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

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 Post subject: February Challenge (Winner announced!)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:04 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Announcement of Monthly Challenges:

Challenges have a long history on the board. Certainly longer than I’ve been around. They’re awesome: they give new writers a chance to try writing something, and experienced writers a motivation to pick up they keyboard and write something different. Or at all. I’m looking at you, dlline.

After I hosted the New Year’s challenge, dtburanek approached me and asked if I’d be willing to host more. I think the idea is great, so I said yes. So great, in fact, that I think we should have one every month. Starting right now.

In order to recognize the history of challenges on the board, there will be some down the line that borrow elements that have already been used, but in shiny new combinations. Nothing is set in stone, so please let me know in the thread about your favorite challenges from days gone by. Man, how many times can I say challenges in one paragraph? Challenges challenges challenges.

Anyway, I’m putting that off for a month, because February has something special going on.



February Challenge:
Our first challenge is in honor of the release of How to Be Death (Amber Benson’s fourth Calliope Reaper-Jones book) at the end of the month.

The challenge, and you know youtotally want to accept it, is to write something that includes the elements listed below. They can be mentioned in passing or can be central to the story. Just put them in a story and post it in this thread by February 29th. (This thread. That's in PENS. And therefore follows PENS rules.) Since, you know, it’s a monthly challenge.

-A book signing
-The Divine Comedy (it doesn’t have to be an educated reference. The Wikipedia entry on the subject is way, way more information than you need. Super more. Seriously, don’t be intimidated. I haven’t read this or anything.)
-A dog that, despite being named something else, is called “Runt” by the characters
-A deity from a non-Abrahamic religion (i.e. not Judaism, Christianity, or Islam)

The story can be any length , any style, and any setting, so long as it meets the board rules. Like, if want to write a drabble about Willow and Tara meeting Loki in line to have their copies of Inferno signed by Dante, only to have Cujo show up, only to be saved when Loki turns Cujo into a Chihuahua, that’s fine. But only if they call Cujo “Runt.”

Now that I think about it, that’s kind of hilarious. Someone should write that.


Last edited by BeMyDeputy on Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:52 pm 
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4. Extra Flamey
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Can I make an amendment to the length? As long as it is in one post it can be any length. We don't want to have multiple chapters interspersed throughout the thread.

Now if it inspires you to continue, go head and start a new thread with your new story (or worry about that when you get there). For now just make it one post please!

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Visit my epic fic As You Wish and my shorts thread F*Series & Other Shorts But don't go visit my rarely updated Official Blog!


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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:24 am 
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DIBS! Oh wait... Come on people, join the Challenge!

TITLE: Something Like That

AUTHOR: Delayne T. Buranek

RATING: PG-13

DISCLAIMER: Enter standard Disclaimer here. In Other Words, I own none of it, I use it not for profit anyway. I used to do this in hopes it would impress girls but I’m committed now so that is out of the question. But we have nothing to our name except our two dogs and you’ll have to kill me before taking them.

SUMMARY: It’s a fic challenge piece

FEEDBACK: Yes please.

NOTE: I googled “nerdy sci-fi books” and that is how I found the author, Dan Simmons, and the book mentioned in this piece. Also it isn’t my best, but I just wanted to get something entered in the challenge as soon as possible. Besides, Challenges are all for fun, meant to be relaxing and meant to get people to participate! So shortly after reading mine, go write one yourself!

Also, I got tired of proof-reading so if there is anything super dumb I left in here, let me know via PM and I will fix it.


**February 1st, 6:17 a.m.**

"Sweet Brigid, its Imbolc already?"

"And would you have remembered that if we didn't have a Goddess of the day calendar?" The blonde asked.

"Well no, but I had not ripped off any pages since I got it. And so I ripped a bunch off all at once and suddenly its all 'hey its Imbolc.' And you know how it is with holidays around here. I mean we celebrate them all, from at least three different religions and it just gets to be a lot.... So forgive me if I forget a few..." Willow started trailing off because Tara was giving her that smirk. The one that says, 'keep talking dear, it's adorable.'

Willow continued anyway just to see the blonde smile, "So we should have a feast right? Get the gang together. Celebrate?"

"You mean like we do every Wednesday?"

"Exactly."

"Can you get home early and help, perhaps?"

"I think its actually going to be a busy day." Willow said.

Tara stuck out her bottom lip in a pout, a relatively new trick in Tara's arsenal to get Willow to do things (not like it was that hard but it was a game they liked to play.)

"Really?" Willow asked of the pout, also part of the new game.

Tara pouted even more (which Willow never thought was possible but she did it every time.)

Willow was forced to get closer and capture the pout-y lips in hers.

"I'll try to get home early." She mumbled as she went in for another kiss.


**Sometime around noon**

"Dawnie, why do we need to stop at the bookstore?" Tara asked.

They were out running errands. It was a really nice day for February, especially since the week prior had been overcast and gloomy.

"The University bookstore was out of copies and I wanted to get it sooner rather than later. I am actually surprised that no one has a copy already. I mean hello, our family circle has a significant amount of bookish people, and people who like history or have lived it. You think someone would have a copy of The Divine Comedy."

"Well, Giles did have his Easton Press edition but you knew it wouldn't survive your backpack."

"That is why I am looking for a paperback. It will be torn up by the end of the semester, but so would a hardback that costs three times as much. And especially a leather-bound gold-plated edition."

"Very smart."

"And that is why I *is* in college!"

Dawn and Tara entered the bookstore. They were stopped shortly by a long line of people weaving throughout the entry.

"What the?"

"Wow, that is quite the line." Tara spoke at the same time as Dawn.

"Maybe we should um, get your book and quickly." Tara added.

"I wonder what is going on?" Dawn wondered aloud.

They squeezed along the back careful to avoid breaking the line. As they edged around they got a better view. It was a table, sitting behind was a person and the table was stacked high with books.

"I wonder who is here signing?"

They got a little closer to a poster posted up near the table...

"Dan Simmons." Tara read.

"Who?"

"Uh, some author. That name seems familiar though."

"Come on let's go get my Dante on.... Wait, that sounds wrong."

"Well we can wait for Virgil to give us the tour? Or maybe this is just the first circle of Hell?"

"I don't like those jokes either, but then again I might get it better after I've read it."

They wove through the stacks headed towards the sign hanging from the ceiling that said "Classics." It didn't take long for Dawn to find her selection. They walked towards checkout and near the line of people when Tara spotted a flash of red. The exact tone of the color was one that always made her heart skip a beat, ever since she first started seeing it around the college campus so many years ago.

So she was surprised and not surprised to see that it indeed belonged to her Willow.

"Willow?" Tara asked as she got closer, not so much a question but to make the redhead aware of her presence. The slight lilt hinting to her surprise.

The redhead turned, wide-eyed. She recognized that voice, and the way it made her heart race ever since the redhead introduced herself and the blonde replied "Nice to meet you Willow." on the college campus many years ago.

"Tara... uh Hi." It was nervous Willow, the one that got caught with her hand in the literal cookie jar. You know because eating a cookie before dinner was the extent of Willow's badness. Which, the redhead did and was caught fairly often. Those exchanges went fairly similar to the one about to take place.

Tara didn't have to say anything to launch the poor woman into full on babble mode full of over explanation. All she had to do was quirk her eyebrow.

"So I was at work, of course as you know because you called me like a few hours ago, and I was sitting there and Peter came in and was all "Hey guess who is at the bookstore today." Because we had a discussion not that long ago actually about how Hyperion is one of my favourite sci-fi books of all time and so we came here..." She trailed off not exactly happy with her explanation.

"Busy day huh?" Tara smirked.

It was the smirk that let Willow know she wasn't in trouble, because I mean why would she, but she was totally going to be teased about it for a while.

"Yeah, actually, hence the here on lunch break."

Dawn paid for her purchase and headed back to campus for a later class that the book was required for. Willow and Tara did like they do during cookie incidents... they shared and enjoyed the moment together.


**Later that evening**

"Make sure Runt has a water dish down. Last time they were here the poor thing panted half to death." Tara yelled from the kitchen as a group entered the front door.

The happy dog came bounding into the kitchen and slid across the linoleum, crashing into Tara to say hi. Xander and Anya came following shortly after.

"Hi Runt." Tara said petting the dog.

It had started as a joke. Anya had wanted an expensive papered dog, one that spoke volumes of being made of money and possibly be used to make more as a show dog and then bred for even more money. That's like money-money-money. She had found the Great Dane advertised on Craigslist but by the time she got to see the dogs there was only one left. As the runt the poor pup was doomed to never show but was purchased at a discounted price. She was still papered with a ridiculous name that was like Athena's Blue Runner (or something like that). They all decided to call her Scooby and then proceeded to never call her that again.

Even Anya, who at first, had protested the name change with "That is not her name!," had come into the kitchen and said "Runt, you know better, out of the kitchen."

The nickname was also hilarious because even as a runt, she was frikken huge, easily staring above the belly button on the tallest of the pack of humans she knew as her family.

They prepared the feast, as was typical of a Wednesday evening and sat down together to enjoy it.

"So Will, what are we celebrating?" He had heard from Buffy who had heard from Dawn who had talked about it with Tara when they were out running errands together.

Willow was torn between ignoring what she knew was a smart ass remark from a teasing Xander or telling him to shut up.

She went with the former. "Today we celebrate Imbolc." She left it at that.

Xander looked to Giles for an explanation but the older gentleman had learned to stay out of situations like those. If Willow wasn't going to tell Xander, he sure wasn't going to.

"Hey Dawnie, what circle of hell did you get to today?" Tara asked.

"Actually, our professor wants us to read Paradiso first."

Giles and Willow practically spit out their food. “Bloody Hell!” and “What!” could be heard respectively.

"I know, like weird right?"

Willow just shook her head.

Xander took the opportunity to tease some more.

"So Will, I heard you got your nerd on today and went to a book signing, how'd that go?"

"Shut up Xander or you won't get that extra signed copy I got for you!"

He looked sheepish and excited at the same time. He had read those books when Willow convinced him. It proved most useful that she had something to relate to him when they read The Canterbury Tales back in high school.

"So, tomorrow we get to find out of we have six more weeks of winter from Pucks-and-honey Phil." Buffy asked.

Willow mouthed 'Pucks and honey?' And Tara mouthed back 'Don't worry about it.'

"We will have six more weeks." Tara said non-chalantly.

"And how do you know that?" Xander asked, not in a rude way but it was enough to have Willow glare at him for daring to question Tara. So he back pedaled. "I mean not to doubt your witchy prowess, I am just curious." he squeaked.

"The same way Phil does."

"So you saw your shadow tomorrow?"

Tara just smiled and said, "Something like that."

The End

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Visit my epic fic As You Wish and my shorts thread F*Series & Other Shorts But don't go visit my rarely updated Official Blog!


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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:11 am 
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11. Fish in the Bowl

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Dibs! :whip

Delayne, you ROCKED!!! :pinky :eatme :bounce :party

You led off with humor, romance, creativity and you nailed Scooby moments beautifully! Loved Willow getting up in Xander's face over his even suggesting to question Tara. The W/T cuteness AND the origin of the runt, involving Anya. Good Job! You raised the bar!

Quote:
"Sweet Brigid, its Imbolc already?"

"And would you have remembered that if we didn't have a Goddess of the day calendar?" The blonde asked.

"Well no, but I had not ripped off any pages since I got it. And so I ripped a bunch off all at once and suddenly its all 'hey its Imbolc.' And you know how it is with holidays around here. I mean we celebrate them all, from at least three different religions and it just gets to be a lot.... So forgive me if I forget a few..." Willow started trailing off because Tara was giving her that smirk. The one that says, 'keep talking dear, it's adorable.'
Just funny and adorable. Love how you capture their playfulness and teasing! :applause :flower :applause

Quote:
Tara stuck out her bottom lip in a pout, a relatively new trick in Tara's arsenal to get Willow to do things (not like it was that hard but it was a game they liked to play.)

"Really?" Willow asked of the pout, also part of the new game.

Tara pouted even more (which Willow never thought was possible but she did it every time.)

Willow was forced to get closer and capture the pout-y lips in hers.

"I'll try to get home early." She mumbled as she went in for another kiss.
Yes, Tara! I will do anything you say, Tara! Sign me up for a Tara pout! I'd pay to see it! :love

Again, way to lead off and start things rolling! You've set the bar high!!! :clap :applause :clap

Ariel
How I Met Your Mother


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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:40 pm 
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Ariel, I appreciate your feedback. I will address it in more detail later.

Right now I want to bribe people to get more stories. We plan to offer some specialized avatars to participants. Badges you can wear proudly or use as your actual avatar. We don't know what they will look like yet (also if you are good at photoshop drop me a line), but I am willling to do just about anything to get more writers.

Seriously, this is for fun, relaxing, not anything to get all crazy about or worry about what you've written. I promise, all good vibes here. Get to writing!

-Delayne

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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:14 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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Hi Everyone, I’ve been meaning to write something for this really cool challenge for a while (many thanks to BeMyDeputy for posting it). Unfortunately, due to exceptionally pressing real life matters (which I shan’t bore you with), I’m afraid I’ve only been able to knock this old thing out. Apologies for it being a bit rubbish and rushed (and not run by a beta first), but I thought better to post something than nothing, right?

If you spot any major mistakes or nonsense (or just want me to burn it and never write again) please PM me. I hope you enjoy it :)




Title: Between the covers

Author name: JustAKitty

Rating: PG-13

Spoilers: None - this is very much a non-hellmouth setting.

Summary: Oneshot, and response to this challenge! Willow is book signing and Tara is in a hurry.

Disclaimer: Willow and Tara belong to Mutant Enemy, no matter how hard I try and wish otherwise. Please don’t sue – currently I only own some tattered textbooks and a bag of frozen peas, so it really isn’t worth it….

Also I am slightly mean about Chihuahuas here – please note that I love all animals and am merely writing this for comic effect.

* * * * * * * *


Dr Willow J. Rosenberg surveyed the long queue ahead, and mentally sighed.

She was thankful for the money – really, she was. In these economically turbulent times not many classicists could find fulfilling work that utilised their education (albeit tangentially) and she had been (she somewhat begrudgingly admitted) rather lucky.

It was just that when summoning yet another bright and slightly brittle smile, making small talk while dashing off a signature on the inside sleeve and secretly surveying the seemingly endless line of eager and enthusiastic people, it could be a little difficult to be thankful for her good fortune.

Especially when hungry, thirsty and jetlagged.

It had been in her final year of university, when panicking about future prospects and stressing over exams, that the idea had first insinuated itself. Flicking through the well-thumbed textbook on Greek mythology, she had been musing (unoriginally, if she was honest) on how these were the soap operas of the day and idly reimagined the gods and myths as a sitcom. And so, as the pretend Zeus lectured his son Hephaestus on how long that damned unfinished motorbike was going to be in the garage, the initial chapters of Willow’s first novel – From Hera to Eternity - had been born.

It had been a struggle to get it off the starting block. Despite the excellent prose (all those years on fanfic forums had finally paid dividends), great plot arcs and originality, no one had been interested. Despairing, she had almost quit – until a little known indie publishing house called Kitty Books had sent her a letter requesting her presence to discuss terms, and before she knew it she had a contract for a series of 5 novels.

Though the comic family dynamic (would-be-philanderer Zeus, his long suffering wife Hera and their various crazy relatives) had been very well received by the public, she hadn’t garnered much interest from the critics until Electra Mayhem – Persephone’s struggle to overcome her burgeoning addiction to her bad-boy boyfriend’s drugs had generated rave reviews, and a spot on the NYT bestsellers list.

All in all, she was fortunate.

It was just difficult to appreciate that fact right now.

Mentally sending kill-me-now vibes to her agent, Rupert Giles, she was surprised and gratified when he wandered over to the table and, sharply clapping his hands together, he addressed the crowd.

“Now then, I’m afraid it is lunch time,” he announced to audible discontent, “but Ms Rosenberg will be reading a selected chapter from her new and as yet unpublished work – Styx and Stones – later this afternoon.”

And, to the impromptu cheer of her fans, she stood up, gave a shy wave and made her way out of her booth at the 2012 Literary Expo and went in search of food and mochas.


* * * * * * * *


Tara Maclay was on a mission. Working as an exhibition manager (especially a very junior one) was tiring and demanding, but she hadn’t minded – not when she was surrounded by all these books. Even as a young girl, banished to the school library for the sin of being ‘uncool’, she had loved them – their stories, comforting weight and even their slightly musty smell.

She had been enjoying directing the visitors to the toilets/refreshment booth/appropriate venue, when her foot had been accosted by a small furry thing.

Currently, and tentatively, she had labelled it a Chihuahua – but only because rats didn’t yap.

Now she was trying to find the owner while preventing it from seducing any of her available limbs.

Craning her neck to see over people, trying to second guess where a concerned pooch owner would lurk, and generally being hot, bothered and confused, she reflected she now had a good insight into how Dante’s fortune tellers must have felt.

Trying to dart between two large backpack wearing bibliophiles, she found herself colliding with something delightfully soft and feminine.

“Oof,” said the winded redhead, straightening up.

“I’m s-so sorry ma’m, I didn’t…are you OK?” a mortified Tara apologised.

“Oh I’m fine, I was just looking for a place to eat my bagel-y goodness and drink my..er..mocha…” Willow trailed off, before looking ruefully down at the dropped bagel and the Styrofoam cup lying in the pool of its former contents.

Tara followed Willow’s gaze, and blushed – not only had she managed to knock over a beautiful women, she had also scattered the lady’s lunch far and wide.

“I really am very sorry; maybe I could buy you another?”

“Hey, that’d be great – really, thanks, that’s really kind! I’m Willow.”

“I’m Tara, nice to meet you.”

The Chihuahua, sensing an opportunity in Tara’s distraction, wriggled out of her arms and made a beeline for the food, causing Willow to let out a snort of laughter before scooping up the animal.

“Is this little fella yours?”

“Um, no...I, I was just looking for the runt’s owner.”

“Runt?” Willow’s opened her eyes wide in mock astonishment, and clapped her hands over the dog’s ears “Careful, he might hear you.”

Tara was about to reply when a large florid lady draped in furs (which probably looked better on their original owners) flounced over and demanded in a loud voice to know exactly what Tara was doing with her dog.

The explanation took far too long and by the time she had finished the very pretty redhead had gone. Even though their meeting had been brief, Tara still felt a slight pang at the absence. Sighing, she collected herself and went back to work.


* * * * * * * *


The afternoon passed quickly for Tara and, before she knew it, it was nearly 5 o’clock and time to help people pack up. Her friend and co-worker Elizabeth bounced over with an expression Tara knew all too well.

“Tarraaa,” she began “have I mentioned lately what a super-awesome best friend you are?”

“Not since the last time you needed something.” Tara replied, dryly.

“Heh, well there are two stalls left to pack up, one is some writer or something. The other is, get this, Angelo DeMarco!”

“Who the what now?”

“You know, mister dreamy off of that sitcom - the one who is always broody with the leather jacket. He’s here to promote an autobiography and….”

“Let me guess, you want me to take the other person?”

“Please…I’ll be your friend for life…”

“Thought you were already,” muttered Tara under her breath “Ok, see you later.”

“Thanks Tara, you’re the best!”

Tara made her way to room 214 and, just before entering, heard a voice followed by appreciative laughter. Slipping through the doorway, she was transfixed by the vision of Willow sitting and reading from a book, face slightly flushed as she took a sip of water before setting the tumbler down and continuing:

“Zeus replied ‘but I thought you could microwave it, baby.' ‘Not if it has a foil sticker.’ and with that, Hera strode out of the room.”

As Willow shut the book and stood, the room burst into strong applause (and even a few whistles). A man strode over to the microphone and, clearing his throat, said:

“Well, thank you Miss Rosenberg for an entertaining reading. Now then, I’m afraid that the session is adjourned, but her new book will be on sale from June. Thank you all for coming, and have a pleasant evening.”

Tara headed over to the book stand and picked up one of the few remaining unsold novels. Looking at the title cover she saw the author - W. J. Rosenberg.

Ahhh. W for Willow.

“I can ring that up for you, if you’d like.”

She looked up and saw Willow smiling shyly, standing next to the till.

“That would be nice,” Tara smiled back.

“You know, we never did get a chance to grab that lunch…”

“Nope, but since you held out on me, I’m not going to pay for you.”

“Held out on you?”

“You, missy, never said you were a famous writer!”

“Aww,” whined Willow, with a mock-pout “that’s soo not fair. I hate having to pay for lunch.”

“How about dinner instead, then?”

“Dinner? When and where?”

“I know a nice restaurant. I just have to pack up these few things and then we could go, if you’d like?”

“I’d love. It’s a date then.” grinned Willow, handing Tara the book and bouncing over to Giles.

Date, huh, sounds…pretty great’ Tara smiled to herself, tidying up the last of the book stands.


* * * * * * * *


Willow chatted briefly with Giles about how the reading had gone, keeping one eye on Tara at all times. As soon as the last box had been put away, she made her excuses and headed over to the sexy blond.

“Heya, soo, dinner?”

“Dinner,” smiled Tara “let’s go.”

Neither lady knew, as they stepped out of the door, that they were about to have their first date of many with their future partner. That they would marry in California. That they would spend their long and happy lives together. They had no inkling of the love and laughter that lay ahead.

They did suspect, though, that this was the start of something special – something truly wonderful.

And they were right.

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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:50 pm 
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11. Fish in the Bowl

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Dibs!

Okay, JAK! Funny delicious bit of wit here! "Styx and Stones" :lol :lmao :laugh :rofl only one of many glorious titles!

Fun with Willow dealing with the book signing and the exasperation of ankle amorous dogs (been there!).

Tight, short and funny - thanks so much!

Ariel


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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:52 pm 
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8. Vixen
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I Did What Last Night?

Author: vampyregurl73

RATING: PG-13 for innuendo

DISCLAIMER: The standard - I don’t own it, wish I did, I’m broke and you really don’t want to work it out in trade – although the barter system works really well for me.

SUMMARY: I couldn’t stand the begging from Delayne… Oh and no beta so “oopsie” - get used to the edits, I'm a goober. Ok, so that's not really a summary so here goes. Set in the present and everyone that should be alive is - no names will be mentioned (like a certain blonde witch's, but I didn't say anything) and it's just one of those "girls nights out" that happen to provide years of fun and torment to come - but in a "we love you" kinda way. Ok, so there you have a summary of sorts.

FEEDBACK: Of course, I'm having fun with this one, so hope you do too


******



“Willow, you have to get up,” Tara said as she moved around their bedroom.


Willow pulled the comforter over her head and groaned. “I don’t wanna.” Was the muffled reply as she rolled into a fetal position and whimpered.


“It was your idea to go out with Buffy and Faith last night, now get up!” Tara said loudly as she yanked back the curtains flooding the room with light, then grabbed the comforter, and yanked it off the bed.


