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

General Chat  || Kitten  || WaV  || Pens  || Mi2  || GMP  || TiE  || FAQ  || Feed - The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe

All times are UTC - 8 hours



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 438 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ... 15  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Dry Heat Chapter FifteenPosted 11/12/10
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:08 am 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 4:27 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Canada
Hey, FC! Thanks for the invitation. I wouldn't dream of stealing this lovely story from you! I'm okay with filling in when you don't have the time. It's my first foray into the beta world, so I'm taking baby steps :peace

If Heather agress, I'll help with this chapter until you get back.. and then we can figure out something. I could be an absolutely horrible beta, who knows!

Sorry for the hysterics :blush I don't know what got into me last night! (Let's not go there, deal?)

Loved your story, this is me shameless asking for more!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Dry Heat Chapter FifteenPosted 11/12/10
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:49 am 
Offline
19. Yummy Face
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:19 pm
Posts: 2943
Location: Kaskinen, Finland, citizen of Kitopia
Yay for great update-y goodness... I truly hope that Buffy & Dawn don't give Willow too hard time. If they become too operbearing I hope Tara tells them to back off...

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

Posting While Nude Improves Your Mood.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Dry Heat Chapter FifteenPosted 11/12/10
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:20 am 
Offline
7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:33 pm
Posts: 570
Location: Los Scandalous, CA
December????!!!???..........noooooooooooooooooooooo! Dawn is still with the slamming of the doors? What's next? Get Out, Get out, Get ouuuuuuut!!!... I hope your just trying to ratchet up our dander and the Buffster and Dawnster are just good naturedly tweaking our little Willow tree.... but, I guess i'll find out in December!!!!! argh!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Dry Heat Chapter FifteenPosted 11/12/10
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:28 pm 
Offline
13. Big Knowledge Woman
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 5:28 pm
Posts: 1721
Topics: 1
Location: Ohio
Oh my, she's finally home. What an overload of emotions going on here. I'm just glad she didn't faint - yet anyway. Good thing Tara's keeping her settled down, at least as much as is possible.

Ok, I am super curious what is going on with Giles. It must be something pretty bad with the way he's acting. I think the info we got so far is just the tip of the iceberg, so I can't wait to see what's really going on there, even if I do have to wait til December! LOL

Of course, I can't wait to really get to see Buffy and Dawn's reactions, but so far, it's not looking good. If Dawn's slamming doors and Buffy has her arms crossed, it's looking a bit ominous.

Thanks for the update, and I'll be here whenever you get around to the next one.

Take care,

Wimpy

_________________
Pam aka Wimpy0729
Restlessness ~ Quickies - The Lovers, The Dreamers & Me

"There was plenty of magic." ~~ Tara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Dry Heat Chapter FifteenPosted 11/12/10
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:17 pm 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 862
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
Blame it on the beer Cy, we'll talk. ;)

_________________
Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
Image
My stories:
"Dry Heat – In Progress (still)" "Penny Arcade - Completed"
Image
My Fic Challenge entries:
"Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Dry Heat Chapter FifteenPosted 11/12/10
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:22 pm 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 862
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
Zampsa1975,

Well, I have to have a little drama and angst, c'mon! I mean even when we try not to, us girls can't avoid it and I think somewhere on here I read an angst claws in the rules. That if you doing a semi show based, sorta dramedy piece you have to agree to a certain amount of it. ;)

But you know it will all work itself out...eventually.

Willow can hold her own, although it will of course require Tarasnuggles at the end of the day. :)

_________________
Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
Image
My stories:
"Dry Heat – In Progress (still)" "Penny Arcade - Completed"
Image
My Fic Challenge entries:
"Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"
Image


Last edited by vampyregurl73 on Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Dry Heat Chapter FifteenPosted 11/12/10
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:33 pm 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 862
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
Wimpy0729,

Home again, home a again, jiggity, jig Yes, home = drama, among other things...like cookies, or hugs and puppies. :)

Giles = Typhoid Mary... the Bringer of Doom and Gloom and all things...annoying. For some reason I feel like trying to rewrite a verse or two of The Addams Family theme just for Giles, it's got a good beat. ;) Maybe my flippancy here will help lighten the stress a bit. It's not apocalyptal ( hey new word, yay me!) but it ain't pretty either.

I really surprised at how everyone is taking the December news - which does absolute wonders for my ego, lemme tall ya.

Dawn and Buffy, lol. I'm having fun with it, all I'll say. Don't fear Dawn isn't screaming "GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT!" or anything. ;)

Thanks for commenting and sticking around Wimpy.

_________________
Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
Image
My stories:
"Dry Heat – In Progress (still)" "Penny Arcade - Completed"
Image
My Fic Challenge entries:
"Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Dry Heat Chapter FifteenPosted 11/12/10
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:43 pm 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 862
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
SMGOVAN,

ROTFL

Quote:
December????!!!???..........noooooooooooooooooooooo! Dawn is still with the slamming of the doors? What's next? Get Out, Get out, Get ouuuuuuut!!!... I hope your just trying to ratchet up our dander and the Buffster and Dawnster are just good naturedly tweaking our little Willow tree.... but, I guess I'll find out in December!!!!! argh!


Your comment is another that had me rollin'. It may seem you won't have to wait quite that long though, we shall see. I'll have to remember this as a tactic to get my readers knickers in a knot - I do so love a good reaction. ;) I know mean fic writer, how could I - but you know I like you if I tease you. So in life, as in fic writing.

Of course Dawn is still slamming doors! She then couldn't be her normal
over reactionary/teen drama queen girl without it! Besides, it's really fun to channel my inner 15 year old.

Just think homemade Tara cookies, you'll be ok. - I mean homemade cookies made by Tara - you'll find out.

Thank so much for such an impassioned comment. ;)

_________________
Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
Image
My stories:
"Dry Heat – In Progress (still)" "Penny Arcade - Completed"
Image
My Fic Challenge entries:
"Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Dry Heat Chapter FifteenPosted 11/12/10
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:21 pm 
Offline
10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:12 pm
Posts: 1170
Loved the update. I understand Willow being nervous about going back to Sunnydale. Glad she has Tara there to hold her hand and let her know that she is not alone. Hoping that Buffy and Dawn don't give her a hard time and just welcome her with open arms.
Patiently waiting for the next update; however long that may be.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Dry Heat Chapter FifteenPosted 11/12/10
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:13 am 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 862
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
love_2003,

I'm having fun with chapter 16. It won't be out and out angst, but bittersweet will be the best way to describe it, at least that's what I want. Everyone in some for or fashion has suffered because of the imposed silence, so now that is now there how bold will they be? Now you can make up but, you know that doesn't always happen as quickly as we say it should - each person's timetable does not match that of another's.

Have I confused you yet?

I love that you take the time to let m know you're still with me on this! :wave

_________________
Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
Image
My stories:
"Dry Heat – In Progress (still)" "Penny Arcade - Completed"
Image
My Fic Challenge entries:
"Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Dry Heat Chapter FifteenPosted 11/12/10
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:23 am 
Offline
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:22 pm
Posts: 4156
Topics: 36
Location: Ireland
Ack, December. *major poutage*

Slamming doors...Dawn will always be Dawn, won't she?

Tara needs to take some charge here and protect her woman! Not that Willow needs protecting, she's plenty strong, but still!

I await December with eager eyes to continue reading!!

:peace

_________________
Amber Benson killed me once.

Check out my finished fics

The Love… Series ... Two For Joy ... Inevitable


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Dry Heat Chapter FifteenPosted 11/12/10
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:44 am 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 862
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
Laragh,

Put the pout away.....please? ;)

Well dear heart, I actually believe your post is A) my 100th reply and B) it has now put my little opus into the cool kids club of being a "poplar fic" so thank you! (You'll get a ribbon in the mail - eventually).

Never fear though, I have an intrepid stunt beta - who will remain nameless until the chapter is unveiled, or you go back through the post and figure it out - whichever comes first. :) - taking the helm for chapter sixteen, so if all goes well, chapter sixteen should be live at the KB near you before good ol' Thanksgiving here in the U.S.

Thanks for reading kiddo! :bigwave

_________________
Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
Image
My stories:
"Dry Heat – In Progress (still)" "Penny Arcade - Completed"
Image
My Fic Challenge entries:
"Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Dry Heat Chapter Sixteen Posted 11/20/10
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:10 am 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 862
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
Today is the culmination of National Transgender Awareness Week, and today is Transgender Remembrance Day.Take a moment if you would, to think about all of the people that have paid such a high price simply to be themselves. - Heather


Chapter Sixteen

Pairing: W/T

Rating: R

Angst/Drama Rating: This is about a 4 (hey, it could be worse) on the 1-10 scale.

Setting: Sunnydale

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.

Email: riverwillows@me.com

Feedback: You’re gonna make me beg aren’t you?

