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

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 Post subject: The Relic
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:40 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:44 pm
Posts: 16
Topics: 2
Location: Kentucky
• Rating - NC-17 Eventually

• Disclaimer - I'm only borrowing these wonderful characters... promise I'll give them back when I'm done.

• Feedback - If you feel so inclined, please leave me any constructive criticism, feed back or just stop in to say howdy, whatever strikes your fancy.

• Summary - 6 years after the end of season 6. Tara's alive but Willow doesn't know that. Willow's alive but Tara doesn't know that.

• Notes - Okay, so I hope you guys enjoy... some parts may be difficult to read, but I promise all will be well in the end...
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Part 1


“Em, don’t run so fast baby girl, you’ll scare the ducks.” The little blonde girl laughed excitedly and jumped in a near by puddle, sending water splashing against her red rain boots.

Willow couldn’t help but smile. Three days ago the skies had opened up and rain began to fall from the heavens. It had been a glorious storm, thunder rolling in the distance and lightening flashing in the sky. They had needed the rain, but three days straight was a little much and it had left her little girl restless and hyper with pent up energy. Finally the rain had relented and Emma had asked her mother if they could go to the park and feed the ducks. The redhead had agreed and here they were.

Emma Danielle Rosenberg was a very active six year old. Once at the park she had only spent about five minutes with the ducks then off she ran splashing in every puddle she came across. She reminded Willow of herself in that respect. Always curious, always ready for a new adventure, but quick to lose interest and move on to the next exciting thing.

The little girl raced back to her mother and smiled a sweet lopsided smile, her clear blue eyes shinning brightly. “Mommy can we go to the pet store? My fishies need a new castle!”

Willow smiled down at her daughter and tucked a few lose strands of long blond hair behind her ear, “And what’s wrong with the castle they have now?”

Emma jumped up and down excitedly, holding on to her mothers hands so she could jump higher, “Cause Mr. Bubbles and Sr. Swim-a-lot are gonna need more room for their babies!”

The redhead couldn’t suppress her laughter. Her daughter had gotten the idea that her fish wanted to start a family together and Willow didn’t have the heart to burst the little girls bubble. “Okay baby girl, we’ll stop by and see what they have.”

The blonde squealed excitedly and ran back to her puddle jumping.

A sad smile graced Willows lips as she watched her daughter bend down to pick a flower growing near one of the puddles. The little girl stared at it intently, studying it closely. She looked back at her Mom and smiled before tucking it behind her ear and going back to her game.

It was in these moments when Willow saw Tara in their daughter. Her sweet uneven smile, her intense blue eyes looking at the world with such awe. Her throat constricted as she thought of the other woman. Not a day went by that she didn’t think of her lost love ’She looks so much like you Tara.’ she thought with a sigh. It took everything in the redhead not to break down crying. She missed her lover so much, even now.

“Mommy can we go now? My socks are wet.”

Emma’s voice broke through Willow’s revere. She quickly buried her sorrow, not wanting the little girl to see. “Of course sweetie. Let’s run by the house to change, then we’ll go see about getting Mr. Bubbles and Sir. Swim-A-Lot their new house.”

The little blonde smiled brightly at her Mother and took her hand as she skipped down the sidewalk towards their car.

Willow couldn’t help but think, ‘You would have loved this Tara.’

*******************************************

It was raining again. Thunder echoed in the distance as she rolled over onto her back, her body becoming slightly tangled in the sheets. A small smile tugged at the corners of her lips as the rain tapped at the large bay windows opposite her bed. She loved the rain. It always meant that she would get a little extra time to snuggle with her lover. The blonde sighed deeply as she stretched, reaching across the blankets and grasping… nothing. She frowned for a moment, opening her eyes and looking over at the empty space beside her when it finally dawned on her; her lover wasn’t there. Hadn’t been there for a long time. The loneliness creeped into her chest and she sighed again, closed her eyes and draped her arm over her face. She should be used to waking up alone. But her dreams the night before had been filled with passion and love. Sparkling green eyes and fiery hair… She had a feeling that it was going to be a bad day.

A soft knock at the door brought an end to her musings. Her first attempt at replying was caught in her throat, her vocal cords had yet to get up to speed with the rest of her body. Coughing gently to clear her throat she finally called out to whoever was on the other side of the door. “I’m up!”

“It’s Dawn. Giles said to come and get you, there’s something going on but he wants to tell us all together so he doesn’t have to go over it twice.” The young woman opened the door just enough to poke her head into the room, “Oh, and, umm, Tara? Xander wanted to know if you’d fix breakfast cause Buffy tried, and, well, it was bad.”

Tara couldn’t help but smile, “I’ll be right there.”

Dawn smiled and closed the door behind her and shouted down the hall, “Tara’s coming! She’s gonna fix breakfast so we don’t all die from Buffy’s creation!”

The blonde couldn’t help but chuckle as she swung her legs out of bed and stretched her arms out to her sides. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad day after all.

-----------------------------------

Breakfast had gone smoothly. Everyone gathered around the long table and talked and ate. It was a boisterous affair, as all meals with the group tended to be. Tara couldn’t help but glance at the empty seat to her right. No one had mentioned Faith’s absence, they knew that she wasn’t ready to talk about it yet. She was grateful for their silent support. At the head of the table, Giles began to speak, breaking her out of her own thoughts.

“Alright, now that everyone is fed and hopefully at least slightly more attentive, I’d like to discuss the current issue at hand.” The patriarch of their family and head of The New Watchers Council stood and removed his glasses, “Tara and I have been unable to discern the origins of the object but we believe, based on initial reports, that it is an item of great power and potential evil.”

Buffy leaned back in her chair and put her hands behind her head, “What kind of evil are we talking about Giles? Like, big, scary apocalypsey evil? Or little, slightly troubling demon toy evil?”

Tara couldn’t help but smile at the Slayer’s ‘scale of evil’. The blond leaned forward to make eye contact with her, “We’re not sure, but we’re leaning towards apocalypsey evil.”

“Just to be on the safe side, you understand, we really haven’t the slightest clue.” Giles added, returning his glasses to their previous position, “Considering that the demon is was taken from is a lesser demon lord, I think it would be fair to say it’s an object of some importances, what that is specifically, we have been unable to discover.”

Xander, who was still recovering from a slight food coma, lean his head against the table and sighed loudly. “So, we don’t know what it is, we don’t know what it does, we just know that Kat found it on a demon lord after she killed it, so it’s bad. Great, good talk, very informative.”

Dawn rolled her eyes and shook her head, “Think about it Xan, big bad demon risked his life to get it, it’s not in any of our books and no one seems to know anything about it. That means someone went to a lot of trouble to keep this thing a secret.”

“So it’s a secret evil type thing. What are we going to do with it?” The Slayer didn’t like the direction this conversation was headed. She was a doer, she needed a plan. The unknown didn’t sit well with her.

“Why not just break it and be done with it?” Xander looked hopeful, surely it wouldn’t be that hard to break a stone disk.

Tara shook her head, “I don’t think it’s a good idea to destroy it until we know for sure what it does. For all we know that could cause something really bad to happen.”

Giles agrees, “Yes, besides, I’ve contacted an old friend, he has a team of experts willing to assess the artifact. Tara and I will be taking it to them tomorrow.”

Buffy stood quickly, obviously uncomfortable with the idea, “Whoa, no, you can’t be serious? You’re going to take a potentially dangerous… whatever the hell it is… to who knows where so a bunch of people you don’t know can, what? Poke at it? Alone?”

Giles sat down heavily, and pinched the bridge of his nose, “Buffy, surely you don’t think I would be that careless?” He glanced briefly at Tara but quickly averted his gaze, his young protégé wouldn’t be happy with him. “We’ll be traveling to the British museum, with protection, and I’ll personally oversee the actions of the team. I assure you, Robert is a very adept anthropologist, I wouldn’t trust this task to just anyone.”

