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

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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:26 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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DIBS!!!!

Ok I am laughing LMAO!! I love insanity break, tho it's quite insane in itself.
trouble is a hell of a lot of fun, even when serious, and Tara pretty much right there with her.
Great song choices, they fit perfectly for the light heart-ed way you made this.

Great Job :clap ....so when is the next update?

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"Can you just be kissing me now?" -Tara
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Dibs-Mistress - General Chaos -Twitter Brigade
A Proposal Plan, A Star's Second Chance
Finey_McFine's Fan club http://finey-mcfinefanclub.webs.com/

"Pulse and Cocoon can rot for all I care. If I don't figure out our Focus soon... Vanille's gonna be a Cie'th. I'll tear down the sky if it'll save her" ~ Oerba Yun Fang FF13
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http://astronsoulfanfic.tripod.com/twilight/


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:48 pm 
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20. Not one Much for the Timber
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Yay an update!!

Loved seeing Tara cut lose a little bit and enjoy herself. Trouble seems like lot's of fun and just what the Dr ordered:) Being an '80's gal and Peter Gabriel fan, I loved the song choices! Super fun update...looking forward to some "make up" sex... :grin

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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


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:40 am 
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11. Fish in the Bowl

Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:35 pm
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I'm with Shelby on the "Yay an update!!" stuff! :dumbo :pinky :bounce :pinky :bounce :dumbo

Wow, some memories there. Never much of a drinker, but laughing, getting silly, falling off couches and just being nuts with people you love - all good!!!

Trouble fascinates me! A mix of the serious and the silly is always a total attraction for me - and W/T also fill the bill - GO GIRLS!!! :pinky

Nice music, definitely brought me back! Also that kind of friendship - mmmmmmmmmmmm!! :love

Ariel


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me 11/18/11
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:01 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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Trust Me (NC-17)


Sweet Dreams Are Made of This


Tara eased her naked body down atop Willow’s, relishing the feel of their naked skin caressing one another, the curves and plains of their bodies sliding together in perfection.

As Tara kissed Willow’s face from one side to the other again and again leaving no spot untouched, her thigh pressed insistently between Willow’s. She kissed Willow’s lips briefly, then traced her way down Willow’s delicate jaw line intent on the soft spot behind her ear.

Tara’s hands smoothed their way up Willow’s sides, over her ribs to her firm breasts, and growling, she grasped them tightly, huskily whispering “mine” in Willow’s ear.

“Yes! Yours Tara, baby. Always, only yours!”

Tara began nipping and kissing her way down Willow’s tender neck, rolling her nipples between her fingertips, pinching slightly causing the other girl to moan and writhe.

Tara continued to growl low in her throat throughout her ministrations, each low rumble eliciting a gasp of pleasure from Willow.

Her thigh pressed firmly against Willow’s center, she started to rock forward into Willow with her hips.

“Ah! Oooooh…”

Tara stopped her torturously slow journey downward just above Willow’s left breast, over her heart.

She stopped to gaze up into darkening emerald eyes, growling out ‘Mine’ again, before fastening her mouth to Willow’s pale freckled flesh and beginning to suck at the delicate skin.

“Ohhhhhh, yes. Ohhhhhh, TARA!” Willow cried out as her hands twisted tightly in the sheets, while Tara continued to tease and work at the delicate flesh.

----------


Willow lavished attention on Tara’s breasts. Kissing and nipping the satin soft skin, circling her tongue around the taut nipples. Kneading the yielding flesh with her hands, teasing and squeezing the pebbled nipples with her fingertips. Her mouth worked it’s way thoroughly from the base of Tara’s breasts to the crest several times over, leaving glistening trails in it’s wake.

“Mmmmmm… ahhhhhhhhh. So good baby… so good.” Tara murmured.

After thoroughly making love to Tara’s breasts, Willows mouth headed lower, over Tara’s taut stomach to her belly button, licking and circling the lonely indentation with kisses.

“Mmmmmmm, ooooooooh Will.”

Tara’s back arched as pleasure pulsed through her body, throbbing, aching need bubbled inside her as lust, desire, and love, roiled through her.

“Ahhhhhh, ohhhh myyyy. Yesssss. WILLOW!” Tara cried out as Willow bit tenderly at the swell of Tara’s stomach, just below her navel.

Tara writhed, moaning and groaning as Willow continued to suck at the sensitive flesh.

“Ooooooooh, more, my Willow, more.”

Tomorrow she would have a definite mark, but tonight she had Willows mouth and tongue soothing the burning flesh.

Willow’s hands forcefully gripped Tara’s hips as their eyes met, the hunger and love there sending a jolt straight to Tara’s core.

Her eyes drifted closed and a growl rose from deep in her chest to escape past her lips.

“WILLOW!”


----------

In the dark of her dorm room, Tara awoke with a gasp, soaked in sweat and breathing heavily. She sat up slowly, relishing the humming and tingles coursing through her body, having gone too long without the sensations Willow’s touch elicited. After a few moments to catch her breath, Tara noticed the slight burning sensation below her bellybutton wasn’t lessening.

Reaching for the light, she pushed her covers down off of her body, sliding them down her naked legs, shivering in her boxers and tank top. As her eyes adjusted to the light, she reached down and lifted the hem of her tank top raising it up enough that she could see the lower swell of her stomach. There, just as in the dream, was a bright red circle, evidence of Willow’s devotion and need.

Tara reached up to turn off her light, then lay back, her hand sliding down her stomach, under the waistband of her shorts to the tender mark, rubbing it idly as she drifted off to sleep.

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

Across town, a sleepy redhead came awake with a groan. Reaching inside her pajama top she absently rubbed at the tingling flesh above her left breast, a contented smile gracing her lips as her heavily lidded green eyes drifted closed again.

“Tara…” she whispered, falling back into sleep.

_________________
if it's not real, you can't hold it your hands; you can't feel it with your heart, then i won't believe it. but if it's true you can see it with your eyes, even in the dark; and that's where i want to be. 'brick by boring brick' -paramore


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:01 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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DIBS!!!!!!

YAY UPDATE!!!! :clap :clap :clap :clap :clap :clap :clap :clap :clap :clap

SMUTTY goodness, and damn a dream, but some dream!!!!!

~AS~

_________________
"Can you just be kissing me now?" -Tara
__________________________________
Dibs-Mistress - General Chaos -Twitter Brigade
A Proposal Plan, A Star's Second Chance
Finey_McFine's Fan club http://finey-mcfinefanclub.webs.com/

"Pulse and Cocoon can rot for all I care. If I don't figure out our Focus soon... Vanille's gonna be a Cie'th. I'll tear down the sky if it'll save her" ~ Oerba Yun Fang FF13
******************************
http://www.astronsoulfanfictions.com/
http://astronsoulfanfic.tripod.com/twilight/


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:30 am 
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11. Fish in the Bowl

Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:35 pm
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Tina,

Update-y goodness - YAY!!! :pinky :party :pinky

First, brilliant title and yes,
Quote:
Sweet Dreams Are Made of This
AND your fic is one of those dreams! Wow, drool-age!

Seriously, you write the sensuous so beautifully - loved "the soft spot behind her ear" and
Quote:
Tara eased her naked body down atop Willow’s, relishing the feel of their naked skin caressing one another, the curves and plains of their bodies sliding together in perfection.
:love Big pulse beats for that beautiful writing.

And yes, I am willing to forgive you for making this a dream! :wink

As always, you know I love this fic so keep writing! :kgeek

Ariel
How I Met Your Mother


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:00 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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I loved this idea of this fic several months ago when I first joined the KB, but quickly shied away from stories I thought had been abandoned and didn't leave any feedback. I am so glad you updated! I hope you will become a regular poster and keep on writing this story because I would love to see where you take it.
-Lexi

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Tara: " I got so lost."
Willow: "I found you. I will always find you."


Remodeling: The Reconstruction of Tara Maclay / W/T Potpourri


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:59 pm 
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4. Extra Flamey
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Darn email. Smut-tacular, T-queen :laugh

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And all my life, I looked for you
For arms that I could fall into

- With You Around, YellowCard


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:03 pm 
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20. Not one Much for the Timber
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Hey T!

I just noticed that you updated...I guess I'm a little slow on the uptake, lol. Anyway, nice job on the smutty goodness, even though it was a dream...it was still awesome! I hope you don't leave us hanging too long before the next update!

_________________
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


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:54 am 
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3. Flaming O
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:brr Coming soon: Replies and an Update! (not necessarily in that order :rofl )

_________________
if it's not real, you can't hold it your hands; you can't feel it with your heart, then i won't believe it. but if it's true you can see it with your eyes, even in the dark; and that's where i want to be. 'brick by boring brick' -paramore


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:57 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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A big thanks to AstronSoul for putting up with me and being a great Beta!!! Here's the update!!! :clap :clap :clap


Dream Analysis

“Sarai taught you a lesson?”

Tara was met with a pair of bleary blue eyes from behind the partially closed apartment door.

Trouble blinked several times, looking up at Tara with an expression that was part blank, part confused.

“It’s three a.m. Mouse,” Trouble stated, not bothering with Tara’s question.

“I know what time it is,” Tara growled in exasperation. “What I don’t know, is what to do.”

Trouble shuffled back into the apartment, opening the door, and admitting Tara into the darkened rooms. Tara stepped only far enough in to allow Trouble to close the door, then she stopped, waiting in the ebony space whose layout she could not recall.

The usually familiar apartment was drenched in inky blackness. Tara had no idea where to walk, but she could tell by the soft whispers moving through the room, that Trouble was weaving her way through the murk.

“Watch your eyes,” Trouble’s sleep roughened voice warned from nearby.

Tara closed her eyes tightly as instructed, and heard a soft click, followed by soft light filtering through her eye lids. By the time she opened her eyes, Trouble was flopping face-first down on the couch.

“Mat moo mant, Mouse?” Trouble mumbled into the couch cushion.

“What did Sarai do, that changed you?” Tara demanded without preamble.

Trouble was still for a long time, so long that Tara begun to suspect she had fallen back asleep, then a groan disturbed the silence.

“Three a.m. for this Mouse?” Trouble asked, turning to face Tara, who refused to sit, and craning her neck to look her in the eye.

“Yes, damn it!” Tara stomped her foot, causing some of the makeshift bookshelves to shudder, then crossed her arms across her chest, face set in a scowl.

Trouble’s eyes widened in surprise and she blinked, taken aback by Tara’s exasperation.

“What’s happened? What’s wrong, Tara?” Trouble asked, quickly rising from the couch, eyes clear, body alert.

Tara tugged open her black leather trench coat, revealing jeans; and a sweater.

“Trouble, I don’t know who else to ask. I-I-I d-don’t think Willow or even Giles can help me. S-s-something’s happening…”

Tara lifted the hem of her sweater with one hand. and pushed down on the waistband of her jeans with the other, revealing several large red marks across her hips and lower belly.

Trouble looked down at the marks, rolled her eyes up to look at Tara questioningly, then looked down again.

Trouble took Tara by her shoulders, and gently pushed her back to the chair, not letting go until she was convinced Tara would remain seated.

“Well,” Trouble began, running her fingers through her own long hair. “To state the absurdly obvious, you have a bad case of hickeys, Mouse. Something to drink?”

Trouble patted Tara’s shoulder and began walking to the kitchen, mumbling to herself.

“Wakes me up at 3 a.m., cause she got astral hickeys from her girlfriend. Bloody hell.”

“What did you say?” Tara asked from the living room.

“A soda would be swell!” Trouble shouted back, “What about you?”

“Yeah, that does sound good. Me too, please.” Tara called back.

The refrigerator door slammed, and Trouble shuffled into the room, a soda in each hand, eyes half closed, shoulders slumped. She took a deep breath, released it, then a shudder rippled through her.

Tara watched in fascination as Trouble’s aura went from wild and disoriented to smooth and controlled, excess energy released through the shudder, leaving her calm and focused.

Trouble blinked again, rapidly, then looked at Tara curiously.

“Just how did you manage to get yourself a love bite belt, anyhow?” Trouble asked, head tilted to the left, mouth tensed into a line, eyes sparkling.

She walked over to the couch and sat down in the middle, leaning over to hand Tara her soda.

Tara accepted the soda, opening it and downing a gulp quickly, as though she were lost in a desert.

Trouble waited patiently, opening her soda slowly, taking time to study Tara, as Tara fought to remain calm.

“That’s why I’m here, for your help, Trouble. What’s doing this? How? How do I stop it?” Tara’s voice was edged with panic. Her eyes glittered with tears, while her hands shook the soda can violently, her knee bouncing up and down.

Trouble set her drink on the coffee table, then moved forward to kneel in front of Tara, taking Tara’s shaking hands in her own, her denim blue eyes locking with Tara’s sapphire ones.

“Tara, Tara breath. It’s ok. There is nothing wrong with you.” Trouble spoke in a gentle voice, squeezing Tara’s hands, and nodding to her slowly.

Tara nodded numbly along, not sure she believed Trouble.

“They are hickies, Tara. You got them in your dreams, from Willow. It’s that simple.”

Tara took several deep shuddering breaths, then went still. She looked down at her midsection speculatively, her lips halfway between a smile and a frown, her hand moving absently to rub it.

“Just hickies? You’re sure?” Tara looked at Trouble with pleading eyes, hands clutching the swell of her lower belly, body tense.

“I’m one hundred percent positive, Mouse. You are perfectly ok. There are a few things we should discuss…” Trouble pushed off of Tara’s knees to rise to her full height, took one step backward and sat on the couch.

“Little things, really. But it might help you understand what’s happening, what will happen, between you and Willow.”

“W-w-will h-happen?” Tara’s eyes went wide, her mouth moved, but no sounds came out.

Trouble nodded reassuringly. “What’s happening to you, has happened before, not frequently, but it has occurred. You don’t need to be afraid, Tara, you’re not in danger. I promise.”

“I’m safe? I’m not being attacked? Willow’s not in danger?” Tara was still rubbing the swell of her belly, awash in relief that nothing was trying to hurt her, or the woman she loved.

Trouble retrieved her soda from the table, stopping to light the candle setting on it, then leaned back into the couch, hand running through her hair, face becoming a mask of thoughtfulness.

“Where to begin… where to begin,” Trouble mused.

Tara fidgeted idly with the top of her soda can, trying to remain patient while Trouble composed her thoughts, when really, she wanted to shake the answers from her diminutive friend.

“You and Willow are soul mates.” Trouble finally decreed.

Tara blinked, head tilted to the left, her eyebrow arched.

“That… was… weak.” she declared.

Trouble sat up straight in shock, looking at Tara in confusion. “Weak?”

“Yeah. You’re Trouble! You practically read minds! You’re the smartest person I’ve ever met. You’re better at magic’s then both Willow and I combined. You’re a sensitive, for Gaia’s sake! And that’s the best you could come up with?” Tara’s voice was incredulous.

“Well hell! That’s what it is.” Trouble shot back, defensively.

“But, you’re you. Deep, profound, mysterious. You made it sound so boring, so anticlimactic.”

Trouble burst out laughing, setting her soda down quickly before she spilled it, then doubled over clutching her sides.

“Oh yes,” Trouble gasped. “Because finding the other half of your entire being is so easy to do, and happens all the time. Shit, it took me three hundred seventy three different incarnations before I found Sarai.”

Tara froze mid-laugh, dumbfounded by the thought of spending three hundred, and seventy three lifetimes searching for Willow, the idea of a lifetime without Willow was enough to chill her.

Trouble leaned back, having caught her breath, and rested her arms behind her head, staring off towards the window.

“T-t-three h-h-undred…” Tara began.

“Seventy three,” Trouble finished, leaning forward for her soda. She took a long swallow, then stared down at the can, eyes turning gray, thumbs running over the can’s top idly, clearly lost in thought.

Tara took a sip of her own soda, waiting for Trouble to finish her reverie, knowing it was a deeply personal memory by the look on her face, and the poise of her body.

“I spent hundreds of years tormented by a touch I didn’t know, aching for something outside of my reach, haunted by dreams of a beautiful woman I couldn’t have. True love is a bitch. Be glad the fates showed you favor, Mouse.”

