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

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 Post subject: Thanks Given (one-off)
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:36 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 129
Topics: 6
Location: Pacific Northwest
Title: Thanks Given
Rating: 16+
Disclaimer: Some dialogue has been lifted from 'The Body' No infringement intended.
Feedback: YES PLEASE! I am new at this and would love anything constructive
Spoilers: Up to Family (kind of, not really)
Notes: this is another flashback that will be included in a larger fic- I have not had this beta'd

To my chosen family.....

THANKS GIVEN

The house smelled warm and buttery, like fresh bread. The scent welcomed Tara, dipping and swirling around her like cleansing sage. It was the scent of her mother in the mornings, pulling a fresh loaf from the oven. Tara remembered her mother would always hum while making bread and Tara would watch her trying to catch the tune so she could hum along. These moments were stolen and serene, just Tara and her mother and the scent of rising dough.

Tara stood, momentarily stunned, her hand in Willow’s as they crossed the threshold into the Summers’ home. It was Thanksgiving Day and Tara felt the exquisite weight of gratitude as she exhaled.

“Baby?” Willow had stopped when Tara had, their steps in tune, “Everything ok?”

Tears shimmered in Tara’s eyes, reflecting Willow in a sea of blue, her smile watery and thoughtful. She squeezed Willow’s hand, “The smell, it reminds me of my mom.” A tear broke loose and tumbled down the pale cheek.

“Oh baby,” Willow moved in close, taking Tara’s other hand and squeezing them both, sending stability and love through the connection. Tara placed her forehead against Willow’s, and shook her head slightly against it.

“I’m ok, I’m so ok,” Tara reassured and a joyful giggle erupted from her belly, “I’m with my family.” Tears fell freely now and Tara pulled back with a slight dip of her head, embarrassed to be crying in the foyer of someone else’s home. She stepped back once more, planning to continue her way into the house but Willow tugged the hand she still held, bringing Tara into her embrace. The question in Tara’s eyes was answered in Willow green. And then Willow placed her hand softly on Tara’s cheek and pulled them together into a kiss that promised ‘Always’.

Their lips pressed together softly, knowingly. Tara’s kisses had always been amazing, Willow thought, but since Tara’s twentieth birthday- just over a month ago now- her kisses had been more… free, complete. As the secrets between them had dissolved, Tara was finally able to believe in the truth of Willow’s love, in her place as part of a family. The kiss ignited them and they pushed closer together. Willow bit Tara’s lower lip gently before tongues slipped together. It was tender, it was sensual, it was whole, it was interrupted.

“Whoa kissing wiccans!” Xander stepped back bumping into Anya who stood in the open front door, an expensive bottle of wine held away from the impact. Tara pulled back, ducked her head and wished she had left her hair down today. A bright blush broke over her chest and spread up to her cheeks. Willow stood tall, proudly grinning at the new arrivals.

Anya simply brushed past Xander while using a finger to nudge his chin, “Close your mouth, Xander.” Willow and Tara smiled at each other and followed Anya into the house.

Soon all were sitting at the dining room table while Joyce and Buffy took turns moving in and out of the kitchen, bringing and replacing plates of food and drinks. Laughter and endless chatter filled the air. Dawn rattled on about her friend Melinda’s older brother and Anya told horrifying stories of the demon Santa Claus- single-handedly crushing everyone’s childhood. Xander complained that he felt like barfing more than once, and Giles leered each time, while Joyce patiently took it as a compliment. And Tara’s smile was beaming as she looked around, engaging in the lively conversation with a foreign ease. The fire crackled as the scent of warm apple cinnamon seeped into her skin. She and Willow had held hands even as they ate and both felt enormously full joy. And, in Willow’s case, nog.

Willow slumped into her chair with a decidedly uncomfortable look on her face, “I had too much nog.”

“Oh, baby, want me to rub your tummy?” caught up in the ease she felt, Tara turned with a smile toward the group. It was the smile of a woman so giddy in love she couldn’t help but share everything about their life together. “She likes it when I…” Then in a moment of mortification, she realized what she was sharing, and she dropped her eyes, “stop explaining things.”

Time seemed to slow and lingering insecurity crept in. Tara was sure all eyes were on her, judging her as the embarrassment she was. She had embarrassed Willow too and that was worse. But Willow squeezed her fingers again and laid her head on Tara’s shoulder. Tara sighed and nuzzled her cheek into Willow’s hair. She dared a look at the group sat at the table.

