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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:11 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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God, poor Tara! She has had enough trauma and is enough of an empath in her own right to be carrying Erynn's too. But she does need to talk to Willow and Willow's anger and frustration is warranted. Everything is spiralling. Great work as always!

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:18 pm 
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17. Mega-Witches
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Great writing, and also :cry as usual. Even aside from the material threats and supernatural goings-on (which are plenty threatening by themselves) it's just so gut-wrenching to follow along with Willow and Tara trying to deal with the sadness and pain they're experiencing. And it deconstructs the old 'hurt/comfort' cliche, because they're written too real to drop into convenient roles like that - even though Tara's got the obvious 'hurt' of having all those memories dumped on her, they're both hurt (I mean, how could Willow not be, when Tara is), and at the same time both struggling to heal some of that pain - not without some progress, but it's an uphill battle for both of them, and neither have the security of the story giving them easy options. As a reader I know things will work out in the end, but the writing is too convincing and vivid to just stay in that comfortable 'observing the story' mindset - there's a real sense of the place W/T are now, where it's difficult to escape the fear that all of what's going on is just too much.

Edited to add: on re-reading that, I really feel like I got sidetracked in trying to verbalise what's in my head after reading (that dream was just... that's proper horror material, where it's not actually showing a la slasher gore or that kind of thing, but putting a harrowing idea in your mind where you can't get away from it - and that's just as a reader, what it must be like for Tara experiencing a nightmare so awful, just... honestly, that was a 'pause in reading and go do something distracting until tightness in chest goes away' moment), so I wanted to pop back in to finish saying: this is really, really riveting, very powerful, and totally true to character. And also (because (shamefaced) I missed the post in the update thread and only checked it after seeing Will's redemption's reply) to offer my sympathies for your loss, and echo that I'm sure everyone here understands that there are times writing has to take a back seat to taking care of yourself.

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


Last edited by Artemis on Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:33 am 
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3. Flaming O

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
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I'm very sorry for your loss! Hopefully writing gives you a distraction from the sorrow. If you should feel a need for a timeout in the future, take as long as you need, we will wait for you.

As you warned the last chapter has an angsty feel. I'm really sorry that Erynn managed to rock Damien's smugness only for a short time - now that her pendant is once again useless her situation really seems hopeless... What a pity that Spike chooses to be an arsehole in this chapter. Pushing Xander's buttons and bullying Tara is vexing enough, but withholding vital information regarding the big bad, esp. that he has a powerful dark wizard at his disposal, could cost our beloved scoobies all dearly! I'm really worried what Doc's role is in Damien's plan. That Catherine doesn't seem to be ok with the plan to turn the world into some copy of a hell dimension to make Glory feel more at home gives me a sliver of hope, though. Maybe she will somehow interfere?

Tara's dream of an emotionally dead Willow preparing herself as a torture victim and going with Damien like a lamb to slaughter was very disturbing. Now I'm just praying they find a way to stop Damien and his minions and save all the abducted people without getting hurt physically or tainting their conscience with killing a human.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:24 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
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I also missed reading about your loss- I am so so sorry. Be well.

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 Post subject: Feedback Replies - Status of Update
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:37 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 6:07 pm
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First and foremost, I'd like to thank you all for your kind words. :love

shirrey wrote:
God, poor Tara! She has had enough trauma and is enough of an empath in her own right to be carrying Erynn's too. But she does need to talk to Willow and Willow's anger and frustration is warranted. Everything is spiralling. Great work as always!


It's all coming to a head. Pressure is mounting, we're approaching the denouement. Hang onto your hat! (Or, strap on your tuque - as we say here :laugh)

Artemis wrote:
Great writing, and also :cry as usual. Even aside from the material threats and supernatural goings-on (which are plenty threatening by themselves) it's just so gut-wrenching to follow along with Willow and Tara trying to deal with the sadness and pain they're experiencing. And it deconstructs the old 'hurt/comfort' cliche, because they're written too real to drop into convenient roles like that - even though Tara's got the obvious 'hurt' of having all those memories dumped on her, they're both hurt (I mean, how could Willow not be, when Tara is), and at the same time both struggling to heal some of that pain - not without some progress, but it's an uphill battle for both of them, and neither have the security of the story giving them easy options. As a reader I know things will work out in the end, but the writing is too convincing and vivid to just stay in that comfortable 'observing the story' mindset - there's a real sense of the place W/T are now, where it's difficult to escape the fear that all of what's going on is just too much.


If you feel more than like a simple voyeur, watching these two women go through a really difficult experience, then I feel I've done what I'd set out to do. I don't want to go as far as to say there's a 'moral' to this story. It's not so patronizing an idea... What I do want, though, is for the reader to feel like they can relate with most sides portrayed. (With some exceptions, of course.) Thus, making any possible outcome understandable and worthy of, dare I say... compassion.

There's good reason for my ratcheting up Tara's turmoil and pressures she faces. Being she was repressed in a major way for most of her life, to be able to break through that control takes more than a passing worry, I would think. That's where we're heading... Willow has control issues that we all know too well. What if I were to tell you, so does Tara? In a completely different way... Anyway, I'll leave that there. :wink

Artemis wrote:
that dream was just... that's proper horror material, where it's not actually showing a la slasher gore or that kind of thing, but putting a harrowing idea in your mind where you can't get away from it


The blatant depictions of Damien's behavior, few as they were, along with the memory flashbacks I think have a lot to do with the success of this short dream sequence in setting the tone. After all we've read about Damien, directly or not, I could have just typed: Willow, apathetic, collar. It would've still sent shivers down my spine. I quickly realized I didn't need to say much... and I'm grateful for that, I must say.

Artemis wrote:
this is really, really riveting, very powerful, and totally true to character.


I am sooooooo thrilled!! :grin :love

Will's redemption wrote:
As you warned the last chapter has an angsty feel. I'm really sorry that Erynn managed to rock Damien's smugness only for a short time - now that her pendant is once again useless her situation really seems hopeless...


All is not what it seems. :wink

Will's redemption wrote:
What a pity that Spike chooses to be an arsehole in this chapter. Pushing Xander's buttons and bullying Tara is vexing enough, but withholding vital information regarding the big bad, esp. that he has a powerful dark wizard at his disposal, could cost our beloved scoobies all dearly!


Although he's a romantic - whether it be William or Spike, in their own ways - he's still a blood sucking fiend. Everything he does, even when he loves, it's in a selfish way. He's self-serving and opportunistic. Honorable to a point, and absolutely passionate about his unlife. Xander and him don't get along, have never really gotten along. Xander feels protective of Buffy and, Spike thinks Xander is pitiful and pathetic. As for Spike not saying anything about Doc... well, self-preservation plays a part. As well as trying to look good to Buffy...

