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 Post subject: Gently Used Fic Chapter 18 C Dry Heat 01/29/11
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:50 pm 
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8. Vixen
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Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 862
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
Chapter Eighteen C

Pairing: W/T

Rating: R – for a little bit of language

Angst/Drama Rating: This is about an 8 on the 1-10 scale.

Setting: Sunnydale – The Summers House

Disclaimer: I in no way, shape or form own the characters from BtVS, they’re owned by Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy. All original characters are in no way connected to them except by me in this forum. No money – and trust me I don’t have anything you would want anyway – is involved, this is simply for my own pleasure and hopefully for those who are reading it.

Email: riverwillows@me.com

Feedback: I request it, I crave it, I do read them, and any suggestion or pointers given will be taken.

Author's Notes: Well, kiddies first and foremost I'd like to thank my beta Cyteach; Crystal you’re such a help, you just don't know! This chapter was written entirely to Adele's "21" - I highly suggest it, she's just amazing. This ties up the three parts that have made up this chapter bringing it to a total of forty pages and a word count of 16,911. I feel like I should sing Auld Lang Syne to it or something, lol. Onward we go! I also have to say this is probably the darkest entry in the story yet, so be forewarned, kittens.


Narcissistic Personality Disorder: A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements, high ego).

2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.

3. Requires excessive admiration.

4. Has a sense of entitlement, (i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations).

5. Is interpersonally exploitative, (i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends).

6. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.

7. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.

8. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes





Willow shifted on her feet and stared at Amy. The form that stood before her looked nothing like the girl she once knew. Tara’s observation was spot on, even though Amy was clean and so were her clothes, there was something feral about her. Maybe it had always been there; her eyes darker than the warm brown they had been, her hair had stripes of green and blue in it, but the colors didn’t hide the coarse straw like condition of the hair. Her face was heavily made up, making her look much older, and the texture of her skin seemed to be almost as coarse as her hair, and sallow that couldn’t be hidden under the heavy eye makeup and lip color. She now had a prominent scar from her lower lip to the underside of her chin.


Amy stared from under her bangs back at the girls in front of her; her nostrils flared and subconsciously her nose twitched, as a slow smirk began to crawl across her features.


“I have to take care of this,” Willow said lifting the sheets in her hands as she turned to go to the basement.


Buffy stopped short of Giles, her arms crossed over her chest and her own “resolve face” in place as she eyed Amy, her distrust obvious. “Giles, she can wait on the porch for all I care, I don’t trust her near Willow. I know she’s a sneaky, self-serving bitch, so why should I let her anywhere near anyone I care about at all?”


Giles ran his hand through his hair and sighed. “Buffy, I understand your reticence, but I can assure you she can’t harm anyone at the moment.”


Dawn piped up. “She’s so twitchy, once a rat, always a rat, I guess. Look at her Giles; I wouldn’t trust her as far as Xander could throw her.”


“Dawn,” Tara said, as she shot Dawn a look and kept a wary eye on witch in front of her.


Willow topped the stairs and leaned on the door frame from the basement; she watched this unfold, and the creepy smirk on Amy’s face grow. Amy turned her head slightly as she almost sniffed the air like the rat she had once been, and spoke for the first time.


“My Willow, things have changed, haven’t they? Do you remember when we first cast together? How about the Bronze?” She inhaled deeply, although she kept her eyes downcast. “Yes, things have changed…”


Willow moved so quickly it seemed like she just appeared in front of Amy, staring at her suspiciously as she addressed Giles.


“Who bound her? This isn’t you, Giles, so who did it?”


Giles cleared his throat, and spoke softly. “Rowan,”


Willow glanced at him. “Who?”


Clearing his throat, Giles answered, “Rowan bound her, Willow.”


Willow placed her finger under Amy’s chin forcing her to look up into her eyes. This made Amy start to shift, her uneasiness under Willow’s cold gaze becoming quite clear. “Lady Rowan came here to bind this one? Why? What makes this one special enough for Lady Rowan to do it herself?”


“She’s going back to The Grove with us, Willow. She is one of the witches the Council is interested in being a part of the coven should it be formed, but as you can see she’s not in any condition…” Giles trailed off and waved a hand at Amy as if that explained everything.


Willow laughed; it was harsh and cold, and so unlike Willow’s normally warm laughter.


Amy flinched under the scrutiny and laughter. Any bravado she attempted to display seeped away.


“Buffy, she’s harmless. If Lady Rowan has bound her then she will stay bound, and let me guess, Giles, Lady Rowan agreed to work with her in some way, didn’t she?” Willow said.


Giles just nodded.


Willow shook her head. “Giles, you have some explaining to do.”


Willow looked hard at Amy, seeing in her what could have been her own fate. “Amy, what did you let yourself do? What was so important that you lost you, hmm?” Willow’s voice was so sad.


Shaking her head again she turned her back to Amy moving into the living room. “If you like, tie her to a chair, Buff. Since she’s going back with us we have to deal with her for now. We leave in a few hours anyway and she can’t pull anything. I trust Lady Rowan’s binding far more than I would anything the Council could provide.”


Willow began to pace, and really look at Giles. She noticed a bruise on his jaw and several scratches on his hands.


“Geez Giles, did she do that to you?”


“Well, yes,” Giles said as he entered the living room with the daylight coming in, dark circles under his eyes and more scratches on his face becoming clear. “It seems our Miss Madison, had err...decided to form her own little ‘coven’ of miscreants. With Rack gone there was an open market for that kind of thing here, and while her ‘coven’, and I use that term in the loosest sense of the word, held no real power, they had intimidation and fear. She was the only one with any real potential for power.”


Giles sat in the arm chair, taking his glasses off and pinching the bridge of his nose. Buffy came in from the kitchen carrying rope in one hand and a chair in the other.


“Have a seat, Amy,” Buffy said pointing at the chair.


Tara and Dawn were still on the stairs watching Amy warily, waiting for anything she might try. Amy shuffled over to the chair and sat. She continued to watch Willow with the utmost interest. Once Amy was tied securely to the chair by Buffy, Tara and Dawn made their way to the couch and sat waiting for Giles to continue.


“She bullied anyone with any potential into joining with her and then drained any of their own acquired magicks that they might have. Here on the hellmouth, as you well know, Willow, it seems to enhance even the smallest bits of latent talent. So instead of feeding off of the magicks the way Rack had to then feed it back altered, she was simply taking. What she gave back was fear, not magicks – fear of her – she kept them subjugated to her, more or less servants. As long as they feared her, she could bend them to her will.”


Willow turned to look at Amy, her eyes narrowed. “How did you bind her then, Giles? “


Amy started to laugh and it was a hollow, evil sound. “Yes, Giles, how did you bind me?” her tone flippant.


“That’s where Rowan and Dana come in. They agreed to bind her after I explained what I had found her to be doing. We separated her from her coven, and gave her an offer and then an ultimatum. The offer was help, a way out of practicing by way of fear and cruelty. We tried to explain that’s not what these gifts are for. Well, ask her yourself, Willow, she’s not even an sixteenth of the witch you are, and nowhere near what Rack had become. She’s a wannabe, she doesn’t even have the power her mother had, but like her mother, she has the malice of intent.” Giles spoke softly, his voice carrying strains of fatigue.


“Why?” Willow asked Amy.


Amy laughed again. “Why else, Willow? The power! I know you liked the power Willow, so you know how it can be. Power over others, power over nature itself, bending the natural order to my will — what’s not to like about that? But you’re not the same anymore, are you, sweet Willow? What happened to you? We could have been great together, you know. We still could.” Amy then stared maliciously at Tara. “It was always you, though. I thought once you were gone, she’d see, and what a team we would make.” Amy rolled her eyes dramatically. “It always came back to you; do you know how much whining about you I had to listen to? Just when I thought I had her, you came back…” Amy spat.


