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

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 04/29/2020
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 7:33 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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CHAPTER


Tara sat in a red vinyl booth at the far corner of the bar, drowning her fourth tequila shot. It had been a couple of weeks since she had been to the pub, drinking herself into oblivion. She stopped her nightly activities after she began to experience unexplainable feelings around a certain redhead, which was when the thoughts of having mindless sex with random women just didn’t seem appealing to her anymore.

She realized that it was because there was only one person she wanted to be with and it was Doctor Willow Rosenberg. Even back then, she was already unconsciously falling in love with her. Tara smiled humorlessly to herself at her own ignorance. Signaling a passing waitress, Tara held up her empty shot glass, indicating that she would like another flight. Her mind was plagued with thoughts of Willow, whom she reckoned must be enjoying her dinner date with her best friend at the moment.

"Thanks," Tara said hoarsely when the waitress set down the narrow shot glasses in front of her. She knocked back two of the glasses in quick succession, trying to get as much alcohol into her system as possible.

Margarete Thatcher had been right about her being abandoned and alone. Her mother died when she was young and her father had become non-existent not long after that. She hadn’t spoken a word to him since she went into the police academy years ago. That was where she met Julian who had stuck with her through thick and thin over the years, the only consistent and reliable presence in her life. For months, he had gushed about Willow and only asked her out on the occasions where their standoffs were mildly heated. Willow had rejected him every time because of her and he had over time slowly put off his advances in consideration of his partner. And all it had taken her was a few minutes to toss him to the back of her head and be intimate with the very same person her adored.

Anger, frustration, guilt and pain were only a few of the emotions she was able to identify amongst the rest that she was feeling. Wolfing down the rest of her shots, Tara looked around the bar, searching for the pair of eyes that had been watching her for quite a while. She met a pair of green eyes, belonging to a flaxen-haired woman sitting on a stool at the bar counter. The thought of seeking out comfort with the stranger on the other side of the bar crossed her mind; but she quickly casted it away. She didn’t want to feel good. She wanted to punish herself.

Sliding out of the booth, Tara stumbled to the exit, avoiding eye contact with the wanton woman. Stuffing both of her hands into the pockets of her jacket, Tara searched for her car keys. She fumbled with the ring of various keys before finally finding the right one and inserting it into the keyhole of her car, parked at the side of the road. Her vision was becoming blurry and her surroundings started to spin. Once she entered her car, nestling down into the driver’s seat, Tara pulled the door shut forcefully and leaned her head back onto the headrest. Tossing the keys over her shoulder into the backseat, she thought of her friend and Willow, sincerely hoping that they worked out; even if it meant at her expense. Within seconds, her eyes began to flutter close, darkness enveloping her.

 
888
 

Julian briskly walked across the modest sized, mood-lit restaurant, chivalrously pulling out a seat for his date before making his way across the small table to his own chair.

"Thank you." Willow smiled amiably at the gentlemanly gesture.

Within seconds, their waiter arrived at their table, laying down the menus in front of them as he recited the specials for the day from memory. Once finished, he jotted down their drink orders before politely excusing himself from the table, giving Willow and Julian the chance to skim through a list of choices.

The drive to the restaurant had been pleasant enough with the both of them exchanging small talk as well as sharing personal stories, though the latter was mostly divulged by Julian with a great deal of enthusiasm.

"So, what do you think about this place?" Julian asked tentatively. He had spent some time trying to pick the perfect place for their first date and settled on Blue Moon at last after reading through countless raving reviews.

"I think it’s great. You must have gone through a lot of trouble," Willow answered with a guilty expression. She felt absolutely dreadful for what she was about to do and the effort that her companion had put in only made it that much harder.

"Not at all. Besides, even if I had, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Not for you," Julian smiled charmingly. He had waited for this opportunity for more than a year now. He would have done anything to make this an enjoyable night for her.

Willow smiled back awkwardly as she contemplated on the manner in which to put her feelings and thought into words. She had spent the better part of the day rehearsing the speech out loud, remembering every word from start to finish. But now, sitting across from the gentle-eyed detective, her confidence vanished much like the words she had planned to say. Hesitantly, she bit down on her lower lip and stared at Julian apologetically. Julian frowned slightly at the strange look he was receiving. Their silent exchange was briefly interrupted when the waiter arrived with their drinks, placing a glass of red wine in front of Willow and a scotch on the rocks in front of Julian.

"Are you all set to order?" The waiter asked with a well practiced smile, a pen held at the ready against his order pad.

"Um," Julian faltered, his eyes still locked on Willow's. "I think we need another minute," he finally said, slowly turning his head to look at the waiter, "thanks."

"Not a problem," the man replied jovially, oblivious to the glum expressions at the table. "I'll be back in a few."

Turning his attention back to the redhead, Julian swallowed the lump forming in the back of his throat, wondering if he had done or said something wrong. "What is it?" he asked concernedly.

Willow opened her mouth to speak, but closed it again when she couldn’t find the right words. She let out a beaten breath as she forced herself to be honest with the brunette. "Actually, the reason I agreed to have dinner with you tonight is…" she grimaced, utterly dismayed by the whole situation that she had created.

"Is to what?" Julian asked, his eyebrows turning upward in curiosity.

Willow took a deep calming breath to steady her nerves. "You’re a great guy, Julian. But the reason I agreed to have dinner with you tonight was to tell you I can’t do this. I’m sorry."

Julian frowned in puzzlement. "Can’t do this? What do you mean can’t…" he paused immediately when comprehension set in. "You mean, date me?"

"It’s not you. You’re a really great guy …"

"It's not you," Julian repeated dejectedly, his chest tightening slightly as the words whispered past his lips. "Damn, I always thought that was just something people said in movies."

"Really Julian, it isn't. You're a really great guy..." she proclaimed, hoping to quell the man's disappointment.

"Then what is it?" the detective asked, slightly defensive.

"It’s just that I like someone else … I think." Willow replied rather unconvincingly.

"You think?" Julian breathed out in disbelief as he arched an unimpressive eyebrow, receiving only a shrug from his supposed date in response. He passed a hand over his face and leaned back into his cushioned seat, his face crestfallen. Staring blankly at the slowly melting ice-cubes in the glass siting in front of him, Julian tried to come to terms with reality.

"I am so sorry. For everything," Willow said in a quiet voice as she delivered her heartfelt regret. As much as she hated to hurt Julian, she was also relieved that she had finally told him the truth about her feelings. The next problem would be to tell him that the person she liked was his best friend, a woman; completely outing herself. But she knew before she could reveal anything to him, she had to first talk with Tara who had been ignoring her calls.

Julian nodded dumbly at the apology as he sat up. "Well, I can’t really force you into anything so…" he heaved a heavy sigh. This night had turned out to be the complete opposite of what he had hoped.Reaching for the glass of scotch, Julian brought it to his lips, downing the glass in one pull. Lowering the glass, he let out a defeated sigh, "I guess we’re just not meant to be."

_________________
Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / A Special Christmas of Sorts / Maybe It's Just Me / Honeysuckle Rose /Blackouts and Breakthroughs / When Love Arrives


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/06/2020
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 12:07 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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:whip Dibs!
I'm relieved that Tara didn't stumble into another one night stand in her heartache. Then I was scared that Tara would try to drive home in her drunken state - thank goodness that she only "crawled" into her car to sleep it of.

Quote:
Willow took a deep calming breath to steady her nerves. "You’re a great guy, Julian. But the reason I agreed to have dinner with you tonight was to tell you I can’t do this. I’m sorry."

Julian frowned in puzzlement. "Can’t do this? What do you mean can’t…" he paused immediately when comprehension set in. "You mean, date me?"

"It’s not you. You’re a really great guy …"

"It's not you," Julian repeated dejectedly, his chest tightening slightly as the words whispered past his lips. "Damn, I always thought that was just something people said in movies."

"Really Julian, it isn't. You're a really great guy..." she proclaimed, hoping to quell the man's disappointment.

"Then what is it?" the detective asked, slightly defensive.

"It’s just that I like someone else … I think." Willow replied rather unconvincingly.

"You think?" Julian breathed out in disbelief as he arched an unimpressive eyebrow, receiving only a shrug from his supposed date in response. He passed a hand over his face and leaned back into his cushioned seat, his face crestfallen. Staring blankly at the slowly melting ice-cubes in the glass siting in front of him, Julian tried to come to terms with reality.

"I am so sorry. For everything," Willow said in a quiet voice as she delivered her heartfelt regret.


I am not too impressed about the "vague" way Willow told Julian that and why she can't have a relationship with him. If I were Julian I would think "Great, couldn't you have told me that when I asked you out instead of accepting the date?!" In my opinion Willow should have just told Julian frankly that she's gay. Then there would have been no need on this occasion to even mention to him that she "might" like someone else. I'm sure the disappointment that he can never be with her would have been lessened with the knowledge that no other man will either. Now poor Julian will probably ponder endlessly "who is the guy she likes and what does he have that I haven't?" (or whatever self-doubts a bruised, fragile male ego conjures up :wink).


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/06/2020
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 12:08 am 
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Aww man, poor Julian. Like woohoo our girls but still, poor dude.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/06/2020
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 7:01 am 
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I feel so bad for Julian. It sucks that Willow broke the news to him like that, but I kinda get it. I was in a position similar. I had a friend who was crushing on me hard but I only had eyes for her roommate. so I friend zoned them. I planned out this long speech to let them know I wasn't interested in them in that way but basically became a bumbling fool and condensed this super long speech down to two minutes. We laugh about it now (she's still my best friend) but at the time I felt like such a jerk.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/06/2020
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 6:17 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Will's redemption wrote:
:whip Dibs!


woop woop!

Quote:
I'm relieved that Tara didn't stumble into another one night stand in her heartache. Then I was scared that Tara would try to drive home in her drunken state - thank goodness that she only "crawled" into her car to sleep it of.




Quote:
I am not too impressed about the "vague" way Willow told Julian that and why she can't have a relationship with him. If I were Julian I would think "Great, couldn't you have told me that when I asked you out instead of accepting the date?!" In my opinion Willow should have just told Julian frankly that she's gay. Then there would have been no need on this occasion to even mention to him that she "might" like someone else. I'm sure the disappointment that he can never be with her would have been lessened with the knowledge that no other man will either. Now poor Julian will probably ponder endlessly "who is the guy she likes and what does he have that I haven't?" (or whatever self-doubts a bruised, fragile male ego conjures up :wink).


I know, it's not am ideal way to break the news to someone, but I needed it to play out this way so the story could progress in a certain way. Julian will be filled in about Willow's gayness and total lack of male interest shortly.

leftindust wrote:
Aww man, poor Julian. Like woohoo our girls but still, poor dude.


Julian's definitely having a rough week and its not gonna let up any time soon.