Oh, and for Spike - the way he talked with Tara was out of a twisted sense of humor more than wanting to bully her. He doesn't really get it; like when someone's being made fun of for being squeamish at sharing a straw. He really doesn't get why Damien just can't be killed, either...

Will's redemption wrote:
I'm really worried what Doc's role is in Damien's plan. That Catherine doesn't seem to be ok with the plan to turn the world into some copy of a hell dimension to make Glory feel more at home gives me a sliver of hope, though. Maybe she will somehow interfere?


Doc is meant to be the hand behind the curtain, so to speak. The malevolent force you can't help but feel weighing you down. His role is coming up soon, hang onto your hats folks!

Will's redemption wrote:
Tara's dream of an emotionally dead Willow preparing herself as a torture victim and going with Damien like a lamb to slaughter was very disturbing. Now I'm just praying they find a way to stop Damien and his minions and save all the abducted people without getting hurt physically or tainting their conscience with killing a human.


You and me both... I'm still not decided on an ending! I have a few in mind...

Thank you all, for your wonderful thoughts and feedback! :love

Update Status


The next update is half-way written. Once done, there will be a day or two of revision time. So, I would say I can have it posted in a week or so!

Thank you for taking this journey with me! I really appreciate your support throughout this, my first endeavor!! :love

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~M
CopperAndGold


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:54 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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Come back!!!! (and hope everything is ok)

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:47 am 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:29 am
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Location: Bs. As. - Argentina
I'm really sorry for your loss.


Enviado desde mi SM-G532M mediante Tapatalk


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 Post subject: When Erynn found herself - Post 13 (Update)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:47 am 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 6:07 pm
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Location: Canada
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 getting feedback!
Summary – Willow and Tara make a new friend. She's... interesting.

Notes – We start immediately where we left off in the previous post. There are no disclaimers needed other than the fact Tara is still somewhat fragile.
It has been made clear to me that I have little control over my life right now. So, I’ll stop promising updates for certain timeframes so I don’t engender disappointment. I’d only ask that you trust the updates will come!




Would she ever get used to it? It was somewhat disconcerting, thinking in one language and speaking another. Well, after some thought she realized her internal ramblings were in deed formed in French. She was willing French to pass her lips, and yet…

“Aren’t you a little old for college life?” The cabby laughed, bringing Loreli out of her internal analysis, “No offence, ma’am.”

The witch grinned, he was a nice enough young man, “My niece lives there.” Peering at the darkened streets of Sunnydale, she felt an uneasy sensation tickle the back of her neck. “What do you think of this town?”

He made a derisive sound, “I don’t live here.” His eyes flickered towards the rearview mirror, catching a quick reassuring glimpse of the older woman seated in the back, “I don’t usually do trips that bring me here. If you don’t mind me saying, refusing your fare would’ve kept me up at night.”

“I see,” The witch said, clasping her hands in her lap, “I appreciate your concern.” Magic Box… She read off a building’s sign. That’s the shop Erynn went to.

“Your niece,” He took a sip of his lukewarm coffee, “Why did she come to Sunnydale to study? It’s not just the recruitment flyers, I’m sure.”

Loreli’s brow furrowed worriedly, “I wish I knew.”

They turned into the campus parking lot. The witch paid her trip with a generous tip, and thanked the driver once again for venturing to Sunnydale on her account. “Be safe,” She said, closing the car door as he dropped her bag onto the pavement. Her right hand extended her index and middle fingers, at waist height, as he turned to walk back towards the driver’s door.

She made a gesture in the air - a symbol was drawn transparently at her side and with the flick of her wrist – sent a misty cloud over the cab, there only for the time it would take to blink an eye. One would’ve easily mistaken it for quickly dissipating fog.

Satisfied her protection spell had taken hold, the witch made her way toward Erynn’s dorm building, her bag firmly clasped in her hand.

When Erynn hadn’t called as planned, after talking with Tara, Loreli knew something was wrong. She’d had her suspicions that what had happened during the cleansing spell was what her mother had warned her about, all those years ago. She’d explained to a then young Loreli that touching the liquid during a cleansing was dangerous. The witch had made sure the instructions she’d sent her niece had included that warning.

She’d remembered though, during their last phone call, that the warning had included a short explanation. That, flashbacks of the wearer’s life would affect whoever came in contact with the stuff. If she was right and, Tara was having Erynn’s horrid memories…

Well, her niece hadn’t called. Phone call after phone call, she just hadn’t been able to get in touch. Loreli was deeply worried about Erynn’s reaction to her planned discussion with her friend. Not to mention the fact that, if one were to look at her niece’s past with a clinical and objective eye, she was a criminal as far as the law saw it.

Would this Tara turn her in? Could she?

Hence her last minute trip to Sunnydale, in the wee hours of the morning. She hated flying with a passion. Oh, and not to mention the cab fare from LAX was abhorrently inflated, in her opinion.

The stairs gave her knees a little grief, but she eventually made it to the room number scribbled on the piece of paper in her hand. Knocking on the door, she glanced around at the empty hallways… feeling on edge. “Erynn?”

No answer.

After a moment’s consideration, she sighed and the door clicked unlocked. Using magic in this way always came with a tug at her conscience. Loreli had a feeling being in Sunnydale would make her want to smother it in bubble-wrap.

She entered her niece’s darkened room and flicked the main light to life. She could feel Erynn in the small space. The young woman filled every corner, her scent permeated the air. Loreli’s heart thudded once with longing, she missed her niece so very much.

A thick, dark suede map affixed to the wall above the bed caught her attention. It was strangely beautiful in its scientific depiction of the universe. Brightly colored lines drawing shapes in the stars. Names written, long since assigned to the depicted symbols. Giving them power to personify Gods of old.

She wasn’t surprised to see it there, once the sensation she got from it had settled in her chest. Meaning found within cold, dark and unforgiving space. Strength and power given to representations of Gods within. Gods, without.

Loreli took comfort in seeing the map there. She continued her perusal for clues as to where Erynn might be. The witch giggled suddenly in an involuntary response. She couldn’t contain it when her eyes had fallen on a black, pin-striped New Yorker fedora sitting on the dresser. Loreli had always felt the hats made her niece look adorably boyish.

Her thoughts turning swiftly back to the reason she was standing there, she saddened somewhat, “Where are you, Butterfly?” The witch whispered to herself. Her brow furrowed as soon as the words passed her lips. She frowned in distaste. That didn’t sound right at all… This language spell was definitely going to take some getting used to.