Tara sat expressionless, but a coldness crept into her eyes that lowered the temperature in the room ten degrees with its strength. “You never had a clue, did you? Did those years as a rat teach you nothing?” She asked softly.


Willow muttered, “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Willow cleared her throat. “Amy, I never wanted to hurt anyone. Why do you think I stopped seeing you and Rack? When Tara left, that’s what it took. I finally realized that I had started to become something I never wanted to be.”


“And what is that, sweet Willow? You finally grew a pair, only to give them back?” Amy said contemptuously.


Willow laughed sadly. “You, Amy. I never wanted to be like you or your mother. I just wanted to help people, it was when that line became so blurred and I thought I knew best for everyone…” Willow shook her head. “No one has the right to take away anyone’s free will. You would think after what your mother did to you that lesson would have been learned by you, but I guess some people never learn.”


With a growl, Amy tried to lunge at Willow but only succeeded in hopping in the chair, causing her to pitch forward towards the floor face first. Both Dawn and Tara leapt to their feet, ready to charge in Willow's defense.


Willow reacted instinctually to protect herself; a small field shimmered in front of her that stopped Amy's fall as it wrapped itself around her, holding her in place. Amy's eyes widened in surprise as she was held at a forty-five degree angle momentarily before Buffy grabbed her.


Willow watched as Buffy righted Amy in the chair. “So you were bound by force then, weren’t you? Why are you agreeing to go to The Grove?” Willow asked and got nothing but a hate-filled stare in return.


“Giles?”


“It was either getting help here or let the Council take her back with them to do whatever it is they do to witches that prey on their own,” Giles said with some distaste.


Willow chewed on the side of her thumb while looking intently at Amy. Suddenly Dawn started to laugh, causing all eyes to turn to her.


"Don't you see it? She's in love with you, Willow, and jealous of Tara," Dawn said. "C'mon Will, it never crossed your mind? Why else would she get as bent as she did when you didn't want to see her anymore? That’s a little more than friendly, don’t ya think?"


"Dawnie, there's no way..." Willow trailed off surprised at the suggestion, and looked to Tara for back up.


Tara shrugged. "She has a point, Will. Why else would she come back and dose you just to get you to go back to Rack's with her? That's a pretty crappy way to get near you, but it's one she thought would work, right?"


"Even I have to agree; maybe Dawn is on to something," Buffy said.


"You're all nuts! It was never like that between us. We cast some in high school, we were kids, we didn't know what we were doing back then, and bam! She turned herself into a rat! I didn't even know I was gay then! End of story until I turned her back. Yeah, we did some stupid things at the Bronze, but that doesn't mean anything…" Willow huffed.


Amy sat silently while being talked about like she wasn't there, her expression carefully blank.


"Will, maybe it wasn't for you, but the one person that can deny it isn't, now is she?" Tara said as she pointed at Amy.


Willow turned to Amy. "Amy, tell them they're wrong."


Amy's shoulders started to shake, and she hung her head, only to throw it back laughing, a hollow and cruel sound.


"In love with her? Willow has everything I should’ve had, and what's worse, after you left, she didn't even want it! Love her? She's weak! She let love blind her to what's really important, the only thing that makes any difference in this world or the next - power. All because of you, with your simpering little stutter, 'W-Willow that's n-not what m-magicks are f-for,' - how would you know? ‘Oh Amy, she has the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen, and the softest hair, I love her hair, and skin, oh god, she has the greatest skin,’ I listened to that drivel for hours! It’s amazing I didn’t drag you to Rack just to get you to shut up about her. The pair of you are pathetic!" Amy mimicked and raged.


Willow grabbed Amy's jaw forcing her to look at her. "You don't ever get to talk to her that way."


Amy spat in Willow's face.


The room grew deadly quiet, as everyone held their breath waiting for what Willow’s reaction was going to be. Slowly Willow wiped the spit from her cheek, and continued to hold Amy, her grip so tight her knuckles were turning white.


"Power? You wanted power? And what? I was going to get it and just hand it over to you on a silver platter? You want to know the consequences of what true power is like, Amy? Let's take a little tour, shall we?" Willow clapped her free hand over Amy's eyes, and poured out her memories of her time in England, the pain, the sickness, all of it for Amy to see. The muscle spasms, feeding tubes, broken bones.


Amy started to dry heave and gag as she was forced to relive Willow's withdrawals. Tears started to pour down her face and she began to sweat.


Willow let her go; shaking, she stumbled to move away from Amy. Tara was immediately by her side to steady Willow and led her to the couch to sit.


"Dawn, can you get some water?" Tara asked.


"I'm alright, really, I promise," Willow said her voice shaky and thin.


Dawn came back and handed the glass to Tara. Giles sat quietly watching Willow, with a wary eye.


"Willow, what just happened?" Giles asked gently.


"Nothing, I didn't hurt her or anything. I just showed her...showed her what England was like for me. That's all...she just saw it all once, like a movie – The Exorcist uncut maybe," Willow tried to joke between sips of water.


Buffy glared at Amy. "Isn't there a spell to keep her quiet? If not, I'm sure we can find something to gag her with."


"Buff, its ok..." Willow started to say.


"No Will, it's really not. We have to travel with her. Giles explain. What the hell is going on?" Tara said softly as she put her arm around Willow protectively.


"Yes, of course. Given what her options are, Miss Madison has chosen to go to The Grove and work with Rowan to release back what she has taken and once that is complete, she has agreed to be permanently bound and never practice again. She is on the Council’s list; it would appear she has family there at The Grove to help in the process," Giles said.


"After what you just saw, do you honestly believe she won't practice again, Giles? That she won't want the power of it?" Willow asked.


"Given what has just happened, no, I don't think she'll be able not to attempt to practice again," Giles responded.


"Wait, you said she has family there? Who?" Tara asked cautiously.


Giles cleared his throat. "It would appear that Tabitha Rosseur and Amy are cousins. Rosseur was Catherine's maiden name. Amy's Uncle Byron Rosseur married a woman, Jill Mayfair, who had a small amount of power, Byron, himself chose never to practice but was as strong as Amy's mother, Catherine, if not stronger though untrained. Or at least he was; he died in an apparent suicide when Tabitha was twelve. He was found in the family's swimming pool by Tabitha."


"Oh," Willow said. "What happened to Jill?"


"The last we know she was placed in a psychiatric hospital in her hometown, we believe," Giles cleared his throat. "We believe that Amy's mother took whatever power Jill had and may have even had a hand in Byron's death." Giles gave Willow a meaningful look.


Willow nodded her understanding that there would be another conversation later that would give more detail.


"Well that explains a lot," Tara said.


Willow looked at Tara for a moment. "Oh, it does, doesn't it?"


"Um, can you get us a seat on the clue train there, Will? What does it explain?" Buffy asked her eyebrow quirked in question.


Willow smiled weakly. "Tabitha is...off. That’s the only way to explain it, there's just something about her that makes your skin crawl. So her being Amy's cousin would explain it, especially now." Willow pointed to Amy making her point clear.


"Giles, why is Tabitha at The Grove?" Tara asked.


"Due to the trauma of finding her father, and her mother's subsequent hospitalization, she needed someone to take her in and teach her how to control the power she has. It would seem that Tabitha actually has some power and is also on the list of witches of interest. She couldn't be turned over to the foster care system for obvious reasons. Once again, Rowan stepped up to take her in." Giles began cleaning his glasses.


"So Amy comes from a long line of fruit loops," Dawn snarked.


"Dawn," Buffy said.