*WILLOW* wrote:
I feel so bad for Julian. It sucks that Willow broke the news to him like that, but I kinda get it.


It's hard not to feel bad for him, especially in the way he was "dumped".

Quote:
I was in a position similar. I had a friend who was crushing on me hard but I only had eyes for her roommate. so I friend zoned them. I planned out this long speech to let them know I wasn't interested in them in that way but basically became a bumbling fool and condensed this super long speech down to two minutes. We laugh about it now (she's still my best friend) but at the time I felt like such a jerk.


Oh no! That sucks. Its weird how adrenaline and nervous energy can screw with your mind to the point where you completely forget what you wanted to say, but glad you were able to work it all out and remain friends.

_________________
Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / A Special Christmas of Sorts / Maybe It's Just Me / Honeysuckle Rose /Blackouts and Breakthroughs / When Love Arrives


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/06/2020
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 7:35 pm 
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Tara awoke in her car at the crack of dawn as the sun started to creep over the horizon, the yellow translucent rays of light penetrating her eyelids. Shifting back to consciousness, Tara grimaced as pain shot through her skull. Her head steadily throbbed from the surplus of alcohol; the inner surface of her skull pulsing like a single, giant nerve being chewed on by some ruminant animal.

As she shifted in her seat to alleviate the full body muscle ache from the awkward position she had passed out in, Tara grimaced once more, a hand flying up instantly to rub at the back of her stiff neck. Pulling her hand away, she looked down at her sweat coated fingers, only then realizing the car’s stuffiness as condensation permeated the windows. Cranking the window down to allow cool air to flow into the makeshift sauna, Tara looked at her watch, sighing in dismay when she realized she had a full 24 hours to waste before she would hear from Julian and undeniably, how magnificent his date with Willow was.

She knew she was in for a long day. She had been awake for barely five minutes and already her thoughts were being flooded by Willow. By Willow with Julian. By Willow going home with Julian. By Willow realizing she'd rather be with Julian. Her thoughts were darkening quickly with all the possible scenarios on how the date ended and what the future held swirled around her mind.

Laboriously, Tara rotated herself in the seat to reach behind her for her discarded car keys, winching when she strained a particular muscle in her back. Straightening herself back out, Tara took in several deep calming breaths as she attempted to push through her self-inflicted hangover. With the sensation of nausea passed, Tara inserted the key into the ignition and drove off in the direction of her apartment.

Like many Sundays in the past, Tara already knew how she would be spending the day; combating her hangover with more liquor, greasy Chinese food and bad television until she fell asleep.


Monday Morning

For the second day in a row, Tara awoke to the suns bright rays penetrating her eyelids. The hangover she had felt the day before seemed minute in comparison to the one she was currently sporting. Sluggishly, the brunette pushed herself off the couch and slowly made her way to the hall bathroom in search of a cold shower. After getting herself cleaned up rather arduously and swallowing a handful of Ibuprofen to relieve the killer headache, Tara headed out the front door of her apartment. She pondered about taking the day off from work so that she didn’t have to face Julian, but finally decided against it. As she walked to the entrance of the precinct from the parking lot, the siren from one of the LAPD cruisers sounded and it rang deafeningly inside her head, making her headache that much worse. Quickly, Tara broke out into a sluggish jog toward the building in an attempt to get away from the annoying sound faster.

As she entered headquarters, Tara smiled politely toward some of the detectives and police officers that greeted her as she made her way to her desk.
"Hey." She frowned when Julian looked up at her with an upset expression. "What’s wrong?" Tara asked worryingly since Julian wasn’t the brooding kind.

He sighed bleatingly. "Things didn’t go so well with Dr. Rosenberg yesterday. She dumped me. Well, she didn’t exactly dump me since we weren’t actually together in the first place, but I thi-"

"Wait, hold on. What?" Tara breathed out in disbelief, not quite sure whether she had heard him correctly. Her frowned deepened.

"She told me she can’t be with me. Said she likes somebody else. I mean, who can that be?" Julian replied dejectedly before burying his head in his hands.

Tara stared open-mouthed into space. She couldn’t even begin to comprehend the idea that Willow might like her back and as it started to sink in, she nearly laughed out in ecstasy. Every single fiber and nerve in her body was on edge. She was powerless to stop a grin from spreading across her face, sighing out softly in relief at the same time. The glimmer in her eyes disappeared when they fell on the disconsolate figure of Julian. Her happiness lasted all of thirteen seconds before being swiftly replaced by guilt. Clenching her jaw, feeling slightly sickened by her own actions, Tara placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.

Julian lifted his head slowly out of his hands when he felt a reassuring squeeze on his shoulder. "Thanks, Tara," he smiled gratefully.

Tara simply nodded in acknowledgement. She turned away from him and walked a few steps to the chair on her side of the desk. Even with the emotional turmoil she was having on the inside, the need to see Willow overpowered everything.


888

After arriving home from dinner with Julian the night before, she collapsed onto her bed straight away. She woke up in the morning, shivering and sniffling, her illness finally hitting her after a day of incubation period. It took all of Willow’s strength to crawl out of the comfort of her bed in order to search the bathroom for a thermometer. Her eyes widened in incredulity several moments later when the temperature gauge indicated she had a fever of 102.3.

Lethargically, Willow meandered back to her bed, curling up underneath a thick wool blanket with a crumpled tissue in her hand. The medication she had taken twenty minutes prior finally starting to take effect as her weary eyelids grew heavy. Just as she was about to drift off into a peaceful sleep, the loud knocking on her apartment door jolter her eyes open. Groaning grumpily at the persistent knocking, Willow threw back the comforter as she slowly shifted off the bed.

Standing in the stuffy hallway, Tara fidgeted restlessly as she waited for Willow to answer the door. She had dropped by the morgue at the hospital after getting off from work slightly earlier, but the spunky medical examiner was nowhere to be seen. After asking a few nurses of the redhead’s whereabouts, she later found out that Willow had called in sick, which was what had brought her here. She raised her hand to knock on the white-colored door again when it swung open to reveal a weak looking, sweatshirt and pajama clad Willow.

Tara smiled at how cute she looked in spite of the sickly appearance. The adorable reddish button nose stood out most of all, set against the milieu of pallid features.

Willow was surprised to see the brunette detective standing at her front door. She was going to ask what Tara was doing here when she saw the amused look on her face.

"Why are you smiling?" she questioned in a croaky voice, eyebrows knitting together in puzzlement.

"What? Oh, nothing," Tara replied after snapping out of her daze, shaking her head. "Erm, I came to see how you’re doing," she continued, answering the unasked question.

Willow stared straight at the brunette with a skeptical look. "I’m okay. As far as I-feel-like-crap goes," she said in one of the most endearing ways despite her unsmiling expression.

Tara chuckled, but cut it short instantly at the intent look she was given.

"Why didn’t you return my calls?" Willow asked. Although she knew she had hurt Tara, she couldn’t help but feel mad at her for not hearing out her explanation. "Did you even listen to the messages I left?" She leaned against the frame of the door, suddenly feeling light headed.

"No," Tara answered in honesty, dropping her head. "I’m sorry. I just … hey, are you okay?" she looked up to see Willow relying on the frame for support. She hastily took a few steps forward, bending her knees slightly to get a closer look at Willow’s face. She tenderly held her ashen face in one hand and brushed strands of red hair away from her cheek with the other.

Willow mumbled some incoherent consonants in return.

"Of course not. Come on." Tara wrapped her arm around Willow’s shoulder and led her into the apartment, closing the door with the heel of her foot.
Making her way into the apartment, Tara sat Willow down slowly onto the couch in the living room. Leaning forward, Willow rested her elbows on her knees before covering her face in her hands. She was starting to feel nauseous. She jumped internally when a foreign hand was placed on her back, moving up and down soothingly. The queasiness notwithstanding, she smiled a tiny smile in the palms of her hands. The movements were gradually easing her discomfort.

Tara watched Willow with a worried frown as she rubbed her back. When she felt tensed muscles relaxing, a wave of relief washed over her. "Feeling better?" she asked tentatively, never ceasing the movement of her hand.

Willow nodded into her hands, before turning her head to meet Tara’s eyes. Her heart fluttered at the concern she saw in the depths of those mesmerizing azure eyes. "Much. Thanks," she replied in a soft voice, smiling appreciatively.

Tara melted internally at the sight of Willow’s smile. "Do you need anything? Food? Water?"

Willow yawned as she shook her head. The small amount of energy she had left draining away. "No. I just wanna lie down and sleep."

"Okay, let’s get you to bed." Tara said as she helped Willow up from the couch and walked her to the bedroom.

Willow sat on the edge of the bed with her eyes half-closed while Tara threw out some of the tissues lying around the mattress. The brunette shook her head in amusement. She then moved to lay the redhead down, tucking her into bed. She sat with one of her knees bent, watching Willow as she fell asleep.

When she was getting up to leave, Willow sleepily grabbed one of her hands and turned on her side to face the other direction, pulling Tara’s hand along with her. Tara lay awkwardly sideways on the bed, unsure of what she should do next. She held a mental debate before finally settling on kicking off her shoes and snuggling into bed behind Willow. She simply couldn’t leave her alone in the poor state of health that she was in.

Tara pulled the sleeping beauty closer to her as she settled in. "Sleep well, Willow," she whispered into the mass of auburn hair before planting the softest of kisses on the back of her head.

Willow hummed blissfully in response.

_________________
Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / A Special Christmas of Sorts / Maybe It's Just Me / Honeysuckle Rose /Blackouts and Breakthroughs / When Love Arrives


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/13/2020
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2020 10:46 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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Dibs! :whip
Quote:
Straightening herself back out, Tara took in several deep calming breaths as she attempted to push through her self-inflicted hangover. With the sensation of nausea passed, Tara inserted the key into the ignition and drove off in the direction of her apartment.

:happy With the amount of rest alcohol which must still have been in her body after just a few hours of sleep, Tara still shouldn't have driven.

Quote:
Like many Sundays in the past, Tara already knew how she would be spending the day; combating her hangover with more liquor, greasy Chinese food and bad television until she fell asleep.

Sounds like Tara is at least on the verge of having an alcohol problem... hopefully that will vanish once she and Willow finally get together.

Quote:
Tara stared open-mouthed into space. She couldn’t even begin to comprehend the idea that Willow might like her back and as it started to sink in, she nearly laughed out in ecstasy. Every single fiber and nerve in her body was on edge. She was powerless to stop a grin from spreading across her face, sighing out softly in relief at the same time.

I was relieved that Tara swiftly combined that she "might" be the one Willow likes and didn't fall into brooding what other guy (or woman) might "steal" Willow. Good thing Julian didn't see her grin though.
Still I fear that Julian will feel betrayed by Tara once he finds out that she and Willow are together (especially if he doesn't find out that Willow is gay at least a few days before that).

