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

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:45 am 
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3. Flaming O

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 121
So, we didn't get an update as a christmas present, but I still have hope because I noticed that since the most recent chapter was posted February 13th 2014, we are soon reaching the 2-years-mark. Wouldn't it be spectacular if February 13th 2016 would bring us Part 75? Please, please, please make it happen! :pray :pray :pray I would be forever grateful!


Last edited by Will's redemption on Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:48 am 
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3. Flaming O

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 121
Hey, my 50th post opened page 111 of this story...I take that as good omens... :grin


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:33 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:19 pm
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Location: Los Angeles
I had a dream last night that this fic got an update. It remains one of my favorites in any fandom. :flower


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:27 am 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:38 am
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Great story, but, looks like I have some catching up to do.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 2:45 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer
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Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 1:49 pm
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Hi!

I haven't commented on this fabulous piece of writing since waaaaaaaay back in the early 00's when it was first being posted.

I just finished re-reading it up through it's most recent update from two years back.

GAWHTDAMMIT this is an exceptionally written fic. :sheep

Anyway, I just wanted to mention something I noticed on this most recent read-through...

Heather, genius that you are, you may have done this purposefully, you may have done this accidentally (you may even have commented on this already...) but however or why-ever you did it... this is what I noticed:

Chapter 73 has the same musical acceleration, deceleration, acceleration, climax, resolution that the final track of Willow's "Real Me" CD - 'Your Hand in Mine' has. A reader could (and I, in fact, did) listen to the track while reading the chapter and it almost lines up perfectly as an underscore. (Factoring in how quickly or slowly a person reads, of course).

To this I say BRAVA you effing genius!!

Cheers,
DW

EDITED TO ADD: The same can be true of reading the beginning of Chapter 44 while listening to Tina Dico's "Let's Get Lost".... humina, humina, humina :drool

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:59 pm 
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4. Extra Flamey
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Location: somewhere over the rainbow...
Dear Heather,

So, I haven't visited this website probably since you posted your last chapter, so definitely more than a year, but I came back today because I felt like sharing. You probably don't remember me, but long story short, I'm a 25-year-old student from Belgium. As of January this year, I moved to the Bay Area to study for one semester at Berkeley, University of California. I was lucky enough to win a grant that allowed me to do so (for, incidentally, creative writing). Which meant that, hey! Suddenly I got really, really close to San Francisco. Considering how grateful I am to have gotten the chance, I decided to make the most of it, so I've gone into SF several times now to see the sights, and very often when I did, I had to think of this fic.

Today, at last, I went to see the Golden Gate Park. I saw the Dutch Windmill and the tulip garden (though no tulips, because it was out of season), I saw the bison and the casting pools; I saw the Japanese Garden and the Botanical Garden; hell, I even bought a pretzel. I came to your fic because of Willow and Tara, so I never expected to one day use it as a tourist guide, but here we are. So I just wanted to thank you again, not only for how you've depicted our girls, but also for how you've described the city. Today especially, when I was walking around, I kept thinking, "Willow and Tara went here," which then made me snort at myself for being so ridiculous, but I see it as the result of great penmanship. And like I said, I haven't visited this website in ages, but today I felt like I had to, just to tell you this.

Stay stupendous,
Helena

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 3:00 pm 
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3. Flaming O

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 4:57 pm
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Today I introduced a friend of mine to Mad as the Snow (as well as Kitchens of Distinction) and told her about how I first heard of the song here and subsequently listened to more of the band's music.

So thanks for sharing your love of music and know that it and this story are still having an impact.

...and I see that I have been away too long and missed some updates, so I'm off to reread. :-)


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:00 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:38 am
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"Real Me" Playlist for all you die-hards out there

https://8tracks.com/takeitdownanotch/neverland#


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:21 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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lslev18 , you are a rock star!

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:01 am 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

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Re-read this amazing story over the last week. Still one of my favorite WT stories!


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:00 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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Sorry that this is not an update
More than a bump, this has the potential to be a meteor collision.
It's 2017 and I finally caught up where I had left (like...the end of 2010), and to say many things have happened since then is a understatement.
I hesitated A LOT before writing this feedback because of a few reasons....
A) It's gonna be a long one, since I got +20 chapters to cover in awe and admiration; :party
B)I'm kinda afraid you aren't going to finish it, even though you said a thousand times that you would, so my awfully long comment would be highly ignored :cry
C) I'm writing it all from my cellphone, do I even remember my password?? (Answer: I didn't, had to change it, also put a more actual pic of me :P) (sorry if it gets confusing along the way, I was writing while I read each update and now am editing)
D) It was a bit hurtful to read your story because in 2011 basically passed through the exact same situation, on Tara's point of view. "Pining" on a straight-to-the world girl, and even as things kinda rolled more as if she was Jill.... I still have hopes we can still be something along the lines of good friends or something. The main difference is that we were best friends first.
The confusion, hurt and almost madness Tara went through before sensing Willow ~might~ be onto her, was palpable and described perfectly what I was feeling. I almost sensed as the delay on reading it all was the universe saying "Hey, maybe you should wait, let's go back to reading it when it's finished so you can see what happened and if it's worthy to have those hopes up!". Ok, maybe not so much as the universe but me telling myself..... Maybe there's some sense of enclosure in finishing reading this story. Maybe I can move on if I read it all and feel it all? Just kidding, I'm doing other things besides that (update: we worked things out and don't speak to eachother anymore, but we're good).
E) I couldn't post the whole thing since it is HUGE and I'm trying since 2016. Now I'm trying to divide it in parts

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Last edited by PalomaMartinBR on Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:03 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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But anyways, your writing is so real. There was a paragraph in chapter 42 that simply.... Spoke to me because the very same thing happened to me in the very same week I read it... I won't be able to quote it from here because I was reading at uber, but I copied!

"Tara sighed. She wanted to talk about this with someone, but who? She had almost said to Michelle at the gallery earlier, "I'm in love with Willow and I'm confused," before chickening out. Partially, because she knew that if she said it out loud, it would be real, something tangible that she'd be forced to take action on, whether in admitting the feelings to Willow, or letting go, and partially because she didn't know Michelle well enough to envision what her reaction to the news would be, and that scared her. Marissa, Tara knew, would lecture her on "pining for a straight girl;" Anya who would tell her to act, consequences be damned. Michelle's unknown reaction, however, had kept the blonde quiet."

At the time I had only my psychologist to tell, because of the dreadful feeling of "aren't you over that YET?" that hanged every time I brought my 'Jill' up, but I'm dealing better now :wink
I love it that you give such an importance to the mundane, the simple things, the delicate interactions that may or may not mean something more, it's truly a gift. Thank you for that. I, in that matter, agree so much with you, writing the little things are necessary, even if it takes more time. And I looooove human interaction, I'm fascinated by it. How did I or that make you feel? What do you think about when we hang? Do you zone out or pay super attention to everything? What do you think about that? I'm a huge dork that feeds on human nature, I know, can't help it (also, taking psychology in college :love ). Partially this is also one of the reasons I really thought about not writing this almost-the-size-of-an-chapter-update comment, 'cause maybe you won't have time or want to comment about it all. But I'm doing it anyway because I don't know of any other way of thanking you, do you take gifts? Flowers in a non-romantic way? I don't know, I want to show that I recognize your work and appreciate it a lot :) special kudos or something! :clap :applause :bow

But wow, you must be so different now! It's been 12 years since you first started this, that's a lifetime (for a cat, maybe) of a story!!! I don't think you'll remember me, I have no hopes of that, but looking back at 2010, when I registered (because of this fic, to leave feedback, and on another profile, PalomaMartinBR), I was 14, a hell of a fan girl (hope you got used to having real fans), asking if I could translate Neverland to Portuguese, I wanted the whole Brazilian fandom to have access to this brilliant and heartbreaking -and at the same warming- story. Your son was a baby, now must be a wonderful kid, (how is he?) I'm so happy for you ^^
I'm 21 now, and still as hooked as when I got here, I even remember that I found this because of a orkut community about Buffy, and Neverland was listed as one of the best W/T fics, even though incomplete. Life is a wonderful thing. Because of this fic I got to know the Kitten Board and a huge lot of other quality fics, and to me, the only author that compares to you in the sense of perfect and smooth writing is Lisa Countryman, and she left Milestones incomplete(I'm still devastated about that). Please don't do the same? :pray

part 2 of the feedback because apparently I can't post it whole :/

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:16 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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That said, let me "begin" saying what a wonderful thing was Morgan all respecting with Tara, giving her space to be with Willow, and not diminishing, but au contraire, declaring her interest for the blonde. That was so, so mature and interesting to see! It made me ache for the brunette, hope she gets a happy ending somewhere, please don't forget about her, you got me almost wishing someone like that in my life. Edit: (reading part 57) YOU GONNA PUT HER WITH THE WONDERFUL WAITRESS AREN'T YA??? :pinky Oh wait, what with the cat-eating-canary grin, maybe she's just attracted to the "wildcat in bed/ sex machine" Morgan?:/ nah, find a better person for her? :pray :kiss1

part 3 weee

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:19 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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(I officially have no idea of the pattern of acceptance of posts because some huge post are allowed to be posted and some don't? Help?) haha
Also very recognizable the way Tara begins to doubt her conceptions about Willow's motives for listening to certain songs, and even questioning her straightness, getting the clues together, it makes me happy and itching to see the end of this, but at the same time I think I'm gonna mourn it when it finally comes to an end (cause I'm positive that you WILL finish it, right?). Oooooh, and amazing transition between the "if I say this out loud it will become true" fear from Tara telling anyone about her feelings for Willow, to the "if I say it out loud it might not be true" insecurity of telling Buffy the same thing. It shows such emotional evolution, which is also why I love your writing as well <3
Now I got myself thinking if I can be considered an old-timer in this fic, maybe yeah, because of the 6 years waiting for it to be finished... But maybe not because of the 12 year-ish fans? Nevertheless, I consider lil' old me a part of this tiny huge universe that you build so wonderfully. Thank you for this. Thank you so much for giving emotion, movement, work, and much of yourself into this. I think we kittens who stood 'till the end should each receive a badge or trophy with something along the lines of "Lived to see Neverland begin and end", I myself consider that such an achievement! Please don't leave us hanging forever, it would be the ultimate angst :whip

(part four)

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:20 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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Quote chapter 56 "What would she do if Willow's not what she was setting her up to be?" That's a maddening thought, for me at least.

