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

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 Post subject: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:11 am 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 6:07 pm
Posts: 123
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Something Blue (Short behind the scenes intro to the chronicles)

Author name – CopperAndGold
Rating – PG
Feedback – Yes, please!
Summary – This fic is set in the same world, with the same character development in both Willow and Tara from my main fic "When Erryn found herself". These chronicles will attempt to cover the development of their relationship throughout season 4, up until the beginning of 'When Erynn found herself'. Hope you enjoy this short intro! More to come soon.





November 29th, 1999 – Sunnydale, California



It was so… obviously there and people would just walk right past it. Sometimes, some would even enter and no one seemed to notice or care. It still amazed her. These folks couldn’t claim innocence either; it was written plain as day on the shop’s sign: ‘The Magic Box’.

Her brow furrowed, chewing on a cashew as her head tilted to the side in thought. Might be a euphemism... Her brain joked before quickly chastising herself for her lurid thoughts.

This wasn’t her first attempt. She’d tried talking herself into coming before Samhain. Had stood right exactly here. Nibbling on snacks and watching from across the street like a dork. The store being so busy at Halloween should’ve been a no-brainer, really. But, end result remained: She’d chickened out. At least this time it wasn’t so busy. A quick glance at her trusty Doc Martens made the corner of her lips rise slightly. Last time gave her swollen feet. Better shoes this time…

Shoes should be the least of your worries, girl.

Her bleached locks fell further forward, framing her face as she lowered her eyes in shame – her father’s voice had a way of being all-encompassing and intrusively physical. Center-skull, boom box clear: ‘Thou shalt NOT, or else.’ A zap of kinetic memories making her nerves jump and her heart skip and thump; skin shot through with numbing tingles tightening. Squeezing her consciousness as if through a tube of toothpaste. Vision tunneling, she gasped out loud.

Her gasping, making a sound, snapped her back to herself. Feeling strangers’ scrutinizing gazes, staring and confused as they walked passed.

‘What’s wrong?’ Their eyes conveyed worry but, she knew their derision. She was the cause of a moment of abnormality in their otherwise uneventful and peaceful day. Now they had to interrupt what they were doing, didn’t they? They had to ‘care’, didn’t they? About her. No one should have to care…

Heat flushed her cheeks, offended by her own mind. Futile anger. I left. She thought to herself. He’s not here. The young woman closed her eyes, trying to calm herself. Deep breath, you’re not there anymore. She opened her clear blue eyes again, focusing on the magic store across the street. Things were obviously different here. Maybe she was, too?

“Are you alright?” A disheveled, elderly lady asked politely.

The unexpected encounter obviously startled the young blonde, “Wh-wh,” She stammered and blinked furiously, trying to focus, “Huh? Yes. Yes I’m f-fine.” Those clear blues twinkled, rolled up in a way the woman could only find adorable “Lost in my thoughts.” The girl snickered self-deprecatingly.

Once she’d had a good look at the older woman, it was hard to ignore her state of dress or how filthy she looked. She seemed nice, but in a way that made you wonder why you were so confident in that fact. “You were looking to go to that store?” The lady pointed across the street, “My name is Lucile, by the way.”

The girl nodded ever so slightly, “Tara,” Crossing her arms over her chest, she cleared her throat, “Um… I’ve heh-heard bad things.” Her arms squeezed for comfort as she continued, “I sh-shouldn’t do magic.”

“Hm,” Lucile intoned skeptically, “I know the owner well.” She smiled warmly, showing pearly white teeth in complete contrast with her face, a beacon of hope, “Mr. Bogarty, he’s a very good man.” The woman chuckled lightly, “He wouldn’t lead you astray. He’s a ‘walk-the-line’ type.” She winked conspiratorially.

Although Tara didn’t quite understand what she’d meant, Lucile did seem to know. “I ju-just wanted to… my mom, she was a witch before.” She clenched her jaw, fighting tears back, “I need her, but she’s gone and…” Why am I telling her…? “Anyway, um…” She cleared her throat and pointed across the street, “Mr. Bogarty you said?”

Lucile, seemingly unfazed by the confession merely nodded and grinned, “That’s right, dear.”

After thanking Lucile and crossing the street, Tara couldn’t help but feel she’d just crossed paths with someone some might fear. She shook off the odd feeling before taking a breath, and opening the door to the Magic Box.

***

You have to go through the pain. The thought ran through Willow’s head over and over again, Go through it… The tone of her inner monologue had become more resentful with the passing hours. What kind of friend wants you to go through pain?

It was late. More like, early morning. Her best friend slept soundly in her own bed, while the redhead laid awake, full of pain and resentment. Buffy knew about pain, of course. Had been through lots of it already so, she must know something about it, right?

Well, she’s not me. Willow thought indignantly. I’m a witch, I do magic. She resigned herself, I can will this away, I know I can. Oz left and wasn’t coming back. It was final, so why on earth should she still be hurting? It just wasn’t fair.

It was 3:30 AM when she decided on a spell to cast. Come tomorrow, she’d be over Oz’ leaving for sure.

Then life could be normal again.

***

It hadn’t worked. Tara laid in bed, reprimanding herself. Mr. Bogarty had told her that it was important to do the ritual with a clear mind and heart. She’d so desperately wanted to talk with her mother, but she also knew the anger that was there. Why didn’t you leave, mom? Why didn’t you and I move here… we would have fit in…

And there was the rub, wasn’t it. Tara didn’t fit in anywhere it seemed. Only with her mother had she felt at home, in some way at least. A common bond that made facing the world a lot easier. And now, here… in this place, Tara was alone. With her inner demons.

Why didn’t you move us here, mom?

The sun would be up in a couple hours, and she was exhausted. But the question remained as she drifted to sleep.

***

The next day was mostly uneventful for Tara. She’d made it through almost unnoticed, until a professor had had the great idea of pairing up students for an exercise. People were good at not reacting to her stutter, most times. But, years of being attentive to facial expressions made it so little tells were as obvious to her as a neon sign. Impatience, irritation – easily discernable and so, made her stutter all the worst.

Long story short, it sucked.

Now in the lounge she decided to look around a bit. Different clubs were forming on campus, table top gaming groups, activism groups… The flyers and advertisement for them were littered all over. Tara leaned in closer to a board with different posters, not really thinking she’d be willing to join any group anyway. She was still curious, though. If she were less… Lesbian alliance? Her eyes goggled, she took a step back.

When she came to Sunnydale Tara had decided to be herself, no matter what. That included not being in the ‘closet’ as it were. She didn’t hide her sexual orientation… but she didn’t exactly flaunt it, either. If asked, she’d be honest. Would she join a group though? A group about being a lesbian?

Her cheeks reddened the more she thought about it. It was a sure way to be noticed, meet other likeminded girls… maybe get hit on. Tara gulped, being noticed wasn’t so much what she was going for. Nonetheless, she did take a flyer. Just… you know, in case she changed her mind later.

Chess club? She grimaced at the plain looking flyer. A pink and yellow one peeked from under it. Tara lifted the chess club flyer to reveal the colorful one beneath. A Wicca group!? Her mind cheered. Other witches? You’ve got to be kidding!

For the first time in her life, Tara Maclay felt the urge to be part of a social group. Now, for the courage to sign up. She thought ruefully on her way back to her dorm, both flyer neatly tucked in her bag.

***

The smell of chocolate chip cookies was still clinging to her nostrils. Willow was now home, duly contrite and remorseful for her ‘will be done’ spell. Of course she hadn’t meant for it to go how it did. Blinding poor Giles, and Buffy with the Spike kissing. She grimaced, Willow had only wanted to stop hurting.

Then that D’Hoffryn guy nearly made her poop her pants. No thank you!

One thing was for sure, this only served to make her understand the whole ‘go through the pain’ thing. Doing anything but seemed to only make things worse. Instead of wallowing or avoiding, she should just accept it for the time it’s there. Maybe new interests or hobbies, new friends? Something else than moping… Maybe a computer club or something.

She’d check the lounge for some inspiration tomorrow.

***

_________________
~M
CopperAndGold


Last edited by CopperAndGold on Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Something Blue (Behind the scenes)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:35 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
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Location: Portland, Or
:bounce yay!!! A new CandG story!!!

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You ARE Magic ~ Tara


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Something Blue (Behind the scenes)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:23 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:08 pm
Posts: 1133
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Location: Easton PA
Definitely liking; I've done some backstory stuff myself and I always enjoy seeing someone else's take on it. [Sometimes I make it into headcanon history behind my own stories -f or example Tara's mother's name in my 'verse I got from the sadly moving and sadly unfinished "Broken Dolls"-, and this definitely seems like one of those so far.:-)] I can totally see these two playing through similar scenes. (Maybe I won't exactly be able to "steeal" this; in my 'verse Tara isn't a gay virgin when she meets Willow, which she so often is here at Pens.) The characterization matches well with what I got from the show.

_________________
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: Magical Chronicles - Something Blue (Behind the scenes)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:10 am 
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3. Flaming O

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 135
I'm thrilled to read your "Behind the Scenes"-version of seasons 4 (and 5 until the Family-episode?) because of your brilliant way to give us an insight into Tara's and Willow's thoughts and emotions.

This part made a special impact on me:

Quote:
Shoes should be the least of your worries, girl.

Her bleached locks fell further forward, framing her face as she lowered her eyes in shame – her father’s voice had a way of being all-encompassing and intrusively physical. Center-skull, boom box clear: ‘Thou shalt NOT, or else.’ A zap of kinetic memories making her nerves jump and her heart skip and thump; skin shot through with numbing tingles tightening. Squeezing her consciousness as if through a tube of toothpaste. Vision tunneling, she gasped out loud.

Her gasping, making a sound, snapped her back to herself. Feeling strangers’ scrutinizing gazes, staring and confused as they walked passed.

‘What’s wrong?’ Their eyes conveyed worry but, she knew their derision. She was the cause of a moment of abnormality in their otherwise uneventful and peaceful day. Now they had to interrupt what they were doing, didn’t they? They had to ‘care’, didn’t they? About her. No one should have to care…

Heat flushed her cheeks, offended by her own mind. Futile anger. I left. She thought to herself. He’s not here. The young woman closed her eyes, trying to calm herself. Deep breath, you’re not there anymore. She opened her clear blue eyes again, focusing on the magic store across the street. Things were obviously different here. Maybe she was, too?


I really wished I could reach into your story and hug Tara and tell her "Hold on, you'll meet your soulmate in a few days!"

Now I'm looking forward to reading Tara's experience of that fateful wikka-group-meeting where she first meets Willow. I always imagined it was love at first sight for her, I'm curious if you'll write it that way.


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Something Blue (Behind the scenes)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:04 am 
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3. Flaming O

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 135
:bigwave Hey there, is there any chance that we will get to read your take on the girls' first meeting soon? I would be thrilled and I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one!


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 Post subject: Magical Chronicles - Hush (Plus, Feedback)
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:27 am 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 6:07 pm
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Thanks for hanging in there with me, kittens. It's been life... and more life. Here's a long awaited update! Time for some quiet in here...




• Author name – CopperAndGold
• Rating – PG
• Feedback – Yes, please!
• Summary – World: When Erynn Found Herself. Chronicles of Willow and Tara's beginnings.
• Note - Second Installment in the Magical Chronicles series: Hush.



Hush


***

My Heart wasn't in it.

***

Why didn’t I just say something? Fingers twisting in her shirt, Tara morosely walked the halls back to her room. They’re so clueless. That girl - Willow - was right. Her mouth twisted self-deprecatingly knowing that if she’d have spoken up, it would have probably been less than gracefully executed. “Stupid mouth.” She grumbled to herself, fishing the keys to her door from her bag.

Meeting Chrissie, the leader of the Wicca group, had been a foreshadowing event earlier that day. Tara had been early, not wanting to be greeted by a large group. The only one present at the time had been Chrissie, sitting daintily and going through notes. After forcing herself to stand straight and taker her courage into her hands, the reserved young woman finally introduced herself to the group lead.

But, at the inevitable stammer that eventually resulted, Chrissie’s demeanor took on an overtly-sweet, patronizing tone. Indignation bounced inside Tara’s stomach like a ping-pong ball, reasoned into shame as quickly as her neurons could fire. She’d dissolved right there on the spot. Had become a nodding and smiling fool sitting on the floor as others had started to join.

She hadn’t introduced herself to any of the others; just sat there staring at linoleum tiles. Hearing about bacchanals as if they were light-hearted get-togethers and, of course, there were bake sales. It had astounded her the sheer vapidity present in one room. Surely, it went against the laws of physics somehow? Was that how black holes were formed?

The blonde took off her blouse, leaving her more comfortable in her jean skirt and strap top. She ran her fingers through her hair a few times with a huff, messing up the meticulous pattern she’d laid down earlier and flopped down onto her bed. Taking in a lungful of air and letting it out slowly, Tara closed her eyes and tried to let the stress of the day out of her body.

Well, there’s the wacky notion of spells. Her lips quirked involuntarily, hearing that soft voice in her mind. Willow, she remembered, had the cutest smile she’d ever seen. Those words had drawn Tara’s eyes from the cold floor to a face radiating warmth. Although the beauty of the girl wasn’t lost on Tara, it was her… flow. Her energy; what some call an aura. The sight had bolstered her enthusiasm if only for a second – Willow was a witch, of this she was certain.

Then, when those girls started making fun of the redheaded pixie for actually speaking sense, it was against her instincts to even speak up at all. But, she had… even if half-heartedly. It had irked her, the way those girls were talking down to Willow. No one could blame Tara for feeling compelled to defend the seemingly knowledgeable… redheaded… cute and powerful… witch.

A grumble loosed itself from within her chest as she draped an arm over her eyes resolutely. You went all white knight, admit it. Tara snorted at the mental image of herself mounted on a white steed, covered in armor. Sword in one hand with a rose clutched between her teeth. Before her imagination could get a hold of Willow in this particular tableau, she shook herself out of it. As if… get a grip. She quickly decided on taking care of a project she’d put off until after the meeting, tonight.

Emptying her bag onto the desk; laying out her books for the next day, she made sure to affix her sticky-note with Willow’s name to her desktop.

Tara would summon the courage to contact the redhead one day soon. It was enough she’d been able to ask Chrissie the young woman’s name once the meeting was over.

For now, though, she had lights to string up.

***

It was quiet as the roommates worked on their studies. The only sounds were those of Willow’s laptop keys being struck intermittently and that of Buffy’s book pages being flipped at long intervals. A peaceful end to a letdown of a day for the studious redhead until her friend moaned and grumbled in annoyance from the bed. “This psych stuff is shrinking my brain. Pretty sure shrinking the brain is a bad.” Buffy rubbed her tired eyes, “Didn’t Giles talk to us about shrunken Voodoo heads?”

Twisting in her chair, Willow grinned, “Dunno, you’re alive… maybe it’ll just-” She tapped the side of her head, “You know, concentrate your smarts.” Her voice had a hopeful tone to it.

Buffy’s face twisted in obvious disagreement, “What, like orange juice?” Her eyebrows rose, “Am I gonna get all pulpy and delicious?”

She weighed the different comparisons in her busy head, “No, no - more like a-a soup! You know, like-like when you reduce it to concentrate the flavor.” Willow beamed from her seat in her bright-pink pj’s, “See, more yummy-smarts!”

Buffy didn’t seem convinced but waved it off, “As long as I’m delicious.”

With a tight-lipped and overtly-supportive smile, the redhead nodded once sharply, “That’s the spirit.” She said cheerfully, turning back towards the desk.

“Arrgh!” The slayer grunted and pushed her book away before sitting up on the edge of her bed. “Break time.” She declared decidedly.

Willow winced and glanced from the corner of her eye at her laptop, “I was on kind of a roll…”

As she pulled a couple of cans from the mini-fridge, Buffy shook her head and handed one of them to her friend, “Come on, you’ve been at it for two hours straight.” She popped her can and twisted Willows seat so she would face away from the desk, “I’m bored and you know I’d just be bugging you.”

“Fine.” The redhead acquiesced easily, “The whole being on a roll was a big fib, anyway.” She shrugged, “More like being on a seesaw.” Willow pouted.

“What gives?” Asked Buffy with a grunt as she stretched out her back. “Still disappointed there were no real witchy friends at group?”

“Yeah,” Willow took a sip before continuing, “This one girl looked like she was at least going to humor me, but…” Shaking her head, annoyed at the memory she continued, frowning, “They were so stuck up, she looked scared of saying anything.”

A serious look fell across the slayer’s face, “Were they mean?” She asked, “To you?”

Rolling her eyes and puffing out the air from her cheeks, Willow replied, “Only in the way ignorance can be mean.” She shook her head dismissively, “They think magic is so obviously b.s. it’s worthy of ridicule.”

Buffy’s eyes rolled as well, knowing how aggravating it could be to know that what others laugh at as fairytales, is actually quite real. “Are you going back?” She asked hesitantly.

Willow sighed in defeat, “I don’t see why I would.” She sulked at her friend.

The petite blonde frowned in sympathy before trying to lighten the mood, “Y’know, some say Walsh is a witch. Maybe she can teach you some stuff.” She joked.

A grin formed on Willow’s lips, “I doubt they mean the same kind of witch I want to be.” Willow contradicted.

“I don’t know,” Buffy joked, waving at the book laying on her bed, “Pretty sure she’s casting a confusion spell on my brain with that book.” At her friend’s amused and disbelieving expression, she petulantly added, “Pfft, what do you know, anyway?” Cocking a hip, she crossed her arms. “Miss ‘I can only float a pencil’ and make mortal enemies get engaged.”

“I know,” Stunned, Willow started hesitantly with a cocked eyebrow, making the word stretch, “That it doesn’t take a witch to confuse you.” She winced in excited fright at the look of surprise on the slayer’s face, “Your slayer brains do that by them-SELVES” Her voice rose in volume and squeaked it last words as her face was met with a pillow with a loud puff of air.

***

It wasn't Heartless.

***

Okay, so she’d made it all the way to her first class before realizing no one could speak, so what? For Tara not notice she couldn’t speak wasn’t so incomprehensible since she was pretty quiet, most times.

But, how could she have missed how silent… how voiceless the school was?

Classes were cancelled and everyone was in a state of confused fear, including herself. After experiencing the eerie atmosphere of the cafeteria to at least get some breakfast, she quickly retreated to the comfort of her room.

The lights put up the night before were dimly lighting the space around her in a warm glow. Tara chewed on strawberries while reading, trying to figure out what kind of magic Sunnydale was under. It had to be outsider magic, they could claim laryngitis all they wanted on the news.

She could feel it, the subtly insidious lulling thrum in the air. It resonated and was dark. Knowing they sat on a hellmouth, indeed her whole reason for being here, Tara also knew the kinds of things this place attracted. But, all she was able to find so far were spells that could only be performed on one person at a time. In a town with a population in the thousands… well, she didn’t have time or the will for all that.

The witch pushed her books aside, irritated at her lack of success so far. It was almost sundown now and, as much as she could admit to enjoying the quiet, Tara was getting more and more worried. Behind a spell, there must be an intent. A goal, whatever it may be.

What purpose would rendering a whole town mute, serve? The blonde could see why one would want someone else to just… quit talking. But… A whole town?

She might need some help, she thought. The sticky-note with Willow’s name stared at her from the desk’s edge; there was a good chance the girl was a witch. Right? Right… so, she might be able to help and I have the perfect reason… to call her… or something.

Figuring she had a good chance to find Willow’s name in the school directory, seeing as her name wasn’t a common one, she swiftly went looking through her copy. Some students listed their phone numbers as well, but, unfortunately not one Willow Rosenberg. Tara did find the girl’s dorm and room number, though.

Her heart thumped in her chest and seemed to falter. So I should just… go there. Tara stood from her chair and crossed her arms, started pacing the room. I don’t have to go now… She quickly deduced she wasn’t prepared enough, she was all frumpy, hadn’t had a shower and how would they even communicate? Plus, she hadn’t found anything yet… she should at least show up with something, surely.

The more she rationalized the situation, the less she found herself willing to go. I’m not ready. It was decided, she would stay in tonight and try to sleep even though she had a bad feeling something dark was stirring.

***

We Collect Them.

***

Fairytales can come true, it can happen to you Willow sang the tune out in her mind while busying herself around the room. If they want your heart…

Today had been too much. She never thought about how exhausting it would be to be a mime. Really, she tried as much as she could never to think of mimes. Images of voiceless, silently screaming faces as their hearts were being cut out kept flashing through her mind throughout the day. Willow was now alone, worried and scared. So, she busied herself and sang off-key in her head.

It was all about distractions these days. Distractions from missing Oz, missing Buffy and Xander – the good old days. Distractions from feeling like her social life was on pause. Mainly, right now though, she missed Oz.

If he were here he’d find a way to make her feel safe, she thought. He never needed words for that… Willow missed his presence, his arms, his heart. No, don’t think about hearts…

Oh, look – a laptop. Endless distractions on the old internet. Yes’sir, a lot of good entertaining distractions. It was late but, after Giles’ exposition earlier, Willow wasn’t too keen on dreaming this night. She began plugging away at looking up more elegant ways to code a function she finally got working in her latest program. Now, it was just a matter of reducing a few hundred lines into a more smartly designed, and concise whole.

***

Hush now, you’re home.

***

Shouldn’t have waited. Tara thought guiltily as she finished off her croissant. I might have been able to help, now people are dead! She couldn’t stand the feeling, at all.

Lacing up her boots as quick as she could, the witch viciously twisted her finger on the pull which made her wince in pain. You couldn’t help, you’d just make things worse. It wasn’t her voice. Much too sure of itself, much too final. You shouldn’t even think of using magic, Tara.

He wasn’t there, with her in the room. He wasn’t even in the same state as her. But, her father had a way of reaching her that was still sometimes overwhelming to the young witch. Only by the influence of her aunt had she been introduced to another way. A new paradigm… where she was a witch, and that was ok. A witch with a demon must be better than a demon alone, no? She could face it here, on the hellmouth… maybe. But, she needed magic for that. So she would use it, and try and ignore her father’s judgement ringing from the trappings of her mind.

Maybe no one else will die tonight. Tara thought as she decidedly peeled the sticky-note from the registry, making sure she had Willow’s address with her. Along with her books, she left the room hoping the redhead would be there and that, together, they could help. At least in some small way.

***

The atmosphere all around her was thick and taught like piano string as she sped-walked towards Willow’s building, her heart thumping away in her throat. Tara’s breath came fast and shallow, clutching her books against her chest.

She’d often been afraid before, at differing levels. But, all those times she’d known what she was up against. Looking around, trying to spot any danger she might encounter made her lose track of her feet. Tara tripped forward, dropping her books to the ground which she immediately set to picking back up.

Then the faint sounds of metal scrapings and thick fabric rustling, hit her ears. The noise only noticeable in the dead quiet, eerie and out of place. When Tara turned her head and saw… them, her books were forgotten in an instant. Oh my God!

She took off at a sprint for shelter, having already almost reached Stevenson Hall. Tara knew they were chasing her without having to look back. She could feel the down-soft hair on the nape of her neck standing on end. How she could sense phantom hands grasping at her shoulders – being chased was nothing new to her, but it had been a while.

She’d been hunted down like a wild rabbit trying to escape discipline, many times. Tara grew fast enough to outrun her big brother in the end.

She was a fast runner.

***

Willow was on a broomstick, flying around on her broomstick when distant thunder boomed. “But, the sun’s out?” She wondered aloud as again sounded another boom, louder and now repeating.

She was standing naked by a tall fire on a full moon night - staring into the flames. Drums beat out the thunder’s rhythm, faster in cadence until the flames parted. Willow reached in unhesitantly, plucked a beating heart from the fire’s center.

She saw herself, blankly staring and smiling at this beating heart – her eyes pitch black.

BANG, BANG, BANG!

With a start, Willow awoke to the sound of someone frantically banging on doors in the hall. Her dream evaporated, and now she was petrified of opening her door. Those gentlemen were out there and she was alone.

The banging continued and was moving as if the person was moving down her hall. Willow tried to compose herself, thinking out her options. But, even though reason told her to not go out there – she couldn’t just sit there knowing.

Even though she couldn’t think of a way to help right this second - as doors didn’t seem to stop the Gentlemen before - she couldn’t just sit idly by.

So, she carefully looked out for whoever was in need… though it was unfortunate she had to look right, and not left.

***

What number was it!? Tara had dropped the note along with her books long before, and couldn’t for the literal life of her remember Willow’s room number.

Every door remained shut to her, no matter how much she knocked. Try as she might, screaming for help was a futile endeavor. She knocked, and knocked, and…

Yes! Open, open! Help me… Tara thought frantically as the door opened only to reveal the grotesque face of a gentlemen grinning at her with iron teeth. Holding a bleeding, human heart. Swallowing an urge to gag, the witch turned face and ran full tilt – tears stinging her eyes, making her path blurry.

She thought she was dead for sure when she quite literally bulled over a tiny figure that had been in her way. The impact sent Tara to her knees, the hard floor bruising them.

***

Willow’s mind screamed as her ankle was twisted, falling to the ground next to her assailant. She fully believed she’d been attacked for a moment until her eyes took in the sight down the hall of Gentlemen and their lackeys coming at them. The nightmarish scene took the air from her lungs but a hand firmly yanked at her arm, pulling and then holding her up.

The stranger and her limping-self ran as fast as they could to the stairwell, and together they took the stairs down to the ground level where the laundry room was. She wasn’t sure who was leading who, all Willow knew was that they were racing against time... The monsters were catching up.

***

If a decision had been made between up and down, her legs had made it. Tara was exhausted and, although she was too scared to be relieved she’d found her, she wasn’t too scared to worry she’d seriously hurt Willow in the fall. The girl was limping badly, so going down instead of up was probably for the best anyway.

The halls were dimly lit on this level, but Tara knew about the laundry room and how it would be open at this hour.

***

They pushed the door shut in the nick of time. It immediately rattled against its hinges as the creatures began to beat into it. It won’t hold… Willow thought, frantically looking around for something to barricade the entrance.

She spotted a soda machine and thought they might stand a chance after all. Willow patted her companion’s arm, indicating the machine and together they hurried to it.

Tara pushed and pushed, weakened by her run. Feeling the bulk of the machine – it felt futile. Willow seemed to come to the same conclusion as she fell back from it to the ground, clutching her ankle with a grimace of pain that tugged at the blonde’s heart as she knelt to face her fiery-haired friend.

It was soon apparent to Tara that Willow hadn’t given up, just yet. Her features tightened with concentration, the air around her started to shimmer in Tara’s vision. Her aura, building in color intensity – reds darkening, blues deepening – a storm brewing. The blonde witch was transfixed as Willow’s powers danced before her eyes.

The soda machine rattled in place under the onslaught. And it was an onslaught, Willow was so powerful! Looking back and forth from the machine to the other witch, Tara understood quickly what wasn’t working. It wasn’t for lack of power…

I Suck! Willow’s head hurt, her ankle hurt. She’d given it all she had and still the damn thing just sat there. What are we gonna do now? She was running out of ideas, fast. Eyes glued to the door, she was slowly giving into her fear.

Then a warm feather tickled the tips of her fingers.

