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 Post subject: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 5:27 pm 
Title: “What’s your tale, nightingale.”

Author: Alcy.

Rating: PG-13, possibly R a bit later on.

Disclaimer: The characters of Willow and Tara, Buffy and Giles all belong to TPTB, I’m just playing for a while. This is AU so no spoilers for any season.

Summary: Something a little lighter in contrast to my other fic I’m working on concurrently. Totally AU, set circa 1957. A love story between our two girls set much in the style of the romance films of that period. :heart I don’t want to give too much more away than that. Other than the settings are New York and Paris, the music is rock and roll, the slang is a little weird…oh, and the world is not about to end in any hell dimensiony type way.

I can’t guarantee any angst at all but it will be light I promise.

notes: I’m not a 1950s buff, rather than trying to create a historically accurate world, this world is straight out of films so pretty much anything can happen!

The title is 1950s slang for ‘tell us a story’…so here it is…

Feedback: most welcome.





Chapter One – “Radioactive baby.”



On any given particularly gorgeous summer’s afternoon there are no doubt many people out enjoying the fresh air or simply on their way to their next destination. Most of the people we pass in the street don’t warrant much more than a passing glance…maybe a follow up glance if they happen to be especially attractive. If anyone happened to be walking along the street in one of the more upper class sections of New York City that afternoon they would have passed two very excited young ladies. One was petite with long blonde hair that was neatly tied back in a ponytail while the other was a little taller perhaps, but just as slender and with red hair settling on her shoulders that sparkled in the sunlight. Both girls were attired in school formal school uniforms of the sort favoured by private schools. All wool and ties and blazers, sparing no thought for the comfort of the wearers. Those uniforms were now in a state of disarray. Blazers casually flung over shoulders, ties loosened and socks pushed well down around the ankles. They left the street to ascend the steps of a rather magnificent townhouse with an imposing façade that spoke of taste and breeding without being overly pretentious…but more than anything else, it spoke of wealth.



The two girls were still teenagers in every sense of the word and on this day they had particular reason to be in high spirits. Willow Rosenberg, for was the redhead’s name, couldn’t quite bring herself to believe it…she was free! All those tedious hours spent studying everything from French verbs to quadratics…such nonsense one didn’t actually need to know but was expected to learn all the same. Regardless of the fact she was wearing a long skirt, she fairly leapt up the broad central staircase to a bright cheery room on the first floor. Her friend who went by the unlikely name of Buffy, Buffy Summers to be exact, closely followed her. Willow tugged off her tie and sent it sailing defiantly across the room. It landed and sat in stark contrast to the precise neatness of everything around it. Although it seemed, given the jovial moods of both eighteen year olds, an out of place tie was merely the beginning of the chaos.



“Oh my god, I so cannot believe high school is over…all those years of hell, just like that, finished!” Buffy flopped on Willow’s bed, kicking her shoes off.



“Come on, school was never that bad! Want to listen to a record?” Loud music was a good choice for a follow-up act of rebellion after the tie and Willow flipped through her album collection, she selected one and held it up for Buffy to see, “Ricky Nelson?”



“No, put Jerry Lee Louis on, we need some sounds with a bit more hop to ‘em!” Buffy was tapping her toes in anticipation of the beat.



With the jazzy sounds cranked up, belting out one of their favourite tunes, it really felt like the beginning of a summer vacation. The fact that school was over forever hadn’t quite managed to sink itself in.



“So…Paris for the summer huh Will?” Buffy asked over the music.



“Yeah, my parents said if I did well in all my subjects…which I did…”



“With no effort!” Buffy chipped in, throwing a pillow at her friend.



Willow grinned, “So yeah, Paris for the summer…a whole summer of no parents, only a crazy old aunt who pretty much lets me do whatever I want…it’s going to be cool…I can’t wait. I wish you were coming, I can’t believe your parents didn’t trust the two of us enough to let you come!”



“Willow…do you remember last time we were left alone at my parents house for just the weekend?”



“It was only supposed to be a small party…a select group of friends,” Willow protested, “I couldn’t help it that almost the entire school showed up…and I apologised profusely on more than one occasion…and Daddy paid for the broken window…and I’m sure your dog is almost back to normal again…why should they still be holding that against me?”



“Well, they’ve forgiven you…not me, just you. I’m sure they love you more than me and I have no idea why!”



“Willow shrugged nonchalantly, “Everyone loves me, I’m lovable.”



“Speaking of lovable…Andy Daniels? You two were looking awfully cosy at Fred’s party last week…what’s up with that?”



“Cosy on his part Buff! More like yick on my part…he may look a million bucks but he’s duller than a moose at the zoo.”



“Willow, you have to be less picky…you haven’t dated for ages…since last fall, that musician guy. You’ve been off the rack for far too long. What’s up with that? And does it really matter if he’s dull when he looks like Frankie Avalon? Who could resist that?”



“I can obviously…are you writing a book or something Buff? It’s not too much to ask for someone a little more hip than Andy Daniels,” and a brain would be good too.



“All I’m saying is just loosen up and have some fun for once. Anyway…suffice to say, no Parisian fun for Buffy this summer…only dullness and boredom at our summer house. Will, it’s just not going to be the same with you gone!”



“I’ll write you lots of postcards…and maybe bring back a suave French guy for you.”



“Willow!” a piercing voice called from another room, “Willow Rosenberg!”



“Yes Mom?” Willow rolled her eyes to the ceiling as only a teenager could.



“Turn that awful racket off. You can hear it throughout the entire floor!”



Your Mom’s actually home?” Buffy asked a little incredulously, “ I can’t remember the last time I was here and she was home.”



“Yeah, you saw her last week, on her way out the door to the Republican rally…her meeting this afternoon was probably cancelled or something,” Willow removed the record and tucked it back in it’s sleeve.



“Well, I should really get going anyway,” Buffy sighed and rummaged beneath the bed for her shoes, “My Mom’s having a dinner party for some of Daddy’s work colleagues. I think I have to be there…yrrrgh, being polite to old men all evening!”



“You know you love it! All those distinguished gentlemen giving you compliments and telling your parents what a wonderful daughter they’ve raised and asking them why they haven’t married you off yet…okay, I sympathise fully! I know exactly how it feels,” Willow groaned, the suffering of it all! “If I have to listen to one more old biddy telling me how wonderful a husband so and so would make and mentally measuring me for a wedding dress I’m going to run away and never come back again!”



“You and me both doll, at least I’ll get to wear that new dress we picked out last week,” Buffy tugged on her shoes and picked up her book bag.



“Oh yes, it’s very ‘Audrey’ you’ll look a picture!”



Buffy grinned as she paused by the door, “I’ll see you later Will?”



“Yeah, sure…see you Buff.”



“Bye Mrs Rosenberg!” Buffy called down the hallway as she departed.



“Bye Betty!” Sheila replied gracefully from down the hallway.



Willow smirked, she often wondered if her mother remembered her own daughter’s name at times. She crossed to the window seat and sat, folding her legs beneath her. In a contemplative mood, Willow gazed out the window and at the sunlight which teased her like a small child.



