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

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 Post subject: New Fic: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2002 1:59 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 4:03 pm
Posts: 542
Title: Darkness Falls
Author: KrisBo5 (Kris, obviously)
Email address: KrisBo5@aol.com
Feedback: Sure, I’d love it.
Distribution: This story is the narrative form of four spec scripts I have written for BVS, each of which is registered with the WGAw, so please don’t publish it or reproduce it in any way, shape, or form. If for some reason you’d like to, just ask first. It’s the polite thing to do.
Spoilers: Well, definitely up to Season 6, “Entropy” episode, though how W/T get together is different in my story.
Rating: This covers the story in its entirety: PG-13 to NC–17. This includes sex, violence, language. Watch out, Kittens! As the title implies, things are going to get pretty dark, but, unlike some production entity that shall remain nameless, it’ll be okay in the end.
Pairing: Willow and Tara, first, foremost, and forever! However, Buffy and the others are here as well, Buffy and Dawn most especially.
Disclaimer: Hey, I didn’t create these characters, those kudos belong to Joss and crew. I’m just borrowing them for the story I did write. As for the song, it is “You’re Still You,” words and music by Ennio Morricone and Linda Thompson.
Summary: The mythology surrounding the creation of the first Slayer(it sounds like a Buffy story, but have no fear, this is all about Willow and Tara).
Note: If the feedback is positive, I will continue to post; if not, no harm done, I’ll still post probably. This story, being based on previous works, is going to be long, so bear with me. I think you’ll enjoy it! Without further ado, here it is. . .

Darkness Falls: Prologue


“The heart has its reasons that Reason knows nothing about” Blaise Pascal, Pensee (1670)


Willow’s eyes fluttered open as the early morning sun cast its rays across her bedroom. Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she focused on the digital clock on the nightstand. It’s red numbers flickered back at her: 6:42 am. Blink, blink, blink, blink. Oh, please. 6:42? And I’m awake because?

The redhead inhaled deeply, a customary wake-up-in-the-morning ritual, one which inevitably turned into an it’s-too-early-in-the-morning-to-be-awake yawn, and stretched long and hard. Her eyes wandered back to the clock. Blink, blink, blink, blink. 6:43. “Ugh,” the redhead muttered. You’ve gotta be kidding. Time does not move that slow. There has to be some law of physics which proves it. I definitely need to look into that.

Willow rolled away from the clock, facing the other side of her bed. Her empty bed. In the months since she and Tara had broken up, she could not sleep on her lover’s side at all. Without Tara there, it just didn’t feel right. In fact, if her foot even wandered over in the middle of the night, searching, the cold emptiness of the sheets brought her back to her side in a hurry, leaving her with feelings of loneliness and shame. She sighed and reached out to run her hand over Tara’s pillow. It was her morning ritual, to touch something of the blonde’s, just as she had touched Tara every morning they had been together.

She smiled wistfully, thinking of the blonde. So much had happened, to all of them, and things were finally back on track. She was off Dark Magic, and had been for fifty-one days, three hours, eight minutes. But who’s counting? And Tara and she had been “dating” again for twelve days, nine hours, thirty-two minutes. But who’s counting? Willow pulled Tara’s pillow to her face and breathed in the fragrance of the woman who was the love of her life: peaches, lilac, rain. She released the pillow, somewhat hesitantly, and rolled back over to face the digital demon. 6:46. Blink, blink, blink.

Yeah, well, that’s enough of that. Willow threw the covers back and sat up, dropping her feet to the floor. She reached her arms above her head in another morning stretch, her back popping and cracking its protests to her movements. My little Rice Crispy. Tara’s playful pet name for the redhead’s many osteo-complaints sprang to mind, and Willow smiled.

As she stood to go for her morning shower, she noticed a small white envelope laying on the floor just under the door. She leaned a hand on the nightstand and bent over, picking it up; she looked at the front, which simply read: “Willow.” Her eyebrows knitted together as she turned it over to open it. Pulling out the notecard inside, she read, “The Scooby Gang requests the honor of your presence to help pre-celebrate the birth of Willow Rosenberg*, fellow Scooby and Best Friend to all, on this very day, at the hour of 2:30 pm, at Sunnydale Park.” Willow felt her eyes well up with tears as she read on. “*PS, You can’t say no, you’re the guest of honor.”

A single tear fell from her eye onto the cardstock, and Willow sniffed loudly. She raised her head and took a deep, calming breath. She carefully placed the card on the nightstand and padded across her room towards the bathroom, a tearful smile on her face.

*****

“Are you serious? No way!” Dawn sat at the kitchen table, leaning over a bowl of cereal, yammering into the phone. She dropped her spoon onto the table. “He did not! Really?”

Buffy entered the kitchen, dressed in boots, jeans and a dark green blouse; she worked on pulling her hair into a ponytail as she approached the sink. “Who are you talking to?” she asked, as she retrieved a glass and filled it with water. When she didn’t get a response, she turned to Dawn. “I am addressing the living?”

Dawn covered the mouthpiece with her hand. “Janice.” She removed her hand, and rolling her eyes slightly, said into the receiver, “My sister.”

“Don’t be long. Xander’s supposed to call.”

Dawn covered the phone again, obviously annoyed. “That’s why they invented call waiting.” Buffy sipped from the glass and smiled a not-so-sisterly-smile at her. Dawn raised her eyebrows slightly, then cleared her throat. “Uh, Janice, yeah, I gotta go. Yeah, 2:30. Okay, bye.” Dawn jumped off her stool and crossed to the counter to hang up the phone. She faced the Slayer. “Happy?”

This time Buffy raised her eyebrows questioningly. She lowered her glass. “Aren’t I always?”

“Always what?” Willow asked as she rounded the corner and entered the kitchen. She was dressed casually in faded jeans and a snug short-sleeved red tee-shirt. Her copper-colored hair, still damp, hung free and loose around her face. She walked to the fridge and opened it.

“Happy,” Buffy said.

“Annoying,” Dawn said, at the same time.

Willow grabbed the orange juice and closed the door, laughing. She poured some juice and looked at the Summers sisters. Tense much? “What’s up?”

Dawn carried her dishes to the sink and dropped them in. “Buffy’s being all phone Nazi again.”

Buffy set her glass down on the table and planted her hands beside it. “You wanna see a phone Nazi, Little Missy?”

“Feel the love in this room,” the redhead said, trying to lighten the mood.

“Not,” Dawn muttered, as she headed out of the kitchen.

Buffy couldn’t help but smile; as hard as she tried to be all big with the “tough love,” it usually degraded into two five year olds fighting over an Easy Bake Oven: whining, insulting, pouting, hair-pulling, grounding. She turned to her best friend. “So, Will, what’s up with you today?” she asked, a hint of feigned innocence in her tone.

Willow set her glass on the table and reached behind her back; she pulled the white envelope from her pocket and held it out towards Buffy.

Buffy’s gaze fell to the envelope, then she raised questioning eyes. “You’re going to the Post Office?” The redhead slapped her friend playfully on the shoulder, and the Slayer laughed. “Happy day-before your birthday, Will,” Buffy said, leveling her eyes at her best friend.

“Thanks, Buffy,” the redhead said. Willow stepped around the edge of the table and hugged the Slayer. Love you.

“I love you,” Buffy said, squeezing Willow tightly.

“You, too.”

They released one another and stepped back. Buffy started for the back door. “Um, okay then,” she began, resting her hand on the doorknob. “We’ve got a few things to do, you know, the whole wait-till-the-very-last-minute-to-go-shopping-for-the-party thing, and as I’m not the kinda gal who likes to flout tradition, . . .” she trailed off, hitching a thumb in the direction of outside. Willow nodded. “DAWN!” Buffy yelled, and Willow flinched. “Let’s go!”

As if by magic, Dawn entered the kitchen wearing a backpack. “I don’t think Mr. Dayton down on the corner heard you.”

Buffy grabbed the strap of the bag and pulled Dawn towards her as she opened the door. “Well, let’s see what we can do about that.” Then, she playfully pushed Dawn through.

“Hey, watch the child abuse,” Dawn whined as she flew out the door.

Buffy followed, glancing once more at Willow. “See you later?”

“Definitely.” Buffy waved and closed the door. Willow looked at the envelope again, rubbing her finger idly over her name. Tara. The image of the blonde jumped into her thoughts and she smiled. Seeing Tara today. Oh, yeah, today at 2:30. She looked at the clock: 8:19. Tick, tick, tick. Willow rolled her eyes and sighed disgustedly. Give me a break! She snatched the envelope off the counter and trudged out of the kitchen.

*****
Sunnydale Park, generally not the place anyone in their right minds would be caught in after dark, was bursting at the seams with the resident populace. An excess of sunlight, minus the terror, had encouraged families and friends to come out for a day of merriment. Music blared from boom boxes and parked cars. Picnickers and party-goers commandeered tables and shaded areas. Impromptu softball and soccer games elicited cheers by loved ones for their weekend warrior athletes. Children, by the dozens, screamed and laughed and cried as they ate, played, and, of course, fought.

The Scoobies had managed to sequester a rather nice area of grass, under a Great Elm beside the tiny-tot playground. Several blankets were spread out, each covered by food and drinks, toys and games, and Scoobies.

Willow sat with her back against the tree, her legs crossed at the ankles. “What a day,” she said, taking a deep breath.

Buffy, laying on her side on the next blanket over, looked up from the magazine she was reading. She smiled at her friend. “I special ordered it just for you.”

“Well done,” the redhead said, smiling. The high-pitched sound of Dawn laughing caused her to look towards the open field beside them. Xander and Dawn, loaded for bear with Mighty Soaker Water Guns, were chasing one another, zigzagging like Tasmanian Devils as they sprayed at one another. What a day. “Um, you know, Buffy, maybe water guns weren’t such a good idea.”

“What do you mean?” the Slayer asked, keeping her eyes glued to the page in front of her. Willow’s hesitation to answer made Buffy lift her eyes again. . . just in time to see Dawn, with Xander in full pursuit, heading right for them. She raised her eyebrows as she watched the situation unfold before her. “Hey, stay away from here with those things!” she mock-threatened.

“Help! Help!” Dawn half-screamed, half-laughed as she sprinted towards the Slayer.

“Too late for help now, Annie Oakley!” Xander yelled, leveling his soaker at her retreating form.

Buffy sat up as they approached. “Not over here! Go away!” she said, waving them off.

To no avail.

Dawn reached Buffy’s blanket just as Xander squeezed the trigger. Hurdling the corner of the picnic spread, Dawn successfully evaded the spray behind her.

The water hit Buffy square across the chest and face, sending the Slayer into shocked silence. Dawn and Xander stopped, frozen. Buffy wiped her face with her hands and opened her eyes. She looked at Dawn. Then Xander. Then Dawn again. “You’re dead,” she announced. Xander and Dawn looked at each other; in silent understanding, they turned tail. Buffy grabbed the soaker beside her, executed a perfect back summersault, and was after them in an instant.

Willow laughed as she watched her friends bound away, their own laughter and screams drifting on the wind as they moved farther from her. She sighed and tilted her head up to the branches sprawling above her. Bushy green leaves rustled in the breeze as dappled sunlight sprinkled the redhead’s face. Willow closed her eyes and listened. Creak. Creak. A branch high above her lodged its protest against time and the elements, and a small shiver went up the redhead’s spine. There it is. Beautiful.

Willow felt a shadow pass over her. Blinking, she opened her eyes to find Tara standing beside her, looking down on her with a small grin playing at the corners of her mouth. Beautiful. Just. . . beautiful. “Hey,” Willow said, her face lighting up.

“Hey,” the blonde replied, resting a palm against the course bark of the tree. She wore jeans and boots, and a very form-fitting long-sleeved, scoop-necked blue tee-shirt.

Willow swallowed and shifted on the ground, moving a few inches to her left. “Hey.” Quite the wordsmith, Rosenberg. Really, Kissinger should run and hide in fear. Fear, I say.

Tara dropped down beside the redhead, resting against the tree as her body pressed against Willow. The blonde could feel the heat from Willow’s skin through the material of her shirt, sending the ever familiar shockwave of desire through her, flopping her stomach end over end. Say something. Say you look beautiful. Say happy birthday. Say Anything. “I’m late.” Classic.

Willow wiped her palms on her jeans several times. “No,” she said, glancing at the blonde beside her. Twenty-seven minutes. Who’s counting? “Well, yeah, but you’re here. That’s all that matters.” She continued wiping her hands on her legs. “Um, where were you?"

In a fluid movement, Tara reached out and took one of Willow’s nervous hands in hers, interlacing their fingers together; she laid both in her lap and covered the redhead’s with her other hand, holding it captive. “Oh, I-I had to take care of some stuff. School-like stuff. Things.” Lie much?

Tara could’ve said she had performed open-heart surgery with a spoon, for all Willow heard was a low hum rushing through her ears the second Tara touched her. The redhead stared at their joined hands, and marveled at how easily they blended into one another. Completely. Seamlessly. Endlessly. Tara’s skin was cool and soft, and as the blonde began to slowly draw circles on the back of her hand, Willow felt herself falling. How can she just touch me and make me fall apart? Goddess, I’ve missed this. So much.

“Where is everyone?” Tara asked, her eyes finding Willow’s as she tucked a wayward strand of copper hair behind the redhead’s ear. The backs of her fingers brushed lightly over Willow’s jaw and throat before they returned to hold the hand in her lap.

“Oh, um,” the redhead stammered, her breath quickened by thoughts of Tara touching her in other places. “They’re, uh, Raging Waters.”

“Huh?”

As if on cue, a very dry and very happy Buffy jogged over to them holding three empty soakers. “Hey, Tara, you’re here,” she said, plopping down on the blanket closest to them. She tossed the toys on the grass and grabbed a soda. After gulping half the can she turned to the blonde. “The birthday girl was gettin’ kinda anxious.”

