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

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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring True Facts about the Wi
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:30 pm 
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18. Breast Gal
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Hey folks - here's a little something that, confession time, was meant to be for Valentine's Day, only work got super-busy in the lead-up. Luckily the story never had anything to do with Valentine's anyway, so I figured I'd put it aside until things calmed down, then take a little extra time to let it breathe rather than rushing to finish it. And here it is! Enjoy :wtkiss

Love At First Sound


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“Wish me luck!”

“Hm?”

Buffy looked up from the vitriolic scripted reality tv argument happening on her tablet screen, and after a moment’s confusion her expression cleared.

“Philosophy! Right,” she nodded. “Good luck. You good?”

“I mean, I guess?” Willow shrugged, gathering up the notes she had been reading during their break time in the Mayor Wilkins Memorial Common Room attached to the cafeteria. “Can’t go to college and just do math, math, math and more math, this is supposed to be when I broaden my mind, and... it’ll be good, learning new... philosophies and... so on, right?”

“Are you trying to convince me or you?” Buffy chuckled. “Get going. You had to do a boatload of classes you didn’t want to in school, you aced them all anyway.”

“I want to do this,” Willow protested, less than vehemently. “The lecture was good, interesting, kind of... confusing a bit, but a tutorial’s not going to be any huge deal really, might even straighten things out.”

“Awesome. Go on, you think therefore you am, right?”

“Are.”

“You are therefore you am, sure.”

“Okay, see you after!”

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One and three-quarters-of-an-hour - and one tedious literature tutorial - later, Buffy was again ensconced in her favourite armchair in the common room, ignoring her assigned reading in favour of an entirely different show about people arguing about nothing, when Willow sat on the edge of the couch adjacent to her and grabbed her hand.

“Uh, hi?” Buffy said, surprised at the gesture. “How was cogito et cetera? Why are you holding my hand?”

“Sorry,” Willow said quickly, starting to pull her hand back, only for Buffy to keep hold of her.

“Spit it out, will ya?”

“Okay.” The redhead took a deep breath. “Big info. I think... I’m actually pretty sure, I’m gay.”

“Wow,” Buffy said after a moment’s pause. “What’d they teach in that class?”

“What? No - I mean, yes, it was during the class, but - no,” Willow shook her head. “I met a girl, and... and this was a serious I met a girl type of meeting a girl, and... I’m feeling kind of a lot of feelings right now, and I wanted to tell you. Okay?”

“You’re serious?” Buffy asked.

“Uh-huh,” Willow nodded, looking at her hopefully.

“Okay,” Buffy said, slightly dazed, then repeated more firmly: “okay. Okay?”

“Okay,” Willow sighed. “I’m, I didn’t mean to make this big deal, I knew you’d be cool with this, but I- I mean two hours ago I had no idea, so this is, I didn’t even have a chance to google how to come out to your best friend. I just came out?!” she finished in a squeak.

“Yeah you did,” Buffy grinned. “It’s okay. I mean, it is a big deal. Just not a, you know, reason to freak big deal. A good big deal, looks like, since you’ve been grinning this whole time.”

“Good big deal,” Willow agreed. “But I have to do so much research, I-”

“What you have to do,” Buffy insisted, keeping a firm hold of Willow’s hand to stop her instinctive lunge towards her laptop bag, “is tell me about this girl you met.”

“The... right,” Willow sighed, relaxing. “Okay, calm down. I’m talking to me, it’s fine,” she assured Buffy. “Right, so I actually got to the room a little early and-”

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This is actually... huh, Willow frowned, glancing between her notes and the open book on her lap, and vaguely aware of other students slowly turning up and filling the other seats around the table. Never really thought about that. ‘Knowledge’ isn’t just stuff you know, it... how do you know things? I mean actually know you know? Nothing’s ever locked-down certain is it, it’s all... like a house of cards, everything’s leaning against everything else...