Anyone accustomed to detective stories, crime fighting and clue gathering tales, would think the witch had no idea what she was doing. She didn’t go rifling through drawers, digging in the trash or scuffing the surface of a notepad with a pencil hoping to reveal the last written message.

Instead, she found Erynn’s stash of sketches. Her niece had a system for deciding which of her sketches would make it through to development, to then finally end up in her portfolio. It had never been an easy decision for the young woman. There, neatly stacked next to the desk in a plastic tub, sat three stacks of sketches.

She pointed at each stack in turn, “Yes, Maybe and Doodles.” Again, she had to pause. An amused grin twisted her lips, “Doodles… doooooodles.” She giggled, the word sounding and feeling odd to her.

Loreli shook her head in self-reproach, she was getting distracted. Reaching down, she picked up the doodle stack and placed it on the bed. Next was music – the witch quickly found the stereo and, without looking at what was queued, pressed play.

In the years she had lived with her niece, she’d come to understand just how strongly Erynn’s subconscious seemed to be connected with the human race’s ‘group’ or ‘collective’ consciousness. This vertiginous and amorphous soup that existed beyond our reach to perceive with the five physical senses. The planet being, to her belief, a living organism – the life forces of its sentient creatures graced with consciousness, connected them to a source rife with knowing.

She’d brought it up to her niece a few times. Pointing out some of Erynn’s creations in moments where things had come to pass that the girl had seemed to subconsciously depict in her drawings. Her niece had always taken this with a bolder-sized grain of salt, dismissing them as coincidences.

Loreli didn’t believe in coincidences.

Taking Erynn’s fedora with her to the bed, she sat in the middle and let the music fill the space. To say the witch had differing musical tastes to those of her niece was an understatement. She did recognize this artist though, having had to suffer through hours on end blasting through her house.

She grinned happily, knowing she’d finally be able to actually understand what the singer was on about. Tori Amos tickled her ivories as Loreli started fanning out the doodles in front of herself.

Go go go go now
Out of the nest
It's time
Go go go now
Circus girl without a safety net
Here here now
Don't cry
You raised your hand for the assignment
Tuck those ribbons under your helmet
Be a good soldier
First my left foot
Then my right behind the other
Pantyhose
Running in the cold


Nothing really stood out as she pushed the sheets of paper around. Nonsensical swirls, vines here and there. Little symbols and lines, mindless scribbles one would make while lost in thought. There was a definite tingle on the nape of her neck though, the melody fanning an ominous feeling to life within her.

Mother the car is here
Somebody leave the light on
Green limousine for the redhead
Dancing, dancing girl
And when I dance for him
Somebody leave the light on just in case
I like the dancing
I can remember where I come from


She closed her eyes and let the tingling sensation spread throughout her body. Loreli tried to focus on the melody and the lyrics separately. Their contradictory dance, innocent excitement mixed with dread and fear. The intoxicating clash making her physical body react by quickening her heart.

I walked into your dream
And now I've forgotten how to dream my own dream
You are the clever one aren't you
Brides in veils for you
We told you all of our secrets
All but one
And don't you even try
The phone has been disconnected
Dripping with blood
And with time
And with your advice
Poison me against the moon


The witch suddenly opened her eyes, startled. The doodles were the same, the patterns hadn’t changed. She squinted at them impatiently, the sense that she was missing something niggling at her. A chill ran through her which she quickly shook off.

Mother the car is here
Somebody leave the light on
Black Chariot for the redhead
Dancing, dancing girl


He’s gonna change my name
Maybe you’ll leave the light on just in case
I like the dancing
I can remember where I come from


Nothing came to the witch other than an increasing pressure around her heart. Loreli took a few calming breaths. Don’t have a heart attack you old bat. She thought mirthlessly as her eyes fell back to the drawings. A thought hit her then…

I escape into your escape
Into our very favorite fearscape
It's across the sky
And across my heart
And I cross my legs
Oh my God


When she was a young girl, her favorite pastime had been staring at optical illusions. Images with no meaning or form until you looked at them with an un-focused eye. Long since having accepted to always follow her intuition, she let her eyes relax as she kept them on the doodles.

First my left foot
Then my right behind the other
Breadcrumbs lost under the snow


Some lines were darker by imperceptibly differing shades of grey. Some, more discernable ones curved and shot across the page with renewed purpose. Loreli felt compelled to move the pages around, flipping some upside down and others sidewise. As she did so, lines from one page connected with another. Then, another…

Mother

Mother the car is here
Maybe, maybe you’ll leave the light on
For the, for the, for the dancing girl
He’s gonna change my name
Maybe you’ll leave the light just in case
I like the dancing
I can remember where I come… come… from


Her chest gave a mighty thud and she clapped a hand against it. Loreli shakenly covered her wildly beating heart as she pieced together an image that sent terror raging through her.

Mother, mother… mother


The empathic witch grabbed the fedora. She sprung from the bed with determination, her bag and music forgotten. The door closed quickly, leaving the light on behind her.

On the bed lay an eerie collage. Unremarkable light-grey lines joining across overlapping pages. Straight angled edges cutting through and across a face Loreli had seen only once before.

Damien’s self-satisfied expression stared at the ceiling, laying on the bed of who had always been, and would always be, his favorite.

***

There was nothing. Blissful oblivion, consciousness lost to them. Then…

A loud shrieking wail whooped from under the bed, violently wrenching the witches awake. Willow gasped loudly as her arm shot across her girlfriend’s chest, instinctually positioning herself between Tara and the side of the bed where the danger seemed to be.

“Will?” Tara croaked and cleared her throat from the vestiges of her short-lived sleep, with her heart hammering her ribs she clasped the redhead’s shoulder with shaky fingers, “W-what’s that!?”

The wailing siren notched up in volume with every second repetition. Willow brushed the hair from her forehead agitatedly and tried to dispel the sense of fright coursing through her hazy brain, “I-I…” Blinking furiously, trying to focus… she knew that sound. She’d programmed that siren to sound when… “What?! How!?” She exclaimed suddenly, scrambling out of the bed onto the floor. “No, no...”

The blonde covered her ears, the sound high-pitched and wood-pecker-like against her tired eardrums, “What the heck is that!?” Her last shouted word sounding loud as the siren was cut off. She let her hands fall back to the bedspread and watched in dismay and confusion. The sight of her lover’s frantic movements, scrambling on all fours and reaching under the bed, having set her on edge.

After hastily pulling her laptop from under the bed and shutting off the alarm, Willow’s fingers were hard at work typing away. “My cover’s about to get blown,” She muttered and hunched over the computer, a deep crease of worry marring her features, “How did you…” The redhead mumbled to herself, her attention now firmly on the screen.