About chapter 58, where Willow avoids talking to Buffy on IM, I totally understood too. Face-to-face conversations, way better, and I couldn't be fake neither. I had a boyfriend once who sensed we were about to break up and he kept calling me asking if I was going to break up with him, and I simply couldn't talk about that over the phone, I would just end up doing that on that moment, and I think people deserve more, specially if they're in a important position in your life (Buffy being best friend and me with the boyfriend).

OMG WILLOW FLINCHED, I literally screamed of frustration because of that and because of the cliffhanger and I was without internet and couldn't load the next page, you never got me rushing past all the comments just to see what happens next, but this did it.
I totally loved how you explained the title, I thought it was Neverland because it took forever for them to get together :lol and it only took 60 chapters to explain it XD question: did you think about the title's explanation way before writing the fic or nah, it just happened?

About the first update about the day in the park, in the beginning it actually felt boring to me, because they passed through so much stuff already and we got to see how it was before that, so I kinda had no patience for that right there, I don't think I managed to make myself very clear.... But as the chapter went on I was like "hey...this is actually a different kind of interesting, not boring!", it's like you jumped from a really complicated and angst-y phase (not that I like to suffer, but enjoy deep stuff) to a much simpler and innocent time, but then it made me realize nothing is ever so simple, so is life, so yay :applause

/port faa'hv

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:22 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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Part 64 was so cute!! There's a Taylor Swift song - You Are In Love - that totally reminds of this fic, then in this park chapter you talk about Tara getting a glimpse of Willow's profile and her necklace sparkling in the sunlight so it fit with the song and I was like "aaaawwwwwnnnnn :3 " :bigkiss

Part 65a was even cutier (pardon me if that word does not exist) !!!!! Delightful, really! Made me feel all giggly and cozy <3
65b: if I had to choose a super power, it would be teleporting, I've thought a LOT about it, because it applies as flying, time stopping, and no more money on transportation is spent :) also, uber cute update!! -Just read a comment where you said you'd choose teleporting too, yay ^^

Part 67: loved the Buffy lines (amigo/amiga) and Riley!! I kinda like him, even though in the show he can be quite an ass.
Oooooohhhhhh The Day in the Park, the ~just paint~ one!!! Loved it!
''Willow's brow furrowed and she felt her skin go cold. "Why do you ask?" She croaked. She self-consciously brushed a lock of hair from her face; was her gayness showing?'' I laughed out really loud at that, also at the GAY NOW stamped on her forehead, so Willow xD
Jess and Jill, don't know why but those two interested about Tara stroke a funny bone somewhere... Jess and Jill, Jill and Jess haha :crazy
If someone didn't comment about it I wouldn't remember that Amber and pillar bit on OMWF, I loved it here too haha (wish Alyson had sang more :/)
You picture Riley like I remember him, smiling almost all the time, sometimes cockblocking and always not having a CLUE of what's going on /justkillmealready
Now reading the comments and answers for chapter 67 and on, I'm not much of a Sherlock Holmes, but pipsberg is your wife, isn't she? (If you'd like, I can erase that later) Maybe that's a long long shot, but wah, just asking.

Part 68: Ooohhh, the last Real Me song was so powerfully described, that was truly amazing, made me feel it all with Tara!!!
You are killing me with Tara's thoughts and feelings and "Should I go this path, should I believe this can be something else?" And her subconscious screaming "OMG THIS IS DANGEROUS" and I'm screaming YES SHE LOVES YOU and ouch, my heart. I'm on the verge of going crazy. :thud
The Willow part was wonderful, simply loved that she covered herself in Tara-scent to give her courage and motivation, would 10/10 do that too.

I just finished reading part 68, and you have me crying. Some person above was right, you do have a talent for writing beautiful, beautiful pain. It's....just life (no 'just paint' pun intended, but still..). Wow. Just...wow. The huge painting.. Masterpiece. I love that Marissa cares so much about Tara, thank you for that. And by the end of the painting I just wanted to sit in front of Tara, mirroring her sitting-and-hugging-legs position, giving her much needed space, but a "count on me/I'm here if you need me" stand. Strangely I don't see it very fit to give her a hug (even though I am a known hugger XD), I feel like that would suffocate her even more, so yeah, just be there for her.
I haven't even read it yet, but why do I feel that Sheila is about to rip my heart out of my chest and bite off pieces of it while I'm hurtfully staring? From what I remember of her on the show, I expect reeeeally bad stuff. Even though my coming out was way smooth-ier (if I can say that...), more like my mom asking if I was dating this girl and I blushed terribly and went "y....eah" and she was like "I knew it. *shakes head slowly and tsks*". Please don't kill me. :pray

partie seex

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:24 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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Part 69: Oh. I don't know what to say. I kind of feel numb, I don't know how to explain, I was going to say 'it wasn't so bad as I imagined it', but it was pretty bad, huh? For Willow, I mean. For me it was....ok. I think you portrayed Sheila perfectly. I kept her like a senseless monster, but she does feel. She's human. So again, thank you for that. Not that I agree with ANY of what she said or acted, but it made her true to the character, I think. I have to agree with WillowRulez, I wish my mom had reacted more, not just a weird shrug kind of disappointed I-don't-know-what-to-say-now act. At the same time, opposed to feeling numb from this coming out response, I really feel for Willow because of the type of person her mother is. How Sheila handles the dialogue, it's just. Like. My mom. No space for hearing if she doesn't want to hear, tries to find arguments for everything she doesn't agree, trying to control everything, doesn't even realize that's she's hurting Willow.... I could go on forever. So, yeah, I feel sorry for Willow for having a worse version of my mom. The coming out didn't hurt me, but the manipulative way Sheila talks to Willow did. She doesn't lash out, she's 'civilized', and later on she can say to herself "well I was polite, she couldn't possibly be hurt", and the way she dismisses everything Willow says/feels/does...ajhdjshdbsbdhd oh my...I might need therapy. :ashamed
Now reading your responses to 69, I understand your Sheila a little better. Fear can do a lot and change a lot of things too.
Observation: I kinda intensely dislike kimmy_s, because her signature spoiler'd me...but ok...

sevannn

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:27 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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Quick doubt, English not being my first language: what does AWOL means? My guess is Away With Another Lover.
Ohhh, you had another son :3 so amazing! Mind if I ask your age?

Part 70: Oh I love Michelle <3 <3 <3 love love love her! I sort of knew it would be her the person who Tara would open up to, don't know why... Maybe just wishful thinking that came real, and with the wife's bonus! The two woman's interactions and playing before bed was so cuuuute!! Thank you for that!! :dumbo

Mind if I ask what is harder to write, overall in this fic?

Also, I loved the backstory of Marissa and Michelle you gave to Deb, don't apologize, I for one appreciated that a lot! Can I get one of Morgan?:3 pretty please?:3 :pray

The final moment, the one we've waited years for, when they finally declared their undying love for each other was so, live! Real, not forced, and to me it kinda referred to the "Can we just skip it?" part on the show, it flowed so smoothly, I really enjoyed the whole thing. You got me drooling and excited in the finally-real sex parts, and again, so human, so real, funny, awkward, sexy, good! Amazing. Just don't stop there hahaha :applause :banana :bow :clap :dance :luv :happycry

/part hate

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:30 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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It's so weird to think of how much time has passed and how everyone must have changed, the board kind of losing movement and becoming a sanctuary. I get thoughtful that I have matured (at least a bit) alongside this fic, and even though now my first feedbacks embarrass me A LOT, I like that it's a part of this, and it's also a window in time, shows me how much I've changed, and I'm quite content with that :) butstillafangirlnonetheless :newbie

I re-read this for the 15357152th time, because I never "finished", as in getting to the last chapter you posted, but now I did it :pinky :party I took my time to read both the chapters and all the comments and answers, since they all complement each other, and the story wouldn't be quite the same without this amazing.....HUMAN INTERACTION (sorry, but not sorry :haha ). So now I'm left wondering if you forgot about Neverland, it's been two years since you last posted. But reading so many of your reassurances through the years that you WILL finish no matter how long it may take, I'm now kinda cuddled that I may have this story as a everyday part of my life until I'm very old or something. Is that really dumb or crazy? I'm sorry. It's just that I really really really appreciate it, it brings such a warm, nice, cozy feeling that you write so well... It's truly amazing. I'm probably going to print it and turn Neverland into a book once you're finished, hard leather cover with golden marked letters in the title and everything, just to sniff at the musty pages years later and feel it home again as I re-read it. :read Maybe even pass it to my next generation (when they're properly old enough to have finished the show, to both read the hot parts and to understand the beautiful nuances of this artwork). I am being deadly serious. Your writing is sublime, delicate....human. It truly is something I'd like to have physically to cherish even more and not have the fear of losing. You did that. :sheep
Thank you. Also, I hope I'm not sounding like a maniac or something. Sorry about that. :moo
Honestly, I'd like to give you a hug of appreciation for all you've been doing all these years. I mean, really, you kept your time for the family and real life issues but you considered us here too, and if for one of them to not interfere with the other it takes another 1, 2 years between updates, so be it, and I respect that :) you are amazing, go girl! :clap :bow :kiss1
P.S.: Also thank you for maintaining the importance of what the show did for me alive in my conscience :flower I tried to use as many emoticons as possible to try and ilustrate better how you made me feel, and now I'm looking at the clock, it only took me two hours and 20 minutes to organize this great feedback! You totally deserve it :kgeek
P.P.S.: Did you have another (a third) kid? You haven't updated in a long, long time hahahaha :tumble :lol

also, sorry to everyone that thought that this was an update, I just had to recognize this woman's amazing job.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:14 am 
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3. Flaming O

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WOW Paloma, that's some feedback! :clap I feel so awed by the work and time you invested in this! :bow

Now I'm fervently hoping that this epic feedback will give our beloved writer the nudge needed to post another update of this awesome story which is my favourite Willow-Tara-Story ever! This would really be as great as a dozen birthdays and christmases combined!


