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

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 Post subject: Common Areas
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 4:19 am 
Title: Common Areas

Author: watson (hiddenwatson@yahoo.com)

Distribution: please email me first

Rating: PG-13 to R

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

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

Notes: As with other time travel stories there is the eternal paradox that if one travels in time, in whichever direction, the course of history is inevitably changed therefore one can never return to one's original timeline to being the journey in the first place. It gives me a headache just thinking about it so I'll do my best to work around it.





Part 1



"Have we got everything?" Xander asked, struggling with a cardboard box he was sure was filled with the heaviest tomes imaginable, said box of course neatly marked 'Books - study'. He grimaced at Buffy, equally struggling with similar boxes.



"Think so but let me go check again, ok?" Willow shouted as she ran down the stairs.



"Will —", Xander called out to the disappearing redhead, to no avail.



"I know, she's only checked everything 3 times," Buffy smirked. "Come on, let's just get the stuff into the van."



Willow looked around the small studio apartment, checking inside all the cupboards, the fridge and even behind the drapes. The apartment looked bigger now that all the furniture had been removed, the only remaining item was the cat basket with the cat sleeping soundly inside. She picked up the basket, gazed at the apple tree in the garden one last time, sighed a little sadly and closed the door behind her.



On the way out, she deposited the keys in the caretaker's box and an envelope written in her neat handwriting into her now former letterbox.



Buffy and Xander were leaning by the rental van, drinking water out of the bottles taken from Willow's fridge and furiously trying to keep cool. Dawn was skipping around, checking on the arrangements of the boxes in the van.



"Dawnster, please stop being so energetic, my eyeballs are getting tired watching you run around," Xander complained.



"Hey I have to make sure the boxes are loaded correctly," the teenager retorted good-naturedly.



"Yeah sure, and making sure you do as little heavy lifting as possible, I see through your evil scheme," Buffy interjected.



"Alright, everything's done. Time to go," Willow said as she joined her friends. "And guys, I really appreciate you coming by and helping out."



Amidst the "no problem's" the gang got into the van, Xander driving with Willow riding shotgun. The Summers sisters sat behind them.



"I can't believe you're moving out, we had some nice times here didn't we," Buffy reminisced as she adjusted her seatbelt. "Picnics in the garden, Scarr demon attack, not to mention plumbing adventures in the basement."



"Yeah I'll miss it too, but it's a little out of the way, you know, for work. Especially now I need to go into the office and show my face a lot more," Willow replied glumly.



"Oh the pitfalls of being a corporate bigwig, you have my utmost sympathies, not," Buffy said. "I wish I could afford to move into my own apartment as soon as I get my first job, then after just a year get a big promotion and move into an even bigger apartment."



"Buff, your house is bigger than both my apartments put together, why are you complaining? 'Sides you get good money running your classes," Willow grinned.



"But you don't have to share your income with an ex-vengeance demon who is a chronic penny pincher," Buffy replied back.



"Alright, this is where I step in, no talking bad about my wife, ok?" Xander interrupted the ribbing between his two best friends. "Will, lead the way to your new place."



Willow took a last look at the white stucco building, her home for the last year, and internally waved it goodbye.



*****



Tara parked her car outside the brand new white building and smiled, a mixture of relief and trepidation. She was truly on her own two feet now.



She knocked at the door marked 'Caretaker' and at the muffled "Come in!" shouted from the other side, pushed open the door and entered the small office.



"Oh hi there, you moving in?" asked the small wiry man putting the finishing touches on several stainless steel letterboxes on his workbench.



"Yes, I'm in the basement apartment," she replied.



"Right, Miss—" he consulted a clipboard on the wall. "Maclay is it? You mind giving me your driver's license for verification?"



"Sure." She fished her license out and passed it to him.



"That's fine, here's your keys. I see you've already paid your deposit for them. Well, welcome," he smiled. "Do you need any help unloading?"



"N-n-no, thanks. I don't have a lot. I haven't bought a lot of my furniture yet, have to ration my paycheck," she smiled back as she collected the keys.



"I know the feeling. My wife's expecting our first and we're already seeing a big hike in our expenses," he said.



"Oh, congratulations. When's she due?" she asked politely.



"January. Hopefully the construction work on the street would have finished by then, don't want all that dust with a baby around," he replied.



"Well, don't let me disturb you any further, er —" she nodded toward the boxes he was working on.



"Oh God, where are my manners. I'm Paul," he said. "Yeah, I'll have these boxes put up by the morning. Can't have a new building without mailboxes right. Don't worry, you won't miss any mail."



"That's fine, I'm not expecting anything. Thanks again," she said as she bade her leave.



Over the next few days she heard other tenants gradually moving in as she settled in herself.



The first thing she did was to bless and protect her new home. She took 3 twigs of uncut rowan branches collected from a sacred circle in Scotland and tied them together using a red ribbon. She touched the talisman first to her forehead, then to her heart, then she kissed it. She carried it to all the rooms and repeated the blessing. Finally she walked backward through her front door and secured the branches above her door. To complete the spell she boiled water to make a cup of tea, swept thoroughly with a broom and burnt a scented candle at the center of the apartment for 3 days.



The next task she set herself was to set up her studio. Her drafting table and architect's chair were placed near the window on white sheets liberally splattered with dried paint, her adapted kitchen trolley that acted as storage unit placed next to the table, frames, canvases, brushes neatly in place.



She hung up a few paintings, the rest she stacked against the far wall.



Her only other furniture consisted of an inflatable mattress and a couple of rickety wooden shelf units. These took no time to assemble and then she was done.



She stepped back and looked around the studio apartment. She needed a table, some chairs, an armchair and may be more shelves. These would have to wait, but as the sun shone into her private sanctuary she could not prevent tears of happiness from forming, and she smiled the smile of the finally free.



"Home. My home."



*****



She came back from grocery shopping with more food than was on her shopping list, it was never a good idea to shop on an empty stomach, she thought to herself.



She was trying to balance all the various bags in her arms and opening her letterbox to retrieve her mail. True to his promise Paul had put them up immediately but all she tended to get were circulars and bills.



She absentmindedly scattered the envelopes on her table when she went back to her apartment. The next hour or so was spent unpacking the groceries and making herself a late lunch.



As expected there was nothing interesting in her mail, until she came to a cream-colored envelope that was not stamped. It was addressed to "The Next Tenant at the Basement Apartment" in neat capitol letters and held a typed letter inside.



Dear Next Tenant,



First please allow me to apologize for addressing you this way, but I have no idea who you (in the singular and/or plural sense) might be, and New Incoming Tenant sounds too much like a rocket missile.



I am the tenant in the basement apartment before you. I am waiting for an important letter, and although I've redirected my mail at the post office they might miss it and still deliver it. If you do get any mail for me that looks kind of personal and is from New York, could you please forward to my new address below, I'll gladly pay for any postage incurred.



Willow Rosenberg

1778 Cedar Drive, Apt 4B

Sunnydale CA95037



I hope you enjoy your stay, the apartment is great, especially in the summer when you can sit under the apple tree. The tree is as old as the building and according to a gardening website I found, an average apple tree will bear fruit after 3 years, so you should start seeing some fruit soon.



