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 Post subject: New Year Challenge: Open to Everyone.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:42 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:31 am
Posts: 619
Topics: 10
Location: San Diego, CA
Hey all!

You know what we need? A holiday writing challenge. It turns out, we have a holiday coming up. As in, in the next day or so. So, writing blitz time!

Credit where credit is due: Indigokane posted a one-shot, which is what made me think of it.

So, what are you waiting for? Write something, be it a drabble or a multi-chapter story, just write something New Year's related. Then post it here.

The catch?

Post it by the end of New Year's day where you live.

Gotta run everyone--I need to write.

_________________
More of a dog person, myself.
I'm from Iowa, we drive four hours for a high school football game.
Queen of HeartsThe Sincerest Form of FlatteryDrabbles


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 Post subject: Re: New Year Challenge: Open to Everyone.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:32 am 
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5. Willowhand
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:09 pm
Posts: 299
Topics: 5
Location: California
-Removed by author-

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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."


Last edited by faolan228 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Year Challenge: Open to Everyone.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:48 am 
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4. Extra Flamey

Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:02 pm
Posts: 220
Location: England
It’s 9 hours to midnight, New Year’s Eve here in England.

TITLE: A Traditional New Year’s Eve

AUTHOR: Wayland

RATING: PG-13

DISCLAIMER: Willow, Tara and any other characters from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise belong to Joss Whedon, FOX and ME.

FEEDBACK: Always welcome.

NOTES: Thanks to my most excellent beta, Vivienne, who dropped everything to respond to the kitten board call, and thanks to Kate, (BeMyDeputy), for setting this challenge and giving us 24 hours to respond, ignoring the fact that those of us on this side of the pond had even less time to meet the deadline. (I may have mentioned that to her, once or twice.)

A happy and peaceful New Year to all the kittens. Enjoy.


A Traditional New Year’s Eve


Willow Rosenberg did not like to think of herself as any kind of killjoy.

Joy was good, and killing was bad. And she, it was generally accepted, was a good person. Not perfect – a little headstrong perhaps, occasionally even reckless - but good. Definitely good.

Which was why, tonight, she was alone.

Willow liked holidays. She loved Christmas and Hanukkah and Thanksgiving. She even enjoyed Halloween, despite certain events peculiar to her small Californian hometown, which had often made a wild night a little too wild for even her adventurous spirit.

And since coming to Europe, she had discovered other celebrations to enjoy – on Burns’ Night she had gamely eaten haggis, washed down with whisky and on the fifth of November she had saluted the demise of Guy Fawkes with fireworks, (despite a certain ambivalence to hanging, drawing and quartering as a method of dealing with political opposition.)

Willow liked holidays.

But she did not like New Year’s Eve.

It made her sad.

It had always made her sad, even as a child. There was just something about the festivities that left her feeling hollow and melancholy.

Xander and Buffy, her oldest friends, had long ago given up attempting to entice her out. They danced, drank and sang, Auld Lang Syne, fervently and tunelessly, without her.

Willow stayed home. Sometimes she watched the ball drop in Times Square, on television. More often, she was tucked up in bed with a mug of cocoa and a good book before midnight struck. It was better that way - better to avoid the whole night rather than fake good cheer which fooled no one and cast a shadow over their fun.

And now she was in London, transferred down from Edinburgh for the last six months of her contract, due to some staffing crisis at the head office which had failed to materialize. She knew no one in the city. That had felt like a piece of luck today, as she’d evaded the well-meant invitations of her new colleagues with ease. Unlike last year. Scotland was no place for the New Year phobic. They even had a special name for it – Hogmanay – which was a word of French or Norse or possibly Gaelic origin and had no connection whatsoever with herds of swine.


Willow surveyed her small company apartment with pleasure. Her conscience was clear, there was no one whose evening she was going to spoil with contagious misery, and in the morning she would wake, refreshed and cheerful and ready to start the day.

Besides, she had plans of her own for tonight.

Xander, if he knew, would scold her for wasting time on lost causes. Buffy would just shake her head in incomprehension.

Willow didn’t care. Tonight, she was going to switch off the television, put away the laptop and dream of Tara Maclay.

A mandatory training session on company Health and Safety policies was not the venue she’d envisioned for meeting the woman of her dreams. In fact, Willow had done her best to escape the requirement, but a slightly panicked claim of jet lag had cut no ice with her new boss.

Willow had shuffled into her seat with bad grace – and then her irritation vanished like a dusting of snow in the sunshine as the trainer stepped forward and introduced herself.

She was beautiful. Charming and confident and witty. And very beautiful. The session flew by. How to use a computer and avoid RSI had never sounded so thrilling. The Manual Handling section of the presentation left Willow a little flushed. She made a vow to herself to maintain a straight back and bent knees, should any occasion of heavy lifting present itself. As the room lights were switched back on and people began to file out, Willow saw the name she had carefully copied into her note book. Tara Maclay. This was not unusual. Willow liked to learn her co-workers names, it was only polite. But she didn’t usually circle the name and adorn it with little stars.

A graceless scramble from her seat allowed Willow to rush to the front of the room and introduce herself while Tara was still packing away her presentation materials.
To her surprise, the confident woman of minutes earlier looked flustered at Willow’s praise. She blushed and bent her head, concealing her lovely features behind a curtain of glossy hair.

Willow drank in every detail – the big, blue eyes, now hidden from view, the curve of her neck, the low voice with a hint of a stutter. And long, elegant fingers, awkwardly twisting a ring on her left hand. A wedding ring.



Alone in her apartment, Willow knew she had a choice. She could dream up romantic scenarios of herself and Tara riding off into the sunset together. But they would never come true. And it seemed wrong, somehow, because in that fantasy, Tara would be a different person – and the woman Willow had just met was perfect.

Instead, she kicked off her shoes and settled down on the sofa to imagine every detail of this amazing woman’s life.

***


Willow was still distracted as she went to answer the insistent buzzer at the front of the flat. Too busy dreaming to wonder who would be calling on her this late in the evening, she pulled open the door without hesitation.

For a long moment, Willow stood, frozen. Then she glanced down at her clothing. Still fully dressed, so she hadn’t been in bed. She rubbed her face. No telltale cushion creases, so she hadn’t fallen asleep on the sofa either. Willow was definitely, absolutely, awake. And there, facing her, framed by the doorway, was Tara Maclay.

Willow stared.


‘Hi Willow, it’s Tara. From the office. I was just passing and you said you were staying here, and it’s New Year’s Eve and you just arrived in London . . . and I thought . . . I was passing and . . . ’

The way Tara’s voice trailed off, and the way she shrugged her shoulders and shuffled her feet, finally alerted Willow to the need to reply.

Her tone was hearty, and a little loud, ‘Oh, don’t worry, I hate New Year’s Eve, I mean it’s so bleak, isn’t it? All that hype and frenzied anticipation of . . .what, exactly? A hangover and resolutions that won’t last the week?’

‘Oh,’ said Tara.

The way her face seemed to close in on itself cut Willow to the bone. She hurtled onwards,

‘No, no, I’m being the Grinch, no, wrong country, I’m Ebenezer Scrooge, ‘Bah, humbug!’ Except that’s not right either, because I love Christmas, even though I’m Jewish and a tiny part of me thinks I really shouldn’t.’

Tara looked at her, blank-faced.

‘Love it. I mean,’ Willow finished, weakly.

A small part of Willow’s mind had detached itself, and looked on in horrified fascination as she gabbled inanely at this beautiful woman on her doorstep. On her doorstep. She quickly took a step back and gestured towards the interior of the apartment.

‘Please, come in.’

Tara looked pensive.

‘Well, it’s rather late . . .’ she began.

Willow couldn’t help glancing up at the hall clock – 10pm – an involuntary move she regretted the instant she saw Tara literally backing away from her.

‘ . . . and so long as you’re ok-’


‘No!’ Willow swallowed and attempted to lower her voice to its normal register.

‘Please, do come in. Have a drink with me. Really, it’s lovely to have company. Please.’

Tara still looked a little reluctant, so Willow took gentle hold of her elbow and steered her into the apartment, kicking the door shut as she did so. She kept up a stream of meaningless chatter to forestall any objections until they reached the kitchen.

Where she panicked. The gleaming Ikea cupboards were almost entirely empty. There wasn’t a drop of festive-type refreshment in the whole apartment. Tara watched wordlessly as Willow opened and closed each cabinet in fruitless hope. She thought about the gift-wrapped champagne magnum (a present from her boss by way of apology for the upheaval of her sudden transfer) which lay in her desk drawer. It had felt too heavy to carry home on the tube. Why hadn’t she caught a cab? She should have caught a cab.

Finally, Willow had no choice but to confess her predicament.

‘That’s ok, coffee would be fine.’ Tara seemed amused, rather than displeased. ‘Honestly. I’m driving, anyway.’

‘Really? Did you find a parking space ok? The traffic wardens around here are meant to be ferocious.’ Willow winced as she prepared the coffee. Next she’d be talking about the weather. Or taxes. Sheer boredom would drive Tara away before she’d even hung up her coat. At least she had taken her gloves off. Willow felt her stomach lurch. With a conscious act of will, she kept her tone casual,

‘So, your husband doesn’t mind you abandoning him on New Year’s Eve?’

‘What?’ Tara sounded surprised. She followed Willow’s gaze down to her left hand.

‘Oh, I’m not married. This was my mother’s ring.’

If the past tense had not been enough, the sadness in Tara’s voice would surely have informed Willow that Tara’s mother had passed away.

As Willow struggled to reply, Tara twisted the ring, her embarrassment obvious.

‘I should wear it on the other hand, I guess, but this avoids . . .complications.’

Willow was still flailing, helplessly. She wanted to offer Tara her sympathy, but would that seem intrusive to the Englishwoman? How could she know? She’d only just started to understand the Scots. She wanted to smooth away the look of distress on Tara’s face with the tips of her fingers, and that was definitely too intrusive, in any language.

She didn’t know what to say, so, disastrously, she said the next thing that came into her head.

‘I imagined your husband.’

‘What?’

Tara looked completely confused. As well she might, thought Willow, wondering if falling down a elevator shaft might feel a little like this. The words were unstoppable.

‘He’s a big guy, he used to play rugby, but he’s kind and funny. You met at university. He’s called Joe. Or Tom. Something simple.’

Tara’s eyes were wide.

‘You have two children. Both boys. Or maybe one of each, I haven’t decided. You all live in a detached house in the suburbs. It’s pretty. And you have a dog. A Golden Labrador.’

The silence buffeted Willow like a force ten gale. Then Tara’s eyes narrowed.

‘I prefer cats.’

Miraculously, a smile twitched at the corner of her mouth.

‘And I live alone. In a flat in Kilburn, above a kebab shop.’

Willow leaned against the kitchen counter; her legs felt suddenly weak.

