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

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 Post subject: Wilderness
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:34 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:37 am
Posts: 148
Topics: 7
Location: Pacific Northwest
Love letter to the Kitten board: I have been on and off this board for about 20 years, mostly as a lurker until the last few years. It has been a haven, not only for a place to honor two characters that have obviously deeply moved us, but as a place where kindness and talent constantly lives. I used to be embarrassed to admit that I read fanfic, the writers here have shown me how foolish that is- there is a treasure of exquisite story telling here and I am so grateful for those gifts. Thank you to mods past and present for keeping this space alive

TITLE: Wilderness
Author: shirrey (Beth)
Rating: PG13 for now
Disclaimer: Characters from BTVS are not mine, nor is any dialogue taken from the show. The rest is.
Spoilers: Begins after Tabula Rasa. Up through mid season 6, will update if that changes
Feedback: PLEASE!! I am new at this. This is my first fanfiction (other drabbles were written as part of this) and my first attempt at long-form fictional writing. Comment, construct, query!!!

Notes: I have about 40,000 words typed for this story so far and am only about halfway done (yikes). I am not sure why I felt the need to take on an epic tale- but the themes in here are ones I have been aching to explore for years, I hope they come through.

This story will have ANGST, it starts in an angsty place on the show- set directly after the events of Tabula Rasa- but my goal is to show a journey of healing and self-awareness. That said, themes of trauma are present- I will put content warnings as needed or requested. Also, both girls are in a bad place in the beginning and not their best selves, It will get better.

The title was inspired by Brene Brown, it doesn't have any relation to the comic of that name expect the main characters

Big huge sloppy thank you to Zooey's bridge (Rachel) for beta'ing and being a rock star of support and encouragement!!! Have you read Lotus??? If not, go now and read it- it's brilliant.




WILDERNESS



“Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending—to rise strong, recognize our story, and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes. This is what happened. And I will choose how the story ends.”- Brené Brown



CHAPTER ONE

Tara’s mind had forgotten how to connect thoughts. Words were futile and the surging emotions were too tangled and twisted to make sense. Her body had served as communicator; it’s language the silent and steady flow of tears as she packed; the near collapse of sorrow as Dawn slammed the door behind her, leaving Tara standing on the front porch alone, shut out; the shaking that rocked her bones as she rode in the backseat of the cab; the trembling of her fingers as she slid the keycard into the motel room’s front door; the numb heaviness in her eyes as she stared.

She had done it. She had left Willow. She had walked away from the person who felt like home. Willow had been her world, Willow’s love and friendship a constant and comforting eddy. That eddy had been swallowed by a maelstrom.

Tara used a tissue to wipe at the streaked mirror in the cheap motel room. Her single box of belongings was placed on a faded wooden side table. She sat at the mirror, trying to undo the series of small ponytails Dawn had given her just this morning. They’d been quirky and cute, and now they made Tara want to scream. There were too many and she just wanted them out.

She pulled impatiently at the tiny yellow rubber bands, their maddening resistance corroding Tara’s attempt to hold herself together. With each painful snap of a band, she felt her anger surge. Betrayal sickened her as hair was torn from its constraints, leaving stolen strands wrapped around the rubber. Each tug was a reminder of the gnawing ache, echoed in her belly. She pulled frantically, her heartbeat matching in a desperate pace as she tried to get through it all.

Every muscle in Tara’s body tensed and trembled as anger and sorrow warred for dominance, demanding release. She clutched at a particularly stubborn tangle, shoving her fingers forcefully through the mass to pull it loose, only managing to tighten the knot at the end and send pain into her scalp. Body on overload, she shot out of the chair. Her hand grasped the water glass beside her and Tara pulled her taut, shaking arm back into a throwing position. “Fuck!” She wanted to throw it, needed to somehow free the emotions raging within her but she couldn’t go through with it and she hated herself for always holding back. Why couldn’t she let go? Shakily, she set the glass back on the table, telling herself she didn’t want to cause a scene, didn’t want the cranky man at the front desk banging on the door. Tara squeezed and pulled at her hands, her body at a breaking point. It began as a low keen, pouring from the place within that is deep and primal. A soul’s lament. Her knee buckled and harsh sobs assaulted her body. Tara lurched herself at the bed, curling herself into the tightest ball she could as the force of her weeping overrode breath and Tara found herself panting as waves of betrayal, grief, and heartbreak overtook her.

