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

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 Post subject: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt 8 A
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2003 6:33 pm 
OK, note the increased rating to R.

RockToddy, glad to provide you with a little cheer. Hope this doesn't disappoint.

Well, it's the longest part yet, I think I got carried away a bit. It's probably in three segments below. I certainly hope this works.

Title: From the journal of Tara McClay Pt. 8 (A, B, C)

Rating: R

Summary: The events during Who Are You in Season 4.

Note: Written December 2003. The entries are no longer consecutive days, some gaps appear. I have also speculated about the exact time that passes once Willow and Tara get together to hunt Faith and the events of Who Are You begin. It’s a bit unclear exactly how much time passes, I may be adding in an extra day, possibly not, but I feel this works.       

                                WHO ARE YOU

Saturday Morning: I never want to get up. I just want to lie in bed with Willowy warmness all around me forever. Now that is a sigh-worthy thought, but of course the opportunity is long past.

        She came back last night and looked as delectable as I feared, hoped, she would. Her hair is so attractive, shimmering cascades of red locks cut short enough to frame her head but not too long. So soft and fun to stroke, bury your head in. She must think I’m really weird, have some strange hair fetish, but the truth is that’s the safest part of her to fixate on. Anything more and the surge of need and burning within me starts to get unbearable.

        She did look so cute in my old shorts and shirt, they hung from her loosely and I think if she had moved around too quickly the pants would have fallen down. I should’ve hit her with a pillow and started a pillow fight. Rats, you always think of these things after the fact.

        Goddess, I can’t remember being this happy, feeling this silly and giddy, in a long, long time. My breath might have caught a bit too loudly when she had shut the door and she blushed a very amusing and fetching deep red. I smiled and asked her if a vampire had gotten half her fluids on the way back.

        She beamed back and laughed and we just sort of stood there looking at each other, still grinning, still awkward and unsure what to do next.

        Finally I stuttered out if she had a side of the bed she preferred. I mean, last time we just sort of collapsed so that didn’t count. She seemed pretty nervous and said she kind of leaned towards the left hand side, if that wasn’t the one I wanted. Since I like to sleep on my left side that was fine by me and I said so. We giggled a little nervously and went to switch sides because you never end up in the right spot by chance.

        Or maybe you do, we brushed as we passed and it was like a pleasant electrical shock of excitement as our arms touched. We climbed in and I realized how small the bed really was. It’s a good thing we’re both not too big or we wouldn’t have fit at all. As it was we were right on top of each other immediately, that exciting tingle coming from all up and down my front and seeming to send all coherent thoughts away already. She’s so soft and warm and the way it feels when her muscles contract and slide while I’m pressed against her is the most exquisite thing I’ve ever felt. Her breath came in little rushes and I realized I better breathe myself or I’d pass out.

        She likes to lay on her back, so I sort of wormed my way up against her side and put my head on her shoulder by her neck and closed my eyes. I…I couldn’t keep them open with her that close, her angelic face just inches from mine, those soft red lips and her cute little nose so near and begging to be kissed and licked. My heart was racing, the arousal was so much more than a dull burning, almost a raging inferno of desire and need. Her legs shifted and it sent jolts through me that made me shudder.

        Our hands found each other on her belly and we spent the next hour or so just sort of talking softly about late night bed things; silly things we’d seen that day like an old lady with a giant German Shepard pulling her along, pets we’d had like Miss Whiskers, how Willow wasn’t allowed fish for a long time because of an accident with the bowl, the first book we remembered reading, that sort of thing. And all the while we sort of giggled, and our fingers stroked each other’s palms, hands, arms.

        Oh Goddess it was a dream come true. As it got later and we got sleepier she leaned her head closer to mine. I wanted to kiss her so badly. With my arm around her midrift, her hand gently on my shoulder I realized that she really had become my Willow. Well, sort of at least. I still wasn’t, and am not, entirely positive what she feels for sure. I don’t know if she’s falling in love or what, but it didn’t matter then. She was in my arms, I was in hers. Nothing evil or demonic could ruin that.

        I leaned forward a little and ever so softly brushed her delicate cheek with my lips. She let out this little sigh or moan, snuggled into me a bit more sending additional delicious shivers through me, and then turned her head and lightly kissed me back. Our breaths lazily joined for a moment and then she turned onto her side and spooned back into me, pulling my arm tight around her, placing my head directly behind hers.

        The smell of her came so strongly, intoxicatingly, as I breathed in. Her hair was soft and feathery and sort of tickled here and there. How my racing heart didn’t burst or fully wake her I’ll never know though I wonder if hers normally goes as fast as I felt?

        I placed one last kiss on her neck below her ear and as she fully settled back against me I just let myself drift into a land where nothing else existed but her and me. Willow-warmth kept the darkness within me at bay, and fiery red locks scented the air keeping all evil thoughts away. I hope she didn’t notice how moist her hair or the pillow had become.

        When I woke this morning she had rolled onto her back again and I was almost atop of her. My head was pillowed on one small mound of her chest while our legs were entangled with one of mine between both of hers. My right arm was wrapped around her, clutching her to me as if unconsciously I was afraid that somehow she’d leave during the night, maybe turn to vapor and drift away as all dreams eventually do. Her arms were around my shoulders in an embrace almost as tight as mine.

        I think one of my thighs was sort of stiff and cramped, but I didn’t care. Goddess, to be able to wake this way every morning. Mother is this really happening to me? Can such glimpses of joy and heaven be allowed for me?

        I certainly wasn’t going to end the moment by “waking up,” that’s for certain, so I just lay there and felt the rise and fall of her chest, listened to the sound of her breath. After a little while I realized that she was awake, too. Also just laying there. I must have smiled and she must have felt it because all of sudden we both started giggling, my head sort of bouncing up and down.

        We stretched and turned and disentangled ourselves, stiff muscles complaining but love smitten brains not acknowledging them.

        She said good morning with a small smile and that fantastic strange look in her eyes and all I could do was smile back and try not to tear up. She hadn’t evaporated into the night after all.

        She sensed something and asked, ‘Watchya thinking?’

        I wanted to tell her then how much I loved her, how much I needed her, how she was the answer to every dream I’d ever had, but I couldn’t find the voice or courage for such words. Fear of ruining everything, lingering doubts, kept me quiet.

        Instead I finally said that I was thinking how nice it was to wake up with her here, that I was glad she had spent the night. She smiled more fully and stroked my cheek with her hand. Goddess I would have done anything she asked of me then, anything.

        I closed my eyes to keep from crying, letting her see what a big baby I am, and instead took her fingers in my hand and kissed each of them. We sat there on the bed just a short ways apart a little while longer and when it was finally safe to open my eyes I saw her bright green eyes looking at me as if examining or exploring my face. It…it made me feel happy and shy and awkward to see that stare, be the subject of that intense gaze. I’m sure I blushed and tried to duck my head but her hand prevented me.

        She said, ‘Don’t ever be ashamed of how you look, not with me. You’re…I think you’re very beautiful.’

        I closed my eyes as her hand continued its exploration, gentle fingertips caressing the line of my jaw, the area around my ear which made me quiver again. It was the most sensual thing I’ve ever felt. I know a tear wound its way down my cheek, only to be intercepted by her fingers, and then her lips were pressed to my cheek, to my eyelids.

        I’m sure I sighed and held her to me for a moment, and then there was a loud gurguling and rumble from her belly that started us both laughing, especially when my stomach answered hers with a similar sentiment.

        What might have happened if we hadn’t been so obviously starving I don’t know. The clock read 10:08 so it was rather late in the morning and though neither of us had anything in particular to do, we both decided that it was time to get up and get going.

        She’s doing her morning activities in the bathroom down the hall and then we’re going to chance going by her dorm so she can get a change of clothes. After getting something to eat, that is. I think the ritual hiding will continue today so maybe we’ll try a few more spells. Something along the lines of divination might be fun and useful though I’ve never had a lot of success with that. Maybe because I’ve never had much hope that the future could be bright. Until now.

Saturday Evening: She’s gone again, left to check with her friends on the Faith situation, get an update, possibly put herself in danger. I never thought about what a cop’s wife, or husband I suppose, must go through day in day out. To have the person you love only for little snippets of time, in between the threats of harm that make up their normal day, always wondering what they’re doing, if its hazardous or just routine, if a call will come with bad news, yet always knowing there’s nothing you can do to help. Do they jump whenever the phone rings? Course if something happened to Willow now how would I ever find out? Who’d know to call me? I can’t let myself think like that. She’ll return to me, she has to. What would I do without her? Goddess, she’s so much a part of my life, so much a part of me. I couldn’t bear it if anything happened to her.

        But then it’s not like I can’t do anything to help her. I’ve given her the most powerful protection charm I’ve ever created. I could do other magic, too. A simple locator spell and we could pinpoint this Faith’s position pretty easily, send Buffy to go get her. At least that would end the waiting which was eating at my poor Willow all day.

        It was a glorious day, all considered. Another one I’ll never forget, but then all the ones with her are unforgettable. She makes them unforgettable. Even just going downstairs to the cafeteria and having bagels and cereal is special, memorable, extraordinary, because we’re doing it together, sort of like a couple.

Goddess, is that really the case? Is she my girlfriend now? Am I hers? How does she think of me?

        I don’t suppose labels really matter right now. I spend as much time with her as she lets me, bask in her Willowness, wish I could be touching her more, feeling every part of her, and then drink in the sight of her, melt under that brilliant smile and that odd look she seems to reserve just for me. Mother this is so overwhelming, how do I keep from bursting?

        And it was only a fairly ordinary day too. We talked a bit about our classes over breakfast, which professor we liked, how fair the graders were, which class we were surprised to like. I told her I found literature, from all periods, fascinating as it shows that really, at our core, we all have the same concerns and fears. It might be expressed differently, but the themes are much the same. And yet I do like the different forms of expression. The beauty in the written word where there’s no false steps.

        Of course she’s eating up her computer programming class, is impatient that things are going so slow, wants to move on to harder problems. She’s loving physics and disliking biology, the latter not being quite what, theoretical enough for her? Too messy maybe? To me at least it seems more grounded in reality, but it does have a big ick factor, I’ll have to admit. We shared a laugh over that.

        Just sitting with her, talking, comes so easily. The pauses and occasional silences are never awkward. They just give time to truly see her, remind me how lucky I am to be with her. Can normal everyday things really hold so much?

        After we ate we went back to her dorm, looking about carefully for any sign of Faith. It was like we were in some old black and white film looking for Nazi spies or something. They could be skulking anywhere, ready to leap out and cause mayhem. I know this is serious, but it was kinda silly and surreal at the same time.

        I waited in the dorm lounge, on watch in case the evil slayer came by while Willow went up and quickly changed. When she returned I had to smile, she looked so good in a dark blue throw over blouse and black jeans. I wanted to run up to her and kiss her right there, but restrained myself. I’m pretty good at that, but it’s getting harder. Every part of her screams for me to come and devour her with my passion.

        We headed back to my place, but on the way decided to get a veggie pizza for later rather than eating in the cafeteria again. We also got a couple videos from her list to watch. Like I said, it was a normal regular person sort of Saturday afternoon.

        We watched the videos, which were cool, and talked about them a little bit. How they relate to similar themes in various books, whether it is easier or harder to discern the maker’s intent compared to the written word. It was fun and interesting.

She also told me more about her friends and some of what they’ve been through. How Anya was originally this vengeance demon who came to Sunnydale to grant Cordelia’s wish for vengeance, but that her powers had been stripped from her and now she was human and mortal.

        I could tell she didn’t especially like Anya for some reason. She did say that at one point Anya had brought a vampiric version of herself over from an alternate version and that that had been freaky. She had dressed all in leather like a dominatrix or something and was skankier than Faith even. Here she got a very odd look, sort of a cross between thoughtful and unsettled. I pressed her asking what was wrong, did her vampire self do something awful?

        She looked at me and said the other her had been…kinda gay and come on to her. It was a very strange experience and definitely oooky being licked on the neck by your demonic alter ego. I didn’t say anything as she was definitely lost in both the memory and contemplating what she had said. Was she suddenly scared by the implication that here she was with me, doing gay things? Could she handle the connection or was she just convincing herself that she wasn’t gay but just playing around, seeing what it was like?

        Goddess why is this so hard? I love her, shouldn’t that be all that matters? Why must things be so difficult? I know that since I can read auras I can sort of tell what people are feeling on the surface, but I’ve had so little direct experience with others, with what they are feeling deep inside or really thinking. I’m just no good at reading someone. I know she likes me, right? I mean she wouldn’t have kissed me otherwise right? She said she liked me as more than a friend. Why am I so filled with doubts? No, I know that; it’s because it’s me she’s with. I can’t believe she said I was beautiful.

        I stayed silent while she considered for a little bit and then asked about my family, if they knew I liked girls. I almost had to laugh at that, my dad would freak, wig, flip or all three. I’d be in so much trouble, though there’s nothing I can do about the way I am. It’s not like I made a choice or anything.

I said that my Father didn’t know, that he was very strict and pretty conservative and would probably not understand, try and change things somehow, punish me. I was going to leave it there but I didn’t want to scare her, make her think her parents would automatically hate her if she did end up telling them so I explained that my mom knew, that I had told her in high school and that she’d been very supportive, but that she had gotten sick and died.

I must have sighed or looked sad because she put her hand on my knee and took my hand and said she was sorry that I had lost her. She must have been very special and important to me. I gave her a half smile and just nodded. It’s been more than a year but I miss Mother a lot. Especially now when I could use her advice and comfort.

To cover the one awkward silence we did have and to take my mind off things I asked about her family. Did they know about Buffy and the slaying? Her witchcraft? She laughed and said that people in Sunnydale have a way of not remembering certain things, like that their daughters fought evil or practiced magic. She went on to say that her parents were nice and all, but that they were very busy, absorbed in their own careers and lives and didn’t have much time for her, which is so sad, but perhaps better than too much attention.