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:12 am 
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2. Floating Rose
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Will's redemption wrote:
WOW Paloma, that's some feedback! :clap I feel so awed by the work and time you invested in this! :bow

Now I'm fervently hoping that this epic feedback will give our beloved writer the nudge needed to post another update of this awesome story which is my favourite Willow-Tara-Story ever! This would really be as great as a dozen birthdays and christmases combined!


Let us pray haha and on a note, it certainly took me more than 3 hours to write+post that haha I hope Heather appreciates it :kgeek

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:17 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

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I started reading this fan fic in 2004 when I was in college, coming out to myself, and toying with the idea of coming out to others. Like a lot of people on this board I'm sure, W+T were a big part of my coming out and self-acceptance. At the time I was anxious, filled with nervous energy, young and absorbing anything around me that was a even a blurry water color of a reflection of me back at myself. I was starving for role models, representation, to be seen, to understand myself and to be understood. While I loved this fan fic at that time in my life because it fulfilled part of that need for me, I eventually stopped checking for updates I think because a part of me no longer needed fantasy as came out, started dating and found a friend circle of queers and queer-friendly people in my life.

Cut to 2017. I'm 31 years old. I moved to SF to work in technology after going to school in New England (like Willow!) and am partnered with a lovely woman I'm head over heels for. We were brought together on our first date by a mutual love for Buffy and of course, Willow and Tara! We've been together for a year now, and talking about our feelings about the Buffyverse is still a regular part of our relationship. The love I have for my partner and the excitement at the time of our courtship reminded me of feelings I had when coming out, when watching the W+T relationship unfold and when on this board. Those feelings reminded me of Neverland, which was a surprise to me. I remembered I never knew how it ended which inspired me to come back and re-read this fic, and read all of the new updates since I had been away! I was surprised to see it's still not finished, but part of me hopes that the writing of this fic will go on forever, with random updates as gifts throughout my life, as this is a story that will never die in my mind.

When I picked it up again, it was like revisiting an old friend's home I hadn't been to in a while. Tara's studio space still looked the same in my mind, I could still feel Willow's emotions bubbling at the surface, the paintings you created with words were just as vivid. Even though shortly after putting it down I "forgot" about your writing, re-reading it made me realize it was actually one of the subconscious reasons I wanted to move to SF. It's also why I always have a magical time when I go to the Fillmore and love walking through Golden Gate Park. You've forever enchanted the city I call my home and in my youth gave me a framework for what romance was that I've finally realized as an adult. Re-reading this fic as an adult has been really powerful and therapeutic, like a window to the inner thoughts and feelings of my adolescent self. It's helped me shake off the last death rattle of gay shame I had lingering in my life and feel ready to build a happy future with my parter.

Thank you for your writing. It's been an oddly subconscious powerful force in my life that I didn't know I needed until I looked back and saw the impact it made. I hope you're well!

:wtkiss


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:59 pm 
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2. Floating Rose

Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:38 pm
Posts: 31
I'm so glad that I came to this story at the point where I could read the chapters to date in one big block, and that I was able to see our girls get together. You write so beautifully, and as many of the other posters point out, the characters are multi dimensional and nuanced, so whilst Joss and friends may have creative dibs, it's people like all of you who have taken the core of these characters and taken flight with your imaginations. And we, the lucky readers are the beneficiaries.

The tension and yearning in this story has been painful to read at times but oh so rewarding. Until I discovered this board I didn't realise what talented authors there are writing fanfiction, and you are definitely up there. I think the number of hits this story has had is testament to this. One of my favourite fics, and that's quite the compliment from someone who is not big with the patience, and who doesn't usually read unfinished stories.

Thank you for the ride so far; looking forward to the destination!


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:52 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:50 pm
Posts: 14
Well, it's now 2019. Pretty incredible that this fic was started over 14 years ago. I have real anxiety that this board will shut down or something before the fic gets finished. Heather, if you're reading this, know that you have at least one, and I suspect many many more loyal fans. I sincerely hope you'll be back one day


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:51 pm 
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2. Floating Rose
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:48 am
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Location: Brazil
Well I sure do hope she gets to see that hecka huge comment I left back there hahaha
Heather, give us a sign that you're alive :applause

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:50 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe
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PalomaMartinBR wrote:
Well I sure do hope she gets to see that hecka huge comment I left back there hahaha
Heather, give us a sign that you're alive :applause
I second that!

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:32 am 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:04 am
Posts: 691
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All First of all, thank you to everyone who is still reading, waiting for this to be updated, and more importantly, continuing to keep the Pens/Kitten community alive. It means a lot that Pens is still here, and that people still care about this little story.
I’m sorry it has taken so long to update. Life changes and sometimes it takes you away from the things you love in the world, and for me that is this story and sharing it on Pens. I have been writing since I last updated, but my original work has sweet-talked me away from fanfiction for the most part. And while writing original stuff has been fun, I miss the conversations here, and I miss Willow and Tara, so I’m super chuffed to get back to Neverland.
Things I have learned about myself since the last update:
1) I was a better writer in my 20/30s. It is amazing how much better. But that is what comes with having the room to think and wonder and create on a whim. I can’t do that now, my kids are “high-spirited”, and there are days when figuring out what to make for dinner is a cognant enough thought.
2) I was a worse writer in my 20/30s. Too many words. Way too many words. Hopefully the improved economy of my current writing style won’t be too noticeable, or jarring if it is noticed.
3) I want to finish this story. I have the last scene written already, and many in between. I just need the time and mental space to stitch them together into readable chapters.
4) I don’t know how long it will take. I know better than to make promises with writing. So I won’t. I’ll just repeat my hope, my wish, that I finish while there is at least one person who still cares to read.
5) It will feel different than the first section. Remember when I said I was wordy earlier? The rest of this story won’t be every detail of the rest of their shown time. I had always intended it to be that way, however, I’m worried the previous detail combined with my long absence will make some think the ending is rushed. So here I am, the writer, sharing my intent as context; it won’t be rushed, though it may seem that way, because that’s what I think a relationship is like. Everything before you get together is agonizingly analyzed, and then once you’re together time can feel like a blur. The rest of this might seem like a blur, days and moments floating by, and for me as a writer that is intended. Whether it is enjoyable or satisfying is up to you, the reader. :)
So on with the replies and the update. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who loves this story. Words can’t describe how much it means to me that I’ve gotten to share this with you.

JustSkipIt Thank you so much. This last one definitely was more challenging, both in the subject matter they covered and how they navigated moving from tentative almost lovers to lovers/confidants, and in writing it because it felt unwieldy and huge. They definitely have a lot to get through, history, confessions, etc. Thanks re: their intimacy. It felt right for them to have that, that they’ve worked hard to build a friendship that would give their sex life another layer. Going from memory it was like a week and a half ago, and too funny about arinca. I don’t know if it’s just life with kids or what but I’m always bruised and it feels like they take forever to disappear. I imagined that the one on Willow’s leg was very faded, only someone looking for difference, etc would notice. Re: Tara asking about Willow’s outness, that seemed very necessary given her own grappling with whether she could go back in the closet, to a degree, if it meant being with a closeted-Willow. Haha re: food. More on that soon, but I think it was safe to say they’re going on adrenaline in that last update. I agree that they’re going to have to just let things go over and over again. Their lives are layered w/ experiences, and those experiences have colored how they see each other. Time to strip them away and see things new. I think your view of Buffy is pretty spot on. She’s angry, but most of all she’s hurt and confused, and I think she’s going to Xander to help explain what happened and why she wasn’t included. Thanks so much Deb, always a pleasure to read your thoughts and perspective on things! Hope you like the next bit.

kimmy_s Hi Kim! Haha re: I Love Yous - nobody could blame you. ;) Glad you liked Willow’s realization about Tara being her gf and you’re too right, Anya is not Willow’s fav. Also glad you liked Willow’s insistence that she’s out everywhere. Seemed v important for both of them that it was said, you know? Thanks re: the sunshine line. That’s one of the few lines where I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I wrote it, so it’s special to me. Glad it stood out for you. Thanks re: the pace. That last chapter was difficult, but necessary to get through so they could be one more equal footing. Hope you like the next bit! (And tooooooooooo funny, your sig!)

zampsa19752001 Thanks so much! I’m glad you like that they’re talking through everything. Hope you enjoy the next update.

branny72 Thank you very much. I’m glad you thought their closeness and honesty was touching; that means a lot, truly. And more on them interacting with others in an update or two. (Including, head-out-of-ass Buffy ;) ). Hope you like the next part.

Grimm Forgiveness is mine! :) Thank you so much, I really, really appreciate it! I’m so glad you think the pay off is worth it. I’m also glad that you thought the last update had the right amounts of everything. It was a really tricky chapter to navigate, because it had such heavy elements. “World Wide Willow” might be one of my favorite comments of all time - thank you, thank you for that. So funny, I may have chortled. Glad you like that Buffy and Xander are going to work things out and that you liked the painting’s name; just couldn’t be anything else, as Tara said. Hope you like the next bit and thanks again.

writerfreak Thank you so much. I’m really glad that you liked the talking, etc. :) Hope you enjoy the next part!

wayland Wow, thank you very much. I’m truly humbled by your super kind words. Thanks for sharing about the kind of fic you usually read vs. how you see this story. I totally agree that this is the beginning of their journey together, even if it’s almost the end of Neverland as a story, so there’s a lot for them to go through before they can be in a balanced relationship. I’m glad you liked that Tara admitted her feelings about Xander. I thought that was necessary for her to get off her chest so that Willow could understand her experience better (because their relationship isn’t going to be very successful if Willow can’t see what the last three years were like for Tara). And yes, Buffy and Xander have to hash things out in person. They have had a really rough few years, but they love each other and need to work things out face-to-face. I just couldn’t imagine Buffy sulking in her apartment. Thank you re: Willow thinking about her mom/her mistakes. Willow hasn’t had a chance really to process anything, so it’s going to hit her in waves, I think.
Re: the story developing, no problem. I’m always happy to talk about what went into making this story because I find the reflection really instructive. My writing training more-or-less has been self-taught, trying to get better at the craft (wasn’t an English major, have never taking a story writing/creative writing class) so how this story has come into being feels like a miracle most of the time. I wish I could say that yes, I did have an arc planned, but I truly didn’t, not for the longest time. (Until after Willow was staying home, I think.) And even now, I have an idea for how I want it to end but ugh, I have no idea how many updates it’ll take to get there. It’s just a fuzzy target in the future. :) And thank you re: the offer of feedback for future works. That is so, so kind. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll take you up on it. Thanks again Clare, hope you enjoy the next update.

