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

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 Post subject: From the Journal of Tara MaClay - New Fic
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 9:11 am 
Hey Kittens,

I haven't posted any stories in about a year. It has been very hard to remain motivated through the crap that was season severed. In my case Josswad almost won, I almost ceased to care. After reading this you might wish he had succeeded! :)



In any case I may or may not do more in the same vein, I really haven't decided yet. As with anything I post, this is complete, at least for now.





Title: From the journal of Tara MaClay

Author: Garner

Email: Garner502@yahoo.com

Feedback: Always nice, good or bad!

Distribution: Go ahead, just let me know. It’s how I discover new sites.

Spoilers: None really, Hush in Season 4

Pairings: W/T

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: I do not own or profit from this or the characters, that right belongs to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy, who are discovering that some things need to be better taken care of.

Summary: Since we’ve seen season 4 from Willow’s point of view, I decided to give Tara’s perspective of what occurred. This looks at the events during Hush, as written in Tara’s private journal. I tried to stick as close to canon as possible and not be AU, but obviously a lot is speculative.

Note: Written October 2003



                                        HUSH





Tuesday Afternoon: I met the most amazing girl at Wicca group this afternoon. It was only a short hour or so ago, but Goddess she was so beautiful and had lively, sparkling, green eyes and brilliant red hair I just had to rush back after class and write down every detail before I forget any of them.



        I think she’s been to the group before, but I never really noticed her, though how I’ll never know. All the others seem so mundane and like drones. Their auras have no life, no magic to them at all. Their very ordinariness gives them a drab gray feeling, which I’m sure is all that I give off too, but this girl was different. Even her name, Willow, is unique and kinda rolls off the tongue like an oral gem, bright, shining, with many hidden facets.



        Oh Goddess, listen to me, please don’t let it be true. How could something like this be happening to me?



        I probably wouldn’t have noticed her, despite all the vibrancy, if she hadn’t spoken up, suggested that perhaps there was more we could be doing in the group than just stupid bake sales and newsletters. None of the others seem to have any notion what it is to follow the Goddess’ path. I sometimes wonder why I even bother to stay? None of the other “sisters” really likes me. They all mostly just tolerate me, probably think I’m nobody worth knowing. I was so hoping that I would meet others like myself when I first went. Was it fate? Was I there just to meet this charming and special girl? Is there such a thing as coincidence or was it destined all along?



        Anyway, she, Willow, said something about doing spells! Yes, she actually said that in front of all the others, in public! She’s so much braver than I could ever hope to be. What strength and self assuredness she must have to suggest such a thing. I tried to chime in and agree with her, you know, second the suggestion, but the words wouldn’t come out quickly enough, they got caught in my throat and then Julia silenced everyone. She had them all focus on me, staring expectantly waiting for me to make a fool of myself so they could laugh at me later. I, I tried a little, but…what use was it? No one listens to me. I would have just made a bigger fool of myself and the beautiful red haired girl named Willow would have looked at me with kindness and pity and I would have started crying, I know it.



        I hid behind my hair and said nothing. Way to go Tara! Now she probably thinks you are just like all the others, a dull stupid cow going along with the herd. No power, no knowledge of what it means to be a real witch. Oh, mother, what I wouldn’t give to have been able to speak my mind clearly this once. To have not been so scared.



        I thought about approaching her after the meeting, going up and asking her if she maybe wanted to do a spell sometime, how long she’d been practicing, how she learned the Craft, that sort of thing. But my heart was racing, my chest seemed all constricted and I couldn’t breathe right. All I saw was that lovely round face framed by wispy auburn hair and inquisitive emerald eyes looking out, and I lost my nerve. Why would someone like that ever notice me? And I want her too. I want it more than anything else I’ve ever desired, maybe even more than I wish mother hadn’t died. Is that wrong. Oh, Goddess please don’t let me be…what? Smitten, a crush, in love?



She’s so small, a petite frame but with nicely proportioned breasts and a shapely rear that I couldn’t help checking out. I even sort of hung back and followed her a bit after the group broke up just so I could look at her longer. It felt like my heart was going to burst just from watching her, but I had class and had to leave. I was almost late, too, and I’m never late. Father would never approve of that!



        What am I going to do? I can’t be in love, I can’t. What use would that be? She doesn’t know me and if she had any inkling that I was part demon she’d never, ever, speak to me. She probably never will anyway. I won’t let myself fall for her, I won’t.





Wednesday Morning: Oh Goddess this is terrible, I dreamed of her last night! I barely even remember what we talked about in Art History yesterday afternoon and yet this dream sticks out so clearly in my mind. I was back at home, sort of cause everything seemed so much smaller and just a bit off in little ways, like the lights were brighter. I was making dinner as always when Donny came up behind me and scared me and I dropped the mixing bowl spilling all over his shoes. He yelled and slapped me twice, harder than normal. Then Father made me clean his shoes and go out to the store to replace the milk, eggs and flour that I’d ruined and that I better do it quickly or I’d really be punished.



        I put on my frumpy gray coat, the one I threw out after my first week here in Sunnydale with the giant black buttons, and headed off to the store. The sky was like slate and the leaves were all brown and swirled about my feet, tangling them and slowing me down. Even the wind seemed to whisper that evil creatures shouldn’t be out and blew in my face.



        I finally made it to the store and they were out of milk and Father would be so angry and I was going to be late getting back and I was so scared because that meant the strap for sure. I didn’t know what I was going to do when I noticed Her by the counter. She appeared to glow with a soft golden radiance that took my breath away and when she turned her stunning green eyes towards me it felt like I was floating above the floor. She had the last carton of milk with a bunch of other goods by the register, but somehow sensed my distress. She spoke to me in a voice that was soft and warm as it wrapped around me and I suddenly felt safe and secure. She smiled and said that if I needed the milk I could have it. At first I felt ugly and ashamed but there was an undercurrent of electricity and attraction. She was the most angelic thing I’d ever seen and her smile seemed to penetrate through my fear filling me with joy just to see it. I had to smile back and as she handed me the milk our hands brushed and I thought my heart would explode. Her hands were so soft, warm and gentle. I remember the ceiling spinning above me and that’s when I woke up.



        It’s funny, it’s so quiet out, like the world is holding its breath so I can clearly recall the dream and the lingering memory of my Willow. Why does that phrase, my Willow, make my eyes cloud up? I wish that it were so. I hope I see her again at least, I can’t wait for the next Wicca Group meeting. Maybe I can sit next to her? Or would across be better so I can gaze at her more easily and she might notice me. Or would that make it more likely that I’d botch things up? Maybe I can say something to her afterwards, let her know she’s not the only one interested in magic? No, I don’t know if I could do that. What would a beautiful girl like her want with me? Donny always said that I was nothing to look at, plain faced, washed out blonde hair and too big hips. He used to say that no guy would ever desire me and I should be glad I had family to look after and stay with.



        Not that I ever thought about boys, even then. I don’t know why that was but they just had no appeal. I don’t hate them or anything, but they never caused any feelings or longing within me. Not like what I’m feeling now, that’s for sure. Goddess, I’m afraid I might be in love with her and I don’t even know anything about her. Just that she’s so gorgeous and innocent and perky and probably as straight as they come. Anyone like that must have a boyfriend. How could she not? She probably has boys asking her out all the time, the pick of the crop hers for the choosing.



        Not like me. No one’s ever asked me out, which is probably just as well. What if Donny had actually set me up with someone? Goddess, that would have been awful. I can’t imagine what Father’s reaction would have been if he found out I liked girls. He always said that the study of witchcraft just showed my demonic, evil, side made it that much stronger. No, this would have would have made him more furious than ever before; if he found out.



Of course, I never had the nerve to ask anyone out either. No one seemed quite right. Cousin Beth was sort of cute, but she’s got a mean undercurrent beneath that, velvet covering a finely sculpted icey interior. There was Mary Jo, she was athletic, strong and pretty. I hung around watching her in school and she started talking with me one day and I thought she liked me. She was always asking about the family and mom and all. We even went riding once. But she was just interested in Donny and wanted to get next to him through me. She never saw me as anything but a tool. It hurt more than I would have expected, though she owed me nothing really. I wonder if Willow would be any different? What ulterior reasons might she have for acknowledging me. Dare I try and find out?



       

Wednesday Evening:        This has been the strangest day. After writing in my journal this morning I went out and found that everyone had lost their voices. It was creepy, everything was so quiet and yet loud. A boy dropped a glass in the lounge and it sounded like thunder. Everyone is freaked out and it’s scary. I know Sunnydale is a mystical convergence and all, sitting on a Hellmouth. Vampires and demons must be hanging around the fringes of the town along with who knows what else? But I never thought anything this…strange, would happen. I wonder what caused it? Maybe a spell gone wrong? It’s hard to tell, I didn’t sense anything, but it must have happened last night while I was asleep.



        Oh I wish Willow were here. I bet together we could figure out what was going on. I don’t know why but I bet she’s smart and good with books. We’d go through all of our spellbooks looking for the cause. She’d find it and I would know the right spell to dispel the effects. We’d cast the spell together, maybe in my room or someplace secluded on the campus, amidst the trees and bushes under the bright moon. Her hair would shine and her eyes would sparkle. She’d wear a pale dress that hugged her body and showed off her body. And maybe our hands would lightly touch during the spell. We’d look deep into each other’s eyes and she’d look past my exterior and see the real me.



        Who am I kidding. She’d see that I was a total dork or my evil, demon side and that would drive her away forever. Most likely she’s with her boyfriend so he can protect her from whatever did this. I don’t stand a chance with someone like that. Still, the whole town’s affected and someone has to do something. Mother always said we had to watch out for those less capable, no matter how little they deserved it. I’ll have to start going through my material and see if I can find anything. Maybe if I find the solution Willow will want to help me.





Thursday Morning: I dreamed of her again. Willow. It’s a little harder to remember this one. I think I was in English class and we were discussing The Great Gatsby, I always liked that one even though it has a sad ending. Anyway, the professor called on me and I couldn’t get anyone to understand what I was saying. I stuttered so badly and all the other kids were snickering or pointing which just made it harder. Like an idiot I sank to the floor wishing it would open and swallow me. And then suddenly no one could speak and I think that’s when she came in. Her cheeks were slightly red from running, a faint sheen of sweat covered her face and her chest heaved so attractively. She smiled at me and took my arm and gently helped me up. Somehow I understood what she wanted and we left the class and abruptly we were in a dark, deserted, school hallway. We held hands and I could feel her blood rushing and the warmth of her palms. We tried to cast a spell to make things better, but of course the words wouldn’t come out. Then a tall boy in dark clothes came up towards us and reached for Willow. She turned and took his hands and though I screamed for her to come back she left with him and I felt so alone.



        Why’d I ever have to notice her in the first place? All I seem to be able to do is think about her. That red hair, short and soft. I’d love to run my hand through it, feel the silky locks between my fingers. Caress her smooth skin. Ahh, this is getting ridiculous. I can’t afford to be in love. I am such a doofus, so plain and ordinary that even if she were interested in girls I’m probably the last one she’d want. At best she might pity me and pretend to be my friend and that would be more than I could bear.





Thursday Evening: Our voices still haven’t come back. Something seriously wrong is going on and I have got to do my best to try and fix it. Mom always said that it was a witch’s duty to set the natural order right if it was distorted or altered. I’ve been looking through my spell books for charms and incantations dealing with sound or voices but I haven’t really been able to find anything yet. A problem this big is going to be beyond me anyway. It’d definitely take more than one person to mend everything. Would she even bother to cast a spell with me?



        It doesn’t matter what I feel or what she thinks, I’ve got to do something. I found Willow’s room number in the school directory. She lives in Stevenson, room 214. I’m going to go over there and see if she has any ideas of what happened, maybe some different spellbooks or perhaps we can develop a spell to restore things to the way they were. I know, I may be clutching at starlight, but I’ve got to act, at least try. And this is definitely a great excuse to go meet her, let her know who I am. She’s got such a strong aura who knows what we could accomplish together? More than I could by myself certainly. Besides, with no one being able to speak, she might not notice my stutter and be instantly put off. I mean I’ve got nothing to lose right? Maybe I’ll just check one more book before heading over there.





Thursday Night: Oh Goddess, oh Goddess, oh Goddess I can hardly believe what happened. It was the most incredible and powerful thing that I’ve ever experienced. It was like a million different feelings racing through me all at once, lighting up my entire body. Chills, warmth, an ecstatic electrical hum similar to when the magic is flowing smoothly only so much more so. And the way she smells, vaguely like herbs and a little musty and yet so natural and homey it draws me in and makes me want to live within that fragrance forever.



        I better start at the beginning so I get this right. I finally worked up the courage to go see Willow and convince her to help try a spell. I kept chickening out and saying one more passage to check, one more book to consult. I just wanted to have something to show her, let her know I wasn’t merely some moron coming to her with nothing to contribute. The thought of seeking her out was unsettling me more than the loss of everyone’s voices, I so want her to like me. I’ve never really had a friend before, definitely never sought one out, and I knew I’d blow it.



The sun had already set by then and it was dark out, but I grabbed my books and headed over towards Stevenson before I could change my mind. I was walking through campus trying to think of what I would say to her, well write to her since I couldn’t talk obviously. I wasn’t paying that much attention and like the klutz I am I dropped my books. Thank the Goddess she wasn’t around then to see that! I don’t think I ever could have found the nerve to approach her if she had. Any way, while I was trying to gather them up I saw these men in loose straight jackets moving towards me in a chaotic walk or dance. And behind them were these frightening monsters that looked like men, morticians actually, dressed in fine black suits only they floated above the ground and had terrible, toothy smiles with no lips.



        They chased me and I ran into Stevenson and no one would help me. I pounded on a bunch of doors and finally got to Willow’s floor and would you believe it, I ended up running right into her, literally! I am such a stupid spaz. I even hurt her ankle as we tumbled to the ground. I was so terrified that she’d hate me forever or that I’d gotten us both killed that I didn’t even notice how we were draped all over each other. What a great way to meet her! Please Goddess don’t let her hold this against me, please.



        I helped her up and we ran from the things chasing us and I have never been so scared, ever! It was like a bad dream where you run and you run and don’t get anywhere and yet the monster is right behind you always getting closer. We made it into the basement and to the laundry room, closing the door behind us, but I knew that wouldn’t keep us safe for long.



        Somehow though, it was like in my dream. Willow was there and I felt safer and more at ease than I had any right to. These things were hammering at the door, trying to do Goddess knows what to us, but just having her with me seemed to chase my fears, well not away, but made them recede so I wasn’t petrified with terror. It was remarkable; even just being near her is exhilarating and yet calming all at the same time.



        And then she concentrated and I sensed the energy move through her. She was trying to levitate something, but I couldn’t tell what until the soda machine started to shake. She gave up, exasperated, and we shared a look. She was so, what, open, vulnerable, frustrated at not being able to do anything. And then it was like our hands moved of their own volition and joined together. That’s when I felt all those marvelous and wonderous sensations flow through me. It really was indescribable. It shook me to my core and our minds reached out together and the soda machine flew in front of the door. I couldn’t have done anything like that by myself. It was like we operated as one, in perfect synchronicity. I could barely believe it. I’ve never felt so joined, so matched and complete with anyone else like that ever before.



And then there we were with our hands still clasped together. Her palm was warm and moist and oh so soft and the tingling only made it that much more wonderful. She didn’t pull back but sort of looked at me and her eyes are so beautiful and every other word that describes beauty. I felt like she had always been there with me and that I was finally with the only person who had ever mattered.



Finally our hands parted and I was so embarrassed because I wanted her so badly. I wanted to kiss her and hold her and just revel in the smell, touch and taste of her. I was so aroused and I was sure she’d notice and think I was a big pervert or worse. I still don’t have any idea if she’s gay or would be totally repulsed by my interest. She probably would, what are the chances that I could actually find a witch who is also a lesbian to fall in love with? There’s no way my luck could be so good.



