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

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 Post subject: Collected Short Fic by Jixer
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2002 12:29 pm 
Title: Just To Be Sure

Author: Jixer


Feedback: Please. Bouquets and brickbats welcome

Distribution: Any free fanfiction site

Spoilers: Up through the end of Season 6(?)

Rating: PG

Pairing: W/T

Disclaimer: All characters of BtVS are owned by Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon. All I own are tattered books, the love of a good woman, and a few pots of tomato plants.

Summary: A different point of view. Miss Kitty and Tara are here so it has to be an AU.

Note: It's stand alone and this is all of it.

Just To Be Sure

She sniffs the figures under the blanket again, just to be sure. They disappeared before, and now she checks often to be sure. They're both here. The gentle one has an ugly smell in the background, like fear and death mixed together, but it's fading. The gentle one makes unhappy noises in her sleep and the slender one reaches for her. Miss Kitty gets close to both and purrs. She hasn't purred in a long time.

Now there's a pull on the sheets and a rusty meow. She gets up and grabs the tiny dark tabby kitten and pulls it onto the bed. She doesn't know why. It's not hers. The gentle one who left for so long, the one who opened her cage in the place of death and now has that hated smell fading on her, she brought this thing home. The older cat licks its head a couple of times and then settles down between the tall ones. The kitten joins her. She lets it. She purrs loudly and blinks in the dark.

After a moment the kitten is buzzing in its sleep as well. The two tall ones relax just a little more into a deeper sleep. Miss Kitty finally joins them, but not as deeply. She'll check on all three of them in a little while.

Just to be sure.

Edited by: Repost Moderator at: 12/29/02 7:01:07 pm

 Post subject: Re: New Short Fic - Just To Be Sure by Jixer
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2002 12:27 am 
Oh my goodness!! How cute is this?! I love it! Miss Kitty...a Miss Kitty Fic....Lovely:)

I love it:)


“Love’s bitch?” Spike asked softly...
“Woman enough to admit it,” Willow agreed with a nod and a sad half-smile.

“Cheers, luv,” Spike whispered...
-Answering Darkness by Sassette

 Post subject: Re: New Short Fic - Just To Be Sure by Jixer
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2002 9:47 am 
disclaimer longer than the fic itself ? ;) but then again it's quality that counts not quantity...which is quite abounded here ;) hope to see more work from you on the board

Willow: "Okay, we're here, ready for action...umm....bad guy fighting action" *smirks* - Seeing Red

 Post subject: Title: Never Catch A Break
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2002 7:59 pm 
Never Catch A Break AU-EMT Short Fic Title: Never Catch A Break

Author: Jixer


Feedback: Please. This is my first short story. Bouquets and brickbats welcome

Distribution: Any free fanfiction site

Spoilers: None. Totally AU.

Rating: Soft R at most for violence.

Pairing: W/T

Disclaimer: All characters of BtVS are owned by Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon. All I own are tattered books, the love of a good woman, and a few pots of tomato plants.

Summary: AU with our girls and only the magic of the heart.

Author’s Note: This really started out a few weeks ago but it made sense for today.

Dedication: This is for all the EMTs who don’t come home from their shifts.

Willow looked into the mirror and made a face as she swallowed the bitter pills. It wasn't a good day to miss her anti-depressants. She had too much homework to do.

"When was the last good day?" Willow asked the mirror. "You don't know either, huh?"

The redhead threw on her sweatshirt, jeans and sandals with only a little interference from the kitten Tara had brought home ‘to keep Miss Kitty company’. Another stray, like the three-legged dog that bounced up to her as she headed downstairs.

"All right, Pogo," Willow said in an exasperated tone as she put the mutt’s leash on and went out the door of their small condo. As she came out on the street below she saw the Stanford emblazoned on her neighbor’s rear window decal and felt an old regret slip into her mind.

Willow thought of the day she'd told Tara she was leaving Stanford and her full scholarship to take a job with a sure thing start up. They’d met in freshman year at Stanford and had sparked. She knew the cautious shy girl didn’t understand computers but she did understand Willow, and loved her. Enough to try to talk her out of leaving school. It had been their first big fight.

She knew she wasn’t supposed to be dwelling on it but she felt the same feeling of doom and disbelief she’d felt the day she’d been let go. She’d written programs that were gushed about in Wired and were the basis of her company’s product. A debt fueled product. A product one of their debtors wanted enough to call in their loan and sink the struggling company. Willow stopped and petted Pogo while she did her breathing exercises. She wouldn’t let Tara find her in the midst of another of her anxiety attacks. She worried too much about her as it was.

After a moment she went on and ordered her Saturday morning mocha and muffin. Pogo only got a taste of the muffin. Willow waited for Tara to drive by so she could get her love a tea and a muffin. She looked at the quiet street and waited for a while. She found herself remembering the day Tara had dropped out of Stanford. Tara knew she could go back and get her degree in art history at anytime, but Willow needed to return to the safe confines of academia to heal her mind and spirit.

Besides, being an EMT meant helping people. It also gave both of them benefits coverage. At least Tara had finally broken down and learned to drive. She still didn’t drive their little Honda though. She said people just didn’t get out of the way of the Civic like they did for the ambulance.

Willow finally gave up and walked the short distance back home. She knew she shouldn’t dwell on her mistakes. It was hard though when the girl who loved you slept alone most of the time because she was putting you through school after those mistakes. It was hard when the sensible car and the big down payment on a small condo were her ideas.

And it was very hard after remembering the stupid fight they’d had over Tara not budging about the Porsche or the beautiful old Victorian they could have just afforded.

She turned on the television wondering if she could catch what was keeping Tara so late after a twelve hour night shift. She tried a local channel and saw the ‘LIVE’ icon flash on the sight of a tangled mess on the freeway that Tara would take home. Then she felt her world go cold.

"We have the footage of the EMT that was nearly run over earlier this morning. This is a Channel 3 exclusive," the bleached blonde newsreader said breathlessly.

There, on the screen a burning tanker truck filled the screen. The ‘recorded earlier’ icon flashing in the lower corner didn’t distract from the carnage. Cars had crashed and a gasoline tanker had been caught in a secondary wreck near the first wreck. Willow saw the helicopter news feed show an ambulance from Tara’s company just down the road from the huge wreck. Dozens of cars littered the highway.

She heard the excited voice on the television and saw the pickup truck drive through the smoke of the burning fuel. The news clip slowed down and Willow saw Tara. She was wearing the EMT body armor Willow had spent the last of the money on. The truck swerved as the driver saw the downed California Highway Patrol motorcycle. She saw a blurred image of Tara pushing a man holding a toddler and the CHP officer with a bandage on his head behind her ambulance.

Then the rear panel of the pick up brushed Tara. Willow saw light brown hair swirl as she did a clumsy spiral and bounced on the tarmac. Tara started to crawl to the side of the road. Her partner raced over from out of the picture. The room suddenly had no air and Willow pawed at the remote trying to make the image go back and change. She became aware of Tara’s name coming from a styled and primped newsreader.

"…Maclay was flown from the scene to Stanford Hospital where she is listed in…"

The television was running as Willow flew out the door.

An eternity later she was parking her bike in the rack near the Trauma Center. Fortunately the staff was used to dealing with panicking relatives and not officially relatives. One of the nurses in ER even recognized her from her first anxiety attack months ago. She was escorted to the Trauma ICU. The nurses spoke together for a moment and Willow was led back to Tara.

"Miss Rosenberg, before you see Tara, I want your word you’ll leave when I tell you," the balding man warned. "She’s not in danger but she’s still a fresh trauma."

"I’ll be good." Willow said in a small voice. "She’s going to be okay?"

"She’s got bruises and two cracked ribs but she’s not in danger," he explained carefully. "She’s going to be a bit groggy from the pain medication. She’s on oxygen and she has IVs in both arms and a catheter."

"Oh," she answered in a whisper.

"Tara, visitor," he said before he opened the curtain.

"Not more police," a familiar voice rasped.

"Nope, don’t need no stinking badges," Willow said with a shaky smile as she stepped in.

The light brown hair was fanned untidily across the pillow. She seemed small in the bed. As Willow got closer she could see a large bruise across Tara’s right cheek and the beginnings of an impressive black eye. The IVs entered into small nests of tape and she could make out the bulge of bandages under the sheet.

"Honeyyy," Tara drawled sleepily. "I tried to get them to call you but you were gone. Are you okay?"

"I’m fine," she replied, "Never better."

"Liar," Tara softly giggled. "Wow, you know, for those bad days morphine would be better than chocolate. Ooh, I know, chocolate morphine."

"Big money maker at least once a month," the hacker agreed.

She looked away to control herself and saw the torn and bloody clothes in a bag by the bed. The forlorn remains of the armored vest gave mute testimony to the power of the impact. Willow began to cry.

"Honey, I’ll be okay," Tara said gently reaching for her love.

"Your clothes are all…dirty," she replied grasping the offered hand.

"Those pants make me look fat anyway," the medic answered in a whisper.

"I’m sorry, I’m sorry," Willow said through her tears as she lowered her eyes. "Oh God, baby, you never catch a break."

Willow looked up as her girl brushed red hair out of sad green eyes. She met blue eyes and a smile that made her heart beat faster even now.

"I did once," Tara said. "The best."

Mostly for:

Yamel Merino

Mario Santoro

Keith Fairben

David Marc Sullins

Mark Schwartz

Richard Allen Pearlman

Mitch Wallace

Professionals and volunteers who went to help.

 Post subject: Title: Her Mommies' Girl
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2002 9:21 pm 
Title: Her Mommies' Girl

Author: Jixer


Feedback: Please. My wife says I live for it. :)

Distribution: Any free fanfiction site

Spoilers: Maybe Season 4/5 just because MKF is still a kitten.

Rating: PG

Pairing: W/T

Disclaimer: All characters of BtVS are owned by Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon. All I own are tattered books, the love of a good woman, and a few pots of now frozen tomato plants.

Summary: What could possibly happen in safe dorm room belonging to two witches in Sunnydale?

Note: An old non-Pens story of mine cleaned up and filled out. I promised myself I'd do this after Hotel Kilo 2-2 was finished. It's fluff time.

WARNING: Extremely Low Kitten Angst Level

Her Mommies' Girl

The sleek predator moved silently down the flat hunting ground. The prey's scent was intoxicating. She wriggled into perfect position and sprang. Her teeth and claws tore at the tough skin of her prey. Her back claws flailed in an instinctive drive to eviscerate her opponent. Finally it made the sound she wanted to hear.


She stopped and sniffed it. The rubber mouse was beginning to show its status as favorite pouncing toy. She batted it a few times and then picked it up and half dragged it back to the floor by the bed. She stopped and listened, but her tall mommies were still gone. She didn't like being alone. She washed her tail a bit more. She yawned. Then she stretched out on the sunlit patch of floor and went to sleep.


"What's the big emergency?" Willow asked as she sipped her mocha.

"A prophecy has shown up that makes reference to the ring of Alsophus," Giles explained worriedly. "The bearer holds part of his power and can even call on Alsophus himself."