Will’s redemption Thank you for the bananas! My oldest son saw them over my shoulder and said “silly bananas!” And no worries for not commenting, I’m truly happy that you read and enjoyed. :) I hear you about the emotional rollercoaster; it felt that way writing it. And wow about needing a break to go for a walk. I absolutely will take it as a compliment, and I’m deeply humbled by it. I’m glad you felt that Willow’s self-reflection was in character. She seems like that kind of person that when she does look inward she can fall down a hole of her own making. Thanks for sharing the passages you though were affecting. When I think about their relationship, that’s the kind of care I think about, of them having each other’s backs. And thanks re: Shakespeare - no death in this story, it’ll have a certified happy-Pens ending. (And interesting about the epilogue, I have one planned but not that far in the future.) Thanks so much and please enjoy the next bit! (And thank you for being persistent with the comments hoping for an update. Warms the heart.)

KirbyPaint I did update! And then I disappeared forever! But now I’m back! Thank you very much. I’m glad you came back to check on the story, and yay for the song nudging you to check the board! I’m also glad you enjoyed the updates. Re: Tule Fog, check Islev18's comment - link to the song I think. :) Hope you like the next bit and thanks again.

lavenderangel Aw to super teary. I know what you mean though; I’ve innocently read fic at an odd hour and found myself a mess of emotions too many times to count. Thank you for thinking that the conversations were authentic. It was so dense to write that I worried that it would be too much, but then, every time I tried to omit something it felt wrong. Like of course these two people, after all they’ve been through, would want to be honest with each other as soon as possible. You’re right that they realized that love was the most important thing; I think that’s true of any successful relationship. I’m glad you also liked that they didn’t know how to comfort each other, because, why would they, you know? They’re new friends, much less new girlfriends, those things take time. Thank you re: the last scene, that’s so super kind. Re: Tara pushing Willow - you’ll have to wait and see. That’s a tricky thing in any relationship, and they’ll need to navigate how to get the other to open up, etc. Thank you so much for the kind words, I really appreciate it. Enjoy the next part.

loislane1 Seriously, with how long I take to post, never, never, NEVER apologize for taking a few days to come and leave feedback! ;) I’m glad that you felt the density was good. It’s always hard to judge when writing because it often feels like too much, but as I mentioned above when I tried to cut some stuff it just didn’t feel right. Yay to liking Buffy and Xander’s interaction. Seemed like how it would go, haha. I agree that the face-to-face conversation, while rough, will likely go a long way to fix things between them all. More on that soon. Totally agree about walking on a sword’s blade; they have baggage galore and will need to not get caught up in it while also admitting that it still informs them. I think it was important to clear up what that day three years ago was like for each of them, so glad you agreed. :) Also glad you liked Willow thinking about her mom; she has ultimate happiness and profound sadness happening simultaneously and that’s going to be hard to deal with. And all good questions - more on all soon! Thanks so much and please enjoy the next update.

pipsberg First, STAHP, your face is with the sappy compliments. (And I stick by the “hotter than Neko Case” statement, so there.) And second, thank you re: being a good feedback responder. To quote Shirley from Community, “That’s nice.” Glad you liked the Oprah note, and holy bullet point list. It feels super indulgent to respond to each of them, so I’m just gonna blush and say thanks. I’m so glad you think their first time was on point, that means a lot. Thanks so much for the little string of emoticons. Re: the Xander/Buffy showdown… so sorry to disappoint but that’s more of a ‘Buffy’s gonna recap it to the gals’ sorta thing. It feels weird to go so far away from Willow and Tara for that conversation, you know? And I like the idea of Willow and Tara never really knowing the truth of what goes down, just the aftermath. I’m glad you liked the post-sex talking. It felt important. They’re friends, so I think it would have been weird if they didn’t talk. I’m glad you thought it was good that they talked about what they wanted, sexually. Again, I think it goes back to them being friends. Again the big bullet list, and again I say thanks and blush! I think it was important for Willow to start to face her conversation with her mother. She’s put it off for so many years, I don’t think she can put it off any longer. I have no idea how much longer this story will go, as well. I don’t think it will go much, much longer; it doesn’t have another 70-something updates, that’s for sure. I think it would be nice to get to “THE END” though. Thanks again for the emoticons and the lovely kind words and for being you, you lovely, lovely woman. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

fineartsmajor Sorry to read you had a rough couple of months, way back when. Hoping all is better now! Thank you very much for complimenting my writing, that means the world, truly. /blush And thanks re: delivering. That is super nice to read because I was super nervous about how the last three or four updates would be received. I’m glad you felt their coming together was organic and truthful, that’s a super compliment. I’m glad you think they’re still “them” for lack of a better descriptor. I want to make sure that just because they’re together they don’t lose what makes them each individuals. Thanks re: the love scenes. It felt right that they’d need to “learn” each other. I’m glad you thought the realism of their situation works; it would be really weird if now that they’re together Willow suddenly doesn’t care about what her mom or Buffy thinks or that Tara’s not still super stressed about her show. And I don’t know how close we are to the end. I have a general idea of where it’s going but am completely unsure about how long it’ll take to get there (both in updates and actual writing time). Thanks Andi, really appreciate it. Hope you enjoy the next part.

WillowRulez Thank you so much for the incredibly kind words; I’m glad the update made you happy. I’m glad you liked that they talked as well as… well, you know. Seemed more real that way. Hope you enjoy where it goes from here and thanks again!

love_2003 Thank you, so much. I’m glad you liked how they’re talking. I think that’s such an important part of how their relationship evolved from a friendship. As I mentioned in a reply above, no Xander/Buffy talk, but Willow and Tara will get snippets of what they talked about in future updates. Hope you like the next part and thanks gain.

truck_driving_magic_mama I feel like we need to have a rule, kind of like Fight Club? First rule of Neverland comments: No one apologizes for taking a long time to leave feedback because the writer takes for flipping ever to update. :) Re: yearning, grief and emptiness - I totally understand. Thank you so much for sharing it in a way that made sense to me. :) I agree about Tara, and I think you’ll see her more confident self emerge. I think she was so blindsided by Willow’s declaration and then their lovemaking that she’s been on her heels, in a way. Hopefully as the story culminates they’ll get a little equilibrium and balance. Thank you also for sharing the lovely poem. “In the long grass of routine,” is a lovely image. Thank you once again and hope you like where the story goes from here. (Provided you are still around to read it lo these many years gone.) Oh, oh, and how did the re-watch of Buffy go? No Xander/Buffy, but yes there will be a gallery scene at some point. Thanks again Melissa!

DaddyCatALSO I totally understand that selfish feeling - hopefully this next update and any future ones will answer some lingering questions about what they are like now that they are together.
Okay, so, I’m going to admit that you’ve left so many thoughtful comments and I am a disorganized mess, so please excuse me if I miss replying to something that you’ve brought up. Totally not intentional, just really not great at keeping track with multiple comments after a while. :) “Sorry, Buf, technically you have a right to feel hurt. But practically, it never could have happened, and you need to understand that.” Yeah, this pretty much. I think one day Buffy will understand, it will just take some time. And those three girls love each other - I really could never imagine a time when they didn’t resolve this hurt, you know? As for Buffy and Xander, their resolution is not going to be written, sadly. It just doesn’t feel like it has a place in this story, which has been, with the exception of one or two scenes, purely Willow or Tara focused. I do think the Buffy/Xander discussion will be dealt with… hopefully in a way that makes sense. And WOW, thank you for sharing the description of the tree in bloom w/ the dandelion. Forget Neverland-Tara, I want to paint that. It sounds incredible. Thank you so much for sharing, and for sharing how you connected it to Neverland. I am seriously blushing. Thank you. (And holy crap, I had no idea the story was that long. I think my gravestone will probably read: EasierSaid - She was prolific. ;) )

Fall3nang3l2006 “Years in the making” - A DECADE PLUS in the making even! /hides face in shame at my ridiculous slow writing. Thank you for the thank you. I appreciate you appreciating my persistence. I love this story. I want to finish it. I just have a tremendously different life now than I did when I started it! Patience, though. I will finish. It might not be pretty or as in depth as it was to this point, but it will finish. Hopefully before my kids to to college. (Though them going to college will free up a LOT of writing time.) Yes to Coldplay’s “The Scientiest” - I see that. Thank you so much. Hopefully you’ll like where it goes from now if you’re still reading.

histchic So, I’m blushing right now. Thank you for the incredibly kind words. “What about Neverland?” is like the thing that is in the back of my brain, always, and I think it will be until I finally slap a “THE END” on my last post. Thank you re: making the characters relatable. That is incredibly rewarding to read. I like Oz. I didn’t want him to be a bad guy, I didn’t want anyone in this story to be bad guys. I’m also glad you liked Marissa and Michelle speculating about Willow. Isn’t that what friends are for, haha. Thanks re: Willow and Tara having the hard conversation. There’s no way they can move forward if they don’t, you know? And no, no spinning off this story forever haha. I just want to finish this part of their lives and free them to go live their lives beyond in the ether. :) Thank you so much and hope you get a chance to read the resolution.

YellowQuirkyTeacup Thank you so much for sharing how “the paint on the toes” felt to read. That was really wonderful to read. And yay for great sex, haha. Re: the Xander and Buffy showdown, sadly, that’s all we’re going to see but Tara and Willow will hear about it second hand and hopefully that’ll be enough. And genius? Pffft. Thanks for reading my words!

MochaVamp No, please, no talk of owing feedback. I’m just glad you dropped in. :) “Nerves, lust and love” pretty much nails it on the head, thank you so much for articulating that. No Buffy/Xander showdown, but Willow and Tara will hear about it second hand and hopefully the way that’s done will be revealing in its own way. Thank you so much for reading, I really appreciate it.