Again my thanks.



Yours,

Willow Rosenberg (signed)



p.s. the plumbing isn't as bad as everybody will lead you to believe, just hit the washing machine gently at the side and it works like a charm. Also, the paw prints at the kitchen windowsill were already there when I moved in, I never got round to painting over them, you'll get used to them after a while.





Tara did not remember any paw prints on the kitchen windowsill and was a bit surprised at the mention of an apple tree. The construction crew had only just cleared the garden and she was contemplating what she wanted to plant, she had thought about apple trees and may be some rose bushes.



She glanced at the letter again and did a double-take when she noticed the date.



August 25th, 2004.



*****

------

quiet thoughts

Edited by: hidden watson at: 12/25/04 7:01 am


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 Post subject: Re: First fic - Common Areas
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 6:03 am 
hmmmmmmm interesting now i am going on in my mind why the date caused such a reaction :confused can't wait to see more to this great story :bow



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 Post subject: Re: First fic - Common Areas
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 6:30 am 
oooooh, i get it! Kinda a crinkle in time, wow that's so cool! You can't stop there lol, chapter two .... pwease!!! :aww



- Bell :D

The shape of you

Is etched inside

My bruised and somewhat sculptured mind



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 Post subject: Re: First fic - Common Areas
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:34 am 
Cool. Jajaja poor Tara might think that Willow person is joking her or something. Oh and Willow here is playing with advantage.

It's funny how Willow adress the inquilino after her when Tara's the one before the redhead.

Wow, that fic is truly interesting. Continue soon. I like it. Good work:clap



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:47 am 
Wow, that seriously gave me chills! Well, first it gave me "huh?", but after I re-read everything, including the summary, THEN it totally gave me chills!



So Tara is in 2001, Willow in 2004, and Willow's apple tree was planted by Tara, and the kitty paw prints must be from the cat tara has yet to get...frickin' awesome!!! Of course, all the metaphysical stuff aside, I'm mostly wondering how they'll continue to interact...across dimensions, or will they each seek out the other in their own time?



Such a cool set up, and I can't wait to see what you do with it.

-Cameron



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 1:18 pm 
Hmmm....very intriguing...can't wait to read more! I'm completely not creative enough to write a story involving something like a crinkle in time, as one kitten put it, I think...so I'm looking forward to seeing how this works out.



~Tiffany



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 Post subject: Nice!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 3:44 pm 
What a great start! I'm really curious to see where this story goes. I love how Korean films (and dramas for that matter) are constructed in a way that two seemingly unconnectable parts somehow connect! Making the impossible possible. :laugh Cheers :peace



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 Post subject: Re: First fic - Common Areas
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 7:32 pm 
Oh, yes yes yes. A time travel or time-correspondence story! I'm quite intrigued. I can't see from the first post what caused the time ripple but I can't wait to see how it all works out.

Sign the ACLU Refuse to Surrender Pledge

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



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 Post subject: Re: First fic - Common Areas
PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 6:27 am 
Fascinating beginning. That's some mailbox Paul put together.



Your characters are right on -- believably written. I particularly like the letter; it's so Willow.



The 2004 Scoobies seem to have their lives pretty much together, which is nice to see. I'm looking forward to discovering where things go from here. Will Tara make contact with 2001 Willow, or find some way to communicate "back to the future?"



Time will tell.

Russ



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



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 Post subject: Re: Replies
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:09 am 
Thank you all for reading and your kind words. Replies first, then update.



silentinformer - my first feedback, ever. You're special! Thank you, thank you, thank you.



little miss 666 - yes, a crinkle in time. Now why didn't I think of that term. I might borrow it later, if I may. May I? No, I won't stop here. I know how it ends, even.



Viximon - thanks. Not sure if Willow really has the advantage here, time will tell. Thanks for the applause.



tarawhipped - *rushes to Cameron's side with a warm blanket* there, there, no more chills please. How will they interact? Time will tell, there's a few more parts yet. Thanks for reading.



Dazed and Confused83 - credit for the creativity must first go to Lee Hyun-Seung, who wrote and directed Il Mare. I must admit I had to keep strict notes on the timing, I've gotten myself twisted more than once. Thank you.



serendipitous - the thing with Korea dramas is they go on and on and on and on. It's always moving and the actors do a really good job at portraying emotions. I usually stick with the films though, with the series drama you get a character who is knocked down by a car and is rushed to the hospital. Then her folks come and they're crying cos they're sad and 20 minutes later they're still crying. And our character's life is in danger and she's slipping into a coma and 4 episodes later she's still in danger of slipping into a coma and there's another huge cry fest. Nevertheless they're so fluffy they're cute really. Thanks.



JustSkipIt - oh yeah, you've nailed it right on the head. Time-correspondence. Watch out for the next part, it's choc full of correspondence. As for what caused the time ripple, you know what? I never thought about it in depth, may be Paul just happened to place it on some sort of space time continnum merge point, or TPTB put it there as a joke or a challenge, or it's one of these things that just is. Thank you for reading.



russ - the Scoobs have been battling the big bad for 7 years now, it's time they got a break. Yes, it's part of growing up to have break-ups, to be in debt, to run out on your fiancé on your wedding day, and suffer all sorts of RL crisis. There's a time and place for that, but that's another fic. For this one, the angst is concentrated on poor Willow and Tara. Oh yes, there'll be angst. Thanks also for the comment about characterizaton. When I first began to think about writing ff, one thing that stood out from all the advice out there is characterization, characterization, characterization. I hope that I have been able to find a little of the characters' voices here. And yes, time indeed will tell. Thanks again.





------

quiet thoughts



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 2
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:11 am 
Title: Common Areas

Author: watson (hiddenwatson@yahoo.com)

Distribution: please email me first

Rating: PG-13 to R

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

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

Notes: As with other time travel stories there is the eternal paradox that if one travels in time, in whichever direction, the course of history is inevitably changed therefore one can never return to one's original timeline to being the journey in the first place. It gives me a headache just thinking about it so I'll do my best to work around it.







Part 2





Dear Willow,



I'm afraid that your letter has reached the wrong address. This is Apt A, 225 Sherwood Place.



This is a brand new building and I am the first occupier, the garden is bare and the windowsills are in pristine condition, so you couldn't have been the tenant before me. If you can give me your former address I will drop your letter there.



Nonetheless I will look out for any mail addressed to you, just in case. A letter that is important enough for anyone to leave a specific note is worth the attention.



Kind regards,

Tara Maclay (signed)



p.s. I hope that the date on your letter is a typo, and you're not really in 2004. I can see why, because "4" is just above "1" on the keyboard and it's easy to type it wrong, I do it all the time.





*****





Dear Tara,



I really did live at Apt A, 225 Sherwood Place. And I can assure you I am firmly in 2004, are you saying you think you are in 2001? I hope this is not some sort of a prank, not by you, because you sound super nice.



Whatever seems to be happening, could you please look out for my letter? Many thanks.