The violent release ebbed and Tara sat up and wiped a hand across her tear streaked cheeks. She used the bathroom sink to fill a glass with water, uncaring about the smudges on the glass, and sat back down in the chair in front of the clouded mirror. There, she resumed undoing her hair. A small, pained smile barely touched her lips as she thought of how proud Dawn had been when she’d finished them. And now, every band that was stripped away felt bittersweet. Every loosened strand changed her from the woman who had left just hours ago. Life had changed and every new thing moved her farther away from Willow.

Tara struggled to pull a nightshirt over her head, exhaustion making her clumsy. Gathering a flat pillow and the top layer of a suspiciously brown bed covering she curled into herself at the foot of the bed. She reached lazily for the remote and turned on the TV, looking for something to hold her attention enough to zone out on, to let her mind rest for a moment. Finally settling on a rerun of Friends, she was out within minutes.

The next morning, it had taken every bit of energy Tara could gather to get dressed, not even able to shower, and make her way to UC Sunnydale. She had slept in spurts, waking with a sudden jerk every two or three hours, snippets of dreams staying with her only momentarily. Each time she opened her eyes, the loss was an immediate, tight, and nauseating throb in her abdomen. Tears exhausted her into the next few hours of sleep.

Check-out was at eleven, which meant if Tara wanted to get to the University Housing Department she had to be on the way to their office by 7:30. She wanted to be able to store her things and not lug them with her. Tara rolled over with as little effort as possible to check the alarm clock; forty minutes to try and rest her swollen, tired eyes just a little more.

Thoughts of an alarm clock startled her as she realized that she no longer had one, it had been left with Willow in the room. It was inane and replaceable and left her feeling wounded and bruised. Tears of resignation stung bitterly as they dropped onto her cheeks, slipping over the slope of her nose and melting into the bedspread. She watched the water as it was absorbed into the fabric, thinking of all the things she would need now, now that it was just her again. No more ‘we’.




CHAPTER TWO

Willow’s head was pounding. Blurry green eyes opened and scanned the room, squinting at the faint morning light seeping through the gap in the curtains. With a groan, she laid her arm across her eyes, trying to come to terms with the fact that she was now awake. There was no hesitation of thought, none of that wonderful amnesia that sometimes hovers in the liminal state between sleep and wakefulness. The truth was stark and immediately present- Tara was gone. Her love had packed a box and walked out on her last night, leaving a sobbing Willow tucked into herself on the bathroom floor. Willow winced as she relived it all, her chest tightening as an imaginary fist clutched her breath away.
After the gang had all returned from the Magic Box, and to their own identities, Willow had headed straight for the bathroom. She hadn’t even tried to talk to Tara on the way back, not after seeing the stricken look on Tara’s face. Her beautiful blue eyes were so pained with heartbreak, with betrayal, again; and Willow knew there was nothing she could say.

She had felt like a ghost walking home, keeping a good distance behind the rest of the group. The way they all looked at her, they were so disappointed. They didn’t understand. Why didn’t any of them understand? She had had to make things right, she had screwed up by bringing Buffy back, by erasing the fight she had with Tara, so it was up to her to fix it. Things were going so wrong, after she had tried so hard. It was her mess and she was making things better. She had to fix them.

And now it was worse. Because Xander had stepped on the crystal, breaking the spell. Ok, she had thought, so the spell hadn’t gone right and they would all have probably been vampire food before too long. But, tears flooded her eyes, Tara had still wanted me then, when we didn’t know each other. And now, now that she did know her, Tara had left. Yes, Willow knew she had screwed up, but no one had complained when she was kicking vampire ass left and right when Buffy had been gone. Much. Besides, who else could have, would have, taken up that mantle? Only Willow, and Spike when he was around, stood a chance of keeping this town together.