HanShotFirst Your name still makes me smile every time I see it - he did shoot first! :) Thank you so much for the kind words. I’m so glad you liked the updates.

taranwillow4ever I’m so sorry that was your coming out script; I think that it probably is what a lot of people’s coming outs sounded like, sadly. Thank you for the kind words, I really appreciate it!

Wicca Ness I’m so glad randomly thinking about Willow and Tara brought you back to this little corner of the Internets! So crazy about your ages; I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed reading it over the years, and how crazy to hear that you feel like you’ve grown with the story… though, so have I, so… :) I think that’s been the coolest part about writing this story, feeling like I was a part of a community that was growing and changing around this one OTP. Kinda neat. I’m really pleased that you like the last few updates. I don’t know that we’ll see a talk between Willow and her mom, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if one was referred to later? Soon but not too soon is like, my wheelhouse. ;) Thank you for all of the kind words, I really appreciate it.

EndlessDestiny “I cannot believe, after all this time, that this fic isn’t dead.” WORD. I can’t believe it either, but here we are! :) That is bananas that you found a comment posted under another name from 10+ years ago. Time has no meaning! That is awesome that you’re working on original stories. I hope it is going well for you. Thank you for the kind words; really means a lot.

jayelle13 “Getting desperate” is like this fics mantra. And coping? There is no coping, just the wait for the sweet release of dea- er, updates. :) Thanks for binging and commenting!

Archwaykitten I love that you felt jerked around, took a break, then came back to only feel stuck again. I mean, I don’t LOVE it, I just can relate, SO. HARD. Ain’t that the WORST?! So sorry to be the cause. I’m glad you think the waiting is infuriating and its charm. I can’t think of a truer statement. Thanks so much!

smileintheether I am so relieved to read that you thought the culmination of all of the near misses didn’t disappoint. Thank you, so much. Thank you also for the high praise about the realness; that means so much. I try really hard to remember that every character in the story is the main player in their own story and not just there to further other character’s plots. And re: Willow and Tara talking through their what was going on between them; it felt necessary. I can’t imagine them just falling into bed without talking. Thank you for sharing how your life has changed since you’ve been reading Neverland. I am THRILLED that you’ve married your best friend - ISN’T THAT THE BEST!!??! So, so, incredibly happy for you. Thank YOU for staying dedicated to Neverland. Boy that just means the most. (And so sorry for the lengthy delay to the next update. Having kids is a LOT harder than I thought it would be, haha.)

SylverMake Trust, more to come (just you know, not a ton). Hope you find resolution in the next few updates. Thank you!

Setton Are you 26 and in a relationship? Enquiring minds want to know! Hope you enjoy the next bit if you’re still frequenting this corner of the World Wide Web.

ekos I love, love, love people who have discovered this story 75 chapters in and have binged the whole thing. You lucky duck! I’m sure there are a bunch of old timers who will tell you stories of the pain involved in waiting for updates. :) Very cool that you are a Black Keys fan; so much to love. Thank you for sharing about your girlfriend and what Your Hand In Mind means to you. Music is a salve. I’m glad you know it, and hopefully my including it here will give it a happy connotation. Thank you for reading.

ladyluv585 I love getting caught up on stories that have new updates that I didn’t know about - I’m glad you got that same feeling here! I really, really appreciate your kind words. Seriously, wow, I’m blushing. Thank you for sharing and hopefully you’ll boomerang back here to read the rest, you know, whenever I finally finish this bad boy! Thanks Nikki!

catmillakarnstein Catmilla - I see what you did there! I love that little show. Did you watch Season 3? The movie? How fun to have a Carmilla fan commenting. And welcome (almost 2+ years later lol) to the Buffy fandom. Never to late to love one of the best shows to ever air, IMHO. And seriously, someone on Tumbler was talking about this little ol’ story. I don’t think Tumbler was even a thing when I started writing Neverland! Thank you for the tremendously kind words about trusting that I’ll finish. You know, it means so much because there are days when my kids are crazy and life is hard and I just YEARN to write, but can’t… and knowing that someone other than me wants to see this story end, too, means a lot. So, thank you. Thank you also for sharing how the story made you feel. That is just high praise and I’m blushing. Thank you V, truly. Hopefully you’ll be around to read whatever comes next.

CrazyTaraWitch Thank you for sticking with this story for six+ months! Thank you for sharing how you experienced the story’s fits and starts. I’m glad you’re looking forward to what life will be like for them now they’re together. I’m looking forward to that, too! Re: Buffy and Shelia; I think a lot of people thought they were either going to be, “surprise, I’m super supportive!” or cartoon bad guys. I wanted something a little in between, something a little more in keeping with some of the struggles people I have known experienced coming out. Hopefully how it plays out with both of those characters w/ Willow and Tara throughout the rest of the story will ring true. And PFFFT, you do so have intelligent commentary. Emotional intelligence is awesome, and I appreciate you sharing your feelings. Thank you so much.

bloodynails Thank you so much for sharing that link, what absolutely beautiful art. And, thank you for breaking through your shyness to comment - I so appreciate it! :) Please enjoy what’s to come if you’re still around!

AmbeRocks Okay, so first, how was your trip? And second, jeeeeeeez, I’m blushing to my roots. Thank you, so much, for the incredibly kind words. I’m seriously just… speechless. I appreciate that you’ve been reading for so long, that you’ve been commenting so long, just, wow, thank you. I love that you got to binge those 10 chapters, and I love that you stayed up late to read them. I think that’s been described as “ficsomnia” and I have had that, though not for many years. I am so glad you liked the park part. I know a lot of people were like, “c’mon!” but am relieved that you think it worked. I think it was important to see that it was a lightening bolt moment for Willow. And, it was just a ton of fun to write. I cringe now that you say don’t wait 5 years to help fix the coming out stories’ hurt… cause it’s been 2+ and counting, haha. Oh, life, you jester you. Hopefully little by little we’ll chip away at that. I am tremendously happy that you liked how Willow and Tara came together. I mean, wow, blushing again. Thank you, so much. I owe YOU a big thank you. You guys, you long time readers, you new readers, all of you who take the time to comment and let me know that you’re reading - I mean, there are no words for how much it means. How can I let this story die when we’re all in this together? And wow to this story making you feel like love was possible again. This story brought me love, my real-life true love for all time, so if anyone else gets a little of that glow from my writing… that just makes me really happy. Thank you so much. Hope you will still be around to read “THE END.”

fornitking Haha to needing a new screen name because it’s been so long. Oh man, that’s been my biggest fear that I won’t remember how to long in to finish updating this story. Thank you for the encouragement and for reading. It is so appreciated!

KnightlyLove No, not done yet, but the end is certainly getting closer. Thank you so much for sticking with the story - really appreciate it!

melschilling Wow, thank you for signing up to leave a comment (stick around, read some other stories, there are some truly brilliant ones here!), and wow to binging! Thank you for the kind words, it means so much. Hope you will like the rest.

Wild Sage /blushes profusely. Wow, thank you so very much, and thank you for commenting. Hope you enjoy the next bit.

BlindWTFan Juuuuuust a little catching up. :) Hope you like the next update.

DarkWiccan /profusely blushes again. Thank you so much for the incredibly kind words, and of course, for the sheep emoji. Re: your observation about the music lining up - I’d love to quote Lin Manual-Miranda and say “Chess not checkers!” however I am not that smart haha. If it lines up it’s a) pure coincidence, b) subconscious because I may have been listening to the song while writing the piece, c) probably a coincidence. :) Thank you for noticing though! That is the coolest thing about Pens, and fanfiction readers in general - the level of attention to detail and care in commenting is off the charts! Thank you for re-reading, and for leaving a comment. I appreciate it. Hope you like the next part and thanks again.

Mrs. Pineapple Of course I remember you; your comments (along with all the long time readers) over the years have helped me see the story in different ways and for that I’m super grateful. (Didn’t you have a blog about words and how their definitions related to your writing life? Apologies if not, but I loved that blog and was sad to see it end. If it was you and you ever decide to start writing online again, please let us know!) I am so glad you got to go to the Bay Area, and congratulations on being able to study at Cal! You must be a smart cookie, and a very good writer! :) If you don’t mind sharing, are you pursing a career as a novelist? I am so glad you got to spend some time in Golden Gate Park as part of your time in the Bay Area. That is one of my favorite places on the planet, and I love that so many readers have gone there and gotten to experience it. Thank you re: the descriptions of the city, that really means a lot. I love that you thought of them being in GGP, experiencing it as well. That’s one of the fun parts of life, experiencing our fictional lives, the lives in our heads, and then placing them in the real world. (Does that make sense?) I love that felt that way and am grateful that you shared it with me. Thank you. Hope you like the next bit and please, don’t be a stranger!

Tigerkid14 Thank you so much for sharing that you introduced a friend to Kitchens of Distinction! Never in a million years did I think that the music in the story would wind up as something important to other people, but I am so glad it did. I’m really glad you enjoy the music! Hope you enjoyed the last few updates, and that you enjoy where the story goes from here. Thanks!

Islev18 Holy… Wow, a playlist, that is so cool. And how did you find Charmless’s “Tule Fog”?!?! Did the band really send you the track? That’s… woooooooooow. Totally blown away. Thank you for putting this together and posting it. Seriously. Hope you like the next bit.

shirrey Yup, Islev18 is a rock star!

Abana Wow. You know, this story is mumblemumble years old and I still can’t believe people have read it, much less RE-READ it. Thank you so much, I’m glad it’s one of your favorites, that is… flattering doesn’t cover it. Thank you. Enjoy the next part!

