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 Post subject: Sentinels (UPDATE: 6/29/2013)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:38 am 
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5. Willowhand
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:09 pm
Posts: 298
Topics: 5
Location: California
Title: Sentinels (Chapter 1)
Author: Starr, aka faolan228
Email: faolan228@yahoo.com
Rating: PG-13 to R, mostly for language
Disclaimer: Starr does not own BtVS or any related works.
Feedback: Me gusta.
Summary: Season 1 happened as it did on the show, but everything after has been molded and reshaped to my lunacy. Moral ambiguity abounds. Lying is sometimes okay for the right reasons, and genocidal rage a perfectly normal thing for people to feel. AU W/T that may or may not be a comedy.
Notes: I’ll tell you right now, there will be some of that annoying teen-awkwardness of the ‘oh god just make-out already!’ sort before we get to the W/T snuggles. But as this is The Kitten, you all know how this is gonna end.

Chapter One (A Slayer contemplates her life choices, and an interlude with witchy, Watcher young’uns)

It was on nights like these, Faith decided, that a Slayer felt truly alive.

Sure, the nights where one was up against a whole nest of 30 vamps were exhilarating, and a wild chase through the sewers got the blood pumping, but this.

This was a hunt.

It was primal, this act of tracking down the enemy, the prey, in the darkness. No worrying about random bystanders, no distractions, no rushing flurry to win. The knowledge that both huntress-Slayer-and prey had an equal chance of taking one another out, this simple act of stealth and tracking, one that began with thousands of years ago with a single girl from the desert and would continue hundreds of years from now with a simple young thief.

A Slayer, prowling in the darkness.

Or, at least, Faith prowled. Buffy kinda just power walked through the place like she owned it.

Eh, whatever. Different stroked for different folks or some shit like that. Besides, Faith supposed the older Slayer had earned that right, taking out the Master and all.

Heh. The Master. Faith’s old Watcher had always creamed her little British britches over that Doctor Who show.

…well damn. Now she had gone and made herself sad again.

Kendra, the Slayer who was called after Buffy’s not-quite death, had been killed in New Mexico on her way to Sunnydale. As a result of that unprecedented chupacabra attack, Faith had been called. She and her Watcher immediately hauled ass to get to the Hellmouth.

And then her Watcher got eaten in Texas.

Jesus fuck, she hadn’t even known Bigfoots were real.

And why the fuck were they even on that state’s endangered species list?!

And the Council claims there’s no Hellmouth in the southern states.

That was over several months ago. There had been some posturing at first. The world wasn’t meant for two Slayers and a pissing contest was inevitable. But soon a mutual respect was formed and the two had even learned to share a Watcher. Sure, Faith still had some issues to work through, but Red hooked her up and now she had weekly therapy sessions with one of the Rosenbergs’ colleagues who thankfully, was all in on what really went on in SunnyD.

And all that led to now. The two Slayers power walking and prowling in the dark, looking for some sneaky-ass demon with lightning powers. The thing had been sapping energy from the local power plant, causing blackouts, and frying small children and puppies.

And Faith liked puppies, dammit. And she was pretty sure Buffy did too.

Tough chicks like Faith were allowed to get all soft over puppies. It wasn’t like kittens. Getting caught cooing over those was grounds for mockery. But puppies grew into dogs, which were like wolves that obeyed you and that was five-by-fi-

“FAITH LOOK OUT!”

When the lightning demon grabbed the dark haired Slayer by the throat and pumped her full of electricity, her first thought was, surprisingly, ‘Don’t tase me, bro!’

Stupid Willow and her stupid viral videos.

And then her heart stopped beating.

A Brief Interlude
13 years ago


“Tamara, come here!”

The sandy haired little girl in question rushed to her mother, clasping her hand tightly. Still, wide blue eyes took in everything around her with the same curiosity found in all five year olds.

Well, okay. Four and a half.

But Tamara was a big girl now, either way. She knew because Mama said so. She’d said it a lot, since several days earlier, when Elizabeth had come to her daughter in the middle of the night and took them both away from Daddy’s house.

Daddy was mean. It was always his house, never their home.

But now Tamara could forget about Daddy’s house. Now they had a castle.

Every little girl’s dream. All the way across the ocean. Tamara knew, of course, because she saw it out of the window in the big plane. SWOOSH!

Tamara loved to look. To listen. To watch. Even now, as she watched her Mama talk to the man who picked them up from the airport and took them to this castle. From what she gathered, he was a friend of her Mama’s from when she was Tamara’s age.

What Tamara did not know was that not only Jack Tiler a childhood friend of Elizabeth’s, he was also a member of one of the only organizations in the world willing to take in a homeless, jobless witch with a young daughter.

The Watcher’s Council.

Not that Jack had double motives, oh no. He’d have taken Liz and her daughter in no questions asked, regardless. But, at least this way, Liz could get paid doing what she loved and her kid could get some training, too. Putting on his best smile, he offered his hand to the little girl as Liz watched on approvingly.

“Hello there, I’m Jack!” The little girl took his hand and smiled up at him, a little lopsided thing that made Jack think, ‘Most definitely Liz’s child.’

“You gotta funny accent!” the child exclaimed in delight.

“And you look just like your mum! Shall I call you mini-Liz, then?”

The little girl seemed to smile even brighter now, the grin now accompanied by an arched brow.

“’m T’ara!”


Last edited by faolan228 on Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:46 pm, edited 18 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:38 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:09 pm
Posts: 298
Topics: 5
Location: California
Title: Sentinels (Chapter 2)
Author: Starr, aka faolan228
Email: faolan228@yahoo.com
Rating: PG-13 to R, mostly for language
Disclaimer: Starr does not own BtVS or any related works.
Feedback: Me gusta.
Summary: Season 1 happened as it did on the show, but everything after has been molded and reshaped to my lunacy. Moral ambiguity abounds. Lying is sometimes okay for the right reasons, and genocidal rage a perfectly normal thing for people to feel. AU W/T that may or may not be a comedy.
Notes: I’ll tell you right now, there will be some of that annoying teen-awkwardness of the ‘oh god just make-out already!’ sort before we get to the W/T snuggles. But as this is The Kitten, you all know how this is gonna end.

Chapter Two (More life choices, and Willow makes the reader crave raspberry flavoured confectionery)
8 years ago


Ten year old Tara Tiler sat in front of the two grave stones, knees curled up under her chin and feeling for the first time completely alone. This was a new feeling, and the girl honestly had no idea what to do now. As a little girl, even with her father being the way he was and Donny being a butthead, Tara had always still had Mama. Someone to hold her and tell her she was precious and to teach her magic.

And then they had moved to England and Tara’s family had only grown. Jack had, eventually, become Tara’s new Daddy. The Watcher had encouraged Tara’s magic, and had helped nurture an already observant young mind. She remembered curling up next to her step-father in the Council’s giant library, the two of the regaling each other with stories, Tara’s stories being whatever she had read earlier that day and Jack’s being extremely censored versions of various Watcher’s reports.

Well, only censored when Mama was in earshot. The woman was a hardcore pacifist, and had nearly gone catatonic when Jack suggested that her six year old take up fencing.

Well, no one was going to Tara’s tournaments now.

Her parents had been sent by the Council to investigate some goings on at a church Mawnan, Cornwall. A generational witch and a seasoned field-Watcher, it was meant to be routine: Go in, get a feel of the ley lines, interview a few locals, report back. If it had a natural explanation, leave it be. If something demonic really was going on, then the Council would intervene.

And we all know how well that went,’ the ten year old thought bitterly. Tara didn’t need to know all the details. The funeral had been a closed casket affair, after all. ‘And we’re still not sure of that’s all of them buried down there.

Stop. Stop it.

…but how’d they know whose limbs were whose?

Stop it, Tamara. Stop it right now. She dug her nails into the palm of her hands and let her hair fall over her eyes. It was a defense mechanism she never fully outgrew. She stayed that way for a few more hours, even as it began to rain. She did move once, to wave a glowing blue hand over her head to make an invisible shield from the rain.

A shield that lasted only a few minutes, as her silent rage caused her concentration to waver and the shield to dissipate. A thoroughly soaked Tara was not a particularly happy one, though she was determined.

She could hear the car pulling up, the door slamming and the man opening his umbrella. Still, she did not move. For a moment, Tara thought the rain had stopped, until she realized that the man had merely placed his umbrella over her head.

“Let’s go. You’ll catch your death out here.”

“Train me,” I wanna make Mama and Daddy proud. “Train me to be a Watcher.”

“Fine then,” Quentin Traverse said with a huff, hauling the girl to her feet. “But I’ll tell you right now, you’ll be of no use to Council with pneumonia.”

Present day

Two weeks. It had taken Faith two weeks to completely heal up, but in Buffy’s eyes that was two weeks too many. She should have been watching her sister Slayer’s back, and then Faith wouldn’t need to be healing at all. Faith and the others tried to convince her otherwise, but Buffy had a habit of internalizing pain when she shouldn’t.

Actually, now that she thought about it, they all did. Well, the family that harbors self-destructive behaviors together fights evil together.

My family.’ And what a family it was. There were the most obvious, her mother and her sister Dawn. Then there was Xander and Willow. In truth, the two were her siblings just as much as Dawn was. And Giles, father figure to the whole group. And Faith.

Faith was the hardest to categorize. They were friends, yes. Comrades, allies. Equals.

Buffy took a moment to reorganize her mental checklist and put Faith in her own category.

“It’s getting dark out. I should probably head out for patrol.”

Giles nodded his approval, but Faith’s eyes widened excitedly and she shifted to a sitting position from where she lay sprawled on the Watcher’s couch.

“Wait up, B! Lemme grab my boots and we’ll go.” She moved to get up, but Buffy’s firm hand pushed her back down.

“How about I go alone for now?” Faith opened her mouth to protest, but she carried on. “You can patrol later, but right now you should rest a little more.”

Faith seemed placated by this. For the past several months, the two Slayers had been patrolling in shifts on weeknights, alternating on who would take first or second on a daily basis. They still patrolled together, or as a group with the Scoobies, during weekends or if there was something particularly terrifying about.

“Fine. But take Red with you. I think she could use the exercise.” Willow let out a cry of indignation, and Faith held up her hands defensively. “Hey, no disrespect! I just mean that this thing fucked me up bad. I’d feel better if B had someone watching her back and you’ve been looking for a chance to flex your mojo muscles, haven’t you?”

Willow glanced over shoulder at the blonde Slayer, who was currently going over her pre-Slaying checklist. “You really care about her, don’t you?”

“…this isn’t going to turn into one of those ‘we are all friends here’ moments, is this?”

Willow rolled her eyes. “Well, not now it isn’t.”

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

“-so it’s basically a seven foot tall lizard?”

“You’ve seen it before, Wills. Big lizard. Electric blue scales.” Buffy ceased her power walk for a moment to let Willow catch up to her.

“Well now, I wouldn’t say electric blue,” the redhead said. “Electric blue is more of a cyan. That lizard was a pale blue, not quite powder, not quite Robin’s egg. It looked like those raspberry flavored Airheads Dawnie loves. Yeah, that’s it! Fruit snack blue. Wait, are Airheads fruit snacks or candy? Is there even a proper distinction between the two? You should really check that out before letting your sister eat so ma-”

She was interrupted by some loud, extremely panicked shouting, and Buffy’s hand shot out to grab her shoulder.

“That came from the park. Something’s happening.”

There was a crash, and another voice shouting.

“Make that two things.”

A metallic sounding screech echoed through the streets, and Buffy’s mouth spread in an utterly predatory grin.

“Make that two things and a lizard.” And with that, she speed walked to the park, dragging a Willow-y witch behind her. She was going to teach Electabuzz a thing or two about frying her friends. She paused.

Ew. Pokémon reference.

Sadly, Buffy’s vengeful and Pocket Monster filled reverie was interrupted at the sight of Fruit Snack Lizard.

A very charred and fried looking Fruit Snack Lizard.

With what looked to be a sword jammed into its ribs.

Willow shook her by the elbow. “Buffy, look.”

Off to the side, two people stood staring at the lizard, the shorter one even going so far as to prod the dead demon with their foot before stooping down and pulling the sword out. As they approached closer, Willow noted that the taller one was a girl about their age, but the shorter girl couldn’t have been any older than Dawn.

Buffy noticed all these things too. That didn’t stop her from pointing her finger and letting out an indignant, “Kill stealers!”

The tall girl had the decency to look embarrassed, offering the Slayer and witch a sheepish and rather lopsided grin. The other, who Willow surmised to be about 11, did the exact opposite. Puffing up her non-existent chest like some sort of rooster and grinning wide enough to take up most of her face (a truly impressive feat, as most of her face was already taken up by big, brown eyes) and proclaimed,

“You can now head back to your homes safely, ladies. Art the Vampire Slayer has saved the day!”

“…what.”

The tall girl immediately snapped into action, letting out a frustrated, deflating sound, grabbing the child by the back of the shirt, and ran.

Buffy was still staring at the spot where they had stood, several minutes later.

“What? What?!”

Even with knowledge that her best friend was most likely to repeat that word over and over again for the next 20 minutes in various tones and voices, Willow bit her lip and smiled to herself.

The taller girl had eyes the color of raspberry Airheads.

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"If I can't be a good example, might as well be a horrible warning."

"Friendship is obviously magic. Love is a sorta super strong friendship. We gay people love so hard we broke 'Social Norm'. Ergo, we gay people are ultra-strong wizards."


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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:28 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Dibs...Okay, the fruit snack lizard totally kicks Faiths ass and Watcher Tara (which I think is very cool by the way) and 11 year old Art the pint sized Slayer roll up and open up a can of whoop ass and save the day? :hmm ...... Awesome! Can't wait to read more.

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:31 am 
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32. Kisses and Gay Love
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Hmmm. First off... any fic with a reference to a
Quote:
unprecedented chupacabra attack
gets my attention and my laughs.

So Tara's a 23 year old watcher of an 11 year old vampire slayer called Art and Willow is a high school student? Is that right? Hmmm. feels a little uncomfortable but maybe I'm off on ages etc. I'm looking forward to more.

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:49 am 
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5. Willowhand
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JustSkipIt wrote:
Hmmm. First off... any fic with a reference to a
Quote:
unprecedented chupacabra attack
gets my attention and my laughs.

So Tara's a 23 year old watcher of an 11 year old vampire slayer called Art and Willow is a high school student? Is that right? Hmmm. feels a little uncomfortable but maybe I'm off on ages etc. I'm looking forward to more.


