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

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 Post subject: Re: The In- Between (3/1/2021)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:09 pm 
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Wills_redemption: If you are interested in another take, here is an article Charisma wrote about supporting victims of abuse: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/amp/n ... jjIy6rRKi4

Thanks for your comments




Ch 25



The car ride back to Restfield cemetery had been quiet. Giles kept a firm concentrative view on the road ahead, fear that if he relaxed, his attention would turn sluggish through exhaustion. Buffy was lost in thought, going over the so many things that had happened. She’d come too close to losing Willow, and it turned out, Tara as well. If whatever happened with Ethan’s crystal hadn’t…. Buffy didn’t want to go there.

Willow and Tara were back and safe in each other’s arms. She thought she should have been surprised that Tara had gone after Willow, risked herself by also crossing the veil, but she wasn’t, not even when Anya told her on the roof. Though Tara was quiet, and often very cautious, Buffy knew she wasn’t passive- especially not when it came to Willow. Sometimes it was easy to forget how courageous, how silently strong, Tara was because usually she followed the others, held a support role. She wasn’t one to demand the spotlight- or want it even. But she would step into it when it counted, not for the praise, that would have embarrassed her, but because she needed to.

And Willow, brave Willow. Willow, whose curiosity and unending search for more sometimes got her into sticky situations, but more than often was just what they needed- when all the answers seemed out of reach. Willow would always search further and that had saved their lives more than once.

They balanced each other, Buffy realized, and were dedicated to each other beyond everything else. The ordeal with Glory proved that. Buffy hadn’t really understood the love between them until Willow had taken on Glory, and even more when Willow had stayed by Tara’s like a touchstone when Tara was unable to care for herself. Tara, who had risked her life and had let Glory take her sanity rather than give up Dawn. Buffy didn’t think she had hadn’t ever thanked Tara for that. Tara had protected Dawn, not because she was the Key, but because Tara loved her. It seemed fitting that it was Dawn, as the Key, that had made it possible for Tara to find Willow. Still, Buffy felt unsettled.

“Do you think I should worry, about Dawn?” she asked, breaking the silence only as Giles put the car in park and they crossed the street to Restfield Cemetery, “I mean we thought the Key powers were, like, not a thing anymore, right?”

“Buffy, Dawn is the Key,” Giles began, and there was that look from Buffy, the one that would not abide her sister being described as a function. “She’s also flesh and blood, your blood,” he continued. He would have anyway, without the look, “but her essence was made of the Key’s energy, that it hasn’t been used doesn’t mean it hasn’t been there. Perhaps it needs a great calling to come forth.”

“Or a great ritual…” Buffy returned, remembering the cuts on Dawn’s arms, blood dripping through the grating of the tower. She’d died for her sister, for the world, and she would do it again, but she hadn’t removed the danger of being the Key from Dawn. She had hoped that it had gone away or at least become permanently dormant, but now… As much as it had helped Tara and Willow, Buffy couldn’t help but feel wary. They weren’t so different, she and Dawn, neither had had a choice in who they were, at least the mystical part of it all. But Buffy could choose to be there for Dawn, to always protect her little sister.

“We will find out everything we can,” Giles assured, knowing full well Buffy’s concerns. They were valid, and the more Giles considered all the implications, necessary to consider.
Buffy nodded and pointed them to the right. They had things to do first, and she trusted that they would look into it, later.

Ahead, a series of small stone buildings jutted out above the surrounding headstones, “Spike's crypt is that way.”

Under the early bursts of sun rays, a slumped and lifeless form draped across a grave. Tall shadows fell across the body, dissecting it in contrasting hues.

Coming upon the sight, Giles placed a hand on Buffy’s arm and she stopped with him.

“I don’t think we need to see Spike anymore,” he explained, calling out as Buffy moved forward, “it could be a trick”. The person’s face was turned away, but the shirt left no doubt who was lying there.

“Giles, there’ s blood.” There wasn’t much, vampires rarely wasted, but there was enough to see that Ethan had been attacked. The paleness of his skin meant that he had lain there for a while. Dead. Buffy knelt beside him, checking for bite marks anyway.

Giles stood, several feet away, his own face paling as he stared at the man on the ground.

