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

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 Post subject: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM)
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 5:33 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:12 am
Posts: 409
Location: Virginia, USA
Hello :kitty,
Well, here is the sequal to Stratagem. Hope you enjoy it!

CHAPTER 1
Willow Rosenberg was sitting at her desk working diligently on her computer.
She picked up her phone when it began to ring, “Agent Rosenberg.”
“Willow, can you come to my office please?” The deep British voice came over the receiver.
“Sure Giles. Can you give me about ten minutes? I’m finishing up all this glorious paperwork on the William’s case.” Willow sifted through the pile of papers on her desk.
“Agent Rosenberg, I need to see you now.” Giles insisted.
Willow knew that it was serious seeing as Giles used her business title.
“Be right there.”

Willow rushed from her office to Giles’. She burst into the door panting. “What’s going on?”
“Please take a seat Willow.” Giles said pointing to a chair in front of his desk.
Willow sat down. “Giles, what’s going on? You’re kinda freaking me out here.”
Giles took in a deep breath. “Willow, normally I would be against an agent being assigned to a case considering perhaps he, or in this incidence she is personally involved.”
“Giles, get to the point, please.” Willow said encouraging him on.
“Yes well, it seems that your friends Buffy and Angel have come across a horrific incident with their daughter Lacey.”
Willow’s eyes widened. She sat straight up in her chair. “Oh my god! Lacey! What happened?”
“Apparently Lacy was kidnapped Monday afternoon.” Giles said trying to explain to the alarmed redhead.
“Monday? Monday! Hello, this happens to be Thursday!” Willow exclaimed.
“I am well aware of the day Willow. Angel has been searching for his daughter relentlessly, unfortunately, with no avail.”
Willow knew that she had to think through all the options. “O.K. Well, have the local police come up with any leads?”
“No dear. There was not one single clue for them to discover.”
“Alright. What I want to know is how this affects me? I mean, yeah I’m concerned and I want to do everything I can to help, but you said case and…and personally involved…”
Giles held up his hand. “Willow please let me continue.”
She nodded her head.
“Buffy phoned me as early as possible this morning. She briefly informed me of the situation and asked that you be assigned to the case. As I said, it is against my better judgment. However considering that Angel Investigations has been of great assistance to the bureau, I personally feel obligated to them. It is up to you Willow if you want to take the case.”
“I’ll take it. Just tell me where to start.” Willow said jutting out her chin.
Giles smiled at the woman he practically raised. “I knew that I could rely on you. As I briefly informed you, this incident occurred on Monday. According to Buffy, she and Angel had left town on business. They had left Lacey at a center for children.”
“Who was watching her? I swear these day care centers are so fucking careless anymore. It seems to get worse all the time. And they call themselves professionals. It just amazes me that they even keep their licenses…”
“Willow! It was Tara Maclay.” Giles knew that the name alone would stop Willow from her ranting.
“Tara?” Willow asked weakly.
“Yes. She was found unconscious by Angel when he went to pick up Lacey.” Giles said. He saw the sorrow in Willow’s eyes and it nearly broke his heart knowing how it hurt her to loose Tara.
“Is she alright?” Willow was terrified thinking the worse about the woman she was still desperately in love with.
“According to my earlier conversation with Buffy, Tara is still unconscious at Cedars Sinai Hospital. Apparently she suffered a massive head trauma from her attackers. That was all the information I was given.” Giles handed Willow the case file.
Willow opened the folder. Included with the papers of the case at hand, there were also pages from Tara’s case. Willow ran her finger across a smeared ink blot that was caused by a tear she had shed when she forced herself to fill out the report. She was not allowed to even look at Tara’s file all of these years.

Willow didn’t hesitate anymore. She sprung up from the chair. “Get me the first flight out to LA. I have to go home and pack a few things. Call our office in Los Angeles and you better tell them to stay out of my way! I don’t need their goddamn noses up my ass.”
Willow headed for the door. She turned and looked back at Giles. “Thanks. Thank you for letting me do this. I’ll get it solved.”
“As I know you will dear. Take care and I will call you when everything is in order.” He smiled and watched Willow leave out of his office. He picked up the phone and started making the arrangements.
-----------------------------------

Two hours later, Willow arrived at Los Angeles International Airport. After her bags were checked she walked over to the rental car center.
“I need an SUV.” Willow said reaching into her purse for her wallet.
“Alright.” The rental agent pulled out papers from under the counter. “I just need to see two forms of identification.”
Willow handed the woman her driver’s license and FBI identification.
“Yes, Agent Rosenberg. Agent Rupert Giles has already taken care of all the arrangements. If you could just sign here, you’ll be on your way. The woman smiled and handed Willow the forms.
After signing, Willow was handed the keys. She walked out looking in the direction of the rental car parking area. A gray Nissan Pathfinder pulled up to the curb in front of her. A young man got our and walked around the back. Lifting the hatch, he picked up Willow’s luggage and placed it in the rear and closed the hatch back down.
He walked over to Willow. “There you go ma’am. Extra keys are in the ignition. Have a great day and drive safely.”
The young man started to walk back inside the airport.
“Hey!” Willow called out to him. “Let me give you a tip.” She reached into her purse.
“That’s alright. It’s all been taken care of.” The boy waved and walked inside.

Willow got in the vehicle and was on her way. Living in Los Angeles for the first two years in the bureau, she pretty much knew her way around.
She plugged the earpiece in her cell phone and called Giles.
“Rupert Giles here.”
“Hey Giles. Thanks for setting everything up for me. Did you happen to get a hotel room for me somewhere?” Willow asked.
“Actually Willow, Buffy and Angel called approximately an hour ago and insisted you stay with them as long as necessary.”
“That’s great Giles. I’ll give her a call.” Willow pulled onto the interstate.
“Are you headed there now?” Giles asked.
“I wanted to go to the hospital to see about Tara. I won’t stay too long.” Willow said.
“Willow, I know of your feelings for Tara. It is more than evident, but you need to keep your mind on the case at hand.” Giles sighed.
“I know that Giles. I just wanted to go see her. I’ll call Buffy and tell her that I’ll see her in a couple of hours. I told you, I will solve this case, even if it kills me. I love Lacey, Buffy and Angel. They are like family to me.” Willow stated.
“As I am more than well aware of. I also know that you are very much in love with Miss Maclay.” Giles stated wanting the priorities to be in order.
Willow was not in the mood to argue. “Giles, I’ll call Buffy and Angel. I’ll keep you informed.” With that she hung up.
---------------------------------

Willow walked up to the nurse’s station.
The woman looked up. “Can I help you?”
“Tara Maclay’s room please.” Willow requested.
The nurse looked suspicious at Willow. “Miss Maclay is in ICU. Unless you are family, you cannot go in there.” The nurse smirked and continued with her paper work.
Willow pulled out her FBI badge and slammed it down on the desk. “I think you’ll make an exception in this case.” Willow smirked back at the nurse and raised her brow.
The woman’s eyes widened, “Down the hall to your left.”
Willow returned her wallet back in her purse and walked in the direction the nurse had given her.

Willow walked down the hall to the nurse’s station there. “I’m here to see Tara Maclay.”
The nurse looked at list on her desk. “You’re name?” She asked as she looked at the redhead.
Willow growled, “I am FBI Agent Willow Rosenberg.” She said in a demanding tone.
“Room 3.” The nurse said in a short manner.
Willow walked towards the room. She peeked in the window in the door. She saw Tara lying there, unconscious with monitors and IV’s all around her bed. A tear ran down Willow’s face. She opened the door and started to walk in when she noticed a brunette sitting in the chair asleep in the corner. Willow couldn’t make out who it was seeing that the brown hair was sprawled out to cover the woman’s face.
Willow was shocked. *Tara’s moved on? She has someone else in her life? Why not? I mean, she is beautiful and sweet and well, she’s Tara. I lost her a long time ago.* Willow sighed and closed the door.
She wiped the stream of tears away as she continued to leave the ICU department.
“Willow!” A voice came from behind her.
Willow was still in her own world and didn’t hear her name being called.
She felt herself being turned around. Before the redhead knew it, she was being embraced in a hug.
The girl pulled back, “Oh my god Willow! You’re here!”
“Dawn? Dawnie!” Willow wrapped her arms around the teenager.
“I can’t believe you came. I’m so totally happy you’re here.” Dawn said as she pulled Willow by the hand back to Tara’s room.
Dawn placed her finger over her lips. “We have to be quiet.”
Willow nodded her head in understanding.
Dawn and Willow approached the side of Tara’s bed.
“How’s she doing?” Willow whispered.
“About the same. The doctors said something about swelling on the brain. They had to drain the fluid.” Dawn whispered and frowned.
“She hasn’t responded to anything at all?” Willow asked.
“Well, Buffy and I have been taking shifts. Buffy said that she has noticed Tara’s hand move and her eyes flutter a bit. I’ve just noticed the eyes. She’s been whispering in her sleep.” Dawn said as she held tight to Willow’s hand and then took Tara’s.
“What’s she been saying?” Willow said as she stroked Tara’s face.
“Willow.” Tara whispered out as her hand jerked and her eyes started to flutter, then she was still again.
“That.” Dawn said. “She only says your name. Nothing else.”
Willow’s heart skipped a beat.
“Hey listen,” Dawn let go of Willow and Tara’s hand. “I’m gonna take a break. Buffy should be here soon. Are you going to be staying with us?”
Willow looked and smiled at the young woman who she practically saw grow up. “Yeah.”
“Great!” She exclaimed in a loud whisper.
Dawn kissed Willow on the cheek. “I’m so glad you came.”
“Me too Dawnie.”
Dawn left out of the room. Willow pulled a chair up beside of Tara’s bed. *Déjà vu.* She thought as she sat down.
She took the blonde’s hand in hers. “Hey.” Willow stroked the hospital bracelet on Tara’s wrist and frowned. “It’s me.”
Willow heard the beeping of the heart monitor get faster.
“Tara, you have to wake up baby. Come on. Let me see those beautiful blue eyes.” She said as she watched the monitor slow down. She noticed a tear stream out of the corner of Tara’s eye.
“Can you hear me?” Willow said hopefully. She felt Tara’s hand jerk.
“Willow.” Tara whispered again, but still remained unconscious.
“That’s right. I’m here, with you. I’ll always be with you Tara. You know I never before believed in God, but I know that some higher power must exist because he sent an angel like you down here, to me. Tara, even though years have gone by I have never stopped loving you.” Willow started to cry. She laid her head down on Tara’s arm. *Please, whoever is listening up there, let her wake up. Let her be alright.*
Willow felt the back of her head being touched and stroked. She smiled and looked up, but Tara remained still.
Willow turned her head. “Hey.” She said as she wiped her tears away.
“Hey Will.” Buffy stood there. Her hair was frazzled, clothes wrinkled and black circles hung under her eyes where she hadn’t had a decent sleep in days.
Willow stood up and embraced her best friend. Both women cried on each other’s shoulder.
-------------------------------------------------

Buffy and Willow sat on the couch that was in Tara’s room.
“So,” Willow began. “how did this all happen, with Lacey I mean?”
“Angel and I went out of town on a case and we left Lacey with Tara. Lacey loves to go there. She’s made a lot of friends. Anyway, when we came back later that evening, Tara was hurt and Lacey was…gone.” Buffy lowered her head.
“Giles said that you left Lacey at a daycare center with Tara.” Willow said wanting Buffy to fill in the blanks.
“Have you heard of the Maclay Institute for Abused Children?” Buffy asked.
Willow nodded her head. Her eyes widened with reality. “That’s Tara’s?!”
“Yes. After she left Sunnydale, she felt more than obligated to help other children who were in the same situation she was in.” Buffy explained.
“Buff, I still don’t get it. Why is she here in LA? I mean it’s not like she can’t be here, because hello, she can live anywhere she wants. Free country, ya know…”
Willow was brought out of her babbling when she heard the beeping on Tara’s heart monitor speed up again.
Buffy looked from the monitor over to Willow. “She knows you’re here. No one can mistake that babble of yours.”
Willow smiled and held Buffy’s hand.
“I’ll start out at the beginning, Will. When Tara got out of the hospital, she came to the bar. You remember the bar, right?” Buffy smirked and Willow blushed. “I thought you would. Anyway, Spike and I were still there packing up the last remaining things we left there. She was all to hell Willow. She didn’t have any place to go. Yeah, she had the house her and James lived in, but would you honestly want to live in that horrid place?”
Willow shook her head and cringed thinking about all the hell Tara had to endure.
“Well, I offered for her to stay with Angel and I. She still lives there with us. Believe me, we both enjoy her company and she is a god send when it comes to Lacey.”
Tara’s monitor beeped faster and then slowed down again.
“I miss her so much Buffy. I never stopped loving her. I know she has probably moved on but…”
“No Will.” Buffy interrupted. “No one has even caught her eye. I don’t want you to be mad at me, but I tried to set her up with a couple of dates but she never went through with them.”
Willow’s eyes narrowed with anger, but then she lowered them down. “Well I know she has a life and I don’t expect her to pine and whine herself over me *like I’ve done for her* I mean it has been four years.”
Tara’s monitor began picking up the rate again and then slowed.
“Well I don’t know about that. She has said nothing but your name since she’s been like this. She asks me all the time how you are. When your mom died Willow, she went to the funeral. She stayed in the back, but she was there.”
“Why didn’t you tell me, Buffy?!” The redhead anger was rising.
“I promised her I wouldn’t. She wasn’t ready to see you again Will. It was hard for her to break up with you but she is still so much in love with you. But I wouldn’t push it. When she comes out of this, take it slow.” Buffy placed her hand on Willow’s knee.
“I will. I don’t want to fuck up again.” Willow looked over at Tara. “I love her so much.”
“I know. Hey, I’m gonna head back home to be with Angel. He’s a wreck. Will you be there soon?” Buffy asked as she stood up.
“I will. Buffy, we’re gonna get Lacey back. I swear.” Willow said with determination.
“That’s the reason I personally asked for you to be on the case. If anyone can do it, you can.”
Willow stood up from the couch. “I love you Buffy.” She gave the distressed blonde a hug.
“I love you too Wills.”
They both separated and Buffy left the room.

Willow sat down in the chair beside Tara’s bed. “I’m gonna have to go baby. I have to find Lacey. You are strong and you’ll come out of this. I’ll find the son of bitches that did this to you. No one messes with my girl.” Willow gave a sad smile. She bent down and kissed Tara gently on the lips. “I’ll be back tomorrow.”
Willow rubbed Tara’s cheek with the back of her hand. She picked up her purse and walked out of the room.
“Willow.” Tara whispered. Her hand jerked and her eyes fluttered open. She looked around the room. “Willow?”
----------------------------------------------

Willow pulled up in front of a newly remodeled building with a sign ‘ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS’. She got out of her vehicle and walked up to the door. Before she was able to knock, the door swung open.
“Willow!” Dawn said with much enthusiasm. “Come on in.”
The teenager took Willow by the arm and led her inside.
“Buffy, Willows here!” She yelled making Willow flinch at the loud announcement.
Buffy walked down the stairs with her arms crossed. “Dawn, please don’t shout. I know you’re excited about Willow being here but there is a thing called volume control.”
Dawn put her hands on her hips. “Well, would you have heard me if I had whispered it? No, I don’t think so.”
Buffy ignored her sister’s comment and looked at Willow. “I thought you were going to stay at the hospital longer?’
“I was, but there are other matters at hand here. I’ll go back and visit Tara tomorrow.” She said with sorrow. She took in a deep breath. “Where’s Angel?”
Buffy pointed down a long corridor. “He’s in his study going over every possible case we have been involved in.”
Willow nodded her head and started walking towards the room.
Buffy put her hand on the redhead’s shoulder. “He’s isn’t himself Will. He has barely slept since…since all of this.”
Willow patted Buffy’s hand, “I can handle it.”
Willow was more than aware of how Angel could loose his temper when he was stressed out. She knocked on the door as she opened it.
“Don’t bother me now!” He shouted sitting at his desk, his back to the door.
“Not even an old friend.” Willow said in a compassionate voice.
Angel whipped his head around and smiled. “Willow.” He whispered.
The dark haired, pale skinned man walked towards her. He enveloped her in a hug.
“Hi Angel.” Willow whispered as she hugged him, running her hand up and down his back.
For the first time in days, Angel broke down in tears. He knew he had to be the model of strength for Buffy and Dawn, but when it came to his friend and confidant Willow, he let himself go.
“It’s alright. We’ll get her back. I promise.” She rocked back and forth trying to calm the man down.
He pulled back and wiped his tears away. “I’m so happy to see you.” He ran his hand up and down her arm. He walked back over to his desk and sat down.
Willow followed and sat on the opposite side. “Have you come up with anything?” She asked looking at the massive files scattered out; part of them sprawled in the floor.
Angel shook his head. “No. I did get a note today placed under the windshield wiper of my car.” He shifted some files around and handed the folded paper to Willow. She opened in and read:

YOU MESSED WITH THE WRONG FAMILY ANGEL. TELL MACLAY TO GIVE US THE 1.5 MILLION HE OWES US AND WE WILL GIVE YOUR DAUGHTER BACK. IF WE DON’T GET THE MONEY, YOU WILL GET LACEY BACK…
IN PIECES.

“Family? Maclay? Angel, what the hell is going on?” Willow asked. She looked up and saw Angel holding a picture of Lacey, running his finger across the glass. “Angel!” Willow shouted pounding her fist on the desk.
“I don’t know. I have looked through every case I can think of.” Angel said placing the frame back down.
“Has Buffy seen this?” Willow asked.
“NO! And I don’t want her to know about it either. She’s all to hell Willow. She might have the ‘I’m tough as nails’ look but she cries every night.”
Willow nodded in understanding. “Well, O.K. one key, family more than likely means having to deal with the mafia. As far as Maclay, the only one besides Tara is James. I’ll have to get Giles to fax his case to me.” Willow said as her brain was working with any other scenarios that she could come up with.
Angel opened his desk drawer and pulled out a red folder and handed it to Willow. “Talked to Giles as soon as I got the note.” He said in a monotone voice.
Willow nodded and looked through the file.
--------------------------------------------------

Hours passed as she read and re-read every statement, note and phrase trying to find one clue. She slammed the file down on the desk making Angel jump. He had nodded off for a brief period.
“Sorry.” She said. “Angel, you need to get some sleep. I’m here to help and I’ll call Anya and Xander tomorrow and get them over here. We’ll see if Faith can help, too. Is Cordelia still around?”
Angel nodded.
“We’ll get her here too.” Willow rose up from her chair and walked over to Angel. She helped him up and walked with him out of the office.
Buffy looked up from a book in her lap when she heard the creak of the office door.
Angel walked up to Buffy and kissed her on the forehead. He smiled at her and walked up the stairs.
Willow plopped down on the couch beside her best friend.
“Find anything new?” Buffy asked.
Willow shook her head. “Not too much more. Trying to fit all of the pieces together is a bitch.” She looked over at Buffy’s lap. “Whatcha lookin’ at?”
“Photo album.” She flipped the laminated pages. She pointed to one when Lacey was first born. Buffy on one side of the infant, Tara on the other and Dawn poking her head up in the corner. All with proud beaming smiles. Pools of tears were in Buffy’s eyes. “She’s only three, Will. She’s just a baby.”
Willow pulled the book halfway towards her. Tears welled in her eyes as she looked at the picture.
“The four most important girls in my life.”
Buffy put her arm around Willow and pulled her close. The two sat there flipping through the pages.
Dawn came barreling down the stairs when the phone rang.
“Dawn, no phone calls after ten.” Buffy stated and looked at her watch. “And it’s fifteen minutes ‘til eleven.”
“Oh please!” She rolled her eyes. “I’m almost seventeen. I’m just going to answer the phone. If it’s a guy, I’ll tell him to call back tomorrow.”
Buffy waved her hand and looked back at the album.
“Hello?” Dawn answered.
“What?!” She exclaimed causing Buffy and Willow to sit straight up.
“Thank you!” Dawn hung the phone up.
“What is it?” Buffy asked looking at her sister jumping up and down.
“Tara’s awake! She’s gonna be O.K. Buffy.” Buffy jumped up from the couch and was almost knocked down when Dawn hugged her.
Buffy looked around to face Willow, but she was headed out the door.
“Will? Where are you going?” Buffy asked as she chased after the redhead.
“Duh! I’m going to the hospital.” Willow looked at the blonde like she had lost her mind.
“Willow you can’t go. Visiting hours are well over. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow.” Buffy eased the redhead back in the door.
“But Buffy…?” Willow whined.
“Visiting hours start at eight in the morning. Get a good night’s sleep. You wanna look good for your girl, don’tcha.” Buffy interlocked her arm with Willow’s.
Willow sighed in defeat. “O.K. You win.” Willow smiled. *Thank you!* she thought as she looked up.
“C’mon. Let’s get you settled in upstairs.”
-------------------------------------------------------

Buffy opened the door to the guest room. “Here ya go Will.”
Willow walked in and looked around. Her luggage laid at the end of the bed. Willow looked over at Buffy with a raised brow.
“Dawn.” They said at the same time causing both to chuckle.
Willow walked over to the bed and sat down.
“I’ll let you get some sleep. G’night.” Buffy said as she turned to leave.
“Buffy, can I ask you a question?” Willow asked.
“Sure.” Buffy replied, closing the door and sitting on the bed.
“What if Tara doesn’t want me anymore? I mean, yeah, it’s been four years since I’ve seen her and I have changed and I’m sure she has too, but what about her feelings. I still love her so much.” Willow stated lowering her head.
Buffy placed her hand under the redhead’s chin and raised her head to where their eyes met. “She has changed so much but she still feels the same.” Once you fall for Willow, you stay fallen.” Buffy smiled and kissed Willow on the cheek.
“Thanks Buffy.” Willow said sincerely.
Buffy got off the bed and headed back towards the door. “I’m gonna hit the hay. I just hope Angel sleeps through the night.” She closed her eyes and shook her head. “Anyway, you have total reign of the house. Anything you need, let me know or Angel or even Dawn. She’ll bend over backwards for her favorite aunt.”
Willow gave a half grin. “See ya in the morning.”
Buffy gave her a wave and walked out the door.

_________________
"Oh yeah?! Well...so's your face!
-Fear Itself


Last edited by Willow Watcher on Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:27 pm, edited 10 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) Chapter 1 (5/24)
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 7:22 pm 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 11:41 am
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Location: Next to an Angel in Houston Texas
:pinky I love this story and can,t wait for more :wtkiss


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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) Chapter 1 (5/24)
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 8:40 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 1:54 pm
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Location: minnesota
Im glad to see this story up again :) i was waiting patiently for it and yay its here im so happy tara is gunna be ok :) i knew she was the whole time.. but im still happy so update soon please?
Erin

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"No candles?...Well I brought one..it's ExtraFlamey" Willow, New Moon Rising


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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) Chapter 1 (5/24)
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 10:52 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 10:13 pm
Posts: 517
Willow Watcher: Please don't be mad but I haven't read STRATAGEM yet but I will I promise. I just finished reading this and I LOVE IT, very cool with Willow being an FBI agent and Giles as her boss and Buffy and Angel both being investigators. I don't really like that Willow and Tara aren't together but I hope that we get some nice getting to know and getting together again scenes and a lot of :wtkiss . I really HOPE that Willow can solve this case Lacey seems really sweet. I can't wait to read more.

Lonewolf22


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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 2 (Updated 5/26)
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 8:25 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:12 am
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Thanks guys for the positive feedback! I'm glad that you all are enjoying this story.

Lonewolf22, it's OK that you haven't read Stratagem but it might get a little confusing to where I have placed the characters and their roles in this story if you haven't read the first part, but HEY it's totally alright. Take your time! ;-)

Well, as promised here is chapter 2. :peace



CHAPTER 2
Willow shot up out of the bed with a shock when she heard an ear piercing scream. Her first reaction was to reach for her gun that she had placed on the nightstand beside the bed. She flipped on the light, threw the covers off her. She checked the chamber in her gun and mentally counted six bullets. Picking up a small flashlight, she turned off the lamp and walked out door.

Keeping the gun aimed down in a forty-five degree angle, she crept down the hall. When she approached the door of Buffy and Angel’s room, she carefully turned the doorknob and peeked in. She flipped on the small flashlight and held it against her gun, pointing at anything that could have been of any threat. She saw a lump under the covers. She slowly walked over and saw Angel sleeping soundly, but no Buffy. She walked out of the room.
Across the hall, she peeked in at Dawn, who also was asleep.

Willow walked down the steps, keeping her back against the wall. She pointed the gun and flashlight at various places, checking around corners. She noticed a light coming from the direction of the kitchen. Keeping her eyes peeled, gun in hand, she whipped around the corner and saw Buffy standing there in front of a coffee maker.
Buffy jumped when she saw the redhead. “For god’s sake Will!”
Willow’s heart was still pounding hard. “I heard a scream.” Willow still in agent mode, looked around the kitchen.
“I thought I saw a mouse.” Buffy said as she took a seat on a stool in front of the bar.
Seeing there wasn’t a real threat, Willow laid her gun and flashlight down on the bar.
Buffy eyed her friend up and down and giggled.
“What?” Willow asked.
“Look real threatening there Agent Rosenberg with your ‘Hello Kitty’ jammies on.” Buffy looked down at Willow’s feet. “And house shoes to match?”
“Well ya know about me and puss…”
Buffy held up her hand. “Please don’t finish that sentence.”

Willow smiled and took a seat across the bar from Buffy. She stretched and yawned. “What time is it?”
Buffy looked at the clock on the coffee maker. “Six thirty.”
Willow nodded her head and yawned again. She laid her head in her hand. *Six thirty. Six thirty! Oh My God!* Willow shot up from the bar. “Tara! Buffy, I only have and hour and a half to get to the hospital to see her!” Willow looked at the clock. “Make that an hour and twenty-nine minutes.”
Buffy shook her head and smiled. “Willow, would you calm down. Take a chill pill or something. I’ll fix you a cup of coffee, decaf for you though. Besides, the florist doesn’t open until nine.” Buffy turned around and pulled out two cups from the cabinet and poured coffee in them both.
“Florist? What are you talking about Buff?” Willow asked taking the cup offered to her.
“Will?” Buffy looked at her with her eyes wide. “Flowers ring a bell?”
Willow smacked herself on the forehead. “Right, flowers. Oh and I should get her a bear or something. What kind of flowers does she like Buffy? I don’t even know.” Willow asked disappointed in herself for not knowing even the tiniest details of her love.
“She likes roses. All kinds, but the red ones she adores. She has this thing for red.” Buffy said with a wink.

Willow ran her hand through her short hair. “I still hope so.” She smiled and took a sip of her coffee.
“You want something to eat?” Buffy asked, heading towards the refrigerator.
“No thanks. The butterflies in my stomach have it pretty full right now.” Willow said as she drummed her fingers on the counter.
Buffy sat down at the bar again. “I’m really not hungry too much myself.”
“When is the last time you have had a decent meal, Buff?” Willow asked with concern.
Buffy shrugged her shoulders.
“Buffy, I know all of this is tearing you apart, but you need to eat. You have to be strong for Lacey and Angel and even little Dawnie. You can’t just starve yourself.” Willow said getting up from her seat and going to the refrigerator. She pulled out a carton of eggs and a package of bacon.
“I’m not much of a cook, but bacon and eggs I can master.” Willow pulled skillets and bowls out of the cabinets.
“Will, I’m really not hungry.” Buffy said trying to convince her best friend.
“Um, well, too bad. You’re gonna eat something.” Willow said searching throughout the kitchen for utensils.
Buffy smiled watching the redhead.
-----------------------------------------------

Thirty minutes had passed when Dawn and Angel came downstairs. Dawn didn’t have a problem with stuffing her face, adding toast to the meal. Willow had to convince Angel to eat as well as she did for Buffy. But they wouldn’t budge unless Willow joined them so reluctantly she agreed.