I'm the type of kid who likes getting lost out in the woods hunting for ghosts, and spent my Sophomore and Junior years hanging out in far too many graveyards than what would be considered normal. Love all this crypto-zoological stuff: Chupacabra, Bigfoot, Mothman, Owlman, etc. and I've always been disappointed that they've never really been addressed in the Buffy-verse.

13 years ago, she was almost 5, and 8 years ago she was ten. Tara's about 18 here, with due explanation as to why she's such a young Watcher coming up eventually.

_________________
"If I can't be a good example, might as well be a horrible warning."

"Friendship is obviously magic. Love is a sorta super strong friendship. We gay people love so hard we broke 'Social Norm'. Ergo, we gay people are ultra-strong wizards."


Last edited by faolan228 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:38 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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I’m leaving to go climb Half-dome at Yosemite National Park, and will be gone till Sunday. So you guys get Chapters 3 and 4 combined into one. Other than that, Updates should happen at during the weekends and mid-week.

Title: Sentinels (Chapters 3 and 4)
Author: Starr, aka faolan228
Email: faolan228@yahoo.com
Rating: PG-13 to R, mostly for language
Disclaimer: Starr does not own BtVS or any related works. Except for Art. But...no one wants Art.
Feedback: Me gusta.
Summary: Season 1 happened as it did on the show, but everything after has been molded and reshaped to my lunacy. Moral ambiguity abounds. Lying is sometimes okay for the right reasons, and genocidal rage a perfectly normal thing for people to feel. AU W/T that may or may not be a comedy.


Chapter Three (Faith is insane, But Willow is a loony.)

“Willow! Will you slow down!” The redhead had seemingly begun to channel Buffy, as Xander had to jog to keep up with her power walk. It was lunch the next day, and Willow was in full blown panic mode. Not only had she not seen Buffy all morning, she had also left her cellphone at home.

It’s okay,’ she told herself that morning. ‘Just pretend you’re living in a different decade.’

It was now Willow’s firm opinion that previous decades sucked.

It was hard though, lack of cellphone and lack of Buffy during class meant that Willow had no idea what in the world was going on. That in of itself was a new feeling. Even now, she was trying to piece together what fragments of information she had.

‘Dead demon…gorgeous eyes…wait, no. Little kid claiming to be a Slayer…Very little kid, smaller than Buffy, even. Was Airhead her older sister, or something? Oh nice, Willow. Airhead? Really? Oh god, please don’t let Airhead be her mom, that’d be so weird…’

“You look,” Xander paused. “So intense right now.” He had been watching his best friend think, observing how the thoughts flitted through her head and how her face changed. This went beyond simple Resolve Face. This was, Willow-has-no-idea-what-is-going-on-and-it’s-upsetting-her-to-the-point-of-mental-distress-and-she-will-headbutt-someone-if-she-doesn’t-figure-it-out-soon Face.

Xander took half a step back, just to be sure.

“Hey, I’ve seen that face before!”

Xander whirled around. “Faith?”

The dark haired Slayer was standing by her open locker, sling backpack in one hand, brown paper bag in the other. Though it had been months since Giles convinced the girl to start up school again, it was still surreal to see her on campus. Even weirder when they found out she was only a Sophomore.

“Yeah, she totally looks like those lions I saw on Animal Planet.” Xander chose not to ask. He knew the girl had been bedridden for several days, and that Giles’ TV only got basic. “The ones who kill all the cubs so their moms can go into heat and they can mate with them? Same face, I swear.”

“Faith, I hate to break it to you, but you’re insane.”

Muahahaha I am Willow and Pride Rock is mine!’ “Oh, um hi Faith,” Willow jolted, having finally noticed the other girl. Wait. ‘Faith injured...Fruit Snack Lizard…two weeks…new Slayer.’

“!”

Xander and Faith stared at her blankly.

“!!!!”

“…how are you doing that?”

Frustrated, Willow stomped her feet and made a sound that could only be described as a keyboard smash. Grabbing the other two, she pulled them down across campus till they reached the library. Pushing the doors down, Willow could not hide her excitement. She had figured it out.

“Giles the Fruit Snack Lizard killed Faith but its electricity got her heart pumping again but she was dead for a little while and so that’s why there’s a new Slayer but she’s tiny so I’m kinda worried!”

She stopped, gasping for breath, chest heaving and leaning heavily on the doorframe. Willow was babble-master and could go on for far longer, but the sheer volume she forced into the run-on sentence expelled her lungs faster.

Giles cleared his throat. “We are…quite aware of this, Willow. But thank you.”

The redhead blushed. There, sitting around the table and chatting amiably were Buffy, Giles, and…Airhead.

The even had tea.

Faith brushed past her and plopped down next to Buffy. “’m back. Brought my lunch. And Xander. And the lunatic.”

“You knew?!”

Faith shrugged. “We’ve been discussing it all morning.”

“Didn’t you get my message, Wills?” Buffy was waving her own phone around. “’Come meet us in the library at lunch, we have news’?”

“Oh.”

“Well come on and sit down then, you two,” Giles pulled up two more chairs for Xander and herself. “There are introductions that need to be made.”

Xander plopped down in his seat and Willow turned to Giles. “So you all already know about that eleven year old Slayer?”

“T-twelve.” ‘Jesus Christ, Tara. Did you just stutter?!’

Willow’s head whipped around like a dog’s. “Huh?” ‘Ohmigod cute stutter!!!’

“Artie. She’s twelve.”

“Oh.”

“Y-yeah.” The awkward-ness level in the library seemed to elevate a few notches as Willow and Tara stared at each other. The redhead’s eyes stared right at her, wide and unblinking, in a manner that bystanders thought to be creepy, but left Tara thinking, ‘Green! Green! Love green!’

Faith and Buffy locked eyes and tried to contain guffaws. The fact that Willow was gayer than Liberace at the Playboy Mansion was a bit of an open secret. It was obvious, though everyone had seemed to unanimously decide to keep quiet about it unless Willow spoke up first.

Giles cleared his throat.

This seemed to snap Tara out of her trance. “Oh, um sorry. That was rude of me. I’m Tamara Tiler, but,” she took in a deep breath, and Willow’s eyes bulged even further as they momentarily strayed to the other girl’s chest. “You can call me Tara. I’m Artie’s Watcher.”

Chapter 4 (Willow-crush and Dweebie-dorks)

“You can call me Tara. I’m Artie’s Watcher.”

Xander held up his hand. “Woah, okay. You lost me there.”

“You are pretty young,” Willow nodded. ‘Scratch that. You are pretty. Period.

“-and you dress like a normal person! Lookit! No tweed.”

“Ahem.”

Buffy blushed. “Sorry Giles.”

“Fair enough,” the elder Watcher sniffed. “Though I think Miss Tiler could better answer your questions if you gave her a chance to speak?”

It was once of those cool moments, Buffy decided, where everyone turned their heads in unison, the way they did on TV, and only ever happened rarely in real life. For all intents and purposes though, Tara did not seem to find this as awesome as they did, and looked like a deer caught in headlights.

“It’s okay,” Willow whispered soothingly, sliding her hand across the table to take hold of Tara’s. “It’s your story; you can take as long as you want. And I’m pretty sure no one else wants to head back to class, anyway.”

Whoa,’ Buffy glanced around the table to see if anyone had the same reaction as her. Willow had been repressing herself for what seemed like an eternity, and then Watcher-girl comes along and Willow was suddenly all with the touching and the class skipping. ‘Go Willow!’

Tara smiled warmly at the redhead, jerking her head to the side in a movement that served to flick her bangs out of her eyes. “My mum was a witch and my step-father was a Watcher. I kinda grew into it, I suppose.”

Willow rubbed her thumb along Tara’s knuckles encouragingly and was rewarded a smile for her efforts.

“I guess I’d been trained to be a Watcher since I was little, but my real training didn’t begin until I was about ten. I completed my training last year, when Artie was assigned as my Potential. I still have to check in with my superiors from time to time though.”

“Assigned as your whatsit?” Buffy blurted, confused.

Tara looked at her incredulously, and spoke slowly, as if to a child. “Artie was assigned as my Potential Slayer. Whom I train.”

The three main Scoobies looked rather confused, though Faith stared at her blonde counterpart as if she had dribbled on her shirt. And then licked it up again.

“A Potential?” Faith prodded. “A girl who might end up a Slayer, assigned a Watcher to train them? Seriously B, have you been living under a rock?”

“Well I-”

“Buffy is a bit of a special case,” Giles interrupted. “She did not meet her first Watcher until around the time she was called.”

“I didn’t know this!” The aforementioned Slayer exclaimed. “I thought that was the normal Slayer shtick!” She turned her big, distressed eyes to her Watcher. “Giles, does this mean I’m like, developmentally delayed?”

“Ah, Tara? Please do carry on.”

“Smooth,” Faith snorted.

“That’s,” she swallowed. “That’s pretty much it.”

“Pretty much it?” Willow leaned closer, determined to hear more. “You’re a Watcher! But young! Giles went through Watcher training too and he’s ancient!”

Giles seemed to puff up indignantly. “I’ll have you know that I am only-”

“Well, Mister Giles, you trained with the research department, didn’t you?”

“Well yes,” he straightened the lapels on his jacket. “And Historical European Martial Arts,” he sniffed.

Tara nodded with approval. “Well of course. You do have Slayer to train. I-I was part of the Sentinel program.”

Xander interrupted the two. “Wait, there are different kinds of you guys?”

“What, you assumed we all wore tweed and spent all our time reading?” She caught Willow’s eye, mirth shining in her own.

‘I’m pretty sure she could pull off the librarian look no problem,’ Willow mused to herself. ‘Aaand there you go again, Rosen-perve!’

“There’s the administrative folks, that’s who Mister Giles and I answer to,” Tara began ticking off with her fingers. “Then there’s the research fellows who usually get assigned Potentials and Slayers,” she said with a nod to Giles.

“Don’t forget the archaeology department,” the elder Watcher said.

“Oh, right. A whole network of grunts and secretaries…We’ve got some witches, too. Not many though, since we got the Devon coven on retainer…”

Willow tried to edge closer. Being on the other side of the table, this merely dug the edge it into her stomach. “And Sentinels? What are those?”

“Sentinels. I’m one. Basically, a field-Watcher. You only get one-well three now-Slayers at a time, but demons are a world-wide phenomenon. Sentinels are Watchers who’re trained in combat, usually as teams, to take out demonic threats, conduct preliminary investigations, take out any Slayers that go rouge-”

“What?!”

“Yeah, it’s a cheesy title. But hey, sentinel? One who watches and guards? It fits, right?” Willow smiled. Finally, someone else with a quirky sense of humor.

“No, that last thing you said.”

“What? The part about taki-” Tara froze. “Oh.”

Yeah, oh.”

“W-well, no one’s had t-to d-do that for years n-now.” Both Slayers seemed torn between leaning forward to scrutinize her, and wanting to back-the-fuck-up. Faith chose the middle ground, leaning back in her chair casually.

“A Watcher who can fight? That’s a new one.”

Tara quirked her brow. “What are you talking about? All Watchers know how to fight. How do you think we train our Slayers? It’s a requirement.”

Buffy turned to look at her own Watcher, polishing off his glasses. He had been the one to train her to fight, and realized that despite being no match for her or Faith, Giles could most certainly hold his own in a fight, more so than most. Had he been a younger man, Buffy had no doubt that her Watcher could outlast most vampires in a fight.

“Wait,” Xander said. “I thought it was the research-y guys who got Slayers, not Sentinels.”

“W-well,” Tara blushed and ducked her head. “The Potentials who are too young to be Called anytime soon, o-or the least likely to be Called are assigned to a S-sentinel to work as an assistant of s-sorts. If they survive long enough,” something in the way she said that made Willow think they didn’t often. “They can choose to be inducted into the Sentinel program. On the off chance they do get Called, the Council hoped that their experience with the Sentinels would make a pretty kick-ass Slayer, if you pardon my language.”

“What do you mean, ‘On the off chance’?” Buffy’s eyes narrowed. She was supposedly working for the Council, yet there was so much she didn’t know.

“It’s never happened before,” Giles interrupted. “Slayers don’t live long, even with their powers. Unfortunately, Potentials assigned to the Sentinels are even worse off, being extremely young and having no powers to help them deal with demonic threats. It’s akin to scraping the bottom of the metaphorical barrel.”

The words were barely out of his mouth when Tara leapt to her feet. “Artie’s a survivor, dammit,” she snarled, all trace of her faint stutter gone. “And I’m gonna make sure that child lives to have a fantastic life, no matter how difficult it gets for me.”

Meanwhile at Sunnydale Junior High

Dawn grimaced at the other girl she was supposed to be helping to the nurse’s office, dodging the 7th and 8th graders as she led her fellow 6th grade brunette through the halls.

“You’re Aar-”

“Everyone calls me Art.”

“Oh. Okay.”

“But yeah. I is me!” Dawn felt that the other girl’s huge grin was entirely inappropriate for the situation.

“That’s cool. Me is Dawn.” Well, okay. So maybe talking weird was funny. She grasped Art by the elbow and pulled her aside as Derren Giannino barreled towards the cafeteria. “Can I ask how you-”

“I wanted to test it out,” Art said, flexing her fingers. “See how much better my pain tol-” she stopped herself, and tried to say something else. “Cuz you see, it’s only been two weeks since-” she stopped again, still not sure what to say. Her lips pursed for a moment and Dawn stopped walking too, waiting in anticipation.

“Forget it,” she said, curling her injured hand towards herself and continuing on to the nurse’s office. Finally reaching it, she raised her uninjured hand to push the door open.

“Wait!” Dawn’s hand shot out and grasped Art by the elbow again. Big brown eyes peered at her questioningly. “Just wanted to let you know, the medical staff is a bit loony.”

“Ha! In this town, I bet they are.” She waved goodbye with her undamaged hand, pushing the door open with her shoulder. Dawn stood there, turning to leave only when the bell rang.

What does she mean by ‘I bet they are’? Does she know about the weird stuff that goes on at night?

“HOW DID YOU END UP STAPLING YOUR HAND TO YOUR SLEEVE?” The nurse’s shouting could be heard even from
behind the door.

“Dork,” Dawn muttered, scurrying to class.

Meanwhile, back at the library

Giles muttered an apology, cleaning his glasses again. Willow glared at him, still holding Tara’s hand after all this time.
“No, I-I should be the one who’s sorry.”