Quote:
"Why didn’t you return my calls?" Willow asked. Although she knew she had hurt Tara, she couldn’t help but feel mad at her for not hearing out her explanation. "Did you even listen to the messages I left?" She leaned against the frame of the door, suddenly feeling light headed.

"No," Tara answered in honesty, dropping her head. "I’m sorry.

Bad Tara. You wasted the whole sunday and didn't even check your phone for messages?

Quote:
When she was getting up to leave, Willow sleepily grabbed one of her hands and turned on her side to face the other direction, pulling Tara’s hand along with her. Tara lay awkwardly sideways on the bed, unsure of what she should do next. She held a mental debate before finally settling on kicking off her shoes and snuggling into bed behind Willow. She simply couldn’t leave her alone in the poor state of health that she was in.

Tara pulled the sleeping beauty closer to her as she settled in. "Sleep well, Willow," she whispered into the mass of auburn hair before planting the softest of kisses on the back of her head.

Willow hummed blissfully in response.

Awwww! :flower
I'm really looking forward to their "talk" - although I guess it will be postponed until Willow isn't so sick anymore?


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/13/2020
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2020 12:31 am 
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Aww man that's cute as heck.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/13/2020
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 5:00 am 
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Hopefully the cuteness continues when they wake up. Looking forward to them having a conversation about being together. Not quite looking forward to their conversation with Julian about being together :(


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/13/2020
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 7:54 pm 
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Sorry for the delay, this week has completely gotten away from me and I didn't realize until right now that I forgot to post the new chapter.
Thanks Wills Redemption, leftindust, and wickedaddiction for your review/feedback. Sorry about not doing individual replies; I'm limited on time. Hope ya'll enjoy this new update.

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Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / A Special Christmas of Sorts / Maybe It's Just Me / Honeysuckle Rose /Blackouts and Breakthroughs / When Love Arrives


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/13/2020
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 8:44 pm 
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CHAPTER 19

Willow sighed out mellifluously as her eyes fluttered open. The first thing she saw was the shaft of sunlight that had crept through the little opening between her maroon translucent curtains.

She shifted her body to lie flat on her back, but stiffened instantly when she bumped into something solid behind her. Her heart banged against her chest. She slowly looked down to see an arm draped over her waist.

She turned her head back as carefully as she could. Her startled expression softened once she came face to face with a peaceful looking Tara. She had no memory of how they ended up this way, but she had no complaints. She turned her whole body around in measured motion so that she could properly watch the detective as she slept.

Unable to resist the temptation to touch the other woman, she reached her hand out and gently brushed the brown-colored hair away from the angelic face and tugged them behind the detectives ear, smiling amusingly when Tara scrunched up her nose reflexively in response.

Willow wasn’t sure how long she had been lying there, simply admiring the brunette’s exquisite features. When she lifted her head up to steal a quick look at the alarm clock sitting on the nightstand behind Tara, she started stirring. She caught glimpses of the crystal blue irises as her eyes flickered.

"Good morning, sleepyhead." Willow whispered smilingly once Tara had come around.

Tara stretched her tense muscles before settling down again. She grinned when Willow greeted her, silently hoping there would be more chances for her to wake up to the redhead.

"Morning to you too. I can see that you’re feeling better." She commented, noticing the cheery mood and also how the rose-colored cheeks were back and the redness of her nose almost gone.

"I am. And thanks, for staying with me overnight … " Willow trailed off towards the end. She blushed slightly at the sudden realization that they were lying very close together in bed, both awake.

"Yeah," Tara breathed out, seemingly having the same realization. She stared pensively at Willow before lifting her head up a little and then slowly leaned in toward her.

Willow was about to give in to her impulse and meet the brunette halfway when she remembered her present physical condition. Just as their lips were about to touch, she placed both her hands on Tara’s shoulders to halt her progress, receiving an annoyed frown and an adorable pout. She couldn’t help but chuckle at Tara’s childlike reactions.

"I’m sick. I don’t want you getting infected," Willow explained, her left thumb caressing the detective’s cheek tenderly.

Tara narrowed her eyes as she internally weighed her options. After pondering for a few seconds longer, she closed the distance between them and landed a soft kiss on Willow’s lips. The redhead closed her eyes and reveled in the tender moment.

"I have a pretty strong immune system. It’s gonna take more than a little bug to get me sick," Tara said smugly after she pulled away. "Besides, even if I do get sick, you can take care of me. So either way, I win," she added, throwing a wink toward the medical examiner.

"You wish," Willow shot back good-humoredly before pulling the chuckling Tara down by the back of her neck for another kiss.

It started out as slow and languid, then evolving into needy and heated. The two of them moaned simultaneously in pleasure when tongues touched and became tangled in a sensual dance.

Tara subtly eased herself on top of Willow, who more than welcomed the move as she turned to rest on her back so that the other woman could lie more comfortably above her. They reluctantly detached their lips from each other’s after a few minutes of wet passion, when oxygen was becoming gravely deprived.

"That was amazing," Willow said breathlessly, looking up at Tara who arched a self-satisfied eyebrow. "You gonna take all the credit?" she asked with a mix of hilarity and disbelief in her tone.

Tara shrugged in an offhanded manner in answer to the question, earning herself a playful smack on the shoulder. They subsequently broke into hysterics with Tara burying her laughing face into the crook of Willow’s neck.

"What are we doing?" Willow asked softly, running her hand through the mass of brunette hair absentmindedly, once they had calmed down.

Tara let out a sigh. "I don’t know," she replied, her voice muffled. "Do you like me?" she asked hesitantly. She raised her head a few seconds later to look at Willow when she received no response.

Willow frowned deeply at the puzzling question, staring irritably at Tara. "Of course I like you. Why would you even ask me that?"

Tara held an apologetic expression. "I’m sorry. It’s just that when I asked you the last time, you didn’t exactly answer me. And then you went out with Jullian … you could be confused –"

"I’m not," Willow stated determinedly, her voice laced with irritation. "I called you to tell you what I was gonna do but you never picked up, okay. I'm not confused about my sexuality, never have been. I like you Tara Maclay. So can you please get it through that thick skull of yours?"

She had fought with Tara for more than eighteen months prior to their conciliation and one of the things which always seemed to get on her nerves was her pig-headedness.

"Okay … for now," Tara joked, shooting the redhead a sly wink.

As soon as the jest left Tara’s lips, Willow used her newly restored strength to throw Tara off of her before grabbing the pillow from under her own head. Rolling to her knees, she launched an attack on the unsuspecting detective.

"What was that you were saying?" she teased as she battered the struggling brunette.

Tara yelped. She was completely caught off guard by the sudden assault. She brought her hands up to shield her head while giggling uncontrollably.

"Okay! Okay! You like me! I get it! I get it," she yelled as she tried to fend off the attack by attempting to take over control of the spongy weapon.

The two tussled around in bed for a few moments longer, immersed in innocent fun as they gently swatted at each other. Tara finally gained the upper hand when she managed to straddle the thrashing redhead and seized the pillow, tossing it away in a random direction. She hovered over Willow, leaning forward with her palms on the bed, looking affectionately at the woman underneath her.

"So, what now?" she questioned quietly. She couldn’t, for the life of her, remember the last time she had felt this happy.

Willow exhaled a tired breath as she moved to link her hands behind Tara’s neck. "We could try to make this work," she replied in an equally quiet voice.

"Are you saying you want to date me?" Tara asked hopefully.

Her breath hitched when Willow had an uncertain look on her face as she passed her teeth over her lower lip. The hesitant expression soon turned into a bright smile. Tara sighed in relief and reciprocated the smile. She moved to rest on her elbows, lowering her head down to give Willow a kiss, pouring her feelings into it.

Willow opened her eyes to see a serious looking Tara after the kiss broke. "What is it?"

Tara swallowed a lump in her throat, "I’m gonna have to talk to Julian about us."

Willow nodded thoughtfully. "Yeah, maybe we could tell him together. I mean …" she stopped and looked inquisitively at Tara who was shaking her head furiously.

"I want to talk to him alone. I don’t want him holding back because you’re there. I want to know how he really feels," Tara explained. Her heart went into spasms at the thought of hurting Julian, but she knew she owed him at least that much to tell him the truth.

"Okay, if that’s what you want," Willow said in understanding as she stroked Tara’s face lovingly.

Tara smiled gratefully at the comforting gesture. She glanced at the clock on the nightstand, which read 08:30am. "God, I’m late for work," she breathed out as she removed herself from Willow.

Willow turned to look at the time, feeling disappointed that the brunette detective had to leave so quickly for work. "Well, since you’re already late," Willow started, reaching her hand out to cup the brunette's closest wrist, halting her movement before she could get off the bed, "you might as well stay a little longer and eat something."

Tara stopped her movement and stared at Willow. "Eat what exactly?" she smirked mischievously.

It took Willow a moment to realize what was suggested and her eyes widened in comprehension. "Tara!"

"I'm just messing with you," chuckled the detective as she leaned over sideways toward the redhead to place a chase kiss on the other woman's lips. "How about pancakes?"

_________________
Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / A Special Christmas of Sorts / Maybe It's Just Me / Honeysuckle Rose /Blackouts and Breakthroughs / When Love Arrives


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/21/2020
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 11:23 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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Dibs! :whip
Good thing that Willow's cold basically dissolved after 24 hours. Yay for the smooching :wtkiss and them coming to the decision that they want to try a relationship together! :applause :bounce :banana
I also loved their playfulness with each other (pillow fight). And Tara offering to make pancakes for/with Willow. I guess that she hasn't done that with anyone since her mother died.
I'm dreading Tara's talk with Julian a little bit, especially since he will obviously have the bomb dropped on him that Tara and Willow are together now without knowing beforehand that Willow is gay.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/21/2020
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 7:10 pm 
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Aww, such a sweet little update. Can’t wait to read more of their developing relationship. Really enjoying this story


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/21/2020
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 6:13 pm 
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Will's redemption wrote:
Dibs! :whip



Dibs champion! :bounce


Quote:
Good thing that Willow's cold basically dissolved after 24 hours.


All she needed was a little TLC (Tara's Loving Care) :tara

Quote:
Yay for the smooching :wtkiss and them coming to the decision that they want to try a relationship together! :applause :bounce :banana


Finally taking a step in the right direction. :dance


Quote:
I also loved their playfulness with each other (pillow fight). And Tara offering to make pancakes for/with Willow. I guess that she hasn't done that with anyone since her mother died.


She 's definitely a little rusty behind the stove ... may have burnt the first several pancakes before making Willow a perfect funny shaped pancake.