Tara was confused, she was under the impression that it would be just her and Giles traveling with the relic, “Protection? Giles, the slayers are all on assignment and Buffy needs to be here to train…”

“Yes, well, I had hoped to discuss this with you in private, but it would seem that.. well… I-I…”The former librarian stumbled over his words, he hadn’t wanted to bring this up in front of everyone. “You see, Faith has agreed to accompany us to England.”

The table was silent and all eyes were trying desperately to look anywhere but at Tara. The blonde witch stood up and placed her hands on the table in front of her and refused to lift her gaze. After a tense moment she spoke, her voice cold, “I’d like to speak with you, Giles. Alone.” She then turned and left the room.

Giles, to his credit, had the decency to look throughly reprimanded as he followed her out of the dining room and into the kitchen.

Tara’s back was to the door and she leaned heavily on the counter top as she stared absently out the window. She heard the footsteps, then the door close, before she spoke, “How could you arrange this behind my back?”

“I didn’t intend to… I know you both parted on bad terms but…” The watcher stopped, then sighed, “You’re right. I should have spoken to you.”

“Yeah, you should have.” She turned and met the mans remorseful gaze, “I haven’t seen or spoken to her in months and you go and spring this on me? She just planned to show up without a word and I’m suppose to be fine with that?”

Giles nodded and removed his glasses, “I’m sorry. I know this has been difficult for you.” He put his glasses back on and took a step towards her, “But you must understand, there was no one else I trust to keep you and the relic safe.”

Tara sighed and fought to hold back tears, “She was my best friend, Giles. She could have called.”

Giles smiled sadly and put his hand gently on her shoulder, “My dear girl, she still cares for you deeply, I doubt she knows what to say. She’s not exactly the type to handle this sort of thing with grace.”

Tara chuckled despite herself, “No, she isn’t.” She breathed deeply and nodded, “Alright. I’m still mad at you, but I understand.”

“I can accept that.” He nodded and held his arms out. His smile returned as she quickly accepted the offered hug. “I am truly sorry.”

The blonde sniffed and squeezed the man she considered a father tightly. “I know.”

*****************************************************************************************************************

… on you I knew
We’d spend this life side by side
I still feel the same though you’re so far away
I swear that you’ll always be mine

Forever love
I promise you
Someday we’ll be together
Forever love
I won’t give up
No matter what
I’ll be waiting for you
Forev…

… already there
Take a look around
I’m the sunshine in your…

…I miss the years that were erased…

…What would you think of me now
So lucky so strong so pro…

…That ripples through your close
It’s closer than my hands have been
Oh I’m jealous of the wind…

Willow’s head dropped onto the steering wheel with a soft thud as she groaned loudly. ‘The radio hates me.’

Emma giggled from the back seat, “Mommy, you’re silly.”

The redhead couldn’t help but smile as she lifted her head and glanced into the rearview mirror at her daughter. “Mommy doesn’t think the radio is very nice.”

“I think the last song was pretty Mommy.” The little girl fidgeted in her car seat, “Where are we going? I want to take my fishies new castle to them.”

Sighing softly, Willow shook her head, “Sorry kiddo, Mommy has to stop by work for a few hours. Do you mind going to Jamie’s house to play for a little while?”

While at the pet store Willow had gotten a call saying that her presence was desperately needed at the museum. The fact that it was a Saturday didn’t seem to matter much, so the redhead was being forced to cut her Mommy daughter time a little short.

“Alright! Jamie’s house! Jamie’s Mommy makes the best cookies! She puts potato chips and…”

Willow just rolled her eyes playfully and smiled as her daughter rambled on about her best friends Mom’s cookie recipe. She was just glad that Emma wasn’t upset that she had to go into work on their day out.

Once she had dropped the excited little girl off and promised to be back as soon as she could, she made the drive across town to the museum. Willow had been working at the British Museum for the past four years. When she first began interning at the museum as a grad-student, she was surprised to learn that most museums had a ‘special’ collection not permitted for public viewing. More specifically, demon relics. The British Museum was home to many such pieces and once the curator learned of Willow’s particular skills, she was asked to assist them in the handling of these relics. Willow agreed, mostly because it meant that she would be getting paid and with Emma being only two years old at the time, she desperately needed the added income. Having spent the past year scrapping by on what little she earned by working for the University library, she welcomed the extra money.

Now, four years later, she was not only a respected and sought after academic but she had also taken over the position as curator of the ‘special’ collection. She loved her job. In a way, it made her feel like she was still fighting the good fight, all be it in a different capacity. She kept the most dangerous relics out of the hands of not only demons, but careless humans who would sell these items on the black market.

Once she pulled into the parking lot she grabbed her umbrella from the backseat and began making her way to the entrance of the building. As much as she loved her work, she loved her daughter more, and she was eager to get this over with so she could return home and continue her ‘Mommy, Emma day’.

“Oh thank God. Dr. Rosenberg.” A young man rushed towards her. His shaggy, dark hair fell in slight curls as he ran, nearly tripping over himself. Once he reached the redhead he pushed his dark rim glasses back into their rightful place and doubled over as he tried to catch his breath.

Willow gave the man a bemused smirk. Marcus was a good person, only in his early 20’s, he carried himself like a much older man… most of the time. It was only on rare occasions that his behavior revealed his youth. “Breathe Marcus, then tell me what’s going on as we walk.”

The dark haired man nodded as he straightened up. He let out a puff of air as he straightened his clothing. “Sorry, it’s just.. This is big. Really big. I can’t believe they found this!”

“Found what?” They walked quickly through the museum towards the private collections. Willow wasn’t quite sure what her colleague was talking about, but he seemed very excited.

Marcus paused at the door to the collection and swiped the ID badge hanging from a lanyard around his neck. The door beeped and unlocked, allowing him to push it open. The young man couldn’t contain his excitement any longer. Once the door closed safely behind them he began babbling, “The relic we got in yesterday, it’s complete. Not a fragment, not a replica. It’s authentic, I’ve never seen anything like it! Do you know what this means? I’ve never seen a complete artifact! Not of this nature. It’s absolutely astounding! Do you know what this means?!”

Willow was impressed. Marcus had barely stopped to breathe. As a former babbler, what the young man before her had just managed was quite the accomplishment. She would have commended him on a job well done if the meaning behind his words hadn’t fallen over her like a wet blanket.

“Of what nature, Marcus?” She paused, standing still in the middle of the room, waiting for his answer.

His dark eyes were wide with the thrill of the discovery, “The relic is a complete demon artifact.” His words were hushed. Few in the museum knew about such things. The relics they had of that nature were kept under strict lock and key. No unauthorized personal had access. And only four in the building were authorized. Himself, Olivia, Willow and the Director.

Willow’s expression grew serious, her lips set in a thin line and she addressed her assistant, “Are you sure?” Though they dealt with demon relics on a daily basis, it was still rare to find a complete piece. Most were fragmented or broken in some way.

Marcus nodded, “Positive, Liv confirmed it herself.”

She nodded, “Is it still with her?”

The young man barely nodded before Willow half sprinted in the direction of the lab. Though this was Marcus’s first complete artifact, it wasn’t hers. She had seen many in her time at the museum and each one was handled with the utmost care. It was a delicate task. Learning the origin and purpose of these relics wasn’t something any of them took lightly. One wrong move, one wrong word could have catastrophic consequences.

Once inside she spotted Olivia, one of the few individuals she truly trusted. The Croatian was a master at identifying fake artifacts and a brilliant linguist. Her interest in the ‘other worldly’ happenings had lead her to this facility and specifically this team.

“Is it true?”

Olivia turned to face the doctor and nodded. Her long, dark hair was tied loosely in a bun and her dark rimmed glasses were perched on the bridge of her nose. She was a beautiful women, her sharp features and subtle curves made her the subject of envy and desire.