After she took her hand back we just sort of huddled there in the room, both frightened and unsure when it would be safe to venture out. Though truth to tell I was happy that we were trapped as it allowed me to look at her, to try and memorize the curve of her neck, the slope of her arms, the way her hair lays and the nervous smile she sometimes gets. I don’t think she caught me staring, Goddess I hope not. I tried to be discrete, but I was so overwhelmed by the whole experience and a little giddy too. Willow touch is more intoxicating than any alcohol. What I wouldn’t give to have it right now.



After a while I finally noticed that her aura was disrupted. At first I panicked thinking that she noticed my attention or how excited she made me and for a second I felt utterly crushed. It was like my whole world was collapsing. No, that I could deal with, it was like all the dreams I’ve ever had of finding someone cute, pretty and not afraid of magic and who might actually be able to connect with me had all been destroyed. It hurt so much that I almost started sobbing then and there, but there was something in the way she looked at me, as if she sensed my sudden distress, and then smiled and sort of squeezed my arm. It let me know that I hadn’t blown it. That I’d misjudged as always. Even that simple contact was exquisitely delightful.



When I could look at her again I realized her ankle was starting to swell and might even be sprained. I can be so dense sometimes. Well, I tentatively reached out and put my hands around it. Very gingerly and I gave her a questioning look, or at least I hope that’s what I did. She nodded slightly and half smiled. I got the sense that at that moment she trusted me and that anything I did would be all right and not hurt her.



Now of course I can’t heal severe injuries or anything too serious, especially not without a bunch of herbs and potions, but I could at least try and restore some balance to the afflicted area, reduce the swelling and speed up the healing. I concentrated my energies in my hands and pictured the muscles relaxing, the fluids evening out, washing away, and then everything knitting together just like mother taught me. She would have been so proud at how well I concentrated. And I slowly, with the utmost delicacy, started massaging the area. At first I heard her suck in her breath and I feared I might have hurt her, but then I felt the same tingling as when our hands touched. I don’t know if my healing spell worked any better due to the contact, but after a few glorious moments of stroking her smooth flesh she sighed in pleasure.



I felt the heat rise in my face and immediately let go thinking I had done something wrong, or maybe I was just startled, I don’t know.



And then she uttered the first words I’d heard since this started, the first words she said directly to me, well with only we there. I’ll always remember them no matter what happens between us, no matter how badly I repulse her or drive her away. She said them softly, almost as an unconscious reflex, in a sweet sort of husky way, “That feels so much better.”



Yes, it feels so much better to have her in my life, even if it was for just this one night. Nothing that comes after will ever dim the memory of it for me.



I can barely remember what came after that. I confess I wasn’t thinking that clearly, the whole episode was too overwhelming and it was late and I was exhausted. I think we introduced ourselves, not that we didn’t sort of know who we each were already. She seemed in a big hurry to leave though, and that makes me nervous now. I didn’t really notice it then. We both said something about being tired and she seemed to think that if our voices had returned we should be safe, but she had a friend she was worried about. We agreed to meet again in Stevenson tomorrow morning, but I can’t exactly remember when, I think at 8:00 before classes. I hope that’s what she said.



Was she trying to get away from me? I mean I don’t think I said anything stupid. Did she sense how excited I was? Did she have to rush back and check on her boyfriend? Is she in his arms now, making fun of this dorky, lesbo witch who ran her down and almost got her killed? No, I can’t let myself believe that. She was just as tired and worn out from the strain as I was. I’ve sensed a part of her and I don’t think there’s anything petty or evil in her. Not like me.





Friday Morning: Just a quick entry before I go to see Willow. I am so nervous. I was all night, too, and wired from the contact and barely got any sleep at all. When I did I dreamed about her again, a third time in three nights. That’s got to mean something doesn’t it? Maybe I’ll have to check into dream analysis and see.



        Anyway, all I remember is being frightened beyond words and running from some hideous, yet vague, danger. I ran through the door to my room and I was with Willow in the dorm lounge and the sense of being chased was gone. We reached out and our hands met in slow motion and then the floor rushed away and suddenly we were flying, hand in hand, through the forest and farmlands back home. We soared past the house, the old school, even main street, in no time at all. She took us up into the clouds and then she hugged me and her lips moved towards mine and of course that’s when I woke up.



        What am I going to wear? What will I say to her? Goddess, please grant me your blessing, let this go well.





Friday Afternoon: Willow and I talked for what seemed like forever and she wants to get together sometime and do a spell! Thank you, Goddess, I think I might have actually managed not to screw up.



        I was so afraid that after last night I would never see her again, that she’d realize on second thought what I was and not show up. Yet there she was at the bulletin board like she said and she was wearing the cutest jeans and shirt. It made her look so cute and precious, not plain and, what was the word they always said, homey, like it would on me. And even more amazing, she seemed glad to see me too.



        I explained why I was trying to find her. Somehow I blurted out how special she was and she seemed sort of surprised. Maybe I was too forward, but her aura is so strong, she is special. I can’t believe she’s only been practicing for a couple years. And to have learned mostly by herself, that’s so impressive. Well, mostly by herself, she did say she had a little guidance from her high school librarian, a Mr. Giles I think, and that sounds a bit strange but I suppose this is a strange town when you get down to it.



        She seemed really happy to meet another real witch. From her hints it sounds like something bad happened to the last one she knew. She hasn’t done as many spells as I have, or read anywhere near as much, but she’s so smart. To get so far in such short time, I can still hardly grasp it. She’s Jewish and not really a Wiccan, but then she’s still so new to it all.



        I asked her how she could stay so cool last night and she said that she and some friends had some run ins with vampires while in high school. She must have lived an unusual life what with being here on the Hellmouth and everything. I must seem so plain and boring in comparison. But then she thanked me, me! For helping to heal her ankle, like it was a big deal and not my fault that it got hurt in the first place. All I could do was smile and duck my head and try not to cry.



        We hit it off so well, I never wanted it to end. We talked about classes a bit, books we’d read, spells we’d tried, all sorts of things till it was time for class. Even though I’ve just met her, it’s like we’ve been friends forever. And there’s so much more to learn about her, so much she barely alluded to. How will I ever survive till she calls?



        Mother, I wish you were here to see me. I have this great friend, well, I hope she’s my friend, I suppose I don’t really know for sure, but it feels like it. You’d like her, too. She’s sweet, kind, brave and smart. If I didn’t love her so much and need to be near her, see her, I would be so intimidated I’d never have the courage to open my mouth or say anything to her. But this is so different. She puts me at ease, makes me feel like I could say anything and she’d be interested. I so very desperately want her to like me it makes my stomach shudder and I can’t hardly eat, but the warmth I feel when I’m with her makes it all worthwhile.



        I know I’m a fool and she’d probably be disgusted if she knew how I felt, what I was. What else can I do but try and be close to her as much as possible? I’d do anything for her, to stay with her just a little longer. I know I’m probably setting myself up for heartbreak and misery, unbearable agony when she finally learns the truth, but I’ve got to have hope, believe that even my dreams might come true. Isn’t that what you always tried to teach me? There’s no denying I am desperately and completely in love with this girl named Willow, and if I can only be small part of her life, then I’ll have to pray that that’s enough. It’s so much more than I’ve ever had before.



END?





Edited by: Garner at: 2/20/04 12:17 pm


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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay - New Fic
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 10:34 am 
:pray Pleeeeeeeeeease don't let that be the end! :pray



I don't usually post feedback, ('cause usually what I would say has already been said by others, and I don't want to be redundant)...but I noticed there weren't any replies yet for this story and figured I'd chime in.



I thoroughly enjoyed reading this!



We were given such tiny glimpses of Tara (and her thoughts) in her first few appearances--granted Amber and her acting abilities did WORLDS to give us a glimpse of the inner workings of Tara Maclay's mind-- but it's great to get such an in depth glimpse at her inner thoughts, and you really do a great job of writing her!



Great job, and I hope you keep this story going! :read

-annie :)

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

"Why do you try to hold on to what you'll never get a hold of? You wouldn't try to put the ocean in a paper cup."



~Ani Difranco, 'Hour Follows Hour'

Edited by: rezeaka  at: 10/27/03 10:35 am


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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay - New Fic
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 2:51 pm 
I'm lovin' this fic already.:clap



Charlie



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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay - New Fic
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 3:20 pm 
Wow, this is just great.



I love Hush (Who wouldn't:wink ?) and Taras pov is really interesting. It's very realistic....I would love to read more..



:pray



Insanity



"Nobody messes with my girl!"Tara, Bargaining



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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay - New Fic
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 8:47 pm 
Interesting concept. On the show, we sort of see Willow's POV. It will be great if you continue throughout seasons 4, 5, 6. I love to know what Tara is thinking during these times.

Tara: My heart doesn't stutter.


Tara: Willow, I got so lost.

Willow: I found you. I will always find you.




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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay - New Fic
PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2003 1:54 pm 
Rezeaka, thanks for the post and I am glad that you liked it. I think I probably will continue, albeit slowly, but the different POV is intriguing to me at the moment and it allows me to rethink the various first events and timing of the season. Some of which is a bit trickier than I thought at first actually.



Hellyeahallday also glad you liked it and read the story. Hope you will keep on if there is more.



Insanity it's nice to hear that I got Tara's perspective right. I have done a Willow first person story before and I thought getting that correct was difficult and was worried that Tara wouldn't seem like...well, Tara. I hope there will be more for you to read.



The Rose24 I also thought we had seen Willow's perspective or a semi-combined perspective of the events of season 4, but not a really intimate view of what Tara was thinking, hoping, fearing during all of that. There is quite a lot of material that could have been shown but wasn't since it wasn't the W/T show. (And more's the pity there too! Damn! :) ) If I go on I think I would do all of season 4, but I don't know if I would do season 5. We get a bit more of Tara's views then. I would certainly hate to relive any of season sux, from any perspective except through a time machine in Josswad's office prior to it...with a bat! Sorry, bitterness showing. If I continue I hope you'll like where things go and develop.



Garner



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 Post subject: From the Journal of Tara McClay - Pt 2 Doomed
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2003 11:14 am 
Well I did decide to continue on, probably will through Season 4 at least. There are some seriously tricky timing issues of things like Christmas and a few specific events that I wanted to iron out. Hopefully this will make sense. In any case here is the second part, hope you all like it.



Title: From the journal of Tara McClay Part 2

Author: Garner

Email: Garner502@yahoo.com

Feedback: Yes please, always useful to see how good or bad it’s going.

Distribution: Go ahead, just let me know. It’s how I discover new sites.

Spoilers: None really, through Doomed in Season 4

Pairings: W/T

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: Joss and ME own all of the characters and such, giving them the right to screw them up as much as they want. I make no profit from this, no copyright infringement is intended.

Summary: This looks at the events after Hush in Doomed, as written in Tara’s private journal. What? You say Tara wasn’t in Doomed? True, but she was still doing something during that time, this is my speculation on that period. I tried to stick as close to canon as possible and not be AU.

Note: Written October/November 2003. The timing in Season 4 gets pretty tricky once you start outlining what occurred when. Since Thanksgiving took place in Pangs, a mere two episodes prior, I find the best place for Christmas is between Doomed and A New Man.





                                        DOOMED



Saturday Afternoon: I should go to the library today. With everything back to normal I’ve got class work to finish. Yeah, like anything could be normal after what happened the last few days. It’s not often that Tara McClay falls in love. Now there’s the understatement of the century! And with a complete stranger, too, though that’s no longer entirely true. I at least know a few things about my Willow. My Willow, the part of her life that she shares with me, the aspects of her she chooses to let me see, to learn, to know.



        Yet there are things that I can’t tell her about: my demon side of course; that I’m attracted to girls and not boys; that I’m utterly lost in her. If she knew how much I loved her how badly would that scare her?



        No, nothing is normal any longer, it’s like I’ve glimpsed a very small view of heaven, a heaven where Willow and Tara hands join together and our spirits seem so intermingled that despite having just met her it feels like she was always part of me. How can one see such a place and remain the same? How can I not want to see it again, or now that I know that such things are possible, not yearn for more? Is it so wrong of me to want that? I’ve never been so…desirous, obsessed, lustful? Why do I feel wrong for wishing that her hands would touch me, to feel the softness of her lips pressed to mine? Is it because I don’t know if she’s straight or gay, if those things would repel her?



        I close my eyes and all I see is her smile, a flash of crimson hair and eyes a bright sea green, so deep and thoughtful, hiding treasures unknown to someone like me. I want to dive into those eyes so badly, swim within all that is Willow.



        It’s beginning to affect my class work. I can barely think of anything else. I try and read my chemistry text, see the heavy handed Steinbeck symbolism, recall which artist painted which painting and in what style. None of it seems important or relevant at all.



        When will she call, that’s the only important question? When?





Sunday Morning: I didn’t dream about her last night, that’s two nights in a row. I think I will look into dream analysis, maybe that will keep my attention and allow me to spend even just a short period of time not thinking about her, wondering IF she’s going to call. But then I’d have to leave my room, and what if I miss her call? I was so afraid to go to the library yesterday that I stayed in and fretted instead. I did have to leave to go to the bathroom and for dinner. Can’t not eat at all, though my stomach was so knotted I barely got anything down anyway.



At least I got twenty pages read and some chem. homework done. Or I think I did, it’s so hard to concentrate. If this is what love is like, I don’t know if it’s worth it. Maybe what I need to do is re-read some of the Romantic poets, try and understand what they were trying to say. I might have a better perspective now and I was thinking of taking that class next semester.



Who would have thought “when” and “if” could be so painful?



       



Monday Evening: Goddess maybe she was freaked out by what happened in the laundry room? Maybe I came on too strong the next day? What if she sensed my demonic half and that’s why she’s not calling? Mother always said that magic was a part of nature, part of the Goddess and God, and that it wasn’t evil. Father never approved of it, he tried to keep mom from using spells or teaching me, but she did both in secret. Oh, doubtless Father suspected, but as long as we were careful, kept it from his attention he seemed to be willing to ignore the situation. I’ve always kept the casting to safe areas, blessings, renewals, honoring the Goddess, that sort of thing. Could Father have been right?



        NO! If Willow practices magic too then there can’t be anything wrong with it. I felt nothing evil within her. She certainly isn’t part demon. Oh, what if she knows and is afraid that working magic with me will corrupt her? Her magic might be pure and natural but mine could be tinged with darkness! No, I can’t let myself believe that either. I haven’t seen any evil come from the spells Mother or I did. I know Mother was right.



        Maybe if I meditate on the Doll’s Eye crystal I can gain some clarity and balance back in my life. If I tried practicing the Craft now, I don’t know what the results would be. I certainly am in no condition to work with powerful forces.



        That must be it! Willow has to have been affected by our combined effort, by our joining. She probably realizes she’s not in the proper state of mind to do spells, and is waiting till she’s centered. But, since I doubt she feels about me like I do about her, shouldn’t she be calmer, more in control sooner?



        I don’t know, my mind is like a kitten chasing its own tail and getting nowhere. I’ve got to seek balance and get some work done. I have to be ready in case Willow does call so we can do a spell if she chooses and I won’t mess it up, which would probably cause her to lose all interest in me. I have to be collected and ready.





Tuesday Night: Damn it, still no word! And we had one last pop quiz in trig today that I‘m sure I messed up. I bet Willow is so good at math she could really help me.



        I caught myself chewing my nails at lunch. My stomach was still all topsy-turvy and the salad tasted like cardboard. Love isn’t something that sets your spirit soaring, that frees the soul for marvelous endeavors, it’s all chains and shackles binding you tighter and tighter, leaving you unable to do anything but spin around till you’re dizzy while everything becomes blurred and flashes by as a meaningless collage you can no longer grasp or understand. I just want to see her again.





Wednesday Morning: I had the oddest dream last night. I was in a boat floating on a field of flowers under a bright moon. The wind tossed me about and I tried to sail towards a hill, but giant turtles raised their shells above the blossoms and threatened to tip me over into the darkness beneath where stems descended as if into a great pit. I heard my father calling behind me to come back, and I was going to when I was suddenly bathed in a warm jade light. It came from a tall lighthouse beyond the nearest row of hills, and along its path the way was free of turtle shells.



        I followed it between the landmasses and came to a steep incline, but the light pulled me up towards the top. The way got steeper and steeper until I was nearly vertical and then I lost my balance and toppled over backwards. The flowers raked me with their petals as I fell past them into the darkness, trailing drops of black blood behind me.