Paris for the summer seemed so exciting and yet at the same time her future loomed ahead like a very empty book. What exactly was going to happen when she returned? Find a husband…marriage…Willow pressed her nose against the glass of the window pane and snorted…marriage…



Still, the prospect of new and exciting dating prospects in Paris loomed ahead…a fling with a suave bohemian French artist in Montmartre sounded promising…or there was always one of the rich Europeans who flocked to the French capital for the summer season. The corners of her lips curled upwards in a small smile. The city of love they called it…that’s exactly what it would be for Willow Rosenberg.



*****



Across the other side of town was a very different world. Greenwich Village was a home for artists, bohemians…writers and one particular little bookstore. The name was unimportant, as was the fact it sold mostly books on history and the arts…and therefore had very few customers at any time of day. This late at night and so near closing time, the bookstore was completely empty. The only sound was the steady squeaking of the wheels of a shelving ladder as it was pushed along the shelves by a young blonde. She lifted the spine of a thick volume to inspect title before wheeling the ladder a little further over. A few steps up the ladder and the book was slid into the shelf with a satisfying thunk. She glanced back at her trolley, the last…



“Tara?” an accented voice called out softly.



The young blonde girl almost lost her footing and looked down from the ladder, a startled expression on her sweet face. Her long hair fell in loose curls, the curls framed a sweet, pale face capped off with the most expressive and liquid pair of blue eyes a person could possess. A small lop-sided smile crossed her face when she saw who was calling her. Climbing down the ladder, she walked to the front of the store and to the tall man standing near the door. He was garbed in a tweed suit, the sort of suit favoured by bookstore owners, university professors and Englishmen. Giles happened to be all three…so he never dressed any differently.



“Mr Giles, I’ve just finished with the latest lot of deliveries…all shelved and ready to be sold to good homes.”



“Tara, unless I’m mistaken which I very much doubt because I pay your wages…doesn’t your shift start at 9am? Where’s Julie? You haven’t been here all day have you?”



Tara ducked her head and nodded, “Julie rang in sick and there was no one else to cover b-but I don’t mind! Ever since school finished last week I’ve kind of been a little lost...more hours at work means less time I have to spend on my own.”



“And less time you have to spend at home?” Giles asked softly, a glint of sympathy in his eyes for the lonely girl.



“Home! Dinner…they’ll be waiting…Giles I really have to get going!” Tara began gathering up her things, a scarf, her bag…How could I have forgotten!



“I’ll take you,” Giles fumbled in a pocket for his car keys despite the fact that Tara’s home was not at all far away, “Besides, I have a small favour to ask you.”



*****



“So, what was the favour you wanted Giles? If you want me to work extra hours while we carry out the inventory check I’d be more than happy,” Tara asked as they were driving, she wanted to take her mind off the mood her father would be in when she finally got home.



“Err, no, actually, I was thinking more along the lines of accompanying me on a little trip. You see, I recently got the grant that I applied for…”



“You got the grant!” Tara swivelled in her seat to face him better, an excited grin on her face, “That’s fantastic…but I knew you’d get it anyway. You are one of the leading authorities on art history on the East Coast…and in the country for that matter…”



“Well, I wouldn’t go that far,” Giles tweaked his glasses but a small smile crept on to his face, “Suffice to say, I’m heading off to Paris for the summer and I need an assistant to accompany me…I was wondering if you would be interested?”



Tara looked at Giles with a puzzled expression on her face and tried to determine if he was joking…if he was then it was an awfully mean joke to play on someone, “Are you serious?”



“Of course I’m serious, I need someone to help me organise all my lecture materials…so it will be work…but I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t be able to squeeze in a little time to see the sights.”



“I’ve never been anywhere before! You mean…really?” Tara allowed herself to feel the tiniest bit of excitement.



“I mean really Tara,” Giles replied, glad to see the blonde happy for a change.



*****



Tara waved goodbye as Mr Giles pulled away from the curb. She fairly bounded up the front stairs of the small apartment block, skirts flying about her calves as she moved. As she was about to open their door she paused, hand merely inches from the doorknob. She sighed, there was every possibility her father would deny her permission to go to Paris just to spite her. Tara hoped to sneak in unnoticed but she should have known better. Her father had ears like a hawk and he was there in an instant as soon as her foot stepped across the threshold.



“Tara Maclay! It’s almost 9pm! Your brother and I have been waiting nearly three hours for dinner,” he stepped out into the hallway, a wiry, tall man still wearing his shirt from the car sales yard.



Buoyed by the exciting prospect of going to Paris, Tara felt like snapping why didn’t you make it yourself! but instead her shoulders sagged and she made an intense study of her feet and mumbled, “I’ll start it now.”



“Don’t bother,” he waved his hand dismissively, “Donny and I had leftovers. Where were you?”



“W-work…I was at work, someone called in sick and I covered their shift for them. I should have called, I’m sorry.”



“Just don’t make a habit of it,” his tone indicated now wasn’t the best time to mention a trip to Paris.



“Yes sir,” Tara replied, relieved to be let off the hook so lightly.



Once tucked away in her room, Tara busied herself tidying even though the room was already painstakingly neat. She had to keep moving lest she think about Mr Giles’ proposition. Nothing as remotely exciting as this had ever happened to her. Life was dreary, dull, with absolutely no one paying attention to her except her father and Donny when their meals were late or not up to scratch. Good things just didn’t happen to her. This opportunity to see a place she had only dreamed about seemed to good to be true. Maybe it was…but Mr Giles wouldn’t lie to her about something like this…he was for real. Tara collapsed on her bed and rolled over to look at the same ceiling that had always been there before closing her eyes. She imagined herself far away from that ceiling that seemed to grow a little lower with every passing day.



Only one thing kept her feet on the ground and prevented the loud whoop she wanted to utter from actually coming out…her father. Well, she would cross that hurdle when she came to it.



Paris…city of art, culture…and love. Tara smirked a little regretfully…that would be one thing she wouldn’t be finding there…or anywhere for that matter.





TBC in Chapter Two: "Chance meetings."



*****

Anya: “Can I trade in the children for more cash?”

Real Me


Edited by: maudmac  at: 2/3/04 11:13 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 6:47 pm 
spiffy...i think you have an awesome start to a fic...i can't wait to see how our two favorite girls are gonna meet up...hope to read more soon!



Aine



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2004 7:29 pm 
Very cute!

I love this kind of story hehe, and that first part was just GREAT!

I hope u update, very, soon....

Kisses bye





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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 12:34 am 
:bounce WooHoo...another Alcy treat of the non-angsty variety! Wonderful start...want more!

"Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others." - Groucho Marx



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 4:49 am 
Wonderful start, Alcy!! Can't wait to read more!:bounce



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 4:52 am 
What a unique and interesting premise! Has kind of a pulp fiction feel to it, which I love. You've drawn me in - please continue!



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 7:26 am 
Sounds veeeeeeery promising!!! :clap :clap

More soon? :shy

Hello *crash*



~Spighy~



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:40 pm 
Aine – Thanks for your comment. I love reading meeting fics so I couldn’t wait to give it a go myself.

incrediblecute – hee hee, I’m glad you love this kind of story. I love 50s films so when coming up with an AU for our girls the era seemed perfect.

4WiccanLuv - *grins* yeah, I was getting a bit depressed writing so must angsty stuff in worst nightmare so I started something to balance it out. I hope you enjoy this one just as much.

allykat – Thanks! Hopefully updates will be nice and regular for ya!

sizzlersister – I wanted to write something a bit different to my regular stuff so I really hope this works out and I certainly will continue :)

spighy – Thanks heaps, hopefully it lives up to its promise.