Willow shifted and looked at the Slayer. “I was not.” Buffy raised her eyebrows in a ‘oh, really’ expression. “I wasn’t anxious,” she declared, “I was—“

“You know, Buff, you with the Slayer powers and the Jet Li moves. Not exactly fair on the scale of fairness.” Xander approached the group from behind, sopping wet head-to-foot, covered in sand and grass stains. Willow and Tara stared for a moment, then burst out laughing. Xander stopped at the edge of a blanket and wrung out the tails of his shirt. “Go ahead, Wiccan women, laugh. Guffaw even. It’s not like I was the only one who got—“

“Completely ruined,” Dawn said loudly as she followed up behind Xander. Like him, she was ‘tore up from the floor up’ and none too happy about it. She grasped the shoulders of her shirt, pulling the wet, muddy material away from her skin, and glowered at Buffy. “Was this absolutely necessary?”

Buffy let her eyes bounce between Xander and Dawn. She nodded. “Absolutely.”

“Oh, Dawnie,” Tara said, in her best sympathetic tone. Moppet. A wet moppet. A wet, mud-caked, peeved moppet. It was no use; Tara smiled, then quickly dipped her head to hide her laughter.

“Tara!” the teen exclaimed.

“I’m sorry, Dawnie,” the blonde said, finally composing herself.

“You’re supposed to be on my side,” Dawn continued, crossing her arms over her chest, then making a face as her skin touched the brownish gunk covering her.

“I am. Always.” Tara glanced at Buffy, who raised her eyebrows questioningly and tapped her fingers absently on the nearest soaker. Tara cleared her throat and scooted a tad closer to Willow; the redhead swallowed hard as more of their bodies came into contact with one another. “Except when the Slayer and Wet-Ware are involved,” she amended.

“Well, all I know is, when times get. . . uh, wet and dirty and gross, it’s good to know who your real friends are.” Dawn slapped Xander on the arm.

“Huh?” he asked, as the last drips of water fell to the grass. “Who, me? Oh, yeah, me friend. Wet and dirty and gross.”

“Let’s go,” Dawn ordered, grabbing Xander’s arm.

Willow leaned forward quickly. “You’re not leaving, Dawn.”

“We’re swinging,” she said as she and Xander headed for the nearest swing set.

Willow watched them go, then felt Tara tug on her arm. The redhead glanced at her and was met with sparkling blue eyes. She slumped back against the tree once again, and Tara leaned into her side, resting her head on the redhead’s shoulder. Peaches. Lilac. Rain. Willow inhaled the blonde’s scent, closing her eyes briefly as warmth cascaded down her body, settling in her stomach.

“She’s okay,” Tara said softly, rubbing her fingers up and down Willow’s arm. The blonde smiled as gooseflesh emerged beneath her touch.

“Yeah,” Buffy agreed, “she’s just. . . well, wet.”

“And dirty,” Willow added.

“And gross,” Tara finished.

They laughed.

After several seconds, silence sprang up around them. Buffy leaned back, resting her hands behind her on the grass; tilting her head back, she let the sun splash over her face.

Tara looked up at Willow. “Hey,” she whispered, her hand stilling on the redhead’s arm.

Willow looked towards Tara, and the blonde’s proximity to her put their lips a mere inch apart. “Hmm?” she answered, her eyes lingering on Tara’s full lips.

“Wanna go for a walk?” Tara let her hand slide off Willow’s arm, across her stomach, where it came to rest. She felt the redhead inhale sharply and the muscles beneath her palm contract.

Walk? Walk? What’s that? “Um,” Willow stammered, pushing herself up with her free hand. Can’t walk. She glanced quickly at Dawn, then Tara. “Actually, I-I think I’ll check on Dawn.”

Tara removed her hand from Willow’s stomach and released the redhead. She sat up, a frown creasing her forehead. “R-really?”

Willow stood. “You know, see if she’s okay.”

Tara tucked several strands of hair behind her ear, staring up at the redhead. “O-okay.” She watched as Willow practically sprinted away from her, and her heart sank. Willow. My Willow, what’s wrong? She turned away, and came face-to-face with inquiring eyes of the Slayer.

“What’s up with that?” Buffy asked, tipping her head in the direction of the swings.

I wish I knew. Tara shook her head, and folded her hands in her lap. “I don’t know.”

Buffy sat up and twisted to face her blonde-haired friend. “You guys fighting?”

“Oh, god, no. Nothing like that,” Tara said, her voice more alarmed than reassuring. I don’t think anything like that. No, no. Nothing like that. I’m sure. Aren’t I?I don’t know. I don’t know what’s up. Why are you asking me? Goddess, I sound like my babbling love.

“Well, good,” Buffy asserted. “There’s been enough of that for a whole lifetime.” She paused. “Or two. Two lifetimes.” Tara smiled at her friend’s jokes about her own resurrections. “Speaking of, tomorrow. . . ?” Tara’s bewildered expression caused the Slayer to laugh. “Will’s birthday.”

“Oh,” the blonde said, understanding dawning. “Yeah.”

“What do you need?”

“An accomplice of the highest magnitude, I’m afraid,” Tara said, a smile lighting her face.

Buffy sprang to her knees and crawled quickly towards the blonde. “That’s me. Right here. Accomplice Major. Certified Accessory: before, during, after the fact.” She plopped down and grinned like the proverbial Cheshire Cat.

Tara laughed out loud, squeezing Buffy’s hand quickly. “Nothing nefarious needed. Just a little, ah, . . .”

“Tactical prevarication?” Tara’s eyes widened at the Slayer’s choice of words. “What? I can’t learn something other than battle maneuvers?” Tara pulled her face back together as Buffy continued, fessing up. “Willow signed up for some computer Word-of-the-Day thingy. Guess something stuck.”

“I guess,” Tara agreed.

“So, tell, tell.”

“All right. Everything’s all set up and cleared and you have to get her to The Bronze by 7:30. No later. That’s the only time we have.” She paused. “I’m going to have to meet you there.”

Buffy nodded. “That’s not a prob. Can I tell her why The Bronze?”

“Um, I guess you can tell her it’s for her party, which it is. For her birthday.” That’s not really a lie. “But not what’s happening.”

“Oh, man, I can’t wait to see her go all non-verbal. And, with Willow, that’s really saying something,” Buffy said, her voice tinged with humor.

Laughter wafted on the wind towards them, and they both turned towards the swings. Tara’s heart tightened in her chest at the sight her eyes fell upon. Willow was seated beside Dawn and Xander, swinging her legs back and forth, driving her body further and further into the sky. The sunlight caught her copper-colored hair, causing highlights to spark in their rays. She leaned back in her swing, her head tilted Heavenward, an ear-to-ear smile covering her face. Tara felt a tear slide down her cheek before she even realized she was crying; she discreetly wiped it away, hiding from Buffy’s ever-observant eyes. My beautiful Willow. Look at you. What is it, my love? What can I do? Willow laughed out loud with the others, and the blonde felt her stomach flip with yearning. What can I do?

*****
Several hours later, the sun had set and Casa Summers was bunkered down for the night. Dawn sat in the living room, her school books plastered over the coffee table. She hummed quietly as she scribbled away.

Upstairs, Buffy stood beside Willow and watched the redhead lie down on her back on the floor and wiggle beneath the bed, dragging a battery-operated drill, pliers, screwdriver, and flashlight with her. Buffy sat at the foot of the bed carefully and listened as her best friend grunted and shifted below.

“So, tell me again why we couldn’t move the bed before you did this?” the Slayer asked.

“Move-shmoove. This is old school, do-it-yourself home repair. You know, if you can’t move it yourself, it don’t get moved.”

“I can move it myself,” Buffy responded, reminding the redhead of her superior strength.

“Not you-you. Me-you. Me. I.” Willow sighed. “I have to do it.”

“So why don’t you?”

Silence. Hello? Willow here. Then, “It takes too long. Besides, this is easy. A snap for us technical geniuses.” Technical geeks actually, but who am I to quibble over names?

“Riiight,” Buffy said, standing. “Then, I’ll leave the, um, genius, to it. I’m gonna do a quick sweep before I pack it in. You’ll be all right?”

“Of course.” Buffy started for the door, when Willow yelled out. “Buffy?”

“Yeah?”

“Before you go, could you get me one of those plus-sign screwdrivers? The what-zit? Peter Head?”

“Phillip’s Head,” Buffy corrected, a smile playing across her face at the visual of a 'Peter Head screwdriver.' “You got it.” She turned and walked out the door, swinging it nearly shut behind her. Under her breath she said, “Technical genius my butt.”

“Peter. Piper. Pickle. Pecker. . . head.” Willow adjusted her goggles, then squeezed the drill again, loosening the second screw from the socket cover. “I knew it was P.” With her free hand, she pulled the screws from the plate, then removed it, exposing the electrical wires. “There you are my pretties.”

Dawn looked up as Buffy reached the bottom of the stairs. Buffy hitched a thumb in Willow’s general direction as she moved towards the kitchen. “Ms.Yankee Doodle Workshop needs a screwdriver. I think there’s one downstairs.” Buffy proceeded into the kitchen, and Dawn heard the basement door open as she returned to her books.

A quiet knocking came from the front door. “Got it,” Dawn called, though there was no one around to hear. She jogged to the entrance and opened the door. “Tara,” the teen squealed, pulling the blonde inside the house.

Tara hugged Dawn, smiling to herself. “Not mad, then?”

Dawn drew back and waved her hand in the air. “Please. Are you kidding? Today was the best. Besides, who can stay mad at you?”

Tara cupped the teen’s cheek in her hand. Willow, maybe. I don’t know. “Not you, I guess.”

Dawn’s face lit up. “Nope.” She walked back to the living room. “Geometry awaits. Willow’s upstairs.” She plopped back down on the couch, a lingering air of happiness surrounding her.

Tara started up the stairs. Now or never.


The bedroom door slowly opened. Tara stood at the entrance, looking inside, both hesitantly and expectantly. No Willow. Well, maybe that’s for the best. I don’t know if I can do this.

Then, out of the corner of her eye, she noticed something rather strange: two shoes moving near the bed. What the? She walked several steps into the room to get a closer look. And saw . . . Willowfeet. Inside Willowtennies. Attached to Willowlegs. Inside Willowflannels. All of which were sticking out from under the bed. A flash of Wicked Witches in striped socks killed by flying houses sprang to mind. Tara smiled at the image. Now or never. You can do this. You have done this. You want to do this. You want her.

Sensing another presence in the room, Willow shouted, “That was quick.” More drilling from under the bed. “Sorry, Buffy, but I have to cut through the wall. The socket’s just not big enough.” She coughed at the chalky dust beginning to spit out from the wall. “If this goes well, though, I bet I can get us free cable.”

Tara smiled, her heart swelling. Oh, Willow. Slowly she walked to the bed. Now or never. Tara knelt beside Willow’s feet.

“I’m not talking 900 channels or anything, but I think HBO definitely. And maybe Pay-Per-View. That’d be cool, huh? Save ten bucks at the movies.” More drilling. More coughing.

Now or never. Tara reached a hand out and took a gentle hold of Willow’s ankle, between flannel and canvas, touching her skin. “Willow?” she said.

Surprised by Tara’s voice, and the sudden touch of her lover’s hand on her skin, Willow jerked away from the blonde’s hand, banging her shin on the bed’s sideboard. “Ow!” Willow yelled. Instinctively reaching out to her injured shin, Willow’s forehead THUDDED on the bed’s underframe. “OW!” she repeated, followed by a wounded, high-pitched “Damn.”

“Willow?” Tara asked, concern filling her voice. The blonde reached out again, then thought better of it. She pushed herself back from the bed and let her eyes embrace the redhead instead.

Willow remained silent for several seconds, panic-perspiration springing up all over her body. Oh, goddess. Tara. She’s in my room. What is she doing here? What am I doing here? She was holding my leg. What do I do? Should I say something? Is she waiting for me to say something? I should say something.

“Willow?!” Tara repeated, the alarm in her voice rising.

Oh, goddess. Say something. She’s freaking out. She’s freaking out? I’m freaking out. Say something. Anything. “Yes,” she answered, though her voice was quiet and small. Hey, that sounded pretty good. Actually, that sounded perfect. Calm. Collected. That’s good. Perfect. Dork.

“Willow, are you okay? Did you hurt yourself?” Tara asked.

“Yes. Er, I mean, no, I mean, ah, yes, I’m okay. No, I’m not hurt,” Willow babbled on, remaining completely still beneath the bed.

The blonde kept her eyes riveted on her lover’s unmoving legs. After several seconds of silence, Tara spoke. “Willow?”

“Yes?”

“Are you coming out from there?”

“Um.” Willow hesitated. No, that’s okay, I think I’ll stay right here. No, that’s not right. That’s stupid. Okay, you can do this, Willow. It’s easy. No problem. Use your hands. Push. Crawl a little. You can do it.

Suddenly Willow’s legs moved. Tara stood and stepped back from the bed, fully expecting the redhead to emerge the way she apparently entered. To her surprise, her lover’s legs disappeared completely under the bed. Frowning with confusion, the blonde bent at her waist to peek under the bed. “Will?”

A grunt signaled Willow’s unexpected appearance on the other side of the bed. One hand, still holding her drill, reached up and grabbed the bed for leverage. Her coppery locks, now dusty with white chalk, appeared next. Tara watched as her lover slowly emerged, as if from a cocoon. Another “Hrumf” and the redhead was on her knees beside the bed. Tara’s eyes rolled over the other woman’s upper body: long, thin bare arms covered with a light sheen of perspiration and chalk dust; round shoulders accentuated by statuesque collar bones; flat, taut stomach, not quite covered by a dark green tank top. Her eyes, at last, moved to her lover’s breasts, which, she noticed, were not encumbered by a bra. The fabric of the top was stretched tight across the red head’s chest, causing her nipples to stand erect. Tara found herself holding her breath at the woman’s natural beauty.

Willow pushed herself up to her feet and faced Tara. “Tara,” Willow said, more of a statement of fact than a question. White dust covered the redhead’s face and neck, as well as the rest of her upper body, and Tara found it strangely erotic. Still grasping the drill in her right hand, Willow rubbed a negligent drop of sweat from her neck with the back of her free hand. A small clean streak of Willowskin appeared.

“Are you okay?” Tara asked. The redhead raised her eyebrows. Tara pointed to her lover’s forehead. “Your head.”

