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

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 Post subject: By Jove
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:09 am 
I'm not sure if anyone else has already said this, because I only read about five of the guesses, but I think she WAS there.

She could have been there, in a corner, out of view. She just watches Willow, absorbed in the cuteness that is Willow, but wary. Willow doesn't know what's happened in the most recent of years to Tara. Maybe Tara's afraid of Willow's growing magickal powers? Maybe she's not done with Willow's portrait, and is finishing it in a flurry? Maybe she finished it, and set up an unmistakable sign outside of the cafe so that when Willow exits, she'll see it, follow and find Tara.

She couldn't be dead any time before this day because she's having a showing at a gallery not too far away. Or maybe she died, and when Willow goes to the gallery the cafe owners were talking about, she'll see that its an artist tribute, and Willow must write Tara to warn her about the impending doom. And then Tara might think that that is messing too much with the future and the events that must happen.

I doubt Tara's the type to forget, or to blow off a meeting with Willow to be at an art gathering, but maybe she thought it futile to mess with the future like that, and pushed the meeting of Willow out of her mind.

This is fun, guessing what's going to happen...

Well, that's it for the guessing, I'd rather just read on.

ta

mary





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 Post subject: Whats with the egoistical thingie
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:39 pm 


I'm not entirely following why Willow would be selfish for asking Tara to meet her in the future ?? It's not like she's forbidding Tara from meeting anyone else or something now is it ??



I'll grant you that I rarely see anything Willow does as 'wrong', heh... bit of a Willow-fan here, but I just don't follow the selfish logic.



Some kind soul please explain to a logic-impaired kitten pleeeeease ??



Grimmy

--
"You hurt Tara," Willow said too calmly. "The last one who tried that was a god. I made her regret it." -- Unexpected Consequences by Lisa of Nine



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 Post subject: Replies to the distraction
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2005 7:27 pm 
Replies, then update.



Rhiannon9891 - I like #3 too! But not this fic, eh? Another time, I have other stories floating around in my head, so I'm sure the kitten and the mistress will make their appearance in the watsonverse in due course.



The Rose24 - things do happen, and I wish it were such a simple answer. But as you might have gathered, things are never this simple.



tara24alh - I think there's a few votes for #9 already. It makes the strongest storyline, but that's all I'll say.



bell - what will I do without your fun suggestions? No need to be pessimistic, eventually there will be a great happy ending, trust me?



WitchFu - wow, this is a new theory. Tara was there, and has been watching Willow for some time, but has decided for the sake of the timeline, not to continue with their relationship. Interesting theory, I think it comes under the broad category of Changed Her Mind. I'll add it to the list.



Grimlock72 - I think Heather might be able to articulate it better than me, she has the added advantage of being an objective observer. But I'll try. Basically, from Willow's point of view she's not doing anything wrong or selfish. All she wants is to meet the girl she wants to fall in love with and where there is evidence that Tara feels the same. So 2 people in love, or fast approaching that stage, making a date to meet, totally natural, nothing out of the ordinary.



But, their circumstances are anything but ordinary. There's 3 years between them, and it's not an age difference, they are physically 3 years apart. Once Willow asked Tara out, she only has to wait a few weeks, which is no big deal. But Tara? She has to wait 3 years! What does she do in the meantime? She can dream of Willow, but she can't have her love.



What I'm trying to say is, Willow has only thought about what she wants in asking Tara to meet her. She hasn't thought about what it means for Tara. If Tara was thinking that way, she wouldn't have agreed with Willow. If Tara was as self-centered as Willow, she would have just gone ahead and meet up with the younger version in 2001 and may be they fall in love, and then the whole timeline would be changed.



What I call the Reality Check scenario. Not a bad idea, though.



Anyway, I'm not trying to diss Willow. I love her to bits too. But she needs to think a little more of Tara's feelings, that's all. Hope you understand what I've just ranted on and on about.







Just for my own sake, here's the updated list again.



  1. Usual reasons — traffic, flight delays, tied up at work cos she's working for a evil monster from hell sort of boss, overslept, she forgot.


  2. Usual Sunnydale reasons — fighting vampires, kidnapped by demons, sucked into the hellmouth, Turned. [oh no, no, no! At least, not this fic.]


  3. Waiting at home, a surprise gift for Willow. Her kitten gloriously naked, hands stretched out above her in chains and legs spread wide, displaying herself in readiness for her Mistress' inspection. [Hokay, that's probably another fic for another day, hmmm. Thanks Bell for putting the image of leather apparel in my head, now I can't get rid of it, argh.]


  4. Changed her mind I — had time to think about how inconsiderate Willow has been, with her self-centered requests and decided to teach her a lesson.


  5. Changed her mind II — doesn't want to be gay anymore, brainwashed by the ex-gay movement. [shudder]


  6. Changed her mind III - is watching Willow but for her own reasons have decided not to approach her and to keep a distance.


  7. They break up — somewhere further down the timeline they will have a falling out and decide to end things.


  8. Otherwise engaged I — found someone else.


  9. Otherwise engaged II — illness/injury, family emergency.


  10. The Big One — is dead.




------

quiet thoughts

Edited by: hidden watson at: 1/9/05 3:53 am


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 Post subject: Common Areas - Part 9
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2005 8:31 pm 
Title: Common Areas

Author: watson (hiddenwatson@yahoo.com)

Distribution: please email me first

Rating: PG-13 to R

Summary: Sunnydale, AU. Set during 2001 and 2004. Willow and Tara find each other through time.