Tara sat staring, eyes wide, mouth partially open, eyebrow raised, overwhelmed by contemplation. Life times spent without Willow, but knowing she was out there? Centuries of dreams, living haunted by emerald eyes and fiery red hair blazing through endless nights.

Tara found herself suffused with the urge to go to Willow, take her in her arms and hold onto to her forever, there was no doubt in her mind it was time to get back what was hers.

“How do I make sure she’s different, that she has changed?” Tara asked, her mind starting to figure out her options, and whether she could, or even should, work this out alone.

Option One: Forgive Willow and move on; hard but not impossible.

Option Two: Refuse to forgive and live a miserable lonely life wondering; not appealing at all.

Or Option Three: Take advice from Trouble and maybe come out of this stronger than before; best case scenario, undoubtedly.

“Sarai taught you a lesson?” Option three it was.

Trouble looked up from the can in her hands curiously, eyes blinking, the ghost of a lopsided smile on her lips.

“Sarai taught me many lessons, Mouse. You’ll have to be much more specific.” Trouble said with an arch of her eyebrow, and a soft chuckle.

“You said something about ‘Cold Steel’? Is it a spell or something? An enchantment?” Tara was leaning towards Trouble, poised on the edge of the chair, body tense, eyes shining with new purpose.

“The lesson was trust. The tool, was Cold Steel. It’s not for beginners, Tara, and not for laughs. You had better be dead serious about this.” Trouble sat up straight, and gave Tara a determined look, eyes set, jaw locked.

Tara put on her own version of Willow’s famous resolve face, and looked Trouble in the eye with utter conviction. “I’m taking back what’s mine.” she said, in no uncertain terms.

Trouble nodded, “Bout damn time.”

“So, about this lesson…” Tara began, nervously.

“More of a test really. Tests the level of trust between you. Your devotion, your synchronicity, your … dexterity,” Trouble gave a small chuckle and continued. “How well are your two halves making a whole.”

“It can be an amazing experience if the energies are synchronized and flowing together as one.”

“So what does it involve?” Tara asked, bracing herself for the worst.

“How comfortable are you with… knives?” Trouble asked, scratching behind her ear, before resting her chin on her closed fist and looking around innocently.

“K-K-knives?” Tara visibly paled, and audibly gulped, squeezing her soda can a shade too tightly, and feeling it beginning to crumple in her grip.

Trouble leaned back, producing a folding blade from her pocket, then flicking it open with her thumb, she held it up for Tara too look at.

“You sleep with a knife on you?” Tara asked incredulously.

“Sometimes.” Trouble responded, clearly not used to thinking about having the blade on her, or anyone asking about it.

Tara just stared at the blade, mouth slightly open, on the verge of speaking but unable to come up with anything to say.

Trouble got a truly wicked look on her face.

Tara’s skin started to ashen, her eyes went wide in apprehension, she gave an involuntary shudder.

“Nervous, Mouse?” Trouble asked ,arching her eyebrow.

Trouble’s voice pulled Tara’s attention away from the shining blade, over to grey-blue eyes filled with concern, swirling like miniature hurricanes.

“There’s no need to fear, Tara. I will do you no harm, I swear by it.” Trouble held the knife directly out in front of her, a hand on either end, turning and twisting the knife for Tara to see.

Tara’s eyes again focused on the folding knife, this time looking at the blade for what it was; machined steel, meticulously shaped and tempered, possessing a cold, efficient beauty. The flame of the candle flickered in a seductive dance across the surface of the blade, warm and rhythmic, and she felt herself being lulled by the serpentine undulation of the light.

“A knife is merely a tool. Created by man to accomplish tasks of cutting and puncturing. It has no feeling, no conscience, no reason, no will to speak of. It just is.”

As her eyes began to slowly lose focus Tara tilted her head slightly to the left, mesmerized by the dancing colors and periodic shimmer, and leaned forward to set her soda on the table.

“The one who wields the blade, gives it it’s purpose. They determine it’s function, whether it will help or harm, it’s will and purpose are what the user dictates. Knives can be just as good as they are bad, in the right hands.” Trouble expounded.

Tara watched intently as Trouble spun and twirled the knife in the candle’s warm glow, Trouble’s voice like a warm, comforting song, lulling her senses, hinting at the power the smaller woman possessed.

As Trouble continued, Tara found herself relaxing, her muscles loosened up and her mind began to slow as the apprehension drifted from it.

“Would you believe, Mouse, that a knife could bring… pleasure?”

This caused Tara to blink several times, and shake her head, her trance broken for the moment, she was left feeling calm and curious.

Trouble lowered her left arm, and pressed the tip of the blade to her inner forearm until it dimpled the skin, a faint smile gracing her lips. The air in the apartment began to change, began to fill with an overwhelming sense of vitality, electricity, of feeling alive.

“With knives,” Trouble began, eyes focused intently on the apex of the blade. “The difference between pleasure and pain, is pressure. Just a little pressure and the body is on fire, singing.” She was running the razor sharp blade in loops and whorls over the tender flesh of her inner arm, occasionally looking up to check on Tara.

Tara looked on fascinated, as lacy red lines began to appear on Trouble’s arm, and the energy around them continued to build, surrounding them in warmth and light.

Trouble rolled her arm, exposing her outer forearm to the knife, adjusting her grip, and rolling her shoulders before continuing.

“Too much pressure,” she said, as she pressed down ever so slightly on the blade, causing a fine line of blood to appear, “And the body is crying, screaming. It’s a truly fine line between pleasure and pain; that is where Cold Steel walks.”

A quick snap and the knife folded in half, blade hidden away from sight, to be proficiently tucked away in Trouble’s waistband.

“But we are getting ahead of ourselves, Mouse. Before I teach you how to fight for what you want, you need to be sure you know what it is you want. And for that you need to know what’s available.”

Tara blinked several times, her reverie broken, just barely able to process what Trouble had been saying, so entranced was she by the blade’s intricate ballet.

“A-a-available?” Tara’s voice trembled slightly, as the implications of the word weaved through her mind, painting countless images in her minds eye of things she certainly didn’t want, and places she didn’t want to go.

“There are endless possibilities before you Tara, even if returning to Willow is your only desire, there is still infinite potential for the two of you. You must return to her sure, dedicated, willing to do what needs to be done to fix what is broken and continue to build it stronger as you go on.”

Tara nodded as the images in her mind slowed and gained cohesion, developing into bright impressions of love, passion, warmth, a long and pleasant future shared with her soul mate.

Which brought her back to the most important questions.

“What is going on between Willow and I? What’s the deal with the dreams and hickies? What is going to happen between us?”

Trouble leaned back into the couch, chuckling. “You don’t ask for much, do you Mouse?”

Tara straightened up and gave Trouble an exasperated look. “You brought it up!”

“So I did, so I did. Ah Mouse. The things you and yours have done without even knowing, or knowing the ramifications. It boggles the mind, the history that is being written for so many by so few.”

Tara folded her hands on her lap and looked at Trouble expectantly, waiting for the tiny woman to share her secrets and hopefully clear some of the noise from her head.

Trouble tilted her head back and gazed at the ceiling for a moment, organizing her thoughts and trying to find the best way to explain what had happened between Willow and Tara.

“Tara,” she began, her voice earnest and low. “You and Willow are the first mortal soul mates to occupy one body and separate again. As far as existence is concerned, you and Willow are one being with two separate bodies, literally. When Willow stole your essence back from Glory, you were pulled into Willow’s body, when she put your essence back into you, she entered your body. You are one now, forever linked, never to be pulled asunder.”

Tara nodded, processing, so Trouble continued.

“You can never be rid of each other, even if you tried. She is in you and you are in her, for the rest of your lives, come what will, one is what you are. As time progresses you will start to share more and more. All of your senses, emotions, wants, and needs, everything will pass between you, a river with two currents feeding each other in an endless cycle.”

“One,” Tara whispered, reverently.

“Right now you are sharing your needs. You need one another, and this need is a powerful thing. It lets you find each other and touch each other from miles away, affecting one another’s bodies and emotions. I’d worry if you weren’t swapping astral hickies.”

This elicited a giggle from Tara, who rubbed the swell of her stomach, now happy the line of red marks adorned it, proving her love, and passion were reciprocated by her wayward lover.

Tara…

Tara shuddered as a stray, but familiar thought found it’s way into her mind. Willow?

Love you, baby, always. Miss you so much…Willow’s sleepy voice whispered to her.

Tara looked around, confused by Willow’s voice inside her head, but unable to keep from answering back. Willow? Baby? I love you too, always and forever. And goddess how I miss you…

Trouble watched calmly as emotions spilled across Tara’s face, waiting for Tara to finish her impromptu conversation and return her focus to the here and now.

Tara noticed the knowing look on Troubles face, the way her eyes had softened, the gentle smile tugging the older woman’s mouth and knew something was taking place, a new level had been reached.

Trouble’s sparkling blue eyes met Tara’s azure gaze. “Your connection continues to grow. My guess is, your ‘redder’ half is sleeping.” her grin was open and gentle. “But no worries. You can only ravage one another when you’re in-sync, occurs spontaneously during sleep sometimes, but most often it’s a focused thing.”

Tara’s eyebrow arched. “R-r-ravage? Physically?”

“Where do you think the hickey’s came from?”

“The dreams are real? It’s really, in all honesty, Willow touching me?” Tara asked, on the edge of her seat, eyes shining with hope, body tense, practically humming with energy.

Trouble leaned forward and took Tara’s slender hands in her own small ones, her gaze was solemn, she was sitting up to her full height, serious.

“It is Willow.” Trouble assured her earnestly. “When your’s and Willow’s energies are synced you can physically affect each other from a distance. There’s also telepathy, shared dreams, shared senses, and emotions. Your joined at the everything with Willow, Tara.”

Mmmmmmm.. Tara. Willow purred through the link, immersed in a dream, her pleasure causing a tingle to run down Tara’s spine and through other parts of her body. Her face flushed. her breathing became short and deep, her eyelids fluttered.

Trouble released Tara’s hands and rose to move quickly to the kitchen. The sound of the fridge opening and closing, and a glass tinkling competed with the sound of Tara’s labored breathing.

Dear Goddess! What’s happening to me? Why do I feel like thi- ooooohhhhh. Willooow…

Somewhat explicit images of her and Willow loving each other flashed through her mind, as she leaned back into the chair, body trembling, eyes closed, lips parted. Her hands flattened on her thighs, fingers digging into her jeans, as her body tensed.

Trouble returned from the kitchen bearing a glass of orange juice, moving to stand next to Tara, brow wrinkled, a half frown on her face.

“Having a Cinemax moment, are we?” she asked Tara, looking down at the blond who was struggling to stay in control of her body, as visions of Willow pleasuring her overwhelmed her senses.

Suddenly Tara cried out, “Willow!” and slumped back into the chair, going still.

Trouble knelt in front of Tara waiting for the taller woman to catch her breath, and gather herself; astrally induced orgasms tend to be quite intense experiences.

Tara’s breathing gradually returned to normal, her body relaxing, muscles unwinding, nerves slowing; coming back to herself slumped in Trouble’s chair, under watchful baby blue eyes.

As she slowly sat up, Trouble proffered the orange juice, and Tara accepted it gratefully.

“Well that was mortifying,” Tara mumbled, staring down into the glass, long hair flowing forward to conceal the flush still lingering on her face.

“You should have been there the first time it happened to me.” Trouble chuckled. “Sarai had discovered that with a little concentration, she could touch herself, and make my body feel it. She decided to try it out one night while we were having dinner with our friends, and allies.”

Tara lingered over her juice, as Trouble recounted her first intimate, astral experience.

“She spent the entire night using her new ‘talent’ to torture me, under the oblivious gazes of all our dining companions; she seduced me, pleasured me and exhausted me, in a room full of people with no one the wiser.”

Trouble stood with a groan, and released Tara’s hands, as her knee’s popped, and cracked.

Tara sat staring at the window, eyes wide, mouth slack, imaging the previous scene playing out in front of the Scoobies. By the Goddess! The looks on their faces would be priceless, especially Xander’s! Oh, me and Will would never be able to show our faces again, never mind be invited anywhere.

A grin slid across Tara’s face, as a low chuckle escaped her throat, and her shoulders shook.

Trouble retrieved her soda from the table, and resumed her seat on the couch, as Tara continued to laugh to herself.

“Wondering what would happen if that little performance were to go public?” Trouble inquired.

“What on earth would my friends do? What would they think?” Tara mused.

“Well,” Trouble began, “I would think they would be impressed that you two can say, ‘look honey, no body!’ during sex.”

Tara nearly choked on the sip of orange juice she had just taken, and she sputtered as an image of a naked Willow, sitting in a chair across from her prone form on a bed, shouting ‘look honey, no body!’ wiggling her fingers, arms outstretched like a magician, sprang into her mind.

Trouble doubled over in laughter, nearly spilling her drink, in response to Tara’s reaction, slapping her thigh and stomping her foot.

“What was it? Come on, tell me! What was it?” Trouble prodded, as Tara fought to control her coughing.

“Naked Willow…. Shouting…. No body….. Wiggling!” Tara gasped, waggling her hands for emphasis.

“Oh shit! That’s so fucking fuuuuuuuunny!” Trouble practically howled, setting down her soda with a shaking hand, so she could clutch her convulsing sides.

Tara, seeing the smaller women hunched over in a fit of uncontrollable laughter, began laughing so hard her abs hurt and she couldn’t breathe, both had tears streaming down their faces.

It took several minutes for them to collect themselves; that time was filled with giggle-fits, and various hand gestures, some obscene, a few employing a tongue.

Trouble looked idly towards the window, noticing the golden glow that signified the sun was rising, “Good morning sunshine.” she sighed.

“Soooooooo,” Tara started, nodding her head thoughtfully, “About Syncing and Astral sex…” She took a non chalant, sip of her juice, waiting for a response.

“First lesson, Mouse,” Trouble began, stretching her arms above her head and letting out a satisfied sigh.

She lowered her arms, and gave Tara a sly look. “Barriers.”

Tara’s next nod was now full of confidence, her face determined; Trouble had a plan, and where there was a plan, there was a way.

“But first, breakfast.”

“Just as important,” Tara confirmed.

_________________
if it's not real, you can't hold it your hands; you can't feel it with your heart, then i won't believe it. but if it's true you can see it with your eyes, even in the dark; and that's where i want to be. 'brick by boring brick' -paramore


Last edited by indigokane on Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:00 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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dibs dibs dibs!

I know I said I wouldn't.... I lied

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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:53 pm 
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*Pout* Someday I'll get dibs again and someday I will receive an email update, but today is not that day. Astral Hickeys sound scary, I mean you sleep and wake up, possibly forgetting the 'dream' and woah hickey! Trouble playing with knives? Seems like something I'd do... Very nice T-wrex *Hugs* Can't wait for more!

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For arms that I could fall into

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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:54 pm 
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11. Fish in the Bowl

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Tina!

Update!!!! :pinky :party :pinky

LOVED this update! Trouble is such an amazing character, cosmic and real and mysterious and a little scary and damn funny, too!

Quote:
Tara was met with a pair of bleary blue eyes from behind the partially closed apartment door.

Trouble blinked several times, looking up at Tara with an expression that was part blank, part confused.

“It’s three a.m. Mouse,” Trouble stated, not bothering with Tara’s question.

“I know what time it is,” Tara growled in exasperation. “What I don’t know, is what to do.”
:applause :bow :applause GREAT opening, totally not the typical beginning!

Quote:
“Mat moo mant, Mouse?” Trouble mumbled into the couch cushion.
Another magic sleep moment!!!

Very intriguing and suspenseful with the solution - can hardly wait for more!

So, keep writing! :kgeek :whip

Ariel
How I Met Your Mother


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:39 pm 
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T, I told you I would. And I did. And I heart this..... And uh, me want more.

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"Not a word is ever needed to excuse you loving me." Willow to Tara in Katharyn's Sidestep Chronicles


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:56 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Tina,

How did I miss this update? Please, pretty please think about adding an update date to your title. This was great. Astral hickies, wow! Sexy and scary at the same time. And the astral sex, um, awkward. I would just want to die if one of my friends stood over me while I was climaxing in the middle of their apartment...alone.
Quote:
“Well that was mortifying,” Tara mumbled, staring down into the glass, long hair flowing forward to conceal the flush still lingering on her face.
My thoughts exactly.