"Is h-he, you know, a bad guy?" Tara asked worriedly.

"Alsophus is a three thousand year old war demon," Anya said with a shiver. "Even other demons don't mention him. He's vicious, bloodthirsty, and he eats babies of all sorts."

"And you dated him," Willow said with a malicious grin.

"No!" Anya snapped. "Don't even joke about that! Brrrr. He gives me the chills even now. Nine feet of bad temper with talons and teeth that can break steel."

"He eats babies?" Tara asked in a small voice.

"Everyone said so," Anya replied surely. "No one was ever silly enough to give him a baby to find out."

"Oh," Willow and Tara said together in small voices.


In a nearby dimension Vrick the Undefeated (or Unwashed depending on the translation) stormed into the temple of the Seers of the Many Paths. He found the abbot praying in the courtyard and seized the old man by his beard.

"The priest of Talor screamed that you had seen my fate, old man," Vrick snarled.

"I have seen the virgin who will slay you," the old man quailed. "The prophecy you sought at Talor will destroy you!"

"I know the prophecy, 'Your destruction shall be by the virgin, guarding her treasure'," Vrick laughed mercilessly. "Now show me the one whose screams I am to savor. The Ring of Alsophus has given me eight centuries of life and I want a dozen more."

"You will be destroyed," the abbot warned.

"Not likely," laughed Vrick. "In all the multiverse there is no weapon that can break this magic and the enchanted mail armor I demanded from the demon. Laser light dances off and swords break."

"A weapon of flesh and blood can defeat you," the old man pointed out.

"You are wise and well informed," Vrick said in a tone that was as close as he got to admiration. "But I am vulnerable only in one place. Do you know it?"

The abbot proved his wisdom by shaking his head 'no'. Vrick smiled.

"Now show me the virgin," he ordered.

An image shimmered into place in front of the seer and his tormenter. It showed a pair of pretty girls. They laughed at a black and white kitten that batted at a string. The two kissed as the kitten crawled into the blue eyed girl's lap.

"Lesbians?" Vrick said petulantly. "Oh please, like I'd bet virgin even comes close with those two hotties. That is so lame. You call this a prophecy?"

"It's a perfectly valid prophecy," the abbot sniffed angrily.

"Too bad they're cute," Vrick said with a nasty grin. He touched the ring and demanded to be transported to face his virgin opponent. A portal opened and he plunged through it with a war cry.


Miss Kitty felt something tingle on her whiskers. She opened her eyes to see a tall one come yowling through a door. He smelled like a very bad tall one, even worse than the cold tall ones. And he was in her mommies' territory. She brushed up her ruff and her tail and let out a fearsome squall. The tall one looked around and then bent over.

"Well, where's your owner, beast?" Vrick asked as he reached for the cat with his large hand. "Will she come to her pet's screech of pain?"

It was reaching for her and the good smelling squeaking thing. The hand had a glove on it. The tall Tom who smelled of cut wood and used the noisy things would let her attack him with gloves on. It was fun to bite and scratch gloves and it was allowed. She didn't hold back.

"You have spirit, little beast," Vrick declared as the growling kitten latched on to his ring-mail glove. "Pity I'm going to have to skin you."

He shook his arm. Miss Kitty increased her growling happily. It was trying to get away! She kicked as hard as she could. Her left back paw got caught in a link. She panicked and kicked harder. The tip of the claw slipped deeper into the glove and wedged under the grimy skin around the Ring of Alsophus. Then another desperate kick dug the claw into the skin underneath and broke the surface. Eight hundred years of aging started in around the wound. Vrick looked down as his hand snapped under the weight of the armor.

"Oh shi-" he started before the years swept over him. There was a soft ringing sound as the enchanted armor fell to the floor and rusted away. A shiny thing caught Miss Kitty's attention as it rolled out of the dust. She followed it until it fell over. She limped very slightly. The claw that had penetrated the warrior's skin was over-flexed and did not retract.

Miss Kitty pawed the shiny thing. It scuttled and made a sweet tone. She pounced on it. She yowled when the ring shrank onto a tiny front paw. She shook her front paw and nibbled at it.

"Who DARES to invoke Alsophus on this plane?" a voice rumbled across the room as a demon nine feet tall formed hunched over in corner. "Who has defeated Vrick and made this claim?"

It glared about the room. Miss Kitty looked at the new tall thing and held up her paw with the ring snugly on it. She mewed plaintively.

"Oooh, kittyyy," Alsophus said in a grating voice. "Did a bad man scare the puss-puss?"

The creature held out a taloned hand for her to sniff and Miss Kitty let him pick her up. He tugged very gently on the ring. Then he nodded and smiled. There were a lot of pointed teeth.

"So what are your wishes, I wonder," he asked. Then he looked around carefully. He caused a blanket of darkness to fall between him and the outside world. To be sure Alsophus made a series of cabalistic signs with his hands. Only then did he look into Miss Kitty's eyes-and mew.

She mewed back. He saw a cage open and a girl with blue eyes and lightened hair picking her up gently in a room the war demon could tell smelled of death. He saw the girl and another human female that made Miss Kitty feel happy and safe getting upset with her when she made dusty things happen. He saw a pan that was hers alone. He laughed and Vrick's remains drifted into a sandbox.

She mewed again and he reached for her left back paw.

"It's a tiny boo-boo," he said softly. "I'll make it all better."

The discomfort in her paw went away and Miss Kitty purred. She sat down on his lap and washed the now healed paw. The demon looked around the room and sniffed the air. He intoned a spell that was very specific and Mr. Squeaky hung in the air for a second. When he landed the cat whirled and mewed with a definite chitter. She leaped on the rubber mouse newly redolent with the scent of catnip. The ring fell off her paw.

"I've got to go, kitty," he said as he picked up the ring. He petted her as she chewed on the squeaking mouse. She pawed at him and ran a tiny pink tongue over his talon when she caught him. Alsophus sighed as he faded through the door.

Miss Kitty looked up and mewed her displeasure about being alone, and then yawned. It had been a very tiring afternoon for a kitten. She stretched out next to the rubber mouse, turned her belly up to the narrow sunbeam and went to sleep.


"I've never seen ink on parchment suddenly spell out 'never mind' before either," Tara said as she opened her dorm room door. "Oh, look."

Willow smiled as the sprawled kitten slowly woke up. The black and white face peered up at them and gave a rusty meow. Tara picked her up and both girls stroked her gently as she purred. Miss Kitty meowed several times but they didn't understand. Finally she stopped and just nuzzled them, glad that her mommies were home.


Myron Anderson hated days like today. He'd had a place at least for the kittens at a nearby rest home. A therapist had arranged it but the LA based owner had quashed the arrangement at the last moment. So now four kittens and their mother would join the gentle old dog no one wanted, the skinny puppy found on the highway, and the old cat who cowered in the back of his cage. The manager of the Sunnydale Municipal Animal Shelter sighed and got out the sedative and the syringe. He wouldn't ask anyone else to do this. The intercom squawked as he stood up.

A few moments later he was cheerfully putting squirming kittens into carriers along with their mother, the old cat and dog, and even the puppy. The therapist told him the owner had called her sounding very stressed and changed his mind. She gave him the papers and shook her head.

"It was the strangest meeting," she said. "He drove all the way up here to sign the papers. He kept looking over his shoulder in broad daylight like he was expecting the worst."

"Too much stress," Myron observed. "He needs a pet, like an older cat or dog. Something calm."

"Probably," she agreed as she wheeled the last of the carriers out to the home's van.

Myron smiled and looked at the now empty cages. He loved days like today.


Willow yawned and finally closed her book. Tara yawned and smiled at her as they crawled into bed.

"Honey, did you get her a new mouse?" Tara asked as a thump followed by a squeak sounded in the dorm room. "I could swear that's fresh catnip."

"I thought you did," Willow said sleepily.

"Nope," Tara said as she kissed Willow goodnight. There was a meow from the redhead's side of the bed. She reached down and picked up the kitten and her toy.

"You can stay but you have to sleep," Willow said in her best stern manner. "And no magicking up new rubber mice."

Miss Kitty just purred until they were asleep. Then she stuffed her mouse between them and stretched herself out so she could touch both of them. She purred again briefly, closed her eyes and drifted off to dreams of fighting evil gloves and bringing home mice to her mommies.

 Post subject: A Saturday Morning
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 12:41 am 
A Saturday Morning

By Jixer

Spoilers: None.

Dedication: To the Seven and the Columbia

I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace

Where never Lark, or even Eagle flew -

And while with silent lifting mind, I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space,

Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

- John Gillespie Magee, Jr, 1922-1944


“No,” Willow Rosenberg said in a shocked voice as she watched the television in the dorm’s common room.

On the screen a haphazard fall of burning lights discolored the Texas sky. The news kept showing shocked people and the same trail of ruin in the sky. Then there were quick shots of smoke and people looking helplessly at scorched earth and hope.

“NO!” Willow growled angrily as she scrubbed away a tear.

Earlier this morning she had held Tara closely, knowing the glorious laziness of a Saturday morning with the woman who loves only you. The world had been perfect, a warm lover, a warm bed and a languid morning of lovemaking. She’d gone out to find Tara a muffin and tea to wake up to, and found this instead.

Willow stalked away. There was a glade near the campus that sloped toward the southeast. The smoke was long gone from the physical world but in her mind’s eye it still drifted and it would be a marker for her efforts. She arrived at the glade and used a touch of her power to find the place where death had snatched hope away. The touch was painful but she had the orientation and held it. She closed her eyes and spun away her power. She was almost there in moments. The effort drove her to her knees.

“Love,” a precious voice said brokenly in her mind. “Don’t.”

“I have to!” Willow snarled back. “This isn’t nine eleven. There’s just seven lives and an one orbiter. I can do it this time!”

“It’s on the edge of the spheres,” Tara said sadly. “It’s beyond even you.”

“NO!” Willow wailed even as her power ebbed. She knew Tara’s words were true. The boundless spheres of the earth, the sky and the stars were simply draining away every bit of magic she had or could ever muster. She could not touch the moment that echoed painfully. She slumped in exhaustion. Willow felt warm hands touch her soul and ease it back into her body. Then she opened her yes to see Tara kneeling beside her, hurriedly dressed and looking tired.

“You can always find me,” Willow said as tears flowed again. “Tara, please, help me. I have to do something!”

For a moment Tara just held her true desire and tried to give her strength. Tara tried to find words that could ease the pain of a heart more precious than her own. The California breeze carried the hint of the sea and growing things. Tara held Willow in her arms and took a deep breath.

“Oseh sholom bimromov,”* the blonde started, placing a hand over her eyes.

“Hu ya'aseh sholom olaynu,” Willow added as her voice joined Tara’s.

In the trees birds sang as the words of a prayer thousands of years old joined them.

*He who makes peace in his high holy places

May He bring peace upon us- From the Kaddish

 Post subject: Fic : It Might Have Been
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 11:42 pm 
originally posted by jixer

Title: It Might Have Been

Author: Jixer


Feedback: Please. Bouquets and brickbats welcome.

