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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Jan 28th 2020)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:59 am 
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5. Willowhand

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 334
I loved Tara's surprises for Willow! Yay for Buffy, Xander (and in a way also Anya although she claimed she just did it for Tara) showing Willow their love and support.

Quote:
For Willow, there wasn’t a single activity or event or happenstance that had occurred to them in the last year that was more exhilarating than this; to openly show the world and her world who she was and who she loved and just be embraced right back.


Several times tears filled her eyes but she just let them fall and dried them with laughter.

Aww! :flower :bigkiss That once again shows how far Willow has come from the beginning of their trip when she couldn't even think of herself being gay. I'm so happy for her!

I loved the whole nest of canon-eastereggs - Giles and Joyce having sex on the hood of a car, "stevedore", Willow's shovel-threat against Riley, the blown up school with the demise of Principal Snyder and the mayor (aka the "snake") plus this (a little hidden) one:
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“I know there’s still a lot to fight for. It's a good fight, Tara, and I want in.”


Quote:
“Are you wearing nipple clamps?”


“They’re sweater clips!” Willow screeched, closing her hand around the chain and holding it there for a moment until she calmed down.


Buffy held her hands up and Willow blushed profusely.


“Sorry. Just sick of people thinking that. Tara made them for me.”

:rofl I know that Shirrey already quoted that but it bears repeating.

Quote:
“You know people have been known to confuse these for nipple clamps…”


Tara arched an eyebrow, surprised.


“Really?”


Willow looked at Tara and gulped.


“Maybe we should put it to the test…”


Tara’s eyes darkened to the same degree as Willow.


A silent gulp said everything.

:drool (altough we learned later it didn't work for them)

Quote:
Tara quickly scooted into the middle seat.


“I can sit in the middle,” she called out, “Beside you both.”


Both Willow and Anya grudgingly got in either side of the backseat.

:laugh Tara so reminded me of a mother who sits in the middle seat to prevent her children from squabbling (my mom used to do this when my brother and I were little).

Quote:
Tara’s head dropped into her hands; regretting this already.


“We could have flown straight into Sunnydale from here,” she said quietly, almost to herself but Willow heard.


And shot her a sarcastic look.


“It would have cost hundreds of dollars.”

:lol Well Tara, that is so your fault! How on earth could you think it would be a good idea to force Willow to ride for hours in the same car as Anya just to spare some money?!

Quote:
“Oh and you know all about that,” Anya shot back with a derisive look across the car, “Xander told me about you looking at it!”


“No, I have not!” Willow recoiled in horror, then her face scrunched up, “Well, yes I have so, but… that was a long time ago. Do you think I'd do that again?”


Tara’s eyebrows shot up her face and Anya scowled.


“Why not?”


“Well, hello, gay now,” Willow returned petulantly, “AND I WAS FIVE!”

:rofl
I expect much more fights between Willow and Anya in the future especially if Tara really chooses Anya as her roommate as you indicated in some replies to comments. Maybe Tara should reconsider this, I fear Willow might get high blood pressure or even ulcers if she'll have to constantly "share" Tara with Anya of all people and being forced to constantly keep these two from squabbling couldn't be much fun for Tara either...


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Jan 28th 2020)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:25 pm 
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20. Not one Much for the Timber
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Laragh,

So, one last big adventure in Columbia with no major disasters...phew! I kinda though someone was going overboard at the first mention of river rapids but was thankful the high point was a sloth rescue, rather than a Willow or Tara rescue. Actually, the high point was the shower scene... :wtkiss Nicely done and the guys they passed on the way out...what a couple of dorks, lol.

I have to say, I enjoyed their time in Tijuana, a lot more that I enjoyed my time down there. Not the greatest place on earth. Your version sounds A LOT NICER. Anyway, I knew Tara was up to something and was as surprised as Willow at the outcome. How wonderful for Willow and everyone to be able to share Pride together. I was also super impressed with how well Willow handled her initial disappointment with, not only the destination, but the room as well. An earlier Willow would have been the definition of a pouting "petulant child." As for Willow and Anya, I was thinking oil and water, but it's more like diet Coke and Mentos...sheesh!

Overall, I think my favorite part was their mini sex talk after the "nipple clamp" debacle. I love, love, love they are finally comfortable enough to, not only try something new, but be able to talk about it as well. They are finally a true couple in every sense. No more walking on eggshells, no more jumping to conclusions and no more awkwardness. Even though they've been "Willow and Tara" for 15 years, they are now well and truly Willow and Tara.

-JMT

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Jan 28th 2020)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:30 am 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
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I have to say, the working of Willow and Anya's Triangle argument into Tijuana was even more clever and as adroit as the Willowhand reference in Iceland. (and reinforces me decision that, when I update "Kind Hearts And Crossbows" as an entry in Snapshots: a Love Story (available down the page :-)!) I will leave off the first chapter, in which the post-dinner-drinks conversation of Xander, Anya, Cordelia, and Dawn touches on Willow's "deeper preferences," mainly because I'm tired of it myself from other boards but also because of the readership here. I do lose Anya's joke about talking cats, alas. I do hope your versions of Willow and Anya end up close.

I like the symbolic aspect of this tie-up, making their found family part of their adventure; it fits with my belief that, unlike most groups of high school friends, this bunch will always need each other.

Harking back to earlier chapters, obviously I have no need of Gay Twitter, although it got me to thinking for the first time (because it wasn't part of my reasons for following them in the first and second places) about LGBTQ persons and sites on my own feed. Some of my personal cyber-friends are, but in terms of celebrities I follow Iyari Limon (who seldom uses it,) and Tom Lenk and Chely Wright, who are both quite active in their very different ways.

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Snapshots:http://thekittenboard.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=10210 a Love Story
____________________________________________________________
Kim: (breaks off the kissing) I l... (Sue stops her with a hand)
Sue: We don't talk about things like that right after, you know that, no saying those things in The Moment.
Kim: (moves the hand aside) Screw The Moment. I *love* you.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Jan 28th 2020)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:00 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:22 pm
Posts: 4354
Topics: 37
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shirrey

Quote:
D'AWWWWWW!! I will miss this story when it's over- but what a beautiful journey they have both been on!


I will too! I'll just have to revisit them someday to get my fix...

Quote:
I was right there with Willow- not Merida or Mexico City or Mazatlan??? To me, TJ is a place you drive to when you are looking for trouble (and are usually too young to know how to handle)- BUT what a perfect reason to choose Tijuana, and that made it possible for the gang to come !! Good thing Willow wasn't TOO tetchy (and that Tara is patient) Tara getting them a room was the sweetest.


I kinda had Willow say 'last stop' so it opened the possibility that they went to one of the places you mentioned before stopping off at TJ, because I too would have liked them to see something a bit more 'authentic'!

Of course, Tara's reasons were clear so I hope even if they didn't see anywhere else, it was enough for Willow (and hey, they can always come back on vacation later!)

Quote:
Yay Scoobys!! those are good friends


They are! Even more so when everyone is real with each other.

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:laugh :laugh um, Anya, of course he was


That poor guy probably got some really awful bullying in school!

Quote:
Loved all the easter eggs- but sad that Joyce and Giles didn't make it


This was actually probably the most back and forth I've gone internally about ANY couple in this verse about whether to have them make it or not. Someone else mentioned they really liked them together and I really tried to see if I could make it work but there's some stuff in the last chapter (below) that sort of needed it to be this way. Also a big thing for me is I heard Kristine Sutherland speak at a convention once about how the Joyce/Giles thing was a red herring and wasn't really a real thing and since I don't really know much about their 'whatever' I sort of defaulted to her opinion on the whole thing. But both of them are happy, if that's any consolation!

Quote:
see, Buffy went there too!!

and....well..... yeah, fair.


:laugh at least you own it :D

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You put so much in this- its sweet and silly and naughty and endearing- delightful!


Thanks so much! I wanted their last hurrah to be a good one.

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Chilaquiles are so yummy!!


Agreed!

Quote:
this is big for Tara - she barely knew them in the beginning and now they are family- I love that the separate circles joined and integrated, that Tara is fully a part of Willow (and vice versa of course)


It's huge for Tara, especially that she was able to form these bonds when she wasn't even in Sunnydale with them. But through video chats and pictures sent back and forth and just being such an integral part of Willow's life made that connection form. And it will continue to grow too! (I'm a big fan of the Tara/Buffy friendship)

Thanks for your feedback!

Will's redemption

Quote:
I loved Tara's surprises for Willow! Yay for Buffy, Xander (and in a way also Anya although she claimed she just did it for Tara) showing Willow their love and support.


I think Anya was open until she got no gift from Willow :laugh

Quote:
Aww! :flower :bigkiss That once again shows how far Willow has come from the beginning of their trip when she couldn't even think of herself being gay. I'm so happy for her!


She's come SO FAR! :D It's so freeing to be able to write her like this.

Quote:
I loved the whole nest of canon-eastereggs - Giles and Joyce having sex on the hood of a car, "stevedore", Willow's shovel-threat against Riley, the blown up school with the demise of Principal Snyder and the mayor (aka the "snake") plus this (a little hidden) one:


When you put the Scoobies back together it is rife for little references!

Quote:
:rofl I know that Shirrey already quoted that but it bears repeating.


Poor Willow will be looking out for any strange looks anytime she wears them :rofl

Quote:
:drool (altough we learned later it didn't work for them)


Worth the try...

Quote:
:laugh Tara so reminded me of a mother who sits in the middle seat to prevent her children from squabbling (my mom used to do this when my brother and I were little).


:laugh :laugh That's exactly what she is. She'll definitely be a ringleader between them.

Quote:
:lol Well Tara, that is so your fault! How on earth could you think it would be a good idea to force Willow to ride for hours in the same car as Anya just to spare some money?!


She didn't do it to spare money, in fairness to her. Willow said “It would have cost hundreds of dollars” because it's exactly what Tara said to her at the very start of the trip when Willow bemoaned getting a bus to Los Angeles instead of flying there. Tara thought it would be less of an emotional anti-climax to end their journey this way and was genuinely trying to do a nice thing.

Quote:
:rofl
I expect much more fights between Willow and Anya in the future especially if Tara really chooses Anya as her roommate as you indicated in some replies to comments. Maybe Tara should reconsider this, I fear Willow might get high blood pressure or even ulcers if she'll have to constantly "share" Tara with Anya of all people and being forced to constantly keep these two from squabbling couldn't be much fun for Tara either...


The way I see it playing out, 'choose' is a strong word for how they end up roommates! And while I could see high blood pressure or ulcers if forced into too much contact, I also see some opportunity to find some commonality in their love for Tara. But we'll see, nothing is written yet, sometimes these things take on a life of their own when you finally put pen to paper!

Thanks so much for your feedback!

Finey_McFine

Quote:
So, one last big adventure in Columbia with no major disasters...phew!


I told you I'd give 'em a break!

Quote:
I kinda though someone was going overboard at the first mention of river rapids but was thankful the high point was a sloth rescue, rather than a Willow or Tara rescue.


Those poor girls deserved to be on the other end of a rescue mission!

Quote:
Actually, the high point was the shower scene... :wtkiss Nicely done


I bow to you with thanks.

Quote:
and the guys they passed on the way out...what a couple of dorks, lol.


Gotta save those penguins, man.

Quote:
I have to say, I enjoyed their time in Tijuana, a lot more that I enjoyed my time down there. Not the greatest place on earth. Your version sounds A LOT NICER.


Yes, I had to...how shall I say...pretty up my description of events based on the research I did :laugh Originally they were going to end in Vancouver Pride but that just didn't make sense with the finished timeline or the logistics of getting the gang there easily.

Quote:
Anyway, I knew Tara was up to something and was as surprised as Willow at the outcome. How wonderful for Willow and everyone to be able to share Pride together.


It was the culmination of a lot of journeys and I think something Willow will carry in the future if she ever faces homophobia (as we all do)

I was also super impressed with how well Willow handled her initial disappointment with, not only the destination, but the room as well. An earlier Willow would have been the definition of a pouting "petulant child."

Quote:
As for Willow and Anya, I was thinking oil and water, but it's more like diet Coke and Mentos...sheesh!


I LOVE this description :rofl :rofl So accurate. On the show, Willow and Anya's bickering relationship was because of Xander but I think it's much more fun to have them fighting over Tara. I think she's better able to mediate between them too (see Xander hiding behind Tara in 'Triangle' vs Tara being all 'y'all need to talk and sort your shit out') so I think she can grow them to a place of not being pals as such, but for their bickering not to tumble into full blown fights. Admittedly, I enjoy having their relationship be one they take shots off each other. I think they get to a place where it's like 'yeah I can call her an asshole but no else better say it'! An understanding that they hate each other but love Tara and there's some grudging respect for that.

Quote:
Overall, I think my favorite part was their mini sex talk after the "nipple clamp" debacle. I love, love, love they are finally comfortable enough to, not only try something new, but be able to talk about it as well. They are finally a true couple in every sense. No more walking on eggshells, no more jumping to conclusions and no more awkwardness. Even though they've been "Willow and Tara" for 15 years, they are now well and truly Willow and Tara.


Yes, yes, yes ImageImageImage

And what an important transition. That is a whole hell of a lot of history they've had to try and cohesively work into moving forward as a a true twosome and I think you're 100% right that little moments like that are indicative of how far they've come.

Thank you so much for your feedback!