“Oh, that,” Willow said, touching the rising red welt that had sprung up near her hairline. “Yeah. Fine.” Feeling no pain right now, actually. She smiled, a bit embarrassed. She let her hand drop to her side and a puff of dust wafted up beside her. She smiled again, a bit more embarrassed. After another moment of silence, Willow spoke. “Um, wh-what’re you doing here?” God, rude much? That didn’t come out right. The blonde opened her mouth to speak, but Willow plundered on. “I don’t mean what are you doing here, like why-are-you-here-I-don’t-want-to-see-you-you-shouldn’t-be-here. More like what’re-you-doing-here-I-just-saw-you-today-why-are-you-here. Not that I don’t want to see you cause I saw you already today, because that would be so totally stupid and not true at all, but like we spent today together and here you are. . .”

Tara tilted her head to one side as she listened to her love launch into full Willowbabble Mode. Listening to the redhead verbally tailspin had always been something Tara loved, and not being able to hear it made her ache inside. Watching her now, hearing her voice, smelling the musky scent of her sweat, all of it, it was like she had been dead inside and suddenly brought back to life. Her heart ached. But it smiled, too. I was right. Now or never.

“. . .it’s Buffy’s house and you should come here anytime you want. And not just to see me, but Dawn or Buffy or whoever you want. But I don’t mean I don’t want you—“

“Willow,” the blonde said, holding a hand up to silence her. Willow raised her eyebrows, her mouth hanging slightly open. “Breathe.”

Willow realized she was, in fact, a little out of breath. She took a quick breath and smiled a patented ‘oops, I just spiraled, didn’t I’ smile. Then a confused expression flitted across her face, like she had forgotten something.

“Why am I here?” the blonde supplied, easily reading her thoughts. Willow raised the drill, as if to say, ‘yeah, that’s it.’ Tara took a few sidesteps towards the door and closed it quietly. She watched Willow’s eyes follow her every move, but the redhead’s face remained blank. Waiting.

She closed the door. Okay. That’s good. Wait, why would she close the door? Privacy? Good privacy? Or bad privacy? It could be bad. It could be something really bad. Oh, goddess, it could mean she wants—

“. . .to talk to you,” the blonde’s voice interrupted, drawing Willow out of her thoughts.

“Huh?” Willow asked, then realized she knew what the blonde had said without her having to repeat it. “I-I mean, what-what about?”

Tara faced Willow. Now or never. “Why don’t you ever touch me, Willow?”

Willow felt the air rush out of her lungs, as if a full-on vacuum had appeared inside the room. She opened her mouth to speak, but found she had no words. Touch? Touch Tara. The redhead licked her parched lips and swallowed hard. She cleared her throat nervously. “T-t-touch? You?” Oh, please, take a pill. You sound ridiculous. This is Tara. You’ve answered more intimate questions than that. Jeepers, you’ve asked more.

The blonde released the doorknob and let her hand fall to her side. “Yes.” She took a step away from the door, approaching the bed.

The redhead shook her head slightly, confusion knitting her brow. “What are you— we, I mean, I-I touch you.”

Tara took a final step towards the bed, standing at its edge. Her heart pounded inside her chest, but she was unsure from what. Fear? Yes. Embarrassment? Yes. Love? Love? Oh, yes, definitely yes. “No, you don’t, Willow.” Slowly, the blonde reached up with both hands and began to unzip her sweater. She watched Willow’s eyes dart to her hands as they unclasped the zipper. When the redhead’s eyes lifted to hers again, Tara saw her own feelings reflected back at her: fear, hope, desire. . . love. “You don’t ever put your hands on me.” The blonde turned slightly from Willow and began to move, ever so slowly, towards the foot of the bed. Her blue eyes never left Willow’s green.

Willow stood frozen, a deer in headlights. Hands. On. Tara. My hands. On Taraskin. The mere thought caused gooseflesh to appear on the redhead’s body. It’s true. You’re right. We haven’t really. . . well, I haven’t really. But, I’ve wanted to. I want to. Every second of every day. I just. . . Suddenly, she realized she wasn’t speaking out loud, that the blonde couldn’t hear her innermost thoughts. Or desires. As she tried to formulate the words again, she quickly realized something else: she couldn’t answer; all powers of speech had left her. Doofus. Big ole honkin’ doofus. So now she was forced to stand there, mute, watching the blonde drift towards her at an eternally slow pace.

“You don’t ever caress my body,” Tara continued, edging past the foot of the bed. She shrugged her sweater off her shoulders, letting it slide down her arms to land haphazardly on the floor. She had changed clothes from earlier that afternoon; the blouse she wore had long sleeves, and was made from a diaphanous blue material which accentuated her pale skin and cobalt eyes. A dark blue silk bra was visible beneath.

Oh. My. God. Willow felt her body come alive at the sight of the blonde shedding her clothes. There was a familiar ache, starting in her chest, making it hard to breathe. From there, it moved down, into her belly, causing ripple after ripple of yearning. Ultimately, it moved home, to the center of her desire, burning her with need. Oh. My. God.

“You don’t ever taste me,” the blonde said, finally rounding the end of the bed. She stopped there, barely five feet from the redhead, and looked into her eyes.

What’s happening? “I-I,” Willow started, then stopped. She tried to swallow, but her mouth was, as the saying goes, ‘dry as a desert.’ Instead, she cleared her throat. “I didn’t want to rush you,” she finally said, surprised that she could even get out that much. The blonde tilted her head, waiting for something more. “Us. Us, I mean. I-I didn’t want to rush us. We finally. . . made it back, after so long, and it’s been so good and—“ Willow stammered, “and I didn’t know if it was time. . . I didn’t want to press,” she continued, but stopped abruptly when Tara took a small step towards her. Without realizing, the redhead took a small step backwards.

“Willow,” Tara said, a small smile drawing the corners of her mouth up. She took another step towards the redhead. Again, Willow retreated, her progress halted only when the backs of her legs bumped up against the small nightstand. Tara closed the distance between them in two steps, stopping inches in front of the redhead. As it had always been between them, Tara could feel the heat Willow’s body was sending out, an invisible yet tangible pull of their souls, from one to the other. She noticed the redhead’s breathing had changed, quickened, as she drew near. Hers had as well. Another constant between them. Tara allowed her eyes to slip to the curve of Willow’s tank top, just above her breasts; the redhead’s heart pounded rapidly, beat after beat, visible to the blonde’s trained eyes. She was sure hers matched that pace exactly. She raised her eyes and searched Willow’s face. Beautiful. Tara heard the word in her mind, but it wasn’t enough. Beautiful did not describe the woman standing before her.

Tara slowly raised a hand, her blue eyes riveted on Willow’s emerald. She reached out and let her fingertips brush across the redhead’s dusty collar bone. At the blonde’s touch, Willow closed her eyes and took several quick breaths. The blonde continued with her exploration, letting her fingers trace a path from the collar bone to the shoulder. Then, from the shoulder, down the length of the redhead’s arm. Casually. Deliberately. Finally her hand reached Willow’s; without stopping, her palm slid over the back of the redhead’s hand, circling around it. Tara took hold of the drill Willow held, gently removing it from the redhead’s death-grip. Willow opened her eyes, and found sparkling blue staring back at her. In one motion, Tara leaned forward, past Willow, and placed the drill on the night stand.

Willow inhaled sharply as Tara’s hair brushed across the skin of her arm. Peaches. Lilac. Rain. Oh, goddess, she smells divine. Heavenly. A shiver ran across her back, making hair stand up on the nape of her neck. She felt her nipples harden with desire, pushing painfully at the cotton material of her shirt.
Tara retraced her path and was, once again, face-to-face with Willow. Her tongue darted out to moisten her lips. With both hands she reached up and grasped the sides of the plastic goggles that shielded Willow’s eyes. She gently pulled them away from the redhead’s face, smiling at the clean Willowskin that was left behind, shaped like the goggles she had just removed. Tara dropped them carelessly on the floor by her feet. She allowed her eyes to roam over Willow’s face again, as if she were seeing her for the last time and right now, this instant, would have to last a lifetime. Her eyes found the redhead’s again. “What is it you do want?”

Oh. My. God. Willow could hear her blood rushing in her ears, and thought that her heart would surely burst out of her chest it was pounding so furiously. Does Buffy know CPR? “I,” she started, her voice almost inaudible. Willow’s eyes moved over the blonde’s face. When they reached Tara’s eyes, she found herself falling into their blue depths. And once there, she felt no fear. No hesitation. It was home. She was home.

“I want you,” Willow said, this time her voice certain.

A small smile crept across the blonde’s face. Willow. Me, too.

“I want to touch you,” the redhead continued.

Tara traversed the final inches between them, then closed her eyes and leaned towards the redhead.

“I’m dirty,” Willow said matter of factly.

The blonde opened her eyes, her mouth not one inch from Willow’s. The redhead’s breath fanned over her face from her slightly parted lips. Tara’s eyes dropped quickly to Willow’s full lips. Oh, Willow. Tara straightened and resignedly moved back from her love. She tilted her head to the side, her hair falling across her cheek. “Well, one can always hope, right?”

The redhead’s brow creased momentarily as she worked something out. One can hope? Hope? Hope what? Hope that I’m dirty? Oh, that I’m D-I-R-T-Y? Oh! Then, she raised her eyebrows, “Oh!” A small flush of red crept up Willow’s neck and settled in her cheeks. Real quick, Rain Man. She laughed. “I didn’t mean. . . I meant,” she started, her voice light and easy, “Dusty-dirty. Chalky-dirty. Sweaty-dirty.”

The blonde shook her head and smiled, her spirit lifted by the sound of Willow’s laughter. She reached out and took the redhead’s face in both of her hands. “I don’t care.”

Tara’s hands on her skin silenced the redhead’s laughter. Despite their time apart, the simple act of Tara touching her could ignite the passion so deep inside she thought she would burn away to nothingness. I’d welcome that nothingness. For one more touch.

This time, as Tara leaned towards her, Willow met her half way.

Home.

Home.

The word passed through their minds the second their lips touched.

The kiss was gentle at first, almost hesitant, a reintroduction of lovers separated by too much time. Then, as if the dam of indecision inside her had broken, Willow inhaled deeply, pulling Tara’s scent inside her; she lifted her hands and moved them to the blonde’s waist. A soft moan came from the back of Tara’s throat. It was enough motivation: Willow slid her hands up the blonde’s sides, barely grazing her breasts, then wrapped her arms around her and pulled her into her embrace; Tara responded in kind, sliding her hands from the redhead’s cheeks, down her neck and over both breasts, finally enveloping her lover tightly in her arms. Tara’s leg nudged one of Willow’s knees, and the redhead responded just as she knew she would; she shifted her weight to one leg and moved the other aside, allowing the blonde to take a small step closer by sliding her leg between the redhead’s.

The heat emanating through Tara’s skirt warmed Willow’s inner thighs and a shiver ran through her body at the intimate contact. Willow tightened her hold on the blonde, cupping the back of Tara’s head and pulling her in closer. And then the kiss, at first exploratory and wavering, became something different. Willow opened her mouth to Tara, her tongue searching, urging Tara to do the same. The blonde heeded to her lover’s insistent probing and opened her mouth slightly; it was all the encouragement Willow needed. Her tongue entered slowly, inducing Tara to deepen the kiss. The blonde moved her mouth over Willow’s, exploring every inch, as one hand drifted down the redhead’s back and settled on her buttock, squeezing gently.

Willow moaned deep in her throat, finally breaking the kiss as she pulled away from the blonde. Their faces remained close, their labored breathing mingling together between them. Willow closed her eyes and leaned her forehead against Tara’s. My love. After several seconds, she took a deep breath and opened her eyes, pulling back to stare into her lover’s blue depths.

A smile spread over her face as she took in the blonde’s appearance: chalky white dust covered her kiss swollen lips and nose, as well as areas of the blouse where Willow’s hands had roamed. She ran her thumb over the white dust on Tara’s upper lip as she smiled. “Now you’re dirty, too.”

“I still don’t care,” the blonde replied, tilting her head so she could drop a quick kiss on Willow’s thumb.

Willow took a deep breath and then quickly replaced her thumb with her lips, crushing her mouth down on the blonde’s with a heightened urgency. In a surprising move, Willow used her legs to push away from the nightstand; the change threw Tara slightly off balance, causing the blonde to emit a startled noise. Willow deepened the kiss, her tongue pushing forward into the blonde’s mouth relentlessly as her hands grabbed her lover close, pinning her tightly to her body. Just as deftly, the redhead pivoted their bodies so Tara’s backside was now pressed up against the side of the mattress.

Breathless, Tara tore her lips away from Willow’s. She stared into the redhead’s eyes, which had become fully dilated by her desire. Tara’s body shook involuntarily at the open, raw hunger she saw there. Having been the sexual initiator when this had begun, and knowing how nervous Willow felt about rekindling their intimacy, Tara found herself almost surprised at how quickly their roles had reversed. Almost. “Willow. . .” she started, her voice barely above a whisper.

Willow slid a hand down the length of Tara’s body, her eyes never leaving the blonde’s. She moved her hand between Tara’s legs, pressing her palm flat against the thin material covering her lover’s hot center. She could feel the heat through Tara’s panties and skirt, and a light smile played at the corners of her mouth. “I want to caress your body.”

Tara opened her mouth to say something more, but Willow pushed herself further into the folds of her skirt, letting her fingers rub back and forth along the material. “I want to put my hands on you.” Tara feared her legs would give out, leaving her to crumble to the floor in a quivering heap.

Willow leaned closer, letting her tongue trace a small outline of the blonde’s upper lip as her hand continued its erotic ministrations. “I want to taste you.”

Oh, god, Willow, please. . . “Wi-Willow,” Tara pleaded, grasping onto her lover with every last ounce of strength she had, crushing their bodies together. This time, the abrupt motion threw them both off balance, and they toppled over, falling onto the bed in a tangled, twisted mass of arms and legs.