“Are you ok?” Buffy asked, brushing the dirt from her hands on her coat.

“I suppose he made his own bed as the saying goes. And I despised him.”

“But he was also your friend,” Buffy filled in. There had been just a hint of loss under Giles’ words.

“Once. Yes.” And with those words Giles realized what he was feeling was nostalgia. Ethan, his friend, had been gone a long time. He gestured at Buffy to stand, “Let’s go home. The police can deal with this.”

With a final look at Ethan, Buffy stood and they resumed their way back toward the parking lot. They would let the police know and tomorrow the newspaper would read “Another Attack by Gangs on PCP” or maybe they’d blame it on wild dogs again.

“Should we bother Spike,” Buffy asked as they passed his crypt, “I so wanna disturb his beauty sleep.” She smiled, because she did think it would be fun, but also to get a smile from Giles. What he gave was more of a smirk, but that was enough.

“He couldn’t have done this,” Giles reminded.

“No, but he may have seen something.” They continued on, crossing the dewy grass toward their destination.

“Nothing that will help now. I have a phone call to make and sleep I am very much looking forward to,” Giles said, sleep calling him more with every step. He waved a hand back to where they’d been, “but if you want to stay…”

“Nah, we’ll get the scoop tonight.” As curious as Buffy was, it could wait. Giles was right, there was nothing more to do, and that felt really really good. Something else would come up, it always did, but for now, home and bed.

“Yes, now that the danger is over I am rather intrigued,” Giles spoke as he unlocked the passenger side door for Buffy. “I have always wanted to know what the Otherworld was like from a firsthand account. Willow and Tara have experienced something few have.” He stood at the open door and Buffy could see the Watcher wheels starting to turn.

“Get in the car Watcher man. Phone call then sleep, remember?”

Giles chuckled at himself sheepishly, “Yes. Quite.”

He rounded the car and sat before the wheel. With his keys in the ignition he turned to Buffy. It was just a quick look and an even quicker smile they shared, connecting for a brief moment.. They’d gotten through another night together and now they were going home.

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You ARE Magic ~ Tara


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 Post subject: Re: The In- Between (3/6/2021)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2021 2:16 am 
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3. Flaming O

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Really enjoying this still even if I'm very poor with actually vocalizing my support. As I said before, the inclusion of Jesse was great and you managed to characterize him in a fitting way despite the miniscule source material you got at hand.

I'm also always a fan of the W/T+D family unit so that's another huge positive. :)

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 Post subject: Re: The In- Between (3/6/2021)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 1:07 pm 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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I actually so love the pacing in this. With action fics, constantly changing the scene/fight/etc can be jarring so I love getting scenes and a chance to process what it all means before the next one comes up!

And I love how much of this you've managed to write!!!

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 Post subject: Re: The In- Between (3/6/2021)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:39 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
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Quote:
They balanced each other, Buffy realized, and were dedicated to each other beyond everything else. The ordeal with Glory proved that. Buffy hadn’t really understood the love between them until Willow had taken on Glory, and even more when Willow had stayed by Tara’s like a touchstone when Tara was unable to care for herself. Tara, who had risked her life and had let Glory take her sanity rather than give up Dawn. Buffy didn’t think she had hadn’t ever thanked Tara for that. Tara had protected Dawn, not because she was the Key, but because Tara loved her. It seemed fitting that it was Dawn, as the Key, that had made it possible for Tara to find Willow.

Quote:
“Buffy, Dawn is the Key,” Giles began, and there was that look from Buffy, the one that would not abide her sister being described as a function. “She’s also flesh and blood, your blood,” he continued. He would have anyway, without the look, “but her essence was made of the Key’s energy, that it hasn’t been used doesn’t mean it hasn’t been there. Perhaps it needs a great calling to come forth.”

“Or a great ritual…” Buffy returned, remembering the cuts on Dawn’s arms, blood dripping through the grating of the tower. She’d died for her sister, for the world, and she would do it again, but she hadn’t removed the danger of being the Key from Dawn.

