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 Post subject: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 8:41 pm 
Gods Served and Abandoned


Hi Kittens! Here’s my next foray into fan fiction. Thanks again to all of you who gave such great support and feedback to "On Second Thought." That piece is now in the completed fics archive and it includes my final responses to all of you who were kind enough to write in and share your reactions with me. I hope you enjoy this story.


Disclaimers: I wouldn’t presume to imply that I own any of these characters. I take better care of what I love than that. Joss and ME will answer to their own gods in their own time.

Spoilers: Up to season 5.

Rating: R for now; if it changes, I’ll give heads-up.

Distribution: Sure, with acknowledgement.

Feedback: Even more sure! Bring it on!


*****


"Gods Served and Abandoned"

Part I




"Good birthday?"


"Best birthday."


"You know, I still can’t believe you didn’t tell me about your family…"


Had she been inclined to open her eyes, long moments later, Willow might have noticed that she and Tara were floating a good sixteen inches off of the ground. As it was, she only knew that Tara’s fingers were arcing tiny spirals across her back and that Tara’s hair was spilling lightly across her own cheek.


She also knew that sometime soon, after they left the Bronze but before this birthday celebration was over, she and Tara would make love. And for the first time, Willow now understood, Tara could offer herself up to Willow, and take Willow in return, safe in the knowledge that she need fear nothing from herself. There was no demon within her; and her family, far more realistic horrors, were now hours away.


Let me give you everything you deserve, Tara Maclay. Let me help you bury the demons of your last name.



*****


The arbitrarily-patched potholes of Route 132 offered an arrhythmic tempo to the silent drive back home. Nathan Maclay clutched the steering wheel as if trying to throttle something that offended him deeply, the whites of his knuckles visible even in the night. He had barely spoken since the three of them had left Sunnydale, even though Donnie had tried to incite his anger, baiting him almost, in an effort to get some kind of reaction from the man who had been so thoroughly emasculated earlier that evening. But his father had only grunted tersely a few times before finally snapping, "That’s enough, Donald. Hold your tongue." Cousin Beth, of course, simpered her agreement with Donnie, reiterating her tight-lipped pronouncement that Tara was an ungrateful, unnatural girl. But she had shrewdly reckoned Nathan Maclay’s admonishment to his son to include herself, and now sat primly with the air of reluctant smugness that characterizes the purest version of Christian piety.


*****


"Hey Baby—you still have three gifts to unwrap. This birthday ain’t over yet!" They were back in their room, and Willow was standing in front of Tara with a grin that encompassed roughly the same square footage as the Hollywood Bowl. She was bouncing slightly on the balls of her feet and somehow the word "pleased" seemed an insult to the degree of her satisfaction with the night thus far.


"Willow, honey, you’ve already done so much for me—the party, the tickets to Sarah MacLachlin, the truly remarkable cunnilingus…You didn’t need to do anything else." Despite Tara’s protestations, though, her eyes were shining.


"Tara, this is the first birthday I’ve shared with you. Do you know how wrong it is that you spent nineteen birthdays without me? Do you have any idea how much making up I have to do for all that lost time? I mean, even without the interest accrued on all those birthdays, I’m way behind." The remarkable thing, of course, was that this idea wasn’t an abstract one to her. She wasn’t just bantering.


"Case in point: 1993. You turn thirteen. You’re a teenager now, an absolutely life-altering event. And where am I? Am I sitting beside you at the table, watching you blow out your candles? Am I going through all sorts of Byzantine maneuvers to arrange the perfect surprise for you? Am I asking my parents’ permission to stay overnight with you in a thinly-veiled attempt to cop a feel even though we’re both just starting to recognize our sexuality? No, I am not. I’m in Sunnydale, sitting up in my room studying."


"Willow, sweetie, how can you know exactly what you were doing on November 7th, 1993?"


"Trust me, it’s the same thing I was doing every night except for the nights when I was vanquishing the forces of darkness, and that didn’t start until ’96."


"And your GPA didn’t drop a single percentage point, did it?" Tara smiled at her proudly.


My girlfriend’s biggest erogenous zone is the brain. It turns her on that I love to solve problems. She gets hot thinking about my mental prowess. God, how lucky am I?



"Well, my geek cachet isn’t the topic at hand, although I wouldn’t dream of violating your right to enjoy it. No, ma’am, we’re talking about your birthday and all the ways I plan to celebrate you over the next sixty years or so. I mean, God, Tara—this is the day that you were born! You came into the world and I had no idea you’d come onto the scene…although I wasn’t aware of much of anything at that time, I guess, besides eating and sleeping and pooping. But, back to the subject at hand, you were born and wrapped up in a little blanket and you had those adorable little ringlets and those incredible blue eyes and you spent your first night yawning and stretching and clenching your little fists…" Suddenly she felt the need to express herself in song. "On the day that you were born, the angels got together…"


"Oh God, Willow—you’re giving me the gift of Karen Carpenter. Just when I think I grasp the full extent of your love."


"Why do birds suddenly appear? It’s because, you are queer…"


"I don’t think I got that particular 45."


"Well, it was a limited edition… Anyway, all those birthdays came without either of us knowing about the other, not knowing that there was this other person out there who would just completely change our lives. And I guess I’m just so smitten with you that a part of me is jealous that I didn’t get to spend all the previous birthdays with you so I wanna carpe the birth diem like a woman possessed. If that’s OK with you," she added unnecessarily.


Tara’s smile turned a shade bittersweet. "You know, last year was the worst birthday I’d ever had. It was the first one without Mom, and the last one—or so I thought—before my demon side came out. I was here at college where I didn’t know many people, nobody that I was close to, nobody that I could talk to about any of it. I spent my birthday night in my room listening to Allison Krause and crying."


"Oh, Baby…I’m so sorry." Willow felt as if her own heart was breaking, imagining her beloved so lonely and so bereft.


