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

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated Wed. April 9th))
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 3:42 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:47 am
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Wow, Rachel.

I mean, really.

There was just so much in this last chapter that I adored. The "smooth-as-teeth porcelain;" the Black – crawling, oozing all the time, always, everywhere; "a tide too strong." It seems like your writing gets more and more descriptive with each post.

And I totally loved the tea analogy! Really brilliant stuff, that! "Willow was the water and Tara was the tea." Just... brilliant, really.

I could keep going... Resolve Willow (who doesn't love Willow when she's made up her mind to do something heroic in the face of adversity?) and, god....

CLEM!

I can't even tell you how much I loved that whole scene.

I love the angsty, descriptive, worlds-apart story you're weaving for us here. It's honestly one of my favorites.

Keep it up, Rach!


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated Thursday May 22))
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 9:02 am 
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I loved the tea scene.

Maybe it's the Irish thing, our whole lives revolve around tea. Somebody dies we make tea, there's a birth in the family we make tea, somebody breaks a fingernail we make tea. What I'm saying is, that tea is a serious thing, a family thing, and so it would seem here for Willow. I love how she finds a connection to Tara in it, and how it transports her back to happier times.

And how wonderful to have the anticipation of Willow's return to Sunnydale, despite her fears and trepadation.

Talking of returns, it would seem that Spike is back in 'our' Sunnydale, and that has to be a very good thing in light of Willow's imminent return. I only hope he doesn't turn into crazy Spike ala season 7 in the basement of Sunnydale High. What's happened to him though?

God, I really felt for poor Clem. All that skin in that kind of heat, it can't have been nice for him.

I'm finding it hard to really express myself here because this fic is just so damn good that I feel I can't do it justice.

Yeah, that's it. I'm speechless!

_________________
People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built. Eleanor Roosevelt


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated May 22))
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 10:01 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Hey there,

Jumping on the bandwagon to say loved the new update. The direction you're taking in this story is so interesting because it really differs from others I've read.

I love the pace in which you're developing the characters, especially Willow. I'm enjoying the relationship you've created between she and Giles and am interested to see how this carries through the remainder of the story.

Look forward to future updates!

-L


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated May 22))
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 10:13 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:52 pm
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Okay. This is my first ever post here. (after about 5 years of lurking). Not going to lie, I'm doing this mostly because I'm drunk. But I really really like this story. AND I love Rocky Votolato. LOTS. I will write more tomorrow I swear. Ugh... sorry I'm bad at this. :/


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated May 22))
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 1:55 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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Yes indeed, the tea metaphor was absolutely stunning, Rach. The whole opening sequence was beautifully orchestrated as a lost Willow is unknowing anchored by the smooth, hard, and warm emotional band-aid. I love how she is drawn to the mug. And how lovely that Willow can find some comfort in being steeped in Tara’s great glow. “Willow was the water and Tara was the tea.“: Truly inspired! Seriously, seriously soul-warming stuff, Rach!

And I love Ms Harkness. I don’t know if it is cuz I have Smith on the mind when I read your fic, but Ms Harkenss totally reminds me of Mrs Whatsit from A Wrinkle in Time. You’ve created a wonderfully comforting and endearing character. You’ve described Willow’s despondency in the ‘lightning sand’ of her darkness so well, but more than that, Ms Harkness’ explanation of the presence of the darkness as a testament to Will’s journey and the strength garnered from that journey is just wicked, wicked, wicked!

I too loved Clem! Not enough people use him in fics! I love that he has 387 separate gland zones! And I love that he follows the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy rule of always having a towel!

It is super cool to have you back at this, Rach! I can’t wait for more!

P.S. May I go on record in support of the Scoobs planning a strip poker party for Willow’s return!

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated May 22))
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:23 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

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This had me cracking up by the first sentence:

Quote:
"...driving on the wrong side of the road..."


When I was younger I used to think it made more sense to drive the British way, I don't know why.

On a more serious note:

I love the tea metaphor

Quote:
"Willow was the water and Tara was the tea."


And! I love Clem's inclusion here.


I have no idea where this is going and that's why I love it. It's not even like 'Gee! that's not what I expected!' I don't know what to expect, keeps me in my seat.

You make sense. I don't know how it happens either. You've bucked the system as far as formulaic fiction is concerned. It's refreshing, to say the least.

The Board does have a lot of good stuff but in all honesty I had become a bit disinterested in the whole W/T, Buffy thing in general (blasphemous, I know). But, once again, this story reeled me back in. Now I'm a born again Buffy fan. Heh.


I hope my post timing is lucky again...if you catch my drift. ;-)



Quote:
"craptastic"

My personal favorite.

_________________
"It looks like Rupert Grint...had sex with a pig that was an alcoholic crack addict while it was prenant. That's what she looks like...This is bullshit. I'm not doing it." - Nate


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated May 22))
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:32 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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I like hearing about Willow's dark side .. we all have one and sometimes when it is unleashed it is hard to get back under control. I like hearing how people learn to understand their dark side and learn to live with the fact they've got one. :D

Keep up the great writing! :D

_________________
Patience is a virtue I have yet to acquire
-- me


I am my beloved and my beloved is mine
-- King Solomon's Song of Songs


Only reality can escape the limits of our imagination
-- Rivka Galchen, Atmospheric Disturbances


Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself
-- Jean-Paul Sartre


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated May 22))
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:59 pm 
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katjetson:
oi, Nice dibsing! Apparently that strip poker idea caught on, everyone loves it. I might be persuaded to add a little epilogue towards that respect. Your F2 love makes my day, f’reals. I miss Willow with Tara too, and I really can’t wait to get to the end of this and make it all happy happy. Neko has a wonderful page. But she hasn’t joined any parks yet! Where’s she gonna poo?