Author’s Notes: Well, I would like to thank my inimitable beta foreverchanges for being game for a fearless stunt double, Cyteach, to try her hand at being a beta since she deciding she just couldn’t wait until December for more. ^_~ I do make an X-Men© reference in this chapter, so please Mr. Stan Lee, Marvel Comics and whoever else, don’t sue me – I really don’t have anything you want anyway. Predominate music this round was Here We Go Magic – Pigeons, Kings of Leon – Come Around Sundown, Joanne Shaw Taylor – Diamond In The Dirt, and Cassandra Wilson – Silver Pony. I contemplated throwing in The 45th Anniversary of The Sound of Music, Marie Osmond - I Can Do This, and Hannah Montana Forever but that just seemed like over kill. Enjoy the homecoming everyone.



monsoon [mon-soon] – n
1. any wind that changes direction with the seasons
2. the season during which the southwest monsoon blows, commonly marked by heavy rains; rainy season.




- Basically, when it rains, it pours.




1630 Revello Drive



Tara watched as Willow let her hand go, straightened her shoulders and lifted her chin bravely. Buffy stood arms crossed, looking Willow over as if she were sizing her up for a fight.


A door slammed yet again upstairs making all three women look up, as with all the thunderous tromping only a teenager can produce, Dawn pounded down the stairs. Willow turned to face the youngest Summers sister glaring at her, arms crossed. Shoulders still straight, chin still held high, Willow glared back. Just when Willow was starting to fold, Dawn kicked her in her right shin.


“Oww!”


For good measure, Dawn kicked her in the left shin too, and with a “Humphf” flounced off into the kitchen.


“Hey, was that really necessary?” Willow hollered after her as she bent to rub her left shin. Taking a deep breath she stood up and turned back to Buffy, chin not so, high but shoulders still straight. She would take whatever Buffy had to dish out.


Buffy had an amused look on her face as she crossed to Willow, kicking her in the shin before grabbing her in a slayer strength hug. “If you ever do that again, I will put a serious hurting on you when I find you, and you know I will find you.”


“Buffy…air...breathing…issue,” Willow choked out.


Letting up on her grip some instead of releasing her, she asked, “How’s that?”


“Good Buff, good,” Willow said as she held her best friend just as tightly.


Tara sighed with relief, hiding her face with her hair as she smiled, backing out of the living room quietly. She left the two hugging, and went to the kitchen to find Dawn shoving cookies into the oven.


“Mine or Tollhouse?”


“Yours,” Dawn said as she looked up at her.


“I’m surprised there are any left.” Tara said with a smirk.


“Yeah, well we flipped a coin and had Tollhouse last night instead. Let me tell you, they just aren’t Tara-cookies.” Dawn said as she tossed the oven mitt at Tara that she easily caught.


Tara had come up with a system at Dawn and Xander’s “request” along with a little good natured pouting from Willow. This started while Buffy was gone, and anything that helped, even if it was as simple as cookies, didn’t seem like a bad thing. Each week she made enough cookies for two dozen a day, and froze the dough. That way if she was at class, or if it had been a rough night of Scoobie Slayage and it called for extra cookie goodness, she didn’t have to be disturbed.


There were even nights when Tara couldn’t sleep and had come downstairs to find Xander sitting in the kitchen with a glass of milk and an empty plate of cookies in front of him. She just pulled more out, turned the oven on, and as the smell moved through the house, the rest of the inhabitants made their way down for a late night snack. No one ever asked why he was there, it was just understood. On those nights, Tara wondered where Anya thought he was, or if she knew he was gone.


When they brought Buffy back, somehow the “Cookie Dough Exchange,” as it had been playfully dubbed, remained in place. The smell of cookies late at night was like seeing the 'Bat Signal’, one of the Scoobies was in some sort of distress. Sometimes there were tears and hugs; group cuddles with Dawn on the couch during the months that Buffy was gone, most often it was just silence – the Scooby Way.


So as usual, before Tara left, she made dough for the week leaving it for Buffy and Dawn. A sign she would be back, and things would be okay regardless of what happened with Willow; Tara would still come home.


“Gee, you guys must have tripled up some, I was only gone a week and today isn’t even dough day,” Tara teased.


Dawn bounced over to hug the older girl. “Tara-cookies are a poor substitute for Tara. I missed you. Tell me all about Tucson! What was it like? What did you guys do? Is it as hot as they say?”


Tara laughed at the barrage of questions. “I missed you too, Dawnie. Yes, it was very hot, but not like here, it might be dry but it’s still freakishly hot. Umm, I didn’t see a lot of Tucson, the Grove is outside the city itself, and we, umm didn’t really leave the Grove,” she said as she tried to skate around the obvious reason why they never left.


“Gotcha, you and Willow were in bed the whole time.”


“Dawn!”


“Tell me I’m wrong,” Dawn said with a knowing look at Tara. “You are so busted! Besides, you know you can’t, because you’re as red as Willow’s hair right now. I guess the trip was a good one then,” she giggled.


Tara beelined for the fridge, sticking her head inside further than necessary to look for a drink. Good trip indeed. Willow was home, and once again their lives were taking an unexpected albeit slightly scary turn, but this one might prove to be even better than the turn that brought her this far.


******


Grabbing a soda and leaving the smirking teenager to her cookie baking, Tara went back into the living room. She found Buffy and Willow on the couch, in tears and deep in conversation. Pulling up short, she started to turn around and head back into the kitchen, not sure if she was interrupting.


“Tara,” Willow sniffled and patted the seat next to her.


When she sat, Willow turned her so they could cuddle and then leaned back into her. Tara kissed her temple, giving her a gentle squeeze.


“She hasn’t looked this happy since you left, Willow,” Buffy said with a sad smile. “You know, she tried to leave, and we would let her.”


Willow nodded, as she brought Tara’s hand up and kissed it.


Softly Buffy said, “Dawn never would have spoken to me again, if I had let you go a second time Tara. You’re family; we take care of our own.” Buffy gave Willow a meaningful look, and placed a hand gently on her leg.


“I know Buff, and I can’t tell you how much it means to me not only that you offered, but,” Willow’s voice cracked as she looked over her shoulder to Tara, “that you stayed.” Tara rested her chin on Willow’s shoulder and nuzzled her neck.


“It happened as it should. I was supposed to stay, Buffy needed me, Dawn needed me, and I needed them too, I still do.” Tara replied.


“We still need you too, that won’t ever change, Tara,” Buffy said sincerely.


“Ditto,” Tara smiled.


Just then the door opened and Xander rushed in.


“Are they here yet?” he asked excitedly as he turned to the living room to see three women looking back at him, two of three being the “they” in question. Willow stood taking a couple of quick steps towards Xander, stopping short before she threw herself into his arms.


“Will,” he choked on whatever else he was gonna say as he lifted Willow off of her feet. Willow buried her face into his neck as he did the same. “I thought I’d lost you too,” Xander whispered into Willow’s neck. Willow started crying harder, so Xander started shuffling back and forth on his feet in a rocking motion as they both cried.


When he finally let Willow go, he gently wiped her face on his sleeve while Willow ran her hands over his shoulders with affection. Stroking her hair he said, “Will, what’s with the “Rogue”* look? I mean, it kind of suits you but is it some new cool fashion statement? You know, I can never keep up with the kids today.”


“No, doofus, besides I can touch you.” Willow wiped Xander’s tears with her thumbs. “It’s a…a side effect, Xan. It may never be red again.” Willow started to hang her head, but Xander caught her chin.


“It doesn’t make you any less beautiful,” Xander said pulling her to him again.


“Ok, what’s with the “Rogue”*comment? She’s back. Willow’s no longer rogue. We know where she is,” Buffy said in confusion, with a look at Tara to see if she was on the clue train somehow.


Willow and Xander turned to them with smiles.


“X-Men” they said simultaneously.


Buffy and Tara looked at each other then stared back blankly at the pair.


“You know, “X-Men”. Dr. Xavier’s school for mutants? His nemesis Magneto? Wolverine? Jane Grey?”


Both shook their heads.


“Where have you two been hiding? There’s even a movie! Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, and might I add, the very luscious Halle Berry and Rebecca Romijn?” Xander prompted.


“Oooo, yeah, Rebecca Romijn! She’s yummy,” Willow said before Tara’s arched eyebrow caught her and she started to back pedal. “Oh, no baby, I meant that in the plastic-y, Hollywood-ish starlet kind of way. She couldn’t hold a candle to you,” She said scooting over to sit next to Tara in order to grovel at close range.


With a smirk, Tara gave Willow a quick peck. “I actually know who she is, Will, and I agree she’s hot in that plastic-y, Hollywood-ish starlet kind of way. She’s very blonde.”


Willow swatted at her knee. “You knew who she was all along? Yeah, ok but what about Halle Berry, I mean c’mon? She’s no slouch either. Can we rent this movie, Xan?”


“Sure, eye candy for us adults and I’m sure Dawnie would like it too. Speaking of, where is the Dawnster?”


As if on cue, Dawn came strolling in, cookie in hand. “What’s this about eye candy?”


“Nothing about eye candy, just a movie Willow and Xander want to rent,” Buffy groused.


Willow got up, moving towards the kitchen, as Xander explained more comic book history of the “X-Men” to a disinterested Buffy and Tara. Dawn held out the cookie she had taken a bite out of to Willow, a sign of truce.


Without thinking Willow asks, “So, did you lick it too?”