"And then, a few months later, I drag myself to another Wicca meeting and I hear this beautiful redhead pipe up with the earth-shattering idea that the witch group do something witchy, and I just start falling and pretty soon I’m too busy waiting for her knock on my door to be that sad anymore. Now here I am, twenty years old, in love and loved. Who says good things don’t come to those who wait?"


"So you were waiting for me?" Willow couldn’t resist pulling for a little heart stroking from Tara.


"Oh yes, even though I didn’t know who you’d be. I just knew that I wouldn’t do what Dad kept wanting me to do: date one of the nice boys from back home."


"Eew, Tara—your dad was trying to fix you up?" The thought of her own parents being actively involved in her life was a stretch for her, and now she was seeing some of the better aspects of that incongruity.


" I think he didn’t really expect me to leave for school after Mom died. If I had decided to stick around Cold Springs and marry myself off to some local boy who could plug a deer at two hundred yards, I don’t think he would have argued."


"And Donnie?" Tara’s older brother was now a source of added disdain and anger for Willow. She knew what Tara’s reflexive shrinking in the Magic Box had meant earlier tonight, when the surly figure had started toward her threatening to beat her down. Tara had never said explicitly that Donnie had beaten her, but Willow had suspected it. Now she knew. Now she hated him.


Tara’s face grew somber. "I try not to think about what goes on in Donnie’s mind, to be honest. All I know is that he’s been mean and angry at life since I can remember."


Suddenly Willow wanted to change the subject. The image of any Maclay whose name wasn’t Tara was an unsettling one to her. They were gone, driving back to their prison without their captive, who had gone and gotten all self-confident on them. The nerve.


*****



It wasn’t right; he was dead sure about that.


They’d driven all the way up to that fancy college she went to (she was too good for any of the local schools, where she could have stayed at home), intending to pack her up and bring her back—and then she’d said she wasn’t coming back. Just like that. She didn’t want to come home. And Daddy had just stood there like some castrated bull-calf, letting a bunch of girls tell him what he could and couldn’t do with his own daughter.


It wasa bunch of girls, too, even though some of them pretended to be guys…That English faggot, cleaning his glasses and standing behind those two girls; and that other pretty boy, the one who’d threatened him when he started toward Tara—when he’d had the balls to do what their daddy apparently wouldn’t do, which was to remind Tara how things were in the Maclay family. But that guy had piped up all cocky-like and taken him by surprise. That’s why he’d stopped so dead in his tracks; he’d been caught off-guard. It wouldn’t have happened twice, though. He wished he’d had another chance before their daddy turned like a whipped dog, with his tail all tucked between his legs, and headed out of the shop. The only real man in that whole shop besides him was that other English guy with the greased-back hair and fancy leather jacket. He’d stepped up and smacked Tara, but all that had done was prove that Tara didn’t have any demon in her.


He’d suspected as much for awhile now. It just didn’t add up. But that didn’t mean that Tara had any right to speak that way to her family, and just turn her back like she was too good for any of them. If Daddy said she should pack up and come home, she should have done it. Instead, what happened? They were driving back to Cold Springs in the dead of night and Tara was still at her fancy-ass college. She was probably laughing at them right now, the little bitch.


It wasn’t right.


******


"This first one is…I hope it’s OK with you, sweetie." With a slight air of trepidation, Willow handed Tara an envelope. In it was a card which read, In honor of the remarkable woman who raised the remarkable woman I love, a donation has been made to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in your name.


As Willow watched, tears slid past Tara’s lids and trickled slowly down her face.


"Was that alright for me to do, Tara? I mean, I know I didn’t know her, not directly—"


"Willow, it’s the most wonderful thing you could have done, to honor my mother like that. I—I can’t tell you what it means to me that you even thought of such a thing. And knowing you, it doesn’t surprise me a bit." She said this last piece with a little smile.


"I’m so glad, Baby. I just wanted to do something to—to remember her; to thank her for you." Willow pulled Tara close to her and kissed her almost reverently.


"She would have loved you, you know."


*****


He’d guessed his mother wasn’t a demon, but that hadn’t made him love her any more. Not that he figured she cared or even noticed, she was always smiling at her little "Bright Eyes" and sharing secret jokes with her. Oh, she hugged him and told him she loved him, but he knew she kept some special store of love just for Tara, like the good silver that you take out for the company that matters. Not for him. Those two shared the magic; he knew they did, even though Daddy had told his wife never to practice it again. He knew his Momma had shared secrets with Tara that she would never tell him. He wasn’t special enough, or sweet enough, or whatever enough. He’d told himself he wouldn’t cry when she died and he was surprised at how easy it was to keep that promise.


*****


"OK, pick one: left or right?"


Tara was a little perplexed by the instructions, because Willow hadn’t extended two closed hands. She was pushing her chest forward, wriggling her shoulders back and forth.


"You mean I should pick either your left breast or your right breast?" Tara’s eyebrows were close to receding completely into her hairline with the extent of her bemusement.


"That’s my brilliant birthday girl! Your final two gifts await you, deep within the confines of my bra." Willow had never really imagined herself as a saucy wench before, but she was warming to the idea immensely.


"Yes! It’s Willow-breasts! I’ll take Doors Number One and Two, please!" So saying, Tara scooped up Willow around the waist and wrestled her back onto the bed, where she reached around to the back of Willow’s dress and began to unzip it. After considerable tumbling and wrestling and kiss-and-grin rolling about, the two had managed to get each other’s dresses off and were laying on the bed in a tangle of arms and legs. Finally, Willow sat up and once more wriggled her breasts, hidden within her dark-green silk bra, in Tara’s face.


"Left or right, sweetie—what’ll it be?"


"Don’t rush me, don’t rush me…Lemme see if I can get any hints here." She reached out and slowly cupped Willow’s right breast in one hand, and then did the same to her left, massaging her through the soft fabric. Willow’s laughter stilled, and her gaze turned darker, but she still smiled with self-satisfaction. Tara could feel Willow’s nipples hardening under her fingers. She felt something else, too—tiny slips of paper, each folded over once or perhaps twice, tucked into each cup of Willow’s bra.