Foomatic:
*bows* Hello, Sensei. White tea and Taratea are compatibly equal, it’s all about the flavor you want. And price difference. But it’s minimal.
I know you said 7 layer dip, but the Jew in my only thought of 7 layer cake. The good kind, the one they make on Passover that has no flavor? Yep! that’s the one. I’m flattered by everything you say, really. I’m still geeked out that’s it’s you saying it to me when for two years I quietly lurked and absorbed stuff you did. Yay reciprocity!
anyway, the Sambucca? I chose it because I like how it sounds, to be honest. Say it out loud, it’s fun! Enjoy the update, friend, I know you will


Zampsa1975:
Thanks, me too! You and me both, buddy! You’ll just have to wait and see. Enjoy the update!


taraslove:
Thank you, to all you’ve said. I like writing these sections that are more like mini essays on each character. It seems that the kittens are enjoying it, and I must say I am too. It’s a lot of fun giving insights that add the behind-the-scenes details, which make these people come alive even more. It’s a delight, and I’m just so lucky everyone is enjoying it too ? And Clem! He was a lotta fun. He’s so unused on the KB, and he was such a great ‘guy’, I just had to put him in here too.


Paint_the_Sky:
I wish my life revolved around tea. It’s such a nice tradition. I keep buying lots tea without finishing it all because I just love the idea of it so much. (Btw, I realized yesterday I don’t actually leave until Thursday, but I swear my lips are sealed for the Pub Quiz. I can’t believe I missed the first one!) I love reading your fb because you add all these delightfully personal notes that connect things together Like a net of string. Thanks for connecting us : )


ophelia11:
Hey! I’m glad you like the direction, even if it’s not so clear where things are headed. I’ve said multiple times that the pace of the story is something I struggle with, so it’s good to know that readers are following along just fine. And gosh, I love Will and Giles so much, I just had to keep adding to it. They’re so juicy together, like a proper family. Thank you so much for reading and enjoy the update!


bessa:
I’ve already praised your drunk-typing skillz. You’re coherency is astounding, I’m mad jealous. And mazel tov on the de-lurking! Welcome to the wonderful activeness of the Board, I’m tickled that you did it here, even if was due to the power of Mr. Rocky. Don’t worry, you’re doing just fine. The more you write, the easier it is to post, just in case you wanna drunk-type again in the future.


masterjendu:
Hey Jen! Omg, a Wrinkle in Time. Love it. Need to re-read it. Thank you for your insights on well…everything. Your praise of Ms. Harkness makes me shout “Boo ya!” because she is someone new, someone we as viewers never got a chance to see. And since making her such a big part of the story was kind of a leap, I’m glad she’s as real to you as she is to me.
And you’re dead on about Clem. He’s my favorite reappearing demon. Just a hoot! And I promise to try and fulfill some of those poker fantasies in the future. Imagine the fun…


balveens:
I spell some words the British way and I’ve no idea why. Put the two of us together and we might as well have an accent! I can’t express to you how inspiring your fb is. I never want to let you down, because not only would that suck, I would have let you go back to your Poutyfest ’08 ways. And I promised not to let you do that. Or it was my goal? I forgot. Anywho, the important thing is how I don’t want to disappoint you as a reader Here’s hoping this chapter holds up to the rest. Enjoy!


LittleBit:
Well, good, because I liked writing about Willow’s dark side. Even if it is a tough subject to deal with both for her and for us. High praise, thanks so much! Thanks for reading and enjoy the update!

_________________
Lotus


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated May 22))
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:15 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer
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Title: Lotus
Author: Zooeys_Bridge(Rachel)
Email: rsietz@gmail.com
Rating: PG(for now)
Disclaimer: Joss and ME own their characters. I’m just adding a little bit of spice. And not making a profit.
Spoilers: This is heavily steeped in canon, so be wary of all of it.
Feedback: Yes, please! This is my first story, so please feel free to scribble away with red pen. It’s highly encouraged.
ETA! ETA! Always to my F2 and a special thanks to the wonderbar masterjendu. Round of applause!


[center].:: Lotus ::.[/center]


"All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true...I was made for you"

:: Brandi Carlile, The Story::



It was like finding a needle in a haystack.


Dawn surveyed the ocean of newspapers, magazines, and various ads that surrounded her. She watched Buffy snap the cap onto the now-empty red marker, which had died a noble death after hours making pretty red circles. Dawn sighed.


A huge freaking haystack.


Despite the many benefits and advantages of the fast-food market, making a profit proved impossible, prompting Buffy to quit the Doublemeat Palace. Dawn hadn’t minded, actually. They’d eaten so many Doublemeaty Doublechicken Buckets that she swore her hands permanently smelled like grease. Then again, it was probably only half as bad as Buffy felt. A few months earlier, Dawn had glimpsed a bank statement sticking out of an envelope on the desk and it shocked her. She had no idea it was that bad.


It was odd thinking that after all the world-saving work the Scoobies have done, trivial, bureaucratic things like bills would be the thing to cripple them. It was just so….stupid.


At least last year they’d been somewhat sheltered when Willow, Tara, and Xander had quietly poured in a bit of each paycheck and profit, no matter how tiny, hoping to keep things afloat. Xander still tried sometimes, but Buffy would tuck the envelope back into his jacket pocket when he came over, telling him to put it towards ‘living bachelorly’. Whatever that meant.


Dawn, whenever she could, would sneak the envelope back in after a Xanderdate. She knew how much he wanted to help. That’s what Xander did. He was a helper. Just like her.