There goes that stutter again,’ Willow mused. ‘She seems to do it when she’s uncomfortable, like Giles and his glasses.’

“Wait,” Buffy was glancing from Tara to Giles with a look of distress on her face. “Does this mean the new Slayer’s been killing demons for a year before she even got her powers?” Faith caught on, and her shoulders began shaking with mirth. “Giiiiiles! I am delayed! We need to train more!”

Ignoring Buffy’s whining and Faith’s jeers, Willow swallowed and squeezed Tara’s hand. “Hey.”

The young Watcher’s mouth twitched. “Hey.”

“You know, a couple months back, I made a slaying schedule for these two dweebs,” she jerked her chin over to the two Slayers, one heckling the other.

“R-really? That’s pretty cool.”

“Heh, insane more like. I use a system of different colored pens, so we know who’s doing what, when and where.”

Tara giggled, and the redhead decided she liked that sound. “I wouldn’t say insane. Maybe…quirky?”

“Quirky works,” she ran her thumb over the sandy haired girl’s knuckles absentmindedly. “So I was thinking…”

“Yes?”

“Maybe you wanted to meet up sometime? Work on a new schedule? For your Slayer?”

“I’d like that, Willow. I’d like that a lot.”

Having been entranced by the Watcher’s story, then with Buffy’s distress, and now by each other, the two young women failed to notice the blue and red sparks that appeared whenever their hands touched.

_________________
"If I can't be a good example, might as well be a horrible warning."

"Friendship is obviously magic. Love is a sorta super strong friendship. We gay people love so hard we broke 'Social Norm'. Ergo, we gay people are ultra-strong wizards."


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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 8/16/11)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:54 am 
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2. Floating Rose
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Nice story, I'm liking it more and more and it's really funny too! Can't wait for the next update.

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 8/16/11)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:06 am 
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So Willow and Tara have an instant connection with sparks. How awesome their friends seem about it. And Art is at school with Dawn and a little of a daredevil too? Very interesting.

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 8/16/11)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:21 am 
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Hey Starr!

I like the plot shifts that you've given to the high school scoobies; especially the addition of a 3rd very young slayer. You seem to have a knack for writing humor:) I can imagine the hi-jinx that will ensue with a 12 yr old slayer...fun! :p Willow and Tara are cute with their inner ramblings and absentminded touching.

Hope you had fun in Yosemite!

_________________
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: Sentinels (updated 8/16/11)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:25 pm 
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Agilulfa wrote:
Nice story, I'm liking it more and more and it's really funny too! Can't wait for the next update.

Thanks!

JustSkipIt wrote:
So Willow and Tara have an instant connection with sparks.

I'd say that right around now it's more along the lines of two young people acknowledging each-other's mutual hotness and they happen to have magic powers.

Finey_McFine wrote:
Willow and Tara are cute with their inner ramblings and absentminded touching.

You know, there was this whole 'Broccoli Test' where your pairing would pass or fail depending on whether or not they could communicate the need for broccoli. I have decided that even if Willow and Tara failed at it, they'd be cute while they failed, and that's better than winning. That's how cute they are.


Title: Sentinels (Chapter 5)
Author: Starr, aka faolan228
Email: faolan228@yahoo.com
Rating: PG-13 to R, mostly for language
Disclaimer: Starr does not own BtVS or any related works. Except for Artie. Only because no one else wanted her.
Feedback: Me gusta.
Summary: Season 1 happened as it did on the show, but everything after has been molded and reshaped to my lunacy. Moral ambiguity abounds. Lying is sometimes okay for the right reasons, and genocidal rage a perfectly normal thing for people to feel. AU W/T that may or may not be a comedy.
Notes: Just a short chapter this week, before I pass out. In this one, we get the plot moving, W/T flirting, and parkour speak.

Chapter 5 (Showdown at Restful Groves and A Coffee not-a-Date)

Buffy and Faith stared.

“Kid, what are you wearing?”

Art looked down at her brown cargo shorts and dark green T-shirt, then back at the two older Slayers. “It’s a late summer night in Southern California. What are you wearing?”

Buffy looked at her and Faith’s leather/denim ensembles a bit guiltily. It was kinda hot. “Um, let’s get started, shall we? Tara and Giles wanted us to see how well we worked with each other.”

There was no way this kid was a Slayer. No way.

When she had heard that the new Slayer was a kid, Faith had been a little excited. A little person who could potentially be as awesome as herself, right? Now though, as she watched Art amble her way through the graveyard, weaponless, there was absolutely no way.

Amble.

Mosey.

Meander.

Whatever. The point was, the kid walked like a puppy who had yet to grow into its paws, a far cry from Faith’s own Slayer prowl or Buffy’s confident stride.

The only sound was that of footwear rustling through the grass, until Buffy spoke up. “Sooo…Sunnydale Junior High? My sister Dawn goes there.”

Art seemed to perk at this. “Dawn’s your sister?”

“Yeah! You know her?”

“She helped me to the nurse’s office the other day. She’s cool.”

Faith scowled from the gravestone she was leaning on. “You two realize you’re shouting from opposite sides of the ‘yard, right?”

And then it happened.

Years later, when they recounted it, they would say it happened in slow motion. Well, they would also gesticulate wildly and make exaggerated facial expressions, but mostly that they could’ve sworn it was in slow-mo.

Art walked right into an extremely panicked, previously unnoticed demon.

Well, not so much ‘walked into’ as much as she had ‘tripped over a rock and pitched herself headfirst into its flailing arms’.

This demon was of the ‘short, squat, red, and spiky’ ilk, and blinked owlishly down at Art as she fell on her ass.

Artie stared back up at it.

The demon’s chest heaved, its earlier panic forgotten as it assessed this potential threat.

“What are you doing?!” Buffy shrieked from several yards away. “Slay it!”

The demon let out a roar, revealing rows and rows of pointy, needle teeth. Art stood up, fists clenched. She was ready. She was a Slayer, dammit! Time to slay. She cocked her fist, ready to throw a punch.

-and was promptly picked up and chucked into the nearest open grave.

Buffy’s jaw dropped, and Faith’s hands flew to her hair. “What. The. Fuck.”

They both rushed over, Faith to kick ass and Buffy to check on the kid, and were promptly shoved aside.

Buffy gasped as the creature tried to shoulder past them a second time. “Oof! For a short thing, he sure is pushy!”

“Puns? Now? Really, B?” Faith dodged a flailing arm, ramming her elbow into the demon’s own with some rather ineffective results. She leapt out of the way as the demon’s pin-wheeling arms propelled him further down the gravel path.

“Gotta get out gotta get out gotta get out-”

“I think he’s saying something,” Buffy wheezed as she was shoved roughly into a cross shaped gravestone, the marble
digging into her gut painfully.

“-not safe here…not safe here..gotta get out gotta get out-” the red, flailing demon ranted.

“Damn straight you aren’t safe here,” Faith snarled, planting her hands on the gravestone of one Daphne Jones and performing a palm spin, Slayer speed and balance kicking in to turn the flashy move into one extremely devastating blow to the head.

The demon grunted, but continued its mission down the gravel path and out into the street. “The First…the Deceiver,” he rambled. “Crows will pick our bones…the Wicked!”

“Gee, I bet you wooed all the ladies with those poems,” Buffy heckled.

“The walls are coming down…gotta leave the Hellmouth…”

“You mean your walls are coming down!” Buffy took a running start and launched herself over Velma Rogers’ grave with a Kong vault that would make David Belle proud.

Sadly, it only resulted in her colliding with her dark haired counterpart, who at the same time had been aiming an axe kick to the demon’s head. The two hit the ground with a grunt. Between her accident from two weeks previous, to the apparent failure of tonight, Faith felt her temper explode.

“You complete clown-shoes dumbass!” Buffy scowled, ready to spit back a retort when a small voice cut them off.

“Someone say my name?” There was Artie, bruised and dirty, but alive and clutching a sword that Buffy was sure she didn’t have on her earlier. She still didn’t look much like a Slayer, more like a small child playing hero in the dirt. Faith still couldn’t see it.

“Crows will pick our bones…the Wicked will destroy…the deceiver, the First-”

“Oh shut up!” The girl stabbed, twisting her blade as it slid in and tried not to feel satisfied at the sound of cleaving bond and wet flesh. She held the demon by the shoulder, Slayer strength utilized as she eased the dying demon to the ground.

Oh,’ Faith thought. ‘There it is.’

Artie frowned at the older two Slayers, all little girl now. “Do you guys know why its last words were ‘Gay vampire’?”

At the Espresso Pump

“You think they’re okay?”

Willow looked up from where she had been staring awkwardly into her mocha. “I’m sorry?”

“Artie and your friends. Do you think they’re okay?”

While Buffy and Faith had agreed to take out the youngest Slayer for patrol, Willow had met up with Tara at the coffee shop for a quick date while they waited.

Well, it was actually to work out that schedule,’ the redhead frowned. ‘But baby steps, Willow. You can’t just go flinging yourself at hotties.’

“Y-you’re frowning.” The young Watcher’s eyes were wide, and she looked like she was ready to bolt out the door at any moment and rescue her Slayer.

“Oh! Sorry, yeah. They’ll be fine. Buffy and Faith are totally responsible.”

‘Liar!’

Tara took a sip of her frappuccino. “You probably think I’m insane. It’s just,” she sighed and sat up. “This’ll be her first patrol without me.”

Willow giggled and winked. “I’d say quirky.”

Tara snorted, and soon collapsed into a helpless fit of giggles, Willow joining her. “So we’re both insane?”

“I said quirky!”

“I assumed quirky was a euphemism for insane!”

Willow snorted. “And what would you know about euphemisms, Watcher-girl?” she leered.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Tara purred.

Willow’s eyes bulged. ‘Oh. Wow.’

That came out far more suggestive than planned,’ Tara scolded herself. ‘She’s a hot-smart girl, and now she’ll think you’re a slut!’

“So…”

“Yeahh…”

“Schedule?” Tara squeaked.

“Oh, yeah!” Willow shoved her hand into her bag and pulled out a sheet of paper, sliding it onto the table. “Look here. It’s mostly a modified version of the one I made before. You can look it over and see if it’s good.”

Tara lifted the paper, analyzing it. Mondays through Fridays, Artie would patrol for three hours, starting from sundown. Faith and Buffy alternated on who took which the last two shifts, and on weekends they all patrolled as a group.

“I put Art on first since she’s the youngest.”

Tara nodded. “Growing girl needs her sleep.”

“See, pink ink is Buffy, silver is Faith, and I just used a black pen for Art since I didn’t know her favorite color.”

Tara smiled. “It’s purple.”

“Ah, okay!” The redhead waved her hand over the paper, and right before Tara’s eyes, the black ink changed to bright purple.

She gaped.

“You’re magic too?”

At Restful Groves Cemetery


“Ta’ is gonna kill me,” Art was perched on Fredrick Jones’ grave. Her green T-shirt, dirty as it was, had been removed and the pre-teen was now clad in a grey tank top. The poor shirt was now being used to wipe the blood off her blade.

“Where’d the sword come from?” Buffy was staring at the blade, wide eyed with curiosity.

“Huh?”

“C’mon!” Faith was grinning. “You’ve got like, seven pockets in those shorts, but I’m pretty sure you didn’t carry it in those.”

The kid held up the rapier. It wasn’t adorned like most rapiers the two had seen. It was unremarkable in appearance, much like a cougar next to a tiger, though it didn’t take away from its efficiency. It was a weapon made for killing, and that was that. The only thing of interest was the bright green skin that covered the grip.

“Naga demon skin. It’s enchanted, so the sword shows up whenever I need it.”

Buffy blinked. “Naga?”

“It’s like,” Artie paused. “Big, magic snake-person. This was months ago, before I got Called.”

“And you killed and skinned it?” Faith prompted. Baby Slayer was a badass.

The child shook her head. “Nononono! Me without powers? Against a giant, magic snake-person? No way! Ta’ did it.”

The two Slayers’ eyes widened. Well, Faith’s did. Buffy’s were already there. “Your Watcher?”

Okay then. Watcher-girl Tara was the badass. That was still cool. With badass Watcher and kick-ass Faith around, the kid could still grow into a fuckawesome Slayer.

“Yup!” She lifted the blade, admiration for her Watcher evident on her face. “Saga Vasuki ain’t got shit on Tara.”

_________________
"If I can't be a good example, might as well be a horrible warning."

"Friendship is obviously magic. Love is a sorta super strong friendship. We gay people love so hard we broke 'Social Norm'. Ergo, we gay people are ultra-strong wizards."


Last edited by faolan228 on Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 8/21/11)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:22 pm 
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20. Not one Much for the Timber
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DIBS!

Quote:
Art looked down at her brown cargo shorts and dark green T-shirt, then back at the two older Slayers. “It’s a late summer night in Southern California. What are you wearing?”
I think I utter those same exact words EVERY time I watch an episode of Buffy, lol.

Nice chapter, I liked the way you established that Art really can fight and also has a few tricks up her sleeve as well. The coffee date with W/T was cute. I loved the sorta-sexy flirting and of course Willow's OCD schedule written in different colored pens.

BTW...kudos for the scooby graves, lol. :grin

_________________
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: Sentinels (updated 8/21/11)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:31 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:09 pm
Posts: 298
Topics: 5
Location: California
Finey_McFine:
lol yes! I'm a California girl myself, and that question has been on my mind since I was a wee child. And I'm not gonna lie, the new Scooby-Doo series has served as major inspiration for this, as well as Soul Eater, and the Devil May Cry series.

Just looked out my window. It’s 9 PM and the kid who inspired Artie is rolling around outside surrounded by stray cats.

Title: Sentinels (Chapter 6)
Author: Starr, aka faolan228
Email: faolan228@yahoo.com
Rating: PG-13 to R, mostly for language
Disclaimer: Starr does not own BtVS or any related works. Except for Artie. Only because no one else wanted her.
Feedback: Me gusta.
Summary: Season 1 happened as it did on the show, but everything after has been molded and reshaped to my lunacy. Moral ambiguity abounds. Lying is sometimes okay for the right reasons, and genocidal rage a perfectly normal thing for people to feel. AU W/T that may or may not be a comedy.

Notes: And here’s where we reach the point of (I hope) realistic human moral ambiguity. Not sure if you’d uncomfortable with this, or of I’m making mountains out of molehills. I’d akin this to those arguments of weed vs. ‘real drugs’

Chapter Six (Yay! Ice Cream! and Spontaneous Magical Willow-gasm.)