Tara’s breath burst from her lungs as Willow’s weight landed solidly on top of her. A look of alarm flashed over the redhead’s face, and she moved off of her lover. “Oh, god, Tara, are you okay?” When the blonde didn’t respond, she started to sit up, Freak-Mode at Def-Con One. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. What do I do? What do I— help. Get help. Get Bu— Tara’s hand on her arm brought her swiftly back to Planet Earth. “Tara? Are you all right?” The blonde slowly nodded her head, color returning to her face. Willow palmed Tara’s cheek gently, concern still filling her voice, “Are you sure, Baby?”

Tara’s eyes riveted to Willow’s. Baby. Since they had started dating again, Willow had yet to use that term of endearment, and hearing it uttered from her lover’s lips at last caused a rush of emotions to sweep over her. My love. Her eyes welled.

“Baby?” Willow asked, her hand gliding along the blonde’s cheek to catch the first tear as it slid from her eye.

Tara wrapped her arms around her love and pulled her closer. I love you. I love you so much. You have no idea. “I-I’m okay,” she said, her voice tremulous. Willow raised her eyebrows slightly. “I am.” The redhead relaxed a bit, letting her body stretch out beside the blonde’s. “I’ve missed this,” Tara said, as they stared at one another. “I’ve missed you.”

Willow tilted her head slightly, knowing she felt the same. “I’m here.”

Tara ran her fingers through the rust-colored locks at the back of Willow’s neck, then pulled.

Willow acquiesced, bringing her mouth to the blonde’s in the gentlest of kisses. “I’m right here, Baby.” Finally.

Their arms tightened around one another, as passion swelled between them once again. Willow moved her lips to Tara’s throat, trailing kisses down its length, letting her tongue flick out and taste the porcelain skin. She could feel her lover’s heart pounding, the heated blood coursing through her, and the redhead placed a lingering kiss on the throbbing pulse point. As she worked her way over Tara’s throat with her lips and tongue, her hand traveled downward, grasping the material of the blonde’s skirt and pulling it up.

Tara moaned as the fabric moved up her body and the cool air of the room touched her newly bare skin. She opened her legs to allow Willow fuller access to her body, shifting her hips towards the redhead’s probing hand. Tara reached out and hooked her fingers under the bottom of the redhead’s shirt; she tugged and the tank top rolled up Willow’s body, stopping just above her bare breasts, under her armpits. “Off,” she whispered harshly.

Willow lifted her head and drew herself up to look into Tara’s eyes.

Tara tugged again. “Take this off.”

In response, Willow pushed her hand inside the silk barrier and over the wiry curls hidden there. Tara inhaled sharply as Willow dipped her fingers between her legs, feeling the warm wetness that was the blonde’s essence. Tara’s hips bucked upward, urging the redhead’s massaging fingers to go further. Willow smiled and shifted, moving her body over the blonde’s; using a knee she prompted her lover to open wider for her. The redhead used her leverage to ease her fingers inside her lover, savoring the sensation of the heated wetness as it enveloped her.

Tara arched into Willow, closing her eyes as her lover moved inside her. Oh, Willow, yes. . . yes. Please. Opening her eyes, she moved one hand from the redhead’s top to a bared breast, cupping it firmly, while her other hand splayed across Willow’s back, pressing her close. A half-moan, half-sigh escaped her as Willow’s heated flesh filled her hands.

Willow’s eyes closed briefly as the blonde rubbed her palm over her hardened nipple. When they opened again, her eyes fixed on Tara’s. “Tara,” she whispered, as she leaned in to kiss her lover.

“Hey, Will, found it!” Buffy yelled, as she burst through the bedroom door, holding the screwdriver up in her hand triumphantly. She froze instantly as she took in her friends’ pseudo-en-flagrante forms.

Willow’s and Tara’s eyes snapped up at the sound of the Buffy’s voice. They, too, took on a frozen posture, both of their hands motionless in their respective private places, afraid to draw any further attention to themselves.

“Ah-gah-ah,” Buffy stammered. She held both hands up in front of her, as if she could ward off the vision before her. “Oh, Jesus Christ, I’m sorry,” she blurted, spinning on her heels to exit, stage left. “I ga— jo— I-I-I didn’t know. . .” The Slayer bolted into the corner of the door, banging her head hard, and stumbled back a step. “Sorry!” she yelled, grabbing her forehead. She charged forward again, then paused; not looking behind her, she reached back with her free hand and groped for the doorknob. “Sorry, sorry, sorry” she repeated, giving the women her best mina impression. She grasped the knob and slammed the door shut behind her retreating form.

Willow dropped her eyes to Tara, but the blonde was still staring at the door. She opened her mouth to speak, but the sound of the bedroom door opening again made her pause. The women watched as the Slayer’s hand squeezed through a three inch opening and carefully placed the screwdriver on the nightstand. Then, it slithered out again, firmly closing the door behind it. “Sorry,” she said again from the other side. The echoing sound of footsteps running from the bedroom and catapulting down the stairs was the last they heard from their friend.

“Oh. My. God,” Tara said after several quiet seconds.

Willow looked down at the blonde, who was now several different shades of red. Warmth flowed through Willow’s body as she looked upon her lover. I love you. I love you so much. You have no idea. The redhead realized her hand was still in a Tara-place, so she began to remove it. Slowly. Tara’s eyes flew to Willow’s as the redhead’s fingers slid from inside her and outside her underwear. Willow kept her eyes pinned on Tara’s as she shifted onto her side, resting her elbow on the bed. Still keeping her leg between the blonde’s, she smoothed the skirt back down gently, covering them both with its billowy material. She let her hand rest on Tara’s hip and inhaled deeply, the blonde’s scent filling her up.

Tara’s gaze shifted from Willow’s eyes to her own hand, which still held the redhead’s breast tightly. Oh. My. God. She started to pull her hand away; Willow lifted her hand from the blonde’s hip and covered Tara’s quickly, stopping her. Tara glanced at her. “Willow.”

Willow pressed the blonde’s hand tightly to her breast. She tilted her head and smiled, her eyes sparkling. Tara closed her eyes and softly shook her head. “What, Baby?”

Keeping her eyes closed, Tara sighed. “I c-can’t believe that j-just happened.”

“It’s okay.”

The blonde opened her eyes and stared at Willow. Okay? Okay? It’s not okay. “It’s not okay,” she said. She pulled her hand again, and this time, the redhead let her go.

Willow felt the mood between them abruptly change. Change? More like die. Dead. Stabbed. Murdered. Damn! Willow rolled away from Tara and sat up; she tugged her shirt back down over her breasts, then turned to face the blonde. She remained silent, waiting for her lover to speak.

“It’s not okay,” Tara reiterated. “She s-saw us. . .” the blonde continued, sitting up. Willow reached out to touch her, but Tara moved off the bed. She began to straighten her clothes obsessively, running her hands over them several times.

Her tone comforting, Willow said, “Tara, honey, she’s seen us together before.”

Tara’s hands froze. She leveled her eyes at the redhead.

Uh, oh. What? What’d I say?

“She’s seen us together before?” Tara mimicked, her voice a little higher than usual. Willow tipped her head in assent. “She’s seen us hold hands together, Will. She’s seen us hug together. And kiss together. She’s never seen us. . .” Tara waved her hands in front of her breasts, then her nether regions, as she looked for the appropriate word. Willow raised her eyebrows in anticipation. The blonde finally slapped her hands together, interlacing her fingers. “Together-together.”

Willow covered her mouth with her hand, but not before a small giggle escaped.

“It’s not funny,” Tara said, her tone almost threatening.

Willow sobered quickly; she knew that tone all too well, and she didn’t want to be on the receiving end if it could be avoided. She lowered her hand to her lap. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t laughing at you. But, Sweetie, it is kinda funny.”

Tara turned and started for the door.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” The redhead leaned back, twisted, and swung her legs over the width of the mattress, planting them on the ground in front of the blonde, effectively cutting off her exit. She held her hands up in front of her; she didn’t try to touch the blonde, she just wanted her to stay. “Tara, wait.” Tara crossed her arms over her chest, a familiar gesture which both protected and comforted the blonde. “I’m sorry.” Very slowly, Willow reached out towards Tara; when the blonde didn’t draw back, she put her hands on the wiccan’s upper arms. She bent her head low, forcing Tara to look into her eyes. “I’m sorry.”

Tara took a deep breath that hitched in her throat. Her eyes suddenly welled up with tears.

“Oh, god, Baby, I’m so sorry,” Willow said, wrapping her arms around the blonde in a tight embrace. Several seconds passed before Willow felt Tara give in to her and relax; the blonde uncrossed her arms and slid them from between their bodies to encircle Willow’s waist. “I’m sorry,” Willow whispered into Tara’s ear.

Tara gave Willow a long squeeze and nodded silently. She released Willow, and when Willow followed suit, the blonde moved to sit on the bed. Willow watched her as she sat down heavily and dropped her forehead into her hand. Confused and worried, Willow leaned her back against the wall, giving her lover some time and space. I blew it. I just blew it. I laughed. I hurt her. Again. I’m gonna be sick.

Tara raised her head to look at Willow; the redhead’s expression was one of fear and pain and confusion, and it was like a knife to her own heart. The blonde held a hand out to her. “Willow.” Willow pushed herself from the wall as if it were on fire, and went to her knees in front of Tara, grabbing the blonde’s hand tight in both of hers. Tara ran her other hand through the soft copper tresses of her lover’s hair, pausing to cup the redhead’s cheek in her palm, gently urging Willow towards her. “Oh, Willow.” Tara opened her legs as Willow, still kneeling, scooted in between; the redhead wrapped her arms around Tara in a fierce embrace, resting her cheek against the blonde’s stomach.

Tell her. Tara stroked Willow’s head as her other hand rubbed her back in comforting circles. “Willow?” Willow sniffed into the gauzy blue material of Tara’s blouse and raised her tear-stained face to her lover’s. “Oh, Baby, don’t cry. Please.” She cupped the redhead’s cheeks and bent towards her; their lips touched in a soft and tender kiss, gentle and comforting. Tara raised her lips from Willow’s and looked into the emerald pools before her. “I’m not mad at you, love. You didn’t hurt me,” Tara said, her voice low and kind, reading the redhead’s face as if her thoughts were written there. She felt Willow’s arms tighten around her hips and she smiled down at her.

“Wh-why are you so upset?” Willow at last asked, when her voice finally returned.

Tell her everything. Tara shook her head slightly and sighed. “It’s just. . . I just,” she began, pausing to find the right words.

“Just what, Baby?”

“I-I just. . . need you.” Tara took a deep breath. Willow swallowed hard as the blonde’s words registered. “These last weeks, being with you, being near you, I’ve never been more happy, Willow. Never. And seeing you today,” the blonde continued, her thoughts drifting to the day’s events, “on the swings with Dawn and Xander, you were laughing. And free. And the sun was so bright shining down on you. You were radiant.” Tara dropped her eyes back to Willow’s. “And I knew right then, that being with you, being near you, it wasn’t enough for me. Not anymore. I have to hold you, Willow. And kiss you. And feel your body next to mine.” Tara let her fingers brush several renegade strands from her lover’s face. “I knew you were scared. That you have been scared. To take that next step? To be together again. So that’s why I came tonight, to let you know in every possible way that I could. You don’t have to be scared anymore. My soul, Willow. . . it needs to be with you. Completely.”

“T-Tara,” Willow uttered, her voice cracked with emotion. Tears slid from the corners of her eyes as she stared into the cobalt eyes of her lover.

Tara caught the redhead’s tears with her thumbs, rubbing them back and forth over the porcelain flesh. “Our first time? I wanted it to be special. Perfect. And,” Tara half-laughed and half-sighed, glancing at the screwdriver on the nightstand. “It wasn’t.”

“Every time is special,” the redhead responded, her tone correcting, drawing Tara’s eyes to hers again. “And perfect.” She let her fingers draw circles on the blonde’s back. After a second of silence, Willow pushed a foot under her body and held tightly to her lover as she started to rise, closing the distance between them; instead of standing, she leaned into Tara, causing the blonde to lay back on the bed. Willow stretched over her, pressing one knee on the mattress between Tara’s legs, and the other beside her outer thigh; she placed her hands on either side of the blonde’s head and let her eyes graze over the form of the woman beneath her. When her eyes reached Tara’s, she lowered herself to her elbows, allowing her lower body to cover the blonde’s, their hips settling comfortingly into one another; her upper body followed directly, and she smiled as their breasts pressed against one another through their clothes. “Every. Time.”

“Wi--,” Tara started, but was cut off as the redhead silenced her with a searing kiss. Willow cupped the sides of Tara’s face with her hands, holding her motionless, as her mouth moved over the blonde’s. Instinctively, Tara grasped onto Willow’s waist, her thumbs playing over the pale flesh beneath her shirt.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2002 2:28 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 4:03 pm
Posts: 542
Willow heard her lover sigh at the same time she felt her body completely relax, giving in to the sensual kiss they were sharing. The redhead smiled as she opened her mouth just wide enough for the tip of her tongue to trace Tara’s lips, silently petitioning for access. The blonde was eager to grant her lover’s request and their tongues savored one another in an erotic dance. Willow bit down lightly, holding Tara’s tongue between her teeth, sucking gently. The blonde moaned her pleasure, a sound somewhere between a purr and a growl. Willow released her lover’s tongue and, very reluctantly, pulled her lips away. Both women were flushed, their breath ragged from their passion for one another. Willow still held Tara’s face immobile as she gazed into the eyes of the woman she loved.

“See?”

Tara slid a hand from Willow’s waist and let it travel up the slim redhead’s body; she cupped her lover’s reddened cheek and smiled as Willow closed her eyes and leaned into her touch. “Every time,” Tara agreed, her voice barely a whisper.

Willow opened her eyes, surprised to see tears, once again, filling the blonde’s eyes. “Happy tears?”

Tara nodded. “Very happy.”

“Very happy,” Willow affirmed, shifting her body off of her lover. She let her left leg remain over the blonde’s as she came to rest on her right side; her left arm stretched over Tara’s stomach, her hand resting comfortably on her hip. Tara reached down and covered the redhead’s hand with her own. Willow pressed a lingering kiss to Tara’s cheek and sighed.

“Willow?”