Her striking blue eyes found Willow’s green and she smiled. “It’s true. I haven’t finished the translation but it’s defiantly demon. And it’s intact.”

Willow peered over the other woman’s shoulder as she carefully examined the script carved into the stone relic. It was only about the size of a CD, but much thicker with intricate carvings along the outside edge. It was difficult for her to make out what the carvings were. Placing her hand on the linguists shoulder she leaned in closer.

Olivia smiled sensuously over her shoulder at the redheaded doctor, “Why Dr. Rosenberg, are you trying to get fresh?”

Willows eyes went wide and she jerked her hand back as if it were scalded. “What? No! Of course not! I would never.. “

Her hysterics were cut off by a soft chuckle as Olivia spun around in the desk chair she was sitting in. “Breathe Will. I was just joking. I know you’d never… not at work anyway.” She gave the redhead a suggestive wink and turned back to her work.

Despite herself, Willow smiled. “Funny. Alright, we’ll leave you to work on this.” She turned to Marcus, who, to his credit, had tried to appear busy fiddling with some paper work so as to give the two women their moment. “We have to call the Director.”

Marcus nodded, then paused, his brow furrowed, “Now? It’s Saturday… you know how he is about his weekends.”

Willow considered this for a moment, then nodded, “I know, but he’ll want to know. Give him a call.”

Marcus nodded and left the room.

“Hey Willow?” The linguists voice was soft.

Willow turned her eyes finding Olivia’s immediately. “Yeah?”

The other woman smiled and stood, moving to stand directly in front of the redhead. “Why don’t you and I have dinner tomorrow night?”

Looking up slightly at the taller woman she sighed, “Liv, you know I don’t have a sitter on weekends.”

“So? Why can’t Emma come with us? We’ll go to the park… come on Will, why not?”

Willow lowered her gaze, her green eyes suddenly shining with sorrow, her words barley above a whisper, “You know why.”

Olivia nodded and reached out slowly, taking the other woman’s hand gently into her own, “I’m not asking you to marry me. Just let me in a little. I know you have Emma and your first priority is her, I respect that.” She gently cupped Willows cheek, lifting her gaze enough to meet her own, “I just think that we could have something here. I already love Em and I care about you. A lot.”

Willow was conflicted. She honestly liked Olivia. They had been friends since the other woman landed the job at the museum 2 years ago. The tall brunette had become a regular presence at the Rosenberg house. But over the passed six months their friendship had begun to shift. Olivia became more interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with the redhead, while Willow was reluctant. She knew that Tara was gone and her lover wouldn’t want Willow to spend the rest of her life grieving. But the truth was, she didn’t feel that she was ready. She wasn't sure she would ever be ready.

Willow reached up and placed her hand over the one still cupping her cheek and gently removed it, “I don’t… I can’t… please?” Her green eyes shone with unshed tears as she looked pleadingly at the other woman.

Olivia nodded in understanding, her eyes searching the depths before her. She wasn’t about to give up on this remarkable woman. “It's okay, really. I’m not going anywhere.”

The redheaded doctor smiled softly and wrapped tentative arms around the taller woman and pulled her into a tender hug. “Thank you. For understanding.”

The brunette wrapped her arms around Willows waist and pulled her closer then whispered in her ear, “Anything for you.”

They stood there for only a moment before they both pulled back and shared a smile.

Willow was the first to speak, though she struggled to clear the emotion for her voice. “I have to go pick up Em from Jamie’s.”

“Okay, tell her I said hi? I miss the little monkey.”

Nodding, Willow smiled, “I’ll tell her. I’ll talk to you later, okay?”

Olivia nodded and returned the redheads smile, “Absolutely.”

Willow turned and quickly walked out of the lab, leaving the linguist to her work. As she made her way to the car her mind was racing and her heart ached. She knew that Olivia was a beautiful woman, inside as well as out, and that she would be lucky to have someone like that in her and her daughters life. But a part of her felt as if she were betraying Tara. She knew on an intellectual level that she was being ridiculous, but she still wasn’t ready to let her lover go.

Before she could reach the door she heard Marcus calling her name and turned to see the young man once more barreling towards her. She held up her hands and frowned at her young colleague. “Whoa, what is up with you today? Training for a marathon or something?”

Marcus bent over clutching at his side as he tried to catch his breath, “Doc, it’s the Director, he said he has to talk to you right away. It’s big…” He finally straightened back up and breathed in deeply before blowing it out, “I’ve got to start working out.”

Willow’s expression dropped from amused to on of confusion, “Is it about the relic? Cause we’ve got it handled for now.”

The young man cut her off, “I don’t think so. I didn’t even get a chance to tell him much about it, he seemed distracted.”

The redhead nodded and began walking towards her office, “Alright. Thank you Marcus.”

He leaned heavily against the wall behind him and wiped his brow, “Yeah… really need to buy some walkie talkies or something.”

Willow laughed and called back over her shoulder, “They’re called cellphones Marcus!”

The young doctor looked up after her, “Oh…” he then pushed himself off the wall and followed his mentor, “You couldn’t have told me that sooner?”


---------------------------------------------------------


“Mommy? Which star is Mama’s again?”

Willow smiled down at the little girl in her lap, her blonde head leaning back against her shoulder looking up into the night sky. She knew that the child knew exactly where the star in question was. but still, she humored her child, knowing she liked it when Willow told her.

“You see the ‘Moose taking a sponge bath’?”

Emma nodded. It was her favorite.

“Okay, look just a little this way.”

The blonde followed her mothers movements as she pointed to the sky.

“See that really bright one, the one that looks just a little blue?”

Emma nodded again, a bright smile on her face. “There she is… that’s Mama.”

The redhead wrapped her arms around her little girl and rested her chin on the child’s shoulder. “Yeah, that’s your Mama.” She breathed in deeply and closed her eyes, inhaling the sent of her daughters strawberry shampoo as her thoughts drifted.

It had become an almost nightly ritual. On warm, clear nights the pair would sit out in the back yard, and on the cold nights like this they would sit together on the window seat in Emma’s bedroom and look at the stars. Willow would tell the little girl stories about Tara and her constellations. She desperately wanted Emma to have a part of her Mama and the stars was the best she could do. It’s all she had left of her soulmate.

Emma loved talking to her Mama and would often sit on the window seat in her room alone, look to the sky and have entire conversations with her. Sometimes, late at night, Willow would find her curled up with a blanket by the window pretending to read a story to herself. At first it had taken Willow a moment to realize that her daughter was actually reading to Tara. The little girl would stop and ask, “Did you like that part?” or “Do you want me to read it again Mama?”

On those nights Willow felt equal parts pride and sorrow. She wished with all her heart that Emma could have known her other mother and she cursed the Gods for having denied her child that. And in the same breath she thanked them for giving her this child, this precious reminder of her love for Tara.

Once she got her daughter settled into bed she made her way down stairs to check the locks, old habits die hard, before going back up to get herself ready for bed. Once finished with her nightly ritual she poked her head into Emma’s room to check on the little girl before going to bed. She watched for a moment, the child curled up under the covers, just as she had left her almost 30 minutes ago.

She smiled knowingly and leaned against the door. “What’s on your mind baby girl?” Willow whispered quietly.

“How did you know I was awake?” Her reply was a quiet squeak.

Willow chuckled softly, “Cause I’m your Mom and I know things. Like, I know that you stick your foot out from underneath the covers almost as soon as you fall asleep.”

Emma rolled onto her back and regarded her mother thoughtfully for a moment, “Oh.”

“Having trouble sleeping Em?”

The little blonde nodded. She had been thinking about her Mama again, but didn’t want to say anything. Sometimes, late at night, she could hear her Mommy crying. She knew that she missed her and didn’t want to make her sad.