“You’re magic too?”

Tara spoke the words in that whisper that really wasn’t a whisper, the kind that teenagers used in the library to purposely piss off the librarian.

“Um, I guess. Well, not guess, since I obviously am…so yes?”

Tara grasped Willow’s hand, an utterly delighted expression on her face. “So not only are you some sort of super genius, you’re a witch too?”

“Well, I wouldn’t say genius,” Willow preened.

Tara gaped at her, picking up the schedule and waving it around. “Not genius? Look at this! You take into account different factors most Watchers wouldn’t even consider and made a schedule for saving the world, and you’re a witch. That sounds pretty genius to me.”

Despite the odd looks they were receiving from the staff, Willow broke into a huge grin. ‘She likes my neurotic tendencies?

Tara rubbed her finger on the now purple ink, taking a moment to delight in finding another Slayer-helping witch, and another, longer moment to enjoy Willow’s smile. Then she looked at her hand. Some of the ink had rubbed off on her skin.

That wasn’t what made her stop.

The ink rubbed off into her skin was still purple.

“W-woah.”

Willow cocked her head to the side. “What is it?”

Tara’s eyes snapped back up to her, delighted blue eyes glinting with something else now, too. “What spell did you use?”

“Why does it matter?”

“The kind of spell always matters, Willow.”

The hacker blushed, eyes wide. “Oh. Oh, I didn’t know that. There’s a lot I don’t know yet, which kinda makes me mad, because for years no one knew more than I did. About anything. So if there are rules and stuff that I don-”

“Willow.” Tara quirked her brow, and Willow was a goner.

“I really didn’t think about it. You said purple, so I needed the ink to be purple, so I made it purple.”

Tara stared at her, and that thing in her eyes had a name now.

Awe.

It wasn’t a look Willow was used to getting.

“You didn’t think about it?”

Willow shook her head. “Nope.”

“At all?”

“No siree.”

Tara shut her mouth and licked her dry lips, giving Willow a view of tantalizing Tara-tongue. “I thought you just used a glamour, t-to make the ink look purple.” She held up her ink stained hand. “Glamours only fool the eyes. Touch, scent, stuff like that? Usually enough to break most glamour spells.”

“And what I did?”

Tara held her stained hand out to Willow, palm up. Willow instinctively reached out her own hand to let her fingertips rest on those of the young Watchers. “You,” Tara swallowed. “You physically changed it from one color to another." She spared another glance to the paper in her other hand. “And,” the corners of her mouth twitched with mirth. “Apparently changed it from ball-point to gel-pen.”

The redhead pouted. “Gel-pens are shiny.”

This awarded her with another lopsided Tara-grin. ‘She’s being defensive and it’s adorable.’

“So how long have you been practicing?” Tara probed, taking another sip of her frappuccino.

Willow pursed her lips in thought for a moment. “I’d say about three months, give or take.”

Tara lurched forward in her seat, choking on her drink. “Are you kidding?!”

Distressed Willow eyes made their appearance. “Did I do something wrong?”

Tara shook her head violently. “N-no! Never. It’s just,” she locked eyes with the redhead. “I’ve been practicing my whole life, and I still have trouble with transfiguration.”

Willow’s jaw dropped. “So you mean I’m a nerdy freak with magic, too?!”

Tara jumped in her seat, hands held up in front of her. “Nonono never!”

“…not a nerdy freak?” Willow asked shyly.

“Nerds are in this year,” Tara winked conspiringly. “And I’ll have you know I can get a bit freaky too.”

Willow’s eyebrows shot up almost to her hairline, and Tara froze at her own words. ‘Oh god,’ she thought with sudden horror. ‘Everything is diiirtyyyy!’

Still, Watcher’s constitution won out in the end, and Tara managed to recover with only a cough and the flicking of her bangs over her eyes. “B-basically, you’re a lot more powerful than witches your level should be at. A lot more.”

Willow flushed. “Oh no, I’m not anything special.”

“Oh but you are,” the young Watcher said, completely serious.

“But there’s so much I need to learn! There are rules, right? Rules I don’t know?”

“I could teach you.”

The tiny, naughty, dirty part of Willow’s mind thrilled at the idea of teacher-Tara, but she forced her overactive, 17 year old girl hormones down. “Really? You would?”

The hope and excitement in the redhead’s eyes made Tara melt. “I’ve trained my whole life, so I think I’d be pretty qualified.” She winked. “Plus, I taught Art how to be a Slayer, and she turned out fine.”

At that moment, all three Slayers stumbled into the cafe, dirty and bruised.

“Caffeine!”

“Food!”

“Yay ice cream!”

Tara turned to the wide-eyed redhead sitting across from her. “I’ve been a witch longer than I’ve been a Watcher,” she reassured quickly.

Art’s roving eyes landed on the two witches and she grinned like a lunatic. “Ta’! Lookit! Cotton candy ice cream! And it’s pink and blue!”

“It’s eleven thirty, Artie.”

“But it’s Friday!”

Tara muttered the girl’s full name under her breath warningly, causing the child to pale and Faith, who had heard, to snort into her overly caffeinated beverage.

The twelve year old quirked her brow. “Scone and hot cocoa, then?”

“Ooh,” Willow interrupted. “Get the Panini sandwich!”

Tara observed as her Slayer cocked her head to the side. “Is it any good?”

Willow nodded. “Grilled bread, chicken, tomatoes,” she listed.

“Onions?”

The redhead wrinkled her nose. “Onions are icky.”

Artie nodded gravely. Mutual onion hatred was something she could understand. Taking a five dollar bill from Tara, she trotted off to the cashier.

“Ah dun geddit,” Buffy said around a mouthful of chicken salad sandwich. “Wah jus ‘appened?”

Monday

“Hey, Willow!” Tara’s voice rang out, almost unheard over the ring of the bell and the clamor of the students.

The redhead’s head snapped towards the source of the voice like a well-trained terrier. “Tara?”

The sandy-haired Watcher was grinning at her lopsidedly, brow quirked in lieu of a hello. Willow eyed the messenger bag at her hip. “I didn’t know you were a student!”

Tara rolled her eyes. “Not really. I’m a Watcher, remember? High paying job, Council education, etcetera.” She winked. “It’s part of my cover.”

Willow giggled. “Cover? What, are you playing secret agent now?”

“But shh, you mustn’t tell anyone,” Blue eyes twinkled in delight. ‘We’re bantering! Love a good banter. Hadn’t had one in a while. Artie’s a snarker.’

“No, but really?”

Tara shrugged. “The Council is all with the, ‘Get close to the other Slayers,’ and whatnot.”

“So am I your ticket in?” Willow teased.

“Oh yes,” the young Watcher said in all seriousness. “This is all actually a spy movie. I seduce you for information and various reconnaissance related stuffs.”

The two girls stared at each other silently, defiantly, almost nose to nose.

Willow was the first to break down in giggles. “Okay, okay! You win.”

“I have mostly free periods during the morning, so I technically don’t even have to be here till around lunch.”

“Oh. Did the Council set that up, so you can help Giles with demon-y research?”

Tara grinned cheekily. “That too. Mostly because I’m a smarty.”

“Me too! Well, I’d have lots of free periods too, but then there’re these things that I want to learn, and-”

“Wanna find an empty classroom with me?”

“Wh-” Willow stared. ‘This is so sudden! I wanted to woo her with my witty, geekish charm!’ she swallowed. ‘Maybe they do things different in those British schools? Okay, calm down Rosenberg! You can do this!’

“You know? To work on your magic?”

Fuck!’

Willow blinked, finally realizing how close she was to reenacting a cliché Harry Potter PWP. “Yeah, sure! I have a free period right now.”

‘Liar!’

“Oh yay!” Tara bounced on the balls of her feet happily.

“Boobies!”

“I’m sorry, what?”

“I-I said Scoobies! The library! Where we have Scooby meetings! It’s usually empty around this time of day. ‘Nice going, Rosen-perve! You said the inside thing on the outside!’

“Let’s do this?”

“Let’s do this!”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
“I can’t do this!”

Willow slumped backward, fwumping her head on the table as Tara looked on despairingly. Four hours had passed, their efforts proving fruitless. Whereas a normal person would have given up by now, something inside Willow snapped. Whether it was her natural drive for knowledge, or the almost instinctual desire to impress Tara, she didn’t know. All she knew was it was making it difficult for her to just give up.

Until now.

“I’ll never get any better at this rate,” she said morosely.

“Welllll,” Tara dropped her head next to the redhead’s. “You have only been doing magic for three months. Most people would say you’re really advanced.” She turned her eyes away from Willow’s pout and stared at the ceiling.

‘Huh. Two girls sprawled on a table in an empty library. I think I’ve read this one.’

“Besides,” she continued. “This session wasn’t about getting stronger.” She propped herself up on her elbow, bangs falling over one eye. “You’re plenty strong already. This was to help build control. Once you can control the magic you have, then we’ll work on mastering all sorts of spells.”

“But I can’t!”

Tara leaned down closer. “You can. Just…focus your mind a little.”

“Have you met me?” Willow asked pithily.

“Okay,” Tara sat up on the table, hauling Willow up into a seating position too. “This should help, but I’ll tell you right now, it might feel weird. Never done this on anyone before.” She placed two finger’s on the redhead’s forehead.

“Wh-”

And then Willows vision went blue.

Optimum

Synaptic

Transmission

Achieved

Seconds, minutes, hours later she shot up on the table, gasping, not even realizing she had lain back down, before slumping over again in a boneless heap.

“Whu wassa-?”

Why was she having trouble speaking? Why, when everything in sight was so clear, so crisp, when the very lungfuls of air she sucked in seemed so cool? Why when-

- so- many- things-

-seemed so obvious?

Tara bit her lip. “J-just a little boost, to help you focus. I-I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have, I should’ve a-asked for p-permission-”

“Tara,” Willow placed her hand on the other girl’s knee. “Whatever that was,” Amazing. “It helped.”

“I probably shouldn’t do it often, though.” It was true. Though having no malicious intent, other witches would consider Tara’s little stunt a Bad Thing. “Energy transference like that end in nose bleeds for everyone.”

A trick she had learned from observing a black magic dealer or two on various Sentinel cases, the spell was modified by Tara herself. Rather than invading the other person’s magic, taking it, and forcing your own in, this was another act entirely. Not black magic. Just Tara. Tara-magic, freely given with nothing in return. The euphoric side-effect was still there, though. That was one kink she never managed to work out of it.

“Oh,” Willow said breathlessly. “Guess we shouldn’t use that for studying, huh?”

“Right-o,” A beat. “Can we not say anything to Rupert about this spell?”

Willow squirmed, though whether from the intensity of the blue-eyed girl’s gaze or the sticky wetness coating the insides of her thighs she did not know.

“O-okay.”

Yep. Definitely no mentioning this spell to Giles.

“You wanna continue the lesson?”

“Oh you go right ahead,” Willow nodded. Well, more like she jerked her chin in an attempt to look like she didn’t care and failed miserably. “I’ll just…sit here…and listen. And sit. Here.”

“Okay.” With an awkward smile, Tara hopped off the table and turned to face her. “Let’s start from the top. Personally, I think you’d do well to start off on daily meditation and-”

Willow listened with half an ear, trying not to rub her thighs together or make some sort of spectacle of herself. In doing so, she did not notice how the sandy-haired witch’s nostrils flared, or the blush on her cheeks as she subconsciously licked her lips at the scent.

‘Do Want!

As to which girl thought that is something I cannot say.

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"Friendship is obviously magic. Love is a sorta super strong friendship. We gay people love so hard we broke 'Social Norm'. Ergo, we gay people are ultra-strong wizards."


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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 8/26/11)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:15 pm 
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Glad the girls got a little alone time and discovered their magical mutual interest....among other things, lol. The little energy boost was a definite sign of their connection and something nice to move things along. Willow's cover for the boobies slip was cute and Tara's 'Do Want' at the end was hot! It seems like they are getting closer and hopefully will lead to :wtkiss very soon!

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 8/26/11)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:35 am 
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Hi there! Just wanted to tell you that I'm really loving this. It has the humor and banter that made me fall in love with the show in the first place. I like the differences though, with Faith and Tara, and your little Art is a real pistol.

Willow and Tara's connection is so nice too, and Willow's gayness being obvious to the others cracks me up. Her little booby/Scooby slip was hilarious. I bet she's just hoping Tara will bounce some more real soon. :drool

Keep up the great work.

More soon please!

Wimpy

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 8/26/11)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:41 pm 
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I have to agree, this is cute and the banter is well done. Artie kills me, but I wanna know her full name! I wanna know what Faith knows!

"Rosen-perv" and
Quote:
Huh. Two girls sprawled on a table in an empty library. I think I’ve read this one.
gave good snicker. Willow being gay and it being obvious to everyone but her - well, until now - definitely gives lots of room for humor.

But am I the only one that noticed Willow's reaction to Tara's little "boost" of energy, and what a rush it was for her? Maybe it's the cynic in me see portents of potential badness since her reaction was so similar, or maybe it's just me... or not?

Bring on more!

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 8/26/11)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:33 pm 
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Finey_McFine: Sadly, I am not as smooth as Willow. The ‘boobies’ slip up is actually based off of my own, “We should go to Subway for lunch since it’s only a five minute walk and oh my god titties.”

wimpy0729: It really means a lot having you compare my humor with the show’s. The Buffy series was one that also lent it’s humors to visual jokes, and well-timed scene cuts, something I find difficult to replicate in writing.

vampyregurl73: Aaaaand she’s got it! I love your inner cynic. The things Artie says are inspired by this neighbor child I hang out with sometimes, though her personality is based off of my puppy.

Also, not gonna lie. I scared myself writing the first few paragraphs of this chapter and refused to open the document to write more because I was afraid of reading what I'd already written.

Title: Sentinels (Chapter 7)
Author: Starr, aka faolan228
Email: faolan228@yahoo.com
Rating: PG-13 to R, mostly for language
Disclaimer: Starr does not own BtVS or any related works. Except for Artie. Only because no one else wanted her.
Feedback: Me gusta.
Summary: Season 1 happened as it did on the show, but everything after has been molded and reshaped to my lunacy. Moral ambiguity abounds. Lying is sometimes okay for the right reasons, and genocidal rage a perfectly normal thing for people to feel. AU W/T that may or may not be a comedy.