Much of what her girlfriend seemed intent on looked like gibberish to Tara but, she knew enough to know that having your ‘cover blown’ was a bad thing. Now, if only she could figure out what was going on. No use talking to her when she’s in ‘The Zone’. She reasoned, having learned that when Willow was in hacker mode the world around her simply fell away. The blonde screwed up her patience, knowing that she’d be clued in soon enough. Trying to calm her erratic heartbeat and not to make up nightmarish scenarios in her head while she waited.

“Come on, come on,” Willow tapped her fingers impatiently against the laptop’s casing, “Stupid dorm Wi-Fi!” She groused loudly and looked up at her girlfriend who sat, worried expression plainly written across her face, silent and shaken. “I’m on it, I’ll fix this.” She nodded reassuringly and looked back at the screen, her fingers quickly starting up again, “They just got through my second to last safeguard; I should have time.”

Tara’s mouth fell open, a thousand questions perched on her lips. She took a breath and closed it again, lips pressed together tightly in annoyance. Fix what? Just tell me what’s going on!

“Ha!” The redhead exclaimed triumphantly, “Let’s see you tracing me now… uh,” She blinked, her hands pulled away from the keyboard as if it had shocked her. A browser window had opened up from the taskbar, the page shifting between shades of light-grey to black. From her vantage point on the bed, Tara could barely make out a link that said ‘ENTER’. A chat window had popped up in the lower right corner of the browser, the words ‘That’s cute. I like a challenge.’ written in the simple box next to the moniker ‘T0xic Ag3nt’.

The blonde could clearly see the color drain from Willow’s face, her shock obvious. “What is it?” She scrambled onto the floor to sit next to her girlfriend and looked at the screen, “Challenge?” Tara said, her voice betraying the utter confusion that fogged her mind.

Willow gulped down her nerves, she tried to close the browser window to no avail, “Uh, I think…” She trailed off, her brain warning her as her thoughts coalesced into realization. The turned my java back on… The hacker lifted a finger to her mouth, gesturing to stay quiet which got a quick nod of acquiescence and wide, frightened blue eyes in return. Don’t worry baby… I got this. She smiled, her eyes softening as tenderness flooded her system. Tara gulped but seemed to calm a bit.

Glancing at the top of her screen to make sure the piece of tape she’d affixed over the built-in camera when she’d first bought this rig was still in place, Willow quickly navigated her operating system to mute the microphone. “I was picked up,” She nonetheless whispered and waved at the screen. At her girlfriend’s blank look, she went on, “That building you found had paperwork for all their utilities. Like, electricity and stuff under the same business name: ‘Darker Shades Inc.’ But I couldn’t find their ISP. The company they get their internet service from?”

“Uh-huh,” Tara nodded that she understood that much, “Maybe they just don’t, you know…” She shrugged, “Have internet access?” It seemed logical to her, really.

The hacker shook her head, her tone factual as a grim look fell across her face. She pointed at the website, “I found their portal on the dark web, which means they have access.” On the screen, another message popped up in the chat window: ‘T0xic Ag3nt: You’re crafty. I’ll give you that. India, Australia, Japan… that’s quite the hopper. Won’t be enough, though.

Willow couldn’t help the smug grin from curling her lips, “They’re trying to find me… I’m ghosting and hopping I.P.s.” She chuckled, missing the look of angry bafflement crossing Tara’s face.

“What?” The blonde waved an annoyed hand, her voice falling to a lower register, “Are you guys playing a game or something?” She’d seen this Willow before. The one who loved a mental challenge. The competitive intellectual edge her girlfriend exuded usually endeared her to Tara. It often turned her on how intelligent her lover was but, at this moment it just irritated her to no end, “Why don’t you just yank the cord, Will!?” The fact there was no cord to speak of didn’t matter to her in the least. She was pretty sure her message got across, anyway.

Willow twisted her fingers uncomfortably under the angry glare, “Well, see… I might have hacked their servers? A-and I might have dropped a little uh…” She winced and pointed at the screen, pulling up a window with graphs, running text and characters. Several status bars representing different percentages littered the screen, “This is SneakyPup. I put it together here and there over the last couple years. I dropped it on their servers earlier. Now it’s downloading their data, mapping their internal services network and will leave a hidden back door for me to access whenever I want, all ninja-like!” Her eyebrows rose expectantly, eyes wide in supplication before dejectedly turning back toward her screen when Tara only sighed and rubbed her forehead.

Willow ran her fingers through her hair nervously, “If I disconnect now, it’ll stop prematurely and leave loose ends for them to find. Kinda like breadcrumbs.” Willow pointed at the chat box, “Obviously they know I was snooping around their web portal... but, since my puppy here is still going strong…” She trailed off.

Tara grumbled her understanding, “They don’t know it’s on their servers.” Just trust her… she knows what she’s doing. She couldn’t help but feel scared and helpless. She barely understood what Willow was doing. Her ignorance mixed with worry and fear making rationality difficult for her to maintain. Every one of her nerves were frayed and, anger was so easy to succumb to, “So, you’re keeping him busy? To distract him?” The blonde asked tiredly.

“Well, yes and, also… I don’t want them to find me.” Willow’s brow was set in concentration, peering at a map being drawn slowly in a small window, “So far they don’t know who or where I am.”

Another message pushed the previous ones up by a line, ‘T0xic Ag3nt: Here piggy, piggy. I know you’re out there. You’re in big trouble.

Even though the hacker knew this was just a taunt to get her to respond, her heart still skipped a beat, “I’m not responding so they shouldn’t be able to…” A window maximized from its previous place, minimized on the taskbar. A startled blue ghost with, on its forehead, a yellow sign sporting an exclamation mark was now clearly visible in the center of the screen, “Oh… ok, not good. My ghost is down...” Willow’s fingers moved in a blur, “Crap, I need to…”

Tara stared at the screen, her fear rising along with that of her girlfriend’s. Another message popped up and it made her gasp, ’T0xic Ag3nt: UC Sunnydale.’ “Willow? What do we do!?”

“Shit,” The redhead’s fingers shook over the keys, making typing irritatingly difficult. She vigorously shook her hands in the air ahead of herself a few times and let out a quick, deep breath, “We yank the cord. Gently.” Squaring her shoulders, Willow went to work at shutting off each of her virus’ services cleanly, one by one. “This College has over a thousand I.P’s, all secured behind firewalls and a little extra protection by yours truly.” Two more services were left, “I should have time to pull out squeaky clean…” Her tongue pressed against her teeth in concentration.

Squeaky clean, my ass! They know we’re here. Tara stood up abruptly and marched toward the closet, “We’re not staying here.” She wrenched the door open and reached up to the top shelf, pulling down two duffel bags and throwing them roughly onto the bed.