As she said it I could sense a tinge of regret and bitterness behind her airy words. She tried to make light of it, but I think it’s still a sore point with her. It’s funny that even in our family relations we’re similar, both alone, if for different reasons.

Then she continued relating how her mom had almost killed her once, burned her and Buffy and another girl at the stake with a bunch of Mr. Giles books for kindling. I was shocked and dumbfounded and it must have shown for she rushed to add that a demon had been influencing most of the adults in town, one that is the roots for the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale and that Mr. Giles had saved them by breaking its spell and revealing its true form. She said it even ended sort of in a humorous manner in that after Buffy killed the demon, Oz and Xander had fallen through the ceiling in their belated attempt to rescue them.

And I thought my family life was bad. At least no one ever tried to kill me though perhaps that might have been easier to deal with. She’s so strong, so…what? Capable, independent, brave? How could anyone help but love her?

She went on to tell me more about Faith; how she had killed the mayor’s assistant even though he was human, how she was ready, eager even, to have Angelus torture Buffy. This had been while trying to corrupt Angel and turn him back into Angelus, though he and Buffy had planned it all along to get Faith to reveal the mayor’s plans. How she poisoned Angel and only a Slayer’s blood could cure him. She certainly sounds like a very dangerous and unstable person.

By that time it was late, the sun had just set and our pizza was cold. I figured a little home and hearth style magic would fix that and showed her how together we could carefully reheat it. I know, I just wanted to hold her hands again, but it was a nice little exercise of control and I never get over feeling our energies mix. She gets so excited anytime we try a new spell. An eager smile and gleam to her eye lights up her face; she’s so enthusiastic. How could I miss an opportunity to see her like that?

Afterwards we sat on the bed and she fretted a bit over what was going on. I did bring up the locator spell then, but she thought with Faith’s Slayer abilities and supernatural awareness that might either not work right or somehow she’d notice. It’s not like her to be so hesitant and I could tell that she was worried and her aura had a tinge of fear to it.

Instead I suggested a little divination, some tarot reading and that seemed to intrigue her. I told her it wasn’t as reliable or even exactly the same as witchcraft magic, but sometimes you could learn something.

I sat crosslegged near the foot of the bed and she sat opposite me near the top as I had her shuffle the cards and then did a spread for her. I prefer to do general readings rather than ask specific questions, I find that gives a better feel for a person’s current situation and future.

As I spread out the cards it was actually more unsettling than I would have thought. The High Priest and the Tower figured in her distant and recent past which can be read as not a good sign and the Death card was revealed for her future influence.

This sort of scared me and I was a little hesitant to turn over the final four cards. The Chariot represented her and the Lovers her inner emotions. The last card revealed, her ultimate destiny, was the Star. I quickly interpreted this as her life has gone through a fairly recent calamity and that change and new things were coming that would involve something she would find very important to her. The Chariot’s influence showed that she was in a position of adversity and trouble but also either under someone’s protection, or protecting someone else. The Star was favorable and showed that there was hope, prospects for success and optimism. Either way it was a good sign that her Scooby activities were being helpful.

But Goddess, I could have read the cards so much differently with the two of us in mind. And it would still have been a very favorable outcome, satisfaction, pleasure, the balancing of love and expression. It really was unnerving.

I told her the cards didn’t always foretell the truth and that how you read them was a big part of the process, but at least I didn’t see any sign of Faith, which probably was another good omen.

She flumped back while I reshuffled and lay there on my bed, amongst the pillows, so cute and worried. I wanted nothing but to crawl over beside her and tell her everything would be all right, instead I just sort of randomly flipped cards and continued shuffling. She told me a bit more about Bufy and Faith’s previous fights, how closely matched they were, but that when Angel’s life had been at stake Buffy had beaten her.

She wished that Faith would make a move already, all the worry was making her stomach acidy. I asked if she thought Buffy could beat her and she sat up facing me and said yeah, but that didn’t mean Faith wouldn’t hurt someone else, and her concern was obvious.

I said that she was safe here because no one knew she’d be here. And then I continued on, I don’t know why. Maybe after her having talked about all her adventures with her other friends I was feeling a little jealous of this whole other life she had, with people that I’d never seen who were so obviously important to her. Or maybe I was just being selfish, wanting even more of here, to be a part of all aspects of her life. We were sharing so much and I didn’t mean to be snippy gal but perhaps I was feeling a bit…closeted?

Before I could really think about it I said that no one knew I even existed, that I had heard all about her Scooby friends but they didn’t even know about me.

She placed her hand on my knee for a moment and had a sort of hurt and concerned look.

I rushed to tell her it was all right, they didn’t need to know about me, it might even be better that they didn’t. After all, I never fit in with others. I don’t know what to say, don’t know how to act. They’ve done so much together why would they ever accept someone as useless as me into their group? Willow will be twice the witch I ever will.

But Goddess bless her she looked me in the eyes and she said that it wasn’t like she didn’t want her friends to know me, it was just that Buffy was her best friend and the group concentrated on the slaying and she did want them to meet me, but she just liked having something that was hers.

She said it with such heartfelt need that for a moment it took me aback. I mean I just assumed she shared everything with her other friends, that they were so close and supportive, but then I remembered how upset she’d been when Oz left, how it seemed like she had no one to talk to about it. Did she feel lost in the group, not a vital part of it? Had Faith’s return brought back worries that she wasn’t needed? How could she not be important to them? But then with Buffy having a new boyfriend and Xander, Anya, she might be feeling left out? I never realized that she might have so many doubts and fears of her own. She always seems so strong, confident, brave. Things I could never be. Yet I could tell that what I thought meant a lot to her. For once I almost felt like she needed me as much as I needed her.

I told her I got what she meant, and I wanted to reassure her so badly, tell her how important she was to me, how much I loved her, say those words, ‘I love you,’ to her, my Willow.

I really wanted to, but they wouldn’t come. Maybe the time wasn’t right. Maybe I was just a big chicken, still afraid that she’d be scared off, that maybe I was nothing but a distraction from her problems with the others.

But I had to say something, give her some indication of how important I found her. So instead as she got up to go to the phone I told her that I was hers.

I am. She owns my heart, my soul, any part of me she wants and more. She’s the most fantastic thing that’s ever happened to me. Whatever she needs from me I’ll give her without question.

A slow smile spread over her face and she gave me that funny look and I knew then that she got it. I may not have been able to say the words out loud, but she knew what I meant and I could tell it made her feel better, feel wanted and special. She didn’t recoil or turn away from me and I can’t recall being so content, almost fulfilled. I wanted nothing more than to spend the next hour or so kissing and touching her, showing her how much I cared, but Faith was still loose and she really did need to find out what was going on with the others.

So she checked in with Mr. Giles. They were having a Scooby meeting at his place to discuss the Faith situation and decide on what more they could do.

I understood and though I was sad that she had to go, I just hoped she’d be back before too long. I didn’t say anything, but I did get up and took her in my arms, kissed her with all the passion I could, letting her know I’d be waiting for her, that I’d always be waiting for her. It was a most spectacular end to a mundane day that was anything but. I can’t wait for her to return, to see her again, hear her voice, watch that fabulous smile slowly build on her luscious and perfect lips. I don’t know how long it’ll be ‘til I see her. Probably not till tomorrow sometime. Oh Goddess please let the time pass quickly, don’t let anything happen to my Willow. I need her too much.

Saturday Night: She asked me out! On a date! Well, she didn’t call it that but that’s what it is. She wants to take me to some place called the Bronze to celebrate Faith being captured and sent to Watcher’s Council in England.

        What am I gonna wear? What are we supposed to do in this place? How should I act around her? It didn’t sound like her friends will be there, but still, it is out in public and everything.

        She said it’s a nightclub sort of place right, does that mean dancing? That would be so cool, I’d love to dance with her. No, I can’t do that, I’d look like a big cow, stomping around and probably stepping on her feet. Oh, but I want to slow dance with her, feel her press against me and moving to the music. Would that make her feel uncomfortable? Will she even want to dance or maybe just listen to the music? Is there a band maybe? That could be cool, too.

        I have to find my earrings and that necklace with the three crystals set in silver, Mother always liked that one. Should I wear a skirt or pants, a skirt I think, don’t want to seem too butch or anything, right? I’ve got this cool sort of sheer black sweater that goes over a red top that would be neat. If I wear that it will sort of compliment her hair, I like that idea. Sort of show I’m hers. Or is that too much? Maybe I should wear something more plain? Oh, how much makeup should I use? She normally doesn’t wear much or any, and I certainly don’t bother, but maybe now I should? No, I think the earrings and necklace will be fine.

        Oh Goddess, I am such a mess. My first semi-official date with Willow and I can’t decide on anything. I want this to be perfect. She’s been through so much lately, I want her to have a good time, relax and release all her worries and fears. Please don’t let me mess this up like I do everything else. I know, I should wear that charm bracelet, it’s supposed to be lucky.

Continued immediately below...

 Post subject: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 8 B
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2003 6:39 pm 
Segment B of Part 8, Who Are You

Sunday Morning: Last night was the strangest, most wonderful…no, I…I just don’t know how I feel. All I can do is keep wondering when am I going to wake up, when will this magical dream end or turn into the inevitable nightmare? Can I really be so lucky? Is this really happening to me? I need to remember to give special thanks to the Goddess and God for all that they’ve blessed me with.

        Oh my sweet Willow. She’s…she’s…the only one who can elicit so many tears from me, tears of deep sorrow, unbelievable frustration, and now intense joy. Who’d have thought I’d ever meet someone that I’d love so much it would make me cry? And what’s more who might actually feel something similar towards me. Everything is blurry and spinning, events pass by so quickly that I can no longer keep track of the changes in my life. It’s like I don’t know who I am anymore. I’m doing things, kissing another girl, using magic to fight evil, meeting others, things I would never have thought I’d get a chance to do. I must be living in an enchantment because all this can’t be real.

        And I am the biggest idiot who’s ever walked the planet. Everything that I’ve ever wanted, dreamed, lusted for or desired was within my grasp, literally, and I let it go. Yeah, I was sort of nervous and all that, but that’s not it. And it’s not like I didn’t want to, I did, I so did. But…it wasn’t right, it seemed like taking advantage of her, pushing her into something she might not be ready for. Maybe I’m kidding myself and I just got scared? I don’t think so, but you never know. It’s more likely that I’m just stupid and idiotic and dumber than the proverbial post and have unrealistic ideas and expectations that’ll never be met.

        Oh Mother, please tell me I didn’t just destroy the only thing that matters in my life.

        And it was such a strange night. We started out with her coming to my room and picking me up. Even just writing that seems so wonderful. She looked beyond beautiful, radiant, and any other words I could think of. I was a pale moon to her bright sun. She wore a bright red blouse that was very thin over a darker halter that created the most intriguing and attractive highlights, and a darker almost rust colored skirt with some neat texturing to it. She had on another ring besides the one I’d given her and a tight necklace that complimented her top.

        I know my breath caught, again, as she came in and I couldn’t help saying how good she looked. She smiled widely and her aura and spirits seemed so much lighter, happier, than in a long while.

        She said that I looked great too, that she loved my necklace and earrings and I told her I was nothing compared to her. She got a little frown and told me to never think that and kissed me firmly on the lips.

        I kissed her back and she smelled heavenly, tasted incredible. We parted and giggled a little and finally without any more words headed out.

        As we walked to the Bronze she told me that Buffy had caught Faith trying to hurt her mother and I can begin to understand why she hates the other slayer so much. How could someone do that, go after a person’s mother? Thank the Goddess and God that Buffy was able to beat her and that the police came and took her away. Well, actually I guess the Watcher’s Council took her from custody and were going to transport her back to England. Maybe there they’d have actually been able to do some good for her, though of course things didn’t work out that neatly. I guess that’s how things go for them, nothing is what it seems or takes the easy path.

        The Bronze is a big old wharehouse sort of place in a not too nice section of town, sort of an old industrial and storage area that has started to be renovated a bit. I guess it’s sort of nice, the inside has a loft, a stage, bar and lots of room for dancing and sitting around. It was pretty crowded and noisy which normally I don’t like. Too many people too close, all bumping and pushing against you, it makes me a little nervous and want to roll up into a little ball and disappear.

        But Willow was there with me. She could hardly believe I’d never been here. I asked if she came here a lot and she replied that her and Xander and Buffy used to virtually live here. Sometimes it seems to me that despite all her self professed nerdom she did a lot more normal things than she thinks.

        But I had no time to think because she was surprised to spot her friend Buffy in the crowd. I thought for a moment the we’d leave then, that she’d be too embarrassed to have her friend see her with me, but instead she ran her fingers along my arm and took my hand and led me over towards the slayer.

        I smiled and ducked my head, I was so happy and kinda embarrassed to have Willow actually holding my hand in public and was thrilled that she finally wanted me to meet Buffy. She’s a lighter shade of blonde than me and shockingly small. I really did picture someone bigger, more athletic and stronger looking. She seemed almost as surprised to see us.

        Willow introduced me as a friend from her Wiccan group which barely registered on Buffy’s attention except that we hadn’t met before. We went off and sat in a corner on some chairs and a couch and I must confess that I hadn’t expected the slayer would be so nonchalant and, well, sort of slutty, reclining in a pose better suited for dirty magazines than a public place.

        I guess she was just letting off some steam and unwinding after all the Faith stuff and I guess that makes sense. We sat for a moment in silence and then Willow asked if we wanted soda or anything. She’s so thoughtful and considerate. I asked her for some water and as she went to get it I couldn’t help watching her walk, admiring the way her skirt lay, how beautiful she is and how lucky I am to be with her.

        Unfortunately Buffy must have noticed my fixation and asked if we were hanging out together a lot. What could I say other than yeah and that Willow was really cool. But the slayer came back with a barely veiled comment about Willow not driving stick anymore, and I remember thinking that that was pretty uncalled for and no wonder she’s been so worried about what her friends would think about her and me.