“I’ll do the dishes.” Dawn jumped up from the table, taking everyone’s plates.
Buffy and Angel looked at one another with shock on her face and then over at Willow.
“When has she ever volunteered to do the dishes?” Buffy asked. “Willow, what have you done with my real sister.”
Willow giggled. “She’s just trying to help. I suppose she doesn’t know of any other way.”

Dawn came back into the dining room carrying a newly made pot of coffee. “Anyone for a refill?”
All three adults held out their cups. Dawn happily refilled them and then walked back into the kitchen.
Angel took Buffy’s hand into his. “I love you.” He smiled at his wife.
Tears welled in her eyes. “I love you too.”
“Well, I love you both.” Dawn came back into the room. She started picking up more dishes.
Buffy stood up and hugged her arms around her sister. “You know, you’re the best.”
Dawn held onto her sister tight and started to cry.
Buffy stroked her sister’s long dark hair. “Shh. It’ll be alright.”
“I want…to do what I can. I…just d-don’t know…what to do?” Dawn said between sobs.
“You being here is more help than you know.” Angel said as he stood up and joined in the hug.
Buffy poked her head around. “You just gonna sit there and not join in?” Buffy looked over at the redhead.

Willow stood up, tears running down her face, wrapped her arms around the people she knew as family.
The group separated except for Buffy and Dawn.
“I know I can be a pain in the ass sometimes Buffy, but I really don’t mean to be.” Dawn said wiping the remaining tears from her eyes.
“Dawn, when mom died, I promised her that I would take care of you. Yeah, you can be a pain, but I can too, so we’re even.” Buffy pulled away giving her sister a kiss on the cheek.
“Well, I’m gonna finish the dishes. I plan on making something special for dinner tonight.” Dawn walked back into the kitchen.
Buffy turned and looked at Angel and Willow. “Hope you all have a strong stomach. Have plenty of Rolaids on hand.” She whispered.
“I heard that!” Dawn yelled from the other room.
Willow giggled and so did Angel.
Buffy’s heart swelled with love. It was the first time in days she had even seen a glimmer of a smile on his face, much less a laugh.
Willow finished off her coffee. “Well, I’m gonna jump in the shower and then go to the hospital.”
Buffy raised her brow.
“I haven’t forgotten about the florist, Buffy. I won’t stay long. I need to find out a few things from Tara. Maybe, just maybe she can give us a little info on what’s going on.”
---------------------------------------------------

Willow held on tight to the two dozen, long stemmed red roses that were in a tall lead crystal vase in her hand along with a brown teddy bear.
She walked up to the nurse’s desk and relieved it was a different one from the previous day.
“Hi. Can I help you?” The nurse asked, smiling at the grunting redhead placing the vase on the desk.
“Yeah. Is Tara Maclay still in ICU?” Willow asked fixing the arrangement of flowers to make sure they looked perfect.
“Let me look.” The nurse flipped through pages and ran her finger down a list of names. “No. She has been moved to room 312. Just go down the hall, turn to the right and you’ll find the elevators.”
“Thanks.” Willow said as she picked up the heavy arrangement and held the teddy bear in her other arm.

Willow waited patiently while the elevator came down to the lobby floor. She had to stand to the side while the hoard of people stepped out. As she got on, three other people joined her.
A man pressed the button for the first floor. A woman pressed the button for the second floor. Willow couldn’t press anything. “Can you please press the third floor?” She asked the lady.
She complied smiling at the load that Willow was carrying.
*First floor.* Willow leaned up against the elevator wall. The door closed.
*Second floor.* Willow patted her foot against the floor.
‘Ding’ *Thank god!* Willow thought as she stepped out.

She looked up and down the hall for the right room. *312. Here it is.* Willow peeked in the window on the door. She saw Tara laying there, reclined back on the bed with her eyes closed.
*Perfect.* Willow thought as she slowly opened the door. She walked in and made her way over to the bed. She laid the vase on the table along with the teddy bear.

She carefully lowered her head down and kissed Tara on the cheek.
Tara moaned and rolled her head, but still had her eyes closed.
“Hey baby.” Willow whispered in the blonde’s ear.
Tara’s eyes fluttered open and then went wide. “Willow!” She exclaimed, grabbing the redhead’s face and planting a soft kiss on her lips.
“Wow and wow.” Willow said. Her lips buzzed from the contact. Willow turned around and started heading for the door.
“Where are you going?” Tara asked surprised and confused by Willow’s actions.
“If I get a greeting like that, I’m going back out and coming in again.” Willow smiled.
“Get back here.” Tara laughed. She held her arms out and hugged Willow.
Willow giggled. “I see you’re feeling better.” She said as she stood upright.
“I still have a headache, but it’s certainly better, now.” Tara said smiling.
Willow pulled a chair up next to her bed, sat down and held Tara’s hand.

They stayed in place looking into each other’s eyes. *Beautiful.* They both thought at the same time.
“Oh! I brought these for you.” Willow said as she pointed at the roses.
“Willow, they’re beautiful.” Tara smiled, rubbing her finger over the soft petals. *Soft like Willow’s lips.* “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” Willow brought out the teddy bear and handed it over to the blonde. “I thought he might keep you company when I’m not here.”
Tara snuggled up to the stuffed animal and kissed it on the nose. “It’s so cute.” She looked at Willow. “But not as cute as you.” She blushed and lowered her head.
Willow lifted Tara’s chin with one finger. “Promise me something?”
“What?” Tara asked looking in the green eyes that were full of love.
“Never hide that beautiful face.” Willow stroked the blonde’s cheek with her thumb.
Tara smiled and nodded her head. “Promise.” She whispered out. She cocked her head sideways. “You cut your hair.”
Willow ran her hand through her much shorter hair. “Do you like it?”
“Very much so.” Tara smiled and touched the ends of the red hair.
Willow closed her eyes and smiled, enjoying even the slightest touch from the blonde. “Tara, I want to say that I’m sorry how we left things off the last time.”
“Will, I’m the one who should be sorry. I was angry and confused and I shouldn’t have taken it out on you.” Tara frowned.
“Hey! Let me tell you that you had every right to leave. I remember you saying that you had to find yourself. You have become a beautiful woman inside and out, more than before. You have the Maclay Institute and let me say that I am so proud of you for helping kids like you are doing. I can tell by looking and listening to you that you are stronger and more confident. You are amazing, but then you always have been.” Willow beamed a smile.
Tara blushed. “Willow, I want us to be…well…us again.” She confessed.
“Really?” Willow squeaked out.
Tara nodded. “But we need to take time. It has been four years and there’s a lot to catch up on. We need to discover one another all over again, but no secrets. One thing that I need in my life is trust.”
“You got it.” Willow said jutting out her chin.
Tara smiled. “C’mere.”

Willow leaned in closer. Tara stroked her cheek. “I’ve missed that resolve face.” She gave Willow a gentle kiss on the lips. “I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you too baby.” Willow said sitting back in the chair.
“So did Buffy tell you I was in the hospital?” Tara asked.
“Well, no. Giles did.” Willow said, knowing that the subject of why she was in LA would come up.
“Giles? Why would Buffy call…” Tara stopped. “What happened, Willow?”
“Tara, Lacey has been kidnapped.” Tara’s mouth dropped open and her eyes widened. “Buffy called Giles and told him that she and Angel wanted me on the case. That is the reason I’m here, but, but when I found out about you I went crazy. I thought ‘Oh My God Tara’s hurt and Lacey’s been kidnapped’ so I hopped on the first plane out and well I arrived yesterday evening and the first place that I came too was here to see you, but when I saw someone in your room, I thought that you found someone, so I was going to leave thinking that you had moved on and I didn’t want to interfere, but Dawn came running after me and I was like ‘whew, I still could have a chance to get Tara back that is if she still wants me’ and now that I see you are going to let us have another chance and that you are feeling better, I think that maybe, just maybe we both can find Lacey safe and sound.” Willow said taking in a huge breath.
Tara smiled. “Still have the babble.”
Willow smiled back and nodded her head. Her smile faded. She knew that business was at hand. “Tara, is there anything you can tell me about what happened Monday?”
Tara thought about the events that transpired that evening. “Lacey told me that she had to go to the restroom. Since it was just down the hall from the group meeting room, I thought it would be alright. I was cleaning when I heard her scream. I ran in the restroom and saw her standing there with someone with a gun pointed at her and then everything went black.”

Willow was making mental notes about what Tara was telling her. “Did you happen to see who it was?”
Tara shook her head. “They were wearing a ski mask. The only thing that I could make out was that the person was a woman.”
“Anything else, baby?” Willow asked.
“That’s about it.” Tara started to cry. “I should have gone with her. I shouldn’t have let her go in there alone.”
“Tara, it’s not you’re fault. It would have happened either then or at a later time.” Willow stroked the blonde’s hand in reassurance. “I’ll personally find out who it is and get her back.”
“I want to help out. The doctor said that I should be able to leave out of here tomorrow or maybe today.” Tara said in a determined tone.
“Tara, it’s dangerous and I don’t want you to be put in anymore danger than you’ve already suffered.”
“Willow, I am going to help. Remember the ‘us’ part?” Tara crossed her arms over her chest.
Willow sighed. She knew whether she liked it or not, Tara was determined to help.
“Alright, but you are not going to be doing any field work. That’s my job.” Willow said crossing her arms.
Tara nodded her head. “One thing missy, you go out there, you better come back to me in one piece.”
“You got it.” Willow smiled and they held hands again. The redhead kissed Tara’s hand. “I would love to stay here all day with you, but I have to get back to Buffy’s and figure this thing out. Angel and I spent hours last night looking through files, but couldn’t come up with anything. We will though.”
Tara stroked Willow’s face. “I know you will baby. I know.”
“Shit!” Willow cursed.
“What?” Tara asked.
“I forgot to mention to you a note that someone left for Angel.” Willow pulled the paper from her pocket and handed it over.

Tara read over the message. She held her hand over her mouth in shock. “What the hell is this about?”
“I don’t know, yet, but it looks like I’m going to have to make a visit to the Lompoc Federal Prison and have a little talk with James. Maybe that’ll crack the case.”
Tara cringed at the mention of the name. “Well you have to do what you have to do. Willow, I’ll give up the money to get Lacey back. I’ll do it in a heartbeat and you let Buffy and Angel know that.”
“Honey, in their hearts they know you would, but that’s not the point. This is a personal thing having to deal with Angel. I’ve dealt with cases like this. They don’t give up the victim even when they do get the money. When you give in, they just want more. Don’t believe everything you read.”
Willow stood up. “I have to go sweetheart. I’ll come back this evening and let you know what’s going on. I love you.” She bent down and gave Tara a long lingering kiss.
“I love you too.” Tara said when they pulled apart. “Please be careful.”
“I promise.” Willow said as she walked out of the room
Tara leaned back in her bed. Her guilt about Lacy ran through her mind and she began to cry.
----------------------------------------------------------

Willow entered the front door of Angel Investigations. She followed the sound of arguing coming from the living room.

“Let me tell you what Miss Beauty Queen, you are not going to get your skanky mitts on Xander. You missed your chance and now he’s mine.” Anya said as she interlinked her arm with the young man.
“As if I wanted him back.” Cordelia said rolling her eyes and throwing her hand in the air.
“Well, he is great in bed. How many orgasms has he ever given you in the very short time you two were together?” Anya said pointing her finger at the tall brunette.
“More than you can count on those scrawny fingers and your hairy toes. How about you, little miss ‘gotta have sex all the time’?” Cordelia asked with one brow raised.
“More than the rhinestones in those fake tiaras you keep in that case.” Anya pointed over her shoulder at the case where Cordelia kept her trophies, banners and even her numerous tiaras from beauty contest she won over the years.
“Excuse me!” Cordelia shouted at the abrupt blonde. “Those happen to be diamonds.”
“Yeah right! Like someone is going to give you anything with a diamond in it.” Anya said holding up her hand showing the room her engagement ring that Xander gave her two months prior.
“Ladies, please!” Xander pleaded looking at them both. Even though he did feel his ego growing thinking that two women were fighting over him. He looked behind him. “Hey look! Willow’s here.” He said headed for the smiling redhead. “Help me out here Willster.” He whispered.
She patted him on the shoulder. “No can do Xan. You’re on your own there pal.” She laughed.

She looked passed the two arguing women and saw Faith sitting at a desk with her feet propped on top.
She walked over. “Hey Faith. How’s it goin’?” She asked sitting on the edge of the desk.
“Five by five, red. How about you?” She asked putting her feet down.
“Alright I guess. Just got back from the hospital visiting Tara.”
“Yeah, sorry to hear about blondie. Is she doin’ alright now?” Faith asked.
“Seems to be. Doctors say that she might be able to come home today or tomorrow.” Willow said with love in her eyes for her blonde goddess.
“Just be glad it wasn’t worse that a bump on the head.” Faith stood up. “Ready to get to work?”
“Lead the way.” Willow followed Faith into Angel’s study.

They both walked in and saw Angel and Buffy kissing.
“Oops! Come at a bad time? We’ll just leave you two alone” Willow said as her and Faith started to back out of the room.
Buffy and Angel parted and gave each other a hug. “Come on in guys. Just having a little P.T.” Buffy looked into Angel’s eyes as he looked into hers. Both mouthed the words ‘I love you’. Buffy walked by Willow and smiled, then spotted Faith.
“Hey Faith.” She said giving her a slight hug.
“Hey B. You holdin’ up alright?” Faith asked quickly pulling away from Buffy’s embrace.
“Doing all we can to keep it together. I’ll just leave you all alone.” Buffy sighed and left out of the room.

Faith, Willow and Angel took various files in their hands and sat down in different locations in the office.
Angel was looking through the files he had picked out and wrote notes on a pad as he would flip from one pile to the next.

Faith sat in the corner chair tapping her foot against the floor. Her eyes widened and she hopped up. “Hey Angel, I think I might have found something here.” She walked over and placed the file down in front of the man.
“It’s from the Giotti case from a year ago. I heard tells on the street that they were together again. You think they might have something to do with it?” She pointed at various lines on the paper.

Willow walked over to the desk and stood on the other side of Angel. “Maybe, but here is a file from the Lavar case from six months ago.”
Angel looked at both cases. “I found this file this morning on the Lansing family. I think they maybe getting their family back together too.” Hope was very noticeable in his eyes.
“Alright, Faith you take the Giotti, Will, you take the Lavar and I’ll take the Lansing. If something comes out, let me know immediately. If nothing…” he sighed, “then we start all over again.”
“Actually Angel, I need to go to Lompoc to talk to James. I’ll take the Lavar case when I get back, which should be sometime this even…”
An ear piercing scream was heard from the living room. All three stumbled over one another trying to get out of the office.

Buffy was sitting on the floor with an open box in her hand, shaking. She looked up at Angel and back at the package.
Angel walked over and picked up the box out of his wife’s hand. “Oh god!” He whispered going down on his knees, crying.
Willow took the box from him. “Jesus Christ!” She yelled.
One little finger laid in the box on a blood stained piece of cotton.
“Who is doing this and what the fuck do they want?!” Buffy screamed.
Angel wrapped his arms around his hysterical wife. “I don’t know who but I know why.”
Buffy pulled back. “You know? You know and you didn’t tell me?!” She grabbed him by the collar of his shirt. “What do they want Angel? Tell me goddamn it!”

He looked up at Willow. Willow nodded her head and reached into her pocket. She pulled out the note and handed it to Buffy. She read the note. She looked at Angel and then at Willow. “I hope you all are happy now.” She said with such hatred in her voice. “They are going to kill my daughter and you didn’t even consider giving them the money! You have to go around and play Sherlock Holmes and find the fuckers but until then, they send bit’s and pieces of our child Angel, until they get their money.” She smacked him across the face. “You bastard.” She spat out. She got up and looked at Willow with pure venom in her eyes.
“Buffy, we didn’t…” Willow tried to explain.
Buffy held up her hand. “Don’t! I am in no mood to hear your bullshit.”
She walked out of the living room and up the stairs. They all jumped when they heard a door slam shut.
Cordelia stood there in shock, not knowing what to say.
Anya was crying as Xander held her. “The’re gonna hack that poor little baby up.”
“Not if we can help it.” Xander said hugging his fiancé tighter.

Willow sighed. She didn’t want to, but she had to examine the finger that was in the box. She took the package into the bathroom. She knew Buffy kept latex gloves under the sink. She pulled two out and put them on. She swallowed a lump in her throat and picked up the little finger. She looked closely at the digit. She wrinkled her brow. She bent it and it bounced back. She hated this part. She smelled the end of the finger that had the blood on it. Blowing out a relieving breath, she reached under the sink and brought out a plastic baggie and placed the box and finger in it and walked out of the bathroom into the living room.

Angel sat on the couch holding his hand over his cheek where Buffy struck him.
“Angel.”
He looked up at her.
Willow smiled. “It’s a fake. It’s not her finger. It’s just rubber.”
Angel let out a sigh of relief.
Faith came over. She held out a letter. “I found this on stuck inside the lid of the box.”
Angel took the note:

TAKE IT AS A WARNING! YOU
HAVE TWO DAYS TO COME
UP WITH THE MONEY. WE WILL
LET YOU KNOW WHEN AND
WHERE TO MEET US.


“Alright here’s what we need to do. We need to get all of this analyzed for finger prints.” Willow said
“I’ll take it.” Faith said walking up holding out her hand.
Willow gave the bag over. “Thanks.”
Faith shrugged her shoulders. “No problem.”
Angel stood up. “Faith can I see you in my study for a moment.”
He walked down the corridor and she followed.

He reached into his desk drawer and brought out an FBI badge along with Faith’s identification card. “You’re gonna need this. It’s only temporary. If you help us like you are doing, you’ll get it back permanently. But if you screw up…”
“I know Angel.” Faith smiled looking at the badge. “Thanks.” She put the wallet in her back pocket.
Angel nodded his head. “I’ve got to go and talk with the Lansing’s. Take that,” he pointed at the bag that Faith was holding, “to the lab on Winchester drive, talk only to a guy named Clem and tell him I sent you. He’ll tell you the results within an hour.”
Faith nodded. “You got it boss. Anything else?”
“Yeah, when going over to the Giotti’s the one you want to talk to is Dino and be careful.” He said.
Faith walked up to him and gave him a kiss on the cheek, in which took Angel by surprise. “I will.” She whispered in his ear and walked out of the room.
Angel took in a shuttering breath and sat down at his desk.

Faith walked out where the others were gathered around. “I’ll check back with you all later.”
“Be careful Faith.” Willow said.
“You got it red.” She walked out the front door.

“Alright, Xander and Anya, stay here with Angel and see if you all can come up with anything else.”
“What do you want me to do Willow?” Cordelia asked.
“You can count those rhinestones.” Anya said over her shoulder as Xander pulled her to Angel’s office.
“Bitch.” Cordelia said under her breath.
Willow chuckled. “Actually Cordy, I need you to call the local police. Giles told me that they have said they didn’t find anything, but you know how those son of a bitches are. I hate to say this but you might want to call the FBI office downtown and see if they have any leads on the cases at hand. Angel will let you know which ones, but don’t tell them anything that’s going on around here. Just ask don’t tell.”
“O.K.” Cordelia sat down and started making notes.

Just then the front door opened.
Willow stood there with wide eyes. “Tara! Wha…how?”
The blonde shrugged her shoulders. “They can’t keep me if I don’t want to stay.”
Willow walked over to her. “Baby, you shouldn’t be out so soon. You need your rest.”
“I’m fine sweetie. I’ll get some rest later. I just couldn’t stay there not doing anything.”
“Hi Tara. Glad to see you feeling better.” Cordelia said looking up from her work.
“Thanks Cordy.” Tara said then looked back at her redhead. “What do you want me to do?”
“Actually, we basically have everything covered. I’m going to Lompoc to talk to James. Xander and Anya are helping Angel in his office. Faith is taking up on a lead right now.”
Tara sighed. “I can dust.” She joked.
“Actually there is something you can do. Buffy is all to hell. She got a finger in the mail.”
“Oh god!” Tara exclaimed.
“No baby.” The redhead rubbed her hand up and down the blonde’s arm. “It was a fake. We were trying to hide that note I let you read this morning from Buffy because she would, well freak. And when she got the finger, we had to let her read it and she went all wacky Buffy and smacked Angel, looked at me like she could run through me, with a truck I might add and now she is upstairs. So I was thinking that maybe you could go up there and talk with her and be, ya know, Tara. You always make me feel better. I’m sure it will work on anyone.” Willow took in a deep breath.
“Willow, you are going to pass out one day from that babble thing you have.” Cordelia said, still writing.
Willow looked at Tara and rolled her eyes.
Tara gave her a crooked smile.
“I hate to but I gotta get out of here.” She leaned in and kissed Tara, slowly and then gently licked Tara’s lips with her tongue hoping the blonde would accept the invitation to deepen the kiss, but Tara didn’t. She pulled back and looked into those pools of green. “Slow, remember?”
“Slow. Right. But I love you.” Willow said.
“And I love you.”
They hugged and Willow walked out.
-----------------------------------------------------

Tara walked up to Buffy and Angel’s room and gently knocked.
“Go away!” Buffy yelled.
“Buffy, it’s Tara. Can I come in?” Tara said in her gentle voice.
“No.” The answer came out weakly.
“Buffy, I’m not leaving until I see you.”
Tara heard the lock on the door click. She peeked in and saw Buffy sit down on the bed.
“Hey.” Tara said as she closed the door and sat down on the bed.
“I’m glad you’re back.” Buffy said in a monotone voice but she meant it sincerely.
“Thank you.” Tara scooted closer. “Willow told me what happened. You want to talk about it?”
Buffy started crying. “What am I going to do Tara? They sent my little girl’s finger…”
“It wasn’t real, Buffy. It wasn’t real.” Tara reassured her friend.

Buffy laid her head on Tara’s shoulder. Tara wrapped her arms around her and rocked back and forth.
“What if it wasn’t a fake? What if it was real? Angel and Willow didn’t tell me about the note and goddamn it pisses me off when they keep me in the dark.” Buffy said.
“I know how you feel, about being in the dark thing. I know one thing though, Willow and the rest of them are doing their best to find Lacey and they will find her.” Tara said strongly.
“She is my life Tara. I don’t know what I will do if I lose her.” Buffy sobbed that much more.

Tara pulled Buffy off her and held her by her shoulders. “You are not going to loose her! I know you are going through hell, but she will be back here with you before you know it! Do you hear me?!” Tara said with such force it took Buffy out of her loathing.
Buffy took in a cleansing breath. “You’re right. I’m sorry.”
Tara held Buffy back against her. “Don’t be sorry, just have faith. I remember someone else telling me the same thing, oh, about four years ago.”
“And you became a stronger you.” Buffy said still clinging onto her friend.
“With everything that we go through in life Buffy, whether good or bad, it makes us stronger. It makes us who we are.” Tara pulled away from her friend. “Now lay down here and get some rest, O.K.”
Buffy adjusted herself on her pillows. “You need to rest too.”
“I will later.” Tara said as she placed a blanket over her friend.
Buffy patted the bed behind her. “Stay with me. We’ll rest together.”
Tara smiled, kicked off her shoes and crawled in the bed beside of Buffy.
“So, you and Will doing alright?” Buffy asked turning on her back.
“I think it’s going to be good, but I told her we were going to take it slow.” Tara yawned.
“Good idea.” Buffy yawned too. “Tara, I love you. You have become my best friend.” Buffy snuggled up to Tara and placed her head on her shoulder.
“I love you too Buff. Now get some sleep.” Tara held Buffy and stroked her hair. She heard her breathing become a slow rhythm. Making sure Buffy was asleep, Tara closed her eyes and soon followed.

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 2 (Updated 5/26)
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 2:20 pm 
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8. Vixen
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:59 pm
Posts: 871
Location: Germany
Poor Lacey!
You described the part where Willow checks the finger for authenticity very well. Very real and credible.
(And yes, I am rereading this, it's just such a great story).
Can't wait for Willow & Tara to do some talking ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 2 (Updated 5/26)
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 10:51 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 10:13 pm
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Willow Watcher: Great update, but I was worried there for a second when Angel and Buffy got that box with the finger, thank god that it was fake. I really LOVE that Tara is going to give Willow one more chance and I'm glad that they are taking it slow, hopefully it will not be too long until we get :wtkiss . I really liked that Tara was able to calm Buffy down a little bit, I love what Willow told her "be, ya know, Tara." that was just so great and so romantic. I can't wait to read more.

Lonewolf22


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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 3 (updated 5/29)
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 6:09 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:12 am
Posts: 409
Location: Virginia, USA
CHAPTER 3
Willow sat in the interrogation room drumming her fingers on the table. She stood when she saw the door open and two guards escorted James in chains in the room and sat him in a chair.
“Anything else, Agent Rosenberg?” One of the guards asked.
“No. Thanks guys.” Willow said dismissing them.
She looked down at James who had a smug look on his face. “Well, Willow Rosenberg. Ah, the memories.”
“Look here you bastard, I don’t have time to play your sick head games. Tell me what you know about this.” Willow pulled ransom the note out of her pocket and placed it on the table.
James read over the paper. “Sorry. Don’t know a thing.” He sat back.
“For some odd reason, I thought you would say that. I tell you what James, tell me what I want to know and I’ll make sure the guards keep you from becoming someone’s bitch. How’s that suit ya?” She said as she crossed her arms over her chest and smiled in her smug way.
“I said I don’t know a thing.” James wouldn’t budge.
Willow slammed her fist against the table. “Listen here you piece of shit. I didn’t drive out here for you to tell me nothing. You will talk even if I have to beat the shit out of you!”
“Oooo, Agent Rosenberg. Is that a threat?” James looked behind him at the mirror.
Willow followed his eyes. “I don’t make threats, only promises.”
“I said I don’t know a thing.” He swallowed audibly. “Can I go now?” He asked nervously.
Willow motioned for someone to come in at the mirror. Two guards came in within seconds. They picked James up out of his chair and headed for the door.
James stopped and looked at Willow. “How’s Tara?”
Willow sneered. “Better now that she’s away from you. Get this fucker out of here.” She said to the guards and they followed her directions.
“Damn it!” She slammed her fist on the table again.
The door opened and a familiar face appeared.
“Hey Danny.” Willow greeted her first and only male crush from years ago.
“Hey Will. What’s going on?” Detective Daniel Osborne asked as he approached the redhead.
“Can’t say. Just that if James starts talking, in anyway about a certain note, you let me know.”
Danny looked at her confused. “Alright.” He said shrugging her shoulder.
Willow started to leave, but the man stood in her way.
“Hey. You want to go out sometime? I know it’s been awhile since we have seen each other, but I thought, ya know, we could…see each other?” He asked.
Willow smiled. “You’re still sweet but I have someone waiting for me. She’s beautiful and I love her.” Willow said noticing the shocked look she received.
“Did…did you say she?” He asked crinkling his brow.
Willow nodded.
“Wow! You have changed.” He said lowering his head.
She gave him a peck on the cheek. “I’ll catch ya later Danny.” And she left out.
------------------------------------------------

Willow walked back in the door to the investigation. She walked into the living room and Buffy was sitting on the couch with her legs folded up to her, biting her nails.
Willow sighed and sat down at a distance. She looked over at Buffy and then down at her lap, then over at Buffy again and then back at her lap. “You still mad at me?”
Buffy spit a finger nail across the room. She looked over at her oldest friend. “Not so much, now. Upset, but not mad.”
“Buff, we were just trying to not make it so hard for you. We all love you and care.” Willow scooted a little closer.
“Will, no matter what, it’s hard. My baby’s gone and whoever has her wants money that we don’t have. I love you all too, but I don’t want to be left in the dark anymore.” Buffy said making her point clear.
“Tara told me that she will give the money over.” Willow stated.
Buffy looked at Willow wide eyed. “She did. She’ll do that.”
“Yes she will and you know she will Buff, but you know how this works as well as I do. You’ve been in the business long enough to know that it just isn’t simple like that.”
Buffy’s heart fell. She knew it was the truth. “I know. But can’t we just try? Maybe that’s all they want.”
“We don’t even know who the ‘they’ are.” Willow took Buffy’s hand.
“Did you find out anything from James?” Buffy asked.
“No. He won’t talk. He’s scared of something. I could tell.” Willow looked around. “Where’s Tara?”
“She’s upstairs in my bed. I took a nap and asked her to stay with me and so she took a nap too.”
A tiny bit of jealousy ran through the redhead, but she knew how close friends Buffy and Tara have become over the years.
“Alright. If you could, tell Angel what I did or what I didn’t find out.” Willow patted her knee.
Buffy sighed and nodded her head. Willow patted Buffy’s knee again and headed upstairs.