“So. Prospects. What are they?” Dawn asked optimistically, clasping her hands together.


Buffy picked up the pad of paper with the collected list of options. She glanced down and reported, “Thirty-three jobs in twelve different fields, none of which I’m qualified for,” before slapping the pad back on the table. “Eight hours of job research, and Giles tells me I don’t apply myself. So not fair.”


“Well, y’know, he’s British, so his ideas of ‘applying oneself’ include polishing new shoes and are therefore way messed up. I wouldn’t trust him.”


Buffy gave Dawn an appreciative smile before picking up the pad to stare at it properly.


“I just don’t get it, am I that un-hireable?” she muttered miserably. “I mean, sure I get covered in seven kinds of vampire dust each night, but I clean up real good. I even have,” she paused, counting fingers under her breath, “…three shirts without blood on them! Three! That’s two more than I had in college!”


“Which you kinda didn’t graduate from.” Seeing Buffy’s face crumble before her, Dawn quickly stammered on. “Not that you weren’t busy saving the world and stuff, and taking care of Mom and me, which is way more important, but the real world is sorta finicky on the degree thing. Which you kinda don’t….have,” she finished meekly with a hopeful cringe.


Exhaling loudly, Buffy sighed, “You’re right. And I know you’re right. It just sucks. Big-time. Big-time suckage of the Greek Tragedy variety.”


Dawn saw it: the instance right before it could all sink. The moment they could both fall into the rut of despondency and miserable silence, a dank, familiar ship that had been capsizing all summer now.


But even if she used all her fingers to plug holes in the hull to keep them from sinking, Dawn was resolute. It was enough, and if Buffy couldn’t do it herself, then Dawn would do it for her.


Determined to ride the tide, Dawn grabbed a fresh newspaper and peeled the sections apart, handing one to her sister “Yep. It sucks. But’cha know what else has great variety? All these jobs we haven’t looked at yet! There’ve got to be lots of vacancies on account of all the randomly deceased dying and stuff in Sunnydale, it just all a matter of timing. The more we put in, the luckier we’ll get. See? Glass half-full to death and destruction.”


With a curt nod, Buffy saluted, “You’re right. For the second time in two minutes, which has to be a new record. I think you might be taking vitamins. Well alrighty Cap’n, let’s get lucky!” She grabbed the paper and began searching anew.


Pleased with the turn of events, Dawn sat back in her seat and smiled. Oh yeah, Baywatch Dawn. I should totally have my own action figure.


[center]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/center]



Tara had been starting to resent the kitchen.


Here she was, again.


Like all other days Since, Tara kept herself busy, but this time it wasn’t to trick herself into being calm. Now, she cooked for pleasure, so her hands would have something to do. This time she let her brain think, because she could afford to.


She knew herself well. She could idly sit and think, but that would soon give way to panic, which would serve her no good. No, Tara needed to keep herself together; not for herself anymore, but for him. Never in her life did she expect a ‘Him’ to sweep her off her feet, yet here he was, turning Tara’s world topsy-turvy with something as seemingly insignificant as morning pancakes.


It was pleasant, baking for someone other than herself. Normally, she’d pack up a plate of scones, cookies, muffins, or pies and, like a good neighbor, wrap it in a basket and deposit it on the kitchen tables of other disturbingly empty homes on the street- unholy carcasses of love and family.


At least then the treats weren’t sitting on her table, quietly mocking her with their uneaten chocolates and jams.


Before, she was politely throwing her food away in other people’s empty houses. Now, she baked for a purpose.


Purpose.


Spike had mumbled something about purpose last night before going to bed, but she had been too tired to think about it at the time. It was only when she’d turned off the lights and was in bed staring at the ceiling that she realized her body was humming. Despite the aching yawn of her bones and the weary strain of her muscles, Tara found she could not fall asleep. Her brain was far too busy.


Purpose. What was hers?


That was simple. To love Willow. It had always been so simple.


But never easy.


Not that Tara didn’t feel love for Willow – she felt that with all of her being. But to give that love? To send it? To show it? To live it? There was always something standing in the way.


The demon. Her family. The Scoobies, at first. Glory. Death. Magick…Death.



Closing yet another book that yielded nothing, Tara slumped in her chair and rubbed her face. They’d been researching for weeks, but hadn’t been able to find anything - no hidden loophole, no secret prophecy - that would bring Buffy back again.


Evenings at the Magic Box had been a given, Dawn even had her own homework niche permanently stationed on the corner table. This particular night she was home having a movie night with Spike. The two of them seemed to cling to each other more often now. A proper pair of bandits equally lost in a den of despondency.


And so there they were, two witches, an ex-demon, and a carpenter prowling Giles’ library at midnight. Willow hadn’t touched her in days.


Tara glanced over at the cloth bandage that covered raw wires sticking out of the Buffybot’s neck and sighed. She swallowed, faintly tasting bile in the back of her throat.


The nausea in her mouth propelled Tara to rest her head on Willow’s shoulder. She could feel tense muscles underneath the thin t-shirt. “Willow, baby?” she whispered, reaching for her lovers arm. Tara took the teal pen Willow held, laid it flat on the table, and placed her own hand atop Willow’s.


She raised her head and looked at Willow, who stared heavily at the expanse of tomes in front of her. “Sweetie?” Tara frowned. Ever so slowly, the hand beneath her own, one that Tara knew dearly- had lovingly traced and kissed hundreds of times in privacy and shadow- shrank away, leaving the cool wood of the table to kiss her palm.


Willow swallowed. Her lips were taut and her brow was furrowed in resolve, but her eyes betrayed the slew of emotions within. “Not now, Tara. I’ve got-“ she stopped, picked up her pen and sighed. “I’m sorry. Just…Not now.”