“Sorry I’m late,” someone said, and Willow looked up to see a twenty-something woman taking her seat at the now-full table. “Jenny Calendar, I’ll be your tutor. So we were all at the lecture yesterday, nobody’s accidentally come into the wrong room? Alright, let’s get started, who’s here? You start?”

“Cordelia. Chase.” Jenny nodded and made a note on her writing pad, glancing at the next would-be philosopher around the table.

“Larry Blaisdell.”

If you’d asked me yesterday I’d think maybe I was in the wrong room, Willow mused to herself, waiting her turn as various names drifted by. Still not a hundred percent sure I’m philosophy material, but-

Willow’s eyes widened as the student next to her spoke.

“...Tara Maclay.”

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“She said her name, and...?” Buffy prompted.

“No,” Willow shook her head, “I mean... her voice, her... I just... I can’t explain it, you know like sirens? The mythical ones, with the singing?”

“You hear them you fall in love, that one?” Buffy guessed. “Didn’t they wreck ships or something?”

“It was exactly like that!” Willow nodded, bouncing in her seat. “Except not the ships part. I heard her voice and I just knew! I mean, not like, knew-knew - that isn’t a philosophy joke - we were doing stuff about knowledge, it’s complicated,” she waved a hand. “I mean... I didn’t know what I knew, but I, just... like, remember when you saw Riley for the first time?”

“Oh yeah. You started drooling?”

“You didn’t actually drool.”

“My brain kinda did.”

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“Buf? Buffy?”

Willow frowned in concern as Buffy continued to mutely stare across the park. Following her gaze and finding nothing particularly startling - various people enjoying themselves, as outdoorsy people who didn’t burn red at the merest hint of sunlight did - she looked back at Buffy, waiting for some sign of a return to consciousness. Eventually she resorted to waving a hand in front of her face.

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“It was like that,” Willow insisted. “She spoke and... I felt like, like the entire rest of the room went away and the sound of her voice was all that mattered, the only real thing.”

“Love at first sound?” Buffy suggested, only half-joking.

“I, I mean the L-word’s a big word, but... yeah, I think,” Willow said. “Or, or call it whatever it’s called when you only just met someone, infatuation or crush or whatever but...”

“So did they have to wave a hand in front of you to wake you up?” Buffy asked.

“I did kind of... I stumbled over saying my own name, a bit,” Willow sighed. “I mean I was all mixed up, completely, I was thinking look at her, don’t look at her, don’t stare, but look, and she’s amazing Buf, she’s... I didn’t stare, but I seriously could have just stared at her. Just nothing else, staring at her, the whole time, and that’d be completely okay with me. If it wasn’t a rude thing to do.”

“I get it,” Buffy said, smiling. Willow smiled back, then her eyes went wide and she took a deep breath.

“What?” Buffy asked.

“Have to tell my parents,” Willow said nervously. Buffy nodded, and reached out to give her hand a squeeze.

“I’ve got your back,” she promised. “And not to downplay the ookiness you’re probably feeling thinking about it, but certain evidence leads me to suspect they’ll be cool.”

“What evidence?” Willow said, frowning in confusion.

“You remember when you invited me to that big watch-the-Oscars party they did, last year of high school?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Your mom took me aside to tell me it was okay with her and your dad if I wanted to bring Faith.”

“Why would you bring Faith?”

“They apparently thought we were an item,” Buffy chuckled.

“An- oh!” Willow paused, turning the thought over in her head. “...You guys were kind of inseparable, I guess I can actually see how... oh my god, that time you both were there for a sleepover, did my parents think we were-”

“Your folks aren’t that cool!” Buffy laughed. Willow stared at her for a moment, then burst out laughing as well.

“So,” Buffy said, once Willow had caught her breath, “when’s your next tute, you gonna talk to Miss Siren?”

“I did,” Willow admitted.

“Already? Damn, you’re better at this than I am.”

“Well it was in class, I mean discussing things,” Willow clarified. “That’s, that’s what you do there, everyone talks, and she... she seems kind of quiet, you know? But not completely, she said a few things, and this one time she was saying-”

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“...a, a kind of... shared acknowledgement, that a certain level o-of observations that seem to agree with one another is enough to... feel grounded in taking as valid, and working outward from.” Tara took a breath. “Something completely obvious - that seems completely obvious, in an everyday sense, like, like...”