‘Do you do this a lot?’ Tara sounded intrigued, and if there was any hint in her voice of God help me I’m trapped in a kitchen with a deranged woman who thinks she knows me, then Willow could not detect it.

‘You mean, make up stories about complete strangers?’

Only whenever I meet a woman and fall in love at first sight, so that would be . . . once, actually.

‘Sure,’ Willow said, ‘It passes the time.’

Tara appeared to consider this, before replying,

‘It’s sweet. Deeply strange, but sweet.’

Willow fussed with the coffee cups to hide the heat in her face, then directed them both into the living room, feeling the light-headed, heart-thumping sensation of the moments after a near miss on the freeway.

Her heartbeat was just returning to normal, when the thought occurred to her, she’s not married.

***


They were sitting on the apartment’s sole comfortable item of furniture, a sofa from Ikea, facing each other, still cradling their cooling cups of coffee.

‘ . . .so, I thought it was a shame, you having to leave Edinburgh and miss Hogmanay . . . but if you don’t like New Year’s-’

‘Oh, no Hogmanay was fun last year. Kind of interesting, anyway,’ Willow responded quickly. Keen to dispel the mean-spirited image she felt she had created, Willow recounted how Gordon from the office had first-footed across the threshold of her Edinburgh lodgings, clutching a crumbling lump of coal in one hand, a whisky bottle in the other, and a bedraggled clump of mistletoe between his teeth.

‘I finally managed to evict him with the argument that tall, dark men were a valuable resource at that time of year, and, in good conscience, I couldn’t deprive my neighbours of their share of good luck by keeping him all to myself.’

‘That was very public spirited of you.’ Tara nodded in solemn approval.

‘I thought so,’ Willow replied, ‘And I confiscated the mistletoe on Health and Safety grounds.’

‘Prevention is our watch word,’ Tara approved. ‘And, it’s a good job we’re in England,’ she continued, ‘or this would all be terribly bad luck.’

‘Oh, how so?’

Willow leaned forward in her seat. Tara smiled and holding up her fingers, began to count off the reasons,

‘Let’s see, I crossed your threshold before midnight, I was bearing no gifts. I’m not tall and I’m not dark.’

‘And you’re not a man,’ added Willow.

‘No, I’m not a man,’ Tara replied.

Silence ensued.

Tara’s eyes were blue. The bluest blue Willow had ever seen. The sound of cold coffee sloshing against the lip of her mug jolted Willow upright.

‘England. We’re in England.’

‘We are,’ Tara agreed. Willow threw her a look of mock petulance.

‘I mean, tell me about the traditions here.’

‘Um . . . at midnight I guess people toast each other with champagne or something,’ Tara began, continuing quickly as Willow cast a forlorn look at her coffee cup, ‘and there’s the countdown to Big Ben chiming . . . you’ve heard of Big Ben?’

‘Oh yes,’ Willow responded eagerly, ‘boing, boing, boing!’ Tara raised an eyebrow and Willow hastened to explain, ‘I used to listen to the BBC World Service when I was a child. I loved the way the announcer always said ‘This is London’ as if it were the centre of the known universe.’

‘Isn’t it?’ Now Tara’s eyes were sparkling.

‘Ah, a Londoner I see,’ said Willow sagely.

‘Born and bred,’ said Tara, a little smugly, before politely adding, ‘And you’re Californian?’

Willow briefly wondered how she knew that, before launching into a highly edited, but hopefully entertaining, account of Sunnydale and her life there. In turn, Tara described her own upbringing in Hampstead.

They meandered lazily back to the topic of New Year.

‘And then we sing Auld Lang Syne, of course-’

‘Yes!’ Willow interrupted, eager to show off her new-found knowledge, ‘And you aren’t meant to link arms ‘til the last verse. The English always get that wrong.’

‘Is that so?’ said Tara dryly. For a second, Willow panicked, before Tara relented and gave her a smile that set her heart pumping so loudly she was sure they could hear it in the street below.

‘It’s a good job you’re here, to set me straight.’ Tara added, playfully.

Willow knew that no double meaning was intended, but she blushed anyway, she couldn’t help it. Strangely, Tara seemed flustered too, and looked away.

Willow shook herself, mentally. This could be a wonderful friendship. She wasn’t going to mess it up by sending out the wrong signals. The thought of Tara, with a pained expression, trying to let Willow down gently, hit her like a cold shower.

She made herself remark, with extra brightness, ‘Any more traditions I should know about?’

Tara’s eyes appeared fixed on a point over Willow’s shoulder, around where the clock hung on the wall. Then she seemed to brace herself in her seat as she turned and faced Willow.

‘Well, it’s probably the same everywhere . . . but on the stroke of midnight here, it’s traditional to kiss.’

Tara did not duck her head, or hide behind a curtain of hair. She did not look down at her hands and twist her mother’s wedding ring. Tara met Willow’s gaze and held it.

In the years to come, they argued over who had been braver, who had made the first move.

In fact, it seemed to Willow that they leaned forward at the exact same moment, their eyes open until a fraction of a second before their lips met.

Outside, Big Ben chimed, unheard.

**********

_________________
Donegal Street * Home For Christmas * A Traditional New Year’s Eve


Last edited by wayland on Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Year Challenge: Open to Everyone.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:04 am 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:37 am
Posts: 98
Location: UK
It’s 9 hours to midnight, New Year’s Eve here in England.

TITLE: The Things We Say

AUTHOR: Vivienne

RATING: PG-13

DISCLAIMER: Willow, Tara and any other characters from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise belong to Joss Whedon, FOX and ME.

FEEDBACK: Always welcome, although I won’t be online for another month . . .

NOTES: Thanks to Clare (Wayland) for beta duty, her computer, and all her support through my annus horribilis.

The Things We Say


Willow chewed the end of her pen, deep in thought. The card, as yet unwritten, lay open on the table in front of her. It was a romantic card, all hearts and flower and adorned with a pretty pink bow. The front was embossed with the message: ‘Happy New Year To The One I Love’ in a flowing red script. Inside was blank ‘for your own message’. It was the ‘for your own message’ bit that Willow was finding troublesome.

It had been hard enough writing Tara’s Christmas card, (more hearts and flowers, plus snow and robins) everything she’d thought of seemed stilted, cheesy or clichéd beyond cliché. In the end Willow had simply written, ‘Happy Christmas, I love you Tara.’ It had felt inadequate, and she couldn’t be sure that she hadn’t said the exact same thing on last year’s card, but Tara had smiled, blushed a little and kissed her, so maybe it had been okay.

Willow looked at her watch and sighed. Tara would be home within half an hour. She put down her pen and went to the kitchen, poured herself the remaining cup of stewed coffee and put on a fresh pot. The thing is, she thought, how can I say anything I want to say to her, on one of those cards? Anything that means anything. Anything I haven’t said already.

Sipping the stale coffee, Willow wandered back into the lounge, sat down and picked up her pen. She looked at the greetings cards ranged around the room. They perched on every available surface, dangled from strings hung across the walls and decorated the little Christmas tree in the corner. ‘Seasons Greetings’, they said, ‘Happy Holidays, ‘A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’. Inside them, the messages from family, friends or colleagues were bland, jokey or heartfelt. But they’re all on display, thought Willow, It’s kind of . . . .public.

Decisively, Willow picked up the unwritten card and tore it in two, took it to the kitchen and threw it in the trash. She found a big red marker pen in the drawer over the dishwasher and, with a grin, ran up to the bedroom with it, taking the stairs two at a time.

Quickly, she stripped off all her clothes and stood in front of the mirror, marker pen in hand. Now then. She turned around and, with some difficulty, wrote ‘HAPPY’ on her left butt cheek and then ‘2012’ on her right. Facing the mirror, she wrote ‘TARA’ above her navel and, ‘I LOVE YOU’ below it. Further down – much further down – she wrote ‘KISS ME’. Willow slipped on a robe, giggled, and went downstairs just as Tara came in.

‘Hey baby!’ Tara deposited a kiss on Willow’s lips and a huge bunch of red roses in her arms. ‘Happy New Year, Will.’

‘Oh my God , Tara, how beautiful,’ Willow flushed with pleasure.

‘I didn’t do a card,’ Tara looked at her shyly, ‘thought I’d say it another way, i-if you know what I mean.’ Tara glanced at the roses.

‘Oh, I do,’ Willow laid the roses carefully on the hall table. Swivelling gracefully on one foot until her back faced Tara, she undid her robe and let it fall with a whisper to the floor.

‘Oh-oh, cheeky!’ Tara laughed delightedly.

Willow turned to face her.

And Tara said nothing at all.

**************

_________________
The Highgate Tunnels A Vampire Is Not Just For Christmas The Things We Say


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 Post subject: Re: New Year Challenge: Open to Everyone.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:53 pm 
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32. Kisses and Gay Love
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Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:35 am
Posts: 9572
Topics: 7
Location: Texas, Y'all
Title – The Wait

Author – JustSkipIt

Pairing – T/W

Feedback – Yes, please

Rating – PG

Disclaimer – Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy own Willow and Tara and the Buffyverse.

Note – For Katie and her persistence.


Willow checked her watch (again) and sighed.
Loudly.
Theatrically.
And unseen.
12:08.
Happy New Year.

Oh God. Happy New Year. She leaned on the column and ran her hand over the smooth paint. The white almost glowed in the moon light. It was such a good color choice. She could see the outline of the pagoda nearer to the lake.

Only 12:12 now. Just this time last year she was… not going there again. Not going to think about last year. About leaving the bar because she wanted to beat the drunks home. Not thinking about how she was going to take a long bath and relax because Oz wouldn’t be home until after his gig. Not thinking about the strange sounds coming from inside her apartment or her bedroom or, hell, her bed. Not thinking about the look on Oz’s face or the face of … whoever she was. And definitely not thinking about the days of fights and phone calls and begging and packing and moving. No. She was not thinking about that.

Better to think of May.

Willow looked down at her overalls and wondered if it was too much. Too cliché. She parked the truck on the side of the drive and knocked at the door of Lakeside B&B!

The blonde who opened the door seemed distracted but maybe that was just the pen behind her ear or the papers clutched in her fist.

“Hi. I’m Willow. Faith sent me over. She said you have some painting and …. Well… I’m Willow.”

Tara blinked then rubbed at her eyes. “Next week? I m-mean aren’t you supposed to be here next week?”

Willow shrugged and looked down at her sneakers which she scuffed on the peeling porch. “Uh… well… it’s a long story but let’s say I’ve got a temporary change of situation and extra time and Faith sent me out. “

The blonde tilted her head and then returned the shrug. “You are welcome to start whenever you want. Let me set down these p-papers and I can show you around.”


God. Her eyes. In looking back on that day, Willow just felt impressed with her ability to walk, talk, and listen in the presence of a blue that bright. Tara showed her the pagoda, dock, boathouse, porch, main building, and fence.