Willow hissed like a vamp about to combust as Tara stood there holding the bed sheets. With one hand on her hip, and wearing a rare self-righteous smirk, she began to talk loudly as Willow tried to cover her head with pillows.


“You should have known better when we were going to a place Faith frequents that’s called "The Inferno". Not only was that not bad enough, but they were showing old John Waters movies on a loop featuring Divine! I have no sympathy for you, Willow. You tried to drink with the big dog and proved you were the puppy. What were those things you guys were drinking anyway?”


“’Seven Layers of Hell’, but they were pretty layered shots, baby, and they tasted good too,” Willow whined.


Tara thought for a moment. "I thought there were nine levels of hell..."


"She probably couldn't fit another two in the shot glass," Willow groaned and lifted the pillow to hiss again. "Oh, you were being literal, I believe you're right, sorry the ol' brain is still a bit pickled."


Tara shook her head. “Did Faith at least get that bartender’s number?”


“Which one?” Willow peeked out from under the pillow, this time smirking. “When Buffy left to go chat up the doorman, Faith pulled out all her tricks. The girl ignored her the whole night, maybe she knows Faith.”


Tara sat on the edge of the bed and looked at Willow. “Will, please get up we’re going to be late, okay?” She leaned forward and kissed Willows forehead completely ignoring the puckered lips. “Are you kidding me? I’m not kissing you until you brush your teeth, I can still smell at least three of the layers of hell on you.”


“Why aren’t you hung over?” Willow pouted sitting up slowly with her hands over her eyes.


“Because I know better than to try and out drink a slayer,” Tara said with a wink as she left the room.


******


Willow and Tara were seated side by side at a table waiting for Faith, Buffy and Dawn to arrive for lunch. Willow was still sitting with a baseball cap and her sunglasses on while drinking copious amounts of water and wearing ear plugs. The two sat comfortably in silence, and Tara noticed a placard in the window of the book store across the street advertising a book signing today.


Dawn was the first to show up and greeted Tara with a hug then turned to Willow. When Willow didn’t move, Tara shook her gently only to find she had fallen asleep sitting up. Rolling her eyes, she took Willow’s ear plugs and the hat, refusing to give them back, and instead handed her the bottle of aspirin from her purse.


“Are you sick, Will?” Dawn asked loudly with an evil grin. She had already talked to her sister and knew about their “girl’s night out”.


“You could say that, Dawnie, and there’s no need to yell,” Willow said with her head in her hands.


“Baby, drink some more water, it’ll help,” Tara said and rubbed comforting circles on her back, starting to feel a little sorry for Willow, very little, but a little.


Dawn and Tara chatted for a few minutes, while Willow groaned periodically. Dawn had texted Buffy again that they were going to order without them if they didn’t hurry up when she and Faith walked through the door. Buffy smiled brightly, while Faith resembled the uni-bomber. She on faded blue jeans, with had a dark hoodie on – hood up – dark sunglasses, and she was looking a little green around the gills.


“Well, from the looks of it neither of you won the great “Slayer vs. Wiccan 2012” drink off last night,” Buffy giggled as she and Faith sat down looking at Willow. They both just groaned at her, and Willow pushed the bottle of aspirin over to Faith.


“Did you at least get her number, Faith?” Willow moaned.


Faith just mumbled something as she downed a handful of aspirin, and Buffy chirped in sweetly. “Nope... nada… struck out. Tommy the doorman was very well informed, quite chatty too. There was no way poor little Faith her was ever going to get “Isis’s” number.”


Tara snickered. “Her name is Isis? Oh, Faith, really…”


“I know, I know,” Faith moaned. “But you saw her, she’s hot!”


“Well, let’s just you aren’t her type, and you won’t be after she transitions either,” Buffy said smugly.


Willow’s head pops up and she looked at Tara who raises an eyebrow. Dawn covered her mouth trying to smother her laughter.


Faith looked around the table with a clueless expression. “What, I don’t get it.”


Tara clears her throat and begins to speak, “Faith, sweetie…”


“You got us that drunk trying to pick up a straight girl, Faith!” Willow guffawed loudly. People at the few tables close to them looked over the girls.


“What?!” Faith said. “No way, man. Nuh uh – she’s straight?!? But she works in a drag bar!”


Buffy was laughing so hard she was crying. “Tommy told me all about it, and then showed me pictures of his husband and their two kids – Teacup Yorkie’s – “Dorothy” and “Toto”, but "Toto” was the runt of the litter so they call him “Runt” – and oh my god, they are so cute too!”


Everyone around the table was laughing except Faith. “Yer killin’ me here, B. killin’ me! You knew the whole time?”


Buffy nods as the waiter finally comes over to take their orders. With the orders taken they settle down for lunch, and conversation after plenty of good natured ribbing of Faith. When they all stood outside after lunch, they looked across at the book store with the book signing going on.


“You wanna go, Will?” Tara asked.


“Not on your life, baby,” Willow said.


“Why not, Will? You never turn down a book. I think it's genetically impossible,” Buffy said.


Willow snickered. “Her books are one step up from the Harlequin Romance kind. Although you might be interested in her books, Buff. You know, all with the “throbbing members” since you struck out last night too, but hey, you never know.” Willow laughed as she turned red.


The group laughed loudly, and as they passed the doors to the books store, a customer exited allowing Aerosmith's "Dude Looks Like a Lady" to come out loudly through the door. Faith groaned as everyone laughed.


"I'm never livin' this one down," she said.


Last edited by vampyregurl73 on Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:59 pm, edited 17 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:14 am 
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Oh my gosh!
Oh my gosh!
Oh my gosh!

IT'S ALMOST THE END OF THE MONTH!!!!

I guess I should finish up my short. Like, toot suite. (Watched . . . so . . . much . . . ponies . . . .)

Thanks to all of our posters who've contributed so far. You rock. I promise you feedback when I post.

But why is it that right now, we've got 423 views to this challenge, but so very few submissions? The whole point of this is to throw something together. Something random. Maybe it's good. Maybe it isn't. That's not the point. The point is putting words down on the page. They can be word salad. (Did you know that "word salad" is actually a thing? It is used, among other things, to describe the breakdown of grammar in bipolar patients with extreme pressured speech.)

I was overly-intellectual in my seed ideas, wasn't I? Was it intimidating? Am I intimidating? Maybe I'm just inaccessible.

Or maybe people are procrastinators. Do you work best under pressure? There are only 29 days in (this) February--so if you were waiting for pressure, it's here.

Maybe you need bribing. Do you need bribing? dtburanek has announced badges, which I think are awesome. Who doesn't want badges? I mean, I want badges. And I'll sweeten the deal. But only this time around.

Zero-Calorie Sweeteners:
A: If you want (and only if you want), I will hand-deliver your story to Amber Benson on March 10th at the San Diego book signing. Her books inspired this incarnation of the contest, after all. If you don't want, don't be scared away. I promise not to hand 'em off without permission.
B: We shall vote for the best story. I will get a signed copy of How to Be Death for the winner and send it. (International peeps, we may have to split the shipping, but I'm sure we can work something out.) If you want something else signed instead, we can work that out, too.

Ooh! Ooh! Maybe you're afraid to post your own writing. I get it. It can be nerve-wracking, particularly at first. If you want, I will totally post stories for you. PM me with the story, and I will put it up for you anonymously. I promise not to reveal your secret. In fact, I already have a request for this awesome service, which you can find in the next post.

Kate

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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:14 am 
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Posts: 619
Topics: 10
Location: San Diego, CA
Author: "Alberta" (anonymous contributor)
Title: Untitled
Rating: Um, crap, the contributor didn't assign one, and I make my beta rate what I write (thanks, dlline!). Uh, PG? Yeah, PG. *cough*
Angsty?: Yup
Feedback: Hmm. Again, Alberta didn't say. So, let's go with "please be gentle, I'm new at this"

Notes: I didn't write this. The person who did wishes to remain anonymous. Without asking, I did some minor cleanup. I hope Alberta can forgive me.



“Is there really a hell?”

Willow and Tara looked up from the dinner table and had a quick glance at each other.

“Oh Sweetie, why are you asking”?

Dawn was sitting across from the the witches, poking at the plate of pasta before her, with Tara’s carefully arraigned face of eggplant meatballs and a tomato slice smiley staring up at her. She was rearranging the features on it, her head on her chin, eyes down. Tara asked her again, “sweetie?”, but now a worried look at Willow.

Like a stubbed toe, Anya piped up “She’s asking because she wants to know if Buffy is there, you would think you two would have better intuition about these things, having a double dose of the woman kind of it ..Ow!!”

“I’m just saying what we all think! No reason to step on my toes, I mean I was all for us that this morning but to enjoy it I need alot more forep..”..And with that Xander’s hand covered her mouth as fast as a mouse trap.

“Umm Anya..what did we talk about”?

Anya rolled her eyes and pulled away his hand from her mouth, reciting what he had told her at least twice a day in the last month..

“Don’t mention death, lesbians, Buffy and don’t ever mention anything we say when we are playing murhpph” and the hand was back on her mouth.

“Lets step outside for a moment my sweet.., ” With that Xander pulled Anya into the kitchen for some quick discussion of private time, public time, and how to tell them apart.

The room was quiet. Dawn watched them leave, and looked back at the Witches with a little frown. When even Anya’s off the cuff blunders didn’t make Dawn smile, then Tara knew it was bad.

“Sweetie I don’t know, I know that the Goddess would not allow people to be sent someplace like that..”

“As a matter of fact niblet...there is.”

Spike was sitting in the living room smoking in the dark. He was waiting for the scooby meeting to start and thinking far too much. Everyone turned to look at him, invisible but for his cigarette glowing in the dark.

“But its not like that dull place that wanker Dante said it was...way I hear it, he was only there for a weekend.”

Sometimes a conversation can be stopped before it goes too far, but today the Scoobies were too tired and too sad to stop the engine of gloom that was Spike going into the over the bridge and into the river.

Willow piped in “I don’t think this is such a good idea Spike, maybe Dawn would like to watch some TV while we meet, I think there is a new Lizzy McGuire on."

“Red! She doesn’t bloody want to watch the bloody cartoon about that bloody tart!..She wants to know where her sister is!”

The room stopped to look at Spike, Xander and Anya came in when they heard the shout. Spike stood up, in the dark only the tip of his cigarette was visible from the dark of the living room.

“There is a hell alright.. the gates are guarded by a little runt of a three headed dog and Anubis feeds him the hearts of the dammed." Willow wasn’t shocked anymore, she wasn't even mad yet, that would be later, she was scared at what Spike was going to say next. “Its a horrible place, a dark place, where the demons line up to carve your soul like it was a Harry Potter book signing.”

Willow stood up now, her eyes flashing with anger, her hands clenched.

“Spike..she doesn't need this!”

But Spike went on. “Yes she does, her sister dead and her mothers dead and she wants to know where they went.”

He stepped out the dark. “It's a terrible place with a terrible smell and ..." he paused, his voice sounding different now when he continued.
"...there is no chance a woman like your sister would every end up there.”

He might have been crying in the dark, the way he looked.

His voice rose as he said “Niblet, a person like your sister could never be in a place like that, do you think if she was, Red there would stand for it a second?”
Dawn looked back at Willow and Tara, and then looked back at Spike.

“No, I don’t know where she is, and I never will. But if she could smell even a bit of brimstone where she is we would never let her go there...never.”

Dawn went over to Tara and began to cry, Tara held her in her arms, the way that Tara always thought she would hold a daughter of her own one day, and the way Dawn remembered when someone who loved her held on tight to her.

Spike continued. ”She is in a better place, I don’t know if its with the tasty baby angels or rainbows and puppies, but that’s where she is...where she belongs.”

Tara put her arm around Dawn, shot a quick look at Spike, and left the room with her. Xander shook his head disgustedly and followed, but Anya sat down.

Willow’s eyes were wet, and she asked in in a hopeful voice, the first hopeful sound she made since that terrible day at the tower.

“Is that true Spike? Is she in...is she ok?”

Spike looked up, threw his cigarette on the ground and stepped on it. He answered without an ounce of doubt, hesitation, or hope. “No. No Red. There isn’t a place like that in the sunshine and flowers” he said with finality.

He started to leave, “Not for you, not for me, not even for Buffy is there such a place. You should know that by now.”

He walked out the door, the wreckage behind him and before him.

Willow looked at Anya who simply said, “I could have told you the same, but Xander said it would hurt too much to even think about it” and then she stood up and went into the kitchen to find Xander.

Willow sat down, alone at the table that she had eaten a hundred meals with Buffy at.

She looked at her hands....

Now she knew what she needed to do.


Last edited by BeMyDeputy on Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:37 pm 
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Yay! When I get near a full computer I will leave better feedback. But I was just so excited to see participants I wanted to jump for joy! Keep them coming.

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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:46 pm 
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As this challenge is about the release of Amber's latest book I thought why not do a crossover with one of her earlier books Ghosts of Albion If you haven't heard of it here's a link and a quick summary from WebWarlock’s blog and the BBC site for the webseries


Title: A trip through time.
Author: Mgraham93
Email: matty.gr@hotmail.com
Feedback: All feedback welcomed, specific input appreciated.
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the works shown in this story Buffy the vampire slayer it belongs to Joss Whedon and Ghosts of Albion belongs to Amber Benson and Christopher Golden. There is also a spell from the Aaron Spelling show Charmed. Also the Chronos stone in this story is borrowed from Sam Raimi's Hercules the Legendary journey's with mention of Armageddon Now parts 1&2
Summary: Everything including The kiss at the end of entropy happened. This is set a year afterwards. The ghosts of Albion side of the story takes place after the second book witchery.
Authors Note Like my other work this story is un beta-d all mistakes are mine


Willow was lying on her bed trying to concentrate on the work she had for her classes yet she just couldn’t focus on the work, today had gone well really it had been the best she’d felt in months. Her thoughts were broken when she heard Tara’s voice from the doorway
“Things fall apart. They fall apart so hard.”

She sat up rapidly and asked “Tara?”

Tara continued to speak “You can't ever...put them back the way they were.”

“Are you okay?” she thought the day had gone well but now she was concerned.

“I'm sorry, it's just ... You know, it takes time.”Tara crossed the threshold into what had been their room. “You can't just ... have coffee and expect-”

“I know,” Willow replied sadly.

The distance between them was palpable even with the progress they’d made back to couple hood over the last few months.

“There's just so much to work through. Trust has to be built again, on both sides …” The guilt Willow felt for the hurt she had caused to the woman she loved just a few months before came back to her in full and her expression showed it. “You have to learn if ... if we're even the same people we were, if you can fit in each other's lives.”

Willow continued looking at Tara sadly.“It's a long... important process, and ... can we just skip it? Can-can you just be kissing me now?”
The words took a moment to fully register in Willow‘s brain . She smiled widely, as she leapt from the bed meeting Tara in the middle of the room their lips crasshed together in a passionate kiss. it wasn't long before they fell back on to the bed their cries of passion lasting into the early hours of the morning.

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

"Willow sweetie wake up" Tara spoke softly in her ear.

“this.. Isn’t the bedroom.” Willow said as opened her eye's looking around she saw they were in the magic box.

“you fell asleep, sweetie,” Tara smiled “good dream?” She asked jokingly as she knew from the sounds Willow had been making just a few minutes before that it had been.

“very good dream,” Willow said bringing her lips to Tara’s.

“From what I heard it must have been,” Anya chuckled.

Willow smiled happily as she looked over at Tara remembering how the majority of the first few weeks after they had become a couple again had been spent making love. It had been over a year since she and Tara had gotten back together. It had been an incredibly quiet year on the hellmouth a couple of vampires now and then but no real big bads. In fact the last Villain who had really posed a true threat had been Glory. The trio had been more of an annoyance rather than actual villains and had only really managed to avoid being stopped for so long because the scoobies had been more focussed on their own problems rather than stopping them. This was demonstrated roughly two weeks after the two witches had gotten back together when whilst out with Buffy they had caught the trio in them middle of their latest crazy scheme and handed them over to SDPD. They'd even made front page news with the headline Local women take down criminal gang.

"I really am happy for you too, I mean if anyone deserves happiness it's you two,” Anya said sincerely.

“Anya it means a lot thank you,” Willow beamed at the

Dawn came up from the basement. She’d been working at the shop for a year it had started as a way to pay back the stolen goods but she and Anya had gotten on well together and Anya had offered her a permanent job.

“Hey guys Could you two look at this for me,” she asked cheerfully. it was a green translucent stone which she easily held in one hand. "It was in the basement and it’s not on any of the records which means it's probably been here since before Giles bought the shop.”

“Sure, we'll hit the books nothing beats a classic research party.” Willow said looking forward to the challenge of cracking the mystery of the secret stone.

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

Several hours later the two witches were still looking through the various books looking for what the stone actually was, they’d eliminated various possibilities but were no closer to the discovery. When Willow came back from one of the bookcases holding a book The Journal of Tamara Swift and took a seat next to Tara covering her girl's hand with her own. Tara was looking through a large book on relics and artifacts her finger caught on the page a sting of pain shooting through her finger and several drops of blood fell from the cut a single drop landing on the stone she was holding. A bright light filled the room and both Willow and Tara disappeared.

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

The two witches awoke in a grassy field, slowly they managed to stand, noticing they weren’t in the magic box anymore they surveyed their surrounding A large stately home lay behind them and in front they had a view of a large city which from a distance appeared to be London.

"I guess we're not in Kansas anymore," Willow muttered.

They saw a large stately home which they were approaching.

"There’s powerful magic in there,” Willow said nervously. It had taken months before she’d felt she was ready to attempt even the simplest spells. Tara had been with her the whole time she’d taken things slowly she’d wanted to do it that way before she had been focussed on always casting bigger and better spells which she now realised was one of the main reasons for many of her accidents while casting.

"Sweetie it’s okay I believe in you," Tara said squeezing Willow’s hand slightly. Tara’s statement helped calm Willow and she took a breath and began to walk towards the door.

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

Tamara swift had risen early to find her brother William reading through a large leather bound book.

"William your up early."

"Sorry Tam I had an idea that perhaps Dante's work might hold details on the demons of the pit. That perhaps Oblis would be referred to."

"That’s a great idea Will."

"It was Byron’s idea he mentioned how he wasn’t the only poet to hide magic within his prose so I thought where better to find information on hell than the Divine Comedy."

Their conversation was interrupted by a knock on the door.

"Are you expecting company?" Tamara asked her brother.

"I wonder who it could be," William said slightly confused.

"Then I'll just go see who it is." Tamara stated matter of factly.

As she opened the door she was greeted by a woman holding a little dog on a lead which started barking happily as she opened the door.

"Not to be rude but why are you here, we weren’t expecting company today," Tamara said possibly too bluntly.

Fortunately the woman seemed to like the bluntness and replied happily "I wanted to meet the new protectors of Albion, I knew your grandfather."

"Oh would you care for some tea, this really is a nice dog," Tamara said kneeling down to pet it gently. "whats her name."

"This little girl is runt," the woman said.

"Runt?" Tamara asked the name was used affectionately which seemed decidedly strange.

"Yes Runt she got lost from a fox hunt when I found her she’d just killed a vile rabbit I have never seen anything sweeter. I took her for protecting me against killer Rabbits, and because she's just such a little cutie." The strange woman said affectionately stroking the fur of the Beagle terrier causing the little dog to wag it's tail in appreciation.

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

The day became stranger when a pair of very eccentrically dressed women one a brunette the other a redhead showed up on the house's back lawn.

"Hello can I help you at all, I'm Tamara Swift." She introduced herself to the new visitors.

"Erm we're a little lost," the red haired women spoke

"Well this is Ludlow house, where are you looking for."

The brunette spoke next "This may sound strange but what year is this?"

Tamara paused at the strange question before replying “The year? Why It’s 1837.”
Both women gasped in shock at her answer "Why What year do you think it should be?"

"2003."

Now it was Tamara’s turn to be shocked “I think you two had better come inside."

-----------

The three women walked back into Ludlow house to find William and the woman sat ttalking about a meeting she had once had with their grandfather

"Who exactly are you?" Tamara asked once they were inside.

"I’m Willow and this is Tara we’re witches."

As Willow uttered that short sentence William and Tamara both took up defensive stances they’d faced witches just a few months before the daughters of Morgan Le Fay had attempted to raise the long dead Mordred at slaughter bridge. However after great loss of life they had been prevented power crackled above their hands as they prepared to use the exorcism's that they had used against witches in their last encounter.

"We have already faced many of you before. you do not scare us daughters of Morgan La Fey," William growled.

"Wow I think we’ve had a bit of misunderstanding we’re just trying to get back home," Willow explained partially nudging Tara for help.

"Witches was mabye the wrong word," Tara began memories of the angry outbursts her father had been prone to at the use of the word steeled her nerve, "a better word might be wiccan, or sorceress's we were helping to organise a magic shop when we ended up here."

The two siblings visibly relaxed at the pair's explanation "I'm sorry we've had bad experiences with specific witches we may have over reacted," Tamara apologised "I believe our introductions are needed as well. Again I am Tamara this is my brother William and this is…”

“Anya, we’ve kind of, sort of met.” Willow said.

“no I’m Anyanka patron of scorned women, although I do like that name. Anya, Anya, Anya something about it just sounds right.” the vengeance demon chuckled to herself. " You two are lovers aren't you, personally I prefer orgasm friend but no with you it's definetly love," the vengeance demon added.

“Yes we are we’re lesbian lover’s in love.” they said smiling happily at each other.

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

They spent several hours attempting to find any information about how the pair had ended up back in the past however after finding no information they decided to have a short break. Tamara found the couple reading one of her early stories she sat down next to them and asked cheerfully “are you enjoying the story.”

Definitely, I really like the way T L Fleet writes.” Willow replied.

She couldn't stop the laugh which this incited "Would you believe that T L Fleet is a pseudonym, and that I'm the author."

"Really?"

"Why yes, I am."

"That’s great," Tara smiled at the Englishwoman.

"If you like that, I took the liberty of binding all my stories into a single omnibus I have several spare copies if you want one."

"If it’s not too much trouble," Willow blushed at the prospect of being offered a signed copy of the book.

Tamara left the room and returned a few minutes later holding a leather bound book here you look To Willow and Tara may your lives be filled with happiness and may this book entertain you as you read it. "There you go a signed copy of the collected works of Tamara Swift." The older woman grinned.

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

Soon they were back on research..

"Here we go, according to this book The Chronos Stone was created by the ancient Greek god of time allowing the user to travel in time it required blood and a link to the destination, apparently it was used in ancient times to prevent the rise of a warrior queen known as the conqueror." William said triumphantly

The pieces all clicked into place and Willow began to speak. “That’s what happened, I was holding this, your journal and baby you cut your finger."

"So we just drop a little bit of blood on the stone and pop back to out own time," Tara asked.

"Unfortunately," William began, sounding very much like a victorian Giles in his statement "it’s not that simple."

"It never is, is it." Willow moaned.

"According to this the stone is part of a pair one sends the user forward in time the other sends the user backwards, both stones have been missing for centuries."