Chapter Two – “How the West Was Won.”



Tara was so dreadfully late for work, she had been having the most wonderful dream about strolling down the Champs-Elysées. Not that she had the slightest clue as to what it ought to look like but that was clearly besides the point. There had been singing and dancing…wait, people only did that in the movies…and now obviously in her dreams. She had been rudely awakened mid-twirl beneath the Arc de Triomphe by a harsh banging on her door. Tara had jumped out of bed in a flash…expecting that the world was ending or something equally as life-changing. It turned out she had merely forgotten to iron her father’s work shirt the previous evening. Now she was at least half an hour late to open the store and her father had refused to go out of his way to give her a lift. A most unpromising omen on the day she had chosen to tell her father about Paris…



…Out of breath and racing to the store, she couldn’t have known that this day was to eventually mark an event of entirely different proportions…life changing proportions. When Tara reached the shop exhausted and most probably looking a fright…she found a surprise waiting for her…



Willow looked at her watch and tapped her foot more than a little impatiently on the footpath. It was bad enough her mother had sent her all the way to Greenwich Village just to pick up a book but now the store was late in opening. She had been there kicking her heels for the better part of twenty minutes, twenty good minutes she could have spent shopping in her favourite boutiques. This part of the city was not somewhere she frequented…there were dozens of dreary bookstores and clothing stores carrying the sort of fashions Willow wouldn’t be seen dead in. She huffed impatiently and was about to hail a cab to get her out of that bohemian hell when a very flustered and pink looking young woman came running across to the door. She drew out a set of keys from her bag.



“I’m so sorry…I hope I didn’t keep you long,” it was close to being her worst nightmare, a customer who had been kept waiting by her tardiness. She quickly opened the door and led the way inside.



While not normally given to flights of temper, Willow was more than a little pissed off and she was ready to rip into the young shop assistant.



“I’ve been waiting for…” she had merely begun her rant when the blonde turned around to face her and all thoughts of making any nasty comments flew straight out of her head.



Tara managed to reign in her erratic breathing and she finally took a good look at the day’s first customer. The most gorgeous pair of green eyes were staring at her intently. Long, red hair framing a pale, expressive face…so beautiful…Tara bit her lip and ducked her head…she wasn’t supposed to stare the customers to death.



Sapphire blue eyes stared into her own for a few moments before the girl ducked her head. The fuzzy warmth Willow had felt while the blonde’s gaze rested on her disappeared. Look at me please She made a small gesture as though she was about to reach out and tilt the downcast chin back upwards before she thought about what she was doing.



“Can I help you?” the young blonde asked shyly, interrupting Willow’s awkward moment without even realising she was doing so.



“Ah yes,” Willow finally remembered why she was there in the first place, “My mother called a few days ago to check if you had a book…Rosenberg was the name.”



“Oh yes, I have that right here…A complete illustrated history of the old west?”



“Yeah, that’s it,” Willow sighed, “It’s for Daddy’s birthday, he likes to think of himself as something of a cowboy…except that he’s never ridden a horse much less herded cattle on the open range…he has the hat though.”



Tara grinned as she retrieved the package from behind the desk, a wrapped parcel with the name Rosenberg written clearly on it. She had wondered several times who would be picking up that particular book after speaking with the well-to-do sounding woman on the phone a few days ago. Glancing back up at the young, sophisticated woman she felt her heart give a painful little tug.



“That’ll be seventeen sixty-nine,” Tara placed the book on the desk as the redhead fumbled in her purse, Rosenberg…if I could somehow find out her first name…



Willow handed over a twenty-dollar bill and watched as the blonde counted out change. There was fragility about her but at the same time there was a distinct aura of strength that Willow found intriguing. She wondered how such a beautiful girl ended up working in a bookstore…what was her story?



Tara handed over the change and the book with a small smile, “Thank you very much Miss Rosenberg.”



“Cool, thank you,” Willow replied, taking the change and the package that the other girl held out, returning the smile twofold.



Willow held the book to her chest and stood in front of the desk not quite knowing why. Just a few minutes ago she had been in such a hurry to leave and yet now she wanted more than anything to stay. Okay, backing up Willow…small steps, out the door and off to some real shopping…but who is she…what’s her name? Why on earth do I care?



“Can I help you with anything else?” Tara was puzzled when she didn’t leave.



“Err, no,” Willow replied quickly, a mortified look flashing across her face for a split second, “Thanks again…bye.”



“Bye,” Tara replied quietly when the door had closed shut, more than anything she wished she just knew the redhead’s name.



Who are you kidding Tara…what would you do with her name if you knew it? What good would it do to know her name? You’re never going to see her again…



That in it itself was the saddest thought that had ever crossed Tara’s mind. She sighed as she looked around the empty and quiet store. It was probably for the best anyway she mused as she rested her chin in her hands. This way, she would always be a perfect image in her mind…unchanging and perfect. She had found her at last…but the girl of her dreams would never have a name.



*****



“Hey Buff…have you ever found a girl attractive?” Willow ventured quietly while they were sitting in Willow’s room watching Bandstand.



Buffy lay on Willow’s bed, her chin propped up in her hands, feet tapping along to the band on screen, “Huh?”



“Have you ever looked at a girl and thought ‘she’s attractive’?” Willow looked down at her hands, fidgeting nervously.



“Of course!” Buffy said in a exasperated tone, “I do all the time…every time you get dressed up to go somewhere I tell you how gorgeous you look because you are! Is this about you wanting to feel better about red hair not being in this season…because if it is, we have had this conversation before and I have done all the reassuring I can do.”



“No Buff, it’s not that at all…though I had forgotten about that until now…,” Willow saw the look of mortification on Buffy’s face and added, “Don’t worry about it, I would have been reminded eventually anyway by some stuck up tart with ‘Marilyn’ hair. And that’s not quite what I meant about finding a girl attractive…I meant, have you ever been attracted to a girl?”



“You’re attracted to a girl?” Buffy coughed on her soda and had to set it down on the floor.



“N-no…definitely not, not at all,” Willow shook her head quickly, “I was just asking if…I mean, does it happen?”



“Not to my knowledge it doesn’t,” Buffy looked at Willow as though she had sprouted an extra head, “Are you feeling okay Will?”



Willow sighed and nodded, “I’m fine, sorry for the weirdness but I-I…”



How on earth could she talk about this with Buffy and not make it sound as weird as it really was? It’s not weird…it’s just…well, it does come out weird when I try and talk about it…oh rats! Now she’s going to hound me about it for weeks…



“Oh look, Jerry Lee Louis is on!” Willow pointed at the television and Buffy’s gaze switched from her to the screen. She seemed to forget about their little conversation as with an excited squeal she rushed over to the TV to turn the volume up a little.



Willow let out the breath she had been holding onto for most of the conversation. Focusing on the television without really seeing it she tried to reason out what she had been feeling ever since her encounter with the blonde shop assistant. There was a reason for everything, if there was anything Willow was sure of…it was her ability to reason. She could have sworn though that it had been love at first…Willow unconsciously shook her head…can’t be that…and yet… It was exactly the same feeling she had felt when she fist laid eyes on Jimmy Simpson in seventh grade and the musician she had gone steady with the previous year. Only this time it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say it was ten times as painful. Willow…don’t be ridiculous, besides, you’re never going to see her again…okay self, are we done with the angsty feelings then?



