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

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 Post subject: "The Garland Days" (Completed 09/05)
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 4:43 pm 
The Garland Days





Author’s note: This story is set in 1967. I have taken a LOT of liberty with the Buffy storyline. History, I have left alone…mostly.



It was pointed out to me by a friend, that I could write a much longer, more meaningful story about the subject/subjects this story involves. This is true, of course. But what I first imagined this story to be was two things: a brief but heartfelt thank you to those who gave up so much in the past. And a W/T love story…preferably ending with smut. The thank you, I hope, honors the courage of those who came before us. The love story, I also hope, honors them too. It is not a comprehensive thank you, nor a detailed exploration of the past…it’s just a glimpse. I hope no one is offended by that.



One more thing: In the wake of September 11, I feel a little guilty writing a story that makes police officers seem like anything less than heroes. I believe they are. But they are also a group of human beings, and unfortunately bigotry and abuse of power are very human traits. MANY people, back in the day, believed homosexuality was wrong and should be punished or medically treated. This does not mean I think that many or even ALL police officers agreed with or acted on those sentiments. Nonetheless, the events that I have written about here are based on historical fact.





Title: The Garland Days

Part: 1/9

Email address: mariacomet@hotmail.com

Feedback: Feedback is fuel for the imagination.

Distribution: Just let me know.

Spoilers: Everything before and including season five.



Rating: NC-17. There will be…Adult situations. I deal with some very dark themes as well as some very light themes.



Disclaimer: All characters contained herein were created and are owned by Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Legally, yes he owns them all. But I have the right to hold the opinion that he doesn’t deserve them anymore. I am only doing this because well...it's fun to play with Willow and Tara. Not making any money.



Special Thanks: This one is for: The kittens of the past, the drag queens, anyone who has ever been called a ‘faggot,’ a ‘homo’ or anything else derogatory for being who you are, the transsexuals, and all those that have ever dared to not conform to what was ‘normal.’



Very Special thanks: Also…to the mcmittens…who are a darn patient bunch. As a writer, I find that there are very few ways that I can thank you all save...er...writing. So what I decided to do was...um...write. Write a little something besides Stone Circle, that was shorter and not quite as intensive. And that had smut. I *would* send you all chocolates, but ya know...I'm broke.





May, 1967



It was a bad idea all the way around. But Sabrice, Sabby to her friends, had insisted. Which was why Tara now found herself trying to blend into the wall at one of the vilest, loudest, most backwater places she could have ever dreamed of. She considered herself to have a vivid imagination and she didn’t really need it because she’d also heard all the stories about this place. Yet she’d still been unprepared. Somehow her image of a place women would willingly gather didn’t involve somewhere infested with bugs, and smelling of a mixture of old beer and stale perfume. The floor was sticky, and the walls weren’t much better.





Tara wasn’t a snob, and had never been a prude. Reserved maybe, never a prude though. But she’d been surprised. This was where Sabby came every weekend? Sabby, whose idea of roughing it was wearing faux pearls instead of her real ones? Looking around, she thought to herself again that she was surprised that anyone – especially women – willingly came here. But that was the point, wasn’t it? It was why her friend was so adamant about frequenting her usual weekend spot, despite the trouble as of late. ‘Willingly’ didn’t enter into it; that would have implied choice. Dive or no dive, this place represented a public place where lesbians could meet openly. There were two places like this one in town – the other was mostly tolerant of anyone who had money – no matter what their preference. But this one, was more of an unofficial gay bar. Unofficial because officially places like this didn’t exist. It would be illegal, after all. Still, no one who came here wanted a ‘straight’ encounter. And most of the people who came were women.



But the police had been ‘cracking down,’ Sabby had noted. Usually she didn’t come here

alone. Usually one of Tara and Sabby’s two other roommates would have been happy to come with her. But this weekend, there was only Tara who was around. Tara – the quiet one of the four of them. Here she was, though. Because she wasn’t about to let her friend and roommate come alone. Not with all that was happening. All that had happened.



Everyone knew the story. The police had ‘arrested’ a few women from the bar. Only these women had never actually made it to the police station. All of them had been released just a few hours later. One beaten within an inch of her life…and the others…well, they hadn’t said too much. They hadn’t had to. Others had heard the policemen’s laughing voices detailing exactly what the women ‘needed’ as they loaded the ‘suspects’ into their cars.



Everyone knew the story.



Everyone knew what had happened...



And yet the entire bar was packed. As usual. In her heart, Tara thanked every single one of these women, grateful for them – knowing inside herself that she owed them. That many others might owe them…later.



So here she was.



She noted the division of strict butches and femmes that her friend had warned her about. Butches with short hair, some with ties, some in leather – the ones who were supposed to be the aggressors. They were, Tara had been told, the ‘males’ and rulers of this environment. Many had even declared turfs, and would fight to keep them if necessary.

The femmes sat, waiting, many of them looking over to some of the butches who were leaning up against the wall, and giggling softly.



Tara sighed. She didn’t fit in here. Not even here. Not really. Her clothes, if one was being kind, would be called ‘frumpy.’ She was in slacks and a bulky sweater. She didn’t qualify as a butch or a femme. Plus, she didn’t want to be pursued which might have been why she wore them… Subconscious choice? In fact, she hated when strangers were aggressive around her. She never knew how to react to that sort of thing. And there was the stutter. Also, she had this nervous, winding-the-ends-of-her-blond-hair-around-her-finger thing going on.



Sabby, who was decidedly a femme, had been the cause of a fight between two butches a few weeks ago. She’d relayed the story with a few squeals of delight. Tara didn’t want anyone fighting over her. All in all, she didn’t want to be noticed at all. She was sitting alone, which didn’t help. Her friend had deserted her about thirty minutes ago. Which she had expected if she was honest… Because Sabby was just a year old, gay wise, and sometimes….when you discovered something about yourself, you really enjoyed the whole process of the discovering. Tara’s journey to knowledge had been much quieter. She’d had a dream. A series of dreams, really.