Looking down at her left hand, with surprise she noticed another had joined it. Long, soft fingers slipping between her own – she stared in fascination, so out of common occurrence and out of place the interaction felt, until…

The machine had to be moved. There was no other way, and she knew Willow could do it. She just needed control, focused intent – things Tara knew well. Doing as her mother had done with her, entwining their fingers so as to connect and direct, she couldn’t spare a thought on the awkwardness or even the ethics of her actions.

Tara squeezed gently as she gingerly opened up her channels, allowing her energies to flow down her arm to her hand. Just letting Willow know in their voiceless states that she could help, her hand becoming the ambassador to her magic.

Wait… what… Willow’s mind was reeling. She was staring at a stranger’s hand, clutching her own. And it was… tingling and warm. She looked up, realizing for the first time she hadn’t even had a good look at the girl she was with. There hadn’t been time but, now that she did, Willow did recognize her. The girl who would have humored her about magic, at Wicca group. I know you… Tara, I think…

Yeah… The redhead’s eyes were so expressive, Tara didn’t need her to speak to know she’d been recognized. She straightened her back, emboldened by the fact Willow might now be aware she too was a witch. We can do this. The blonde thought resolutely, absolutely certain of Willow’s ability. You can do this.

Whoa… She was lightheaded, hit with a sledgehammer in the chest. The blue in Tara’s eyes seemed to swirl, the strength radiating from her making her features prominent in Willow’s haze. She could feel something enveloping her, cradling her and beckoning her energies forward at the same time. She could swear she tasted honey on the air, and with a sudden rise in temperature Tara squeezed her hand and everything in Willow broke loose and slipped out. Her head inconsequentially snapped to the right in reaction to the release, like how a big sneeze shakes your frame.

Tara was shocked at the outcome. Holy crap. She shook her head looking at their hands, baffled by the ease with… Wasn’t even this easy with mom. The power they’d channeled together, the ease with which they were able to connect and hold. The trust needed… but they were strangers. How?

She… Willow had become hot, honeyed goo. Whoa… The soda machine now firmly against the door. How… I feel all… Every one of her movements felt like they were made through warm molasses. Even though the only part of her moving were her eyes. Tingles… Looking into the blonde’s blue eyes, a blushing smile started to form on her drunken face. That was so… mmm

She couldn’t focus on the hows and whys for long. Tara was being carried along Willow’s sensual post-spell numbness, their hands being still connected. With a start, she realized what was happening and pulled away. At the disappointed surprise in Willow’s eyes, she could only give an apologetic smile. Sorry… She was sure she’d inadvertently contributed sensual vibes, being she was most decidedly attracted to this pixie who was kissed by fire.

Tara bowed her head, obscuring her eyes with her hair. Retreat from the intent stare she was receiving, not wanting her attraction noticed. Willow seemed… inebriated though, which made the blonde smirk. She looked kind of goofy, grinning like a fool with her tongue pressed against her front teeth.

Tara also felt somewhat fuzzy, but she’d only been a riverbed for Willow’s current. Hers was more of a static charge she felt protective of. She’d hang onto it as long as she could, knowing it would eventually only dissipate back into the earth.

She wanted to see it up close. Willow was so proud and excited, she stood up to go to the door when her ankle gave out. With a silent shriek, she fell back to the floor grasping at her ankle, now decidedly sobered by the pain. Please don’t be broken… I hate casts so much…

Her shoelaces were being loosened, Tara was gently peeling the shoe from her foot to release the pressure.

As much as she should have felt ashamed at how familiar she was being, Tara didn’t. All she wanted to do was take Willow’s pain away, if she could. She didn’t want to care about the whys, so she didn’t think about them. With a glance up at the redhead while indicating the sock, she pulled at the top when she received a nod of approval.

Willow’s ankle was swollen and angry looking, badly twisted. With a tightened fist, Tara motioned up and down bending at the wrist as if to ask if the redhead could move her foot up and down. When Willow tried, she’d have yelped if she could. The foot did move though stiffly.

She’ll need crutches for sure… The blonde new all about twisted ankles, hers being susceptible after a few bad twists. Unless I can take the swelling down, at least… Tara figured she could try returning Willow’s charge to her, with the intent to heal. Worth a shot…

Tara was deep in thought, and the expression on her face was nothing if not adorable to Willow. Her brows were knitted, her forehead crinkled in concentration and her eyes seemed to dart from one imaginary filing cabinet to another. Pulling information and connecting dots, questioning… What is she up to? All she knew was she was exhausted, in pain and that Tara’s hands were really warm and so, so soft. Why is she doing jazz hands at me?

A spell? Tara tried to think out loud, wiggling her fingers at the redhead’s foot. I could try and help with a spell? She wasn’t about to use magic on her friend without her consent, so she tried to make sure Willow knew what she was asking. Her eyes pleaded understanding, brows raised in question. When the redhead caught on, she seemed surprised it was an option. The blue-eyed witch shrugged as if to say “I can try.” and Willow nodded yes enthusiastically, if only to watch Tara cast.

It wasn’t very show-ey as far as magic castings went. Since the energy had already been harnessed, all Tara needed to do was control its release in direction and temperature. She took Willow’s warm, dainty little foot into her hands. Her palms on both sides of her friend’s ankle, she collapsed her fingers knitting them together cradling the heel.

She imagined electricity coursing through the grid of her skin, Willow’s static running across her body. Tara then imagined the grid extending along, around the foot in her hands. Slowly, the grid shrunk from her body and disappeared. The only remnant around her hands and Willow’s ankle.

With a slow exhale, Tara let Willow’s energy return to her painfully slowly. Causing the resisted instinctual pull from Willow to form heat.

Willow’s eyes grew big, she nodded frantically smiling all the while. It’s working!

The blonde was relieved to hear this as she was fading fast. They were both exhausted, but Tara knew she’d hurt tomorrow. When was the last time I ran so much?

Empty. Willow’s charge was gone, she was tapped out. Tara could’ve very well just laid right there on that dirty floor and go to sleep. But, there were voices outside the door.

“Huh?” Tara heard from within the laundry room. It had been Willow, she’d also heard the voices outside.

The blonde witch cleared her throat, “Um… I guess w-we can talk now?” She asked aloud, looking at the ceiling as if asking a god.

Willow smiled, “I guess we can!” She started lacing her shoe back on, “My ankle feels much better, thank you.” To which Tara only shrugged, and bowed her head.

They both stood, rung out and wobbly staring at the soda machine still barricading the door. “Oh.” Willow shot Tara a sideways look, “Right.” At Tara’s pitiful sound in response, the redhead couldn’t help a short giggle. “Think we can do it again?”

Where does she get all this energy from? I’m exhausted… Tara thought as she nodded all the same. “I might need to sleep for a week after, though.” She half-joked.

Willow offered her hand without question and together they set to move the machine one last time. This time it wasn’t as easy to connect, it wasn’t instinct compelling them together for survival. Their combined effort moved the dispenser only a few inches. Just enough to open the door and get out, but they managed.

The ooze outside wasn’t expected. The smell either… The witches tried as best they could to sidestep the mess. “Can I see you tomorrow?” Willow asked hopefully, “All I want is a shower and my bed right now, but I want for us to you know…” She waved a hand at her face, “Talk, this time. I can explain what all this is.” The redhead indicated the dead creatures at their feet.

Tara was elated, there was so much she wanted to know about Willow. To think she actually made a friend amidst all this chaos, “I’d like that,” She nodded and smiled, crossing her arms over her chest, “We could m-meet after class? In the main hall?”

“Absolutely!” Willow said as they walked, “I’m Willow, by the way.” She belatedly introduced herself, with a chuckle.

Tara smiled behind her hair, looking up as if to say “I know” but, in reply she only said: “Tara.”

***

Heart shaped boxes.


***

“And so I mime a box opening and closing,” Buffy was relating her night’s adventures to a freshly showered, and comfy p.j’ed Willow who was all tucked and cozy in her bed. “If he’d have broken one more useless thing I’d be dead.”

As much as Buffy’s night seemed scary, Willow didn’t much find cause to compare. She was just happy things had turned out ok, and that they could talk again. “Let it be said the mime portion of the Slayer training routine does not go to waste.” She joked around a yawn.

“What about you?” The Slayer asked, still fully dressed and zany from the fight. “You look beat, and I know you’ve been out there.” She scowled at her friend.

Willow’s mouth opened, then closed. Opened again before making a strangled sound, “Oh, you know,” She felt, what? Not ashamed, just… “Same old, same old. Get spooked, hide in a laundry room.” I don’t want to have to explain everything. She reasoned with herself. She’d get worried…

“Yep, just your average night in Sunnydale.” Willow didn’t like to lie to her best friend. She just felt like keeping her new friend and magic practice outside the Scooby life. Where she could practice and share things with Tara without feeling like she had to report back.

At least, for now.

***

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~M
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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:51 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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I must've been really distracted when I posted since the whole feedback replies portion of it is... missing. I bet it was a case of select-all + cut... and forget to paste back in.

So here's feedback replies, take deux.

DaddyCatALSO wrote:
Definitely liking; I've done some backstory stuff myself and I always enjoy seeing someone else's take on it. [Sometimes I make it into headcanon history behind my own stories -f or example Tara's mother's name in my 'verse I got from the sadly moving and sadly unfinished "Broken Dolls"-, and this definitely seems like one of those so far.:-)] I can totally see these two playing through similar scenes. (Maybe I won't exactly be able to "steeal" this; in my 'verse Tara isn't a gay virgin when she meets Willow, which she so often is here at Pens.) The characterization matches well with what I got from the show.


I love backstory building. It's my favorite part of writing characters that were already established. You're right about how Tara's is often depicted as a lesbian virgin in behind the scene fics. I've always felt that was... sweet, and stuff. But, ultimately unrealistic to me when I juxtapose that to her inner sense of strength when it comes to what she knows about herself.

I don't know if you've read any of 'When Erynn found herself' in which verse these chronicles are set, but I flirt a bit with Tara's past in that story in which this is part of Tara and Will's growth as a couple. That fic is still on hold for completion, though - which tends to get frustrating if the storyline is one you're invested in.

When time permits, I'll be looking into your work! And, will leave feedback of my own - as best I can. I really suck at it.

Will's redemption wrote:
I'm thrilled to read your "Behind the Scenes"-version of seasons 4 (and 5 until the Family-episode?) because of your brilliant way to give us an insight into Tara's and Willow's thoughts and emotions.


I'm really happy you're enjoying it! Being able to come back to it now is super refreshing for me. I won't make promises as I've done in the past, but my juices are flowing.

Quote:
I really wished I could reach into your story and hug Tara and tell her "Hold on, you'll meet your soulmate in a few days!"

Now I'm looking forward to reading Tara's experience of that fateful wikka-group-meeting where she first meets Willow. I always imagined it was love at first sight for her, I'm curious if you'll write it that way.


Hmmm, well it's definitely infatuation at first sight. :flirt I just don't think Tara would fall so fast... Willow? Perhaps. Tara is a bit more guarded as far as I've had her developed in my headcanon.

Will's redemption wrote:
:bigwave Hey there, is there any chance that we will get to read your take on the girls' first meeting soon? I would be thrilled and I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one!


Yes, I'd say chances are good. :wink

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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:21 pm 
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I like the meeting stories too. Look forward to reading more. Thanks for writing.

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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:47 pm 
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I'm very happy about this update, thank you! :applause :banana
The hints of the physical and mental abuse Tara suffered from her father and brother made my heart ache. I'm glad she feels better at the end of the chapter, happy to have found a new friend.
I loved your description of the soda-machine spell, not "power + power = boom" but Tara's power leading and directing Willow's (forming a "riverbed" for it, such a beautiful comparison).

I was surprised at first that Willow saw herself as "Dark Willow" in her dream - a very early warning from her subconsciousness where her powers might lead her? Then again after the outcome of her recent "let my will be done"-spell it shouldn't be that strange, I guess.

I'm eagerly waiting for the next chapter!


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 3:26 am 
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Will's redemption wrote:
I'm very happy about this update, thank you! :applause :banana
The hints of the physical and mental abuse Tara suffered from her father and brother made my heart ache. I'm glad she feels better at the end of the chapter, happy to have found a new friend.
I loved your description of the soda-machine spell, not "power + power = boom" but Tara's power leading and directing Willow's (forming a "riverbed" for it, such a beautiful comparison).

I was surprised at first that Willow saw herself as "Dark Willow" in her dream - a very early warning from her subconsciousness where her powers might lead her? Then again after the outcome of her recent "let my will be done"-spell it shouldn't be that strange, I guess.

I'm eagerly waiting for the next chapter!


It was important for me to emphasize how the spell wasn't a combination of two different powers, but more a balance between power and control. The dream was a tiny hint at future events to come... also acts as a subconscious expression of her still uncontrolled selfish urges. I think... that's what I came up with anyway. :geek

I'm glad you liked it! Hope you like this update as well. :grin




When Silence is broken

Author name – CopperAndGold
Rating – PG-13
Feedback – All the feedback! Please!
Summary – We pick up right where we left off, after Hush. Getting to know you…
Notes – The cannon episode “Doomed” never happened. Why? Because it was a silly and useless episode. That is all.



She’d cracked the window before slipping into bed, the cool breeze making the sheets her most valiant protectors. Tara’s room was as peaceful as she could’ve made it; as much a sanctuary as she’d wanted.

But, the quiet was most decidedly gone from campus this night.

She blinked up blankly at the ceiling; boisterous conversations and happy celebrations vibrated dully through the thin dorm walls. After the monsters’ demise, it didn’t take long for people to realize their voices were back. She couldn’t really blame them for being happy, who would? Heck, she was happy too.

Besides, as tired as she was she reasoned, if she were going to sleep she’d be able to do it through anything. No, it wasn’t the noise that was keeping her awake at three thirty in the morning.

Letting out a deep sigh of resignation, Tara turned on her side to click the fairy-lights on. She’d stay in bed, thinking. Somehow, thoughts seemed less muddy in the dim light.

She’d been so afraid when those creatures were after her. Since moving to Sunnydale, she hadn’t really encountered anything nefarious, personally. Though Tara was pretty certain she’d been witness to a vampire attack, once. She couldn’t be sure, it had happened so fast. But, she could still feel how her heart had hammered her ribs, not even knowing what she was really looking at.

Tonight had been different, very different. It had been the most terrifying experience of her life.

And, although it was over and the monsters were dead… Tara was still frightened. A new minefield seemed to stretch out ahead of her now, where before it had only been open road.

The witch had so many questions for her new friend. What were those things? Where did they come from? How did they die? Willow seemed to have answers she wanted to share. Tara wasn’t used to this feeling; the pull of curiosity being so great as to actively want to meet someone. Most of her life had been about expending energy to avoid people. She’d done it once before, let someone close…

Some lessons her father had taught her were proven right, in the end. People, all people were susceptible to evil. Let one person in, befriend them and care for them at your own peril. You’re low-hanging fruit, Tara. Easily corrupted, already tainted.

But, she could still feel it - that moment when they cast together. She might have thought Willow was cute before. She might have thought the redhead attractive on an abstract level… but, now she was just confused. Tara was confused that she wasn’t more suspicious of her feelings.

Reaching up arms heavy with weariness, the young woman rubbed at her eyes, then her forehead. Warm circles along her temples were next – she was getting a headache. You’re making yourself nuts.

She liked Willow. A lot. It was a sudden but obvious fact; part of who she was now, apparently. Tara liked Willow, a lot. How? I don’t even know her! I just channeled her energy. This feeling wasn’t just finding Willow cute or attractive, or being curious. This feeling was… more complicated.

Surely, lack of sleep was making her loopy. How can I miss her? That’s like, impossible. It was a bit frustrating, Tara had always been a loner. She’d always had few friends if any, and never minded spending time alone. It felt as if that night’s connection woke her up to a truth that had just been there, waiting to be uncovered. Willow made her feel her loneliness.

As far back as she could remember ever having romantic notions, the leading role had been held by another girl. Tara wasn’t ignorant of her sexuality, she also wasn’t blind to the fact that a relatively small percentage of people fell on her side of the fence. She’d learned to fear hope through few past experiences.

Any thought of attraction would need to be lanced from her mind were they to become friends. The odds were not in Tara’s favor on that front; the thought of falling into unrequited feelings territory…

Getting ahead of yourself a bit, huh? Her mind halted her train of thought. There didn’t need to be complications, girls became friends all the time. I think I’d like a friend… can I have a friend, again?

Well, she was meeting her new friend tomorrow and couldn’t wait. A grin spread across Tara’s face, excited at the prospect but then faded slowly. Her brow furrowed in an adorable way. Do… friends worry about what to wear?

***

It was like trying to remember the name of a song. On the tip of her tongue; why was that shade of blue so familiar?

“Are you gonna eat this?” Buffy wasn’t one to interrupt a good ‘zone-out’, but she had eaten all of her breakfast and was still hungry. “Hello?” She waved a hand in front of Willow’s face when her friend didn’t respond. “Earth to Will, come in Sputnik.”

With a start, the redhead’s eyes snapped to her friend’s face. “Huh?”

Buffy looked back and forth between the guy Willow had seemingly been looking at. “Didn’t figure him to be your type.”

Willow was lost, “My… type.” Her brows knitted together, “My type of what, exactly?” She asked as she pushed what was left of her food towards the slayer.

“Mm, thanks!” The blonde got busy nipping at a slice of apple, “You’ve been staring at that guy since you’ve been done eating...” She grabbed another slice, “He’s kinda… tall.”

Willow rolled her eyes, “Oz isn’t that short. I was just looking at his shirt.” Now that she’d said it, she looked back which in turn caused Buffy to look as well. “What would you call that shade of blue?”

She grew expectant when Buffy took a moment to answer, then she heard her pipe up, “I’d call it blue.” Before turning back around and digging into some left over toast. When her breakfast partner tsked disapprovingly, the slayer grinned in victory. “Oz is a short man. A tiny, dangerous and powerful wolf-man. What’s with the color quiz anyway?”

Willow shrugged, “Dunno, just been bugging me.” Running her fingers through her hair, she continued, “I like it, like I haven’t seen it before - but I know I have, you know?”

Buffy nodded knowingly, although her eyes obviously said otherwise. “Sleep deprivation will make you see things.” Her head cocked to the side in contemplation, “Or fall asleep in class.” With a sigh and a slight grunt of discontent, the slayer started stacking her breakfast’s remains. “I guess I better head on up, Riley should be waiting.”

Shaking her head in astonishment, the redhead said, “I can’t believe we’ve been scratching our heads about these army guys, and you’ve been dating one all along.” She chuckled, “Talk about hidden in plain sight.”

“Yeah, well,” Buffy said, a little exasperated, “So not what I signed up for.” Frowning, she stood to go. “See you later?”

***

“Once you’ve completed the next chapter, it’ll all be clear.” Willow’s teacher was going on about the subject at hand, the one she – herself – should’ve been paying attention to. Instead, she was paying attention to her hand. She stared down at her left palm, as she’d done surreptitiously throughout the class. My hand is a subject.

She’d moved a soda machine. With Tara, and the power of her mind – woosh, done. How did Tara do that? Her index ran light circles in the middle of her palm. Did we do it, or did she do it? Did I? The scrape of chairs drew her out of her thoughts.

“That’s it for today.” Mr. Duggard was wrapping things up, “Thanks for coming… all five of you.” He said sarcastically and chuckled lightly.

It had been on the periphery of her thinking, the fact she was meeting with Tara after this class. Willow had purposefully shoved the whole situation out of bounds so she could at least try to concentrate for the next two hours. She blamed Mr. Duggard’s monotone droning for her lapses in focus. For her daydreams filled with frissons of energy making her skin raise into goosebumps. Phantom warm hand firmly clasped with hers, tender eyes reassuring her. Strength just sitting there, staring back… Tara. So mysterious…

Oh, but now class was over. She slung her bag over her shoulder, narrowly missing the girl next to her on the back swing. Willow clambered down the stairs and out the door in no time flat. The more she let herself feel it, the more excited she grew. She’d discovered the most intriguing person, ever. Vampire Slayer? Pfft, old news.

Willow had met a witch! Of course, she’d met witches before. Amy and her mother, among others. But, she couldn’t see herself trusting any of them enough to learn anything. Nothing good, anyway. Tara exuded this sense of calm certainty. A confidence rooted in righteousness… or something. Something good anyway. Tara felt good…

Willow rounded the corner and out the main doors, onto the campus yard. Tara would be meeting her in the lounge of the main building. The redhead conjured up her new friend’s face in her mind, trying to make sure she’d recognize her. Of course I’ll recognize her… She rolled her eyes reflexively at her doubts as if they were completely baseless.

The doors to the main building came into view and her steps slowed a bit, the discarded doubt over recognizing Tara having morphed into other… more familiar ones. What if she said something dumb, or asked something inappropriate? What if she just came across as a big nerd? What if Tara thought she was crazy, with the stories she’ll most likely have to spill?

What if she doesn’t want to be friends? The thought stopped her walking right inside the doorway, the door bumping her forward slightly on its way closed with a nip at her heels. “Sorry,” She mumbled absentmindedly to the inanimate object.

Scanning the lobby for any sign of the other girl, her nervous energy was well on the way to undoing her at any second. Her fingers twisted together, feet tapping and head bobbing left and right. Students milled around, some congregating in small groups. Seats were arranged at the center of the room, an area often occupied and lively with conversation but, Tara wasn’t sat there. Only what appeared to be a couple who needed to relocate to a private room somewhere. Hopefully soon-ish.

No, when her eyes finally fell on the shape of the blonde witch, they found her leaned against a pillar at the far end of the room. Head bent forward, a curtain of hair obscuring her eyes. Willow fathomed at the sharp contrast between last night’s Tara with the one peeking through her hair now, and at the Wicca meeting. Making herself so small one would have to be looking for her to ever see her.

Willow had been looking, though, and the blonde’s subdued posture further motivated her to approach the shy witch. “Hey!” She chirped happily, bounding up next to the blonde, “Tara, hi!”

So slight was Tara’s gasp of surprise, it got lost in the din. “Willow!” She pushed off of the pillar and unfolded her arms, waving a hand at the readhead. Trying to underlie her nervousness, she tempted fate. “Wish it’d been this easy to find you, last n-night.” She giggled softly and pushed a lock of hair behind her ear.

Willow smiled, happy to see things were off to a good start. She reached over and softly guided Tara’s elbow, starting to walk to the center of the room. A thought hit her, “You were there looking for me?” She asked demurely, gesturing towards the now vacant sofas.

“I thought maybe we could do a spell – make people talk again?” Tara followed her friend and took a seat, “I-I’d seen you in the group. The Wicca group, you were… you were different than them.” She tried to keep the disdain from her voice, “They didn’t seem to know…”

Willow could tell her friend was trying to be diplomatic. She cut to the chase, “What they were talking about?” She chuckled and smiled.

The blonde nodded, her hair falling forward slightly, “I think if they saw a w-witch they’d run the other way.” She replied behind nervous laughter.

I know, right!? Willow thought, so glad for the commiserating. “How long have you been practicing?” She asked before thinking it too forward a question. Her cheeks reddened but Tara didn’t seem to notice.

“Always,” The answer came automatically, unformed. Tara sighed, aggravated by her lack of eloquence, “I mean, since I was um… little.” Practicing… funny way to put it. “My, my mom used to… she um, she had a lot of power.” Like you… She thought. “Like you.” She said without a thought. Tara, where’s your mouth-filter!?

The weight of Tara’s stare at that moment was almost too much to bear, “Oh, I’m not…” Willow stammered, “I don’t have much in the way of power.” She humbly replied.

At that, Tara could only smile dubiously, humoring her new friend. Yeah, right. She thought.

“Really!” Willow insisted, “I mean, most of my potions come out soup.” She made a face that made Tara giggle. Willow decided she liked making Tara giggle, “Besides, spells going awry, friends in danger...” Chuckling mirthlessly, “I’m definitely nothing special.” She concluded.

Ridiculous. “No, you are.” Tara said decidedly, if not a tad forcefully. Her candor took her off guard, almost triggering her retreating instincts - were it not for Willow’s radiant smile. That smile warmed her cheeks, and Tara could only smile back. This… this is good, she’s smiling… I’m such a dork. Better than offending her though…

She was suffused by warmth, her friend’s words had been so kind. What surprised the redhead was that she believed it. How could, through one look, Tara make her believe she was special? When she looks at me like that… “Do you drink coffee?” Willow blurted eliciting another giggle.

She definitely could get used to that sound.

***

“See, all she needed was her voice back to kill them.” Willow was finishing up her explanation, picking at a muffin that she’d been nurturing since they’d sat down, “Riley destroyed the box, we got our voices back and she screamed at them.” Her hair wobbled around her head, she pulled a face with both hands framing her head, “Pow!” She exclaimed, her hands gesturing heads exploding. “Blerrghh!” Added sound effects and funny, yucky faces added a particular comedic flair Tara was a definite sucker for.

The blonde covered her mouth with a hand, trying to keep her beverage from shooting out, laughing. The other had her index up, asking for a moment as she swallowed. “Ok, I know all about the Gentlemen now… but I have new questions.” She pushed her hair behind an ear, “Questions ab-about… Bu-”

Willow nodded affirmatively, knowing what her friend meant, “About Buffy.” She smiled, trying to assuage her friend’s nervousness.

“Buffy.” Tara nodded along, “Yeah… Is she…” Tara couldn’t bear to hope. Maybe she wasn’t alone, alone. “Is she human?” She asked on a whisper. If she can be good…

“Oh!” Willow shook her head vehemently from side to side, “No! I mean, yes. Human, totally. Just…” She squinted, trying to think of the right way to put it, “She’s Human-Plus, I guess. A Slayer.”

“Slayer,” Tara said quizzically, quickly dismissing her selfish disappointment. People were starting to pour into the establishment, the din making itself louder by the minute. She leaned into the table toward Willow, so as to better be heard, “What’s a Slayer?”

Friday night at The Pump. Willow should’ve known better, “It’s a long… you know what?” She glanced up, the other patrons busy chatting among themselves and bumping into the back of Tara’s chair as they passed. Willow stood and pushed her chair back, “Wanna go someplace less busy, quieter?”

Tara smiled and nodded, not even bothering to answer aloud. No sooner had they gotten up was their table taken over by a small group of rowdy college students.

***

The air was crisp and dry, a wisp of wind danced on the air. The streets were pregnant with life, boisterous hoots of laughter after days of imposed silence and fear. Freedom filled the streets and Tara had never been this happy. Not once before, in her whole life.

Willow was explaining how she’d met Buffy in high school. They hadn’t decided where they were going, yet. Not out loud, or together anyway. It seemed their feet were just synchronized, on a path of their own – better let them do the walking. Willow can do the talking… And, oh was she talking.

Tara had never been happier to listen to someone explain something. Willow was so animated, so expressive and expansive. She gesticulated as she talked, her eyes grew big with emphasis, her nose twitched with delight at particularly saucy bits. Buffy was chosen, given a calling that sounded to Tara more like a curse. Maybe they had more in common they she’d thought, after all.

