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 Post subject: When Erynn found herself - Post 5 (Update)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:59 pm 
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When Erynn found herself – Post 5 (Update)

Author name – CopperAndGold
Rating - NC-17 (Strong)

Disclaimer - This is an adult fic. There will be some angst, smut, bad language, difficult subject matters (They will be noted prior to posting) The characters' developments were taken from season 5 - A bit after the episode: Family. Anything that is canon and prior to this episode is fair game. Oh, there's also a small reference to a funny exchange in season 6 between Anya and Tara that I just couldn't stop from using. Even with all this, there's comedy too! Everything after Family becomes A/U.

Feedback - Please, I love your words.
Summary - Willow and Tara make a new friend. She's... interesting.

Notes – There is a short torture scene in this update. Please, read at your discretion. Also, the song referred to in this update can be found here: Creep - Radiohead



From the outside, this place had always looked… well, bad. Burnt to a crisp, bad. How it was left in this state for so long, he couldn’t understand. One thing was for sure looking around now, he’d missed a hell of a show.

Spike had never ventured inside. No reason to and, besides, it looked unpleasant. He hadn’t been there when the mayor had tried to take over as a giant snake. Again, how a giant snake could have controlled much of anything was beyond him. Seemed to him the mayor had traded down instead of up.

The stench was subtle but lingering. As a vampire, he didn’t need to breathe which was useful at times like these. Once he’d gotten an idea of the scent of the place he’d quickly decided against smoking. Not that he detected anything flammable, it was more because he’d have to breathe. It was subtle but, the smell of burnt flesh permeated the place.

He never did like that smell. It smelled too much like cooked pork. Even when he’d been alive, he hated the meat. There had been a period in which his mother and he had fallen on such hard times, William had to take a pig farmer up on his offer of a job. His social stature, which hadn’t been very distinguished up until then, had taken an even sharper nose dive after that.

The only meat he’d been able to put on the table for months had been pork.

Spike pulled up on a metallic tube that looked to him to have been part of a ventilation system. It was blocking his way until he yanked it above his head long enough to pass under it. Letting go, it fell back down causing an obnoxiously loud clatter to ring through the halls in an incomplete and distorted echo.

He sighed on reflex, which made him inhale sharply through his nose… “Ugh, bloody hell.” He spat, his lips curling upwards in a disgusted grimace.

So far, nothing. He’d been rummaging for almost three hours through ashes and soot, half-desks and twisted lockers. Still, no sign of a trophy. He wasn’t surprised, of course. It seemed completely daft to expect there to be one. The only thought that kept him going at this point was the fact Lucile didn’t think it was a fool’s errand. She had a knack for these things.

The Slayer would be patrolling right now. He could be out there, watching her from a distance. She was really something else; the way she fought sent chills down his spine. Spike really wanted a piece of that.

“Ow!” Oh, he was nearing his limit now. All the annoyances he’d experienced since getting here were adding up. The scrapes, the stumbles… that one fall he’d blocked out of his memory. His black jeans were torn below the left knee. A result of stepping over what might have been a huge boiler, without knowing what was beyond it to step onto. He’d ended up straddling the large metal cylinder not having footing on either side. His feet left dangling like a kid on a teeter-totter.

Embarrassing position to find yourself in. More so when, looking around as if expecting to find onlookers, you lose your balance and end up on the very side from which you’d started in the first place.

With a torn knee as a bonus.

Now what? Spike looked up rubbing his head. Something had fallen on it from above. Nothing visible as far as he could make out. Taking out his flip lighter, he was about to flick it to life when he heard movement in the shaft above. The moon’s light glow coming through the crumbled wall, reflected bright-green in the almond shapes of two feline eyes staring down at him.

“What’d you do that for?” He asked his stalker, “Not lookin’ for poker chips, mate.” Absentmindedly, he looked around for where his next step would take him.

He could hear the cat moving above, walking away to his left. Spike paid no mind though as he stepped over some rubble straight ahead, seeing beyond the crumbled walls that the hall continued that way.

Through a hole the size of a baseball, he spotted a dash of white and brown. “Where are you?” He could hear the cat’s heartbeat to his left where the hole was. But, there was nothing to his left. At least, there didn’t seem a way through at all. Just concrete and bricks, plaster and lots of black… stuff.

There was a hole though and when he peered in, he recoiled as a pink and black nose poked through. “Mew,” The little fanged mouth intoned dispassionately. Furry white lips vanished only long enough for a paw to swipe out of the hole and back.

Spike sniggered. Cats, they were pretty decent as far as animals went. Dangling a finger in front of the hole - because that’s what you do with a playful cat, isn’t it? – he waited for his companion to strike. Soon enough, the lips and fangs were again replaced by two outstretched cat legs. Paws out, tiny toes extended into sharp claws. “Ah, ah, ah!” Spike pulled back his finger just in the nick of time.

“How’d you get back there, anyway?” Talking to a cat wasn’t the weirdest thing he’d ever done by far. He looked up to where it had been before, in the shaft above. There must be a way through there, he mused. There was no way in hell he’d be crawling through a ventilation shaft, though.

He figured, a hole is a weakness, right? Being there was a hole, he might be able to make it bigger. After all, he was big and he was bad. Breaking through a wall with a hole in it… couldn’t be that hard.

What he needed was a tool. Makeshift, of course – something big and heavy. After a few moments of rummaging around, he pulled out a long piece of rebar that still had a sizeable chunk of cement attached to its end. That would do.

“Might want to back up, Whiskers.” A thought whizzed through his brain fleetingly. Why was he doing this? Trying to break through a wall, because of a cat? No, it wasn’t the cat. The cat got his attention, which made him see a way he hadn’t noticed before. Spike had always been the romantic sort. The whimsical appealed to him and, a cat showing him the way was too much like Alice in Wonderland to pass up.

The impact sent shockwaves through his hands, all the way up to his shoulders. Clenching his jaw against the pain, he swung again. Bits of concrete and plaster exploded from around his makeshift sledgehammer, the hole now more the size of a beach ball. Progress, it was a nice incentive to keep going.

It only took seven swings to make the hole big enough for him to pass through. The room beyond wasn’t untouched by the explosion but, the debris didn’t impede his movements as much. A rustling to his right alerted him to his feline friend chasing a flying bug of some sort.

The space looked like it’d been a classroom. At least part of it still looked like one. A wall was missing; imploded inward. Things had been destroyed, demolished but not burnt to a crisp. It was a nice change of scenery, really.

The vampire walked further into the classroom, giving cursory glances around to see if anything stood out. Other than the cat, who just happened to have caught the bug and was now happily torturing it to death, nothing stood out.

Suddenly, something bright caught his eye. Not a light, a reflection of a light. Indirect and fleeting, as if a passing car’s headlights had bounced off of a reflective surface. It was there one moment and gone the next.

Walking towards where he thought the light might have caught, he found glass littering the ground. The glass led to an upturned display case. Pictures, medals with burnt ribbons, and trophies. Broken and battered, but trophies nonetheless.

Spike shook his head in disbelief and crouched to be able to get a better look. Broken swim trophy, couple of medals, burnt pictures. His eyes glanced over another trophy, a cheerleading one. It was in much better shape and he almost jumped in surprise when he looked more closely. Damned thing was looking at him. He moved his head left to right keeping his eyes on the trophy and sure enough, the creepy thing’s eyes followed him. “Well, aren’t you disturbing.”

He stood up with the trophy in hand. He was about to turn around when he felt something land on his shoulder, gripping the leather of his coat. He could tell it was the cat, it was purring. “Got what I came for, Whiskers. Time for me to go. And, mind the leather would you?” After a few steps and a disconcerting sandpaper-like lick to the ear, the cat jumped down from its perch. Spike continued his way out of the school.

Once outside he took a deep breath through his nose and lit a cigarette. He was surprised, to say the least. Throughout his search, he’d been thinking up a plan B. In case there was no trophy, what then?

A few ideas had come to mind. Risky, dangerous and possibly suicidal ideas. Other than that one about going to the Slayer with what he knew.

That one had stuck. It might even put him in her good graces…

But, now he had the trophy so no need for the Slayer, right? Then, why was he still thinking about it?

He needed to go to his crypt, relax and clear his head. Spike figured he had options now, he just needed some time to figure out what those actually might be.

His stomach did its version of grumbling. Before he headed out that night, he’d already eaten. Pig’s blood, Fucking pig’s blood. His contact was out of cow, leaving him with no other choice but to buy a few day’s supply of pig.

His steps slowed as his thoughts turned to the human blood he’d had at Doc’s. Spike had been expecting this, the longing for that same drink. The hit from human blood was like nothing else. It soothed both aspects of himself: Human and demon.

Animal blood: Cow, Pig, Rat… They seemed to only appease one of them. Sometimes, he wondered at which. He doubted any living human would understand that he believed it was more his human aspect that needed the human blood. The demon… It seemed to just want something to die so it could feed. He figured the difference between his demon and a bear or a lion, was the fact his demon knew something had to die. Enjoyed the fact and the act of killing.

But, the high from human blood alone… Stop thinking about it, you stupid ponce.

He turned on his heel, deciding on a new destination. Spike would go to Willy’s and order up some cow’s blood. He had the good kind, without all those antibiotics and growth hormones in it.

The after-taste of that stuff was disgusting.

***

I wish Riley was here.

The thought surprised her, making Buffy’s steps falter. He’d been on her nerves recently, making wanting to be around him difficult. So, why did she want him here, now?

She was bored. It had been quiet so far, no big confrontation, no mysterious goings on… After a few hours of pretty much nothing, she decided to take care of the other Slayer duty on her agenda.

So, I want him around when I’m bored. Wow, Buffy – you’re such a nice girl. She grimaced at her sarcastic thought. The more time went on, the more she felt guilty. Buffy knew she was the one holding back, deep down. She knew that… He’s just not the kind of guy I want to talk to about stuff. The Slayer mentally shrugged, saddened by her realization.

Something caught her eye, she squinted at it. It was small, an animal, walking away from her a block or so ahead. When Buffy raised her eyes toward the horizon, she could make out a human shape walking in the same direction, slightly ahead of the animal she assumed to be either a dog or a cat.

The pet wasn’t anything new, people were stupid enough to let them roam around even though a lot of them didn’t make it back. But, the human shape at this time of night, in Sunnydale?

She dashed into the alley to her right, running across it to the other side. Once she was on the street parallel to the one on which she had spotted her target, she started quickly making her way in that same direction. Extending her senses, she was able to tell she was gaining on them.

Speed-walking would do the trick, they weren’t that far ahead. When she passed the mystery man, she turned left into the alley to the other side, slowing her steps when she neared it.

Footsteps, lazy but sure, were coming her way. Buffy hid in the shadows, waiting to spot her target.

It didn’t take her long to realize who it was, the hair alone was a dead giveaway. Huh, dead giveaway. I should work that into a quip.

Buffy walked onto the sidewalk and sighed, about to say something when a calico cat slithered through her legs, continuing on its way after only a fleeting glance in her direction.

She cocked her head, amused, “You know you’re being followed, right?” The Slayer asked out loud to the retreating vampire.

His steps stopped, his shoulders slumped. Spike took a deep breath, “Slayer, bloody perfect.” He said, turning around. “Look, can’t a fella just go for a drink?”

“I wasn’t talking about me,” Buffy’s eyes fell to the cat now happily licking itself in some very private places. Pointing at it with her stake, she added, “Didn’t think you were a pet owning kinda vampire. But, a cat? Yeah, I can see that. A dog would just be redundant, you know?”

“Piss off,” Spike spat, “He’s not mine. He does as he pleases, he’s his own.” He waved in the cat’s direction, which was seemingly hanging onto his every word, “I just met him tonight. I guess he likes me.” He shrugged.

Buffy crouched down and tucked away her stake, “Hey colorful, com’ere.” She reached out her hand, “You know, only females can be calicos.” The cat was sniffing at the Slayer’s fingers, “I saw that on the Discovery channel.”

“Cali-what’s it?” Stop looking at her through those eyes you git! He was turning to mush, he could feel it. Seeing the Slayer there, petting a now purring cat. There was just something about it that soothed him, “I don’t know cats.” You just want to shag her. He mentally appeased himself.

Standing up again, she wiped her now hairy hands on her pants, “Pet or not, you should at least get the gender right. It’s a female.” The Slayer motioned to his trophy holding hand with a raised chin, “What’cha got there?” Her tone overtly sweet.

Spike waved the trophy around dismissively, “Crypt decorations,” Misdirection was needed here. He reached into his coat pocket for his smokes, “Needs a bit of a personal touch.” He flicked his lighter shut, “I’m thirsty so, if you don’t mind, I’ll be on my merry way.” The words left his mouth in a plume of smoke as he turned to walk away.

His eyes rolled as he heard her steps following him, “What do you want!?” He growled impatiently, turning sharply around to face her once again.

Buffy shrugged nonchalantly, “Nothing,” She motioned ahead, “I was on my way to Willy’s when I saw the wrongness that is you.” Starting to walk again she added, “Good thing the whole ‘covered in soot’ look is in this season. Too bad the hair still hasn’t made a comeback, though.”

Spike’s jaws clenched, “You wouldn’t be so glib if I didn’t have this bloody chip in my head.” He growled, “I’d have you in pieces, Slayer.”

“I know, I know,” Buffy said as she rolled her eyes, “I’ve heard it so many times. ‘Mark my words, Slayer. I will kill you. Drain you of your life blood…’ blah, blah, blah.” She said in a mock British accent.

The vampire grimaced, “Drain you of your life blood?” Shaking his head in disgust, he added, “I would never say that.”

“Whatever,” The slayer dismissed it with a hand wave, “All I’m saying is you should move on, you know?” She patted his shoulder condescendingly, “So, you’re a lame duck. Get over it…” She shrugged.

Spike bristled, his fists and jaw clenched. The cat chose this moment to climb up the vampire’s jeans and coat, to his shoulder. It sat there, content, with its tail wrapped around Spike’s neck. The tip of the furry appendage tickled his lips, “Pplltt! Bloody hell, Whiskers. Keep at it and I’ll turn you in at poker night.”

Buffy’s face was unreadable, “Ok, what’s the play here, Spike?”

“Oh, here we go,” He threw his arms out in exasperation, “Tell me, Oh Mighty Slayer. What have I done to make you suspicious this time?” Spike pointed at the cat, “Is it the pussy on my shoulder? Are we a little jealous?” He leered at her, his tongue peeking from his mouth lasciviously.

She rolled her eyes, “You’re up to something. The soot, the cat, the trophy. It’s all,” The Slayer tried to come up with the right words but came up short, “Weird.”

Bugger, not now! He cleared his throat, “And since when is being a little eccentric a crime?” Spike feigned disinterest, scratching the cat under her chin. “Once I’m in there, we don’t know each-other.” He said, pointing at the door to the bar.

“Aw,” Buffy said sarcastically, fluttering her lashes, “Are you ashamed of me, blondie-bear?” Using the pet-name she’d heard Harmony call him to try and get a rise out of the vampire.

He quirked an eyebrow, an idea hitting him. Before pulling the door open he asked her, “Have you ever wondered why you give me such a hard time?” When she only cocked a hip and pulled a bored expression, he added, “You’re my own personal bully, Slayer. I can’t hurt you physically, I’m no real threat as you see it.” Spike’s brow furrowed, “Yet, here you are. Antagonizing me for no better reason than your own enjoyment.” He shook his head in disbelief and grabbed the handle to the bar entrance, “And they say you’re the good guy.” The door opened and he slipped inside, a wicked grin on his face.

Let her chew on that for a bit.

***

He closed the door to the office in his chamber. The room had been soundproofed for phone calls. It tended to get noisy out there. He picked up the phone hastily, “This better be good,” Damien said, peering at himself in the full length mirror adorning the wall. “My favorite part comes up soon.” His abs were muscular and jumped as her smoothed a hand across them.

“Mr. Brice,” His secretary said, “I’m sorry to disturb you. I have a call on hold from the bar in town, sir.”

His skin was tingling all over, he raked his nails across his sides and sighed out loud. Why am I holding a phone?

His secretary cleared their throat, “Sir, you made sure to tell me a call from this location was important enough to disturb you, tonight.”

“Lynd,” Damien shook his head from side to side, “Yes. Give me a minute,” Placing the phone down, he took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He focused on stepping out of the pleasure bubble, as his mentor had taught him. Reaching out in his mind, he tore at the fabric between his worlds before stepping through.

His thoughts settled, his need receded. He sighed and picked the phone back up, “Ok, Lynd, send it through.”

Damien ran his fingers through his tussled, wet hair. As soon as the line clicked over he asked, “Who’s this?”

“The night shift,” A sweet feminine voice answered, “I was expecting the big guy.” She sounded skeptical.

The founder grinned, “The big guy, huh? Well, he’s busy right now.” He chuckled, “I gave him the night off.”

She laughed derisively, “Oh, really? Next you’ll tell me you’re the boss.”

Damien was already losing patience, “I asked who you were.” His jaws clenched as he looked through the window at Donovan propped up against the boards. “I expect an answer in your next breath. If you have this number, you know we can find you.”

“Fine, I’m June. Your demon girl next door.” The caller said in a huff, “I’m your night shift here at the bar. The Slayer was in here a few minutes ago.” She cleared her throat, “Asking questions about a Gurtrall demon.”

He sat down at the desk, “Did the bar tender follow protocol?”

She giggled then, “Yeah, it was pretty sweet. When he faked resisting, she actually punched him to sell it to the crowd. Little fucker bleeds like you wouldn’t believe. He told her about Jurrot, didn’t give his name though. Said he’d been in a few times, met with others. But nothing more specific than that. Platitudes about chicken wings and stuff.”

“He was convincing?” Damien asked, “I hear he’s a bit of a nervous mouse.”

She smacked her lips once he heard her take a swallow of something, “Seemed to do the trick. She left not long after that. Didn’t seem too happy, poor girl.” She said, sarcastically.

“Alright,” Damien stood up, “Anything else?”

“Yeah,” She sounded unsure, “My allowance here at the bar. I wanted to ask the big guy if it could be… more.”

Is she for real? “How about this,” He said in an unreadable tone, “I’ll run it up the rungs. See what happens.” Damien pulled a pad towards him and grabbed a pen, “You said your name is Jude?” He asked sweetly.

“June,” She said, a note of hope in her tone, “I’m here from eleven to four. Five nights a week. I can’t seem to make the money stretch.”

He smirked and rolled his eyes, “Stretch, yeah. Ok, June,” Damien said as he wrote her name and hours down, “I’ll make sure to send this to someone who can do something for you.” Making it stretch… I’ll show her how.

“Thanks!” She seemed delighted, “When Jurrot’s back, tell him June called.”

His eyebrows shot up his forehead, amused to no end, “I’ll be sure to do that.” He snickered as he hung up.

Damien walked out of the office and was greeted by Jurrot’s singing voice, amazingly sweet and clear sounding. A complete contrast to his speaking voice. “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,” He saw the blue arc as the demon zapped Donovan on the inside of his thigh with a cattle prod, “Aaarrrgghh!” He screamed desperately around his ball gag.

The head of research was thrashing as best he could, held by coarse ropes against the wood planks behind him. His body littered with cuts and burns, even sweating hurt. “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down in the most delightful wayyyy,” The demon continued singing.

Damien smiled and approached the pair, picking up a glove covered with tiny needles from a table on the way. He started singing along with Jurrot, “A robin feathering his nest has very little time to rest while gathering his bits of twine and twig,” He skipped forward once and put the glove on, “Though quite intent in his pursuit he has a merry tune to toot, he knows a song will move the job alonnng,”

Without a pause, he grasped Donovan’s penis in his gloved hand.

The screams were otherworldly, eerily punctuated by birdsong coming from the Mary Poppins soundtrack.

***

“We can’t talk about art without talking about philosophy,” The chairs creaked softly as students shifted in their seats, eyes riveted to the front of the class where a large white screen was pulled down. Against it shown the representation of a painting.

Mr. Daughtry continued, “Behind every movement, is a drive. An idea coalesced into action. The modern art movement is no different.” He pointed at the screen, “This painting, most of you will recognize,” A sky of reds and yellows painted in thick horizontal lines. A river started at the horizon, bringing the eye to the bottom center of the piece where a man stood on a bridge. Mouth open in a shocked scream, both hands pressed against his cheeks. “The Scream, by Edvard Munch. Painted in 1893. A classic example of modern art. The artist cast aside preconceived notions, old habits and techniques. Munch, like all modern artists, embraced novelty. The drive of the modern art movement was to evolve. To change how the artist sees the world, a new perspective on old techniques and themes.”

Erynn was in rapt attention. She’d been looking forward to this class. Getting up that morning hadn’t been an easy thing to do. The night had been unkind. She hadn’t had the heart to call Loreli to tell her about what happened during the spell, either. Erynn just wanted to think on things before talking about it all.

She’d been worried once she’d made her way to the back of the class. As soon as she sat down, she felt like she might fall asleep. It didn’t take long though before both the professor and the subject matter got her attention.

The night before, she’d come to the conclusion that she needed to talk with Tara. Find out what had happened. Erynn was confused and worried and, the only person who could clarify things was the blonde witch.

She also knew Tara wouldn’t want that. Judging by her reactions the day before, the Canadian was pretty sure approaching Tara wasn’t a great idea. Besides, she didn’t owe Erynn anything.

Would she be condemned to feeling like this forever? She could feel herself slipping back into bad mental habits. Berating herself, telling herself she wasn’t any good for anyone. To know that you make a genuinely good person run out the door, scared… That had an impact on the old self-esteem. The fact she loved this good Tara-shaped person, made things much worse.

She might never see Tara again. There wasn’t a reason to, other than her own hopes. The thought saddened her deeply but, a part of her felt relieved at the notion. It might make it easier for her feelings toward the witch to dissipate. Knowing it might be better in the long run though, didn’t make the short run any easier.

“Did you catch that last artist’s name?” Erynn had caught him looking at her a couple of times during the class. Now it was over, he seemed to have taken it as his chance to approach, “I couldn’t write it down fast enough.” He asked with a smile, “I’m Theo, by the way.” Theo added, extending a hand.

“Erynn,” She shook his hand and returned the smile, “Yeah, it was Dali. Salvador Dali.” Erynn closed her bag once her books and supplies were safely inside, “I’m surprised you didn’t know that.” She chuckled, “’The Persistence of Memory’ it’s a pretty popular piece.”

Theo shuffled his feet, “Um…”

She stood and faced him, a smirk on her lips and twinkle in her eye. The emotions she could read in him made her chuckle internally, “I can think of two reasons why you wouldn’t know that, being this isn’t an intro class to modern art.” Her fedora made its way firmly onto her head, “Either you cheated your way through to this point, which is kinda hard to do and pointless in art. Or, you just wanted to say hi.”