Finally Anyanka decided to mention an important piece of information she had. "Before you all go rushing off hunting the other stone I might be able to make things easier, you see Chronos wasn’t the only one to know about time travel."

"You’d help us," William asked skeptlcally. In his mind she was still a demon and demons were not to be trusted.

"Why of course, you seem like nice people, you see in the welsh mountains there is an old woman who may well be able to help you get home, We can go to the green dragon inn it’s the nearest place to where we’re going."

"How," Willow asked "it could take days to reach wales from here."

"Not if we have magic," Tamara said extremely pleased

"You four have a spell I have my own methods, I'll meet you there" Anya said as she disapeared.

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

The four sat in pairs as the two lovers and the two siblings each knew they casted better when they were with their partner going over the words of the spell.

"Tara do you really think we can do this," Willow asked hesitantly. She wanted to if it meant they could get home but was worried about what could go wrong.

"Sweetie we're together, this is no different to the other spells we've done," she rubbed Willow's palm's softly and lightly kissed her lips.

"Okay let's focus, Under the same sky under the same moon like a fallen leaf let the spirit winds carry me to our destination."

----------------------------------- -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
They appeared outside the green dragon inn to find Anyanka had aquired several horses from the stables.
"we’re only borrowing them for tonight," she explained as she brought the horses over to the group "and Unfortunately they only have 4 horses."

"How did get them so quickly?" William asked.

I just showed him my demon face Anyanka grinned.

William fidgeted uncomfortably “yes well I’m glad it worked but how are we going to handle the horse problem."

"Well I’m not really the best rider if the horse is alright with us both riding it then me and Tara could share," Willow suggested.

Once all the horses had been prepared Willow climbed on behind Tara and wrapped her arms around Tara’s chest, as they took off after the vengeance demon she remembered how fearful she had been of horses before she had met Tara, she even remembered having a dream about a villainous horse who planned to take over the world, yet Tara had shown her that horses weren’t diabolical masterminds who would bite you any chance they had. Tara had bought her lessons for her birthday back in their freshman year of college. After some coaxing Willow had found herself enjoying riding. She nestled closer to Tara as they raced across the countryside.

Eventually they arrived outside a small cabin shrouded by the forest.

"This is the place," Anyanka said as she dismounted her horse.
She didn’t need to knock on the door as runt began barking happily as the door opened, an old woman opened the door

“Anyanka it’s been a long time, and I see you’ve brought company."

"Yes these are the protectors of Albion, and these two are from the future and need your help to get home."

"Oh I think I have the perfect spell," the old woman began flicking through a large tome “here we go here’s how you can return to your time"
She wrote down the words on piece of paper
A Time for Everything and
to everything it's place
Return what has been moved
Through Time and Space.

Thank you Cassandra," The vengance demon said hugging the old woman warmly as they left.

The group went back to the inn to return the horses before returning to Ludlow house in order to safely cast the spell. Once goodbyes had been said Willow and Tara said the words together before being enveloped by a bright light.

"Well Tam that was certainly interesting."

"It was and I think I have an idea for my next story." Tamara happily cheerilly replied.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
the rest of the scoobies had gathered in the magic box attempting to figure out what had happened to the two witches who had been missing for several hours when they appeared back in the shop,the group jumped forward hugging the two witches eagerly "you two are alright, where did you go, I knew it wasn’t my fault, I’m glad your back,” the group of voices spoke almost in unison

Willow and Tara smiled at each other they were back home they kissed again before preparing to tell their story to the group.

The end

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

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


Last edited by Mgraham93 on Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:03 pm 
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13. Big Knowledge Woman
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Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 9:42 pm
Posts: 1741
Location: Iowa City, Iowa
As my late literary hero Douglas Adams stated, "I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."
I shall have something for this challenge posted tomorrow evening as a story for a friend of mine I had to finish for Gallifrey last weekend has occupied my time for most of the month.

_________________
I can deny chicks in chainmail nothing.
Amberhol-from the land of sky blue waters.
No Mere Music Hall, This my novel available directly from rosestindog@gmail.com.


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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:11 pm 
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11. Fish in the Bowl

Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:35 pm
Posts: 1487
Topics: 2
Location: California
Heather AKA vampyrgurl73:

Quote:
“You should have known better when we were going to a place Faith frequents that’s called The Inferno. Not only was that bad enough, but they were showing old John Waters movies on a loop featuring Divine! I have no sympathy for you, Willow. You tried to drink with the big dog, and proved you were the puppy. What were those things you guys were drinking anyway?”


“’Seven Layers of Hell’, but they were pretty layered shots, baby, and they tasted good too,” Willow whined.


Tara thought for a moment. "I thought there were nine levels..."


"She probably couldn't fit another two in the shot shot glass," Willow groaned and lifted the pillow to hiss again. "Oh, you were being literal, I believe you're right, sorry the ol' brain still a bit pickled."
:rofl :lmao :laugh :lol :grin HILARIOUSLY BRILLIANT "The Inferno" and "Divine" Movies - only from YOUR warped brain, Heather!

Then there is Faith's worship of Isis - another comedy coup! Grrrrrrrrrrrrl, you RAWK!!!!

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

Hey Anonymous Alberta!

First, my total sympathy with feeling shy and nervous and my total RESPECT that you've put yourself out there! I was too scared to enter the 2010 Christmas Challenge, so I'm not just saying it about the shy thing.

First off, you NAIL Spike's dialogue:
Quote:
“As a matter of fact niblet...there is.”

Spike was sitting in the living room smoking in the dark. He was waiting for the scooby meeting to start and thinking far too much. Everyone turned to look at him, invisible but for his cigarette glowing in the dark.

“But its not like that dull place that wanker Dante said it was...way I hear it, he was only there for a weekend.”

Sometimes a conversation can be stopped before it goes too far, but today the Scoobies were too tired and too sad to stop the engine of gloom that was Spike going into the over the bridge and into the river.

Willow piped in “I don’t think this is such a good idea Spike, maybe Dawn would like to watch some TV while we meet, I think there is a new Lizzy McGuire on."

“Red! She doesn’t bloody want to watch the bloody cartoon about that bloody tart!..She wants to know where her sister is!”
Then you do much more than capture his dialogue, you share his character. Grieving, bitter, cynical, kind and cruel - all parts of who he is. AMAZING job! Then the ending . . . Willow deciding what she does and why. Powerfully done!!! :clap :applause :bow :applause :clap

So welcome to PENS, you writer-y type you! :flower

Aaaaaand, Keep writing! :kgeek :whip

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

Hey, Matty!

Wow, I love the change of pace from the other stories: comedy, angst, and your story is very episodic and dreamlike. I feel a definite edge of faerie, very much a world of enchantment where you never know what is going to happen next.

And you start with a dream . . . Willow's dream that we don't know is a dream - great work!!!

Blood activating the stone was a nice touch, added a level of suspense about the stone being good or evil and how you worked in the books signing. Props for that! :bow :bow :bow

Also a fun fresh take on Anyanka and Runt the Killer of Rabbits!!! :lmao :grin :rofl

Again, something really new in the mix - thanks for your creative mind and clever cross-over! :flower

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

Hail to ALL our competitors! The best to all of you!!!

Ariel
How I Met Your Mother


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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:12 pm 
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13. Big Knowledge Woman
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Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 9:42 pm
Posts: 1741
Location: Iowa City, Iowa
Title: Oh Brunhilde, you're so lovely.
Author Name: Blayne Jensen aka Taralicious
Rating: All Ages, which is rare for me
Spoilers: None, what do you think this is, Doctor Who?
Summary: Willow and Tara find themselves at a sci-fi convention and feckless meandering occurs.
Disclaimer: I hold no claim to either of the inestimable characters of Willow or Tara; they being the property of Mutant Enemy. I, like the others on this board, like to project my own twisted fantasies upon them and make them dance to my tune every now and again, however.

"I thought you said this balloon trip was going to be romantic" moaned Willow, not in a role-playing way of Willow in the WPC uniform and Tara as the Last Centurion but in a "we're losing altitude and we're going to crash" sort of way.
"Well how was I to know that that bolt of lightning would electrify the cloud and open up that time rift, sucking us in and depositing us here over the city, if it even is our city" replied Tara testily as she had tried to think outside the box in planning this adventure for her and her gal to get their adrenal juices flowing before thinking inside Willow's box later on that evening.
"We can put down in that bush over there," pointing to the row of palm trees which lined the street.
"Those are palm trees, Willow; geez, I really need to drag you away from the green phosphorescent lighting of your computer monitor more often. Let's shimmy down one of them and go into that hotel to find out where we are exactly."
"The only thing I want to shimmy down is that flat stomach of yours on the way to your grotto."
"Well, we can't do anything until we get to a phone; maybe we can get a room there and decide what to do tomorrow."
"Okay, it's time for a Willow chart utilizing a series of different colored pens" exclaimed Willow giddily as this was how she approached all decisions in her life pulling a large dry-erase board out of a hidden compartment and balancing it on the side of the balloon cabin.
"Really Willow," exclaimed Tara, "This explains why we couldn't get enough height to steer clear of that time rift. Your obsessive attention to preparing for every contingency is what has made us Strangers in a Strange Land. Very Robert Heinlein but that's not important right now."
Walking into the lobby of the LAX Marriott, Willow and Tara found Gallifrey 23 already in full-on fan geek mode and were apprehensive as to the inclusive nature of the fandom on display.
"We're lesbian witches who fight the forces of darkness whilst struggling with our inner demons of insecurity, self-worth, and societal norms of physical attractiveness in the inexorable race towards epidermic entropy and our gender's relentless obsession to staving it off via mutilative surgery; will fans of a series about a 907 year old madman with a big blue box who has two hearts and travels the universe with scantily clad Earth females all under the age of twenty-five accept us?"
"Look over there," pointed Tara, as they emerged from the escalator leading down to the ballroom level, gesturing to the strikingly pretty blonde woman signing copies of her series of vampire novels and then to the man seated at the next table who was signing copies of the five omnibus editions of his illustrated tales of Thor and the other Gods of Norse Mythology, "we are all of one great heart beating in rhythm to our shared love of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and the other related fables of storytelling."
As if on cue, looking around at the thousands of people milling around the ballroom area, there were suddenly with the multitude a great number of the Heavenly host or at least cosplayers dressed as Thor, Odin the Allfather, Freya, and Loki, the God of Mischief, born to the Frost Giants and step-brother to the God of Thunder.
"Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here" had read the banner posted across the entrance to the hotel, Tara remembered which surely must pertain to those poor unfortunate business travellers who had booked rooms this weekend and had to be confronted with these thousands of ravening berserkers all dressed up in ceremonial garb looking like they would corrupt any poor unsuspecting soul who dared to ask what the occasion was.
"So less of The Divine Comedy for those poor sods and more like the Divine comedy where John Waters persuaded her that eating a real piece of dog shit would bring the sort of emotional verisimilitude that one simply cannot fake on camera." reasoned Willow of the few innocent souls fearing for their lives and praying for Hel to take their souls to Hela which would be infinitely preferable to being rolled in an alleyway by these grotesque abominations.
Just then a mechanical tin dog whirred up to Willow and Tara's feet and inquired "Satisfactory, Mistress?"
"Oh, look" exclaimed Tara giddily, "He's such a cute little runt, isn't he?" That's what I'll call him, 'runt' 'cause he would be formidable guarding the entrance to Hell with that blaster in his nose.'
"My name is not 'runt'", announced the tin dog haughtily, "I am K-9, protector of the DoctorMaster and the Mistress."
"Look runt, call yourself whatever you like but you are 'runt' to me.
"Okay, let's find us some directions and then we can go home, Tara."
"Willow, we are home. Now let's get a room and you can be the Lady Sif, Warrior Goddess and I'll show you what being strong like an Amazon is all about. Did I mention I also have the stamina of an Amazon as well?"

_________________
I can deny chicks in chainmail nothing.
Amberhol-from the land of sky blue waters.
No Mere Music Hall, This my novel available directly from rosestindog@gmail.com.


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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:08 pm 
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20. Not one Much for the Timber
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:32 pm
Posts: 3128
Topics: 14
Location: H-Town, Texas
TITLE: Everything She Does…Is Beautiful

AUTHOR: Finey_McFine

RATING: PG13

DISCLAIMER: Willow, Tara and any other BtVS characters, as well as some random dialog, belong to Mutant Enemy. ALL other original characters belong to me!

SUMMARY: Totally AU! Set in high school and full of angst with a lot of sweetness mixed in. Willow and Tara are best friends, but their relationship is starting to change and confusion is setting in. Tara is starting to spend time with a boy and Willow is about to lose it. Will they figure things out before it’s too late? Better read and find out!!



FEEDBACK: Yes! Any glaring issues…please send me a PM!

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Hello everyone! This short little challenge fic turned into something a little longer, so I hope I can keep you interested long enough to finish it. Plus, since participation is a little low, I figured this would make up for at least 3 other fics, lol. It’s high school, so it’s angst-y and full of misconceptions. Even though I appear to break all the Kitten Board rules, I don’t even come close. :p Just keep reading…you’ll see!

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

Everything She Does…Is Beautiful

Dear Diary,

It’s finally Saturday and I can say without a doubt, this has been the longest, weirdest week ever. I’ve been so upset. This is the first day I even felt like writing in here. It’s been eight days since I first saw them together and completely flipped out. Eight of the LONGEST days of my life! Since then, I’ve been avoiding her, but today is special. We’ve had plans for the last couple of months, so I can’t avoid her today. In fact she’s gonna be here in a few minutes to pick me up.

I’ve never not wanted to spend time with her, but this past week has just been pure torture. It’s been torturous because I finally came to grips with my feelings. Unfortunately, it took me getting “slapped in the face,” hypothetically speaking of course, to actually admit them to myself. Sometimes I wonder how long I’ve actually felt this way, because it seems like it came on suddenly. Deep down I think a part of me wanted to be more than just friends for awhile now, but apparently I did a pretty good job of pushing those thoughts away.

I miss her SO much! I miss her laugh and the way she looks at me like I’m crazy when I babble. She’s just so…so…beautiful; in every way. She’s kind and generous and the best friend in the entire world. Her hair is golden and shiny like the sun and her eyes are as blue as the ocean; I get lost in their depths when she looks at me. God, I wish she looked at me the way I saw her looking at him.

It’s so damn unfair…those are MY blue eyes to look at, not his! I never hated being a girl before, but right now, I do. Especially when I saw her kiss him in the hall before third period…it was the worst feeling ever. I imagine it’s what you feel like getting punched hard in the stomach because it made me sick and I ran to the bathroom and threw up. Then I sat there, all pathetic and crying. I’m so glad she didn’t see and run after me. Who is he and how long has she been kissing him? And looking at him? When we talked in the library on Thursday, I was watching her lips move and the whole time just thinking about them brushing sensually across his… Blah! It’s just not fair and it makes me so angry. Sometimes I HATE my life! How am I supposed to act? How will I ever be able to handle seeing her with someone else? She’ll hold his hand as he walks her to class and she’ll sit with him at lunch instead of me.

I always dreaded the day when she would get a boyfriend and I never really understood why until now. It’s because I’m in love with her and I didn’t understand the full extent of my feelings until I saw them together and now I do…I’m in love with my best friend and I don’t know what to do.

~Willow

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

Dear Diary,

I don’t know what to make of things lately, Willow’s been avoiding me all week and I have no idea why. I followed her the other day, I know I shouldn’t have, but I was worried. I still am. She’s lying…to me, to her parents…to everyone and I just don’t know why. I’ve hardly seen her all week. She’s been spending lunches somewhere else, and she was so weird on Thursday in the library. Then yesterday during lunch…it was, uncomfortable and awkward. I’ve never felt that way around Willow before, ever. She admitted something is going on but won’t tell me what it is. She seems so sad and depressed. I really want to be there for her, for whatever it is that’s bothering her, but she won’t talk to me. We used to talk all the time, we told each other everything, but lately it seems like we’re growing apart and it’s breaking my heart. I hate seeing her so down in the dumps, even Xander noticed and that’s saying a lot! I’ve been hanging out with Riley Finn these past couple of weeks since he moved here, and I really want Willow to meet him. He’s such a sweetie! We’ve become close, but I miss my best friend, I miss her SO much! I want to tell her about the past two weeks and what’s going on with me. I want to share my happiness with her, but she doesn’t seem to want to hang out with me anymore. I need her to know, so today, I’m gonna tell her everything. I just hope she can handle it.

~Tara

**********************************
Monday Morning - 5 Days Ago

The shrill beeping of Willow’s alarm sent her bolting upright in bed as she simultaneously slammed her hand down on the offending device.

“That seriously scared the shit outta me. What the hell was I thinking getting up so early, and on a Monday no less? I don’t know how long I’m gonna be able to keep this up,” she mumbled before dragging herself out of bed and into the bathroom to freshen up.

Exactly seven minutes later Willow was dressed and downstairs eating a bowl of cereal when her father entered the kitchen.

Ira jumped, startled by his daughter. “Good grief Willow! You nearly gave me a heart attack!” He said as he clenched his chest with his free hand.

Willow shrugged her shoulders, “Sorry Dad, I’m just eating cereal.”

Ira set his briefcase in the empty chair next to his daughter as he poured himself a cup of coffee, having set the automatic machine the night before. While his coffee cooled, he unwrapped a bagel, sliced it and popped it into the toaster. It was his morning routine and one he usually did alone.

“So, to what do I owe this early morning pleasure?” He asked, eying Willow curiously.

“Can’t a girl spend quality time with her Dad?”

“At the crack of dawn on a week day morning?” Ira asked incredulously as he stirred his coffee.

Willow chuckled lightly, “Actually, I need to be at school early for…um…a science project, yeah…a science project.”

Ira knew Willow well and even though she loved school, and was a straight A student, she never got up any earlier than she absolutely had to. Something was going on, “So, is Tara picking you up?”

Willow stiffened slightly and frowned, “No, I was kinda hoping that maybe you could drop me off on your way to work.”

Ira nodded, “Sure honey, whatever you need. Is um, is everything ok?”

“Yes, why wouldn’t it be?!” Willow exclaimed, a little louder than she’d planned. “I mean yeah, everything is fine. Can we go now?” She said as she nervously checked the time on her cartoon Buddha watch.

“Ira, honey, you left your glasses by the bed again…Willow?” Sheila said as she entered the kitchen in her bathrobe and slippers.

Willow looked up sheepishly, “Morning Mom.”

“What are you doing up at this hour? Are you sick?” She asked as she felt Willow’s cheeks and planted a kiss on her forehead. “You don’t feel warm…” She mumbled.

“I’m not sick Mom, I just need to get to school early, everyday for awhile, for this science project I’m working on.”

Sheila wasn’t sure if she bought her daughter’s explanation. Willow had been traveling to and from school with Tara for as long as she could remember; she did everything with her best friend and this was definitely a first.

Sheila simply nodded as she caught Ira’s eye and he shrugged his shoulders as he chewed on a piece of blueberry bagel.

Ira glanced at his watch, “Well, you ready kiddo?”

Willow smiled slightly and nodded as she rinsed her bowl in the sink and placed it in the dishwasher with her spoon and empty juice glass.

Father and daughter picked up their respective bags and headed out the door; both receiving a hug and a kiss on the cheek from Sheila.

About an hour or so after Ira and Willow left, Sheila heard a knock at the backdoor. Leaving her breakfast and the Today Show at the kitchen counter to answer the door, she pulled the door open to find a smiling Tara on the other side.

“Good morning Tara.”

“Good morning, Mrs. Rosenberg, is Willow ready?”

Sheila eyed her curiously, “Oh, I’m afraid she’s not here.”

“What?!” Tara asked in alarm; her bright smile falling away immediately.

“I’m sorry dear, but she left with her father about an hour ago. She said something about a science project.”

“That’s weird, she um, she didn’t mention it…” Tara mumbled looking down as the hurt washed through her.

“We thought so, too. She was down here at five thirty: dressed and ready to go…”

Sheila was rambling and Tara wasn’t really listening; she was too busy biting her bottom lip and trying to keep herself from crying. Willow had ditched her without a word and she had no idea why.

Later in the day, Tara managed to catch up with her best friend, but the redhead was vague and gave no clear explanation (for the morning’s events.) She told Tara she wasn’t sure when the project would be completed, and not to wait around for her after school either. Tara was at a loss, but could only manage to comply with Willow’s wishes.

********************************
Thursday Morning – 2 Days ago

Several days had passed and Tara had nearly driven herself insane with worry over Willow’s peculiar behavior. She even went as far as to question Willow’s science teacher between classes the prior day. She found out there was no project, which left Tara even more baffled than she was before.

Her friend was lying, and she was going to get to the bottom of it. That’s why she was sitting, half asleep, in her car at five thirty in the morning, several houses away, waiting for Willow to emerge. She felt like a creepy stalker, but Xander had convinced her that it was the only way. Buffy had warned her not to take advice from Xander, but she felt she had no other options. Tara not only felt creepy, but guilty as well for invading her friend’s privacy. At the moment though, she didn’t really care about any of those things. She was worried, and hurt, and determined to get answers.

Several minutes later, as Willow and her father appeared, Tara started her car and got ready to follow. She waited until they got about half way down the street, then slowly pulled away from the curb. She’d seen enough cop shows to know that she needed to follow at a distance to keep from alerting them of her presence. She giggled nervously to herself, Why would they think anyone would be following them in the first place? I could probably get right behind them and they wouldn’t even notice.

Regardless of her competing thoughts, Tara stayed a considerable distance away since she knew this route well. It was the way to their high school, a route she’d driven or had been driven nearly everyday for the last four years.

She wasn’t surprised to see Ira drop Willow off at school. After all, Willow’s parents seemed just as perplexed with their daughter’s behavior as she was. Tara figured that Willow would wait until her father pulled away and then leave the school for her secret destination. A million and two thoughts whirred through Tara’s head, she couldn’t imagine what Willow was up to. Is she secretly seeing someone? It was the one scenario that Tara kept coming back to, and her stomach stirred at the thought.

Willow exited the car and walked the short distance to the front doors of Sunnydale High School, turning to wave at her father before pulling the door open and stepping inside. Ira waved back, waiting to make sure his daughter was safely inside before pulling away and continuing on his way to work.

Tara watched and waited. Then, like clockwork, Willow reemerged several minutes later. She stuck her head out the doors first and looked from side to side to make sure her father was no where in sight before stepping out and walking away from the building. Ha! I was right. I know her so well! What the frilly heck is she up to? Tara straightened and gripped the steering wheel tightly; her knuckles white and her palms sweaty with anticipation.

Willow walked quickly out to the sidewalk and turned in the opposite direction from her spying best friend. Tara quickly snatched the keys from the ignition, jumped out of her car and fell into step about a half a block behind Willow. They walked for a couple blocks until Willow finally crossed the street and entered the local coffee shop. She purchased and sat at a window table; pulling a book and a note pad from her backpack. She began to read and take notes as she sipped her coffee and nibbled on a scone.