I was pretty surprised to find out that this is the halloween in the timeline of season 6. I thought that this halloween took place during season 5, before Buffy's death and resurrection and Willow's use of deep dark magic in her revenge against Glory and the resurrection ceremony because your Buffy is much more emotionally stable / available then Buffy in the canon of season 6 was and I didn't feel anything of the "rift" between Tara and Willow which let to them fighting over Willow's overuse of magic and Willow using the "Tabula Rasa" spell against Tara at the end of the halloween episode of canon season 6.

Of course I'm glad that "your" Buffy obviously overcame the trauma of being pulled out of heaven much better and quicker than canon-Buffy and that "your" Willow wasn't so deeply affected by her use of dark magic and wasn't driven to wreckless overuse of magic in everyday situations.
I trust that their experience on the "other side" will help Tara and Willow to study and use magic together in a more balanced way than before and that that will prevent any form of "magical addiction" on Willow's side or a downfall into "dark Willow".

I can understand if you want to end your story after the next few chapters, but I would really like to read more of the new developments in season 6 with Tara's and Willow's "new" magical training together, finding out more about Dawn's key powers and how they will defeat the "evil trio" as a team - without Tara dying, of course, and hopefully with Xander and Anya actually married in the end...


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 Post subject: Re: The In- Between (3/6/2021)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:08 pm 
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Rutowski: Thank you

Laragh: Thanks so much, I am not much of an action person, am so much more interested in what makes people tick. Thank you for all your support and feedback!

Wills_redemption: Your surprise on the timeline is totally understandable. I had originally set it, in my mind in S5, then realized that no one knew about Dawn's key powers then- so it is AU with some of the events from the end of S5 having happened.

Quote:
I can understand if you want to end your story after the next few chapters, but I would really like to read more of the new developments in season 6 with Tara's and Willow's "new" magical training together, finding out more about Dawn's key powers and how they will defeat the "evil trio" as a team - without Tara dying, of course, and hopefully with Xander and Anya actually married in the end...


I am definitely intrigued by exploring some of what Dawn's key powers means now and may visit that down the line (I really want to focus back on Wilderness for now). Thanks so much for reading and feedbacking!!


Notes: thanks to everyone reading this!! This is my first finished fanfic!!



Ch 26


Tara opened her eyes. Nothing in particular had awoken her, she’d simply gone from sleep to awake. The soft curtains across her window kept the sunlight muted to a hazy glow.

Willow was beside her, arm slung across Tara’s hip, breathing steadily, still asleep. Tara rolled her head to face her, feeling soft exhales travel from just below her ear, across her jaw, to meet with her slightly parted lips. She wanted to kiss Willow, share their breath together, but it could wait. After what she had been through, Willow should be allowed to sleep. Instead, Tara slid back on her pillow just an inch and caressed her love’s features with her gaze, feathery and slow, taking in every dip and curve of Willow’s lovely face.

They often woke to find the other doing that. Just looking, memorizing. And always, after eyes met, a slow smile would grow between them. And then they would look at each other. Until someone leaned in, and they would share their morning kiss.

Willow curled her body, just slightly, bringing her closer to Tara, sending a spray of red hair over her dipped face. She looked like a kitten, tucking herself into a safe space. Tara brushed the hair back, gathering it with careful fingers to rest behind Willow’s shoulder. There, she trailed the curve, the sweep that led to Willow’s neck. Willow began to stir, stretching her legs long again, her lips slightly pursed. Tara stilled her touch, trying not to further disturb her sleeping girl, but she wasn’t disappointed when green eyes did blink open. They looked at each other. And there was that slow smile. And the kiss.

“Hi baby.”

“Hi love, I’m sorry I woke you,” Tara resumed her caress again, sighing, deeply contented, when Willow dipped her eyes closed and open again in response.

“S’okay, what time is it?”

Tara twisted behind her, stretching her tight back muscles in the process to check the bedside clock. 1:38. They’d need to eat soon, Tara mused, only then aware of the emptiness of her stomach. They hadn’t eaten since their early dinner the day before.
­­­­
“Almost two,” Tara answered, giggling at Willow’s widening eyes. They slept in on weekends, it was a rule that Willow had declared soon after they had gotten together. Tara had been raised to wake early. The men in the house did and they expected the women to rise even earlier. After all, how else would breakfast be ready for consumption when they reached the kitchen table. Initially, instinctively, Tara had reacted with alarm. Internally, anyway. And then she had started to giggle, Willow’s declaration reminding her of her freedom. And that she could say yes. She’d wondered Donnie was the cook now, she hoped her father liked burnt toast. Thinking like that made her feel bad, until Willow had pulled the sheets tighter around them, and they’d snuggled back to sleep. Then she just felt lucky.