*****



Later than evening, Tara had a rash burst of courage, buoyed by the memory of the redhead girl she had met that morning. She approached her father as he was sitting in the living room reading the paper. She set a steaming cup of coffee down on the table beside him. He looked up and smiled quickly in thanks. When Tara didn’t move away again he frowned at her.



“Is there something you wanted?”



Okay…keep it simple…it’s for work…not fun, work. “Ah, y-yes there is…I was w-wondering if I could get your permission to go on a trip…for work that is.”



“For work? Since when does working at the bookstore involve going on trips anywhere?” his tone was suspicious and his frown was even more so.



“Not the bookstore…the university. Mr Giles…”



“Mr Giles? Who on earth is this Mr Giles?”



“My boss Dad…the man who owns the store?” Tara drew in a deep breath, “He’s also a university lecturer and he’s going to Paris for the summer. He asked if I wanted to go with him as his assistant…”



The paper on his lap slid off as he stood to his feet, Tara backed away slightly.



“His assistant?” he said it sarcastically, “Tara Maclay is there something going on with this man…are you having relations with him? If you are I am going to kick your arse so hard you’ll never sit down again!”



Tara took another step back and held up a hand in supplication, shaking her head quickly “Oh no, Dad no…Mr Giles is the dearest man…it’s purely professional! I’m to help him with his notes and lectures. That’s all!”



“I don’t care if he’s the bloody pope. It’s not a good idea traipsing all the way to a foreign country in the company of a man…people who know us will talk.”



“But Dad…”



Mr Maclay pointed a finger in a silencing motion, “Tara, I know this all sounds very exciting to someone as young and naïve as you but listen to me now. You are not going…I don’t wish to do this out of spite, I’m merely protecting you from things you cannot understand. Is that clear.”



Tara should have known better, in reflection she should have ducked her head and said, “Yes sir” as she always did. Instead she let loose her anger and disappointment in an outburst most unlike her,



“Dad, I’m 18 years old…you can’t tell me what to do anymore!”



He had been about to sit back down in his chair before she started shouting. Now there was a fire in his eyes as he stood over her,



“My word is still final while you live in this house and unless I am very much mistaken, you don’t have anywhere else to go…Tara Maclay you are not going anywhere, especially not in the wake of an outburst like that.”



Tara paled in the face of his fury, the last thing she wanted was a black eye to wear for the next few days, she continued, pleading, “I just want this Dad…you have no idea how much I want this.”



“Yes, well, we all want a lot of things in life that we can’t have…we tend to get stuck with the things we don’t want,” he made a special point of staring intently at her with his last statement and Tara felt tears prick her eyes.



“I-I…”



“You’re not going and that’s my final answer, I don’t want to hear anything more about this ridiculous notion of Paris…hah! Paris of all places! Go to your room, I’m sick of looking at you.”



“Y-yes sir,” Tara replied to the floor.



She backed out of the living room and climbed the stairs, her feet dragging as though they weighed a ton each. Tara sat heavily on the top stair, her head in her hands.



See, good things just don’t happen to you…what were you even thinking letting yourself get worked up like that?



Tara knew exactly what it was. It was the fault of a certain nameless redhead who, in mere minutes, had made her feel as though she was actually someone…instead of just Tara.





TBC in Chapter Three: “Cocktails, Collisions and Conversation.”



*****



Tara: “W-what are they looking at?”

Willow: “The hotness of you doofus!”

Once More With Feeling






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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 5:20 pm 
Excellent update, Alcy! I was wondering how Tara's family was going to react about her wanting to go to Paris... Stupid Mr. Maclay..



I really liked the interaction between Willow and Tara! I'm sure they'll meet again soon...:D



Quote:
Tara knew exactly what it was. It was the fault of a certain nameless redhead who, in mere minutes, had made her feel as though she was actually someone…instead of just Tara.
Aww... Poor Tara...



This rocks!!!



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 5:27 pm 
I'm totally hooked...what a cool idea *grin* Mr. Maclay is just :mad grrrr. Tara's gotta end up going somehow...I wonder if Giles will help. Lookin' forward to more *grin*



Michelle



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 5:28 pm 
Your encounter between Tara and her father just makes me want to :smash on his head!



Hmm, Willow and Tara in Paris?? :kiss1



Enjoyed the update.



BV

It's the passion in a kiss that gives to it its sweetness; it is the affection in a kiss that sanctifies it.



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 5:39 pm 
This looks like it has a lot of potential. I'm a sucker for AU in general, but this is cool. Paris of all places for them to meet again... this sounds so cool! I'll be waiting for an update.

Willow: Hey Buff. One more thing. Buffy: Yeah? Willow: I’m gay. Buffy: Okay, Will. Xander owes me ten bucks.

~Remember to Breathe by Yellow Crayon



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 6:25 pm 
ahhh love is in the air... I can tell this is going to be such a good story. Paris is the best place for love to do its stuff.



love your story and can't wait for more.



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 7:36 pm 
Quote:
“Yes, well, we all want a lot of things in life that we can’t have…we tend to get stuck with the things we don’t want,” he made a special point of staring intently at her with his last statement and Tara felt tears prick her eyes.




:sob :cry Ouch...that hurt! Mr. Maclay is a big ol' weenie! :p



Loved their first meeting...very sweet in a shy adorable way! Bring on the cocktails and gay Pa-ree! :banana



"Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others." - Groucho Marx



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 5:52 am 
allykat – I agree wholeheartedly, Mr Maclay just makes you want to shake your fist at the computer screen or something. I love writing fun interaction between our two girls, there’s just so much scope for the imagination!

pikescoob – Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you’re looking forward to the next instalment.

barnabasvamp – Yup, Willow and Tara in Paris…*rubs hands together gleefully* excellent…

Tempest Duer – Yay for having potential! I’m really looking forward to developing this fic, there’s so much I can deal with.

Shandem – Paris is definitely the best place to do love stuff…I can’t wait!

4WiccanLuv – Mr Maclay is like weenie personified. I hope you like their second meeting just as much!





Chapter Three – “Cocktails, Collisions and Conversation.”



Tara sighed, waitressing was ten times worse than toting around books…books didn’t reek so much. The kitchen was bustling, it closely resembled a military command centre in a war zone as people barked out orders. They moved as though getting the dishes of food out to the party guests was a matter of life and death. Tara weaved her way through to her destination, careful not to bump into people carrying full trays. The bustle and clamour was slowly but surely giving her a headache. Tara just wanted to go somewhere quiet…she supposed she was too used to working in the bookstore.



“Tara, what is it?” one of the other girls interrupted her with an inquiring expression.



“Ah, nothing…I need another tray of the shrimp pastries,” Tara had no idea why people liked them, they smelt terrible to her…but that may have had something to do with the fact she was allergic.



Moments later, equipped with a full tray to unload on happy party guests, Tara emerged from the kitchen. In many ways it was even worse being out here than in the kitchens. At least they were people like her…working at ordinary jobs for a living and they would all go back to their ordinary homes after work that night. The party guests on the other hand lived in some sort of fantasy world. The only contact she had with them was when they reached out to take a pastry from the tray without so much as a word of thanks. Tara had no idea what they did day to day but she suspected it was something very much like this…except at different houses on the shore. The same people all over again, the same conversations about horses and boats and summer vacations to the Bahamas…Almost empty again…



Tara felt her shoulder slam into something moving in an opposite direction and she had a fearful moment as the remaining pastries almost toppled off the tray and onto the floor. Thankfully, with a little bit of juggling and balancing, they were saved. She turned around to apologise to whomever it was she had hit.