        Which is of course when I woke up. Was the light Willow? Why did I fall over and plummet? Why did the flowers cut me? It’s time to try meditating before class to see if I can’t calm down a bit, maybe understand some of that.



But I’m so excited, today is Wicca Group and maybe Willow will be there. I hope she is. I’ll try and sit by her, or maybe she’ll see me and come sit by me? Then again from the way we were talking about the group last time I saw her there’s a good chance she won’t go. Should I even bother? No, I can’t not go, I have to just in case she does show up. Right, time to center, and even the energies flowing through me, ground all this nervousness and doubt. I can be strong.





Wednesday Evening: She wasn’t there. I went, though that will probably be my last time. Without Willow what’s the point? They are still all big with the bake sale and newsletter and becoming empowered, whatever they mean by that. A bunch of wannabe witches, no, they don’t even know enough about the Craft to be wannabes. Willow is so special and unique, a single ray of sunlight through the clouds. Was it a blessing or a curse that I met her?



        I did meditate before heading off this morning. Goddess it’s never taken me that long to shut out all the distractions and worldly ties dragging at me. I floated the crystal in front of me and concentrated on it, on its depths and the memories of grandma, I think it was her focus. I know mother never really used it, perhaps too many memories associated with it? I never did get a chance to ask her. So many things I would have liked to inquire about, but with the Hellmouth and the distance I really can’t speak with her here. It’d be too dangerous. Perhaps when I go back home for Christmas?



I dread the approach of the Winter Solstice, the holiday season. Everyone else is getting excited, talking about shopping for loved ones, what they’ll do when they get back home, who they’ll see. It’s kinda depressing. Oh, they don’t talk to me about these things, but I listen, I hear what’s being said around me. Amidst and apart, that’s me. A few of the girls on the floor talk to me occasionally when I’m in the cafeteria or hallway. Samantha’s in my English class and sometimes asks me for notes or what happened. She misses class fairly frequently. I think she is trying to get into a sorority and has a boyfriend in one of the fraternities.



        Look Mother, a whole paragraph and nothing about Willow! The meditation must be working.



Am I resigned to never seeing her again? I haven’t had a thought that chilling since I realized Mother wasn’t going to make it. Maybe I should be the one who calls her? Its not like I don’t know her number. I couldn’t do that could I? Be the bold one, call her and ask her if she wanted to get together, maybe for some mochas at one of the coffee shops, go to the art house theater and see an odd indie film and then practice some spells later. Would that count as a date? Do regular friends do stuff like that together? I’d never be able to get the words out without stuttering so badly that I’d have to hang up or just trail off. She’d think I was a dork all right. Maybe if I wrote down what I needed to say ahead of time that would be easier? Read it off a card? No, that would probably come out even worse.



Finals are coming up, I have papers due, lab work to finish, I should be so busy that I don’t have time to think of anything else. I can’t afford bad grades, my scholarship could get cancelled, then what would I do? Willow, please call soon. I need to hear your sweet voice, look at your face, be near you again. Everyone else may want this new thing, that trendy fashion, or to be home with family. All I want is for you to call me.





TBC…



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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay - Pt 2 Doomed
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2003 11:57 am 
Garner,



Who would have thought that secretly you're a 19 year old girl in love? I really would have never guessed. All joking aside, you're doing a really good job with this. It wasn't so long ago that I was a 19 year old girl pining away over someone like a fool. You really capture the idea and the inner workings of Tara's mind well. She has that sort of desperate feel, but it's not so much that she seems maybe a little... crazy? Maybe that's not the word I'm looking for. Something to that effect though. She doesn't seem overly desperate I guess is what I'm trying to say. You're hovering near that line but not crossing it. So good job there.



I'm glad you posted this. It's a little different being the one giving the feedback as opposed to always getting the feedback from you on my stuff. It's cool though. Anyhow, thanks for posting. I'm liking the story. The Tara POV is nice. I enjoy that.



Sarah



It's not where you come from. It's more where you're going and knowing the going might get strange. The world's greatest writers are all drunks and fighters. Get going, that isn't going to change. Where is it we're going? Who was it who said it? Which stones are worth throwing? Who will we discredit? A pathetic aesthetic in a world less poetic. It's not where you come from. It's going, go get it.



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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay - Pt 2 Doomed
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2003 8:53 pm 
I can understand Tara's frustration here. She doesn't know how Willow feels about her. It designates your thoughts. That's for sure.

Tara: My heart doesn't stutter.


Tara: Willow, I got so lost.

Willow: I found you. I will always find you.




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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay - Pt 2 Doomed
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 6:58 pm 
Sarah, thanks for the vote of confidence! I think my masculinity can handle being compared to a 19 year old girl, no problems! :) Besides the timing issues which I've sort of mentioned, keeping Tara Tara, and not having her be to crazy has been a big concern. I still see her overriding trait as that of shyness and low self esteem combined with a romantic streak that makes her hope and dream for a lot while figuring that she'll never get them. Fortunately we all know she's wrong in this.



Rose24, I think am glad you can sympathize with the situation. Tara was really in a bad situation internally speaking. Frustration, desire, fear, love all warring in her and combined with her family past make it amazing that she even had the strength to venture forth and seek Willow out in the first place. It had to be an emotional roller coaster for her. Or that's how I see it at least.



Thanks for reading and responding.



Garner



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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay - Pt 2 Doomed
PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 9:20 pm 
Garner, this is a great take on familiar territory. Doing it journal style sure provides a different perspective and I think Tara's anxiety during doomed was similar to what I suffered with her absence from the episode! Thanks!

- - - - - - - - - - -
"Hard work often pays off after time but laziness always pays off now!"




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 Post subject: From the Journal of Tara McClay - Pt 3 Traditions
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 11:15 am 
OK, here is the next part. After this we should be returning to more familiar territory, hopefully everyone is still with me and not bored to death yet.



Xita: I remember wondering where Tara was during Doomed too. Her absence then actually made me think she would be a short term character soon killed off. At least that didn't prove to be the case!



Title: From the journal of Tara McClay Pt. 3

Rating: PG

Summary: This is probably one of the few non-episode parts, but Christmas break should be important (it always was to me as an undergraduate!) and was never addressed on the show in season 4, so this is pure speculation.

Note: Written November 2003. The entries are no longer consecutive days, some gaps will start to appear.





                TRADITIONS (A CHRISTMAS INTERLUDE)





Friday Morning: My prayers have been answered, finally. Willow called last night when I’d almost given up hope. Even over the telephone I still love the inflection and cadence in her voice. It flows out of the line and pulls directly at my heart, makes me wish I could remain within its shower of words forever.



She wants to get together tonight! She mentioned something about comparing spells, practicing one if we have the time. I told her that the Winter Solstice was coming up and maybe we could plan something for that, it being such an important conjunction of forces and sacred day after all. At least I hope that’s what I said. I couldn’t help stuttering a lot. I was so excited to be talking with her, and nervous that I’d say something stupid. She said she was Jewish and not big with the normal Christmas festivities, but wanted to know more.



        Goddess, how could such a powerful witch not know and observe the Sabbats? How in the world did she get into the Craft? What caused her interest? Was she just experimenting with magic, trying things out of a book and found that something worked? Is she that untutored? Playing with the forces of the spirit world is very dangerous. She could unleash something best contained or cast a spell whose unintended effects disrupt the natural flow of the world or cause great harm.



        Whatever the case, I still feel that I trust her. The moment we merged our talents I felt the innocence, the inquisitiveness and intelligence that underlies her surface. I don’t believe she would ever willingly endanger anyone. I can’t wait for her to come over and…it just now sunk in, she’s coming here! Willow will be in my room! I have got to clean and get everything ready. I have so much to do.





Friday Evening: Now I’m worried that she won’t like my room. I have some posters and the lights on the black background and I put a few of my crystals and stuff out. I don’t think anything screams lesbian or should scare her. Maybe the lights are too weird and I should take them down? Do normal people put things like that up? I dusted and straightened up, not that it was messy or anything. Father would never allow a mess, he always said “Cleanliness is next to Godliness,” and there mother agreed wholeheartedly. Maybe she’ll think that’s weird. Maybe I should mess things up a bit so she doesn’t think I’m some anal clean freak? How much of a mess would look natural? Should I have the radio on? What music does she like? No, that could be construed as a date thing or something like that, can’t give that impression.



        She’ll be here soon, I was barely able to eat. I kept fidgeting with my food. Maybe I’ll just look over the trig a bit more, try and study for the final next week while I wait. Who knows, maybe the numbers will make sense and not dance in front of my vision?





Friday Night: What a night! Not as magical as the first when we touched, but still. Willow is amazing. She picks up on things so quickly. Her mind just absorbs detail and classifies and places things in context so she gets the big picture at the same time. I know I’m not stupid, but compared to her I must seem like a child, a moron. I, I’m afraid sometimes to say anything around her because I think she’ll already know all about whatever it is I’m going to say. That I’ll sound dumb or something. She’s so smart its scary. She saw my trig book and mentioned that she took that in high school! In her junior year, no less. How can she ever find me appealing or want to spend much time with me? What can I offer her but some rustic tidbits handed down for generations that she probably has passed by months ago?



        But she was here tonight, and she said she really liked my room! She thought the lights were cool. She wore the cutest overalls and a sort of pink shirt with cats or something on it. She looked so beautiful. It’s funny, whenever I’m near her I can’t help smiling and grinning like a fool. I’m just so happy that she’s with me, that I can be near her. She must think I’m on something. The scent of her still lingers; it makes me so excited.



        We talked about the Solstice and I told her that mother and I would go outside to a secluded area, make a small altar to the Goddess and God, celebrate the Sabbat and the birth of the God and sometimes cast a blessing and then a protection for our loved ones. Willow seemed to really like that idea, saying she had friends who needed all the protection they could get. She hinted that there was something big last week, sort of like the Gentlemen, that kept her busy and she was sorry she hadn’t called sooner but with school work and all… Actually, she sort of babbled along in this cute way saying everything is this big long rush. I don’t know how she does it without passing out but it’s really very charming. Everything new I find out about her is so endearing; makes her even more attractive.



        She brought a few of her own spellbooks over for me to look at and I showed her mine. She claimed once again that her spells often go awry and that often the results are not what she expected. Perhaps she lacks focus? Without the more formal training to maintain her attention throughout a spell, to really concentrate on the desired ends and shut out all distractions things can get out of hand. I don’t know what visualization techniques she uses, but maybe those need work. Not that I’d ever dare say anything like that to her. It’d come out all wrong and she’d probably be insulted or take it the wrong way.



        We went over some spells that looked interesting and talked about the best way to keep herbs, how to find them, things like that. I must be lucky that mother had such an extensive garden that I was able to get fresh materials for many common spells. Willow buys her stuff from the Magic Box too, the only real source here in Sunnydale, though she also uses online vendors as well. It never occurred to me to do that. It’s just another example of her ability think along non-traditional lines; come up with inventive solutions. She’s going to be so powerful some day.



        But she followed my lead for the Solstice ritual! Can you believe that, like I had anything original to offer. We sat together and went over the candles, evergreens to light and ingredients we’d need, those that I would buy, and decided to do a practice run through tomorrow evening. She wants to come back! And she sat just a short distance from me, on MY bed. Willow sat on my bed. Not the whole time and not in anything but a friend sort of way, but who would have ever thought the girl of my dreams, literally, would actually be in my room and sit on my bed?





Saturday Morning: Oh did I dream of Willow last night! It’s actually rather embarrassing, I hardly ever have ones with sexual undertones, much less anything so explicit. I woke up very aroused, wet, breathing hard. I finished with her image in my mind, maybe even sort of moaned her name. I couldn’t help it, it felt like I was on fire, I just wanted her so badly.



        The dream itself started innocuously enough with me and Willow in the room, looking at various books and then moving over onto the bed to read one of the sections. Our hands touched as we both went to turn the page and something electric passed through both of us. We looked deeply into each others’ eyes, and then Willow’s arms were around me and her lips slowly closed towards mine, her breath teasing my face and then she kissed me. It went on and on and she slowly took off my shirt and I was wearing nothing underneath, yet I didn’t feel nervous or self-conscious at all. Instead I gently stroked her arms and lifted off her own top and that’s when I awoke, damn it all.



        What is happening to me? I mean, it’s not like I haven’t touched myself before, but it was so powerful and rushed through me in waves like a gale. It’s frightening how much of an affect she has on me. Is it supposed to be like this? How am I ever going to be able to look at her with thoughts like these behind my eyes? What if she gets any hint of them?





Saturday Night: I was extra nervous around her tonight and I think she could tell. I mean I tried to be casual, act like it was no big deal, but I kept remembering her lips moving towards mine and I almost couldn’t stop staring at them. I must have seemed as jumpy as a cat before a storm.



        I don’t know if she noticed or not, I hope she just put it off as excitement over the ritual. We went through the setup, the layout of the altar, drawing of the circle and the various incantations to the Goddess and God; who we would ask good fortune, protection, and renewed energy for. I came up with most of the specifics, but Willow made some good suggestions for additions, especially regarding physical harm. I’m not sure why that seemed so important to her, but she certainly knows her protective herbs and incenses well.



        I am continuously surprised at how being with her for any length of time sets me at ease. Yes, I began the night edgy and all, but the longer we talked and the way she’d smile at times and I’d grin goofily back; it just gave me a pleasant sinking sensation, like my head was in my chest. It’s weird, I know, but it made me sort of light headed and unruffled. Despite the yearning to be even closer to her, it seemed like we’d been getting together for a long time. She makes me feel so comfortable around her. No one’s ever done that before.



        Next week is finals and we’ll both be busy with papers and studying that we decided to get together just once before the day of the Solstice itself. We are actually pretty lucky that it falls on the last day of finals or the dorms would be closed already and we’d both be home for the break. Next Tuesday we’ll meet my dorm’s cafeteria for lunch and make sure we have everything ready. Neither of us have any tests that day.



        Goddess, Christmas vacation is so close, and it will be almost three weeks before I see Willow again. I’ve got no choice but to go back home and spend it with Father and Donny. I hope they don’t notice anything different about me. Father can sometimes be awfully perceptive and is uncanny at getting the truth out of me. If he knew I fell in love with a girl, another witch no less, he’d never let me come back. I’d probably be locked in my room or the basement and not allowed out ever again. Why did this have to happen now?





Tuesday Night: We had lunch together today. In my mind I pretended we were on a date, two lovers sharing an intimate meal and the events of our lives. It was very cool but probably something I shouldn’t permit myself to think again. To her it was probably just a quick bite to eat before going back to studying. And that’s fine, I guess. At least she was with me and I got to bathe in the aura of Willow.



        We discussed the ritual a bit, made some small talk about classes and how we were doing. It was all pretty mundane, but not. Everything she says, reveals, is like another piece of treasure, dearly sought after. I complained about the Trig final tomorrow and she offered to help next year with the second semester course. Apparently she actually got to teach some computer class while in high school for a few weeks and thinks she would be a good tutor. That just totally floors me! I know she’s kinda shy and yet she was able to stand up in front of a bunch of students and instruct them!? There is no way I could do that. I’d be so petrified that all coherent thoughts would dribble out of my mind. What an awesome responsibility and how much she must have impressed the principal to have been chosen and trusted to take over a class.



        Every hour I spend with her I learn so much more about her, love her more deeply and completely, and she becomes further and further out of my league, so beyond what I have any right to hope for. How much longer will she continue to meet with me before she realizes what I am and leaves forever?





Friday Afternoon: Well, finals are done and over! That’s always good right? I think I did OK. Well, I may only have a C in Trig, if I’m lucky, but I’m sure that the English and Art History exams went well. My Latin course was easy, and I know I got an A in that. That probably isn’t fair, I’ve had a bunch of it before, but I want to continue on and even after testing ahead a year it still seemed awfully easy. Maybe I should try something more arcane like Sanskrit or Arabic next year?