Distribution: Any free fanfiction site

Spoilers: Season 5

Rating: R

Pairing: W/T

Disclaimer: All characters of BtVS are owned by Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon. All I own are tattered books, the love of a good woman, and a few pots of tomato plants.

Summary: A generation is passing away, and with them their truimphs and regrets. Only the ghosts remain.

Willow grumbled as she unpacked her small suitcase. Tara was silent as she carefully placed an urn on desk in the small room. Willow went to the door of the small farmhouse turned bed and breakfast to find a tiny closet.

“Great,” the redhead muttered. “No bathroom in the room.”

“They did say it w-was rustic,” Tara said with a slight smile.

The smile faded as Willow turned away and started to unpack in silence. It had been unfair of Tara’s mother’s family to foist off this duty. Tara had admitted she had hardly known her great uncle. The only memory she had of him was a small man in the VA hospital. Now his ashes had dragged them to Europe. It was not the romantic Paris vacation they had been saving for, but a quick trip that would mean they wouldn’t be able to make the trip she had planned out for years. All because of an old fool’s request. He'd known Tara was the only one he could trust.

“Honey-” Tara started.

“What?” Willow snapped.

Tara looked away for a moment. Willow fumed. The fight about magic, taking care of Dawn, Anya’s slow recovery and Xander’s worry had worn her temper to the breaking point.

“Sorry, I’m tired,” Willow said crossly. “That cheap airfare should have said ‘shoebox seating only’.”

“W-w-why don’t you take a nap?” Tara said with a hint of worry in her voice. “I’ve got to take care of the paperwork.”

Willow sat on the bed and felt the uneven mattress. She sighed and nodded. Tara kissed her, and Willow made a half-hearted attempt to return the kiss. When she was alone the redhead slumped onto the bed and despite her misgivings fell into a troubled sleep.

“You shouldn’t let her go like that,” a contralto voice said with an accent that reminded her of Giles.

Willow sat up. The room was gray. The woman in her room was a pretty brunette with her hair done in a simple style popular decades ago. Willow’s eyes narrowed when she saw the woman was slightly transparent.

“You don’t know me, Ms. Ghost,” Willow snapped. “I’m not afraid of you. I’ve fight more evil than you ever faced.”

Willow blinked at the fire. A cottage was burning. A man in a gray uniform got off a shrieking girl. Two of his friends laughed and tossed the screaming teenager into the flames. The scene changed. Dozens of men and women hung from the telephone poles on the side of the road like obscene fruit. The flies were everywhere. Then the earth was frozen and the still forms of a family were being covered by snow, the heat of their bodies lost to the bullets that had taken their lives.

“In view of your heritage I won’t show you the memories from ’45,” the woman said quietly. “I’m Rita.”

“How?” Willow gasped in the gray room.

“I was a radio operator in the SOE,” Rita explained. “Special Operations Executive. We were sent in just before your lady’s relative came ashore.”

Willow saw the landing ramp fall and felt the water swirl over her head when she stepped off the ramp. She panicked and hurried ahead, gasping as the sand under her came up high enough to breathe. She looked back and saw a the last half of the platoon disappear in a evil rose of fire and flying steel. She shook her head and the gray room returned.

“Why are you here?” Willow asked softly.

Willow saw an image of Rita kissing a prettily plain girl in the little room she had just checked into. There were tears in both women’s eyes.

“That’s Marie Claire,” Rita whispered distantly.

Willow saw a parachute above her in the darkness as she drifted from the landing site. Marie Claire, frightened and panting from running after her met Rita and helped her with the billowing cloud of nylon. Willow smiled as the girl welcomed Rita to France in halting English. Then there were shots and shouts in the distance. The two women watch helplessly as men were shot in the dark on the side of a road. Willow knew the rest of Rita’s team, the ones she had trained with and had become friends with were dying in front of her and the woman could do nothing. The mission had to come first.

Then images flashed by, of fleeing and hiding, waiting and watching as the hacker recognized the Morse key on the radio Rita was tapping swiftly. At the window Marie Claire hung out her washing. The message stopped just as gray trucks barely came into view. Then it was night, and somehow Willow knew a week had passed. A man in a civilian suit held Marie Claire’s arm and pointed a small pistol at her forehead. Rita didn’t just move, she pounced with her dagger.

Willow remembered a flight of knives. She met the ghost’s eyes and nodded.

Now the image was of a small loft. Rita crying as she washed blood off her hands. Marie Claire touched Rita’s face. The feelings both women had been denying surfaced in the rush of emotion after the life and death struggle. They made love as air raid sirens screamed. In the morning the war came to the shores of France. The next day was frantic with activity, and the next night tender in it’s passing.

The image changed again. It was the little room in the bed and breakfast, with only a few changes. Rita was asleep on the bed. Next to her, stroking her hair, was Marie Claire. Then she smiled sadly at the sleeping Rita and Willow knew this woman was really beautiful. The pistols on the nightstand were the only jarring note.

“She asked me to stay,” Rita said looking at the scene with tears in her eyes. “I said no. Then we made love one last time.”

“Why did you say no?” Willow asked in a shocked voice.

“It wasn’t done!” Rita wailed. “She and I were the last of our families and, and women didn’t…not proper ones. That’s what I told myself.”

“You loved her,” Willow said in a stunned voice. “You fought for her. You’d been through all of that and…”

“I walked away,” Rita said flatly.

“Is that why you’re here?” Willow asked hesitantly.

“We ghosts aren’t tied to a place out of happiness usually,” Rita said dryly as Willow thought of Giles.

Then Rita looked into Willow’s eyes with an intense sadness. The woman started to fade as color seeped back into the room.

“Don’t make my mistake,” Rita said from a long way off. “Hold onto what you have, because it’s as real as what I left. Don’t lose her, girl. Never let her go.”

“Honey?” Tara said softly. “Baby, are you okay?”

Willow looked up at her lover through eyes blurred with tears. Her answer was a kiss that neither broke for a long time. Later Tara was catching her breath as the last waves of pleasure washed over her. She clung to Willow until she realized what she was doing. She started to move her hands because the redhead had snapped at her earlier about ‘being clingy’.

“Don’t, please,” Willow said with a smile. “I’m sorry. I forgot and I let things get all big and awful and I-I…you know I love you, don’t you?”

“I know,” Tara said softly. “Things have been, um, rough. Fighting evil can be that way, rough I mean.”

“Not an excuse,” Willow said shaking her head. “It’s not an excuse.”

“Okay,” Tara agreed in a confused tone.

“You know I love you and I want you, right?” Willow asked earnestly.

Tara heard the fear and worry in Willow’s voice. She looked into troubled green eyes and smiled. It started small and grew wider. Then it changed into the smile only Willow ever saw.

“I know,” Tara assured her. “And I love you.”

Then she proved it.


In a small cemetery near Greenwich a groundskeeper looked around. In the middle of the silent doldrums of a bright clear afternoon he could have sworn he heard a sigh. Then a soft breeze came up from the east and he turned back to his weeding as the birdsong swelled up again.

 Post subject: Fic: Saving Ten Dollars and Postage
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 11:58 pm 
Originally posted by jixer

Title: Saving Ten Dollars and Postage

Author: Jixer


Feedback: Please. Bouquets and brickbats welcome

Distribution: Any free fanfiction site

Spoilers: AU.

Rating: G. How’s that for a surprise?

Pairing: W/T

Disclaimer: All characters of BtVS are owned by Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon. All I own are tattered books, the love of a good woman, and a few pots of tomato plants.

Saving Ten Dollars And Postage

Rupert Giles was wondering again if he should have brought something despite the invitation when the door opened. Dawn grinned widely at him as she let him in.

“Cool!” Dawn said happily. “You’re just in time.”

He gave her a quick hug and was again reminded how much she’d grown since Joyce’s death. The teenager led him to the backyard. In her chatter she mentioned Kevin again and Giles made a note to check out the young man. As they entered the back the Englishman was pleasantly surprised to hear vintage Pink Floyd coming out of the boom box on the table. Xander waved from the portable grill and disappeared for a moment in the smoke.

“You made it,” Buffy said with the most relaxed smile he’d seen in months.

“Of course,” Giles replied with a half smile. “Now do I get to know what this is all about? Tara’s invitation was somewhat vague.”

“When they get back,” Anya said quickly. “They had to go a ways to get the pralines and cream ice cream.”

“Pralines and cream?” Giles asked hopefully.

“Your favorite,” Buffy answered. “Don’t look so surprised. I can pick up some things in six years.”

“They’re here!” Dawn squeaked as she ran to the car.

Giles walked over to the smoking grill. Xander reached down to cooler next to him and picked up a bottle of Guinness. The older man smiled at the cold water dripping off the bottle.

“I’m afraid this stint in California has quite corrupted me,” Giles sighed happily.

“Your terrible secret about liking cold Guinness is safe with me,” Xander said with a grin.

“What are those things?” Giles said pointing at the two pale hot dogs.

“Tofu dogs,” Xander said with a shudder. "They're wrong."

“Unnatural things, indeed,” Giles agreed. "So why are you cooking them?"

“Tara likes them,” Xander sighed. “And since she and Willow organized most of this, even with Buffy’s help, I’m trying to get them cooked right.”

“Just what is this?” Giles asked off handedly.

“Did we miss anything?” Tara asked as she and Willow walked up to the grill. “Ooh, they look perfect!”

“If you say so,” Xander said with a shake of his head.

“What have you two been getting them up to?” Giles asked pointedly.

“Here,” Tara said as the backyard grew quiet.

All of the Scoobies gathered around as Tara and Willow handed Giles a small glittery bag. Giles opened the bag and saw a half dozen card sized envelopes in pastel colors. He pulled one out and looked at it.

“Open it!” Dawn and Anya said impatiently.

“That’s mine,” Buffy whispered.

Giles opened the envelope and pulled out a card that had never seen the inside of a Hallmark shop. He read the message and looked at the Slayer. There were no words as they embraced. Willow and Tara found each other’s hands and smiled as both Giles and Buffy parted wiping their eyes. The card in his hand fell to the ground and showed the simple hand lettered message for Giles that would be repeated in all the other home-made cards in some way or another:

Happy Father’s Day.

 Post subject: Re: Fic: Saving Ten Dollars and Postage
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 6:50 am 
What a wonderful collection of short fics, Jixer. You capture the girls and Miss Kitty so well. I love how Miss Kitty finds such comfort from being around the girls, and I love the way you describe her little kitty adventures. Too cute!

And the W/T moments were so sweet – at the hospital, at the glade, and in the farmhouse. No matter what challenges the world throws at them, they always find their way back to each other.

Thanks so much for posting these. :)

 Post subject: Re: Fic: Saving Ten Dollars and Postage
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 8:28 pm 
Hello Kittens-

Thank you Scout. W/T and MKF are wonderful seeds to grow a story from, and I have to say thank you for your lovely one panel stories. I bookmarked the Gallery!


