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

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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:18 pm 
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30. Sweaty and Kinda Gay
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 7:17 am
Posts: 5210
Location: Oregon
Hey girl, I for one cannot wait 'til the next update. You are an awesome writer Urnie! And I am totally enthralled with this story. :x

xoxo
Emms

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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:32 pm 
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8. Vixen
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Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 12:15 pm
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Location: Barcelona, Spain
Hi, Urn! :wave

I found this thread a few days ago and I started reading your wonderful story. Of course I had to start with This look of love and continue with Pathways and patterns and OMG, what a pleasant journey it was.
The family you've portraited here touched me deeply, so deeply that I must admit that the way your Willow and Tara interact gave me the inspiration I needed to look inside myself and at my own relationship to write my wedding vows, inspiration that had been hiding from me for months mainly because nothing I ever wrote felt good enough for my girl (and I was running out of time since the ceremony will take place in less than three weeks). But you made me notice the simple things that have kept us together and then the proverbial lightbulb went on.
So, I am eternally grateful that you decided to post your stories. And just like all the kittens here I am hoping you update soon.
I can't wait to hear more about Al & Buffy, I am hooked!!

Thanks again!

Karinna

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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:25 am 
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11. Fish in the Bowl
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Hello people of Pens!

It has been tooooooooo long since my last update. I'd like to apologize but I just can't keep all of the voices in my head silent. *shushes them*

I have absolutely no idea when the next part might appear. I'm honestly lost in so many other projects. I have to go back and read this story from the beginning to refresh my mind about so much of it.

I know that you would like to find out who the next chosen one might be. I promise you that it isn't Abbey. I think that would be lame as $#!@ and a little silly for this story. I'm expecting that it will have little impact on the family, but some on our wonderful slayer duo. Aren't they just adorable??

Anywhooo, I have blathered on for just about all I can stand. I hope that you enjoy this next part and that you'll be patient for what is still rattling around in my brain.


Here you go...............

All previous disclaimers still apply, whatever the heck they were.




Part 17



Willow and Tara sat in the molded resin chairs of the hospital waiting room. Willow picked at the plastic paper clip pinching an envelope and note card together. A messenger had delivered the package of documents to the Bennett house while the family had been at the cabin. Tara flipped the papers back and forth, astonished at what she was reading. Brenda’s handwriting was scribbled across the bottom of each page.

“Sweetie.” Tara covered Willow’s nervous fingers.

Willow looked up. “Sorry, I just can’t believe she did this.” She waved the envelope in her hand.

“I know.” Tara looked back at her lap. “The attorney is very thorough. Look, he even put in his bill for services.”

Willow snickered. “The guy’s gotta make a buck.”

The women were realizing, as they sorted through the documents, the kind of surreal moment that had found them. Their day had started with delicious courses of lovemaking, and traveled from there, to include a hospital waiting room. Could this really be their life?

As they’d prepared to bring Al and Patrick to the hospital, Tara had discovered the package on the table. She cried as she removed the contents. It was filled with pictures and cards. Brenda had returned all the artwork her child had created. Willow was speechless; the boy had made every image, and at the time it had been difficult to send them to the woman in prison. It was clear to the Rosenberg women that Brenda was closing them out.

Willow handed the envelope to her wife. “When I gave it to her, she clutched it like it would save her life. I swear, baby, I thought she would open it.”

“I guess I don’t know her, Will.” Tara put the letter into the attorney’s envelope. “The Brenda I knew… I guess she’s gone.”

Willow touched the pile of documents. “She’s let him go, for good.”

Tara was about to speak when her son’s cast turned the corner, followed by his bright smile.

Buffy was helping Abbey steer the wheelchair. “Just don’t hit the wall.” The chair veered toward the brightly painted concrete. “I said don’t hit the wall.” It scraped at the color as Abbey turned toward her mothers.

“Go faster, Abbey,” Patrick encouraged. His hands met the rubber of the tires, pushing to increase the pace.

Buffy grabbed the handles. “Just keep it slow for now. I’m not standing around for two more hours so that you can get another cast.”

Patrick thumped the white and red striped wrap of plastic resin around his leg. “I like this one better. It’s not as heavy.”

Buffy laughed. “It’s the same, just a different color.”

“Well, white and red are always lighter,” Abbey corrected her aunt. “Everyone knows that.” She winked at her brother before draping a cotton towel over him.

“Do we get to look now?” Willow interrupted. Patrick had asked his mothers if he could go into the office alone. Hesitantly they’d allowed it. Abbey and Buffy met him as they were coming back from the emergency room waiting area.

“Yes, can we see this red and white leg?” Tara smiled as Abbey raised the hospital towel to reveal his newest covering.

“Voila!” Abbey snapped the fabric as she pulled it away. “I present to you… Patrick… swimmer extraordinaire.”

The three women clapped feverously. The doctor appeared behind them.

Tara stood to greet her. “Hello, how does everything look?” She shook her hand. Willow reached across to receive the doctor’s firm grip.

They sat together in the hallway, listening. “He looks great. He sustained a few abrasions on his toes; all very superficial. His femoral repairs look great. The growth is quite amazing and his immune system is handling the graft as if it were his own tissue. We took a few x-rays and I checked the pinpoints. He’s healing beyond our expectations.”

Tara looked at Patrick’s smile. She returned her attention to the doctor. “The fall, and the river…” She hesitated, not knowing what to call the accident.

“You mean my swim?” he said with a proud tone.

Willow winced at the understatement, and tussled his hair playfully. “Yes, Patty, your swim.”

The doctor continued. “He’s been calling it that, but something tells me it wasn’t all that simple.”

His mothers shook their heads.

“I removed the cast and replaced it with this plastic resin. The material is lighter and he’ll be able to move around with more independence. We’ll get him up on crutches in a few weeks and if all goes well he’ll be putting weight on that leg by the end of next month.”

Tara smiled. It was miraculous, the way his body was rejuvenating. “What should we do for now?”

The doctor looked at the tightening circle of family. “Keep doing what you’ve been doing. It seems to be working quite well.” Her words focused on Patrick. “No more swimming for you, little guy. Stay out of the water until this candy cane comes off.”

He raised his small hand. “I promise.”

“Good. Now that we’ve settled that, I have to ask about the gentleman that came in with you. Do you have a next of kin relative that we can contact?”

Buffy’s shoulders tightened, and she asked herself why they would request such a thing. “I suppose we’re his next of kin. Al really doesn’t have anyone of blood relation.”

Patrick looked up at Buffy. His hand grabbed hers and he looked at his doctor. “You don’t have to be blood to be a family.”

The group was speechless. They averted their eyes, each digesting the magnitude of his innocent words. Willow stood to wrap her arm around Buffy’s shoulder. “We’re here for him. Is something wrong?”

“I’m sorry, but legally I can only discuss this with his family.” She stood to walk back to the emergency room. “He’ll be ready in a few minutes. We’ve sent him for some blood work.” The doctor disappeared around the corner.

“Blood work?” Willow looked at Buffy. “Can they do blood work?”

Buffy shrugged her shoulders. “I’ve had it done. I don’t think anything will come up that’s unusual. It’s not like they’re doing DNA tests or anything.”

“DNA testing? What’s that for?” Al leaned against the corner of the wall. “You checking for something?” His joke met with sour expressions.