DaddyCatALSO

Quote:
I have to say, the working of Willow and Anya's Triangle argument into Tijuana was even more clever and as adroit as the Willowhand reference in Iceland. (and reinforces me decision that, when I update "Kind Hearts And Crossbows" as an entry in Snapshots: a Love Story (available down the page :-)!) I will leave off the first chapter, in which the post-dinner-drinks conversation of Xander, Anya, Cordelia, and Dawn touches on Willow's "deeper preferences," mainly because I'm tired of it myself from other boards but also because of the readership here. I do lose Anya's joke about talking cats, alas. I do hope your versions of Willow and Anya end up close.


I guess it depends what you mean by 'close'. I can definitely see some grudging respect growing.

Quote:
I like the symbolic aspect of this tie-up, making their found family part of their adventure; it fits with my belief that, unlike most groups of high school friends, this bunch will always need each other.


It's the core of the scooby-age, even if my world is quite a different world to the show.

Quote:
Harking back to earlier chapters, obviously I have no need of Gay Twitter, although it got me to thinking for the first time (because it wasn't part of my reasons for following them in the first and second places) about LGBTQ persons and sites on my own feed. Some of my personal cyber-friends are, but in terms of celebrities I follow Iyari Limon (who seldom uses it,) and Tom Lenk and Chely Wright, who are both quite active in their very different ways.


I love Chely! Her twitter is great.

Thanks for your comment!



Update Directly Below

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Jan 28th 2020)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:00 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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CHAPTER RATING: PG-13

NOTE: The last chapter to this fic and this journey — but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more journeys to come :) There will be an epilogue up on Tuesday to bring this piece to a close!

Chapter 52



Sunnydale



Home Is Where I'm Alone With You



“Okay, that is it. I am trading my car in for one that isn't entirely made of rust.”


Willow stared so hard at Xander her eyes almost bugged clean out of her head.


“I’m so glad you had this realization WHILE WE’RE STRANDED ON THE SIDE OF AN ABANDONED ROAD.”


“Hey, it got us to Mexico, I thought we were solid getting back!” Xander defended, watching the last tendrils of steam rise from both the engine and Willow’s ears, “What happened to ‘wonderful Xander’?”


Willow’s jaw clenched.


“He stranded us dozens of miles from home in hundred-degree weather!”


Xander threw his hands up.


“Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot my secret identity was Zeus and I can control the weather! Let me call up my daughter Wonder Woman and she can give us a ride on her invisible plane!”


Willow shook her head aggressively.


“Just call Triple-A.”


Xander looked away sheepishly.


“I don’t have Triple-A.”


“I do,” Tara offered, shyly raising her hand, “I’m still on my mom’s policy. I think.”


Willow spun around to Tara, eyes hopeful.


“Your mom,” she pleaded, clasping her hands together, “Can we call your mom? She’ll come collect us, right? We’re only about 30 miles outside Sunnydale.”


“I’m not leaving my car,” Xander called over.


“Well, then you can wait for Triple-A!” Willow snapped back.


“Don’t talk to my boyfriend like that!” Anya screeched.


“Great trip, guys,” Buffy muttered as she went back to go sit in the passenger seat of the broken down car.


“Okay, everybody take a breath,” Tara advised, stepping up between everyone, “My mom will collect us, I’m sure. And my brother can tow the car.”


Willow arched an eyebrow.


“You’re gonna call Donny?”


“I’m going to call my mom,” Tara clarified calmly, “She can ask him. I…I think he’ll want to help.”


There were various grumbles and Tara wiped the sweat off her brow.


“Everyone just stay in the car with the doors open and drink some water maybe?”


More grumbling followed but everyone complied and moved back into the car.


Tara leaned back against it but the hot metal burned her arm so she was quick to jump away again. She took out her phone and paced up and down until she found a bar of signal and quickly called her mom before she lost it.


“Momma?” she smiled, despite everything happening at that moment. It was nice to hear her mom’s voice, “Hi. Yeah, hi. I know. Yeah. Yeah, we’re…uh-huh. Well, really soon I hope. Um…there’s been a little situation.”


A few minutes later she hung up and returned to the car.


“Help is on the way.”


There was a chorus of relieved sounds and Willow stepped out of the car.


“You’re sweating, sit in.”


Tara started to hold her hand up but Willow looked insistent. Tara sat and then gently pulled Willow into her lap so they both had some shade.


“I’m sorry,” Tara whispered into Willow’s ear, “I thought having a road trip with your friends would be a nice way to end everything.”


“It was nice up until now,” Willow replied reassuringly, though started to frown, “Except for Xander’s music choices. And Anya’s snack choices.”


Tara squeezed Willow’s middle.


“We’ve smelled worse than some hard-boiled eggs.”


“I note you said nothing of Xander’s music,” Willow replied, her frown turning into a grin.


“Some things are indefensible,” Tara murmured and they both giggled.


“You guys really have no idea of how loud you are,” Xander shot back from the front seat.


“We learned that last night,” Buffy quipped, leaning her head on her palm.


Willow and Tara blushed but shared a smile.


A little more than a half-hour or so later — when the sweat dripping onto the floor was fit to fill a swimming pool — a red Volvo pulled up behind them with a Ford truck trundling ahead. It stopped in front of Xander’s car.


Willow stood and allowed Tara up to walk over to the Volvo. Kimberly exited the car and ran toward them.


“My darling,” Kimberly said, fighting back tears as she squeezed Tara with all she was worth, “Oh, I’ve missed you so much.”


Tara let herself be hugged and kissed to death. She hadn’t realized how much she’d missed her mother’s hugs.


“Hi Mom,” she said softly, pulling back a tad and raising her hand when her brother came over with tow ropes, “Hi…hi Donny.”


“Hey little sis,” Donny greeted with a reserved tone as he nodded toward Xander’s car, “This it?”


He didn’t actually need to be told so marched ahead and started to strap it up, ready to attach the dolly. Willow wandered over and waved.


“Hi, Ms. Maclay.”


Kimberly’s face looked between them and softened. She pulled Willow into a hug.


“Hello Willow,” she greeted warmly, “Oh, it’s so good to see you both.”


“Thanks for saving us,” Willow said, wiping her brow again.


Kimberly put her hands on her hips in ‘mom’ mode.


“You’re lucky that this happened so close and this side of the border.”


“We were only driving for a few minutes before even reaching the border,” Tara replied, shaking her head softly, “That would have been very unlucky.”


“Even for this heap of junk,” Willow blew out a breath and nodded toward the Volvo “Glad to see this one seems to be in much better working order.”


“All ready to be returned to its rightful owner,” Kimberly replied, squeezing Willow’s shoulder for a moment, “Donny’s fixed up the old one so it will do for another few years, so don’t you worry.”


She winked and Willow shrugged.


“I hadn’t even thought about it, honestly,” she said genuinely.


Her parents guilty, albeit generous, graduation gift hadn't entered her mind once while they were away. Tara had had to remind her of it, in fact. She looked at it and felt no desire to suddenly drive away in it. She still missed that hot pink Vespa from Rome…


Kimberly hugged them both again, then gestured forward to the rest of the group.


“Let’s get you all home.”


Xander had been watching Donny, hoping he could learn something that meant he wouldn’t actually have to shell out for a new car, but quickly ran to the Volvo as Kimberly opened it up again.


“Sweet, sweet A/C.”


Willow looked down at Donny suspiciously.


“What’s in it for you? She promise you something?”


Donny continued working.


“I just wanted to help,” he said sincerely, then looked up at Willow, shielding his eyes from the sun with a hand, “I’ve changed. I’ve gone through the program.”


Willow scoffed.


“Excuse me if I don’t believe fifteen years of harassment is wiped out in a few steps.”


“Willow,” Tara warned as she approached them.


“It’s okay,” Donny replied, lifting himself up to his full height and holding his dirty hands away from them, “When it’s the right time, if you’re okay with it, I’d like to make amends. To you both.”


Willow eyed him up and down and Tara gently pulled on her sleeve.


“We’ll see you later,” she said to Donny, “Thanks for helping out.”


Donny just nodded and got down on his knees again.


Everyone piled into the Volvo and Xander got kicked out to ride with Donny when there wasn’t enough room to fit everyone.


“Oh, stop crying,” Anya snapped while he stared in the window at them, “I'll stay with you but you better take off your shirt and help him work on that car!”


Xander complied quickly, thinking it would help with the heat to be shirtless anyway, but found himself blushing under the carful of women’s alarmed gazes. He covered his nipples with his hands and kneeled down beside Donny, who tried desperately to keep his head down and not look at whatever else was going on.


Willow and Tara appreciated the extra room in the back and the cool blow of air to dry the sweat on their brows.


“Nothing like that California sun,” Willow said as she took Tara's hand between the seats.


“It's good to be home,” Tara whispered back with a wry smile.


“It's good,” Willow answered, squeezing Tara's hand.


The drive back to Sunnydale consisted mostly of Kimberly repeatedly gushing about how good it was to see them. They dropped Buffy at her house with promises to come by later to see Dawn and Mrs. Summers and turned the corner back onto their street.


It was a bit surreal driving up again, seeing how much everything had stayed the same when they themselves felt so different.


“I haven’t seen your parents’ cars in the driveway in a few days,” Kimberly said cautiously as she drove into the garage.


“They don’t get home until this afternoon,” Willow replied easily, “They offered to be here but they would have had to give up the whole trip and Dad has wanted to lecture at Stanford since forever. It’s okay, I don’t mind. Really. They would have given it up if I asked.”


She smiled at Tara, who squeezed her hand.


Kimberly turned off the car and smiled into the backseat.


“Well, just as well I prepared a welcome home lunch for you both.”


Willow’s eyes lit up and Tara felt a familiar comforting feeling settle in her stomach at the thought of her mother’s cooking.


When they went inside, the dining room was laid out with all of their favorites growing up; mac’n’cheese, chicken potpie, Italian stuffed shells, meatballs; even Willow’s favorite, pigs in blankets.


“My sneaky treat!” she exclaimed happily.


“I’m not sure I know what you’re talking about Willow,” Kimberly replied with a low tone and an almost imperceptible wink, “I would never have given you food your parents didn’t approve of.”


Willow grinned and popped one in her mouth.


“I’m an adult now,” she said with her mouth full, slightly undermining what she was saying.


“Sit down, girls, dig in,” Kimberly encouraged, “I made sweet tea and Tara, of course, I have cherry soda.”


She poured their drinks and generally fussed over them until they insisted she sit with them.


“Tell me what I’ve missed,” Tara said as she dished out way more than she could ever eat on her plate, “How’s work, Mom? Are you still going out in the evenings?”


“Oh, I’m a social butterfly these days,” Kimberly laughed self-deprecatingly but with a twinkle in her eye, “Joyce is a bad influence…maybe a good one depending on your perspective. Though she hasn’t been out as much lately with these headaches. I keep telling her she needs to see a doctor, even if it is stress. I’m fit to drag her there myself.”


“She’s uh, kinda stubborn,” Willow nodded, then placed her napkin on her plate for a moment, “Excuse me, I haven’t peed since Mexico!”


The Maclay women smiled as she left and Kimberly refreshed their glasses.


“You know, I don’t think I’ve ever had a best friend before,” she mused with a sigh, “She’s going to burn out. It’s frustrating to see someone you care about not take care of themselves.”


Tara nodded.


“I get that,” she said slowly, “People have to want to help themselves, but…maybe you do need to drag her. Before she collapses or something.”


Kimberly looked concerned and then nodded.


“Yes, you’re right,” she smiled softly, “Young and wise.”


Tara held her hands up.


“Unless you also want to kiss her it’s about the extent of my advice on best friends.”


Kimberly grinned and shook her head wryly. Willow returned and Kimberly disappeared for a moment, returning with a square dish.


“I heard that someone requested peach cobbler…”


Willow clapped her hands excitedly.


“Nothing like being held at knifepoint to make you crave some home comforts!”


Kimberly’s eyes widened in shock.


“You were held at knifepoint?!”


Willow grimaced.


“Whoopsie,” she said, slipping her hands under the dish to take it, then avoiding Tara’s stare as she brought it to the table, “Don’t want the goods to get damaged in any shock-induced dropping!”


She grabbed her spoon and started eating straight from the dish.


Tara stood and cleared her throat.


“It’s been a year, mom. A lot has happened. You would have just worried.”


“I worried after the earthquake!” Kimberly said, throwing her hands up.


“Exactly,” Tara replied softly and gestured with her hands in much the same way as her mother while sighing, “I didn't tell you about our clothes getting stolen or the guy I had to punch or the time Willow had her watch pickpocketed.”


“It was my Apple watch with the cool band Tara made for me,” Willow said sadly, “I miss it.”


“I’ll make you another one,” Tara promised, making Willow smile.


Tara took both of her mother’s hands.


“We’re home. We’re safe. Everything is good.”


Kimberly’s eyebrows were near her hairline.


“You punched a guy?”


“He was a creep,” Willow said from her seat, “And she was a badass.”


Tara offered a little smirk in Willow’s direction.


Kimberly exhaled a long breath and shook her head.


“I think I’m going to get a cup of tea.”


Once she was gone, Tara retook her seat, scrunched up her napkin and threw it across the table at Willow.


Willow avoided it and mouthed ‘sorry’.


Kimberly returned with her tea and didn’t seem to be quite as tense in her shoulders.


“This is really good peach cobbler, Ms. Maclay,” Willow said, smiling sheepishly, “Guess I should…share it.”


She reluctantly pushed it to the center of the table.


“I’ll get more spoons,” she offered, walking around the table and putting her hands on Tara’s shoulders to squeeze them, “Do you want anything?”