Soft arms surrounding her, soft hands running down her pale back. Eyes…she couldn’t place the shade of green. Lighter than emerald. She felt her breath catch involuntarily. Remembering the dreams, now silent for over five years, always did that to her. She’d never actually acted on any of her inclinations toward women. She’d been tempted a few times…but then an image of the eyes would hover in her mind and she knew… She was in love with a pair of kind eyes that floated in the distance. There was no substituting the fiery, loving gaze that had been gifted to her in the dream. Nothing matched the feel of those arms, slender and strong. The warmth there was so real. There was something about the warmth of someone holding you – mind, body and soul. Safe, so safe. So safe you could burn and twist in that fire as you never had before. So protected, you could reach a place where nothing – not sound, not emotion, not thought - was held back.



She was lonely for a heart she’d only met when she was sleeping. That was her life: sleeping. Withdrawn from the world. Or it had been. She’d decided to leave. To leave and go to college. Not that there were all that many opportunities for women outside the home. Women were still very much expected to raise children, and stay in the kitchen. It was the natural order of things, many believed, for the female of the species to serve the male. Which, perhaps, was why so many of them were threatened by a place like the one she sat in. There was an unspoken suggestion in it’s existence that women could have and hold their power outside of the permissions of men. It mattered in a million small ways.



One of Tara’s gifts was vision. Both mystically…and…well… just the plain, logical ability to see. The Second World War had been over for just twenty-two years. It had changed the face of the workplace. It had put ideals and theory into practice. Maybe timing was everything, or maybe women had truly earned the respect of even the more stubborn of their cohabitants in America. Maybe both. The 19th Amendment had passed just forty or so years before a war that would require many men leave home to fight for their country, leaving home to be maintained by those left behind. Not that all women had stayed home. And perhaps, they too, were changers of more than they knew. Grit went a long way. Tara smiled softly in a memory. Her grandmother had used to say that.



The same grandmother who gave her the doll’s eye crystal and told her about magic. Not her Daddy’s favorite relative.



Tara Maclay was a witch. She didn’t let anyone know that though. Her grandmother had warned her not to be fooled, had instructed her to use her vision to see clearly what was, not what she hoped could be.



Beneath everything in a changing world, there was fear. Men saw roles changing, and though they might be helpless to stop the avalanche, many would try. Try with all their might and all their strength. Others would sit by, silently, hoping they succeeded, even if they didn’t raise a finger themselves.



It was a very…volatile time.



Tara could see it, and she worried for her friend because maybe… Maybe she didn’t see it quite so clearly. More than that, she had told herself in a pep talk before coming here, she wanted to be part of what was happening. She wanted to be, in her own small way, one of the brave ones who changed things. It was risky to come out to one of these bars. There were often men outside ready to taunt, or throw things at the patrons. If they were lucky. Sometimes they did more. There were police who invoked minor sodomy laws on many gay men, and tried to use fear and dominance against lesbians. Tara knew, she’d sat in on several meetings in the city. She attended them regularly, helping to make flyers, and pass them out. Helping to set up chairs before a meeting and take them down afterwards. She kept herself as knowledgeable as she could. But she didn’t think she’d done much to fight, to change things. Not really.



Small steps, she supposed.



And being single.



A non-practicing lesbian. Did that even exist? Did it make any sense?



Well, she sighed to herself, at least she had her books. Lesbian novels had just started coming out a few years ago. They always went the same way. Girl leaves boy. Girl is seduced by girl. Girl dies…or goes back to boy. There was never a happy ending - not for the two women. Love was never enough. The stories were...something though. A depiction of romance – even though it was a tragic romance. Something…like her life. Something like her feelings. Something…that validated the way she felt. The books always left her feeling disquieted and sad. But she had a stack of them, and read each one that she could find.



There had to be more than that, of course. So she told herself, but with so few examples around her – it felt like more of a wish than a reality. A hope she held close, held tight. She believed many of the women around her felt the same. They had no guarantees, none of them. They were trying to pave a road many people didn’t even want to exist, one they had been told again and again led to ruin, pain and death. But they refused to believe. That did not mean they disbelieved. Only that they hoped. Hoped there was more.



More than now. More than the thousand little ways you could be punished if you were ‘different.’ Gays and lesbians could expect entrapment from the police. The psychiatric community labeled them as psychopaths. The government banned any such moral perverts from serving in a government job, or the military. Homosexual publications could be ‘held’ by sudden enforcement of the Comstead Act. But things were changing. Meetings were held. Publications did make it out. People were speaking, refusing to be silenced.



Tara wasn’t so good with the speaking out. But she could sit in a bar that had been the subject of police harassment and look after her friend. That she could do.



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



Willow Rosenberg was a reporter, and a damn fine reporter at that. It was just…well…no one knew it. They all would, she told herself time and time again. Sooner or later. Just as soon as her editor-in-chief got his head out of the very dark place it was located, and looked twice at one of her independent stories.



Which would be soon.



No, really.



It could even be tomorrow.



And then she would escape – the “Woman are Lovely” beauty column. Her bane. Her tribulation. Her column. It wasn’t that there were NO women reporters. It was just that they were rare. Alright, rare she could work with, she had assured herself of that when choosing journalism. Rare just meant ‘try harder’ after all.



Four years later, she was at her wits’ end with the ‘trying’ part. She would like to be in the ‘doing’ part, now, thanks. It didn’t help that her editor gave her those verbal pats on the head and kept talking to her about finding a good man for her. Feminism was lost on the man. She’d patiently explained to him that marriage was the farthest thing from her mind, that right now she wanted to focus on her career. However, he’d dismissed her words, insisting she would change her mind. After she met the right guy.



She’d considered kicking him in the shins.



It was Xander, who she had once considered the right guy, who had given her the latest story idea. He was in the local police force. He’d heard some rumors about what had happened at a local bar called ‘Leena’s.’ Just talk. He told her, in a rare show of seriousness for the wisecracking young man, that what he’d heard had turned his stomach. Cops using their badges to blackmail, and terrify – and loving it when they did both. Against people that were deemed outcasts. He’d been telling Willow about the incidents as his friend. But her reporter instincts had perked right up. That and her own outrage. Which was what drove her reporter’s nose in the first place.



