their enthusiastic leader. Her eyes closed and she imagined Tara’s breasts heaving in her face for a moment, providing for a deeply pounding heart that she had to put out of her mind to keep up with the steps.


She kept her eyes down for the rest of the, thankfully only half-hour, class and backed into a corner to sit and catch her breath when she was finished. The instructor came over to her and advised her to get someone to show her how to use the machines before trying them again, which Willow acknowledged with a forced smile before rolling out when the next class started to mill in.


Willow decided she’d done her lot for the day and filled her water bottle up once more for the walk home.


By the time she got there, she was practically crawling and actually sat for a few minutes on the second flight of stairs to get enough energy to go the rest of the way. She finally arrived at the door, and realised to her horror that while her phone and wallet were in her small shoulder bag, her keys were nowhere to be found.


She cast her mind back and had visions of her taking them from the bowl on the breakfast bar, leaving them on the table to run to the bathroom, then just grabbing the bag and running out.


She banged her fist against the door.


“Damn it!”


Moments later, the door opposite opened and their creepy neighbour popped his slimy head out.


“Problem?” he asked, and Willow was able to hear the hocking in his throat as he spoke.


“No, no,” Willow said, avoiding his greasy gaze, “Not a problem. Nothing. Nope. Fine. Finey McFine. Thank you.”


He eyed her up for a moment, snarl-grinned, then closed his door again.


Willow quickly whipped out her phone and dialled Tara.





Tara waited at the small circular table of the wine bar she was in while Alice was ordering their glasses. A waitress was walking around collecting classes and Tara couldn’t help but notice she had a very shapely butt. She gave it a quick glance, and in that time Alice returned with two glasses of red and apparently noticed.


“Forever 21.”


Tara had to snap her attention away quickly and closed her hand around the stem of the wine glass, tipping it gratefully.


“I’m sorry?”


“The jeans,” Alice explained, sitting up on the bar stool, “They’re Forever 21. I have a pair too. Good price, if you’re looking.”


Tara sincerely hoped her cheeks weren’t the colour she felt they were.


“Oh, right. Yes, the jeans. Thank you.”


Alice just smiled cordially and Tara thought she was off the hook. She took a very long sip and cleared her throat as she left the glass on the table again.


They discussed the case they had been working together that day until half-way through their glasses, then Alice threw a hand up to stop herself mid-sentence.


“Look at us, the pair of workaholics. Enough shop talk,” she said, readjusting herself in her seat to move towards recreational conversation “So, tell me about you. I know you’re a great worker, what else are you?”


Tara looked down shyly.


“I’m nothing too exciting. I like to cook and read on the weekends and I’m getting a little bit too addicted to certain cop shows. And you?”


“I like nice food, spa days and my kitten,” Alice answered pleasantly, “With the occasional man thrown in.”


“Do you have a partner?” Tara enquired.


Alice shook her head.


“No, I broke up with my last boyfriend last year, and I vowed I wouldn’t enter a relationship again until I could keep an animal alive for six months,” she answered, then gestured with her hand, “Hence the cat. What about you?”


“I live with my partner Will–” Tara began to answer, then was cut off as her phone began to buzz beside her, “Oh. Speak of the devil.”


She mouthed an apology and turned her head to the side as she answered.


“Hi Will.”


She listened for a moment as Willow spoke.


“Where did you leave them?” she asked, then sighed when she got the answer, “Oh, for god’s sake.”


She brought a hand up to her temple and rubbed.


“Yes, okay, okay. Bye.”


She hung up and looked at Alice regretfully.


“I’m really sorry,” she said, waving her phone in place, “Forgot the keys. I have to go.”


“No problem, I understand,” Alice replied genuinely, “We’ll do it again.”


“Yes, I’d like that,” Tara replied, taking the last long sip of her wine, “I’ll see you at work.”


Alice reached over and squeezed Tara’s upper arm affectionately.


“See you tomorrow. Bye Tara.”


Tara waved with her fingers as she threw her purse over her shoulder and headed out to catch the T home.


She was there twenty minutes later and Willow scrambled up to stand as she saw her round the corner.


“I’m sorry.”


Tara had her key out, ready to put in the door.


“It’s okay,” she said, opening the door for them, “Are you alright?”


“Grossed out, worn out and hungry,” Willow answered, grateful to step over the threshold, “Did I mention sore?”


Tara put her purse on the table, waved Willow’s keys in her face, then tapped her back.


“Go sit down, I’ll make dinner.”


Willow leaned on Tara and kissed where her mouth fell, messily between Tara’s neck and shoulder blade.


“Looovvveee you.”


She floated over to collapse on the couch while Tara rolled her sleeves up and went to see what she could whip up quickly. Fifteen minutes later, she brought two plates out of spicy salmon with bok choy and rice.


Willow sat with her legs stretched out and took her plate, while Tara lifted Willow’s legs and sat beneath with them in her lap. They were both hungry so ate in silence for a few minutes before slowing enough to talk halfway through to talk.


“Did you have a nice drink with your work friend?” Willow asked, feeling guilty for pulling her away.


Tara smiled and nodded.


“Yeah, she’s very kind and friendly,” she said, then considered her words for a moment as she flaked off a piece of salmon, “She almost caught me out though. I would have been so embarrassed if she realised.”


“What were you doing?” Willow asked, curious.


Tara’s nose scrunched.


“I was checking out the waitress’s ass,” she admitted.


She wasn’t sure how Willow would react, but she just grinned.


“You should’ve seen the pair on my gym instructor.”


“Ha,” Tara replied with a laugh, “And I bet you saw plenty.”


Willow blushed but didn’t deny and finished off the last of her rice. Tara rested their empty plates on each other and left them on the coffee table to load into the dishwasher later. She took Willow’s legs back over her lap and began to massage her calves.


Willow’s toes curled with delight and she felt her muscles start to relax.


“That’s nice. Everywhere hurts.”


“Did you stretch?” Tara asked, then made a clucking sound when Willow shook her head, “You need to stretch, baby.”


“I know, baby,” Willow replied with a sigh mixed with a grin, enjoying the massage too much to be chastised.


“Do it next time,” Tara advised, firmly pressing her thumbs into Willow’s stiff muscles.


“If I go back,” Willow said, lounging back with a deep sigh, “I wish I was naturally fit like you.”


“I do walk a lot,” Tara pointed out.


Willow nodded agreeably.


“Yeah, I know. And I know I’m lazy. That’s what I’m trying to fix. You know, on the whole self-improvement kick and everything.”


Tara gently tickled the sole of Willow’s foot.


“I’m very proud of you for wanting to work on yourself.”


Willow seemed very pleased with that.


“I’m gonna learn how to use the treadmill properly and the rowing machine,” she vowed, “I need to strengthen my legs to keep going on that bike and wagon.”


Tara rested her head on the back of the couch and smiled adoringly in Willow’s direction.


“You’re so lovely to do that every day. I bet the people really appreciate it. It might be the only human contact some of them get a day.”


“The centre manager said that too,” Willow recalled.


Tara lifted an eyebrow.


“The one who hit on you?”


Willow rolled her eyes.


“Yeah, I wasn’t so flattered after all. Turns out he just hits on everyone. I heard the nurses gossiping. He’s not sleazy, he took no for an answer right away, but he just tries his luck all around. Guess he thinks it’s a numbers game. Ask enough women and one is bound to say yes.”


Tara shook her head.


“That doesn’t sound like the best way to manage a facility or find love.”


Willow shrugged one shoulder.


“He’s nice, just a bit dorky. Been there. Can’t blame him for trying.”


Tara acquiesced and continued rubbing Willow’s calves.


“Wanna watch some TV?”


Willow smiled, happy for Tara to get lost in a show, and in turn, lost in the massage.


“Sure.”


Exercise was worth it when Tara was there to rub her down.





Tara arrived home and unusually, Willow wasn’t there to greet her.


Tara hadn’t realised how accustomed she’d become to a welcome home hug and felt Willow’s lack of presence quite deeply. She shrugged her purse onto the table and went to change into jeans and a t-shirt. As she came back out of the bedroom, Willow walked through the door in shorts and a tank and holding a white box.


Tara wasn’t sure whether Willow was just back from a jog around the neighbourhood, as she’d started to enjoy doing, or if she was just sweaty from the summer heat, but she very much appreciated the display of Willow’s tight, toned and sheeny body.


Willow’s calves were so defined she was almost afraid they’d cut her and her thighs were so strong and muscular that she was sure they could crush her head the next time she was lucky enough to be between them.


She licked her lips to get some moisture back and went over to plant a smooch on Willow’s lips, but instead got the box thrust in her face.


“Look what I got!”


“What is it?” Tara asked, flustered.


Willow dropped the box on the table and started to tear into it.


“My new phone. Can you believe it? I was able negotiate one of the iPhones since I was only getting one upgrade instead of two. Thank you so much for not wanting a new phone!”


She ripped through the packaging and produced her shiny new gadget.


“Wow!”


She grabbed the charger and went to sit on the couch with the nearest outlet to plug it in and start to play.