        Buffy followed up asking where Oz was and saying how much in love he and Willow had been. I tried to say that she had told me he went away, but I was so flustered that I couldn’t get the words out. I mean I wanted to make a good impression and all with her friends and hope somehow that they might actually like me, or at least tolerate me for her sake, but instead she just teased me and it was as if I was back home in high school again.

        I was so upset and hurt I just looked at the floor and stayed quiet. I mean if her friends didn’t like me and were that mean eventually she’d have to choose between the two of us and I doubted she’d end up with me. They’d been through too much together, what was I in comparison.

        Which got me thinking that something was wrong here. All that she’d said about Buffy didn’t indicate that she’d be so…petty or cruel to someone she’d basically just met. Something weird was going on here, which is when she came back with the drinks and mentioned noticing some guy in the corner.

        Now that confused me ever further, but she said he was a vampire and Buffy agreed it was very obvious. I looked at her aura then as she sat before us and it seemed like the unity of her energy was fragmented, like something was sort of forced in and it was disrupted, not flowing in a natural way. I’d never seen a slayer before, so maybe that explained it, I couldn’t be sure, but it seemed like something was wrong with her.

        She finally went off to slay the vampire and what with all the pounding music and noise, the smoke, people all around and Buffy’s needling, I felt sort of nauseous and a little worried for Willow since something was wrong with the girl she considered her best friend.

        I asked her if we could leave, told her I wasn’t feeling well and she acted all concerned and touched my arm again asking if I was sure and I just nodded, feeling terrible that our first “date” had to end like this, before it really even started. She needed the time to relax and let go of the tensions over Faith, too, and here I was about to make things worse.

        Oh Mother I really do admire her so much. She’s got such a strong character, so able. I mean here I was about to burden her with worry about her best friend right after she had to deal with a psychotic super woman who might have wanted to torture or kill her. Is there no relent in the crisis that impinge on her life? How is it that she ever finds time for me? Or that any of the softer emotions still exist within her? I don’t know if I could survive living her life.

        But she didn’t know anything was up yet and was sympathetic and concerned saying that it was all right, we could go back to my room and that it did seem sort of crowded and noisy anyway. I wanted to give her a quick kiss in thanks, but just squeezed her hand instead. It meant a lot to me that she was so supportive without question, though she must have been disappointed.

        When Buffy got back she went to tell her that we were leaving and though the slayer sort of gave me a smirk, we parted and headed back. We walked in silence with me trying to think of some way to bring up that something was wrong with her friend. I wasn’t a hundred percent sure and I’d hate to raise unfounded fears. I could be wrong. But I didn’t think so. There was a spell I recalled where one journeys to the nether realm to get a better look at someone’s true spirit or soul, the magical influences on them. Only it’s a dangerous spell and pretty advanced. I really didn’t know if it was something we were ready for yet.

        Willow must have picked up on my feelings, the turmoil going through me, for she didn’t say anything but put her arm around my shoulder and offered me her unspoken comfort. It felt so good to have her there with me, and yet it made it that much harder, too. I just hoped I could get her to understand, that she wouldn’t be mad.

        We got back and she said she was sorry I was feeling blechey and that she hoped that we’d be able to get together with Buffy again sometime soon and that she thought I’d really like her.

        I didn’t know what to say, how to get across that something was wrong and I’m so bad with words that I ended up just blurting out that she wasn’t her friend. Which of course sort of confounded her, but I hastened to clarify what I meant, telling her that Buffy didn’t seem like herself, explaining how her aura and energy seemed off and that she had been kinda mean, though I didn’t go into details.

        Willow got it immediately, though I did say I wasn’t positive, but she was worried that Buffy might be possessed by something, and seemed especially concerned with Hyenas. Probably just another strange and astounding incident from her past.

        I asked if she had anything of Buffy’s, and she said she had a ring. That at least made the passage to the nether realms spell feasible. Without something of the person being sought for you’ll never find them. I went over to my books and quickly found the spell and hesitantly told her about it.

        She seemed eager and I had to warn her that it was like astral projection only more intense. I would have to anchor her spirit to the physical world, but she said she trusted me. I tried to really let her know how dangerous this spell could be. One misstep, any lapse in concentration on my part and she’d be lost. Compared to this astral projection is a walk in the park, but she gave me a look full of confidence and pride and reiterated that she trusted me. If the situation wasn’t so dire I would have almost swooned to hear the words from her. It was like she had no fears or qualms about placing her life, herself, in my hands. No one’s ever had such faith in me before. I turned and hugged her and softly asked her to be careful, that this was beyond anything we’d tried before and I didn’t want to lose her.

        She hugged me back and said she’d be careful, that she now she had two people counting on her and she wouldn’t let either of us down. We kissed once and looked in each other’s eyes. I saw the care and conviction in her and knew that she’d be careful, that at that moment she’d do whatever it took to come back to me. And there was no way I was going to fail her or let her get lost.

        We read through the spell to be sure we understood what was required and to check that I had all the materials. We were lucky that I did, and so I set the room up while she began mixing the herbs and oils. I put some pillows on the rug so when she fell back upon entering the nether realm she wouldn’t hurt her head. Then I went and helped finish the preparations. It was important that I did the final mixing of the anointing oil myself, since it would help act as a link between us.

        This wasn’t the first time I had done this spell. Mother had anchored me a couple times in the past, though I had never acted in that role for her. It made me pause and almost reconsider our actions. But, her friend was obviously in danger and needed our help so I pushed down my doubts and worries. We could do this. I could do this for her.

        I quickly cleansed the room and then she closed the drapes so there’d be no outside distractions. We started facing each other in front of my a small, short, black table holding a few candles, a dim lamp and some supplies. I took the clay bowl holding the pungent mixture of herbs and it’s scent filled the room with frankincense, sandalwood, cinnamon and mistletoe combined yet also individually noticable. I dipped my fingers in and placed a spot on her forehead, lips and chest for mind, body and soul. She did the same to me and we were now linked.

        We got up and then sat facing each other only slightly offset to the left in the middle of the room. We began chanting and lazily dragging our hands around us as if tracing a magical circle. I visualized energy trickling out of my palms, spreading out in a bright yellow half circle and could feel Willow’s energy starting to directly merge with mine while another portion also began to trail out from her hand to complete the figure.

        Our connection thrummed with power and energy, I felt suddenly giddy and then floating as if the power were lifting me through the air or the floor had ceased to exist. It took a lot of concentration and focus to maintain the energy in a brilliant round form surrounding us. My breath started to come heavily and sweat began to form on my brow as we willed the circle up around us, opening the portal to the nether realm. I could tell through our link that she was exerting herself as well and at the proper moment our hands raised and then met.

        There was a sudden rushing sensation as if hurtling forward at great speed and a miasma of light seemed to explode within our mind’s eye, for at this point our consciousnesses were nearly joined. The shimmering circle past above us and the colors took on a wide cylindrical shape beyond which lay a misty gray realm that intensified our thoughts and emotions, magnified and distorted everything in an oddly pleasant yet disorientating manner.

        She gasped as she fell backwards and then bucked as her spirit slipped free of her body and hurtled up the tube and into the gray realm, a thick golden cord trailing behind her.

        Now when I had done this before with Mother the transition into the nether plane was intense, but never as much as this. The colors and motion were so vivid. Through my link to Willow I could feel her willing Buffy’s ring back towards its owner and she twisted and turned as if flying through the nether realm. Her spirit form was a bright silver humanoid form that was still obviously female and with a golden glow coming from within her belly. It was so beautiful it was breathtaking and profoundly awe-inspiring. It made me want to weep, to jump with joy, to sing out just for seeing it.

        We saw other beings within the grayness, some similarly shimmering beings of light, others cold and malevolent shadows that at first were intrigued or curious by our passing but which shied away at the strength of the light issuing from her, us, it was so hard to tell who was who. I could feel her all around me, within me and yet outside as well. Our thoughts bounced off each other and my love for her almost got us killed.

        I couldn’t help it but she was so beautiful, so pure and everything that I had always dreamed about, a virtual goddess of beauty and intellect made real and now released to shine for all to see. She sensed the depth of my love and adoration, perhaps more in her subconscious than active mind, but it made her start, look back and for the first time see myself.

        I can’t fully say what it was she saw, hopefully not a being of light and dark, cold and heat mixed together. Our minds were linked and yet separate, things had a symbolic yet solid feel to them that made full comprehension difficult. I got the vague sensation of her being slightly afraid and yet wholly pleased and overwhelmed as well. I concentrated on my body, on her lying in front of me and urged her to continue and find Buffy. I was bathed in sweat and it felt like I was holding a great weight above just keeping the portal open.

        One of the larger dark beings may have become emboldened by her lack of attention or sudden distraction, or maybe it was merely hungry for her light. Whichever the case it shot towards her leaving an inky trail or darker gray behind it that spread like a vile cancer that felt utterly unclean, like the very essence of shame and guilt.

        I shouted or gestured to her and she turned but not quickly enough before she was going to be swallowed within its putrid roiling shadows. I yanked hard on the link connecting us and for a moment I panicked. Here the light of my life, the very essence of why I lived was about to be befouled, tainted and maybe even destroyed. I closed my eyes and concentrated on the link between us and let all my love and admiration rush into her and blaze forth. A sudden golden flash flared around her and the creature recoiled as if burnt and then hurtled away.

        We probably should have been lost then. I’d made the worst mistake someone acting as an anchor could, I had let go of my focus on the material world and entered the nether realm with her.

        Only I hadn’t. Somehow I was still vaguely aware of my body, the room around it and Willow’s form lying in front of me, the scent of her sweat becoming heavier in the air, the smell drawing me to her more surely than any phermone ever thought of. I was merged with her on the nether and in my body at the same time. How was that possible? How could I, we, be in two places at once?

My sense of being joined with her, of being complete and whole was stronger than ever before. I could see the gray realm all about us, but at the same time the smell of her seemed to draw me back, the sight of her material figure reawakened material desires within me.

        She was a little shaken by the brush with the dark form and my obvious confusion, but drew comfort from my presence and love. We hovered for an instant our spirits embracing within that place, blazing like a star within that ever dim landscape without form and then I rebounded back to the material world. My senses were once again anchored on the earthly plane, grounded by the sight and smell of her, though I could still see the nether realm in our combined mind’s eye.

        She surged us onwards, willing herself towards Buffy and around the other denizens that flitted about us, bit now none of the darker ones were willing to come too close.

        Finally she found the Slayer, a female shaped spirit bright like the sun at noon, chained by glowing green figures and symbols, here and there muted or fragmented, pressed against another similar yet dimmer form. A strange web all green and scaled connected and combined her and the other form, which had to be Faith. The other Slayer seemed riddled with spots of darker orange or black. Its shape twisted and roiled as if malleable or under great pressure and it reminded my Willow of a compressed stream of lava bubbling and seething; melted magma with darker scabs of cooler material. It was not entirely ugly or profane, the scabs looking brittle and unlike an iceberg, smaller under the surface.

        We took in the sight of the two Slayer’s forms and the odd way they seemed twisted and bound together. Our perceptions of the situation seemed to shift and change the longer we observed them and I could feel myself tiring further, sweat dripped off my chin, form my nose and our breaths came in heavy short pants as if we had been running for a long time. Worse, my sense of the material world was starting to slip, it almost felt like my body was starting to float up towards the cylinder and the grayness beyond, both to and away from my precious Willow.

        I communicated to her that it was time to return, but she seemed distracted or awed by the Slayers, intrigued by their depths. I called to her and tugged on the chord linking us. I let some of my desire fill my thoughts, images of her in my arms, our lips pressed together and arms tightly wrapped around each other. She started backwards, slowly at first, but then quicker as I my soul cried out for hers. It was like pulling my arm back after having stretched to the utmost, yet strangely like coming back to myself as well. We truly were in danger of being lost within the nether realm, our mortal senses inundated by the beyond.

        The sense of movement and exhilaration was greater than previously as she rushed back towards me. I pictured her in my arms; us kissing and exploring each other, how happy contact with her made me. A feeling like the culmination of a long desired goral or the return of one long lost and deeply treasured grew within us.

        A moment later and her spirit plummeted down the cylinder which snapped closed behind her and she gasped and stirred, her eyes looking about all wild and dilated. I toppled over breathing heavily with the thrill of it all still coursing through me. An arousal as strong as any I’d ever felt throbbed within me.

Continued immediately below...

 Post subject: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 8 C
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2003 6:42 pm 
Segment Part 8 C for Who Are You

        We stayed this way briefly and then she was in my arms, my mouth was all over her face, licking the sweat from her, tasting her, feeling the softness and warmth of her until her mouth finally found mine and we kissed for what seemed like an eternity.

        Her hands tore at my shirt and I hastily pulled and tugged hew own sodden garment from her body, buttons shooting everywhere. Fabric tore and we didn’t care as our hands finally reached the skin below. Somehow I loosed her bra in one motion and my mouth descended on her perfect breasts, my tongue swirling around her hardened nipple eliciting a deep moan and an arching of her back. My hand trailed along the other one, fingers kneading and caressing the soft flesh, firmly pinching and rolling the other nipple.

        Her hands stroked my hair, pressed me tighter to her and then lifted my chin so our lips and tongues could lock once more in a burning, electrical kiss. Her hands moved to my own naked chest and I gasped into her mouth as she massaged and fondled the tips. I whimpered as her mouth moved down on the right with a wet heat that sent spasms of joy throughout me.

        And yet somewhere in the back of my mind I still saw her silver and shimmering, a luminescent form beyond compare and my mind was jagged with the ecstasy of our combined light that drove the dark being away.

        My hands were working at pushing her skirt up, feeling the wetness and heat between her silky legs when I realized I couldn’t tell where the sensations of the spell ended and our frenzied activity began. I couldn’t tell if I was soaring because of her touch or because part of us was still recalling the gray firmament and our passage through it.