Tara’s heartbeat faltered and everything slid away until only the sleek table, which grew warmer from the heat of her fingers, existed and grounded her to the earth. That moment was the slow beginning of the end. When danger, magick, and duty came first.



There was always an obstacle preventing Tara from doing her purpose. Why did something that came so easy and natural have to be so difficult?


Instead of being puposeless, Tara had lain in bed with one hand flat against the wall, reveling in the knowledge that some other being was on the other side. He may not have been what she was expecting, but the fact that he was, exceeded any of her expectations.


His presence proved there was meaning to her existence, that she wasn’t some cosmic joke or mistake. She’d forgotten, in routine, pattern, and recipe, how to live. It hurt too much even thinking of a life without Willow- one where her smile didn’t grace the heavens, where her heart didn’t get to beat with the earth. But if he existed, that meant she did too. And if there’s anything Tara believed, it was that no one is without purpose. Despite obstruction or vicissitude, whether it be death or a soul, there was meaning. No force on earth is strong enough to deter her from this truth. And Tara would not let her get that lost again.


So here she was. Again, baking. For a purpose.


And though it was nearing early afternoon, said Purpose was still upstairs asleep.


But by God, Tara was tired of waiting.


And this time, because she could, Tara would do something about it.

_________________
Lotus


Last edited by Zooeys_Bridge on Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:37 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated May 22))
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:16 pm 
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12. Recently Gay
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Dibs!

Sorry for the delay, but I'm back and I wish I'd done this before the pages went all kablooey.

The scene with Dawn and Buffy was just lovely, really sisterly and supportive. But I loved the way how just a reference to the past,

Quote:
At least last year they’d been somewhat sheltered when Willow, Tara, and Xander had quietly poured in a bit of each paycheck and profit, no matter how tiny, hoping to keep things afloat.


can help emphasise just how difficult things are now.

It's almost as if their financial status is a mirror to their status as a 'family'.

But, in typical Scooby fashion, there's nothing like humour to hide the pain.

Quote:
Oh yeah, Baywatch Dawn. I should totally have my own action figure.


To hell with that, we want a Baywatch Tara with slow-mo video sequence et al ;-)

That leads me nicely into the second part.

All that cooking and baking for one, and delivering treats to empty houses really gave sense of the eerieness she must have felt. How weird to continue doing it, yet it makes perfect sense in that normal everyday behaviour staves off the sense of abnormality and in many ways kept her sane. Although, her sanity is grounded in denial until Spike arrives and gives her a real purpose no matter how painful that was.

Quote:
Purpose. What was hers?


That was simple. To love Willow. It had always been so simple.


I love that, and how she tells herself of all the things that stood in the way of it with clarity, honesty and most of all, without self pity.

It feels like a turning point in her story, much like Willow's descision to return to Sunnydale.

My only worry, is how does Tara react when Spike is pulled back to 'our' Sunnydale.

I'm curious though, from our perspective Spike is back, yet here Tara is in a previous time setting from where she was when she was making breakfast from him. Time isn't linear here, is it? Either that or I'm not getting something!

I still love that I can't work this one out.

Great update, thank you.

_________________
People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built. Eleanor Roosevelt


Last edited by Paint the Sky on Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated June 16))
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:58 pm 
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Yay for great update-y goodness... I hope that as Tara has found a purpose her return to the land of the living is not far away... I really hope that when she comes back she is able to teach Willow that love always comes first...

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated June 16))
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:12 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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My dearest Rach,

I love the healthy dose of reality you pile upon the Buffster. How awful to save the world and not have a penny to your name. One really should get some serious coin for keeping Sunnydale fang-free.

Loved action figure Dawn and the sweetness of sisterly-love shown here. Greatness!

I touched on it mightily when I read the update you emailed to me earlier today, but I want everyone to know how much you broke my heart with the whole, "Willow, sweetie... Look at me," plea from Tara.

Quote:
Purpose. What was hers?

That was simple. To love Willow. It had always been so simple.

But never easy.


So true. Really, so achingly sad and true. And then you piggyback that cold hard dose of reality with this:

Quote:
When danger, magick, and duty came first.


Ouchies and all that. But sadness aside, I'm psyched for this Tara with Purpose (with a capital "T") to go get 'er girl. Or, you know, banana nut bread.

You're doing an ace job, and that makes me a proud F2.


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated June 16))
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:09 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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Posts: 444
Wow. This just keeps getting better and better.

The flashback? "Willow hadn't touched her in days..." That flashback? One of the best things I've read on the Board in such a long time. And the so-simple-but-never-easy line - classic. Seriously. Kittens will be talking about that line for years. Or months at least. Brilliant!

And, haha!

Seconding this emotion, for sure:

Quote:
To hell with that, we want a Baywatch Tara with slow-mo video sequence et al


Hell. YEAH. we do.


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated June 16))
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:33 am 
Thank you for these two updates Rach ^^

The tea scene is, I agree with the general feedback, a beautiful piece. I am glad that there is no state of permanence portrayed in this story in that both girls, in their separate realities, have to face mundane hassles despite the profound experience they are going through. Readjustment and incorporating past souvenirs with actual lived life is where the challenge lies and I think you've mastered that from the start through that rich metaphorical penning.

When I read about Willow's remorse turning into resolve, it pleased me boundless that she made that choice as it rekindled the hope inside that she would make efforts to share what she has integrated through the dark side of her to the world outside and most importantly towards the new form that her relationship with Tara takes. I'm rather looking forward to reading more on how you allow the storyline to develop after that.