They found themselves back on campus. The sun was almost down by now, so it was all for the best. Neither wanted the night to end, it was obvious in the slowing of their steps as they neared the point where they’d have to separate.

Tara couldn’t think of a way to keep from having to end the night there. Everything she could think of sounded lame to her, overtly needy and pathetic. “Well,” She started to say when Willow started at the same time, “You know, this isn’t fair.”

Looking at the redhead wondering what she meant, Tara was rewarded with a weak pout twitching into tentative grins. “I’ve been doing all the talking and,” She waved her hands in mock aggravation, “I didn’t get to ask you any questions.”

Questions… “What questions?” The blonde asked softly, her eyes darting toward her dorm building. Calm down, damit. Tara shrugged a shoulder and crossed her arms, “Pretty b-boring compared to you.”

“Oh, come on.” Willow said, trying to push through her friend’s shyness. “I know that’s not true. If it were I wouldn’t want to know so bad.”

Fight or flight. Her nerves twitched, but this wasn’t a confrontation. Tara focused her breathing, her new friend just wanted to get to know her. She just told me all about herself… and more. It only seemed like a normal thing for new friends to do. But it scared the crap out of her. You open up a little… “My room’s a single.” She said before thinking. Tara was mortified, “I m-me-mean…” Oh God… what will she think… “If-if you want to talk, m-more.”

She bit her tongue to keep from laughing. Willow never understood what people really meant by how cute she could be when she was frazzled. Tara’s nervousness was level 10 on the adorable scale. “Oh, nuh, no, no.” She teased, “I’ve done plenty of talking, remember?”

“Right,” Tara nodded and smiled weakly, “Right, my turn.” Gulp.

***

Honeysuckle… When Tara’s dorm room door swung open, the first thing Willow noticed was the scent the blonde left in her wake as she crossed the threshold. Honeysuckle and lilac, but when she followed her friend into the darkened room, there was more than a scent to it. There was a definite ‘vibe’ to the space.

Tara then clicked something on and little white lights peppered the walls, shinning against mat black. The room had a personality all its own, it seemed. To Willow, it felt like another world completely. “Whoa…” She breathed in awe, “I love your room!” Turning swiftly, sweeping around the room with her arms, excited, “I mean, so witchy!”

Items were scattered around the room, their overall feel earthy and weighty. “Very… nice.” Willow repeated and nodded, a bit at a loss now that she was here.

Out of habit, Tara took her boots off and sat on the edge of the bed cross-legged. “You can sit wherever you want.” She offered, waving at the desk chair or the other side of the bed… the floor. She was both relieved and disappointed when Willow opted for the desk chair. “Go ahead, you said you had question?”

Willow fidgeted in her seat. Even though she’d brought up having questions, now she felt like she was on the spot. “Let’s start with, are you from California? Am I wrong… do you have an accent?” She asked tentatively.

She couldn’t help the grin at the accent remark, “I’m from a small place called Wheatland, in Wyoming.” Tara answered, glancing back up to make sure it was enough of one. “I moved here for college.” She tacked on for good measure, lowering her head.

Willow wasn’t about to ask about Tara’s grades. But, she couldn’t really understand why someone would chose to attend UC Sunnydale if they had other options. Well, someone other than herself. Could also be a money issue?

Deciding on leaving the subject for one more particular to themselves, she followed up with, “How did you do it, last night?” Willow wiggled in her chair, ready to learn, “With the soda machine?”

Tara shook her head, grinning, “You did it.” She said and shrugged, “I just… aimed you.” She burst into a giggle that made Willow feel a nice kind of confused.

“Did not.” She denied, “You grabbed my hand and…” Looking down, her palm staring back at her, “Something, you made me…”

The blonde witch closed her eyes and looked away, saying softly, “It’s just a sneeze.” Blue eyes looked back with more certainty this time, “All that power, you were forcing it out instead of…”

“Letting it go?” Willow asked, almost reverently, “But, how…”

Brief eye contact, a small chill up her spine, Tara needed to breathe and look away again. “Taking your hand?” At her friend’s nod she continued, “Took you out of that moment, you know. Shocked you into focus? Made it easier to connect, too.”

Willow’s eyes grew bigger and kept quiet, she nodded again, “When I… we connected I thought of channeling your energy. Became a-a riverbed? Letting your current pick up m-momentum and force, aimed in the right direction.” Her brow creased slightly, “I’d only done that with my mom before.” Crap. She hadn’t meant to say that out loud. She wasn’t ready for the whole dead mother talk. “But, that was a long t-time ago. It was s-surprisingly easy with you.” Crap! Stupid mouth!

Curious was an adjective well suited to Willow. This moment here was one where she knew better than to push. It was obvious that talk of Tara’s mother was off the table, at least for now. “It was!” She said excitedly, “Easy, I mean. I think I could learn a lot from you…”

Her blonde hair fell and danced around her face as she disagreed, “Nah, I’m not that powerful. Not like you. But, maybe…” Making eye contact, forcing herself to keep it to show sincerity, “We could learn together?”

Willow couldn’t have been happier at the thought, “We could have our own little coven of two!” At Tara’s responding nod and smile, she added, “I’m in!” She started to swivel in the chair, her excitement taking over. “We could meet here, since it’s nice and quiet and all witchy.” Willow exclaimed, brushing off the surface of Tara’s desk with her hands, “Well, the desk is more book-ey and flyer-ey…” She picked at the flyers, noticing the Wicca group one and another she wasn’t familiar with.

“Oh,” Was all Tara could say. “Um… s-sure.” Is that flyer…

Her question was soon answered. If only by the sheer discomfort in her friend’s voice, “I heard about that!” Willow said a little too loudly, “How they started an alliance or something.”

Retreating onto herself, Tara nodded, “I went to W-wicca group instead.” Was all she offered as an explanation.

“Well, yeah!” Willow was quickly spinning out, so worried of committing a faux-pas. She felt conflicting emotions, for sure. None of which were against Tara, though. “I mean, one calls itself ‘Lesbian Alliance’… makes it sound like a group of fake super heroes if you ask me.” She weighed on the one hand, and the other, “The other is a group of what was supposed to be actual witches.” Throwing her hands up, she concluded dramatically, “No contest.”

Then, Tara giggled and well… Willow, she… “Although, the thought of you in spandex isn’t a bad one…” She couldn’t help it. She really just wanted more cute giggles…

Tara felt the universe swallow her whole though. She flushed, head to toe, “Willow.” The name was said chastising. “It’s n-not a joke.”

“Sorry,” She’d screwed up, “Tara… I didn’t mean...” Willow stood from the chair, desperate to be understood, “I’m not making fun of you.”

But, there was too much behind what she was feeling right now. Tara couldn’t bring herself to express what she needed, let alone understand where her friend was coming from. “Can you just forget it?” She stood from the bed, distanced herself and crossed her arms. “I j-just want us to be friends, that’s all.”

Something felt so wrong about that to Willow. That Tara would rather she didn’t know about her being gay than to… to what? “Why?” At the blonde’s astonished look, she clarified quickly, “Why do you want me to forget, I mean.”

Tension in this room wasn’t common place, at all. “It can complicate things.” Finally raising her eyes, Willow could tell Tara was holding back tears, “I don’t want that, I want us to be friends and-and have our tiny coven.” She finished, wiping the tip of her nose on her sleeve. “I like you and I don’t want…”



Taking a quick step forward, hands eagerly raised Willow replied, “Me too! I mean, all of that – the wanting to be friends and the coven, and the liking you.” Her eyebrows were hiked so high, pleading Tara to take her seriously, “Please, Tara. I’m sorry if I made you feel uncomfortable. I’ve never… done this, before.”

She pulled a face, what she’d said sounding pathetic to her. “I mean, you’re the first friend I have who is gay.” There was a short pregnant pause, and then, “Well, Buffy had this brief period with Faith when I could swear…”

The blonde couldn’t help a smile, “Well if your way of coping is to flirt brazenly I guess there are worse ways...”

Willow cringed, “I’ll keep it to a minimum from now on.” Way to go Rosenberg, you creepo. “I swear when I get nervous I’m just a big spaz.”

And she’s back to being cute… I’m in so much trouble. Tara had to bring this to a close. This was feeling… complicated. “Um, it’s getting kinda l-late...”

“Aye-aye,” Willow had the doorknob already in hand. “I’ll call you and we can hang out again? Sometime soon?” So weird… Willow couldn’t wait to be alone. In the dark, thinking. Lots of thinking.

Tara nodded rapidly, a little too rapidly, “Y-yes, please.” She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, “I mean, yes. Call and we’ll get together again.”

With a smile that could melt igloos, Willow left… Tara found herself pressed against the door, her knees giving up all pretense she slithered to the floor. “Why is everything so complicated?” She whined into the emptiness of her room.

***

Buffy was staying at Riley’s which afforded Willow the privacy she felt she required at the moment. Seeing that flyer had caused her to freak. That was obvious, but she was sure Tara had no clue why. Reliving the evening spent in the blonde’s company, there had been hints of something she’d rationalized away. A feeling that compelled her to make Tara smile, or giggle or laugh. Every single time it had felt like she’d won some type of exclusive prize. She sure did have a beautiful smile.

Or, when she’d look at her with those piercing blue eyes. Willow had chalked up all those situations as observations of a new friend, and wanting to entertain. That flyer though, Tara was right. It did complicate things.

Because now, those observations and compulsions… felt different. Before, they had been inert. Barren. Unable to sustain further life. Now, Tara’s giggles were worth so much more… her intense gaze, so much weightier. Because, before the flyer, Willow’s only thought was of a possible friendship.

Why did she want Tara to find her attractive? This is ridiculous! I’m not gay… Hello! Oz?

Hugging her stuffed dog close to her chest, she burrowed further under the covers for comfort. There had been Xander, as well. Can’t forget those years of futile pining.

Neither of them had made Willow feel so alive, though. And, that had been before the flyer. Before that evening spent together. Back in a laundry room where she – Tara – had held her safe enough to let go, saving them both.

With a sneeze of magic.

There had been… times in her past when such feelings of attraction for another girl did happen, if she framed them in the same way. All of them were hopeless to the point of not even considering them, though – making it all that easier to ignore or rationalize away. She’d just skip over the whos and whats for now…

But, she did love Oz… she liked being with Oz. It was nice, intimate – she loved and trusted him. Now he was gone and what, all of a sudden she was into girls?

It all felt so… unnecessarily complicated and dramatic. Ultimately frustrating, and Willow just wanted to get on with her life. She hadn’t meant to offend Tara, but… She pouted under the covers.

She really would look good in spandex.

***

_________________
~M
CopperAndGold


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 11:46 am 
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You're back!!! apparently, you are back again as I somehow missed an update, back I am so glad to see this being updated again!
C&G you have such a density to your writing- and I mean that in a good way, in that every sentence has depth and that in just a few concise words- you describe landscapes of character and background.
in part two, Tara’s anxious indecisiveness- I could feel the way she was pacing, arms crossed, warring with herself- been there Tara, I get you. And the guilt that finally projected her action- its sad that she has so much self-doubt but totally true to Tara as we met her. Speaking of, you are so good at giving us a backstory again succinctly, but that paints the actions of the past and why they are affecting the present, but her core is both compassionate and brave , and that finally wins out. I love how Tara and Willow are experiencing each other, you show it to us in little snippets of action or feeling (Willow feeling drunk, her ‘knowing’ the blue and that blue capturing her curiosity) rather than spelling out thoughts that they , at least, Willow wouldn’t even be close to having yet. Her body is reacting to the draw, the attraction. Tara of course, is more familiar with the girl on girl vibes, but that she is reticent is so telling of her experience, not only because of her self-doubt but because she has been hurt, because people, for the most part, have not been trust worthy- it gives us so much character development. You have set it up perfectly. Ok, and the callbacks: broomstick dream and jazz hands? So funny! Dark Willow’s dream appearance was a surprise, I like how you are setting it all up. I hope you take us that far in this fic- and make it your own.
Part three- they are both so adorably nervous. Willow makes Tara bold and Tara makes Willow believe in herself- that’s the start of something precious. Tara again not trusting, with so many good reasons, but I like that despite her fight or flight instincts to Willow wanting to know her, she chooses stay and in that opens the door to trust again. You show their immediate connection, that finding of a kindred spirit so beautifully. I didn't think Willow would put together her feelings for Tara so quickly, but she's a smart cookie, I shouldn't be surprised. I cannot wait for more!!

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You ARE Magic ~ Tara


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 9:22 pm 
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shirrey wrote:
C&G you have such a density to your writing- and I mean that in a good way, in that every sentence has depth and that in just a few concise words- you describe landscapes of character and background.
in part two, Tara’s anxious indecisiveness- I could feel the way she was pacing, arms crossed, warring with herself- been there Tara, I get you. And the guilt that finally projected her action- its sad that she has so much self-doubt but totally true to Tara as we met her. Speaking of, you are so good at giving us a backstory again succinctly, but that paints the actions of the past and why they are affecting the present, but her core is both compassionate and brave , and that finally wins out.


I'm so happy my way of condensing stuff isn't ultimately self-defeating. I worry sometimes that my writing comes off as lazy, because I keep things kinda short. But, the time it takes me to condense it before writing it out isn't obvious. Flowery and overly poetic tends to get long winded and boring, to me at least. I'm happy I was able to keep the narrative going and your interest piqued in spite of all that! The fact you picked up on every crumb makes me feel all good and stuff. :blush

shirrey wrote:
Ok, and the callbacks: broomstick dream and jazz hands? So funny! Dark Willow’s dream appearance was a surprise, I like how you are setting it all up. I hope you take us that far in this fic- and make it your own.


That is the intention. Fingers crossed.

shirrey wrote:
I didn't think Willow would put together her feelings for Tara so quickly, but she's a smart cookie, I shouldn't be surprised. I cannot wait for more!!


This aspect of Willow is directly based off my own experiences. Kinda like a rivulet of water going down a wall - if something doesn't obviously offer another path, the water is just as content to carry on. She'd had these feelings before, noticing girls. Now, though, that could mean more than she thought initially.

Here's more!

The Space in Between

Author name – CopperAndGold
Rating – PG-13
Feedback – All the feedback! Please!
Summary – Right where we left the girls off, before the episode ‘A new man’.


It had come to her at the moment of waking up. Everything fell into place, all the known pieces that had motivated her to want to find answers. The problem, Willow realized, was all the unknowns on both sides. That needed to change somehow.

When she’d tried to show interest, Tara had interpreted it as condescending or patronizing. It was obvious the blonde assumed Willow was nothing but straight, why wouldn’t she? She’d seen her reaction as an over-compensation… which it had been, in a way. But, not for trying to hide disdain. Much the opposite.

She’d put Buffy in her place in her mind, last night. Running through the scene with Buffy finding the flyer instead of herself. Would Buffy be having these weird feelings about it? It had become clear that, no… this definitely was a Willow thing.

If anything, Buffy would probably wig out, paranoid about everything she said or did hoping not to lead someone on or something. Willow didn’t think she’d be leading any one on, though. She didn’t even think Tara was interested in her, like that. She’d said so herself.

But, how would Tara take it if she were to bring it up? Judging by last night, it wouldn’t be in such a good way. Granted, she hadn’t meant to be flirty, for real. Not in the moment anyway, she’d just wanted more Tara-giggles. It had been flirty, though – and she hadn’t felt weird about it but it had surprised her. It had come out all on its own and was actually meant as a compliment.

Had she ever been so forward without planning ahead? Spontaneous flirtiness wasn’t really in her wheelhouse, as far as she’d known.

It just felt as though the space between who she’d been and who she was to become - more comfortably Willow – grew shorter since meeting Tara. And, much shorter still once she’d clued into what the flyer meant.

That flyer meant nothing about herself, directly. It was the opportunity just to contemplate and re-evaluate herself that meant, well… everything. The clues had been there, they just hadn’t caught her attention the way Tara had.

And now, all those clues were lit up like fairy-lights against a dark wall.

But, everything she said and did from now on would be seen as coming from an uncomfortable straight girl. Much like imaginary-Buffy, Willow found herself paranoid about misunderstandings. She needed her friend to understand though, so her perception of the redhead wouldn’t be skewed.

She wasn’t uncomfortable, but she was having feelings. Confusing feelings that just shifted the lens just so, just enough to put her life into perspective. It was scary, and it was making her wanna barf. But… she couldn’t even hope to entertain the thought of not seeing or talking with Tara again.

How to do that without messing it up, was the question. As it stood, Willow didn’t even know what being into Tara really meant about herself. She’d have to research which in some small way, made her kind of relieved. Research meant answers, and answers meant a happy Willow.

She pushed off the covers, sat up and out of bed. Researching and figuring out what or who she was - was all fine and good. But, for now, she just wanted to see Tara again if only to prove to herself she could.



***

Her mother had read her ‘The Giving Tree’ when she was little. Lying in the big bed, she’d listened in rapt attention. Two days a week they could allow themselves the luxury of lazing together in bed from morning to after-noon. Those mornings of mother/daughter bonding time were some of Tara’s most cherished memories.

But, at the end of ‘The Giving Tree’ the tiny blue-eyed blonde’s cheeks had reddened with anger, her little arms crossing as she’d sat up with her mouth shut tight against the urge to cry. Lilian, her mother had been surprised. She’d seen no cause for anger, a sweet kind of sadness… maybe. Bittersweet she’d called it.

Tara just found it to be a great injustice that the tree would go through life selflessly giving of itself, loving a little boy who grew up without ever really acknowledging the tree’s purpose in his life. Its meaning… the whole story felt cruel, to Tara.

Lilian had tried to explain about the moral of the story, how the man figured it out in the end. But, Tara had been too hurt. She’d grown to love the tree, to want to protect it. She’d grown to hate the boy, and whatever epiphany had come to him had come too little, too late in her very opinionated eight-year-old mind.

That day her mother started closing the door to her room on their mother/daughter mornings.

That day, a secret bond had been formed with a promise. Tara could say and feel whatever she wanted, in this room. She was safe in this room – on these mornings.

Only when the door was shut, though. The rules of the house had changed when Tara had turned seven, they would need to take precautions now.

When the door was closed, Tara could cuss her brother out for being a lazy idiot. For not picking up after himself, for being so good at manipulating her father, for lying so much. For hating her for no good reason. For being cruel to field mice… for being cruel in general.

Behind that door, Tara made cheeky observations about her father’s short affairs with hypocrisy. Every little grin she’d elicited had been a badge of honor accumulated throughout the years. A rite of passage to becoming a woman... of sorts.

It had been behind that door where Tara had come out to her mother. Did it mean anything bad? Was this part of being a demon? It’s natural for some people, just don’t tell your father. Her mother had warned without cause – it had been the last thing on Tara’s mind.

Magic was accepted here. Feared and respected, but accepted. The basics of feeling energies and reading them were taught effortlessly. Tara started being able to see auras and energy fields – their interactions with the elements. She grew new fruits of understanding with age. People really didn’t know any better. She didn’t know any better…

People learned and changed, so why not give them a chance? She’d opened a different door to that of her mother’s room on this day.

Tara had been in high school and she’d made a friend.

Mornings with mom had been full of giggles after that. The longer the friendship had lasted, the more Lilian had picked up on subtle clues. Was her daughter smitten? What did this mean?

Her mother’s illness had been getting worse, becoming bedridden. One day Tara had closed the room door unexpectedly - tears streaking down her face and distraught beyond belief - her mother had done what little she could with the little energy she’d had to expend. Her daughter had been betrayed; she’d been hurt…

And here she’d laid until the last day, when that door never shut again and Lilian had taken her last breath.

A Tara-shaped elastic had snapped then, all its stretching and growing having been for naught. Hate… resentment, cynicism where all back now, with a handy side of numbness.

She hated the boy of the story again, only this time his name was Rachel. She hated her mom for being like the tree. Tara hated herself for ever giving a damn. For wanting to be like a tree only to end up resenting herself. Resenting that room. Resenting her mom.

It had taken a lot to get out of that dark pit of depression. It had taken Aunt Margaret and Sunnydale.

And, now? Well…

Willow scared the crap out of her. Because she felt like Icarus and Willow was the sun. Tara could barely resist reaching out, the temptation was so great.

She wasn’t Rachel, of course – Willow was Willow and Rachel was anything but sunny. Tara was still the same Tara, though. Watching the redhead now, she couldn’t help but find her endearing at the very least. Giving any more thought to adjectives would be tantamount to risking a quick plummet to earth covered in melted wax. So, ‘endearing’ it was.

Getting a call from her had been a surprise after the last time they’d met. Tara hadn’t expected it at all, but was thrilled by it. There had been no mention of the flyer fiasco. Indeed, her friend had only seemed keen on hanging out. The relief Tara had felt seemed to make her ten pounds lighter.

“-bigger on the inside. See, the show is big into quantum physics. Pretty neat if you ask…” Willow noticed how her friend seemed unfocused. You lost her, doofus. “No one at all.” She mumbled softly before perking right back up, “What was your favorite show?”

“Um…” Tara had zoned out thinking but was back on track. She tried to cast her mind back. Television hadn’t been as much a centerpiece to her life as many of her peers. “There was this one show with turtles who really liked pizza.” She said hopefully, scooting into a more comfortable position. Willow was facing her, sitting at the foot of the bed, the blonde’s back was against the headboard. “S-sorry, didn’t watch much T.V. growing up.” She explained when she saw the redhead’s expression of mock shock, smiling through a wince against that familiar feeling of not being at all relatable.

“Oh!” Willow bounced in place, seeing the glass as being half-full. “That’s great! That just means I get to initiate you to stuff.” At Tara’s amused and raised, questioning eyebrows she quickly tacked on, “If you want, I mean.” Stretching a quick smile across her face.

The blonde laughed, “That would be really fun.” She smiled, thinking it the best idea ever. “I don’t know about that doctor show, though.” Tara’s nose crinkled, “Sounds complicated.”

“Yeah,” Willow started tentatively, choosing her words carefully, “But, complicated isn’t necessarily bad is it?” Her eyebrows twitched, a little supportive grin formed on her lips. “Plus… if you don’t try it, how will you really know if-if it’s worth it or not?”

There was a pregnant pause then, the vibe having changed slightly. Tara looked away when she noticed Willow’s cheeks reddening, “We can’t be w-watching T.V. all the time if we want to study being witches, though.” Don’t do this Willow… please… I won’t be someone’s experiment again.

Swallowing down the eight-ball in her throat, the redhead acquiesced easily, “Right, but if you want to though – we could do just one show at a time?” Pleading green eyes and clasped fingers tried to convince. “More time for learning goodness.”

Why was Willow so damn cute? Grinning, the blonde looked down at her lap, picking at her thumbnail. “Fine… but not that weird doctor show.” Tara emphasized the word with a silly voice and looked up cheekily from under her lashes.

Her mouth fell open. Not only was she being teased about one of her most cherished shows, but that look could knock anyone on their butts. Willow really doubted her friend knew how alluring that look really was. “Hey! It’s not…” She paused, her head bobbed from left to right in concession, “Ok, it is a weird show. But Dr. Who isn’t about doctors though, it’s a sci-fi.”

Tara played along, getting a kick out of it, “Exactly,” She waved a hand dismissively at Willow, “A show with Dr. in the title that isn’t about doctors is weird.” When all she got in return was a glare, she giggled heartily. “Sigh-fly? Come on.” The teasing was too good.

It was Willow’s turn to laugh, “Sci-fi.” She chuckled, “Science fiction, Tara. Jeez.” For good measure she threw in an eye roll. She smacked her lips, “You have so much to learn, grasshopper.”

The comfort between them only seemed to grow, the ease with which they talked about everything was refreshing to Tara. Well, not everything…

“So, when did you want to do our first coven meeting?” Willow broke her from her thoughts, “Buffy’s all with the goo-goo boyfriend time these days.” She huffed and flounced sideways onto the bed, “She’s barely around at all.” When Tara frowned looking sympathetic, she tried to shake out of it, “That means my schedule is wide open, though!” She quickly shook her head, dismayed that she’d forgotten important things, “Except for classes and studies of course.”

This struck her as a bit surprising. Willow seemed so… cool. Why wouldn’t she have a ton of friends to hang out with? A boyfriend? “Studies are crucial.” Tara put on a mock-stern face, “Bad grades means no dessert for you.” She wagged a reprimanding finger.

Willow bent her elbow, propping her head onto her hand, “Good thing I never get bad grades, then!” She chirped proudly, “Although I’ll never know what my punishment would have been, or if my parents would’ve even noticed.”

The grumble of resignation tugged at Tara’s heart. She pulled her knees up to her chest, “Not close with your parents, huh?” She asked softly.

“Well, you know,” The redhead sighed and sat up, crossing her legs, “It could’ve been worse I guess. Just,” She shrugged, “Barely ever saw dad, and when mom was there it was just ‘cause she didn’t have anywhere else to be.”

Tara kept quiet, saddened by her friend’s story as it unraveled. “Mom’s a lecturer, Psychology professor. I guess since I’ve always been a good kid, she figured the best thing would be to let me be.” A short, mirthless chuckle took Tara by surprise, “The only time she gave me any attention, she almost burned me at the stake!”

“What?” She couldn’t keep the reactionary question in, she was shocked. “Your own mother?” Tara asked, completely thrown. The thought of Willow being tied to a stake… Shut that door, shut it now - right this instant. She had to calm down, her hands had started to shake. Look at her eyes, just… focus on the green. It’s a nice green… Willow had started talking again, her hearing was getting clearer, her vision back to normal – train wreck averted.

“-under some spell,” Willow quickly explained, “Buffy’s mom was under it too. It was crazy, a demon appeared as two dead kids – Giles thinks that’s where the ‘Hensel and Gretel’ fairytale came from.”

“Giles,” Her brow furrowed in concentration, “Buffy’s… watcher, right?” Tara asked after a quick nervous swallow.

“Right!” Willow beamed, “He’s this older British guy who’s really smart.” Her stomach let out a tiny growl, “He teaches her what it means to be a Slayer and helps her out.”

The blonde had thankfully heard the growl, the room felt somewhat suffocating now. Tara needed some air, “Wanna grab some lunch?” She asked breathlessly.

The redhead looked contrite, “Heard that, huh?” She paused when she seemed to remember something, “Can I make a call?” Was her tentative question, “Xander and I are planning a birthday party for Buffy, this would be a perfect time to reach him.” Standing up by the bed, she straightened her clothes.

Tara stood as well, if a bit off balance, “Um, s-sure.” She waved in the phone’s direction, “I’ll just go… go freshen up.” Her parting words as she heard the click of the phone being picked up, Tara walked out the room towards the bathroom block.

***

“I just hope this one won’t get crashed by demons.” Willow was saying around some of her sandwich, “Last year was something else.”

Tara smiled, finding it so thoughtful of Willow and Xander to organize a birthday party for Buffy. “I’m sure it’ll be great. She’ll be so happy.” She beamed and reached across the surface instinctively, towards Willow’s hand. Catching herself just in time, she diverted her reach and grabbed a napkin from the dispenser on the edge of the table. Damit, Tara. Reel it in. She could almost feel the wax melting down her back.