He hadn’t meant to give her any ideas. Yet here they sat, he in a squad car, she gathering exactly three No. 2 pencils, two ballpoint pens, and a new product she’d found out about called ‘Liquid Paper.’ It smelled horrible, but it helped her not have to erase, which was a good thing. Erasing created messiness, and Willow messiness meant re-writes. Many re-writes.



Until it was perfect.



Xander adjusted his police cap, and looked at her warily. “You sure about this?”



“I think it’s a good story.”



“It is.” He agreed gently. “But Will, there’s a reason those women didn’t file complaints. No one is gonna do anything. And it’s very likely that not only will this article not see the light of day, but your editor will can you for trying to bring light anywhere near it.”



“What will women in this city do without my helpful ‘use baking soda to clean tarnished silver jewelry’ tips!?”



“It’s not funny, Will. It can be dangerous to be labeled as…”



Her eyes narrowed ever so slightly. “As…?”



He fumbled a bit under her agitated gaze. “Well, one of those people.” She huffed but he went on quickly. “Look, I say ‘live and let live.’ And believe me…I do NOT have a problem with the idea of two women together. As for the two men thing…there was that demon that had a crush on me. And we think it MIGHT have been male, right?”



“It was hard to tell.” Willow noted, thinking back.



“And I wasn’t bothered by the crush…as much as the fact that the crush entailed ripping my heart from my chest.”



She patted his shoulder. “You know how these summer romances go.”



“Willow, what I’m getting at is, it might change how people treat you.”



“You think I don’t know that?” She asked quietly.



“I’m not sure you really get it. It’s hard to get until you get, ya know?” He leaned back and regarded her levelly. “I’m proud of being a cop. And I owe you. You’re the reason I got through the police exams. I’m proud of what most of us do for this city. I have to believe it’s just a few guys…who take it so far. But there’s pressure too. I mean, the city officials, the Police Commissioner, none of them want this place here. They pressure us to…do something. I’ve heard them say it. So some of the guys figure they make a few arrests down here, it will get the heat off their backs so they can do their real jobs. And there’s the law. Not so much with women and women…but with the guys. There are laws. We have to uphold the law even when we might not agree. It’s still the law.”



Willow shook her head slowly, but her expression was gentle. He’d been struggling with this for a while. She’d waited until he’d officially given her the okay to go ahead with what he’d told her. It had taken him awhile. “That’s not the same as entrapment, and it’s not the same as abuse.”



“Yeah, I know.” He agreed. “Talking too loud about the wrong thing, they could decide I’m one of…they could give me one helluva rough time. But…I can deal with that.” He squared his shoulders. “I told the Chief what I thought. He doesn’t want to hear it. So I figured maybe there’s another way. Actually I figured that months ago. I’m tired of figuring. And I know you’ll be fair. To everyone.”



She looked at him and was proud of him. Of what he’d become. The man he’d grown into. “You know that he’ll suspect you came to me in the unlikely event anyone does print this story. I thought about using a pen name, but even then…they’ll probably know who talked.”



He shrugged like it was nothing. It wasn’t. They both knew it. The police were a pretty tight knit community. Right or wrong, they didn’t like it when one of their own told ‘family’ secrets. “Worse they can do is fire me, or make me wanna quit. Either way, it wouldn’t be the first time.”



“You love this job.”



“I love other things more.” His tone grew soft and wistful but proud. She knew what he was thinking of without having to ask. The years often did that between friends.



“Buffy taught us.” Willow agreed, and it answered his concerns in a way nothing else could have.



The Slayer had died four years before, saving them – saving everyone. Buffy had indeed changed their lives. She had closed a gateway between dimensions and she’d closed the Hellmouth. It had cost her a life that had lasted much longer than that of any other slayer. Even so, it had been so short. It had touched her friends, those she left behind, profoundly. At their best, they carried Buffy with them. At their worst, her memory inspired them to try again. They loved her, would always love her, and perhaps because of her they – and Giles - would always love one another. Always be bound as family. She had given them that. She had given them faith in their ability to fight for what mattered, for what was good.



Which is why they both were willing to put themselves on the line. Not against demons, now. But inside of the world, they had both been part of saving.



The hardest thing in this world, the slayer had said to them all before leaving them, is to live in it.



He squeezed her hand. “Watch your butt in there.”



She shot him a grin over her shoulder. “You know, maybe it’s ego, but I’m kinda hoping others are watching it for me.” The words made him raise his eyebrows in surprise.





Still insecure after all this time, Xander thought, but didn’t say it. His fellow police officers often asked him for an introduction to his friend. No one got the whole platonic thing between Willow and him.



They’d started down another path once, but then he’d cheated on her with the kind of woman he’d always thought he’d wanted. He’d been a fool, of course. He’d broken Willow’s heart. She’d slapped him. He’d been surprised. He hadn’t thought any kind of violence was in Willow. Ever. Her heart was so giving. That was the point though, he’d broken that heart. He’d betrayed that heart. There was no going back after some things. She had forgiven him eventually. It had all been about his fear that he would never fit in, never succeed. He’d hurt her, because he had never felt good enough to be hers. Water under the bridge. All of it so long ago. She shouldn’t have forgiven him. In her place…he didn’t know what he’d have done. But eventually…she’d come to him, tears in her eyes, and asked if he was sorry.



He hadn’t been able to talk then. He’d told her already. Or at least he’d tried. He tried then too, to give her the words that she so richly deserved. The words, heavy with his guilt and their own inadequacy, stuck in his throat. She’d never been able to believe the best about herself. His actions had only made things worse, and he hated that. Because it hadn’t been her failure. It had been his. He’d tried to tell her all that. So that even if she hated him for the rest of his days, at least she wouldn’t be marked by him in a way that added to her own self doubt. But despite all he wanted to say, all he knew he should say, “Please…Will…” was all that came.



“Okay,” She’d said, her voice tight with her own emotions. “I need time, Xander.”