Willow hadn’t brought Buffy back because she couldn’t handle the slaying, even if that was the excuse she gave to everyone. In truth, she liked being the big gun; she was good at being the big gun. It was stressful for sure, but she was truly confident in herself, for the first time in her life. It was just others who couldn’t handle what sweet little dog geyser Willow Rosenberg had become. Did they wanted to keep her like that, meek and insecure and dependent on them? She couldn’t, wouldn’t, go there again.

No, it wasn’t that at all. She simply missed her best friend. And if she had known? If she had known that Buffy was in heaven and at peace? In her deepest confessions, Willow might admit she still may have brought Buffy back.

Pushing the covers aside, Willow forced her body off the bed. With leaden feet she walked down the stairs, so slowly time wavered, and she continued toward the kitchen for some coffee. Her usually active mind was paused in an echoing numbness. Just get through the day, she urged herself.

As soon as there was enough coffee to pour, she reached out and took the pot from its burner, habitually knowing the flow from the machine would pause. She stood, frozen, fingers curled around the handle, her eyes glazed into a lost stare.

The sound of a startled voice brought her back to the present. Turning she watched Dawn rush across the room and flip the switch on the coffee maker. “What happened?” Dawn stood away from the pool of hot brown liquid now spreading across the kitchen tile. “Willow, are you ok?”

With a blink, Willow realized she had let the coffee brew out of the top of the maker, unable to go anywhere but up as the water kept pouring into the basket. “I, um, I guess I spaced out there for a minute.” Willow continued as she waved her hand over the mess, brown evaporating into the air, "You know me and my brain, always ticking. Well, I guess my heart is ticking, which is a good thing, you know, because the ticking means, yay, I’m alive.” The babble was forced, and both parties knew it.

Dawn watched in growing horror as the soaked coffee filter floated across the kitchen, and a magically opened cabinet revealed the trashcan where the filter was dropped. She looked back at Willow who was now sipping at her coffee as she continued her babble.

“Why do they say the brain’s ticking when it’s really transmitting electrochemical signals? I guess that’s not as catchy or easy to say.” Willow ended in a small grin that was not reflected in her eyes.

“I would have helped you clean that up,” Dawn stated, a look of concern shifting across her features.

The sigh was frustration and disappointment, the tone colder “Are you going to start in on me too?”

“What? No, I just-“The teen stepped back twice, putting distance between them.

“You just think I am overusing the magic, right?” Willow fired without hesitation, defensive anger driving her.

Dawn’s voice was direct but soft, “Are you?”

“Why don’t you ask Tara?” The words flew out, bitter and hurtful, and both girls stared in shock. The fact that she had said them made Willow sick. Tears immediately flooded her eyes as she turned to leave. She pushed against the swinging kitchen door and realized that she had never hated herself more than at this moment.

“Do you care that she’s gone?” It wasn’t an accusation. It was an honest question and it hit Willow all the harder for it, freezing her movement. A moment went by as each woman’s breath caught in trepidation. Then, Willow faced Dawn, her features still. She said no words, but the sorrow revealed in her eyes was so deep, it could never have been communicated. Willow quickly shadowed the truth in her gaze before tearing it away from Dawn and disappeared up the stairs. Dawn wrapped her arm around herself as she heard the bedroom door close.

_________________
You ARE Magic ~ Tara


Last edited by shirrey on Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Wilderness
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:46 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer
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Dibs!! It's here, it's here! C'mon everyone, get in on this good fic!

Admission time: I was so excited to see Wilderness posted on AO3, I completely missed the Brene Brown quote that opens the story and gosh, it just took my breath away. I'm sad to admit I'd never heard of her before, but am now eagerly looking forward to learning about her. Thanks, google!


Quote:
"That eddy had been swallowed by a maelstrom."

An apt metaphor for how the ocean contains multitudes, as do people, and relationships and actions can change for the better or worse. The sea can be a haven that cradles the shore or a stormy nightmare that pulls and drowns without any thought to others' well being. A fit parallel to Willow and her actions on the others, but especially Tara.