Tara tried to compose herself, but watching Willow’s ass walk away didn’t help much. She followed Willow over to the couch and perched as close to her as possible.


“Do you want to eat?” she asked, breathily, then splayed out her hand just above Willow’s thigh, “I could…eat.”


Willow’s eyes didn’t leave her powering-up phone.


“I’ll just make a sandwich or something later. Go ahead and eat.”


Tara slid her hand up so her pinky finger brushed against the hem of Willow’s shorts.


“It's nice to eat together,” she said eagerly, tone throaty before adding on more bluntly, “Let’s go to bed,”


Willow looked perplexed.


“It’s barely six o’ clock,” she said, then squealed as the phone landed on the menu screen, “Oh my god, it’s on, it’s on!”


Tara sighed, removed her hand and went to make herself some pasta. She made enough for Willow to have later and had to entertain herself for the evening while Willow stayed glued to her phone, and at times syncing up her phone and computer.


Tara had been in bed twenty minutes when she heard some movement; the clacking of Willow putting a bowl in the dishwasher, the sound of her brushing her teeth, then saw her walk in, still with her thumb scrolling the screen.


Tara was lying on her side, reading a book, and had to stop herself from tensing her jaw.


“You’ve been on that thing all evening.”


Willow popped the button on her shorts with one hand, shimmied out of them and got into bed in her tank and panties. Tara couldn’t help the pang between her legs despite her annoyance.


“It’s so cool,” Willow gushed, “It can do everything, and there’s these things called apps and they can do even more!”


“Great,” Tara replied, half sarcastically, “Are you going to turn it off now?”


Willow shook her head.


“I’m still getting it put together just how I want it.”


Tara sighed softly and turned back to her book.


She knew nothing could come between Willow and a new toy.





Tara buffed the coffee table with a cloth for the tenth time in a row that morning. A Saturday morning tidy had turned into deep, almost frantic cleaning but it wasn't doing for Tara what she hoped it would. Nothing seemed to expel the energy she had pent up.


Willow had gone for a jog an hour ago, and seeing her in those work-out shorts were Tara’s new kryptonite. She was still thinking about them as she worked out her physical frustration and wondered if a cold shower was in order.


Her thoughts then drifted to the idea of a warmer shower and the detachable shower head. She was very close to making the decision to lock herself in the bathroom when Willow returned, smiling and sweaty.


Tara felt an ache and squeezed her legs together to try and contain it. Willow popped her earphones out of her ears and left them on the table with the cable connected to her phone, which she waved about.


“This thing is great, I can listen to all my music on it and–”


Tara watched Willow gush and thought she could literally feel herself snap. Willow had been in a relationship with that phone since the moment she got it and Tara hadn't had so much as a look in. Granted, it had only been a couple of days, but it was particularly hot and Willow looked particularly scrumptious in her lithe clothing and the frustration of both made Tara boil over.


She strode over in seconds, snatched the phone out of Willow’s hand and slid it to the other side of the table.


“No more phone.”


“Huh?” Willow asked, brow creasing.


“I am so sick of that goddamn phone,” Tara said, squeezing her hands in annoyance, “I get it, it's cool, it's like a mini computer in your hand, but please just pay attention to me for five minutes or at least stop parading around in those shorts!”


Willow was slightly stunned but didn't have a chance to even think of a response before Tara was grabbing her by the waist and sitting her up on the table; the burst of anger quickly flip-flopping into passion.


Tara’s mouth landed on Willow’s neck and her hands fought to release the string on Willow’s shorts.


Willow was totally taken back, but her eyes couldn’t help fluttering closed to enjoy the proximity of Tara's body.


“Tara, I’m all sweaty,” she said, her tone not conveying the apparent resistance she was putting up.


Tara’s tongue fell out of her mouth and licked Willow’s salty skin.


“I know. It’s amazing.”


Tara’s hand yanked Willow’s shorts down and off. She bent down on her hunches and lifted Willow’s tank to kiss her abs.


Willow let out an unexpected moan and stalled Tara with her hand.


“Wait…I was just running…I probably stink.”


Tara kneeled down a little more so her nose was pressed into the front of Willow’s panties.


“You smell so good.”


She pushed Willow’s panties to one side and licked her wet lips.


When she kept going back for more, Willow didn’t argue any longer and closed her hands around the edge of the table. Her head lolled back and her stronger-than-ever thighs clasped Tara’s head between them.


Tara could feel Willow’s muscles flexing against her ears and her knees gave way. She managed not to break contact as they spread out on the floor to take her weight. Willow's floating moans just encouraged her mouth to work even faster.


She had a lot of sexual frustration to let out and her hands were showing her eagerness; grabbing and stroking right from Willow’s outer thighs, around to her ass and back to palm her thighs again.


She was on fire between her legs and could feel her clit throbbing all the way up to her ears. She needed to feel Willow deeper, so her knees snapped back up to standing and she pulled Willow off the table. She spun Willow around and bent her over.


Willow barely had a second to process it all before she felt her panties slide down to her knees and Tara’s fingers entering her from behind.


“Fuck!”


She thrust her hips back and reached behind with one hand to grab Tara’s ass. She pulled Tara forward to add to their momentum and put more weight into her thrusts.


Tara’s movements were desperate and that extended to dropping her own pants and panties to her ankles so there was skin-on-skin contact against their thighs. She struggled to keep her trembling hands still enough to pop the button, but finally the material gave and she moaned as Willow’s hand reached behind again with fingertips sinking into her bare cheek.


While she pumped her fingers in and out of Willow, her other hand fell under Willow’s shirt and groped her breast, though the thick material of the sports bra was restrictive.


Willow felt it too and snatched the tank over her head and frantically reached behind to pull off her bra. Her panties had fallen to her ankles in their movements and a quick step found them skidding across the floor.


Finally everything was off but her socks and running shoes, which would have required a pause of precious seconds to remove that she wasn't willing to give. The coolness of the table against her skin mixed with the heat pouring from them both was driving her wild. Her nipples were stiff and grazing off the wood, just adding to her overall ecstasy.


“Jesus, Tara…”


A strained moan passed her lips and Tara felt it drift into her ears and pang between her legs. She rotated her wrist so her thumb could slip underneath and rub Willow’s clit.


She felt Willow’s heat start to engulf her fingers and used every trick she had to make her scream, and soon.


Willow did just that as she came moments later, her weak body only holding its position because of the close press of Tara’s body.


Tara closed her other hand around Willow’s butt cheek, slowly dragged her fingers out and used them to rub herself to orgasm in just seconds. She slumped forwards with her pussy pressed against Willow’s ass and took in slow, deep breaths.


As her breath slowed, she saw Willow’s hand creep up the table at what Tara thought was her phone.


“Can you be away from that thing for ten minutes for once?” she snapped, then had to be contrite when Willow’s hand just closed around the water bottle instead, “…sorry. I'm sorry.”


Willow slowly turned so she was half-standing/half-sitting on the table. She offered the water to Tara first, who took a slow glug, then handed it back. Willow downed some herself and left the water bottle off to the side. She pulled Tara's hips to hers, who was looking quite shy about being half naked in the living room and coyly hiding herself with two hands between her legs.


Willow wasn't as uncomfortable, though did do the cross-arm fold over her chest and her legs crossed over each other.


“Guess I've been a bit glued to that thing.”


“A bit,” Tara replied, still taking in laboured breaths, “Especially when I wanted my head glued somewhere else.”


Willow’s eyebrows shot up. Eating had become an absent-minded pastime and she hadn't kept up with her shows, but she was shocked that she would ever deny a Tara-craving.


“Did I blow you off?!”


Tara nodded uncomfortably.


“Yeah. A few times.”


Willow smiled apologetically, but it quirked into a smirk.


“A few times, huh? It's only been a couple of days.”


Tara blushed even more.


“Your muscles are very sexy.”


Willow was pleased her efforts were being appreciated but gave herself a kick up the butt for snubbing Tara.


“You need to tell me when I’m being an asshole,” she said, leaning in to brush their noses together, “You know me and new tech. I’ll do better, I promise.”


Their lips naturally found each other and Willow’s hands migrated to hold Tara’s face. They kissed softly several times, then Willow let one hand fall to link their fingers together.


She pushed herself off the table and lifted Tara’s shirt over her head, then snapped her bra off. Tara's eyes flamed with new lust and her coy hands dropped, no longer embarrassed to be on show.


Their naked bodies pressed together and Tara stepped out of her pants and panties while Willow kicked her shoes and socks off. She pulled Tara in for another deep kiss, then gently pulled her hand to lead her into the bedroom, smiling sensually over her shoulder as she did so.


“Starting right now.”

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Current Series: College Confidential ... Adult Confidential ... Hacker Confidential ... Family Confidential


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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 09/09/15
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:40 am 
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Yay for excellent update-y goodness... I'm glad that Tara is teaching Willow to spend less time with her toys and more time with Tara...

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 09/09/15
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:17 pm 
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Hey there, I'm sorry that I have been silent for the last five weeks. At first my mom was visiting for over a week so I didn't have time to read the update, and then afterwards my internet connection at home crashed! I regained access today and just was able to read chapter 2, which I loved. I try to catch up on the other chapters and give some proper feedback at the weekend.