With best wishes,

Willow





*****





Dear Willow,



Really. I'm in 2001. 9/11 just happened and I'm still reeling from the shock. Not sure if I have the energy to play a prank. I'm sorry but it's been a difficult few weeks for me. I'll still look out for your letter, but somehow I doubt I will see it.



Best,

Tara





*****





Dear Tara,



I'm so sorry. It seemed that when it happened, everyone knew someone who lost a friend or loved one in the attacks. It's as clear to me now as it was then.



If I'm reading your letter correctly, you live at the same address as I did but timeline-wise you're in 2001. To say it's interesting is the understatement of the year (whichever it may be). I can actually prove to you I'm in 2004 with newspaper cuttings, but that would not be a good idea if you are in 2001 — for you to know what will happen in the future brings the risk of history changing.



If we are somehow connected across time, I'd like to find out a little more, since dimensional holes like this usually come with complications.



I hope I'm not scaring you, or sounding like big knowledge woman on inter-dimensional travels or such like. My friends and I have a little experience on usual phenomenon, so if you can trust me to do some research and get to the bottom of this. Naturally I'll keep you in the loop.



With best wishes,

Willow





*****





Dear Willow,



This is my 5th attempt at putting pen to paper, I hope this one's more coherent and legible. I did get your letter and to be honest, I haven't been able to sleep or think about anything else since. I have so many questions but now I can't quite articulate them. May be you can do the research and I'll help if I can.



I do trust you, even if it's only after a few letters. Call it a woman's intuition. Are you and your friends into X-files type investigations? For some reason I picture you with a dog called Scooby-Doo going around busting up bad guys who dress up as ghosts or monsters, how crazy is that?



Best,

Tara





*****



Willow was in deep contemplation and distractedly twirling a rainbow pencil around her fingers. Her laptop was open and running through a series of searches she had just initiated. In her other hand she held Tara's letters carefully, having taken them out of the protective folder she kept them in.



"Hey Will, isn't that taking different colored pens to a whole new level?" Buffy joked as she joined the redhead at the research table, towel round her neck from an hour's training at the back of the Magic Shop.



"Huh? Oh, this pencil? You'll never believe it, it's from Tara," Willow replied, holding up the multi-colored pencil for Buffy to see.



"Your penpal from the past sent you a 3 year old pencil? How? What? How?" Xander asked.



"Three excellent questions," Buffy interjected.



"We were doing some experiments, trying out the portal," Willow explained.



Is that what we are calling it now, a portal? Tara had written.



Magic letterbox sounds like a children's program, and we don't know how much of it is magic. What I'd like to do is to see what else is possible, Willow wrote back.



Willow, in true junior scientist mode, came up with a list of possible means of communication and scheduled daily experiments. She sent faxes, SMS, emails, IMs, even left text files on shared web folders, but none of those worked. The only method that worked was a buried box with a message from Tara, which of course would have worked under normal circumstances anyway, but Willow could not send anything back. They concluded that it was the letterbox that was the key.



They tried opening it together at a pre-arranged time. One time Tara even sat up all night watching it for clues. Another night Willow snucked back to her former home and removed the box, whispering a quiet apology to its current owner. But after a whole day of prodding and half a dozen reveal spells, she was none the wiser, the box just would not give up its secrets, silently sitting there impassively on her desk mocking her.



She returned it to its original position the next night.



Correspondence with Tara continued throughout. Sometimes long, heartfelt letters, sometimes just short notes. Both finding it easy, ridiculously easy, to open up to each other and talk freely.



Tara told Willow about her childhood, of farms and horses (yikes, no thanks, the further I stay from those arm-biting beasts the better, wrote Willow), of the joys of a good harvest and the hardship that followed a bad one, of a child's unconditional love for her mother, and of a teenager's despair at watching her mother slowly fade away with illness.





She was ill for a long while, it was hard to watch her just get weaker and weaker. I wasn't myself for a long time. There were things, thoughts and reactions I couldn't understand or even try to explain to anyone else. Thoughts that made me feel like I was losing it or I was some kind of horrible person.



Was it sudden?



No. And yes. It's always sudden.



Do you miss her a lot? Of course you do, I'm a dummy.



I miss her everyday. There is so much I want to do with her, to tell her. I want to tell her about coming to Sunnydale, about my paintings. And most of all I want to tell her about you.



I hope she's nothing like my Mom. She's never home, she travels around the world giving seminars on parenting but she never parents me. In the last 7 years we had may be 2 conversations that lasted more than 10 sentences. First time she ended up trying to burn me at the stake and the second time she threatened to disown me because I wanted to stay at Sunnydale for college.



Isn't that a good thing?



It should be. But I turned down so many other places, I think they were disappointed that I'd set my sights so low.



Where else could you have gone?



Oh well, anywhere. You know, Harvard, Oxford.



Wow. I can see your Mom's point, not that I agree on her approach, but why UC Sunnydale? You didn't want to leave home?





And so Willow told Tara about the hellmouth and fighting demons and vampires. She told of coming first in class every year, of being ostracized and bullied every day until Buffy came along. Then of the feeling of belonging, of no longer hanging on the margin, eventually discovery of her own power.



She expected shock and denial, instead she got a reply she was not looking for.





I felt it, the evil, as soon as I entered the city limits. I didn't realize it's as bad as a hellmouth.



You felt it? How? Aren't you afraid?



I, well, my Mom, she taught me about magick since I was small. Dad never liked us practicing, that's one of the reasons I left. But I'm here now and I don't intend to go back. I avoid dark alleys and I did a protection spell around my home.



Oh my god. You're a witch. I can't believe it, I've been looking and looking for another witch and when I meet one it's through a temporal fold.



Did you say another witch?



Yes. Yes. If you can see me I'm doing the dance of the happy little toaster, even though I'm normally a spaz on the dance floor. Promise me one thing, never invite anyone into your home unless you've felt their pulse or seen them in sunlight, ok?



I promise. Vampires not welcome at Casa Maclay.



I'm serious. Vampires are evil and nasty. And have the worst bad breath, it must be all the blood.



Are you saying you've been close enough to vampires to smell their breath? Willow.



I was bitten by a vampire once. Obviously I'm okay now, but I have a mark.



Did it hurt? God it must have hurt. How did it feel? How did you get away?



It was Harmony, whom I've known since grade school, she was Turned on graduation day. I knew her, that's why my guard was down, the band was loading their equipment but luckily Oz came back to look for me and he scared her off.



You've mentioned Buffy, Xander, Dawn, Anya, Giles. But not Oz, is he one of your Scooby gang?



Oz. Well, kinda. He's my boyfriend. Or ex-boyfriend. Or something. He's the letter I'm waiting for. I don't want to talk about him, do you mind?





*****



Tara's heart fell at Willow's mention of a boyfriend. It was not a huge surprise, she had a good idea what was happening to her, every time a letter or gift arrived from her friend she was in 7th heaven. Willow was funny, generous, warm and elicited all sorts of happy fuzzy feelings inside Tara. Feelings that might easily lead to something more intense, if not for the impossibility of their situation.