The rubber band thing in the hair is still so good

Code:
"Each time she opened her eyes, the loss was an immediate, tight, and nauseating throb in her abdomen."

This would happen to me upon first consciousness, even before my eyes would open. I knew I was awake based on the tumult in my stomach. Anxiety is the worst.

Willow and Dawn lashing out and trading barbes in the kitchen over the same hurt but from completely opposite sides. Ugh, everyone is so broken. Looking forward to the long road of fixing it :)

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 Post subject: Re: Wilderness
PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:41 am 
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5. Willowhand

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Very promising start in one of the angstiest moments of season 6. My heart ached for Tara and Willow both.

Quote:
Thoughts of an alarm clock startled her as she realized that she no longer had one, it had been left with Willow in the room. It was inane and replaceable and left her feeling wounded and bruised. Tears of resignation stung bitterly as they dropped onto her cheeks, slipping over the slope of her nose and melting into the bedspread. She watched the water as it was absorbed into the fabric, thinking of all the things she would need now, now that it was just her again. No more ‘we’.

Very powerful passage!
(Just one tiny criticism: how could Tara know in the passage before that she had "forty minutes to…", if there wasn't an alarm clock to check?)

Quote:
In truth, she liked being the big gun; she was good at being the big gun. It was stressful for sure, but she was truly confident in herself, for the first time in her life. It was just others who couldn’t handle what sweet little dog geyser Willow Rosenberg had become. They wanted to keep her like that, meek and insecure and dependent on them. She couldn’t, wouldn’t, go there again.

This is just so sad. I understand the feeling behind it but there is also an alarming sign of warped perception bordering on paranoia (fearing that "They" - meaning all the Scoobies - want to dominate / control her).

Quote:
And if she had known? If she had known that Buffy was in heaven and at peace? In her deepest confessions, Willow might admit she still may have brought Buffy back.

I can't blame her for that. If I had lost a loved one and had the ability to "bring her back", I couldn't guarantee I would have acted differently. In Willow's defence: I'm sure she felt that if she had been killed and had to leave Tara and the rest of her chosen family behind, she wouldn't have truly felt at peace even in heaven but would have wanted to go back to them. She probably didn't know of / understand the latent death wish Buffy had.

Quote:
“I would have helped you clean that up,” Dawn stated, a look of concern shifting across her features.

The sigh was frustration and disappointment, the tone colder “Are you going to start in on me too?”

“What? No, I just-“The teen stepped back twice, putting distance between them.

“You just think I am overusing the magic, right?” Willow fired without hesitation, defensive anger driving her.

I always felt that was a problem, everyone kept telling Willow she shouldn't use magic in "everyday life" but noone gave a proper reason for it. So Willow felt unjustifiedly chastised and therefore got defiant and wasn't open for discussion about her magic-use anymore when it really counted. In the Harry Potter-verse all adult witches and wizards use magic for everyday-chores (housework etc.) without any problems resulting from that. If it's different in the Buffyverse, where are the magic-books that say so and what reasons do they give? If Giles and / or Tara had shown Willow those books things would have probably turned out much differently.
I guess Willow also thought the more she practiced "useful" magic the better she would get which might help in dire situations.
Then there is the fact that Buffy had her superpowers all the time and of course used them in everyday live as well (heavy-lifting etc.) and none of the scoobies would have thought to reproach her for that (as long as other people weren't around to get suspicious). So I understand that Willow felt it to be unfair that all the others demanded from her to use magic only "in case of emergency".


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 Post subject: Re: Wilderness
PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:59 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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YAY! A new story,...If I may, I want to echo what you said in your intro: I am forever thankful to the moderators and whoever helps them that this board is still up and available. Thank You and Blessings
SO,...very good start, can't wait to see where it goes. Very well written, also, and I am jealous! I've been trying my hand at writing since my recent retirement (I was laid-off, actually and decided to not look for work anymore!).
Keep it up and I WILL be along for the ride.