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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 09/09/15
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:45 am 
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I've finally caught up on all the chapters and loved how you manage to make us feel with Willow in her identity-crisis without turning it depressing. Willow is really lucky that Tara feels instinctively what support she needs from her, helping her build up her self-esteem, intitiating the joint bank account, coaxing her into the volunteer work...

Tara is always very attuned to Willow's feelings, and it probably helps that she has been in a similar position as Willow is now during their college time when Willow paid for things Tara couldn't afford.

I'm really glad that Willow admitted to herself that pursuing the psychology education isn't the right path for her and would only lead to frustration and misery for her (which would affect Tara too, of course).

I also loved the funny bits like the jewish grandmother trying to gain Willow as a "granddaughter-in-law" (well, who can blame her? Willow is beautiful, kind and could always help her with any computer-problems too).

It's nice that our girls have become so secure in their relationship that there are no fits of jealousy over noticing the attractiveness of other women:

Quote:
“I was checking out the waitress’s ass,” she admitted.


She wasn’t sure how Willow would react, but she just grinned.


“You should’ve seen the pair on my gym instructor.”


“Ha,” Tara replied with a laugh, “And I bet you saw plenty.”


I'm really looking forward to Willow and Alice meeting for the first time, and Tara introducing Willow as her partner. I understand that Tara didn't want to come out to Alice right at the start of their working relationship, but it still feels strange to me that Alice has the impression Tara is living with her boyfriend Will.

I can hardly wait for the next update but I am unsure if I will be able to read it and comment on it the next week...


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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 09/16/15
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:08 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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zampsa19752001 -

Quote:
I'm glad that Tara is teaching Willow to spend less time with her toys and more time with Tara...


A lesson well learned!

Thanks for commenting!

Will's redemption -

Quote:
Hey there, I'm sorry that I have been silent for the last five weeks. At first my mom was visiting for over a week so I didn't have time to read the update, and then afterwards my internet connection at home crashed! I regained access today and just was able to read chapter 2, which I loved. I try to catch up on the other chapters and give some proper feedback at the weekend.


No need for apologies! I hope your visit with your mom was nice (mom visits can go either way in my experience :P) and damn, no internet sucks! I would feel like I was missing a limb!

Quote:
I've finally caught up on all the chapters and loved how you manage to make us feel with Willow in her identity-crisis without turning it depressing. Willow is really lucky that Tara feels instinctively what support she needs from her, helping her build up her self-esteem, intitiating the joint bank account, coaxing her into the volunteer work...


Tara is the master of the 'gentle nudge' :lol

Quote:
Tara is always very attuned to Willow's feelings, and it probably helps that she has been in a similar position as Willow is now during their college time when Willow paid for things Tara couldn't afford.


Yes, definitely, Tara's very empathetic, particularly towards Willow.

Quote:
I'm really glad that Willow admitted to herself that pursuing the psychology education isn't the right path for her and would only lead to frustration and misery for her (which would affect Tara too, of course).


That was a BFD for her, but luckily, with Tara's support she was able to be honest.

Quote:
I also loved the funny bits like the jewish grandmother trying to gain Willow as a "granddaughter-in-law" (well, who can blame her? Willow is beautiful, kind and could always help her with any computer-problems too).


I can't blame her either, anyone would be lucky!

Quote:
It's nice that our girls have become so secure in their relationship that there are no fits of jealousy over noticing the attractiveness of other women


Although I think they still give the evil eyes to people they catch checking the other out :P

Quote:
I'm really looking forward to Willow and Alice meeting for the first time, and Tara introducing Willow as her partner. I understand that Tara didn't want to come out to Alice right at the start of their working relationship, but it still feels strange to me that Alice has the impression Tara is living with her boyfriend Will.


The thing about that is, Tara is completely unaware of it. It wasn't intentional. She was saying 'Willow' and the phone ringing cut her off, then she just went to the nickname on the phone. She's clueless about how it sounded since it was natural in her own head. And she's probably already mentioned her 'girlfriend' in passing ('any weekend plans?' 'going out with my girlfriend') but straight girls call their friends that so it didn't necessarily permeate.

I didn't think of it coming across as Tara doing it on purpose so I'm glad you mentioned it so I could clarify. (I changed it slightly to make it clearer for future readers – now she does say ‘Willow’ but the ‘ow’ part is heard as ‘Oh’.)

Quote:
I can hardly wait for the next update but I am unsure if I will be able to read it and comment on it the next week...


It will be waiting here patiently to be read whenever the opportunity presents itself :)

Thanks for the feedback!




Update Directly Below

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 09/16/15
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:09 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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********

TITLE: Adult Confidential

WRITER: Laragh

CHAPTER RATING: NC-17

DISCLAIMER: Willow, Tara and any other characters from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise belong to Joss Whedon, FOX, ME and a whole host of other entities, none of which are me.

SUMMARY: They’ve graduated, now they’re faced with the big, bad world of adulthood…the second part in the prequel series of Hacker Confidential and Family Confidential (and follow-up to College Confidential)

SPOILERS: Perhaps minor references to the show or stealage of dialogue, but nothing that would spoil the series.

FEEDBACK: Yes please

Chapter 7

********

Tara stretched out her limbs as she roused from slumber, blearily turning her face towards the sunlight beaming in through the blinds.


She smiled at the warmth and closed her eyes again, whilst scooting closer to Willow. Sunday mornings were the only real time they both indulged in sleeping in and made no rush to get out of bed.


Her arm wrapped around Willow’s waist and she pulled herself closer so they were spooning.


Willow had been waking up too and her face broke out in a big smile when she felt them nestling up.


“Hey baby,” she greeted with some morning husk.


“Hey baby,” Tara returned sleepily, through a deep inhalation of breath, “Sun is out…”


“I can feel it…” Willow replied, turning her head so the stream hit her eyelids, "I bet it’s a scorcher out there. My face is so hot.”


Tara’s hand slipped under Willow’s top and started drawing concentric circles on her stomach.


“It’s not the only thing…”


Her fingers dipped under the waistband of Willow’s pyjama bottoms and brushed against the fine hairs of her mound.


Willow’s breath hitched and she felt herself ‘waking up’. Her hips squirmed and pressed back so her butt rutted into Tara.


Tara recognised a sleepy come-on when she felt it and pressed her palm right into Willow's belly. Her hand slid down onto Willow’s hip, pulling the fabric down just over her hipbone. Willow sighed happily and Tara capitalised on it.


She ducked under the blanket and kissed the exposed skin; slowly turning Willow onto her back and trailing her lips towards her girlfriend’s bellybutton. Willow moaned like Tara wanted her to and continued on her path.


She pushed Willow’s top up until it bunched under her breasts, and Willow took it the rest of the way off. Tara pressed kisses along Willow’s abs, which were really starting to become defined from exercise. Tara dragged her lips against the muscles, enjoying their jump under her tongue. She followed their outline and returned to Willow's bellybutton to dip her tongue in.


Willow's neck gently arched into the pillows and her hardened abdomen twisted beneath Tara's touch. She ached between her legs with Tara's mouth so close but was too filled with the Sunday morning lazies to make the effort to get her down there.


Instead, she enjoyed the gentle caresses with a relaxed smile on her face and closed eyelids to focus intently on the stimulus below the covers.


The tip of Tara's tongue did one last jaunt along the middle of Willow's abs, and her mouth continued the journey upward instead of dipping back down. The top of her head popped out from under the blanket as she reached Willow's breasts; kissing her nipples and gently giving the occasional nip.


Willow's body jerked and Tara eyed her with a grin. Tara pressed a lingering kiss to the hollow of Willow's throat and then nuzzled into her neck and swirled her tongue around. Willow tilted her head so Tara would pay attention to that sensitive spot under her ear. She shuddered as Tara did just that.


Eventually Willow felt she'd been lazy enough and turned her head back to Tara. She put a finger under Tara's chin, lifting it up so their lips met. Tara’s hand rose to Willow’s face, touching her jaw softly. She then tucked some hair behind Willow's ear and her fingers twirled the ends of Willow’s hair, following the curve of her ear.


Her hand gently fell away and her fingertips pressed into Willow's shoulder, past her arm and to her sides.


She tugged at the pyjama bottoms she’d loosened earlier and pushed them down to Willow’s knees. Willow bunched and kicked them the rest of the way, then with her legs free she rolled over and trapped Tara to pull off her sleep shorts. Tara bent her knees up for Willow to yank, whilst she pulled her own tank top over her head.


When all clothing was in various puddles on the floor, Tara had her lips on Willow’s thighs and was dragging her tongue along the arousal spilled there. She delicately touched the tip of her tongue against Willow’s swollen lips and delighted in the twitching it produced. She parted them with a slow, long lick before taking her tongue back into her mouth and audibly swallowing.


Willow covered her face with her hands but they were pulled away moments later and Tara was above her again, kissing her, still with that unmistakable tang on her lips. Willow closed her arms around Tara’s back and sat right up; taking handfuls of Tara’s skin and returning the kiss passionately.


