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

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 Post subject: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 4:59 am 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:04 am
Posts: 688
Topics: 1
Title: Neverland
Author: EasierSaid a.k.a. Heather
Feedback: Bites lip and whispers "yes, please."
Spoilers: None.
Setting: AU. There is no Hellmouth, there is no slayer and no magic of the wicca variety. Just our girls and the rest of the Buffy characters living and loving in that great city by the bay, San Francisco.
Rating: Overall NC-17, but for this part I think PG works.
Disclaimer: Please don't sue me Mutant Enemy.
Notes: I know this is INCREDIBLY gauche, to post a fic on only my second post as a registered person, but I'm having one of those "now or never moments" and I'm afraid if I don't seize it I'll let it pass and months and months will fly by and I'll wake up one morning and think, "why didn't I just post the darn story when I was running high on gumption?" Also, I've lurked here for years, and never felt worthy of leaving feedback for any of the hundreds of stories I've read (trust me, I've read most of em). Who am I to give praise or pointers without putting myself on the line? So here I am, putting myself on the line so that I eventually can feel worthy of replying to other people's posts. Yeah, I have issues.

Hopefully, while I'm working through these issues, someone will enjoy this story.


Part One

It was only supposed to be for a few days, a week or two at the most. Just enough time for her to find a place of her own, for her to get settled into the new job, the new routine and the new city. It wasn't supposed to turn into *this*.

*This* was what Willow Rosenberg had feared most, and why she had almost broken out in hives when her best friend had bubbly offered up the room a little more than two months ago.

"No, Buffy, I can't-" Willow awkwardly stammered, shaking her head.

"Give me one good reason why not." Buffy asked, taking a sip of her iced tea and eyeing her fidgeting friend.

Willow weakly replied, "I barely know her-"

"I said a 'good reason'." Buffy challenged, good-naturedly.

Willow sighed and half-heartedly stabbed a fork at her lunch. "She's your friend-"

"Which is exactly why you should say yes." Buffy countered. "She's a friend, a dear friend, my best friend from college and I can't imagine a better place for you, my best friend from high school, to stay than with her while you're getting settled."

Willow frowned and looked down at the salad she had been picking at. "I'll be fine in a hotel-"

"Willow!" Buffy almost laughed at her friend's stubborn refusals. "You're moving to a new city, starting a new job; a hotel room is not going to cut it. You need your own space, a place where you can feel at home. Not to mention it'll be a whole heck of a lot cheaper. Besides," Buffy changed to a confessional tone. "Tara really needs someone to take on that room, if only for a few weeks. She'll never admit it, but things are tight right now and she could use the money."

Willow's brow furrowed and she shook her head. "I don't want to just, invade her space-"

"Believe me, you invading her space is the last thing I'm worried about."

"Buffy-"

"Will, I love ya, and I'm ecstatic that you're moving to my town, but you've got to get over this nervous thing you have about my friends here."

"I'm not, nervous-"

"I know it's hard. I mean, you're pretty much moving into my world, my circle of friends but... okay, when did you first meet Tara? Four, five years ago?"

"Five," Willow grumbled, "but we've only hung out a couple of times-"

"And that's my fault. I mean, it's not like I really planned trips so you guys could hang out, get to know each other."

Willow looked down at her hands. "Seemed like every time I came to visit she'd be out of town..."

Buffy frowned and reached across the table, squeezing Willow's hand before letting go. "*Not* because of you. Tara was just a busy girl, she had to do a lot of traveling, for her family, for school, her art-"

"I just don't know if it's the best idea for us to live together." Buffy opened her mouth to speak but Willow interrupted. "You and her have this special bond, and you and I have our thing and it just seems kinda forced to try and make her like me-"

Buffy finally did laugh. "She does like you!"

"And besides, it's weird, you offering the room." Willow carried on, choosing to ignore Buffy's interruption. "It's her apartment-"

"And she'd offer the room to you herself if she wasn't in Los Angeles for that art show. Willow, I want you there, Tara wants you there... What are you afraid of...?" Buffy finally cried out, exasperated.

Willow didn't reply. Buffy sighed and offered her long-time friend a grin. "Think about it?"

Willow just sighed, and nodded, picking at her lunch and allowing Buffy move the conversation on to other topics, like what her salary would be as a highly sought after computer programmer, whether she had heard from their mutual friend Xander lately, and whether Willow was up for an afternoon of window shopping.

Willow didn't reply to Buffy's query because she knew exactly what she was afraid of, why she knew two days of living with the blond artist (much less the two months she had just endured) would be absolute torture. Why she wanted desperately to find her own place and why she tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to keep to herself at nights. Willow Rosenberg was afraid, because she was now, as she was the day she spent in Golden Gate Park with the blond three years previously, head-over-heels in love with her new roommate, Tara Maclay.


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 Post subject: reply
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 5:45 am 
hi~EasierSaid.Awesome start! Me like,Me more! :laugh I'm a sucker for this kinda AU story.:love Willow's in already in luv so what about Ms.Art? :hmm Hope to see certain blonde on next chapter.:Tara:heart so continue soon!!





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 Post subject: Re: reply
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 7:05 am 
hey

that's a very good start you got there, i'm happy you post it even though it's your 2nd post and all..! i don't leave feedback much these days, life's hitting hard on me and all, but if it can persuade you to go on with it...

can't wait for more



jen

There is such a variety of well-invented things that the earth is like the breasts of a woman: useful as well as pleasing - Nietzsche



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 Post subject: Re: reply
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 9:12 am 
Ahh.. i smell new fic... and i likes what i read..very good start.. so u must continue..



-reds:willow



my banana dances for smut :banana

Tara in a wet shirt, Tara in a wet shirt. Tara in. A. Wet. Shirt. “Of course.”-Willow From Remember to Breath By Yellow Crayon



Now that just sucks- me



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 Post subject: reply
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 11:52 am 
ohhhhh



I like it!!:banana

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

i'm hot homeboy, never get it twisted!!



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 Post subject: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:28 pm 
Thanks to everyone who replied. Continuing on with the foolish bravery. :)

Title: Neverland
Author: EasierSaid a.k.a. Heather
Feedback: Bites lip and whispers "yes, please."
Spoilers: None.
Setting: AU. There is no Hellmouth, there is no slayer and no magic of the wicca variety. Just our girls and the rest of the Buffy characters living and loving in that great city by the bay, San Francisco.
Rating: Overall NC-17, but for this part I think PG works.
Disclaimer: Please don't sue me Mutant Enemy.
Notes: Thanks very, very much for reading.

Thoughts in italics

Part Two

She called it an apartment but everyone else called it a palace. (At least, by San Francisco's standards.) A spacious, two bedroom converted space with high ceilings, a shared roof deck and enough sunlight to grow a jungle. The bottom floor, lifted just off the street by a steep staircase, consisted of a large living room, an industrial kitchen and a back area that Tara was using as a studio. Up another set of stairs were two large bedrooms and a large bathroom.

She had bought it just after graduating from school with the small inheritance left to her by her mother, and the money from her numerous, student gallery shows. She told her friends it was just an investment, but they knew better. It was Tara.