Willow carefully opened the door to the bedroom. There Tara lay with her back facing the door. Willow quietly slipped her shoes off and crawled in the bed. She took her arm and gently slipped it around Tara’s waist. Tara woke up, but didn’t move. She smiled knowing who it was. She could smell the light fragrance of Willow’s perfume and even though it had been a long time, she still remembered the gentle touch of her love. But Tara wanted to have a little fun.
“Buffy,” Tara moaned out. “I told you that you need to snuggle closer. But we don’t have much time. Willow will be back soon.”
Willow shot up. “Uh, Willow happens to be right here!”
Tara laughed. “Doofus, I knew it was you.”
“You are evil Tara Maclay. A beautiful evil goddess.” Willow said placing a light kiss on Tara’s cheek. “And now, you must pay.”
“And what shall my payment be, missy.” Tara rolled over.
Willow made her hand into a claw. “Remember this?”
“You wouldn’t?” Tara’s eyes widened.
“Tickle monster!!!” Willow yelled out and began her attack.
Tara squealed as the redhead moved her hand over her sides, belly and thighs.
“O.K.” Tara breathed out holding Willow’s hand still on her thigh. “I give up. I give up.” She said still laughing.
Willow smiled with victory. She smiled even brighter when she realized where her hand had stopped and Tara holding it still. But she knew that things had to go slow, so she took Tara’s hand and moved them both up to the blonde’s stomach.
Tara smiled but sighed. She really didn’t want Willow’s hand to be moved, but she appreciated that the redhead was respecting her wish.
“I love you.” Tara said.
“And I love you, baby.” Willow leaned in for a kiss. *Please let this one last longer.*
Their lips grazed one another. Tara moaned as she moved in. She wanted full contact. They kissed, enjoying the feel. Tara moved on her side without their lips parting. She placed her arm around Willow’s waist and pulled her closer. She let her tongue slide out and licked the red lips. Willow didn’t hesitate. She opened her mouth and sucked gently on the blonde’s tongue. Tara moaned and rubbed her hand up and down Willow’s back. Willow moaned as well, enjoying every minute she could spend with Tara, especially like this. Willow moved her tongue around Tara’s as their breaths became faster. Willow decided she would make a bold move. She moved her hand around to Tara’s back and then down to her ass. Tara’s eyes widened, but she enjoyed the feel.
The arousal that was growing inside them was more than evident.
At the same time both of them pulled back and placed their foreheads together.
“Slow.” Both breathed out.
They gave each other little kisses on the lips, but going no further.
A knock came on the door. Both women rolled their eyes then separated.
Dawn came barreling in and plopped on the bed making all three bounce. “Hey guys.”
“Hey Dawnie.” Tara and Willow said at the same time.
Dawn tilted her head to the side. “Were you all doing it, or about too?”
“Dawn!” Willow yelled. “We were not about to do ‘it’ and even if we were do you think we would in you’re sister’s bed and have the door unlocked?”
“I don’t know what you crazy lesbians do.” Dawn shrugged her shoulders.
Willow’s mouth dropped.
“Dawn, sweetie, we are in love and when the time is right, ‘it’, as you seem to phrase the term, will happen and will be beautiful.” Tara had always tried to explain everything she could to Dawn as if she were and adult, not just a silly teenager. “And plus were not crazy.” Tara giggled
“O.K. Sorry guys.” Dawn said as she looked at them both and smiled. She has loved Willow and considered her basically her aunt, but Tara, she saw her more or less as a mother figure since Joyce died. She knew all the hurt and anger Tara suffered when Willow was gone and conversing with Willow over the phone, she could tell the normally spry redhead was not herself. Over the years, Dawn wanted nothing more than to tell Willow about Tara, but keeping her promise to the blonde she kept everything to herself. And now, the sparkle was back in Tara’s eyes and the joyfulness was back in the redhead.
“It’s alright Dawn.” Willow said as she rose up and gave the young brunette a hug.
“How was school today Dawn?” Tara asked as she got off the bed. She bent down straightening up the blanket and pillows.
“Nothing big. But, I don’t think I did too well on the math test.” Dawn said as she started helping Tara.
Willow took the hint and stood up. She took up her part of the bed making.
“We studied for that test for a week. You should have aced it.” Tara said.
Dawn sighed. “I know. I just had other things on my mind.”
Tara walked around and took Dawn in her arms. “I know sweetie. We’ve all been a little or make that a lot distracted.”
“Hey Dawn, you need help with math, come talk to me. I’ll help ya out as much as I can.” Willow said trying her best to give any type of comfort to the teenager. Her eyes went wide. “Not to say that Tara has been doing a bad job, I mean she’s smart and I’m sure she is great with math and English and whatever other subjects you can come up with, but I’m here if you want me.”
Dawn chuckled. She walked over to Willow and hugged her. “Thanks babble queen. I might take you up on the offer, but its Friday and there’s no homework.”
“Oh well, you’re safe then.” Willow said smiling.
“Yep. I’ve gotta go downstairs and start dinner.” Dawn bounced on her feet and left out of the room.
“Dawn’s fixing dinner?” Tara asked frowning.
“It’s O.K. I have antacids at hand.” She whispered.
Both headed out the door.
Tara took in a deep breath. “How’d it go?”
“What?” Willow asked thrown by the question.
“How’d it go with James?” Tara stopped and turned to Willow.
“Nothing. He claimed he didn’t know anything. But he does, I could tell.” Willow said. “No matter what it takes, I’ll get something outta him.”
Tara nodded having confidence in her determined love.
“Let’s go see what the others have come up with.” Willow said taking Tara’s hand in hers.

Willow and Tara walked into Angel’s office. Xander, Anya, Cordelia, Buffy, Angel and Faith were all talking at the same time. Willow couldn’t determine who was talking about what.
“Hey!” She yelled making everyone quiet. “What’s going on?”
Everyone looked and they all started talking to her.
“One at a time, please!” Willow yelled out again. She pointed at Faith.
“Alright, I went to the lab and Clem couldn’t find any prints or any determination of who might have sent it. I went to the Giotti’s. They swear they don’t know about Lacey, but when I mentioned James Maclay, they suddenly became real quiet. They didn’t say anything about it, but something’s fishy.”
Willow nodded. She pointed at Angel.
“Xander, Anya and I went to Lansing’s. They don’t know anything about Lacey. They claim they’re clean and trying to stay that way.”
“Alright,” Willow started. “I’m taking on the Lavar’s. Everyone keep posted. No hiding anything. She looked over at Buffy and nodded.
Buffy smiled and mouthed ‘thank you’.
Willow smiled back.
“What should the rest of us do?” Anya asked.
“Take notes. Look more into files.” Willow answered. “Cordelia, did you find out anything from the police or the agents downtown?”
“No and they both don’t know anything or so they say. I hate those guys. All about themselves.” Cordelia said rolling her eyes.
“Sounds like you should go work for them.” Anya piped in.
“Bitch!” Cordelia spat out.
“Whore!” Anya retorted.
“Like you have room to talk.” Cordelia came back.
“Both of you shut the fuck up!” Tara demanded. “We have a case to solve here and all you two have done ever since I have known you is bitch and argue. Get with the program or get the hell out!”
The entire room fell silent with surprise. Anya and Cordelia looked down at the floor like scolded puppies.
Willow smiled with pride. She clapped her hands together. “Alright people, let’s get to work.” She exited the room.
“Will.” Tara stopped the redhead in the corridor. She bent down and kissed her with such passion and caring. “Be careful.”
“Can I get that reaction when I come back without a scratch?” Willow said in a seductive voice.
“Maybe even more.” Tara whispered in Willow’s ear and gave it a slight lick.
Willow shuttered.
Tara pulled back. “I think I’m gonna go and see how Dawn’s coming along with dinner.”
“I love you.” Willow said.
“Love you.” Tara said and walked away.
Willow stood there for a moment watching her beauty walk towards the kitchen. Her heart swelled with love. *This time, this time it’s gonna be perfect.*
-----------------------------------------------------

Willow rang the doorbell to the huge mansion of the Lavar residence.
A very tall, large built man answered. “Can I help you?” He asked in a deep voice.
Willow pulled her FBI badge from her pocket. “I need to speak to Joseph Lavar.”
The man stepped aside and allowed Willow to come in. She was in awe of the beautiful marble floors and the art statues and paintings that adorned the entrance.
“This way.” He said as he walked down a hallway.
*Sure thing, Lurch.* She thought as she followed.
He opened a door to a huge office. Willow walked in and took a seat in front of a desk. She turned around when she heard the door close. *Ooo! I so don’t like this.*
A man wheeled himself into the office and parked his chair on the opposite side of the desk.
“I’m Joe Lavar. Is there something I can do for you Agent…?” He looked at Willow for her to finish.
“I’m Agent Rosenberg with the FBI. I am here to ask you some questions regarding a kidnapping.”
“Well tell me Agent Rosenberg, who sent you here?” He propped his arms on the desk.
“I am currently working with Angel Investigations.” Willow said.
The man sneered at her. “I will have you know that Angel and his little agency put me in this chair.”
“His daughter has been kidnapped and I need to know if you have any information regarding the situation.” Willow wanted to avoid the subject about the man’s condition.
“I’ll tell you something. Angel deserves to be in hell for what he did to me, but I cannot stand the idea of someone hurting children. I have kids of my own and I know how precious they are. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you anything. If I did, believe me I would.” The man said sincerely enough.
“Do you happen to know a man named James Maclay?”
The man crinkled his brows together and shook his head. “I’m sorry. It doesn’t ring a bell.”
Willow determined there wasn’t any other reason to stay.
“I appreciate your time. But if you do hear of anything, call Angel Investigations and ask for me.” Willow said as she rose from her chair to walk out.
“I’ll help out for the little girl, not for Angel.”
Willow nodded her head. “Thank you.”
-----------------------------------------------------------------

“And that’s all he said?” Angel asked sitting at his desk looking across at Willow.
“That’s it.” Willow answered sitting back in her chair with a sigh. “So, I suppose we can scratch him off the list?” She asked.
Angel sat back in his chair. “Looks that way.” He said rubbing his temples.
“One down and two to go. The Giotti’s and possibly the Lansing’s.” Willow said.
“Honestly Willow, I think the Lansing’s are off the list as well. I checked a few resources and apparently they are staying clean.”
“Then we go after the Giotti family.” Willow stood up ready for action.
“Will, calm down. We really have nothing to go on. The only thing that Faith reported back was their negative reaction about James Maclay.” Angel said trying to take this as calm as possible.
“But Angel, there has to be a link somewhere.” Willow sat back down.
“And we will find that link, but for right now, we have to think before we react. O.K.”
Willow sighed. “O.K.” She looked at the dark gloomy man. “Are you and Buffy alright now?”
Angel nodded. “I shouldn’t have kept the note from her or other things. She needs to know what’s going on so she won’t pull her hair out, or mine.” He smiled.
“So what’s the deal with Faith? I mean, I know you gave her badge back to her but I hope she doesn’t abuse it like last time.” Willow said thinking back how she, Buffy and Angel had to bring Faith in for selling and abusing cocaine. She tried to convince them that she wouldn’t do it again, but nevertheless they had to turn her in. She was a great agent, a little violent and leered away from the rules, but she always seemed to get the job done.
“She’ll do great. In fact I think she’ll do better than before. She’s trying and wants to help out as much as she can. She loves Lacey and I know she’s not going to rest until we find her and bring down the son of a bitches who are doing this.” Angel said with confidence.
“That’s great Angel.” Willow said with a smile.
A knock came on the door and Tara peeked her head in. “Hey. I hate to say this, but dinner’s ready.”
“What is it this time?” Willow and Angel said at the same time.
“Potato and cabbage casserole.” Tara said and cringed.
“Might not be so bad. I like potatoes and somewhat like cabbage.” Willow said trying to take up for Dawn.
“Yeah but if you come across something hard, don’t bite down if you intend to kiss me tonight or possibly tomorrow.” Tara said wrinkling her brows and giving a half smile.
“What would the something hard happen to be?” Angel asked.
“Raw garlic cloves. I did however convince her to cut them in quarters, but she insisted that they were not to be cooked.” Tara cringed again.
“Eww and eww.” Willow frowned.
Angel picked up the phone. “I’m ordering pizza.”
“Angel, you’ll hurt her feelings. She worked hard all afternoon on it.” Tara said in her motherly tone.
Hanging up the phone, Angel and Willow sighed.
“I was so going with Angel’s idea for pizza, but, once again my dear, you are right. I’ll avoid the hard chunks.” Willow closed her eyes and stuck out her tongue in disgust.
-------------------------------------------

After choking down dinner and drinking plenty of water, tea and whatever else the group could find to wash down the concoction of one of Dawn’s infamous dishes, Willow lay on her bed rubbing her stomach. “I think I might have eaten one of those cloves. I brushed my teeth. Used an entire glass of mouthwash, breath strips and chewing gum and I can still taste it.” She rolled on her side curling herself into a ball.
Tara, sitting on the bed, was trying her best not to laugh. “Aww baby, you want me to rub your tummy?” Asked with sympathy
Willow rolled on her back. “That’s sounds nice.”
Tara placed her hand on the redhead’s stomach and began to rub in little circles. “Does that make you feel better?” Tara asked, noticing the smile on Willow’s face.
“Y’huh.” Willow whispered out.
Tara made larger circles. “How about this?”
Willow nodded. She took in a deep breath. An evil smile came on her face that Tara didn’t notice. A thought of getting Tara back from the blonde’s teasing earlier, came to her mind. “I was asked out today.” She laid there with her eyes closed.
Tara stopped rubbing. “Oh really?”
“Uh huh.” Willow opened her eyes and noticed the ‘not so liking the idea of someone asking her Willow on a date’ look on Tara’s face.
“And did you accept?” Tara asked, picking at a string beside the button on Willow’s shirt.
“Thinking about it. I mean it being an old crush and all.” Willow said seriously, stifling a giggle.
Tara leaned over and came face to face with the redhead. “Willow Lee Rosenberg, do I have to go all butch and kick someone’s ass.”
“Well, it would just be a friendly little date. Dinner, dancing, and maybe take in a movie. I thought it might be nice.” Willow smiled, knowing that the blonde was getting very frustrated at her ‘beating around the bush’ attitude.
“And does this certain person have a name?” Tara asked with her lips puckered and her brow rose up.
“Danny.” Willow said with a short answer.
“Danny? You were asked out by a guy?” Tara asked as she sat up straight. Reality hit that her love was teasing.
Willow nodded.
*You wanna play hardball doll, you’re playing with the wrong chick.* “Well, I don’t see anything wrong with that. After all, it just would be a friendly little date. I have to confess that I was asked out this morning, by a nurse. Ya know, before they let me come home? I told her no, but I think I might give her a call. It would just be a friendly little date.” Tara smiled her famous half grin.
Willow’s eyes widened. “You…you were? Who? Who was the little skank? I’ll totally tell her straight up that you are mine, Tara Maclay, you are mine! Baby, there would be no way in hell I would go out with anyone but you, especially with a guy. Except for maybe Xander, but he’s my best friend guy in the world and that certainly wouldn’t be put in the same category as a date, date. Tara, please don’t go out with her.” Willow started to tear up. “I couldn’t stand to loose you again, especially to another woman.”
“Baby, aww darling, I was just teasing.” Tara rubbed Willow’s face. “There wasn’t a nurse that asked me out. I just said that because you told me about that guy and I knew you were teasing me and I thought I would just play along, but I didn’t mean to make you cry. I wouldn’t do that to you. You are mine and I am yours.” Tara eyes welled up with emotion.
Willow smiled. “You picked up on my babble disease.”
“Anything with you happens to be very contagious.” Tara leaned over the redhead again.
“Well, you might need some type of medication for that.” Willow said seductively.
“What would you prescribe, Dr. Rosenberg?” Tara leaned in closer.
“A kiss.” Willow said raising her head, making there lips connect.
Tara’s hand moved from Willow’s stomach up and traced under the redhead’s breast.
Willow moaned quietly. She moved her hand down and felt the skin at the bottom of Tara’s shirt. She took her finger and made small little circles. Tara rose up. She smiled taking her shirt off and throwing it in the corner of the room. Willow’s breath was taken away. Tara’s body was so muscular and her white lacey bra was literally see through.
“Oh god, Tara.” She whispered out. “I thought I would never…”
She was interrupted when Tara forcefully took her lips again. Tara rose up again. She straddled the more than shocked Willow.
“I don’t want to complain, but I thought we were taking it slow.” Willow said, making sure that she didn’t do anything either one would regret.
“To me, this is slow. We aren’t going to make love, yet. But I did say we had to discover one another again. What a better time to start?” Tara turned her head to the side, giving Willow a look of understanding.
Willow smiled. “You don’t get it do you? Every time I touch you, kiss you, look at you or even think about you, I am making love to you. You are my love and my life.” Willow looked in the darker blue eyes she adored. “Kiss me Tara.”
“Touch me Willow.” Tara said, taking the redhead’s hand and moving it up to her breast.
Willow slowly massaged her hand around as Tara resumed her kissing.
Tara straightened up again, but Willow’s hand didn’t move.
The blonde ripped apart Willow’s shirt sending button’s flying in every direction.
“Well, that was my favorite shirt.” Willow said giggling.
“I’ll buy you another one.” Tara said as she laid back down, ravishing the redhead’s neck with kisses.
Willow moaned out louder.
Tara pulled at the shirt separating it, exposing Willow’s breast covered in a light green bra.
“Nice. Matches your eyes.” Tara licked the crevice in the middle of the bra, licking her way back up to Willow’s neck.
Willow’s hips bucked. She moved her head, sucking on Tara’s neck. She moved her mouth between Tara’s neck and shoulder, sucking even harder, making a mark.
Tara groaned out, as she began massaging Willow’s breast.
“I so missed this.” Willow mumbled out.
“You’ll never have to miss it ever again.” Tara whispered in the ear of her love.
Tara sat up again. She was happy that the clasp on Willow’s bra was in front as she opened it, exposing the pert breast. She took them both in her hands and began to move her hips back and forth. She stared at Willow in the eyes. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” Willow moaned out.
Willow sat up, holding onto the grinding blonde. She reached behind and unclasped Tara’s bra, removing it and flinging it in the floor. She kissed and licked the nipple of one breast, while massaging the other.
Tara ground herself even harder. “Yes baby.”
Willow placed one arm behind herself for support as she bucked her hips into the blonde. She put her hand behind Tara’s head and pulled her in for a hard passionate kiss.
Tara wrapped her arms around Willow’s back, clawing at the pale skin.
Willow threw her head back and hissed with pleasure.
As their grinding became faster, their kissing became more passionate, both women were reaching their peak.
“Oh Willow, I’m gonna…Willow come with me.” Tara moaned out loudly.
“Yes baby, yes.” Willow hissed out.
Tara threw her head back. “WILLOOOWWWWW!!!”
“TARRAAAAA!!!” Willow screamed.
Willow collapsed back on the bed, taking the blonde with her. Kissing with care and love.
“Just what the doctor ordered.” Tara said breathing heavy.
“Well, this might have to be treated again and very regularly.” Willow said as she wrapped her arms tight around her love.
“Oh, I definitely think that this is a very contagious disease. I might have to be put on that particular medication for the rest of my life.” Tara said as she slid off top of Willow and snuggled up to her side.
Willow’s eyes widened. “Do you mean it?”
“What?” Tara asked.
“What you said. You said the rest of your life.” Willow said trying to make sure of what she heard was correct.
“Willow, I wouldn’t see myself with anyone else but you. But baby…” Tara started.
“I knew there was a but.” Willow said dejectedly.
“BUT!” Tara continued, “For now, we are taking things slowly. What just happened was a small expression of love. When the time is right Willow, I want to make love to you.” Tara reached up and kissed Willow softly on the lips.
“I just want you to know Tara that I love you more than anything. As long as I have you in my life, everything is perfect, right in here.” Willow confessed placing her hand over her heart.
Tara removed Willow’s hand and kissed her chest and laid her ear there. “That is the most beautiful sound in the world.”
“I love you, Tara.” Willow said and she kissed the blonde’s forehead.
“I love you too, Will.” Tara said as she kissed Willow’s chest again. “Stay here with me tonight?” She asked.
“I thought you’d never ask. I just need to go to my pj’s.” Willow started to get up.
“Keep still, you. I want more snuggle time and those cute pj’s of yours can wait.” Tara said smiling thinking about the funny novelty characters that Willow can pick out for her clothing.
Willow was overjoyed that Tara was back in her life. She closed her eyes and wrapped her arms tight around the blonde, swearing to never let her get away again.

_________________
"Oh yeah?! Well...so's your face!
-Fear Itself


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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 3 (Updated 5/29)
PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2006 11:05 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 10:13 pm
Posts: 517
Willow Watcher: Great update, I hate you for teasing us so with Willow and Tara almost making sweet love, but I understand that Tara wants to take things slow, I just can't wait for our girls to finally be together. What does James Maclay have to do with Lacey's kidnapping, if hes' involved please let him suffer. Very funny about Dawn cooking dinner, I felt really sorry for everyone. I can't wait to read more.

Lonewolf22


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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 4 (updated 6/02)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 3:07 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:12 am
Posts: 409
Location: Virginia, USA
Thanks for the comments! Here's chapter 4.


CHAPTER 4
“Mmmmm. Good morning.” Willow said as she snuggled her face into Tara’s blonde hair.
Tara stretched out. “Morning sweetie.” She laid her head on Willow’s shoulder and placed her hand on her stomach. “How’s the tummy?” She asked smiling.
“Oh, I think Dr. Maclay took care of it. She’s a great doctor. I might have to recommend her.” Willow said as she giggled.
“Well, I’m sorry but I’m booked for the rest of my life. There’s this certain redheaded patient that needs my full attention.” Tara looked up at her love.
“Humm, I think I like the sound of that.” Willow reached down and planted a soft kiss on Tara’s lips. “I hate to say this, being the best time to snuggle, but we need to get up and get down to business.”

A knock came on the door. Willow and Tara both groaned.
“Yes.” Willow called out.
“I need to talk to you both.” Buffy’s voice came through the door.
Willow gave Tara another quick kiss and got off the bed. She unlocked the door and invited Buffy inside. “What’s up?” She asked sitting back down on the bed.

Buffy smiled seeing that the two were together again. But her smile faded. “Just got a call. There’s something that happened to James. Daniel Osbourne said that he was stabbed last night and he’s not doing well at all.” She looked at Tara. The look on the blonde face had no expression of concern whatsoever.
“O.K. Buff, thanks for the update.” Willow said confused to why Buffy was telling both of them this.
“Will, the detective said that James wanted to talk to you.” Buffy crossed her arms.
“Alright, give me an hour to get ready and I’ll head out. Let’s hope he can tell me something we can use.” Willow said walking over to the dresser picking out some clothes.
“There’s one more thing.” Buffy said.
“I really don’t like the sound of that.” Tara said getting up from the bed.
“Actually, you shouldn’t. He said that he wouldn’t talk unless he saw you as well.”
“What! Oh hell no! There’s no way that she is going to even get near that son of a bitch!” Willow jutted out her chin.
“Baby,” Tara looked at the more than pissed off redhead. “I don’t have a problem going. If he can give us any info about Lacey, then it will be worth it.” Tara said with a voice of reason.
Willow sighed. She turned and huffed and mumbled to herself as she went into the bathroom.

“That went over better than I thought.” Buffy frowned.
“Be glad you don’t have to ride in the car with her when she’s like this. Not a good thing.” Tara said as she went to pick out some clothes.
“Tara, I’m sorry, but you don’t have to go if you don’t want to.” Buffy said as she started biting her nails.

Tara walked over to her and placed her hand on Buffy’s shoulder. “Buffy, the last thing I ever thought I would have to do is see that evil man again, but this isn’t about me. This is about getting your little girl back and I would do anything to get her back. I want you to know that if he can’t give us any information about where Lacey is, then I’m giving you the money for the ransom.”
“Tara, you don’t know how much that means to me, but I cannot ask you to do that.” Buffy started tearing up.
“You’re not asking me for it. Either way we are going to get her back. Money means nothing when it comes to the safety of family.”
Buffy wrapped her arms around her friend. “You know I love you.”
“I love you too.” Tara pulled back. “I better go talk to Willow and calm her down. She’ll be alright.”
Buffy nodded. “Good luck.” She said as she headed out the door.
She thought as she walked towards the bathroom door.

Tara knocked lightly. “Willow?”
The door knob turned quickly and the door opened just a little enough for Tara to see in. Willow was sitting on the edge of the bathtub crying.

Tara walked in and sat down beside the distressed redhead. “What is it?” She asked, knowing the problem but wanting Willow to get it out of her system.

Willow wiped her tears away. “I just…I don’t want you to have to see him again, Tara. He made your life a living hell. I remember. I wish that things had been different for you. I don’t want you to be subjected to even have to look at him ever, ever again.” Tears still streamed down her face.
Tara took her love in her arms. “Baby, yes he did make my life hell. He did awful things to me.” Tara’s heart sunk flashing back to her memories. “But, things happen for a reason.”
Willow shot up. “Things like that have no reason to be! No one and I mean no one should have to be put through that.” Willow clung back into the blonde’s arms.
“You’re right. No child should have to go through that hell, but if things were different, if I had the perfect childhood without all that happened,” She reached down and put her hand under Willow’s chin looking into her sad green eyes. “I wouldn’t have you in my life.”
More tears fell from her freckled face. “We would have eventually met. We were meant to be.”
“That maybe true, but I’m glad you came along when you did. I love you and I want nothing more in the world than to have you in my life, forever.” Tara said as her eyes welled up.