“It’s not funny.” Buffy punched his shoulder lightly. “We’re just wondering what the blood draw was for.”

“They just wanted to do a thorough exam. Make sure they get every dime they can from my insurance.” He pulled the cotton wad from the bend of his arm. “That guy stuck me three times. I think they need to spend a little of that money to retrain him. Look at this.” He displayed the needle sticks and discoloration.

“You and Buffy have matching pricks.”

“What?!” Al, Buffy and Tara responded in unison.

Flustered, Willow explained, “Their arms.” Her hand flapped back and forth pointing at Buffy’s shoulder and Al’s needle marks. “They both have the poking spots, and the redness with the bleeding and the things getting stuck in their skin and the bleeding, and the medical attention, and did I mention the bleeding?”

Tara placed her hand over Willow’s babbling lips. “Yes, honey, you mentioned the bleeding.”

Abbey looked at the adults. “Can we go now?”

“Yeah, I want to go home.” Patrick hurried the pace by rolling his palms across the tires of his wheelchair. Buffy and Al followed the children out the door. Willow reached for her wife’s hand.

Tara shook her head. “Matching pricks, Will?”

Willow smiled, shamefaced. “I mentally smacked myself. I just don’t know, sometimes, what is going to come out of my mouth.”

“We really need to give that some attention.” Tara squeezed her wife’s hand.




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



The Rosenberg family found comfort being back at the ranch. Abbey moved herself into Patrick’s room and the children discovered the safety of being on the same floor with the adults. Al learned the ritual involved with tent building and the family had never experienced one quite like his.

Patrick’s room was fluffy with billowing bed sheets, ballooned by window fans. He climbed into the tall cowboy’s lap and huddled close. There was a new bond between them, one without words, without conscious understanding, but it was true and unconditional. The child looked up and saw someone to trust.

Al couldn’t fully understand the meaning of the child in his lap, or the young one’s ability to find peaceful slumber there. The cowboy rested his back against the wall, letting the current of air toss the child’s hair. He was grateful. He was filled with more emotions than he’d felt in years and he let the moment move around him, like the swirling breeze from the ticking fan.

Abbey smacked her hand against the pile of cards, stealing them away from her aunt.

Buffy hated playing with Abbey. They’d decided on a friendly game of slap jack and Buffy was no match for the child. She was sharp but the young girl had a perfect eye and special technique. “You lose again, Aunt Buffy.”

“I’m getting used to it, Abbey.” She smiled. “One more?”

“I’m kinda tired.”

Buffy nodded. “Are you going to stay in here for good?”

“I like the fort. I think I want to sleep in here with them.” She pointed at Al and Patrick. The two were snuggled against the wall, lost in their soft snoring.

Buffy rolled out a blanket on the floor and patted the spot for her niece. “Here you go.” She tapped Al on the foot. “Al.”

His eyes opened. “Mm hmm.” He grumbled

“You going to stay in here with them, or are you coming up with me?”

“I like the fort, Aunt Buffy. Can I sleep in here?” He fought back a smile.

She pinched the bottom of his foot. “You can stay but they both snore.” Buffy crawled out of the fort. “Goodnight.”

The tall cowboy followed her out. “You’re just going to leave me in there?” He wrapped himself around her, resting his hands across her chest.

“I gave you a choice. You want the snoring kids, they’re all yours.” She reached up to hold his hands in place.

He tried to pull away. He wanted to touch her more then anything but he was unsure. For all his joking he was still inexperienced and he didn’t want to disappoint Buffy.

Her hands squeezed around his. “Don’t.”

His shoulders tightened. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.”

She looked up, craning her neck toward his face. “That’s not what I meant.” She reached a hand up to his neck. Her fingers slid into the thick stubble of his hair. “Don’t be afraid to hold me. I like to have your arms around me.”

They stepped together, moving to the living room. The house was quiet and the rumble of the day had transformed into peace-filled darkness. Buffy turned and led them to the couch.

“It’s really been a day, hasn’t it?”

“Day?” Al fell back into the crumpled sofa. “Try weeks, Buffy. The last few weeks have been a little strange.”

“I guess I’m used to it. I’ve been doing strange for years.”

He tugged her sleeve. “Sit with me.”

Buffy took the space of the couch beside him. “Being a slayer makes normal seem abnormal. The bizarre is really comforting.”

“I don’t want to feel that way.” He reached to take her hand. “What’s going to happen now, Buffy?”

“I’m not sure what you mean.” She watched his hand wrap around her own. It was strong and coarse and it felt right against her calloused palm.

“I don’t know the rules of being a Vampire Slayer. I don’t know what has happened to me and now to some other.” His fingers tightened as he shifted into the corner of the couch. “Tell me what happens now.”

“Now.” She smiled at him. It was a powerful moment. Buffy knew that part of this man had been a woman, but for her that was only science. She felt connected to Al, all that he was and all that he’d become; she could see herself in him and she liked how it made her feel. “I don’t know. I’m the oldest surviving slayer. I’m still learning about it myself.”

“But you’ve been through this…” he hesitated before adding, “twice.”

“There’s something you should know about the second time.” She looked up as the sound of feet on the stairs broke the moment.

“I’m sorry, are we interrupting?” Willow stopped at the bottom of the staircase.

Buffy shook her head. “Your timing is perfect. I could use some help.”

“Help?” Tara sat in the chair, directly across from Buffy and Al. “You look so serious, what’s going on?” Willow sat on the floor in front of her lover, tucking herself between Tara’s legs.

Buffy leaned forward. “I was going to tell Al about Glory and the porthole. I think you can fill in some of the blanks that followed.”

“The kids are asleep?” Willow stretched to look toward Patrick’s room. The story was sad and full of personal moments that she didn’t think her children would understand.

“Yeah, they’re out cold.” Al let go of Buffy’s hand and moved it around her shoulder. He could sense the tension between the women. “Something tells me this isn’t going to be very pleasant.”

Tara looked at Buffy, who shrugged her shoulders and looked to Willow to rescue her from the storytelling.

“It was like a tidal wave. Those days before Buffy…” Willow couldn’t say the word. “Glory was this hell god bitch and Dawnie was her one way ticket home.” Willow looked up at her lover. “There’s so much to this story. What do you want me to share?”

Tara hugged her wife. “Whatever it takes. It’s the past, sweetie. We can’t change any of it now.”

“I guess you could say that Glory took a big part of each of us. She smashed us again and again until we had nothing.” Willow felt the tears roll down her cheeks. “We did things. I did things. I still can’t believe that I was that person, that I am that person.” Her head lay against Tara’s thigh. She squeezed hard, trying to forget the frantic moments.

“You found me, Willow, that’s all that matters.” Tara ran her fingers across her wife’s face and through the tangles of red hair.

Al looked at Buffy. The moment between Tara and Willow seemed private and he felt uncomfortable witnessing such vulnerability. Buffy reached to touch Willow’s hand. “You found us all, Will. You brought us back as a family. You protected Dawn when I couldn’t and made her feel loved when I was gone.”

“Gone?” Al interrupted.

“Well, it’s more complicated.” Buffy’s lip stretched nervously.

“You said that, too.” The hesitation between the three women elevated his anxiety. “What happened?”

