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

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 Post subject: Saving Myself - Updated July 29th
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:00 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Hey guys! my second attempt at a story. pretty angsty, but like all stories here it will end happily! or will it? hopefully you like :)

cheers


Title: Saving Myself

Author: Lifty

Rating: pg-13 (will go to NC-17 though :p)

Disclaimer: Everything is Joss Whedon's, the characters, sunnydale, but the story line is made up, by me.

Feedback: Please feed my back :)

Author's Note: Each chapter of this story will be divided into sections as follows, the prologue, however, is an exception:


Past: events from the past

Present: events in the present

Reality: Tara's diary...Willow's diary will come later one.


Also, the first chapters or so will be a bit willow-light and tara-heavy. But dont worry, it'll get there.


And last of all, Tara's diary entries, and everything else hand written will be written in italics, just so they stand out.


I'm away for the next two weeks, so sorry if i dont respond. Also i wont be able to post te next chapter until after the two weeks.


on with the story...


Saving Myself


Prologue



Faith is funny isn’t it?

Yes, Faith is funny. But we’re not talking about the cleavagey slut-bomb who happened to bake us a rather substantial portion of banana bread, and ended up eating it herself on the way over here. Yeah! Blame it on the slaying, it makes her hungry and horny. I just know she’s a guts when it comes to food.

And not necessarily the kind of faith which binds us to the big, old guy in the sky, or the six-armed god in the temple. Not the kind of faith where you wake up at 6am every Sunday morning to listen to a man read from a book. No, this kind of faith doesn’t need a book. Not the kind of faith which stops you from eating certain types of food, which disapproves of tattoos, idolising, intercourse before marriage, even loving someone of the same sex.

The kind of faith we’re talking about here is the one which comes from deep down. Deep inside you, from a place you didn’t think existed. A strong tug on your insides, that brings this gut wrenching feeling of adrenalin, and you don’t know why you believe in this particular thing, you hardly understand it, but its grip is so solid that there is very little that could make you believe otherwise.

Its like this flower that you see. Small and white amongst the dew dropped clumps of grass, all by itself. You totally believe that it is there for you, and for you only, you don’t know why, it doesn’t make sense. But it’s true. The air is fresh, the sky deepening in colour as twilight takes hold, and the flower glows, even as the shadows creep in closer and closer. As you walk away, and the little white petals fade, you feel happy.

It’s something that no one else can see, can feel. But you hold onto it with a firmness which astonishes even you. And you never want to let it go. It makes everything worth it. Its only for you.

But how can a complete stranger, a person completely unknown to you invoke this feeling? This insatiable sureness you would die for? This kind of faith feels so very much like love.

They say faith -- and yes I know you don’t like it when I refer to ‘they’, but I honestly haven’t worked out who ‘they’ are yet, sweetie. I’m trying though, just for you. -- is believing in things when common sense tells you not to. It’s something you cling to when everything else is lost. It doesn’t have to be religious at all. It doesn’t have to do with anything spiritual. But it takes time. It doesn’t usually come in one complete, naked, burning glance from a green-eyed stranger. For me it did.

This look that pierces right into you. It catches you and reels you in, like a fish caught on a hook -- again, I’m sorry about the fish analogy, this is a made up fish sweetie. It exists solely on this page of paper, and I promise to throw it back afterwards. -- or a kite on a string -- better? -- and you‘ve been blowing around aimlessly in the wind all your life, until this person catches you and pulls you back to solid ground. And you have total faith that if those eyes looked at you the same way for every moment, every second of your life there-on-after, then you would forever be in complete happiness. And you return the look with as much intensity. The strangers eyes twinkle, they make you feel warm, and loved, which shouldn’t be possible, but everything is so incredibly magical that you feel anything could happen; Mr Monopoly Man could walk in there, hand you $200, and gallop away on his little metal horse, and it would seem completely reasonable.