Finally it came. “I’m sorry. I never…I never wanted to hurt you. I know what I did…and I don’t expect…slime-based life forms don’t deserve girlfriends. But I don’t want to lose you. I don’t know what I would do…without you.” If it had been any other guy who had done this to Willow, he’d have tried his hand at beating them up. But it had been him. The one guy in all the world that should have protected her. He knew, very well, how special she was.



She’d turned to go, but though she hadn’t turned turn back, she’d said three more words. “I love you.” She’d whispered. It hadn’t been platonic or romantic. It lived in all the spaces between those two frameworks. It went beyond their limitations.



“I love you too.” He’d said.



He still owed her for all that, he thought, coming back to himself. One day…one day he’d find a way to make it all up to her.



“I’m just saying.” Willow was continuing. “It’s nice to be, ya know, noticed.”



“Ya tramp, ya.” He teased. She waggled her brows up and down and they both laughed. It amazed him how at ease she was with the jokes about her sexuality. A lot of people wouldn’t be. But that was Willow…she always saw with her heart, first. “I’ll keep a lookout. If there’s any trouble…”



“You’ll give the signal, I know.” She made a mock mouth out of one hand. “Blah blah blah. You’ve told me twenty times in the last fifteen minutes.”



“You used to tell me things twenty times, and write me notes.” His brow creased.

“And there was that one time you made me tie a string around my hands. Not my finger, my hands.” Willow coughed. “Pink string.” Xander went on, eyeing her with more than a little growing suspicion. “And then you made me stand on Main Street and wait for an hour, showing people that picture…” Willow hummed and inched away from the car. “Hey!”



“Hell hath no fury,” Willow said with mock solemnity and then scooted off.



“Hey!” Xander called out after her. “You big faker…you big string faker.” Several women entering the bar turned and looked in his direction, leveling a look at him as if he was the oddest of all oddballs in the area. He blushed and sank down in his police car seat.

Edited by: mariacomet at: 9/6/04 2:12 pm


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - The Garland Days
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 5:31 pm 
Oh MC the much anticipated story. I really enjoyed the situation you have going here. It's very dark, but also WAY different than all of the other fics I've read about Willow and Tara. And yet I feel that I can relate to it already.



Fascinating start with Tara waiting for Willow, sure about her sexuality but a non-practicing lesbian. That made me chuckle.



And Willow about to enter the club and get much more than the story she is looking for.



Very eager to read the next 5 parts. (Hugs) Thank you for this :)



Cheese. It's milk that you chew.



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - The Garland Days
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 6:43 pm 
MC:
Quote:
There was an unspoken suggestion in it’s existence that women could have and hold their power outside of the permissions of men. It mattered in a million small ways.
Succinct and powerful...I esp. liked the last part - hence the Big Bold.:)



I'm grateful for this fic on several levels. First and foremost it reminds me of the sacrifices of people who dared to challenge convention (far and sadly too often with tragic consequences). Second I realize that every now and then I learn something new about my gender's contributions in the far-distant 40's. Whether its "A League of Their Own" or a PBS documentary on women pilots who ferried fighter planes overseas to their male analogs in combat. It was easy - growing up - to think that "Rosie the Riveter" was an almost bizarre exception to the June Cleaver types of that era. If so there were a ton of such exceptions - and I thrill at being reminded of that fact. Thank you.:love



Actually I think Willow's column title is ironically apropos!;) In fact the name could stay the same - just change the content drastically!:clap



You are so generous with the presents! It's Christmas in May! - Hooray!:bounce



I'm wishing you a wonderful summer of love and fun with your sweetheart *in advance*...just in case I (insensitively) forget!



~Suse



"Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own." ~ Robert Heinlein ('Stranger in a Strange Land')



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - The Garland Days
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 7:20 pm 
Okay, I'm hooked... Like that's a shock. You write, therefore I read :p I love AU stories and this has a very interesting premise.



Thanks for writing!

-shuyaku





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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - The Garland Days
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 8:57 pm 
New story!!!



LOL i loved it when Willow said the whole bit about the polishing silver. :lol



Oh, Tara. Such a young person, what is she doing with that crazy roommate?



On definitely want to read the rest of the fic.:smash :smash



-Will

"I think finding her soulmate would have made Tara a more confident and secure person" -Amber Benson



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - The Garland Days
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 1:30 am 
:hmm



this reminds me....



really good fic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



:clap



:pride



:letter

Willow (with pointy ears): "NO kissing and gay love?!!!! That's illogical!" The Sci-Fi Bard W/T trekkie ramblings.



Bardlet no #27



"Why Mother because I won't be baking cookies for the mental patients at the county Hospital?" Alex It's In The Water



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - The Garland Days
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 8:52 am 
Thanks everyone,



I'll see you all tomorrow with another update.







Puff Well, I'm not sure how 'anticipated' the story has been, but thank you. :heart



It will be dark, in parts. I think given the time line I have chosen it is unavoidable. But it won't be PITCH dark. And I'll leave a light on for ya. The piece is just a glimpse into a world...and mostly I keep the focus on W/T.



Quote:
And Willow about to enter the club and get much more than the story she is looking for.




Heh. heh. heh. You aren't kidding!



*HUGGGGGSSS back to you and yours*



Cindy Lou Who - It's kind of hard for me to write about what men think or don't think. Since...ya know, I'm not a man. And I certainly wasn't a man back in the 1960's. So I always feel like I might be overgeneralizing. Which might be the nature of the beast. I'm not sure.



Also, there's a expressing a dislike toward men, which I don't feel. I don't believe most men back in the day were insenstive chauvinists. I believe that most men were used to things being a certain way. One weird thing, I think, about human beings is even though everything is change, and everything changes - we constantly seek consistency. People and things that are different threaten us - in general. So I believe men got used to being in control...and here were all these movements that were gaining real power and threatening that. So a lot of men tried to keep things the same, figuring this was the 'best' way. Or at least, that's what I think.



I'm rambling again.



Moving on...



Anywho...Thank you, thank you, thank you for the well wishes for me and mine. :flower





shuyaku You read, therefore I am thankful. It's all a vicious circle.