Tara began. “Glory was looking for the key to her hell gate and that was Dawn. For some reason Glory thought I was the key… and she came after me, instead.”

Willow continued. “That bitch took Tara, touched her. Did things.”

Al’s eyes widened. “She attacked you?”

“What she did was take my Tara and left behind an empty shell of the woman I knew. She killed her, only she left her heart beating and her body starving for her own soul. Every time I looked into her beautiful eyes, she didn’t even know who I was.” Willow let her tears fall.

“Will, sweetie, I was always in here.” Tara wrapped around her, resting her hand over Willow’s heart.

“What does this have to do with Buffy?” Al was confused and lost in the drama of the story.

“After Tara’s attack, we ran. We got the hell out of dodge.” Buffy waited for Willow to compose herself. She knew the story would become more intense as she continued and her best friend would have to explain the missing months. “Glory found us and took Dawn. I couldn’t lose her. Not so soon after losing my mom.”

“I’m sorry.” Al watched the exchange of looks between them. It was a difficult story to share but he wanted to know what had happened to Buffy.

“Don’t be. There are reasons for everything.” Tara encouraged Willow to continue.

“After Dawn was taken, we all kinda shifted into automatic. Buffy was hell bent on saving her sister and I was going to do anything and everything in my power to bring Tara back. So we did. Buffy and I fought Glory. I took Tara and Buffy took Dawnie.”

“Somehow I sense that I’m getting the watered down version of this story. Am I right?”

“We’re not even close to near beer on this one.” They shared a smile to break the tension. Willow continued. “By the time we got to Dawn, the porthole was already opening. The only way to close it was for Dawn to die.”

“I couldn’t let her.” Buffy interrupted. “So I went in her place.”

“You went how?”

Buffy stood. She crossed the room and stared out into the night sky. The ranch was dark, the only light coming from the quarter crescent moon in the sky. “Dawn was tied up like a sacrifice. I told her that she should have a chance to live.” Buffy’s breath frosted the glass of the window. “I was so tired of fighting. I wanted to stop.” She drew a line through the fog. “I was the sacrifice. I jumped and I passed through to someplace so beautiful.” Her hand flattened and wiped the glass clean. She turned around. The expressions that met hers were a mingling of emotion.

Willow’s face was stained with tears, matched by her wife’s. Al was horrified. He’d wondered about Buffy’s second experience with death, but this wasn’t what he’d considered. He cleared his throat, hoping his words would come with strength, not the hollow pitch that rested like a stone. “How did you survive?” He watched as his girlfriend wrapped her arms around her body. He could see a chill move through her.

“We brought her back.” Tara spoke just above a whisper. There was shame and regret in the words. “We brought her back with magic.”

Willow squeezed Tara’s leg. “No, baby, I brought her back. I used some very dark magic that I took from some very dark places.”

“What the hell were you thinking?” Al pulled Buffy into his arms. “How long did it take?”

“It took a few months. I had to collect the elements for the spell and some of them were very obscure.” Willow was nervous and could sense the rising emotion in the tall cowboy.

“She was dead for months and you… you… I don’t even know what you did.”

Buffy turned in Al’s arms. She placed her hand over his heart. “Shh, it’s alright.” Buffy’s jaw was stiff. She still felt the loss of such peace. It was a feeling, an experience that she’d never fully overcome. “I was in a beautiful place.”

“I’m sorry, Buffy.” Willow’s voice was hesitant as she wiped her tears on the drape of her sleeve. “I know I stole you from…”

“No.” Buffy dropped down to the floor in front of Willow. “You were afraid.” She placed her hands on Willow’s knees, shaking them until she looked into her eyes. “What you did, you did out of love.” Buffy’s eyes were wet with tears. “I understand that now, and we all lost something when you did that spell.” Buffy looked up at Tara, whose eyes glazed with unshed tears.

“I don’t understand any of this.” Al sat back on the couch. The information he’d heard was unreal and the continuation fueled his mixed emotions.

“After Buffy died, we tried to fill the empty space.” Tara looked at Buffy. “We tried so hard to do what you do.” She looked up at Al. “Buffy’s very special.” Tara put her hand on Buffy’s shoulder. “You came back so sad but we needed you so desperately.”

“It was wrong for us to take you. I know that now.” Willow’s voice cracked through her whisper. “You make it all so easy.”

“So let me get this straight.” Al interrupted. “She was dead for months. I’m guessing after all her work fighting evil, she found an eternal place in heaven. And you took her from there?”

Tara looked at Al. “We didn’t know.” Her words were sharp and defensive. “Glory was a hell god and we didn’t know what dimension Buffy fell into.”

“Stop!” Buffy interrupted. “Al, honey. It’s alright. It was hard, but I’m alright.” She placed her palm on Al’s knee. “What Will did… what Xander and Anya and Tara helped her do, it was the right thing. I’m so happy to be here, to be back with them.” She pulled herself up on the couch. “I would have missed Abbey’s birth. I would have missed Patrick.” She closed her eyes. “I would have missed you.” Her hand rested on his thigh.

“I’m glad we didn’t miss each other.” He put his arm around her shoulder.

Willow dried her eyes. “I took chances with our lives. It was stupid and dark and I could have really messed things up.” She squeezed between Tara’s legs. Tara bundled around her.

“You almost lost the love of your life, Will.”

“What do you mean?” Al looked at Tara. He knew Tara well and could never imagine her with any person other then Willow.

“Magic.” Willow arched up. “It took some serious power to bring Buffy back.” She turned away from her wife, directing her words to no one in particular. “I’m sure you feel your new power.” She looked directly at Al. “Your Slayer strength.”

He nodded.

Willow continued. “When it came to you, it was a rush, the way it tore you to the ground.”

“Yeah, it was very powerful.”

Buffy shook her head. “It was like my entire body got a triple double espresso.”

Willow looked at Buffy. “Sure, like that.” She crossed her arms over her chest. Her struggle to control the darkness inside her was a subject she hated to remember. “I called upon some pretty dark magics. Magics I had no business being near.”

Tara watched her lover pace the room. Willow was her rock, her safe place. They’d conquered so much in their time together that the darkness in Willow seemed like just a memory, rarely had she thought of the months they’d spent apart.

“So I’m guessing the magic gave you the same triple double that Buffy and I got?” Al squeezed Buffy closer to his side.

“Throw in the malevolence channeled through a Hell god and the backwash of some wicked herbs, and you’ll be about halfway to the power that I was channeling.”

“Sounds pretty intense.” Buffy was hearing the specific details for the first time. She knew that Willow had struggled with magic and that resurrecting had changed her power, but she had no idea how it had affected her physically.

“Triple double intense,” Willow added with a forced smile. “Now, imagine coming into your powers as a slayer, and not telling anyone. Sure, I was doing spells of protection and transfiguring and wiping out ten vamps at a time, but every time I used light magic darkness seeped into it, seeped into me.” She paced nervously. “Before I realized it, I was using spells of darkness that I researched with Giles.” She avoided direct eye contact. Her next confession was a hard one to make. “I liked the power. It made me feel like I was special.”

“You are special, Will.” Tara’s eyes followed her wife as she paced the room. There was a time when she’d been afraid of the darkness inside her and now she remembered that Willow had felt the same way.

“I forgot what was important…who was important.” She looked at Al. “With great power comes great responsibility. Someone reminded me of that.”

