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

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 Post subject: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 2:16 am 
The Mendacity of Tara Maclay

Author: Tinna Karen

Rating: PG

Spoilers: None

Feedback: Please do :)

Disclaimer: All characters from Buffy The Vampire Slayer belong to Fox, Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon. Some dialog has been borrowed from BtVS scripts.

Notes: This is just a small vignette based on a dream I had. It's pretty much AU ... almost uber if you will. Still takes place in Sunnydale, but it's far from Buffy-verse.

Prologue: "Cyber-crushin' — no really."

Willow opened up her laptop and clicked the small Safari icon on her dock. The browser opened up, and Willow's own archive of fanfiction stories came up automatically. She clicked the drop down menu, scrolling through the list of titles, none catching her attention.

"No, no, no..." she mumbled under her breath and sighed. She hit a combination on her keyboard and a new blank window opened up in a new tab on her browser and she clicked on a link on her bookmark bar. Her favorite fanfiction board came up, and she glanced over the recent postings, seeing if any of her favorite stories had been updated. "Nothing."

Willow tapped her fingers on the keyboards, in a sign of frustrated boredom. Now what do I do, she wondered. She glanced to her right and noticed her stack of completed assignments, piled neatly, and ready for submissions. It was Sunday evening and she had absolutely nothing to do. She sighed again and thought, not for the first time, what a dork she was.

College was everything she had wanted — a vast world of available knowledge, just waiting for students to knock on the door and accept the invitation. She finally felt right in her skin, right in her element, as she sat among other students willing to learn, unlike her school mates in high school who regarded education with a bored and jaded look. But while she expected college to challenge her mentally — which it had — she had also expected it to challenge her socially, if such a phrase could be used. She had at least expected making a friend or two, but apparently the people in her pod — her floor in the dorms — weren't particularly interested in hanging out with a babbling, naïve freshman who didn't know the difference between a Long Island iced tea and sweet tea...well, not until she looked it up on the internet.

She had acquaintances, of course, through her classes, and just from living in the dorms. But none she could call a friend. Her RA was really the only person who came by regularly to hang out, and mostly it was because she was technically challenged and regarded Willow as her savior in all things mechanical.

But as lonely as Willow was in real life, she had lots of online buddies who shared her views and sense of humor ... some down to a tee.

A swoosh sound was heard from her laptop speakers and a small window popped up. She smiled brightly when she saw who it was.

DeepBlueWaterz: hey you! did ya read the update last night? holy cripes...was that hot or what? i'm still drooling...

Willow rolled her eyes and chuckled...and nodded. Her favorite story had been updated last night and yes, the update had been 'hot'.

She clicked on the window and started typing.

WickedRed: oh my god...I know...I read it like 6 times last head was thrumming each time...thank god my roommate was out of town ;)

DeepBlueWaterz: oh my god! you share waaay too much ;)

WickedRed: :P

DeepBlueWaterz: hehe...

DeepBlueWaterz: anyway, what have you been up to?

WickedRed: not much really...I finished my homework for the rest of the semester :blush

DeepBlueWaterz: yeah, me too ... I wish :) what else?

WickedRed: umm...

WickedRed: ooh! my RA came by earlier today because she jacked up her TV/VCR combo, and wanted to know if I could fix it...and I did.

DeepBlueWaterz: smarty :)

WickedRed: :) and what have you been up to baby?

DeepBlueWaterz: same really...sort of...studying, reading...filling out transfer applications...

WickedRed: transfer applications? you moving?

DeepBlueWaterz: yeah...I'm tired of the, I got a scholarship somewhere else.

WickedRed: go you!

WickedRed: no really...that's wonderful Tara .. congratulations .. where are ya going?

DeepBlueWaterz: oh...just this little down called Sunnydale... ;)

Willow's breath caught in her throat when she read the message. Sunnydale? Tara's coming to Sunnydale?! She felt her palms sweat at the revelation. Oh my god, she's coming here...yes!

WickedRed: what!? really!?!!!!!!

DeepBlueWaterz: Hihi...what's with the shouting sweetie? :D

WickedRed: no really? you're coming here? :D

DeepBlueWaterz: *nods* yup, starting next semester.

WickedRed: yay!

DeepBlueWaterz: you can say that again.

WickedRed: yay! ;)

WickedRed: so I'll get to meet you...finally...and we can hang out and real life?

DeepBlueWaterz: looks like it :D

WickedRed: coolz :)

Three hours later Willow said goodbye to Tara...which usually took like six or seven messages...and got ready for bed. She smiled as she brushed her teeth. She smiled as she put on her pajamas, and she was still smiling as she lay down on the bed, her laptop perched in her lap. She tried to read a random fanfic but she put her laptop away after the first sentence. Her mind wasn't in it.

Willow fluffed her pillow and lay down on her bed, staring up at the ceiling. A familiar grin — a grin she had aptly named her it was a I-just-talked-to-Tara induced grin — spread over her features and she curled her toes as the accompanying tingles went through her body. Her mind wandered to her 'friend' and the conversation they had just had and she couldn't help the joyful giggles that escaped her at the thought.

Tara was nineteen, two years older than Willow but through different circumstances, they were both freshmen in college. Tara, because she had stayed at home a year after high school helping around the house after her mother had been in a serious car accident, leaving her temporarily paralyzed for four months. And Willow because she had skipped a grade in school when she was younger.

Willow had 'met' Tara at her favorite fanfiction board three months ago. The older girl had been writing her own fanfiction and needed a beta to proofread her work, fixing typos and grammar and helping with the story. Willow, an avid reader and a genius in her own right had offered to help, and through late night e-mails, writings and readings a friendship had struck up between the two. These days they spent more time chatting about their lives and life in general, than the lives of their favorite fanfiction characters.