The whole knife thing kinda freaked me out a little bit. Not sure where you're going to take that, but I'm intersted to find out. Also, barriers. Hell-o, yeah. Kind of important. You don't want to be in the middle of class or work or wherever, writhing around on the floor in pleasure.

Anyway, great job. Looking forward to more.

_________________
Tara: " I got so lost."
Willow: "I found you. I will always find you."


Remodeling: The Reconstruction of Tara Maclay / W/T Potpourri


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:41 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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here's another update! :kgeek
thoughts in italics.


Barriers


Breakfast consisted of omelets filled to bursting with sausage, vegetables and cheeses; Trouble’s fridge was amazingly well stocked, almost as if she had been expecting a guest, but cooking was one of her favorite activities, so it might have been coincidence.

Tara was grateful for the delicious home cooked meal either way. It reminded her of the omelets Willow used to make for her, on the mornings it was just them for breakfast, and the redhead was letting her sleep in. Tara felt her determination growing with every bite she took, there was nothing under the Goddess that would keep her from getting that back.

Trouble did a quick clean-up, before they both returned to the living room and their respective places, each with a fresh cup of coffee.

“Do you always cook like that?” Tara asked as they were sitting down, Trouble was busy situating her coffee on the table to let it cool

“Not really. Feels like it’s been a lifetime, or twenty, since I’ve made breakfast for anyone.” Trouble kicked her feet up onto the coffee table. “Been too long,” She said wistfully.

Tara nodded and took a sip of her coffee, not sure any words could provide adequate sympathy for her friend’s long standing suffering. Trouble handled it easily, but Tara could sense the….incompleteness, of Trouble’s entire being, and knew Trouble was feeling a far keener ache of longing then she may ever know.

True to form, Trouble brushed it aside, and clapped her hands together, eyes sparkling, all traces of nostalgia disappearing. “Where were we?”

“Barriers. So I never accidentally have sex during polite conversation again.” Tara responded, then ducked her head to take a sip of her coffee, her long blond hair falling forward to obscure her face.

“As opposed to on purpose, Mouse?” Trouble asked lightly, leaning forward over her legs to light a fresh candle, the other having guttered out at about dawn.

Tara’s head popped up, hair whipping back, sapphire eyes wide, mouth open, “I-I-I… We… That…” she sputtered, her face going a deep crimson, hands fidgeting helplessly with her coffee mug.

Trouble retrieved her coffee, and leaned back, taking a long swallow from the cup, a small smirk pulling at her lips, indigo eyes sparkling. “Catch ya thinking, Mouse?” she inquired, playfully.

“You’re terrible!” Tara exclaimed.

“But am I wrong?” Trouble asked, waggling her eyebrows and grinning.

“Well… yes. I was thinking about it.” Tara confessed, quickly glancing down at her coffee. “But mainly all the ways it could go wrong.” She looked back up at Trouble, a lopsided grin on her face.

Trouble scooted forward eagerly on the couch, her eyes wide and expectant, hoping Tara would explain.

“Willow’s a bit ….clumsy. I keep seeing her some how slapping the hell out of both of us!” Tara broke into laughter as the last words left her mouth, setting her mug down on the table before letting her shoulders shake with laughter.

Trouble grew thoughtful for a moment, as she contemplated how the slight redhead might accomplish this.

“A bee.” Tara offered, followed by a giggle.

Trouble nodded thoughtfully, then her face scrunched up in laughter as she finally envisioned the scene; the redhead spazzing while under ‘attack’, the hapless blond being assaulted by invisible hands, the hilarity forced her to again abandon her mug on the table.

Tara too, relinquished her mug to the table, letting herself get lost in the laughter. Goddess! It feels so good to just let go and laugh. I’ve missed this so much, missed my friends so much, my Willow. It’s been too long.

Even through her laughter Trouble noticed Tara’s far away gaze. Sooner did, sooner done. A voice whispered in her ear. Trouble sat up straight, a tingle running down her spine.

Tara lost in her reverie didn’t notice the sudden movement, and continued to gaze out the window in a familiar direction, eyes distant.

“I’ll take ‘barriers’ for one thousand, Alex.” Trouble announced, snapping Tara away from her musing, and the window.

Tara blinked rapidly, her mind spinning through memories and glimpses of conversations, trying to get back to where she was, desperate not to be caught day dreaming.

“Um… what is… what I need?” she asked, hopefully, reaching for her coffee mug.

Trouble gave her a mock appraising look, rolled her eyes slowly, and finally shrugged, satisfied with the answer. “Yes, Mouse. Barriers. The key to a successful relationship between any two people with a connection like your’s and Willow’s; telepathic, psychic, astral, there aren’t enough words for all the levels you are interwoven on.” She took a sip of her coffee.

“But then, why can’t I feel her right now?” Tara asked, sipping her own drink.

“You’re not fully synced yet. If Willow hadn’t made her mistake, you might have already fully bonded. Or not. It’s hard to say how things would have progressed. Some serious dimension hopping involved with figuring that out.”

Tara’s eyes widened as she recalled the story of a vampiric Willow from another dimension, and she shook her head vigorously.

“Of course not.” Trouble quickly amended. “Wasn’t even a suggestion.”

“Good. Cause, I’ve, you know heard stuff about alternate dimensions, and it can get… messy. You know?”

Trouble leaned forward setting her feet on the floor, resting her elbows on her knees, crooked smile on her lips. “A story for another time, I’m sure. But for now, our priority is protecting you, and Willow from each other while you learn to control your connection.”

“P-p-p-rotect us? From each other?” Tara muttered nervously, fidgeting with her coffee cup, eyes downcast.

“Sarai used to give me such a migraine when she was in a bad mood. Felt like it took forever to screen those out. And the chills, and tingles when she was excited or on an adrenaline rush from a fight. Damn.”

Tara looked up, eyes hopeful.

“It’s not about keeping secrets, or being a threat to one another intentionally. It’s about not flooding each other, with every waking second of every day, and night. Not accidentally distracting her while she’s doing something dangerous; not scaring each other shitless with random bursts of emotion. Trust me, it gets noisy having two sets of thoughts in your head, and you have jack, and shit to talk about if you follow their entire day. Barriers. Barriers, and boundaries.” Trouble stopped for a sip of coffee, and Tara did likewise.

Tara broke the fresh silence. “Boundaries?”

Trouble drained the last of her coffee in one swallow, then set the glass on the table fixing her gaze on her stereo.

“With great power comes great responsibility. You must respect with fierce devotion, one another’s privacy and personal space physically, mentally, astrally, and all the levels in between. True trust must be forged between you, all previous sins and misunderstandings must be done away with, forgiven and released, fears and doubts banished, there must be nothing standing between you.” Trouble’s voice was solemn, her words carrying the great weight of lifetimes of experience.

Tara raised her cup to her lips with trembling hands, distracted by the ramifications of her and Willow’s bond, and how much of their lives they would be sharing, whether they chose to or not.

Can we even handle this? After everything we’ve been through? She pondered, slowly swallowing the last of her coffee. Yes. Her mind responded clearly. Especially after everything we’ve been through. This is what we are meant for, meant to be, we two, united forever.

“What say you, Tara?” Trouble asked, turning to fix her with a stone gaze, that was somehow gentle, and comforting, a bastion of certainty, and focus which she needed so badly.

Tara set her cup down with steadier hands, taking in a deep breath and holding it for a few moments with closed eyes, moving her hands to rest palm down on her thighs. When her eyes finally opened and met Trouble’s stare, they were crystal blue and alive with determination.

“I want to try.” she declared.

“ Not try. Or try not.” Trouble answered in a raspy, sing song voice. “Do. Or do not.”

Tara tried to stifle a giggle.

“A wise little green man said that. Yoda, not Kermit.” Trouble added, standing and crossing the room to the stereo, and it’s stacks of c.d.’s and tapes, to begin rummaging through the plastic cases, hunting.

“Relative of yours?” Tara asked innocently, folding her hands on her lap, and smiling pleasantly.

Trouble froze, then turned to look at Tara in surprise. “A height joke? Really Tara? I thought you were more mature then that.” She returned to sorting through her collection, muttering to her self about the rights of short people, while Tara sat shaking in silent laughter.

“Ok.” Trouble spoke up after a moment. “Time to get serious.” She raised a c.d. triumphantly over her head, as she spun to face Tara… then proceeded to dance.

“Walk like an Egyptiaaannnnnnn…” she sang, as she danced her way towards Tara, hands in the air in the stereotypical fashion. Tara remained steadfast in her position on the couch, eyebrow quirked, head cocked slightly to the left.

“The Bangles?” Tara asked, recognizing the tune.

Trouble lowered the c.d. she was carrying, and looked thoughtfully at the cover. “No, heavy artillery. Linkin Park.”

“Um, ok?” Tara responded, thoroughly confused.

“You need a sharp, strong focus if your going to block out Willow’s thoughts, something intense that invokes power. This technique works for blocking lots of things, but we’ll discuss that later. Right now you’re going to focus on blocking Willow from your mind completely.”

“C-c-completely? And Linkin Park will do this?” Tara questioned. She had heard of the band, she thought some of their songs were good, but she didn’t recall them having any magical, or meditative properties.

“Hate having to be drastic, but if you sync in public like that again… well, what’s a little rock music, compared to orgasms in front of strangers?” Trouble asked with a smile, turning away from Tara and loading the c.d. “We’ll start with a general catch-all, you can work on refinements as you go. Oh! You can adapt other songs later, but for now we are gonna work with ‘One Step Closer’, great for walls and energy gathering, not to mention wicked strikes.”

Tara nodded as she processed what Trouble was telling her. Rock music and energy control, to suppress astral hickies and invisible sex. It all made perfect sense. Kinda. Ok, so nothing made a lot of sense right now, but was that really anything new? At least I’m not facing this alone anymore. With Trouble’s help, I’ll sort this all out, and get back to where I belong, get on with my life, with Willow.

“One Step Closer’? I might have heard that. There isn’t a mosh pit involved, is there?” Tara had a worried look on her face.

“No Mouse. No moshing. Just intense concentration. Using one energy flow to manipulate another. You will learn to direct, and control your energy, and the energy around you. First we start with your energy.”

Trouble pressed several buttons to program the stereo, then turned to face Tara with a beaming smile, as the music began to build, her head nodded to the rhythm, and her eyes closed.

Tara felt the air around her charge, as a strange feeling of warmth enveloped the room, making her skin tingle, and the hairs on her body stand on end.

The gentler side of electrocution? she wondered, as she noted Trouble was standing still as a statue, eyes still closed, a faint half smile on her lips. But. She seemed, taller…

Tara’s eyes widened as her gaze shifted to the floor, and the fact that Trouble was not standing on it rather hovering about three inches above it, bare feet dangling.

“How are you doing, Mouse?” Trouble inquired gently.

Tara nodded numbly before she remembered Trouble couldn’t see her, then opened her mouth several times to speak before finding something to say.

“W-w-willow and I floated once… Well, I’ve actually floated twice. The first time we were dancing. The second time I was… we were… um, there was singing and uh-”

“It happens frequently during sex. Not sure how often singing triggers it though, and Sarai and I never had the occasion to find out if dancing could cause it. I spose it could.” Trouble began to slowly lower to the floor, the charge in the room lessening as her feet touched the hard wood.

“The point is,” Trouble began, opening her eyes to reveal they had turned ice blue. “It’s a form of energy control and manipulation, and it can be done on purpose, with a little practice. But we’ll get to that after we put up a wall in your head.”

As Trouble walked slightly unsteadily back to the couch, Tara took a deep breath, and relaxed back into the chair. “Right. A wall to block out Willow.” she frowned. “Why is this good?”

“Damn legs are always so tingly afterwards,” Trouble muttered, shaking the offending appendages, one at a time, before settling on the couch, leaning all the way back, legs straightened out under the table. “Block her to begin with. Eventually you’ll be able to simply filter the connection, leaving it open all the time but mainly inactive.”

As the last repetition of the word ‘break’ faded from the speakers, it occurred to Tara that the song had been playing the entire time, but she hadn’t heard a word of it, Trouble’s magic display had taken her full attention.

“Music is great for focusing and gathering energies. I started trying rock, and alternative music instead of traditional chants in my meditation when my mind wouldn’t stay still long enough to complete traditional summoning chants, and I really needed an energy boost.”

Trouble took a moment to compose herself, hands laced across her thin stomach, eyes closed, breaths deep. “Sorry for the interlude, thought a demonstration of my qualifications was in order.”

“I see.” Tara said, still processing the impressive display of power.

“I was harnessing the energy of the song’s playback to fuel minor levitation.” Trouble said absently, slowly sitting up and turning to face Tara. “If I can do that with it, you can use it to create a barrier.”

Tara still looked pensive.

“Hmmmmm… not feeling Linkin Park. How about…” Trouble rose quickly, hurrying to the stereo once again, this time intent on the stacks of cassettes. “Can’t believe I didn’t think of this earlier…” she muttered, dropping to her knees and pawing through the cases.

Tara slid to the edge of the chair, curious to see what she would come up with next. AC/DC? she pondered.

Trouble produced a home mixed tape labeled “The Legend of Billie Jean” from the mess in front of her and popped it into the front of the stereo, standing as the tape rewound. Pressing play, she turned to face Tara. “Maybe this is more your speed?”

Tara perked up as a familiar drum solo broke the silence, followed by Pat Benetar’s melodic voice. “Invincible!” she enthused, almost bouncing in her seat, as a tingle of energy ran down her spine.

Trouble noted the change in Tara’s power when the song started, it became brighter and more intense, flowing more freely and intricately through her and the air around her. The song called to the very fibers of Tara’s essence and they sang back in return. Perfect.

“Ok, Tara. Focus on the beat and rhythm, let the lyrics flow through your mind, washing everything else away.”

Tara closed her eyes and let everything but the music fall away, she rested her hands palm down on her thighs and relaxed back into the chair, focusing on Trouble’s voice. Her foot tapped out the beat, as her hands drummed out the rhythm on her legs, her head nodding along.

“Now I want you to focus on the color indigo. See a wall of indigo in your mind. Polished and smooth like glass, but fluid, like the surface of water.”

Tara did as she was asked, envisioning a towering indigo barrier as far as her mind could see, massive and gleaming, surface rolling tranquilly. A sense of peace and security swept over her when she surveyed the barrier, feeling her own power filling the wall, making it strong and resilient.

Trouble returned to the couch, watching as Tara reached out a hand, trying to touch what she was seeing in her mind.

“Now. Take the beat and rhythm of the song and inffuse them into the wall. Feel the wall hum with the energy of the song. Feel the rhythm of the song feed the wall power. Feel the power growing with every beat.”

Tara’s hand stopped, as in her mind her palm made contact with the wall, it’s pliant surface bending to fit with the contours of her hand. At first it was cool to the touch, but it soon thawed and Tara could feel warmth and a pulsing sesation as though it were alive. A jolt traveled down Tara’s arm to her body as the wall lit up and she was blinded by a brilliant white light.

Tara sat up straight on the chair, eyes popping open, her hand flying back to her side; she shook her head to clear it. “So much power…” she whispered, losing herself in thought.

“And it’s yours. To do with as you see fit. And I know your path will be one of truth and light, no matter how dark things may seem. Now, let’s see just how well it works.”

Tara leaned back and closed her eyes, body relaxed, hands on her legs.

“I want you to see a field in front of your barrier, I’m going to meet you there, on the field, ok?”Trouble leaned back into the couch and closed her eyes, hands crossed over her stomach.

“Ok,” Tara agreed, placing herself on a large open field in front of the barrier in her mind. Maybe a few trees… she thought, as the wind she created ruffled her hair, and twisted her light brown skirt around her legs. After she had scattered a few trees in the backround, she turned to see Trouble stepping out of thin air, onto the soft grass with bare feet, a few yards away.