Al and Buffy looked at Tara. She covered her face, hiding the blush of her cheeks. “Something you’d like to share?” Buffy asked.

Tara smiled. “Not really.” She waited for Willow to look at her. “We reminded each other, sweetie.”

“I understand magic now. I suppose I understand exactly what I have and I’m not going to do anything to jeopardize that.”

Al watched Buffy. He noticed the way she looked at Tara. How she studied the way that Tara could love her wife without word or touch. There was an understanding between the three of them, an understanding that went beyond the pain of past mistakes. As he watched them he wondered, and asked, “You said Willow almost lost Tara, do you mind if I ask what happened?”

“I forced Tara to leave me. I broke rules and most of all I broke her heart.” Willow leaned against the trim surrounding the doorway.

“You made mistakes.” Tara looked into Willow’s eyes. Buffy and Al disappeared and all she could see was her lover’s regret. “I made mistakes too, Will.” She walked across the room. Her body ached as the distance between them filled with past doubts and misunderstandings. “We’ve both used magic to hide from truth.”

Willow couldn’t help defending Tara. “You never meant to hurt me.” She stared at her wife. “You were afraid.”

“Fear can push us to do terrible things.” Tara touched her wife’s chin.

Willow closed her eyes. She remembered that night. The moment the front door closed at Buffy’s house. The moment her future seemed wrecked forever.

Tara’s hand moved across the redhead’s cheek. “Look at me, Will.”

“Tara, please.” Her tears forced their way through tightly closed eyelids. “Please.”

Tara insisted. “Willow Rosenberg, don’t you dare hide from me.” She waited, knowing that her lover would always come to her.

Willow looked up. The eyes that met hers were forgiving, true, filled with love so unconditional that the energy released split her soul. “I’ll never forget what I did to you.”

Tara opened her arms. “I love you, Will. I know you’ll never forget, but I’ll always forgive.” Her hands fell along each of Willow’s cheeks. She rested her forehead against her lover’s.

Buffy and Al watched the exchange. It was raw and honest. Buffy could remember a time when she wished to have everything that Willow and Tara shared, a love so unguarded and pure. She’d never fully understood how the two had struggled to rebuild their relationship after so much had happened. Al watched it all with limited understanding. He’d only just discovered the supernatural side of being and to hear what his friends had done, what they’d survived, was shocking.

Willow felt her wife’s thumbs wipe away her tears. “I’m so sorry. If I’d thought about Glory and what she did to you, how she left you so empty… I was so selfish.”

“I was equally as selfish when I cast that spell in the magic box, when those demons almost killed all of you.” Tara pulled Willow into her shoulder. “I was so afraid I’d lose you. I would have done anything.”

“That’s different.” Willow pulled away. They stood face to face. “You didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”

“And neither did you.”

“Umm.” Al cleared his throat. “It seems like you two could go round about on this subject.” He shook his head. “I think I get the point.”

Buffy slapped his shoulder.

“What?” He nudged her side. “I was just pointing out that…”

“I’m sorry, Al.” Willow looked at her friends. “I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.”

“It’s not that.” He leaned forward, resting his arms across his knees. “I just wondered how Buffy came back. I didn’t realize it would bring up so many sad memories.”

Tara led Willow back to the chair. She sat down and pulled her lover into her lap. “We could keep you awake for days with the bad times. We’ve certainly had our fair share.”

“Unfortunately, I can relate.” He rubbed the bruises on his arm. The superficial marks were fading but the experience was still very fresh in his head.

“Will you move into the house and stay with us?” Tara looked at Al.

Buffy smiled and nudged the man. “Yes, please.”

“I’d like to, but I’m not sure that it would be right.” His palms fell to his knees. He rubbed them across his thighs nervously. “With the kids and all it might be inappropriate.”

Buffy grabbed one of his hands. “You can stay across the hall from me.”

Al shook his head. “You could come and stay with me?”

“I can’t,” she said. “If Patty needs anything…”

“We’ll come and get you.” Tara held her wife closer. “You’re across the yard, Buffy.”

“He won’t understand. He’ll freak out if I’m not here.”

“He’ll be fine. If something happens, I’ll stay with him and Willow can go and get you.”

The room was heavy with emotions. Willow was exhausted from the day and Tara wanted to take her wife to bed. She knew that when they met behind closed doors the pain of past mistakes would be shed. They would hold each other until it was right again. It was how they worked, it was their truth. The past had shaped them, molded them into something so strong. Tara knew that Willow was holding it together, but more than anything she needed to let it all go.

“I don’t know.” Buffy looked at Al. “You sure you can’t stay here in the main house?”

“Not yet.” He stood. “I think the kids need some time to adjust to things and I think I do too.”

Buffy looked up at him, her eyes wide and innocent. She didn’t understand what Al was saying. “Are you upset? Is it me?”

He held his hand to her.

Buffy reached up and felt his fingers fold around her own.

“I assure you, that I am not freaked.” He smiled at her. “I am very eager to be in this house, with this family. You are all very important to me.”

“You promise?”

Al walked toward the back door. “Will you come with me?”

Buffy followed him as Willow and Tara climbed the stairs. She heard the bedroom door close behind them.

Willow heard the back door close. She waited for footsteps on the stairs. She heard nothing and in that moment she knew where the slayers would spend the night. It made her smile. It was right for them to be together. It was right for each member of their family to be in the safety that they would find as the light of the quarter crescent moon faded behind the thick midnight clouds.







TBC..................


Questions? Comments? Thanks for reading!

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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:26 am 
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oops, double posted. You would think after all this time I would know.

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"A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a joke or worried to death by a frown on the right person's brow." C. Brower


Last edited by Urn of Osiris on Sun Jul 09, 2006 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:57 am 
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Triple double dibs!

Man, Urnie...I so didn't want it to end there. I was enthralled throughout the whole update; First with Patty getting his new cast and then waiting to show everyone...and then again with Buffy and Al inside the fort. (I am so loving them as a couple right now) that line where Buffy says: "don't" and Al takes it as; don't touch me...but then Buffy turns it around on him and says:" don't be afraid to touch me"...that was just beautiful (I probably should have used the quote option there...I hope I got the wording right.

My heart was beating for Willow the whole time she was filling Al in on what had happened in the past...and I could soo feel her pain over what Glory had done to Tara. (there's so much suppressed hurt there...it's palpable. I'm not sure Willow has completely come to terms with everything yet. )

But Tara was there the whole time, first comforting Willow with her gaze and then she went to her, sensing her wife needed to be held physically. that was so well done, Urnie. I loved the image of them with Tara touching willow's face, and wiping her tears away. You write them as such a beautiful couple. (they always were...but I especially love the way you do it. Everything's so real.)

So...Buffy is going to go and stay with Al? Woo! It was sweet of Buffy to worry about not being there for Patrick if he were to need her. I'm sure Patrick will be a little sad that Buffy isn't going to be as close as she was before…but I'm sure he will understand and be fine with it.

wonderful, wonderful, wonderful update, sweetie. Every time I see that you have posted I just get warmed all over. Thank you so much.

xoxo
Emms

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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 8:12 am 
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:pinky thank you so much for updating I know how busy you are but a story like this should be finished and i will wait as long as it takes. :kitty


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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:20 pm 
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Yippie, an update!
I thought it was a little out of place for AL to react the way he did about bringing Buffy back. Sure, he loves her but he wasnt there and he hasnt known them for that long. Still, I love this story cuz the emotions are very real and raw.
Glad that you updated!!! Please do that sometime soon again :x

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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:20 pm 
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You updated! YAY! This is a great story, Urn of Osiris. One of the things I love the most about your style is how you detail their emotions moment by moment, it's as if we're there, as if we(the audience) are Tara or Willow or whoever. That is great crafting. It also makes the smut uber hot!