Their online sessions were usually upbeat and cheerful; Willow finding it very hard to be anything but happy when talking to Tara. Although they did touch on more difficult subjects, a humorous undertone was always present, which to Willow was like a salve to whatever was bothering her each time...knowing Tara could and would almost always cheer her up. Just the thought of Tara coming online to chat with her made her giddy with excitement and expelled any depressing or annoying thought away in an instance.

Willow rolled over on her side and sighed happily, pulling her comforter up to her chin. Yes, she admitted to herself, I've got it bad.


Tara sat in front of her roommate's desktop PC and stared at a picture of a beautiful redhead. She traced the outlines with her index fingers and smiled. Willow. She glanced at the clock in the system tray and noticing the late hour, she closed the picture window and put the computer to sleep. She got ready for bed quickly and crawled under the covers, a piece of paper in her hand. She propped up her two pillows and reclined against them, setting the paper on her bent knees. The bold title of the paper, Alabama State University Transfer Credit Application, caught her attention immediately and she curled her toes in excitement.

Tara had wanted a change of scenery for a while now. Having outgrown her small town in Alabama, she had set out for the 'big city' and decided to attend Alabama State University in Montgomery but as it turned out, the people weren't much different in Montgomery than they were in her hometown, and Tara still felt trapped. Birmingham probably would have been a better choice, but the university there was much more expensive than the State one, and her financial situation wouldn't allow it. But ever since she started chatting with Willow, it became clear to her what she wanted and so she had researched what it would take to get it.

Only two months later, quite unexpectedly, her efforts had proofed successful and she received a letter from the University of California in Sunnydale, offering her placement and full scholarship in their art program, starting the following semester, which was only seven weeks away.

Tara now held in her hand the final piece of paper she had to fill out, an application form to transfer her credits from ALASU to UCS. She leaned over to her nightstand and picked up a pencil and wrote down her information quickly, yet neatly, and finally signed her name at the bottom.

Smiling brightly, she placed the pencil and paper on her nightstand and turned out the light. She fluffed her pillows three times and lay down on her side, smiling her way into dreamland.

Chapter 1: "Moving days and awkward meetings."

Tara looked up at the overwhelming dorm room and bounced on her feet. She grinned at her cousin Beth standing to her right who put her arm around her shoulder.

"Are you sure you're ready for this Maclay? I is California..." Beth trailed off and gave her cousin a light squeeze.

"Exactly...that's why I'm ready." Willow's in California, she added under her breath.

Tara turned on her heel and walked to her black '93 Chevy Pickup. It used to be her dad's truck, but when he got a new one a year ago, he had given it to her on her as a graduation present and she absolutely loved it. She opened the truck and grabbed a box, pulling it towards her.

She picked up the box and walked passed her cousin with a 'what are you waiting for' look on her face. Beth blanched and lifted up her hands. "But I just got my nails done," she pouted. Tara arched an eyebrow and her look changed into a 'are you kidding me' one. Beth rolled her eyes in defeat and trudged towards the black truck, picking up a box of her own. "Let's make this quick, I wanna go shopping."

Tara nodded and walked towards the dorm building. She took three steps then stopped suddenly. "Wait!" she exclaimed and turned around swiftly, making Beth accidentally bump into her. Tara stumbled backwards with her box, but managed to hold on to it, mock-glaring at her cousin.

"Oops, sorry." Beth laughed and Tara grinned back. "What were you going to say?"

"Oh!" Tara fidgeted with the box in her hands until she got a good grip on it, and nodded approvingly. "The go...I have to meet Willow remember?"

"Oh, yeah..." Beth said and started walking. "Well, you can go meet your girlfriend and I'll do all the shopping by's cool."

Girlfriend? Tara blushed at her cousin, a half smile fighting its way onto her face. "She's not my girlfriend," she protested half-heartedly, while wishing her statement to be untrue.

Beth glanced back over her shoulder, "not yet you mean," and kept on walking.

Tara caught up to her cousin with a questioning look, "what do you mean by that? I mean... I know what you mean but um...what do you mean? Willow and I aren' know...we're just friends. Sure, I really like her and all but I've never met her. I don't even know if I'm attracted to her know."

Beth grinned and bumped playfully into Tara. "You stare at her picture for six hours every day Maclay...don't tell me you don't think she's hot."

"" Tara looked down at the ground as she blushed. Her stomach flip-flopped at the thought of the redhead and she looked up at her cousin with a shy smile. "I do like her."

Beth tilted her head and smiled softly at her cousin. "Aw, sweetie...that's the understatement of the century."

Tara giggled and lifted one eyebrow. "True...I just...I hope she'll, you know, me...uh too."

"She will."

"You don't know that...she's never seen me. I have a picture of her but she doesn't know what I look besides what I've told know, blue eyes, blonde hair and stuff."

"Tara, she's impossible not too."

Tara bit her lip, trying to suppress the smile spreading over her face. She got a faraway look in her eyes and slowly started walking towards the dorms again. Beth shook her head and smiled. She'll love you'll see.


Willow looked down at her watch for the third time in 30 seconds and shuffled her feet nervously. She spun around in a half-circle, watching the people around her, and sat back down on the wooden bench next to her. Despite it being January, it was warm and sunny and Willow silently thanked her parents for settling down in California. The beach was full of activity; kids were running on the sand and their parents chasing them, people played volleyball and tossed Frisbees around, and hundreds more lay on the sand enjoying the warm sun. Willow checked the time again and stood up, walking towards the side of the pier. She leaned up against the railing, resting her arms on top, and looked down on the gentle waves beneath her. No one was in the water this Sunday afternoon, the waves too small to attract committed surfers who had to endure the cold water.

She was nervous. Obviously. Her stomach did flip-flops and she felt her palms sweating. She was supposed to meet Tara in less than a minute and she looked towards the foot of the pier, giving every blonde haired girl her attention.