Furthermore, you certainly have a knack for keeping someone hooked and intrigued throughout as I finally got to have a peep at a section of the unlived lines in Spike's lifeline. I'll be tempted to consider that as an example of a unitive life that he proposes to make Tara see but that which she is in the incapacity of reading in at the moment so aggrieved is she.

And finally, when I reached the section where Dawn represents the port that will allow Buffy to close in to her reality, I felt it was a good way of understanding what a return really implies.

Once again, these apparently insignificant details of everyday settings convey a masterful significance to them which is what I find delightful when you write.

Lovely read as usual,

Vi'


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated June 16))
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:02 pm 
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Hey guys, sorry I suck. This summer didn't yield as much(or any) free time as I expected, but I'm getting started writing again. F'reals. I even wrote a few paragraphs this afternoon. Thank you for hanging in there for so damn long. I hope to deliver sooner than I did last time.

In the meantime: long overdue feedback!


Paint_the_Sky:
Nice dibsing!
Quote:
..just a small reference to the past can emphasize just how difficult things are now
. I agree. It’s similar to how we look at things and wish they were different, ‘always grassier on the other meadow’ sort of thing. Retrospect’ll get ya every time.
Tara is perhaps the single most character in Buffyverse to exist without self-pity. It’s astounding and continues to inspire me. I hope her actions continue to flow in the story. Thank you for always reading and being so damn nice and supportive.

Zampsa1975:
Hey, there! Yeah, I hope when Willow gets back all will be well too. In due time… Thanks for reading!

katjetson:
Reality and Buffster either equals success or madfail. I think Season 6 was too much reality. It was like they tried to do everythingbadlifecanthrowatyou in a handful of episodes. Sheesh. Thanks for sayin’ all your stuff.

taraslove:
Quote:
This just keeps getting better and better.
why thank you, friend. Kinda like your stories too. We’re in a mutual state of appreciativeness.
Honestly, your praise made me blush. That’s me, Blushy McBlusherson who is glad to have such nice folks to write for. Thanks for always telling me when I hit the spot.

Nimloth:
Thank you. Mundane in the face of anything is what I believe makes a person. How they react, what they face, how they face it, if they can appreciate something as simple as a sneeze. Our world is fascinating and the mundane shape that world. Someone said something along the lines of a that, but more eloquently. Except I can’t remember. I’ll work on it. Thank you for always illustrating my mundane with thoughts and inspiring me to keep goin’

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:49 pm 
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Hey, everyone. I'm still here, still tinkering away with this story. It's slow-moving, but I've promise not to give up on it. Life allows little time to write, to sink into the state where words can come, but here and there I try. So if you're still reading, thank you. I hope to bring you more in the months ahead, but please be forgiving because the going ain't quick.



Title: Lotus
Author: Zooeys_Bridge(Rachel)
Email: rsietz@gmail.com
Rating: PG(for now)
Disclaimer: Joss and ME own their characters. I’m just adding a little bit of spice. And not making a profit.
Spoilers: This is heavily steeped in canon, so be wary of all of it.
Feedback: Yes, please! This is my first story, so please feel free to scribble away
Note 1: To anyone who's seen this before, thank you for reassurance and guidance. Every step I'm tentative and a little push gets it going.
Note 2: Little switcheroo, sorry. Posted in the wrong order last night. Silly me.


[center].:: Lotus ::.[/center]


The food that I'm eating
Is suddenly tasteless
I know I'm alone now
I know what it tastes like
So break me to small parts
Let go in small doses

:: Regina Spektor, Ode to Divorce::




Xander hated Tech Services. In the eighth grade he’d gotten caught for calling a late-night naughty 1-800 number and had since nursed an avoidance for all things toll-free.


“If you have problems with a Microsoft program, please press 1. If you have problems with a Macintosh program, press 2. If you have problems with a …”


The spreadsheet for labour costs, equipment fees, and orchestrating charges from his latest construction gig had frozen. Right there on the screen, all the data from work zone B was glitched and now displayed columns from the company demo-sheet.


“If you have problems with a program from Microsoft Office, please press 1.”


Excel wasn’t his strongpoint, and Anya had always made sure to demonstrate that when it came time to organizing finances. Quicken would suffice for most people, but Anya wanted a full layout of all monetary accounts before inputting information. “I don’t trust it, Xander. Software that calculates that quickly and efficiently has to have a secret agenda. I don’t like the automated thing.” He would chuckle and agree, then go back to whatever he was doing. Somehow he knew she was worried about becoming obsolete. What would happen if computers could learn to love money as much as she did?


Listlessly, he randomly tapped a few keys on the keyboard. Nothing.


Normally, Xander would leaf through the manual or ‘Help’ page for about forty seconds to perpetuate his manliness before calling his personal go-to digital guru.


But she wasn’t here anymore, and he was stuck calling some schmuck in an office god-knows-where instead of his best friend. Suddenly- or not-so suddenly, as it was always there- Xander missed Willow with a ferocious ache.


He’d never been without her for so long. Instead of poker nights when Anya would win, Willow would protest and Buffy would still not understand how to play, he had a cheap, empty apartment and lived off of noodles and QVC. The life he loved so desperately had crumbled. No letters, phone calls, emails, random visits or refrigerator raiding. What was the point of being a Scooby if there was no gang? They fell apart- Xander fell apart -and he didn’t know how to pick up the pieces.


“Hello, this is Mike speaking, how can I help you?”


Xander sighed. “Hi, Mike, I’m Xander. Sorry to bother you, but um…never mind.” He hung up the phone.


Doing nearly anything these days made Xander cringe with familiarity. His life was sculpted, perfected, and structured on a ragtag team of desperados. With them gone, he was just…floating.