 Post subject: Re: Fic: Saving Ten Dollars and Postage
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 2:06 pm 
Thank you, Jixer. I always appreciate your kind feedback when I post a toon. I need to get going and put up a new one soon. :kitty


 Post subject: Bedtime Story
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2003 12:43 pm 
itle: Bedtime Story

Author: Jixer


Feedback: Please. Bouquets and brickbats welcome.

Distribution: Any free fanfiction site

Spoilers: Not Really for Buffy. There are mild spoilers for the book The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig

Rating: G

Pairing: W/T

Disclaimer: All characters of BtVS are owned by Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon. All I own are tattered books, the love of a good woman, and a few pots of tomato plants.

Note: I know I said no other stories until I wrap up Lost Pages but there was this Kitten with a cough…

WARNINGS: None. Yes, it really is me.

Bedtime Story

Sarah Rosenberg stared at the two neat rows of her books in the bookcase in her room. Her sister's books were just in a jumble on the lowest shelf. Sarah had eaten a good dinner, helped Mommy with Rebecca, and done her chores. Now came story time, but she wanted it to be something ‘Becca would like too. Being both six and the big sister weren’t always easy. Her thoughtful frown turned into a smile as she selected her book for the night, the book Aunt Anya gave her two years ago when she was little.


They were nuzzling in the food place. That was good. The youngest kitten no longer had the sick scent about her but she was tired. Miss Kitty strolled to the recliner where the young one watched the flickering box. She leaped into the chair gracefully and refused to think about how much higher that leap seemed these days. The kitten pulled her close and sighed.


Miss Kitty always felt nice. She listened to the stories about dinosaurs too. So did Moe, but he never got up on the furniture.


“Are you sure it’s okay?” Tara asked with a touch of concern.

“Might as well use the sick days now,” Willow said with a grimace. “Besides, Rebecca can go back to day care tomorrow. Cutbacks are definitely coming next month. Who knew Art History would be such a moneymaker?

“ Are you sure you can stand to live with somebody in marketing?” Tara asked with wide eyes.

“Yeah,” Willow sighed theatrically. “But do you have to be so good at drawing those lingerie ads. What if one of those models gets all frisky?”

“I’ll drive them off with baby pictures,” Tara smiled. “If that doesn’t work I’ll tell them I’ll tell them about all the juicebox holders in my minivan.”


Sarah hurried into the living room holding her book. Her sister was on the big chair with Miss Kitty. The dinosaur video was nearly over because the stegosaurus eggs had just hatched. Mommy and Momma were coming out of the kitchen and they were smiling. She held up her selection.

“I’d like this story tonight, please,” she asked.

“Pig book!” Rebecca called out happily from the recliner.

Momma smiled and sat on the couch. Mommy stopped at the recliner where ‘Becca was holding up her arms like a baby. Miss Kitty stretched and yawned. Sarah climbed into Momma’s lap and opened the book. On the carpet near the door Moe suddenly whined in his sleep and wriggled. Sarah watched as Miss Kitty walked over and purred as she licked his ear. The dog stopped whining and let out a big breath.


Men and the stick and hurting and cold and rocks and no pack and cages

Warmth. Comfort. Safety. Moe knew all three in a single moment.

The old female and the alpha females and the pups and the tennis ball in the sunshine…


Tara moved to the side very slightly as Miss Kitty wedged herself between Willow and Tara. Rebecca ran her foot down the cat’s back. Miss Kitty licked the foot which made ‘Becca pull her foot back and squeal.

“Kitty kisses tickle!” she said with a broad grin.

“Let’s settle down for the story,” Willow said gently. “Then it’s bedtime.”

Rebecca wriggled in Willow’s grasp and frowned at her.

“I’m not…sleepy,” she insisted even as she yawned widely.

Tara felt Sarah shift impatiently on her lap. First she brushed an errant auburn lock of hair away from Sarah’s blue-green eyes. Then she picked up the book and held it so both girls could see it.

“The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig,” Tara intoned carefully for some rituals are more sacred than others. “Illustrated by Helen Oxenbuy. Written By Eugene Trivizas.”


Miss Kitty listened. She recognized the story and knew the kittens would be loud soon. She relaxed and her eyes became slits as she waited and wondered.

“They didn’t call him big and bad for nothing!” rang out as all four voices became one. Even the dog started and woke up. He wagged his tail and flopped back over when he saw all of them together.

Miss Kitty relaxed a bit. The youngest kitten was in full voice. She would be all right.


“…he danced the tarantella.” Tara said trying to keep the hope out of her voice as she glanced at the youngest child.

Sarah got up quickly as Rebecca seemed to launch out of Willow’s grasp. Sara twirled with her arm up as the pig in the book did. Her little sister just circled and squealed out “Pig dance!” Moe joined in, chasing his tail and barking happily. Then the girls climbed back into their respective laps. They really didn’t notice the relieved smiles on their mothers’ faces.

A few moments later the book was finished. It and the girls were carried down the hall to the girls’ room. There were very mild protests, water requested, teeth brushed and prayers said. Then the girls were tucked in. The door to their bathroom was left open because Miss Kitty came in and curled up on Rebecca’s bed. On the calendar above her desk there was a kitty stamp marking the days Sarah needed to check on the automatic litterbox.

“You picked the perfect book, darling,” Momma said as she tucked her in.

“You’re the best big sister ever,” Mommy said as she kissed her.

Then they left and closed the door. A few moments later there was a thump and the jingle of a collar with tags as Moe lay down in front of their door for the night. Sarah looked over at her sister’s bed in the light of the nightlight (which was for Rebecca because she was little Sarah firmly believed). Miss Kitty’s eyes were slits as she touched the sleeping child with a paw and started to purr.


Miss Kitty Fantastico started her own story as she settled in to sleep.

You are safe and loved and I am here, kitten, she said in tones older than words. Go to sleep. All is well.


Sometime in the night a noise woke Sarah. She looked about with wide eyes. Miss Kitty lashed her tail. Moe whined in front of their door. Then the cat growled. A second later the dog growled too, tentatively at first and then louder. There was another noise outside. Sarah got up and looked out the window. A fat raccoon waddled towards Momma’s garden. Miss Kitty yowled. Then, for the first time she could remember, Moe barked. Sarah saw the raccoon scramble across the driveway to Mr. Howards’ backyard instead.

Sarah sat in the dark and thought for a moment. Something important had happened, she was sure of that. A moment later she turned on her Dinosaur Explorer flashlight. She took out a large pad of paper and started to write.

The Wise Old Cat and the Fraidy Dog by Sarah Rosenberg she wrote in the best penmanship in the entire first grade.

Once upon a time there were two mommies and a big sister and a little sister who lived in a house with a tree in the front yard and with a wise old cat and dog was afraid of everything…


Time passes. That’s its job. It’s humans who don’t understand why children just suddenly seem to be handing you their own babies and calling you “grandma”. It’s always a surprise when Dawn tells you she’s stuck on a diet or Faith complains the gears on her Harley are making her knee act up and it’s not fun anymore anyway what with the sidecar and everything. Buffy’s not supposed to start aikido and tai chi because of her hip, Anya’s not supposed to have streaks of white hair and Xander’s not supposed to be leaning on a cane when the weather shifts. Giles’ selectively failing hearing aids at least somehow seem familiar, but the wheelchair shouldn’t be able to hold him.

Then there are the shorter lives. A black cat with white markings becomes two white cats with black markings and a young ginger tabby with half a tail. The skinny male Shepard mix becomes a large brown dog with a muzzle that turns more gray each year. Each of them from the pound and each with their own story…


Ruth squirmed as Tara lifted the second book of the evening into position and fiddled with her glasses.

“Momma’s book!” Rupert squealed happily in Willow’s lap.

Ruth touched the black and white cat on the cover next to the dog with the frightened look.

“Miss Kitty Fantastico,” she said softly. “And Moe.”

“That’s right, honey,” Tara said with a smile. “The Wise Old Cat and the Fraidy Dog. Illustrated by Tara Rosenberg. Written by Sarah Rosenberg-Whyte. Once upon a time there were two mommies and an older sister and a younger sister who lived in a house…”


The old dog listened to the reassuring noise the alpha female was making. The youngest and smallest of the cats settled next to her. The old dog nudged the young orange cat with her nose and gave her a very gentle lick for good measure. The cat started to purr because it felt safe and good and warm here. The dog’s tail wagged. In a moment the alphas and the pups would all bark and she would join in. It felt so good to have a pack again.


The ginger tabby didn't even open her eyes when the tall ones and the dog barked. It always happened when her mothers stared at that thing and made the almost purrs to the visiting kittens. It was part of being home.

She just relaxed a bit more and went to sleep.


The End

Edited by: jixer at: 7/22/03 12:47 pm

 Post subject: Re: Bedtime Story
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2003 4:25 pm 
That was wonderful ,and my cough has vanished. I love that there are always animals in your stories ,since Tara strikes me as a big animal lover and Willow probably never got to have anything but fish when growing up.Doesn't it make so much more narrative sense to see them happy and wise than how they ended up on the show? Thanks again.

 Post subject: Re: Bedtime Story
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2003 4:51 pm 
Jixer, thank you for this beautiful story. No big dramatic adventure, just the day-to-day heroism of lives lived. I enjoyed the point of view switching back and forth between the children and the animals.

You are so right with the surprises passing time gives us. It's strange to look in the mirror and see grey hair, to feel the aches and pains of advancing middle age. And to be called "Grandpa"!

Your picture of the aging Scoobies was sad (seeing them succumb to the ravages of time), and yet at the same time there was gladness that they had had those years to live. Giles in his wheelchair particularly struck close to home. It's hard to see those who once cared for us now needing to be cared for.

Also, it's nice to see your short works together in one place.

May your tomatoes always be abundant.


 Post subject: Re: Bedtime Story
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2003 11:51 pm 
Oi, I think hormones turned up the major sap in me, 'cause I couldn't stop crying through the whole thing. *sniffles* It was just so beautiful and special, and it made my heart happy to see Willow and Tara having such a good life with children and then grandchildren and everything. The whole nightly storytelling ritual was priceless, with all of them snuggled together and having a nice family moment. So adorable. :love And Miss Kitty's all protective of the whole household, including Moe the cute doggy, and I loved that. I had to go get more tissues when you described how Miss Kitty purred to Moe and helped make him feel safe when he was having his bad dream.

Wonderful story. I'm gonna go find my fuzzy stuffed animal and go have a cuddle for awhile. :D


 Post subject: Re: Bedtime Story
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 3:23 pm 
Hello Kittens-

Sorry it took me a while to get to the feedback. I've got to find a way around the whole work-for-a-living thing. It's cutting into my wife and fanfic time. Silly reality.

gspiggott- Glad to hear about the cough :) . In NMR Willow described herself as a dog person but not death to cats. I know the actors have animals and Aly thinks getting a pet from the pound is the way to go (Parade magazine). So, as in the series, the actors bring more to the story. It's also every couple I know of any flavor (except oddly enough us-for now) has animals ranging from rescued greyhounds and pound cats to a purebred Rottweiller who is sure that 120 pounds is the perfect size for a lap dog that lets children stand on his head.