No one was watching, no one was judging. Okay, Dawn was glancing at them. And snickering behind her hand. But the grin was playful and her eyes danced with glee. Joyce and Giles were conversing. Anya and Xander shared a knowing smile. And Buffy. Tara had to look beyond the table to see Buffy, leaning against the kitchen entryway, watching the group with a thankful grin. Tara caught her eye and in silent agreement, they communicated how grateful they were for this time, these people.

………….

The November air was crisp and woody as Willow, Tara and Buffy reached the entrance of the residence hall. The walk from the Summers’ house had been lively and silly, Buffy and Willow both animated as they regaled Tara with tales of the previous year’s Thanksgiving.

“I practically had to sit on Will to make her stay,” Buffy related with a smirk.

“Well it’s a horrible holiday!”Willow protested, wearing her most indignant frown, “all with the yay us! We slaughtered and diseased and took child brides! Let’s celebrate with dead flesh!”

Buffy rolled her eyes before looking to Tara to share the sentiment. But Tara just scrunched her nose.

“It’s true; it’s a pretty horrific tradition.” Tara shrugged.

Buffy feigned betrayal, putting her hand over her heart dramatically, “Not you too?”

Willow smiled smugly as her hand snaked around Tara’s side, “My baby’s got my back.”

“Actually, history’s got your back, sweetie,” Tara clarified before whispering lowly just for her girl, “but I’ll get your back later, and your front if you let me.”

Eyes widening, Buffy stopped dead in her tracks, “Tara! Slayer hearing!” Tara couldn’t help but blush but she refused to duck her head, a sly smile curving her lips.

“My girl’s not as innocent as she seems.” Willow’s proud statement tipped the scales though and Tara did duck her head, squeezing more tightly into the safety of Willow.

“Oh, really?” Buffy teased. She shook her head and laughed internally, it was so good to see this side of Tara; Buffy was finally starting to understand the wonderful, quirky, woman who had stolen her best friend’s heart.

Taking in her girlfriend’s discomfort, Willow ended the conversation, but she couldn’t help teasing both women a little further, “You can use your imagination from there.”

Tara sputtered, feeling her face grow even hotter. She wanted to be part of the gang, get to know them all, but Willow had just thrown her in the deep end when she was just starting to wade her way in. Thankfully, Buffy decided not to pursue it any further.

“Um, I’ll pass. Not that you aren’t lovely Tara, just…”

“No explanation needed, or imagining,” some side-eye duly chastised Willow for completely over-sharing.

With a well-practiced pout, Willow gave her best puppy-eyes, “Sorry, baby.”

Maybe the water was warming, because Tara boldly placed her lips on Willow’s, kissing her softly, “Forgiven.” The trio continued walking, but for Willow and Tara, there was nothing and no one else as they glanced coyly at each other.

“Anyway Will,” Buffy spoke up, suddenly feeling like the third wheel, “you seemed all in the T-day spirit this year.”

“Well, this year is special,” A soft glow seemed to emanate from Willow a she stopped again and pulled a dreamy Tara fully into her arms.

Tara’s face was open and beautiful and she fell into adoring green eyes. “Very special,” she whispered, and Buffy would say later that she actually saw love hearts float up between them. They were at their destination, and Buffy was keen to make a smooth exit.

“Ok, love birds, I’m a-hunting,” a slight wave accompanied Buffy’s swift departure.

“Wascally wabbits,” Tara tried to call in response, but her voice remained soft, captured in the intimate world she stood in with Willow.

“You’re so cute.” Willow giggled.

“Shall we?” As one they turned, hands slipping together instinctively. They were silent as they climbed the stairs to their shared room. Tara’s gaze never left the beautiful planes of her lover’s face as Willow unlocked the door. No words were spoken as Tara reached first for Willow’s bag and coat, placing them on a chair, then reached for Willow. Tara continued to study Willow’s features, her forefinger trailing her gaze to caress each brow, each cheekbone, across slightly parted lips. It was a forest fire and ice on a leaf. It was the aurora borealis, awesome and beautiful, and rare. It was Willow. It was them.