Near lunch time she had carried out a tray with cookies, lemonade, and tea and asked why Willow was scraping the paint by hand. It had led, quite predictably, to Willow explaining that she was on break from school and was trying to do something she would never have thought to do before defending her dissertation in Theoretical Physics. And that led to explaining that she was staying with Faith, her oldest friend (literally from elementary school). And that led to explaining that she needed a break. And that led to describing last New Year’s Eve and the days after.

And that explaining was no quick task. Every day Tara brought a snack or lunch and they visited. They shared their stories, their history, and the beginnings of their future.

Tara told her simple story—a high school English teacher who enjoyed her work and had published one novel but was spending the summer on a second. And how the call that her favorite Aunt had died was a shock but a larger one was the one telling her she had inherited a B&B and sizeable bank account. So spending the summer writing and having the property fixed up seemed a logical plan.

Within a week, they were swimming from the dock. Lying on a towel to dry off. Sharing picnics of supper or a walk around the property.

Within two weeks, Willow wondered how she could possibly finish this project and walk away from Tara.

Within three weeks, she had tried to kiss the blonde.

Tried.

Tara had shaken her head and walked away, puzzling the redhead.

Who tried again.

And again.

Until it became obvious that Tara was simply not interested.

Willow finished the painting in a haze of disappointment and confusion. How could she have misread the situation so badly?

The cookies seemed made of sawdust. The lemonade only of lemon and no sugar. The water too cold and the sun too hot.

The day she finished the project she looked around at 9:30 in the morning and knew there was nothing more to do to stretch it out. She knocked on the door to see Tara.

”I’m done.”

Tara’s eyes were as blue as ever but glistened wet as well. She nodded. “Do you want to come in for the cookies today?”

Willow shook her head. “I better not.”

“Oh… ok.” Tara looked disappointed.

Willow began to step backwards and then reconsidered. “I don’t know what happened, Tara. I mean… I feel … I’ve never felt like this and I thought you were… I didn’t mean to you know bark, bark, bark – wrong tree. But I thought … you know, right tree.”

Tara pursed her lips. “Oh, Willow. I didn’t mean to confuse you. I mean. Erggghh. Right tree. So right t-tree. It’s just that … it hasn’t even been a year since you… Oz. You’re on some,” she waved her hand up and down to indicate Willow’s paint-splattered overalls, “you’re taking a break from a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics and from Oz and from life and I can’t be part of your break. I … I just… it’s too hard to think of you finishing your wild summer with a fling with … whatever I would be.”

Willow shook her head. “You would not be a fling.”


And she had walked away.

1:32. God how thinking about Tara could make her mind wander. Time passed in a blur. She looked up as she heard a car crunching the gravel as it came down the drive and stopped in front of the porch. Please let her be alone.

Tara stepped from the car with a puzzled look on her face. “Willow?”

The redhead stood and brushed off her pants, waving as Tara walked up the steps and up to her on the porch. “Faith said you were out of town.”

Willow took a deep breath. “I was in town. I just didn’t want to come to her party.”

Tara shrugged and smiled. “That might have been wise. I left as the naked table dancing was getting really going.”

Willow blushed as her mind flashed with images that she almost felt Tara could see. She took a deep breath. “I couldn’t come to the party, Tara. I couldn’t come because there is no way I could have seen you and not … not kissed you. I … I know you don’t want a fling. “ She paused for a second and smiled. “In 2011, I found my boyfriend of 9 years in bed with another woman, broke up, moved out, took a break from graduate school, took a job as a painter, quit a job as a painter, jumped out of an airplane, hiked 237 miles on the Appalachian Trail, changed 29 diapers for a college friend’s new baby, went to my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah, rode a motorcycle, earned my Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics, cooked a Turkey for Thanksgiving for the first time, volunteered at a soup kitchen, surfed, and met the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with.”

She took a step closer and slid her left hand behind Tara’s head. “It’s 2012,” she said and kissed the other woman who immediately responded by wrapping her arms around the redhead’s back and sliding her tongue along her lips to deepen the kiss.

“Happy New Year.”

The two women leaned their foreheads together.

“Happy New Year.”

_________________
Menorah Tales | Working It Out | Random Bits


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 Post subject: Re: New Year Challenge: Open to Everyone.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:09 pm 
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32. Kisses and Gay Love
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Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:35 am
Posts: 9572
Topics: 7
Location: Texas, Y'all
Sorry for the double-post which I hope is not a triple post. KB is being strange. Let’s see if I can’t give some half-way decent feedback in my double-post.

Kate – Thanks for the challenge.

faolan – I love the first vinette with them meeting at the bronze and the hint of a vampire attack. Second – pretty downer plus alludes to darkness ahead but well done. Season six one – pretty bummer. Well done. Yay for starting to walk.

The last one cracks me up. I’m not fan of violence or kicking people in the face but it’s just so hard to picture and fun to imagine. Willow knows just how to settle Tara down. Well done.

wayland – I love this story because I love meeting stories. I think that her imagining Tara’s husband and even telling her about it is the adorable hinge for this story. Other than that they would just be… so what but that that little quirk is just adorable and notable. Like someday someone will post in the looking for a W/T fic thread “there was this story and Willow is working or something and she thinks Tara is married so she imagines her husband and then tells her that…”

The kiss is quite adorable of course. Brave is the watchword here!

Vivienne – Woo hoo! Spicy body writing!

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 Post subject: Re: New Year Challenge: Open to Everyone.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:37 pm 
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11. Fish in the Bowl

Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:35 pm
Posts: 1487
Topics: 2
Location: California
Title: New Year’s Baby
Author: Ariel
Email: blaziak@yahoo.com
Feedback: All feedback welcomed, specific input appreciated. PM to harsh on me!
Rating: NC-17 for and W/T love
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters, but I love to take them for a ride!
Summary: AU Meeting at a Childbirth class, love ensues.
Special Thanks: Starr for Willow’s first line of introduction in this fic. To Tina AKA indigokane for inspiring this whole crazy deal and for Kate BeMyDeputy for putting together the thread AND to the Mods who give us the board AND to Xita, our Noble Queen of Kitopia AND to all Kittens past, present, and future! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Thoughts are in italics.



Willow sighed in frustration; Buffy had stood her up. Nu-uh. Nothing new there. In our friendship Buffy is the stander-upper and I’m the stander-downer. ‘Stander downer’? Standup-ee? Stoodup-ee? Does that make any kind of logical sense? Does ANYTHING make any kind of logical sense! She looked around her as couples filed into the Childbirth class and felt herself blush. Then she scrabbled through her purse, grabbed her phone and speed-dialed her best friend’s number. She tapped her foot impatiently through Buffy’s perky recorded message and hissed, “Buffy! I am surrounded here by bulge-y women of the fertility-goddess kind and none of them are you! WHERE ARE YOU?”


Then she heard a ripple of musical laughter and looked down into the most beautiful blue eyes that she had ever seen. Then she saw the left side of the woman’s mouth quirk up adorably into a smile.


Willow was struck dumb as the amazing woman reached out to shake hands, then hesitated at Willow’s lack of response, dropped her head shyly and began to withdraw her hand.


“N-no!” Willow blurted out, “I’m all with the handshake-y stuff!” And she shot her own hand out to catch the other woman’s. She felt a jolt at the contact, almost like a spark of electricity, then noticed that the other woman was staring at her expectantly obviously confused by her silence. “I’m me. Uh, Willow, Willow is me! That sounds awkward, but people get confused that a girl has a tree’s name so I’m explaining that it’s an introduction to a person and not anything botanical.” Nice Willow, you smooth-talking devil! That is the WORST introduction you have ever done in your entire life! What’ll you do for an encore? Trip and fall into her lap. She allowed her eyes to travel downward, she doesn’t have a lap! She’s bulge-y. She felt her whole body slump, she’s taken.


Meanwhile the other woman seemed to sense her distress and rubbed her thumb comfortingly on the back of Willow’s hand, then looked down at the movement and blushed. “Um, sorry. I didn’t mean to, you just seemed a little upset.” Then she smiled apologetically and let go of Willow’s hand.


“N-no!” Willow said again, say something, Rosenberg! She hesitated and the other girl’s smile seemed to glow across her face as she reached up and shook Willow’s hand again and spoke reassuringly.


“It’s okay if you stutter. I used to do it all the time. It took a few years of w-work with a speech pathologist and I still do it if I’m nervous or really happy.” She blushed.


Willow leaned forward, “So are you nervous or really happy?”


“Um, a little of both. It’s the first class and giving birth is so amazing but I don’t know anyone here.”


“Hey!” Willow’s grin was contagious and the other girl’s smile widened, “I don’t know anyone either. Buffy, my best friend, NOT my partner HAD to get that out of the way asked me to stand in for her husband. He’s deployed in Afghanistan.” Willow shrugged, “Well, the Buffster flaked and—“


“’The Buffster’? That’s a cute nickname. I’m Tara. What would you nickname me?”


Willow swallowed, gorgeous, beautiful, funny, wonderful – I’d just throw The Happy Adjective dictionary at you! Oh my God! I can’t throw a dictionary at a pregnant woman! It’s a metaphorical dictionary, doofus! Still, Willow reminded herself virtuously, thoughts count! Then she noticed Tara looking at her and said warmly, “Oh, your name? Beautiful, I couldn’t change it.”


Tara smiled, “Thank you. My mom always felt a real connection to the earth. I mean it’s spelled T-A-R-A, but it sort of channels ‘terra’.” She blinked up at Willow and said softly, “I think ‘Willow’ is a beautiful name, too.”


Willow swallowed, “thank you. Hey, I don’t mean to be all nosy-girl, but is your partner going to show up?”


“They should be here any minute.”


“’They’?” Willow squeaked. Oh-kay! The litmus test of whether or not I really am a California liberal!


Tara sensed her shock and smiled a little tentatively, “They’re my friends, Sandi and Mei. They wanted a baby, but they’re lesbians and there’re some medical issues so I offered to be a surrogate mother for them.”


Willow’s jaw dropped. “Why? I mean, to put your body through all those changes?”


Tara had been looking up, but now her head dropped and her hair covered her face. “I always w-wanted to h-have a baby but I never found the right girl to have one with and—“


Willow saw her draw a shuddering breath and felt her own heart ache.


“—and they‘re late and I don’t know anyone either and I’m all by myself!”


Suddenly Willow sat down and put an arm around Tara’s shoulders, “You know me.” She squeezed her new friend’s shoulder, “so that makes you officially not by yourself. Uh, I mean if you’d like a partner for the class; a me-type partner.” She was about to go into full babble-mode when Tara sighed happily and leaned against her then began an awkward explanation about pregnancy hormones and shyness, but Willow stopped her. “I want to Tara,” she met Tara’s eyes which were shiny with unshed tears, “I really want to. Please don’t apologize,” her voice dropped to a near whisper, “for making me so happy.”