Tara sighed and put the letter away carefully in her drawer. She had never felt so elated but yet so utterly powerless.



*****



Willow took a deep breath and picked up the phone. She dialed the number slowly, hesitating at the last digit before punching it in just as she was in danger of getting cut off.



She counted the rings, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. She wondered if there was an answer machine.



At the thirteenth ring, unlucky thirteen, it was picked up.



"Hello?"



*****



------

quiet thoughts



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 Post subject: Yay update!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:27 am 
I admit the idea of time travel boggles the mind, but I'm really intrigued by this story. I'm curious to see how they'll meet and what the repercussions will be. I like that they feel comfortable opening up to each other, but I imagine that might be hampered by the introduction of the Oz element. I'm looking forward to the next update.



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 Post subject: Re: Yay update!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:53 am 
WHO was she calling was it Tara please let it be Tara maybe :pray :pray so they can send presents back and i am beginning to think why doesn't Tara go look for Willow in her time obviously they live in the same time right:confused on taras side more soon please





Just for that your going to to the top of the wacking list my friend - Baby from shorties

Edited by: silentinformer  at: 12/15/04 9:00 am


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 Post subject: Re: Yay update!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 9:01 am 
Wow! that was such a good update lol, i feel satisfied :D ! Cept i cant work out why Willow would want a letter from Oz, :hmm



She obviously needs something from him, i'm thinking that they wackily decided to get married young and she wants divorce papers lol. That's the only scenario i can conjure! :laugh



And ofcourse! The saying is now property of u lol, not that it was ever property of me, coz it was probably made up like a billion years ago by some geeky boy who had a startreck obsession. Okay, gotta stop talkn, really good story u got here! whoot!





- Bell! :D

The shape of you

Is etched inside

My bruised and somewhat sculptured mind



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 Post subject: Re: Yay update!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 9:39 am 
:cool yay! cool!

the most contact (via letter) they got, the more atached to each other they get.

So, that letter Willow was specting was Oz's. :happy Poor Will, fat chance she get it, present or past. (Oz is this way)

Luckily, thanks to the wolfboy Tara and Willow has meet. :applause .

Can't wait for more. It's so interesting.



Though, if Tara lives on the place at 2001, and Willow left the same place at 2004...I don't understand. Did Tara abandone the house the same year just before Willow went on?

Time stuff is always so complicated :confused



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 2
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 5:40 am 
Ooo, I'm totally loving this story. What a wonderful premise. The letters you present in this part really show the burgeoning of their relationship as they go from "you made a mistake" to sharing about their love and lives and magic. It's wonderful. If I had a story currently running, I'd plug it in the thread because fewer people are reading this story then it deserves.



Here's what worries me: I'm concerned that Tara is not still alive in 2004. If she were, she could go find Willow at any time. After all, she knows Willow's address quite well. She could wait until Willow is intrigued with their correspondence and then knock on the door. But she has not. This can only mean one thing: she's dead or horribly disfigured or in another country (ok, that's three things). This means (presumably) that Willow is going to have to travel back in time and prevent Tara's death or perhaps tell her something of the future that will make her not die. Sadly, if Willow ever asks Tara to come visit her, Tara will know that she died when she doesn't. I don't know if that makes sense. I love time travel/continum stuff and find it facinating.

Sign the ACLU Refuse to Surrender Pledge

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



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 2
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 6:54 pm 
Sorry I didn't get a chance to reply to this sooner; brain's been a bit of mush lately. Just wanted to let you know that I think this is a really intriguing premise and I can't wait to see what happens. The instant connection they have stumbled upon is really great, and the idea of exchanged letters as being the way they get to know each other is outstanding. Relatively anonymous and confidential; perfect for establishing a fast, deep relationship. I wonder about how Oz will complicate things, and I too wonder about 2004-Tara. I'm sure both questions will be answered in time, however, so I'll just be waiting patiently. Thanks so much for sharing this. (I think I'm gonna have to see the film now...)



Edited by: EasierSaid at: 12/17/04 6:55 pm


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 Post subject: Common Areas - Part 4
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 7:02 pm 
Title: Common Areas

Author: watson (hiddenwatson@yahoo.com)

Distribution: please email me first

Rating: PG-13 to R

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

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





Part 3



Buffy had been through countless apocalypses, she had died, gone to heaven and returned, she had false memories implanted in her brain, and lost her beloved mother. Half the men she had slept with in her life had no heartbeat, one of whom she had to kill in order to save the world.



To say she had been through hell and back was not a metaphorical expression, it was a fact.



She ran her own business now, holding self defense and fitness classes in the converted space behind the Magic Shop. She graduated from college a year later than originally intended, but she was the probably first slayer to do so, she remembered Giles' proud tears at her graduation. She was fit, content in her own skin and in control of her life, there were very few demons she was not able to handle.



So she was surprised to find herself totally helpless as she watched her best friend relentlessly attacked by the omnipotent heartbreak demon. It was after patrol, she was perched on top of a gravestone while Willow was slumped with her back to another one.



"Six, seven years. Does none of it mean anything to him?" Willow choked, no longer bothering to wipe away the tears. "Granted, the last 3 was more a long distance thing, but after what we went through, with the Mayor and the Initiative?"



"May be she was just a visitor? Electrician? Yoga instructor?" Buffy was grasping at straws but she'd run out of options to comfort the redhead.



Willow shot Buffy a desperate look. "No, I heard him call out to her and I know the tone of his voice. It was intimate. I mean, it was 11 o'clock at night, a woman answered his phone and, and ... I don't think she's his yoga instructor, Buffy," she whimpered as her whole body shook with sadness again.



"There may be a reasonable explanation, Will. It's Oz, he wouldn't cheat on you."



"That's what I thought too, but look at the evidence. He never calls me. I leave messages. I write emails, letters, I get nothing back. When, if I manage to reach him and he says everything's fine but I was too dumb to recognize how distant he sounded. Like he was being all avoidy. I should have suspected, that jerk."



"I'm calling Angel to see if he's got any contacts in New York, dig around to see what he's up to. And if they find out it's what you think, they can break his door down and, and, I don't know, do you want him beaten to a pulp?"



"I don't want anything, I just want to understand," Willow wailed. "Why does it hurt so much? Does it have to hurt so much?"



Buffy moved from her sitting position to hold Willow close and gently stroked her head, offering what friendship she could, words could not comfort the distraught redhead tonight.



Willow's sobs slowly subsided, and she gradually regained some of her composure.



"I can't sleep, I'm up all night thinking back, running through scenarios, trying to pinpoint at which point I lost him. Was it before or after he decided to go to New York? Was he already unhappy with me before he left?" she asked, not expecting an answer.



"Sometimes it's better not to dwell on these things, Will. Dwelling leads to festering which leads to rotting, and we all know that's not of the good," Buffy pointed out.



"It's hard not to think about all the what-if's and if only's. If only I'd opened my eyes more, if only I would have gone with him," Willow sighed. "I'd make a wish to go back and try to make things right, if I wasn't so afraid Anya'd put Halfrek on the case and add one of their little twists."