Willow didn’t seem to notice the slight of hand, “Well, she needs it.” They were in a little deli not far from campus, a soft melody played from speakers suspended in the top corners of the establishment. Tables were far apart, affording patrons some privacy. “Freshman year hasn’t been great for her, so far.”

Tara stabbed at her salad with her fork, trying to pick up as many different ingredients in one perfect bite, “What about you? How’s it been for you?” She asked absentmindedly, a baby tomato was being particularly evasive.

“Uh,” Willow chewed and stalled, “It started out great...” She said, then swallowed quickly. Her eyes darted to her glass of water before reaching for it. “Then not so great.” She gulped a mouthful down. “Better now, though!” the redhead concluded, putting the glass back down onto the table abruptly, making the silverware rattle. In turn, the sudden noise made her jump in her seat and cough around her last gulp.

“Hey,” This time she didn’t have the wherewithal to stop herself when she reached out, and took Willow’s fidgety hand in hers comfortingly. “Are you ok?” Tara asked soothingly, concerned.

The redhead’s lips were pressed tightly together, a duel in her eyes, “Yeah, honest. I am.” She took a breath, looking down at Tara’s hand cradling hers and decided to just come out with it all. “I started college with a boyfriend, he left.” Was the only succinct way she could put it, which in all consideration was impressive.

Willow having had a boyfriend wasn’t surprising in the least to Tara. The adorable redhead was a catch, by anyone’s standards, she thought. No, what surprised her was that the fool had left her. “He left?” As a solitary eyebrow raised high up her forehead, a look of complete incredulity painted her features.

That was a new one to Willow, that expression. It caught her off-guard, the different interpretations of it collided into hilarious absurdity in her mind. All she could do was burst out laughing. “Yeah! The jerk.” She sobered a bit, Tara having retreated back to her side of the table but, she was smiling. Willow had felt the weight of her hand’s absence instantaneously. “He needed to figure himself out… or something.” Like me, ha! Oh, irony.

Tara might have said something, might have asked or pried. But opted for silence and attention. She’d found that most times it was the best way to truly listen. When Willow spoke up again though, she was happy for the tension break. “It’s been a couple months now, I don’t miss him as much.” She nodded, “Yep, much better now.”

She opened her mouth to say sorry, or anything that would make Willow feel better but didn’t get the chance. “Besides, Oz being a werewolf kind of made everything more dire.” She snorted cutely, “Huh, dire… wolf.”

Tara’s head was suddenly reeling yet again. She pushed back into her seat, hands pressing against the table’s edge. “Wait, Oz… was your boyfriend. Your werewolf boyfriend?” HOW!? I don’t wanna know… do I?

The redhead only nodded, refilling her water glass, “Yup, bit by his little cousin who, himself had been bit.” The pitcher found its way safely back onto the table’s surface without spilling, “It’s a whole biting thing.”

Again, Tara’s eyebrows were so expressive. Both hiked up her forehead quizzically, thoroughly intrigued if not a tad judgmental. I mean, ugh. Whatever her mind could conjure up as what a werewolf would look like wasn’t an appealing portrait at all.

“What!?” Willow asked, indignantly, “Buffy dated a vampire! Oz was only wolfie three nights a month.” She twisted her fingers together, building up the courage to go on. “I’m sure you have an interesting first ex out there, somewhere.”

She’d expected the curiosity to boomerang, had been preparing subconsciously. “No, no ex-girlfriends anywhere.” Tara shook her head before bowing it, her hair now covering her features. “I um… I had a friend, we’d gotten close but it ended b-badly.” She said, trying to wrap a whole mess with a tidy bow. “Haven’t seen her in a long time, since before moving here.”

Willow shifted in her chair uncomfortably. She wanted to ask questions, find out all she could about Tara… but she somehow knew to tread lightly. “Can… Can I ask what happened?”

Looking around the deli, it all felt too public all of a sudden. Strangers were eating and talking, “You can.” Tara answered decidedly, wiping the corner of her mouth clean with her napkin. “I’ll answer, j-just not here ok?” She pleaded a reprieve. At her friend’s instant nods of approval, they both made their way back to the dorms.

***

They were almost at the dorms, chatting away and enjoying their time together. Willow was trying to plan their first official coven meeting, “So, I was thinking Tuesday night?” She paused, waiting for Tara’s reply but it wasn’t coming fast enough for her taste, “Tomorrow’s Buffy’s shindig, so Tuesday would work for me. Or, any other day really... Wednesday?”

“Willow,” Tara had to giggle, she barely got a word in edge-wise when her friend got flustered, “Tuesday’s fine.” She smiled warmly, “Do you know what you want to work on?”

Walking up the steps to the building’s main doors, the redhead pulled one open and held it for Tara to walk through. “Uh, no. Not yet, should I?” She asked slightly worried she was off to a bad start.

The halls were relatively quiet, Sunday evening drawing to a close. They took the stairs up to Tara’s floor. She shrugged a shoulder, “I don’t know, really.” Hiking her bag further up her shoulder, she rounded the first landing, “All I know is what my mom taught me… wasn’t all that much spell-wise. More exercises in focus than anything else.”

Pulling her keys out, she continued, “I know some bookish stuff too, like – history and things like that. S-spells I haven’t cast.”

“Oh,” Was all Willow could say. She flounced down onto the desk chair, “Well then, maybe we could start by learning a spell together.” A smile brightened her face, “I could find us one, easy.”

Tara smiled along, enamored by her friend’s charms, “As long as it’s right-hand path.” She agreed easily.

Willow’s brain stalled, “Huh?” She eloquently asked.

The blonde blinked a few times, confused, “Right-hand path, Left-hand path? Light and dark?” She grew slightly worried, “You do know this, right?”

“Oh!” The redhead exclaimed, slightly discombobulated and thoroughly humbled, “Yeah, of course. Light magic, dark magic. Yup, all in the know.” She swallowed her embarrassment down, “No worries.”

Tara squinted dubiously but continued, “Just think about your intent before coming up with the spell.” Her brows lifted a tad, “Ok?”

Eyes wide, Willow nodded that she agreed. “Ok, promise.” She tacked on needlessly.

The respect she felt coming from Willow made her want to change the subject, it was a little uncomfortable. But, the only other…

“So…” Willow cleared her throat, “Here we are. Nice, quiet room… quiet enough to, oh - I don’t know,” She got up from the chair and sat next to Tara, all smooth like, “Give an answer you owe?” She blinked her eyes bashfully.

Her lap had become the most interesting landscape, “It’s embarrassing.” Tara peeked from behind her hair to see nothing but calm acceptance being offered, “This girl at school… she started talking to me and we became friends. She was my first actual friend, you know?”

Willow nodded so she continued while picking at her jeans, “We got closer, quickly… it was during a-a rough patch at home. My mom was really s-sick, she had cancer.” Her hand was suddenly held firmly between freckled fingers, “Anyway, I ended up coming out to Rachel and things… changed. I thought for the better… but, getting even closer was just so-something she was experimenting with, I guess. I think she said things s-so she’d get what she wanted.” And you, idiot, didn’t see her coming. Her self-derision was only read by Willow as disdain for Rachel, though. “She called it a phase and got a boyfriend after… after we’d crossed a-a line.”

“Oh,” Things were so much clearer now. But, also much more tangibly risky from Tara’s point of view. Well, I’m not Rachel. She thought indignantly. How does SHE know that, though? How do you!? She replied to herself. Hey, dummy! This isn’t about you! Her higher-self gave her a good whack. “That really sucks.” Oh, fantastic job, Rosenberg.

Tara grinned at the response, “Yeah.”

Silence held thick in the air between them, trying to coalesce into some kind of direction. “Was she your first?” Willow asked, having randomly settled on a question floating around her head. She was instantly regretful.

“Was Oz yours?” Tara replied, quite sharply. The question felt intrusive, and she couldn’t help but wonder at its agenda.

“Yeah, he was.” But Willow surprised her with the direct, honest truth. “First boyfriend, first person to give me the time of day.” Screw this, she’s the vulnerable one here. Not me. “Well, in that way anyway.” So little of this is about me… “First lover. First everything… really.” There was the usual pang of longing, but Willow was surprised at how dimmed it had become.

It made sense now, Willow’s reaction at the deli. Oz meant… well, he was her first. Oz had meant pretty much everything, hadn’t he? “Sorry,” Tara apologized for her recalcitrance, “Yeah. First of sorts, it’s not… so cut and dry.” She chuckled then, her nerves added to the double-entendre only she was privy to almost sent her into hysterics. The blonde pressed her mouth shut, only a few giggles managed a way out.

Swept by Tara’s mirth, Willow had to giggle along. Even if she only kind-of understood the joke. Ok, she didn’t. “Not fair, with the jokes I don’t get.” She grumbled good-naturedly.

Can she handle it? Tara was feeling better, even a little bubbly. She felt like teasing a bit, “You’re supposed to be all smart and stuff, too.” That’ll get her going… Her blonde tresses danced around her face as she tsked her disappointment.

A hand to her chest, Willow was aghast, “I’ll have you know I’m a genius.” She petulantly crossed her arms, “I don’t know much about what two girls do… together-together… but,” It’s getting warm in here… She stood and started pacing the floor. “Sex is sex, no? Boy or girl, your first is… ” She waved her arms about, searching for her words, “Your first!”

Tara was torn between giving Willow some slack by letting her off the hook and teasing her some more. She figured she might deserve a little ribbing, “Well, y-yes and no.” At the redhead’s desperate whine, she added, “There’s a form to f-fill out and some... tests.” She cocked her head during a dramatic pause, “The tests are interesting.”

Willow stomped her foot, “Taraaaaa!” She whined loudly. She’d been had, “Come on! You’re making fun of me.” She pouted, a hint of a grin nonetheless visible at the corners of her mouth.

I am, and if only it were sane to do so I’d stand up right now and kiss that pout of yours. Her hands tightened on her thighs into loose fists, it was definitely getting past complicated in here. “She was m-my first, Willow.” She shook her head and grinned lopsidedly, “Unfortunately.”

“Yeah,” Willow said clumsily, tightening her features into a stern expression, “Rachel’s a dummy.” She concluded, emphasized with a sharp nod.

You have to go now. Just stop being so… Tara looked up from behind her hair and replied softly, “So’s Oz.” STOP! This is so stupid, Tara!

Nodding, her head went up and down alright. But her peripheral vision had all but disappeared, her only conscious thought about how blue Tara’s eyes were. How elegant the slant of her nose, the sharp cheekbones and full, oh-so-kissable lips. “Yeah…” Research, I need to… I need to read about stuff. “Uh, so… Tuesday night? Spell-o-clock?”

Oh, thank the heavens… Tara smiled, relieved at the break in tension once again. She nodded, “Yep! J-just call me if anything changes.” Getting up from the bed, she walked Willow toward the door to see her out. “It was fun, Willow.”

The redhead reached for her friend’s hand, squeezed it softly, “Thanks for sharing with me...” She smiled, rolled her eyes at herself and opened the door to leave, “Now you’ve gone and made me feel all special. I won’t fit through my dorm door.”

Shaking her head, Tara watched her friend walk down the hall in bemusement. She called after her, “Better get a bigger door.” Which earned her a little squeal and a skip.

Yep, Tara Maclay was definitely in trouble.

***

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~M
CopperAndGold


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 9:56 pm 
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Oh I love it! They are so drawn to each other as it should be. I love the Icarus parallel So tempting, such a need. But so threatening with its flames. There is a palpable tension between them. It gave me an even newer look at willow wanting to keep Tara as her own. You can't mar perfection by bringing it into the usefulness of being a Scooby , having it be a function rather than a revelation. It cheapens what their bond means. Even if later it solidifies it. Again I cannot wait for more

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You ARE Magic ~ Tara


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 1:11 am 
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Wow, two fantastic new chapters in two days, you're obviously on the roll now! :applause :bounce

Like Shirrey I love the theme of Tara feeling like Icarus, desperately longing to get closer to Willow but afraid of getting burned and falling into loneliness and depression again. I like that "your" Willow has already realized the true nature of her feelings for Tara.
It may cause problems when it comes to Willow and magic though, hinted in this piece of conversation:

Quote:
Tara smiled along, enamored by her friend’s charms, “As long as it’s right-hand path.” She agreed easily.

Willow’s brain stalled, “Huh?” She eloquently asked.

The blonde blinked a few times, confused, “Right-hand path, Left-hand path? Light and dark?” She grew slightly worried, “You do know this, right?”

“Oh!” The redhead exclaimed, slightly discombobulated and thoroughly humbled, “Yeah, of course. Light magic, dark magic. Yup, all in the know.” She swallowed her embarrassment down, “No worries.”


Obviously Willow lacks the knowledge because nobody ever taught her what Tara learned since her early childhood, but she won't admit that to Tara because she has a crush on her and doesn't want to look "stupid" or "inadequate" in her eyes. I guess Willow sees magic like chemistry and doing spells like experiments. If you follow the description and it works, it must be "good" magic.

Tara will probably realize this pretty soon during their "coven meetings" - I'm curious how she will react to it.


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 7:05 am 
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shirrey wrote:
It gave me an even newer look at willow wanting to keep Tara as her own. You can't mar perfection by bringing it into the usefulness of being a Scooby , having it be a function rather than a revelation. It cheapens what their bond means. Even if later it solidifies it. Again I cannot wait for more


Yes, exactly. Their friendship and budding closeness is supposed to be intimate, for Willow's sake. I think on an instinctual level she wants to distance herself from what has been, enough to grow freely into what will be.

Will's redemption wrote:
I guess Willow sees magic like chemistry and doing spells like experiments. If you follow the description and it works, it must be "good" magic.


That's exactly right. Willow is science, Tara is faith.

Onto the update!

The More You Know

Author name – CopperAndGold
Rating – PG-13
Feedback – Your feedback keeps me going!
Summary – The episode ‘A new man’ – A Willow and Tara behind the scenes look.



The college library was still an awe inspiring place for Willow. The atmosphere alone was perfect for soaking up knowledge. That had come in handy her first few weeks, having been stuck with a party-crazed roommate. Now, she still just came here when she wanted to study in quiet, or research with some privacy.

She’d finished most of her studies and Xander would be ready in a few hours for her to get Buffy to the party. That meant she had time to look some stuff up… If she could find anything of actual use.

Not that learning about Stonewall and the gay liberation movement wasn’t interesting. But, most of that stuff she’d already learned from her mother practicing her lectures. Willow was looking for more practical, tangible information about figuring herself out. Not politics, societal norms or psychology.

Some things were obvious to her, others though – not so much. And, others she wasn’t even willing to acknowledge yet.

Obvious was the fact she’d loved Oz dearly. Also obvious was the fact she found girls pretty. If she let herself think on details too long, girls were pretty enticing. She found guys good looking on the surface too, though… If she thought on those details… Argh, I hate this analyzing crap.

She was growing frustrated and a little defensive on Oz’ behalf. Sure, her motor didn’t exactly rev just at the sight of a hunk but, once things got going Willow had been responsive to Oz. Besides, the female form had been held in high regard throughout history. The higher beauty of women was universally accepted as a fact - the fairer sex and all that, right? Isn’t it normal that women would be more appealing? She shook her head, this was stupid and futile.

She obviously had attraction-type feelings for Tara, and she’d had a loving relationship with Oz. What if I just decided right now that I’m bisexual? Couldn’t she just say she liked both boys and girls equally, and be done with it?

Thinking about that, she realized something important. Willow realized that this – how she was feeling confused about what she wanted – this might have been exactly how Rachel had felt. I guess I am like Rachel, after all… She grimaced at the thought and after a moment, her vision started to shimmer and blur beneath unshed tears. I can’t do this to her… what am I going to do?

She pushed aside what little books she’d found and flipped open her laptop. Logging onto the campus internet access, she started some simple searches. This seemed more like it, forums – actual people talking about actual experiences.

Willow skipped down the page looking for a post that would pique her interest. When she read: ‘It doesn’t make sense.’ Willow thought she’d found her first clue. I’ve got to figure this out without her. Without hurting her… somehow.

The part of Willow that didn’t believe that was possible, already felt defeated.

***

The bell over the door rang as it opened, its tinkle alerting the owner of the establishment to a new customer. “Be right with you.” He said in the direction of the door, bending to fetch a receipt that had slipped from the counter.

Tara pushed the door closed behind herself, “It’s just me, Mr. Bogarty.” She walked further into the store, catching a glimpse of the older man as he straightened back up. Gave a little wave, “Um, Tara.” A smile pulled at her lips, seemed it had been a long day for the shop owner. He looked a tad disheveled, “Is this ok? I-I know you’re closing soon.”

The Magic Box owner and the young witch had struck a fast friendship when they’d first met. Although the ritual she’d initially come for help with hadn’t worked out, Mr. Bogarty had been knowledgeable and empathetic. Tara had ended up spending two hours with the man as he worked. Reading in between conversations about magic, sources and hellmouths.

“Of course, it’s no problem.” He said, straightening his blazer as he walked around the counter. “Are you just visiting or do you need some help, dear?” Peering from the top of his reading glasses, he added conspiratorially, “If you want any more of those gingerbread cookies the missus makes, I’ll need to charge you a dollar like the rest.” Leaning in, closer to the witch he whispered, “She’s coming down hard; noticed her totals didn’t add up.”

Tara giggled, highly amused, “Have you ever charged anyone for a cookie?” She raised an eyebrow, “Ever?”

Chuckling, the man made his way towards a seat, “Of course not, who would do such a thing.” Mr. Bogarty asked rhetorically and sat down. At the witch’s expectant look and crossed arms, he huffed. “What she doesn’t know doesn’t hurt her. I just forgot how many cookies she’d made that day and gave her too little money.” He sighed dramatically, “Now I’m in the doghouse.”

The blonde squinted disapprovingly and shook her head but couldn’t keep from cracking a smile. “I’d say it serves you right,” On the shelf to her right, something caught her attention. A beautifully decorated box, “But now I need to carry change.” The edges dark purple, the embossed letters were deep-set and golden. Stars and moons peppered the top.

“We just got that one two days ago,” Mr. Bogarty had noticed her looking and was now stood next to her. He reached over and picked the box up, “Brand new, hand-painted deck.” The box was opened with a small click of a clasp. “Go ahead.” He lifted it slightly, raising his chin inviting Tara to take the deck from the box.

Her interest in Tarot was still new. She’d seen the different decks when she’d visited, had looked at them all and thought them beautifully crafted. Then, the shop owner had given her a crash course of sorts and she’d been interested ever since. “It’s so pretty.” She breathed, reverently picking one card up revealing The Fool.

“It’s a fool’s journey, beginner’s deck.” Mr. Bogarty seemed to contemplate this, watching Tara go through the cards one at a time, “Were you drawn to it?”

Making sure to handle them with care, the witch straightened the deck before placing it back into its box. “I guess I was.” She looked up at him and smiled, knowing she wouldn’t spend the money however much she wanted it. Her expenses were counted to the penny, having only what her mother had left her until semester’s end.

Closing the box and placing it back on the shelf, the older man decided to move on at Tara’s silence. “How have you been, sweetheart?”

“Oh - um,” Tara blushed slightly and pushed a lock of her hair away from her face, “I’ve been doing well,” She nodded comically with a tight smile, “You know.” The blonde looked away, shrugging nonchalantly, “I might bring a friend next time I come.”

Mr. Bogarty seemed pleased by this, “Is this someone you met at the Wicca group, at college?” He shook his head seemingly surprised, “I swear, one after the other - they come in here asking for scented candles in shapes of Goddesses.” Chuckling to himself, he mumbled, “I get those candles in bulk from China.”

The blonde snorted softly, “She’s not like that.” Her voice was chipper and optimistic which delighted the owner, “She probably shops here s-sometimes, though.” Tara cleared her voice, “That’s why I’m here actually. If we were to-to… start studying magic together, how can we make sure to not…” Her hands flounced around a few times before folding her arms across her chest, “Do b-bad things?”

Mr. Bogarty looked at her intently but questioningly, “What do you mean, exactly?” He asked, waving a hand towards a table and some seats. “Bad things?”

Tara took a seat, “She…” Pressing her lips together, the blonde thought a second before continuing, weighing her words, “Willow and I haven’t learned the same way.”

The owner frowned and asked, “The same way, or the same things?”

The witch shrugged, “Both?” She leaned an elbow on the edge of the table, then quickly pulled it back down. She couldn’t figure out what to do with her hands, so she ended up crossing her arms awkwardly. Tara lowered her head covering her eyes, this was kind of embarrassing. “She’s a practicing witch, learns s-spells and stuff.” When Mr. Bogarty kept quiet but seemed confused, she continued. “Willow had to learn from necessity… She’s um, v-very powerful.” Don’t forget noble. Courageous… intelligent… beautiful… funny… kind…

“Not surprising,” The man replied softly, breaking her from her Willow-haze, nodding his head, “Living here, you defend yourself however you can.” When Tara nodded that she agreed, he asked, “And, you?”

The silence was heavy, the young woman being careful to the point of slowing everything down – air molecules pilling up between them. “I-I um, it’s heh-heri-herr…” Tara’s eyes squeezed shut against the mortification she felt, taking a deep breath before pushing out, “Heh-hereditary; the w-women in my family. I’ve always known about stuff, ha-had to.”

She looked away shaking her head then, frustrated at her inadequacy, “I know stuff, but I don’t know what I know.” Her eyes pleaded answers but, she barely knew what she was asking. “Or, don’t know.” The words sounded so pathetic, her shoulders slumped and she bowed her head again.

Mr. Bogarty seemed relieved, having obviously been hanging onto every word as the young woman’s countenance became more erratic. “Generational, then.” He nodded, “It’s so natural to you, you can’t really put it into words. Let alone discern what you don’t know from what you do. What you don’t know never existed.” A proud little smile flashed across his lips. “A colorblind person who doesn’t know about colorblindness goes through life alone knowing green looks orange. But, reality is: It’s green.”

“Right,” Tara agreed, “I just don’t want to mess a spell up or make it go bad.” Pushing a lock of hair behind her ear, she added, “I don’t want to mess up her s-studies with my hangups, she really n-needs this.” Should she really learn with me, though?

The older man’s brow wrinkled questioningly, “Don’t you need it, too?” When she only looked back at him blankly he filled the blanks in, “You live here now, as well.”

“Oh,” She hadn’t thought of that, at all. “I guess… I-I would n-need to…”

“Do you think…” He raised a hand and cut her off but smiled, “… she has bad intentions?” Mr. Bogarty’s eyes bore into her. When Tara shook her head that, no – she didn’t believe Willow had a bad bone in her body - he added confidently, “And, neither do you.”

Pushing off his chair, he sauntered over to a bookshelf not noticing the evasive reaction his last assertion garnered from the young witch. “You know what you know, she knows what she does. Teach each-other, simple.”

Reaching up to the top shelf, behind Tara, he pulled a big leather-bound tome down, “These are beginner spells, of sorts.” It thumped dully as it fell to the table, “Journals, mostly. Young wizards and witches in training and so forth. Protective, Defensive and some Creative spells and rituals - Right, only.”

Tara pressed her palms against the cover, smoothing them out to the edges. The leather felt smooth and cool against her skin, “Wow.” She breathed out the word reverently.

“You can borrow it, for now.” He was saying, moving again. The blonde was cracking the cover, reading titles and looking at the different handwriting. She didn’t get the chance to thank him, “And, this…” She heard him say, this time from right over her shoulder. When something hard and wooden fell on the table, it startled her. Mr. Bogarty smiled sweetly. “Sorry.”

When Tara finally looked at what the shop keep had handed her, she gasped. “I can’t.” Looking up at him, she reasoned out loud, “I can’t afford them and you can’t j-just borrow Tarot cards.”

“Tara,” He said while moving to her side, “You wouldn’t be borrowing them. They’re yours; a gift.”

***

“She won’t even notice I’m gone,” Willow whispered to herself as she walked through the halls, towards her dorm room. The party was a hit, Buffy was a happy camper and there had been no bad juju. Result: Successful Buffy Birthday Bash. The redhead couldn’t bring herself to feel guilty about leaving early.

As eventful and fun as the party was, Willow just had too much on her mind to enjoy it all fully. She’d stood back after chatting up a few people, and had observed people interacting for the last hour. Her brain on a loop of Tara. Wonder what she’s doing right now. Wonder if she’s thinking about me. What if I just went over there? I want to see her…

She knew she was seeing Tara the next day for their first spell casting together as a coven. Her friend had asked her to make sure of something, her intent. Willow only had to think about her ‘Will be done’ spell to understand what Tara had meant. The fact that, even after that fiasco, the danger hadn’t woken her up enough to mind her intent now when thinking of casting… well, that had made her feel ashamed. Of course Tara had been right, of course she already knew this stuff. Not swimming with the little fishies now… An image of Tara as a fish popped into her brain, making her giggle. That’s when the decision to head home had been made.

She needed to pick a spell, and she needed to make it a good one. Show Tara that she could be level-headed and smart about magic. Willow needed to prove herself responsible.

Closing the door to hers and Buffy’s room, she quickly made her way to her trunk of mystical goodies.

Her books had all been acquired for practicality sake. Each of them a result of a specific Hellmouth event, from not so dire to apocalyptic in scope. They’d been references, lifelines and shortcuts when time had been crunched. When people’s lives had been on the line.

Surrounding herself with these books - sitting on the floor of her room - she thought about what they might be able to accomplish together. Something small, not so dramatic as a soda machine but – like Tara had wanted, clear and deliberate intent. Something delicate and fragile to try and control together, perhaps. Right-hand path… Willow remembered. Her brow screwed up, she’d just figured Tara meant not to use dark magic. That had been a given, really. No blood or baby teeth here, nope.

Tara had explained that she’d only directed Willow’s energy that night, in the laundry room. The redhead couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to connect with Tara, but using both their energies – together. In tandem, together… Oh, that’s kinda… Her cheeks reddened. It’s a spell… We’re witches, we are coven witches so we practice together… not my fault it sounds all sexy.

She felt like she was having a debate in her head with her internal, Imaginary-Xander. Responsible, remember? Take your mind out of the gutter… it’s just a spell. She thought in rebuttal to no one, reaching for the book she figured would have the best chance of having what she needed.

Once her mind had been engaged on the task at hand, Willow was lost to the world for the rest of the night.

***

No! Willow whined internally, hearing Giles yammer on about some demon and how tonight of all night was his encore, “She’s with Riley, Giles.” She was so annoyed, and so incredibly disappointed that now she had to cancel her plans with Tara. “You know, her boyfriend? Having a life…” Her voice trailed off defensively.

“Yes, well,” Giles wasn’t inclined toward sympathy right then, “I’m still somewhat getting used to that information.” He said gruffly, “She should still be focused on her duties.”

The redhead winced, she felt bad for him not being in the know sooner. “I’m sorry we didn’t tell you.” Truth be told, the fact Buffy was meeting with Walsh who – surprise, was the head of Riley’s unit or something. No, no double-entendre there… - Well, it made Willow uneasy. “She was meeting with Professor Walsh today. You might find her there?”

After a longwinded, British bitching session and direction giving, the call was ended and Willow was left sitting on the edge of her bed. Staring at the phone pathetically. I have to call her and cancel. Because of stupid Scooby stuff… Without Buffy. It was all so unfair. She’s the Slayer, not me!