I liked the ending you put on it. It felt like a summation, a peaceful sigh after seeing the storm clear. But also a nice open door into the next chapter. Again, great crafting. Can't wait for more!

Toodles, take care.
Beth

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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:07 pm 
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Urn of Osiris: Great update, but it was REALLY, REALLY HARD to read, I really LOVED the way that Tara was ther supporting Willow and to see that the love that they have for each other is just so great. I really liked what Buffy said to Willow, and I'm really glad that Buffy now has someone to share everything with, its about time she did. I hope that everything will be OK for Al and that he doesn't hold it against Willow. I can't wait to read more.

Lonewolf22


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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 8:47 pm 
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“You and Buffy have matching pricks.”

That my friend was priceless and made me laugh out loud.

I see this story was updated way back in April and I’m just getting to it now. I received my update reminder from your yahoo group today and I was ecstatic. I said, “Happy Birthday to me!” I was busy all weekend having celebrated my birthday this past Saturday and to come home to an update was the icing in the cake.

Thank you for the update Sharon even though I seem to be ridiculously late. It was great to read. A very emotional conversation was had there and yeah I kinda felt like Al could have chilled out a tad. I get it that he’s very fond of Buffy, but it felt a little out of place for him to react the way he did. I continue to be in awe of Willow and Tara. The way they’re so in sync with each other and I’m starting to feel a twinge of jealousy.

All is fanstastic as per usual Sharon. You continue to do an excellent job at keeping me hooked on this lovely tale of yours and I shall continue to stay put till the end.
(That sounded way less naughty in my head, I swear!)

I have missed the Kitten and its Kittens terribly.

Patty


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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 8:59 pm 
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:hmm I was hoping there would be an update... ;-)

xoxo
Emms

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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 9:04 pm 
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I'm sorry for getting you all excited there Emms. I feel like such a tease. :blush


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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 9:08 pm 
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Tease... :p

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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:38 pm 
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I was reading and the thought occured to me: Would the Slayer's regeneration abilities undo um... Al's "changes"?

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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 9:55 am 
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Helloooooooo all!

I'm so pleased to read the feedback. I love you all for replying. I have to admit that Sahugani's question gave me many ideas for nightmare scenarios that Buffy could have. I just couldn't write them. Without getting too detailed, I would think that the slayer ability to heal is much different then the slayer ability to regenerate parts.

You can count on two things when it comes to Al and Buffy in this fic. 1. Al is and will remain the man that I've written, and 2. they will be together when the end of this stroy comes.

I have some of the next chapter written but I have no date for posting. Summer is here and I don't know when I will get a chance to finish. I'd love to just sit and write out the rest of the story. I just can't imagine that much free time.

I promise to reply to all of you very soon.

Urnie

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"A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a joke or worried to death by a frown on the right person's brow." C. Brower


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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:36 am 
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Urnie
It's good to see an update to this fic. everything seems to be working out for them - so I guess you're gonna spring some nasty surprise on us, huh?

BTW, I missed this somehow - just read it today. Did you note it in the update thread?

Looking forward to the next update.
Anne

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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 3:29 pm 
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:pinky please urnie update we are all on the edge of our seat waiting i will beg if that helps :pray just one tiny little update every now and then please :hmm


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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:57 pm 
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luv the story


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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 3:33 pm 
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So, over the past three or so days, I've read this entire series.

This Look of Love was absolutely adorable. Pathways & Patterns was beautifully written. You have great skill as a writer, you make everything real and alive.

As far as what's happened in this story so far, I wanted to tell you that I greatly appreciate how you've handled the character of Al. To be any form of genderqueer - transsexual, transgendered, or anything else of the sort, is very stressful, very painful, and oftentimes exceedingly confusing. I love that you've given him his dignity; it's something that he deserves, and something you don't often find. A lot of transsexual characters - in any sort of story - are treated as comic relief. "Oh my god, that chick's got a dick". "Ahahaha, are you wearing a skirt?" And things of that nature. So I really wanted to express my appreciation for the delicacy and respect you've treated his situation with, particularly having everyone continue to use male pronouns without question and *not* teasing him and joking about it - because some things really shouldn't be joked about, and I know from personal experience how much someone jokingly calling him "Alison" could destroy him.

On a technical note, I only have one issue with your storytelling style, and please understand that this is meant only to be constructive. I find your writing a tad choppy - you seem to have some slight difficulties with punctuation. Often I'll find a period where (I feel) there should be a comma, or a comma where there shouldn't be any punctuation at all, and it adds a certain element of awkwardness to what is otherwise a beautiful story with a solid flow to the storyline.

Again, I intend only to give you constructive criticism in an attempt to help your writing, because your command of the English language is fantastic, and you have quite an extensive vocabulary that you've been using wonderfully to express emotion and experience.

This story has made me laugh, moved me to tears, and given me so many bittersweet smiles of longing for the kind of love that Willow and Tara share... you've really done everyone justice, from the old characters that we know and love, to the new ones like beautiful little Patrick, whom my heart goes out to for all his suffering. Abbey is wonderful, she has such a quick mind and a deep compassion that is clearly displayed in the way she cares for Patrick - that special way that only a big sister can.

I can't wait for the next update, to find out what happens between Buffy and Al. Something tells me that their conversation isn't quite over yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:34 pm 
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I'm going to have to ditto Naeryn 's comments. I absolutely love this series. I hope you will find time to continue it one day.


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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:57 pm 
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Hello Readers of this fic. It has been a crazy amount of time since my last visit and an even longer time since my last update. Can it really be 3 years? I didn't lose interest so much as I lost ability to focus on this writing project. While I was away I have been painting, raising children and writing my first novella. Hopefully one day it will be on a bookshelf.

With regards to this particular fic I have this chapter that I never posted. The story seemed to fade and so did I. I'm going to post it with an apology. It is very cliffy. So read it at your own risk.


Naeryn - Thanks so much for your comments and for your criticism. I appreciate it very much. I've always had someone in the background helping me to edit. I know that as I write my use of punctuation is offensive. I can only say that I'm imperfect and I hope that helps. I'm too old to make excuses. I hope you enjoy this next bit and that the punctuation doesn't offend as much.

With regards to Al, there were a few kittens that offered the same insight to me. Al isn't a joke. His character came from a very serious place and my goal was to give Buffy complexity of character not just fight, slay and get laid. I honestly don't know if there will be more to this story but in my head it is really great.


na71684 - Thanks for the email. I appreciate it and hope this next bit satisifies.

As for the rest of you I know I promised replies but seriously it has been 3 years. Are any of you really still interested in this?



So here it is. After 3+ years...




Leap of Faith

Part 18


Morning came as it always did, but the house felt different to Tara. She was awake before the others and for the first time the silence didn’t frighten her. In the past, her response to a quiet house was panic. But today she was so alive with peace that all she could do was stretch her body and feel the warm rush through her.