She motioned with her head for him to follow as she started taking the stairs down from her seat, “Just so you know, though? Saying you’re ignorant about the subject matter of a class isn’t the best first impression ever.”

They stepped out into the hall, “You really don’t pull your punches, do you.” Theo said, an amused expression on his face.

Erynn smiled and shrugged, “I haven’t thrown one yet. So, which is it?” She asked, bending toward him in a conspiratorial way.

He laughed, “You got me, I just wanted to say hi. Granted, Dali… kind of a given. That was dumb.” He scratched the back of his head, “In the spirit of the class, I was trying this new thing: being bold. I guess it didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped.” He shrugged.

“I don’t know,” She grinned at him, “We are talking, after class… in the hall,” Her eyes glanced above his left shoulder and she froze. Her heart fell into her stomach, “Fuck.”

Theo turned his head, trying to see something that would’ve made Erynn cuss. “What is it?”

“Nothing,” She said hastily, “Just someone… I should go.” Tara was coming in their direction, but Erynn didn’t think the witch had seen her yet, “I’ll be late for… I need to go.”

“Ok, then…” Theo said to her retreating back, “See you next class I guess.” His voice lowered, disappointed.

Erynn rounded the first corner she crossed and leaned against the wall. She wasn’t going to be late for anything, she didn’t even have another class for two hours. But, the thought of bumping into Tara made her insides twist. It just wouldn’t end up going well, she was sure. She couldn’t stand the idea of seeing that look in Tara’s eyes again.

Peering around the corner, she spotted the blonde standing at the door to the same classroom Erynn had just left. She was talking with a couple other students, smiling. So pretty…

Her mind whirled with thoughts, her pulse quickened, she felt like she could cry at any moment. She wasn’t upset because she couldn’t have the blonde witch. Her feelings weren’t based in something so selfish. They ran deep, down in the abyss where self-loathing lies.

Erynn just wanted to be someone worthy of a person like Tara. Worthy of Tara.

She wiped her eyes hastily and quickly made her way towards the central stairs once she noticed the blonde turn away.

Erynn didn’t want to go back to her room. She felt like a big knot with legs, so she kept walking aimlessly down the halls. Passing a classroom with big windows, she glanced something out of the corner of her eye. Retracing her steps back towards the last window, she peered into the room.

Her eyes lit up. She looked up at the wall where a sign read: ‘Music Department’

Glancing left and right, she slipped into the room and closed the door and turned down the blinds.

There it was, at the back. Surrounded by guitars, drums and other instruments sat a black baby grand piano. It was difficult to find places where she could play. Being on the road all the time, she couldn’t own a piano. Keyboards didn’t cut it, they had no soul. Erynn liked visiting musical instrument stores so she could ‘test’ the pianos until the proprietor would catch on and gently shoo her out the door. Sometimes, none too gently.

She sat on the piano bench and scooted it closer so she could reach the pedals. “Hi,” She said softly, running a hand across the top of the instrument, “I need to talk.” Erynn sniffed and ran her hands across the keys, “I hope you don’t mind.”

Her fingers started playing absentmindedly, a melody forming and reforming. A never ending stream of notes, building nothing but filling the room with melodic sound. And, after a half hour or so, she closed her eyes as a song came to mind.

The notes quickly fell into place, following the echo in her head. Erynn started to sing:

When you were here before
couldn’t look you in the eye
You’re just like an angel
your skin makes me cry
You float like a feather
in a beautiful world
I wish I was special
you’re so fucking special


But I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here


It wasn’t the most beautiful singing voice. Erynn wasn’t a singer by any stretch of the imagination, but she felt every word she sang and key she struck.

I don’t care if it hurts
I want to have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul
I want you to notice
when I’m not around
You’re so fucking special
I wish I was special


But I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo.
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here


The door closed silently once a figure entered the room, quietly making their way toward a chair. They sat down unbeknownst to Erynn who just continued her song.

Ohh, Ohh

She’s runnin’ out the door
she’s runnin’
she runs, run, run, run, run
Run!


Whatever makes you happy
whatever you want
You’re so fucking special
I wish I was special


but I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don’t belong here
I don’t belong here…


Three beats later Erynn took her foot off the pedal and strangled the last note to an end. “I’d clap but that seems awfully cliché.” A deep, male voice brought the French-Canadian’s attention towards the chair where an older man sat. “I’m Mr. Schroeder. This is my department.”

She stood up quickly, “I’m sorry, sir. I just thought…” Erynn started for the door, “I’ll let myself out.”

“Please,” Mr. Schroeder stood up, “Don’t run away. Are you taking classes?”

“Not music,” Erynn said, “I just saw the piano and felt the need to play.” She said sheepishly, “I don’t get to play often.”

“Hmm,” The department head approached the student, “Do you feel better?” He asked, his tone genuinely thoughtful.

She smiled, “Yeah, I do. I always do.” Erynn shrugged and looked at the ground, stuffing her hands into her pockets.

A warm hand on her shoulder made her look up again, “Then, how about you and I find a way to fit an hour here with the piano, into your schedule?”

“Really!?” Erynn beamed, “That would be fantastic! But, don’t you need it for classes?”

He motioned for her to follow him out of the room, “Come to my office, we’ll work around the schedules once I’m at my computer. When we’ve found a spot, I’ll reserve it for you.”

***

She took a bite of her turkey sandwich, “Mmm,” Willow was starving, “I mean, she can go on and on about how mathematicians are a clear headed bunch of academics all she wants,” She paused to chew more and swallow.

Tara was eating her salad and listening to her girlfriend’s impassioned argument, “But, let’s not forget Pythagoras was afraid of beans, Kurt Gödel starved himself to death a paranoid schizophrenic, Paul Erdős lived on the streets and just popped into random people’s houses uninvited, to do math.” Taking a breath, she shook her head, “Clear headed?” She said incredulously before taking another bite of her sandwich.

The blonde grinned and nodded, “Sounds to me like genius isn’t normal. I guess that’s why it’s genius.” She poked her straw into her apple juice box, “I like Monday lunches,” She smiled at her girlfriend, “It’s nice to be able to sit and eat with you.”

“It really is,” Willow smiled around a mouthful.

“Will, something’s been happening I need to tell you about,” Tara picked up her veggie wrap, “It’s about what happened during the cleansing s-spell, at Erynn’s.”

The redhead waited for her girlfriend to finish her bite, “What’s up baby? Everything ok?” She asked, somewhat worried.

Tara bobbed her head left and right in a non-committal gesture, “Kinda. I didn’t tell you… because I didn’t know how.” Clearing her throat she continued, “When that stuff hit my hand, it was like a bunch of slides – videos and sounds, memories, emotions – all piled together, hitting me.”

Willow took her hand, “Of what? Do you know?”

“I didn’t really at first.” The blonde continued, “I mean, it was all jumbled together. I just felt different kinds of fear, anger sometimes l-lust even. The images weren’t fitting together. All I knew was they were Erynn’s.” She shifted in her seat, “But, they’re coming back to me in flashes now. Like, one at a time or something.”

“Oh,” The redhead’s brow crinkled in worry, “What kind of memories?”

Tara sighed, “So far, bad ones,” She pushed her food aside, “I had t-to leave my class earlier. L-locked myself in a bathroom stall for ten minutes. The first one was last night, at the box.”

“Are you ok? Really,” Willow held onto Tara’s hand in both of hers, “I mean, really ok? We could leave. Go do some research, find out how to fix it if you want.”

She shook her head, “I have a test after l-lunch, I can’t miss it.” Tara took a deep breath, “I think I’m going to call Erynn tonight though, after classes. It just doesn’t feel right having her memories like th-this. I think she should know.”

The redhead wasn’t so sure, “Are you sure? I mean, maybe it’s best if she doesn’t…” At her girlfriend’s surprised look she added, “Think about it. You said these were bad memories, right? Let’s say this guy next to us at the table there, all of a sudden gets some of your memories into his head.” She nodded sideways at the disheveled guy in question, “Would you want to know about it?”

Tara cocked her head, “It’s not just that, though. It’s how we left, how I left after I freaked out.” She frowned, “She knows something happened, and I hurt her Will. And, now I’ve got these… memories of hers... I have a feeling my reaction might have hurt her more than I thought. She probably thinks I hate her, or thinks I think she’s ho-horrible.”

“What was the memory about, today?” Willow asked, she didn’t like this one bit. It was clear this was distressing her lover.

She knew this question would come. Her girlfriend was nothing if not curious. Tara didn’t feel right about sharing though, “They’re pretty personal to Erynn. I don’t feel r-right having them myself, so sharing them…” She shrugged apologetically.

“Oh,” Willow started piling her garbage onto her tray, “I get it.”

“Will, look at me,” Tara quickly said, “I’m not doing this to keep you out of the loop. If I felt right about it, I’d tell you.” Her eyes pleaded her girlfriend to understand, “I’m just trying to do the right thing.”

“How do you know what the right thing is?” She asked, frustrated, “It’s not like this happens all the time. You were forced to have knowledge about Erynn only a really close friend or lover should have.” Willow threw her hands up in the air, “We barely know her!”

Tara nodded and waved a hand in her direction, “Hence the discomfort.”

“So, what?” Willow spat, “To make yourself more comfortable you’re going to buddy up to her? Become that close friend?”

“What?” The blonde was thrown, “No. That’s not… Why are you so mad?”

“I’m not mad,” The redhead said unconvincingly, “I’m uncomfortable.” She stood up, “Lunch is over. I have class. We should talk more about this later, before you call Erynn. Agreed?” She tried to take the edge out of her voice but, it just got replaced by a quiver. Something about this rubbed her in all the wrong ways.

She sighed and nodded, “Yeah, ok.” The blonde also stood up and opened her arms. Willow quickly filled them, “I love you. I don’t always get you, but I love you.” She said affectionately.

The blonde smirked, “Likewise, sweetie.” She kissed her softly, “Have a good afternoon, I love you.”

***

Willow and Buffy were heading out the main entrance together, “How about a mocha?” Asked the redhead.

The Slayer was surprised, “Isn’t your honey waiting for you at the dorms?”

The redhead shrugged, “Yeah, she was done an hour ago.” Her eyes fell to the pavement, “I just don’t feel like going yet. And, I want a mocha.”

The blonde looked ahead, “Ok, let’s get a mocha. But you have to spill. Usually, you two are attached at the hip, everything ok?”

They started walking towards the Pump in silence until Willow said, “Something happened during the spell we did for Erynn.” Pulling on her sleeve, she fiddled with the stitching, “Now, Tara’s been having flashbacks of Erynn’s life. Bad stuff.”

“What can we do?” Buffy asked, alarmed, “That’s horrible. But, wait… why does that make you want to avoid going home?”

Willow sighed, “We had an argument at lunch. She wants to call Erynn tonight but, wouldn’t tell me what she saw earlier today in a flashback she had at school. She said she didn’t feel comfortable sharing Erynn’s private life.”

“Oh,” Was the blonde’s response.

They’d made it to the Espresso Pump and ordered their mochas. Both of them were sipping their drinks contentedly, sitting at a table.

“Ok, so I get how you might be… I don’t know, offended?” Buffy said, “But, I can also see Tara’s point of view. I mean, if you ever told her about some of the stuff you know about me…” She shivered.

The redhead waved a hand, “It’s not the same, you’re my best friend. We don’t even know Erynn’s last name.”

The Slayer frowned, “That doesn’t sound right. It sounds like, just because you’re not close with Erynn, you shouldn’t have to respect her privacy.”

“Ugh!” Willow groaned, “I don’t know. I just feel all anxious and spazzy about the whole thing. I don’t want Tara and Erynn whispering at each other behind my back.” She finished lamely.

Buffy knew better than to say anything. Instead, she focused on drinking her mocha. Let that brain figure itself out.

The redhead sighed deeply. I’m sounding like more of a dork by the minute. She mentally groused.

“So,” Buffy decided to change the subject, “I was thinking about Riley and me, last night.” She absentmindedly fiddled with her cup, “I’m thinking I need to break up with him.”

“Oh,” Willow knew there was trouble with the couple but, she didn’t know it was that bad, “Really? What made you decide?”

The Slayer shrugged, “It’s been feeling weird for a while now. Like, our relationship reached a dead-end or something. I realized last night I’m just not willing to give him more.” She frowned, “I can’t open myself up to him… I just don’t feel that level of comfort with Riley, I guess.”

They fell silent for a moment before she continued, “Maybe it’s not him, you know? Maybe I’m just all closed up because of what happened with Angel.” She shrugged again.

Willow nodded, “Well, this explains him ‘trying too hard’,” She said before taking a mouthful of mocha.

Buffy was confused, “How does that explain him being annoying?”

The redhead rolled her eyes, “It’s a normal reaction when you’re heavily invested in a relationship and your partner distances themselves.” She waved a hand expressively, her eyes wide, “Ooh, like, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, you know?”

The Slayer thought this over, trying to make sure she understood, “So, you’re saying that because I took a step back, he took one forward? Overcompensating?”

“Yep!” Willow smiled, “That’s what I think.” She calmed then, “That doesn’t change the fact you can’t stop yourself from stepping back.”

“Which brings us back to breakup talk,” Said Buffy, glumly. “It’s just not fair to him.”

The redhead reached across the table and grasped her best friend’s hand, “I’ve never broken up with anyone. But, I’m sure it’s not easy. If you need to talk, I’m a phone call away.”

***

Tara was laying on the bed, reading a book. Soft music flittered through the air. When Willow hadn’t come home when the blonde expected her to, she’d decided to pick up a book while she waited.

She was so engrossed in the story, Tara didn’t hear when the door opened and closed. “So, here’s the thing,” Willow’s voice brought Tara’s attention towards the door, “Your girlfriend is a possessive crazy-head.” The redhead finished, walking toward the bed and dropping her bag on the desk chair.

The blonde put her book away, “Ok, you m-might want to back up a bit for contextual reasons.”

Willow sat down on the bed, “I went for a mocha with Buffy. I talked my way into seeing how crazy I was being about the whole Erynn thing.” She reached for Tara’s hand, “Buffy didn’t even need to say much, I figured it out by myself eventually.”

Tara pulled at her girlfriend’s fingers, “What did you figure out? I’m not sure I understand.”

She sighed, “The thought of Erynn and you getting close scares me.”

“Why?” The blonde asked, “I’m close with Anya… and you hate her.”

“Ok,” Willow said quickly, “First off, I don’t hate Anya. And, second of all… Anya is in a relationship. A-and she’s… straight.” She tacked on softly.

“We don’t know Erynn isn’t s-straight,” Tara said, “Even if she isn’t. Will, her being gay or bi wouldn’t change the nature of our relationship… which is just friendship.”

“I trust you,” Willow quickly said, “It’s not you I don’t trust…”

The blonde thought for a moment before asking, “Is it because she shifts that you don’t trust her?”

“Partly, yeah… I guess.” The redhead answered, “I just don’t want her to put the moves on you, all charming and shifty.” She pouted.

Tara grinned slightly, “Even if she did put the moves on me baby, I’d just let her down.” She rolled her girlfriend over onto her back and straddled her, “I’d say ‘Thanks, but I’ve got all the woman I need at home’.” Bringing Willow’s hands up, she entwined their fingers together. “She’s this hot redhead with an amazing mouth. Don’t get me started on her hands… good luck beating that.” She winked.

“Oh, I see,” Willow said in mock offence, “I’m just a sex toy to you, huh?”

“No. Of course not!” Tara exclaimed, horrified, “The best sex toy.” She laughed and continued, “Will, I’m hopelessly in love with you. Don’t you see that?” She asked earnestly, “If you don’t, I’m doing s-something wrong.”

“I do,” the redhead nodded, “I feel it. But, sometimes it’s hard to believe I guess.” She shrugged, “I keep having to remind myself, you know? I have… hang-ups. About sharing my people. A-and, you’re my most important person.”

“The part of me that’s yours,” Tara said seriously, “I wouldn’t share that with anyone else. No one but you owns it. That’s what makes you my most important person, too.”

She nodded her understanding and smiled, “When did you want to call Erynn?” Willow asked, feeling the issue had been resolved.

The blonde shrugged, “Before doing much else. I’d like to get it over with,” She got off the bed, walking toward the phone, “It’s m-making me nervous, so… I just want to ask if she’ll meet with me sometime this week so we can talk.”

“Ok, baby. Want me to go to the cafeteria and weasel us some food?” The redhead asked, her stomach was grumbling.

Tara smiled, “That sounds great.” Pulling the phone number pad from the shelf on the desk, she flipped through the pages to find Erynn’s number, “This shouldn’t take long. I should be done by the time you’re back.”

Willow was on her way to the door when Tara stopped her, “Hey, not so fast. Come here missy.” She said, pointing at the ground in front of her. “Bring those lips over here.”

The redhead quickly obliged, wrapping her arms around Tara’s waist and pressing their lips together. “Mmm,” She sighed and started moving them slowly, but her girlfriend took control of the pace. The blonde quickly deepened the kiss, her tongue finding its way into Willow’s inviting mouth.

Tara’s fingers combed up into red hair, hands pulling her girlfriend closer. Inhaling deeply through her nose, she pulled away slowly, sucking on the redhead’s bottom lip, “Mmm, I love kissing you.”

Willow was flushed from head to toe, “I love you,” She leaned in for another kiss before pulling back again, “I wish we didn’t have so much stuff to do,” Her fingers dug gently into Tara’s waist, “I want to make love with you so bad right now.”

Tara groaned, “I know,” Her hands slid down her girlfriend’s chest, coming to a rest just above Willow’s breasts, “I really want that too.” She bit her lip, trying to let reason rule, “We need to eat, though.”

“And, you have a phone call to make,” Willow nodded, still looking at Tara’s lips.

The blonde added, “There’s that letter, too. And the trunk to deal with.” She pecked Willow’s lips, “Let’s get all this taken care of and then we’ll have the rest of the night to spend together.”

The redhead sighed dramatically, “Fine. I’ll go get us food, then.” She rolled her eyes and made her way to the door.

Tara chuckled at her girlfriend’s antics, “Try to get me something green, will you?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Willow’s voice came through the closing door, “I know the veggie drill.”

She picked up the phone and dialed Erynn’s number, “Allo?”

“H-hi, Erynn,” Tara sat down at the desk, “It’s Tara.”

The line went silent for a moment, “Hello? Erynn?”

“Yes,” The Canadian said softly, “I’m here. Sorry, I didn’t think you’d call.” She cleared her throat, “To be honest, I’m slightly freaked.”

“I’m sorry,” Tara said genuinely, “Th-the way I acted yesterday, you probably saw it out of context.”

“Oh?” Erynn asked, “I know something happened during the spell. Something that scared you.” She sighed and added, “I seem to scare you.”

The blonde pressed her lips together in thought for a moment, “You don’t scare me, Erynn. What I don’t understand about you, does.”

There was silence for another moment before Tara added, “I’d like for us to meet. So we can talk, I need to tell you s-something that has to do with what happened during the spell.” She sighed, “If you don’t want anything to do with me once we’ve talked, it’s ok. I’ll understand.”

“What!?” Erynn exclaimed suddenly, “That won’t happen.” She said, absolutely convinced, “I’ve been wanting for us to talk.”

Tara nodded, “Good, then. What’s your s-schedule like on Wednesday?”

“Hmm, hold on,” The Canadian said before putting the phone down. A minute later, she returned, “I have classes in the morning until eleven-thirty. Then my day is open.”

“Ok, how about we meet at your place at three? I have classes until then.” The blonde quickly added, “What I have to t-tell you, it’s not for talking about in public.”

“Ok,” Erynn agreed easily, “Wednesday at three. I’ll be here. And, Tara?”

“Y-yes?” The blonde asked.

“Thank you for calling,” The Canadian said earnestly. “I appreciate it.”

Tara smiled, “Thank you for answering. See you Wednesday.”

Once she hung the phone up, the blonde let out a deep sigh of relief. It felt like a weight was lifted off her shoulders.

The door opened a few minutes later, “I have foraged and returned with a plentiful bounty!” Willow said in a deep voice. She closed the door and made her way towards the bed, where her grinning girlfriend was sitting, “I got you a potato salad, with a veggie sandwich. I even got some apple sauce!” She girnned proudly.

“Ooh,” Tara cooed, “That sounds delicious. I’m so hungry, gimme gimme!” She thrust her hands out and wiggled her fingers excitedly.

“Pfft!” Willow huffed, “This stuff isn’t free you know. I had to be all sneaky.” She leaned over and puckered her lips.

The blonde giggled and kissed her girlfriend, “What did you get yourself?” She asked as she unwrapped her sandwich.

The redhead blushed, “Um, they had pizza.” She threw a hand out in front of herself in exasperation, “How am I supposed to resist pizza?”

Tara quirked an eyebrow as she chewed.

“Don’t give me that eyebrow, Maclay.” Willow chastised, “Don’t be judging me.”

The blonde laughed, “We’ll just have to make sure to keep an eye on your cholesterol when you turn forty.”

They ate in silence for a while until Tara reached for the letter on her nightstand.

Willow’s eyebrows rose up, “Time to read it?”

Her girlfriend nodded, “I think so.” She opened the envelope and slipped out the letter.

The redhead finished her last slice of pizza and kept quiet while Tara read. The expressions running across her girlfriend’s face were unreadable until…

“What?” Tara shook her head in disbelief, “I mean, what!?” She all but shouted.

“Tara?” Willow asked, “What is it?”

The blonde just handed the letter over, unable to communicate with words. She seemed shocked.

The redhead read:

~~~
Tara,

I heard from Beth that your father and brother went to find you. I didn’t tell them where you were, darling. I hope you believe that.

After some wheedling on my part, she let me know that you were free of the demon lies. Not in so many words, mind. But, I deduced it from reading between her lines.

I hope this finds you doing well. Learning what you did can’t have been easy and, I can only hope you’re well surrounded and loved. I’m glad you learned the truth once you were away from here, though.

This letter has two purposes. The first, saying what I did above. The second, what comes next.

When you were born, you were a 4th generation Kellison witch. Your mother knew you’d be powerful and she was scared. Your father, as you know, didn’t approve of magic. She knew she couldn’t offer you a good education in the craft and, she was worried your power would frighten your father. Your mother didn’t want him to hurt you, so she came to me when she was still pregnant.

Tara, there’s no other way to say this, we bound your power. I objected initially but, when I saw your mother wouldn’t leave your father, I thought it’d be best to go ahead with it. The spell wasn’t strong enough to bind all of your power, leaving you what you’ve been practicing with up until now.

The trunk I sent you is one that has been passed down through the generations. In it you’ll find your birthright, as well as the key to unbind yourself.

I hope you understand the reasons why I couldn’t tell you any of this until now. I wish you’d call me, so we can talk. If you have any questions, any at all – please contact me. My number is at the bottom of this letter, on the back.

Love,

Margaret

~~~

***

_________________
~M
CopperAndGold


Last edited by CopperAndGold on Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:45 am 
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9. Gay Now
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Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:45 pm
Posts: 904
Topics: 14
Location: Beyond the orbit of Mars and accelerating...
Whoa. Big news.