Tara sat in her black truck parked by the foot of the pier and stared at the redhead as she glanced around nervously. Tara was captivated, speechless, and frozen in her spot. Scared. She gripped the steering wheel tight, twisting the leather to and fro.

Beth sat in the passenger seat and regarded her cousin with an amused smile. "Well?" she asked, trying to get Tara moving.

Tara didn't respond, only gripped the wheel tighter, her knuckles turning white from the pressure. "Tara?" The blonde sat still, her breathing labored and Beth could see beads of sweat starting to accumulate over Tara's eyebrows. "Tara?" she asked again, placing a hand over the blonde's arm. "Huh?" Tara turned her head quickly and looked at her cousin with a frightful expression.

"What's wrong?"

Tara looked out the front window at Willow standing a hundred feet away from her and gulped. "I can't do it," she whispered and closed her eyes.

Beth raised both eyebrows at her cousin in disbelief. "What?"

"I can't do it...I'm not ready...I'm..." Tara was panicking and she looked pleadingly at Beth. "Please...can you..."

"What?" Beth repeated and shook her head. "You are so going out there Tara Maclay." She pointed out the window at Willow. "You've been speaking to this girl for four months, shared almost everything there is to know about you with her...I mean, my god've got the biggest crush on her...what's the problem?"

"That is the problem. I like her so much...but what if she doesn't like me? I'm afraid she's gonna take one look at me and...I don't away or something. I just...I couldn't handle it."

"You're an idiot."

Tara looked up at her cousin with a hurt look. "What?"

Beth smiled sadly and scooted closer to Tara, wrapping her arms around her. "You're such a doofus sweetie. A blind doofus who can't see how beautiful she really is."

Tara sniffled weakly and rested her head on Beth's shoulder, "am not."

"Tara...I may be your cousin...and I may be a little biased because you and I share some of the same genes but're a total have those big blue eyes and that cute smile...and got big boobs...people drool all over you."

Tara half-cried, half-laughed in her cousin's arms, "shut up," she protested and lifted up her head, wiping the tears from her eyes. She looked out the window at Willow again and sighed wistfully. "You're right about one thing though...I am an idiot."

"No you're not. You're just in does crazy things to people...or so I've heard."

"In love?" Tara asked skeptically. "I haven't even kissed her can I be in love with her?"

"Fine...whatever you say. You're not in love with her. But go out there, talk to her, kiss her, and then fall in love with her."

Another tear rolled down Tara's chin and she wiped it away roughly. "Please Beth, I'm not ready...I mean look at me...I'm crying...I can't let her see me like this. Can you just...I don't know...tell her I got hurt moving...that I twisted my ankle or something and that I'll talk to her later tonight?"

Beth sighed loudly and rolled her eyes. "Fine...but you owe me. I want the entire day tomorrow...I mean it...all day shopping, deal?"

"Yes...absolutely...whatever you say. And oh, tell her I'm really sorry and that I'll be online tonight."

Beth nodded and got out the car. She walked towards Willow and Tara saw Willow turn towards Beth and smile. Shit, that could have been me. She groaned and bent her head down, knocking her forehead on the steering wheel. My god, I'm such an idiot...and owie. She lifted her head and rubbed her forehead repeatedly watching her cousin and Willow sit down on a wooden bench.


Willow looked around for the umpteenth time that day and finally saw an attractive blonde walking towards her. She stepped away from the railing and quickly looked down at her outfit, her blue-washed jeans and a pink t-shirt. She frowned and dusted invisible lint off her t-shirt before looking back up at (whom she could only presume to be) Tara.

The girl walked purposely towards her, wearing a knee length jean skirt and a white tank top. Not what I was picturing exactly, Willow thought, going over every conversation she had had with Tara, distinctly remembering her friend proclaiming her love for her comfy jeans. But she does look...nice. Willow smiled and took two steps forward, giving the girl a small wave.

The girl stopped a few feet away from Willow and regarded the redhead with a slight smirk. "Willow, right?"

Willow nodded repeatedly, "uh huh...yes, Willow me...I mean, yes, I'm Willow." She smiled apologetically and shrugged her shoulders. "I told you I babbled when I'm nervous." Beth smiled back at Willow thinking how adorable she was, and how perfect she was for Tara.

"It's um, nice to meet you Tara...finally."

"No, I'm no..." Beth stopped and smiled devilishly. She glanced at the black truck from the corner of her eye, and chuckled inwardly. "What I meant to say is, it's nice to meet you too Willow."

Willow bobbed her head up and down and smiled hesitantly. She gestured to the wooden bench next to her and Beth nodded, and they both sat down.


Tara sat in her car and wondered what was taking so long. Beth and Willow had been talking for a long time now, and Tara could see the changes in Willow. She had started out smiling, but now she looked bored...maybe a little sad...and her eyes were wandering. She's mad at me, Tara concluded and sighed. Maybe I should go out there...but no, that would be stupid...

Tara tabbed her fingers on the steering wheel in frustration. She frowned in deep thought and bit her lower lip. A minute later she knocked on the wheel with her hands. Okay, I'm going, she decided and opened the door.

The first thing that hit her when she got out of the car was the cool breeze from the ocean and she breathed in deeply. She hadn't even noticed the beach earlier as she sat in the car, she was too focused on Willow, but now she looked out into the horizon and smiled brightly. She had never seen the ocean before with her own eyes and the sight amazed her. She followed the length of the beach with her blue eyes until she reached the pier again. Her breath caught in her throat when she noticed Willow staring right at her.