The moment overwhelmed her and Tara looked down, watching as slim fingers came into view and slid down the low-cut v in her blouse, slipping under the fabric to trace the swell of her breast. Tara gasped lightly, feeling her nipples harden at the light touch. What had overwhelmed her now ignited. Her skin tingled with want and her body flowed like lava, hot and needy, and liquid. She pulled Willow in fiercely, devouring her mouth with the hunger of a god. Willow felt her knees dip and her senses fall into the heat pulsing between her legs, radiating through every nerve. They fumbled together, clothes torn off and over and down, and fell on the bed, limbs entwined. Their language was low moans and rhapsodic gasps and hot breath that left sonnets on skin. And as they entered each other, held each other in that intimate embrace, as they stroked and kissed and touched, one word came forth, whispered like a benediction, “Love.”

The chill rested against the window glass, unable to penetrate the room where Tara laid with her head on Willow’s chest, listening to the slowing breath as her lover rested. Their bodies were wrapped tightly under a red comforter, limbs crossed over limbs, hands ever caressing.

Willow twirled the ends of Tara’s hair, it was darker than when they met, Tara had grown out the blonde and let her natural honey-color show. It was earthy and warm and, Willow thought, perfectly Tara. She used the tip of hair to tickle Tara’s cheek lightly and Tara giggled, looking up with deep blue eyes heavy with satiety. Willow felt her chest flutter at the look, and then dip when Tara half-smiled. The smile was enigmatic, and it held so many meanings, but Willow had learned to read it. This time that smile meant, ‘Vixen.’

Willow dropped her head and kissed the small upturn of Tara’s crooked mouth, “I’m thankful for you.” Tara paused, letting the words seep in before pressing her lips fully against Willow’s.

“I cannot express how thankful I am for you, darling, how lucky. I- I probably wouldn’t be here right now if it weren’t for you.”

The words alarmed Willow; she shifted and gave a light push under Tara’s arm so they could sit up together, “What do you mean?”

Tara ran her finger over Willow’s brow, smoothing it out, “I mean, I p-probably would have, I probably would have gone home.”

“I thought you were home?” Willow played and Tara kissed her forehead.

“You know what I mean.”

“I don’t think you would have.” Willow’s voice was low and assured. It wasn’t a rebuttal; it was faith in the woman before her.

Tara’s brow crumbled in confusion, she hadn’t yet shared that faith, “But I was going to leave –“

“Only because you thought you’d upset us.”

“I did upset, at least Buffy, I did.” Tara insisted, and there was that look in her eyes, the look of submission to a punishment never earned. Willow sat up, bringing both hands to cup Tara’s face. She held it firmly, waiting to speak until Tara looked at her fully.

“You made a mistake baby, we’ve been over this.”

“I know, and I know everyone forgives me, I just- I don’t know how I will ever repay them.”

“It’s not a loan,” Willow chided softly, tugging slightly at Tara’s waist in a gesture that emphasized how silly Tara was being.

Tara tilted her head in acknowledgment, but she felt indebted to the group, “I know, I just- if it weren’t for you all-“

Suddenly Willow understood and she interrupted before Tara could go on, “You think we saved you?” She watched in empathy as Tara shrugged and then tucked her arms around her torso, sinking into herself.

In the small glow of moonlight, filtered through the foggy glass, Tara was infinitely vulnerable. Tears stung the backs of Willow eyes as Tara sat before her and she wanted to weep because Tara still couldn’t see how strong she was. “No, we stood by you. Because you are loved, because you are our family, and because it was the right thing to do. And you told me you wanted to stay-“

“Of course I wanted to stay.” Tara started, still on shaky ground.

“So, what? We’re just going to let some – your father rip you out of here, no way,” Willow smiled as Tara visibly relaxed, squeezing Willow’s shin once for her almost slip before shifting her body against Willow’s side, her head resting on a welcoming shoulder. Willow placed a kiss on Tara’s head then leaned her cheek against soft hair, “but Tarebear, you made the decision, in the end it was yours to make, and you did. You saved yourself by getting out of there in the first place- which is a story I have yet to hear- and you saved yourself on your birthday. You fought for you, and you make me proud.”