The house was decorated in a warm, yet modern style. Large canvases, some painted by herself, others by friends and mentors, graced the tall walls. The house was perfectly coordinated, in a way that left visitors feeling equal parts envious and impressed. Little things, like the knobs on the kitchen cabinets were custom, and a beautiful iron chandelier that she had made with a welder friend hung over the tasteful dining area. There had been offers of magazine shoots, of local TV DIY show spots but Tara resisted. She was proud of her home, but it was her home. She didn't want to share.

Except with Willow.

Tara sighed as she moved around her studio, setting up a large canvas near the bright windows for her morning's work. Willow. The name caused Tara's mouth to tug into a frown and she shook her head to try and rid herself of the confusing thought.

She had met Willow five years ago. Tara had been a sophomore in college, living for her second year with Buffy Summers. For her entire freshman year she listened as the petite blonde rattle off story after story about her friends from home. Xander and Willow, Willow and Xander. "Willow is so smart, so funny, so (insert flattering adjective here)." By the time sophomore year rolled around Tara was terrified of meeting Willow. No, not Willow, THE Willow, the seemingly perfect redhead the petite blonde had built up in her mind. Buffy had become, through her kindness and generous spirit, Tara's best friend. Not just her best friend at school, but her best friend anywhere, and the thought of meeting Buffy's *other* best friend terrified her. What if the redhead didn't like her?

It was a long weekend, and Willow had flown out from Boston where she was attending M.I.T. Had she mentioned the redhead was brilliant? Tara shook her head readying the canvas, thinking back on that first meeting. Tara had stayed back at the dorm room she had shared with Buffy, while the girl had gone to the airport to pick up her friend. Tara must have cleaned, re-cleaned and then re-re-cleaned the small room a hundred times. She wanted so much to make a good impression on this person who was so important to Buffy.

Buffy brought Willow and her bag into the room and proudly introduced the two girls. "Tara, this is my best friend from home, Willow. Willow, this is my best friend here." The two girls politely shook hands, Tara emitting a relieved "hey" while Willow merely mumbled a greeting. Buffy sheepishly smiled at Tara before turning to the redhead.

"You hungry Will? Airplane food is kind of of the yuck."

"I'm fine." The redhead answered, her head bowed a bit. Tara felt for the slim redhead; she looked so uncomfortable, so small.

"I-I could go g-get us something." Tara blurted, immediately cursing the reappearance of her stutter and overeager tone of voice.

"I'm okay, really." Willow briefly looked up and made eye contact with the blonde. They stared for a moment and Willow's face scrunched up in thought. Oh god. Tara thought alarmed. Staring! Staring at Buffy's straight friend. "I'm actually kinda tired, Buff." Willow said, turning away from Tara. Tara sighed, stupid, and Buffy looked at the redhead in surprise.

"Oh. Okay. I mean, it's kinda early for Tara and I but you're probably all tired from the flight. Tell you what, you curl up in my bed and Tare and I will go out, let you catch some zzzs."

Willow had gone to sleep, and the next afternoon Tara had left for home. The girls didn't meet again until a year later, at a Halloween party Buffy and her had hosted in their small, two bedroom apartment. Tara shouldn't have been surprised to see the redhead, Buffy had told her she was coming, but nonetheless, Tara found herself stopping short as she entered the room and laid her eyes on the girl. The blonde stood stunned, letting her eyes feast on the redhead. She looked like a completely different person than the one she had met previously, smiling, laughing, relaxed. Tara leaned against the wall and tried to blend into the crowd milling around, never moving her gaze from the happy girl. She was enthralled.

Willow stood with her hair pulled back into a short ponytail, her body barely covered by a... tarzan suit? Tara craned her neck a bit to more fully to take in the costume. An olive colored tank top covered in tatters, her toned midriff exposed for all to see, a similarly tattered short skirt hugging the redhead's curves, leaving her legs bare. Tara swallowed hard and dragged her eyes back up the lithe woman's frame, allowing her eyes to leisurely move across her neck, her ears, before settling one again on her face. Willow laughed at someone's joke and Tara involuntarily responded with a wide smile. The redhead was gorgeous. Why hadn't she seen it before?

Probably because you were too worried about how she obviously didn't like you... Now-Tara cursed herself. She stepped away from the canvas and pulled on a paint splattered smock. She moved to a small stereo and pressed play, the Kings of Convenience filling the space. She returned to the canvas and picked up her palette, mixing the paint as she lost herself again in the remembrance of that night.

She wasn't sure how long she had stared, only that it had been far to long should she ever have to explain herself if caught. She wanted to look away, but how could she? Every time she tried Willow would do something fascinating, like... drink out of a cup, or tuck a piece of stray hair behind her ear. How could she ever look away from the most beautiful thing she had ever seen? Tara finally did look away, down at her feet when she saw the man slide up next to Willow and wrap an arm around her waist. Tara's face flushed red, and she hotly looked back up, just in time to see Willow kiss the short man on the lips and smile. Straight, Tara, she sighed as she moved through the crowd, looking for a friend to talk to, a song to dance to, something, anything, that would keep her from torturing herself watching Willow and this man.

She had been on her way toward the bathroom later in the evening when the slim hand touched her shoulder, stopping her. Tara turned and came face-to-face with the smiling redhead. "Willow..." Tara replied, her face contorting a bit in surprise. The bright smile on Willow's face faded quickly, and the redhead hastily withdrew her hand, twisting her fingers.

"Hey." Willow said... nervously? Tara was confused, and her face showed it.

"Hey." Tara replied.

"Thanks for sharing your bed." Willow blurted. Tara's confusion deepened and Willow looked as if she was replaying what she had just said in her head. Her features changed, 'oh!' flashing across her face before a deep blush settled on her cheeks. "I mean, thanks for letting me use your bed, while you're gone this weekend."

"Oh." Tara replied. Willow looked at her expectantly, but when the blonde didn't continue Willow launched into what could only be described as the most impressive explosion of speech-sans-breathe that Tara had ever witnessed.

"It's just, the floor is nice, I mean, I'm sure here it's super nice even and I don't want you to think I'm too good for the floor or anything, cause I'm not, but I have midterms next week, four to be exact, and taking tests after a long weekend sleeping on the floor, even a super nice floor, not to mention two trips cross-country in a coach seat with my legs all tucked up and some stranger leaning over into my space and drooling, interrupting the last minute cramming I'll know I'll have to do in order to make up for the time I'm spending here doing stuff like this and shopping, cause Buffy'll want to shop and, it just would just be... bad."

Tara stood shocked as Willow's innocent face waited for a reply, anything. So, beautiful. Tara thought as she stood dumbly before the redhead. "I was actually on my way to the bathroom." Tara said, and then mentally screamed "just on my way to the bathroom!?!"

"Oh." Willow said. "Oh. I'm sorry. Go, I'll just. Yeah." Willow turned and walked away and Tara stared at the retreating form. I am the most ridiculous woman on the face of the Earth, Tara thought as she turned and continued her journey, shaking her head. It was the only time the two would speak that night before Tara left, once again, for home.

Now-Tara shook her head at the memories, the examples of how she just didn't click with the redhead. But that's not true, she thought. There was that one day, in the park three years ago... She stopped what she was doing and stared straight ahead. She closed her eyes and a beautiful smile drifted across her face, the sun warming her and the music creating a gentle cocoon of pleasurable sound. She sighed, dreamily and then opened her eyes. It had been a wonderful day, perfect even. She returned to absentmindedly mixing her paint and again felt a frown pulling at her lips.