Xander wasn’t a floater. Give a guy oversized weapons he has no idea how to use and he’ll be your champion. But this? This…crap? He hated it.


Not one minute since he’d hung up, the phone rang. “Mike, buddy, I told ya I was sorry, just sorta…changed my mind.”


“Xander?” replied a confused, distinctly female voice.


“Buffy?”


“No, apparently I’m some guy named Mike. Anything you wanna talk about, mister?”


He grinned. “Aah, no, that would just be my new friend from tech support. I kinda gave up at the last minute. What’s up, Buff?”


Static buzzed for a moment as Buffy hesitated. At her next words, his heart skipped a few beats.


“She’s coming back.”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Dawn was nervous.


It’s not every day one starts High School. Especially one that seemed to be a penchant for straight-up-end-of-the-world evil.


Slow down, Tiger, you can do this.


Mental checklist: stylish yet respectable outfit? Teeth brushed? Breakfast? Check, check, and check.


Be an adult. At least as adult one can be in ninth grade. She could do that right, be a grown-up? Heck, Buffy took her patrolling nowadays and she even totally made a good impression on the principal. Before homeroom even started!


Dawn had a good feeling. And those didn’t happen so often. She happily fondled the cell phone in her pocket.


Really? I mean, really? Honestly, how cool. Bette’s parents wouldn’t get her a cell phone until she had her license, and it was literally all the girl would talk about. Geez, obsess much? Dawn made a mental flag to keep all mention of Buffy’s gift as far away from Bette as possible.


She’d been wondering when her family would pick up on modern technology. For a group of people in dire need of constant communication(one of whom was a computer-science major), they sure seemed to be slow on the uptake. Oh well, better late than never, right?


Dawn twisted through the hallway, skirting narrowly to avoid major collisions with large backpacks, stocky athletes, gaggles of girls, and general traffic.


Everything was so....big. The lockers, the football players, even the classrooms seemed supersized. No one looked at her, everyone was far too busy with the hullabaloo of the first day back.


Dawn felt like a dandelion-whisked into the wind about to be lost.


RRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIINGGGGGG!


As if choreographed, lockers slammed simultaneously, high fives were given, lipstick was hurriedly put on, and everyone scattered like ants and disappeared into different rooms.



Suddenly alone in the hallway, Dawn swallowed the butterflies down. She could do this. She'd done way worse things than the first day of school. She fought demons, had been kidnapped more times than she could count, was almost sacrificed, stayed up late doing research about things that would give other kids nightmares, and by golly, she had a cell phone.


Dawn smiled and looked at her schedule. Crap.


"O-kay, where is D-14 again?"

_________________
Lotus


Last edited by Zooeys_Bridge on Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated November 2))
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:49 pm 
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Lookit. A dibs. Take that JEN. Heh.


ETA: This update = fantastomatic. It's great to see Xander's perspective; I've gained a new appreciation for him after reading See Noir Evil and Sights Unseed.

Quote:
What was the point of being a Scooby if there was no gang?


That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it? Everything's so fragmented now, but hopefully when Willow returns they can start putting the pieces back together.

Was Dawn really a freshman back then? I guess that was lost on me when I watched the show. Given that's she's been through so much death and destruction I always thought she was older. You'd think after facing down hordes of demons and multiple apocalypses the first day of school would be a piece of cake.

Love the bit about modern technology; seriously, the biggest techno geek in the world and no cellphones? Or even a two way radio? Carrier pigeon? Geez.

_________________
Foo

Kisses and Gay Love
"I like my buttons, curvy." - Willow, Neverland, by Easiersaid


Last edited by Foomatic on Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated November 2))
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:30 am 
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Yay for good update-y goodness... I hope the Willow's blackness attack isn't too bad....

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We few, we happy few. We band of buggered.

Posting While Nude Improves Your Mood.


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated November 2))
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:23 pm 
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Posts: 340
Ah, I remember the beginning of this update. Good to see it puffed up a little with the Dawnage. Also, just downright good to see you here. I'm more lurker than participator these days. Don't mean to be, and certainly not with F-1's Lotus. So here I am with not a whole heckofalot to say, but this...

Quote:
Suddenly- or not-so suddenly, as it was always there- Xander missed Willow with a ferocious ache.


Sigh. I miss Willow, too. Like, the fictional character. Xander, the fictional character misses his real-life fictional character best friend, so it's a little different, but sometimes I just miss the character on my TV. All 3-D and adorable and quirky.

Things are moving along here and I'm looking forward to seeing what creative wonder you've got up your sleeve. Your words are full of emotion, and that's what makes these little snapshot updates so kick ass to read.

F-2 to the end.


Last edited by katjetson on Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated November 2))
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:20 pm 
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Congrats on the Dibs, Foo! And nice work with the trash talking!!

That was tricksey with the switcheroo, Rach. The Willow part of the update was achingly beautiful, but I’ll tell you that again when you put it up again!

I am loving all the Xander attention on the board today. You do him proud here, Rach. And both you and Jude have hammered home just how lost he is without Willow. Willow is Xander’s touchstone and he is hers.

Your characterisation of Dawn is also fantastic. Thank you for taking such time with each character. And how crazy must it be to try to write a character who is technically only 2 years old, has 15 years of memory, and has gone through more perilous experiences than any non-Scoob ever could. You’ve captured that craziness very well here, most especially that given all of this, happiness is a new cell phone!

I’m super glad you’re still at this. Take your time; we can be patient (unless there is a final Dibs on the line, of course).

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Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. ~Helen Keller


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated November 2))
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:34 pm 
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Yay! So happy to see you back here.