“Do you want me to read to you until you fall asleep?” Her voice was barely above a whisper as she made her way to her daughters bed and sat down beside her.

Nodding once more, Emma sat up. “Can we read with Mama tonight?”

Tears sprang to Willows eyes but she tried to keep them at bay. Now wasn’t the time. “Of course baby.” she smiled and ran her fingers through Emma’s long blonde hair. “Come on.”

The pair got out of the small bed and made their way to the window seat, the redhead reaching for a small fuzzy blanket draped across the foot of Emma’s bed. Willow lifted her daughter into her lap and wrapped the blanket around her. From this spot both Mother and child had an unobstructed view of Tara’s star.

“Okay Em, which story do you want me to tell you tonight?” Willow spoke quietly and wrapped her arms tightly around her daughter as the little girl looked up into the night sky.

“Can you tell me the one about the horse? The one that wanted to be a unicorn?” Emma’s voice was just as quiet as her mothers. The child knew that this time spent together was special. She knew that both her Mommy and Mama were with her now, and that she was safe and loved.

“Okay… Once upon a time, in a far off land, there lived a beautiful white horse…”

As the story continued Emma kept her eyes on her Mama’s star, and she wondered what it would be like to meet her, wondered what her voice would sound like, what color her eyes were. Her Mommy had done her best to answer those questions for her, but still, she liked to imagine what it would be like to really be nestled between her parents for story time… even if it was just once. Soon her eyes drifted closed as she listened to her Mommy’s voice and imagined her Mama’s arms wrapped around her.

Willow kissed the top of her daughters head and gently maneuvered the little girl into her bed. She sat for a moment, on the edge of the small bed, and smiled down at her child. She gently brushed a few stray hairs from the girls face. She then carefully stood up and lightly kissed her forehead before turning and making her way quietly to the door. Pausing for just a moment she looked back and whispered, “Good night Em, Mommy loves you.” She then slipped out of the room and gently closed the door behind her.

As the redhead slipped into her own bed she couldn’t help but let her mind drift. The events of the day had been, troubling. The Director had informed her that a second demon relic had been found in the U.S. and representatives from the New Council of Watchers would be arriving Monday. Her team was to examine the relic and determine it’s origin and purpose. She sighed deeply as she rolled onto her back. One complete relic was rare, but two in one day? It couldn’t be coincidence.

But that would wait until Monday. She tried not to think about the Council. She knew that no good would come of it. One thought would lead to another and she would end up wide awake well into the small hours of the morning.

She tried not to think about the empty space beside her. Tried not to think about the ‘what ifs’. She knew she could easily get lost in that line of thought. She sighed then rolled over onto her side and stared out the window. She lay still and closed her eyes. She envisioned strong arms sliding around her waist and the feel of a warm body pressed tightly to her back. She smiled softly as she dreamed of warm breath caressing the back of her neck. She allowed herself to relax into the imagined embrace and began to drift off. She whispered into the darkness a moment before sleep finally claimed her, “I love you Tara.”

******************************


Tara sighed in frustration as she tossed and turned in bed. The evening had been spent preparing for the trip to London tomorrow, and avoiding any thoughts of her ex best friend. Faith was to arrive in the morning. She hadn’t seen or spoken to the Slayer in the five months since she left. She didn’t know how that encounter was going to go. She was angry with Faith for just disappearing, yet she understood her need for time and space. She was just as angry with herself for allowing things to wind up as they were. She never should have let things go so far. She should have…

She sighed again and turned onto her back. This wasn’t helping her at all. She needed to sleep. She closed her eyes and began taking slow, deep breaths. She visualized all the things that brought her peace of mind. A field of yellow sunflowers, a crystal clear lake, blue skies. She imagined herself sitting under a tree and leaning back against the rough bark. She could almost feel the warm sun against her skin.

The image in her minds eye began to shift and she could almost feel the gentle weight against her thigh. She dreamed of running her fingers through soft strands of red hair and smiled. She loved this dream. She looked down and smiled softly as deep green eyes met her sparkling blue. Her voice shook and a tear ran down her cheek, “Hey sweetie.”

Her dream girl smiled up at her and reached out a soft hand to gently caressed her cheek and wipe away the tear, “Hey baby.”

More tears followed the first and she desperately grasped the gentle hand against her cheek, “I miss you so much.”

“I’m always here Tara. I’m always with you.” Her green eyes were filled with love and compassion.

Tara nodded and turned to kiss the palm of her girls hand, “You are. I just wish you could be there when I wake up.”

The redhead leaned up on the elbow of her free hand and gently kissed the blonde’s eyes, “Me too love, me too.”

She smiled though her tears and leaned her forehead against her dream girls, “I love you Willow.”


End Part 1

I really hope you guys like part one. Feel free to leave any suggestions or comments. Part 2 will be up soon, but only if there's interest in the story, so, please please please, let me know what you think....

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 Post subject: Re: The Relic
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:35 pm 
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3. Flaming O

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
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DIBS! :whip Great start! Now the big questions are how Willow got pregnant with her and Tara's child and why both Willow and Tara believe the other one is dead. Did Willow think Tara got killed by the bullet while she was only wounded? Even if Willow left Sunnydale after killing Warren and never tried to contact the other scoobies ever since it wouldn't explain that Tara believes Willow to be dead. So I'm really curious for your answers and can't wait for Tara and Willow to meet again after so long and for Tara to learn about their daughter. Please continue soon!


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 Post subject: Re: The Relic
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:32 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer

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Very interesting ;c an't wait for the flashbacks explaining everything. Was S-7 basically the same but with Tara instead of Willow( so Anya and Jonathan are dead,) and how did S-6 end? Has Tara been approached by others like Willow has with Olivia? 100% different set-up but it reminds me of my own omnibus fic and some non-Pens items in little details.

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Kim: (breaks off the kissing) I l... (Sue stops her with a hand)
Sue: We don't talk about things like that right after, you know that, no saying those things in The Moment.
Kim: (moves the hand aside) Screw The Moment. I *love* you.


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 Post subject: Re: The Relic
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:14 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:44 pm
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Will's redemption wrote:
DIBS! :whip Great start! Now the big questions are how Willow got pregnant with her and Tara's child and why both Willow and Tara believe the other one is dead. Did Willow think Tara got killed by the bullet while she was only wounded? Even if Willow left Sunnydale after killing Warren and never tried to contact the other scoobies ever since it wouldn't explain that Tara believes Willow to be dead. So I'm really curious for your answers and can't wait for Tara and Willow to meet again after so long and for Tara to learn about their daughter. Please continue soon!




Glad you like it so far. I promise, all with be revealed in time!

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 Post subject: Re: The Relic
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:16 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:44 pm
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DaddyCatALSO wrote:
Very interesting ;c an't wait for the flashbacks explaining everything. Was S-7 basically the same but with Tara instead of Willow( so Anya and Jonathan are dead,) and how did S-6 end? Has Tara been approached by others like Willow has with Olivia? 100% different set-up but it reminds me of my own omnibus fic and some non-Pens items in little details.



Hello! Thank you for commenting! I don't want to give away anything too soon, but I promise, everything will be addressed soon! I hope you enjoy the journey!

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 Post subject: The Relic
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:17 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:44 pm
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Part 2


Willow smiled as she watched Emma dangle her head upside down off the side of the couch while watching cartoons. Her little girl was a very unique soul and marched to the beat of her own drum. She had Tara’s wonderful quirky sense of humor and Willow’s quick wit. The little blonde was truly the best of both of them. She giggled to herself as the characters on the screen began making silly noises. It was a ritual of sorts for the two. Every morning on the weekends the two would make breakfast together and then cuddle on the couch and watch cartoons. Weekends were her special days with her daughter.

Emma giggled loudly and wiggled her feet against the back of the couch. “Mommy they look even more silly from here.”