That’s how we were, Willow. Even before we met. The first day I laid my eyes upon you, and you looked back, something broke inside me. I didn’t even realise I’d dropped my coffee from where I was holding it to my mouth. The hot liquid burned through my clothes, but I didn’t feel it, I was so lost in you. Then your little eyebrows scrunched up together, and you jumped out of your chair, nearly knocking over your own drink -- Mocha, I’m guessing. I know you too well. -- as if my clumsiness had been your fault. I remember as you made those soft grunting noises as you gently dabbed at the coffee stain already settling on my lap with your paper napkin. The napkin fell apart -- you scrubbed it too hard sweetie, but those things are terrible quality anyway. I told Jeff just the other day that he should invest in a different brand -- and the little white scraps clung to the material of my pants. We both knew you were being polite, but I saw you blushing anyway at the proximity of your hand to my…we’ll just call it ‘special place’ for now. I don’t think the world is ready for the countless names you have given me and my ‘special place’.

Ah, Will. I want to hold your hand now. I want to be running my fingertips softly up your arms, pretending to count the little freckles, but really preparing to relentlessly tickle you till the cows came home. But you had me figured didn’t you Will? You’d already cracked through my devious ploys. We almost always ended up exhausted, wrapped in each other’s naked, heaving bodies anyway.

I really hope Buffy doesn’t read this, for both our sakes. I still don’t think she has ever got over the fact that we’re lovers, that her best friend sleeps with another woman.

I was remembering last night the first time I saw your ridiculous, but cute, Power Puff Girls underwear. First time I saw any of your underwear actually. It makes me sad to think that you threw them out. I thought about looking for them in the garbage, but realised that was stupid, you threw them away years ago during one of your bad days.

You were always so convinced that you needed to grow up Will. I found the underwear during one of our big room cleanups, and you grew embarrassed, did that little thing with your nose, took the material out of my hand, marched down to the bin, and threw them in. I don’t know why I didn’t stop you, why I didn’t kiss your lips and tell you that you are perfect as you are. Cos you are perfect Will. You’re everything I ever needed. The Willow I love is the one who caused me to spill my coffee the first time I laid eyes on her. The one with her adorable, mousy ways, her quirks, her insecurities.

I have to go. Buffy’s found another plant she thinks might be trying to invade the house -- she watched Day of the Triffids last night -- and I have to go and work my ‘witchy mojo’ on it -- I only pretend to though -- so that it’s just a normal plant. I asked her why she couldn’t just slay it herself, and she replied that vampires, demons and apocalypses she can deal with, but slaying trees would just burst her bubble.

I wonder where you are. Somewhere happy I hope.



~.~.~.~.~.~.~


“Tara, we’re going!” Dawn shouted from downstairs.

“Coming!” Tara put down her pen and folded the small black book into the top draw of the desk. She sighed, sitting still for a moment, and took in the state of the room.

She really needed to clean the place up.

“Tara come on! Buffy’s trying to get in the driver’s seat and I really don’t want her to drive!”

Tara grinned slightly at the sound of the two sisters bickering in the driveway, and stood up, stepping over a pile of neglected clothes and books to make her way down stairs.

She found the situation to be getting a bit out of hand. Dawn was holding tightly onto both of her sister’s legs, who was holding tightly onto the driver’s seat and frantically trying to shake her sister off. Tara made it down just as Buffy managed to free her legs and pull herself into a sitting position. Dawn fell back onto the ground with a loud “humph” and glared dangerously at her sister, before catching sight of Tara standing nearby with a look of obvious amusement on her face.

“What? It’s not funny.” Dawn made a small pout with her lips, and then resumed scowling at her sister.
“And tell Buffy she’s not driving. I don’t want to die on my first day of college.”

“What?” Buffy retorted, “I can drive this thing a whole lot better than you missy. I’m older, stronger and prettier than you, so stop arguing.”

“Huh. For someone your age, you’re incredibly immature. Last night you poked me and made annoying noises until I changed T.V channels.”

