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

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 Post subject: Family conflict
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2002 12:35 pm 
Family Conflict

By Hawk

Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy or any other character on the show.. unfortunately.

Summary: Tara has a dark secret that she has been keeping and its about to come out.

Note: I was disappointed by the big secret for Tara. We wanted for over a year to find out what was going on with her and to me it was a little of a disappointment (not that I wanted her to have some horrible past Criticism wanted.



Part One



The Scooby meeting was interesting process that Tara was just starting to get the hang of. There were two types; one was research mode where they knew what demon was attacking and were planning the next step of action. The other type was far more important. It was a time when all the Scoobies could get together and enjoy their friendships. Xander would make jokes and tell stories, while Buffy would talk about her latest patrol. Anya would embarrass everyone with her blunt discussion about sex, especially Giles, which Tara was starting to find more amusing and less embarrassing.



The best part of all was watching Willow relax and hang out with her friends. She loved to watch the red headed witch no matter the situation, but there was something special when she was around the rest of the Scoobies. This was her family, and Tara hoped that someday it would be hers as well. Since the moment she had met Willow, Tara felt something she had never felt before. It was beyond anything that she could even try to explain. When Willow was around she was whole.



Tara wasn’t a Scooby yet, at least in her own mind. Right now she was Willow’s ‘friend’ and she had no problem with that. After the Oz incident Buffy and Xander were making an effort to include her as a member of the group but they still didn’t really know anything about her, and Tara wanted to keep it that way.



Her secret was too dark to have anyone know about it, and she had a feeling if she spent too much time with Buffy that the slayer might figure it out. If it weren’t for Willow she wouldn’t have been here. Her whole world revolved around the fiery hacker and she was willing to risk anything to make her happy. Tara was never part of a group before. Her whole life she socialized with only a few people and now everyone wanted to know about her. When Willow asked about her past, she had been gently knowing it was not a happy part of her life but everyone else questioned her openly which was dangerous.



Tonight was a social Scooby meeting and they were expecting Buffy back from patrol any minute. Today had been perfect for Tara. She met Willow for lunch and then spent the rest of the day walking around Sunnydale just enjoying each other’s presence. For the past few weeks the demonic activity had been on the low and that creates an edgy slayer.



“Watcha looking at?” Willow whispered into the blond ear.



Tara couldn’t help the smile that crossed her lips. “Just looking at some spells we might want to try later.”



“Something fun I hope,” she smiled sensuously causing Tara to blush and hide her face under a veil of blond locks. Willow couldn’t help but get a little cocky when Tara didn’t stutter. It had taken a while, but she was finally breaking through the blond’s shell.



“Of course. Run along I’m almost done here, and I think Giles will need you. Anya is telling them another story of when she was a vengeance demon.” Tara joked but knew her words were close to the truth. Willow gave her a quick kiss on the cheek and then hurried over to see what horrifying story Anya was telling now.



‘Tara, I must speak with you. It is important,’ a familiar voice spoke within Tara’s head. If it hadn’t been for the fact that Anya was busy telling another anecdote about a cheating husband and how she involved his prized ‘possession’ and a nest of rabies infested rats and that was just for starters, they would have seen Tara eyes completely loss focus and her body go completely rigid.



‘Keth what are you doing here? Buffy is out there and ready for action,’ she quickly sent back. She looked around the Magic Shop to make sure no one noticed her reaction and was relieved to find herself undiscovered; even Willow hadn’t noticed anything.



‘Would I come here if it wasn’t important? Please, I’m in the alleyway outside the Magic Shop,’ he pleaded. Tara knew something bad had happened or Keth would never have risked coming out in the open.



‘I coming,’ she sent and then out loud, “I have to go.” Everyone looked at Tara confused by her sudden outburst.



Willow quickly moved to her side concerned at the subtle change with the woman she was starting to fall in love with. She wasn’t able to put her finger on what the difference was but something had changed. “Are you alright, baby? Do you want me to walk you home?” she asked.



“N-no, I’ll be fine. I just f-forgot something I n-need to do. I’m s-sorry.” She gave Willow’s hand a quick squeeze as she started walking towards the door to leave.



Outside she felt the calming presence of Keth and hurried over to him. Tara reached the mouth of the alleyway to hear Buffy call out, “Hey Tara hold up… Tara run behind you!”



She turned to see Buffy running towards her as fast as her slayer strength would let her. Doing the only thing possible, Tara placed herself in between Buffy and Keth, hoping to keep this situation from exploding any further.



“B-buffy, l-let me explain,” she tried to talk around her stutter.



Buffy stopped dead as she watched Tara protecting the demon. The two sides of Buffy started to wage within her. The slayer side wanted to attack and lash out with the anger of another ‘friend’ betraying her. Buffy’s human side wanted to understand what was going on. She had known Tara for over six months now and never once had she done anything suspicious, until now.



“TARA!” Willow cried as she ran out of the Magic Shop with Giles and Xander in tow. All three stopped dead in their tracks. All they could tell was Tara had her back turned to a demon in the alleyway and it looked like she was protecting in from Buffy.



“P-please, l-let me explain in-inside. K-keth w-won’t hurt anyone. I s-swear,” Tara pleaded to the group in front of her. After looking at everyone, begging with her eyes, she turned to Willow hoping that she would still trust her. Willow was the only person truly knew of the Scoobies and prayed that it would be enough.



“Yes, why don’t we step inside. This might be better dealt with away from prying eyes and ears,” Giles conceded though he looked a little reluctant to have an unknown demon inside his store.



Buffy didn’t move. “I’m not going to let some demon in the Magic Shop. I think that are dear innocent Tara here should start talking and explain why she has been lying to us for the past six months.” Before Giles could chide his slayer, a low growl came from the creature behind Tara, a sound of pure rage.



Her slayer instincts were about to win out but Tara beat her to the punch. She spun on her heels and glared at Keth then demanded, “Stop right now. I gave them my word that you would be on your best behavior, and I expect you to do just that.” Her voice held none of the hesitation or stutter that it usually did.



“But she questioned your honor. I am bound to defend you; body, spirit as well as honor.” Keth defended himself.



“Your are bound to do what I ask and I am asking that you be on your best behavior; no matter what is said about me. This world does not go by the old laws,” she finished softy letting him know that she wasn’t really mad at him.



She turned to look at the others and found them all staring at her. Willow was the only one who'd ever seen this side of her. The person who could talk without stuttering and able say two sentence together, but she hadn’t seen Tara ever speak with so much force. “P-please, can w-we go inside n-now?”



Everyone quickly headed into the Magic Shop and for the first time the Scoobies got a good look at Keth. He looked like a crossbred of Ludo from The Labyrinth and the creature in Predator. He stood at an intimidating height of around six and a half feet and looked to be pure muscle. Keth stood behind Tara ready for anything while the others moved to other side of the store trying to figure out what was the next course of action.



Luckily Anya was the one that broke the ice. She had gone into the back room to get something when Buffy had yelled so she had no idea what was going on. When she walked into the main room she was nearly had a heart attack. It had been twenty years since she had seen a Goldwyn Demon but they weren’t the type that you would ever forget.



“My God! D’Hoffryn didn’t send you did he? He can’t hold any grudge to me that makes no sense. Please I will do anything.” She looked around the room and noticed that no one know what the hell she was talking about. Then looked at Buffy’s posture and once again started to shake her head. “I have no connection to the slayer, but if she was stupid enough to attack you please except my apology on her behalf. She doesn’t know who you are…”



“A-anya he isn’t h-here to h-hurt anyone. H-he’s with me.” Tara said quietly cutting off another rant Anya was about to start.



“He’s here with you, but that doesn’t make any sense. You’re not a member of any royal clans… Wait a minute what is your clan name?” Anya demanded as she saw Tara flinch. Out of all the people Anya had meet she would have never thought that Tara was clan. Sure she was a witch and from what little she had seen a powerful one, but still that wasn’t enough to go on.



It took a moment for Tara to speak. “My family name is Comsario.” It was a simple answer but she knew what was going to happen next and she dreaded it more than anything in the world.



The sight was something the Scoobies never thought they would see in this lifetime. Anya, the girl that bowed down to no one was on the ground almost kissing Tara shoes. “I am soo sorry for anything I have ever said that might have offended you. I didn’t know, please forgive me.” She tried to go on but stopped when Tara placed her hands gently on her shoulders. It was a great honor to have someone of the Comsario family speak to you much less touch you.



“You are no longer Anyanka. You have no allegiance to my family name or me. You are mortal now and should treat me like Tara. You are my friend and I’m asking you to do this for me.” Tara’s voice was soft but everyone noticed once again that she didn’t stutter.



“Mistress, I have to speak with you.” Keth whispered. “It’s about your brother.” Tara no longer cared who was in the room, or the fact that Keth called her mistress even though she told him he didn’t have to. She turned to look at him scared at what news was about to come. “He has sent ten Goldwyn warriors to bring you home.”



“What!?” Buffy cried as she felt her anger rising. “Why did you wait this long to tell us something like that? There’s no telling what kind of damage that have been doing while I wasted time with you.” She started to move towards the door when she found it blocked by a large Goldwyn demon. “I recommend that you get out of my way. I’m not going to let any innocents die while you mess around.”



Keth stayed where he was. “I saved those innocents you just spoke about. If I hadn’t stopped them they would have already looted the town looking for Tara. I was able to keep them on the outskirts of town waiting for her to come to them.” He stopped and turned towards Tara, “There isn’t much time left.”



Buffy tried to move closer to the door. “And why are we supposed to believe that they will stay at the outskirts. Why would they believe you?”



“I gave them my word of honor and they gave me theirs,” he said making it clear that the matter was over.



“Yeah like demons really have any kind of honor,” Xander joked but soon found out that he was the only one laughing. As he felt everyone looking at him he once again remember to put his foot in his mouth.



Anya ran over to him hitting him as hard as she possible could. “What are you thinking. Goldwyn Demons are honor bounds. The only thing that matters in their life is honor. You just challenged him. He has a right to demand a fight to the death. How can you be soo stupid?”



Xander’s face paled as he looked over at Keth and when he saw the look in the demon’s eyes he paled a little more. “Hey, my bad. I didn’t know. This is me putting foot in mouth. I didn’t know,” the begging obvious in his voice.



Keth stood immobile his entire body completely rigid. After a moment he relented the fire blazing in his eyes dying down. Once Willow noticed that Tara had placed her hand on his arm and that was the real reason he was kept in check.



“I-I must g-go.” Tara said quietly. She whispered a few words to Keth and started to move towards the door.



“You have an hour and then I’m going to be coming after you.” It wasn’t a threat and Tara knew it. Buffy was just letting her know how much time she had to get everything done.



As she opened the door she looked over at Willow with a longing look. There was so much she had to tell her but no time. She just prayed that she would get the chance. And that everything would work.



Willow didn’t like the look that Tara had given her. She saw the love flowing from the blond witch but there was something else there and that something didn’t make Willow feel any better. She sensed that Keth had moved behind her and his presence was surprisingly welcome. He was a part of Tara and she could feel that, but something bad hung in the air and it scared her.



Tbc…





Thanks for the replies. I was wondering if I was over using Tara's stutter. I have the next part so I hope you like it. I would love any creative criticism that you guys can think of.



Part Two



There was so much tension in the Magic Shop that it would take all of Buffy’s slayer strength to cut it with a knife. Buffy, Anya, Xander and Giles all moved over to the far corner of the store to talk and to stay as far away from Keth as possible. Willow didn’t seem to notice what was going on as she sat off staring into space. Keth just stood in the opposite corner watching everything that was going on.



“So knowledge man what’s the what?” Xander asked as he turned to look at Giles.



“I have never heard of anything close to what has been talked about here.” Giles took off his glasses and started to clean them. “It appears that Anya is our expert in this matter. The Watcher’s Council has no record that I have heard about.”



“Hah, that’s because the Watcher’s Council is a group of noisy twits that haven’t any idea what really demons are,” Keth mumbled to himself but made sure that his voice was easily heard throughout the entire room.



Buffy had had enough. Tara wasn’t here anymore so she didn’t have to stay civil. “Why are you even here. I though you needed to be with your mistress and protect her from danger. Staying here really doesn’t seem to fulfill your job description.”



Keth didn’t say anything for a moment. His voice lost all the anger it just had and the scoobies could see the battle raging within him. “I would wish nothing else, but I have sworn to protect you while she is going. Her only desire was to have you protected. I have been bonded to make sure nothing hurts you if Tara’s brother set up some sort of trap.”



No one knew what to say. They could tell Keth wanted to be out there protecting Tara but by her orders he had to stay here and watch over people that didn’t even want him there. He looked at each person in the room and saw different reactions. Xander looked confused but grateful that Keth was on his side. Giles was almost dissecting him trying to find any hidden memory of a demon Keth reminded him of. Willow was still looking off into space hardly registering anything that was going on around her. Buffy gave a look that resembled some form of respect even though she still wasn’t sure about trusting him. Then Keth turned to look at Anya and saw her predatorily smile and sighed.



“I am not blood bonded to you Anya only sworn to protect,” he said with a smile. Out of everyone he liked her the best. She pouted for a moment and then went back to smiling as she thought about what was protecting her. “Except for Willow, of course,” Keth finished.



That got everyone’s attention. “What do you mean? The Willster doesn’t get any protection? She’s Tara main squeeze.” Xander protest at the idea of Willow not being protected.



“You aren’t that stupid are you?” Keth asked. “I am blood bonded to Willow.”



Even Willow was pulled out of her own little world at that comment. She turned to look at Keth and questioned, “What does that mean exactly?”



“There is nothing to worry about. You don’t have to give up your soul to have my protection or sacrifice some animal like a certain council might have told you. All that it means is I will protect you body, spirit and honor as long as I live. Whatever you ask of me I shall do without doubt or hesitation,” he bowed as he finished showing her the respect of his vow. Willow didn’t say anything as she looked back at the rest of the group amazed.



Buffy decided that it was time to get the group into research mode and was now turning to ask the one person she never thought of. “Anya what can you tell us about this clan you were talking about earlier? Are they dangerous?”



Anya took a deep breath as she began, “The Royal Clans are a group family lines with the strongest mystical ties who protect the four hell mouths…”



“Wait, what do you mean four hell mouths?” Buffy interrupted.



Anya glared as she continued, “Yes the four hell mouths and that doesn’t include this one. They use their magic to keep those hell mouths hidden from the common people. This hell mouth was too young. They didn’t have time to hide it before the Watcher’s council found out about it. The Watcher’s Council doesn’t understand that most demons don’t care about humans; they just want to live their lives in peace. Think of the Royal Clans as the elders of any type of tribe. When two demon clans are fighting they will go to the head families and present their cases.” She was about to continue but Giles put his hand up to stop her.



“Are you telling us that Tara is part of some witch council that controls demons and keeps that knowledge of demon hidden from the world?” he asked unable to believe that shy stuttering girl he had grown so fond of over the past few months wielded such power.



“Not just part of the council, her family leads the council.” She turned to look at Willow as she continued, “Boy when you switched sides you sure picked a big one.”



“Shut up Anya.” Buffy growled. “So are we dealing with some evil side of Tara or something?”



Willow jumped up and looked Buffy dead in the eye. “Tara isn’t evil!”



Buffy put her hands up in defense rethinking how she wanted to continue without upsetting Willow any further. “Look Will, I understand. Come on do I have to remind everyone about Angelus. All I’m saying is we have to look at reality.”



“Tara is nothing like Angelus! Tara hasn’t done anything wrong. She might have kept some things from us but she is trying to fix them now. Ever since I have known her she has only used magic to help and protect us. Do I have to remind you, if it weren’t for Tara then you would still be stuck in Faith’s body in some Watcher prison? Now she is off facing god knows what leaving her only form of backup to protect us.” Willow screaming gradually turned into babble as the situation finally started to sink in. Her Tara was out there somewhere all alone and there was nothing she could do to help her. She left heading into the training room for some peace and quiet to think.



“Okay, no more Tara bashing in front of the Willster,” Xander joked as everyone else just rolled their eyes.



Buffy and Giles started to ask Anya more questions about the Royal Can and the four new or should they say old hell mouths, while Keth silently walked into the training room. The redhead sat on one of the numerous mats with her back turned away from the door. He could tell by her posture and the tightness of her shoulders that she was battling within herself. Willow was trying to decide which was the real Tara; the girl she had gotten to know over the past few months or a super powered witch that rules over countless demon races she didn’t even know existed.



“Is she going to be safe? Because you could go find her and help if there was any trouble. I’m safe and so are the others. I mean Buffy can almost handle anything that comes at her and the rest of us can usually handle ourselves pretty well,” Willow babbled without turning around. She had felt him the moment he had entered the room.



Keth sighed, “I can not leave. Tara made me promise to stay here unless she called me, though she did warn me about your ‘resolved face’ and if I was strong enough to resist that your puppy dog eyes.” He saw her shoulders jump as a small laugh escaped her lips. “She wanted to make sure you were alright, that was the most important thing to her as she left.”



“But will she be safe?” Willow asked again this time turning to face Keth. Her pleading eyes were heartbreaking.



“She should be fine. Tara is the strongest human I have ever met, and her strength has only increased since she has met some pretty young redhead.” Willow could help from blushing and was grateful she had her back turned from Keth.



“You’ve known Tara for a long time…” Willow didn’t know how to continue her question. Tara had never mentioned her past very much, and when she asked the pain that radiated from Tara’s eyes halted any thought of continuing.



“Would you like to know about Tara’s childhood?” Keth asked. Willow only nodded as he moved to sit next to her on the mats. “I was assigned as Tara’s guardian when she was six years old. From the first day, she wouldn’t let me call her mister like all of the other spoiled brats that made up the royals. She asked question after question about my adventures as a mercenary and she couldn’t get enough of the stories I would tell her about places away from her home.” Keth smiled as he remembered all the wondrous times they had spent together.



“But why does she stutter around us and not you or Anya, well Anya after she found out who she really was,” Willow asked.



“Well if I recall she doesn’t stutter around you very often does she and as for the others it takes her a little while to open up to new people,” he answered.



Willow still looked confused. “But that still doesn’t explain the whole thing with Anya. Before Anya knew who Tara was she was stuttering around her but then she just stopped, why?”



“That’s the side of Tara I hate to see.” He paused thinking how best to put it. “Tara lives in a world of politics, where people look at her as the daughter of Zahn Comsario. She has been taught to be in control, to be a leader. The girl you know is who she really is, not the one that was talking to Anya. She just switched off all of her real emotions to deal with the situation. She hated her life at home. After her mother died there was no reason for her to stay.”



There was a moment of silence. “Tara really loved her mother didn’t she? It still hurts her even now; I can still see it in her eyes when she thinks no one is looking at her. She still hasn’t realized that it has become one of my favorite past times.”



“She went through a real tough time after her mother’s death. The sparkle in her eyes was lost for a long time. Too long in my mind but then something happened…” Willow looked at her hesitation in her eyes. “It changed when she met you.”



Keth was about to go on when he heard a faint voice inside his head. ‘Keth… help… outside…’ “TARA!” he yelled as he ran out of the room, heading straight for the door. When he was about half way the door opened and a pale Tara stumbled into the store. She fainted moment before Keth could reach her falling hard to the floor.



Tbc…





The perk of having one of your best friends writing you a reply. Thanks Mary, Academy Woman forever.

Well here is here is the next chapter. I hope you like it.



Part Three



As Tara’s body crumbled to the floor everyone watched in horror. Keth was at her side within seconds and cradled her body gently as he looked for any serious injuries. Willow was by his side moments later her face painted with fear. The others stood off to the side trying to see what had happened. There was still confusion on which side Tara was on but for now she was still a friend and they hated seeing her hurt.



“Is she alright?” Willow asked her voice almost breaking.



Keth finished looking over what he could see of her and was relieved there weren’t any serious injuries. “I think so, but I need to move she somewhere more comfortable. I have to see if she faint because of drugs or over use of her magic.”



“Yes, there is a cot in the training room. She should be comfortable there.” Giles said happy to hear that Tara was going to make it. Maybe they would get some answers when the blond wiccan awoke.



Keth cradled Tara to him as he picked her up. Willow was by his side as they both headed into the training room. She wasn’t going to let Tara out of her sight. She knew something bad was going to happen before Tara left and felt responsible for no stopping her or demanding Keth go with her or something. He placed her on the cot and smoothed her hair back from her face. They both saw the beads of sweat covering her face and knew that this was more then exhausted magic.



“I need you to get me some things in the Magic Shop. They might help her wake up faster or at least wash whatever drug out of her system. Giles should have everything in the store,” Keth said as he scribbled some items on a piece of paper.



Willow quickly took the list and ran into the other room. Anya was able to find everything they needed within moments and Willow brought everything back to Keth. He nodded his thanks and started to mix the ingredients together. She knew what a few of them were but most of them were new to her and she didn’t like it. When Willow started showing interest in magic she went into research mode to find out what herbs did what and which potions went together. At this moment she realized what a novice she really was when it came to magic.



The other sat paced around the main room of the Magic Shop not knowing what to do. Buffy felt like she was stuck in a quicksand. Her mind was going a mile a minute and she couldn’t stop it. She was yelling at herself for not going with Tara. She was slayer and it was her job to keep everyone safe, especially the person who owned her best friends heart. She knew that if anything happened to Tara that Willow would never get over it. They had only known each other for a short time, but Buffy knew love when she saw it.



Keth slowly walked into the room looking a little tired and let out a sigh of frustration. “Is she going to be alright?” Buffy asked.



“Yes, I gave her something to help wake up. She should wake up in a couple of minutes and then we will be able to find out what happened. Though I have my suspicions,” he mumbled almost to himself.



“So what is coming?” Buffy asked decide to just get it over with.



“Well, Ian Tara’s brother will know that the Goldwyns failed so that means one of two things. He will try sending someone else or he will come on his own. It depends on why he wanted her to come home in the first place, but what ever reason I can tell it isn’t good,” Keth answered as he sat down at the table. He tried to figure out what Ian had up his sleeve but that was easier said then done.



Buffy looked up at him concerned. “How bad is this Ian guy?”



“Take how nice and gentle Tara is and reverse it into cruelty, then add in the scheme politician fakeness and that sums up Ian pretty much. They only look alike on the outside but on the inside they are like night and day.” Keth almost growled as he thought of the blond haired bastard. “He put Tara through too much and now he is coming back to do some more damage, but I’m not going to let him this time.”



“Your not really thinking about going against Ian Comsario, are you?” Anya asked the fear evident in her voice. The entire group turned to look at Keth.



Willow watched Tara sleep unsure if she found the act peaceful or disturbing. Early on she found out on her favorite past time was to watch the blond sleep and memorize every curve of her face and the subtle moment she made, but this was different. The calm peaceful look was still on her face but Willow awake-Tara right now so she could tell her how much she loved her and make sure that she never does anything this stupid again. Willow didn’t use her resolve face on Keth but she was ready to use it on Tara is she ever thinks about going off on her own again.



“Baby, I need you to wake up now. I miss seeing you beautiful blue eyes.” Willow whispered.



Slowly Tara’s eyes started to open. Willow held her breath not sure it this was her imagining or reality. She yawned and soon her eyes focus on Willow and a small smile danced across her lips before it turned into a frown.



“My head hurts,” she said softly moving her hand to her head.



“Thank god your alright. I was so worried you’d never wake up.” Willow started to cry tears of joy at the sight of Tara’s baby blues. Not thinking she grabbed her up in a big hug never wanting to let her go.



“Oww..” Tara moaned as she felt her world turning.