***

Her classes were finally done. Today had felt never-ending to Tara and she still had a couple of hours left before Willow would show up. She’d have to fill those somehow, studying would probably be her best bet. Keys in hand, she approached her door with a smile on her face.

Turning back around from closing it behind her, the first thing she noticed was the red, flashing light on her answering machine. Tara froze, staring at the machine like she’d seen a ghost. She never got messages, never. The only time she’d gotten one had been her aunt, letting her know the search was off. Her father had figured she’d come home with her tail between her legs, soon enough.

That light frightened her, what it might carry with it was important enough to leave a message. Had they found her? Was her aunt ok? Tara’s hands started to shake, she dropped her bag to the floor and took tentative steps towards the phone. There are so many other things it could be… calm down.

The tone of Willow’s voice hadn’t registered at first, so relieved was she it was Willow at all. “-ot a call from Giles a-and…” She sounded so tentative and small, Tara instantly disliked whatever was making her friend sound that way, “There’s this demon that’s gonna rise tonight and he needs my help.”

Disappointment didn’t have a chance, Tara was shook with worry. Until this moment, she hadn’t really thought about Willow’s supporting role in the whole Slayer thing. How dangerous it could be, they’d all been… just stories up until now. “-hope we can reschedule? Please? I’m so sorry, Tara.”

“Be careful,” The blonde said to no one before shaking her head self-deprecatingly. She’s been doing this for years, she’ll be fine. She tried to comfort herself, sitting there through the beep that signaled the end of the message. Without thinking, Tara pressed ‘Replay’.

“Hi, uh… Tara. Hi.” The redhead’s voice sounded out softly, “I just got a call from Giles a-and…” A smile grew on Tara’s face, her heart tightened. She rolled her eyes and swatted at the machine to shut it off. Seriously, put a cork in it Maclay.

She needed a shower and studies would have to wait. She might skip them altogether, Tara needed to lose herself in something and she knew just the book.

***

It was almost midnight, she was running through a cemetery at night with her best friend. Nothing too unusual really, for Willow. “She’s going to feel so bad.” She was saying through labored breathing, the beams from their flashlights cutting through the dark, “Can’t believe she didn’t tell him about the Initiative.”

“Yeah,” Xander replied, huffing along. Their footfalls thudding the only sound they could hear, “She’s been in Buffy-boyfriend-world for a while now.” His words stopped as he had to hop over a thick branch in his way, “Doing her own thing.”

Risking a quick glance toward him, she said tartly, “So are you, you know.” Willow slowed her steps as they neared the edge of the cemetery, “So happy to go find Anya, I bet.” The derision in her voice was plain to hear.

Xander stopped short and turned towards her, irritated, “Yeah, so? Where are you off to, then?”

“Home!” She said a little too quickly, “Where else would I go?” Willow fidgeted in place, now wondering if it was too late. Maybe she could call… Three thoughts became one idea. “The library.” She blurted.

Her friend looked confused, “Huh?”

“’Cause, you know…” She grasped about for words, “It would be so quiet, and-and…” The redhead was getting more nervous the more she went on, “Better to read, and stuff.”

Xander had already lost interest, “Whatever. All I’m saying is, it’s normal we’ve all got our own thing going.” Cocking his head with a dubious look on his face, he waved in her general direction, “Although your thing is all yours.” He shook his head before leaving, “Should go out on a date sometime, Will.”

***

“Hi,” Tara said softly in the space caused by opening her door, “Come in.” She smiled, her eyes twinkling.

She’d had to get dressed again when Willow called; had been tucked under the covers with her book. The young witch was far from complaining, though. “Are you ok?” Tara asked when she took in her friend’s state, “You look like…”

“Oh,” Willow looked down at herself, thoroughly embarrassed. “Oops.” She put her bag down and started taking her dirty jacket off, “Was running through a cemetery, tends to get sweaty and messy.” Blushing profusely, she draped her jacket over the chair, “I really hope I don’t stink.” Oh so discretely – at least she thought - she turned her nose toward a shoulder and took a short whiff.

This brought Tara to near hysterics, “You smell lovely,” She sobered a bit but was still giggling, her eyes shot up as she thought and said, “Like earth a-and grass.” Pleased with her observation, she nodded and smiled.

Willow beamed, her cheeks tinged pink at the compliment. Earth and grass never sounded good before. She lowered her eyes, slightly embarrassed. She makes everything sound good. “I uh,” She decided to move on, she could feel a spaz moment approaching. “I brought stuff.” Was her clever reply.

Tara moved to the bed where she sat patiently, watching her friend take items out of a bag. Among which was apparently a rose. I’ll find out soon enough, don’t assume…

“I’ll set up here,” The redhead was going about drawing the casting circle and symbol, almost feeling rushed. She was feeling an odd anxiousness she couldn’t place; Willow felt jumpy. She desperately tried to calm down, focusing on setting up the spell.

For her part, Tara would have wondered at her friend’s obvious discomfort if it hadn’t been for her Herculean efforts not to ogle the girl. She’d found Willow attractive from the first; she was simply a beautiful young woman. But, the more she was in Tara’s physical orbit, the less she could help… noticing things.

Willow had a different physique than she was used to noticing. Even though she knew the redhead could probably surprise her with her athleticism – she was a monster hunter after all – Willow’s shape was still delicate. Small, subtle curves that she wanted to touch to substantiate. Gulping, Tara averted her eyes momentarily. In her hands… a tickle had developed in her palms at the thought, or an itch. She rubbed her hands together, trying to alleviate the feeling.

“-as thinking about the laundry room,” Willow was saying, “How we moved the machine.”

Having clued into the fact her friend had been talking, the blonde jolted a bit. “Uh huh.” She said quickly. I had to be reading when she called. The blush that covered her cheeks, there was no containing.

Her friend turned to her, beckoning her over with her eyes, “I thought we could do that again, but this time together-together.” When Tara looked dazed, she clarified, “Like, not you aiming me but – you and me,” She gesticulated between them and only stopped when Tara nodded. I swear I’m smart, I know words.

Willow felt all out of sorts, off somehow. But, Tara was a calming presence as she sat opposite her. She let out a deep sigh, placing the rose in the circle. “I’m glad you wanted to get together, I know it’s late.”

“Thanks,” The blonde said a bit awkwardly. She rolled her eyes and grinned, “I was happy you called.” Something felt odd, Willow looked… radiant. That in itself wasn’t odd at all, it was the fact Tara seemed to be looking through a lens filter. Candle light bounced off her red locks, the girl’s cheeks pink and warm. When hands were offered in the distance between them, without a thought Tara took them.

“We’ll start out slow,” Was all Willow said before closing her eyes, the blonde followed suit again. Without a thought. At least for a moment…

“Willow?” She enquired sweetly after peeking, “Start out slow doing… what?”

Willow’s lips formed a silent ‘Oh’. Duh. “We’re gonna float the rose. Then, use the magics to pluck the petals off, one at a time.” She could already feel herself sinking, a pleasant feeling of calm suffusing her.

Tara sat there, listening to what sounded like the most romantic spell she’d ever heard. Wondering if her friend had any idea. Innocent, it’s innocent – not romantic, Tara.

“It’s a test of synchronicity,” Willow grinned, “Our minds have to be perfectly attuned to work as a single, delicate implement.” She said and her smile grew a bit.

I’ve got to be looking dopey right now. The blonde thought, “Cool.” I really feel dopey. This shouldn’t be too difficult though… She closed her eyes and heard: “And it should be very pretty.” She had to peek then, and smile because really – a rose had nothing on Willow.

Hands linked, eyes closed, they both fell silent in concentration. Willow opened up and let her energy seep through without giving it a goal. Just, expanding from her skin all around and, where her hands touched Tara’s she could feel… her. Tara was on her hands, in her hands then up her arms, neck, and crown of her head. A shiver ran down her spine, the air shimmered and through her closed eyelids the light in the room brightened. Wow… wow, wow, wow, wow…. She needed to concentrate, she really, really, really…

Easy, easy Willow. Tara thought as if breaking in a filly. When Willow came on, the punch was something else. What are we doing, again?

They weren’t communicating. Willow didn’t hear her friend’s question, she felt it. Had it – the question. And when she answered… herself? Tara also knew.

And, in knowing they thought of the rose. They thought of the rose rising… the rose rising. Visualizing the rose… the space between the carpet and it. The space growing, the rose raising.

Together, they created space and the rose… rose.

They both let go of each other’s hands at the same time. Tara opened her eyes to see, “It worked.” She softly said.

Willow was pleased but, “Now for the hard part,” Giving Tara a glance, “The petals.”

They looked at the rose, taking in its details before starting again but they never got a chance. A burst of… what Tara felt as dark energy of some sort - chaotic - It filled the room in a flash. The rose took on a life of its own, being propelled around the room narrowly missing them in its crazed rampage.

Willow was shocked, “What the heck was that!?” She asked, then looked at Tara completely perplexed.

She couldn’t be sure at all, “I don’t know, but” The blonde pointed at the now petal-less rose, smoking on the ground. “The petals are off.” She giggled and pointed, still not willing to let the good Willow-vibe go. “Felt like a spell, a dark spell.” Once the words were out of her mouth, she sobered a bit, “We should probably lay off the magic for tonight.” At Willow’s pout she winced slightly, “Sorry.”

Willow looked at her alarm clock and squeaked in surprise, “It’s two-thirty in the morning!” She set to clean things up anxiously, “I should let you sleep.”

“Stay,” It was Tara, but… the steeliness in her voice gave it a timbre Willow hadn’t heard before. “I’d rather you stay, I d-don’t know what just happened.” Whatever it had been, she didn’t like it. The taste of it was still in her mouth; letting Willow go home at this time of night… On a Hellmouth? “Please? I’d-I’d really feel better.”

When Willow seemed to weigh her options Tara quickly explained, “I’ll sleep on the floor.” She was already on her way to the closet, “I-I have extra blankets I c-could-“

Ok, Willow what the heck do you do now!? If this were anyone else, she wouldn’t think twice before putting the kibosh on them sleeping on the ground. Like a dog! Willow was distraught and conflicted to the heavens and back. “I really need a shower, though…”

With her arms full of blankets, Tara couldn’t really see Willow at the moment, “Go, take s-something from the dresser to sleep in.” The bundle was dropped onto the bed, the blonde busy sorting through them – organizing herself a little nest. “Towels and toiletries are in the closet.”

The redhead’s stomach turned, acid roiling. Tara didn’t seem to mind at all, but to her it just wasn’t done. Not to a stranger, let alone someone you liked, “Which drawer?” She asked halfheartedly.

***

It hadn’t been a question, really – it hadn’t even occurred to her to sleep in the same bed as Willow. It had taken her a moment to realize this probably wasn’t obvious to her friend, though. I’m not an idiot… just, dense.

She wasn’t used to being out and she sure as heck wasn’t used to pointing out things that made her different. But, she figured she needed to act more like a straight boy in situations like these, and be blatantly obvious that she had no ulterior motives. So complicated. She sighed, brushing out her hair.

Willow was taking her shower, the room was dimly lit as usual. Tara was sitting in her little nest, having changed already. She put the brush aside and scooted in to keep warm, her toothbrush and paste were in the toiletry bag and Willow had that.

***

You can’t, you just can’t. Her hair was a big ball of suds, her fingers furiously scrubbing. Willow’s brain was racing. I can’t just let her sleep on the floor either, though.

Would it be leading Tara on to welcome her to her own bed? Why don’t I sleep on the floor? I can be the guy, I should be the guy. Of course, that wasn’t the most enticing of choices but wouldn’t it be the best thing to do? Not be a guy but, to sleep on the floor. Do the noble thing?

She rinsed off, happy for her short hairdo. Did quick work of washing herself amid some yawns, having decided that she would switch with Tara.

It’s the right thing to do.

She toweled off and pulled on the borrowed tank and shorts. She had to chuckle, Tara’s clothes were just a size too big for her. She fills them perfect, though. She thought sourly, pulling at the tanktop gently. Willow peeked down its front, “Any day now, ladies.”

***

She’d been resting her eyes, arms folded behind her head laying in her nest when the door opened. Tara opened her eyes lazily to see Willow in the doorway. A shaft of light from the hall was illuminating her, dark red hair all mussed. She’d chosen much the same outfit as Tara but… Uhmgawd. Slowly, her arms came down, hands under the covers – she pulled them up. All the way up.

“Oof,” Willow said softly, putting down her things. “Much better.” She smiled and looked over at Tara – she had to laugh then. “Where are you?” The only thing she could see of her was the top of her head, and her eyes. Blinking, large and blue. “Are you cold, or something?”

Gods, no. “Um,” Tara’s voice was muffled by her blankets, “So, good shower huh?” She nodded dumbly. Don’t look at her legs. Don’t loo – I told you! “Good.” She replied quickly before Willow had a chance to answer. Dead kittens. Dead kittens.

“Yeah,” Willow started tentatively, now distracted by her own thoughts, “Tara… I don’t feel right letting you sleep on the floor.” She tried the puppy eyes, maybe a little pout. If push came to shove, she’d pull out the big guns: Resolve face. No one resisted that. No one.

Tara pulled her guard of sheets down a bit, things didn’t make sense now. “There’s only one bed.” She sat up, “I wouldn’t feel right you sleeping down here, either.” She shrugged, “But, you’re my guest. Hence, you get the bed.” She indicated with a nod of her head in the direction of said bed. Just go to bed Willow, for crying out loud. Do something, but don’t just… stand there looking like that.

Willow’s feet shuffled slightly, she wasn’t expecting the turnaround. “But,” She tried to find a way to explain that she, in fact, was right. When she couldn’t, an excuse came to mind, “I’ll just be laying there not able to sleep knowing you’re down there.”

Tara rubbed her forehead, it was past late. They both had to get up again relatively soon, “Fine.” She said as she started to get up, “It’s so late, Willow. It doesn’t matter.” Feeling a little perturbed now, she wanted to brush her teeth and just go to bed.

Now she’s annoyed at me, great. Willow was reprimanding herself when Tara stood from her nest. I should’ve just… Oh, lookatthat… no, no don’t look at that. Her feet were racing away from where Tara was going, she was trying her top best not to stare. What she’d glimpsed had been stirring enough as it was.

“I won’t be long,” The blonde said as she moved to the door with her bag in hand, “You better be snoring when I’m back.” She scowled but it was obviously good natured.

Willow pouted, “I don’t snore.” She said indignantly, crouching into the still-Tara-warm nest. Mmm kinda cozy. Wiggling around a bit, she tried to find the perfect spot. Ok, less cozy… She sighed, this might turn out to be a sleepless one.

She hadn’t thought of the spell until right then. How it had felt, how it still felt. There was a remnant of Tara buzzing through her. She liked the feeling, a lot. If she couldn’t sleep, at least she’d be laying here feeling this way. I can live with that.

“I don’t hear snoring.” Tara said from the door. “I don’t snore.” Replied the redhead. The lights flicked off and Willow heard a giggle in the dark, “You should be sleeping.” Her tone had gone soft, soothing and light.

Willow heard the ruffles of blankets being flipped, the pressing of a mattress spring, “You’re not the boss of me.” She said, her voice coming out much more vulnerable than she’d intended.

“If I were,” Tara said decidedly as she closed her eyes, “You wouldn’t be down there.”

There were a few minutes that passed in silence. Tara was about to say goodnight, thinking Willow would already be dozing off. The surprise she felt when the mattress shifted, she couldn’t compare to any she’d ever felt in her life.

“Is this ok, then?” Willow’s voice was so small, “It doesn’t mean anything, promise.” Tara was frozen in place, on her side facing away. What Willow said made no sense, it’s her she needed to worry about. “The floor kinda sucks.”

Cute. Damnit. “It’s o-ok, don’t worry.” She tried to relax under the covers, Willow’s warmth was starting to fill the gaps. Tara… well Tara wasn’t going to get any sleep for sure. “Good night Willow.”

She soon found out that Willow had lied. She did snore.

***

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~M
CopperAndGold


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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 5:58 pm 
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Loving this story. I always like to read the stories where people fill the gap of how Willow and Tara get together. This is a great one. I am looking forward to continue to read your story. Seeing your recent posts also gives me hope that people are still active on this board. :sigh :grin

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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2019 8:30 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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yay for the frequent (and long) updates!
Oh they are so smitten with each other :grin I really appreciate how Willow understands how her actions could potentially hurt Tara, finding unwanted commonality with Rachel, but she's right- don't go breaking a gay girl's heart because you aren't sure. But her body is sending her some pretty clear answers and Willow seems to being driven by them to take some chances. If I didn't know this would end well, I would probably be a little mad at Willow. And Willow thinking that every girl must find other woman appealing. That's where the long queer road begins Willow
You have put Tara's self-perception of herself as a witch so perfectly, I never thought of it in those words, but it makes perfect sense that she only knows her own, pretty contained, experience. She is fearful that she doesn't know enough whereas Willow is fearful she is not being responsible enough, at least in Tara's eyes, but that it is an afterthought for Willow or a thought because of someone else makes so much sense with where we see her character go. I do love that she has a friend and confidant in Mr Bogarty, she needs someone.
I was really put off by Xander until I reread and realized that Willow had been tetchy with him. First instincts go to the girls as always.

This: 'This brought Tara to near hysterics, “You smell lovely,” She sobered a bit but was still giggling, her eyes shot up as she thought and said, “Like earth a-and grass.” Pleased with her observation, she nodded and smiled.'

Made me smile, that is Tara, quirky and adorable and deep.

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 Post subject: Magical Chronicles - 'A new man' bts Pt. 2 - Dovetails
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 10:23 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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taranwillow4ever wrote:
Loving this story. I always like to read the stories where people fill the gap of how Willow and Tara get together. This is a great one. I am looking forward to continue to read your story. Seeing your recent posts also gives me hope that people are still active on this board. :sigh :grin


Thank you! Personally, I think for a 20+ year old show this board is still pretty hopin'! :grin

shirrey wrote:
yay for the frequent (and long) updates!


Vacations, gotta lov'em :grin This next one is a little shorter, though.

shirrey wrote:
Oh they are so smitten with each other :grin I really appreciate how Willow understands how her actions could potentially hurt Tara, finding unwanted commonality with Rachel, but she's right- don't go breaking a gay girl's heart because you aren't sure. But her body is sending her some pretty clear answers and Willow seems to being driven by them to take some chances. If I didn't know this would end well, I would probably be a little mad at Willow.


I understand being a little mad at Willow, it seems insensitive. I think this update might shed some light on it all, though.

shirrey wrote:
And Willow thinking that every girl must find other woman appealing. That's where the long queer road begins Willow


I know, right? lol

shirrey wrote:
You have put Tara's self-perception of herself as a witch so perfectly, I never thought of it in those words, but it makes perfect sense that she only knows her own, pretty contained, experience. She is fearful that she doesn't know enough whereas Willow is fearful she is not being responsible enough, at least in Tara's eyes, but that it is an afterthought for Willow or a thought because of someone else makes so much sense with where we see her character go.


It took me a while to get this right, thank you! :grin

shirrey wrote:
This: 'This brought Tara to near hysterics, “You smell lovely,” She sobered a bit but was still giggling, her eyes shot up as she thought and said, “Like earth a-and grass.” Pleased with her observation, she nodded and smiled.'

Made me smile, that is Tara, quirky and adorable and deep.


I had a mental image of her saying that in my head. Kinda like a brain .gif - it made me giggle. lol

Thank you so much for the feedback! On with the show!

Dovetails

Author name – CopperAndGold
Rating – PG-13 / Verging on naughty touching.
Feedback – Your feedback keeps me going! No, really.
Summary – The episode ‘A new man’ – A Willow and Tara behind the scenes look. (Part 2)



Sometimes, life really felt as if it conspired against her. It seemed the whole day had been set up to have her be in this state by the end of it.

The impatient anticipation of going through mundane routines while being excited about a later meeting. The disappointment of a cancellation. Then, reading a book that turned out both romantic and sexy, that had a lesbian lead. She’d fully believed to be in for the night; if she happened to get stirred up…

Well, she’d get a good night’s sleep out of it.

Willow’s phone call had been a fork in the road, thrown in there as a sick plot twist. Could they meet now? Time of day be damned, could Willow come over? Tara hadn’t had the wherewithal to refuse no matter the state she was in.

The beautiful redhead still coursed through her veins from the spell they’d performed together. Essence de Willow. If she closed her eyes and concentrated on the feeling, her skin was caressed oh-so-gently by warm cinnamon kisses. The young woman in question was sleeping peacefully, completely spent from her long day.

Just as spent as Tara was, although…

The mere fact she was in bed with the redhead after a day like today was enough to make her into... Lava. Sexy lava. I should go to the nest. Tara told herself, now Willow was asleep she should really just…

She moved for the first time since her friend had slipped under the covers. Turned her right shoulder and her head only, at first. Tara noticed Willow had rolled over in her sleep, her light snoring had stopped from now being on her back. The sight was just too enticing to look away and her ardor only grew, her body relaxing into a more comfortable ogling position. Beautiful…

Willow’s short hair in the dark was rendered burgundy, the little light in the room making copper dance along some of the locks. Every feature muted by the dark, still Tara could see the curve of lips on the girl’s profile. The elegant jawline that was slack in sleep. Her eyes kept walking Willow’s landscape, planting imagined kisses along the way.

What had the girl meant by ‘it doesn’t mean anything’? That she promised, as if it would or ever could… Willow was getting over someone. A male someone, if there was any interest… well, the redhead was adventurous after all.

Wouldn’t this just be one of her adventures? An experience to have in College, some kind of straight girl rite of passage? She knew by now Willow wasn’t like Rachel. She wouldn’t lie and manipulate just so she didn’t have to tell the truth.

Willow was brave, Rachel had been a coward. Cowards tended to do the most damage to others. Willow would try to spare her. Willow was valiant… she was a hero.

What would be so wrong with that, anyway? Tara reasoned, why couldn’t she just… agree to explore with Willow if that’s what her friend wanted? If they both knew it wouldn’t end up anywhere; that it was just an experience they were having together? She just flirted with you the once because she was freaking out. Her brain reminded her. What makes you think she’d be interested in you, even if she was curious?

Then, what had she meant? Maybe… she was just looking out for me. Not leading me on?

Usually she could spot her wishful thinking happening when she was clearheaded but, the state she was in caused the critical thinking part of her brain, to not be so critical.

It had developed a bias… a cute, lovable and very attractive, redheaded bias.

She smells so good… Her base urges pulsed through her veins, Willow-kissed from the spell, she felt feral. Those shorts were loose on her, if I could just…

She almost reached over, only a twitch in her fingers though… but, almost.

The pulsing in her lower belly grew warmer and deeper, her hand pressing against it - fingers kneading in an attempt to calm the beast. She’d almost reached over, Tara thought. If I could just touch her skin…

Almost peeked under the covers, almost…

The door clicked softly as trembling fingers pulled it shut in the din of the hall. Tara was definitely scaring herself now – that had been way too close. Her aching need was a bully between her legs, the quick march to the bathroom was done without a sound.

Her thoughts were assaulting her left and right. She felt so ashamed. Ashamed that she’d stayed in that bed so long, ashamed that she hadn’t put her foot down to begin with. Ashamed that she had welcomed it, all of it – had yearned for more.

The bathroom was too big, too much space to fill. She needed a box to shove herself in, something that could contain her whirlwind. Something to explode in, but still confined - safe.

The door to a cubicle slammed shut behind her. Tara fell back against it, panting and mind racing. It had been so close, her hand had moved – she could swear she hadn’t been in control. It had still moved though, against the fitted sheet. Closer and closer, she’d started to feel Willow’s warmth radiating from the mattress she’d been so close.

She screwed her eyes shut and gulped, she felt parched. Her heart hammered her ribs, hands were clenching against the urge to touch herself. Her top felt tight, her shorts felt tight – she felt like her skin might crack against the pressure to contain her need. Molten lava swirled in her lower belly, Pele wanting a sacrifice.

Tara’s head thumped against the door, pretense gone. Behind her closed eyes she held Willow’s calve in her hands, felt the softness of her skin, kissed her inner thigh. How taught and strong those legs had looked, standing in the doorway… The door rattled against her efforts, imaginary Willow looked down at her, a look of longing and need in her eyes.

It really hadn’t taken long, Tara was facing the door, spent and the deed done. Forehead beaded with sweat, pressed against painted metal and hand firmly pushed down her shorts… in a bathroom stall.

More shame – the cubicle instantly cooled along with her ardor. She wiped her forehead, and just sat down on the edge of the toilet. I’m so screwed, and that was so gross Tara. She cringed at herself, so out of character this little burst of wanton lust was, Tara couldn’t help but judge herself for it a little.

It was a lost cause, she’d already started falling.

She already had feelings for her friend, and now would welcome any excuse to get closer. Tara knew herself enough to know that much, she’d never been so stirred to passion by someone. There was no possible way she could resist. All the defensiveness, the struggle to open up. All for nothing, she’d already been dosed.

Tara wiped her eyes from the mist that had developed and just sat there, in her sleep shorts and tank-top - exhausted. She had to reconcile what she wanted and what she needed, somehow.

She needed to get rid of her demon, it was the whole reason she was here. If it were to manifest itself in a year or so, being on a Hellmouth seemed like the logical place to be. If she were to find help, or learn how to become a proficient witch enough to do it herself… again, the choice had been only logical.

Tara wanted a lot of things though. Every passing day, she wanted more and more. Every unexpected moment when Willow had simply appeared or called, only served to make her want more. More of the same, and just…

She wanted to ask Willow out on a date. If Tara were only thinking about what she wanted, the actual probability of these things occurring had no meaning here. She wanted to cook her a meal and watch a show with her. Tara wanted to hold her hand, hug her close, cuddle her and kiss her lips. Whisper how beautiful she looked, make her blush… She loved making Willow blush.

There was so much she wanted, and it all centered on her fire-haired friend.

A Venn diagram was forming in her mind where Willow served both her needs and her wants. Here lied the rub, she groused. Willow is probably a big part of how I’d get rid of the demon…

Mr. Bogarty was a helpful man, for sure. Tara had inquired vaguely here and there, questions that were easily misconstrued in order to find out if he would or could be of any help. If she would get an inkling that the man had the ability to do so, she would tell him her secret.

So far though, it was still hers alone.

She really didn’t want things to get messy. Tara didn’t want her wants to get in the way of her needs, and Willow was all kind of blurring the lines. Need, want – the redhead seemed to hop-scotch from one to the next.

She really didn’t want to lose her friend, but she barely could stand to be in her presence without showing affection or attraction.

Her mussed blonde hair billowed up the crown of her head as she rested it against the stall, hugging herself against the chill of the bleak bathroom. If she makes a move, I’m toast. If I make a move, she might run.

It was all so precarious, Tara had no parachute.

***

The first thing Willow realized when she woke up was, she wasn’t in her own bed. Blinking against the light peering through the drapes, she raised her head slightly from the pillow. Slept at Tara’s… She turned around in bed, smiling and expecting to see her friend still asleep.