Willow looked into those beautiful blue eyes she could loose herself in forever. “I love you too. More that you’ll ever know.
Both gave each other a gentle kiss.
“We better get ready and go.” Tara said rising up.
“Tara, are you sure about this?” Willow asked as she stood.
“If it gets Lacey back, yes I’m sure.” Tara said with confidence in her decision.

Willow closed her eyes and nodded her head. She wished more than anything that Tara would change her mind, but she knew that the blonde was determined.
“Alright, I’m gonna take a shower.” Willow said and then a smile came to her face. “You wanna join me?” She wiggled her brows up and down.
Tara giggled. “If we do that, we’ll never go. I’m going to go downstairs and check in with everyone. I’ll see you in a few.” Tara kissed Willow on the cheek and walked out of the room.
“Twenty minutes tops!” Tara heard through the door. She smiled as she threw on a robe and headed downstairs.

***

Angel, Buffy and the rest of the gang were downstairs in the kitchen, picking out different items to eat for breakfast.
“Good morning.” Tara said announcing her presence.
Good mornings were coming at her from each person.
“Hey Tara.” Anya approached the blonde.
“Hey Ahn.” Tara replied sweetly.

Anya pulled Tara gently to the corner of the kitchen away from the rest of the crowd. “I want to say that I’m sorry that you have to go see that awful man who pretended to be your father, who killed your mother and was going to kill you for your money. You be strong.”
Tara smiled at Anya’s abrupt manner. She knew that the woman had little tact, but she had her own technique for support. “Thank you.”
Anya patted Tara on the shoulder. “You’re welcome.”
Both joined the rest of the crowd.

Dawn came skipping over to Tara and wrapped her in a hug. “Morning.”
“Well good morning sunshine.” Tara said as she pulled back. “What’s got you all bouncy this early?”
“Well, it happens to be Saturday, I don’t have to go to school and I’m just happy to see you.” Dawn grinned.
“Dawn, I’m here all the time, so what’s with the extra attention.” Tara asked, crossing her arms.
Dawn pulled Tara over to the side. Tara thought as she turned to face the enthusiastic teenager.
Dawn leaned in closer to Tara’s ear. “I didn’t want to say anything in front of the others, but I kinda heard, and I didn’t mean too. It wasn’t like I was outside listening or anything like that, because that’s just in the category of the major eww factor.”
“Dawn, honey, the point?” Tara smiled.
“Oh, yeah, well I kinda heard you and Willow last night.” Dawn’s face turned red.
Tara’s eyes widened and her mouth dropped. “Oh Dawnie, I’m sorry.”
“No. That’s totally fine. I just wanted to say that I am so happy you two are together again. I remember when you were so sad because you didn’t have Willow. And she was absolutely miserable. I didn’t see her that much, but believe me, I could tell. But now, it’s like wow. Both of you have this glow going on, it’s so cool.” Dawn explained herself and took Tara in her arms again.
Tara hugged on tight to her and stroked her long brown hair. “You know, you’re growing so fast and I’m happy you understand that Willow and I love one another, and you don’t have a problem with it.”
Dawn pulled back and looked confused. “Why would I have a problem with it?”
“Because we’re both women.” Tara said.
Dawn rolled her eyes. “Oh please! You think that matters to me. It is totally cool. It’s like having more women power in the house.” Dawn leaned in closer. “We out rule the men.” She giggled.
“Dawn!” Buffy yelled from across the room.
“What?” She asked turning to her sister.

Buffy held her finger up to her lips. Buffy had said that little joke to her sister before, but she made Dawn promise not to say anything about it around Angel. She told her that it was a male ego thing.
Dawn turned back to Tara. “I hate her keen hearing.”
Tara chuckled and led Dawn back to the others.

Buffy handed Tara a cup of coffee.
“Thank you.” Tara sighed taking in the warm rich smell.
“Well, I’m going over to Giottis today and see what they know. If Faith is right, they might lead us right to Lacey.” Angel said as he refilled his cup.
Buffy turned to Tara. “Are you still going with Willow today?”
“With some convincing, I finally got her to agree to not give me hell for going, so yes.”
Tara spilled some of her coffee on her hands when she heard the smash of glass coming from the front room.

Dawn was the first to head out, but Buffy pulled her by her arm and held her back. She shook her head at the teenager.
Angel and Xander ran out of the kitchen, followed cautiously by the others.

The first thing they noticed was the hole in the front glass beside the door. The next, a brick with paper around it. Angel went to the door and opened it. He looked up and down the street, but no one was in sight. He walked back in and saw Buffy holding the brick and staring at it like it was the worst thing in the world. A thin purple hair ribbon was wrapped around, holding the note. Buffy remembered putting that same ribbon in her daughter’s hair before they dropped her off at Tara’s institute.
Angel gently removed the brick from her hand and ran his finger over the thin silk fabric. He untied it and handed the ribbon over to his wife. He took in a deep breath and unfolded the paper. A lock of golden blonde hair fell on the floor. Buffy dropped to her knees and picked it up and held it in both hands. Tears streamed down her face. Angel read the note:

YOU KNOW WHO WE ARE ANGEL.
YOUR DAUGHTER IS CUTE. JUST
LIKE YOUR WIFE.

GIVE UP THE MONEY AND WE’LL GIVE HER
BACK WITHOUT A SCRATCH. WE
WANT THE MONEY BY TOMORROW EVENING.
NO MONEY, AND WE’LL SEE HOW
PRECIOUS SHE REALLY IS.

WE WILL
GIVE YOU A CALL AT 4:OO THIS
AFTERNOON AND GIVE YOU THE
INSTUCTIONS YOU’LL NEED.

Buffy held the lock of hair to her chest and screamed. Angel got on the floor and held his hysterical wife, promising they would get her back safely. Everyone started crying at the display before them. It hit home with Tara.

Faith came in the door. “Who do I have to kill to get a decent cup of coff… What’s going on?” She asked finally noticing the scene.

Willow came running down the stairs with her clothes clinging to her barely dried off body, gun in hand. “What happened?” She asked.
Tara walked over to the redhead and made Willow lower her gun.
Willow handed her gun over to Tara and walked over to Buffy and Angel. She removed the note from Angel’s hands and red it.
“Goddamn it!” She yelled out. She looked at the lock of blonde hair stuck out from Buffy’s hand. “Alright, that’s it!” She looked at Tara. “How long is it gonna take for you to get ready?”
“Give me twenty minutes.” Tara dashed up the stair case.

Faith walked over to the redhead. “Let me see.” She held out her hand and Willow complied with the request. “Fuck!” Faith swore stomping as she paced back and forth. She turned to Willow. “What are we going to do?”

“Tara and I have to go to Lompoc today to talk to James. That fucker better tell us something!” Willow said as she ran up the stairs. The sound of a door slamming echoed through the entire house.
“Damn. Red’s temper is getting worse.” Faith said as she shrugged her shoulders.
She looked down at Angel and Buffy still embracing each other in the floor. She bent down and wrapped her arms around them both. “We are not giving up. We’re going to find her.”
Buffy pulled back from Angel and clung to Faith and cried. Faith stroked her hair and rocked Buffy back and forth telling her repeatedly that everything was going to be O.K.
Angel ran out of the room as fast as he could.

Fifteen minutes passed as Tara emerged from the bathroom with a towel wrapped around her body. She went to the bed and picked up her panties and slipped them on when she heard a knock on the door.

“Tara, can I come in?” Willow asked.
Tara walked over and unlocked the door and opened it. She hid behind the door as the redhead walked in. Willow’s eyes widened and she quickly turned around. “Uh, sorry. I thought you were ready.”
Tara walked pass Willow and began getting dressed. Willow turned her head away.
“Willow, you can look at me. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before.” Tara said as she began to dress.
“Well, I didn’t want to…ya know…we’re going slow. Right? Because, I mean, yeah last night…wow…and yeah I…uh…saw…well ya, know…you like that, but with a little more clothing on and now I see you like this and it’s like…oh god what I wouldn’t do to just take you in my arms and…well…heh…I just want you so bad and well….we’re taking this slow, right?” Willow was biting her bottom lip.

Tara, barely dressed, walked over to her love and turned her head towards her. “Yes, we are taking it slow baby. But what you see before you is yours.”
Willow looked into those baby blue eyes. She let her eyes divert up and down the blonde’s body. She traced her hand down the fully developed abs and around the muscular arms. “Someone’s been working out.”

Tara’s hissed in a breath. She loved the way the redhead touched her. “Mmmm.” She moaned out.
Willow stared into Tara’s eyes and moved in slowly. She teased Tara’s lips with hers, brushing them together.

Tara placed her hand behind Willow’s head and pulled her in for a full contact kiss. She pushed her tongue in Willow’s mouth. Willow felt light headed. She placed her hands around the blonde, running her hands up and down Tara’s full muscled back. She broke the contact with Tara’s lips and kissed down the blonde’s cheek to her neck. She licked and nipped and felt Tara tilt her head to the side wanting more. The redhead didn’t hesitate. She sucked on the soft skin, moving her hand around to Tara’s bra clad breast. She massaged and gently pinched the nipple through the fabric. Tara moved her hands around grabbing Willow’s body, pulling her closer.

“Oh god Willow.” She whispered out. She felt the wetness between her legs grow.
Willow let go of Tara’s neck and placed her forehead on the blonde’s shoulder. “As much as I would love to stay here and do this and much more, we need to get going.”
Tara sighed. “I know. Take a rain check then?”
“Taken.” Willow said as she pulled away from her love after kissing her neck one more time.
Tara gave Willow a quick kiss on the lips. She turned around and quickly dressed.
----------------------------------------------

Willow and Tara stood outside large white double doors.

“I know I’ve asked this like a hundred times, but are you sure about this.” Willow asked rubbing her hand up and down Tara’s arm.
Tara didn’t say a word. She just nodded.

Daniel came out of an office beside the hospital wing of the prison and walked up to Willow. “Hey.”
“Hey. So can you tell us what happened?” Willow asked. She looked over at Tara who stood there looking at the double doors.
“Well, the incident happened around six last evening. We are suspicious of a prisoner by the last name of Giotti.” Daniel said. “He is in bad shape. There was too much damage to his internal organs. There was only so much the doctors could do, but nevertheless, he doesn’t have much time.

Willow’s eyes narrowed. “I want to question the suspect. We have something big going on in LA and I need some answers.”
“Willow, you know I can’t let you do that. This isn’t your concern.”
“Make it happen Danny.” Willow said letting the young man know that she meant business.
Daniel looked at the floor and sighed. “I’ll see what I can do.” He walked away and left the two women alone.

Willow looked at Tara and took her hand. “You ready?”
Tara, once again, just responded with a nod.

It had taken four long years for Tara to get to where she is. Strong, independent, more self confident, but standing just a few feet away was her nightmare all over again. Her mind flashed back to the beatings that reduced her to nothing. The numerous times she had been raped. The lies and deception she endured almost all her life. She stood there trembling, which didn’t go unnoticed by the redhead.

“You don’t have to do this Tara.” Willow said. She knew that this would probably happen.
“N-no. I h-h-have too.” Tara stuttered out.
Willow sighed. This is the first time she had heard even the slightest bit of stuttering from the blonde.
Tara jumped when she heard a loud buzzing sound echo off the walls.

The double doors swung open and a guard stood on the other side.
“Ready ladies?” He asked searching in his pocket for a card key.
Willow and Tara both nodded.
The man walked down the long corridor. “Here we are, room four.” He announced.

Tara felt like it took forever. Her legs were heavy and stiffened with every step. She didn’t know what to expect beyond that door.
The guard swiped his card in a slot beside the door and placed his hand on a scanner.
Tara jumped once again at the buzzing sound heard down the hall.

The guard opened the door. Before Tara walked in, she stood still. She expected a huge man waiting in there for her, with some sort of device in hand to beat her with or that look in his eyes when he wanted her in the most disgusting manner.

Willow gave Tara’s hand a squeeze “I believe in you baby. You can do this.” She said knowing that there was no turning back from this point on. She gently led Tara into the room, letting the blonde set the pace.

Tara cocked her head to the side. She didn’t see a strong man standing. All she saw was a weak fragment of her mind, laying there with machines hooked to him by tiny wires. She couldn’t believe her eyes. What was once her nightmare was reduced to nothing.
When the two were inside the room far enough the guard closed the door with a slight click. Tara stood in the corner as she saw her love walk toward the bed.

Willow stood looking down at the fragile man. “James, it’s me, Willow. You have something to say?” There was no time for pleasantries. Willow hated the man that lay there. She just wanted to get to the point and get her beloved Tara out of there.
James opened his eyes and saw a blurry redheaded woman standing there. “I need some water.” He whispered out.
Willow rolled her eyes and reached for the cup lying next to the bed. She filled it with water from a pitcher and placed a straw in it and held it for the man as he slowly sipped the refreshing fluid.
James cleared his throat. “Where’s Tara?” He said barely above a whisper.
“She’s here. Now tell me what I want to know.” Willow said with little patience.
He looked around the room. Willow stood there in his view.
“I don’t see her.” He said, still looking around.

Then he saw blonde hair that approached him.
Tara took little steps towards the bed. The only thing that kept her going was to think about saving Lacey and Willow standing there. Even though it took years for Tara to find her inner strength, she knew that Willow would never let anything happen to her.
“There you are.” James said. The heart monitor that was hooked up to him beeped faster.

Tara put her hand on the bed rail. She was grasping it so tightly that her knuckles turned white. Her heart was racing fast.
Willow looked at the blonde. She saw the fear in her eyes. She put her arm around the blonde, letting her know that she wasn’t alone.
Willow looked back at James. “Alright, now tell me what I want to know.” She said.

He looked at Tara up and down. “You look well. How are things with you?”
Tara didn’t respond. She closed her eyes and took in a shuttering breath. She felt a clammy hand touch hers. Her eyes shot open and saw that he was touching her. She jerked her hand back and crossed her arms.
James let out a little laugh.

“What do you want to tell me?” Willow asked in a demanding tone.
James diverted his eyes to Willow for a second then back to Tara. “You are so beautiful. You look so much like your mother.”
Willow bent down to where she was face to face with the man.
“What…did…you…want…to…tell…me?” She asked saying every word clearly like he was a child that couldn’t understand.

He sighed. “The Giotti family have people in here. They did this to me.”
Willow looked at him like he was and idiot. “That’s it. You couldn’t have told this to one of the guards.”
“I wanted to tell you personally and see my Tara.” He said looking back towards the blonde.

Willow stuck her finger inches from his face. “She is not yours! She never was and never will be!” She shouted.
James’ monitor beeped even faster.
Willow calmed herself. It took every bit of self control for her not to pick up the man and beat the remaining life out of him.

“I want to tell you that I’m sorry for the things I did to you. You didn’t deserve to be treated like that and I’m sorry about your mother. She was a good woman.” He said and lowered his head onto his chest.
“Do you want me to forgive you?” Tara said. She had to train her mind not to stutter. She didn’t want him to see the slightest bit of weakness in her even though her heart was racing faster than his was.
He smiled as he looked back to her. “Yes.”

“What about Lacey?” Willow asked diverting his attention away.
“I don’t know a thing about any Lacey. I owe the Giotti family a lot of money and for their payment, this happened to me.” James said as he closed his eyes. He coughed a few times and the pain was more than evident on his face.
“We’re done.” Willow said and turned to Tara, who had her eyes fixed on the man that lay there, helpless.

Willow put her hand on Tara’s arm and tried to gently guide her away. Tara stood firm. She stared James down, showing that she wasn’t the scared little girl from years past.

Tara turned and looked into Willow’s green eyes. She tilted her head to the side and gave her a long adoring look. “Give me a second.”
Willow looked puzzled. She nodded her head, knowing that this wasn’t the time to question the blonde. She quietly walked to the other side of the room.

Tara walked closer to James. She bent down to whisper in his ear. “If given the chance, I would have stabbed you myself, you son of a bitch. I hate you and everything you ever stood for. I will never forgive you. I hope you burn in hell.” She said low enough that he was the only one to hear. She raised herself back up and looked at him with nothing but fury and loathing. She noticed tears well up in his eyes.

Tara turned and walked over to Willow. She took the redhead’s hand.
Willow pressed a button on a speaker beside the door. “Were done in here.”
A buzzing sound was heard and the door unlatched. The guard from before opened the door and the two women walked out.

Exiting the double doors an announcement was made over the intercom. “We have a code blue in room four. Code blue, room four.”
Willow pulled Tara aside as doctors ran down the hall rolling equipment behind them.

Willow looked at the blonde. “Are you O.K.?” She asked thinking that Tara was going to break down.
Tara nodded and smiled. She wore a smile of gratification, not of regret.

_________________
"Oh yeah?! Well...so's your face!
-Fear Itself


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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 4 (updated 6/02)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:40 pm 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 11:41 am
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Location: Next to an Angel in Houston Texas
:pinky :pinky :pinky :pinky Dibs I don,t need to tell you how much i love this story please write a third story to this please :kitty


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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 4 (updated 6/02)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:45 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 10:13 pm
Posts: 517
Willow Watcher: Great update, first off let me say BRAVO for Tara, I can't even begin to think what that meant for Tara seeing that bastard, for me Hell is too good for him. I really hope that Lacey is going to be OK, who has her and what does it have to do with Angel? I'm really glad that Tara had Willow there with her to support her, just great. I can't wait to read more.

Lonewolf22


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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 4 (updated 6/02)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 2:54 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 1:54 pm
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wooohoo go tara!! I like brave tara its cute :) please update soon!
Erin

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"No candles?...Well I brought one..it's ExtraFlamey" Willow, New Moon Rising


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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 5 (updated 6/5)
PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:32 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Thanks to AlysonGoddess, Lonewolf22, and Dianneswillowtree. You guys are great and I totally appreciate your feedback. So, here's chapter 5!

CHAPTER 5
“Were back!” Willow announced as she opened the door to the firm.
Buffy came running through the front room. “HaveyouseenAngel?” She asked breathing heavy.
“Whoa! Calm down. What’s with the hub bub…bub?” Willow asked as she placed her hands on Buffy’s shoulders.

Buffy took in a deep breath. “Have you seen Angel? He ran out of here before you all left. I haven’t seen him since.”
“He didn’t tell you where he was going?” Willow asked.
“NO!” Buffy shouted.
“Alright Buff. We’ll find out where he is.” Willow said reassuring the woman.
Tara hugged Buffy but didn’t say a word. She walked through the house and down another hallway.
Willow watched her go. She wanted to go after her, but figured that she would leave Tara to her thoughts.

Willow turned back to Buffy. “Have you asked the others?”
“Faith said she was going out on the streets and ask around. Xander and Anya said they were going to the local bars thinking he might just wanted to get away for a few. Cordelia has been in his office calling the hospitals and police. I don’t know what to do. I can’t leave. It’s nearly four o’clock.”

“I’ll wait here with you. Let me go and see what Cordy has found out. Just try and stay calm. Get you a drink and sit down before you pass out.” Willow hugged Buffy and then pulled back.
Buffy nodded and walked into the kitchen. Willow headed towards Angel’s office.

“Hey.” She said as she walked in.
Cordelia had the phone receiver up to her ear and held up a finger, motioning for Willow to hold on.
“Well, if you find anything, you call us and let us know. Got it!” She said as she slammed the phone down.

“So, I gather you didn’t find out anything.” Willow said as she took a seat.
“Damn locals. They aren’t going to tell us anything. This town is run by the Giotti’s. They have the police under their thumb. I even tried to call the FBI office and they couldn’t tell me anything. Giles called and I gave him a situation update.” She slammed her fist on the desk. “Damn it! Why did he have to run out of here like some crazed maniac? I bet you anything he went to the Giotti’s.”
“I wouldn’t doubt it in the least. I would go and try to help find him but I need to stay here with Buffy when she gets the call.” Willow said, reclining back more into the chair.

“How did it go with James?” Cordelia asked giving her full attention to the redhead.
“The only thing the bastard told me was that he owed money to the Giotti’s. One of their family was in there and took care of him personally. He died when we were leaving.”
“Oh my god! How did Tara take it?” The brunette asked.
“Actually, she took it…well she didn’t take it in. I don’t think it has hit her yet. Do you believe that man had the gall to ask for forgiveness?”
“You’re joking? After all he put Tara through. What did she say?”
“She whispered something in his ear and then we left the room, then he died just seconds later.” Willow said crinkling her brows together.
“Don’t you think that’s kinda strange?” The brunette asked giving the same expression as the redhead.
“Yeah. Actually, I never thought about it until now…but yeah.”
Cordelia changed the subject. “Did you talk to whoever stabbed James?”
“Yes. He didn’t say much, just that he was doing family business. I asked him about Lacey, but he said he didn’t know a thing. I am beginning to wonder….” Willow was interrupted when the phone rang.
She looked at the time. Four o’clock. She turned to Cordelia. “Put the tracer on.”
Cordelia nodded her head as Willow walked out of the room.

By the time she walked from the office to the living room, four rings had passed. Buffy stood there over the phone.
Willow nodded her head and Buffy pressed the speaker button.

“Hello.” She answered shakily.
“Do you have our money?” A voice that was synthesized came over the line.
“Yes. Where’s my baby.” Buffy asked. “I want to speak with her.”
“No. She’s safe. All I’m interested in is the money.” The voice came back.
“Where do you want to meet?” Buffy asked wanting all of this to be over with.
“Tomorrow afternoon at five p.m. Meet us at the old Kenwood warehouse. Do you know where that is?” The voice asked sarcastically.
“Yes.” Buffy came back.
“Good. See you tomorrow then.”
The phone clicked.

Buffy heard a dial tone. She turned the phone off.
Cordelia ran out of Angel’s office. “The call came from a phone booth. I’m having the number traced right now. It’ll take a little while.”
“Alright.” Willow said.

“I need to go talk to Tara. I suppose I’m taking her up on her offer.” Buffy said as she walked away. She hated to ask but it seemed like there was no other option.
Willow walked up beside her and they both stopped. “Let me do it. I need to talk to her anyway about today.”
“Yeah. How did that go?” Buffy asked.
Willow looked over her shoulder to Cordelia.
“I’ll fill you in Buffy.” The brunette said.
Willow smiled then looked back to her oldest friend. “Do you happen to know where Tara might be? I thought I saw her head down that hallway.” Willow threw her thumb over her shoulder.
“Oh. She probably went to work out. Third door on your left, the steps lead down to the training rooms.”
“Thanks.” Willow hugged Buffy. “Everything’s going to be alright.”
“Everyone keeps saying that.” Buffy said as she pulled back.
“Just have faith, Buffy. Have faith.” Willow smiled and walked down the hall.

***

Willow got at the bottom of the stairs and could hear loud rock music playing and the slight sound of thumping coming from a room to her right. She opened the door and saw Tara in a sports bra and jogging pants that were rolled down enough to see her hips. The blonde was kicking and punching away at a bag.
Willow stood there and looked at the beauty in front of her. She loved the way that Tara moved and just everything about her, especially her heart. Willow walked over to the stereo and turned it off.
Tara stopped and looked at the redhead then resumed her workout.

“Hey.” Willow said as she walked closer.
“Hey.” Tara said as she did a roundhouse kick at the bag.
“You’re pretty good at that.” Willow said standing still. She didn’t want to get too close.
Tara didn’t say a word. She stood in front of the bag, throwing punch after punch. The punches became harder and quicker. Sweat streamed down from her forehead, dripping off her face or so Willow thought as she inched closer. When she was in clear seeing distance, she realized that sweat was mingled with tears.

“Tara?” Willow walked closer.
“What?” The blonde asked as she punched harder.
Willow walked around and behind her. “Tara, stop.”
Tara kept on.
“Tara, please baby, stop.” Willow pleaded. She could see the sadness in her love’s eyes.
Tara started growling throwing punches. Then the sound that came from her was louder as the thumping on the bag became more and more. She screamed out and her arms were flailing basically out of control. Willow grabbed the blonde and held her arms still. Tara screamed and kicked at the bag as it swung from its chains.

Willow held the blonde tight. “Let it out baby. I’m here, just let it out.” Willow said as she cried herself.
Tara finally broke down. She let Willow catch her fall as both slid down to the soft blue mats.
Willow held Tara from behind as the blonde screamed out and sobbed.
“I’m…I’m such an awful person.” Tara said behind her cries.
“What? No baby, you’re the best person that I know.” Willow said trying her best to be calming.
Tara sat there and just shook her head.
“Tara, baby, you are not an awful person. Why would you think that?” Willow asked.
“I didn’t forgive him. He asked me to forgive him and I…” She looked back at Willow. “I couldn’t.”
“Honey, he didn’t deserve forgiveness. You can’t forgive evil people like him.” She said letting Tara know that it wasn’t the worst thing in the world.
“I told him that if I had the chance, I would have stabbed him myself. I told him I hope he burns in hell for what he did.” Tara broke down even harder. “I hate him. I hate that he’s making me feel this way again.”
“Feel what way?” Willow placed her head on Tara’s shoulder.
“Weak.” She said putting it all in one word.
“Remember years ago when I told you that you were the strongest person that I knew?” Willow asked as she slowly rocked them back and forth.
Tara nodded.
“It’s even more so now. Look at you. You’re strong, more beautiful than I remember; more self confident and you have the gentlest soul that I couldn’t even touch. I love you.” She kissed Tara’s shoulder.
“Have you ever killed someone?” Tara asked out plainly.
Willow’s eyes dropped to the floor. “Yes.” She whispered out.
“I believe I did, today. I believe I killed him when I said what I did and the worst part is I don’t care.” She said as she just stared forward.
“You didn’t kill him. He was dying and I believe he held on just long enough so he could basically torture you one last time. Now someone like that doesn’t deserve to be forgiven.” Willow said trying to convince her love that it was the truth.

Tara turned back and looked into those drowning pools of green. “You believe that don’t you?”
“Yes I do.” She said jutting out her chin.
“Willow?” Tara said still staring into her eyes.
“Yes baby.” Willow answered staring into blue.
“Make love to me, now.” Tara said as she pulled the boxing gloves off her hands.
“Huh?” Willow asked totally taken by surprise.
Tara turned her body around. “Make love to me. Right here, right now. Show me how much you love me. Show me that you need and want me.”
“Huh?” Willow asked again.

Tara pushed herself on top of the redhead, throwing them both down on the mats that lined the entire floor.
Tara kissed Willow hard. More forceful than passion.
“Buabby.” Willow tried to get out behind the lips that were on her.

Tara growled as she moved her hand underneath Willow’s shirt.
Willow cringed when Tara took her breast and squeezed it hard.
Willow pushed Tara up from her.
Tara’s breathing was hard. “What? Don’t you want me?” She asked.
“More than anything, but not like this.” Willow said.
Tara pushed herself down on the redhead again, taking her lips and biting them.
Willow pushed Tara completely off her and the blonde landed on her back. Willow stood up. She put her finger on her bottom lip and pulled it back and saw blood.
“Tara, what are you doing?” Willow asked as she darted her tongue out at her lip and licked the tart taste.
“I want you. I need you.” Tara said as she stood up.

She walked towards the startled redhead.
Willow held up her hand for Tara to stop. “Not like this. I don’t want to make love to you when you are like this. I love you more than anything in this world. I will always want you and need you, but you are upset and angry and to me that’s not making love.”

Tara walked closer. “Get…out!” She yelled.
Willow didn’t say a word. She just turned and walked out, slamming the door behind her.