Willow tried to listen to what Tara was saying but all she heard was 'bla bla bla bla'. Tara was nothing like what she'd been expecting. Sure, she was very pretty and all, but that stuff didn't matter to Willow...what mattered to her was the personality, the humor, the thoughts and opinions...and Tara was a totally different person online than she was now. She was saying something about the Blahnik shoe-man something and Willow was utterly confused. She nodded and smiled amiably but her eyes started to wander. A blonde girl stepped out of a black truck from the foot of the pier and smiled brightly as she looked out to sea. Willow smiled with her, noticing the almost innocent wonder in the girl's eyes. It's like she's seeing it for the first time. The girl followed the beach with her eyes until she reached the pier and they made eye contact. The girl seemed surprised and Willow inwardly scolded herself. Hello, stare much. But she couldn't take her eyes away from her. The girl was the most beautiful person Willow had ever seen, and as they looked at each other, Willow felt her heart beat faster and faster. Willow smiled shyly at the girl who returned the gesture.


Tara's body thrummed with anticipation and she took a small step forward. Willow's smile brightened and she felt her own mouth curl up into a brilliant smile as well. All of a sudden Willow broke eye contact and fumbled with her pants, pulling out a cell phone. She said something Tara didn't hear and pocketed the phone, turning towards Beth. Beth nodded and smiled and Willow jogged hurriedly down the pier towards Tara. Before Tara could say anything Willow had given her the one over, winked and ran past her. Tara spun on her heel to see Willow run towards a bike rack, unlocking a red mountain bike.

Beth was walking towards her and Tara met her half way. "What happened?"

Beth shrugged her shoulders, "she got a call from someone and had to go. She said she'd talk to you online later tonight."

"Oh." Tara looked towards Willow again, seeing her mounting the bike. Willow glanced in their direction and she gave a small wave. She made eye contact with Tara again for a second and she gave Tara a big grin before she left.

"She's so cute." Tara stated, as she watched Willow ride away from her.

Beth snickered and smirked at her cousin. "I'm sure you'll have plenty to talk about later tonight."

Tara nodded and walked towards her car, "I hope so."

Chapter 2: "Liar, liar pants on fire."

Willow skipped inside her dorm room, happy from a satisfying meal with her parents. They had called her during her time with Tara and asked her to dinner with them. She had jumped at the chance, eager to get away from the awkward meeting. It wasn't that she had stopped liking Tara, it was just...well, she wasn't sure what it was but the meeting had been anti-climatic to say the least. Plus, after seeing the girl from the truck she felt even more awkward. She'd wanted to get to know that girl, and Willow felt bad just for thinking it, but she had wished that girl had been Tara.

Yet, despite the awkward afternoon, her night with her parents had been good and after having seen Tara talk with the truck-girl, Willow held a small hope of getting to know her through Tara.

Willow opened up her laptop and her IM program connected instantly. She saw Tara online and sent her a message.

WickedRed: hey, sorry for earlier...but how was your first day? are you all settled?

DeepBlueWaterz: oh, hey sweetie...yeah, I'm sorry too...but you know me...I'm such a klutz sometimes.

Willow read the message and frowned. Klutz? What does she mean?

DeepBlueWaterz: and yeah, I'm pretty much settled in thanks. Beth's been helping me.

WickedRed: your cousin Beth? oh, that was the girl you were talking to on the pier?

Tara read the message and got confused but she replied quickly.

DeepBlueWaterz: uh, yeah...she's here for two weeks to help me get settled in...which only took a day :) Mostly she's here to shop :sigh

WickedRed: hehe...speaking know it's weird but when I first saw you, you looked like what I had imagined Beth to look like and Beth looked like what I'd imagine you too look like.

DeepBlueWaterz: really? but I hardly ever wear skirts...

WickedRed: exactly, so when you walked up to me in that jean skirt and a tank top...well, I got a little confused :)

Tara's eyes widened and she swiveled around in her desk chair glaring at her cousin, who was reclined in her bed watching MTV. "Beth! What did you tell her?"

Beth turned the TV down and grinned at her cousin. "What?"

Tara shot daggers to her cousin, but quickly swiveled back around and typed 'brb' on the keyboard.

"You told her you were me?!"

"Noo..." Beth protested half-heartedly. "She just assumed I was you...and I didn't correct her."

"What the hell!"

Beth laughed and sat up on the bed. "What's the big deal Maclay? Just tell her it was a joke."

"But...well, of course I'm going to...but what if she gets hurt? I've been chatting with her...and now that I think about looks like I was in on the joke...why did you do that?"

Beth gave Tara a 'why do you think' look who shrugged her shoulders in reply. "What?"

"Billy Connors, in the 8th grade."

Tara stared dumbfounded at her cousin, her mouth slightly open.

"That's right." Beth nodded emphatically and crossed her arms.

"I was 10 years old! And I apologized for a hundred times."

"Didn't hurt any less sweetie."

Tara glared at her cousin for a minute then turned towards her new laptop and started typing.

DeepBlueWaterz: back.

WickedRed: good :)

DeepBlueWaterz: you's stupid that we're chatting when you're just in the next building...can I come over?

WickedRed: uhh...sure. It's room 214.

DeepBlueWaterz: okay, I'll be there in five minutes.

WickedRed: alrighty...see ya then.

DeepBlueWaterz: bye!

Tara closed her laptop and got up, walking towards her door. "I'm going over there to straighten this out. Try not to ruin any more lives while I'm out."

Beth just rolled her eyes and turned her attention to the TV again. "Okay sweetie. Say hi to Willow from me, and ohh...don't make it too straight, alright?"

"Shut up!" Tara hissed, but she was grinning at her cousin. As much as her cousin could annoy the hell out of her, she loved her dearly, and Tara knew her cousin wasn't really mad at her...she just really loved teasing her.


Tara knocked three times on the intimating door and stood nervously as she waited for her answer. She didn't have to wait long. The door swung open, revealing a smiling Willow.

"Hey Tar..." Willow trailed off as she noticed the girl standing in her doorway. "Oh." Willow was shocked and she played the part well.