PalomaMartinBR Holy meteor collision, Paloma! :) That is a lot of feedback - I am so impressed and wow’d. Thank you. In order of answer for the first: a) 20+ chapters of feedback is daunting, and I so, so, so appreciate that you decided to comment. b) I am sorry it’s taken me so long to reply to everyone’s comments. I never want anyone to feel ignored, but it always has felt unfair to reply without an update. Please know I have read everything and appreciate every word anyone has left for me. c) Girl, you win the gold for these long replies via cellphone. I can barely type a text and have it turn out readable. d) I am so sorry about your real life situation. That must have been incredibly difficult. I’m glad that you were able to work things out, but I’m sorry you had to go through some dark times to get on the other side. e) Parts are good! I’ll do the same, just in paragraphs. Let’s do this!
Thank you re: the writing being real, and again sorry it hit a little too close to home. I’m glad you had someone to talk to. I’m glad you felt that the mundane was important. I think that’s what it’s like when you’re unsure of someone, you look at things that otherwise you would have overlooked in a different way. And yay for psychology at university - that’s awesome. Human interaction is fascinating, I agree. And comments are gift enough - it is very, very satisfying to know people have read what I’ve written. I mean that sincerely. Neverland has always been about sharing, sharing with the reader, learning from the reader. I appreciate what you’ve done with your comments so, so much. I feel like this story is everything that it is because of the comments over the years. I know a lot of my writing has been informed by the observations people have shared with me here, and that is a huge gift, the ability to improve and hone my voice based on feedback. I never take it for granted. It is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received, you all as readers sharing with me. And Paloma, 14! I feel ancient! :P My boys are both wonderful kids, both in school, so yes, a lot has changed. Thank you for sharing how you found Pens; I’m always interested in that.
I’m glad you liked that Morgan was respectful. My mantra with this story has always been, these are good people at their cores. I didn’t want anyone to be, “the bad guy”, I think you can have compelling stories with the drama coming from very human mistakes. Haha I don’t have plans to put Morgan with anyone, but if having her end up with the waitress is a good thing, we can say that it happens. :)
I’m glad you liked Tara’s transition from “I can’t stay it out loud” to “I have to or I’ll burst”. And yes, you can be considered an old timer. I think everyone is at this point, haha. And when I finish, I will post a badge - you all can have it be your profile pics for a month or something to show you did it, you read the whole thing, you waited years and years and made it to the end.
I agree that “what would she do if Willow’s not what she was setting herself up to be” was a maddening thought for Tara. I think that doubt lives on in her, in a small way as their relationship starts and that it will be a tough thing to shed. Yes to face-to-face conversations, though I admit I came out on IM once upon a time and the world didn’t end. But for Willow, face-to-face was important to her. And the flinch - brutal, I know. Thank you re: the title. I don’t know that I thought of the explanation before writing the fic; maybe a vague notion, it’s been so long I can’t remember. I may have answered better in a previous reply some time long long ago. If anyone knows, please share what I thought haha. Your reaction to the park was what I feared when I decided to go with the park, but it felt so necessary to slow down and go back to the happiness. Because without the happiness what was the point of them trying to figure each other out? Tara loved Willow from that day, and having that as a touchstone felt really important.
Go Taylor Swift and her song relating to the story! :) That’s very cool. I’m glad you liked the rest of their time in the park/SF. I’m also glad you liked Riley; I wanted him to be likeable in this fic. I’m glad you liked the Real Me description. That was a tough one because describing music, and how music can make one feel, is often a really bad idea. Because it is so subjective… but I wanted to know how Tara felt in that moment, so.. went for it. Glad you thought it worked. Thank you re: part 68. It really means a lot that you think it conveyed the emotion well. Isn’t that the crazy awesome thing about fiction? Here is this person, who doesn’t exist, yet we get to experience her emotions with her as a community. Writing and reading is rad.
And Shelia - oof, am I right? I think how readers react to her kind of goes in part with how their own coming out went, what their own fears about coming out were/are. I think Shelia has her idea of what life is supposed to be like and Willow coming out deviated from her vision; that created a kind of cognitive dissonance that she couldn’t in that moment reconcile and she freaked. I am sorry if it touched on personal issues. The downside of fiction, the highlighting of things that are painful.
AWOL - Absent Without Leave. It’s a military term that has seeped into pop culture, basically means that you’ve disappeared without anyone knowing why, where, etc. Sorry if I don’t reply to some of the more personal questions - I’m a super private person and I don’t usually like to share. But to be general, I’m old, or at least, old in Internet years haha. :) I was in my 20s when I started writing Neverland. I’m so glad like Michelle. She’s peppy! I wanted to have some energy and she fit the bill. Hardest to write in this fic… Hmm… I think it’s not a thing but the overall consistency. I like to write in layers, and sometimes my inability to describe things as completely as I’d like is frustrating. Sometimes I’d really like to be able to write Neverland quickly, but the way I’ve written it in the past demands a lot of self-editing and that can be tough. I am rarely satisfied with what I post; I get amazing feedback and the thing I see in my own writing is ways it can be better. So that’s hard. I am so glad you liked how their declaration of love came about. That means a lot.
I’m glad that you feel like your feedbacks are windows that show how much you’ve changed. That is awesome, a great attitude. And congrats for getting through the whole thing! (Love the emoticons.) And don’t make it into a book, there are too many typos and cringe-worthy passages, haha! But thank you, the sentiment means a lot. It is often overwhelming how this little thing I’ve written seems to have hit home with people. I don’t think it will ever sink in, to be honest. I look at my own writing and see so many flaws; that others see something else is really humbling. And a virtual hug of appreciation is very welcome, virtual hug bag for reading, commenting and sticking with this story. (And no third kid, just two that often times feel like twenty.) Thank you, Paloma, for the massive feedback and for the obvious care you put into your words and thoughts. I am blown away and very grateful. I hope you like the next update and thank you again.

She Bopp Thank you for the lovely comment. I will admit to tearing up a little bit! I am thrilled that the story feels like an old friend’s home - what a wonderful description. I am ecstatic that this story helped “shake off the last death rattle of gay shame” you had in your life. I am so happy for you. Living in SF (the DREAM!) with a partner that you get to talk Buffy with—I mean, is there anything better? I am happy that Neverland could be a little voice inside your head that helped you do awesome things for yourself. What a wonderful gift you’ve given me by sharing that here. Thank you and please enjoy the next update.

NorthernLass That is amazing that you were able to read this as one big block - I think there are a few old timers who suffered through years of updates who are a little envious! I appreciate you giving this forever unfinished fic (hopefully not really but dang it feels that way sometimes) a go. I hope you enjoy the next bit and thanks again.

ssc1980 Hey, we have the same anxiety, haha! Thanks for the comment - I do hope you like the next update.

ImTheOtherOne I third! :)


Last edited by EasierSaid on Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:33 am 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:04 am
Posts: 691
Topics: 1
Title: Neverland
Author: EasierSaid
Feedback: 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: R
Disclaimer: Please don't sue me Mutant Enemy.
Notes: I MEANT to post this last year because the traditional gift for a 9 year anniversary is willow. Happy anniversary anyway, love.


Thoughts in italics

PART 75

Tara felt the smile on her face before she was even fully awake. She roused slowly, languidly, in no rush to face the day. She wanted to laugh as she became more conscious and took stock of her body. She was sore. Sore like that time she’d gone with Buffy to an advanced level yoga class, sore. Tara gently twisted her hips a shade, feeling muscles she didn’t know she had protest her movement. She sighed, content, as her eyes opened and she saw her room gently lit in the dull color of dawn. Remnants of rain streaked the windows that she could see in her peripheral vision, and the sky was layers of gray, cracks of sunlight trying to sneak through as clouds passed quickly in front of each other.

Tara turned her head and saw a shock of red hair spilling over the top of the rumpled blanket on her bed. The blonde’s heart skipped a beat and she took in a deep breath; Willow was in her bed. All she had ever wanted, ever desired, was laying next to her between her red sheets. Tara slowly exhaled, the emotion overwhelming her, and she swallowed back the lump in her throat as tears began to sting her eyes. Willow was hers. Brave, amazing Willow was hers.

Tara turned her head back to stare at the ceiling, the wave of emotion ebbing a little as her field of view became neutral. The apartment was so quiet. Water dripping outside on the tin downspout, a few muffled splashes of tires as people headed to the start of another work week. And the sound of Willow breathing. Deep and even and fragile. In all the years Tara’d fantasized about sleeping with Willow, she’d never thought of this. The steady rise and fall of the girl’s breath, the delightful concern Tara found she had that she’d disturb the slumbering redhead if she moved more than an inch. Tara turned her head and again looked at Willow, her view nothing more than a fraction of her person. The small bit of Willow’s skin that Tara could see was glowing in the dawn light, a little blue, freckles dark against the pale. Tara couldn’t help but think about all of the artists who had painted this, their lover’s skin, that overwhelming mixture of love and lust that gripped them as they looked at their beloved unguardedly, and once again Tara kicked herself for not being more skilled in painting the human form. Because if she could paint this, she would. Little relaxed ringlets of red resting on her pillow. A crease in the skin of Willow’s neck because her head was resting at a slight angle. The curve of her shoulder beneath the fabric of her sheets.

Tara took in a measured breath. Willow looked so peaceful. It was at odds with how she had looked as she had sat on the chair in the middle of the night. The devastated look on her face, the tension in her body. Tara sighed. Willow had so much to deal with. Buffy, her mother; it wasn’t going to be puppies and lollipops. But they’d be together. And that mattered.

Tara closed her eyes and exhaled. She was tired. She hadn’t gotten much sleep, and not just because of the sexy parts, she thought with a slight smile. It had been a long time since she’d slept next to someone, and Willow had been restless, moving and shifting even though her breath was now deep and even. Tara opened her eyes again and looked over at Willow, now stock still, and Tara idly wondered if she was dreaming. But the thought quickly faded. Tara had memories of running her hands along Willow’s skin, over her curves. The smell of their sweat and sex lingered on her sheets beneath her. Willow, her Willow, Willow in her bed, asleep next to her completely devoid of clothing, was real.

After a few steady breaths, Tara turned to look back at the ceiling, and took further stock of her body. She realized with some urgency that she needed to use the bathroom, and that she was ravenously hungry, almost to the point of feeling nauseated. After one more moment soaking it all in, she reached over and gingerly pulled back the comforter, revealing further Willow’s sleeping face, the curve of her neck and the whispy red hair that originated there. The blonde leaned over and gently kissed the top of the girl’s shoulder blade, Willow mumbling in her sleep and then relaxing again into slumber. Tara shifted, and gently stole out of bed. She stood and made her way to the armoire, stepping over Willow’s red shirt crumpled on the floor with a soft, half smile. Tara wrapped a robe around her body and slipped quietly out of the room, dipping into the bathroom, and then downstairs. She padded into the kitchen and took two cookies from a box in the cupboard—she deserved cookies for breakfast—and then headed toward her studio. She paused, one cookie held between her lips, another in her hand and turned up the thermostat before entering her studio.