Tara walked over to the stereo and turned it on and blared the music as loud as it could come out.
She walked back over and picked up her gloves from the floor and began to beat on the bag again.

***

Willow opened the door to the upstairs and slammed it behind her. Buffy came out from the kitchen as Willow walked up the hallway.
Both jumped back when they almost ran into one another.

“Hey.” Buffy said as she looked at the redhead. “What’s wrong?” She always knew by looking at Willow’s facial expressions when she was mad.
“Nothing.” Willow said with a short answer.
Buffy noticed the blood on Willow’s lip. “What happened?”
“It’s nothing. Forget it.” Willow said as she walked passed the blonde.
Buffy caught up with her and turned her around. “Something happened. Now tell me.”
Willow sighed. “It’s Tara. She’s like all to hell about today. I knew she shouldn’t have gone with me. Goddamn it!” Willow licked her lip again.
“She didn’t hit you did she?” Buffy asked.
“No. Nothing like that. She’s just…I don’t know how to explain it.” Willow said dropping her eyes to the floor.
“Come on in the kitchen. I’ll make you some tea and you can try and explain it to me.” Buffy linked arms with the redhead and led the way.

Willow sat down at the bar as Buffy put on a kettle of water.
“Alright. What’s the deal?” Buffy asked as she took a seat across from Willow.
“Well, if Cordelia explained it right, James died today when we were leaving out.” Willow said.
“Yeah, she told me about it.”
“Well, when we left the prison to come back here, Tara didn’t say anything on the trip back. I mean not one word. I thought it best to leave it alone. Something like that kinda shakes a person up a bit.”
Buffy nodded her head, agreeing.

“Anyway, when we got back, as you know she just gave you a quick hug and walked away.”
“Kinda noticed that. Go on.” Buffy said. She got up from the stool and prepared a cup with sugar and a teabag. She sat back down.

“When I went downstairs, she was more or less beating the shit out of the punching bag. I tried to get her to stop, but she just kept punching and then she started screaming. I grabbed her and held her. She told me that she didn’t forgive James and she blames herself for him dying. She said she killed him.”

Buffy looked confused. “O.K. so she didn’t forgive him but that doesn’t mean that she killed him. Daniel told me over the phone that James was really bad off.”
“Exactly. I told her that he just probably held on long enough to make her life one more trip down hellsville and that he didn’t deserve to be forgiven.”
“That’s probably true. But that still doesn’t explain why your lip is bleeding.” Buffy cocked her head to the side.

“Oh well yeah, she umm…she kinda forced herself on me and asked me to make love to her right then and there. For me to show her that she is needed and wanted. I pushed her up off me and told her no but she pushed herself right back down and started biting my lip. Buffy, I love her more than my own life and I would do anything for her, but she was scared and so pissed off, I told her that I didn’t want to make love with her when she was like that. So basically she told me in a not so gentle fashion to leave and well, I did.”

“Probably for the best. I’ll talk with her.” Buffy stood up when the kettle started whistling. She poured the hot water in the cup, stirred it and handed it over to the distressed redhead.

“I appreciate it Buff, but please don’t. I mean I’m sure you can talk to her and help her and all. You have for all these years. You’ve been here when I wasn’t and maybe she’s mad at me for that, in which I can’t blame her. I mean, yeah, I lied to her but she told me that she forgave me…no wait…did she? I don’t know if she did or not. I said I was sorry and she said she was sorry but I have a lot more to be sorry for than she does. But I really haven’t asked her to forgive me. But I probably shouldn’t seeing that James, that fucker, asked her to forgive him and she didn’t and she might think that I’m just saying it because he did, but that doesn’t make any sense. Does it?”

Buffy sat there wide eyed and shook her head. “How can you breathe? You’re babbling is getting worse all the time.”
“Sorry.” Willow said as she stirred her tea with the bag.
“I always thought it was adorable, but sweetie, you’re gonna have a brain hemorrhage one day from the lack of oxygen.

Willow giggled out. She held the cup up to her mouth and took a drink. She quickly put the cup back down and grabbed a napkin. She placed it on her lip and saw spotting of blood that remained.
“Damn it!” She swore patting the napkin on her tender sore.
“I tell you what. I won’t mention a thing to her, but if she comes to me and wants to talk, then I will. O.K.” Buffy suggested.
“Thanks.” Willow smiled at her friend.

“Can someone help me please?!” A shout came from the front room.

Buffy and Willow didn’t hesitate. They both ran out of the kitchen to find Faith trying to pull something big inside the door.
“What is that?” Buffy asked as she approached. She stopped when she recognized what it was.
“Oh god!” Willow helped Faith drag the almost lifeless body inside the door.
“Where did you find him?” Willow asked as she turned Angel on his back. His face was bloody in some places but it was more bruising than anything.
“Right outside. I was walking up the street and saw a black van dump something big outside on the curb. I ran as fast as I could, trying to see who it was but they were gone. I turned around and then I saw it was Angel.” Faith said hysterically.

“Cordy!” Willow yelled out.
The brunette came running out of the office. “What’s going on…oh my god!”
“Call an ambulance, now!” Willow ordered.
Cordelia didn’t waste any time.
“Angel, come on buddy, talk to me.” Willow patted him on the cheek.

A moan came from him as his head moved back and forth, slowly.
“Honey.” Buffy knelt down beside her beaten husband. “Come on.”
Angel opened one eye. The other one was swollen shut.
“Hey.” Buffy said as tears fell from her face.
A white sheet of paper pinned to Angel’s shirt caught Willow’s eye. She opened up and read it:
YOU THINK IT’S JUST THAT
SIMPLE? WE HAVE HER HIDDEN
BETTER THAN THAT. MONEY TOMORROW AT 5:00 OR YOUR
LITTLE GIRL WON’T BE SO LUCKY LIKE ANGEL.

Buffy stood up. She ran into Angel’s office. She emerged just seconds later with a pump action shotgun in her hands.

“Oh no you don’t!” Faith said as she headed towards the blonde.
Buffy aimed the gun right at Faith. “You aren’t going to stop me.”

Willow jumped up and grabbed the gun away from Buffy. She pumped all the shells out of the chamber and threw the gun over to Faith.
“Are you half cracked? You wanna get yourself killed.” She grabbed Buffy by the shoulders and shook her. “We are going to get Lacey back tomorrow. There is no reason for you to go and get yourself hurt like Angel. Your little girl needs the both of you.”

Buffy started crying. “I’m just tired of all this. God, I can’t even count the days since I’ve seen her. They have to pay, Will. They have to.”
“And they will. Trust me on this. They’ll get what they deserve. Alright?” Willow held Buffy to her.
“The ambulance said that they are on their way. They should be here in a few minutes.” Cordelia said as she came running over.

Xander and Anya came in the door. Faith stopped the door just centimeters before it hit Angel in the head.
“Oh dear god! What happened?” Xander asked.
Anya couldn’t stand the sight. She hid her face in Xander’s shoulder.

Sirens were heard from down the street and getting closer.
“No one mentions what happened. We’ll just say it was a gang fight. Keep to that story. No one breathes a word about what really happened. Understood?” Willow asked looking at everyone around the room nod their head.

The ambulance stopped and two men got out. Willow and Faith pulled Angel’s body further into the room so the medics could get through the door.

Willow ran to the phone and dialed a number.
“Hey. It’s Willow. We need you.” She said into the receiver.
“I’ll brief you in when I get there. I’ll head out now.” Willow hung the phone back up.
She walked back over and saw them put Angel on a stretcher and wheel him out the door.

Buffy started heading out when Willow stopped her. “I’ve got to go out of town for a bit. I’ll be back in an hour. I’ve got my cell on me. Call me with any news.”
Buffy nodded her head and walked outside and got into the back of the ambulance.
The vehicle with lights and sirens blaring sped down the street.

“We’re going to the hospital.” Xander said as him and Anya headed out towards their car.
“Cordy, can you man the fort? I’ll be back in a little while. If anything comes up, call me.” Willow said as she headed out as well.

Cordelia shut the door. She heard someone walk up behind her. She whipped around and saw Tara standing there.

“Where did everyone go?” Tara asked wiping the sweat of her brow.

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 5 (updated 6/5)
PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:33 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

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Willow Watcher: Great update, I really don't like that Tara blames herself for James' death, I REALLY, REALLY hope that Willow can get through to her and make her understand that she shouldn't blame herself. I also hope that this doesn't cause too many problems for our girls, I don't like seeing Tara that upset and angry. I hope that Angel will be OK, who has Lacey? I can't wait to read more.

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 5 (updated 6/5)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:23 pm 
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8. Vixen
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:59 pm
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Sorry, I didnt leave feedback on the earlier chapter.
You should definitely post in the update thread! This is such an amazing story, more Kittens should know about it.
Poor Angel. He just couldnt sit still hm?
I dont really like that aggressive attitude Tara sometimes has. It's probably only understandable with all that has happened to her but it kinda makes me uneasy. Cant be healthy. But I know the cure (I think): Willow. :x

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 5 (updated 6/5)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:10 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Location: Reno Nevada
Okay I finshed reading this story last night and I was to tried to post so here it is. I'M SO HAPPY WILLOW AND TARA WORKED IT OUT!!!
Poor Buffy and Angel. I hope everybody can come through for them.
Oh Tara's episode downstairs was crazy! Tara, ít's not your fault!!! The fact that she took it out on Willow was kinda harsh. Well really harsh! But still, Tara's aggressive side can be crazy.
Well knowing Willow, she'll forgive her. I just hope Tara comes through.
But still LOVE the update. Keep um coming!! I need more!!
:peace Akyiree

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 6 (updated 6/9)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:03 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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I really don't know why the chapters repeat. Something screwy is going on.

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Last edited by Willow Watcher on Mon Jun 12, 2006 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 6 (updated 6/9)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:04 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Hello you fuzzy fuzzy :kitty's. Thank you all for your feedback. So, here's Chapter 6!


CHAPTER 6
Willow picked up her cell phone when it rang. “Hello.” She answered.

“Will, they let Angel out of the hospital. He has a few broken ribs and a lot of bruising, but he didn’t want to stay. They gave him some medication for pain but they said as long as he rested he should be O.K.” Buffy said.

“Thank god it wasn’t worse than that. I’m about twenty minutes away. See you soon. Bye.”
She flipped her phone shut and placed it back in the console.
Willow stared out the windshield.

“You gonna sit there or tell me the rest of the soddin’ story.”
-------------------------------------------------------------

Tara came down stairs after taking a shower. She had worked out a bit longer and meditated after Cordelia had filled her in on what happened.
She walked into the kitchen and put the kettle on the stove.

Buffy walked in and sat down at the bar.
“You want me to fix you a cup of tea?” Tara asked in her normal sweet tone.
“That would be great.” Buffy answered. She rested her head in her hands.
Tara sat down across from her. “So…umm…where did Willow head out to?”
“She didn’t say much just that she had to go out of town for a bit. I just called her and she’s about twenty minutes out.” Buffy said as she looked at Tara. The woman sat there and was wringing her hands together. “You want to talk about it?” She asked.
“I don’t know where to start.” Tara said as she shook her leg nervously.
“Start at the beginning.” Buffy suggested.

“When I went down to work out, Willow came down there. She was doing nothing but comforting me when I broke down. I kinda forced myself on her. I don’t know why.” Tara confessed lowering her head.
“I bet I can tell you why.” Buffy took Tara’s hand into hers.
Tara looked up at the blonde hoping she could give her the answers she needed.

“After today and what happened at the prison, all those memories came back, didn’t they?” Buffy asked making sure she was on the right track.
Tara nodded.
“You just needed comfort and when you saw him again, and the memories of not having Willow around when you needed her, it all came crashing in on you. You just needed to be reassured that Willow still wanted you in every way. So, the going slow part just kinda got pushed to the side. You wanted the raw touch of attention not the words. Frustration and anger and all those other memories just made you react in a non Tara fashion. Am I getting close?”
Tara nodded one again. “But I was the one who pushed her away. I told her that I needed time.”
“And you used that time wisely. You found out who you were and you also found out without Willow, your life isn’t complete. Right?”
“Once again, you’re on the mark.” Tara stood up as the kittle started whistling. She grabbed two cups out of the cupboard and fixed the tea. She turned and handed one to Buffy.

“Buffy, I was rough with her. I bit her lip and made her bleed. I would never do anything to hurt her. I love her but now I hate myself.” Tara looked down at the steaming hot liquid in the cup.
“Just talk with her Tara. When she comes back, just talk it out. People have told me this a thousand times over but everything will be alright. Just be yourself. Willow loves every part of you. Mad Tara, forceful Tara, loveable Tara and all the Tara’s in between.” Buffy said with reassurance.
“When did you become all psychological?” Tara asked smiling sweetly at her friend.
“You know me, just full of surprises.” Buffy said as she took a drink of tea. She groaned enjoying the sensation that ran down her throat.

Anya came in the kitchen. She noticed the steam coming out of the kettle. She fixed her a cup of instant coffee and sat down at the bar.
“How’s it going?” She asked Buffy.
“Well, things are pretty shitty right now. Angel will be alright, but he’s beating himself up inside because he knows that he’s out of the game plan. He can barely move. They should have made him stay in the hospital.” Buffy sighed as she took another drink.
“Well you know how men are. They act tough because it’s a thing they have going on with their penis.” Anya said as she took a drink from her cup.
Tara and Buffy looked at one another and laughed. “Anya, you’re a hoot.” Buffy said.
Anya looked at Buffy puzzled. “Well, it’s true. They think since they have a penis they have the power, which isn’t true. I know during sex, I ask Xander all the time who does his penis belong to and he always says it’s mine. Men are always with the ‘Power of the Penis.” She said as she raised her fist in the air.
Tara about fell off her stool from laughing so hard. Buffy got of from her seat and went over and hugged Anya, still laughing. “I love you.”

Anya looked confused. “I…love you too, Buffy.” Anya and Buffy never shared really close moments, much less exchanged feelings for one another. “Why are we hugging?” She asked.
Buffy pulled back. “I just needed a good laugh. This entire experience has been hell and a little laughter once in awhile can help out. And you, my dear Anya have a sense of humor no one could match.” Buffy kissed her on the cheek and walked out of the room, still giggling.

Anya turned her attention to Tara. “Have you and Willow been rubbing your lesbianism off on her? She’s acting very strange.”
“No rubbing of any kind going on. She’s just loves everyone that’s helping out. It means a lot to her that you and Xander are here.”

Anya puffed out her chest. “We are going to help find that baby. She’s a cute child and I want a child as sweet as she is one day. I want a lot of children, but I think Xander wants just a limit of three.”
“Well, don’t you think three’s enough? That’s a pretty good hand full. With all the kids I deal with everyday, I know it can get a little overwhelming.” Tara stated reasonably.
“No, no. I want at least five or maybe six. I love children and I think I would be a good mother.”

Tara smiled. She walked over and hugged Anya. “You would make a fantastic mother.”
Anya hugged her back. “You are sweet. I have always liked you.”
Tara pulled back and looked at the woman. She kissed Anya on the cheek and headed out of the kitchen.
Anya smiled. “If they think I’m joining their lesbian group, well, I’ll have to ask Xander.” She said to herself as she continued drinking her coffee.

Tara came out of the kitchen and saw Buffy sitting on the couch. She headed towards her when the front door swung open.

“I’m back.” Willow said as she walked in.
Buffy turned around. “Hey Will.” Buffy hesitated a moment. “You gonna close the door?” She asked curious.
“Well, if she did that then I would be locked outside in the bleeding rain. You wouldn’t want me to catch a death of cold, would ya goldie locks?”
“Spike!” Buffy jumped off the couch and took the man into a tight hug. “Oh my god!”
“Glad to know I’m still welcomed around here.” Spike said as he pulled back. “Where’s nancy boy?”
Buffy looked at him and rolled her eyes. “You haven’t changed a bit. He’s upstairs in the bed.”
“Well, I’m gonna go see how he’s holdin’ up.” He said as he walked up the stairs.

Willow closed the door and turned to Buffy. “Angel’s doing alright?” She asked shaking the water off her clothes.
“Not much. He’s more hurt that he can’t move and take care of business tomorrow.” Buffy said with hurt in her voice.
“That’s the reason I brought Spike here. He’s no Angel, but I know he’ll do what he can.”

Buffy took the redhead into her arms. “Thank you.”
Willow clung to her friend. “I told you that I’m here, no matter what.” She looked up from Buffy’s shoulder and saw Tara standing there with her arms crossed over her chest, looking everywhere but at the two embracing women.
Buffy and Willow parted.

“I’m…uh…going to go upstairs and get dried off. Probably take a long shower.” Willow said as she headed up the stairs.
“Hey.” Tara said in a high pitched voice.
Willow nodded her head and continued to ascend the stairs.
Tara looked over at Buffy. “She hates me.”
“She doesn’t hate you. She’s just confused and hurt right now. Let her take a shower and relax a bit. She’ll come around.” Buffy said as she sat back down on the couch.
Tara plopped down beside her and sighed.
---------------------------------------------------

Angel woke up with the blonde British man looking down at him.
“Hi Spike.” He said weakly.
“Hello to you too.” Spike picked up a chair that was in the corner of the room and sat it down beside the bed. He swooped his black leather duster around his legs and flopped in the seat.
“Why are you here?” Angel asked trying to sit up, but he was in too much pain to move.

“Willow said that you all needed help finding the nibblet. She filled me in on most of the info that’s goin’ on around here. Thought I might join in the fight.” Spike said looking at his old friend.
“We don’t need any help. So just go back to wherever you’ve been.” Angel spat out.
“Ah, I see how it is. Well, nancy boy, get out of that bed you’re ass is stuck in and throw me outta here.” Spike said smirking.
“Fuck you Spike! I don’t need you’re help!” Angel yelled and then cringed in pain.
“Don’t be a stupid git. You can barely move.” Spike said with reason.

Angel tried his best to move. He yelled out when his body twisted.
“See. That’s what I mean. I just came to help is all.” Spike got up and helped Angel situate to where he felt more comfortable.
“That better?” Spike asked.
Angel nodded his head and sighed as the blonde headed man sat back down.

“Alright, captain peroxide, tell me what you plan on doing?” Angel asked.
“Well according to red, just escort the ladies to the warehouse and make sure that no one gets hurt. Give the money to who ever has Lacey, get her back and then come back here. Simple as that.” Spike said as he and Willow basically went over the scenario on the trip over.
Angel laughed then coughed and moaned in pain. “That’s it? That’s the great plan?”
“What the hell do you want? If you’re expectin’ some kind of Rambo trick, you’re out of you bleedin’ skull.” Spike sat up and looked at the man.
“Do you honestly think that I would let them get away with taking my daughter?” Angel asked looking at Spike.
“What else were you gonna do? There are ladies going to be there and the little bit. Do you think that if you pulled your brass balls out that no one would get hurt? Are you stupid man?!” Spike stared him down.
Angel sighed. “I hate to say this, but you’re right. And remember, I hate to say it.”

“Right then. Well, I’ll leave you to rest. I’ll check with you tomorrow before we leave.” Spike rose up and placed the chair back in the corner. He had his hand on the door knob.
“Thanks.” Angel said as he closed his eyes.
“Not a problem.” Spike turned the light out and exited the room.

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

Tara walked down the hall with a hot cup of tea in her hand. She knocked on the door to Willow’s room.
“Yes.” Willow answered.
“Umm…it’s me. Can I come in?” Tara asked. Her heart was beating fast.

The knob turned and the door opened a bit. Tara walked in and watched as Willow lay back on the bed, covered her legs and began reading a book.
“Whatcha reading?” Tara asked as she walked in and closed the door behind her.

Willow closed the book and laid it on the nightstand. “Nothing interesting.”
“I thought you would like some tea.” Tara held out the cup.
“Thanks.” Willow took the cup and placed it on the table beside the book.
“You’re welcome.” Tara stood there placing her hands behind her. She looked around the room, trying to find something, anything to think of to talk about.
She walked over to the dresser and picked up a teddy bear. “This is cute.”
“My mom gave it to me. I never go on a long trip without it.” Willow said as she watched the blonde.
“I’m sorry about your mom.” Tara said as she stroked the matted fur on the bear.
“Thanks. Buffy told me you were at the funeral. I appreciate it.” Willow said as she watched Tara place the bear back down on the dresser.
Tara shrugged her shoulders. “You’re welcome.”
She looked over at Willow and sighed. She knew that apparently it was hopeless. “I’ll just go.” Tara headed for the door.

“Tara?” Willow called to her.
“Yes.” She answered with a cracked voice. Tears streamed down her face.
Willow looked at her love. “Come here, please.”
Tara walked around the nightstand and stood by the bed.
Willow held out her arms and Tara fell into them. “Oh Willow, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. Please forgive me.”
Willow stroked Tara’s beautiful long hair. She giggled and it turned into a laugh.

Tara sniffed and looked up, puzzled.
Willow’s face went serious. “I’m sorry.” She tried to control laughing but she couldn’t hold it in. She busted out and rolled to her side on the bed.
“Willow, sweetie, I’m really not seeing the humor here.” Tara wiped the remaining tears from her face.
Willow sat up. “I’m sorry baby, its just, when I was talking to Buffy earlier about, you know, what happened in the training room, I went into this big long explanation about how much I love you and I was thinking that the reason you did what you…well did…was because you were still kinda mad at me for lying to you and then I asked the question ‘did I ask Tara for forgiveness’ and I couldn’t remember if I did or not and I said that if I did ask you now that maybe you would have thought I was saying it because James said it and I thought that you might think I didn’t mean it. You know what I mean?” Willow raised her brow and smiled.

“I think so, but I wouldn’t have thought that. I forgave you a long time ago. If I didn’t, I would never have told you that I still love you and you know I do understand why you did what you did.” Tara looked into Willow’s eyes.
“Well, I’m happy that you understand but, I’ll ask anyway.” She took the blonde’s hand into hers. “Tara, I am so sorry for lying to you and making you think that I was something I wasn’t. But, I do want you to know I loved you then and I love you even more now. Hell, I never stopped loving you, but if you will find it in that beautiful heart to forgive me, I promise to never lie to you again.” Willow kissed her hand.

Tara put her head down on Willow’s lap. “I love you so much and I found out something today.”
“What’s that?” Willow played with the long blonde hair.
“I am nothing without you…”
“Tara, don’t say that.” The redhead interrupted.
Tara rose her head up and looked into the deep green eyes. “I am nothing without you.” She said again stretching every word out.

Willow’s heart filled even more. A glowing smile came on her face. “I know exactly what you mean.”
“Promise me something?” Tara asked while stroking her hand through the fiery red hair.
“Anything.” She answered leaning into the touch.
“Promise me that we will always be together and that you will never leave, no matter what kind of bitch I may turn into sometimes.”
“I promise never to leave no matter what. You are stuck with me like glue. Hey like super glue. The superiest super glue they can make, oh…oh like a fly stuck to that gooey strip thing that you find hanging in these little convenient stores here and there…but that’s really not a good analogy because it’s gross. But yes, I promise never to leave you. I promise that I will always love you and be here whenever you need me or even when you don’t.”

Tara sat down on the bed. She stroked her thumb gently over Willow’s lip. “Can you forgive me for what happened today?”
Willow took the blonde in her arms. “Yes baby. All is forgiven.

Tara breathed out in relief. “Thank you.” She pulled back and planted a soft kiss on the red lips.
“Mmmm.” Willow let out.
Tara smiled and placed another kiss but held her lips there longer. She pulled back looking at Willow, her Willow. Her eyes were closed and a grin on her face.

Willow opened her eyes and stared into deep blue ones. “Tara, make love to me.”
“Oh yes.” Tara replied seductively.
Tara moved in and was met half way when their mouths clashed together. Willow gently pushed her tongue inside the blonde’s mouth.
Tara moaned as their tongues circled and danced around.

Willow pulled back and quickly removed her pajama top, then resumed ravishing her lover’s lips.
Tara gently pulled back from the kiss. “Slow baby.”
Willow sighed in frustration. “I remember.” The disappointment was evident in her voice. She leaned back on the pillows and ran her hand through her hair.

Tara removed her shirt. She leaned over the redhead. “I meant slow down, sweetie. There’s no rush here.”
Willow’s eyes shot open when she noticed Tara was without her top and no bra. “Oh! I thought you meant the slow like the slow you were talking about before. I can go slow. Slow is good because we want it to last. No going fast here. No ma’am. Just call me a snai…”

She was cut off when Tara took her finger and placed it over her lips. “You better save your breath. You’ll need it.” Tara said as she smiled and raised one eyebrow.
Willow’s heart skipped a beat. She nodded enthusiastically as Tara leaned in for a more passionate kiss.

Tara took her hand and explored the pert breast. She heard Willow moan which urged her to slightly pinch the already erect nipple. Willow placed her hand behind the blonde’s head and pulled her even closer.
Willow moved her hand down and massaged Tara’s full breast. The blonde’s breath quickened when she felt the soft, but strong hand grab her. She pulled away from the redhead’s lips and left butterfly kisses on Willow’s cheek and moved around to the sensitive spot below the ear that she knew drove the redhead wild.
“Yes.” Willow whispered out.

She nipped and licked at the spot as Willow’s moans increased. She removed her hand off Willow’s breast and moved it around her back and scooted her down on the bed more.

Her hand roamed up to Willow’s shoulder and moved down to her breast again. She slightly pinched the nipple, hearing a sharp intake of breath. Her hand slipped over the soft little stomach of her love. Even there she felt Willow’s heart beat faster.
Willow wrapped her arms around the blonde. Her arousal was building fast as Tara’s hand moved lower. Tara slipped her hand down under the covers playing with the waistband of Willow’s pajama shorts.
Willow bucked her hips. “Oh Tara, please baby.” She pleaded.

Tara licked down between the redhead’s neck and shoulder.
Willow bucked her hips higher and let out a high pitched moan when Tara bit down.
Tara moved her hand down over the shorts to Willow’s inner thigh. She massaged her way up to the redhead’s sex and fluttered her fingers over it while making her way down the other thigh.
Willow dug her finger nails into Tara’s back. “You’re driving me crazy!” She whispered out loudly.

Tara moaned out when she felt the sharp sensation. She slowly removed from her position and stood at the edge of the bed.

“Whatcha doin’?” Willow asked curiously.
Tara grinned. She moved her fingers down her body to her jeans. She unbuttoned and unzipped them and slowly moved them down her beautiful muscular legs. She kicked them backwards and they landed in a chair.
Willow took her eyes off the blonde over to the chair. “Talented.”
“I have many talents.” Tara wiggled her brows.

Willow moved her eyes back over and scanned up and down the almost naked goddess that stood before her. She stopped when she saw the light blue silky thong. “Nice. Matches your eyes.” She sat up on the edge. She pulled the blonde closer and kissed her stomach and held her head there. “I love you more than anything.”
Tara ran her fingers through the red hair. “I love you too sweet heart.”

Willow kissed and licked up and down Tara’s stomach. She circled her tongue around the belly button getting a slight moan from the blonde. Willow moved her hands up Tara’s sides, bringing them around to grasp the full voluptuous breast. Tara leaned her head back, enjoying the feel of Willow’s hands roam over her. Willow could smell the fragrance of Tara’s sex. She took one hand and opened the waist band of the panties and licked down. Tara tightened her grip on Willow’s hair. She tried to urge her further down, but Willow didn’t move from her position.
“Oh god Willow.” Tara let out.