"I think I’ll try…the left one." With that, she slid the strap of silk down over Willow’s bare shoulder and then eased her fingers under the fabric, rolling the nipple quickly between her finger and thumb before sliding her fingers under the small, warm breast. She held Willow’s gaze while she retrieved the folded piece of paper, looking away finally to read its contents.


I’ve been studying a little bit about deep muscle massage. I’d like to show you what I’ve learned.



"Oh, sweetie—you’ve been reading about massage? So you could give me one?" Tara’s eyes lit up with child-like surprise. Willow looked at her with a fierce, almost aching protectiveness.


She’s still surprised that I love her as much as she loves me. Goddess, please help me make her see how completely right that is.


Aloud, she said, "I know how much your back and neck ache when you’ve been studying for a long time. I wanna help make it better."


"But to take the time to learn about it, Willow…You could’ve easily given me a certificate for a massage."


"Yeah, well, I also wasn’t crazy about the idea of somebody else putting their hands all over you. I mean, at the risk of sounding all cave-dyke, I wanna be the only person making you sigh when they touch you." She grinned, but it was true. "Now, m’lady—your last gift of the evening." With that, she squeezed her right breast, massaging the nipple to hardness as Tara watched and parted her lips with anticipation.


"I think I’ll try a different means of access this time," Tara murmured. She reached behind Willow and unsnapped her bra, holding the right strap loosely in her hand as she brought her mouth slowly down to Willow’s breast. She gently nuzzled the fabric back with her lips, pausing to take the nipple into her mouth and caress it fully between her tongue and teeth. Willow closed her eyes, pulling Tara’s mouth tighter against her. Finally, Tara released her nipple and slid the strap lower down her shoulder until she could take the slip of paper between her lips.


"And what have we here?" she asked softly.


You have a gift certificate waiting for you at Sappho’s Samplings. I’ll be more than happy to help you with your selections.



"Sweetie, is this a lesbian bookstore? I’ve never heard of it, but it sounds wonderful!"


Willow paused briefly. "It’s not exactly a bookstore, Baby. It specializes in more…applied aspects of lesbian life." She adopted what she hoped was a very salacious leer.


Tara stared at her in confusion for a moment, before her features cleared with the force of a sandblasting and her eyebrows shot skyward as if catapulted. "Oh my God, Willow…Are you saying—is this a sex shop?"


"I think they prefer the term ‘Merchants of Pleasure,’ but yeah, you have the right idea." Willow had never known that gift giving could have such wonderful payoffs—and this was before they had even gone to the shop.


"I thought we could just browse a little bit; you know, be informed consumers. And then when you knew what you most wanted, we could make our final selections." As Tara continued to gape at her, Willow grew slightly concerned. She knew that her lover was no prude, but maybe this had been a little too saucy. "Tara, is this OK? Have I offended you, or made you uncomfortable?"


Finally, Tara gave a shaky laugh. "Oh, no, sweetie…I’m just wondering if I’ll come in my pants right now thinking about going into that shop with you."


Smiling with immense relief, Willow leaned forward and kissed Tara’s hand. "No, sweet birthday girl, don’t do that. Don’t keep all those wonderful spasms and groans and tastes to yourself. Share them with me, OK? Share the wealth, oh Wondrous Hot Mama Most Divine."


And Tara, because she was by nature such an incredibly giving person, did just that. It was approximately three hours later that they finally used their bed for sleeping.


*****


At about that same time, Donnie was settling into his bed with the same surly look slashed across his face.


Tara may have been the one going to college; she may have been the one with the grades and scholarships; but he wasn’t stupid. He noticed things. And the thing he’d noticed most that night was the way the redhead protected Tara, and the way the two of them looked at each other.


He stared into the darkness and thought about this knowledge.



To Be Continued




Edited by: AntigoneUnbound at: 12/17/02 9:06:33 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 8:54 pm 
Loved all Willow's birthday gifts!



Hate Donnie!



I can't wait for the next update! I want to see if that asswipe Donnie does anything! If he does i wouldn't mind seein his ass get kicked from Sunny-D to Tin-buck-too! *sigh* aah...sweet, sweet imagery!

And never let it be said that I left a Tara craving unsatisfied. - Willow in Wilderness



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 Post subject: Re: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 9:33 pm 
First of all, I am beyond excited that you're writing another fic. I was quite obsessed with "On Second Thought" and I've no doubt this one will have the same effect. Secondly, I really enjoyed the juxtaposing tones of this first part. First there's the sweet, reverent, and playful tone with Willow and Tara where everything seems so right and real. And then there's the cold, vindictive, hateful tone with Donny where the world is a little too scary. You really have a way with words. One moment, I'm basking in the Willow/Tara love and the next I'm feeling Donny's anger rolling off of him in waves. It's startling, really--your choice of words, for one. Seeing the word "faggot" is always jarring, but seeing it in this context is all the more menacing. Donny truly is a vile human being and you pull no punches showing that aspect of him. We got a little taste of him in "Family" but there's no doubt in my mind that there was much more to him than what we saw. You've also laid down the groundwork for the story. It's time to get to know Tara just a little better and if that means we have to see her truly horrific family at work, then so be it. I love this already.



--Sela



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 Post subject: Re: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 10:03 pm 
Firstly, I must apologize for never replying to your first story, I assure you that I waited oh so impatiently for updates and checked several times daily for new chapters. I honestly think it is one of the best fics I've read on this board (or any site for that matter). On to the praising of your current project...wow. I can see I'm in for another anticipation overdose whilst awaiting updates. I literally laughed out loud for at least 15 seconds after the cunnilingus comment (for whatever reason it struck me as the funniest thing ever). Anyway, even if I don't reply that often, please know that I'm truly impressed and very entertained by your writing. Thanks so much for this.

-KT

so come on and test me, go on and try it, because I know that I fit perfectly inside you, and to deny this love would be to deny your heart, and you’re going be the one who breaks it, baby, if you choose to walk




you, the stranger who took a chance, held me at a distance so I could see myself, so thank you for everything you gave without knowing, and thank you for letting me fall in love without withholding







-Melissa Ferrick - The Stranger

Edited by: OhGroovetasticOne at: 12/17/02 9:06:46 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 11:45 pm 
Well Donny just has to get gored by a bull!