Willow. The woman was such an enigma. For two months they had lived together, shared space and Tara felt like she still didn't know the programmer. The redhead worked long hours, and when she wasn't working she was... working. Holed up in her room on her two computers. That's not fair Tara thought, she has dinner with you almost every night, and whenever Buffy is over she's visiting, friendly, pleasant... It's just. She's not the woman Buffy so eagerly describes. She's not the woman that she spent that perfect day in the park with. It was like the redhead was holding a part of herself separate. Or maybe, Tara thought, she just doesn't like you Maclay.

She shook her head and dipped her brush into the paint she had just mixed, and swirled her wrist a couple of times. Enough Willow; time to work. She brought the brush up and quickly moved it across the canvas in a bold diagonal stripe, then pulled the brush away from the mark and stared in confusion. "What..." she said to herself softly, genuinely confused as she took in the vibrant red streak. She exhaled a breath and looked down at her palette. Sure enough, there was the origin of her confusion, a carefully mixed blob of red paint. Red... Tara shook her head, still confused. That's not what I meant at all, I wanted... She frowned as she realized what happened. Willow.


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 Post subject: Re: reply
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:30 pm 


Great start, keep it going!



Stace xXx



EDITED: you got an update in before i gave feedback for the last part lol, that was so awkwardly cute! i like this fic alot! Woohoo!



"Um...dont mean to ruin the sexcapades...but we need the chips out there. Xanders being a chip whore." -She's my always by spikeizmine87

Edited by: Wired vixen at: 9/6/04 1:34 pm


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 Post subject: ...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 4:03 pm 
another update already!!

thats awesome



cant wait til the next one

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

i'm hot homeboy, never get it twisted!!



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 Post subject: Re: ...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 4:44 pm 
:bigwave

Yay for this fic! I love it when Willow and Tara are in San Fran and SOMEONE is an artsit. Cause Ive been taking art classes...and hello hot art teacher! I think you should write more cause this is goin great!

:pride

-rose

I didnt know what being happy was till i found you, i didnt know what love meant till i loved you.



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 Post subject: Re: ...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 5:20 pm 
Great chapters. So Tara thinks Willow doesn't like her, but Willow's in love with Tara? Confusion all around, and I'm definitely looking forward to reading more.



Yvonne:peace



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 Post subject: Re: ...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 5:32 pm 
OoOoOoOoOoOo!!! I'm totally lovin' this fic doll!



:banana You get the famous Danicng Banana!



Take care and update often? Please and Thank you!



Jessica:geek



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 Post subject: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 6:57 pm 
Offline
7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:04 am
Posts: 688
Topics: 1
Title: Neverland
Author: EasierSaid a.k.a. Heather
Feedback: Bites lip and whispers "yes, please."
Spoilers: None.
Setting: AU. There is no Hellmouth, there is no slayer and no magic of the wicca variety. Just our girls and the rest of the Buffy characters living and loving in that great city by the bay, San Francisco.
Rating: Overall NC-17, but for this part I think PG-13 works.
Disclaimer: Please don't sue me Mutant Enemy.
Notes: Thanks very, very much for reading you guys. I'll try to attempt some of those semi-complicated looking individual replies soon. As for the multiple posts? What can I say, you have the flow, you have the flow. (OT Sometimes I wish I had Flo, from Mel's Diner? Would be fun having someone running around the house screaming 'Kiss my grits!' You know, besides myself...)

Thoughts in italics

Part Three

"Stupid program." Willow muttered as she pushed back from her desk, leaning her head against the chair's plush head rest. She sighed and closed her eyes, taking a momentary break from this line of code that threatened her emotional and mental stability. She turned her head and opened her eyes, looking at the only picture sat on her desk, one of her, Buffy and Xander taken last year at their friend Amy's wedding. Willow smiled and looked at the three smiling images. So grown up. Xander, in a suit, his boyish grin gracing a chisled, handsome face. Buffy, her hair drawn up and looking classy in a demur beige chiffon dress. And her.

Willow thought she looked okay. Okay, maybe a little better than okay, if she allowed herself a moment's vanity. It was a good picture, probably the only one in existence where all three of them looked ideal. Xander, the handsome lady killer, Buffy the classic beauty and... her.

Willow didn't know what she was. She analyzed her smiling image, let her eyes really look at herself. The green eyes, framed by red hair brushing against freckled shoulders, her thin frame covered in a slim fitting, sleeveless green bridesmaid dress. It was a good dress, as far as bridesmaid's dresses went. Not that I'm ever gonna wear it again... Willow thought, but a nice dress all the same.

She rolled her head back to look at the screen, the jumbled symbols covering the page, and sighed. What am I... she asked herself. M.I.T. grad. Pretty on special occasions. Computer programmer. New San Francisco resident. Inappropriately in love with my beautiful roommate. Willow shook her head at herself and leaned back in toward the keyboard. She cracked her neck and rested her fingers on the keyboard, ready to dive back in.

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

"Taaaaara."

Tara smiled into the phone. "Buuuuuffy." There was a giggle on the other end and Tara's smile grew wider.

"What are you doing tonight?" Buffy asked, idly eyeing the stacks of paper on her desk.

"Just getting dinner started now, but no plans after that."

"What are you making Willow tonight?" Buffy teased, not seeing Tara roll her eyes on the other end.

"I'm making chicken." Tara replied evenly, choosing not to acknowledge the teasing tone in Buffy's voice.

"Just chicken?" Buffy pressed.

"Mango chicken with rice pilaf and mint pears." Tara sheepishly elaborated.

Buffy made an inaudible noise into the phone and whined. "I wish I still lived with you. Tara perks are the best."

"Well come over." Tara said, moving the mangoes to the cutting board. "I'm making enough."

"As good as that sounds, I can't. I have this mixer to go to and then -- the reason I'm calling -- a new club opening."

"New club, huh..." Tara replied doubtfully.

"Don't use that tone of voice Ms. Maclay. It's going to be fun, and you're going to go with me. Besides, it's one of your clubs."

"One of my clubs?" Tara teased. "I own nightclubs now?"

"Gay club smarty. Plenty of beautiful, hot, young lesbians for you to shoot down."

"Buffy..." Tara frowned into the phone.

"Hey, you like to be single, mysterious unattainable girl. That's cool. Just be my date, in a no-benefits way."

"Ew."

"Did you just 'ew' me?" Buffy replied, mock offended. She heard Tara's throaty chuckle and she smiled. "Come with me."

"*Come* with you? I thought there were no bene-"

"*Accompany* me to the club opening. Sheesh." She shifted her approach, adopting a more sincere tone. "Please, I have to go for work and I really don't want to go alone." Buffy said, laying her metaphorical cards on the table.

Tara sighed and shifted her weight. "Buffy I don't know, I'm not a big fan of those places-"

"Willow."

"What?" Tara stopped everything and looked ahead, surprised.

"We'll bring Willow. It'll be fun, I don't think she's ever been to a kitten club."

"I don't know if that's such a good idea-" Tara said, frowning.