Tara smiled as she met Willow, really met her, for the first time. Her hair was a brilliant mixture of red and gold, shining under the artificial lights above, and Tara wanted to run her hands through it. Smooth, milky-white skin with freckles the photograph she owned had failed to reveal, sparkling green eyes, which greeted her now with idle curiosity and strawberry pink lips in a formation of a perfect 'o'.

The lips moved and Tara couldn't help the thundering of her heart when she heard Willow's voice — playful and sweet — like she was on the verge of laughing.

"Uh, Beth?" Willow felt nervous under the intense scrutiny of the girl in front of her and she looked down, briefly, shuffling her feet at the same time. "Where's uh, where's Tara?"

The question knocked Tara out of her daze and she shook her head slightly, clearing her mind.

"No, I'm ah...I'm..." Tara started, trying to find the words to explain the situation. "See, I have um...something to tell you...and you're probably going to laugh when you um...hear it."

" you wanna come in? Is Tara alright?"

"Thank you, yes...and um yeah, she's uh, she's fine..." Just a little petrified. Willow stepped to the side to let Tara in but before the blonde could make a move another blonde ran past her into the room, carrying a black laptop. "Will, thank god you're here...I need your help."

The blonde set her laptop on Willow's desk, paying no mind to Tara or Willow, for that matter. "I was writing my paper which is due tomorrow and this stupid piece of shit crashed on me...and now I can't find my paper. Can you find it?"

Willow looked at Tara and rolled her eyes apologetically. Tara smiled and nodding her head slightly she stepped into the room. Willow closed the door and walked over to her desk. "So what did you do Buffy?"

"Me? I didn't do anything. Why do you always assume I did something?"

Willow shook her head and pushed Buffy away from the computer. She sat down in her desk chair and turned on the laptop. "Because, usually you do."

"Hey, watch it ressie or no food dollars for you."

Willow chuckled and grinned at her RA. Whenever she called Buffy on something, whether it was sticking a screwdriver inside her VCR to try to get a tape out, or removing the battery from her laptop while operating it, Buffy would get all big with authority, calling Willow 'resident' or 'ressie' for short, and threaten her with food dollars, or the lack there off. It was all in good humor of course, and then Willow would fix whatever needed fixing and Buffy would shower her with praises and give her 10 food dollars. And Willow really didn't mind. Food dollars, which were given to residents as 'rewards' for helping around the campus, could be exchanged for meals and snacks all over campus, which suited Willow just fine, since her meal plan only allowed three meals a day.

Buffy moved her attention away from her computer and sat down on Willow's bed. She finally noticed Tara standing by the door, quiet as a mouse, and raised an eyebrow. "Uh, hey," she said and nodded her head once.

Tara gave the RA a small wave and smiled shyly.

"I'm Buffy."

Willow seemed to finally remember her manners and swiveled around in her chair. "Oh sorry. Buffy, this is-"

"Tara," the blonde interrupted quickly and gazed at Willow gauging her reaction. No matter how small the lie had been, it felt good to get the truth out, but to wait for the consequences of said lie was... tummy-rumblin' badness, Tara thought and as a reflex, tightened her abdominals.

Willow's eyes widened at the revelation and she felt her stomach twist soundly. You're... "Tara?" she said quietly in surprise and Tara nodded her head, the sorrow in her eyes evident.

Willow finally remembered Buffy sitting on her bed and she finished the introductions. "Right, Buffy this is Tara...Tara, this is my RA Buffy."

"Oh, so you're Tara..." Buffy grinned, "you know, Willow has not stopped talking about you for as long as I've known her."

"Buffy...shh." Willow hissed and tossed a pencil at her RA. Buffy easily ducked the attack and continued as nothing had happened. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say she had the biggest cr-" A warm hand clamped tightly over Buffy's mouth, preventing her from finishing. Willow chuckled nervously and glanced at Tara. The blonde was smiling shyly at the redhead, her cheeks red from blushing. Willow thought it was the cutest thing she had ever seen and she flopped down on her bed in awe, Buffy's big mouth forgotten.

Buffy grinned knowingly at Tara. "See, what did I tell ya...hopeless."

Willow smiled sheepishly and shrugged her shoulders. Tara blushed even more and averted her eyes from the redhead. They landed on Buffy and she decided to be brave, for once in her life. "I like her too."

"Great!" Buffy stood up from the bed and dusted her hands twice. "My work here is done. Now, Willow...hurry up and fix my computer and you two can get with the smoochies."

Willow blushed bright red but she stood up and walked back to her desk.

Tara shuffled nervously in front of Buffy and looked down on the floor in discomfort. A few agonizing minutes passed by as Willow worked on Buffy's computer in silence. Finally Tara couldn't take it anymore and had to get out of there.

"Uh, Willow...I'm gonna um, go. Maybe I'll um, see you...later?" Tara had already opened the door and was halfway out when Willow answered. "Oh, okay. Are you sure?"

Tara nodded quickly, "yeah should help your friend and I should...I should go."

"Okay, can I come to your room when I'm done?"

Tara smiled and nodded again. Willow smiled back and Tara finally left, closing the door behind her. She was almost down the hallway when Willow called out her name. She turned around and saw Willow jog towards her. "What's your room number?"

"Oh..." Tara chuckled, "'s um, room 217 in Riddell Hall."

"Okay, I'll see ya later then?"

"Yes, definitely."


"Okay..." Tara echoed, neither of them making a move to leave. Willow gazed into Tara's eyes, mesmerized by the warmth and kindness she saw inside. Tara saw the same thing reflected in Willow and she got lost in a sea of green. Then they both blinked and the connection was lost.

Tara took one step backwards. "I should go."


Tara turned to leave but found herself wrapped in a Willow hug before she could take one step. The move surprised her, but she hesitantly brought up her arms, embracing Willow back.

"I'm glad you're here, Tara," Willow whispered and Tara tightened the hug.