Tara looked up and shook her head. Willow leaned down and gave her an upside-down kiss before moving off and out toward the kitchen.


Kimberly raised a discreet eyebrow as she took a sip from her tea.


“She’s…affectionate.”


Tara traced circles on her plate with her finger.


“Does that make you uncomfortable?”


Kimberly chuckled once.


“No sweetheart,” she said, reaching across to squeeze Tara’s arm, “It makes me happy.”


Tara smiled softly, relieved.


“When do I get to meet the famous Jeff?” she asked, “Things are still on with him, right?”


“Yes,” Kimberly smiled in a new way, “Things are still…going.”


Tara nodded to herself.


“That makes me happy too,” she smiled softly, “And I was, um…sorry to hear about Mrs. Summers and this Mr. Giles not staying together.”


“Oh Rupert, what a lovely man,” Kimberly put a hand against her heart, “But neither he nor Joyce regretted their relationship ending. It was a fling. I was sorry to see him leave though and I’m thrilled he’s coming back.”


“He’s coming back?” Tara asked with an arched eyebrow.


“Oh yes,” Kimberly replied, placing her hand on Tara’s arm, “Oh, it’s very exciting. He’s coming back with an old flame of his, Olivia, and he’s going into a partnership with Jeff on The Magic Box. After his father died, Jeff wasn’t sure he could manage it alone and I happened to still be in contact with Rupert and it all came together one night we were chatting.”


Tara’s jaw dropped.


“M-Mr. Bogarty died?”


Kimberly frowned and squeezed Tara’s arm where she was touching it.


“We do have a lot to catch you up about.”


“Like the school blowing up and the principal and the mayor being killed?” Tara asked pointedly, “I-I know nobody seemed to like them but…they died. That’s a big deal.”


Kimberly returned the same look back.


“It’s been a year, Tara. A lot has happened. You would have just worried.”


Kimberly stuck out her tongue and Tara rolled her eyes. Kimberly smiled fondly. She scooted around and hugged her daughter.


“My girl.”


She kissed the side of her head and hugged her again.


Willow walked back in with the spoons and stopped short when she saw the embrace.


“Oops. Sorry.”


Kimberly opened one arm.


“Come get in on this. You know you’re family.”


Willow beamed and hurried over for the hug.


“We really did miss you, Ms. M.”


Kimberly looked at Willow with a playful challenge.


“Not just my peach cobbler?”


Willow held three fingers up.


“Just 20% peach cobbler, scout’s honor.”


Kimberly kissed both of their heads and moved back in her seat. Willow leaned to grab the spoons again and whispered almost inaudibly in Tara’s ear as she retreated.


“This hand motion should be called lesbian’s honor.”


Tara choked on her sip of cherry soda and Kimberly handed her a napkin.


“Are you alright darling?”


“Fine,” Tara cleared her throat and wiped her mouth.


Willow winked devilishly as she sat back opposite Tara.


After finishing dessert, Kimberly insisted on doing the dishes and shooed them out when they tried to clear even a single plate.


Tara brought her bags in from the car and put them on the floor near the door of the living room. She sat on the couch and waited for Willow to do the same.


Tara caught Willow’s eye when she came in and patted the spot on the couch beside her. She grinned sideways and Willow ended up tripping over herself trying to get there.


She blushed as she sat in beside Tara.


“That crooked smile of yours,” she said helplessly, “It knocks me off my feet.”


“Cosmic payback,” Tara said, poking Willow’s chest, “For that naughty comment you made right in front of my mother. Maybe you won’t feel my ‘honor’ for a while.”


Willow slowly pushed her face into Tara’s.


“You love me being naughty.”


She stole a kiss and fell back down onto the couch.


“Still can’t believe we’re home…back…here.”


Tara took Willow’s legs in her lap and rubbed them through her pants.


“It’s going to take a minute. It’s okay to feel weird.”


Willow grinned.


“What?” Tara asked, amused.


Willow shrugged one shoulder.


“I just remember you said that after we…” she trailed off and craned her head to make sure Kimberly wasn’t in the hallway, “The first time.”


“I did,” Tara nodded, “I meant it. I mean it now too.”


Willow smiled and reached out for Tara’s hand, holding it loosely between them as they acclimated back to the room where they had met and had journeyed so far to come back to.


“Get to sleep in our own beds tonight.”


“We do,” Tara replied softly.


Willow dropped her head back against the couch again and just shuffled a bit closer.


After a while of them just enjoying each other’s cuddles, Kimberly’s head popped through the door.


“Willow? Your parents are home.”


Willow looked back at Kimberly.


“Oh,” she said, swallowing once, “Right.”


She stood and bit the corner of her lip nervously.


“Guess that’s my cue.”


There was an awkward lull until Tara stood up too, nervously rolling her hands around each other.


“D-Do you need help carrying your stuff?”


“Yes!” Willow said too excitedly and cleared her throat, “Yes, I mean, yes, thank you, that would be great. I have a, a shoulder thing.”


She grabbed her shoulder and mocked pain.


“The thing between a hitch and a kink,” Tara supplied.


“With a side of a twinge,” Willow nodded quickly, “That’s the one.”


“I’ve got you,” Tara smiled softly and hoisted Willow’s bag up onto her back.


She nodded once and Willow exhaled slowly before walking ahead of her. Kimberly was waiting at the door and Willow stopped to hug her.


“Thank you for everything.”


“You are so welcome my dear,” Kimberly hugged back, “I’ll see you soon, I’m sure.”


Willow nodded and continued out the door. Her parents' cars were in the driveway now and Willow could see the front door was open. Sure enough, after a moment, her father’s head popped out and his face lit up when he saw her. He waved over, the most demonstrative she’d ever seen him.


“Willow, darling!” he called and Willow felt some of her nerves float away.


She hurried over and accepted the embrace she was immediately offered.


“Bubelah,” Ira hugged her tight and swung her around a bit like he had when she was a child, making Willow laugh.


She stepped in and Sheila looked at her for a moment. Willow looked back until finally Sheila strode over and hugged her.


“It is good to see you, Willow, dear. It’s been a long time.”


There was still a coldness there, or maybe more accurately a disparity between her words and the emotions she was willing to show. But Willow could see now that it wasn’t the hate she had interpreted for so much of her adolescence. She didn’t know what it was, but it wasn’t going to be helped by her showing animosity back.


It made her sad to wonder what was broken in her mother and she embraced her back warmly, hoping to pass some of the emotional weight off. It was a lot to ask of a hug, but it was a step and as Willow had well learned, every journey starts with a single step.


“Hello Tara,” Ira greeted with a cordial nod and friendly smile when he saw her just standing in the doorway.


“Just being a lackey,” Tara explained, feeling out of place during this family reunion, “She has a hitch-kink-twinge.”


“Oh?” Ira looked over to Willow with concern.


“It’ll go away,” Willow dismissed quickly and shared a secret smile with Tara, “Probably just needs to be rubbed out.”


Tara returned it with a ducked head to hide it, then moved to step past them all.


“I’ll, um, just bring this to your room.”


She hurried up to Willow’s room and dropped her bag on the floor. She looked around and sighed softly.


This room had seen a lot.


She went to the bed and picked up the poop emoji pillow she’d bought for Willow the summer where everything changed between them and held it to her chest.


Not wanting to be in the way downstairs again, she just stood by the window and looked across to her own bedroom window, which she hadn’t even been up to yet.


After a few minutes, there were footsteps outside and Willow appeared in the doorway with a smile.


“Snuck away.”


Tara couldn’t help herself still being happy to see her.


“I can't keep hogging you. I've had you for a year.”


Willow held her hand out and gave Tara a small wink.


“Five more minutes.”


Tara just couldn’t resist.


She took Willow’s hand and they sat on the floor alongside the bed. Willow rubbed her fingers against the soft pillow.


“It suits you better. You're the 'poofect' one.”


Tara just shook her head.


“Willow, I gave this to you because I knew you couldn't see yourself the way I saw you. I hoped it might…make you see. That when you put you down, you put my opinion down. My opinion of you. I hoped that had changed.”


Willow took a second and blinked heavily as she took the pillow in her hands.


“You literally gave a shit,” she said in an echoing tone, “I just didn't see it. But I do now. I see you. And I see me.”


They were quiet for a moment as Willow traced shapes in Tara’s palm then looked up to her face.


“I still feel like there’s so much to say.”


Tara nodded that she understood.


“I’ll still be here. Across the street. Like I always have been. Forever,” she said with a feet-knocking crooked smile, “If that doesn’t scare you.”


Willow just laughed quietly.


“It’s not difficult to imagine forever with you, Tara. My entire forever has been…with you. Even before I fully embraced everything…I knew my life would always have you in it.”


She swallowed a lump.


“I just didn’t know you would be what makes it complete,” she looked up again with shining eyes, “That you make me complete.”


Tara felt a rush of clarity in her mind and held Willow’s hand tighter.


“Two years ago I started writing a song for you. I've started writing a lot of songs for you,” she admitted with a shy smile, “But this started the night I told you. About how I felt. Probably the point my emotions were at their most raw.”


She exhaled softly.


“I tore it up, after…well, that night. But the nights we were alone…I kept adding to it. In my head. I even told you a little bit of it in Hanoi before I even knew it would be part of the whole song. Because I wanted it to be whole. A whole representation of our relationship. And I think…I think I finally finished it. Right now.”


Willow raised an eyebrow.


“Right now?”


Tara smiled and nodded.


“You’ve spent a year telling me you love me every way you can. It’s my turn. Can I sing it to you?”


Willow’s heart started to beat fast in anticipation.


“I would love nothing more.”


Tara turned herself to face Willow and took both of her hands.


In the exact same position she was when she’d first bared her heart to Willow that night, she opened her mouth and started to sing to her love.


I lived my life in shadow
Never the sun on my face
It didn't seem so sad, though
I figured that was my place
Now I'm bathed in light
Something just isn't right



As if by magic, the sun shone in the window right then and caught Tara's face. Willow gasped softly and Tara's crooked smile aimed itself at her.


I'm under your spell
How else could it be
Anyone would notice me?
It's magic, I can tell
How you've set me free
Brought me out so easily



Willow swallowed repeatedly as Tara sang and didn’t break eye contact once. Tara suddenly stood, grinning and kept a hold of Willow's hands so she would come up with her.


I saw a world enchanted
Spirits and charms in the air
I always took for granted
I was the only one there
But your power's shone
Brighter than any of I've known



Tara spun away a few feet and started to dance, making Willow beam with joy and laughter.


I'm under your spell
Nothing I can do
You just took my soul with you
You worked your charms so well
Finally, I knew
Everything I dreamed was true
You made me believe



Tara held her hand out, which Willow took again readily. They spun around together and ended up falling onto Willow's bed together, but never broke eye contact. Their gazes were lusty and loving and Tara’s eyes grew lidded and dropped between Willow’s lips and eyes.


The moon to the tide
I can feel you inside
I'm under your spell
Surging like the sea
Drawn to you so helplessly
I break with every swell
Lost in ecstasy
Spread beneath my willow tree
You make me complete



Willow’s heart was hammering; it was even more intense than the snippet she’d heard months ago.


It was so evocative and endearing and her heart was beating in two places; high and low in her body. If her parents were just downstairs she would have moved down Tara's body and made her sing in a different way.


Their eyes never left each other and both were breathing with a new heaviness in their chests.


Tara’s voice dropped lower and her lower lip trembled with emotion.


You make me complete
You make me com—



Willow couldn’t hold back; she leaned in and kissed Tara hard; taking both cheeks in her hands and pouring every bit of passion that Tara had expressed to her in her song right back. When they broke apart she rested her forehead on Tara’s and dropped her hands around Tara’s neck.


She nuzzled their noses then placed a kiss on the bridge of Tara’s nose, saying everything she was too choked up to actually say.


After another minute, Ira’s voice floated up the stairs.


“Willow?”


Before Willow could answer or express alarm that they had heard the ardent crashing onto the bed, Sheila started speaking.


“Tara can stay for dinner if she wants,” she called, then a pause, “And her family.”


They both looked at each other in shock and suddenly laughed; a few tears escaping along the way but clearing their eyes so they were fresh again. Willow jumped up and went over to her window, peering her head around to look at the sky.


“What are you doing?” Tara asked, wiping her sleeve over her face.


“Seeing if pigs are flying,” Willow answered seriously.


Tara laughed.


“Goof,” she said, holding her hand out, “Come back.”


Willow returned to her spot on the bed, where she'd fought her desire and shame for so long, and felt all of the emotion of their journey and their trip and their return start to hit her all over again.


“Will it always be like this?” she asked, a little scared.


Tara shook her head.


“No. Things will change. We’ll change. But…” she lifted Willow’s hand to her mouth and kissed her knuckles, “Whatever happens, you are my everything.”


She released Willow’s hand and took in a deep, shaken breath as her eyes filled with tears again.


“You are my best friend.”


Willow felt a new kind of clarity as all of those overwhelming emotions from before settled into a certainty for her future.


For their future.


She held her pinky up; the tiniest part of her offering the biggest promise.


“For all time.”

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The Love… Series ... Two For Joy ... Inevitable ... Family Confidential Episode II: Attack Of The Hormones


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Jan 31st 2020)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:41 am 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

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DIBS. I can't believe I got it. Great ending and tie in of the Shadows song. I like the Anya/Willow banter and the sheer normalcy of Tara's mom. I am sad that the story is ended, and look forward to the epilogue. I will be forever thankful for the beginning of the story because it gave me the motivation to have writing flow out of me. Always love your writing.
Thanks
TW4E

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Jan 31st 2020)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:58 am 
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5. Willowhand

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Posts: 334
I'm sorry that your story has come to an end - and looking foward to the epilogue.