I'm really wondering what's in the box, now.

Looking forward to finding out :)

Let's blow the lid off this thing :P

R :flower

_________________
“All I feel is sunlight. All I hear is music.” Willow
How i Met Your Mother - By Ariel


My Story: Coming Home


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:34 pm 
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Azirahael wrote:
I'm really wondering what's in the box, now.


Hehe, you'll have to be patient. Tara's not ready, yet. :lol

_________________
~M
CopperAndGold


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 Post subject: When Erynn found herself - Post 6 (Update)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:38 pm 
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Location: Canada
When Erynn found herself – Post 6 (Update)

Author name – CopperAndGold
Rating - NC-17 (Strong)

Disclaimer - This is an adult fic. There will be some angst, smut, bad language, difficult subject matters (They will be noted prior to posting) The characters' developments were taken from season 5 - A bit after the episode: Family. Anything that is canon and prior to this episode is fair game. Oh, there's also a small reference to a funny exchange in season 6 between Anya and Tara that I just couldn't stop from using. Even with all this, there's comedy too! Everything after Family becomes A/U.

Feedback - Please, I love your words.
Summary - Willow and Tara make a new friend. She's... interesting.

Notes – Other than a big sex alert, nothing to report. (Because DarkWiccan was curious: The Prop Inspiration (but think 'purple'))



The temperature in the room seemed to fluctuate rapidly as Willow let the letter fall to the mattress.

They bound her? Her mind was reeling. Kellison witch, 4th generation… how powerful is she, really? Does that matter? Will things change…

“I-“, Tara had been shocked from reading the letter but, now she just felt frightened. How many times can I go through an identity crisis without losing my fucking mind!? “I need to take a walk.” She quickly rose from the bed, slipped on her clogs and left without another word.

The door closing brought Willow out of her thoughts too late. Turning around only served to prove she was now alone. What do I do?

The redhead was feeling so many conflicting emotions she had a hard time sifting through them all but, one stood out alarmingly bright.

Willow was angry. The letter had been jarring in itself but, the lack of actual information was making her think unpleasant things about Tara’s aunt. Flipping the letter over, she stared at the phone number written there. I know I shouldn’t but, I really, really want to.

The thought of trying to go after Tara did cross her mind. She understood the need to get away though, the need to be alone. For the first time Willow wished Tara had her own room unpacked, so she’d have a place to go to and be alone for a while if she needed it.

Although the need to be with her girlfriend right now felt overwhelming, she knew it was how it should be. She still wanted to be there for Tara and quickly thought up a way she could do that.

Willow would research again. This time, the Kellison witches. She would gather as much information as she could in order to have it ready for when Tara would want to know.

***

I don’t want it. Tara was walking out of the building, her eyes fixed on her shuffling feet. What if I just don’t do it?

She started down the path, not having a destination in mind. Tara just needed to be alone. Her arms crossed over her chest, her feet following the curving path. I don’t want things to change…

“Tara?” The blonde didn’t hear her name being called from behind her, she was so lost in her thoughts. I don’t feel like I’m bound…

Quick footsteps coming up behind her also went unnoticed until Erynn’s unsure voice tried again, “Tara?”

The witch’s head jolted up and she turned around, “W-what? Oh,” Her eyes fell to the ground again, “Hey Erynn. I um, I n-need…” She stopped then, feeling the words pulling tears to life at the back of her eyes.

The Canadian was silent for a few seconds. She bent her head to try and catch Tara’s eyes. “I know, tournesol. I know, but I can’t let you go off like this.”

Tara wiped her nose on the back of her sleeve, “I j-just need to be alone,”

Erynn nodded, her eyes laden with empathy, “Yes, you do. But, you’re not… out here, you can’t be alone.” She offered her elbow, “If you come with me, I have a big tree we can share. My stuff’s over there, I was drawing.”

Tara’s brow creased, looking at the offered elbow, “How’s t-that being alone?” Her arms tightened around herself.

The elbow lowered, “You can’t be, I told you. Even if you keep walking that way,“ Erynn pointed down the path, “Or, if you cross the grass there,” She pointed to the left, “There’s people all over the place. You’d be walking for miles… and never be alone. You would still get what you want out of it though, time to think… unless something happened.”

She took a step back and ran her fingers through her hair, “Thing is, I can feel the echo of what you’re going through and you weren’t aware of your surroundings just then.” She tried to explain, “I’m just worried. You’re vulnerable. The tree is my safe thinking place, I just thought I’d share…”

When Tara didn’t respond, Erynn waved towards the tree behind her, “Well, the offer stands. It’s right over there. I’m gonna go back to my drawing. Just, take care of yourself.” She gave the blond a small smile before walking away.

The witch started walking away again but stopped after just a few steps. Vulnerable… I might not have to be anymore. She sighed and turned around to make her way to the tree she could see Erynn sitting under, sketchpad on her knees.

The Canadian’s eyes looked up from her work just long enough to confirm it was indeed Tara who stood there. She upturned her bag to empty its contents, scooted over wordlessly and laid the bag on the grass a fair distance around the tree from where she’d been sitting. Erynn patted the bag as an invitation for her friend to sit, and returned to her spot. She picked up her sketchpad and pencil again and started working in silence.

Tara looked at the bag and couldn’t help the small grin at the thoughtful gesture. Smoothing her skirt over the back of her legs, she bent her knees and sat down. Leaning her back against the tree, she hugged her knees and let her thoughts come.

Kellison, just like in that song Momma sang. Why didn’t she tell me? Power… power scares me. Is it because I never felt like I had it? I don’t want things to change… I’m so happy right now. Nothing says I have to do it. Or, that I have to do it now. I should call Margaret… That letter barely said anything.

Time went by, Tara deep in thought and Erynn drawing away. Neither paid any mind to the other sitting against the same tree. The sun took its course through the sky and soon enough, the French-Canadian lost her light. She closed her eyes and concentrated on feeling Tara’s emotions. They’d calmed enough that she thought she could talk to the witch now, “Sun’s going down, tournesol. Willow will be worried if you don’t head home.”

She heard Tara’s voice from behind the tree trunk, “People need to stop calling me things I don’t understand.” The tone in her voice was much more relaxed than before and Erynn couldn’t help but smile, “Tournesol is a sunflower.”

She stood up with her sketchpad and rounded the tree. Smiling at Tara, she tore the front page off at the spiral binding. “Here,” Erynn gave the witch the drawing and pointed at it, “Tournesol.”

The drawing was of a singular sunflower standing tall at the center of the page. Bright highlights and deep shadows gave the petals depth. The fragility of the petals came through just as the strength of the stem jutting down the page. The seeds detailed and textured. “Erynn, this is beautiful!”

I know you are… “Thanks, I have a knack for drawing.” She shrugged, “You can keep it, if you want.”

Not waiting for an answer, she turned and started putting her things in a pile, “Um, I might need that bag back,” She chuckled.

It was quickly dangled in front of her, “Thanks,” Tara said from above, “For the bag and sharing your t-tree.” The smile wasn’t as big as Erynn had seen before but it was there nonetheless.

The Canadian chuckled, “You know it’s not mine, so you’re welcome here anytime. Just know you might bump into me here.” She said as she filled her bag.

“Duly noted,” The witch said with a smile, “Um, I’m gonna go home now.” She pointed to the building’s entrance with her thumb over her shoulder.

Erynn stood up and slung the bag over her shoulder, “Ok, say hi to Willow for me.” She smiled and waved as she walked away towards her dorm.

Tara looked down at the drawing in her hands and muttered under her breath, “What do I do with you?” She just knew that if she came home with it, Willow would ask where it came from. She would infer from it all kinds of things that would send her into a jealous tizzy.

Do I throw it away? She frowned.

***

Tara walked into the room and was immediately greeted by a relieved Willow, “Oh, thank God. Tara, I was starting to get worried,” The redhead was sitting on the bed with her laptop open in front of her. A pad and pen were by her side. “Did your walk help?” She asked as she watched her girlfriend make her way toward the dresser.

The blonde put the drawing down, “I didn’t end up walking but, I did get a chance to think and calm down.” She turned and smiled.

Willow was glad to hear this, “Good, I’m glad baby.” Her laptop and supplies were quickly put away. “I don’t know if you want to talk about it, or what you want to do… what I do know is that I want to be there for you.” She said, extending her hand.

Tara took it and sat on the bed facing her girlfriend, “I need you with me.” Looking down at their entwined fingers, she felt her breath catch as emotions rose up her throat, “I don’t want things to change. I don’t want to change.” She said softly as a tear made its way slowly down her cheek.

Willow scooted over on the bed, pulling her girlfriend with her as she laid down, “Let’s get comfy, and we can talk about what you don’t want to change.”

The blonde gladly rested her head onto a slim shoulder and wrapped her arm around Willow’s waist. “This, I don’t want this to change.” She squeezed her girlfriend to her to emphasize her point.

Tara felt slender fingers running through her hair, “Ok, what else?” She heard from above. Nuzzling into the comfort of Willow’s chest, she continued, “I’m happy. I’ve never been this happy, Will. I don’t want anything to change.”

“And you think being unbound would change things, how?” The redhead asked softly.

The blonde thought for a moment before answering, “It’s power. I-I don’t know… power scares me. I’d have the responsibility of learning how to control it.” She took a deep breath, “What if I can’t? I feel like I’m 7 again, being told I have a demon in me. Only, this time it’s real.” The last words came out on a whisper.

“I think you got two things confused together.” Willow kept running her fingers through soft hair, her other hand smoothing over Tara’s back. “The demon, if it was real, is bad. You were told that’s where your magic came from but, we both know that’s not the case.”

She felt Tara was about to say something and stopped her, “I’m not done. See, the way I see it, this power? It’s yours, baby. It comes from you. I can’t see it being bad.” Willow kissed a crown of golden hair, “Controlling that power is more about controlling yourself and, we both know you’re pretty darn good at that.”

They fell silent for a few moments until Tara spoke up, “Maybe I can find somewhere I can learn.”

Willow’s upper lip lifted in disgust, “Like the Wicca group?”

The blonde barked out a short laugh, “Um, no. Not like the Wicca group. But, maybe a coven or I don’t know… another witch. I need to learn what my m-mother should’ve taught me.”

The underlying tinge of anger wasn’t lost on the redhead, “Ok, that actually sounds like fun.” She said, smoothing her hand up and down Tara’s back.

Tara lifted her head and looked at her girlfriend, “We could do it together.” Smiling, she added, “Join a coven or s-something. Become mega-witches!” She giggled.

Willow beamed, “Yeah! I would totally go with you.” Her hand fell from behind Tara’s head to the side of her neck, her fingers lightly tracing the skin there, “That was the whole point of us doing magic together in the first place, you know. Learning and stuff… until I fell in love with my spell partner and then, doing spells became an excuse to feel close to her.”

Tara felt the weight she’d been carrying for hours lift off her shoulders, looking into Willow’s loving eyes she felt courage embolden her. Her thoughts shifted rapidly and said suddenly, “Let’s do the silence spell on the room.”

The redhead was surprised by the turn in conversation, “Oh, right now?” She asked with a perplexed look written all over her face.

The blonde only nodded and jumped out of bed, “Unless there’s things we need that we don’t have.” She quickly picked up her mother’s Book of Shadows from the desk, “I don’t remember there being many ingredients.”

Tara had a plan, this was only step one. She skimmed over her mother’s journaling quickly, not wanting to absorb any of the words, until she found the part she was looking for.

Her girlfriend’s enthusiasm was infectious, but Willow was still a bit thrown. Gee, hop on my mood swings, why don’t’cha. “You know I’m always good for a spell, baby…” She said tentatively.

“Neroli,” Tara muttered as she made her way toward the closet. She opened the essential oils case, “Neroli, neroli, neroli.” She picked up one bottle at a time, trying to find the neroli oil, “We should alphabetize this thing.”

“That’s a good idea,” Willow could only watch as her girlfriend got things together, “Anything I can do?”

The blonde was still going through their oils, “We need a white candle and we have to draw a reflection rune at each corner of the room.” Her voice echoed from within the closet.

The redhead got up, “Reflection rune… That’s the one with the eye at the bottom, right?” She pulled open the last dresser drawer which had been separated in two. The left half containing candles of different sizes and colors.

“Uh huh,” The sound of little glass bottles clicking together stopped suddenly, “Yes! Found it. There’s a half circle added to the rune though,” Tara went to the desk with her five different oils, “Here, look,”

Willow stepped up behind her girlfriend and wrapped her arms around her waist, candle firmly in hand, “Oh, ok. Half circle, convex side towards the center of the room. Check.” She placed a kiss on Tara’s neck before dropping the candle onto the desk and walking away.

The blonde witch found her ceramic bowl in the bottom desk drawer and started mixing the oils as the spell indicated. Once finished, she picked up the candle and brought it to the dresser. With a cotton swab and some rubbing alcohol, she cleansed the candle.

Willow was moving Amy’s cage so she could make it to that corner of the room, “Have you ever noticed we always fill room corners with stuff?” The rune started to take shape, even though the redhead was knelt in an awkward position, “What if we made up an arbitrary rule like ‘No more stuff in corners’.”

Busy anointing the candle with the oils, Tara chuckled lightly, “It would look weird.”

“Yeah,” The redhead grunted as she gingerly stood up from her twisted position, “But, bright side? Accessible corners.” She stretched her back, “Two more to go.”

“Where’s the iron candle holder? The small one.” Tara asked, holding the now oily candle between two fingers and the thumb of her right hand.

“Um,” Red hair popped out from behind the bed, “I think I saw it in the candle drawer. In the back.”

Once the candle was secured to the holder, Tara cleaned her fingers and placed the candle in the center of the room. “I think I’m going to shower after this,” She said as casually as she could. This was step two of her plan.

“Ok,” Was Willow’s absentminded reply as she concentrated on the intricate design of the final rune.

Everything was in place, “The incantation is simple,” Tara said as she sat down facing the candle with the book by the left side, “You can sit across from me.” She smiled up at her girlfriend and lit the candle.

I don’t see this side of her often, but oh boy is it hot. Willow blushed slightly as she sat where Tara indicated. They went over the incantation for a few minutes, before both were ready.

“It says to center yourself, build energy and visualize a mirror as you say the words,” Tara reached out her hands, palms up, “Let’s focus on synching up first,” Her hands were filled with warm, soft freckled skin, “Once we’re in synch, we build and then cast.” She squeezed her lover’s hands and smiled. “Pretty basic for us.”

Willow felt a bashfulness she hadn’t felt in a long time when in Tara’s presence. The fact her girlfriend hadn’t stuttered once since she brought up doing the spell hadn’t gone unnoticed to her. When Tara was this confident and assertive, it made the redhead slightly weak in the knees. Not to mention other physical responses she couldn’t help but have. She affects me in so many different ways.

As if of one mind, both their eyes closed at the same time. They’d grown accustomed to casting together. Synching and building energy was done almost mindlessly. The redhead thought it was like taking steps up a staircase. You don’t think about each step you take as you go up. But, if you put your attention on each step, the act of moving your leg and placing your foot down becomes meaningful.

She remembered when casting was still meaningful in that way so she set her mind to placing her attention on each breath and heartbeat. Willow could feel life circulate through her, air and blood, an endless circuit until she brought her focus to her hands.

The circuit grew as it melded into Tara’s own, breath and heartbeat falling into rhythm. The circuit connected through them, in one palm and out the other. The skin of their palms tingling where they touched.

Again, as if sharing a mind, they both started to raise their frequencies. Bringing their combined energy up in a bubble around them, stretching outward with each pulse.

And then, they felt it – it was time. Mirrors filled their minds eye as their voices intoned as one:

At the walls it fades
Reflected by the eye
At the edges it dies
Until quiet remains

The only sound, that within
As this spell is cast
From outside, only wind

For, this is our will
So shall it be

A ripple could be felt expanding from the center of the room. As it reached the walls, it dissipated and vanished. The energies of the room settled again.

Their eyes opened slowly. Willow squeezed Tara’s hands, a blush gracing both their faces and a twinkle in their eyes.

The redhead felt a sensual calm settle over her, “That felt really good,” She breathed softly.

Their hands still together, they were lost to the world as both fell into the other’s eyes. “It really did,” The plan, don’t forget the plan. Tara brought her thumbs over Willow’s hands and smoothed the skin there gently, “I think I’m going to have that shower now,” The green of the redhead’s eyes had her entranced, “Would you pick up the runes? The duster’s in the closet.”

Willow nodded dumbly, “Sure, no problem.”

Neither budged.

Tara looked at their hands and grinned, glancing up from beneath her lashes, “We’ll have to let go at some point,”

They both blushed a shade darker as they separated, “Want to test it?” Asked Willow.

Tara nodded, “I’ll go outside and try to hear you through the door.” She made her way out and closed the door.

The redhead started singing as loudly as she could, hoping against hope the spell worked. “I'm too sexy for my shirt, too sexy for my shirt, so sexy it hurts. And I'm too sexy for Milan, too sexy for Milan, New York and Ja-“

The door opened.

”pan.” Willow squeaked.

Tara giggled, “It worked. I couldn’t hear you sing ‘I’m too sexy’.” She closed the door behind her.

“But,” The redhead was confused and embarrassed, “You said it worked!”

The blonde smiled teasingly, “You were doing the little dance when I came in.” She started imitating Willow’s ‘I’m too sexy’ dance. Her hips swayed lightly, her weight shifting from the left to the right foot in a small hop, “You know, this dance.” She giggled.

Willow couldn’t stop blushing it seemed, “Fine, you know me too well.” She brightened then, “It worked!?”

Tara nodded and smiled, “Mmhmm,” She kissed her girlfriend’s cheek and softly said, “I won’t be long,” The blonde reached for her robe and toiletries but took her time as she paid attention to where her girlfriend moved around the room.

When she was sure Willow’s back was turned, she quickly snatched the Magic Box bag from beside the dresser and exited the room. Sneaky, Sneaky lesbian activate!

“Come here you little red devil of dusting,” She pulled out the red machine from the closet, “You’ve got some sucking up to do.”

Willow busied herself cleaning up the spell items and vacuuming up the runes. Once done, she tackled putting furniture and things back into place.

She was pushing against the bed when the door opened behind her, “Almost done, baby.” She grunted slightly.

Tara closed the door behind herself, dropped the bag to the floor and walked up behind her girlfriend who was now standing straight. “Good,” She said, her voice sultry against Willow’s ear, “Then I can start.” Her hands traced along the bottom hem of her girlfriend’s top, “I think here’s as good a place as any.” She said, pulling up on the light fabric and placing a lingering kiss at the base of her girl’s neck.

Slow, go slow… The blonde’s heart was racing, her breath heavy with want. The shower had been tantalizing in itself. Naughty thoughts abounded, excitement had made the whole experience into a sort of ritual until only anticipation could be felt.

Willow’s breath caught in the back of her throat. She’d been set on simmer since earlier that day and now, just the assertiveness her girlfriend was exuding was enough to make her throb. “Mmm, it’s a start…” She lifted her arms and the top was quickly cast aside.

Tara’s hands came to rest flat against her girlfriend’s stomach, she kneaded the flesh there gently and kissed along the redhead’s neck. When she felt Willow press back against her, she made sure to keep her hips back. “I want you,” She breathed against a sensitive ear as her hands caressed soft, milky skin up Willow’s sides, her stomach, and finally rested against her breasts. Cupping the small swells, she ran her tongue along the inside of her lover’s ear and squeezed her hands.

Willow’s head lolled back onto her girlfriend’s shoulder, “Ohhh,” Her chest thrust out, pressing her breasts against the blonde’s hands. “Ohh, God,” She moaned again, feeling sharp teeth dig into the base of her neck.

Tara licked her bite mark, “You can be as loud as you want,” She pinched Willow’s now hard nipples between her fingers through the silky fabric, loving the resulting jolt in the body pressed against her, “No one will hear you.” Her right hand made short work of undoing the redhead’s bra and slipping it off slender shoulders. “You’re mine, now.” She pressed her left hand hotly against Willow’s lower abdomen, her right covering a now naked breast, rolling its hard peak between deft fingers.

The redhead’s left arm shot up, her hand gripping Tara’s forearm crossing her chest, “MmOhh, baby,” She reached back with her right, falling short of her lover’s hip she gripped what she deduced to be the blonde’s bathrobe. “What do you have in mind?”

Switching her attention to Willow’s right breast, her left hand fell lower and twisted the button free of her lover’s pants, “Mmm, you’ll see.” She pulled down the zipper and nipped at her girlfriend’s shoulder before bending her knees, bringing the coarse material of her girl’s pants down with her. Tara couldn’t resist bitting just below the edge of Willow’s panties where a tempting soft curve of butt cheek peeked out.

“Ah!” The sharp sting came as a surprise but, the shock soon wore off as Willow felt a tongue quickly soothe the bite mark, “Ohh,” Her cheeks clenched on reflex, her waist bending her forward slightly.

The blonde pulled the pants down to the redhead’s ankles and soon her dainty feet lifted one at a time, allowing the garment to be pulled off. She trailed kisses up and down the backs of Willow’s legs, licking swirls into the back of her knees and her socks were soon off as well. Tara’s hands ran the length of her girlfriend’s toned legs, pausing here and there to knead the warm, supple flesh. “You’re shaking,” She nipped the sensitive skin on the inside of a thigh before standing up, “Do you need to sit down?”

Her legs felt like jelly even before she felt Tara’s hand cup her sex over her panties, “Ohhh, baby… I do, I need to sit down,” Willow’s legs shook, her hands grasping any part of the blonde they could find.

“Mmm, God. Will,” Tara groaned as her fingers pressed against soaked cotton, “You’re so wet,” When her girlfriend’s hips pressed forward, she moved her fingers up and down her lover’s swollen and wet flesh. The cotton of her panties glided along her fingers, making them tingle. “These need to go.” She said as she pulled down the restrictive material from her girlfriend’s hips. They soon met the same fate as the rest of her clothes. “There, all done.” Her fingers resumed their earlier ministrations, “Isn’t that better?”

Willow’s legs almost gave out, “Aughh, God… Ohh,” She stumbled back, “D-down, I need to…” Tara’s hands caught her hips in a firm grip.

“I think you’re right,” The blonde stepped back, “We need to sit down.” She pulled once on Willow’s hand before walking towards to papasan chair. “Come here,” Keeping her back to her girlfriend just long enough for her to close the distance between them before sitting down and gripping small hips again, making sure to keep eye contact she ordered softly, “Sit.”

This can’t be legal. I feel high I’m so turned on. Willow’s breath heaved her chest up and down as she straddled her girlfriend, gripping the back of the chair. Her lips were taken over by Tara’s greedy mouth as she pressed down onto the blonde’s lap.