“Ohhhh, this is nice, Mouse.” Trouble enthused, wiggling her feet in the grass, and spreading out her arms to enjoy the breeze on her limbs and shoulders, left exposed by her tank top. “Very Zen.” She spun in several circles before stopping to stare up the wall Tara had fashioned. “Great wall,“ she responded, craning her neck to see the full height of it.

Tara fidgeted with the hem of her shirt while Trouble inspected her barrier, small hands pressed to the marble like surface, eyes closed, nodding to the rhythm echoing through the wall. “Very impressive.” Trouble remarked, taking several steps back.

Tara watched as Trouble studied her wall for a few minutes more, cobalt eyes intently studying the indigo depths of the construct, of her and her power. It was like watching someone read a book about all of your most intimate secrets, and hanging on their every movement, expression, and noise, trying to decipher the intricate language of their body for a hint of what they were thinking about you.

Trouble was rubbing her hands together thoughtfully in front of her. “Efficient energy exchange, good fundamental structure, power level is high… Yes, very impressive Tara.” she said with a broad smile.

Tara couldn’t help but beam back at the small woman, proud of garnering her approval. “What’s next?” she inquired, rubbing her own hands together eagerly.

Trouble looked from Tara to the wall, to Tara again. “We test it.” She said with a shrug, and started backing away from the wall, Tara following suit. They retreated half the distance of the field, Tara trusting in Trouble’s judgement when it came to astral firepower, before stopping.

Trouble turned to face Tara, face calm. “Three things, Mouse. One: this will not physically hurt. Two: It will wear you out. And three:” She raised her hands, which were now glowing electric blue. “It can be a lot of fun.”

Tara stared wide eyed at Trouble’s hands for a moment, then looked at her own, which were beginning to glow blue as well, tiny blue flames erupted from the tips of her fingers as she wiggled them experimently.

Trouble chuckled. “A physical manifestation of your power. The different shades of blue represent calm, balance, serenity. The rolling flames denote a deep power, fierce, but patient. If your power ever manifests like this in the real world… somebody is in trouble.”

Tara nodded, still examing her hands and the energy flaring from them, and thought of something.

“Willow’s energy, it’s red. What does that mean?”

“Passion, determination, vigor. All good traits in moderation, but they can lead to selfishness, willfulness, inflated ego. Red energy is best tempered by blue energy, as you may have noticed. You compliment one another perfectly, you’re just a little out of sync because Willow pushed too far, too fast with the magics. What I’m teaching you will help you even it back out, and keep it even in the future.”

Trouble reached into the pocket of her loose fitting jeans and pulled out an indigo blue stone on a chain, looping it over her neck before continuing. “Can’t forget that.” she said sheepishly.

Tara looked up from her glimmering hands to the pendant, curious about the importantance of it, given Anya’s history with charmed stones. “You’re not a Justice Demon are you?”

“A huh? What?” Trouble asked looking up from the stone.

“A Justice Demon. Or Vengance Demon, depends on who you ask. But they wear pendants like that, they contain their powers. Are you one?” Tara asked in a rush.

Trouble’s expression became wistful. “No. I’m not a demon of any kind, justice, vengenance or otherwise. Sarai gave me this. It assists in focusing and controlling power, it is not the source of my power.” Emphasis on controlling. Trouble thought to herself.

Tara was once again calm, and expectant, as Trouble raised her hand, palm up, in front of her, in it a globe of blue light was forming, weaving strands of energy lazily together.

Trouble turned to Tara and nodded, clearly wanting her to do the same. Tara raised her hand to chest height and held it out, palm up, and concentrated on making a ball of energy appear in her hand.

Slowly a sapphire orb materialized, wobbly, but steadily growing stronger, humming and pulsing with Tara’s energy, making the skin of her hand and fingers tingle. She watched in wonder as hundreds of thousands, of tiny sparks of energy stitched together the luminescent sphere hovering over the palm of her hand, swirling with every shade of blue imaginable.

“Looking good, Mouse.” Trouble remarked, tossing her ball from one hand to the other, slowly at first, then faster and faster till it was a blur in between her small hands.

Tara looked up from her marbled globe to watch Trouble’s display, then looked at her sphere speculatively, giving it a gentle toss into the air and easily catching it. She nodded to herself, then began passing the orb a short distance from hand to hand, finding a rhythm and increasing her speed until she too had a blur of light between her slender hands.

As Tara experimented with different distances, and heights, she felt the power inside the sphere growing with each completed pass, the pulse of the globe getting stronger and stronger. This is me. My power. My strength… and it is fucking awesome! She caught the ball of raw energy in her hand, and turned to face Trouble, a broad grin on her face.

“This is… wow! Having so much power in my hands, and it’s mine. It comes from inside me. It’s just…”

“Fucking awesome?” Trouble offered, with a knowing smile, and a nod.

Tara leaned down abruptly to slip her shoes off, reveling in the feeling of her feet in the cool green grass, the resulting energy surge making her bounce on the balls of her feet. She turned to face Trouble, sphere cradled in her right hand, shifting from foot to foot in anticipation. “What’s next?”

“We hit that,” Trouble said, turning towards the barrier and pointing. “With these.” She took her sphere in her both hands and turned her left side toward the wall, assuming a pitchers stance, wound her knee up, and pulled her right hand back with the ball. She followed through with as much force as she could muster, releasing the sphere when it was directly in front of her, sending it speeding towards the massive indigo barrier.

It collided with a blinding electric blue flash and a sonic boom that knocked both women on their astral asses.

“Hehehe, that was soooooo worth it.” Trouble chuckled from her place on her back in the grass.


“Bloody hell!” Tara exclaimed, raising up from where she had landed on her side, and brushing her hair from her face.

“Been keeping company with an undead Englishmen?” Trouble asked sitting up slowly, shaking her head and poking inside her ear with her finger.

Tara was about to question Trouble about Spike, but decided to let it go. It seemed like everyone in Sunnydale knew the platinum blond Vampire, so why not Trouble?

“He has proven useful on occasion, especially while Buffy was gone. And he’s done a lot of good things for us, so I’m ok with him. For now.” Tara stated, picking bits of grass from her skirt, before pushing off the ground to rise to her feet once again.

“Fair enough.” Trouble reasoned, as she clambered to her feet, adjusting the waistband of her jeans, retucking her tank top, and re-tying her ponytail quickly and smoothly, like she may have done this before.

Tara brushed off her skirt and shirt, glancing towards the wall to look for damage from the impressive strike. “Was that, you know, supposed to happen? Cause the getting thrown around doesn’t seem very conducive to practice.”

“ Learning to take a hit and get back up is always a good lesson. And now that I know the strength of your barrier, I’ll dial my hits back some. But with a little concentration, you can filter the force waves out. You’ll still get pretty lights, but not knocked on your ass.” Trouble was looking around for something on the ground.

“Lose something?” Tara inquired, looking around as well, even though she wasn‘t sure what she was looking for.

“No. But you did. Where is that damn sphe- There it is!”Trouble trotted over to where Tara’s sphere had landed after the explosion. It sat serenely in the grass, colors swirling lazily in the sunlight. “Gotcha.” She scooped the ball up quickly, then fumbled it when she received a powerful jolt. “Bloody Hell!”

Tara watched, startled, as Trouble bounced the orb from hand to hand, before suddenly sending it towards her, with a final muttered ‘Damn it!’ followed by, “Catch Tara!”

Despite her misgivings, Tara reached out and snatched the orb out of the air, expecting the worst, but was pleasantly surprised when she received a familiar tingle and warmth instead.

“Overcharge much, Mouse?” Trouble asked, shaking her hands to be rid of the electric tingle resonating in them from touching Tara’s sphere. Trouble shook her hands and arms a minute more, before fixing Tara with an impish look. “Your turn.” she said mischievously.

Tara looked from her sphere, to Trouble, to the wall, then she wound back with the ball in her right hand, and followed through with everything she had. The ball sped towards the barrier, a blur of azure against it’s indigo target, colliding with the wall with a deafening boom, that rocked the field causing both women to stumble, and land on their asses, eyes blinded by a brilliant blue flash.

Trouble broke into hysterical laughter, and fell backwards into the grass, clutching her sides, and kicking her legs in the air, causing Tara to double over with her knees to her chest, chuckling.

“Ah, aha, ha ha, oh damn! This is like playing with grenades!” Trouble pronounced, rolling onto her side, still overcome with conviviality.

“Only safer.” Tara intoned seriously, before falling over sideways herself, slapping her hand against the ground and chuckling.

As they lay sprawled, laughing, beneath the sunshine in the meadow that Tara had created in her mind, their physical bodies sat motionless in the living room of Trouble’s apartment, each covered in a thin sheen of persperation from their exertions, each wearing a broad smile.

_________________
if it's not real, you can't hold it your hands; you can't feel it with your heart, then i won't believe it. but if it's true you can see it with your eyes, even in the dark; and that's where i want to be. 'brick by boring brick' -paramore


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me (update: 2/22/12)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:07 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:43 am
Posts: 434
Dibs

Great update

"Tara's blue energy represents calm, balance, serenity while Willow's red equals passion, determination, vigor."

Perfect description of both personalities.

The 'power grenades' scene sounds awesome. I wish I could see it.

Can't wait for the next update

_________________
"Not everyone wants to graduate high school at age 16 and college at age 19 and have our first IPO by age 20. Some of us want to waste precious minutes, hours, days, and weeks rotting in front of the TV." - Survivor Ash Island By JustSkipIt

Buffy: Hi. Willow right?
Willow: Why? I mean hi. Did you want me to move?
First sign of adorable Willow "Welcome to the Hellmouth"


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me (update: 2/22/12)
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:36 am 
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4. Extra Flamey
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Posts: 153
Location: The land of Tea and Trousers.
CURSE YOU BOARD FOR NOT TELLING ME ABOUT DAMN UPDATES. Sorry maybe a tinsy bit dramatic there...

Anyway, I really liked it. Especially the Spiderman and Star Wars quotes, they spoke to nerd-self and made me squeak happily. Linkin Park mention too, I like them. I'm glad that Trouble can help Tara (with spells, advice, some breakfast), even if she is rewarded with *cough*awesome*cough* height jokes. Great job T-queen *Hugs*

_________________
And all my life, I looked for you
For arms that I could fall into

- With You Around, YellowCard


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me (update: 2/22/12)
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:37 pm 
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9. Gay Now
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Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:45 pm
Posts: 916
Topics: 14
Location: Beyond the orbit of Mars and accelerating...
God-Daymn! (said with a Faux-southern accent)

Seriously wow!

This is awesome!

I always thought someone should have taken Tara under their wing and actually trained her.
And here it is happening! :bow

I love how Tara is when she's coming into her power,

I am now officially loving this story. :bounce
I look forward to finding out Trouble's story, and seeing how Willow and Tara get on.

I am really hoping that things diverge from canon, 'cos we are close to a terrible time here.
I hope for a happy ending.

Indigo is the best colour! :flower

R

_________________
“All I feel is sunlight. All I hear is music.” Willow
How i Met Your Mother - By Ariel


My Story: Coming Home


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me (update: 2/22/12)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:16 pm 
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4. Extra Flamey
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Location: United Kingdom
Woo I'm all caught up!

Time for some feedback.
It's nice seeing Tara have a non scooby friend especially when it's a friend like Trouble, who is awesome.
The astral sex conversation had me in stitches.
gotta agree with vazy that the quotes were great and also the music was great not just Linkin Park but also Pat Benatar!!!!
Really liked the magic training as well I always enjoy seeing authors take the little bit given about the magic in Buffy and really flesh out the magical side of things. Also whenever I read about training starting in stories I always imagine there being some montage music =)

Can't wait for the next chapter

_________________
Matty- Lovers Dearest, Falling in love at christmas A trip through time thinking about the verse

Tara: I am, you know.
Willow: What?
Tara: Yours.
Who are You


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me (update: 2/22/12)
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:42 pm 
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I know I promised to read and feedback this forever ago. Well it finally happened! Yay!

Quote:
Goddess! It feels so good to just let go and laugh.


Seriously, this was the best night for me to read it I think. It is hilarious and fun. Plus I like the premise, how they are seriously linked. Good show, mate. Keep up the good work.

D

edited to add: I want to get drunk with Tara and Trouble!


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me (update: 2/22/12)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:26 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:27 pm
Posts: 112
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Location: freeport, IL
Dear readers,
first let me thank each .and everyone of you for taking the time to read. it means a great deal to me that so many people are reading Trust Me.

a special thank you, and big hug to those who have commented, i'm sorry that i am terrible with sitting down to reply, please forgive me. i literally am so jazzed that i'm getting replies, that all i can think to say is "thank you, thank you, thank you!"

so, thank you ever so much to all who take the time to read, and to those who reply... YOU ROCK!!!!

new chapter to follow.

sincerely, Tina


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me (update: 2/22/12)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:40 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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here's the next chapter. kinda long, hope you enjoy.

thoughts are in italics

Cooking Class



Hours later, Trouble called a halt to the astral training session, citing exhaustion, then outlined a few rules for leaving the astral plane.

“Ok. Leaving this plane after being here so long, can be disorienting, I want you to close your eyes, and clear you mind.”

Tara did as she was told, closing her eyes to the sunshine, the barrier, the field; leaving behind the world of her making, and seeing nothing.

“Now,” Trouble continued. “I want you to see the living room. The window, the chair, the shelves and books, see it all in your mind.” Her voice was smooth, and pleasant, full of warmth, and reassurance.

“Ok,” Tara said, envisioning the living room and all it contained, including herself and Trouble, every details, right down to the empty coffee mugs.

“All right. Now, open your eyes, and blink several times.”

Tara opened her eyes, only to find the room spinning, so she did as instructed, and blinked several times, and to her relief the room wobbled into place. Trouble was on the couch, blinking her eyes, and starting to move her muscles one by one, starting with an arch of her back. Both women were soaked with sweat from the hours of astral training, their bodies worn from exertion, though they had been perfectly still.

Trouble rose slowly, the popping of her joints audible as she stood, and stretched her arms above her head, reaching for the ceiling for all she was worth, up on tiptoe. “Ahhh, urrrrrgh!” Suddenly, two thunderous pops echoed through the apartment, making Tara jump.

“W-w-what was t-that?!” Tara exclaimed from the edge of the chair, where she had landed after jumping.

Trouble chuckled. “Sorry bout that, Mouse. I was popping my shoulders. It’s kinda loud.”

“Kinda loud? That sounded like gun shots! I thought you had broken a bone, for Gaia’s sake!” Tara truly was worried by the unnaturally explosive pops, and wondered if Trouble had somehow amplified them.

“Comes from years of carrying gear, and using weapons. Used to freak out Sarai too. I’m perfectly ok though. No worries. Juice?” Trouble was already shuffling towards the kitchen, her body slowly loosening as her movements increased, an empty coffee mug in each hand.

“That can’t be healthy.” Tara muttered, watching her wander off.

“What was that, Mouse?” Troubled called from the doorway, where she had stopped.

“Can you get some for me?” Tara asked, sweetly, folding her hands primly in her lap, and giving Trouble a winning smile.

“Sure thing, Mouse.” Trouble said, finally entering the kitchen.

Tara let out the breath she had been holding in a fit of silent giggles, as glasses tinkled and the fridge opened, and closed.

“Oh, Mouse?” Trouble called to Tara.

Tara froze. “Eeep.”

“It is unhealthy.” Trouble finished.

“Damn.” Tara muttered, as Trouble walked back into the room with two extra large glasses of juice, her hands shaking slightly as she handed Tara one, a bemused smile on her face.

“Nice try, Mouse. But my hearing is pretty damn good.” Trouble settled herself down on the couch, one foot resting on the coffee table, leaning back fluidly into the couch. “ I don’t know about you, but I’m beat. And starving. How about a meal, then I’ll walk you back to your dorm room?”

Tara nodded as she took a long swallow of her juice, her eyes closing as the delicious liquid spilled down her throat, and splashed in her empty stomach. The effects of the astral workout were catching up with her, and her body felt weak, and kinda rubbery, affected as it was by dehydration. She polished off half of the tall glass before stopping for air.

“Soooooooo, Mouse. You got plans for Friday?” Trouble asked curiously over her glass, which she held in between both her small hands to keep from spilling it.