The room was dark, her work monochromatic in the dawn’s soft light. She flicked on the lights and watched the room come to life, Willow’s red surrounding her. Tara stood for a long time looking at her work, the wood floor’s chill seeping into her skin. She wouldn’t default with Marissa. She had set up the appointment for the movers last week—the shipping company would be here that afternoon to collect the paintings for the Los Angeles show—and that would be that. She looked at the paintings again and made peace with her decision.

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

There was a sparkle, a shimmering light that expanded and washed out her vision as she opened her eyes. Willow blinked and she was awake. Her sleep had been peaceful; no dreams that she remembered. She stretched, her skin sliding along sheets and she smiled. It was a dull, gray morning and she was in Tara’s bed. She was naked. And she definitely partially tore her frenulum linguae last night.

Willow looked to her right and her brow briefly knit. She was alone. She stretched again and then propped herself up on her elbows, the bedding bunching on her chest. She looked around the room. The floor between the bed and the slightly ajar door was spotted with discard clothes. Willow couldn’t stop the proud smile from pulling at her lips. She cocked her head and heard the heater running, but other than that, quiet. Willow pushed herself to sitting and pushed her hair from her face. She didn’t want to think about what she looked like. She took another deep breath before swinging her legs over the side of the bed and standing. She collected her clothes from the floor and then quietly made her way to her room. Once there, she pulled on an over-sized t-shirt and sweats before heading into the bathroom and then downstairs.

No Tara in the kitchen, no Tara in the living room. Willow turned her head and saw Tara’s studio door’s silhouette lit with light. Willow made her way to the door and knocked lightly. She heard a faint, “Come in,” from inside the studio.

Willow stuck her head around the door. “Hey.”

“Hey,” Tara said, a bright smile on her face. She felt her stomach flip as Willow’s smile went supernova. That smile is for me, Tara thought. There was no doubt, no reasoning it away in a desperate bid to protect her heart. Her heart didn’t need protecting, not in the way she had for the last five years, not anymore. The blonde held out her hand, inviting the other girl to come into the room.

Willow walked up and wrapped her arms around Tara’s waist, giving her a soft kiss. “I missed you.”

“Sorry, I really had to use the bathroom and I thought you could use some sleep.”

“Someone kept me awake last night,” Willow said, nuzzling into Tara’s cheek.

“Hmm, me too,” Tara said. Willow smiled proudly.

“Everything okay?” Willow asked.

“Yeah,” Tara answered with a lazy smile, as she turned in Willow’s embrace to look at her studio. Willow held her from behind and took in the studio herself, her chin placed gently on Tara’s shoulder.

“Whatcha doing?”

“Just looking at everything,” Tara said, enjoying Willow’s arms around her. “I have to box the paintings up for the LA show today. Was sort of, saying goodbye.”

“Oh,” Willow said, placing a gentle kiss on Tara’s neck. She smiled when the blonde lightly shivered. “Want to have breakfast with me?”

Tara chuckled. “It’s getting late, don’t you have work?”

“No,” Willow said, a mischievous smile on her lips. “I’m playing hooky today.”

Tara turned slightly in the girl’s embrace, her eyebrows arched.

“If that’s okay with you?” Willow quickly asked. “I don’t want to get in the way of what you’re doing today.”

“You won’t,” Tara said, unable to stop from beaming. She turned back to face her art.

“Good,” Willow breathed out, relieved. “I just, don’t think I’ll be able to concentrate on anything else today,” the redhead said, kissing Tara’s cheek. “You kind of broke me last night.”

The blonde chuckled. “I think the breakage was mutual.” She felt the redhead squeeze her tight.

“I can go start the coffee,” Willow said.

“Okay,” Tara said. “I’m gonna, go put on something more than just a robe,” she added, her cheeks flushing. She felt Willow’s arms tighten around her.

“I like you in less than a robe,” Willow whispered in the blonde’s ear and Tara shivered. “But fine, go ahead and put more clothes on,” Willow said, mock magnanimously, letting her arms drop so Tara could turn and face her.

“I’ll be right back,” Tara said. She paused.

“What?” Willow asked innocently.

“Nothing,” Tara said embarrassed as she shook her head. “I just. I want to kiss you.”

“Yay me,” Willow said and Tara blushed. When Tara didn’t move toward her, Willow’s brow quirked. “Tara, you don’t have to ask.”

“I know,” Tara nodded, her face saying otherwise. “I mean. It just. It hasn’t really sunk in all the way, you know?”

“That we’re girlfriends?” Willow asked.

“Yeah,” Tara said.

“We are,” Willow said, a proud, soft smile on her lips. “So please, kiss me whenever you want.”

“O-Okay,” Tara said with a head bob. She leaned forward and kissed Willow. She felt Willow smile into her lips, and Tara sighed softly. She broke away reluctantly, her own smile mirrored on Willow’s face.

They exited Tara’s studio together, parting ways at the stairs. Tara went upstairs, showering quickly then dressed in a tank top and sweats.

When she returned to the kitchen, her heart fluttered. Willow was sitting at the bar, coffee in hand, a second cup just to her right. It was domestic and perfect. “Hey,” she said, coming up behind Willow. Willow looked up and her face went scarlet. Tara paused and laughed just as she was about to wrap her arms around Willow’s waist. “What’s that look?” Tara asked, sliding her hand along Willow’s back and down to her hip. “Everything okay?” Tara asked, amused at the deep blush creeping across Willow’s freckled cheeks and down her neck.

“Mmmhmm,” Willow said innocently, taking another sip of coffee, her eyes averted, embarrassed. She looked like someone caught looking at something NSFW. Tara looked to Willow’s hands, but there was no phone in sight, so perhaps the girl had only been thinking something blush-worthy.

“Uh huh,” Tara said knowingly, nodding her head and taking her own sip of coffee. Willow looked up and innocently made eye contact. The girls stared at each other, their smiles growing as the look continued. Tara shook her head. “Someday you’ll have to tell me.”

“Or show you,” Willow muttered into her mug. She looked up and caught Tara laughing, her brows arching. “What?” the redhead tried to ask innocently.

The blonde just shook her head. “Vixen.”

Willow beamed.

Tara made pancakes, silly shapes that she claimed were accidents, however Willow thought she did it for her benefit, so that Willow could make up silly stories about what the misshapen blobs were. They ate exchanging soft smiles, soft touches and the occasional syrupy kiss. Once done, they washed the dishes and then started to walk toward the stairs. Tara watched as Willow walked by her side, hesitant and energetic, like a puppy asked to wait before chasing a ball and for the thousandth time that morning Tara was amazed. Amazed that Willow was here, her look pure adoration, her body solid and accessible. Tara was still humming from Willow’s bravery, humming from the look on Willow’s face that showed her, plainly, that she was desired. She thought of the shyness she had felt regarding a simple kiss in her office, thought of the devilish look on Willow’s face when she came into the kitchen for breakfast and it sparked something in her.

“So, what now?” Willow asked hopefully, stopping at the base of the stairs and holding her breath. She didn’t want to let Tara out of her sight, and preferably not out of her grasp.

“Well, you need to take a shower.”

“Smell that bad, huh?” Willow said self-consciously, hoping that she really didn’t.

“No,” Tara said, stopping the girl next to the stairs and backing her into the wall. Willow gulped. “You just owe me something.”

“I do?” Willow asked, her voice high.

“Uh huh,” Tara said, pressing her body into the redhead’s. “An IOU.”

“I–“ Willow stopped, her voice drying up in her throat as she realized what it was she owed the blonde. “Oh.”

“You.” Tara said as she leaned forward and kissed the tip of Willow’s nose. Tara took a deep breath, gathered all of her courage and gently sank to her knees. She softly pulled the front of Willow’s sweats and underwear down to reveal the soft skin of her lower belly, and the top of the hair between Willow’s legs. Tara leaned forward and placed a feather light kiss on the skin above the hair, her hands gripping Willow’s hips as she did so.

Willow shuddered as she watched, and she felt her legs start to shake. She swallowed hard.

Tara stood up slowly, her hands gently pulling Willow’s pants back to her waistline, and then she leaned in and kissed Willow purposefully. The redhead’s knees buckled and Tara pressed her body more firmly into the redhead, pinning her against the wall and keeping her upright. After a long, slow, sensual kiss, the blonde pulled away and looked her girl in the eye.

“I need a shower,” Willow said, her voice dazed, pupils dilated.

“Uh huh,” Tara said nodding, her nose rubbing against the redhead’s as she agreed. She stepped back to let the redhead off the wall, and grinned, a triumphant half smile as Willow woozily stood.

“Shower with me?” Willow asked, her lip darting adorably to the side with hope. “I mean, I know you just showered but I –”

“O-Okay,” she replied.

Willow’s smile lit up and they giggled, nervously, excitedly went up the stairs hand-in-hand.

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

It was different once they were back in Tara’s bed, their hands more sure than they had been the night before, their smiles more shy in the light of the day. It was different making love in the gray morning light, different now that they had done it before. They lingered together for a while after Willow came, after Tara came, until Tara glanced at the clock and stole away from bed with an apologetic half smile, Willow weakly teasing her from her boneless, prone position about buying all of the blonde’s paintings so she wouldn’t have to leave her side.

Tara freshened up quickly and dressed in the bathroom, her body warm in well-worn jeans, a t-shirt and a borderline ratty college sweatshirt. She headed down to her studio and began to work. She caught the clock out of the corner of her eye and sighed; she had been too indulgent, too distracted this morning, and now she had only a little more than an hour before the shipping crew arrived.

She forced herself to fight the urge to fly through her tasks, starting slow and moving the paintings she was going to send to LA to sell along the wall. She tried to not get sucked into the paintings, tried to keep her thoughts in the present and not linger on the growing sadness over the fact that she was letting these works go. She made her way to her desk, smiling to herself as she heard Willow shower, as she heard the girl dress and turn on music softly, the notes muffled and unrecognizable through the walls. Tara filled out the shipping invoices, and logged the items for sale in her ledger. She suppressed the urge to be overly modest with her asking prices; her modesty—and her inability to think of her work at the stage Marissa thought it was at—was something Marissa had insisted she work on for this show.