Willow jumped slightly in surprise, “Is, is this the…” Her hips rocked against the stiffness she could feel through the robe, between Tara’s legs.

Tara’s lips pulled up at one corner, “Mmhmm,” She pushed her hips up and let them fall again, her hands trailed up Willow’s sides and down to take hold of small hips. She lowered her head and quickly took a nipple into her mouth. Sucking on it, her tongue flicked and laved the puckered nub, “Mmph,”

“Ohh, yes baby,” She pushed at Tara’s robe, opening it as much as she could down the middle, “I feel it against me,” Willow’s hips swayed, her eager sex glided along the now uncovered toy’s shaft, “Harder,” The word came out a whimpered plea as the blonde’s teeth tightened around her nipple, and tightened again.

“Mmmrphh,” The way Willow was moving made Tara’s head spin, she took two handfuls of the redhead’s fleshy ass cheeks and pulled towards herself, groaning against the breast in her mouth. When she felt Willow’s hand reach between them she let go of her nipple, “I bought some lubricant, if you think you need it.” She kissed around the soft swells of her girlfriend’s breasts and ran her hands up the softness of her back.

“Heh,” She rested her head against Tara’s, “Doubtful,” Pushing up onto her knees, she closed her eyes and guided the toy inside herself slowly. “Ohhh, no… definitely not needed.” She breathed out shakily, pushing down a short length and pulling up again, getting used to the size, feeling and shape of it. Her knuckles white, now both hands gripping the back of the chair. “Mmmfuck,” She felt every inch enter her, every point of contact between her yielding walls and the rigid shaft.

“You like?” The blonde’s hands traveled her lover’s body. Hips, stomach, breasts, legs, ass… every part of that beautiful body she could reach was lovingly, and passionately stroked. “Is it good, baby?” She was panting, barely moving and yet her heart felt like she was running a one hundred yard dash.

“So good,” Willow pressed down more and as she felt herself bump against the base of the toy, her hips rocked forward, grinding her clit against soft leather, “Ohhh, God.” She leaned forward and quickly took possession of her girlfriend’s mouth, her tongue wasting no time as it danced with her lover’s at a fevered pace. Her movements now more deliberate, she could hear how wet she was as she glided herself along the toy with slightly faster thrusts. She panted out of the kiss, “Fuck, Ohh God… Mmm, Tara, Tara… ”

“Ohh,” She wasn’t expecting to get much out of it, physically. So, when Tara felt the harness move against her wet sex with every thrust of her girlfriend’s hips, it came as a pleasant surprise. “Ohh, I can feel you moving against me,” Her hips jumped by reflex which made both witches exclaim their pleasure out loud.

“Will,” Tara groaned deeply as she started countering her girlfriend’s movements with her hips. “Yes,” Her fingers dug into the flesh of Willow’s hips, every movement her lover made making her deliriously aroused. “Yes, God… that’s it,” She reached up with her right hand, tangled her fingers into soft red hair and tightened her hold, putting more power behind her upward thrusts, “Come on, baby,” Gnawing on her lip, she felt herself quickly approaching total loss of control, “Come on,” She grunted again around her captured lip.

“Tara,” Willow felt lightheaded, pleasure was coursing through her whole body, “I want more, but I can’t… my legs,” She was shaking against her girlfriend.

“Hold onto my shoulders,” Tara said as she wrapped her arms around Willow’s waist and held under her butt in a tight hold, “Hold tight,” She kissed a shoulder and stood up with the redhead wrapped around her middle. Walking them towards the bed, she lowered the lightweight onto her back. “Mmm, God,” She murmured against Willow’s neck as she started moving against her lover again.

The redhead wrapped her legs around Tara’s waist, “Ohh,” Grabbing one of the blonde’s ass cheeks, and a fistful of dark-blonde hair, her hips dug into the mattress, “Fuck me, baby. Take what you wanted,” She panted and groaned against her lover’s ear, “Do it.”

Tara rose to her knees and quickly shrugged off her robe. Her girlfriend was rocking her hips slowly, pushing and pulling the base of the toy against the blonde’s throbbing clit, “Mmm, baby you know I can feel that, right?” She gripped her lover’s hips, letting her control the rhythm for now.

“Sometimes,” Willow couldn’t help but watch as she took in the shaft between Tara’s legs to the hilt, slowly, again and again, “Wishful thinking pays off.” She groaned when she felt strong feminine hands run up the back of her legs to her knees. Tara pushed into her and leaned over with the redhead’s legs spread, draped over her upper arms, “Ohhh, God,”

The blonde pulled her hips back a short distance before thrusting forward again. “I don’t want to hurt you,” She could feel her control slipping, “I… Will,” Her hips rolled and pressed deep inside her lover, “I feel like I could break you in half,” Tara was covered in sweat, her skin vibrating from holding back. She let Willow’s legs fall to the bed, unsure of herself.

Willow kept her legs wide apart, feet flat against the mattress, “You won’t,” She panted, her chest pumping air in and out of her lungs at double speed, “Trust me to tell you. Please, Tara. Do it.” Her hips rocked back and forth, “Please, please, please…”

Oh, now that got the blonde’s attention, “Are you begging me?” Tara saw the light turn green in her mind, she growled against Willow’s lips, “Are you fucking begging me?” A swift thrust forward with her hips punctuated her question.

“Yessss, Oh, God,” She bit down on Tara’s lower lip, “Please,” Willow begged around the captured flesh. She was quickly rewarded with another deep thrust, “Ohh, fuck! Tara, please fuck me,” Another thrust, “Auggh!”

“Willow Rosenberg,” Tara grunted against her girlfriend’s ear and thrust her hips again, “Ohh, my genius hacker,” She thrust again, “My sexy, powerful witch…” Pressing deep into Willow, she rolled her hips and grinded against her, “Ohhh, my sexy witch… reduced to begging. Mmm, what have I done?” She bit down on the redhead’s neck and started thrusting without stopping this time.

“Holy fuck!” Her nails dug into Tara’s back, knees as wide as she could get them, “Yes, Ohhh, yeah… harder, baby, hard… harder,” She gasped out.

“The bite,” The blonde asked between grunts, “Or, the fucking?” Her hips came down against Willow’s with a resounding slap.

“Oh my God!” The redhead grabbed a fistful of dark-blonde hair, “All of it, do that again,”

Tara ginned against her neck, “I didn’t hear please,”

“Please!” Willow said automatically, “Please do that again, baby,” She raised her hips high off the mattress, her body begging just as much as her words.

Tara rose to her knees, “Hand me a pillow,” She placed the pillow next to her girlfriend’s waist, “Raise your hips, baby,” As Willow raised her hips, Tara slid the pillow underneath her girlfriend’s waist just above her ass. “Is this ok?” She checked, wanting to make sure her lover was comfortable.

Willow nodded, “Please, I need you so much baby,” She raised her knees as far up her chest as she could, holding them up with her hands.

“Will,” Tara groaned and grasped her girlfriend’s small hips. She pulled back and quickly plunged back in, the satisfying sounds of slapping skin against leather and Willow’s loud cries urging her on, “Like that?” Doing the same thing, again and again. “Like that baby, that’s it.”

“Ohh, God Tara, right there!” She could feel her nails digging into the back of her knees, “So fucking good,” Willow clenched her jaw, feeling like she could swallow Tara whole, “Fuhh, right there, you’re hitting it,”

The blonde quickly picked up the preferred movement and made quick work of cashing it in, “Here? Right,” She thrusted deep, but swerved her hips upward half way in, “Right here?”

“Mmhm, mhmm,” Willow nodded wildly biting her lip. Her eyes rolled over as her girlfriend kept going. The sound of her lover’s exertion making her arousal almost unbearable, “You’re so good,” She felt her arms shaking, trying to hold her knees up with sweaty fingers.

“Let go,” Tara brought her hands up to replace Willow’s behind her knees, “I’ll take over,” She said and kept on driving into her lover, hitting her hidden spot with each thrust. “I’m dripping, Will. This feels so good.”

“Ohh, yeah… yes, God!” A deep keening sound was ripped from her throat, her inner muscles tensing up, “You’re gonna…“ Moan after moan, Willow tried to speak words but only sounds came out. The bed thrashed against the wall, her cries grew louder, “I’m gonna come, baby. So hard, don’t stop…”

The blonde was surprised to find herself swept up right to the edge, her clit rubbing against gliding wet leather, “Ohhh, me too, me too…”

When Willows climax hit, she gripped the toy like a clamp. “Auggh! Ta-ra! Yeah, God yes!” She felt every one of her contractions squeeze around the rigid toy.

When Tara’s forward thrust encountered resistance, it sent shockwaves through her sex as the leather covered base hit her clit, “Holy Moth- GOD!” She incoherently tumbled over, her hips jerking and twitching against her lover.

The redhead’s legs fell to the bed and Tara unceremoniously flopped forward, barely catching herself on the way down. Their heaving chests making their bodies bob over the surface like a cork floating on water.

“Holy crap.” Tara groaned against Willow’s neck. Slowly, she pulled her hips back gently guiding the toy out of her girlfriend, “I want this thing off me now.” She giggled, reaching for the strap buckles around her hips.

The redhead stopped her, “Here, let me,” She rolled Tara onto her back, “I haven’t even seen it yet.” Her eyes fell to her girlfriend’s hips, “It’s purple!”

Tara laughed at the outburst, “It is,” Looking down her body, she was even more tickled by what she saw, “What are you doing?” She giggled.

Willow was poking the tip of the toy back with her finger and letting it go, “I’m checking the boing-ness.”

An amused, blonde eyebrow arched up, “Boing-ness? Is that a technical term?”

“What made you choose this one?” Willow asked, curious. The shape wasn’t what she’d expected.

“Hmm,” The blonde thought about the mental process she’d gone through, albeit drunk as she’d been, “The size is generous but not intimidating. It seemed like the right fit for you… The shape seemed right, too.” She pointed at the slight curve in the shaft, “I liked that curve there, I could imagine what it would do to you. And, the same thing with the tip being shaped like it is.”

Willow wiggled the bulbous tip with a finger, “It’s very un-penis-like,” She said absentmindedly as she played with the toy.

Tara shrugged, “I wouldn’t know… I mean, I know the shape isn’t natural.” A thought hit her and made her worry, “Is, is that o-ok? I mean, it didn’t feel w-weird?”

Willow’s eyes quickly found hers, “Hell. No. It didn’t feel weird baby.” She grinned saucily, “It felt amazing.” There was a reason for her comparison though, “I was thinking how, before this, I assumed… you know, a penis is naturally the perfect shape.” Blushing slightly at what she was saying she continued, “Like, if there were to be a perfect shape, wouldn’t that be it?”

The blonde chuckled, “I know not of what you speak.” She tickled Willow’s sides a little, “I get what you’re saying though.” She said as the girlfriend stopped squirming.

The redhead giggled, “I guess it’s a good thing you’ve never experienced the real thing.”

Tara didn’t get it, “Why?”

Willow explained, “If you had, you’d have probably thought like me and gone with the default shape.” She pulled the toy towards her and let it go again, “We’d have missed out on this perfect one.”

Tara smiled a proud smile and blushed, “So, I did good?” She asked bashfully.

The redhead shook her head, incredulous, “Do you really need to ask, baby?” She reached for the buckle on her girlfriend’s left hip, “I just had my mind blown by the sexiest woman ever.” The clinking of metal could be heard as one buckle was undone, “You drove me so wild, I couldn’t even control what I was saying.” Another buckle fell prey to Willow’s fingers.

Tara looked down as the straps were slowly pulled from her body, “I think we were both pretty… wild.”

Willow slipped the harness off the blonde’s legs, “When you’re all assertive like that… so hot.” She glanced at the contraption in her hands, “Whoa, baby. You made a mess of this thing.” Her eyes fell to Tara’s glistening sex, she gulped, “So messy,” The harness fell to the bed unheeded.

“I’ll need to clean-“ Tara’s words were cut short as a hungry mouth covered her wet core, “Ohhh, Will,”

“Mmmmph,” Willow pressed in with her tongue and licked the length of Tara’s wet womanhood, “You taste so good, I want to clean you up.” She breathed against heated flesh before diving in again.

“Gentle, Will,” The blonde gasped, “I’m really sensitive,” Her hips rolled against Willow’s mouth, “Mmm, yes,”

The redhead made sure to avoid direct friction with Tara’s clit, instead drinking all she could lick from her lips and from deeper into her, thrusting her tongue past fluttering muscles.

Tara ran her fingers through her girlfriend’s hair, looking down at the red head moving between her legs. Her grip tightened when she felt a light flutter against the hood of her clit, “Ohh, look at me.”

Willow’s eyes opened and the sight made the blonde moan, “I love the way your mouth feels, baby.” She pinched her nipple, pulled it and squeezed her breast, “Mmm, God Willow.”

Keeping her eyes trained on her girlfriend’s face, she gauged her responses to a slight lick across her clit. What she saw and heard spurred her on. Willow traced circles around the tight nub with her tongue, alternately sucking gently on it and flicking her tongue against it. “Mmmph,”

“You’re gonna make me come again,” Her voice couldn’t hide how incredulous Tara was, “You’re amazing. Ohhh, don’t stop. Give me your hands, baby.”

Willow’s hands raised from Tara’s hips, fingers splayed to receive her lover’s. The blonde entwined their fingers and squeezed their palms together rhythmically, “Mmm, So close, so… close… yes,”

The redhead felt her girlfriends grip tighten, her legs shook and tensed up and her pelvis pressed against her mouth, “I’m coming, I’m coming baby, I’m-Auuughh Goddess!” Her thighs closed up around Willow’s head, shaking uncontrollably for a moment before releasing.

“Mmm,” Willow kissed up Tara’s stomach, between her breasts and finally captured her lips in a tender and sensual kiss. “I’ll never get tired of doing that.”

The blonde chuckled, “Me either,” She poked her girlfriend in the side.

They curled up together, relaxing and enjoying the afterglow. “What time is it?” Willow mumbled against Tara’s breast.

Glancing at the clock, the blonde answered, “Nine thirty, we missed dinner.” Her breast vibrated against the grumble the redhead let out, “You’re hungry too?”

Her girlfriend nodded, “Well,” Tara started playing in Willow’s hair, “If we get cleaned up and presentable, I can take you out.”

Willow drew small circles along her lover’s sides, “That’s tempting. My stomach is giving my lazy-post-coital-mind the evil eye.”

“We wouldn’t want your mind getting cursed,” She tapped her fingers against the top of her girlfriend’s head, “Such a beautiful mind. It would be a damned shame.” Tara said before kissing a crown of mussed up, red hair.

***

Tara watched as the little green glob slowly dissolved into her soya sauce as she stirred them together with her chop-sticks. “I don’t care how cute you make that pout, or those sad puppy eyes,” Her lips pulled at the corner, “I will not, I repeat, not watch Xena with you.”

Willow’s mouth was full of tuna sashimi, so she opted for a deeply disappointed sound.

The blonde chuckled, “I don’t know what you see in that show,” She dipped her California roll in her soya/wasabi mix, “The acting is horrible, the supposed ‘sexual tension’ isn’t believable, don’t get me started on that noise she makes with her tongue.” She rolled her eyes and took the food into her mouth.

“Ululates,” Willow nodded knowingly, “That’s her war cry.”

Tara shrugged it off, “Sorry, Will. I just don’t get it.” She dipped her salmon sashimi in her sauce.

“It’s ok,” The redhead said nonchalantly, “Just know this is twice you’ve dropped on my coolness meter.”

At Tara’s raised eyebrow she explained, “The first being when you said something like that about Doctor Who.” Willow shivered, “I didn’t know if we could still be together after that.” She took a sip of water, “It was a difficult time.”

The blonde laughed, “I think Doctor Who is a far cry from Star Trek.” She shrugged, “So sue me.”

Their meals were well under way when the conversation turned more serious.

“I’m going to call Margaret tomorrow.” Tara said around a bit of food.

Willow nodded that she agreed with the decision, her mouth busy chewing right then.

The blonde took a drink and continued, “I have too many questions. I’d like to answer them before looking in the trunk and coming up with new ones.”

“Very sensible,” Her girlfriend said, “Much more than I would’ve been.” Willow wiped the corner of her mouth with her napkin and continued, “I’d have opened that thing without a second thought. What I lack in patience, I make up for in curiosity.”

They kept eating for a bit, their meals almost done when Willow asked, “The binding… did you want to undo that before or after joining a coven? Or, never…?”

Tara sighed, “I’m not sure. But, I’m l-leaning towards after joining a coven.” She piled her dirty napkins and chop-sticks onto her empty plate, “That way I’d be supported by experienced witches.”

“Are we all done here?” The waiter asked them with a smile as he passed by.

The blonde checked with her girlfriend before answering, “Yes, we are. Thank you,”

He nodded quickly, “I’ll get the check,”

Tara let out a deep breath, her eyes drooping, “It’s been a weird day,”

Willow took her girlfriend’s hand from across the table, “It has been but, I think it’s ending on a pretty good note, don’t you?” She smiled warmly.

The blonde easily returned it, “I do. I love you, Willow.”

She lifted Tara’s hand to her lips and kissed her fingers, “I love you too, my sexy lioness. Rawr!” She bit the back of a finger, her nose crinkling up in a snarl.

“Um,” The waiter appeared seemingly out of nowhere. He cleared his throat, “I have your check here,” His hand fumbled with the tray the check was in on its way towards the table. It clattered noisily against the wooden surface. “Sorry,” He mumbled as he walked away.

“Pfft,” The redhead was used to the display but it still bothered her sometimes, “Really doesn’t take much for some folks.”

Tara shrugged. She really didn’t care either way but he did leave too quickly for her to ask for a cab. Bringing the check towards herself, she opened her bag and took out her wallet. “What’s the tip on 25 bucks, baby?”

“Comes up to 28.75.” Willow turned around in her seat, glancing around the space. It was pretty quiet, “Oh, here he comes.” She quickly turned around again.

The blonde pushed the check towards the waiter when he showed up again, “Here you go. Um, could I ask to call a cab?”

He nodded, “Yep, sure. No worries, I’ll go do that now.” He rushed his words and left.

“Wow,” The redhead said, amused, “I haven’t scared someone like that since Xander stole my Barbie.”

Tara smiled despite herself, “Come on, let’s wait for the cab outside.”

It wasn’t long before the car pulled up. They snuggled up in the back seat, enjoying the short relaxing ride. Both looking forward to cozy snuggles and sleep.

“Awe,” Tara groused out loud, “We need to change the bed.”

“Ugh,” Willow replied gruffly, “So tired.”

Trying to find a bright side, the blonde added, “Clean sheets… that’s always nice.” She squeezed her girl’s hand, “We’ll make quick work of it.”

The only reply was a deep, dissatisfied grumble.

***

_________________
~M
CopperAndGold


Last edited by CopperAndGold on Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:49 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:31 pm 
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CnG:

Ok... it took me a good long while to recover from this update. HAWT DAYUMN.

First off, I take issue with this claim:

Quote:
Other than a big sex alert, nothing to report.


UM, excuse me?? Yes, there is more to report! Such as... a link to the model "unit" that Tara picked out for playtime. You think your readers aren't going to want to know exactly what it was? Hm? Well, I am super-duper-curious, THAT's for sure. Humina, humina, humina!

Ok, so a lot to unpack here (snicker... so not sorry for the double-entendre)...

Phew... ok... hang on... pulling myself together.

Alright, so two parts to review!

Hmm... so Damien *wants* the slayer to be interested in whatever he's up to. That's curious... and nefarious... and generally wiggins-inducing.

Spike and the calico... ADORABLE.

So, Erynn is feeling like a "Creep" for her Tara-crushing? Poor little French girl... But, hey, now she has a piano to emote to, so that's something.

Dear Willow continues to be on the jealous side when it comes to Tara and Erynn's friendship. Understandable, but starting to grate a little. At least she has Buffy to talk to. I thought it was really (almost unusually) insightful of the slayer to let the witch work through her concerns on her own. Actually, Buffy has been unusually insightful in general this whole story so far. ME LIKEY.

And HOLY TRUTH-BOMBS, BATMAN! That letter from Aunt Margaret. so, Tara's all bound up, huh? Woof. A "Kellison witch"? Looking forward to finding out exactly what that means.

On to Part 6!

So glad that Erynn was able to get Tara to sit and ruminate, rather than walking-into-untold-dangers-whilst-ruminating. And the sunflower drawing was very sweet. What *did* Tara do with it, though?

Loved how reassuring Willow was with Tara about the blonde's nascent power. Good job, Willster.

And then.... THE SEX.

Yeah... I.... I think you broke me a little bit. But in a good way.

Speaking of straps: I do believe straps were necessary to hoist my jaw back up from off the floor at the end of the ladies' little sex-capade.

Yeah... my brain is broken. Mostly it's only capable of forming the word/sound "Nguh..."


Kudos!!! Brava!!!

Cheers
DW

_________________
Check out some of my most popular works: Special ... Leave It to Giles ... The Inimitable Giles ... Giles at Christmas

Challenge Fics!: You Could Be Her ... Glasses ... Graffiti ... Pizza Day

Forbidden Fics?: Check out the Litterbox!

Oops, I made a mythtake... wt4ever


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:43 pm 
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DarkWiccan wrote:
CnG:

Ok... it took me a good long while to recover from this update. HAWT DAYUMN.

First off, I take issue with this claim:

Quote:
Other than a big sex alert, nothing to report.


UM, excuse me?? Yes, there is more to report! Such as... a link to the model "unit" that Tara picked out for playtime. You think your readers aren't going to want to know exactly what it was? Hm? Well, I am super-duper-curious, THAT's for sure. Humina, humina, humina!


Well, this has been rectified! :grin Although it's not exactly what I pictured, the link at the top is the initial inspiration for what it might have been like.

DarkWiccan wrote:
Phew... ok... hang on... pulling myself together.


Tee-hee! *pats herself on the shoulder*

DarkWiccan wrote:
Dear Willow continues to be on the jealous side when it comes to Tara and Erynn's friendship. Understandable, but starting to grate a little.


Yes, it's getting annoying. Did her outburst at lunch make you roll your eyes? Or, perhaps made you want to shake the baby? *nods knowingly* I know, right?

With all seriousness, I see Will being the fire to Tara's water. Willow is passionate, she gets carried away. When it comes to Tara, it doesn't take much... This is not saying she won't eventually believe that she has nothing to worry about. She just needs to be annoying for a bit before she can grow out of it.

DarkWiccan wrote:
So glad that Erynn was able to get Tara to sit and ruminate, rather than walking-into-untold-dangers-whilst-ruminating. And the sunflower drawing was very sweet. What *did* Tara do with it, though?


It was subtle, but Tara brought the drawing home and left it on the dresser. She didn't bring attention to it at all.