Quote:
I'm dreading Tara's talk with Julian a little bit, especially since he will obviously have the bomb dropped on him that Tara and Willow are together now without knowing beforehand that Willow is gay.
[/quote]

I wrote the chapter and I'm not ready for the bomb to be dropped. Out of all the OC character's I've ever written, I've come to like Julian the most and hate what's about to transpire, but I'll make it up to him later on down the road.






wickedaddiction wrote:
Aww, such a sweet little update. Can’t wait to read more of their developing relationship. Really enjoying this story


Thank you. Unfortunately, the next update's not so sweet as Tara comes clean to Julian.

_________________
Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / A Special Christmas of Sorts / Maybe It's Just Me / Honeysuckle Rose /Blackouts and Breakthroughs / When Love Arrives


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/21/2020
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 6:37 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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"Wow, you’re early," Julian commented sarcastically when Tara arrived at her desk. He frowned a little when he noticed a rare sparkle in her eyes and a jovial smile etched across the brunette’s lips.

"What’s going on with you?" He asked with a noticeable smirk. Waving his hand about him, gesturing toward his partner, "What are you doing with your face?"

Tara shot him a frown of her own. She was amazed by his ability to read her like a book. However, since now wasn’t the appropriate time or place to disclose about her new found relationship with Willow to him, she decided to feign ignorance.

"Nothing. Why?"

"You have, like, a glow," Julian answered incredulously with an amused smile as he leaned closer, perching his arms on his desk. "Come on, spit it out," he urged, his interest was reaching a peak point.

Tara cocked her head and stared wide-eyed at him from across their conjoined desk.

"What are you talking about? I do not have a glow," she snapped back irritably, unconsciously slipping back into the aloof mode that she was often in when around him.

"Fine, be that way. I’ll get it out of you soon enough," Julian replied smugly.

"Right. And how are you gonna do that?" Tara questioned; her tone chock-full of skepticism as she continued that rather light-hearted banter.

Julian opened his mouth to respond but was interrupted by Lt. Gorden as she sauntered up to their desk, her eyebrows pinched together.

"I need the two of you to go down to UC Merced. Dispatch just received a call on a possible homicide. Go have a look," she ordered, glancing at Julian then Tara. She was about to turn and walk away but did a double-take instead.

"What’s up with you, Maclay?" she asked, arching an intimidating eyebrow.

Tara sat up straighter in her seat at hearing the address. "What? Nothing’s up, Lieutenant."

"Really? You have like a glow," Lt. Gorden replied while making circular motions with her spread-out hand.

Julian laughed out as soon as the words left their boss’s mouth. "See, I told you so."

"Shut up," Tara barked at Julian who was losing control of his laughter. She dropped her head in embarrassment, covering her eyes with her hand.
 


888
 


After a somewhat long drive from downtown all the way to South Lake Merced, they reached their destination which was the main parking garage of the university, where the body was found. Julian pulled the issued black BMW coupe just outside the entrance to the multi-story car park that had been sealed off with crime tape. At the same time, a familiar silver hybrid came to a halt in front of them, catching both Julian and Tara’s attention.

Tara locked eyes with Willow instantly once they had gotten out of their respective vehicles, exchanging bashful smiles. She was exceedingly pleased to see her again, despite having only just left the redhead’s apartment a few hours earlier.

Commotion was all around them with masses of college students, faculty, and bystanders surrounding the structure, murmuring amongst themselves.
"Dr. Rosenberg," Julian greeted with a sincere smile.

He was still harboring feelings for the redheaded medical examiner and he knew it was going to be quite a while before he could actually move on. The fact that they had mutually agreed on building a friendship during their failed dinner date a couple of days ago did nothing to mend his broken heart.

"Hey, Julian," Willow replied, smiling back in the same way. "And like I’ve said before, you can call me Willow."

Julian nodded in accord, pursing his lips into a straight line afterwards.

"What are you doing here anyway?" Tara asked, clenching and unclenching her fists to suppress the urge to pull the other woman into a passionate lip-lock. "You shouldn’t be working. You’ve only just recovered."

"I don’t wanna stay at home alone. Besides, I really wanted to see …" Willow managed to catch herself before the beans were spilled. "The body." She added quickly, cringing at the lame and perhaps inappropriate excuse she had just given.

Tara couldn’t help but smirk at the panicked improvisation. When she turned her head to her other side, the smirk on her face faltered instantly as Julian was staring questioningly at her. She cleared her throat nervously, feeling browbeaten under his intent gaze.

After holding his stare for a few seconds, she diverted her eyes away from him and headed into the crime scene with Willow following close beside her.

Julian stood in place and stared after them as they moved away from him, trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together in his head. He frowned at the ridiculous conclusion his mind had derived. Shaking it off, he put his head back into the investigation and walked into the parking garage.

The body lay in the northwest corner of the first story landing. The victim’s clothing was ripped into shreds, her torn underwear resting near a discarded heel while a braided leather belt, loosely coiled, rested not too far from her torso. The scene in question was secured by several beat cops while ECU swiftly worked the area, snapping pictures of the body and items sprawled out around her.

Willow shared a dismayed look with Tara before getting down to work. She carefully examined the body while Tara leafed through the victims backpack.

"So, what do we know?" Julian asked once he had reached them, putting his hands on his hip.

Tara let out a heavy sigh, wiping the sweat on her forehead with the back of her wrist. "Well, victim’s name is Rebecca Lynn Hewett. She’s a sophomore student here at UC Merced. Judging by the books in her bag, she was more than likely a business major."

"The cause of death appears to be from strangulation and these bruises in the inner thighs," Willow stated as she pointed to the purplish-red spots adorning the victim’s body, "plus tears around the vagina suggest that she was raped." Pulling a new scalpel from its individualized packaging, Willow made a small incision on the victim’s upper right abdomen, passing a thermometer through the opening into the tissue of the liver. She waited a few moments before pulling the thermometer out of the corpse, her eyebrows narrowing as she calculated time of death based off of her findings. "Based off of her livor mortis and the level of rigor mortis in her face, I’d estimate that time of death would be about 6 to 7 hours ago … so around 3 in the morning."

Collecting her equipment, Willow wrapped her used gloves around the scalpel before placing it inside of a small, biohazard, needles container. Straightening out, her hands reflexively brushing out the wrinkles in her scrubs, Willow motioned for the coroner to prep the body for transport. Turning to the two detectives that were standing by, looking on in astonishment, "I’ll see if I can get a sperm sample during the post-mortem exam."

As the two detectives and medical examiner walked out of the parking garage, Willow shared several silent exchanges with Tara. She was finding it increasingly hard to resist the need for physical contact with the brunette detective.

"We’ll drop by the morgue later, Dr. Rosenberg. I mean, Willow," Julian chuckled embarrassingly after correcting himself.

"Okay, I’ll see you two later then," Willow replied, looking pointedly at Tara who nodded in assurance, before leaving the two detectives as she headed toward her car.

Julian turned on the ignition and reversed the car out onto the main road once Tara had settled into the passenger seat. As he drove, his mind ran rampant with questions and thoughts.

"About before … how did you know Dr. Rosenberg was sick?" He asked when they were roughly halfway through the drive back to the precinct, falling easily back to the habit of referring to said person with her proper title.

Tara turned her head to look at him with a blank expression, her throat constricting as she struggled to swallow the lump forming at the back of her suddenly dry tongue.

"I went to her apartment last night," she answered in a quiet voice.

"Oh," Julian breathed out as he let the words sink in. "So what, are you guys like best friends now?" he joked, glancing briefly at Tara. "Because, I’ll need to know if I have competition."

Tara could feel her heart twitch painfully as it pulsated. Finding herself unable to look at Julian anymore, she turned away and stared out the window instead. "No, not best friends." Closing her eyes, Tara inhaled a deep breath, letting it out slowly before taking the plunge. "Actually, we’re kind of dating."

The words struck him like lightening. Julian put the brakes on the car instantaneously, bringing it to a screeching halt.
 


888


 
Placing a recorder on an empty steal examination table, Willow pressed down firmly on the ‘record’ button. As the whooshing sound of the blank cassette spinning inside the recorder emanated in the air, Willow gracefully walked toward the slab containing her most recent victim. Speaking loudly, so that her voice resonated clearly, Willow began her examination.

"This is Dr. Willow Rosenberg performing the autopsy of Rebecca Lynn Hewett," Willow spoke out to the empty room as she snapped on a clean pair of latex gloves. Grimacing slightly at the sight before her, Willow swiveled her body to reach for another item sitting on the steel tray next to her.

Picking up a small box, the medical examiner opened the lid before removing a swab stick and a sterile sample container. "There are several long scrapes, approximately three inches in length, along the victim’s inner thighs as well as six imprints of circular bruising, three on each thigh." Carefully, Willow swabbed the outer folds of the victim’s vagina before placing the sample into the container. Placing the sample on the tray next to her, Willow removed another swab stick, this time collecting DNA from inside the vagina. Duplicating her previous action, she placed the stick inside of a clear sample container. "Vaginal swab collected. Traces of blood and semen found inside of the body. Tearing around the labia indicates forced entrance."

Reaching for a tweezer and the magnifying glass resting on the tray, Willow closely inspected the scrapes, her mouth forming into a tight line. Carefully, the medical examiner used the tweezer to pull a loose pubic hair stuck to the victim’s labia minora. "One black pubic hair located on the victim’s body." Snapping open a self-sealing envelope with her free hand, Willow dropped the found hair into the bag.

Reaching back into the box for the last remaining item, Willow removed a nail pick. Lifting the hand closest to her, the medical examiner placed the sharp tip under the victim’s nail and scraped out the debris before smearing the findings onto a clear slide. Rounding the table, she mimicked the same action, all the while calling out her findings.

After providing the medical findings for suspected rape, she placed the nail pick back onto the tray before circling the corpse, positioning herself by the woman’s head.
Placing her hands on the corpse’s throat, Willow tilted the woman’s head so that she could get a better look at the injuries. "There is a linear mark, situated horizontally on the upper neck."

Rotating the victim’s neck slightly, her green eyes squinting as she thoroughly examined the bruising, "it extends obliquely upward and backward." Repositioning the victim’s head back onto the slab, Willow reached over toward the surgical tray adorned with her medical equipment. Picking up the large magnifying glass, the Willow positioned the device over the abrasion, before resuming her examination. "Present within the linear mark is a pattern of a braided cord. An elliptical impression is present behind the left ear, bearing the same corded pattern."

Snapping off her gloves and tossing them into the nearest trash can, Willow walked back over toward the recorder. "All indications are consistent with a suspended strangulation," she proclaimed despondently as her right hand lifted to shut off the device.
 
 

_________________
Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / A Special Christmas of Sorts / Maybe It's Just Me / Honeysuckle Rose /Blackouts and Breakthroughs / When Love Arrives


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/71/2020
PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2020 12:49 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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Dibs again! :whip

Quote:
"You have, like, a glow," Julian answered incredulously with an amused smile

Quote:
You have like a glow," Lt. Gorden replied while making circular motions with her spread-out hand.