Willow closed the door to her room with a smile and leaned up against the door.

"So that was Tara?" Buffy asked with a grin.

Willow nodded and walked to her desk. She picked up the laptop and walked over to her bed, sitting down next to the blonde.

"She's cute."

Willow smiled, "I know." She continued working on the laptop, quickly realizing what the problem was. The fix was easy.

"And you'd never seen her before today?"

The redhead shook her head, "nope."

"Dude, you got seriously lucky!"

"Huh? What do you mean?"

"I mean she's a total hottie. Can you imagine if she had been some total skank?"

"Buffy!" Willow admonished and shook her head.


"That stuff doesn't matter to me."

"Oh, please...don't tell me you don't think she's hot."

Willow thought back to her 'first' meeting with Tara, and how she had been a little disappointed. But in her mind she justified that reaction to the fact that the girl she had met wasn't really the Tara she had fallen for. And she had been right. Beth certainly wasn't Tara, and the girl from the truck, of whom she had been thinking all night, was.

Beth is pretty, but Tara...she's beautiful. Did Willow think that because she knew Tara; knew her personality, her humor, her kindness, her innate beauty, or because physically she was more attracted to Tara?

She liked to think it was the former.

"Appearances aren't everything Buffy. Sure, Tara is really um, beautiful...however..."

"Ah-ha!" Buffy interrupted.

"However," Willow reiterated , "I think it's because I've gotten to know her so well, and like you said...I already had the biggest crush on her, before I met her...she was already the most beautiful person I knew. Meeting her in real life just sort of emphasized that point for me."

"Hmm...if you say so."

"I do say so." Willow typed something on the keyboard and a cheerful chirp was heard. "And ooh, fixed it."

"What?!" Buffy yanked the laptop from Willow and saw the open document displaying her paper proudly, every word accounted for. "Oh my're a genius!"

"Hmm...if you say so."

Buffy laughed and Willow joined in. "I do say so. Expect plenty of food dollars in the morning. You might even be able to buy Tara breakfast."

"Yah...and for that to happen, I need to get my ass over there. And you need to leave. Now."

"Alright, alright. I'm going." Buffy made sure to hit ctrl-s on her keyboard before closing the screen. She got up and walked towards the door. "So, excited?"

"Are you kidding me? Did you not see the hotness that is Tara?"

"I knew it!"

Chapter 3: "Restitutions."

Willow knocked on Tara's door to the beat of the theme song of their favorite show. Tara, who was sitting on her bed watching TV with Beth, knew immediately who it was and jumped out of bed, grabbing her cousin's wrist and dragging her with her.

She went to the door and opened it quickly. "Bye Beth," she said to her cousin as she pushed her out the door. "Hey Willow," she said to the redhead standing in her hallway as she grabbed her hand and pulled her in.

Beth stumbled forwards and turned around to the sight of the door closing. "But..." she walked to the door and knocked loudly.

Tara opened the door. "What?"

"I need my jacket," Beth said. Tara glared at her and closed the door in her face. A few seconds later it opened and Tara tossed Beth's jacket at her. "Bye!" The door closed again.

Beth smiled and knocked again.

"What?" Tara said with a fake smile when she opened the door again.

"I need the keys to the car."

"One moment." The door closed again. The keys were in Beth's hand a few seconds later. She looked up at the closed door yet again and laughed. She knocked.

"What the hell Beth!" Tara exclaimed when she opened the door again.

Beth sidestepped Tara and peered into the room. Willow was sitting on Tara's bed, an amused smile on her lips. "Hey Willow...I'm really sorry about today. It was a stupid joke and Tara had nothing to do with it. Please forgive her, she really likes you, you know..."

"Okay, goodbye Beth!" Tara pushed Beth out the door again and closed the door and locked it. She heard her cousin yell "good luck" before she turned around and faced Willow.

"Sorry," she said. "That was my cousin Beth, as you already know, and she's an ass."

Willow laughed and nodded her head in agreement. "She's exactly like I pictured her."

Tara smiled, relieved, and made her way to the bed. "I really am sorry Willow. I never wanted to lie to you, or deceive you, or do anything remotely hurtful and..."

"Tara, it's okay...I'm not mad."

"You're not?"

Willow shook her head, "nope."

Tara raised her eyebrow skeptically, "are you sure?"


"Really, really sure?"

Willow grinned and nodded her emphatically, "really, really." This reminded her of so many conversations they had had online, and it was comforting to know they could be themselves around one another despite their recent meeting. Speaking of meeting... "So what did happen today...why didn't you show up? Were you late or something?"

"Oh." Tara ducked her head, and fiddled with the comforter they sat on. "No, I wasn't late...I was in the car...watching you...for 15 minutes," she finished quietly but Willow heard her. "15 minutes?"

Tara nodded and lay down on her bed, resting on her side. She propped herself up on an elbow and rested her head in her hand. "See...the thing is..."

Willow lay down in front of Tara, mirroring her position. "Yes?"

"I was...just...scared, I guess."

"Why scared?"

Tara shrugged one shoulder and looked down on her bed. She traced the patterns of her comforter with her index finger, giving Willow shy glances now and then.

Willow had never been in this situation before. She liked Tara, and apparently Tara liked her as well, but she wasn't sure what to do now. Tara looked so vulnerable right now, and Willow wanted to hug her and... kiss her senseless, she admitted to herself and smiled. But before that could happen she needed to know what Tara wanted.

Willow brought up her hand and enclosed it over Tara's, stilling her movements. Tara looked at their clasped hands, the warmth from Willow's palm sending a tingling sensation up her arm. She finally met Willow's eyes and smiled shyly, not at all surprised at her reaction.

"Tell me..." Willow pleaded and gave her hand a light squeeze. Tara saw everything she had ever wanted being offered to her when she looked in Willow's eyes, and she nodded slightly. Take a chance...Tara took a deep breath and did just that.