Disclaimer: This story is inspired by and adapted from a Korean film called Il Mare. The story premise, of 2 people who connect across time, belongs to Lee Hyun-Seung, although I have deviated from the story somewhat. BtVS characters belong to Mutant Enemy, Fox, The WB, UPN and others. I own nothing. I am nothing.

Notes: I'm not 100% happy with the first half of this chapter, been editing, editing, putting it aside, then editing again. Hence the trying to be logical and making the list of why Tara didn't show up. I think I've done as much as I can without overdressing it.





Part 9



Tara sat at the brand new version of the comfortable chair at the corner of the Espresso Pump, looking intently at the space on the wall which currently housed a poster of mountains and lakes. She took out a hardcover book and the letters neatly placed inside. From Willow.





I waited all afternoon and until it got dark. At the risk of sounding like a member of the bad poet society, my heart grew dark with the passing of the day.



I know 3 years is a long time and I shouldn't have set expectations like that, it'll only make the disappointment worse. But I can't help wondering what happened to you during this time? Perhaps you forgot?



I'd never forget a promise like this. Why didn't I show up? What changed?



I feel like I need to apologize profusely to you, but I can't, I'm sorry. It's just inconceivable that it's me, yet it surely was. Is. Will be.



Why would I not want to see you? I have been carrying that need inside me like a dull ache that will never subside. Right now all I want is to jump across the great time divide and into your world.



I feel so helpless.





*****



They both returned to the Espresso Pump the next day, in their own times of course, painfully aware of their separation.



Willow took her laptop but ended up staring at the painting of Miss Kitty on the wall. Buffy asked about her when they met for their morning coffee, but she managed to pull off a fake smile and was thankful the demands of work took the slayer away. One click on her dock brought up her program, she made a table.



Aug 2001 — Tara arrives in Sunnydale. I'm in Junior year at UCS. We never met. She receives my first letter.

Oct 2001 — Tara sees me in the Bronze. She does the spell with me.

Nov 2001 — Tara agrees to meet me Dec 2004.



We're both in Sunnydale.



Jan 2002 — Oz leaves. We fight the nerds.



Where is she?



July 2003 — we fight the First. I graduate and move into the apartment. Is Tara still in Sunnydale? When did she move out?



Aug 2004 — I move out. I write her a letter.

Oct 2004 — I do the spell with her.

Dec 2004 — she doesn't show up at our pre-arranged meeting.



The last positive proof of Tara being in Sunnydale was December 2001, their "current" timeline. The Miss Kitty painting was dated April 2002 so there was a high possibility that she was still in Sunnydale up till then.



Willow moved into the basement apartment summer of 2003, so sometime between April 2002 and July 2003 Tara must have moved out. What happened then? And what happened to Tara between July 2003 and December 2004? Did she stay in Sunnydale? Did they continue writing to each other? Her 2005 was Tara's 2002. Did it mean she would have to wait until 2007 to find out?



She decided to flex her research and hacking muscle, respecting the timeline be damned. Her thoughts grew intense and she quickly mapped out a project plan.



UCS had no record of a Tara Maclay ever enrolling into any program. The trail at the SSA and DMV grew cold after sometime mid-2002. Paul and Becky were out of town. The gallery was closed. She was about to dive into more detailed research when Scooby news distracted her.



*****



The rest of Sunnydale's population went about their Christmas preparations enthusiastically. But neither witches mustered enough energy to get caught up with the vacation spirit. Willow used her Jewish heritage as excuse, Tara had few friends to ask her about her lack of Christmas-ness anyway.



Tara made it a habit to visit the Espresso Pump every morning to buy her coffee. She would sit at 'their' table for a few minutes, puzzling over her future self's inaction and not getting any answers.



She spent most days painting. The portrait of Miss Kitty was coming along nicely, after she got over the initial shock of being told what she would be painting before she even started the painting.



Some days she would visit the street where Willow would move to, but of course the building had not been built yet, the space was still an empty plot.



She lingered a bit longer than usual today, getting a second cup of coffee, watching the place thin out after the morning pre-work / pre-school rush for caffeine. She was about to pick up her bag and take her dirty cup back to the bar when she heard soft sobs behind her.



"— said it's only gonna be 4 years. Only. My god, that's like, forever," she heard a voice cry. A familiar voice, even though she had only heard it once before.



"It'll go by so fast and before you know it he's back. You've still got us, the gang, remember?" the other voice comforted.



"I know I'm being irrational, cos I'm usually pro-study gal. But why can't he transfer his credits? Why make someone already in Junior year start again?"



She turned around and saw Buffy lending emotional support to a clearly distressed Willow. It was ironic and unreal, how she instantaneously knew why the young redhead was upset. Oz had broken the news that he was leaving for New York.



She stood transfixed, at once seething at the musician, and on the other hand almost physically hurting to see Willow like that.



With a rush of adrenaline and courage she did not know she possessed, she turned toward the most important girl in her life. Temporal disturbances be damned.



"A-a-are you okay?" she managed to squeak out. Way to go to make an impression, Maclay.



Teary green eyes stared back at her, a flicker of recognition rapidly replaced by guarded confusion.



"Um, yeah. Just being a bit emotional," a tentative smile trying to appear on the tear-streaked pale face.



"She heard some sad news last night, but she'll be okay. Thanks," Buffy added.