Wow, she spends one night with Willow fully clothed and gets pregnant already? :wink

Quote:
"What are you doing here anyway?" Tara asked, clenching and unclenching her fists to suppress the urge to pull the other woman into a passionate lip-lock. "You shouldn’t be working. You’ve only just recovered."

"I don’t wanna stay at home alone. Besides, I really wanted to see …" Willow managed to catch herself before the beans were spilled.

We all know she almost said "you", so Awww! :bigkiss

Quote:
"Based off of her livor mortis and the level of rigor mortis in her face, I’d estimate that time of death would be about 6 to 7 hours ago … so around 3 in the morning."

Makes me wonder why on earth the victim was in the parking garage of the university with her books in the middle of the night? Are the university libraries in the U.S. open over night or what?

Quote:
Closing her eyes, Tara inhaled a deep breath, letting it out slowly before taking the plunge. "Actually, we’re kind of dating."

The words struck him like lightening. Julian put the brakes on the car instantaneously, bringing it to a screeching halt.

Uff Tara, you really chose a bomb dropping way to give him the news, and while he was driving - you can be grateful he didn't cause an accident! After this insensitive beginning I fear the talk will be a total disaster...

Nice description of Willow's work as a pathologist at the end of the chapter. Since the rapist left so many DNA-samples he should be found guilty easily enough once they find and arrest him.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/71/2020
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:59 am 
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3. Flaming O
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Oh no. Dropping bad news (and without any preamble) is probably best when the other person isn’t driving. I don’t see this conversation going very well.

Quote:
Snapping off her gloves and tossing them into the nearest trash can, Willow walked back over toward the recorder. "All indications are consistent with a suspended strangulation," she proclaimed despondently as her right hand lifted to shut off the device.


Wow, I love how you described The examination process. Very vivid imagery.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/71/2020
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:46 pm 
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Will's redemption wrote:
Dibs again! :whip


:dance :dance

Quote:
Wow, she spends one night with Willow fully clothed and gets pregnant already? :wink


Now can you only imagine when they do have sex :hmm

Quote:
We all know she almost said "you", so Awww! :bigkiss


Yup! She caught herself in the nick of time before outing herself and Tara.

Quote:
Makes me wonder why on earth the victim was in the parking garage of the university with her books in the middle of the night? Are the university libraries in the U.S. open over night or what?


It depends on the college/university really. The college I attended would keep the library open week nights until 2pm. During finals and midterms it would be open 24 hours.

Quote:
Uff Tara, you really chose a bomb dropping way to give him the news, and while he was driving - you can be grateful he didn't cause an accident! After this insensitive beginning I fear the talk will be a total disaster...


Not smart on her part at all. Definitely nott the best or safest way to reveal shocking news to someone.

Quote:
Nice description of Willow's work as a pathologist at the end of the chapter. Since the rapist left so many DNA-samples he should be found guilty easily enough once they find and arrest him.


Thank you. Wanted to give Willow a little spotlight in the story to showcase her skills. It won't be long before they track down the perp with all the evidence Willow collected.



wickedaddiction wrote:
Oh no. Dropping bad news (and without any preamble) is probably best when the other person isn’t driving. I don’t see this conversation going very well.


I totally agree. Tara didn't really think this one through.

Quote:
Wow, I love how you described The examination process. Very vivid imagery.


Thank you. Spent quite a bit of time researching medical procedures to make it as realistic as possible.

_________________
Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / A Special Christmas of Sorts / Maybe It's Just Me / Honeysuckle Rose /Blackouts and Breakthroughs / When Love Arrives


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 05/71/2020
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:25 pm 
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Tara squeezed both sides of her head with the carpus of her hands to alleviate the tension headache she was currently suffering from.

As she trudged down the hallway toward the morgue, the sound of her own footsteps echoed painfully inside her head. With her features contorted in anguish, Tara pushed through the swinging double-door and stepped into the morgue without breaking her stride.

Willow was writing the post-mortem report on her metal desk when she heard the familiar thud of the door opening. She turned her head back to see a rather solemn looking Tara walking in and the floodgates of concern inside her flung open instantly. She pushed herself off the metal stool she was sitting on and approached the brunette hurriedly.

"Hey, what’s wrong?" Willow asked in a gentle voice, frowning worriedly.

She placed her left hand on Tara’s upper arm and held her face with her right. She was thunderstruck when she saw the unattractive bloodshot veins in those captivating eyes that were looking back at her, with tears on the brink of overflowing. Her heart broke at the sight of the lost expression.

Tara closed her eyes at the consoling touch on her face and leaned into it, absorbing all the comfort. A couple of drops of tears escaped and trickled down her cheeks as a result. She clenched her jaw and wiped away the tears furiously with her hand, turning her head away from Willow. She hated showing her weak side, especially to the one person she wanted to be strong for.

"I told Julian about us," she replied with a slightly hoarse voice, appearing as impassive as she could.

"What did he say?" Willow asked.

But judging by the atypical behavior of the usually unflappable Detective, she knew things didn’t go well between them and she abominated the fact that she was the cause of everything.

She took one step closer toward the brunette, their bodies barely touching, with both her hands moving to rest on either side of Tara’s face as she tried to get the brunette to look back at her.

Tara dragged out a dismal sigh before directing her line of sight back to the redhead. The weight of the emotions she had been carrying was crushing her. She almost broke down when her mind drifted back to the memory of earlier in the day.

The car came to an abrupt halt in the middle of the road, resulting in several sharp screeches of tires from the vehicles behind as well as honks and curses from their foulmouthed owners.

Tara instinctively placed a hand on the dashboard to stop herself from sliding off her seat even as the seat belt snapped taut across her chest, holding her in place. She turned and stared wide-eyed at Julian, who held a similar stunned expression as he looked into the space ahead of him.

"What?" Julian breathed out harshly. He snapped his head to the side and glowered in incredulity at Tara, unable to come to terms with what she had just said.

Tara swallowed the lump in her throat at the intensity of the glare. She stared straight back at him, unable to look away even though she desperately wanted to.

"We talked about it just this morning. So we haven’t actually gone out yet," Tara revealed in a nervous whisper after a few moments of silence. Her heart was thumping so fast and hard against her chest that she felt as if it was going to explode.

"This morning? How ... how long have the two of you been fooling around behind my back?" Julian questioned in a mixture of anger, disbelief and hurt.

Tara shook her head frantically in response. "We didn’t fool around behind your back. There was just this one kiss before the two of you went out."

"You kissed?" Julian yelled. His exclamation overlapping Tara’s final words of explanation. "The two of you were having a go at each other just a few weeks ago! And ... and... and now you're making out!"

Tara ran her hand through her hair as she attempted to settle her frying nerves. "You have to calm down and listen to me." The volume of her voice close to matching Julian’s. "We were in…"

"Calm down? How the hell do you expect me to calm down? You kissed Rosenberg! The woman I was, no, am practically in love with!" Julian interrupted heatedly, his jaw clenching like a fist. "And you didn’t even care to tell me before I went out with her. She must think that I was a complete idiot! Being played around like a marionette by my best friend. What am I to you, Tara?" The final question came out in a soft and heart-rending tone. He was absolutely distraught.

"You're everything to me! I love you so much Julian, you're my best friend." Tears were welling in Tara’s eyes as she stared agape at Julian. "You cannot believe how much it hurts me that I’m hurting you. You’re the only fam-"

"Don't," Julian cut off as he gripped the steering-wheel tighter, his knuckles turning white. "Don't say it."

"Julian, please, you have to believe me," Tara protested, her lower lip quivering as she attempted to keep her tears at bay.

"How am I suppose to believe anything you say to me Tara?" He questioned dejectedly, his words nearly drowned out by the car horns blaring behind them. "You've been lying to me for god knows how long."

"No, Julian, no, please don't think tha...," Tara pleaded, her voice rising as the symphony of honks escalated.

"Shut up!" They turned and shouted irritably at the vehicles behind them simultaneously, when the sounds of several horns kept going off. Shifting back into their seats, both staring blankly at the road ahead of them, they took a moment afterward to catch their breaths and sort out their feelings.

"Get out of the car, Tara." Julian enjoined; his voice void of all emotions. He sat in his seat with his shoulders slumped and hands clutching the steering wheel limply. "I can’t look at you right now."

Tara held a stricken expression. She nodded dumbly, then lifting her hand up slowly to the lever and pulled on it. She was rather surprised that she still had enough vigor left to push the car door open. She turned to look at Julian one more time before she stepped out.

Julian squeezed his eyes shut, not wanting to see whatever pitiful look that Tara was giving him. When he heard the door slam close, he quickly slammed on the gas peddle and drove off without so much as a glance in her direction.

Tara stood at the side of the road and watched him speed off. She wanted to walk away, but she simply couldn’t find the strength to move her legs.


Willow provided comforting caresses whenever she felt Tara needed them as she recounted the incident. She wished that the brunette would just break down and cry her heart out instead of suppressing her true emotions and putting up a brave front for her.

She pulled Tara into a loving embrace once she had gone silent and felt the detective melt into the hug.

"I don’t know what I’m gonna do now," Tara murmured as she buried her face deeper into the redhead’s neck, inhaling her soothing sweet scent.

"You should just give him the space that he needs. I’m sure he’ll come around. He loves you," Willow assured, running her fingers though the brunette’s hair gingerly. "Everything will be fine, I promise. We’re gonna get through this together."

Tara nodded against the medic’s neck and slowly pulled away from the embrace.

The silhouette of the body lying on the metal table diagonally in front of her caught her attention. She then realized that she had forgotten
about the homicide case she had yet to solve. Smacking her forehead with her palm, Tara slowly dragged her hand down her face.

Willow frowned at the sudden action. "What is it?" she asked as she gently took Tara’s hand in hers.

"I totally forgot about her." Tara made a vague gesture toward the body with a somewhat sheepish expression.

Willow turned to the direction indicated and mirrored the expression. "I guess I forgot about her for a little while too."

Willow quickly went over to her desk and picked up a file before returning to Tara.

"Ah, I sent the sperm sample I took as well as a pubic hair to the lab. They couldn’t find a match in the database. No fingerprints were found on her, the belt either or any other article of clothing. He must have been wearing gloves"

"This is just great," Tara responded sarcastically, taking the beach file from Willow. "I think I’m gonna ask Harris to help with the investigation, since Julian…" she trailed off, too deflated and tired to continue. She heaved a deep, shuttering sigh.

"I can help too," Willow offered, giving a heartening smile.

"You already are," Tara replied, smiling back.

Willow moved forward and pulled the slightly taller woman down by the back of her head for a kiss. Tara had literally just a second to prepare for it when she saw Willow advance toward her.