"She isn't far off though, is she?" Amy said through a clenched jaw. This was the first time since Willow let her go that she had spoken. Her face was slick with sweat and her already sickly pallor had only gotten worse. "Lucky me, a good ol' reunion with my dear cousin Tabby." Her voice lacked any form of sincerity or warmth at all.


"Giles, a gag, please?" Buffy asked menacingly.


"It's what she wants, Buff, just let her be, she'll shut up on her own," Willow said. "Besides, if I know Lady Rowan, her binding will have a timer in it to keep her in line until she's at The Grove. Am I right Giles?"


"Yes, Willow, you are exactly right," Giles looked at his watch. "She should have another twenty minutes before she'll be out until half an hour before we need to leave for the flight. Rowan’s quite amazing with her spell work, you know."


Willow smiled.


Everyone sat quietly watching Amy waiting for the timer in her binding to kick in before delving into just what would be happening next.


Willow leaned into Tara's embrace, slowly sipping away at the water, but her eyes never left Amy.


"Baby, what do you see when you look at her?" Willow asked.


Tara stroked Willow's cheek and turned her full attention to Amy and gasped. Everyone looked at Tara as she stared.


"I've never seen anything like it, Will. Not even when Faith was in Buffy's body. It's beyond forced, it's ruptured...or like shards forced into place, but none fit. Some are stronger than others, mostly dark, murky greys and browns. A few slivers of blue and even fewer of white." Tara turned to Willow. "Willow, I don't see how she functions, there's so many things fighting for control..." Tara just shook her head sadly.


Just then, with a gasp, Amy went out like a candle.


"Wow, that must be what a narcoleptic looks like," Buffy said.


Everyone looked at Buffy.


"What? I did pay some attention in some of my classes," Buffy said defensively.


"When did they start holding class in Riley's room, Buff?" Willow snickered.


Buffy turned bright red. "Okay, okay, so it was when you made me watch 'My Own Private Idaho' and River Phoenix kept falling out, I looked it up."


Giles rose and went to the kitchen followed by the four girls. They went into the dining room and sat down around the table. Giles could be heard putting the kettle on in the kitchen. Just as the kettle began to whistle, the front door opened and Xander came in.


"Whoa," They heard Xander say before he went to find the rest of the gang. Giles had just sat down and everyone was looking anxiously at him, causing him to stop short.


"Would anyone care to explain the who with the why there's a girl tied to a chair in your living room?" Xander asked.


"It's Amy, and she's going back to The Grove with us, Xander," Willow said quietly.


"Oh, well that explains everything, then," Xander said sarcastically.


"Xander, sit down please, and I'll try to explain," Giles said.


"Sure G-Man, what's the what?"


With grimace and a sigh Giles began. "Before leaving England I managed to get some information about the Council being interested in Willow and Tara forming a coven. They also had been watching 'witches of interest', so to speak. They wanted to influence who would be participating in an effort to have some control over the coven. They are banking on Willow feeling some sense of gratitude strong enough to make her agree to their terms." Giles paused to take a healthy swallow of his tea.


"Which there is no chance of this happening. Willow and I have already talked about this. She feels no sense of debt, and if we form a coven it's on our terms, the Council be damned," Tara said.


"Quite right, as it should be. However, when I saw Amy's name, I thought perhaps I might make some contact with her to test the waters. I had no idea I would find her in her present state. I called Rowan at once, and of course she agreed to help. Potentially, Amy could be dangerous, and that is the point of taking her with us. To remove that threat. So Rowan and Dana came here, and we forcefully bound Amy. She cannot cast nor will she be able to until it is removed by Rowan."


"That won't happen anytime soon will it?" Dawn asked her brow furrowed with worry.


"No, even once we get back she will simply modify it to remove the sleep timer, but Amy won't be able to cast in the near future," Giles responded, placing a hand over Dawn’s.


"So what's the plan then, Giles? What about what you said about her Uncle and Tabitha?"


"Ah yes, well we believe Amy's mother was practicing with Jill, Tabitha's mother. Now, we don't know any of this for sure, but everything points to her doing just what Amy was doing. Draining them, we don't know if Byron found out, or if she tried to drain him and he tried to stop her, but we do know Jill has been catatonic for the last decade since Byron's death. There are also indications that Amy and Tabitha may have somehow been involved." Giles took his glasses off and began to clean them as he looked around the table.


"So the screwball didn't fall far from the tree," Xander said.


"Ahh, yes, so it would appear, Xander." Giles said.


"Giles, that explains so much about Amy. It's so sad though," Willow said softly.


"Is there anything more we can do to make sure she is out of commission until you guys are safely at The Grove?" Buffy asked as she drummed her fingers on the table, obviously agitated.


"Buffy, I trust Lady Rowan. She doesn't do anything half way, so if she bound Amy, she'll stay bound," Willow stated, with Giles' nod of approval.


"It makes me incredibly uneasy, but if both Giles and Willow trust this binding, then I'll go along with it, but I think we should be extra alert. She’s not harmless or stupid," Tara added trying to ease Buffy's nerves as well as her own.


"How much time do we have left on her timer Giles?" Willow questioned.


Giles checked his watch, and rubbed his face, his fatigue plain. "We leave in an hour and a half, so she'll be out for another hour. She'll be awake for an hour, and we'll use a wheel chair to get her to the gate in case the flight is delayed and her timer kicks in again. She'll be out for four hours. Enough to cover the flight and the drive to The Grove."


"Wow, this Lady Rowan thought of everything, didn't she?" Xander quipped.


"Xan, she would, trust me," Willow smiled sadly.


“Does it hurt her, when she goes out like that?” Dawn asked.


“No, Dawn, it’s like being heavily sedated and just falling deeply asleep. She’s not aware of what’s going on around her, she’s in no pain. She wakes up groggy and compliant. Rowan really did think of everything in order to make this as easy as possible until we can get safely to The Grove.” Giles said.


“I’ve never seen anything like it, Giles; it’s kind of scary to watch. Just how strong has she gotten?” Buffy asked.


“By herself, she is a moderately powerful witch. When directing her coven, she had gotten very powerful, because she was accessing the power of twelve other people to feed her own. She will never have the power Willow or Tara has, but at that level she was comparable to her mother; making her no small threat on the magickal level.”


Willow looked at Tara with a small smile at the mention of her power. Tara smiled back shyly, ducking her head slightly.


Buffy started to get up from the table. "Well, let's load everything up, that will kill some time. Will, why don't you, Tara, and Giles stay with the wicked witch of the west and we'll take care of the rest, ok? I'd just feel better knowing that if anything happens we've got our best defense on the ready," Buffy said trying to smile.


"That's probably a wise decision, Buffy," Giles said shuffling into the kitchen to pour himself more tea.


Everyone rose; Buffy, Xander and Dawn disappeared to take care of several bags Willow and Tara had coalesced to take with them. Some Xander would be shipping after getting everyone to the airport and on their way.


"Besides, Giles you look almost as bad as Amy, so maybe you can rest for a bit before we leave," Tara observed openly.


"I'm just going to put the sheets in the dryer, baby... unless you wanna come with me for a few smoochies? I could use a hug too," Willow said as she slipped her arms around Tara.


"Awww, sweetie are you ok?" Concern clear in Tara's voice.


"I am now. I don't know what's worse, Tara, seeing her like this or knowing it could have been me. I knew her mother wasn't exactly June Cleaver but I didn't think she was Mommy Dearest from Hell either," Willow tightened her hold on Tara and rested her chin on her shoulder.


Tara stroked Willow's back trying to soothe her. "No, I imagine you didn't, sweetie, but this is the hellmouth. Things like this happen here, and it seems more bizarre than in other places." Tara pulled back to look at Willow. "But Will, I don't think you would have ended up like Amy. Your motivation was different; ultimately you saw what it was doing to you and you didn't want that for yourself. Amy just didn't care."