DarkWiccan wrote:
And then.... THE SEX.

Yeah... I.... I think you broke me a little bit. But in a good way.

Speaking of straps: I do believe straps were necessary to hoist my jaw back up from off the floor at the end of the ladies' little sex-capade.

Yeah... my brain is broken. Mostly it's only capable of forming the word/sound "Nguh..."


I think I get way too much pleasure from getting this kind of reaction. :laugh

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CopperAndGold


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:36 am 
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Dear CnG,

Again, I loved the update! It is really easy to identify with Erynn and the way she feels about Tara - it is great to see that she does not try to interfere with Willow and Tara's relationship but manages to silently accept her feelings and be sensible about them. It is much more realistic and sophisticated than the usual 'I'm gonna steal your girlfriend' kind of thing... It's just great. This is one of the few, if not the only fic where I actually immerse in the development of a new character. I'm kind of picky that way... But I fell in love with Erynn at first 'sight' :)))))

Also, I loved the sex scene... It was so realistic and hot and just perfect in every way. You have a fantastic way of putting something new into these motions every single time. Can't wait for more! :)

Thanks for the Hungarian reference (Paul Erdős) - it made my heart melt <3

I just wish this was a neverending fic... I can totally see myself waiting for updates 20 years from now still. :D I'm such a big fan!!!


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:51 pm 
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warrior_barbie wrote:
Again, I loved the update! It is really easy to identify with Erynn and the way she feels about Tara - it is great to see that she does not try to interfere with Willow and Tara's relationship but manages to silently accept her feelings and be sensible about them. It is much more realistic and sophisticated than the usual 'I'm gonna steal your girlfriend' kind of thing... It's just great. This is one of the few, if not the only fic where I actually immerse in the development of a new character. I'm kind of picky that way... But I fell in love with Erynn at first 'sight' :)


You have no idea how glad I am... no idea. I was very nervous about developing a new character... I've read a lot of fics with new people in them and, much like you, none of them have held my attention. I didn't feel like I could relate.

Erynn is close to my heart being she was developed with two of my closest friends in mind. So... I am struck dumb by how much I appreciate your comment.

Thank you.

warrior_barbie wrote:
Also, I loved the sex scene... It was so realistic and hot and just perfect in every way. You have a fantastic way of putting something new into these motions every single time. Can't wait for more! :)


Awe, that's great to hear/read! It takes me quite a while to write a sex scene. Sometimes, a day even. They're the scenes that take me the longest to write because the last thing I want is for it to become hum-drum, woop-dee-do here we go again. No lesbian bed death here.

If there's to be a sex scene, it needs to be good. That's my take on it... and I'm over the moon that I'm able to deliver.

warrior_barbie wrote:
Thanks for the Hungarian reference (Paul Erdős) - it made my heart melt <3


:grin I know that feeling! I love how I get to learn stuff from developing characters, and writing about different subjects. Paul Erdős fascinated me when I researched him!

warrior_barbie wrote:
I just wish this was a neverending fic... I can totally see myself waiting for updates 20 years from now still. :D I'm such a big fan!!!


Wow... just, wow... thank you so much! *sniff*

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CopperAndGold


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:21 pm 
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I'm a chapter behind, but feedback is good, so scrolling rapidly down the page to avoid glimpsing any spoilers...

Very atmospheric opening in the old school - as well as Spike's ongoing narration to himself being entertaining (I got a chuckle out of his thoughts on the Mayor re: how good would it actually be to be a giant snake anyway?) there was a kind of 'weight of history' in returning to the school and tying it to what's going on at the moment.

Willow's jealousy was, well, not unexpected, but I liked how you handled it - it comes from a place that's understandable, justified by the story (justified in that it makes sense what's going on, and her own nature, would prompt her to feel that way, not that the jealousy itself is justified) and again, as in previous chapters, I really like how their relationship isn't just 'one emotion at a time'. The hug they had before going on their way part-way through the chapter really stood out to me - Willow's upset, Tara's frustrated, but there's still this warm moment between them because they're in love, and that doesn't get forgotten or pushed aside so easily. The Buffy/Willow chat was another good best-friend moment of the kind I really think the show needed more of. The reconciliation between W/T at the end was, of course, lovely.

So, now to try to find time to get caught up (work's busy - I'm still trying to finish off my Food Fight story...)

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


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:07 pm 
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Interesting chapter.

I look forward to the digging into why Erynn has this particular legacy.
And what else it does.

And if she's this damn vulnerable, why is she out here with what seem like so little preparation?
And on a Hellmouth.

All seems a bit odd.

R :flower

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:51 pm 
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Artemis wrote:
Willow's jealousy was, well, not unexpected, but I liked how you handled it - it comes from a place that's understandable, justified by the story (justified in that it makes sense what's going on, and her own nature, would prompt her to feel that way, not that the jealousy itself is justified) and again, as in previous chapters, I really like how their relationship isn't just 'one emotion at a time'. The hug they had before going on their way part-way through the chapter really stood out to me - Willow's upset, Tara's frustrated, but there's still this warm moment between them because they're in love, and that doesn't get forgotten or pushed aside so easily.


This was important to me. The fact that friction happens in relationships is just natural - the way it's handled is what's important. I think Tara's very emotionally mature (hence she being the one opening her arms to Willow) and, a lot of times, gently guides Will on the right path by being patient and loving. Not by telling her how she should feel, etc...

Thank you for taking the time to read! Good luck with the Food Fight story, I'm looking forward to reading it!

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~M
CopperAndGold


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:02 am 
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Azirahael wrote:
I look forward to the digging into why Erynn has this particular legacy.
And what else it does.

And if she's this damn vulnerable, why is she out here with what seem like so little preparation?
And on a Hellmouth.


I sense frustration in the force. :-p

Erynn seems to rub you the wrong way. "this damn vulnerable" Stood out to me... mostly because I don't understand. Personally, I don't see Erynn as being vulnerable - well, no more than anyone else, really. Other than human interaction being more complex and difficult for her than the average person... She doesn't have super-powers.

As far as her being prepared... She's a young woman on a walkabout. A journey of self-discovery. There's not much preparation that goes into that. And, being on a Hellmouth... she has no clue. Remember, she didn't even know vampires were real.

Well, I hope you stick around. Things will be uncovered in due time... But, this isn't a fantastical lovey-dovey, 'our love is so grand it'll save the world' type of fic. It's human, raw and as real as I can make it.

It's not everyone's cup of tea but, I hope I'll be able to keep your interest.

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CopperAndGold


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 Post subject: When Erynn found herself - Post 7 (Update)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:07 pm 
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When Erynn found herself – Post 7 (Update)

Author name – CopperAndGold
Rating - NC-17 (Strong)

Disclaimer - This is an adult fic. There will be some angst, smut, bad language, difficult subject matters (They will be noted prior to posting) The characters' developments were taken from season 5 - A bit after the episode: Family. Anything that is canon and prior to this episode is fair game. Oh, there's also a small reference to a funny exchange in season 6 between Anya and Tara that I just couldn't stop from using. Even with all this, there's comedy too! Everything after Family becomes A/U.

Feedback - Please, I love your words.
Summary - Willow and Tara make a new friend. She's... interesting.

Notes – Drug use is alluded to, as well as sexual behavior some might find uncomfortable to read about.




All he’d wanted was a drink. As it turned out, walking into a bar full of demons with a cat on your shoulder wasn’t the best idea ever.

Spike had forgotten she was even there until all eyes had turned to the pair of them and he’d felt her bristle on her perch. The only thing that gave him time to actually get something to drink was the fact the Slayer had been there.

Asking questions about a Gurtrall demon.

So, she knew something was up. That didn’t surprise him much, she had a knack for this stuff. The Chosen One and all that tripe. In itself, that was the problem. Spike was worried she’d trace the Gurtrall to him. A preemptive move might be in order.

“Fine, be that way,” He sneered and pulled his hand away, “If you blame me, why are you still here?” Spike glared at the cat who just glared right back for a moment before choosing to ignore him in favor of a bath.

When the Slayer had left the bar, Spike had been close behind. At least the cat had known better than to jump down from his shoulder the whole time he was there. But, they hadn’t made it to the door without a confrontation.

He had to admit though, he’d rarely seen anything funnier than a Gak demon trying to pry a pissed off cat from his ugly face. Although she’d gotten the better of her foe, Whiskers (or so he’d been calling her) was still mightily annoyed at the world in general.

She’d still followed him to his crypt, making a show of ‘ignoring’ him the whole way. And, now here they were. Why did he let her in? Why did she want in, after all that?

No matter, she was still bathing on her end of the couch when his thoughts followed his gaze. The creepy trophy sat on the table.

He could give it to Doc and go on with the initial plan. Spike didn’t want to take another job. That was a decision that had been easy to come to. For one, the Slayer was onto his contact now. And, really, the whole thing gave him the creeps.

The fact he didn’t want to take another job might render him a ‘loose end’, as Jurrot had said. This fact didn’t sit well with the vampire, to say the least.

Spike jumped when the cat hissed loudly from her side of the couch, before bolting away.

“Have I come at a bad time?” Doc’s eerie voice made the vampire stand up and turn quickly to face him, “I’m sorry to barge in but, I believe you have something of mine.” He nodded towards the trophy.

“Bloody hell,” Spike smoothed over his hair nervously, “Ever heard of knocking?” He walked towards the table where the trophy sat, “I was going to bring it to you.”

Doc shrugged and smiled, “I was looking forward to having it.” He turned and cocked his head, looking at the cat who held him in her steely glare, tensed and puffed up, “Tasty looking cat.”

The vampire took two quick steps towards Doc, trophy in hand, growling “You best take your eyes off her.” He pushed the trophy into Doc’s chest, “Here’s your bloody trophy, and here’s the card.” Spike waved it in his face. “This is my stop. I’m getting off this train.”

Doc took the trophy and looked at the card and pursed his lips, “Hmm,”

“Take it,” Spike growled again and pushed the card into Doc’s hand, “We had a deal. Now, leave.”

When the card touched Doc’s hand it emanated a soft red glow for a fraction of a second. “Well,” He said, “I guess I don’t have a choice.”

“That’s right,” Spike had no clue what he meant but he didn’t care, “We’re done here. And, seeing as this is where I live, go away.”

***

“Finding information about the Slayer wasn’t very difficult,” He wiped his hand on his pants, fiddling with the clicker, “She’s not what we’d call subtle.”

Usually, getting a promotion isn’t something to be this nervous about. When Kerry noticed Donovan hadn’t come back from having been summoned, he’d had a bad feeling about it.

And then, he’d gotten a call. Lynd, Mr. Brice’s secretary, saying he’d been promoted and that he was expected to do a presentation the next day on what information they’d gathered about the Slayer.

Damien sat at the head of the conference table, sipping tea. Jurrot stood against the wall, behind his boss. Other than the three of them, the room was empty.

Kerry continued, “We got the initial information from vampires. A group with an old acquaintance of the Slayer’s as the head.” He cleared his throat, “Not the sharpest knife in the drawer but, she knew the Slayer’s name and address. As well as the names of two of her friends.”

He pressed the button on the clicker and a picture of Buffy appeared on the screen behind him, “Buffy Anne Summers, 20 years old. Student of UC Sunnydale and Vampire Slayer.”

“Wait,” Damien interrupted him, “She’s twenty?” He put his cup down and shifted in his chair, “Aren’t they supposed to die off before then?”

Kerry nodded, “She’s apparently the oldest living Slayer in history, if we go by our research on previous Slayers.” Clicking the clicker again made Buffy’s picture shrink into the top left corner of the screen as a list showed up on the right, “With the information we had, we found that her mother owns the house where she lived before moving to the dorms at UC Sunnydale. We know basic information about her mother. It would be easy to find out more, if you’re so inclined. The father doesn’t seem to be present.”

“They moved to Sunnydale approximately five years ago when she attended Sunnydale High.” A picture of the burnt down school popped up under Buffy’s face, “This is all that’s left of it today.”

Damien’s eyebrows shot up his forehead but he said nothing.

“We were able to get hers and her friends’ files from their time in high school. As we can expect, she was not the best student. There were a lot of incident reports, she tended to get into trouble. There was even one incident where the police was involved. There had been a murder in the library.”

He clicked the picture away and it was quickly replaced with one of Willow, “Willow Danielle Rosenberg, 20 years old. Also a student of UC Sunnydale. In high school, Willow excelled in computers and was a formidable student. Her I.Q. scores are impressive. Her file was spotless until the year the Slayer came to town. A lot of the incidences noted in Buffy’s file were also in Willow’s.”

Jurrot made an odd noise from his place behind Damien, “Simmer down, Jurrot.” Damien chuckled and shook his head, “Always the redheads.”

Kerry cleared his throat and Damien motioned for him to continue, “We were told there were two witches in the Slayer’s entourage. The college apparently holds Wicca meetings. On a hunch, we looked into it and found Willow’s name in the registry dating from last year. She only attended once, but we thought this went a long way to proving she might be one of the witches your team talked about.”

“She also lives in the dorms, on campus. Neither the Slayer nor Willow have roommates. She was easier to track once we found she has a credit card, curtesy of her parents one would presume. She doesn’t have a job.” He clicked a picture of a credit card statement to life, “There are a few purchases here from one notable location in particular: ‘The Magic Box’. As the name implies, it’s a magical supplies store in town. We have a tracker on her card now, so we’ll be tracing her purchases from now on. The shop isn’t computerized, making tracking its sales difficult.”

Kerry clicked the picture away to replace it with one of Xander, “Alexander Harris, also 20. While at Sunnydale High, his scores were mediocre. His file had a lot of correlations with both Ms. Summers and Ms. Rosenberg. He doesn’t attend college. Alex is employed at a construction company. We are also tracking his credit card transactions. Nothing much stands out about Mr. Harris, he seems to be a regular guy. One of the ‘basic humans’ as the memo stated. We have his address, phone number, and all the basic information you’d want on him.”

He cleared his throat and changed the picture, “Rupert Giles, 45 years old. The reason we picked up on him is because he was both the librarian at the old high school, as well as the current proprietor of The Magic Box. In our research on Slayers, we learned about them having a watcher. We have reason to suspect Mr. Giles here is Buffy’s watcher. He’s here on a Visa from England. Has been ever since the Slayer moved to Sunnydale. A current set of return trip plane tickets sees him visiting England. He’s due back in a week.”

Kerry put the clicker down, “As you can see, we’re still looking for the second witch and another um, basic human. We’re working on the college; getting someone on the inside. The Magic Box will also be under surveillance. With these things in place, we should have the identity of the other two soon enough. As for the Slayer, we have a team devoted to tracking her movements until we’re told what to do next.”

“Good,” Damien nodded and grinned, “Very good, I’m impressed Kerry…” The phone in the middle of the table rang and he quickly picked it up, “We’re not done here.”

“Mr. Brice,” Lynd’s voice soothed, “We’ve picked up a magic user, sir. They should be expected within the next twenty-four hours.”

He lit up, “Oh! Today’s a good day, Lynd.” He shot Jurrot an excited look over his shoulder. The demon had no reaction, “We can start on the exclusive product line.”

“Yes,” Lynd cleared their throat, “It’s exciting sir, but there’s still the matter of a test to think about.”

Damien waved a hand dismissively, “I have a good feeling about this one. The test won’t be an issue, I’m sure. Have the magic department head contact me when the new guy comes in.”

“Of course, sir.” The secretary purred seductively, “Is there… anything else I could do for you?”

The founder quirked an eyebrow, covered the phone’s mouth piece and turned to Jurrot, “Psst! The moon, is it waxing or waning?” He whispered.

“Waxing.” Jurrot grumbled.

Damien giggled gleefully and returned to his phone call, “Yes Lynd, there is.”

“Your office?” Lynd asked hopefully, “The moon has been up a while sir. I-I’ve been waiting.”

He smiled, “I shouldn’t be much longer.”

***

The music was entrancing, it made her skin vibrate as she danced. She felt liquid, hands touched her fleetingly here and there. Each point of contact rippled over her skin, every cell of her body was alive.

“Here, you’re due for another,” His voice was a deep baritone in her ear. She turned around and looked into his golden-brown eyes. Smiling, she opened her mouth and stuck her tongue out. He grinned and dropped the capsule on it, “Have some water.”

The fluorescent light sticks left trails across her vision, her body felt overheated. She gulped down a few drinks of water before upturning the rest of it over her head, dancing. Still dancing.

Two, five, eight? Bodies, legs, arms, torsos moving. Pillows and clothes tossed everywhere, a sticky-sweet smell in the air. The lust in this one room could lift a roof and she felt it all.

Her hair was yanked back, her body pounded forward. Her chest was on fire, a feminine mouth latched onto her breast. The pleasure coursing through her felt like rapids heading for a waterfall. The sounds echoing around the room drumming an ever-building rhythm.

He walked into her line of vision, holding himself expectantly. Her hair was yanked from behind again and she giggled. “Open,” He growled. She did.

The covers held her back, making Tara struggle against them in her mad dash towards wakefulness, “Off! G-get off!”

“Ta?” Willow squinted an eye open just in time to see an elbow coming straight for her face, “Eep!” She swiped it away, “Tara!”

Willow heard the loud thump at the same time as she felt Tara’s weight leave the bed, “Are you ok!?” She sat up, leaning over her lover’s side.

The blonde shot up from the ground with her hand covering her mouth, “B-bathroom,” she hastily mumbled, running for the door.

Willow got out of bed and quickly followed her girlfriend. She walked into the women’s bathroom block, “Baby?” Wincing when she heard her lover retch from farther into the room.

The stall door was ajar when the redhead approached it. “Tara,” She reached out to hold Tara’s hair back but when she made contact, her girlfriend recoiled, “D-don’t,” Tara pushed out, heaving, “Please, don’t t-touch me r-right now.”

“Ok,” Willow stood back, twisting her fingers together. “Do you want some water? Oh! I’ll go get the toothpaste and your toothbrush, I’ll be right back.” She darted out, anxious for something to do.

When she came back and heard the sound of a shower running, she left Tara’s toothbrush and the toothpaste on the counter and went back to get her toiletries, a towel and her robe.

Willow stood at the closed door of the shower cubicle, “I-I’ve got your stuff here, baby.” Do I go in?

“Th-thanks,” Tara’s voice was shaky and barely audible through the water spray, “Could you give me my toothbrush?”

The redhead fidgeted nervously, “Over the door, or do I come in?”

The door opened and upset blue eyes took her in, “You can come in, if-if you want.”

Willow nodded, stepped into the cubicle and handed her girlfriend the toothbrush and paste.

Instead of joining in the shower, she opted to sit on the small bench with Tara’s supplies on her lap.

The blonde brushed her teeth thoroughly, rinsed out her mouth and leaned onto the wall letting the water cascade down her back. “I had a b-bad dream,”

“Yeah,” Willow said from where she sat, “I figured. Do you want to talk about it?” Must’ve been some dream…

Tara was silent for a moment before shaking her head, “I just want to forget it. What time is it?”

“Five-thirty. Probably closer to six by now.” The redhead ran her fingers through her now frizzy hair, “Mind if I wash my hair? It’s all frizzy from the steam.”

The blonde was rinsing off, “I’ll do your hair.” She smiled over her shoulder, “I need to wash mine too, now.” Tara watched as Willow undressed, wanting to focus her senses on the moment. Trying to distance herself from the dream. “You’re beautiful.”

Willow put the conditioner on the ground and wet her hair, “Thanks,” She spattered through the spray, “I try.” Her voice gargled.

Tara couldn’t help but giggle, “You goof.” The glob of shampoo was cold against her palm, “Here, lean back.” She rubbed her hands together and started massaging the soap into her girlfriend’s hair. “We should hurry, people will start getting up soon.”

“Mmm,” The redhead was thoroughly enjoying the massage, “We should have breakfast, unless you want to go back to bed for an hour or so if you feel all blechy?”

“Rinse,” She guided her girlfriend towards the spray, “No food for me. And, I need to dry my hair so I’d just be laying there, awake for only a few m-minutes before having to get up again.” The suds were quickly brushed off and rinsed away, “Do you want conditioner?”

“Yes, please.” Willow chirped, “I’ll wash yours while it sits in my hair.” She picked up and handed the bottle to her girlfriend, “I only have the one class today. I was thinking of working on my assignments later.”

Tara leaned her head into the water to rewet it, “I should be home by two, Mmm.” Her girlfriend’s fingers were massaging her scalp, “I have some work to do too, nothing big though. I still want to call Margaret.”

Willow squeezed a generous amount of conditioner into her hand, “Bring that beautiful mane over here.”

It wasn’t long before they were both ready to leave the shower cubicle. Willow dried first since there was only one towel and she only had her pj’s with her. Tara wrapped herself in her thick robe still slightly damp and they made their way back to their room.

Once the lights were turned on, the blonde could feel the lingering tendrils of the dream dissipate. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “New day.”

***

Once the blinds were open she cracked the door and turned the lights off. She was pulling the door closed when she saw him from the corner of her eye. She jumped, “Tabarnak!”

Theo stood up quickly, hands in the air, “Sorry! I didn’t mean to scare you…” He quickly said, looking sheepish.

Erynn took a few deep breaths, “What are you doing here?” Running her fingers through her hair, she made a nervous noise, “Kinda creepy, Theo.”

He explained, “I saw you in the halls, I was about to say hi when you went in there.” Theo pointed at the door behind her, “I debated knocking until I heard you play.” He shrugged, “I felt like listening.”

“Creepy.” She repeated, “Listen… I go in there to disappear. I close the blinds, the door – the whole world out.” Erynn made to walk away, annoyed, “I don’t like the idea of you sitting here.”

“Wait,” Theo followed, “I fucked up, I guess. It’s not like you’re in a soundproof room or anything.” He had to stop abruptly as she turned around to face him.

He feels defensive, doesn’t feel he did anything wrong… did he? “You don’t understand.” Erynn said in a flat tone, “I don’t know why I feel the need to explain it to you.” She shook her head, “But, I do. So here it is, when I’m in there it’s like I’m writing in my diary.” She pointed in the music room’s direction, “And it feels like you just peeked.”

He nodded, “I get it. I do, now I get it.” Theo scratched his head, “But, people can still hear you.” He said cautiously.

She shrugged, “I try not to think about it.” Erynn started walking again, “I hope no one sticks around like you did, though.” She chuckled, “I’m sorry I blew up.”

“It’s ok,” He said genuinely, “Although, you have to tell me what you said when you got scared.” Theo laughed, “That sounded intense.”

The Canadian smiled and pointed at a seat in the lounge, “Let’s sit for a bit. ‘Tabarnak’ is a swear word back where I’m from.” She sat down and crossed her legs under herself, “Quebec has weird swear words.”

“Tab-ern-ak, what does it mean?” He chuckled at his attempt.