        Our breaths were coming hotter and faster, yet was that excitement or exertion? Ecstasy or exhaustion which drove us? My limbs felt heavy and yet lighter than ever.

        I stopped moving. I let the weight pull me down, and I kissed her, felt the slippery contact of our wet skin and sense of a breeze flowing warmly across us.

        I finally said her name, whispered it into an ear while my lips engulfed the lobe. I took her slick hands in mine and raised them to my lips and kissed them, tasted our mingled flavor and looked into her too dark green eyes that both saw me and did not and let out the longest sigh of my life. I said her name again and then played upon her loyalty, her guilt, her need to be useful, all the worldly things that filled her with earthborn imperfections that I wouldn’t have wanted to see removed even if I could have.

        I told her that Buffy still needed us. She was in Faith’s body and Faith was in hers. The rogue slayer could be hurting anyone Buffy knew without their knowing it was her. We had to help her, do another spell that would allow her to return to her own body. We had to stop.

        It took her a moment longer, there was such need in her eyes and she had gone further than me into the nether, had divorced her mind from body much longer, experienced the intensity of more pure emotion and thought directly. But finally I saw her start to come down from the high. Cognitive function returned and instinct and need were shoved down into the back of her mind.

        Her eyes looked into mine with more self-awareness behind them and she finally said my name in a voice still thick and throaty. That alone was almost enough to make my hands return to her body, to make me draw her into another soft, warm and oh so wonderful embrace of bare skin sliding against bare skin. Almost.

        Instead I cupped her chin in my hand and stroked her dank and disheveled hair with the other. Her eyes closed and if she had been a cat I know she would have purred and leaned into my strokes. Instead she just sighed as well. She is so amazingly gorgeous, even when exhausted and a mess. I tasted her slowing breath and let my lips lightly caress hers before pulling back and telling her that we had more work to do. That we weren’t done yet.

        She looked at me, her eyes drawn to my naked chest where they stayed. I remember feeling a little self conscious and blushing, but there was nothing but desire and appreciation in her gaze, the promise that we certainly weren’t done.

It was beginning to get cold and as the lingering buzz of the spell began to lift, the fatigue really was starting to set in. What I wanted right then was nothing more than to collapse in her arms and sleep for a day. She said my name again and it was a question, as if asking what was wrong, why I had pulled back.

        How could I tell her tell her that I’d never been with anyone before, that I wanted to remember every part of it and not confuse it with the affects of any spell? I tried to say this to her, sort of haltingly and added that I thought she was the most beautiful and spectacular sight I’d ever had, but that I didn’t want to ruin things between us before we were ready, nor dilute or diminish the experience. I hoped she didn’t think I didn’t want to, because I did, but not right then, not like that.

        The dangers of the nether realm and its unfiltered emotions and thoughts extend beyond the immediate end of the spell. It takes the mind and body time to readjust and come down from the sensations. I didn’t want anything to cloud my thoughts or images of her.

        She half smiled at me and I think her own real world doubts and fears began to return. She suddenly seemed more nervous, somewhat uneasy about sitting half naked before me, though she said she did understand. She didn’t want anything to come between us or interfere either.

She blushed and then hesitantly reached out her hand and gently rubbed my hair and face. She she said that she’d never seen anyone so stunning and so wonderful. She said that I had saved her, that she would have been lost without me and now she knew that as long as I was around she never had to worry about taking the wrong path. She said I was the most amazing witch ever and kissed me softly. We were definitely not done, hopefully just postponed.

        We looked around at the pillows scattered about, the clay bowl knocked over and the dark, oily mixture dribbling onto the floor. We were lucky none of the candles had fallen. Our tops were torn and pretty much ruined, tossed in our haste to get at each other. It was still dark out and the clock read 3:30 am.

        I got up and offered her one of my t-shirts, while putting another on myself. She asked if I had seen the same thing as her, and I nodded affirmatively. I told her that that intensity didn’t normally happen with that sort of spell. Our connection must have allowed us to feel and share more than normal. Somehow it allowed me to both warn her of the danger, help her out, and yet still act as her anchor. It was an amazing and moving experience.

        She gave me that funny look of hers and simply said that I’d saved her, but there was more to her gaze than just that. It made me blush and feel all naked, though not in a bad and ashamed way. I smiled back and said that it was her who had found Buffy and we agreed that it looked like Buffy and Faith had switched bodies somehow. We both recalled the symbols and green light and thought it must have been some sort of draconian katra. Probably one tied to a device or item of some sort.

        Despite being very tired, we looked through a couple of books. I thought I remembered seeing a reference to katras in one and sure enough not too much later we had a solution. All it would take was conjuring a similar energy that would dispel the effects of the first spell and restore them to their right places. Fortunately, disrupting an unnatural spell is much easier than actually performing it in the first place. A lot less energy is required; it’s more like just nudging things so that the natural order is allowed to reassert itself.

        I explained this to her and that it meant we would be able to conjure the solution without too much trouble. She was utterly spent, too, but gamely agreed to do whatever was necessary to help Buffy. She also put her hand on my arm and thanked me for working so hard to help her friend, someone I didn’t even know. She said it just showed how special I was. She might have continued but she cut off whatever else she was going to say and we set about getting everything ready.

        Compared to the nether realms passage, this was extremely simple and blasé. We cleansed the area yet again, then made a circle with some string so it wouldn’t take long to clean up. After that we each held hands over my censer and chanted quietly invoking several spirits to bring us the proper energy we sought. The tingle of our connection felt muted after the previous spell and though normally these sort of things take a while, the spirits answered us almost immediately by depositing a glowing green sphere in a box I had dug out that normally contained some other materials long since used.

        All in all it really was pretty anti-climatic. We thanked the spirits and sent them off with a blessing and offering of pungent incense. Clean up was quick and without much discussion or activity we climbed into my bed and I set my head against her shoulder, my arm wrapped around her exquisite belly.

        I kinda remember murmuring something to her, and a muffled response. I wanted to tell her how much I loved her, how glad I was to be in her life and that I hoped she didn’t mind that I had stopped us from, not making love really, more like having sex, earlier.       

        Goddess I hope I did the right thing. I hope she isn’t upset at me or disappointed. But we had expended so much energy casting the spell together, the connection was so strong and the magic beyond intoxicating. Altered states are very hard to deal with and it would have been wrong to let the first time be because of that than from mutual love though I believe, hope, that that was present, too.

I think our hands clasped as we lay there, safe and comfortable within each other’s warmth, but I was so drained that I fell asleep immediately and couldn’t be sure.

Fortunately I did set the alarm clock and so we didn’t sleep too late this morning. We woke almost the same way we had slept, and it sent a shiver through me to wake for a second day in a row with Willow’s face near mine, her arms around me. Oh that we could always start each day like this. I think there’s nothing I couldn’t do under such circumstances.

She woke with a start and looked over and smiled at me again. I probably sighed and wanted to stay there snuggled forever. I kissed her shoulder and said morning and felt her lips on my forehead in return. She brushed some hair from my face and asked, ‘how’s my girl doing this morning?’

‘Her girl.’ She actually called me that.

I just smiled back and said that if every morning started this way it would be a better world.

We lay there for a little while just sort of softly touching each other here and there. Nothing overly exciting or erotic, well, to a dead person maybe. Even the briefest of touches from her is like the clearest water to a wanderer who’s been lost in the desert.

Anyway, we got up sooner than later. Her top was a shambles and after all the effort last night we decided she better run back to her dorm, shower, change and then come back so we can go to Mr. Giles and tell him what happened with Buffy and Faith, and give him our spell to fix things. There was a little danger if Faith were present, but in that case Willow would just leave and we’d get the others. Willow was all aglow with purpose because we figured out what happened and how to fix it. She’s so cute when she’s like that.

I better shower and get ready myself. She’ll be here soon and then I’ll probably meet Mr. Giles and hopefully the real Buffy. Goddess, I’ve never fit in with a group anywhere, please let this be different. Don’t let me embarrass my Willow or make her regret knowing me.

Sunday Night: Now what do I do? Mother why does it still hurt so much? She’s been with me for most of the last two days, and now that things with Faith are finally resolved, things have gone back to normal, she’s returned to her usual life. Without me.

        How did I grow so comfortable with her constant presence so quickly? Now her absence is painful. I haven’t seen her since this afternoon and already I miss her almost more than I can bear. It’s like the light and warmth have fled from the day, the night is just a cold void that leeches happiness from me and grows deeper and darker.

        I just want to touch her, see her nearby, hear her voice and watch her face light up in that slow smile that kindles my heart as well. I can’t believe how silly I am, how the throbbing ache in my chest keeps threatening to overwhelm me. I thought things would be easier once I kinda knew how she felt. But when she’s gone it’s so hard to remember.

        Does she really love me? Does she even want me? Did I stop things and ruin any chance of us being together? Or was it just the spell and a reflection of that realm that made her want me? Now that Buffy is all right and in her own body will she just discard me as used up? Oh Goddess don’t let that be true.

        No, that’s the old me talking. The part of me tied to the past and Father and Donny. Willow said I was beautiful. She said she thought I was a very powerful witch and that I was special. She wouldn’t just say those things if she didn’t mean them. I’ve seen, been a part of, her soul. I know she wouldn’t do that. I have to trust her like she trusted me. I’m ‘her girl,’ now.

        It’s been a strange day as well. Willow got back just as I had hurriedly finished showering and putting on some clothes. She looked fantastic as always. She had on a sweet little pink shirt with green oriental writing and the word ‘peace’ beneath it. A brown sweater with pink highlights and jeans made her look so cute. And all I could think of was how much fun it would be to take them off and run my lips over what was beneath.

        I had to mentally shake myself, now was not the time for such thoughts, though they come so easily when she’s around.

        We rushed over to Mr. Giles with Willow telling me a bit more about him, how he was the high school librarian throughout their last three years of high school, how he experimented with dark magics and sort of rebelled against his watcher heritage by being a wild youth who hated the world while a teen, but that he was very responsible now and knew tons of stuff and could research better than anyone. I could tell that she really admired and respected Mr. Giles. He seemed to have had a big influence in her development. She almost made him sound like her father. And she said he knew a lot about magic as well, though not exactly the same kind as the Craft we practiced. That was one of the things he taught her, that there are many mystical paths.

        We were half walking half running to get to his apartment as fast as possible. It was a nice cool morning so I wasn’t too hot but our breaths were starting to get a little short. I did find myself getting excited to meet another of her friends that was so important to her.

        When we got there she just burst in without knocking and we saw a middle aged man in glasses with receding brown hair who was dressed in a stylish sweater and pants. A girl with long dark hair, black shiney pants that might have been leather and a very revealing black tube top and jacket stood before him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that much cleavage exposed in real life. I figured that had to be Faith, or her body at least. It certainly fit her description of the slayer.

        The gril tried to warn us that this wasn’t what we thought but Willow cut in saying that this was Buffy and that the two slayers had switched bodies, probably through a draconian katra spell, which seemed to impress Mr. Giles.

Buffy wanted to know how we knew and she said it was me, introduced us and said that I was a really powerful witch. I tried to disagree but she was full of pride for me and beaming and said I had known right away that Buffy wasn’t herself and that we had connected with the nether realms to find out what was going on and showed them the katra we had conjured.

I…I’ve never had anyone speak like that about me. I ducked my head and was embarrassed to look at anyone but my Willow. She seemed so proud and happy as she explained everything. Goddess I love her so much. She makes even meeting new people easy and sort of fun.

Both Buffy and Mr. Giles were interested in our katra and she told them that all Buffy had to do was get to Faith and it should reverse the spell. The slayer seemed very relieved to hear this. She asked if Willow knew where Faith was but she shook her head.

Mr. Giles got a phone call and then went and turned on the TV to a news broadcast about some church where the parishioners had been trapped by deformed assailants and that one had already died of neck wounds and more would die if the police stormed the place.

They knew this was some sort of vampire activity despite the location and broad daylight outside and that it took precedence over finding Faith for the moment. Buffy said we needed to get there quickly and that she had a vehicle from her escape from the watcher’s sent to capture Faith.

I couldn’t have been more surprised to find that the ‘vehicle’ she had was a full blown armored car! Their lives are just so bizarre, and the funny thing was that Willow didn’t even bat an eye at this. She just climbed in and then helped me up.

We sat together in the back with Buffy while Mr. Giles drove. We didn’t talk much but Buffy thanked us for figuring things out and finding a way out of the mess. She said she hated the idea of Faith in her body and hoped she hadn’t hurt anyone or just taken it to Mexico.

I tried to reassure her, tell her that when we had seen Faith the night before she had still been in Sunnydale, we just didn’t know where, but I was kinda nervous to be talking to her, and heading towards a bunch of vampires and I wanted to hold Willow’s hand but didn’t for fear of embarrassing her in front of her friend so I ended up stuttering quite a bit. But Buffy didn’t say anything or comment on it and seemed to understand what I was saying. Already I could tell she was much different than Faith.

We ended up at the church before long and tumbled out only to have a policeman tell us we needed to clear the area and let them handle it. I just sort of stood there not knowing what to do when Mr. Giles came around and started talking to the officer in a worried and exaggerated manner. He distracted the cop while Buffy slipped off and entered the church. It was really cool how they operated so smoothly.

Mr. Giles let the policeman calm him down and we waited by the armored car hoping that Buffy could handle the situation. I looked at Willow and for once had a small glimmering of how she must feel, just standing there with nothing to do, nothing to contribute, feeling sort of useless and not wanting to worry. I can see why she’s taken to magic with such a will. It must make her feel like she belongs with the group, not that she doesn’t have other talents that would be useful to them. I’m sure her quick mind and ability to sort details and process information must be equally valuable. I wanted to reassure her, but I didn’t know what to say with Mr. Giles standing there, too.

After a while the blonde haired slayer came out and this time Buffy was really in her body. She said that they had switched back but that Faith had escaped out one of the side doors. Things were under control here and that Riley would finish things with the cops but that we should probably do a quick search for Faith, see if we could find where she went. She’d hook up with Riley after he was done here and see if the Initiative had any leads to her whereabouts.

