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

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 Post subject: Fanfic- Shattered Mirror
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 2:46 am 
Hey everybody. This is my 2nd post but my first fic so bear with me. Hope you like it!



Title: Shattered Mirror



Author: Michelle



Rating: starts of PG-13, will end up somewhere around R (I think)



Disclaimer: I do not own the buffyverse, I just write stories about it. All characters as well as the series are property of Joss Whedon and ME



Pairing:W/T



Feedback: Yes Please



Summary: Starts about 3 months after the end of season 6. Tara is dead, I'm not changing that. Willow tries to continue living (without much success) while a mystical force hides a way to resurrect Tara.

Warning: the first few chapters will be angsty, but it gets better, I promise.





Ch.1 Gone

Willow lay in bed, sleeping fretfully. She turned over, her face pale and sweat gathering. Her dreams were filled with fire, hurt, and power. She felt the dark magicks crawling under her skin, waiting to be released. She felt immeasurable relief in lips pressed against hers. The image of Tara filled her head, smiling at her. Suddenly, a gunshot shattered her perfect moment, and Tara began to fade. Willow felt blood sprayed onto her, saw her lover's last look of pain and confusion. She cried out in her sleep, catching the attention of one of the white robed people in the next room. In her dream, Warren's laughter filled her head. Anger and pain crowded out everything else, and the image of Tara became clouded as the darkness erupted inside of her like a volcano. The magick took control of her, turning her towards revenge instead of trying to help Tara. Her soul cried out as Tara spoke. "Your shirt" Her beloved gasped slowly, trying to understand. Willow looked down at her shirt, spotted with her girlfriend's blood. A tear trickled down her cheek. "No!" She shouted aloud, the word filling her head in her sleep. The white robed figure rushed to her side and spoke gently.

"Willow. Wake up. It's a dream." Willow opened her eyes slowly, looking straight ahead in the dark. She felt cool, soft fingers against her hot skin and immediately calmed down. It had all been a dream; Tara was here now to protect her. She turned quickly, expecting to see her love's face.

"Oh Tara. It was so-" She stopped, surprised to find herself looking into the eyes of a stranger. What was going on? Where was Tara? This wasn't her room. That was not her girlfriend's hand on her arm. She gasped, feeling as if a crazy demon was ripping apart her insides and her heart was being torn into two pieces slowly as the memories came back to her. It was real. All of it. She'd lost control again, crazed by grief. She'd killed someone. And Tara was...dead. Even thinking the word made her whole body tremble. Her whole body convulsed with sobs as the pain washed over her. One of the women of the coven that was caring for her tried to hug and comfort her, but she pulled away to lie down on the bed. She turned away from the woman to wrap her arms around herself and cry desperately. She lay like that for many hours, until she was eventually too exhausted to continue sobbing, and drifted once again into uneasy sleep. Willow breathed unevenly, still affected by crying herself to sleep as she had every night for the past few months, ever since Tara had been murdered.

The woman by her bed sighed as the girl finally fell asleep. She had been sent to the coven at the beginning of the summer, crazed by guilt at taking a human life, a severe addiction to magick, and, mostly, grief at the death of her lover. While they had helped make sure that she wouldn't lose control of the magicks again, and had even made some progress in appeasing her guilt at trying to, apparently, end the world, she still woke every night with dreams of Tara's death and every morning filled with depression at her absence. Willow was extremely quiet, always only half-aware of her surroundings, and hadn't managed to even recognize a single member of the coven yet. It was their job to help her, and they all knew what she had gone through, but Willow obviously did not want to be helped, she desperately clung to her last memories of her girlfriend. In the months she had been at the coven, the girl had lost much weight. Her nights held almost no sleep; all rest was invaded by dreams of pain and hate. Willow appeared on the outside the wreck that she was on the inside, very thin, with a pale and lined face, and wrinkled and dirty clothes. The girl simply didn't care; she made it obvious that if she had any feelings about whether she lived or died, she would be hoping for the second option. She reached out a hand to stroke Willow's hair. She was returning home the next day; the coven had informed her friends that they were making no more progress, and they had decided to bring her home. Hopefully, the contact with ones she was close to would finally bring the poor girl back into the empty shell her body was right now. She exited the room to sit in a chair she'd placed in the hall. She allowed her self to rest, but not sleep; she knew from experience that the peace sleep allowed Willow would soon end, and someone needed to be there each time the redhead woke from her newest nightmares.

- - - - - - - -

Tara drifted through the light, confused. She was floating, but she wasn't. She was here, but she wasn't. She couldn't feel. Where was Willow? She remembered a loud noise, the breaking of glass, and the look of pain and confusion on Willow's face as the world spun. Something had been wrong with Willow's shirt; she had tried to ask what it was, but all of the sounds and sights seemed to blur from there. How long had it been since then? She couldn't tell, it seemed like only seconds, and yet an eternity away. She could sense others near her. They seemed... content. So utterly content and at peace. She could tell that was how she should be, but how could she be when Willow might be in danger? She had to know. If only she had been able to hear Willow's answer to her question. Then she might be able to rest. But instead she just lay, or floated, or whatever it was she was doing, and thought of Willow.



Osiris waited impatiently for his servant to come. He had returned, finally, from, being summoned by the witch. It had taken him only seconds to go to her from here; her power was immeasurable. But it had taken him many months to return. His essence still hurt from the raw pain and power she'd hurled at him when he refused to return her lover. He chuckled sourly. Technically, she had defeated him, by making him leave before he wished to. He'd crumbled when she had thrown the emotions at him, and fled. This gave her a power over him. If she had ordered him to bring back the other afterwards, he actually would have had to obey. But the desperate and broken witch he was watching now didn't know that. His laugh grew louder, fueled by his intense dislike for the witch, the only mortal to have ever managed to best him. He loved the thought that the means for bringing back her love were there, but she would never realize it. He watched in delight as she collapsed onto her bed, torn apart wanting something she assumed she could never have, while he sat here knowing she could have exactly that.

Edited by: maudmac  at: 10/2/03 9:25 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfic- Shattered Mirror ch.2
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 3:59 am 
Hey again if anybody is back here reading th second chapter.

just finished it:)



Title: Shattered Mirror ch.2



Author: Michelle



Rating: starts of PG-13, will end up somewhere around R (I think)



Disclaimer: I do not own the buffyverse, I just write stories about it. All characters as well as the series are property of Joss Whedon and ME



Pairing:W/T



Feedback: Yes Please!!! Make my day!



Summary: Starts about 3 months after the end of season 6. Tara is dead, I'm not changing that. Willow tries to continue living (without much success) while a mystical force hides a way to resurrect Tara.

Warning: the first few chapters will be angsty, but it gets better, I promise.







Ch.2 Empty

Buffy sat in her house, looking around nervously. Any minute now, her best friend would come through the door, back to the home she'd been absent from for so long now. She had been sent to the convent at first because she had begged Buffy to let her go, away from the memories. Well, Buffy thought, she hadn't begged really, just asked in the same detached, monotone voice that she always used when she did talk, but her eyes had pleaded with Buffy; they tore at her heart. Willow's eyes used to be so full of kindness and understanding and emotion. Now there was only pain, the rest was just emptiness, like her friend was no longer really there, like she was just a shell. The convent had informed them that while they had made sufficient progress with Willow's magick problems, and even helped appease the guilt a little, they were making no progress on bringing the real Willow back again. She was there, she walked, even talked a little sometimes, but it was all in the same bored, uncaring way that haunted Buffy and her friends. They were hoping that bringing her back to Sunnydale would bring out some of the old emotion and fire in their friend. They had tried to get rid of most of the stuff in the house that reminded them of Tara, mostly for Willow, but partly for them. Tara may have started out as Willow's girlfriend, the outsider, but she had eventually worked her way into their hearts, becoming their friend and an integral part of the Scooby Gang. Buffy smiled when she remembered sneaking out for coffee with the blonde wicca, after she had left Willow, and talking to her, even if she didn't need to, telling her things she hadn't been able to tell a single other member of the gang. Tears came to her eyes as she remembered crying Tara's lap, and the way the girl had just listened, stroking her hair, letting her get the emotions out without trying so hard to reassure her or talk to her about it. She had comforted her, helped with so many things over the next week. There was just something about Tara; you could talk to her, trust her, with anything. And you knew she would never betray that trust. When Tara had first left Willow, she had tried to be mad at her for causing her friend so much pain, tried to make it into a betrayal of trust. She remembered how Willow had stuck by Tara, even when Glory had made her crazy, researching day and night to bring her back. But then she remembered why Tara had been crazy in the first place, how she had refused to tell Glory about the key, even when she knew the price was her sanity. She had done that for all of them. She remembered how many chances she had given Willow, even forgiving the first forget spell put upon her by her love. Tara had been the one truly kind-hearted, good person in their life. Which made it that more ironic and sad that it was her the bullet hit, her pure soul that was lost to them. Maybe that was the reason that Buffy had put up that picture of Tara, in the magick box, smiling her trademark half smile, looking so happy. Or why they had all left Willow and Tara's bedroom untouched, except to have the blood cleaned out of the carpet. Buffy couldn't help feeling a little guilty, more than a little; she had been on the grass as Warren pulled out the gun, she could have charged him, done something differently. But she didn't, and now Tara was dead. She felt a small hole inside of her, one that had been there all along, unnoticed. Tara hadn't been her soul mate, she hadn't been the whole world to her as she had been to Willow, but she was a friend, and her absence left a tiny little spot of emptiness in her, burning with regret and guilt. And suddenly Buffy understood where Willow was. If this was how much Tara meant to her, then Willow's whole body must be filled with this burning void, because she knew her friend also felt that Tara's death was her fault. They had all avoided mentioning Tara at all while Willow was here, and after she had gone only when they had to. They all had thought that if they shut up about it for a while, Willow would get over Tara, move on. Buffy could see how wrong they were. Willow would never be over Tara. The shy blonde had been Willow's whole existence, as Willow had been Tara's. They had only had three fights that anyone could even remember. Sure, after a while, Willow would have to live, she would talk some more and do what she needed to, but it would still be an almost hollow existence, half of their friend had died with Tara, and Willow would never try to take that half back.



Willow sat on the plane, doing nothing. The people all around her looked bored, but she never was, or maybe she always was, she could never tell the difference anymore. A small part of her was nervous, knowing that the last time she'd seen her circle of friends had been only days after she'd gone crazy and tried to kill them, but the rest of her was only numb. She felt like she was viewing her body, and that tiny part of her that still felt, from far away, like she was another person entirely. So, she was going home. It wasn't really home, not without Tara there. Who cares if the gang hated her? Only that one, small part of her that was now far away. She looked down at the food on her plate. Sometimes she could get enough energy to play with it, push it around with her fork; once in a while she even took a few bites. Even then, she wouldn't be able to say five minutes later what it was she had eaten. So, instead, she just waited until the stewardess came to collect her untouched plate. She looked down at the shirt she was wearing. At least this one wasn't dirty. It was very wrinkled, but it was a clean shirt and that was rare for her. The plane finally landed and she slowly stepped off, squinting in the sunlight, wondering what her friend's reactions would be to having her home.