The space next to her was empty and cold. What time is it!? Willow felt a rush of cold water down her spine, worrying about missing class even though it wasn’t scheduled until after-noon. Sitting up in bed, still half-awake, she looked around the room trying to remember where the alarm clock was.

While her eyes scanned the place she found Tara. The witch was a lump of sheets, sleeping soundly in her nest on the floor. That little sneak… Willow grinned, her fuzzy brain thinking Tara had waited just long enough for her to fall asleep to then ‘win’ their little power game, and take the floor.

Finally finding the alarm clock she remembered that, even though she didn’t have class she did have plans to meet with Buffy for breakfast. Which only gave her a half-hour or so to get going if she wanted to go to her room and change. Her hair was probably a mess as well, having gone to bed with it damp.

It was while she was mentally going through her day’s chores and responsibilities that she heard a rustle from under the pile of sheets, next to the bed. “Mrphh,” A leg was propelled half-out of the cocoon, shook itself lose and rested back down again, toes stretching and pointing. “Urgh.” Tara’s gravelly morning voice grumbled and the bundle of sheets shifted grumpily, stands of bleached hair poking every-which way out from gaps in the fabric.

Willow was highly amused and tried to stifle her giggle but, she had to chuckle out loud when the sheets pulled down a bit and Tara peeked from them, blurry-eyed and hair looking like a bird’s nest. “Morning sunshine.” The redhead said softly with a smile on her face. She’s so adorable, I wanna squeeze her.

Heavy, tired blue eyes blinked lazily a few times. Tara finally spoke up, her voice husky with sleep, “Mornin’.” She ran a hand down her face, “’Time’sit?” Was the mumbled question. Am I awake?

Willow felt bad, Tara was obviously still exhausted – probably hadn’t been able to sleep well at all on the floor. Still sleep-addled herself, her own brain couldn’t work around the logical fallacies it had conjured up as the blonde’s reason for being down there. “You know, you didn’t have to do that.” She shook her head and frowned, “Didn’t think you were the competitive type.” She double-checked the alarm, “It’s eight-thirty.”

“Huh?” The blonde grumbled questioningly, “Wha?” Ugh, eight-thirty… way too early – boo classes. Her eyes drooped closed for a moment before she forced them open again, trying to stay awake. They just drooped back.

She’d let them rest there for a few seconds.

Willow wriggled her way to the edge of the bed on her stomach, peering down at Tara. “Sleeping down there,” She shook her head, “Just to prove a point.”

She was barely coherent, just wanted to fall back asleep but Willow was making so little damn sense and she wanted her bed. “Couldn’t sleep next’you,” She rolled onto her side, “Mmn,” Tara’s voice trailed off as barely a whisper as she fell back asleep.

Ok. Willow thought with a smile on her face before turning onto her back. How cute was that? She sat up and stretched. Making sure to be as quiet as a mouse, she went about the room to gather her things.

She wrote a note thanking Tara for her hospitality. Willow smiled as she signed it with a goofy smiley-face and left it for her friend to find easily.

When she came back from the bathroom, having changed and tamed her hair somewhat, Tara was in her bed – dead asleep again. Willow’s brow crinkled while she reached for her bag, she was confused at the sight. She couldn’t sleep next to me. She remembered her friend saying.

It’d had nothing to do with being competitive. With a shock of realization she backed out of the room and pulled the door shut softly. If Willow hadn’t been so tired and hyper-aware of how she acted so as to not hurt her friend, she wouldn’t have been able to sleep in that bed, either.

The walk to her dorm was a pensive one. She’d been so worried of coming onto Tara since the whole flyer fiasco. Willow hadn’t even considered… Is she attracted to me? She couldn’t help the little hopeful grin from sprouting on her lips.

Tara had said she just wanted to be friends, but they’d just met. Willow had taken that as gospel, a forever thing – Tara wasn’t interested. When she’d learned about Rachel, it had pretty much been set in stone then.

The fact she hadn’t been interested had made Willow want Tara to be attracted to her. Wasn’t that how all this had started? That’s what mom would say…

She thought of her years of pining after Xander, the mere fact he hadn’t been interested seemed to have spurred her on. Until Oz had stopped the endless loop… Then, with the littlest clue that he might - after all that time - be interested, she’d caved. Thinking that had been what she’d wanted all along, so… of course, she still wanted it. It had become almost an instinctual, automatic affirmative response.

But, Xander had ended up being… wrong, a mistake. A sour regret.

She’d given up on the idea that Tara would be interested in her from the start. Willow had friendzoned herself. For her, it had always been about her attraction to Tara and not doing something insensitive because of it. Finding out what that meant.

She was putting everything back into question. Willow was in upside-down world, Tara being attracted to her had been the complete opposite of the paradigm she’d been running with. Why was everything feeling so cryptic, now?

Willow finally reached her building and quickly made her way up to her room. Buffy wasn’t there so she figured she’d find her friend at the café.

After a quick change of clothes she fixed her hair and brushed her teeth before she went on her way. She needed to stop thinking, and Buffy conversations were usually good for that. Willow really needed the distraction this morning, she might make herself nuts by day’s end.

The redhead missed her friends, missed the Scoobies – the simplicity of familiarity and comfort. Willow really hoped things would settle, it was feeling like they were growing further and further apart.

***

She knew she’d missed a class and she didn’t care. The bed was too comfortable and smelled of Willow, there was no getting Tara out of bed in time.

She’d barely registered the door closing before she’d finally crawled up under the sheets. Had been trying to stay awake long enough so she could move once Willow inevitably had to leave. It had been a miracle to hear that door-knob engage, she couldn’t even remember interacting with her friend at all.

After waking hours later, finally rested, here she still lay. Warm and surrounded by Willow’s scent, mixed with that of her own shampoo. The combination struck her, she’d be able to recognize it anywhere now she was sure.

Thinking about the night she’d had made her blush. Tara had never felt so… lewd. She’d never felt like she could go mad with desire, before… either. All this was very new to her, and very anxiety inducing. Were these all normal feelings to have or things to do? Was this a demon girl thing, or normal girl thing?

She’d been so close to doing something… so wrong.

She needed a break. From herself, from her life – just from being. In a split-second, her whole day had been written off on a whim. Screw this, I’m taking a day off. Tara thought dourly and burrowed deeper.

***

It’s not too late to call. Willow thought, walking down the hall to her room. Buffy was staying overnight at Riley’s. Something that used to irk the redhead, she was now thankful for.

Giles had been turned into a demon. The whole day had been hectic and frightening, they’d thought they had lost him. Buffy almost killed him, save for a fake-silver letter opener.

As life in Sunnydale in Buffy Summers’ orbit tended toward order, things ended up working out for the better this time around, as well.

Willow put her things away and picked up the phone. She’d wanted to call her friend all night but the phone at Giles’ had been wrecked. The redhead couldn’t wait to share the events of the day with Tara, she was sure her friend would get a kick out of the tale.

She fluffed her pillows against the headboard as she waiting through the rings. “Hello?” It was Tara’s soft voice, a smile grew on Willow’s face. “Tara, it’s me.” After a beat, “Willow.”

She could hear her friend moving about her room, “Hey, how’s your day been?”

The redhead had to chuckle, “Ha! It’s a long story.” Her fingers twisted around a lose strand from her top, “I know what happened last night, though.” She summarized, casting out bait for questions. The rose spell was definitely screwed up by Ethan’s shenanigans. Wait ‘til she hears about Giles turning into a demon!

There was a clanging, something had fallen with a dull thud. “Tara?” Willow sat up in bed now worried. “Tara, everything ok?” There were muted sounds of hurried movements and some expletives. “Hello?”

“Awe, shit.” Willow grinned and bit her lip, the word sounding so cute coming from her shy friend. “Hang on, Willow.” The receiver was obviously discarded somewhere, probably on the floor. At least she’s ok. She thought before leaning back against her pillows.

“Sorry, d-dropped something,” Tara finally said clearly, slightly out of breath. “What um… were you saying?” The young woman said nervously.

“You know, last night with the hyper-speed rose?” Willow asked, waving her free hand expressively. “I know what happened! That’s why I’m calling, to-to tell you… and stuff.” She felt so awkward, but she really couldn’t think of anything she’d like better to do right now than to talk with Tara.

There was a sharp intake of breath on the other end before Tara said, “Ohh,” A pause, “Ok!” She could hear the smile in Tara’s voice, “Tell me about it, then.”

“Well,” Willow wiggled into her little cozy spot, “First I have to tell you about Ethan Rain.” She remembered something and got distracted, “Ooh! Remind me to tell you about Halloween a couple years back.”

Tara had never been one to talk on the phone much. Thought it had been invented for emergency communication purposes. Thought it should’ve stayed that way – she didn’t like phones.

Nevertheless, they talked for hours. Granted, Willow did most the talking – but Tara found nothing more entertaining, more endearing and completely enthralling, as a conversation with the redhead.

Come to find out, it even worked over the phone. Tara didn’t notice the hours pass, and neither did Willow.

***

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~M
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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2019 7:42 am 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
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Location: North Carolina, USA
Thanks for writing. You are getting the confusing feelings of love very well. I feel like you have really gotten into Tara's head. It is great. Thanks for writing, and updating quickly. You always leave me wanting more; that is a sign of a good story.
:bounce

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 Post subject: Magical Chronicles - The I in Team (Marsupials, Oh my!)
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 2:01 am 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 6:07 pm
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taranwillow4ever wrote:
Thanks for writing. You are getting the confusing feelings of love very well. I feel like you have really gotten into Tara's head. It is great. Thanks for writing, and updating quickly. You always leave me wanting more; that is a sign of a good story.
:bounce


Thank you for reading! :grin I'm really happy you're enjoying my filler-story, and what I've come up with for Tara.

Marsupials, oh my!

Author name – CopperAndGold
Rating – PG-13
Feedback – I really love getting your feedback, it motivates me to write like nothing else does. :love
Summary – The episode ‘The I in Team’ – A Willow and Tara behind the scenes look.



She didn’t want to be alone. After Tara had told her she was busy tonight, Willow had felt disappointed and lonely. Buffy was out, their dorm room felt too big. She knew she’d just be thinking too much about stuff, about Tara, if she were to just stay there alone.

But, this? This had surely been a mistake. “-I choose to feel threatened.” The redhead heard Anya say. Poker of all things, with Anya. Definitely the wrong call…

Willow was lonely in the company of her best friends. Hanging out with Xander didn’t feel like home anymore, not since he’d latched onto Anya like some kind of barnacle, or since he’d decided against college. Buffy couldn’t seem to get her head out of Riley’s… initiative, these days.

“-What exactly are they up to?” Xander asked, his tone annoyed and slightly worried. She was worried as well, Buffy was starting to act like she’d signed up for a nice drink of Kool-Aid.

***

Her finger ran the length of the sentence, mouthing out the words silently as she read. Tara was sitting in the middle of her bed, wearing her sleep attire. She’d silenced her phone and made sure there would be no need to go out for the rest of the night.

“Sensus… con-confun-dom…” The witch let out a deep sigh and rubbed at her eyes. She straightened her back and stretched, feeling slight pops along her spine as it shifted back into place. Her parents had been on her case most her life about her posture, it had never stuck.

She hadn’t expected Willow to want to hang out, there had been no mention of it the night before when they’d talked. The redhead sure was spontaneous, something Tara wasn’t used to. Another thing she wasn’t used to was saying no to Willow. The refusal had been reactionary. That night in the bathroom stall had jolted her to hyper-awareness of how much time they were spending together, now everything felt over-analyzed.

If her friend were here, she wouldn’t want to have to think about her demon issue. It would be the last thing she’d want to think about.

Tara had been momentarily buoyed when Willow had told her about the dark spell and what it had done to Mr. Giles. For a moment, she’d let herself think there might be something there. If a spell could turn someone into a demon, doing the opposite might be possible after-all.

But it hadn’t been a right-hand path casting. It had been dark, ill intent had permeated it – had shaped it. Or, unshaped it – chaos driven, mischievous at the least – harm had been done. Tara wasn’t interested in tempting that side of herself. When, after looking through what she had, the witch couldn’t find a single accounting of a spell being turned from dark to light, she gave up on the idea for the night.

“Sensus… confun-domtor… era-ah…” She’d decided to try some defensive spells, instead. On her desk, she’d taken out the few witchcraft items she had in Sunnydale. Had decided against working with her mother’s book of shadows after only a few lines.

Then she’d remembered the book Mr. Bogarty had been so kind to let her borrow. “Pleator… o-oh… obscuraor?” She squinted down at the page, the handwriting having been smudged. “Obscurador? Rator?”

Tara rubbed her eyes again, if she was going to get this to work – she’d have to get the words right. Now, this tiny group of letters was stumping her and it just made her whine out loud. Wonder if Willow has a Latin dictionary…

After a short, mirthlessly chuckled sigh, her voice deadpanned. “Eleven.” Staring at the book as if it were an accomplice in her internal score keeping. Tara shook her head and kept trying to make sense of the spell.

That had been the eleventh time that night she’d found herself thinking of the redhead. One of which being when she’d found her grandmother’s doll’s eye crystal.

The witch had never met her grandmother and what she did know of her, she had mixed feelings about. Willow had swooned about that type of crystal in passing before, when they’d talked about different charms. She’d decided on that fourth ‘Willow-pause’ of the night to offer it to her friend as a gift the next day, when they’d meet between classes. “Confun-domtor, Cofundomtor…”

***

I didn’t want to hurt her. Willow thought angrily to herself. All this worrying: ‘Don’t flirt, don’t lead her on.’ Why? So you don’t hurt Tara!

First, there had been the offer of Tara’s grandmother’s crystal. She couldn’t have taken it, could she? It wouldn’t have been right – it was a family heirloom. Their friendship was still relatively new... attraction or not.

What would it have meant? The memory of Tara saying she couldn’t sleep lying next to her had still been fresh, and she freaked when the girl had so sweetly offered that crystal. I climbed in there…

She hadn’t meant for Tara to feel... anything. Willow had just wanted her way: Both of them comfy. Lying on that uncomfortable floor she’d thought, if she just got back in that bed Tara would give up. They would both be comfortable, Tara had a sized-double bed. It was innocent, devious… but, innocent.

Willow had made sure to say it hadn’t meant anything. She’d been so hyper-aware and still, so clueless.

The redhead couldn’t promise anything and that gift had felt like a promise of some kind. She had these feelings that just wouldn’t go away, that would probably end up ruining everything now. All this was so new and surprising to her, how could she to be sure of anything anymore?

That look on Tara’s face though… that look had killed her.

Of course they would do spells with it, that was a given. But, tonight… Willow had been looking forward to Scooby-time for a while. Going to the Bronze was a staple outing for the gang. The issue for the redhead wasn’t so much that Tara wouldn’t feel like she’d fit in, as she’d said.

In fact her reaction didn’t have much to do with how Tara would have felt, at all. It had just felt like the nice way to let her down. Now it sounded horrible.

It was more that Willow didn’t know… well, she didn’t know how the blonde fit in with herself, yet. Tara felt like a friend on the surface, but she’d never felt so excited to hang out with a friend before. Every moment she could, she wanted to talk with or see Tara. Make her laugh, share stories with her, learn more about her. It wasn’t even the magic. The magic had turned out to be the bonus.

Now, in Willow’s chest lay a heart that once again was fertile ground. And Tara had unwittingly planted a seed.

I’m different when I’m with her. She’d been so worried about how it would look, only being able to see it all through her own crush-colored filter. How would she answer their questions? Would they catch her glancing at Tara surreptitiously throughout the evening? If she looks at me the way she does sometimes… She was sure it would be as obvious as a neon-sign, blinking: ‘Willow has a crush on this girl.’

Logically, she knew the gang would’ve only interpreted Tara as her new friend. But she’d have been a spaz about it for sure - constantly worrying.She wasn’t ready for all that, at all.

It would just be her luck to out Tara in the worst possible way, in some stupid outburst that would definitely embarrass the heck out of her friend. Or, on a roll now of her past mess-ups, she could definitely see herself say something insensitive out of fear of being found out, ending up hurting Tara even more.

Tara was obviously hurt already. She was too expressive to not let it show. I’m the dummy who put that look there. Willow hadn’t felt this bad about anything in a long time; since the fluke incident with Xander.

As much as she’d been looking forward to Scooby-time only an hour ago, now walking to her class, she couldn’t help but wish she could cancel. Or, at least postpone.

Having been the main complainer of lack of Scooby time would make it an uncomfortable proposition, though. Also would understandably rub her friends the wrong way. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Willow just had to resign herself to calling Tara the next day.

She needed to apologize for being so clumsy. For hurting her feelings, for saying things the wrong way.

She really just needed to explain… everything.

***

Tara was feeling all kinds of emotions, most of them negative. No wonder her spells weren’t working. “Ok, fine!” She almost pushed the book away, it was past time to give up. “I’m done.” The blonde said, exasperated and made a ‘give-up’ gesture at the air.

The witch flopped backward onto her bed, now resigned to letting herself think instead of trying to distract herself with magic. That last class had been difficult to sit through, tears had kept threatening to spill – Willow rejecting her gift, hurt. That had been more like an embarrassed hurt… but, she hadn’t been ready for the follow-up.

Willow being uncomfortable inviting her to hang out with her other friends. She didn’t think she’d have to feel that again; being someone’s embarrassing secret. Tara had done what she could to not be in that position again, had kept people at arm’s length. The blonde didn’t think it was because she was gay, at all. Just that she was… her.

Her chin began to quiver, her emotions threatening to spill over. Why had things been complicated with Willow from the beginning? The constant push and pull… now it just felt like they were both distancing each other and that just hurt more.

She knew her friend liked hanging out, it was obvious in the spontaneous ways in which she’d pop up or call. Willow liked her, they found common ground – they laughed a lot together, they did magic. Tara couldn’t help but to open up about herself. The rose spell had been… confusing, and then the promise of sharing a bed meaning nothing. Why had she come up at all?

I’m so confused. No matter how many times she tried not to ask herself the same questions, they just kept coming up over and over again. Why had Willow not stayed in bed to begin with, or on the floor? Why had she ended up in bed, with her – saying it didn’t mean anything? She could’ve had the bed all to herself.

Tara just wanted to disregard the whole episode as if it hadn’t happened. Wanted the confusion to be written off as her having been aroused when Willow had called that night. Just, file it away as a bad take – she didn’t have the right information, ergo: She would go nuts before she figured it out without talking with Willow about it.

She let out a soft snort, quickly batting that idea down. “Yeah, right.”

When she first heard the tentative knock, Tara figured she was hearing someone knock next door. But, when a second, more decisive one made it clear it was her door from which the sound was emanating she froze. Willow was out with her friends but, spontaneous… unexpected… could it be?

After a quick calming breath, she walked to the door and opened it to find a very contrite looking redhead, “Willow,” Tara couldn’t conjure up anything else to say. Although surprises were beginning to be less and less surprising, she was still somewhat shocked after the events of the day.

A nervous and awkward smile sat on her friend’s face, “A funny thing happened with my prior social engagement.” She was saying, shifting her weight from one foot to the other, then back, “Pretty much ended when a friend of mine went off to do something with another crowd she hangs out with.” Her eyebrows rose, she pulled a sarcastic but comical face, “Irony is kind of ironic that way.”

Tara couldn’t help but soften her gaze, she smiled. Her friend was just too charming.

The smile bolstered Willow’s courage a bit. “Anyway, I know it's late, but I-I thought maybe- I mean, if you still wanted to . . . do something?” She asked awkwardly.

Of course! Tara thought excitedly, the turmoil of the past hours seemed to vanish into thin air. Her face brightened up, her smile grew bigger and she stepped back. Opened the door, nodding that, yes – yes, Willow could come in.

The smile never left the redhead’s face, feeling lucky that her friend wasn’t mad. “I didn’t interrupt anything, did I?” She asked, looking over the bed where a few books lay.

“Oh,” Tara said softly, walking towards the mess intending on clearing it. “I was j-just um-” Picking up the book the shop keeper lent her, she closed it and waved it in Willow’s direction. “-looking up some spells.” She was ecstatic that her friend was there, but the feeling came with an undercurrent of egg-shells cracking.

Willow’s face brightened even further as she wiggled in place, her hands flapped excitedly, “Oooh! Can I see?” She reached forward slightly for the book. “I wanna see.” Then her face went slack with disappointment. “You were practicing without me.” Willow ended up pouting.

The blonde handed the book over as she sat on the edge of the bed, her brow scrunching up in a sympathetic frown, “If it’s any con-consolation, I wasn’t getting anywhere.” Wanting to move the conversation onto another subject, not willing to explain the reason why her practicing wasn’t going well, she asked, “So, tonight wasn’t fun at all then?”

Willow looked up momentarily from the open page she’d been looking at, “Pretty much, no.” She looked back down, shaking her head. “Buffy was really late and ended up being called away.” Giving up on the book, the redheaded witch went to sit next to her friend. “I was stuck there with Xander and his girlfriend the rest of the time.” She pulled a face, looking at Tara.

The blonde couldn’t help but grin a little, the expression was too cute. “You don’t sound like you like her.” She scooted up and leaned against the headboard, crossing her legs. Tara was happy she’d worn pajama pants, “Xander’s your best friend, right?”

Willow bent a knee and turned, facing her friend. “Yeah, and Anya is just…” She shook her head, seemingly incapable to come up with accurate words to describe the other woman. “She’s rude and-and crude. And, she only cares about money and sex.”

Tara’s eyebrows shot up at that, “And, apparently Xander.” She said after a pause. She didn’t know Xander or Anya, but it was obvious Willow didn’t like Anya. Whatever the reasons for that, she didn’t want her friend to stay in this state of spitefulness. Even if all she was saying was true on some level, the redhead’s aura had gone muddy and that wouldn’t do.

When Willow only shrugged to that and looked down at her lap, fiddling with her sweater, Tara spoke up again with compassionate worry. “What is it?”

How do I do this? She was trying to use this as a conversational launch-pad of sorts, into clearing the air between them and just talk to Tara about what she was feeling. Willow was just trying to find a way there, she could see the launch-pad. Almost touch it, “Nothing’s the same.” She mumbled softly, moving to the center of the bed. “Everyone’s changing.”

Once she’d settled, Willow continued softly looking at the bedspread. “I think I am too.” Her eyes flicked up to Tara’s face for a fraction of a second before promptly returning. “And-and it’s scary.”

The blonde could imagine how it would feel, for everyone closest to you to start growing apart. The feeling of seeing people you love change. Worrying if they’ll change in a way that would also change how you feel about them, or them about you. Really, Tara never had that many friends and she’d been contented that way.

Until Willow.

“People change.” Tara said before catching how incredibly banal that had sounded. “Everyone does, doesn’t mean you can’t stay friends right?” Tara grew confused when Willow seemed slightly frustrated.

“No,” The redhead shook her head, “I mean. You’re right, of course but…“ Taking a sharp breath in, she let it out in a loud sigh. Steeling herself, “What I want to say is… I’m sorry that - I didn’t want to hurt your feelings earlier today.” She finished lamely, trying to put an ocean in a cup. “I’m sorry.”

Tara pulled her knees up, hugging them. Feeling like she might get whiplash. “You’re allowed to have other friends, Willow.” She smiled a crooked smile that made the redhead blush.

But, Willow just got muddier and seemed more distraught. Whatever the blonde did to try and soothe her friend still hadn’t worked. When Willow decided she’d rather be standing, Tara’s confusion turned to worry. “Willow?”

“See,” The young woman said quickly as she started pacing the floor, loose strands from her sleeve being fiddled with as she talked, “I’m worried that if I tell you, you’ll think…” Green, anxious green eyes flickered toward the bed and back to the ground, “Something bad.”

Tara sat up, crossed her legs but remained silent and attentive betraying no emotion.

When the blonde didn’t respond, Willow got more nervous, “But, it isn’t bad. I don’t want it to be.” The pacing could rub a hole through the floor, “It’s been bad for you though, before. But that’s not this – and you’re who I need to talk to.” She looked up then, nervous tears prickling her eyes. “You’re the only one I can talk to about this.”

Much like a duck floating along on a pond, on the surface Tara looked serene. Calm and collected, but one peek under the water and you’d see just how frantically she was kicking to stay afloat. Willow’s emotions were plain to see, desperate and scared.

Tara hated it, she couldn’t stand it. “It’s ok Willow. I promise.” She patted the mattress but the redhead just shook her head, lips tightly pressed together.

Willow’s throat felt tight, her heart threatened the structural integrity of her ribcage it beat so hard. “I’m… questioning my… sexuality.” Her voice trailed off as if having been picked up by a passing car, lifting her eyes slowly, hopeful but so worried.

Tara’s gut instantly recoiled and even trying didn’t stop her eyes from being the tell-alls they were.

“See!?” Willow pointed, hurt that she’d been right to worry. “You’re thinking it!” She crossed her arms, now defensive and just feeling raw, “I’m not Rachel, Tara. I wouldn’t do that...”

Swallowing down her erratic emotions, Tara closed her eyes for a second and just let herself take a breath. “I know you wouldn’t.” Her eyes opened again, more focused this time, “You wouldn’t t-tell me if you wanted to-to trick me.”

Willow nodded frantically, “Right, no tricks!” Her nod quickly changed into a negative head-shake.

She was desperately trying not to think. Not to let one thought lead her to another; to not try and connect dots. The hows and whys – she tried so hard to just let her friend tell her, herself. “Please, just sit Willow and w-we’ll talk, ok?”

She did just that, now calmer knowing she wasn’t going to get kicked out of the room. “Ok, I’m sorry.” Willow said softly, even though she didn’t really know what she was sorry for at this point. “I’m just all over the place.”

Tara wasn’t sure what she could do to help, really. “I’ll listen and-and try to help if I can, but I’m not some-“ Her lips puckered in thought, head bobbing side to side, “All-knowing, Uber lesbian.” She smiled then, a small squinty one that was meant to reassure and add levity.

They both relaxed more in their positions, facing each other. Willow grinned and asked tentatively, “How did you know? That-that you were…” She let the words trail off, unfinished.

The blonde’s eyebrow hitched up, “Gay?” She asked pointedly and chuckled a bit when her friend blushed and nodded, “For me it’s always been how I worked.”

Tara shrugged, taking a few moments to collect her thoughts. “When girls at school started talking about dating, I didn’t want what they did. They wanted to date boys… I just never thought about d-dating anyone, but looked at girls and found them attractive.” Her brow creased in thought, it was all so difficult to put into words. “I guess I always knew? It was never a question for me, j-just whether it was right or-or not.”

Keeping her head up then had been a small victory she actually felt. “Small town, s-strong opinions… You know.” She threw this in as an explanation that would both be true, and wrap it up in a way that left no lose ends for Willow to unravel.

Willow let herself think about that for a minute. Had she found boy-talk interesting? She remembered talking with Buffy and wanting that feeling of closeness with someone, the kisses and cuddles. Willow remembered wanting romantic-y companionship things, up until her hormones had kicked it. Boys had been a sort of default, in the manual of life it said: X is where you look to find Y. Her manual had simply always said X was boys, and Y was love. Had it all been by rote? Willow didn’t like that idea, “I guess it just never occurred to me before.”