Tara decided to step in here. “Hey, how about I drive there, and Buffy can drive back when Dawn isn’t in the car?”

“Sounds good to me!” Dawn jumped up and ran to sit in the front passenger seat.

Buffy looked at Tara pleadingly, but Tara just shrugged her shoulders and moved towards the car.

“And I’m gonna poke you until you get in the back.” Dawn said, prodding Buffy in the shoulder with her finger.

Buffy sighed in defeat and climbed across into the backseat of the car, squeezing herself in amongst the boxes of stuff. Tara started the engine and pulled away from the driveway, heading towards the UC Sunnydale campus. She listened as the two sisters began bickering again, and drove slightly faster.

“Besides, you are in no way prettier than me.”

“Am so.”

“Are not.”

“Am so.”

“Nuh uh.”

“Tara, am I prettier than Dawn?”


~.~.~.~.~.~.~


Good news Will. Buffy has finally agreed that the hedges in the front lawn are simply gardenias, not terrifying, poisonous killer plants. Plus, the pretty little white flowers don’t do much for the ‘big bad’ aspect of them.

Little Dawnie’s starting at UC Sunnydale tomorrow, and guess what? She’s moving into room 214 of Stevenson Hall, sharing with a girl called Taylor. I guess it’s just coincidence she got the same room you and Buffy shared for two years. I wonder if they’ve painted over our little scrawl on the door. We’re helping Dawn move in some of her stuff this afternoon so I’ll check then.



~.~.~.~.~.~.~


Tara padded into the dorm room and dropped her box heavily on top of the huge pile.

“Well, that’s the last one. Want some help unpacking them Dawnie?”

Dawn looked up from where she was struggling to open a window. Tara winced when a memory rushed back into her head of Willow struggling to shut the very same window. She swallowed and tried not to think too hard about the past.

“Yeah, thanks Tara.”

Buffy helped her open a few boxes, and they began to hang the clothes up in the cupboard. Tara picked the clothes out and passed them to Buffy who hung them on coat-hangers.

Just as they were finishing Tara noticed a pair of socks on the ground, and bent down to pick them up. As she was bending though, her eyes caught sight of something scratched into the varnished wood of the cupboard door. She knelt down and brushed her palm over the words, tears coming to her eyes. Her finger delicately traced the tiny letters, remembering as a different hand had etched the words carefully into the door years before.

Reading the words out silently in her head, she felt her stomach do a flip.

Willow loves Tara forever.

Her hand moved down to come across a similar inscription in her own handwriting.

Tara loves Willow too. Forever.

The drive home was in silence.


~.~.~.~.~.~.~


I found it Will. I found it. No one’s tried to scratch it off or paint over it. It’s still there after all these years. I wonder how many people have read it and thought, who’s Willow and Tara?

I don’t want Dawn to see it though. It will only upset her, like everything does these days. Its strange, she’s so sensitive, and she’s not a teenager anymore. Just the other morning I offered her pancakes for breakfast. She just ran upstairs crying. I followed her, but I don’t think she heard me, and when I got to her room she wasn’t there. I found her though. She was sitting, just sitting on our bed holding your clogs, crying. It made me cry too, so I left. I didn’t interrupt. It was too private. She’s grown up so much now. She doesn’t need my good night hugs or milkshakey movie days.

As much as I don’t want Dawn to be upset, I don’t want to destroy it either. I hold onto everything that reminds me of you. It’s not healthy I know.

It’s killing me Will, you not being here. I don’t feel, I don’t feel like me anymore. Without you it’s as if part of me has been torn away, and I’m just this body, drifting around day by day. You’re not here to hold me down anymore.

I’m smudging the ink now. These stupid tears.

I try to be strong for Dawnie, and Buffy and Xander. I try to be strong for you, but it gets so hard.