Quote:
“Oh, stop crying,” Anya snapped while he stared in the window at them, “I'll stay with you but you better take off your shirt and help him work on that car!”


Xander complied quickly, thinking it would help with the heat to be shirtless anyway, but found himself blushing under the carful of women’s alarmed gazes. He covered his nipples with his hands and kneeled down beside Donny, who tried desperately to keep his head down and not look at whatever else was going on.

:rofl

Quote:
Though she hasn’t been out as much lately with these headaches. I keep telling her she needs to see a doctor, even if it is stress. I’m fit to drag her there myself.”

I'm worried about Joyce. I hope we will learn in the epilogue that - if she indeed was diagnosed with a brain tumor - the operation was successfull and she survived.

Quote:
Tara held her hands up.


“Unless you also want to kiss her it’s about the extent of my advice on best friends.”


Kimberly grinned and shook her head wryly.

:lol


Quote:
“Whoopsie,” she said, slipping her hands under the dish to take it, then avoiding Tara’s stare as she brought it to the table, “Don’t want the goods to get damaged in any shock-induced dropping!”


She grabbed her spoon and started eating straight from the dish.

:laugh
Quote:
“We really did miss you, Ms. M.”


Kimberly looked at Willow with a playful challenge.


“Not just my peach cobbler?”


Willow held three fingers up.


“Just 20% peach cobbler, scout’s honor.”


Kimberly kissed both of their heads and moved back in her seat. Willow leaned to grab the spoons again and whispered almost inaudibly in Tara’s ear as she retreated.


“This hand motion should be called lesbian’s honor.”

:lol

Quote:
“The thing between a hitch and a kink,” Tara supplied.


“With a side of a twinge,” Willow nodded quickly, “That’s the one.”

Canon-easteregg!

Quote:
“She has a hitch-kink-twinge.”


“Oh?” Ira looked over to Willow with concern.

:laugh Respect that Ira didn't have to ask what on earth that means!

Quote:
There was still a coldness there, or maybe more accurately a disparity between her words and the emotions she was willing to show. But Willow could see now that it wasn’t the hate she had interpreted for so much of her adolescence. She didn’t know what it was, but it wasn’t going to be helped by her showing animosity back.


It made her sad to wonder what was broken in her mother and she embraced her back warmly, hoping to pass some of the emotional weight off. It was a lot to ask of a hug, but it was a step and as Willow had well learned, every journey starts with a single step.

I'm glad that Willow came to the understanding that her mother's coldness is not a reaction to any "deficiency" in Willow but the symptom of some mental / emotional problem Sheila herself has and that she chooses to try her best to help Sheila overcome that.

I love how you come full circle with Tara singing the very song to Willow which she started writing at the beginning of the first chapter - of course it's also a wonderful canon-easteregg with her singing "I'm under your spell" and them even doing the dance together. I have to admit that I did think at first that the beginning of the song with the "life in shadow, never the sun on my face" doesn't fit to your Tara's past. But then I realized that the way Willow kept Tara "seperate" from her other friends (almost like a "dirty" secret) could be hinted at by these lines.

Quote:
“Will it always be like this?” she asked, a little scared.


Tara shook her head.


“No. Things will change. We’ll change. But…” she lifted Willow’s hand to her mouth and kissed her knuckles, “Whatever happens, you are my everything.”


She released Willow’s hand and took in a deep, shaken breath as her eyes filled with tears again.


“You are my best friend.”


Willow felt a new kind of clarity as all of those overwhelming emotions from before settled into a certainty for her future.


For their future.


She held her pinky up; the tiniest part of her offering the biggest promise.


“For all time.”


Awww! :flower :bigkiss What a beautiful ending! I trust that they will always stay not only girlfriends (wives later on) but best friends. I would love to read a story about them celebrating their 50th-wedding-anniversary and mentioning in a speech to the guests that they consider each other as their best friend to this day.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Jan 31st 2020)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:19 pm 
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sweet homecoming- I love that they still took some time alone

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Jan 31st 2020)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:00 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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taranwillow4ever

Quote:
DIBS. I can't believe I got it.


Wahoo!

Quote:
Great ending and tie in of the Shadows song.


Thank you!

Quote:
I like the Anya/Willow banter and the sheer normalcy of Tara's mom.


They sure know how to bicker! And yes, Kimberly is a stabilizing force that they all need!

Quote:
I am sad that the story is ended, and look forward to the epilogue.


I hope you enjoy it!

Quote:
I will be forever thankful for the beginning of the story because it gave me the motivation to have writing flow out of me. Always love your writing.
Thanks


That means so much to me and I'm so glad I was able to provide some motivation, even in a small way! It's just so fantastic when those creative juices are activated!

Thanks so much for your feedback and readership!

Will's redemption

Quote:
I'm sorry that your story has come to an end - and looking foward to the epilogue.


I'm sorry too, it's been a joy to engage with the board again, and I hope you enjoy it!

Quote:
I'm worried about Joyce. I hope we will learn in the epilogue that - if she indeed was diagnosed with a brain tumor - the operation was successfull and she survived.


Well, let's just say I don't think you'll be disappointed :)

Quote:
Respect that Ira didn't have to ask what on earth that means!


Ira's definitely a 'nod politely' kinda guy :lol

Quote:
I'm glad that Willow came to the understanding that her mother's coldness is not a reaction to any "deficiency" in Willow but the symptom of some mental / emotional problem Sheila herself has and that she chooses to try her best to help Sheila overcome that.


Ultimately, it's not hers to overcome, but she can stop blaming herself for it and that's a pretty huge step!

Quote:
I love how you come full circle with Tara singing the very song to Willow which she started writing at the beginning of the first chapter - of course it's also a wonderful canon-easteregg with her singing "I'm under your spell" and them even doing the dance together. I have to admit that I did think at first that the beginning of the song with the "life in shadow, never the sun on my face" doesn't fit to your Tara's past. But then I realized that the way Willow kept Tara "seperate" from her other friends (almost like a "dirty" secret) could be hinted at by these lines.


You're exactly right, but I also think those lines are often a view into how Tara's sees herself - it's not necessarily the world pushing her into the shadows, it's herself keeping herself in the shadows because she's shy and doesn't feel a need to be in the light - until she learns what it means to be seen through the spotlight Willow projects onto her.

Quote:
Awww! :flower :bigkiss What a beautiful ending! I trust that they will always stay not only girlfriends (wives later on) but best friends. I would love to read a story about them celebrating their 50th-wedding-anniversary and mentioning in a speech to the guests that they consider each other as their best friend to this day.


I LOVE that idea. I have a confidenital verse fic that deals with a way down the line anniversary, but I think this verse is different enough that I could write both and have them be distinct enough to work. I'm definitely adding this idea to the worksheet!

Thanks so much for reading and all the feedback you've left!

shirrey

Quote:
sweet homecoming- I love that they still took some time alone


They just can't stay away :)

Thank you so much for being such a loyal reader and all of your great comments.



Update Directly Below

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The Love… Series ... Two For Joy ... Inevitable ... Family Confidential Episode II: Attack Of The Hormones


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Jan 31st 2020)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:00 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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CHAPTER RATING: PG-13

NOTE: Thank you so much to every reader that has stuck with me through this one! It's such a joy to still get to be a part of this community. Big thanks to taranwillow4ever, shirrey, BeMyDeputy, leftindust, Will's redemption, mmmh-Hot-Sauce, NorthernLass, Finey_McFine, Azirahael & DaddyCatALSO for taking the time to leave feedback, it is always appreciated!

And of course, DarkWiccan, who beta'd so much for me and without whose friendship I would be but a shell.

Hope to see you guys soon with more Confidential!Verse and, as you might pick up from the epilogue, I definitely plan to revisit these guys here someday too and fill in the gaps!

Thank you one and all!

Epilogue



Sunnydale, August

(10 Years Later)



But I Want You To Know, After All These Years
You're Still The One I Want Whisperin' In My Ear



“Who is she?”


Willow spun around on her barstool and looked at the middle-aged man who had approached her.


“I’m sorry?”


The man nodded down to the other end of the bar.


“The chick you keep staring at.”


Willow turned and watched Tara accept two glasses across the bar from the bartender; her heart fluttering when Tara smiled sideways at the woman serving her.


“The bartender’s name is Marcie.”


The man looked down the bar in confusion.


“Huh. Oh. I didn’t even see her. No, I meant the other chick, the hot one.”


Willow’s eyes rolled so far back she could practically see grey matter. She glanced at the drinks exchange happening again and frowned.


“Oh,” she said, looking away again sorrowfully, “That’s my ex-girlfriend.”


The man leaned against the bar and looked at Willow with a mix of sympathy and opportunity.


“What happened?”


Tara walked down the bar and put her arm over Willow’s shoulder, handing Willow the second glass she had in her hands that way.


Willow reached up to accept it and stirred her drink with the little biodegradable straw. She took a sip and leaned back against Tara.


“I married her. She’s my wife now.”


The guy scowled and pushed himself off the bar to walk away.


“Guess he didn't want to chat,” Willow said innocently.


Tara cast Willow a sideways glance.


“Are you telling people I’m your ex-girlfriend again?”


“You are,” Willow said, grinning back, “Not my fault he’s not hip enough to know we’re in Sunnydale’s first gay bar.”


Tara chuckled.


“And you’re the authority on all things hip?”


Willow’s jaw dropped indignantly.


“I’m hip! I’m so hip I’m os coxae.”


“You thought the whip/nae nae was a frozen dessert,” Tara countered with a raised eyebrow, “You embarrassed the heck out of Sal that day.”


Willow waved a hand dismissively.


“She was a teenager, teenagers are perpetually embarrassed,” she replied, then lifted a hand and wiggled her fingers, “Anyway, I have a ring on my finger. Not to mention this.”


She twirled the message in a bottle hanging off the chain around her neck.


“If a guy is going to hit on a woman in a gay bar he should, at the very least, check for jewelry indicative of a relationship. Any ribbing is subsequently deserved.”


Tara frowned.


“Maybe it says something about our marketing that he didn’t know where he was.”


Willow made a wide gesture around to the rest of the bar. It was full of people, a lot of whom were very obviously same-sex couples.


“Everybody else here seems pretty clear that we’re in a gay bar. I don’t think it’s our marketing. Or should I say, your marketing. Which I happen to know is stellar. He’s just an entitled ass who possibly came because it’s a gay bar and thought he could score some lesbians. I have half a mind to kick him out.”


“Okay, Vin Diesel, calm down,” Tara patted Willow’s shoulder, “I need to use the restroom. Bring our drinks to the table? Try not to kick anyone’s ass along the way.”


“Sure,” Willow agreed, hopping off the barstool and taking Tara’s glass for her, “But I make no promises. Sometimes my Tai Chi training just takes over.”


Tara chuckled and Willow grinned. She still loved producing that sound.


She waited at the bar for a moment, taking a look around to make sure everything and everyone was okay. It was an important night for them and she felt proud that they had been able to do this.


She looked behind the bar at the different colored tiles, which she’d picked out especially, that spelled out ‘Amazons’ and then beneath in smaller lettering ‘Purveyors Of Kisses And Gay Love’.


Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted her ‘admirer’ from before making a beeline for the door and followed his terrified eye line to a male couple in tight clothes looking at each other with confusion as they pulled away from a kiss.


Willow chuckled.


That solved that problem.


A homophobe outwitted by his own homophobia. Justice was always sweet.


“Hey Larry, top me up?” she called behind the bar.


Larry came over and refilled Willow’s glass.


“Anything else Willow?” he asked, then frowned, “Can I still call you Willow?”


Willow smiled.


“Of course.”


“I appreciate the work,” Larry replied and glanced at one of the other male bartenders changing a barrel, “And the eye candy.”


Willow stood up on her toes to lean across the bar and address him directly.


“The lawyers I used are very powerful. I'm very powerful. And maybe it's not such a good idea for you to piss me off,” she said resolutely but with a disarming smile, “If you get me sued for sexual harassment you will rue the day you were born.”


“Noted, ma’am,” Larry replied seriously but with a friendly grin and a mock-salute, “I don’t date people I knew in high school, anyway. Personal rule I made after my grandma set me up on a dubious date with Tucker’s little brother.”


He shot Willow a finger gun.


“Work for though — gladly. Especially with what you’re paying.”


He flexed his arms on the bar.


“But tell your missus her brother can come back in any time to jump me.”


Willow shook her head.


“Donny is married. To a woman.”


Larry picked up a glass to clean and appear occupied.


“I always thought she was a bit of a rat. Always sniffing around. I think she wanted me to ask her to prom.”


Willow shrugged.


“Look…it’s complicated. And they don’t mind it being talked about, so I’ll tell you. Remember she just disappeared our last semester in high school? It was because she was an addict. And Donny is an addict. They met after they’d both been in recovery for a while and somehow they keep each other on the straight and narrow. That’s a good thing. I’ve never been Donny’s biggest fan but Amy and I used to hang out in junior high and being together is, well…the most together I’ve seen them both.”


Larry tried to shrug it off by rolling his eyes and tried to seem nonchalant.


“Anyway, I meant jumping my car.”


Willow pursed her lips but was secretly smirking.


“My wife’s yoga pants don’t stretch that much. That’s enough chatter, now get back to work.”