Willows Birthday gifts were wonderful... as is this story,



next update soon please......



cunnilingus..... isn't that the air-sevice you use to fly from Dublin ?? or am i thinking of something else.........:angel





Jill



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 Post subject: Re: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 11:51 pm 
Interesting. We'll see where you go from here.

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: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 12:53 am 
Very good beginning!

I hope Donnie doesn't want to harm Willow! :rage



Stef :p



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 Post subject: Re: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 4:17 am 
I was really pleased to see another story from you. Even more pleased when I saw it was an exploration of post-Family.



The way you interspersed the sweet and vixeny moments between our girls with Donnie seething about how "it wasn't right" worked really well.

Adding up the total of a love that's true, multiply life by the power of two
Indigo Girls



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 Post subject: Re: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 4:35 am 
Oh Mary, what a joy to see that you posted another fic, yay :) ! This part was so palpable to me with the way you capture the characters emotions (ie I too loved the juxtaposing of the love, joy, and playfulness of W&T with the anger, bitterness, and hate of Donny).



I just love how you convey the depth of love each holds for the other, especially the feeling how they "complete" each other. With this in mind, I thought it was poignant when Willow said, ("Do you know how wrong it is you spent nineteen birthdays without me?), as well as Tara saying, ("Now here I am, twenty years old, in love and loved.), sigh so beautiful, truly struck a chord with me :heart .



Really there was so much in this chapter that brought a smile to my face. Between Willlow's version of Karen Carpenter's song of ("Why do birds suddenly appear? It's because, you are queer..."), the gifts Willow bestowed on Tara with the touching gesture of Willow's donation in honor of Tara's mother, to the clever (as well as sensual) hiding of gifts in her bra (ie the fun that was had in that endeavor ;) ). And I so enjoyed the exchange about the sex shop with Willow answering Tara's question with ("I think they prefer the term 'Merchants of Pleasure...") :lol , I can so picture their expressions in that moment.



Lastly, you capture so well Donny's simmering anger/resentment he holds for Tara (ie the sense of how dare she have a life/freedom away from the family), which was further "fueled" by their father backing down from the confrontation (ie Donny thinking, "he was thoroughly emasculated"). Also liked the insight into how Donny perceived their mothers relationship with her children (ie Tara and her mother had a "special bond" while he "wasn't special enough, or sweet enough, or whatever enough"). And I get such a dreadful feeling with what Donny plans to do with his new "insight" about the importance of Willow to Tara (and vice-versa). Really with just this first part, "the layers you have woven" are wonderful, and can't wait to see what happens next!





Edited by: VampNo12  at: 12/18/02 3:39:37 am


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 Post subject: Re: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 4:57 am 
:bounce :bounce Mary!

So glad you have decided to share with us again!!



The way you are able to include humor, inner turmoil, and desire is just amazing.

Quote:
"Why do birds suddenly appear? It’s because, you are queer…"
LMAO :rollin

Quote:
she was always smiling at her little "Bright Eyes"
Very good suggestion as to why Donnie might be so bitter about Tara and want his father to do more!

And of course the love and giving of each other, to each other
Quote:
And Tara, because she was by nature such an incredibly giving person, did just that.
so sensual, without having to go into any detail. (not that detail isn't good ;) )

Look forward to more.

BV







"In front of total strangers won't you kiss me, Flowers for no reason but you miss me - OOH, I wanna be in love"

Melissa Etheridge-Skin



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 Post subject: Re: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:32 am 
At the moment, I've only got three words in me: ooh la la.



No, I take it back.



Wonderful to see another story from you, and I like seeing already a distinctive style to your writing that carries over from "On Second Thought": a quiet foreboding from the brooding guy whose perspective allows us to see Willow and Tara--albeit uncomfortably and painfully--the way a lot of people would see them. That's a perspective that was largely missing from the show, of course, but we know that it had to lurk around the edges. Here, you bring the edges in a little closer in a way that in this chapter doesn't quite touch Willow and Tara's chapter but, we know, will.



Also, you have such a great way with dialogue, especially Willow's. Love it. And what a great place to pick up the story, right after "Family." I can't wait to read more.

"And I'm eating this banana. Lunchtime be damned!" -- Willow in "Doppelgangland



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 Post subject: RE: GODS SERVED AND ABANDONED
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:56 am 
that was a very good start i like willow giving tara all those gift espacially the two last one very unique way of gift giving will have to think about that for chrismast this year



im also thinking we havent heard the last of donnie :rage



so waiting for the next update hopefully that will be soon

:bounce:bounce:bounce:bounce







thank you



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 Post subject: RE: GODS SERVED AND ABANDONED
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:57 am 
that was a very good start i like willow giving tara all those gift espacially the two last one very unique way of gift giving will have to think about that for chrismast this year



im also thinking we havent heard the last of donnie :



so waiting for the next update hopefully that will be soon

:







thank you



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 Post subject: Re: RE: GODS SERVED AND ABANDONED
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 7:46 am 
Oh, I'm so glad you're writing another fic. And this is just wonderful. It's so full in the moments between Willow and Tara; and then so dark in the moments when Donnie is contemplating his revenge. I love that contrast and it works so well here, as we're plunged in between delirium and anxiety all within one chapter. What a welcome relief that you're writing again. Thank you so much. :)



I want you tonight. Are you in the mood? ~ Birmingham, Alabama.



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 Post subject: Re: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 8:29 am 
It's wonderful to see a new story from you.



I love the contrast in this part between the almost delirious joy of Tara celebrating her freedom on her first birthday with Willow and the dark forboding of Donny's brooding. Willow's gifts are wonderfully sweet and sensual.

--

"Omnia mutantur, nihil interit." -- "Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost."



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 Post subject: Re: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 10:39 am 
I love your writing.