This story should be fun in parts, a bit of wincing in others...but then more fun. And you don't have to wait 200 pages for a first kiss. :bounce



willntlover LOL....I actually put in that tip to tease one of our beloved fellow kittens. I'll put in a couple other ones as we go on.



Quote:
On definitely want to read the rest of the fic.




Good! It's always disheartening to hear things like 'I wouldn't read more of this fic if my life depended on it.' :wink I'm glad you're into it! Thanks for reading.



the vamp nurd reminding people, is partly what I want to do. And also, I want to give people W/T kisses.



Thanks for reading.



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - The Garland Days
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 1:56 pm 
Wow new story. I like your take on the matter.



It can still be hard to be "out in the open" these days but i can't even imagine how it would have been back then.

So far you have written it great.



Hope for more soon!!



Renate



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - The Garland Days
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 5:55 pm 
TareBearRS - That's a really good point about it still being hard to be out in the open today. It's something that I know I struggle with almost daily. I was thinking this morning about how far we have come and how far we have to go.



A perfect example is the US military. Don't ask, don't tell is better then it was, but it's still not acceptance by any stretch of the imagination. I think there are a lot of heroes in the fight for Gay Rights and many are out there TODAY.



So thank you, thanks a really good point.



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 Post subject: thanks much for writing this
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 7:44 pm 
yeah im really enjoying where this story is going.. life has been hard for me too cuz im 15 and i have a girlfriend.. we get teased and ridiculed almost everyday. its always gunna be hard to be "out of the closet" past, present, and future... until people become more accepting of things..



continue and i shall read :) loveing the story :) :) :)



much love :pride



-bindingwiccan



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 Post subject: This is amazing
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 8:34 pm 
Thank you very much for writing this. It's amazing, beautiful, incredible. I'm not a huge fan of AU fic, but this has got my vote. You write Buffy fic very nicely, the characterization and background is perfect. My kingdom for an update soon-ish?



:wink



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 Post subject: Re: This is amazing
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 10:00 pm 
hi
First.. I like your story and the setting.. as TaraBear had said:
It can still be hard to be "out in the open" these days but i can't even imagine how it would have been back then.

so true..
Second.. I can't wait for willow's eagerness leads her to. I'm thinking she'll get more than an article to write
Thank you for writing this story.. Can't wait for more
Red Jassy



Don't you understand? That everything I do, I do for you? Anything that might be special in me...is you.

---GREAT EXPECTATIONS



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 Post subject: once upon a time
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 6:27 am 
Interesting to read a fic in that timeframe, even though it's not a very nice time to be gay in :( . Heck, being a woman taking her own decisions was hard in that time... men didn't know how to handle that. I think that didn't last that far into the 1960's, at least here in Europe.



Has been some time since I graduated on that topic though (feminism 1930-1975). Women were supposed to be subservant, not too noticable and such. Coming out not only drew attention to the woman herself but it also made men feel 'not needed', here comes the insecurity....:D



I think most of the not-so-good reactions were motivated by insecurity more than mean-ness, men (and people in general) like to feel needed. People don't like drastic changes in life, as a rule :-). Those police officers who appearantly beat up and/or raped several lesbians qualify for 'mean', they probably like to beat up women and gladly use them being gay as an excuse to do so. Evil people, thats what they are... police or not.



I liked Willow's introduction, she IS a good reporter. At least she has the potential to be one, stuborn as she is in finding facts and all :D .



As much as I can understand why the world behaved the way it did back in the 60's, I still find myself amazed at some of the horrendous acts commited. Even worse, the people committing them sometimes even thought they were morally right to do so. Yech. I'm much more with the 'life and let life' attitude.



Tara can use something to spice up her life, she comes across like a shy wallflower. A bit sad to read really, made me feel sorry for her. She deserves some fun in life at least.



Enough rambling for now.



Grimmy

--

She(Tara) knew that she was Willow too. If she knew that then why hadn't Willow herself? That wasn't fair. She was Willow. she should have known that first. -- Willow in _Sidestep Chronicle_ (part 80)



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 Post subject: the password
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 3:03 pm 
Everyone:



Just a note to let you know I will be posting in just a bit. In about an hour or so. Thanks all for reading!



bindingwiccan I think that it's great that at 15, you have the courage and sense of self to know who you are and be willing to 'fight' for it. I think you and your girlfriend are pretty darn wonderful.



At 29 (and a couple years) I still have trouble feeling 'safe' sometimes. And I react to that - sometimes - by keeping a part of myself hidden. But I'm doing much better about that. And I'm grateful that some many have fought, do fight...to be accepted. Because it makes a difference. I really believe it does.



notl33t Thanks for all the kind words. Characterization is alll kinds of important to me too. I love W/T because they ARE W/T...so I try and write stories where the characters 'feel' alive.



And an update is coming SOOOOOONN to a kitten board near you.



Red Jassy I completely agree that it can be very hard to come out today. I read and see things every day that make me sad an discourage me. But I do believe with all my heart that things have gotten much better and will continue to do so.



Thank you for reading!



Grimmy!!



I didn't know that you were an expert in feminism or I would have tapped your brain a little.



When I picked 1967, I knew that if I wanted to be even remotely realistic, I would have to make things a little dark. W/T out and about in the 1960's would not have recieved a friendly reaction from the mainstream. I wanted to make it ONE NIGHT in the life or our girls though instead of the worst night ever. I just wanted to give a glimpse, while allowing myself room to tell a love story.



It's a fine line, and in all sincerity, I hope I manage it well.



Quote:
I think most of the not-so-good reactions were motivated by insecurity more than mean-ness, men (and people in general) like to feel needed. People don't like drastic changes in life, as a rule :-). Those police officers who appearantly beat up and/or raped several lesbians qualify for 'mean', they probably like to beat up women and gladly use them being gay as an excuse to do so. Evil people, thats what they are... police or not.




Thank you for saying that. I think some people have things in them that others don't. It was...as you said...an excuse. But I also think that mob mentality to come into play. Men were in charge of the world completely back in the day. There was no competition and no one complained about a 'a glass ceiling.' I don't...as I have said before...want it to sound like this story is ant-men. Not at all. I think many men reacted strongly against change. Not women. It wasn't women they feared but the loss of power. This does not excuse some of what was done.