"Will, you shouldn't think about it so much, there's not a lot you can do by thinking about the past. Plus no wishing," Buffy said.



Willow was silent, a thought suddenly clicked in her head. She thought about it more, frowned a little, then put on her resolve face.



"Yeah, no wishing, no spells either. I feel like I should be doing something, anything, but I don't know what I want to do yet," she sighed as she stood up. "But right now, we should head home, it's getting a little cold. Thanks for being here, Buff."



"You know I'll always be here for you, anything I can do," Buffy replied. "Let me walk you home."



*****



Willow lit some lavender scented candles and did a series of cleansing breaths. It had been a tumultuous few days, and she was still reeling from the discovery that Oz was very likely cheating on her.



Her friends had been super supportive but she felt uncomfortable unburdening all her emotions onto them. Anya, predictably, offered to get D'Hoffryn involved, Xander looked like he was ready to hit someone at the drop of a hat, Dawn threw away her prized collection of Dingoes gig posters. Even Giles gritted his teeth more. With Tara though, it was different, she poured her whole heart out.





I thought it was hard when he left for New York, that I might have gotten used to not having him around, but it doesn't compare. It just doesn't.



When you've been with someone for that long, you become more than just "dating couple", you become so inexplicably part of each other. Then you read something funny in the newspaper and you turn around to tell him about it and all of a sudden you realize he's gone. That he doesn't want to hear your funny stories or ask about what you're thinking of anymore. It sucks. It sucks to the 90th level of hell.



Last night was rough, I couldn't breathe so I took a walk outside. I found myself wandering down my street, it was raining, the streetlights were kind of dark and I felt like I was walking through some kind of hell. Luckily I didn't come across any vampires, lucky for them, because I don't know what spell I would've unleashed on them. I looked at the stars in the night sky and I begged them to show me a way out of this horrible, horrid pit of darkness.



Then when I got home I sat in the dark for hours and hours. It feels like real physical pain, it really does.



I'm so sorry to be unloading my personal problems onto you, it's really not fair to you. Like you said in your last letter I should keep putting 2 feet forward and enjoy in the blessing that each day brings. Thank you for your blessing, I feel like you're my godsend.



I can be honest though and tell you that it's easier said than done, I so want to take your advice and not disappoint you, but sometimes I feel like such a mess. I don't want you to see this side of me, I mean, it's all I've been writing to you about, it's all me, me, me!



There is a happier Willow out there, it's just lost. Gone, with the passage of time.



But while I was sitting there in the dark, it occurred to me. I've lost that happy-go-lucky me, but you can still experience her. I mean, do you want to, see me?



I looked through my diary to see what I was doing the fall of 2001. Next week is Halloween and I remember clearly what we did. Dawn went missing and we found her parking with a vamp boy (I mean, ewww). The night before was Xander and Anya's engagement party, their first one, at Buffy's.



The night before, October 29th, we had been helping out at the Magic Box and we were all tired but we went to the Bronze afterward. It was a special night for the Dingoes, that's Oz's band, and I had to go on stage to kind of do the mc thing. It was before he left, obviously.



If you want to see me, that's the place and time to go. I know we agreed no contact and as little disturbance to the timeline as possible, but the me of 2001 didn't know you and if you were just one of the crowd at the Bronze, and if you don't talk to me or anything, I don't think there will be any impact.



What do you think? Are you shocked? I don't mind if you feel uncomfortable. But I'd really like to share the happy side of my life with you. May be I'm being selfish, trying to rediscover myself through you. You know I value your opinion, please tell me if this is a bad idea.





*****





Edited because I posted Part 4 before Part 3. Panic!

------

quiet thoughts

Edited by: hidden watson at: 12/17/04 7:04 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 4
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 7:25 pm 
Wow, that was cool. Both the updates and the, 'post a reply then get two instant new updates'! Very interesting (back to talking about the updates again). So 2004-Willow is really wrapped up in her relationship with Oz, despite the growing connection with Tara. I wonder if Willow misses Oz, or misses being part of a pair, and regrets/is embarassed by not noticing that things had gone south. Gonna have to call Willow on her selfishness in suggesting Tara go see her in 2001 at the Bronze. Reminded me of this exchange from 'Pangs':



GILES: You can see her and she can't see you.

ANGEL: Believe me, I'm not getting the good half of the deal. To be outside, looking in at what I can't... I'd forgotten how bad it feels.



Poor Tara. True, Willow probably doesn't know about Tara's deepening romantic feelings, but still. 'Go see happy me and then report back about how nice it was to see happy me'. Even if Tara was just having friend feelings, it's still a selfish request.



That said, I liked how you presented the one-way meeting, especially the physical reaction when they had that close call. I don't know how after that Tara will be able to stay away. Very interesting - thanks!



Edited by: EasierSaid at: 12/17/04 7:27 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Replies
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 8:01 pm 
Replies first. Then, because it's the weekend and I'm feeling restless, two updates.



Idgie - welcome and thanks for reading. They will definitely meet, but it might be a while coming, okay? I wanted to show how their connection built up slowly, but yes, some other stuff needs to happen first.



little miss 666 - satisfied, huh? Nice. No, nothing as dramatic as married, but since w/t never met Will and Oz did stay together. Now wrt the letter, it's either an important letter, or it could just be a letter. Time will tell.



Viximon - you're right, Oz's non-letter writing habit is the reason w/t met, so that's good. I think I was too obscure, in Part 1, when Buffy said,



Quote:
"I wish I could afford to move into my own apartment as soon as I get my first job, then after just a year get a big promotion and move into an even bigger apartment."




Willow graduated in 2003, so she moved there when she got her job, then now in 2004 she's moving out. Tara moved into the apartment in 2001, and so the question is, what happens between then and 2003? Read on ...



silentinformer - phone call outcome will be revealed very soon. Why doesn't 2001 Tara visit Willow? Well ... I'm not saying just yet. :sh



JustSkipIt - wow. what can I say. "Thank you" isn't enough. I don't mind being a little obscure right now, enjoying the coziness of this thread actually. My approach is very much the "if you build it, they will come" variety. I think most people are either reading Tar'airah (daily updates, yay!) or hitting refresh and hoping that Neverland is updated and reading previous chapters again and again while waiting. :) At least, that's what I'd be doing if I weren't working on this. Your worries, hmmm, I'm only going to address a part of it, cos ... I'm not saying anymore :) . Anyway, the first letter from Willow was late August, by the they corresponded they're at around early to mid October now, I think they've been too preoccupied at finding out about the other that the deeper issues haven't come up yet.



EasierSaid - hi! how freaky is this. I just mentioned Neverland (see reply above) and here you are. Gulp. Like I said, time will tell. We're going to see 2001 Willow shortly, but I'm keeping 2004 Tara closer to my chest right now. No! Not that! I don't have Amber Benson next to my chest, though ... hmmm ... swoon. Okay, getting off topic. A big thank you for reading.