Songs listened to while writing this chapter for inspiration:
Silent Hill Theme
The Devil is in the Details by The Chemical Brothers (This I’ve decided is Art’s unofficial theme song. Plays whenever she’s being stupid.)
Up is Down by Hans Zimmer

Chapter 7(This chapter is one perpetual ass-kicking for Artie)

It had lived in this house for generations.

This house, on the Hellmouth, since before the town itself was founded.

Human kind had an instinctual fear of the dark, though very few knew as to why, and most that did were Sunnydale locals. The common demons that roamed the streets at night were just that, common. They sported spikes, poisons, and bright colors in a similar manner to insects and lizards in the wild: a deterrent for the true demons. ‘Do not eat me!’ they said.

True demons, like this one, did not care.

There was no need to sport any sort of bright coloration. True demons, like the Turok-han, the Gentlemen, and this one had no natural predators.

They shared the same common features: Pale, grey skin and sunken in eyes. Elongated faces. Sharp teeth. Humanoid enough that the mere sight of them was truly off-putting. These were all characteristics shared by many fictional horrors as well, as if their creators subconsciously knew that these very features were what terrified humans the most.

These were the features that were permanently imprinted into the memories of mankind’s earliest ancestors, the features that lurked just beyond where the light could reach, and the features that children see in the cracks of their closet doors.

This one was smaller than the Gentlemen or the Turok-han, or its other demonic brethren, but it was a true demon, no doubt.

Ever feel, late at night, a soft pressure at the foot of the bed? Not comforting at all, instead your body tenses because even in your sleepy haze, you know that Something Doesn’t Belong?

It’s Him.

Ever wake up in the middle of the night to see a hunched, emaciated figure in your room that you brush off as a dream before rolling over and falling back asleep?

That’s also Him.

Ever have sleep paralysis, in that terrifying space between dreaming and wakefulness as something bears down on you while you lay, leaving you immobile and unable to scream?

He’s testing you.

Ever have pets go missing, even though they’re indoor pets?

Him, too.

There were new people moving into the house. With, by the sounds of it, children. He loved children, loved tormenting them. They saw the truth in Him, and their terror was absolute and pure. Adults denied and denied, and teenagers fought, caught between the childhood knowing and the adulthood denying of the inevitable.

Boxes were being placed on floors, and furniture was being pushed about. The child’s hands probed in the darkness, and His lipless mouth split open in a dead man’s grin. There was a flash, and the mouthful of needle-teeth clamped down. Hard.

Artie’s hand jerked back from the closet at the unexpected pain, bringing the demon with it. The thing was a naked and grey human in miniature, head too large for its 10 inch long body.

“Eww!” She threw the tiny demon to the ground and stomped on it. Furiously. Into mush.

Tara poked her head in through the doorway, hefting a box of personal belongings in her arms. “A bit too old to have monsters in your closet, aren’t you?”

“He bit me,” Art scowled, licking at her injured hand.

“Quit licking it!” Tara snapped.

Her Slayer waved her hand at her, showing that the wound was already healing. “I know it’s only been like, a month, but seriously. Slayer now. No need to worry about my boo-boos anymore.”

“Please, continue humoring my neurotic, maternal tendencies,” The Watcher quirked her brow at the demon pudding. “I’d watch out if I were you. Those things travel in packs.”

“Yeah, yeah! I’m all Big-Slayer-Girl now. I can deal.”

Tara rolled her eyes good naturedly before moving to her room across the hall. “And clean that mess up!”

The two had, for their first few days in Sunnydale, been staying in a cheap, crappy apartment paid for by the Council. Tara, feeling that that was no place for an 18 year old young woman and a rambunctious 12 year old, let alone a Watcher with a Slayer to train, had used a bit of her inheritance money to buy this old 7 bedroom house, 3 bedrooms upstairs and 4 downstairs .

Two of the bedrooms upstairs were actually used, while the third was used as Tara’s personal study. The largest of the four downstairs was currently in the process of being converted into a dojo of sorts, with tatami mat floors and various training implements.

All in all, a great place for a young Slayer to live and train.

DING-DONG!

Artie looked out into the hall. No response from Tara’s room.

DING-DONG!

Slyly, she covered up the demon’s remains with a corner of the rug and dashed off to answer the door.

“Hi, we saw you were new to the neighborhood and we thought we should say hi and oh wait never mind it’s just you.”

Dawn, Buffy, and Joyce stood on the front porch, the Summers matriarch looking positively welcoming, while Buffy and Dawn just looked confused. Artie stepped aside and let them in, pointing Buffy to the direction of Tara’s room. She poked her head out the door and stared at the house right next to theirs.

They were 1632. Buffy’s house was right next door.

“Huh. How’d I not notice that?”

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Buffy let out an appreciative whistle at the sight of the training room.

“It’s not quite done yet,” Tara smiled warmly. “But once it is, you and Faith are welcome to use it.”

“Neat! That beats the school library or Giles’ living room by like, a lot.”

“I bet!” Tara paused. “Where’s your mom?”

“In the kitchen force feeding your Slayer the green bean casserole we brought over, I bet.”

Tara snorted. “Good luck. That kid’s the pickiest eater I know.”

“Great. Dawn will eat anything. They can have their own wacky sitcom.”

The two turned and headed back toward the kitchen. Artie, Dawn, and Joyce were around the kitchen island, talking politely and eating.

“-about a month back.”

“And how are you dealing with it? Big changes like that can affect girl, I bet.”

“Not really,” Artie shrugged. “I’ve been with my Watcher for a year before I was Called, and she took me all over the place, ki-” Dawn kicked her under the table. She had known of her older sister’s nighttime activities long before their mother, and the two Summers girls had made it a point to avoid talking of the really gritty stuff around their mother. “-er, big game hunting.”

“And what about school?” Ever the concerned parent, Joyce was. “I know Buffy and Faith have enough trouble keeping up with schoolwork, and Dawn tells me you’re in her grade.”

“We have History and English together,” Dawn shot cheerfully.

Art swallowed another bite of casserole. “Well, school gets out at 2:30, and Tara always makes sure I have all my homework done before patrol, which starts at sundown. I only do three hours before Buffy or Faith take over, so I can be home by bedtime.”

Joyce smiled warmly. “Your Watcher sounds like a very sensible woman. Not like Rupert, oh no. If Buffy wants to study, she has to do it while she’s on patrol.”

She grinned at Joyce around her spoon, and the older woman couldn’t the sharp intake of breath. Her eldest daughter had told her about the new Slayer and how young she was, but seeing her sitting there side by side with her Dawnie, it had finally sunk in. ‘She’s just a baby.

Buffy poked her head into the kitchen. “Aha! See? Told you!” Tara followed her in, thinking it odd that she was being led around her own house. “Tara, this is my mom. Mom, this is Tara. She’s Art’s Watcher.”

“…you’re younger than I expected.”

Tara ducked her head, bangs over eyes. “Yeah, I’ve been getting that a lot lately.”

She’s barely any older than Buffy,’ Joyce bit the inside of her cheek. “And the two of you live here? By yourselves?”

“’m eighteen, m’am,” Tara said respectfully. “And a fully trained W-watcher.” Artie rose from her seat and pulled a fresh carton of juice from the fridge, popping the little plastic ring-seal and pocketing it before moving on to the cupboard.

The eldest Summers woman could not even fathom the idea of someone Buffy’s age taking care of someone Dawn’s age and fighting monster at the same time. The idea of it horrified her.

“No adults?”

Tara swallowed. “I report to my superiors every two weeks or so, and Mister Giles checks on us, so we’re fine.” Behind Joyce, another tiny demon leapt out at Art from the cupboard. The young Slayer seized it in her fist and flung it out the open window.

Babies. They’re all just babies.’ Buffy, Willow, Xander, Faith, and now these two. Then Joyce made her decision. “You two should come over for dinner sometime.”

Artie pulled a glass from the cupboard, the inside of it stained with some sort of pus yellow, viscous liquid of obviously demonic origins. The Slayer sniffed at it, shrugged, and poured the juice in anyway.

Tara’s eyes widened. “Well...”

Over Joyce’s shoulder, Artie, sipping her…juice, turned big, pleading eyes to her Watcher.

“I dunno…”

“Ooh!” Dawn hopped up and down in her seat. “We could invite everyone over, every other weekend?”

Buffy squeaked. “Like a Scooby bonding night?”

Joyce nodded. “I think it’d be a great idea.”

Dawn continued her bouncing. “We wouldn’t always have dinner. We could watch movies and have popcorn and stuff-”

“-And invite the whole gang over!” Buffy seemed to really get into it now. “Faith and Giles and Willow and Xander.”

Willow…’ Tara blushed, and gave a strained smile. “That sounds swell.”

Artie kept drinking the damn juice.

The Next Night

“Ta’?”

“…”

“Taaaaaa’!”

“…”

“I stopped puking and my fever went down. Can we train now?”

“…”

“I finished all my homework, and we’ve got a few more hours till sundown.”

The young Watcher glared at her from over her Harry Potter book. The bizarre liquid Artie had ingested the previous evening had proven, to no one’s surprise, to be poisonous. A combination of Slayer healing and the sure knowledge that neither Heaven nor Hell would want the girl until she reached the age where she wasn’t a complete lunatic was the only thing that kept her from expiring in the middle of the night.

Also Tara did some magic, though judging from how upset she was at her Slayer’s idiocy, she probably half-assed it.

Pickiest person in existence when she needs to be fed,’ the witch groused. ‘And she sees some strange liquid and goes, ‘Gee I wonder what would happen if I ate this!’’

“I know you’re just ignoring me because you’re mad. You’ve read that book like a gazillion times.”

And why not? A young child with magical powers gets taken from his abusive home to a wondrous castle where he is taught magic? Tara could relate a little too well.

“And it’s ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’, too,” Artie frowned. “Remember the last time you read this one?”

Tara lifted the book closer to her face and flicked her bangs over her eyes in an attempted to hide her shamed blush. Upon reaching the chapter about Animagi, she proclaimed it A Great Idea and had sped outside.

Having one’s Watcher stuck in the form of an eagle for several days could put a damper on any 12 year old’s love for the fictional wizarding world.

In hindsight, a witch who sucked at transfiguration had no business learning to shapeshift, anyway.

She had killed a lot of owls that week, though. No matter how cute Hedwig was, Tara hated real life owls in a manner that no reasonable human being should hate an animal.

The Watcher trilled angrily. “Training room. Now.”

The young Slayer scurried into the training room and pivoted on her heel, feeling Kaa’s familiar weight in her hand.

Yes, she named her sword after the snake from the Jungle Book.

Art barely had time to contemplate her own wittiness before Tara’s own blade came slicing downwards. While the young Slayer used a rapier, Tara preferred an old Civil War cavalry saber. While Artie had her Slayer strength to back up her blows now, her Watcher still had about 12 years’ experience thanks to her Watcher-dad.

Essentially, Tara fought like they did in pirate movies.

Her magic made her even more deadly. Art ducked a wave of light blue fire, though she knew that Tara would never hurt her with her magic. The blue fire would probably do something stupid, like turn her hair purple.

Actually, scratch that. That’d be awesome.

With a duck and roll, she dodged the thrust of Tara’s blade and parried as she rose. ‘She’s…really stressed right now.’
She knew it couldn’t have been her little poisoning incident that had upset her Watcher, so it must have been something else.

Was it girl troubles?

Tara’s blade slipped between Artie’s arm and body.

No! Never! Tara never had girl problems. Most people would consider ‘sheltering’ Artie from adult things, but her grandparents had owned an alpaca farm. She knew all about mommies and daddies.

Artie also knew about daddies and daddies-

She dropped to her knees as the witch’s blade stabbed at where her head was.

-so when she met Tara, the idea of mommies and mommies really came to no surprise.

What was a surprise was the idea of Tara having girl problems. The Watcher was naturally perceptive when it came to people, and combined with the level of manipulation that all Watchers seem to develop (not her fault, Artie had decided. Nature vs. Nurture and all) resulted in Tara being one smooth talker. Heck, the only way Tara would have girl troubles would be if she couldn’t talk, and even then Artie had her doubts.

…but honestly, what were the chances of that?

“Asdfughuk!” Artie hit the ground.

“Keep your head in the fight,” her Watcher scolded. “And don’t be afraid to fight dirty. The demons sure won’t.”

“’Keep my head in the fight’? Look who’s talking, Zone-face!”

“I wasn’t zoning out!”

“You were!” Art flipped onto her back, looking up at the older girl. “Wanna talk about it?”

Tara plopped down next to her, cross legged. “Noooo….”

“C’mon!”

She rested her elbow on her knee and leaned on her hand. “Girl.”

“How’d I get that wrong?!”

Tara peered at her with one eye, the other covered by her bangs. “Um, what?”

“Nothing. Is it someone we know? It’d have to be. We don’t know many people here.”

“Willow,” she murmured.

“You’re interested in her? Go for it.” As if that was the simplest thing in the world. Oh, the innocence of a child.

“What? No!”

“Why not?”

“We’re busy!” Tara sputtered. “Slaying and whatnot.”

“She helps Buffy and Faith,” she prodded. “Just ask her out and see where it goes.”

“You’re kinda my main priority right now, Art.”

The Slayer scowled. “Ask her out or I’ll eat all the gummy vitamins I can find and you’ll go down in history as the only Watcher whose Slayer died OD’ing on gummy bears.”

“…where’d you learn to be so underhanded?”

“Well, you’re lovesick right now, so I decided I had to be the adult and be emotionally manipulative.”

“Ha! Fine, I’ll ask her out once I get the chance. Right after I have a discussion with you on your despairing views on adulthood.”

Outside, one large crow cawed.

_________________
"If I can't be a good example, might as well be a horrible warning."

"Friendship is obviously magic. Love is a sorta super strong friendship. We gay people love so hard we broke 'Social Norm'. Ergo, we gay people are ultra-strong wizards."


Last edited by faolan228 on Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 8/29/11)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:30 pm 
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Great update! I was lying in bed reading and the beginning gave me the creeps! Well, until Artie threw the demon to the floor and stepped on it...then I was giggling. :lmao

I think my favorite parts to this update was Tara's reaction to both the demon and then Artie drinking out of the puss filled cup. Perfect.
Quote:
“Please, continue humoring my neurotic, maternal tendencies,” The Watcher quirked her brow at the demon pudding. “I’d watch out if I were you. Those things travel in packs.”