“You’re... here,” Willow piped up. “Here in this room.”

Tara smiled at her and nodded.

Image


“You told her ‘you’re here’?” Buffy asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Well we were talking about knowledge - about how there’s some potential for doubt in basically everything, like even the most obvious thing right in front of you could be an illusion,” Willow explained in a rush, “but for the whole justified-true-belief thing to hold together at all, and without that you really can’t make any headway in anything, you have to accept that there’s a level where ‘good enough’ certainty is, well, good enough.”

“Okay so, she’s here - there, rather,” Buffy corrected herself. “Gotcha.”

“I actually stopped myself saying ‘you’re pretty’,” Willow said, blushing. “Because that’d be a completely inappropriate thing to say to a stranger, even though... well she is, and my brain kind of zeroed in on that as the most blatantly true statement possible because, like I said, I was all... out of it, kind of, still following the discussion enough to not sound like a total idiot, but really just.”

“So you told her she was there instead?”

“Yeah, inappropriateness averted, thankfully,” Willow sighed.

“And you all decided reality was probably real?”

Probably, sure.”

“Damn, I still gotta study tonight then,” Buffy grumbled. “But hey, words were exchanged and you didn’t come off like a giant idiot. Check out the awesome on you.”

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Buffy glanced back, somewhere between elated and desperate, and gave a jerky, thankful nod as Willow - for the third time - made a shoo-ing gesture towards the young man by the bar she had been psyching herself up to talk to for the past half hour.

“...um, h-hi? Hi!”

“Hi.”

“Hi.”

“I’m Liam,” he added after a moment, holding out a hand.

“Me too. I mean no, wait. Buffy.”

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“And she, uh, she talked too. To me,” Willow went on, picking up her bag to get it out of the way of people sitting around her as the common room filled up approaching lunchtime.

“In class?”

“After. Not like, huge talking, but-”

Image


“Th-thanks,” Tara said, as Willow was packing her notes up and wondering if inspiration would strike if only she could drag out filling up her satchel long enough.

“You’re welcome,” she piped. “I mean, for, what for?”

“The example,” Tara said. “‘I’m here’? My mind just went... you know, those moments when you know exactly what you’re wanting to say, and you blank out completely at step one?”

“I liked what you, the way you explained what you were thinking,” Willow offered.

“Once you’d gotten me over stalling at trying to think of any fact,” Tara grinned shyly.

“Socrates would know the feeling,” Willow grinned back. “Or according to Plato he would.”

“I did start to feel that way, during the lecture yesterday.”

“Me too. Oh hey, I’m Willow. By the way.”

“Tara.”

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“-wasn’t like, a holding hands kind of hand-hold, it was just you know, what you do when you introduce yourself, but... ohh,” she signed, closing her eyes. “I’m not trying to sound all dramatic - you know me, I only get dramatic about calculus - but, just holding her hand for a couple of seconds, it was like... god I hope she likes me Buf, because I swear I fell for her. Again, I mean. Moreso. Honestly it was like everything she did was just, hey, here’s something new about me, love me for this as well, and it wasn’t even a question for me, I was just ‘okay I do’-”

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“Tara,” Willow repeated, feeling herself smiling, but not realising how much she was beaming. “Oh right - you said, at the start of the class. So did I, too.”

Image


“-if we’re being honest I was a bit of a spaz, but it didn’t seem to... I mean she didn’t run for the hills, we talked for a good three, four minutes - just the basics, you know, what courses are you doing, and so on.”

“So you’ll see her next, when’s your next class?” Buffy asked.

“Lecture tomorrow, tutorial day after. We even said that,” Willow added. “She said ‘see you next time’, and I said ‘yup’... or I’m pretty sure I did, my brain was frazzling a bit and I think my mouth was winging it on its own at a few points. Like I remember exactly what she said, but I honestly have no idea what I said a couple of times, only that it obviously wasn’t awful, but-”

She paused and took a deep breath.