"You're right, as usual," Willow said placing a soft kiss on Tara's lips. "Sheets, we can make the bed back up before we leave."


Tara chuckled wickedly. "Makes clean sheet day have a whole new meaning."


"I don't mind when the cause was anything like last night, baby," Willow pulled Tara close again so she could bury her face in her neck.


"Mmm, me either," Tara purred. "Did you really say all those things to her about me?” She asked, her natural shyness coming through.


Willow placed several small kisses on Tara’s neck before replying, “Yes, God, Tara, don’t you know how I adore you — how beautiful I think you are? Not just physically, but your soul is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen! It doesn’t hurt that it’s wrapped up in such a yummy package.” Willow wiggled her eyebrows at Tara with a goofy smile.


“You goof,” Tara said giving Willow a peck on the cheek. “Sheets. Don't get sidetracked, sweetie."


"Yes, ma'am, but it's so easy to do," Willow smiled as Tara led her off to the basement.


******


After a few minutes, they were back in the living room watching Amy sleep. The cars were loaded up and ready for the trip to the airport. Now it was all about the waiting. Giles rested in the arm chair, while Buffy paced in the kitchen. Dawn and Xander channel surfed to waste time.


Slowly, Amy’s fingers started to twitch, and Tara squeezed Willow's knee. With a short nod of her head towards Amy, they watched her come back to life. They knew it meant it was time to go.


Willow woke Giles, while Buffy freed Amy from the chair and they all trooped out to waiting cars. As they pulled away from the Summers House, both Tara and Willow turned to look over their shoulders from the backseat of Xander’s car, as he followed Giles down and away from Revello Drive.




TBC...

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Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
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Last edited by vampyregurl73 on Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Gently Used Fic Chapter 18 C Dry Heat 01/29/11
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:36 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:31 am
Posts: 620
Topics: 10
Location: San Diego, CA
Digs!

Brb

Hmmm. Turns out my iPod doesn't know dibs is a word. Heh heh.

First, who DOESN'T know who Snidley Whiplash is? I grew up wIth Rocky and Bullwinkle, and can't imagine life without them.

Second, yours is actually one of very few comments on my avatar. My friend Megan, star of the photo, is even more distracting in person.

Okay, actual feedback.

You know, if it weren't for my stetchy knowledge of season 8, I might be inclined to think you went overboard with Amy's badness. (And The Killer in Me). But gosh darn if I didn't have that knowledge avaIiable. She's a bad, bad witch.

Giles' apparent plan to keep an eye on the people the council's list, whether Willow and Tara would want to teach them or not, seems like a good one. The council will eventually find out Willow isn't going along with their plans, and knowing where the bad apples are sounds prudent.

I liked how Dawn acted as comic relief. It was effective in breaking up this very exposition-heavy segment.

Kate

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 Post subject: Re: Gently Used Fic Chapter 18 C Dry Heat 01/29/11
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 5:34 am 
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Yay for great update-y goodness... I'm glad that Giles is looking out for those "potential" witches the Council wants in Willow's & Tara's coven... I'm truly worried about what Amy & Tabby could do when they meet and pair up against Willow & Tara...

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 Post subject: Re: Gently Used Fic Chapter 18 C Dry Heat 01/29/11
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:14 am 
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Well that sure explains a lot. The presence of Amy had me a little freaked too, but I totally get it now. And now we know a lot more about why she ended up the way she did. Although I'm also a little sad for her, I can't help but be wary of her. I really hope that binding spell is as good as Willow thinks it is. Amy always was a sneaky thing. I'm hoping when they get everything settled, Lady Rowan binds Amy permanently. That is one witch who definitely shouldn't ever be able to use magic again. Fruit loop describes her so well. Loved it.

I really hope they make it back to The Grove without any problems. I can't wait til they get back there, and I'm anxious to see what happens when they get there. More soon please.


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 Post subject: Re: Gently Used Fic Chapter 18 C Dry Heat 01/29/11
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:58 am 
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Tabitha + Amy = allllllll kinds of badness. I'm not looking forward to the family reunion. Loved the update.


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 Post subject: Re: Gently Used Fic Chapter 18 C Dry Heat 01/29/11
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:33 am 
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So...Amy and Tabby and related, Hmmmm. Kind of a genetic match made in hell, don't cha think?

I always thought that Amy had a wee crush on Willow and that's why she did what she did. Of course, spending years as a rat does not help matters. To me, Amy was always an unfinished story line, kind of like on a soap when someone goes upstairs and never returns, so I'm glad to see that you included her in your story. It should prove to be very interesting when they finally arrive back at The Grove. I'm curious to see just how much trouble she causes or if she manages to come between Willow and Tara in some way.

I'm still a little unsure of Giles. It's like her wants to be on W/T side, but is still influenced by the council. I'm just not getting a clear pic of his true motivations. Willow, and the others for that matter, have always blindly trusted Giles and I'm just getting a weird vibe from him. So, maybe it's just me, lol!

Quote:
As they pulled away from the Summers House, both Tara and Willow turned to look over their shoulders from the backseat of Xander’s car, as he followed Giles down and away from Revello Drive.

Hmmm...ominous much? Great ending to the chapter and very creepy. Thanks for the update! I'm anxiously awaiting the next!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Gently Used Fic Chapter 18 C Dry Heat 01/29/11
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:23 pm 
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Amy, Amy, Amy...That's just...just not good. And add Tabitha in, wow, I just...that is a family full of bad juju!!

And I have to agree with BeMyDeputy, I'm not a Dawn fan, but I love how you played her in this. Comedy in just the right amount and in just the right moment!

And Giles...sigh, he's so...guarded and...well, uptight. Probably justified but, jeez, tone down the British, dude...

Really good chapter :)

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 Post subject: Re: Gently Used Fic Chapter 18 C Dry Heat 01/29/11
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:02 pm 
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BeMyDeputy,

Congrats on your second dibs, you must be a night owl like me, since I tend to post at odd hours!

Lol, your iphone! I just got one and I'm learning it has odd ideas when it comes to word suggestions, lol.

You're friend sound like a fun girl, lol.

Snidely Whiplash and Rocky and Bullwinkle! Yay!

Ok, as for season 8, I've never read, I know it exists, and really the only tidbit I know about it is the Buffy/Satsu (sp?) kiss thing. So the evilness of Amy is all my own doing in a purely blank slate way. So guess, I'll leave off reading any of 8 until I'm done with this too.

Giles' plan is a good one and you hit it right on the nose. Forewarned is forearmed.

Dawn is fun and I'm enjoying writing her, kinda of like Anya who you can use to say anything, Dawn you can do that to but without the overtly sexual overtones, lol.

Yes, this was exposition heavy, but I had to setup going back to The Grove, so it was necessary.

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 Post subject: Re: Gently Used Fic Chapter 18 C Dry Heat 01/29/11
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:04 pm 
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zampsa19752001,

Yes, worry about Amy and Tabby - you should, they rotten to the core! They'll be a nice counter point to the sweetness that is Willow and Tara. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Gently Used Fic Chapter 18 C Dry Heat 01/29/11
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:14 pm 
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I still don't like/trust Amy; even after hearing her background. She will probably try and run away if she gets the chance. I can already see Amy and Tabitha causing some trouble. Can't wait to see what you have in store for them next.


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 Post subject: Re: Gently Used Fic Chapter 18 C Dry Heat 01/29/11
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:24 pm 
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wimpy0729,

Yes, Amy shouldn't be trusted and you'll see more as we move forward with things at The Grove.

I suppose there could be a bit of "Poor Amy", but like Willow says, you would think what her mother did to her, it would at least give her pause in doing the same to others. All about choices.

Hope you enjoy the next chapter!