"I like you Willow...I mean, really like you and I want to you, in a with you with you sorta way...but I was just afraid that...that you'd...I don't away or something...when you saw me. And I know it's really stupid...who runs away these days...usually people just laugh in your face and tell you to fuck off..."

Willow was a little hurt Tara would think that of her and she told her so. "You think I'd do that?"

Tara shook her head quickly, "no...not at all. I know you wouldn' was just and my stupid insecurities. I was just afraid that when you really saw me, you wouldn't wanna be anywhere near me."

"See, that's where you're a dummy...I was already head over feet when we were talking online...then when I saw you...I thought you were the most beautiful person I had ever seen."

"Really? But you're the beautiful one...I mean, I was looking at you and you looked so cute, all nervous and fidgety standing're definitely the beautiful one."

"Nah huh."

"Yah huh."

"Nah huh."

"Yah-" A pair of strawberry lips prevented Tara from continuing.

Tara was completely still at first, her eyes wide open in shock. Willow caressed her cheek with her hand, running her thumb up and down, and increased the pressure of her lips. When the blonde finally realized Willow was kissing her, she grabbed the back of Willow's head, pulling her closer and kissed her back.

They parted a minute later, breathless and dizzy. Tara was the first one to catch her breath and giggled happily. "You know, if you had told me yesterday that I'd be kissing you today I would have called you a big fat liar."

Willow giggled back then mock-frowned a second later. "Wait...are you calling me fat?"

Tara laughed out loud and poked Willow in the stomach. "No, you doofus."




Tara rolled her eyes and poked Willow in the stomach again. "You know what's even better than calling you names?"


Tara kissed Willow in answer to her question.

"Oh, yes...that's much better." Willow agreed afterwards. "We should make a pact. Whenever we feel like calling each other names, we should just kiss instead."

Tara giggled and nodded her head. She brought up her right hand. "Deal." Willow smiled and shook her hand, "deal." Then she leaned in and kissed Tara. "That was for when I called you dummy earlier."

"Oh..." Tara leaned in and kissed Willow back. "I just had this urge to call you cutie."

Willow grinned. "You know...I strongly urge you to call me cutie again."

Tara smiled and did just that.

Epilogue: "Cyber-lovin' — you better believe it."

TaraWhipped: hey baby!

DeepBlueWaterz: omg! What's with the name?

DeepBlueWaterz: oh, and...hi sweetie, where are you?

TaraWhipped: what? you don't like it? 'cause I am, you know...I'm not ashamed to admit it ;)

DeepBlueWaterz: I didn't say I didn't like it...

TaraWhipped: and btw, I'm at the lab...had to do some minor changes to the class website.

TaraSpanked: how's this?

DeepBlueWaterz: :sigh ;)

TaraLiked: this?

DeepBlueWaterz: like Beth said once...understatement of the century :)

TaraLoved: ?

DeepBlueWaterz: something like that, yeah.

TaraLovin: :D I'll be home in like 10 mins...start charging the batteries baby!

DeepBlueWaterz: Willow!

TaraLovin: hihi

TaraLovin: anyway, gotta go .. just came online to say I love you.

DeepBlueWaterz: love you get your ass over here.

TaraLovin: yes ma'am!

TaraLovin disconnected.

The End.


Tinna Karen

-tölvunörd í fyrsta ættlið

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 3:23 am 
Great story! Thanks so much for sharing this. It was short, but it was incredibly sweet and I was left smiling! =))


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

Michael Cunningham, The Hours

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 3:26 am 

Tinna! I missed ya! You so need to get on the chat and tell me all about your trip.

Now, this fic was soooo sweet. Beth is such a meanie. :lol

But hey, soo sweet. :grin


"See? I've mastered this tact crap." Anya in Tears Of The Goddess by Lisa

The course of love doesn’t always run smooth, especially for the neurotic and accident-prone. ~ LadyB :. .:Blink.Flash.Sparkle.:. .:My blog:. .:Blood and Ink:. .:Washi's 70s Site:.

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 3:37 am 
awwe. that was way cute~!

i really enjoyed reading it. :)

thanks for posting this. :bow :love


she had eyes bright enough to burn me --conor oberst

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 4:08 am 
Awww -- that was soo good!!! Totally loved every line.

But does it have to be over so soon? I'm putting in a vote for more of your amazing goodness!!!

TaraWhipped (hehe) just so cute!! Please let there be more!


 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 4:15 am 
Yay! That was sooooo cute. Not only that, but it was wonderfully written as well. I love your Beth in this story! The whole thing with her knocking on the door three times had me :lmao . I could totally picture that...and that's something I would do too! Awesome story - thanks for sharing it with us. Hope to hear from you soon!

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 3:41 pm 
pipsberg: And thank you so much for reading and for feedbacking...that leaves me smiling :)

Washi: I've missed you too dude! But the trip was fun ... I'm thinking of moving over there ... just need a visa - that shouldn't be too hard ;)

her BRIGHTeyes: I'm glad you enjoyed it. That's what I was hoping would happen :)

Wimpy: :) I kind of think this should be the end for this story...I mean, they're together and stuff ... why mess with that :) But I have more stories up my sleeve. Just a matter of taking the time to type them. And yeah ... who doesn't wanna be TaraWhipped? ;) Thanks for the feedback Wimpy .. I really appreciate it.

Trape: Thank you so much for your feedback. It's a lovely ego-boost :D Beth sort of ended up being a blonde Faith in my mind...I probably would have used Faith if I didn't need her to be blonde, blue eyes and similar looking to Tara - gene wise.


Tinna Karen

-tölvunörd í fyrsta ættlið

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 5:25 pm 
That was one of the most cutest stories I have read. And that last part was funny :rofl Great job :clap

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 7:38 pm 
Hey, TK! How cool to see your work here! I knew you were a good writer; I could tell from your feedback.