And there is absolutely no question the narrative flow is so much more resounding in Pens.

russ- Perhaps it's a function of finally growing up but courage has so many more nuances now. For W/T especially children are an act of faith, hope and love. Taking in the animals feels right for them. Part of what I'm doing, besides being a big sucker for MKF, is showing the results of those acts through the eyes of those most affected.

As I was plotting out the end of Lost Pages it struck me how I now had a responsibility to show the rest of the story. 'And they lived happily ever after' wasn't going to cut it. Here I just touch on a future where things went the way I thought they should. I can see Buffy bringing Giles over to to enjoy a day in the garden with all the children his guidence gave them a chance to have, and Xander building the ramp to make the way easier. I very much can see the color-coded chart for Tara's medications and Willow watching her like a hawk until all of them are gone.

However I am going to gloss over where I got the image of the rebel Faith finally admitting rowing through the gears just wasn't fun anymore.

Thank you for your words.

SuperMandy13- Thank you! It's gratifying to know I created a cuddle the stuffed animal moment. :) Now that I'm on the reading end of the bedtime stories I'm remembering how important they were for me. As for MKF I think it's only fair she get to grow as a character as well.

Thanks to everyone for their kind words and time spared for my story.


Edited by: jixer at: 7/24/03 3:31 pm

 Post subject: Seventh Inning Stretch
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 5:38 pm 

Title: Seventh Inning Stretch

Author: Jixer


Feedback: Please. Bouquets and brickbats welcome

Distribution: Any free fanfiction site

Spoilers: None. Boy howdy is this one AU.

Rating: G.

Pairing: W/T

Disclaimer: All characters of BtVS are owned by Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon. If they were mine I’d have more than a bunch of tattered books and a woebegone Cubs away cap.

Summary: It’s the long hoped for next year…

Seventh Inning Stretch

By Jixer

"Take me out to the ball game,

Take me out with the crowd.

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,

I don't care if I never get back,

Let me root, root, root for the Cu-bbies,

If they don't win it's a shame.

For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,

At the old ball game."

Harry Carey’s version of Take Me Out To The Ball Game

The last notes were swallowed in cheers. Tara looked over at Anya making rotating motions with her watch. Tara held up a hand and splayed her fingers. Anya rolled her eyes. Tara turned her attention back to the announcers in the WGN radio booth. Outside the fans were still roaring happily.

“Who would have believed this?” the announcer said in a buoyant voice.

“My partner!” Tara laughed. “Even after the Tigers had the perfect game in game three.”

“Then she is the real story behind ‘I Want a Cub Fan’?” the color man said smiling.

“Oh yeah!” Tara beamed.

Xander moved the camcorder and got a shot of Willow and the statistician who had been following the Cubs all season poring over notes and generally acting like a child in a toy store.

“How did a couple of nice girls from Dodgers country become Cubs fans?” the announcer asked.

“We couldn’t get Dodgers games on cable where we staying,” Tara laughed. “Willow got hit by a kid on a scooter of all things and was sitting around our tiny little place with nothing but basic cable and a dial up modem while I was working on the first album.”

“That was 2002?” the color man asked.

“Yes,” Tara nodded.

“So the Cubs and WGN the caught another one?” the announcer asked. “That was some catch considering the year we had in 2002.”

“It was the statistics and the history,” Tara replied. “I loved this park. I’ve got to say it’s even prettier with the Series in it.”

Suddenly Tara looked up at the crack of a bat. She watched the white sphere just stay fair and land in the infamous ivy just where it was starting to turn russet in the fall.

“Ground rule double!” she shouted happily as she leapt to her feet. “Go ivy!” Below her Willow hugged the statistician and then bent over her self-made enhanced Cubs program.

“Okay, you’ve got to stay in the booth if you can make Carlos hit like that,” the color man said chuckling.

“I’ve got to get back down to my kids,” Tara said with a sigh.

“How much did the concert last night make for the Make a Wish Foundation?” the announcer asked.

“With the donations we’ll clear over a million,” Tara said happily. “This city has been so good for us.”

“So while the Tigers bring up their newest left hander out of the bull pen to face the top of the Cubs batting order,” the announcer said. “Tell us how the most popular song in Chicago came to be.”

“We were on the road in Vancouver last year,” Tara explained. “Our flight was delayed and Willow was glued to the screen right up to the last out. The bar was full of Yankee fans, but there was this one big older guy who walked over to Willow who had her Cubs hat on and he shook her hand. He said ‘Next year is the Cubs year’ and I knew there was a song in there.”

“Not just a song but the number one song in the country for the last three weeks,” the color man said smugly.

“Somebody’s been reading Variety,” the announcer laughed.

“I know it’s hard for you to believe but there is more to life than the Sporting News,” his partner replied with a superior air.

“Wasn’t it kind of soon for a second album?” the announcer asked.

“We had some good feedback with the first one,” Tara explained. “The mix of standards and jazz sold pretty well and this time I added a couple of my own songs. It felt like I was ready for the second album.”

“Well thanks for the best Seventh Inning Stretch this year, and maybe of all time,” the color man said. “Before you go, what was the best part of this baseball year?”

“Oh, my!” Tara sighed. “The Dodgers and the Giants in it up until the very end and then the Dodgers getting the wildcard and playing the Giants again. Then there’s Seattle and the Sox and Ichiro’s catch, and of course the Tigers huge comeback this year and that wonderful series with the Yankees, and the way Atlanta came back from six games back for their shot but…”

She looked out at the first pitch to the top of the order of the Cubs become a foul ball. In the stands a man leapt for the ball and caught it as other fans clapped and roared their approval. He handed it to his little girl who held it like a holy relic. Tara felt Willow’s hand on hers.

“I’m here with my Cub fan, it’s the bottom the seventh in the last game of the Series at Wrigley, the Cubs are up by two but the Tigers have come back all year and there isn’t a cloud in the sky,” Tara said easily. “This is the best part of the year.”

Then there was the deep, satisfying sound that went beyond a crack and Tara felt Willow’s hand tighten on hers as they watched the ball arc into the night.

 Post subject: Re: Seventh Inning Stretch
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 7:03 pm 
That was so sweet Jixer. I always admire dedication and love of anything and baseball is no exception. Sorry about the cubs *big hug for jixer*

- - - - - - - - - - -
"Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose."

-Me & Bobby

 Post subject: Re: Seventh Inning Stretch
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 10:55 pm 
Hello Kittens-

Where did 'I Want A Cub Fan' come from? Years ago I caught a bit from Elayne Boosler who recommended for anyone looking for a commited partner to consider a Cub fan-"Put out once every ninety years and they stay loyal no matter what". Unfortuantely time has passed,(95 years and counting) but Cub fans are still here. I thought it would appeal to Tara.

xita-Thank you for the big hug. :) Oh well, now there's more time for writing!

Thanks all,


Edited by: jixer at: 12/12/03 12:30 am

 Post subject: Following Up On The Words
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 1:33 am 

Title: Following Up On The Words

Author: Jixer


Feedback: Please. Bouquets and brickbats welcome

Distribution: Any free fanfiction site

Spoilers: None.

Rating: PG.

Pairing: W/T

Disclaimer: All characters of BtVS are owned by Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon. If they were mine I’d have more than a couple of empty tissue boxes.

Dedicated to all the Kittens who have or will have the flu this year.

Following Up On The Words

Willow Rosenberg stood up and steadied herself. She had to be quiet to get past the guard. Slowly the redhead moved forward. Then at the base of her chest she felt a cough begin. She struggled against it with all her will.

A frog in the throat, Willow thought darkly. How horribly appropriate.

Then her traitorous lungs gave in to the spasm and she coughed and rocked slightly. She put out her hand to steady herself and winced as the little hand bell fell to the floor.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Anya asked with a frown as she opened the door and hurried into the room.

“Going to the bathroom,” Willow snapped raggedly. “By myself.”

Then Anya did something she hadn’t for the last two days. She glared at Willow but stepped back. Willow squared her shoulders and took a step. Then Anya took her arm, which was a good thing since the floor wasn’t quite where Willow had thought it was. Anya called for Xander.

“Stupid carpet,” Willow said with a pout.

“What happened?” Xander asked as he came in.

“She’s trying to get to the bathroom alone,” Anya explained. “Honestly, both of you are getting your flu shots early next year.”

“I hate shots,” Willow muttered.

“And you love these escorted trips?” Anya asked pointedly. “At least you’re better than Xander.”

“Huh?” Willow said quizzically.

“I was about as sick, but more whiny,” Xander explained as he slipped his arm around her for support.

“Husbands are fragile things,” Anya said with a smirk.

“You didn’t ring,” Tara said as she came up the stairs.

“Sorry,” Willow mumbled. “I didn’t want to be a bother.” Just then Willow’s stomach gave a weak rumble as she caught a scent from downstairs. “I think I might be hungry.”

“I’ll take her,” Tara said easing into Xander’s place.

“I’ll tell Giles to bring up something,” Xander said.

“Two somethings,” Anya insisted looking at Tara.

“I didn’t mean to skip lunch,” Tara said with a guilty look. “Dawn just took a bit more time than I thought.”

“And Buffy pushed herself too soon,” Anya finished with a sigh. “You have her?”

“I’m fine,” Willow insisted just before another cough escaped.

“And now you’re clammy,” Tara said feeling Willow’s forehead. “I’ve got her, Anya.”

Tara closed the bathroom door and then helped Willow to the toilet. The redhead sighed.

“Whoever recommended resting in bed and drinking plenty of fluids must have sold catheters,” Willow complained.

“No doubt a conspiracy by Johnson and Johnson,” Tara said nodding.

“Are Buffy and Dawn as much trouble?” Willow asked.

“I have to claim patient confidentiality,” Tara said gently.

Which means one or both of them were worse and probably very messy, Willow thought to herself. But we’ll never hear it from you, love.

Willow scrunched up her face when Tara put the electronic thermometer in her ear. The blue eyes seemed a bit less worried when they read the numbers. Then Tara put her hand on Willow’s forehead again.

“I think the fever’s finally broken,” Tara said with relief.

“And the weakness and the headache and the all over ouchy feelings are going to go away?” Willow asked hopefully.

“In a bit,” Tara said with a bit of evasion.

“I want to get clean,” Willow said in a small voice.

“I don’t think you’re quite up to a shower,” Tara said. Willow seemed to wilt. “But let me see what I can do.”

Willow let Tara take off her pajamas. The touch of the warm washcloth made the redhead sigh with pleasure and relief. Then Tara wrapped her up in a couple of towels and then draped Willow over the tub to wash her hair. As Willow looked into the mirror Tara toweled and finally used the blow dryer. Then Tara draped herself over Willow’s shoulder and looked into the mirror.

“You’re so sexy with long hair,” Tara said softly.

“You’d think I was sexy bald and painted blue,” Willow teased.

“I like blue,” Tara laughed.

There was a knock at the door and when Tara opened it Anya handed in a freshly washed set of sweats.

“Fresh fleecy goodness,” Anya said with a shrug.

“Thanks,” Tara said, filling the word to the brim.