“Yup, just how you like it,” Dawn replied, they both turned bright red when they realized how that sounded.


“We’ll pretend those words were never uttered, ok Dawnie?” Willow squeaked, looking around to see if anyone else had caught their conversation.


Nodding vigorously Dawn, said, “Very okay.”


Willow took a bite and handed the cookie off to Tara, who smiled and took a bite, then handed it off to Buffy. She broke the last bit in half, and handed the other half to Xander. It was a ritual with the first cookie of the fresh baked dozen–everybody split it.


“Oh my god, I forgot how good Tara-cookies are!” Willow moaned, chewing slowly.


“Feel special; we had Tollhouse last night for you,” Dawn snarked.


Willow beamed one of her overly pleased smiles. “I do, Dawnie,” Willow agreed as she moved back towards Dawn, who looked at her balefully.


“No more disappearing acts, ‘kay?”


“I promise,” Willow said as she enfolded Dawn into a hug.


******


The four sat talking, and eating more of Tara’s cookies, as the afternoon faded into dusk. There were some lulls where Willow had to be filled in. Like how Andrew and Jonathon had managed somehow to escape during transport from city to county jail to serve out their sentences.


“It just goes to show how incompetent Sunnydale Police force is. They are bigger morons than those two. So, they just vanished?” Willow asked, shaking her head.


“Yeah, apparently Warren had a big mouth and hit Willy’s a few times before everything happened here with a gun. No one there had even heard of Andrew or Jonathon. Tara knew they were gone, gone. She did locator spells every so often to try and find them for a while, but nothing,” Buffy said.


“It was like they vanished, Will. They had to have left Sunnydale for that kind of result,” Tara confirmed.


Inevitably, his line of conversation was going to lead everyone to Willow, and what exactly had happened to make her leave.


“Will, do you plan to tell us why you left?” Xander asked, clearing his throat.


Willow squirmed and looked at Tara. “Yeah, I do, and I would prefer to do it with everyone here so I don’t have to go through it more than once, but can we not do it tonight? We have some time before we go back; it’s been a long day.”


“Go back? What do you mean go back?” Dawn asked as she looked between Tara and Willow. “I thought you were home now.”


“Dawnie, I‘m not quite done with my initiate period of a year and a day at the coven, and, well Tara can tell you her news.”


Tara looked around the room. “The Grove has offered to let me stay with Willow, for the rest of her time there, but also to train there with her too. I would become an initiate.” Tara glanced at Willow before continuing. “We’re also going to stay a bit longer so I can train up my skills, because they want us to consider forming our own coven. There’s a lot more to go into and tonight may not be the best time…”


“How long will you be here?” Buffy asked.


“Umm, four days. I can finish out the rest of the semester remotely except for finals, and with my grades it shouldn’t be a problem. We’ll be back by then, and Willow be done with the coven, so we can stay longer before we go back so I can continue to train.”


“I’m kind of on a weekend pass, testing the Hellmouth-y waters, I guess, to see how I do,” Willow interjected, just as her stomach gurgled loudly. “I think more than Tara’s yummy cookies are in order,” she said effectively changing the subject.


“What would you lovely ladies like? It’s on me,” Xander offered. “For I am payday man.” He smiled.


Everyone looked at each other. “Will, you choose. What have you missed since you’ve been gone?” Buffy asked.


Willow thought for a bit, sticking her tongue out of the side of her mouth, her brow crinkled in serious thought.“We have to go to the Espresso Pump, but we can do that tomorrow. How about Chinese?” she answered pleased with herself, bouncing in her seat.


Tara tightened her arm around Willow’s waist in amusement. “Why don’t we go get cleaned up a little while we wait, sweetie?”


“That sounds like a good idea, baby,” Willow said as she turned to Tara with a smile.


******


Following Tara up the stairs, emotions washed over Willow. When she got to the top, she saw the line of photos on the wall. There was one of Tara and Dawn at what must have been Tara’s last birthday that was grouped with one of her and Tara at the Bronze on her first birthday they spent together. There was a picture of Buffy, Tara, Willow, Xander, Anya Giles and Dawn at the Magic Box sitting around the table. Willow didn’t who had taken that picture, but thought it must have been Spike. All these happy memories were suspended around a large picture of Joyce, along with pictures of Buffy and Dawn as children.


Willow touched Joyce’s cheek, and then the picture of everyone gathered around the table. Tara had left Willow to gaze at the photos while she walked into her room. Willow stood in the doorway, and looked around the room to see how it had changed. There were more touches that were definitely Tara, and most of her things were gone. She saw a few crystals perched here and there; the doll’s eye laid on Tara’s alter. The room smelled of Tara; honey mixed with sage and sandalwood, and whatever it was that was uniquely Tara; the way her dorm room had smelled, the smells Willow associated with happiness, and being safe inside their own little cocoon.


“You can come in, Willow,” Tara said softly. “You’re home.” Tara looked intently at Willow, with her head cocked to one side.


Willow slowly walked in, placing her bag by the door, then stood and fidgeted with her fingers. Tara pulled Willow further into the room, shutting the door behind her softy. She wrapped her arms around Willow, slowly moving her hands down Willow’s back.


“Sweetie, it’s still your home.” Tara kissed her reassuringly.


“Tara this is your space, and that’s only what’s right. I’ve been gone, it’s kind of like the first time I was at your dorm. It smells like you, the way your dorm room did, which is nice. I love Tarasmell. It’s just a little discombobulating, you know?”


Tara smiled. “Yes, but the bed is much nicer.”


Willow blushed as she glanced at the bed and cleared her throat. “I remember it being quite nice, actually,” an impish smile gracing her features.


Tara walked Willow back towards the bed until her knees hit the edge and they toppled over giggling. Tara pushed herself up to look into Willow’s eyes before kissing her gently. She wiggled against Willow as she was perched above her. Willow groaned into their kiss, her hands straying from Tara hips to grasp her bottom and pull her close. Tara rocked her hips into Willow’s continuing to kiss her languorously.


“Mmm, I haven’t had enough Willowkisses today. I’m really feeling quite deprived,” Tara’s voice deepened with desire.


“We can’t have that. I think there are laws banning that, actually.” Willow’s voice was just as husky as she looked into Tara’s eyes before leaning up to capture her mouth again. Willow tugged on Tara’s lower lip, dipping her tongue in and out without letting her catch it. Just as Tara caught Willow’s tongue and began to suck it into her mouth teasing it with her own, Xander called up the stairs that dinner had arrived.


They both groaned in displeasure at the interruption. Tara rolled off of Willow and they both lay for a minute to catch their breath before heading to the bathroom to wash their hands and faces. The cool water helped reduce some of the flush on their skin but not all of it.


When they sat down next to one another at the table, their three companions looked at them, and all smirked.


“What?” they asked in unison.


Dawn giggled, Xander just shrugged, and Buffy said, “Some things don’t change,” with a pointed look.


“Hey, we weren’t up there that long,” Willow groused, a pout beginning to form on her lips, even though she and Tara both flushed more at the insinuation.


The Scoobies ate their first meal together in almost two years, gathered around the familiar table. Laughter echoed interspersed with the conversation, the gap in time fading away. It was just another family meal. Once all the food had been eaten they migrated back into the living room to watch television.


Willow leaned against Tara’s shoulder and Dawn had her feet resting in Willow’s lap. Xander was seated on the floor in front of Dawn, her hand on his shoulder, with Buffy in the overstuffed chair, her legs stretched out so she and Xander were shoe to shoe. Willow started to drift off to sleep and Dawn was already asleep.


“I should go, it’s getting late, and I’m a working man,” Xander said as he got to his feet.


“I think I’m gonna take a quick patrol, and call it any early night,” Buffy said.


Willow lifted her head, to squint at them both. “What should we do with Dawnie?”


“I thought you were asleep, Wills,” Xander said.


“Mmm, almost but not quite.” She turned to look at Tara, who looked as tired as she did.


“Just leave her for now. If she’s still here when I get back, I’ll carry her up,” Buffy said.


Willow sat up so Tara could ease off the couch and she could slide out from under Dawn. Pulling the blanket from the back of the couch, she covered the sleeping girl up and kissed her on her forehead.


Sweet dreams, Dawnie,” she whispered, as Dawn shifted and smiled in her sleep.


Tara hugged Xander goodnight, and he gave Willow an extra long hug before heading off. Buffy shrugged into her jacket armed with Mister Pointy to make her nightly rounds, following Xander out. Willow closed the door behind them and secured it before turning to lean against it, looking at Tara.


“Well?” Tara asked.


“Much better than I feared, that’s for sure.” Willow pushed off from the door, shuffling in front of the stairs, and grabbed Tara’s hand.


“Bed now. Shower first then bed,” she mumbled.


“That sounds perfect, sweetie,” Tara agreed as she followed behind Willow with her hands on Willow’s hips.


Reaching Tara’s room, they both pulled clothes from their bags. Willow sat heavily on the bed.


“Baby, I’m not sure how to tell them. I don’t want to hide anything but I don’t know if Dawnie should know it all. I think Buffy and Xander should know it all. I’m just concerned.” Willow’s brow knitted with thought.