“Hmm,” Willow replied dreamily, her fingers rubbing small circles over the blonde’s hip.

“Um,” Tara began, “What do you want for your birthday?”

Willow’s brow furrowed. It’s a fly ball to left field! “Hmm?”

Tara looked at Willow as she let her fingers move from the redhead’s hand on her hip up her lover’s arm, reveling in the gooseflesh that her fingertips elicited. “You know, the day you were born? It is tomorrow, you know.”

Willow raised up on her elbow, propping her chin in the palm of her hand so she could look down on her lover. The movement caused her other hand to slide up Tara’s body, coming to rest on her stomach. “I know when my birthday is, doof.”

Tara continued to draw small circles on Willow’s arm. “Well, what do you want?”

Willow’s fingers inched the edge of the Tara’s blouse up and the redhead pushed her hand underneath, letting her palm spread out over the cool flesh of her lover’s stomach. Tara’s hand fell to her side limply. Willow smiled mischievously, “I’ve got everything I want.”

Tara breathed in deeply as Willow’s heated skin touched her. “That’s yours anytime. Isn’t there anything else you—“ Tara fell silent as Willow’s hand advanced along her body, finally settling around her breast. She closed her eyes briefly as she felt the redhead gently squeeze the flesh and rub her thumb over her erect nipple. The fact that she still wore her bra only added to the shivering sensations the redhead’s fingers were creating. “Want,” the blonde finished weakly. Tara opened her eyes and stared into the loving eyes of the woman above her.

“Like I said, Baby, I’ve got everything I want.”

Oh, Willow, so do I. So do I.

as posted by krisbo, the continuation of the first part

Willow lowered her mouth to Tara’s for a lingering kiss. She lifted her head then brushed several wisps of hair from the blonde’s face before resting her face in the palm of her hand again. “You’re gonna get me something?”

“Yes.”

“Okay, then,” Willow said, letting her hand travel from one breast to the other as she contemplated for several seconds. Tara inhaled sharply as Willowhand played havoc with her body. “Surprise me.”

A moment of silence passed between them, then Tara’s face lit up. She moved abruptly, rolling towards Willow. Their bodies already entwined, the blonde easily flipped her lover over onto her back in one go, pressing her firmly into the mattress. Willow yelped as Tara pulled the redhead’s hands from their various locations and pinned them above her head. “Like that?” the blonde said, dropping her lips to Willow’s neck in several quick kisses.

Just. Like. That. Willow tilted her head back, giving her lover all of her. “Oh, my. . .” she started, pausing as Tara’s tongue flicked out against the skin below her ear. “That’s, ah, oh, my. . . .“ More kisses followed as Tara worked her way towards Willow’s mouth; the redhead lowered her head, eager to meet her lover.

Their lips met in a blistering kiss that sent waves of heat through them both. The blonde’s tongue was urgent in its exploration, ravaging Willow with its probing. Willow felt a burning wetness begin between her legs, and she wrapped her lower leg over Tara’s, trying to hold her closer. Tara broke free from the kiss as fast as she had started it and Willow whimpered her displeasure. “Willow,” she whispered.

Willow rubbed her leg along Tara’s as she tried to catch her breath. “Tara,” the redhead moaned.

“I, uh, I’m g-going to go,” the blonde said, releasing Willow’s hands.

Willow remained completely still. Go? Now? What? “What?”

Tara pushed herself off Willow’s body and stood in front of her prone and somewhat bewildered lover.

Willow sat up, a tad miffed. “Wait.” And confused. “What?” Tara tried to step back from the bed, but Willow’s hand on hers held her in place.

“I-I’m gonna g-go,” the blonde repeated, her stutter more prominent.

Willow stood, taking the blonde’s other hand in hers, holding both securely. “Tara, what? Why? I mean, I thought. . . I thought, I mean you were just. . .” Willow babbled, freeing her lover’s arms to wave her own in the air in frantic gestures, “and I was. . . and we were. . . and you’re going? You’re just going?”

Oh, Willow. My beautiful, babbling Willow. Tara laughed and grabbed the redhead in a fierce embrace. Willow’s hands were still raised up by her sides in an empty gesture, confusion lighting her face, as her lover held her tight. Tara released her and grabbed Willow’s hands in her own. “You make me so completely happy, Willow,” Tara said, her face beaming.

Willow swallowed. So completely nuts as well, apparently. “Well, good, I’m. . . glad?”

“I meant what I said earlier, honey,” the blonde said, swinging their hands between them. When she saw Willow’s brow furrow, she continued. “I want it to be perfect.”

Willow stilled their hands as light dawned. “I meant what I said, too.”

“I know.”

“So what’s with all the going, then?” She squeezed her lover’s hands tightly in her own. “I’d much rather have you coming.”

“Willow!” Tara exclaimed, a red flush creeping up her throat at the suggestion. Me, too.

“Willow what?” the redhead said, her voice frustrated and pouty. “That’s my idea of perfect.” Tara coming. Me making Tara come. Me coming. Tara making me come. Hmm. “Well, one idea, anyway,” she conceded.

“You’re incorrigible.”

The redhead smiled a patented ‘and aren’t I just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen’ smile. “So you’ll stay?” Tara opened her mouth to speak, but Willow rushed on. “To sleep. You can sleep here. Sleep over. We can sleep together. Uh, not the naked kinda sleep together. No, not the sex-sleep. The sleep-sleep. With the eyes closed and the pajamas and everything. The whole she-bang.” Willow raised her eyebrows in silent questioning.

“Honey, there’s nothing I’d love better than to sleep-sleep with you, but I can’t stay.”

Willow frowned. Damn, and that was a good pass, too.

“Because when I finally get you into that bed, Miss Rosenberg, believe me, the very last thing we’re gonna do together is sleep-sleep.”

Willow’s brow relaxed. Ooh, first down. All riiiight.

“So. . . I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Willow smiled and pulled Tara’s arms around her waist, pressing their bodies close; the redhead held her lover’s hands behind her own body as she gazed at her. “You better.”

Tara smiled then moistened her lips. She claimed the redhead’s lips with a profound tenderness, her touch filled with promises of what was to come for both of them. Tara raised her lips and rested her forehead against Willow’s. “Good night.” Tara back-stepped towards the door, her hands remaining entwined with Willow’s, their arms stretched out before them.

Willow drew in a deep breath and sighed. “Night, Baby.”
Reluctantly they released one another, and silence surrounded them.

Tara opened the door and, after one final glance, walked out.

Willow stood rigid, her stomach knotting, as she listened to the door click shut. Her eyes dropped to the nightstand and took in the digital clock readout: 12:03 am. Blink, blink, blink. Well, happy frelling birthday. She glanced down at herself as she walked around the bed towards her dresser to retrieve clean clothes. Need a shower. The redhead’s eyes fell to Tara’s discarded sweater. She scooped it up, turning to chase after the blonde, but she hesitated. She lifted the material to her face, inhaling deeply, a wave of desire rearing up as Tara’s scent filled her. Check that. Need a cold shower. She placed the garment on the bedspread and marched into the bathroom.


Tara opened the front door of the Summers’ house and stepped out onto the porch. Closing the door gently behind her, she was startled when she heard Buffy’s voice.

“Hey, Tara.”

“Buffy, hey.” The blonde walked over to where the Slayer sat on the front steps and dropped down beside her. She watched as Buffy casually flipped Mr. Pointy over and over in her hands, catching it effortlessly. “Um, what are you doing?”

Buffy caught the stake one last time and stared at it. “I was thinking. . .” she started.

“I’ve heard that can be more dangerous than hunting vampires,” the blonde replied, trying to lighten the Slayer’s obviously melancholy mood. Buffy smiled half-heartedly. “So, deep thoughts. What about?”

“Well,” Buffy began, “actually, hari-kari.” Tara’s eyes widened as her friend continued. “You know, when you’ve humiliated yourself, lost your face or whatever, and you just wanna die?” Tara nodded slightly. “Well, do you stab yourself in the throat or the chest? Or the stomach?”

Stab? Die? “A-are you serious?” Tara asked, when she was finally able to speak.

Buffy looked at her friend and tipped her head in an upstairs direction. “What do you think?”

Tara’s eyes darted to the house, then back to Buffy in dawning realization. Oh! That humiliation. Her face reddened visibly in the darkness and she laughed nervously. “I was trying to. . . um, well, you know. . .”

“Repress?” the Slayer offered.

They stared at each other a second longer, then burst into laughter. Tara covered her face with her hands.

Buffy shook her head. “I am so sorry. So-to-the-nth-degree sorry. I had no idea you were here.”

Tara raised her head, a smile still lighting her face. “Dawn let me in.” After catching her breath, she said, “It’s okay, Buffy. I promise. Don’t commit seppuku, okay?”

The Slayer nodded, accepting the blonde witch’s kind words. “You’re not staying?”

Tara shifted a bit. “Um, no.”

“Because of. . .?”

“Oh, no, Buffy,” Tara said, touching the Slayer’s leather-clad arm. “No, it’s nothing to do with you. Or, um, what happened.” Buffy raised her eyebrows. “It’s just, well, um, we decided, Willow and I, we both decided we wanted everything to be perfect for us when we. . . . And, um, well, tonight just wasn’t. . .”

“Perfect,” the Slayer again offered, ever the one to help. Tara nodded and silence took up residence between them. Buffy’s brow furrowed as she mulled over what Tara had just told her. “Wait. Tara, did you just say you and Willow haven’t. . .um,” the Slayer twirled Mr. Pointy in the air. A new flush swept across the blonde’s features as Buffy’s eyes widened. “Really?” Tara nodded. “Why? I mean why not? You guys have been together for, what? Two weeks?”

Tara glanced at her watch. “Thirteen days.” She looked at Buffy. “But who’s counting?”

“So, what’s the prob, then? I mean, from where I stood, with the chalk-dust and the nakedness, it looked like you two—“

“Buffy!” Tara said, horrified by the quick image in her mind. She wiped her hands over her cheeks and mouth, knowing that she’d have to clean the tell-all powder from other parts of her body later.

The Slayer smiled. “I just mean, you love each other.”

Oh, goddess, yes. “We both just. . . we both want. . .” Tara’s voice trailed off, unable to put into words exactly what she meant.

The Slayer pursed her lips together in a knowing smile and slid her arm through Tara’s. “Well, today’s Willow’s birthday. Tonight’s her party.” The blonde witch’s face lit up like a Christmas tree. “So things will work out fine.” Tara squeezed Buffy’s arm tightly. “I’ll walk you to your dorm.” Before Tara could protest, Buffy raised Mr. Pointy. “It’s Willow’s birthday.”

“Thank you.”

They stood and walked down the remaining steps, arm-in-arm, and continued down the walkway to the sidewalk.

“So, what exactly is this say-cuckoo thing you’re talking about?” Buffy asked as they headed into the darkness, Tara’s laughter floating into the night sky.

*****
Across town, a black limousine entered the drive of a newly renovated townhouse. The engine purred smoothly, a barely audible sound in the quiet neighborhood. The tinted window of the back passenger seat lowered, revealing a young, handsome Japanese man. Glancing left and right, he clicked open the door and stepped out; he wore a dark-colored Armani suit and tie and exuded elegance from every pore. He turned and held a well-manicured hand out towards the back seat. “Madam,” he said, his accent pure English.

A slender Black female hand grasped the man’s, the lengthy red nails wrapping delicately over his flesh. The woman stepped out of the car, rising to stand beside him. She was young, twenty-something-looking, dressed in a putty-colored designer pant-suit which only enhanced her dark skin and chocolate eyes. The small gold hoop earrings that dangled from her ears glittered in the moonlight. She released the man’s hand and stepped towards the street. “This is Sunnydale?” she asked, her accent sounding Middle Eastern and English and American all in one.

“Yes,” the man replied, stepping up beside her.

“The Hellmouth?”

“Yes.”

“Well, Mr. Bellum, let’s hope it looks better in the daylight,” she said, and turned towards the house.

“Yes, madam,” the man answered, following behind her at a discreet distance.

*****
For Willow, the following day passed in an eternally slow, yet rather pleasant manner. Instead of the dreaded buzz-buzz from her alarm, a beaming teen woke her with breakfast in bed. Buffy joined them, and they had spent well over two hours eating and laughing and joking. The only ingredient missing was Tara, but the redhead knew that it would only be a matter of hours until they would be together. Finally together. The best present ever.

After breakfast, Willow and Buffy drove Dawn to school; then the Slayer chauffeured the birthday girl to UC Sunnydale for her classes.

“So, you’re done at six?” the Slayer asked as she pulled the jeep into the drop-off zone.

“Yeah,” Willow said, slinging her bag over her shoulder. “But, um, I have to go to the library for a bit.”

Alarm flitted across Buffy’s face at the redhead’s words; the combination of books and Willow never added up to ‘a bit.’ “Eh, well, how long are you, um. . .”

Willow clicked open the door and slid a leg out. “For a few hours. Not long.” She smiled at Buffy. “Tara’s coming over.” The redhead wiggled her eyebrows. “To celebrate.” Buffy nodded, but her eyes pinged around the interior of the car. Willow’s brow creased. “What? What’s wrong?”

“Huh?” Buffy said, caught. “What? Nothing.”

Willow dropped her hand from the handle to her lap and faced Buffy squarely. “Did something happen? Tara?”

“Oh, god, no, Will. No.”

“You’ve got ‘oh, crap’ face.”

Buffy put the jeep in park and turned to her best friend. “Oh, crap face? That’s about right.”

“Tell me.”

“Okay. Look. It wasn’t really a surprise, I knew you knew you were getting a party, but it’s at The Bronze. And it starts at seven.” Buffy gestured with her hands as she spoke.

It’s okay. Everything’s okay. Tara’s okay.

“So, you can’t be all library-gal when I’ve got get-birthday-girl-to-the-party-on-time-or-else duty. It just ain’t gonna happen. This Slayer’s not facin’ your girlfriend if you’re late.”

Willow nodded, relieved. “Okay.”

“So, six? We’ll go home, change, then head over.”

Willow smiled. “Okay. Six. Here.” Willow pushed open the door and stepped out.

“Happy birthday, Will,” Buffy called after her.