ALSO....there were men on the side of the women's movement. And men who were disgusted by what others did in "their" name. Or so I believe.



Quote:
Tara can use something to spice up her life, she comes across like a shy wallflower. A bit sad to read really, made me feel sorry for her. She deserves some fun in life at least.




Well...Willow and Tara are about to meet...so maybe Tara will get some...er... :blush



FUN....I mean FUN

[/b]

Edited by: mariacomet at: 5/22/03 3:05:00 pm


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 Post subject: The Garland Days Part 2
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 4:38 pm 
Without further Ado...



The Garland Days





Title: The Garland Days

Part: 2/8

Email address: mariacomet@hotmail.com

Feedback: Feedback is fuel for the imagination.

Distribution: Just let me know.

Spoilers: Everything before and including season five.



Rating: NC-17. There will be…Adult situations. I deal with some very dark themes as well as some very light themes.



Disclaimer: All characters contained herein were created and are owned by Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Legally, yes he owns them all. But I have the right to hold the opinion that he doesn’t deserve them anymore. I am only doing this because well...it's fun to play with Willow and Tara. Not making any money.







Willow was asked to dance, and demurred politely. She then sat and scribbled. Two more women came up and asked, and this time with a slight color in her cheeks, she said no again – also politely. And then the fourth and fifth women came over.



Well, it was good for her ego.



But no, no, no…she was here to work.



She looked around herself discreetly as the seventh potential dance partner started toward her. She quickly murmured an incantation. It didn’t rhyme. That always had bothered her – she’d never seemed much good with the rhyming that came so fluidly in ancient texts. Aw well, maybe as she grew more trained in the arts she’d find the knack.



Dance partner number seven blinked for a moment then looked around intently. She was suddenly unable to see the quarry that had been there just a second ago. With something of a frown, she soon turned away. Willow felt herself give a sigh of relief. Giles would have been infuriated that she’d used a spell on someone else. Sometimes spells did go wrong. Magic could be tricky. It could either be painfully logical or horribly random if you weren't totally specific about the outcome of a spell.



But she’d had to. She was trying to do a good thing for the women here and she couldn’t if she kept getting…



She paused.



Something had crawled past her on the floor. A bug. In fact, it was not the only bug. She scrambled back in her chair. Okay, sure….vampires, and demons. Bring them on. But bugs? Icky, huge cockroach looking bugs with… antlers?



Alright…let’s develop some composure Lois Lane. You hardcore, reporter, you.



She straightened her suit. She frowned at herself. She was the only one here wearing a suit. Why hadn’t Xander warned her NOT to wear a suit? A suit with a skirt – maybe if she lost the jacket, she’d look more casual. After all there were others in skirts - and they had shirts so…okay the jacket and the beret matched the suit. But the beret had been on sale, and it had been really cute. It had a little kitten on it, and it just matched the color of her suit so…



Okkkayyy, apparently been writing the beauty column for too long.



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



She sensed something. A shift in the flow of the room. A wave of power, already ebbing as it touched her. She looked up, and it was the first time she had done so in an hour. Making eye contact… Well she couldn’t refuse to dance forever. Better they didn’t notice her. Her eyes squinted as she tried to see who…or what had caused the deviation. She was a witch. She knew magic. Someone…someone in here had just cast a spell.



She wouldn’t be able to say later what made her look at Willow Rosenberg. Something seemed to draw her eyes to the small table in the back, where a smaller woman in a suit and beret was scribbling, and occasionally talking to herself.



Tara didn’t think the other woman was aware that she was actually talking to herself. And rather than strange… it was a little but endearing to find someone else who wasn’t as wrapped up in the dynamics of the rooms culture.



She saw a woman with a long black trench coat start toward Willow, then pause…then frown and withdraw. It was enough of a clue to what had just gone on, to make Tara more than suspicious that she might know where the magic had come from.



She disapproved.



But it wasn’t a hard-line disapproval. Obviously spells should be used in moderation. And she wasn’t sure it was good to direct them at innocents. Or…she looked around the bar…er…even not so innocents.



She looked closer at the woman in the beret.



Her aura was a constant light blue, surrounded by a wonderful shade of purple – and then an outer layer of white and pink. A person who was seeking answers or a truth. Someone with a kind and willing heart. Willing to go out of her way for others. Tara looked harder still, searching for a point of stillness inside herself that would allow her to gain understanding impossible to be seen by the naked eye. Vision was her gift. In more ways than one. It always had been. Not always the mystical kind…but sometimes not always the logical kind.



Suddenly what she saw wasn’t just the stranger, but a color that began to spike in and out of the auras of people around the young woman. It began to spread till it had touched nearly everyone. Green, a dark green weaving and twisting through the crowd. Leaving some of itself behind, even as it moved on…moved away. She had never seen it happen like this. The spreading of an energy. Something was in the air. Something…that was about to hurt people.



Was it something the other woman had done, had called forth even without meaning to?



No…no, the magic from another witch always had behind it the will and spirit of the caster. You could sense the person behind the spell, and their personality - however faintly. Magic could be as much of an identifier as a fingerprint.



Seeing the change in the room had been luck…or destiny. But the vivid green was not part of a spell, she observed. There was no “fingerprint” of a casting. The energy, frightening as it was, whatever it was, felt natural. This was a prophecy. A lament from the future. It was a harbinger of impending doom.



Something was about to happen.



Something bad.



What her vision didn’t tell her was the what and when. It made it impossible to stop. Didn’t it?



Suddenly she wanted to find Sabby, and stood up to do so…



Maybe if she got home? Maybe she could do a spell?



No, there might not be any time…and she…her gifts were often specific. She had magic yes, but she did not have endless abilities or access to power that would make all spells possible.



The answer came to her, strange and unusual.



She had never told anyone who and what she was.



She was about to tell a complete stranger.