“Is she better?” Anya asked softly. Tara nodded. Anya looked past Tara and scowled. “Early flu shot. Mark it down.”

“I will,” Willow said reluctantly.

“Do you need help getting her back to bed?” Anya asked Tara.

“We’ll be fine,” Tara insisted.

“Good,” Anya nodded. “Buffy and Dawn want to watch a movie. Joining us?”

Tara looked at Willow who yawned widely and then blinked owlishly.

“Maybe later,” Tara answered.

“Darn,” Anya pouted. “I was hoping for another pair of votes for ‘Lilo and Stitch’ first.”

It only took a few minutes to get Willow back to their room. Tara had just gotten Willow back into bed when there was a knock on the door. A moment later Giles walked in with a tray. On the tray a brace of bowls steamed and a pair of rolls nestled in a napkin. Between his legs a black and white streak appeared. Miss Kitty leapt onto the bed.

“I will expect two empty bowls,” Giles said firmly. “And this is not cat food. My grandmother’s recipe for chicken soup is far too rich for her.”

“Did you make Dawn all better?” Willow asked as she rubbed Miss Kitty’s ears.

Miss Kitty sniffed Willow and placed a paw on her hand. Then she licked Willow’s hand industriously.

“I’d say she knows you’re the last one still mostly sick,” Giles said. “Rather remarkable. Now eat, both of you.”

Giles left and Miss Kitty only got the slimmest portions of chicken meat. After they were done. Tara set the dishes on the tray and put them all on the chair next to the door. She sat on the bed next to Willow and leaned into the redhead. Miss Kitty curled into a cats only position on the other side of Willow and purred in her sleep.

“You didn’t have to do this,” Willow said softly.

“Yes I do,” Tara said as she reached for Willow’s left hand with her own. On their fingers identical rings gleamed. “There was official documentation, and fees paid, and then there was this little ceremony with our friends and your parents and vows in front of them and everything holy. Something about in sickness and in health.”

“Richer and poorer too,” Willow added. “We covered half of each with a grad student catching the flu. Can we go on to richer and in health now?”

“I’m already rich,” Tara said with a lop-sided smile. “I’ve got the best wife in the world.”

“Me too,” Willow said nuzzling Tara’s cheek. Then Tara felt her spouse yawn.

“Go to sleep,” Tara said softly. “I’ll stay with you.”

Tara watched Willow breathe a couple of times and knew Willow was asleep. Tara kicked off her shoes and leaned back. After a few minutes it was clear Willow was breathing regularly and wasn’t spiking another temp. Tara relaxed a little and shut her eyes for just a few minutes. She didn’t stir when Anya pulled the throw over her.

Any picked up the tray and opened the door. She didn’t close it all the way, just in case. She took the tray downstairs to the kitchen and then went into the living room. Giles had a bundled Summers on either side of him. Both girls were eating popcorn out a bowl on his lap and bickering just a bit. Xander stood up from the DVD player.

“What are we watching?” Anya asked.

“A movie with a chainsaw scene and Elvis music,” Dawn grinned.

“Cool!” Anya said.

“Willow and Tara,” Buffy started before a yawn interrupted her.

“Are they all right?” Dawn finished.

“They’ll be fine,” Anya said surely.

“You guys didn’t have to do all this,” Buffy said softly.

“It’s what families do,” Anya said with a shrug as she slipped the remote out of Xander’s hand. “Let’s skip the FBI warning.”


 Post subject: Re: Following Up On The Words
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 2:04 am 
Blessed with a jixer short story before heading to bed. Yay!

This was great, especially given the news stories getting worse and worse by day. You've integrated W/T into it nicely, and even made Anya very nice. I like that.

“I’m already rich,” Tara said with a lop-sided smile. “I’ve got the best wife in the world.”

Need you say more? Thanks for sharing.



When innocence is shattered
... madness is inevitable

 Post subject: Re: Following Up On The Words
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 2:26 pm 
Before I forget, like always, I just wanted to drop a little note to say how much I love the update and all the other short stories. You always write such amazing fics, and I love how you write Willow, Tara, and all the other Scoobies. Oi, and I hope you didn't get sick like Willow and the others in your last update. That sounds really bad. I'm definitely grateful that my mom forced me to go get my flue shot.


 Post subject: Re: Following Up On The Words
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 5:36 pm 
Hello Kittens-

Feedback helps what ails you. I’m actually feeling cognizant enough to write again and respond to Kittens.

tiredsoul- I like Anya, especially interacting with Tara. I’m still shaking my head that two people who love each other can’t marry but two people in it for the money and publicity have no problems. It’s a silly world.

SuperMandy13- I’m glad you like my versions of W and T and their supporting cast. I’ve come to love writing as much as reading. My recent ickiness wasn’t really bad. Willow’s symptoms are based on a friends’ recent bout with the virus. I would have been back sooner if I hadn’t been trying to use my sick days to clean up the apartment.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and read the stories.


 Post subject: Re: Following Up On The Words
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2003 2:38 am 
As a kitten with a current and horrendous case of the flu.... thank you ...

I shall now stumble back to my bed... where I can only wish I had such a wonderful caretaker (or family of caretakers) as your lovely story...



"Promise me you'll never be linear." "On my trout."

 Post subject: Re: Following Up On The Words
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2003 10:45 pm 
With care like that, we'd all want to get sick. Beautiful, thanks!

- - - - - - - - - - -
"Hard work often pays off after time but laziness always pays off now!"

 Post subject: Re: Following Up On The Words
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2003 3:01 pm 
Hello Kittens-

I've escaped from cleaning the kitchen to deal with Kitten feedback. Talk about from the ridiculous (especially if anyone's ever seen my kitchen) to the sublime.

DarkWiccan-You have my heartfelt sympathy. May your flu pass quickly, and may there be a wonderful caretaker in your future.

Oh, and though it does seem evil, really do drink plenty of clear fluids.

xita- I don't know about being sick for the kind of caring Willow gets here. It cuts into quality "sharing" of other kinds :)

Get your flu shots, take your vitamins and take care of yourself Kittens.


 Post subject: My Claws Are Quick
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 8:46 pm 

Title: My Claws Are Quick


Feedback: Please. Don’t make me beg.

Distribution: Any free fanfiction site, just tell me.

Spoilers: Season Six

Rating: R (just in case)

Pairing: W/T

Disclaimer: All characters of BtVS are owned by Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon. If they were mine I’d have more than a bunch of tattered books and there would be a W/T spin off.

Summary: It was a dark night in a city that knew how to keep its secrets. On the streets, prowling for truth comes our heroine

Note: Best read in a smoky bar with a jukebox playing ‘Harlem Nocturne’

My Claws Are Quick

The hot California sun beat down on my classic black and white ensemble. I felt my heart beat like a trip hammer in my chest. He’d be heeled, carrying a roscoe at the very least. All I had were the shivs I’d been born with. How does a girl get herself into a fix like this?

For me, it started with a blonde.

Doesn’t it always?

It could have gone a lot of different ways. My first real memory is my mother’s warmth in the backroom of Old Man Fredricks’ used bookstore. The old guy was a pushover and Mom had a soft job as a rodent control specialist. Never mind sometimes she had to go out and find a mouse to teach us how to hunt. All Fredricks knew was there were a lot of mouse carcasses. It was my first lesson in how the world works. Still, he was a nice old guy, always good for a few pats and a rub.

That was my second lesson. A girl can get quite a ways with a soft meow, a purr, and a flip of the tail.

I suppose if my brothers and sister had been a bit more friendly I wouldn’t have taken to sleeping on that box of used old mysteries. My sleeping spot had all the old classics: Chandler, Stout, Hammett, Spillane and dozen others, each with a hard eyed dame as soft as silk and a dark knight in a fedora with a forty-five on the cover. My sister camped out on the old romance novels and my brothers took over the old textbooks with their luxurious leather covers. Of course this was Sunnydale so the bottom boxes were all filled with old magic books. Not that that matters that much here. I’ve never met a cat in Sunnydale who wasn’t more than the humans ever see.

Everything was easy for a while. Then somebody started trying to break in at night. We hissed and yowled, and that worked for a while. Then one night three mugs that smelled wrong smashed the door in. Mom fluffed up and squalled while we ran. There was a bang and I ran faster. All of us hit the alley and hid. A few minutes later they came out with the boxes on the bottoms of our sleeping spots. Then we caught the scent of something harsh that made our noses wrinkle. One of the hoods figured he was a flame artist. He lit the Molotov off his cigarette and tossed into the backroom.

We hid in the alley that night. Even with the water from the fire departments lackluster effort soaking us we didn’t move. In the morning I hit the streets. I was twelve weeks old. For about a day I hung out with my sister. She’s black and white too, but doesn’t have my classic pattern. We found a “lost” fast food burger. I got about half a dozen bites before she swiped at my face.

“Hey!” I hissed. “Cool it! I don’t need a poke in the button.”

“Begone sister!” she yowled. “Truly, I am better off without thee!”

“Don’t be a bunny,” I pleaded. “We dames have gotta stick together.”

“Begone I say!”

She never did learn how to talk right. But she was bigger than me, so I ankled away, cool as a cucumber.

After that I played all the angles on the street, crashing wherever I could. I did it all: cute kitten, playful kitten, hungry kitten, you name it. Okay, the last one I didn’t have to play. My bellybutton and my spine were too familiar with each other. I admit sometimes when cute didn’t work and a soft meow failed I used quick and agile. Trouble is if everybody’s yelling and chasing, then you only get a bit of good stuff and a rep as a thief. Go back and you get a glassful of water on your fur for your pains. Finally I tried my mother’s lessons.

Trouble was the mice I found seemed to be as thin as I was, and some Bruno of a tom always seemed to be nearby after I did the dirty work. So much for honest labor. I started to hang around with a gang in Restaurant Alley until a pack of dogs moved in. Nothing like canine breath on your tail to ruin your day. Then I thought I hit the big time.

It was an easy meal. All I had to do was get in the trap, eel my small body around the trip lever and nip the loot without getting caught by the bulls. A lead pipe cinch if ever there was one. I managed to get the can of prime gnosh past the trip lever when the local tom tried to move in on my action. Problem with a trap is a lack of a back door. He was at the door of the cage with blood in his eye. I fuzzed and tried to warn him off. He gave me the eye and grinned to show me all his pretty choppers. I scrambled back.

You guessed it. I hit the trip plate and down came the door. It smashed into Mr. Teeth’s ugly pan and knocked one of his pearly whites into the dust. He slammed into the cage. I ate. A girl has to keep up her strength. Finally he got the clue he wasn’t going to do a box job with bare paws.

“Enjoy the meal, sweetheart,” he snarled with the hint of lisp where his tooth had been. “It’s your last one. You’re going to the big house. You’re going to ride the needle.”

I tried to get out of the cage after he left. It was no good. As cute as I was I couldn’t charm a trap. The flatfoot that picked me up didn’t charm either. He dumped me in the back of the paddy wagon next to a pit bull with a mad on. I stayed on the far side of my cage while Bingo went bonzo and tried to eat through my cage and his lock-up as well to get to me. It took two bulls with a pole to get him into solitary.