- - - - - - - - - -

Osiris grumbled to his servant to hurry. It had taken him a while to get home and he didn't want to spend more time waiting. His slave shuffled over to him, his head bowed.

"How was your journey, Master?" The slave questioned quietly, never taking his eyes off the ground.

"Tiring. And I still hurt from that witch..." The man almost looked up, then caught himself.

"She defeated you?" He asked in wonder.

"Yes." Osiris grumbled. He wasn't used to his followers asking questions, but the man was a new slave, he didn't want to destroy his soul, it would be a waste of a servant.

"But then master, the one she asked to be freed..." He trailed off at Osiris's curt nod. "But I did not feel her presence leave the gates..." The man trailed off once more, unsure.

"She did not defeat me until after her command. If she had ordered me too again..." He stopped grinning wickedly. "But the only way for her to summon me again would be for her to recreate the situation."

"But master, the lover is dead, so how?"

"It can be on a very small scale." Osiris explained patiently. He would have to kill this one soon if he didn't stop asking questions. "All she needs are symbols. One of her power, one of her pain, and one of the lover's death. If they are placed together by her, purposely or accidentally, I will be summoned and will have to resurrect the other one. But-" the servant interrupted him, actually looking into his face.

"Master, what if-" Osiris roared in rage at the man's disrespect and he immediately turned to ashes, blown away by the force of Osiris's fury. When the last traces of the man had been obliterated, Osiris turned away, feeling better, the young redheaded witch already out of his mind.



Tara floated in nothingness, willing herself to be free. She couldn't say how long she'd been here, there was no time. She could here faint calls, and they sounded to her like Willow's voice. She wanted so badly to crawl out of here to find her, help her, but she couldn't. She felt helpless and sad. Everyone else here was content, what was wrong with her? What was wrong with them? Couldn't they hear that person, who could be her sweet Willow, calling for help? How could they ignore the distress in her voice? She was surrounded by a universe of content, she alone a center of discord. Tara wanted to cry out, but found that she could make no sound. The treacherous blanket of white held her captive. There was nothing she could do. Would this last forever? Would she ever see Willow again, feel the girl fingertips on her cheek, feel Willow's flushed face beneath her own hands? "WILLOW!" She cried out in her mind. She struggled, but the blanketing, calming white was like an invisible cage to her, she couldn't leave. She cried out silently, over and over again, wishing someone could hear, but knowing no one would.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Dawn woke from her dream, sweating. She looked around her, expecting to see her room, but instead saw the family room, the new, plain family room. She hated the new house, removed of all the comforting evidence of Tara. She thought of the dreams. It hadn't been the first time she'd dreamed of Tara, not close, but it was the only time she had dreamt of something else, Osiris, and it was the only time the dream had seemed real. Osiris was familiar, she didn't know how she knew his name but she did. She thought hard for a second, then remembered. Osiris was the God of the Underworld, Willow had called upon him to raise Buffy from the dead, and had tried to use him to get Tara back, sending him away when he wouldn't help her. Why would she dream about him? The things he had talked about, she didn't even know. But she felt like she had to remember. Usually, the dreams she had faded, but these two stuck with her. She felt like it was important that she remembered what Osiris had said, like it would be needed. She tried to shrug off the impulse, and go back to sleep, it was just a dream. But she found she couldn't, and so she walked to the kitchen and got a piece of paper and a pen, and wrote down his conversation with the servant, word for word. She wouldn't need any help to remember the helplessness she had felt in her dream of Tara. That too had felt strangely real. Finally able to calm down, she walked back into the family room and lay down on the couch. She needed to sleep now so she could be awake when Willow returned to them later that night. She'd decided to stay here while the others went to the airport, since she had been practically asleep on her feet then. She had to be rested and able to comfort Willow when she came home. She knew she had felt lost since Tara had died. Tara had been the only one of the Scoobies who never treated her like a kid, never acted like they had to hide everything from her, never treated her like an outsider. Dawn loved Willow and Tara and always would. They were the only couple in the gang who hadn't been constantly fighting and bickering. They had only actually fought three times in her memory. She still remembered how Tara had given up her sanity instead of betraying her. When Tara had left, she'd been so sad. She'd always thought that Willow and Tara would last forever. They were so completely in love. When Willow had gotten her into that car crash, she'd had a hard time forgiving her. Tara had actually asked her too. She'd insisted that Willow was sorry, that she needed a chance to make up for her mistakes. Dawn had automatically responded that Willow also needed another chance from Tara. She knew how much Tara had been hurt, but she couldn't help but want them back together. They were such great people, they seemed to light each other up when they were close. Then, Tara had come back. She'd remembered the way the giddiness had consumed her why she had seen Tara walked out of the room, in just a sheet, and she had known. It had been so nice to see them walking around, completely happy and content all day. She thought of the way Willow's face had lit up, as it hadn't for so many months, and smiled. It only made the blow stronger, though, when Tara was lost. It was like the minute they stood up, life socked them in the stomach and pushed them over again. Nothing went right for them, for any of them. She thought of all the emotions: happiness, sadness, love, and grief that Tara's life with them had caused her. She thought of them magnified a hundred times, and knew it came nowhere close to what Willow felt. That's why she needed to be rested and ready to comfort her when she arrived. She had to get through this and help the others through it, for Willow. And for Tara.



TBC...(obviously)

I will post the next update as soon as i write it (possibly tonight)





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 Post subject: Re: Fanfic- Shattered Mirror ch.2
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 5:43 am 
Awww. Poor Willow. When Willow cries, I cry. This story is full of angst, But trust you when you say W/T will be together.

Tara: My heart doesn't stutter.


Tara: Willow, I got so lost.

Willow: I found you. I will always find you.




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 Post subject: Re: Fanfic- Shattered Mirror ch.2
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 8:50 am 
Awww...when you said it was angsty you were right, but I love this...it is so beautiful. Love Sammi xx



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 Post subject: ch.2 reply
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 6:19 pm 
hey guys

thanx 4 the feed back, and I promise it will get better, but unfortunately not until a couple of chapters from now

It will take me a while to get the next few updates up cuz i'm kinda not supposed to be on the internet right now (hehe oops :whistle ) but i'm going on when i can. I have the next update ready, but it's on my other comp. so i have to wait to post it until later (like when i can get on that one without getting caught) Thanx again for reading and for the feedback



-michelle :eatme



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 Post subject: Re: ch.2 reply
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 8:43 pm 
Wow, this is very angsty. However, it's well written, premium angst, so I like ;) .



I'm very interested to see what happens next and the eventual Willow/Tara reunion.

Every time you walk away, I pretend that I'm okay



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 Post subject: ch. 3
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 10:06 pm 
Hey again. Ok i got the 3rd chapter finally (sneaking onto the site in the library= not good, if i get caught again, as in now, i'm kicked off of here too.) Sorry, this chapter is again big with the angst, but i promise only 2 more like it and then it gets better! Thanx for reading and the feedback!



Title: Shattered Mirror



Author: Michelle



Rating: starts of PG-13, will end up somewhere around R (I think)



Disclaimer: I do not own the buffyverse, I just write stories about it. All characters as well as the series are property of Joss Whedon and ME



Pairing:W/T



Feedback: Yes Please



Summary: Starts about 3 months after the end of season 6. Tara is dead, I'm not changing that. Willow tries to continue living (without much success) while a mystical force hides a way to resurrect Tara.









Chapter 3: Broken

Willow walked into the house, looking around at familiar, yet different surroundings. It was the same house, the same place she'd been away from all summer, but there was something missing. She looked to the shelf where the Doll's Eye Crystal used to lay, and found it empty. She looked around in confusion, and saw all other reminders of Tara's presence were removed. She knew the Scoobs had done it for her, to help her, and she knew she should be thankful, but a part of her felt guilty. They shouldn't remove all memories of Tara from the house, like she was something bad that needed to be put behind them. Even if they caused pain, there should be some reminders of her, something to show that Tara was still a part of them. Because she was. Willow knew Tara would always be a part of her, the only part not filled with a black, aching void that threatened to swallow her. Tara was the reason that she hadn't died that Summer at the convent, the force that prompted her to take those few bites of food, that made her draw that much needed breath, made her stay alive in this living hell that was life without her. Willow remembered the beginning of this, when she and Tara had done the spell to send her to the nether-realm. They had anointed each other, claimed each other, and given themselves to each other. Since that moment, a part of her had lived in Tara, and a part of Tara in her. Even when Tara had left, she had made no move to take away that part of her. Even if Tara had, Willow would never have taken the part of her in Tara back, because she knew what the part was: her heart. The fact that Tara's heart had remained with her when she was gone had given Willow hope. Now, when she was undoubtedly gone forever, Willow could still feel Tara's heart inside her, beating when hers no longer wanted to, sustaining her. Her heart was still with Tara, wherever the girl was now. She could take it back if she wanted to, but she didn't. If she took it, it would make it possible to move on. All the emotions would come back to her, amd there was a chance that she would eventually be able to conquer them and go on living. She didn't want to. What she was doing now, it wasn't living. She was simply walking through the part she was supposed to play, it was more surviving than anything else. Just staying alive was a struggle, when her whole body ached to just give up. What was the point, anyway? The one thing she craved, cherished, held above all else was lost to her. Forever. When she had first come down from the horrible magick high she had taken for revenge, she had wanted to die not only because there was no point to living, but because if she died, she'd be with Tara again. That was why not a single part of her had minded when she realized that the magick had her; she wouldn't come back this time, she'd be dead. That was when her whole being had been focused on mourning her lover's death, when she blocked out everything but the memories of Tara and the need to be with her again. Soon, though, as the memories that had been haunting her for so long pushed their way into the front, she realized with horror that she was separated from Tara forever. She remembered killing Warren, not just killing him, torturing him, and enjoying it. She remembered all the hurt she'd put her friends through. She remembered killing Rack, the intense rush she'd gotten as his life force flowed into her. She remembered the pain she'd felt when she'd consumed Giles's energy, but now she knew she was the cause of it. She remembered trying to end it all, and what she'd done to Xander before he could stop her. She remembered all this and more, and knew that Tara was lost to her. Her sweet, caring, pure Tara would be in Heaven. She knew that there were many heavenly dimensions, but her religious mind thought of only one heaven. She, on the other hand, was an addict, a liar, a betrayer, and now... a murderer. She'd never end up in the same place as Tara, the sweetest, most caring, loveliest person she had ever met. It hit even harder, because she knew she deserved it for what she'd done. It was her fault that she would never see Tara again, no one else could be blamed.