Tara’s toes squeezed into the tangles of the throw rug. Her eyes drifted to her sleeping lover. Willow’s forehead was scrunched tight, and Tara could see the nightmares alive in her dreaming. She was certain that it was the conversation they’d had the night before. Willow was still lost in the darkness of her dreams and Tara was sure that they involved what she would always regret the most.

Talking to Al about the past had opened doors long closed and locked in Willow’s memories. Tara could say the words but Willow would always punish herself for making those choices; for putting magic first. Everyone they knew had made mistakes, but in the smallest spaces of Willow’s subconscious mind, she would always feel unworthy of forgiveness. Tara sighed. She moved her finger to pull the strand of hair from Willow’s face. “I wish I could give you what you are looking for in there.” She leaned across the bed to lay behind her wife.

Willow didn’t respond. Her body didn’t react to the touch and Tara closed her eyes to let their breathing come together. She felt the rise and fall of their bodies with each breath meditating until her consciousness met with her lover’s. In this silent darkness she felt a tightening in her chest, coldness against the palm of her hand. Tara pulled away when she heard the voice.

“Stay.”

Tara opened her eyes, seeing only the darkness. Was she a part of the dreaming? Tara spoke to the silence. “Where am I?”

“You are where you wanted to be,” the voice responded.

Tara shuddered. The sound did not come from her lover. “Why am I here?”

The voice was louder, laughing. “If I could answer that, I wouldn’t.”

The conversation felt like a game, a tug of war that Tara didn’t want to play. “Who are you?”

“I am that voice in the night. I am everything and I am nothing.”

Tara closed her eyes tighter, to focus on the sound. “Are you kidding me?” She tried to look around, but the darkness consumed everything. “Am I awake or am I dreaming?”

“You are both and you are neither.”

The voice was louder and Tara thought she could feel breath on the back of her neck. She reached to cover her bare skin, realizing she had no solid physical form. She felt a shadow hovering above her.

“Tell me, Tara, what do you want here?”

Tara felt a light touch on her shoulder. “Where is here?”

“Open your eyes and you’ll understand.” A bright light flashed.

Tara saw herself locked in the corner of the kitchen, her place from childhood. She watched as the small version of herself cried and shuddered with fear. She didn’t turn away. She witnessed the moment when she had decided to save herself. “I remember this.”

“Yes, you would, yes,” the voice encouraged her.

Tara watched as the light spun around her, turning the images forward to her life in Sunnydale. She watched her father confronting the gang in the Magic Box. She watched Spike punch her face and Willow’s gentle hand come up to comfort her. Tara watched it all replay as if seeing it on a television screen. “I remember all of this, but I don’t understand why I’m here.”

“You’re here because of her.”

Tara could see the bright red cloud. She watched color fill the darkness that held her. The shadows took form and spiraled around to wash the images.

A delicate voice broke the silence. “Stop!”

Tara could hear heavy breathing. She could feel the dank panting steam across her neck and shoulders, fear pimpled her skin. She turned and felt the stumble of dizziness.

“Stop!”

Tara could hear the voice, louder now. It was solid and hard against her. It was close but far enough away, that touching was impossible. It had form and witness and she felt the ice cold shiver of death. Red poured out around her feet, climbing the flesh of her legs. It was the only sensation she felt.

“Stop!”

There was breathing; in the swallow of darkness it was terrifying. Tara was paralyzed by the unknown, aware of every sensation but unable to move.

As Tara fought the trappings of her childhood, light flashed and the blackness sucked into a pinhole of white, growing larger until all that Tara could see was the blinding force of its motion. The change was so extreme she shielded her face and waited for what was to come. But it was nothing. All that she heard, all that she felt in that vast envelope of brightness, was nothing. It was a force she couldn’t remember, a fleeting motion that disappeared as quickly as it had come. It was so condensed that she would have missed it all had it not been for the complete serenity in the silence that remained. Tara cried out, “You’re so beautiful. Stay with me.”

Tara felt a trembling on her shoulder. It was the first sensation she could identify. Then her arms pinned against her body and she struggled to break free. She wanted the peace inside that brightness. She squirmed and clawed, wiggled and fought against the suffocating crush. It was bright and dark, and sweat from her forehead ran down to sting in her eyes. She gasped as the hold squeezed the breath from her.

“Stop!”

Tara closed her eyes. The voice echoed until she finally recognized the source. “Willow?” She could see the silhouette of red against the stark white.

“Honest to my heart.” The sound echoed in her ears. “You liar!”

Tara felt it turn. She could sense the haunting anger rising up. Then she understood. The sound of laughter shook through her body and she remembered. Over and over, the laughter filled her mind. She closed her eyes and fought to smother the sound. It was all she could feel and the suffocating began to break her. She felt the splitting pain sear through like a knife piercing to bone. It was then that she felt it. It pushed through her; the razor edge penetrated her abdomen. She looked down and saw the color red pouring into her hands. Her fingers curled and the warm liquid oozed through to spatter at her feet.

She looked for her attacker, but there was only the sickening echo of laughter.

“Will?”

Her eyes shot open.

“Willow?”

She sat up, her body cold with sweat, shaking wildly.

Tara touched her lover and Willow jumped from the bed. “Will?”

Willow pulled away and shuffled her body to the corner of the room, not fully awake, still lost in the confusion of dreaming. “Don’t touch me!” She held up her hands, defending herself from the unknown attacker.

Tara watched the woman she loved struggle toward consciousness. She tumbled off the bed and crawled to her. “Will, baby, it’s me.”

Willow pulled away and covered her face. She could still hear the laughter in her head and slapped her hands over her ears. Her body heaved with every ragged gasp for air. She trembled from the sensations and felt the sweat stick to her palms. Everything seemed caught in a twisted strand of confusion.

Tara’s hand hovered above Willow’s shoulder. She was afraid to touch her but thought that the simple act might bring her lover back. She could feel the heat of the cold sweat and the perforation of elements that rolled off of Willow’s skin. “Magic.”

Desperate eyes shot open as she looked up at Tara. “No, don’t touch me!”

Tara pulled back. “Will, talk to me. Tell me what’s happening?”

“Something’s inside of me.” Willow pushed farther away from her wife until she felt the cold paper on the wall scratch her skin.

“I know.”

Tears streamed down Willow’s cheeks. “I want it to stop.”

Tara nodded. “I know.”

Willow fell across her lover’s thighs, clenching with a pleading cry. “I can’t take anymore.”

Tara held her as she wept. Her hand hovered before dropping to caress the naked flesh of her wife’s back. “We’ll figure it out, Will, I promise.” She pulled the sheet from the bed and covered them.

Green eyes opened. “You know, don’t you?” She fought to take a breath. “You heard him, didn’t you?”

Tara nodded. “I could never forget that voice.”




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


“That was Mr. Giles.” Buffy closed her cell phone.

Al pulled a sleeveless t-shirt over his head. “He’s coming here?” He tucked the shirt into his pants and buttoned the fly of his jeans. Buffy watched his hands move over each button, ignoring his question. When she didn’t respond, Al looked up and caught her staring. He crossed his arms as he leaned against the wall with a satisfied grin. She looked up and smiled, never attempting to hide her interest.