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 Post subject: Re: Gently Used Fic Chapter 18 C Dry Heat 01/29/11
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:26 pm 
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SMGOVAN,

Someone already called Amy and Tabitha a match made in hell, lol.

I have plans for them, and hopefully it won't be what you think will happen.

Really great you enjoyed the update. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Gently Used Fic Chapter 18 C Dry Heat 01/29/11
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:52 pm 
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Shel aka Finey_McFine,

I would have to agree with a genetic match made in hell. As always, I have "plans" (doing my Snidely Whiplash impersonation), and hopefully they won't be what you expected.

Again I agree with Amy being an unfinished character line. Having her show up just to "hex" Willow still didn't explain a lot, imho, other than she got stuck back in high school in the maturity category. I love your soap opera comparison! I never really watch/watched them, but I always thought it was a riot when they'd disappear upstairs to come back two seasons later as their own evil twin that no one ever knew existed! Maybe it's me. ;)

You're absolutely right, Giles' motives are unclear at the moment, but he will show where his loyalties are eventually. He has his own agenda, sort of, as well.

LOL, short of the overly dramatic organ music for the chapter ending what else could I do? Ooo, I wonder if I could find that some where and attach it... lol.

Glad you're still with me!

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 Post subject: Re: Gently Used Fic Chapter 18 C Dry Heat 01/29/11
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:01 pm 
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My Dear Laragh,

To quote CCR (Creedence Clearwater Revival), "I see the bad moon arisin', I see trouble on the way" (which actually makes me think of American Werewolf in London, but work with me here). Could it get any worse? Of course. Will it? Ya huh. At this point all I'm gonna say, is karma's a bitch. At least for what I have planned she will be ;)

I've said this before, I'm actually having a lot of fun writing Dawn san the whiny. I'm glad you both like her.

Lol, if you're telling me to tone down Giles' Brit, then I know I'm doing it right!

Thanks for reading, hon.

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 Post subject: Re: Gently Used Fic Chapter 18 C Dry Heat 01/29/11
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:04 pm 
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Mmmm.

CCR.

So good.

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 Post subject: Re: Gently Used Fic Chapter 18 C Dry Heat 01/29/11
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:05 pm 
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Kate aka BeMyDeputy,

Can't go wrong with the classics, ya know?

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 Post subject: Re: Gently Used Fic Chapter 18 C Dry Heat 01/29/11
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:29 pm 
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love_2003,

Amy never did much of anything to really earn any trust. There was a few moments of sympathy on the show, then she throws that out the window too.

I hope my plans live up to all the hype I make of them!

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 Post subject: New Fic Canon/Slight AU Dry Heat Ch.19 03/05/11
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:56 am 
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Chapter Nineteen

Pairing: W/T

Rating: PG-13 for slightly sexual situations

Angst/Drama Rating: This is about a 6 on the 1-10 scale.

Setting: The Grove - Tucson

Disclaimer: I in no way, shape or form own the characters from BtVS, they’re owned by Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy. All original characters are in no way connected to them except by me in this forum. No money – and trust me I don’t have anything you would want anyway – is involved, this is simply for my own pleasure and hopefully for those who are reading it.

Email: riverwillows@me.com

Feedback: Is critical, have at it. Please don’t make me beg – it’s just not pretty.

Author’s Notes: I thought after the last chapter I might need a little time before I had the next one, and it appears I was right. Before I go any further, I’d like to thank my beta CYTEACH, Crystal, your encouragement and support mean so much, and you can now put the sharp stick away – or at least stop sharpening it, that last jab left a mark ^_~. This chapter has turned out to be a “music heavy” chapter, in terms of music being used in the chapter itself, it's also the shortest to date (I think). So click on the links, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and see how they could fit. The music used during the chapter was Bright Eyes “The People’s Key”, Iron and Wine “Kiss Each Other Clean”, Cut Copy “Zonoscope”, Sheryl Crow “The Globe Sessions”, and The Decemberists “The Hazards of Love”. The three songs Tara sings for Willow are all by City and Colour; “The Girl” aka “the proposal song”, is from the cd “Bring Me Your Love” and “Like Knives” and “Hello, I’m in Delaware” are both from “Sometimes”. These of course “technically” were even out if you want to be strict timeline wise, but in my timeline good music is always allowed so they get godmothered in…or would that be fairy godmothered in? Whatever works. ^_~


The Road goes ever on and on,
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And must follow, if I can.
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way.
Where many path and errands meet.
And wither then? I cannot say.
– J.R.R. Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings





The strange looking little group stood staring out into the Tucson early summer dry heat, waiting for the rental car to be brought around. What an odd little group they must have seemed; Amy’s pseudo-goth look and semi-drugged stance, her arm being held tightly by Giles sans his usual tweed-y-ness, but stiff nonetheless, followed by Tara’s fresh faced, blonde hair and blue eyed beauty, and rounded out by Willow’s peaches n’ cream girlish sweetness, holding tightly to each others hands, and obviously a couple.


An overly cheery young man hopped out of an SUV and gave Giles a conspiratorial smile while he opened the passenger doors, onto whom Giles leveled his best British condescending sneer before ushering Amy into the backseat of the vehicle, while Tara and Willow took care of the luggage. Giles had thought far enough ahead to add Willow as a driver, and asked her to drive them to The Grove. Tara rode up front resting her hand protectively on Willow's thigh, while Giles and Amy sat in the back; Giles focused totally on Amy who appeared to doze during the drive.


The shared cautious looks between the rest of the passengers made it obvious they thought something else entirely about Amy’s docile napping. Everyone was on high alert during the drive, with Willow taking the quickest route from the airport back out to The Grove, she was able to make the drive in just under forty minutes. As Willow pulled into a parking space and turned the SUV off, a grim-faced Dana was approaching to meet them.


Opening Amy’s door, Dana spoke. “Merry meet, Sisters, merry meet, Giles. I assume you to be Amy Madison, then, yes?” She looked down at the thin young woman who didn’t respond or even look at her.


Everyone simply nodded.


“Merry meet, Dana,” Giles responded.


With a cheeky grin Willow asked, “Did you miss me, Dana?” as she moved to the back of the SUV to start pulling bags out.


Tara giggled, “Merry meet, Sister.”


“Like a heat rash in August, Sister Willow,” Dana replied teasingly.


“She’s got your number, Will,” Tara teased as she gave Willow a wink.


“Hey, no ganging up on me! You are supposed to be on ‘Team Willow’ here,” Willow said with a good natured pout.


“Yes, now that we have that all out of the way, where does Rowan want me to take Amy?” Giles asked archly.


“Oh, lighten up, Giles, you got her here, we can take over. Besides, you look like hell. Did she do that after we left?” Dana asked.


“Umm, well, yes we had a bit of a…disagreement, shall we say?” Giles said.


Dana smirked at Giles. “So I see. Girls, just leave any bags Amy has at the main desk. Rowan wants to see her right away, of course. She also would like to see you before dinner, Willow.”


“Sure, c’mon baby, the quicker the better,” Willow shuddered a little. “Do you want to keep the keys, Giles?”


“Uh, what? Uh no, Willow. If I need them I know how to find you, and I don’t anticipate leaving tonight at least,” Giles said as he helped to grab bags and follow Dana who now held a death grip on Amy.


With a chirp of the car alarm, everyone headed for the main entrance. The desk that normally held Tabitha was empty, and Willow shot a look to Tara as she set a bag down, and took another from her, to which Tara just shrugged.


Taking Tara’s now free hand in her own, Willow turned and said, “Well, we’re gonna get settled in, we’ll see you at dinner, I guess?”


Dana smiled sadly, and nodded, while Giles mumbled something as he waved in their general direction before moving off towards Rowan’s office following Dana and Amy. Willow and Tara again exchanged looks at the uncharacteristically curt behavior from Giles.