The gang watched while Willow looked around, her blank stare sending shivers up and down their spines. Dawn saw the tears come to Willow's eyes, saw the desperate look on her face as she thought. If Tara were here, she would be able to help her. Dawn thought, frantically looking for a way to help Willow. She ran over to her and hugged her, the only thing that came to her mind. It wasn't the comforting hug, the one that Tara had shown her and Willow when they'd been upset. She didn't stroke Willow's hair or whisper "Shhhh." In her ear like Tara would have. That would have brought back even more memories. Instead, she just clung to her, holding her tight enough that Willow was forced to concentrate on the present, Dawn pulled back after a minute. Willow was thankful, and tried to smile at her, but it was only a small smile, and Dawn saw that it didn't reach her cold eyes. Her heart broke for Willow, and for all of them. It hadn't hit her fully until just now that when they'd lost Tara, they'd lost Willow too. It was obvious that while Willow had the way to move on, to actually feel again, she wouldn't. She never would. Not if it meant giving up so many of the memories that they all knew she cherished, the small part of Tara that she still had left. Tears came to Dawn's eyes. She would never stop trying, but it was futile without some effort on Willow's part. The rest of the Scoobies closed in on them, all hugging Willow tightly. She accepted the warm embraces, but made no move to return them. They all began to nervously ask questions. As Dawn studied her, she noticed for the first time how thin and pale Willow was, how wrinkled her shirt was, and the new lines creasing her face. There were heavy bags under her eyes, she seemed to sag into herself. Willow remained silent as the gang asked her if she was hungry, thirsty, tired, where did she want to sleep, etcetera.

"I think-" Dawn said quietly, as everyone turned to look at her, "-that she wants to sleep." Willow looked at Dawn, glad that she had stopped the questions. One by one the Scoobies nodded.

"But we need to get her into some more comfortable clothes." Buffy added firmly. "I could get-" She stopped, remembering where all of Willow's clothes were. None of them had been in the room since that day...

"I'll get them." Willow said quietly, speaking for the first time. Buffy looked at her with concern.

"But Willow, all of your clothes are in..."

"I know." Willow stood up and walked out of the room and up the stairs with no further comment. Her friends all watched her go with confused looks, hoping that she would be all right in the morning, and knowing at the same time that she wouldn't be.



Willow walked firmly up the stairs, determined to do this before she lost her courage. She'd have to go in there sooner or later.

Her heart beat faster and faster as she neared their old room. She didn't know exactly why she was doing this, it wasn't something to get over Tara, she didn't want that. There was no reason she should go in to that room and tear herself apart all over again. But she had to. It was important. There was something in there she needed. She didn't know how she knew this, she just did. It didn't make sense, all she was getting was a shirt, what was it that she needed? Her throat tightened as she reached the door. She opened it slowly, taking in the familiar landscape of it. She walked in quickly, keeping her eyes on the ground. There were to many familiar things in here, she would get lost in the memories. She fumbled with the drawer, finally pulling it open. She stuck her hand blindly inside, expecting it to meet the soft fabric of a shirt. She gasped when it met a cool, smooth surface, and she felt a jolt of energy: hers, Tara's, and the crystal's shoot up her arm. It was the Doll's Eye Crystal. So this was where Buffy had put it. When Tara's energy shot up her arm, her mind was flooded with memories; Tara grasping her hand and showing her how much power they had together, Tara and her doing the spell that sent her to the nether realms, the first, life-changing, kiss. The memories flew faster and faster through her head. When she came to one of Tara brushing her hair at the dresser in the room, they day that she'd been shot, Willow cried out and grabbed randomly at a piece of fabric in the drawer. She ran out of the room and down the stairs, gulping back the tears that threatened to consume her. She reached the bottom and stopped, looking at her friends, who now gathered around her, trying to comfort her. She pushed past them to lie on the couch. She looked down at the clothing in her hand and found that she had grabbed a sock.

"Will, I'll get something from, uh, upstairs." Buffy said, watching as her friend curled up in a fetal position on the couch.

"No. Buffy!" She said, and everyone turned to look at her. "It's just, anything in there will..." It would smell like Tara, feel like Tara, and she couldn't handle that. Buffy nodded her understanding, and placed a blanket over her as the Scoobies silently filed up the stairs. She sighed and turned over on the couch. She did want to be alone, but sleep was not going to be good. At the convent, a woman was always by her door to wake her if she had nightmares. When she had nightmares, she corrected herself. How could she ask one of her friends to do that? She couldn't, it was that simple. She'd have to learn to deal with them by herself. It took her a while, but eventually she drifted into an uneasy sleep, with the crystal pulled close to her chest.





TBC......





be back on with 4th chapter soon i hope!:banana



-michelle



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 Post subject: Re: Fanfic- Shattered Mirror
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 11:18 pm 
bad osiris. bad!!!







Willow: I'm a blood-sucking fiend...look at my outfit!!!




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 Post subject: Re: Fanfic- Shattered Mirror ch.4
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 1:35 am 
Hey again!

As always, thanx so much for reading and for the feedback.

I finally am able to post again, not because im allowed to but because there's finally no one around to see me. It might be a while till the post after this, depending on how long it takes for me to get another time to log in without getting caught, but to make up for it I have 3 chapters for you tonight ( i was busy at school when i was supposed to be taking notes)

Disclaimer: same as usual, you know the drill

Rating: low PG-13 (really PG except for a couple of intense scenes in chapters 5+6)

Warning: Sorry to say that this is also big with the angst. I'd skip it if i could, but i need alot of the scenes in here. But only this chapter and one more, then things start to happen i promise





Ch. 4 Image

Dawn sat by Willow's sleeping form, gazing straight ahead. Luckily, she'd gotten some sleep before, because she had first shift of Willow duty. The coven had warned them about the nightmares, and also added that Willow probably wouldn't ask for help on her own. Willow had seemed so broken when she'd gotten back, even more so when she'd come down the stairs. It was hard for her to imagine this shadow of her friend having enough emotion to cry herself to sleep at night, but the coven had warned that it would happen. Willow's body started to tremble, and Dawn ran a soothing hand down her shoulder. She wondered what Willow dreamt about. That was stupid. She knew what mattered to Willow. Willow dreamt of Tara, probably of her death, and also the time she'd spent under the control of the dark magick. Dawn had had more dreams of Tara, but now they were all the same. Tara was stuck somewhere, blinding white light stopped Dawn from seeing where. She needed to leave, but was held there by the treacherous blanket of white. She wondered what it meant, if it meant anything at all. She couldn't help but feel like her dream was real. It was the only dream that had ever seemed so clear, aside from that one dream of Osiris. She frowned as she thought of it. She hadn't had to once read the paper she kept folded in her drawer to remember what he had said. She knew she should tell someone, but they wouldn't listen, and if Willow heard... Willow whimpered and thrashed, her eyes fluttering as she tried to wake up.

"N-n-n-noooooooooooo!" She yelled. Buffy rushed down the stairs, awakened by her yell. She looked at Dawn questioningly.

"Get some water." Dawn suggested. Buffy nodded and went into the kitchen. Dawn gently shook Willow as she girl continued to toss and turn and whimper. Willow's eyes opened slowly.

"Tara?" Willow breathed hopefully, then opened her eyes the rest of the way. Dawn thought her heart would break as the first spark of emotion she'd seen in Willow's eyes turned to tears and pain as the girl's eyes clouded and she began to sob again. Dawn reached out a hand to touch her, but she pulled away. Dawn could only watch as Willow crumbled and collapsed, the sobs breaking through her body while she watched helplessly. There was nothing she could do, and she knew that, but she felt like she had to ask.

"Willow, is there anything I can do?" She got no answer as Willow just continued sobbing, she hadn't expected one. It was hard to imagine this much emotion fitting in Willow's tiny, weak frame, especially since during the day Willow was practically un-feeling, inside and out. But Dawn understood now that this was the emotion Willow would not allow herself to give into during the day, how she really felt inside. How she would always feel. Dawn wanted to hug her, to take her into her arms and make it all better, but a part of her knew that only Tara's arms could do that, only her voice in Willow's ear and her breath on their face. But Tara was lost to them, taken away from the world by that one tiny piece of metal, and she was never coming back. So that meant they'd have to sit and watch, trying futilely to help as Willow sunk lower and lower into the numbing depression that was her life. After almost an hour of uncontrollable sobbing, Willow finally fell, once again, into an uneasy sleep. Dawn sighed. She was exhausted, and her shift was about to end. She went upstairs to wake up Anya, who had the next turn. The ex-demon had been surprisingly concerned about Willow all summer, preparing endlessly when she heard that the former witch was coming home. Dawn had been puzzled until she worked up the nerve to ask Anya about it. She had explained, with a surprising amount of emotion, that while Tara had been no closer to her than to the rest of the Scoobies, she had been her best friend. Dawn new this to be true, Anya was part of the group, but wasn't part of the tight emotional circle that Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles and her shared, so the friendship, comfort, and love Tara had offered were special to her. Also, Anya couldn't help Willow with her pain like she usually did with people; there was no one to wish vengeance on except Warren, and Willow had already taken care of that. So instead, she was helping her in the only way she could. She couldn't be there for her like the others who were closer to her, so she helped from afar, finding the right books and hiding things that might bring back especially painful memories for Willow. She hadn't always gotten along with her, but it hurt her to see someone in so much pain, so she tried for Willow. And for Tara. Dawn saw how even gone, Tara's gentle presence still affected the Scoobies, pushing them to do better. It made her cry, and she actually was hugged and comforted by the usually blunt and un-comforting Anya.

Anya took a while to wake up, but was not at all reluctant to stay awake and take her turn watching over Willow. Dawn once again wondered at how far she had come from the vengeance demon Cordelia had met in high school. It was kind of ironic that the spell that destroyed her power was done on Xander, her future love. She just hoped that Anya would be able to handle the amount of emotion Willow showed when she gave into the hysteria at night.

"Did she have any nightmares yet?" Anya asked quietly before going downstairs.

"Ya. It was... intense. I almost cried, just watching her." Anya nodded.

"It's surprising how much emotion is really in there. I mean, during the day..." It was now Dawn's turn to nod.

"If she starts to shake, whimper, cry, whatever, wake her up." Dawn cautioned. Anya just nodded again.