“Whoops, sorry…” a voice began and then stopped abruptly.



It was her…the redheaded girl who had collected the book the previous day. Tara let out a breath very, very slowly so no one would notice. The one person who had been occupying her mind for seemingly no reason at all…and they had bumped into each other again. Tara desperately wanted to be somewhere else…and yet at the same time there was no where else she would rather be than next to this girl. She quickly cast her gaze downward, embarrassed beyond measure.



Willow was about to embark on a very sincere apology. The collision was entirely her fault as her concentration had been solely focused on avoiding her mother and whatever young man she had found to introduce to her daughter. The poor waitress had felt the full weight of her anxiety…the waitress…Willow felt her heart do a little jig.



“Hey…hey…it’s you!” the redhead said excitedly, “Remember me? The bookstore yesterday? Cowboy book? Funny hat…well, there was no funny hat really but…that was me…obviously…”



Willow cut herself off mid-babble and grinned apologetically, tilting her head to one side as though that would help the blonde recognise her.



Of course I remember…how could I forget a face like yours? Tara managed to look up for a few moments and the barest of smiles flicked across her face as she nodded. The girl was just as gorgeous as she remembered, attired in the latest fashion for cocktail dresses, a daringly cut green number that brought out her sparkling emerald eyes and revealed much of her pale skin. Her red hair was done in curls, sitting on her shoulders…it bounced attractively with each nod of her head.



“I’m s-sorry…I really ought to w-watch where I-I’m going,” it was pathetic and Tara knew it but what else could she say in the circumstances?



“Oh no! I’m the complete ditz! I never look where I’m going. Too caught up in everything that’s around me…Isn’t this party just the dullest, too many old men, there’s absolutely no one dancing and I was so looking forward to dancing…I’m wearing my dancing shoes but no one seems to have noticed,” Willow finally paused to draw a breath and her mouth dropped, “I’m sorry, minor babbling problem…my father always tells me I should think long and hard before I speak or I’ll never attract any men of good breeding.”



“I can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t,” Tara ventured shyly, almost in a whisper.



Willow flashed her a dazzling smile, “What, between the babbling, crashing into innocent waitresses…and did I mention that red hair is not in this year…between all that…I’m nothing special.”



No, you are! Tara wanted to say fervently but unlike the young woman in front of her, she thought all too hard before she spoke. She merely looked awkwardly at her feet.



“Am I making you uncomfortable…or do I have something on my shoe?” the girl sounded like she was having a minor panic attack as she examined her cute white shoes, dancing shoes…just as she had said. She grinned and looked back up at Tara, “I know exactly what it is…I haven’t introduced myself and I don’t know your name. Did I mention incredibly rude in that list as well?”



She extended her hand to Tara and with a brief moment of hesitation, Tara took the proffered hand gently. As soon as their skin touched she felt a jolt, almost electric…very nearly making her heart stop. The redhead must have felt it too because she was completely silent for at least a minute. Even though she barely knew her, Tara instinctively thought that was a very rare occurrence in itself.



At first the silence was a little awkward. They stood staring at each other…two girls, holding hands in the corner of a crowded room. Yet it eventually felt as though it were the most natural thing in the world. Tara raised her head to see the other girl staring at her.



Willow was so transfixed she at first forgot why she had even extended her hand…She settled on congratulating herself for such bold manoeuvre, at least it gave her an excuse to touch the blonde. Then she gasped, she was supposed to be introducing herself! My name…what’s my name? C’mon Willow, what’s your name…



“Oh, Willow…it’s Willow…I mean, I’m Willow,” the redhead burst out quickly, flashing a relieved smile, “Willow Rosenberg. Charmed to meet you…?”



Willow…what a strange, but absolutely beautiful name. It suits her somehow.. Then Tara realised Willow was waiting for her to give her name in return and all she was receiving was the stare of a speechless idiot, “T-tara…Tara Maclay. L-likewise.”



“Tara,” Willow rolled the name off her tongue and decided she liked the sound of it immensely.



“Willow,” a voice called from the far side of the room and Willow groaned beneath her breath…her mother had found her, “There’s someone we’d like you to meet.”



Willow threw a quick glance over her shoulder and saw her mother standing with a broad smile as though she’d just reeled in the catch of the day. She was standing next to an incredibly dapper young man. Last week Willow would have leapt at the chance to inflict her dynamic personality on a previously unknown bachelor…especially one as strikingly handsome as the young man at her mother’s side. Now she merely glanced over him perfunctorily and was exceptionally disappointed in the knowledge that she would be forced to obey her mother’s summons.



“My mother…” Willow began apologetically.



“Oh, you should go,” Tara said a little too quickly and was immediately afraid it sounded as though she wanted to be rid of Willow, “I-I should be working anyways. Pastries aren’t going to hand themselves out I guess.”



“Well, not unless you wanted to fling them around the room like little Frisbees,” Willow giggled, “I could think of nothing funnier than seeing a few of these stuffy old dames with pastry in their perfectly coifed hair…but then you’d probably get fired…and I’d probably wouldn’t be going away for the summer anymore…so maybe not.”



“Well, I’ll imagine it then,” Tara grinned and looked at the remaining pastries in her tray as though she was working out the splatter factor each one possessed.



Willow smiled warmly Funny…sweet…and gorgeous…I wish there was some way she could hang out with Buffy and I, we’d have a blast…oh my giddy aunt…do I really think she’s gorgeous?



“Willow!” her mother’s voice was a little more insistent this time.



“Coming!” Willow called as sweetly as she could in the circumstances, “Sorry, the old bat calls…I really have to go…but…”



Willow swept the last few pastries that were on the tray up into her hand and popped one in her mouth with a grin. Tara was left holding an empty tray.



“You should come find me…,” Willow said with her mouth full, she swallowed the pastry, “y’know, because these are really good.”



“I will if I can,” are you kidding? Of course I can! Tara tucked the tray under her arm, “See you later then Miss Rosenberg.”



“Willow,” Willow said firmly and then lightly, “It’s my name…use it.”



“Okay…Willow.”



“Tara,” Willow said brightly with a nod and yet another cute grin in Tara’s direction.



Tara watched the redhead leave in a flurry of skirts flying around her shapely calves as she swept through the room to join her mother. Even the way she walked was so sensual, her swaying hips hugged by the green dress which also hugged the curves of her bottom…so cute…Okay, staring blatantly at a girls arse in a crowded room…not such a good idea. Tara was mortified and quickly made her own way back to the kitchen…more pastries, she needed more pastries…but what an arse!



Tara was beaming brightly as she entered the bustling kitchen and swept up to her Mrs Hopkins who was labouring over several steaming pots at once. She looked up when she saw Tara and wiped her hands on her apron.



“Have we anymore of those shrimp pastries, everyone seems to love them,” Tara stepped aside as a waitress with a heavily laden tray of quiches manoeuvred her way past.



“The other girls can handle the trays…I need you in here, Sarah had to go home for a family emergency so I’m running short of help with the preparation and there’s so much to do! Can you…”



“But…I was…” Tara thought of Willow out in the party, waiting for her to come back.