There was nothing else much she could say even though so many words were on her lips. Parts of her screamed that she should stick around and befriend the redhead, but other parts recognized the slayer in full defender mode.



"Buffy, be nice," Willow said. Turning to Tara, "I'm sorry, my friend's just overdosing on the protective pie."



"Hey!" Buffy exclaimed. "I'm looking out for your best interest, and doing best friend duty. Otherwise you'll have to cry on the shoulders of Xander, Dawn or, god forbid, Anya."



"Okay, okay," Willow protested, but a glimmer of a smile appeared on her face. Tara thought it was the most beautiful sight she had seen all day. The more beautiful was when the smile was then directed at her. "Don't mind us, we're just a couple of crazy girls, you don't really want to be seen near us, it could be contagious."



"Oh no. I don't think you're c-c-crazy. But it looks like you're fine, so I'll be, um, on my way," Tara made motions to leave. As much as she wanted to spend time with Willow, she had probably overstayed her welcome.



I'm just a nice girl showing a bit of concern, a nice girl in a total stranger sort of way. Am I just a stranger to you? I thought I sensed recognition in your eyes, if only for a second. Was there a hint that deep down you know me as well as I know you?



She was stopped by the sounds of scuffling outside the café, a bzzzz followed by a thud. A few more bzzzz's and thuds followed. Car alarms started going off en masse.



Buffy was out of her seat in a tick. She told Willow, "Stay here, I'll go see. I smell nerds." To Tara, "Can you stay with my friend for a second, I just have to check on my, erm, car."



Tara arched her eyebrows at Buffy's remarks, but luckily it was not noticed by either Scooby. She smiled privately that Buffy had to hide being a slayer from her. But then she was a total stranger whom they met just a few minutes ago. That sobered her up a little.



"Sorry, she's not usually this bossy, wait, she is," Willow said. "Really, I'm okay, I don't want to hold you up."



"That's fine. I've got time," Tara replied. Lots and lots of it when it comes to you. Why didn't I show up when we finally get to meet officially?



"That's great. Do you want another coffee or something?" Willow asked.



"I'm good, I've had 2 already, any more and I'll be too buzzed to work all day."



"I know the feeling, I can't take too much caffeine, otherwise I'm even more of a spaz than normal. Oz says I'm one of those people with high caffeine absorbency level, sounds like a disease, doesn't it?"



"You friend's mind works in a funny way."



"That's my b-b-, Oz. And yes I can say his name, he's the reason I was brawling my eyes out earlier."



"Oh, I'm sorry for bringing him up."



"Hey, I was the one, not you, it's just, he told me some news yesterday ..."



Tara gave Willow a sympathetic squeeze on the arm, "You don't have to talk about it if it makes you feel bad, but if you do ..."



"Thanks," Willow sighed and looked away for a minute. "No, it wasn't the break up speech, he got a scholarship to NYU, it's a really good opportunity but it's 4 years."



Tara was about to commiserate the redhead with some clichéd remark about absence making the heart fonder when she was cut short by Buffy's return.



"Will, we gotta go. Trio's on the rampage. I'm calling the others." She rushed out again, without stopping for a breath.



Willow gave Tara a wry smile and a quick "Thank you" before running after Buffy.



Goddess bless you both. I can't believe not wanting Willow in my life. Nothing's making any sense.



*****

------

quiet thoughts



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 9
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2005 12:58 am 
Hey there:)



Ahm..oi...I got confused....so Tara saw Willow... younger Willow....why on freaking earth she didn't show up? My brain hurts now....:lol Can't wait to read more and to find out why present Tara didn't show up at Espresso Pump....



:peace :heart

M.



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 Post subject: RE:lets hope isn't the tenth thing
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:30 am 
Wowoow!

A update.Its wonderful!! Yay and Tara meeting Willow again, timestuff be damned. :shock ... :love



It was cute. Though the absence at the official meeting still worry me. Hope at the time Tara will be between us already.:paranoid



I can't wait for more. Continue soon, please, the fic is fantastic. :bow



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 9
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:51 am 
First a word in defence of Willow. I'm with Grimmy in thinking you all are being too hard on Will. What other choice did she have? Since both are determined to respect the timeline, they couldn't meet before 2004. It was either make a date, or just look each other up and drop in. And the latter wouldn't really work if the correspondence had continued and the Willow of 2007 had no memory of a meeting. Certainly the wait was harder for Tara, and Willow acknowledged that when making the invitation.



OK, about that list: nos. 1-8 (with a regretful sigh for no. 3) just are not believable. This leaves illness, injury, emergency, or death. In case of being called away suddenly (emergency) or illness, Tara would have left word at the Espresso Pump, where she's presumably a regular. So, either she's been struck down suddenly, which Willow can easily find out by checking the hospitals, or ... The Big One.



I'm glad to see Willow "flexing her research muscle." Historical research is not disrespecting the time line in the least. Any events she finds information about have already happened, and her knowledge doesn't change that. The research is starting to show results, as Willow has determined that there are no records of Tara after mid-2002. Given what else is going on in Sunnydale, I have my suspicions as to her fate.



Things will get "interesting" from an ethical point of view when Willow's research finds what happened, and she has to decide whether to try to do something about it. (I recommend Joshua Dann's Timeshare trilogy for a consideration of the ethics of a time traveller changing history.)