Even still, they were usually up by ten, they didn’t want to waste the day sleeping, whether they left the bed or stayed for a few more hours, that depended on their mood.

“Well, we deserve a day of sleepin’ in” Willow said with an almost childlike defiance, challenging imaginary disapproval.

“We definitely do,” Tara agreed, kissing Willow just under her eye, “how are you feeling?” They both lay their heads down again on their respective pillows, so close that the ends squished together where they met. Hands clasped between them.

“Like I could fall back asleep for another four hours, you?”

“I could sleep more, but other than tired?” Tara prompted.

“I’m with you, I’m perfect,” Willow said. Tara waited, fingers playing between Willow’s, silence giving Willow an opening to share. They were together, and that was pretty perfect, but it didn’t mean that everything else hadn’t happened. Willow brought their hands to her lips, kissing Tara’s knuckles once. After a lifetime of feeling like there was no space for her, here Tara was, creating it, holding it patiently, for Willow.

“I’m a little freaked,” she admitted, “it was scary.”

“It was.”

“I’m sorry,” Willow said, continuing when Tara gave her a questioning look, “the mugwort, if I hadn’t been-“

Tara cut in before Willow could continue, “No, what happened wasn’t because of that.”

“But I wasn’t paying attention, I was so caught up in the feeling and I went too far, I let our connection go.”

“We both thought it would be ok,” Tara softly argued, pleased when Willow nodded, “we should definitely tell Anya not to sell it at Samhain though, or Beltane, for that matter.”
Willow raised her eyebrows at that.

“We can try, but, you know, when profits come a-callin’, Anya likes to dance.” Tara mirrored the raised eyebrows. Willow’s analogies were often … quirky. “Or something like that,” Willow followed, mock glaring for being called out.

Tara leaned in conspiratorially, “If she doesn’t agree, I’ll threaten to wear white at her wedding.”

“Ooh, devious.” Willow purred, capturing Tara’s lips between her own.

“You know it,” Tara happily met the kiss before they broke and Tara laid her head on Willow’s shoulders, leaving her pillow for a better sensation. Hands moved over skin, they were always touching when they could.

“I’m so glad I met your mom,” Willow spoke softly as she watched her own fingers trail the length of Tara’s arm, “and that you met Jesse.”

“Me too. I can’t believe they were there.”

“Thank the goddess they were, they saved me.” Tara tilted her head to look at Willow and Willow looked back, “them and you.”

“And Dawn,” Tara smiled but her throat squeezed, choking the words a little, “Lots of people looking after you.” Things had been too close.

“Thank you,” Willow said, and Tara kissed the palm that rested against her cheek. “And yeah, Dawnie, still with key action.” That worried Willow, and intrigued her. She’d need to remember to bring Dawn some chocolate later, she needed to thank her too.

Tara nodded, settling against her body again for a few quiet moments. When Tara spoke, it was soft, wistful, “It was so good to see her.”

Willow didn’t need clarification. Tara ‘s thoughts were of her mother, and it was clear that Tara was still reconciling the feelings around their brief reunion: awe, joy, gratitude, longing.

“I love you.”

“I love you, so much.”

The California sun reached its peak, warming the room into a lazy coziness. They both sank into the bed, into each others’ hold. Later, they would talk more about what happened, find out what the others knew, discuss how they would help Dawn learn about the power still inside her, get some lunch. Later. Except for one thing Willow wanted Tara to know, wanted to ask.

“Tar?”

“Yes, love?”

“Will you show me nature magic? Like your mom showed you?”

Tara raised her head again to look at Willow, “You want to learn?” This was more than just asking about sources, or even types of magic. This was Willow wanting to be a part of who Tara was, who her mother was.

“I really do,” Willow nodded and Tara, twice in one morning, fell in love a little more.

“I’d love to,” Tara pressed forward and met Willow’s mouth, smiling through the kiss.