“What are you alright? What’s wrong?” Willow asked worried that she made something worse.



Tara blinked her eyes a few more times before they would focus and looked over at Willow. “N-nothing just a l-little d-dizzy.” Tara wanted to cry as her stutter came to the surface.



“Hey, no stuttering around me remember. You don’t have to worry about looking foolish around me because I will never make fun of you or make you feel bad. I trust you Tara though I do have a few question obviously. But that doesn’t mean that you need to start getting all nervous around me, Buffy maybe but never me,” Willow started to babble. “I still love you no matter who your family is, because that isn’t the real you. The real you is the girl that loves to talk long walks in the park and will let me babble on and on like I am right now which you can stop at any time...”



Tara smile at Willow thinking that she would never get to hear Willow-babble ever again and wasn’t about to let the opportunity pass up. “You still l-love me?” They still cringed at the stutter but at least it was getting better. “Even after e-everything that happened?” she couldn’t let herself hope.



“Of course silly. I had a long talk with Keth and found out everything that I needed to know. For something that looks like it can rip your head off without trying, he sure master the art of talk to talks,” Willow said with a smile. She liked the idea of bonding with someone from Tara’s past. It was one more step in the direction she wanted to be going.



“Keth is anything but normal. I guess I just bring the puppy dog out of him and he has been around me for so long that he can’t help but do it all the time anymore,” she said as she bowed her head so that her blond haired shield covered her face.



They were both overjoyed that Tara had conquered her stutter, which meant they had made it back to where they were before all this had started. Right now in this training room they were just Willow and Tara and that was safe. In a few minutes they would have to go out there and have to deal with another catastrophic situation, but right now they had a moment of peace.



Willow placed her finger under Tara’s chin and raised the blond face so that she could look into her love’s eyes. “I love you,” she whispered moving closer.



“I love you too,” Tara said as she lent into the kiss.



It start out very soft as they allowed all the doubt and fear over the past few hours melted away. Gradually the kiss increased as comfort turned into passion and they forgot everything around them. They were lost within a world that belonged only to them and both knew was home.



“Umm, Tara…Willow” a voice came from the doorway. The two girls jump apart from their embrace as if they had been burnt. “Sorry to interrupt but I just wanted to make sure that you were alright.” Once they were able to regain a little of their composure they looked up to find Keth discretely looking the other direction by the door.



“No problem will be right out.” Willow said. Keth nodded and moved back into the main room of the store.



“God that was almost as bad as getting caught by your parents,” Tara mumbled as she finally looked up from the floor. Her face was beet red but starting to face.



“Hey but then I would never get to see that lovely shade of red on you,” Willow laughed unable to help but feel on cloud nine. For some reason Tara-kisses always seemed to have that effect on her.



Tara looked up at Willow in surprise before responding, “Well it doesn’t look that bad on you either. I g-guess we should go in t-there.” Tara could help but stutter on the last part. She felt like she was about to partake in the Spanish Inquisition.



Willow took her hand and smiled. “The sooner we start the sooner it will be over. Don’t worry Buffy will only try to kill you nothing worse then that.” Tara smiled grateful for the hand and for the attempted joke.



They walked out of the training room and felt five pairs of eyes upon them. Tara clung onto Willow’s hand as they moved to sit at the table, next to Keth. Even though Tara was felling better she still felt a little weak and a headache was starting to push its way to the front of her mind demanding notice.



“I g-guess you guys h-have a few q-questions?” Tara said hope that they wouldn’t push her to hard.



“Well that is the understatement of the year.” Xander huffed.



“Xander,” Giles kept his tone even and turned towards Tara. “We are glad to see that you are feeling a little better. Maybe we could start with what happened tonight. If any demons are still out there we should take care of it right away.”



Tara thanked the goddess that Mr. Giles was there to keep the conversation at an even level at least for right now. “You d-don’t have to w-worry about any of the d-demons. The G-goldwyn demons have been t-taken care of; a-and the two C-cartago demons ran off a-after they attacked me. S-sunnydale is safe, a-at least from anything r-related to m-me.” Tara gripped harder onto Willow’s hand as her headache started to pound.



Willow could feel the difference in her love immediately and so could Keth. “Baby, what’s the matter?”



Tara tried to think beyond the pain that was racking through her. “P-pain. My head.” She looked over at Keth the fear intertwined with the pain. “Apothu poison…the Cartago demons.”



Keth jumped up and looked over franticly around the shop. “Giles, Anya do you have any Upothu herbs preferably the root.”



“Yeah we have some on the sales counter.” Anya ran over to get the root as she thought of the poison that was going through Tara’s system. Boy her brother really wanted her out of the game.



She grabbed some of the root and threw it to Keth who quickly put it in Tara’s mouth. “Tara you have to eat all of this right now. I know it tastes bad but it will make you better, I promise.” Tara did as she was told and was relieved when the pain started to die down. Keth still looked at her unsure if her had got to the poison in time.



Tara’s head cleared and took a deep breath. She looked around the room and tried to smile. “S-so what were the q-questions you wanted to a-ask?”



“I don’t think that is such a good idea. You need to get some rest and regain your strength,” Keth protested.



She just shook her head and looked at the rest of the group ready to answer any question they asked.



Tbc…





Part Four

They spent the next three hours asking Tara any and all questions that came to their minds. What is the history of these ‘new’ hell mouths? They have been in existence for over ten thousand years, but because they were so old that organizations were founded to guard and regulate the action around it. Why didn’t you tell us who you were in the first place? Would it be smart to walk up to the slayer and say ‘hey everything you ever knew about the hell mouth and demons is completely wrong’? Why did you come here in the first place? To get away from my family. By telling them I was going to watch the development of the new hell mouth I found a perfect escape. How were you able to keep Keth a secret all this time? When I rented out my dorm room I purchased a storage room in the basement. With the exception of tonight he has been able to stay far enough away from everyone so that Buffy couldn’t sense him. It was possible for him to still watch over me because of out telepathic link. If I was ever in trouble I could call with my mind and he would be there within seconds.



This went on till the sun started to rise and through the night Tara’s stutter started to slowly go away as exhaustion started to take effect and she no longer cared about what she had been hiding for the past months. She felt Willow’s hand securely in hers the entire time and that also added to her stutter relaxing. The idea that Willow could listen to everything she was saying and still wanted to be with her made her heart almost sing. It also helped that every once and a while Anya or Keth would answer a few questions giving her a chance to take a breath.



“Ok I think that we should call it a night, or should I say morning?” Giles said as he looked down at his watch, which read 5 AM. “Anya you can have the day off. I’m not going to be opening the store today.”



“But what about the money? I have to put up the new sale and…” Anya started to go on but was cut off by Giles.



“You will get paid for today’s work so why don’t you go and enjoy the day off.” He almost sighed his mind wandering to his own bed.



Anya thought about it for a moment and couldn’t find anything wrong with his logic. She was going to get paid for having a day off. She smiled, “Yes I think that is a wonderful idea.”



“Great why don’t you and Xander meet us back her say five o’clock this evening.” Giles finished grateful that she wasn’t going to fight him on this.



Without even a second thought she grabbed Xander by the arm and started pushing him towards the door saying something about have sex twice in one day being a treat.



Giles turned back to the rest of the group trying to ignore anything that came out of Anya’s mouth and looked like he was failing miserably. “Well I think it is time to call it a night. We can meet back later after we have all had a good sleep.”



Everyone nodded and started to get ready. Willow let go of Tara’s hand and walked over to Buffy. “I think I’m going to spend the night with Tara. We have a couple of things to talk about.”



Buffy nodded in understanding and gave Willow a hug goodbye. She didn’t like the idea of Willow being in danger but looking over at Keth she decided she would have as much protection as she needed. Grabbing her stuff her waved goodbye to Giles and left the Magic Shop in search of her warm and very comfortable bed.



Willow, Tara and Keth said their goodbyes to Giles as they too started to make there way back to Tara’s dorm room. A calm silence filled the air as they walked. Keth kept a few steps behind so that the girls could continue to heal their bond. They held hands as if they were each other’s lifeline and every once and a while would steal a look at each other and smile.



“Are you sure you want to come in? I would understand if you didn’t.” Tara said once they had reached her door. Keth had already left heading down to his own room to get some sleep.



“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Tara we have gone through so much tonight, I don’t want to lose you now that I have found you. This new side of you only makes me love you more. You came from a place that gave you so little love and the fact that you give so much just proved you are even stronger then I ever imagined.” Willow cupped Tara’s cheek as tears silently fell down her face.



Tara nodded not trusting her voice at the moment and turned to open the door. Both girls walked into the room welcomed by vanilla; the incense Tara had left burning earlier that day. Turning back to face the redhead she gave a shy smile as she caressed Willow’s cheek with her thumb. Willow leaned into the touch and closed her eyes just enjoying the sensation. She then turned her face so that she could kiss the palm of Tara’s hand smiling as she felt Tara shudder by her action.



“Are you tired? You have had a really long day, with all the collapsing and nearly dying and all,” Willow asked not wanting to tax her girlfriend after everything that had happened. “Because I would be happy to just snuggle. It is my second most favorite thing to do in the world.”



Tara smiled amazed at how the redhead always put her needs before her own. “Snuggles would be nice but I’m not all that tired. We could always do that afterwards.” She started to caress Willow’s cheek again as she moved in to capture Willow’s lips. After they had confessed their feeling they discovered that Tara just couldn’t get enough of kissing Willow. One night Willow had even timed her to see how long it would take for the blond to get bored. Instead of Tara stopping Willow ended up started laughing and then had to explain what was going on. Tara only blushed and blamed Willow for having addictive lips.



Tara started to move Willow over towards the bed, as her hands were busy working on the buttons of her blouse. When she had finally removed the garment and mumbled a few words to turn off the lights. “Show off.” She heard Willow mumbled before she captured the redhead’s lips once more. After a couple of hours Tara fulfilled her promise as they snuggled together and drifted into the land of slumber.



Hours passed by as all the scoobies slept the day away. Soon five o’clock ran around and everyone united at the Magic Shop to figure out what they were going to do next.



“Hey Tara where is Keth?” Buffy asked surprised that she wanted a demon to join the group.



“He thought it would be better to come out when it got a little darker, so that he could move around easier without being seen,” she replied and everyone noticed that she didn’t stutter. Tara realized that with her big dark secret out in the open and everyone still talking to her that a great weight had been lifted off her shoulder and she turned to Willow and smiled. The hacker sensed the same thing from her girlfriend and couldn’t contain the joy that she was feeling. She knew that Tara was starting to finally feel like part of the group, part of her family.



“Well I hate to rush everyone, but I want to know what is coming. Last night Keth said that we are going to have to deal with new messengers or have a little family reunion, and the way he sounded I’m not going to like either.” Buffy said trying to put it as delicately as possible.



“I-ian will come himself. His messenger failed so his cover is blown, but I can handle him. The only question is when is he coming and what line will he be using.” Tara said with a little bit of bitterness in her voice.



“Yeah, Keth mentioned that he wasn’t the nicest person in the world.” Xander said as he looked sympathetically over at Tara. He knew what it was like coming from a household that held very little love.



Willow stiffened as she heard this. She hadn’t been involved in the discussion last night and didn’t like what she was hearing now. She inched a little closer to Tara so that their hips were touching, her protective side taking over. “Well I don’t care what line he uses. He isn’t going to get anywhere near Tara and that is all there is to it.”



Tara gave Willow a small smile but it didn’t reach her eyes. They knew that Ian was going to be a bigger problem then Willow was implying, and Tara wasn’t going to let anyone get hurt just to protect herself.



Anya still not understanding or just not caring about tact, looked at Willow as if she had grown another head. “Ian Comsario is one of the most powerful warlock that has ever existed within the Royal Clans and you want us just to run up and what start beating him with sticks. The only other person I have even heard rumors of being as strong as him is Tara, but she has never had her power publicly tested. Willow, I know you are going all butch to protect your girlfriend but lets not be stupid.”



Everyone glared at Anya but couldn’t argue with her logic. “Hun, do you remember how we talked about tact and which situations its require for?” Xander asked trying to keep Willow from killing his girlfriend or turning her into a bunny.



“Yes but I think it is stupid. Why not just say what you mean and get it over with?” Anya replied as she looked around the room.



“I’ll give you really good reason, Anya” Willow said angrily. “If you don’t someone might magically transport you to a world full of bunnies and never bring you back.”



Anya paled as she ran behind Xander. “See I told you she would start using Black Magick and do something evil. I was just trying to help and see what she does. Everyone is always against the ex-demon.”



“Don’t worry Anya, she was just kidding weren’t you Willow?” Xander glared at his best friend indicating that she better agree with him. He didn’t like to get in between the two of them when they started up like this, but when Willow used the bunny card he knew it is time to play peacemaker. Sometimes he didn’t understand why they were always fighting with each other; maybe it was one of life’s little jokes.



It took a moment for Willow to respond she looked over at Tara and let her calming presence wash over her before looking back at the source of her annoyance. “Fine, your safe from Bunny World but now you have good reason to learn and use tact.” Willow left the warning in the air.



Anya just nodded, the image of a thousands of bunnies jumping all around her play through her mind. She just found a few good reasons to learn how to be tactful. “Well now that the issue is resolved can we get back to the point?” Giles said as he cleaned his glasses.



“The Goldwyn demons attacked last night so we have a few hours before Ian will show up. He would have sensed that they are dead and come straight away.” Tara said slightly regretting it.



Looking over and Buffy and Giles she saw a concerning look. Once again her mouth had found some way to mess everything up. The previous night she had been luck that no one had asked about the attack, still shocked about everything else they had found out. Now it looked like she was going to have to explain thing even more.



“Tara, how much magical ability do you have?” Giles asked looking straight at her demanding eye contact. His voice wasn’t very loud but Tara felt like he had yelled the question at her.



She took a deep breath thinking how best to answer the question. “There has never been a spell I couldn’t perform, black or white. I have been about to sustain control over a hell mouth for a month long period; that was the hardest spell I have preformed so far. Beyond that I do not know,” she said never wavering. No matter what she would never be afraid or ashamed of the magick that flowed through her veins, in her mind it was one of the few things she had left from her mother.



No one talked for a moment. Anya looked at her with a newfound respect as she thought of the spells the blond had been able to perform. Xander didn’t know how powerful that was but looking around the room he realized that it was awe worthy. Buffy didn’t know how to respond to that information. Tara had the ability to control a hell mouth. That could be a great asset but if anything ever happened and Tara turned then… she didn’t want to think about it. Giles just looked at her like he didn’t want to believe what she was saying. He knew a little about magick but he had never heard of anything on this level and was sure that the council had never recorded anything at like this. But most of all he was scared for Tara. He knew what type of things could come after her because of what she could do, and didn’t what to see her hurt in anyway. Finally Tara turned to look at Willow, and saw a look of complete awe.



Keth showed up just in time for their awaited guest. Ian walked into the Magic Shop as if he was any other customer who just happened to find his long lost sister. His long blond hair was contained neatly within a simple ponytail, and his soft blue eyes scanned the store sizing up everyone within seconds.



Soon his eyes fell upon his twin sister. “Well, well little sis. Aren’t you going to come over her and give your big brother a hug? I did travel thousands of miles to come and see you.”



“Well after your little surprise last night I was expecting you.” Tara said coolly.



Ian laughed, “Oh come on Tara. I knew you would have no problem dealing with a couple of Goldwyn demons. Just call it tradition.”



“I guess that is why you sent the Cartago demons?” Tara countered.



“You were always touché. This really isn’t the point. I have come here on official business” Ian sighed bored already. Plus he never liked to have his failures thrown in his face.



“Oh, I think you trying to have Tara killed is pretty important.” Willow grumbled trying to keep her emotions in check. She knew this was Tara’s world and Willow didn’t understand the political undertones that were going on, but it didn’t make it any easier to keep her opinions to herself.



Looking the redhead up and down, Ian had to give his sister credit. He was always amazed at the power Tara seemed to have with attractive women, maybe it was the whole stutter thing. “Once again Tara, your pick in women is impeccable. I think you have finally found someone to top Kim. She is a little more butch though.”



Willow’s heart stopped as she heard Ian’s words. Who was Kim?



Tara tensed up. “You said you had some type of business. I recommend that you get to it before you start something that you can’t finish. Dad isn’t here to protect you now and I you received your warning long ago.”



“Fair enough. You really should go to a anger management class or maybe some therapy will help,” he started. He noticed the look in his sister’s eyes and decided to cool it. “Well you have it the subject of my visit without even knowing it. Father wishes to speak with you right away. There isn’t much time, so we must leave within the hour.”



“What does he have to say to me? We haven’t spoken since mother died. I think it is a little late to have a heart to heart.” Tara asked.



“Well it might be the fact that he is one his death bed, but that is just my interpretation.” Ian said enjoying the look that crossed Tara’s face.



Tara could barely breath. For some reason her lungs were refusing to do any form of work. The world started to turn as she felt the world start twirling around her. She felt like she was falling but knew that she hadn’t moved a millimeter. Tara had never gotten along with the man she knew as her father, but the thought of him dying physically hurt.



She looked up at her brother making sure that this wasn’t another trick, but she could tell he was being honest for once in his life. Nodding once she spoke, “I will be ready in one hour.”



Tbc…





Part Five

Nodding once she spoke, “I will be ready in one hour.”



The room what filled with a chorus of whats as everyone turned to look at Tara unsure of what they had just heard? It wasn’t possible that Tara would agree to go with the person that just tried to have her killed one day ago.



“Tara what in the hell do you think you are doing?” Buffy asked after her brain was able to comprehend what was going on. “You can’t go with him!”



“Buffy… My father is dying. If I can make peace with him before he dies then…” Tara stopped as her throat tightening up. She hoped they understood why she had to do this. There was no choice in the matter.



Willow tightened her grip Tara’s hand not sure what to say. She didn’t want Tara to leave her but knew Tara needed to find peace with her father if that was really possible. Her family was something that had plagued the blond since the moment they had met. No matter what she knew one thing was true; she was going with Tara.



Buffy was about to reword her argument but Willow cut her off, “Tara needs to do this and we won’t stand in her way.” Tara turned to look at her girlfriend and smiled happy that she understood, but had a bad feeling that Willow wasn’t done. “But I’m going with you.”



The bombshell had been dropped. “Willow, you can’t. It’s too dangerous for you to go with me. It will take at least a week for me to take care of everything and you are needed here. I won’t let you be put any danger.”



“Don’t even try to use the ‘I’m leaving you to keep you safe’ line, because I’ve heard it before and it is a piece of shit. I’m not going to be able to stand not knowing what is happening to you, and its not like they need me here right now. Giles can handle any type of research and Anya is here to use the computer so Giles doesn’t crash the hard drive and I even taught Xander how to color code all the notes properly so even that isn’t a problem. I wouldn’t be any good to them anyway because the entire time I would be thinking about you and pining and I think there will even be a little crying and then everyone will hate you for making me cry. If I have to I will use my puppy dog look if my resolve face which I am using right now doesn’t work.” Willow took a deep breath ready to start babble mode part two when Tara silenced her with a kiss.



Tara didn’t break the kiss for what seemed like an eternity for everyone that was watching. Everyone was use to seeing Willow and Tara kiss but usually it was a simple goodnight kiss, never an earth-shattering kiss like this one. Buffy, Giles and Xander and the decency to turn away after a moment respecting the moment, but Anya watched them openly with a small leer on her face. Ian just stared in complete shock. He had never seen his sister show this kind of emotion in front of people before and it was a little unnerving. This relationship was stronger then he thought it was. Ian knew this would be his sister’s greatest strength as well as her greatest weakness.



After another moment Tara ended the kiss resting her forehead against Willows. “You can come,” she said breathlessly. Willow mind soared not only form Tara’s relenting but from the kiss.



“As entertaining as it is watching my sister making out with another girl right in front of me, we don’t have a lot of time,” Ian said as he gave his sister a cool smile. “Though it is a new sight for these eyes. Didn’t know a year away would turn you into such a exhibitionist sis?”



With the moment completely ruined Tara looked up at her brother and sighed, “I thought I said I would met you here in one hour. That means that you should have already left at this point. You are not welcome in this shop and after tonight you are not welcome anywhere near Sunnydale. You can leave now.”



Ian couldn’t help but continue pushing his sister’s buttons. “Why is that? Are you ashamed by the fact that you want to hand out with a Slayer? I know it is a step down from most of our circles but I’m sure she is just as great in the bed as the redhead so no one would judge you any different.”



Buffy lunged at him before he realized what was happening. She punched him solidly in the jaw sending him flying across the room and landing awkwardly on the floor. He slowly stood and fixed his eyes on the slayer. Mumbling a few words under his breath he sent a wave of fire at her. If it hadn’t been for Tara jumping in front of her and putting up a force field then Buffy would have been gone for.



“Get the hell out of here Ian before I decide to start playing.” Tara’s voice was devoid of any emotion, as she looked Ian dead in the eye.



“Fine, but if she ever touches me again I will have the pleasure of watching you precious Keth tear her limb from limb and we both know what would happen if you tried to stop he.” With that said he walk out of the Magic Shop.



Tara turned to Buffy. “Sorry about that. He has always been an ass.”



“Are you sure that you are related to that thing?” Buffy said disgusted.



“He’s my twin brother. One minute and forty-two seconds OLDER and he makes sure that everyone knows about the difference.” Tara said with a small smile. “I have to go get ready. The sooner I go the sooner I can get back. Keth would you walk Willow back to her dorm room so that Ian can’t get any ideas.”



“Don’t worry about it Keth. I’ll walk Willow back and you can keep Tara company. We have some things to talk about.” Buffy said before Keth could move from behind Tara towards Willow. Keth looked at Tara to make sure she was all right with this and when she nodded her acceptance and relented. He was happy by this decision because he had a few words he wanted to discuss with Tara but couldn’t question her in front of the others, which would be disrespectful.



Tara walked over to Willow and gave her a soft kiss. “I will see you back her in about one hour alright?”



Willow smiled and ran her thumb gentle across Tara’s cheek. “I miss you already.” Tara smiled and headed out of the shop with Keth right behind her. Willow turned to Buffy and said, “I guess we better get going. You gave lecture me on the was to the dorm room.”



Buffy and Willow left leaving Xander, Anya and Giles standing in the room unsure of what to do next. “Why can’t we go to the hell mouth? It have been over fifty years since I have been invited.” Anya whined letting everyone know that she wasn’t happy. Giles and Xander just ignored her and moved back to the research table trying to find something to do until everyone returned.



“I just don’t like the idea of my best friend going into demon central with barely any backup, not to mention that your tour guide has already attacked us twice. You have to see where I’m coming from here Will?” Buffy pleaded trying to use reason against her. Over the years Willow had been able to get what she wanted with the use of logic and Buffy hoped it would work just as well when she tried.



Willow sighed and looked at her best friend with sad eyes. “I’m not letting her go anywhere without me. I know you might not understand this but she is a part of me and every time she is somewhere else I don’t feel whole. There is a part of me that disappears and I feel like I want to die. I wouldn’t be able to stand not knowing what was happening to her so far away for so long.”



“Well that is how I feel about having you leave. What am I going to do without you here?” Buffy countered with the logic Willow just used.



“Buffy, if Angel asked you to help him save the world placing your life in horrible danger. Telling you that the possibility of dying was almost guaranteed. Would you go?” Willow asked.



“Of course, but that is different. This isn’t the fate of the world.” Buffy said unwavering.