As Dawn went upstairs, Anya watched the slim frame of the redhead as her chest rose and fell evenly. It was hard to imagine that the fiery, emotional redhead she'd quarreled almost endlessly with when she began to date Xander was reduced to this. Then again, it was hard to imagine that she herself had gone from cursing Xander for what he'd done to Cordelia to having her heart broken by him, or that Tara, the only truly pure and good person she'd met so far, was an unmoving corpse in the ground. She felt unshed tears form behind her eyes as she thought of Tara. She knew it was like this for all the people who had known her; the entire gang had accepted Tara into their kind of family. It just wasn't fair. She still didn't understand exactly how it worked, why the people couldn't just come back into their bodies and get up again. She wondered how the mortal people on earth could believe in a single, fair, loving god when so many times the best of them were torn away from caring, loving people and the scum who did it continued to walk. She wanted so badly to talk to someone about it, but she had learned by now that bringing up such a tender subject would be considered rude or blunt in human society. The only person who would listen to her, not judge her for her manners or thoughts, actually try to understand what she was saying, was dead. And she was back again to the unfairness of it all. She looked down at the peacefully sleeping girl on the couch. She wished that Willow would be able, one day, to actually stay a whole night like this. Even as she thought it, though, the redhead's body began to tremble, then shake, and a small whimper escaped her lips.

"Willow." Anya said loudly, grabbing her firmly by the shoulders and shaking her. Her approach seemed to work better than Dawn's gentle touch, because Willow's eyes instantly sprang apart, and she sat up quickly. The emptiness in her eyes was gone, replaced by a burning fury that almost made Anya release her and back up.

"I have to kill him." Willow breathed through gritted teeth.

"Who?" Anya asked in confusion.

"Warren." All the hate and pain Willow felt was worked into that one word.

"He's dead." Anya assured her. When Willow looked at her in surprise, she frowned. "You killed him. Tried to end the world..." She saw remembrance cross Willow's face as she lay slowly back against the pillows. She lay silent for a split second, then her whole body convulsed with sobs, just like all the other nights. Anya watched, shocked. Dawn had warned her that it was intense, but the pain on Willow's face... She didn't know it was possible for someone to cry that hard, for that much suffering to fit in one person's heart. She watched helplessly for almost an hour as Willow cried, almost expecting Willow to disappear, swallowed by the grief she felt. She glanced at the clock. It was almost morning, the others would be up soon. She knew instinctively that by then, Willow would have gained control and hidden her emotion by the cold mask she hid behind in the day.

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

Xander awoke the next morning and came downstairs to a surprisingly peaceful scene. From what the convent had said, it would have been a hard night for both Willow and the people watching over her. He saw Willow, lying on the couch, not asleep but still, and stopped dead. There was an enormous amount of emotion in her stare, more than he had seen even before Tara died. Had something gone wrong? Was she hurt physically? Had she somehow recovered from her numb state last night? Her looked questioningly to Anya, who was sitting at the table, drinking coffee while battling to stay awake. When she caught his glance, she said loudly.

"She's fine. She's recovered already. She'll be back to normal soon." She assured him.

"But, what happened, she looks so... haunted."

"The nightmares. You think this is bad? Wait 'till you watch her for a night. This is like-" She thought for a minute. "This is like 'Tara's dead dark magick Willow' compared to normal Willow if you match it with last night."

"You mean, this isn't the worst of it?" Anya raised an eyebrow at him.

"Please. This Willow is practically comforting." He looked at Willow, who was now crying softly at the mention of 'Tara's dead' Willow. He rushed over to comfort her, but she turned away.

"She won't let you touch her.' Anya informed him. "She turns away from anyone who tries to." When Willow finally turned to face him, she wore the mask of ice she had built to keep from losing it. She didn't say anything, just stared straight ahead. Xander watched in amazement at the speed of her transformation. The empty Willow he saw now had haunted him for months, but he wasn't even sure that it was worse than the emotion he'd seen in her eyes, the way they seemed to fill completely with despair and pain. He missed his best friend so much. He felt guilty for not missing Tara more. She had been a nice person, probably the best of the Scoobies, but he hadn't really had a bond, a real friendship with her like Buffy, Anya, and Dawn had had. All he really knew was that Tara had made Willow happy. When she was with Tara she seemed to glow. Now, without Tara, it was like all the fire in his friend had been blown out, replaced with ice. The worst part of it was that he could tell Willow was holding something back. She kept some part of her lover inside of herself, and it kept her from moving on. He'd hoped that when she came home it would change, but her emptiness, and now the terrible emotions he'd apparently only seen a glimpse of, assured him that that wouldn't happen. Not unless he did something. He reached out to set a hand on her knee.

"Willow, look, I know that what you're doing is tough, and that you want to hide behind the memories of her you have left, but you have to let go." Willow was brought out of her thoughts by Xander's voice. He hadn't spoken much to her since that day, no one had, but him especially. Even now, though, so soon after once again giving into emotions at night, it was too hard to come out of her protective numbness and listen to him. The shell she had raised around herself was more crucial than ever this morning. She'd made the mistake of sleeping with the Doll's Eye Crystal the night before. It was still filled with Tara's and her energy from all the spells they'd done together using it's power. Waking up from a nightmare was bad enough, but waking up from a dream of Tara, to feel the shock of her energy running through her, and having to face the heartbreak again the first time she had actually believed it might have all been a dream... Xander's hand tightened on her knee, making her look up to his face before she could stop herself.

"Willow, you know I'm right."

"What?" came Willow's distant reply, and Xander realized the entire speech he'd just given had been lost on her. He took a deep breath.

"You have to let go." Anya watched them curiously from the couch, not really getting what her friend and her ex-fiancé were talking about.

"I can't." Willow breathed in little more than a whisper. She understood what Xander was asking her to do, but she couldn't, he didn't understand.

"Will. Look, I know that you loved her-"

"Love her." Willow interrupted him, her voice firm for the first time in months

"What?" He asked, confused.

"Love her. Not loved her. Look, Xander, I know that you want me to let go, and have everything be okay. But I can't. She was everything. She is everything. You can't just turn love on and off like that, no matter how much you want to."

"I get that Will. I do, but-"

"Don't Xander." Xander looked over in surprise to Anya, still standing by the kitchen door. "She's right. You can't just stop loving someone. So just, don't." Anya turned and walked into the kitchen. Xander looked worriedly after her. He wanted to follow her so badly, to ask if maybe she was implying... but right now he needed to talk to Willow.

"Will, I really do understand that you can't just turn off what you're feeling. But, you have to at least try to move on, if you let go, you can keep going."

"No." Willow shook her head, tears in her eyes. "Xander, she is what's keeping me alive, not me. If I let go, sure there's a chance, but..."

"But what, Will? You'd rather stay here, only half-alive all the time, never take that chance? You won't get yourself out of this if you hold on to what's killing you." He saw her eyes soften a little, but her face remained the same, determined and sad. "You won't get better for yourself, you won't get better for all of us, but come on Willow, you have to realize you're being stupid." She turned to him in surprise. Stupid wasn't what she expected to be called at the moment. "Wherever she is right now," Xander continued, gesturing at the air around them. "Do you really think this is how she'd like you to live? Think about it Will, please. Tara's up there somewhere, watching you destroy yourself over her. Is that what she'd want?" Willow froze. She couldn't think about this, she couldn't, because the truth was, he was right. This wasn't what Tara would want. Xander saw the pain and indecision reach Willow's face as her walls crumbled. His friend had turned even whiter than before, if possible. Without saying a word, she stood up, grabbed the crystal, and headed out the door. He watched her go with the same sad expression he'd worn when Anya left the room. He felt bad for causing his friend all of that extra pain, but it had to be done. The rest was up to Willow.



TBC....

(I write TBC but I'm gonna post the next chapter right after i finish typing this and adding it, so, not much of a wait)



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 Post subject: Re: Fanfic- Shattered Mirror ch.5
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 1:43 am 
Hey again thanx for reading

disclaimer and rating and stuff all the same as before

last chapter of only angst, there's some next chapter but things will happen at the end of this one!



Ch.5 Grave

Willow stumbled out of the Summer's house onto the street, blinded by tears. Her feet carried her away from her so called home; she didn't know or care where at the moment. Was it possible that Xander was right? Was she really doing the wrong thing in hanging onto Tara's heart? How could it be the right thing to let go of the one thing that really mattered to her? How could it be the right thing to waste away like this, putting the Scoobies through losing her as well? A million different questions raced through her mind, and she didn't have the answers to a single one. She had to decide what to do, but not a single choice was the right one. They all either led away from Tara or away from her life. She knew what everyone, including Tara, would want her to do, but she didn't know if she could. How could she, when her own heart was still out there, with Tara wherever she was now? But if Tara was in heaven, she probably doesn't need my heart, the rational part of Willow whispered, voicing her greatest fear. She probably has somebody else up there, someone who would never hurt her like you did. She deserves better. But our connection was supposed to be forever! Willow soul cried back, trying desperately to regain it's footing as it tumbled down drop that lead to a life without Tara. She found herself, to her horror, facing the graveyard. In the distance, she could make out the headstone she knew had Tara's name written on it. Now's your chance. Her mind whispered again. Do the right thing. Willow found her legs carrying her to the last place on earth she wanted to be: Tara's grave. Do the right thing for once. Her mind's whisper was becoming louder, more insistent. Give Tara her heart, maybe get yours back too. Do it for you. Do it for the Scoobies. Do it for Tara. Willow felt as if she was being torn in half as she reached the grave and knelt beside the headstone. Tears rolled down her already soaking cheeks, dropping to the earth that covered the coffin. She looked at the headstone. She'd helped the gang pick what to put there' or more accurately, they'd picked a few, and whichever ones Willow seemed to actually listen to they kept, finally picking one that they felt fit Tara. Willow wondered what it said, nut right now her eyes were locked on one line of writing on the stone, spelling it out over and over again on her head.

'T-A-R-A M-A-C-L-A-Y. T-A-R-A M-A-C-L-A-Y.' She slowly reached out a finger to touch the words and shivered. They were so cold and sharp, cut perfectly into the stone, always unchanging. It was exactly the opposite of how she remembered her lover's name, the way Tara signed it in her own curvy hand-writing, how warm and comforting it sounded passing her lips, how much emotion was put into it. It was all wrong. She brought her hand up to wipe some of the tears off of her cheek, jumping a little when a smooth surface made contact with it instead. The crystal. She dimly remembered grabbing it on her way out the door. Why she had, she didn't know, but ever since she'd gone into the old bedroom yesterday to find something, she'd needed to keep the crystal close to her. She glanced back at the dirt in front of her, and burst out crying again. She needed to try harder, she knew, to keep living, but here was not the place to start. The only thing she could do in this place was brake down and cry. Her tears fell to her hands and the crystal, dripping off of them to the ground. As she cried harder and harder, she began to speak, not really realizing what she was saying, or that she was saying anything at all.