Everything always seems so clear and easy to visualise, I thought the cutting between Donnie and W/T was very cleverly executed.

The thoroughness over the presents was typically Willow.

Quote:
"But to take the time to learn about it, Willow…You could’ve easily given me a certificate for a massage."


When has Willow ever done anything the easy way? You've got the character's down pat as this is exactly how I envisioned Tara would react.

Great start!



Mix

_____________


Proud member of the Nancy Tribe!



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 Post subject: Re: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 10:41 am 
Great to see you writing another story I found On Second Thought in the completed archive and read it in one go. Loved it as well.



Nice contrast between the tenderness of Willow and Tara and the harshness that is Donnie Maclay. Of course just having Donnie in this fic is wonderful as I hate him so much and look forward to seeing where it all goes from here.



Btw almost lost my cup of tea over the Carpenter line, very funny :)



Donner and Vixen slashfic...its all about the harnesses and maybe the bells.



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 Post subject: Re: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 12:45 pm 
I'm sorry that I had missed On Second Thought after reading this fic. Although the anger and hatred (or even the Maclay family in general) make me all squirmy (personal experience and all that...many many things I would LOVE to forget), they are well done and the emotions are very palpable.



Great stuff!

Toni


Love is tricky. It is never mundane or daily. You can never get used to it. You have to walk with it, then let it walk with you. You can never balk. It moves you like the tide. It takes you out to sea then lays you on the beach again. Today's struggling pain is the foundation for a certain stride through the heavens. You can run from it but you can never say no. It includes everyone."--Amy Tan "The Hundred Secret Secret Senses"



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 Post subject: RE: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 9:07 pm 
I’m so glad to see another story from you. Such great birthday gifts. I loved them! This is a great beginning. You’ve set up Donny in a way that makes me hate him even more than I did in the brief moments he was shown in the show. I have a feeling you will take us through the horror that Tara faced in her past and I’m looking forward to the ride. Now what does that make me? I love stories that deal with the writer’s interpretation of what we never saw. Thanks for this.



--celia





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 Post subject: Re: RE: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 11:17 pm 
I have to agree with everyone who posted: Great to see another fic from you!!! :bounce



I really enjoyed "On Second Thought" and I am positive this new story will be an equally gratifying experience. :)



By the way, Great start!! :clap




"You have to believe we are magic. Nothin' can stand in our way."---Olivia Newton-John.









Edited by: SlayerSydney at: 12/18/02 10:18:19 pm


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2002 3:09 am 
I'm gone a couple of days, and whoo hoo, a new fic appears!



And not just any fic, an intriguing new story by the same author as one of my favorites, On Second Thought.



Great start. Can't wait for more-



hermitstull

____________________

"Stinky herbs are a go." Cordelia in Becoming pt. 2



"Oh, poor Watcher. Did your life pass before your eyes? Cuppa tea, cuppa tea, almost got shagged, cuppa tea?" Spike, Barganing pt. 1



Xander: "What's with the hand move? Does that like mean something?"

Willow: "It's code. I think it breaks down to 'choo-choo'." Fool for Love







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 Post subject: Re: RE: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2002 3:22 am 
Morning Mary, yay, another story from you. Its like, well Christmas...;) Warms my heart.



As you (hopefully) know I love your writing but one of the things that appeals most is the fact you are able to take something we all know and love and yet still surprise. You write with such clarity that we cannot fail to see what you are trying to portray. To be able to do this for both joyful and dark moments is just wonderful for the reader. As for the surprise element, for me you did it in On Second Thought but you seem to be adhering to it again here. We have Willow all concerned that she has Tara a little shocked with sex-shop idea, only for Tara to proclaim that she was simply wondering whether she woulld simply come in her pants.

:lol



You write them both so well.



Intrigued how you will develop the Maclays though, if a little nervous.....



Thanks for this, and have a great christmas.

Sonya





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 Post subject: Re: RE: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2002 10:57 am 
Hey Kittens--



Wow, what great feedback. ("Are you surprised, Mary?" "No, not really.")



I'm heading out of town to see my family for a couple of days and need to get on the road to beat the snow. I'll respond to individual feedback on Monday, 12/23, when I return and hopefully update the story.



Until then, wish me luck w/ the biological affiliates. If you never hear from me again, it's a safe bet that they buried me on the back 40...



Have a great week-end, Kittens, and thanks again for your time and thoughtfulness.



Mary



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 Post subject: Re: RE: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2002 12:04 am 
:bounce :bounce :bounce :bounce :bounce :bounce



yay, a new fic from mary!



and a mighty fine beginning at that. you might even call it, a finey mcfine beginning. hehe. seriously, I love the silliness here, the experimenting-with-sauciness willow that is just developing around this time in their relationship, and a post-family fic is also a really ripe moment, glad to see you picking this fruit:drool I mean, applied aspects of lesbian life...cave-dyke... LMAO! :rollin I loved willow's righteous rant about the serious injustice of tara's nineteen willowless birthdays, and her realization that her braininess turned tara on more than anything else...all so yummy. and very, very different from the tone of "On Second Thought."



the thread that seems to be linking these stories seems (to me) to be your excellent exploration of the inner psyche of the bad guy. you took oz, who was already complex, and made him disturbing...and now you've taken donnie, who was already disturbing, and made him complex. I forsee that we haven't seen the end of the real maclay demons yet...



yay mary! more more!

--jenny

Cordy: I personally don't think it's possible to come up with

a crazier plan.


Oz: We attack the mayor with hummus.



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 Post subject: Re: RE: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:17 am 
cool story :bounce



i like how you showed what happened as Willow and Tara continue to celebrate her birthday and what is going on in Donnie's mind as he, his father and cousin Beth return home after failing to get Tara to come with them. looking forward to see what happens next

Dude, we're surrounded by perverts!
"I'm not stealing, I'm just taking things without paying for them. In what twisted dictionary is that stealing?"



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 Post subject: Re: RE: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2002 4:27 pm 
OMG I'm so happy :thud



Not that I don't enjoy many fics in pens, I came in here tonight just to see if you had a new one up. I scrolled down looking for your name and behold, we have a wonderful new fic on our hands.