For several moments Tara didn’t move, didn’t respond as she felt the words seep in, and she felt a rush of peace as she let herself try to accept them. When she raised her head Willow was looking at her, waiting. No words could express the way Tara was feeling, but she knew her chest was tightening and tears sparked in her eyes. She simply shook her head, ever so slightly, in awe of the gifts Willow gave her. Tara placed their foreheads together again and left a long kiss back of Willow’s fingers before she finally spoke, “You know my mom used to call me that?”

“Proud?” Willow guessed, knowing it was true whether or not it was the answer.

Tara smiled wistfully and nudged her nose softly against Willow’s, “No, Tarebear.”

“Really?” Willow felt special, connected to the woman who had loved and raised her beautiful girl, but it was potentially becoming Oedipal, so, “Oh, is that weird….”

“No,” Tara breathed out the word, this was so important, “it makes me feel loved.”

“Well then Tarebear,” Willow moved over Tara, straddling the other woman’s lap. They moved in to together and met with parted lips, tasting and connecting and coming home. Willow spoke in gasps between kisses, “since I love you and I want you to feel loved, I will use it every chance I get, Tarebear. Tarebear, Tarebear.” Their lips met again and again and hands roamed clenching and stroking each other’s hair. Tara slowed the kiss and moved her lips to caress Willow’s cheeks and down her jaw. She would touch Willow forever; she would give to her forever. She felt like the words to express what she felt had never been created.

“I love you so much, I just… I can’t even explain…” Hands smoothed over Willow’s shoulders as Tara kept kissing every bit of skin before her.

Willow once again took Tara’s face in her hands, stilling her movements. Their eyes said everything they needed to, “Then don’t, just kiss me.”

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


Last edited by shirrey on Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Thanks Given (one-off)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:38 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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This was so lovely Image You've really captured their sweet, sweet essence and a little spicy Tara is always fun to read :wink

Keep doing what you're doing! You have this lovely soft rhythm to their relationship and I think it will only grow as you continue to write and post. It's so lovely to just read a little burst of something and be able to picture it so vividly and come away with a smile on your face knowing you've felt the characters you love so deeply happy in your heart and theirs.

I always enjoy Tara getting to establish her place in the Scooby world as well, particularly growing her relationship with Buffy, which was one of the few things from S6 I actually enjoyed.

Constructively, you might just want to edit that first part into some space between the lines, that's the only thing I've got because the actual content of the piece was so heartwarming.

Again, so great to see more content and authors on the board. Thank you for adding to and keeping our community alive! :)

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Amber Benson killed me once.

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The Love… Series ... Two For Joy ... Inevitable


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 Post subject: Re: Thanks Given (one-off)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:15 am 
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3. Flaming O
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Wow Laragh, thank you so much :flower .I am really loving writing them and exploring the little behind-the-scenes and their inner workings, Buffy keeps sneaking in and I am liking her there more than I expected haha

Quote:
It's so lovely to just read a little burst of something and be able to picture it so vividly and come away with a smile on your face knowing you've felt the characters you love so deeply happy in your heart and theirs..


I am so pleased it came across vivid and true- that is everything

Quote:
Constructively, you might just want to edit that first part into some space between the lines, that's the only thing I've got because the actual content of the piece was so heartwarming


the spaces! Yikes! thankyou for pointing that out.

Thank you again, for your feedback- I really appreciate it!

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You ARE Magic ~ Tara


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 Post subject: Re: Thanks Given (one-off)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:53 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 225
I love this story! You captured Tara's emotional state shortly after the "Family"-episode very well: the happy feeling of really belonging to this chosen family-like circle giving her security and bringing out more facets of her true self (like "flirty" Tara) and the moments of self-doubt which rear their ugly head still from time to time, like:
Quote:
Tara was sure all eyes were on her, judging her as the embarrassment she was.


Quote:
Tara continued to study Willow’s features, her forefinger trailing her gaze to caress each brow, each cheekbone, across slightly parted lips. It was a forest fire and ice on a leaf. It was the aurora borealis, awesome and beautiful, and rare. It was Willow. It was them.

What a wonderful imagery! :flower

Quote:
The smile was enigmatic, and it held so many meanings, but Willow had learned to read it. This time that smile meant, ‘Vixen.’

Lovely!

Quote:
Suddenly Willow understood and she interrupted before Tara could go on, “You think we saved you?” She watched in empathy as Tara shrugged and then tucked her arms around her torso, sinking into herself.