Tara arced her eyebrow, and rolled her eyes towards the ceiling, face scrunched up in thought, fingers tapping lightly on the side of her glass. “Art history in the morning, followed by study group. After that, nothing. Why?”
Trouble looked very childlike, as she raised her glass with both hands, and carefully took a sip, then lowered the glass with a pleased smile, eyes sparkling. “An old friend is coming into town, I thought you might enjoy meeting her.”

Hmmmm… Tara thought to herself. I wonder what this ‘old friend’ is like… not like I have anything better to do… and it would be nice to be telling the truth, when I tell Jennifer I have plans… Tara looked at Trouble, who was gazing innocently into her orange juice, a small, wistful half-smile tugging the corner of her mouth. Look at her. She’s so happy. I don’t remember her ever looking this happy… I definitely need to meet this woman.

“I’d love to come meet your friend, T. What did you have in mind?”

Trouble looked up from her juice, a broad grin slowly spreading across her lips, she leaned forward enthusiastically, putting her foot on the floor, and setting her juice on the table.

“Nothing too strenuous. She’ll be tired when she gets here, it’s a pretty long trip. Just dinner, a few drinks, some light conversation. She practices magic too, you’re gonna love her stories!” Trouble was practically bouncing on the edge of the couch with eagerness. “And she can’t wait to meet you.”

This caught Tara off guard. “You told her about me?”

“Uh-huh. I talk to her every day. She’s staying in a small village, with no electricity, or anything like that. The modern world doesn’t really exist there. So I talk to her through a telepathic link; tell her jokes, stories, listen to music so she can hear it, watch movies so she can see them…” Trouble trailed off.

“You give her the world.” Tara murmured, softly, thinking of the time Glory had stolen her mind, leaving her a shambling shell, that Willow had tenderly cared for. Her memories of that time were shards, and fragments of fear, pain, and confusion, but Willow’s love had shone like a beacon, that guided her out of the madness, and saved her.

Trouble looked down sheepishly. “I try. I hope you don’t mind, but I told her all about your adventures in Sunnydale. She has trouble sleeping at night, and asked me for a new story. So I told her about my friend Tara, the jolly, giant wiccan, who overcame her shyness, and family situation, to find true love, and join the Scoobies in protecting Sunnydale, and the world.” She glanced up nervously at Tara, a tentative smile on her lips.

Tara bought her self time to organize her thoughts, by taking a drink of her juice. My adventures? She makes me sound like a heroine from a novel or something. I feel so… cool. She smiled as she lowered her cup, eyes sparkling. “I’m flattered that you, and your friend think so highly of my escapades. I do try very hard to survive them.”

Trouble raised her glass. “Here’s to surviving them.”

Tara too, raised her glass. “Here, here.” They both took a big swallow of their juice, then Tara looked to Trouble expectantly. “What now, oh fearless leader?”

“Now,” Trouble said, standing. “We cook.” She waited for Tara to rise from the chair, then led the way into the kitchen.

“So what are we cooking?” Tara inquired, carefully measuring her steps, so she didn’t inadvertently step on Trouble, whose stride was much shorter then her own. They made it into the kitchen without incident, Trouble flicking the light switch as she passed on her way to the fridge.

“Stuffed green peppers.” Trouble pronounced, as she bent down to rummage in the fridge, withdrawing a package of ground round, four green bell peppers, and an onion.

As Trouble laid out the items from the fridge and retrieved rice, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes from the pantry, Tara went to the large stainless steel sink and washed her hands.

“So how’s your head feeling, Mouse?” Trouble asked, as she knelt to retrieve a mixing bowl, from a lower cabinet.

“Quieter. I didn’t realize just how noisy it had gotten, till I put up the barrier.” Tara turned to lean on the sink, while Trouble arranged everything on the counter, and pulled a knife from the wooden block next to the stove.

“Good, good. Next time we’ll work on raising and lowering the barrier, quickly and efficiently, then filtering.” Trouble turned towards the sink, as Tara stepped aside, moving to inspect the ingredients.
“You ever have stuffed green peppers before?” Trouble asked, scrubbing her hands under steaming hot water.

“Once, I think. When I was little. I made them with my grandmother.” Her expression became wistful, as faint memories of cooking with her grandmother, in an ancient farmhouse kitchen, flitted through her mind.

“Well I can’t guaranty they’ll be like your grandma’s, but we can give it a shot, I think. Are the ingredients the same?” Trouble dried her hands on a dish towel, as Tara rechecked the supplies.

“Looks about the same. Don’t remember diced tomatoes… but the rest seems right.” She picked up a pepper ,and examined it closely. “Grandma cut everything up, put it in a big bowl, and I mixed it with my hands.” Tara scrunched up her nose at the memory of the cold, raw meat in her hands.

“Wanna take a turn at cleaning the peppers?” Trouble offered, giggling at Tara’s expression. “You’re a big girl now, I think you can handle a knife.”

“Why, thank you.” Tara said, picking up the knife, and proceeding to cut out the stem, and clean out the pepper. “Speaking of handling knives… Will you tell me about cold steel?”

Trouble pulled a chopping board from under the counter, and began cleaning, and chopping the onion. “I can tell you as much as I know. Sarai is the expert. She was my teacher, in a lot of subjects.” After finely dicing half of the small onion, she reached into the cabinet above her head, and retrieved a zip loc bag for the rest. “Can you cut the very tops off the peppers, and dice them up? There’s an extra cutting board in the same place I got this one from.”

Tara retrieved the second cutting board, and cut off the pepper tops and diced them, as Trouble opened the meat and dumped it in the bowl. “Cold steel is an ancient practice, derived from blood rituals performed in the countries surrounding the Carpathian mountains. The shedding of blood was phased out of it centuries ago, although when performed for the sake of magic, or energy, it is still most potent with blood.”

After emptying the package of meat into it, Trouble dumped the onions into the bowl, and indicated for Tara to do the same with the peppers, before reaching into the cabinet over the stove for garlic powder and black pepper.

“But I won’t be learning the blood letting part, right? Just the energy control.” Tara asked, as Trouble added several shakes of garlic powder, and a few of black pepper to the mixture, before opening a drawer, and producing a can opener. Tara was impressed with how fluidly the smaller women moved around the large kitchen, the location of every item in the room known to her.

“They are one and the same, Mouse. The difference, is the amount of energy you wish to call forth. The pattern alone, draws energy. Drawn in blood, it draws the most energy. The same for the release of energy. The difference is the amount of pressure you use. A little pressure, and you have a tingle, a little more and a pleasurable burn, past that is sharp, stinging pain, and then the ripping tearing pain of a full blown cut. You are going to learn how to make Willow tingle.”

Trouble quickly opened the diced tomatoes, drained them in the sink, and dumped them into the bowl, then handed the can to Tara. “Could you fill that with rice?”

“You got it,” Tara said, flipping open the tab on the box of rice, and pouring until the can was full, as Trouble opened the can of sauce. Tara handed her the can of rice, and watched intently as she poured the last two ingredients in, then moved to the sink, and washed her hands.

“I most commonly use Cold steel for relaxation, and release. And it is quite useful in foreplay, and sexual endeavors. Haven’t used it expressly for magic in quite awhile…” Trouble mused, returning to the mixing bowl with her still dripping hands.

Tara leaned her hip against the counter, and watched intently as Trouble dug her bare hands into the meat, vegetable, and rice mixture, and began blending it all together. “It’s an extremely effective bonding tool, and will intensify, and enhance your existing connection, and energies.” Trouble stopped mixing for a moment, turning to Tara with a perfectly straight expression. “You’ll be armed for her pleasure.”

Tara pursed her lips in an effort not to laugh, but her shaking shoulders gave away her amusement. “Will I be dividing, and conquering?” She asked with a smirk.

“That would be between you, and Willow, dear Mouse.” Trouble said, stirring the mixture a few more times, before proceeding to scrape the concoction from her hands. “Could you turn on the hot water?”

Tara made her way to the sink, quaking with laughter, as she envisioned herself dressed like Xena, preparing to conquer a prone, helpless Willow, who was dressed as Gabriel, on their bed. She snorted with laughter as she turned the hot water knob, catching Trouble’s attention.

“Is there something funny about proper kitchen hygiene, Mouse?” Trouble asked, as she hip bumped Tara aside, so she could wash her hands.

“No.” Tara said, chuckling. “But I think dividing, and conquering, turned out cheesier then intended.”

Trouble tilted her head from one side, to the other, thoughtfully, as she soaped up her hands, wondering how it had gotten cheesy. “Cheesy? Just where did your mind wander off to, Mouse?”

“Um… well. There may have been a mental image… with armor.” Tara confessed, blushing a deep crimson, and wrapping her arms around her waist as her laughter increased.

“Oooooh, Xena-esque.” Trouble responded with a broad grin as she rinsed her hands. “ A blond Xena and a red-headed Gabrielle? Interesting twist.” She murmured as she retrieved a dish towel, and dried her hands. “Are the peppers ready?”

Tara struggled to catch her breath. “U-u-h huh. Cleaned and ready. Sir!” She nearly choked on her laughter.

Trouble looked surprised, and mildly annoyed. She grabbed her breasts, and bounced them up and down. “Do I look like a sir to you?” she asked, incredulously.

“From the back, yes.” Tara managed to rasp out, before doubling over in hysterical laughter.

“Ha-rumph!” Trouble groused, opening a drawer and pulling out a large, wooden spoon. “Your girlfriend looks like a guy from the front.” she muttered, heading toward the meat mixture.

Tara stopped laughing. “What did you say?” she asked seriously, stepping towards Trouble.

Trouble looked Tara up, and down, then stood as tall as she possibly could. “Your girlfriend… looks…. like a….. guy…. from… the front.” she repeated slowly, staring Tara straight in the eye.

“You take that back.” Tara said, advancing a step, clearly upset with Trouble’s criticism of Willow.

“You take back what you said.” Trouble said, advancing a step of her own, wooden spoon firmly in hand.

“You take that back, or I’m gonna-” Tara began.

“You’re gonna what?” Trouble interjected, bouncing up on her tiptoes, eyes sparkling.

“I’m gonna…” Tara began, looking around the kitchen for ideas, her eyes coming to rest on the wooden spoon in Trouble’s hand. “I’m gonna spank you with a wooden spoon.” she finished quickly, reaching out, and snatching the spoon from Trouble.

Trouble looked wide eyed from Tara to the spoon, back to Tara, then took a quick step back. “Personally, I would prefer being beaten about the head with a wet noodle. No splinter issues with that.”

“Take back what you said about Willow.” Tara said, brandishing the spoon menacingly.

Trouble pursed her lips in determination, and took a step forward, her gaze firmly locked with Tara’s. “Take back what you said about me.” The two were now standing toe to toe, Trouble’s neck craned back so she could maintain eye contact, Tara holding the spoon high, out of the other woman’s reach.

“Last chance to take it back.” Tara offered, raising an eyebrow, and the spoon.

“I was about to say the same thing.” Trouble retorted, getting up on tiptoe.

Tara brought the spoon down behind Trouble’s back in a blur of motion, resulting in a loud -thwack-, and Trouble lurching forward into her in shock.

“What the fuck?! You hit my ass!” Trouble cried out, scrambling back away from Tara, towards the doorway.

Tara grinned evily, waving the spoon back and forth. “And I’m gonna do it again, if you don’t take it back.” She started moving towards Trouble, spoon held high. Trouble darted through the door into the living room, with Tara hot on her heels.

“Eeeeeep!!!” Trouble squealed, scrambling over the coach to get away, Tara clad in a skirt, couldn’t follow her over, and had to start edging around. “Picking on little people is so clichéd, your bigger then this, Tara.” Trouble reasoned from behind the couch.

Tara went to move left, and go around the couch, only to watch Trouble hop the couch and land in front of it. When she backtracked,Trouble again hopped over, managing to keep the couch between them. Tara faked left again, watching for Trouble to hop over, then dove right, onto the couch, catching Trouble’s ankle as they both landed.

Trouble tried desperately to crawl away, only to be pulled backwards, and slapped on the ass with the spoon again. Not willing to hurt Tara to escape, Trouble relented. “I give, I give!” She rolled onto her back, shoulders, and head dangling from the arm of the couch, leg still trapped in Tara’s iron grip.

“Take.. It… back.” Tara panted, rolling to her side, and reaching out with the spoon to prod Trouble’s ribs.

“GAH!!! Damn it, Tara!” Trouble yelled, squirming. “Torturing someone who’s surrendered, is against so many international treaties!”

“Do it.” Tara prompted, with a jab.

“God damn it, to hell, son of a bitch!” Trouble shouted, trying to wriggle free. Tara lined up for another jab, and Trouble threw her hands up in defeat. “All right! All right.” She breathed. “Willow does not look like a man.”

A bright smile lit up Tara’s face, as she released Trouble’s leg,and collapsed on her end of the couch. “Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?” she asked Trouble, cheerfully.

“Ow! My ass.” Trouble groaned, still hanging off the other end of the couch.

“Trouble?” Tara said softly, after a few minutes of quiet.

“Yeah, Mouse?”

“Thank you.”

“For what?” Trouble asked, confused.

“For not calling Willow my ex.”

“Just because you’re apart, doesn’t mean you’re not together.” Trouble reasoned.

Tara sat up. “Seriously.”

This caused Trouble to sit up as well, and she waited for Tara to elaborate.

“I know I said we needed time apart, and that she needed to get herself under control… but… that doesn’t mean I see it as over. You know? She’s still my Willow. The word ex makes me want to spit. She’s not my ex, she’s my always, and after this time apart, we’ll be back together.” Tara stopped for a breath.

“'Ex' denotes an ending.” Trouble said, taking Tara’s hand. “You, and Willow are a lot of things. But over is not one of them.” She squeezed Tara’s hand reassuringly, giving her a knowing smile.

“It’s not over. We’ll be together again. She’s doing so much better, I can see it in her energy. I-” Trouble cut Tara off by squeezing her hand tighter.

“Soon. Mouse. It will all come back together soon. You just need to remain patient, and focus on the things that need to be done. All right?” Trouble’s sky blue gaze held Tara’s sapphire one, willing her to find calm, and acceptance.

Tara nodded. “Yes.”

“Good. Very good. Now…” Trouble trailed off, looking around. “What the hell were we doing?”

“Um, cooking?” Tara offered, holding up the wooden spoon as evidence.

Trouble scratched her head. “Huh. That’s best done in the kitchen, truthfully.”

Tara’s eyes closed tight, and she pulled her knees to her chest, shaking in silent laughter, as Trouble looked from the spoon, to the kitchen. and back again, her stomach rumbling. “Reckon we ought to finish that, then.” she stated, matter of factly.

“Hehehe. Ahem. Yeah, good idea.” Tara managed, before breaking into a fit of giggles.

Trouble plucked the spoon from Tara’s hand, standing quickly to keep Tara from snatching it back. “Oh! Wow. Head rush.” she exclaimed, shaking her head, and blinking. “Damn! My ass hurts.”

Tara, still shaking with laughter, rose as well, following Trouble back into the kitchen at a slow pace, the smaller woman moving stiffly as she headed to the sink. Trouble quickly washed the spoon, while Tara moved to lean her back against the counter, next to the peppers.

“What next, oh clueless leader?” Tara inquired, elbows on the counter, hands clasped across her stomach, watching Trouble with sparkling, mischievous eyes.

Trouble glanced back over her shoulder, rolling her eyes, and frowning at Tara. “Now, we stuff the peppers.” She said, moving towards the bowl of mixed ingredients, and cored peppers, spoon at the ready.

Tara stepped back demurely, her hands sliding behind her back, the picture of innocence. “I have no experience with putting meat in holes.” She said, without a trace of humor.

The spoon fell out of Trouble’s hand, clattering onto the counter, as she turned to stare at Tara in shock. “Did the Scoobies teach you to talk like that?”

A lazy smile eased it’s way across Tara’s lips, as she turned first left, then right, bouncing up on her toes, mirth bubbling up inside her. “Goddess, no! They were floored when I mentioned a woman having ‘genuine molded plastic’ stamped on her ass. The comment about meat in holes? Anneurysms, all around.”