------

quiet thoughts



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 Post subject: Common Areas - Part 4
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 8:06 pm 
Title: Common Areas

Author: watson (hiddenwatson@yahoo.com)

Distribution: please email me first

Rating: PG-13 to R

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

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





Part 4



Tara straightened her skirt as she approached the entrance. She was feeling nervous, like, like a girl going on a first date, she had even taken special care to dress up.



Yeah right, as if she'd notice you. She won't recognize you even if you walked up and did a fan dance in front of her. This is stupid.



The Bronze was crowded and it took her a while to fight through the throngs of people to get a drink. She found a secluded, dark spot and a lone chair. A teenage band was playing garage grunge, people were dancing away on the dance floor or chatting away in groups. She felt like a farm girl trying to fit in, to be a big city girl, out of place, again.



Then the lights dimmed and she saw her. Willow. Small and perfect, delicate yet strong, and what red hair! She found herself edging toward the stage, she could not stop staring, and her heart did a backflip when she heard her voice for the first time.



"Like a lot of you here, I grew up at the Bronze, and as long as there's been a Bronze, there's always been the Dingoes," she started.



Someone in the crowd yelled out, "too right!" Another voice chimed in, "Devon's a cutie!"



She smiled and continued, "May be you're thinking, geez these boys are gonna be here till they're 50 and their hair's all gone and their skin's all wrinkled and still they'll play and play. Well I can tell you on good authority that they're going places, that's something I know all too well. Personally I'd prefer if they don't travel as much, but that's just me being selfish.



"Anyway, I'm here because tonight marks the 300th appearance of the Dingoes here at the Bronze. And the Management asked me to present a small token of their appreciation to the band on their behalf, so when they are rich and famous they won't forget where they started out. Now please put your hands together and welcome Sunnydale's very own — Dingoes Ate My Baby!"



The crowd gave the band a resounding welcome while Willow presented a small plague to Devon, whom she gave a hug and a small peck on the cheek. The other boys she hugged warmly. Oz she kissed.



Tara swallowed hard, sighed heavily and took a sip of her water.



*****



Willow had been feeling wiggy and on edge all day. At first she thought it was stage fright, but having taken drama classes all year, she had long conquered that fear.



It could not have been nerves about the band's award. Even though she had hung out with the Dingoes for as long as she and Oz had been dating, she never felt like she was a full fledged member. She was friendly with the boys, but had very little in common with them, Oz kind of kept that part of his life separate from the WillowOz part and the Scooby part.



In any case the feeling should have dissipated after the award, but if anything, it grew more intense. Her spidey sense were at Defcon 2, 3 at least (oh my god, I'm channeling Xander, she thought, amused and alarmed at the same time).



All she felt was, someone was coming, someone who would bring big changes to her life. It was not the usual wiggins about demons or apocalypses, this feeling was exciting, positive, and Extremely of the Good.



When she came off the stage she was overwhelmed with a huge feeling of familiarity that was so real that she thought she could see it. If she unfocused and let her mind move above the realms of consciousness, at the corner of her eyes she glimpsed — blonde hair? — she was not sure.



She wanted to reach out and touch this familiarity, this bond, but it was just beyond her grasp. Almost bordering on desperation she turned around and searched through the crowd for a sign.



*****



While Willow was giving her speech, Tara had been helplessly drawn to the redhead and found herself staring at her friend? — future friend? — from the bottom of the stage.



Willow stepped off the stage as the band started playing, and almost stepped into Tara. They were so close Tara could smell her perfume, she wanted so much to touch her, her own arms were moving at their own accord, closer, closer. She could see goose pimples developing on Willow's arms.



The other girl stopped and spun around as if she was searching for something. Or someone. Tara quickly ducked behind a nearby pillar.



That was close, she sighed in relief as Willow walked away, still obviously deep in thought. Whatever physical reaction the redhead was eliciting in Tara appeared to be reciprocated. Or may be it was her wishful thinking.



She watched intently as Willow joined up with her friends. From her Willow's description she was able to easily identify Buffy, Xander and Anya. They talked, occasionally danced and generally had a good night out. When the Dingoes set finished, they were joined by Oz.



She felt like a voyeur, watching the gang together. A pang of melancholy hit her, as she remembered that she never had friends growing up, she was the freak who was taunted and bullied at school, ignored and humiliated at home.



How she ached to be part of this family, this group of people she already felt closer to than her own blood kin, even though none of them knew of her existence.



Tara seldom swore but this time she really felt that she had been royally fucked over by the fates.



*****





Dear Willow,



I didn't tell you before because I wasn't sure I was actually going to go ahead with it, I was so sure that I would chicken out at the last minute. So please forgive me?



I went to the Bronze. Just like you said, I saw you and your friends. The answer to the burning question I know you'll ask is, yes, in 2001 you looked happy. Your friends were fine. Xander and Anya were already a bickering couple. Buffy looked okay, but there was no spark in her sad eyes. I remember you once mentioned something about Buffy "coming back". Does this have anything to do with her being sad then?



You and Oz were very much an item. I could see it in the way you looked at him, doted on his every word, leaned into his embrace. I didn't get close enough to hear you but from your body language you guys were very comfortable together.



I couldn't help it but I was insanely jealous. How I wished I was the one you were looking at, listening to, leaning on. How I wanted to touch you, to accidentally bump into you, to exchange some small words. It would not be enough to fill the gap in my heart right now but it would help take away some of the emptiness.



I want so much to —







She was shaking. Without reading the letter, she crumbled it and threw it vehemently in the dustbin.



She took out another piece of paper.



It was going to be a long night.



*****





Dear Willow,



I didn't tell you before because I wasn't sure if it was the right thing to do, or if I could find the courage to actually go ahead with it. So please forgive me for not telling you earlier.



I went to the Bronze. Just like you said, I saw you and your friends. The answer to the burning question I know you'll ask is, yes, in 2001 you were happy and innocent and in love. Your friends were fine. Xander and Anya were already bickering old-timers. Buffy looked okay, but there was no spark in her sad eyes. I remember you once mentioned something about Buffy "coming back". Does this have anything to do with her being sad then?



You and Oz were very much an item. I could see it in the way you looked at him, doted on his every word, leaned into his embrace, that you guys were very comfortable together.



I wished I could have know you then, part of me yearns to be part of an accepting social group, to feel the warmth of a family unit, something that my own family was not able to provide. But it is not to be.



I'm not sure if I will venture again into the path of 2001 you, even though I will always cherish the last experience. It's simply too risky, we may inadvertently touch, or speak, or something, that will mess up an already confusing timeline. I know you want to hear some more about the happy times, but I think you will understand where I'm coming from.



I hope you are doing alright. I do worry about you. Try not to think too many unhappy thoughts, ok? I read this somewhere, it's about computer operating systems (right up your street!). Nostalgia for old systems is all very well, but the way to the future is not in the rear-view mirror. So keep looking on the bright side because it will always be better tomorrow.