“Just keep in mind, I warned you about them being weird.” Erynn said before explaining, “’Tabarnak’ is derived from ‘Tabernacle’. In a Catholic church, it’s a box the priest keeps the Eucharist in.” At his perplexed look she continued, “Quebec was very religious in the past, mostly Catholic. A lot of our swear words are objects found in the church, but said in a way that distorts the word.” She shrugged, “It’s weird, like I said.”

“Huh,” Theo smiled, “That’s kind of interesting.” He said sincerely.

Smitten, damnit… Erynn sighed, “Theo, there’s something you need to know.” She cleared her throat, “I’m um, I’m not… available. I mean, for a relationship.”

“Oh,” He swallowed nervously, “No, I mean… I hope you don’t think I was hitting on you.” Theo fidgeted in his seat.

“No, it’s not that.” She smiled, “You’re cute… and so far we get along. I’m just putting the cards on the table up front.” Erynn looked at her hands, “I don’t do… physical intimacy. So, friendship is great. But, more than that I don’t do.” Countdown begins… 3, 2, 1…

“Oh,” Theo looked surprised, “Oh, well that’s fine.” His eyebrows rose up, “We can be friends, for sure.” He looked around the lounge, “I should go though, or else I’ll be late… Late for class.”

“Yeah,” Erynn nodded knowingly, eyebrows high and lips pressed together, “Be seeing you.” She sighed, disappointed. It’s never gonna stop feeling crappy, is it.

***

“Nnuh-Nnh,” She was curled onto herself in the corner. Everything touching her skin felt like a shot of electricity up the center of her body, to the base of her skull. Catherine tried to speak but, her lips hadn’t formed words in so long, they seemed to disintegrate on her tongue, “Mehmn,”

Doc sipped his drink from his vantage point, sitting in his favorite chair. He ginned, “Welcome back, it’s been a long time my sweet Catherine.” He pointed at a robe sitting on the table next to her, “You should put that on or you’ll catch cold.”

Her movements were broken-doll-like. She reached up slowly as if there was a heavy weight attached to her wrist. Catherine’s brow furrowed in concentration as she yanked the fabric from the table. Putting the thing on felt like too much to ask of her body right then, so she draped it over herself – covering her nakedness as best she could. “Phth,”

Doc shifted in his chair, “I imagine it will take a little while before you regain control of your physical abilities.” Cocking his head to the side, he added, “But, what I want to know is… are you still here.” He tapped the side of his head.

Catherine’s body was shaking, her eyes hard but vacant. She didn’t attempt a word this time.

He leaned back in his chair and steepled his fingers together, “I searched for you for a little while, when you disappeared.” He grinned, “You know how I was back then… I didn’t think you’d want me to find you. So I stopped looking. I wasn’t this much a wielder of the arts either, my resources were limited.”

“But, just last week, I cast a divination on the town. I wanted to keep a close eye on magic users, I’d heard rumors…” He peered at her from above his glasses, “Well, imagine my surprise when your magical signature showed up at the blown up school.” He shook his head, incredulous.

“You disappeared five years ago.” Doc slipped his glasses off and pinched his nose, “And, now I find you trapped in a trophy.” Waving his glasses exasperatedly he asked, “What in Glorificus’ name happened?”

Catherine blinked furiously, “Mfrrgh!” Her hair fell in front of her eyes, she jerked her head back, “Grfbfy!”

“Shush,” He raised his hands in a placating gesture, “Not now. Calm down, it’ll come back in time.” Doc rose from his chair and made to walk towards the kitchen, “I’ll get you something to drink. Something to eat, perhaps. There’s poppy seed cake!” He intoned gleefully from the kitchen.

***

Willow yawned and twisted the key in the door, “I don’t care how cute jellyfish fluorescent protein is,” She slipped her shoes off and threw her bag onto the papasan chair, “I’m too tired for chemistry.”

Her stomach grumbled, reminding her she’d skipped breakfast with Tara this morning. She eyed her shoes warily, “I just took you off.” She whined, “And, I’m so tired I’m talking to myself. Looney bin for one, please.”

Willow untied and slipped on the first shoe. Once the laces were tied, the phone rang. She hobbled over to pick it up, “Hello?”

“Oh, thank God you’re there!” Came the agitated male voice over the line, “I’m freaking out!”

She sat down, “Richard? What’s going on?” Willow wasn’t that worried, her lab partner had a tendency to be overly dramatic. “Our scores aren’t due for another two days.”

“No, not that.” He explained hastily, “Yesterday’s class, I spilled over my notes.” There was the sound of shuffling paper, he whined, “I can’t read anything anymore, they’re all smudged!”

Willow shook her head, “You want my notes,” She sighed, “I don’t know…”

“Willow, Willomena, you redheaded genius,” He tried flattery, “Come on, I’ll give them back tomorrow.”

She rolled her eyes, “You’re clumsy,” Willow waved her hand for emphasis, “Case in point, the reason why you need my notes! I don’t want you smudging them.” She scowled.

“I won’t,” He said hastily, “I promise, I’ll be extra, super-duper careful. Please?”

“Argh,” She groaned, “You better be careful! I’m on my way to the cafeteria, can you meet me in the lounge in ten minutes?” I’m too danm nice.

Richard made a relieved sound, “Thank you, thank you. You’re a life saver! I’ll be there in ten minutes.”

Willow slipped on her other shoe, put her notes in her bag and, mumbling to herself about dependable geysers, left for the lounge.

When she made it there and didn’t see Richard, she decided to wait for him leaning on a pillar where she was sure to see him when he’d arrive. Willow tapped her foot impatiently, her stomach giving her no reprieve.

“Willow?” She turned her head when she heard her name called, although it hadn’t been Richard’s voice, “Hard to miss the red hair.” Erynn smiled warmly as she walked up, hiking her bag higher up her shoulder.

Willow stood up straight and cleared her throat, “Hey, Erynn,” She glanced around, looking for Richard. Come on you clumsy doofus. The redhead pointed at the Canadian’s load, “That’s a lot of stuff you’re carrying.”

Huh, why is she uncomfortable? Erynn shook her head and rolled her eyes, “I swear, I need one of those shopping carts for all the supplies I have to carry around.” She shuffled her drawing port-folio and books quickly as they’d started to slip from her arms, “Two art classes in a row will do that. How are you doing?”

The redhead gesticulated quickly, “Good! Great, even. Things are great.” She nodded and cleared her throat, “I’m just here meeting a friend. He needs my notes.”

“Well, my class starts in ten minutes so I better go.” Erynn did an odd hop and shimmy, jolting her bag into place without the use of her hands, “I’ll see you around. Take care of yourself.” She smiled and walked away.

When Willow leaned back against the pillar, she glanced papers on the ground. Quickly deducing they were Erynn’s, she picked them up, “Erynn!”

When the Canadian kept walking away, the redhead sighed and started after her, “Erynn, you dropped your…” Willow looked at the papers with beautifully detailed drawings gracing them, “Your drawings.” Wait…

Erynn turned around, “Oh! Crap, thanks Willow.” She quickly made her way back to retrieve her drawings, “Shopping cart, I swear. Thanks again!” The Canadian said before darting away again.

“Uh huh,” Willow said dumbly, watching Erynn leave. I’m being stupid again. So what, she probably drew that sunflower on the dresser. Who cares? Tara loves me. She loves me and no drawing of a stupid sunflower’s gonna change that. If Erynn is crushing, no big. It’s one-sided…

“-should be orange, round with a hole in the middle.” Richard was suddenly by her side, “Buoyant too, of course. You’re a real lifesaver Willow.” He smiled expectantly.

“Richard! Hi, um,” The redhead shook her head clear and reached into her bag, “I’d rather be the candy. Ok, so no spilling, dog-earing, underlining, highlighting…” She pulled out her notes and pulled them back right before he was able to take them, “Swear on Tesla.”

His eyebrows shot up, “You’re not kidding around,” When he saw her eyebrow quirk up he knew she was serious, “I swear on Tesla, I will be super careful. You will get them back exactly the same. I promise.” He bowed for good measure.

Grudgingly, she let him take her notes. Feeling like she was letting her kid cross the street alone for the first time. “Be careful,” She pleaded, her hand falling to her side as he walked away.

***

He shifted in his suit, pulling at his tie uncomfortably. Doc missed his bathrobe, “Good day, young lady. I was summoned to the magical department. I suspect they’re expecting me.” He said pleasantly to the receptionist at the main entrance.

The woman stuck the pencil she was holding into her bun, “A quick phone call and I’ll see you through, Mr.?” She finished in a questioning tone.

“Please,” He grinned affably, “Call me Doc.”

She smiled, “I’ll just be a moment,” She motioned to the seats on either side of the room, “Please, make yourself comfortable.”

The sorcerer opted for walking the lobby instead. It was expansive, the seats plush and soft, the tables were glass, the walls adorned with paintings. Vibrant colors in swirls and sharp lines against white canvases. Doc had never paid much mind to this building before. It had been a rundown thing, abandoned. He marveled at how much was done in such a short period of time.

“Mr. Doc,” The receptionist called softly, “Please have your invitation ready. The department is on the third floor.” She pointed to her left, “The elevators are right that way.”

He gave her a shallow bow and said, “Thank you.” as he walked towards the elevators.

Once the lift opened, he stepped in and adjusted his tie again. The doors closed as he shifted his glasses up his nose. Something changed in the tight space, Doc felt a kind of mystical net surrounding him. “Well, that was uncalled for.” He mumbled, flexing his fingers and shoulders.

As the doors opened again, he was greeted with a room that seemed to belong in an entirely different building. Everything was made of dark wood, save for some mystical tools and adornments here and there. There was a group of people and demons busy working on things, milling around. At the door to the elevator stood a tall, green-skinned and robed figure, “We’ve been expecting you. Invitation, please.” He asked and offered his opened hand.

Doc gave him the card, “There was no need to bind me,” He took a step into the room once the demon waved him in, “It’s quite unpleasant as I’m sure you know.”

“Hm,” The demon said noncommittally, “What do you know about this company?” He asked before adding, “Call me Trem. And you are Doc if I’m not mistaken.”

Doc nodded, “What I know has little to do with business.” They both came to a stop in the center of the room, “I know energy, balance, life, death and what’s in between.” He waved a hand around the room, “Your company’s ambitions have sent ripples through this town’s web.”

Trem grinned, “Yes, the founder is ambitious and quite passionate.” He motioned for Doc to follow him once again, “This being a Hellmouth suited our cause perfectly but, we also knew the energy of this town would be different because of its presence.”

Doc’s eyebrows raised in disbelief and stopped him, “You have a cause?” He waved around, “This is all for an ideology?” He shook his head in disinterest, “I’ve had my days of activism.”

Trem made a hissing sound that somewhat resembled a chuckle, “The founder has a cause.” He shrugged, “We like the pay and the perks.”

Doc pursed his lips and motioned with his head for him to continue.

“The Hellmouth, as you probably know, is an attractor.” They walked over to a small representation of Sunnydale that shown on a large flat screen, “Those, both humans and demons, who are attracted to, or have had experience with lower vibrations, flock here.” The dot over the old high school pulsed, red rings shrunk from the edges of the map towards the center, illustrating the Hellmouth’s attractive property.

Trem continued, “The wielding of the arts this close to the epicenter has proven to be difficult for our resident mages.” The screen changed to show two mages’ pictures with the word ‘Terminated’ written to their right. “They’ve already fallen prey to the temptations of the Hellmouth. We had to put them down.”

Doc shifted uncomfortably, all too aware in this instant that he was bound. “What did they do?”

“Let’s just say their loyalties had changed.” Trem gave as an explanation, “They attacked each other. Tried to suck the other dry, as in – magically.” He waved the screen away dismissively, “Those two never did like each other.”

“That’s where you come in,” Trem said in Doc’s direction, “We have reason to think the Hellmouth affects every magic user differently. It all depends on their base energy signature, how much of it is attracted. You’d be replacing our deceased mages, since you seem to practice without issues.”

Doc looked at him from over his glasses, “I’d be doing the work of two mages?”

Trem cocked his head, “After the incident, we decided it would be best to reduce our overhead. You’d be well compensated, of course.”

“What would I be asked to do?” Doc was curious despite himself.

His host smiled smugly, “To know more, you’ll need to pass a test.”

***

“What do you mean technical issues?” Damien asked over the phone as he watched Doc take his test from his private observation box above the room, “We launch in three days.”

“The video feeds are working, all fifty rooms transmit without problems.” The head technician answered hastily, “Our stream is solid up to a point, sir.” He cleared his voice, “Our potential audience size was re-estimated yesterday. It seems the demon population here is more technologically savvy than we thought.”

He watched as Doc’s fingers tapped calmly against the armrest of his chair. Straps held him down, he was sitting in a glass box, staring at a screen with grotesque and gruesome scenes flashing across it. The sounds were contained but, he could see the sorcerer’s head sway side to side as if he were listening to a symphony.

The founder grinned, “So our problem is too many potential consumers.” He chuckled gleefully, “This can’t be a problem.” Damien suddenly grew serious again, “Don’t make it a problem.”

The technician cleared his throat nervously, “It’s a bandwidth issue.” When Damien said nothing he quickly continued, “The band our contacts in the FCC have allotted us was hidden from governmental oversight procedures. Getting more allotted and cleared would be possible but it’s ultimately a slow process, sir.”

Damien took a deep breath, “Can we launch as is, and boost our bandwagon thing later?” The founder didn’t know all that much about the workings of the internet but, that’s what delegating was for.

“Well,” He answered cautiously, “Once we reach our quota, every extra hit would slow the stream down, resulting in loss of quality. But,” He hastily added, “I might have a solution for the meantime, sir.”

“I’m listening,” Damien watched as Doc and Trem shook hands before the new employee turned to leave.

“As you know, we record the sessions.” The tech explained, “If we put in place an allocation program, those who would log on to the live feed would be counted against the amount of bandwidth available. Once the quota is reached, those who log on then would be re-routed and informed to come back later – I’d say about two hours - when we’d post the session for them to access on demand with a code they’d been given when being re-routed. Since downloads aren’t something we want to do, this is what I think our best course of action would be for the time being.”

The founder sighed loudly, “Fine, how long until this won’t be necessary?” He asked as he made his way down from his viewing area.

“We’ve already talked with our FCC contact, things are under way.” He shuffled some papers, “I’d say approximately two weeks, sir. The allocation program will take one more day.”

Damien was pleasantly surprised, “You’ve already cleared it with accounting?” He nodded and winked at Lynd as he walked passed their desk.

The technician sounded relieved, “Well, when they saw the new audience estimation they thought it was a good investment.”

The founder smiled as he sat at his desk, “It is, isn’t it?”

***

Tara brushed a loose strand of hair from her forehead as she pushed the door to hers and Willow’s room open. She was tired, her last class was a blur. Her eyes had kept losing focus trying to read the board, her teacher’s droning voice lulled her closer and closer to sleep as time went by.

She let out a deep breath and closed the door. Tara was about to call out for her girlfriend when she saw her sprawled on the bed. Face flat against the open page of a book, her fingers loose around a highlighter. Willow slept soundly.

The sight curled the blonde’s lips into an adoring smile. She put her bag down and slipped her clogs off before making her way towards the bed.

She cleared away Willow’s books and supplies quietly before sitting on the edge of the mattress. Her girlfriend had curled her hair that morning and an unruly copper twist fluttered against the redhead’s lips as she breathed. Tara gently brushed it away, “Beautiful,” she whispered softly. She’s going to get a crick in her neck…

The highlighter being uncapped, Tara figured it might already be ruined. But, she tried nonetheless to extricate it from between Willow’s fingers making them twitch. “Mrph,”

“Awe, sweetie,” Tara cooed, “I’m sorry.” She ran her hand gently up and down Willow’s back, “You’re going to hurt your neck though.”

“It’s ok,” Said a groggy squinting redhead, “I don’t need to know what the mushroom king was gonna do with that banana.” Her lips pulled into a grin, “Missed you.” She said as she gingerly sat up and rubbed her neck.

Tara frowned, “Here,” She scooted onto the bed and leaned against the headboard, “Sit between my legs, I’ll rub your neck and shoulders.”

“Yes ma’am,” Willow positioned herself and sighed as her girlfriend’s hands started working against tense muscles, “Mmm, you’re too good to me, baby.”

Tara kissed the back of Willow’s head, “Nonsense,” A yawn took her by surprise, making her squeak.

“Heh,” The redhead giggled, “That was too cute. You tired too?”

“Mmhmm,” Her thumbs found a knot and she quickly set to work on it, “I almost fell asleep in class.”

“Ohh that feels good,” Willow let her head fall forward, “Wanna do like little old ladies and take a nap?”

“Hmm,” Tara pretended to think about it, “Will there be snuggles?”

“Darn tootin’,” The redhead quickly answered, “I need my snuggles too, you know.”

“Mmm, then I’m in.” She yawned again, “Just for a couple hours though.” Tara reached for the alarm clock to set it.

They pulled the covers down and snuggled up together. Willow let out a deep sigh of contentment and Tara tightened her hold and closed her eyes.

The loud shriek of a scared rat pierced the room as Amy scurried around her cage making the metal rattle.

“What?” The witches sat up, looking at the cage, “Amy?” Willow got out of bed, “Shh, Amy what’s wrong?” She opened the cage and put her hand in, letting it sit in the middle of the rat’s space patiently. “Come on, Amy. It’s ok.” Willow tried to soothe the rodent.

“Is she sick?” Tara asked, she was concerned. She’d never met Amy but, even if there hadn’t been a person in there the blonde couldn’t stand to see a living thing suffer.

“I don’t think so,” Amy had calmed and was now smelling Willow’s fingers, “She must’ve gotten spooked.”

“Why don’t you cover her cage,” The blonde laid back down, “It’ll calm her down.”

The redhead reached for the blanket that served as a cage cover, “Good idea. Here you go Amy,” She draped it over the cage once the door was closed again.

Willow crawled back into bed, “That was weird.” She said, wrapping Tara into her arms.

“Mmm,” The blonde sighed, “It was, but she seems fine now.”

***

Doc’s head snapped up in amused surprise, “Oh, my.” He double-checked the treated hair under his microscope.

“What?” Catherine asked anxiously, her voice a bit slurred but she’d made great progress, “What see?”

Doc cleared his throat and slipped his glasses off, “It would seem your daughter went and turned herself into a rat.”

The woman’s eyes grew wide as she started to laugh, a broken wet cackle forming around recently formed vocal chords.

***

_________________
~M
CopperAndGold


Last edited by CopperAndGold on Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:37 pm 
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What? Really? I got dibs?? AWESOME!!

Ok, wow, a lot to unpack in this update.

Poor Tara and her nightmares. I'm starting to worry for her (which I'm sure is the point).

Oops, Willow spying Erynn's artwork and connecting the dots like... like... one of those connect-the-dots drawings. (Smooth allegory, DW, smooth. Not clunky at all).

Still, kudos to Will for keeping the green-eyed monster at bay... for now...

Also - uh-oh! Catherine Madison is back and looking for Amy. Bad news bears, man.

I feel like I've just scraped the surface.

Sooo much good writing to enjoy!

Cheers
DW


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Challenge Fics!: You Could Be Her ... Glasses ... Graffiti ... Pizza Day

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:20 am 
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DarkWiccan wrote:
Poor Tara and her nightmares. I'm starting to worry for her (which I'm sure is the point).


It's disconcerting for sure. She hasn't unraveled though, she's strong and compassionate... emotionally intelligent. Willow grounds her in a way the redhead doesn't realize; being able to come back home to her, just being in her presence allows Tara to leave the rest behind even if it's just for a short period of time.

This update was a bridge of sorts. I'm hard at work writing the next chapter which should be much more involved than this one.

Thank you for reading and your feedback! :grin

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CopperAndGold


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:33 pm 
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Wow, this is super dark and exciting! Bringing Amy's mom back gave me goosebumps...

The depiction of Willow's jealousy is splendid. Her insecurities and inner struggles clearly justify those feelings - even though she tries to rationalize them, one cannot always overcome their inner demons. Very touching, as usual!


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:20 pm 
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warrior_barbie - I love your username, just so you know. :wink

warrior_barbie wrote:
Wow, this is super dark and exciting! Bringing Amy's mom back gave me goosebumps...


Dark and exciting is what I'm going for, so yay me! :grin

Going too dark isn't something I want, though. It's a fine line between gratuitous violence and gore, and setting an unsettling atmosphere with hints at darker things in the corners. If I ever, ever cross that line... please, bring it to my attention if you feel so inclined. (This goes out to every one of you reading.)

I would greatly appreciate it. :love

warrior_barbie wrote:
The depiction of Willow's jealousy is splendid. Her insecurities and inner struggles clearly justify those feelings - even though she tries to rationalize them, one cannot always overcome their inner demons.


Demons, inner and outer, are those I like to poke at with my pen. Willow's tend to be close to my own, when I was younger. I get her, even though her reactions make me roll my eyes now. I'm glad it came through as being true to who Willow is. :)

Thank you so much for reading, and for your feedback. :love

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CopperAndGold


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:38 am 
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CopperAndGold wrote:
warrior_barbie - I love your username, just so you know. :wink


Aww, thanks so much! *blushes*

CopperAndGold wrote:
If I ever, ever cross that line... please, bring it to my attention if you feel so inclined.


I promise I'll let you know if something like that happens :) To quote Tara: "I'd have to be your anchor, keep you on this plane..." :))


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:41 pm 
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Just a quick note to let you all know the update will take a little longer this time around...

There's a challenge going on and, I thought I'd try my hand at it! So, I'm hard at work putting together a short story for it.

Click here to check out the challenge.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:24 am 
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Yay! Can't wait to read whatever you come up with! :flower


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 Post subject: When Erynn found herself - Post 8 (Update)
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:42 am 
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When Erynn found herself – Post 8 (Update)

Author name – CopperAndGold
Rating – NC-17 (Strong)

Disclaimer - This is an adult fic. There will be some angst, smut, bad language, difficult subject matters (They will be noted prior to posting) The characters' developments were taken from season 5 - A bit after the episode: Family. Anything that is canon and prior to this episode is fair game. Oh, there's also a small reference to a funny exchange in season 6 between Anya and Tara that I just couldn't stop from using. Even with all this, there's comedy too! Everything after Family becomes A/U.

Feedback – Please, I love your words.
Summary – Willow and Tara make a new friend. She's... interesting.

Notes – I apologize for my brief hiatus. My father had a heart-attack, so I’ve been preoccupied. He’s doing very well now and I’m back home full-time. This is a short update to kick things back into gear while I continue writing. So, the next update will not be too far behind. :love

*** The last scene with Spike in the sewers is a difficult read. If scenes depicting someone having been tortured would cause you harm, please 'Just skip it'. ***




He hadn’t cried, there was at least that. Buffy didn’t know how she would’ve handled that. As it was, she’d had to – as gently as she could – rebuff Riley’s explanations and promises of things changing. In the end, he seemed to understand that it just wouldn’t work.