Suprised thats you're off to a great start? Not I!



~Sara

We don't need their shallow popularity; we'll build our palaces in the dark and beautiful places they forgot to look.









"I made them laugh, did you hear? I did....the joke thing"



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 Post subject: Re: RE: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2002 12:33 pm 
Yay, AntigoneUnbound is writing another story! Time for me to do my happy dance… Hey, are you lookin’ at me? Are you lookin’ at me?!



As with “On Second Thought,” I truly enjoy how you choose to explore the aftermath of life-altering choices, showing the cascade of consequences of deceptively simple utterances like “I choose you” or “Just go.” I also suspect that it is not coincidental that both stories pass through a terrain scarred by domestic violence. This raises the stakes on both stories, at least for me.



Some specifics. Is it me, or were there a lot of numbers -- dates, ages, grades, gifts, GPAs, body parts -- in this chapter? I think that it works very, very well with the idea of a birthday, a time for counting, marking, (cringing!). I love how you repeat key words and phrases from the end of the W/T and the beginning of the Donnie sections to tie them together as well as highlight their differences: Maclay/Maclay, The nerve/It wasn’t right, She would have loved you.../...but that hadn’t made him love her any more, ...that they finally used their bed for sleeping/Donnie was settling into his bed with the same surly look slashed across his face. Donnie also has the annoying and all-too-common habit of casting good and bad strictly in terms of masculine and feminine.



Quote:
The image of any Maclay whose name wasn’t Tara was an unsettling one to her.
You make a very thoughtful exception to this:
Quote:
In honor of the remarkable woman who raised the remarkable woman I love, a donation has been made to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in your name.
Finally, I laughed at the “Close to You” rewrite. I feel the same way every time I hear the song “Downtown!”



SB



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 Post subject: Re: RE: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2002 10:23 pm 
Gods Served and Abandoned: Part 2, and Feedback
Hi, Kittens. Yes, I returned more or less intact from a week-end avec la famille. No swords were drawn, nor sabers rattled. Saw my nieces and nephews and that’s always a joy.

Speaking of joy…Thanks again for all your great responses and ideas. You know, a lot of folks commented on the juxtaposition of Willow and Tara’s wonderful evening simultaneous to Donnie’s burgeoning rage and hatred. I’m glad that seems to be working b/c my hope is for each to illuminate the other in the reader’s mind. Let me know if it ever seems distracting or disorienting.

And now, for the specific part of our program:
>>Foreverpiper: Glad you liked the gifts. Feel free to use the idea as you see fit! Thanks for writing in with the good message.

>>Sela: Yay—it’s Sela feedback! You’re so perceptive about the characters and their dynamics. Whenever you tell me that a scene works for you with regard to our girls’ relationship, I know I’m on the right track. You’re right—"faggot" is a jarring word, and I really thought about whether to use it. But it’s how Donnie thinks, how he sees the world, so I went with it. Like you, I’ve always harbored much curiosity about Tara’s background and how her family shaped her, so I’m psyched to try exploring it. Thanks again for your wonderful feedback and support. I hope this story works for you!

>>OhGroovetasticOne: (What a great name, by the way.) Thanks so much for your incredibly kind words about "On Second Thought." I’m really flattered that you liked it so much. Yeah, the cunnilingus comment was a fun one for me, too. And doesn’t Tara seem like someone who really WOULD appreciate good oral skills, of all kinds? Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the piece.

>>EffieBlue: So you want Donnie gored by a bull? You got it: one homophobic eunuch, coming up! Thanks for the good thoughts and kind words.

>>TheRose24: Thanks for the encouragement! You know, I always wonder, every time I see your messages: where does the "My heart doesn’t stutter" comment come from? Was that in a show? It’s a great line. Thanks again for reading.

>>Deixs: Let’s see if the good beginning has a good continuation…Thanks for writing.

>>Mollyig: Yeah, I have a particular fondness for the "Family" episode (like a lot of Kittens, I suspect). Part of my reaction is due to some uncomfortable similarities b/w my own family and what they showed of Tara’s. The family that I’m portraying in this fic is a departure from my own, but I’m hoping that I "get" their dynamics enough to write it w/ some semblance of realism. Thanks for your encouragement, and for your nice words about my continuing to write. Makes a wee Kitten’s heart grow three sizes this day.

>>VampNo12: You know, part of the joy of writing fic here is the exchange w/ you! You definitely picked up on the juxtaposition theme and its intended effect. I always think that in the midst of our greatest happiness lies the potential (somewhere, either close or far) for equally great sorrow, and conversely. Maybe it’s just my need to believe in entropy; I dunno…I’m glad you liked the Carpenter’s reference! You know, she had one of the few voices I could sing along w/ back then, b/c she wasn’t some high-quavering soprano. And your comment about Donnie’s simmering resentment is right on: his bitterness is proportionate to our girls’ joy. I hope you like where this goes. Thanks again for the incredible thoughtfulness and supportiveness of your responses!

>>Barnabasvamp: I’m glad the combination of elements works for you. I like to have mixtures and balances, but I don’t want to write something really disorienting or "hodge-podge." I appreciate your enthusiasm; definitely makes the writing process a joy! Thanks a lot.

>>Tulipp: Hey, "ooh la la" ain’t bad, if you have to pick three words; thank you, though, for picking several more! Yeah, I’m a sucker for the "quiet foreboding" quality you mentioned. I respond more to stories (of any kind) when I really see what’s going on in characters’ minds, when I know why they’re doing what they do, even if I don’t like the actions themselves. Thanks for your supportive words, especially regarding dialogue. Have you ever read Anne Lamott’s (I think that’s the right spelling) book "Bird by Bird"? It’s an incredible work, sort of a combination writing guide/life text. Anyway, she talks about the particular difficulties of writing dialogue and I try to keep her in mind when I take a stab at it. Thanks again for your feedback and support!