“Maybe you should talk to Buffy first and ask her how much she wants Dawn to know. You can be vague, but some of it is…rough to hear. I personally think she should hear it all, but it’s not up to me, sweetie.”


“Really, you think she should hear it all?” Willow was a little surprised by this.


Tara sat down next to her and took her hand. “Yes, I do. For one, she can handle it, and why should she be the one left in the dark about some of it? What if at some point, because of something she doesn’t know, she is somehow hurt or hurts you? It’s possible, you know?”


Willow nodded.”How about this; we gather everyone together and I just start talking. Buffy can stop me if it gets to be too much. Maybe it’s a little ambush-y, but then Dawn knows I’m not trying to hide anything from her while Buffy can still put the brakes on if she feels she needs to?”


“Sounds like a plan,” Tara said with a firm nod. “Together or alone?”


It took Willow’s sleepy brain a few seconds to catch on to what Tara meant. “Oh, together or alone!” and with a sly smile she continued, “I always prefer together, haven’t you figured that out by now?”


With a smirk of her own, Tara replied, “That’s what I thought, but I still like to hear it.”


“Everything is better with Tara,” Willow said leaning forward to rub her nose against Tara’s.


Tara dropped a kiss on Willow’s nose before standing to tug Willow with her.


“Off we go, miss.”


Tara led the way out and Willow paused by the door to Dawn’s room. She quietly opened the door to see that Dawn had gotten herself upstairs since the house had been quiet, meaning Buffy was not back yet. Easing the door shut she continued after Tara to the bathroom where the water had just started. Closing the door with care, Willow began to strip. When Tara turned around she was faced with a naked girlfriend.


Tara’s eye’s darkened and dilated immediately, making Willow’s breath catch.


That is a sight I never get tired of seeing,” she said as she made short work of her own clothing.


“The feeling is quite mutual, love.” Willow’s voice had gotten deeper, as she sucked on her bottom lip.


Tara curled her index finger, beckoning Willow to her. In two quick steps, Willow was in front of her. Willow’s eyes drank in Tara’s face, as her hands roamed over Tara’s shoulder and down her back. Shivering in response, Tara moved towards the shower. She stepped in and Willow followed.


Slowly, they washed one another from head to toe, stopping for kisses and nibbles. The water started to grow cold all too soon, and Willow got a dousing of cold water.


Hissing at the unexpected change, she cringed. “Out, now, cold,” she said as she turned the water off. “That never happens at the Grove, I’ve gotten spoiled. Maybe we need to talk Buffy into a bigger water heater.”


Tara giggled. “It would still get cold eventually, Will.”


“Yeah, but it would take longer. I like our long, slow showers. I like the way you look covered in soap bubbles, they way they look as they slide off your body, your nipples covered in little rivers of water…” Willow stooped to take one of Tara’s nipples in her mouth.


“Oh, my…is there…anything you don’t…like?” Tara breathed, wrapping her hand around Willow’s neck to hold her close as teased her skin.


Willow pulled away with a pop. “Not where you’re involved, my beautiful Tara.”


They decided against the clothes in favor of using Tara’s robe hanging on the back of the door. Tara put it on and Willow was immediately pressed against her, nibbling at the skin where her throat meets her neck while Tara tried unsuccessfully to focus on tying the robe around them. The two sides barely closed, leaving a wide strip of Willow’s backside exposed. Being unwilling to release Tara, Willow guided them backwards to Tara’s room. Her hands moving up Tara’s back, down over her hips, the tops of her thighs, her hands never stopped moving; although she peered over Tara’s shoulder as she moved her mouth from one side of Tara’s neck to the other while they walked. Tara held the sides of the robe as high as she so they were protected from view should they ran into anyone. Willow’s bottom out in plain view she backed into the bedroom and Tara shut the door, locking it deftly.


Willow pulled the covers back, and crawled into the middle of the bed patting the space next to her. Tara reached for the lights to turn them off when Willow said, “Leave them on.” Tara’s pulse sped up, as she quickly joined her love on the bed.


They didn’t hear when the front door opened. Checking the couch and finding it vacant, Buffy made her way up the stairs. She got halfway up when she stopped and listened for a moment. With a snicker she said out loud to herself, “Some things truly never change,” before trudging tiredly toward the bathroom for her own shower before bed.



TBC…

_________________
Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
Image
My stories:
"Dry Heat – In Progress (still)" "Penny Arcade - Completed"
Image
My Fic Challenge entries:
"Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"
Image


Last edited by vampyregurl73 on Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Dry Heat Chapter Sixteen Posted 11/20/10
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:21 am 
Offline
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:22 pm
Posts: 4156
Topics: 36
Location: Ireland
An Dry Heat update...before November?!

God bless you, Cyteach!! :D

Well homecoming went a lot better than expected. And mmhh, I want a Tara-cookie now.

Oh, oh and Rebecca Romijn, yes please.

I felt bad for Willow that she didn't feel...well, quite so comfortable even in such familar surroundings.

:rofl at the shower going cold.

Great update!

Also, dibs. :D

:peace

_________________
Amber Benson killed me once.

Check out my finished fics

The Love… Series ... Two For Joy ... Inevitable


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Dry Heat Chapter Sixteen Posted 11/20/10
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:47 am 
Offline
19. Yummy Face
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:19 pm
Posts: 2943
Location: Kaskinen, Finland, citizen of Kitopia
Yay for excellent update-y goodness... Good that Willow's homecomming has been positive so far... Dawn's shin-kicking made me laugh... I like Tara's plan of Willow just telling everything to everyone and Buffy stopping if it goes too dark... I hope night of Tara-loving will make Willow feel better about telling the other what she has gone through...

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

Posting While Nude Improves Your Mood.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Dry Heat Chapter Sixteen Posted 11/20/10
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:50 am 
Offline
7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 7:17 pm
Posts: 654
Location: The Land of Flowers
Yay for updates far sooner than expected! Thanks to you both vampyregurl73 and Cyteach!! This was a great chapter, I loved how positive the reunion was, how much they clearly love Willow. I hate to think of them leaving again. And, nice teasing on all the almost-love scenes. I need a cold shower.

_________________
Wave ... The Wish of Three Hearts
The Yuletide Present ... In From the Cold

"We're in love. We're lovers. We're lesbian, gay-type lovers."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Dry Heat Chapter Sixteen Posted 11/20/10
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:08 am 
Offline
7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:33 pm
Posts: 570
Location: Los Scandalous, CA
Be still my beating heart!!!.... an update b4 December??!!???....Since it's not quite Xmas time... I will consider this a pre-black friday sale gift!! Thank you soooooooooooooooo much for this wonderful update... and Tara cookies?? ummmmmmmm good! :party :party :party


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Dry Heat Chapter Sixteen Posted 11/20/10
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:22 am 
Offline
13. Big Knowledge Woman
User avatar

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 5:28 pm
Posts: 1721
Topics: 1
Location: Ohio
Oh, thank you all so much for gifting us with the sooner-than-expected update.

What a relief that all seems well between all of them. I loved Dawn's shin kicking - that was so her and perfectly done.

They all seemed to fit right back in together so easily, which was such a pleasure to read. I loved Tara telling Willow that this was still her home, which helped to quell some of insecurities.

Can't wait to read more.


Wimpy

_________________
Pam aka Wimpy0729
Restlessness ~ Quickies - The Lovers, The Dreamers & Me

"There was plenty of magic." ~~ Tara


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Dry Heat Chapter Sixteen Posted 11/20/10
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:02 pm 
Offline
20. Not one Much for the Timber
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:32 pm
Posts: 3157
Topics: 14
Location: H-Town, Texas
So happy to see an update before December...thank you Cyteach!!

I really liked how you wrote Buffy here and her reaction to Willow's return. I'm not always her biggest fan, so this was nice to see.

Dawnie kicking Willow was priceless! Typical teenage reaction.

I felt like you really nailed Willow's apprehension and nervousness. Her realization that their bedroom had become 'Tara's bedroom,' really drove home the consequences of her actions. Nicely done!

As always, looking forward to more!!

_________________
Shelby - Racing The Rain (IN PROGRESS) / Baby Makes Three (IN PROGRESS) / The Santa Line / Everything She Does...Is Beautiful / Calfornia Grass

"Transform your pain. Release your past. And ... uh ... get over it."
~Willow, Where The Wild Things Are


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Dry Heat Chapter Sixteen Posted 11/20/10
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:47 pm 
Offline
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 4:27 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Canada
Great chapter! And you get all the credit-- I just bugged you enough to post it before I went mad.. it was entirely for self-serving purposes ;-)

I really want some Tara-cookies right now! Yummmmm! Is there a special cookie recipe that interested people could use to make these Tara-cookies??

I loved the way you were able to show Willow's vunerability and strength in this one chapter. the juxtaposition of both emotions really speak to who Willow is now and the path she is on in terms of her self-imposed redemption.

So can we expect an update soon-ish? Or do I have to bat my eyelashes again and plead for more??!! 'Cause I will.. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!!! :pray :pray :pray

Keep up the great writing, Heather!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Dry Heat Chapter Sixteen Posted 11/20/10
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:11 pm 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 862
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
Laragh,

Happy dibs-ing to you. I'm glad you enjoyed the update. Yes, our intrepid Cyteach made it all possible to have another update before December.