Buffy isn’t coping either. She tries to hide it, but I can see its killing her too. We never talk about what happened. We never bring you up in conversation. I thought that after a while we would be able to talk about it, but it’s been a year and no ones mentioned your name once. I feel that the longer we keep up this silence, the more you fade away. That’s why I write in here. I don’t want to lose you Willow.

This is me saving myself.



~.~.~.~.~.~.~

thanks for reading guys

Lifty :)

_________________
If you're gonna get up, you might as well get up with me - Tegan and Sara

Saving Myself


Last edited by Lifty on Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:46 am, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:21 pm 
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11. Fish in the Bowl
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Two weeks? No. Jeez you give us such a great start like that and then say we have to wait two weeks for more? Break my heart, Lifty, ya do. Lol. Its a really great start I can't wait to have the millions of questions already brewing in my head answered. You're forgiven for the wait...But hurry. Lol writerfreak :flower

_________________
Nuair a feallionn na focail, labhraionn an ceol (translation: When words fail, music speaks)
Ever meet a dangerous woman? One you know sees right through you? Dangerously attractive, effortlessly intelligent, quietly intense?

Soul


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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:21 pm 
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10. Troll Hammer
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i am so off the dibsy wagon. oh well. *shrugs* maybe next time :P


i have to say, the further i read, the more i got sucked into it. the mystery is here, deep and strong. what happened to willow? where did she go? did she die? i thought at first that willow had left, or that it might be an AU, but i knew, first with the the Faith mention(very clever, by the way, all the different kinds of faith) and later with what seems like canon, it wasn't. and though you said willow's diaries will be later, i'm now going 'huh. well, is she NOT dead? it sure seems like it.' maybe the diary will be written by willow when she comes back from the dead(or wherever she is).

I'm a sucker for angst, and I'm loving the whole 'tara without willow' scene you've set up.

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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:06 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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Yay! Bring on the angst! I love it!

You've got a good start. Can't wait to see where you're going.

I really loved the "Tara loves Willow too. Forever." Sounds like our girls. Keep it up!


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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:23 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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haha, ok, i'll post a little teaser for the next chapter, but just for you guys, especially writerfreak :)

<<>>

Chapter One

The Past


“Tara, quickly! Run!” Tara felt Willow’s hand on her arm suddenly tugging her away from the college grounds.

“What? Why? Where are we going?” She pulled her arm out of Willow’s grip, frowning as the redhead jumped towards her.

“Do you trust me?” Willow stood directly in front of her, both hands placed on Tara’s shoulders.

“Of course.”

Willow grinned and grabbed her hand again. “Then come on!” She laughed and made a cheeky face at Tara before springing away, dragging the blonde along behind her. Tara had no choice but to follow the prancing redhead.


~.~.~.~.~.~.~


The Present


Tara swapped her takeaway coffee to the other hand when the heat became too much. She had really felt like a Mocha, but tried to stick to coffee these days, mocha brought back too many sad memories. She was walking slowly down main street in Sunnydale, oblivious to the other pedestrians, lost too deeply in her thoughts. A few brisk passers by shot her annoyed glances when she didn’t bother to get out of their way, but they went unnoticed. The sky was overcast, and several drops of rain began to fall, landing lightly on the pavement, hissing as they touched the cement, still hot from the sun which had been shining not half an hour ago.

Tara slipped her coffee slowly, and looked up suddenly when someone knocked hard into her shoulder, but they disappeared amongst the countless other Sunnydale inhabitants. She managed to spill a small amount of coffee on her top and groaned. Everything was moving too fast.

“Hey T, what’s up?”

Tara tried to cover up her groan with a cough. An energetic, constantly hormonal slayer was the last thing she needed right now.