“Yeah, yeah! I’m all Big-Slayer-Girl now. I can deal.”

Tara rolled her eyes good naturedly before moving to her room across the hall. “And clean that mess up!”
Demon threat or not...she never missed a beat:)

Great talk at the end with Artie; Tara being torn between duty and her heart. I'm excited to see Willow's reaction when Tara finally asks...should turn out awkward and funny, but no pressure! lol

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


Last edited by Finey_McFine on Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 8/29/11)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:41 am 
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Wow, the building tension with the picture you painted at the beginning, I'll admit it gave me shivers. But, then you do this to us --

Quote:
“Eww!” She threw the tiny demon to the ground and stomped on it. Furiously. Into mush.


I loved it.

And, then the smooth way Art handled the one that jumped out of the cabinet at her. She is quite a colorful character. But, ooh, that girl sure needed to wash that cup out. lol

How convenient that they ended up living right beside Buffy. Yes, indeed. And a 7-bedroom house -- that sucker must be huge.

You are hitting all these characters just spot on, even Joyce with her concern for these young girls. It is a true joy to read.

Great job once again. Can't wait to see what's next.


Wimpy

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 8/29/11)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:01 pm 
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Starr - This update had me laughing out loud. You start out so awesome setting the scene with the genuinely scary description of the unnamed demon thingy and then Art just stomps it and Tara comes in and says clean up the mess. Lol. And later Art tossing another one out the window. Priceless.

I sort of suspect that in this sentence

Quote:
Ever wake up in the middle of the night to see a hunched, emancipated figure in your room that you brush off as a dream before rolling over and falling back asleep?
the word emancipated should be emaciated. Just my guess.

Anyway, I sort of love Art. How idiotic to drink the goo but she lived so yay for that. I love that she's supportive of Tara and Tara liking girls although Tara sounds sort of very experienced. I hope that doesn't scare Willow off.

Very cute. Well done.

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 8/29/11)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:47 pm 
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Finey_McFine: We've seen Tara snark in Season 6, usually in retaliation to more snarking. I'd assume living with a whiner and snarker like Artie, not missing a beat must be a requirement. Add babbler Willow to the mix and Tara's gonna have to start pre-writing her comebacks

Wimpy: With Slayers like Buffy, who often complained about the burden of Slaying or Faith, who really got into it and then used it for both wrong and her eventual road to redemption, I kinda wanted a Slayer who was all, "Eh. It's a life." and not give a shit either way.

JustSkipIt: The way I imagined it was like, it being from the monster's POV at first, then you realize it's potential victim is in fact Artie and she stomps it and the opening credits start. The idea of these two having a tiny demon infestation in their house just made me laugh hysterically, because when I helped my friend move in, his apartment was infested with rats and that was an experience, lemme tell you. And thanks for catching that mistake! :)

Notes: Mentions of child abuse. Not a lot in this part, but still.

Title: Sentinels (Chapter 8)
Author: Starr, aka faolan228
Email: faolan228@yahoo.com
Rating: PG-13 to R, mostly for language
Disclaimer: Starr does not own BtVS or any related works. Except for Artie. Only because no one else wanted her.
Feedback: Me gusta.
Summary: Season 1 happened as it did on the show, but everything after has been molded and reshaped to my lunacy. Moral ambiguity abounds. Lying is sometimes okay for the right reasons, and genocidal rage a perfectly normal thing for people to feel. AU W/T that may or may not be a comedy.



Chapter 8 (Apple n’ Greens is apples, spinach, bell pepper, lettuce, and pretty much Dawn if she were a beverage.)

“…wait, so your house is infested with imps?”

Tara nodded. “Eighty dollars if you can kill them.”

“Sweet!” Faith paused. “Wait, are you setting me up for some sort of prank? I’m pretty sure baby-Slayer can take care of this, and B’s right next door.”

The young Watcher shook her head. “Trust me, Artie is the last person I’d want near these things. I’m asking you because I want these things dead. Not relocated outside because Buffy thinks they’re cute. I want them dead.”

“Wow. And you seemed so nice.”

“I am nice! But these things are like tiny piranhas. I saw one strip a mouse down to bone this morning.”

The dark haired Slayer winced. “I’ll ah, go grab my weapons then.”

Faith’s ‘weapons’ as it turned out, were various vermin traps, coils of wire, a BB gun, and a boot knife. At Tara’s quirked brow, she merely said, “Big rats where I grew up. Momma couldn’t always afford an exterminator.”

Tara led Faith through the house, and the Slayer let out a whistle. “Didn’t know we had houses like this this close to Main Street.”

“It was originally only a five bedroom, with a three car garage. The previous owners must’ve decided one car was enough, because they walled off the bigger part of the garage and turned it into two more bedrooms.”

“Wow. That’s hella stupid. I’ve only been in SunnyD for a few months and even I know not to mess with old buildings like this. Think that may be what released the imps?”

“Probably, yeah. That’s also probably why the house was so cheap.”

Faith shrugged. “All the houses here are cheap, man. Death rates mean the housing market is always good.” She dropped her gear on the back porch, and set to work setting traps. They’d set them up outside, and work their way in so that if any imps tried to flee, they’d be caught in the traps already set up outside.

DING-DONG!

“What the-” Tara started towards the house. “Faith, you okay here? I’m gonna go check who that is.”

The Slayer made a sound that sounded like confirmation, so Tara shrugged and went inside. Pulling the door open, she was surprised to find Art standing at the front porch somehow managing to look smug and petulant at the same time, Buffy and Xander laughing their butts off on the sidewalk.

Willow grinned, and gripped Artie’s elbow tighter. “Is this yours?”

An hour earlier

It was definitely her eyes. Or maybe her smile? Maybe it was the soft encouragement that she gave Willow, how she made her feel safe?

Maybe it was her boobies.

Willow hissed in frustration. Trying to figure out what she liked best about Tara was like trying to pick out the best smoothie at Jamba Juice: There were honestly far too many and her favorite changed every time she came by.

Still, as she smiled thankfully at the 16 oz. Mango-a-go-go Xander handed to her. Confidence in a Styrofoam cup. Yum.

“Guys?”

Buffy looked up from her Orange Carrot Karma. “Yeah Wills?”

“I need advice,” she swallowed. “On dating. Girls.”

Buffy grinned. “Of course I can give you advice. I’m a girl. And Xander’s one of the ladies too, aren’t you?” she punched the dark haired boy affectionately on the shoulder.

Willow flushed. This was going to be harder than she thought. “I don’t think you understand, Buff’.” She took a deep breath. “I need advice on asking a girl out.”

Xander choked on his Razzmatazz and looked at Buffy, wild eyed. The Slayer stared back, eyes equally huge.

Was Willow finally confirming what they had believed for months?

Composing himself, Xander stepped into his role of big brother almost flawlessly. “Well you’ve got me if want advice. You know, for finding a gal pal, or a playmate, or a lady sidekick-”

Almost flawlessly.

Buffy patted his back. “I’ve got it from here, Xand.”

“Oh thank god,” he gasped. “I honestly have no idea what I’m talking about.”

“Wait.” Willow blinked. “You guys are okay with this?”

“You’re our friend, what’d you expect?”

“Judgment, denial, laughter, and a whole host of other terrifying things?”

“Wills,” Xander held his hands up to calm her down. “It was kinda obvious. You don’t notice guys-”

“The guys we know are scabs!”

“-you own a tool belt.”

“That was the Ultimate Organizer Computer Repair kit my cousin Lily got me for my birthday!”

“Plus she’s been sniffing around Tara like a creeper,” Artie said, taking a sip of her Peach Perfection.

The Scoobies jumped in their seats. “Where did you come from?!” Xander screeched.

“She smells nice!” Willow cried indignantly.

“I got lost.” She spun in her chair, ignoring Willow’s outburst. “Take me home and I can get Tara to go out with you.” She tried to waggle her eyebrows the way her Watcher did, but only succeeded in bugging her eyes out.

“Oh my god, you losers are always making a scene wherever you go, aren’t you?”

All four turned to the source of the voice, though the three older ones winced, already knowing who it was.

Cordelia Chase, with Harmony by her side.

Buffy sighed. “Look you two, we really don’t wanna have to deal with you right now, so-”

“Shut up, Summers,” Harmony snapped. Art cocked her head curiously, mesmerized by the interactions. Buffy was a Slayer, Willow was apparently a powerful witch, and Xander…

Well, Xander was a pretty big guy. So why were they being pushed around by these two vapid girls? She shook her head. Teenagers were weird.

“We’re just having smoothies. Back off,” Willow really did not want to deal with this right now. Why was it that every time she attempted some sort of large, emotional reveal, the universe played it off like some joke?

“Please,” the blond snorted. “We share the Bronze with you losers no problem, and you’ve all taken over the Espresso Pump. This is our smoothie shop. Your kind don’t belong here.”

Art narrowed her eyes. These guys saved the world on a nightly basis and this was what they put up with? Not only that, in her head, she had already begun to associate Willow as Tara’s, and there was no way she was going to let the other girls get away with this. Tara would be disappointed if she didn’t stand up for people, even if they were older.

Artie hated disappointing Tara.

“What’d you mean ‘your kind’?” She looked innocently between Willow and Harmony, playing up the ‘little girl’ act as best as she could. “Did you mean redheads, or Jews?”

Silence fell in the smoothie shop as all the other patrons stopped and glared, waiting for an answer. The two girls sputtered, and stomped out with a huff.

The Scoobies cocked their heads to the side in unison. ‘This kid has the potential to be a complete and utter douchebag.’

Back to the present

“Um, what?”

“I got lost!” Art informed her Watcher cheerily. Tara pulled her into the house and shoved the smaller girl behind her, never taking her eyes off of the redhead.

“W-willow…”

The younger witch grinned and held up a Styrofoam cup. “Brought you a creamy treat, too.”

I bet you did.’

“It’s Peanut Butter Moo’d,”

“T-thanks.” The two girls stood there awkwardly, staring at each other with wide eyes and completely unsure of what to do now. Buffy and Xander rocked forward on the sidewalk, expectantly, and Buffy nearly spilled Dawn’s Apple n’ Greens. Artie grumbled a bit behind Tara.

“W-willow…I was w-wondering if-”

“Tarawillyougoonadatewithme?”

“…huh?”

Willow expelled air from her lungs, a keening sound of frustration. “Willyougoonadate?” she rushed again. “Withme?”

“W-will…”

“It’s just, you’re so nice and you’re also really hot. Like, really. And we’ve got all the same interests and I understand if you don’t wanna go on a date with me, since you’re so hot and amazing, but you’ll probably do it nicely because you are nice.” The redhead stopped, panting. She was blushing furiously, having thrown herself completely out there.

Tara’s eyes widened, and she glanced over at Artie, who looked absolutely smug. She was way too young to look smug. She told her – told her! - that she would ask Willow out when she was ready, yet the Slayer had led the gorgeous redhead to their doorstep!

‘Aaand now I’ll be doing all of Dawn’s geography homework for the next week or so, though I wouldn’t have found them without her help.’ There would be no scolding from Tara; Willow would keep her distracted enough.

Tara’s lips quirked. “I’d love to.”

And there it was. Tara-smile, pretty enough to bring a smile on Willow’s face too, though her’s was of a far more dopey variety.

‘I owe you so much, Ta’,’ the youngest Slayer smiled.

Buffy and Xander let out several whoops and cheers, genuinely happy for their friend.

Their cheers weren’t loud enough to cover Faith’s screams from the backyard.

“NO! Mama, no..!”

The four of them managed to reach the backyard in time to see the dark haired Slayer collapse into the patio, whimpering and shivering. Out of the corner of her eye, Buffy spotted a green mist fading from the area.

"-I’ll be a good girl now, I promise!”

“Buffy!” Tara’s clear voice turned the blonde Slayer’s eyes back to her. “Pick her up.” The young woman was in full Watcher mode now, her eyes narrowed as she stepped around Faith, trying to assess the damage. “Xander, call Giles. Now.”

Artie scowled. It had been only a month, but her Slayer senses had kicked the young girl’s predatory instincts to overdrive. A sister-Slayer and been injured, in Art’s own home. “I’ll go next door and see if Mrs. Summers and Dawn are okay.”

Tara nodded her okay and Buffy smiled at the younger Slayer gratefully. Art tried to smile back, but something made her go green, bumping into Xander before she muttered an apology and stumbled over the fence separating the two yards.
Willow moved towards Tara, sidestepping Buffy as she hauled Faith up. “Anything I can do to help?”

“Can you get the first aid kits please?”

“Kits?”

“First Aid kit is the downstairs bathroom, emergency first aid kit is under the couch, and Artie’s first aid kit is in her room,” she murmured. She was feeling woozy.

“Tara,” Willow was concerned. “Which one do we need?”

“All of them.” Damn her head hurt.

“Tara, it was just a head wound.”

When Tara was little her dad –Nathan, not Jack, Jack came later- had walloped her good. She ended up cracking her head on the table edge.

“Artie’s then. Master bedroom, under her bed.”

It was a tiny cut, but they always bled the worst.

“Buffy is putting Faith on the couch,” the redhead said slowly. “Wouldn’t it make more sense to use that one?”

That was the night Momma took her away. Away to the Council’s Welsh headquarters, away to Jack, and safety and magic. To Watcher-hood, and Artie, and Sunnydale, and Willow.

Artie. Willow.

Tara sighed, and rocked backwards on her heels as an invisible weight seemed to lift from her shoulders. Willow’s arms shot out to steady her.

“You okay?”

“Nope,” she righted herself, and quirked a brow at the redhead. Or maybe she thought she did, she was still a bit woozy, after all. “But I think Faith should be our main priority right now. This has not been a good month for her.”

Somewhere

Halfrek growled.

Something was hurting Sunnydale’s young people. More so than usual, anyway.

But this went beyond mere predator/prey relations.

Something out there was being drawn towards the young adults who used to be abused children, the ones who had risen beyond their hurt and turned it into drive.

The ones that Halfrek exacted justice for anyway, because they never asked for it themselves.

And now, something was being drawn to them, and forcing them to relive those childhood memories.

Dammit, this was the exact opposite of what she wanted.

Stupid other demons and their undoing of Hallie’s work.

“That’s not all,” Anyanka hissed from behind her. “Dimensional walls are getting holes poked through them, and it isn’t one of us.”

Well, shit.

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"If I can't be a good example, might as well be a horrible warning."