Wow, she is such a take charge and issue a plan and give orders girl. Very decisive and firm. I couldn’t help but assent and looked to see where Willow thought we should search. She said we’d cover the campus and downtown. I added that was a good idea because we needed to restock on magical supplies anyway, we’d used a lot in the last couple days.

Giles said he would get in contact with Xander and Anya and have them start searching too. Buffy reminded everyone to be careful, Faith was in a strange mood and could still be dangerous.

We left and started walking towards campus, peering about for a second time looking for the rogue slayer. I told her that I thought this Buffy was much nicer and that she was right, I probably would like her. That seemed to make her happy and she took my hand and I got that floating feeling again. Yes we were searching for a dangerous psychopathic slayer, but she was there with me, holding me, and that made everything seem all right.

We reached campus and checked by Stevenson, amongst the class buildings and on the green by the student union, but to no avail. We talked a little bit about her friends some more. She was certain I’d fit in and that everyone would really value my magical knowledge and abilities. She made me feel so embarrassed. I mean I know I’m not much, just a home taught witch to whom her mother imparted a little portion of her knowledge. Certainly nothing special like my Willow. I mean if a vampire attacked me I wouldn’t even begin to know what to do. She could handle it though, has before and has even defeated, dusted as she says, some.

We ate at the union and then went back to my dorm where she called to check in with what was going on. Mr. Giles said there was no word so then she got a hold of Buffy who seemed upset for some reason. They talked for a little bit and then when she was finished she said that she needed to go talk with Buffy a bit more. Make sure she was all right from the body switching, see what was wrong. She said Buffy had a way of keeping things to herself which often led to her feeling worse and worse and that she needed to see if she could help.

I said I understood and I do. Buffy’s her best friend and I told her to go, make sure everything was OK, that body switching could be very disorienting and that her past with Faith must have made the situation particularly traumatic, especially with her mother in danger and all.

But I do kind of wish she could’ve stayed. She called in the evening to say that there was still no sign of Faith and that she’d be over at Buffy’s, they were going to visit her mom and make sure everything was all right there, talk some because Buffy felt guilty for basically ignoring her mom recently. I heartily encouraged that, Buffy’s mom must have gone through quite a lot the last few days, too.

So, here I am all alone. I finally dug out my homework and reading. It was hard to get back into it, pay attention or even think that it mattered. After all the excitement, life and death situations, near naked Willow, everything else sort of pales. I’m continually amazed how she pulls this off. Fights evil and still is able to do so well in school. She’s so smart and amazing. I wish she were here now, as selfish as that seems.

        My bed looks so cold, so empty tonight. It won’t be the same without her beside me. I’ve touched, tasted, the tiniest slice of heaven, seen what love can be like. Something, everything, is missing without her. Goddess, please bring my Willow back to me soon and let me be able to sleep peacefully again.


 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 8 C
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2003 9:15 pm 
Wow, what an update! You've got so much detail in here, my head is almost spinning. I'm hooked on this story. I can't get enough of it. Tara's insight is a lot more fun to read than episode transcripts, I'll tell you that much.

Willow: Hey Buff. One more thing. Buffy: Yeah? Willow: I’m gay. Buffy: Okay, Will. Xander owes me ten bucks.

~Remember to Breathe by Yellow Crayon

 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 8 C
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2003 9:59 pm 

Garner, I really love your version of WAY. It is even better since it is from Tara's point of view. A lot of people have different opinions on what happens during this time, but I am glad Tara stops their having sex since they are not totally in their right minds. I am glad Tara cares so much.

Tara: My heart doesn't stutter.

Tara: Willow, I got so lost.

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

 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 8 C
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2003 3:22 pm 
Oh yes, a Garner update... yummi yummi....:bounce

I do wonder how much Willow remembers about the after-effects of that neither-realms spell. Tara made the right decision there, which took quite some willpower no doubt :-). Tara knows for herself she did the right thing but isn't sure what Willow thinks. She could ask her of course.. that would be a bit direct though; imagine the question, heh. Willow didn't seem to embarresed the next morning, thats hopefull :lol .

Tara still doesn't think much of herself, but at least she isn't so much self-loathing anymore. Slowly but surely Willow will get her to admit that she's a worthy person who can and does contribute to this world. Her musing about not being able to fend of a vampire, well lets say that will be proven wrong shortly.

I can understand Tara being somewhat shy when Willow tells Giles what a wonderfull wise witch she(Tara) is. Fact is that she does know a lot. Maybe not much in the practical use of magic, but she likely knows more theory. I find it hard to believe her mother would never have spoken proudly of Tara to other people though. It would be a shame if really no one had ever spoken about Tara in such a positive and proud way before. :cry

And may Faith rot in hell for being so mean to Tara :rage .

There... I feel a lot better now :) .

Thanks for this huge update and happy new year :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: 12/30/03 3:23 pm

 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 8 C
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2003 8:52 pm 
Hi Garner,

Well, I'm dreadfully behind on my fic reading and yours has been on my list to read for a while now. I'm so glad I finally did. Though I'm only through Chapter 2, (I'm reading slow to savor every bit of goodness) I wanted to leave you some feedback.

I love stories that fill in the gaps between scenes and episodes from the show. It's a massive undertaking and I applaud you for taking the challenge. Writing from Tara's POV is a fresh perspective that I'm really enjoying.

Tara's dreams are intriguing. I hope to read more in the upcoming chapters. I could really feel Tara's desperation as she is waiting for Willow to call. Tara's yearning is desperate, but not to the point of being pathetic. She really needs Willow and you convey that so beautifully.

Thanks for sharing this. I'm looking forward to catching up!

"When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too." The Alchemist

 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 8 C
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2003 1:24 am 
Hi! :wave I just finished reading through the entire story so far, and I wanted to say that I am completely in love with this story! Willow and Tara's budding relationship in season four is my favorite time period to both read and write about, and I think you've done an amazing job. I've thought about doing some sort of journal-style story tracking the evolution of their relationship, but I don't think there's any way I could top what you've done. It fits so beautifully in with the Buffy-world as we saw it on tv; your account, through Tara, is very much the way I've imagined it happening in my own mind. I really like your interpretation of Tara's character.

Anyways...forgive me for gushing/babbling, but your writing is fantastic. PLEASE PLEASE continue to grace us with your talent! I can't wait for the next update.


 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 8 C
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2003 1:44 am 
Garner, what can I say, your interpretation of the slayer episodes given from a :tara point of view is just breathtaking.:heart

You have given us all a glimpse into the world of :tara thoughts, her self doubts and fears, her unfathomable joy at meeting :willow and the longing she feels for her....:clap It's just priceless...I have developed a taste for your writing (an addiction perhaps).:glasses ...Will wait patiently for new update :whistle .. Meanwhile allow me the honor of tossing flowers at your feet:flower :flower :flower :flower

:love :love :love :love

Can we just skip it... Can you just be kissing me now...


 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt. 8 C
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2003 8:55 pm 
Hi Garner,
I'm spellbound by your amazing take on the Tara /Willow relationship and how Tara sees herself in the scope of the story.I anxiously await your next installment,I hope that it's soon,but if not you are worth the wait.Happy New Year

 Post subject: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt 8 feedback
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2004 12:53 am 
Well it seems like everyone liked my version of WAY, thanks so much for the kind comments. It was a little hard to fix in my mind what I thought had happened in the show, and where things were heading based on previous parts of this story. The journey through the nether realms wasn’t looked at and I always thought that must have been sort of harrowing and interesting in and of itself.

Tempest, I hope your head stopped spinning! Maybe that was the seasonal libations? J I’ve read some episode transcripts and they can be ok, but usually tell us nothing new.

Rose24, it’s odd but originally I was one of the WAY was their first time proponents, but the more I thought about it and the likely after affects of the spell the more it seemed to me like this wasn’t the right time emotionally. Not really. I hope that worked for everyone else too. It is fun to rethink everything that’s happened from Tara’s viewpoint.

Grimmy, how much Willow remembers is something that Tara will wonder too. Unfortunately I don’t think Tara has the confidence, yet, to take the direct approach. She’s growing, but not that much. I think Willow’s love, or at least attention and kindness is definitely helping Tara quite a bit. I think Tara knows quite a bit of witchcraft lore, not the varied styles like Giles, and not the useful stuff for combat like Willow might be inclined to pick up. She might know other more practical stuff. Who would Tara’s mother talk proudly of her too? I tend to think that praise was something Tara heard very little, and not in front of others. Part of her low esteem unfortunately. Yeah, I am not a huge Faith fan and she certainly was nasty to Tara.

QuirkyWriter, I fully understand getting behind while working on a piece (and I need to leave feedback for the last part too, but I haven’t quite finished reading it, I also have been a sluggard there L ) as it can really distract one from what you’re working on. I also love the “missing scenes” style stories as long as we get a little bit of new material on the characters. I didn’t think this was going to be so massive when I started, silly me. Thanks for the compliment on that line between desperate and pathetic, it’s a hard one to follow.

DazedandConfused, welcome to the kitten, from your post total you seem like a newcomer. Reading through the whole story all at once must have been a long job, wow. I also love the season 4 period, Tara was never cuter and Willow was very sweet as well. I like season 5 also, but 4 does have a special place. You might consider doing a journal style story over part of season 5 or maybe something orignal. Hell, there’s always other interpretations of how their relationship developed that could still be done. I hope the next part doesn’t disappoint.

Mmmm Amberhand, Hey, I’ll accept all the flowers I can get, that certainly doesn’t happen often! J I try to write a little different with each story and this may be a bit over descriptive for a journal, but it seems to flow naturally enough when I write it. Again, hopefully the rest will continue to be decent.

Good2cats, hey, great screen name, I happen tohave two cats, who always help out by trying to sit on my lap while I write. Hmmn, maybe that’s why this took so long. The next part hopefully shouldn’t be too long in coming, though my time has just gotten a little tighter, oh well.

Thanks again to everyone whose left feedback, I always appreciate the comments. I have to admit that Superstar was even harder to frame out ahead of time. I really don’t like that episode from a Willow and Tara arc standpoint as I think it avoids dealing with them at all. Too much concentration on Jonathan and the changes the spell creates. It had amusing aspects, it just seemed like a wasted opportunity (which seems to be ME’s specialty actually) overall. In any case it makes it harder to write that ep.


 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt 8 feedback
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2004 1:28 am 
Garner, I love each and every update more and more. I continue to love the Tara perspective. You have a real realistic seeming perspective. Each and everytime she calls out to her mother, it really gets me. You've rightfully given her a whole lot of importance in her thoughts. And while sometimes i want to know what willow is thinking, it's kind of fun inferring. Thanks!

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

 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Pt 8 feedback
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2004 5:23 am 
Okay, it's almost 7:30 in the morning here, I've been up all night reading this fic. I love it!! It's addicting! I need a fix!

:peace Pax! -Bev

 Post subject: From The Journal of Tara McClay Part 9 A
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 11:34 am 
Xita, thanks for the praise, I think Tara's mother was very important to her, probably the only one who treated her well prior to Willow.

Singgirl, hope this provides the 'fix' you need!

Well, as I was writing the Superstar part, I found the prelude going on, and on, and on, and decided that with this much done and not even getting to the start of the episode yet, it was time for another interlude piece rather than waiting and posting it with Superstar as one overly gigantic installment. So here is a new update, in two segments, Superstar is next however. Ennh.

Title: From the journal of Tara McClay Pt. 9 A & B

Rating: PG-13

Summary: The events between Who Are You and Superstar in Season 4.

Note: Written January 2004. The entries are no longer consecutive days, some gaps appear. I hated Superstar when it first aired as a wasted ep. that didn’t address any of the character issues or questions raised from previous eps., except Riley sleeping with Faith. We miss Tara’s first meeting with the rest of the Scoobies and their reactions to her for a bunch of clever prop gags? Boo. Anyway, we’ll see if I did any better.

                        WHO ARE YOU/SUPERSTAR INTERLUDE

Monday Morning: Goddess will I ever find the release I seek? I dreamed of her last night. We were flying through the sky, all brilliant and blue, we’d dive down towards the little toy houses which seemed to sprout into “normal” size beneath us in a heartbeat. Our hands were joined and we soared about, over the beaches, out to sea and back.

        Yet when we returned to campus there was a crowd waiting for us. They pointed and laughed, I felt like I wanted to crawl into the ground and ran looking for a place to hide. Somehow, she wasn’t with me anymore, I thought I saw a flash of red hair in the crowd but she was lost to me before I knew it.

        Father suddenly stepped out of the crowd and ordered me back to my room, saying no dinner for me tonight and extra chores tomorrow if I didn’t mind him. The strap dangled in his hand. I ran back to our house, went up stairs and walked into my dorm room and Willow was there, in my bed partially naked, only half covered by the sheets with a sultry, seductive smile on her lips. I rushed over to her and we embraced and as we did her body split open and her arms pressed me further into her. I was swallowed up, thrust into a dark place where it felt like I was falling and falling.

        I woke with a start, aroused, scared, confused. What was that all about? Why couldn’t I just dream about making love to her?

        Everything felt so strange without her there beside me. I couldn’t find that perfect spot to lay in, it smelled wrong, it was too cold, nothing was right and I missed her. Oh Goddess how I missed her. I couldn’t stop thinking about her as I lay there, tossed back and forth. Put another blanket on, took it off. What was she doing? Was she safe? Had the memory of our encounter finally sunk in and frightened her? Or were the events fading, a dimly recalled image like a dream, receding in clarity the further distanced she became from it. Maybe she’s convinced herself it never even happened but was just a part of the spell, though in truth that might be the case.

        I want her mouth on my chest again, I want to feel her naked flesh pressed against mine. Her hair is so soft, what would it feel like between my legs? What does she taste like when excited? Why is love such torture?