“She is my world. She’s my everything.” It was the only thing that Willow could think to say and if made her heart sing as she finally said it out loud.



Buffy was speechless, all she could do was nod knowing that nothing she could say would ever change her mind. They walked the rest of the way in silence just enjoying the comfortable silence that hovered around them.



“I can’t believe you aren’t being more careful! We both know that Ian has something up his sleeve and you are letting him call all the shots. We could have booked another flight and then …” Keth was about to continue when he saw the look on Tara’s face.



She looked at him with the cold eyes she used only around dealing with inner politics. She stopped walking and faced him. “Keth, I value your opinion above anyone else, but not this time. We both know that Ian placed that hit on me but he wouldn’t be stupid enough to do anything now that people know he has come to see me. From what I can tell he tried to have me killed because of what Father wanted to say to me. He would never lie able him dying and even if he was I have to find some way to make peace with him before I can move on with Willow.” Her eyes softened and a small smile crossed her lips. “And what could possibly happen when I have you to watch my back?”



“And you know I will guard with my dying breath,” he replied.



“Well let’s hope it never comes to that. I am hoping that you can retire soon when all my business is done with the Clans and my brother.” Tara said trying to stay on the positive side.



Now it was Keth’s turn to look serious. “Tara I know that you hate the life you had but there will never be a way for you to get away form the Royal Clans. It is a part of who you are. You can live in Sunnydale with Willow and grow old just as you wish, but you will always have to make an appearance everyone and a while. You know that don’t you?”



“Yes my friend I do. I was just wishing. Come on we have to hurry up.” Tara said as they started walking towards her dorm.

The hour had passed and everyone was back at the Magic Shop, even Ian. He stayed next to the door and stayed quiet not wanting to deal with the slayer again. He just watched as they said their goodbyes.



Tara walked over to Xander first and he have her a hug whispering, “Don’t take any crap from anyone, family or not.” She nodded.



Next was Anya. “Don’t forget to spend at least three hour in the sunning pools. They will give a tan that you have been needing for so long. I don’t understand why you were so pale when you can here in the first place but there is no time like the present.”



“Thank you Anya I will take that into consideration.” Tara said politely.



Giles gave her a hug, which surprised everyone including Tara. “You have become like a daughter to me and I want you to get back in one piece do you understand?”



“Yes, Mr. Giles. I will make sure that nothing happens to either of us. Thank you.” Tara knew she was about to cry but held it back.



Finally she turned to Buffy. The slayer walked up to Tara and hugged her with a very large amount of slayer strength and then looked her straight in the eyes. “You go home take care of your business and then get back here in one piece.” She looked over at Ian for a moment and then continued. “Your part of our family Tara no matter what.”



Tara didn’t know what to say and even if she did, she could trust her voice to say it. She looked over at Willow and smiled a million watt smile. No one had ever said anything that had touched her so deep, with the exception of Willow of course.



“Yes, yes this is just a touching little moment but we have places to be and very important people to see. Come on I don’t have all day, or should I say that father doesn’t have all day.” He didn’t even look back as he walked out of the shop not looking back. Willow and Tara waved their goodbyes as they followed him out with Keth right behind them.



Tbc…





Here is the next part and I would like to send a shout out to moegirl1, Willow Rocks and Xita for replying and keeping me motivated to write more. And xita this ending is just for you.

Part Six



Willow looked around the jet in complete awe. They had been there for six hours and she had already found many wonderful things. First off the jet was separate into two different cabins so they didn’t have to be anywhere near Ian, or Slime Ball Ian as Willow had started to call him. Keth remained outside their door so that Ian couldn’t walk in unannounced. Within their cabin were a big screen TV, a separat


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 Post subject: Re: Family conflict
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 11:39 am 
that was great im glad you wrote it.



good job





brittney



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 Post subject: Re: Family conflict
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:37 am 
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too bad it seems cut off here...is there anywhere that it's finished?

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 Post subject: Re: Family conflict
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:57 pm 
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Gahhhhhhh....Is there a way of getting the rest of this reposted??? I wanted to read something that was finished..so I came to this section and then the rest of its GONE! Was really enjoying what's here though. Its interesting.

Jen

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 Post subject: Re: Family conflict
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:24 pm 
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The original at the old board is intact -

http://thekittenthewitchesandthebadward ... topic/1188

When fics here are cut off like that, those are fics that began at the old board and were transfered over here when we moved. Threads that had huuuuuuge single posts didn't survive the move as well, but we thought we'd found and fixed them all. We obviously missed this one, and for that, we apologize to everyone who tried to read this fic.

But you can always read these older fics at the completed fic archives at the old board. (Just please post any feedback here, not over there.)

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 Post subject: Re: Family conflict
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:07 pm 
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ooh thanks for the info and the link! *goes to read*

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 Post subject: Re: Family conflict
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:16 am 
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A repost of this in its entirety as the backup board does not exist any more


Family Conflict
By Hawk
Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy or any other character on the show.. unfortunately.
Summary: Tara has a dark secret that she has been keeping and its about to come out.
Note: I was disappointed by the big secret for Tara. We wanted for over a year to find out what was going on with her and to me it was a little of a disappointment (not that I wanted her to have some horrible past Criticism wanted.

Part One

The Scooby meeting was interesting process that Tara was just starting to get the hang of. There were two types; one was research mode where they knew what demon was attacking and were planning the next step of action. The other type was far more important. It was a time when all the Scoobies could get together and enjoy their friendships. Xander would make jokes and tell stories, while Buffy would talk about her latest patrol. Anya would embarrass everyone with her blunt discussion about sex, especially Giles, which Tara was starting to find more amusing and less embarrassing.

The best part of all was watching Willow relax and hang out with her friends. She loved to watch the red headed witch no matter the situation, but there was something special when she was around the rest of the Scoobies. This was her family, and Tara hoped that someday it would be hers as well. Since the moment she had met Willow, Tara felt something she had never felt before. It was beyond anything that she could even try to explain. When Willow was around she was whole.

Tara wasn’t a Scooby yet, at least in her own mind. Right now she was Willow’s ‘friend’ and she had no problem with that. After the Oz incident Buffy and Xander were making an effort to include her as a member of the group but they still didn’t really know anything about her, and Tara wanted to keep it that way.

Her secret was too dark to have anyone know about it, and she had a feeling if she spent too much time with Buffy that the slayer might figure it out. If it weren’t for Willow she wouldn’t have been here. Her whole world revolved around the fiery hacker and she was willing to risk anything to make her happy. Tara was never part of a group before. Her whole life she socialized with only a few people and now everyone wanted to know about her. When Willow asked about her past, she had been gently knowing it was not a happy part of her life but everyone else questioned her openly which was dangerous.

Tonight was a social Scooby meeting and they were expecting Buffy back from patrol any minute. Today had been perfect for Tara. She met Willow for lunch and then spent the rest of the day walking around Sunnydale just enjoying each other’s presence. For the past few weeks the demonic activity had been on the low and that creates an edgy slayer.

“Watcha looking at?” Willow whispered into the blond ear.

Tara couldn’t help the smile that crossed her lips. “Just looking at some spells we might want to try later.”

“Something fun I hope,” she smiled sensuously causing Tara to blush and hide her face under a veil of blond locks. Willow couldn’t help but get a little cocky when Tara didn’t stutter. It had taken a while, but she was finally breaking through the blond’s shell.

“Of course. Run along I’m almost done here, and I think Giles will need you. Anya is telling them another story of when she was a vengeance demon.” Tara joked but knew her words were close to the truth. Willow gave her a quick kiss on the cheek and then hurried over to see what horrifying story Anya was telling now.

‘Tara, I must speak with you. It is important,’ a familiar voice spoke within Tara’s head. If it hadn’t been for the fact that Anya was busy telling another anecdote about a cheating husband and how she involved his prized ‘possession’ and a nest of rabies infested rats and that was just for starters, they would have seen Tara eyes completely loss focus and her body go completely rigid.

‘Keth what are you doing here? Buffy is out there and ready for action,’ she quickly sent back. She looked around the Magic Shop to make sure no one noticed her reaction and was relieved to find herself undiscovered; even Willow hadn’t noticed anything.

‘Would I come here if it wasn’t important? Please, I’m in the alleyway outside the Magic Shop,’ he pleaded. Tara knew something bad had happened or Keth would never have risked coming out in the open.

‘I coming,’ she sent and then out loud, “I have to go.” Everyone looked at Tara confused by her sudden outburst.

Willow quickly moved to her side concerned at the subtle change with the woman she was starting to fall in love with. She wasn’t able to put her finger on what the difference was but something had changed. “Are you alright, baby? Do you want me to walk you home?” she asked.

“N-no, I’ll be fine. I just f-forgot something I n-need to do. I’m s-sorry.” She gave Willow’s hand a quick squeeze as she started walking towards the door to leave.

Outside she felt the calming presence of Keth and hurried over to him. Tara reached the mouth of the alleyway to hear Buffy call out, “Hey Tara hold up… Tara run behind you!”

She turned to see Buffy running towards her as fast as her slayer strength would let her. Doing the only thing possible, Tara placed herself in between Buffy and Keth, hoping to keep this situation from exploding any further.

“B-buffy, l-let me explain,” she tried to talk around her stutter.

Buffy stopped dead as she watched Tara protecting the demon. The two sides of Buffy started to wage within her. The slayer side wanted to attack and lash out with the anger of another ‘friend’ betraying her. Buffy’s human side wanted to understand what was going on. She had known Tara for over six months now and never once had she done anything suspicious, until now.

“TARA!” Willow cried as she ran out of the Magic Shop with Giles and Xander in tow. All three stopped dead in their tracks. All they could tell was Tara had her back turned to a demon in the alleyway and it looked like she was protecting in from Buffy.

“P-please, l-let me explain in-inside. K-keth w-won’t hurt anyone. I s-swear,” Tara pleaded to the group in front of her. After looking at everyone, begging with her eyes, she turned to Willow hoping that she would still trust her. Willow was the only person truly knew of the Scoobies and prayed that it would be enough.

“Yes, why don’t we step inside. This might be better dealt with away from prying eyes and ears,” Giles conceded though he looked a little reluctant to have an unknown demon inside his store.

Buffy didn’t move. “I’m not going to let some demon in the Magic Shop. I think that are dear innocent Tara here should start talking and explain why she has been lying to us for the past six months.” Before Giles could chide his slayer, a low growl came from the creature behind Tara, a sound of pure rage.

Her slayer instincts were about to win out but Tara beat her to the punch. She spun on her heels and glared at Keth then demanded, “Stop right now. I gave them my word that you would be on your best behavior, and I expect you to do just that.” Her voice held none of the hesitation or stutter that it usually did.

“But she questioned your honor. I am bound to defend you; body, spirit as well as honor.” Keth defended himself.

“Your are bound to do what I ask and I am asking that you be on your best behavior; no matter what is said about me. This world does not go by the old laws,” she finished softy letting him know that she wasn’t really mad at him.

She turned to look at the others and found them all staring at her. Willow was the only one who'd ever seen this side of her. The person who could talk without stuttering and able say two sentence together, but she hadn’t seen Tara ever speak with so much force. “P-please, can w-we go inside n-now?”

Everyone quickly headed into the Magic Shop and for the first time the Scoobies got a good look at Keth. He looked like a crossbred of Ludo from The Labyrinth and the creature in Predator. He stood at an intimidating height of around six and a half feet and looked to be pure muscle. Keth stood behind Tara ready for anything while the others moved to other side of the store trying to figure out what was the next course of action.

Luckily Anya was the one that broke the ice. She had gone into the back room to get something when Buffy had yelled so she had no idea what was going on. When she walked into the main room she was nearly had a heart attack. It had been twenty years since she had seen a Goldwyn Demon but they weren’t the type that you would ever forget.

“My God! D’Hoffryn didn’t send you did he? He can’t hold any grudge to me that makes no sense. Please I will do anything.” She looked around the room and noticed that no one know what the hell she was talking about. Then looked at Buffy’s posture and once again started to shake her head. “I have no connection to the slayer, but if she was stupid enough to attack you please except my apology on her behalf. She doesn’t know who you are…”

“A-anya he isn’t h-here to h-hurt anyone. H-he’s with me.” Tara said quietly cutting off another rant Anya was about to start.

“He’s here with you, but that doesn’t make any sense. You’re not a member of any royal clans… Wait a minute what is your clan name?” Anya demanded as she saw Tara flinch. Out of all the people Anya had meet she would have never thought that Tara was clan. Sure she was a witch and from what little she had seen a powerful one, but still that wasn’t enough to go on.

It took a moment for Tara to speak. “My family name is Comsario.” It was a simple answer but she knew what was going to happen next and she dreaded it more than anything in the world.

The sight was something the Scoobies never thought they would see in this lifetime. Anya, the girl that bowed down to no one was on the ground almost kissing Tara shoes. “I am soo sorry for anything I have ever said that might have offended you. I didn’t know, please forgive me.” She tried to go on but stopped when Tara placed her hands gently on her shoulders. It was a great honor to have someone of the Comsario family speak to you much less touch you.

“You are no longer Anyanka. You have no allegiance to my family name or me. You are mortal now and should treat me like Tara. You are my friend and I’m asking you to do this for me.” Tara’s voice was soft but everyone noticed once again that she didn’t stutter.

“Mistress, I have to speak with you.” Keth whispered. “It’s about your brother.” Tara no longer cared who was in the room, or the fact that Keth called her mistress even though she told him he didn’t have to. She turned to look at him scared at what news was about to come. “He has sent ten Goldwyn warriors to bring you home.”

“What!?” Buffy cried as she felt her anger rising. “Why did you wait this long to tell us something like that? There’s no telling what kind of damage that have been doing while I wasted time with you.” She started to move towards the door when she found it blocked by a large Goldwyn demon. “I recommend that you get out of my way. I’m not going to let any innocents die while you mess around.”

Keth stayed where he was. “I saved those innocents you just spoke about. If I hadn’t stopped them they would have already looted the town looking for Tara. I was able to keep them on the outskirts of town waiting for her to come to them.” He stopped and turned towards Tara, “There isn’t much time left.”

Buffy tried to move closer to the door. “And why are we supposed to believe that they will stay at the outskirts. Why would they believe you?”

“I gave them my word of honor and they gave me theirs,” he said making it clear that the matter was over.

“Yeah like demons really have any kind of honor,” Xander joked but soon found out that he was the only one laughing. As he felt everyone looking at him he once again remember to put his foot in his mouth.

Anya ran over to him hitting him as hard as she possible could. “What are you thinking. Goldwyn Demons are honor bounds. The only thing that matters in their life is honor. You just challenged him. He has a right to demand a fight to the death. How can you be soo stupid?”

Xander’s face paled as he looked over at Keth and when he saw the look in the demon’s eyes he paled a little more. “Hey, my bad. I didn’t know. This is me putting foot in mouth. I didn’t know,” the begging obvious in his voice.

Keth stood immobile his entire body completely rigid. After a moment he relented the fire blazing in his eyes dying down. Once Willow noticed that Tara had placed her hand on his arm and that was the real reason he was kept in check.

“I-I must g-go.” Tara said quietly. She whispered a few words to Keth and started to move towards the door.

“You have an hour and then I’m going to be coming after you.” It wasn’t a threat and Tara knew it. Buffy was just letting her know how much time she had to get everything done.

As she opened the door she looked over at Willow with a longing look. There was so much she had to tell her but no time. She just prayed that she would get the chance. And that everything would work.

Willow didn’t like the look that Tara had given her. She saw the love flowing from the blond witch but there was something else there and that something didn’t make Willow feel any better. She sensed that Keth had moved behind her and his presence was surprisingly welcome. He was a part of Tara and she could feel that, but something bad hung in the air and it scared her.

Tbc…


Thanks for the replies. I was wondering if I was over using Tara's stutter. I have the next part so I hope you like it. I would love any creative criticism that you guys can think of.

Part Two

There was so much tension in the Magic Shop that it would take all of Buffy’s slayer strength to cut it with a knife. Buffy, Anya, Xander and Giles all moved over to the far corner of the store to talk and to stay as far away from Keth as possible. Willow didn’t seem to notice what was going on as she sat off staring into space. Keth just stood in the opposite corner watching everything that was going on.

“So knowledge man what’s the what?” Xander asked as he turned to look at Giles.

“I have never heard of anything close to what has been talked about here.” Giles took off his glasses and started to clean them. “It appears that Anya is our expert in this matter. The Watcher’s Council has no record that I have heard about.”

“Hah, that’s because the Watcher’s Council is a group of noisy twits that haven’t any idea what really demons are,” Keth mumbled to himself but made sure that his voice was easily heard throughout the entire room.

Buffy had had enough. Tara wasn’t here anymore so she didn’t have to stay civil. “Why are you even here. I though you needed to be with your mistress and protect her from danger. Staying here really doesn’t seem to fulfill your job description.”

Keth didn’t say anything for a moment. His voice lost all the anger it just had and the scoobies could see the battle raging within him. “I would wish nothing else, but I have sworn to protect you while she is going. Her only desire was to have you protected. I have been bonded to make sure nothing hurts you if Tara’s brother set up some sort of trap.”

No one knew what to say. They could tell Keth wanted to be out there protecting Tara but by her orders he had to stay here and watch over people that didn’t even want him there. He looked at each person in the room and saw different reactions. Xander looked confused but grateful that Keth was on his side. Giles was almost dissecting him trying to find any hidden memory of a demon Keth reminded him of. Willow was still looking off into space hardly registering anything that was going on around her. Buffy gave a look that resembled some form of respect even though she still wasn’t sure about trusting him. Then Keth turned to look at Anya and saw her predatorily smile and sighed.

“I am not blood bonded to you Anya only sworn to protect,” he said with a smile. Out of everyone he liked her the best. She pouted for a moment and then went back to smiling as she thought about what was protecting her. “Except for Willow, of course,” Keth finished.

That got everyone’s attention. “What do you mean? The Willster doesn’t get any protection? She’s Tara main squeeze.” Xander protest at the idea of Willow not being protected.

“You aren’t that stupid are you?” Keth asked. “I am blood bonded to Willow.”

Even Willow was pulled out of her own little world at that comment. She turned to look at Keth and questioned, “What does that mean exactly?”

“There is nothing to worry about. You don’t have to give up your soul to have my protection or sacrifice some animal like a certain council might have told you. All that it means is I will protect you body, spirit and honor as long as I live. Whatever you ask of me I shall do without doubt or hesitation,” he bowed as he finished showing her the respect of his vow. Willow didn’t say anything as she looked back at the rest of the group amazed.

Buffy decided that it was time to get the group into research mode and was now turning to ask the one person she never thought of. “Anya what can you tell us about this clan you were talking about earlier? Are they dangerous?”

Anya took a deep breath as she began, “The Royal Clans are a group family lines with the strongest mystical ties who protect the four hell mouths…”

“Wait, what do you mean four hell mouths?” Buffy interrupted.

Anya glared as she continued, “Yes the four hell mouths and that doesn’t include this one. They use their magic to keep those hell mouths hidden from the common people. This hell mouth was too young. They didn’t have time to hide it before the Watcher’s council found out about it. The Watcher’s Council doesn’t understand that most demons don’t care about humans; they just want to live their lives in peace. Think of the Royal Clans as the elders of any type of tribe. When two demon clans are fighting they will go to the head families and present their cases.” She was about to continue but Giles put his hand up to stop her.

“Are you telling us that Tara is part of some witch council that controls demons and keeps that knowledge of demon hidden from the world?” he asked unable to believe that shy stuttering girl he had grown so fond of over the past few months wielded such power.

“Not just part of the council, her family leads the council.” She turned to look at Willow as she continued, “Boy when you switched sides you sure picked a big one.”

“Shut up Anya.” Buffy growled. “So are we dealing with some evil side of Tara or something?”

Willow jumped up and looked Buffy dead in the eye. “Tara isn’t evil!”

Buffy put her hands up in defense rethinking how she wanted to continue without upsetting Willow any further. “Look Will, I understand. Come on do I have to remind everyone about Angelus. All I’m saying is we have to look at reality.”

“Tara is nothing like Angelus! Tara hasn’t done anything wrong. She might have kept some things from us but she is trying to fix them now. Ever since I have known her she has only used magic to help and protect us. Do I have to remind you, if it weren’t for Tara then you would still be stuck in Faith’s body in some Watcher prison? Now she is off facing god knows what leaving her only form of backup to protect us.” Willow screaming gradually turned into babble as the situation finally started to sink in. Her Tara was out there somewhere all alone and there was nothing she could do to help her. She left heading into the training room for some peace and quiet to think.

“Okay, no more Tara bashing in front of the Willster,” Xander joked as everyone else just rolled their eyes.

Buffy and Giles started to ask Anya more questions about the Royal Can and the four new or should they say old hell mouths, while Keth silently walked into the training room. The redhead sat on one of the numerous mats with her back turned away from the door. He could tell by her posture and the tightness of her shoulders that she was battling within herself. Willow was trying to decide which was the real Tara; the girl she had gotten to know over the past few months or a super powered witch that rules over countless demon races she didn’t even know existed.

“Is she going to be safe? Because you could go find her and help if there was any trouble. I’m safe and so are the others. I mean Buffy can almost handle anything that comes at her and the rest of us can usually handle ourselves pretty well,” Willow babbled without turning around. She had felt him the moment he had entered the room.

Keth sighed, “I can not leave. Tara made me promise to stay here unless she called me, though she did warn me about your ‘resolved face’ and if I was strong enough to resist that your puppy dog eyes.” He saw her shoulders jump as a small laugh escaped her lips. “She wanted to make sure you were alright, that was the most important thing to her as she left.”

“But will she be safe?” Willow asked again this time turning to face Keth. Her pleading eyes were heartbreaking.

“She should be fine. Tara is the strongest human I have ever met, and her strength has only increased since she has met some pretty young redhead.” Willow could help from blushing and was grateful she had her back turned from Keth.

“You’ve known Tara for a long time…” Willow didn’t know how to continue her question. Tara had never mentioned her past very much, and when she asked the pain that radiated from Tara’s eyes halted any thought of continuing.

“Would you like to know about Tara’s childhood?” Keth asked. Willow only nodded as he moved to sit next to her on the mats. “I was assigned as Tara’s guardian when she was six years old. From the first day, she wouldn’t let me call her mister like all of the other spoiled brats that made up the royals. She asked question after question about my adventures as a mercenary and she couldn’t get enough of the stories I would tell her about places away from her home.” Keth smiled as he remembered all the wondrous times they had spent together.

“But why does she stutter around us and not you or Anya, well Anya after she found out who she really was,” Willow asked.

“Well if I recall she doesn’t stutter around you very often does she and as for the others it takes her a little while to open up to new people,” he answered.

Willow still looked confused. “But that still doesn’t explain the whole thing with Anya. Before Anya knew who Tara was she was stuttering around her but then she just stopped, why?”

“That’s the side of Tara I hate to see.” He paused thinking how best to put it. “Tara lives in a world of politics, where people look at her as the daughter of Zahn Comsario. She has been taught to be in control, to be a leader. The girl you know is who she really is, not the one that was talking to Anya. She just switched off all of her real emotions to deal with the situation. She hated her life at home. After her mother died there was no reason for her to stay.”

There was a moment of silence. “Tara really loved her mother didn’t she? It still hurts her even now; I can still see it in her eyes when she thinks no one is looking at her. She still hasn’t realized that it has become one of my favorite past times.”

“She went through a real tough time after her mother’s death. The sparkle in her eyes was lost for a long time. Too long in my mind but then something happened…” Willow looked at her hesitation in her eyes. “It changed when she met you.”