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[font=][font=]Strength in our arms, truth on our tongue, clarity in our heart[/font][/font]


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 Post subject: Re: Wilderness
PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:47 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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Zooeys_bridge (I FINALLY spelled it correctly!):

Quote:
Dibs!! It's here, it's here! C'mon everyone, get in on this good fic!


you are the best!! :dumbo

Quote:
Admission time: I was so excited to see Wilderness posted on AO3, I completely missed the Brene Brown quote that opens the story and gosh, it just took my breath away. I'm sad to admit I'd never heard of her before, but am now eagerly looking forward to learning about her. Thanks, google!


Brene Brown is brilliant and changing the world

Quote:
Anxiety is the worst.
it really really is

Quote:
Willow and Dawn lashing out and trading barbes in the kitchen over the same hurt but from completely opposite sides. Ugh, everyone is so broken.


the two women who love Tara the most- both their hearts are broken. it makes me sad and I wrote it lol

Thanks so much Rachel!!

Will's redemption:

Quote:
Very promising start in one of the angstiest moments of season 6. My heart ached for Tara and Willow both.


Thank you so much!

Quote:
Very powerful passage!


I think its always those little things that break us the hardest- the things we don't see coming

Quote:
(Just one tiny criticism: how could Tara know in the passage before that she had "forty minutes to…", if there wasn't an alarm clock to check?)


Tara is in the motel room, so there is a clock in there to check, she doesn't have one of her own for when she checks out

Quote:
This is just so sad. I understand the feeling behind it but there is also an alarming sign of warped perception bordering on paranoia (fearing that "They" - meaning all the Scoobies - want to dominate / control her).


I think Willow in this space is all but unable to self-reflect (for definite reasons) and she is reaching out for anything outside of herself for why things are falling apart. That said, I definitely thought on what you said and agree that Willow may wonder about it but most likely wouldn't just go to believing it's true that they wanted to keep her meek. I tweaked it a bit to reflect that. Thanks for pointing it out :)

Quote:
I can't blame her for that. If I had lost a loved one and had the ability to "bring her back", I couldn't guarantee I would have acted differently. In Willow's defence: I'm sure she felt that if she had been killed and had to leave Tara and the rest of her chosen family behind, she wouldn't have truly felt at peace even in heaven but would have wanted to go back to them. She probably didn't know of / understand the latent death wish Buffy had.


this comment is so apropos of your screen name :) and you definitely do not have to defend Willow to me, I don't think she thought everything through and she would still have been choosing for Buffy, which is not ok- but I honestly couldn't guarantee I wouldn't have brought her back too - it's a complicated situation

Quote:
everyone kept telling Willow she shouldn't use magic in "everyday life" but noone gave a proper reason for it.


well, Tara did... although.... this is absolutely an area I will cover so I won't say too much more yet

Quote:
So I understand that Willow felt it to be unfair that all the others demanded from her to use magic only "in case of emergency"


yep, Willow has a point- it was unfair. It's going to be rough for Willow for a bit- it's where she is at this point on the show- but know that I love her

Thanks for the great feedback!!

MotherD:

Quote:
If I may, I want to echo what you said in your intro:


Echo away!

Quote:
SO,...very good start, can't wait to see where it goes. Very well written, also, and I am jealous! I've been trying my hand at writing since my recent retirement (I was laid-off, actually and decided to not look for work anymore!).
Keep it up and I WILL be along for the ride.


Thank you so much!! Congrats on retiring!! I never thought I could write (still have doubts sometimes) just plug at it! The best advice I have ever heard is 'write a shitty first draft'

I am glad you are here for the ride!!





WILDERNESS

Ch 3

All aforementioned disclaimers apply.
NOTE: CW for mention of deceased parent.


I stuttered, Tara thought, shaking her head at herself as she left the building with a set of keys in her hand. I haven’t stuttered like that since Dad… With a shudder she shut the thought down.