Hmmm, she must be waiting for someone. Tara thought as she hid behind a tree and waited. Time passed and Tara was getting tired of standing. She found a bench outside of Willow’s line of sight and plopped down. She continued to watch and wait until Willow finally put the items back in her backpack, cleaned up the table, and exited the shop; heading back towards school, having never met with anyone.

Tara followed and watched Willow enter the school, along with several hundred other kids. Willow hadn’t met with anyone, she’d done nothing wrong or suspicious; she simply sat in a coffee shop to pass the time. Tara scowled, coming to the conclusion that this was much worse than any of her preconceived scenarios. She almost would have felt better if Willow had been seeing someone, but she wasn’t, she was simply avoiding her. Tara was heartbroken.

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

Just as she had everyday that week, Willow was making herself scarce. She’d been avoiding Tara throughout the day and had eaten lunch in the library, instead of the quad with her friends. The avoiding was difficult, but until her feelings changed, she just couldn’t be around the blonde. Especially after she’d seen Tara and that boy kiss. She shuddered at the thought as she pushed the library cart full of books up the aisle. It didn’t take her long to eat so she figured she might as well make herself useful. She was busily putting books away when she heard the most glorious sound in the world…Tara’s laughter.

It was coming from the far end of the library and even though Willow could not see her, she knew. The melodious sound was pulling Willow through the tall library stacks as if she had no control over her own body. She slinked along slowly; peering through the bookshelves trying in vain to catch a glimpse of the most beautiful girl in the world. Then, finally, Tara came into view and Willow’s breath caught in her throat.

There she was, her head slightly bent forward and reading a book. The golden blonde hair that was tucked behind her ear came lose when she moved and she reached up; pressing it back into place. Willow wished that it was her fingers sliding the errant hair behind that delicate ear. Willow imagined how soft it would feel and how Tara would squirm when her fingers lightly brushed across the sensitive spot. Willow sighed deeply and her thin lips quirked in a sappy smile. She had no idea what Tara was doing in the library during lunch and at the moment she didn’t care.

Then something flew out of nowhere and bounced off Tara’s forehead. The blonde giggled as she picked up the crinkled ball of paper and threw it back across the table. Presumably at someone, but Willow could not see who it was. She crept forward slowly and peeked around the corner. It was him and Willow felt sick. Tara was sitting in the library with that boy giggling and…flirting? Was Tara flirting with him right in front of her? Her Tara? The redhead had to stop and remind herself that number one, Tara didn’t even know she was there and number two, Tara wasn’t hers, nor would she ever be.

Suddenly, the boy stood and crossed to Tara’s side of the table. He leaned forward and whispered something in Tara’s ear before lightly touching her arm and walking toward the opposite end of the library. Willow’s knees felt weak, as all of her worst fears were coming true. What’s more, she’d been so completely entranced with the scene playing out in front of her, she failed to notice that Tara no longer had her head down and that she was about to get caught staring. Willow quickly grabbed a thick book off the shelf, opened it to a random page and held it in front of her face. Please, please, please don’t let her see me!!!

Willow held her breath for what seemed like an eternity until she saw two fingers appear on the top of the book; pushing it downward. Willow sighed deeply knowing that she’d been caught, but all coherent thought left her as Tara’s cerulean blue eyes came into view. Tara looked amused as she took the book from Willow’s hand. The redhead shuddered as Tara’s fingers lightly brushed across her hand.

“Doing a little light reading are we?” Tara held the book, looking at Willow curiously.

“I…um…it’s for a r-report,” Willow stammered as she took the book back from Tara.

“You’re doing a report on Dante’s Inferno? For what class?” Tara asked suspiciously.

Willow’s eyes darted about nervously, “It’s actually for a friend. I’m helping him with research.”

“Who?” Tara pressed.

“Percy?” Willow said hoping that the blonde bought it.

Tara made a face, “Since when is Percy your friend?

“Well, since I’ve been tutoring him we’ve kinda become, friends…” Willow’s voice trailed off; she hated lying to Tara.

“Hmm, well if you say so.” Tara was skeptical as she handed the book back to Willow.

Willow nodded, placing part one of The Devine Comedy back on the shelf.

“So, what have you been up to. I’ve hardly seen you all week and if I didn’t know better, I’d think you were avoiding me.” Tara said, staring directly at Willow.

“What? NO! I mean, I’m not avoiding you. I’ve just been…busy.”

“Too busy to say hi to me in the hall?” Tara asked, though it was more of a rhetorical question. “I thought we had a usual thing, you know, you and me after class.”

“Uh I didn’t…” Willow trailed off.

“You know, you could have stuck around.”

“Oh, um…various sounds of hesitation…”

“He’s just a friend.”

Willow was caught off guard, but relieved, “Friends are nice!”

Tara smiled, “His name is Riley, he just moved here from Iowa a couple weeks ago and you rushed off before I could, you know, introduce you guys.”

Riley, the boy, this interloper now had a name and Willow hated it. She glanced down at Tara’s lips; she recalled how they had brushed across his cheek and her tummy began to rumble. She frowned and furrowed her brow as she stared intently at Tara’s plump red lips.

“Will…Willow? Heeeello…” Tara said as she waved a hand in front of her best friends face. “Are you ok? Geez Willow, what’s going on with you lately? Why didn’t you just tell me about this science thing? I can still take you and pick you up from school, you know. All you had to do was ask.” Tara couldn’t believe that she’d just blurted all that out, because she certainly didn’t mean to, especially since she knew for a fact that there was no science project.

Willow was caught completely off guard and her mouth opened, but no words were coming out. Judging by her tone, Willow could tell that Tara was hurt and angry but she just couldn’t bring herself to tell Tara what was really going on in her head.

Willow tilted her head downward and shrugged her shoulders, “Sorry, I…I guess I should have called.”

Tara was hurt and angry, but Willow looked so sad that she couldn’t find it in her heart to say anything else, so she just changed the subject altogether. “So, are w-we still on for S-Saturday?”

Tara stuttered and Willow cringed, knowing that the blonde only stuttered when she was extremely upset. She hated knowing that she was the cause of that stutter. “Saturday?”

“Yeah, the book signing. You d-didn’t forget, d-did you?

“Oh, no I didn’t forget. Um, what time do you want to leave?”

“Well, I’d like to get there a little early, so um…nine? Is th-that ok with you?”

“Yeah, fine. You could, you could bring your friend.” Willow mumbled.

Tara was thrown, “I wasn’t gonna. I mean if you have a friend…”

“No! I’m, oh I’m friendless.” Willow sputtered.

“Yeah, yeah no friends…I mean, I have friends…” Tara said.

“Many dear friends, yeah. But, not Saturday…”

“No, Saturday is just for us…” Tara grinned.

Willow nodded and couldn’t take her eyes off Tara. She was lost in a sea of blue as she unconsciously took a step forward. They were now just inches apart and Tara hadn’t moved away.

Tara had no idea what Willow was up to and it appeared that they were sharing some sort of moment; Willow had never looked at her the way she was looking at her now and the intensity was overwhelming.

Willow cocked her head and leaned forward, “Tara, I-” The words had barely left Willow’s lips when the bell sounded loudly, causing the girls to jump apart, and the spell to be broken.

Tara had no idea what had just happened, but something clearly had, “You what?” Tara asked.

Willow blinked several times, snapping herself back to reality, “I um, I’ll be ready…at nine. See you Saturday.”

“Ok,” Tara breathed as Willow began to step away, “Wait!” She exclaimed and grabbed Willow’s arm. “Have lunch with me tomorrow, please?”

Willow nodded and smiled sweetly. How could she say no? Especially when Tara was still touching her and looking at her like that and not letting go and…

“Hey Tare, come on! We’re gonna be late!” He called out.

“I um, I’ve gotta go, but I’ll see you tomorrow at lunch, ok?”

“Yeah sure,” Willow replied flatly.

Tara turned to retrieve her things from the library table and Willow glanced in Riley’s direction. He smiled and nodded, but all Willow could do was narrow her eyes and glare, causing Riley to gulp audibly. Seconds later, Tara bounced across the library, waving a quick good bye to Willow, as she sided up to Riley and they headed out for their next class.

“Come on Tare, we’re gonna be late,” Willow mumbled sarcastically. “He just met her and he’s already calling her Tare? I better not ever hear him calling her Tare-Bear, cuz thems’ fightin’ words!” She said as she turned and ran straight into the librarian.

“Ooof!” He exclaimed as Willow slammed into him causing several books to go flying.

“Oh gosh! Mr. Giles, I’m so, so sorry. Here, let me get them.” Willow sputtered, dropping to her knees and picking up the books.

“Oh, that’s quite alright,” He said in a British accent as he walked behind the desk and dropped the remaining books on the counter. Willow followed and laid the books she’d picked up on the counter as well. “Willow, are you alright?”

Willow sighed deeply, placing her elbows on the counter and dropping her head in her hands, “Yeah.”

“Ah yes, because your good mood is both obvious and contagious.” He replied.

Willow looked up with a smirk plastered across her face, “Gee, thanks for the helpful advice.”

“Well, I can’t very well give you advice when I have no idea what the bloody problem is, now can I?” He asked, a bit annoyed with the redheaded student.

“Oh yeah, I’m sorry for being all snippy gal, I’m just having some girl problems.” By the time Willow finished her sentence, Mr. Giles was furiously cleaning his glasses on his shirt.

He cleared his throat, “Well, that’s…have you tried talking to your mum?”

Willow looked up questionably, “What? My mother? OH! No, no, no, no, no not those girl type problems. More like girlfriend type problems. I mean, a friend who is a girl type problems. Not girlfriend problems because I don’t have one of those…” She said as the awkward conversation continued.

Mr. Giles sighed, clearly relieved, but not sure what to make of Willow’s incoherent babble. “Well, the teenage years do bring about much in the way of drama surrounding one’s friends.”

“Mr. Giles, can I ask you a question?”

“Ummm?” He mumbled as he sorted through the book on the counter.

“Have you ever known something about someone and desperately wanted to tell them but feared that it that it could possibly ruin your friendship?”

“Well, I suppose it depends on what the something is. Is it dangerous?” He asked.
Willow shook her head, “No.”

“Is this person in danger of physical injury to themselves or others?” Again Willow shook her head. “Well, then I guess if you’re that worried, perhaps you should just keep it to yourself.”

Willow looked up flustered, “Oh, God. Well, I guess. But now that I know there’s something to know, I can’t not know, just because I’m afraid somebody’ll know, you know?”

“Did that mean yes?” Asked a stupefied Mr. Giles.

Willow looked up sheepishly and shrugged her shoulders, “Yes, no…I don’t know. I guess I’ll figure it out eventually, but thanks for listening.”

“Uh certainly, anytime,” He replied nervously.

“Oh um one more thing Mr. Giles…can I get a pass? I’m kinda late for math?”

Mr. Giles chuckled and scribbled on a small pink form; he would do anything for his favorite student. Tearing it from the pad, he handed the paper to Willow. She smiled sweetly, grabbing her bag from behind the counter and heading off for calculus.

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

Tara’s day droned on and she seemed to drift through it aimlessly in a Willow induced haze. Their encounter earlier in the library was weird and Tara was baffled by her friend’s odd behavior. Why was Willow staring at her and what was she about to say? Tara waited after school for Willow at her locker and offered the redhead a ride, but Willow declined, citing an afternoon tutoring session with Percy. Tara then offered to return to school and pick her up, but Willow again declined. Tara started to protest, but in seeing Willow’s famous resolve face, she knew to just let it go. They said their goodbyes and Tara left; giving Riley a ride instead.

Willow did in fact have an after school session scheduled with Percy. At least for once this week, she wasn’t lying to her best friend. Percy never showed up though. Now Willow was stuck walking home from school. She’d originally arranged for her Dad to pick her up on his way home, but that was two hours from now. She thought about calling her mom, but remembered that that she had an appointment in the afternoon and wouldn’t be home until after six. Realizing she was out of options, Willow began her trek homeward.

About ten minutes later, however, she decided that maybe she should have tried harder to find a ride or waited for her Dad, because ten feet in front of her was Riley and his dog.

“Oh Hi!” Riley exclaimed, “You’re Tara’s friend Willow, right?”

“Um yeah and you must be Riley.”

“Yep, that’s me! Riley Finn, at your service!” He said a little too cheerily for Willow’s liking. “Oh, and this here is Tiny.” Riley motioned to the large chocolate lab that was currently wagging his entire body and straining against his collar.

Willow smiled, being a dog person she couldn’t refuse a little snuggle action with a friendly pooch. She knelt down in front of the large dog and began to scratch behind his ears. “Well hello Tiny. Geez, you don’t look very tiny to me,” she continued, as she playfully pet the dog.

Riley chuckled, “His proper name is Jackson Dwight Eisenhower Finn the third, but to us he’s always been Tiny.” Willow gave him a look that suggested he was just a bit off his rocker, making the young man cringe in embarrassment. “It’s kind of an inside joke. You know, because he’s not really tiny. It’s kinda like calling a fat guy slim…or something to that effect…” His voice finally trailing off, as his face burned.

Willow stood and brushed her hands on her pants, “Well it was nice meeting you both, but I uh really need to get home.”

“Oh ok, do you want me to walk you or anything?”

Again, Willow looked at him like he was three shades of crazy. “Nooo that’s ok, I think I can handle it. Thanks for asking though. I guess I’ll see you around.”

“Yeah, you too Willow. Bye.” He called out as the redhead walked away throwing him a wave over her shoulder.

“Figures he’d be a nice guy,” Willow said to herself, “Like Tara would be with some jerk or something. I bet he opens car doors and say’s yes ma’am and no sir and kisses Mr. and Mrs. Maclay’s collective asses.” Willow continued to grumble and complain as she walked, her mood turning darker by the minute.

************************************
Friday – 1 Day Ago

The lunch bell rang and Tara practically sprinted out to the quad. She was anxious and excited about having lunch with her best friend. In fact, she’d packed several extra items in her lunch bag that she knew were favorites of the redhead. She just wanted to see Willow smile.

Tara was the first to arrive at the picnic table with Riley in tow. She’d run into him, literally, during her sprint out of the building in route to the quad. Xander and Buffy soon joined them and the three chatted amongst themselves while Tara paced nervously waiting for Willow.

Willow pushed through the doors leading outside and Tara grinned widely when she spotted her friend. Willow smiled back, but then her face fell as soon as she spotted Riley. “What’s he doing here? God, this guy is everywhere,” She thought.

Tara immediately noticed the shift in her friend, and tried to pretend like nothing was wrong. “Hey Will, you came…” Tara said as Willow approached.

“Yeah,” Willow said bashfully.

“Hi Wills!” Both Xander and Buffy said at the exact same time.

“Hey guys. Hi Riley.” Willow said, trying her best to hide the contempt in her voice.

“So um, Willow and I are going to have lunch together today, just the two of us, so…bye.” She said, quickly grabbing Willow’s hand while pulling her away from the table; catching the gang and Willow completely off guard.

“Wow, what was that all about?” Willow asked.

“What? Oh nothing, it’s just that I haven’t seen you much lately and I just thought we could have some alone time to catch up. You know?” Tara said with a hopeful look on her face.

“Aren’t we pretty much spending the entire day together tomorrow?”

Tara was crestfallen and felt like she might cry, “You…you don’t w-w-want to hang out with me?”

“No! I mean yes! I…of course I do. I just meant, never mind. Come on, let’s sit over here under the tree,” Willow said, and led Tara to the grassy spot. She felt horrible when she’d seen the look of despair on her best friend’s face, not to mention the stutter. She mentally kicked herself for being so insensitive. Tara was genuinely happy to see her, wanted to spend time alone with her, and she nearly wrecked it. She needed to explain her feeling before things between them got any worse, but she had no idea how.

They both sat down, cross-legged and facing one another with a reasonable gap between them.

“I um, I brought some of your favorite things,” Tara said shyly as she began to unpack her lunch bag.

“You did?” Willow asked, completely surprised. The girl was so sweet and generous; Willow’s heart melted. “That was really nice of you, thanks.”

Tara shrugged it off, “I brought you some gummy worms, fruit roll ups, some Cheetos and a juice box too.”

“Wow Tare, that was so sweet, but you didn’t have to-”

“I know, but I wanted to,” Tara said, softly glancing at Willow with a look of complete adoration; causing the redhead to feel light headed and tingly.

Willow simply smiled, finding it difficult to breath. She picked up her lunch bag and dumped the contents out in front of her. She instantly frowned, “I’m sorry Tara, I didn’t…do you want my apple?” She asked hesitantly.

Tara chuckled at the cuteness that was Willow, and happily accepted the offering. Willow grinned back and they began to eat their respective lunches.

“So,” Tara said “You um, you know Riley?”

“Oh yeah, I um ran into him on my way home yesterday,” Willow said, then received a questioning look from Tara. She sighed deeply before continuing, “Percy was a no show and I ended up walking home from school.”

“Willow Danielle Rosenberg! Why didn’t you call me? I would have come and picked you up!” Tara exclaimed, incredulously.

Willow was suddenly embarrassed. She realized perhaps she should have just called her best friend, or maybe not elaborated on the story. “It’s not that far, and I needed the exercise anyway.”

Tara looked at Willow sadly, lunch was not going as she’d planned. She reached out and placed a hand on Willow’s knee, “You know I’m here for you, right? You can call me anytime, day or night and I’ll be here…I’ll always be your friend.” She whispered, her voice beginning to tremble.

“I know, I’m sorry. Again, I should have called.”

They ate in an awkward silence for several minutes until Tara finally rewrapped her sandwich and tucked it back into the bag. Her stomach was tied in knots and she couldn’t take another bite.

She sighed deeply, “Will, are w-we ok?”

“What?”

“Us, our friendship,” Tara continued, “It’s just that lately I feel like we’re drifting apart and I don’t know why. Is it…is it s-s-something I’ve done? Did I do something to hurt you?”

Tara’s voice was cracking and pleading and shredding Willow’s heart into a million tiny pieces. “No Tare, you didn’t do anything, honest. I just…I have a lot going on up here right now,” Willow said as she tapped her right temple, “And I wanna tell you but…”

“Now’s not the time?”

“No.”

“Ok, I’m not gonna push. I just want you to know that, when you’re ready, you can tell me. I’m your best friend, I have been since we were five and you can tell me anything Will, because I’ll never stop being your friend. Ok?”

All Willow could do was nod, the tears were threatening to pour out and she was too busy trying to fight off the lump in her throat to form any kind of coherent speech. Tara was looking at her with such love and compassion; it was all Willow could do to stop herself from pouncing on her and kissing her into next week. Had they not been sitting in the middle of the school yard with several hundred of their closest friends, Willow probably would have spilled one hundred percent of the beans, but it wasn’t the time or place for declarations of love, especially when she thought of all the different ways that conversation could go. She’d worked herself into such a frenzy, that once again, she thought she would vomit. Luckily the bell rang, and it was time to get back to class.

“So, I’ll see you tomorrow?” Tara asked as she gathered her things.

“Nine o’clock,” Willow replied.

“Ok, see you in the morning Will,” Tara stood and reached for Willow, but pulled back at the last minute, “Bye.”

“Bye Tara.”

*****************************************
Saturday - Present Day

Willow closed her diary and tucked it back into her secret hiding place between the mattress and the box spring of her bed. The last thing she needed was for her mother to read it; not that she thought she would, but she wasn’t taking any chances. Besides, it was almost nine and Tara would be there any minute. She grabbed her bag and headed downstairs.

Half way down the stairs, she heard a knock at the back door and knew that Tara would be waiting for her on the other side of the door. Willow stepped inside the kitchen and froze.

Tara was glowing, dressed in a beige lacey top and long flowing skirt, she looked like a goddess. She’d even put on a little make up and styled her hair. Willow was in heaven. Until she glanced down at her own choice of clothing; red overalls with pink straps, purple Keds and all topped off with a long sleeve red and gray shirt with little cartoon monkeys sprinkled across the front. I look like I’m eight. The chastised herself internally, glancing back up at Tara with a grimace plastered across her face.

“I think maybe I should go change…” She mumbled and just as she started to turn away, she felt a warm hand on her arm.

“Nonsense, you look adorable,” Tara said with a lopsided smile, “Besides, we don’t have time. Come on, we gotta get going. Bye Mrs. Rosenberg!”

“Good bye girls, have fun!” Sheila shouted as Tara dragged Willow out the door, looping her arm through Willow’s and pulling her down the garden path.

Willow could feel every place in which Tara’s body was coming into contact; her arm, her hand, their hips and she began to sweat. The close proximity was driving her insane and she was suddenly wishing she’d worn shorts and a tank top instead of this inferno of an outfit. Thankfully they reached the car within a minute and the contact was broken.

After several quite minutes together in the car, Willow had finally calmed enough to speak, “You um, you look really nice today Tare.”

Tara smiled sweetly, “Thanks, I know it’s a casual affair, but I just, I don’t know…I felt like dressing up a little. Plus, I didn’t do any laundry this week.” Willow chuckled along with her and they began a comfortable conversation.

A conversation about school and friends and such until Willow allowed her mind to wander to other things. Like the creamy skin of Tara’s neck; a neck that Willow’s eyes followed down to Tara’s chest and to the tip of the lacy beige ‘v’ neck that was stretched tightly across her abundant cleavage. Now that she thought about it, said cleavage was currently putting on quite a show of it’s own as it bounced gleefully with every passing bump in the road. Willow swallowed thickly as naughty thoughts scrambled her brain. A quick flash of an old anti drug commercial with two eggs frying in a pan passed through her mind…This is your brain and this is your brain on ‘Tara boobs.’ Good grief, this is going to be a long day.

They arrived early at the local bookstore only to find that there was already a line snaked through the store, out the door and down the sidewalk.

“Well, I guess it’s a good thing we got here early,” Tara said sarcastically.

Willow giggled, “Come on, let’s get in line before it gets any worse. What did you bring to get signed anyway?”

“Oh, just my two favorite all time volumes!”

“Hmm, let me guess…” Willow said as she tapped her index finger on her chin, “Series III volume 16, Doppelgangland and series IV volume 10, Hush.”

Tara giggled, “You know me well Willow Rosenberg.”

“Well, that’s what best friends are for, Tara Maclay.”

“How about you, what’d ya bring?” Tara asked.

“Oh, um I brought that sealed set of action figures I got on ebay and-”

“Series IV volume 19, New Moon Rising?”

Willow grinned, “Yep! Plus, I brought enough money for both of us to get the newest volume.”

“Oh Will, that’s so sweet, but you don’t have to do that.”

Willow blushed, “I know, but you brought me all that stuff at lunch yesterday and I’ve been all moody gal lately, I just thought…I just wanted to make it up to you. Ok…please?”

Tara smiled and nodded, “Well, if you insist,” She said as she playfully hip bumped Willow, “But I’m buying lunch and no arguments!”

“Deal!”

For the next ninety minutes or so they sat on the sidewalk while they waited in line, laughing, chatting and playing with a deck of cards that Tara brought to pass the time.