During a brief break to take in a breath, Willow threw her leg over and straddled Tara. Her eyes dropped to Tara’s breasts and their gentle heave as she breathed, then up to her effortlessly sexy bedhead and relaxed, folded arms underneath.


She had casually alluring look in her eye that said ‘come get me’, and Willow fully intended to.


Willow put her hands above the elbows of each of Tara’s bent arms and caressed upwardly to her wrists. She held them there firmly, pinning them.


Tara moved her hands from under to above her head so Willow could have the control and pull at her all she wanted. She batted her eyelashes and felt Willow’s grasp on her tighten as her eyes clouded with arousal.


Tara felt a pang between her legs under the intense gaze and her thighs began to clamp together, but Willow swooped in there first and pressed her thigh against Tara’s heat.


Tara’s neck arched into the pillows and Willow took advantage, scraping her teeth delicately against Tara’s throat. Tara’s hips rolled upwards against Willow’s thigh as soft sounds of pleasure bounced off the walls.


She angled her hips to get more direct friction on her clit, which Willow helped accommodate as best she could. Tara’s fingers splayed out, the pads brushing against the headboard and gently scraping it as her fingers curled back to their original position.


Willow felt the stretch of Tara’s wrists under her hands and released them, sliding her hands up to link their fingers instead. She squeezed their palms together as she kissed down to Tara’s breasts, then brushed her palms down Tara’s arms and over her chest as her lips descended.


Tara let her arms fall down by her side, giving her muscles a break from being held over her head. They had barely rested a second before Willow surprised her by dropping straight down between her legs and kissing her clit, causing startled, frantic clutching at the sheet.


“Oh, mmmm…Willow…”


Willow loved her name verbalised in that low, raspy tone. She went in for it, tonguing Tara's folds to hear it even more. Her hands palmed Tara’s outer thighs, allowing them to still clamp around her ears as Tara’s body strained under her touch.


Tara’s eyes were closed and her lips quirked up in a smile as the build-up of pleasure bubbled in her abdomen. She giggled as Willow’s fingertips tickled her thighs.


“Come back up here. I miss you.”


Willow crawled back up to hover over Tara. She dragged a finger around her mouth to wipe it, then traced Tara’s lips with the same finger.


“I’m not doing a good enough job if you’re able to say that so coherently.”


“I’m more concerned about connecting,” Tara replied, catching Willow’s finger between her teeth and releasing it, “Connecting and coupling and…coming.”


She pulled Willow’s hips down to hers and held them locked there as she rolled Willow onto her back.


“Those are good ‘c’ words,” Willow replied as her eyes glanced downwards, “Almost as good as cu–”


“Careful,” Tara interjected, very slowly lowering the rest of herself so their bodies touched at each point.


Willow smirked and motioned Tara to her with a curl of her finger. Tara closed the gap and pressed her lips to Willow, slowly savouring her for a moment before pushing through with her tongue.


Willow’s hands splayed over Tara’s cheeks as she gently pulled her face in, bringing them as close as they could be. They moved at a leisurely pace; kissing unhurriedly and exchanging soft, brushing caresses.


“You’re so soft,” Willow whispered as one hand followed the curve of Tara’s rear, “You always feel softer. And so…ohhhh…”


Her bottom lip trembled as Tara’s thigh gently slid between her legs and offered some friction to her quivering clit. She spread her legs to get a smoother glide as her teeth dug into her lower lip.


She took the pleasure given until she heard Tara’s little moans in her ears get needy. There was no demanding but she wanted the sweetness that was their back and forth, so turned them both on their sides. She nipped and pecked at Tara’s lips, then pulled her close by the hip and sunk her fingers between Tara’s legs.


Tara angled her knee so Willow had better access and bent her head down to close her mouth around Willow’s nipples. Her hand weaved its way to Willow’s thighs and inwards until they were mirroring each other’s motions; fingers encircling each other’s clits.


Willow ducked her head to kiss Tara, pulling at her lips hungrily. Their wrists crossed as they moved lower, and there was a mutual moan into each other’s mouths as their fingers slid inside.


Their heads ducked around as they interspersed kisses with quick breaths and giggles. Their hands worked inside each other, touching and twirling and twisting in various ways to drive each other crazy.


“Do that more,” Willow panted against Tara’s lips, “Oh, baby…”


Tara’s neck tilted back and Willow began to leave messy kisses on her throat. She nipped at Tara’s collarbone, which elicited a sharp groan.


Tara’s hips sped up and Willow’s matched quickly until they were both grinding desperately and exchanging needy moans.


“I’m so close,” Tara whispered, her tongue poking out into Willow’s ear.


“Oh, me too,” Willow replied, barely able to contain the fire erupting in her belly, “Tara, please…”


Tara put her chin over Willow’s shoulder and brought them as close together as physically possible for the final push. Their hands and legs tangled together as they reached deeply inside each other and curled their fingers for maximum pleasure.


Tara felt the swell in her abdomen burst and her whole body tensed as the accompanying pleasure travelled through her. She took a long moment to herself, but quickly got back to tending to Willow, rotating her thumb up to rub her clit. Willow took just seconds to collapse into her, shakily gasping for breath and spasming around Tara.


The sheet was strewn around their feet and both hands were still nestled between each other’s legs as their chests heaved together.


“Mmm,” Willow smiled lazily into Tara’s neck, “Good morning all 'round…”


Tara caught Willow’s legs between hers and moved her head to Willow’s chest, ear over her heart.


She clung to Willow and pressed a soft kiss against her skin.


“It’s never enough. I just want to be closer.”


Willow chuckled.


“Somebody got a big hit of oxytocin.”


Tara nuzzled where she was, her hair brushing against Willow’s chest.


“Maybe I just think you’re wonderful.”


Willow smiled at the tickle and dropped her head to inhale softly from the top of Tara’s head.


Tara could feel the shifting sun’s rays on her back and bouncing off her buttocks. She stayed still so as not to disturb its warmth until the call of nature became too much of an ache to bear.


She carefully extracted herself and wandered naked into the bathroom. When she was finished, she gave her face a quick wash and brushed her teeth for freshness. When she got back to the bedroom, Willow had coiled herself around a pillow and was snoring softly into it.


She went over and pulled the blanket gently over her girlfriend and kissed her temple, before going off to shower and dress, quietly.


She forwent her usual morning strong coffee for a relaxing cup of raspberry tea and sat with her feet up, flicking through the trashy magazine she treated herself too occasionally for some escapism.


She came across a recipe and decided she would try it for lunch, so quickly scanned the fridge for ingredients and made a little list for what she needed. She pocked that, then headed out to the fire escape where her small planter box had some herbs growing.


She tore some basil leaves and lifted them up to her nose.


The aromatic scent filled her nostrils and gave her that fresh, summery feeling. She plucked a whole bunch of it and climbed back in through the window. Willow had gotten up and was making coffee in the kitchen, redressed in the pyjamas she’d thrown off.


Tara gave her a sidelong hug as she approached and kissed the back of Willow’s head.


“Hello sugarplum.”


“That’s a new one,” Willow replied sleepily, “And so festive…for summer.”


Tara paused with her lips on Willow’s head, then brought her mouth to the top of Willow’s ear to whisper.


“You tasted so sweet this morning.”


Willow’s cheeks turned red and she cleared her throat.


“So, um, what were you doing out there?”


“Collecting some herbs,” Tara answered, twirling the leaves under Willow’s nose before turning to the opposite counter to chop.


“You’re growing herbs on the fire escape?” Willow asked, confused.


“Saves us money,” Tara replied as she got down her pestle and mortar.


Willow peered over Tara’s shoulder at the little bowls of chopped garlic and toasted pine nuts she already had prepared.


“What are you making?”


Tara placed the garlic in the bowl and sprinkled some salt over it before beginning to pound.


“Some fresh pesto. I’m going to make some pesto chicken flatbread tarts for lunch.”


“Um, that sounds yummy,” Willow replied eagerly, “You’ve done all the cooking this weekend.”


Tara smiled over.


“You’ve had a meal on the table for me when I get home every day this week.”


“Not ‘pesto chicken flatbread tarts’,” Willow replied, stirring sugar into her coffee, “Nachos…grilled cheese and canned tomato soup…”


“You made that delicious pasta bake and those jacket potatoes with the tuna,” Tara replied affectionately, “Don’t knock yourself.”


Willow closed the space between them and wrapped her arms around Tara’s waist from behind. She rested her chin on Tara’s shoulder and kissed her ear.


“I love you.”


Tara reached behind and patted Willow’s head.


“I love you too.”


Willow clung to Tara for a few moments until her pop-tarts popped out of the toaster and she took them out, flipping between hands when the pastry burned her. She started to walk out to the couch, but Tara called out without even looking over.


“Crumbs.”


Willow doubled back, grabbed a plate and ate them over it while she booted up her laptop to do her morning news and social media check. After a while, she noticed Tara gathering her things up in her tote bag that she took shopping.


“Where are you off to?”