        Most of the other students are gone already. Just a few who have last minute finals left tonight. The dorms close for the break tomorrow evening so I spent most of the day packing what I needed and making sure the rest was neat and stored away. Sometimes the University uses the dorms for winter conference housing. I hope that isn’t the case this year, I don’t want any of my stuff messed up.



        OK, so I’m avoiding thoughts of tonight as much as possible. I tried to meditate and couldn’t settle myself down enough for anything. I barely got the doll’s eye crystal to float at all. My concentration is so fragmented, this will never do. But this is the first spell or ritual I’ll be doing with Willow. I want it to go perfectly, I want to impress her with my technique, I don’t want her to see my demon side or feel that I am corrupting anything and I know I won’t but it scares me anyway because I’m not sure and that will make my focus even more erratic which could botch the whole process and potentially drive Willow off and think she has nothing to learn from me which would be too terrible to contemplate and Mother and I always used to celebrate this together and now I’ll be doing it with Willow instead and after tonight I won’t see her for almost three weeks!



Goddess I am just so nervous. Look at that last sentence, is Willow’s babbling catching? I don’t think I could say that out loud in one breath. She does that herself when she gets sort of flustered or excited, it’s so neat and cute, like everything about her.



        I wonder what her hair feels like, what the skin on her arms, her face, her lips is like? She’s about my height but so much more petite. Sometimes I wish I was braver, that I could just enfold her in my arms and hold her to me, protect her from all the things that lurk out on the peripheries of a town with a Hellmouth. Somehow I get the sense that she would be the one doing the protecting, and that would be fine, too. It would be exquisite to kiss just once, to know that I had some chance with her before going back home. Or would that make the separation that much more unbearable?



        It doesn’t matter. None of that is ever going to happen. Why kid myself? We’ll do the ritual, it’ll be fine and perfectly ordinary with nothing special about it. The Goddess and God will be pleased, we’ll watch dawn come and then we’ll each go our own ways. Her to who knows what? She hasn’t mentioned a boyfriend specifically, but I know she has a bunch of friends who are pretty tight. Or at least that’s what she’s hinted at. How could she not have a significant other, someone she’s dating, or has been for a while? Face it Tara, you are setting yourself up for something terrible, something that could destroy you, are you ready for that? What will you do when your fantasy Willow world is destroyed?







Saturday Afternoon: What happened last night, this morning? Oh Goddess, did I just blow it or did we become closer? Does she think less of me now, that I’m a sentimental fool, a big cry baby or worse? Was last night the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me?



        We met here in my room as planned well after midnight. Of Course I didn’t get any sleep, my mind constantly turning over the spells, worrying about getting everything right. She wore this lovely green dress that had different textures and highlights that made her look like the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen. It was perfect and mine must have seemed so plain and ordinary in comparison.



        Yet she was all excited about the ritual and anxious to get started and had a list to make sure we brought everything and didn’t forget an ingredient. She had another one with the ritual on it with each of our parts in different colors, mine in green, hers in red. It’s so sweet how organized and detail oriented she is. I smiled at her lists and that set off a babble about being prepared that was so dear. I wanted to draw her to me right then and there.



        We went out to a secluded forest clearing that Willow knew about that isn’t too far from campus, just about an hour walk. How she ever found this place I’ll never know, but it was perfect and I said so. What other hidden talents or knowledge does she have? It was eerie how much the opening reminded me of the glen back home we used to use for the same thing.



        It was a perfect night, or rather early morning. Not too chilly, a faint breeze stirring the leaves around, a sliver of waxing moon, some stars visible past the town lights, though not as much as back home of course, and a few clouds here or there. It was like the Goddess had favored us with an idyllic setting for our first ritual together. That has to be a good omen doesn’t it?



        Anyway, we set out our implements and the altar. The herbs and incenses for renewal and rebirth were very fragrant and nice. The whole setting seemed so familiar, similar to what I’ve done many times before that I was much calmer and at ease than I would have thought possible.



        We cleansed with spring water and then began our circle. Oh Mother, you wouldn’t believe the feeling that flowed through me when we finished and our hands met. All that energy raised and magnified within the circle. It made the last time we touched seem like a slow stream compared to the rapids that rushed around us now. I felt so lightheaded, giddy and rapturous yet without having lost control.



        And Willow was there beside me feeling it too. I could sense her happiness and contentment. Yet we were focused too, despite the euphoria shivering through us, we continued our invocation and blessing with clarity and precision. A soft greenish light rose up around us and as we moved tiny motes of silver energy trailed behind us and swirled up towards the stars. It was breathtaking.



        And I ruined it.



        I, I still don’t know exactly what came over me. We finished our ritual, gave our thanks, made our renewals, even grounded the energy and broke the circle. We sat back, nearly touching and began the feast while waiting for the dawn and the sun, but something about it was too much. I just couldn’t handle the emotions cascading through me. It was the most perfect Solstice I’ve ever been a part of. Like the one Mother and I performed when I was 16, but only more so. Having Willow there reminded me that that was the last celebration we did together. I haven’t had someone share the Solstice with me since and it just brought the memories of sorrow and loss back. Mother always thought that dawn was the best time of the day, loved waiting to see it.



        And yet I was so happy to have Willow there, to have felt her hand in mine, her energy and mine mingling, our spirits merging. I was crying before I knew what was happening. I wanted, needed to hold her to me, kiss her face so much. I missed Mother terribly and it was like a veil of pent up grief was being finally shattered.



        She looked at me confused and distressed at my behavior, but with an undercurrent of concern that made her seem even more gorgeous and desirable than ever before. I knew that if I didn’t leave I would throw myself at her and I would try and kiss her. So I ran, sobbing and with no explanation or anything.



        The Goddess and God must have been watching over me because somehow I made my way back to my room. I don’t know how long it took or where I went exactly. All I remember was running and running and crying.



        I was collapsed on my bed, still sobbing, when suddenly, as if by magic, she was there holding me. Her arms were around me and she said things to me I can’t recall while I cried against her chest. I don’t know how long it lasted but Willow’s presence there made it both better and worse. In the end I clung to her and she calmed me just by being with me.



        I told her about how Mother and I used to always do the Solstice celebration together, how she wasn’t able to that last year because of the cancer, how empty the ritual felt the following year without her. Having someone else with me just brought it all back. Of course I left out how I truly felt about Willow, or at least I hope I did. I must have because she didn’t flee in disgust.



        She told me it was OK, she couldn’t imagine losing someone that close to her and that she understood. She said it was the most magical ritual she’d ever been part of and that Mother would have been proud at how well I led her through it. That’s my Willow, the kindest and sweetest person I’ve ever met.



        When I settled down she lay my head on the pillow and put a blanket over me and said she’d check back later to see that I was all right.



And she did, too. Just now, while I was writing this, she came by before heading out to check on me.



        I apologized for being such an emotional reject. But she stopped me and said it was OK, that I didn’t have to say anything. She brought the paraphernalia back with her and stayed while I put it away. We talked a bit about Mother and then she left.



        I still feel embarrassed. I hope that I didn’t frighten her, make her think I’m some lunatic. But right now that doesn’t really seem to matter. All I can think of is that she came back to see how I was doing. All I can remember is her arms around me, her tender voice softly rolling through my ears like a gentle wave. Her embrace is the most wonderful gift I’ve ever gotten. Maybe this break won’t be so unbearable after all.





TBC…



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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay - Pt 3 Traditions
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 1:08 pm 
Awwww, that was soo cute. Kinda sad, due to Taras mother but very sweet nevertheless.



I'm really hooked on Taras POV, cause we haven't seen her so much in that state of the series. It's really interesting.



Insanity

"Nobody messes with my girl!"Tara, Bargaining



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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay - Pt 3 Traditions
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 9:10 pm 
Quote:
Goddess, how could such a powerful witch not know and observe the Sabbats? How in the world did she get into the Craft? What caused her interest? Was she just experimenting with magic, trying things out of a book and found that something worked? Is she that untutored? Playing with the forces of the spirit world is very dangerous. She could unleash something best contained or cast a spell whose unintended effects disrupt the natural flow of the world or cause great harm.




She definitely has Willow pegged here. Magick is just something Willow just starts doing. She really doesn't have much instruction and is really undisciplined as we see during later seasons.



This definitely fills in some gaps. I wonder if W/T see each other between "Hush" and "A New man." Their connection is too strong to not see each between these two eps.

Tara: My heart doesn't stutter.


Tara: Willow, I got so lost.

Willow: I found you. I will always find you.




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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay - Pt 3 Traditions
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 11:43 am 
This is wonderful, really wonderful. You do an excellent job of getting inside Tara's head and knowing what she'd be thinking. I'm very impressed.

I believe in the madness called "now."



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 Post subject: From the Journal...Pt 3
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2003 2:12 pm 
Thanks to everyone for checking this out.



Insanity, I'm glad you like the Tara point of view. I did a Willow PoV piece a while back after a lot of thought of whether I wanted to do a first person female character. I always thought that would be hard to do so I am glad someone thinks it is working.



Rose24, thanks for keeping with the story, I thought Willow and Tara probably met with each other a lot more than was shown on the show. I tried to think about what wasn't shown and figured they met to cover those things at the very least. Willow's approach to magic strikes me as something that would have baffled Tara whose background would be so different.



Tempest Duer, I hope that you are liking how I have depicted Tara's thoughts. We actually do not get a lot about what she thought or what her interests were so a lot of that is all made up. Hope I am getting some of it right.



Garner



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 Post subject: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 4
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 11:38 am 
This one is a bit longer than the previous ones. Hopefully it is not too boring or anything like that. There is a pretty big revelation in this one. Things should start getting back into more familiar territory now.



Title: From the journal of Tara McClay Pt. 4

Rating: PG

Summary: The events before and during A New Man in Season 4.

Note: Written November 2003. The entries are no longer consecutive days, some gaps appear.





                                        A NEW MAN





Thursday Evening: Back in Sunnydale, finally. What a “vacation.” I didn’t bring my journal home with me for fear that Father, or more likely Donny, would get into it and read what I’ve written. That would have been very bad all around. So, let’s see if I can recall any of the significant points from the last three weeks.



        I missed Willow terribly. A sour sort of feeling always seemed to be in the pit of my stomach, and I was so anxious to get back. I dreamed about her several times. Nothing particularly clear or distinct, as if even my dreams were afraid that they’d give me away if they were too precise or easily recalled. Of course Father noticed something was wrong by the second day, but I told him I wasn’t feeling good and that finals had been particularly difficult and taxing. I also mentioned that there was a flu bug going around as well. All true as far as it goes so nothing really came of it. Actually it did help keep Donny away. He has a new girlfriend named Jenny or Jennifer or something like that and so he didn’t want to catch anything. Lucky me.



        I cooked, cleaned, washed, did the shopping, all the normal activities before I left. Cousin Beth stopped by a couple times to help out a bit when I needed to go to the store. She couldn’t believe I was still going back to school when it was obvious that so much needed to be done for Father and Donny back home. She thinks I’m being selfish and pig headed and said as much. Is she right? There were an awful lot of chores and things to do when I was home, which was a small blessing as it kept me busy enough that the time passed much quicker than I would have thought.



No, I can’t stay back home. Besides the obvious fact that Willow isn’t there and that it would either drive me insane or crush me to never see her again with everything still so uncertain, I really don’t believe I belong there. It’s so stifling, narrow minded and I’m always afraid. Afraid that I’ll make Donny mad, disappoint Father, do something klutzy and need to be punished. And it is so hard to practice the Craft there. Constantly having to be furtive and on guard, always fearful that someone will notice. What sort of celebration of the Goddess and God can go on under such circumstances? Nothing like the solstice one Willow and I performed, that’s for sure. Despite the memories it brought forward I’ve never felt so free, at ease and uninhibited. It felt natural and joyous. Even with Mother back home that was never true. I can’t give that up, I won’t.



We went to church for Christmas Eve as always. Father lectured me about the dangers of the university, using magic and how my evil side would grow from them if I was not careful. He asked if I was practicing and I said just a bit, he would have known if I was lying completely. He didn’t get as mad as I expected. He did send me to bed with no dinner, but mostly stressed how yielding to temptation encourages evil acts and can accelerate the growth of my demonic side. He described how dangerous that was for Mother at my age and how her father had to be firm with her and almost took drastic actions to contain it. He said it was not just myself, but those around me, family or friends, that can be put in danger. Not just from me either, but from the evil I might attract by my actions. He said that magic has a way of drawing evil creatures to it, brings unwanted attention and bad luck. If I cared nothing for myself, I should at least think of those around me who deserve better.



Goddess what if he’s right? I mean I’m on a Hellmouth, could there be a more dangerous place to practice magic? It does give off an evil aura that permeates Sunnydale, influences all that occurs there. Why did I have to get the best scholarship deal from UCSD? Was it coincidence or did cosmic forces align so that my evil, demonic side would be cultivated there? Am I just one more dark creature amidst a hive of darkness?



Maybe if I hadn’t met Willow I might have believed it was true. All the “neck ruptures” and other strange deaths in Sunnydale, the Hellmouth, unusual occurrences. Maybe that would have been proof that I either belonged with evil or back home where it could be controlled. But not now. Not after having felt Willow’s spirit, seen her aura. She is not evil, not even a little bit. She’s so inquisitive, open and trusting, close to innocence and her magic, her spirit, has no evil in it whatsoever. I’ve felt it and I’d know, I’m positive. If such a person can stand to be around me maybe Father is wrong and the magic isn’t evil. Maybe my demon side is not as big as he thinks. I have to believe that, I love Willow so much, I need to be with her. The ache from being away these last three weeks was almost more than I could bear. At night when I lay in bed I longed to have her arms back around me, to hear her voice soothing me.



        I kept imagining what it would be like to actually have Willow as a girlfriend, to have her want me to be with her and never have to come back home again. What would it be like for those green eyes to be filled with anticipation and joy just to see me?



I’ll probably never know. Whatever boyfriend she has doubtless kept her company and made her feel loved and wanted. At least I was able to get Mother’s last few spellbooks and bring them back with me. Maybe she’ll find something interesting in them and want to keep meeting with me.



        I can’t wait to see her again. I wonder if she’s back in her room yet? This is the first day the dorms opened. Should I call her and let her know I’m back? Would that be too forward? She lives here in Sunnydale so she might not be in until Sunday, spend as much time with her family as possible? Maybe if I eat at the Stevenson cafeteria tonight I’ll run into her? Or would that be too obvious? Now that I’m back I just don’t know what to do.





Saturday Afternoon: She called! It worked. The one thing I allowed myself was to buy an answering machine so I wouldn’t miss any messages from Willow. Father would never approve, call it a frivolous expense, but it’s paid off already. And now I have her voice on the tape and can hear it anytime. I love the way she says my name, it doesn’t sound ugly or like a curse at all. And she wants to get together tonight. I even called her back and everything is set! I don’t know what I’ll wear, but I can’t wait to see her.





Sunday Morning: I’m continuously amazed at how well we get along. I mean we ended up talking, practicing telekinesis a bit, just hanging out till about one am. I felt like I was floating through a dream, I was so happy. She seemed glad to see me and asked how my trip back home was, a little about my family. I have to admit I was pretty vague and not big with the details. But she didn’t press and actually, now that I think about it, was not too specific about her own break or family. Maybe that’s another thing we have in common, a family that we’d rather not think about too much. I got the feeling that hers was not around much and that her friends are more of a family then her blood relations. I think I could handle that pretty well, it’d certainly be preferable to my situation. Still, she didn’t say it directly, but I could tell something bothered her, that she was kinda sad and down. Her aura had a tinge to it that I haven’t seen before so maybe the holiday was harder on her than she’ll admit.



I wish there was something I could do to help her, make her feel better. We practiced floating pencils and books and other objects. First alone and then together. We certainly can move much heavier objects with our combined talents; it’s so cool. Well, I suppose that’s because we have to touch or hold hands to do it and I never tire of that. Not to mention the charge of energy and excitement that passes through me when we do, the sense of her being a part of me is magnified a hundredfold. It always makes me feel like I could leap tall buildings, I hope it helps her too. At least by the end of the night I noticed that her aura seemed more radiant. Wouldn’t it be great if she actually started to have feelings for me too?