She had gotten up to go appeal to the university housing committee, prepared to beg if necessary, for a dorm room, somewhere of her own to stay. It turned out four students had suddenly disappeared just last week, and there was a single available. One really disturbing point for living on a Hellmouth, she thought, her chest heavy and tight as she walked through the campus.
Feeling exhausted and barely able to breathe, let alone beg, Tara had stumbled through her plea. “Um, I n-n-need a place to s-stay. Are there a-any d-dorms avail-available?” The looks she had gotten then, an infuriating and humiliating mix of pity and aversion at her affliction. Looks she hadn’t seen in nearly two years. A week ago, she would have said something about those looks. A week ago, she wouldn’t have stuttered.

She thought she was stronger now. She had stood there, saying the words as best she could as she felt the weight of her new reality. Living alone, in the dorms again. A portion of her mind and all of her heart cried out for Willow. Her Willow. Willow’s love and acceptance had given her the strength to believe in who Willow saw, to believe that Willow’s Tara could be the true Tara. To speak knowing that someone would care about what she had to say, the stutter not even an afterthought.

And the Scoobies, they treated her as if what she was saying was worth listening to. At least after a while they did. Willow had always looked so proud when Tara offered a new view on a situation, or imparted some before unknown knowledge about whatever beast, demon, or mythic rites they were dealing with.

Everything had changed with Willow. She was no longer the girl who walked through the world, furled like a tight fern bud, her shoulders curved forward; arms securely tucked protecting her vulnerable heart. An ever-present veil of hair. Her own personal energy subconsciously reduced to a speck, keeping her hidden from the eyes of the world. Protecting herself.

Tara was aware enough to know that these actions were a product of decades of lessons, often harsh and humiliating, of how to protect herself. But meeting Willow, loving and being loved by Willow, had unfurled her, and Tara had bloomed. And now, one night without Willow, and Tara felt seventeen again. The thing was it wasn’t just losing Willow, leaving Willow. When Tara realized what Willow had done, something had cracked, exhuming pains left buried.

That night, like too many nights in Tara’s recent history, had delivered an overflow of emotions to untangle. They had just learned that Buffy had been in heaven, that they had taken her away from paradise. Everyone was devastated, but Willow was inconsolable. Tara felt it too, the horror, the guilt; and perhaps because she too needed comfort, she laid in bed with Willow wrapped around her, the betrayal she’d discovered just hours before pushed to the side and labeled ‘less important’. Again. But in Tara’s core, Willow’s actions had terrified her and that feeling had lingered and shaped everything that came after.

Walking the long way back to the motel, to clear her head and, truthfully, to avoid running into someone she knew, Tara felt like she was in a daze. Her world had been turned upside down abruptly, like an undiscerning older brother, flipping his toddler sister by her heels. She was lost and she was scared. She felt seventeen.

She stopped on the way into a drug store for an alarm clock, some deodorant, and some cherry popsicles. Finally reaching her destination, Tara gathered her box of belongings, most still packed away, and checked out.

She treated herself to a cab back to Dormer Hall, not because she felt like she deserved it, but because she didn’t care about spending the little money she had. It’s not like she’d be using it to eat anytime soon. Thinking of food made her abdomen seize and forced a shaft of air that stuck in a ball at the base of her throat. The only thing she could possibly fathom were the popsicles, her mother had always given her one when she was sick; it had made her feel better then. She wished she could talk to her mom. Tara was thankful the cab driver wasn’t chatty as she stared out of the dirt splattered window, focusing on nothing.

She fumbled for her keys, not wanting to set down- and pick up- her belongings again, and opened the door to the dorm her grants paid for, thankful that one had been available. She had wanted to hold on to her old dorm. “Just in case” she had said to Willow, uncertain that her place at the Summers’ house would be permanent. In the end, she had acquiesced to the barely concealed terror in Willow’s voice when she had questioned Tara’s need for the room. Large green eyes had silently pleaded for reassurance- of her, them; and Tara knew she would give up the space for Willow. Now, Tara couldn’t help but wonder if she had somehow known she’d need it.