Rebecca Romijn, mmmmm even in blue with quills - the night after I wrote that I had the weirdest dream, Tara was all done up like Mystique - it was bizarre, and I've said too much already. :shock

Thanks for following along!

_________________
Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
Image
My stories:
"Dry Heat – In Progress (still)" "Penny Arcade - Completed"
Image
My Fic Challenge entries:
"Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Dry Heat Chapter Sixteen Posted 11/20/10
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:18 pm 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 862
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
Zampsa1975,

I could have gone a lot of ways with the homecoming, and even had more than one version of it. Ultimately for how I want everything else to play out this really was my only choice.

I actually like writing Dawn, because I've gotten jiggy with the timeline she's a bit older than in the show, so I made the promise to myself there would none of her screaming "GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT!!" type tantrums. She gets to grow too, beside I just don't think I could stand to write that. *shudders & rubs ears*. ;)

Glad you liked it.

_________________
Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
Image
My stories:
"Dry Heat – In Progress (still)" "Penny Arcade - Completed"
Image
My Fic Challenge entries:
"Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Dry Heat Chapter Sixteen Posted 11/20/10
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:23 pm 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 862
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
LonelyTara,

Thank you! All about the building blocks, this will all come into play later.

I am very pleased you needed a cold shower, that was what I was going for. ;) Sometimes less is more and other more is just to quote Cyteach "hawt". lol Those will appear again here and there but, I think I'm having a bit more fun with less. *wiggles eyebrows*

I'll try to keep you in cold shower material though! :kdevil

_________________
Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
Image
My stories:
"Dry Heat – In Progress (still)" "Penny Arcade - Completed"
Image
My Fic Challenge entries:
"Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Dry Heat Chapter Sixteen Posted 11/20/10
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:28 pm 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 862
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
SMGOVAN,

Yes, an update so I had to work my unprepared fingers to the bone since I had some saying "I'll do it!", lol.

I like that, your pre-Black Friday gift, and if you are actually going out to shop, you are braver soul than I!

Well, at least it appears you enjoyed your gift! Looks like I knew just what you wanted, lol.

_________________
Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
Image
My stories:
"Dry Heat – In Progress (still)" "Penny Arcade - Completed"
Image
My Fic Challenge entries:
"Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Dry Heat Chapter Sixteen Posted 11/20/10
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:34 pm 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 862
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
wimpy0729,

I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter, it's always great when someone reads a chapter and comes to say "you know, you really hit them mark here". That's a big compliment to me.

Honestly, I think one of my favorite part was after dinner when in some little way I had them all touching, a subtle way of reconnecting.

Thank you for the comment!

_________________
Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
Image
My stories:
"Dry Heat – In Progress (still)" "Penny Arcade - Completed"
Image
My Fic Challenge entries:
"Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Dry Heat Chapter Sixteen Posted 11/20/10
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:43 pm 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 862
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
Finey_McFine,

I'm glad you liked Buffy, it's so easy to go uber-bitch with her I think, she's still human and her best friend disappeared for 18 months. This is also where the relationship with Tara will come into play. Tara is good for lots of people. ;)

Hopefully everyone will continue to enjoy my less whiny but still teenage Dawn, lol. I guess that makes her Dawn-lite, dunno....

I kind of thought it was important for Willow to notice the changes in what had been their bedroom. It really had become Tara's room, I hope I got across her nervousness and sense of bittersweet with it reminding her of Tara's dorm. Again 18 months is a long time.

Thanks for reading and commenting, apparently the begging works! LOL

_________________
Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
Image
My stories:
"Dry Heat – In Progress (still)" "Penny Arcade - Completed"
Image
My Fic Challenge entries:
"Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Dry Heat Chapter Sixteen Posted 11/20/10
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:51 pm 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 862
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
Cyteach,

Aww, don't sell yourself short here. I couldn't have gotten it presentable without your help. Even if your motives were self-serving, lol. ;)

Tara-cookies and a recipe....maybe if everyone is good I'll share my grandmother's secret recipe, which of course is what I was thinking of for Tara-cookies...but there would have to be modifications. Of course, love is the most important ingredient, just ask her.

The next few chapters are all about growth or the lack thereof, in Sunnydale, and at The Grove. Just keep your knickers on about the next chapter. You know how far into I am so I can not say anymore at the time. :sh

Thanks for all your help, hon!

_________________
Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
Image
My stories:
"Dry Heat – In Progress (still)" "Penny Arcade - Completed"
Image
My Fic Challenge entries:
"Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Dry Heat Chapter Sixteen Posted 11/20/10
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:12 pm 
Offline
10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:12 pm
Posts: 1170
Great update. Was a little worried when Dawn kicked Willow in the shins and then walked away. Glad there was no yelling. Looking forward to everyone's reaction when they hear Willow's story.
Patiently waiting for the next update.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New Fiction: Dry Heat Chapter Sixteen Posted 11/20/10
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:05 am 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 862
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
Love_2003,

Thank you! I glad you enjoyed this update. Hey, Dawn had have a "Dawn" moment.

Willow's disclosure is coming up, and there will be more hints about what Giles was so anxious about too.

Thanks for sticking with me!

_________________
Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
Image
My stories:
"Dry Heat – In Progress (still)" "Penny Arcade - Completed"
Image
My Fic Challenge entries:
"Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: New-ish Fiction: Dry Heat Chapter Seventeen Posted 12/11/10
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:48 pm 
Offline
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 862
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
Chapter Seventeen

Pairing: W/T

Rating: R

Angst/Drama Rating: This is about a 7 for some guilt issues using 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.

Email: riverwillows@me.com

Feedback: Of course I love it, but begging is unbecoming and anything else I could say after that just sounds bad.

Author’s Notes: With the utmost gratitude, I would like to welcome my beta Foreverchanges back from brief hiatus. I would also like to thank Crystal for all her help and encouragement as well, you guys rock! This was an interesting chapter, it was like some of it wrote itself. I didn’t plan on a scene with Anya, yet here one is, things just work out that way sometimes. Musical inspirations during the chapter were as follows: Mumford & Sons “Sigh No More”, Neon Trees “Habit”, the single “The One I Need” by Amber Benson and James Saez (yes, our beloved Tara), and Eminem “Recovery” – particularly “Love the Way You Lie” ft. Rihanna (but it’s all good). On with the show!



Honesty [on-uh-stee] – noun, plural -ties.

1. The quality or fact of being honest; uprightness and fairness.

2. Truthfulness, sincerity, or frankness.

3. Freedom from deceit or fraud.





Willow woke first, a bit disoriented. Laying there curled around Tara’s warm body, the previous night’s events replayed in her mind. Emotion began to well up in her, quick and hot, and without realizing it, tears started to stream down her face. She had expected anger, disappointment, maybe even yelling and screaming, but none of that had happened. Instead, she got love, acceptance and happiness. What more could she have hoped for?


Rolling gently away from Tara and onto her back, Willow tried to be quiet and to just ride out her emotions; enjoy them, home really was still home. Tara rolled over to face Willow, she was awake, but didn’t say anything. She wiped away Willow’s tears, and rested her hand over Willow’s heart. Willow glanced at Tara while biting her lip, and taking a shaky breath, she smiled as more tears came.


“Sweetie,” Tara whispered.


Willow turned to her and buried her face in Tara’s shoulder, while she cried silently. Tara lay back pulling Willow with her so she could wrap both arms around her. She stroked Willow’s hair, and rubbed slow, small circles on her back. Finally, Willow kissed Tara’s chest and gave her a squeeze before pulling back to look at her.


“Hi,” she said just above a whisper.


“Hi,” Tara said, “are you okay?”


Willow nodded. “Everything just kind of caught up with me, you know, all at once. I wasn’t sure what last night was going to be like, and I thought it would be more…well, painful I guess.”


“How are you feeling now? Still a little discombobulated?”


“Mmm, much less so thanks to a certain beautiful blonde, that oh hey, happens to be in my arms right now. How cool is that?” Willow smiled.


Smiling wickedly, Tara asked, “So which part helped? The shower, the bed, the floor under the window? I have carpet burn now, by the way.”


Turning a bit pink, but wiggling just the same, Willow smiled back. “Aww, want me to kiss it, make it better?”


“Mmm, lots of things get better when you kiss them,” Tara purred, dropping a kiss on Willow’s lips, before playfully brushing their noses together.


“Hold that thought my little sex kitten,” Willow said. “Maybe I should just start calling you kitten, would you like that?” Willow asked as she nuzzled Tara’s neck.


“I’ll like anything you want to call me, baby,” Tara breathed as she leaned her head back allowing Willow more skin to nibble on.


Willow growled around a mouthful of Tara’s neck and tugged at it hard enough to leave a mark. “Mine.”


Tara dug her fingers into Willow’s shoulders, leaving little half-moon shapes before roughly scratching down Willow’s back. The pressure from Willow’s mouth increased as her fingers trailed over Tara’s stomach, and when her hand stopped, Tara groaned and dug her nails into the soft skin of Willow’s bottom leaving a matching set of half-moons to go with those on her shoulders.