“He’s what?”

Al stepped closer. “Is your Watcher coming to visit?” He picked up the sweatshirt from the bed and pulled it over his head.

“Oh, sorry. No. He just wanted to know what happened since he got a call from the Watcher’s council in the middle of the night.”

He put his arms around her waist and pulled their bodies together. “And you told him about what happened?”

Buffy ran her hands along his back before grasping the thick of his arms. “He wants me to go back to Sunnydale.”

“He does?” He pulled her tighter, breathing in the scent that was distinctly her own.

She nodded.

“When will you be leaving?”

She pushed back and looked into his eyes. “I told him I couldn’t go right now.”

Al leaned in to kiss her. She closed her eyes and let his lips meet her own. She couldn’t remember the last time she felt so wanted, so alive. She felt him pull away and looked up at his smile.

“What else?” He could sense that there was more.

“I told him about you, about us.” She waited for a reaction. Al smiled. “I told him that I wouldn’t come back to Sunnydale until you and I had time to figure this out.” She motioned her hand back and forth, each time placing it over their hearts. “I don’t want to think about leaving right now.”

“I don’t want to think about you being gone.” He held her hand until it was pressed flat against his chest. “Can you feel that, Buffy?”

She nodded.

“I’m so different right now and I need you to help me understand all of this.”

Her shoulders tensed. “Is that what you want from me? You want me to help you figure things out?”

“Yes, I want that and maybe more.” He waited for her to look at him. “If that’s what you want?” When their eyes met he knew she understood everything that he couldn’t explain.

“We should go talk to Will and Tara. They have a visit today. I’m sure the house is going to be intense.”

“Is the house ever not intense?”

Buffy shrugged and followed him to the door. “Sometimes…” He opened it and waited for her to pass through. She looked up, slamming the door shut.

“Oh shit.” She flipped her hands nervously and paced in circles. “Shit, Shit, Shit!”

Al pulled back the curtain on the window and looked outside.

Buffy slapped his hand. “Don’t look.” She flipped her hands again. “Shit!”

“Buffy, what the heck is going on?”

“Dawn.” She leaned to watch the girl climb the stairs of the farmhouse.

“It’s long past dawn, Buffy. What the heck?” He grabbed the handle and opened the door again.

She waited for her sister to enter the house. Buffy turned and planted a hard but quick kiss on Al’s lips before running from the cabin toward the Bennett House. Before Al could respond his girlfriend was on the porch and sneaking inside. He grabbed his hat from the rack and pushed it on his head. He knocked his boots on the top step before walking the opposite direction to the barn. “Dawn?” He rubbed his hat across his head.

He’d heard loud talking become yelling but didn’t dare investigate. It was twenty minutes later when he heard footsteps in the barn. He assumed it was Buffy and he smiled as he pitched a fork full of straw into the horse’s stall.

“You seem happy.”

He stabbed the fork to the ground, trying to place the voice. As suddenly as she appeared it all became clear. “Dawn?” He turned as he repeated her name. “You must be Dawn.”

She crossed her arms over her chest. “The one and only.”

He pulled off his glove and stretched a hand to her. “I’m Al.”

She shook it. “I figured as much. My sister said you’d be out here.”

He sensed an intense line of questions coming. “Did she?” He turned to continue working. “What else did she have to say?”

Dawn watched him work. “She said that I’d like you.”

He couldn’t hide the smile as he thought of Buffy. “And?”

She leaned against the fence. “I’m still deciding.” She squinted to get a better look. “She’s my only sister and I’m not going to let anyone mess with her. She’s made some really crappy choices in guys.” She stood tall and waited for a reaction.

“So you’re here to make sure I don’t break her heart?” He raised the arms of the wheelbarrow and pushed it to the next stall.

“Exactly!” She frowned as he ignored her baiting. She’d fought with her sister, trying to figure out what made it so easy for Buffy to leave Sunnydale. She felt abandoned by Willow and Tara and her sister wouldn’t share anything about this man in the barn.

“I guess I’ll just have to let you get at that then.” He went back to his work. He didn’t intend to ignore her but he focused on his job.

Dawn watched him. There was something, she didn’t know what it was, but there was something about this guy that made her wonder. “So, what are your intentions?”

He pitched a fork full of bedding against the wall of the stall. “Do you really expect me to answer that?” He dropped the tines of the pitchfork to the ground and leaned against the handle.

Feeling challenged Dawn answered sharply. “I do, actually, unless you have something to hide.”

He shrugged his shoulders and turned to hang the pitchfork on the wall. He hesitated before turning back to face her. “I understand that you love your sister, and that you need to make sure that she’s safe, but I’m not going to tell you anything that you wouldn’t hear from Buffy first.”

Dawn crossed her arms. She was frustrated. “Are you always like this?”

He walked toward the doors. “Like what?”

“An evasive jerk.” She smiled, certain that her harsh assessment would get him talking.

Al shook his head. “I can’t say that anyone has ever said that I was.”

“That doesn’t mean much to me.” She pushed her way past him and walked to the house. “I think you’re a jerk.”

“I’m glad you took the time to get to know me,” he murmured loud enough for her to hear.

Tara watched Dawn from the back porch. She could read Dawn’s sour expression and walked to meet her in the garden. “I heard you were here.” She smiled as Dawn looked up to greet her.

“Buffy said you’d be down.” She opened her arms to receive Tara’s tight hug. “I’ve missed you guys.”

Tara placed her hands on Dawn’s shoulders. “We’ve missed you too; the kids especially.”

Dawn’s eyes caught Al’s movement from the barn to the riding yard. Tara saw the tense look and questioned her. “What’s the look about?”

“What look?”

Tara stepped back, smiling as she asked again. “I saw you look at Al. What’s going on?”

“Nothing’s going on.”

“Dawn Summers, don’t you dare look me in the face and lie.”

“It’s not a lie. I just don’t like him.”

“Oh.” Tara gave a lop-sided smile. “You might want to give him a chance. He’s a very good guy.”

Dawn laughed as she followed Tara into the Kitchen. “He didn’t answer a single question that I asked him.”

Tara poured a cup of coffee. She added two spoons of sugar and a small dash of cream. She handed the mix to her adopted sister. “Maybe it’s because you asked the wrong questions.”

Dawn smiled as she took the cup from Tara. “Buffy didn’t tell me anything. She just said she’d met this nice guy and that I should get to know him. I’m her sister, she should tell me more.”

“So you went fishing?”

Dawn opened her mouth to answer, but was interrupted.

“I went fishing, but I didn’t catch anything we could eat.” Patrick smiled as he saw his aunt.

“Hey little man.” She set her cup down before she walked over to scoop the child from the floor. “Fishin’?”

“Yep, and then I went for a swim.”

Dawn felt the extra weight of his cast bury into her leg. “A swim?”

“It was an accident swim and Al had to get me out.” His eyes widened as he continued his story. “Then Aunt Buffy had to chase him down the river. It was scary.”

Dawn looked at Tara. “What?”

Tara walked closer and took the boy from Dawn’s arms. “Maybe we should let Aunt Buffy tell Aunt Dawn what happened.”

He leaned away from his mother, resting his hands on her shoulders. “Should I go get her?” He slid down to the floor and hopped out of the kitchen.