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



“Excuse me,” Came a voice. Willow inwardly sighed before looking up. Apparently the spell hadn’t worked so well after…



And that was as far as her mind got. After that her usually adept mind thought. ‘Wow, she has the most amazing blue eyes. Soft, timid…only she’s looking at me and paling. That’s not good is it? Pale?’



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



Green eyes lighter than emeralds looked into her own. Eyes that she’d been in love with for years but had never looked into until now.



Her heart skipped one beat and then another. She stared. She couldn’t help it. She tried to talk, but apparently something had stopped in the electronic process of her brain.



“You…y-you…” Damn the stutter. She had been waiting for a long time for this moment and she couldn’t find any words. And the stutter was ever present. Tara looked like a fool, she was sure of it. “I need…”



“Are you…are you okay?” Asked the gentle owner of those eyes. They reached for her soul, even now. It was like being extended a hand, a touch – an offering to exchange gifts.



“You y-y-you…” Dammit. It was hopeless. Tears sparked in her eyes. She had never been able to talk when she really wanted to. Ever. If this had just been about her she might have made an apology and fled then. But it wasn’t. Tara bolstered herself and tried again. “You cast a s-spell?”



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



It wasn’t every day you got asked a question like that.



What to say, what to do?



To look horrified?’ What? Me? Cast a spell? Never! Perish the thought!’



To be mysterious? ‘Perhaps. Magic can be found in many things, after all.’



Instead, Willow found something in those pale features that made her not want to lie. “Maybe…a small one?”



A crinkled shy smile was the newcomer’s answer.



Bingo, something in her shouted, you made her smile. You ARE soooo outta sight.



But there were things to think about other than smiles, there were the who’s, the when’s, and the why’s. “How did you…”



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

“Magic always…it m-makes a s-s-signature.” Tara waited for the judgment in those eyes. The sign of disapproval, pity or impatience that often came when people discovered how bad the stutter was. But…she was so kind, her dream lady. Kind and open like a new flower. Young…but with so many lines around her eyes and mouth. Both worry lines and laugh lines. So many.



Her mouth…



She would know this dream lady’s eyes anywhere…but she’d never before seen…her face. Her lips. Her hair.



When was it all right to fall into someone’s arms and beg them to hold you? Or lean down and kiss softness with all the fire you’d ever been forced to hold back, to push aside, and to ignore. Tara saw a kiss in her mind, and the image caused warmth to run a dark, deep sensuous path through her body. Her breathing was faster. Just a bit. Her skin tingled as if the room’s temperature had changed suddenly and her body had to compensate.



‘Hi, I’ve been dreaming about you my whole life. Can I buy you a drink?’



It sounded crazy. It was crazy.



There was a slight shift to the redhead’s head as if she was considering.



“But only,” she said finally, “to other witches.”



She nodded…slowly to confirm the suspicion her words must have caused – confirm what she was for the first time. Understanding filled the redhead’s expression, as well as open curiosity. Questions were natural, Tara told herself. Questions were better than laughter. Much better. She took a deep breath. “I n-n-need your h-help.”



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





Edited by: mariacomet at: 8/5/03 6:53 pm


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 Post subject: Re: The Garland Days Part 2
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 5:18 pm 
HEY!!! That was a short update. Too short!



Just wanted to drop in and say "Hi" :bigwave and I'm enjoying this fic a great deal!! :grin



I love how fate has once again worked it's mojo on our girls. *sigh* I love them so much. :p


"Those girls were flashing their breasts? And no one thought to get the Lesbians?" ~~My comment to the host of a party I recently attended.

Edited by: SlayerSydney at: 5/22/03 5:20:05 pm


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 Post subject: Re: The Garland Days Part 2
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 7:15 pm 
Hi MC that was great. I really loved this line

Quote:
When was it all right to fall into someone’s arms and beg them to hold you?




Tara's found the girl of her dreams and it's actually going well so far. I know famous last words, but this is Willow and Tara so in the end everything always works out for them. Right? So something bad is going to happen? I hope Willow and Tara can help the women in the club that are going to be effected by it. I really like this story, it has a lot of tension building up already and i can't wait to read more.



Thanks MC (hugs) for you and yours :kiss



Cheese. It's milk that you chew.



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 Post subject: Re: The Garland Days Part 2
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 7:31 pm 
Hey,:bigwave

Just stopping by to say that I'm already starting to love this fic...I've always had a thing for the whole 50's/60's setting.:clap Anyway, I'm glad Tara had the courage to speak to Willow and I hope the bad vibes she's sensing isn't the 'boys in blue'. Great update!:grin

Yvonne:peace



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 Post subject: Re: The Garland Days Part 2
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 7:43 pm 
Wow. This a very original story, and I always enjoy the different takes on W/T meeting. I know they will find a way to stop what is coming or atleast help the women in the club. I can't wait to read the rest.



:willow :love :tara

Tara: My heart doesn't stutter.


Tara: Willow, I got so lost.

Willow: I found you. I will always find you.


Edited by: The Rose24  at: 5/22/03 7:48:16 pm


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 Post subject: Re: The Garland Days Part 2
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 8:46 pm 
MC you never cease to amaze me with your seemingly endless talent. I'm jealous, in a good way of course. This is such a grand topic to write about. History is seldom kind to difference and you're interweaving these serious issues and real life dramas with our beloved girls and magic. Only someone as bold and gifted as you are could possibly pull this off. I'll say it again I'm amazed and it's stories like yours that make me glad I found this board. Thank you. :flower :pride



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 Post subject: heh
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 8:50 pm 
yes. im very glad i found her. my mom tells me im worthless and im gross because i love a girl.. true love knows no gender. dont be afraid to be yourself :) it'll take you farther in life then you think :heart

great update. cant wait till the next one



:pride

much love-

bindingwiccan



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 Post subject: Re: The Garland Days Part 2
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 9:15 pm 
MC:



I'm not sure how to take your most recent feedback Oh Streaking Heart-Stopping Comet!



"Permission of men" was reminiscent to me. It evoked a time of young friends living lives I escaped. My family lovingly challenged all constituents - boy or girl. But others held to tradition. Not for persecution but for safety I think.