After enjoying each other’s skin for a few more moments, Willow slid out of the bed, and snatched the robe off the floor; she held it open as an invitation to Tara. When she didn’t immediately move, Willow waved it at her again. “C’mon, my turn to walk backwards.” Willow’s eyes glittered with desire. Tara threw back the covers, stretching slowly while she moved one hand down between her breasts and over her stomach to just skirt around the dark blonde hair between her thighs, before trailing her fingers over her hip.


Tara watched Willow lick her lips repeatedly during her little “stretch,” and smirked as she got out of bed. Easing her arms into the robe Willow held open for her, Tara wasted no time in pressing the length of her body against Willow. Tara dragged her short nails across the backs of Willow’s thighs, up her bottom to her shoulders, and back down again in slow but steady circuits. Willow opened the bedroom door to peer out to be sure the coast was clear, but Tara pushed her out into the hall and began walking her backwards down the hall.


Tara sucked and bit at Willow’s neck, as she moved them quickly, and quietly to their destination. The door closed loudly, and Tara cringed a little; all her movement ceased so she could listen. Willow kept moving though, so Tara swatted her bottom.


“Shh.”


Willow stood still. “What?”


Tara rolled her eyes. “I was trying to be sure we didn’t wake anyone up, because you know, I live with other people, in a house, so we can kinda hear each other?” She chuckled at the look on Willow’s face. “You forgot about that, didn’t you?”


Sheepishly, Willow nodded. “Yeah, I guess I did. I mean, there are obviously other people at The Grove, but sound generally isn’t an issue.” She took the toothbrush Tara handed her, and turned on the shower.


Tara checked the water while they brushed their teeth, and as she rinsed the remnants of tooth paste away, she slipped behind Willow to trail her fingers up and down Willow’s back and hip bones. Willow shivered under Tara’s fingers, a delightful tremor passing through her when Tara’s palms grazed her nipples. She purred and pressed back into Tara, who hungrily watched Willow in the mirror over her shoulder.


“Well, let’s see if I can help you remember how to be quiet,” Tara said, cupping Willow’s breasts in her hands and stepping back towards the shower.


******


Tara was sitting on the island in the kitchen resting her arms over Willow’s shoulders and playing with her hair, as Willow stood between Tara’s legs. They were talking softly to one another as the coffee finished brewing, and Dawn came bouncing into the kitchen with a bright smile for the pair.


“Oooo, nice hickey, Tara,” she quipped, pouring herself a cup of coffee. She turned to lean against the counter. “Oh, how sweet, a matching set.” Dawn snickered as she looked around Tara at Willow, and blew into her coffee before she sweetened it.


Willow’s mouth opened and closed a few times, as she stepped back to let Tara off her perch on the island, before she stuttered out, “Since when do you drink coffee?”


Dawn laughed. “Willow, you don’t have to be shy; I know about the birds and the bees, you know. Got that speech and the ‘now you’re a woman’ one too,” she shuddered, “now that was embarrassing. You should’ve seen Buffy’s face.”


Willow looked to Tara, who was seemingly nonplussed. She handed Willow a coffee mug and smoothly moved to pour herself a cup. Willow looked down at the empty cup, as Dawn watched her.


“Willow, it’s love – it’s you and Tara. Do you realize you two are the best example I have of real love?”


Willow’s head snapped up, and she looked to Tara again. Tara just smiled and slid her cup over, taking Willow’s empty one.


Dawn laughed again, shaking her head. “I do know what you two do behind closed doors. I’ve listened to it loudly, and frequently, for a long time, you seem to forget. I never thought I would miss the sounds of other people making love… and that sounded a whole lot freakier than I meant it to. What I mean is, I want a love like yours, so do Buffy and Xander. They’re just afraid.”


Dawn stopped to put sugar in her coffee, her gaze steady as she spoke. “Xander is so afraid he’ll mess something up, so he messes it up; self-fulfilling prophecy there. Just look at him and Anya. Buffy…I worry for Buffy. She’s my sister, I love her, but she’s so scared to let anyone get close that I think she may miss the chance when she has it. They both envy you, they may never admit to it, but you two have set the bar pretty high for love around here.”


After taking several deep drinks, Dawn refilled her cup. Gazing into her cup for a moment, she looked at her friends, her face honest and open.


“I have learned more about passion just from listening to you, and not just the sex or the love making. I‘ve heard the nightmares, and the tears. The comfort and compassion you share is rare and constant. I’ve seen enough living here on the hellmouth to know that’s true — so have both of you.”


“Dawn…I don’t know exactly what to say, “Willow said softly, sipping her cooling coffee.


Tara was now leaning against the sink. “Dawn, don’t embellish our relationship. It’s not perfect, we have our problems, and we’ll continue to, that’s just life. All relationships do, but we want this to work; we’re just getting back on our feet again.”


“You guys, I know it’s not perfect – again I’ve seen, and I don’t think ‘perfect’ ever came out of my mouth. It just gives me hope, something to look forward to.” She shrugged.


Willow stepped to Tara and leaned against her.


With a wicked grin, Dawn continued, “Besides, I’m just glad you had clothes on when I came in, I’ve seen enough of your ass in the last twenty-four hours, Willow, to do me for a lifetime.”


Willow stiffened and turned a shade of red generally reserved for fruit. The mirth was apparent in Dawn’s eyes, as she casually sipped away at her coffee, and watched as Tara turned pink and ducked her head in sympathy. Willow turned abruptly to hide her face in Tara’s shoulder


After a few minutes to let the embarrassment fade, Dawn put her hand on Willow’s shoulder to gently turn her towards her.


“Look, I don’t care if you guys make love in every room of the house…well except my room, because that’s just a bit ewww; but then the house has been filled with love – real love,” Dawn said sincerely.
Her eyes filling with mischief again, she said, “If you want we can make a chart in different colors for each room and you can check it off as you go, Willow.”


Both Willow and Tara’s jaws dropped.


“Just be sure to wipe stuff down afterwards, ‘cuz you know, again with the ewww.” With a smirk, Dawn headed for the stairs.


Willow looked at Tara. “Has she been hanging out with Anya too?” Willow stared at Dawn’s retreating form in complete surprise.


“That could be a fun idea sweetie…” Tara said as she sipped her coffee, looking innocently at Willow over the rim of her mug.


Willow turned, cocking her head to one side then the other, and with a shrug said, “I’m game, will we be here long enough?”


******


Willow and Tara were walking back from campus after taking care of the arrangements needed for Tara to work remotely, when they decided to stop at the Espresso Pump for lunch. They took their salads and mocha's to one of the outside tables to enjoy the day, and indulge in a little people- watching. They sat close to one another; their attention focused more on each other than those moving around them.


Tara pushed the remnants of her salad away, sitting back in her chair to watch Willow as she ate. She had a hand resting on Willow’s thigh, absently moving her fingers across the fabric of the soft worn denim. Willow glanced at Tara, noticing the soft smile playing on her lips and flashed a smile of her own.


“What are you smiling at, sweetheart?”


Tara’s smile deepened. “Just you,” she said softly, “always you.” She gave a satisfied sigh and raised her arm to lean her head on her hand.


Willow put her fork down, and wiped her mouth. The sunlight dappled through the awning, catching Tara’s hair and making it shine like honey. Willow swallowed hard as she took Tara’s hand from her thigh, turning it over and gently placing a warm kiss on her upturned palm before lacing their fingers together.


With a wide grin, Willow asked, “Ready to blow this pop stand?”


Tara nodded. “Let’s scoot.”


Throwing their trash away, they leisurely began walking home hand in hand.


“Let’s stop by The Magic Box!” Willow said excitedly.


“Okay…wait, you’re not going to give Anya a hard time are you?” Tara asked seriously.


“What? Wait…oh, nope, not me. No hard time giving today, we’ll save the stern talking to’s for another time, promise. I just thought it might be nice, you know, I haven’t been in ages, because, you know, first out of the country, then out of the state, and you probably want to talk to Anya. So this kills two birds with one stone, but we aren’t actually killing birds. Nope, this is all bird friendly, and friend friendly too.”


“Will, honey, breath,” Tara giggled.


Willow took a deep breath and smiled, “Wow, I haven’t had a good babble in a long time. That felt kinda…normal in fact.” She winked at Tara.


They arrived at the door, and Willow pulled Tara to a stop as she stepped close to her. Wrapping their linked hands behind her back, Willow put her other arm around Tara’s neck and kissed her firmly.


“What was that for?” Tara asked when they parted.


“Do I need a reason to kiss you?” Willow asked in return.


“No, of course not, I love your kisses.”


“Well that’s a relief, because I would hate to force kisses, of all the horrible things, on you,” Willow teased.


“Vixen,” Tara replied, her eyes twinkling.


That earned Tara another kiss. “All yours.”


Tightening her hold on Willow, Tara murmured in Willow’s ear, “Lucky me.”


With a contented sigh, Tara let Willow go and opened the door to the Magic Box. The bell above the door tinkled at their entrance. Willow followed behind Tara and was partly hidden when Anya came out from the backroom.