~.~.~.~.~.~.~


<<>>


I know it wasnt much, but enjoy. Lol, actually now looking back on it, it's tiny. I feel ashamed to be posting such a little post. But oh well :p

I will get to feedbacking the feedback after my two week holiday!! Thanks writerfreak :flower , Zooeys_Bridge and taraslove :)

lifty xo

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If you're gonna get up, you might as well get up with me - Tegan and Sara

Saving Myself


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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself (updated...today!)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:34 pm 
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11. Fish in the Bowl
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Aww any reason I'm so special? Lol. That was great as well even if it was small. writerfreak :flower

_________________
Nuair a feallionn na focail, labhraionn an ceol (translation: When words fail, music speaks)
Ever meet a dangerous woman? One you know sees right through you? Dangerously attractive, effortlessly intelligent, quietly intense?

Soul


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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself (updated...today!)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:35 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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well i didnt want to break your heart you see :p

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If you're gonna get up, you might as well get up with me - Tegan and Sara

Saving Myself


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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself (updated...today!)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:40 pm 
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11. Fish in the Bowl
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Damaged enough as it is eh? Lol. Have a great vacation. writerfreak :flower

_________________
Nuair a feallionn na focail, labhraionn an ceol (translation: When words fail, music speaks)
Ever meet a dangerous woman? One you know sees right through you? Dangerously attractive, effortlessly intelligent, quietly intense?

Soul


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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself (updated...today!)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:56 am 
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12. Recently Gay
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I'm really liking the start of this fic. Tara's diary is breaking my heart and raising all sorts of questions.

Quote:
I feel that the longer we keep up this silence, the more you fade away.


I love that line. Anyone who has ever lost someone can truely identify with it. It hit home.

Enjoy you're vacation, and I hope you update the very nano second you get back!

_________________
People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built. Eleanor Roosevelt


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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself (updated...today!)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:22 pm 
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Fantastic...better be a short two weeks:(

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"To days to come."
"All my love to long ago.


I hope, we'll have more happy ever after
I hope, we can all live more fearlessly...

~Jas


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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself (updated...today!)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:55 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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That one sound wonderful. That start sure gor my atention. Please update soon. I like the writing/facts succesion, it gives personality to the fic. Keep going


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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself (updated...today!)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:41 pm 
Your literary style is set at just the right pace...coupled with an appropriate dosage of mystery, humour (Willow's underwear lol) and angst ^^. I'm bookmarking this one. It's going to be especially interesting if you plan to explore the concept of grief in a new light.

Awaiting eagerly for an update,
Vi'


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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself (updated 26 jan)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:24 pm 
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5. Willowhand
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Hey guys! Just got back from spending two weeks at the beach. It was incredibly relaxing, and really beautiful. The weather kinda sucked, but we had a few nice days! One thing happened though, which has totally ruined me, and i saw it coming, but not this soon. It's all because of homophobic parents, i just dont understand why they cant accept their children for who they are.

It threw me off course for a while, but im back on again, and im getting through it.

Neways, there will definately be an update today! I have spent a lot of the two weeks writing this fic, so i have at least 5 good chapters up and running at the moment! Hope everyone is well. It's great to be back! Thanks for all the feedback too!

writerfreak Hey, i was really happy when you left the first feedback! Flattered might i say. Hope everything is going well with you! ANd feel free to ask away!

Zooeys_Bridge hmm well to answer one of your wuestions, yes Willow is dead, but im not telling you how!! :p Willow's diary is in one of the chapters soon to come!! haha, i love the mystery, it gets people so confused :p glad you liked! Hope the next chapter is as enjoyable, and sucks you in, so to speak!!

taraslove Wow, the amazing "Portal" author is leaving me feedback. I must say, after reading portal, and having the guts to leave you feedback, i think that gave me enough confidence to write this story. SO thank you. Haha, oh there'll be angst. this is gonna be one hell of an angst fest!! Enjoy!!