“Thanks, Buffy.” The Slayer shrugged. “For everything.”

“Six,” Buffy said as she put the car in gear.

Willow closed the door and watched the Slayer drive away. The Bronze. Or the library. Music. Or educational recordings. Dancing. Or students. Dark, secluded corners. Or blinky neon-lit cubicles. Tara. Tara. Tara. Willow walked towards her first class, a light skip in her step, and a nervous tingle in her belly. The books aren’t going anywhere.


For Tara, the following day passed in a hyper-accelerated, and thoroughly nauseating manner. Sleep did not come for the blonde witch until the early morning hours, the buzz-buzz of her alarm dragging her from dreams of a chalk-covered redhead. Tonight, she and Willow would be together. Finally together. The best present ever.

Tara sighed, and stretched her tired limbs. Present. The blonde froze, mid-stretch, then sat bolt upright in bed. She turned to the clock. 9:18. Oh, goddess! 9:18? Willow’s party! Willow’s present! Oh, I’m gonna be sick. The telephone rang, and Tara grabbed it before it finished the first trill. “Hello,” she said, her voice tilting the freak-meter.

“Tara?” The Slayer’s voice sounded in the receiver, slightly concerned.

“I’m gonna be sick,” Tara announced.

“Really?” Buffy asked. “Tara, really, are you ill?”

Tara threw her legs out of bed and leaned over, letting her head hang down between her knees. “No. Well, not ill. But I’m gonna be sick,” the blonde said, feeling her skin turn clammy.

Buffy laughed, recognizing the sound of panic in her friend’s voice. “You’re okay. You’ll be okay. It’s gonna be great, Tara. And she’s just. . . she’s just gonna love you. Love you more, I mean.”

The Slayer’s words didn’t quite smother the queasiness she felt, but the love and concern in Buffy’s voice did make the blonde feel like she could sit up, possibly stand, without passing out. “I know. You’re right. I know you’re right.”

“You can do this.”

“I can do this. It’s for Willow. I can do this.” I can do anything for her.

“Okay. Look. I told her it wasn’t really a surprise, that I knew she knew she was getting a party, but it was gonna be at The Bronze. And it started at seven.” Buffy paused as she regurgitated the whole tale.

It’s okay. Everything’s okay. I’m okay.

“So, then I was like, you can’t be all library-gal when I’m the one who’s gotta get you to your own party. Tara’d be a not-so-happy wiccan.” Buffy stopped, feeling pleased with herself.

Tara nodded, renewed. “Okay.”

“So, we’ll all be there by seven.”

Tara smiled. “Okay. Seven. The Bronze.” Tara picked up a photograph from her dresser. It was a picture of her and Willow, taken almost a year ago. They were on campus, under a tree on a sunny day. Tara sat between Willow’s legs leaning against her lover as Willow leaned against the trunk of the great tree, her arms encircling the blonde. Tara’s head was thrown back in a fit of unrestrained laughter; Willow’s head was tilted towards her lover’s face, smiling at the blonde’s merriment.

“Seven,” Buffy said, breaking into Tara’s reverie.

“Thanks, Buffy.” Tara cleared her throat. “For everything.”

“We’ll see you tonight,” Buffy said and hung up.

Tara replaced the receiver and stared at the picture. The Bronze. Music. Strangers. Spotlights. Willow. Willow. Willow. Tara set the picture down and headed for the showers, a minor hesitancy in her step, and a major nervous tingle in her belly. I’m definitely going to be sick.

*****
Willow stood in front of her floor-length mirror, twisting her body side-to-side, checking herself out from various angles. She had, after an hour of deliberation, decided on a calf-length black skirt with a cut all-the-way-up and a dark green blouse. Tara had said several times that green, especially dark green, did wonderful things for her red hair and eyes; the blonde also happened to mention that that color did a little something for herself, too. Willow smiled at the memory. Let’s hope some things don’t change. The redhead moved to the bed and sat, pulling on black leather boots.

“Willow! Let’s go!” Buffy yelled at her from downstairs.

“I’m coming!” she fired back, examining the final fashion outcome, quite pleased. Well, hopefully, that’ll be true tonight, after the party. Willow smiled, butterflies taking flight in her belly at the thought. How long is this party, anyway? And how long do Tara and I have to stay?

“WILLOW!” Buffy bellowed again, seemingly shaking the house’s foundation.

Willow pivoted and snatched her black jeans jacket from the bed as she headed out the door. “I said I’M COMING!” She clopped loudly down the stairs, meeting Buffy and Dawn at the open front door. She stopped and pulled on her jacket. “Where’s Tara?” Buffy and Dawn glanced at each other, then back to Willow. The redhead looked at her watch and frowned. “It’s quarter to.”

“Um,” Buffy started, shifting her weight from one foot to the other.

“She called,” Dawn practically yelled, her voice loud and rushed. Both Buffy and Willow looked at her. “Uh, sorry. She called.”

“When?” Willow asked, flipping down her jacket collar.

“You were in the shower,” Buffy answered.

“Oh,” the redhead said, dropping her hands to her side. She raised her eyebrows slightly, expecting more from the Slayer.

Buffy stared at her best friend, until Dawn nudged her with an elbow. “Oh, yeah, well, she called. When you were in the shower. She, um, she’s meeting us there. At The Bronze. Later. I mean, tonight. She’s meeting us.”

“Oh,” Willow said, her face falling a bit at the thought of a further delay of seeing her lover. This birthday is well on the way to sucking!

Dawn stepped forward and took Willow’s elbow, urging her toward the door. “She had some school stuff to do. Before. No big.” Willow nodded, not really hearing the words.

Buffy took the redhead’s other elbow as she and Dawn escorted the birthday girl out to the Jeep. “She didn’t want anything to interfere with your birthday, Will.” They piled into the car. “You know, no boring day-to-day-life-stuff.”

Willow nodded silently as she stared out the windshield on the passenger side. Buffy glanced in the rearview mirror at Dawn, who had a worried expression on her face. The Slayer smiled and nodded, trying with her eyes to say “everything will be okay.” Her eyes drifted to her best friend beside her, and her smile faded. The Slayer headed the car towards The Bronze, silently repeating her “everything will be okay” mantra.


Friday night was happening at The Bronze. Music from the band could be heard from outside, and dozens of Sunnydale’s youth moved in and out of the building in different degrees of inebriation.

Buffy, Willow, and Dawn finally managed to push their way through the door, bumping several rowdy exiting patrons.

“Hey! Ouch! Rude much?” Dawn said to the retreating figures as she rubbed her shoulder. All she heard was their laughter. The teen turned her attention to the club and made a face. “God, could there be more people here?”

Willow leaned against a pinball machine as she surveyed the landscape. Where is she? Her eyes moved over the tops of bobbing heads on the dance floor, towards the pool tables and couches, finally landing on. . . Xander. His eyes met hers at the same time and he smiled broadly, a patented goofy Xander grin, and waved his arms wildly above his head. Maybe no one knows he’s with us. A dozen pairs of eyes turned their way. Yeah, like that’d happen.

Buffy and Dawn grabbed Willow’s arms again and started for Xander. “Your table’s waiting, birthday girl,” Buffy said.

“Yeah, we better hurry. Xander looks like he’s gonna blast off any second now,” Dawn chimed in, as they wove their way through the crowd.

“Happy birthday!” Xander danced out from behind a table and embraced the redhead.

“Thanks,” Willow said, returning his hug tightly.

Xander released her and stood to the side. “Ta-da!” he announced, holding his hand out to the table he had sequestered for them. It was covered with party favors – hats and kazoos and silly string – as well as a small sign which read “Birthday Girl” amidst several colorfully wrapped gifts.

“It’s great,” Willow said, emotion filling her voice.

Xander hugged her to his side with one arm. “So are you, Will.”

Willow smiled and let her eyes sweep quickly from side-to-side. “Is Tara here?”

“Tara?” Xander asked, the tone of his voice sounding confused and freaked.

What is going on? Where is she? “Tara,” Willow repeated. Then clarified, “My girlfriend.”

“Yeah, I know, I mean, I know she’s your girlfriend. I was just, uh, you know, not on the knowing end of where she is. She’s meeting us, right?” Xander stammered on endlessly as Buffy and Dawn stared at him like he was a Four West escapee.

This isn’t right. “I’m gonna call her,” Willow announced, starting to turn from the group.

“NO!” All three yelled simultaneously, each reaching out to stop her.

Willow flinched as several people turned, again, towards them. O-kay. This is so not right. “What is going on? Is Tara okay? Because if something’s happened? This isn’t the way to break it to me, okay. This is all happy and joyful and here’s your cake blow out the candles and open your presents. Not sit down we have bad trauma news for you and it’s my birthday and I don’t want bad trauma news so just tell me what’s wrong with Tara.”

Buffy stepped closer to Willow and took her hand. “Willow, nothing’s happened to Tara. She’s just, um, late. I swear, no bad trauma news.”

Really? Please, please, please. “Really?”

“Will, come on,” the Slayer urged, pulling the redhead towards the honored chair, “it’s your birthday. Nothing’s happened. It’s all good.” She gently pushed her best friend into her seat, as the others sat down around her, leaving only one chair unfilled.

As if on cue, the night’s band started their set, loud grunge-y rock music, practically blasting the rafters off their hinges. The Scoobies cringed at the deafening racket, as the teens around them took to jumping and moshing and screaming as the band jammed on and on.

Buffy leaned over and put her lips near Willow’s ear. “I misspoke. Not all of it’s good.”

Willow turned to her best friend, and seeing the earnest expression on her face, she smiled. Dawn sat with her hands covering her ears, as Xander bopped up and down in his chair, just a tad off beat with the loud thump, thump, thump of the drums. It’s all good. Willow let her eyes roam over the massive audience, not finding the one person she sought. The one she needed. The sucking has arrived!


Thirty minutes, and three rounds later, the band bid adieu to the crowd.

“All right! Woo-hoo” Dawn screamed, clapping her hands a bit too enthusiastically. Buffy reached across the table and stilled them, giving the teen a ‘don’t start anything’ look. Dawn crossed her arms over her chest and stared at the Slayer. “What? My ears are ringing.”

Ringing. Ring. Ring-ring. Telephones ring. Phone Tara. Where is she? Why isn’t she here? I’m calling her. I can’t stand it. Willow dropped off her stool. “I’ll be right back,” she announced as she turned from the Scoobies.

Dawn hopped off her stool as well, taking a small step towards the redhead, then stopping.

“Will, you can’t leave,” Buffy said, her voice rising to be heard over the din. She grabbed the redhead’s wrist and, not too gently, yanked her back towards the table.

Willow stumbled and reached out to steady herself. “God, Buffy!”

“Sorry,” the Slayer said, smiling penitently, but not releasing her best friend’s arm.

Willow tugged on her arm, but when Buffy wouldn’t let go, she sighed. “I’m not leaving. I wanna call the dorm.”

From behind them, the emcee addressed the crowd from the stage. “Ladies and gentlemen, one more round for Slaw!” Cheers and stomping filled The Bronze again.

“Look, she didn’t come to the house. She said she’d meet us. Now it’s dark. And late. And she should’ve been here by now,” Willow yelled above the announcer.

“Before Talon comes on, we have one small request to go out to a special guest here, and to celebrate her birth. . .” he continued, ignored by most of the rowdy crowd.

“I’m worried, okay? I won’t be long,” Willow yelled, pulling her arm again. “I’ll need to take that, if you don’t mind.”

Buffy’s eyes darted to the stage quickly, then back to her friend. The Slayer tipped her head, shrugged and smiled, then loosened her fingers. “Nope, I don’t mind.”

“Great,” the redhead said, rubbing her fingers over the Slayerhandled flesh. “I’ll be back.”

Buffy smiled as she turned to the stage and smirked. “Yeah, sooner than you think.”

Willow moved away from the table as music began behind her. Piano. Violins. Cellos. Solo oboe. That’s different. The redhead had barely managed to maneuver her way between a couple tables when she heard the woman begin to sing. The crowd still drowned out most of the sound, but Willow turned her head slightly to hear more clearly.

Through the darkness
I can see your light

Willow froze. I know. . .

And you will always shine
And I can feel your heart in mine

Willow slowly turned back to the stage. . . . that voice. Tara.

Your face I've memorized
I idolize just you

Tara stood center stage, in front of a microphone. She wore all black: pants, boots, V-necked tee-shirt. Her hands were in the pockets of her mid-calf length black leather coat. Her hair, golden under the hot lights, hung free around her face. A ten-piece orchestra played behind her. Tara’s eyes had found her lover’s and they remained there, unwavering as she sang in front of the boisterous crowd.

Stunned, Willow stared wide-eyed and open-mouthed, as her lover serenaded her.

I look up to
Everything you are
In my eyes you do no wrong
I've loved you for so long
And after all is said and done
You're still you
After all
You're still you

Tara loosened the microphone from its stand; she walked to the edge of the stage and started down the stairs, her eyes still for Willow only. The rambunctious throng slowly quieted, seemingly transfixed, as they watched the blonde work her way through their masses towards the redhead at the back.

You walk past me
I can feel your pain
Time changes everything
One truth always stays the same
You're still you
After all
You're still you

Tara continued through The Bronze, and as she passed Buffy, Xander and Dawn, she gave them a smile and wink. Buffy dipped her head and quickly wiped a tear from her cheek. Dawn grinned ear-to-ear. Xander glanced at Willow’s still dazed expression and smiled. The music swelled throughout the club as Tara moved ever closer to Willow.

I look up to
Everything you are
In my eyes you do no wrong
And I believe in you
Although you never asked me to
I will remember you
And what life put you through

The music crescendoed as Tara finally reached Willow. She stopped inches away from the redhead and sang. To her. For her. For them.

And in this cruel and lonely world
I found one love
You're still you
After all
You're still you

As the music faded away, Tara lowered her microphone. Silence filled the Bronze as all eyes remained on the two women near the back.

Tara closed the distance between them and cupped Willow’s cheek in her hand. “Surprise,” she said, love filling her voice.

Silent tears fell from Willow’s eyes. “Tara,” she whispered, completely overcome.