Willow looked up as Tara looked down. Their eyes met. Willow moved her hand down Tara’s stomach, feeling the blonde shutter.
She took her fingers and ran them across the waist band of Tara’s thong. She stopped when both of her hands were on the thin strings that curved around the blonde’s hips. In one quick jerk, she ripped the strings apart and then pulled the thong through Tara’s legs.
Tara jerked when she felt the sting run across her hard clit. Willow threw the panties behind her.
“Those were my favorite pair.” She said panting.
“I’ll buy you some more.” Willow smiled seductively. Her eyes moved down and widened when she saw the beautifully trimmed blonde hair.
She ran her finger down and barely touched it when she felt Tara gently push her back. Willow looked up and smiled. Tara slid her hands up Willow’s silky thighs. “These have to go.” She quickly removed Willow’s shorts and threw them to the side.

Tara stood there in awe as her eyes scanned up and down the redhead’s body. Willow was gorgeous. Her freckled light skin and the small patch of fiery red hair, Tara could hardly move. She knew this beautiful woman was her life, her love and everything she had ever dreamed of. She loved her with all her heart, soul, and mind. From this point, she wanted to spend every moment she could with her. “I love you.”
“And I love you.” Willow situated herself and patted the mattress beside her. “C’mere baby.”

Tara shook her head. Willow smiled when Tara dropped to her knees. Willow spread her legs apart. Tara took her finger and stroked her nail up and down the inside of Willow’s thigh. Willow shivered and rocked her hips.
Tara stroked her finger closer to the redhead’s sex. Willow’s wetness was growing inside her and flowing out.
Tara smiled at the sight. She subconsciously licked her lips. She moved her head closer, nuzzling her nose in the thin coppery hair. Willow was soft and the fragrance rising from her made Tara moan. Tara stoked her finger down the wet lips.

Willow’s hips bucked up. “Oh Tara, yesss! Ahhh!” Her body tensed when Tara flicked her tongue out and tapped the bundle of nerves.
Willow groaned.

Tara stoked her tongue around the natural honey covered lips. She moaned out when she tasted the sweet nectar. “You taste so good.” With that said, she stoked her tongue wildly around the hard clit.
Willow hissed and moaned loudly. “Tara, oh god…please baby…inside.”
Tara circled one of her fingers outside Willow’s center.
Willow grabbed the sheets when Tara inserted two fingers. “Oh TARA!” She breathed out.

Tara started to slowly pump her fingers in and out. She placed her tongue on top of her fingers letting them guide her inside. Willow grabbed Tara’s hair and pulled her closer to her.
“Come for me Willow.” Tara mumbled out.
“Oh baby!” Willow screamed.

Tara took her mouth and placed it over the redhead’s clit and sucked. She felt the muscles tighten around her fingers. She drew her fingers in and out as she sucked and licked the nub.
Willow’s hips bucked completely off the bed. “OH GOD! TARRAAAAAA!!!” She rocked her body as her orgasm let loose.
Tara removed her fingers and pushed her tongue inside as far as it could go.
Willow screamed out again as another surge ran down her body.
Tara moaned as she tasted the sweet juice flow in her mouth.
Willow’s body collapsed on the bed. She stroked her fingers through Tara’s hair. The blonde raised her head and smiled.

Willow looked down. “You’re….you are amazing.” She said as her head fell back.
“I wouldn’t go that far.” Tara said as she crawled up the bed and laid her head on Willow’s shoulder.
“Are you arguing with an expert? I think I would know, ya know.” Willow hugged Tara closer.
Tara sighed. “Willow, can I ask you a personal question?”
“Sure baby.” She said as she kissed the blonde hair.
“How many…I mean it’s none of my business and if you don’t want me to know, that’s really alright. I was just wondering because you said that I was amazing and then you said that you were an expert.” Tara took in a deep breath.
Willow giggled. “Contagious babble disease thing is happening again. Medicine must have run out. But seriously baby, what’s up?”

“How many women have you ever had…ya know…sex with?” Her face turned red for even asking the question.
“Huh? Where did that one come from?” Willow asked.
“Well, I remember when we were at the high school and that geek said something about you picking them kinda young and then when we went to the bar, Spike said something about another bird for the flock and then just now you said what you did and I was just wondering.” Tara said still blushing.
Willow rose up. She gently guided Tara’s head down on the bed and propped herself up on her arm. She looked down at her love. “You have one hell of a memory.”
“Photographic memory, actually. I saw your face every night when I went to sleep. I would dream of nothing but you and me.” She admitted.

Willow lowered her head and placed a gentle kiss on the luscious lips. She moaned when she smelled herself on her lover. She wanted to deepen the kiss, but she wanted to ease the blonde’s doubts.
“There’s been only one, Tara. Only one.” She said.
“Oh, one other besides me. That’s O.K.” Tara smiled.
“No baby. You are the only one. I’ve had girlfriends, but I never let it go past just fooling around.” Willow kissed her again.
“Why nothing more? I mean, yay for me, but I know about the desire thing and wanting and needing. Believe me.” She said rolling her eyes.
Willow stroked Tara’s cheek. “It was never right. They weren’t the one. They weren’t you.” Willow confessed.
“Really?” Tara’s heart knew it was the truth, but her self credence needed to be assured.
Willow grinned. “Really. Tara, you are the only one for me. I love you and want to spend forever making sure that you know that.”

Tara pulled Willow’s head down and kissed her deeply. Tara pulled away. “I want you to know that there has never been anyone else but you. I’ve never even dated. Kinda lame I know, but it is true.”
“It’s not lame. I know how you feel.” Willow leaned down again. She took Tara’s lips and kissed them and ran her tongue over them.
She took Willow’s tongue in her mouth and sucked on it.

Willow moved her hand down Tara’s muscular body. She ran her fingers through the honey blonde wiry hair and touched the hard nub.
Tara moaned into Willow’s mouth. She rocked her hips back and forth.
Willow slowly moved her finger in a circular motion. She broke away from the kiss, letting Tara’s moans free. She kissed down her cheek, throat and stopped when she came to the blonde’s breast. She took one of the hard nipples in her mouth and sucked slightly.
Tara ran her hand up and down Willow’s back. “Oh god!” She let out.

Willow stoked her finger from Tara’s clit down and back up again circling the bundle of nerves.
Tara’s rocking became faster. “Willow!” She called out.
Willow let the nipple go and kissed her way down. She rubbed her cheek along the blonde hair. She took her finger and lifted up on Tara’s clit and kissed it.

Tara jerked. She grabbed the red hair and urged Willow on.
Willow licked her tongue up and down Tara’s sex, flicking it slightly over the clit. She loved the way the blonde tasted. She moaned when her tongue tasted the honey that poured out.

Willow pulled her head up. She looked up as Tara looked down.
“I want you to do something.” Willow said.
“What?” Tara breathed out.
“I want you to touch yourself for me.” Willow said seductively.

Tara fluttered her eyelids at the thought. She moved her hand down and took her finger and began to slowly rub her clit.

Willow watched Tara as her actions became faster. The redhead quickly shoved two fingers inside.
Tara screamed in ecstasy. She was getting so close to her peak. Her hips bucked up and down as she put more pressure on her clit while Willow moved her fingers in and out. Tara felt like she was on fire. Her muscles clinched tight around Willow’s fingers, but the redhead pumped her fingers faster.
“Oh god…Oh god! YES WILLOW!” Tara screamed out. “I’M COMMMM…”

Willow quickly removed Tara’s finger. She clamped her mouth over the erect clit and sucked hard.
Tara bucked and yelled out her lover’s name as her mind blowing orgasm ripped through her very soul.
Her body flopped back down on the bed. She twitched as she rode out the last contractions. “That was…” Her hips threw themselves back up when Willow pumped her fingers in her hard and touched her g-spot while sucking on the clit. “WILLOWWWW!!!” She screamed as loud as she could with another climax.

Willow slowed her fingers and gently brought them out. She licked all the essence that poured out of the blonde.

Tara stroked her fingers through the red hair, with effort. She was absolutely spent as if breathing itself was a hard task.
Willow crawled back up and wrapped the blonde in her arms.

“I…I love you.” Tara said as she shivered.
Willow pulled the blanket over them both. “I love you too baby.” She kissed the blonde on the cheek and pulled her closer. Willow heard Tara’s breath go in and out with a slow rhythm. She curled her body around the blonde and joined her in sleep.

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 6 (updated 6/9)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 3:42 pm 
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8. Vixen
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:59 pm
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Location: Germany
Uhmmmm *thud*

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 6 (updated 6/9)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:14 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 10:13 pm
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Willow Watcher: Great update, I think I need a REALLY COLD shower after reading that. I'm really glad that Willow forgave Tara, I was a little worried for a second but just for a second. I hope that they find Lacey real soon. I can't wait to read more.

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 7 (updated 6/12)
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:18 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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It's getting intense people! Here's chapter 7.

CHAPTER 7
Clothes and part of the bed’s blankets were scattered across the floor.
“When did the sun come up?” Willow said as she laid her head on Tara’s lap.

Tara looked out the window. They spent most of the night making love only to rest for very little bits of time for sleep. “When the moon went down.” Tara responded with a giggle.

Willow rose up and gave her love a soft gentle kiss. She pulled away and smiled as she situated herself back on Tara’s lap. “What time is it?” She said as she yawned.
“Umm…” Tara looked around and found Willow’s Mickey Mouse watch on the nightstand. “Ten thirty.”
Willow growled. “We need to get up. I don’t want too but today’s the day. We still have a lot of planning to do.”

Tara stroked her fingers lightly over the redhead’s freckled back. She stretched out. “Yep. Need to get up. What time are we supposed to be at the warehouse?”
Willow shot up and looked at Tara. “What do you mean we?”

Tara jerked her head back at Willow’s abrupt manner. “We as in you and me and the others.”
“Oh no! There is no way you are going. I told you I do the field work. I am not going to have you put in danger.” Willow said as she jutted out her chin.
“And what are you going to do if I want to go, tie me up? Do you think that I am going to sit around here knowing that you are going out there? Willow I am going and that is final.” Tara said giving Willow the same look.

Willow got up from the bed. “Fine!” She yelled as she walked over and picked out some clothes. She didn’t say anymore as she went into the bathroom and slammed the door shut.
Tara closed her eyes and shook her head.
Tara got up out of the bed. She looked in the closet and found one of Willow’s big terry cloth robes. She slipped it on and quietly left the room.

***

Tara entered the kitchen. Everyone was gathered around discussing the day’s events ahead.

“I think we just go in there and bust some heads.” Faith said as she pounded her fist into the palm of her hand.
“Faith, that really isn’t the solution.” Buffy spoke up.

“Well, what do you suggest then?” Asked Cordelia.
“I think we should just give them what they want and then just let it go. They mean business and I don’t think we shouldn’t put Lacey into any more danger than what she already has endured.” Anya advised.

“I know I had to convince Angel to go with that plan last night. Stubborn bloke that one is.” Spike said.
“I agree with Spike and Anya.” Cordelia said.
“You agree with me?” Anya asked the former beauty queen.
Codelia nodded her head.
“I win!” Anya exclaimed in victory.
Everyone looked at her perplexed.
“What do you mean you mean you win?” Cordelia asked.
“I just do.” Anya put her hands on her hips.
“Xander, you’re girlfriend is an idiot.” Cordelia said as she turned and walked out of the room.
Anya smacked him on the arm. “Why didn’t you take up for me?”
He rubbed his arm. “She’s gone now. There’s really no point Ahn.”
“Stupid queen wannabe.” She huffed as she crossed her arms over her chest.

Tara cleared her throat as she sat down on a stool. “I see everyone is in the zone this morning.” She smiled as she looked around at everyone.
“Hey Tara. Where’s Willow?” Buffy asked and snickered.
Tara crinkled her brow. “She’s upstairs taking a shower.”

Everyone started giggling as they looked around the room avoiding eye contact with the blonde.
“Is there something funny that I missed out on?” Tara asked.

“I know I’d like to have been a fly on the wall last night. You and the red bird can get a little vocal there blondie.” Spike said as he nodded his head towards upstairs.

Tara put her face in her hands. “Oh Jesus Christ!” She exclaimed.
“Spike!” Everyone shouted out.
“What?” The blonde man held out his hands.
“Blunt much?” Buffy walked over to Tara. She wrapped her arms around the embarrassed woman.
“I’m just glad you two made up.” She whispered in Tara’s ear.

Tara looked up and grinned at her friend. “Me too, but once again I think I pissed her off.”
“Oh yeah, that’s unusual.” Faith said in a sarcastic tone. “Red’s always pissed off at something. You two will make up a lot. I swear, you and her can get it…”
“Faith!” Buffy snapped. “That’s enough.”
Faith laughed.

“What happened?” Xander asked as he approached.
“I told her that I was going with you all this afternoon and she went off saying that there was no way and I told her yes and so she stormed off into the bathroom.” Tara explained to the tall man.
“I’ll go talk with her.” Xander said.
He started to get looks from the women in the room.
“What? I meant that I was going to wait for her in her room, far away from the bathroom and then talk.”
He said in his defense.

Tara put her hand on his arm. “Thanks.”
Xander kissed her on the cheek. “You’re welcome.” He walked out of the room.

Tara looked at Anya expecting her to say something.
“That’s O.K. Tara. I know that you are gay and Xander is mine and there’s no way that you two could ever get together, especially after what everyone said this morning. You and Willow must have really impressed the whole house. I wish I could have been here to hear it. That would have been interesting. I don’t know how you and she could have sex without a penis. I mean I know I couldn’t.”
Tara’s face fell back into her hands. “Oh god.” She said as she shook her head back and forth.
“It’s possible Anya. Very possible.” Faith said as she stared off and smiled.

Everyone looked at her with wide eyes.
“And you would know this how?” Spike inquired.
“You get lonely in prison. You think I could have gone for that long without getting any?” Faith said as if nothing was out of the ordinary.
“Once again with the fly comment.” Spike mumbled.
--------------------------------------------------------

Xander waited patiently as he sat down on Willow’s bed. He tried to ignore the clothes that were strewn all over the floor. His eyes widened when he noticed a torn blue thong on the bed. He reached his hand out but he jumped up when he heard the bathroom door open. “Hey Will!” He said enthusiastically.
“Xander! What are you doing in here?” She asked as she approached him.
“Thought that maybe we could talk like old times.” Xander explained.

Willow stomped around the room. “Not really in the mood.”
“I get that, but I think you need to get out whatever has you in this glorious mood.” He sat back down.

“Xander.” She sighed out. “Why are you up here?”
“Because you are upset at Tara again and I told her that I would come up here and talk with you.”
“I think she and I can work it out on our own.” Willow spat out.

“Will, she wants to go with us. You know how she feels about what happened to Lacey. She still blames herself for it.” He said.
“But it’s not her fault. I told her that. I don’t want her out there and maybe get hurt.” Willow said.
“Willow, you don’t understand. Tara has been helping with cases for a good while. She has done more field work than you could possibly imagine. She knows how to be careful and she’s smart.” Xander said trying to reassure his friend’s doubt. “You can’t protect her from everything. You’ll only hurt her inside if she thinks you think she’s weak.”

“I know she’s smart and I know she is strong, I lost her once Xan, I don’t think I could do it again if something went wrong.” Willow slumped down on the bed beside him. “I love her so much.”

“I know you do and everyone else does too, but Willow, let her be a part of this. She needs to feel useful. I think she wants to prove that to you.” Xander put his hand on the redhead’s leg.
“She is useful. She’s essential. She’s my everything. And she has nothing to prove to me.”
“Tara thinks she does.” He tilted his head to the side and looked directly into Willow’s eyes. “Before you left Sunnydale, what was you’re idea of Tara.”

“What do you mean? My idea of Tara was this beautiful, strong, vibrant woman that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.” Willow sat straight up.

“Willow, this is me. No one is going to come in that door and I’m not going to say anything to anyone.” Xander reassured the redhead’s confidence in him.
“Honestly, yeah, I’ll admit it. I thought she was frail. But she was going through so much and I just wanted to wrap my arms around her and shield her from all the pain and hurt and I suppose I still do.”
Willow lowered her head.

“That’s what I mean. You want to protect her but look at her Will. She is strong. She works out everyday, not only her body but her mind. She struggled so long and hard to the point that she doesn’t stutter anymore. Remember when I had a stuttering problem and you worked with me and helped me gain my confidence?”
Willow nodded.

“Tara did all that on her own. She had no one to help her. She had us to support her, but she was so determined to cure herself. There’s still pain deep inside her, but she has hid that old Tara away and came out a new, better and stronger woman. And when you tell her that she can’t do something when she’s determined she is going to anyway, she feels like you look at the frail little Tara from long ago.” He broke it down as plainly as he could.

Willow propped back on her hands and turned to look at her old dear friend. “I suppose you’re right. I didn’t mean to make her feel that way.”
Xander patted her on the knee and got up. “You need to let her know that.”
Willow stood up and pulled him in a hug. “Thanks. You’re the best.”
“Yeah?” Xander asked.
“You betcha.” Willow replied.

Xander opened the door. “Well, from what I hear and apparently everyone in the house, you’re pretty fantastic yourself. Next time you and Tara wanna do the mattress mombo, might wanna think about getting a sound proof room.” He winked at the confused redhead and walked out the door.
“XANDER!!!” Willow screamed.

Xander sprinted down the hallway laughing as the redhead ran out of the room. He ran down the stairs, but Willow front flipped over the banister and landed on her feet.

He screamed when the redhead stood upright and smiled at him. “Gotcha!”
Xander smiled sweetly and held his hands up. “Easy there little red.”
Willow glared at him and smiled even bigger. “I’ll show you little red.”
Everyone came running out of the kitchen. They stood back to watch the show.
“Now Willow, don’t do anything you’re gonna regret.” Xander squeaked out.
“You mean, you’ll regret?” She asked still approaching him.
Xander dodged by her and ran over towards his friends.

Willow grinned. She turned around and back flipped over and over and hurled her body in the air and landed perfectly in between him and the group.

Tara’s eyes widened. She had never seen such moves like that. A new heat rose inside her.
Xander fell back and landed on his butt. “You give up?” He asked smiling.

Willow rolled her eyes. “Oh Xander, you are too much for me. I surrender.” She said dramatically and put her hand over her chest.
“Victory is mine!” He exclaimed as he extended his hand out.

Willow pulled him up without much effort. She pulled him into a hug. “I love you.”
“Love ya too Willster.” He said as he pulled back. “I smell waffles.” He rubbed his stomach and headed towards the kitchen.
Everyone laughed at the scene. They followed him back into the room.
“Great moves there red.” Faith complimented.
“Thanks Faithy.” Willow smiled at her friend.
Faith walked back into the kitchen with the rest.

Willow turned her attention to one remaining person that stood there. The love of her life.
“Hey.” Willow said.
“Hey.” Tara came back.

Willow ran to her and wrapped her arms around the blonde’s waist. Tara embraced the redhead.
“I’m sorry Tara. I know I shouldn’t tell you what to do. I want you to go with us.” Willow said as she laid her chin on Tara’s shoulder.
“No you don’t.” She pulled back from the hug. “But thanks for saying it.” Tara smiled.
“You’re right, I don’t but I know you are going to anyway. I just want you to be careful. Please stay a safe distance away.”
“You don’t think I can handle myself out there?” Tara asked in a protesting way.
“Now baby, I didn’t say that. I just said for you to be careful.” Willow explained.
“And I want you to be careful too. What makes you think that I can’t take the heat just as well as you can?” Tara asked.

Willow smiled and shook her head. “Tara baby, I’ve been doing this kind of work for years. Xander told me that you have been working with them, but I do have a lot more experience.” Willow said in a gloating tone.

“Is that a challenge Agent Rosenberg?” Tara said and gave her a crooked grin.
“Wha? Huh? No baby. There’s no challenge.” Willow said defending herself. “I’m just letting you kn…”
“You’ve got ten minutes.” Tara interrupted and she walked away.
“Ten minutes?” Willow asked confused as she turned to watch the blonde head upstairs.
“You’ve got ten minutes to kiss your ass goodbye little red, because I’m gonna show you what I can do.” Tara walked up the rest of the stairs.
“No. Now Tara, come on.” Willow pleaded. When she realized that Tara wasn’t coming back, she sighed and walked into the kitchen.

Willow blew out a huge breath and plopped down on a stool.
“What’s wrong Wills?” Buffy asked as she placed a cup of coffee in front of the redhead.
“Tara.” Willow said as she took a sip.
“God! Are you two at it again?” Anya asked.
“No not really. I told her that I wanted her to go and then she said that I really didn’t and then I told her she was right I didn’t but if she was going to do it anyway I wanted her to keep a safe distance and well she took it all wrong and now she said I have ten minutes and I asked her I have ten minutes to do what and she said to kiss my ass goodbye because she’s gonna show me what she can do.” Willow took in a deep breath and propped her chin on her hand.

“HOT DAMN!” Buffy shouted out.
Willow jumped, “What?”
“We gotta hurry. I have to get dressed. Xander, wake Dawn up and tell her what’s going on. Spike if Angel’s alright help him downstairs to the basement. He wouldn’t want to miss this. Faith, go down and set up the ring. Anya, go get Cordy and tell her the deal. We’ve got a match to watch.” Buffy gave out her orders and everyone left.

Willow took the overzealous blonde. “Buff, what’s going on?”
“I kinda feel bad for ya Will. And you have a cute little ass too.” Buffy smiled.
Willow smiled and then shook her head. “Why is everyone jumping around? This isn’t going to happen. I am not getting into any ring and fight Tara. I might hurt her.”

Buffy howled out in laughter. “You better go and get changed. You aren’t going to be able to get around too good in jeans.” Buffy shook her head and walked out of the kitchen. Willow could still hear her laugh as she walked upstairs.


Willow got up from her stool and trotted up the stairs. She walked down to Tara’s room and knocked on the door.
Tara opened the door and grinned at the confused redhead on the other side.
“Yeeees.” She said and watched Willow walk in.
“Tara, now I want you to calm down. I am not and I repeat not going to fight you.” Willow said defiantly and crossed her arms.
“O.K.” Tara said and continued to get her gear together.
“Then if it’s O.K., why are you still getting ready like we are?” Willow asked.
“Because we are.” Tara answered as she slipped her shorts on.
“Huh?” Willow was really confused.

Tara walked over and kissed her on the lips. “You better get ready, we have a match in about…” Tara looked at her alarm clock. “five minutes.”
“Tara please.” Willow whined.
“Oh what’s wrong the little bitty red head ain’t gonna go a round or two with the big bad blonde.” Tara teased.
“Tara don’t do that.” Willow said flatly.
“Do what? Aww…I forgot, you are still small and well, I’m bigger now than before. I’ll call it off. You might get hurt.” Tara stifled a laugh.
“Tara. I’m telling you…stop.” Willow gritted her teeth. She hated to be picked on about her size.

The blonde pushed Willow. Willow swatted her hand away. “Tara, I’m warning you….back off.”
Tara rolled her eyes. “Just as I thought. Weak little redbush.” She knew that would set the flame ablaze.

The furry in Willow’s eyes were evident. She flared out her nostrils. “Alright blondie! You wanna fight, were gonna fight.” She pointed her finger in Tara’s direction. Willow turned around and slammed the door behind her.
“I love you!” Tara yelled out and giggled.
“I love you too!” Tara heard Willow yell angrily as she heard another door slam.
----------------------------------------------------

“In the left corner, wearing blue spandex shorts and white sports bra weighing in at none of your damn business…Tara Maclay!” Dawn announced, standing in the middle of the ring.
“Dawn!” Buffy shouted. “Watch your mouth!”
Dawn held up the index cards in her hands. “It’s on the cards Buff.”
Buffy rolled her eyes.

“And in the right corner, wearing purple shorts with a white tank top, weighing in at none of anyone’s fucking business…Willow Rosenberg!”
“What the hell?! Who wrote out those cards?” Buffy placed her hand on her hips and looked around the room.

Faith slowly raised her hand and lowered her head.
“Pull that stunt again and you and I will go a round or two.” Buffy told her boldly.
“You got it B.” Faith said. She looked up at Dawn and winked.

Dawn smiled back at the dark haired woman.
“Let’s get ready to ruuuuuuuumble!” She shouted out and she exited the ring through the ropes.

Spike stepped up. Willow and Tara stepped closer.
“Alright ladies. Good clean fight, no punching below the…uggghhh!” Spike fell down when Tara punched him in the groin.
“Like that?” She asked grinning.
Spike crawled out of the ring and hit the floor.
Willow looked at Tara and she looked back. “Ready to do this?”
“Yep. You?” Tara asked.
Willow nodded.

“Alright. Go to you’re corners and come out fighting when the bell rings.” Angel said sitting at a table beside the ring.
Willow and Tara punched their gloves together and then gave each other a peck on the lips.

Tara went to her corner, in which Faith was standing there with the rest of the gear. Tara had specifically asked for the helmets to be put on and an umpire’s vest put over them both.
Willow had Buffy in the other corner putting the gear on the redhead.
As soon as everything was in place, Angel rung the bell and both women danced around heading towards each other.

Cheers from both sides were heard. Tara threw the first punch, but Willow darted out of the way. Willow came up with a hit to the gut just enough to push Tara back.
“That’s all you got?” Tara said behind a mouth piece.

Willow danced closer and threw a punch at Tara’s head. Tara ducked down to the floor and swept her leg under Willow, causing her to fall.
Willow flipped her body back up and was ready for the next move. She threw another punch, but Tara spun her body and punched Willow’s helmet which caused the redhead to fly into the ropes.

Willow growled when she turned around. She walked up to Tara. She threw another punch and Tara ducked down. Willow saw her chance. She rolled over Tara’s back. As soon as she got her footing, she kicked Tara in the butt.

Tara fell down face first into the mat. She looked up and Faith was shouting for her to get up. Tara smiled. She rolled her body over and swept around, getting on her feet in seconds.
Tara and Willow headed for each other again when the bell rung.
Both smiled at each other and walked back to their appointed corners.

“Alright blondie. You’re doing great.” Faith said as she handed Tara a bottle of water. Tara spit her mouth piece into her glove and took a long drink. She was sweating and Faith wiped her forehead with a towel.

“O.K. Will. Excellent moves.” Willow spit her mouth piece into her glove. Buffy squirted water into the redhead’s mouth. Willow swished it around and looked around for the bucket. Buffy held it up and Willow spit the fluid, spattering some on the blonde’s arm.
“Eww.” Buffy said as she lowered the bucket and wiped her arm off with the towel.
“You ready to go at it again or do you give up?” Willow shouted across the ring at her love.
“Let’s do this.” Tara put the mouth piece back into her mouth and smacked her gloves together.
Willow mimicked Tara movements.
Angel rang the bell and both women were back on their feet again.

Willow ran at the blonde and kicked her in the chest. Tara flew back and held onto the ropes so she wouldn’t fly completely out of the ring.

Tara thought as she stood straight up. She walked into the middle of the ring and watched as Willow danced around her.
Willow charged at her again, but Tara moved out of the way. As Willow was halfway into her flying kick, Tara took her elbow and hit the redhead in the stomach causing her to fall hard on the floor.

Willow grunted when she hit. Tara moved to the side. Willow flipped back up with a little pain to her back. She straightened up.
Tara came at her and repeatedly threw punches at Willow’s head making her loose her balance and fall into the ropes. She grabbed the top rope and shook her head when Tara walked back.