As for any "male-bashing." Didn't get that from the fic/don't feel it myself. In fact I think that for as many men who liked the status quo there were as many women who enjoyed the benefits of a passive power system. No *one* gender holds the title of "Grand Perpetuator.":D But women and men alike should get credit for turning their minds to what could be.



That said...(jumps off soapbox...takes sip of Fresca-like soda)



I so like that Willow has found this as her meaningful story...come what may. Her courage is matched by Tara's desire to be part of the difference. And Tara recognized the eyes.:cry And Willow lost her breath.:cry



So good this story is MC.



~Suse



"Weep not that the world changes - did it keep

A stable changeless state - 'twere cause indeed to weep."


~~~ Wm. C. Bryant







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 Post subject: Re: heh
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 10:45 pm 
hi.
i love this line:
When was it all right to fall into someone’s arms and beg them to hold you?

So near as to describing love and devotion in a single thought...
I also liked this line:
Alright…let’s develop some composure Lois Lane. You hardcore, reporter, you.
... hehehand the bit about bugs... i'm afraid of cockroach too...
Thanks for the update.. You and your wonderful fic had made my day so colorful.. and im curious when's the next update
Thanks again.
Red Jassy



Don't you understand? That everything I do, I do for you? Anything that might be special in me...is you.

---GREAT EXPECTATIONS



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 Post subject: Re: The Garland Days Part 2
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2003 10:58 pm 
:bigwave ,

I love this fic! :clap :bow :applause I want more. :pray I cn't wait to :read the next update! :pray Ilove how you show :willow and :tara in this.:applause It is wonderful.







bluewillowwitch :glasses :flower :fallen

-----------------------------------------

"Fate keeps on happening."--Anita Loos



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 Post subject: Re: The Garland Days Part 2
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 1:54 am 
Ah fate.



:bow



:pride



:letter

Willow (with pointy ears): "NO kissing and gay love?!!!! That's illogical!" The Sci-Fi Bard W/T trekkie ramblings.



Bardlet no #27



"Why Mother because I won't be baking cookies for the mental patients at the county Hospital?" Alex It's In The Water



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 Post subject: Re: The Garland Days Part 2
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 11:23 am 
MC,



A couple of others mentioned this line too. It definitely hits the mark...

Quote:
When was it all right to fall into someone’s arms and beg them to hold you?


awwww, that is so sweet! :heart



Great update :applause

-shuyaku



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 Post subject: Re: heh
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 12:45 pm 
Yay they met!! I hope the bad thing that is about to happen isn't all tha bad.. i want more Tara and Willow goodness :)



R.



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 Post subject: Re: heh
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2003 7:23 pm 
:bounce :bounce Update!



MAn I was cracking up at the part when Willow was describing her outfit :lol then it was funnier when she declared she had been writing her column for too long. :rofl



They met!! :heart



-Will

"I think finding her soulmate would have made Tara a more confident and secure person" -Amber Benson



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 Post subject: Re: heh
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2003 1:36 pm 
I feel the need to post a dislaimer on this one.

:-)



long post.

gets strange.

might consider skipping.



that said...

here I go.





MC, you rocked my world with that "This one is for.."

*crosses fingers and hopes no one feels insulted*

It's too often that people forget GLBT has a B and a T there.



Quote:
‘Willingly’ didn’t enter into it; that would have implied choice.
I felt really good reading this, it's so true about... so much more than what place to go on a weekend.



Quote:
"As for the two men thing…there was that demon that had a crush on me. And we think it MIGHT have been male, right?"

“It was hard to tell.” Willow noted, thinking back.
This floored me. Ok, yeah, I ws laughing, but I was also very very thrilled. Demons. Yay! I wasn't sure how much of BTVS you changed. If there are gender challenged demons all is well. (Hey, I _can_ say "gender challlenged") Even Buffy's death and closing the Hellmouth.



I liked Willow and Tara making first contact over a spell, very canon in such a (great, cool, well-written) AU fic.

And I liked the way you described W/X. Definitely kudos for this one! :-) Not glossing over aspects of Willow's past makes me particularly happy.



Quote:
It's kind of hard for me to write about what men think or don't think. Since...ya know, I'm not a man.
This fic is so interesting to read, almost uncomfortable because of my weird ways of relating with gender, sexuality and homophobia. I squirm in my seat from time to time, then remind myself no one is perfect, least of all me.



Quote:
‘Hi, I’ve been dreaming about you my whole life. Can I buy you a drink?’
LOL. you've just given me the perfect pick-up line... ya know... in case I'll ever need one. *sigh. more squirming. I'm such an ass...*



6 parts, huh?

Bring it on!

:-)



What I wanted to say is that this fic, while meant to remind us of those time and those people etc (which I do appreciate), it also reminds me of my personal history, and it ain't pretty... Maybe I'm too radical, but I think nothing can fully justify my not so stellar moments.



And maybe that's why I liked Tara so much right from the start, because she is good and gentle and forgiving and _wise_ and... and a part of me felt that she is so lucky to have/be such a wonderful soul. To listen to your heart and still come off as gentle _and_ sensible must be great.



ok, that's not so off topic because... lemme find that quote...

Quote:
Grimlock - Evil people, thats what they are... police or not.
and
Quote:
MC - I think some people have things in them that others don't.
so do you think "evil" is one of those things? or "darkness" (though I suppose there are very different takes on this term)?



I agree that insecurity can bring out the worst in people. It's one of the things I use to explain said "not stellar moments". But is it true only for people that "have it in them"? like DMW was in Willow, but there was no Dark (Magick) Tara in Tara.



*rereads* hmm? am I asking the question I mean to ask?

Willow's "I usually don't say so many words to say stuff that little, but do you get that at all?" well, that's me right now :-)

Edited by: some dark thing at: 5/25/03 1:52:51 pm


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 Post subject: Re: heh
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2003 6:52 pm 
MC, another winner. I love the time period, it actually disturbs me, the anticipation of the bad things that are about to happen, but I know that there is love right in the middle of it all and that it's part of our history those dark times, that makes it better. Look forward to more :)



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