“Happy birthday,” Tara said, just before she pressed her lips to the redhead’s. Willow wrapped her arms around the blonde, the leather of her jacket crinkling under her fingers; she held her lover tightly, trying with her kiss to tell the blonde how much she loved her.

And then the room exploded. In an instant, The Bronze went from rinky-dink nightclub to Hollywood Palladium, replete with cheering, tinkling glasses, clapping, whistling, hooting, howling, stomping feet. The cacophony rocked the floor and ceiling, reverberating endlessly. Buffy, Xander and Dawn joined in, standing up from their seats and crying openly for the love they saw between the two wiccans.

Oh, goddess, Tara. Willow broke the kiss finally, tears continuing to slide unabashed down her cheeks. She raised a hand to cup the blonde’s cheek and smiled as Tara leaned into her touch. They stared into one another’s eyes for what seemed an eternity, but was really only seconds. Who is this woman who loves me so much?

The sounds of their surroundings finally breached their thoughts, and Tara shifted her eyes from Willow’s. A body-pierced, mohawked teen gave her the “thumbs up,” and she smiled shyly as a flush swept up her neck. She looked back at Willow, who lowered her hand from the blonde’s face and took hold of one of her lover’s hands, lacing their fingers together. “I know it’s your party, Willow, but I – “

“Wanna leave,” the redhead interjected, finishing the blonde’s thoughts with her own. Tara nodded, and Willow watched her lover’s eyes turn dark blue with desire and longing. They both turned and walked the short distance to the Scoobies, who clapped once more as the two approached. The rest of The Bronze’s patrons fell silent, returning their attention to the stage.

“That was so cool!” Dawn yelled, as she threw her arms around Tara.

The blonde smiled and hugged the teen with her free arm. “Thanks, Dawnie.”

“Wow,” Xander said, shaking his head slightly from side to side, an expression of awe on his face as he stared at Tara.

“Tara, God, that was just, just so – “

“Wow,” Xander repeated.

“Yeah,” Buffy agreed, wiping the last vestiges of tears from her face.

Dawn jumped back on her seat and pushed a stool towards Tara. “Here. Sit here.”

Tara and Willow exchanged glances. Then Tara looked at the three Scoobies all aglow. A little party time won’t kill us. We have forever. She gave Willow’s hand a quick squeeze and smiled. “Thanks, Dawnie,” she said as she sat down beside the teen. Willow sat beside her, disengaging their fingers from one another and letting her hand rest possessively on the blonde’s knee. Tara covered it with hers instantly. Forever.

“Wow,” Xander said once again, his eyes still focused on the blonde across from him.

“Xander, change the record,” Dawn said, elbowing him in the arm.

“Sorry, it’s just, I mean, Tara, really that was, and you were, with the voice and the song and the, it was really. You know?” Xander absently rubbed his Dawn-assaulted arm as he sputtered.

“Nouns. Verbs. Adjectives. You should try sentences some time,” the Slayer said playfully, taking a glass in her hand. “I propose a toast.” Four hands raised their glasses. Buffy turned her eyes to her best friend. “To Willow. May the next year bring you all the things you want and deserve. We’re all so proud of you. And we love you. Happy birthday.”

Everyone clinked glasses and repeated “happy birthday” to the redhead. As they set their glasses on the table, Dawn suddenly clapped several times. “Presents. Open your presents.”

“Okay,” Willow said happily. Don’t have to tell me twice about the prezzies.

Dawn handed a colorfully-wrapped packages and handed it to Tara. “This one first. It’s from me and Buffy.”

Tara smiled as she passed the gift to her lover. “From Dawn and Buffy,” the blonde reiterated.

“Thanks, Baby,” Willow said, taking the box. She allowed her fingers to brush over Tara’s hand in a lingering fashion, eager to feel the other woman’s touch. Tara smiled.

Willow tilted her head and shook the box near her ear in a dramatic gesture. “Hmm, I wonder what this could be?” Dawn smiled and visibly seemed to puff out in all directions. Willow turned the box over and started to peel the tape and paper away. She set the box on the table and lifted the lid. Her eyes fell on an older looking, cloth-covered book; she gently removed it from the box and turned it to read the spine. “The Collected Poetry of Edna St. Vincent Milay.” Tears filled her eyes as she let her hands caress the aged tome.

“It’s a first edition,” Dawn volunteered. Willow nodded silently. “Buffy said you liked her a lot,” the teen added.

Willow finally raised her eyes and smiled. “I do.” She shook her head slightly. “I love it. Really. Thank you.” Buffy winked at her, tears filling her own eyes.

“You’re welcome,” Dawn said, bouncing up-and-down slightly on her stool.

“I didn’t bring your present,” Xander announced, circumventing the rapidly approaching sobfest.

Willow cleared her throat and carefully placed the book back inside its box. “That’s okay. You didn’t have to get me anything.”

“I didn’t say I didn’t get you— geez, Wills, you think I’m that big of a schmuck? Don’t answer that.” He proceeded to pull out a white envelope and hand it across the table. “I said I didn’t bring it.”

Willow took the envelope and opened it. She pulled a photo from inside and stared.

“It’s oak,” Xander said, smiling at the expression on his best friend’s face.

“It’s. . . Xander, it’s, it’s. . .” Willow said, passing the photo to Tara.

Tara examined the photo and smiled broadly, knowing why her lover had been struck completely speechless. The photo showed a Xander Harris original, a custom-made computer desk, replete with drawers and cabinets and sliding keyboard trays and everything a computer hacker extraordinaire could want. The oak was a light tan, smooth and polished, with brass handles. It is beautiful. Tara handed the picture back to Willow. “Beautiful,” the blonde said, looking into her lover’s eyes.

“Xander. . .” Willow started again, only to pause with her mouth half open.

“I’m glad you like it,” he said, smiling.

Willow nodded. “I really do.”

“Good. So, you wanna help me move it? It weighs a ton.”

Everyone laughed. Willow wiped a tear from her cheek; Tara rubbed the redhead’s back gently, then leaned over and placed a soft kiss on her lover’s cheek.

Behind them, the headlining band took the stage, bursting into an all-fire, hopped-up techno-sounding version of “Satisfaction.” Despite the decibel level, the band was actually quite good, and the Scoobies all found themselves bopping to the beat.

“Xander, come on!” Dawn yelled, grabbing his hand.

“My public awaits!” he yelled, shrugging as he followed the teen towards the dance floor.

The music continued to swell, and as the song neared it’s end, the band expertly segued into another, without missing a beat. The crowd cheered and stomped and danced wildly, Dawn and Xander among them.

Tara pulled her eyes from the dance floor and turned towards Willow. The redhead was smiling, her body swaying lightly to the beat. Beautiful. The blonde discreetly dropped her hand below the table, not drawing the Slayer’s attention to her movement; just as carefully, she passed it over Willow’s knee, letting her fingers continue under the material at the skirt’s cut-line, touching skin. Willow turned abruptly to Tara, her smile disappearing. The blonde let her eyes drift to the stage again, but her hand remained. She let her fingers draw tiny circles over the inside of her lover’s knee, delighting in the feeling of the muscles contracting beneath them. Without warning, she pushed her hand further under Willow’s skirt, letting her palm glide along the silky flesh of the redhead’s thigh.

Willow sat up straight, as if a rod had been suddenly jammed up her spine, but Tara continued to study the musicians on stage. The redhead felt a sheen of perspiration beginning to form along her brow and she found herself biting her lower lip to prevent a moan of pleasure from escaping. Oh, Goddess. Tara, what are you doing—

Tara plunged her hand fully under the Willow’s skirt, advancing over her inner thigh to rest at the crest of her lover’s center. The blonde could feel the redhead’s desire coming off of her in waves, caressing her fingers with warmth, and a small smile played at the corner of her lips.

Willow sat stone-still, her hands grasping tightly to the box in front of her. Oh, Goddess. Tara. . . Tara, please. . .

The band crashed to the end of their song, drums and guitars blazing. Dawn and Xander bounded back, sweaty and out of breath, but smiling giddily. They both collapsed onto their stools and swigged the rest of their drinks.

“This is awesome!” Dawn declared, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand.

Xander turned towards a passing waitress and raised his hand. “Miss?” He glanced back at the gang. “Another round all around?”

Right then, Tara pressed her fingers over Willow’s panties, feeling the wetness that her touch had evoked. Willow gasped and jerked forward, banging a knee on the table loudly. All eyes turned to her.

“A simple yes would do, Will,” Xander joked.

“You okay?” Buffy asked.

“Uh, . . . I-I, uh, y-ye . . .” Willow started, completely unable to form words.

Tara watched her lover with smoldering eyes. Willow. I want you. Now. Removing her hand quietly, still undetected by all, she raised it to her mouth, slowly rubbing her fingers over her own lips. “Sweetie?” she asked, letting her tongue dart out to touch the tip of her still wet index finger.

“Will?” Xander asked again as the waitress approached.

No more. No more. “No more,” she blurted. “Ah, I mean, no. No more. Drinks. Enough drinks.” Tara’s eyes stayed on Willow’s.

Xander smirked. “Yeah, I’d say you’ve reached your limit, little lady.”

Willow continued. “Actually, I think, don’t take this wrong, this is great, it’s been great, a great party. But, um, I think I’d. . . well, I mean, like I said, this has been great, but if it’s okay, I’d like to, um, you know, . . .” She babbled on, knowing smiles reflecting back at her.

“We gotcha, Will,” Buffy said, reaching into her jacket pocket. She removed the keys to the jeep and handed them across to her best friend. “This is from all of us.” As Willow took the keys, her brow furrowed. “Dawn and I, we’re staying at Xander’s for the weekend. The house is yours,” she continued, her eyes bouncing between the two wiccans. “Till Sunday night.”

Willow and Tara exchanged a quick glance, then the redhead jumped off of her stool. “Thanks!” she said, her face beaming. She reached for Tara’s hand. “Ready?”

Tara blushed a deep crimson, realizing that all the Scoobies had just offered to let the two wiccans have a wild weekend of sex-capades. “Um . . . .” the blonde squeaked.

Buffy stood up and moved beside Willow. “I’ll walk you out.” She put her hand on Tara’s back and gave her a slight push. Tara plopped onto the floor and Willow grabbed her hand. “Then you’re on your own,” Buffy continued, under her breath.

Tara’s eyes riveted to Buffy’s as Dawn and Xander dropped their heads, hiding their laughter. Oh, Goddess, this isn’t really happening, is it? Although she didn’t think it possible, the blonde felt another flush rise on her skin. Willow tugged on her hand, pulling her towards the nearest exit.


Patrons continued to meander in and out of The Bronze, some loitering in the parking lot, smoking or making out. The three approached the jeep, their steps light and joyful.

Willow reached the driver’s side, and unlocked the door. She turned to Buffy. “Thanks, Buffy.”

Buffy smiled. “It’s my job.”

“I don’t mean walking us out.”

“I know,” the Slayer said, moving forward to hug her best friend. “Happy birthday, Will.”

Willow stepped back and wiped a tear from her cheek. Not gonna cry, not gonna cry. “Going now,” she said, trying to head off the wave of emotions she was feeling. She walked towards the other side of the car, leaving Tara and Buffy alone.

“She was really surprised,” the Slayer said.

“Yeah,” the blonde replied, turning to watch her lover open the passenger door and clean the seat off for her. More than you’ll ever know. She looked, once more, at the Slayer. “Thanks for your help. All of you,” the blonde replied.

“Anything for our girls,” Buffy answered, tipping her head dramatically. She leaned forward in a conspiratorial manner and whispered, “I hope the rest of the weekend goes just as well.”

Buffy! “Buffy!” Tara admonished, her own voice barely above a whisper. The Slayer laughed and embraced the embarrassed wiccan. Tara laughed as well, pondering the fact that her friends knew just about everything about her sex life.

Willow came back around the front of the jeep, a broad smile on her face. “Ready, Baby?”

Tara and Buffy separated, and the blonde nodded. “Yup,” she said, lightly squeezing the redhead’s hand before turning towards the back end of the car. Willow opened the driver’s door and got in.

“Tare,” Buffy called out, as she started for The Bronze again.

The blonde stopped and faced the Slayer. “Hmm?”

“Everything’s gonna be . . . perfect.”

Tara felt another flush of scarlet travel over her, but she simply smiled. Definitely.

Both continued on their separate ways when suddenly something . . . something not right . . . something otherworldly passed over them. Tara stopped beside the passenger door, her hand paused just above the handle. She let her eyes roam the parking lot, finally allowing them to settle on a darkened alley entrance at the other end of the lot. Buffy stopped as well, several feet from The Bronze’s entrance. Like Tara’s, her eyes found the alley and paused. Both women stood alert, their eyes frozen on the distance.

The passenger window lowered. “Tara? Baby?” Willow leaned over the passenger seat, curious at her lover’s delay. “It’s unlocked.”

Tara pulled her eyes away from the alley, a feeling of wrongness and evil and . . . darkness pressing on her senses. She opened the door and got in, glancing once more over her shoulder before fastening her seatbelt.

“You okay?” Willow asked, a worried expression crossing her features.

Tara tucked several renegade tresses behind her lover’s ear and leaned forward, cupping the redhead’s cheek as she did so. She touched her lips to her lover’s lightly, and felt a smile appear on the other woman’s mouth. The blonde pulled back and looked into Willow’s eyes. “In about twenty minutes, I’ll be fine.”

Willow’s smile burgeoned into a full-blown ear-to-ear grin. She started the car, and put it in drive. “Fifteen or bust.”

Buffy heard the jeep pull away, but she did not watch it go. The Slayer concentrated on the alley, her Spidey-senses all a-tingle. Nothing moved. Nothing spoke. Nothing did anything. . . . but, she was the Slayer, and she knew their was something there, something wrong and evil and . . . dark. For several more seconds Buffy stood on guard, weighing her options. She was alone, unarmed, and facing who knows what? She opened the door, and with one last glance, she re-entered The Bronze.


From the shadows of the alley, four rather good-looking, Armani-clad men emerged. They stared in the direction of the Slayer, not blinking, not moving.