First of all, favorite line:

Quote:
....poker nights when Anya would win, Willow would protest and Buffy would still not understand how to play....


It's unbelievable how delightful and perfect that line was to read. The characterization of both Xander and Dawn were spot-on.

So proud of you! And can't wait to see more. (Write that one line today, girl. If you haven't already.)


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated November 2))
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:09 pm 
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It funny how it's the small things that emphasis the change in circumstances the most. To turn to someone who has always been there is like an autonomic reaction, it's as natural and unconscious an act as breathing.

I could imagine Xander reaching the for the phone to call Willow in the same way you look at your watch to tell the time and in the same moment realise you forgot to put it on. Whereas, with the watch, you look anyway and put the randomness of it to the back of your mind, Xander is reminded of just how useless he feels, of how much his life has changed since Willow left.

He just feels so lost and that feeling of being lost is taken up by Dawn on her first day of high school.

Great to see this fic updated.

_________________
People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built. Eleanor Roosevelt


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated November 2))
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:25 pm 
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Okay, people. You are all officially too much.

I would like to hereby express my gratitude, flattery, honour, and downright humbletude toward everyone. Whether you've read, commented, clicked, or even glanced at my little tale, I hear and appreciate you. It makes my heart flutter to think that the likes of Lotus and I were added alongside the Giants That Write Here(although they're way cooler and better) to the SunnyD Awards. Honestly, I don't even know what to say. I hope the rest will live up to the honour you've bestowed upon me.

I think I might give you a little something back. A prezzie, if you will. Soon. Maybe tomorrow.


Heh. I'm still beyond geeking out. F'reals.

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Lotus


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated November 2))
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:26 pm 
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Come on, now.

You totally deserve to be all tangled up in the SunnyD Awards, Rach. Darn tootin'.


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated November 2))
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:27 pm 
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But you had a good day. That tops anything :)

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Lotus


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated November 2))
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:34 pm 
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Yes, indeed! You totally deserve the nominations, Rach!

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Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. ~Helen Keller


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated November 2))
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:54 pm 
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Feedback. And then a promise.

Foo: I'm glad I can introduce you to new fic-heights. even if more often than not they end up being w/t ones :P I read a lot of Mac's stuff to get into Xanderhead. It's a scary place and I didn't want to go in without a guide. I also know you're more of a lurker so I appreciate all the effort in posting a little something in public. It makes me smile to know you care that much and do it despite the calls of rock band, groceries, office organizing, and big girl life. Thank you.

Zampsa: I know, I know, sorry for the mix up. Willow will be back I swear. Thanks though!

katjetson: Words. Have I them for you? No. So...just get ready because when the day we suit up happens, it shall be legend-

masterjendu: Aaah, Jensan! Outdisbsed was it?;)
But yes, Xander is such an important part of Willow. And visa versa. It saddens me how far that gets pushed back after S3. It's Willow and Xander who were the two who are the two! Thanks for enjoying Dawn. And sweet that I got it right. Imagine how confused the poor girl is! No wonder she was so damn whiny, what pre-pubescent ancient two-year-old wouldn't be? Be well, friend, Irish soldiers and all.

taraslove: I'm glad we said hi. And your scarf is really neat. I might hit you up for an order or two, watch out. Thank you, for lots of things. And yes, I did write that sentence after all :)

Paint_the_Sky: Oh dear loyal reader, thank you. I enjoy your soliloquies ever so much, they enrich me with anecdotes and confidence and I look at my writing a different way after you've had your say. You're a magic one, you.

-ARY

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated November 2))
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:31 pm 
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Title: Lotus
Author: Zooeys_Bridge(Rachel)
Email: rsietz@gmail.com
Rating: PG(for now)
Disclaimer: Joss and ME own their characters. I’m just adding a little bit of spice. And not making a profit.
Spoilers: This is heavily steeped in canon, so be wary of all of it.
Feedback: Yes, please! This is my first story, so please feel free to scribble away

Note 1: The previous chapter and the following take place in Lessons, Episode 1 of Season 7. They're sort of like scenes inbetween what we, the viewers, saw. Think about them logistically and place them chronologically.
Note 2: This one is for all of you.


[center].:: Lotus ::.[/center]


[center]"Pick me up softly, I don't know the shape that I'm in
One bullet missed me, the other one kissed me
And left me to die in the dirt.
They killed every last man and shot down my Suzanne
It's over whatever it's worth
So pick me up stranger, pick me up softly
I don't know how much I've been hurt"

::Joe Purdy, Cowboy Song::[/center]



Day Twenty.


That’s what it was, twenty days since she chose to go back. That meant nineteen nights she had lain awake, barely sleeping afraid that in a moment of exhaustion, the blackness would come claim her and change her mind.


Now, returning wasn’t an option. The calls had been made, flights schedules, taxis reserved, and within a span of 28 hours Willow found herself without even a choice to back down.


Articles of clothing in various piles of organization were scattered around the room, a sprinkle of clutter amongst as well. Empty suitcases lay open, beckoning Willow to pile them with things.


Willow was not looking forward to going back, to say the least.


Half of her still desperately wanted to crawl away, worried that even England was not far enough away from Sunnydale. Yet at the same time, she could not help a tiny part of her from believing that staying so far away was wrong. She was a widow. And of all the guilt she carried, not staying with Tara had been her greatest burden and mistake.


How could she? How could she dare to leave when she’d just gotten her back? Willow abandoned her love, left her alone with the carpet for a shroud and Dawn to find, unadorned and bereft, cooling in the shadows.


Willow knew that that was her greatest crime of all.