Willow couldn’t help but laugh. “I’m sure they do. You’re upside down Em.” She reached over to tickle the little feet beside her.

A sharp squeal erupted as the little girl slide down the couch and onto the floor and away from her Mothers tickling touch, “No fair! I wasn’t ready!” She looked up at the older redhead from her place on the floor and grinned before getting up and launching herself into her Mom’s arms.

The two laughed loudly as they began searching out well known tickle spots. After a moment, Willow wrapped her arms around the child and blew raspberries on the side of her neck causing the little girl to squeal in delight and squirm in her Mothers arms.

“Mommy! You cheated!” Finally freeing herself from the bear hug, Emma rested on her Mothers lap as she caught her breath.

Willow smiled and smoothed the blondes hair back out of her face. “I didn’t cheat, I just used my superior strength and skill to my advantage.”

Emma looked back at her curiously and tilted her head to the side. “Isn’t that cheating?”

The redhead pretended to think about it long and hard before smiling brightly and nodding. “Pretty much.”

The little girl bounced up and down on her perch and put her small hands on the redheads shoulders. “Since you cheated, can we go outside and play?” She looked into green eyes hopefully.

“Not getting out of cleaning your room, kiddo.” Willow smiled knowingly and kissed her daughter’s forehead. “It’s cleaning day.”

Emma sighed dramatically and fell sideways onto the couch. “But cleaning day isn’t as fun as going outside.”

The redhead patted her daughters leg affectionately and stood up, “We can make it fun.” She stretched lightly and smiled down at the little girl still sprawled out on the couch. “Come on, you pick the music. We clean up real quick, then we can go play. Sound like a plan?”

The little girl perked up and rolled off the couch, landing on her feet. “Happy Songs! I wanna listen to our happy songs!” She jumped up and down excitedly and ran over to the desk in the corner of the room. “Can we Mommy? Please?”

The redhead smiled and nodded. “Alright baby girl, which song?” She made her way to the desk and opened up her laptop quickly finding her play lists. Finally finding the one she was looking for, she loaded it and began scrolling though the songs, already knowing which song her daughter was going to pick.

“Ain’t No Mountain!” Emma bounced up and down as she waited for her Mom to put the song on.

Willow rolled her eyes in good humor as she found the song. “Leave it to my 6 year old to have a thing for Marvin Gaye.”

Music filled the room as the little blonde began dancing around happily. Willow took her hands and the two began dancing together around the living room in their pajamas singing along to the song. The pair broke apart after a moment and began picking things up around the room, still dancing and singing. Emma loved how her Mom could make even the most boring tasks seem like a party just for the two of them.

Soon the next song filtered through the speakers and the little little girl bounced excitedly and looked up at her Mother before beginning to once again sing, “Do you need me, do you think I’m pretty?”

Willow laughed loudly and scooped up the small child and began dancing around the room, “I think that I found myself a cheerleader! She is always right there when I need her!”

Emma laughed loudly as her Mom began to spin them around. “Faster Mommy!”

The redhead spun them faster before falling back onto the couch laughing loudly while hugging her daughter tightly to her.

The two were broken out of their happy moment when Willow’s cellphone began to ring. They looked at one another and Emma sighed loudly. “Do you have to?”

Willow smiled apologetically and nodded. “Afraid so kiddo. Why don’t you go pick up your room real quick while I take care of this? Okay?”

Emma nodded and got up, “Okay Mommy.” The little blonde quickly scrambled up the stairs and to her room. She knew her Mom’s work was important, and it rarely interfered with their weekends. So when it did, she knew that it had to be really important.

Willow watched as her daughter ran up the stairs and smiled after her. She never ceased to amaze her. Hearing the phones persistent ringing she finally pushed up off the couch and made her way to the desk. She hit ‘pause’ on the music before answering the phone.

“Hello?”

Olivia’s voice came through from the other side, “Hey Will, sorry to bother you.”

Willow smiled despite herself, “No, it’s alright Liv, what’s up?”

“Just wanted to let you know that the representatives will be arriving later today. The director wanted me to give you a heads up so you can be ready to meet them first thing tomorrow.”

The redhead nodded to herself. “Alright. I’ll be ready. Anything new I should know about?”

“Nope, just that the relic they’ve described sounds identical to ours. Still trying to narrow down a translation. I’m getting close though. Should be able to tell them something tomorrow.”

“Okay Liv, thanks for working through the weekend, I really owe you one.”

“Have dinner with me Friday and we’ll call it even.”

Willow blushed brightly and stumbled over her words, “Liv, I think… I mean dinner is good… I just don’t know. I mean..”

She could her Olivia’s deep laughter over the phone. “It’s just dinner Will. We’ve eaten dinner together before.”

The redhead sighed softly and rolled her eyes and her own behavior, “You’re right. I’m just being weird. Dinner sounds good Liv.”

“Great. Okay, have a good day Will, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Alright. See you tomorrow.”

********************************************************************

Tara stood by her bed, checking and re-checking her luggage, making sure she had everything she thought she would need for the trip to London. The flight from Cleveland to London would be long, she knew, but that wasn’t what had her nervously folding the shirt in her hands for the third time. Giles had come to talk to her early that morning. He had received word of a third artifact and would be traveling with Xander and Buffy to retrieve it. Tara would be overseeing the museums examination of the object in his place. She and Faith would be making the journey alone.

Faith would be arriving any time now. She would be face to face with her once best friend in a matter of hours and she wasn’t sure she was ready for it. She sighed deeply and sat down on the side of the bed, the shirt now balled up in her fists. She struggle to reign in the torrent of emotions that threatened to overwhelm her. The strongest of those being anger. Anger at Faith for leaving and anger at herself for letting it happen.

6 Months ago…


The blonde burst through the front door, throwing her keys onto the small table by the door. Her delicate features set in a hard line, frustration clearly written across her face.

Faith stormed in after, ripping off her jacket and tossing it at the coat rack, she ignored it at it fell to the floor. She followed her blonde friend into the living room as she took off her own jacket and draped it over the back of the couch.

The pair stood in silence for a long while, neither knowing what to say.

Tara finally sighed loudly and turned to face the brunette, her arms crossed over her chest. “Faith I’m sorry, I know what you’re trying to do… I-I’m just not r-ready.”

“It’s her, isn’t it?”

“Faith…”

The brunette lowered her head in her hand, trying to find a way to make her friend see the truth. “You can’t keep holding on to her T. She’s gone. She left a long time ago. But she’s still here, still surrounding you like a damn ghost.”

“You’re right, okay? I c-can’t just stop loving someone. I know that’s what you w-want. What everyone wants, but I can’t. I can’t move on.” Tears fell from her blue eyes.

Faith hated seeing the blonde in pain. But she hated Willow more for causing it. “Fuck her T! She left you bleeding on the floor! She doesn’t give a fuck about you or anyone else here! She’s gone!”

“That’s not true. She thought I was dead.”

“Yeah, but you weren’t! And when Giles called to tell her? Where the hell was she then? ‘Cause she sure as hell wasn’t here.” She knew she was pushing it. But she desperately needed Tara to understand. She was waisting her life. Watching the world pass her by. She wanted Tara to be happy, so she had kept her mouth shut, been the shoulder

“Faith..”

“You know, I’m tired to watching you pine after a dead woman.”

Tara stood from the chair she had been sitting in, her eyes flashing angrily. “Don’t you dare say that.”

The dark Slayer stood as well, stepping around the table to face her friend. “We’ve been dancing around it for years. She disappeared. No trace. Nothing. Face it T, she’s dead.”

“Stop!” She held her hand up between them.“T-that’s enough… God, look what we’re doing to each other. We tried, it didn’t work. So please, leave it alone.”