“Tara, please, help me. Everyone wants me to do the right thing, but I don't know what it is anymore. Am I really supposed to let you go? I can't, I'm sorry, not yet. I can't. I can't. Please, I just want to give up. Let me, there's nothing here for me anymore. I want so badly to bring you back, and it's not right. You're in heaven, somewhere, I know that, but a part of me keeps saying 'what if?' Please, just let me give it up, it's not worth it. I'm not worth it. Take your heart back, I don't deserve it. Tare, It's keeping me alive, and I don't deserve it, or even want it. Please.” She dropped her head to the dirt of the grave, letting go of the crystal. “Please, please, please…” She repeated over and over. As the crystal rolled out of her hand, and it's tear streaked surface made contact with the headstone, it started to glow. As she continued to sob over Tara's grave, the glow got steadily brighter, until even Willow, in her wrecked state, couldn't ignore it. She looked up just in time to see a flash of light, then her whole world turned white.

- - - - - - - -

Osiris turned from the man he was torturing to face the growing bright light, tearing a hole in his realm. As he felt himself being dragged into it, he saw an image, only for a brief second. It was the redhead he'd manage to forget in the past days, kneeling at her lover's grave. He cried in rage when he saw the glowing crystal, stained with her tears, leaning against the headstone. His mind worked frantically. How was she able to summon him again? The crystal was important. He could feel her power in it. Power? His thoughts turned to his conversation with the slave earlier. The crystal, her tears, the grave…power pain, and death. He screamed futilely as the symbols she had managed to reunite dragged him to where her lover's soul was held.



TBC...

(like last time I'm about to add another chapter so I didn't really need to write that but o well)



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 Post subject: Re: Fanfic- Shattered Mirror ch.5
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 1:52 am 
Hey again

last chapter im posting tonight, hope you like it

Disclaimer: same as before, likewise with the rating and sumary and all that

Warning: Stuff does get started here like i promised, but there are still quite a few really angsty scenes. Sorry about that, but it's kinda the way my story is going right now.



Ch. 6 Return

Tara struggled for the hundredth time in what seemed like years and seconds at the same time. She knew it was hopeless, she was trapped, but she still tried. As she finally gave up, yet again, a small black tear appeared at where she assumed her feet were; she could neither see or feel them. Through it came the most heartbreaking thing she'd heard. Willow's voice, full of despair, filled her head, crying a hundred different things at once. All of her cries fought to be heard, Tara couldn't make out a single one of them, but the emotion in Willow's voice was enough to tell her what Willow was feeling. Suddenly all of the voices went quiet, overshadowed by one, so full of emotion and depression, that Tara thought her heart would burst.

“Tara, please, help me. Everyone wants me to do the right thing, but I don't know what it is anymore. Am I really supposed to let you go? I can't, I'm sorry, not yet. I can't. I can't. Please, I just want to give up. Let me, there's nothing here for me anymore. I want so badly to bring you back, and it's not right. You're in heaven, somewhere, I know that, but a part of me keeps saying 'what if?' Please, just let me give it up, it's not worth it. I'm not worth it. Take your heart back, I don't deserve it. Tare, It's keeping me alive, and I don't deserve it, or even want it. Please.” She heard the redhead's voice break as she began to talk in rhythm with her sobs. “Please, please, please…” The redhead's voice faded in her mind again, replaced by a familiar dark presence she couldn't define.

'Willow!!! I'm coming! Please hold on.' She yelled in her mind, knowing that her lover couldn't hear her, and that there was really no way for her to go to her.

“As you choose.” A deep, rumbling voice filled her head like thunder, and the dark tear widened until it became an open mouth, waiting to swallow her. She screamed as she slid out of her white prison into the black, falling down to wherever she had 'chosen.'

- - - - - - - - -

Willow woke and found herself outside in the dark. She sat up quickly, looking around. Where was she? She had left in the morning to get away from the truth that Xander had thrown at her, walking down the street until she reached the graveyard. Oh god, she was alone in the graveyard at night. Right by Tara's grave. And she had failed again. The random thought forced its way into her mind as she remembered trying to give Tara back her heart. She just couldn't, not here. The cold, sharp grave and headstone did not have the comforting presence of her lover, she couldn't release the blonde's heart if she could not feel her or some shadow of her presence with her. So she had failed again.

'Tara, I'm sorry. How many times will I let you down?' She hoped that wherever the blonde was, she knew that Willow was at least trying. The tears started, slowly at first, until she was sobbing again. No, not here, not now. It was night, she had to get away from the graveyard. She got up and started to run, tripping and falling to her knees again almost immediately. She stumbled through the graveyard, blinded by tears and shaking with grief, until her hands and knees were caked with blood from the many times she had fallen, but she didn't feel any of the pain it caused. She finally reached the road and collapsed in a trembling heap, as the memories of her dream reached her. When she had passed out, after the bright light had blinded her, she'd felt her head hit the ground before the light turned black. A tear had opened below her feet, she didn't know how else to describe it, and more of the white light had leaked out of it, along with something she never expected to hear again: Tara's voice. It had been so full of fear and despair, even now it tore at her heart.

“Willow!!! I'm coming! Please hold on.” Then a deep voice, one that haunted her in her dreams every night, had spoken, but she didn't know what it had said, because all her brain would think of was it had told her last time, before she had sent it away.

“It is done.” Those words haunted her every night, and just the memory of Osiris's voice was enough to make her want to throw up. She got shakily up off the ground, still crying, but in control once again. She shakily brushed the dirt off of her shirt, shivering harder when she realized that half of it was probably from Tara's grave, and slowly started the long walk to the house.

She stood outside of the door, trying to compose herself. She had counted on Buffy and Dawn being out; there was supposed to be a Scooby meeting tonight, but judging by the lights inside and the still warm cup of tea on the porch, someone was here. As she bent down and picked up the cup, she noticed the warmth caused a dull ache in her fingers and her hand left a red smear on the glass where it touched it. Stepping forward so that her hands were in the light, she winced. There was no way she was going to hide this; her hands were literally caked with blood and dirt from her flight from the graveyard. She winced again when the cup stuck to her hand as she tried to switch it to the other, causing her to pull off one of the new scabs and start it bleeding again. There was no way she was getting out of this without an explanation, and she wasn't ready to talk about her ordeal at Tara's grave just yet. She just hoped whoever was in the house would lay off the questioning for a while. She opened the door and kept her eyes on the ground as she walked in. She heard the sink running, and made an attempt at being casual, even though she knew she hadn't been casual with any of her friends since that day.

“Oh, hey Buff-” Her breath caught in her throat as she glanced at the figure washing the dishes. Buffy didn't have the same curves as that woman, no one did. Willow blinked several times, trying to clear her vision, but it was still the same; she saw the familiar way the dark blonde hair fell around the person's shoulders, the same light blue shirt clinging to her frame as it had that day… The woman spun around at the sound of breaking glass to find Willow staring at her, tears flowing down her cheeks.

“Willow, sweetie, what's wrong?” Willow barely heard the glass she'd been holding crash to the ground, she didn't really fee; the pain in her foot when a shard of glass cut into it. When the woman spoke, her soft, comforting voice filled Willow's head. She'd never expected to hear that voice again. Oh God, she thought, can this be real? Please let it be real, please. I'd give it all up, just for this moment. It all became too much. As the woman moved closer to her, her face filling with concern, Willow's world began to spin, then come crashing down around her. She only managed to say one word, just one sound so tiny she wasn't sure if she'd spoken at all, before everything went black.

“Tara?”



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 Post subject: Re: Fanfic- Shattered Mirror ch.5
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 2:50 am 
Hey Spot,



first of all, let me just say that you made me cry my eyes out. Second, this is just great, and I need more, so much more.



Great job. :grin

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



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



The course of love doesn’t always run smooth, especially for the neurotic and accident-prone. ~ LadyB



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 Post subject: Re: Fanfic- Shattered Mirror ch.5
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:31 am 
Hello there, :wave



I would love to read this fic, but can I ask a favor of you? Could you maybe break up the paragraphs? Put spaces between sentences from when different people are speaking? It would help imensly while reading.



Thank you and I look forward to reading this.



Jen

||My Fan Fiction and More!|| ||My Yahoo Group|| ||September 11th 2001 - An on-line Memorial||
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"One thing I don't understand," Willow went on, laying herself down on top of Tara's legs, with her head resting on her stomach, "is how you don't just lock yourself in your room and play with yourself all day."
Tara laughed, which caused her chest to shudder quite expressively, and Willow to, "Mmmm," again. "Hellebore," Chapter 20 by Chris Cook



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 Post subject: Re: Fanfic- Shattered Mirror ch.5
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:43 am 
This is almost too painful to read. Willow really needs Tara right now.

Tara: My heart doesn't stutter.


Tara: Willow, I got so lost.

Willow: I found you. I will always find you.




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 Post subject: your update
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 4:26 am 
That was really, really good!

Your storyline was very climactic!

Did Tara forget where she was???

Poor Willow--the skinny little redhead can only take so much!

Can't wait for the big reuniting.



Wonderful!! Marie





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 Post subject: Re: your update
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 11:11 am 
Holy moley!



I liked Willow the nightmares and stuff, it seemed right.



Please up dates soon

Sorry I missed church, I was busy becoming a lesbian and worshiping Satan



Open up Pandora's kiss.



Bardlet no #27





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 Post subject: re: ch. 6
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 6:19 pm 
Hey guys. Thans for reading plus the feedback, and i'll try to space the writing out more on the next chapter, thanx for giving me a heads up about that. I promise to update soo, hopefully when i get home at about 4:00, ch. 7 is almost finished, and i'm almost un-grounded from the internet (so i can spend as much time as i want on here instead of sneaking on right now) but i promise ch.7 will be done by tonight and if i can get on I'll post it.

-michelle



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 Post subject: Re: re: ch. 6
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 7:58 pm 
Whoa, that was intense! I really feel for Willow and everything she's going through.



Looking forward to more.

Every time you walk away, I pretend that I'm okay



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 Post subject: Re: re: ch. 7
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2003 4:09 am 
Hey kittens!

Sorry i took so long to post, my english teacher caught me trying to finish ch.7 in class (i was supposed to be writing an in class essay that i was already done with) on my laptop, so i have to delete everything i typed and start all over again.

finally have time to reply to your posts individually, so i'm just gonna do that and then post ch. 7 Hope you like it!!!

Disclaimer, rating, summary, everything exactly as before, except that this chapter is not going to be huge with angst scenes like the other ones were. :grin



thanx to everyone who gave feedback!!!