They had always been incredibly comfortable together; the connection had been obvious from a young age and Willow wondered how she thought she could ever get away with not having Tara in her life.

After awhile the line started to move and they slowly crept forward; closer and closer to their destination.

“Oh my gosh Will! There he is!” Tara squealed, clutching Willow’s arm tightly.

“I know, I can’t believe that we’re actually going to meet Josh Wheaton!”

The girls finally made it up to the table and got their items signed, as well as posed for a picture. Willow stepped to his right and Tara to his left as he wrapped his arms around both the girls’ shoulders. They in-turn wrapped their arms around his waist and when they did, Tara gripped Willow’s arm from behind with hers and began to lightly massage it, taking the redhead completely by surprise and causing her heart to nearly jump out of her chest. With the picture taken, Tara slid her hand down the length of Willow’s arm all the way to her finger tips; seemingly unwilling to let her go.

Willow was flabbergasted. Something had just happened; something important and meaningful and…confusing. She didn’t know what to make of it. In all actuality, she wasn’t sure that it really happened at all. But then she glanced at Tara as they moved away from the table and Tara looked at her with half lidded smoldering blue eyes and the sexiest smile she’d ever seen.

“Tara…” Willow said as Tara began to reach for her hand, but suddenly pulled back.

“Tara! Hey Tara!” A male voice called out and the instant Willow heard the voice, she knew exactly who it belonged to.

“Riley? Hey! What are you doing here?!” Tara shouted as Riley moved between them and gave Tara a light hug.

Willow felt like her head was going to explode at the sight of one Riley Finn. She was in shock and couldn’t believe that he’d turned up…again and at the worst possible moment.

“Oh, hey Willow,” He said as Willow faked a smile and gave him a little wave.

“Wow, this is really cool, huh? I’ve wanted to meet him for so long! That’s why I got here at seven.” Riley proclaimed.

“Yeah, we’ve waited a long time too, but not that long,” Tara giggled.

“Oh, before I forget, I got you something.” Riley reached into a shopping bag and pulled out a copy of the newest Josh Wheaton volume and handed it to Tara. “I um, I remember you saying you were a fan and I wanted to get you something…special, as a thank you for being so nice and showing me around school and everything.” The young man blushed.


“Oh,” Tara replied nervously, her eyes darting in Willow’s direction, as he handed her the book, “T-Thank you, but I can’t…really, it’s too much.” She said graciously.

“No no, I insist! Really Tara, I…I want you to have it.” He said as he enclosed his hands over Tara’s.

Willow. Was. Furious. I was supposed to buy the book for Tara, and I was supposed to give Tara the special gift not HIM!. Willow was seething with anger. Her face turned beet red, as her hands shook. She began panting hard as angry tears started to fill her emerald green eyes. She couldn’t take anymore; this was most definitely the last straw. “I can’t believe this,” She growled through gritted teeth as she threw everything in her hands violently to the floor and stormed out of the bookstore.

“Willow, wait!” Tara cried as the redhead ran away.

“Geez, what’s wrong with her?”

Tara turned to Riley and pressed the book to his chest. “Riley, I said no!” She kneeled down and began picking up Willow’s things; shoving them in her bag.

“But Tara…”

“NO!” She shouted as she ran after her friend; leaving Riley standing alone and confused.

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

Tara burst out the front of the store and frantically searched for Willow, but she was nowhere to be seen. She knew when Riley handed her that book all hell was about to break loose, but she could do nothing to stop it. She felt horrible. The last thing she wanted to do was upset Willow, especially after the awkward week they’d had.

“Willow!” She called, but received no answer. She looked to her right and found the sidewalk crowded with people for the book signing still waiting in line. She decided to turn left instead and started walking briskly down the street looking for the redhead. She passed in front of an alley and stopped when she heard a soft whimper coming from behind a stack of empty boxes.

Tara turned into the alley and closed in on the sound. “Willow?” She called softly and could hear the distinct sounds of a sniffle.

Tara finally cleared the boxes and found Willow sitting on the ground, with her back against the wall and her knees pulled to her chest, sobbing. The sight was heart breaking. It was all Tara could do to keep from crying herself. She knelt next down and reached for Willow, only to have her shrink away and then jump to her feet; pacing nervously.

“Hey, hey it’s ok. It’s just me.” Tara said soothingly.

Willow rubbed her eyes with her hands and then wiped her face on her sleeve; looking at Tara with angry eyes.

“I was supposed to buy you that book, NOT HIM!” She spat.

Tara jumped when Willow yelled; she’d never seen her so hysterical, “Will, what’s going on?”

“I was supposed to buy you that,” She whined repeatedly, the tears now pouring from her eyes, “Not him, me. I wanted to get you something special, it was important to me and he ruined it.”

“Will, nothing is ruined-”

“YES IT IS!” She screamed. “Everything is ruined, he’s everywhere! And…and I’m…I’m nowhere. I’m no one.”

“What…”

“Don’t you see Tara? Don’t you see?”

“Willow, I don’t…please help me understand.”

“No! I can’t…I…I can’t do this.”

“Can’t do what? Willow please!” Tara was exasperated with her friend and just wanted some answers.

“I can’t love you like this and watch him take you away. It’s killing me and I just…can’t be around you anymore!”

“Will…” Tara took a step and reached out for Willow.

“No, don’t. I don’t want your sympathy! Just, just stay away from me! Leave me alone!” She yelled again, except this time she turned and ran away at full speed, leaving Tara standing with tears streaming down her face, in complete shock.

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

Tara sat in her car crying as she stared blankly at the park swing set. She’d been driving around looking for Willow for hours and thought for sure this is where she’d find her. She’d even gone as far as to call Buffy and have Buffy call Willow’s as not to alert the Rosenberg’s of Willow’s disappearance. Sheila had assured Buffy that Willow wasn’t home and was with Tara at the book signing. Tara had also checked the coffee shop, Xander’s basement, the comic book store and the library; all of the redhead’s usual haunts, and came up empty each time.

“Where the hell is she?” Tara grunted, the frustration clearly setting in. There was no way she was giving up her search until she found her best friend. She closed her eyes and leaned her forehead on the steering wheel. Taking in a deep breath she sighed and allowed her mind to clear. That’s when it came to her, a single word causing her to sit up. Suddenly, she knew exactly where Willow was.

“Runt,” She breathed and slapped a hand to her forehead, “Ugh, why didn’t I think of this before! Stupid, stupid Tara!” She threw the car in gear and sped out of the parking lot.

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

Tara flew into her driveway, jumping out of the car almost before she came to a complete stop and sprinting towards the backyard tree house. In Tara’s panic to find Willow, she’d completely forgotten that the redhead had left one, Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, a.k.a. ‘Runt’ in the tree house the last time they’d spent the night up there. Runt was the fluffy stuffed dog that Tara had given to her on her sixth birthday. They had both had a hand in naming the furry pup and then ended up calling him Runt when Tara mentioned one day that she always ‘loved runts the most.’ Runt was a perennial fixture on Willow’s bed and always went with her when she slept over at Tara’s. He was also Willow’s security blanket of sorts and Tara knew that whenever her best friend was upset, she always cuddled with Runt.

Tara climbed the ladder and emerged through the floor into the tree house. She glanced around and breathed a sigh of relief when she saw Willow curled up on the floor, clutching Runt to her chest. The old tree house creaked as Tara pulled herself inside and scooted across the floor to sit behind her friend. She could see that Willow’s eyes were red and swollen, as she lay motionless and staring at the wall. Tara noticed several wisps of red hair were stuck to her friend’s cheek. She reached out and gently brushed them away; allowing her hand to linger on the warm freckled skin. Tara loved Willow’s freckles and used to try to count them when they were little. She’d made it a point to memorize every last one and when she closed her eyes, she could see their exact locations.

There were a million things she wanted to say, but right now Tara just wanted to comfort Willow and that’s exactly what she did. She kicked off her shoes and stretched her body out next to Willow. She scooted closer, molding her front to Willow’s back; fitting their bodies together perfectly. When Willow didn’t protest, Tara draped her arm over Willow’s stomach and rested her chin on her shoulder.

Willow was stunned and didn’t know what to make of Tara’s actions. They’d hugged before as friends, but this, this was definitely…different. It was more intimate and for the moment Willow was content. Tara was soft and warm and Willow was just too exhausted to protest.

They laid for quite sometime, snuggled together, until Tara reached up and placed a soft kiss on Willow’s cheek.

Tara swallowed hard and whispered into Willow’s ear, “I’m in love with you too.”

Willow struggled to keep her emotions in check and squeezed her eyes shut tightly. It was no use, however, as the tears began to drip as she started to cry softly.

“Oh sweetie, please don’t cry anymore,” Tara breathed as she held Willow tight.

Willow sniffled, “Why did you say that?”

“Because it’s true. I’m so in love with you and I was gonna tell you, today after the book signing. I wanted to take you on a picnic, to our secret place in the park and tell you everything. I wanted it to be perfect and special…just like you.”

Willow let go of Runt and pushed herself into a sitting position as she turned to face her best friend. “I…I thought I’d lost you.” She said.

Tara shook her head slowly, “Never…I’ve loved you my whole life and I promise I’ll never, ever stop.” Tara could feel her heart about to pound out of her chest as she cupped Willow’s cheeks and pulled the redhead towards her; finally bringing their lips together in a sweet and tender kiss.

Willow sat frozen, as Tara’s lips pressed firmly against hers. It was the moment, the moment she’d dreamed about and it was finally happening. It was her first kiss and it was perfect in every way. After a few seconds, she felt Tara’s lips begin to move against hers and she let her instincts guide her as she followed Tara’s lead; opening and closing her mouth softly against Tara’s.

They finally pulled apart and rested their foreheads together, “Is this real?” Willow whispered, her eyes still closed.

Tara nodded her head against Willow’s, “Open your eyes sweetie.” Willow eyes fluttered open and a lazy grin spread across her face, “There’s my girl.” Tara said returning the smile.

“Your girl?” Willow asked.

Tara nodded in response, “And I’m yours, for as long as you’ll have me.”

“How does forever sound?” Willow breathed.

“Perfect,” Tara whispered before her lips were back on Willow’s and her fingers unconsciously tangled in the soft wispy red hair. She let the kiss last several seconds before releasing her hold and leaving several quick pecks on Willow’s lips.

Tara laid back down on the floor; pulling Willow with her and snuggling the redhead to her chest. They laid in silence, enjoying the warmth of their bodies pressed close as exhaustion began to set in.

Willow’s eye lids were beginning to feel heavy, “I love you my Tara,” She mumbled as she fought to keep them open.

“I love you too, my sweet Willow. Sleep and I promise I’ll be here when you wake up.”

“Promise?” Willow asked in a groggy voice as she nestled close to Tara.

“I promise, forever.” Tara answered sincerely. It was a promise she planned to keep for the rest of her life.


~The End. :peace

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

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


Last edited by Finey_McFine on Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:30 am 
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4. Extra Flamey
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Posts: 176
Topics: 9
Location: PNW
And I was worried? Look at all these fics!

And Finey_McFine, a long post is cool in my book, glad to see it all in one post.
And Heather, begging? ME?

So, over on Facebook, Kate and I were discussing the challenge, and well essentially I feel like I got challenged to write another piece.... And so I did. Here is to you Kate.

Title: Adventures of Perun

Author: Delayne

Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Standard Disclaimer, ie. I no own itz, I make no profitz, Please no sue me.
Summary: Another Fic Challenge Piece
Feedback: Sure why not
Notes: See note above, re: Kate.
***

My name is Perun. It says so on my name tag. They have discussed changing it to what they actually call me but they have never gotten around to it.

I am a Tatra Sheepdog mix. At least that is what the guy who poked and prodded me told them. Said something about me being rare, especially in the U.S.

When they brought me home from the place with all the other dogs who'd done bad things, they talked about what to name me. My new family members, the ones I live with not the ones that show up all the time, had just been to a book signing. Tara had gotten her Brisingamen signed by Diana Paxson just before Willow surprised her by bringing her to the animal jail.

I couldn't even tell you my name from before but I remember Willow and Tara saying they didn't like it. I would rather not think about that time, most of those memories have faded.

At first, sometimes at night I would shake and whine and my family would let me up on their big bed and they'd tell me it would be alright. The nightmare was where I saw people in this river of blood and fire. And I can't see who they are behind the flames. I start freaking out that it is my new family, but it doesn't feel right. But then they would wake me and I would cuddle up with my new family and just know that it was not them. I got a feeling that I did know who was up to their necks in the river. I knew deep inside I would never see them again.

Anyway, where was I going with this? Oh the origin of my name right...

So they picked me up and I got poked and prodded by the guy who told him more about me as they looked over and signed pieces of paper. Willow brought up the name Thor and mentioned something about the book Tara just got signed. Tara said she'd think about, like it sorta fit but didn't.

Then she got to looking stuff up. She likes origins. People, places, words. Apparently I am some sort of Slavic breed, well most of me anyway. Then she looked more stuff up and discovered that Perun is like the Slavic equivalent of Thor.

So that was a few years ago.

Right now I am doing my job. I learned more about what my kind was bred for. We are protectors. My family is my flock.

I am talking about more than the blonde and the redhead. I am talking about the rest of them who come and go over here. I am also talking about the latest addition.

I call her Runt. She calls me it too.

Now everybody calls me it. And they call her Kate.

At first they didn't know that is what we called each other because she didn't talk yet. And of course they don't know I call her it because I don't talk. The first time she said it, it sounded more like "want."

"Great, our child is so spoiled her first word is want!" Willow had said. Then she proceeded to try to get Runt to say "Mommy."

Then they realized that she was always saying "want" and reaching for me. And they figured she always wanted me.

It was a couple more weeks before Tara made the connection.

"Willow, I think she is calling him Runt."

Today Willow and Tara had something to do. Dawn stayed to watch Runt and I even though I am perfectly capable of watching over her myself. Although, I do appreciate the help.

Runt and I were watching Phineas and Ferb and tossing a ball back and forth. Actually she was kicking it to me as best she could from the contraption they had her in.

"Want!" She said out-loud.

"Yes Runt?" I asked. I had gotten the ball back close enough she could kick it again so it wasn't that.

She switched to the other language, the one we shared, when I replied as such.

"I am thirsty. I want juice."

I stood up and looked around. I did not see Dawn.

"I will get it." I said.

This was my chance to prove I could be entrusted with Runt's care on my own.

I headed into the kitchen, hopping easily over the gate meant to keep Runt out. Dawn was not in here either. I listened and sniffed. She was in the room with the bath. I hate the bath.

So I knew the bottle of juice was in the fridge. It was going to be difficult to open until I saw that a towel had been looped through the handle. I grabbed it gently in my mouth, similar to when I have pulled Runt away from things she is not supposed to be in, and pulled.

I scanned the bright inside as the door came and bounced against my side. The bottle of juice was in the door so I didn't see it right away. But it was easy to grab.

"How you gonna open it Runt?" She asked me.

I didn't give her an answer, instead I gave a demonstration.

It didn't take me long to chew the lid off.

"Okay smartypants, how you gonna get it in my sippy cup?"

"Hmmm, I hadn't thought of that."

She just gave me a look. I looked around and saw Dawns empty cup on the coffee table. It wasn't her sippy cup but we could make it work.

I placed it near the bottle of juice. As much as I hated sliding around on these hardwood floors it allowed me to set the cup down without it tipping over. I know because I tried to set it on the rug. Now came the hard part. I'd seen it done before only I had to use just the movement of my head.

I tilted sideways, grasped it sideways and straightened up my head. It poured right into the cup. And around the cup. And all over the place. But I did get it in the cup.

Runt clapped and squealed impressed at my efforts.

"See told you I could do it."

As I grabbed the top of the cup to bring it to her, the bathroom door opened. So did the front door.

Runt yelled "Mama!" (Happy voice.)

Mama yelled "Runt!" (Not so happy voice.)

I went "Ruh-Ro" and dropped the cup.

The End.

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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:28 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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TITLE: The Song That Went Unlearned

AUTHOR: Starr, aka Faolan228

RATING: I’d say PG-15, for a slightly sexy scene that I know any under 15’s here are probably gonna read anyway, but mostly for brief descriptions of violence

DISCLAIMER: None of the canon characters are mine.

SUMMARY: 10 years into their relationship, Tara and Willow go on a trip to visit some friends. This takes a dark turn as something, or someone, hunts them.

NOTES: Just trying my hand at something a bit different. The overall story-arc is original, but certain elements are taken from various tales, told to me around a campfire or in hushed whispers during my stay at a Navajo Reservation a year or so back. One terrifying incident in particular happened to a man of my acquaintance, though the version portrayed here has been exaggerated and has Tara in his place. Still, if you’re ever driving through the desert one night, watch for figures running alongside your car. Roll up your windows, lock your doors, and don’t ever stop….

******************
It was the drumming that woke her up.

Now they could go on for hours about how Tara was more sensitive to various natural energies and that it was this particular ability that woke her, but no.

It was definitely the damn drums.

Waking under the covers in a bed that was most certainly not hers, she had a minor panic attack, arms reaching out and groping blindly til they hit something soft and the lump groaned.

‘Willow.’ Tara calmed instantly. Sitting up to watch her lover twitch in her sleep and let out small, fitful snorts, it all came back to her. They were on a Navajo reservation visiting Nick, Tara’s friend and fellow anthropology student from their college days.

‘From our college days? Not even 29 yet and you already sound like an old woman,’ she berated herself. Willow’s snorts turned back into normal breathing, and with that the sound of the drumming became more pronounced. She slipped out of bed with a grace that only ever appeared in the bedroom and rarely elsewhere. Padding to the window she peered out, and nearly leapt from her skin.

They hadn’t jumped out at her, but they effect was as if they had. A group of several men, dressed and painted in traditional garb, blending into the darkness so well, but standing out from it once noticed. They stood several dozen yards away from the cabin, and Tara would have greeted them, assuming them to be local tribesmen doing local tribesmen things, had it not been for one thing.

Almost 10 years in Sunnydale made recognizing menace in one’s eyes a skill.

They stood behind the tiny picket fence, put in place to prevent plants from growing where they shouldn’t and not, as Willow hypothesized, to keep tiny people’s tiny dogs from running into equally tiny streets. The men tried to step over the fence, but something prevented them. It was as if they couldn’t lift their legs high enough to climb over.

Tara took a step back from the window. Demons were one thing, but to that sort of look on a human face was another thing entirely. It was worse than her father or brother, worse than Warren Mears as he was carted off to prison.

The fact that the drumming intensified, though none of the men had any sort of drum, did not help matters at all.

Diving back under the covers and spooning Willow’s slight frame, Tara tried not to shiver.

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

When she told Willow the following morning, she did not receive the expected ‘Why didn’t you wake me up?’ tirade.

Instead, her face was peppered with little smooches, her brown hair smoothed down, and cursory examination to make sure that a bit of a fright was the worst of it.

Then she was scolded for not waking Willow up.

“And then what?” Tara argued. “You stand at the window glaring at them the rest of the night?”

“Yes, well,” the redhead blushed. “They scared my woman. More than enough of a reason to glare, don’t you think? Maybe throw in some scowling?”

“You’re lucky I find your possessiveness endearing.”

You’re the endearing one!” She planted a kiss to Tara’s jaw. “Breakfast first with Nick and Em, then we’ll check out where you saw them?”

“It was probably some Hopi,” Nick gushed around scrambled eggs and turkey sausage (Willow had a Big Jewish Revival earlier in the year, and everyone humored her). “They can barely stand us Navajo, let alone outsiders like you two.” He swallowed. “We got a few in the area, probably just swung by to freak you out. They are a creepy tribe.”

Emma glared at her fiancé.

“Well, not all Hopi,” he amended.

She quirked a fine, dark eyebrow.

“I love you?”

She finally gave in, piling more sausage onto his plate with a loving smile. She turned to the two witches. “Show me where you saw them?”

After breakfast, the three women headed out to the far side of the yard, sidestepping Nick’s haphazardly parked pickup.

“Maybe it was just a bunch of perverts wanting a peak of some girlie action!” Nick joked as he climbed into the truck.

“Why? You brag about the lesbians in your guestroom?” Willow snipped. They all laughed at that. Nick had originally tried to woo Tara years ago, a short lived campaign that had ended with a very grumpy Willow. Upon discovering the real nature of the girls’ relationship, he had proclaimed it the most awesome thing ever and became the first to bash the heads of any idiot college male who offered to ‘make them normal again’. This in turn, won him Xander’s friendship and if he hadn’t been at Disneyland with Anya and their two illegitimate daughters, the carpenter would be here too.

“Oh yeah, sold tickets too,” he deadpanned. Pulling out of the drive, he waved one last time. “See ya Ems, Tara, Lady-dude.” He was already halfway down the street before Willow could register and bristle at the nickname. With a huff, the redhead flounced towards the fence.

All of the sudden, it was as if a ball of ice had dropped in Tara’s stomach.

“Baby, stop!” She flung her arm out, grabbing her partner by the elbow.

There was a time when Willow would question her, and an even darker time when she would probably have brushed her off, but this was no longer that time. Nearly 10 years together, and her magic responded to the panic in her lover’s voice, flaring up in response to whatever caused it. “What is it? What do you see, baby?”

Unlike her soulmate, Willow was no empath. Her aura reading skills left much to be desired, but with a physical connection, she could borrow that ability, if only for a while. Unable to explain with words, Tara pulled her closer.

Well shit. No wonder Tara hadn’t wanted her going any closer.

The entire fence-line permeated such a sense of darkness. It was a primal darkness, the feel of an unfinished hunt, the reek of old blood, and the anger and malice of a starving predator.

“They were after you,” Emma gasped, dropping to her knees.

Tara clutched Willow closer. “Who?”

Emma shook her head, wrapping her arms around herself.

“Emma,” Tara was sounding panicked now. “Who w-wanted Willow and I?” She was stuttering her W’s, which told Willow that her partner was well and truly spooked.

“You have power,” the dark-haired woman said. “And they want it.”

“Emma, please. Who?”

“Yee naaldlooshii,” she whispered. “Skinwalkers.”

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

After bringing her back inside the house, Emma was hesitant to explain further. It was generally considered taboo to speak of such frightful things to outsiders, but their involvement and their previous experiences with things like this made Willow and Tara the exception.

“There’s, well,” Emma sipped from her cup of water. “There’s a lot of varying stories for what a Skinwalker actually is, but the most popular is that it’s a witch who turns into an animal.”

“I had one once,” Willow blurted moronically. Tara shushed her with a smile and a hand on her knee.

“Right. They tend to run around in animal form, wearing the pelt of whatever animal they turn into, usually coyotes or other predators. Some believe that the human form isn’t really theirs either, and that it’s just another skin they’re wearing.”

Willow leaned forward. “Coyotes? Are they associated with the deity?”

Emma actually laughed, shaking her head. “Old Man Coyote is misrepresented in your culture. He is a Trickster and pokes His nose in people’s business, but He is wise, and reinforces harmony. So no, I’m sure that they are in no way associated with Coyote.”