Glancing above the screen at her girlfriend with puzzled eyes, she watched uneasily as Tara pulled clothes from the dresser seemingly at random. Willow finally shut off her SneakyPup virus completely, making sure her back door was in place. She yanked the battery out with a frown when the power button didn’t respond, effectively shutting down the laptop. “Oh, ok. Where-where do you wanna go?” She kept her tone controlled and soft, petrified of this version of Tara and her reactions. What happened? She’s pissed… at me? What did I do? I just got tons of poop on the bad guys…

Before her thoughts could inevitably spiral into resentment-filled, indignant pique, Willow took a deep breath. This was not the time. Her eyes fell back to her girlfriend, a mist prickling her tired eyes with worry.

Although she agreed it would be safer to be elsewhere, Willow couldn’t help but be concerned about Tara’s uncharacteristically temperamental behavior, unsure as she was of its cause. “We could go to my parents’ I guess…” She cringed slightly at the prospect, “My server’s in their attic. All this stuff was downloaded there.”

“Fine,” The blonde said tersely, throwing their toiletries into one of the bags, “Are they in town?” She asked, her sharp movements making her voice jagged as she spoke. Can’t do shit, but you sure know how to run away, don’t you Tara? She thought self-deprecatingly.

The redhead was now visibly shaken, the anger emanating from her lover making the hair at the nape of her neck stand on end, “I’m not sure,” She said tentatively, shifting onto her knees before standing up. Her fingers wrung together nervously, “Baby? Can… can you stop for a second?” She took a step forward, adding beseechingly, “Please?”

They know. They’re coming… Fear-filled anxiety roared through her veins, anger peaking sharply at the thought of who was to blame until fear, again, cycled to the fore making Tara feel cornered. “We h-have to go.” Tara’s voice broke mid-sentence, shoving their hairbrushes in the quickly filling bags, “It’s not safe.” Go now, if he knows… Her jaw clenched tightly, screwing her eyes shut against horrible scenarios involving Willow being hurt. A blurred image of Damien’s face juxtaposed over that of her own father flashed across her mind in a grotesque depiction of her demons personified. Willow bloodied and beaten… because of her. Because Willow loved her. “He knows ab-about us. It’s n-not s-safe…” Not my Will… History bled with the present, her world tunneling into the past yet still in the now of it all. The tremor in her muscles amplified. Not Willow…

Willow cautiously put her hand on her love’s shoulder, her heart twisting at the resulting jerk of Tara’s body but, she left her hand there hoping to soothe. Confused tears pricked the redhead’s eyes, “Tara?” Reaching ever so slowly, she covered the blonde’s shaking hand that was now twisting the bag, with her own, “Stay with me sweetie, breathe…”

Gently yet firmly, Willow turned her girlfriend toward herself. Pushing tangled locks away from large and scared blue eyes before cupping Tara’s mumbling jaw with her hands, “Hey… Tare-bear. Look at me, baby.” She cooed softly, “We’re leaving right away, I swear.” Tara looked up and the sense of relief Willow felt misted her eyes and squeezed at her heart, “Hey.” She smiled adoringly.

The depth of those green, devoted eyes tore the blonde’s realities apart leaving her only with what was. Willow was here with her. She was safe for now. Her father had no place here… and, they were leaving. Her hand grasped at her lover’s night-shirt, “We are?” She asked, her voice hopeful and frightened.

Willow nodded sadly, “We are.” She kissed Tara’s forehead and took her into a warm embrace, “But, we’re going to need underwear.” She quirked an amused eyebrow and nodded towards the bags, having noticed that the lack of thought-out packing had resulted in missing key elements. Willow pressed her nose into her lover’s hair and inhaled deeply, taking comfort in Tara’s scent.

The blonde’s shoulders hitched once, pushing out a low chuckle, “I g-guess I wasn’t thinking, huh?”

“Hmm, maybe thinking too much?” The redhead said softly, pulling back and pressing a soft kiss against Tara’s lips, “Wanna start over?” She asked tenderly, “Together?”

The blonde’s eyes smiled, not for the first time astounded at how easily the love she felt for and from this amazing woman, could eclipse everything else that she might go through, “Together.” She nodded thankfully, her smile now making it to her lips.

***

Clasping his hands behind his back, Doc looked around the magic lab with disinterest. He pursed his lips, displeased at having had to wait for over twenty minutes so far. There was a thrill in the air, the few employees who were present at this time of day were discussing what seemed to be matters of great importance. Sighing, he clucked his tongue. He couldn’t bring himself to care, really. There was only one reason he’d come here.

“I apologize for the wait,” Trem said tiredly as he shuffled his way towards the newest employee, “There’s been a development in I.T. Those guys never sleep.” He motioned with his head toward a desk and chairs, making his way there. “They woke three departments up at three-thirty in the morning.” Chuckling slightly, he added, “If I were superstitious, I’d take it as an omen… all those threes.”

Doc placed his briefcase next to his chair before sitting down, “A threat?” He pulled his glasses up his nose, “I thought, with the Slayer in the hospital, we had the perfect opportunity to put things in motion.”

The head of the magical department reached for a cup sitting on the desk and peered into it hopefully. Cringing in distaste at what he found there, he put it back down sighing dejectedly. “Someone at UC Sunnydale was snooping around our internet showroom.” When Doc raised his brow in question, Trem added, “Research seems to think it’s a Willow Rosenberg, one of the Slayer’s pals. She’s a witch, so here we are.”

The grin of pure delight pulling at Doc’s lips didn’t go unnoticed. How perfectly things fall into place. “About that. I might be able to help but, before I do… I’m sure you want to know how the shifter prototype was coming along.” He said expectantly.

“Of course,” The tall demon replied, “We can’t lose track of projects in the works. The founder has been looking forward to this product for a while, now.” Trem’s head turned slowly, his eyes following the movement of a colleague walking by, holding a bottle of purple liquid. In a bust of movement, his hand shot out and plucked the bottle from the startled employee’s hand. “He seems even more fired up about it now, than ever.”

He took a few gulps of the liquid and sighed with satisfaction. His duped colleague walked away in a huff seemingly used to this kind of behavior from his boss. “So, tell me. How is it coming along?”

“I’ve started testing the prototype last night. I’m expecting results shortly.” Doc crossed his legs before continuing, “My subject was given it with food, just a grain sized little thing. So far, she seems perfectly… well, herself.” He snickered.

“Hmm,” Trem cocked his head and grumbled, “How quickly can you get results? Like I said,” He shifted in his chair, “The founder has been uh, excitable, lately.”