Faith paused, and looked, really looked at Tara for the first time in… too long. She knew that the blonde was right. The longer they danced around each other the more pain and resentment weighed them down. The had agreed on one date, just to see if there was a chance for something more and halfway through they know, it just wouldn’t work. Though Faith desperately wanted it to, she knew, Tara was still in love with a dead woman. She sighed loudly and sat heavily on the couch. Tears were streaming down Tara’s face as she sat beside her.

“I’m s-so sorry, Faith. You’re my best friend, can’t that be enough?” Her words were barely above a whisper.

The raven haired slayer reached over and gently covered Tara’s hand with her own. She shook her head slowly. “I’m right here, Tar… I can be what you need.” She looked pleadingly into deep blue eyes, swimming with unshed tears, “Please, just, try?”

Tara took a shuttering breath and fought through her tears, “I’m sorry. I can’t.”


Faith was gone before Tara woke up the next morning. No note, no message, nothing. Just gone. She knew the dark slayer needed time, but she was still angry. 6 months had gone by and still, no word from her once friend. Their friendship meant so much to her, she just couldn’t understand how Faith could throw it away so easily.

She was startled out of her thoughts by a soft knock on the door.

“C-come in.” She smiled as Dawn poked her head through the door.

The young woman frowned slightly as she saw the blondes shirt being wrung between her hands, “Umm… you okay Tara?”

Tara smiled a halfhearted smile and stood, shoving her shirt into her bag and zipping is closed. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

Dawn nodded, “Okay. Well, Giles wanted me to tell you that it’s time.”

“Okay.” She took a deep breath and stood, grabbing her bags before following Dawn out of her room and down the hall. She paused once she reached the front door. She looked up a Giles who stood there waiting on her.

He placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. “You’ll do just fine.”

Tara forced a smile and nodded. After another deep breath she opened the door and walked outside before freezing in her tracks.

There, not 15 feet from her, Faith leaned against Giles’ black SUV, a small smile gracing her lips. “Hey T. Long time no see.”
__________________________________________

The flight was awkward, to say the least. Both woman sat in silence, lost in thought.

After nearly an hour of ignoring one another, Faith had had enough. “Okay, as fun as this is, we can’t just sit an glare at each other the entire trip.”

Tara sighed loudly with a shake of her head. “I don’t know what to say to you.”

The dark slayer nodded, “Okay, how about we just agree that the whole date thing was a bad idea? I said some shitty things, you said some shitty things. I was wrong for taking off like I did. Then we call it a day and get back to being friends?” She took a breath then turned to look at the blonde witch fully. “I’m sorry T. I really am…”

She smiled as the months of anger and confusion began to lift from her shoulders and tears welled up in her eyes. “I want us to be okay, I really do. But can it really be that easy?”

“I guess that’s up to you.” Faith gently took her friends hand in hers and squeezed it tightly. “I meant what I said. I was wrong to try and push you. Everything just got so messed up.”

Tara nodded, “I get it. And I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have gotten so angry.” She smiled at the brunette and squeezed her hand in return. “I missed you.”

“Missed you too, T.” Faith smiled back before moving her hand. She knew they would probably need to talk more. As much as they wanted everything to go back to normal, eventually the reality of spending 6 months away from her family and friends would come up again. But for now, she was content in the moment. “So… what’s the deal with this demon thing?”

Tara rolled her eyes at her friends abrupt subject change. It was well known that the dark slayer was uncomfortable with long bouts of emotional conversation. “I’m not sure yet. That’s why we’re taking it to London. Giles said there was a team there that sort of specializes in demon artifacts. He thinks they can tell us more.”

Faith shrugged and leaned back in her seat, propping her feet up on the seat in front of her. “Well, I guess we’ll see when we get there.”

The blonde witch nodded and looked out the small window at the world below. “I guess we will.” She smiled back at the brunette beside her. “And who knows, might be a fun adventure. It has been pretty quiet lately.”

Faith stared openly at the blonde before shaking her head in disappointment. “Well… now you’ve done it.”

Tara cocked her head to the side in confusion. “What?”

Faith smirked and closed her eyes, “You jinxed it. Oh well, been a while since I’ve had a good brawl. Could use a little action.”

The blondes eyes grew wide as realization dawned on her. “Oh no.”

The two once again fell into silence, Faith day dreaming about demons and kicking ass, while Tara was lost in thought, wondering what exactly this trip had in store for her.

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 Post subject: Re: The Relic
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:01 am 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

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This is a great premise and I'm really looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us. It's always exciting when there's a new story.


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 Post subject: Re: The Relic
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:01 am 
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20. Not one Much for the Timber
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Great start...just enough to get me hooked. Part two explained some, but not Willow’s side. Very curious as to how Willow got pregnant and why she never kept in touch with the Scoobies. This unexpected reunion should be very interesting. Can’t wait!!

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 Post subject: The Relic
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:39 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:44 pm
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Thank you all for reading! Sorry it's take so long to get this part up. I recently moved, so writing was put on the back burner for a while. I hope you guys like this next part. It's a little short but I wanted to get something up before Thanksgiving. The update is directly below.





Part 3

Sunday passed without further interruption. Willow stood at the kitchen sink, finishing up the dishes from dinner. She smiled wistfully as she gazed out the window to the back yard. It had been a wonderful day spent playing with Em. She cherished every moment they spent together. She wanted her daughter to have the kind of childhood she herself had only dreamed of. She dried her hands and went about her nightly routine, locking doors and checking windows before ascending the stares and peaking in on Em.

Willow paused at the door to her daughters room. She could barely make out the quiet voice of her daughter whispering. The redhead poked her head in and listened quietly. Emma was sitting on her window seat, her favorite blanked wrapped around her shoulders.

“… and help Jamies lizard learn to catch crickets better, he’s not very good at it right now cause he’s just a baby.” The little girl paused, looking out the window into the night sky, “And, if it’s not too much trouble, could you tell Mama something for me? Mommy says she can hear me but I just want to be sure, just in case she’s busy some times and doesn’t hear everything. Could you tell Mama that we’re okay? Mommy still gets sad sometimes, but we’re okay.” Emma paused once more, trying to find the right words. “So she doesn’t have to worry about us. I don’t want Mama to worry.”

The redhead held a hand tightly over her mouth as tears rolled down her cheeks. Her daughter never ceased to astonish her, the little girls kind heart and gentle nature often brought her to tears. She reminded her so much of Tara, always thinking about others and hardly ever asking anything for herself.

“Thank you for listening Mr. Moon, I’ll talk to you again tomorrow. And good night Mama, I love you.” The little blonde smiled softly and hurried across her room and jumped into her bed, snuggling under the covers and holding her stuffed cat tightly to her chest.

Willow struggled to reign in her tears and swallow the lump in her throat. She wiped her eyes with the back of her sleeve and took several deep breaths before entering her daughters room.

“All settled in Em?” She tried to keep the emotion out of her voice.

Emma peaked out from under the blanket and nodded with a smile, “Yup, can you read the whale story tonight?”

Willow smiled and sat on the edge of the small bed, “Sure, it’s one of my favorites.” She stood and went to the book shelf, searching for a moment and finally finding ‘A Small Blue Whale’

The little blonde squealed excitedly and snuggled deeper into the blankets, “Mine too!” She grinned up at her mother, waiting patiently for the story to begin.

She chuckled at her child’s antic’s and sat back down on the bed. She ran her fingers through the girls long hair then opened the book and began reading. “A small blue whale sat in a silver sea…”

The two laughed together and pointed out their favorite parts. Emma loved the pictures and made sure she shared her thoughts on each one with her Mom. Willow’s heart swelled with love, she knew Em loved drawing and paint, she felt so much pride knowing that their child shared an interest in something that had been so important to Tara.

After the last page was read, Willow looked down at her child and leaned down to press a gentle kiss to her forehead. “Good night baby girl.” She whispered quietly and settled her into bed.