"Oh! So much fun. Tara you don't understand, back home Willow and I would Bronze almost every night. Willow loves clubs, the people watching, the dancing. This one summer, the one when I was home before senior year-"

The door opened and Tara turned to see Willow enter. She momentarily lost track of Buffy speaking and just stared at the beautiful redhead, pivoting into the house, shifting her keys and briefcase between her two hands.

"...And that's how I ended up hating rum."

"W-What?" Tara said, brought very suddenly back to her conversation with Buffy. Willow looked up and saw Tara standing in the kitchen, her hair pulled back in a loose bun, a thin cotton peasant top and loose cotton pants covering her voluptuous frame. Willow gulped as she quickly raked her eyes over the blonde's full figure. No bra, Willow thought, her mouth suddenly dry. She looked down at her feet and shook her head. Pervert.

Tara looked up just then, seeing Willow shake her head. Her brow furrowed and she felt herself ache for the awkward look on Willow's face. Willow looked up and Tara smiled when their eyes locked. Willow smiled back, hesitantly at first, their smiles growing the longer they looked at each other.

"Are you even listening to me?" Buffy barked into the phone.

"Yes." Tara replied guiltily, turning away from Willow. Willow's smile faltered a bit and she started to walk past the kitchen to the stairs leading to her bedroom. "Willow just walked in-" Tara said, her eyes trying desperately not to follow the redhead as she passed.

"Ooo! Put her on!" Buffy bounced in her seat.

Tara nodded to nobody in particular and held the phone to her chest. "Willow." She softly called. Willow turned around, surprised to hear Tara address her. "Hi." Tara smiled.

"Hi." Willow tentatively smiled back.

"Buffy'd like to speak to you." Tara brought the phone from her chest, holding it out toward Willow over the bar.

"Oh. Okay." Willow put her things down and walked toward the bar, her eyes inadvertently looking past the phone, down the blonde's arm and to her chest, where the blonde's nipples pushed at the flimsy fabric. She quickly pulled her eyes up, making eye contact with the blonde. "Thanks," she said blushing.

"No problem." Tara replied, not noticing the way Willow's eyes had travelled over her breasts. Both women's breath caught however, when their fingers touched as they exchanged the cordless. "Do you like magoes?" Tara suddenly asked, her hand now empty, yet still extended.

"Mangoes?" Willow replied, confused. Tara nodded and used her extended hand to point to the cutting board. "Oh. Yeah. Mangoes are yum."

"Okay, good." Tara smiled, relieved, before turning to get a knife. Willow watched and then remembered she should be speaking into the phone.

"Hello?"

"9 pm, you and Tara, dressed in your best meow outfits, meeting me at this new club."

Willow winced. "No, Buffy, I can't-"

"Yes, you can. In fact, you will."

"Buffy..." Willow said, moving away from the bar a bit. "It's a school night." She said, her voice dropping to a near whisper, embarrassed by what she was saying.

Tara could hear her though, and smiled down at the fruit she was slicing. School night... the blonde thought. Adorable.

"School night? Will, you're not a teacher, you're not even a student, and since when have you been unable to go out during the week?"

"I was just hoping to stay in tonight, get some wor-"

"No, no work. Besides, I need you."

"Need me?" Willow replied, confused and a little curious.

"Yeah. The club we're going to definitely gay, as in girl-on-girl gay, and I'm pretty sure Tara's going to be hit on all night. I need a straight girl to keep me company in case our favorite non-practicing lesbian finally decides to drop the shy act and hook up with a hot honey."

Willow's face fell and she looked down at the floor. Tara briefly looked over and noticed the redhead's slumping shoulders. She stopped cutting for a moment and watched. Oh Willow... The blonde tried to imagine what Buffy could say to make the redhead's body language shift so suddenly. She watched as Willow wrapped her free hand around her midsection. "Yeah, okay." Willow said into the phone, evenly. "I guess."

"Perfect." Buffy said happily, failing to notice Willow's empty tone. "I've got to go, but 9pm, look sharp."

Willow numbly nodded and hung up the phone. She stood that way for a while, the phone resting loosely in her grasp, before turning back to the kitchen. Tara quickly looked away, returning to her food preparation. "So you coming with us tonight?" Tara asked, looking up quickly before looking back down, trying not to sound too interested, too eager.

"I guess so." Willow weakly replied, hanging up the phone. She allowed her eyes to roam over Tara's profile, filing small details away into the gigantic mental file she had devoted to the blonde.

"Should be fun." Tara said hopefully, looking up at Willow. The look in the redhead's eyes made her smile fade. Willow looked so... what? Empty? Unenthused? ...Sad?

"I'm gonna go, freshen up." Willow said, dragging her eyes away from her roommate, leaning over and picking up her things. Tara nodded, turning back to her food, a little disturbed by the look in Willow's eyes.

"Dinner should be ready in about an hour or so." The blonde said without looking up.

Willow nodded. "Tara..." Tara looked up; their eyes locked and for a moment they were lost. Willow swallowed and looked down to Tara's lips, slightly parted, waiting. "Thanks." She said, drawing her eyes back up. She saw Tara's brow furrow, so she continued. "For making dinner all the time, letting me live here-"

"It's my pleasure, Willow." Tara replied, heartfelt. Willow looked down and nodded. "Besides, the recipe is for two." A half smile pulled at her lips and Willow looked up, smiling brightly, shyly. Willow nodded and ducked her head again, turning toward the stairs. Tara watched her leave and sighed. Willow the enigma. She turned back to her mango and resumed slicing.


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 Post subject: Re: ...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 6:58 pm 
Thanks for Another great update.So Tara dosen't know that Willow's already in love with her? *ears perk up* Interesting. :hmm Can't wait for the next part. :read



Kings of Convenience.I luv this Norwegian duo too. (especially that funny glasses boy:wink )



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 Post subject: Re: ...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 9:32 pm 
wow! you know, I clicked in here by mistake and feel like I stumbled into a little gem. Beautifully written, great characterization and I'm really enjoying the setup. It's so achingly familiar -- the terror of being in love with someone you believe you can never have... on both sides -- and you capture it in all of its agonizing, bittersweet glory. And I love the detail you add to make it more real and alive: Tara's absentminded red pallette mistake, cutting mangoes for dinner, their awkward attempts at conversation. I particularly liked the interaction at the party, Willow's nervous babble and Tara's subsequent fumble about the bathroom.



You're off to a lovely start. thanks for this.



xomel



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 Post subject: Re: ...
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 10:15 pm 
Color me salivating!



Or um, something that doesn't sound so messy. Or gross.



*long pause*



Anyway I'm loving this! I always love the tenativeness involved at this stage in a relationship, especially with the kinda naturally tentative Willow and Tara. And the fact that they both assume that the other doesn't like them makes it even more tortuously yummy.



I love your Buffy, which is saying a lot. Her relationship with Tara is so lively and fresh, and I can't wait to see where you take it. Ah Buffy, ever the oblivious gobetween. :D



My favorite moment of this fic so far is Willow looking at the wedding picture, objectively looking at her self. It seems to me like Willow is (understandably) always written so selfcondemning. I love that you gave her that moment, however fleeting.



Thanks. Please continue!



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 Post subject: Re: ...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:17 am 
this is a very interesting fic. but.. we have a problem..





I WANT MORE!!!!..... *grins sheepishly* :blush please?