She was friendly but gave him a look that she was not to be toyed with. She lifted her drink at him in a parting greeting and turned back around.


She walked across the floor, pausing at the stage to make sure the set-up was going okay. She guessed Tara had checked in on the band and that was what was delaying her so just made sure there were no stray wires or anything else that could cause mishap to their opening night.


She walked across the club and smiled at the couples out dancing already to the music coming out over the speaker system; it was one of Tara’s playlists cultivated especially for this event and Willow could see her wife had nailed it yet again.


At the back of the club, up a few steps on a platform that overlooked the rest of the dance floor and stage area, there was a large J-shape sofa; black with white buttons. There were two circular tables at each end, with enough room for people to move between so they could get in and out, which were finished with a glossy white paint. Each had a strip of glass through the center so that when the lights reflected off it there was a rainbow effect shone across the table.


Tara designed them, using the bench she’d made as her senior project for inspiration. Willow ran her hand over one with a smile and took the ‘reserved’ sign away as she sat on the sofa.


“Mrs. Maclay?”


Willow looked up and saw a young girl standing on the steps. She had dark copper hair that made its natural red tones stand out under the lighting bouncing around on her from the dance floor. The same lighting hid her hands nervously wringing together but Willow was able to catch it on a bounce of orange fluorescence.


Willow smiled at her.


“Hi!”


The girl lifted her thumb to her mouth and chewed the corner of, then seemed to realize what she was doing and dropped it quickly.


“I’m sorry to bother you.”


Willow sat forward more invitingly.


“It’s okay, you’re not bothering me. You okay?”


The girl raised her hand in an awkward wave and Willow suddenly saw a lot of herself, or her younger self anyway, being mirrored back.


“I’m Holly.”


“Hi Holly,” Willow greeted and found herself giving the same wave back.


Holly rocked back and forth on her heels.


“I-I just,” she paused and then blurted quickly, “I just wanted to say how much you and Tara…um, the other Mrs. Maclay…”


“You can call her Tara, she won’t mind,” Willow said with a friendly smile.


Holly’s whole face lit up.


“I-It means so much to see a gay couple from Sunnydale be out and successful,” she said, ducking her head and looked up in awe, “I can’t actually believe you’re actually from my town. My parents, they…they see you and I think they see me?”


She stopped and swallowed.


“I…I see me. What I could be. And I feel okay about…being me. I'm saying 'me' a lot. I'm not normally so self-centered.”


Willow felt her heart clench and sipped her drink to get moisture back in her mouth.


“And that you opened this place in Sunnydale!” Holly continued, gushing, then added on shyly, “It’s my first time in a gay bar. I never thought there would be a place like this here. I thought I’d have to wait until college at least.”


Willow cleared her throat to compose herself.


“Do you have an underage stamp?” she asked and Holly showed her hand confirming it was there, “Good. I’m glad you’ve found us here. I hope you enjoy the band. Do you know them?”


“Lip Service?” Holly said as if she was asked if she enjoyed breathing, “Of course. Everyone knows Lip Service.”


“Not always! They were playing the very first time I was in a gay bar too, how about that? But they were just starting out back then in the olden days,” Willow grinned and Holly looked thrilled to share a commonality, “Are you here with anyone?”


Holly looked over to another young brunette girl waiting in the wings.


“My…” she paused and smiled, then looked back to Willow, “Girlfriend. Nova.”


Willow smiled too and stood to give Holly a hug.


“I hope you two have a great night.”


Holly squeezed Willow back like she was clinging to her for life, then waved her wrist where her watch was sitting. Its screen lit up with the movement.


“Can I get a selfie?”


“Yeah, sure,” Willow replied eagerly, smiling as she spotted Tara walking back over, “Do you want Tara in it too?”


Holly looked stunned as Tara approached and Willow pointed down indicatively.


“Picture.”


“Oh, sure,” Tara smiled and bent down to be in-frame.


Holly held her arm up in front of them all.


“Cheese!” Willow and Tara intoned together and saw their image flash up on the screen with a thrilled Holly between them briefly before Holly jumped on the spot and hugged them both quickly while gushing thanks.


“Nice to meet you!” Willow called after her as she scampered back off to jump with her girlfriend.


“I just met DJ Tarot!”


They hurried off together with Holly pulling up the photo to show her. Willow beamed at Tara and greeted her with a peck before taking her seat again while Tara sat in beside her.


“Who was that?” Tara asked, taking her drink back in her hand.


Willow smiled at Tara.


“A kid coming to a gay bar for the first time with her girlfriend.”


Tara held her hand over her heart and Willow nodded.


“Yeah. I know.”


Tara leaned her head on Willow’s shoulder for a moment and Willow kissed Tara’s head.


“We would sell out this whole place if you brought DJ Tarot back for a night, you know.”


Tara straightened back up and gave Willow a look.


“When I retired DJ Tarot I retired her for good,” she said definitively, “Besides I never would have gotten half as many gigs if Nate hadn't endorsed me.”


Willow scoffed.


“Nate might be a superstar but his shout-outs wouldn’t have meant anything unless you actually had the talent to pull it off. Which. You. Do.”


She tried to punctuate each word with a kiss but Tara waved her off, though with an undeniable smile breaking through.


“It doesn’t matter anyway.”


Willow held up her hands.


“Okay, okay, it’s your choice. I’m just saying you don’t give yourself credit. I still see all that merch you made selling on eBay sometimes and it attracts a bidding war! I could sell my Insect Reflection t-shirt for top dollar if I didn’t still love to sleep in it,” she said and started to smirk, “And maaaaybe I just want to see you with those sexy headphones again.”


Tara looked at Willow through lidded eyes as she nibbled on the top of her straw.


“Well maybe she can pay an exclusive visit to the bedroom,” she said with a sly wink, “If you wear your Vespa helmet.”


“Deal. We can roleplay DJ getting stranded on the way to her gig getting rescued by the helpful good Samaritan on the scooter…” Willow laughed and leaned in to pop a chaste kiss on Tara’s lips, “It will be even more fun than that time you did that interview on TV and you got turned into a meme.”


Tara’s eyes blinked several times and she rocked her head toward Willow.


“That wasn’t fun for me.”


Willow’s tongue stuck out between her teeth.


“It was fun for everyone else,” she giggled, “Remember?”


“I remember you milking it for all it was worth,” Tara returned, shaking her head indignantly, “I was speaking out against violence.”


“Sure looked like you were speaking out against swimming,” Willow grinned.


Willow’s wrist beeped and she sighed immediately as she began to dictate a reply to the incoming message.


“No, Dickie, you cannot change the storyline! We pay professionals a fortune to design them a certain way! You know, the way that makes the whole program WORK! It’s not just a story you’re telling, it’s a tool! You should be familiar with that concept since you are one!”


Tara closed her hand over Willow’s watch.


“Willow,” she chastised softly, then lifted her hand, “No alterations. Send.”


She dropped her hand and looked back at Willow.


“No more work. The app can wait for a night. Especially this night.”


“Tell that to Dickie,” Willow replied in frustration, “Why did I agree to let that doofus come on board?”


“Because he’s good at what he does,” Tara replied kindly, though it wasn’t untrue. She saw the frustration flash in Willow’s eyes and knew she needed to talk this out or she’d be stuck in grump mode all night, “And his name is well known for his comics so he’ll draw in the young male market with the new comic book therapy program. You were the one who wanted to expand the art programs into virtual reality and you were the one who agreed he had the name power. Plus now we might even get Xander to download the app now like he’s saying he would for years, which I know you would consider a personal achievement.”


Willow blew out a slow breath.


“Okay, yes. And I know I agreed to it. But…I still don’t trust Dickie. He’s staying on three-month contracts. Also if he interrupts our morning tai chi classes in the office by farting one more time his head is toast.”


Tara sighed and resisted the urge to tell her to go off to do some tai chi right now.


“You’re the boss, Willow. You’ll do what’s right.”


Willow rolled her eyes.


“And never again is he sitting in on a meeting. Not after the incident with the Japanese.”


“It all worked out,” Tara soothed softly.


“Because you were there,” Willow said pointedly.


“I didn’t do much,” Tara replied easily.


“You did everything!” Willow insisted, “You charmed them and saved the deal. Which, hello, is paying for our house.”


Tara didn’t say anything and Willow started to gesticulate wildly.


“Not to mention all of the other stuff you’ve done! I mean, sitting here, right now, in this place? Entirely thanks to you! We may never have gotten a foot in the door with the app if you hadn’t already developed a profile because of your music—”


“Our music,” Tara corrected.


Willow gave Tara a sidelong look.


“The YouTube stuff we did was still all you,” she said definitively, “I just sang along and looked at you adoringly. Which, granted, some people thought was cute. But still all you. And it was your DJ career that gave us the most notoriety, don't deny it.”


Tara held her hands up in defeat and said nothing.


“Anyway,” Willow continued purposefully, “That was only a stepping stone to everything else you've done! Like getting Nate to invest for our match funding. Not to mention all of the nights you spent designing the actual app, even when you had your job to go to the next day. And planning it all with me, supporting me while I built it, paying our rent when I used all my money to pay the psychologists to design the first programs, helping me write the pitch and driving me around everywhere to try and sell it. And, oh yeah, having the idea in the first place. That tiny little detail that made us able to do things like start companies and buy houses and open gay bars.”


Tara pursed her lips and waited for Willow’s need to take a breath before she spoke.


“That is my job.”


“The graphic design, maybe, yeah, not that you took a cent for yourself for years,” Willow shot back.


Tara slipped her hand on top of Willow’s and linked their fingers.


“I meant being in your partner, in everything. Companies, houses, gay bars. Successes and mistakes.”


“Hiring Dickie is my mistake to own,” Willow said, holding her other hand up before grinning, “Your only mistake is that awful blonde dye job you tried in college. Anya’s influence, I’m sure. I still don’t know why you spent all those months as her roommate.”


“Because she needed a place to stay,” Tara replied softly, “And she really wanted to try out her business in a big city.”


“Which one?” Willow scoffed, “The I’ll-get-revenge-on-your-boyfriend-if-you-pay-me-scheme or the gossip blog? Both of which had the police show up on your doorstep!”


“Willow,” Tara said softly but insistently.


“I know, I know,” Willow waved her hand, “I’m sorry. I try to be nice but she makes it so hard!”


She took a sip of her drink and glanced sidelong at Tara.


“I’m still glad you never touched a box of hair dye again though.”


Tara rolled her eyes and Willow laughed before lifting their hands to kiss Tara’s knuckles.


“I’m teasing. Forget about all of that. It was so long ago. What I’m really trying to say is… I know you like to stay more in the background and put me out there as the face of the app, but you…you’re the heart.”


Her watch beeped again and her serene smile turned to a scowl.


“And Dickie is the rectum.”


“Willow,” Tara chastised again gently.


“Sorry,” Willow held her second hand up, “I know I’m being mega with the annoyance this evening, I just didn’t think I’d have to deal with that family any more once Sally dumped Dickie’s stupid little brother.”


“Willie was very good to Sal,” Tara said kindly, “They loved each other.”


“Not enough, obviously,” Willow muttered.


Tara looked at Willow and bumped her shoulder.


“Not everyone gets to marry their first love.”


Willow paused and looked at Tara’s face. She put her palm on Tara’s cheek and smiled.


“I’m being a crank. I see it. I’m sorry. You’re right. Tonight is a big night and we should be enjoying it.”


She leaned in and kissed Tara’s lips softly.


“This isn't work talk, but I am really excited that you’ve decided to do some consultancy on the side.”


Tara shrugged one shoulder bashfully.


“I’m just helping Mrs. Summers with the gallery.”


“She's always really appreciated how you were there for Buffy and Dawn when she got sick,” Willow replied, squeezing Tara’s hand and looking sad for a moment, “And for all of the stuff after when Buffy…”


She stopped and swallowed.


“And it is a big deal. You’re amazing. I know you missed doing other work when you gave up your job to work for the app full time.”


She kissed Tara’s cheek.


“But remember, we’re only sharing you. We need you on the team. Team Maclay.”


She held up her hand to fist bump and knocked their hands on top of each other before bumping properly.


“Team Maclay,” they spoke and laughed together.


They still found that funny. They’d even made it their company logo.


“I know I can telecommute but I’ll have to be in the LA offices sometimes so I’ll be happy to know you’re working here too,” Willow said, scooting closer into Tara’s side, “Though I was still surprised when you suggested moving away from the city where there’s more work, I have to admit. Not money-wise, but for your own satisfaction.”


“This is where I want our family to be,” Tara said resolutely.


“Me too,” Willow agreed surely, “100%. I just want you to be fulfilled.”


“I am and I plan to continue to be,” Tara replied easily, “It’s good to throw caution to the wind and change things up sometimes. Even if the change is back to something familiar.”


Willow smiled softly.


“Everything could go kaput tomorrow.”


Tara nodded; it could.


“We'd survive.”


“You think?” Willow asked with a playful movement of her brow.


“I know,” Tara corrected, eyes creased affectionately, “I have faith.”


“In the world?” Willow asked, sipping her drink through her straw.


Tara leaned over and pressed her lips to Willow’s forehead.


“In us.”


Willow smiled and nuzzled Tara’s cheek before sitting back in her seat.


“Did I ever get any compensation for naming rights for DJ Tarot?”


“You got a wife,” Tara retorted with a pointed look.


“Even better,” Willow grinned, “Because you are just the most amaz—”


“Give me a kiss,” Tara cut her off.