Willow got back on her feet. She threw her gloves out of the ring and removed the helmet and vest. She spat out her mouth guard. “Come on!” She screamed out getting into her fighting stance.

Tara smiled. She removed her gear quickly and started to head for Willow. She wanted this fight without the gear, but she was afraid that both would come out with some major bruising, but Willow was determined and Tara could tell. “Bring it on bitch.”
Ohhh’s were heard all around them.
“Kick her ass Tara!” Faith screamed as she pounded on the mat.

Willow ran towards the blonde and started to kick her in the head. Tara blocked every kick with her arm and punched Willow inside her thigh. Willow fell on the floor. She gritted her teeth as hopped back up.
“Sorry.” Tara said sarcastically.

Willow held her position. She put her fist in the air and motioned Tara to come at her.
Tara put her fist in front of her as she cautiously walked closer. Tara threw a punch and Willow wrapped her arm around hers. She quickly delivered four quick punches into Tara’s ribs and twirled her body away.

Tara held her side as she breathed out in pain. She approached the angry redhead. Tara put her fist back up in front of her. Willow darted back and forth and ran at the blonde again. Tara ran faster. When they almost collided, Tara twirled her body and jabbed her elbow in Willow’s back sending her down on the floor. Tara straddled on top of Willow. She grabbed Willow’s wrist and spread her arms apart. She placed one of her knees against Willow’s spine, stretching her out.
“Throw in the towel! Throw in the towel!” Willow screamed out at Buffy.
Buffy didn’t hesitate. She threw the white towel at the two women. When Tara spotted it, she released Willow who flopped her body down on the floor.

Tara got off Willow and grabbed the towel. She wiped the sweat off her forehead and walked towards Faith.
“Yeah! Oh hell yeah!” Faith screamed, jumping up and down. “Tara! Watch…” She barely got out when Willow landed her elbow to Tara’s back sending her down into the ropes.

Tara turned around to see Willow charge at her again. Tara stood up and held out her arm. Willow ran right into it with her chest. As she fell back, Tara fell down with her.
Willow jumped on top of Tara and the two rolled around on the mat. Willow growled again as she kissed Tara hard. Tara took the initiative and rolled on top of Willow, kissing her back. The two were going wildly at each other.

“O.K. Everyone out!” Buffy yelled as she pulled her sister out of the room. Spike helped Angel up and they walked out. Faith kept her eyes on the two and left out. Xander stood there with a grin on his face, but was quickly pulled out by Anya, closing the door.

Tara’s breathing was hard as she pulled at Willow’s shirt.
Willow ripped her shirt to expose her breast. She lifted Tara’s sports bra and Willow clamped down on one of the nipples sucking hard. Tara grabbed Willow’s head and forced her to take in more. Tara rolled herself on top of Willow. She sat up, removing her bra. She bent down quickly and kissed Willow passionately. She moved her mouth down and bit down on Willow’s shoulder. Willow screamed out and pulled on the blonde hair. She bucked her hips up and Tara drove her back down.

Tara grabbed one of Willow’s breasts and squeezed hard. Willow groaned out. She grabbed one of Tara’s and squeezed just as forcefully. Their mouths clashed together again. Willow felt her sore open up and blood pour out. Tara tasted the bitter fluid. She sucked hard, drawing more blood out. Willow rolled their bodies over again. Tara pulled back. Willow wiped her lip with the back of her hand.
“Bitch!” She spat out blood on the mat.

Tara scratched up and down Willow’s back leaving red streaks. The redhead hissed. She took one of her breast and dangled it over Tara’s mouth. Tara reached up with her head but Willow pulled up. Tara lowered her head back down and Willow lowered her breast back down. Tara rose her head up again and Willow pulled back once more. Tara grabbed Willow’s back and pushed her down. She clamped down on the pert breast and sucked hard. Willow screamed out in pleasure as she began rocking back and forth on the blonde.
T
ara rolled them over again. She put her thigh against Willow’s sex and straddled the redhead’s. Their bodies rocked back and forth fast and hard. Tara took Willow’s lips against hers. Willow pushed her tongue inside the blonde’s mouth and moaned as Tara pushed her thigh against her clit.
Tara pulled away from the kiss. “Oh god Willow!” She screamed out.
“Yes baby! Yesss!” Willow yelled.

Tara resumed her animalistic kissing and grinding.
Willow moaned into Tara’s mouth. She pulled back and sucked hard on Tara’s neck.
Tara called her lover’s name. The heat inside her grew as her peak increased.
“Come for me Tara! Come for me now!” Willow demanded.
“Oh…oh…oh god! Yes, yes oh WILLLOWWWW!!!” Tara threw her head back. She pushed her thigh into Willow harder and faster.
“Oh baby! Yes Tara, TARA…oh fuck yes! TARRAAAA!!!” Willow screamed out as her orgasm shot threw her.

Tara collapsed on top of the panting redhead. She kissed Willow slowly.
Willow kissed the panting blonde back.
Tara slid her sweat covered body onto the mat and lay on her back. “I love you.”
Willow laid there. “I love you.” She turned her head towards her lover.
Tara turned her head towards the redhead.
They both burst out laughing and then grunted in pain.
Tara coughed and held her side. “Do we know how to clear a room or what?”
“I think they got a show they won’t forget.” Willow rolled over on her side. She groaned when she stood up. She helped Tara to her feet.
They both hobbled out of the ring.

Willow looked down. “I don’t think I can go upstairs like this.” She held out the shredded remains of her shirt.
Tara walked over to the lockers in the corner of the room. She pulled out two t-shirts. She walked back over to Willow and handed her one.
“Thanks.” Willow moaned out when she put the shirt on.
Tara grunted as she put hers on.
“I don’t know about you, but I am in some major pain.” Willow admitted.
“Oh yeah, pain issue definitely here.” Tara said. She put her arm around Willow’s shoulder as they both left out of the room.

***

“Damn!” Buffy said as she saw Willow and Tara slowly make their way into the living room. “You two look like hell.”
“Kinda feeling like it too.” Willow said and Tara nodded her head.
“You two hit the shower and rest up a bit. We’re having a meeting around three o’clock.” Buffy said.
Willow held her back and Tara held onto her side as they walked upstairs painfully.

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 7 (updated 6/12)
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:21 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 11:07 am
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Location: Reno Nevada
Excuse my language but.... THAT! WAS! SO! FUCKING! HOT! Cold shower her I come! Seriously I have to give you props though! That was A+, 110%, sexy and cool. I guess when you said

Quote:
It's getting intense people!


You were'nt joking! Thumbs up to you man! Update, Update, Update.

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 7 (updated 6/12)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:31 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Thanks for the feedback! Here's chapter 8!


CHAPTER 8
“Alright, we have some things to go over. Willow, you are going to be the negotiator. I want you armed as well as you can without it being noticed. Tara, you need to cover her to make sure that there is no one that can get to her from the sides or back. Cordelia, you are going to film all of this but stay out of sight. We need evidence and that’s about all we can do for right now. Buffy, you are there only to get Lacey. Spike you watch Buffy and Lacey like a hawk. Faith will guard the outside. Xander, Anya, you are going to watch post. Be well hidden so no one sees you. There can’t be any outside interference with this. They generally have one of the major players do their job for them and two body guards. Our mission is to get in, get out! I hope that’s clear.” Angel handed out the instructions.

All of them looked around at each other.
“Well, is it clear?” Angel asked.
Yes’s and yeah’s came from everyone.
“Good.” Angel said as he motioned for Spike.

Spike placed a silver briefcase on the desk.
“This is something like what Willow used on the Maclay case, except the tracking device is located in the handle instead of the inside of the case itself. It’s more reliable.”
“Is the money in there now?” Faith asked.
Everyone looked at her. Then back to Angel.
“Yes. If the money is in there, I would like to see it. I have never seen a large amount of cash on hand before.” Anya piped in.
Angel shook his head. “No. The money is still in the safe.”
Anya sighed. “I guess I’ll never see my dream come true.”
Xander patted her on the back. “It’s O.K. sweetie.”

“Faith?”
“Yeah boss.” She said as she approached Angel’s desk.
“I want you to go ahead with Anya and Xander and set everything up. Weapons and walkies are in the security room. Faith, there are fresh batteries in the drawer in the metal desk. Cordelia, get your gear together and go with them. This is not going to go down wrong.”

They started to head out the door.
“Thanks guys. You don’t know how much Buffy and I appreciate you putting your necks on the line for us.” Angel said with a small grin.
“No problem. Anything for family.” Xander said smiling back.
They all nodded agreeing and walked out of the room.

Angel turned to the rest. “Willow, Tara, you all ready?”
“Ready as can be.” Willow replied. She looked over at Tara who seemed quite nervous. “Got butterflies baby?” She took the blonde’s hand in hers.
“More like bats.” Tara said as she rubbed her stomach.
“Well, you tell those bats that everything is going to be alright. I’ll be right there and I won’t let anything happen to you.” Willow looked around to Buffy. “And I’m not letting anything happen to you or Lacey and if I can help it, anyone else for that matter.”

Buffy walked the short distance to the redhead. She hugged her tight. “I know you won’t. Please make sure nothing happens to you too.”
“Got it.” Willow said as she pulled back.
Buffy grabbed Tara and clung to her. “Be careful and thank you again.”
“You’re welcome. Like Xander said, anything for family.” Tara pulled back and gave Buffy a kiss on the cheek. She took Willow’s hand and led her out of the office.

“You ready Buffy?” Spike asked.
“Give me a minute with her Spike. I’ll need you to help me upstairs, if you would.” Angel asked but he looked at his wife while speaking.
“Right O.” Spike said as he stepped out.
-------------------------------------------

“Tara, I’ll ask one last time. Are you sure about this?” Willow asked while looking around in the weapons closet.
“Willow, yes baby, I am sure.” Tara said as she strapped a pistol around her ankle.
Willow took in a deep breath of air and let it out. “O.K. I love you.”
Tara walked over to the redhead. “I love you too. I’m sorry if I hurt you downstairs earlier.”
“Think nothing of it. I basically asked for it and I’m sorry too.” Willow said as she looked into the blonde’s blue eyes.
“I’ve had worse.” Tara said pointing out the fact.

Willow kissed the blonde just to feel those soft lips on hers. She embraced her and held tight.
Willow pulled back. She smiled as she continued to look around. “Here, take this.” She said handing Tara a .38 special. “Put it in the back brim of your jeans.”
Tara did as she was told.
“Baby, have you seen the Kevlar vests?” Willow asked looking in cabinets and in closets.
“Sure I have. What’s a Kevlar vest?” Tara asked confused to what her lover was talking about.
“Bullet proof vest.” She answered continuing her search.
“Oh…umm…no.” Tara checked other weapons out that were encased in steel cages.
“Damn. Have to go without ‘em.” Willow said as she turned to the blonde.
Tara sighed.
------------------------------------------------

“Please, what ever you do be careful. I want you and Lacey back in one piece.” Angel said in a pleading voice.
“I will honey. I promise.” Buffy said reassuring her husband”
“I know I was stupid for going out to the Giotti’s like that. I wish I could go with you.” Angel lowered his head.

Buffy walked closer and lifted his chin. “Yeah kinda out there with that idea, but you thought that you could prevent something like today from happening. I’m proud of you for taking a stand, but the next time you do something like that, I’m gonna kick your ass.”
Angel laughed. “No problem.”
Buffy kissed him softly. “I love you.”
“And I love you.” He said stroking his hand through her blonde hair. “Now get going and get our little girl back.”
Buffy nodded her head and left out of the room.

Buffy walked down the hall where Spike was leaning against the wall.
“Get him upstairs and make sure he’s comfortable. I’m going to go over everything with Willow and Tara before we leave. I’ll fill you in on the ride over. Will you get the money out of the safe?”
Spike nodded. “Got it.”
“Thanks and thanks for being here.” Buffy said sincerely.
“You know me love. Couldn’t keep me away from a good fight.” Spike smiled.
--------------------------------------------------------------

Buffy walked into the weapons room. “Hey guys.”
“Hey Buff.” Willow responded making sure everything was in place on her and Tara.
“Is Angel alright?” Tara asked turning around so Willow can check over her.
Buffy sighed. “He’s disappointed that he can’t go. Are we about ready?”
“Yeah, just making some last minute adjustments.” Willow propped her foot on a bench and strapped on an ankle pistol.

Buffy walked over to the cage. She pulled out a .44 Magnum. She opened the chamber to make sure all the bullets were in place. She slapped it back in. “I’m ready.”
Willow’s eyes widened. She walked over to the anxious blonde and took the gun out of her hands. “Alright Dirty Harry, let’s find something that won’t break your hand when you fire it. O.K.”

Willow looked in the cage. “Here ya go.” She held out a Ruger 9 mm. “That’ll do the job, if it comes down to it. That is if worse comes to worse. O.K.”
Buffy nodded. She put the gun in the back brim of her pants. “Spike is taking Angel upstairs and getting the money. He should be back in a few.”

Spike helped Angel in the bed. “You need anything before I get?”
Angel shook his head. “You better protect them Spike.”
“I’ll give my life for ‘em if I have to.” He said pulling the blankets over Angel’s legs.
“I’m holding you to it.” Angel said pointing his finger.
“Rest yourself. We’ll be back before ya know it.” Spike said heading out the door.
--------------------------------------------------------

“Anya, Xander there’s a small building just right inside the gate. You two hide in there. I’ve got my post spotted out.” Faith said.
Xander nodded and both headed out to the building.
Faith led Cordelia inside the warehouse.
Faith looked around. She pointed at a set of stairs leading to a landing. “You go up there. Set up your stuff and keep an eye out for anyone else. Whatever the case, be careful.”
“You got it Faith.” Cordelia carried her equipment up the stairs.
Faith turned around and walked outside.
-----------------------------------------------------------

“Xander, I don’t like this place. Can’t we hide out someplace else? This place is dirty. There are probably rats in here. I hate rats.” Anya shivered as she looked around.
“Ahn, Faith told us to wait here and that’s what we’re going to do.” Xander said as he scoped the place out. “No windows? How are we supposed to look out?”
“Oh, here’s a small hole in the wall. We can see the gate.” Anya peeked out the thick metal wall.
“Let me see.” Xander said as he took Anya’s position. “Well, I suppose it will have to do.”

Xander heard a clicking noise outside of the door. He put his finger up to his lips for Anya not to speak.
“Who is it?” Anya whispered.
Xander shrugged his shoulders. He tip toed over to the hole in the wall, but the limited viewing prevented him from seeing around to where the door was. He saw a shadow of someone running away.
Xander walked over to the door. He turned the knob and pushed. “Uh oh.” He tried to push the door open again. “Come on!” He said as he slammed his body into the door, but it wouldn’t budge.

“Move.” Anya demanded. She went over and turned the knob and pushed the door. “Nope. Someone has locked it from the outside.”
“And you couldn’t have come to this conclusion when I was throwing myself at it.”
“I just wanted to make sure.” She looked around the room and picked up a broken crow bar. “Here.” She said as she handed the tool over to Xander.

He walked over to the door and wedged the metal in between the door and frame. He pulled and pushed with all his strength. “It’s…not…budging.” He grunted out. He tossed the bar on the floor and leaned against the wall. “I don’t know what to do.”
Anya pulled out her walkie talkie from her pocket. “Faith.” She waited for a response. “Faith.” She spoke again. “Cordelia.” She said. She smacked the radio and tried again.

“Is it on?” Xander asked, knowing that sometimes his fiancé could forget the tiniest of details.
“Yes Xander.” She rolled her eyes. She turned the knobs for different frequencies. She spoke out the names again.
Xander held out his hand. “Let me try.”
“What makes you think that if I couldn’t get anyone that you can?” She said putting her hand on her hips.
“The same way that you thought you could open the door after I already tried it.” Xander answered.
“Fine.” She handed the radio over to him.
“Faith…Cordelia…Hello!” He sighed. He turned the radio and opened the back to the battery compartment. “Damn it!” He yelled out.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Cordelia looked through her camera. She checked out the angle and tightened up the screws on her tripod.
She heard a click of a gun hammer being pulled back. She turned her head. “Oh you gotta be kidding!”
------------------------------------------------------------------

Buffy, Willow, Tara and Spike drove through the gates to the warehouse.
Buffy sighed. “Alright here we are. Is there any sign of the Giotti’s?”
Everyone looked around out of the windows.

“I don’t see any.” Tara answered.
“Nothing.” Spike responded.
Willow shook her head as she looked at Buffy.
“Then we’ll wait inside.”

They all exited the car and walked inside.
“Cozy little spot.” Spike commented.
Buffy walked through. She looked up and saw the landing. She smiled when she noticed the slight glimmer off of Cordelia’s camera.
“I’m gonna go search around.” Spike said as he was walking away.
“Buffy, why don’t you go with him?” Willow suggested.
“No. I’m staying here with you guys.” Buffy said crossing her arms.
“You are only supposed to be here to get Lacey. Angel said to keep you safe and that is exactly what we intend to do.” Willow pointed out.

Buffy turned on her heels and walked away with Spike waiting for her. “We’ll be back in five minutes.”
Willow put down the briefcase and took Tara’s hand. “It’ll be fine baby.”
Tara took an audible gulp. “I know. I just wish this was over with.”
“Same here.” Willow said. She got closer to Tara. “I love you.”
“And I love you. It’s just…” Tara said looking around.
“Just what?” Willow asked.
“What are you going to do when this is over? Are you going back to San Francisco?” Tara asked concerned.
“I really haven’t given it much thought. I was totally wrapped up being with you that I didn’t really think about it.” Willow said uncertain.

They both turned to the entrance when they heard a car pull up.
“Can we talk about this later?” Willow asked.
“Count on it.” Tara gave her a quick kiss. “Showtime guys!” She yelled out.

Buffy came running through the building.
“Where’s Spike?” Willow asked looking behind the approaching blonde.
“He said he’s gonna keep over there. He’s watching everything.”
“Alright, hide over there.” Willow said pointing to a stack of crates in the back.
She ran over and ducked down.

“Tara, stand over there behind the stairs.” Willow said to the blonde.
“If you think that I am moving from this spot, you are crazy.” Tara said in a stubborn tone.
Willow sighed. She knew it was useless to argue at this point. “Alright. I love you.”
“I love you too.” Tara said as she reached behind her to adjust her gun making sure it could be grabbed quickly.
-----------------------------------------------------

Xander looked out the hole in the wall. “There they go.”
“The Giotti’s?” Anya asked getting up from the floor.
Xander nodded. He leaned against the wall. “Well, once again the Xan man is left out of the action.”
“Well, I’d rather have you safe and sound, with me.”

Anya said as she approached him and wrapped her arms around his waist.
He pulled her into a hug. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” She said and gave him a kiss.
Anya screamed and jumped into his arms when she heard a noise. “I told you there were rats in here!”
Xander put her down. He listened to a repeated sound.
“I don’t think its rats.” He bent down and followed the noise with his ear.
“It’s in here.” He whispered out pointing to a box in the floor.
“Well don’t open it. It’s probably a whole hoard of the rabies infested things.” Anya said, picking up the broken crow bar.
“It’s beeping.” He carefully opened the lid.
“Oh shit.” He said as he saw a remote controlled detonation device duct taped to a block of C4 explosives. He looked at the numbers on the timer.
“What is it?” Anya said standing on her toes from her current position.
“Remember when I said I was left out of the action? Well the action just came to me.” He said still looking at the numbers counting down. “We have less than ten minutes before we go kablooey.”
“WHAT!” Anya asked running towards him. She looked over his shoulder at the device. “Oh this is just great!”
---------------------------------------------------------------

Angel lay in his bed staring at the ceiling. He tried to get up but the pain wouldn’t allow his body to move. He jumped when his cell phone rang.

“Hello!” He answered excitedly.
“Angel, Giles here.” The British voice came over the line.
“Hey Giles.” Angel answered happy to have something to do besides just laying there.
“Have Willow and the rest left yet?”
“Yeah they left out a little over an hour ago. Why?” Angel asked.
“Good lord.” Giles said.
“Giles what is it?” Angel said as his heart skipped a beat.

“Cordelia asked me to trace the call that was made last evening after the events that happened to you. It appears that it was at a pay phone right outside an apartment building located on the other side of town.”
“Alright. Well, that really doesn’t help out much. I mean there has to be hundreds of phone booths out there.” Angel said.
“Allow me to continue. The voice was synthesized. Apparently Cordelia recorded the call. She sent the tape to us to analyze. With the programming we have, we were able to break down the analysis and match the voice.”
“Who is it?” Angel asked swallowing a lump in his throat.
--------------------------------------------------------------

Three large men entered the warehouse. They cautiously looked around and saw the redhead and blonde standing there with a silver case sitting on the floor.

“I am Leo Giotti. We were supposed to meet Angel. Where might he be?” He said and smiled.
“Well, the little incident that happened to him last night kinda put him out of commission. I’m here to take his place.” Willow said standing absolutely still.
“And who might you be.” Leo asked.
“A friend of his, Willow Rosenberg.”
“And who is the beauty right beside you.” He asked eyeing Tara up and down.
“She is my girlfriend.” Willow answered giving him a death stare.

All three men laughed. “Alright then little one, why did Angel ask for us to be here?”
Willow looked at Tara and she looked back at Willow with confused looks. “You asked us to come here.”
“For what?” He asked. He lightly nudged one of the large men standing beside him with his elbow.
The man reached into his jacket and pulled out a gun and held it down in front of him.

Willow and Tara both backed up. “Now look. I don’t know what kind of game you all have planned, but we have your money. All we want is the girl back.”
Leo and the other men looked at one another. “Our money?”
Willow rolled her eyes. “The one point five million you all said you wanted for Angel’s daughter Lacey. Ya know, the money James Maclay owes you.” Willow said curious to why she had to explain what the meeting was about.
“Oh yes. That’s right. You give us the money and we’ll hand the little girl over.” The man looked at his guards and shrugged his shoulders but smiled and raised his eyebrows.
-------------------------------------------------------------
“The analysis came back with only one voice match. The apartment building is located at 1529 Toner Avenue.”

“Oh god no.” Angel hung up the phone and got out of the bed with all his strength. He grabbed his jacket out of the closet and headed down the steps as fast as he could.

He walked out to the garage. He opened the doors and strapped on his helmet. He was about to mount his motorcycle when he noticed both tires were flat. “Fuck!” He screamed out.

He pulled his cell phone out of his jacket. He dialed three numbers.
“911 What is your emergency?” An operator asked.
“There’s a fire at the Kenwood factory on Lansing Drive!” Angel screamed into the phone.
“Are there people inside, sir?” She asked.
“Yes! Please hurry.” Angel said pleadingly.
“Alright sir, we have units on their way to the scene right now.”
“How long before they get there?” Angel asked.
“Approximately five minutes.” The operator answered.
Angel hung up the phone. He stood on the curb and tried his best to wave down a cab.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Willow bent down and put her hand on the case.
“Easy there little one.” Leo said.
The guards took a step forward.

Willow nodded and slid the case over.
One of the guards bent down and picked it up.
“Now where’s Lacey.” Willow asked.
Three shots were heard. Tara and Willow ducked down. Willow peered up from her crouching position to see all three men lying on the floor with blood coming out of their heads.

Willow looked around but couldn’t see anyone. She patted Tara on the shoulder. “You O.K.?”
Tara nodded and looked at the men in the floor.

Faith came running inside. “You guys alright?”
“Faith!” Willow screamed out. “What the fuck did you do?”
“What? I did what I had too.” She said looking at the redhead.
“What do you mean? They were about to give Lacey over.” Willow said as she walked closer to the brunette.

“Looky, looky what I found.” Spike came out of a room with Lacey in his arms.
Buffy ran out from behind the crates.
“Mommy!” Lacey squirmed her way loose from Spike. She ran as fast as she could.
“Oh baby.” Buffy said as she picked up the child and kissed her all over her face. “Oh god!” Buffy cried holding her daughter tight.

Spike came over and put his arm around them. “She was in the back with queen bee. Both got locked in a closet. Cordy got a bump on the head. I tried to wake her, but she’s not coming around.”
Buffy looked up from her child’s shoulder. “What?”
Lacey pulled back from her mother’s embrace. “Mommy, Faith.”
“What honey?” Buffy asked.
“Faith cut my hair.” Lacey said pulling at her hair where the lock was missing.
------------------------------------------------------

“Xander, try harder!” Anya screamed looking at the timer on the bomb. “We’ve got two minutes left!”
“I’m…trying!” He yelled back pushing the crow bar through the hole in the wall, breaking away bits and pieces of the metal down.
-------------------------------------------------------

Everyone looked wide eyed at the smiling brunette. “Out of the mouth of babes.”
“Why?” Willow asked.
“You of all people ask me why? Let me tell you why. You all made my life a living hell. I spent five…long…years in a shit hole because of you.” She pointed her gun directly at Willow. “I was your partner goddamn it! You don’t turn your partner in!”

“Faith, you broke the law.” Willow said in a calm tone.
“Screw the law! You think the law gave a shit about me when I was being beaten within an inch of my life practically everyday?! Do you think the law cared when I was being raped by big Bertha’s all the fucking time?! Let me tell you something about the law Red. You broke the law. You broke the bond that partners share. I’ll scratch your back…you scratch mine!”

“Faith I couldn’t let it go. I’m sorry that you had a rough time, but don’t do this, please.” Willow pleaded.

Faith laughed. “Fuck you Willow! You damn bitch! You just don’t get it. You were my best friend. I loved you. Hell, I was in love with you. But you didn’t care. You said you were waiting for the right person.” Faith rolled her eyes. “I suppose you found her.” She held her aim firm with her gun.

Sirens were heard in the back ground and getting closer by the second.
“You aren’t going to get away with this.” Willow said flatly.
“If there’s no one left to tell, yeah I think I will.” Faith pointed her gun at the case and shot off the handle.

Faith saw Willow reach behind her. She quickly took aim at her again. “No, no, no now Red. Take the guns out nice and slow and throw them over to me.”
Willow pulled her gun out behind her jeans and did as Faith said.
“You too blondie.”
Tara did the same as Willow.

“Why did you go through all this trouble?” Tara asked.
“Why not? It was the perfect plan and you and James gave me the grounding I needed. Took a lot of planning, but I figured I did pretty good. Red taught me how to bend things to my will. No wonder you two make a good team.”
Willow and Tara both smiled at each other.

“Too bad it’s not going to last.” Faith smiled as she watched their smiles fade.
“Faith, please.” Buffy said from the back.
“Shut up bitch!” Faith yelled out.

Everyone ducked when they heard an explosion but Faith stood still.
“What the hell was that?” Willow asked.
“Xander and Anya.” Faith answered.
“Oh god.” Tara whispered out. Tears sprang to her eyes.

“You all took my life, and now I’m taking yours.” Faith pointed her gun at Tara and fired.
Willow ran and knocked Tara out of the way.
Faith pointed her gun towards the back and fired.
Spike quickly wrapped his body and duster around Buffy and Lacey. When three bullets hit him in the back, his body quickly fell down on top of them.
Tara looked at Willow. “Baby?” She looked as blood quickly stained the front of redhead’s shirt. “Oh god Willow!” Tara screamed. She looked up at Faith, who stood there grinning from ear to ear.
“Well that’ll do. Sorry Tara, I kinda liked you.” Faith raised her gun.

“You talk too much.” Tara held up the gun she had strapped to her ankle.