Paint the Sky Hmmm, well this isnt quite the nano second, but i did arrive like two hours ago, and straight away though about updating this damn story i've been slaving over for two weeks!! I agree with you, some of these thoughts of Tara's are directly from my own experience and do indeed hit home, especially in the light of my current situation. I'm trying to keep Tara's diary as much like the character as possible, but i am finding more and more of myself coming into it. is that a bad thing? Neways, hope you enjoy next update, and thanks very much for reading :)

CrazyTaraWitch Was it short enough? I hope so, and enjoy the update dear!!

viximon Yay! My fic has personality! Thanks so much! I am very grateful for your feedback. Im really happy you like my idea of the structure of the fic. I just wanted it to be different from just a simple chapter by chapter story.

Vi' Hmmm, not sure i am exploring grief in a new light, it's just the way I view it myself. So you like angst huh? That's lucky. I am trying to keep that balance of humour and mystery and angst going, but at times i think my mood gets the better of me, so sorry if you find some of this a bit to gloomy for your liking :p Thanks for the feedback! Hope to hear from you again :)




The images at the bottom of the fic are ssometimes fuzzy, and my scanner wasnt working so i took photos, so they might be a bit dodgy. Also, my handwriting sometimes screws up, if you cant read ask me what it says!! If you have no idea what im talking about, you'll know what when you read the chapter :p


Saving Myself

~.~.~.~.~.~.~

Chapter One

~.~.~.~.~.~.~

Willow Tree

Let me be your weeping willow tree
Surround you with my long limbs
My dear, let me grow in the shade
In the sands by the bank of your river
Let I drink from your streams
The cool breeze fill my leaves

We will sing together
Water over the pebbles
And I'll be by your side forever

I wish I was a weeping willow tree
I wish I was a weeping willow tree

I wish I was a weeping willow tree
Sweet river caress how softly
Stir my searching roots
Shading the sun in the summers heat
Let I cool you
We have been dancing so long
In the winters freeze and the summers drought
We survive
We belong
Let us sing together
Water over the pebbles
And I'll be by your side forever

I wish I was your weeping willow tree
I wish I was a weeping willow tree
I wish I was a weeping willow tree

Let us sing together
Water over the pebbles
And I'll be by your side forever

Let us sing together
Water over the pebbles
And I'll be by your side forever

We can sing together
Water over the pebbles
And I'll be by your side forever

Let me be
Your willow tree
Your willow tree

~.~.~.~.~.~.~


The Past


“Tara, quickly! Run!” Tara felt Willow’s hand on her arm suddenly tugging her away from the college grounds.

“What? Why? Where are we going?” She pulled her arm out of Willow’s grip, frowning as the redhead jumped towards her.

“Do you trust me?” Willow stood directly in front of her, both hands placed on Tara’s shoulders.

“Of course.”

Willow grinned and grabbed her hand again. “Then come on!” She laughed and made a cheeky face at Tara before springing away, dragging the blonde along behind her. Tara had no choice but to follow the prancing redhead.

~.~.~.~.~.~.~

After many minutes of running and countless tiny, excited squeals from the breathless redhead in front of her, they arrived at a place that Tara could only describe as beautiful.

The first thing she noticed was the colour of the grass, this deep emerald, and her eyes drifted from the grass into Willow’s sparkling greens shining back at her. She tore her eyes away from the redhead to take in the rest. The trees, the small creek, water flowing delicately amongst the glistening rocks. She noticed a small jetty, peeling white paint flaking off the planks, the bottoms of the wooden pillars now a deep green from the water algae. Small waves lapped gently at it’s base, rocking the dappled shadows of the afternoon back and forth. A bag lay on top of the jetty, half in shadow.

She forgot about everything. Childhood. Graduation. College. It was just her and Willow, and the deep silence of the afternoon.

“Will.” She inhaled deeply as a soft breeze blew into them both. It was beautiful. It brought tears to her eyes.

“Whoa there Tara.” Willow moved forward when she saw the tears, rubbing her hand softly up Tara’s arm. “You like?”

Tara sniffed, and looked deeply into Willow’s eyes, smiling at the redheads expecting face, before pulling the slim body into a tight embrace, her hands wrapped tightly around the other girl’s tiny waist.