-Kelsey



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 Post subject: Re: ...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:27 am 
Oh gosh, I love it! This is an incredible start and I really look forward to more. Keep it up!!



:peace

-pipsberg



"We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep - it's as simple and ordinary as that."

Michael Cunningham, The Hours



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 Post subject: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:10 am 
Offline
7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:04 am
Posts: 688
Topics: 1
Okay, let's try this "individual replies" concept.

PaleBlueDot Thank you very much for both replies. :D When I originally posted this story, I wasn't sure if anyone would read it. Thanks for being the first. And yes! Kings of Convenience, perfect background music when doing something artsy.

AmbeRocks Thanks! Hope RL allows for decent Pens time. Not sure what I'd do if I didn't have Pens to visit after a long hard day...

WickedReds Must continue? Okay!! Thanks for reading. :)

LizPuRR Two replies - whoohoo! Thanks so much for reading.

Wired vixen Yeah, can you tell I had the day off today? Kinda got carried away with the writing/posting/writing/posting thing. ;) Thanks for reading.

Spikeizmine87 I'm so glad I managed to hit on so many things you like! I too like stories where someone is an artist; allows for a lot of interesting situations and discoveries. Thanks for reading.

onyxsundrops Yay! One of my favorite board writers! :) Yeah, Willow's in love, Tara's pretty sure Willow can't stand her - basically it's a big ol' mess. *sigh* Thanks for reading.

beautifultrgdy Please *and* thank you? Your mama raised you right. I hope to update often (after all, I like it when other writers do), although not as often as today (four posts in 24, that's a nutty pace). Thanks for reading.

lipkandy Thank you so much. I don't know about "beautifully written", but definitely from the heart. I try to pay attention to the details, I think a lot can be garnered from someone's subconscious actions. And who among us hasn't had the awkward, bashful party chatter on the way to the bathroom. :) Thanks again for reading.

sizzlersister Does Crayola make 'salivating' (I hope it looks nothing like burnt umber')? I too love the tentativeness... which is why there will probably be a lot of it (*sorry*). Thanks for the comment re: the wedding picture. I tend to think that everyone has at least one moment where they try to see themselves objectively. Whether their conclusions are objectively accurate... another thing entirely. :) Anyway, thanks so much for reading.

bindingwiccan Problem? Solution! Hope you like the next part and thanks for reading.

pipsberg "Incredible start"? *Gulp*. Well hopefully the rest will rate a "eh, not too shabby." :) Thanks for reading!!

And now, on to the update.


Title: Neverland
Author: EasierSaid a.k.a. Heather
Feedback: Bites lip and whispers "yes, please."
Spoilers: None.
Setting: AU. There is no Hellmouth, there is no slayer and no magic of the wicca variety. Just our girls and the rest of the Buffy characters living and loving in that great city by the bay, San Francisco.
Rating: Overall NC-17, but for this part I think PG-13 works.
Disclaimer: Please don't sue me Mutant Enemy.
Notes: Thanks very, very much for reading you guys. :)

Thoughts in italics

Part Four

Tara stood in front of her closet, covered only by a robe, at a complete loss as to what to wear. She wanted to look good tonight. No, scratch that. She wanted to look better than good; she wanted to look amazing. She shook her head at the absurdity of it all. I want to look sexy for Willow. She frowned and picked up a skirt from the bed, holding it in front of herself and looking into the full length mirror. For Willow, who is straight, and who it is becoming abundantly clear, just politely tolerates my company.

Tara sighed and tossed the skirt back on the bed. Dinner had been... nice. Time with Willow was always nice, because she was Willow, however... something was definitely troubling the redhead this evening. They chatted amiably about their days, Willow careful to gloss over the details of her job, as usual. Tara frowned at that. Why did Willow always change the subject when the topic was herself? Tara had talked about the gallery opening she was planning on participating in, and Willow kept mostly quiet, only nodding occasionally and rarely asking questions to keep the conversation going. Toward the end of dinner Willow had again apologized for not being able to find a place to move into, and again Tara gently reassured Willow that she was no trouble at all, and that she could stay for as long as she liked.

Like forever... She looked at herself in the mirror and bit the inside of her lower lip. This isn't healthy, she thought. She had to get over this crush. Crush? Get real Tara, she scolded herself. Crushes come and go, this... this is... she trailed off. This is unhealthy, she thought again, loosing the sash around her robe and tossing the fluffy garment to the side. She picked up a beaded silk skirt and slid it up her legs.

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

Willow loved this piece.

She stood in the living room, staring up at the area over the fireplace. A large canvas seemed to float in the middle of the wall. How did they get it to hang like that? She idly wondered, her scientific mind switching to the probable physics involved. Willow strained her eyes, trying to simultaneously stare at the whole thing, and pick out the details, at the same time. Multitask much? She chuckled. She settled into a soft smile, still looking at the work in front of her, her head tilted back slightly. It was oil, and the paint sat high off the canvas in thick waves of choppy texture that allowed Willow to appreciate the undulation from her place far below. Colors mixed and mashed together fiercely, passionately, swirling together yet ultimately coexisting, dancing. Willow wondered at the painting. How does someone get started on a work like this? How do they know which colors to use, how to layer the paint and how to decide when it's finally finished? She marveled at the obvious skill involved, the beauty of the final product. She marveled that it was Tara's hands, and Tara's mind, that had created such a spectacular work of art.

Tara came down the stairs and stopped suddenly, seeing Willow standing in the living room, looking up at the painting on the far wall. The redhead was wearing hip hugging black pants, black high heeled boots and a form fitting maroon top. The front portion of her hair was swept up off her face and fastened with little clips. Tara couldn't see her face clearly, but could tell from the blush on Willow's cheek that she had decided on some makeup. Tara was struck speechless. That body...

She once again let her eyes wander over the redhead's frame. Willow's hips. They were so round. Surprisingly round for a woman so thin. And womanly. Tara inwardly groaned. So womanly. She drifted to Willow's rear, and down her long legs. She looked up when Willow shifted her weight, remembering that she shouldn't be ogling her straight roommate from the shadows like some stalker. She lightly cleared her throat and continued down the stairs.

Willow turned at the noise, grinning, ready to compliment the blonde on the painting, when she froze. Tara was crossing toward her in a lightweight rose colored skirt, the kick pleat rippling at her calves. She wore a white form fitting top, short sleeved and set enticingly against her creamy skin. Her makeup was flawless, her long hair fell straight around her face. Her feet were held aloft by simple strappy heels. Willow felt like she couldn't breathe.

Tara was having a similar problem. Okay, so the shirt opens at her midriff... Tara looked down and let her eyes take in Willow's bellybutton before she quickly looked backup. Breathe, left step, right step, left step, breathe, okay, stop before you run into her.

"Hey." She said, mentally slapping herself for the lame greeting. "Sorry, it took me a little longer than I thought it would to figure out what I wanted to wear." She chuckled nervously. "You know, cause, girl." She pointed at herself and then instantly regretted the stupid joke.

Miraculously, Willow smiled brightly. "I have the same problem." She confessed conspiratorily.

Tara chuckled in return, relaxing. "Really?"

Willow's face turned a little panicked. "Am I not dressed right?"