No, I can’t allow myself to think like that. Can’t build up my hopes. When I’m with her it’s just that I want to touch her repeatedly. The space around her seems to call to me. I look at her and all I can think about is the desire to put my hand on her arm, to feel her hair in my fingers, put my arm around her back. I know, it’s an invasion of her personnel space, but it’s like her body calls to me, beckons me forward to brazen acts.



I can’t give in, of course. That would be so wrong. I don’t know if she’s gay, if she feels the same way at all, if it would offend her. I can’t risk the chance of driving her away, not when I’ve just found her, am just discovering so many things about my wonderful Willow.



But it’s hard. At night I sometimes feel like it would be all right to give in, to touch her now or again, to maybe even tell her how much I like her, lover her. At night everything seems possible, the darkness hides my demon side, I don’t feel so evil or plain. I can imagine her actually liking me, maybe falling in love with me.



But in the morning when the sun returns and dreams are over I know that none of that will ever happen. It’s all a fantasy I’m building up around this beautiful, sweet, smart and kind girl who has no reason in the world to ever have any feelings towards me. I should just be satisfied that she’s willing to talk to me, treats me like a friend.



Damn it, why am I so confused? I love her, I know I do, so why does it hurt so much? What’s wrong with me? Is Father right? Is my demon side so strong that love has to be painful for me? I wish she were back here, with me now. When we’re together nothing else seems to matter. I can focus on her, on the magic and our connection. She smiles at me and says kind things every now and then. Like last night she was impressed with Mother’s spellbooks and said I must know so much about witchcraft, be so much further than she was. She seemed genuinely happy and said she was so glad that we met.



And without the magic, would there be anything that would bring us together? She’s way smarter than me, a wiz at computers and math stuff, things I’m barely able to understand. She talks about them sometimes and I pay attention; listen and try and comprehend what she’s saying, but, well, it really is beyond me.



Still, it’s just nice to hear the excitement in her voice and that hungry look on her face, the one she gets when she’s fascinated by a problem or difficult subject and is starting to really focus on it. I’ve seen it a couple of times as we’ve gone over some of the spells.



And she has paid attention to me when I talk a bit about my own interests. I’ve always liked poetry, the written word seems to hold so much more meaning and be surer than the spoken one. Not that I’d suggest we read poetry together, not hardly. But I did tell her how I wanted to learn some of the languages to read the original versions. My French isn’t too bad and I like the way it sounds. When someone else says it of course. Wouldn’t it be cool if one day Willow and I traveled in Europe, through France, Germany and Italy? See the art pieces, the architecture, the history. Yeah, keep dreaming Tara, you’ll be lucky to still be seeing her next year.





Wednesday Afternoon: Well school is back in session and Willow hasn’t called again. I suppose that’s OK and understandable given the start of the new semester and all. I just wish I could hear her voice again, I’m wearing out the tape on the machine. Classes are much the same as last year, trig will be even harder again. I can’t afford lower than a C in it so I hope Willow was serious about being willing to tutor me a bit, I’m going to need it.



        I had another erotic dream with her in it. I’m a bit surprised I didn’t while back home, but I suppose even my mind knows better than to get too fanciful there. This one was Monday night, the day after we got together. It was clear and not at the same time. I had come back from vacation and she came over and was very sad for some reason. I think one of her family had hurt her somehow. In any case our roles were reversed and I comforted her, and in the heat of the moment I kissed her neck, her hair and she didn’t recoil with revulsion but turned in my arms and kissed me so deeply and passionately. Our clothes seemed to flow from our bodies though I don’t remember exactly what she looked like without them.



        Why do I keep waking up or forgetting anything after this point? Is even my subconscious afraid to get my hopes up or go too far?





Friday Night: Willow called and said that she was sorry she hadn’t gotten back to me, but her friends were busy with a small project and that she would be busy pretty much all weekend. I hope I didn’t let my disappointment show too much. I told her that was fine and that I’d wanted to get an early start on the semester’s papers and homework. Well, I didn’t exactly lie to her, I should do that now while I can, in case I do get a chance to see her later. It is still hard to concentrate on normal things like schoolwork; I really need to start early to make sure I get everything done.



        But she did call. She didn’t have to, she could have said nothing and left me worried that I’d done something wrong. I’m disappointed and it sucks, but at least she called.





Tuesday Night: Willow called and wants to get together now, tonight. If I want to, that is. Like I would ever NOT want to! She said she had been going over some spellbooks her friend Mr. Giles had and there was a specific spell she wanted to try out. She wouldn’t say what it was, but hinted that it would be a good test of our connection and powers.



        Wow, she’s so smart and good with books I wonder what she found? It’s so like her to research this wonderful bond we seem to have and try and explore it, define it. That’s the curiousity in her as well as the scientific outlook. What a strange set of traits for someone interested in magic and witchcraft. For me magic is like poetry, all symbolism and hidden meaning, art made real, revealing deeper levels of beauty to reality, glorifying the Goddess and God. I guess I’ve just never been exposed to a good scientific approach before that hasn’t quashed all that. It is exciting though. Willow’s view is so new and different and yet feels somehow appropriate, and I never would have expected that.



She’s so neat, I can’t wait to see what she has in mind.





Wednesday Afternoon: Have I said how amazing, cool and neat Willow is? I get that combination swelling and sinking sensation in my chest and my eyes are almost tearing just remembering being with her last night. It’s like I’m bursting full of energy and want to dance, sing, throw myself around just for the joy of it. I can’t believe how she makes me feel.



OK, sure, it was late when she called, but since I’ve come to Sunnydale I find that I work better at night than in the morning. Maybe it’s a bit of rebellion because Father always had us get up early, I don’t know. But what’s important is that Willow and I practiced spells and hung out till almost three in the morning.



        I was right, too, she did have a very cool spell in mind. She had me put a focusing circle on the floor, one of those little small things to concentrate your attention and will on a specific object, and then placed a pretty red rose in the middle. Now this next part is a bit odd, we sat on either side of the rose and held hands, which was very nice, but Willow forgot to mention exactly what it was we were going to do. She is so organized and methodical it makes me wonder what was going through her mind. Did she just want to hold hands? Was she flustered or nervous for some reason? Am I doing that to her, cause I think that would probably be a good sign, right?



        Or am I just over-thinking things? She was probably just excited about trying the spell. We were to float the rose together, and then slowly pluck the petals off. She said it was a test of our synchronicity. I knew she’d come up with something both fun and a true test of our connection. Goddess I love her.



        So anyway, we got the rose to lift up without damaging it, no problem. It was sort of beautiful the way it just hung there between us, our linked minds keeping it in position. The charge flowing between us seemed to thrum like a power line, the magic making everything so much more distinct and sharp in the immediate vicinity while the background was dimmer and sort of faded. It let me concentrate on the rose, on Willow and on her spirit being in tune with mine. I just don’t know the words to describe what a wonderful and profound feeling that was, maybe even more so than the Solstice celebration. It seems like every moment with her is truly magical, like our bond becomes deeper.



        But then suddenly something dark and oily slid over us. It was cold, clammy and had a very reptilian feel to it. I’ve never really felt dark magic before, but this certainly seemed like it. And our poor rose rocketed around the room and all the petals burned up. It was not pretty at all.



        Willow was confused too, I mean the petals were off, but I don’t think that’s the way it was supposed to happen. The more I thought about it the more worried I got. I mean what if that was my demon or evil side finally surfacing? What if Willow noticed it was from me? I bit my lip and tried to smile as I haltingly asked her if she knew what had happened.



        Fortunately she thought it was an outside influence, someone practicing powerful dark magics in town. That seemed to make her both concerned and worried yet a sort of determined look crossed her face. She said that whoever commanded forces like that was a danger to Sunnydale and all in it and that if we could find out who did it, or where, it would probably be a big help. Now she didn’t say help to whom, but I had to agree that anyone stupid enough to practice Black Magic of that sort was very dangerous. She wanted to do a scrying to see if we could locate the person, so I reluctantly complied. I mean, what if she was wrong and it had come from me? Or perhaps worse, what would be do if we found an evil witch?



        Well, Mother did teach me a number of charms to deal with dark magic and evil practitioners and truthfully with Willow by my side I don’t think I would fear a magical confrontation. She sets me at ease and our link enhances our powers so much, allows for full concentration on whatever we’re attempting. I don’t think there’s anything we couldn’t do if we set our wills towards it.



        But it really didn’t matter. We did our scrying spell and didn’t get any clear result. Whoever did it must have left the area or maybe is very well protected from inquisitive magic. Which is kinda scary when you think of it, that kind of power being used for dark purposes. I wish Mother were here to advise me, us.



        I could tell that Willow was disappointed at the results and torn between staying and leaving. It seemed like she had someplace she wanted to go, but somehow doubted if that would help. I asked if she wanted to go, hiding behind my hair I’m sure, but she smiled and sat down beside me and lightly placed a hand on my knee for a moment and said no, she’d rather just stay, let the icky feeling disipate and hang for a while if that was OK by me?! Another of those easily answered questions! I’d do anything to have her stay with me longer. And she touched me! Just for a moment and almost reflexively, but it was nice anyway.



        However, I also still think I detected a small undercurrent of, what…bitterness or sadness, when she made up her mind to stay. It was sort of like what I noticed in her aura before. I think she had some emotional trauma or something not too long ago that’s still bothering her. It’s like she gets flashes of pain. Maybe a little cloud of depression coloring her aura, but the longer we talk or practice the more it recedes. I didn’t want to pry and it did go away.



        The next couple hours were equally wonderful. We talked, I learned more about her, the things she likes, movies and songs, that sort of thing. Our tastes are similar but where I have a weakness towards romances and sorta cute stuff Willow prefers more action and a bit of Sci Fi. We both came up with five films that the other hasn’t seen that they just have to, and made vague notions of doing a couple of all night video fests. That should be fun, and it will mean being together for quite some time. I hope she remembers the idea.



        I was also right about how she came to the Craft, it was mostly just stumbling on some spells in books and being intrigued about what would result. She did say that she had seen some real magic practiced by this Mr. Giles and that sort of let her know that something could happen if the right books were consulted or the spells performed correctly. I sensed a slight tinge of, not lying, but perhaps a bit of deception when she talked about her and magic. She still seems embarrassed by her record so I guess there was a lot of trial and error involved, and probably some unintended consequences she’d like to forget.



        But then I have things I would like to hide, too, so I don’t want to push her into revealing things she isn’t ready to, that wouldn’t be right. And she’s such a natural witch with so much potential I just hope that I’ll be able to keep up with her. She’s so inquisitive and willing to test new things. Is that a good thing or not?





Friday Night: She called late again and wanted to get together. Of course I said yes and brought out a few of my tomes on conjuration of the elements. It’s one of the basic things witches do, and I confess I wanted to do a little testing of my own and see how far she has progressed and what we can do together with spells I’ve tried by myself before.



        But when she got here I could tell she was hurt. She was limping slightly and there were some cuts and scrathes on her face like she had fallen or something. I almost gave everything away then, I was so shocked. Did someone attack her? Did she have an accident? How badly was she hurt? My impulse was to immediately embrace her and stroke her face and hair, though that might not have been a good idea if she had any other injuries. Tears definitely welled up in my eyes and it took quite a bit of concentration to hold them back. I just couldn’t stand seeing her like that.



        She said she had gotten in the way of some people in a rush last night and was knocked to the ground pretty hard, but that she’d be all right and had suffered worse.



        OK, first off she wasn’t telling the whole truth, that I could tell even in my concerned and addled state. Secondly, what was she doing? She was pretty vague about where she was or why she was there. And last, she shrugged off the damage and pain with a bit too much nonchalance. What does she mean she’s had worse?



        I didn’t press for more details, she’ll tell me when she’s ready, but I think there’s a lot that she isn’t revealing. I hope someday she trusts me enough to open up and explain a bit more. I keep thinking there are depths to her that she keeps hidden and is afraid to show for some reason. I know what it’s like to have secrets and can’t really blame her without being a hypocrite myself; but still, it does make me wonder.



        I insisted on helping smooth her energy out again and purifying her aura, but I don’t think that helped as much as last time. The wounds weren’t fresh enough, but I might have helped her heal a bit faster, taken the edge off the stinging and stiffness. She seemed appreciative in any case and it was an excuse to touch her leg, her face. Her muscles are firmer than I would have expected.



        Touching her was so…I don’t know, like a dream come true? And Goddess she smells so good. A bit like herbal shampoo, a little musky, sort of. It is uniquely Willow and so captivating. It makes me want to move closer to her and just inhale the scent of her. The urge to touch her more intimately, hold and kiss her almost became unbearable. I wish I was braver or had some idea how she felt. She did hold my hand for a moment when she thanked me, another almost unconscious light touch. To use the cliché, I thought I was gonna die, it is so nice to have her touch me. She must think I’m a grinning idiot.



        We talked for a while, she helped me with my trig, and I showed her the conjuration spells and she was all up for trying them then, but I felt it would be better if we waited a bit till she was feeling better. She agreed but was a little let down. It was late by then and she had to go anyway. I hope I didn’t disappoint her too terribly or anything. But I was certainly in no shape to be casting and she shouldn’t have been either. I’ll meditate on the crystal some tomorrow and if we get together then I’ll be more focused and ready. I don’t want any magic we do together to go badly.





Saturday Morning: My dream of Willow last night was more intense and explicit than any I’ve had so far. I dreamed she was hurt and I massaged her legs and back, rubbed her arms and put her to rest in my bed. I joined her there and we lay together, our hands and lips exploring each other. It was very sensual, erotic and exciting. I wonder if there are any poems about love being a curse that drives you crazy with lust and desire?





Sunday Night: Goddess what am I going to do now? I think I’ve cried enough, probably too much, but it seemed like we were getting so close. I knew it was too good to be true. I knew I had no right hoping that Willow could ever fall for me, or even like girls in the first place. She’s not looking for a woman but a new man, or maybe just an old one to return. I knew she had to have a boyfriend. Mother, why do I let myself hope, dream, for more? Clearly I am not meant for such things.



        But I love her so much, can’t just this once things go right, can’t my feelings be worth something?



        Obviously not. And yet things started out so good.



        She called around noon to ask if I still was interested in an all night video fest as we’d discussed. Like an idiot I said yes and so she was going to bring some pizza and we’d start in the evening. I was even stupid enough to think that maybe she’d just stay over since it would be late by the time we finished and made sure the room was extra clean and ready. Maybe it was images of the last dream in my head, or I just forgot who I was. I definitely got a reminder, that’s for sure.



        When she knocked on the door it was about a half hour late, which is unusual for her and I could instantly tell something was wrong. Her eyes were a bit puffy like she’d been crying or something and her aura was so filled with sorrow and loss I thought for a second that someone she knew had died. If she hadn’t been holding the big pizza box I would have hugged her. Thank the goddess I didn’t, that probably would have scared her away without a doubt.



        I didn’t say anything at first, but she was obviously down and depressed and sort of putting on a forced cheerfulness that didn’t really conceal how upset she was. It was actually sort of frightening how like my dream this was. I mean here she was showing up at my room hurt and in pain. My heart went out to her and it was driving me crazy to see her is such distress. I was almost frantic to help in some way, but I didn’t know what to do. This was emotional not physical and what do I know about heartache? Well, I’m learning and it sucks.



        I did manage, finally, to ask her what the matter was, if something was bothering her. That’s when my hopes, dreams, maybe my entire life, ended.



She told me some of her friends were talking about Valentine’s Day coming up soon, and what they were going to do. Things got a bit unclear after that. She babbled and went on and has such mixed feelings of anger and loss, which I can totally understand. From what I understood she had a boyfriend named Oz who she had been seeing since her junior year in high school. She thought he loved her and she loved him but that he left her sometime last October. She wasn’t entirely clear on the details but it seems like this guy cheated on her and slept with someone else, but that that wasn’t exactly the reason he left.



She said he had been in his wolf form and that he was werewolf so when he slept with the other person it wasn’t entirely his fault though it was his stupid idea to lock them together in the first place. I gather that she used to lock him up on the nights of the full moon to keep him from hurting anyone.