Trouble’s head tilted to the left, her mouth scrunched up, and her eyes rolled up to examine the ceiling. “Too many cosmetic enhancements?” She asked, speculatively.

“Robot.” Tara said, with a slight shake of her head.

“Well, that’s new.” Trouble muttered, with wide eyes, as she turned once again to the waiting peppers, and meat mixture. “A real robot? That looked human?” She glanced back.

Tara nodded her head vigorously. “Uh huh. Very realistic. Had everyone’s attention right away.” Tara’s face lit up. “Oh! She threw Spike through a window.”

Trouble chuckled and turned back to the counter, picking up a pepper and the spoon. “Damn. Sorry I missed it.” She dug the spoon into the combination of ingredients, scooping up a fair amount and filling the pepper with it. “I give to you, a stuffed pepper.” She turned to Tara, and held the vegetable creation up for her inspection.

Leaning down just slightly, Tara peered closely at the green pepper, eyebrow raised. “So we meet again, my plump friend.” She was warmed by memories of an afternoon spent preparing stuffed green peppers with her grandmother, so long ago, and so far away from the woman she was here and now. The sun shining through the kitchen windows as it sank in the west, the little wooden stool, painted sky blue with her name on it, so she could reach the counter top. Her heart swelling with happiness, she gently took the pepper from Trouble’s hands.

“If I remember correctly…” Tara said, raising her gaze to meet Trouble’s across the pepper. “They taste best cooked.”

“You are very wise, jolly giant wiccan.” Trouble remarked, leaving Tara holding the pepper, while she walked to the stove, turned it on, then retrieved a well used bread pan from the bottom drawer. She turned to face Tara, and held out the pan. “In he goes.”

Tara tenderly set the pepper in the pan, and smiled brightly at Trouble. “Can I finish up?” she asked, bouncing slightly.

Trouble grinned back. “Knock yourself out, kid.” She stepped out of the way, allowing Tara to take her vacated spot at the counter, then set the bread pan down on the counter, within Tara’s reach.

“So, Friday…” Tara prompted ,as she picked up a pepper, and carefully filled it with the meat, then softly placed it in the pan.

“Friday…” Trouble said, slightly uncertainly.

“Friday. Your friend is coming over, you want me to meet her…” Tara paused, the third pepper in her hand, and turned to stare at Trouble with a puzzled look. “I know we talked about this.”

Trouble’s face was blank as her eyes darted back, and forth, clearly searching for an answer.

“Are you suddenly stoned?” Tara asked, eyebrow arched. She turned back to the bowl, and spooned out some more of the mixture, packing it neatly into the pepper.

“Nooooo,” Trouble drawled out. “Just got a lot whirling around in my mind. Spaced momentarily. Yes, Friday, very important.” She nodded her head so vigorously, she resembled a bobble head, and Tara couldn’t contain a burst of laughter.

“What time do you you need me here?”Tara asked, situating the third pepper in the pan, and reaching for the final one.

Trouble reached up to open a cabinet door, withdrawing a jelly glass. “Seven should be fine. She’s not due until nine, so plenty of time for last minute preparations. That work for you?” she walked to the sink, and filled the glass with water, before moving to stand next to Tara.

“Works just fine.” Tara answered with a nod, as she watched Trouble pour the glass of water into the pan, then look over to her with a grin.

“It will keep them moist, and delicious.” Trouble said, confidently, as Tara filled the last pepper, and set in in the pan next to it’s fellows. Trouble knelt to retrieve aluminum foil from the cabinet in front of their legs, taking a moment to find the right box. “Wax… no. Parchment… no. Reynolds! Yes!” She exclaimed, throwing her hands in the air.

In her excitement, Trouble overbalanced, and went from bouncing on her toes to sitting on her ass, a frown of confusion on her face.

Tara clamped a hand over her mouth to try to stifle her laugh. “He. Ha. Hmm. What are you doing down there?” She asked sweetly.

“Finding the foil.” Trouble replied, holding up her prize. “And re-injuring my ass.” She muttered, under breath.

Tara chuckled, and held out her hand to help Trouble up, easily tugging the smaller woman to her feet.

Trouble handed Tara the foil and proceeded to dust herself off, as Tara measured out enough to cover the pan and tore it off.

“How long do we cook them for?” Tara inquired, as she concealed the peppers beneath the foil, then crimped the edges around the lip of the pan with her long fingers.

“One hour, at three hundred fifty degrees,” Trouble declared, pulling oven mitts out of a drawer next to the stove. “No glove, no love.” She said in a low, serious tone, as she handed them to Tara, then turned to open the pre-heated stove.

Tara let out a snort, as she accepted the mitts, sliding them on, before turning to pick up the foil covered pan. She carefully slid the container in the oven, then closed the door quickly. “Ta-Daaaa.” she said, clapping her mitted hands together.

“I see you’re happy, and you know it. But do you know how to set a timer?”Trouble asked, pointing to a knob on the stove. Tara turned back, and studied the small knob for a moment, finding the hour mark, then twisting the knob to the proper position. She turned back to Trouble with a smug grin on her face.

“There’s nothing I can’t do.” Tara proclaimed, resolutely.

“You have no idea how right you are.” Trouble agreed. “Let’s clean this up quick, then we’ll work on raising and lowering your shield, until the peppers are ready.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Tara assented, as they both moved towards the sink. Trouble made quick work of scrubbing and rinsing the utensils, leaving them to dry in the rack, while Tara wiped down the counter top. Within a few minutes, the kitchen was spotless again, and the two women made their way into the living room.

“Oh!” Trouble exclaimed, stopping short, causing Tara to run into her. Trouble staggered as Tara’s larger frame hit hers, but she managed to stay on her feet, and avoid getting stepped on by a stumbling Tara.

“Hehehe. Ooops.” Trouble said sheepishly, as she stood up straight, and faced Tara with a tentative grin. “There was a reason for the dramatic pause, I promise.”

Tara gave Trouble an annoyed look, then smoothed back her hair, and straightened her shirt. “I certainly hope so.”

Trouble smiled brightly. “I have a book I wanted to give you. It covers minor offensive spells, and charms. Mostly ways to disarm, and counter attacks, nothing dark. No such thing as over prepared, here in the Dale.”

Trouble crossed the living room, and disappeared into the bedroom, emerging a few moments later, with a small, leather bound volume, unmarked, and well worn. Tara reached out tentatively, sensing the power emanating from the aged journal, and held her breath as Trouble set it lightly in her upturned hands. She opened the tome gently, easily recognizing the tiny writing inside as Latin, she leafed carefully through the sheer pages, confident the ciphers it contained were well within her capabilities.

“It’s the magical equivalent of a field guide. It was required reading for magically inclined warriors. Oops, forgot something.” Trouble trotted quickly back into the bedroom, while Tara continued to peruse the powerful book.

So much power… almost limitless potential. Contained in such a small, innocent, manuscript. And she’s trusting me with it. Tara turned the book over, and over in her hands, marveling in how light, and insubstantial it felt. The fates of men, and demons, countries, worlds, even dimensions, lay nearly weightless in her hands, as their keeper disappeared to retrieve yet more secrets.

You can never be too prepared… The comment echoed through Tara’s mind, teasing her. What exactly were they preparing for?
--------


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me (update: 2/22/12)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:40 pm 
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4. Extra Flamey
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DIBS

ETA.... First of all Yay got Dibs. I am so proud of myself you have no idea. (Well you do know T because I was harassing you on chat)

Now on to the story. Really awesome update T. The scene about Willow looking like a man. Hilarious and fun, and then it really hit home when Tara thanked her for not calling her an ex. It really made me pause and re-read the scene. Like I got smacked in the back of the head with a well duh kind of moment.

I also like how this fic is very active. You incorporate action into your scenes very well and it isn't just sitting there dialogue. It quickens the pace of the fic, makes it move and come alive. I like that.

Keep up the good work!


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me (update: 2/22/12)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:18 pm 
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9. Gay Now
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Location: Beyond the orbit of Mars and accelerating...
This story is so... Interesting.
There's so much potential here for flat-out cool stuff.

There's a lot of good stories here, but this is something different.

Promise me you'll finish it?
Pretty please? :flower

R :bounce


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me (update: 2/22/12)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:57 pm 
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11. Fish in the Bowl

Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:35 pm
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Hey, Tina!

Wow, another great update!

First the previous one - like the different colors with Willow as Red and Tara as blue. And the magic of the barriers with Trouble - that was so believable and so interesting! :clap :applause :clap

Now this update, the humor and coming back to their bodies. Loved Trouble's popping joints and the spoon battle - agree about her not calling Willow her 'ex' very nice distinction - sharp!

Now I'm dying to know who is coming to visit on Friday - is it Trouble's true love or Willow?

The imagination and humor all roll up into a very creative story. As for Trouble - she seems so real I don't even want to give you credit for writing her but you did so I do! :bow :bow :bow

Thanks!

Ariel


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me (update3/26/12)
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:24 am 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

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This is honestly the story I've enjoyed the most since joining.

I normally dislike people's OC's but yours seem so real. You write wonderfully & I really hope you update this soon. I'm hanging out for another fix of this flawlessness~


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me (update3/26/12)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:24 pm 
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Thanks to all the readers still reading, and the die hard kittens that comment; Astron Soul, thank you for being so generous and wonderfully patient, you are an awesome Beta, thank you thank you thank you!

i'm finally numbering the chapters, i think i got it right. maybe not. anyone disagree?

anyways, sorry it took so long, sorry no responses, please enjoy this chapter. i shall work on my poor behavior, i assure you.

Tina

Chapter 7

Reach Out and Touch Someone

Tara was running late. As she hurried down the darkening streets, towards Trouble’s apartment, she cursed her aching body, and the juvenile delinquents that were the latest thorn in the Scoobie’s side.

She once again muttered a prayer of thanks to all the higher powers she could think of, that she had gone against her better judgment, and stopped by, even as her back cried out in pain from her fall down the basement stairs. She felt a tinge of regret at leaving, but everyone had been as ok as possible, considering Buffy had lost her mind from a demons sting, and sacrificed them to the demon in the basement.

If she hadn’t gone to check on Willow, after seeing her outside of class, Willow, and the others would be gone. But her concern had gotten the better of her during study group, and she had gone to check on Willow at the Summer’s house, just in time to save them from the demon, fall down the stairs, and watch Buffy kill the demon. Once she knew everyone was going to be ok, she quickly excused herself, and rushed to her dorm room, to shower, and get ready to go to Trouble’s, to meet her mysterious friend.

Her knees throbbed as she climbed the stairs to Trouble’s with her overnight bag slung over her shoulder. Her ears picked up the pulsing bass of “Love Is a Battlefield” by Pat Benetar, as she reached the top of the stairs, where she encountered a strange thickness in the air. She pushed through the viscous barrier, and managed to knock on the door, which opened before she could rap again with her already sore knuckles.

Wide, dark blue eyes peered at her through the gap, before the door was flung wide open, and Trouble, clad in a tank top, and draw string pants, grabbed Tara, and dragged her inside. “Here you are! Was starting to worry bout you Mouse. Is everything okay? Did something bad happen? Should I-” Trouble was cut off, by Tara patting her on the top of her head.

“There was an incident…” Tara began, setting her overnight bag on the floor next to the chair, then flopping down in the seat. “Buffy was stung by a demon, it made her go crazy. The gang caught the demon to make the antidote, but Buffy wigged out, trapped them in the basement, and set the demon loose.” Tara stopped for breath, and Trouble moved from the spot she had been rooted to, and headed into the kitchen.

In under a minute, she was returning with a tall glass of orange juice for Tara, and a soda for herself. “Wow. That is just crazy. Everything is ok now, though?” She handed Tara the juice, then turned to sit on the end of the couch.

Tara took several grateful gulps of orange juice, smiling sheepishly when she finally lowered the half empty glass. “I was thirstier then I thought.” She held the glass in her lap with both hands, letting the peace and stillness of Trouble’s apartment wash over her, then she noticed it. The apartment was fully charged with energy, the walls, the furniture, everything it contained was practically crackling with it.

The low coffee table was pushed back against a far wall, and there was a circle with four distinct points marked on it, roughly six feet in diameter, painted on the floor. Books, bottles, papers, charms, and other various curiosities littered the normally neat living room, with candles interspersed here, and there, standing silent watch over the tasks at hand. Tara sat up straight when she realized she had arrived at a ritual, she looked to Trouble with uncertainty in her eyes, finding Trouble gazing back with placid blue eyes, and an ‘I can explain this’ look. Tara arched her eyebrow, and took another sip of juice, waiting for a justification.

“You are late,” Trouble began, opening her soda, and taking a drink. “If you had been on time I could have explained to you, that my friend is arriving here through a dimensional portal. I have to open this end a specific way to lock onto her, and her only. It’s the most precise method of teleportation there is.” She took another sip of soda. “Everything is perfectly safe, Tara. I’ve had years to plan this.”
Tara looked at Trouble appraisingly, but could neither see, nor sense any deceit in her, the situation was precisely as described, a teleportation spell. “No dark deities, sacrifices, strange body parts, deals with demons, etc?” She pinned Trouble with an icy blue stare.

“A small amount of blood, to bind the individual coming through, to me. Safety precaution.” Trouble leveled with her, the cobalt depths of her eyes swirling. She seemed like a teenager, doing exactly what her mother told her, so she could have a friend over.

Tara sighed dramatically. “What do you need me to do?” she sipped her orange juice, demurely.

Trouble favored her with a thousand watt smile. “Mix some ingredients, and be friendly.” Trouble said, hopping up, and going to the stereo, to paw through c.d’s. “She’s really nice, and she can’t wait to meet you. You two have lots in common.” Trouble let out a triumphant squeak, and scrambled to load the c.d. she had found, soon the sounds of Cyndi Lauper’s crooning filled the apartment.

Tara leaned back in the chair, relaxing to the music, and basking in the power building in the apartment; pure, unbiased energy, to be used without prejudice, to build a bridge between two worlds. “Oh. I used some spells, from the book you loaned me, to help with the rescue earlier. They came in handy.”

Trouble seemed to be organizing her c.d.s, shuffling them around, and around, undecided as to the correct order to play them in, as she bounced up and down on her toes. Tara giggled at her hyperactive companion, reminded of Willow’s easily excitable behavior, and how much she adored it.

“That’s great. Have you had any time to look at the tracings?” She seemed to settle on an arrangement, and set the c.d.’s down next to the stereo, moving on to the pile of VHS.

Tara paused to sip her orange juice. “Memorized them all. They really are quite lovely. And they really do what the manuscripts say?”

Trouble looked up, and gave Tara a proud smile. “Outstanding! And yes, they do. Beeelieeeeve me.” She rifled through the VHS, moving them here, and there, a determined look on her face, as she worked out the best viewing order. Tara indulged this behavior with no complaints, it was a pleasant distraction from the usual stresses, and in her current energy induced peace, she found it kind of endearing, the way Trouble was obsessing about the tiny details.

The timer from the stove broke the whimsical mood, buzzing insistently at them through strains of ‘Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun’. Trouble walked incredibly quickly into the kitchen, to silence it, returning with just as much haste. “And so it begins.” She announced, walking over to the coffee table, and kneeling down fluidly. Tara rose instinctively, and moved to kneel beside her, hands palm down on the table, waiting patiently for instruction.

The coffee table was arrayed with over a dozen bottles, half as many jars, a few pouches, a gourd, several flasks, and a mason jar, everything giving off it’s own unique aroma, the combination quite intoxicating. Trouble deftly hand measured certain ingredients into a blue marble mortar, handing it, and a hand carved wooden spoon to Tara. “Stir this, slow and steady. Ok?”

Tara accepted the arcane tools carefully, looking at Trouble with a raised eyebrow. “Is this dangerous?” She asked, as she started to slowly stir the ingredients, eyeing the contents warily.

“No, but the smoother it is, the better it burns, and the more reliable the results.” Trouble was now measuring ingredients out into three more bowls, her tiny hands busily working through the entire contents of the table. Soon, she too was stirring a bowl filled with assorted odd substances, with firm slow strokes, and a steady rhythm.