Emma opened her eyes slowly at regarded her mother with sleepy eyes. “Mommy?”

Willow paused beside the small bed and smiled down at her child, “Hmm?”

“Do you still miss Mama?” The question was quiet, tentative, almost as if she were afraid of hurting her mother with the memories of long ago.

The redhead sat back down on her daughters bed and brushed her fingers through her soft blonde hair. After a long moment, she smiled sadly and nodded. “Every day.” Her voice was thick with emotion, but she managed to keep the tears at bay.

Emily nodded as she looked up into the sad green eyes of her Mom, “I miss her too.”

****************************

The first thing Tara noticed upon entering the museum was that Faith’s demeanor immediately changed. While outside, the dark slayer strutted with confidence down the sidewalk, earning more than one appreciative glance, but as soon as the door closed, she seemed to grow uncomfortable, adjusting her jacket and tugging at her shirt. Yes, Faith was officially out of her element.

She nudged her friends shoulder and smiled, “You doing alright?”

Faith shrugged and once again fiddled with her jacket. “5 by 5 T.”

The blonde chuckled, “Mmhmm, sure you are.”

The brunette shot her friend a sharp glare. “I’m fine. Just didn’t sleep well. You’d think being sent all the way to England on a world saving mission would earn a stay in a better hotel.”

“We’re on a budget. The jet was expensive.” Tara teased with a grin.

The pair made their way over to the front desk, Tara informing the young woman working there that they had an appointment with the Director. They were then lead down a long hallway and asked to wait in a large conference room.

Tara and Faith sat quietly in the Museum’s board room. Faith absently twisting her leather office chair from side to side. Slayer’s didn’t do particularly well with being asked to wait. Boredom set in easily and Faith had a tendency to find something, usually something destructive, to pass the time.

Tara watched with a bemused smirk as the dark slayer began bouncing up and down, testing the sturdiness of the chair. She knew that if they had to wait much longer, her ex lover would soon be using it to roll across the room as fast as she could. She chuckled when the raven haired woman began spinning in fast circles. This could easily get out of hand.

She was broken out of her thoughts as the large wooden door swung open and a stunning brunette walked into the room carrying several files. Her long hair was situated into a tight bun and her dark rim glasses made her look like one of those librarians you would expect to see staring in a school boys fantasy. A tall, dark haired young man followed quickly after her, closing the conference room door behind him. She smiled softly at him and he glanced in her direction then looked immediately away, a deep blush covering his cheeks. He reminded her of Xander in a way.

Tara glanced over at Faith and noticed how the slayer’s eyes followed the other woman’s every move, a grin plastered on her face. She rolled her eyes and was a bit surprised that she felt no jealousy. Not even a little. But before she could fully analyze that thought, the woman broke the silence.

“Sorry to have kept you waiting. We’re still waiting on our curator. It seems as though she’s running a bit late.” She smiled softly and took a seat across from the two women, Marcus taking the seat directly beside her. She began arranging the files on the table in front of them, “It won’t be much longer.”

The blonde witch couldn’t place the woman’s accent, clearly not British, though. She smiled and nodded, “It’s okay. W-we aren’t in any hurry.”

The woman smiled and looked directly into Tara’s eyes. Her striking blue eyes seemed to bore into hers. She blushed slightly and looked away, effectively breaking their gaze. This woman was stunning, Tara couldn’t deny that. And what’s more? She knew it. Her confidence radiated off of her in waves.

From beside her, Faith finally spoke up, “I’m Faith. And you are…?”

The woman turned her gaze on Faith and extended her hand, “Dr. Olivia Novak. Pleasure to meet you.” She smirked and quirked her eyebrow in amusement at Faith’s open mouthed stare.

Beside her, Marcus watched the entire scene play out. From Olivia’s naturally flirtatious mannerisms to Faith’s obvious gawking, and finally to the blonde directly in front of him who remained silently amused. Deciding to break the now awkward silence he nudged the linguist with his elbow, breaking her out of her impromptu staring contest, then reached across the table, offering his hand to the blonde, “I’m Dr. Marcus Hansen. I’ll be assisting Dr. Rosenberg in this matter.”

Tara smiled and took the young mans hand, “Tara…” She paused as she registered the name the young doctor had mentioned and let her hand slip from his. Rosenberg. Her body tensed involuntarily and her jaw tightened. It wasn’t her Willow. It couldn’t be. There were countless Rosenberg’s in this country, and probably every other county in the world. It was coincidence. Beside her, Faith shifted uncomfortably. Tara glanced over at her and saw the concern in her dark eyes. She flashed her a forced smile and took a deep breath. It wasn’t Willow. She turned back to Marcus and tried to relax, “It’s nice to meet you, Dr. Hansen.”

Olivia noticed the change in the blonde immediately, though she couldn’t quite decide what had caused it. Before she could further analyze the situation Faith began speaking.

“So, do you need the demon thing now or do you want to wait for your boss?” She knew hearing Willow’s surname had shaken Tara and she wanted to give her friend a chance to bounce back.

“You have it with you now?” Olivia asked curiously.

Faith nodded nodded and lifted a black duffel bag from the floor and placed it on the table. “Right here.”

Marcus leaned back in his chair, “Well… that’s one way to transport a priceless and potentially dangerous relic.”

Olivia adjusted her glasses slightly and carefully reached across the table, gently grasping the handles of the bag, “Yes, quite… inconspicuous.” She stood and slowly opened the bag and reached inside. With practiced grace, she lifted the relic from its confines. “Perhaps you should retrieve a more… suitable case, if you would please Marcus.” She held the relic carefully, never taking her eyes off of it.

Marcus quickly stood and half ran out of the room, returning a moment later with a secure case. Olivia gently placed the relic inside the housing and closed the lid, finally releasing the breath she had been holding. She looked up at the two sitting before her, both wearing confused and stunned expressions. She smiled despite her heart pounding a mile a minute, and explained, “If it breaks, even slightly, it could cause the relic to activate. And as we’re still unsure of what that entails it’s best we keep it as safe as possible.”

Faith nodded as understanding dawned on her, “Oh.. yeah. Didn’t know that.” She looked at Tara and smirked, “Good thing I didn’t drop it at the airport, huh T?”

Tara rolled her eyes and chuckled despite herself, “Yeah, you could say that.”

The door to the conference room swung open and before she could see who had entered she saw a look pass over Olivia’s features. The sultry woman smiled in relief and stood quickly, “Thank God. I was beginning to worry.”

Tara followed her movements and her heart stopped in her chest. Olivia embraced the newcomer tightly and Marcus stood as well, a small grin spreading over his face. There. Standing in the tall brunettes arms, was her Willow. She hadn’t yet looked over to them. Seemed oblivious to anything but the woman holding her tightly. She watched as the redhead smiled softly and tentatively returned the hug. Tara’s throat closed tightly as tears burned her eyes. She felt Faith’s hand tightly grasp her arm but ignored it. She couldn’t take her eyes off of Willow.

Willow hugged Olivia briefly before pulling away, aware, to an extent, that the council representatives were in the room, though she had yet to acknowledge them. Marcus was standing in front of her, blocking most of her view. “I’m fine, Liv. There was a wreck so I had to take a detour, which turned into me getting lost.” She smiled sheepishly as Marcus rolled his eyes.

“I swear, I don’t know how you made it anywhere on time before Google Maps.” He teased.

Willow laughed and gently pushed his shoulder before turning to the others in the room. She saw Faith first and she stopped in her tracks. She hadn’t expected to see anyone from her past. Especially not Faith. Then her eyes drifted to the person sitting beside her and her stomach lurched.

Olivia, oblivious to Willow’s pause, turned and began introducing everyone, “Willow, these are the representatives from the Council.” She turned and smiled over her shoulder, but stopped when she saw the stricken look on the redhead’s face.