And then, the phone call to create the labels, an act that would make the sale of the works along the wall feel real. Tara was surprised at how nervous she felt as she dialed, how she had to work to make her voice even as she spoke, her stutter appearing more than usual. She was really selling them. She periodically glanced at the clock as the representative took down the words, the minutes ticking down toward the shipping crew’s midday arrival. She finished on the phone and made a few extra notes in her ledger before she stretched, finally finished. She turned in a circle in her studio, her eyes scanning the various works in the space. She let her eye drift to the works she was to send to LA and she allowed herself a long moment to stare. She drank in their color, her gaze following the layers of paint she had once meticulously applied. She remembered how she felt when she made each work, her gaze taking in each dip and peak, the result both familiar and foreign.

She wasn’t surprised by the emotion that swelled up inside of her, pushing at her and surrounding her. She had never shown, much less sold, work so personal, work that spoke to such a unique, specific time in her life. She felt like she was saying goodbye to a part of herself, and after she felt like she had her fill staring, had made her peace, she moved to organize her paints. She was only five minutes into the task when the buzzer sounded in the living room, the noise echoing in the empty space. Tara left her studio and made her way to the intercom, and buzzed in the shipping crew. They came up the stairs with smiles, the first of four heavy crates with them, and she watched as they moved over the following 30 minutes, leaving with her work down the stairs and to the truck half parked in the street below. As always they were courteous, kind, and she smiled as the lead took her paperwork and handed her her receipt. She tipped them generously, waited until they were gone, and then took the papers into her studio and quickly filed them away.

Finished, she turned and again looked at her studio. Emptier, but still holding work she loved, and the promise of creations yet to come. She stretched her neck and let her eyes wander back to her desk, her cell phone sitting on the top corner.

Her stomach clenched. She had been avoiding thinking about it all morning, but now that her work was done, and she had a few moments to herself, the thought came roaring to the forefront of her mind. What would happen if she called Buffy? Would her old roommate take her call, would they have a heart to heart? Or would her call go to voicemail, or worse, would Buffy answer with the same hurt in her voice that had so obviously bruised Willow yesterday? Tara sighed. She was caught in a hard place, a horrible place, unsure what the right thing to do was for the people she loved the most. She took a deep breath, and let it go. Buffy would reach out to her when she was ready. In the meantime, Tara would give her space, give Willow support, and hope that things between them smoothed out sooner rather than later.

Tara’s eye caught the clock again and she sighed. She was free. No more LA show responsibilities for the time being. Her commissioned work wasn’t time sensitive and there was the small matter of an incredibly hot girl upstairs playing hookey to spend time with her. Tara smiled to herself, and flicked the lights off in her studio as she exited the space.

She climbed the stairs and knocked on Willow’s slightly open door. Willow looked over from her computer and smiled, swiveling her chair to face the blonde. She reached over and without looking, muted the music she had been listening to.

“Hey,” Willow said. “All done?”

“Yup,” Tara said, stepping into Willow’s room. It still felt strange, like an off-limits space, and Tara wondered how long it would take before that feeling went away.

“Good,” Willow said. “Go well?”

“As expected,” Tara said. As she got closer she noticed how Willow was sitting, her shoulders tight, her eyes glancing to the computer and back to her. “Everything okay?” Tara asked.

Willow shrugged. “Yeah.” She paused briefly before continuing. “Buffy’s not on IM.” She nodded to her computer and then back, an embarrassed smile on her lips. “Kind of unusual for a Monday.”

“Oh,” Tara said. Her heart sunk.

“She hasn’t, called, or anything, has she?” Willow asked. She looked so hopeful and it broke Tara’s heart to reply.

“No,” Tara answered. “I’m sorry.”

Willow nodded. “I haven’t heard from my mom, either.”

“Hey.” Tara’s brow knit, and she moved in front of Willow and placed her hands on her shoulders. “I.” She was going to say everything was going to be all right, but it wasn’t something she could promise. “I’m sorry.”

“Yeah,” Willow said, her own hands reaching forward and encircling Tara’s legs. “Doesn’t feel real great right now.”

“Can I do anything to help?” Tara asked as she brushed red hair from freckled cheeks.

Willow blushed, her neck angled, wide green eyes looking up. “Can I have a hug?”

“Of course,” Tara said. Willow stood and Tara wrapped her arms around her shoulders. She felt the slight woman melt into her, and Tara felt her heart melt along with her.

“Are you sad about your paintings?” Willow asked and Tara smiled, the redhead’s voice muffled in her shoulder.

“A little,”

“I’m sorry,” Willow said, her voice again muffled, this time into her neck. Willow’s arms squeezed a little tighter.

“It’s okay,” Tara said, pulling back slightly so she could look Willow in the eye. She leaned forward and gently kissed the girl before speaking again. “They made me happy. Hopefully they’ll make someone else happy, now.”

Willow nodded, her hands tracing lightly along Tara’s lower back. She rested her forehead against the blonde’s and they stood together for a long moment. “Are you free for the rest of the day?”

“Yes,” Tara said, smiling softly.

“Do you want to watch SpongeBob with me?”

“Yes,” Tara said, pulling back, beaming.

“Good,” Willow said. “Do you want to get lots and lots of snacks while I set up?”

“Yes,” Tara said again, giggling softly. They kissed, and moved apart to set up.

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

Willow shifted her head slightly and looked over at the blonde, sleeping peacefully on her shoulder. They were tangled up under a throw on her bed, SpongeBob playing softly in the background. Tara had fallen asleep three episodes in and Willow didn’t have the heart to wake her. Willow herself had lost interest in the show as soon as Tara fell asleep, but she let it play, volume slightly lowered in the background for company.

Willow sighed. This is what she wanted. She wanted Tara, wanted all of the sexy parts and the supportive parts, but this, this is mostly what she wanted. Intimacy with the girl she loved. Willow enjoyed the feel of Tara’s weight on her side, her warmth. The warm tickle of her breath as it puffed against her neck.

The moment was broken by her phone ringing on her desk. Willow winced as the blonde woke up suddenly. “Phone,” Tara croaked and Willow’s heart melted.

“Sorry,” Willow winced, and Tara just smiled, rolling on to her back.

“It’s okay,” Tara said, exhaling heavily.

Any other day Willow would have let it go to voicemail, but the curiosity of who was calling, the hope that it would be Buffy or her mother, made Willow spring from bed as soon as Tara was clear from her shoulder. Willow vaulted to the desk only to frown in disappointment when she saw the name on the screen. “It’s Khalil.”

“I’m sorry,” Tara said, wiping the sleep from her eyes. She propped herself up on her elbow and looked at the redhead. “I know you were hoping it was Buffy.”

Willow frowned. “A little.” She moved to step toward the bed when her phone buzzed, and then buzzed again. Her brow furrowed and she looked to the screen, picking it up in her hand.

“What?” Tara asked.

“He’s texting me.” Willow’s brow remained furrowed as her phone buzzed a third and fourth time.

“Is everything okay?” Tara asked, sitting up.

“He’s having a problem with his work computer.” Willow quickly moved to her text application and texted back, then waited.

Tara watched with fascination as Willow’s entire focus shifted to the phone in her hand, on the problem on the other side of the line. After a long string of back and forths, Willow frowned. “I’m going to have to go over to his house, his computer crashed and he’s worried he lost something we’ve been working on for a while.”

“Okay,” Tara said.

“I’m sorry,” Willow said, pouting as she moved back to the bed.

“It’s okay,” Tara answered with a light chuckle. She rose to her knees and awkwardly shuffled to where Willow stood.

“I wanted the whole day to just be me and you.”

“I know,” Tara said. “And, it was, mostly. What time is it now?”

“Almost 5,” Willow said. “I don’t know how long it’ll take at his place.”

“It’s okay,” Tara said. “It’s nice that you’re able to help him.”

“Hopefully,” Willow said, huffing. “His freakage doesn’t make it sound good.”

“You’ll fix it,” Tara said. She leaned forward and gently kissed Willow. Willow grumbled into the kiss and Tara’s eyebrows rose. She pulled back and almost laughed at the grumpy expression on Willow’s face. “What?” Tara asked.

“I said it’s not fair,” Willow repeated, huffing.

“Poor baby,” Tara said, kissing Willow’s cheek. “Go. Help him and when you get back I’ll make it worth your while.”

“Really?” Willow asked, her interest piqued. “How?”

Tara pulled a face and shrugged and Willow smiled brightly in return.

“You’re kind of amazing,” Willow said, wrapping her arms around Tara’s middle.

“Says, the genius about to go s-save a computer.”

“Pfft,” Willow replied before leaning in and kissing Tara. What started as a quick peck on the lips quickly deepened until Tara pulled away, face flush, breath heavy.

“Whoa,” Tara said.

“Uh huh,” Willow answered. “I don’t have to go.” She started to lean in again and Tara leaned back and out of her lips’ reach.

“Go,” Tara said. “I’ll be here.”

It was a simple phrase, but Willow marveled at it. “Yeah,” she said, a soft smile pulling on her lips. “Okay.”

Tara headed downstairs, leaving Willow to pack her bag. After several minutes Willow bounded into the room and made her way to the secretary desk. She put on her shoes as Tara stood nearby. Once Willow was ready, they kissed at the door. Willow exited with a smile, getting halfway down the stairs before bolting back into the apartment to get her forgotten keys. Tara smiled, amused, listening as Willow shut the downstairs door, opened the garage door and started her car. Tara moved to the window and watched until she was gone, then padded into the kitchen to make herself dinner for one, a bright grin on her face.


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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:21 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer
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Dibs! Can't wait to sit back and read this update. First, I must apologize for never having done so earlier. I started and stopped reading this story over the years, and as a writer coming back to finish her own W/T fic ten years later, know how important it is to give proper feedback. So stay tuned, a full review will be on its way! As soon as I hunker down and read this treat :) Thank you for taking the time to write and post, no matter how long it takes.

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 Post subject: Re: New Fic - Neverland
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:48 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

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omg


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