Anyway, she said he was sweet and kind, a musician and her first and though she sort of cheated with someone called Xander it wasn’t the same as she just kissed him and never went further than that. Oz forgave her then and she thought she might have been able to forgive him as well, or was maybe ready to, but that he left to find himself or learn control or something. She felt abandoned, devastated and no one seemed to understand her pain.



Oh Mother, it’s so clear that she did love this boy. She still speaks of him with longing and regret. She spent a good hour or so telling me what he was like, how close they had been, how much it hurt her when he left and later when he sent for his stuff. She had sort of hoped he’d be back this semester, but obviously that didn’t happen.



Throughout the whole time I sat there and listened, I tried to be sympathetic because she was in so much pain and needed someone to talk to, to unburden herself to. Whatever friends she has don’t seem to have helped her much with this and she needed someone desperately. Yet it was like my head had swelled to ten times its size, like the room was spinning crazily around me and yet I was sinking down into my stomach. I was nauseous and sad and mad all at the same time. I wanted to cry but knew I couldn’t, that I had to be strong for Willow because she needed healing, a sympathetic ear.



But as she described her world collapsing, mine did too. And I’m still so torn. I’ve never felt such anger at someone. How could he have left her? How could he have hurt her so badly? He had everything. Sure the werewolf stuff is weird, but she’s a witch, I’m a witch and this town is on a Hellmouth. Stranger things exist. They seemed to be dealing with it. How could he give her up if he loved her so much? What kind of idiot inflicts this kind of pain on the one he loves? I’ll never understand that.



And so I sat with her and listened and tried to ease a pain as real as that I dreamed for her the last night. She did cry on my shoulder as I held her and tried to comfort her and let her know that it would be all right when my own heart was shattering and I knew nothing would ever be all right, that I had no hope of ever winning this girl’s love. My dreams had been as false as the façade I put on. Mother, I’ve never felt so hopeless and alone. How do I keep on going now?





TBC…



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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 4
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 2:21 pm 
This was wonderful!:applause

Poor Tara... :sob Hope Willow comes to her senses soon.



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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 4
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 3:54 pm 
:cry That was so sad! Poor Tara... it's so hard for her to see Willow all lost and sad over Oz.... at least we have the knowledge that Willow will wake up and smell the coffee pretty soon, because otherwise I'd go nuts.

I believe in the madness called "now."



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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 4
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 6:40 pm 
How interesting to look at it from Tara's point of view. It is so vulnerable you just want to hug her. And now with her finding out about Oz and thinking she has no chance...:sob



Can't wait to read more!



Rai



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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 4
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 11:06 pm 
This is a beautiful piece of writing. I can feel Tara's pain, but we all know things are going to pick up for them very soon.

Tara: My heart doesn't stutter.


Tara: Willow, I got so lost.

Willow: I found you. I will always find you.




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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 4
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2003 8:27 am 
Ahh Garner, you really write that first person Tara thing really well. I am also having fun with the timeline you are creating, I know how hard that is. I tried once to connect every w/t episode with a time of the sunnydale year. It was very difficult as it became obvious the writers didn't pay too much attention to that , they were more concerned with fitting it with ours, so some of the times were off. Anyway, all that to say that I appreciate the feeling of passage of time. Looking back on it all those episodes seem like they took place in days, but that's just not the case.

- - - - - - - - - - -
"Hard work often pays off after time but laziness always pays off now!"




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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 4
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2003 2:03 pm 
Just found this fic so now I have to comment on four updates all at once :)



What struck me most in part 1 and the following was how Tara talked herself down, definitly self-esteem issues there. Always makes me sad to hear someone talking themselves down like that. With a little Willow-help she'll eventually realise she's a wonderfull person worthy of attention and love.



That Tara went home for christmas came as a surprise. I always thought that she had ran away from home, away from her not-so-friendly familly. Going back to them seems hardly a good idea then :-) Good thing she made it back to Sunnydale.



The humor bits are good too, being proud of writing a paragraph *not* about Willow :-) Tara fretting over her room when Willow was coming that evening was fun too, heh. She *does* bable a bit like Willow but has a tendency to write herself into a lot of freight.



I could almost feel Tara's excitement (the childlike, bouncing kind) when she wrote lines like "And she sat just a short distance from me, on MY bed.". She sounds happier and happier when writing about Willow usually.



I loved your explanation about the answering machine and imagining Tara listening to that tape over and over was fun too :lol . Although the last part: "I love the way she says my name, it doesn't sound ugly or like a curse at all." is sad when you think about it. Poor Tara didn't have a very nice childhood did she ? :cry .



Oh yeah, what was your Willow-point-of-view story ? I like this one so I'll probably like that one as well :-) Doesn't hurt Willow is my favourite charachter on the show either :) .



Grimmy

--
"You hurt Tara," Willow said too calmly. "The last one who tried that was a god. I made her regret it." -- Unexpected Consequences by Lisa of Nine



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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 4
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2003 7:30 pm 
Well, and I feared that this would be the worst part so far. It's nice to have some unfounded fears I guess.



Allykat, since I am following season 4 we know that eventually Willow will see Tara's true inner beauty and charm, not to mention the outer ones too! :) But the road to that point will be bumpy for Tara.



Tempest Duer, yeah, that sort of emotional pain if endured too long would really scar Tara badly. Fortunately things are not as bad as she fears. Thanks for sticking with me and the story.



RaiStarr, and you don't want to hug Tara just becuase? :) Seriously, I thought Tara's side of their initial meeting and falling in love had been sort of overlooked. I wanted to do the journal style as it would show what Tara was feeling and thinking about what we've all already seen, and I wouldn't have to worry about staging or Willow's direct emotions or reactions. Hope that is working for you. Thanks for checking out the story.



Rose24, thanks also for still continuing. Things will pick up sooner than not since The I in Team is next. But not too quickly. As I have said before, the timing in season four is tough. I am probably stretching things out too much, but we go from Christmas till the end of the semester so a lot of time does pass. Here's hoing it stays interesting.



Xita, one could make the case that maybe the events in season four did take place over a couple weeks and that's it. If so W/T fall in love way quick and I think that would leave too much unexplained time passage. Still, Kirk has done a very good job with a more literal follow the eps version of season 4 that is also fun to read. I will continue to spread things over the entire spring semester. Since you've read the Willow piece I did, I hope Tara is coming off as different.



Grimlock72 welcome to the story, I hope the rest lives up to this part. Tara definitely has self esteem issues, and unfortunately for her I don't think those really were ever overcome till season sux. She made progress in season 5, but again we didn't see enough of her to get that full sense. I hope that she does get a bit better about this as she realizes Willow loves her, but serious long term self esteem issues will continue to color her view of things, though overall I think she is a more positive outlook sort of person.

As for going home at christmas, well, dorms normally close then and she had to go somewhere. Her Dad doesn't know exactly where she went, but in Family did sort of indicate that he let her go hoping college would tame some of her magical inclinations. I actually think she probably went home at the start of the summer (between season 4 and 5 as well, but was in summer school otherwise to avoid being home long. Now that must have been hell for her too. And Willow.)

Glad you found some humor in this, there should be some more, but again Tara isn't the funny sort of character that the others are.

As for my Willow first person piece, it is called Those That Feed. It should be in the archives somewhere, it was posted August 2002. It is kinda long, but not overly so, but is a Lovecraftian horror piece (not X rated though) and that should be remembered if you read it. If you can't find it email me at Garner502@yahoo.com and I'll email you a copy, if you're interested.



Thanks all for supporting my obssession, more is coming.



Garner



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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 4
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2003 3:52 am 
Ah yes, I remember "Those that Feed".. thats the one with outerspace stuff that ends with Tara doing a spell right ? Not an entirely happy ending, guess that warning in the header was there for a reason :-) Convinced me never to read LoveCraft stories :) .



I think I'll like this story better, heh.



Grimmy :wave

--
"You hurt Tara," Willow said too calmly. "The last one who tried that was a god. I made her regret it." -- Unexpected Consequences by Lisa of Nine

Edited by: Grimlock72 at: 11/21/03 3:54 am


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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 4
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2003 8:40 am 
Grimlock yeah, you have the right story. Lovecraft's Cthulhu universe is pretty bleak and the main characters often go insane or die by the end. Knowledge is a very dangerous thing in that world. But there are a lot of good stories worth checking out, some like The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward even have a mildly upbeat ending. I figure anything with W/T alive and together in the end can't be too depressing!



Garner



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 Post subject: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 5A
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 1:02 pm 
Happy Thanksgiving to all kittens! Hope your holiday will be nice, safe, and full of good food! Here is Part 5, it is even longer than the last one, sorry about that. Here's hoping that you can stand it. This part is an ep of lows and highs.



Well I thought about posting it in two parts anyway and it looks like it is too long for the buffer or whatever here so it is going to be split in two after all. But it is complete.







Title: From the journal of Tara McClay Pt. 5 A & B

Rating: PG

Summary: The events up to and including The I In Team in Season 4.

Note: Written November 2003. The entries are no longer consecutive days, some gaps appear.





                                THE I IN TEAM





Monday Evening: Class was hard today. Not conceptually or test wise or anything, but it was hard to pay attention, focus, care. What difference does it make who painted what, or how tangents and cosines and such all inter-relate? All I could do was numbly sit there and let the information bounce off me and then plod on to the next place I had to be. It’s like I’ve been packed in cotton and nothing gets through to me, no bumps, no jolts. Just nothing.



        And that’s better than the pain. I dreamed of Willow last night, of course. We were in my room talking and doing spells, occasionally holding hands. It was as nice as it wasn’t real. Then, somehow we were in the middle of a forest clearing doing a spell to conjure a spirit or some force and the clouds broke and a full moon shown down on us. I thought it was beautiful, a testament to the splendor of night, but when I looked back at her to see if she saw the same she turned into a wolf right there before me. Still Willow-green eyes looked back at me with a hunger and possessiveness that was frightening. She leapt at me and I screamed while trying to run. I was knocked to the ground and spun around. The last thing I remember was her teeth tearing at my chest. I woke up drenched in sweat and may have screamed her name; I’m not sure.



        I don’t think I need to be a psyche major to figure that one out.



        Goddess, what a mess my life is. I barely found the energy to get up this morning. All I wanted to do was stay in bed and hope the world stopped, or maybe just went on without me till I was entirely forgotten. I was sort of afraid to fall back asleep, but the longer I lay there the more I thought about how Willow will never kiss me, never look me in the eyes with a love that reflects my own. It made me so sad and mad that I ended up crying and hitting the pillow.



        I made it to class anyway. Mother said you always have to keep on going no matter what. I’m good at that; I’ve had lots of practice. Besides, if I fail here, I’ll just have to go home and then I won’t even be able to see Willow at all. Would that be so much worse? I don’t know. We’re still friends, I guess. I’ll still be able to see her. We can still practice spells together. And when she meets some new guy she can tell me all about him, say how happy she is and then eventually she’ll realize she doesn’t need me anymore and that’ll be it.



        Can I blame her? I should be thanking the Goddess and God that she even deigned to spend this much time with the likes of me. She held me and took care of me when I was sad. I’ll never forget her arms around me. Why am I starting to cry again? Damn it all.





Monday Night: Willow came by earlier. She didn’t call, just dropped by and knocked, hoping that I was home. She said she knew I didn’t have a night class or anything. She was very effusive about how sorry she was for how she acted last time. She seemed very embarrassed and I have to admit it made her even cuter than normal. I almost broke down in front of her. I couldn’t help it. She’s so pretty and I just wanted to feel her, touch her, one last time.



        She even picked up that something was bothering me and started babbling about what a horrible person she was to dump her problems on me. She’s so kind and sweet. How I wish things were different.



        I quickly told her that I didn’t mind, and that’s true. Anything I can do to help her, ease the obvious anguish she’s going through I’d do in an instant. I can endure this hopelessness; it’s not so new to me. But seeing her in pain is even worse, I just can’t bear to see her suffer so. I’d gladly take it from her if it I could.



        Instead I just told her that everyone needs someone to talk to, to get things off their chest and start the process of healing. I told her I didn’t think less of her for it and if she needed to discuss it more, anything, I was here for her. And I meant it, too. I will do whatever it takes, no matter the cost to me to make her feel better. How could I do any less?



        She smiled and sort of half hugged me, said she was so glad that we had met that I was a great help to her. I’m sure I blushed and ducked my head. She seemed so genuine in her affection then. If I didn’t know better, I’d think she was starting to have feelings for me.



        But I do know better. Maybe this is the way the evil inside me manifests itself, by dashing any hope of happiness I might ever have. Presenting impossible situations that only reinforce the dismal nature of my life.





Wednesday Afternoon: I saw her this afternoon outside French class. My heart seemed to skip a beat; she looked so good in her skirt and that grey sweater she likes to wear. I can’t help it, I was glad to see her. Anytime she’s with me it’s like all my problems, worries or fears evaporate.



        We talked a little bit and she walked back with me to my dorm building. We sat in the lounge and she said that she was doing a lot better. Ever since we talked she’s gained a sense of perspective. She really wanted to get together and try some more spells and I brought up the conjurations. She said that sounded a bit simple, but I told her that the basics are always worth revisiting and practicing. They’re good exercises in control, which can be more important than raw power.



        Hah, here I was lecturing her on the Craft! Like she doesn’t already know that. Still, she agreed and we’re going to get together tonight. Why am I excited by this? I know nothing can happen, but here I am anxiously looking forward to her arrival and barely able to eat or think of anything else. This can’t be good can it? I better dig out the doll’s eye crystal and meditate or there’s no way I’ll be able to do even simple conjurations myself.





Wednesday Night: It’s way late but I had to record this while it was fresh. Willow came by like she said and even brought some chocolate for both of us. She said it was because she still felt bad about imposing on me before, but was feeling so much better now. I reassured her again that it was fine. I don’t mind listening and am here for her for anything she needs to talk about.



She got this funny look on her face then, smiled her cute smile and sort of brushed my arm as she said thanks, and it meant a lot. I couldn’t help grinning back at her and blushing too. Oh if I didn’t know better I would have sworn she was…what? Not attracted to me, certainly not flirting or anything. But I almost could have sworn I sensed something else in her aura, in the way she gazed at me. It sort of made me feel nice and special, and frustrated, too, I guess. It was strange yet cool.



Ah, what is wrong with me, there is no hope so don’t go imagining things that didn’t happen, that aren’t there. She was just happy to have someone to discuss her problems with. A lot of people don’t like to do that, get so lost in their own lives and hang-ups that they can’t really listen and help friends when they are going through difficult times. Willow certainly deserves better than that, that’s all. She was just being appreciative.



So we talked a little bit about dating, mostly her really since I’ve never had any experience like that. I didn’t outright tell her so, but she just wanted someone to vent to anyway.



        Actually it was interesting to see her a bit more angry than sad this time. It was him that left her after all. She was a bit miffed over the whole affair and wanted to put it behind her and get on with her life and class work. Probably good advice though I can’t really take it to heart myself.



        Anyway, we continued talking about stuff for a while, nothing important, just small talk but fun and engaging nonetheless. She helped me with my trig and by that time it was actually pretty late. Where the time went I don’t know.



        She said she was kinda hungry and thirsty and really not in the right mindset to do any spells. With all the stuff about Oz she felt like her thoughts was going in a thousand different directions at once. Certainly not focused enough to get good results. She seemed sort of hesitant to mention it, but asked if I would be disappointed if we put it off till another day?



        And here I thought my admiration for her couldn’t go up any further. I’m impressed that she acknowledged that she wasn’t in the right frame of mind to do magic and was willing to say so. Probably the most important thing in magic is to not fool yourself about your abilities and level of concentration. Focus and control are so critical.



        So I told her it was no big, one shouldn’t do magic in a bad state of mind, and that we’d just wait until another night. And then somehow I found the courage to suggest that we go down to the snack bar and get some mochas or a bite to eat, since she was hungry and all. I stuttered terribly and tried to hide the blush behind my hair cause I was nervous about being so forward. It’s not like I was asking her out on a date or anything, I know she isn’t interested in me, but it still felt…nerve wracking anyway.



        She thought it was a great idea so we went downstairs and got a couple salads and some drinks and talked some more. It was so nice and normal; it felt very good. But eventually the place closed and Willow had to go anyway so we said our good byes with intentions of getting together sometime soon.