        OK, get a grip on yourself, Tara. No, not like that, why does my mind think of nothing but sex now?

        Mother how do I keep on with all this up in the air? I have mid terms in two of my classes this week, a paper due that is only half done, and its time to start getting things together for the Spring Equinox. That’s on the 22nd this year which is this Wednesday. Already! We both should participate in this, like Yule. My Imbolc observance was pretty short and perfunctionary. With all that the Goddess and God have blessed me with, they deserve to be given extra thanks, not less.

        Mother and I used to always go into the fields near town and pick wildflowers, see what they said about our inner thoughts and emotional state. I don’t suppose I’ll have the chance to do that this year. It’ll hardly seem like a real holiday, but then we hadn’t been able to do that the last couple years anyway.

        Things change so much. Nothing’s the same but for once I do actually feel some sense of hope, that things might actually work out well. Maybe even better than well. Maybe. It’s so hard to tell how things are going.

        See I can think of something other than the feel of her nipple on my tongue or the sweet, salty taste of her sweat. Or…Damn.

        Let’s see, Mr. Giles seemed nice, sort of old, and Buffy was…forceful, impressive, small. I didn’t talk to her much or anything, I mean, what would I say to a Slayer? I do hope that she’s OK, that the body switching didn’t cause her any damage. It must be amazing to be chosen like that, to be a force for good, fighting evil and protecting everyone. It must be cool to know your place in the world and have such an important role in it. So much responsibility, and yet she seems to be so sure of herself, naturally in charge. Is that what a hero is really like?

        But my Willow’s so brave, helping out when she’s obviously in over her head. Such a cliché, but so true. I doubt I’d fare half as well. I just hope they don’t somehow sense the darkness within me, my demon side. Would they kill me outright? That’s what they do with evil creatures isn’t it? From what grandma said, if I remember correctly, the Slayer is supposed to be able to sense vampires, what if she can sense demons too?

        It doesn’t matter. I can’t do anything about it, just like I can’t do anything about being in love with Willow. It’s like I’m bonded to her somehow, as if our souls were part of one big whole. The more I get to know her, the more she’s around, the deeper and more intense the feeling of belonging with her gets. It’s like I was born to be with her. Does she feel it, too? Dare I hope so? Is she still secretly in love with Oz, waiting for him to come back? Am I just a dalliance, a way to pass the time while she waits?

        I want to ask her, tell her how I feel, let her know in more clear terms how important she is to me. But I just can’t. I couldn’t bear it if she laughed at the stupid lesbian that fell in love with her while all she was doing was playing around, filling her time with whoever was at hand as she waits for her true love to return. Or maybe it would frighten her, make her confront the possibility of being gay and cause her to recoil from it, deny what she might be feeling. She might not be able to handle having someone love her like that right now. She could still be too scared of being hurt again.

        So many things that could go wrong, so many ways to ruin what we already have, even if I don’t know exactly what that is. I…I’m just not that brave. The risk is too great. Does that make me a coward? It’s just so hard imagining anyone truly falling in love with me, much less my amazing, brave, fantastic Willow.

Monday Evening: She just called, ah it was so fantastic to hear her voice again. When we talk on the phone it always makes me want to sigh and close my eyes and pretend she’s right next to me. Ever since I sacrificed the tape of her voice I don’t have anything to turn to when I miss her. Well, other than my memories, but they’re never as good as the real thing. I wonder if I could get her picture somehow?

        That’s not important now, what is is that we’re going to the Bronze together again, and that all of her friends will be there. I guess it’s sort of a little celebration that Faith is gone, or at least no one’s seen her since the church, and that Buffy’s all right now. So this probably isn’t a date, and I’ll have to make sure I don’t stare at her the whole time or touch her or take her hand much less hug or kiss her.

        If I were feeling petulant I’d say this sounds like no fun at all. But I’m not; any time spent with her is great, much better than not being with her. I get so happy just knowing that she’s a few feet from me, being near her, talking, listening, existing.

        But what am I going to wear? I don’t want to embarrass her and it would be better if her friends didn’t hate me right away. I have that one dress that’s sort of black and goes with my deep blue top, I always liked that one because it reminds me of a lake or river.

        At least I got a bunch of studying done this afternoon, but I do still feel a little guilty about going out when so much remains to be done. How does she do it? Is she really so smart that she doesn’t even need to study, or is she just so efficient at it that it takes her next to no time?

        Argh, I’ve only got twenty minutes until she’s here.

Monday Night: Well that was sorta fun and different and oh Goddess no one even made fun of me or said anything mean to me. They just greeted me and seemed to accept that if I was Willow’s friend that I must be all right. Either that or they were too polite, thought too much of her to be cruel. They have such an easy interaction, a deep camaraderie that might seem a little strained at the moment, but is still there. It’s so obvious to see, whether they realize it or not. I don’t know how I’ll ever fit in, or if I even want to. I’d hate to mess up something so special, intrude where I don’t belong. I could never hurt her like that.

        She arrived at my room just before 8:00, basically right on time as always. I wonder if she stands outside staring at her watch and waits till the right time before knocking? Probably not, but I think I’ll peak next time just to see.

        Ah, it’s weird, I don’t think I’ve ever been in this good a mood after having met a bunch of strangers, been in a public place. And I’ve probably met more people in the last couple days than I did in four years of High School! I suppose they weren’t exactly strangers though, she’d told me quite a bit about most of them, except Riley who I wasn’t prepared for. That was a scary moment, but he didn’t say anything thank the Goddess.

        That was later, however. When she got here she was wearing this really neat sweater that was sort of fuzzy and had a puppy embroidered on it and a dog house and some flowers. It was very cute and reminded me again how much I miss Miss Whiskers. She had on some tan pants and red sneakers, too. She looked adorable and I managed to say she looked good without stuttering too much, but I was still nervous about the night.

        She complimented me, too, taking my hand for a moment in hers and smiling that smile. Her eyes did sort of sparkle and for a moment I thought she’d kiss me, but she turned and said we needed to get going, that the others were probably there already, and so she led me out.

        I could tell by her aura that she was very nervous and excited, too, though not in a sexual sort of way. It made me want all that much more to make a good impression.

        I just hope that she hasn’t freaked out about the night before last. She seemed a little more distant than normal, and I don’t know if I ever saw that funny look she sometimes gives me. Is she starting to have second thoughts? Maybe the reality of introducing me to her friends, taking me to her old hangout has crossed a line she wasn’t prepared for yet? I mean we did run into Buffy, well Faith, by accident, not on purpose. Maybe she still thinks about Oz and isn’t ready to love anyone else yet, though at least she hasn’t mentioned him much lately. Is that an improvement?

        I don’t know, it’s probably just the strain of the whole Faith thing, worries over what her friends will think, time to process and accept what almost happened, assuming she does remember it and is not just repressing.

        I told her about the Ostara celebration coming up and if she wanted to be a part of it? She got all enthusiastic and asked what was involved and if we’d do any spells during it and if it would be as cool as the Winter Solstice one. It was all very endearing, I still can’t get over how sweet she is like that. I explained as much as I could, though her hand touching my arm sometimes made coherent explanation a problem.

        The biggest difficulty is that Mother and I always performed this in the morning, she’d write a note excusing me from school that day, and I don’t see how we can do the ceremony at the proper time with classes and more people wandering about.

        But my Willow is a clever girl. She suggested we set up the altar and get things in the right spot in the morning, and then cast a glamour over the area so no one would mess with it and then finish later in the afternoon after our last classes. At least that way we’d have started at the right time. She has such a practical eye for using magic. I never would have thought of that.

        It was a little chilly out and I was glad I had worn my blue sweater, but otherwise the night was pleasant and the walk with her to the Bronze passed too quickly. Before I knew it there we were heading inside.

        She was right that it was less crowded and not as noisy as last time, I suppose it being Monday instead of Saturday makes a big difference. She told me more about how even during High School they would come here and hang out, even on weeknights. How one time her vampiric self threatened to kill everyone present, how Buffy and Angel would hook up, how she’d watch Oz play. The last little bit quieted her down for a moment until we saw the others sitting in the back around one of the tables and my heart almost stopped.

        I recognized the tall, well built, brown haired guy, Riley Finn, from the Lesbian Alliance on campus. I’ve only gone there a few times, maybe a half dozen at most just because I was curious what they did, what they were about, that sort of thing. It seemed like there was a lot of political activity, gay matters and such, along with girls meeting others and dating. I never really fit in that group. I just didn’t know anything about the issues, was too nervous to say anything to anyone though there were a few women that were nice looking, but no one as gorgeous as my Willow. A lot of them seemed so outgoing and, well, sort of militant. I was afraid to say anything, have them all laugh at and ridicule me for my ignorance. They’d all been out since high school and had girlfriends and such. They just seemed so different and it was depressing just hanging around in the back, watching everyone else getting together. At least at the Wicca group they made room for me, I knew what was going on and occasionally they listened to my feeble suggestions.

        Anyway, a couple of times I was there I saw Riley helping out with the Alliance banner, moving furniture about before the meeting to get things set up, distributing flyers, heard some of the girls mention his name. I don’t know why he was involved, there were a couple other guys who pitched in too at times, I guess I just assumed his sister was probably gay or something like that. It did seem cool that someone so Joe Average was willing to help and be supportive.

        As we walked over to the group I saw him looking at me and I blushed and ducked my head. When I peeked back at him I think I saw a spark of recognition on his face as if he’d just figured out where he’d seen me before.

I can’t remember ever being so scared, so sure something horrible was about to happen. What if he said something? Was she ready to have everyone in the group know she was hanging out with a lesbian? Would they make the connection to her as well? Could she handle that now? I’m still so afraid of losing her, still not sure what she sees in me or what I am to her.

I mean, you just never know how people will react even if most aren’t likely to make a big deal out of it. I’ve heard too many horrible stories of parents or friends disavowing all ties to newly “out” people. It would be terrible if I were somehow responsible for driving her friends away, I’d never want that to happen, they’re too important to her.

Willow was pretty excited to introduce me actually, it would have been very neat if I wasn’t so terrified. Thank the Goddess I got out a little ‘Hi,’ with a raised hand without stuttering or doing something stupid or knocking anything over. I tried not to just look at Willow, I tried not to just hang my head. I don’t think I succeeded though. I wanted to hide behind her, find a small dark place to collapse into, they were all looking at me so inquisitively.

And Goddess, she went on and on about how we met in Wicca group and what a powerful witch I was, how I had known Buffy was not in her own body by her energy flow, how I had known all about the spell to the nether realms where we had found out the truth and had conjured the katra to allow Buffy to switch back. It was so embarrassing you’d have thought I was some sort of super witch or something. I was probably redder than her hair.

And yet…and yet it was also sort of neat to hear her say those things about me. She really was all happy and bouncey and excited. If she wasn’t careful Riley wouldn’t have to say anything for them to start questioning our relationship.

My head was sort of spinning however when Xander, he’s sort of tall too only with darker hair and not quite as solid as Riley, kinda smirked and asked if we did naked rituals. And I didn’t think I could get any warmer, I must have looked like an overripe tomato ready to burst.

Yet the way he said it wasn’t mean or nasty, just sort of teasing and the blonde girl with him, Anya, jumped right in saying that few witches did that these days, that they had no respect for tradition and everyone was too hung up about nudity in this country. Willow glared at her while she finished by chastising him saying the only naked rituals he would be a part of were with her and I think she might have gone into details if Buffy hadn’t interrupted and thanked me for helping fix the situation with Faith. Riley also added his thanks as well.

This time I did stutter and said it was nothing, that Willow did most of the work, but they seemed eager to hear more about me. I said I had been practicing since I was young and that witchcraft ran in the family. We talked a little more and no one made fun of my stutter and though it was nerve wracking, it actually turned out to be not that bad. They all seemed sort of genuinely interested. At least for a while.

Willow beamed and hovered, got us drinks, smiled a lot more. After the first bit I was able to relax somewhat and sort of sit back and quietly watch them. For a couple Buffy and Riley seemed even more hesitant and uneasy than she’s been with me. It looked like they wanted to be closer, hold hands or whatever, maybe dance, but that something was holding them back. Both seemed tense and their auras were odd, hard to read.

Xander is very funny. Quips just seem to roll off his tongue, but unlike the one guy back home who was like that, he never made fun of anyone, was just sort of witty and off hand. She likes him quite a bit and they kidded each other off and on throughout the night. I would have recognized that they’ve known each other for a long time even if I hadn’t already been told that.

Anya seemed like the other outsider at the table. She didn’t say much, but when she did it was always blunt and to the point. There was a coldness between her and Willow that was sort of unusual and hard to get a grip on. Both their auras sort of flared protectively when Xander was between them and that seemed odd.

And though it was kinda fun hanging out, making small talk, discussing vampire activities a bit, something seemed off too. Like they were being a little too forced with the levity, avoiding anything but small talk and slayer related topics. At least they were willing to let me sort of slip into the background.

At one point Xander and Anya took to dance area while Willow and Buffy went to the restroom leaving me and Riley alone. He waited till the others were quite clear and then said he thought he recognized me from the Alliance meetings. I was suddenly very nervous and must have gotten a stricken look on my face, cause he rushed to say it was all right, he wouldn’t say anything, that it wasn’t his place to do so. He got a slightly mischievous smile actually and said if there was anything he could do to help me with Willow that he’d do whatever he could.

Goddess I think he really meant it and wasn’t trying to toy with me at all! He’s so big and has a kind of scary intensity, but oddly I didn’t seem threatened by him, not like Donny. I bet he could take Donny in a second. I know I shouldn’t have such thoughts, but they came to my mind unbidden, almost instantly. There’s a wholesome big brother sort of protective feel to him. It was very strange and like nothing I’ve ever encountered before.

I didn’t know what to say and couldn’t find any words to respond. She came back then and noticed I was flustered and sort of took my hand and asked if everything was all right. I gave her a sort of half grin and said yeah. Riley just smiled and I had to duck my head again.