“Tara, what the hell is he talking about?”

Tara hid her nervousness by shuffling the teapot onto the counter. “It was an accident. It happened very fast and from what I can tell everyone is fine now.” She dropped the tea-leaves into the pot.

Dawn watched the steam rise as the water twirled the leaves around. She waited for more.

“Buffy was pretty freaked but I think her experience with drowning really helped,” Tara continued.

“Drowning.” Dawn covered her mouth as she gasped. “Did Patrick drown? Oh my God, and you didn’t call me right away?”

“It wasn’t Patty.” Buffy leaned against the trim around the kitchen doorway.

“If it wasn’t him, who?” Dawn stared at her sister. “Buffy?”

“Buffy, what?” Willow interrupted. “Hey, Dawnie.” She bumped into Buffy as she passed to hug the youngest Summers sister. She gave her a tight squeeze before turning to greet her wife. “Hi, baby.”

“How are you feeling?” Tara whispered. Her finger traced a strand of hair from Willow’s face. She could see the restlessness of their night in the dark shadows under Willow’s eyes.

Before Willow could answer Dawn was hugging her from behind. “Oh, God, Willow, are you alright?”

She frowned at Dawn. “Bad dream.”

“I guess that would happen if you nearly drowned.”

“Nearly what?” The three questioned simultaneously.

“Drowned. I thought because Tara asked, Willow, and...” Dawn stopped.

“Not me.” Willow held out a mug and Tara filled it with coffee. “Al, he’s the one that drowned. He’s the one that jumped in after Patrick.”

Dawn stared between Willow and Buffy. “That jerk, in the barn?” She hitched her thumb toward the door.

“Jerk?” She yelled. “That jerk is the reason Patrick is alive right now, so have a little respect.” Buffy pushed past her sister. “You know, you can be such a child sometimes.” Her palms slapped against the rib of the screen door as she shoved her way outside. She was furious and she knew her last words would dig into Dawn’s thin skin and her sister would follow her to the porch.

“Child?” The screen door pounded against the house. “Are you seriously calling me a child? I’m a goddamn adult, concerned about her sister who disappeared without calling home.” She mumbled under her breath, “stupid bullshit.”

“Which part is that?” Buffy turned to face her little sister.

“Which is what?” Dawn crossed her arms defensively.

“The bullshit, Dawn! Which part is the bullshit?”

“The bullshit is you and this guy and whatever else is happening to you that I’m not important enough to know about.”

“The thing is Dawn, you weren’t the first person I thought about when I met him. You didn’t cross my mind when I was figuring things out.” Buffy perched on the railing. “I was confused and it’s complicated and things happened faster than I could handle them and then he was dead and all I could think was not another person that I love.”

“Love?” Dawn’s arms fell away. “Love, Buffy?”

Buffy hadn’t meant to be so honest. She knew that everyone in the kitchen had heard and that anyone standing outside the building would too. But most importantly, she wasn’t sure if Al had heard. She looked toward the barn, waiting.

Dawn turned around to see where her sister’s attention had moved. “What, does he have super hearing? Oh, Christ, Buffy. He isn’t a Goddamn demon, is he?” She thought out loud. “He can’t be a vampire, he’s out during the day. So what have you fallen in love with now?”

Buffy watched as he stepped out from behind the barn. She watched his feet jack against the fence post, knocking the dirt from his boots. She swallowed hard, anticipating. She knew in that moment that he’d heard her. She knew by the look in his eyes that everything was perfectly clear. He nodded; tapping his hand to the rim of his hat, and with that simple gesture Buffy turned toward Dawn and shared what she’d been holding inside. “He isn’t a demon, or a vampire or anything like that.”

“So then tell me what the big secret is. Why won’t he talk about you and why won’t you talk about him?” She was yelling loud enough for everyone to hear.

“First off little sister…” She grabbed Dawn’s arm. “Stop yelling. I don’t really want to have this conversation with the entire farm.” Dawn tried to pull away but Buffy held tighter. “Second, don’t come here and force your way into my business. If and when you get any information about my private life, it’ll come from me.” She let go of her sister’s arm sending her into the chair behind them. Dawn tried to interrupt but Buffy held a hand to shush her. “And third, don’t you ever call him a jerk or anything else like it. You’re pissed at me; don’t take it out on him.”

Dawn crossed her arms. “You done yet?”

“Yep, that’s it for now.” Buffy leaned against the railing.

“Good, now you can shut up and let me talk.” She rubbed her arm. “This is gonna bruise you know.”

“Sorry.”

“Me too. I guess I just don’t understand what the hell is going on with you and I feel like everyone is gone.”

“You know why we came here.”

Dawn shook her head. “I know why they came here.” She pointed toward the house. “But you, it makes no sense to me that you’d just leave everything. It’s been months Buffy. The house is too big and too empty for just me. I hate it and I want you to come home.”

“I’m sorry Dawn, but I can’t do that.” She looked toward the riding yard.




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

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Urn of Osiris
"A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a joke or worried to death by a frown on the right person's brow." C. Brower


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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:04 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 4:50 pm
Posts: 98
Location: Colorado Springs, Co
I am SOOOO glad you made an update on this story! :party :pinky :party I just found it about a week ago and I was sad to see that it hadn't been updated in a long time. I remembered your first go at this story line, and I read them forever ago, but I didn't realize this one was here. I've fallen in love with your story. If you can find the time to keep it going, I'll be a very happy Sammy. :-D So... puh-leeeeease??? :pray :pray more, soon??

On a different note, I'm glad to "hear" that the past three years for you have been productive ;) I hear raising children is a fairly time consuming endeavor LOL. If you do end up get a book published, I hope you let us kitties know so we can go out and snatch it up! I absolutely love your writing style, and would love to see anything you write.

Take care, and I hope to see move of this story someday. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:58 am 
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Posts: 870
Location: Germany
Oh my God, I almost missed the update! I am so happy that you're back!
Dawn really needs to shut up and listen, nothing good comes from accusations and yelling. Sure, she feels abandoned but she shouldnt be so selfish. On the other hand, Buffy could hand out a few more details.
Update soon? I really wanna know what's going on with Willow! :smash

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 Post subject: Re: Leap of Faith
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:21 am 
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9. Gay Now
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote:
“I wish I could give you what you are looking for in there.”


I love this line! I can see that scene so clearly! Sweet but sad!

I adore the Buffy/Al dynamic! They are so cute together!

Quote:
“Is the house ever not intense?”


*chuckles heartily*

Quote:
“She leaned against the fence. “I’m still deciding.” She squinted to get a better look. “She’s my only sister and I’m not going to let anyone mess with her. She’s made some really crappy choices in guys.” She stood tall and waited for a reaction.”


Hehe, Dawn cracks me up! This is so true and I think true to character!!

Quote:
“An evasive jerk.” “I can’t say that anyone has ever said that I was.” “That doesn’t mean much to me.” She pushed her way past him and walked to the house. “I think you’re a jerk.”


Lmao! New status!

Quote:
“What, does he have super hearing? Oh, Christ, Buffy. He isn’t a Goddamn demon, is he?” She thought out loud. “He can’t be a vampire, he’s out during the day. So what have you fallen in love with now?”


LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

I loved the update, Urnie!!! Please do more!!!

You rock!!!

Love,
Rachy :love

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