She moved in and put her lips softly on Willow’s.


“Are you trying to shut me up?” Willow murmured into the kiss.


“Mmhm,” Tara murmured back.


Willow put her glass on the table and pulled Tara closer by the neck.


“It's working.”


They kissed for a few moments; nothing more than a passionate peck and sweet caresses of each other’s face.


“Gross.”


They parted and looked up to the girl who had interrupted them; a young woman in her very early twenties with dark brown wavy hair bouncing on her shoulders. Her skin had a warm olive undertone and her body was curvaceous while her eyes popped with blue; the same hue as Tara’s.


“Your sister is here,” Willow said To Tara in a sing-song voice with a playful, pointed stare at the young girl.


Tara stood and embraced her.


“Hi, Sal.”


Willow stood to give her a quick hug too.


“Look at you, able to come into one of these places with no stamp. We can call you No-Stamp Sally!”


Sally sat on a little stool and waved her hand.


“Alcohol is so passé anyway,” she said, but looked up toward the bar, “But I’ll still take an ice beer .”


“Wait for everyone else to get here and we’ll order a round for the table,” Willow offered, then sat forward with a little bounce, “So what do you think?”


Sally slowly craned her neck around the bar, taking her first proper look.


“It’s way busier than I thought it would be.”


“Gee, thanks,” Willow replied flatly, gently kicking Sally’s leg under the table.


“Ugh,” Sally grunted, giving Willow a mock-scowl that looked comical with her trying to hold back a smile, “You know what I mean. There are a lot of…”


“Gays?!” Willow said, wiggling her fingers spookily, “We’re everywhere, you know. I thought the next generation was more enlightened about these things.”


“I know a lot of gay people,” Sally defended, “I just didn’t know a lot of gay people lived…here.”


“That’s the point,” Tara said softly, “We had nowhere to go.”


Sally smiled and covered her sister’s hand.


“It looks great! I’m really proud of you guys for making a space like this.”


Tara smiled gratefully.


“Is Dawn coming tonight?”


Sally nodded.


“She’ll be a little late. Her journaling society is doing their annual gratitude day on campus this weekend and she’s the key to holding it all together, apparently. She has to go to a meeting tonight.”


“Oh of course,” Tara replied, rubbing Willow’s thigh, “We’re sponsoring it. We said we’d pop by tomorrow.”


“Yeah, we’ll go in after your meeting with Joyce,” Willow smiled, covering Tara’s hand and giving it a squeeze, “Did she mention if she was coming by tonight?”


Tara shrugged one shoulder.


“She said she and Olivia were working on Mr. Cox and Mr. Giles.”


Willow’s nose scrunched distastefully.


“They’re not ‘backs to the wall’ kinda guys are they?”


“No, they just don’t want to stay out that late,” Tara laughed and Willow giggled back before they settled their attention back on Sally, who was ignoring their little tête-à-tête; quite used to it, “Are you taking part in the gratitude day with Dawnie, Sal?”


Sally flicked some hair over her shoulder in an exaggerated motion.


“I should be given gratitude for sharing a dorm with her all these years.”


Willow rolled her eyes.


“When I was your age I had a bratty teen to contend with.”


“Before you shipped me off,” Sally scoffed.


Willow looked affronted.


“You wanted to go” she scoffed back, “And to your parents!”


Sally stuck her tongue out petulantly; a skill she learned from she whom she was engaged in an argument with right then.


“They weren’t my parents yet.”


The end of Willow’s glass hit the table.


“Technicality!”


Tara just smiled and shook her head. She was quite used to this kind of tête-à-tête too.


“Oh, hey!” Sally smiled brightly after a moment, squabbling forgotten, "I can’t believe I almost forgot. Happy anniversary!”


“Thank you,” both Willow and Tara said at the same time before smiling at each other and rejoining their hands.


“Your wedding feels like so long ago,” Sally said wistfully, then scowled at Willow, “You wouldn’t let me have a drink then either.”


“You were a kid!” Willow protested and Tara bit her bottom lip and hid her smile toward the ground.


Anya arrived shortly after and announced herself by slamming a cocktail shaker shaped like a penis on the table in front of them.


“I brought you a bar-warming gift!”


Willow and Tara both stared. Sally did her best to look anywhere but at it.


“That was…very…thoughtful, Anya,” Tara said eventually.


“Our bar manager will love it,” Willow added with a forced smile as she leaned over to Tara to whisper, “See? I'm being nice!”


Thankfully Buffy and Xander got there very soon after and disrupted the awkwardness. Anya shared a look of longing with Xander long enough for Willow to squirrel the ‘gift’ under the sofa.


“Hey Wills,” Buffy greeted her friend with a hug, then gave one of equal measure to Tara, “Hey Tare. So good to see you both.”


She pulled back and grinned at them.


“The big city girls back to see us!” she said as she slid onto the sofa, “Not too big for us now they’ve been written up in the New York Times.”


“Stop…” Willow dismissed with a wave of her hand as she dragged out the word with a blush and smile, “That was no big deal. So what do you guys think of the place?”


Buffy smiled as she looked around.


“It looks great. It could really rival the Bronze for people who like things a bit more…colorful.”


“Do we get free drinks now we’re all chummy with the owners?” Xander asked, rubbing his hands together.


Willow laughed.


“Tonight, anyway, yeah,” she said and indicated for Larry to come over, “We won’t be involved in the day to day running of the place. That’s why we have Larry. Larry, can you get some drinks for the table please?”


She waited until he came around to them to write down their drinks and used her body to shield herself passing the shaker over. She lowered her voice.


“Do not use this behind the bar. If the lesbians see their drinks coming out of this we’ll have a revolt not seen since the days of Bury Your Gays.”


“Got it, boss,” Larry replied, flicking the head of the shaker toward Willow as a salute, “I’ll keep it for the size queens.”


He went off whistling and Willow shook her head, needing to stare at Tara for a moment to refresh her brain into more pleasant images.


“I’ve never been to a gay bar,” Xander said curiously as he looked around, “Do they do wet t-shirt competitions but on men? Or bra removal contests for the women?”


“They’d have to beat the champ,” Willow replied boastfully, stretching her fingers out in front of her, “I’ve taken a few bras off in my lifetime.”


Tara shot Willow a look and folded her arms lightly over her chest.


“What?” Willow asked, holding her hand up in a shrug, “We’ve been together a long time. You’ve had a lot of bras.”


Tara shook her head and looked over to Xander.


“We have live music,” she finally answered, “The band will be starting soon.”


“Is it Nate?” Anya asked excitedly.


“Ooh, is it?” Xander asked just as excited.


“Your weird shared man-crush aside, no, Nate is not playing,” Willow replied with an odd look between them.


Xander once told her drunkenly (at her wedding, in fact) that Nate was both of his and Anya’s number one threesome choice if they could have anyone and it was just far beyond anything she ever wanted to imagine.


“He’s on tour,” Tara explained, cutting into Willow’s brief flash of disgust, “But he’ll be over for a shareholder meeting for the app soon and we want to do a benefit evening.”


“To benefit you, yes?” Anya asked, leaning forward, “To make your money make money?”


“To benefit the charities we support around the world,” Tara clarified, and sat forward excitedly because this was one of the areas she personally oversaw within the app, “We’ve actually just linked in with this great organization that helps LGBT immigrants—”


“You people hate money,” Anya cut Tara off with a scoff, “You don’t charge for your app, you don’t charge for your concerts!”


Willow’s body rose defensively but Tara’s hand moved to Willow’s thigh and squeezed it in a silent plea to let her handle it.


“We’ll get a lot of exposure,” Tara explained to Anya, knowing in her own weird way that Anya was actually showing concern for them by protesting their alternative approach to capitalism, “And we’re more than comfortable with the methods we use for revenue generation. Our business model has worked, Ahn, you have to give us that.”


Anya seemed to consider it. Xander caught her eye and that seemed to help quieten her, or distract her at least, as they made bedroom eyes at each other.


Buffy, sitting beside him, nudged his side.


“That wasn’t a totally hateful look,” she said encouragingly, “Is another reconciliation on the cards?”


Xander smiled downward.


“I’m hopeful.”


Buffy frowned as she looked between them.


“We’re nearly thirty and still living at home. We should have our act together by now. What’s your excuse?”


“Perpetual man child,” Xander answered with an expressive nod.


“You lived with Anya when you were together,” Buffy pointed out.


“When I left her at the alter she really rounded up that local girl power,” Xander replied, clasping his hands together, “Our landlord was a lady.”


“It was years ago,” Buffy replied with a slightly arched eyebrow, “And how many reconciliations since? She can’t still be stopping you from moving out.”


Xander held his hands a foot apart.


“I’m working on something big. Hoping it will be the last reconciliation.”


“What is it?” Buffy asked curiously.


Xander smiled over at Anya while her attention was directed elsewhere.


“Let’s just say for once I’m not building a house for other people.”


He clasped his hands together and looked at Buffy.


“What about you? Isn’t it time you left Casa Summers for good? Dawn is in the dorms, your mom hasn’t been sick in years and you haven’t been…”


“Loopy?” Buffy suggested helpfully.


“Of the insane persuasion,” Xander smiled with a toothy grin.


Buffy frowned thoughtfully.


“I am getting sick of her and Brian being all lovey-dovey when the only dove I have is the one I’m washing my body with.”


“You would have to pick a nice guy first,” Xander replied with a sarcastic wink, “Because that last guy? You veered right off the track there.”


“I did pick 'nice' once,” Buffy grumbled, “Who would have thought the secret soldier would end up being so…boring. That’s why…he was so thrilling.”


Xander held two hands a foot apart again.


“There’s a whole, wide area in the middle between ‘boring’ and ‘literal demon’. Just make ‘has almost certainly killed someone’ a deal-breaker.”


“Those were just jokes,” Buffy replied unconvincingly.


Xander cocked his head toward Willow and Tara.


“Even though we know he almost plowed into our therapy twins here.”


Buffy frowned self-deprecatingly.


“I kinda liked that they’d all already met before so far away. Felt like fate.”


“More like doom,” Xander scoffed, “A word Captain Peroxide carries around in the pocket of that leather jacket of his. The only good thing he ever did was leave this one-Starbucks town.”


“We all know why you hate him so much and it isn’t because he slept with me,” Buffy returned petulantly as she glanced at Anya, but it faltered when she saw the stung look on Xander’s face, “Hey, that’s all ancient history. So many bad decisions ago…”


Xander swung his head back to Buffy with a contrite smile.


“Hey, even Tara called you nuts back then,” he teased gently to let her know they were okay, “And she’s the nicest person we know.”


Buffy paused and looked at Tara, who caught the look and raised her glass with a smile. Buffy smiled back.


“You’re right there,” she said to Xander, “If it weren’t for her I would have jumped off that tower that night.”


Xander reached out and held Buffy’s shoulder.


“Hey…Buff…”


“That’s so long ago,” Buffy waved a hand, looking down, “But it feels like I’m still in the same place I was back then. Not emotionally, but physically. I’m right where I was…where I’ve always been.”


“You should try online dating,” Xander encouraged, then waggled his eyebrows, “Or dip your toe in the pool of lady loving and hit on someone here.”


Buffy laughed.


“I’ll wait until desperation sinks in for that. I haven’t even thought about a guy in forever,” she shook her head, then looked thoughtful, “It took me a long time but I finally realized I don’t need a man. I want one but I don’t need one.”


She gave a small frown.


“Hey, I think I just epiphanied myself.”


She smiled sheepishly.


“I may have been working through the free subscription Willow gave me for their app. I never liked speaking to the actual therapists but it’s a lot easier when I can be anonymous on there.”


Xander placed his hand on Buffy’s shoulder.


“You deserve to be happy Buff. However and…whoever with. Unless they’re a—”


“Literal demon,” they spoke together and then laughed.


Xander rubbed Buffy’s arm and she looked down at the table at the laughing faces.


“Ever wish you’d escaped like they did?”


“Wish I had their cash,” Xander quipped in response.


He stopped and then shrugged one should slowly.


“There’s something about good ole’ Sunnydale…even at its worst, it’s always home. It would have to drop into a sinkhole to get us to leave,” he said with a sudden burst of wisdom as his eyes fell back on Buffy, “But that doesn’t mean we have to be stuck in one place.”


He also smiled sheepishly.


“I’ve been using the app too. Don’t tell Willow, I’ve been holding out so she’ll finally do the comic book stuff she’s been promising for years. But back to you and spreading those wings.”


Buffy slowly smiled as she felt a burst of enthusiasm she hadn’t felt since the last bad boy fell into her lap.


“I am making good money at the dōjō, finally. Now that they’re actually letting me teach some classes and not just clean up after them. Still, definitely better than the DoubleMeat Palace. Don’t miss that place with all of its… productivity and co-operation.”


She shuddered.


“I miss the free DoubleMeat Medleys,” Xander intoned sadly, then placed his palm above his stomach, “My gut doesn’t.”


Buffy sat up straighter in her seat.


“You know Xander, I think you’re right.”


“Can I get that in writing?” Xander asked with a soft, affable grin, “But yes, DoubleMeat Medleys are the work of the intestinally insane.”


“No, I mean maybe it is time for me to find my own place,” Buffy continued in her stride, “If I can find a place with enough room to train and maybe a couch for Dawn to sleep on when she needs to that needs little to no deposit…”


Xander smiled warmly.