I would never want to bother him or feel comfortable taking up his offer, but it was cool to have someone who was on my, our, side.

We weren’t there that long all told. Riley got beeped away by the Initiative and had to go. Shortly thereafter Buffy decided to go on patrol and Willow said that she’d tag along. Xander looked like he wanted to go to but Anya said something about sex and they left together while Willow rolled her eyes.

Since it wasn’t too late I said I had a bunch of studying I needed to get done. She insisted on walking me back to the dorm, and Buffy came along too, I guess to start patrolling on campus first.

As we walked back the slayer said she was glad that Willow had found someone else who practiced magic. She said the last person had turned herself into a rat and was still stuck like that. I gave her a quizzical look, not having heard this story, and so she explained about Amy and how she had tried to escape being burned at the stake. I guess she called on power she wasn’t ready for and Willow hadn’t been able to fix her yet. Buffy thought maybe I could help there, though truthfully that sounds like darker magics than I’m used to. I said I’d look into it, and I will, though it’s odd Willow didn’t mention this to me before? Was she afraid I’d be jealous of her other friend? Or maybe that I’d get scared off by what happened? I resolved to ask her about that later, I’m curious what she was thinking. She was being awfully quiet the whole way back and that was pretty unsettling. Were the doubts getting bigger? Was she resolving to end any romantic aspects to our interaction? Her earlier bouncey mood seemed to have evaporated like the morning mist back home.

We parted at my dorm and she said she’d come by tomorrow so we could work on the Ostara preparations. She smiled and I think she might have wanted to say more, but Buffy was waiting and so they went their way and I mine.

        I think I’m beginning to understand a little bit more about her, about those she is friends with. It really is a most unusual group and I can see why she values them so much. I just wish she could be here with me tonight instead of out patrolling with Buffy. She mentioned that she was still trying to ease her friend’s anxieties about Riley and Faith. It’s obvious that he is smitten by the slayer and feels upset and confused by what happened. No, I don’t begrudge Buffy taking some of her time, if it will help then it’ll be worth it.

        It’s just that…it’s still hard to sleep without her here. I know, it was only two times but they were such indelible experiences, the impressions of which are slow to fade. Maybe I’ll just hold the pillow her pretty head rested upon against me. It won’t be the same but it might help a bit. Anything to allow me to catch some of the lingering dream that is my Willow.

continued immediately below.

 Post subject: From The Journal of Tara McClay Part 9 B
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 11:37 am 
The rest of the Interlude.

Tuesday Evening: I’m starting to get a little, no maybe more than that, scared. Goddess please don’t let her be freaked out, please. We spent quite a bit of the late afternoon together, but she’s been staying a little further from me than normal, touching me less often. Is this the beginning of the end or is she still just adjusting and coming to terms with what almost happened? Maybe I should say something? Bring it up myself?

        No, I…I don’t know what I’d say, how I’d mention it without stuttering and blushing and all. Willow I really enjoyed what almost occurred after the nether realms spell and want to try again, when we’re ourselves. Willow, if you weren’t too freaked out by what happened that night, would you like to take up where we left off? Excuse me Willow, but you know the night we almost made love, well, can we do that again but not stop? Oh, Willow please just take me now!

        Sigh. I just don’t know what to do or say. I’d botch it for sure. I just need to give her time and hope that she can accept herself, me, how things seem to be heading. Maybe if I was more experienced at relationships or having a girlfriend I’d know how to ease her through whatever fears she might have. But I don’t.

        It was nice being with her though, and she looked so good. Her jeans highlight her figure so well, she has the cutest little rear. And that sweater, the one with the stars on blue, it seems to highlight both her hair and eyes so well. Red and green, when I’m with her it’s like Christmas all the time, or how it should be. Love, warmth, companionship. Or maybe I’m just imagining things? I don’t think so. I certainly hope not. Goddess she’s the only package I want to open.

        She left a message that she’d be over a little late, she had something to check for Mr. Giles so now I have my Willow’s voice on tape again. Yay!

        We basically went over the ritual for Ostara and agreed to do a cleansing spell during it. Spring is a good time for that and she said she’d bring the doll’s eye crystal to help. She wants to work on conjurations and transmutations some more sometime, maybe even summon a nature spirit or something like that. She’s so eager to learn new things, try different spells.

        I asked about Amy the rat and she told me that was part of when her mother tried to burn her at the stake, that Hansel and Gretel demon. She said with all that’s been going on she just forgot to mention it and would be really happy if I could help. I said I’d try and see what I could dig up, but dark powers others bring on themselves are the most dangerous to mess with.

        We’re going to start the ritual tomorrow morning before class, getting together at 7:00 am so I better make sure I go to sleep early tonight and am prepared. At least I got a lot of class work done today. I’d been sort of falling behind what with all the stuff with Willow and her friends. Fortunately next week is spring break and I should have time to catch up. Thank the Goddess that they don’t close the dorms then. I couldn’t handle going home and not seeing her for a full week. I don’t think I could hide that something was up from Father right now. And Donny would sense something was wrong and pick on me till I told him.

        I got the flowers during lunch today and showed them to her, a mix of daisies, marigolds, chrysanthemums and a few others. They were very pretty and I would have liked to have given them to her, and I did give her one daisy that had big white petals and yellow center. It smelled wonderful and I just wanted her to have it. She took it and seemed very touched. I hope I did the right thing.

        I think I might know one book that might have something on transformations, I’ll have to see if I can order it from the Magic Box, or if they have it if I can look through it for a little while. Maybe I can help Amy out after all.

        We worked on the glamour to hide our altar and ritual materials as well. She researched that in Mr. Giles books, I wonder what she told him it was for? I hope she wasn’t afraid to tell him, it would be bad to have a lie involved in the celebration preparations. At least it seems like a fairly simple spell we should be able to accomplish with little difficulty. We got all the components ready, maybe we should have practiced it once just in case?

        Oh Mother, I just reread what I’ve written today and my spirit must be as scattered as my thoughts. The situation with her is just making me all knotted inside. I’ve reached the point where I know she likes me, has said several beautiful and wonderful things about me that I’d never thought I’d ever hear, has admitted she likes kissing me and all, but I just don’t know where we stand, what she’s thinking or feeling now. I love her so much I have to hope that counts for something. I need her in my life so badly.

        I need to meditate and clear my mind of all this, concentrate on all that the Goddess and God have blessed me with.

Wednesday Afternoon: I had to come back here and meditate again, ease my queasy stomach and write things down. It’s not like I can eat much right now anyway. Love and clarity seem to be on divergent paths right now. I hope they rejoin soon.

        She got here nice and early, before 7:00 and we took our materials in several bags out to the woods not too far from campus, the same one we went to last time. I chose a different spot, a place where there was a small stream and some new growth of bushes and a few wild flowers. Some older tress nearby made it sort of secluded and ensured some privacy. It just felt perfect and I think she sensed it too.

        We put the cauldron of spring water and flowers in the center of the area. We made a natural altar from some nice flat rocks we found by the stream and covered it with a white cloth and placed a potted plant, a small, young, Norfork Island Pine on it, along with a hawk feather and a topaz. We cleansed the area and then in the censer lit a small fire, and added some Galbanum, a little frankincense, and myrrh. The smell was relaxing and invigorating at the same time. It certainly brought back memories of previous Ostara rites, but I wasn’t sad this time. She was there and I knew Mother was watching over me, too. It felt good and like the start of something new. I almost wished we could just blow off classes and finish the ritual then and there, but I knew I couldn’t ask her to do that.

        So we joined hands and I could feel the connection practically vibrating and shaking our arms as we joined hands. A thrill and shiver spread throughout me and a sense of well being I haven’t felt since she lay beside me. She was all excited and quivering with the force of our link too, and the glamour worked almost effortlessly. She seemed so happy and her smile was like the season, full of hope and light.

        It was so good just to be holding her hands, feeling her energy flowing through me again. But as we beamed at each other a new worry came to me. What if the feelings she has are from the magic, the link we share and not really for me at all? She’s always so excited by the spells we do, the magic that courses through us. It’s a very powerful and unique feeling. It doesn’t make me as intoxicated, high or in an altered consciousness like the nether realms spell, but even I enjoy and look forward to the feeling. Could that be what really attracts her to me? Goddess I hope not. We’ve hung out enough without doing magic and seem to relate so naturally, it has to be more than just the magic.

        I know it is for me. Every part of her is special, so adorable and attractive, be it her inquisitiveness, the way she overanalyzes things, or her beautiful body. Goddess she’s so amazing on so many levels, I just hope that I can somehow live up to all that, give her enough reason to love me too.

        I just wish classes would go quicker, that we could meet already. Ugggh, I need to meditate already, clear my mind. With her in my life my balance is so disrupted. Classes, tests and papers, they all don’t seem important. The only thing that matters is her, how she feels and the sensation of her hand on my face, her lips on mine. This evening will never get here.

Wednesday Night: What a great evening. I love my Willow so much. Goddess please let her be safe and get through whatever doubts and confusion she has quickly. Not just for me, but for her as well. I can’t stand the turmoil that was so obvious within her.

        We met right after her last class at 3:50 outside Funston Hall. Trig ended at 2:50 so I had gone to the library, pretended to study for a while, then went to the union and got us each a mocha for the walk out. She was all keyed up and eager to finish the ritual and probably didn’t need the coffee which she devoured before we even left campus. I sipped at mine more slowly.

        On the way out she told me that Buffy was obviously still disturbed by what happened with Faith and Riley. She was paying attention in psych. class more but avoiding Riley and out on patrol seemed to be looking for trouble. Going out of her way to find something to attack.

        I asked her if that wasn’t just her calling, doing what she’s supposed to, but she said that she’s seen her act like this before and it usually means she’s repressing. She said that the slayer had a hard time opening up or admitting things to others. Not always, but she did have a stubborn streak of wanting to solve everything herself. That made me smile a little, I think she’s a bit like that, too. Though for all their closeness it seems like Buffy, the rest of her friends, can be pretty blind to what she’s about, what’s going on in her life. They certainly didn’t seem to provide the relief she needed when Oz left. But of course I didn’t say that, it’s not my place to butt in.

        We got out to our spot we had prepared this morning and everything was fine, the glamour had held and done its job. This mildly surprised her. She said once again that she was too used to her spells not working right. I told her that was because she sometimes lost focus, got distracted, or just didn’t really think the whole situation through ahead of time.

        The second I said it I almost blanched, I mean who am I to tell her about magic and what she’s doing wrong? Though in truth, she is kinda impetuous and that doesn’t combine well with magic. Still, she didn’t get mad or anything. She just took my hand and said with me to show her, she knew her spells would work better from now on. It made me blush and I tried not to duck my head, I couldn’t help it. No one ever says stuff like that about me, I just don’t know what to do, it makes me feel all unsettled and I don’t know, embarrassed and unworthy, I guess.

        She laughed not unkindly and moved closer and held me, stroked my hair. She said I was very cute and kissed me. Who needs magic when such a simple act can thrill so much?

        The ritual itself was almost perfect. We re-cleansed the area, cast our circle and once again felt the energy rise up, our spirits touch, as we shared whatever power we had. There was a vibrancy and strength to it all that was not there during the Yule celebration. A sense of nature and growth, things expanding and getting stronger.

        We gave our thanks to the Goddess and God, planted the pine by the altar and then meditated on the trees and bushes around us. We felt their roots twisting through the soil, new shoots starting to open. It was a wonderfully heady experience as usual. I’ve always liked the spring, the promise of new things to come and the emergence of nature from its winter slumbers. Everything is so active, alive.

        I think she felt it too, became more in tune with the Goddess around us. She was all smiles and seemed to look around at the wild growth like one just seeing something for the first time. Mother, she’s spent so much time in the city, in a place where the Hellmouth tinges everything, it’s like she’s never learned the wonder of nature, the Goddess’ bounty.

If I ever get the chance I want to take her away from this place, even if just for a short time, show her what the world can be like without the constant presence and pressure of evil. I know, who am I, what am I, to show her that? As long as she’s with me there’ll always be a background evil tainting things.

Oh Mother, I wish I had the strength to leave, go away from here and never see Willow again. She deserves so much more than me. She’s a hero, an amazing beautiful and gifted girl with so much to live for, such a bright life in front of her. She doesn’t deserve to be shackled with evil, a demonic presence. She deserves happiness, warmth, and all that is good in the world. She’s seen too much evil already.

Good Tara, crying about it won’t change anything, won’t free her from your own selfishness. Maybe I’m really evil after all, dooming her to a corrupted life. At least while I’m in it. It’s just that I love her, need her, so much it hurts. She’s in my dreams, in my mind, almost like she’s a part of me. Goddess and Mother forgive me but I just don’t have that strength to do what’s right. I can’t.

She brought out the doll’s eye crystal next and we cleansed each other, or at least tried to, I’m sure my nature made a botch of this. Who says all my spells always turn out right?

Anyway, we tried at least to re-purify ourselves, make a re-dedication to the Goddess. It was pretty and felt spectacular, sort of righteous even. A brilliant yellow-white glow with just the faintest tinge of green swirled around us in the darkening evening. It felt like taking off an old, wet coat and standing reinvigorated after a nice long, hot shower. The caress of her energy through me was exquisite beyond words.

After the cleansing we sat side by side leaning against one another, hands joined. Despite the vitality that seemed to flow through me, a great relaxation and sense of peace came over me so deep that I could have fallen asleep then and there. Finally her comforting presence was with me again.

I know I rested my head on her shoulders, probably sighed. It was getting dark, the moon was near full and would be out early. I would need to give a short full moon observance in a couple days and I thought maybe we should do one together. Give thanks and seek new insight, work positive magic. I’d always shied away from such because of my nature and too many nights out and Father would get suspicious.

I wanted to tell her there, under the rising moon as the stars came out, how much I loved her. I moved my arm around her. I could smell her over the incense and outdoors, so sweet.