Meanwhile, the connection continues to grow. The pain of being separated is evident in the anguish both experienced at Tara's no-show. And, when Tara sees younger Willow in distress, she can't help but go to her. I notice that Tara didn't give her name. If she had, it would certainly have redirected the time line, as Willow has to have remembered that meeting.



Better stop now before the comments outgrow the chapter! It's a great story, and I can't wait to see where you take it.

Russ



When we love and give it everything we've got, no matter what the consequences, we are doing what we were put here to do -- Geneen Roth



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 9
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2005 9:43 am 
It's impossible for Tara to not be influenced by the information she gets from Future-Willow. As such she would be on shaky ground starting any form of relationship with Past-Willow. Besides which is would alter history/timelines pretty much immediatly, Future-Willow would have memories of her relation with Tara... which would make Tara the only one to remember the change... headeache inducing indeed.



I didn't "memory loss" on the list of possible reasons. Check hospitals and psychiatric wards. Death *is* registered so if her driver-license (DMV) was terminated due to her death I would expect it to be noted. Bit odd that there isn't much information on Tara after 2002. Rest assured that Willow will figure it out, trouble is... what does she tell Tara ? And will she be on time to tell her at all ??



Would the people who work in the expresso-shop not remember Tara is she became a regular there? Drinking coffee in the same spot every day and such. For that matter can't Tara just give a note to one of those workers with instructions to give it to a certain redhead in a couple of years ??

(hmm.. there would be TWO Willows around then??)



Grimmy

--
"You hurt Tara," Willow said too calmly. "The last one who tried that was a god. I made her regret it." -- Unexpected Consequences by Lisa of Nine



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 9
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2005 9:44 am 
God, older Willow and Tara are gonna drive themselves crazy thinking up reasons why she didn't show up. Younger Willow sorta recognizing Tara was cool, like maybe she noticed her in the bronze that one night. YW seemed to enjoy talking with Tara, which is cool also :D I'm just nervous about YW and T becoming friendly with those damn nerds on the loose...they aren't allowed to hurt Tara :paranoid



**Michelle

"these wounds won't seem to heal,

this pain is just too real,

there's just too much that time cannot erase"--Evanescence (My Immortal)



Edited by: pikescoob at: 1/9/05 9:44 am


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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 9
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2005 11:14 am 
After a 3 year wait you would have hoped the meeting would have gone off without a hitch, however that would have made for a short story. Yours is well written so I hope it continues for a while. I will leave discussion of the time line paradox's to others as all that does is confuse me. I enjoy this story and await an update. Thanks, Happy 2005 and be safe.

Traveler



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 9
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2005 1:31 pm 


:shock



oh! oh! oh! Naughty Tara! She's messing with the timeline!!!! YOU CAN'T MESS WITH THE TIMELINE! But hey! atleast Willow didn't ask for her name coz woah! that would've ended badly!



I can't handle the suspence! The mystery! Cummon Willow! Research you're butt off and find out why Tara doesn't show and then find her and go 2 the kinky leather apparell store together and then have a solid month (136updates) of fluffy gay love! :D good idea yes?



I wanna know what haaaaappppeeenns! Tell me? pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohpllllleeeeeaassseee??!! plleaase? :flirt





- Bell :letter





The shape of you

Is etched inside

My bruised and somewhat sculptured mind



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 9
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2005 2:03 pm 
Wow.. that's already a change of timeline!

I mean, with seeing a picture of Tara in the future, Willow suddenly realizes she remembers something she hadn't yesterday.. Like meeting Tara... And she woulnd't forget her face.. ;) So basicly.. "And the plot thickens".



Oh! I thought of another theory- Tara was there, and she was waiting for Willow too - But somehow the couldn't exist together , like that wacky " I can't see you you can't see me" spell. Anyway, nuff said! :)







How could I ever think it's funny how everything you swore would

Never change is different now
[NIN]

Melissa [Menta]



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 9
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:03 pm 
Quote:
Oh! I thought of another theory- Tara was there, and she was waiting for Willow too - But somehow the couldn't exist together , like that wacky " I can't see you you can't see me" spell. Anyway, nuff said!


Well, they do exist together in 2001, so why not in 2004?

Loving this fic, by the way! ;)



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 9
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 5:15 am 
I don't think I've replied yet but if so, then I'm growing more and more senile and should probably just accept that. Of course Tara didn't arrive and Willow seems to be diving into that surprise exactly as she would. I mean, the boo-hooing in this update is over Oz (and well done using her grief from Oz to substitute for the Tara-grief that we know is there). Tara, on the other hand, has her making charts and lists (way to go, organization girl!). What I find most disturbing and confusing is that she loses the trail of Tara Maclay. If Tara were dead, then I'd expect a report or record of that somewhere. So she's just "elsewhere" (I did have an idea about this this morning).



You're missing a possibility in your list: Tara didn't show up because with no Scoobies there to stop them, the Maclay men came to fetch Tara for their regularly scheduled enslavement of Maclay "Demon" women and succeeded. She's currently chained up in their kitchen, cooking and cleaning for them and wishing Willow could come get her.



Anyway... Tara was very sweet in her response to Willow's pain and very careful. Nonetheless, I'm starting to wonder to what extent these minute interactions between the two girls in 2001 could affect the timeline.



I also couldn't tell whether Tara's reponse to Willow's letter was a letter or her thoughts.