>>PeggyofSunnydale: You’re right—we haven’t heard the last of Donnie…the little bastard. Hope you enjoy the next scene, and thanks for writing.

>>Tommo: I’m so glad you’re reading this fic, Ruth. It really does feel good to know that someone of your talent is perusing my own words. I loved your description of the readers being "plunged in between delirium and anxiety"; partly because it’s a great phrase, and partly b/c that’s the tone I was hoping to achieve. Thanks again for your time and kind words.

>>DMW: I’m psyched the contrast is working for you. You seem inclined to explore the juxtaposition of good and evil yourself; I’m referring to the fantastic "Dark Rose" fic, which I am enjoying immensely! Thanks for the support and good thoughts.

>>Mix: Wow, what incredibly nice feedback! I blushed when I read it! I was heartened to read that you could "see" our girls clearly—heaven knows they’re worth the look, aren’t they? Thanks again for your kind words and I hope you enjoy the next installment.’

>>Puff: Hey, I’m glad you found "On Second Thought" and enjoyed it! I have to say, I’ve always enjoyed your avatar/image! Donnie makes a great villain, doesn’t he? And if he gets you to stick around, that’s all the better! Thanks for the nice feedback about both stories.

>>Toni: Sorry to hear about the uncomfortable recognition factor at play as you read this…Family yanks us like no one else can, don’t they? I hope the rest of the fic seems realistic to you as well. Thanks for the positive thoughts and feedback.

>>TiredSoul: You know, you capture the essence of one of my own favorite themes: "stories that deal with the writer’s interpretation of what we never saw." Yes! All of these things have repercussions, echoes that ripple on and it seems that we so rarely get to see those. It’s often a high-light reel, it seems…Thanks for your thoughtful comments and for your supportive words.

>>SlayerSydney: I’m so glad you enjoyed "On Second Thought" so much! Your feedback was definitely much-appreciate there, and here as well! Hope you enjoy.

>>Hermistull: I’m glad you’re glad, good Hermistull! May this fic be worthy of your kind glances!

>>Sonya: You always give such great feedback—so supportive and perceptive. I’m glad that things feel clear to you as you read them. I always respond to stories so much more when the writers shows instead of tells, to quote the old writing maxim. Thanks again for tuning in and sending the good thoughts and support my way.

Jenny: A finey McFine beginning? Would you like some fries w/ that? Cracked me up! Oh, yeah, it’s fun to write saucy Willow, who’s coming into her own (as it were) with her sexuality in her relationship w/ Tara. And the sex shop gift? Fear not, we haven’t seen the last of that little notion…On a more serious note (perhaps G-sharp; that’s always pretty serious), you’re dead-on right about the importance of exploring the inner world of the bad guy. If I don’t have some idea of why he’s doing what he does (forgive the gender sweep there), I’m not nearly as invested in what happens. Thanks, Jenny, for your perceptive words and your encouragement. I hope that the next installment is equally McEnjoyable!

Grimaldi: Yeah, the juxtaposition theme rang a bell w/ a lot of Kittens, it appears. Thanks for reading!

>>Sara: Wow, I’m honored that you actually looked for my name! (I still feel kinda funny about it; it seems so…
grandiose,
somehow.) I’m glad you’re liking this story thus far; I hope it continues to work for you. Thanks a lot for reading and taking the time to write in such great thoughts.

>>SisterBertrille: Yeah, I’m lookin’ at you—but all I can see are words on a computer screen. What’s that about? Anyway; I do hope that the happy dance ended safely and triumphantly. You know, you just gave one of the best phrases I’ve heard in a while: "the cascade of consequences." Wow…can I use that in conversation sometime? I’ll cite you, I promise! Yes, the wretched realities of domestic violence ARE themes in both of these stories; you picked up on that nicely. And you’re also right about the numbers theme: I’ve always been a sucker for the symbolism of such markers, even though my adult brain says that it’s all just specious demarcations to make us believe we can actually grasp the concept of time. And Donnie…I know far too many guys like him, and you pegged one of his most regrettably defining characteristics: his black and white perception. As you know, that kind of mind-set seems an all-too-predictable twin to narrow-mindedness, and when a new addition to the family comes along in the form of anger and hatred, it’s never a good thing. Now…What’s all this about "Downtown"? There’s a story there, SB, and I’m just a-dyin’ to hear about it! But seriously, folks—thanks a lot for the time and thoughtfulness of your feedback. You have this great combination of humor and perceptivity that makes your responses truly enjoyable to read and ponder. (Not that I’m calling you ponderous—you know that, right?)


OK—on to the update. This one is briefer than the future ones will be, simply because I won’t have time to write more before this week-end and I wanted to go w/ what I have right now instead of waiting. Hope that was a wise decision. I also hope you can tolerate Donnie a little more…

To those of you who celebrate Christmas, I hope that it’s a joyous day for you. And to all of you, I send thoughts of peace and anticipation for the new year.

Mary

**

Gods Served and Abandoned

Part 2

Disclaimers: I don’t own any of these characters, although I sure do like ’em a lot.
Spoilers: Up to season 5.
Rating: R for now; if it changes, I’ll give heads-up.
Distribution: Sure, with acknowledgement.
Feedback: Even more sure! Bring it on!



"Hey Baby, you almost ready? We’re supposed to meet everybody at the Magic Shop to talk about the latest demon debacles and denouements. Giles sounded extra British when he called, so it must be exciting."

Tara emerged from the bathroom, smiling as she pulled a brush through her hair. "I’m good to go. Just gotta put on my shoes."

Watching Tara slide her boots up over her long legs, Willow murmured, "Yes, you certainly are good. To go, or eat in. Or eat out. And I cannot believe I’m saying such things. But I’m saying them, so I really should believe it. Otherwise I’m in a state of denial and that’s no good for demon fighting or lezbo lovin’."

"Sweetie, I can’t hear what you’re saying. Do you need help with something?"

"Later on. I’ll definitely need your help with something later on." As she pulled on her windbreaker, she added, "I wanna stop for mochas, OK?"

"OK, but let’s hurry. I don’t want to be late for the Scooby meeting."