After a few minutes, Trouble stopped stirring, and returned her bowl to the table, gesturing for Tara to do the same, before picking up one of the remaining two containers. Tara followed suit, picking up the final bowl and repeating her previous motions, absently noting the reddish tint of the mixture, and the grainy texture. They mixed until they reached the desired consistency, that of wet sand, then returned the bowls to the table, Trouble retrieving a fifth bowl and pouring ingredients into it.

Tara waited patiently as Trouble blended the final set of items together, finding herself nodding along to Cyndi Lauper’s ‘She Bop’ as she looked over the magical supplies on the table, a faint hint of curiosity nagging her. There were no books laid out before them. Trouble seemed to be preparing the trans-dimensional portal spell by memory, the mark of a true master of magic‘s.

Trouble looked up from the bowl to Tara, shyly smiling. “Sorry, got caught up in the preparations. We’ll set the first four bowls at the cardinal points, by color. This bowl goes in the center, then they will all be lit. The smoke should be very pretty.”

Lips pursed, and eyebrow arched, Tara leaned forward and peered into the bowl containing what looked like blue sand. “Potential for explosion, or bodily harm?” She asked, sniffing the mixture experimentally.

“A few sparklies, some flameage, and concentrated smoke. In that order. Not a significantly dangerous spell. Any other questions?” Trouble asked, setting down the fifth bowl, which appeared to be filled with a mixture of gunpowder and glitter. “One day I will teach it to you, when we have the time.” She picked up the bowls of blue, and green sand, and gestured for Tara to pick up the containers of red, and yellow.

Trouble led Tara across the room to the perfectly drawn circle, where she laid the bowl of green sand at the northern point of the circle, the bowl of blue at the eastern point, and then stepped back, allowing Tara to place the red sand at the southern point, and the yellow upon the western point.

Trouble returned to the table for the final bowl, while Tara waited patiently she stepped inside the circle and placed it in the center, then stepped quickly out and made one more trip to the table, where she retrieved a small twig.

Tara watched in rapt silence, as Trouble held the twig with her left hand, and pinched the end between her right thumb, and forefinger, and gazed intently at her fingers. Within seconds, the tips of her thumb and forefinger were glowing, there was a faint sizzling sound, then the end of the twig was alight with a tiny flame.

Trouble offered the flickering twig to Tara. “Light the northern point first, then the others, going clockwise. Ok?” Tara accepted the burning stick carefully, then stepped to the bowl on the northern point, leaning down, and igniting the greenish mixture with a touch of the tiny torch.

As the mixture caught flame, it sputtered like a Fourth of July sparkler, crackling, and gleaming with emerald light, the flame giving way to light green smoke. Tara moved onto the blue mixture, which elicited sapphire sparks. and deep blue smoke, then to the red, which provided ruby sparkles. and blood red smoke. Finally came the yellow mixture, which gave off dazzling lemon colored sparks, and canary yellow smoke, when ignited.

Tara stepped back from the circle to stand next to Trouble, satisfied with her work, and ready to see what would happen next. For a moment, all was still, as the clouds of smoke created pillars, crawling steadily upwards towards the ceiling, somehow maintaining their column form as they rose, sparkling and undulating. Tara heard Trouble let out a deep breath, and turned to face her, noticing the intense concentration on her face, and the sheathed dagger in her hands.

“Find stillness, Mouse.” Trouble whispered, stepping away from Tara, into the center of the circle, unsheathing the dagger as she went. She knelt before the final bowl, extended her left hand out over it, and brought the blade to rest in her palm, with her right hand. “We two, are one.” She intoned quietly, eyes closed, before wrapping her fingers around the blade, and drawing it out through her closed palm, wincing as the steel sliced through her flesh. She quickly sheathed the knife, opening her hand to reveal a long, superficial wound.

Tara, who had stood silent up until this point, gasped, and raised her hands to cover her mouth, not as comfortable as she had hoped to be, around blood magic’s. Trouble made a fist again, forcing blood to drip from the bottom edge of her hand, down onto the sparkling black powder. After five drops, she released her hand, and fished a roll of gauze out of her pants pocket, wrapping her palm completely, before continuing.

Trouble rose, and stepped out of the circle, gesturing for Tara to ignite the final bowl, which she did, as Trouble took up position at the bottom of the circle. The black powder mixture, laced with Trouble’s blood, sizzled, and flared, then silver smoke began pouring forth, filling the circle, held by an invisible barrier. Tara had stepped back quickly, as soon as she had ignited the mixture, and now stood beside Trouble at the southern point, staring openly at the shimmering, smoke filled column, that was soon to be a trans-dimensional gateway.

“What now?” Tara whispered, eyes wide in awe, hands twisting together in front of her, bouncing lightly on the balls of her feet, eyes fixed on the colored columns, that had begun to move. The pillars of color were beginning to shift ever so slightly left, and the silvery column was fully rotating right, like two dials being tuned.

Trouble extended her injured hand palm first towards the columns, stopping just short of touching them. “Now, we wait.” She said softly, lowering her hand, and turning to move towards the kitchen. Tara reluctantly tore her eyes away, turning to follow the smaller woman into the adjoining room, where Trouble reset the timer on the stove for two hours, before turning to Tara with a smile. “Now, where were we?”

“Waiting for an inter-dimensional portal to form?” Tara ventured, noticing that Trouble’s eyes seemed distant, and the energy surrounding them was being drawn to the portal. “Maybe, explaining to me how this portal works?”

Trouble flashed a proud grin, before leading Tara from the kitchen to the living room, where she returned to her makeshift altar, and knelt, tiny hands rummaging amidst the scattered ingredients. She unwrapped her left palm, and began sprinkling various herbs into it, pressing them into the wound, as she murmured softly to herself. She closed her fist tightly, and a blinding white light flashed from in between her fingers, as she exhaled a long, sharp hiss.

When she reopened her hand, the self inflicted wound was gone, and she flexed it repeatedly to stretch the newly mended flesh. Tara looked on in wonder, past being shocked by the fascinating things Trouble did, she was eager to learn whatever the mysterious, tiny woman would teach her.

Trouble stood stiffly, a chorus of pops, and cracks, declaring her movements. “In the future, I will teach you the things I am doing here, tonight, but for now Mouse, it is above your pay grade. You will learn the ingredients for the portal when we re-open it in 8 days, as for the healing spell… perhaps later, if we have extra time.”

Tara patiently followed Trouble into the kitchen again, moving to lean her weary body against the counter, while Trouble busied herself removing things from the fridge. “So. What are we doing, if I’m not going to learn those spells right now?”

In all honesty, Tara was disappointed to find out her learning would be further delayed, but was hoping Trouble’s mystery guest would prove interesting enough to make up for it. After all, trans-dimensional travel was rare, portals that were coded to allow only a specific individual were rarer still, the night was ripe with possibilities.

Trouble replied without taking her eyes off the pile she was making on the counter. “More cooking, I’m afraid, dear Mouse. Or, food prep, technically. My guest is going to be rather hungry, and I have been asked to have food available upon their arrival.”

Tara nodded in agreement, clapping her hands, then rubbing them together. “What are we mixing up tonight?” she inquired, straightening up, eagerly. This was just what she needed to relax, and take her mind off Willow for awhile.

“Devastatingly large salads, and steaks. Nice and simple. And we have just under two hours to clean, and cut our ingredients. You up for that?” Trouble finished her rummaging by producing three large steaks, wrapped neatly in butcher’s paper, and laying them out on the counter to bring them to room temperature.

Tara’s eyebrow raised, as she took in the size of the steaks Trouble had laid out, each one easily the size of a dinner plate. “There may be leftovers…” she began, turning to Trouble, who was back to sorting through the large pile of vegetables and fixings she had produced, muttering to herself.

“Three types of lettuce… grape tomatoes, tomatoes off the vine… red onions, green onions… red, yellow, orange, and green bell peppers… cucumbers, habaneras, jalapeños, banana peppers… cheeses, bacon bits, croutons…Vidalia onions, mushrooms…” Trouble trailed off, lost in thought.

Choking back laughter, Tara crossed her arms over her stomach, trying to remember the last salad bar she had been to, and whether it had been as well stocked.

“Mushrooms for salad, mushrooms for sautéing, the Vidalia is for sautéing…” Trouble was rambling on, listing the different herbs, and spices on hand for seasoning the steaks, while Tara clamped her hand over her mouth, to stifle a burst of laughter.

She was reminded of the fateful morning she had tried to teach Willow how to make pancakes; the way Willow had lined up the ingredients in order of addition to the batter, how she had insisted on measuring everything precisely, down to the last drop of vanilla extract. It was the first, and only time, making breakfast for her loved ones had felt like work, and from then on, Willow stuck to the sidelines while Tara made breakfast.

Trouble had froze in the middle of her rambling, to turn, and look at Tara. “Leftovers?” She seemed to ponder the thought quite deeply, before smiling, and shaking her head. “Probably not. She’s going to be very hungry. We should have just enough.” She turned, and knelt down, to begin rifling through the cabinets, pulling out a seemingly endless supply of bowls.

There were bowls of every size, and shape Tara could imagine, and Trouble seemed to have a purpose for every one she stacked next to Tara’s feet on the floor. Tara looked down, then cocked her head to the left, studying the two neat, but lopsided, piles of plastic containers, counting twenty four of them in all. Her jaw lowered in surprise as she raised her eyes to stare at he pile of ingredients.

Twenty four things in one salad? Have I even had seven different types of peppers, in my entire life? Three types of lettuce? Cheeses, plural? How many types of mushrooms are actually edible?

Tara’s musings were brought to a halt by the realization that denim blue eyes were watching her intently, from the crouching figure on the floor, and a leaning stack of bowls was nudging her leg insistently.

“You with me Mouse?” Trouble asked, three large bowls clutched in her small hands, she managed to scramble to her feet without using her arms.

Blushing with embarrassment, Tara leaned down, and picked up a stack of bowls, moving it up onto the counter in one swift motion, then quickly knelt, and retrieved the second stack. “Right here. Ready, and waiting.” She said, holding up the stack to demonstrate her usefulness. “Fully prepared to fill bowls.”

Trouble nodded, and tossed her three bowls onto the counter, before heading to the sink. Tara set the second stack next to the first, then headed for the sink as well.

“The colored smoke is searching through space.” Trouble explained, lathering her hands. “The silver smoke is combing through time. When they have both locked on to her exact location, they will sync up, and the portal will open as a bright beam of light.” She rinsed her hands, and moved to dry them, while Tara stepped up to the sink, and quickly washed her own hands.

“It’s that simple?” Tara asked, glancing back over her shoulder skeptically.

“Hardly, Mouse. That is just the simplest way of describing it. It is very old, very powerful magic. It requires tremendous amounts of energy, and control. No where is this spell written down, and never should it be.” Trouble moved to stand next to Tara, reaching for the block holding her kitchen knives, and carefully selected several.

“And you want to teach it to me?” Tara said, meekly, turning the faucet handle slowly off, and taking a deep breath, she turned to face the smaller woman, her mind racing. Trans-dimensional teleportation. Me. Capable of trans-dimensional teleportation. Me. Exhilaration, and terror raced through her veins, her mind was all over the map.

This is huge. What could I do with this? What should I do with this? Do I even want the responsibility, the accountability? What about Willow? Can I learn this, achieve this, without her? Is it right to do this without her?

Tara’s very being was conflicted, and Trouble could sense it loud, and clear. Instead of facing Tara, she turned, and began moving the mountain of vegetables over to the side of the sink, next to where Tara was standing. “Wash, or prep?” she asked Tara, calmly.

Tara blinked. She glanced from Trouble, to the knives on the cutting board, to the vegetables, then to the knives again. “I’ll wash.” she said, heeding her distractability. Speaking of distraction… She thought, noting that Trouble had stopped moving, and was standing still as a stone, with her head tilted to the left.

“The music stopped.” Trouble said, seriously, spinning on her heel, and striding out of the kitchen. “Be right back.”

Tara shook her head in amusement as she dried her hands, turning to face the mountain of produce, and fixings with an arched eyebrow. “Where to begin…” she murmured, warily approaching the piled countertop. She idly ran her long fingers over the vegetables, noting that Trouble had managed to get the ripest, plumpest specimens of every variety, and fleetingly wondered what type of magical bartering had secured this bounty, which led to a wry smirk. I wonder what it would take to get the gang to do a salad night… sorcery?

Which was what Trouble observed upon returning to the room, accompanied by Heart’s ‘Barracuda’. She stopped in the doorway to watch Tara smiling fondly down at the salad ingredients, and began to worry that she had broken the poor young woman’s mind.

“Tara?” Trouble asked, slowly approaching the taller woman, not wanting to startle her. Tara gazed at the vegetables a moment longer, thinking how great it was going to be when she shared this experience with her chosen family, when her, and Willow reunited, before turning to Trouble, eyes bright, expression eager. “Teach me.”
“Any particular subject?” Trouble asked, agreeably, as she stepped past Tara, and knelt to retrieve cutting boards from under the counter.

“Anything. Everything. How to create a trans-dimensional portal, or how to make a crazy big salad. I want to learn. I want to know more. Whatever you feel you can share, I want to know.” Tara paused to take a breath, as Trouble rose slowly, and set the boards on the counter, next to the lettuce.

“You don’t ask for much, do you?” Trouble asked, with good natured sarcasm., her knees popping as she reached her full height, turning to Tara with storming gray-blue eyes, that filled Tara with a sense of peace. Trouble smiled a warm, lazy smile. “I will teach you Tara. Everything that I can. But there will be things I cannot. Are you willing to accept this?”

“Yes.” Tara nodded with certainty, extending a hand to Trouble for a handshake to seal the deal. It took quite an effort to keep from giggling as her long hand wrapped around Trouble’s smaller one, and she squeezed it tightly.

“You’re laughing?” Trouble asked, tilting her head to the right, and looking at Tara quizzically, as she gave her hand a firm shake. Tara doubled over with laughter, then cleared her throat and stood back up, fixing her hair.

“Sorry. It’s just. Your hands, they are so… small. It’s just sooo, cute.” Tara didn’t even try to hide the smirk on her face, as Trouble frowned, and ‘harrumphed’, picking up the head of Iceberg lettuce with both hands.

“Cute... Cute my ass. These hands are lethal!” With that, she slammed the stem of the lettuce on the counter, breaking it free of the leaves, and startling the hell out of Tara. Trouble bent over in laughter as Tara’s eyes widened, and her jaw dropped, her body jumping at the sudden loud noise.

“Sorry, Mouse. So sorry.” Trouble chuckled, as she pulled the core from the head of lettuce, and threw it into the trash can across the room. “Didn’t think it would scare you so bad.”

“Will you be doing that again?” Tara asked, quietly, closing her eyes, and taking a deep breath.

“Oh no. Not again. I mean, I’m gonna tenderize the steaks later, but I will definitely warn you first.”

Tara smiled weakly. “Thank you.”

Trouble looked at the timer on the stove, noticing that an hour had passed. “Damn. Enough goofing off, time to slice and dice. I’ll prep, you wash. Then we’ll both chop. Sound good?” She handed Tara the head of lettuce, and nudged her towards the sink.

“Right. Dozens of ingredients to get ready.” Tara affirmed, turning on the faucet, and plunging the Iceberg lettuce under the water, as Trouble started on the Romaine lettuce.

Fifteen efficient minutes later, all the vegetables were properly cleaned, and ready to be chopped, lined up like a colorful battalion of soldiers on the counter top.

“Ok,” Trouble began, picking up a knife. “We are going to chop them relatively small. It’s easier to blend all of the flavors together in the salad that way. Leads to a better salad experience.” Her tone was perfectly serious, as she began shredding the iceberg lettuce, and placing it in a bowl.

Tara started on the bell peppers, delighting in the opportunity to cook for others again, and the warm feeling she felt whenever she had the chance to prepare food creatively. If you can’t be with the one you love… at least do something you love. She thought, attacking the peppers with gusto.

“So, this friend?” Tara ventured, chopping diligently. “She’s important to you?”

“She’s everything.” Trouble said, without looking up from the lettuce she was shredding. She finished quickly, and moved onto a container of white button mushrooms.

Finished with the bell peppers, Tara set the bowls on the table, and started the sweet red onion.