Keth was about to go on when he heard a faint voice inside his head. ‘Keth… help… outside…’ “TARA!” he yelled as he ran out of the room, heading straight for the door. When he was about half way the door opened and a pale Tara stumbled into the store. She fainted moment before Keth could reach her falling hard to the floor.

Tbc…


The perk of having one of your best friends writing you a reply. Thanks Mary, Academy Woman forever.
Well here is here is the next chapter. I hope you like it.

Part Three

As Tara’s body crumbled to the floor everyone watched in horror. Keth was at her side within seconds and cradled her body gently as he looked for any serious injuries. Willow was by his side moments later her face painted with fear. The others stood off to the side trying to see what had happened. There was still confusion on which side Tara was on but for now she was still a friend and they hated seeing her hurt.

“Is she alright?” Willow asked her voice almost breaking.

Keth finished looking over what he could see of her and was relieved there weren’t any serious injuries. “I think so, but I need to move she somewhere more comfortable. I have to see if she faint because of drugs or over use of her magic.”

“Yes, there is a cot in the training room. She should be comfortable there.” Giles said happy to hear that Tara was going to make it. Maybe they would get some answers when the blond wiccan awoke.

Keth cradled Tara to him as he picked her up. Willow was by his side as they both headed into the training room. She wasn’t going to let Tara out of her sight. She knew something bad was going to happen before Tara left and felt responsible for no stopping her or demanding Keth go with her or something. He placed her on the cot and smoothed her hair back from her face. They both saw the beads of sweat covering her face and knew that this was more then exhausted magic.

“I need you to get me some things in the Magic Shop. They might help her wake up faster or at least wash whatever drug out of her system. Giles should have everything in the store,” Keth said as he scribbled some items on a piece of paper.

Willow quickly took the list and ran into the other room. Anya was able to find everything they needed within moments and Willow brought everything back to Keth. He nodded his thanks and started to mix the ingredients together. She knew what a few of them were but most of them were new to her and she didn’t like it. When Willow started showing interest in magic she went into research mode to find out what herbs did what and which potions went together. At this moment she realized what a novice she really was when it came to magic.

The other sat paced around the main room of the Magic Shop not knowing what to do. Buffy felt like she was stuck in a quicksand. Her mind was going a mile a minute and she couldn’t stop it. She was yelling at herself for not going with Tara. She was slayer and it was her job to keep everyone safe, especially the person who owned her best friends heart. She knew that if anything happened to Tara that Willow would never get over it. They had only known each other for a short time, but Buffy knew love when she saw it.

Keth slowly walked into the room looking a little tired and let out a sigh of frustration. “Is she going to be alright?” Buffy asked.

“Yes, I gave her something to help wake up. She should wake up in a couple of minutes and then we will be able to find out what happened. Though I have my suspicions,” he mumbled almost to himself.

“So what is coming?” Buffy asked decide to just get it over with.

“Well, Ian Tara’s brother will know that the Goldwyns failed so that means one of two things. He will try sending someone else or he will come on his own. It depends on why he wanted her to come home in the first place, but what ever reason I can tell it isn’t good,” Keth answered as he sat down at the table. He tried to figure out what Ian had up his sleeve but that was easier said then done.

Buffy looked up at him concerned. “How bad is this Ian guy?”

“Take how nice and gentle Tara is and reverse it into cruelty, then add in the scheme politician fakeness and that sums up Ian pretty much. They only look alike on the outside but on the inside they are like night and day.” Keth almost growled as he thought of the blond haired bastard. “He put Tara through too much and now he is coming back to do some more damage, but I’m not going to let him this time.”

“Your not really thinking about going against Ian Comsario, are you?” Anya asked the fear evident in her voice. The entire group turned to look at Keth.

Willow watched Tara sleep unsure if she found the act peaceful or disturbing. Early on she found out on her favorite past time was to watch the blond sleep and memorize every curve of her face and the subtle moment she made, but this was different. The calm peaceful look was still on her face but Willow awake-Tara right now so she could tell her how much she loved her and make sure that she never does anything this stupid again. Willow didn’t use her resolve face on Keth but she was ready to use it on Tara is she ever thinks about going off on her own again.

“Baby, I need you to wake up now. I miss seeing you beautiful blue eyes.” Willow whispered.

Slowly Tara’s eyes started to open. Willow held her breath not sure it this was her imagining or reality. She yawned and soon her eyes focus on Willow and a small smile danced across her lips before it turned into a frown.

“My head hurts,” she said softly moving her hand to her head.

“Thank god your alright. I was so worried you’d never wake up.” Willow started to cry tears of joy at the sight of Tara’s baby blues. Not thinking she grabbed her up in a big hug never wanting to let her go.

“Oww..” Tara moaned as she felt her world turning.

“What are you alright? What’s wrong?” Willow asked worried that she made something worse.

Tara blinked her eyes a few more times before they would focus and looked over at Willow. “N-nothing just a l-little d-dizzy.” Tara wanted to cry as her stutter came to the surface.

“Hey, no stuttering around me remember. You don’t have to worry about looking foolish around me because I will never make fun of you or make you feel bad. I trust you Tara though I do have a few question obviously. But that doesn’t mean that you need to start getting all nervous around me, Buffy maybe but never me,” Willow started to babble. “I still love you no matter who your family is, because that isn’t the real you. The real you is the girl that loves to talk long walks in the park and will let me babble on and on like I am right now which you can stop at any time...”

Tara smile at Willow thinking that she would never get to hear Willow-babble ever again and wasn’t about to let the opportunity pass up. “You still l-love me?” They still cringed at the stutter but at least it was getting better. “Even after e-everything that happened?” she couldn’t let herself hope.

“Of course silly. I had a long talk with Keth and found out everything that I needed to know. For something that looks like it can rip your head off without trying, he sure master the art of talk to talks,” Willow said with a smile. She liked the idea of bonding with someone from Tara’s past. It was one more step in the direction she wanted to be going.

“Keth is anything but normal. I guess I just bring the puppy dog out of him and he has been around me for so long that he can’t help but do it all the time anymore,” she said as she bowed her head so that her blond haired shield covered her face.

They were both overjoyed that Tara had conquered her stutter, which meant they had made it back to where they were before all this had started. Right now in this training room they were just Willow and Tara and that was safe. In a few minutes they would have to go out there and have to deal with another catastrophic situation, but right now they had a moment of peace.

Willow placed her finger under Tara’s chin and raised the blond face so that she could look into her love’s eyes. “I love you,” she whispered moving closer.

“I love you too,” Tara said as she lent into the kiss.

It start out very soft as they allowed all the doubt and fear over the past few hours melted away. Gradually the kiss increased as comfort turned into passion and they forgot everything around them. They were lost within a world that belonged only to them and both knew was home.

“Umm, Tara…Willow” a voice came from the doorway. The two girls jump apart from their embrace as if they had been burnt. “Sorry to interrupt but I just wanted to make sure that you were alright.” Once they were able to regain a little of their composure they looked up to find Keth discretely looking the other direction by the door.

“No problem will be right out.” Willow said. Keth nodded and moved back into the main room of the store.

“God that was almost as bad as getting caught by your parents,” Tara mumbled as she finally looked up from the floor. Her face was beet red but starting to face.

“Hey but then I would never get to see that lovely shade of red on you,” Willow laughed unable to help but feel on cloud nine. For some reason Tara-kisses always seemed to have that effect on her.

Tara looked up at Willow in surprise before responding, “Well it doesn’t look that bad on you either. I g-guess we should go in t-there.” Tara could help but stutter on the last part. She felt like she was about to partake in the Spanish Inquisition.

Willow took her hand and smiled. “The sooner we start the sooner it will be over. Don’t worry Buffy will only try to kill you nothing worse then that.” Tara smiled grateful for the hand and for the attempted joke.

They walked out of the training room and felt five pairs of eyes upon them. Tara clung onto Willow’s hand as they moved to sit at the table, next to Keth. Even though Tara was felling better she still felt a little weak and a headache was starting to push its way to the front of her mind demanding notice.

“I g-guess you guys h-have a few q-questions?” Tara said hope that they wouldn’t push her to hard.

“Well that is the understatement of the year.” Xander huffed.

“Xander,” Giles kept his tone even and turned towards Tara. “We are glad to see that you are feeling a little better. Maybe we could start with what happened tonight. If any demons are still out there we should take care of it right away.”

Tara thanked the goddess that Mr. Giles was there to keep the conversation at an even level at least for right now. “You d-don’t have to w-worry about any of the d-demons. The G-goldwyn demons have been t-taken care of; a-and the two C-cartago demons ran off a-after they attacked me. S-sunnydale is safe, a-at least from anything r-related to m-me.” Tara gripped harder onto Willow’s hand as her headache started to pound.

Willow could feel the difference in her love immediately and so could Keth. “Baby, what’s the matter?”

Tara tried to think beyond the pain that was racking through her. “P-pain. My head.” She looked over at Keth the fear intertwined with the pain. “Apothu poison…the Cartago demons.”

Keth jumped up and looked over franticly around the shop. “Giles, Anya do you have any Upothu herbs preferably the root.”

“Yeah we have some on the sales counter.” Anya ran over to get the root as she thought of the poison that was going through Tara’s system. Boy her brother really wanted her out of the game.

She grabbed some of the root and threw it to Keth who quickly put it in Tara’s mouth. “Tara you have to eat all of this right now. I know it tastes bad but it will make you better, I promise.” Tara did as she was told and was relieved when the pain started to die down. Keth still looked at her unsure if her had got to the poison in time.

Tara’s head cleared and took a deep breath. She looked around the room and tried to smile. “S-so what were the q-questions you wanted to a-ask?”

“I don’t think that is such a good idea. You need to get some rest and regain your strength,” Keth protested.

She just shook her head and looked at the rest of the group ready to answer any question they asked.

Tbc…


Part Four
They spent the next three hours asking Tara any and all questions that came to their minds. What is the history of these ‘new’ hell mouths? They have been in existence for over ten thousand years, but because they were so old that organizations were founded to guard and regulate the action around it. Why didn’t you tell us who you were in the first place? Would it be smart to walk up to the slayer and say ‘hey everything you ever knew about the hell mouth and demons is completely wrong’? Why did you come here in the first place? To get away from my family. By telling them I was going to watch the development of the new hell mouth I found a perfect escape. How were you able to keep Keth a secret all this time? When I rented out my dorm room I purchased a storage room in the basement. With the exception of tonight he has been able to stay far enough away from everyone so that Buffy couldn’t sense him. It was possible for him to still watch over me because of out telepathic link. If I was ever in trouble I could call with my mind and he would be there within seconds.

This went on till the sun started to rise and through the night Tara’s stutter started to slowly go away as exhaustion started to take effect and she no longer cared about what she had been hiding for the past months. She felt Willow’s hand securely in hers the entire time and that also added to her stutter relaxing. The idea that Willow could listen to everything she was saying and still wanted to be with her made her heart almost sing. It also helped that every once and a while Anya or Keth would answer a few questions giving her a chance to take a breath.

“Ok I think that we should call it a night, or should I say morning?” Giles said as he looked down at his watch, which read 5 AM. “Anya you can have the day off. I’m not going to be opening the store today.”

“But what about the money? I have to put up the new sale and…” Anya started to go on but was cut off by Giles.

“You will get paid for today’s work so why don’t you go and enjoy the day off.” He almost sighed his mind wandering to his own bed.

Anya thought about it for a moment and couldn’t find anything wrong with his logic. She was going to get paid for having a day off. She smiled, “Yes I think that is a wonderful idea.”

“Great why don’t you and Xander meet us back her say five o’clock this evening.” Giles finished grateful that she wasn’t going to fight him on this.

Without even a second thought she grabbed Xander by the arm and started pushing him towards the door saying something about have sex twice in one day being a treat.

Giles turned back to the rest of the group trying to ignore anything that came out of Anya’s mouth and looked like he was failing miserably. “Well I think it is time to call it a night. We can meet back later after we have all had a good sleep.”

Everyone nodded and started to get ready. Willow let go of Tara’s hand and walked over to Buffy. “I think I’m going to spend the night with Tara. We have a couple of things to talk about.”

Buffy nodded in understanding and gave Willow a hug goodbye. She didn’t like the idea of Willow being in danger but looking over at Keth she decided she would have as much protection as she needed. Grabbing her stuff her waved goodbye to Giles and left the Magic Shop in search of her warm and very comfortable bed.

Willow, Tara and Keth said their goodbyes to Giles as they too started to make there way back to Tara’s dorm room. A calm silence filled the air as they walked. Keth kept a few steps behind so that the girls could continue to heal their bond. They held hands as if they were each other’s lifeline and every once and a while would steal a look at each other and smile.

“Are you sure you want to come in? I would understand if you didn’t.” Tara said once they had reached her door. Keth had already left heading down to his own room to get some sleep.

“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Tara we have gone through so much tonight, I don’t want to lose you now that I have found you. This new side of you only makes me love you more. You came from a place that gave you so little love and the fact that you give so much just proved you are even stronger then I ever imagined.” Willow cupped Tara’s cheek as tears silently fell down her face.

Tara nodded not trusting her voice at the moment and turned to open the door. Both girls walked into the room welcomed by vanilla; the incense Tara had left burning earlier that day. Turning back to face the redhead she gave a shy smile as she caressed Willow’s cheek with her thumb. Willow leaned into the touch and closed her eyes just enjoying the sensation. She then turned her face so that she could kiss the palm of Tara’s hand smiling as she felt Tara shudder by her action.

“Are you tired? You have had a really long day, with all the collapsing and nearly dying and all,” Willow asked not wanting to tax her girlfriend after everything that had happened. “Because I would be happy to just snuggle. It is my second most favorite thing to do in the world.”

Tara smiled amazed at how the redhead always put her needs before her own. “Snuggles would be nice but I’m not all that tired. We could always do that afterwards.” She started to caress Willow’s cheek again as she moved in to capture Willow’s lips. After they had confessed their feeling they discovered that Tara just couldn’t get enough of kissing Willow. One night Willow had even timed her to see how long it would take for the blond to get bored. Instead of Tara stopping Willow ended up started laughing and then had to explain what was going on. Tara only blushed and blamed Willow for having addictive lips.

Tara started to move Willow over towards the bed, as her hands were busy working on the buttons of her blouse. When she had finally removed the garment and mumbled a few words to turn off the lights. “Show off.” She heard Willow mumbled before she captured the redhead’s lips once more. After a couple of hours Tara fulfilled her promise as they snuggled together and drifted into the land of slumber.

Hours passed by as all the scoobies slept the day away. Soon five o’clock ran around and everyone united at the Magic Shop to figure out what they were going to do next.

“Hey Tara where is Keth?” Buffy asked surprised that she wanted a demon to join the group.

“He thought it would be better to come out when it got a little darker, so that he could move around easier without being seen,” she replied and everyone noticed that she didn’t stutter. Tara realized that with her big dark secret out in the open and everyone still talking to her that a great weight had been lifted off her shoulder and she turned to Willow and smiled. The hacker sensed the same thing from her girlfriend and couldn’t contain the joy that she was feeling. She knew that Tara was starting to finally feel like part of the group, part of her family.

“Well I hate to rush everyone, but I want to know what is coming. Last night Keth said that we are going to have to deal with new messengers or have a little family reunion, and the way he sounded I’m not going to like either.” Buffy said trying to put it as delicately as possible.

“I-ian will come himself. His messenger failed so his cover is blown, but I can handle him. The only question is when is he coming and what line will he be using.” Tara said with a little bit of bitterness in her voice.

“Yeah, Keth mentioned that he wasn’t the nicest person in the world.” Xander said as he looked sympathetically over at Tara. He knew what it was like coming from a household that held very little love.

Willow stiffened as she heard this. She hadn’t been involved in the discussion last night and didn’t like what she was hearing now. She inched a little closer to Tara so that their hips were touching, her protective side taking over. “Well I don’t care what line he uses. He isn’t going to get anywhere near Tara and that is all there is to it.”

Tara gave Willow a small smile but it didn’t reach her eyes. They knew that Ian was going to be a bigger problem then Willow was implying, and Tara wasn’t going to let anyone get hurt just to protect herself.

Anya still not understanding or just not caring about tact, looked at Willow as if she had grown another head. “Ian Comsario is one of the most powerful warlock that has ever existed within the Royal Clans and you want us just to run up and what start beating him with sticks. The only other person I have even heard rumors of being as strong as him is Tara, but she has never had her power publicly tested. Willow, I know you are going all butch to protect your girlfriend but lets not be stupid.”

Everyone glared at Anya but couldn’t argue with her logic. “Hun, do you remember how we talked about tact and which situations its require for?” Xander asked trying to keep Willow from killing his girlfriend or turning her into a bunny.

“Yes but I think it is stupid. Why not just say what you mean and get it over with?” Anya replied as she looked around the room.

“I’ll give you really good reason, Anya” Willow said angrily. “If you don’t someone might magically transport you to a world full of bunnies and never bring you back.”

Anya paled as she ran behind Xander. “See I told you she would start using Black Magick and do something evil. I was just trying to help and see what she does. Everyone is always against the ex-demon.”

“Don’t worry Anya, she was just kidding weren’t you Willow?” Xander glared at his best friend indicating that she better agree with him. He didn’t like to get in between the two of them when they started up like this, but when Willow used the bunny card he knew it is time to play peacemaker. Sometimes he didn’t understand why they were always fighting with each other; maybe it was one of life’s little jokes.

It took a moment for Willow to respond she looked over at Tara and let her calming presence wash over her before looking back at the source of her annoyance. “Fine, your safe from Bunny World but now you have good reason to learn and use tact.” Willow left the warning in the air.

Anya just nodded, the image of a thousands of bunnies jumping all around her play through her mind. She just found a few good reasons to learn how to be tactful. “Well now that the issue is resolved can we get back to the point?” Giles said as he cleaned his glasses.

“The Goldwyn demons attacked last night so we have a few hours before Ian will show up. He would have sensed that they are dead and come straight away.” Tara said slightly regretting it.

Looking over and Buffy and Giles she saw a concerning look. Once again her mouth had found some way to mess everything up. The previous night she had been luck that no one had asked about the attack, still shocked about everything else they had found out. Now it looked like she was going to have to explain thing even more.

“Tara, how much magical ability do you have?” Giles asked looking straight at her demanding eye contact. His voice wasn’t very loud but Tara felt like he had yelled the question at her.

She took a deep breath thinking how best to answer the question. “There has never been a spell I couldn’t perform, black or white. I have been about to sustain control over a hell mouth for a month long period; that was the hardest spell I have preformed so far. Beyond that I do not know,” she said never wavering. No matter what she would never be afraid or ashamed of the magick that flowed through her veins, in her mind it was one of the few things she had left from her mother.

No one talked for a moment. Anya looked at her with a newfound respect as she thought of the spells the blond had been able to perform. Xander didn’t know how powerful that was but looking around the room he realized that it was awe worthy. Buffy didn’t know how to respond to that information. Tara had the ability to control a hell mouth. That could be a great asset but if anything ever happened and Tara turned then… she didn’t want to think about it. Giles just looked at her like he didn’t want to believe what she was saying. He knew a little about magick but he had never heard of anything on this level and was sure that the council had never recorded anything at like this. But most of all he was scared for Tara. He knew what type of things could come after her because of what she could do, and didn’t what to see her hurt in anyway. Finally Tara turned to look at Willow, and saw a look of complete awe.

Keth showed up just in time for their awaited guest. Ian walked into the Magic Shop as if he was any other customer who just happened to find his long lost sister. His long blond hair was contained neatly within a simple ponytail, and his soft blue eyes scanned the store sizing up everyone within seconds.

Soon his eyes fell upon his twin sister. “Well, well little sis. Aren’t you going to come over her and give your big brother a hug? I did travel thousands of miles to come and see you.”

“Well after your little surprise last night I was expecting you.” Tara said coolly.

Ian laughed, “Oh come on Tara. I knew you would have no problem dealing with a couple of Goldwyn demons. Just call it tradition.”

“I guess that is why you sent the Cartago demons?” Tara countered.

“You were always touché. This really isn’t the point. I have come here on official business” Ian sighed bored already. Plus he never liked to have his failures thrown in his face.

“Oh, I think you trying to have Tara killed is pretty important.” Willow grumbled trying to keep her emotions in check. She knew this was Tara’s world and Willow didn’t understand the political undertones that were going on, but it didn’t make it any easier to keep her opinions to herself.

Looking the redhead up and down, Ian had to give his sister credit. He was always amazed at the power Tara seemed to have with attractive women, maybe it was the whole stutter thing. “Once again Tara, your pick in women is impeccable. I think you have finally found someone to top Kim. She is a little more butch though.”

Willow’s heart stopped as she heard Ian’s words. Who was Kim?

Tara tensed up. “You said you had some type of business. I recommend that you get to it before you start something that you can’t finish. Dad isn’t here to protect you now and I you received your warning long ago.”

“Fair enough. You really should go to a anger management class or maybe some therapy will help,” he started. He noticed the look in his sister’s eyes and decided to cool it. “Well you have it the subject of my visit without even knowing it. Father wishes to speak with you right away. There isn’t much time, so we must leave within the hour.”

“What does he have to say to me? We haven’t spoken since mother died. I think it is a little late to have a heart to heart.” Tara asked.

“Well it might be the fact that he is one his death bed, but that is just my interpretation.” Ian said enjoying the look that crossed Tara’s face.

Tara could barely breath. For some reason her lungs were refusing to do any form of work. The world started to turn as she felt the world start twirling around her. She felt like she was falling but knew that she hadn’t moved a millimeter. Tara had never gotten along with the man she knew as her father, but the thought of him dying physically hurt.

She looked up at her brother making sure that this wasn’t another trick, but she could tell he was being honest for once in his life. Nodding once she spoke, “I will be ready in one hour.”

Tbc…


Part Five
Nodding once she spoke, “I will be ready in one hour.”

The room what filled with a chorus of whats as everyone turned to look at Tara unsure of what they had just heard? It wasn’t possible that Tara would agree to go with the person that just tried to have her killed one day ago.

“Tara what in the hell do you think you are doing?” Buffy asked after her brain was able to comprehend what was going on. “You can’t go with him!”

“Buffy… My father is dying. If I can make peace with him before he dies then…” Tara stopped as her throat tightening up. She hoped they understood why she had to do this. There was no choice in the matter.

Willow tightened her grip Tara’s hand not sure what to say. She didn’t want Tara to leave her but knew Tara needed to find peace with her father if that was really possible. Her family was something that had plagued the blond since the moment they had met. No matter what she knew one thing was true; she was going with Tara.

Buffy was about to reword her argument but Willow cut her off, “Tara needs to do this and we won’t stand in her way.” Tara turned to look at her girlfriend and smiled happy that she understood, but had a bad feeling that Willow wasn’t done. “But I’m going with you.”

The bombshell had been dropped. “Willow, you can’t. It’s too dangerous for you to go with me. It will take at least a week for me to take care of everything and you are needed here. I won’t let you be put any danger.”

“Don’t even try to use the ‘I’m leaving you to keep you safe’ line, because I’ve heard it before and it is a piece of shit. I’m not going to be able to stand not knowing what is happening to you, and its not like they need me here right now. Giles can handle any type of research and Anya is here to use the computer so Giles doesn’t crash the hard drive and I even taught Xander how to color code all the notes properly so even that isn’t a problem. I wouldn’t be any good to them anyway because the entire time I would be thinking about you and pining and I think there will even be a little crying and then everyone will hate you for making me cry. If I have to I will use my puppy dog look if my resolve face which I am using right now doesn’t work.” Willow took a deep breath ready to start babble mode part two when Tara silenced her with a kiss.