Anyway, concerning the fact that Willow can't find any trace of Tara: Perhaps eventually the two girls decide that the only way for Tara to survive is for Willow and she to bring her forward through time to Willow's time. They do this and agree that Willow needs to "fix" the records to avoid the inconsistencies showing up. Willow does this at some later point (let's say 2005) but that means that when she looks for Tara in 2004 she can't find the information. Ok, that confused me.



Have a great day!

Sign the ACLU Refuse to Surrender Pledge

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” - Martin Luther King



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 9
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 9:34 am 
Hmmm. I have to admit, Willow's letters grow more and more confusing to me as this thing goes along. Asking someone to wait three years without some deep introspection on what that would mean for Tara is one thing, but to get stood up and then write 'why didn't you show up, did you forget' is another. How would 2001-Tara know? And what a question, if even rhetorical, to pose to someone three years in the past. It just seems that Willow is unaware of how her words might affect Tara, and that her feelings of impatience and frustration supercede Tara's. For Willow, this is a conundrum of why-didn't-she-show, where-is-she; for Tara it could mean something that she was about to do, or something that could be done to her, in the upcoming three years would make her miss the one meeting she wanted to make most of all. How truly terrifying and unnerving.



Tara speaking to Willow in the coffee shop might be a result of that. Bit of, 'carpe diem'. But, even that chat has to change the timeline. They've exchanged photos through the letters right? Would seem that immediately at that meeting in 2001, future Willow's world would change to, 'hey, I know you, we talked at the Espresso Pump,' which conceivably could change every interaction they've already had since they exchanged photos.



As for the why Tara didn't show... there's always the possibility that she did die (not every missing person is reported dead), but I have to say that currently the two reasons I like best are Debra's option and Tara deliberately laying low and out-of-sight. Waiting for her moment to meet Willow. Going to be very interesting to see how this will be resolved...







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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 9
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 9:50 am 
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy... Tara's interaction with the past Willow is bound to have some consequences. I think she couldn't quite help herself though with Willow being so sad and all. Now time is really going to be all wonky. It's still very cryptic as to why Tara didn't show and am looking forward to how you'll resolve that. Soon I hope. :D And as far as the reason (numbers 1-9). I think maybe; none of the above. Maybe her nerves got the best of her. Sometimes when you build something up for so long such as this meeting you can be scared, nervous, and a bit worried about disappointment. Or hell, maybe it's just number 2, after all it is Sunnydale. :D

-anna



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 9
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 3:23 pm 
Okay, so I'm enjoying the mind-bending, time displaced drama here as well. I would though.



My two cents (and I'm not sure this hasn't been mentioned): Willow has known Tara all along...as someone else. But Tara kept her identity secret in order to protect the timeline (and/or to hide from her odious family).



Also, changing the timeline wouldn't necessarily be a disuptive thing (I'm about to get all meta-physical here), it might just result in Willow looking at something a little differently. Or remembering things differently. I read a lot of physics (yes, I'm a dork, I know this) and a disruption in time would probably feel just like a long lost memory resurfacing. Or suddenly that chick at work that you've never noticed before (the designer who works in a different division) grabs your attention. 'Why didn't I ever notice her before?' because she wasn't on your timeline yet. And suddenly interactions you 'remember' that seemed insignificant 'then' take on enormous meaning...because she's actively interacting with your timeline now when she didn't exist to you at all 'before'.



I don't know if that made any sense, but I'm enjoying the story. And don't worry about explaining. No one really understands how time works anyway. Not even Stephen Hawking or Einstein, so anything you do is probably right. :)



thanks for a compelling read.



xomel



eta -- ack! but they've exchanged photos. so that ruins that. unless of course, Willow began to slowly realize that she knew this person. hmmm. so much for that theory. :)

Edited by: lipkandy at: 1/10/05 3:48 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 9
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 3:50 pm 
*cue ominous music*



The plot thickens...



Interesting that Tara interacted with the younger Willow. I wonder how that's going to change things? This story keeps becoming more interesting every update. I look forward to reading more. :)



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 9
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 8:19 pm 
Watson,

I just don't know what to think.Didn't Tara just alter time by speaking to Willow? And what's with this feeling Willow gets whenever she's near Tara?? Willow is going to drive herself crazy trying to figure out why Tara didn't show and by trying to find Tara in the present...where did Tara disappear to??

Oh great,now I have another headache.:confused

Can't wait for more.



Rhiannon :seesaw

She is like a cat in the dark

And then she is the darkness



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 Post subject: excellent story
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 7:55 am 
dear watson,



i am very much enjoying your story - so much that i had to go over to the physics department to meet a friend for lunch, and quizzed him for ages about the ideas surrounding time travel. we are meeting again tomorrow night so maybe a few drinks will help!



anyway, i love the concept, and i really enjoy the way you write. i'm looking forward to the next parts, and i hope to leave some better feedback soon :D



blue



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 2:44 pm 
Hiya Watson





I'm ashamed to admit this... I got very lost during this update... I plan to re-read... and I give you my word I'll figure it out ! I still think you're brilliant... and anxiously await the next part.





behindhereyes

Kim

"To the world, you may be one person; but to one person, you may be the world"



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 5:18 pm 
This is deliciously confusing and as logically blurry with clarity thrown in once in a while. I LOVE it, absolutely and completely (and this has nothing to do with my seeing 'Tar'airah' in one of your written responses which, of course, made me giggle profusely).