The kiss was brief but demonstrative, exactly what Tara needed at this point in time and she was beyond grateful for it. She could feel herself being enveloped in the warmth of her comfort.

"Oh, you sweet-talker," Willow said playfully once she pulled away from the detective.

_________________
Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / A Special Christmas of Sorts / Maybe It's Just Me / Honeysuckle Rose /Blackouts and Breakthroughs / When Love Arrives


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 06/03/2020
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:19 pm 
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20. Not one Much for the Timber
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Dibs!

I've gotta tell you, I really do love this story. I really enjoy AU "how they met stories." Seeing the character development in a space other than canon is always a fun read.

Anyway, I truly felt bad for Julian, and for Tara too, but I'm glad she told him. It would have been harder and harder for she and Willow to hide their relationship, especially with Tara "glowing" all the time. :cool Julian is just going to have to face the fact that Willow is Gay and it really doesn't matter how "practically in love with her" he is, it never would have been returned, even without Tara in the picture. Even so, I get the shock and anger.

On the flip side, I was so happy seeing Tara go to Willow for comfort, instead of a bar. She's letting her guard down and trusting Willow with her heart, which is huge for her. She might still be holding back, but the fact she even went there is definitely a big step for her.

Tara and Julian will have a lot to work through, hopefully they can come out with their friendship intact.

Eagerly awaiting the next chapter!

-Shelby

_________________
Shelby - Racing The Rain (IN PROGRESS) / Baby Makes Three (IN PROGRESS) / The Santa Line / Everything She Does...Is Beautiful / Calfornia Grass

"Transform your pain. Release your past. And ... uh ... get over it."
~Willow, Where The Wild Things Are


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 06/03/2020
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:36 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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Quote:
It depends on the college/university really. The college I attended would keep the library open week nights until 2pm. During finals and midterms it would be open 24 hours.

You probably meant 2am? Wow! The library at "my" university never closed later than 8pm and I'm pretty sure you still won't find a university here in Germany whose library is open longer than until 10pm.

Poor Julian! I can totally understand that he feels betrayed by Tara and disgraced because she didn't say anything before he took Willow out on what he believed to be a date. It's also understandable that he doesn't believe that she and Willow started "kind of dating" just today and only kissed once before he asked Willow out.

Quote:
"You're everything to me! I love you so much Julian, you're my best friend." Tears were welling in Tara’s eyes as she stared agape at Julian. "You cannot believe how much it hurts me that I’m hurting you. You’re the only fam-"

"Don't," Julian cut off as he gripped the steering-wheel tighter, his knuckles turning white. "Don't say it."

"Julian, please, you have to believe me," Tara protested, her lower lip quivering as she attempted to keep her tears at bay.

How am I suppose to believe anything you say to me Tara?" He questioned dejectedly, his words nearly drowned out by the car horns blaring behind them. "You've been lying to me for god knows how long."

"No, Julian, no, please don't think tha...," Tara pleaded, her voice rising as the symphony of honks escalated.

:cry My heart aches for both of them!

Like Shelby I'm glad that Tara didn't do something stupid after Julian "kicked her out onto the street" but went straight to Willow and that Willow was able to comfort her a little. I feel Willow is partially to blame for this mess though because I'm certain Tara's talk with Julian wouldn't have gone that bad if she just had the guts to tell him she is gay when they had dinner two nights before. Because she didn't and just gave him the half-hearted "I think I like someone else"-excuse he probably subconsciously had some hope they might still get together if things didn't work out with "the other guy" and Tara's revelation that they are together now totally shocked him.

Quote:
"I think I’m gonna ask Harris to help with the investigation, since Julian…" she trailed off, too deflated and tired to continue.

I kind of have the feeling Julian might beat her there and she'll find out he already asked for a change of his partner when she comes back to the office...

Quote:
"I can help too," Willow offered, giving a heartening smile.

"You already are," Tara replied, smiling back.

Willow moved forward and pulled the slightly taller woman down by the back of her head for a kiss. Tara had literally just a second to prepare for it when she saw Willow advance toward her.

The kiss was brief but demonstrative, exactly what Tara needed at this point in time and she was beyond grateful for it. She could feel herself being enveloped in the warmth of her comfort.

"Oh, you sweet-talker," Willow said playfully once she pulled away from the detective.

Aww! :flower That warmed my heart!


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 06/03/2020
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:49 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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oh man, poor Julian. Blindsided in the worst way possible. I hope he and Tara can sort this out through a longer conversation wherein they both remain friends. Would hate to see their friendship and their partnership break up because of this, although Julian does have every right to be angry with Tara. Especially since the poor guy thinks his best friend has been playing him for a fool this whole time.

Now, onto the ending of this chapter. Awwww! So cute. I love that Tara's opening up to Willow and showing her softer side. And Willow's playful flirting after the kiss. :blush :wtkiss


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 06/03/2020
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:30 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Finey_McFine wrote:
Dibs!


woohoo! :bounce

Quote:
I've gotta tell you, I really do love this story. I really enjoy AU "how they met stories." Seeing the character development in a space other than canon is always a fun read.


Thank you. I rather enjoy writing AU stories for that reason. There are infinite scenarios in how they could've met which allows for some pretty epic fanfics.

Quote:
Anyway, I truly felt bad for Julian, and for Tara too, but I'm glad she told him. It would have been harder and harder for she and Willow to hide their relationship, especially with Tara "glowing" all the time. :cool Julian is just going to have to face the fact that Willow is Gay and it really doesn't matter how "practically in love with her" he is, it never would have been returned, even without Tara in the picture. Even so, I get the shock and anger.


It's hard not to feel bad for him, especially when he's such a good friend to Tara and has always been there for her. His ego is hurt now but eventually he'll have to come around to the fact that he and Willow weren't meant to be.

Quote:
On the flip side, I was so happy seeing Tara go to Willow for comfort, instead of a bar. She's letting her guard down and trusting Willow with her heart, which is huge for her. She might still be holding back, but the fact she even went there is definitely a big step for her.


Her walls aren't completely down just yet but she is allowing herself to be vulnerable which is a good sign that Willow is impacting her life for the better.

Quote:
Tara and Julian will have a lot to work through, hopefully they can come out with their friendship intact.


It's not going to be easy but I'm sure Tara's not gonna let go of her friendship with Julian without a fight.

Quote:
Eagerly awaiting the next chapter!

-Shelby


Thanks for reading/reviewing. Hope you enjoy the next chapter.



Will's redemption wrote:
You probably meant 2am? Wow! The library at "my" university never closed later than 8pm and I'm pretty sure you still won't find a university here in Germany whose library is open longer than until 10pm.


Yup, definitely meant 2am not pm, my brain must have been on autopilot. I never did understand why they stayed open so later ... then again I was never a big studier. More of a Buffy than a Willow in that department.

Quote:
Poor Julian! I can totally understand that he feels betrayed by Tara and disgraced because she didn't say anything before he took Willow out on what he believed to be a date. It's also understandable that he doesn't believe that she and Willow started "kind of dating" just today and only kissed once before he asked Willow out.


If I was in his shoes I'd feel the same way. It's hard to believe what someone says, even if they're your best friend, when you find out they've been lying to you.

Quote:
:cry My heart aches for both of them!


writing this scene was so painful but I knew it was necessary for what's to come.

Quote:
Like Shelby I'm glad that Tara didn't do something stupid after Julian "kicked her out onto the street" but went straight to Willow and that Willow was able to comfort her a little. I feel Willow is partially to blame for this mess though because I'm certain Tara's talk with Julian wouldn't have gone that bad if she just had the guts to tell him she is gay when they had dinner two nights before. Because she didn't and just gave him the half-hearted "I think I like someone else"-excuse he probably subconsciously had some hope they might still get together if things didn't work out with "the other guy" and Tara's revelation that they are together now totally shocked him.


Willow is majorly at fault when it comes to this mess. I agree with you, she should have come out (no pun intended) that she was gay prior to the date starting or even during and provided Julian with an explanation instead of leaving him hanging. Unfortunately life's not made of redo's and we can only learn from our mistakes.

Quote:
I kind of have the feeling Julian might beat her there and she'll find out he already asked for a change of his partner when she comes back to the office...


Good thing she has Willow to confide in encase Julian does drop her as a partner.

Quote:
Aww! :flower That warmed my heart!


Glad to here. Hopefully you'll enjoy the other tender moments between the two throughout the remainder of the story.



wickedaddiction wrote:
oh man, poor Julian. Blindsided in the worst way possible. I hope he and Tara can sort this out through a longer conversation wherein they both remain friends. Would hate to see their friendship and their partnership break up because of this, although Julian does have every right to be angry with Tara. Especially since the poor guy thinks his best friend has been playing him for a fool this whole time.


To paraphrase what a wise woman once said; they have a lot to work through wherein trust has to be built again. It's not going to be easy but I have faith in them to work through their issues.


Quote:
Now, onto the ending of this chapter. Awwww! So cute. I love that Tara's opening up to Willow and showing her softer side. And Willow's playful flirting after the kiss. :blush :wtkiss


Willow's making a huge impact on her life. Before you know it, she might even drop the L word.

_________________
Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / A Special Christmas of Sorts / Maybe It's Just Me / Honeysuckle Rose /Blackouts and Breakthroughs / When Love Arrives


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 06/03/2020
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:48 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Tara sat in her living room, her back resting against the front of the couch and her eyes fixed on the screen of her laptop, slowly skimming through the information about the latest case. Files and papers were spread all over her glass coffee table.

She took the cup of coffee sitting beside her and brought the rim to her lips, hoping the caffeine would be enough to keep her awake as she tried to find some sort of break in the case. It was either that or simply sitting on her ass with hope of being smacked with an epiphany.

The perpetrator had left nothing behind in the crime scene, saved for the sperm sample Willow had retrieved from inside the victim’s body and a loose pubic hair, but it didn’t match any of the DNA on file. The murder weapon, a leather belt, had no fingerprints on it other than that of the victim. Along with the help of Harris, they had interviewed the victim’s family members, friends, professors and classmates, but they were unable to provide any useful information.

She had no known enemies, no jilted ex-lover, no online dating profiles and a roommate who thought of her as a sister.

With no evidence and witness, the investigation had hit a dead end.

Her attempts to contact Julian over the past few days had been futile, which she wasn’t all that surprised about. She wondered where he was and what he was doing right now. He had always been there for her and Tara wanted nothing more than to do the same for him. The fact that it was her who had hurt him, burnt a hole in her heart.

She lowered her forehead onto the cool glass surface of the coffee table, closing her eyes to catch a few moments of rest. She stayed in that position as she listened to the eerie silence of her apartment.
It was almost deafening.