“You have seen the Slayer?” a voice said from behind them. Mr. Bellum stepped forward, standing between the four others. They all nodded. “She sensed our presence from a great distance. She is impressive.” He faced two of his cohorts. “Follow her.” They moved off without a word.

“The other,” one of the remaining said.

Mr. Bellum stared after the jeep. “Yes,” he began, adjusting his tie. “There is much power there.” He turned to the remaining two. “I want to know who she is.”

The two sprinted away, moving with inhuman speed after the jeep.

Mr. Bellum started for the limousine thirty feet away. “As our madam will.”


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2002 2:58 pm 
HOLY CRAP! I don't even wanna know how long this is! I'm gonna go read it now but I'm timing how long it takes to read.

After all...I've gotta couple hours to kill. :D



~Piper



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2002 3:04 pm 
That Tara's a saucey little kitten!



Absolutely hilarious when Buffy re-opened the door just wide enough for her hand...that is so something she would do.



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2002 3:29 pm 
OMG!!! HAHAHA!!!! LMAO!!!! That was sooooo funny with Buffy walking in on them! I think I laughed for at least 5 minutes. And when she put her hand back in! OMG I totally have to agree with Pudds on that one!



OK...off to read more.



~Piper



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2002 4:06 pm 
WOW. This fic is awesome. I'm so into it. More please! Oh... and thank you for such a long installment! :D

-----------


If we don't understand

What this life is made of

We learn the truth

When we find that kind of love

-"That Kind of Love" by Alison Krauss









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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2002 5:59 pm 
This was quite enjoyable indeed, I hope you continue posting. Your description of Willow on the swings was sweet, and something I'd totally love to see on screen. I giggled when Buffy said "Willow! Let's go!" because I had just listened to Juvenile Wreck's Alyson Hannigan song and in the middle of the song they start chanting that. Heh. Anyway, good job, I look forward to the rest of the story. :)



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2002 6:23 pm 
.......Gasp...



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2002 7:23 pm 
Long is guuuuuhhhhhhhd. MOF, I dont think it's quite long enuf. :drool



Excellent start, you. Thanks for the read!



Primed for more so, please, MORE.





Z



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2002 7:47 pm 
What a fabulous start. You had me from the beginning of this story. Really wonderful work. I am very eager to see the rest of this unfold. Thanks for taking the time to change this from script format for us. And thank you for posting such a large part of it to start, it's nice to sit down for a good long read. :) I look forward to your next installment.

Autumn

-----------

Well, the reindeer part was nice...



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2002 9:39 pm 
God Lord, that was fantastic...the depth of characters, the joy of reunion, the power of potential make up sex in the next installment!!! I will look forward to more.

*********

TARA: Willow and I always know how to find each other!

ANYA: With yoga?



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 Post subject: Re: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2002 10:55 pm 
Hello to all you brave souls!



Thank you for reading my “little” fic.



Let me say right off the bat that I am not good at taking praise or kudos or, well, any form of encouragement, so if my replies to your replies sucks a tad, don't think for a single second that I don't appreciate them, or take them to heart, cause I do. I'm just much better at writing other people's feelings rather than my own.



Anyway, here goes. . .



Loco2: Well, I tried to warn you all that it was going to be long. Sorry about your fuzzy eyes, hope they are all better now. Thanks for your reply and your kind words.



foreverpiper: LOL!!! HOLY CRAP! is right. And, believe me when I say, really and truly, you don’t want to know how long this might be. Whew! Think of all the W/T that will be in there . . . hmm, maybe I can stretch it out a bit more.



Pudds: Tara was a bit saucy this time around, huh? Mmm, good things to come(hehehe). Thanks for your words, they are appreciated!



foreverpiper: Hmm, didn’t take you too long to get to that part! Glad you laughed about Buffy, like Pudds did, seemed funny at the time . . . though I was in a caffeine-induced writing craze just then.



JennY: Thank you so much for your praise. But, “awesome?” Yipes! How will I live, er, write up to that? Note to self: read tommo or Sassette. Any-hoo, thank you, and yes, indeedy, more is on the way. PS, thanks for saying you liked the long installment, I was startin’ to wig!



momentum: Thanks! I’ve never heard that song that you mentioned(is it any surprise though, I mean, you did see how long this piece was, right?).



The Next Tara Maclay: . . .Gasp. . . Hmm? Kris is ponderin’ the implications here. . . good gasp or bad gasp? Too long gasp or too short gasp? Some good intro sex gasp or girl, you need to read tommo gasp? Oh, nertz, now I am ponderin’ . . .



superZONic: Yay! Good start, me! And long is guuuuuhhhd? Excellent! Thanks so much. I was getting’ worried there, you know.



AutumnT: To hear from you, and such praise, really, what an honor. I am a great admirer of yours! Glad my story was to your liking and that the length wasn’t too, too bothersome. Script-to-narrative turned out to be a bit more daunting than I first thought. . . we’ll see how the rest fares. Thanks again!



Bobos Mom: First, please explain Bobos Mom, inquiring minds want to know. B, gracias for such high marks on the first bit. And third, “ the power of potential make up sex in the next installment!!!” Just you wait, Henry Higgins, just you wait . . . Thank you.



Again, thanks to all who took the time to read my magnum opus, and for taking the time to reply. I am reinvigorated and I shall endeavor to keep adapting away(God, does that read as pompous on the Internet as it sounded in my head? Yes? I’m a writer! I’m a writer!)



KrisBo5



“What else is there to say after all of this except Sha-na-na-na-na?”



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 Post subject: Re: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2002 11:13 pm 
Quote:
Glad my story was to your liking and that the length wasn’t too, too bothersome.
Not at all. I'm a big fan of long meaty fic and frankly I love, love, love it when a lot is posted at once. In my former fic world people used to post finished stories so it has been an adjustment to get used to works in progress. Especially since I was so spoiled in my initial kittenhood and was just catching up by reading completed works on Pens. So I am always happy to see something well written and a lot of it. Thank you.

Autumn

-----------

Well, the reindeer part was nice...



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 Post subject: Re: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2002 11:22 pm 
Autumn,



Looks like I caught you online! Woo-hoo!



Like you, I like alot of story at one time(gee, ya think?); I just feel like I get more involved that way. So, I imagine that is how the rest will play out, especially as the plot unfolds.



Hope you keep reading!



Thanks, again!



Kris



Oh, look, I'm a Floating Rose! Hey-hey-hey!



"Frell that!"





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 Post subject: Re: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 12:01 am 
Hey. Just finished this and gotta say I love it. There's so much greatness going on here with the reunion, the party, and all. I don't mind it being too long. Gives me an excuse to sit down and really lose myself in something, you know? Thanks for sharing.

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

Oh, um... various sounds of
hesitation...



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 Post subject: Re: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 12:22 am 
Excellent start, it's always nice to catch an interesting fic from the start. I, like Autumn, like a little meat on the bones of a fic. Looking forward to some slabs o updates in future. ;)

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




Officially, of course, I have to say that I have no idea what you're talking about.



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 Post subject: Re: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 2:23 am 
Buffy’s being all phone Nazi again. I'm sure my kid sister says the same thing about me. What is it about teenagers and phones? You've captured the sibling sniping very well.



And our girls were all nervous with each other, poor Willow afraid to touch Tara. Glad that Tara took action. And her serenading Willow in The Bronze - lovely!



Am intrigued to find out who yer woman and her armani clad henchmen are.



Molly be hooked!

Adding up the total of a love that's true, multiply life by the power of two
Indigo Girls



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 Post subject: Re: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 2:36 am 
this was so awsome!!! i loved every single line and i stayed up all night, never really able or willing to stop. i must say i love loooong fics and posts, nothing compares to coming across a new fic with a long first post! keep up the great work and thanks. definitely looking forward to more just as long updates.:bounce

C

"Es ist fuer einen Menschen unertraeglich , ertragen zu werden." (Jean Cocteau)



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 Post subject: Re: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 4:34 am 
I was on this same page reading your wonderful story for so long that my connection booted me off due to inactivity...LOL....I didn't mind at all though, I love long posts. I'm really enjoying this so far!! :)



--Michelle



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 Post subject: Re: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 4:50 am 
Yum. A fic to really sink your teeth into. I think what I liked the most about this was the internalised characterisation you did. It was so dead on and made me laugh out loud; some of it was truly wonderful.



You established the Willow/Tara storyline before bringing in other characters to begin what I suspect is your central plot. In doing that you managed to hook me totally, because I was already interested and then you bring in the conflict. Wonderful organisation and plotting. I'm crap at that kind of thing, heh, but I do so love to see it in other people's stories.



Oh...and by the way, I got a bit dizzy reading your amazingly hot scenes between our two girls. Tara being so assertive and sensuous, as we know she can be. It's wonderful to read and I think that you really nailed her character with that kind of intimacy. Fabulous stuff. I'm here for the duration now. :)


----------
Squish. Squish. Squish.



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 Post subject: Re: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 5:50 am 
Long is good...very good, i just dont have time to read it all now! But i've enjoyed what I've read so far and will be sure to catch up soon.

Really good stuff:)

"Spatulas are for wimps!" -Dawn



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 Post subject: Re: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 6:22 am 
:blush Euh... Yeah, everything tommo said... :blush

(I'm not even going to try to comment, 'coz my English sucks)



Rocktoddy

"They kill mice, hmmm..."-Crazy Brain-Sucked Tara, Tough Love
"You mean like a 'sexy' peanut butter sandwich?"-Willow, No Matter Where You Go by DarkWiccan

Edited by: Rocktoddy at: 6/12/02 6:23:27 am


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 Post subject: Re: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 7:26 am 
You know length is one thing, quality another and your fic has both! I enjoyed the very complex feelings the girls have about each other. Plus it was intensely sexy. I am really looking forward to more.

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

Willow and Tara Love

Truly and Forever



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Darkness Falls
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 8:19 am 
Well you've got me hooked a really great start loved it being a long bit to start with . W/T are so good together and Tara's interaction with Buffy is spot on. Can't wait to see how the story unfolds



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

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality.



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 Post subject: Replies, replies, replies
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 1:50 pm 
Hello, Kitties!



Good afternoon to all of you! Thanks to all of you who took the time, and I do mean T-I-M-E, to read my fic. And for the feedback, many thanks as well.



Without much fanfare, her we go. . .



Thanatopsis: Thank you, thank you very much (sorry, my Elvis sucks!). Glad you like it, and yeah, there is a lot going on; wait till it actually starts . . . .



Rally: Gracias! I have been puttering with the idea of breaking it up more, so I can post quicker. Good idea?



mollyig: My sister actually called me a phone Nazi, and I tucked that away for future reference; seemed appropriate for Buffy & Dawn. Nervous, babbling Willow makes me happy & is fun to write, so I started out with that; seemed to work okay, I think. And the woman & her goons, well, we’ll meet them next. . . . Thanks for reading!



IsayAmberBensonsgorgeous: I can’t believe you stayed up so late to read this! Wow! I’m glad you liked it so much. Now, go take a nap! PS, can you translate your quote for the language impaired?



pikescoob: LOL! LMAO!!! Tell you a little somethin’-somethin’. AOL booted me twice while I was trying to post my story, so I feel for ya! Glad yer liking it.



tommo: I am so excited that you read my fic!! I have been reading and re-reading your stories on this site – you are a God! Thanks so much for your kind words! I must confess, I’m not too comfortable with writing the sex, so if it turned out okay, whew! Glad to know you’ll stick around to see the finish.



zero: And long it shall remain. Hope you’ll finish it some time in the future. Enjoy!



Rocktoddy: LOL! Thanks!



xita: Thank you very much. Quantity & quality BOTH!? I’m sitting down now. . . . Oh, and sexy? I’m really sitting down now!



DallieZeb: Gracias! More soon to post. . . .



Wait, do you hear what I hear? Yeah, Kris typing away. . . haha!



“Frell that!”



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 Post subject: Re: Replies, replies, replies
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 2:07 pm 
Quote:
I have been puttering with the idea of breaking it up more, so I can post quicker. Good idea?
I'd say do what makes you comfortable. But I will say it was a real treat to have so much of a story to read without it being broken up, but that's my preference. I'm sure others would rather see more faster. ;)

Autumn

-----------

Well, the reindeer part was nice...



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 Post subject: Re: Replies, replies, replies
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 2:49 pm 
hey,

of course i stayed up, it's always night here in Romania when you talented guys update, so what else can i do if i want to read the good stuff? besides, i like it at night, it's always THE silence, it's good and i couldn't go to bed once i started reading your work. i truly loved it and i'm like checking every 17 minutes to see if there's an update from you.

about the sig, it means "It is unbearable for a human being to be borne." it's from one of Cocteau's plays where the main character who is gay kills himself unable to cope with the pity and indifference his fellow beings feel towards him, he feels that he deserves much more than just this - the point is that he too is a human being who deserves to be loved and that him being gay does not give the world the right to take away this granted love (at least it should be granted to all, right?) - it's in German because i found it in a German translation of some of Passolini's works. i hope it wasn't too much information. sorry if it was.

anyway it's night again here and i was hoping for an update.

but i can wait. take care and write lots.

C

"Es ist fuer einen Menschen unertraeglich , ertragen zu werden." (Jean Cocteau)



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 Post subject: Re: Darkness Falls.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 3:03 pm 
Kitties,we've got a winner here !



This is >so< good...All my favorite superlatives have been blown out of my mind by the quality of this Fic...



Kris,I for one am glad that you started with a large post.Just sets up everything so well,and,I won't mind if you update with large or small posts,'cos I'll be reading anyway...

fiat justitia,ruat caelum



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 Post subject: Re: Darkness Falls.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 4:16 pm 
Wow... this just blew me away. All your characters are just dead on, and the length was wonderful! Such a nice long piece to get wrapped up in. Loved this!! :grin






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


"But when they're playing your song on the jukebox in Hell, you might as well dance." - K. Simpson


"Futile... like a FOX, baby!" - Tara in The Late Shift by wiccachica



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 Post subject: Re: Darkness Falls.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 5:31 pm 
Finished it! And enjoyance was definitely had! :)

"Spatulas are for wimps!" -Dawn



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