“If you can wait it out a few weeks and have a big heaping wheelbarrow of faith in me, I’m hoping Anya’s place might become available…”


Tara watched their friends chatter as the club filled up more and more and took a moment to appreciate her surroundings. When her gaze finally landed on Willow, she found she was already being stared back at.


“What’s that look for?” Tara asked with an amused smile.


Willow sighed happily.


“That even after all of these years I still feel the same way I felt when I was four years old,” she said with soft conviction, “Captivated.”


She leaned in and they kissed again until Sally kicked Willow under the table.


Willow pulled away smiling and held her hands up.


“Okay, all right, we'll stop.”


“I think it’s sweet,” Buffy called over as she enjoyed her free drink.


A ringtone rang out and Willow was about a second away from imploding with frustration when she realized it wasn’t hers.


Sally held her wrist up.


“Mom and Pop are calling.”


She came over and wedged herself between Willow and Tara and answered the video call.


“Hi Mom, hi Pop!”


“Hi, Mom. Hi Jeff,” Tara greeted with a smile.


“Hi Mr. and Ms. Maclay,” Willow waved, “How’s China treating you?”


Anya came over and stuck her head in.


“Our profits are up 17% since you’ve been gone, Jeff! Giles let me do what I wanted! I told you targeting children to endlessly harass their parents into buying goods would work!”


Willow pushed Anya back out right into Xander’s lap and she stayed there. Willow turned back to the call where Kimberly and Jeff were showing off the Great Wall behind them.


“Girls, we're so sorry we can't be there but we'll be in for a drink as soon as we get home,” Kimberly called kindly through the watch, “We're so enjoying our vacation. We can't thank you enough for the trip!”


“Incredibly generous,” Jeff added as his arm outstretched in front of them to keep them in frame, “We'll owe you cat-sitting for life! We're leaving for a retreat on Mongolian shamanism tomorrow so we wanted to call before we left.”


Buffy's body shifted over when Anya fell into Xander’s lap and looked at them slyly for a moment. She’d seen that look in both of their eyes before but the fact that they never seemed to lose it after all of their ups and downs certainly meant something. She really did hope they were moving toward a final reconciliation. And Anya did have a really nice place…


Maybe things were finally falling into place.


She looked down at her empty beer and started to offer to go get a new round, but people were in their own little conversations so she just jumped up to go for herself.


She returned to the bar and leaned against it until a bartender came up to her.


Her eyes widened in surprise when she realized she recognized him.


“Gage?”


He stopped and looked at her for a moment.


“Buffy?”


Buffy stood up a bit straighter.


“I haven’t seen you seen you transferred out of high school so suddenly.”


Gage nodded and threw the dishcloth over his shoulder.


“Got attacked. Parents got spooked. We came back when they couldn’t sell the house but I was in college by then.”


Buffy lifted herself up onto a barstool.


“I heard you were trying out for the state team.”


“Came close,” Gage replied with a shrug, “No cigar.”


Buffy gestured around.


“You work here now?”


“I do,” Gage nodded, “I like being behind the bar. Reminds me of the pool.”


Buffy frowned.


“How do you figure that?”


“Speed, balance,” Gage replied and started to smirk, “Ladies cheering for you.”


Buffy’s cheeks tinged pink. She made the same gesture around the place as she had a moment before.


“Oh, so you’re not…”


“A bigot?” Gage asked and smiled, nodding to her empty glass, “Another?”


Buffy smiled softly.


“Please.”


On the stage, Larry fixed the microphone and tapped it once to gather attention. A spotlight dropped on him.


“Ladies and gentlemen, you are all welcome to our opening night here at Amazons.”


There was a clap and some cheers and even a holler.


“Bye! Bye! Enjoy the rest of your trip!” Sally waved to her wrist as the call ended, “Love you!”


She shot back over to her own seat and Willow moved right in close to Tara with a smile as she held her hand.


“Our new owners didn’t want to make a big speech tonight,” Larry continued from the stage, holding onto the microphone stand now, “But they did ask me to say one thing.”


He smiled out to the crowd.


“This is the room where you don't have to be brave. This is the room where you just have to be you.”


There was another clap, especially from the ‘reserved’ section who were all beaming at their friends. Both Willow and Tara shared a teary-eyed look and a quick kiss.


“Without further ado, I give you Lip Service,” Larry announced with a booming voice before jumping back down off the stage while clapping the band onto it.


Guitar music started and then some soft, feminine harmonies followed and the whole place was in full swing.


Willow leaned over to Tara so she could speak and be heard.


“That call with your mom reminded me — my mom asked if we’d come over for Shabbat ‘while we’re still in town’,” she grinned and waggled her eyebrows, “Little does she know.”


Tara held onto Willow’s arm and spoke right into her ear.


“Should we tell them all we're moving back? That we’re in escrow on the house?”


“Let’s wait for the adoption papers to be finalized,” Willow grinned even more, “Give them a double surprise. Triple, technically.”


Tara grinned back.


“We should ask Mom if she’ll kitty-sit Miss Kitty for us and then just turn up with everyone in tow.”


Willow laughed out loud.


“They’ll be fighting over who gets who for Chrisyulenukkah.”


“So we host and let them come to us,” Tara suggested.


Willow smiled softly.


“Smart. That’s why I married you.”


She put her nose in Tara’s neck and then kissed the enticing piece of skin there.


“Did you think we’d end up back here?”


Tara rubbed Willow’s thigh.


“Kinda. We fell in love here. Grew up together. It made sense to me that our kids would too,” she said softly, “But no matter what, I just knew wherever we were, it would be together.”


Willow covered Tara’s hand on her thigh and held it there as she looked up at Tara lovingly.


“How much you’ve believed in me, all these years…” she paused to compose herself, “There is not faith enough.”


Tara could only smile back.


“We learn the truth when we find that kind of love,” she said emphatically, “I just learned it young.”


Willow nodded once.


“And what’s that truth?”


Tara leaned in and nuzzled Willow’s nose.


“We’re the truth. Us. Sooner or later, it had to come through,” she replied with vibrancy in her eyes and tone, “And it did. It was…inescapable. Unavoidable. Certain.”


Fate,” Willow replied emphatically, “But I still had to choose to allow myself to love you. And I still choose you every day.”


Willow reached out and took both of their drinks from the table, handing Tara hers.


She held her glass between them.


“Here’s to every adventure we’ve had.”


Tara held hers in the same way.


“Here’s to every adventure still to come.”


Willow clinked her glass against Tara’s.


“To loving you more through each and every one.”


Tara smiled teasingly.


“Oh, you’re so sure about that?”


Willow smiled back.


“Sure? Baby, you and me…it is how it has always been. It’s just completely and utterly…”


She looked at Tara with complete and utter adoration accompanying her words.


“Inevitable.”




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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:44 am 
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5. Willowhand

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Last DIBS! :whip


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:25 pm 
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5. Willowhand

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I loved this look into their future as successfull business-women who make the world a better place and are idols for gay people - probably not only in the USA but around the world. Yay for them being married and adopting two kids! How old are the children (I didn't find the birth-date on the certificates)? I loved that you added all those "documents", newspaper- and online-articles etc. Nate really is a cutie... :flirt (My boyfriend won't read this anyway :wink)

Quote:
“She's always really appreciated how you were there for Buffy and Dawn when she got sick,” Willow replied, squeezing Tara’s hand and looking sad for a moment, “And for all of the stuff after when Buffy…”


She stopped and swallowed.

That was a little mean. I was so sure that your Buffy died and actually quite angry with you for "killing her" until she suddenly arrived with Xander at "Amazons" - great canon-easteregg-name.
From the whole bunch of canon-eastereggs I loved the mention of the "swimming? - violence"-Tara-pantomime and a positive use of Willow's
Quote:
I'm very powerful. And maybe it's not such a good idea for you to piss me off,
and
Quote:
“This is the room where you don't have to be brave.

the most.

Quote:
“We’re the truth. Us. Sooner or later, it had to come through,” she replied with vibrancy in her eyes and tone, “And it did. It was…inescapable. Unavoidable. Certain.”

Quote:
Baby, you and me…it is how it has always been. It’s just completely and utterly…”


She looked at Tara with complete and utter adoration accompanying her words.


“Inevitable.”

Awww! :flower What a perfect ending (with the story-title no less)!


Now I'm wishing for a fic "in between" the last chapter and the epilogue and a sequel that starts after the epilogue as well - I'm greedy, I know. But I would really like to learn all about Tara helping Buffy through her mental crisis/illness, how Willow ended up living with a teenager during her college-life that happened to get adopted by Kimberley and Jeff, all the adventures Willow and Tara memorized in their toast... And I want to read about our beloved couple building a family with their adopted kids, Xander and Anya finally getting married, Buffy finally finding true happiness too. Maybe Gage is the one for her - by the way, should we know him from canon (from the "members of the swim-team turn into fish-monsters"-episode perhaps?).
Whenever you choose to revisit this "version" of our girls and their extended family: I'll still be here - I'll still be your fan! :bigkiss :applause :bounce


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:35 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

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I concur, you gave us hints of a lot of possible stories. I'd love to hear about Tara's DJ days and I'm a bit perplexed about the app. I'd also love to know about the kids and how Sal came into the picture? I too loved all the 'articles' at the end. This was a great trip. I will miss my biweekly Tara and Willow fix. Thanks for writing and I hope you keep it up.
TW4E

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:43 pm 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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I'll tell you guys this, there is a clue within an earlier chapter of the fic as to Sally's origins. I'll give you a hint, it's all in the name...

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:21 am 
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5. Willowhand

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Okay, this is a mysterious hint… now I'll have to reread the whole story! Well, no harm, I'd have done this anyway.

Yesterday I forgot to mention that I was thrilled to read that Tara and Willow have already "adopted" Miss Kitty. :kitty
After I had posted my feedback I googled some terms I didn't know/understand (like "whip/nae nae"). So now I also understand Willow's:
Quote:
“I’m hip! I’m so hip I’m os coxae.”

:laugh So adorably Willow!

Oh, and this expression of Willow-humour bears quoting too:
Quote:
“I’ve never been to a gay bar,” Xander said curiously as he looked around, “Do they do wet t-shirt competitions but on men? Or bra removal contests for the women?”


“They’d have to beat the champ,” Willow replied boastfully, stretching her fingers out in front of her, “I’ve taken a few bras off in my lifetime.”


Tara shot Willow a look and folded her arms lightly over her chest.


“What?” Willow asked, holding her hand up in a shrug, “We’ve been together a long time. You’ve had a lot of bras.”


It's nice that not only Willow took the name Maclay but Jeff too, obviously - unless Willow is only joking here:
Quote:
“Hi Mr. and Ms. Maclay,” Willow waved

I love that Willow STILL calls Kimberly "Ms. Maclay". Could be confusing for their kids though, so she should probably refer to Kimberly as "Granma" or something in conversation with them.
If Kimberly and Jeff are indeed Maclays then this is Sally's last name too, right? With Donny, Amy and their future kids included there are many members of "Team Maclay" apart from it's core.

One question: how does their company's business with the app work if they don't charge the users? Do the health-insurances pay for the use of it if a therapist subscribes it (Buffy mentioned a "subscription" after all)? That would be super cool (although very surprising considering what - admittedly little - I know about the social-insurance-system in the USA).


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:00 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Will's redemption

Quote:
Last DIBS! :whip


YAY :D :banana :eatme

Quote:
I loved this look into their future as successfull business-women who make the world a better place and are idols for gay people - probably not only in the USA but around the world.


Social media sure does have that reach! I definitely envision them having a bit of a niche-but-present gay following. Tara as an individual would have had a broader following because of her DJing and being known as Nate's friend, but I think by this point in their life that's definitely settled into a gay power couple vibe between them.

Quote:
Yay for them being married and adopting two kids! How old are the children (I didn't find the birth-date on the certificates)?


Matty is ~2 years old and and Ari is ~6 months old

Quote:
I loved that you added all those "documents", newspaper- and online-articles etc.


I'm so glad you liked them! I had a lot of fun conjuring them up and making them.

Quote:
Nate really is a cutie... :flirt (My boyfriend won't read this anyway :wink)


Ha! I won't tell :wink Like Tara, I am not the best judge of 'cute' when it comes to guys, so I'm glad he has your approval!

Quote:
That was a little mean. I was so sure that your Buffy died and actually quite angry with you for "killing her" until she suddenly arrived with Xander at "Amazons" - great canon-easteregg-name.


That would have been mean! No, I think poor Buffy deserves a break. Glad you like the name :)

Quote:
From the whole bunch of canon-eastereggs I loved the mention of the "swimming? - violence"-Tara-pantomime and a positive use of Willow's


Yes, this place is definitely all about the positives!

Quote:
Awww! :flower What a perfect ending (with the story-title no less)!


Thank you so much!! :blush

Quote:
Now I'm wishing for a fic "in between" the last chapter and the epilogue and a sequel that starts after the epilogue as well - I'm greedy, I know.


Wouldn't be the first time I've done a prequel and then a sequel :wink

Quote:
But I would really like to learn all about Tara helping Buffy through her mental crisis/illness, how Willow ended up living with a teenager during her college-life that happened to get adopted by Kimberley and Jeff, all the adventures Willow and Tara memorized in their toast...


I didn't drop those breadcrumbs for nothing - definitely planning to revisit!

Quote:
And I want to read about our beloved couple building a family with their adopted kids, Xander and Anya finally getting married, Buffy finally finding true happiness too. Maybe Gage is the one for her - by the way, should we know him from canon (from the "members of the swim-team turn into fish-monsters"-episode perhaps?).