“But not right now,” Willow was quick to emphasize, feeling Tara shake with laughter against her side.

“Not right now.”

They settled again under the distilled afternoon sun, safe and together in the room they shared. Their own private world.

“What time do we need to meet the group?” Willow checked and Tara gave her the only answer that mattered at the moment.

“Later.”


END

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 Post subject: Re: The In- Between (complete)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:20 am 
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3. Flaming O

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Great job and great finish! Putting this in my reccomendations.txt file that I use for bringing people into fanfic by providing my favorite finished works.

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 Post subject: Re: The In- Between (complete)
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 4:30 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Well done on your first finished fic!! Amazing achievement! I really loved this little fic and am really proud of how far you took it! So glad to have you on the board :heart

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 Post subject: Re: The In- Between (complete)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2021 7:50 am 
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Rutowski- thank you, that's really sweet. Congrats on finishing your fic as well.


Laragh- I am so glad you enjoyed it- thank you! It was exciting to be able to mark it complete. And thank you for keeping this board alive- I have been visiting here for years and years (and years), it is a comfort and a sanctuary.

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 Post subject: Re: The In- Between (complete)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 5:44 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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I realized that I haven't given feedback to the last chapter, bad me!

Quote:
Willow was beside her, arm slung across Tara’s hip, breathing steadily, still asleep. Tara rolled her head to face her, feeling soft exhales travel from just below her ear, across her jaw, to meet with her slightly parted lips. She wanted to kiss Willow, share their breath together, but it could wait. After what she had been through, Willow should be allowed to sleep. Instead, Tara slid back on her pillow just an inch and caressed her love’s features with her gaze, feathery and slow, taking in every dip and curve of Willow’s lovely face.

They often woke to find the other doing that. Just looking, memorizing. And always, after eyes met, a slow smile would grow between them. And then they would look at each other. Until someone leaned in, and they would share their morning kiss.

Willow curled her body, just slightly, bringing her closer to Tara, sending a spray of red hair over her dipped face. She looked like a kitten, tucking herself into a safe space. Tara brushed the hair back, gathering it with careful fingers to rest behind Willow’s shoulder. There, she trailed the curve, the sweep that led to Willow’s neck. Willow began to stir, stretching her legs long again, her lips slightly pursed. Tara stilled her touch, trying not to further disturb her sleeping girl, but she wasn’t disappointed when green eyes did blink open. They looked at each other. And there was that slow smile. And the kiss.

Awwww! :bigkiss :wtkiss

Quote:
“We both thought it would be ok,” Tara softly argued, pleased when Willow nodded, “we should definitely tell Anya not to sell it at Samhain though, or Beltane, for that matter.”
Willow raised her eyebrows at that.

“We can try, but, you know, when profits come a-callin’, Anya likes to dance.” Tara mirrored the raised eyebrows. Willow’s analogies were often … quirky. “Or something like that,” Willow followed, mock glaring for being called out.

Tara leaned in conspiratorially, “If she doesn’t agree, I’ll threaten to wear white at her wedding.”

“Ooh, devious.” Willow purred, capturing Tara’s lips between her own.

:lol In my opinion Willow's analogy is perfect - I'm sure Anya does the "dance of capitalism" every evening after counting what she earned at the shop.

Quote:
“Tar?”

“Yes, love?”

“Will you show me nature magic? Like your mom showed you?”

Tara raised her head again to look at Willow, “You want to learn?” This was more than just asking about sources, or even types of magic. This was Willow wanting to be a part of who Tara was, who her mother was.

“I really do,” Willow nodded and Tara, twice in one morning, fell in love a little more.

Awww²! :flower

Quote:
They settled again under the distilled afternoon sun, safe and together in the room they shared. Their own private world.

“What time do we need to meet the group?” Willow checked and Tara gave her the only answer that mattered at the moment.

“Later.”

Perfect ending to the story with Willow and Tara nestled in their private little cocoon of love. :bigkiss

Thanks for this great story, it was a wonderful journey. :bow :applause

Now I'm looking forward to the next "Wilderness" chapters.


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 Post subject: Re: The In- Between (complete)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:02 pm 
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Thanks so much Wills_redemption!!

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