Lord. I hate to say it *ducks vegetables thrown her way* but....I have this yicky feeling that Tara does die...or has died...or...DAMN, what tense do I use with this story? Cause, the present is sometimes the future and the past turns present and well, lord. See what I mean about logically blurry? Hmmrph. LOVE. IT. WANT. MORE. I get the nasty feeling Tara gets hit by a bullet in the crossfire of Nerds (where have I seen THIS before?) and therefore has no way of getting in touch with Willow three years/two years ahead, however long they've been in touch with one another now...er...then?



Which also leads me to wonder if you can actually give a time frame for a relationship....I wonder if it works like Leap Year birthdays? Weird...now I'm REALLY humming with so much logic that it hurts.



Please update! I love brain-twisters and logic-blisters. They make me think, which is a very, very good thing--I'm fearful my brain will turn to jelly one day.



-elizabeth :spin



p.s. Now that Tara has talked to Willow in the past, couldn't she write to Future Willow and say "remember that day when you were with buffy in the Expresso Pump and were crying over Oz leaving for Four years and there was that gorgeous--yet subtle--blonde chick that you talked to for a bit while Buffy went off to deal with her 'car'? Yea. That was me."



Just saying...it could help. Perhaps memory is the way to solve this time-travel problem...or...not. Bah! I want more!

You shanked my janga ship!





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 Post subject: Thank you
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:44 am 
A BIG thank you to all the kittens for your support, you can't imagine how proud I am, every time I login there's someone else who has made a comment, it's very moving for this first timer. Aaand we're done with the embarassing gushing bit. As usual, replies then update.



YMKA - yeah, that's the mystery, why Tara didn't show up for their 2004 meeting, there seems to be a fair bit of brain pain, myself included. It hasn't been easy to think about it in a totally clearheaded way. Thank you for reading.



Viximon - timestuff be damned indeed. Tara did have a slight moment of hesitation, but she went for it. Yay for her!



russ - I love comments, whatever their length, so fire away! I really shouldn't be so hard on my heroine, you're right. I can't help it, I want my Willow to be 300% perfect and she's only 299.9% :) . Not sure what, if anything, will turn up in her research, time will tell if she finds what she wants to find. As I said above, Tara hesitated before going to younger Willow, but the attraction was too huge, Will was probably too distracted to remember her (but then ...).



Grimlock72 - Oh yes! Thank you! Memory loss, that's a really good addition, and one that I guess is the least scary. Time will tell ...



pikescoob - young Willow feels the connection with Tara, but she hasn't formally met Tara, so she's still perplexed. Not sure if she'll connect this meeting with the feelings she had at the Bronze, probably too random for even her brain to join up. But I loved writing this scene, it's so sweet, yet bittesweet.



Traveler4069 - thank you for the well wishes. I've tried with the physics, but I'm not so good at it.



Bell! - No Ma'am, can't mess with the timeline, otherwise it's a visit to the Miss Bell Chamber of Smutty Goodness for appropriate punishment (yum!). Thanks for your fantastic comments, as always.



Truck driving magic mama - yes the plot thickens, and will continue for a bit. If Tara was there in 2004 but wanted to stay in the background for whatever reason, that's conceivable. But she would still be in existence, cos she's not competing with another version of her.



BFR from Paris - agree, so far, there's only one version of each person at each point in time, no person has traveled through time yet. Up to this point, only paper (letters, envelopes) and a rainbow pencil has time traveled.



Debra - no, you're not growing senile. Not by a long way :) . Oooh, being taken away by the Maclay men back to the horros of home, I think that's the scariest one of them all. If, and I'm not giving anything away, if Tara was dead, then there's still the possibility of Willow using the time thingy to do something about it. The same with the memory loss angle, and even if they "broke up" Will can go back and beg for mercy. But those Maclay men are evil, and Willow doesn't know about their evail schemes, this is making me shudder already.



As for the other possibility, they could have in some point in the future, figured out the reason, and are slowly coming to the conclusion. That sounds good too.



By the way, I ordered the book you recommended, To Say Nothing of the Dog, it'll arrive in about 1-2 weeks, I'm looking forward to reading it.



EasierSaid - I do agree that Willow hasn't really thought things through, especially Tara's feelings and reactions. But, on another level, she doesn't have a point of reference about how to behave or think about things from Tara's pov. Tara, as usual, is so understanding and patience, it's unbelievable.



Irishgrl3 - may be, may be not. Their interaction was brief, Tara never introduced herself and Willow's mind was probably too Oz-filled to remember the kind stranger who asked about her.



Willow18 - thank you. Plot thickens indeed. Glad you're liking it.



lipkandy - oh wow, thanks for the comments. I haven't been entirely clear if they've exchanged photos (Willow thinking Tara is more beautiful than her photos was part of her daydream). Thank you for your words, "don't worry about explaining. No one really understands how time works anyway", I was so afraid I'm writing myself into a corner, not being a physicist and not really that well versed in all the nuances of time travel.



Rhiannon9891 - again with the sorries for causing the headaches. Except, I'm not really :P , I'm evil. More twisty stuff will come. Thanks for enjoying!



bluemote - oooh, can I join you and your physics friend? Drinks sound good at this point. Metaphysical discussions about time paradoxes, CTCs and other worlds, are okay too, but will just whoosh over my head, I'm afraid. Glad you're enjoying.



behindhereyes - I'm sorry for confusing you, I didn't mean to be obscure. If it helps, the first part is the girls in their own timelines (W in 2004, T in 2001) corresponding by letter; the second part is Willow trying to make sense of what's happened the best way she could; the final part is set in 2001, where T meets the younger version of W, the one who hasn't met T yet, and where Oz has just announced he was leaving for NY. Hope this is clearer.



thebardgirl - wow, thank you. Not sure if young Will will remember Tara that much. They may or may not discuss it, up to now they've been really careful about talking about their interactions, so I'm not sure. And no brain turning into jelly, please. You still have to tell the hilarious (I know it'll be oodles of fun) story of Tar', Buf' and Fa'aith in the modern world when they return with Willow. Hint hint.