Tara didn’t break the kiss for what seemed like an eternity for everyone that was watching. Everyone was use to seeing Willow and Tara kiss but usually it was a simple goodnight kiss, never an earth-shattering kiss like this one. Buffy, Giles and Xander and the decency to turn away after a moment respecting the moment, but Anya watched them openly with a small leer on her face. Ian just stared in complete shock. He had never seen his sister show this kind of emotion in front of people before and it was a little unnerving. This relationship was stronger then he thought it was. Ian knew this would be his sister’s greatest strength as well as her greatest weakness.

After another moment Tara ended the kiss resting her forehead against Willows. “You can come,” she said breathlessly. Willow mind soared not only form Tara’s relenting but from the kiss.

“As entertaining as it is watching my sister making out with another girl right in front of me, we don’t have a lot of time,” Ian said as he gave his sister a cool smile. “Though it is a new sight for these eyes. Didn’t know a year away would turn you into such a exhibitionist sis?”

With the moment completely ruined Tara looked up at her brother and sighed, “I thought I said I would met you here in one hour. That means that you should have already left at this point. You are not welcome in this shop and after tonight you are not welcome anywhere near Sunnydale. You can leave now.”

Ian couldn’t help but continue pushing his sister’s buttons. “Why is that? Are you ashamed by the fact that you want to hand out with a Slayer? I know it is a step down from most of our circles but I’m sure she is just as great in the bed as the redhead so no one would judge you any different.”

Buffy lunged at him before he realized what was happening. She punched him solidly in the jaw sending him flying across the room and landing awkwardly on the floor. He slowly stood and fixed his eyes on the slayer. Mumbling a few words under his breath he sent a wave of fire at her. If it hadn’t been for Tara jumping in front of her and putting up a force field then Buffy would have been gone for.

“Get the hell out of here Ian before I decide to start playing.” Tara’s voice was devoid of any emotion, as she looked Ian dead in the eye.

“Fine, but if she ever touches me again I will have the pleasure of watching you precious Keth tear her limb from limb and we both know what would happen if you tried to stop he.” With that said he walk out of the Magic Shop.

Tara turned to Buffy. “Sorry about that. He has always been an ass.”

“Are you sure that you are related to that thing?” Buffy said disgusted.

“He’s my twin brother. One minute and forty-two seconds OLDER and he makes sure that everyone knows about the difference.” Tara said with a small smile. “I have to go get ready. The sooner I go the sooner I can get back. Keth would you walk Willow back to her dorm room so that Ian can’t get any ideas.”

“Don’t worry about it Keth. I’ll walk Willow back and you can keep Tara company. We have some things to talk about.” Buffy said before Keth could move from behind Tara towards Willow. Keth looked at Tara to make sure she was all right with this and when she nodded her acceptance and relented. He was happy by this decision because he had a few words he wanted to discuss with Tara but couldn’t question her in front of the others, which would be disrespectful.

Tara walked over to Willow and gave her a soft kiss. “I will see you back her in about one hour alright?”

Willow smiled and ran her thumb gentle across Tara’s cheek. “I miss you already.” Tara smiled and headed out of the shop with Keth right behind her. Willow turned to Buffy and said, “I guess we better get going. You gave lecture me on the was to the dorm room.”

Buffy and Willow left leaving Xander, Anya and Giles standing in the room unsure of what to do next. “Why can’t we go to the hell mouth? It have been over fifty years since I have been invited.” Anya whined letting everyone know that she wasn’t happy. Giles and Xander just ignored her and moved back to the research table trying to find something to do until everyone returned.

“I just don’t like the idea of my best friend going into demon central with barely any backup, not to mention that your tour guide has already attacked us twice. You have to see where I’m coming from here Will?” Buffy pleaded trying to use reason against her. Over the years Willow had been able to get what she wanted with the use of logic and Buffy hoped it would work just as well when she tried.

Willow sighed and looked at her best friend with sad eyes. “I’m not letting her go anywhere without me. I know you might not understand this but she is a part of me and every time she is somewhere else I don’t feel whole. There is a part of me that disappears and I feel like I want to die. I wouldn’t be able to stand not knowing what was happening to her so far away for so long.”

“Well that is how I feel about having you leave. What am I going to do without you here?” Buffy countered with the logic Willow just used.

“Buffy, if Angel asked you to help him save the world placing your life in horrible danger. Telling you that the possibility of dying was almost guaranteed. Would you go?” Willow asked.

“Of course, but that is different. This isn’t the fate of the world.” Buffy said unwavering.

“She is my world. She’s my everything.” It was the only thing that Willow could think to say and if made her heart sing as she finally said it out loud.

Buffy was speechless, all she could do was nod knowing that nothing she could say would ever change her mind. They walked the rest of the way in silence just enjoying the comfortable silence that hovered around them.

“I can’t believe you aren’t being more careful! We both know that Ian has something up his sleeve and you are letting him call all the shots. We could have booked another flight and then …” Keth was about to continue when he saw the look on Tara’s face.

She looked at him with the cold eyes she used only around dealing with inner politics. She stopped walking and faced him. “Keth, I value your opinion above anyone else, but not this time. We both know that Ian placed that hit on me but he wouldn’t be stupid enough to do anything now that people know he has come to see me. From what I can tell he tried to have me killed because of what Father wanted to say to me. He would never lie able him dying and even if he was I have to find some way to make peace with him before I can move on with Willow.” Her eyes softened and a small smile crossed her lips. “And what could possibly happen when I have you to watch my back?”

“And you know I will guard with my dying breath,” he replied.

“Well let’s hope it never comes to that. I am hoping that you can retire soon when all my business is done with the Clans and my brother.” Tara said trying to stay on the positive side.

Now it was Keth’s turn to look serious. “Tara I know that you hate the life you had but there will never be a way for you to get away form the Royal Clans. It is a part of who you are. You can live in Sunnydale with Willow and grow old just as you wish, but you will always have to make an appearance everyone and a while. You know that don’t you?”

“Yes my friend I do. I was just wishing. Come on we have to hurry up.” Tara said as they started walking towards her dorm.
The hour had passed and everyone was back at the Magic Shop, even Ian. He stayed next to the door and stayed quiet not wanting to deal with the slayer again. He just watched as they said their goodbyes.

Tara walked over to Xander first and he have her a hug whispering, “Don’t take any crap from anyone, family or not.” She nodded.

Next was Anya. “Don’t forget to spend at least three hour in the sunning pools. They will give a tan that you have been needing for so long. I don’t understand why you were so pale when you can here in the first place but there is no time like the present.”

“Thank you Anya I will take that into consideration.” Tara said politely.

Giles gave her a hug, which surprised everyone including Tara. “You have become like a daughter to me and I want you to get back in one piece do you understand?”

“Yes, Mr. Giles. I will make sure that nothing happens to either of us. Thank you.” Tara knew she was about to cry but held it back.

Finally she turned to Buffy. The slayer walked up to Tara and hugged her with a very large amount of slayer strength and then looked her straight in the eyes. “You go home take care of your business and then get back here in one piece.” She looked over at Ian for a moment and then continued. “Your part of our family Tara no matter what.”

Tara didn’t know what to say and even if she did, she could trust her voice to say it. She looked over at Willow and smiled a million watt smile. No one had ever said anything that had touched her so deep, with the exception of Willow of course.

“Yes, yes this is just a touching little moment but we have places to be and very important people to see. Come on I don’t have all day, or should I say that father doesn’t have all day.” He didn’t even look back as he walked out of the shop not looking back. Willow and Tara waved their goodbyes as they followed him out with Keth right behind them.

Tbc…

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 Post subject: Re: Family conflict
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:16 am 
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Original post by Hawk


Here is the next part and I would like to send a shout out to moegirl1, Willow Rocks and Xita for replying and keeping me motivated to write more. And xita this ending is just for you.
Part Six

Willow looked around the jet in complete awe. They had been there for six hours and she had already found many wonderful things. First off the jet was separate into two different cabins so they didn’t have to be anywhere near Ian, or Slime Ball Ian as Willow had started to call him. Keth remained outside their door so that Ian couldn’t walk in unannounced. Within their cabin were a big screen TV, a separate stereo system, a mini bar full of yummy goodness and her favorite thing of all a laptop with Internet access. Willow figured Tara had some sort of trust because she had one of the best rooms on campus not to mention the storage room in the basement, but this was on the level of rich rich.

“Wow, I just mean wow. I didn’t know that your family had a private jet. This is so cool!” Willow said as she started to play with any and every gadget in the room.

“My family doesn’t own this jet Willow,” Tara said trying to keep a straight face.

“Oh,” she said a little disappointed. “Is this like a Royal Clan plane that your brother was able to borrow? Because that is still really cool. I’ve never been on a plane like this.”

Tara couldn’t help but smile now. “Honey, this is my brother’s jet. It was his Christmas present last year. He has three in his collection now.” She stopped to make sure Willow wouldn’t have a heart attack.

“Baby, don’t take this the wrong way but how rich are you?” Willow asked as she regained her ability to speak.

“Me personally or my family?” She couldn’t help but laugh at the look Willow gave her. “Fine, I am worth around 25… million dollars but I will get a trust from my mom when I turn 21. My family is probably worth four billion over all.”

“Wha… you… I… ah…” Willow started to do an amazing impression of Xander at the moment.

Tara got up out of her seat and moved over to face Willow. She had never seen Willow react this way and was a little concerned. Tara would take Willow babble over Xander speak any day. “Honey are you alright?” she asked. When she didn’t get any response, the blond did the only thing she could think of. She captured the hacker’s lips with her own and kissed her passionately until Willow reciprocated. They continued kissing until the necessity for air won out over their desire.

“Your rich.” Willow put simply.

“No, I’m Tara,” the blond said with a shy smile. “And your Willow… Is this going to be a problem for you? Because I’ll give it all away so you treat me like you use to. I’m still the girl you fell in love with.”

Willow smiled at the woman she loved with all of her heart. “Yes you are still the quirky nut that I fell in love with. The only thing that has changed is this Christmas I am expecting a very very big present.”

Tara leaned back and crossed her arms over her chest. She never thought of Willow as a greedy person and wasn’t sure where this was going. “And what exactly are you expecting to get missy?”

“I expect twenty-four hours of Tara snuggles in the lavish location of Tara dorm. No interruptions even from the amazing Miss Kitty. Dawn will have to watch her like she is doing right now, because you are going to be very busy.” Willow said moving closer, closing the gap Tara had just made.

“You think so? Well have you been a good little girl?” Tara asked in the sexy voice that she knew drove Willow crazy. She continued to move farther away from Willow so she would have to vacate the seat if Willow wanted to be close to Tara.

“I’ve been really good. Just ask my girlfriend, I’m sure that she would vouch for me.” Willow stopped Tara’s next comment with a searing kiss.

Not expecting the force of the redhead’s kiss, Tara fell onto the cabin’s floor with Willow right on top of her. Only shocked for a moment, Tara quickly started to work on her lover’s top trying to get her hands under Willow’s shirt. Willow stopped and raised herself up giving perfect access to her lover, then moved to mimic the actions on the blonde’s body. Tara moaned softly and used Willow’s newfound distraction to her advantage. Grabbing Willow’s hips, Tara used surprising strength and turned the redhead until she was on her back with a very happy blond on top of her. “Welcome to the mile high club.” Tara whispered in her ear as she slowly kissed down Willow’s neck.

“I demand to speak with my sister, so get the hell out of my way you stupid Goldwyn. Tara might let you do what ever you please, but you will remember your place in my presence.” Came Ian’s angry voice through the door. Tara and Willow quickly separated; trying to regain some composure as Ian stormed threw the door. “Oh my god. Can you two ever keep your hands off each other? Now I am going to have to have this entire room cleaned and then have my brain cleaned as well to get the images out of my mind. Tara next time we will use your jet.”

Willow and Tara turned completely red as the feeling of being teenagers, getting caught making out by their parents, washed over them. Tara looked at her brother and glared, “Yes that would be a good idea, if my jet wasn’t still being cleaned for the tenth time because of the orgy you had in it two years ago. At this point, I think burning it will be the only way to get that stench out. Now did you have a reason for bothering us?”

Ian smiled as his mind wandered back to that glorious not only because of the earth shattering sex but because of the look on his sister’s face when she had walked in on it. Focusing on the task at hand he answered his sister, “I just came in to inform you we will be landing in thirty minutes.” Before anyone could reply, Ian walked out of the room. Keth followed after him.

There was a moment of silence until Willow looked over at Tara and asked, “You have your own jet?” Both girls feel to the floor laughing.

Soon the plane landed and everyone got into the car waiting at the airport. Ian remained quiet most of the time as he watched his sister and her new friend. He had never seen Tara acting the way she was. Tara didn’t stutter or anything when she was home as he had been informed she did when she was in Sunnydale, but she was usually very subdued. Like she was always watching her step so she couldn’t be blamed for anything that was going on. But now she seemed completely at ease and Ian guessed that the change came in the form of the redhead sitting next to her. She now seemed happy with who she was and didn’t mind showing the world what she really wanted and thought. Ian didn’t like this change in his sister. It made her harder to control and he knew hardly anything about this Willow which made her a wild card. The only time he had ever seen Tara close to acting like this was when she was around Kim, but Ian had a feeling this wouldn’t turn out the same with this one.

After about an hour and a half of driving they came into view of what could only be called a castle. Willow was awe struck as she looked at the size of the house. It looked the size of three dorms but together and that didn’t count all the gardens that seemed to encircle the house.

“Tara, is this for real?” Willow could help but ask. She wanted to pinch herself just to make sure she wasn’t dreaming. There was no way there was anything this amazing.

“Yes this is where I grew up. What do you think?” Tara knew the answer just by looking at her lover’s face but she was hoping that the redhead would go into Willow babble. She knew that she would soon be seeing her father and needed as many happy moments before.

“What do I think? Well beyond wow I don’t think that I can put it into words. When you said how much money you had I thought that your house was going to be big, but this is beyond the realm of imagination. How would you keep from getting lost in such a huge place, because I think I will need a guide the whole time I will be here but you will be with me so I guess I will have a guide because I’m sure you know where everything is. I know that you have to spend time with you father but we have to spend some time in the garden. They look so peaceful.” Willow finally stopped her babble and looked over at Tara and gave her a quick kiss.

Ian didn’t know when he had stopped thinking about his own plans and started listening to the redhead’s speech but he couldn’t believe. He had witnessed her little speech back at that stupid magic store, but he had thought that was just because she was nervous and needed to get her point across. Looking at his sister he could tell that this was a normal thing and wanted to laugh. Why did his sister always pick the weird ones? “If I hadn’t heard it with my own ears I would have never believed it possible. A girl that small being able to talk like that without breathing.” He stopped talking as he saw the looks he was getting from all three of the other riders deciding that he wanted to live to have children.

Finally the car pulled to a stop in front of the mansion and Willow quickly jumped out of the car. She didn’t like being in such close distance to Ian, something about him made her get the wiggens and she didn’t like. As everyone else got out of the car, the main doors opened and three servants walked out. Two walked over to Ian and the other towards Tara and Willow. The two that walked over to Ian ushered him inside and Willow finally started to relax.

The other servant walked straight to Tara giving her a kind smile. She was about sixty and had that perfect grandmother look that could calm any soul. “It is good to see you again Mistress Tara. The house just isn’t the same without you here.”

“Thank you Lucy and you know that you don’t have to call me Mistress. You changed my diapers as a child so I don’t think it would hurt for you to call me plain Tara,” she said and Willow could tell that this was a conversation they must have been having for years.

“Just like I told your mother when she first came to live here. I will call you Mistress because that is you position in this house and there is nothing you can say that will change that, so you might as well stop fighting me. The only way you will get me to stop is to order me and everyone knows you will never have to heart to order anyone to do anything.” Lucy finished with a broad smile.

Tara smiled and gave Lucy a hug. “I can’t believe you still remember that entire speech.” She turned to look at Willow. “Willow this is Lucy and Lucy this is Willow, the love of my life.”

Willow smiled at the woman. “Most of the time I just go by Willow though.”

Lucy laughed and turned to Tara. “I like this one. Make sure you hold on to her with two hands.”

“That’s what I am planning on doing.” Tara smiled unable to keep from smiling as she looked over at Willow. Suddenly her smile faded as she looked back at Lucy. “How is my father? Can I speak with him?”

Lucy’s smile faded as well. “He isn’t doing very well. He demanded that you come speak with him the moment you arrived. If you want I will take you to him.”

“Yes, thank you.” Tara looked over at Keth and said, “Take her to my personal library I think that will keep her busy while I talk with my father.” Keth nodded.

Walking over to Willow, Tara momentarily lost herself in a sea of green. She traced her lover’s cheek with her thumb. “I will come and see you the moment I have finished talking to my father. I love you.” With that said she gave Willow a searing kiss that lasted for as long as Tara dared.

“I will see you soon, love.” Willow tried to smile. She wanted to give Tara all the love that she had. Tara walked off with Lucy and Willow turned to look at Keth. “So when she said her personal library does that mean it belongs the Comsario family tree or is it just Tara’s?”

Keth smiled, “Oh every book on the shelves belong to Tara and Tara alone. Come on I’ll show you.” It took them ten minutes of walking through a maze of hallways before Keth finally stopped and opened the heavy doors. “Here we go.”

Willow’s eyes nearly popped out of her head as she looked into the room. It easily equaled the library at U C Sunnydale and was filled with personally touches that just screamed Tara. It would take years to read all of the books that were in the collection. She looked over at Keth and whispered with such reverence, “Are you sure these are all Tara’s?”

“Yes. Might I be so bold as to recommend a great place to start?” Keth said trying to keep the smile off his face. He found it was way to easy to smile around Willow and that didn’t do any service to his reputation as a fierce warrior. He walked her over to a small corner of the Library and pointed at a collection of small books. “Just remember one thing. If Tara asks you I didn’t show you these. You found them on your own.”

Willow picked up one of the books and looked at the cover reading Tara’s First Year. She opened it up and was welcomed with the sight of a one-day-old picture of Tara. The cute little baby was staring at the camera with a shy smile that could only belong to Tara. Looking over at Keth, Willow eyes danced in silent thanks for showing her this. She collected all of the photo albums and walked over to the table.

For the next two hours Keth told story after story as Willow continued to look through the albums. Many of the early one where with her mother and Willow saw that Tara had the same kind eyes and bright smile. Others where taken with her and her brother and Willow was able to see a time when they weren’t at odds with each other. Soon she came upon more and more pictures that showed a teenage version of Tara and she always seemed to with the same dark haired girl. There were over a hundred pictures with the girl and Keth hadn’t started any great stories about this new character.

“Who is that?” Willow asked after getting impatient.

“That is Kim.” Keth said simply. His voice lost all the joy it just had and was filled with a hollow emptiness.

Willow’s smile died as she remembered Ian mentioning her name last night. She turned her attention back to one of the picture. Tara looked to be about sixteen, she and Kim were hugging and both had huge grins plastered on their faces. “Kim.” Willow whispered.

Tbc…


Part Seven
Tara entered the spacious bedroom barely lit by the roaring fire to the left. She hadn’t been in this room since the age of ten. As she inched towards her father’s bed memories washed over her…

Fighting with her brother had become more and more frequently nowadays and she didn’t understand why. Just a year ago Tara had spent hours playing with Ian, working against their parents in the common goal of having fun. Over the past few months though Ian had started to ignore her and when something went wrong he manipulated the situation so Tara was always to blame; that was why she was in this great room. For two hours she was yelled at about being the Zahn Comsario’s daughter and what that meant. He went on and on about how her actions were reflected on him and he would not let her ruin the Comsario name. Then he said the final straw. Her father said, ‘Why can’t you act more like your brother?’ Tara lost it at that moment. She screamed at her father releasing all the anger of his rejections and how he had ignored her. Tara yelled until her face turned red and only stopped when her voice went out. After that day Tara and her father never spoke again, not even when they were dealing with public events. Soon after that Tara’s mother died and she gave up on trying to make peace with the man. She couldn’t find the strength to care anymore.

“Never dreamed that you would see the inside of this room again did you?” her father’s voice broke Tara out of her memory. She looked at the man that once towered over her and had bullied everyone she had ever cared about. The years had not been kind to him though unless this was the result of whatever was ailing him. His thick black hair was now thin and pale white. His skin was now stretched making his cheekbones stick out. It took all of her willpower not shudder.

“You could say that. Though I had good reason to believe it, since you haven’t spoken to me in what nine years.” Tara said crossing her arms over her chest. She kept her voice respectful but wanted her father know that she was no longer a child.

Her father looked at her for a moment in a way that Tara couldn’t read. “How you remind me of your mother,” he said is tone soft. No matter what the rumors were or how people looked at her parent’s marriage she knew that they loved each other. At times even Tara hard time understanding it. “Tara, I have called you home because I am dying and don’t try telling me that there is some cure and everything will be alright. I have lived as long as I wish and I’m tired of fighting. I want to make peace with you.”

Tara looked at her father for a moment. She had spent years watching him manipulate people and she was afraid that she was about to be next, but her desire for peace was to great. “I want to make peace as well but we both know that will only happen with a compromise. I am no longer the child that will do what ever you say to make you happy.”

“You always had to be different even as a small child everyone could see that. You had the same light that your mother had and everyone would flock to you. It was your heart that endeared them,” he said with a sad smile.

“They flocked to Ian father, not me. He was the one that everyone wanted to be around. Ian was the life of the party and wouldn’t let anyone forget it.” Tara’s voice had a tinge of bitterness but she had learned to accept the truth long ago. It was a lesson that almost killed her.

Her father laughed. “You never knew why your brother hated you so, did you?” When Tara shook her head no he continued, “He hated the fact that everyone loved you. He was popular because he was to follow in my footsteps and be the next ruler. They wanted to be in good standing with the next ruler. People wanted to be around you just because of you. You remember General Heley. He never gave your brother the time of day, because he had enough power that he would never need his backing. Whenever you were at a meeting he made sure to speak with you; ask how you were doing.”

“I never knew.” Tara whispered not completely believing what her father was saying.

“That was always part of your charm. You didn’t look at the situation as a campaign that had to be won. By the age of seven you knew the name of every servant and their family’s history. Ian would never do anything so below his statues or so he has said. I just need to know one thing.” He took a deep breath not sure how he wanted to ask this.

Tara looked at her father and saw a side she had never seen, a side that was unsure and confused. “What do you want to know? Please tell me.”

“Do…Is it possible that after all this time that you could still love me as your father?” he asked his eyes pleading as he looked up at her from his bed.

“Of course I still love you. How could you ever think that I didn’t? No matter what happens in this life you are still my father and I will love you.” Tara answered moving closer to her father. She desperately wanted to hug him but was unsure if he would allow her that close.

Her father seemed to understand this but kept her at a distance. “I have one last thing to tell you. It is something your mother made me promise to do before I die.” He stopped once again but this time it wasn’t an unsure look it was almost a look of fear.

She felt like she might want to take a step back from him. Why was it that every time she tried to make up with her family that they slapped her in the face with it? “What is it?” she said this time devoid of any emotion going back to politic mode.