And I would also love to visit all of this as well!

Gage: https://buffy.fandom.com/wiki/Gage_Petronzi

In the show (as I understand by reading up on him) he turned into a demon so obviously in this universe, he didn't. I'll be honest with you, I read through all of Buffy's love interest/possible love interests to try and find someone to give her the possibility of a happy ending and he was the only one who didn't seem like a total asshole :laugh (pre-demoning, of course)

Quote:
Whenever you choose to revisit this "version" of our girls and their extended family: I'll still be here - I'll still be your fan! :bigkiss :applause :bounce


CANON EASTER EGG :D :D :D :D

Quote:
Okay, this is a mysterious hint… now I'll have to reread the whole story! Well, no harm, I'd have done this anyway.


I take that as a great compliment!

Quote:
Yesterday I forgot to mention that I was thrilled to read that Tara and Willow have already "adopted" Miss Kitty. :kitty


Absolutely! I haven't actually decided when yet. I like the idea of getting her in college like in the show, but as you can tell, their college life ended up being quite hectic :laugh Still leaning toward it though. Might be one of those things that gets worked out as I write it.

Quote:
After I had posted my feedback I googled some terms I didn't know/understand (like "whip/nae nae"). So now I also understand Willow's:

:laugh So adorably Willow!

Oh, and this expression of Willow-humour bears quoting too:


I know there's always a risk with using slightly obscure references so thank you so much for taking the time to google so you could appreciate my dumb jokes :lol

Quote:
It's nice that not only Willow took the name Maclay but Jeff too, obviously - unless Willow is only joking here:


Yep, Jeff took the name too!

Quote:
I love that Willow STILL calls Kimberly "Ms. Maclay". Could be confusing for their kids though, so she should probably refer to Kimberly as "Granma" or something in conversation with them.


You might be right. Kimberly is 'Nana' in my head so I think there might a gradual transition where Willow has to get used to calling her that!

Quote:
If Kimberly and Jeff are indeed Maclays then this is Sally's last name too, right? With Donny, Amy and their future kids included there are many members of "Team Maclay" apart from it's core.


Sally definitely becomes a Maclay. I really love the idea that Kimberly got herself out of an abusive relationship and has now built this dynasty based on her own name!

Quote:
One question: how does their company's business with the app work if they don't charge the users? Do the health-insurances pay for the use of it if a therapist subscribes it (Buffy mentioned a "subscription" after all)? That would be super cool (although very surprising considering what - admittedly little - I know about the social-insurance-system in the USA).


Ooh, I hadn't thought about insurance but I love it!! The idea was that therapists would license it as a tool but that there would also be basic programs available to any person who wanted to download it. And that the lay person could pay a premium subscription to get premium features like access to one-on-one therapy through the app or enhanced analysis of any content created (because there's art therapy programs, music therapy, exercise classes as well as mindfullness etc etc etc). Then there was also licensing agreements (like the meeting with the 'Japanese' was a meeting for them to create content based purely on their particular manga [Japanese comic]) and limited advertising for things like sensory products or other therapeutic tools only when the user's history shows a need for such a product.

But I could definitely see the insurance angle working too! Both if a user's policy covers their therapist's use of it, or if their policy covers the cost of an individual's premium account. It's just another way to expand the user base and generate more income. Great idea! Thank you for it!

Can't thank you enough for all of the support you've given me and this story!

taranwillow4ever

Quote:
I concur, you gave us hints of a lot of possible stories.


Delighted to hear there's some interest in the ideas! I'll definitely be revisiting, no doubt!

Quote:
I'd love to hear about Tara's DJ days and I'm a bit perplexed about the app


Tara's DJ/college days are gonna be fun, I think :D

The app is a therapy tool. It provides programs in all different areas (art/music/exercise/etc) that users can utilize by downloading the app themselves or through their therapist who uses it to aid their own treatment of the patient.

Quote:
. I'd also love to know about the kids and how Sal came into the picture?


Nothing unusual about the kids. They decided to adopt and went through the process and now are adopting.

Sally definitely has more of a backstory!

Quote:
I too loved all the 'articles' at the end. This was a great trip. I will miss my biweekly Tara and Willow fix. Thanks for writing and I hope you keep it up.


Thank you and I'm so glad you liked the articles!

I will too miss my biweekly posing! I will definitely keep it up!

Thanks so much!

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:37 am 
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5. Willowhand

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
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Quote:
I haven't actually decided when yet. I like the idea of getting her in college like in the show, but as you can tell, their college life ended up being quite hectic :laugh Still leaning toward it though.

I figured they got her before their wedding because I spotted pictures of Willow and Miss Kitty in the background of the foto to the "Is Tara Nate's Violet?"-article.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:03 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Will's redemption wrote:
Quote:
I haven't actually decided when yet. I like the idea of getting her in college like in the show, but as you can tell, their college life ended up being quite hectic :laugh Still leaning toward it though.

I figured they got her before their wedding because I spotted pictures of Willow and Miss Kitty in the background of the foto to the "Is Tara Nate's Violet?"-article.


Good eye! It's definitely the intention :)

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:28 am 
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5. Willowhand

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After thinking long and hard where you might have mentioned the name Sally before in your story I remembered Kimberly telling Tara after she came out to her that her father wanted to name her after a racehorse. So I went back to the chapter and there it is:

Quote:
“Your father…well, he didn’t approve. He wanted to call you Sally.”


“Sally?” Tara asked, brow furrowing. She didn’t feel like a Sally.


“After Mustang Sally, a horse that he won a lot on over the years,” Kimberly replied with a disapproving clipped tone, “But he wanted Donny to be named after himself so I won that one.


Am I right in assuming that your Sally of the epilogue is not only Tara's adopted sister but also her half-sister? That would explain this part of her description:
Quote:
her eyes popped with blue; the same hue as Tara’s.

So I guess they both got the eye color of their father? At least one good thing out of this arseholes DNA...

I'm dying to know how Willow ended up with Sally (who couldn't have been older than 13 or 14 when Willow started college) as a roommate. Was Sally a wonder child, already attending Harvey Mudd College at such a young age?


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:21 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Will's redemption wrote:
After thinking long and hard where you might have mentioned the name Sally before in your story I remembered Kimberly telling Tara after she came out to her that her father wanted to name her after a racehorse. So I went back to the chapter and there it is:

Quote:
“Your father…well, he didn’t approve. He wanted to call you Sally.”


“Sally?” Tara asked, brow furrowing. She didn’t feel like a Sally.


“After Mustang Sally, a horse that he won a lot on over the years,” Kimberly replied with a disapproving clipped tone, “But he wanted Donny to be named after himself so I won that one.


Am I right in assuming that your Sally of the epilogue is not only Tara's adopted sister but also her half-sister? That would explain this part of her description:
Quote:
her eyes popped with blue; the same hue as Tara’s.

So I guess they both got the eye color of their father? At least one good thing out of this arseholes DNA...


Ding, ding, ding.

(Kimberly's eyes are blue too, but a different shade to Tara - grey-blue. Donny's eyes are grey)

But yes, you have figured out the connection!

Quote:
I'm dying to know how Willow ended up with Sally (who couldn't have been older than 13 or 14 when Willow started college) as a roommate. Was Sally a wonder child, already attending Harvey Mudd College at such a young age?


Well, I never said Willow was Sally's only 'roommate'. Willow only has to live in the dorms for the first year, remember...

I'll also say that the kind of life Tara's father lived doesn't tend to leave you on this earth very long...

(There's obviously a lot more circumstance to expose, but I hope that gives you the gist!)

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:59 pm 
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Laragh, what an awesome story you weaved over the past however long. Nice touch with the epilogue. I'm just sad this journey is over. I just might have to reread the Confidentials......


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:41 pm 
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NorthernLass wrote:
Laragh, what an awesome story you weaved over the past however long. Nice touch with the epilogue. I'm just sad this journey is over. I just might have to reread the Confidentials......


Thanks so much NL! I'm sad too but I'm certain I'll visit these guys again someday!

(I'm actually going to be starting to post some new Confidential stuff I think next week!)

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:43 am 
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aw, the end to this lovely journey

The girls are doin alright for themselves!! I LOVE the Tara goddess on the DJ Tarot card you made and I adore that Tara DJ'd at all- its so right for your Tara

I'm a little confused as to who Sally is, but your comments to other feedback have filled that in a bit (or wait for the next installment :) )

Quote:
The guy scowled and pushed himself off the bar to walk away.


ugh, I have definitely had guys try and chat me up then just turn and walk away when I tell them I'm gay- it just makes me more glad that I am

Quote:
“Are you telling people I’m your ex-girlfriend again?”


Adorable!!!

Quote:
“I’m hip! I’m so hip I’m os coxae.”

“You thought the whip/nae nae was a frozen dessert,” Tara countered with a raised eyebrow, “You embarrassed the heck out of Sal that day.”


:laugh :laugh - I really like foxes and once bought a shirt with a cute fox on it and all these random words surrounding it, having no idea that "What does the fox say" existed and that I was wearing its shirt. Solidarity Willow. :cool

The easter eggs were fun and Willow being the cool gay to a baby gay warmed my heart.

NIce job bringing everything and everyone full circle. They are partners truly and doing great things in the world. Lovely!!

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:43 am 
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shirrey wrote:
aw, the end to this lovely journey

The girls are doin alright for themselves!! I LOVE the Tara goddess on the DJ Tarot card you made and I adore that Tara DJ'd at all- its so right for your Tara


Thank you! I didn't think anyone would notice that detail :D

Quote:
I'm a little confused as to who Sally is, but your comments to other feedback have filled that in a bit (or wait for the next installment :) )


Both?

Quote:
ugh, I have definitely had guys try and chat me up then just turn and walk away when I tell them I'm gay- it just makes me more glad that I am


It's like, oh sorry I stopped being a person as soon as you found out I wasn't interested. They could at least be polite, right?

Quote:
:laugh :laugh - I really like foxes and once bought a shirt with a cute fox on it and all these random words surrounding it, having no idea that "What does the fox say" existed and that I was wearing its shirt. Solidarity Willow. :cool


OMG I'm laughing so hard. That's hilarious.

Quote:
The easter eggs were fun and Willow being the cool gay to a baby gay warmed my heart. [

NIce job bringing everything and everyone full circle. They are partners truly and doing great things in the world. Lovely!!


Thank you so much and thanks for reading this whole thing and sticking with me! I appreciate it SOOO much!!!

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:50 am 
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Quote:
(I'm actually going to be starting to post some new Confidential stuff I think next week!)

Imagine me squealing with joy! :applause :bounce :banana :dumbo :eatme


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:10 pm 
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Will's redemption wrote:
Quote:
(I'm actually going to be starting to post some new Confidential stuff I think next week!)

Imagine me squealing with joy! :applause :bounce :banana :dumbo :eatme


Imagine me squealing with joy that you're squealing with joy :D :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:36 pm 
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JMT-

I wanted to go back and re-read the entire fic before I read the epilogue. Knowing you, as I do, I knew there would be things in the epilogue that tied into fic and you didn’t disappoint! I also wanted to go back and find all the song lyrics. I knew most and found others I’d missed before. **It was fun finding them** :)

I really loved how you tied everything together in the epilogue and I’m happy to report I figured out the origin of Sally’s name almost immediately. :)

If you decide to revisit, I think I’d like to see more detail about what happened in the ten years in between. I’ve been trying to figure out the actual timeline, based on the snippets at the end, and I think my head almost exploded, lol. I’m going to assume they moved in together after freshman year and in my version, they got an apartment midway between both schools, for an easier commute. But it would be interesting to see how Sally went from Willow’s freshman genius roommate to Tara’s adopted sister.

Anyway, thank you for this wonderful journey. It was really nice having new content to look forward to each week. You’re a marvelous writer and I can’t wait to see what comes next!

-Your JMT, xoxo

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic: Inevitable [AU] (Complete)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:29 am 
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Finey_McFine wrote:
JMT-

I wanted to go back and re-read the entire fic before I read the epilogue. Knowing you, as I do, I knew there would be things in the epilogue that tied into fic and you didn’t disappoint! I also wanted to go back and find all the song lyrics. I knew most and found others I’d missed before. **It was fun finding them** :)


I'm so glad you were able to find them! That makes me giddy, I thought it might just be my own lame brain that would know them :laugh :laugh

Quote:
I really loved how you tied everything together in the epilogue and I’m happy to report I figured out the origin of Sally’s name almost immediately. :)


I can always trust on you to know exactly where I'm going :)

Quote:
If you decide to revisit, I think I’d like to see more detail about what happened in the ten years in between.


This is exactly the way I plan to revisit.

Quote:
I’ve been trying to figure out the actual timeline, based on the snippets at the end, and I think my head almost exploded, lol. I’m going to assume they moved in together after freshman year and in my version, they got an apartment midway between both schools, for an easier commute.


You're smart. S-M-R-T. I mean S-M-A-R-T.

Quote:
But it would be interesting to see how Sally went from Willow’s freshman genius roommate to Tara’s adopted sister.


Just to be clear, Sally was never Willow's college roommate. Sally is only in college during the time the epilogue is set. She's Dawn's roommate in the dorms. It's less of a 'roommate' situation and more of a 'comes to live with' situation.

Quote:
Anyway, thank you for this wonderful journey. It was really nice having new content to look forward to each week. You’re a marvelous writer and I can’t wait to see what comes next!

-Your JMT, xoxo


Thank you so much! For your readership and friendship. I <3 you so hard!!

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