Making their way back to their rooms was a quick and silent little trek through the corridors of The Grove. Entering through Tara’s door, there were already several boxes waiting inside for her that had been shipped previously by Xander. Willow walked in through Tara’s bedroom and into hers to find some boxes waiting for her as well.


Dropping her bags on her bed she walked back into Tara’s room, toeing off her shoes, Willow flopped down on the bed and waited for Tara join her. Tara walked into her bedroom and smiled. Kicking her shoes off, she crawled onto the bed next to Willow and started blowing in her ear gently to make her giggle.


Willow suddenly rolled over onto Tara, kissing her soundly. Tara eased her legs open a little more so Willow could slide between them, giving their bodies better contact as their kisses grew more passionate. Tara’s hands wandered to Willow’s bottom of their own accord, kneading the flesh beneath her palms.


Willow broke the kiss with a slight moan. “Mmm, that feels nice.”


“I agree, I was beginning to feel a little Willowkiss deprived,” Tara said before nipping at Willow’s chin.


“Baby, I promise to do my best to make sure you will never be Willow deprived again.”


“Promise?” Tara asked softly.


“I promise,” Willow said sincerely as she brushed hair away from Tara’s face and looked deeply into her eyes before kissing her.


Tara’s hand worked up Willow’s back kneading a pathway up Willow’s spine to the long red hair spilling down past her shoulders. Wrapping her finger’s around it, Tara tugged it a little, not hard but enough to get Willow’s attention.


“Mmm, yes baby?” Willow asked her eyes a little glazed over.


“Sweetie, were you serious about our hair, you know changing it or something?’ Tara asked.


Willow rose up a little to look into Tara’s face as she thought.


“Yes, I think I am. Change is good, change is painful, change is necessary, I read that somewhere, or maybe Lady Rowan said it...we are making some big changes, why can’t we do something as small as change our hair? Cut it short, or change its color, baby it’s only hair. If we don’t like we can fix it, well when it comes to color we can. I mean I’m not suggesting shaving your head…you won’t shave your head will you? But you know it could be fun. Besides it grows back, right?”


Tara started laughing at the willowbabble she just witnessed. Working her hands into the back pockets of Willow’s jeans she pressed her hips into Willow.


“Yup, it grows back, and color is just that. We can change it if we don’t like it. When?”


Willow thought for a moment and the wiggled so the keys in her front pocket pressed into Tara’s hip but not painfully so. “Well, I still have the keys, we could go now if you want, or how about tomorrow? We can make an afternoon of it? Marisol has a younger brother that I’ve met several times, and he's a hairdresser, we could go see Bunny. I can show you around a bit; it’s down on Fourth Avenue. We’ll have fun, ooo, there’s a great restaurant there, it’s inexpensive and the food is awesome!” Willow enthused.


Tara raised her head giving Willow a quick kiss to 'seal the deal', before effortlessly flipping them over so she could roll off of Willow. “Sounds like a good plan, sweetie.”


Tara walked into the living room to grab her bags and bring them back into the bedroom. Willow rose up on her elbows to watch Tara move around the room while she talked.


“Wait til you meet him, he’s ‘family’, Wiccan, and a drag queen on top of being a riot. I had never met anyone like him, and coming from Sunnydale, that’s saying something. I think you’ll like Bunny.”


“Bunny?” Tara asked with a smirk and a raised eyebrow.


“Yeah, I’m not sure what his real name is, I don't think I've ever been told, but he does drag under the name ‘Bunny FooFoo’,” Willow giggled, “See, I told you, he’s a riot.”


“And is Marisol here at The Grove?”


“No, but yes, she doesn’t live here; she takes care of her mother, and a niece I think. Her sister was killed, and that’s how her niece came to be with her, but I don’t really know much more. You’ll meet Marisol, you’ll like her too, she works in the stables.”


Just then the phone next to Tara’s bed rang and she sat to answer it.


“Hello…oh h-hello, My Lady…yes, she is, w-would you…yes, certainly…well, we had planned to go into the city tomorrow…yes, that works, y-yes My Lady, blessed be.” Tara looked at Willow. “I assume you know who that was?” She said softly.


Willow nodded as she slid off the bed, and reached for her shoes. Slipping back into them without untying them, she scrambled next to Tara and put her head on her shoulder.


“I’ll be back as quick as I can, baby. We still have lots of time before dinner; I can help you unpack some of your boxes if you want…” Willow’s voice trailed off in tones of awe.


Tara slipped her arm around Willow pulling her close, dropping a kiss on her head. “What is it sweetie?”


“You…here…with me…baby, is it wrong to feel so happy?” Willow asked quietly.


“You should never feel guilty for your happiness, and you should never take it for granted,” Tara said in gentle earnestness. “It can evaporate overnight…we know that to some degree, don’t we?” Turning to face Willow, she lifted her chin and kissed her deeply.


Slowly running her hands up Willow’s arms, Tara broke from the kiss that left them both flushed. “You should go, she probably shouldn’t have to call for you twice,” Tara whispered.


With her gaze a little unfocused, Willow nodded. Taking a deep breath and blinking a few times before rising, Willow smiled broadly at Tara. “I love you.”


“And I love you,” Tara said as she smiled back, and watched Willow bounce out through her room. Tara heard the soft click of the door closing behind Willow from the other room.


*********


Sitting for a moment, Tara looked around the room; through the door into the living room she could see her guitar case. Deciding to finish with her unpacking first, Tara moved slowly around putting things in drawers, here and there, while she hummed to herself. Not knowing how long Willow would be gone she took her time, set up her personal alter and placed some favorite objects around the room to make it more ‘hers’ and feel more like ‘home’. Truthfully, now being here with Willow, part of her felt that if they never went back to Sunnydale that would be fine as long as they were together.


Sitting down on the bed again, Tara closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She listened to the sounds around her. She could hear a dove coo outside, and took another deep breath to center herself. She heard something scurry against the wall under the window, another breath. She heard the air conditioning kick on and begin to blow over the top of her head, another breath. Rolling her shoulders and then her neck, Tara opened her eyes. She felt a noticeable difference in herself being away from the hellmouth and she’d only been gone a few hours. She wondered what Buffy and Dawnie would be like if they got away, and how getting away would be so good for them.


As her thoughts turned melancholy, she picked up several of her favorite candles, a cone of dragon’s blood incense and moved out into the living room. Slowly she paced the candles around the room, when she had them where she wanted them Tara went into back into her bedroom and pulled out a small incense tray especially for cones. Placing the ornate brass dome on the coffee table, slowly she went around and lit her candles, turning off any lights as she went. When she got to the last candle she lit the cone from it. Tara watched the tip flare and smoke, then begin to glow. Blowing it out, Tara placed it on the stand covering it with its intricately designed dome before she picked up her guitar case and sat on the sofa.


With the lights off, the only light came from the window in the bedroom, so with the blinds closed the candles lit the living room in soft, somber light. Tara waved some of the smoke from the incense up and over her head, and then around her body, using the smoke to cleanse and reinforce protection, and love in the rooms she shared with Willow. Willow’s question about happiness, her own feelings about being away from the hellmouth and how those dear to her would benefit from it immensely although it would probably never happen, weighed heavily on Tara as she began to tune her guitar.


Being a singer, she had an ear for pitch and while she didn’t have perfect pitch, it was pretty darn close. This made tuning by ear easy for her; once she was sure she was tuned, she began to strum aimlessly with no particular melody in mind to warm her hands up. Starting with a favorite and one that seemed appropriate, and that she had been practicing prior to seeing Willow again; she started the opening chords of “All Along the Watchtower”, and sang along as she began to roll through a few of the songs she had learned over the last year.