It was almost too much. I probably would have started crying but her hand left mine and turned my head gently towards her and once again those soft lips closed on mine. Her tongue was so soft, warm and a nectar that assuages all thirsts. We kissed deeply and I swear there was a longing and passion within her that seemed ready to burst.

We kissed again and another time. My breath was starting to come in almost short pants as everything seemed to tingle and twirl, a rush beyond any that we shared doing magic started to carry me away.

But she pulled back, breathless herself, and since we were now facing each other took both of my hands in one of hers, gave me that look which sent another shiver through me and stroked my hair, the side of my head, once.

She seemed nervous all of a sudden and though her eyes reflected the embers from our small fire, I could tell they were heavy with unshed tears of her own.

She said my name very hesitantly, as if she were afraid that I’d break, in that voice she uses when she’s nervous and unsure. She said it again and continued asking if I remembered what happened last weekend, after the nether realms spell.

I nodded afraid to say anything and she said that it was a wonderful experience, like nothing she’d ever done before and that she really did think I was an amazing person, beautiful and kind, talented and powerful, that I knew so much about magic and how much she valued our friendship and I admit I thought this was it, the ‘but I really don’t feel that way about you and have to stop seeing you,’ speech. My breath caught in my throat and I was too scared to even breathe. Something popped in the brazier and I almost jumped into her lap.

We both giggled a little, and then she went on with the expected but, saying that she didn’t regret what happened or anything like that, but just wasn’t quite ready to…and here she trailed off and all I could do was sit there like a deer in a headlight.

She started again looking me in the eyes and told me that she found me attractive and liked kissing me but needed a little more time before she was ready to do anything else. She said it was just so new, different, soon since Oz left and she wasn’t sure she was ready to be that intimate with anyone yet, not that she didn’t want to exactly, because she did, or sort of did, and was kinda scared and didn’t want to rush things and what I had said at the time made sense and she didn’t want to stop seeing me or anything, but that she really did need to come to grips with what was happening and the last thing she wanted to do was hurt me and that I meant a lot to her and she hoped I understood and I must think she was a horrible person but it was all so much and…

I half smiled at her and stopped her marvelous babble with a finger. I kissed her forehead lightly and told her that it was all right. I understood that she was going through a lot and didn’t want to put any pressure on her. I didn’t want her to do anything she wasn’t comfortable with and that I could wait while she figured things out.

A couple tears spilled over and onto her cheeks, their slow descent down almost mesmerizing me and pulling my heart along with them. She sort of smiled and leaned forward and kissed me again, held on to me and stroked my hair.

When we parted she said she was sorry and that she hoped I didn’t feel rejected or anything like that and I told her there was nothing to be sorry for. I would try and be whatever she needed me to be.

She wiped her eyes and delicately did the same for me. I hadn’t even realized it was necessary, but her anguish and tears made me feel so awful. I was putting her through so much, wanted so much from her and didn’t even consider how much it might be costing her. Sometimes I can be so self-centered and blind.

She blew her nose and then said softly how lucky she was to have met me, how glad she was that I was in her life. She wondered if I could just hold her, watch the moon finish rising together while we ate the little spice cupcakes I had made?

Of course I agreed, anything she needs. I made sure we grounded what energy was left and then broke the circle first, you always have to complete the ritual correctly, no matter what. We moved off a little bit to lean against one of the trees and she settled between my legs with her head leaning back against my chest. I wrapped my arms around her and we sort of took turns giving each other the sweets, enjoying the taste and watching the night. We didn’t say anything, our hands did that for us, little touches and caresses here and there.

After a while the moon was up and the tree was digging into my back. We were both a little stiff and she finally stirred and said she was supposed to patrol with Buffy again tonight, she hoped I didn’t mind.

I quickly told her that what she did was important, Buffy needed her help and I’d never expect her to do anything less. She smiled, kissed me once more and then we got up and stretched. It was kinda funny and she joked that we were too old ladies all ready for rockers and afghans.

I didn’t say it, but it would be a privilege to grow old with her. Instead we gathered up our materials in a comfortable silence; dumped the embers in the little stream and made sure they were all out, and then rinsed the censer clean. When all was packed up we started walking back hand in hand.

There’s always so much magic when we’re together. It was a pleasant walk and she helped me take everything up to my room. We parted with a kiss and it was a perfect end to the night.

Even though it’s not very late, I’m so tired. All the sleeplessness from the last few nights finally catching up with me, perhaps. As soon as I finish this I’m going to bed, with thoughts of her in my mind. For once I think I won’t have any problems falling asleep.

I’m not even disappointed by what she said. She’s going through something enormous, life changing. I mean I’ve always known I liked girls, what must it be like for her to discover that now, at so late an age? I’d thought she might need some time to figure things out, how could I not grant it to her? I can wait, I’ve waited so long with no hope whatsoever, now that I have some, how could I not do this for her? I can be strong.



PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 1:25 pm 
:applause :applause :applause That was wonderful. I just ADORE this fic.

 Post subject: Trying AGAIN
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 1:27 pm 
My comment didn't work *cries* so here are MORE :applause :applause :applause :applause and adoring of this WONDERFUL fic!!!

 Post subject: feedback
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 1:49 pm 
That last line is hopefull (also when you take into account that Tara tends to view herself as weak) " I can be strong.".. good good.

The 'listen to my feeble suggestions' earlier, when Tara thought about the wicca group, did annoy me in that it's Tara talking herself down in her own thoughts again. That girl needs some serious amounts of self-esteem, I suppose Willow or any other close friend is the best medication for that.

Reading my notes backwards here, heh... so even earlier in this update I wondered why Tara thought
I couldn't bear it if she laughed at the stupid lesbian that fell in love with her
I can understand she fears being rejected, even by Willow. But why does she think Willow would reject her that rudely ? IF Willow were to reject her she would do it much more gently. Of course 'the stupid lesbian' doesn't sit well with me when used by Tara to refer to herself, it is sad to read :cry .

Good thing Willow started talking about the nether realms night, Tara wouldn't dare start. She doesn't exactly make this easy for Willow that way, waiting both for the other to begin doing *something* might take a while :-) The entire 'wanting to know but not daring to ask' thing is frustrating either way... go on ASK already... don't stress yourself out :lol .


"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: 1/9/04 1:53 pm

 Post subject: Re: From The Journal of Tara McClay Part 9 B
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 3:27 pm 
This is so good! I read and cry along with Tara. Her poor self esteem. *sniffle* I cant wait to read more!


Forgive me now! Tomorrow I may no longer feel guilty...

 Post subject: Re: From The Journal of Tara McClay Part 9 B
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 8:27 pm 
Geez. Tara's words are always so heartfelt and beautiful. She is so patient to wait until Willow sorts her feelings out. Everyone is afraid of being rejected in a new relationship.

Superstar is not one of my favorite episodes because everything focuses on Jonathon. The best moment is when Willow and Tara touch briefly before Tara goes to her dorm only to be attacked by the monster. The scenes afterwards when Willow takes care of a bruised and shaken Tara are touching as well.

Tara: My heart doesn't stutter.

Tara: Willow, I got so lost.

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

 Post subject: Re: From The Journal of Tara McClay Part 9 B
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2004 3:29 am 
Lovely just lovely, how you flesh out :tara thoughts.. It's so believable, it's like a guilty pleasure, as if I'd stolen her diary and read :read all her secrets and longings.. It makes me feel kind of naughty:p (in a good way ofcourse). All attributed to your very descriptive (honering the details of each episode) and talented writing skills. Your such a troubadour:letter ... Don't look now but a bouquet of flowers are being hurled your way :flower :flower :flower :flower :flower :flower :flower :flower :flower :flower :flower :glasses Keep up the good work:bow , I need my fix..

:love :love :love

Can we just skip it... Can you just be kissing me now...


 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Part 9B
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 4:28 pm 
Imjustme, glad you are still with me. This part was a bit off the episodes, but there was stuff to include that was not covered and a need to show some time passing too.

Grimlock, it really is too bad that Tara is has such low self esteem when she needn’t have. But on the show even in season 5 she still suffered from this. If you look at Out of My Mind Willow says that Tara should do readings or divinations and Tara demurs, obviously still feeling unsure of herself and like she doesn’t have any talent. And then in Family she is still so afraid that Willow won’t love her if her demon half comes out that she is driven to cast a spell on the group and assumes once this is revealed that she has to leave. Even as late as Tough Love she is still evidencing low self esteem. It’s really sad, but unfortunately not something that goes away quickly. She had so much negative reinforcement from her family that it seems to have taken quite some time to work that out. One could even make the claim that this is the big change for her in season sux, much as I hate to give that any recognition whatsoever. Things would be SO much easier if Tara were a bit braver or willing to just confront things, maybe she needs to hang with Anya a bit more! Thanks for the comments as always.

RaiStarr, I think things will get a bit better for Tara in the next couple eps as Willow is still around for her. Hope the next part comes quick enough. J

Rose24, no one likes rejection, I think. Some just fear it more than others though. Tara is taking a big risk and I think a rejection from Willow would devastate her. Superstar is an odd ep messing with how the characters act. But the portions you mention are good, though one wonders how blind Buffy really is to what Willow and Tara are up to.

MmmmAmberhand, aren’t troubadours singers? If that’s the case you certainly don’t want to be anywhere near when I sing, truly scary! J Anyway thanks for the praise, enjoying the beautiful scent of many roses! Hope the next part doesn’t disappoint.

Speaking of disappointed, I am a bit surprised no one commented on my use of Riley. I know no one here really liked him, I thought he was interesting and cool in season 4 and less so in season 5. I thought given his aid to the lesbian alliance he might have seen Tara before at some point, which would have been interesting, though he could just have been passing by that day. Still, they seemed to know him. I also was very disappointed we didn’t get to see Tara’s first interaction with the Scoobies, but given the journal style I probably glossed over that too. That always seemed like an important incident that we never saw. Oh well.

Anyways, the next part will be back to the episode. Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting. Feedback whores are appreciative!


 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Part 9B
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 7:36 pm 
I'm in the minority because I loved Riley. Honestly, I think he is exactly what Buffy needed, but they both messed that up(Moreso Buffy). I hope some people will agree he is a better choice than that thing that tried to rape her.

Tara: My heart doesn't stutter.

Tara: Willow, I got so lost.

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

Edited by: The Rose24  at: 1/14/04 6:28 pm

 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Part 9B
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 8:32 pm 
Ok, you have the right to yell at me. :lol

I've been reading this ever since you started, but I haven't posted feedback. Bad, bad Washi!

I'm totally loving it. It's that simple. :grin

Tara's thoughts are spot on, and I gotta say I'm totally waiting for the next part. :grin


"See? I've mastered this tact crap." Anya in Tears Of The Goddess by Lisa

The course of love doesn’t always run smooth, especially for the neurotic and accident-prone. ~ LadyB :. .:Blink.Flash.Sparkle.:. .:My blog:. .:Blood and Ink:. .:Washi's 70s Site:.

 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Part 9B
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 6:20 pm 
Washi, I would never yell at anyone for not leaving feedback. I'm just glad you have found it interesting enough to stick with.

Rose24, I liked Riley quite a bit in season 4, and even in season 5 I definitely agree he was better for Buffy than Spike ever was. Riley just had nothing to do outside of Buffy. He definitely needed a place in the world besides being her boyfriend. I saw that someone from ME felt that if they were together too long things would get dull and so he had to leave. I guess like Xander/Anya they never thought of ways to have a couple challenged and be interesting, Hell, that might also be why they forced Tara to leave Willow in seasons sux. Surely killing Tara at any point could get you to Dark Magic Willow after she's read Darkest Magics. And I also agree with you that both Riley and Buffy screwed things up, both were at fault, though I blame Buffy there a tad bit more. I actually have an idea for a sort of Riley centric (with lots of Willow and Tara!) season 5 with what I think they should have done with him. I'll probably never get around to it so most of you have no fears, but sometimes I've been tempted. Ah well.


 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Part 9B
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 7:07 pm 
It's criminal of me :boot , I know, but I just got aroung to reading this fic. I like your take on how Willow/Tara get together. Your tara is shy and sensual all at one. I'm almost like to see Willow's journale for the comparison. I have always felt that we misses alot of W/T getting together and that was wone of the things that got me into fanfic. I like how Tara justified sabatoging the spell and the flaming O spell was quite nice. :blush I'm looking forward to se you take on Superstar. Willow is already quite protective of Tara and the attack will certainly push her over the edge.

 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Part 9B
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 8:05 pm 
Tara's just wonderful. Everything she has to say comes straight from her heart. I felt sad when I read her expecting to get the "let's just be friends" talk from Willow, and I felt my heart rise with hers when it wasn't that. What can I say? Even though I know what's going to happen, it's still almost like a surprise when I read the things that are happening.

Willow: Hey Buff. One more thing. Buffy: Yeah? Willow: I’m gay. Buffy: Okay, Will. Xander owes me ten bucks.

~Remember to Breathe by Yellow Crayon

 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Part 9B
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 10:30 am 
Ahh this make sense. A little bit of both, they got really carried away with each other but pulled back. It's a nice set up for what's to come with NMR. Poor Tara, thinking she's incredibly selfish because she wants Willow so much. It's not like she's made any of those desires audible. But that's Tara for you :heart .

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

 Post subject: Re: From the Journal of Tara McClay Part 9B
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:08 pm 
Wow, and I say wow a lot, however, I never say it without meaning it. I really enjoy seeing things from Tara's perspective. Now, at first, I thought you were edging on making Tara pathetic, but that seemed to dissipate as I went on. I no longer see Tara as a tragedy, just lonely and isolated, like a lot of abuse victims...very riveting. Please do continue, I thoroughly enjoy reading your fic.

:peace Pax! –Bev

 Post subject: looking foward to an update
PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2004 7:01 pm 
Ok you super great fanfic writing people, I've said it before and I'll say it I need my fic fix. Pretty please update :flirt :pray

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