Willow smiled at the words. After the scene in the Magic Box last night, Tara had finally realized just how much a part of the gang she truly was.

She’s my family, and now she’s family to the rest of my family. It seems like a different lifetime, that girl with no friends except Xander.

She walked up to Tara and looked at her seriously, cupping Tara’s face in her hands. "Do you know how much I love you? And how much I want you? Do you have any idea what you do to my body and soul?"

Tara’s eyes softened, if that were possible, as she gently kissed each of Willow’s palms. "I’m learning. And every thing I learn makes me realize how lucky I am." She leaned forward and kissed Willow softly, her lips full against Willow’s. After a moment she leaned back, smiling slightly. "Now let’s send your brain into an even faster whirl, shall we? Mochas for my mucho mentating mama."

*****

Nathan Maclay sipped his black coffee in silence, his jaw seemingly as tight as it had been on the silent drive the night before. He disdained any kind of sweetening for his coffee: he drank it to absorb the caffeine, not to luxuriate in it as if it were some kind of confection.

Cousin Beth scooped sausage links out of a cast-iron skillet, the grease popping with each exit. She edged them onto a platter and carried it over to the table where her uncle and Donnie sat.

Donnie was guzzling his caffeine in the form of a Coke. He took in the scene around him and felt the sour, acrid taste of humiliation burn in his mouth. He and his daddy had kept up the house as best they could for the past year and a half, but they shouldn’t have had to do it at all. Last night Beth had offered to move in and help out, and she would fill in as long as they needed her. At least one Maclay woman knew where she belonged. He chewed on his anger a moment longer, and then decided to test the waters.

"I don’t know about you all, but that whole scene last night seemed mighty odd to me." His father’s mouth twitched slightly, but he said nothing. Beth, though, jumped in as if on cue, although Donnie noticed that she kept an eye on his father, hoping to gauge and avoid any displeasure if possible.

"You’re certainly not the only one, Donnie. I tried telling her how selfish she was being, but she didn’t care a bit. All she cared about were those friends of hers." She said the word "friends" as if tasting something bitter and trying to spit it back out.

"Yeah, looks like Little Miss Wallflower went and got all social on us. Used to ride the bus with her head down, too scared to look at anybody. And now—"

"Now she’s too good for us," Beth finished. "Now she’s too concerned about what her friends will think to remember the man who raised her." She cast a doting look at her uncle, who still gazed straight ahead, seemingly oblivious to the conversation.

"You know, didn’t it seem like she was…like she was ’specially close to that one girl? The red-head who sassed you when you told her to butt out, Daddy?" Nathan Maclay said nothing, but Beth’s gimlet eyes narrowed at his words. Donnie waited, and then pressed on. "I mean, it just seems like those two was tighter’n the rest of ’em. Seemed to me that the red-head—what was her name? Willow?—seemed to me that she was all protective of Tara, more’n the others."

"And what kind of name is ‘Willow,’ anyway?" Beth snorted. "Her parents are probably New Age weirdos or something."

Donnie hesitated, not wanting to get slapped down like he had been on the ride last night. He knew that his daddy wouldn’t stand for him talking about Tara as if he were her parent. He needed to move slowly here.

"Well, I think a lot of last night was weird. That whole gang, and Tara having that Willow girl actin’ like her knight in shinin’ armor. I bet Tara wouldn’t done any of that if those people hadn’t put those ideas in her head."

Nathan Maclay exhaled sharply, catching Donnie by surprise. He turned and looked at his son. "Donald, if you want to say something come out with it. Otherwise, just keep your opinions to yourself."

Donnie weighed his words carefully. He took a moment to assemble his face into his best imitation of brotherly concern.

"I’m sayin’, Daddy, that I think Tara’s gotten herself involved with the wrong crowd. And—and I think I owe it to her as her brother to try to talk some sense into her."

Nathan Maclay’s eyes narrowed. "Just what are you suggesting?"

"I think I oughtta go back down there in a few days, just me, and see if I can help her see things straight."


To be continued


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2002 10:35 pm 
AU,



The quote is from Amber Benson and Christopher Golden's first W/T comic "WannaBlessedBe." There is an archive of the whole comic in "The NetherRealms." The comic is really hard to find in stores now. I think it is out of print.



As for the update, I do not like what Donnie is suggesting. I wish he would leave Tara alone.

Tara: My heart doesn't stutter.


Tara: Willow, I got so lost.

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


Edited by: The Rose24  at: 12/23/02 9:38:32 pm


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 Post subject: Re: RE: Gods Served and Abandoned
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2002 1:03 am 
Mary, your writing too is a joy to read, and this part was no exception! I so enjoy the way you continue to contrast the desire (loved Willow saying, "Yes, you are certainly are good. To go, or eat in. Or eat out." ;) ), love, and joy of the W&T exchanges with the stripping of pleasures with the Maclay family.



Just the contrast between the "sweetness" of Mochas as W&T's choice of drink, with Tara's father drinking black coffee (ie "he drank it to absorb the caffeine, not to luxuriate in it as if it were some kind of confection"), reflects so well the differing of personalities. With this in mind, W&T are reveling in the warmth/depth of their love, it's precious, and dear (something to be cherished). On the other hand, while Donny personifies bitterness and hatred, I sense Nathan Maclay is just "cold" where he doesn't put so much faith in feelings, but rather follows the code of duty and obligation (ie emotions are "frivolous" and get in the way of what needs to be done).



Lastly, I'm enjoying how you are making Donny a more complex character in this story. Yes, Donny is the ultimate bully, where when confronted will lash out in his hatred/anger, but at the same time through the interaction with Beth and his father he is also in a way cunning. In other words, he's treading carefully, knowing which buttons to push (ie faking "brotherly concern") in order to get his father to not be passive and allow Donny to act (to put Tara in her place). And I just dread Donny's choice of methods to "help in getting Tara to see things straight". Can't wait for the next part, and happy holidays to you :) !

Edited by: VampNo12  at: 12/24/02 1:38:46 am


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