“So cards on the table, I know this is all the dictionary definition of ‘only just met’,” she resumed. “But I thought about this, about her - afterwards, I mean, I went down to that little garden, where the stairs come down to the road - do you know the building they do philosophy tutorials in? Never mind. But that’s where I was before I came here to talk to you, I sat down there and, and just thought. Seriously thought, about what happened, and how I felt and how I feel, and... I think this is the real deal.”

“Will?” Buffy asked, glancing over Willow’s shoulder.

“I know,” Willow nodded, “not like I would’ve come in here and said ‘hey I’m gay’ just for a joke, but I... I guess what I’m saying is, I know this is a new thing, what I’m feeling isn’t... I don’t have the, the mental language I guess, to really interrogate my brain and sort out what’s what just now - but I really, I am attracted to this woman. That’s definite. I feel... sitting next to her, looking at her, her looking at me, us talking, that was elation, Buf, and I feel like I need to accept that, not, not try to brush it away or tell myself it isn’t serious because ‘these things take time’. I think it is serious - it’s new, and serious, and I honestly genuinely hope it stays serious, that the way I feel...”

“Um...”

“...I know I’ve never been good at heart stuff, but if this isn’t straight from the heart then I don’t know what is. And - I know, one tutorial can’t be the reason for a whole relationship, but I feel this way now, and it’s like, I can see the, the shape of this path in front of me and a long way down it is her and me knowing each other, properly, and me being able to look her in the eye and say ‘I love you Tara’, and it comes from a place of, of experience and time spent together - real love, relationship-type love, not just how her voice is perfect and she’s beautiful-”

“Is... she a brunette with blue eyes?”

“- yeah amazing eyes - and I felt like I was flying when she talked to me for like five minutes - her hair’s so gorgeous, too - not just those, those things you can see right away. But those things, I think they’re real too, and... if I’m wrong, that’s a possibility, I mean I just had a whole class on how knowledge is inherently fallible, and I want to go into this eyes-open, not just chasing a dream I had because she said her name and I fell for the sound of her voice - let’s be real I don’t even know if she’s gay, I think I felt something that, I don’t know, it felt good to me, but I’ve got what, a bit under two hours of actual gayness under my belt so that’s not what you’d call an expert opinion - but I do want to find out where that path goes, if it really does go to ‘I love you Tara’, because if there’s a chance then I have to know. And I’m sorry I’m just babbling now, kind of dumping this all out in the open, but you’re my best friend and I want to be honest with you about this, this huge thing that happened to me right now.”

“I think she’s sitting next to you,” Buffy said.

“What?” Willow said, grinning in bafflement as she glanced to her side.

“...h-hi,” Tara whispered.

“Hi?” Willow said eventually, in a squeak, with her face frozen.

“I’m sorry, I’m really sorry,” Tara said, looking down at her hands, “I didn’t m-mean to... overhear. I saw you, when I came in, and I thought... I-I could say hello, again. That was, was actually as far ahead as I’d thought. But I didn’t w-want to interrupt, you were talking, so... and then, I realised wh-what you were... saying, and...”

“All that I said?” Willow whispered, her voice trembling on the verge of audible tears.

“I froze, I completely... froze. I should’ve said, spoke up, b-but... I couldn’t.”

Buffy looked between the two of them, desperate to hug Willow before the tears started in earnest, but feeling a bubble around them she had no place in.

“W-was I... bad?” Willow asked at last, fearful.

“No!” Tara said at once - both of them jumped, as if the exclamation caught Tara off-guard as much as Willow. Tara gulped and shook her head. “No I... I need, i-if you can, forgive me, for listening, b-but...” She paused and took a deep breath. “I am, you know.”

“What?”

“Gay.”

Willow looked imploringly into her eyes, and slowly began to smile.