A couple of abrupt bangs on her front door shocked her upright and her eyes shot wide open instantly. Her heart rate had sky-rocketed in those mere seconds. Feeling a bit paranoid, she reached for her gun resting under the table before slowly getting up on her feet and walked to the door.

With the gun securely gripped in her hand, Tara approached the door as quietly as possible, her index finger placed beside the trigger. She looked through the peep hole and breathed out in relief when she saw a familiar redhead standing outside in the hall, hugging a brown grocery bag. With her free hand, she reached for the flimsy chain securing her door and slid off the latch.

"Hey, what are you doing here?" Tara asked in pleasant surprise as she swung the door open.

A bright smile spread across Willow’s face at the sight of the beautiful brunette. "I thought you might want some company tonight, so I brought dinner," she replied in a sing-song voice, raising the bag in her hands a little in indication. Her cheerful expression was invaded by a troubled frown when she noticed the gun in Tara’s hand. "Why are you holding your gun?"

"Oh, nothing," Tara replied with a shrug. "I was just being overly paranoid," she continued absently as she stuffed the gun into the back of her jeans. She smiled reassuringly at Willow, who was sporting an unconvinced look.

"Don’t worry, I’m not gonna shoot you. Come on in, and let me take that." Tara chivalrously took the big brown bag from the redhead and stepped aside to let Willow into the apartment, shutting the door afterward.

Willow was initially hesitant about dropping by unannounced, but the warm reception put whatever doubts she had in her mind at ease. To be honest, it would have been better if Tara wasn’t holding her gun when she greeted her.

Willow walked the length of the glass divider, which had obscured the view of the rest of the apartment with its blurred surface effect. When she reached the end, she poked her head past the glass divider first, taking a peek before allowing the rest of her body to follow.

Tara cracked an amused smile and shook her head at the adorable behavior of her guest. She moved past her towards the kitchen to set the bag down on the counter.

As Willow slowly took in her surroundings, she slipped off her coat and laid it on the armrest of the couch. Her eyes roamed around the neat and spacious apartment as she followed its owner to the kitchen, admiring the simplicity of its design and decorations.

"Like what you see?" Tara asked with a smirk, arching a suggestive eyebrow. She then turned her attention back to unpacking the groceries in the paper bag. Her expression got increasingly animated as she unpacked the items, which included a range of fruits and vegetables, a couple packs of spaghetti, a tub of ice-cream as well as some other snacks.

"Very much," Willow answered flirtatiously. She leaned her hip against the kitchen counter, standing a little closer to Tara then necessary. The redhead was understandingly disappointed when her actions didn’t elicit the reaction she had hoped for, with Tara seemingly distracted by something else.

Willow’s eyebrows turned upwards in bewilderment when she saw the laughing look on the brunette’s face.

"What?"

"I think you bought enough groceries to last me the entire month," Tara chuckled. She shifted her body and placed her palms on the granite counter, then leaned forward on them. Her head was tuned to the side to look at a visibly embarrassed Willow, as a reddish-pink hue spread throughout her cheeks.

Willow was overcome with a sudden wave of nervousness under the intent gaze of shinning azure eyes.

"I wasn’t sure what to get, so I bought whatever I though was necessary for dinner for the two of us. I didn’t realize I had grabbed so much stuff, but I thought since I had already put them in the shopping cart and I was too lazy to put them back, I might as well ju-"

Her babble was cut short suddenly when Tara leaned over, effectively securing her lips to those of the redhead in a searing kiss. One second, she was busy defending her shopping antics and the next, she found Tara’s mouth covering her own. It didn’t take long for her to reciprocate, her initial shock wearing off quickly. Sometime during the kiss, she felt one of Tara’s hands snake toward her hip gently, pushing her backward until her lower back was pressing against the edge of the kitchen counter. Gradually, she moved her own hands up to hold the brunette’s face, tilting the slightly taller woman’s head as she melted into the kiss.

The kiss was soft and sensual. The sheer tenderness in the way Tara was moving her lips against her own, made Willow’s heart flutter and her body twitch with need. Unbeknownst to her, Tara was holding back. The brunette was deeply bothered by the fact that she was here with Willow while Julian was alone somewhere, picking up the pieces of his shattered heart. She felt herself tearing apart inside.

Just as Willow was about to deepen the kiss, her tongue sneaking out to trace the plump flesh of Tara’s, the detective pulled away, much to her disappointment. It took Willow several seconds to realize Tara was no longer kissing her. Opening her eyes, Willow let out a soft sigh as she peered into Tara’s troubled eyes before slowly sliding her hands down the brunette’s cheeks to rest on her chest.

"I guess what I meant to say was thank you," Tara said in a quiet voice as she continued to hold Willow close. "And not just for this, but for everything. Especially earlier this week at the morgue. I really needed the comfort. God only knows what I would have done if you hadn’t been there."

Willow gingerly tugged her hair behind her ear and averted her gaze from Tara.

"I don’t think you should be thanking me," she replied meekly. "Because if it wasn’t for me, if I had just been honest and up front with Julian about my sexuality from the very first time he asked me out, none of this would’ve ever happened."

Tara tilted her head in thought, trying to find a fault in the medical examiners logic.

"Well, that’s true," she replied honestly when she found none, receiving a pained look from the redhead in her arms. "But, I’m glad everything played out the way it did."

That was the truth. But now that she had said it out loud, doubts seemed to fill the space left by it. Tara hoped it wasn’t one of those cruel one-way-or-the other situations. She would hate to have to make a choice between the person she wanted to be with and the person she considered to be a brother. She couldn’t.

A low rumbling pulled the brunette out of her thoughts.

"Someone’s hungry," Tara said needlessly as she cracked a smirk.

"Well, I haven’t really eaten anything since this morning," Willow revealed sheepishly, receiving a disapproving look in return.

"Let’s start preparing dinner then. We need to fatten you up," Tara responded rather enthusiastically as she detached herself from Willow and went over to the other side of the kitchen to take out the necessary pots and pans.

Willow smiled half-heartedly as her mind tried to make sense of the contemplative expression she had seen on Tara’s face just a few seconds ago. She considered the possibility of the brunette having seconds thought about their relationship, despite having only just been somewhat reassured.
Somewhat. She didn’t want to lose her. Not now. Not after everything they’ve been through to get to where they were currently.

She was already falling in love with the reserved detective.

_________________
Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / A Special Christmas of Sorts / Maybe It's Just Me / Honeysuckle Rose /Blackouts and Breakthroughs / When Love Arrives


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 06/10/2020
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:01 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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Dibs! :whip
Quote:
To paraphrase what a wise woman once said; they have a lot to work through wherein trust has to be built again.

And in their case just skipping it and kissing won't be an option...

Quote:
Her attempts to contact Julian over the past few days had been futile, which she wasn’t all that surprised about. She wondered where he was and what he was doing right now.

So he didn't come to work? I can't imagine he got an instant vacation granted, did he call in (falsely) sick?

Yay that Willow chose to visit Tara this time and had the domestic idea of preparing dinner together.
Quote:
Her eyes roamed around the neat and spacious apartment as she followed its owner to the kitchen, admiring the simplicity of its design and decorations.

This description of Tara's apartment surprised me a little, considering your former report that she hardly even sleeps at home I thought she lived in a little and pretty neglected flat (like the bachelor pad of a guy). But it's of course nice that she doesn't have to feel ashamed about Willow seeing her apartment.

Yay for the :wtkiss , altough it's sad that Tara felt guilty because of it...

Quote:
I don’t think you should be thanking me," she replied meekly. "Because if it wasn’t for me, if I had just been honest and up front with Julian about my sexuality from the very first time he asked me out, none of this would’ve ever happened."

Tara tilted her head in thought, trying to find a fault in the medical examiners logic.

"Well, that’s true," she replied honestly when she found none, receiving a pained look from the redhead in her arms.

I liked that Willow had the insight that she's to blame (at least partially because Tara messed up her own "talk" with Julian pretty good) and that Tara didn't try to deny it.

Quote:
She didn’t want to lose her. Not now. Not after everything they’ve been through to get to where they were currently.

She was already falling in love with the reserved detective.

Awww! :flower I guess Tara will realize the same pretty soon.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 06/10/2020
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:01 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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I wonder what had Tara so paranoid that she needed to answer her door with her gun out. Glad she didn’t actually pull her weapon on Willow, that would’ve been scary. Loving how their relationship is unfolding and that they’re getting all cute and cozy with each other.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 06/10/2020
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:25 am 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Will's redemption wrote:
Dibs! :whip


:applause

Quote:
And in their case just skipping it and kissing won't be an option...


Nope, definitely not. lol. They'll have to 'kiss and make up' figuratively not literally

Quote:
So he didn't come to work? I can't imagine he got an instant vacation granted, did he call in (falsely) sick?


He took some personal time to clear his head.

Yay that Willow chose to visit Tara this time and had the domestic idea of preparing dinner together.


Quote:
This description of Tara's apartment surprised me a little, considering your former report that she hardly even sleeps at home I thought she lived in a little and pretty neglected flat (like the bachelor pad of a guy). But it's of course nice that she doesn't have to feel ashamed about Willow seeing her apartment.


I guess I viewed it as her lack of being home most nights made the house super clean with a less lived in feel to it.

Quote:
Yay for the :wtkiss , altough it's sad that Tara felt guilty because of it...


She'll get over that guilty feeling soon enough

Quote:
Awww! :flower I guess Tara will realize the same pretty soon.


You're correct, it won't be long before she too comes to the same conclusion.



wickedaddiction wrote:
I wonder what had Tara so paranoid that she needed to answer her door with her gun out. Glad she didn’t actually pull her weapon on Willow, that would’ve been scary. Loving how their relationship is unfolding and that they’re getting all cute and cozy with each other.


With a job like hers, were shes constantly surrounded by criminals, its easy to become paranoid ... also, I'm sure all the coffee she was consuming didn't help any. Glad you're enjoying how their relationship is unfolding cause the cute and cozy is gonna continue

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Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / A Special Christmas of Sorts / Maybe It's Just Me / Honeysuckle Rose /Blackouts and Breakthroughs / When Love Arrives


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 06/10/2020
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:46 am 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:37 am
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CHAPTER
 
Tara groaned at hearing the noise of her phone vibrating on the glass coffee table. She stubbornly buried her face deeper into the creamy soft skin and saccharine scent. Arms around her waist instinctively tightened their hold, squeezing protectively. When the noise refused to go away, she dragged out a loud groan before lifting her head up and grudgingly reached for the source of the annoying sound.

"What?" she snapped into the receiver, displeasure written across her face as she propped herself up on her elbow rather arduously. Her voice was raspier than usual, having just woken up.