Sitting up as tall as he could as if he was once again giving a speech in the Great Hall and started, “When your mother and I first married it wasn’t for love. Yes in later years we found that we truly cared for each other, but at the beginning if was for something much different. Both of us had been told by prophets or dreams that our child would be the strongest force ever to be seen. I bred Ian to be the great leader he was predicted to be and you mother nurture you to be the kind hearted strong woman that you became. It is said that by Clan rules the first-born would be the next ruler and I wasn’t going to let anything ruin my plans so I lied… Your brother isn’t older then you. You were first-born. Your mother knew all along but didn’t care. When she looked at you all she care about was your happiness and that you knew what love was. That was the way for you to become the amazing witch you are today. Please don’t be mad at her. Place all your anger at me. Even though you are first-born, in a few days you will be the only one alive that knows it and I will see Ian as my successor. I’m sorry, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love you just…”

Tara looked at her father with a far off look on her face. She couldn’t believe that this was happening to her. For years Ian had held his statue over her and forced her to do so many things that she hated, and now she find out it was all a lie. Tara understood how her father could keep something like that from her but how could her mother do such a thing. So many nights she had ended up crying in her mother’s lap because of it and she said nothing! Taking a deep breath she refocused on her father. He looked at her with unsure eyes and her heart melted. Even though he had made a promise to his wife to do this, in the end he didn’t have to and the world would go on as it had for the last nineteen years but he didn’t.

She rushed over to him and hugged him as if her life depended on it. “I forgive you father and I still love you. We have lost so much time.” Tears flowed freely from both pairs of eyes as the last nine years of tension and anger were finally released.

He finally pulled her away and took a good look at his daughter. She had grown into a beautiful and confident young woman that had that same spark Ella had possessed. “I want to know everything that has happened while you were away. Even a blind man could tell that something has changed.”

“Her name is Willow.” Tara said and for the next hour she told him about everything that had happened to her in Sunnydale and how she had fallen in love.

Zahn couldn’t have been any happier for his daughter. Long ago he had heard the rumor about Tara and Kim but had never believed them, but now he wasn’t as sure as he used to be. After she went on and on about anything and everything she knew about Willow it was his turn to talk. He told her about the latest developments with the Royal Clan and some of the internal politics that had been going around. Zahn knew that Tara would soon go back to Sunnydale with the redheaded hacker that had stolen her heart, but while she was here she needed to know what to be careful of. Soon his body started to ware out and sleep became a necessity. As he was falling asleep the last thing that he heard was his daughter whisper, “I love you father.”

Tara was walking on cloud nine as she roamed the halls of her old home. She never thought she could feel this wonderful in this place. Her father loved her and it made her heart sing. Lucy walked up to her glad to see that her young charge was in such a good mood. “Mistress, General Heley would like to speak with you some time today if that is convenient?” She asked.

“Sure that would be wonderful,” Tara said as she remembered her father’s earlier words. “I was going to give Willow a guided tour of the gardens so why doesn’t he met us there in lets say an hour.”

“I will tell him right away.” Lucy said as she walked off to deliver the message.

Soon Tara reached the doors to her library and couldn’t wait to tell Willow everything that her father had told her. Now she was finally free and the weight that had been taken off her shoulders made her feel like she could fly, but soon her joy slammed into a brick wall as she opened the door.

“Who is that?” Willow asked her voice a little impatient.

“That is Kim.” Keth said simply. His voice hollow and empty.

“Kim.” Willow whispered.

Tara didn’t know what to do. She wanted to quietly close the door and run the other way just in case Willow aimed that question at her. She knew that the redhead had already been curious about Kim when Ian had mentioned her earlier, but from the sound of it Willow was now in her photo albums and there was no way to deny her presence now. She made a mental note to kill Keth later for showing Willow not only the Kim pictures but also what she imaged was the entire collection of embarrassing pictures that have ever been taken of her and the stories that went along with them.

Realizing that she couldn’t hide from this she walked into the room trying to recreate the good mood she was in moments ago. “So what do you think of my little collection? Have you started organizing them to your special order or has Keth been able to keep you at bay?”

Willow turned to look at her lover and almost squealed with joy. She ran toward Tara and enveloped her in the biggest hug she could give. Tara almost fell backwards by her strength. “I’ve missed you so much.”

“Well I might leave a little more often if it means I get this kind of greeting when I get back.” Tara joked as she gave Willow a quick kiss. “So how do you like it?”

“Giles would have a heart attack if ever got to see this place. Have you actually been able to read all of these?” Willow asked still amazed at the size of the room.

Tara smiled as she watched Willow’s mind start calculating how many books the room would be able to hold. “Not all of them, but quite a few of them. Actually I was thinking of what we could get everyone for Christmas and didn’t you say that Mr. Giles birthday was coming up?”

“Tara, baby, I don’t think that books would be such a good idea for presents well except for Giles of course.” Willow rolled her eyes as she remembered Giles last birthday with the present and how he tried to be gracious will all the things that he didn’t want.

“Are you so sure? Once I started to get to know everyone something clicked in my mind. I was going to send a message to have these delivered but since we are here.” Tara said as she started to move towards the different shelves. She stopped for a moment and turned back to Willow, “You said that Buffy was trying to learn more about the other slayer and do more studying about things of that nature, right?”

Willow only nodded and watched her girlfriend run through out the library. She was about to say something about acting respectful while being in the library, but then remembered that it was hers so she could do what ever she wanted. Finally Tara returned with two armloads of books and a very skeptical looking girlfriend.

“Trust me. First, for Mr. Giles I have two different sets since we are dealing with birthday and for Christmas.” She placed three large bound books in front of Willow. “These are the Clan’s records of the founding of the Watcher’s Council. I thought he might find that to be an interest read and the others are a brief history of the four hell mouths.” She looked over at Willow to see if she thought it was a good idea.

Willow was shocked. Giles would get to have that heart attack after all when he opened these presents. “There perfect. What are the rest of the book?”

“Well, for Buffy I have the complete history of the slayers actually going back to the first slayer and how she came to be chosen.” Tara said as she placed five books on top of Giles’ books. “Next we have Xander. When I was young Ian and I would call these the Sex Books, they contain everything you could ever want to know about demons who have some connection to the forbidden arts.”

Willow almost choked, “Your giving Xander a demon sex book. Fine but just make sure you tell Anya that this one was just from you because I don’t need her yelling at me again.” Tara smiled at that. “So who is next?”

“Since you mentioned Anya.” Tara started.

“Baby, I hate to break this to you but giving Anya a book is like giving me the lead in a play. They just don’t go together.” Willow interrupted.

Tara smiled. “Most of the time I would agree with you on that, but I was able to find a book dealing with Vengeance Demons and she is mentioned in the book as being the greatest of Vengeance Demons and being D’Hoffryn’s favorite. Then it goes on to tell some of her greatest stories, which I don’t recommend reading.”

“I bow down to your wisdom oh wise one. I think that will be a perfect present for Anya. Though there is this nagging feeling in the back of my head that everyone else will pay for your kindness when she starts to read passages from the book.” The hacker looked confused when she saw that Tara still had some books in her hands. “Who are those for?”

“Well, this one is a book about archeological digs from the ancient world for Mrs. Summers and the other is a book of glamour spells for Dawn. Don’t worry about the spell book the biggest spell is changing your hair color and that will only last for three days. It is very mind and was the first spell book that my mother ever gave me see.” On the inside cover was written ‘To my darling daughter, always let light guide your way and trust your heart. Love, Mom.’

Willow was about to cry as she looked over at her girlfriend. She always thought of everyone no matter what the situation was. She had followed her mother’s words for Tara’s heart was the largest and most honest that she had ever met.

Tara turned to look at her and whispered, “There is only one person left.”

“Who?” Willow asked.

“You silly. You can have anything you want in this entire library. Anything that you want. I’m sure one of the magic books caught your attention.” Tara said with a smile.

“Is there a limit on the number of books I get to have if they are in a collection?” Willow’s eyes danced as she thought about what she would soon own. It was the only thing she wanted.

“No… You can have anything that you want. What is going on in that brain of yours?” Tara watched the wheels turn behind her eyes and felt a surge of desire run through her. For some reason the squeming side of Willow looked very sexy to her.

Willow walked over to the table that she was sitting at earlier. “I want all of these,” she said simply as she pointed to all of Tara’s photo albums.

Tara didn’t know what to say. She never imagined that with all of this knowledge at her fingertips Willow would throw it away just to have images of her as a child. Her heart swelled she walked over to her love and kissed her with all the passion she had. “Then they are yours.” With that said she went back to her third favorite pass time. This continued until Keth coughed to remind the two witches of his presence in the room. Tara turned to look at him with a sheepish smile. Then her face went cold and as she spoke her voice became demanding, “Keth, I know that you showed Willow where these books are, because there are too many things that would have caught her attention first. Now I will have to do something that I never imagined having to do.”

“Baby, it was my fault please don’t punish Keth.” Willow begged scared that she had gotten the kind protector into trouble.

“Keth, I am ordering you… to go home and visit your family. They live only an hour away and we should be fine for at least a day so I don’t want to see you here until them.” Tara smiled as she walked over and gave Keth a hug.

He smiled and quickly left the room. She turned to look at Willow and laughed at the pout that had formed on her lover’s lips. She walked back over to the hacker and gave her a breath-taking kiss. Once they broke she said, “Now I believed that you asked for a tour of the gardens?”

Tbc…



Part Eight
Ian stormed past his servants as they quickly back peddled to avoid his wrath. He paced across his personal corridors as his mind worked on different scenarios involving his sister’s return. All of his plans required no opposition this early. If he could keep her in the dark, or at least in a bed with her new ‘friend’, then he might not have to worry at all. Now with information though, his hopes were starting to fade. “What do you mean General Heley is going to have a meeting with Tara?” He looked down at his pathetic servants when they didn’t answer. “Well?”

Finally regaining a little of his courage one answered, “I was following Tara as you requested. After spending two hours in your father’s chamber, she left and spoke with Lucy. Lucy said that General Heley had requested a moment of her time. Tara agreed and then went to her library to join the redheaded woman.”

“Fine if General Heley wants to have his little get together let him. He has been a thorn in my side for too many years. He always seemed to have a thing for my little sister.” He turned to the first servant and continued, “I want you to continue following Tara. If anything important happens come talk to me immediately. Go.” The servant left quickly while the other looked concerned as to why he was still here. “You go get Russell. I need to speak with him.”

“Yes Milord. Right away,” the servant answered as he almost ran out of the room.

This was something he needed to take care of right away. General Heley was too well protected for Ian to try anything, but Heley was of little concern. He had to keep this in the family so to say. If he knew his sister, Tara would have let her precious Keth go home to see his family leaving her unprotected. As long as everything works as planned with Russell.

“You asked to see me?” a voice came from the shadows.

Ian turned to face the cloaked figure gliding out from the darkness. “Yes, I did. I have a new assignment for you to carry out. Now take off that ridicules cloak, there is no one else in here. Your identity as always is safe.” Ian demanded as he moved to sit down. The figure removed his cloak to reveal an attractive dark haired man with pale green eyes.

Sitting down next to Ian, Russell continued, “You asked me to come to perform you bidding so what do you want of me? Just remember that after this last task our bargain is over. We will never see each other again.”

“Yes, yes that is our deal. You really need to lighten up at bit Russ.” Ian almost started to laugh. He always enjoyed torturing and manipulating those around him and Russell had been his second greatest accomplishment. “I just want you to deal with some unfinished business.”

Russell sat up a little. “What do you mean by unfinished business?” This didn’t surprise him. If he was going to finally win his freedom, then his last task would be the worst.

“I just think its time to finish the little party we started three years ago, now that the guest of honor is finally home,” he said with a smile. “You know me. I have to be the perfect host no matter how long ago the party was.” Ian waited paciently for his companion to reply.

“When did Tara return home? I thought she was happy in America,” he said wanting to change the subject.

Ian smiled at the hole that Russell had just dug for himself. “Oh, yes. I would be willing to bet my life on that fact now that she has replaced Kimmy. Even though Kim was a scrumptious morsel this new girl, Willow, is amazing.” He saw Russell’s eyes flare. “So do we have a deal?”

“Yes, young Comsario will soon receive the birthday present you planned for her sixteenth birthday party.” Russell grabbed his cloak and quickly left the room to prepare for the events at hand.

Everything was going as planned. Soon Ian would rule the Royal Clans and man would discover the reality of the demons that haunted their dreams. No longer would demons forced to hide in darkness while man ruled over the day. And when all of this happened he would be a god on Earth. Ultimate power was only a few days away.

“So I guess I’ll be your tour guide for the rest of the day? Then allow me to show you the true beauty of my home.” Tara said as she guided Willow out into the open lawns.

Of all the places in her home, Tara had always loved the gardens the most even more then her library. This was the place her mother would take her when they would practice new spells. While Ian was forced to work in some darkened dungeon surrounded by towers or books, she was out in the fresh air and sunlight. Being considered a prodigy at the age of seven would have affected anyone, but her mother had always kept her well grounded. One of the many ways she did this was by teaching in nature. When learning a spell in nature, the spell caster can see how their magic affects the world around then and to learn respect for the Earth. That was the greatest lesson her mother had ever taught her.

“Sorry to burst your bubble but I have a feeling I already saw it last night,” Willow teased as she kissed her lover’s neck. “But I’m perfectly willing to look at the pretty flowers as long as you promise one thing.”

“And what is that?” Tara almost whispered as Willow continued her trail of kisses.

“That I get to see the prettiest thing in your home again tonight.” Willow said as she heard Tara quietly moaned by her action as well as what she was saying.

It took a moment but Tara was soon able to speak again, “I don’t think that will be a problem. No definitely not a problem.”

“Good.” Willow said as she stopped kissing Tara’s neck and quickly started moving towards the gardens. “Come on slow poke, I thought you were going to show me the flowers.”

Tara stared at her lover for a moment, her body not wanting to accept Willow’s retreat. “You’re going to pay for that.” Tara yelled as she started running after Willow.

For the next hour Tara pointed out every flower explaining that she spent so much time out in this garden that she had names for ever flower. Afterwards she told Willow about the time Keth wouldn’t leave her alone so she told a nest of Robins to use him for target practice. Time flied without wither noticing or feeling the pair of eyes that continued to watch them.

Finally they reached the farthest parts of the gardens and Willow noticed a hidden cove that blocked unwanted viewers. Her eyes twinkled with mischief as an idea of what they could do in such a secluded spot came to her mind. Maybe she wouldn’t have to wait till tonight to enjoy true beauty. “Baby, what’s over there?”

“Nothing.” Tara said only looking at the spot of a moment. She prayed Willow wouldn’t be persistent but that would be too much to ask for.

“Come on. I’m sure we can find something to do in that…secluded…hidden cove where no one could possibly see us.” Willow said as she wrapped her arms around Tara’s waist from behind. When Tara didn’t say anything she moved in from of her grasping her hand. “I promise to make it worth your wild,” she continued as she started to pull her lover into the hidden cove.

Tara didn’t resist until she was inside the cove. All the memories from her child, of Kim, attacked her from all side. The good memories faded as her nightmare once again unfolded in front of her eyes. She could almost hear the screams of anger and desperation filling the cove as they did so many years ago. “Baby, baby are you alright?” Willow asked as she turned to see the blond turn pale and her eyes moved wildly around the cove. “Talk to me.”

“It’s just been so long since I’ve been here. So… many memories, that’s all.” Tara tried to cover up, not wanting to distress Willow, but she knew Willow wouldn’t buy it. “This was the place I first met Kim and … and the last place I saw her.”

“Oh, maybe this wasn’t the best idea,” Willow said as she started to move out of the cove.

“Willow, don’t go. I need to tell you about Kim if I’m ever going to be able to move on. Please!” Willow stopped and turned to face Tara. Part of her was dying to know who this Kim was and how she could cause so much pain to the woman she loved, but the other part of her was scared to hear the story. It was only when she was the desperation in Tara’s eyes, so she nodded and moved to the corner of the cove, sitting down. Tara sat down beside her and began telling Willow everything of both joy and shame.

“My father and I never really got along when I was growing up, but when I was ten we had a horrible fight and until today we hadn’t spoken since. The only ally I had was my mother who died the next year. I went through a real hard time after that. The only person I would even talk to was Keth and for the most part talking equaled me screaming at him to leave me alone. Most of the time I would just stay out her in the gardens asking why she was gone.

A few months later I met Kim. This cove had become my secret place and was the only area Keth would let me stay unguarded. She was the daughter of one of the cleaning staff and had come to help her mother and was on a break. I was sitting in this corner here and she walked in. I screamed at her saying ‘how dare some servant disturb someone of my station and that I could have her whole family fired if not worse.’ She looked at me and replied, ‘Well I would reply that you were just some spoiled brat that should learn that the whole world doesn’t revolve around you, but I can see that there is something else going on here so do you want to talk about it.’ Well that was something that shocked me out of my shell so to say.

It took me a few weeks but Kim gradually got me out of my depression. People started rumors about how Kim and I were lovers but we weren’t. She was my Buffy. On my twelve birthday she took me out to her family’s farm and the whole day was spend horseback riding. No one knew anything about where we were going and what we were doing. Kim had explain to Keth that part of the present was getting me away from everything Clan related, so he reluctantly agreed to stay away. It was the best day of my ‘new life’ as Kim told me.

The years seemed to fly by and Kim convinced me that I had all this power that I should used it to make a difference. I started to contribute more at council meetings and public events; that is where the problems started. On my sixteenth birthday, Kim was going to take me to her ranch as our yearly tradition, but for some reason Kim left a note saying that she would meet me there. When I got there Kim was nowhere to be found and in her place was my brother. He gave me this whole story that he wanted to make up for all the years that he had been a jerk to me and that he had a present for me in the barn. When I went inside all I found was ten Goldwyn demons and two Cartago demons waiting for me; that’s what he meant in Sunnydale when he called my earlier attack a family tradition. He locked the barn and they attacked me. It took almost all the energy I had to defeat the demons, but the Cartago demon was able to hit me with a poison dart.

Two days later I woke up, Keth standing by my bedside looking like he had been there for at least ten days. All I could think of was how Kim had betrayed me. I felt something that I had never felt before, pure rage. Keth told me that she had been by my side for twelve hours straight and that she had been checking on me ever hour since. Before she had a chance to come in again I order Keth to keep her out. I didn’t want to ever see her again and had thought of every spell I could that would do things that I don’t want to think about. It took her another two months to see me.

I decided to go outside and spend the day in the garden, now that I was finally getting over the Apothu poison. It was a much larger dosage then and it was in my system for at least ten hours. Not thinking of where my feet were taking me I found myself in this cove. Kim was there I never knew the reason why. She spent an hour say how she was so happy that I was all right and that she had no idea that was going to happen, but I didn’t listen to her. I didn’t care what she had to say. After she was done, it was my turn. I told her that I had never been so betrayed by anyone in my entire life and that I wish she would just die. I screamed that I hoped what ever her reasons were she was happy that she tried to have me killed. Before she had a chance to say anything else, I told her that I never wanted to see her again and if she ever tried to make contact with me that I would make her life a living hell. She ran out of this cove tears in her eyes, vowing that she had no idea what had happened.

Two days later, Ian came to me and said that Kim had no idea what was going to happen. He told me how he had written the note to me and then wrote one to Kim saying that plans had changed and I would me her in this cove. He explained that it was Kim who found me in her barn and carried me home so that I could be treated. She saved my life. I desperately tried to find Kim but she had disappeared. Two weeks later, Caleb her brother told me that she had died. There was a car accident and that she hadn’t suffered.”

Tara finally looked up from her story to recognize that Willow was even there. “She died because of me. She was my friend for more then four years and I didn’t trust her.” Tears started to fall from her eyes. Tears that she could cry those three years ago.

Willow seized Tara in her arms never wanting to let go. She just let her cry for as long as she wanted softly whispering comforting words. Willow had no idea that Tara had this bottled up inside her all this time. She thought that the blonde’s need for approval and love, but she had thought it was because of her bad relationship with her father. Another hour passed while Willow just held Tara not caring about the world around them. All that matter was that Tara was in her arms and that she would never let anything bad happen to the blond again. Tara had stopped crying but still clung to Willow.

Neither of them noticed the form that moved behind them until it was too late. Tara felt the sharp point of cold steel press against her neck as they both heard a deep voice, “No what is this? Young Comsario all along and distracted, what would Keth say?”

Tbc…


Yeah, I'm sorry about the lateness and everything. I couldn't decided how i wanted to work the ending and wrote three different versions of this next part before deciding. I hope that you life it. Plus i was a little distracted by a very, very, great ep that was on this week and finally some happy moments for our girls
Part Nine

All time stopped as the two witches heard the voice echoing in their ears. Willow’s mind was racing as she saw the shadowed figure behind her but more importantly the sharp sword he had at the neck of the woman she loved. Suddenly a spell came to mind and she hoped that it would work.

Tara could tell that Willow had a plan and stayed as still as possible knowing within moments she would have to react on her own. She flexed the muscles of her shoulders and back knowing that would keep the attention of the attacker; hoping it would be enough to hide the hacker’s mumbling.

Just as the blade started to press a little deeper into Tara skin a large flash of light exploded into the shadow’s face causing him to fall backwards blinded. Not wasting any time Tara turned and went on the attack. It only took her a second to size up her appoinment; six and a half feet tall, looks about three hundred pounds and she guessed that it was all muscle. Figuring that a caged spell would work best to get answers she started to chant. Within a second he was trapped inside an invisible cage.

“Now I remember why I never messed with you at the counsel meetings,” the figure said and Tara recognized the voice.

“General Heley?” Tara asked dissolving the spell.

The figure removed his cloak and smiled at Tara. His green skin brought out his red eyes and his silver hair was thinning a little from the last time she had seen him. Slowly he stood up and rubbed his eyes trying to get them back into focus. “Yes young Comsario. I thought we had a meeting but I won’t fight about it,” he smiled at her as he moved in to hug her.

“I didn’t know it was you. If I had then I would have come up with a more interesting prison.” Tara said as she returned the demon’s hug. Her father’s words echoing in her head after they parted.

Heley looked her up and down. “I bet you would have if you had had the chance. The one thing I forgot is you never travel with people that can’t take care of themselves.” He turned to look Willow up and down. She shivered a little by his attention never being one that enjoyed when a demon looked then up and down. He seemed friendly enough and Tara seemed at ease with him but she could see the cold side of him and didn’t really want to be around when that side came out.

Tara walked over to Willow and placed her arm around the redhead’s waist giving her a little squeeze. “General Heley this is Willow, my girlfriend. Willow this is the leader of the Hapes Demons, General Heley. He was my mother’s closest friend and ally within the council. He was one of Keth’s trainers back in the old days until he became bounded to me. Since then Heley has been trying to prove that when all Goldwyn Demons become bound that they lose their edge, so far Keth is the only on that has defied his statement. ”

Willow relaxed a little after Tara had explained what had just happened. “It’s nice to meet you General Heley. I’m sorry about the whole blinding you thing.”

The sound of Heley’s laughter filled the cove as he looked at the couple with true amazement. Never in his life had he meet someone he thought would be perfect for the shy blond that he had watch grown up. Her father had tried to set her up with all the young warlocks in the counsel but she always looked tense and uncomfortable around them, plus the fact that none of them understood Tara’s need for normalcy and love. She didn’t want to live the life of the counsel. This redhead in one sentence proved that magic and power didn’t mean anything to her and that kindness did. Even after being attacked she was able to accept the reasoning and even apologies for protecting herself. They were a match made in heaven or should he say hell mouth. “Never be sorry for protecting the ones that you love. No matter what they are the only things that are important in this world. You’re young but I think you will become a great witch some day as long as you have a teacher willing to work through the hard parts with you.”