------

quiet thoughts



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 Post subject: Common Areas - Part 10
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:47 am 
Title: Common Areas

Author: watson (hiddenwatson@yahoo.com)

Distribution: please email me first

Rating: PG-13 to R

Summary: Sunnydale, AU. Set during 2001 and 2004. Willow and Tara find each other through time.

Disclaimer: This story is inspired by and adapted from a Korean film called Il Mare. The story premise, of 2 people who connect across time, belongs to Lee Hyun-Seung, although I have deviated from the story somewhat. BtVS characters belong to Mutant Enemy, Fox, The WB, UPN and others. I own nothing. I am nothing.

Notes: No Tara in this chapter, but she's always on Willow's mind, not to worry.

Warning: Return of the Angst, and someone unexpected.





Part 10



Southern California had barely any seasons, it was hot all year round. In winter it might get cooler at nights and a jacket would become necessary.



Of course that didn't include that one time when it snowed. But that was Powers That Be versus First Evil stuff.



Christmas for the Scoobies had always been a festive family affair, they worked hard enough throughout the year and they deserved it. Giles returned from England bearing 'illicit' goodies such as foie gras, stinky cheese and utterly decadent Belgian chocolate, and proceeded to take charge of the Christmas feast preparation. They had long gotten used to turkey roasted with bacon strips on the breast, and Buffy and Dawn fought over the Paxo stuffing.



Xander and Anya announced that they were pregnant, which led to a flurry of demonspawn (or as Dawn called it, human-demon mixed race child) research before Giles finally declared that the child would be 100% human. The sigh of relief could be heard all the way to Wolfram & Hart's headquarters where what remained of Team Angel sat down for their first Christmas without so many dear ones.



New Year came by without further excitement and the gang settled in for another year of fighting the good fight.



Willow tried to be a part of the celebrations. At best, she quietly participated. At worst, she excused herself and retired back to her apartment. She felt hollow. She would trudge to and from work every day, occasionally helped with patrol, but she felt more like a Willowbot than real Willow.



She knew it was because of not seeing Tara that day at the Espresso Pump, but she would not allow herself to get angry at the Tara of the past. Her letters betrayed some of her depression, but she managed to cut most of it out, keeping to upbeat and neutral topics.



Winter turned to spring and though the weather got warmer her spirits did not.



Then, when she thought she'd hit bottom and was on the way up, Oz came back.



Walked in during a Scooby Chinese dinner at the Magic Box. Pushed open the door a little, just enough for the bell to do its tring-ling-ling chime, then stood at the entrance with his hands in his jacket.



Anya noticed him first, she being ever in tune with the ringing of the door chime. Then Xander, Giles and Buffy together. Willow was sitting at the research table behind the shelves and at their stilled movements, moved over and craned her neck to see what they were looking at.



A blast from the past.



She thought she was over him. She was over him, until the non-Tara non-meeting.



Xander was the first to recover.



"Oz, man," he said as he moved across the room and the 2 shook hands. "How've you been?"



His shoulders moved up and down a couple of inches. "Not bad."



His gaze passed over the group before it settled on Willow. Who had stood up and was doing her best to hold onto the last dregs of dignity she had left, her hands clenched once, then unclenched.



"What are you doing here?" Buffy glared at him.



His gaze did not falter from Willow's. "Can we talk? Tomorrow?"



"I have class in the morning, but I'll be free after lunch," her voice flat, as if answering on automatic.



"I'll meet you in the cafeteria? One-ish?" he asked softly.



She closed her eyes for a second, and nodded.



"Would you like to come in? Join in the consumption of lukewarm noodles?" Anya piped up. At the others' shocked looks. "What? He's back, and Willow's not slapping him, so all's good, isn't it?"



"I'll pass. I'm heading over to Devon's," Oz replied. "It's good to see everyone. Really."



*****



They sat in pregnant silence while all around them college students went about their noisy daily routines, their lunches barely touched.



It isn't supposed to end like this.



"This is kinda awkward," she held back a nervous little laugh.



"I'm sorry. I shouldn't be putting you through this," he apologized.



"Oz, why are you here? I mean, it's your home town and you have as much right as anyone of being here, but what I mean is, is there anything specific you want to talk to me about?"



"I can't just leave things like that, I feel like I owe you an explanation."



"If that makes you feel better."



He winced, she was not making this easy.



"It's hard to live in New York, it's like people there have this special code of behavior that's completely baffling to outsiders. I was missing home, missing you. But believe me, I wasn't planning for things to turn out this way, the last thing I want to do is to hurt you."



She barely bit back the "but you did" that was at the tip of her tongue.



He continued, "You know how it is when you aren't looking, that's when life catches you unawares. You meet someone and despite yourself, despite none of it making any sense, despite every obstacle that's thrown in your path, you're still helplessly drawn together."