This was a great idea for a story, and really well executed. Just enough thwarting to whet the appetite, and then the goods were so very nicely delivered. You let us see their insecurities, but you don't make them so insecure that they look socially autistic, y'know?

It was also cool to see Beth as a neat character; moreover, it was neat to see Beth as a cool character. (To quote Homer [Simpson], "It works on so many levels.")

If the muse knocks any more, please invite her in!


 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 1:33 am 
Wonderful story, although I was hoping there would be a continuation:) . But stories inspired by dreams are just as good, so I'm glad you decided to post it for us. Thanks.


 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 2:40 am 
:applause :applause awwwwww!!!!! that was tooo cute!!! It was a funny trick that beth played. LoL Anyways i think that that was a great idea for a story!!!! :peace

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 11:47 am 


Freedom of speech carries with it the freedom to listen.

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 1:07 pm 
How cuuuute! Thanks for sharing! :bounce

 Post subject: Re: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 3:19 pm 
That was a really sweet story. Just the right size for a quick read, but it had everything - the email chat, Willow and Tara's background, the anticipation of their meeting, disaster as Beth strikes, how-will-it-work-out tension, and then a lovely resolution. It's a whole romantic comedy in one sweet package - what more could you ask for?

I'd like to add this story to Through the Looking-glass (, it'd fit in perfectly. If you'd like that, just say the word - I can put your email address on the story if you'd like, for feedback, but that's not necessary if you'd rather not. My email is if you want to contact me.

Thanks again for a lovely read :)

 Post subject: Re: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 5:52 pm 
mxgirl314: Thanks! I like cute :)

AntigoneUnbound: Mary! Hey to you too! And thank you for your very kind words .. made me grin like a fool :) And yes, Homer is one wise man.

onyxsundrops: Hey Yvonne, I do have some weird dreams - let me tell ya - and I liked this one .. so what the hell .. why not WT-ize it and hopefully make someone smile. Thanks for reading.

DreamsToDream: Yeah, Beth is a lil' devil :)

hellyeahallday: :D ? What do you mean by that? Huh, huh? Anyway, how does it feel to be a WT-story-inspiring-person? Weird, I bet.

SaraBiga: You're welcome. Thanks for reading.

Artemis: Hey Chris! I'm so glad you liked it. Package-deals can be very nice ... especially when you unwrap it and you get WT goodness ... I'm hoping I was able to deliver that at least :) Btw, I'm emailing you as I type ... I'm multitasking, you see.


Tinna Karen

-tölvunörd í fyrsta ættlið

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 8:34 pm 
This is a great story :D It's very sweet reading about Willow and Tara getting together :luv2

I was :lol at Willow's screen names at the end

"To mess up a Linux box you need to work at it; to mess up a Windows box you just need to work on it."

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 3:11 am 
Okay TK, you're right. They're where they belong -- together.

But, you know, if you roll your sleeves up, maybe those other stories will just fall right out!?? Coz I really enjoyed this and really can't' wait for more.

More soon please?


 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2004 9:48 am 
Hey, just wanted to leave feedback to say that I LOVED this story! :applause :D :bounce

Brought back alot of memories ;) and Im sure Im not the only kitten that can say that.

Although I really really want one...I won't ask for a sequel, 'cos this fic is great alone :fallen

Great story, can't wait to read more from you soon.

Stacey xx

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 5:56 pm 
Awesome story!!! :bounce

The whole Beth thing got me :rofl


"I am S-E-X-Y" Amber at the FedCon

SweetAmber ~~~ Amber Board

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2004 11:00 pm 
really loved this story! awesome job!

When you choose to hold the rose you are also agreeing to bleed.

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 3:59 am 
That was totally cute! I loved it!

Saying that up is down will not make up, down.

~Gene Burns

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 4:02 am 
This was an awesome fic. I like how they met online. Thats always a fun setup!

And Beth was nice!:pinky


:flower BWR

 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 6:01 am 
I absolutely loved this fic! Cute beyond words



"I'm known as the fat lesbian chick on Buffy. Of course, I mean you stand me next to an actress like Sarah and I look like I'll eat her. *beat* Wait, that didn't sound right. But, you know what I mean."-Amber

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 3:43 am 
New to the archive. You can leave feedback! :)

and i don't really care if you think i'm strange   /   i ain't gonna change

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 8:04 am 
8. Vixen
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 12:15 pm
Posts: 887
Location: Barcelona, Spain

I found your fic because it was mentioned in the 'looking for a W/T fic' thread. I just wanted to drop by and tell you that I really liked it and I had a great time reading it.

Take care!


Old Fire
Palme d'Or

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 9:33 am 
13. Big Knowledge Woman
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2005 12:09 pm
Posts: 1861
Location: Italy
I found your fic because it was mentioned in the 'looking for a W/T fic' thread.

that makes two of us. loved it!


"When you get excited about something, one might imagine you as a small, maniacally grinning rubber ball, which someone throws at the wall in an enclosed room, and goes bouncing off every surface for about 15 minutes."
- Mudrat

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 1:37 am 
4. Extra Flamey
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:44 am
Posts: 167
Location: Melbourne, Australia
I absolutely loooooved this story, very cute!!

"I don't want our first time to be a quickie. I want it to be, a longie." The redhead looked at the blonde and smiled sweetly. "I want all of you." ~ Willow to Tara in Neverland by EasierSaid
The most anticipated Chapter in the history of fanfiction everywhere!

 Post subject: Re: The Mendacity of Tara Maclay
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:04 pm 
2. Floating Rose

Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:21 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Southwest
Hey Tinna Karen,

I giggled my way through most of your story because it was just so darn adorable. Thanks for writing!

Under Your Spell: A Willow/Tara Fanfiction Podcast

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