It didn’t make it any easier. They’d gone through a lot together when the Initiative were still around. Riley, compatible relationship-wise or not, was a good guy. Buffy had hopes of friendship with the man but, she wasn’t holding her breath.

Making her way down the street to the coffee shop, her thoughts turned towards their mysterious eight-foot tall demon. How can something like that hide?

The fact the Gurtrall was the right hand of someone else, someone/something demons desperately seemed to want to work for… well, it gave Buffy the wiggins.

The lineup to the counter wasn’t too long and, since most people took their drinks ‘to-go’, she had her choice of tables to sit at. But, when she recognized someone sat at one of the tables near the terrace her choice was made.

“Hi,” Her tone was cheerful and pleasant, trying to pry the other woman’s eyes away from her book.

Erynn looked up surprised, “Hey! Buffy, right?” Absentmindedly closing her book, she waved in the direction of an empty chair when Buffy nodded and smiled, “Wanna join me?”

“Sure,” The slayer said before taking a seat, “How’s it been going?” And why are my friends fighting over you?

She couldn’t help but feel defensive on Willow’s behalf, wanting to know as much as she could about the woman who seemed to inadvertently trigger her best friend’s jealousy. Tara wasn’t Oz, of course. Buffy really doubted Tara would ever cheat on Willow but, that didn’t mean complications couldn’t arise.

Buffy didn’t want Willow to have to deal with anything ‘complicated’ again for a good long while.

Erynn made a non-committal gesture with her head, “College has been great. But, since Friday, I haven’t really gotten the nerve to go out at night.” The shift was subtle, the emotions emanating from her companion weren’t. Suspicion and curiosity, mixed with a bit of… sadness and relief?

The shift though, did make her nervous. She felt herself wanting to talk to Buffy, explain things and give answers to questions she didn’t even know the blonde had yet. Erynn subconsciously shifted in her chair. I feel like I’m being interrogated and all she asked so far was how I’m doing…

Buffy seemed empathetic, “Yeah, this isn’t your average small town.” She took a sip of her drink and noticed Erynn was looking at her in a way that asked for clarification, “Well, since you’ve had your very own vampire experience, maybe you should know more about Sunnydale and its inhabitants.”

Erynn nodded, “That would be great… I still don’t really understand what happened.” She scratched her head, “It all went so fast and then Sandy disappeared.”

Buffy was confused, “Sandy? Who’s Sandy?”

“The vampire that attacked me.” The brunette answered looking at the table’s surface, “Her name was Sandy.” She said softly with a tinge of sadness in her voice.

The sadness caught the Slayer off guard, “Did you know her? I mean, before…”

Erynn smiled and shook her head, “Nah, I met her at the club.” Noticing the confusion and the suspicious vibe she automatically tried to explain, “I… um, I’m a…” But a part of her still held back, the mere fact that she knew Buffy wanted answers made her naturally resistant.

Buffy raised her eyebrows and grinned in show of support, “You’re a… woman? French? Suspenders-wearing quirky type?” She smiled and her eyes widened in mock realization, “Oh, right. You’re an empath.”

The Canadian blinked at that, “So I guess you’ve been told.” She ran her hand through her hair and huffed, “I could feel Sandy’s emotions, separate from the vampire’s? She was… lonely and sad.”

“Oh,” Buffy stayed silent for a moment, mulling over what her companion had said. “What did the vamp feel?” Isn’t a vampire just… a demon?

Erynn’s lips curled in a mirthless grin, “Hungry and horny. I was going to offer to go for some food when she… she tried to…” She let the words trail off, not sure herself anymore what the vampire had tried to do, or in what order.

The blonde cocked her head reassuringly, “Well, she’s gone for good now. You don’t have to worry about her anymore.” Noticing how this made the brunette confused, she explained, “She didn’t disappear. When you stake a vamp, they poof into dust. That’s what happened.”

Erynn shook her head at that, “Well, that’s convenient.” Playing with her empty cup, she asked, “So, you do that often? Stake vampires?” She giggled nervously.

Buffy felt herself liking Erynn. Something about her… “I’ll tell you more about me, if you tell me more about you. I think that’s only fair.” She smiled.

The empath cocked an eyebrow, “You seem to know more about me than I do about you, already.” She grinned, “So… Vampire staking? Is that your hobby? I would suggest something more like macramé or rock climbing.”

The blonde laughed, “It’s not a hobby. More of a calling… I’m the Slayer.”

Erynn stared blankly, “Slayer. What’s a Slayer?” Did I walk onto a movie set or something? This is so weird.

“I won’t bore you with the tagline,” Buffy shook her head, “When I was fifteen, I was ‘activated’ and strange things started to happen. There’s always a Slayer active, when one dies another is called. There’s a council, they sent me a watcher – someone to explain what was happening to me, and to train me.”

At Erynn’s nod, she continued, “The Slayer is always a young girl. She’s called to fight the forces of darkness. Vampires, Demons… I was called to fight them.”

“So,” Erynn started and shook her head side to side, perturbed, “You were fifteen and became super strong so you could fight with monsters? That’s… messed up.”

“Tell me about it,” Buffy chuckled mirthlessly, “I was in L.A. when it happened. My first watcher died, I burned down the school gym, my mom freaked. She didn’t know I was the Slayer, or anything about vampires or demons. I couldn’t tell her… We moved here. Mom wanted a ‘new start’… why it ended up being in demony central beats me. I guess it was destined or something.”

When the brunette fell silent, Buffy ventured a question of her own, “Your turn. What brings you to Sunnydale?”

“It was just on my way, really.” Erynn slouched in her seat, “I was travelling the continent. I was in San Francisco before coming here.” When no question arose, she continued, “I was on my way to Los Angeles and when I was driving through Sunnydale I felt like it was time to settle down for a while. I’d been on the road for two years or so, this seemed like a cute little town and I was tired of travelling.”

Buffy blurted the first thing that came to mind, “That sounds expensive.” How can she afford all this?

Erynn’s lips curled slightly into a sad smile, “Yeah, I guess it is. I don’t really have to worry about money, much. Inheritance and two life insurance policies, eager accountants and investment brokers… my parents died when I was nine, in a car accident. They were wealthy and well connected, so when they died… I pretty much got everything they’d worked for.”

“I’m sorry,” Buffy felt bad for bringing it up, “I didn’t know…”

The Canadian waved it off, “Of course you didn’t, don’t worry about it. It was a long time ago.” Resting her elbow on the table’s surface, she leaned her chin into her palm and asked, “How did you meet Tara and Willow?”

Glad for the change to a lighter subject, Buffy leaned back into her chair and explained, “I met Willow my first year here, when I started high school. She was best friends with Xander, he was there Friday too.”

“I remember,” Erynn nodded, “He was brave.”

The Slayer smiled proudly, “He really is, always has been. Willow met Tara in college, they became girlfriends and that’s how I met her.” How’s that for a synopsis. She thought wryly. “Willow told me you only met Tara on Friday?”

Erynn chuckled, “Yeah. I saw her walking up to the dorms and she dropped her pen. Ever since I picked it up my life’s been… interesting. Vampire, overloaded pendant, witches, Slayer...” She ran her fingers through her hair, “She-they’re really nice. I owe Willow and Tara a lot for helping me.”

Buffy squinted, she’d caught the slip, “Yeah, they’re really awesome. They make an amazing couple, great for each other.” There might be something to Willow’s wiggins after all…

The empath smiled, “That’s the most obvious thing ever. Willow makes Tara so happy, that’s what caught my attention – Tara’s happiness. She was literally skipping along the path. Then, when I hung out with them together, it was clear it went both ways. I don’t know them for very long, but that much was obvious. They’re beautiful together.”

Huh... Ok, then. “So, being on the road all the time,” Buffy ventured, “Must be hard to have romantic relationships.”

Erynn frowned, wondering what that had to do with anything, “Uh, yeah I guess. I haven’t really been looking for that kind of relationship, so…”

The Slayer put her best cheery face on, “But, you’re all settled now. Is there a hottie you have your eye on?”

Erynn shifted in her seat, “Um… I’m not sure what you mean. Like, someone I’d ask out in hopes of something developing?”

Buffy nodded, “Yeah, you know… having a love life and stuff.”

The empath crossed her arms over the table and lowered her gaze, “Like I said, I don’t really look for more than friendships.” She was getting a bit annoyed with this subject, “Which seems to be something people have a hard time understanding.”

The blonde cocked her head thoughtfully, “Maybe it’s more that we can’t relate. Doesn’t everyone want that?”

People talk about this stuff all the time. It’s my issue, not theirs. Erynn took a deep breath to calm herself, “I guess I’m not like most people.”

Buffy barked out a short laugh, “Speaking of obvious.” She amicably tapped Erynn’s hand and smiled, “Welcome to the weirdo club.”

***

Tara had her finger poised over the numbered buttons, staring. She’d been sitting there, staring for what seemed like hours to Willow. “It’s gonna start making that annoying sound again.” She said softly.

The blonde huffed and pressed the hook switch dejectedly to hang the phone back up. “Sorry, I guess I’m nervous.”

This had been Tara’s third attempt to call Margaret. Willow had had time to finish her chemistry assignment and still, her girlfriend hadn’t made the call. She ran her hand soothingly along Tara’s back, “Of course you are, take your time baby. There’s nothing saying you have to call today.”

She crouched next to the chair her girlfriend was sitting in, “Do you want me here? I could go to the library or something.”

Tara’s hand quickly reached out to grasp one of Willow’s, “No, please stay… it’s just, I haven’t talked to her since she he-helped me leave Wheatland. It’s hard to not think about… everything.”

Willow nodded that she understood, “I’ll be right here, then.” Leaning over, she kissed Tara softly, “I’m not going anywhere.”

Tara’s eyes softened with gratitude before turning back to the phone. She took a deep breath and started dialing. Here goes…

The call was picked up on the second ring, “Hello?”

Tara cleared her throat anxiously, “H-hi Aunt Margaret. It’s Tara.”

“Tara!” Came the obviously relieved voice of her aunt, “I’m so glad you called. The trunk I sent was signed for a few days ago… I was worried.”

The blonde absentmindedly started playing with Willow’s fingers, “I haven’t opened it yet. I j-just read your letter yesterday.”

There was a brief pause before Margaret asked, “How are you doing, sweetie? Tell me about your life in sunny California.”

Tara closed her eyes, her aunt’s voice soothing her nerves, “I’m still in college. It’s going really well… I’m studying to become a youth counselor.” She looked at Willow who was smiling proudly, “I have an amazing girlfriend and great friends. I’ve been really hap-happy... especially since dad came.”

“Youth counselor, girlfriend, friends… Tara, I can’t be happier for you.” Margaret said lovingly before she cleared her throat, “I don’t know how you got your father to tell you the truth but, I’m so glad you know.”

“It’s a long story,” Tara grinned, “My friends helped a lot, they stood up to dad for me. I’m really lucky to have them.”

There was silence for a moment, both women lost in their thoughts until Margaret broke the spell, “I’m sure you have a lot of questions darling.”

The blonde sighed, “I do. But, can we start at the beginning? With the Kellison witches?”

“Ah, well Biddy Kellison was your mother’s and mine’s great-grandmother. She was the first witch we know of in our family. She lived in Ireland, in a small village where she grew up. In her diaries, she wrote that on her twelfth birthday she met a Cat Sidhe in the woods who transformed into a woman after Biddy fed it some cream. The woman was a very old witch who offered Biddy her powers and she accepted. Her diaries are in the trunk I sent you, with more details. Biddy became quite powerful in her own right. Where the Cat Sidhe could only transform into a cat nine times, she could do it as many times as she wanted.”

“Wait,” Tara cut Margaret off waving an incredulous hand, “You’re telling me my great-great grandmother could transform into a cat?” Willow made a surprised sound beside her.

“Yes, a big black cat with a white spot on its chest. She could also communicate with animals. It made her quite popular with her village’s farmers.” Margaret chuckled, “There’s even a story where she was able to ‘convince’ rodents that they shouldn’t come around the village.”

“Ok,” The blonde shook her head, “So… she obviously had children since we’re here.”

“She did, although most of them died very young. One daughter survived the great famine, she’d inherited her mother’s gifts as well as developed her own. Kate Kellison, who became Kate Quinn when she married, could also commune with nature and help things grow as well as heal. Biddy believed the great famine had to do with her daughter’s ability to essentially feed and heal people. Kate married because she had to… in those days, women weren’t worth much by themselves you see. No matter what she could do, she couldn’t escape the social norms of 19th century Ireland. She was fourteen when she married, her husband was twenty-eight years old.” At Tara’s gasp she added, “Yes, she was quite young.”

The blonde rubbed her forehead, trying to keep track of everything her aunt was telling her, “Sorry, go on,”

“Well, he swiftly had her carry his children. Kate left in her diaries quite personal accounts of forced child bearing, beatings and so on. She brought four children to term by the time she was only nineteen. If we go by what she wrote, she was gay. Such things weren’t given credence in those days though. Kate, my grandmother, moved to the United States when she was twenty-five. Her husband had died what she wrote as being a ‘suspicious’ death and she escaped persecution with her only two daughters. One of whom was your grandmother, Elizabeth Quinn. When she married your grandfather, she took his name and became Elizabeth Davis.”

Tara spoke up, “I never met grandma. She died before I was born.”

Margaret cleared her throat, “She did… not long after your mother was born our mom developed an interest in dark magic. Crowley had visited the U.S. and established covens in the early 1900’s. She joined one that still stood when we lived in New York. His work had been very influential and your grandmother was lured by the promise of greater understanding and power. She’d already been very powerful, could make it rain without saying a word even. Had learned how to control her inherited powers. But, it wasn’t enough for her. When our father moved to Wyoming, she stayed behind. Your mom and I lived with your grandfather after that. When mom died, the trunk I sent you appeared on my porch. Her diaries and Book of Shadows are in there, as well. We still don’t know how she died.”

“Ok, ok,” The blonde shook her head, “H-hold on. I need a minute.” She put the phone down and leaned back in her chair. Her head felt like it was about to explode.

“Baby?” Willow had been dutifully silent all this time, sitting on the floor by Tara’s chair. But, it had been more and more difficult seeing her girlfriend gradually grow nervous and pale, “Are you ok?”

Tara rubbed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose, blinking furiously, “I have a headache. This is a lot to take in.”

The redhead was up in a shot, “I’ll get you some Tylenol and a bottle of water.”

The blonde sighed gratefully, “Thank you, sweetie.” Once she’d taken the medicine, she took a deep breath and picked the phone back up. “Sorry Aunt Margaret. I’m a bit overwhelmed.”

“Tara,” Margaret said apologetically, “I think this is enough for one day, don’t you? You could always call me back… or,” She paused and cleared her throat, “I could visit you?”

The thought hadn’t even crossed Tara’s mind. She smiled at the prospect, “You’d come visit?”

“Of course!” Margaret said enthusiastically, “I haven’t seen you in so long.”

“I’d love that.” Tara took a breath before asking, “So, I guess I inherited Biddy, Kate, Elizabeth and mom’s… abilities? Is that why you and mom bound me?”

Her aunt sighed, “Yes, it is. The only power the spell could bind was what you’d inherited. Your innate power couldn’t be bound since you were still in the womb. I think your grandmother dabbling in dark magic went a long way towards your mom believing whatever your father said. We saw our mother do some… questionable things growing up.”

“Am I,” Tara leaned her head against the palm of her hand, “Am I d-dangerous?”

Margaret tsked, “Tara… you’re powerful. But, power in itself isn’t dangerous, you know that. Who you are, who you believe yourself to be has a lot to do with how you use that power.” Pausing self-consciously, she explained, “That’s why I didn’t tell you about the binding until you found out you weren’t… evil.”

Tara nodded, her tone relieved, “I understand.”

When Tara said nothing more, her aunt decided to bring the call to a close, “Darling, I think it’s time to go cuddle your girlfriend and let yourself rest, don’t you? What’s her name?”

The blonde smiled and looked at her girlfriend adoringly, “Willow.”

Willow smiled back and mouthed ‘I love you’, squeezing Tara’s hand.

“What a beautiful name.” Margaret cooed, “I’m sure with a name like that, she’s a stunner!” She giggled.

Tara’s eyes never left Willow’s, her smile still gracing her lips, “She is, you have no idea.” She cleared her throat, “I’m gonna go now but, I’ll call you back sometime soon. I’d love for you to visit… when you can.”

“Absolutely,” Her aunt said, “We’ll arrange something when you call back. I’m so glad we talked darling.”

The blonde sighed, “Me too. We’ll talk again soon Aunt Margaret.” She swallowed the lump in her throat quickly, “Love you.”

She could hear her aunt was holding back tears as well, “I love you too, Tara. Goodbye, darling.”

“Bye.” Tara hung up the phone and stared at it in silence.

Willow had tried to find information on the Kellison witches and had come up empty handed. She was more than a little curious but, she was getting pretty good at being patient when it came to Tara. Standing up from her spot on the floor, she turned her girlfriend’s chair towards herself and opened her arms, offering a hug.

Tara gratefully leaned her head against Willow’s stomach and wrapped her arms around her waist, “Luck of the Irish.” She mumbled to herself.

The redhead started kneading her girlfriend’s shoulders, “What was that baby?”

“Mmm, that feels good.” Tara purred, “Apparently I’m Irish on mom’s side. My great-great grandmother’s name was Biddy Kellison.” She lifted her head and looked at Willow with mirth in her eyes, “I guess that’s why I have a thing for green-eyed redheads.”

Willow giggled, “Never mind the Irish, I’m the lucky one.” She placed a kiss on top of Tara’s head, “You don’t have to tell me anything right now. We can do something else, go out and grab a bite to eat or something.”

Tara stood up and stretched her back, “I’d like that. I need to move I think.” Wrapping her arms around Willow’s shoulders, she brought her in for a kiss, “Thank you for being here, Will. I love you so much.”

“Of course I’m here,” The redhead smiled adoringly, “Where else would I be?”

***

She was countering his every blow. His lip was cut, one of his ribs obviously broken. He laughed manically as he rushed her again, “You like it rough, pet!”

Buffy swiped his legs from under him, straddled him and pressed Mr. Pointy against his chest, “And you like it dangerous,” She said as she leaned down to brush her lips against his.

Spike felt a shiver run up his spine until he could feel Buffy’s lips were… furry. Confused, he looked up when she meowed, “What the…”

A rough lick against his cheek woke him up abruptly, “Mrgh,” Spike’s hand reached out to move the cat when he felt a presence at the foot of his bed, “Bloody Hell!” He jumped out of bed, stark naked, only to cover himself uncharacteristically, “Lucile!?”

“Oh, my.” Lucile chuckled, “Hello there, sailor.”

If a vampire could blush... Spike quickly wrapped his bedsheet around his waist, “Knocking would’ve been polite, luv.” He grumbled.

Lucile walked towards the couch and sat down, the cat promptly joining her and curling up in her lap. “I did. You didn’t answer, so I came in to wake you.” She petted the feline a few times before saying incredulously, “Whiskers? You named her Whiskers?”

Spike scratched his head and shrugged, “Yeah, why?” He sat on the edge of the bed, “I hope there’s a good reason to wake me up. I was having a good dream.”

“Yes,” Lucile drawled, “I could tell.” She nodded towards the cat, “She doesn’t like when you call her Whiskers. She says her name is Sadie.”

The vampire shrugged, “Fine by me. Why are you here, other than bonding with Sadie?” He mocked the cat’s name. His eyebrows shot up his forehead when Sadie fixed him with a squinted death-glare.

“Heh,” Lucile chuckled, “She has spunk, don’t you sweet thing.”

“Lucile,” Spike warned, “Out with it.”

“I came across something quite gruesome.” Lucile explained, “Your lover, Harmony.”

“Harm?” The vampire groused, “Stupid bint, what did she do now?”

“She’s in the sewers, under City Hall.” Lucile continued, “Harmony’s nest was attacked, she was questioned and was the only one left behind. They, they cut off her limbs. She was hanging from a chain at the busiest intersection of the underground when I found her. Her wounds had been cauterized, assuring she wouldn’t bleed out.”

“What!?” Spike shouted. He wasn’t expecting that at all, “Who the hell did that to her?” He walked over to pick his pants up from the ground.

Lucile sighed and shook her head sadly, “I’m afraid it seems Damien Brice wanted to know all about the Slayer. They left her a message to pass around, about The Center’s launch.” She shifted in her seat when Sadie jumped down, “Call it marketing.”

Pulling his shirt around his shoulders, he walked briskly towards his weapons stash. “I’ve about had enough of this motherfucker.” Spike fished a stake from the pile, straightened up and buttoned his shirt. “Are you coming with me?”

Lucile cleared her throat, shifting uncomfortably on the couch, “I’d rather not, if that’s ok with you.”

Spike nodded understandingly, “I have to go,” He walked towards his underground passage, “You can stay if you want, Sadie seems to’ve taken a liking to you.”

“Be careful, Spike.” Lucile called after his retreating back.

***

The knock on the door woke him up abruptly, “Go away!” Damien shouted, “I’m sleeping.” He pulled the covers over his head petulantly.

The next knock was more hesitant, “Mr. Brice,” Lynd’s voice called through the door, “It’s concerning the Slayer’s second witch, sir.”

Damien grumbled and pushed the covers off of his face, but stayed in bed, “Come in, Lynd.”

Lynd walked in and closed the door before sauntering toward the bed carrying a folder, “I’m sorry to have disturbed your sleep,” Lynd purred seductively and sat on the edge of the bed, “I was given a transcript of a call from Willow Rosenberg’s dorm room. Very interesting read, if I do say so myself.”

“Oh?” He sat up, curious, “How long ago was this call made?”

Lynd smoothed Damien’s unruly bed head with an elegant hand, “Not even an hour ago. It was rushed to me when-“ The secretary’s hand was forcefully gripped, Damien twisting it painfully away from his head. Lynd winced and giggled through the pain, “When they heard what the conversation was about.”

The founder smirked, pleased, “And, this call reveals the second witch’s identity?” He pulled Lynd towards himself, still gripping their wrist he bit hard on the inside of a smooth arm and growled softly.

“Mmhmm,” The secretary purred, “She’s the one who actually made the call. Willow Rosenberg is her girlfriend.”

Damien let go of Lynd’s wrist and quickly grabbed the folder from their hand, “The witches are a couple!?” He opened the folder eagerly.

Lynd couldn’t help the small disappointed sound from leaving their throat, “Yes, it would seem so. Her name is Tara. You’ll see from the transcript that she’s a generational witch.”

The founder quickly got up and walked towards his kitchen area to make himself some tea, “Do we have a last name?”

“We have her mother’s maiden name.” The secretary’s eyes roamed her boss’ naked body appraisingly, “Like I said, it was quite the revealing call.”