“Tara!” Anya called out happily as she dropped a box on the counter and rushed over to give Tara a hug.


At first, Willow had hung back a little, allowing the two friends some space before she stepped further into the store. She stood fidgeting with her fingers, as Anya pulled back from Tara and seemed to notice her for the first time. Willow gave one of her little waves, and a nervous smile.


“Willow,” Anya said with a cautious glance at Tara who was smiling, “you’re here. When did you get back?”


“We got back yesterday afternoon,” Tara said, holding her hand out to Willow, who moved slowly to take it.


Anya eyed Willow closely. “Well, it’s good to have you back. Tara looks happy, so you both must be having plenty of orgasms again.”


“Anya, really…” Tara started.


Anya stalked over to Willow, raising her hand to point her finger. “If you hurt her again, I will take great pleasure in leaving parts of you scattered all over the seven continents. Do I make myself clear?” she asked with a sinister smile.


Willow nodded and swallowed several times. “Crystal,” she squeaked.


“Good! Really, it is nice to see you.” Clapping Willow on the shoulder, Anya walked back to her box on the counter. “So, how was Arizona, Willow? You’re awfully pale for being in the desert for so long,” Anya said with a bright smile.


The two women talked briefly, Willow eventually wandering off to look around the store to see what was new, and if there were things she might need or could use. Tara filled Anya in on her plans to go back with Willow, to train with the coven there, assuring her they wouldn’t be gone permanently, but this was something she wanted do having been given the opportunity.


Before they left, Willow had amassed a pile of things on the counter; herbs, incense, candles, and some things she thought they would need once they started to train together. Anya bagged up her items, then made her way back around to hug Tara again, and much to Willow’s surprise, Anya hugged her as well.


“Thank you, for taking care of her,” Willow said, just loud enough for Anya to hear.


“Just remember what I said,” Anya murmured, her voice deadly serious.


“There won’t be another time, I promise,” Willow swore as they parted, looking Anya in the eye.


“Good,” Anya replied with a curt nod, as she walked them to the door. She crossed her arms over her chest, and watched them from the doorway as they walked away holding hands.


******


When Buffy and Dawn came into the kitchen, Willow and Tara were sitting close together at the dining room table staring into Willow’s laptop. They both looked up with smiles. Dawn came in quickly giving them both hugs before heading upstairs.


“Hey, what’s the what?” Buffy asked.


“Oh, nothing, just going over coursework for us both; we’ll be back here again when Tara graduates, then over the holidays and again when I graduate,” Willow said.


“When you graduate? Will, isn’t that a long stretch?”


“Uhh, not really Buff, I’ll be done at the end of winter semester,” Willow admitted bashfully.


They could see Buffy doing the mental calculations, and Tara couldn’t hide the proud look that broke out on her face as a result. It was enough for Buffy to confirm her conclusions. With a wry grin, she said, “That’s early—you’re graduating early? Nothing stops The Willster’s quest for knowledge – like, ever - does it?”


“Afraid not Buff, it helped a lot actually. Kept me busy…” Willow trailed off, her eyes dropping back to the laptop screen, staring hard while the muscles in her jaw jumped. Tara brought her hand to Willow’s shoulder before dropping a kiss on her head and rising out of her seat.


“Xander called, he said he would be here at six, and that he’d bring dinner with him, so we’re probably having pizza.”


Buffy watched Willow before replying distractedly, “Uh, yeah probably, Dawn will be happy – he’ll bring anchovy.” Buffy made a face. “I don’t know how she can eat them.”


“I thought we could eat at the table again, it’s just kind of nice, don’t you think?” Tara inquired, trying to draw Buffy’s attention.


“Sure, whatever you like.” Buffy turned to face Tara with a smile. “I’m gonna go get cleaned up a bit.”


Buffy looked at Willow again; several emotions played over her face and she opened her mouth as if she planned to speak, but then thought better of it; with a soft sigh she left the kitchen.


Tara busied herself setting out plates and glasses. She could feel the turmoil in Willow rolling through her, and wondered how much the hellmouth might be amplifying these feelings. Even she could feel a difference, and she had only been gone a week. She surmised that living there full time built a tolerance to the ambient evil. She wondered if a study had ever been done on the residents to see what effect the hellmouth had, then it occurred to her that might have been something of interest to the Initiative, or maybe even the Watcher’s Council, and that it was probably something she really didn’t want to know for her own sake.


Tara moved to the doorway between the kitchen and the dining room.


“Will?”


“Hmm?”


Willow responded but did not immediately look up. When she did, Tara raised an eyebrow in question, her look one of concern.


Taking a deep breath, Willow nodded and went back to staring at the laptop screen.


“When?”


“After dinner is probably best.”


“Okay.”


With less than a dozen words spoken, they both knew that tonight Willow was going to do some explaining, and that the Scoobies were going to have a lot to listen to.


******


As expected, Xander arrived with pizza at exactly six o’clock; quickly, plates and drinks were gathered so everyone could sit down to eat while it was hot. It was obvious that Willow was preoccupied throughout the meal, but no one said anything.


Tara sat next to Willow, across from Xander and Dawn, with Buffy at the head of the table; Willow’s bag and laptop sat at the end like another guest. As the meal wound down, Willow reached for her bag to pull out a small card. Tara recognized the metal implant card; her head dipped knowing this was how Willow was going to begin. Willow pushed the small card across to Xander, then rested her chin on her hand. Tara rose, gathering the plates and went to the kitchen.


Xander looked closely at the card, confusion evident on his face.


“Will, what is this? Metal implant, what are you like bionic Willow now?” His joke fell flat.


Willow motioned that he should pass the card to Dawn. Dawn didn’t even look at the card before handing it to Buffy, her eyes locked on Willow.


Tara came back and reclaimed her seat next to Willow, folding both her hand in front of her on the table. Meanwhile, Buffy stared at the card, her face going blank.


“Would you like to tell us what this is, Will?” she asked without looking at Willow.


Willow took one of Tara’s hands, before saying softly, “It’s a metal implant card that I have to carry with me when I fly. I set off metal detectors because of the rod and six pins in my left leg.”


The Scoobies just stared at Willow waiting for her to continue; the room had gone so silent you could almost hear the heartbeats of the people occupying it.


Willow glanced at Tara, who smiled in reassurance.


“I should start at the beginning, and as I get further into this it won’t be pleasant, but I owe you guys an explanation. You all deserve to know why, why I left, why I stayed gone, and why Giles would only tell you what he did. It was all at my request, so, uhh… I don’t know about you but I need something else to drink before I start.” Willow stood, looking around the table. “Xan, a beer maybe? Buffy? Dawn?” She looked down at Tara.


“Yeah, Will, a beer sounds good,” Xander said quietly.


“Okay, last chance.” Willow was trying to keep her tone light.


Buffy and Dawn shook their heads.


“I think I’ll have one too, sweetie,” Tara said. Buffy shot her a look; knowing she didn’t often drink only served to make Buffy’s face darken with concern.


“Maybe that should be a round then, Will,” Buffy commented, “and no, you don’t get one too,” she said, shooting a look at Dawn.


“Okay, then how about a coke, Dawnie?” Willow said, slipping into the kitchen.


Everyone looked at Tara, and she looked back at everyone evenly, her expression open.


“It’s her story to tell, guys,” she said simply.


Willow came back in with a tray, carrying the drinks. Stopping near Tara, she began handing them out before sitting down with her and finally handing Xander his beer.


Willow looked around the table again, and after taking a long drink, began with a question. “What do you know about what happened after Buffy was shot, I mean what happened with Warren?”


Xander spoke, “The gun misfired and blew up in his face, killing him.”


Willow nodded, “Did any of you actually see Warren?”


“Well, no, I don’t think so.” Xander answered for everyone again.


Willow played with the label on the bottle, and started again. “That’s not exactly what happened,” she sighed, and took another swig from her beer. “When Tara and I came downstairs that day, we, we were standing looking out into the back yard. I watched him, I saw it all. We heard the yelling and the first shot from the gun. I had already started to draw on my Magicks, I didn’t even think about it, I just did it. He was firing wildly, and everything seemed to slow down. His eyes were…insane and so full of hate, I could smell it coming off of him in waves.”


Willow stopped, took several breaths, and another drink; she was staring at the table so hard a hole should have formed under her gaze.


“I saw his last bullet fire, and he looked at me. It was like something out of The Matrix, I could see the spin, and I could see the energy behind it, the path it was going to take. It would have hit Tara; I pushed her out of the way and screamed—just screamed at him, ‘You will not hurt her!’—I had just gotten her back; there was no way I was going to let this little cretin take her from me.” Willow pounded her bottle on the table and stood, no longer able to just sit. The pain in her voice made it obvious that she was actually seeing it all over again.


“I drew on everything I had learned from fighting Glory, everything I had, and I stopped the bullet. I put all my fear and anger into that one act. I turned the bullet; I pushed it back through the gun and put it right between his eyes. I watched the surprise bloom in them and the light vanish from them in less than thirty seconds. I dropped to my knees; I could feel the hatred boiling under my skin, the want to hurt him. It was starting to take over when I looked up at Tara, and I saw fear in her eyes. Then everything changed and I thought I was going to be sick.”