Tara’s brow furrowed. “But what do they want with us?”

Emma frowned. “That’s just the thing. They usually don’t bother with non-natives. But you two are powerful…”

Willow turned to her lover. “You know what this means, right?”

“Dawn?”

“Dawn.”

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

“Hello, this is The Magic Box, Sunnydale’s number one provider of ma-”

“Dawn, it’s us.”

The 23 year old former Key pulled back from the phone at the tone of the witch’s voice. “Geez Willow, grumpy much? Buffy’s on patrol right now, but-”

“Can you look something up for us? It’s kind of an emergency.”

“Okay, sure! Goodness, and weren’t you and Tara the ones who taught me about polite conversation?”

“Dawn!”

“Okay! Geez! What do you need me to look up?”

“Um, Skinwalkers. I think it should be in ‘Infernal Bestiary’. North American addition.”

“I’m looking, I’m looking,” Dawn muttered, making her way from the counter to the research books. “Jordy! Watch the till!”

Willow and Tara pulled back from the phone and looked at each other. Then, Willow brought it back up. “Jordy? Jordy Osbourne? Oz’s little werewolf cousin, the one who bit him?”

“Yeah! Not so little anymore, though. He just got back from Tibet, visiting Oz and Bay.”

Tara smirked. “And he’s there now?”

Dawn balanced the phone between her face and her shoulder as she flipped through pages. “Yeah, Jordy swung by to keep me company while I fill in for Anya. He even brought pictures of Kelden! Also, got the book, and I’m not finding it.”

“Oh, um try,” she turned to Tara. “Yee naaldlooshii?”

Dawn paused. “Um, gesundheit?”

“Uuuugh! Just keep looking and call us back if you find anything.” With a click, she hung up.

Jordy ran his hands through his short, black hair. “What was that all about?”

Dawn looked at her boyfriend and shrugged. “I honestly have no idea.”

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

Hours later, Tara stood by the window, watching the sun go down. Perhaps they would show up again tonight, perhaps not, but the knowledge that they were after her and Willow set her teeth on edge.

“We should get a veltro.” Suddenly pulled from her reverie, she turned to Willow.

“Huh?”

“A veltro,” the redhead scooted on the bed to give Tara some room. “It’s mistranslated as greyhound, but apparently it’s actually strong enough to fight bears and wild boars. Wouldn’t that be useful back home?”

“Sweetie,” with a smile Tara rested her head on Willow’s shoulder. “I’m pretty sure it’s unethical to send a dog running around after demons.”

“Well here it’s running an evil she-wolf into hell,” she held up her book for emphasis.

“Baby as much as I love your quirks, I draw the line at using ‘The Divine Comedy’ as a dog training manual.”

It was their thing, poking fun at Willow over her worn, dog-eared copy of the book. She had thrown a small fit their senior year at UCS, having lived on the Hellmouth her whole life and yet had never cracked open that particular book, and promptly bought it. Forget being one of the few people in the world who understood Ancient Sumerian, now she was a scholarly-type. There was also the fact that this was the last book she ever bought from that particular bookstore before she was banned. A young cast member from a cult TV phenomenon had taken the step to writing fantasy novels, and also shared more than a passing resemblance to Tara. Standing in line for a scone and maybe a mocha right before a book signing, Willow had nonchalantly walked up to her and let her lips and hands do all the talking.

Miss Benson let her hands do all the talking too, as evidenced by the photo of a bright red slap mark on the redhead’s face and a restraining order proudly framed on the Summers’ wall.

Tara chuckled at the memory, content to curl up against her girl and read over her shoulder for the umpteenth time. It was moments like this that made her forget all the darkness in their lives.

Almost.

“You have to come with me!” Emma burst into the room. “It’s Nick! He’s been hurt.”

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

“Ouch! Em, knock it off! It isn’t that bad!”

Hands tight on the steering wheel, Tara peered into the rearview mirror, just to make sure Willow was following them. Nick had been ready to climb into his truck after work, and was leapt upon by some dog.

Or coyote.

The three women had piled into the witches’ car and driven down to the clinic to pick up Nick, who had been cleaned and patched up. Blood tests were still being run, and they would get a call in the morning. Willow was driving their car back while Tara took Nick’s truck.

“Not that bad? You could’ve severed your brachial artery! You might have rabies!”

“Dammit woman, let’s just get home. I need a warm meal and some sleep and I’ll be fine.”

Tara opened her mouth to tease them both, but was rudely interrupted.

HONK! HONK! HOOOONK! It sounded as if Willow was leaning her full body weight onto the horn, and the cab was flooded by the jeep’s high beams. Tara turned, wondering what the hell was wrong with her partner, and barely swallowed a scream.

Sitting in the bed of the truck, illuminated by Willow’s jeep lights, was a coyote. Not like any coyote Tara had ever seen, and she had grown up on a ranch. It was bent and twisted, limbs too long and joints in places canines usually didn’t. It sat back on its haunches, squatting like a man, half-hand/half-paw worrying at the little glass window of the cab. Emma turned and shrieked.

“What the fuck! What the fuck!” Nick’s voice also filled the cab. Catching Tara’s eye, the creature snarled once, and leapt off of the truck. This all happened in the seconds in took for her to turn and slam on the breaks. Behind them, Willow swerved to avoid tailgating them and came to a stop. She leapt out of the vehicle.

“Stay in the jeep!” Tara shouted. “Willow, stay in the jeep!” But it was no use, not when it came to Willow. Pulling the truck’s door open, she reached in and pulled Tara into her embrace, burying her nose into that warm brown hair and just breathed.

“Scoot over,” the redhead croaked. “We’re near the house. We can get the jeep tomorrow.”

Aside from their heavy breathing, the ride home was a silent affair.

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

Nick had been fed, medicated, and put to bed. The three women remained in the kitchen, holding mugs of coffee that none of them were really quite willing to drink.

“You two head on up,” Emma said sternly. “I’ll finish up cleaning here.”

Tara’s brow furrowed. “A-are you sure?” Willow tensed at hearing her girl’s stutter. “W-we can help clean up if you want.”

The dark-haired woman shook her head with a sad smile. “No, no, we’ve all had a rough night. At least I had Nick to grab onto during the whole thing. Go on. I’ll be fine, really.”

“Well, can’t argue with that logic,” Willow tried to joke. “I mean you could, but it’d be a dumb argument.”

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

Ten years together and it never got old.

Sweat cooling on their entwined bodies, pressed so close that their tummies touched with each breath, love-juice sweet on their lips…

‘Yep. Definitely never gonna get tired of this.’ Willow turned her head to glance at the bright red numbers on the alarm clock.

5:16 AM

The redhead felt a smug smirk tugging at her lips as the realization that she and Tara had been at for literally the whole night. Not the first time, really, but in Sunnydale they were lucky to make it back to bed by one. After the whole ‘coyote-in-the-truck’ incident, they had miraculously made it upstairs at about 11:30.

Needless to say, they found quite a lot of ways to spend their free time. They say that the best sex happened after a big scare, and the two witches proved that to be true, their love-making interrupted only for numerous cuddle sessions and quick power naps, which they considered to still be love-making anyway.

Staring up at the ceiling, Willow’s mind travelled back to the image of that creature, menacing her lover and friends in front of her. ‘Where have I seen that before?’ Her thoughts were interrupted as an arm wrapped around her middle and kisses were planted along her jaw.

“Willow,” Tara whimpered. “Willow, darling. Again.”

The witch pushed all other thoughts away as she rolled over, all too willing to tend to her woman’s needs.

*******************************
CRASH!

“Oz!” Willow sat up in bed several hours later, woken by the thunder. Tara peered up at her from her nest of pillows, looking just a tad bit miffed. Willow’s eyes widened. “Oh no baby, I didn’t mean it like that!” sitting up on her knees, she grasped the other witch’s face, kissing her nose, cheeks, and forehead.

“Willow, sweetie, I’m not mad. Ten years together, I’m pretty sure I know where your loyalties lie,” she gave that little lopsided smile of hers. “I can’t blame you for what you dream abou-”

Willow’s face showed horror it had not shown since the first time she ever saw a vampire. “Nononono! Tara..baby, no! Definitely of the no. It’s just…the thing in the back of the truck? I’ve seen it before.”

Tara’s eyes widened as realization set in. “Oz?”

“It looked the way he did, mid-transformation.”

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

“Emma!” The two witches, clothes pulled hastily on, rushed downstairs. “Emma, we need the phone!”

Tara slid into the kitchen just as Willow jumped the last three steps. The dark-haired woman turned to them, brow furrowed. “Sorry you two. Power’s out.”

“Aaauugh!” Willow threw her hands in the air. “Why does no one we know own a cellphone?”

Growing up on a ranch herself, Tara hazarded a guess. “Nearest neighbors are a few miles away, too, huh?”

Emma nodded. “Few miles away, and further out. Is it an emergency?”

Silence, as the two witches struggled for something to say. “Well, ah, you see-”

“Y-yes! But, a-a personal one!” Willow nodded in agreement, a little too enthusiastically.

“Then your best bet would be in town.”

Willow nodded. “How’s Nick?”

“Still resting up. Are you two sure you’ll be alright going into town? With that…thing running around.”

Tara shrugged. “We need to pick up the jeep anyway.”

After a cup of coffee each, Willow and Tara walked out the door and the two miles to get the jeep, and then headed into town. Emma wished them well, and set about doing her usual housework.

A creaking on the stairs made her jump.

“E-emma….”

“Nick?”

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

“You think it was safe, leaving them at home?”

Willow nodded. “Whatever those men were, they didn’t seem to be able to cross the fence line. And even if whatever bit Nick is what I think it is, he should be alright til next month.”

“If you’re sure,” Tara chewed her lip. “So, what’s the itinerary for today?”

The redhead welcomed the change of subject. “Well, pretty lady, I figured that while I do the difficult task of talking on the phone, you’d do the honor of picking us up some nourishment? Coffee’s nice, but if there’s Scoob-age about, my tummy’s gonna need some extra nummies.”

Tara laughed, reaching for her belt as they pulled over. “Fine, fine, you ravenous beast.” She leaned over to nuzzle Willow’s nose.

“Yes, well,” she smirked. “You should know all about how much of a ravenous beast I am.” She feigned injury as Tara batted her arm, and slid out of the jeep laughing. “I’ll go see about a phone.

Finding a phone proved harder than she thought, payphones proving to be everywhere when you didn’t need them and nowhere to be found when they had the chance to be useful. Several other places refused access to non-customers. She wandered a bit more before coming across the gas station, the older gentleman running it tipping his hat and returning to his reading.

“Welcome to the Magic Box, Su-”

“Dawn! It’s me, Willow.”

“Willow? How’s that emergency going? Is everyone alright?”

“Dawnie, is Jordy still around?”

Dawn turned towards the stairs, where the werewolf in question was lugging boxes. “Yeah, he is.”

“Put him on the phone, please.” There was the sound of shuffling as the phone changed hands.

“Hey.”

“Jordy, this is gonna sound totally weird and out of the blue, but do you know anything about were-coyotes?”

“Yeah. Smaller than us wolves.”

Oh, fine time for the younger Osbourne wolf to be doing his Oz-impression. “Cut the crap, Runt.” There was a growl on the other end. “This is serious!”

“Alright. Fine. They don’t usually cross paths with werewolves, because we tend to be bigger, but we used to have one or two near Sunnydale because SoCal is usually coyote range.”

Willow nodded, pulling out a pad and pen. “Okay. Is dealing with them the same as dealing with werewolves?”

There was silence on the other end. Then, “Willow, are you and Tara alright?”

“We have some suspicions,” she sighed. “That there’s a were-coyote running around.”

“Hate to admit it, but they’re smarter than wolves. At least, if you’re dealing with an experienced one. The upside is that they don’t have the physical advantages werewolves do. You can do them in with just about anything.” The nonchalance with which he said it didn’t surprise her at all. Used to have one or two near Sunnydale, indeed.

Willow glanced over her notes. “So smarter than average, but easier to kill? I’m gonna guess that a new one won’t be much trouble then. Like putting down a dog,” she paused. “Not that I’ve ever put down a dog. That’s awful.”

“Are you dealing with a new one?”

“Sorta. Our friend Nick, the one we’re staying with? He may have been bitten last night. No big deal right? You weres don’t transform until the next fullmoon, right?”

The silence that met her was eerie. “Willow, if you or Tara are at the house, get out now.”

“Jordy, what-”

“No. Get out. Now.”

“Calm down, we’re in town. What’s wrong?”

“The coyotes. They’re not like us.” Back in Sunnydale, he shook with worry, Dawn rushing to his side.

“What do you mean? I thought we went through all that was different.”

“Willow, they’re not like werewolves. Were-coyotes…they aren’t moon-called.”

Willow went white. “You mean-”

“They change, moon or not.”

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

Tara hummed as she balanced the bounty in her arms. A cardboard carrier containing two Styrofoam cups of caffeine-y goodness, and a large box of donuts that they could bring back to the house and share with Nick and Em.

“Tara!”

She turned her head to the sound of a familiar voice shouting her name, and had to step back at the face’s look of complete panic. “Nick? What’re you doing here? Shouldn’t you be, y’know, bedridden.”

He was weeping, and crying, snot and spittle and tears running down his face. “Tar, oh god Tar, you haveta..please, you haveta.”

“Nick, what’s wrong?”

“You gotta come with me Tar. Pleasepleaseplease, you gotta!”

There was definitely something wrong with him, his body pale and reeking with sweat. But, he was her friend, and he was distressed, and damn if Tara wouldn’t give her all to help him. “Alright, alright Nick.” He continued his simpering. “Shhh, shhh. J-just, let me p-put these in the jeep,” she reached in through the open window and deposited her bounty, never taking her eyes off of him.

“You gotta, Tar. You gotta.” Tara nodded and followed him to his truck, making sure to keep him in her line of vision at all times. With no small amount of trepidation, she slid in with him and the engine roared to life.

“Tara!” Willow kicked up dust as she forced her feet to stop, watching with mounting fear as her lover drove off with Nick. She took after them running, only stopping when she realized her own stupidity. “Dammit Willow! You have the keys!”

She raced back to the vehicle and jerked the door open, throwing herself inside. “AAAHHH!” Searing pain, as the unexpected Styrofoam cups spilled their heated contents on her shorts clad legs. “Shit shit shit!” Gritting her teeth, she forced her body to power through her pain.

Don’t worry, baby. Your Willow’s coming.’

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

Calling the ride back to the house uncomfortable would be like calling ‘Duffy the Demon Hunter’ a badly written show: a complete understatement. Nick’s tears and cries never quite stop, and he never moved to wipe his face, giving him a red and raw look. Tara was intent on not moving her eyes from him, made all the more difficult because something was rolling around the bed of the truck, making her jump with each

BANG!

Tara jumped.

“N-nick,” her breath hitched, the seatbelt digging into her skin as the truck came to a stop. “W-what’s going on.”

“Come. Look. Please,” he pulled her from the truck, a bit more forceful than necessary. She jerked her arm from his grasp, and he stared at her blankly for a moment, before turning and leading her into the house. Tara stepped in after him, and gagged.

“Oh god, Nick! It reeks in here!” He didn’t answer, and instead led her to the downstairs bathroom. “Nick?”

“You can fix her. You can fix my Ems. You can fix her.”

“Fix Emma? Nick, why would Emma need-” she stepped into the bathroom and got her answer.

The floor was sticky with blood, and the scent of it made her feel sticky, too. It splattered the walls and the hanging light, casting the room in a dull, red-brown glow. And in the bathtub…

In the bathtub, in more blood than a human body should have, was Emma. Or at least, what was left of her, large chunks torn from her body and her entire head missing.

It was only her experiences in Sunnydale that kept Tara from vomiting on the spot. “Oh my god, Nick! W-was this you?!”

He was sobbing again. “It’s alright. You can fix her again, right? You’re a witch, you can make it better.”

Tara shook her head, backing into the hall. “No Nick…I-I can’t fix this.”

The visage of despair almost immediately turned into one of rage. “No. You’ll fix her, Tar.” The witch sobbed, and turned around, ready to run. Nick roared. “No, you’ll Fix her! Fixherfixherfixher!”

Almost to the door, she could hear the sounds of bones snapping and flesh changing behind her. As paws thundered on the floor, she flung it open and ran into the yard. Ducking behind the truck, she finally realized what was rolling around in the back of the truck.

She had found Emma’s head.

BEEP! BEEP-BEEP!

Her heart soared as she saw her salvation. ‘Willow. The vehicle swerved to a stop, door flung open. Tara ducked behind her redheaded lover just in time. Willow lifted her hand just as the beast that was once Nick leapt upon them. A flume of fire struck the animal in the chest, and with a howl of rage, he thundered off in the opposite direction

In the aftermath, chests heaving, Tara buried her face in Willow’s neck. “Emma’s dead,” she wailed, and she welcomed her lover’s comforting embrace

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

It was two nights later, and neither of them were looking good at all. After some questioning from the local police, they had moved to the local Best Western. The new accommodations did nothing to soothe them. Used as they were to the loss of friends, Emma’s death and Nicks affliction was different.

This wasn’t Sunnydale, yet somehow, it felt as if they had brought all its hell and deposited it on their friends’ doorstep. Calling back home would have brought Faith and Buffy, no doubt. But the Hellmouth needed protecting, and the witches felt that this something they needed to do themselves.

Two nights, hours of meditation, and a shady purchase by Tara had brought them to this point. Sitting on top of their jeep, uphill from where a meeting of elders was occurring.

They sat there for hours. Then the howling started.

It was time.

It was all too easy to piece together, once they found all the pieces. Around the time the numerous ‘skinwalker’ sightings occurred, a group of several young men had begun protesting various changes the tribe was making, preferring to hold true to tradition rather than conform to white philosophy. Cliché, but most villains were. They suspected they would strike when all the elders were gathered together, and they had guessed right.

Now that they knew what they were dealing with, it seemed all too easy. No shapeshifting, evil witches. Just a pack of were-coyotes, utilizing old tribal legends and fears for their own ends, terrorizing innocents. All in complete control of their bestial forms.

They had wanted Willow and Tara’s power, assuming it’d help them further their goals.

They’d give them power.

The first beast was taken down before it even knew what hit it, Willow’s fire striking its head and chest as it stood on hind legs to howl at the sky. It dropped, tendrils of smoke rising from its blackened face. The other three scrambled, snarling at this new threat.

Futile.

With a flick of her wrist, Tara knocked the legs out of a second. It hit the ground hard, and Willow was upon him instantly, bolts shooting from her fingers and into the head.

It was a brutal lesson learned early on in Sunnydale: If the wolf knew what it was doing, it was held accountable for its actions, just another demon. These weren’t wolves, per say, but the principle still applied.

Tara sent a third crashing into a tree with a yelp. He hit the ground and turned, tail tucked between legs, to crawl away. The jolt of satisfaction she felt as she heard his bone’s crack made her sick. The shriek that came next washed away all such thoughts.

Twisting her body to avoid a swipe by the remaining beast, Willow tripped and fell on her wrist. She clutched it close to her body, and from this angle Tara couldn’t tell if it was merely sprained or broken. Only one thought remained: The beast was almost upon her, and Willow. Could. Not. Cast.

The speed at which she moved would have made a Slayer proud. Six strides. Six strides was all it took to get there, and as she did so she adjusted her newest purchase, pumped it, and pressed it against the coyote’s side.

“Not. My. Woman.” She gritted out, and squeezed the shotgun’s trigger.

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

“Four dead young men last night,” the sheriff had said. “Two from severe burns, one from internal bleeding, and a fourth from what appear to be shotgun wounds.”

Willow and Tara stilled, wary. Not all police could be as lenient as Sunnydale’s, they knew. The sheriff sighed. “The drunken antics of young men…such a waste.”

And that had been that. Now they were on their way home, Tara driving because Willow’s wrist was going to be incapacitated for a while(fractured, they had been told)

Home. Where friends knew the true dangers of the world, where they knew how to fight it, where deaths could not so easily fall on anyone’s conscious as they all were aware of the risks.

Home.

Somewhere in the distance, a coyote sang. Willow figured it may have been Nick. It was far deeper than any normal coyote’s song, and how could it not be Nick? How could it not be Nick, when the song was filled with the sound of sorrow and regret and the loss of a mate?

Willow peered at Tara, her pale skin almost illuminated by the setting sun. Blue eyes twinkled as she too, heard every nuance of Nick’s cry. Reaching out with her uninjured hand, she clasped Tara’s, resting them on the shift.

It was a song, Willow vowed, that they’d never have to learn.

_________________
"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 Feb 28, 2012 10:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:34 pm 
Offline
11. Fish in the Bowl

Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:35 pm
Posts: 1487
Topics: 2
Location: California
DIBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :whip :whip :whip

Shelby with a new story – YAAAAAAAAAY!!!!

LOVE how you nail the whole high-school angst:
Quote:
It’s so damn unfair…those are MY blue eyes to look at, not his! I never hated being a girl before, but right now, I do. Especially when I saw her kiss him in the hall before third period…it was the worst feeling ever. I imagine it’s what you feel like getting punched hard in the stomach because it made me sick and I ran to the bathroom and threw up. Then I sat there, all pathetic and crying. I’m so glad she didn’t see and run after me. Who is he and how long has she been kissing him? And looking at him? When we talked in the library on Thursday, I was watching her lips move and the whole time just thinking about them brushing sensually across his… Blah! It’s just not fair and it makes me so angry. Sometimes I HATE my life! How am I supposed to act? How will I ever be able to handle seeing her with someone else? She’ll hold his hand as he walks her to class and she’ll sit with him at lunch instead of me.
This is totally vivid and true to life and it’s all Willow.

And Willow is soooo busted by Tara, GREAT how you work in the challenge:
Quote:
Willow held her breath for what seemed like an eternity until she saw two fingers appear on the top of the book; pushing it downward. Willow sighed deeply knowing that she’d been caught, but all coherent thought left her as Tara’s cerulean blue eyes came into view. Tara looked amused as she took the book from Willow’s hand. The redhead shuddered as Tara’s fingers lightly brushed across her hand.

“Doing a little light reading are we?” Tara held the book, looking at Willow curiously.
:lol :laugh :lmao :rofl

*sighs* Another NAIL-age of first kiss prep:
Quote:
Willow nodded and couldn’t take her eyes off Tara. She was lost in a sea of blue as she unconsciously took a step forward. They were now just inches apart and Tara hadn’t moved away.

Tara had no idea what Willow was up to and it appeared that they were sharing some sort of moment; Willow had never looked at her the way she was looking at her now and the intensity was overwhelming.


Quote:
Willow sighed deeply, placing her elbows on the counter and dropping her head in her hands, “Yeah.”

“Ah yes, because your good mood is both obvious and contagious.” He replied.

Willow looked up with a smirk plastered across her face, “Gee, thanks for the helpful advice.”