The Rose24: thanx for trusting meabout thembeing together and it will happen i promise!!!

Sammi: Aww, thanx. :blush you really thought it was beautiful?

LostWithoutTara: thank you. i cant wait to type the reunion either, it'll be intense, but fun

Dark Child: I agree! i kinda got the idea for this fic when i watched Seeing Red and thought about how unfair Osiris was. But he actually ends up being worse, sadly.

Washi: Aww, sorry i made you cry, but thanx so much for the compliment! i'd put a bluch icon, but i kinda already did that, so...

Jen: Thanx again for the heads up about the font, my spacing gets kinda messed up when i cpopy it from a word document. I tried to make it easier to read in the chapter, hope it works! If you do get to read this, hope you enjoy it!

The Rose24: Hey! somebody posted twice! Yay! Sorry, kinda get a little hyper when i drink caffiene. I know, I'm sorry, it was also hard to write, but i promise it'll get better soon, and i know i've said that a lot, but this time it's happening soon!

Marie:Thanks!! You'll find out in this chapter if Tara forgot where she was, and hopefully Willow won't have to take much more!

LostWithoutTara: Ya, those scenes in the graveyard were hard to write, i almost started crying the second time i typed them. Willow won't have to go through much more, here's the 7th chapter to prove it!



Feedback: Yes Please!!!!!!



Ch. 7 (sorry no name for this one, couln't think of anyhting that fit)



“As you choose.” The deep voice rang in Tara's ears as she fell. She didn't know how she knew she was falling; she couldn't see anything in the darkness around her, and her whole body was numb. But falling she was, for some reason there was no doubting that. Suddenly she stopped. Again, she had no idea how she knew that, but she did. A musty wind hit her, and she looked up, surprised to see an enormous, mystical face feet above hers. It stood out from the pitch black not because it was lighter, but because it was darker, enough so that it seemed to sink into its surroundings.

“You think you have won, witch.” It growled, and she suddenly recognized the voice. Osiris, the god Willow had called upon to bring Buffy back. And he didn't look too happy. “She may have defeated me this time, but believe me, it's far from over.” Who had defeated him? What wasn't over? What was she doing here? Usually Osiris could only speak to dead people, unless he was summoned. Had she summoned him somehow?

“W-What-” She began, but was already disappearing. She felt the barrier beneath her crumble, and began to fall again, her memories of the white prison and Osiris fading all the way down.

- - - - - - -- -

She awoke on the floor, it the pre-dark of the evening. She looked around in confusion. Where was she? She was in the bedroom, hers and Willow's, but why was it night? The last thing she remembered was hugging Willow, then talking to her about Xander being back, and that had been this morning. At least she assumed it was this morning. How much time had gone by? Why had Willow left her alone on their floor this whole time?

When she tried to remember past the conversation with Willow, all she could get was that the world was spinning, and there was something wrong with Willow's shirt, then a flash of bright white light. She glanced down at her outfit. Okay, she was still wearing the light blue shirt and the same pants that she had put on today. She smirked a little. It was her third outfit of the day; she and Willow couldn't seem to keep anything they wore on, when they did manage to get all the way into the clothes. She stifled a groan as she tried to stand up. Her whole body felt like she hadn't moved in months. She grabbed onto the side of the bed and succeeded, with a lot of effort, in standing up. She looked around. The bedroom was still the same, one of the only things that wasn't different now. As she walked down the stairs, she glanced around uncertainly. So many things were gone. She glanced to the wall where the picture of the whole gang used to be. It to was gone, replaced by one with only Dawn and Buffy. She reached the bottom of the stairs and looked around the family room. The picture of her and Willow, from her birthday at the bronze about a year and a half ago, was gone, along with the Doll's eye crystal. She looked over the entire house, worried to find practically everything that had reminded her of the relationship she shared with Willow was gone. She crossed her arms over her chest as she entered the cold kitchen, also stripped of all evidence of her and Willow. She noticed a glass with some tea in it on the counter, and put it in the microwave. She would apologize to whoever it was later; she didn't have enough energy to make her own right now. She waited until the timer went off, then walked outside with the cup in her hands. The tea warmed her stomach as the cool night air chilled the rest of her body. She sat there for a while, thinking. Was this some alternate reality where she didn't exist? No, because hers and Willow's bedroom had been the same, everything was right in there. But why was everything else gone? Why had she spent the entire day sleeping on the floor, and didn't even remember it? And why was it so cold outside, she thought, rubbing her arms to try and keep warm. She looked around at the street, surprised to find that all of the leaves on the trees were either gone or turning color. That wasn't right, it was just the beginning of summer. She needed answers, and now, she decided, getting up to walk to the Magick Box. No, she sighed, she'd have to wait until everyone got back, she'd lived in Sunnydale long enough to know that going out alone at night, especially when weird things were happening, wasn't the greatest idea. She walked back inside, welcoming the warmth of the room. She sat on the couch for a couple of minutes, then decided to make herself useful until the gang got back. Busy washing the dishes, she never heard the person walk in the door over the running water, didn't even notice her girlfriend at the entrance to the house until the breaking of glass startled her out of her thoughts. She spun around to find Willow staring at her, looking like she was in shock. She instinctively glanced at Willow's shirt; she couldn't rid herself of the feeling that something was wrong with it. As soon as she assured herself that Willow was okay, her gaze was pulled back to her lover's face, where tears surprised her, making their way down Willow's already puffy and dirty face.

“Willow? Sweetie, what's wrong?” There was definitely something she was missing here, and she'd get answers soon, but Willow needed to be her first priority. Her lover didn't respond for a minute, and then her eyes glazed over, and she whispered, so quietly Tara almost didn't hear it,

“Tara?” As she raced forward to catch Willow's falling form, she thought her heart would break from all the pain and hope worked into that one word. Willow's body fell into her arms as she fainted, and she realized with a shock how light she was. She dragged her over to the couch, smoothing her hair and trying to make her comfortable before looking her over. Willow's face scared her, it was paler than she'd ever seen it, and bags under her sunken eyes made her look much older than she really was. Her shirt was dirty and wrinkled; her pants looked like they hadn't been changed in a week. She kissed Willow's forehead.

“Oh goddess, Will, what happened to you?” As she took one of Willow's chilled hands into her own, she jumped from the contact with a warm, sticky fluid. Afraid at what she'd find, she looked down at them. They were caked with blood and muck, bleeding from half-a-dozen cuts and showing many more just healed scabs. One of her fingernails was broken off a long way down, and two of her knuckles were quickly turning black and blue from bruised and possibly broken bones. She brought Willow's hand up to her mouth, and, finding one small patch of clean skin, kissed it too.

“Poor baby.” She whispered, her voice cracking at Willow's current state. She noticed that Willow's breathing had evened; she had drifted from being passed out to sleeping. What Tara wanted most was to curl up with her, try to give her the peace it was so obvious that she was lacking. But first, she had to get help. She quickly crossed the room to the phone, picking it up and starting to dial. She stopped in the middle of the number, startled, as she realized she didn't know the rest of the number to the Magick Box. She had just called it yesterday. What was going on? Better call now or you'll never get the answer to your question. She walked over to the fridge, where she knew a post-it was with all the important Scooby numbers. She sighed in relief when she saw it. At least that hadn't changed; she didn't have the time to hunt around the house for the number right now. Her hands trembled as the phone began to ring. They had to be there. Something was really wrong with Willow, she just hoped the rest of the gang wouldn't be as clueless as her.

“Hello?” That was Buffy's voice on the other end of the line, she knew that, but it too sounded different, more tired.

“Buffy. You gotta get back here fast. I'm at the house, and weird things are happening. I think something's wrong with Willow.” Her voice cracked as she stated the last line. She didn't bother to say hi, or who it was. The Scoobies had enough emergency calls that they could usually recognize each other's voices. As she finished, a whimper escaped from the sleeping form on the couch. Buffy began to speak, and Tara noticed that there was something more to her voice now, it came out almost as a squeak, and Buffy was clearly shaken up.

“Who is-” Tara cut her off as the whimper grew into a crying, almost keening sound.

“Oh, god, something's happening again. I have to go.”

“But-”

“Buffy, please, get here as soon as you can.” With that she hung up the phone and raced to Willow's side.

“Baby? Baby? It's okay, wake up. Come on, it's okay.” Tara pleaded with her as she gently placed a hand on Willow's cheek and another on her arm.

Willow found herself coming out of her dream, stuck in the place right in between sleep and consciousness. But she didn't want to wake up, not yet. She had been having the best dream. It wasn't that what happened was so different from all of the others, but it had been so intense, almost real. She could still see Tara standing by the sink, could still smell the mixture of lavender and cinnamon that seemed to radiate off of her lover sometimes.

“Tara.” The word was torn out of her as a sob, and she felt a hand squeeze her arm gently

She found that she could still hear Tara's gentle, sweet voice, but it wasn't just a memory from her dream.

“I'm right here baby. Please, it's all gonna be okay.” Willow wanted so badly to believe it, but she knew how these dreams ended. The minute she tried to open her eyes to see Tara's face, lift up an arm to stroke her hair, or even move her lips to tell her she loved her, the dream would dissolve, and she would find herself all alone, in a bed that was always too big because she was alone in it. She whimpered as a hand, with skin so soft and familiar she could swear it was Tara's, slid across her cheek, and her resolution not to open her eyes wavered.

“Willow, please, look at me.” The pleading tone in Tara's voice and the kiss she placed on Willow's forehead finally caused her to crumble. Slowly, she opened her eyes. It wasn't something she decided to do, her eyes seemed to have a will of their own, and gradually everything went from dark to light. She turned her head painfully, slowly, to where she could feel someone sitting on the couch beside her, afraid that she'd find it had all been another dream. Instead, Tara's face greeted her eyes, quickly turning to a blur of blue and gold as her eyes filled with tears once again. She reached up to touch the person that she had been dying these past months without, and gasped as her fingers touched Tara's cheek, and the familiar but so missed spark of energy jumped between them. It was more than she could take, and she launched herself across the couch to Tara, burying her face in her chest and letting the sobs wash over her. Tara's hands immediately came up to stroke her hair.