Willow continued to pace, her hands shoved deep into her pockets and her head down. She whispered, “Tara feared me, the one person in the entire world I never wanted to see that in…and she feared me.” Willow looked up for the first time and looked around the table.


A hardness entered Willow’s eyes as she looked around the table and a flatness her voice. “I killed him, and I’d do it again.”


Xander gripped his bottle hard, before emptying it in one long swallow. Tears ran down Dawn’s face, but Buffy’s was still a blank mask – no expression, just watching Willow pace in front of her.


“It took less than two minutes for me to dump everything I had worked for, to call on everything dark I could get my hands on. I don’t regret what I did; I regret how I did it. If I could have stopped him before he fired the first shot I would have done it in a heartbeat.”


Willow slumped down into the chair next to Tara; everyone seemed to be holding their breath, while Willow continued.


“I called Giles; I didn’t know what else to do. I hated what I saw in Tara’s eyes, and for being the one that put it there... well to even think of it makes me sick. Giles called the Council, and they agreed to help me, so off I went to England. That’s when I decided I’d had enough of the Magicks altogether. It wasn’t long afterwards that happened.” Willow gestured to the card in front of Buffy.


Buffy tapped the card. “I guess it wasn’t like when you stopped before was it?”


“No, Buff, it wasn’t. I drew on larger amounts of energy. It wasn’t even like the energy I was using when…you were gone. Because I had, at that moment, opened myself up, I was sorta like a sitting duck. I wasn’t like Tara, I didn’t know the difference in what I was using, so I had no way to protect myself. I hadn’t bothered to learn the most basic thing – how to protect myself, while I learned haphazardly how to protect you all.”


Buffy nodded as Tara pushed her beer in front of Xander. Xander took a long swallow before handing it back, and Dawn sat pale faced and wide eyed.


“You’re saying you weren’t ‘like’ Tara, are you saying you are now?”


Willow smiled, “Yes and no, but I’ll come to that later. This is where it gets rougher to hear.” Willow emptied her bottle and began peeling the label away from the glass.


”You guys need to know this. Both of my shoulders have been dislocated more than once from the muscle spasms, I’ve also torn the rotator cuff in my left arm because of them. My right ankle broke, and my left leg fractured, hence my nifty little card. Often I couldn't eat, it just wouldn’t stay down. More often than not, I couldn’t sleep, and when I did, I wished I hadn’t.”


Willow took Tara’s hand again. “There were points where Giles would have to hold me down so I could be sedated, partly to deal with the muscle spasms because they were so severe, partly to feed me intravenously, and partly so I could sleep – he had to make me sleep. I couldn’t focus, and sometimes I would hallucinate. I don’t know how many times I picked up the phone to call; I wanted so badly to talk to you all, but what was I going to tell you? How could I explain over the phone? So I just thought you were all better off not knowing until I could explain, that maybe then you wouldn’t think I was a complete monster for what I’d done.”



Everyone sitting at the table was now in tears. Buffy downed half her beer in one swallow then offered the bottle to Dawn, who just looked at her and shook her head.


Sniffling, and wiping her eyes, Willow took a shuddering breath before pushing on. “That took six months, six of the longest months of my life. I thought then, I was finally free, and started thinking about coming back. Giles came to me, and started going on about this coven in Arizona, saying that they had agreed to help me start over, to begin again. I thought he was crazy and told him so. I was done, no more with the witchy ways for me, I’d had enough and literally had the scars to prove it. That’s when he explained that I was different, fundamentally changed. He said the Magicks were a part of me now, and no matter where I went, that wouldn’t go away. Now I needed to be taught how to use my gift, how to control it and myself, how to be better than I was.”


Buffy’s eyes narrowed. “What do you mean changed, Will, are you a demon now?”


Willow actually laughed, and glanced at Tara, remembering some of the conversations they had shared. They smiled at each other.


“Nope, one hundred percent all girl, all the time…just all witchy all the time too.”


“Will ,that’s bad though, right? You left to get away from it…” Xander trailed off.


“It’s okay, Xander, really – I’m okay. I can’t get away from it; like I told Tara, it’s a part of me now, like my DNA. I can no more change it than you can change the color of your eyes, but I’ve learned how to be…better,” Willow said with a shrug. “I’m stronger than before, but I have far more control. I also have more defenses, too.”


Willow waited while this sunk in before she got up and went into the kitchen, coming back with a bowl.


“Watch.” Willow placed the bowl under her hand and began to concentrate. The air around her hands shimmered and slowly a snowball appeared. She looked at the Scoobies and met each of their eyes in turn so they could see there had been no change in her; no darkening of the eyes, no draw from dark Magicks. Her bright green eyes twinkled back at them. Willow held onto the snowball long enough for it to start to melt and drip.


With a wet plop she dropped it into the bowl. “It’s real, it’s snow. You can touch it,” Willow said as she slid the bowl to the middle of the table.


“Are you going to tell them where it’s from?” Tara teased.


“Oh, sure.” Willow pinched some of the snowball off, and much like she did with Tara, she dropped it into her mouth and stuck out her tongue so they could see it melting before she swallowed it. “Ooo, this is local, well fairly, it’s from northern Colorado.”


Xander’s jaw dropped. “You can tell that from…the taste of it?”


Willow nodded and grinned.


“Mine was Canadian,” Tara said as she took some of the snowball too, and offered the bowl around the table. Dawn was the first taker, then Buffy, while Xander just watched the women around the table seeming to take this all in their stride.


“Tastes like snow to me. How can you tell?” Dawn asked.


“To be honest, I can’t describe what tells me exactly, but it’s something to do with the water. It’s almost like I can taste the very moisture that formed the snowflakes. Lady Rowan says it’s an unusual gift.”


“Lady Rowan?” Buffy asked, taking some of the snowball.


Willow nodded. “She’s my High Priestess – coven leader, she’s also been the one I’ve worked with most closely. You’d like her, she looks like somebody’s grandma, but boy, don’t let that fool you. I wouldn’t want to piss her off then meet her in a dark alley. She knows more than Giles about the craft, which is saying something since I thought Giles knew it all - well maybe not all, but a lot. She’s who Tara will train with when we go back.”


Willow fell silent and looked at her friends anxiously.


“Now you know why I left like I did, and why I stayed away. I wanted to make sure that when I came back I wouldn’t make things worse for you or for myself. Now you know it all…” Her voice was barely a whisper.


“Willow, you’re back for now and you’re trying to convince me that this is all of the good? That doesn’t make any sense; you left to get away from magic, then you go to some coven to relearn everything you left to get away from. How is that good?” Xander said.


“Xander, you saw her – it wasn’t like before, and it didn’t feel like before. It’s not the same,” Dawn argued. “You can’t say what you just saw was anything like before.”


“Just because it wasn’t like before doesn’t mean it’s good either, Dawn. Buff…”


“Xander, I didn’t feel her,” Buffy said quietly.


“What?”


“I said I didn’t feel her, I didn’t feel the pull around us. Whatever Willow just did, as far as I can tell, she in no way pulled from anything dark, I would have felt that. I’ve felt it before, when she went after Glory. I didn’t put it two and two together at first and when I did, well, it didn’t seem to matter, there were more important things to worry about.”


Everyone but Willow spoke at the same time.


What?”


You knew?”


Buffy!”


Buffy and Willow looked at each other. A wisp of a smile played on Willow’s lips. Buffy was finally confirming what Willow had really always known.


“I knew, I just didn’t know what to do to stop her, or if it was possible, or if I wanted to. I wasn’t going to stand in the way of her getting you back, Tara. After what Glory had done, watching you…it didn’t just hurt Willow. I saw what she was studying, I had a clue and I let it slide. Willow, you seemed to be in control, I had no idea how not in control you were. I don’t even want to say I’m sorry because that would negate everything you did to bring Tara back, everything that happened after...” Buffy sighed. “I realized too late the toll it was taking on you, Willow. For that I am sorry.”


“And the fun just keeps leavin',” Xander said as he slammed his bottle down in front of him as he got up from the table and left, and Dawn jumped when the front door slammed behind him.


Willow wiped her face, and tossed the little card into her open bag. “I’m tired, I’m going to bed. Baby, are you coming?”


Tara was staring at Buffy with a look of resignation, she realized now that she wasn’t the only one who had seen Willow begin to spiral out control without doing anything to help her. “Ah, yeah, I’m coming, sweetie.”


Willow walked behind Dawn and kissed her on the head.


“Goodnight,” Tara said, squeezing Dawn’s shoulder as she went by, but it was tinged with guilt for herself and her friend.


Dawn stood. “I should get some sleep too.”


“’Night,” Buffy said softly. She was left sitting alone, and hung her head for a moment as the silence crept further in and the power of Willow’s words slipped out from around her. She didn’t wait long before leaving on patrol to dust something.




TBC…

_________________
Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
Image
My stories:
"Dry Heat – In Progress (still)" "Penny Arcade - Completed"
Image
My Fic Challenge entries:
"Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"
Image


Last edited by vampyregurl73 on Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 438 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ... 15  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

W/T Love 24/7 since July 2000
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group