Tara was silent, but she cuddled closer and Willow swallowed and wondered if pregnancy hormones were contagious.


Then the instructor and her husband started the class, welcoming all the participants. She started with an outline of the eight-week class then showed a presentation on the later stages of pregnancy and the stages of childbirth. Willow found herself paying close attention, memorizing most of the material except when she was stealing glances at Tara’s rapt expression. She noticed other couples, giving their pregnant partner a brief back-rub or holding her to provide support and she longed to do the same thing. I want to hold her, she realized with surprise, be the one to give her back rub-y goodness and help her up from the beanbag chair.


When the instructors talked about massage, it was natural to practice the techniques on Tara; everyone else was doing the same thing. Then the class took a five minute break and she found herself helping Tara up and down, delighting in being on her feet and ready when Tara needed her. Tara had recovered her poise and joked that her bladder had shrunk two sizes in the last week alone; Willow had responded by giving her hand a small squeeze and saying, “It’s a jewel of a bladder, tiny but perfect!”


Tara had laughed again and Willow watched Tara throw her head back while her own eyes caressed the sweet arch of Tara’s neck and the flush of pleasure on her cheeks.


Later in the class Tara had whispered, “Bladder alarm” and Willow leapt to her feet and extended her hand with a flourish, “Milady,” she whispered, and was rewarded with another dazzling smile as Tara got awkwardly to her feet and they left the room together.


“Thanks for the help, Willow.”


“My pleasure,” and Willow realized that she meant it. Then she stood outside Tara’s stall, looking around her aggressively. I’m all Protect-o-gal. Nobody messes with my Tara. ‘My Tara’? That’s what I want, she realized wonderingly. I love her. I know, I know. Be cautious, puppy love, been hurt before, yada yada blah blah blah. But there it was, the echo of a vital truth, I love her. Then she thought rapidly, Okay, genius girl. How will you see Tara? You can’t just go all lover-y on her, she’ll probably think you’re some kind of pregnancy fetishist stalker-nut! Then the answer came to her. Be there! An instant later she was on the phone leaving Buffy another message, “This is a GREAT class and you ARE going! You are going next week if I have to come to your house and drag you there myself! You have no choice, end of discussion!” She giggled, suddenly embarrassed by her take-no-prisoners style of invitation, but she didn’t take back a word of it.


When Tara finished washing her hands, Willow offered her arm and Tara smiled and accepted her as an escort as they walked back to rejoin the class. Then she eased Tara back down onto their beanbag chair and scooted close, happy to see Tara smile and do the same. A few moments later Tara took her hand and placed it on her belly and Willow felt a kick bump against her palm. She gasped with amazement and met Tara’s eyes to whisper, “Somebody’s knocking.” Then her hand rubbed the spot and was kicked again, “Hey, baby,” she whispered and unconsciously caressed Tara’s belly in small circles, feeling for another kick.


All too soon the class was over and Willow was getting to her feet, turning to reach down to help Tara when she heard voices calling Tara’s name. Two women, a tall, athletic looking blond and a shorter, curvy Asian-American were hurrying over.


“Tara! Hey, we’re so sorry! My flight from Beijing was delayed and Sandi was stuck waiting for me! We called, but your phone must’ve died.”


Willow was crowded aside as both women reached down and pulled Tara to her feet and hugged her affectionately.


Tara returned the embrace, “I’m so glad y-you came! I was a little worried for the first few minutes.” She turned to smile at Willow and pulled her into the group, “but Willow’s friend didn’t make it either so she helped me instead.”


Sandi, the taller blonde, turned and shook Willow’s hand gratefully. “Hey, thanks so much for taking care of Tara! We hated the idea of her being here alone.” She grinned ruefully, “I think I broke about six traffic laws trying to get here faster!” Her partner gave her a playful slap on the arm then said, “And that’s the LAST crazy driving you get to do for the rest of our lives!” Her voice became tender, “We’ll have a baby to think about.” Sandi nodded and the couple embraced then drew Tara into the hug.


“Bye, Tara.” Willow struggled to keep the forlorn note out of her voice, “It was really great meeting you.”


“H-hey!” Tara pulled herself free of her friends and suddenly enveloped Willow in a baby-bump hug. “Thank you,” she said simply.


Willow felt the baby move against her belly and they both giggled; then Tara spoke softly, her head still hidden on Willow’s shoulder. “You were so nice to help me.”


Willow swallowed past the lump in her throat. “It was my pleasure,” she said again, then added hopefully, “see you next week!”


Tara raised her head and stepped back. “See you,” was all she said but she was close, too close, kissably close and Willow tore herself away, not wanting to move too quickly but entirely sure about the desired destination.


* * * * * * *


Next week in class was simply horrible. Buffy missed Riley and was on a crying jag. Willow was constantly providing tissues and holding make-up while Buffy kept re-applying her mascara and complaining that it was supposed to be water-proof. During the massage section, Willow kept looking over at Tara and Buffy hissed, “Massage my back! Not my butt!” Willow was mortified and worried that Tara might have seen it and gotten the wrong idea about her friendship with Buffy.


Tara, meanwhile, was practically afloat in affection and support with Mei and Sandi determined to make up for last week’s absence. They helped her up and Willow burned with jealousy, That’s MY job! and felt utterly useless and unneeded.


Between Tara’s friends hurrying her home and Buffy’s need for help, Willow realized that she and Tara hadn’t exchanged a private word through the whole class.


* * * * * * *



The third week was better and when Sandi left for the bathroom, Mei had some difficulty helping Tara up. “Here,” Willow said smoothly, trying not to sound breathless after sprinting across the room, “let me.”


Tara’s smile was radiant as she took the offered hand. “Milady,” Willow said again, repeating their little joke. “May I use my magic powers to raise you to your feet?”


Tara blushed, “There’s not much magic in an awkward pregnant girl getting up from a bean-bag chair!” Then Tara stood and Willow held Tara’s hand in her own for a moment, caressing the back of it with her thumb the same way that Tara had held hers that first day. Then green eyes met blue. “You’re wrong, Tara,” Willow said softly, “There was plenty of magic.”


* * * * * * *



By the fourth week of class it was obvious to Willow that there must have been some conversation between Tara and her friends, because they would head to the bathroom and Tara would still be sitting, waiting for Willow to help her up and down and they had become bathroom buddies again. Tara’s friends, meanwhile, made an effort to befriend Buffy.


Sandi and Mei still partnered Tara; she was carrying their baby and they would all be together in the birthing process, but they accepted Willow as someone Tara cared about and Willow was delighted.


* * * * * * *



The fourth week, Willow helped Tara to her feet and held her, both sighing into the embrace before stepping apart and smiling a little sadly at each other.


“Hey!” Willow said suddenly, “I’m not all decision-y girl, but I know that I want to go out afterwards with you. Can I drive you home?”


Buffy cleared her throat meaningfully behind them and Willow turned around guiltily. “I mean after I drive my best friend Buffy home first!”


Mei and Sandi approached then smiled and exchanged glances before Mei spoke, “Buffy, can we offer you a ride?”


Buffy grinned, her natural gregariousness taking over, “Love it!” She glanced archly at Willow, “My friend seems a little distracted right now.”


Mei followed her glance and smiled at Tara and Willow, “There seems to be a lot of that going around.”


As various purses, sweaters and other paraphernalia was being handed around, Sandi pulled Willow aside. “Tara is about the best there is. Be nice to her.” She looked intently into Willow’s eyes, “She’s carrying precious cargo and she’s precious all by herself. Do I need to say anything else?”


Willow met the taller girl’s eyes. “No,” she said quietly, “I’ll drive carefully and not let her drink caffeine and—“


“Treat her right?”


“Always.” Willow swallowed, “I care about her.”


* * * * * * *



“Is the seatbelt comfortable?”


Tara smiled, “No, but they never are. Mine always cuts me across the boobs when I’m driving.”


Willow stole an appreciative look at the anatomy under discussion.


Tara caught her glance and turned her head away to hide a smile and murmured, “Breast Gal” to herself.


Willow felt her face get hot. “Yeah, I am. But, but that’s not the first thing I saw or liked about you!”


“What was it, then?”


“First it was your laugh, it was like music. Then your eyes.”


Tara’s voice was teasing, “Then you looked down and realized that I was a “’bulge-y girl of the fertility-goddess kind’.”


“Taaarra! A good memory. Totally not fair!”


“Ssssh,” Tara said gently and gave Willow’s hand a small squeeze, “It made me laugh and I needed a laugh.” Then she continued to hold Willow’s hand.


“That’s me, Funny Girl Willow!” Her heart seemed to be doing some kind of gymnastics at the warm pressure of Tara’s hand and it took her a moment before she could slide her hand from around Tara’s to squeeze back. Then she got an answering squeeze and felt her breath catch.


Neither of them spoke for the remainder of the ride; the silence between them warm with promise.


* * * * * * *



“So, you’re a little over six months along?”


Tara smiled, “You remembered! And I’m due January 21st.”


“So,” Willow hesitated, “This is the fifth class and there’re only 3 more after this.” Tara nodded, looking a bit saddened. “So,” Willow said, determined to press on, “Could we have dinner before class next week and could I drive you home afterwards?”


“I’d love that! Maybe Sandi and Mei could give Buffy a ride again?”


Willow nodded with relief, “That would be great!”


* * * * * * *



Dinner was a success and a movie date followed with long, happy phone conversations sprinkled between classes as well.


Their first kiss happened at the Espresso Pump after their second dinner date. Willow had gotten her usual mocha and Tara had stuck resolutely to chamomile tea. Then they decided to call it a night and climbed into Willow’s car, Willow still clutching the almost empty cup of mocha.


Tara sighed longingly, “I can smell that mocha. I miss it.”


Willow offered the cup, “Well, here! Take it, it’s yours.”


Tara agonized, “I can’t. No alcohol and no caffeine.”


“It’s just a little bit.”


“I know, but I want to be so careful.” Tara caressed her belly lovingly and Willow felt her breath catch at the tender sight.


“Well, Tara, I thought of a way. I could drink this last bit then kind of,” Willow cleared her throat, “kiss you.”


Tara’s smile was teasing, “I couldn’t ask you to make that kind of sacrifice.”


“I have to. I’m kind of noble that way.”


Then their eyes met and the banter and pretense fell away. They turned and their lips met in a kiss that started out to be a tender exploration and soon became an urgent need.


“I w-want you, Willow!”


“Me, too! I mean, with wanting you as in Tara, not me wanting me and—“ Tara leaned in to take possession of Willow’s mouth for their second kiss and Willow discovered that Tara’s cure for babbling was a brilliant success. They made out in the tiny car like two passionate teen-agers and gave each other everything that bucket seats and a pregnant body would allow.