“I need to go to the market,” Tara replied, popping her sunglasses over her eyes, “I want some sweet sun blushed tomatoes and some chilli peppers for the marinade I’m making for the chicken.”


Willow was salivating at the thought of what Tara was going to produce. She set her laptop aside and stood up.


“Can I come?”


Tara’s eyebrow rose just over the frame of her sunglasses.


“You never want to come to the market with me. You said you can get it in cheaper in Trader Joe's and with air conditioning.”


“I feel like spending some time with you,” Willow replied, smiling softly, “If I won’t cramp your style.”


“Who’s got the oxytocin hit now?” Tara replied with a grin, then patted Willow’s butt, “Get dressed. I’ll hang on.”


Willow scurried into the bedroom and picked out a yellow t-shirt with turquoise capris. She tied up the laces on her converse and found her own sunglasses, then joined Tara again. They held hands and smiled at each other, then walked downstairs and out of their building.


It was a hot summer’s day and Willow was glad she’d popped her sunglasses on before exiting. The rays bounced off the lenses but her head still felt their full impact and her forehead began sweating almost instantly.


“Damn…it’s hot.”


“Missing that air conditioning yet?” Tara asked with a grin.


“Well this isn’t my favourite kind of hot and sweaty…” Willow quipped back, “But you’re still here, so it’s all good.”


“You work your charm so well,” Tara replied, linking their fingers to secure their hands.


“You’re not too bad at it yourself,” Willow said, very glad for her sunglasses’ second function of hiding her eyes while she took a sneaky peek down Tara’s top.


The farmer’s market was just around the corner and a frequent haunt of Tara’s. She went every weekend to stock up on fruit for them and always picked up something new and exotic, like a variety of hot pepper or an Asian vegetable she hadn’t tried before.


Very occasionally she’d bought them a nice cheese, which she thought Willow would like after telling her she enjoyed it in Europe, but apparently it stunk up the fridge and put her off.


The first stall they encountered was filled with both planted and packs of seeds of herbs. Tara lifted a bunch of greens to her nose and treated it much the same way she had the basil earlier.


“Fresh arugula. I love how it smells.”


She felt Willow’s nose hit against the back of her neck.


“I love how you smell,” Willow whispered just loud enough for her to hear.


Tara blushed and hid her face by rooting in her tote to find her wallet. She pulled out the buck and change to hand to the vendor, then tucked her arugula away safely.


“Behave,” she whispered back to Willow, then handed Willow five dollars as if it was her allowance, “Here, have a look around and go buy yourself something while I get what I need.”


“Okay!” Willow agreed cheerily, having had her eye on something, “Meet you back here in a few?”


Tara nodded and they shared a brief peck before going in opposite directions. Tara was a much more composed shopper than Willow, who always went a little crazy with the ‘buy one get one frees’ and other offers – she’d often overspend their weekly budget, but amass enough food to keep them going for two, so it evened out.


Tara has internally freaked out the first time, worried Willow was beyond understanding of their new, modest finances and budget, but knew her girlfriend didn’t need the knock in confidence, so she’d let it play out – and it had all fallen into place.


She enjoyed the array of colours as she passed; of fruit, vegetables and flowers and as she passed an artisan bread stall, she was momentarily transported back to Paris by the smell.


She made the unusual stop there and an even more unusual buy, detouring off her list, to buy some of their flatbread instead of making her own. She definitely considered it a luxury treat, but it was worth it. It was still warm as they wrapped it up in parchment paper and handed it over to her and Tara hurried to get the rest of her list so she could start cooking with it straight away.


Willow was already leaning against a lamppost with her arms full, but straightened up with a big smile when she saw Tara approaching.


“You know I can't resist big, juicy melons!” she said, struggling to fit her arms around the large watermelon in her hands, “What did you get?”


“What I needed, some great flatbread and this,” Tara replied, showing Willow a small jar, “A homemade tomato chutney. It will go amazing with our lunch and cheese and crackers if we want a snack.”


Willow nose scrunched up.


“Cheese?”


Tara resisted rolling her eyes behind her sunglasses.


“I didn’t buy any,” she said, falling into step with Willow back towards their apartment, “You can use the cracker barrel you have at home.”


“Hey, don’t mock the ‘barrel,” Willow retorted, “I started buying the fancy aged reserve one just for you. I experimented in Europe but I'm an American girl through and through and American girls like their American cheese!”


She started juggling the watermelon, so Tara took the other end of it and they walked at an angle home. When they got there, Willow started to cut and deseed the watermelon into slices and Tara began preparing the chicken.


“How come you’re doing a marinade and pesto?” Willow asked as she carefully sliced the rind, “Isn't that double downing on the sauces?”


“The marinade is mostly for tenderising and heat from the chili,” Tara replied, rubbing the mixture into some scored chicken breasts, “The pesto is flavour.”


“Ah, makes sense,” Willow replied with a bob of her head, “I hate deseeding these things but they’re so yummy.”


“Mmm, and so refreshing on a hot day,” Tara agreed, “That thing will do us until the end of the week. It’s a monster.”


“Frankenmelon,” Willow replied, giggling, “Live and be happy and make others so with your delicious taste!”


She gently scraped at the seeds, humming happily to herself.


“You make me happy,” she continued, smiling.


Tara turned her head to return the sentiment, but instead saw Willow hugging the half of the fruit she hadn’t cut up yet.


“Sweet watermelon.”


Tara shook her head and turned back to her food, laying out her flatbreads to go in the oven to crisp up. She got her chicken chargrilling on a skillet and prepared a salad to lie underneath it.


She noticed Willow munching on the melon as she sliced it and gently slapped her hand.


“Stop filling up,” she said, then pointed to the silverware drawer, “Will you set the table?”


“Sure!” Willow replied eagerly, “I’ll make it all fancy with napkins and everything.”


Tara had to smile as Willow jumped around getting things to set the table with, with that adorable bounce she had in her step. She kissed Willow’s cheek and received a nuzzle back.


As Willow laid out the silverware, Tara took the flatbreads from the oven and smeared the bottom with the tomato chutney, then layered with arugula, red onion, the sun blushed tomatoes and the chicken on top, leaving it all as an open sandwich.


She sprinkled some grated cheese over them, which melted into the chicken, then cracked some black pepper over it all. She picked up the plates to bring them over, but Willow was un-setting the table.


“What are you doing?”


“Better idea!” Willow replied, rolling two sets of silverware into napkins, “Fire escape lunch!”


“You’re coming over to my way of thinking,” Tara replied with a grin, “Sounds good to me.”


Willow tucked the napkins under her arm and fetched two cool bottles of iced tea from the fridge.


“You were right, it’s nice to sit out there. It's like our own little cage to observe the Bostonian way of life.”


She led them out and sat cross-legged in the corner, while Tara sat opposite. They settled plates and drinks and Willow immediately folded her flatbread in half and took a big bite. Tara smiled, admiring her.


“You sure know how to get your mouth around something.”


Willow blushed, hiding a smile.


“So I’m told,” she replied, licking the corner of her mouth, “This is really delicious. You were right about that tomato chutney. I bet you could make stuff like that.”


“Maybe,” Tara replied with a shrug, then reached over to wipe Willow’s cheek with her thumb, “You’re messy but I love you.”


Willow wiped at her face with her napkin.


“I love you, Tare-bear.”


She put her sandwich down and picked up the fork to eat with instead. She watched Tara eat, relaxed, and smiled.


She thought back to their first weekend lazing in bed together; those they’d woken up early to watch the sunrise; those they'd rolled out of bed for cartoons and applesauce and now; enjoying their day off together in the summer sun with delicious food they'd made in their own home.


She imagined what the future weekends might look like; their own yard, travel, hobbies, babies. She knew she didn’t care what they entailed, as long as Tara was the common denominator.


She scooted in a little closer to Tara so she could take her hand while they ate.


“And I adore Sundays with my mesmerising missus.”


Tara squeezed Willow’s hand in hers.


“And your mesmerising missus adores Sundays with you.”

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 09/16/15
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:01 pm 
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:whip Oh hey, not only did I manage to read it on time, I also got dibs, yay!

I really, really enjoyed their Sunday morning loving and their stroll to the market was also fun. Willow juggling the melon reminded me of Baby in "Dirty Dancing", and her love declaration towards it was simply adorable...she's such a lovely goof sometimes.

I also liked the new reminder of Tara's constant loving support of Willow:

Quote:
Tara has internally freaked out the first time, worried Willow was beyond understanding of their new, modest finances and budget, but knew her girlfriend didn’t need the knock in confidence, so she’d let it play out – and it had all fallen into place.


I'm sure that Willow will learn to be more moderate during grocery shopping. Again very empathic of Tara to realize that Willow would have been totally crushed and full of self-loathing if Tara had criticized her for spending too much money.

Willow's quiet dreams of the future in the end of the chapter really warmed my heart...It reminded me of the wonderful mornings with their "babies" we already experienced and those that are still to come in the sequel(s) some day...
Yay that Willow is able to look optimistic into the future despite her "quarter life crisis"...all thanks to Tara's love and support!