“I am too,” she said at last. She giggled abruptly, and found herself grinning. “As you know. That was my coming-out speech you saw part of - it got kind of rambly. I do that, I babble. Um.” She glanced at Buffy, who was almost holding her breath. “This is, this is Buffy, she’s my best friend. Hence coming out to her, I don’t just do that to random people. I mean I imagine I wouldn’t, before today I didn’t think about it anyway... um, babble. Buffy, save me?”

“Hi,” Buffy said, leaning across to offer her hand to Tara.

“Hi.” Willow watched, mesmerised, as Buffy’s hand found Tara’s, they held for a moment in companionable greeting, then let go, as if Buffy could experience her hand being held by Tara and not yearn for the moment to last forever. The yearning must be a me thing.

“So that was kind of a moment,” Buffy admitted. “Sorry I didn’t step in sooner, you know. I saw your face go... you know, ‘wait whaaaat?’, when you heard her, but honestly who’d be ready for that?”

“It’s- it’s okay,” Tara assured her. “Definitely... not the kind of situation anyone’d, you know, guess was happening. But um...” She gave Buffy a quick smile, then looked back to Willow. “Now here we are.” She chuckled. “Like you said. In the tutorial? I’m here.”

“You are here,” Willow agreed.

“If you...” Tara began, paused, then took a breath and went on. “If you don’t mind that I heard, I... I’m glad I heard what I did. After we talked I was hoping... Actually I didn’t have my hopes up that high, but-”

“I haven’t stopped thinking about you since... you said your name,” Willow said, blushing part-way through as her ears caught up with her mouth. “And I saw you. And we talked. I’d like... I’d like to do that more. Talk. See you. Coffee? Can we have coffee?”

“Yes,” Tara smiled, her shoulders finally relaxing. “A-all that, the coffee, and talking, and...”

“All of it.”

“All.”

“Hey I gotta run,” Buffy said, after a moment in which Willow and Tara had simply gazed at each other. “Lecture or something. Tara, good to meet you. Wills, pride.”

“Yay,” Willow said, returning her offered fist-bump. Buffy grinned and got up to leave, then paused.

“Idea,” she said, “no pressure if you don’t want to - Tara, I mean, if you don’t want to - can I get a photo of you two? Just to record the what-are-the-odds-of-that-happening moment? Cross my heart it won’t end up online.”

“Um. O-okay,” Tara said, after a quick glance at Willow, who gave an encouraging nod.

“Cool thanks,” Buffy said, sitting back down and holding her tablet up. She peered at the image of the two women smiling nervously at her as the lens dialed in its focus, then assumed a frown.

“Sorry, I got it stuck in outdoors mode or something earlier, gimme a sec,” she said, tapping the ‘refocus’ button a few times. “Talk amongst yourselves?”

She waited until the pair looked away from her, back to each other, their smiles shifting from deliberate to something far more intimate, and took the photo.

“Brilliant, thanks. Gotta rush, see you guys, bye!” With a backward wave she left the common room, grinning as a backward glance revealed Willow and Tara’s hands creeping towards one another on their laps as they lowered them from waving back.

“If you two get married, this is totally the story I’m telling at the wedding,” she promised herself.

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“You didn’t actually say that?” Willow asked incredulously.

“I absolutely did,” Buffy insisted, waving her back into silence and turning her attention back to the other guests.

“So that,” she said, indicating the poster-sized print of the photo from that day, “is how I got into photography - ‘cause let’s be honest, me and literature was a lost cause - but more importantly...”

She beamed at Willow and Tara, resplendent in their white dresses, as family and friends watched the conclusion of the Best Gal’s speech.

“...more importantly, that is what actual love at first sight - or even slightly before - looks like. I think you’ll all agree, it’s a good look on these two. And it still is today.”

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


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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring Love At First Sound
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:15 pm 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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What a rambling ball of delight :) Enjoyed that so much, you're a wonder!

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The Love… Series ... Two For Joy ... Inevitable


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 Post subject: Re: Anthology of Interest! featuring Love At First Sound
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:01 am 
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9. Gay Now
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Awesome!

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