“It hasn’t even been twenty-four hours, yet.” Doc pursed his lips and pulled his glasses up quickly, “She’s also a witch. The spell will take longer to weave in, she’s the perfect subject I assure you.” He finished indignantly.

The tall demon squinted, “And, the spell is imprinted with you?”

The dark mage shrugged, “Yes.” He answered succinctly, “Tailor made, just for her. We have…” Doc grinned wistfully, “History.” Chuckling to himself, he leaned towards his companion, “Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll be kept informed.” He said condescendingly.

Trem frowned, confused by the mage’s last statement, “I’m sure I will be…” He replied tentatively.

“Now,” Doc sat back after tapping Trem’s knee with an air of superiority that took the robed demon off guard, “I need to meet with the founder about this threat.”

The demon scoffed loudly, surprised by Doc’s arrogance, “No one meets the founder…” He frowned suddenly, looking down at his knee. His leg was starting to twitch annoyingly, “Even I’ve only talked with him over the phone.” Trem said distractedly as he rubbed a hand into the muscles of his leg until even his hand was shaking.

The dark mage raised his chin, indicating the demon’s leg, “The itch, it’s much deeper.” Doc said dispassionately, “I promise, he’ll want to meet with me.”

Trem scrambled at his robe, hiking it up his leg in a desperate attempt to get at his skin, “What,” His fingers, claws extended, started scratching urgently at the knee Doc had touched fleetingly, “I can’t, he doesn’t like people recognizing him.” Blood, thick and blueish in color, started cresting the wounds Trem was gouging into his own flesh. “What did you do!?” Now, both hands digging madly into his skin, his voice panicked.

Doc crossed his legs at the knee, smiling at the few startled pairs of eyes riveted on the scene he’d caused, “I told you last we met, I don’t appreciate being bound.” Looking back at Trem and his mangled knee, he stared coldly, “I thought I’d made myself clear. It’s unpleasant.”

“Make it stop!” The more Trem tried to stop himself from digging, the less control he seemed to have over his movements. He shrieked in pain when he hit bone, still incapable of stopping, “I’m sorry! We-I’ll change the elevator’s security spell!”

“Very well.” Doc huffed, “Now, the founder?” He scowled in feigned disgust, “Why are you shredding yourself to ribbons?” Looking at the gory mess the robed demon had made, he tutted in distaste.

The insufferable itch in his leg stopped and, with the compulsion to scratch gone, Trem’s body started to shake violently from the pain. “I…” He grunted and raised a blood-covered hand towards his heretofore dumbstruck employees, indicating they stay back, “I need the phone.”

***

“Would you hurry up!?” Anya’s voice assaulted Xander’s sleepy ears, high-pitched and panicked, “They’re gonna get the money!” She waved at the dash and slapped his upper arm hard, a loud smack sounding from the sharp impact.

“Ow!” The carpenter yelled, eyes wide in surprise and condemnation. He shot his girlfriend an angry glare, “Don’t hit me!!”

“Ugh,” The shop keeper shifted agitatedly in her seat, anxiety radiating off her slim frame, “You’re such a big softy.” She sighed and added worriedly, “That alarm spell went off over five minutes ago. All that money…”

Xander clenched his jaw tightly, his sleep having been cut short by a blaring alarm at three-thirty in the morning rendering his fuse quite short, “Softy!?” He asked in righteous anger, “Your answer to ‘don’t hit me’ is calling me names?” Shooting her an irritated glare before returning his eyes back toward the road. “You know domestic violence goes both ways, right? Abuse is abuse, vagina or not!” He snapped.

“I’m sorry!” Anya whined, “I’m just so worried!” She pouted. Frowning as guilt flooded her system, she turned genuinely apologetic eyes toward her boyfriend, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have hit you.”

The dark haired ‘softy’ grunted his forgiveness, “We’re almost there. I wish the police was clued into the Hellmouth.” He rubbed his dry and tired eyes, “Wouldn’t this fall under their jurisdiction?”

“Mmm,” Anya mumbled derisively, “They are not prepared to deal with the forces in this town.” She said haughtily before pressing her face against her window as they neared the store, “There’s a light on inside!” She pushed her tangled hair out of her eyes agitatedly.

“Ok,” Xander said as he pulled over, “We need to be smart about this.” When he heard a door open he snapped his head toward the passenger seat. “Anya!” His belt cut into his waist as he reached over just fast enough to grasp his girlfriend’s arm as she was exiting the car. “Get back in here!”

The shop-keeper pulled her leg back into the car in a huff, “Xander, we have to protect the money!” Her eyes wild and anxious, “Giles depends on me and I like buying nice things! The insurance doesn’t cover act of Hellmouth.”

Xander raised his hands placatingly, “We will… we are. Just,” He rubbed his hand over his face, “We need a plan.”

When all this got was a sour expression and crossed arms, he sighed loudly, “I think we should go in through the training room.” Xander nodded pensively, “We could get weapons and, there’s less chance of being noticed.”

Anya agreed so they quietly made their way into the alley behind the shop, “I can’t see which is the right key,” She groused angrily, a keychain dangling inches from her face, “That light’s been out for over a month!” The keys shook violently and tinkled together as she jiggled them, “I told Giles we should change it, weeks ago!”

“Sshht!” Xander hissed disapprovingly, “We’re using our quiet voice, remember?” He pressed an ear against the metal door, “I don’t hear anything…” A loud clack resonated through the metal making his eardrum vibrate uncomfortably. He recoiled from the door, “Yee!”

Anya twisted the door knob, having finally unlocked the door. The locking mechanism had clacked loudly against the metal. “Shh!” She hissed back, peeking through the small opening into the training room.

The room was dimly lit, the door from it to the shop being slightly open letting in a thin shaft of light. The training room seemed quiet and undisturbed, “Do you hear anything?” Xander asked from over Anya’s shoulder.

She shook her head and opened the door wider, “No, I think we can go in.” They walked in and Xander gingerly closed the alley door behind them.

The silence through the shop made the carpenter wonder if the perpetrator was still around. Nonetheless, he armed himself with a small battle-axe, “Ready?” He asked in a whisper.

Anya nodded frantically, “Mmhm,” She intoned, gripping an odd bat with a metal hook on its end.

Through the opening they could see the research table clearly. A few books littered the surface, two of them open side by side. Glass vials with ingredients sat next to a black hat, “They’re still here!” Anya whispered worriedly.

Xander pressed his lips with a finger and opened the door wider. The shop looked empty, “I don’t see…” He started to say until the soft creek of wood sounded through the shop. His eyes grew wider as they both took a step back, swinging the door closed but for a sliver of space through which they could barely see.