Best,

Tara





*****

------

quiet thoughts



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 4
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 10:11 pm 
wow... i am liking the direction this fic is going...

and i have to say that fics concerning time portals and the such are really very intriguing... i mean, given the chaos theory, one minor rift can create the biggest effect... and to think we're talking dimensions separated by time...



so i can't help but think if that close encounter created even the slightest change in the timeline of events between 2001 and 2004... i mean, Willow and Tara didn't have an actual interaction but the mere fact that Willow felt something then could have created at least some alteration in the timeline, right?



i am very much interested in what will happen as the story progresses... but for now, i would love to see how Willow will reply to Tara's letter and find out whether there will be a slight change or not...



update please...:pray



***Cail***


To Love is to receive a glimpse of Heaven-- Karen Sunde




Love isn't a decision. It's a feeling. If we could decide who we loved, it would be much simpler...But much less magical... -- Trey Parker and Matt Stone



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 4
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 3:32 am 
hey i knew something was up cause i was reading the update last night and then it didn't make sense so i didn't read it all but look now i know why and i loved both updates and it is totally understandable why Tara doesn't want to interact with Willow in the past what if it doesn't work for them in the past but that also destroys the path she has to the Willow in the future and since Tara has growing feelings for Willow why would she feasibly attempt to destroy that connection



More soon please :bow :bow



Silent

Just for that your going to to the top of the wacking list my friend - Baby from shorties



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 4
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 4:12 am 
:bow Two at once. Wonderful.

I enjoy both chapters very much. Poor Tara though. She has to support that feelings growing in her and seing Willow (past Willow to Willlow, present Willow for her or whatever :P )is not helping.

On the other hand Wills only has the contact of letter's Tara. :sob

Still, I enjoy the fic gretly and look forward to more. Update soon :bounce



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 4
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 7:22 am 
just stumbled across this fic and lucky me, nice start to the day. just when i think the buffy universe has been stretched every which way it can, you come up with a completely unique twist. love the "magic letterbox" line, it totally does sound like a children's show. but wouldn't willow's mailbox be a culprit, too, if tara's letters are reaching her in 2004?

great stuff at the bronze, so easy to picture all of it. tara tucking behind a pillar to hide reminded me of amber in omwf when she danced into one. and it's so like willow to know exactly where she was on any given day 3 years ago. even if tara does resist the urge to do any more covert observing, it's just a matter of time til they run into each other, i suspect. so many places this could go, i'm not even going to guess, i'll just have to keep reading-mary



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



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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 4
PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 8:10 am 
Excellent and heartbreaking. How equal. Now both girls are heartbroken "simultaneously." Willow in 2004 because of Oz and Tara in 2001 because of Willow. Cool. I had thought of that: that Tara could wait and meet Willow in 2004 or could go see her in 2001 - how hard could it be? Now that she's seen her once, I'm sure that's not the end of it. I just wonder if that little feeling that Willow now has had in 2001 will change anything about her 2004? Like did it give her a feeling of incompleteness with Oz so that she isn't so heartbroken? Most excellent!

Sign the ACLU Refuse to Surrender Pledge

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



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 Post subject: Replies
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 1:23 am 
Replies, then an update. In honor of Solstice, we have a spell.



Easiersaid - 'post a reply then get two instant new updates'. :) I was very tempted to post another 2 parts right after I saw your feedback (which was also right after I posted), but then I realized you could leave an infinite number of feedback whereas I only have a finite number of chapters. You're absolutely right in calling Willow on her selfishness, at this point Tara's feelings are much stronger, I think Willow simply didn't know how Tara would react when she asked her to go see younger her. However, not knowing isn't a good enough excuse. Although not explicit in canon, I've always thought that Tara was in love with Willow much earlier than Willow even thought about it. It's all to her credit that she was able to control and keep so much of her emotions to herself. Also, Willow has not really been the most sensitive when it comes to others, naïvety may have been a factor, but there was a fair bit of self-centeredness too.



UnveilTheSoulbound - 2001 Willow felt something, but she didn't know what it was, in time that feeling would dissipate. I doubt she'd be able to remember it, even now in 2004. So, this particular encounter didn't have much effect on the timeline. At least that's how I'm decreeing it, and I'm in control here :P.



silentinformer - thanks. The sensible side of Tara is saying we can't meet anymore. But how long can she stay away, that's the question?



Viximon - thank you for reading. Like it that you like.



meretricious - hi Mary, welcome. Thanks for reading. Like I said, the idea came from this film by Lee Hyun-Seung, I've WillowTara-cized it, I just hope I can do the original justice. Yes, when I wrote magic letterbox for some reason it reminded me of the magic roundabout, even though I never watched it. They only use the one magic box, at the basement apartment. Although Willow's moved out, she goes back to drop the letters for Tara there. How come she goes back to see the first letter from Tara? I've always figured Willow being Willow, will go back to check the letter's been delivered safely. Or may be she went back to speak to Paul after she moved out. Lot's to come yet.



JustSkipIt - it's a matter of time before they decide to seek out each other, alternatively they may have run into each other already without knowing it (at least in 2001), they just have to compare notes. That little feeling, as you put it, that 2001 Willow has, thing is, she only felt it for a short time and she couldn't find the source. So my take is, it stays in her mind, but in time it gradually slips into her subconscious. Whether or not it re-surfaces and she connects it in light of the "current" events, time will tell. You know what, I couldn't put my finger on it myself, how Willow and Tara "simultaneously" were heartbroken, that was a little unintentional bonus for me, but I'm so glad you made the connection!

------

quiet thoughts

Edited by: hidden watson at: 12/21/04 8:12 am


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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 5
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 1:25 am 
Title: Common Areas

Author: watson (hiddenwatson@yahoo.com)

Distribution: please email me first

Rating: PG-13 to R

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

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

Notes: The spell is taken from The Book of Spells by Nicola de Pulford.





Part 5



Willow unfolded a large circular yellow cloth and spread it out on the floor of her living room. She gathered the ingredients needed for the spell — St John's wort oil, 2 yellow candles and 2 bunches of yellow flowers, daisies, honeysuckle, dandelion and sunflower, tied together with twine.



She was a little nervous, it was the first time she did a spell in sync with someone. Well, technically not with with, because Tara was all of 3 years in the past. But when she discovered the Flower of Light spell and suggested to Tara that they should try it out 'together', Tara quickly agreed.





I'm sorry for being a selfish dummy and making you miserable, all I was thinking was me, me, me (again). I feel like I owe it to you to cheer you up and stop the dark thoughts. What about a spell? I read about this spell in one of the Magic Box's older volumes, it revitalizes spirits when days are dark and gloom settles upon us.



I'd love to do the spell, it sounds lovely. It's a Celtic spell, isn't it. The Celts had a great respect for nature, and their spells with flowers are always beautifully calming. Did you know that St John's wort is a symbol of the sun's healing and life-giving power? It's considered a king among magical plants and protects against negative influences.



Anya gave me a big discount on magic ingredients after I built an interface between her inventory database and her accounting system. Will you have any trouble finding what you need?





I think I'll risk it and actually get them from the Magic Shop, I'll go when it's quiet so I can keep a low profile and not bump into you. Oils and scents are fairly common, I'll pay cash and it'll just be another transaction. What do you think?