*********


When Willow got outside their rooms she heard guitar music and the unmistakable sounds of Tara singing. She stood at the door listening, resting her forehead against the door and closing her eyes; then decided to enter from her own room.


Closing the door carefully so she could be as quiet as possible, she stopped at her bed to take her shoes off. She sat breathing in the comforting scent of the incense and listened to the song Tara was currently singing come to an end. There was a pause, and a riff of random notes before another song started slow and sad. Tara started to sing softly, it wasn’t the high soft voice that sang to her almost two years ago, but a warm contralto, with a breathy delivery. The words began to sink in to Willow, bringing tears to her eyes, and leaving her stuck to her bed as she listened.



Your words are Like knives
They peel my skin and pierce my soul...
Your body will burn tonight...
Though your heart may still remain cold

And I will blame myself
And I will blame myself
For holding on to what I hoped would keep you by my side
I will blame myself

The Sheets are stained with...
Memories of your soft kiss
Now this is all I have
Paper and pen to remember you with

And I will blame myself
And I will blame myself
For holding on to what I hoped would keep you by my side
I will blame myself
Can I have you?
Can I have you?
Can I have you?
Can I have you?
Can I have you?



Tara’s voice cracked on the last breathy, “I will blame myself”, and freed Willow to move towards her, to let her love know she was not alone, her Willow was with her. She stood just inside the door out of Tara’s line of sight, one hand over her mouth and one over stomach, held in place as Tara belted out the last five lines. Willow struggled to hold in the emotion that the words and the sound of Tara's pained and emotive voice brought up in her.


There was only a brief pause, and Willow thought she heard a sob come from Tara, as she pushed into the next song.



So there goes my life
Passing by with every exit sign
It's been so long
Sometimes I wonder how I will stay strong
No sleep tonight
I'll keep on driving these dark highway lines
And as the moon fades
One more night gone, only twenty more days

But I will see you again
I will see you again a long time from now


Willow couldn’t bear for Tara to sing these sad songs; she wanted to know why, what had upset her, what she could do to ease the pain these songs so plainly embodied. So she moved forward enough to be in Tara’s peripheral line of sight and so the movement would catch her attention.


And there goes my life
Passing by with every departing flight
And it’s been so hard
So much time so far apart
And she walks the night
How many hearts will die tonight
And will things have changed
I guess I'll find out in seventeen days


Tara, turned her head, her eyes were closed and her smile sad as she sang. When she opened her eyes she saw Willow and smiled sincerely, and with a nod of her head invited her into the living room to listen to her. Willow crept into a chair across from Tara to watch her face as she played, her foot tapped and her head bobbed along keeping time with the music.



But I will see you again
I will see you again a long time from now

My body aches,
and it hurts to sing,
and no one is moving
And I wish that I weren't here tonight,
but this is my life

And I will see you again
I will see you again a long time from now

And I will see you again
I will see you again a long time from now


With a flourish of a few extra chords Tara finished the song and watched Willow, who was wiping at her nose, tears glistening on both their cheeks. Tara sat the guitar next to her on the couch and suddenly had a lap full of Willow. Willow buried her face in Tara’s neck, and began to speak in between sniffles. “Baby *sniffle* are you unhappy, unhappy with m-me? *sniffle* We can *sniffle* g-go wherever you want*sniffle* tell me what you need, baby*sniffle*.”


Tara wrapped her arms tightly around the sniffling girl on her lap, and stroked her back to soothe her. “Shh, shh, sweet love, shh. That is farthest from the truth, sweetheart. Let me explain them a little, okay? You remember the guy I told you I had tutored in exchange for the guitar lessons I mentioned, right?” Willow nodded into Tara’s neck. “Well, he was fond of that band and used one of their songs to propose with, so I listened to them a lot, and got to liking them quite a bit. Some of their songs fit how I was feeling at the time, and our situation.” Tara rubbed the soft denim on Willow’s thigh, as she sniffled too.


“He proposed with music like that?” Willow squeaked, making Tara laugh.


“No, sweetie, all their songs aren’t so sad, some are actually very sweet. The one Leif used is very sweet; would you like to hear it?” Tara asked as she wiped away her own tears and reached to gently wipe away Willow’s.


Willow tightened her hold on Tara, covering her face and neck in kisses. “Tara, baby, you know I love you, don’t you? Please don’t ever doubt that. I know so much has happened – we’ve been forced through…” Tara cut Willow off with a soft lingering kiss.


“Sweet love, I know, it’s just that the sadness still lingers over it all sometimes. It will fade away, we just have to be patient, you just have to be patient with me, okay? I can forgive you, but I won’t forget, Willow. We also didn’t deserve to have decisions made for us, I won’t forget how I was toyed with by others, and neither should you, love.”


“Tara, I don’t know that I can forgive, much less forget, especially when in part it was my decisions that caused you so much pain. I have learned though, does that help any? I’ve learned so much, and I know that I didn’t do things the right way with so many things the first time.” Willow shook her head, and sighed heavily. “Will you sing for me?” She asked softly.


Tara looked closely at Willow, her head cocked to one side as she took in the weight of Willow’s words before she nodded. Willow slid from Tara’s lap and back into the chair across from her, and watched as she picked her guitar up again. Tara cut her eyes at Willow in a suddenly nervous glance, tipping her head to hide behind a fall of blonde locks, as she pretended to tune her guitar again before she started.


Then she began to play and Willow sat enraptured. She watched Tara’s long, slim fingers move over the fret board with grace and skill, and then wondered how she could have missed the calluses that would have formed after a year of playing regularly. As Tara started to sing, Willow’s attention was pulled away from her hands to the song and its words. Tara sang softly with her eyes closed.



I wish I could do better by you,
'cause that's what you deserve
You sacrifice so much of your life
In order for this to work.

While I'm off chasing my own dreams
Sailing around the world
Please know that I'm yours to keep
my beautiful girl

When you cry a piece of my heart dies
Knowing that I may have been the cause
If you were to leave
Fulfill someone else's dreams
I think I might totally be lost
You don't ask for no diamond rings no delicate string of pearls
That's why I wrote this song to sing
My beautiful girl
ooooo ooo ohhh ohh oh oh



Tara opened her eyes and with a smile looked directly into Willow’s eyes as she paused, her eyes sparkling with affection. She beat on the body of her guitar to count out and pick up the pace of the song as she started again.



One, two, one two three four
I wish I could do better by you
'cause it's what you deserve
You sacrifice so much of your life
in order for this to work

While I'm off chasing my own dreams (my own dreams)
sailing around the world ('round the world)
Please know that I'm yours to keep
My beautiful girl

And when you cry a piece of my heart dies
Knowing that I may have been the cause
If you were to leave and fulfill someone else's dreams
I think I might totally be lost

But you don't ask for no diamond rings (Diamond rings)
No delicate string of pearls (String of pearls)
That's why I wrote this song to sing
My beautiful girl

ooooo ooo ohhh ohh oh oh
ooooo ooo ohhh ohh oh oh
ooooo ooo ohhh ohh oh oh
ooooo ooo ohhh ohh oh oh

But you don't ask for no diamond rings (Diamond rings)
No delicate string of pearls (String of Pearls)
That's why I wrote this song to sing
My beautiful girl.



Willow applauded loudly, which made Tara blush. “I hope she said yes.”


Tara nodded as she set her guitar in its case. “She did. Leif had me, and two other people help him. I don’t know them, though. A girl on a stand-up bass, and this short little guy with a snare drum. We came out at the count in the song to round out the sound. Then he got down on one knee, with a ring. She cried, you know the typical proposal scene, it was all very sweet though.”


Willow stood, and held her hand out to Tara. Taking Willow’s hand Tara followed her back into the bedroom, where it was cool and dark. Willow slowly undressed Tara, and with every piece of clothing she removed she whispered “I love you” just loud enough for Tara to hear her. Willow pulled the covers back and eased Tara into the bed, before quickly undressing herself and joining her under the covers.