“Well, I can’t very well give you advice when I have no idea what the bloody problem is, now can I?” He asked, a bit annoyed with the redheaded student.

“Oh yeah, I’m sorry for being all snippy gal, I’m just having some girl problems.” By the time Willow finished her sentence, Mr. Giles was furiously cleaning his glasses on his shirt.

He cleared his throat, “Well, that’s…have you tried talking to your mum?”

Willow looked up questionably, “What? My mother? OH! No, no, no, no, no not those girl type problems. More like girlfriend type problems. I mean, a friend who is a girl type problems. Not girlfriend problems because I don’t have one of those…” She said as the awkward conversation continued.
MORE hilarity!!! :eatme :pinky :bounce :party Giles and Willow’s little comedy of errors dialogue has slapped a smile on my face and that’s AFTER a 12 hour day!

Shelby, I’ll close with this quote from your story. It so beautifully captures the love, quirkiness, comedy, tenderness and intensity of young love:
Quote:
“I um, I brought some of your favorite things,” Tara said shyly as she began to unpack her lunch bag.

“You did?” Willow asked, completely surprised. The girl was so sweet and generous; Willow’s heart melted. “That was really nice of you, thanks.”

Tara shrugged it off, “I brought you some gummy worms, fruit roll ups, some Cheetos and a juice box too.”

“Wow Tare, that was so sweet, but you didn’t have to-”

“I know, but I wanted to,” Tara said, softly glancing at Willow with a look of complete adoration; causing the redhead to feel light headed and tingly.

Willow simply smiled, finding it difficult to breath. She picked up her lunch bag and dumped the contents out in front of her. She instantly frowned, “I’m sorry Tara, I didn’t…do you want my apple?” She asked hesitantly.

Tara chuckled at the cuteness that was Willow, and happily accepted the offering. Willow grinned back and they began to eat their respective lunches.


Finally the story’s ending and their beginning was sweet, a place above the mundane world, full of memories, with a dear stuffed animal and a real life sweetie to hold.

Thanks! :flower :love :flower

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

Delayne!

First, mega kudos kitten-kisses, kowtows, bows and assorted salaams for all the amazing work and enthusiasm you brought to this challenge! :clap :bow :applause

As for your story, I believe every word – it’s full of humor, magic, secret baby and animal communication as a mother it’s right on the money!

So many moments of chuckles, grins, snickers, smiles and assorted guffaws but I’ll highlight the ending:
Quote:
Runt clapped and squealed impressed at my efforts.

"See told you I could do it."

As I grabbed the top of the cup to bring it to her, the bathroom door opened. So did the front door.

Runt yelled "Mama!" (Happy voice.)

Mama yelled "Runt!" (Not so happy voice.)

I went "Ruh-Ro" and dropped the cup.
Utterly funny and dear!

And yes, you MUST write more! More! More! :kgeek :whip

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

Starr,

This ROCKED MY WORLD!!! :bow :bow :bow

This was old style, classic horror and it made me shake. This was George R.R. Martin, ghost stories (good ones!) around the campfire and a visceral vision of true terror!

“The Song Unlearned” is an amazing title and the end links up to it powerfully.

This is like a gut punch, so I’m not writing long critique – still waiting for my heartbeat to slow down.

Just incredibly, amazingly well-done. Seldom tried on the KB even more seldom done this well. AWESOME!!!

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

My total gratitude and respect to all your writers!!! Best of luck to three incredibly talented and imaginative ladies! :applause :flower :applause :flower :applause :flower

Ariel
How I Met Your Mother


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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:12 pm 
Offline
11. Fish in the Bowl

Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:35 pm
Posts: 1487
Topics: 2
Location: California
Author: Ariel
Email: blaziak@yahoo.com
Feedback: All feedback is welcomed with joy, specific feedback & suggestions, too!
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: I don’t own Willow and Tara, Xander, Giles, as for Jade Jenson – I can only dream . . .
Author’s Note: Like my other work this story is un beta-d so any mistakes are mine.
Author's Note: Eye candy of the weird-ish variety! Feast your eyes on the Minnie the Minoan Snake Goddess! Top four left pictures point up her assets relative to this story! http://www.google.com/search?q=minoan+s ... 80&bih=585


The Divine Comedy



I believe in Gods, plural, and I have a summer job working in the Old Gods Home.


Okay, I know that is mega with the weird, but think about it: What makes a God a God? Worship. Belief. Followers. But what do they do when not enough people believe? Okay, I’ll tell you. Some just disappear, return back to the great wheel of ‘transmigration’ or maybe it’s the great wheel of ‘transportation’ because they sure as heck go somewhere! But the rest? Well, a lot of them end up here in scenic Sunnydale.


They had human care-givers for decades who took care of the day to day details of paying bills and maintaining a roof over their heads but finally old age took its toll and their last Caregiver hopped on the Bus of Non-being (I’ve got to get off these metaphors, the lady died!) and they needed new care-givers: Enter Rupert Giles who was trying to live on a high school librarian’s salary and had traced a source of mystical energy to the Old Folks Home that they’d turned into the Old Gods Home.


Giles and no, I can’t call him Rupert. It’s the California thing to do, I admit, but he’s British – tweed suit and tea and everything – so Giles is as familiar as we get even though I love him like a dad. Anyway, money was tight for the God Squad so my friends and I talked it over and we decided to . . . hire them out. Okay, okay I know what you’re thinking – not really the way to treat Gods, right? But mostly, they loved it. They were in the spotlight again, being well God-like and getting appreciated again.


It’s funny who ended up being successful and who flopped. Thor, the God of Thunder, actually modeled for a gay dating service. He’s not exactly the brightest crayon in the box so he saw the flashbulbs as a form of Godly worship and walked out happy. Then Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess of Volcanoes got hired to do the Marin County Fourth of July Fireworks Show. They set off the fireworks from a small island in the lake. Okay, well Pele was pumped; she sent a fiery pillar of lava straight up, up, up into the air then it fell steaming into the lake and incinerated about a hundred ducks; so we’re still working on Pele . . .


But the biggest hit is The Minoan Snake Goddess. I know, you’ve probably never heard of her but she is mega with the boobs and she wears this open boobed bodice deal AND dances around with a writhing serpent in each hand and a cat on her head. She goes by “Minnie” and kind of sashays around to music. She’s a huge hit with the Miners (they’re like the Shriners but they wear blue fezzes instead of red and they aren’t as classy). She also learned a New Jersey accent and says it’s the sexiest accent in the English speaking world. Weird, huh?


So you can see why I believe in Gods, but I didn’t believe in love; at least not until I met Tara.


Tara Maclay . . . blonde streaks in her hair and a funny crooked smile that just reaches into my heart and pulls a smile onto my face every time I see it. Okay, sighing now . . . and she has blue eyes. ‘Blue eyes’ that’s like saying sunlight is bright; her eyes are changeable sometimes a cerulean blue; a fall-up-into-the-sky-forever blue. See what she’s done to me? You don’t ‘fall up’ – I’m a into math and physics but Tara turns the laws of the universe upside down and it was killing me trying to figure out how to talk to her.


Okay, teen-ager in love. Normal. Angst-y but traditional. But I made a mistake, a HUGE mistake, I told the Gods and Goddesses how I felt.


Okay, the thing about Gods and Goddesses is that they don’t really have anything to do but gossip AND they are loaded with opinions AND they love to tell people exactly how to run their lives; I guess that comes with the territory. Anyway, they had about a million opinions on what I should do to win my love’s heart. Zeus wanted me to go all Danae on her and give her a golden shower but Xander coughed and laughed his way through the modern definition of ‘golden shower’ and everyone stared so much at Zeus blushing that no one noticed me practically passing out myself which is all of the good since I have the rep for being all naïve-y girl.


Well you know that Mighty Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, had to get into the act. She told me to take her girdle off and put it on Tara. The girdle is magic and it would make Tara fall in love with me. Okay . . . a few issues of the problem-y kind. Like how can I ask someone I can’t even form sentences in front of to try on some borrowed lingerie? Right. Not happening.


So I finished feeding Horus (owl headed Egyptian God) his rat pate’ sandwiches and headed home, little knowing that my traditional teen-age crush was about to become a Divine Comedy.


*****



I was heading along the sidewalk at the school's main entrance when I spotted Tara offering some stair climb-y goodness as she walked towards the building. Oh she can walk, I mean mega with the sway and I was all moon-y with the swoon-y. I had my head turned towards her then BAM I flipped right over the handrail to land flat on my back. Fortunately my second-best friend Xander was right there to help me up. Unfortunately he was too busy laughing himself sick to offer a hand. Even more unfortunately, Tara had turned at the sound of his enormous guffaws to watch me lying there and to hear Xander’s comments about how he’d also had a crush on a girl and had flipped over the exact same rail a year ago.


I clambered awkwardly to my feet, blushing and miserable, little knowing that it would only get worse.


I was hauling my copy of “Romeo and Juliet” out of my locker and picturing Tara leaning over the balcony when I heard a familiar voice come up beside me, “Willow, I can help you get Tara to fall in love with you.”


I started visibly and saw not Demeter the Goddess of Springtime and Harvest but her idiot daughter Persephone, the Goddess-ling of Buttinsky. Okay, not nice but that stupid girl decided to help me. Read on and tell me if I’m going all Mean Girl on her.


“You want to look more like Aphrodite, right?”


I ran my eyes over the flatlands that were my boobs and sighed wondering if Tara would notice me if I had a little more topography to my ta-tas so I nodded cautiously.


She grinned, “I can do that, but you have to take me and Cupid cruising in Xander’s car with you and Buffy. We’re sick of being stuck with the ancients. Okay, I’m all set for the boob build!”


Sudden alarm bells were flashing in my mind. “Oh no no no no no! I’m not needing the curve-y goodness! Perky but pretty can work!” She stepped closer and I raised my voice, “Just keep your hands off my boobs!”


Now it was Tara’s turn to walk by and watch me, except she didn’t walk by. She stopped dead in her tracks because I was apparently shouting at empty air to take its hands off my boobs. You guessed it, the Olympians and some of the other ‘Divines’ can be invisible at will; I wish I could! I blushed about six shades of red (scarlet, vermillion, crimson and I forget the other three) and felt my muscles seize up as I lurched out of there to my next class and Tara fell into step beside me, her nose scrunched up in a worried way that made me want to a) kiss it and b) die of embarrassment.


“Willow, are you okay?”


I attempted a girlish giggle, “Yeah, why do you ask?”


“Um, you were shouting at nothing to take its hands off your boobs.”


I nodded and tried another girlish giggle, “Oh, that was just my dog, uh Mortimer.”


Tara’s eyes widened, “You h-have a dog in your locker?”


I nodded again, feeling like one of those bobble-headed thingies in the back of someone’s car.


“But it’s cruel to keep a dog in your locker in the dark!”


“But it’s a little dog, really, almost microscopic! I call him ‘runt’ because he’s so little!”


Her eyes flashed angrily and I loved her even more. Then her beautiful soft lips opened to yell at me and I was terrified at the thought her hating me forever for cruelty to animals.


“Oh no, no! It’s not like that!” I leaned forward confidingly and she leaned closer too and I caught a whiff of orange blossom and couldn’t help smiling at her. “He’s an imaginary dog,” I said reassuringly, glad my clever Willow-brain had improvised so quickly.


Then she stopped dead again and I realized that I had turned the wheel one turn too many and was back in loon-land shouting to myself AND that I’d accused an imaginary dog of having designs on my boobs. I felt the all too familiar sensation of blush-blood pounding merrily through my face and left her standing there as I headed for English. A moment later Tara sat down across the aisle from me; of course we were in class together, did you have to ask?


So I’m surreptitiously sneaking peeks at Tara’s face, hidden by that shining curtain of hair, and I re-thought the whole ‘dangerous curves’ thing and decided I wanted to be a bit more Harvest Goddess mature, figure-atively speaking. So, I invoke Demeter, but Persephone intercepts the prayer and works her divine idiocy and suddenly wheat starts sprouting in my bra and underwear. Not new green wheat I’d have a chance of concealing, but dry crackle-y harvest wheat. Teacher glares, everyone stares and I despair. I get up, already hearing the whispers of speculation, the kindest being that I have potato chips and rice crispy treats in special places and I crunch my way out the door for a removal session in the privacy of the Girls’ Bathroom.


As I sit there blushing furiously, I give up on winning Tara’s heart and accept a life of lonely misery from this day on. You know what? It’s almost a relief.


*****



Saturday at the book signing.


My favorite author, Jade Jensen is signing copies of the Penelope Peeper series, based on the Greek Pantheon with an incredible journey to Hades. Of course the God Squad or at least the Greek contingent, has ordered me to get a signed copy.


So let me tell you about Jade Jenson. She was beautiful, she is beautiful and she’ll always be beautiful. Okay, she’s old enough to be my mother but I used to crush on her so bad in her old show, “Muffy, the Monster Masher.”


It was a long line, but finally there I was facing her again. She smiled, that amazing crooked smile of hers and my eyes widened in shock, “Tara’s smile! You have Tara’s smile! THAT’S why I went all instant crush-y girl on her! She looks like you, even her boobs—“ Okay, pause for nuclear blush-age and a very familiar but newly cold voice on my left, “You’re checking out MY MOTHER’S BOOBS?”


I whip my head to the left and there’s my true love, giving me the Tara-glare of a lifetime while her mother looks on with a warm but unmistakably amused smile on her face.


“Tara! You! Her! Yes, there was crush-age on your mom in the show but it’s you, Tara! Your eyes, laughing I mean not verbalizing, eyeballs have no vocalization ability but—yes, they do! Your eyes talk to me and they made me like you and I want to know you. Talk with you. Hang with you. Kiss—“


I subside into an awkward silence . . . . a long awkward silence until the line behind me begins the subtle transformation from a line to a mob.


Tara’s Mom smiles at how Tara’s eyes and my eyes have locked, how we’re both breathing deeply and smiling at each other. “Here.” She folds a bill into Tara’s unresponsive hand, “Why don’t you two grab a milkshake or a mocha or something.” She hands me my book, signed with all the deities names spelled correctly, smiles at us and gives us a gentle push to the side.


*****



I can’t remember everything we talked about, but I remember how she laced her fingers in mine and swung our hands together. I remember feeling a surge of excitement that expressed itself in little bounces and turns almost like puppy dog Runt was doing a happy dance inside me.


I remember promises with every touch and the glowing tenderness between us as we sensed the beginnings of our life together. I remember her eyes and the seeking softness of her lips during our first kiss.


But mostly I remember the love.


Ariel
How I Met Your Mother


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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:00 pm 
Offline
7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:31 am
Posts: 619
Topics: 10
Location: San Diego, CA
Woo! Deadlines! Whooshing . . . whooshing . . . not quite by yet, sucker.

Now, I had this plan. It was to write feedback, and post it with my story. But then I found out that we had Important People coming to the lab today: Important People who would want to see my research. (Eek!) And so I spent all week working on that. I've just finished writing this story, but it's already past bedtime for me, and I haven't starting writing people feedback. Sigh.

I'm going to have to hit the "snooze" on feedbacking, sadly. But I will say to all the participants, you're 20% cooler for participating, and I will leave you feedback. Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.

Rating: PG
Feedback: Yes please! This is nothing like what I normally write, and have no idea if it worked out or not. This also hasn't been even glanced at by anyone else, which I've only ever done with the drabbles. It feels so naked.
Disclaimer: The entire Buffyverse (including setting, characters, and plot) is property of it's owners, including but not limited to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No copyright infringement is intended by this work.
Acknowledgments: Thanks to dtburanek and indigokane for their respective roles getting this whole thing off the ground. Thanks to all our writers and readers for making this awesome.
Notes: This is a Middle Years story. If you haven't heard of those, they're in the same universe as my next big project. (Which has a name now! It's called Stained Glass.)
Notes II: I know I said there'd be voting, but I think it'd be kinda tacky to hold a contest and then submit something. So, I voluntarily withdraw myself from that.


Worth it
“I’m telling you, Willow. Totally worth it.”

I rolled my eyes at Xander before I shushed him with a hand to his shoulder and a finger to my lips. I wondered what Tara had the kids up to, and wanted a chance to watch them play without them knowing we were there. Xander smiled and nodded; I did this type of thing often enough that he recognized it. As we crept through the kitchen towards the movie room, the familiar voices resolved into words.

“The bunny, Aunt Tara!”

“Do the dog again, Mutti!”

“Calm down, you two. There’s plenty of time to do both.”

I smiled as I leaned against the door frame to see Joshua and Tabi jumping up and down, tugging at Tara’s pants. Unfazed, she slid her hands between the lamp and the wall, making the requested shadow puppets.

“How about Anubis?” I suggested. Three heads turned towards me and Xander.

“Imale!”

“Daddy!”

Joshua and Tabi glanced to each other for a moment before charging towards us. Xander leaned down and scooped Tabi up, but I was too busy staring at the way the light played across Tara’s face. So instead, Joshua nearly bowled me over as he crashed into my legs. I knew it was coming, but the universe didn’t always play fair when it came to distracting me with flattering views of my wife.

“Not fair!” Joshua whined as he tugged at my shirt. “Tabi got picked up! I just got your knee to my chest!” To my discomfort, he decided to emphasize his point by poking the offending joint. Repeatedly.

I watched Tara shake her head, a wide smile on her face. Her shoulders bounced with silent laughter. As I leaned down to pick Joshua up, I stuck my tongue out at her for a split second.

“There you go, buddy. Is that better?”

“Yes, Imale. Thank you!” He kissed my nose.

I felt a small tap on my shoulder, and looked over to find Tabi looking at me happily. “Hi Aunt Willow!”

“Hi Tabi. Did you have fun today?”

“Yes! We watched Peter Pan, and then Aunt Tara taught us to make shadow puppets. She’s the best!”

I grinned at her. “I think so, too. Don’t you, Joshua?”

Joshua looked at me like I’d asked if he knew the sky was blue. “Well, duh, Imale. She’s my Mutti.”

Xander finally spoke up. “Hey, what am I, chopped liver?”

Joshua and Tabi turned quickly towards Xander, Joshua’s movement making me grip him a little tighter.

“You’re my Daddy, Daddy.” Tabi nodded definitively, as if that was all that needed to be said on the subject, before kissing him gently on the cheek.

“’Sides,” added Joshua, “how could you be chopped liver, when I don’t even know what that is? I’ve known you my whole life. You can’t be something without me knowing what it is.” I shot a worried look at Tara. He’s going to kill us.

“’Xactly!” Tabi agreed.

“Uncle Xander is certainly not chopped liver,” Tara said as she came over and picked Joshua up from my arms. I took the opportunity to move behind her and slide my hands into her pockets.

“Aw, thanks everybody.” Xander shuffled his feet a bit, but I knew he loved the attention.

“Mutti’s still the best, though,” Joshua whispered conspiratorially at me.

“The very best,” I whispered in Tara’s ear as I slid my hands a little deeper into her pockets.

Xander groaned. He probably heard me flirting. “Hey Tabi, Mommy’s back from her errands, too. I bet if you and Joshua head over there, you three could take Runt for a walk.”

I felt Joshua struggle in Tara’s arms. “Yeah! C’mon Tabi! You think Aunt Dawn will let us take Runt to the stream?”

Tabi’s face lit up. “I bet she will!”

Tara and Xander hastily set down the squirming, impatient children, who in turn dashed off through the kitchen. Before they rounded the corner, though, Tabi grabbed Joshua’s arm and pulled him to a halt.

“Aunt Willow, what’s ‘Anubis’?”

“She said ‘a new bus,’ dummy.”

“I’m not a dummy.” I cringed as I turned to see Tabi punch Joshua in the arm.

“No punching!” I called after them. Tabi’s face turned pink and she dashed around the corner, her question apparently forgotten. Joshua chased close behind. Moments later, we could hear the back door slam shut.

Xander walked over to the couch and plopped down, stretching himself out. “At least it’s boys, not girls, that use punching to say they like someone. I am so not ready to have that conversation. With either of them.”

“Well, she is the girl next door,” Tara said.

“Hey now!” Xander sat up. “Dawn and I named her ‘Tabitha,’ not ‘Mary Jane.’ I love Joshua, and want him to get super powers from being bitten by a radioactive spider as much the next doting Uncle. But since falling for the girl next door would mean falling for his sister, I thought we shouldn’t encourage fate that way.”

I could feel Tara laugh in my arms. It was nice. “Speaking of, how was your cartoon signing?”

Comic book,” Xander and I answered her in unison.

“It was great, babe. I got the Kaylee cover.”

“Well, duh. You think she’s hot.”

I blushed, knowing it was true. More importantly, I knew that she knew it was true.

“Speaking of!” Xander began. Oh no. Here we go again. “Tara, I’m trying to get Willow to understand why YoSaffBridge is worth the special hell. I need your help.”

Tara turned to me and raised an eyebrow. “What’s this?”

“You remember, the duplicitous chick with all the differen—”

“I remember who she is.” I was surprised. Tara had never been as big a Firefly fan as Xander and me. “You don’t think she’s worth the special hell?”

“I . . . um . . . no?” The whole situation felt odd. My wife was interrogating me on why I didn’t find some woman hot?

Tara held out her hand. “Give me your phone.” Dumbfounded, I complied. I watched as she typed in my “secret” unlock code for my Android, before Googling “Christina Hendricks Madmen.” She didn’t even bother to wait for the results to pop up before she handed it back to me.

“Oh.” I stared at the images that had come onto my screen. “Oh. Yeaokay.”

Xander pumped his fist into the air. “Hah! Told you! YoSaffBridge is totally worth the special hell.”

“Only,” Tara said as she pulled my hands out of her pockets and my arms around her waist, “for people who aren’t married. Unlike the two of you.”

“Well, yes. Of course.” I hastened to clarify the ‘no cheating on Tara’ angle before a thought crossed my mind. “I wonder how the special hell is compares to . . . wherever Dante sent adulterers.”

“The second circle: Lust. Rather than the ninth. For traitors.” I squeaked a little as she gently elbowed me.

“How do you remember that kind of stuff, Tara?” I pulled her closer in response to his praise. My woman was amazing, and he knew it. It felt good that he knew it.

“How do you remember the name of every comic book villain?”

Xander smiled, and stretched out on the couch again. “Point taken, milady.”

“On the topic of names, I see you’ve given up trying them to call the dog by his real name,” I pointed out.

“Yeah, well, he responds to ‘Runt’ as readily as he responds to ‘Malcom. And Tabi and Joshua sure don’t seem interesting in changing.”

“One of these days, they’re going to realize that, despite his size when you first got him, ‘Runt’ isn’t exactly an apropos name for a Newfoundland. He’s gotten as big as they are.” Not that he’d been small when Dawn brought him home. For a puppy, he was huge. But to two children who had just read Charlotte’s Web, he was small. And small meant runt.

Tara leaned her head back on my shoulder. “And I bet that day will be adorable. But it’ll be better if you don’t spoil it by pointing it out.”