A few moments and creaks later, a lone figure emerged from behind the counter holding a mason jar filled with odd sticks. She was elderly, wild yet tamed grey hair sat atop a determined looking older woman. Her dress and shawl were brightly colored and flittered around her frail frame as she swiftly made her way to the table.

Xander and Anya exchanged perplexed looks, somehow doubting this intruder’s ill intent, “What do we do?” Anya whispered, nodding toward the shop, “She’s clearly stealing.”

He shrugged, confusion twisting his face. When Xander looked back through the door, the lady was gone. “Where…”

A shadow fell across the door making the man yip loudly and Anya shriek in fear. They stumbled away from the door, inadvertently yanking the knob backwards. The door swung open and hit the wall, “Chalice of Christ!” A startled voice shouted. The woman jumped back from the doorway and tripped, falling onto her rump.

Loreli blinked her eyes into focus and took in the two disheveled frightened figures, standing armed before her. She willed her heart to calm itself, a hand firmly pressed to her breast.

“Who are you!?” Anya asked accusingly, wiping the hair out of her eyes, “I don’t appreciate you stealing from my store!” When Xander cleared his throat in reproach, she quickly amended, “Giles’ store.” Rolling her eyes.

The witch raised her hands up in surrender, “I was going to leave money.” She gingerly tried to get back up, wincing from the pain in her hip, “I’m only trying to find my niece.”

Xander was at her side in an instant, unable to let an elderly lady struggle. She smiled at him when he grasped her elbow, offering her support, “Thank you, handsome.”

He blushed at the compliment, “Handsome,” A short giggle left his throat as he nodded toward the table. They shuffled along together until she was comfortably seated, “Sorry we scared you.”

Loreli waved it off, “I’m trespassing on your property.” Running her fingers through her hair, still slightly frazzled, she took a deep breath and waved at the books, “I wanted to do a reverse locator spell.”

Anya had been pensively quiet so far, having walked to the table and now studying the hat which sat at its center. “Is that your niece’s hat?” She asked, placing her weapon on the table.

“Yes,” The witch frowned, “I have reasons to believe she’s in danger.”

Xander and Anya exchanged knowing looks, “Uh… Let’s start over, ok?” The carpenter said, “I’m Xander and, this is my girlfriend Anya.” He nodded sideways toward the shop-keeper who waved shortly before clasping her hands in her lap.

“Pardon my manners,” The old woman said, rubbing her forehead, “My name is Loreli. I’ve come to look for my niece, Erynn.” She looked up from Anya to Xander, “You know her, don’t you? I recognize your names.”

Xander smiled sadly and nodded that they did in fact know Erynn. Anya cleared her throat, “I think we should call Willow and Tara.”

***

They’d dressed quickly, emptied the bags onto the bed before sorting through everything. One of the bags was now full and zipped shut, while the other was still being stuffed. “I’m just saying,” Willow said as she placed her laptop in between two layers of clothes, “Don’t encourage her.” Pushing over the stack of shirts, she noticed her girlfriend’s small pile of underwear. She shot a quick glance in Tara’s direction making sure she wasn’t being watched. She speedily plucked a pair out and walked on tippy-toes back toward the dresser with them bundled in her fist.

The blonde grinned while stacking their school books on the desk, “Come on, Will. Your mom’s interesting.” She raised the stack into her arms with a slight grunt before turning towards the bed, “She makes my women’s studies sound like a first grade class.”

Willow snorted derisively from where she was, hands dug into the underwear drawer, “She still thinks I’m making a ‘political statement’, you know.” She pulled a garment out and grinned, her tongue pressing against her front teeth in delight.

“What are you doing?” Tara’s curious and highly amused voice startled her, “Those are mine.” She crossed her arms over her chest, standing behind her girlfriend and smirking knowingly. “Wasn’t really thinking I’d need those…” She added, raising a questioning eyebrow.

The redhead had turned around so fast at hearing her girlfriend’s voice, she’d hit the edge of the drawer with her elbow. Wincing, she rubbed at it with her free hand. The other still clasping a pair of electric-blue lacy, satin thongs. Willow’s face was bright red with embarrassed surprise, “I-uh… Just,” She waved the thongs in the air agitatedly, “Ya know…”

Tara giggled and shook her head, “You could’ve just said…” The phone ringing made them both jump. They exchanged worried looks, Willow shrugged and went to pick it up. “W-wait.” The blonde stopped her, “M-maybe we should let the machine pick it up?”

Pulling her hand back, Willow nodded and stood still through the repeating rings. After the fourth, the answering machine picked up, “Hey, you’ve reached Willow and Tara. We’re not here right now, leave a message!” The beep sounded and was quickly followed by Xander’s voice, “Will, it’s me. We need…”

The phone was at Willow’s ear in an instant, “Xander? What’s up?” She took the phone to the bed and shoved the thongs into the bag, “We’re just on our way out.”

“Out?” He exclaimed, “Sun’s not up yet, it’s not even five in the morning.”

The redhead ran fingers through her hair and stood up straight, nodding at Tara when the blonde pointed at the bag questioningly. She watched as it was zipped shut, “Yeah well, I got hacked. Now, we have to do the hiding thing.”

“Hacked?” Xander grunted incredulously, “You?” She heard him sigh exasperatedly, “Anyway, there’s a lady here at the shop. She’s looking for Erynn. Anya and I are here, with her.”

“Huh? Who is it?” She turned puzzled eyes toward Tara who, upon noticing Willow’s reaction, had sat on the edge of the bed attentively listening in. The redhead pressed the speaker button and placed the receiver back in its cradle.

“She says Erynn is her niece, her name’s Loreli.” Footsteps sounded, soft voices in the background receding with his every step, “She’s pretty old…” He whispered nonetheless, “She was preparing a spell when we got here. I think we should Scooby-up.”

Tara shrugged and waved at the bags questioningly, “Alright, we’ll go meet you guys. But, you have to come save us the cab fare to our hideout.” Willow said hopefully.

“Sure, Will.” He agreed easily, “Where are we going?”

The hacker pressed her lips together for a second in thought, “Sorry, I’m in full paranoid mode.” She sighed, “Not gonna say over the phone.”

“Whoa, uh…” Xander cleared his throat uncomfortably and chuckled mirthlessly, “Did you hack the F.B.I. or something?” He gasped, “You didn’t, did you!?”

“Xander,” Willow groused, “Just come get us.”

***

The report Lynd had brought ten minutes ago sat on Damien’s desk. Ten minutes had gone by and, he still hadn’t reacted to the information on it. “Willow Rosengberg is becoming a threat we can’t ignore.” The secretary had never seen the founder so unfocussed.