“Tara…you’re here to work, not to ogle at the young men…” Mrs Hopkins said sternly.



“I wasn’t…” Tara was about to say she hadn’t been ogling at all…but that was a blatant lie, she had been doing a very good job of ogling a certain young redhead in a green dress with a cute arse.



“I know Tara…you’ve got your head screwed on right…no foolish dreams of being swept off your feet by handsome young rich men like some of the girls around here. Now help me with those fruit tarts.”



Tara sighed but tried to convince herself it was for the best. Willow was probably having a marvellous time chatting with that handsome young man. Maybe she had even convinced him to dance with her. Anyways, she most probably wouldn’t remember the waitress with the shrimp pastries.



*****



“Who was the girl you were chatting to Willow dear?”



Willow had popped another pastry in her mouth and she was scanning the throngs of people. She looked back to her mother at the mention of her name.



“Oh, just a waitress, I was asking what was in these,” Willow held up the last pastry in her hand.



Sheila nodded and turned to the young man beside her, “Hugh Carrington, I’d like you to meet my daughter Willow…Willow, this is Hugh Carrington of the Boston Carrington’s. Ira is currently doing business with their family so I thought it would be nice to invite them all along tonight.”



Hugh smiled graciously and went to shake Willow’s hand, Willow was about to take it when she realised the pastry was still clutched in her fist. She quickly transferred it to her left hand before taking his hand with a slightly crumby palm. His dashing smile didn’t falter once, indeed, he didn’t even seem to notice.



“Charmed I’m sure. Sheila has been telling me about your upcoming trip to Paris. You know, I was there myself a few months ago…I would be happy to tell you all the happening spots.”



He said ‘happening spots’ as though he thought himself some sort of radio DJ but he just came out sounding like a cad. Willow barely suppressed a wince.



“Yeah, sure,” Willow replied with half a smile although she wasn’t the slightest bit interested in the ‘happening’ spots of Paris at that moment, This is going to be a fun conversation…where are those pastries?



Willow still had the residue of the last one in her mouth and she realised she didn’t care for them at all, she had never liked shrimp much anyway. It was the person who would come carrying the tray that she was more interested in becoming better acquainted with.



“Would you like me to fetch you a drink Miss Rosenberg, champagne?” Hugh was obviously anticipating a lengthy conversation and was therefore planning appropriately.



“Punch please,” Willow swirled her tongue around in her mouth distastefully. I hate shrimp she realised but it only served to make her grin, I really do hate it! Rosenberg…what are you playing at here?



*****



It was just as well Tara hadn’t held out much hope of meeting Willow again, by the time she emerged from the kitchen, hours later, smelling of food…the party had well and truly wrapped up and the redhead was nowhere to be seen. She sighed. The odds of running into her a third time were remote…but there was always hope. And besides, she had a trip to Paris to look forward to…if she could ever manage to overcome the biggest obstacle in her path…





TBC in Chapter Four: “Of leaving and leaving.”



*****



Willow: “I’m a bloodsucking fiend! Look at my outfit!”





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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 7:35 am 
Oh, I'm so loving this!!:clap Willow's babble is absolutely adorable! I'm so glad they got to meet again! Can't wait to read more! This rocks!



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:34 am 
This is a fun fic. Won't Tara be surprised when she finds her in Paris. I love the whole fifty's movie thing. Classic romantic set up. Thanks for all the updates.

- - - - - - - - - - -
"Hard work often pays off after time but laziness always pays off now!"




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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 6:42 pm 
Yay an update *grin* Can't blame Tara for staring at Willow's butt...their interaction was just so adorable. Can't wait till they meet next.



Michelle



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 7:13 pm 
Yay for Tara staring at Willow's butt. She does have a cute butt, doesn't she? Nice job here.



But Tara wasn't ogling handsome, rich young men! She was ogling a beautiful, sweet, cute, charming and sweet redheaded girl with a cute butt. Really... some people.

Willow: Hey Buff. One more thing. Buffy: Yeah? Willow: I’m gay. Buffy: Okay, Will. Xander owes me ten bucks.

~Remember to Breathe by Yellow Crayon



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2004 4:49 am 
I absolutely love the set-up. thanks! can't wait for more.



mai



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2004 7:27 pm 
allykat – I always thought I’d stink at writing Willow-babble because I’m so not a babbler myself, I’m glad it comes across okay.

xita – I’m sucker for a good, old-fashioned romance film…and yeah, there are so many great set-ups to use, not to mention locations in Paris…

pikescoob – yay for adorable Willow/Tara interaction, I love reading it and I love writing it!

Tempest Duer – I know, young men – pffft! But it is the fifties after all…

cinderlust – Glad you like the set up!





Chapter Four – “Of leaving…and leaving.”



“Okay, Will…look at your suitcases!” Buffy was gesturing wildly, punctuating each word with a pointed finger…clearly the state of Willow’s luggage was causing her some distress.



Willow spun around from the mirror after applying a light shade of lipstick and frowned in the direction of her neatly stacked luggage. There was a medium sized suitcase, one hat box and her small carry on bag. She raised her eyebrows inquiringly at Buffy.



“How on earth did you manage to fit enough clothes into that tiny little case…and where on earth are you going to fit all my presents when you come back?” Buffy grinned sweetly, batting puppy dog eyes.



Willow poked out her tongue, “Firstly, I’m going on a plane…not an ocean steamer. Secondly…I can buy another suitcase in Paris. Honestly Buffy, you should know to trust my judgment!”



Buffy gave Willow a look that said ‘I should never have doubted you,’ and reached across to give her best friend a warm hug, “I am going to miss you like crazy Will!”



“Buff! I haven’t even got to the airport yet and already you’re about to cry!” Willow sighed in mock exasperation, she knew if Buffy started up then she would too, “Now do you think I’ve forgotten anything?”



“Rubbers?” Buffy asked in all seriousness as Willow turned back to the mirror.



Willow whirled on her friend, spinning around to reveal a face that had managed to go quite red in mere seconds. Her mouth worked soundlessly, all the while Buffy’s smirk was widening. Snatching a scarf from her hatstand, Willow tried to wipe the smirk of her friend’s face with a deft flick of her wrist.



“I’m not going to Paris to have sex with the first man I meet!” Willow said indignantly, “I mean, hello! Virgin here!”



“My point exactly!”



Willow put her hands on her hips, “Just because you did it with that great, big tall guy last year…honestly…you know, I could swear I never saw him in daylight. Anyway, just because you have doesn’t mean I’m going to follow suit. I haven’t found the right person yet…”



“Will, calm down…I’m just playing with you. I fully agree that finding the right person is important but I just want you to be happy!”



“I am happy…I’m going to Paris!” Willow smiled broadly but it never reached her eyes, Dammit, there’s some days when I really wish she didn’t know me as well as what she does…. Willow looked down at her watch, “And speaking of going to Paris…my flight…”



“Where’s your Mom and Dad?” Buffy asked with a frown, deciding wisely to leave the relationship conversation well and truly alone, “They not coming to see you off?”



“No, Daddy is at work of course, he’s flat out with the Carrington deal…but I shouldn’t complain, he did make a large deposit to my travel account yesterday. Mom is at the Society Ladies for War Widows Association meeting or somewhere much to that effect. It’s no biggie really,” the look on Willow’s face said otherwise, “Come on, check in time is at twelve…Mr Weiss is waiting out front to drive us.”