Willow pulled Tara close and wrapped herself around her until not even air could get between their bodies. She kissed Tara’s ears, her eyelids, the corner’s of her mouth, the tip of her nose, covering her face and shoulders in soft, loving kisses. Each kiss Willow punctuated by a soft “You are my heart and soul”. Gentle caresses up and down each others backs, across shoulders and hips, sweet kisses until they both drifted off to sleep. Wrapped together almost like they had been braided that way, they were so entwined. Taking comfort in one another, they dreamed.




TBC...

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Last edited by vampyregurl73 on Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:05 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic Canon/Slight AU Dry Heat Ch.19 03/05/11
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:59 am 
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Dibs. Brb.

Overall a very sadly sweet piece, which is appropriate to their situation. They had a chance for reconciliation earlier, but now that they're at The Grove, it's really the start of a new chapter of their lives. I like that Tara emphasizes that forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting; to learn from an experience you have to remember it, even if you regret it.

I thought that Tara's curiosity of what Dawn and Buffy would be like outside of Sunnydale was interesting; the context of the Hellmouth colors Buffy's behavior by itself, plus any supernatural bad-vibe-y-ness making it worse.

Also, "Bunny Foo Foo" as a drag name is very funny.

Kate

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic Canon/Slight AU Dry Heat Ch.19 03/05/11
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:51 am 
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Yay for great update-y goodness... I'm glad that they had a happy singing session...

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic Canon/Slight AU Dry Heat Ch.19 03/05/11
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:03 am 
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Logical Tara plays guitar; I know they aren't much alike but Amber plays guitar and pedal steel, I believe.

Interesting characters mentioned here.

Egotistical paragraph; did I miss the chapter where you quote me ? :-)

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic Canon/Slight AU Dry Heat Ch.19 03/05/11
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:02 pm 
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Kate aka BeMyDeputy,

Yes, sweetly sad, but like you picked up on, a reminder that while things are patching up between Willow and Tara, this is a whole new chapter.

Of course we bleed through when we write, and Tara's emphasis on forgiving but not forgetting is my own. If you forget, you are bound to keep repeating the same mistakes. I would also think that would be a lesson she has/is learning herself on multiple levels, in multiple ways.

I think Tara is very aware of her surroundings, and that's partly because of the situation with her father and brother. So it's only logical that it would occur to her how Dawn and Buffy (especially after being with them for the last 18 months) would be different/benefit from no longer being on the hellmouth since she feels so different. That's something I'll revisit in the future as well.

I love your feedback, very thoughtful.

Oh, p.s. Bunny FooFoo really is a drag queen here, he retired after I think he said 15 years of doing drag here in Tucson after last year's summer Pride - it's my homage to Bunny! lol

p.p.s. congrats on dibs again, lol

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Last edited by vampyregurl73 on Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic Canon/Slight AU Dry Heat Ch.19 03/05/11
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:04 pm 
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zampsa19752001,

I'm glad you enjoyed the update, but did you listen to the songs? Not some much with the happy, lol.

Thanks for reading! :)

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic Canon/Slight AU Dry Heat Ch.19 03/05/11
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:13 pm 
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DaddyCatALSO,

Firstly, I'd like to thank you for being my 200th comment! Never thought that would happen, much less to have the amount of views I've had and the loyal ones that keep coming back! *cough zampsa_19752001, Kate, you, Laragh and many others cough*

No, you didn't miss anything, naughty me I told you it would be here before I had written the chapter and the chapter had other ideas, and it looks like it won't be until the next. My bad, sorry. :)

I thought Tara would gravitate to the guitar especially an acoustic, a good acoustic guitar can have a warm sound just like her voice and they would compliment one another.

As for Amber, I've heard her say more than once in interviews when asked about recording, she doesn't play an instrument which is why she's never recorded an album. So I don't know *shrugs*, but I'd be first in line to get a copy if she did record one!

But next chapter I promise! It's part of the ride into the city for their excursion!

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic Canon/Slight AU Dry Heat Ch.19 03/05/11
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:27 pm 
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This really is a great story. I'm impressed with the thorough detail and wonderful imagery.

But my absolute favorite part is that you're having them work with magic again. It was so much a part of each of them and despite the difficulties it caused, it was something neither could forsake. If kinder hearts and minds had prevailed in the show, this is exactly where their storyline should have gone. I am so glad you are making the time and effort to make it happen.

No doubt the road is going to get rough, but it will be worth the ride. Keep up the great work, I can't wait to read more.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic Canon/Slight AU Dry Heat Ch.19 03/05/11
PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:53 pm 
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indigokane,

Thank you for the compliments, and I'm glad you're enjoying it.

While it may not be the newest of takes on canon, it's my take, so of course that will make it unique - hopefully. ;) I would also have to agree, "magic" was a euphemism for so many aspects, and by just at pre breakup, those are the ones I thoroughly dislike.

I just want to put the "magic" back in the magic, "Heatherstyle", lol. ;)

Thanks for reading, hope you stick around for more.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic Canon/Slight AU Dry Heat Ch.19 03/05/11
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:58 am 
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Well that was sad :( But in a...not a happy way 'cause that would be a complete oxymoron, but in a...necessary, refreshing kinda way?

I thought the forgive/forget thing was interesting, and your reply that it's your own view on it. I always looked at it like this: if I forgive someone, I 'forget' to the extent that I wouldn't throw it back in their face and it's not something that would effect our relationship again, because by forgiving we've moved past whatever it was.

But if I was the one being forgiven/what I would expect of someone I've forgiven is that, while they wouldn't beat themselves up because the forgiveness of yourself should extend from the forgiveness of the other, you shouldn't forget insofar as you shouldn't repeat the mistake.

Only if the mistake is repeated is where I think it's fair to bring up a past 'forgiven' issue again.

But who knows, maybe I'm naïve and that wouldn't really work in a relationship. I'm a young'un, I'm still learning! :D

Tara's inner musings in this chapter were interesting. I like seeing more into her psyche.

And it's been said before, but a super big yay for the magic for magic's sake. Awesome.

:peace

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic Canon/Slight AU Dry Heat Ch.19 03/05/11
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:23 am 
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Laragh,

It is my belief that you forgive but not forget, and maybe I should have clarified it a bit better.

No, I don't think you're being naive, because in giving someone forgiveness (in my mind) whatever has happened has been let go of - the pain, the anger, the betrayal - whatever it was. It's isn't a bargaining chip or like you said something to be thrown back in someones face at a later date.But it should always serve as a reminder of what not to let happen, maybe even things to be more watchful of or for in the future. It's said "to err is human, to forgive divine" - something to that effect - you can forgive without holding a grudge, when you hold a grudge it would be something used against that person at another time for whatever reason; forgetting altogether means the lesson of that situation was lost. In this life you are responsible for your actions, and everything you do has repercussions.

But here we get into beliefs, and personal philosophies and could go round in circles for days

What I had Tara say wasn't aimed at Willow, or she wouldn't have suggested that Willow not forget either.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic Canon/Slight AU Dry Heat Ch.19 03/05/11
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:46 am 
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Now that Amy has arrived, the magical shit shall hit the fan! Let the family reunion from hell begin...Where was her cousin when they arrived? I hope they have her chained in the basement with a gag in her mouth!

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Wrapped together almost like they had been braided that way, they were so entwined. Taking comfort in one another, they dreamed.


That was very beautiful...


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic Canon/Slight AU Dry Heat Ch.19 03/05/11
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:19 pm 
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i loved how you used the music , and the writing was in time and just wow i felt so connected to the story. great story and im looking forward to seeing where it gos.

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