Tara was putting her hair up, its length starting to be a nuisance. “What didn’t?” She asked softly, doing her best not to hope. Not to be here as Tara, herself with her own feelings about the young woman sitting in front of her.

“I guess,” Willow started again, pushing her hair behind an ear, “I would watch girls and think that what I appreciated about them was just normal, straight girl stuff.” She shrugged, finding the whole thing kind of creepy in a way, “It never even dawned on me that it might mean anything else.”

The blonde’s face was almost comical then, she looked so taken aback and surprised, “You didn’t know gay people existed?”

The redhead let out a short bark of laughter, thankful for the release of tension. “Of course I did, silly.” She couldn’t help the tenderness in her voice. “It’s just, I guess it’s like when people say: ‘You never think it’ll be you.’” Her brow creased, thinking about that for a second, “Just, not something bad like a car accident, or-or a tornado.”

Tara was trying to understand, really she was. It just sounded so unlike her own experience that it was difficult for her to get it. “Oh,” The sound was pushed out slowly, as if thinking while saying, “So, what… changed?” Tentatively, the question was asked with eyes averted. Don’t go there.

“Huh,” She’d been put in a corner without realizing it. Her mind scrambled for some fancy footwork, “Well, uh… I met you?” Willow gave a short grin, “Gay people were… like koalas.”

Tara snorted, then giggled and just couldn’t stop. “So I’m…“ She laughed, “I’m a koala?”

“No!” You’re as cute as one, though. The redhead swatted her friend’s knee, “I’ve just never met a koala. I know they exist, but – if I weren’t human, just a blob wondering what it was?” The blonde nodded, looking somewhat dubious, “I’d probably go through other living things around me, see if living like them works for me.”

Willow’s eyebrows were hiked, asking ‘get it?’ and when Tara made no indication that she did, she plowed on, “See, I could try to live like a cat, or a dog. I’ve been around them, I’d probably think I was one of those because I’m a mamal and they’re the most common ones around. But, if I’m really a lost koala on-on some other continent…”

“I would think,” Tara had a mischievous glint in her eye, obviously teasing now, “Your pouch would give you a pretty good hint.”

The redhead squinted warningly, “I could be a kangaroo.” She countered and raised her chin in defiance.

“Possum.” Tara retorted, which garnered the cutest competitive smirk from her friend.

“Wombat!” Willow almost shouted her next marsupial and giggled.

The rest of the night was spent talking about different subjects, they even got to do a couple of spells together before noticing the time which was, again, past the point when Willow should go home. As per Tara’s rules.

When Willow went straight to the closet and without a word, started taking down things to make a nest with, the blonde couldn’t resist offering her grandmother’s crystal again. Saying it hadn’t meant anything to her until Willow had wanted one.

This time, Willow accepted the thoughtful gift with a hug.

***

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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 4:15 pm 
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How cute. I can relate to the feeling of being a koala in a field full of cats and dogs. I like that you kept up the confusion on both of their parts. Love your writing. :applause

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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 8:08 pm 
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These girls are on such a trajectory towards each other, they are so full of confusion and fear and self-doubt but cannot help being together, talking for hours because they enjoy each other so much. I agree that you have written out their confusion so well- both being so caught up in their own self-made truths that they cannot think beyond them. Or they couldn't because it seems they are actually starting to take in each other's actions and words.
. First off this line: Molten lava swirled in her lower belly, Pele wanting a sacrifice. F*cking incredible imagery! I want that on a t-shirt.

Poor poor horny Tara. But how rare is it to find someone you click with so well and turns you on like nothing else? Their passion is going to be fiery.
Tara wondering if what she was feeling was normal girl or demon girl..... there is so much in that, to me, it's kind of like living with a mental illness, not knowing if your perceptions of the world are accurate or tainted by your mind. It's enough to set someone really askew, makes trusting one's self hard. But luckily, Tara is also pretty honest with herself about the feelings she is having romantically, nothing demon-y there, hopefully she can reconcile that with the sexual feelings she is having too. I have faith.
The last part was adorable, Duh Willow, you have a pouch!! lol Isn't that the truth there though, you think you are a cat with some funny pocket thing happening, only to look back later and be like, oooooh that was a pouch!!! I am so glad that they are talking and being there for one another. That trust is essential. Loving this!

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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings - Spar
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 11:53 pm 
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taranwillow4ever wrote:
How cute. I can relate to the feeling of being a koala in a field full of cats and dogs. I like that you kept up the confusion on both of their parts. Love your writing. :applause


Thank you! :blush

shirrey wrote:
These girls are on such a trajectory towards each other, they are so full of confusion and fear and self-doubt but cannot help being together, talking for hours because they enjoy each other so much. I agree that you have written out their confusion so well- both being so caught up in their own self-made truths that they cannot think beyond them. Or they couldn't because it seems they are actually starting to take in each other's actions and words.


I think confusion is the name of the game for these two, for a bit longer. Writing it is difficult and tedious to be honest, it gives me headaches. lol

shirrey wrote:
First off this line: Molten lava swirled in her lower belly, Pele wanting a sacrifice. F*cking incredible imagery! I want that on a t-shirt.


DO IT! I want one. lol I read that the volcano Goddess Pele didn't actually required human sacrifices, but... hey - I like the image, it works.

shirrey wrote:
Poor poor horny Tara. But how rare is it to find someone you click with so well and turns you on like nothing else? Their passion is going to be fiery.


Yes - this. 100% this.

shirrey wrote:
Tara wondering if what she was feeling was normal girl or demon girl..... there is so much in that, to me, it's kind of like living with a mental illness, not knowing if your perceptions of the world are accurate or tainted by your mind. It's enough to set someone really askew, makes trusting one's self hard. But luckily, Tara is also pretty honest with herself about the feelings she is having romantically, nothing demon-y there, hopefully she can reconcile that with the sexual feelings she is having too. I have faith.


Faith in Tara is never a foolish endeavor. That's exactly what I'm trying to explore with this, how she might be experiencing these things thinking she's different in more ways than one. It's been an interesting exercise if not a bit mentally exhausting. lol

shirrey wrote:
The last part was adorable, Duh Willow, you have a pouch!! lol Isn't that the truth there though, you think you are a cat with some funny pocket thing happening, only to look back later and be like, oooooh that was a pouch!!! I am so glad that they are talking and being there for one another. That trust is essential. Loving this!


:laugh Exactly how I felt when I had my duh moment, all those years ago.

On with it, then!

Sparked

Author name – CopperAndGold
Rating – PG-13
Feedback – I really love getting your feedback, it motivates me to write like nothing else does. :love
Summary – The episode ‘Goodbye Iowa’ – A Willow and Tara behind the scenes look – Part 1.
Author's Note – My vacation is over which means the updates will be coming at longer intervals now... unfortunately. I'm also undertaking a major re-write of the ending of 'When Erynn Met Herself' which is also taking a bit of my free time.




Bright-green eyes, big wonderment-filled orbs stared back at her through the mirror that hung over the sink. Her arm on auto-pilot, minty bubbles danced and scrubbed as Willow thought about the past few hours.

She’d been sure she was going to at least be asked to go home. When Willow had plucked the courage to tell her friend about her confusion, she knew how Tara would see it. The redhead had been right but, It hadn’t lasted. And, everything after that had been…

Magical.

The thought felt out of place, her consciousness still somewhat free-floating from spell casting – she’d unwittingly stepped outside herself. Willow could see, in her mind’s eye, her frame hunched over the sink to spit foamy paste down the drain. The image was anything but magical and it caused a drunk sort of giggle to gurgle up her throat at the dichotomy.

It had been a very giggly evening. Tara had offered the crystal again and what had happened next hadn’t been a conscious act. It hadn’t set off warning signs or discomforting inhibitions – Willow had simply wrapped her arms around the girl. Thankful for her friend’s understanding, for her willingness to listen, for still wanting to be her friend. For the gift.

The embrace was returned with arms that had felt like being cradled and protected at the same time. The warmth she’d felt in that embrace, Willow was hard-pressed to think of any other hug – given or received – that had made her feel so… light.

It had only lasted a moment, just long enough to press her cheek to Tara’s shoulder. To feel the girl’s arms tighten around her waist and loosen again, giving the option to step back. Her scent had surrounded Willow, her ample chest had been pressed against… Stop that train in its pervy tracks, Rosenberg.

Patting her face dry, her cheeks were rosy from more than the water’s heat. It wasn’t her fault for noticing how Tara’s body had felt, was it? It’s not like Willow had any other female friends who were so uh… blessed in the chest.

She shook her head against her thoughts, trying to dispel them from naughty rabbit holes of voluptuous meanderings. Breasts had been a thing she’d noticed, of course. First as comparison to herself, often feeling disappointed in her own body’s development. As much as Cordelia had been distasteful as a human being, she was jealousy-inducing in that department. Then later, she’d appreciated the different curves and lines of girls who’d walked by and friends. Finding them pretty, they’d made her smile and her gaze soften.

She’d never felt a sexual yearning so much as a sense that she could just look for hours. Like at a museum with an intricate painting. But, doing so would have been creepy so the redhead had often just caught herself mid-stare with a start of embarrassment before moving on with her day.

Rolling her eyes at her former more-clueless self, Willow started gathering the toiletries. Now she’d felt Tara’s contours against hers, she hoped she could still just appreciate subtly looking. Don’t make this a thing. Willow thought on her way back to the room. They’re just boobs.

She twisted the knob on Tara’s door, expecting the room to be somewhat dimly lit but soon found out she was mistaken. “Psst,” Willow whisper-hissed as she pushed the door closed behind herself, “Tara?” She asked tentatively, thinking her friend was asleep. Standing still holding her clothes and toiletry bag, completely disoriented from being in the dark, the redhead didn’t dare take a step yet.

“Mhhmm?” Tara responded from the bed’s direction, sounding slightly tired but mischievous. “Need something?”

Willow shuffled her feet, smiling, “Uh… some light? Maybe… might be good.” She stammered to the space around her.

A moment passed in which Tara seemed to be silently chuckling to herself before she spoke up again. “Oh, I just thought… I mean,” She teased and played dumb. “If you still need help w-with the Tinkerbelle light…” The offer was dripping with sarcasm and mirth.

If she could have seen Willow’s face right then, the scowl on it would have reduced the blonde to hysterics. “Fiat Lux.” The witch said determinedly and a small pinpoint of white light came to being a couple of feet ahead of herself. Silently, it hovered and illuminated the space softly just enough for Willow to see the shadows and the light play against each other over Tara’s smiling face, looking almost angelic. “Doofus.” She poked her tongue out in retaliation.

“Whoa,” The blonde said, her smile widening, “You learn so fast.”

At the compliment, the tiny light seemed to brighten slightly. “I have a great teacher.” Willow said with a proud smile, walking across the floor now confident in her steps. “Thanks for the toothbrush.” She beamed, waving the bag at her friend before dropping it on top of the dresser.

Tara bowed her head, embarrassed at her forwardness for having purchased the brush. “I j-just thought I should have a spare in case.” She shrugged a shoulder, silently reinforcing to herself it was nothing major. “You know.”

“Well,” Willow said as she crouched into her very thought-out floor nest, “I really appreciate it. I sleep better after brushing.” She patted her pillow, fluffing it up before laying down on her back and pulling the covers up. “Ooh, this is working out.”

A blonde head poked over the side of the bed, blue eyes twinkling in the light still hovering above Willow prone form. “Padding technique successful?”

The redhead wiggled in place, grinning cheekily, “Completely.” Which elicited one of those giggles that just made Willow feel all energized, wanting to get more giggles. She could run a marathon, she was sure of it.

“Good night.” Came the soft words once the bed settled again and Willow’s light dimmed.

“Night, Tara.” She replied before the dark took dominion of the space again.

***

If she ever comes home wearing camo… Willow thought sourly while taking a quick shower. She’d had to leave Tara’s early so she could get ready for the day. After writing her friend, who’d still been sleeping, a quick note the witch had gone home feeling a renewed sense of anticipation and excitement. The night she’d spent with Tara had been wonderful and she’d slept like a log even if it was on the floor. Willow had practically had a skip in her step she’d felt so light.

Then she got home to a reminder of how irritated she was with Buffy. She stopped taking commands from the Council, but hey! Beeper! Things seemed to be getting out of hand on the whole initiative front. Willow had thought she’d gotten through to her friend the night before, at least a little. Now she couldn’t help but feel poorly about Buffy’s judgement.

But now Giles, of all people, needed her witchy help. The redhead couldn’t help but be excited, it felt like he was extending an olive branch. Giles was actually asking her to help with magic, even after everything. Maybe I should bring the doll’s eye. She thought of the gift Tara had given her, thinking it would be a perfect way to ensure she was grounded and focused during the spell. Somehow that seemed right.

Spike, Willow couldn’t believe it. From the little Giles had told her, the vampire escaped from the Initiative; apparently had some sort of tracking device in his shoulder they needed zapped. And the Scoobies were helping him now, which was… new.

The redhead was really starting to dislike these commando types. Sure, she didn’t keep Spike in high regard, but the vampire had made it sound like he’d been a lab rat for the military complex. The fact she had first-hand experience with their technology activating in front of her eyes only served to heighten her state of alarm. Sure, it worked – Spike hadn’t been able to bite her. It still all felt icky, though. Controlling living beings’ behavior through technology… All very Orwellian-esque.

She was looking forward to learning more about it all, although she couldn’t help feel a sense of foreboding.

As she collected her things in order to head out to Giles’, she was once again thankful she’d chosen a light class load for her freshman year.

***

Tara was walking down the stairs from her seat in English Literature, fingering the note Willow had left her that morning. The little scrap of paper had resided in her pants pocket since finding it. Smiling to herself, she was thinking about the light spell the witches had done together the night before when she was bumped into from behind.

To say she’d been distracted was an understatement. “S-sorry,” The blonde said automatically, twisting around to see who’d bumped her. It was another student, tall and broad-shouldered, a tussled crop of chestnut brown hair sat atop his head. Tara had to crane her head back to look him in the eye, not only was he tall but he was also standing on the step above hers. Her glance up was only held for a fraction of a second before lowering again. “S-sorry,” This time came out slightly mumbled.

He bent down a bit while slinging his bag over his shoulder, a confused but friendly look on his face, “What for? I’m the clumsy one.” He smiled at her, “I should be sorry. Which, I am.” After a beat, he let another student by as he was standing in the middle of the stairs. “Sorry.” He concluded awkwardly to the air around him in general.

Tara had already taken a step down, she shook her head. “I-it’s ok.” Her hand shot out of her pocket, she crossed her arms over her chest. “I should…“ She tipped her head sideways, toward the door, signaling that she should head off. Although his stature and the setting were putting her on edge, he seemed nice enough. Tara gave a small smile and wave before turning away.

She heard him say ‘Bye’ on her way down the remaining stairs, quick steps took her out of the class room. The blonde felt as though she was getting better at these types of interactions. Not that long ago she’d have bolted without saying a word.

Tara’s steps slowed along with her heartrate, once outside in the sunlight she took a deep breath and let the sun’s rays bleach her nerve endings of anxieties. She took the note out of her pocket, looked at it and read it yet again. Willow had cute and feminine handwriting. Tara grinned as she ran a finger along the letters. ‘You look so peaceful when you sleep. I hope you have a great day. I had an amazing night - Thank you for everything. W.’

These notes were becoming a habit and the blonde was delighted for it. She knew she shouldn’t pay too much attention to these things, that they would solidify her feelings and end up making things that much harder for herself. But, somehow the thought of actively ignoring or overlooking these moments – downplay them to herself felt wrong.

Tara couldn’t fathom pulling that off without acting like someone she wouldn’t like to be, someone cold. She really doubted Willow would appreciate her kindness being ignored. No, really – this was for the best, she told herself. She’d nurture the feelings but not foster hope… Was it too much to ask?

It can’t be. She wished she could talk to her mother. The young woman decided to take advantage of the time she had and sit outside a bit. She picked a spot that wasn’t secluded but somewhat removed from the main path.

If she was honest with herself, she wished she still trusted what her mother had taught her about these things, or would have said. Tara used to turn to her with these questions before her death, thinking the woman wise and knowledgeable about it all. But, then she’d died and Tara had been left alone with her demons. Now, whenever she’d think of what her mother would say, Tara couldn’t help but play devil’s advocate.

All she knew for a fact was that this note she held made her want to hope.

She wasn’t hoping yet, but she wanted to. Tara took a deep breath, tipping her face to the sun. I can be her friend, be there for her. She was trying to harden herself against certain probabilities now Willow had confessed her confusion.

The one where the redhead would find another girl to date and explore that side of herself with, which would be pretty gut wrenching for Tara to witness from the sidelines. She’d have to suck it up.

But, she was also dreading Willow considering her on some level. The risk seemed monumental – and, not just for herself. She figured it was all about padding, like Willow’s floor-nest. Prepare for the worst, crash-landing positions and all.

No, Tara didn’t hope, didn’t want to. She was between states and doing her best not to move.

***

Willow was a ball of nerves, going through her things and packing an overnight bag. They were going to hide out at Xander’s for the night. She couldn’t believe Maggie Walsh had tried to kill Buffy. It’s official, I hate the initiative.

But, now they were all in danger. Willow eyed her stuffed dog, wondering about the practicality of bringing it with her and once she’d decided practicality wasn’t the point – she needed the comfort - her eyes flickered toward the phone. I should let her know what’s going on… Her thought hadn’t finished being processed before the phone was in her hand.

At the third ring, a slight pang of disappointment hit her gut thinking Tara wasn’t home so she waited for the machine to pick up. Willow knew the fifth ring was the charm, having counted them on previous calls, but was surprised when it picked up mid-fourth. “Heh-hello?” Answered a breathless Tara.

The unexpected, un-recorded voice startled the redhead and made her falter. “Oh, you’re there!” Willow exclaimed needlessly, “Tara, hi.”

“Hi,” The blonde sounded as if her breath was calming, “I just got home, h-heard the phone…” She took a few breaths before continuing, “Through the door.”

Willow grinned at how out of sorts her friend sounded, “Well you beat the machine but, just barely.”

Tara giggled, “Take that, machine.” After a beat she continued, “So, what’s up?” Her breathing seemingly now back to normal.

For a moment, Willow had forgotten the purpose for the call. It had all felt so natural to just want to talk, “Right, uh… something’s up and the gang are-“ She didn’t want to worry her friend, so she tried to weigh her words as much as possible, “We’re going to be staying at Xander’s tonight.” Why would she want to know that? She started second-guessing herself and threw in, “I-I just wanted to tell you, you know… in case you wanted to uh, reach me.”

But, all Tara heard was that something was up and that the whole group was staying somewhere together tonight. Those facts mixed with the tentativeness of her friend’s delivery made alarm bells ring out in the blonde’s head, “Is everything ok?” She asked quickly.

“Yeah,” Willow said forlornly, once against faced with her lack of acting skills, “Everyth- Buffy was set up and now we’re not sure of much.” She tried to keep details to a minimum, at least. “So, so we’re playing it safe.”

There was a pause when neither talked, the silence seemed to pulse – questions unasked, emotions unexpressed. Tara broke it, “Be careful?” Her verbal fry was so slight, it could have easily been mistaken with a bad connection, “Please, Willow.”

She felt bad for calling, Willow wondered if she should have. Why she had, she couldn’t really reason it at the moment. Tara was worried now, “Of course,” She soothed, “Tara, it’s ok, I promise. We’ve been doing this for four years.” A little grin pulled at her lips, realizing that she was merely stating facts and that, in doing so, she started to feel better about the situation herself. “We’ll figure this out just like all the other stuff before.” Of course we will.

Willow stood from her bed and transferred her stuffed dog to her overnight luggage, “We’re just being on the extra-safe side of things for now.” Turning towards the room, she scanned it for anything she might have left behind, “All cozy with the safe side.”

“Ok,” Tara responded, her voice more substantial than before, “Let me n-know, I mean…”

The redhead cut in, “I’ll call you, or stop by. Or, otherwise prove to you I still have a pulse.” She joked, trying to lighten things up. “Promise, everything’s fine.”

She could hear the smile in the blonde’s voice, “Thanks, for calling and-and letting me know then.”

“Yeah,” Willow said, feeling an odd sense of dejas-vu, “I had to.” The words slipped from her mouth, the thoughts that had formed them as stealthy as ninjas, “I-uh… well, have a good night Tara.”

“You too.” The blonde softly replied before shortly after, a dial tone replaced her voice.

Willow placed the receiver down and dumbly stared at it. If she could jump through phone lines, and end up in Tara’s room, she would. Thinking how she’d rather stay there, even if she’d sleep on the hard floor. Besides, she’d figured out a way to pad it a bit – she just hated hanging up. I could hide out there, but how do I tell the gang where I’m going?

Irritated now with that line of thought, she grabbed her things and left for Xander’s.

***

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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 4:12 pm 
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Have I told you how much I love your writing? Cuz, I really really do. I love this journey you are showing us, the almost beat by beat development of their relationship and all the things our minds do to try and protect our hearts.
In the beginning of this part, I can feel Willow's giddiness. "It had been a very giggly evening" Willow basking in Tar's arms and um... assets. I love that we are seeing cheeky Tara come out of her shell, and I was internally cheering on her flirtiness, that in turn, opened the door for flirty banter, closed off with a sigh of good nights. So sweet.
And I love that Willow is proud of being trusted to do the magic for Giles, this has to solidify her joy of learning with Tara on level where Willow herself is growing, even if Giles (or anyone) knows nothing about it.
I see Tara someday framing that note. "You look so peaceful when you sleep" , that is frame and swoon worthy. Tara has got herself on an emotional tightrope that you write so clearly, and completely rings true for who she is.
I also really liked how Willow is finding her own confidence in needing to reassure Tara, sometimes it takes that outside interaction to realize you really do know your stuff. Like, we don't really know we know something until we pass the knowledge onto someone else.
They are so much more than friends already. And I understand why Willow wants to keep Tara a secret, for now anyway. Thanks for this!

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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 5:23 pm 
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Great update. I am reading When Erynn and LOVE it. You are a gifted writer to be able to write both ‘types’ of our W&T fan fic. I am not particularly good at long feedback, but I’ll always give it. Keep on writing. My theme for the week was that all I want to do is read and write fan fiction. Too bad I have 2 kids and a house to support and both of my jobs are necessary. Today I am rewarding myself for mowing the lawn with reading and writing. Take care! :clap

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 Post subject: Chronicles of W/T beginnings - Moonlit (May 27th, 2019)
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 11:54 pm 
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shirrey wrote:
Have I told you how much I love your writing? Cuz, I really really do. I love this journey you are showing us, the almost beat by beat development of their relationship and all the things our minds do to try and protect our hearts.
In the beginning of this part, I can feel Willow's giddiness. "It had been a very giggly evening" Willow basking in Tar's arms and um... assets. I love that we are seeing cheeky Tara come out of her shell, and I was internally cheering on her flirtiness, that in turn, opened the door for flirty banter, closed off with a sigh of good nights. So sweet.


Thank you so much for the compliment, I still can't really believe people actually like my writing. The beginnings of intimacy are so rich with emotion, I'm really happy I was able to do them at least a little justice.

shirrey wrote:
And I love that Willow is proud of being trusted to do the magic for Giles, this has to solidify her joy of learning with Tara on level where Willow herself is growing, even if Giles (or anyone) knows nothing about it.
I see Tara someday framing that note. "You look so peaceful when you sleep" , that is frame and swoon worthy. Tara has got herself on an emotional tightrope that you write so clearly, and completely rings true for who she is.
I also really liked how Willow is finding her own confidence in needing to reassure Tara, sometimes it takes that outside interaction to realize you really do know your stuff. Like, we don't really know we know something until we pass the knowledge onto someone else.


Right, Tara brings so much to Willow without either of them really realizing it. Willow feels it in the way she doesn't want to lose Tara, but if you'd ask her I bet she'd have a difficult time putting it to words. At least for now. Tara's tightrope... I've walked it, a couple times. Not. Easy.

shirrey wrote:
They are so much more than friends already. And I understand why Willow wants to keep Tara a secret, for now anyway. Thanks for this!


No, no. Thank you! :grin

taranwillow4ever wrote:
Great update. I am reading When Erynn and LOVE it. You are a gifted writer to be able to write both ‘types’ of our W&T fan fic.


Oh wow... thank you so much. If by types you mean smut and not smut, then I'm glad. lol

taranwillow4ever wrote:
I am not particularly good at long feedback, but I’ll always give it. Keep on writing. My theme for the week was that all I want to do is read and write fan fiction. Too bad I have 2 kids and a house to support and both of my jobs are necessary. Today I am rewarding myself for mowing the lawn with reading and writing. Take care! :clap


God, I know what you mean. I'm horrid at feedback - I finish reading and just... feel. It would take me at least twenty minutes to go through everything and explain how I felt. Also, I don't get much down time either - so the time I have to dedicate to this, I use for writing right now.

Thank you for your feedback, though. No matter how short, it doesn't matter - knowing you appreciate my writing is like sprinkles on my already chocolaty cake!

On with our witches' story!

Moonlit

Author name – CopperAndGold
Rating – R for one naughty word.
Feedback – If it pleases you – It’s like fuel in my tank. :love
Summary – The episode ‘Goodbye Iowa’ – A Willow and Tara behind the scenes look – Part 2.
Author’s note – The next update will probably be an overlap of the end of this episode, and the beginning of the next. (This years girl)


Willow was practicing her patience skills while Anya seemed to be doing her best to set her off. “It’ll take too much room.” The ex-vengeance demon pointed accusingly at the big stuffed dog the redhead was clutching, clad in her pj’s standing at the foot of the fold-out couch.

Tightening her hold on her snuggle-dog, she wasn’t about to let this go. “He won’t!” Willow padded her way to her side, Buffy was in bed next to an irritated Anya. “Just let her try, at least.” The Slayer tried to make her friends compromise.

This couldn’t be a long-term solution, being crammed into such a tight space. Someone was bound to get hurt sooner or later. “Turn on the t.v., see if there’s anything on.”

“Keep it down, will you?” Giles’ grumpy voice called from behind makeshift curtain-separators. “You’re doing my head in; I’m trying to read.” The squeak of plastic as he shifted in his perch and resulting groan of irritation wasn’t lost on anyone. The older man was highly uncomfortable and irritable.

There came a feminine chorus of ‘Sorries’ and the footfalls of Xander coming downstairs. “If you hear some yelling just ignore it.” He said hastily, a look of forced cheer stamped on his face. “Really, they’re just so happy to have company.”

Willow smiled in sympathy at her best friend, knowing all too well how difficult Xander’s home life had been. “We’ll be out of here in no time, Xand.” She said meaningfully. The fact he had to pay to live here now made her thankful for her parents, no matter how flawed they were.

A look of understanding passed between the childhood friends, a thankful smile curled the young man’s lips. What would he do without his Wills?

“Well, I’ll just be on the boys’ side,” He shuffled over and pushed the curtain aside, looked down at his sleeping bag on the floor. Peeking back, he noticed the girls had already moved onto flicking through television channels. “Way over here… behind the t.v.” He mumbled and disappeared behind the curtain. “Where I can’t see anything.”