They parted at last, to stare at each other in breathless wonder and both said, “I love you” at the same instant and laughed with foolish joy at the coincidence.


Tara broke the happy silence. “Willow, can you, um, come over to see me? I’d like to make you dinner and,” Tara ducked her head shyly, “h-have some time together.”


Willow’s finger was gentle as she tipped Tara’s head up to say softly, “I hope that I heard a ‘really happy’ stutter because that’s exactly how I feel right now. I’d love to come to your place, baby, and I’d love to spend time with you.”


“This coming Wednesday, then, after our seventh class? Say about 7:00.”


Willow nodded happily, “I’ll be there!”


* * * * * * *



Dinner was good, Steak Dianne with onions and mushrooms sautéed in a delicious wine sauce and a fine tossed salad, and crusty home baked bread with garlic butter. There was even red wine for Willow, although Tara stuck with cranberry juice.


“Willow?”


“Mm?”


“When I have the baby, would you, um be there with me? Sandi and Mei will be there, but I’d love to have you with me, too.”


Willow swallowed and simply left her chair, walked around behind Tara’s chair and hugged her. “I’d love to.”


Tara sighed and Willow tightened their embrace, “Count on me, Tara.”


“I am.” Tara answered softly.


After dinner they sat on the couch and just talked. It was real talk; sharing genuinely about themselves at a deeper level, but it was also a dance – a mating dance and they were ready.


It began with gliding kisses and the sensuality of drinking each other’s hot breaths. Then Tara reached over to help Willow unbutton a few buttons and slid her hand inside Willow’s bra to cup her breast in a warm hand while Willow moaned softly at the touch. Breast play continued and soon Willow was fumbling a bit over the buttons to Tara’s blouse and reaching behind her to unfasten her bra and free Tara’s breasts.


Willow’s eyes widened and Tara said anxiously, “Too much?”


“N-no, not at all!”


Tara’s voice was teasing, “’is that a ‘really happy stutter’?” Willow nodded silently and Tara continued, “I’m glad.” Then she took in the look on Willow’s face, “Sweetie, you look like a kid in a candy store.”


Willow looked from one breast to the other and back, “Two candy stores,” she said hoarsely; then bent to take a nipple into her mouth while Tara melted back into the couch, sighing with pleasure.


They found ways to be creative, turning where they could, and Tara knelt on the floor then lifted her eager lips to Willow’s swollen bud while Willow’s legs dangled off the edge of her lover’s bed. Then Tara straddled Willow and let Willow’s tongue thrust up and begin a slow, torturous feasting on her dripping center and aching nub while Willow’s fingers filled her and began a rhythmic thrusting that set her keening a pure high note of utter pleasure followed by growls as she bucked and rode out a series of powerful orgasms. As passion increased, there was more ways to celebrate their love and desire and they tried them all.


At the end, they lay replete, panting slightly in each other’s arms, warmed by the afterglow.


“So, Tara; New Year’s Eve is coming and I—“

Tara’s eyes lit up with pleasure, “I’d love to go to a party with you! Can we dance?”


“Oh. Well, I thought we could, you know, just take it easy.”


Tara smiled sincerely, “I’d love to spend New Year’s together,” but there was a visible dimming from the glow of her initial enthusiasm.


“Tara? Did you really want to go out? I thought, I mean you’re due in a month and I know you get tired.”


Tara nodded and swallowed, “Um, I was being silly. You’d talked about all your fun dancing at the Bronze in college and various New Year’s Eve parties so I kind of, well, it’s foolish, really.”


“Tara.” Willow’s voice was gently insistent.


“I-I bought a dress that’s all. But I never w-wore it and I h-have the tags and I can return it and—“


“Nope. You are going to wear that dress and I’m taking you out.”


“Willow, no. I didn’t mean to guilt-trip you—“


“AND, I will be looking forward to showing off the most beautiful woman in the world. But you have to promise to take a long afternoon nap, rest up and I’ll pick you up at 9:00 for a late supper and dancing. Okay?”


“Okay!”


There was some more chatter about New Years and Tara’s steadfast refusal to show her dress in spite of Willow’s playful attempt to kiss her into submission. Then they drifted off to spend their first real night together, asleep in each other’s arms.


* * * * * * *



They had a scrumptious dinner of dim sum and Willow stared dreamily, watching Tara empty plate after plate, then Willow would move the piles of plates over to her side of the table so that Tara didn’t feel embarrassed about being so hungry.


Tara pursed her lips and offered a grateful air-kiss for Willow’s understanding and Willow felt the familiar warm fluttering in her belly. I love Tara and she loves me.


“I love dim sum! Thank you, Sweetie.”


“You’re welcome. Now how about you take that coat off and let me see your dress?”


“I w-want to surprise you.”


Okay, Rosenberg. Separating Tara from her coat. Plan A. She leaned forward, “Baby, you might catch cold, getting all overheated then crossing the parking lot with a cold wind blowing. So take the coat off right here.”


Tara smiled reassuringly, “They’ve proved that that doesn’t matter. It’s entirely viral.”


“Oh.”


Moving to plan B. Oh! Tara, there’s a stain on the back of your coat, I just saw it when you turned around for some more dim sum! Here, sit down and I’ll take it to the bathroom for you and scrub it off!”


Tara gasped, “Where?” Then her eyes narrowed and she offered a knowing smile. “Nice try, Willow!”


“Tara, did you know that there have been several uh coat high-jackings in the area? I should probably—“


Tara’s laughter rippled between them and Willow gave up on plans C through E and ended up simply smiling across the table at her beloved who smiled right back.



* * * * * * *


“Here we are, rooftop dancing on New Year’s Eve. It’s packed Tara, do you still want to—“


“Absolutely!”


They waited in a long line for one of the three elevators to be free, then hurried over when they heard the announcing ‘ping’ of an opening door. A young man, held the door open and smiled at Willow, “There’s room for you and your wife, come on in!”


Willow felt a face splitting grin on her face and escorted Tara proudly inside the elevator where she put an arm around her lover’s waist.


“Look, Willow, aren’t the stars bright tonight?”


“The brightest, baby.” Then Willow sang, “’But, I only have eyes for you’” and pulled Tara into her arms.


Tara was delighted, “I didn’t know you could sing.”


“I still don’t know if I can sing,” Willow quipped, “But being with you makes me want to.”


“Well, I loved it.” Then Tara ducked her head, suddenly shy, “Could you take my coat?”


“Sure, baby!” Willow assisted Tara with her coat gracefully, having had plenty of practice, but Tara stood with her back to Willow even after her coat had been removed.


“Baby?”


“Um, I just want it to be pretty enough for you.”


“Turn around.”


Tara lifted her face and managed a stylish twirl and looked eagerly for Willow’s reaction. “Am I pretty enough?”


Tara stood in an empire waist, electric blue dress with spaghetti straps, made of shining satin that seemed to flash with moonlight on its folds.


Willow’s jaw dropped. “Pretty? No. More like gorgeous, radiant, amazing and—I could go on all night!”


Tara slid into her arms, “And I could, too.”


The hours before New Year’s went by. They paced themselves, Willow tenderly solicitous and Tara accepting her help while they both thoroughly enjoyed their first night of dancing together.


It was magic. The moon cast a silvery glow on their faces while the stars seemed determined not to be eclipsed by the moon and shone with extra brightness. The cold air was racy, teasing their nostrils tickling their skin.


Then the New Year’s Eve bells began tolling, a cacophonous welcome of shouting, honking, banging pots, firecrackers, and laughter.


“Happy New Year, Tara. This is our year.”


Tara nodded, and they shared a tender kiss then her eyes went wide.


“Tara? Baby, don’t you have something to say to me?”


“My water broke.”


* * * * * * *



Other New Year celebrations followed. At first it was dancing again, and finally it involved hiring baby sitters, but the love remained as glowing and warm between them as it had been on their first New Year’s Eve together.


Ariel
How I Met Your Mother


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 Post subject: Re: New Year Challenge: Open to Everyone.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:52 pm 
Offline
8. Vixen
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Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 9:46 am
Posts: 859
Topics: 3
Location: Southern Arizona
Fireworks

Pairing: W/T

Rating: PG

Angst/Drama Rating: None

Setting: Post season seven but obviously Tara never died, none of the tragedy that was the whole JFK debacle ever happened.

Disclaimer: I in no way, shape or form own the characters from BtVS, they’re owned by Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy. All original characters are in no way connected to them except by me in this forum. I own nothing but my soul, and even that is only a fleeting ownership… such is life.

Feedback: If you’re up for, it’s always appreciated.

Author's Notes: It's three hours until midnight here in Tucson, and I thought I'd see what I could pull out of my sleep deprived brain. Yeah, I know the titles isn't very original, but it's pretty constant outside my apartment right now, so I went with it. This is also totally on the fly so there's no beta. Any errors are completely my own, so excuse me for it now. I also like to wish all the wonderful kittens here on the board a happy new year and all the love and joy their hearts and hands can hold in the new year! HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!





Willow had been fidgeting all night, constantly checking her watch and sighing heavily. Dawn was home from school, and she and Faith were driving Buffy eighty shades of insane. Xander and Anya were sitting near one another talking amiably, and Giles just lingered quietly in the background watching.


Finally, Tara pulled her aside while everyone else was distracted after dinner. “Will, what’s wrong with you?” she asked gently.


“Wrong? Who said anything’s wrong?” Willow laughed nervously and pulled at her collar. “I’m dandy, everything’s just dandy. I’m good, you’re good, we’re all good. Why don’t we go back in with everyone?”


Willow checked her watch again as she steered Tara back into the rec room of slayer central. When they walked in everyone stopped talking and looked at them like deer in headlights.


Tara put her hands on her hips and glared at the Scoobies. “Okay, just what is going on here? You all know something and someone better spill quick.” She said as she looked at Willow through narrowed eyes.


Faith jumped to Willow’s rescue. “Naw, blondie, nothin’ funny goin’ on here. We were just trying to decide what channel to watch the ball drop from. Dick Clark is kinda creepy, I mean shouldn’t that guy be dead by now? And Ryan Seacrest… well, there’s just somethin’ not right about that dude.”


“Dick Clark is a demon, I met him once,” Anya piped up. “We met in Boston right after that whole tea party thing. But he’s not holding up well, Hallie said he crossed the wrong group of elves and got himself all cursed… such a shame too, he used to be a really nice guy.”


Tara looked hard at Willow for a moment, and Willow just blushed under the scrutiny and aimed herself for one of the couches. Buffy slide over to perch on the arm, and Tara didn’t miss her pass something to Willow. Willow looked up at Buffy, who nodded at her and winked.