The noise of a one sided conversation slowly stirred Willow from her peaceful sleep. As she rose to consciousness, she attempted to shift her position but was met with resistance. Her movements were restricted as she found herself pinned down by a weight on top of her. She released a tired sigh and opened her eyes slowly when the low murmuring continued. All she could see though was a fuzzy silhouette of a familiar figure, much like looking at a photo that was taken out of focus. She rubbed her eyes vigorously in an effort to clear her blurry vision and came upon a somber face, a deep worry line contorting the normally pristine features.

"Can you try calling him again?" Alright, thanks. I’ll be right there," Tara said into the phone before disconnecting the call.

As soon as the line was disengaged, she tossed the cellphone back onto the coffee table out of aggravation. As the weight of the conversation loomed through her muddled mind, Tara ran her hand through her tangled hair as she stared blankly into space with heavy lidded eyes.

"Hey, who called?" Willow asked in a soft voice, still feeling a little drowsy. She placed her right hand on Tara’s face and gently turned it toward her, pulling the brunette down so that she could place a chase kiss on the detectives lips.

Tara gave a small smile to the woman underneath her, her eyes fluttering closed as Willow continued to tenderly trace her jaw-line. "That was Harris, they found anoth-"

She was interrupted by the ringing resonating from the handbag on the sofa chair just diagonally ahead. Begrudgingly, Tara pushed herself off of Willow to allow the redhead to get up and answer her phone. Repositioning herself, Tara slouched down on the far end of the couch, her body still partially in sleep mode, as she watched Willow dig through her purse.

Not wanting to waste any more precious time, Tara rubbed her face with her hands to wipe away the sleepiness and forced herself into a standing position. She quickly began gathering up the case file and all of the papers she had been browsing through the night before and slotted them back into their folder while being careful not to knock over the half-full glasses of wine and plates of unfinished spaghetti adorning the table.

The two of them had gone through the details of the case incalculable times last night and even tried looking at similar unsolved cases in the past for the tiniest of clues to point them in the right direction, but to no avail. They had worked tiredlessly until two in the morning when Willow finally gave in to her need of sleep and plopped herself down onto the comfy couch. While she was initially reluctant, Tara ultimately crawled on top of Willow at the persistent and persuasive urging of the redhead.

Falling sleep in Willow’s arms, how could she ever say no to that?

"Okay, I got it. I’ll be there as soon as I can," Willow proclaimed before releasing a long sigh as she pulled the phone away from her ear.

"Was that the GSA?" Tara asked, even though she could tell from the redhead’s body language that the call was of the same dreaded content as the one she received just minutes ago.

Willow nodded sullenly as she tossed the phone back into her purse. "They want me to go down to UCLA, a body was found on the campus with similarities to our other deceased student. Is that why Harris called earlier?"

Tara clenched her jaw as her frustration surfaced. Aside from the terrible news, Harris had also told her on the phone that Julian wasn’t answering any of his calls or replying to text messages. She wanted to be mad at him for dumping the investigation solely on her, but she just couldn’t get past her guilt to do it.

"Yeah. Things just keep getting better and better," Tara replied sarcastically.

Willow frowned disapprovingly at the beaten attitude shown by Tara. She stood up from the sofa chair and walked toward the brunette. Once at the detective’s side, she cautiously reached out a hand, collecting one of Tara’s in the process.

"Tara, don’t say that. Remember what I told you? We’re gonna get through this together," Willow reminded, hoping the brunette would catch the meaning behind her statement. "And I know that you’ll catch whoever is doing this, because you’re probably the most stubborn person I’ve ever met."

Tara allowed a small smile to spread across her face at the medical examiners words. Gingerly, she reached up with her free hand and smoothed over the redhead’s bed riddled hair. Slipping her hand through the slightly tangled locks to the back of Willow’s neck, she gently tugged the redhead forward, placing a kiss on her forehead in the process.

"Thanks," the detective whispered.

Willow blushed at the loving display of gratitude. "That’s what I’m here for. " Bashfully, she broke eye contact and flittered her gaze across the room, eventually landing on the green numbers displayed on the DVR. "We should probably get going."

Tara gave a quick nod and hurriedly went back to packing up the remaining documents.



888


Tara waited for Willow to get her medical examination kit from the trunk of her car before proceeding into the science wing of the University. They took the stairs up to the third floor and immediately came upon a large crowd gathered around the perimeter of the crime scene. They had to push their way through the throng of people and when pushing didn’t work, Tara decided that a good old-fashion shove worked with much more effectiveness.

She flashed her badge to the police officer guarding the entrance to the female washroom, where the body had been discovered. The beat cop nodded a go-ahead and lifted the yellow crime scene tape up to allow the two women to step in. Upon entering the room, the duo squinted as the overhead florescent light flickered listlessly, while gingerly side stepping over anything that could be construed as evidence. In the center of the room, Harris stood over the decease’s body which lay in between the bathroom stalls and the sinks.

"Good, you’re finally here," the detective said to Tara as she approached him. "Hey, Dr. Rosenberg" he added as he shot the medical examiner an award winning smile.

Willow pressed her lips together in acknowledgment as she moved passed Tara who had stopped to examine a bloody smudge on the edge of the sink closest to the victim. Carefully, Willow stepped over the nearly-naked body and kneeled down beside it, her brow furrowing together in the process. Other than the laceration on the woman’s forehead, she realized that the manner in which the victim was killed was pretty much the same as the last one. The clothes the victim had on were ripped into pieces and there was also a leather belt wrapped around her neck.

Tara remained straight-faced at the gruesome sight, already numbed by the equally grisly photos of the last victim that she had looked at the previous night.

"Do we know who the victim is?"

"Yeah, a student identified her as Chelsea Hamilton. A couple of her classmates said she had stayed behind after class last night to finish an assignment and that was the last time they saw her," Harris answered, giving the brunette detective a sidelong glance. "The janitor found her a little over an hour ago when he came in to mop."

"By the way, I couldn’t reach Julian. He seems to have switched off his phone or something, every time I called it went straight to voicemail." Harris waited a few moments for his words to sink in before he cautiously added, "I noticed he hasn't been in to work the past few days, did something happen between the two of you?"

Willow raised her head up to look at Tara, who was simply staring at the lifeless body as if she hadn’t heard the question.

"Now is not the time to talk about it," Tara replied in a monotone fashion. "What’s the time of death?" she asked Willow, quickly changing the subject. The situation at hand was much direr than her waning friendship with Julian.

Willow blinked her way back to reality before sputtering out an answer. "Erm, hepatic temperature puts time of death between ten o’clock and midnight. Victim appears to have been strangled to death. The bruises on her inner thighs and tears around her vagina area are similar to the ones on the last victim. I’ll extract a sperm sample back at the lab and see if it matches the one we’ve already got."

Tara pinched the bridge of her nose, her eyes squeezing tight as she absorbed the medical examiners findings. The last thing she needed was for a murdering serial rapist to be out on the loose.

Willow pulled off her latex gloves as she stood up and signaled for the aides to bag the body. Straightening out her torso, her hands instinctively reaching for her lower back, Willow stretched out her tired limbs as she turned to look at Tara. "Are you okay?" she asked, feeling a twinge of sympathy for her girlfriend.

"I’m okay," Tara replied robotically, flashing a reassuring smile albeit weakly. She watched as the body was wheeled out of the crime scene. "Ah, I’m gonna head back to the precinct with Harris. I’ll drop by the morgue later, maybe around three?

"Sounds good," Willow answered as she gave an encouraging squeeze on Tara’s upper arm. Her hand slid downwards to hold hands with Tara, their fingers intertwined. She gave the linked fingers a gentle squeeze before letting go; using the same hand to collect her kit from the floor.

Being a detective, the brief movement didn’t go undetected by Harris. He cocked his head slowly to the side as his eyebrows rose on his forehead, his lower lip jutting out slightly as he observed the unusual encounter in quiet contemplation. Without a word, Harris turned his attention to one of the evidence collection photographer. "Make sure you get a picture of the broken door jam," he said as he pointed to the broken stall door. "Not sure if that’s from poor housekeeping or has something to do with the crime scene, but I’d rather be safe than sorry."

As the tech continued to snap photos, Harris turned to face his current partner, his mind still trying to grapple with the unexpected answer to his unanswered question.

"You coming?" Tara called out to Harris over her shoulder as she moved toward the door, noticing the brawny man simply standing in the middle of the ladies room with a somewhat stupefied look on his face.

Mutely, Harris gave the brunette a tight lipped smile and a nod of his head as he followed her out of the bathroom into the hall and to, what he was sure, was a plethora of news reports.

_________________
Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / A Special Christmas of Sorts / Maybe It's Just Me / Honeysuckle Rose /Blackouts and Breakthroughs / When Love Arrives


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 06/18/2020
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:55 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 359
Dibs! :whip
Quote:
While she was initially reluctant, Tara ultimately crawled on top of Willow at the persistent and persuasive urging of the redhead.

Falling sleep in Willow’s arms, how could she ever say no to that?

Awww. I hope they will continue spending the nights together and taking it slow with "just" cuddling. It will be good for Tara to finally get some decent amounts of peaceful sleep.

Quote:
Willow frowned disapprovingly at the beaten attitude shown by Tara. She stood up from the sofa chair and walked toward the brunette. Once at the detective’s side, she cautiously reached out a hand, collecting one of Tara’s in the process.

"Tara, don’t say that. Remember what I told you? We’re gonna get through this together," Willow reminded, hoping the brunette would catch the meaning behind her statement. "And I know that you’ll catch whoever is doing this, because you’re probably the most stubborn person I’ve ever met."

Tara allowed a small smile to spread across her face at the medical examiners words. Gingerly, she reached up with her free hand and smoothed over the redhead’s bed riddled hair. Slipping her hand through the slightly tangled locks to the back of Willow’s neck, she gently tugged the redhead forward, placing a kiss on her forehead in the process.

"Thanks," the detective whispered.

Willow blushed at the loving display of gratitude. "That’s what I’m here for. "

Yay to Willow for rebuilding Tara's confidence with this sweet little pep talk.

Quote:
Her hand slid downwards to hold hands with Tara, their fingers intertwined. She gave the linked fingers a gentle squeeze before letting go; using the same hand to collect her kit from the floor.

I loved this little intimate gesture!
Quote:
As the tech continued to snap photos, Harris turned to face his current partner, his mind still trying to grapple with the unexpected answer to his unanswered question.

So Xander concluded correctly that they are a couple? I'm wondering if he even knew that Tara was gay before? Julian knew of course but I'm not sure if she outed herself to "Harris" too since they don't seem to be friends, just colleagues.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Maybe It's Just Me - Update 06/18/2020
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:25 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 12:17 pm
Posts: 73
Aww, the cute and cozy did continue! Loving their sweet interaction and morning snuggles. To bad it had to be interrupted by such horrible news. Seems like the murderer is escalating.


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