Tara took in her new home; the empty walls a blank canvas- echoing loneliness. She unpacked her single box, determined to make things as normal, as comforting as they could be, to deafen the starkness with blankets and color. It was worse than the motel room- at least that had a TV to try and block out the thoughts. But she would make it hers.
She had taken one sheet, her star-covered blanket, and her pillow with her; these went onto the bed first. She placed her books on the pine desk that was included with the lightly furnished room. Her shoulders tightened as she set a few candles and placed crystals next to them. Clothes were folded reverently and placed in thin drawers. With careful hands, she placed the picture of her mom, bright and beautiful, on the nightstand.

Tara hadn’t brought a picture of Willow, or herself and Willow, with her. She couldn’t see that face right now, that beautiful, adoring, deceitful face. She missed that face already.
With nothing left to do, she sat on the edge of her newly adorned bed. Hands grasped in a ball, resting in her lap, she stared at the blank wall in front of her. A sudden force of sobs ripped through her, making her feel dizzy with lack of air; spinning, wild thoughts adding to her internal chaos. She lay down and curled up on the left side, knees tucked into her chin, blanket pulled tight, swaddling her in stars, and wept until the thoughts eased and she was captured by sleep.

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You ARE Magic ~ Tara


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 Post subject: Re: Wilderness
PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:52 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer
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Dibs again!


Augh, Tara reflecting upon how far down she's gone with the stutter. Us knowing the fact that she's still opening her mouth to speak speaks to how much strength she truly has.


Quote:
Now, Tara couldn’t help but wonder if she had somehow known she’d need it.

Oof. That hits. And hurts. I wonder too, if somewhere deep down, Tara had thought she might. That something might go wrong. I'm sure at first it came from a lack of self-worth, which is heartbreaking on its own, but then the sneaking subconscious suspicion that Willow's attitude towards magic would prove unhealthy.

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 Post subject: Re: Wilderness
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:28 am 
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5. Willowhand

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
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Poor Tara! My heart again ached for her!

Quote:
A portion of her mind and all of her heart cried out for Willow. Her Willow. Willow’s love and acceptance had given her the strength to believe in who Willow saw, to believe that Willow’s Tara could be the true Tara. To speak knowing that someone would care about what she had to say, the stutter not even an afterthought.

That felt like equal parts :cry and :flower.

Quote:
She was no longer the girl who walked through the world, furled like a tight fern bud, her shoulders curved forward; arms securely tucked protecting her vulnerable heart.

But meeting Willow, loving and being loved by Willow, had unfurled her, and Tara had bloomed.

Beautiful imagery!

Quote:
She had wanted to hold on to her old dorm. “Just in case” she had said to Willow, uncertain that her place at the Summers’ house would be permanent. In the end, she had acquiesced to the barely concealed terror in Willow’s voice when she had questioned Tara’s need for the room. Large green eyes had silently pleaded for reassurance- of her, them; and Tara knew she would give up the space for Willow.

I'm wondering what Tara meant with "Just in case" - Willow obviously read out of it "Just in case our relationship won't last" and therefore panicked. And although Tara did "give up the space for Willow" afterwards, the seed of doubt (Tara doesn't believe in us, Tara already planned for a breakup) had already been sown in Willow's mind, probably influencing her later behaviour at least subconsciously.


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 Post subject: Re: Wilderness
PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:07 am 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Location: Maryland
I'm really digging this story and Tara's perspective on the breakup. Can't wait for the next chapter.

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 Post subject: Re: Wilderness
PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:32 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

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I have been craving a new fic that fills in the spaces between what happened. Willow and Tara's story, to me, is an old house that I love dearly. It's filled with memories that are wonderful and some that are painful. When someone strips it down to its foundation and builds their own structure you can still feel and appreciate what was there and fill the house with new and wonderful memories.

The start of this story (and the little teaser you posted) are amazing and I can't wait to continue on this new adventure you are sending us on.


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 Post subject: Re: Wilderness
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:54 pm 
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20. Not one Much for the Timber
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Hi Shirrey-

Geat start! I'm really looking forward to reading your take of those months after Tabula Rasa, especially from Tara's POV. One of my biggest gripes after that episode was, Where the hell is Tara? So, I'm glad to see that you're giving it the life it deserves. Can't wait for more!

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