When Damien was silent, busy fixing his tea, Lynd ventured, “We’re gathering quite a lot of information about the Slayer and her group. It would be easy to strike before she knows anything. We could get rid of them now.”

The founder chuckled, “I’m many things, Lynd. But, arrogant isn’t one of them.” He sauntered back into the room and slipped his robe on, “The Slayer managed to survive all this time while living on a Hellmouth. The government’s secret military project couldn’t even successfully launch here. What might look easy, most probably won’t be.” He sipped his tea, “Information is power, my dear. The more we know about them, the more we can apply pressure in the right places. Keep them out of our hair until we’re certain we can eliminate the threat.”

“I see.” Lynd said from the bed, “I should let you know that all our rooms are now booked for launch, sir. The word got around quickly once we hit that vampire nest where we got the initial information. The bar owner in town still seems reticent about letting his patrons know, though.”

“Hm,” He flipped the folder open and started reading, “He’s probably afraid of the Slayer.” Damien leaned into the transcript, his attention now fully on its contents, “You can go, Lynd.”

The secretary frowned slightly before walking towards the door, “Yes, Mr. Brice.”

***

They decided to sit and finish their drinks outside the coffee shop since it was still light out. There was a cool breeze in the air that soothed their nerves as they were talking. Tara’s head rested on Willow’s shoulder, her chai tea cupped in her hands.

“So, she wants to come visit?” Willow asked her girlfriend. She was very enthused that she might meet a member of Tara’s family who wasn’t a deplorable human being. “Do you know when?”

The blonde took a sip from her cup, “No, we’re going to talk more about it next time I call.” She looked up and smiled excitedly at her girlfriend, “I can’t wait for her to meet you.”

Willow’s smile could light up a room, “Me too!” She kissed the side of Tara’s head, “Anyone who loves my girl is A-OK in my book.”

“I’m glad I called,” Tara said, “I feel a lot better now. I’m not so scared anymore.”

“Good,” Her girlfriend said after taking the last gulp of her mocha, “I’m glad baby.” Willow shifted in her seat slightly and tentatively asked, “Do you want to let the gang know? A-about all this?”

Tara shrugged a shoulder, “I don’t know. I guess I should but, I’m worried they won’t understand why I’m not rushing to unbind myself.” She looked up at Willow, “Do you think they would? Understand, I mean.”

The redhead squeezed her girlfriend against her, “They might not. But, one thing I do know is, they’ll respect your decision.”

They fell into silence, both enjoying the relaxing moment until a familiar voice sounded from not too far away. “I’m telling you, she was all covered in leather with the sexy makeup. We thought she was going through an identity chrisis!” At Buffy’s laugh, Willow’s head shot up.

“What the…” She took in the sight of her best friend and Erynn, laughing together and walking down the street.

Tara looked up and smiled, “Hey, it’s Buffy and Erynn!” She was about to call out to them when she felt her girlfriend tensing beside her. Before she could say anything though, the redhead piped up.

Willow cleared her throat and waved, “Buffy!” She tried a smile. This is like Faith all over again…

Both Erynn and Buffy looked towards the bench outside the Espresso Pump and smiled when they saw the witches, “Hey!” Buffy said cheerfully before they made their way over, “We were just coming back from that little art gallery on Hayden street.”

Tara’s eyebrows were high on her forehead, but it’s Willow who spoke up, “Art gallery?” She asked incredulously, “Since when do you like art?”

The Slayer’s face took on an offended expression, “Hey, I can be cultured. I have class…” Erynn giggled good-naturedly but said nothing. “Ok, fine. She dragged me kicking and screaming.” Buffy rolled her eyes and knocked the Canadian’s arm with an elbow, “Don’t laugh, I think I actually got some of it.”

Tara chuckled, Erynn and Buffy seemed to be becoming fast friends. “I’ve been in that gallery. I like the work of a local artist that shows there. I think his name is Christian Soshi?”

Erynn nodded excitedly, “We saw his work,” She turned to Buffy, “Remember the paintings I said were surrealistic?”

The Slayer scrunched up her nose, “The one with the boat made of little kids?” At Erynn’s nod she added, “Yeah… that was definitely surreal.”

Erynn added, “Buffy’s more into Pop art and Futurism.” She took her hat off and ran her fingers through her hair before putting it back on, “I’m trying to get her to come to a showing of Warhol’s work, in L.A. next month.” What the hell is up with Willow? I thought we got along well… But, now she’s what? Mad? Annoyed… She shuffled uncomfortably, her mind racing.

Willow let out a derisive sound, “Good luck with that.” When Tara turned to her and, with one look, let her know she was out of line, the redhead added quickly, “I mean, I hope you have fun.”

Tara let out a deep sigh and took her girlfriend’s hand in hers, she squeezed it lovingly before starting to soothingly rub her thumb over her fingers. Oh, Willow…

“Well,” Buffy giggled, “I haven’t said yes, yet. What are you guys up to?”

“We were just relaxing, having some drinks after dinner.” Tara said, smiling, “It’s nice and cool out here.”

“Willow?” Erynn said tentatively, “Could I um… Could I talk with you for a minute?”

Willow was surprised by the Canadian’s bashful attitude, “Uh, yeah… sure.” She stood from the bench to follow Erynn.

“Huh,” Buffy puffed out, “What’s that about?”

The witch had a pretty good idea. She grinned slightly, “Not sure.” She patted the seat next to her, “Have a seat.”

Once they’d made their way around the side of the building, Willow’s patience ran out, “What is it?”

Erynn took her fedora off and scratched her head, “Ok, here’s the thing. I can’t help but notice that you have something against me.” At Willow’s defensive and dismissive expression, she added, “I’m an empath, Willow.”

The redhead crossed her arms over her chest, her face set in resolve, “Ok, so?”

The Canadian sighed, “I thought we could be friends.” She shrugged, “We seemed to get along at first. I just don’t know what happened.” She played with the brim of her hat nervously, “Did I do something to piss you off?”

Willow shuffled her feet awkwardly, “Well, no… not really.” Other than flirt with my girlfriend, give her scary dreams and flashbacks, getting chummy with my friends…

Erynn got that loud and clear this time around, it was plain jealousy. Her eyes widened in realization as she nodded knowingly, “I just want you to know that I’m not a threat. I don’t want to take anything or anyone away from you.”

The redhead felt herself getting mollified. She resisted, “Yeah, well… flirting with my girlfriend is pretty uncalled for, don’t you think?” Her arms fell to her sides and waved an accusing hand Erynn’s way, “Besides, you can just say whatever you think I wanna hear. You know, because you’re an empath.” The last word was said mockingly.

“Flirting?” Erynn was thrown for a loop, “What do you mean I flirted with Tara? When?”

Willow shot her a condemning look, “Friday, when you guys met. She told me about the skippy boots and, I’m not friggin’ blind Erynn. I see the way you look at her.” She said a little too loudly.

From their spot on the bench, both Buffy and Tara caught Willow’s last few words. The witch turned to Buffy, “How about I buy you a mocha?” She said quickly before standing up.

“Uh, yeah… ok.” The Slayer grudgingly accepted as they walked into the Espresso Pump in silence.

“Willow,” Erynn looked down dejectedly, “I don’t want to make you feel bad. I don’t want to interfere between you and Tara, at all.” She looked up hopefully, “I didn’t flirt… but, we might have different definitions of the word.”

“Ha!” The redhead barked, “Are you seriously going to pin this on being French?”

The empath took a deep breath, noticing Willow’s escalating anger, “I’m not making excuses. But, I won’t apologize for something I haven’t done, either.” She took another breath, “When I met Tara, do you know what caught my attention? You said she told you about the skippy boots comment. Did she tell you I said that I didn’t know who made her so happy that she skipped when she walked? Did she tell you that she said she was in love? I only said it suited her, because it does. She’s beautiful, I’m sure you’d agree with at least that much.”

“Well, duh.” Willow rolled her eyes, “She’s gorgeous.” She added petulantly.

Erynn smiled a short-lived smile before she cleared her throat, “Look, I won’t lie to you. I do have feelings for Tara.” She’d expected the redhead’s hackles to go up again, so she quickly added, “That’s my problem, though. Not yours. I would never make that your problem, I swear. She doesn’t know and I would never tell her.” Erynn made a small, vulnerable sound, “I’d be way too embarrassed.”

When she noticed Willow calming slightly, she continued, “I keep my abilities to myself because, like you, when people find out they tend to not trust me. And, I totally understand why, it makes complete sense. And, again, not gonna lie. I’ve been down the manipulative road before. But, I’ve changed and I’d just like to ask that you give me a chance to be a friend to both you and Tara.” She chuckled softly, “Buffy’s pretty cool, too.”

The redhead huffed grudgingly and twisted her fingers together, “Yeah, ok.” She added softly, “I’m sorry.”

Erynn shook her head vehemently, “No, don’t apologize. You haven’t done anything wrong, Willow. You were just feeling stuff.” She leaned her head so she could look into Willow’s eyes, “There’s nothing wrong with that, right?”

Willow grinned slightly and nodded, “Right… nothing wrong with feeling feelings.” She glared good-naturedly, “As long as you don’t act on them.”

The Canadian smiled, “Right.” She put her hat back on and let out a relieved sigh, “Besides, I only want her to stay happy. She’s so happy with you. Even when you’re not around, I can feel it. I think we both want the same thing for Tara… her happiness. I’d be one of the first people to defend your relationship to whoever would dare try to mess with it.” She grinned and chuckled, “In a way, we could be allies, you and I.”

“Allies,” Willow shook her head and giggled, “You’re kinda weird, you know that?”

Erynn laughed, “Yeah, I’ve been told many times.” She nodded towards the other side of the building, “Come on, they’ll start wondering what we’re doing back here.”

***

If the Slayer doesn’t know about this wanker, I’ll bloody well tell her. Spike had started hearing Harmony’s pained cries reverberating through the sewers a few minutes ago. The sound making him feel conflicting emotions that only served to fuel his anger.

When he heard he was getting closer, he tucked the stake in the back of his pants. Pausing at a cross-section to get a better listen, Spike turned left having deduced that direction would be where he’d find Harmony.

His suspicion turned out to be correct but, the sight that graced his eyes only served to subconsciously make him take an unneeded breath, “Harm…” The name came out a pained whisper from his lips.

She was a torso with a head. Dark, crusted bloody stumps wriggling pointlessly in an attempt at movement. Harmony was crying, a deep keening sound of desperation and pain muffled by the fact she was lying face-down. Her long, blond hair matted with dried blood.

Lucile had obviously tried to make her comfortable. The vampire was resting on an old, discarded mattress. Spike could see a blanket had been draped over his former lover only to have been pushed out of the way with her futile efforts.

Spike swallowed loudly before walking closer, “Harm,” He said softly, “Harm, It’s me, pet.”

“S-spike?” Harmony’s hitched breath pushed out. She wriggled in place, twisting her head to the side to look at him through blurry eyes and matted hair, “Spike. Help me, please help me!” Her voice a desperate cry echoing around them, “They-I can’t do anything!”

Spike shook his head dejectedly, his eyes betraying his every emotion, “Hush, pet.” He crouched down next to her and rolled her body over. Brushing the hair off of her face, he soothed, “I’m here now. Spike’s here.”

A loud sob wracked Harmony’s body, “Why? Why did they do this to me!?” She coughed loudly and spat to her left, a blob of mucus and blood hitting the wall. Harm grimaced self-consciously at how gross she must look.

Spike cupped her cheek in his palm, “They questioned you about the Slayer?” When she nodded, he asked softly, “What did you tell them?”

Harmony’s face contorted in an angry scowl, “Of course you’d ask about her!” She spat, “I’m a fucking blood covered stump and you’re still obsessed with Buffy!”

He sighed and pursed his lips, reeling in his anger, “What message did they want to send, Harm?”

“Aren’t you gonna fucking help me!?” Her body pushed up from the strength in her shoulders only to drop back down again.

Spike clenched his jaws tight. Anger, pity and a swirl of contradictory emotions making his resolve falter slightly. I have to know…

“Harm,” He sat down next to the mattress, “I’m going to help you. But, I just need to know what’s happened. Who did this?”

She seemed mollified by his words, “They came to my nest, this huge grey demon with red eyes and some vamps.” Harmony started shaking slightly, “That creep was singing while he pretty much tore all my minions to shreds. The vamps were just there to make sure no one escaped.”

Spike nodded for her to continue, “I was the last one. He would stop singing and ask what they knew about the Slayer before killing them and moving on to the next. They didn’t know much, really… but, when he got to me I figured I could get out of it, you know? I know Buffy, Willow and Xander from high school.” Harmony shook her head against the mattress, “This is what he did when I told him, instead of killing me. I told him everything I know!” She added angrily, not understanding her plight.

Spike sighed loudly, “And, then he trust you up with a message to spread around, about this new center place?”

“Yeah,” She pushed out dejectedly, “Someplace where people and demons can get their rocks off by torturing others.” Harmony chuckled derisively, “A clean, safe place to torture and maim. With an audience, souvenirs and video. I thought we were bad, but these guys are some sick fucks.”

Spike ran his hand over his hair to slick it back, closing his eyes tightly shut for a moment as he tried to resign himself, knowing what he had to do next. He laid next to Harmony’s battered body, onto his side, and rested a hand on her stomach, “How about a game of eye-spy, pet?” He smiled sadly as he looked into her pained eyes, “I spy, with my little eye something… that keeps bread fresh.”

Spike’s hand moved from her stomach stealthily to reach behind his back. Harmony’s brow creased in confusion, “What?” She lifted her head to look around, “There’s no bread-box he-“ Her words were cut short and ended in a soft swish as the stake, firmly gripped in Spike’s hand, pushed through her heart.

A cloud of dust billowed around him. His shaking hand gripped the stake so tightly, trickles of his blood ran down the wood. “You’re right, pet.” Spike whispered sadly, “It was a bread-box.”

***

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~M
CopperAndGold


Last edited by CopperAndGold on Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:11 pm 
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9. Gay Now
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Location: Beyond the orbit of Mars and accelerating...
Well, mercy of a sort.

Though i though Vampires could regenerate, given time?
Maybe he'd just had enough of her?

So, dark then.
And new, extra-dark big bad's.

It's a little worrying how this is all gonna interact with the Scoobs, and our girls.

But at least Willow and Erynn got to clear the air.

Looking forward to more.

R :flower

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:31 pm 
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Azirahael wrote:
Though i though Vampires could regenerate, given time?
Maybe he'd just had enough of her?


I looked this up while I was writing. I wanted to make sure I kept to the Buffyverse canon. According to The Buffyverse Wiki vampires can't regenerate lost limbs although they can have them surgically reattached. Since Harmony's limbs were lost... It was a mercy for Spike to have killed her. (According to my estimation of Spike's outlook on unlife)

Azirahael wrote:
So, dark then.
And new, extra-dark big bad's.

It's a little worrying how this is all gonna interact with the Scoobs, and our girls.


It is dark... And, I did intend this fic to be dark. To be totally honest though, as much as I had the story outlined in my head before I started writing - I find myself having to take mental-tidy breaks because it all gets a bit heavy.

Azirahael wrote:
But at least Willow and Erynn got to clear the air.


It was time, I think. Willow was starting to get on my mind's nerves a bit. :laugh

Thank you for your feedback! The next update will be coming soon. :)

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:55 pm 
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Okay, I decided to finally comment on your story. To be honest: I'm a bit conflicted about it. I love how you write Willow and Tara as a couple, enjoy the yummy sex scenes and I'm practically smitten with Erynn. What I don't like is the "Hostel"-storyline with creepy Damien and his minions and all the bloody gruesomeness. Don't get me wrong, it's well written , I simply can't stomach such stuff. So if you actually plan to let the big bad have one or a few of his torture-snuff-sessions aired for the thrill of the story - no matter if with a demon or human victim - I ask for a fair warning including the info if I can scip the critical parts and still make sense of the rest of the story or if I should just back out of it now before I start getting nightmares from it...


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:51 pm 
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Will's redemption wrote:
What I don't like is the "Hostel"-storyline with creepy Damien and his minions and all the bloody gruesomeness. Don't get me wrong, it's well written , I simply can't stomach such stuff. So if you actually plan to let the big bad have one or a few of his torture-snuff-sessions aired for the thrill of the story - no matter if with a demon or human victim - I ask for a fair warning including the info if I can scip the critical parts and still make sense of the rest of the story or if I should just back out of it now before I start getting nightmares from it...


I really appreciate your feedback. I knew that Spike's scene with Harmony would be difficult to read. It was very difficult to write. I'm really sorry that I forgot to add a warning in the author's notes about that scene, though. I fully intended to do so... and will rectify this immediately.

As far as the scene goes, I wrestled with it. In the end, I felt it was important that Spike both finds out exactly how twisted Damien is, as well as have a personal stake in dealing with him. Gratuitous violence and gore isn't what I'm going for at all... and I've asked to let me know if I ever seem to cross that line. So, I'm very happy and grateful that you spoke up. :love

There will be NO depictions of torture scenes other than the short one written already in a past post (I didn't forget the warning that time.). There will be NO snuff. Everything has been written with the intent of exposition - letting both the characters and the readers know who they're dealing with. Now that Spike can be an informational relay between the demon world and the Scoobies, the need for such depictions doesn't exist anymore.

The Center isn't open, yet. Hint: It might never do so.

Again, I feel really bad that I forgot the warning... I truly hope I haven't caused you to lose sleep.

Will's redemption wrote:
Okay, I decided to finally comment on your story. To be honest: I'm a bit conflicted about it. I love how you write Willow and Tara as a couple, enjoy the yummy sex scenes and I'm practically smitten with Erynn.


Thank you, I'm really happy the way I write the characters is having an impact. I don't think it would be a major spoiler for me to say not to worry about our girls, or the rest of the characters we're meant to like/love. We will not see them being mistreated - we've got some bad-ass witches on our side. :wink

I'm glad you decided to give your feedback. I'd love for you to keep doing so.

Sincerely, love and respect :love

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CopperAndGold


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:56 am 
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CnG,

I'm so sorry I'm late! Tapatalk didn't tell me you'd updated.. fickle, fickle app. <sigh>

So thrilled to have you back on this fantastic story! I really loved this update, I do mean ALL of this update.

I liked how Erynn took control of the situation with Willow and addressed it head on. That took guts, and speaks to a deeper maturity that we never really got to see in the characters of the show (except for Tara). I also liked how, once cornered, instead of letting her temper loose, Will actually listened and comprehended and chilled out. I'm so proud of her!

Also, you handled the Harmony stuff really well. It was dark, but also tender, which is a difficult combination to do well... and you did.

Looking forward to the next update!

Cheers
DW

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:58 am 
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CopperAndGold,

You use language in a way that's vivid and fresh.

There are a lot of examples, but these two show a poetic discription of the couple's closeness:

Quote:
The contact wasn’t one that stirred them to arousal. The passion behind it had a different taste, a different color and purpose. It was a golden laced embrace with a common threaded breath.


Quote:
Her lover’s eyes opened, letting go of more tears than Willow could manage. She just left her hand there, resting on her girlfriend’s cheek. Letting the salty drops connect them together.


I'll echo the other comments before me and say that you gave a believable explanation of Willow's relationship with Oz that resonated with me. It's very hard not to love someone who loves you so devotedly. Oz adored her and she welcomed that new interest and explored it then realized how much more her relationship to Tara was in comparison. Layers. Complexity. Growth. I love all of that! :applause :bounce :clap

You also brought similar nuance to Xander looking at his behavior with Anya and T's explanlation of her relationship with Anya and the concept of "difficult gifts".

Then Erynn - fresh interesting secondary character!

You have their voices and I'm loving this fic! :love :flower :love


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:50 pm 
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DarkWiccan wrote:
I liked how Erynn took control of the situation with Willow and addressed it head on. That took guts, and speaks to a deeper maturity that we never really got to see in the characters of the show (except for Tara). I also liked how, once cornered, instead of letting her temper loose, Will actually listened and comprehended and chilled out. I'm so proud of her!


I think it was needed. Erynn doesn't deal well with not understanding people's reactions towards her. Confronting someone is small potatoes for her compared to the confusion and pain she experiences from her own mental-gymnastics.

When I wrote Willow's reactions, I had to go back through her history. I remembered how, when someone comes to Willow in a vulnerable state (like a dog showing its belly) she's more receptive and compassionate. Erynn being vulnerable here I think kinda helped Will relate with how she might be feeling.

DarkWiccan wrote:
Also, you handled the Harmony stuff really well. It was dark, but also tender, which is a difficult combination to do well... and you did.


Thank you, I'm glad I was able to strike that balance. :love

Ariel wrote:
You use language in a way that's vivid and fresh.


Thank you so much! I'm so very flattered... :love

Yay for learning English!! :laugh

Ariel wrote:
I'll echo the other comments before me and say that you gave a believable explanation of Willow's relationship with Oz that resonated with me. It's very hard not to love someone who loves you so devotedly. Oz adored her and she welcomed that new interest and explored it then realized how much more her relationship to Tara was in comparison. Layers. Complexity. Growth. I love all of that!


This was me trying to fix something that irritated me about the show, for years. I'm so happy it was well received! :grin

Ariel wrote:
You also brought similar nuance to Xander looking at his behavior with Anya and T's explanlation of her relationship with Anya and the concept of "difficult gifts".

Then Erynn - fresh interesting secondary character!

You have their voices and I'm loving this fic!


Thank you so much for reading! :love

_________________
~M
CopperAndGold


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:40 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 11
Topics: 2
Location: Portland, Or
Hi- I haven't finished all of the updates but I wanted to say how much I am enjoying this story. I LOVE stories that examine Tara's past and its effects on her and you are doing this really well- I was a little hesitant to start reading it with an outside character seeming so prominent but I am really enjoying Erynn and can't wait to find out how she is tied to Tara's story (assuming here) . I like that you showed some of Tara's not-so-light side, nobody is one dimensional and her reactions to her hurt and anger are understandable and human. Anyway, this is well paced and well written and full of deliciousness. Can't wait to continue!

oh, and, Tabernak! I have a good friend from Toronto but she spent many years in Quebec- I completely picked up 'Tabernak' from her, but never actually knew where it came from :) I was tickled to read it here


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:24 am 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:42 am
Posts: 10
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Hey CnG,

Sorry for not getting back to you immediately after reading the update but it's been so busy around here!

Anywho...

I'm so happy that Erynn and Willow finally got to clear the air! Seeing them so distressed by all the unspoken emotions was a pain, and now it's a relief to know that Willow didn't back out of the situation on the spot. She definitely deserved to have an honest, open discussion about her concerns. Yay! :)

Reading the scene with Harmony was kind of like a guilty pleasure to me... It gave me the chills and I loved the softness of it. Thanks!

Keep up the amazing work!


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