Oh, before I forget, thanks for the condolences about my internet absence...My mom and I get on pretty well, and a week together is okay (if it's longer we start to grate on each others nerves, LOL).


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 Post subject: Re: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 09/16/15
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:31 pm 
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Yay for excellent update-y goodness... I really love their way of spending their Sundays...

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 09/23/15
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:09 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Will's redemption -

Quote:
:whip Oh hey, not only did I manage to read it on time, I also got dibs, yay!


Double yay!

Quote:
I really, really enjoyed their Sunday morning loving and their stroll to the market was also fun.


I'm glad you enjoyed it; it's how Sundays are meant to be (at least in their world)

Quote:
Willow juggling the melon reminded me of Baby in "Dirty Dancing", and her love declaration towards it was simply adorable...she's such a lovely goof sometimes.


Who doesn't love watermelon, though? I would happily declare my love to it too :P

Quote:
I also liked the new reminder of Tara's constant loving support of Willow:

I'm sure that Willow will learn to be more moderate during grocery shopping. Again very empathic of Tara to realize that Willow would have been totally crushed and full of self-loathing if Tara had criticized her for spending too much money.


In Hacker she buys 6 boxes of Cheerios because they're on sale :P So no, however, there is method to her madness as on 'lean' weeks they have stuff in the cabinets to keep them going!

Quote:
Willow's quiet dreams of the future in the end of the chapter really warmed my heart...It reminded me of the wonderful mornings with their "babies" we already experienced and those that are still to come in the sequel(s) some day...


You can be sure Sunday morning snuggles will feature prominently is the future sequels!

Quote:
Yay that Willow is able to look optimistic into the future despite her "quarter life crisis"...all thanks to Tara's love and support!


Man, that safe and healthy love stuff is really life-changing! How do I get in on it?

Quote:
Oh, before I forget, thanks for the condolences about my internet absence...My mom and I get on pretty well, and a week together is okay (if it's longer we start to grate on each others nerves, LOL).


I know that feel! Me and mine are about the same :P

Thanks for the feedback!

zampsa19752001

Quote:
I really love their way of spending their Sundays...


Glad you do!

Thanks for commenting :)




Update Directly Below

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 Post subject: Re: Adult Confidential (Follow-On to CC) [AU] 09/23/15
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:10 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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********

TITLE: Adult Confidential

WRITER: Laragh

CHAPTER RATING: PG-13

DISCLAIMER: Willow, Tara and any other characters from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise belong to Joss Whedon, FOX, ME and a whole host of other entities, none of which are me.

SUMMARY: They’ve graduated, now they’re faced with the big, bad world of adulthood…the second part in the prequel series of Hacker Confidential and Family Confidential (and follow-up to College Confidential)

SPOILERS: Perhaps minor references to the show or stealage of dialogue, but nothing that would spoil the series.

FEEDBACK: Yes please

Chapter 8

********

Willow watched Tara push her food around her plate without much enthusiasm, barely a bite having passed her lips.


“Are you okay, baby? You haven't touched your dinner.”


She looked down at her own plate and frowned.


“It sucks doesn’t it? I thought I mastered pasta, but I knew I got the sauce wrong. It’s too tomato-y.”


Tara blinked herself out of her stupor when she noticed Willow's mouth moving. She tried to get the words to register in her brain and caught a few, putting the rest together.


She hadn't realised she'd been in her own world, but Willow had finished her meal already and Tara barely remembered sitting down. She sat up and left her napkin in her plate, not before wiping it swiftly against her slightly clammy brow.


She cleared her throat and reached over to cover Willow’s hand, squeezing it softly.


“It was really nice, honey. I just don’t have much of an appetite.”


“Is something wrong?” Willow asked, turning her hand in Tara’s.


“I’m just a bit queasy,” Tara admitted, “Maybe that yogurt I had for lunch was off.”


“Baby,” Willow replied sympathetically, “Tummy rub?”


Tara nodded gratefully and stood to bring her dishes into the kitchen. Willow put a hand on her wrist to stop her.


“Leave it, I’ll do them later.”


She linked their fingers and gently tugged Tara over to the couch. She sat down first, with her back against the arm rest and her legs swung up but bent apart. She encouraged Tara to lie between her legs and coaxed her girlfriend’s head to rest on her chest.


She stroked the front strands of Tara’s hair, then dropped one hand to slip softly under Tara's shirt to rub her stomach.


She handed Tara the remote, who flicked through some channels and they eventually settled in to watch a romantic comedy.


During the movie, a song played – 'The Book Of Love', a cover version sung by Peter Gabriel. It was sweet and romantic and made them both smile. Tara was half asleep, but she tickled the back of Willow’s hand, which was still on her stomach but motionless.


“Love you, Willow.”


“I love you,” Willow echoed, kissing the top of Tara’s head.


The movie ended and Tara really had fallen asleep. Willow tried to shift out with as little movement as possible to get her a blanket, but they were too entrenched with each other and she ended up waking her.


“Sorry, baby,” Willow apologised softly, “C’mon, I’ll take you to bed.”


Tara rubbed her eyes and straightened up, feeling her stomach drop almost immediately with nausea. She lifted her hand to her mouth, and closed her eyes for a moment to let it wash over her and leave.


After a moment or two, she felt able to stand.


“Bed, baby,” Willow encouraged.


Tara shook her head and started to woozily search for her phone.


“I-I need to text Becky and wish her good luck.”


It was Becky's first classes in her new school the following day and Tara had been sending her regular encouragements to build up her confidence and lessen her nerves.


“I'll send one from both of us,” Willow reassured while standing, “She'll be fine. She got into the school she wanted. She knows her English lit, that’s for sure. You should rest. Do you feel any better?”


Tara didn’t feel a whole lot better at all but didn’t want Willow to think she hadn’t appreciated her comforting.


“Mmhhm.”


Willow gently squeezed Tara around the middle from behind, which made Tara’s stomach lurch and sent her speeding towards the bathroom. Willow grimaced when she heard retching and hovered in the doorway, giving Tara some space.


“Honey? Are you okay?”


Tara’s leg kicked out behind her and the door slammed in Willow’s face. The sounds continued so Willow retreated into the bedroom and took out some of Tara’s comfiest pyjamas. She turned the sheet down and fluffed the pillows. Tara appeared after a few minutes, pale. Willow smiled sympathetically.


“One lousy yogurt huh?”


She handed over the pyjamas and left for a minute, returning with a glass of water and bottle of Pepto-Bismol. She left the glass down and poured the thick, pink liquid onto the medicine spoon.


Tara slipped under the sheet and Willow held the spoon up to her mouth. When it was gone, she tucked Tara in and kissed her forehead. Tara turned her head up and nuzzled their noses.


“Thank you.”


“‘Welcome,” Willow replied and kissed the corner of Tara’s mouth, able to smell the toothpaste from the thorough brushing she’d obviously given her teeth, “Want me to hold you?”


Tara’s eyes were sunken and vulnerable.


“You don’t have to.”


Willow just smiled and crawled in the other side, ditching her pants on the way so she was freer to curl around Tara.


“Dummy,” she said affectionately as she gathered Tara in her arm, careful to avoid any pressure on her stomach, “I always want to hold you. I’m sorry you’re feeling all blech-y.”


Tara’s eyes were already closed and her stomach was eased by the lack of motion.


“Better like this,” she mumbled, feeling the comforting warmth of Willow cocooning her.


Willow flicked the light off and felt Tara’s breath even off in just moments. She decided to leave the dishes for the morning and not risk waking Tara again.


She closed her eyes and fell asleep inhaling softly from Tara’s neck.





Tara was startled awake from a deep, dizzying sleep by what sounded to her like a jackhammer, power saw and hand drill all getting into a fight.


Everything was hazy around her eyes and her pyjamas were stuck to her with cold, clammy sweat. She felt exhausted, even after sleeping all night and her stomach was gurgling as if hungry, but swirling with nausea at the same time. It felt like a cauldron bubbling with acid.


The sound finally stopped and Tara’s unfocused eyes made out Willow’s hand slamming down on the alarm, though not from lying alongside her.


Willow was perched on the side of the bed beside Tara, in her robe. She brushed some hair from Tara's eyes, then offered her a mug.


“Woke up early so I made you some tea.”


Tara made an effort to sit her weak body up and closed her hands around the mug. They missed once or twice on the way, but finally clasped it. It warmed her hands but a shiver still shot up her spine.


Willow saw and lifted the back of her hand to Tara’s forehead as she took a sip of the tea.


“Baby, I think you have a little fev–”


She didn’t quite get to finish as Tara’s tea immediately came back up before even hitting her stomach. Willow got most of it in her lap and the sheet caught the rest. Tara left the mug on the nightstand and her shaking hands covered her mouth.


“Oh, babe,” Willow comforted, stretching an arm around to rub Tara’s back, “It’s okay, don’t worry about it.”


“I-I’m so s-s-s-sorry,” Tara stammered out, trying to pull the sheet away.


Willow gently took Tara’s hands away without moving so she wouldn’t displace the mess in her lap, which she had managed not to grimace at.