*****



It was by far the boldest move Tara Maclay had ever even contemplated let alone actually carried out.



She had been sitting in her room, knees tucked tight against her chest as she stared out the tiny window with a heavy heart. Her father had never relented and given her permission to go…nor would he. Tara knew with gut-wrenching certainty that if she didn’t take matters into her own hands then, ten years from now, she would still be sitting in the same room. Bitter and alone. She had been telling the truth when she had told her father she needed this. She needed to escape now or she never ever would. Rather than serve to strengthen her resolve, she was terrified as to what this meant. This wasn’t just goodbye for the duration of her trip…it was goodbye forever. Once she walked out the front door, she wasn’t coming back…damn that sounded good!



She picked up her suitcase and carry bag with trembling hands and crossed the short distance to the bedroom door. There was no reason to pause before she left her room, it had never really been any more than a place where she slept. Did I ever really live here? No…not me, someone else…



Giles was leaning on the hood of his car cleaning his glasses as she emerged from the front door. She closed it behind her with a sound that was both satisfying and terrifying all at the same time. For all it’s cons, it was still her home, and it was familiar…if she took one more step forward, it would be into the unknown. Just as she was about to freak out completely, Giles was there to take her bags from her. Tara released them. If he sensed any reluctance in her movements he didn’t let on.



“So your Dad didn’t have a problem with you coming with me?” Giles opened the trunk to place her bags inside.



“Well…” Tara was not at all happy about having to lie to Giles and she decided on covering up a some details, “…not exactly…he had a few problems…but I think he’s seen reason now.”



Tara opened the passenger door. She took one last look back at the apartment where she had lived but didn’t feel any pangs of regret at all, it was a home without ever really having been a home. You need people that love you to make it a real home Tara was feeling less and less regretful about leaving by the minute, Let them keep house and see how well they like it By nature, Tara had never been one to think petty thoughts but for some reason the thought of them arriving home that night to find no dinner prepared and a pile of unironed shirts caused her a feeling of immense satisfaction.



*****



The airport was busy with people going to their destinations. People with mountains of luggage and gaggles of children in tow. Couples holding hands as they queued at the counter, perhaps on their way to their honeymoons. Business men, all ties and suits and taking absolutely no joy in the foreign locales they were jetting off to. Flight crews…pilots attired in their dashing suits, swinging their brief cases jauntily and turning the heads of every female they passed from the ages of five to fifty. Tara decided she liked the airport very much…there was so much promise…so many hopes floating around…



“When does our flight board?” Tara tried to peer over everyone in line but she couldn’t see the sign.



“Two-thirty,” Giles read it easily, “You want a magazine or candy bar before we board?”



Tara just shook her head, she was too excited to want either of those things. Instead she checked for the hundredth time that her passport was still in her hand and that it still contained her name, her picture…and a blank page waiting to be stamped.



*****



Buffy stood on tip-toes but a tall man in a tweed suit was blocking her view. Rather than elbow her way through as she would in a department store sale, she reached up and tapped him on the shoulder lightly,



“Excuse me, you can’t see when Flight 330 to Paris is boarding can you?”



“It’s two-thirty,” he replied in a crisp English accent, a friendly smile on his face.



Buffy nodded her thanks and elbowed her way back to Willow who was perched, cross legged on a chair. She was flicking through a magazine in the manner of someone who just wanted the time to pass.



“It boards at two-thirty Will, not long to wait now,” Buffy returned to Willow’s side.



“Boarding call for Flight 330 to Paris,” the announcers voice called a few minutes later and Willow gathered her things together with feelings of both excitement and trepidation.



“Okay…okay…” Buffy was fanning herself with her hands, trying to calm herself down, “Leaving time…won’t cry…won’t cry…”



“Buffy, I’ll be back in two months time okay…and with lots of presents!” Willow drew Buffy into her arms and hugged her warmly.



Buffy sniffled, “Just make sure his name is Pierre…or maybe Claude…oh, I don’t care what his name is…just don’t forget to have him gift-wrapped.”



“I won’t Buff,” Willow whispered with a grin before letting go and moving to find a spot in the queue.



She kept turning to wave goodbye to Buffy. Not once did she see the excited blonde near the front of the line, her passport clutched to her chest in anticipation.



*****



Tara pressed her nose against the window and watched as the New York skyline disappeared behind her.



“We’re on our way to Paris,” Giles leaned over her to catch a glimpse out the window and at the view that Tara was enjoying so much.



“I am going to Paris,” Tara said with a growing excitement in her voice.



“What are you looking forward to the most?” Giles was flipping through a travel guide and put on his best faux French accent, “Le Tour Eiffel? Les Jardin des Tuilleries? Notre Dame?…les French boys?”



“Just being there I think,” Tara replied.



Giles settled back in his seat with a fond glance across at his young charge, “It’s supposed to be quite magical I’m told. You never know what’ll happen.”



Magic… As Tara watched the bright sunlight dance on the water that they were leaving behind she felt a surge of hope. For the first time since closing the door on Magic…For some reason she felt that this had become more than a working holiday…it was in every sense of the word a new beginning. She had no idea just how right she was.





TBC in Chapter Five – “Hey! It’s you…again!”



*****



Willow: “I’m a bloodsucking fiend! Look at my outfit!”





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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2004 7:36 pm 
Nice chapter, good connections between what's happened and what's going to happen. But with a title like that, I really can't wait for your next chapter.

Willow: Hey Buff. One more thing. Buffy: Yeah? Willow: I’m gay. Buffy: Okay, Will. Xander owes me ten bucks.

~Remember to Breathe by Yellow Crayon



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 Post subject: Good on ya mite!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 12:16 am 
Wheres the rest of the tale nightingale?;)



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 Post subject: Re: Good on ya mite!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 5:49 am 
OMG, I love this concept. The girls in Paris...not much that could be more romantic. And Tara checking out Will's ass? Who could blame her? More please, pretty please.



:sheep n I dunno wot this is about, but it's so cute. lol.

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

"Baby have you got to go away? Don't think I can take the pain. Won't you stay another day...?"~ East 17, sad but true



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 9:59 am 
Hi. I just wanted to say that I'm enjoying your story. Your writing is good and well paced. The connection between the girls is apparent without being unreal. I'm looking forward to their meeting in customs or wherever they will meet next. Good job. Debra

---

"Your little will can't do anything. It takes Great Determination. Great Determination doesn't mean just you making an effort. It means the whole universe is behind you and with you - the birds, trees, sky, moon, and ten directions." - Katagiri Roshi



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 12:06 pm 
Ah yes, both of them on the same flight! This meeting should be very interesting.



Great update.



BV



It's the passion in a kiss that gives to it its sweetness; it is the affection in a kiss that sanctifies it.



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 3:01 pm 
Tempest Duer – I totally agree, it’s fun writing them looking for each other…but it’s all really just build up to them being together.

Sheba – lol, here it is, not all at once though.

amberbensontotallyrules4eva – thanks very much for loving the concept. Who wouldn’t check out Willow’s arse?

JustSkipit – Thanks so very much. Your fics rock so your praise is extra appreciated. It’s a given in any fic that they should be together so it’s a challenge to sustain the mood when they aren’t together.

barnabasvamp – This meeting is interesting I hope…but it’s not on the plane.





Chapter Five – “Hey! It’s you…again!”