I tried the lost kitten look. It worked on the tech who did my paperwork but I didn’t get shown the door. Instead I got a pet or two and a cell with two other dolls. We sniffed and fluffed a bit, but they left me alone while I polished off the prison grub. Then I took a nap, or tried to. One cage over there was an old Tom yammering nearby. I thought he was just bumping his gums until I realized he had a singleton cell. He was off the track and he kept mumbling about being to old and he was sure to ride the needle to the big sleep.

I finally dozed a bit. I had a dream, a real corker. I was looking up at a cat statue, only this one has an earring of all things. Anyway, stone kitty blinks and asks me if I am worthy.

“Of course,” I reply with a flip of my tail.

Then I wake up and find the sob sisters hiding in the back of the cell.

“Look out,” one whispers. “There’s a witch out there.”

I listen but I don’t hear the old tom anymore. I don’t want to do life plus one in this box. I look at the witch.

She’s a witch all right. All the signs on her aura-What? You didn’t know cats read auras? Kitten play, friend. Just look a bit higher into the reds and kind of sideways. Of course, you do have to be a cat.

Anyway, I saw her. She was blonde with a kind face that had a tinge of sadness, like she’d been up against the ropes once or twice before. I could tell she wasn’t just shopping. She was one of those humans who really shouldn’t go to the pound. She wanted to take everything home. I should have known the soft-hearted ones can be trouble, but I was looking at the big sleep and I was too young and pretty for that. I put my paws on the cage and meowed at her. She looked closer at me with those baby blues and smiled. I knew I had her.

She had the screw open the cage. I put my tail up and ran to her. I marked her as mine. She picked me up and smiled. I have to admit she got me with that. Well, that smile and the behind the ear petting that was just perfect. I didn’t have to force a purr for her. She tucked me close and I could tell she knew cats. She filled out the paperwork and passed over the simoleons for my bail. We left the Sunnydale Pound and walked into the sunshine.

I found out my new meal ticket’s name was Tara Maclay. My new doss was her dorm room. I was a sneaky cat since the big shots at the egghead factory AKA the University of Sunnydale didn’t allow pets in the dorm beyond goldfish. Why anyone would outlaw cats in favor of swimming sashimi flips my lid. My other question was who I was going to share the blonde with because I was feeling kind of possessive about her, and no it wasn’t just the food. You should feel her belly rubs. I really didn’t those being wasted on some lazy human tom.

I was finding the critical things first, like the litter box and the food while Tara got on the blower to somebody. Anyway just about the time I’m getting the lay of the place a ginger babe shows up. They get kissy in a way that says they’re more than friends. Looks like I won’t have to worry about human toms. I’m thinking I’m on easy street until I see Red’s aura. She’s a witch too.

It turns out Willow Rosenberg may be a witch but she’s as soft a touch as my blonde. I purr, I play, heck, I yawn and these two gush. Talk about easy marks. Willow may not be an experienced cat person but I figured I could teach her what she needs to know. I knew I had it made.

I wait until they relax each other with some mutual grooming and I get out-never mind how, okay? A girl needs to prowl once in a while, see? Anyway I’m out and getting the place around the dorm down when I catch a scent. It’s the mugs from the bookstore. I fluff up but lay low, and they pass right by. I follow them without them noticing. If there’s one thing I learned on the streets it’s how to move in the shadows. Not that this lot is hard to track. Still, I’m careful. Payback is dangerous.

Right now you’re wondering what a kitten was going to do to those lugs. I can’t say I was using my brain at that moment. It was all red hot anger. Then I caught a scent I couldn’t believe, and I’ve scented some strange things in this burg. It was machine and man and demon all at once. My tail got positively bushy and I started to back out. Then I see something out of a nightmare look at me.

“You were followed,” he says pointing at me.

My retreat was efficient, not graceful. I fought every instinct and stayed out of trees. The hatchetmen gave up the chase pretty quick. I heard one of them complain it was just a cat so what was the big deal. Thank goodness for ignoramuses. I high tailed it back to the dorm room and jumped into the bed with my blonde and her ginger. They gushed sleepily and I’m very glad to have two witches on my flank tonight.

Things got confusing then. Something upset both girls, especially the ginger. I was still wigged by the three way horror. I tried to tell Tara about it but humans a so limited in some ways. Great with a can opener, but try to have a conversation with one. You might as well chin with a dog. Anyway she just holds me a lot and that’s almost as good. Finally Willow goes somewhere and Tara pulls out her witch stuff. She does something to ease Willow’s feelings and those of the Scoobies. I’m thinking it’s a silly thing to call someone (I mean come on, a cartoon dog ) when her eyes get orange and glowy. I’m about to skedaddle when the electric lightshow ends and Tara slumps. I approach her and sniff. She’s still my blonde. She pets me gently.

“It’s over, Miss Kitty,” she says tiredly. “They’ve won. Willow will be home soon.”

I play up the cute when Willow gets back. She and Tara talk and I find out they’ve bumped off the big scary guy. I nuzzle Willow and mark her as mine. I figured I owed her one.

That summer was a good one. Tara and Willow moved in together so I had two laps, the spells they were doing were the kind you didn’t need hard cover for, and I met the aforementioned Scoobies. The tiny blonde was a hard case. Buffy kept her guard up all the time. Anya was okay, and her tom was another soft touch. Everything was cool until one day this babe walks in with an aura that might as well as been neon. I stared at her the first minute I saw it. Her name was Dawn and she was Buffy’s sister. Right. And I’m Marie of Romania.

Thing was the witches never glommed onto that aura. Dawn was a cat person, of course. I spent the rest of that school year trying to find some buzz on the street about her. I heard about the crazy hell god and knew there was going to be trouble. I stayed extra careful and tried to keep my claws ready but when you’re up against somebody who can pull down a wall sometimes the best thing you can do is stay out of the way. Of course I couldn’t do that. Not after what Glory did to Tara.

I’ll never forget how lost she looked the day Willow brought her home. Even her scent was mixed up. I stayed close and used the special purr my mom used when we had bad dreams. It helped a little, but she was still chock full of nuts. I stayed close until the bitch god showed up and did some renovations on the dorm room. Things went to hell after that.

I amscrayed after Willow bundled Tara out the door. Red tried to find me but I figured I needed to be on the streets. It turns out I hadn’t lost my edge because I found the tower before the humans did. I played the alley cat angle. The crazies didn’t notice, but the bad smelling little demons with delusions of adequacy did. I saw them bring in Dawn but I couldn’t get to her. My plan was to jump one of them and cause a diversion. To bad the one I chose was the bad bitch herself. She let me know she wasn’t amused by tossing me across the street into an old building. Through the front window I might add. It was good night Miss Kitty after that.

When I came to the gang had arrived. I scampered across the street just in time to see one of those scabby minions pointing a crossbow at my witches’ backs. I explained to him his error with four paws full of very persuasive claws but I couldn’t bring myself to bite the chump. I didn’t have to since he made enough noise to draw attention to himself. I leapt off just before Xander turned around and hit him with a shovel. Dangerous places those construction sites.

After that things got tense. No one noticed one little cat especially since I didn’t want them to. What you don’t see you don’t try to hit. I saw Tara and Willow together and Tara’s scent told me she was better. When the dragon showed up I decided to let the heroes handle things. I missed the last of the fight, but not the old tom dealing with the other wounded human. Giles would make a good cat.

That summer was rough. After I showed up at the dorm doing the plucky cat con I found myself heading for new digs. My witches needed every purr, every lick, and every nuzzle I could give and Dawn needed more. It wasn’t easy, but I kept at it. Dawn had a lot of moxie but even so nearly every smile was a front. I could have done without the dead scented tom hanging around. I figured him for a four-flusher and I kept my eyes peeled around him but he minded his Ps and Qs. Things were just starting to get on an even keel when Buffy comes back.

Yeah, I know. I tried to stop them. You’d think that after the fourth time I shredded the spell parchment they might have caught a clue. I was especially disappointed in Tara. Willow I could almost give a pass on this one. Red had been burning the magic oil too long, too hard that summer. Anyway, it was done. A week later the skinny blonde gave me the bum’s rush.

I end up crashing at Willow’s old place. Sheila is a push over and Ira was a great sugar daddy. I got a fancy new collar and while it was a bit much on the sparklies it was nothing less than I deserved. I got worried though the first and last time Willow came by her parents’ pad. She looked bad, even thinner than usual. She petted me almost the entire time. Her aura, well let’s just say it was a mess. I caught a flare in there that wasn’t hers. That night I prowled. Then Sheila goes mother hen because her baby’s been in a car wreck. I stop prowling and start hunting.

It didn’t take me too long to find the source of the bad juju. Rack was a jumped up wizard with dreams of glory. Trouble was he was a good flimflam man. It was a pyramid scheme with magic, and my Red was his latest pigeon. I cased his joint and went in the dive’s back door because these places always have back door and guess what? Magic doors don’t keep out cats. I found Rack in full con with Rat Girl. She didn’t get any smarter with two legs. But since he was jawing with her he wasn’t watching his office. I sniffed out the bottle with Red’s scent and glommed onto it. I knocked over a dozen others to confuse the trail.

The whole place started jumping. Literally. Good thing I land on my feet. I take the bottle out and drop it on good old concrete just as Rack finally gets the place almost settled down. It does this Dali painting thing after Red’s bottle shatters. I hear later it straightened out near Cleveland, almost at Edgewater State Park. Just missed the shore by a couple hundred feet. Turns out Rack couldn’t swim. I’m glad I missed that little trip. I hate getting these classic togs wet. But at least I can cat paddle.

Next day I’m feeling good about myself when Tara drops by. She and Sheila don’t exactly say what they’re thinking about Willow and Tara ends up getting weepy. Then Sheila shows a ton of class and asks Tara to take me to her dorm “for a bit of a break”. Ira drives us over in one of those four-wheeled death traps. It gives Tara a good reason to hold onto me.

It wasn’t a good homecoming. Willow’s scent is everywhere. It’s faded, but still there. Tara’s only kind of better. She’s still carrying a torch the size of Texas for her ginger. A ‘friend’ of Tara’s stopped by a couple of times. I could tell she was on the prowl. I tried to shred her cuffs to let her know I was on to her. Then one night the doxy brings Tara home weaving and smelling of wine. My blonde is a lightweight, almost never touches the stuff. I figure dinner that night consisted mostly of vino and Tara’s too damn polite sometimes. I go ancient tiger on the broad and she kicks at me.

“Leave my cat alone!” she shouts and they squabble. The floozy leaves and I cuddle up to Tara. She gets busy with the water works. It goes on for a bit and she’s getting woozy.

“Oh goddess, will I ever get back with Willow?” she sobs.

Then she nods off hard. Her crystal ball flares up just as she drops off. I look at the images-yeah I know the message wasn’t for me, but there’s this curiosity thing, remember? Some freaks are getting caught for an armored car job. Big deal. After that its all my girls and it looks all right to me. Kisses, grooming, play, everything’s good. Then Tara’s shirt explodes. One of the gonifs tries to graduate to button man. He’s trotting off squirting lead after ventilating Buffy and he knocks off my blonde by sheer stupidity.