"Friendship is obviously magic. Love is a sorta super strong friendship. We gay people love so hard we broke 'Social Norm'. Ergo, we gay people are ultra-strong wizards."


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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 9/2/11)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:22 am 
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4. Extra Flamey
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Dibs

Willow has a cousin called Lily (I would love to see them meeting in new york)
So someone's annoyed the vengence demons, the talking about the reality


Quote:
“That’s not all,” Anyanka hissed from behind her. “Dimensional walls are getting holes poked through them, and it isn’t one of us.”
sounds like the Glory situation.

Artie is just great and it means Dawn has someone her own age who knows about Sunnydales secret nightlife.

Also three cheers to Artie for helping get the girls together quicker :applause :applause :applause

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Willow: What?
Tara: Yours.
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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 9/2/11)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:01 am 
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Loved the exchange between Tara and Faith discussing disposal of the Imps. I think you nailed all of their personalities on just a few sentences. Faith's weapons...perfect!

Artie's little scheme to get the girls together quicker...perfect. They needed a little push. :grin

:hmm Strange things involving dimensional walls in Sunnydale? I'm shocked, lol. Hopefully it doesn't effect the big date!!

With all those extra rooms in the house, I'm wondering how long it will be before Faith is living there. I always liked T/F as friends. They had a lot in common, but in canon it never would have happened because of Willow's feelings towards Faith. But it would have been nice to see:)

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


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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 9/2/11)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:24 pm 
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Still loving little Artie so much. The way her mind works so quickly, sometimes a little manipulative, and protective, all wrapped up in a little mini slayer body. Her plan to get Tara over to Willow's was brilliant, and then telling off the Cordettes...man she knows how to work it.

Willow coming out to Xander and Buffy, wow, again I can totally picture that scene like it was on the show.

But this,
Quote:
“-you own a tool belt.”

had me ROFLMAO.

Hey, you gotta love a woman with a tool belt. At least I do.

Now I can't wait to see what's going on with the whole dimensional/hurting abused people who have managed to overcome it thing. Man, what a twist. Loved it all.


Wimpy

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 9/2/11)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:00 pm 
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I hope everyone had a great memorial weekend! Mine was rather surreal. My Sunnydale Highschool T-shirt has proven, yet again to be a total chick magnet. I think the girl at the magic store was trying to seduce me. She kept asking if I wanted to go to the back of the shop to learn some tricks even though I frequent the shop and only bought some wax. Backed off once she realized I was only 17, though.

Mgraham93: Yay you caught that! And yeah, many things annoy vengeance demons, but mostly things that get in their way.

McFine: Faith and Tara as biffles in canon would have been a delightful counterpoint to Willow and Buffy's friendship, and I've always been sad that it never happened. The idea of them standing in the backyard trying to exterminate vermin and failing miserably is something I can relate to all too easily, and is one of the fastest ways for two people to bond platonicly.

wimpy: Before she got her powers, she had to rely on her smarts to survive running around with Tara doing Sentinel work. She's a quick thinker, and usually makes stuff up as she goes along. Because of this, she's a bit more observant than those of her age group.

Title: Sentinels (Chapter 9)
Author: Starr, aka faolan228
Email: faolan228@yahoo.com
Rating: PG-13 to R, mostly for language
Disclaimer: Starr does not own BtVS or any related works. Except for Artie. Only because no one else wanted her.
Feedback: Me gusta.
Summary: Season 1 happened as it did on the show, but everything after has been molded and reshaped to my lunacy. Moral ambiguity abounds. Lying is sometimes okay for the right reasons, and genocidal rage a perfectly normal thing for people to feel. AU W/T that may or may not be a comedy.

Chapter Nine(aka the author is exhausted and can’t be bothered to come up with a witty title)

“H-here.”

Tara set down a plate full of sandwiches onto the book littered living room table where the Scoobies had congregated, right next to a still unconscious Faith. Artie was still next door with Joyce and Dawn, under the guise of studying, and Buffy and Tara were all too willing to keep her there till whatever this was blew over.

“Giles is on his way,” Xander said, reaching out to grab a sandwich. He paused and looked at the young Watcher tentatively before she smiled gently, and he took it. The few times his family sat down to eat together, he had to wait for his father’s permission, or suffer the consequences. His eye twitched.

“Hmmmmm.”

Buffy ignored the food. “So do we look at the demon-y books, right? I mean it had to be a demon. The question is do we look it up by species, or something?” She normally wasn’t research-girl. She was usually ‘poke it with various pointy things til it stops moving’ girl, but whatever this was had Faith on the ground screaming for her mother.

“Hm? Hmmmmm!”

And Faith never screamed.

“Hrrrrnnnnnmmmm.”

Not even when she was being electrocuted.

“Okay,” she slammed her hands down on the table and whipped her head to the side like a sassy woman from a Tyler Perry movie. Normally she was a very tolerant person but, “Willow, how the hell can you be humming at a time like this?”

The redhead blinked and cocked her head in a birdlike manner, the image all the more hilarious due to her bulging cheeks. “Hrm?”

Xander roared with laughter. “Nummy sounds!”

Buffy quirked her brow, and Tara poked her head back into the living room, arms filled with books. She looked curious too.

“Xander don’t you dare,” Willow warned.

“She’s done it since we were kids,” he ducked to avoid the redhead’s swat, eye twitching. “She gets a hold of something really tasty and she just hums.” He looked at Buffy incredulously. “How have you not heard it before?”

“I never noticed.”

“This is so embarrassing,” the redhead groaned.

“I think it’s cute,” Tara said sweetly. She nudged Willow’s shoulder affectionately with her hip as she set the books down. “Glad to know someone likes my food.”

Willow smiled a smile of happiness and bit down into her sandwich again. ‘Hrmm, grilled chicken, tomato, lettuce, and ranch.’ She picked up one heavy, leather bound tome and paused. She looked at the rest of the pile.

“Hey, Giles has these books too!”

“Standard Watcher fare,” Tara plopped down cross-legged next to Willow, and the redhead managed to sneak a sniff of her hair. “I-Is that gonna be a problem?”

“No, it means that since I know these books,” she flipped a few pages. “I know where everything is.” She turned to Tara and gave her the ever so smug, ‘Willow knows what she’s doing so calm yo’ tits, baby’ face. Or at least that’s what it looked like to Tara.

She blushed under that gaze, straightening them and re-crossing them. “O-oh. That’s good then.”

Faith’s Slayer nose twitched and she shot up in the couch.

“Someone’s wet!” she shouted. She peered blearily around the room, suddenly realizing where she was and what she was saying. “Someone’s went! Went. Everyone’s here but baby-Slayer.”

Hey, she may be a pervert but she didn’t completely lack tact. Faith was classy like that.

‘Thanks for the save,’ both Willow and Tara silently mouthed at her, oblivious to the other. Faith just smiled and nodded her head. Or tried to.

“Shit!” Her hand flew to the back of her head. “What the fuck?”

“I dunno,” Buffy admitted. “We heard you screaming for your mom and we came over and you were on the ground.”

Faith’s muscles tensed at the mention of her mother, something only Tara and Xander noticed. Then, she laughed. “I guess I underestimated those imps, eh?”

DING-DONG!

“Giles is here,” Tara stood, and Willow admired the long legs from her position on the floor. Striding across the living room to the door in that Watcher-stride she only ever seemed to do in the presence of the older Watcher, Willow took time to admire other parts, too.

Rather blatantly, if Faith’s snorting and Buffy and Xander’s averted gazes meant anything.

“Giles, thank heavens you’ve arri-” the sandy haired Watcher paused.

Rupert stood there, books in hand and looking rather dour, flanked by two young women. “They intercepted me as I was making my way up the drive.”

Immediately, Faith and Buffy shot up, Slayer senses going haywire.

Demons.

“Get down you two!” Buffy commanded as Faith whipped the empty sandwich plate towards them. The two Watchers dropped down in unison, training kicking in. In their line of work, if someone told you to duck, you ducked.

The plate flew in an arc, Faith’s Slayer strength going to the throw, hitting the skinny one in the jaw and the dark haired one in the face. It bounced off with a satisfying sound and somehow landed back onto Faith’s lap.

She threw her hands in the air in an uncharacteristic display of delight. “I’m Xena!”

The dark haired woman groaned in pain, but the skinny one was on her feet already.

“Bitch,” she hissed, face completely raw. And then she launched herself at the Slayer.

At the Summers Residence

Artie twitched, and looked up from Dawn’s geography homework. “You hear that?”

The youngest Summers girl looked up from her magazine. “Nope.”

Though that may have had more to do with the music they were blasting, rather than lack of any noises. The upbeat tunes of the latest Top 40 drowned out any outside sounds, even with all the windows wide open so all possible escapes possible.

Hey, there was a reason why Tara got two upstairs rooms and Artie got the master. Enclosed spaces freaked her out dammit!

“Nah, I’m pretty sure I heard something,” she said, leaning towards the window.

“Girls,” Joyce said, poking her head into the room. “I made hazelnut brownies.”

Okay. No noise it was.

Now if only that icky feeling would go away.

Back to What Willow has already dubbed The Lair of Deliciously Hot, Nice Smelling Watcher-Witch

Tara leapt to her feet. “I just moved in!”

Anyanka threw herself and Buffy, and Faith hopped up and seized the demon, throwing both her and Buffy to the ground.

“Tell them I just moved in!” she said piteously, looking at Hallie and Giles as if they could do something about this.

The living room table groaned as two Slayers piledrived the demon on it. Xander backed away, but kept his gaze on the ensuing catfight.

"C’mon, I just bought that!”

“I’m actually really sorry,” the dark haired demon said sincerely. “We came to help.”

“You friend is…spirited,” Giles noted. Willow let out a frightened squawk as all three rolled off the table and onto her.

Oh.

Hell.

Naw.

“Separate!” Tara’s intonement sent Faith on her rear right at Giles’ feet, Anyanka to the couch, and Buffy shrieking as she slid sideways into the kitchen like a human Swiffer mop.

“Explain, now!”

Buffy crawled back to the living room gulped. Her mother used that one whenever she and Dawn roughhoused as kids and broke something. But Tara wasn’t a mother hen like Joyce, oh no. She was Alpha-bitch in her own territory, ready to bite the shit out of any misbehaving pups.

Willow was in girly-awe.

The skinny one stood up straight, smoothing her clothes and returning her face to normal. “Strong witch. I like you. I’m Anyanka, and that’s Halfrek. We’re vengeance demons.”

“Anya deals with scorned women,” Halfrek said. “I’m into more kid friendly business.”

Xander’s eye twitched. “Whatever Cordelia said, it was a mutual breakup!”

“Oh please,” Anyanka brushed him aside. "She dumped your ass."

Faith stood, staying between the Watchers and Hallie, and Buffy did the same, keeping Xander and Willow behind her. “Talk.”

“Holes are being ripped open in the multi-verse, and things are slipping though.”

Faith interrupted. “Wait, like in Doctor Who?” Giles grinned and Tara turned and actually hi-fived her.

“Something is in this universe that shouldn’t be here,” the demon continued, ignoring Faith’s outburst. “I need you to track it down, and Anya will send it back.”

“Ooh! Ooh!” Buffy yelped. “Green mist! When we got Faith, there was green mist.”

“Green is usually a sign of inter-dimensional antics. Most who travel via dimensional port-hole will usually give off a green glow,” Anya said. “Also portals and dimensional Keys, though the chances of you dealing with one of those is ridiculously low.”

“What’s the catch?” Willow asked warily, trying not to read too much into the quiet little outbursts of ‘Exterminate!’ coming from Faith and Tara.

“Whatever it is, it’s interfering with Hal’s work,” Anya said. “And that’s bad business.”

“What she means is,” the dark haired demon said. “Is that I work with mistreated kids. I avenge the abused, stuff like that. Whatever this is, it’s forcing them to have flashbacks.”

“Not just mentally, either,” Anya said excitedly. “They’re reliving physical pain.”

Everyone stared, Tara, Faith, and Xander suddenly uncomfortable.

“What? I’m a vengeance demon. Making someone relive the same pain? Genius.”

“-and I’m pretty sure none of you want that? Especially you three,” she gestured to Tara, Faith, and Xander. “By the looks of things, you’ve already experienced the effects?”

“Oh dear lord,” Giles snarled, suddenly realizing what this was doing to his kids.

Faith’s collapse. Her mother and her boyfriends used to kick her around when drunk enough.

Xander’s uncharacteristically shy moments, and his eye twitch. His father was a drunken lout, after all.

And Tara, her headache? But that had to mean…

Willow gasped, eyes watering as the implications sunk in, confirmed when the other witch averted her gaze.

“You’re an adult now and you escaped early enough,” Halfrek said to a silent Tara. “But it was pretty bad when it was happening, wasn’t it.” She turned to Faith. “You got out of it recently. But it’s all still fresh-”

“Shut up,” the Slayer snarled, and Buffy almost stepped forward to restrain her.

Almost.

The vengeance demon danced out of her grasp and turned to Xander, who had now placed a hand over his twitching eye. “You’re almost a man…you don’t have to put up with this much longer.”

Buffy whimpered. She knew about Faith, yeah, but Xander? He was so her go-to guy for smiles! One glance in Willow’s direction let Buffy know she was the last in their little trio to know.

Halfrek paused. “Where’s the little one?”

“Stay away from Art,” Tara snarled. Buffy and Willow blanched. Artie too?

“Don’t worry your little Watcher head,” the demon said sweetly. “She’s a Slayer now, so I won’t be doing any business with little Miss Frost anytime soon.” She turned to address the whole room. “So you’ll do it?”

Buffy, Willow, and Giles turned to the other three. In reality, this was their decision, though it was obvious none of them wanted to be reliving the childhood pain again anytime soon.

“We’re not gonna do this for you,” Tara said after a moment of silence. The demons’ jaws dropped.

“Wh-how can you not?”

“You didn’t let her finish,” Xander said. He stood up straight, and his voice was low.

“She said we weren’t gonna do this for you,” Faith growled. “We’re gonna do this for ourselves.”

Hallie grinned. “Thank you. I-”

“Yeah, yeah. Buffy and Faith, run next door and tell Joyce to keep Art there and arm up with whatever weapons you got. Xander and Mister Giles, I need you to look up any sort of demon that could do what Halfrek described. Willow,” she paused and smiled flirtatiously. “Willow, you’re with me. We’re gonna look up any spells that will prevent us from freaking out again.” The redhead practically jumped up.

“And us?”