Willow tapped her fingers impatiently on the side of her chair. She was sitting on the veranda of her aunt’s house, sipping cool punch and listening to the insanely boring chatter of her cousins and their friends. Each was vying for her attention as though even the tiniest word from her was an earth shattering revelation. They were now outdoing themselves boasting of all the places they would show her and how impressed she would be…



Just the fact that any of you people would be there with me would be enough to ruin even Paris’ most spectacular sights. Oh my god, I’m turning into one of those stuck up, obnoxious dames I can’t stand! Willow took a sip of punch and tried not to look so bored and aloof. This in itself was a difficult task as when she was bored she tended to look aloof…and she was very, very bored…



“Where shall we go today?” Jacque asked, leaning much too close to Willow for her liking, “The museum has an exhibition from Egypt…”



Sounds interesting, mummies, ancient curses, mysteries, what more could a girl want…? Willow’s ears pricked up.



“No, no, no, she doesn’t want to do anything so dull, not our Willow! Dancing at the club…they have this cool swing band…” her cousin Jean waved his hands dramatically to indicate his disapproval for stuffy old museums.



I can dance in New York…and with guys that don’t want to make me step very hard on their toes…



“You know what,” Willow put on a brave but tired smile, “I’m feeling awfully jet-lagged…I think I need a rest…”



Once she had dismissed her gaggle of followers by pulling a few of her best faux yawns, Willow grabbed her bag and camera, gleefully slipping out to explore the city on her own. Being the sociable, chatty young lady that she was, Willow didn’t plan on being on her own for too long. She was convinced someone more exciting and fun to be with was bound to be waiting just around the next corner. If anything unexpected was going to happen…this was definitely the city for it. Okay Rosenberg, no obnoxious relatives in sight, eyes peeled…best sexy walk on…you can be gracious and charming when you want to… She was hoping to convey the image of a sophisticated young American women…despite the fact that she didn’t quite meet up to such an ideal. How can French guys resist that?



*****



Tara’s greatest fears had long since been put to rest. She had been afraid Paris would not live up to her expectations, either that or she would be too terrified to leave their hotel room. However, after just two days it was everything she had imagined and more. Free of the constraints that had been imposed on her in New York, the young woman felt more alive than she had at any time in her life.



In between Mr Giles’ very light work schedule, Tara had been given free run of the city. She had no problem stepping out and exploring wherever her feet happened to take her. Although she had only been able to visit a fraction of what she eventually hoped to see, the small taste had given her a hunger she’d never felt before. The markets, the gardens…Strolling the endless boulevards she could feel the history of the place…it was just as Mr Giles had said…magic.



Despite the magic in the air, Tara couldn’t shake a nagging feeling that she was missing something. Which she knew was ridiculous as there was absolutely nothing she had left behind her…



*****



Willow found herself at the Place de la Concorde and felt obliged to take a picture of the famous obelisk at the centre. She had been running around snapping pictures all day and it was beginning to grow a little dull…nice buildings, fountains, more nice buildings again. She had not totally forgotten the fact that she was lacking for company…she just hadn’t found the right sort. It wasn’t until she had brushed off the attentions of the fourth young man who had tried to talk to her that she realised she would never find what she was searching for in Paris…



Willow raised her camera to her eye, searching for the best angle to take a view of the obelisk. It wasn’t quite right until she jumped up on the fountain ledge behind her. She snapped a picture, not bothering with a second because it was only a big stone pointy thing anyway. From her vantage point Willow surveyed the scene, cars being driven at full tilt around the roundabout as only Parisian drivers could, more tourists like herself except with a seemingly endless supply of film in their cameras…her gaze passed over a blonde gazing up at the obelisk with an enraptured expression before moving on to an oafish young man who was doing everything to attract her attention short of taking off his shirt. Okay, time to make a graceful exit before he gets the nerve to come talk to me…wait…blonde…blonde! Willow spun back around in time to see the back of the blonde girl her gaze had flicked over as she ran across the road. She turned her head only slightly but it was enough for Willow to recognise her.



Oh my god! “Tara!” Willow yelled as loudly as possible.



Tara stopped as she reached the kerb and looked around with a very confused expression. She had the distinct impression that someone had called her name…Stupid, Tara…stupid…. She dismissed it as purely her imagination…she was in Paris…why on earth would anyone be calling for her?



Willow waved her arms over her head, she was so excited that she completely lost her balance. With a small, surprised yelp she slipped on the ledge and went crashing backwards into the fountain.



Willow coughed and spluttered as she surfaced. Blinking furiously she stood up and looked anxiously in the direction she had seen the blonde go. She couldn’t see her anywhere. It didn’t matter…it just wasn’t possible anyway. Why on earth would she of all people be in Paris? Because she was just a…waitress…a shop assistant…what on earth are you thinking Willow? That she was just a nobody? Snorting at her own stupidity she managed to pull herself back on to her feet. She was now standing in a fountain in the middle of one of the busiest parts of Paris, absolutely drenched and people were staring. Willow really couldn’t care less. Dammit, if that was a hallucination…then I just made myself look stupid for absolutely no reason…and yet why do I so wish it were real? Willow clambered up the side of the fountain and just as she was about to pull herself out…



Tara really couldn’t believe that she was the person risking her life to run back across the road and through the maniacal Parisian drivers all because she thought she had seen someone. Someone she had barely met twice and was with all certainty still in New York. Tara Maclay…you have officially crossed the line from being quirky to being insane… Yet…there she was, soaking wet and pulling herself out of the fountain with a large crowd of onlookers gathering. Tara shoved her way through them…



“W-willow?”



Willow gasped in surprise as someone fairly flew at her in a flash of limbs…and blonde hair, she slipped and fell backwards into the fountain again. However, this time hands reached down and grabbed her by the shoulders, drawing her to back to the surface. When Willow finally managed to see through the water running down her face and into her eyes the first thing she saw was a pair of beautiful blue eyes. I wasn’t dreaming…



“Hi,” Willow said brightly, she paused to cough with her hand over her mouth, “Me again…”





TBC in Chapter Six – “Wet Dream Girl.”



*****



Willow: “I’m a bloodsucking fiend! Look at my outfit!”



Edited by: KiwiAlcyone at: 2/1/04 3:03 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 4:18 pm 
Well, well..What a sneak you are! They managed not to see each other on the same flight! :glasses



Falling into the fountain, that was just so Willow! Look forward to more!



BV

It's the passion in a kiss that gives to it its sweetness; it is the affection in a kiss that sanctifies it.



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 4:33 pm 
Haha... falling in the fountain! How Willowy is that? That was totally funny.



Have I mentioned I love your title chapters?

Willow: Hey Buff. One more thing. Buffy: Yeah? Willow: I’m gay. Buffy: Okay, Will. Xander owes me ten bucks.

~Remember to Breathe by Yellow Crayon



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 Post subject: Re: Fic: What's your tale, nightingale? (AU)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 5:00 pm 
i haven't posted on any fics in a little while. but your fic is just wonderful. i am truly enjoying this. buffy.s reaction when willow asked if she liked girls was a little taste of how most people were in the 50.s. but still an adorable story. i am seriously on the edge of my seat waiting for another update even though you just updated today. lol. updateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdateupdate : )

*monkey luv*

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

xander in bargaining: 'how long have you known your girlfriend.s tinkerbell?'

willow: 'i tinkered with tinkerbell'



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