“Ooh,” Buffy exclaimed excitedly. “Is this…” She was raising the volume when the scene ended and a commercial started so she just muted it. “I think it’s ‘Dirty Dancing’.” The Slayer elbowed Anya with a bright, excited grin spread across her face.

This got the recently-young woman’s attention. “They dance dirty?” She turned her head towards Willow, perplexed but intrigued, “Is it a porno?”

Willow couldn’t shake her head any harder without it tumbling to the floor, “No!” She squeezed her dog, missing Xander’s muted chuckles in her discomfiture. “No, it’s a romantic movie. There’s dancing.” When Anya seemed to lose interest, she wasn’t surprised. “Patrick Swayze is a dance instructor, though.” The redhead said halfheartedly and shrugged, “It’s a good movie I guess.” Better than nothing, music’s good I remember that much.

“He’s such a hunk, I love this movie.” Buffy swooned. “Oh, shh it’s back on.” The volume was turned back on, all three of them now intent on watching even if the film was already underway.

Three heads bobbed along to the music, a grin on Buffy’s and Willow’s faces watching the dancing scenes. “She’s very clumsy.” Anya pointed out, her foot tapping the air to the rhythm nonetheless. “Stepping on toes and everything.”

“Of course.” The Slayer said defensively, “She’s still learning.” ‘Feel the music…’ Patrick Swayze was saying.

“Oh,” The scene became a little more intimate, Jennifer Grey had a hand on Swayze’s chest. “He is sexy, isn’t he?” Anya breathed. Xander coughed loudly from his side of the room in objection but the only reaction this garnered was Giles throwing a crumpled piece of paper at his head with a stern look on his face.

Willow was watching as well, but her friends’ banter was now lost on her. Her stuffed dog was held tightly against her chest, her eyes wide and unblinking at the scene she’d somehow forgotten existed.

Buffy was giggling, enthralled by the chemistry between the characters. “He’s so professional with her.” ‘This is my dance space… This is your dance space.’

Anya nodded her head knowingly. “Boundaries are important in the workplace.”

“Uhmhm,” Willow agreed reflexively, she gulped. I look at you and I fantasize… your mine tonight… The music played over the scenes now, dialogue lost to images.

When the blonde dance instructor in the movie stepped in, behind the main actress, the redheaded witch started becoming slightly uncomfortable with her current setting. Why don’t I remember any of this?

One look at you I can’t disguise I’ve got, hungry eyes… Feminine, toned legs, fishnets and high heels… dancing together. Willow cleared her throat, trying not to fidget. She felt as though her thoughts might be broadcast for all to hear. I feel the magic between you and I…

Anya wasn’t sure what she was watching anymore. “Why are they doing that with their hands?” With both hands up she started doing a wax-on, wax-off technique in the air – copying what the women were doing in the movie.

Buffy shrugged, not really knowing either other than it was probably a teaching method. “You still awake Will?” She enquired softly, her friend having been quiet for a while.

“Huh!?” Willow jumped and Anya got a mouthful of stuffed-dog-fur. “Yep, still awake!” Trying to make sure her voice didn’t betray her discomfort. Wide awake… Not wondering what Tara would look like in fishnets, at all. She turned onto her side, clutching her dog to herself again, facing away from her friends now. Nope, not me.

Willow couldn’t wait for this night to end.

***

The lights were off, the drapes wide open to let the full moon’s light in. A wide shaft of white cut across dark carpet, in the center of it sat Tara. Her head slightly tilted back, legs crossed in the lotus position – she was in deep meditation.

Getting through her studies had been difficult. She couldn’t help but worry, wondering what the Slayer would need to hide from, how bad it must be. Tara had tried listening to music, reading a book, anything really. Nothing had worked to calm her mind, so she’d decided to meditate. When she’d noticed the moon was full, it had seemed only natural to sit in its light and make it her crown.

In the nothingness, the complete stillness of the space between thoughts, the witch parlayed with the astral body. No deals were struck here, no concession or bargain. Intent-laden energy coursing along light rays. Between earth and sky, Tara was a tower sending a signal.

The missive: Care for Willow and her friends.

She wasn’t fearful in this state, not worried or anxious. Tara was just present, an empty vessel for the photon exchange. Her cup filling to the brim with calm determination, nothing bad would happen tonight if the moon agreed.

But, only if it agreed. Her request was done in good faith, it was all Tara could do. Still she sat in the moonlight, relishing in the peaceful moment.

Behind closed eyelids, colors began streaming and swirled. A prism-filtered fractal emerged, patterns dancing and rearranging into shapes. In each of them, Willow scripted DNA. ‘This is us!’ The photons cheered and brightened as an expression coalesced into big, deep green eyes and a radiating smile. A freckle-speckled nose, and flaming strands of hair that looked like satin.

Tara smiled beatifically at nothing material, only the images painted by the moon in her mind. With the intensity of super charged photons, Willow shown bright.

There were no filters here, in the beams of light. Everything was laid bare and clear – Tara held Willow in her mind, her emotions a spun blanket surrounding the slight redhead. No thought, not explanation or reasoning – just being together.

Safe, together embraced in moonlight.

***

After getting dressed and letting the gang know she was going to look into some spells, Willow’s destination this morning had been her dorm room. Buffy was out, trying to find the Polgara demon that had killed a little boy.

It had been a rude turnabout from how she’d woken up. Willow had forgotten where she was, she remembered having felt completely peaceful and bathed in warmth. Engulfed in pillowed softness, cradled and cared for. After, there had been odd noises; smacking of lips, grumbles and squeaky rubber chairs. She’d been hurled back to reality. Then cartoons and later, of course, death on the news.

The witch knew Buffy felt guilty and she wanted to help, she knew she’d seen a spell to locate demons in her books. Maybe, with Tara’s help… Tara!

The thought made Willow jerk her head up so fast, the back of it connected with her trunk’s lid having been bent over it to rummage through books. “Ow,” She rubbed at her head and winced as she walked next to the bed, the phone now in her hand and dialing.

“Hey Tara.” Willow said when the machine picked up, “It’s me, Willow. I wanted to tell you I’m ok and still alive.” She hated talking to machines, they made her so nervous. “I uh, I have class here in a few but I’d like to come over… after?”

It took a millisecond to realize she wasn’t going to get an answer, “I-I’ll swing by after class and-and see if you’re there.” She scratched her head, feeling awkward as all get-out. “Ok… uh, later then… maybe.”

The grimace on her face as she hung up was the perfect depiction of how she felt about that particular performance. Class would make things better. Learning advanced subjects – she was smart, Willow swore she was.

***

She’d slept like a baby. As soon as her head hit the pillow, Tara had been asleep. No dreams that she could remember, just a sense of peace and belonging. She woke up bright and full of energy, ready to face the day.

Her class was interesting, she’d even shared a smile with a fellow student when the girl had dropped her bag. Tara had helped pick up her stuff, it was a brief encounter. Nothing to most people, but to the introverted witch, it had made her feel normal. It was a great day so far, and she knew she still had hearing from Willow to look forward to.

On her way down her hall, towards her dorm room, she tried not to anticipate seeing the answering machine’s blinking light. Tara really did rebuke every thought of ‘I’ll open the door, and there’ll be a message from Willow.’ Reasoning that Willow might not have, in fact, called. She might not even be home yet.

She couldn’t get to that door fast enough.

Tara’s heart skipped a beat nonetheless when she did see that light blinking. Excitedly, she dropped her bag and went to listen to the message.

She’s coming! The young woman frantically looked around her room, as if she’d have left the space in a mess. Tara being a pretty tidy person made this anxiousness futile and pointless, though. What if she already came and I was in class?

Having decided to make sure they didn’t miss each-other, Tara was about to call when there was a knock at the door. She smiled and, having a good idea who it was, rushed to open the door.

“Howdy.” The redhead stood in the hall, smiling excitedly and Tara’s heart did that flippy thing again.

She opened the door and let her friend in. “I just got your message a minute ago. I was in class. But I was about to call you.”

Willow hadn’t really been prepared for Tara to be home. During class, she’d thought of calling once she was done but, when she’d remembered her message the redhead had figured coming was the prudent thing to do. If her friend wasn’t there, then she’d call later.

But, now she was here Willow was a bit at a loss. “I had so much fun the other night, those spells.” Did that come off like that’s all I come for? She really hoped that wasn’t the case, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Tara smiled and closed the door, she really had enjoyed that evening very much. “Yeah, that was nice.” Wonderful…

The redhead decided to alleviate her conscience. “I hope you don't think that I just come over for the spells and everything.” She wrung her fingers together nervously, trying to convey how much she just liked being with Tara. “I mean, I really like just talking and hanging out with you and stuff.”

“I know that.” The blonde’s lips twisted, a crooked smile lighting up her eyes. She really did believe it, and it made her feel like she could take on the world. Although… “But you wanna do a spell.” She said cheekily.

Got me. Willow thought guiltily. “Yeah,” She said lamely in a strangled tone, an apologetic look on her face that made Tara giggle. “But only because it's really important. There's this-”

The blonde witch noticed her friend was actually feeling guilty and that wouldn’t do. Really, Willow didn’t need to clarify. She was always welcome. “No you don't have to explain I don't mind really.” She nodded and smiled, feeling like a bit of a dork. “I've been uh thinking about that last spell we did... all day.”

Seeing her friend’s excitement lifted her resolve. “You have?” Willow asked in anticipation, truth be told she’d been thinking about it too.

Nodding her head and smiling even wider, Tara replied simply: “Mmhmm.”

“Well this one should be really fun too.” The redhead started excitedly. “We conjure the goddess Thespia to help us locate demonic energy in the area.” Her eyebrows high on her forehead, anticipating ooh’s and ahh’s.

But, there were no ooh’s and ahh’s. More like, Uh… crap. And, wait – That’s an actual Goddess you want to conjure up. The blonde had never conjured a deity, wasn’t too sure about what that might entail.

Tara asked apprehensively, “The goddess Thespia?” Trying to communicate without words that they might not want to do this. Not just the spell itself. That she was pretty sure they could handle after at least one try. But, locating demonic energy… Will it see me? “Are you sure we're ready for that?”

The redhead wasn’t swayed, though. She saw it as a challenge she was sure they could surmount together. “You and me? This is beneath us.”

Oh no, oh no… I can’t say no, can I? She’s all excited… Tara exhaled a quick, “Ok.” Forcing some cheer into her voice, “If you say so.”

***

“I don’t understand,” Willow said as she stood, “We did everything right.” She looked at Tara who was still sat on the ground. “Right?”

The blonde shrugged a shoulder in a non-committal gesture, she felt so bad for having sabotaged the spell. “W-we were bound to mess one or two up while we’re l-learning.” You’re lying! Not lying but omitting and that’s like lying! She couldn’t keep eye contact, her heartbeat doubled. Fear starting to creep up her spine. Tara wasn’t a good liar.

Willow was talking, but Tara was in her head. It’s not a big deal, a white lie. Calm down or else you’ll freak out and Willow will run away from your fucked-up ass!

Mind-silence, high-pitched flat lined noise rung through her head as her thoughts abruptly stopped.

“-should go back…” She finally heard the redhead say. “Let Giles know it didn’t work and get an update.”

“Oh,” The blonde stood up, blushing cheeks and awkward. “Right, I’m s-sorry it flopped Willow.”

Willow saw those sad blue eyes and needed to reassure her friend. She opened her arms and took Tara in them, “It’s really no big. Not the first time,” Squeezing gently, “I’m sure it won’t be the last.” She exhaled deeply, a sigh of deep contentment. She feels so good in my arms…

There went her heart again, Tara felt flushed. The redhead smelled so nice, a scent particular to herself alone that Tara couldn’t get enough of. She couldn’t help letting her body mold itself against Willow. Couldn’t help but try and remember every inch of contact, detailing memories being etched out in the blink of an eye. “Mmm, Okay.”

Tara stepped forward, just a step that resulted in a firmer embrace that grew warmer, a thumb smoothing over Tara’s back gently. She inhaled deeply through her nose, felt her cheeks redden and her pulse quicken. So nice… Willow’s hair was so soft between her fingers.

She felt Willow move slowly and deliberately. Pulling back as if in slow motion, her arms still wrapped around Tara’s waist. The head that had been resting on her shoulder straightened and slowly, achingly slowly Willow smoothed her left cheek along Tara’s right. The skin there maddeningly soft, she felt a tremble in her knees.

Is she… It felt for all the world like she was about to be kissed. What? No, I’m dreaming. The blonde thought but didn’t dare move.

Willow was in a daze, it was as if there was a pull of gravity to Tara’s lips. I shouldn’t, should I? Tara wasn’t pulling back, she seemed to be enjoying the contact. But, as lovely as this was the redhead really, really wanted to know what it felt like to kiss Tara. Her lips pulsed with yearning, grazing the soft skin of Tara’s cheek before deciding against it and pressing a kiss there, instead. “Thanks for trying with me.” She said softly.

Stepping back fully now, trying to shake the sensual feelings coursing through her, Willow continued as she walked toward the door. “We’ll figure it out,” She looked at the blonde, looking flushed and bemused herself. The redhead found her stunning right then, she smiled a smile that could light a room. “We always do.” Nodding once decisively, she stepped out of the room to head back to Giles’.

Tara stood there, stunned with trembling fingers pressed to her cheek as the door closed. She gulped, hoping for saliva but all she got was a scratchy throat. I need water… cold. Very cold water.

***

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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 11:32 am 
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Yes, I was referring to Smut and non-Smut, though the division is equally valid as cannon vs AU. Must admit that reading smut makes me want to write some smut... This posting: As usual great imagery. You get the excitedness of first love really well. The description of Tara's meditating was very vivid. You did a good job making the reader perceive how crowded and awkward the sleeping arrangements are at Xander's and you can easily see Giles' frustration with all of the noise. I always found Dirty Dancing really hot. I have several fond memories of watching it with my girlfriend at the time :blush I liked how Tara was looking forward to seeing if the answering machine was blinking. I've never been in Willow's position of wanting to kiss someone and then chickening out, but her reaction was realistic. I'll keep on reading. Thanks for writing.

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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 12:30 pm 
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"We'll figure it out" :)

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 Post subject: Magical Chronicles - Starts And Stops (Goodbye Iowa BTS)
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 1:45 am 
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taranwillow4ever wrote:
Yes, I was referring to Smut and non-Smut, though the division is equally valid as cannon vs AU. Must admit that reading smut makes me want to write some smut...


It takes me forever to write smut - I find it to be difficult as heck. I'm really glad when it works out!

taranwillow4ever wrote:
I always found Dirty Dancing really hot. I have several fond memories of watching it with my girlfriend at the time :blush


I remember watching that movie with my sister. She was crushing on Patrick, I could only notice Jennifer Grey... still hadn't added two and two together then, I was really slow on the uptake. lol

shirrey wrote:
"We'll figure it out" :)


Yup, pretty much sums up this next update. I couldn't stand leaving it there - so, lunch break be damned, a bit of cramming after work as well and some polishing here and there...

Voila. Let's figure it out, shall we?

Starts And Stops

Author name – CopperAndGold
Rating – R I think? I'm really bad with ratings.
Feedback – Yaaaaaas. :love
Summary – The episode ‘Goodbye Iowa’ – A Willow and Tara behind the scenes look – Part 3 (fin).
Author’s note – Upon rewatch, I noticed there was some time between Goodbye and This years girl. I decided on it being two weeks and the next updates will be set during those.





She stared at Tara’s door knowing she’d have kissed her friend. That she was still behind it, wondering what happened. Willow hadn’t though and she couldn’t regret it.

In fact, she felt kinda proud.

A small smirk formed on her lips as she turned to go to Xander’s. Willow had wanted to, oh how she’d wanted to kiss Tara right then. But it had come to her quickly that she would have to leave right after.

That thought had made her think of a dine-and-dash – Welcome to Willow-brain - which then made her realize…

She wanted to ask Tara out. Like, out on a date, out. I think this confirms I’m at least bi… This didn’t matter much at this point though, to her it was all about Tara now. It had pretty much always been since meeting her, really.

Willow would have kissed the socks off of that girl, but it would’ve been too soon. No, too sudden.

She didn’t like the idea of confusing Tara. Not with what she’d already been through. Willow didn’t want to have frisky fun with Tara. Well, ok yeah – she really did want to have frisky fun with the blonde witch.

Her cheeks tinted a deeper pink, she found herself lowering her head the way Tara did sometimes as she pushed the door to the outside open.

It wasn’t that that was her motivation, though. She really liked Tara, a lot. The shy Tara, the quiet Tara, the confident Tara, the funny Tara and the cheeky one too. She liked the Taras she’d met so far and she couldn’t wait to meet all of the Taras there were in that one beautifully presented person.

Willow didn’t want a fling, she wanted… more. And you didn’t get more with premature kissage.

Rounding the corner of Main Street, now well on her way to her best friend’s basement the redhead’s heart beat faster than her physical exertion warranted. She didn’t want Tara to get the wrong idea so, Willow would ask her out on a date.

This made her feel slightly zany, a mixture of both anticipatory excitement with the deep-seated fear of rejection.

Good thing she had tons on her mind with all the craziness in Buffy-world.

***

No matter how long she stared, the flyer just looked the same. Welcoming, colorful and prideful – The lesbian alliance.

It was no use entertaining the idea and Tara would be frustrated if it didn’t make her feel so damn hopeless. Her hand fell onto the flyer and crumpled it into a ball which was hastily thrown in the garbage.

She’d been here feeling guilty and so many other things. She’d actually thought, no hoped her friend would kiss her. Right after having sabotaged a spell and keeping it secret. I don’t even know what she was looking for.

Tara was so enamored with the redhead that she’d been willing to use her demon’s ways in order to conceal it. Had even imagined Willow was going to kiss her, hadn’t asked once what was going on. She couldn’t lose her friend, too much rode on the relationship and It had felt like…

It had felt like she needed to go home to Wheatland… before she did something really bad.

Too invested already, Tara had panicked. She should meet other gay women, she’d rationalized sternly to herself. Had even unearthed the forgotten flyer from the bottom of a drawer. She’d sat at her desk, staring at it trying to psyche herself up to do something she didn’t want to do.

It was futile, she knew this wasn’t her - this lesbian alliance thing. Tara understood the need for these groups to exist, but her whole entire life had been about being apart from groups.

Outside of them, she’d developed a different way of understanding the world. She’d had to, her life wasn’t like most. When they talked about pride parades in big cities, the people of her town had been divided on the subject. As long as they weren’t having them in Wheatland, no one cared much.

This was how her father had felt about them as well. Why would anyone be proud to be gay? He’d said how these groups used false pride to control.

Now, Tara had known about herself by then. Had never believed that part of herself had anything to do with the demon; it was just the way she was and it was a natural human trait. She always listened to her father, though.

She had a good idea of what he’d really meant, but she understood it differently. When she’d asked herself ‘Why be proud?’ and then thought of how this was just as much part of who she was as the color of her eyes; that she’d simply been born that way… Tara didn’t do anything to be gay. Would have wished not to be, if anything.

Maybe he had a point after all. Maybe it was false pride - she wasn’t too sure what he’d meant about the control bit, though.

Two helpings of mashed potatoes that night, he’d been in a chatty mood having gotten a raise at work.

Her mom had been so proud of him.

“Argh!” That was it, she’d had it – she needed out of this room. It was time for a walk. Reminiscing about home was where she drew the line. She wasn’t going back, not yet. Hopefully, not ever.

***

“Guys, I’m fine.” Willow grumbled, pushing Anya’s hand away. The ex-vengeance demon’s bedside manner left to be desired. Her idea of making a bruise feel better was to press on it apparently. “Once it stops hurting I’ll feel bad for him, I’m sure.” She wasn’t a happy camper, standing up unsteadily from the bean chair. “I’m going home. Tell Buffy that’s where I’ll be.”

Giles barely had time to put his glasses back on before she was half-way up the stairs.

Walsh was dead, killed by the Polgara. The spell hadn’t worked and now she’d been shoved to the ground by a six-foot tall, out-of-his-mind army dude. Willow was tapping out of this one for the rest of the night.

She was looking forward to going home, taking a nice hot shower and think about how to ask Tara out. Willow wanted to give her a call as well, make sure her friend was ok. She’d looked stunned when the redhead had last seen her and she wanted to double-check that things were fine between them.

Best to make sure you didn’t screw up before asking her out.

***

The sun was going down, Tara’s steps sped up. She’d lost track of time, walking around town with a chai tea in her hand. She was sure she’d make it home in time being pretty close now, but it still unnerved her.

Enough time had passed where her thoughts had escaped the vortex they’d been in before her walk, now she just wanted to have a nice shower and go to bed with a book. Walking up the path to her dorm she spotted someone she’d recognize anywhere at this point. “Willow!”

“Huh?” She jumped, startled to have heard her name called out. When the redhead turned and found the source, she smiled a short smile. Willow was limp-jogging toward her now, across the lawn. “I was coming to see you.” The redhead said as she came to a stop near her. “Hi.”

“Hey,” Tara smiled and pushed a lock of hair behind an ear, “What brings you to my n-neck of the woods?” Willow grinned, her tongue peeking from between her teeth. A new expression Tara tried to rank among the others. It was just adorable, “Why are you limping?” She realized a bit late and was concerned.

“Oh, pff.” The redhead rolled her eyes and waved a dismissive hand, “It’s nothing; I’m clumsy.” After a brief silence when they just seemed to stare goofily at each other, Tara snapped out of it. “Did, did you wanna come up?” She asked hopefully.

“Oh, uh…” Willow stumbled, “I left you a message earlier, when you didn’t call back I got worried so I came to check on you.” She twisted her fingers nervously, “I can’t stay, I should be with Buffy tonight and she’ll be home soon.” Walking through the dorm building door, she followed her friend in.

“Really?” Tara was surprised and flattered that Willow would go through the trouble. “You didn’t have to do that, I went for a walk.” She tried a reassuring smile, “I would have called you back as soon as I got in.”

Her eyebrows shot up in shock, “That’s a long walk.” Willow had called ages ago as far as she was concerned. When the blonde only shrugged in reply she cleared her throat. Ok, this would be perfect timing. She thought to herself as the door to Tara’s room closed behind them. “Uh, Tara?”

“Hmm?” Was the simple reply, the blonde scooting onto the bed to rest against the headboard.

“I wanted to check on you because…” She raised her eyes, feeling guilty but hopeful at the same time. “I just hope you weren’t uncomfortable earlier, with the hugging and the kiss.”

Tara was emotionally wrung out from the day. She didn’t know how to respond to that at all other than, “I wasn’t.” Her head lowered a bit, and she pushed her hair behind an ear, “I was a b-bit confused, though.”

When Willow looked guilty and started to say something, the blonde cut her off. “It’s not b-because you hugged or-or kissed my cheek.” She couldn’t possibly convince anyone, could she? Her hair fell back, covering her blush.

“Ok, see?” The redhead paced a few steps. “I don’t want that.” She looked down at her friend, shaking her head. “I don’t want to confuse you, I’m not confused.” She explained, her voice rising in pitch, “I wanted to kiss you, still do. But I should take you out on a date, first.”

Huh!? “W-what?” Tara was struck dumb.

Oh, great – way to be presumptuous you doofus. Willow shuffled her feet, anxious and worried she’d overstepped, “I mean, if-if you want… to?” The blonde only stared back, blinking. Willow went on, “Go on a date… with me?” The question pushed through a strained grin.

She’d never been on a date, wasn’t expecting to ever go on a date. This was all surprising and a bit shocking. Tara smiled, shocks like these she’d take any day. “Yes.” She nodded quickly, not wanting to leave Willow hanging. “I’ll go on a date with you, Willow.” Her smile grew even bigger then, she was bursting at the seams. My first date ever! She couldn’t believe it.

“Really!?” Willow was ecstatic, “Great! Tomorrow’s Friday I could come by and pick you up?” She took a few steps back as Tara stood from the bed to face her, “I was thinking dinner.” She postulated, “Around six? Do you like sushi?”

Tara’s smile made her eyes twinkle, all she could do to answer was nod vigorously and blush bright pink. She’d never had sushi. If I don’t like it, I’ll love hating it.

“Ok,” Willow nodded and smiled, “I should go before Buffy gets home.” She was about to turn toward the door when she heard Tara call her name softly. Looking back, she’d taken a step closer.

“I um,” Another step closer, “I just thought… maybe,” Tara looked up from beneath her lashes, a crooked smile lifting a corner of her lips. She reached for Willow’s hand, pulled gently on it until the redhead was in her arms. “I’m not confused, now.” Her eyes lowered to cupid-bow lips that were being moistened by a mischievous tongue, and back again.

“Uh,” Willow breathed, “No, no confusion.” Lips a breath apart, “None.” Whispered Tara before she made their lips meet gently, pressing shortly before pulling back.

Eyes opened, Willow gulped and Tara sighed. Their heartbeats almost audible amid their slightly labored breathing. “I-“ Tara started to say something but couldn’t finish – Willow was kissing her again, more insistently this time.

The whole world swooned. “Mmm,” She couldn’t stop the soft moan from escaping her throat, her skin was set aflame in an instant. She closed her arms tighter around the redhead’s small waist, fingers now gripping her lower back. Tara’s head spun.

I knew it. Willow thought disjointedly, I knew her lips were amazing. She captured the bottom one, plump and soft, suckled it a little then switched back. “Mmn,” Quickly, she was getting lost to the sensations coursing through her. A hand pressed flat to Tara’s back, holding her against herself. Her breasts felt amazing, her scent was amazing, Willow’s knees almost buckled. Sparkles danced behind her eyelids.

The kiss ended in a series of smaller kisses, chaste ones meant to cool down. Sobering to reality that Willow had to leave, Tara gave her one last peck. “Mm, can’t wait.” She smiled and bit her lip, skipping in place giddily.

This feels incredible. She couldn’t have expected what she was feeling, holding Tara like this. Seeing her like this, giddy and excited – knowing she did that. Willow… had never felt this way. “Me either.” She said honestly, stepping back. “I should really go, though.”

Tara nodded, still smiling. She wished she didn’t have to leave, but it was probably for the best anyway. “Be careful, it’s dark out.”

Her hand was on the knob when Willow answered cheekily, “I have Tinkerbelle for that.” She winked before opening the door and leaving a Tara who was now, over the moon with joy.

***

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 Post subject: Re: Magical Chronicles - Chronicles of W/T beginnings
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 1:57 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:33 pm
Posts: 561
Topics: 1
Location: North Carolina, USA
DIBS, DIBS, DIBS :bounce :eatme :banana

I am pretty sure that I was imagining myself AS Patrick because I wanted to be close to Jennifer.

I loved the "I'm not confused now?" comment. I also like that you didn't prolong Tara's wondering if she'd gotten the right message that Willow wanted to kiss her. I struggle when there are ages and ages and pages and pages of "I must be imagining something"; because I KNOW that Willow wants Tara and Tara wants Willow. I hate when Tara thinks Willow doesn't want her; it makes me feel sad.


I like take charge Willow, following the rule that you go on a date, then you kiss (or at least you plan a date and then kiss).
Looking forward to the date and anything else you write. I look daily for updates and am happy when I see them. Thanks for writing.

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