"No, I was going to say-"

"Cause, I've never been to a..." She trailed off and looked down her body. "Dark colors are out right now, right? I mean, you're wearing light colors, all ethereal a-and summery, and I'm like, dark, gothy oppressive winter girl-"

"I think you look beautiful." Tara interrupted quickly, quietly.

"Oh." Willow said. She then blushed furiously and turned back to the painting on the wall.

Way. To. Go. Maclay. Tara shook her head, chastising herself.

"How did you know when to stop?" Willow asked. Tara looked confused at the back of the redhead's head.

"Stop?"

Willow turned around and waited expectantly. Seeing Tara's face she inwardly winced. "Oh. Sorry, my brain kinda, jumps, topics sometimes." Tara nodded, waiting and Willow continued. "The painting. How did you decide, 'well, I think that's enough paint.'"

Tara looked up at the work on the wall. It was one of her favorites, one she could never part with, no matter the offered price, and she scanned it trying to figure out what exactly it was Willow was asking.

Willow elaborated as she watched the blonde take in her own work. "I mean, it's not like a landscape where you could say 'three boats will do,' it's just, paint." Willow, unseen by Tara, grimaced in frustration, unable to express herself the way she wanted. "Just paint" - it's more than just paint. It's... perfect. Why didn't I take a stupid art class in college so I could talk to her about her work in an intelligent way?!

Tara felt her face going hot as she scanned the canvas, looking for an appropriate answer. She doesn't like it. She swallowed and tried to think of a reply. Okay, she thinks I'm just some hack who slaps a bunch of paint onto a canvas and calls it art. She didn't dare look over at the girl at her side. Get a grip Tara, it's not the end of the world if the woman you think you're in love with doesn't understand the only thing that's even remotely interesting about you. She finally shrugged and turned to face Willow. "I don't know." She said softly, almost apologetically. "I just... do."

Willow smiled equally apologetically, disappointed that she had caused the mood to shift with her inarticulate curiousity. "Wanna go?" She said after a moment. "Buffy's... probably..."

"Yeah." Tara nodded. Both women made their way to the door quietly and exited, locking the sturdy door behind them.


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 Post subject: Re: ...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:19 am 
I just found your fic, and I love it! This has really caught my interest, being as i am originally from around the bay area, plus, i love the concept.



I'm a little late on this, but I would like to say that i don't think it matters that you started this on your second post. This is high quality fic here! It is quality, not quantity, that counts.



And let me tell you what I like, I really enjoy how you go into their heads, show thoughts. And the angst, I love it. It is too easy to make a story all hugs and giggles in my book, angst keeps things going, conflicts, be they internal or external, keep interest, they keep things moving.



You have a great subtle tone with the erotic as well, how you describe Willow checking out Taras outfit, and the previous update, during Taras flashback, of Willows outfit. These little details really make or break a story.



i like how you show us what they feel, the situation, rather than use 5 words to flately state it.



Good job, I will be checking for updates, as this has caught my interest more than anything I've seen of late.



Wunderbar! (aka wonderfull)



:kgeek frau



edited to add, wow, as soon as I finished this bit o feedback, you had already updated! My kind of author, I'm off to read!

Thank you.

Edited by: frau rosenclay at: 9/7/04 2:21 am


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 Post subject: Re: ...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 3:55 am 


*eyes widen* :shock



how in god's name is it that i've only just read this fic?!?!?! SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG WITH THAT!



oooooh man! I love this! it's like so incredibly awesome!! I love the idea of Tara as an artist, and oh my god! The tension you describe is so frustrating but realistic gah! i love it! i LOVE it!



:bounce



moremoremoremoremoremoremoremoremoremoremore



:bounce





-Bellie :D

Forgive me love For loving you, Forgive my heart For needing you, Forgive my mind For wanting you … So much … Forgive me Love



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 Post subject: Re: ...
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 8:57 am 
Hey EasierSaid (Great name, by the way)~



First of all--good for you for posting! I know it's a scary process, but this is really good stuff and I hope you're picking up on that from the feedback.



You do a really nice job with interior monologues; letting us see each woman's thoughts. Isn't it amazing that we can so easily see the goodness and worthiness in someone else and yet be so blind to it in ourselves?



I also confess to a deep appreciation for basic good grammar. Yep--I'm old school that way, I guess. But when a story has lots of misspellings and awkward sentences, I just drift off, no matter how good the plot might be. So kudos to you for having (and using) the basic tools that let your work really fly.



I cannot wait to see this bar scene...and yet I must because really, what else can I do?



Thanks for sharing this with us--post away, girl!

Mary



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 Post subject: Neverland
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 10:04 am 
ok so I go away for 1 day and I come back to 2 updates...lemme take that back, 2 awesome updates!!!



cant wait for more...so make sure you put the updates up fast :)

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

i'm hot homeboy, never get it twisted!!



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 Post subject: Re: Neverland
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:02 pm 
Mmmm.. i have to agree with Lizpurr.. i leave and here r some wonderful updates.. nice work...



-reds:willow



my banana dances for smut :banana

Tara in a wet shirt, Tara in a wet shirt. Tara in. A. Wet. Shirt. “Of course.”-Willow From Remember to Breath By Yellow Crayon



Now that just sucks- me



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 Post subject: Re: Neverland
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:05 pm 
Words can't express how grateful I am that, browsing through quickly, I thought 'Neverland', that sounds like it could be worth a look... wowee, worth a look doesn't even come close! I love how you've introduced Willow and Tara, effortlessly given them this textured background without making it seem laboured. And how they're both longing for each other, yet doubting themselves all the while, and misinterpreting each other's signs. It's a wonderfully engaging start to a romance (cause even if you *are* Willow or Tara, the prospect of making the first move towards the other... heck, I'd be hiding in my room in a fit of pessimism too :) ). I'm looking forward to seeing how you'll have this play out - the first stirrings of hope, trying to gather enough courage to go out on a limb and say something...



If you'd like, I'd really love to host this story on Through the Looking-glass (alia.customer.netspace.net.au/glass.htm ). If you'd like an email address to be on the pages for feedback and such, just say so, or email me at alia@netspace.net.au, but I can instead link to this thread if you'd prefer. I hope you'll say yes :)



Oh, and before I go, I *adore* the whole scene built around Tara's painting - Willow's thoughts (which, having darn little artistic talent myself, I can understand wholly), then Tara coming in, and them misunderstanding each other. I'll look forward to reading all the future chapters you post, but in particular - as I hope will happen at some point - the one where Willow stands in front of that painting with Tara, points to it, and says "I *love* this". Or some equivalent thereof. Tara's art means so much to her, I'd love to see her realise how much it fascinates Willow.

Chris Cook

Through the Looking-glass

A Willow and Tara for every world.



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 Post subject: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 4:48 pm 
frau rosenclay Thanks so much for the support. I too am a great fan of the angst. Something oddly satisfying about watching people struggle (to what we all know will be a happy conclusion of course - promise). And yes, also a fan of the erotic, so thanks for the compliment; I try.

little miss 666 Thanks, "frustrating but realistic" is what I'm going for. ;)

AntigoneUnbound Oh lord, there's a legend in my thread. Big, big, big fan of your work, huge. Consider yourself a direct inspiration (or not, if the story suddenly nose dives into 'utter crap' territory). Thank you very much for the kind words. I try with the spelling/grammar, and I wince at the typos I do let slip by. Very kind to wait for the bar scene(s), I know I'm having a terrible time being patient! Thanks very much for reading, truly.