It haunted her at night during the nightmares. Tara would lie on the floor in the darkness, her flesh tinged blue, limbs sprawled out with that damned red splotch in the middle of her shirt. Then her eyes would open, like a porcelain doll, and stare straight at Willow. Mute and motionless, Tara would look at her, blank and empty until Willow would wake up gasping with the cool, unblinking eye burned into her retina.


Someone knocked at the door and startled Willow out of her daymares. Slightly dazed, she cleared her throat and called, “Come in.” Giles peeked from behind the door and pulled his glasses off. “Aah, Willow, you’re here, excellent. Would you mind terribly if I pulled you away from packing for a few minutes?”


“’Course, Giles,” she replied, and let a shirt she’d been folding flop to the floor as she stood.


Anything to get away from this.


Willow followed him outside and closed the door to the cottage behind her.


Giles walked leisurely with his hands in his pockets, the collared ends unfolding loosely near his elbows. Side by side they strode for a few minutes, enjoying the timid weather afforded to them after some rain the night prior. It was cooler now, and the air felt fresh.


Willow looked up at Giles. His eyebrows were furrowed and his lips tight. Just as she was about to say something, he spoke.


“Willow, I do hope you can forgive me.”


No.


“What? Giles, y-“


“No, Willow. This is my place, my apology. So, please, let me make it.”


He paused for a moment.


“I am a Watcher. It is my responsibility to guide and teach the Slayer in her duty to protect the world against the forces of darkness. There were rules and protocol written by the Council many years ago for every possible circumstance. But all of that changed in Sunnydale. Buffy changed it all. You and Xander…” he trailed off.


Her cheeks flushed, unaccustomed and uncomfortable at the apology directed at her. He was Giles, steadfast and wise, right to call her the rank amateur she had been. He shouldn’t be asking for the apologies, not after her hands had thrust him into the ceiling and smashing down to the floor. That right was reserved for her.


But her throat was shut, thick like honey with emotion.


“I know now that I Watch more than one. And because I…hesitated, I looked away, I was not Watching. I’m so sorry, Willow.


Huh.


It had never occurred to her that someone other than her could be blind.


And no, it didn’t ease the shame she felt or changed the responsibility she carried, but she could take some comfort in knowing it wasn’t just her that sometimes screws up. It wasn’t just little Willow Rosenberg who was laden with penitence. And you know? Maybe, just maybe she could give someone the comfort she knew she’d never feel again. She could give the gift of Tara, a small pocket of peace to the closest thing she’d ever come to a father. He deserved it more than he knew.


“It’s okay. I forgive you. I’d always forgiven you.” It barely came out as a whisper, but she knew he heard. Giles always heard.


That ease in which the slight feel of relief came ruined it all. That taste of forgiveness soured her system and the Blackness lay claim to her once more. Willow didn’t even have time to shout before she collapsed, her lip splitting on a rock as her head hit the ground. She didn’t hear Giles cry out. She only felt Black.



In the darkness came teeth.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Buffy ran.


Not that it was unusual. Nine times out of ten Buffy tended to be engaged in some form of sprinting. It was her Olympic speciality. Well, along with all the monster fighting.


But Buffy was proud that she'd made it nearly an art form- running in every outfit imaginable. Heels? Khakis? Flying necklaces? Fashion didn't deter her from duty. Matter of fact, it spurned her on. It gave her courage and satisfaction knowing at any given moment she could kick demon ass. Superman had it all wrong.


She cringed to think of alternatives. Of carrying a gym bag with her. Or wearing only sweats and loose tops. God forbid. She was the Slayer and could do anything, did do anything, rules be damned. Friends? The Council? Falling in love with vampires? Parents? High School? College, even? Death? What's the big deal if 'fashion' was slapped on too?


She skidded as she rounded a corner, almost tripping on a lost binder lying on the ground.


Dogs? My dogs are dead? What the hell was I thinking? Buffy grimaced, knowing thinking on her feet was not one of her strengths. Oh well, it was too late to worry about that now. Odds are, she'd never see Principal Wood again anyway. Principals never did last long at Sunnydale High.


Speaking of lasting long, Buffy had hoped it'd be at least a day until Dawn used the phone. But no. Leave it to her to get into trouble the first day. In the daytime no less. And during first period.


And so Buffy ran.


Because she was the Slayer-the Sunnydale Batman- and protected the innocent, even if it happened to be her not-so-innocent little sister. And then, it struck her how sad that was; how scarred little Dawnie had become.


Buffy at least had a safe, normal childhood; she hadn't hit Slayerdom until 15. By that age, Dawn had been half-sacrificed, seen her mother die, her surrogate mother die, her sister die(only to come back and nearly fall apart), her family threatened repeatedly, and had been kidnapped more times than Buffy could count.


But wait. No, that wasn't it at all, was it? There was more. Lots more. Dawn was there for Faith- with blind admiration in the beginning and stubborn strength at the end when her and Mom were held in the bedroom after the coma. She was there for the divorce, cried for days and refused to eat grilled cheese sandwiches again because they were Dad's specialty. Dawn was there for Angel, and later, for Angelus. She was there when she broke her leg in the fourth grade after a bad skating accident. It was easy to forget, sometimes, that Buffy had lived her life twice - once with and without a sister.


And to think she'd come so close to losing it. Twice! Buffy frowned and promised herself she wouldn't let it happen again.


And ran faster.

_________________
Lotus


Last edited by Zooeys_Bridge on Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:32 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated November 13))
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:32 pm 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Dibs.

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"I like my buttons, curvy." - Willow, Neverland, by Easiersaid


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 Post subject: Re: Lotus ((Updated November 13))
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:12 am 
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Yay for good update-y goodness... I really really hope that Willow is able very soon to experience Tara-goodness again...

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