Three months ago she would have dismissed what he just said as a poor excuse by someone desperate to justify his infidelity. Her perspective had changed since then and what he said struck a chord. But it was not enough. Some nameless, unknown, force that mysteriously binds two people together forever, like soulmates? It was never as easy as that, was it? Was it?



"That's such a lame excuse, Oz. You were lonely and you needed someone? Guess what? I missed you too, I didn't go and hump the nearest warm body, or seeing that it's Sunnydale, a room temperature one. Doesn't what we had mean anything to you?" she spat.



"Of course it did, does!" he protested. "But it's complicated, I had trouble understanding it myself at first."



"What's there to understand? We were doing so well, then you decide to go to New York, which by itself is a good thing, even though I got all teary about it, the merits of a scholarship can't be beat. But you get there and you forget about everything that was us and you thought, hey why don't I try stomping on Will's heart, see if it breaks into a million pieces, that'll be fun. Oh and what about —," she ranted.



"You don't understand," he interrupted. "She, she ... Veruca, she's a wolf."



She stared at him like, no she believed him, the pieces began to click into place.



"And that makes everything alright? Okay, so you have that in common, but us, what about us, Oz?" she asked.



"I, she, we met and I could sense something about her immediately. I got better at the meditations to control my wolf and one moon night I went looking for her. I only wanted to help her, I didn't mean for things to escalate so quickly, it's like we couldn't control that side of us," he explained, painfully.



"How long?"



"Does it matter how —"



"How. Long?"



"Nearly a year," he replied, resigned.



"Memorial Day weekend?" she was almost afraid to ask.



"Yes," he could only nod miserably.



"Oh god. You jerk. You took me sightseeing and everything you said to me. And when I asked if you're ok you said everything's fine. All that time, as soon as my back's turned. That's as bad as, as ..."



"I know how it feels. I remember."



"Oh, so, what, this is payback?"



"No, no, no. It's not about that."



"Because I thought that was behind us, it was so long ago. And you know, what happened then, the fluke, it doesn't compare."



"I know, I'm not trying to justify myself or anything."



"I know what you want. You want closure, to make your little guilt-ridden heart feel better. So you've talked to me and what, you have my forgiveness? You know what, sorry, that isn't so easy to come by. I don't think we have any more to talk about."



"Willow, please —"



"Fuck you, Oz."



She stood up, gathered her stuff and walked away. Did not look back at his incredulous face. Did not turn back at his half-hearted attempt to call her back.



*****











------

quiet thoughts



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 10
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 4:49 pm 
Hiya Watson!



Such an emotionally grueling chapter, this one. I love how you use the dialogue from the scenes when Willow discovered him with Veruca and from when he returned. In the show, Willow seemed to go right back to that vulnerable place when he arrived, and you use that here, but I like that you end it with her telling him off instead of just saying, "it's ok, I forgive you, we've both moved on." On rereading this, I can't help but wonder how much of her anger at Oz is displaced. She admittedly won't vent her anger at a Tara who hasn't yet disappointed her, so he gets it all. That may be unfair, but he was still a jerk, so I'm okay with it.:wink



-Cameron



What should I be but just what I am? - Edna St.Vincent Millay



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 10
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 6:10 pm 
saw that you updated, and prepared myself for the metaphysical confusion i've come to expect from this fic, only to be faced with straightforward angst and conflict that didn't make me consider shraedinger's cat even once. feels like i bought all the supplies for a snowstorm that missed town- and yay, no snowstorm, but what do i do with this rocksalt?

really enjoyed all the season 4 dialogue, very well used. and yes, willow was probably displacing a little anger and frustration here, but oz was still a worthy target for it, so that's all good. also, covered a few months of 2004, so moving us closer to tara's 2004, right? and baby on the way, always a good way to mark time passing. maybe having closure with oz will move willow to be more proactive on the tara front. still many things to ponder, so i'm happy~mary

you come and you glow and you hum and you hover
i cannot believe that you're my lover~rhett miller



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 10
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 6:37 pm 
I figured Oz might show his face again at some point. I agree with the others that Willow's anger seemed to come from more than just what Oz did...her emotions over Tara not showing probably came into play as well. I love this fic :D



**Michelle

"these wounds won't seem to heal,

this pain is just too real,

there's just too much that time cannot erase"--Evanescence (My Immortal)





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 Post subject: RE
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:23 pm 
I've just read this whole thing in one go, And I love it. I can't believe I'd waited so long to read your wonderful story. I love everything about it, but I must admit....from the moment Tara didn't show up at the coffee shop I got all confused......



I was going to say something interesting and constructive in the space above, but my brain has gone all mushy trying to contemplate the many theories behind time-crinkles and paradox theories. This scenario makes me reconsider the string theory.... Its looking better and better to me. :D



keep the updates coming. I love this Fic.



xoxo

Emms



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 Post subject: hello watson
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:42 am 
*saves you a table next to the fire with a pint of whatever heals you for discussion*



cheers, welcome. thanks for that last update - feels promising that there is some definite resolve about oz :D i really like the way you write dialogue, it seems very easy and natural, even when angsty :)



also, three cheers for bacon on the turkey and stinky cheese...



looking forward to your next chapter,

blue



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 Post subject: Re: hello watson
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 6:47 am 
my my :no thut thut. That Oz jerk. :fit

I'm absolutly pleased with how Willow handed him. A little too hard from her, but, what the hell!



Besides, Willow hearth is taken already now, (thought I'm not sure if she know it :p )



Loving the story still. Keep it up. Update soon ;) please



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