In the small glow of moonlight, filtered through the foggy glass, Tara was infinitely vulnerable. Tears stung the backs of Willow eyes as Tara sat before her and she wanted to weep because Tara still couldn’t see how strong she was. “No, we stood by you. Because you are loved, because you are our family, and because it was the right thing to do. And you told me you wanted to stay-“

“Of course I wanted to stay.” Tara started, still on shaky ground.

“So, what? We’re just going to let some – your father rip you out of here, no way,” Willow smiled as Tara visibly relaxed, squeezing Willow’s shin once for her almost slip before shifting her body against Willow’s side, her head resting on a welcoming shoulder. Willow placed a kiss on Tara’s head then leaned her cheek against soft hair, “but Tarebear, you made the decision, in the end it was yours to make, and you did. You saved yourself by getting out of there in the first place- which is a story I have yet to hear- and you saved yourself on your birthday. You fought for you, and you make me proud.”

I love that Willow is so attuned to Tara's emotions and helps her to find and realize her inner strength.

Quote:
She would touch Willow forever; she would give to her forever. She felt like the words to express what she felt had never been created.

“I love you so much, I just… I can’t even explain…” Hands smoothed over Willow’s shoulders as Tara kept kissing every bit of skin before her.

Willow once again took Tara’s face in her hands, stilling her movements. Their eyes said everything they needed to, “Then don’t, just kiss me.”

Good concept, love doesn't need explaining! :wtkiss :flower


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 Post subject: Re: Thanks Given (one-off)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:47 pm 
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aaah, you posted more!!

Quote:
“I practically had to sit on Will to make her stay,” Buffy related with a smirk.

“Well it’s a horrible holiday!”Willow protested, wearing her most indignant frown, “all with the yay us! We slaughtered and diseased and took child brides! Let’s celebrate with dead flesh!”

this is adorable, and sooooo them. It's nice to see Buffy and Willow be the young women they really are

Quote:
Buffy feigned betrayal, putting her hand over her heart dramatically, “Not you too?”

Willow smiled smugly as her hand snaked around Tara’s side, “My baby’s got my back.”

“Actually, history’s got your back, sweetie,” Tara clarified before whispering lowly just for her girl, “but I’ll get your back later, and your front if you let me.”

Eyes widening, Buffy stopped dead in her tracks, “Tara! Slayer hearing!”

Oh god, I love everything about this.

I love Buffy walking them safely back to campus, it's such a simple, sweet thing.

Quote:
"It's not a loan."

God, what a great freaking line. It's so hard sometimes to penetrate that kind of thinking, and sometimes repetition is key, other times it's a simple phrase like this to reframe it in a way that makes more sense.

What a wonderful flashback, I'm so glad you're posting :)

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 Post subject: Re: Thanks Given (one-off)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:49 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
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@Will's redemption

Quote:
I love this story! You captured Tara's emotional state shortly after the "Family"-episode very well: the happy feeling of really belonging to this chosen family-like circle giving her security and bringing out more facets of her true self (like "flirty" Tara) and the moments of self-doubt which rear their ugly head still from time to time, like:


Thank you so much!!! I think that insecurity and self-doubt that runs as deep as Tara's is going to show up in vulnerable moments, but she is loving her new family

Quote:
Tara continued to study Willow’s features, her forefinger trailing her gaze to caress each brow, each cheekbone, across slightly parted lips. It was a forest fire and ice on a leaf. It was the aurora borealis, awesome and beautiful, and rare. It was Willow. It was them.


I took a photo once of a set of leaves outlined by ice, it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. and the aurora borealis is tops on my bucket list :)

Quote:
Good concept, love doesn't need explaining! :wtkiss :flower


and I don't think it ever can be adequately

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave feedback!! It's wonderful!!

@Zooeys_Bridge Hey! thanks so much!!

Quote:
I love Buffy walking them safely back to campus, it's such a simple, sweet thing.


Buffy keeps popping up more than I anticipate and I am actually really enjoying writing her

Quote:
God, what a great freaking line. It's so hard sometimes to penetrate that kind of thinking, and sometimes repetition is key, other times it's a simple phrase like this to reframe it in a way that makes more sense.


that's awesome, Rachel- thanks! and it's true, it was a grant :) and thank you for leaving feedback here!!

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


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