Tara took a deep breath, and pressed on, eager to learn who she would be meeting. “Is it… Is it Sarai, we’re bringing through?” Tara was more then a little worried by the thought of meeting Trouble’s warrior lover, and she hoped her, and Sarai would get along, for Trouble’s sake.

Trouble’s hands stopped, and she turned to face Tara with a serious expression, but soft eyes. “Yes. When the beam of light in the next room solidifies, I will be reaching in, and pulling Sarai through into this dimension. It will be her first time here in over three thousand years.”

Tara’s hands faltered, and the knife she was using clattered to the countertop, as she dropped it.

“Are you ok with this, Tara?” Trouble asked, gently.

“Three thousand years?!” Tara exclaimed. “That would mean…”

“That I am far older then I appear?” Trouble asked kindly, setting down her own knife, and taking Tara’s trembling hands in her own. “Please, Tara, don’t be afraid. I know there are many things I haven’t told you yet, but I promise you, you are safe. If you had made it here earlier, as I was hoping, we would have had more time to talk this over. But you went where you were needed, and the ones you love are safe because of it.”

Tara looked deeply into Trouble’s grey-blue eyes with her own crystal blue ones, and could see nothing but gentle kindness and sincerity. She squeezed Trouble’s small hands in hers, and nodded, turning back to the red onions, and her abandoned knife.

“That’s such a long time,” Tara breathed, resuming her chopping, as Trouble returned to the mushrooms. “How can you stand being so far apart, for so long? Willow and I have only been apart a few months, and it’s practically killing me.”

“You and Willow are not as fully connected as Sarai and I are. But your connection is growing everyday, and soon you will be reunited, then you will learn just how deeply two people can be bound to one another.” Trouble finished the mushrooms, and moved the bowl to the table, retrieving the green onions.

“Our connection is growing? Even though we are apart?” Tara asked skeptically, dumping the diced red onion into it’s own bowl.

“Have your dreams showed you nothing, dear Mouse? Only two bound by the deepest love, and desire can touch each other, despite time, and distance. Given time, you will be with each other always. Awake, or asleep, far apart, or laying right next to each other. Your minds, hearts, and souls will become one with each other. No ends, no beginnings, just you two, who are one.”

Tara began peeling a cucumber. Every part of us, connected, forever and always? It sounds so romantic, but…

Trouble chuckled as she picked up the last cucumber. “Sure, it sounds supremely romantic, but it’s a lot of work. Two functioning as one can lead to a great deal of hardship, compromise becomes a way of life. Faith in one another, and unfaltering trust are key. Once the bond is forged, it becomes all consuming.”

“All consuming?” Tara asked, nervously, as she began chopping the cucumber.

“Once the bond is fully forged, you will see through each others eyes, feel through one anothers skin, your hearts will beat the same, your minds will think alike. No part of you will be your own. You will share all that you are, and ever will be, with Willow. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.”

Tara silently finished with the cucumber, pouring the chunks into the last empty bowl, then moving to the sink with her chopping board, and knife. “Sounds like it has the potential to be a living hell.” She said quietly, washing the board and knife.

Trouble finished as well, topping off the bowl of cucumber chunks, and moved to stand beside Tara.” It can be annoying, at first. Lack of privacy, not much to talk about when you already know how each other’s day went, having your sentences pre-empted, or cut off, because she knows what you are going to say. It is not meant for just anyone. Only true soul mates can handle that level of intimacy, only soul mates are meant to blend together so seamlessly.”

“How hard was it for you and Sarai?” Tara asked, taking Trouble’s cutting board, and knife, and washing them for her.

Trouble’s mouth formed a wistful half grin. “It was, as you termed it, a living hell, for the first couple of years. There is a monstrous difference between wanting to be one with someone, and the actual act of being one with them.”

The timer on the stove buzzed before Trouble could elaborate any further, but Tara was certain she understood where the explanation was going. Never apart, ever. Sharing every thought, every emotion, every sensation. Knowing each other completely, inside, and out. Are Willow, and I anywhere near ready for something like that? Are we capable of it?

Trouble smiled knowingly, and took Tara by the hand, leading her into the living room. “Yes to both questions, Tara. Yes. You, and Willow are ready, and you are more then capable. But you must trust in yourselves, and each other, and that the Fates are never wrong. They have woven you, and Willow together for a reason, never doubt that you are meant for each other.”

Tara gave Trouble a lopsided grin, followed by a shake of her head. “How do you do that?”

Trouble grinned as she released Tara’s hand, bringing them to a halt in front of a shimmering column of white light that rose from the ceiling to the floor, bathing the living room in sun-like glow. “It’s just a matter of deductive reasoning. The physical response of the person, plus the subject matter, personal experience, generally held oppinions, facts, circumstances… Add all these little things together, and you get one big conclusion. You are concerned that you, and Willow, aren’t ready, or worse, not capable, of this transition.”

As Trouble’s words died off, both women turned to gaze at the portal, faces lighting up in wonder. “Believe me, the two of you are ready to begin that journey. Which is why I asked you here tonight, to meet Sarai. She went through with me, what you have gone through with Willow. She will know better then I, what it is you need to get started.”

They stood in companionable silence for a few moments longer, absorbing the radiance of the mysterious gateway that would bring Sarai to their world, and steadying themselves for the task of pulling her through it.

Trouble left Tara’s side, moving to the far side of the room, to retrieve a coil of rope from the floor, which she began to tie around her waist. Tara, still struck by the beauty of the portal, turned to see what she was doing, noting that the rope was tied to an eye hook, sunk into the bricks. “Rope?” She asked Trouble, torn between gazing at the luminous gate, and deciphering Trouble’s actions.

“Just a precaution, Mouse.” Trouble said, returning to her place at the southern point of what had been the circle. “No surprises. Just going to reach in, grab Sarai, and pull.”

“That’s it?” Tara asked, dubious.

Trouble gave Tara a devil-may-care grin, as she tested the knot pressing against her belly button. “That is the sum of the plan, yes. It ain’t rocket science, Mouse.”

“No. Just the science of reality, and existence. Nothing too major.” Tara quipped, as Trouble gave the rope one last yank, and gave Tara a wry look.

Trouble let the rope hang from her slim waist. “Ok. If I get yanked through, for some incredibly ridiculous reason, use the rope to pull me out, if you can. If anything goes really wrong, breaking the circle closes the portal. Got it?”

Tara nodded, palms sweating, body trembling. Are we really going to do this? She asked herself, as Trouble rested a tiny hand on her shoulder.

Tara looked down into Trouble’s swirling blue eyes. “Are you sure you are ready, Tara?” Trouble asked, her face showing concern, as she squeezed Tara’s shoulder.

Tara took a deep breath. “As ready as I’m gonna get.” She affirmed, picking up the rope attached to Trouble’s waist. “Let’s get your girl.”

Trouble nodded, and stepped in the direction of the iridescent portal, raising her hand slowly towards it. “Here goes everything.” She intoned quietly, as she began to slowly immerse her hand in the gateway. “Oooooo, kinda tingly.” She said, with a shudder.

Tara had a death grip on the slack portion of the rope, not sure what to expect as Trouble’s arm slowly disappeared into the portal. She imagined a similar threshold, in some unknown dimension, where Trouble’s fingers were just as slowly emerging, wiggling, seeking the hand of her soul mate. Please let it be Sarai on the other side. Please. Tara thought, not daring to think of all the other things that could be lurking at the other end.

Trouble’s legs were set wide apart, and she seemed to be pulling against something in the portal, or merely straining against being pulled in, Tara wasn’t sure which.

“Come on, my love.” Trouble murmured, her invisible hand groping blindly. “Where are you? I know you’re there, I can feel you…” She leaned forward further, her arm disappearing up to her shoulder in the glittering doorway. Tara took several steps back, and set her feet wide apart, bracing herself to pull Trouble back, if needed.

“Almost…” Trouble growled, straining. “There… you… are!” Trouble exclaimed, as she was nearly yanked off her feet by a force on the other side. “I’ve got her!” She shouted triumphantly, the muscles in her shoulder straining with effort.

“Are you sure it’s Sarai?” Tara asked, preparing to apply her own strength to the rope to assist Trouble.

“I’d know the feel of her skin anywhere.” Trouble assured Tara, reaching behind her with her left hand to grab the rope. “Help me pull.”

Trouble began leaning backwards, as she pulled with all her might on the unseen hand she was holding, and Tara did the same with the rope. Both women grunted with effort, as they began to slowly inch backwards, further into the living room proper.

Trouble’s arm gradually reappeared, down to her elbow, as they struggled against the natural pull of the portal, until Trouble’s foot slipped, and she was jerked forward again, losing ground. Only Tara’s grip on the rope kept Trouble from being pulled in, which Tara was grateful for. If Trouble was pulled in completely, she wasn’t sure she would be able to pull her back out.

With a roar of frustration, Trouble dug her heels in, and pulled with everything she had, while Tara took the slack end of the rope, and quickly looped it around her waist, to use her weight as an anchor.

“You could try and push a little, honey, if it’s not too much bother!” Trouble called into the entrance, as Tara began taking agonizingly slow steps backwards, leaning back as far as she could against the rope, grateful for all the long nights patrolling, and the strength it had given her legs.

Once again Trouble’s arm was reappearing, and the two women kept up the grueling effort. “I don’t remember her being this heavy.” Trouble remarked, turning away from the portal to gain leverage, as she began taking slow determined steps away from it.

As Trouble’s forearm, and wrist reappeared, an amused female voice, thick with a European accent, wafted through the gateway. “Are you calling your wife fat?” It asked, teasingly.

“Not… in… the… least.” Trouble managed to grunt out, as her own hand re-emerged, clutching a far larger woman’s hand tightly. “I’m gonna use both hands, now. You got the rope Tara?” She looked at Tara, her face red with exertion, sweat pouring down, but rabidly determined.

Tara nodded, teeth gritted, body straining, as she took another resolute step backwards. “I’ve… got… you.” She puffed, as Trouble released the taut rope, and took Sarai’s hand with both of hers.

“On the count of three, we’re gonna give it a good hard yank. Ok, Tara?” Trouble gasped.

Tara nodded, unable to find the spare energy for words. “You got that, Sarai?” Trouble called through the shimmering doorway.

“Yes, my love.” The sultry voice called back. “I am ready. On three.”

“One.” Trouble announced, leaning back so hard she was almost in a sitting position.

“Two.” She intoned, as Tara’s body tensed in anticipation of the final heave.

“THREE!” Trouble, and Tara wrenched the rope back with all their might, throwing everything they had into dragging Sarai the rest of the way through. There was a distinctly unsettling tearing sound, and Tara found herself falling backwards onto the floor at the sudden loss of tension.

Exhausted, Tara lay still a moment, her legs pinned beneath Trouble, who had also fallen when the tautness had gave way. Laying atop Trouble was a large, dark form, almost completely concealing the tiny woman, under what appeared to be layers of thick furs, and leathers.

Part of Tara wanted to back away, unsure of whether or not they had achieved a great triumph, or a horrific mistake. But the combined weight of Trouble, and the formless individual sprawled across Trouble’s lower body, kept Tara from moving her legs.

Tara felt Trouble’s weight slowly being pulled partway off of her, as the dark form enveloped Trouble, and drew her into it’s shadowy folds.

“Trouble!” Tara gasped, attempting to scramble to her feet, despite the fact her legs were wobbling like Jell-o, and she had no strength left in her to fight.

Tara collapsed back to the floor, relieved, when she heard Trouble giggle like a child, and sigh happily.

“You always did know how to make an entrance, lover.” Trouble chuckled from beneath the large, fur wrapped form, which showed no signs of releasing her.

“Not wanting to ruin the moment here,” Tara began, lifting her head. “But it would be nice to get my legs back, and we have a portal to close.”

“Indeed.” Sarai purred, rolling herself, and her bulky garments over, taking Trouble with her, and releasing Tara’s legs. She reached out her long arm, and pushed the bowl from the southern most point, causing the release of the circle with a popping sound, and a whoosh of air. The brilliant beam of light dimmed, and faded, leaving the three exhausted women bathed in candle light

“Done and done, good friend.” Sarai said, sitting up, and revealing herself to Tara. Even seated on the floor, it was obvious Sarai was tall. Tara’s eyes widened in surprise at the raven haired, Romanian beauty cradling Trouble against her chest.

Trouble was, understandably, contentedly snuggled against Sarai’s lean powerful frame, her head resting against Sarai’s breast, listening to her lovers heart beat. “We did it. You’re here.” She whispered, placing a soft kiss on the skin over Sarai’s heart.

Sarai shrugged her way out of her furs, and leather cloak, revealing a medieval peasants blouse, and leather pants, calf high leather boots, and a thick belt upon which a sword, dagger, and various pouches hung. Her body seemed impossibly long, wrapped around Trouble’s tiny frame,. “Yes, dear heart. All these years of planning have finally bore fruit. I have you in my arms once again.”

Tara was overwhelmed with joy, her heart swelling with elation at the blissful reunion she was witnessing. Trouble was completely hidden by Sarai’s larger frame, Sarai’s long black hair cascading down over the pair, obscuring their faces, as they slowly rocked together.

As Tara gradually drew herself to her feet, using the couch for assistance, she became aware of Heart’s “All I Wanna Do” pouring out of the speakers, and realized there had been no background sound while the portal was open. She turned to look at Trouble, her eyebrow arched in a confused manner, only to be reminded that Trouble was…. tied up for the moment.

Asoft chuckle issued forth from the cuddled pair. “The portal absorbs energy, Mouse. Sound is energy. Only my abilities allowed us to hear one another, all other sounds were swallowed up.” Trouble explained.

Tara thought it over for a few moments, feeling a pang of nostalgia for Willow’s rambling explanations of scientific things. No doubt Willow would have been able to understand exactly how the portal worked. A brief smile played across Tara’s lips as she thought of the bubbly redhead, her gaze becoming distant, she started to sway on her feet.

Sarai, and Trouble disentangled instantly, jumping to either side of Tara to gently guide her to the couch, where she promptly melted back into the cushions. Sarai knelt in front of Tara, examining her eyes, and taking her pulse, while Trouble hurried to the kitchen.

“How are you moving so quickly?” Tara asked, looking confused she tried to lean forward, only to slump back, leaving her wrist in Sarai’s hands.

“She’s incredibly strong.” Sarai noted, turning to Trouble as she re-entered the room. Opting for efficiency, Trouble had grabbed the entire gallon jug of orange juice and three glasses.

“Without a doubt. I would not have had her here otherwise. She should shake this off pretty quickly.” Trouble quickly filled the three glasses, passing one to Sarai, who urged Tara to take a drink. Tara’s hands wrapped weakly around the glass, and Sarai helped her guide it to her lips, her dark brown eyes studying Tara intently as she took a sip.

“Tara? Tara? Can you hear me?” Sarai was trying to get Tara’s attention as gently as possible, least she send the poor woman into shock. Tara raised the glass to her lips a second time, taking several deep gulps this go round, then nodded as she lowered the glass to her lap.

“I’m ok. Sarai, thank you.” Tara replied, fighting the spinning in her head. She heard two loud thuds as Sarai and Trouble dropped into sitting positions on the floor in front of her and proceeded to sip their orange juices.

Sarai slowly looked the room over, taking in the second hand furniture, handmade book shelves overflowing with books, the piles of various media, and magic ingredients, a warm smile easing across her full lips. “Always a mess, eh?”

Trouble’s shy smile, and deep blush made Sarai chuckle from deep in her chest, a strong, powerful laugh, that was catching. Soon Tara was trembling with barely contained laughter, shakily setting her juice on the table next to the chair as she doubled over. Trouble rolled onto her side on the floor, Sarai laying her body on top of her, both consumed with laughter.

The three women laughed until their bodies cried out in protest, releasing the residual energy from the spell in a natural, and productive way, not quite certain what was so funny, but chuckling anyway.

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if it's not real, you can't hold it your hands; you can't feel it with your heart, then i won't believe it. but if it's true you can see it with your eyes, even in the dark; and that's where i want to be. 'brick by boring brick' -paramore


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 Post subject: Re: Trust Me (update3/26/12)
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:25 pm 
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