It took me the rest of the night to unfuzz.

I tried to tell Tara what the skinny was, but you know how that went. I hit the streets the second she left for class. I rattle every cage I can. I get dusty and that’s all. These bozos aren’t cat people. After a day going nowhere I cross the street. I talk to Günter.

Günter is Sunnydale’s top street dog. Part Rottweiller, part steel trap, all muscle. Good thing for me he’s not wrapped up in showing how tough he is. Tear a vampire’s head off and your rep is sort of made. Turns out he knows Tara. She’s petted him a couple of times. I know I’ve got him then. We do this low key. I’m not really asking for help, and he’s not helping a cat. Trouble is he doesn’t know these palookas either. Not dog people either it turns out. But he says there’s a bad scent out of an old house on the East side. Dogs who sniffed got a shock at the fence.

It’s not much of a clue but I take it. First I go back to the dorm and do the cute, supportive kitty bit. Tara flakes out quickly that night. I’m wired, but starting to fade. I find the house and start up the fence. I’m almost on the top when I wake up enough to look close. They’ve turned the top rail of the fence into an electric cure. I take the pointy top of the fence. There’s a space in the attic that’s a tight squeeze. I’m glad I kept my girlish figure. I slip downstairs and hit paydirt.

My quarry is staring at monitors. I study the terrain. I’m still studying when the board I’m on gives way. I land in the midst of them. I jump onto the table, knocking Mountain Dew cans everywhere. A couple of them are open and there’s a series of sharp pops and the scent of burning plastic. One of them, the future shooter, grabs a beaker and throws it at me. I dodge, thinking its water. Then the chair smokes. Now they’re yelling at each other. I pull a fade as fast as I can.

The shakes hit outside. They called him Warren. He’s a punk who’d use acid on a girl. Warren is a stone cold psycho. I’m up against it this time. I barely make it home and crash. Tara feels good under me and I drift off to dreamland. I don’t wake up until she comes back from classes smelling of coffee and Red. I realize I don’t have much time. She’s dizzy for Willow and I don’t blame her, but I’m trying to stop a killer.

I try to get back into the hideout later, but they’ve dusted and left nothing but some spring-loaded mechanical traps you’d have to be kind of stupid not to smell. Their trail dries up. Then I get a complication I don’t need.

“Sister?” a voice I used to know asks.

I looked at her. Problem with romance and sex is the afterwards. She was well onto afterwards. Her pregnant belly looked like it was going to pop out a battalion of kittens. It was the same old story. A couple met, sang their songs of love, there was a night of passion, and a few weeks later she’s in trouble.

I gave her directions to Sheila and Ira’s place, told her how to approach them, and knew she would get taken care of. It would be cool to be an aunt. I hoped I lived to see the kittens.

I kind of knew where the trio is going after the loot limo, but it’s on the edge of town. I don’t know when their job was going down. Tara is too happy and doesn’t go to sleep. She plays with me, talks to me and all I can do is hope she fades soon. Suddenly she looks up at nothing and closes her eyes.

“Miss Kitty, I have to go,” she says. She puts on the long coat. I try one last time to tell her what’s coming. She cuddles me and goes.

I’m out of the dorm and halfway across town when I hear this racket and see something streaking away in the night sky. I’m too late. There’s only one thing left to do. I stop at an oak tree and sharpen my claws. Then I head over to where Willow and Tara are making up hot and heavy. Any other time and their scent would mean I could look forward to a long period of warm sleeping. Now I pulled in my paws and dozed in the tree just above the Summers fence.

I woke up to a squirrel with bad manners and a death wish. I let him live. I had bigger squirrels to hunt today. I slipped onto the fence and hunkered down. The sun nearly put me to sleep. Buffy and the tom Xander start jaw jacking and I wake up. I catch the scent of leather and gun oil. My claws slip out and my heart starts a drum solo. I see him pulling the gat out of his pocket. My girls are upstairs, so I can’t let him raise it. I jump.

It’s perfect, even if I say so myself. He finds out five of my six ends are pointy. My attack makes him jerk the trigger and he burns powder at the ground. A rock explodes and I hear the bullet whine for a split second. Xander squeals. Sorry guy, ricochets are a bitch but better you than Tara. Warren fans his flipper for a second and then finally throws his arm out hard enough for me to meet Mr. Fence. I try to get up but my fancy collar catches. I know I can get it free in a second but I don’t have a tick of the clock. Warren swings the automatic my way.

Buffy hits him and the roscoe flips away. It’s a Glock, so I figure it won’t go off when it hits. I breathe and wriggle. I get the snazzy collar off the nail and watch the tiny blonde. I think it’s fair, after all a blonde got me into this. Trouble is Buffy’s a goody two shoes and doesn’t finish him. She just holds him off the ground and yells at him. She doesn’t see Warren flip his hand. A knife pops out in a brace.

An automatic wrist sheath is a movie prop or an amateur’s toy. No pro uses one. Trouble with amateurs is they don’t know those things don’t work in real life ninety nine times out of a hundred. This time the Slayer doesn’t see it. I glom onto his hand again and show him how a pro uses a shiv. Okay, shivs. He doesn’t like it and tries to cut both of us. He manages to scratch her badly and draws a red line on my paw. I lose my grip as he thrashes. Then he gets stupid and swings at me. I show him what cat quick means. Buffy pulls back and hits him in his arm. His flapper gets floppy as the bone breaks. Warren screeches but he stops when she slams him into the ground.

“Buffy!” Willow cries out as she runs up. “Are you all right? Xander’s shot in the leg and, oh my God you’re bleeding.”

“I’m okay,” Buffy says looking at the shallow cut.

I limp up and meow pitifully while I hold up my paw.

“You hurt my cat?!?” Willow yells. Then she grabs his leg and kicks through the uprights for the home team. Warren screeches, rolls over and loses his lunch.

“I’ll kill you all,” he mutters.

Then Tara is there, almost beautiful accept for the blood on her hand and the torn shirt.

“Willow, go help Xander with the compress,” she says calmly. “Let me see that cut, Buffy.”

Buffy rolls up her sleeve and I can see the cut has almost stopped bleeding. That’s a nice trick. Tara touches the cut with her clean hand. Then she looks at me and beckons me closer. I do the plucky but limping kitty bit. I hold up a paw and meow. She touches my cut and murmurs something. The pain stops and my little cut closes. Then she turns to Warren.

“By Dain Cecht, Bastet, and Athena and the blood of three you have this day unlawfully injured I curse you, Warren Meers,” Tara intoned so coldly it made my fur bristle. “You shall tell nothing but the truth.”

“Nasty one,” Buffy says.

“Fuck you,” Warren wheezes. “I’m smarter than all of you. I’ll get you.”

“What was that?” a new voice asks.

The Sunnydale harness bulls have shown up late as usual. I sit there and let the humans do their thing. Willow and Tara have no doubt I’m a plucky cat who was trying to find her mommies and saved the day. What can I say? I have them well trained. Buffy on the other hand gives me a look or three. Willow goes on about how I should stay here so they can check up on my cut. Buffy relents. The only fly in the ointment is they take me to the vet.

After that I’m back at the Summers place. Xander missed bleeding out by half an inch. Anya shows up with him later. Evidently they’ve been talking. Maybe things will work out. You can never tell with humans. Willow and Tara are happy and they’re working things out too, and not just in bed, or on the floor, or in the shower. I mean they’re talking. Dawn is still glowing and knows how to pet cats. The only stick was Buffy. Then one night things break.

Buffy’s talking to me, I guess that’s because I keep secrets well and God knows I don’t judge people. She tells me about her tom trouble. She’s fighting off the tears. I reach out and touch her cheek with my paw ever so gently. Then I lean forward and lick her nose once. I put my forehead to hers and rub as I start to purr. That starts the waterworks. I just let her hold me and purr. The kid needs it. No tom should do what hers did. After that she talks to Willow and Tara.

Things settled down a bit after that. Some magically enhanced rats tried to move into the basement. Big Tony, the number one rat, accidentally got his head caved in when a hammer fell off the shelf I was near. Crazy Louie, his number two and torpedo, said some unpleasant things. A wrench fell on him. The number three rat decided the gravity was too high in our basement and the rat pack took it on the lam. Smart rodents.

Eat them? Rat? Ewww! I sat nearby and looked on primly as Buffy got rid of the bodies.

A bit later we heard about the other rats. Jonathon turned stool pigeon and copped a plea. Andrew got cute and tried to rig the court computer. The court got cute and he’s doing a deuce at Folsom. Then there’s Warren.

Tara’s spell had him spouting off the truth in a town that likes to keep secrets. He got a change of venue to LA. There he told the complete truth about Sunnydale, vampires, demons, and the Slayer. They put Buffy on the stand. She told them about working in a fast food place and trying to raise her sister. The court didn’t convict him. He’s in the big scary nut house where the shrinks have had the pleasure of his company. They tried all their pretty pills and he’s still the same old Warren. They’ve decided the only way he can leave is in a pine box.

Closer to home my sister had her litter. Ira and Sheila are gooey over the babies. They’ll make wonderful grandparents some day. What’s that mean you ask?

Sorry, chums. A girl needs to keep some secrets.

 Post subject: Re: My Claws Are Quick
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 4:47 pm 
Hi Jixer. Can't believe I'm just getting around to reading this. Also can't believe there aren't at least 20 comments ahead of mine already.

This has to be one of the funniest things I've read. You do "hard-boiled" kitty hilariously well. (that sounds rather gross, like something you'd serve with gravnak.) I can hear this Bogey-speak in a cute little kitty voice.

At the same time, you once again redo the events of S6, from a unique perspective, and as always tell it much better than the original. Scary when I see how close it came, the bullet grazing Tara instead of killing her. Between Willow's "kicking through the uprights" and Tara's truth spell, Warren truly gets what he deserves.

Lots of touching stuff, too; especially the MKF/Buffy scene.

This is a great story, and I hope it gets the notice it deserves.


 Post subject: Re: My Claws Are Quick
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 2:51 pm 
Hello Kittens-

Thank you russ. I think I made a mistake putting it in the short fiction collection. It's kind of not big enough for it's own post but too big for the short fic collection. I need to point out Tara's blouse is torn and her hand is bloody from making a compress for Xander's wound in the best old movie tradition.

I tried to imagine MKF's voice over with Lauren Bacall's voice from her early stuff. Yes I know, Bogey and Bacall, ham and eggs, Willow and Tara. There are just some pairs that were meant to be. Sometimes they just need a nudge.

Thank you,


 Post subject: Re: My Claws Are Quick
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:13 pm 
Thanks for clarifying, Jixer. Warren did only get one shot away, didn't he? Guess I sort of panicked when I read "Tara, blood, torn blouse" in the same sentence.

Bacall is perfect as the voice of MKF in this story. Tough, yet sultry. And doesn't it always start with a blonde?


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