Erynn was to his left, leaning against the wall, shifting her weight from the left to the right leg. She was obviously tired beyond any descriptors and still, she refused the human-sized doggy bed Damien had made sure to bring in for her. Lynd couldn’t help but resent the object of the founder’s obsession. She obviously had no idea how good she could have it. “It wouldn’t be wise to get… distracted, sir. With the launch only a day-”

At this, Damien turned his chair and pulled his scrutinizing gaze away from the Canadian, cutting Lynd off in a sharp tone, “I’m fully aware of our launch date, Lynd.” Taking a deep breath, he shook his head and stood up, “So, she found our online showroom...” He raked his fingers through his hair and sighed, “I have no idea what that means; how she can hurt us because of that.”

Lynd was decidedly uncomfortable, having never seen the founder in such a state, “Um… If I may, my knowledge of technology is as limited as yours, sir.” Clearing their throat, the secretary added suggestively, “We might want to preemptively eliminate the threat.” When Lynd caught Jurrot straightening up hopefully, a grin crept up, “Jurrot does like redheads, quite a bit.”

Damien chuckled then, “He does, doesn’t he.” There seemed to be a gleam in the demon’s eyes. Jurrot had been a good employee, a reward might be in order.

A short, derisive snort took everyone by surprise, “Artist, my ass.” Erynn mumbled from her vantage point, behind the founder.

Damien twisted around and looked intently at his intended pet, “Something to say, Pumpkin?”

Lynd grimaced incredulously, recoiling at the latitude obviously offered to this, this… “Sir, with all due respect…”

The founder only lifted a finger, effectively rendering his secretary mute. “Yes, Lynd. Do respect me and my decisions. Now,” He turned back to Erynn who was grinning smugly at Lynd, “Speak, then.”

The Canadian rolled her eyes and pushed off the wall, “You were all ‘Oh, Pumpkin… you and I are artists, blah blah blah.’” When all Damien did was raise an eyebrow questioningly, seemingly undaunted by her mocking tone, she continued frustrated, “Look, I get the fact you want to change the world, sculpt it into something else. You’re ambitious and usually creative. But,” She waved a disgusted hand towards Jurrot, “Sending that thing after Willow would be like throwing the most beautiful, expensive chunk of marble down a garburator.”

The tension in the room rose too fast to be missed. Jurrot bristled, his hunger had awakened at the mere thought of playing with the redhead. A growl escaped his chest, he wanted to pummel this human to death.

The power dynamics were all wrong, Lynd realized quickly with deep worry, “What the hell do you mean? She’s a threat, not a fucking statue!”

“Enough!” Damien shouted, “My ambitions go beyond this company, Lynd. You know that,” He shot Erynn a quick, nervous look. He was obviously insecure and slightly confused, “Why is she important?”

The Empath walked up to the desk and sat on its edge confidently, understanding and acceptance shown in her eyes, “You can’t relate to your species, Damien. You believe empathy is outdated, it’s served its purpose in our evolution ages ago.” She waved at Lynd, “You surround yourself with demons because of it.”

Damien squinted, “It has, look at the system we’ve built for ourselves.” He waved a hand around the office, “The world of money and acquisitions has nothing to do with empathy.” Chuckling to himself, he tacked on, “I’ve seen it for myself, people like me rise to the top as quick as a rocket.”

“Right,” Erynn nodded, “But all those people out there still have that in them, that empathy. You can influence them all you want, with money and power. Some will probably turn and accept that the world has gone darker. But, not most people.”

Lynd scoffed, “This is ridiculous.”

The Canadian was unmoved when she asked the secretary, “Is it?” She didn’t wait for an answer, “Hitler was inspired. He was changed by it and tried to influence people into knowing what he thought he knew. His movement all but died in the span of years. All the believers scurried like rats in the face of human empathy fighting back.”

She turned to Damien who had a thoughtful look on his face, “Now, take people like Jesus, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela… they inspired people and it changed them. Their movements are part of everyday life, now.”

Damien was getting irritated, “If you have a point to make, Pumpkin… make it fast.”

Erynn sighed, “You can eliminate all the inspiring people you want, like Willow. But, that would be a waste of potential.” She shrugged and frowned, “It would be boring.”

The earpiece in Lynd’s ear buzzed, “Mr. Brice’s office,” The secretary snapped, “No one sees the founder, you know that.”

Damien’s interest was piqued, especially when Lynd’s eyes shifted from pupils to slits, “He was supposed to be bound!”

After an angry hiss and a beep from the piece in Lynd’s ear, the secretary pushed out from clenched teeth, “We have a situation in the magic department.”

***

_________________
~M
CopperAndGold


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:57 am 
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3. Flaming O

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
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DIBS! :whip
Uhoh, the plot thickens again... Since the baddies know Willow hacked them I fear her parents' house might be no safe space after all. Doc becomes more creepier every update! So he freed Catherine just to experiment on her, or did he have other motives too? That Erynn manages to manipulate Damien at least a bit gives me a sliver of hope.

Take all the time you need between updates, we will patiently wait!


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic :: 2017 :: When Erynn found herself NC-17
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:03 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 33
Topics: 3
Location: Portland, Or
I'm sorry if my 'come back' seemed rude- please know it was meant with eager anticipation and not disappointment. Real life happens and please take the time you need
Good on willow being able to calm her girl. I fear that Tara is going to be hit with an emotional onslaught, erynns memories seem like a potential Pandoras box. I am loving this !

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


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 Post subject: Update info and Feedback replies
PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:21 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 6:07 pm
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Hello kittens,

My life has been... challenging, of late. The fact I'm struggling IRL made writing this fic difficult in long doses. I've been working on it here and there, piecing together a decent-sized update.

I needed some good feels and also wanted to stay 'warm' writing-wise, so I turned to our witches. I wrote a short, loving fic with sexy goodness that you can find Here called 'Breaking Chains'.

Edited to Say: 'Breaking Chains' is a fic in which Willow and Tara from this fic 'When Erynn found herself' are very much the same. It's set before this story, between s4 and at the beginning of s5. That is all. :love

Once I've compiled a good update for this fic, it will be posted. Thank you for being supportive, it really is appreciated.

shirrey wrote:
I'm sorry if my 'come back' seemed rude- please know it was meant with eager anticipation and not disappointment. Real life happens and please take the time you need
Good on willow being able to calm her girl. I fear that Tara is going to be hit with an emotional onslaught, erynns memories seem like a potential Pandoras box. I am loving this !


Firstly, I didn't find it rude at all! Made me feel all wanted and stuff. :blush

Pandoras box... perfect analogy!

Will's redemption wrote:
That Erynn manages to manipulate Damien at least a bit gives me a sliver of hope.


A sliver might be all we need! :love

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~M
CopperAndGold


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