Should be okay. If we hadn't met like this you would probably have discovered the shop and gotten your magic supplies from them, so we're not causing unnecessary crinkles in the timeline (I hope). My goodness that's gotten me thinking about alternate realities where the mailbox doesn't work (except just as a regular letterbox) and we never meet but you might still have come into the Magic Box and I might have served you. This scenario is making me very sad.



Don't. Remember what I said about looking on the bright side? We're in this particular reality and we have the mailbox and I'm just so grateful that I have a magically inclined friend and now we even get to do a spell together, how cool is that.





Willow had been practicing magic since high school, and though her proficiency level had steadily increased, she knew that she could become more powerful if she had a spell partner. Giles tried to find time to teach her, but he taught like a Watcher training a slayer, she did not feel any of the specialness, the romanticism she had always associated with magic, when practicing with him. She also thought he was holding back because of the shadow of his Ripper past.



Anya taught her a little, but not having too much power herself, was too impatient to sufficiently nurture a young witch's inquisitive questions.



So she progressed in stops and starts. For every walk-through-Buffy's-mind spell there was a my-will-be-done fiasco. Potions still turned out soup. And she was still working on the ball of sunshine spell so it did not bring forth hammer-wielding trolls.



Now that she found Tara, she was not going to let a little matter of a time warp stop her.



*****



They discussed and agreed on early evening, since it was the time of day with the most beautiful sunlight. At the appointed time, they spread the circular cloth on the floor and sprinkled the St John's wort oil around the circle, on the candles and rubbed a few drops on their palms.



Taking a calming breath, they sat at the center of the circle and placed one bunch of flowers on either side, at the edge of the circle.



The candles they lit and placed carefully in front and at the back, also at the edge of the circle.



Taking one full, perfect flower in each hand, they held it in each palm, focused on the glow of the candle and chanted:





"Oh healing light, surround me now,

Relieve my spirit's darkest hour."





They could feel the light from the scented candles flowing from the apex of the flame to the flowers in their palms, and from there they felt it permeating through their bodies. First their own, then a passage opened and the light flowed in a leisurely circle between them. There was no beginning, no end, just a continuous channel of light and sensations that brought both witches to a point of extreme euphoria.



They stayed in the circle for many minutes, meditating and allowing the light to spread fully to the entire circle.



To complete the spell they returned the 2 flowers to Mother Earth by burying them in a pot full of soil they had previously collected during a moon blessing to the Goddess. Before the next new moon they would bury the whole pot at a secret spot in their garden.



As soon as they broke the circle they immediately felt the difference. The melancholy that had hung over them was replaced by a heady feeling of being in tune with nature and at peace with themselves. There was also a feeling of incredible connectiveness with each other, as if they could just reach out and feel each other in the same room together.



"Beautiful," they said. Three years apart, but at exactly the same moment.



*****



Tara was planting bulbs and shrubs in the garden, taking advantage of the last warm days of fall to get the plants in before winter. Not that California winters would create much of a challenge to a country girl used to winters of the harsh and bleak variety.



It all started when Willow reminded her one day that it was time to plant the apple tree. For someone who had spent very little time in a garden in her life, Willow attacked the gardening project with gusto, searching through the internet for tips and suppliers where Tara could buy seeds and seedlings.



Naturally she had the benefit of seeing the garden when it was matured and could tell Tara where the flowers, trees and bushes would go. She made a 3D model of the garden on her CAD software, and devised a monthly gardening calendar, all printed in color. All these she sent to Tara via the mailbox.



Tara regarded this with amusement. She really did not have the heart to tell Willow that, well actually, she grew up on a farm and horticulture was as natural to her as programming was to Willow. She planted by feel, gut instinct telling her where and when. Still she played her part in the project by studiously taking pictures of each stage of the process and sending them to Willow.



"Hello Tara," she looked up from her crouched position beside the rose bushes, a warm smile appeared on her lips when she saw it was the caretaker's wife.



"Becky, hi. How're you feeling today?" she asked.



"Like a big fat whale, which is nothing new. They tell you about getting big and the backaches and the lethargy, but they never told you about all the different kinds of cravings," Becky sighed as she sat heavily down in one of the garden chairs.



"What have you got Paul rushing out for this morning? I thought you get fewer cravings as the pregnancy progresses."



"See, that's the thing. I don't have a craving for food, I had a desperate urge for the smell of grass and soil."



"That's weird. But then, just as well, cos we've got the garden here."



"I know. Imagine if I lived in a high rise apartment block. Anyway, what are you planting?"



"Some shrubs, roses, and this apple tree. I think it'll be nice when the tree's grown a bit to sit under it with a nice book or a picnic. And when your daughter is older, it'll be big enough for Paul to build a treehouse in," Tara waved her hands in the air where she imagined the tree would be.



Becky smiled and rubbed her tummy. "She's not even born and we're thinking treehouses, but that's a nice thought. You sure I'm not disturbing you?" she asked politely.



"Of course not, it's nice to have company," Tara answered.



"That's because you never go out. You, missy, have no life. Why?"



"I'm quite happy being on my own, I don't get lonely."



"A nice girl like you should have someone to come home to," Becky said gently.



I already know who I want to come home to, but it'll be another 2 years before she starts living here and by then I'll have moved out.



She was spared the embarrassment of having to answer Becky's all too obvious prodding by the arrival of a small black furry bundle, which had jumped over the fence from the next property.



Her eyes widened as she recognized the newcomer, but she remained still and did not try to approach or distract it.



Then it noticed her, and with a flick of a tail, came up to Tara, brushed itself against her legs and started purring.



"Hello, you must be Miss Kitty."



*****





Edited because if I want to acknowledge an author, I should get her name right.

------

quiet thoughts

Edited by: hidden watson at: 12/21/04 8:14 am


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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 5
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 6:18 am 
sweet chap. Though is frustrantic see how Tara's going on n her own back in her time :(





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 Post subject: Re: Common Areas - Part 5
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 6:27 am 
For some reason, I've found it hard to sit down and write commentary on this story. So now I'm way in arrears of feedback owed. Sorry 'bout that.



It's probably the whole time lines thing that makes it so hard to grasp. Like, what does "exactly the same moment" mean when separated by three years? Nonetheless, the connection across time is indeed beautiful.



Last week Debra mentioned a fear that Tara may be dead in 2004, a fear which I share. Surely Willow will search her out in '04, if she's there to be found. Of course, they wouldn't make contact until a prearranged date, since they wouldn't want to disrupt the letter cycle which has "already" happened.



The connection between the two is beautifully written. I wonder if the cross-time spell is what magicked the mail box in the first place. (which caused them to make contact, which led to the spell being cast ... )



Hooray for gardening; too often the Scoobies are all urban, and think of soil as only something that evil rises from. Our witches should be in touch with the natural world, and what better way than in a garden? I love their different approaches; leave it to Willow to research and make elaborate plans and schedules. Tara's way is more intuitive; a combination of the two makes for a great garden. If for no other reason, you've got to get them together.

Russ



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



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