“I don’t think that will be a problem.” Tara said as she kissed her lover’s temple and leaned into the redhead.

“So it is true. She has bewitched you.” Heley said with wide eyes.

“What!?” both witches said at once.

It took a moment for Heley to stop laughing at their reaction. “For the last hour I have been subjugated to listening the gossip mile form Windu, my wife. Everyone says that Willow has bewitched you and that is why after all this time you have come back to make peace with your father. The maid are screaming to the cooks that you were making out in public and that you can’t seem to stay away from her for more the a couple hours. It didn’t help that you blood bounded Keth to her. All I can say is that it was more interesting that having to listen about the new girl you brother is trying to ruin.”

Tara’s mouth didn’t seem to want to work. Over the last few months she had just started to feel comfortable around Buffy and the rest of the Scoobies so she had forgotten that no one around her were use to seeing her act like this. It was like Kim all over again except this time the rumors were true with the exception that she was being bewitched unless they counted that as being in love.

“I’m not an enchantress I swear. The closest I have ever been called that was by Cordelia and she used a little different language that didn’t make it sound as romantic. I’m not cool or powerful enough to be thought as of an enchantress even though I have made an improvement sine high school. Anyway that as just as silly as Xander and Anya thinking that Tara was one. I can’t believe that there are so many rumors running around and we have only been here for like three fourths of a day. This is almost as bad as high school.” Willow babbled as she tried to get over the concept of being talked about and then after that getting over the idea of what they were saying about her.

Tara was about to say something to Heley when she turned to look at Willow with a shocked look. “Xander and Anya thought I was what?”

Willow gave a pretty good expression of a deer caught in headlights. “Nothing... I was just mumbling… and said nothing about Xander and Anya. Remember we were talking about what they were saying here… not Sunnydale.” She knew that it would save her later but maybe it would give her enough time to figure out a way to save herself from Xander and Anya when they got back home.

Even though he was enjoying watching the two witches he had to talk to Tara about her brother. “Tara, I’m sorry but I really need to talk to you about your brother.”

He received the reaction he was expecting. Tara’s body went rigid and she turned to look at him with serious eyes. She took a deep breath and nodded. “How bad is it?”

“It’s bad. I think you brother wants to break the vow and expose humans to the reality or our world.” Heley explained.

Of all the things she was expecting that wasn’t one of them. “He wouldn’t be that stupid. It will start a war that will most likely destroy the world and then there will never be a winner. That was one of the main reasons I went to watch the new hell mouth in the first place.”

“Your brother has been talking with the more rebellious of the members and he is trying to have them back him for Thursday’s meeting. That’s why I wanted to talk to you the moment you came in. If he is able to talk the counsel into this then there is no turning back and I don’t think we will survive.” Heley didn’t want to unload it in as hard as he had but there was no time to play easy.

Feeling the way her lover’s body had tensed, Willow could tell that this was going to be worse then anything she had seen with Buffy. The idea that all of the demon’s who where fine staying in the shadows and calmly living their lives decided to attack humans and take over the world chilled her to the bone. “Why would he ever want to do that? From what Tara told my he has so much power being able to control who in the demon world will get to stay on top. This would kill most of them.”

Heley smiled at the redhead. She had a mind on her; she didn’t seemed fazed by the idea of what was going to happen, but was trying to figure out his motives so that they could find a solution. “He is mad for power. His father has been giving he free reign over the counsel after he started to get sick. The first thing he found out was that his power is still limited. He has to go through the counsel to still do anything that would cause major change and then he found out I had just as much power if not more then he did. The other members trust in my words and most of them lately have been against him.

“If he starts this war and the demons win then you will be viewed as a god and have uncontrollable power.” Tara finished.

“Oh,” was all that Willow could say.

“Why don’t we take this somewhere a little more private?” Heley said as he started to look around. He didn’t like talking about this in the open. Ian had too many spies.

Tara nodded. “Willow would it be alright if we walked you back into the library. I don’t know how long it will take to go over all of this and I would feel better if you stayed out of this as much as possible. The more that you know the more you become a target. Right now they only think you’re my lover, if they knew that you could do magic and were as brilliant in a fight as you were beautiful then we would be in trouble.” She smiled as she finished watching Willow blush.

Once again Willow didn’t like the idea that she was being left in the dark but the pleading look was almost impossible to ignore. ‘And she says that my resolved face is undeniable,’ she thought. “Fine but you are going to owe me big time when you get back.”

“You have my word. I don’t know how long this is going to take, but it is getting late. If you get tired then just have someone show you were my room is. I’m sure that Lucy has already told everyone that we will be staying in the say room. She has to be the leader when it comes to gossip.” Tara said trying to end this on a happy note and knew she had seceded when Willow’s cheeks turned red.

They talked in whispers as they walked back to the library. It took about thirty minutes and they watched everyone that was around them very carefully. To make it look like Heley was just making a social visit, he started talking about how his wife had given birth to another boy and that his other two sons were in the army and rising up the ranks almost as fast as their father had. Tara explained some of the effects the hell mouth was having to the area around it and informed him of some of the adventures she had been on since she had become a Scooby. It took twenty minutes to explain why they even called them that in the first place.

Finally they reached the library and Tara gave Willow a searing kiss before heading off into the unknown. She walked into the library and started to look around. Moving over she double checked all the books Tara had picked for presents and still thought that they were prefect though Buffy won’t like Dawns. Afterwards she moved back over to her presents and started to take a closer look at all the images of her love, mentally making a timeline of images.

The door opened and a startled young man entered. “Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t know that anyone was in here.”

“It’s okay, my names Willow. What are you doing in here? This is Tara’s private library.” Willow asked the newcomer.

The newcomer stood at his full height and looked at her with pale green eyes before he answered, “I’m Russell. Tara said that I could use her library while she was gone. She said there was no reason why they should be locked away and wasted when someone might be able to use them. I know that she is back but I didn’t think the offer was revoked. I can leave.” He moved to leave.

“ No wait! I’m sorry I have just been a little stress out. Please come in. If Tara said that you can use her library then she is the only one that can revoke it.” Willow mentally slapped herself. As long as she was here she might as well try to make some acquaintances.

He moved closer to her in the room and smiled, “Thank you. So you are the one that Lady Tara brought from America?”

“I guess that I am, but you can call me Willow,” she said as she moved to shake his hand.

He accepted her hand and looked over her shoulder at the picture book Willow had been looking at. In the center of the page as a photo of Tara and Kim and under it was written ‘Friends Forever’. His eyes flared but he looked back at Willow and smiled. “Thank you. So how long have you know Tara?…”

TBC…


Part Ten
Willow looked at her watch and noticed that she had been talking to Russell for over an hour. They went from Tara’s childhood to what it was like living in Sunnydale with the new hell mouth. She didn’t know anyone but Keth and Tara and it was nice to talk to someone that didn’t think she was an enchantress for goddess sake. Russell was able to tell her some juicy stories to taunt Tara with in the future.

“So how are you liking our little world? Is it confusing enough for you?” he asked.

“It was for a while but I think I’m getting the hang of all the underlining politics and all that. As long as I stay away from Ian and his cronies, I think I’ll be fine.” She smiled at him and rolled her eyes and turned to look at some of the magic books on the shelf.

Russell just smiled. “Oh yes, you should stay away from them as much as possible, but I guess its too late for that.” Willow turned to look back at me with a questioning look; only to find a cloth shoved over her face with the distinct smell of chloroform. “Now you will understand all of the politics and so much more.” As his words echoed in her ears she passed out.

Tara and General Heley had spent the last hour and a half working on the best course of action to deal with the Ian situation. They could attack him publicly until he announced his plans and he wouldn’t do that until he was sure no one could cause him any problems. The only thing that was on their side was that Ian wouldn’t expect Tara to know as much as she did, plus stand up against him. Tara had spent her whole life trying to stay out of the council and made it publicly know that Ian could have it. For the most part Tara had kept this but her brother had gone to far. She didn’t want to go against her father, but she couldn’t let Ian win this time.

“We can’t do anything till Thursday. The best thing we can do is act like everything is normal. Let him think that he is going to win so that he gets cocky.” Tara said reluctantly. She hated politics and this was just another reason.

Heley sighed, “I guess that is all we can do, but I still don’t like it. We don’t know how many people will follow him and it might end up getting bloody.”

“I won’t let that happen do you hear me. If things turn for the worse then I will have to make it a family issue alone.” Tara replied with a small edge to her voice. “No matter how much it will hurt me.”

There was silence for a moment before Heley spoke, “I know that this question is going to sound weird, but did your father keep his promise to your mother? Did you tell you the truth?” Tara looked at him surprised. I guess her father wasn’t the only one that knew about her being first-born. With a calm voice she nodded yes asking a silent question. “Your mother told me before she die. She want to make sure that you found out the truth and wasn’t sure if your father would keep his word. His ambition for Ian has always clouded his judgment as well as his morals.”

“I will only play that card if I have to…” she was about to continue when there was a knock on her door.

Lucy entered the room with a concerned look on her face. “Lady Tara I think you need to see this.”

Tara didn’t need to be told twice. Lucy knew that they were not to be disturbed so if she was here then something was wrong. No one said anything as Lucy led them down the hallway to the library. When the go there Tara saw a letter on the door held in place with a dagger. She took the note and silently read it. ‘Happy Birthday Tara.’ She rushed into the library and saw that some of the books were turned over and knew exactly what happened.

“I have to go. Don’t follow me this is something that I need to take care of. It has gone on for too long,” her voice was cold and her eyes distant. Lucy and Heley nodded and watched her run off towards the stables. She didn’t have much time.

“Wake up!” A glass of cold water followed the words and did the trick. Willow slowly opened her eyes and tried to focus them. After a moment she was able to see again and was welcomed with the sight of Russell standing over her. “It’s so nice of you to finally join us,” he voice lost all the kindness it had from before.

Her voice was dry but she didn’t really think about it. “What do you want with me?” She had lived way to long on the hell mouth to freak out after being kidnapped. After the Faith situation it took a lot for her to show the fear that she was feeling.

He smiled. “It’s rather simple. All I want is revenge and you are my perfect bait. Tara is going to pay for everything that she has done.”

“So you are working for Ian?” Willow didn’t understand.

“After tonight I will finally be free of that shit. No that is just a side matter that I will finally be finishing. I’m here to make Tara pay for killing Kim. Get up,” he demanded.

Shocked by his words she found herself doing what he asked without even knowing it. Did he really think that Tara could kill someone? Suddenly she heard a noise that brought more fear then Russell ever could. “Are.. Are there horses here?” She hated the fact that her phobia was getting the best of her, but that is what usually happened when a person had a phobia.

Russell looked at her with a confused look. Her life was in his hands and she was worried about some stupid horses. “Yes that was. You know what I think it is time for you to get ready and I think that you will get to know the horses really well.”

Tara was outside Kim’s old barn. It had been a place of great happiness and then betrayal, but that didn’t matter right now. The only thing that was important was that Willow was in trouble and she had to save her. Tara slowly opened the door of the barn and picked inside. There she saw something she wouldn’t have believed. Willow was sitting on a horse. Early on Tara had learned about Willow’s phobia of horses and thought that it was cute, but there was nothing cute about this. Around her lover’s neck was a rope and Willow was having a very hard time keeping that horse calm.

“Tara!” Willow almost yelled as she saw the blond.

“Willow are you alright? Did they hurt you?” Tara asked, as she started moving towards the horse. Before she could get there an arrow soared through the air landing two inches from Tara’s feet. She stopped. “Is Ian here?” she asked.

“No its some guy named Russell. I thought that he was your friend and then we started talking and the next thing I knew I was here. Tara he placed something around the barn so that you can’t cast magic.” Willow was talking a mile a minutes trying to tell Tara everything that she had found out.

Tara only nodded. She had felt the barrier when she came in. “Honey, I need you to relax your body. If you do that then the horse will relax as well. It’s picking up on your anxiety.” Tara hoped that Willow would do as she asked. It had been years since she had been here but she knew the horse that Willow was on. Avalon was his name and he was very temperamental.

“Okay, but I can tell you right now that this is definitely a arm biting horse if I have ever seen one. And you will never be able to get me on a horse after this.” Willow said as she slowly tried to relax the muscles of her body and control her breathing.

Tara smiled at her girlfriend and tried to think about what was going on here. If Ian were here he would have already made his presence known so that he could start gloating. That meant that it was someone that he had sent. She looked around the barn and guessed that who ever they were they were staying up in the loft part of the barn watching her with arrows in hand incase she tried to get closer to Willow again. “Willow do you know how many people are here?”

“Russell is the only one that I saw but I was unconscious for part of the time.” Willow answered looking around to see where he had gone.

“Did he say anything that might tell me why he is doing this?” she asked. Most times Ian’s lackeys would give away too much information without realizing it and Willow was good at picking up on things like that.

Willow thought about it for a moment. “All I know is he doesn’t seem to like Ian any more then you and he keeps going on about Kim.”

That got Tara’s attention. It could be a trick and Ian was using her emotions about Kim against her. She continued to look around the barn trying to figure out the best way to get to Willow before Avalon decided that he was tired of this little game and leaves. The barn had two levels the lower one where all the horses were kept and then the loft upstairs, which had a couple rooms. If she could get to the upper level then she could reach the rope that Willow was around her neck. There was only one thing that she could do. “Show yourself Russell.”

“Now what would be the fun in that?” a voice came from the loft. “Right now you have to deal with the idea that your girlfriend could die any second and there is nothing you can do about it. Plus if I stay where I am, then I don’t have to worry about you getting close enough to me to do damage.”

“So you are a coward?” Tara asked trying to upset him enough and then he would make a mistake.

There was nothing for a moment and then the voice laughed. “Try all you want to make me angry so that I give you an open shot. It isn’t going to happen. Right now I’m the one with the power and the great Comsario is the one that is weak.”

Tara’s posture completely changed. She went from being on the defensive, to being shocked and the finally to sadness. “Caleb, show yourself.”

A figure moved into view and Tara’s suspicions were confirmed. Caleb jumped from the loft to the lower level landing perfectly his bow and arrow still trained on Tara. “I should have known that you would figure it out before I wanted you to, but it doesn’t matter you are still going to pay for what happened to Kim.”

Tara moved forward but stopped when Caleb tightened his grip on the bow. It had been two years since she had seen him and in that time he had become a completely different person. He had changed from the rugged outdoor boy who always seemed at peace, to a cold killer. This couldn’t be Kim’s brother. “Caleb, what has happened to you?”

Willow looked between the two still trying to figure things out. “I thought your name was Russell?”

“I guess that I can answer both your questions at once. When my sister, Kim, died so did everything else not that Tara ever noticed; she was too wrapped in her own pain because she was so perfect and that fact that she could ever make a mistake only doubled her pain. She cause my sister to kill herself and instead of being punished she was coddled and pampered.” His eyes flared at Tara. “Everyone had to make sure that she was alright. I know the truth. She cried on my shoulder the day after your fight and she told me everything that you said. You will pay for my sister death if it is the last thing that I ever do.”

“Then why are you doing this to Willow? She has nothing to do with all of this. If you want to punish me then do it.” Tara said trying to get him to think. This couldn’t be Caleb something had happened to him.

He smiled, “But you see. Killing you would be too much of a blessing. After your dead then the pain stops. If I kill someone that you love then we will be even. And then I will be free of Ian forever.”

That was what Tara wanted to hear. So Ian was a factor in this. Now the only question is how. “Why are you even working for my brother? What does he have over you?”

“It doesn’t matter. After I take care of both of you he will leave me alone and I will be free of everything. You will not take away my freedom as you did my sister.” He made a noise with his mouth and Avalon started to move away from the rope.

“Caleb! What would Kim say if she saw what you were doing? I think we both know. She would beat the living crap out of you until you could think straight and then say that was an improvement. Don’t let Ian manipulate you like he did Kim and me.” She didn’t know what else to say. She had to find out what Caleb was hiding before she could understand anything.

“SHUT UP!!!!!” he screamed. His outburst was unexpected by everyone.

The horse leaped into action and started running away unsure what was going on leaving will choking in the air. Tara ran to her trying to keep her up so that she could breath, but Tara could see her skin starting to turn blue.

TBC…


Part Eleven
Time slowed as Caleb watched the two women in front of him. He should be reveling in the pain that was going on; this was his final freedom. Willow was trying to pull herself up the rope while Tara had hold of her feet trying to push her up even farther. She was desperately looking around for a knife or something else to cut the rope. Her eyes fell on a few things that would work but that would mean having to leave Willow and that wasn’t an option. As he looked at Willow’s face it suddenly morphed into Kim’s and his heart literally stopped.

An arrow soared through the air cutting the rope in two. Willow fell into Tara’s arms as they both collapsed onto the ground. Once she was sure that her lover was still breathing, she attacked the offensive rope that still hung around her neck. Willow held on to Tara for dear life. This was her vacation of sorts, if she wanted to be attacked by yet another homicidal maniac then she would have stayed in Sunnydale. She looked up into Tara’s eyes and saw the fresh tears that were falling and lifted her hand to wipe them away. All that matter right now was them both being all right and together.

“Go, get out of here,” Caleb’s voice cut through them.

Tara searched the barn for him but couldn’t see him, which left only one place that he could be. “I’ll be right back,” she told Willow but the redhead wouldn’t let her go. “Fine, but I want you to stay behind me.”

“I don’t think that will be a problem,” Willow replied. Her voice was horse but she was grateful that she still had the ability to use it.

The darkness consumed them as they walked through the loft. Willow could tell at one time it was a beautifully kept area but looked as if it had been deserted for years. In the far corner there was a small light and Tara had been leading her towards it. She didn’t want to be anywhere near this Russell…Caleb or what ever his name was. He gave her the chill and reminded her a lot of Faith, not just the trying to kill her part either. He had the ability to be a somewhat nice person and then in the blink of an eye change into a psycho.

Finally they reached the room and where greeted with the sight of Caleb’s back. He was sitting in the room with a single candle lighting it and didn’t even look up when he heard them enter. “I thought I told you to leave?” was all that he said.

Tara had two voices in her head arguing about the next course of action. One wanted to go over to him and beat the living crap out of him until he told her everything he knew about Ian and how he thought he had the right to come anywhere close to Willow. The other side of her knew Caleb too well not to see that something else was going on. He wasn’t some cold killer or he would have let Willow die instead of cutting the rope and the voice also pointed out that he didn’t really mean to startle the horse; he just got angry and it happened on accident. Not surprisingly the calm, levelheaded voice won out. It didn’t help to walk in and see his slumped shoulders.

“You did but we both know that I was never very good at doing what people wanted me to do, especially when a friend needs comfort,” Tara answered moving into the room.

“Well I don’t want your help. How about we make a deal… You will make me feel better by leaving.” Caleb’s spit out not wanting to be anywhere near the blond witch. He forgot how much she reminded him of Kim.

Tara moved a little closer. “Talk to me Caleb. This isn’t you. I want to understand…”

Caleb stood up violently kicking the chair that he was sitting on and turned to glare at her. “What do you want to understand? Why I kidnapped Willow and tried to kill her while I reveled in your pain? How I have turned into a cold-blooded killer that has been doing your brother’s bidding for so long that I can’t even remember? What do you want to know so bad?” He stopped yelling and turned back to gaze into the small candle.

Now they were in the eye of the storm. Willow wait for Tara to say something praying that she wouldn’t send him over the edge again. “I want to know why you saved Willow tonight? I can tell that you want me to feel the pain that you are feeling and you won’t believe me but I do. A part of me died the day you told me about the car accident; a part that is just starting to heal itself. Why did you save the woman that I love if you claim to be such an evil creature?” Tara finally said into the void.

“Kim didn’t die in a car accident.” Caleb said so quietly that it took a moment for Tara to even register what he had said.

“What do you mean she didn’t die in a car accident?” she could help but keep the accusing tone out of her voice.

He turned back and looked at her with dead eyes. “She hung herself in this barn. I found her just hanging in here, but there was nothing I could do. She had been dead for hours. Your brother helped me cover up the suicide and make it look like a car accident so that no one would ever know that truth. I could let anyone know she did that to herself.”

Tara stopped breathing. It wasn’t possible. That isn’t the way that it happened. Kim would never kill herself that was beyond belief. This was all her fault. If she had giving Kim time to explain and really listened to her instead of saying all the things that she had then she would have been alive right now. All the old doubt and self-blame started to rise to the surface again. She has a distant look on her face and she starts mumbling, “Its my fault. I killed her.”

“Not baby it isn’t your fault. Don’t you dare think that.” Willow said as she turned her lover around. Tara fell to the ground silent tears running down her face. Willow moved down on the floor with her not letting the woman she loved break contact with her.

Caleb watched the one person that had always seemed so indestructible fall to pieces right in front of his eyes. He could hear his guilt yelling at him to say what only one other person in this world knew and his guilt was playing dirty using Kim’s voice. “It wasn’t your fault Tara. It was mine. This whole thing was my fault. Please stop crying. I was the one that told Ian where you would be that night. If it hadn’t been for me then nothing would have ever happened.” Caleb couldn’t even look at her as he finally revealed what had been haunting him for so many years.

Tara looked up at him shocked. She never would have thought that it was Caleb that had told her brother. She watched as he moved over to the corner of the room and curled himself up into a ball. The pain radiating off of him was more then she could even bare. Her soul cried out in anguish over what she had just learned but the sight of her old friend in a place so black that very few ever knew pulled her back to reality. She had been able to move on, deal with all the pain that had attacked her and found the woman of her dreams. She was happy, but Caleb had no one. For the last four years he has been blaming himself for his death and the only person that knew was a cold-hearted bastard that would only use his pain as a tool.

Moving to stand up she silently asked Willow to let go of her. Willow nodded seeing the turmoil on the young man’s face. Slowly she walked over to him and placed her hand on his shoulder. He stiffened under her touch. “It wasn’t your fault, Caleb. She would never have blamed you for what happened. Don’t let this haunt you for the rest of your days. You have to move on, for her just as much as for yourself. You have to mourn her.” She bent down so that she was eye level with him.

He just looked at her for a moment then burst into tears. Tara held him as he cried looking over at Willow with tears falling from hers as well. Willow just gave her a small smile trying to send as much comfort as she could without forcing herself onto Caleb’s grief.

After five minutes Caleb stopped crying and looked up at her. “Why are you doing this? I tried to take the one person you have been able to love and now you are comforting me for causing the whole mess four years ago.”

“This wasn’t your fault Caleb. Ian was the one that is responsible. I need to know something?” Tara’s voice was low.

“Anything,” was his reply.

“Do you know what Ian’s plans are for Thursday’s meeting?” He only nodded yes. “Would you be willing to help me?” He nodded again.

TBC…

I am really sorry for being such a shit and taking so long on this next part. I wanted to finish off my other story and had to put this one on the back burner for a few days. Here is the next part so I hope that you like it.
Part Twelve

Ian found himself once again pacing his room. This was one of the things that he hated doing most in the world. Pacing equaled the lose of one’s cool and a man of his stature could not show any type of weakness. Russell was his best assassin and had never failed on any job, but this wasn’t just any job. Tara had been able to deal with anything and everything that he had every sent at her, and he couldn’t afford to have another failure. It was eighteen hours until the council meeting and then everything that he had ever dreamed of would be his. The only person who could prevent his rise to godhood was Tara and that was not an option.

Three hours ago Russell kidnapped his sister little redhead and thirty minutes after that Tara had gone after them. If everything had gone as planned then Tara should have been dead an hour ago. Ian knew that Russell would play with Tara for a while and release all that rage festering inside of him over the years. He understood his friend’s obsession but this was taking too long.