“Don’t worry. You go splash your face and I’ll clean this up and get you new pyjamas.”


Tara’s ashen face creased with confusion.


“I can’t wear pyjamas to work.”


Willow moved her hand around to Tara’s cheek.


“Honey, you’re clearly sick. You can’t go to work. Just call your boss, the nice one you go for a drink with sometimes. I’m sure she’ll understand. You have sick days for a reason.”


Tara took a second to consider it all, then got up and wandered hazily into the bathroom. Willow peeled herself out of her robe and pyjamas and wrapped it and the sheets all in a big ball, which she placed in a large trash bag to bring down to the laundry room to wash later.


Her skin hadn’t caught any of the avalanche so she just jumped into some sweats and a t-shirt and redressed the bed in fresh sheets. She absolutely abhorred that particular chore and hated doing it on her own even more, but she got through it quickly knowing Tara would need it.


When she was finished, she spotted the bathroom was empty, so walked into the living where Tara was naked with a blanket wrapped around her. She was curled up in a ball on the couch and speaking into her phone.


“Th-thanks Alice. Bye,” Tara’s trembling voice said before she poked at her phone to hang up and leaned her head against the back of the couch, closing her eyes.


Willow sat down behind her and put her hand on the small of Tara’s back.


“All okay?”


Tara nodded without opening her eyes.


“T-two other people have stomach flu and a home in Dorchester is on lock-down with it.”


Willow’s nose scrunched.


“That sounds…militant.”


Tara shook her head.


“It just means they’re not sending anyone out there unless it’s an emergency. All of the kids there have it too.”


Willow shuddered.


“I would not like to be in that house right now.”


Tara mutely nodded for a moment, then she slowly slumped, falling asleep. It happened so quickly that Willow only realised when Tara’s head lolled and almost fell forward, avoiding a near-miss bash against the lamp.


Willow caught her and gently eased her down to lie on her side, exposing her at the back in the process as the blanket was swathed around her front. Willow got the heavier blanket from the bedroom and covered her up completely.


She kissed Tara’s temple from behind, found a basin under the sink and left it alongside the couch in case Tara needed it. She checked the bathroom for the pyjamas Tara had discarded, then snuck off and took the bag of sheets and clothes down to the laundry room.


The only thing Willow hated more than making the bed, was laundry. She was terrified of a repeat of the foaming monster she'd created her first time attempting it solo, though her mistake had never been repeated. She was as careful with the machines as if they were her phone or laptop and they had seemed to come to an agreement. It was necessary, considering how regularly she had to use it.


It was important to her to contribute chores to the household and often tried to pull Tara away from doing them, though Tara had put her foot down too and said she wanted an equal exchange.


Willow, instead, would get as much done during the day so Tara could just come home and not have to see or worry about it. In truth, it was a lot more for her own self-worth than easing Tara's stress, but keeping a nice home for her girlfriend and putting a meal on her plate, combined with her volunteer work made her feel better about herself and her absence of a career.


She had accepted there were a lot more important things than money, but it was still her burning passion to be able to provide for Tara. She had learned there lots of ways to do that, though.


That day, it manifested itself as washing the messed up sheets and taking care of her sick girlfriend. Those were the moments she really did feel reassured that her lack of income did not correlate to a lack of contribution in their relationship.


She put everything in on a short spin cycle, double checked, and left it there to go to the convenience store on the corner to get Tara some soup and crackers.


She picked up a couple of cans of chicken noodle for its healing properties and couple of cans of tomato since it was Tara’s favourite. Tara had cooked them some really delicious homemade soups before, but Willow hadn’t been able to face the chicken carcass to attempt to make her own stock yet.


She had meant to ask Tara to freeze some stock next time she made it, but that was a request for another day.


She had to check her wallet to see what cash she had and had to choose between oyster crackers and saltines instead of getting both like she wanted. She opted for the saltines and brought everything up to the counter with a smile for the jovial man behind.


“Hi Mr. Chatterjee.”


He scanned her items through and packed into a paper bag.


“Chicken soup, very good,” he said in his clipped Indian accent.


“Is it good?” Willow asked, turning the can in her hand unsurely, “I was never much of a soup connoisseur.”


Mr. Chatterjee nodded along with his wide, toothy smile.


“Very good soup.”


His smile was always infectious and Willow returned it.


“Thanks.”


She gathered the paper bag in one arm and left with a wave, which was jovially returned.


She stopped by the laundry room on the way home and transferred everything to the tumble dryer, then went back upstairs.


Tara weaved in and out of sleep and threw the blanket off and on herself, seemingly unaware how naked she was beneath. Willow didn’t like how often her temperature seemed to be fluctuating, so came over and perched gently on the side of the couch. She used her hand to check Tara’s forehead again, making her stir.


Willow felt she was warm and gently rubbed her arm.


“Hey, sleepy. Do you think you could eat some soup?”


Tara threw an arm above her head and turned her head into a cushion.


“Ask the tuna.”


Willow wasn’t used to being on the other end of inane, sleepy babble and couldn’t help a small smile.


“Baby, you’re delirious.”


Tara groaned into the pillow.


“Eat the tuna, not me.”


“Delirious, not delicious,” Willow corrected softly, “Though you're that too…when you're feeling better.”


She got up and brought back two Tylenol and a small glass of orange juice. She tried to encourage Tara to take them but she didn’t have much luck.


“You gotta take these. They’ll bring your fever down. Look, you’re shivering and sweating.”


Tara grudgingly took the pills and the barest amount of juice to get them down. She retched almost immediately and Willow quickly brought the basin up while rubbing Tara's back with the other hand.


The circular rhythm on her back seemed to help and Tara managed to keep the pills down, though not without clutching at her stomach in pain.


“Oh, honey,” Willow comforted, tucking the blanket in around Tara, “Can I do anything?”


Tara just grabbed the blanket and pulled it over her head, encasing herself in its warmth. Willow patted her head through the fabric.


“Okay, try and sleep some more.”


She quietly went to into the kitchen and made herself a sandwich, then sat at the table with her laptop. She’d been filling out aptitude tests and the like, for curiosity and to have locked away for future intent, but they almost all told her she should be involved in computer science or IT.


That just frustrated her as she couldn’t imagine doing an entirely new four-year degree, nor taking out the loan to pay for it.


She clicked away from ‘official’ business and ‘played’ for a while until there was a knock on the door. She jumped up to answer it quickly before whoever it was woke Tara. She opened the door to Becky who was waving about a six-pack.


“Hi. I brought beer.”


Willow put a finger against her lips to indicate to her to be quiet.


“Just because I gave you the front door code doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buzz up first.”


“What’s wrong with you, Ms. Cranky?” Becky retorted.


“Tara’s sick, she has stomach flu,” Willow replied quietly.


Becky nodded over Willow’s shoulder.


“That explains that.”


Willow looked over and her eyes widened in horror when she saw Tara had rolled onto her stomach and abandoned her blanket, exposing her nude back, butt and legs. Willow rushed over with the speed of a cheetah and covered Tara back up, who started to come around again.


Becky was hanging back and sighed loudly from the doorway.


“Well there goes beer plans. I can’t get sick on my first week. I wanted to tell you all about it and thank Tara for all her texts.”


Willow was tucking Tara in as tight as she could.


“Sorry Beck, maybe another–”


“Go,” Tara interrupted in a mumble, then turned her head towards Willow so her words were more comprehensible, “Go have a beer.”


Willow stroked Tara’s hair gently, noting her fever had broken.


“But you need me.”


“I threw up on you…I owe you one,” Tara replied with drooping, glassy eyes that betrayed the fact she still wasn't altogether coherent, “I’m okay. Just take the tuna.”


She pushed Willow insistently and dropped her head back into her pillow, still barely aware of her surroundings.


“Go!”


Willow held her hands up defensively and stood up. She rubbed Tara’s back once, then got her phone and left it on the arm rest.


“Call me if you need me?”


Tara nodded into her pillow and Willow kissed her forehead. Tara was asleep again by the time the lips left her skin.


Willow went and gave her hands a good wash, then joined Becky outside the door, which she pulled closed silently to keep Tara undisturbed.


They hadn’t even made the few steps to the staircase before Becky smirked.


“I always knew Tara would have a nice ass.”


Willow's eyes flashed and she stopped on the spot. She turned, shoved Becky up against the nearest wall and held her there with an arm across her chest, near her neck in a move that would be threatening if Willow's head reached taller than Becky's nose.


“You saw nothing. You’ll say nothing. Or I’ll tell Jack about the time you peed on the side of the road drunk and had to run away from a cop with your pants around your ankles.”


Becky’s eyes widened with momentary fear, then she nodded curtly. Willow didn't need height to frighten her.


“I saw nothing.”


Willow dropped her arm, nodded that they were in agreement and graciously gestured for Becky to walk ahead of her.


“Thanks,” Becky said, returning the same nod, “So will we go to mine - wait, why don't I put these away for Jack and you can take me to that little bar you're always talking about?”


“Umm…” Willow replied uncomfortably.