Willow felt all the air leave her lungs and her knees went weak. Marcus was quickly by her side, steadying her with a strong arm around her waist. Willow’s hands quickly flew to her mouth and tears fell from her wide green eyes. She couldn’t move, couldn’t speak. She could only stare in shock at the vision before her.

Tara stood quickly when she saw Willow tilt forward, grateful that Marcus had caught her. She didn’t know what to do. A part of her wanted to jump over the table and gather the crying redhead into her arms and never let her go. The other part had so many questions and she struggled to keep them all at bay. Where had she been? How did she get here? Why didn’t she contact them? Contact her? Why did she just, disappear? Instead, she simply stood there, tears of her own spilling down her cheeks.

Faith looked back and forth between the two. She saw Tara begin to tremble and wanted to reach out to her, wrap her arms around her. But she held back. She had loved Tara, a part of her still did, but she knew that the only person who held Tara’s heart was standing right across the room. She knew how her friend had mourned the redheads loss. Had seen her on her knees praying to have the other woman come back to her. Now here she was, and they both seemed frozen in place.

Olivia wasn’t nearly as restrained, she rushed to Willow’s side and tried to wipe the tears from her cheeks, “Willow, love, what’s wrong? Are you hurt?”

Tara’s heart gripped with jealously as the other doctor began fawning over her lover. Ex lover, she reminded herself. Perhaps they were a couple? It had been 6 years since she had seen the redhead. She didn’t have the right to feel this way.

Willow brushed Olivia aside and took a shaky step forward. This couldn’t be real. Tara was gone. She couldn’t be here and yet… was she dreaming? She pinched her arm hard and felt the sharp pain instantly. She couldn’t stop the deep wailing sob that broke from her throat as her legs finally gave out, only Marcus’ grip around her waist kept her from falling.

He quickly maneuvered her to a seat and kneeled in front of her. He looked up at Olivia, both wearing matching bewildered expressions. Neither understanding what was happening. He looked back to the shaking woman, her wide eyes never leaving the blonde standing across the table. “Dr. Rosenberg? What’s wrong? Please talk to me.” He pleaded, his hands resting gently on her knees.

Willow shook her head and took great gasping breaths. “T-tara?” The name broke free, sounding like a desperate plea.

Tara could take no more and leaped across the table and half shoved Marcus out of the way before kneeling before her love. She gently cupped Willow’s face in her hands and looked deeply into the green eyes of the woman who held her heart. “I’m here Willow. I’m here.”

The redhead fell forward into Tara’s arms and clung to her as if she were drowning. She was desperate to hold on to the other woman, believing that if she let go, Tara would be gone.

The blonde wrapped her arms around the sobbing redhead and held on as tightly as she could. She rocked her gently and whispered over and over that it was okay and that she was right here. She briefly wondered if this was wise. They had been apart for so long, surly this would only add to the complications. But ultimately she decided she didn’t care. If this was all she ever got, this one moment to hold her love, she would gratefully take it. Consequences be damned.

The others could only look on, each lost in their own thought. Finally, Faith discreetly wiped her own tears from her eyes and walked around to the other two, “Let’s give them some space.” She ushered them out of the room, despite their protests. She told them both that Willow was safe with Tara and promised to explain once they found a private place to talk. She looked back at the pair, still huddled together on the floor and smiled sadly before closing the door quietly behind her.

Tara’s legs were beginning to cramp and she readjusted their position, sitting on the floor and pulling the redhead into her lap. She murmured softly in the woman’s ear, trying to calm her shaking some, “I’m right here sweetie, I’m not going anywhere.” Tears continued to fall unchecked as she rested her cheek against the soft hair of her love. She inhaled deeply, reaffirming her sweet scent to memory. She never thought she would be this close to Willow again, be able to hold her in her arms. Now here she was, the other woman, literally, wrapped around her. She couldn’t help but smile and send a silent thank you to every deity in the heavens.

Willow’s crying eventually calmed down and she simply held onto Tara, her hands balled into fists, grasping the blondes shirt desperately. She kept her eyes closed and savored the feeling of soft hands caressing her back soothingly. A part of her was afraid to open her eyes, afraid that this was a dream. However, no dream had ever felt this wonderful, this right. She steeled herself mentally and slowly pulled back, only enough to be able to look at the other woman’s face. Her eyes remained closed for a moment longer, then, taking a shaking breath, she opened them slowly and tears immediately began to fall. She smiled through her tears and brought her hands up to gently trace Tara’s features and run her fingers though her soft hair. She half sobbed, half laughed as Tara smiled and leaned into the touch.

Tara was in heaven. She had dreamed of this day, of having Willow back in her life, but the real thing was far better than any daydream she had. She too smiled through her tears and began caressing the fiery locks of her love and leaned into her gentle caresses.

The redhead gently ran her fingertips across Tara’s lips, but her eyes never left the deep blue of her loves. “How?” Her voice was thick and rough from the tears but she had to know.

“How what, Will?” Tara was unsure what Willow meant, but couldn’t help but smile at hearing her voice. She had waited so long to hear that voice again.

Willow’s fingers continued their journey across the blondes features, eager to relearn every line, every contour. “How did you come back? When?” She noticed slight differences in the blondes appearance. Laugh lines, where previously there had been none, she seemed thinner, her jaw line more defined. Despite the subtle changes, she was still the most beautiful woman she had ever seen.

Tara was even more confused, “Back? Willow I don’t understand.”

Willow shook her head, “Please, don’t make me say it…”

“Back from where sweetie?” She gently ran her fingers across Willow’s jaw.

More tears began trailing down the redhead’s cheeks, she didn’t want to say it. She didn’t know if she could. But Tara obviously wanted her to, for some reason. “From h-heaven? You must have been there. How could you not?” Her voice trembled, “Oh God Tara, y-you were… w-who did this?” On one hand she was mortified that the gentle blonde had been torn from heaven, but on the other, she couldn’t help but feel truly blessed to be in her arms again.

Tara shook her head, “What? Willow, I wasn’t… you think?” She grew quiet as the reality of Willow’s words hit her, “You didn’t know? No one told you…”

Willow’s brow furrowed as she looked into Tara’s wide blue eyes. “Tara?”

The blonde shook her head in disbelief as more tears rolled down her cheeks. “Oh goddess Will… No sweetie.” She swallowed thickly fought to keep her own emotions in check. “Willow, I didn’t die.”

Willow pulled back and searched the eyes of her love. “No… I-I saw you. I felt you. You were gone.”

Tara shook her head and gently caressed the redheads cheeks. “Xander called an ambulance. I made it to the hospital in time. They saved my life Will.”

Tears continued to fall from the redhead’s wide green eyes. She studied the blonde’s face frantically, trying to process what she had just heard. She pulled the blonde to her, clinging desperately, inhaling her scent. Tara was alive. She was here. She wanted to analyze what that meant exactly, how it could all be possible, but in this moment, it didn’t matter. Tara was alive. Nothing else mattered.

_________________
"Had the price of looking been blindness, I would have looked."


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 Post subject: Re: The Relic
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:26 am 
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3. Flaming O

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 97
DIBS! :whip I'm very happy that you didn't postpone our beloved couples' reunion. Right now Willow is overwhelmed by happiness and relief that Tara is alive, but soon she will probably ask herself how and by whom she was tricked to feel that Tara did indeed die. If it had been just a case of "in my panic I couldn't feel her pulse" that robbed her daughter of 6 years of childhood with both parents, Willow would probably never forgive herself for it. And Willow's statement
Quote:
“No… I-I saw you. I felt you. You were gone.”

also makes me believe there was some magical trickery involved or something.

Still the question remains why Willow never tried to contact the other scoobies after she somehow escaped the darkness in herself and had her baby... If she had, she would have known that Tara survived long before now. Once she realizes that, Willow will bitterly regret breaking all her former ties, I'm sure.


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