The next few hours passed in conversation, a discussion of outrageous resolutions led by Anya most of which somehow ended up sounding more sexual than they really were. Finally, it was a quarter of twelve. Dawn and Faith were sitting on either side of Buffy on a couch both hopped up and started grabbing coats. Faith handed Anya and Xander their jackets, as she pulled hers on. Dawn handed Willow hers and Tara’s, Buffy already had hers and handed Giles his.


“C’mon, Tara, there’s fireworks this year! We have to go see them!” Dawn gushed and pulled at her like a child.


They all went out into the garden, the faint sounds of moving water coming from the Coi pond as they all stood to stare at the sky. Willow moved off to the side and pulled out a cellphone and sent a text that chimed loudly as it went.


Just then the sky exploded with a colorful number ten floating in the air, the rockets began the countdown and everyone remained quiet watching the show. Slowly the Scoobies pulled back until Willow and Tara were at the forefront holding hands.


“Watch the sky, baby,” Willow said softly.


Tara looked at Willow and smiled, not noticing the retreat of everyone else. The sky lit with a loud, booming array of color and sound.


“TARA, MARRY ME”


Floated brilliantly and weightless in the night sky as Tara turned to Willow, now down on one knee holding a small box in her hand.


“Marry me, Tara,” Willow asked softly.


Tara’s mouth opened and closed like one of the coi in the pond only a few feet away. She looked around and saw all the Scoobies had moved just out of earshot and were holding bouquets of red roses.


“Marry me, Tara, please. Make me the happiest person on earth. Say you will, say yes,” Willow asked and opened the small box in her hand. Willow took out a baguette cut emerald surrounded by gorgeous deep blue aquamarine just the shade of Tara's eyes.


Tears filling her eyes, Tara bit her lip and nodded. Willow slipped the ring on her hand and jumped up throwing her arms around Tara.


“SHE SAID YES!!!” Willow squealed.


The Scoobies cheered loudly as Willow and Tara kissed passionately under the fireworks streaming across the sky.


Pulling back breathlessly, Tara gently rubbed her nose against Willow. “So how are you gonna top this next year?” she asked giggling.


Willow’s brow scrunched up in thought, and then she smiled wickedly; pulling Tara close, Willow began to draw small circles over Tara’s stomach slowly and meaningfully.


“I think I have an idea,” Willow said.


Tara raised an eyebrow and smiled, resting her forehead against Willow's, they giggled together.


Last edited by vampyregurl73 on Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:11 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Year Challenge: Open to Everyone.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:38 am 
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4. Extra Flamey
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These were all incredibly awesome, time constraint not even counting. This board still boasts hella talent.

Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2012 is the best yet for all the writers--that would also mean the best year for the readers, too.

_________________
When you find the good kind of magic, when you find your true partner in casting it, don't let her go into the Nether Realm alone... Interludes.
The rise of the greatest Seeyo in the history of Humanity in the Cosmic. The Coven.
I doodle too. GRAPHICS


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 Post subject: Re: New Year Challenge: Open to Everyone.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:33 pm 
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11. Fish in the Bowl

Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:35 pm
Posts: 1487
Topics: 2
Location: California
Starr AKA faolan228
Hey, Starr!

How cool are you! Closest to New Year’s and the first done! :bow :bow :bow

Liked dancing in the Bronze and “Hard day at work" with the tender brushing off of ash from Willow's cheek! :wink

Quote:
“I’ll do it again, too! Gnn knarf!” Drunk Potential hitting on Willow, right in front of a drunk Tara, it was almost too much to handle, her legs currently kicking and spindling through the air as Faith and the 17 year old Potential, Aardwulf, pinned her arms.

“Arbie, dun’t leb her go!” The Latina screamed, ducking behind Rona.

“Don’t call me Artie!”

“Artie let me go!”

“…yes, Tara.”
Okay Aardwulf is totally Artie from “Sentinels” – love how she still follows Tara’s orders! Atten-shun!

Then the best ending:
Quote:
“No! Don’t!” Spike came careening into the kitchen, grabbing the witch’s pin wheeling legs. A Slayer, a vampire, and a Potential all holding her down and none were a match for Tara when defending her mate. Only one was.

Slipping between them, Willow whispered in her ear, all too aware that those with supernatural hearing would hear them. “Gonna need a shower to wash off the icky Potential germs. Are you gonna stay down here throwing a tantrum, or come upstairs to clean me up?”

Tara calmed down, and was immediately lowered to the ground. There was a round of applause as they stumbled upstairs, where they rang in the New Year.

Multiple times.

Funny and amazing and quirky and happy! Never knew breaking someone’s nose could be so joyful! Thanks! :applause :eatme :pinky :applause :eatme :bounce

Finally, welcome to one of our newest writers – you’re one of a kind (in a good way!) :wink

******************************

Clare AKA wayland:
“A Traditional New Year’s Eve” is something delightful in your skillful hands. Love your dry wit, and you set the tone early.

Quote:
Willow Rosenberg did not like to think of herself as any kind of killjoy.

Joy was good, and killing was bad. And she, it was generally accepted, was a good person. Not perfect – a little headstrong perhaps, occasionally even reckless - but good. Definitely good.
Love your subtle humor, it works and the prose captures some of Willow’s babble-tone in a less hectic way.

Quote:
Willow had shuffled into her seat with bad grace – and then her irritation vanished like a dusting of snow in the sunshine as the trainer stepped forward and introduced herself.

She was beautiful. Charming and confident and witty. And very beautiful. The session flew by. How to use a computer and avoid RSI had never sounded so thrilling. The Manual Handling section of the presentation left Willow a little flushed. She made a vow to herself to maintain a straight back and bent knees, should any occasion of heavy lifting present itself. As the room lights were switched back on and people began to file out, Willow saw the name she had carefully copied into her note book. Tara Maclay. This was not unusual. Willow liked to learn her co-workers names, it was only polite. But she didn’t usually circle the name and adorn it with little stars.
Love how you draw this Tara. And yes, she is very beautiful. And Repetitive Stress Injury avoidance becomes “thrilling” – ah the miracle of love! :love :grin

Then Tara’s appearance at Willow’s place. God, the splendid awkwardness! The glance at the clock, the babbling, Willow’s ability to dance one-legged with her foot in her mouth! It was funny and real – I have been there, believe me!

Quote:
Tara’s eyes appeared fixed on a point over Willow’s shoulder, around where the clock hung on the wall. Then she seemed to brace herself in her seat as she turned and faced Willow.

‘Well, it’s probably the same everywhere . . . but on the stroke of midnight here, it’s traditional to kiss.’

Tara did not duck her head, or hide behind a curtain of hair. She did not look down at her hands and twist her mother’s wedding ring. Tara met Willow’s gaze and held it.

In the years to come, they argued over who had been braver, who had made the first move.

In fact, it seemed to Willow that they leaned forward at the exact same moment, their eyes open until a fraction of a second before their lips met.

Outside, Big Ben chimed, unheard.


So tender and so dear and so beautifully written – thank you! :love :applause :love

******************************

Vivienne
Drum-roll and the ‘Cheeky-cheeky Vixen Award” goes to VIVIENNE! :clap :clap :clap

I love this story, there is real love and the desire to express it in a way that means something and is special. Touched by the roses, very sweet gesture.

and the ending is sexy, funny and very loving.

Thank you so much – leave it to our two Awesome Brits to set the pace! :bow

******************************

Deb AKA JustSkipIt
Well, your story was worth THE WAIT (great humor, eh? That joke writing class is really paying off! :grin)

So Willow as a painter – is it wrong to love picturing her in coveralls? :wink And I love her wondering if her get up is too cliche! :lmao

Quote:
God. Her eyes. In looking back on that day, Willow just felt impressed with her ability to walk, talk, and listen in the presence of a blue that bright. Tara showed her the pagoda, dock, boathouse, porch, main building, and fence.
Simple and lovely. *sighs* Cookies and lemonade become nectar and ambroisia . . . Then later the cookies become sawdust and the lemonade made only of lemons – love the reincorporation.

Willow’s kiss and it’s failure just rocked me. It was different. Unbelievable. How? I mean the swims, the cookies, the talking and sharing. Then you write this amazing bit of W/T dialogue:
Quote:
Willow began to step backwards and then reconsidered. “I don’t know what happened, Tara. I mean… I feel … I’ve never felt like this and I thought you were… I didn’t mean to you know bark, bark, bark – wrong tree. But I thought … you know, right tree.”

Tara pursed her lips. “Oh, Willow. I didn’t mean to confuse you. I mean. Erggghh. Right tree. So right t-tree. It’s just that … it hasn’t even been a year since you… Oz. You’re on some,” she waved her hand up and down to indicate Willow’s paint-splattered overalls, “you’re taking a break from a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics and from Oz and from life and I can’t be part of your break. I … I just… it’s too hard to think of you finishing your wild summer with a fling with … whatever I would be.”
So, now we know . . .

Quote:
The redhead stood and brushed off her pants, waving as Tara walked up the steps and up to her on the porch. “Faith said you were out of town.”

Willow took a deep breath. “I was in town. I just didn’t want to come to her party.”

Tara shrugged and smiled. “That might have been wise. I left as the naked table dancing was getting really going.”
Love how you continue to nail Faith’s character and I can just see the whole wild adventure at the party! :pinky :party :pinky

Loved how Willow listed her activities and how varied, mind blowing and fascinating. And I could see Willow doing every one of them – awesome!

Quote:
She took a step closer and slid her left hand behind Tara’s head. “It’s 2012,” she said and kissed the other woman who immediately responded by wrapping her arms around the redhead’s back and sliding her tongue along her lips to deepen the kiss.

“Happy New Year.”

The two women leaned their foreheads together.

“Happy New Year.”
Sweet perfect ending – you set up the no-kiss so that yes-kiss is just radiant. Thank you so much! :bow

******************************

Heater AKA vampyregurl73

Fireworks indeed! Love how Willow and other Scoobies try to keep Tara in darkness and their romantic proposal is just lovely!

Quote:
Pulling back breathlessly, Tara gently rubbed her nose against Willow. “So how are you gonna top this next year?” she asked giggling.

Willow’s brow scrunched up in thought, and then she smiled wickedly; pulling Tara close, Willow began to draw small circles over Tara’s stomach slowly and meaningfully.

“I think I have an idea,” Willow said.

Tara raised an eyebrow and smiled, resting her forehead against Willow's, they giggled together.
I can see this so clearly and I love how vivid and sweet it is!

Happy New Year!!!!

Thank you! :love :flower :love

******************************

binky

So “Once More With Feeling” – thanks for reading and taking the time to give some feedback! I think it’s safe to say that all of us appreciate your good wishes! So health and Happy New Year to you! :pinky :bounce :party :eatme :dumbo

Ariel
How I Met Your Mother


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 Post subject: Re: New Year Challenge: Open to Everyone.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:58 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:31 am
Posts: 619
Topics: 10
Location: San Diego, CA
It's two minutes to midnight, New Year's Day, here in San Diego.