        And now I’m saddened again. I love being with her, love her, so much. How am I ever going to be able to see her, do stuff with her, and yet constantly want more in the back of my mind? None of those feelings have gone away. I still long to touch her and kiss her, but now I know that will never, ever, happen. Are love, sex, physical touching that important anyway? Maybe it’s wrong of me to want these things? She does like me and is a friend and that should be enough, shouldn’t it?





Thursday Morning: I dreamed about her last night again. Apparently my subconscious hasn’t gotten the word to give up hope yet. And my stupid body is still excited beyond reason, too. Should she still arouse me? Should I still be thinking about her when I touch myself? Goddess all I want to do is drown in Willowy closeness and warmth.



        I guess I just need to keep reminding myself of who I am, that love is not meant for me. Hah, I’ll probably end up like Miss Cralenski, living alone with three or four cats as my only companions, all the neighborhood children scared of me. As they should be I suppose, what with my demon half and all. Maybe I should get a kitten to keep me company and chase away these doubts and thoughts? I wonder if Willow likes cats? Ah, what difference does it make?





Friday Afternoon: Valentines Day tomorrow. Hoorah! OK, so maybe I don’t do sarcasm well. It’s not like I ever got any Valentines back home after grade school when everyone pretty much gets some. No, I was pretty ignored in high school. I did get one for Willow. It’s just a cute little card with no talk of love or anything like that. I don’t know if I should give it to her or not. I mean, it could be totally misconstrued and that would be terrible. Just what I need is for her to think that I’m hitting on her. I don’t want that. I don’t want to frighten her.



        But it is a holiday of sorts and I know she’ll be feeling low, need some cheering up. Like anything from me would ever cheer anyone up! Hah. Still, I do care, well I suppose she doesn’t need to know exactly how much I care, but I think I’m her friend, right? I mean, friends, normal non-involved friends, show their support for each other don’t they? Wouldn’t it look stranger or like she means nothing to me if I didn’t give her something? It’s not like I’m giving her any chocolates or some romantic gift.



        I wonder what she’d like if I were to give her something romantic? She doesn’t seem like the big box of candy type, I bet she does like flowers, but she’s so practical too. Maybe an assortment of herbs and incenses? Now that makes sense. Or a protective charm, something to shield her dreams or give her the Goddess’ blessing in all endeavors? Not that she hasn’t been blessed by the Goddess already with a quick mind and an amazing amount of talent. And she’s got the most beautiful face, round and sort of cherubic with such a cute little nose and mouth. I just love the way her hair lays and looks so soft and sets off her eyes. Her body is so much nicer than mine. She doesn’t have big, pendulous breasts or wide, plain hips. And she’s stronger than she looks too. She’s got beautiful soft fingers and hands that are firm yet gentle, just like her spirit.



        Goddess, am I crying again?





Saturday Afternoon: Willow called and said she wanted to get together this evening. She sounded a little blue, but not too bad. She explained that all her other friends were with their significant others and she really didn’t want to be alone tonight. I immediately agreed that she should come over and not worry about anything. If she just wanted to commiserate that was fine with me, or if she wanted to try a few simple spells that would be OK, too. Whatever she needed I was here for her.



        She seemed pretty thankful and said she’d come early, bring some pizza and soda.



        It would be so easy to think of this as my first Valentine’s date, but I know better. I have to be strong for her, give her as much support as possible. I hate when she’s so sad, it’s contagious. Neither of us will be in much of a state to cast any spells but there is one Mother used to do with me when I was very little, maybe that would be a good idea. It’s sort of a conjuration and a bit of transmutation, but very easily accomplished. I think its something Willow would really like, I always did. I better meditate with the crystal to get as calm and focused as possible.





Saturday Night/Sunday Morning: OK, this time I probably did go too far. Goddess, what was I thinking? I forgot how much the flake spell responds to emotions. A little research on her part and she’ll know how I feel. Or could figure it out. For once in her life let her curiousity not be active! It hurts to have her around, so close and yet with the biggest barrier of all between us, but I think not having her here once in a while would be even worse.



        Everything started out so well, too. Willow arrived at 5:29, a minute earlier than she’d said. She’s always so punctual. Did I mention that before? It’s part of that orderly mind of hers. I still smile now just thinking about it.



        She brought cola and a veggie supreme pizza that smelled delicious and something else. She gave me this little package she had wrapped with a red bow and said it was for me for putting up with her and everything.



        I managed not to cry, but stuttered so much I could barely say Thank you. It turned out to be some herbs that we’ve used in spells; she said it was to replace those and a few extras for the future. No one’s ever really given me anything like that before. Certainly not on a day like that. I was so overcome I had to turn away to hide the tear I couldn’t control.



        I covered by mumbling something and finding the card I’d gotten for her. I had decided not to give it to her, thinking it was too dorky and wouldn’t be appropriate, but after her gift I had to give her something back. And I needed the time to get a hold of myself.



        I gave her the card, she read it and smiled and then before I knew what was happening gave me a little hug. Sort of a chaste friend one, but it was still glorious. I even remembered to hug her back. Goddess her hair smelled so good. So much for all the calm and focus my meditation had achieved beforehand. That pooled around my feet with my heart.



        Good thing we ate next so I didn’t have to be too coherent, or say much. I don’t think I could have gotten anything out. Instead she talked a bit about her week, classes and such, and mentioned Oz a couple times. But the funny thing was she didn’t seem to be overly sad and didn’t talk about him extensively. Maybe she needed the last time as sort of a cleansing and to allow her to look forward, not backwards.



        We did have a fun time. She helped me with the trig some more and I got my homework done. That’s probably the first time math was ever appealing. I think she’s right, she would make a good teacher. She brings some enthusiasm and an upbeat way of looking at things that makes the whole process much more interesting. Talk about magical abilities.



        We went over some of the spells we’ve done in the past. She mentioned one where she tried to remove her heartache by having her will done and it ended up with her friends in danger or bizarre and icky circumstances. I told her that doing magic while in emotional turmoil is generally a bad idea and leads to unintended consequences, especially when you haven’t done the simpler stuff to build up your concentration.



        And then I violated everything I had just told her by agreeing to practice telekinesing some stuff. She thought that if we made some paper airplanes and flew them around the room that would be a good test of a gentle touch and control without much possibility of damaging anything. What could I say? She clearly had thought this through and I didn’t want to disappoint her. Like I said, her enthusiasm is so catching.



        So we made four airplanes each and then sat together holding hands and floated them about the room, starting with one and then building up to five. That was about all we could manage at once with the level of concentration we could achieve. I have to admit we got a little silly and were having some chase each other like in a dogfight or buzzing one another, seeing how close we could get without actually hitting. It was fun and sort of taxing at the same time, yet in an easy way. I finally got one tangled in my hair and we stopped, both laughing.



        I could tell that she was in the mood to try something a bit more extensive, but that it had gotten late and I didn’t think our concentration was too exact. So I brought up the spell Mother and I used to do. Willow liked the idea and so I got out the blue dyed sand and we made another focusing circle like the one we used for the floating rose.



        Inside of the diagram we placed a small, empty cauldron and then turned off all the lights but the Christmas tree ones. We joined hands and I explained that we would try and conjure water within the cauldron. Not a lot, just enough to fill it three quarters of the way. Then we’d float some of it out and transform it to ice and shape a snow flake out of it. The last part is obviously the hardest, but the way the spell works you just picture an idealized snow flake and sort of force the image onto the ice sheet. If your concentration is poor you get something really simple but still sort of neat looking, especially since there’s usually a soft white light inside the design. I didn’t mention that last point so that it would be a bit of a surprise. Of course if you are focused you get a really intricate and detailed flake that is very beautiful. So no matter what happens it’s a cool result. And a fun test of working together.



        Anyway, Willow was excited to try and so we began. It worked perfectly, too. The water appeared in the cauldron, we rose a nice large sheet of it into the air above us and froze it without difficulty. I sort of let Willow take the lead in imagining the snow flake. What resulted was glowing faintly and multi-pointed with many different facets, it was pretty and she smiled and looked so happy.



        And that’s when I couldn’t help myself. I just was so glad that she wasn’t sad or downhearted anymore. She looked so lovely in the soft light and I still couldn’t believe she had actually gotten me something and her hands were soft and warm and the tingling of our connection was running through me. As I said, the flake responds to your emotional state and all I felt was love for her.



        Suddenly the flake grew in size, crystal veins and webs expanded in a kalidascope of detail and intricacy. The light in the center brightened and became a silver beacon that cast a myriad of fractal images all over the room. It was amazing and beautiful and kept growing and changing. Willow seemed mesmerized by the display and yet gazed at it and me with that strange look again. Her face broke into a wide smile and I got scared and let go of her and the light blinked out and the flake fell back as water into the cauldron. Well, mostly.



        She was really excited afterwards asking if that happens all the time, how I did that, saying it was so beautiful and a great spell. She thought her attention hadn’t been that tight so I must have been the one that did it. I was so embarrassed. I told her it couldn’t have been just me and must have been because of our connection, which is sort of true since without her holding my hands and being there I doubt I could do that again, but obviously not the entire truth. She kept going on about how cool it was and touched my arm again which was nice, but made me want to embrace her. The thrill of the magic and my feelings were giving me a buzz or something and all I could think about was tasting her lips.



        Before I did something wrong I put some distance between us by turning on the lights and getting a towel to sop up what water spilled on the carpet. It was way late and we were both tired yet oddly charged. She insisted on helping me clean up the sand and stuff so we spent a while doing that and talking about the spell and some others she wanted to try. I think she might have been willing to continue all night at that point, but did concede that her focus was pretty shot and that maybe waiting till another time was best.



        For some reason I was disappointed by that and that she had to leave. It must have been the spell’s after affects because I suddenly found myself telling her she could stay here with me if she was too tired and didn’t want to walk back to her room.



        The instant the words left my mouth I almost gagged. What was I thinking? I know I blushed and hung my head and quickly turned away to fiddle with the magic supplies so I wouldn’t have to look at her and she wouldn’t see what I was thinking, which was that I so hoped she’d stay and yet feared that she’d take it the wrong way and never want to see me again. Storm out in an angry and disgusted huff.



        Instead she just seemed to think it was a natural offer and said that she had to meet her roommate early tomorrow morning and it would be easier to just go back now, but thanked me for asking.



        We got everything cleaned up and put away and then before she left she thanked me for letting her come over and hugged me again. This time it was not so friend friendly and we held onto one another for probably too long, but Goddess I couldn’t let go of her. She smelled so good and I was conscious of her chest pressed against me, of her heart beating. Mine must have been hammering like someone who’d just run a marathon. It felt so good to have my arms around her, I never wanted that moment to end.



        But it did and she drew away and left a bit more hurriedly than normal which makes me wonder if I didn’t go too far, give something away.



        I sit here now and write this to avoid going to sleep where I’ll probably dream of her, get all excited again, for a short time think that something could come of us, that she might actually want to be with me, or somehow find me attractive. I can’t let myself entertain such thoughts. Yeah, I love her terribly but she might as well be some actress on TV or a famous singer or something. She’s so far beyond me, out of my league. I’ve got to remember that plain, ordinary klods like me don’t get girls like that, even if she were gay.



        Oh Mother this is making me neurotic. I thought once I knew she was straight things would have gotten easier, not harder. What’s wrong with me?





Part B below...



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 Post subject: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 5B
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 1:05 pm 
Here is Part 5B the finish of The I in Team portion, Garner







Sunday Afternoon: OK, so last night I didn’t dream about Willow and that has me more worried than if I had. Actually I don’t remember any dreams whatsoever. Maybe that’s a good sign?



        Another day of plodding through texts and required reading. Why does something that I’d normally enjoy suddenly lose its appeal when I have to do it? No, that’s not the problem. It’s just that I wish things were different. That I was more attractive, maybe more outgoing and energetic, interested in science and math. Oh and yeah, being a guy might help. Too bad Mother taught me so well or I would be tempted to use magic to change things. A little love potion in Willow’s drink, a spell to make her like me perhaps or one to change my gender. Of course any of that would be wrong. Love not freely given and truly held is nothing but false chains enslaving someone else against their will. I’d never be able to live with myself if I did something like that. Not even tempting.





Tuesday Afternoon: I still can’t believe that she hugged me. Maybe I haven’t dreamed of her because my life is starting to resemble the dream after all. No, she was just happy that she had someone to spend some time with, there was nothing else to it. But it was so great.





Wednesday Afternoon: She came by my room after lunch and wondered if we could get together tonight. She didn’t seem at all repulsed or disgusted with me so I guess everything is all right. And it was great to see her again. No matter how much I think I have her face memorized, there’s always something more or different to notice each time. Like the way her lips quirk up at the ends when she starts to smile. Or the way she waves her hands about when she’s kinda excited. I’ll never get tired of unraveling the mystery of Willow.





Thursday Morning: What a night! I think we were up till three at least. Willow brought this book on how to fold paper into different styles of airplanes so we could practice with different types. So after a little trig and talking about our days we folded several different planes, she brought some rulers to help keep the folds neat, and then practiced flying them around the room. We got eight swirling about at one time which was so cool. It reminded me of those old black and white movies with the world war one flying aces. She thought of Snoopy in the Halloween Great Pumpkin special and then we had to see how many we could have duel like fighter planes. It was so cool and easier to keep track of the different types. That’s so like her, always going an extra step, making things so much better. She’s amazing.



        Thank the Goddess no one is going to ever read this, I must sound like a broken record. Willow’s so this, Willow’s so that. I just can’t help it though. She’s so special and unique. Not like anyone else I’ve ever met. How I deserve to have her in my life, even as a friend, is beyond me. I wish I was more creative, could write poems like Dylan Thomas or any of the romantics, paint or write. I could at least express my love for her in something useful other than this stupid journal.



        Now if this were a romance story or a stupid TV show she’d find my journal, read it, be shocked and I’d either never see her again, most likely, or she’d decide she’d liked me as well. Yeah, like the latter has any chance of happening. No, I keep this well hidden, there’s no way she’ll see it. I’d probably die of embarrassment if she ever did.



        Working magic with her is so wonderful. She’s such a natural and so gifted. See there I go again. But it’s true. There’s a confidence and underlying sense of calm, assuredness and power in her words and methods. I must seem so pedestrian in my approach. Still, when we work together it’s like the rest of the world ceases to exist. I can sense her breathing, smell her scent, feel her essence mingling with mine. Goddess who needs drugs or alcohol? This is so much more powerful and deep; and probably way addictive too. Yeah, that’s me, addicted to my Willow. Goddess that’s so true, I just can’t get enough of her.



And she seemed so happy and content tonight, too. Not sad, no regrets dragging her down. Her focus might shift occasionally, as if she is surprised things are working so smoothly, but with my steadiness she re-attunes quickly enough. I can’t wait for the next time she comes over.





Thursday Afternoon: Willow called already and wants to get together on Saturday! Can you believe that? This might be the first time she’s gotten back to me so quickly. I knew she had fun and was feeling a lot better last night. Now I have something to look forward to this weekend. I think we’ll try conjuring the elements this time, that should be interesting and illuminating. I think she’d like that.



        She wouldn’t find that too simple would she? Goddess I’d hate to suggest anything she’d believe was a waste of her time, too beneath her. What if she feels insulted and decides I have nothing more to show her? I can’t stand the thought of her not being in my life anymore, I just found her and it would kill me to lose her now.





Saturday Afternoon: Wow, the week seems to have flown by. I even got all my schoolwork done and am totally ready for tonight. I’m so excited. I dreamed of her the last couple nights. I don’t recall them clearly but it was like she came over and we hugged and kissed in greeting. We talked for a little bit and then both took off our clothes and sat naked around a focusing circle. We conjured various elements and energy, and then found ourselves in the forest inside a magical circle. We chanted and praised the Goddess and God and various raccoons, squirrels, cats, dogs and even a fox and coyote came up to the circle and sat there with us.