LizPuRR I'll try with the updates, I've got them in my head, just a matter of finding time to write it all down. Thanks for reading.

WickedReds Agreement is good - thanks for reading!

Artemis Wow, I'm overwhelmed by your kind words. Thank you very much. There's something paralyzing about falling in love, especially if you filter it through a whole bunch of external expectations. Throw in some misunderstandings and well... the only thing you've got going for you are those moments when you allow yourself to feel how much in love you actually are. Or you know, something less cheesy. Thanks for the compliment re: the painting scene, I hope that the art will help both women make some realizations about what they want.

On to the update!


Title: Neverland
Author: EasierSaid a.k.a. Heather
Feedback: Bites lip and whispers "yes, please."
Spoilers: None.
Setting: AU. There is no Hellmouth, there is no slayer and no magic of the wicca variety. Just our girls and the rest of the Buffy characters living and loving in that great city by the bay, San Francisco.
Rating: Overall NC-17, but for this part I think PG-13 works.
Disclaimer: Please don't sue me Mutant Enemy.
Notes: Thanks very, very much for reading.

Thoughts in italics

Part Five

"Just paint."

"Oh, what's that on the canvas, a beautiful, stunning, moving work of art?" Nope - just paint.

Willow silently berated herself on the cab ride to the club, sitting as close to the door and as far from Tara as she could manage without actually hanging out of the speeding vehicle. She watched as the streets passed, shaking her head in embarassment and humiliation at her earlier words. Her throat was tight, and she was trying to keep the tears that were threatening to fill her eyes at bay.

"Just paint." Right, cause that computer program? Just 0s and 1s. She shook her head ruefully, the tone in her head sharp, sarcastic. What? It looks interesting, with its rounded edges and flashy yet subtle animations, like it probably took someone with a lot of skill and imagination a lot of blood, sweat and tears to create? Nope, just 0s and 1s. Stupid.

Tara sat still on the opposite side of the backseat. She stared straight ahead, absently watching the cab driver navigate the numerous one way streets. She could see the tense redhead out of the corner of her eye, and Willow's obvious discomfort made her in turn, tense. She obviously doesn't want to be going out tonight. Why did she say yes if she's this unhappy about it? Is it me? Did I do something? Please Tara, not everything is about you... maybe she had a bad day at work and just didn't want to get into it at dinner. Tara twitched her lips into a wry smile. Cause you have that kind of relationship where she would share something like that with you. She thought, sarcastically. The cab pulled up and both girls went to pay the driver.

"I've got it." Willow said quietly, offering up a ready $20.

"We can split-"

"No, please." Willow looked at Tara, before dropping her head and then looking up at the driver. "It's not a big deal."

"I'll get you a drink inside then." Tara said as Willow dealt with the cabbie. Willow just nodded, not daring to look at the blonde. They slid out of the same side of the car and once on the sidewalk, looked around.

"Giiiiiiirls." Willow and Tara both turned to see Buffy approaching, smiling widely. She wore a sleeveless top and ivory silk skirt. Tara smiled widely, happy to see someone who wasn't wound tight as a drum. Willow noticed the shift in Tara's demeanor and sighed inwardly.

Bet she'll be relieved to get away from you...

"Very nice, both of you look stunning, and you're on time." Buffy complimented. "Just what I look for in best friends." Buffy noticed Willow's tense demeanor and cast a quick look at Tara, eyebrows raised. Tara quirked an eyebrow in response while continuing with her demure smile. Buffy frowned and looked at Willow. "What's wrong with you?"

Tact, Buffy, tact. Tara inwardly winced.

"What?" Willow asked looking at her old friend with a mixture of hurt and annoyance.

"You seem all... uptight."

"I'm not uptight, Buffy."

"Fine." Buffy said, obviously not believing her words. "Just want to make sure you're going to be able to have a good time tonight."

"Can we just go in?" Willow replied, her face hot.

Buffy nodded her head once and looked at Tara, who was looking rather embarrassed. Willow wrapped her arms around her middle and followed the two women as they walked toward the club. The entrance was framed by soft lights and a short line of chatting women snaked down the left wall. Loud R&B flooded from the open door. Buffy approached the bouncer and smiled, handing over a finely printed invitation. IDs were checked, hands were stamped, and they entered.

The club itself was amazing, lush, decorated in deep reds and purples, soft lights giving enough light for evaluative gazes from across the room. There were numerous plush couches along the walls, mauslin curtains were bunched along the wall while some hung from protruding iron rods, giving the appearance of division. Tables and chairs took up an area near the bar, and a small dance area was off to the back. Buffy leaned back and spoke loudly to the women who followed her so that she could be heard over the music. "We have a table to the back, a couch." Willow and Tara nodded. Tara looked around and immediately recognized a few faces. Women who had approached her over the last year, women who she had gently turned down. They smiled at her now, and she returned the look politely.

Willow glanced over and saw Tara smiling at a blonde woman as they passed the bar. The woman was attractive, and made no secret of her appreciation for Tara's form. Her eyes went slowly down to Tara's ankles and back up. Willow flushed red at the open rubbernecking of her... roommate. She sighed and looked away, mindful that that woman's perusal of Tara wasn't going to be the last ogle of the evening. "What do you think?" Buffy said, leaning over.

"It's nice." Willow replied evenly.

"Little swankier than the Bronze." Willow nodded and snuck a quick look at Tara. She was now looking across the room at yet another woman. Willow dropped her eyes and leaned over to Buffy.

"I'm gonna head to the restroom."

"Okay, we'll be right back here." Buffy pointed to a couch just off from the main area. Willow nodded and ducked away.

Tara turned to watch the redhead go in the opposite direction from where Buffy was headed, threading through the now thickening crowd. "Where-"

"Bathroom." Buffy said. They settled down on the couch and Buffy turned to Tara. "So what's up with Willow... you didn't have a fight or anything-"

"No." Tara said quickly, shaking her head softly. "At least I don't think so. I think... I think she's just tired, from work?"

"Well she was worried about it being 'a school night.'" Buffy said, rolling her eyes.

Tara's lips quirked up in a warm smile. Adorable...

"Eventually she'll loosen up. I'm giving her... one more month."

Tara mock frowned and turned to Buffy. "And then...?"

"I'm calling in the big guns."

"Oh, okay." Tara said, exaggerating both words. She turned and absently scanned the crowd, shaking her head at Buffy's non-threat.

"See any hotties?" Buffy teased.

Tara chuckled and relaxed, turning to look at Buffy. "No. Just a few women I've turned down. Kinda hoping they took the hint and don't try again tonight."

"Right, god forbid an attractive lesbian hits on you."

Tara allowed a smile to tug at her lips and her eyes sparkled. She sighed. "Oh, Buffy..."

"When I go to straight bars I always hope the men stay away. 'Stay away!' I say."

"I'm not gonna meet the love of my life in some bar." Tara said and Buffy pulled a face.

"'I'm not gonna meet the love of my life in some bar, or some gallery opening, or some grocery store aisle.'" Buffy imitated and Tara shook her head, the smile still on her lips. "I think you think someone's gonna drop her off on your doorstep tied up with a bow."