Faith’s body jerked when six bullets shot into her chest. She had a brief moment to look down then back at Tara, before she fell dead on the floor.

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 8 (updated 6/15)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:59 pm 
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8. Vixen
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:59 pm
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Location: Germany
Oops, I thought I left feedback on the last chapter too... well! It was really hot but like I mentioned before, this violent thing makes me alittle uncomfy. But it fits with how your characters developed so dont worry.
Quote:
“Is the money in there now?” Faith asked.

I think this line is what made Faith sketchy and gave her away. At least to me.
Btw, is the story gonna be over once Labyrinth is finished? Or is there gonna be a follow-up story??? :smash

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 8 (updated 6/15)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:08 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 10:13 pm
Posts: 517
Willow Watcher: First off let me say sorry about not leaving feedback on chapter 7, hope you can forgive. Great update, like before I think I need a cold shower after reading it, I don't really like to see our girls fight, and I never thought that I would see them fist fight but at least they made up, and man did they ever.

Chapter 8: I totally didn't see that one coming, Faith being involved was a total shock. PLEASE let Willow and Tara be OK, we need more :wtkiss . I can't wait to read more.

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 8 (updated 6/15)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 11:21 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light
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No!!!! Willow!! Something told me Faith was involed in it. I never thought that Faith would do something like that. Ugh!! I couldnt beleve Tara shot her though... Steady still she deserved it for shooting.......
Wait what about Willow, and Xander, and Anya.........
TELL ME!!! TELL ME!!! I honestly need to know what's goning to happen. Even though I know it's comming to an end.. (Why!!??)
:D Loved the update though.
:peace Akyiree

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 9 (updated 6/17)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 5:52 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Chapter 9! Almost the end. Have one more to go after this.


CHAPTER 9
Firemen ran into the building.

“Oh god Willow!” Tara cried out while she held the redhead putting pressure over the wound.
Willow coughed. “That…hurt.” She struggled to get out.
“Hold on baby.” Tara said as tears poured from her eyes.

One of the firemen yelled out over his shoulder. “We have multiple gunshot victims! Get the rescue team in here! He bent down in front of Willow. “Hold still ma’am.”
Willow nodded and cringed in pain.

He ran over to Faith. He bent down and checked her pulse. He checked on the three men lying on the floor as well. “We have four D.O.A.’s.”

Spike was rolled over by Buffy. She held on tight to her daughter. She checked over the little girl and smiled when she noticed no marks on her. Not even a scratch. Buffy looked over at Spike. “Are you alright?”
“Bit of pain, but yeah.” Spike said as he struggled to remove his Kevlar duster. “Bloody hell.” He said as he noticed the bullet holes. “These things don’t come cheap, ya know.”
“Are you alright?” The fireman said as he walked closer.
Buffy and Spike nodded. “There’s one in the closet in the back room.” Spike said pointing to a door. “She’s pretty much out of it.” The fireman nodded and headed to the back. Buffy and Spike rose to their feet.
Buffy looked around. She saw Tara rocking back and forth.
“Oh no.” Buffy whispered out. She held tight to Lacey as she slowly walked closer. She saw Willow lying in Tara’s arms, bleeding profusely from her chest.

“Aunt Wiwwow?” Lacey said as she squirmed and twitched until she was out of Buffy’s grasp. She got on her knees and stroked her fingers through Willow’s red hair.
“Hey kiddo.” Willow whispered out, barely able to open her eyes to look at the distressed child.
Lacey looked at Tara. “Put a band aid on it.”
Tara smiled at Lacey and cried even more.
Willow struggled to raise her hand and petted the girl on the face. “Still cute. I’m glad you’re alri…” Willow passed out.

“Willow, come on baby. Please, wake up. Please baby.” Tara lowered her head onto Willow’s.
Buffy picked Lacey up when a medical team rushed in.
“We need some room to work ma’am.” One E.M.T. said to Tara.
Tara didn’t want to let go but Spike came up behind her and lifted her up. She turned to him and sobbed on his shoulder. “She’s a tough one, blondie. Reds gonna come out of it.” He whispered in her ear.

Xander and Anya came running in. “Oh my god, Willow.” Xander whispered walking closer to the redhead. Anya turned away from the sight.
“Sir, please stay back. You need to let one of the other’s tend to your wounds.” A rescue team member said to Xander.
He nodded. Tears pooled in his eyes. He walked over to Tara. She turned and hugged him tight. He cringed in pain from the lacerations to his back, but held her tight. She noticed his discomfort. “What happened?”
“Well, apparently someone planted a bomb outside in the building. The firemen broke the door down in time, but shrapnel hit through my back.” He said and turned around, more concerned about his friend in the floor.

“Faith!” Anya yelled out. “She’s…she’s dead.” Anya cried over the body.
“Tara killed her. All of this was because of Faith. She wanted revenge for us putting her in prison.” Buffy told her.
“What? No, it can’t be.” Anya said almost arguing.
Buffy nodded her head.

A medical team person ran in with a gurney. They picked Willow up and strapped her down and headed out the door. “Who’s going with her?” One member asked in a rushed tone.
Tara didn’t hesitate. She ran outside before he could reach the ambulance.
They loaded Willow in. Tara practically jumped in the vehicle. One of the men closed the door and smacked the back and they span out of the parking lot turning on their lights and sirens.

Medical teams still worked around the scene. Police vehicles span into the parking lot. A fireman and E.M.T. men came out of the back with Cordelia strapped to a gurney.

“Cordy!” Anya ran up to the woman. “Hey, wake up. C’mon. I want to argue with you some more. You’re fun to argue with.” Anya held on tight to her hand.
“Do you want to go with her?” The fireman asked.
Anya nodded her head. Xander smiled knowing that Anya really did love Cordelia even though they fought all the time.
---------------------------------------------
“What’s her name?”
Tara sat there mesmerized. Her eyes never left Willow.
“Ma’am! What’s her name?” The man asked again.
“Willow Rosenberg.” Tara told him and watched him write it down. She focused back on Willow.
“What’s her age?”
“Twenty-six.”

“We have a twenty-six year old female with a gunshot wound to the left of her chest. BP is 90/60 and dropping. No response to sound. Eyes having no response to light and are almost fully dilated. E.T.A. three minutes.” The rescue team member announced over a radio.
“Roger. Medical team standing by.” The response came back.
---------------------------------------------
“I need some information.” One police officer said as he stood beside the bodies.
“Faith Lehane,” Buffy pointed her out. “kidnapped my daughter, blamed it on the Giottis, killed them and tried to kill us. She shot Agent Willow Rosenberg. I don’t know how she is doing.”

“Buffy!” Angel ran into the building.
One of the officers held him back. “Sir, I can’t let you go in there.”
“My daughter and wife are in there.” Angel said trying to get by him.
“This is a crime scene sir. You can’t go in there.”
“The hell I can’t!” Angel yelled as he pushed his way past.

“Daddy!” Lacey yelled out.
Buffy put her down and watched the child run into Angel’s arms.
“Baby.” Angel whispered as he picked her up. He held her tight as he walked towards his wife. All three wrapped themselves in a hug.

“Ma’am, I need to ask some more questions.” A police officer said approaching Buffy.
“Well, we’re going to the hospital to be with our friend. You want to ask questions, follow us there.” Buffy said.
“Who’s at the hospital?” Angel asked.
“Willow. Faith shot her in the chest.”
“Shit. Is she going to be alright?” Angel asked concerned.
“Don’t know.” Buffy said as tears streamed down her face.

“Daddy.” Lacey spoke up.
“Yeah pumpkin.” He looked at his little girl.
“Aunt Wiwwow is hurt.” Lacey said frowning.
“I know baby. She’ll be alright. She has to be.” Angel said trying to convince his daughter but not so certain himself.
“Queen bee isn’t in good condition either.” Spike spoke up from behind.

Angel handed Lacey over to Buffy. He walked back to the blonde haired man and pulled him into a grateful hug. “Thank you. Thank you for saving my little girl and my wife. I owe you everything.”
“You don’t owe me a thing. Happy to do it. Wish I could have done something for Red and Cordelia.” Spike said sadly.

“Ma’am, we really need to talk about this.” The impatient officer said pointing over to the dead bodies in the floor.
“The camera!” Buffy shouted out. She put Lacey down and ran up the stairs. She walked up to Cordelia’s camera and looked at the LED screen. She noticed the red REC lettering that flashed in the right hand corner. She turned the camera off and walked down the steps.

“What’s that?” One of the officers asked as he approached her.
“Apparently Faith didn’t bother to make sure this thing wasn’t on or she knew it was recording and decided to use it for her own sick pleasure.” Buffy said as she walked passed him.
“We are going to have to confiscate that for evidence.” The officer said as he walked right behind Buffy.
“I think I’m going to hold on to it and hand it into the FBI.” She whipped her body around and put her hand on her hip. “You got a problem with that?”
“We don’t need the FBI involved in this.”
“Too late, they already are. Who do you think we have been working with? That,” She said pointing over at her husband, “is Angel as in Angel Investigations. You can contact Agent Rupert Giles at the FBI office in San Francisco. I’m sure he would be happy to tell you what you can and cannot have.” Buffy turned around. “Let’s go to the hospital.” She said to Angel and Spike as she walked by the more than shocked officers.

Spike and Angel loaded themselves into the car and made sure Lacey was in her car seat. Buffy walked over to Xander, who was still being treated by the medics. “We’re going to the hospital. You coming with?”
“Yeah. You almost done buddy?” He asked the medic.
“One sec. There. All set to go. Don’t move around too much. Those aren’t permanent sutures.” He instructed.
Xander nodded his head. “Let’s go.” He told Buffy as they headed for the car.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Tara looked through a window of the emergency operating room as doctors and nurses worked diligently on Willow.

Tara placed her forehead on the glass. Tears were streaming down her face.
Anya rushed up next to her. “Tara, I’m here.” She said panting.
“Where’s everyone else.” Tara said with her voice cracking.
“Oh, I came in the ambulance with Cordelia. The doctor said that she should be alright.” Anya looked through the window. “How is she doing?”
Tara shrugged her shoulders and placed her head against the glass again.
Anya patted her on the shoulder. “She’ll be fine. I’ve known Willow for a long time and she is tough.”
Tara sadly smiled and wiped away some tears which were quickly replaced with new ones. “I know.” She whispered.

“Tara!” Buffy shouted as she ran down the isle.
Tara didn’t move her head. Buffy walked up to her and wrapped her arm around her. “How’s she doing?”
“I don’t know.” She said between clinched teeth.
“I asked the same question.” Anya said to Buffy in a low tone.

Buffy nodded and looked through the window. They all watched as a doctor put a metal object in a pan. He went back working on Willow’s chest.
Tara sighed. She raised her hand and placed it against the window. A nurse in the operating room walked over and closed the curtain, blocking any view the women had.

Tara pounded her fist against the window. “Damn it!” She walked around the corner and approached the door. She started to go in when Buffy pulled her back.
“Tara, you can’t go in there.”
“Why not?!” She shouted pulling back from Buffy’s hold.
“They have to work on her. You’ll only be a distraction to them. Now calm down and let’s go sit in the waiting room, O.K.” Buffy said trying to put some reasoning into the distressed woman.

Tara dropped her head and wrapped her arms around herself. She walked down the hall to the waiting room. Buffy and Anya followed her.

Everyone sat around. Lacey noticed Tara, Anya and Buffy walk into the room. She ran over to Tara and held up her arms.
“Hold me.” She said.
Tara picked Lacey up and sat down with her. She cradled her and rocked her back and forth.
“Aunt Tara?” Lacey looked up.
“Umm Humm.” Tara responded looking down.
“How’s Aunt Wiwwow?”
“Your mommy and I already asked that question, sweetie.” Anya spoke up taking a seat beside them.
Tara looked at her and crinkled her brows together.
“What?” Anya asked.
“Aunt Willow is doing as best as she can.” Tara held the child closer.
Lacey rested on Tara’s arm. She stuck her thumb in her mouth and closed her eyes as Tara started humming.

Buffy hated to bring up the occurrences that happened at the warehouse, but she knew the police would more or less hound Tara about the specifics.
“Tara, we need to talk.” She said in a low tone.
Everyone else stood and began to walk out of the room.
“We’re going to see how Cordy is.” Angel said as he was the last to walk out.

Buffy turned to the woman who was cradling her daughter. “I need to know exactly what happened. I know that you shot Faith but Spike had thrown himself on top of Lacey and I so I really didn’t see anything. You wanna tell me.”
Tara sat there still humming and rocking the now sleeping Lacey.
“Tara, please talk to me. You have always confided in me and vice versa.” Buffy placed her hand on Tara’s arm.
“It’s simple. She tried to shoot me. Willow pushed me out of the way. She tried to shoot you and I grabbed my gun from my ankle and shot her.” Tara said without even thinking.
Buffy saw the new wave of tears streaming down Tara’s face.
“You know and I know it’s not that simple. I hate to bring it out so bluntly but you killed her.”
“I know what I did. I know I killed her. She tried to kill my family and she might have killed the love of my life. And…and now we don’t know if Willow’s going to make it. She could die Buffy and it’s my fault.” Tara lowered her head. Tears fell onto Lacey’s shirt.
“Why do you think it’s your fault?” Buffy asked confused and more than concerned.
“That bullet should have been for me, not Willow. I should have listened to her and stayed out of the way.” Cries racked her body. She covered her eyes with one hand.
“Tara, Faith would have tried to kill her anyway and you and the rest of us. I can’t explain it but some kind of force was there to protect us. Will is strong and she knows that you’re O.K. so she’s gonna be O.K.”
“I hope so.” Tara looked into Buffy’s eyes.

A man in green scrubs walked in the door. “Where is the family of Willow Rosenberg?”
Buffy stood up. “I’m her sister and this is her girlfriend.” She pointed over to Tara. Buffy knew that if she didn’t tell the doctor she was family, he wouldn’t let her know anything. Besides, Willow was like a sister to her anyway.

“I’m Dr. Willis. Ms. Rosenberg has been taken to the operating room upstairs on the fourth floor.”
“How is she doing?” Tara asked.
“The bullet went through the left ventricle. We were able to remove the bullet and control the bleeding to a point, but there was only so much we could do. A cardiologist was called in. He is one of the best.”
“How long will be in surgery?” Buffy asked
“I really couldn’t tell you. I can tell you that there was a lot of damage.” Dr. Willis dropped his head.

“Thank you doctor.” Tara said. Her heart was clinching in her chest.
“I hope your sister will come through this.” He told Buffy. He looked at Tara. “She’s one lucky girl to have someone to love her like you do.”
“She’s my everything.” Tara said with every bit of truth that could be poured out in one sentence.
The doctor smiled and nodded his head. He turned around and left.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tara paced back and forth in the waiting room of the fourth floor. “What’s taking them so long?”
“Tara, they had a lot to repair.” Buffy said.
The distressed blonde sat and sighed. “What if something is really wrong? What if they can’t fix the problem?”
“They will, Tara. Just have faith.” Buffy said before she realized her words. “Oh Tara, I’m sorry.”
“It’s alright. I know you were just being supportive Buffy.” Tara smiled sweetly at her friend. She had said those same words to Buffy over the entire ordeal with Lacey.

A doctor came into the waiting room. “Willow Rosenberg’s family?”
Tara immediately stood up and was standing in front of the doctor. Buffy pushed up from her seat and stood beside Tara. “I’m her sister.”

The doctor looked skeptically at Buffy. He didn’t notice any resemblance from the blonde to the redhead he had spent the last four hours operating on. He shook the thought out of his head and looked at the other blonde. “And who might you be?”
“I’m Willow’s girlfriend.” Tara said honestly and with love.

He could see the trail of dried tears that ran down her face.
“I’m Doctor Manning. Miss Rosenberg is in recovery. She’ll be in there for an hour and then she’ll be moved to ICU on the first floor. You’ll be able to go in there and see her.” He nodded towards Buffy. “Unfortunately, hospital regulations won’t allow you to go miss.” He looked at Tara.

“But, I need to be with her.” Tara said as a fresh wave of tears streamed down her face. Buffy put her arm around Tara’s side and pulled her close.
The doctor saw the desperation in the young woman’s eyes. “Tell you what. Just play the sister part like this one,” he looked at Buffy, “and they’ll let you in.”

Tara smiled and then it faded as quickly as it came. “How is she?”
“Holding her own. There was considerable damage to the left atrium. I repaired the hole and it amazes me how someone could survive such damage. She’s a strong one.”
“That’s my Willow.” Tara whispered.
“The next twenty four hours are going to be critical. Let’s just hope her strength holds out.” Doctor Manning said as he wiped a bead of sweat from his forehead.
Tara walked closer to the man and hugged him tight. “Thank you.”

He patted Tara’s back. “You’re welcome.” He pulled her back. “You need to get some rest. Try and eat something. You need to be strong for her.”
Tara smiled and nodded her head. “I’ll rest when she’s beside me at home.”
“Well, if you’ll both excuse me, I need to call my boyfriend.” He smiled and left out of the room.

“How come when it comes to the really cute guys, their either taken or gay?” Buffy asked putting her hand on her hip.
Tara’s eyes widened. “Buffy, umm you have a husband and he is cute.”
“Exactly my point, he’s taken.” Buffy smiled. The tension from Tara was more than evident and she thought with a little bit of humor could lighten the gloomy mood.
Tara smiled and bumped her hip against Buffy’s.
“Let’s go find the other’s and tell them the news and then we’ll go grab some coffee while we wait. O.K.” Buffy suggested.

Tara nodded her head. She really didn’t want to leave knowing that she was going to have to put more distance between herself and Willow.
“She’ll be fine.” Buffy said as she gently guided her friend out of the room.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Angel sat on the couch in Cordelia’s room, close to falling asleep. His eyes popped open when Buffy and Tara walked in. Buffy noticed her husband and took a seat beside him. Tara walked over to Cordelia’s bed and put her hand on Anya’s shoulder. “How’s she doing?”

Anya sat there holding on to Cordelia’s hand, never taking her eyes off her unconscious friend. “She’s doing alright. She came around earlier, but the doctors gave her something to make her go to sleep.” Anya shook her head. “I’ll never understand that part.”

Tara rubbed her hand over Anya’s back. She looked over her shoulder at Buffy and Angel sitting and holding one another. “Where’s everyone else?” She asked.
“Spike and Xander took Lacey back to the house. Dawn’s there taking care of her. How’s Willow doing?” Angel asked.
“She’s in recovery. They’re going to move her to ICU after.” Buffy told him putting her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes.

“Why don’t you two go back home and be with you’re little girl.” Tara told them. She could see the two were totally exhausted from the week’s events. “You guys need to rest.”
“Are you sure?” Buffy asked. She wanted to go home desperately and hold Lacey and Angel and feel the security of her family.
Tara smiled and nodded.

“I’ll stay Buffy.” Anya spoke up. “I don’t want Cordy to be here alone when she wakes up. Even though I’m sure she’ll hate the idea of waking up and the first thing she sees is my face.” She let out a little laugh.
Tara bent down and kissed her on top of her head. “I’m sure she’ll love to see you.”

Buffy stood and helped Angel off the couch. He grunted in pain. Buffy made sure he was sturdy on his feet. She walked the remaining distance between herself and Tara. She wrapped her arms around her and held tight. “She’s going to be fine. She’ll be back to her old self in no time.”

Tara held Buffy just as tight. “I hope so. She’s my life, Buffy. I don’t know what I’d do if something happened….” Tara swallowed hard. She didn’t even want to fathom the thought.
“The only thing that is going to happen is that you two are going to be together for a long, long time.” Angel commented.
Tara let go of Buffy’s embrace and walked over to him. “I love you.” She told him as she carefully hugged him.
He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her head. “I love you too.”

Buffy stood and wiped tears that welled in her eyes. She was relieved to have the emotion of relief and the love and devotion for the people who filled her life. She let a few tears fall thinking of her friend who still remained critical. She looked down at Cordelia and gave her a sad smile. She took her hand and squeezed it slightly and let it go. She looked at Anya and smiled. Anya smiled back.

Angel pulled back from Tara and looked at his wife. He held out his hand and Buffy walked to him and took it in hers. She gave him a kiss on the cheek. “I love you.”
“I love you too. Let’s get home to our baby.” Angel sighed knowing that Lacey was safe and sound.
Buffy looked at Tara. “Call if you need anything.” She stressed the last word.
“I will. Be careful.” Tara said as she watched the two leave out.

She turned her attention back to Anya. “You want to go get something to drink.” She said as she placed Anya’s hair behind her ear.
“Yes. I think that would be alright.” She stood up and bent down to Cordelia. “I’ll be right back.” She kissed her on the head. She stood upright and stroked Cordelia’s hair. “I’ll have to get you a hairbrush from the gift shop. If you saw how it looked, you would absolutely freak.”
Tara let out a silent giggle as she held the door open for Anya.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tara and Anya took a seat at a table in the cafeteria.

“So what did the doctor say?” Anya asked as she put sugar in her coffee.
“He said that they repaired the bullet hole. The next twenty four hours are critical.” Tara said as she sighed
“Are you going to stay?”
“Of course!” Tara shouted out. She saw the surprised look on Anya’s face. “Sorry. It’s pretty rough being without her.”
Anya placed her hand on Tara’s arm. “I know and I am sorry she got shot. I like Willow. She’s nice to me, sometimes. I know I get on peoples nerves but I don’t mean to. Sometimes they don’t understand, like Cordelia but she is such a drama queen. She likes to run the show.”

Tara tilted her head and looked at the woman puzzled. “Then why are you here? I know you don’t get along with her at all.”
“She’s my best friend. I like fussing with her. I know she and Xander have a past and I can accept that. I just like giving her a hard time. I like when she gets mad.” Anya admitted.
“That’s kind of a strange friendship.” Tara said still confused.
“I know but I don’t think either one of us would have it any other way. At least she is honest with me. Friends are totally honest with each other.”
“That’s true. I want you to know that I am your friend and I’ll be honest with you.” Tara said holding Anya’s hand.
Anya looked at the blonde. “Thank you.”

Tara looked at the clock on the wall. She stood up from the table. “I’m going to go and wait until they move Willow into ICU.”
Anya stood up. “Well, I’ll go back to Cordelia’s room. Maybe she’ll wake up soon.”
Both women hugged and went their separate ways.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tara walked out of the elevator. She went down the long corridor and watched Dr. Manning and nurses rush medical equipment down the hall to the recovery room. A knot welled up in Tara’s stomach. She began to walk then picked up the pace. Her heart pounded as she ran down the same hall following them.

She stopped right outside the door and watched the doctor hover over a patient. She couldn’t see who it was on the bed until she noticed the glint of red hair. She stood there in total shock.

“Get me 300 cc’s of heparin! Get the defibrillator ready! She’s slipping!” The doctor shouted and the nurses ran around the room.

Everything became silent to Tara as she willed her legs to move towards the mass of people. She stood clear and she watched. She saw her beloved laying there with her chest exposed, a woman placing a breathing bag over Willow’s face pumping on it slowly. She watched as the doctor plunged a syringe into the redhead’s chest. He placed his stethoscope over her heart. He shook his head and began pushing up and down on Willow’s chest. Tara looked at a screen on the wall that looked all too familiar. She saw the illuminated green line that remained flat. She tilted her head to the side and studied it. She looked at the red numbers and watched them flash.

The nurse picked up paddles from a machine. She watched as everyone stood back. The woman placed the paddles on Willow. Her eyes widened when she saw the limp redhead’s body jerk up from the bed and flop back down. She watched the doctor place his hands back on Willow’s chest and began pushing again.

One word brought all the sounds rushing back into Tara’s ears.
“Willow, come on honey!” Dr. Manning shouted.
“Clear!” The nurse said as she held the paddles against Willow again.
Tara watched in terror as she saw her love’s body flop up and down again.

“We’re loosing her!” He placed his stethoscope back against Willow’s chest. “Nothing.” He said. He balled up his hands into a huge fist and pounded repeatedly.
“NO!!!” Tara screamed.
“Get her out of here!” A nurse shouted.
A large woman walked towards Tara. She gently put her arm around the blonde and tried to guide her out the door.

Tara pushed the woman out of the way. She ran past everyone standing around Willow’s bed.
“Hit her again.” The doctor ordered holding on to Tara’s waist.
“Clear.” The nurse sent another surge of electricity through Willow.

They all looked up at the monitor. The doctor sighed. He stood up and looked over at the nurse holding the bag over Willow’s mouth and shook his head. She looked sadly at the redhead and removed the bag.

Tara shook her head back and forth. “No. No. NO! NO! She can’t do this!” Tara pushed the doctor to the side.
He was going to intercede but decided against it. He had it in his mind that there was nothing more to do.
Tara leaned down over Willow. “Baby, please!” She cried. “You can’t do this. Come back to me. I love you so much. I need you.” She placed her head down on Willow’s chest. Her cries were heard around the room. Dr. Manning stood there as tears streamed down his face. The nurses were crying as well.

“Please Willow. Please come back to me.” Tara pleaded as she laid over her dead love.
The doctor placed his hands on Tara’s shoulder and gently pulled her up. He held the blonde against him. “I’m sorry sweetie.”

Tara looked up at him. She jutted out her chin. She whipped her body around and quickly straddled over Willow hips.
“Goddamn it Willow! You promised me you would never leave me!” She bent down and gently kissed Willow on the lips. She picked Willow up by her shoulders and held her. She stroked the red hair and rocked back and forth. She placed Willow’s ear over her heart. “Can you hear that? That beats only for you.” Tears poured from her eyes. She held Willow close. “Hear it baby? It’s all yours. I’m all yours, forever.”

BEEP
Dr. Manning barely heard the sound.
BEEP….……BEEP………….BEEP
“Doctor?” A nurse stood there in total shock as she looked at the monitor.
BEEP……BEEP….…BEEP….BEEP The sound of the monitor sounded through the entire room. Everyone stood there staring at the screen.
“That’s it baby. Come back to me.” Tara still held Willow against her chest.

Dr. Manning placed his hand on Tara’s shoulder. She looked at him and smiled.
“You are amazing.” He wiped more tears from his eyes.
“She is.” Tara said still holding her love tight.
“We need to take it from here.” Dr. Manning said to the blonde.

Tara kissed Willow’s head as she gently lowered her back down on the mattress. She got down off the bed and stood holding onto Willow’s hand. She bent down and placed her forehead against Willow’s. “I love you.”
“Looovuuu.” A mumbled whisper came from the redhead.
“You show me how much you love me by staying alive.” Tara said low enough so only Willow could hear.
A faint smile rose on the redhead’s lips.

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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 9 (updated 6/17)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 10:19 pm 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 10:13 pm
Posts: 517
Willow Watcher: Great update, I was a little worried there for a second, you scared me, don't do that again please I don't think I can take it. I'm sorry to hear that there is only one more chapter. I'm really glad that Lacey is OK, Aunt Wiwwow sounds really nice. I LOVE the way Tara knew how to get Willow back, thats love. I can't wait to read more.

Lonewolf22


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 Post subject: Re: Labyrinth (SEQUAL TO STRATAGEM) CHAPTER 9 (updated 6/17)
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 2:39 pm 
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8. Vixen
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:59 pm
Posts: 871
Location: Germany
Oh my, if Faith wasnt already dead she should be aware that the Kittens wanna hunt her down ;)
So heart-wrenching! At least it all turned out well. :smash

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