The door opened and Russell stumbled into the room and fell to the ground. His clothing was scorched and to looked like his left arm was burned. “Help,” Russell whispered.

“What the hell happened?” Ian demanded. This was not a good sign.

Russell looked up at him; his eyes were the look of pure agony. “Tara…showed up and…so angry…barely made it out alive.” Russell panted slowly inching up so that he was sitting on his knees.

Ian looked around the room. There had to be a way around this. Tara might know that he was behind all of this but she had no way to prove it and that was all that really mattered. She could attack him verbally in the counsel but his status still made more reliable and the fact that she had turned her back on them was an added bonus.

Now the question was Russell. He knew that Russell would never turn against him but he could still be a problem. Ian wouldn’t kill him because the assassin was too good at getting out of sticky situations and then there would just be one more person that he would have to go up against which was not an option. He would graciously give his injured friend a vacation to nurse his wounds.

“Ok, you need to get out of the house as soon as possible. We don’t need Tara running and finishing what she started. I never knew she had this in her, but I guess her new friend brings out the wild cat out of her in more then one way,” Ian said as he helped his friend up. “Now I am going to give you access to my jet and in ten hours you will be sitting on a nice beach in the warm sun. Don’t worry I’ll take care of you.”

“Thank you, I knew that I could count on you.” Russell said, as he was lead out of the room through the secret tunnels that Ian installed a few years ago. What Ian didn’t notice was the fact that Russell was watching the way they were going the whole time, memorizing every twist and turn.

Tara sat on her bed next to Willow just enjoying the feel of the redhead in her arms. She had felt her heart die the whole way to the barn unsure if Willow had already been killed or not. She didn’t know how she would have survived. Willow meant so much to her.

They had spent the last hour talking to General Heley formulating the plan for tomorrow and how they were going to take down the shit that was her brother. Heley was overjoyed at the thought that Ian’s reign would soon be at an end. All they had to do was play it cool and let Ian put himself into his own little cage.

“So tomorrow is the big day?” Willow’s soft voice said as she enjoyed the feel of Tara’s finger’s playing with her hair.

Tara kissed Willow’s forehead and gave a little smile. “Yes tomorrow my brother will be unable to hurt anyone ever again. And then the counsel will be able to go back to the way it has always been.”

“Oh…” Willow whispered.

Tara didn’t like the sound of this. She knew when her lover was trying to be strong and keep her worries to herself. “Baby, what’s wrong?” Tara said as she moved so that she could look Willow in the eye.

Willow tried to turn away but Tara placed her hand on her cheek so that the redhead had to look her in the eye. “Its just that… if your brother is no longer going to be the leader of the council then won’t you have to be?”

Tara had never thought about that before. It was her family duty to do just that, but then she would have to leave the woman that she loves and that was just not an option. “No matter what ever happens we will always be together, I promise.”

Both ignored the fact that Tara hadn’t truly answered the answer that was placed before her. The rest of the night they laid in each other’s arms just reveling in the love that they had for one another.

The next morning Willow and Tara dressed quickly even though Willow wasn’t all that comfortable in the long flowing robes that were required for such an occasion. Tara gave her a half smile and implied that they might not be too high on the fashion scale but they add a bonus when it came to the amount of time it took to take them off. She accented the point by giving Willow a passionate kiss which ended with both of them on the bed almost gibing them proof to Tara’s words, but they were interrupted by a knock on the door. Both girls groaned and parted as they finished getting ready for the events of the day.

The Meeting Hall was an hour from the house but it seemed to take longer. Keth was sitting up with the driver not in the best of moods. Ever since her had returned from home he had been in guard mode non-stop. The idea that both of his charges lives were in danger and just barely survived solidified his determination. In the back seat Tara and Willow sat in silence. Both were lost in thought about what was going to happen today and if their plan would work. Unconsciously Willow reached for Tara’s hand and started to play with her fingers, it was a nervous habit that seemed to comfort both of the girls.

“Are you sure that everything is ready?” Willow asked for the hundredth time.

Tara smiled at her. “Yes, Caleb told me that Ian was going to use a backup group of assassins if I start to make to much of a problem. Don’t worry I know who they are and am ready. I have everything under control.”

Willow was soothed by Tara words and also by her confidence. Willow was use to being the vocal one among the Scoobies but it was nice to see this side of her lover. “You better, or you will have a very upset girlfriend. I like having my girl in one nice Tara shaped piece.”

“Your wish is my command.” Tara said with a small smile and just to make her point she gave the redhead a small kiss.

Finally the reached the Meeting Hall and were escorted in. Willow had never seen anything like it. The large room was filled with every kind of demon that she could ever think about and some creatures that she would never imagine existed. Though some looked a little too familiar to the point that she turned to her lover, “Baby, did you ever let Jim Henson visit one of these meetings?”

Tara smiled, “Sweetie, Jim Henson grew up working for my father. How did you think that he got all his ideas for the creatures in his movies?”

Willow couldn’t say anything as they were ushered through the main hall towards The Comsario sitting area. Tara was a little shocked to see her father already sitting in one of the chairs. No one thought that he would show up now that Ian had taken over. This might cause a major bump in their plan.

“Tara I was hoping that you would be coming today.” Tara’s father said as he stood up to great them. The blond witch hugged her father and as they parted he turned to look at Willow. “And I have a feeling that this is the amazing woman that has stolen my young girl’s heart. It is nice to meet you.”

“It is nice to met you too sir. I guess you are the one I should thank for giving me Tara.” Willow answered. She meant what she said but she had the added bonus of seeing Tara blush at her words.

And boy did Tara blush. She was use to Willow saying things like that but it still brought out the shy side of herself. Even in the Meeting Hall where she had always been able to put on a show, Willows effect on her overpowered everything else. “I think it is about time that we take a seat.” Tara said trying to change the subject. “I didn’t see Ian. I thought he would be her by now.”

“He is talking with some of the other council members. Though I am a little surprised. Ian is staying as far away from General Heley as possible and usually that is the first person that your brother tries to talk to.” Zahn said looking at the two women. He noticed that neither looked happy when he mentioned Ian’s name, but there was something else as well. Tara looked right at General Heley and made a slight nod and he did the same. Something was going on and he didn’t like it. When he looked at Willow’s face all he saw was concern, which made him feel even worse.

A loud gong was sounded and everyone started to move to their seats. Ian walked over toward his father but then changed directions going to the center of the room. Now was his time to shine and he was going to make it count. Everyone looked confused by his actions and quickly moved so that they could hear what their new leader had to say.

Once the room was quiet he began. “I know that this is a little unorthodox, but as this is my first meeting I thought I would start with something a little new. With the passing of power by my father, the great Zahn Comsario, we are going to start a new age. For millions of years the demon populations ruled over the world and there was order and control, but then it was decided that we should move into the shadows and let man rule over all. Since then they have polluted everything that they have touch and have pushed us farther and farther to the outskirts of this planet, I think that the time for man to control is over,” he stopped to let the idea sink in. He had already made strong allies that would fight vocally today on his side but he still had to keep a good show.

As planned Heley jumped up, “Are you crazy? You want us to make are presence know to the human population. That would cause mass hysteria and eventually lead to war. And I fear that war will be one that neither side has the ability to win. I will not support anything of this nature.”

Ian only smiled since he had this planned. Zahn just looked at what was unfolding in front of him. How could his son ever come up with this kind of plan, it was madness pure and simple. He was about to stand and say something even in his weakened condition, but Tara place her hand on his arm shaking her head no. Now the looks between Heley and his daughter were starting to make sense. They had known about Ian’s proposal and had a plan.

“General Heley, I understand you concern but this is not about the loss of life. This is about the dwindling essence of our kind. For thousands of years we have been reduced to nothing more then horror stories told to children. Honor is at stake don’t you understand this. I think that we should at least discuss this and put it to a vote.” Ian said in his best diplomatic voice.

“I don’t think that we need to do that. I challenge you to prove you honor since this is such an important issues for you.” Heley said with a smile.

Ian didn’t expect this. He thought that this would end in a debate and then he could use his men to easily win the battle. “You have no right to challenge my honor General Heley. Your motion is overruled and I am ashamed that you would use violence to win an issue. I thought that you were one of our great leaders not some heavy handed dictator?”

“He might not be able to challenge you but I can.” Tara said as she slowly stood up.

TBC…

Ok I am hoping to have the last part of this story up by Sunday or Monday so please forgive me for once again being such a shit for taking so long.

Part Thirteen
Ian watched his sister walk towards him until both stood in the center of the Meeting Hall. For a few moments they were locked in a stare down. The hall was completely silent as they watched the two siblings fight for dominence. Zahn watched his children and realized that he would only read his son’s sudtle movements, but Tara was completely bland to him. He turned to look at Willow and watched as she nervously rubbed her hands together, which didn’t make him feel any better.

“What the hell do you think you are doing Tara?” Ian whispered so that none of the council members could hear.

Keeping her voice just as low as his she answered, “I’m not going to let you start a war between demons and humans. The purpose of this council is to protect both so that a war never has to happen. You are going to have to go through me first, and if you think that your little friends will be a helping factor then I recommend you take a look to you left.”

Ian’s eyes flared, as he was ten of Heley’s men surrounding his assassins. His sister knew too much for this to be a simple slip of the tongue, which meant that she had a spy of her own. “Even when we were kids you always had all the answers, didn’t you? I am not backing down from this so I hope that you know what you are doing?” Tara only nodded. Ian increased his voice so that all could hear. “A challenge has been made and I accept it. Please raise the protection shield.”

“NO! I demand that this stop right now.” Zahn said standing. He was not going to sit by and watch his children fight in this manner. “I will not let the two of you fight to the death, no matter how honorable the two of you think you are.”

That got Willow’s attention as she jumped to her feet. No one had told her that this was a fight to the death. She knew that she would remember that detail. Yes Tara had a few things to explain when this was all said and done. She looked at the blond frowning, as Tara wouldn’t make eye contact. Yes this was going to definitely be something to talk about.

“I’m sorry father but the challenge has been made and unless one of use steps down then there is nothing left to be said. Now please raise the shield,” Ian said as a clear wall swooped over them leaving about thirty feet of moving room.

As Willow watched on something Anya said rang in her ears. ‘No one had ever been able to beat Ian. The only person that might have a chance was Tara but her powers were never tested publicly.’ She looked at the two circling figures and without taking her eyes off them asked Zahn, “Has Tara’s powers ever been tested? I know that they weren’t publicly, but have they been tested at all?”

“Tara didn’t care about how much power she had, because she never felt the need to show off like Ian. Her mother tested her once but never told anyone the results, even me. All I know is that Ian won’t hold back and most likely Tara will, so he has the advantage. I don’t think I could handle losing either of my children.” Zahn answered sadness in his voice. He knew that his son was obsessed for power, but would he kill his own sister to get it.

“I don’t want to kill you Ian. You just have to understand that what you are doing is wrong. Why can’t you see that? Is you lust to great to look at what it will cause?” Tara pleaded as she saw her brother’s concentration increase.

Ian just looked at her and sneered, “You were always holier then thou, Tara. Always had the people adoring you and saying that you were so perfect. This is my time to shine and be loved in the public’s eyes and you will have to remain in the shadows. You don’t even care what happens to the council. The first time I have a chance to show what I can really do as a leader and you come to ruin it.” With that said he threw a lightning bolt at her with all his strength.

Tara jumped out of the way just in time as the bolt grazed past her ear. She just looked at her brother with a pained expression. Not giving her a chance to take the advantage, he sent another bolt towards her, which was dissolved by an energy shield that she put up. Ian kept throwing more and more lightning bolt and a couple of fireballs for good measure just to show the council what kind of power he was truly capable of wielding.

His attacks were starting to weaken her shield as she felt some of her power draining. As he continued his assault she realized that he was combining is with a weakening spell. He thought this might have happened or something similar or else he wouldn’t have even thought of it.

Finally her shield spell failed and his attacks came through hitting her square in the shoulder. She fell to the ground as her skin started to burn and cloths set on fire. Before she even thought Tara mumbled a spell that dispel the flames. She looked up and saw that Ian was now standing above her looking down to enjoy a close look at her pain.

Now she knew that this wasn’t the same person she had grown up with as a child. Ian was no longer her brother in any sense of the word except blood. He had lost all the kindness that they had once shared and looking in his eyes she could tell that he could easily kill her. There wasn’t any option. She had hoped that it wouldn’t have to go this far and that everything would have a happy ending, but Tara knew that was no longer an option.

Ian raised his hand to strike the final blow. “NO!” Tara screamed as energy exploded throughout her entire body pushing towards the ends of the shielding. The force of his sister’s power knocked Ian back and his body slumped to the floor.

Tara finally regained some of her composure and looked around the shield. She saw Ian’s slumped body and ran to it as quickly as her clouded head would allow her to. There was blood flowing out of the corner of his mouth and she could tell that he was hardly breathing. Tara wouldn’t allow her brother to die as long as she had anything to say about it. Mumbling words over and over again for the strongest healing spell that she knew. After a moment she closed her eyes and her body started to glow. The power flowed through her and into her brother’s body.

The entire council watched in awe at what they were witnessing. Zahn stared in misbelieve that his daughter could control such energy but at the same time not be corrupted by it. He had learned long ago that Ian’s power was his greatest strength as well as weakness, but Tara never seemed to have had that problem.

Willow had finally started to breath again when she was sure that Tara would be fine, but seeing Tara glowing unsettled her stomach. Her lover always possess a great inner strength that shown so brightly Willow thought she would go blind at times. Willow could tell by her lover’s movements and the desperation in her eyes, Tara couldn’t stand the idea of her brother dying by her hands.

Finally the glowing stopped and the shield was taken down. As Willow ran towards the fallen siblings she watched, as if in slow motion, Tara’s body slowly crumbled towards that ground. Pulling Tara into her own body she started to cry. No, this wouldn’t happen they had gone through too much to let this end it. “Some back to me baby. I need you, please come back to me,” Willow crying into her lover’s damp hair.

“I’m…I’m still here sweetie.” Tara whispered even though it was as loud as her voice would get. Willow looked down at Tara’s face and started to cry again but this time they were tears of joy.

With Willow’s help she was able to stand. Tara looked around the Meeting Hall at the council member and knew that this wasn’t over yet. She still had one more part to play before she could finally be done with this part of her life. “Members of the council. The motion that my brother wished to pass is no longer an option. He will be retiring from the position that he has just been given. But I will not be taking his place as you might have thought. I will have an ambassador expressing my interests to you since I will not be here.”

The council was in total shock. Not only with the idea that Ian was no longer their leader but the idea that not even a Comsario would be in charge was farther then they could ever imagine. There was an uproar like a wave swallowing the entire room.

“QUIET NOW!” Tara screamed with all the power she had just shown moments ago. The entire room shut their mouths and even Willow looked at Tara with shock. Taking a deep breath she turned to Willow and gave her a small half smile and a quick kiss trying to tell her that everything would be alright. “I am the oldest Comsario and it is my right as the next in line. If anyone would like to contest my authority they can try. Keth will be my ambassador and that is the bottom line.”

She didn’t give anyone a chance to say anything as Willow helped her walk out of the room. “Can we go home now?” Tara almost whispered into Willow’s ear. She was so tired that she could barely think straight, but she was just happy to be in the redhead’s arms.

“Of course. As soon as you get some rest we will head straight home.” Willow answered never wanting to let go.

“I can’t wait to get back to Sunnydale, but as long as you are with me then I am home.” Tara said back with a smile that was only meant for Willow.

The End.


I hope that you liked the story. I will be working on the next one but I think that it might take a little while for me to get the next one up but I promise that it will be an interesting one.


I have to agree with the rushed feel of that last piece so here you go.
Epilogue (for all you greedy Kittens out there.)

It had been four months since the whole ordeal with Tara's past and family so
she was happy that things were just starting to get back to normal.

The sun was just rising on a wonderful Christmas morning and Willow was
overjoyed at what that meant. She had a couple presents that she had been
waiting for since they had gotten home. Tara made her promise that they
would spend some of the day with the Scoobies, Willow figured she just wanted
to see how they liked her presents, but after that the blonde was all hers
for at least fourty-eight hours.

As usual the redhead was up before her lover and spent those few peaceful
moments watching her sleep. Ever since Willow thought she might loose the
woman that she loved she had been spending more and more time treasuring
every moment that they have together.

Slowly Tara's eyes flutter open and gaze into intense green ones. "Hi," she
mumbled with a soft smile.

"Good morning baby. Merry Christmas." Willow said back and gave her a kiss.

Accepting the kiss Tara laced her hand into red hair increasing the passion
to the already heated kiss. Unconsiously Willow's hands went for the
blonde's nightgown, but with the will power of a god she stopped.

"What?" Tara asked confused. The whole point to waking up in the morning was
snuggles and if they were lucky even more.

Willow only smiled at the desire that she saw in the blue orbs that she loved
getting lost in. "We have to get dressed if you want us to get to Buffy's on
time. And don't give me that pouting look, this was your idea in the first
place. I was the one that wanted to ravish you all day long but you said
no." Willow was having too much fun with this. When she mentioned the
word ravished she made sure that her hand brushed across Tara's
breast and relished hearing her gasp in surprise and arousal.

"You are very mean, but so can I," was Tara's response. Willow looked at her confused.

Tara used that moment of confusion to her advantage and grapped her lovers waist to turn her over. Smiling as she looked down at Willow she kissed her at the same time as her hands went for the redhead's small breast. When she felt that Willow had finally weakened to her charms and started getting involved in their normal morning activity she stopped. "Your right we better get going." Tara was off the bed before Willow even had a chance to think much less react.

"Your going to pay for that!" Willow yelled as her brain finally started to work again.

"Thats true but not until after Buffy's party. Come on we don't have much time." Tara called already changing.

Willow turned and only got a small glimpse of Tara's exposed flesh as she was putting on her top. Willow know that wasn't going to help her libido. Moan one last time in frustration she got up and started to get dress.

Buffy's house was full of activity. Everyone was there and seemed to have various jobs. Willow's job was trying to carry in all the heavy presents they had brought back a few months ago. Though she did when everyone's eyes went wide at the amount and size of their presents. Tara and Willow had to agree that Giles were the largest. He had loved his books on the four other hellmouths and couldn't wait to see what type of books that Tara had brought for him this time. He knew that at least his were going to be books because he had overheard the two girls debating if they had given him the right set for her birthday or not.

The night had gone off without a hitch. Mrs. Summers had prepared a wondeful feast for everyone and for a least one night they were able to forget about the creepy crawlies that roamed the night. Soon Dawn was screaming presents and they decided that the poor teenager had been patient enough.

Tara asked that everyone open her's and Willow's presents last. So they exchanged the rest of the presents everyone overjoyed with what they had gotten. Now it was time for the mystery gifts.

Tara handed Dawn her present first and watched the young girls face brightened as she looked at the book. After a quick explanation of Mrs. Summers and Buffy that there wasn't anything dangerous within the pages. Dawn almost didn't want to take it when she read the inscroption within, but Tara said that she wanted her to have it.

Next was Mrs. Summers who was surprised that she was being included within the special gift giving. She slowly opened the gift and couldn't stop smiling at the book within. "Thank you so much. I have heard about this book but it is so rare that I couldn't order it anywhere," she said. Tara only nodded happy that she liked the gift.

Buffy was next in line and had a distict feeling that she was going to be getting books as well. "So I wonder what I will be reading over my break?" she asked as she opened the package. She almost feel of her sofa as she looked at the books. The entire history of the slayer was sitting in her lap.

"I hope that helps with the research you were doing on the slayers. It has all the biggest battle of each slayer and how they were defeated." Tara said still a little unsure.

Buffy got up and gave Tara and then Willow a hug. "Thank you so much. This will be great."

"Just make sure that Giles doesn't steal tehm from you." Willow joked.

"Speaking of Mr. Giles. Here you go." Tara said as she handed him the biggest present that they had brought.

When Giles got a good look at his present they were afraid that he was going to have a heartattack. His eyes bulged and he started having a hard time breathing. "Good Lord! This is the entire history of the Watcher's Council. I didn't even know that they had created such a thing." Buffy was at his side in seconds.

"They are only books Giles don't kill yourself. You can have them as long as you want since their yours, so would you please calm yourself down?" Buffy didn't move away until he started flipping throught the books ignoring everyone else in the room with the exception of a small thank you he mummbled to Tara and Willow.

"Alright I want to have it known that the present for Xander is from Tara only and not from me." Willow said as she handed the gift to her childhood friend.

"I'm starting to feel a little unloved her Will." he was going to say more but was cut off by Anya.

"Why?" Anya asked suspisiously. Her question was answered when she got a peak inside the box. "Your giving him a book on SEX DEMONS?"

Before she had a chance to say anything else Tara placed her gift on her lap. "I think you might want to open this." was all that Tara said.

Anya glared at her for a moment but her curiosity was getting the best of her and she opened the gift. At first it didn't mean anything to her, just a normal book on vengence demons like the ones they had in the store, until she noticed a book mark. Turning to the page her eyes started to mist.

Xander was at her side forgetting all about the lovely sex demons that he had been looking at. "What's wrong?"

"It's me." she said as she was smiling. He looked down at the page and saw that it was an entire chapter about his girlfriend as a vengence demon. He looked up at her and smiled giving her a soft kiss.

Tara looked around at her family and smiled. They all seemed to enjoy the gifts that she had picked out. Smiling she felt Willow's hand slide into hers and then she remembered there was still on person that she still hadn't given her present.

"Thank you so much. I just feel like the presents we got you are a little inatiquate now." Buffy said not releasing that she had just given Tara her prefect escape.

"Well, as you finally gift would be forgiving us because we have to be going." Tara said as Willow looked at her in confusion. She thought that they would be getting at least another thirty minutes of praise of their presents. "And we will I promised Willow that I would give her my present as soon as possible. I have a spell in mind but we will be busy for at least two days, so if you can forget about us for that amount of time then we can call it even."

Willow's face brightened as she looked at her lover. "Yeah sorry about having to leave but I left Tara's present at the dorm too. So we will see you later."

No one had a chance to say anything as the two witches were already out of the house. Neither thought they would have lasted as long as they had as they were able to keep their hands to themselves until they reached the front door. It took a few tries but they were finally able to get inside.

Tara release Willow from their kiss as she started to move towards the bed. "So did you have a wonderful Christmas?"

"Oh yes." Willow said as she started moving towards Tara looking like an animal stalking her prey.

Tara only smile. "Well I still have to give my girlfriend her present, even though she is Jewish and is now practicing Wicca."

"And it better be a pretty good present after what you did to her this morning." Willow said now only inches away from her lover's lips.

Tara gave an innocent look. "I have no idea what you are talking about."

"Are you sure about that?" Willow asked enjoy this little game.

"Yep, I'm sure. I guess you will have to remind me." Tara said keeping her poker face on.

Willow moved in the last few inches and kissed Tara with all the built up passion from this morning. Both the witches feel to the bed as the kiss increased. Willow moved her hand under the blonde's shirt continuing until she heard a familiar moan.

"Now do you remember?" Willow said in a husky voice.

"Still drawing a blank here." Tara responded and those where her last coherent words for the next two days.


I hoped that you like this little add on piece. It was fun to write, plus I needed a little happy moment with not just our girls but with the rest of the Scoobies as well.

_________________
Amber Benson killed me once.

Check out my finished fics

Current: The Love… Series ... Two For Joy


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