RATING: PG

DISCLAIMER: Willow, Tara and any other characters from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise belong to Joss Whedon, FOX and ME.

FEEDBACK: Any kind, positive or negative, is always welcome.

NOTES: Thanks to everyone indigokane, for sparking the idea for this thread in the first place and to everyone who wrote one of these on such fantastically short notice. You're all awesome. Particularly since I was barely able to make the deadline myself.

Scones
Tara hated these things. God she hated these things. How exactly was loud music, stupid hats, and the stench of cheap beer supposed to properly send off the old year and ring in the new? Tara looked down at the half-eaten slice of sheet cake and handful of Doritos on the paper plate perched on her lap and sighed. Even the food was lame.

The sendoff, she supposed, was apropos. 2011 had been a pretty awful year. But how, exactly, was sitting in the corner of a crappy frat party supposed to entice a kinder, gentler, year her way? The answer, Tara decided as she poked at the over-frosted cake slice with her fork, was that it wasn’t. All it did was set out the welcome mat for another year of extremely loud neighbors in the dorm, of feeling overwhelmed and out of place, and of wondering if she should just throw in the towel and go back home to help Dad run the store.

Oddly enough, Tara didn’t feel at all inclined to set out any such welcome mat. Not one bit.

She picked up her plate, ready to stand and get the hell out of dodge, when she heard laughter. Not just any laughter, either. No, laughter from the reason Tara still sat in the corner of a frat house living room on New Year’s Eve, despite deciding to get up and leave at least half a dozen times.

Dawn.

Tara slumped back in her chair. Because she couldn’t leave. Dawn needed a ride, and Tara had agreed to play designated driver tonight in exchange for . . . come to think on it, Tara couldn’t even remember what it was she’d gotten in exchange. But a promise was a promise, even if she couldn’t remember Dawn’s half. Even if it did feel like a ball and chain tying her down to another bad year.

If she put aside her sisterly-tinted goggles for a moment, Tara could see that Dawn had grown from the awkward twelve-year old she had first met to a smoking-hot college sophomore. Dawn knew it, too; she had a three boys hovering around her, all eating out of her hand. Not literally of course, though the idea made for a hilarious mental picture. No, instead they were tripping over themselves, and each other, to get her another drink or whatever it was that boys did to up their chances of a dance, a kiss, or a ticket into a girl’s pants. She shook her head: these boys were just being used. Tara knew perfectly well that Dawn had her sights on Ben Howey, a basketball player currently halfway across the room.

Tara glanced at her watch: 10:15. Knowing Dawn, she expected her to advance on her target in the next fifteen minutes. Plenty of time to arrange for a midnight kiss with the cutest guy at the party. Not that Tara was a great judge. Just that Dawn had been going on about him all day long, ever since Dawn found out that he a) would be at the party, and b) had, in fact, dumped his most recent whore.

Wait, did she say whore? Cheerleader.

Tara slumped further into her chair. The whole thing was inane: the deceit, the drama, the attire that looked more like intimate apparel than anything a sane person would wear outdoors in January. Not to mention the fact that there was little chance this boy would treat Dawn any differently than he had the previous girl. Tara sighed. She loved Dawn to death, but that didn't give her any insight into her social machinations. Of course, that didn’t say anything about Dawn. Sure, Tara was a junior with a 4.0 average, but that didn't change the fact that she had taken to collegiate social life like a fish to croquet.

“Sorry to see the end of aught eleven?”

Tara turned to her right at the question to find a cheerful-looking girl she’d never seen before. “Um, what?”

“Well, you’re sitting here, looking kinda mopey in the corner during a New Year’s party.” The stranger laid her head down on her arms, crossed on the back of the chair she was straddling. “So, I got to wondering why.” The girl blew at strand of her red hair that had fallen onto her kind face before she looked back at Tara, concern in her eyes. “The first thing I thought was that maybe you’re sad to see the year end.”

“Quite the opposite, r-really.”

The girl frowned. “But, isn’t the new year a chance for things to turn around?”

Tara could only shrug. “I suppose.”

“You suppose?” She scooched her chair closer, into what Tara normally considered her personal space, but it didn’t feel uncomfortable.

“It’s just . . . well, I just think that a frat party isn’t exactly a warm welcome for a new year.” Tara had no idea why she was telling this stranger her concerns.

“Fair enough. It doesn’t really feel like New Years for me without Guy Lumbardo, and somehow I don’t think they’ll be playing ‘Boo Hoo’ come midnight.” She frowned again.

“But then, what are you doing here?” Tara couldn’t help but smile just a little.

“My friends dragged me.” She pointed across the room. “Tall guy with the goofy smile on his face? That’s one of them . . . I can’t see the other.” She paused before asking, “Wait. You seem even less thrilled to be here than me. What are you doing here?”

Tara couldn’t help but smile. “I was wondering that myself when you came to sit here. Though I must confess: since then, I’ve mostly been wondering who you are.”

A blush crept over the girl’s face. “Oh. Heh. Oops.” She stuck her hand gently out into the small space between them. “Hi. I’m Willow.” Tara took the offered hand. It was small and soft in her own.

“Tara.”

Willow smiled. “That’s a pretty name. I like it much better than ‘cute earl grey and a blueberry scone girl.’”

“What?” Tara had never seen this girl before, and yet here she was, quoting the exact items she bought twice a week from the stand outside her class.

“I . . . goddammit, I think Buffy spiked my frappachinos with Everclear.” Willow blushed deeper. “See, I have class in Pappajohn 140 Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 10:30.” Tara just stared: that was where she had her class, right before ordering her scone and tea. “And, well, I showed up early for class one day, and saw you coming out of class. Along with, well, something like 40 other people, but I noticed you. And, um, I kind of followed you.” Tara dipped her head. The situation was spinning rapidly from strange to endearing to bordering on creepy.

“Please don’t be mad!” Willow continued. “I wasn’t trying to be all stalker-girl. I just . . . I was struck. You were pretty.” Tara looked up in time to catch Willow looking quickly away. “Are pretty,” she added softly. Tara watched as Willow’s eyes slowly moved back up. When their eyes met, Willow began again. “I just, something must be wrong with my gaydar, because I only ever crush on straight girls. And I wasn’t really in the mood for yet another ‘I’m really flattered, but I’m not interested’ speech, I thought I’d just, well, appreciate the view? God, that sounds terrible, all objectifying and everything, but it wasn’t like that. I saw you carrying Dostoevsky and the complete Shakespeare and decided you must be pretty smart, which just made you prettier.”

Tara didn’t know what to think. On the one hand, she’d carried the Shakespeare around months after The Brothers Karamazov, which meant that this Willow person had followed her at least couple of times. On the other hand, here was this girl--a really quite attractive girl, now that she let herself notice. Hitting on her. Or at least, meta hitting on her. Possibly. “I’m not,” Tara managed to get out through the shock.

“Oh.” Willow hung her head. “I’m . . . I’m sorry. I’ll go. I shouldn’t have . . . .” To Tara’s dismay, Willow stood, her eyes still averted. “I’ll just . . . .” She pointed her thumb over her shoulder and turned.

“Wait!” Tara shot out her arm, and caught Willow by the wrist as she quickly stood. “Why are you . . . please don't go.”

“I thought you said you weren’t. You know, flattered?”

Tara smiled in relief as she leaned forward to whisper into Willow’s ear. “Not straight.”

“Oh.” Willow’s eyes widened. “Oh! Wow.” She smiled. “That’s . . . really?”

Tara couldn’t help but laugh. “Yes, really.”

“Gosh, I . . . not really prepared for that.” She glanced down, and seemed distressed when she looked up. “See, overalls aren’t exactly ‘good first impression’ wardrobe.”

“If it helps,” Tara offered shyly, “I have to disagree with you there.” Which was true: a part of Tara’s brain had splintered off from the conversation to think about undoing the buttons, to wonder what Willow would look like with the straps pulled down a little . . . or a lot . . . and generally to spiral into completely inappropriate thoughts and desires for a person she had met five minutes ago.

Willow blushed again (which Tara decided was extremely sexy). “Thanks.”

Tara stood, uncertain as to what she should do next. She wanted to aim in the direction of New Year’s kissing, but was at a loss for how to go about it. How exactly had she spent so much time with Dawn without figuring out how to steer a situation like this? Thankfully, Willow spoke up.

“Look, this may sound really blunt and unpolished, but that’s because it is. But I just said what I did without you running away from me because I’m a crazy person, so here goes. Since neither of us is particularly invested in this here party, do you maybe want to blow this popsicle stand, go somewhere a little quieter, and get to know each other well enough that if I go in for a good luck New Year’s kiss, it would be okay?”

“That’s . . . I was just wondering, um, how to ask you that.”

Willow beamed. “Is that a yes?”

Suddenly, Tara remembered. “. . . no.”

“Oh.” Willow frowned. “Should I just leave now, and save myself the embarrassment?”

Tara took another step closer to Willow. “Please don’t. I mean, I would. Leave, that is. With you. But I’m someone’s ride.”

Willow grabbed Tara by the waist, and gently guided them together. Tara didn’t stop her. “Oh, is that all?”

“Yes. I still can’t go, though.”

“Oh, sure you can.” Willow grinned mischievously. “Hang on.” She turned to her right before shouting “Alexander Harris! Get your sorry ass over here!” Tara stared dumbfounded at Willow, but sure enough, the guy she had earlier pointed to appeared at their sides in less than a minute.

“Geeze, Will, make a scene why don’t you?”

“Tara, this is my friend Xander. Xander, this is ‘cute earl grey and blueberry scone girl.’ And you’re going to give her friend a ride home. Because you owe me.”

Tara frowned. “No, I can’t just . . . I’m not going to let her ride home with a stranger. I —”

“Tara, don’t worry. Xander drives a cab. Totally on the up and up. Show her your chauffeur’s license, Xan.”

Xander pulled out his wallet, and to Tara’s delight, produced a chauffeur’s license and an ID badge for one of the local cab companies. “Here,” he said as he pulled a business card out of the wallet. “Give this to your friend. Tell her to say she’s a friend of a friend of Willow's."

Tara glowed. “Really? But wait, I mean, how much—”

Xander shook his head. “Not a dime. I owe Willow a few favors, and if I can help her leave a party with someone for once, I’m happy to help.”

Willow giggled, and hugged him. “Now shoo. I’m sure you have your own girls to hit on before you get that call.” Xander grinned, bowed, and disappeared once more into the crowd.

“So, that’s all taken care of." Willow pulled Tara tighter. "We can go now, right?"

"Did you have a place in mind?”

“Well, I know a place that makes great scones.”

“Perfect.”

_________________
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 Post subject: Re: New Year Challenge: Open to Everyone.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:58 am 
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5. Willowhand
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Was waiting for the Earth to make a full rotation before leaving feedback, then got caught up in that horrible thing called real life.