Close... Tara thought, remembering Buffy dropping Willow off a few months prior. No bow... but close enough... She swiveled her head and looked to where the redhead had disappeared to minutes ago.

"Do you think the bartender is straight?"

Tara let lose a deep laugh and turned back to Buffy. "Oh, Buffy..."

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

Willow emerged from the stall and took a quick look at the women standing next to her washing their hands. One gave her a large grin and Willow offered a slight smile before she turned and pulled a few paper towels from the wall. She gave herself a quick look in the mirror. Okay, no red puffy eyes, good.

She looked back to the paper towel dispenser and took a deep breath. Okay, so it's going to be a long night. A lot of women are going to be coming on to Tara, looking at her, some might even dance with her, and hold her and touch her and why the hell am I here torturing myself like this!? She threw the towels away and turned to exit. The woman who she had innocently grinned at blocked her way.

"Hey there." The brunette purred.

Willow's eyebrows stitched together. In the bathroom, really?

"I couldn't help but notice that you looked like you have a lot on your mind. Maybe you'd let me buy you a drink and we could talk a little.

"Uh..." Willow said, leaning back into the dispenser as the woman leaned into her, reaching up and stroking her arm once before finally resting her hand at Willow's elbow. The door opened and Willow looked up to see an individual entering. She smiled, relieved, when she saw it was Tara.

Tara walked into the bathroom and at a quick glance saw two women talking near the paper towel dispenser. She stopped dead in her tracks when she saw that one of them was Willow. The redhead was looking at her with a mixture of relief and desperation. Tara turned her attention to the woman who was very obviously hitting on her roommate and she felt herself flare with jealousy. Who was this bitch and why was she touching Willow?!

Willow watched the emotions rip across Tara's face and her brow furrowed. What's *that* look? Tara looked back up at Willow and Willow flashed a quick, sheepish, uncomfortable smile. The woman who was looking at Willow turned to see Tara staring at them. She looked back to Willow. "Is that your girlfriend?"

Time stopped for Willow. She looked over at the brunette hitting on her like she had spoken seven different languages at once. Girlfriend... Only in my numerous and very vidid dreams! She tried to answer but no sound came out. She just stared at the expectant face in front of her, shocked into silence.

"Hey..." Tara said, spurning herself into action as she crossed to Willow's side. "There you are sweetie." She reached over and took Willow's right hand with her left, careful to interlace their fingers. The brunette looked down at the interlocked hands and backed up a step, dropping her hand from Willow's arm. The brunette squinted a bit, trying to figure out Willow and Tara's relationship. Tara sensed she was being tested, so she turned to face Willow's profile, pressing herself close to the redhead. She reached her right hand out and lightly touched Willow's hip, stroking her thumb at the point where the material of the redhead's pants met her exposed skin.

Willow sucked in a deep breath when she felt Tara's fingers on her hip, touching her skin, her right hand on fire wrapped in Tara's strong, yet gentle grasp. "Buffy thought you might have gotten lost, baby." Willow turned her head to look at Tara, their faces inches apart. Tara arched her eyebrows, 'play along?' Willow just stared.

"Hey, I'm sorry, I didn't know..." The brunette said to Tara, backing up toward the door. More people were milling around, snatching quick glances at the almost scene as they freshened up.

"No big deal." Tara said, turning to face the woman, her steely eyes saying something completely different. "She's beautiful." Tara turned and looked at Willow. "If she wasn't mine I'd be doing the same thing." Willow stopped breathing. The look in Tara's eyes was so kind, so loving and *so* hot.

"Yeah, well again, sorry." The brunette turned and exited the room. Willow and Tara continued to stare at each other, until Tara offered a slight smile, took a step backward and freed Willow's hand with a squeeze.

"You okay?" She asked, clasping her hands behind her back. Willow finally released her breath and nodded. She wiped the hand Tara had just grasped on her pants, mindful of how damp it had gotten, how nervous she had been to feel the blonde's touch. Tara subtly caught the move but continued to smile. "You know, you can just tell them you're straight and here with a friend." She spoke softly, as if imparting a secret. "They'll understand. Well most of them will understand. And the ones that don't... Buffy or I will step in and play 'girlfriend'."

Willow nodded dumbly. "Okay. Thanks, for what you-"

"Not a problem. You obviously weren't interested." Willow chuckled softly at that, Tara's eyes smiling to see that she had helped Willow to relax, even for a second.

"You said um, Buffy was waiting?" Tara nodded and Willow nodded in return. Tara smiled, Willow nodded again and ducked her head shyly. She crossed to the exit after another brief head nod, and Tara entered a stall.

TBC...


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 Post subject: Uh - huh, yep.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 5:08 pm 
AND THAT. IS EXACTLY HOW IT SHOULD BE.



that brunette = :no Willow: :yikes Tara: :fit2 < ( isn't he cute? )



Very very good. <3 Awesome.



Did I mention that I <3 you?





UPDATE SOON.

-Kristi.



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 5:45 pm 
This is such a wonderful story, and even though it takes place outside of the Buffy canon, it feels like it could have happened this way. The tension you've set up is so well drawn--the feelings they both have, but are unable to act on (yet). This is so much more satisfying than what the show provided (they're friends, they do spells, now they're girlfriends). You've really tapped into that uncertainty, longing and fear that go with wanting someone when you don't know if they want you back.



Love the long updates, and while there's part of me that wants you to hurry and get to the smoochies, mostly I'm content with just savoring each lovely moment. Great job!



-Cameron



What should I be but just what I am? - Edna St.Vincent Millay



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 6:06 pm 
Hey, EasierSaid--Nice work! You know, you have a really nice touch w/ setting up the scenes. I can see the bar, just like I could see (and greatly covet) Tara's abode. It's a good skill to have; one I need to develop more. (It's like I forget that my characters actually need to have homes, and furniture, and clothes.)



That was a great set-up in the bathroom. When Tara entered, I was so afraid that she would think Willow was into the come-on and would leave, utterly bereft. But no--girlfriend gets all large with the butch! I like that your Tara, while certainly struggling with her insecurities, isn't completely paralyzed by them. Both Willow and Tara are fighting their fears, but thus far Tara is showing an appreciable ability to at least consider other hypotheses besides, "God, do I suck!"



I'm really enjoying this, ES (forgive the presumptuous abbreviation). And thank you for your kind words--I'm glad you enjoy it.



Mary



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 6:32 pm 
OMG! I LOVE your fic!



I wasn't even supposed to be reading because I have all these work due tomorrow, but I'm sure I didn't waste my time. Nope, not on this one. This one made my day!



I loved how you captured the whole thing about one of them catching only part of a move and then getting to the wrong conclusion.



Now I really have to go. But please update soon!



---

*lilMissFortuneCookie*



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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2004 7:08 pm 
Wow, this story is magnificent. Good grief Heather...you've been lurking for years and only now you grace us with your presence and incredible story? I'm close to pouting for having to wait .. but my tummy is tingling and doing somersaults just from the emotions you are able to bring with your writing so I'll forgive you for coming outta hiding so late ;)



And please, stay forever and an extra day to boot. Here, I picked ya a pretty flower :flower to persuade you :)

x Tinna Karen



"You're not gonna jokey-rhyme your way outta this one." - Willow in Pangs



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