“Shhh. It's okay. I'm here. We're gonna get through this. Just let it out.” Willow turned her head so that her ear was resting on the left side of Tara's breast, taking in the sound and feel of Tara's heart beating reassuringly against her hair. Solid. Alive. Real. She was content to just stay like this for a while, but soon needed something more, one last confirmation that this was really her soul mate. As Willow pulled back and looked into her eyes, Tara understood immediately what it was she needed. She leaned in without hesitation and placed a kiss on Willow's lips, starting out feather-light but quickly turning into something much deeper. Willow's hands found the back of her head and pulled her even closer against her, opening and closing her lips against Tara's. As the kiss got more and more intense, though, Tara pulled back. As much as they wanted it, this wasn't what either of them needed right now. She was physically exhausted, and she could easily tell that Willow was to. At the worried look in her lover's eyes as she disentangled her fingers from where they'd been running through her red hair, she leaned in to press another light, reassuring kiss onto Willow's lips. Willow grinned her understanding, feeling the happiness reach her eyes for the first time in months.

“I missed you so much.” She said. Her voice broke as she struggled not to cry again. At the look of confusion that crossed Tara's face and her quick question, Willow understood: Tara didn't know. She didn't know whether to be relieved or afraid at that. Oh god, she'd have to tell Tara about her death. About everything: what she'd done, how she'd almost given up, everything.

“What-” She shook her head, cutting her lover off. Tonight was not the time, not now. It could wait until tomorrow, after she adjusted somewhat to having her girlfriend back. Tara hesitated, then accepted Willow's decision to tell her later. She lay down on the couch and motioned for Willow to lie next to her. Willow slowly descended onto her, stealing another kiss before snuggling up to her. Her heart swelled as she placed her head in the crook of Tara's neck, where it still fit perfectly, and felt the love practically radiating off of her in waves. It covered and comforted Willow, and she knew without question that there would be no more nightmares. Her arms wrapped tightly around Tara as the blonde's snaked around her waist. She softly kissed Tara's neck before whispering

“ 'Night,” in her ear and closing her eyes. She fell asleep almost immediately, sure for the first time that she could face the coming day without giving in. She had Tara by her side again.



TBC...



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 Post subject: Re: re: ch. 7
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2003 4:56 am 
Yay!!!! :clap :clap :clap :party :party :party Tara's back, but what's the catch?



She and Willow have A LOT to talk about.

Tara: My heart doesn't stutter.


Tara: Willow, I got so lost.

Willow: I found you. I will always find you.




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 Post subject: Re: re: ch. 7
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2003 8:49 am 
Oh my god, I've just read all the recent update, and that, michelle, was so amazing and really beautiful..it had me in tears. It was so heartfelt. thanks. Love sammi xx:flower



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 Post subject: Re: re: ch. 7
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2003 5:56 pm 
YAY! More! Please, more! And, oh, could you please post in the update thread when u update? I didn't know u had updated! But yay! :bounce

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



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



The course of love doesn’t always run smooth, especially for the neurotic and accident-prone. ~ LadyB



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 Post subject: re: ch.7
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2003 10:47 pm 
Heys again! Thanks so much for the feedback. I am almost done wiht ch.8, but i still have about half an hour of work to go, and then i'll post it the next time i can get online. Thanx for reading!



The Rose24: Glad you liked it. I cant tell you exactly what the catch is right now, except that it will have something to do with Osiris and an old (but not too old) big bad. She and Willow do have a lot to talk about, i'm actually working on that part right now.



Sammi: Aww, you made me blush again. Thanx, I'm glad you liked it. :grin



Washi: Hehe thanx. Sorry about the update thread, i actually don't know where it is, or that it existed for that matter. Sorry if i confused you, can anybody tell me where it is so that i can post there next time?



Thanx everyone!

-Michelle:dance



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 Post subject: Re: re: ch.7
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2003 11:04 pm 
Michelle, the update thread is the first thread on Pens, it's here:



Update Thread - New Fics, Graphics, Videos etc.



Usually, when a writer posts an update, she/he leaves a short post that says that he/she has left a new part. It's done because in general, it makes it easier on the reader to see who posted, and who hasn't. Hope that helped. :grin

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



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



The course of love doesn’t always run smooth, especially for the neurotic and accident-prone. ~ LadyB



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 Post subject: Re: re: ch.7
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2003 12:59 am 
Woo Hoo! They're back together! It's Muppet dance time!!!

Now don't let anyone take them apart .... oK?

Udate soon!

:applause



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 Post subject: Re: re: ch.7
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2003 3:48 pm 
Hey again

sry i cant reply to the updates now have athing togo to so im just posting this update really fast (and using the update thread this time. hehe thanx!) so ya here it is hope you like it.



-michelle



Ch. 8

Buffy turned to the gang, which was, with the exception of Willow, gathered in the shop. She was a little disappointed that her friend hadn't shown, but it was almost a relief not to have to deal with the empty shell of her friend. She needed to talk to the gang about the redhead anyway, so it was probably better that Willow wasn't here. If she had known that no one had seen her since she had stumbled out the door, away from Xander, she would have been more worried, but neither Xander or Anya had felt comfortable enough to bring it up, so she saw this as a simple opportunity to bring up Willow's wrecked state.

“Okay, guys, I now this is a Scooby meeting, but I think that there's something else we need to discuss first. I know this seems weird, but since she's not here, it seems like a good time…” Buffy frowned as she tried to think of a way to put this without making it seem like she was sneaking around, hiding what she felt from Willow.

“You want to talk about Willow because she's not here to hear you say how hollow and broken she is.” Anya's voice cut into her thoughts. Dawn glared at her, and she tilted her head to the side.

“What? I'm just saying what we all know Buffy is trying to say without being considered rude, except I don't want to sit here while you beat around the bush for like ten minutes. Right Xan-” she instinctively turned to Xander when the only reaction she got was another glare from Dawn, catching herself a little too late. Xander surprised her by speaking up.

“Look, Anya may have put it,” he glanced at her, “a little bluntly, but that doesn't mean it's not true. I know she's hurting, but I can't just sit back and watch my friend kill herself.” He glanced around nervously. “Did anybody else notice, she's kinda, holding back?” One by one the Scoobies nodded sadly, and sat in awkward silence for a few minutes. Buffy was the first to speak up.

“I should talk to her about it.” She said hesitantly. After seeing what Willow was going through last night, when she had woken up to her yell, it wasn't a discussion Buffy was looking forward to having.

“Uh,” Xander raised his hand. “Kinda already did that.” Buffy sighed in relief, until she noticed the guilty expression on Xander's face.

“What.” She asked simply, not willing to give him time to explain. Xander's ears turned a little red.

“Huh, what do you mean what? Why are you looking at me like I did something wrong?”

“Because you look like I just caught you, I don't know, stealing a cookie from the cookie jar.” Xander gave a high pitched nervous laugh, before looking around the room. He swallowed loudly and tried to think quickly.

“See, I never understood that cookie jar analogy. If you're-”

“Oh, don't even try. You are so bad at changing the subject!” Anya turned to Buffy, and said, in a slightly calmer voice,

“When he told Willow she had to, you know, let go, she got all sad and said she couldn't, and then she left really fast and we can't find her.” Xander flinched when Buffy turned quickly to face him.

“And I'm finding out about this now why?” She asked in a dangerous voice. Xander choked a little at the sight of the very mad slayer, and practically whined, “I didn't' think she'd be gone this long. Look-” Buffy cut him off, turning to the rest of the group.

“Okay, we need to spread out, search the town. Willow's obviously off somewhere, and she's not exactly ready to defend herself right now.” Buffy frowned. “This would be so much easier if we had any idea at all where she was.” As if on cue, the phone rang. Anya started over to pick it up, but Buffy waved her off.

“But it could be customers. Who can pay me money.” Anya whined quietly.

“Hello?” Buffy sad impatiently into the receiver, she wanted to get off the phone as soon as possible and get to work finding her friend.

“Buffy. You gotta get back here fast. I'm at the house, and weird things are happening. I think something's wrong with Willow.” Buffy froze as she heard the voice on the other end of the line. God, it sounded so much like… Buffy glanced at the framed picture on the wall of the Magick Box, reminding herself that Tara was dead. She shook her head to clear it.

“Who is-” she started, but that oh so familiar voice cut her off again.

“Oh, god, something's happening again. I have to go.”

“But-” Buffy protested. She really needed to know who was at the house with Willow; what was going on, everything so she could be prepared when she got there.

“Buffy, please get here as soon as you can.” The voice took on the same faint pleading tone that Tara's had when she was upset. As the small click told her Tar- whoever it was was gone, she stood, holding the phone limply in her hand as the gang gathered around her curiously.

“Who was it? What's going on?” Anya asked excitedly. She could tell by the look on Buffy's face something big had just happened, and didn't like being left out. Buffy took a minute to gain control of her body again, then spoke

“It was, uh, Willow's back at the house. Something's wrong.”

“But she's okay, right?” Xander swore at himself in his mind. If his words this morning had caused Willow to go get herself hurt…

'I don't know.” Buffy admitted quietly.

“But, I mean, she's not dead right? She had to call you to say something was wrong, so she's not dead or anything.”

“She didn't call.” Buffy said distantly. “It was- someone else. It sounded kinda, like, this is gonna sound crazy, but…” Buffy trailed off, not sure how to say this without sounding insane. Dawn followed her sister's gaze to the picture on the wall to see the framed picture of Tara. She had always loved that picture; it was from a Christmas a couple of years ago. Tara was wearing her gift from Willow, a light blue crystal that hung on a gold chain around her neck. Her cheeks were still slightly pink from a moment with Willow behind the Christmas tree, one that they thought no one had noticed, much to the amusement of the other Scoobies, who had all had a very clear view of what they were doing. It showed Tara perfectly, smiling her lopsided smile, her eyes filled with happiness. Dawn had been quiet for the whole meeting, so the gang turned to her in surprise as she spoke softly.

“You think its Tara.” Xander, Anya, and Giles turned to Dawn in surprise, then anxiously looked back to Buffy.

“Ya.” Buffy admitted softly, then shook her head to clear it yet again and turned to the gang.

“Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Get the weapons.” She turned to walk out the door. Giles coughed.

“Um, may I ask why we need the weapons?” If it was Tara, they all knew she would never hurt Willow, and Buffy had seemed pretty shaken up after the call, a sure sign that she was probably right.

“If it's her… It's probably not, you know, her.” Buffy finished uncertainly. When no one in the gang seemed to get it, she added. “You guys, this is Sunnydale. When a dead person just gets up and starts walking around, it doesn't usually mean something good. If she's a demon or something, we'll have to…” Everyone shuddered at the idea of slaying Tara, even if it was an evil copy of her. Buffy didn't wait for any more comments, and the Scoobies filed silently out the door to the street.

- - - - - - - - -

Tara awoke from her nap, glancing around her. She grinned when she felt Willow's steady breathing against her body, and saw the half smile that stayed on her face even in sleep. She brushed her lips against Willow's forehead as she slowly disentangled herself from her lover's arms.