I smiled and pressed a kiss to her neck. She was right. She always was.

Freaking annoying, really.


Last edited by BeMyDeputy on Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:38 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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Kudos to every single person who participated. Every single entry here filled my tiny little heart with glee, and to quote ALL my favorite bits would result in a post longer than the challenge itself.


dtburanek

First off, I have to commend you on not only being the first participant, but writing two wonderful entries. In your first, you paint a clear picture of the Scooby family dynamics, as well as a peak into Willow’s nerdier side, two things that I just love seeing more of. Runt the not-so-tiny Great Dane sounds adorable, and I can just picture various members of the cast getting bowled over by a large-pawed whirlwind.

Your second entry involves a favorite trope I haven’t seen on this thread since the days of Jixer, and that’s the animal POV type. A pleasant surprise to find as I scrolled down, it only got more enjoyable as I read on. The fact that the dog and the baby have such a bond, and are both called ‘Runt’ is downright adorable. Perun/Runt seems rather frank and self-assured about his role in the family, and you’ve managed to turn the dog/baby relationship into a more brother/sister one.
Please, oh please! This is definitely on the list of ‘Challenge Entries Starr Would Like to See Become Full-blown Fics’.


JustAKitty

Haha! I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but the snippets that we’re hearing from Willow’s book sound spot on for various mythology-based young adult books that have been coming out recently. Not only that, but your Willow totally seems like the sort of author who does all the voices for her characters when she reads out loud, too, which added just a smidge more hilarity.

And pffft, that silly Chihuahua! Everyone knows that Willow is the only one capable of seducing Tara’s limbs!


vampyregurl73

One thing I REALLY love about this is that by the looks of things, Tara and Willow are so comfortable and assured in their relationship with each other that one holds no qualms about tormenting the other over what was, quite honestly, a stupid decision. Really, Willow? Thinking you could outdrink a Slayer? Still very tender about it though, how Tara rubs her back and stuff.

The name, “Slayer vs. Wiccan 2012 drink off” makes me feel like this is at least a bi-annual thing.


“Alberta”

First off, mondo high five-age for the spot on Spike-ness you got going on here. Not just the speech pattern, but the presence you gave him in this fic.

I’m a huge sucker for in-between fics that take place between seasons 5 and 6, especially ones that give us a bit of insight on why the hell Willow made the choice that she did, and pulling it off in a way that leaves the reader knowing what will happen, but at the same time hoping it doesn’t is very good handling.


Mgraham93

I’m going to take a moment to prance around you, showering you with flowers and sparkles and tiny confetti hearts.
I’ve been trying to hunt down some GoA fic for a couple of weeks now, and not only do you deliver just that, it’s a W/T crossover, too.

The intro/dream tells us right off that this going to be a story for warm fuzzy feelings, and your incorporation of Anyanka and Runt, killer of rabbits was a surprising but welcome bit. The Scooby welcome back at the end also had me rolling once I read,

Quote:
I knew it wasn’t my fault



Taralicious

My goodness, I had the joy of reading this immediately after a 6 hour Doctor Who fest in my living room, so this entry holds a special place in my heart.

You open up with the implications of Willow/Tara, Police Constable/Roman Centurion roleplay sexytimes and I immediately knew this was my kind of fic.

Your inclusion of K9 as the ‘runt’ in this entry did my little Whovian heart good, and despite what was going on, it was definitely the last thing I expected. Kudos to you, my friend.


Finey_McFine

Allow me to also jump in the dance of ‘YAY, MORE FINEY FIC!’ *dances*

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is your realistic characterizations, and you sure as heck didn’t disappoint this time around.

You’ve managed to capture the youth of these characters, and all the sweetness, naivety, and conclusion jumping that goes along with it.

Gotta feel sorry for Riley, though. A guy can only be left confused so often before they get stuck like that.


Ariel
I realize that you and I have debated whether or not you were psychic before, but the fact that Willow’s internal monologue sounds exactly like how I talk will never, ever, ever cease to amuse me.

Also, Y U NO WRITE FOR TV?

‘Home for Old Gods run by a British librarian and his motley crew of teens’ sounds like something I would TOTALLY watch.

The series of awkward events that keeps happening to these two girls is true to form, because honestly, when we had a crush, didn’t EVERY SINGLE embarrassing thing happen right in front of them?

And my oh my, Tara’s mom sounds both familiar and a total hottie.


BeMyDeputy
Ah, the wonders of child-logic. My friend had a Japanese Akita named Squirt, because he was tiny when she got him. Now I can fit my shoulders and head in his mouth. I have a feeling that by the time the kids figure out the name issue, they’ll be too busy trying to ride the dog like a horse to actually worry about it.

Kudos to you for hosting this here challenge.

Have a brohoof for being awesome

/)*(\

_________________
"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: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:10 pm 
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8. Vixen
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I wanted to wait until all entries were in before commenting. First, well done to all the brave souls who took up the challenge!

Delayne,

I had to tease you a bit, don't take it in a mean way - it wasn't meant that way.

Quote:
"So, tomorrow we get to find out of we have six more weeks of winter from Pucks-and-honey Phil." Buffy asked.

Willow mouthed 'Pucks and honey?' And Tara mouthed back 'Don't worry about it.'

"We will have six more weeks." Tara said non-chalantly.

"And how do you know that?" Xander asked, not in a rude way but it was enough to have Willow glare at him for daring to question Tara. So he back pedaled. "I mean not to doubt your witchy prowess, I am just curious." he squeaked.

"The same way Phil does."

"So you saw your shadow tomorrow?"

Tara just smiled and said, "Something like that."


This was great. The pucks and honey was spot on Buffy word confusion. Willow's glare, Xander's trying to save his ass - hilarious.

I really enjoyed your second entry too. The baby and the dog having a secret language, calling each other runt. That runt was adopted and obviously from the nightmares a hell hound of some sort. I loved the end - so very Scooby!

******

JustAKitty,

I thought your premise and story was adorable. Styx and stones, Chihuahuas = rats (I'm right there with you - they kind of creep me out). Very enjoyable read.

******

Alberta, our anonymous writer,

I thought you were spot on with both Anya and Spike. Neither would try to sugarcoat things even for Dawn and of course the only logical conclusion would be the one Willow makes.

Dark first effort, but a good one none the less.

******

Mgraham93,

I've never read The Ghosts of Albion, although I know the premise (I know, bad me). So all of this was fresh for me, but it makes me want to read them to know more about the siblings. So I guess you can say mission accomplished on that front.

I thought the premise, even if they had been just other characters was interesting. I could almost even see this becoming more with a longer stay as the girls tried to get back.

Nice job.

******

Blayne Jensen aka Taralicious,

I loved the Doctor Who references! And apparently great minds think alike since we both made John Waters/Divine references!

******

Shelby,

What can I say? This was a wonderful story. It was sweet and sad. It even got me a little choked up, the hurt Willow felt... just got to me.

Riley (shudder) being Mr. Oblivious is not surprising, nor would it be that he develop a crush on Tara. It's always the unwanted ones (or a Scooby) that seem to have the worst timing.

Tara's diary entry was a bit misleading - she wanted Willow to share in her happiness - and at that point it seemed like it pointed to Riley (shudder). You left us until the book signing to figure out that they both had finally realized just how much they cared for one another and once again who shows up but Riley (shudder - can you tell I don't like him?)

Overall the length was totally worth it for such a good one shot.

******

Starr, aka Faolan228,

Skinwalkers! Such a good, creepy but mystical premise for a story. Living in Tucson stories abound here about them and there is even a well known author that has several books about them (they're good too) by Tony Hillerman.

I just knew the thing rolling around in the bed of the truck was gonna be her head - how could it be anything else?

Good creepy stuff!

******

Ariel,

You had me laughing out loud Multiple times! Muffy the Monster Masher?!?! Muffy?!?! It was too much for me.

But nicely done that it would seem that you sort of used Amber (I mean c'mon Jade Jenson?) as the mom for Tara, very cute.

Quote:
It was a long line, but finally there I was facing her again. She smiled, that amazing crooked smile of hers and my eyes widened in shock, “Tara’s smile! You have Tara’s smile! THAT’S why I went all instant crush-y girl on her! She looks like you, even her boobs—“ Okay, pause for nuclear blush-age and a very familiar but newly cold voice on my left, “You’re checking out MY MOTHER’S BOOBS?”


And you said my mind was warped!

******

Kate,

Very sweet story, everyone all grown up. I think I may be confused or maybe just a little slow - who knows, but I got the impression that Xander was a donor for Willow & Tara? My only question...

But now I'm looking forward to Stained Glass!

******

Once again congratulations to everyone!

_________________
Heather aka vampyregurl73 aka Riverwillows73
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My stories:
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My Fic Challenge entries:
"Fireworks" "Promise" "I Did What Last Night?"
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 Post subject: Re: Monthly Challenge: February (Open to All)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:06 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Voting time!

In the future I hope to be able to coordinate a touch better and use the "poll" function to do voting, but since I'm seeing Amber this Saturday, we'll do this via PM this time. So between now and FRIDAY, I'll be taking and tallying votes via PM.

There is now a poll for this challenge, over in the poll area. It is here.The voting is not for being awesome, everyone is already awesome for participating. This is for a copy of How to Be Death, signed by Amber Benson. Please vote by FRIDAY, as the signing I'm going to is on Saturday.

You get two votes, and you can vote for the same entry twice if you really liked one.

Here are the entries:
Something Like That/Adventures of Perun: dtburanek
Between the covers: JustAKitty
I Did What Last Night?: vampyregurl73
Untitled: Alberta
A trip through time: Mgraham93
Oh Brunhilde, you're so lovely: Taralicious
Everything She Does…Is Beautiful: Finey_McFine
The Song That Went Unlearned: Faolan228
The Divine Comedy: Ariel

Let me know if you've got any questions.

Kate


Last edited by BeMyDeputy on Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: fic challenge
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:51 pm 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Vote for your favorite fic/author to win a signed copy of "How to be Death" by Amber Benson

You can vote twice!


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 Post subject: Re: fic challenge
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:57 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Ooh! This fits in way better with my desire for anonymity in voting.

Go Kajun.


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 Post subject: Re: Now Voting: February Challenge
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:11 pm 
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Since not that I did not get howls of laughter and scorn .. I'm ummm "Alberta".
It was my first solo fic, and first fic I even helped with since "Final Exam" in 2003.

.


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 Post subject: Re: Now Voting: February Challenge
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:41 pm 
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4. Extra Flamey
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I will address those who’ve commented on my two fics.

Ariel: Thanks. Glad you liked them both. I was going for fun and lighted hearted and I’m glad it came across like that.

Faolan228: (Starr) Glad you like them. I love writing from the animal perspective. I have seen a few around with Miss Kitty and one of my first stories I wrote back in like junior high was from the perspective of a stray dog, but I didn’t reveal that until the end. Also I got the Runt/Runt thing from a friend I knew in college, her and her friend called each other the same nickname, I always thought it was strange but I liked it for my fic. Also as I was writing it I certainly had the idea that this was something I could keep going. So you may see it (I will not make any promises though because I suck at promises)

Vampyregurl (Heather): I did not take it in a mean way, I was having fun back. Me? Begging? Never! It makes me happy you commented on my Pucks-and-honey Phil, it took me my whole lunch break to figure out how I would Buffy up that name.

I think I got the ones who commented on mine. Now to comment on all the wonderful fics people posted!


JustAKitty: I like how it is a “how they met” story. I love how they met stories. Also, I remember I had a phase where I wanted to modernize the Greek Gods and Goddesses into a story, I think I did it in play format. I always related to Willow from the start so it makes me do happy dances when people see Willow the way I did (and was).

Heather: Hilarious! I always enjoy seeing Faith brought in to stories. And “Because I know better than to try and out drink a slayer.” is the best line ever. Seriously, awesome and fun. And I can totally picture them going out drinking.

DrLloyd: Other than I already knew it was you who posted this fic…. Glad to see you came out (he he). So know how I was talking about how fun and playful these fics are supposed to be. Thank you for not following that suggestion. This was powerful and awesome. Me thinks you should keep doing the writing of solo fics eh?

Matty: I was wondering if someone would do an Amber connection. Although I have not read GoA, I totally believed the story. Love how you incorporated Anya and Runt the protector against killer rabbits.

Blayne: I see you write that it is rare to you have an all ages rating and also enjoy within the first sentence that you hint to the way you normally write “…not in a role-playing way of Willow in the WPC uniform and Tara as the Last Centurion…” Also, you revisit the idea at the end. I’m sure you provided enough for minds to wander. ;) And ‘Divine’ Comedy…. Hilarious

Shelby: Like I said before, the length is all cool and I find it awesome that you belted out this moving and involved story just for a challenge. Really, I mean how can I compete (so stop being so good darnit!) I kid… mostly. Love the incorporated dialog as well as the rest of it. “…have you tried talking to your mum?” Girl problems… brilliant. And teenage angst. Love it. Also this line “This is your brain and this is your brain on ‘Tara boobs.’ Good grief, this is going to be a long day.”

Starr: First off this line got me “…she did not receive the expected ‘Why didn’t you wake me up?’ tirade. Instead, her face was peppered with little smooches, her brown hair smoothed down, and cursory examination to make sure that a bit of a fright was the worst of it. Then she was scolded for not waking Willow up.” It is easier to write you feedback by just throwing up quotes I like “Unlike her soulmate, Willow was no empath. Her aura reading skills left much to be desired, but with a physical connection, she could borrow that ability, if only for a while. Unable to explain with words, Tara pulled her closer. Well shit. No wonder Tara hadn’t wanted her going any closer.” Again here “Forget being one of the few people in the world who understood Ancient Sumerian, now she was a scholarly-type.” Brilliant and a different story than the rest, love how you used Native American mythology instead of European. Also suspenseful.

Ariel: “I’ve got to get off these metaphors, the lady died!” Also love the first person. And the idea itself is brilliant. Old Gods Home. Humor, fun… Love it. The Greek Contingent wanting a signed copy of the book… And I wish I could give better feedback to *the* Queen of feedback. Just know it is awesome.

Kate!: Love stories about Willow and Tara with a kid. Like really I can’t even go into how brilliant it is because I am tired. I should have broken up the feedback thing but I wanted to get it done. “I got the Kaylee cover.” When I was in Edinburgh I learned like an hour too late the whole crew was down at the videostore at the mall. Also for random facts, YoSaffBridge is from Twin Falls Idaho. Anyways… “She was right. She always was. Freaking annoying, really.” That is how I feel in my relationship. Love it! Thanks for hosting and participating!


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 Post subject: Re: Now Voting: February Challenge
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:54 am 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Before I respond to the feedback I’ve gotten, I’d like to say that I have, in fact, realized that my short is really opaque and confusing if you don’t know Firefly. In fact, even if you’ve seen it once or twice, if “Our Mrs. Renyolds” didn’t really stick in your mind, there’s a good chance I lost you.

Bad, bad Kate.

My apologies. It’s completely my fault: I waited until the last minute. This is a terrible idea given how often I get back rough drafts with “Uh, Kate? Not all of us live in your crazy insulated science/gamer/nerdy world. Try writing to communicate, dearie,” written all over it. (And no, my alpha and beta readers aren’t actually like that. They’re very polite and supportive and I have to beg them to be harsh. That’s more like what I write to myself next to their real, kinder, comments.)

I have aims to rewrite this, adding enough supporting information so people who don’t know the show can still understand the story I was trying to tell. And a few other bits. We’ll see how it goes.




Feedback responses:

faolan228:
I love Joshua and Tabi, but I have no children and no other reason for contact with children of their age. So much as love them, I’m always wary of writing them. In fact, this is the first time Tabi has appeared (on the board or on my computer), even though she’s been in my head for a bit now. Which is a really long introduction to saying, “thanks for going along with my version of child-logic.”

I have yet to meet an Akita, but I’ve long thought they’re impressive animals.


vampyregurl73:
And here we have an example of me clouding the point of the story with crap:
Quote:
I think I may be confused or maybe just a little slow - who knows, but I got the impression that Xander was a donor for Willow & Tara? My only question...


Yes, Xander is Joshua’s biological father. In the “Stained Glass” universe, Willow and Tara are both extremely concerned with having ready and complete access to their donor’s biological information (have you read Wedding Nights by any chance? Same universe, and it explains why), which prompted them to go with a close friend (who does literally live next door by the time Tabi is born).

Quote:
But now I'm looking forward to Stained Glass!


Well, please don’t hold your breath—it would be bad for your health. I promise it exists in my head, but I need to finish Queen of Hearts before I even outline Stained Glass. Also, the bulk of Stained Glass will be Willow and Tara meeting in college; this is probably about 5-10 years after the end of the primary storyline of Stained Glass ends, and 15-25 years before the secondary storyline begins. So Stained Glass won’t feel like this.

In the meantime, though, I do expect that more of these Middle Years stories will crop up (I wrote a bunch of drabbles that are part of the universe as well). They’re nice because it gives me a chance to get to know the characters a bit better without worrying about them in college. That’s important because I don’t want to make make QoH harder to write: the Willow and (particularly) Tara in Stained Glass are really, really different from the Willow and Tara in QoH.

All that said . . . I'm also looking forward to Stained Glass. It's going to be awesome.


Dtburanek:
So glad you liked this. At least it made sense to someone outside of my head. And that when it makes sense, it’s good. Very reassuring.

If I had found out that I had just missed the Firefly actors . . . there would be some very, very loud swearing. Possibly crying. Probably wall punching.

I wonder how often Jewel Staite is offered strawberries. I know I would, if I knew I was going to meet her. Because . . . yum.




Feedback for others!

Dtburanek:
Thanks again for getting me to have this challenge. It’s cool. But then to jump in and post something right away was so great. So, you=awesome.

Re: Something Like That

I know that my backpack is not the most . . . hospitable place for books. It’s a touch better now, given I tend to have my laptop in there so I don’t throw it around as much. At least, I never do when the laptop is in there. Still, though, it’s a touch dangerous. So I loved the bit about Dawn’s backpack. I cringed at the thought of putting Giles’ copy of The Divine Comedy in her backpack. So I’m glad that she decided against that ;)

This was my favorite bit:
Quote:
"The same way Phil does."

"So you saw your shadow tomorrow?"

Tara just smiled and said, "Something like that."


Re: Adventures of Perun

Man, I’m so proud. I badgered someone into writing someone, and I get a character named after me? Fuck, I should badger more!

Anyway, animal-perspective things often make me happy, and this one was no different. This was just adorable.

I think this is my favorite:

Quote:
I tilted sideways, grasped it sideways and straightened up my head. It poured right into the cup. And around the cup. And all over the place. But I did get it in the cup.



JustAKitty:
This was such a charming story. A friend of mine has her B.A. in classics, so Willow’s situation made me laugh. But she was really after her M.R.S., which she also got. (My sister, who has hers in English and Japanese, was not amused when I insisted on singing “What do you do with a B.A. in English.)

Quote:
their stories, comforting weight and even their slightly musty smell.


This made me laugh; not for its content, but because I really, really want to put an Oxford/serial comma in this series, even though I know it isn’t correct in general British English. At least, wayland insists it’s so, and she should know.

So, I used to call Chihuahuas rats. I personally love dogs, but have rarely met a yap dog I didn’t loathe. However, I’ve now met and worked with rats. I think I like rats better. ;)

I’d like to congratulate you on the use of the word “bibliophiles.” I have a thing for cool words. Like, if you were to have seen me watch the clip of Amber reading from How to Be Death, you would have seen a lot of squeaking and bouncing in my chair and smiles with my tongue poking through my teeth (a thing I developed long before I ever saw Willow do it, I might add) over the extremely rich vocabulary she uses.


vampyregurl73:
After a quick google image search, I must agree with Willow that layered shots are, indeed, very pretty. It is a good thing for Faith that Willow is such a stubborn person—otherwise, I don’t think someone as smart as Willow would try to out-drink Faith. Willow’s such a little person.

At first, I wondered why Isis wouldn’t have just told Faith that she was married. Until I realized that if a big part of my income depended on tips, I wouldn’t volunteer that information, either. ;)

And thanks for the clarification you wrote. It really changed how I read the story.

drlloyd11:
Congratulations on your first solo piece, and even more kudos to putting your name on it. I found this story really thought-provoking. I’m always intrigued by stories that discuss the space between seasons five and six: so much has to have happened that summer.

I also agree with what others have said about getting Spike right: how he takes care of Dawn here instantly brought me to the scene in “Bargaining” where he slams the cards on the table. I’ve never writen Spike, and am not sure if I could do it well.

I do hope you decide to write more. There are certainly some technical aspects of writing that you need to work on, but that’s one of those things betas can do for you. You've got interesting ideas, which is harder to learn.


Mgraham93:
I’m always impressed by much plot people can tell in a short space. I’m so much more inclined to take a small thing and tell it richly. Telling a story like this, with a focus on a lot of plot movement in a small space, is way outside of my comfort zone. So, props to you.

I’ve been meaning to read the Ghosts of Albion, but it had kind of dropped outside of my radar with grad school. Thanks for reminding me that I really should read it!


Taralicious:
Romantic balloon trip followed by a visit (if unintended) to a sci-fi convention? Now that sounds like a nice way to spend the afternoon.

I confess, when I started this challenge, I didn’t expect K9 to show up on the list of “Runt”s. It was nice to see him, though. He’s such a sweetie!


Finey_McFine:
I really liked this story. High school isn’t my favorite setting (I think I’m a minority around here), but I think this worked really well.

I’m curious about the Riley-kissing. If I were Willow, I’d have probably said something disastrously stupid, as in: “you can’t really mean that you love me, you were kissing Riley!” Laugh all you like, I would have.

I liked how you wrote Riley. He came off as sweet and genuine, even if his role in Willow’s life was as a villain.


Faolan228:
Wow. Just . . . wow. That was really good.

I’ve never met the idea of skinwalkers before. Not many Navajo stories told around Iowa, you know?

You did a really great job of smoothly integrating the skinwalker idea into the Buffyverse. It fit really well. Bringing in Jordy was a nice touch, too.

/)**(\ <--20% more brohoof


Ariel:
I loved this. Very well done. The God Squad is just so perfect. I can totally imagine Greek gods, stripped of their precious power and Olympus, royally fucking over the lives of their high school keepers. And poor Willow, panicking over talking at thin air, attributing it to something else, and then realizing that was even worse than talking to herself.

Your description of Persephone made me laugh: Adam maintains a grudge with her over the whole “winter” thing, though he’s a little less angry about it now that we live in San Diego.




Thanks again to everyone for participating. I hope to have the March challenge up . . . Wednesday or Thursday?


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 Post subject: Re: February Challenge (Winner announced!)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:34 am 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:31 am
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Topics: 10
Location: San Diego, CA
I may not know how to close the poll, but it's just after midnight Pacific Time, and the polls have closed for the prize.

With 12 of 44 votes, Ariel's entry The Divine Comedy has won her a signed copy of How to Be Death.

Congratulations to Ariel!


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