        It’s strange, we didn’t hug or kiss again, there wasn’t a sexual under, or over, tone, yet I felt very peaceful and calm and wanted. It was fantastic, it felt so good and natural. Each morning when I woke I seemed at ease and more clearheaded than in quite some time. I meditated each day with the crystal and that was much easier than normal, too.



        I know I shouldn’t get my hopes up about anything tonight, but I’m just so looking forward to having her with me, to practicing together again. Maybe the urge to touch and hold her will finally be under control.





Sunday Morning: Oh Mother, last night was all that I expected and yet so much more difficult than I would have ever imagined. It’s strange that no matter how I feel when I see her, my spirits always rise, my heart beats faster, and my hands seem to be moist. Whatever calm I might have had is replaced by anxiety that I don’t do anything wrong, anticipation of the next time she might touch me or when we’ll hold hands for a spell.



        Oh, maybe that’s why things went wrong? Is it my desire or love for her that’s interfering with our spell casting? That would be horrible? What if she figures it out, what’ll she think then? Oh Goddess please don’t let me scare her off.



        We had a lot more trouble conjuring the elements tonight than I would have thought. Willow seemed distracted and not entirely focused, like she had other problems on her mind. She did say her other friends were in the middle of something important and she seemed upset that she couldn’t be helping out more.



        And I was just distracted by her, of course. Still, we did finally manage to conjure the elements after a few false starts where all we got was a bit of a glow and a pop. Normally when I do this myself there is some resistance and pause like a barrier is being stretched and then overcome. But together, once our concentration was in sync, things happened much more quickly and with greater affect. Actually it took all my control to limit the amount of material we were getting to make sure things didn’t get out of hand. Too much fire or water could have been a problem, that’s for sure. I bet the RA wouldn’t approve of magic induced damage to the room!



        Willow was amazing as always. Her abilities are a bit scattered and need focus and more practice, but she is so smooth and natural. I can feel her vibrancy and inquisitiveness in our link. She has a purity of spirit that is breathtaking. And the way she looks at me like she’s glad that I’m there, like she’s eager to try anything I might suggest and believes that what I have to say or show her is important and valuable.



        Ah, listen to me, if I didn’t know better I’d think I still had some hope that things could work out well, that something could happen between us. I’m sure that’s not my fate, love is for normal people, not me. I’m stuck dreaming impossible dreams and wishing.





Monday Evening: I thought about the spells we did last time, the conjurations, and I think the problem was that Willow has a hard time focusing her energies and concentration. Her mind is so active that it’s like a part of her is casting the spell while another is so inquisitive that it’s sort of examining what’s going on and watching the events unfold while another part, the more scientific and analytical portion, is trying to fully understand and classify what’s happening. Maybe it’s that her mind, body and spirit are just not acting together. Whichever, I think that if she could bring all these different segments together her spellcasting would be stronger and less likely to fail.



        Oh this is so cool, I think I can really help her, offer her a useful insight. I…I want to give her the doll’s eye crystal so that she can meditate on it and bring her full being together. It should help calm her and allow for a more unified will. I just know this will help her; I can’t wait to talk to her. I think I’ll try and find her tomorrow before class.





Tuesday Afternoon: That’ll teach me to ever believe that I have anything important to impart. I should have known that I was wrong or would muff things up. Or, Goddess, what if she did finally realize the attraction I have for her? Oh no, what if that was it, the last time I’ll see her pretty round face and beautiful red hair? What if she thinks I’m disgusting and can’t stand to be with me anymore? Did she just start the easy brush off by being too “busy” to see me anymore?



        Calm down Tara, maybe she just has a new boyfriend or something. Yeah, like that’s a better situation. New boyfriend equals less time for anyone else, especially plain dorky witches like me. I knew I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up, I knew better, damn it.



        OK, steady and let’s think things out. I went by Stevenson this morning so that I’d run into her and could give her the doll’s eye crystal. I spotted her like I knew I would and she seemed both surprised and happy to see me, though I thought I detected a little undercurrent of…what, annoyance, worry, furtiveness perhaps when she saw me? Sometimes it’s so hard to read her. You’d think it would be easier but I love her and want her so much it’s hard to be anywhere near objective.



        So, we said hi and moved over to one of the lounges and sat facing each other in a couple of the comfy chairs. I wanted to explain how I’d been thinking about the conjurations and the difficulties we’d been having, but I’m afraid it all came out wrong. I didn’t want to sound like I was putting her down or make it seem like I knew everything. And she was looking at me so expectantly that I think I got nervous and started stuttering even worse than normal.



        I tried to tell her that when I’m having troubles getting calm or focusing my energies I sometimes use an aid like the dolls eye crystal and showed it to her. She was all impressed and said she had been looking for one for a while. She was really excited and I told her how I’d found it in the attic a long time ago and it was my grandmother’s and that I really wanted her to have it.



        But she said she couldn’t accept it. She thought it was like a family heirloom or something and couldn’t take it. She did say she wouldn’t mind doing some spells with it later, so maybe I didn’t totally freak her out. However, when I suggested getting together tonight she said she had previous plans and couldn’t. I confess I wasn’t paying that much attention after that. She did say something about another group of friends that I might not feel comfortable around and I think I tried to be all nonchalant and suggest some other time and she agreed.



        I should have known better. What was I thinking trying to offer her the crystal? I’m so stupid, what an idiot. It’s obviously too valuable and not something friends give each other. She’s not my girlfriend and I had no right to be offering it to her. Like I have anything she’d ever want anyway. I couldn’t stay there with her after that. I just had to leave so I lied and told her I had class. It wasn’t like I was going to cry or anything, but was so afraid that I’d done something wrong that I just had to go.



        Goddess, I just hope I didn’t upset her or make her think I was too forward or coming on to her. Please let her still want to see me and do spells together.





Wednesday Morning: Oh Goddess, oh Goddess, oh Goddess what just happened last night? Was that a dream, was it real? Is some power just playing with me or what? Mother I think I might actually be happy for once. Oh, not fully and completely, but definitely happier than I’ve ever been since you…left.



        I was working on some homework, staying up late still upset at myself for going to far and because Willow didn’t want to get together. I should have trusted that any ideas I had would be wrong, but I really thought that she’d want the crystal, want to do some more spells sooner rather than later. I should have remembered she has other friends and a life away from me, but they seem to be ignoring her more lately and she really doesn’t deserve that. Ah, it’s so dangerous to have hopes and dreams, even now, after all that happened last night I need to caution myself not to get too excited, think that anything has changed.



        But it has, I can feel it, the question is, can I trust my feelings?



        I’m rambling, not a good sign. So I was trying to get some work done and it was late and I was thinking maybe another hour or so and then call it quits, though I was sort of afraid to go to sleep, afraid of dreaming of Willow again, glimpsing all that I couldn’t have, when there was a knock on the door.



        I must have been a little out of it since I had no idea who could be knocking on my door this late, but when I opened the door there she was wearing a nice colorful sweater and this cute red dress. She has the neatest outfits.



        Anyway she sort of stumbled out that her prior plans had fallen through and wanted to know if I still wanted to so something? I was so happy to see her that I couldn’t say anything, I just grinned like a fool and ushered her in. My heart was racing again and it felt like my head was expanding and spinning. Any chance to be with her is time to be treasured.



        So we talked a little bit, about some music and stuff. Willow seems to like all different types of music, but I haven’t really heard that many groups. Father always said that the songs on the radio were full of devil worship and fornication and not fit for decent people to listen to, though I know Donny disobeyed. I almost told on him once, but he looked really mad and I knew he’d just take it out on me later. She promised to bring some CDs and a player over so we could listen to some of her favorites. That sounds like fun, I hope she remembers. We still need to do our video nights, too.



        Of course she wanted to do some spells. We hadn’t prepared anything so I suggested maybe we could practice raising and manipulating energy, use the doll’s eye crystal, get further in tune with each other. She was eager as always. Again, this is a basic exercise but it seemed new to her.



        I guess I was still excited that she was here and more enthusiastic than normal and all that must have been contagious. Either that or she drank a lot of coffee before coming over. She did smell a bit like cigarettes though I know she doesn’t smoke. I made sure to light a little incense to overwhelm the smell. She was definitely all bouncey and babbling and pretty perky before long.



        We quickly cleansed the room with some spring water and the incense, and then poured out sand for a magical circle. I set the crystal on a small stack of books between us. The idea is to visualize the energy in yourself and then have it pool in a little green ball in your right palm. From there you can move it about, float it, shape it, whatever. We started out doing this individually and soon the room was bathing in shimmering pale green light that sparkled off her eyes very strikingly. We each moved the balls about and floated them around a bit. Willow shaped hers into a snowflake like we had done before with the water while I made an airplane.



        After reabsorbing the energy we held left hands and extended our senses to feel the energy of the crystal. It practically hummed with power and a bright crimson glow suddenly arose and then flooded throughout the room. We took the energy from the crystal and floated it above us, forming little picture scenes. I did mostly landscapes while Willow did various city sites. It was very cool and beautiful and energy poured through both of us like a warm breeze on a cool day. It was exhilarating and so pleasant.



        Next we used the crystal to focus our combined energy. It was like everything we’d done before was just playing with small lighters and now we had a raging bonfire before us. The light was so brilliant but it didn’t hurt our eyes. In places it was vivid red, others and emerald green and still others an aquamarine blue. Earth tones flickered throughout like motes, twirling randomly around.



        My breath caught for a moment and then a wave of almost pure joy and belonging swept through me. I could feel Willow’s presence within and beside me, her essence magnified and concentrated by the crystal and the circle. I felt so giddy and yet so happy to be with Willow, to have her with me. All I could think of was how special and wonderful she was and how much a part of me her energy felt.



        We gradually reduced the brilliance and practiced changing the hues, the brightness and the size of the energy sphere. I made it run over Willow’s arms and across her shoulders and she giggled and laughed. When she moved it across my arms and chest I thought I was going to burst. A shivering tingley sort of feeling went through me. It was so intimate it was almost embarrassing, it was kind of like having her caress me.



        We had the motes of brighter light dance and swirl in various patterns, it was all so breathtaking and almost awe inspiring. I’ve never felt so keyed up, turned on, and just plain energized like that before. It was amazing and I never wanted it to end, but eventually we did return the energy to the crystal and each other.



        Neither of us wanted to stop at that point and she suggested setting the crystal aside and just working with our own energy. I certainly didn’t want to disappoint her and was eager to continue so I agreed and we concentrated on our own energy again and practiced passing it to the other. If the last felt intimate and like a caress this was even more so. Holding her energy in my palm, feeling it move over my crossed legs was like being in heaven. I felt so close to her.



        We practiced changing the colors again and she made hers look like various animals, a little kitten, a puppy, a raccoon. It was so cool and I couldn’t help but admire her creativity and how neat she was. With the caress of her energy still lingering in my mind I couldn’t think of anything but how beautiful she was, how deeply and truly I loved her. Suddenly my own energy took on a shape that looked like a person with brilliant little emerald eyes and red hair. It wasn’t a perfect representation of her, but it was close. I must have let a lot of my feelings for her slip into the shaping as she gasped when she saw it and I’m sure she realized it was her.



        I got so embarrassed by her gaze and that strange look that my concentration quickly fled and the ball disappeared in a blink. Goddess I must have been redder than the dolls eye crystal and I couldn’t look up or at Willow for fear that I’d see the disapproval and disgust in her face, in her eyes, and start sobbing.



        I don’t know how long we sat there in the sudden darkness with only the little white lights on the walls illuminating the area. Then I felt her hand on my jaw, gently lifting my face so she could look at my face. I was still almost high and swirling from the aftereffects of our connection, from the tender strokes of her energy, and sort of smiled hesitantly. She asked in a small voice if that was how I saw her, like she couldn’t believe that anyone found her beautiful and gorgeous and so magnificent.



        My eyes were heavy with unshed tears and I could only nod, words just wouldn’t come to me. I wanted her to know how I felt, wanted her to know I thought she was the most special girl I had ever known but was so afraid that that would be the end of everything and that my clumsy, harsh voice would ruin whatever delicate balance existed in that moment.



        She had a look of wonder and happiness on her face too and she suddenly moved closer to me and her face grew larger and before I knew it her breath was softly crossing my mouth and then her lips touched mine and she kissed me.



        I almost fainted, I almost cried, but I did have enough awareness to kiss her back.



        Oh Goddess it felt so good to have her lips on mine, to taste her breath, feel her soft and moist mouth. It was like a sudden release within me and before I knew it my arms were around her, my hands in her lovely, silky hair. We parted for a breath and I thought that that would be it, just a fluke after affect of the spell, but no. Her lips hungrily sought out mine for another kiss and then another.



        I don’t know how long we spent like that, but it was incredible, more than anything I’ve ever dreamed of and still too brief a time. I don’t know how late it was but we were both exhausted, the energy from the spells had long since departed and after the intense kissing we were both drained. Sometime during our clasping we must have moved onto the bed, though I don’t recall when.



        We fell asleep in each other’s arms, too tired to even bother changing or to climb under the covers.



        I awoke the next morning with the sunlight coming in and her warm body pressed against mine. Well, actually she had rolled over on her back and I was kinda nestled up in the crook of her neck with my arm thrown across her chest and she had her arm over me. She smelt of the incense from last night, her own unique sweet scent and a bit of what must be mine too. She murmured something in her sleep and then her grip on me tightened and she sort of snuggled closer. I must have sighed or made some noise because a moment later she woke up and I was so worried she’d freak out and run screaming from the room that I pretended to still be asleep, just in case, not to frighten her. She did seem a little surprised and was sort of groggy. I “awoke” as she moved looking for the time and rolled off the other side of the bed.



        It was kind of awkward for a moment, and I didn’t know what to do. Would she mention what had happened the night before? Was she just caught up in the moment, the effects of the spell and our link? She had kissed me first, right? Maybe she’d pretend that nothing had happened.



        We stood there for a moment that stretched into another and then another with neither of us knowing what to say. Finally she said she needed to get back to her dorm to shower and change before class. I agreed that that was a good idea, and then fell quiet.



        The room was sort of a mess, we had kicked sand all over and left the Christmas string on, herbs and incense was still out. She looked at the mess and I could see a sort of guilty look cross her face and for a moment I panicked and thought, ‘Here it comes, now she’ll retreat in revulsion.’ But instead she just offered to help clean up so I could make it to class too. She’s so considerate and kind, no wonder I love her so much.



        I told her not to worry and that I’d do it later and that she should probably hurry back so she wouldn’t be late. I asked her if she wanted to get together again tonight and she said she definitely did, but that she really did need to check with the group she was supposed to have spent last night with and didn’t want to make any promises.



        I said that was all right, I understood.



        She rushed to reassure me that she’d call and we’d set something up. She said she was glad that I’d been up and that we got a chance to do the spells and stuff last night. I’m sure I finally looked up and smiled but still didn’t know what to say. I mean, she’s straight, right? She still wants Oz to come back to her someday, doesn’t she?



        My eye fell on the doll’s eye crystal where we had set it aside atop some of the books and I went over and picked it up. I told her that I still wanted her to have it, to use it to meditate and practice raising her energy. She got that funny look again, but her aura was tinged with a bit of anxiety and perhaps confusion. Finally she said she’d take it, but that if I wanted it back it was still mine and that we would still use it for some other spells, too. She was smiling and seemed very sincere in her thanks.



        I just grinned back and told her that was fine and then she left.



        I still can’t believe it happened. She kissed me. Willow stayed in my room, on my bed, with me all night. Maybe she didn’t intend to, but she didn’t just bolt either. Goddess I’m still in shock. Nothing like this, nothing so fantastic and wonderful ever happens to me. My heart races just thinking about her lips and the feel of her body. Please let this be real. Please let this not chase her away from me or make things uncomfortable and distant between us.



        Maybe my dreams aren’t so impossible after all.







TBC…



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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 5B
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 3:34 pm 
:thud holy wow...i missed 2 updates...and might i add again wow...:bow the emotion you portray in tara is incredible. i love the fact that you are writing this completely from her perspective. and just incase i'm gonna add another WOW in...can't wait to read more.:applause



Aine



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 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 5B
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 3:49 pm 
Excellent update! I really enjoy seeing Tara's point of view on things and your writing is delicious. I eagerly wait for more :-)



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