“Love you.” She whispered, before heading over to the kitchen. She got a towel out from one of the drawers and got it wet with luke warm water, the filled a bowl with more of it. She carried them both over to the couch, trying to be quiet and not spill anything at the same time. She hoped to get this done without waking Willow up; the cuts on her hand looked painful, but they needed to be cleaned. She ran the cloth slowly over Willow's skin, and the redhead whimpered in her sleep. Being careful to be even gentler, Tara proceeded to clean the rest of her hand, taking a break every now and then to snuggle up to her girlfriend when the little cries became more frequent. What could possibly have done this to her in a matter of hours? She thought. She looks like she hasn't eaten or really done anything for months. She glanced at the door, anxious for Buffy to get here. Then she'd finally get her answers. After about half an hour of work, she had finished with the first hand. She'd give Willow a break now, maybe finish the other one in the morning. With a yawn, she settled herself as close to her girlfriend as she could get, grinning when Willow wrapped her arms back around her shoulders without even waking up, and drifted off into sleep.

- - - - - - -

Buffy quietly opened the door to her house, not wanting to give whoever- whatever, she corrected herself, was in there with Willow. She glanced around the room first, to make sure there was no trap, then at the couch where her gaze had been drawn to Willow's fiery hair. She stopped as her breath caught in her throat.

“Tara?” She said calmly. She knew this thing was most likely a demon, but it looked so natural, curled up with Willow like that. The blonde stirred, sitting up to look at the gang, which had silently followed Buffy into the house, with blurry eyes.

“Oh, hey guys. Willow's-”

“What are you?” Dawn's voice cut through the room, her eyes filling with tears at the sight of the woman who used to be like a second mother and sister to her.

“Dawnie, what-” Tara began, standing up to walk over to her, but Buffy blocked her way.

“Don't touch her.” Buffy practically snarled.

“W-What's going on?” Tara asked nervously, glancing around at the way the Scoobies were looking at her, and the tears in Dawn's and Buffy's eyes.

“You know wha-” Before Buffy could finish her sentence, a muffled cry from the couch interrupted them. Willow had woken up, and, not feeling Tara beside her, had assumed it was yet another dream. Tara immediately forgot the questions she wanted to ask and raced over to her. She reached out a hand to gently caress her cheek.

“Shhhh. It's ok. I'm right here baby. It's ok.” She continued to murmur reassuring words to Willow until she calmed down. She placed brief kiss on her lover's lips, and Willow finally nodded and went back to sleep. She stood up slowly and turned to the rest of the gang, who now seemed to all have tears in their eyes. She raised an eyebrow and began,

“If anyone could please tell me what's going on, it would be-” She was forced to stop when the slayer hit her full force, hugging her so tightly Tara thought she would be crushed.

“It's you.” That confused Tara even more than she had been before. She put her arms up to try and pry Buffy off of her, but before she made any progress Dawn ran to join in the hug, crushing those too. Pretty soon, Anya, Xander, and even Giles were joining in a huge group hug. Tara enjoyed the loved feeling that came off of them for a minute, then spoke up.

“Uh, guys. I am enjoying this, but I do need oxygen about every thirty seconds to live, so um, a little less slayer strength Buffy?” Buffy let go as Dawn grinned through her tears. Once everyone had released her, she looked at each of them carefully.

“Ok, can somebody please tell me what's going on? Willow looks like she's been shut up in a grave for 3 months and then clawed her way out,” Buffy raised her eyebrow at this and Tara shrugged. “You all look like you haven't had any sleep for about a week, and I can't remember anything past about ten o'clock this morning.” As Tara's words sank in, Buffy turned white.

“You don't know.” Buffy's voice came out as a whisper as she realized the implications of this. Tara looked from one person to the next, each one avoiding her gaze in uncomfortable silence.

“Please, what happened?” Anya finally looked at her, and spoke much more softly than usual.

“You died.”



TBC...



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 Post subject: Re: re: ch.7
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2003 5:10 pm 
Hi..I made you blush? hehe..Awesome update, and I wonder what's gonna happen now Tara knows that she died..ooh..I can't wait. Love sammi xx:flower



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 Post subject: ch. 9
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 4:09 am 
Hey Kittens. Just gonna reply to the feedback, then post ch.9

thanx for reading!!!

-michelle



Washi: i know i've replied to that post like 10 times in different threads, but ya, thanx for the heads up.



WintersDreamer: hehe glad you are happy bout that. I promise they won't be taken apart, but here will be some trouble in a few chapters, cuz i have to have a stroyline to write about, but you know the rules, there will be a happy ending.



Sammi: yes, you made me blush. I am ashamed to admit that almost anything (including being told that my stories are beautiful) will make me turn as red as a tomato (believe me. i'm not exaggerating, even if i wish i was.) Hope you like this next chapter!!!





Ch.9



“You died.”



Tara's face went blank with shock, and she fell back to the couch as her legs failed to support her. She fought to keep



from fainting as her face went even whiter than Willow's was right now. She felt thin arms wrap themselves around her



waist and a head rest itself on her shoulder. She turned her face so that the side of her head was resting against



Willow's temple.



“I thought you were asleep.” Tara said softly, already being comforted by the familiar embrace. Willow always did this



for her when she was upset.



“I thought you were dead.” Willow said just as quietly. Tara took a deep breath and let Willow's calm surround her,



centering herself to face what she had just heard. She took a deep breath.



“How long?” She looked to Buffy. Buffy looked meaningfully back at her.



“Three months.” As Buffy's words sank in, Tara remembered what she had said about Willow's condition. Like she



was in a grave for three months. She turned to look Willow in the eye.



“This,” she gestured at Willow's sunken eyes, lined and pale face, unwashed hair and clothes, and bony frame. “It's



because of me.” Willow hesitated before nodding slightly. Tara's heart broke, and her voice did the same when she



tried to talk. “I-” She took a minute to swallow, until her voice responded again. “I'm sorry.” She couldn't take it any



longer, and started crying softly.



'Oh god Tara, please don't cry. Please.” Now Willow was crying too. She reached up to brush a tear from Tara's



cheek. “It isn't your fault, not at all. It's not you. Please baby, listen to me.” She reached out to push Tara's cheek up



so that the blonde was forced to look eye to eye with her. “It's just because I love so much. Please, don't ever be sorry



for that.” Tara saw the desperation in her eye and nodded. As soon as she could stop the tears, she lifted up her hand



to cup Willow's cheek.



“I love you too.” They both forgot exactly where they were and who was watching as they moved to embrace one



another, sighing as their lips met. The kiss quickly got deeper as Willow pressed her slightly open mouth firmly against



Tara's, grasping Tara's hand that wasn't cupping her cheek with one of hers and entwining their fingers, reaching the



other one around her to rest on the blonde's back. Tara's tongue lightly grazed her lips, silently begging entrance.



Willow gratefully complied pulled back a little to open her mouth a little more, and leaned in again to find Tara's tongue



immediately thrust deeply into her mouth. She moaned loudly as Tara's tongue met hers, and thought she heard a little



giggle from somewhere far off, but was too much into the kiss to notice at all. She closed her lips around Tara's tongue



and sucked on it, getting a moan out of the blonde. Tara forgot all about her earlier decision to wait until tomorrow to



do this. She didn't exactly feel tired right now. She didn't protest at all as Willow's hand made its way from the small of



her back to the side of her stomach, where a small patch of skin was exposed between her pants and shirt. Willow felt



Tara shiver as her hand made contact with her skin. She released Tara's tongue to let it explore her mouth, and was in



the process of slowly working her hand under Tara's shirt, until she was interrupted by a not so discreet cough from



Buffy. She released her girlfriend with a groan and a mock scowl in the slayer's direction as Tara hid her face on her



shoulder, blushing.



“Alright, we'll stop.” She grumbled at the Scooby gang, who were all, with the exception of the drooling Xander,



looking caught between happiness and embarrassment.



“Oh, you better not.” Dawn's light hearted words caused an awkward silence to fall over the group as she, Buffy, and



the two witches remembered the last time they'd had this conversation. Willow turned to Tara again.



“I'm sorry I didn't say anything before, I was still kinda dealing…” Tara gave her a small, lopsided grin.



“It's okay sweetie, I understand.” Tara paused for a minute, wanting to ask how she had died, where, exactly when,



everything, but not sure if it was too soon to talk about it.



Willow studied her girlfriend's face and saw the uncertainty there, and knew immediately what she wanted to ask. She



should tell her now, everything, but she wasn't sure if the blonde could handle it at the moment. Plus, it would be so



easy to just hide what she'd done as long as she could; she knew that Tara would leave her the moment she heard



about her meltdown, but she wouldn't be that girl again. If Tara left her because of what she'd done, she deserved it.



As she opened her mouth to speak, she found a finger placed over her lips.



“Tomorrow.” Tara said simply, echoing Willow's earlier judgment. Willow hesitated, then nodded, almost a mirror



image of Tara when she had said the same thing earlier.



They turned simultaneously to look at the gang. Tara blushed again, then spoke shakily.



“Hey, um, I'm just gonna…” she gestured up the stairs to their room. Buffy turned anxiously to Willow, she had only



been in there that once since Tara died, and that hadn't ended well. But Willow only had a dreamy look in her eye and



a very pleased smirk on her face.



“I'll go with you.” She said quickly, and the two raced up the stairs, sparing a few seconds to say goodnight to the rest



of them. They received warm hugs from everyone except Xander, who was still staring at them with glazed eyes and a



distant half smile. Tara blushed as they ran upstairs, and they both burst into giggles as they heard a thud from



downstairs.



“Ow! What was that for?” Came Xander's reply.



“You were staring at them. You're only supposed to stare at me like that…” Anya's voice drifted away as they reached



their door. Tara smiled widely and grabbed Willow around the waist and pulled her inside, her earlier decision once



again forgotten, only pausing to kick the door shut with her foot as she guided Willow over to the bed.



TBC...



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 Post subject: Re: ch. 9
PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 4:35 am 
Wow. This is quite a reunion. It is hilarious how they are get so caught up in each other they forget they aren't alone. I am a little worried about the catch though. Right now I'll enjoy the smoochies.



Anya is tactless as usual.

Tara: My heart doesn't stutter.


Tara: Willow, I got so lost.

Willow: I found you. I will always find you.




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 Post subject: Re: ch. 9
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2003 3:13 am 
Hey guys. Sorry, i am ashamed to admit that i don't have ch.11 ready yet, i was at a friends house all day. :blush (see, blush about anything)

i'm just gonna reply to the feedback and try to have the next one up by tonight or tomorrow evening (i'd say morning but i'm not gonna be home till about 4 so... sorry bout that. anywho, c ya later.



The Rose24: Glad ur enjoying the smoochies and thanx for reading!!!



-michelle :bounce



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