Tara turned to the two demons, arm slung casually over Willow’s shoulders. “We’ll contact you when we need you. Now get the hell out of my house.”

Halfrek huffed and teleported out. Anyanka followed soon after, but not before she cleaned the living room with a snap of her fingers and fixing Xander with a shark-like smile, winking out of the house.

They soon broke into three pairs, the Slayers running out the door, Willow and Tara darting upstairs, and Xander and Giles standing in the living room. Xander turned to the older man.

“Remember when you used to boss us around?”

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 9/6/11)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:45 am 
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4. Extra Flamey
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Dibs

I really liked the little narration for the scene changes.

Anya and Halfrek were great in this chapter especially
Quote:
“What? I’m a vengeance demon. Making someone relive the same pain? Genius.”


Quote:
“What’s the catch?” Willow asked warily, trying not to read too much into the quiet little outbursts of ‘Exterminate!’ coming from Faith and Tara.
Doctor Who references are always great in my opinion.

Take charge Tara is also really great as well.

This fic has me laughiing quite a bit it's absolutely brilliant. I really like the varied refrences throughout especially the Harry potter books.

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 9/6/11)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:50 am 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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"Oh. Hell. Naw".... it was all fun and games until her Willow pillow almost got hurt! Kid, you have a gift. I love your writing. It has the equal parts of humor, action and romance that makes for such an enjoyable story. Keep up the good (great) work!

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 9/6/11)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:03 pm 
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32. Kisses and Gay Love
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My son does a yummy food hum. He eats so little that it's wonderful anytime I hear it. Just like Willow I guess.

Anyway a good update and quite funny in spite of the not funny subject matter. I'm really enjoying it.

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 9/6/11)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 3:22 am 
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13. Big Knowledge Woman
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Hey, what you said about your Sunnydale shirt cracked me up. I've got that on my Christmas list, but I just can't choose which one I want. So many choices...hmm.

Anyway, another great update, and may I add, it amazes me even more now that I know your age. Your writing is very mature and just very good all around. :clap

Quote:
“Someone’s wet!”


Oh my, these girls are never going to be able to hide anything from slayer senses. I like the ogling, and sniffing they keep doing to each other. They're going to be driving each other nuts very soon if they keep it up.

Faith's Xena - LMAO.

Great job again!


Wimpy

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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 9/6/11)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:14 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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Mgraham93 – I adore the vengeance demons and I feel like so much could’ve been done with them. If you like various fandom references, you’ll probably like this chapter.

SMGOVAN – Thank you! I’ve always thought that Tara could go from mother hen to Mama Bear at the drop of a hat of she needed to, and that’s definitely something I wanted to explore.

JustSkipIt – Oh man, oh man. I did NOT eat often enough as a little kid, and was horribly stubborn about it. It would take me hours to eat one meal because I was so stubborn. As in, once I finally finished lunch, it was almost dinner time.

The subject matter of this particular story arc is definitely not one to be taken lightly, and I have no idea how other people have who have been in these situations deal. All I’ve got is my own experience, the person I am now, and a strange desire to avoid melodrama.

wimpy0729 – What seems to surprise most folks is that despite my age, I am not a fandom baby. I grew up with this series. BtVS was pretty much my babysitter.

I refuse to believe that the Slayer senses never backfired on the Slayers themselves. Having the increased sense of smell and hearing that could beat a dog’s, but with the human concept of ‘Eww, icky!’ must really suck.

Title: Sentinels (Chapter 10)
Author: Starr, aka faolan228
Email: faolan228@yahoo.com
Rating: PG-13 to R, mostly for language
Disclaimer: Starr does not own BtVS or any related works. Except for Artie. Only because no one else wanted her.
Feedback: Me gusta.
Summary: Season 1 happened as it did on the show, but everything after has been molded and reshaped to my lunacy. Moral ambiguity abounds. Lying is sometimes okay for the right reasons, and genocidal rage a perfectly normal thing for people to feel. AU W/T that may or may not be a comedy.


Chapter 10(xoxox)

When a child reaches a certain age, all sorts of things come to light. Toys and games, once the pinnacle of childhood delight, fall to the wayside as other things take their place. Mother and father, once faultless in their child’s eyes were now seen as mere hindrances, getting in the way of the truly important things.

“So are you going to Janice’s birthday party?”

Artie blinked. “Yeah, if I’m not patrolling that night, but that’s a ways away, isn’t it?”

The two preteens were in the Summers’ kitchen, having just finished gorging themselves on Joyce’s brownies.

“Yeah, but she’s turning thirteen,” Dawn gushed. “So it’s never too early to start planning gifts, and what you’re gonna wear-”

Artie cut her off. “We hang out with awesome teenagers all the time though.”

“Yeah, but they’re family. They don’t count.”

There was a crash as the front door as Faith and Buffy came exploding into the house and darted upstairs.

“Artie, Tara says to stay here!” Buffy shouted from the top of the stairs.

“Not a problem!” the younger Slayer shouted back jovially. Tara said, Artie did. “Are you guys killing stuff tonight?”

“Hopefully!” Joyce stepped out of her bedroom wondering what the shouting was about. “Hi mom! Bye mom!” Buffy kissed her mother’s cheek and pivoted around her, hiding the battle-ax behind her back.

Faith was far less sneaky, smiling at the older woman as she pulled the modified shoulder holster on, black ninjat? strapped to the back. “Heya Mrs. S!”

Joyce smiled. “Hello dear,” then she turned serious. “Be careful now, understand? Both you. Especially you, Faith.”

“What am I?” Buffy teased from the end of the hall. “Chopped liver?”

“I said both of you didn’t I?” The blond waved her mother off as she and Faith jogged down the stairs. Rather than go out the front door and round to Tara’s house, they decided to go out the back door and hop the fence. It was the same distance, but the fence hopping made their teenaged minds feel like it was a shortcut.

“Sup half-pints?” Buffy shoved a brownie in her mouth, grabbing another in her free hand. Faith followed suit, having both arms free she scooped up a decent amount and darted out the door after her blond counterpart. Artie and Dawn craned their necks to see them literally hop the fence.

“You’re not upset that they’re doing this without you?” Dawn asked.

“Nah,” the young Slayer lied. “We slay in shifts all the time.”

“But this wasn’t ‘Getting Ready for Patrol’ Faith and Buffy,” she pointed out. “That’s the ‘We’re Going Hunting’ Fuffy power hour.”

“It’s not a big deal. Tara said to stay here, so I listen.”

Dawn stared at her friend as if she had sprouted another head, which was actually a specific facial expression she had developed since moving to Sunnydale. “Geez, you sure listen to your Watcher a lot.”

“Z’at a problem?”

“Nope. Not at all,” Dawn smirked. “It’s just that if I had those powers? I’d be kicking butt right in the middle of it.”

“Well that’s your perog, pergo, pregative.”

Dawn wrinkled her nose. “What does that even mean?”

Artie frowned. “Dunno. Tara always used that term when I’m about to do something stupid and she doesn’t stop me and wants me to learn from it.”

“I just think Buffy is lucky, that’s all.”

Artie swallowed another brownie whole. “Why?”

“She gets something to keep her mind off of things,” the girl got a faraway look in her eyes. “I’ve been thinking about my dad a lot lately.”

“Uhrm?” Artie said around her brownie.

“I mean, I don’t like thinking about him…he gave Buffy and I up without a fight, you know? Just ran off with his secretary.”

“..that sucks, man.”

“Buffy and Mommy don’t think I know he didn’t want us, but I do.” She sniffled slightly, and had the sudden need to busy herself. “Do you want milk with those brownies?” she asked, changing the subject abruptly.

“Hfsh.”

Dawn took that as an ‘okay’.

The Lair of Deliciously Hot Watcher-Witch


Willow followed Tara upstairs, keeping a respectful distance even though all she wanted to do was hold the other witch. Surprisingly enough, Tara led her not to the master bedroom, but a much smaller one across the hall which shared a conjoined bathroom with the other room next to it.

“Artie’s a bit of a claustrophobe,” she explained as she ushered Willow inside. “So she got the bigger room, and I got the other two.”

The redhead quirked her brow at Tara’s other room, visible because of the bathroom’s two open doors. “That’s actually kinda awesome.”

The room they were currently in had a desk pushed against the wall, the other three lined with bookshelves only partially filled. Several opened boxes filled with books lay on the floor, and Willow realized why it had taken so long for Tara to bring down the books.

“Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Oh yeah,” Tara grinned. “At first it was kinda tough carrying all these boxes around, but then I remembered that Artie was a Slayer.” She paused. “That wasn’t what you were talking about, was it?”

“That demon, Halfrek..she said-”

“Oh bugger what she said!” Tara scoffed, suddenly sounding very British.

“Are you sure? Because I can run downstairs and grab you some tea, or coffee? Well, actually ignore the coffee, it never helps you relax. Unless it’s what you want, then yay! Go coffee!”

The sandy haired witch chuckled and placed a hand on Willow’s shoulder to calm her. “It’s okay. It was a long time ago.”

“Are you sure?” Willow still in ‘I can fix it!’ mode. “My parents are psychologists and I’ve read their books and they say-”

Tara placed her finger over Willow’s lips. “Shush now,” she turned and began to pull books off of the shelves and from the boxes. “I can barely remember it,” she continued. “I know for a lot of people it’s hard to move on from something like that, but me? It’s happened, I’m not proud of it, and yeah it hurts,” she set down a particularly heavy book on the desk with a grunt. “But it happened. I’ve learned that the easier it is to accept things, the easier you can move on.”

“You just accept it?”

Tara pursed her lips. “Yeah, that’s an awful way to put it, innit?” She shrugged. “I mean to say, I recognize the fact that it happened, and now I’m moving forward with my life. Whatever our mystery demon is, all it brought up was memories of the ‘ow’ sort. I’m not gonna collapse like Faith.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m sure,” she smiled. “It helps that I had an awesome step-dad to raise me right.”

“He was a Watcher too?”

“Yup!” Despite her lack of angst concerning her early childhood, Tara was grateful for the subject change all the same. “You said your parents were psychologists?”

“Yep,” Willow nodded. “I find it ironic that they work in child psychology and parenting, but they’re never home.”

“Surely you’re exaggerating,” Tara frowned. Neglect was one thing Tara could never stand.

“Nope. They’ll be gone for months at a time on tours and stuff. I mean, they take care of me, always make sure I have money and everything, but I hardly ever see them. But it’s really no big deal, they’ve done that since I was a kid. Once they were gone for a full eight months!”

Tara’s heart broke. It was one thing to have demons bring up the worst memories of your parents one could have, but it was another thing entirely to have any memories with your parents. She reached out and wordlessly pulled Willow into a hug.

It wasn’t a crappy hug either. It was one of real hugs, the kind where ones hands were pressed firmly on the other’s back and you both kinda inhale at the same time.

With a cough, Tara stepped back a turned back to the books. “So, where shall we start, Miss Rosenburg?”

Willow brought her hand up to absentmindedly scratch at the back of her neck, wondering what she needed to do for Tara to hold her like that again. “I dunno. What’s the diagnosis, Miss Tiler?”

“We’re gonna need a shielding spell, or maybe just a magical alarm, to let us know when it’s around.” She bit lip lower lip as she flipped through the pages. “Maybe a small Blithe Charm?”

Willow’s eyes snapped up from Tara’s chest. “Oh um, why would we need that?” Tara boobs vs. Magic learnings.

“To keep everyone happy,” she explained. “Whatever this thing is, it’s bringing up some awful feelings and memories.”

“Like a Dementor?”

Tara froze.

“You know,” the redhead said nervously. “From Harry Potter?”

And stared.

‘Way to scare her off with your dweebish ways, Willster!’

Oh.

“Yeah, really nerdy, huh?”

My.

“It’s just, I can really relate, what with all the scary things they deal with while they’re at school.”

God.

And that was when the sandy haired witch pulled her into a kiss.

Looking back on it, Willow had to say it was a very chaste kiss, not like the open mouthed tongue lickings you saw in movies. Rather, it was merely a touching of lips to lips that lasted for about two seconds.

It happened fairly quickly, no sparks, no soaring orchestra or over-hype. In fact, when Tara finally pulled away, it was more of a ‘What the hell?’ moment.

“W-willow..I-”

This time it was Willow who initiated the lip-touching this time, and now that her brain finally caught up to what was going on she realized that she could do this over and over again and it would never get old. Like in the old ‘Sylvester and Tweetie’ cartoons, where Granny caught the cat trying to eat the little canary, and so he covered the little bird in tiny kisses pretending to be nice, but soon the taste just got to him and he went crazy and tried to eat the poor bird again.

All in all, not quite what normal people thought while kissing hotties, but Willow decided that Tara would find the analogy cute if she told her.

They finally pulled away and giggled at each other, both blushing, not out of embarrassment but from excitement.

“U-um, we should,” Tara gestured to the books.

“Oh yeah. What with the spell finding-ness..” the redhead bit her lip, suddenly unsure of what to do now, and she looked down and scuffed her shoes on the hardwood floor.

“…”

“…”

“..can we just skip it?”

Tara did not initiate the third kiss, and neither did Willow. Somehow, they met in the middle. Willow’s arms wrapped around Tara’s neck, and Tara’s hands rested on Willow’s hips, and when they tried to use tongue their noses bumped awkwardly and they couldn’t stop giggling, so they just stood there holding each other, leaning on the desk.

‘Huh,’ Tara thought. ‘Guess we don’t need that Blithe Charm.

And then she felt Willow’s lips press sweetly to the corner of her mouth, and she tilted her head to capture the hacker’s lips with her own, tongue sweeping along her lower lip.

Time to work on an entirely different type of charm.

_________________
"If I can't be a good example, might as well be a horrible warning."

"Friendship is obviously magic. Love is a sorta super strong friendship. We gay people love so hard we broke 'Social Norm'. Ergo, we gay people are ultra-strong wizards."


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 Post subject: Re: Sentinels (updated 9/9/11)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:50 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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DIBS!!

I love that the survivors of child abuse are going to get the chance to take some of their own vengence out on their past and maybe help them even move on to a better future. I also, like the relationship between Artie and Tara. It seems that Artie trust Tara beyond a mother or a watcher but, rather as a all knowing presence in her life that is ment to guide her on the right path. This is good but, it will be sad the day that she finds out her perfect Tara is only human and will make mistakes too. Hopefully, that will be far off in the future.

Great story. Keep up with the frequent updates.

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Willow: "I found you. I will always find you."


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