“My treat!” Becky said easily, “This gal is earning a pay check and plans on spending every last red cent!”


Willow smiled softly, appreciating the gesture. She was keen to show Becky Marshall's Bar, even if it was the antithesis of the trendy downtown scene that she and Jack liked to frequent. Willow and Tara had been dragged down there a few times, but weren't much into it so they had tended to meet with the other couple for dinners instead.


“Okay, thanks,” Willow agreed, “Maybe just one. I don't want to leave Tara too long.”


Becky agreed, hid the six pack in her hugely oversized purse and they walked down to the end of the block and into the bar. It was only late afternoon, so they had a good pick and found a decent booth. Becky ordered them two beers and came to sit opposite Willow.


She took a long, cool sip and sighed.


“Nice to relax after a long day. I like this place. It’s different. Cosy. Quaint.”


Willow's eyebrows arched.


“Long day? You finished at 3pm.”


“Don't make me lecture you on teacher workloads,” Becky threatened good-naturedly.


“Okay, okay,” Willow agreed, “So how was it?”


Becky offered a considered nod.


“Yeah, it was pretty good. I had a lot more control than when I was doing student gigs. I was able to teach the lesson my way. I didn’t hate it.”


“Well, you got a middle school gig,” Willow reasoned, “That’s what you wanted.”


“Yeah, you know what?” Becky asked, eyes creasing, “Tweens suck too. Worse, actually. Hyperactivity of children and hormones of teens. I thought I'd catch them in a calm, in-between phase but it's the opposite! If I could only interact with adults for the rest of my life, I would. And only those of my choosing, too.”


Willow threw a hand up in the air.


“Why did you get into teaching if you hate kids?”


“The vacations,” Becky answered honestly, “I don’t hate all of them. There were some nice kids there today. Really interested in To Kill A Mockingbird. I like the ones who pay attention. The other little shits just piss me off.”


Willow shook her head to herself.


“Will you hate my kids?”


Becky’s nose scrunched.


“I will if they’re sticky. Everyone is sticky. Everything too.”


“I promise to always have baby wipes on hand,” Willow replied dryly.


Becky smiled, then stared over her beer for a few moments.


“You guys talk about that stuff pretty seriously, huh?”


“Babies?” Willow asked, then nodded, “Yeah. Of course. We need to know we're on the same page for the future. Do you not?”


Becky shrugged. There had been whispered sweet nothings of commitment and that was the furthest she’d ever gotten with a boyfriend.


“I’ve told him I’d be with him forever in an abstract kinda way.”


“That’s a big deal for you,” Willow replied seriously.


Becky considered it and nodded.


“Yeah it is. So is our one year anniversary coming up in November. I’ve never had a one-year.”


“November?” Willow asked with her brow creased, “You guys got together in October. I remember, because we went to Oktoberfest.”


Becky tipped her beer forwards.


“We’re counting it from the night we decided we were boyfriend and girlfriend, not from when we first bow-chick-a-wow-wow.”


Willow fought a shudder.


“Thanks for sharing.”


“You asked!” Becky protested, scoffing lightly, “You’re the one talking about icky babies.”


Her nose scrunched again.


“You really want babies?”


Willow smiled.


“I want Tara’s babies.”


“But you didn’t before you met?” Becky probed.


It was Willow’s turn to shrug.


“I hadn’t really thought about it.”


“I have. It’s one thing I know for sure,” Becky replied sincerely, “Jack never talks about kids. Does Tara want babies or your babies?”


“Well she wanted them independent of me before we met, but I hope I’m part of the equation now,” Willow joked, “But I would be happy with lots of tiny Taras.”


Becky smirked at Willow's wording.


“Butt.”


Willow kicked Becky hard under the table.


“OW!”


“I know what you’re thinking about,” Willow replied with a glare, “Stop it.”


Becky held her hands up defensively at first, but they soon changed shape like she was cupping a rear. She had tried, but she just couldn't resist a teasing opportunity, at least towards Willow who would just squirm and seethe. She was kind enough to keep the information from Tara, who she knew would never get over the embarrassment.


That, for her, was real growth.


“It was like, the perfect shape,” she gushed, making a squeezing motion with her hands, “She’s got buns, hun.”


Willow was turning red and produced her phone, waving it about.


“I have Jack’s number. I will do it if you do not drop it. I have photographic evidence.”


“Okay, okay,” Becky replied quickly, “Drop the phone. I said I'd bring home food. Do they do good wings here?”


Willow cautiously packed her phone away, then nodded.


“Yeah, really good. Get half Cajun, half Buffalo.”


Becky went up to make the order and came back with some pretzels. They finished off their beers, chatting in good spirits and Becky wisely decided not to bring up Tara's butt again. Willow walked Becky to the T stop and they shared a hug as they were parting.


“Hey, seriously, tell Tara to feel better,” Becky said, shrugging her purse on her shoulder, “I'm not gonna mention that other thing again. Or how plump it was."


She smirked but waved an apologetic hand about straight away.


“She's been pumping me with inspirational quotes that were surprisingly helpful. So, that's worth a get out of tease free card.”


“I'll tell her, and thanks,” Willow replied genuinely, “Give our best to Jack. We should do dinner again soon.”


Becky motioned a ‘call me’ sign as headed into the station. Willow turned and headed home, collecting the dried sheets on the way.


When she got into the apartment and set the folded bedding on the table, she noticed blankets and cushions strewn around the couch, but no Tara.


“Baby?”


She saw the bathroom door was open, so she wandered in. The basin was sitting in the sink, not as empty as it had been when she left, and Tara was sitting with her knees up in some hot water in the bath.


“Baby…” Willow said, coming over to kneel next to the tub, “Why didn’t you call me?”


“You don’t have to deal with this,” Tara replied, pale and with goosebumps on her arms from shivering.


She'd also sort of forgotten when or where Willow had gone at all.


Willow patted Tara’s hair, then got up and cleaned out the basin as it was starting to smell. She washed her hands thoroughly, then came back to the tub with a washcloth and started to gently wash Tara’s arms and legs.


“There’s the last of the mystery gone,” Tara commented.


“Who wants mystery?” Willow asked as the cloth glided down Tara’s collarbone, “I want to know everything about you.”


Tara grimaced.


“Even the contents of my stomach?”


“It’s not top of the list, but I can deal, especially if I can make you feel better,” Willow replied sweetly, “You feel lousy, don’t make yourself feel lousier by hating yourself.”


Tara looked up and met Willow’s eye.


“That’s good advice.”


Willow felt that penetrating stare in a deep place inside her. She knew she could be guilty of the self-hatred herself and it was another thing to add to her 'must improve on' list. The list was growing bigger, but she was also striking things off it, too. Even with so much up in the air, she felt more balanced than she ever had in her life before.


Her brow relaxed, she smiled softly and wiped down Tara’s shoulders.


“Yeah, it is.”


She let the cloth wash Tara’s back, then wrung it out and left it on the side to dry. She leaned in to peck Tara’s lips, but she turned at the last minute so Willow got cheek instead.


“You’ll catch it,” Tara said, covering her hand with her mouth.


“Don’t worry, I don’t get sick,” Willow replied, getting a towel and wrapping it around Tara as she stepped out.


She dried Tara off and brought her into the bedroom, tucking her in under the clean, crisp sheets.


“Do you want to keep your clothes off?” Willow asked.


Tara nodded.


“Sometimes I get so hot.”


“You gotta keep taking the Tylenol,” Willow replied, sitting down beside Tara and taking her hand, “Don’t suppose I can interest you in that soup yet?”


Tara reluctantly shook her head.


“I can’t even bear thinking about it.”


“That’s okay, we’ll just try a little more juice in a bit,” Willow advised, “Want me to bring my laptop in here and put something on for you to watch?”


“Okay,” Tara agreed, clearly more together after her bath, “Will you stay with me?”


“Of course I will,” Willow replied, running out quickly and coming back with her laptop, “You never have to ask me that twice.”


She got in the other side and launched the folder with her video files.


“Was Becky here?” Tara asked, resting her arms above the sheets.


Willow cast a sidelong glance in Tara's direction.


“You really were out of it.”


Thankfully.


Tara still seemed a bit light-headed, if more lucid.


“How was her first day?”


“Good, she says,” Willow replied easily, “Well, good for her. I think she likes it more than she’s letting on. She said to feel better and thanks for all the help. Want to watch D.E.B.S?”


Tara grinned and nodded. Willow grinned back, shaking her head.


“Like I even need to ask. You have such a crush on Lucy. I bet you'd love to get your hands on her diamond.”


“You have a crush on Amy,” Tara countered.


“What can I say, I'm drawn to the artists,” Willow replied wryly.


Tara shuffled closer to Willow for comfort.


“I don’t know what I’d do without you to take care of me.”


Willow rested the laptop between them and snuggled down with Tara.


“You don’t have to worry about it.”


She pressed her lips to Tara’s cheek, then nuzzled her nose there.


“Because I’ll be here. Always.”

_________________
Amber Benson killed me once.

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Current Series: College Confidential ... Adult Confidential ... Hacker Confidential ... Family Confidential


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