Wayland
First a foremost, you have no idea how glad I am that I’m not crazy, and that I am not the only one who fabricates fictional life stories about strangers.
Quote:

In the years to come, they argued over who had been braver, who had made the first move.

This is the Kitten, so it’s a given, but that little tidbit of them having years together just warms my cockles.

Vivienne
Ah yes, the card conundrum, challenging creativity for generations. It starts off sweet and funny, and just gets sexier as it goes on.
Quote:
‘Oh-oh, cheeky!’ Tara laughed delightedly.

Funny in of itself, but it just seems so in-character for Tara to use a pun like that when present with Willow-ass!

JustSkipIt
First the cheating Oz, because seeing Willow sad makes me sad, and then this:
Quote:
Within three weeks, she had tried to kiss the blonde.
Tried.
Tara had shaken her head and walked away, puzzling the redhead.
Who tried again.
And again.
Until it became obvious that Tara was simply not interested.

Asdfghuk my heeeaaaarrt!

And the sawdust cookies and the too lemony-lemonade! Because honestly, who hasn’t felt heartache like that? Not necessarily romantic heartache, but sadness of that level?

But then everything was alright in the end and Tara realized Willow was the real deal and we knew it was gonna be alright but somehow you made me worry anyway!

Bravo.

Ariel
Oh man, oh man! I forgot to thank you for the use of Wendy in mine, so I’m gonna do that right now.

Quote:
“I’m me. Uh, Willow, Willow is me!

I c wat u did thar.

I’m loving Will’s internal monologue here, and to pick just one favorite would be me quoting the whole damn thing.

Gotta say, in fic, pregnancy-sex is written either brilliantly or extremely..eugh. Glad to say, yours was brilliant, just enough tenderness and not taking away from the…hotness is too crude of a word, sensuality of it all.

vampyregurl73

Alt!Season 7’s and beyond that have Tara/Willow always make me go *glee!*

I love how all the Scoobies are in on it. It really puts emphasis on the fact that they’re a family. The passing out of the coats, it’s like they rehearsed this!

Actually, knowing Willow, they probably did.

Quote:
“SHE SAID YES!!!” Willow squealed.


As if there was any doubt!!

And go, Willow! You top this year’s celebrations, alright!

BeMyDeputy

First off, may I say that you captured the air of ‘shitty New Year’s party’ quite accurately, crappy over-frosted cake and all.

Ah, the awkward moment where you finally get the courage to talk to your crush and you’re about as smooth as a bucket of rocky road ice cream.

Also, can we talk about this?
Quote:
Tara, this is my friend Xander. Xander, this is ‘cute earl grey and blueberry scone girl.’


I love how not only does she refer to her as that in her head, that’s how she discusses her with her friends. I just love how real that is. ‘Redheaded barista with the glasses, giftshop girl, etc.’ People do that! :D

Quote:

“My friends dragged me.” She pointed across the room. “Tall guy with the goofy smile on his face? That’s one of them . . I can’t see the other.”


Because Buffy is Shorty McShorterson of Shorthire, New Shortland.

_________________
"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: New Year Challenge: Open to Everyone.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:06 pm 
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4. Extra Flamey

Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:02 pm
Posts: 220
Location: England
That was fun. I enjoyed writing and reading the stories, so many thanks to Kate for the challenge.

faolan228
I loved your snapshots. You packed a lot of character into few words, and I particularly liked your Buffy. I laughed at drunk Tara, and ‘icky’ is such a great word.

Vivienne
Nicely done, excellent fluff (on very short notice). Both Willow and Tara’s gestures felt in character, (even if you couldn’t remember how to think in American.)

JustSkipIt
I loved the wrong tree/right tree exchange. You make the way you write Willow and Tara seem so effortless. Tara rebuffing Willow was a nice twist.

Ariel
Lots of great humour and sweetness, and ‘delighting in being on her feet and ready when Tara needed her’ is a lovely line.

vampyregurl73
Fireworks are a great idea, and the less than subtle pre-proposal manoeuvres of Willow and the Scoobies made me smile.

BeMyDeputy
Very good scene-setting – I’ve been to parties like that – and I loved ‘like a fish to croquet.’ Also, I liked Xander’s role. I love to read Xander as a good guy.

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 Post subject: Re: New Year Challenge: Open to Everyone.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 9:59 am 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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So this my challenge, but somehow ended up being the last to post and very late leaving feedback.

Well, that's only super tacky.

First off, a huge thanks and total 'wow' to everyone who participated in this challenge. I was shocked by how many people wrote something.

A bit of an apology, since so much word about this spread via instant messaging and the like: I'm sorry if people were writing for a New Year's Eve deadline, only to have me post it as New Year's Day. It wasn't intentional. I'd been thinking New Year's day for practical reasons: it was when I had internet on my laptop, instead of just on my phone. Everyone who posted under that early deadline earns a cookie. Deb, you may have to provide me with an appropriate recipe for a cookie that you'd actually, um, eat.

faolan228:
Wow, not only did you jump on this first, it was New Years where you were first. Nicely done. These were sweet little moments. I think the drabble challenge got me appreciative of telling tiny stories like this. You also have some lovely lines in here: the bit about the vampires, as others have mentioned, the "whitest town in Southern California," and "There were wine coolers, though," were my favorites. By setting these in canon, you were able to tell this story with these little pictures, even though they were brief. And that's cool.

Wayland:
First, the bitching re: other side of the pond. Hmm, what's this here? An email to you? Dated 12/29 telling you to write something? Why, that's a full day before this thread went up. And I seem to recall that by the time I talked to you on the 30th, you'd already written 800 words. So your bitching? Funny, sure, but don't think you'll get away with taking the piss out of me and having me not respond. (Yeah, that's right. I used your crazy British phrasing there. And yes, I know that you aren't British, but the phrasing is. So :P)

Anyway, I loved what you wrote. Because my family is in England, and my mom's cousin hosts a huge New Year's Eve party for said family, one of our traditions for New Year's is to make a phone call to England. And so this just felt . . . familiar. And, you know, I love your writing in general, but you already know that.

Quote:
Alone in her apartment, Willow knew she had a choice. She could dream up romantic scenarios of herself and Tara riding off into the sunset together. But they would never come true. And it seemed wrong, somehow, because in that fantasy, Tara would be a different person – and the woman Willow had just met was perfect.


This is such an interesting idea. I just never would have thought of it. So it was intriguing to see how it played out.

It amused me that Willow never bothers to wonder what it is Tara is after, what brings Tara there. I mean, most people do things on New Year's, and Willow knows she's odd in that her ritual is, well, to hide. It's very Willow: she's very sensitive to people's feelings, but she's not very diligent about thinking about what other people must be thinking.

This made me laugh: "She didn’t know what to say, so, disastrously, she said the next thing that came into her head."

I'm sure you'll hear more about what I liked when I send you the rewrite. ;)


Viv:
I was so happy that Clare dragged you into this. I miss your writing, and hope that things over there settle down so we can have more of it. And, you know, so your life isn't crazy.

So, I'm doing a rewrite of Clare's thing from Tara's POV, which is in British English, and it's very weird. It must be strange writing in American English for the board. Because . . . it's so strange. In the spirit of being educational, here are some British/American things Clare missed:
-We say Merry Christmas, not Happy Christmas. Which you got most of the time, but Willow wrote Happy Christmas on her card.
-Robins are not a Christmas bird, so aren't on Christmas cards here. Our robins don't come out until spring.
-I'm not a coffee person, but I've never heard of stewing coffee.
-We don't say "cheeky."

I loved this line: "Further down – much further down – she wrote ‘KISS ME’." It's just lovely and tells you exactly what you need to know. And the end, "And Tara said nothing at all," is just . . . understated and sweet.

Anyway, come back soon! We miss you.


JustSkipIt:
First, your note. I'd contend that I am persistent in my suggestions that you write more in general, and that I'm extremely persistent in my requests for the Waiting for Dani sequel that I desperately want. Looking at the conversation we had about this, however, I'd argue that it was flattery, not persistence, that was the means of convincing. And honestly, I'd already accepted that the answer was no at that point. But since you have that same record, presumably, I'm willing to run with whatever. Of course, if you were to show that record to anyone, I'd deny everything.

I think it's the middle of this piece I like the best, the paragraphs of one or two sentences. The story is sweet and simple, and the simple sentences and brief paragraphs work really well with that. I don't know if you meant to do it, but I liked that you write Willow as having tried to kiss Tara three times, and then uses "bark" three times. I just reread that paragraph . . . I'm such a structure dork.

I completely inappropriately laughed when Tara said "Erggghh," by the way. You say that. Or rather, type that. I mean, it totally worked, but it's just one of those things, you know, where you know the author, and it changes how you read something? Maybe that only happens with me.


Ariel:
Wow. That was pretty epic, given the time frame.

I loved the bit with Willow and the mocha. I think it's a common thing, I think, trying to figure out how to go for that first kiss, but not knowing what exactly to do. I know it was for me. I was also amused because I hate the taste of coffee, so I get rather upset that I can taste it when I kiss Adam after he drinks it.

It feels like this would be a good sketch for something a bit longer. Like, the same arc, but fleshed out? It was neat that you managed to produce this in such a short time, but at the same time, I think you could do something even more interesting with it given a longer time frame. Like, these friends of Tara's that she's having a baby for? They must be essentially family. There's a story there. And if I was Willow, it's one I'd want to hear.

vampyregurl73:
One thing that always interests me about stories set in/post season 7 is how the presence of Tara changes Willow's relationship with Faith. So it was neat, here, to see Faith jump on and help Willow out.

Also: countdowns to fireworks in fireworks? Totally awesome.


BeMyDeputy:
Okay, it would be tacky to leave the nice things I thought about what I wrote here, but I do want to say that I think I didn't end it in the right place. I wrote this in one long chunk followed by lots of little ones, and the little ones . . . they don't actually add. Particularly after the rich set up, the sparse ending just feels weak and lacking. I should have just cut it after "Not straight," with maybe a line or two showing Willow flustered and not knowing what to do, rather than just saying she wasn't expecting that. Or maybe just left it at Tara's line.

I suppose that would cut the bit with Xander, which was something people said they liked.


And thanks, faolan228 and wayland, for the nice words about my stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: New Year Challenge: Open to Everyone.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:56 pm 
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32. Kisses and Gay Love
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Katie - Ok. Not pestering me. Also, I clear our chat histories frequently. So I have no evidence.

Maybe I should leave you the Willow's Marks outline in my will.

I loved loved loved your story! Seriously. You know I love meeting stories and it is just so cute. I think the part where Willow leans her head on the chair back is just too adorable. Too adorable. And Tara's sort of amused, attracted, horrified by Willow but obviously that works. Ok. Time is short. But I love it!

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