“I love.” She whispered into the freckled ear. Willow grinned into Tara’s hair and tightened her grip around the girl’s neck.

They both stood there for a while. Swaying to the sound of the wind in the trees. Content to listen to each other’s heartbeats.

When the sun had dipped slightly lower in the sky Willow pulled back from the embrace, and wordlessly led Tara over to the jetty. They both settled down, side by side, legs dangling over the edge, watching as their reflections danced in the water beneath them.

“They call this place Lover’s Jump Creek, you know.” Willow flicked at a piece of paint, and watched as it fell to the surface of the water. Quickly disappeared with the current.

“Why is that?” Tara tilted her head up, closing her eyes as the last few rays of sunlight warmed her face.

“Not sure. Maybe two lovers went skinny dipping in it, and ever since then that’s what they called it.” She glanced at Tara who was giggling, and then back down to the water, chewing her lip.

“Hmmmm. Maybe there were two lovers long ago, but they had a forbidden love.”

Willow rested her head on Tara’s shoulder. “Go on.”

Tara smiled, and continued, her hand drifting to rest lightly upon Willow’s thigh.

“So there were these two people. One was a blacksmith, a common man, and he fell in love with the princess, and the princess fell in love with him. But the princess’s family wanted her to marry a rich man, and the blacksmith had no riches, all he had was his anvil and his donkey. The princess on the other hand had seven castles and five great stallions. She also owned one of the largest fortunes of gold in the country, but she was willing to give it all up for the blacksmith, the anvil and the donkey.”

Willow’s foot slowly entwined with Tara’s, and they swung back and forth gently as Tara continued with the story.

“The princess’s family found out about the blacksmith of course, and forbade her to venture away from the castle. So that night, like every night, the princess stood on her balcony to watch the stars. She heard a noise and looked down, and there was the blacksmith and his donkey, waiting for her. She climbed down, but the guards heard her and came running. So the princess and the blacksmith jumped on the donkey and rode away.”

The sun was gone now, and Tara shivered slightly with cold, so Willow reached out and wrapped her arms tightly around her waist.

“The princess cried out because the guard’s horses were catching up with them, but the blacksmith told her he knew a way they could be together forever, and led them to a small creek surrounded by beautiful trees. And so, the two lovers jumped into the gushing water, with the anvil tied to their ankles and died, but found each other again in heaven, and for the first time in their lives they felt true happiness.”

Willow sighed and snuggled in closer to Tara’s body.

“The end.” Tara added for effect.

“That was beautiful.” Willow let go of Tara and reached for the bag, pulling a large blanket from it.

“I made it up.” Tara lay down against the cool planks of the jetty, and Willow landed softly beside her, spreading the blanket over both of them, leaving just their toes peeping out.

“I know.” She reached down and entwined her fingers with Tara‘s, stroking the pad of her thumb lightly over her skin.

“I can see the stars through the trees.”

They both lay there in silence for a while, watching the stars. After a bit Willow rolled over so that her arm lay across Tara’s stomach, and her head rested in the crook of her shoulder. Tara smiled and turned her face towards the redhead, leaving it there to that her lips rested lightly against the girl’s forehead. They felt so happy.

“Tara?” Willow whispered quietly.

“Yeah.” Tara’s voice was heavy with sleep.

“I think I’m in love with you.” The sound of the water could hardly be heard over their pounding hearts.

“I think I’m in love with you too Willow.”

~.~.~.~.~.~.~


The Present


Tara swapped her takeaway coffee to the other hand when the heat became too much. She had really felt like a Mocha, but tried to stick to coffee these days, mocha brought back too many sad memories. She was walking slowly down main street in Sunnydale, oblivious to the other pedestrians, lost too deeply in her thoughts. A few brisk passers by shot her annoyed glances when she didn’t bother to get out of their way, but they went unnoticed. The sky was overcast, and several drops of rain began to fall, landing lightly on the pavement, hissing as they touched the cement, still hot from the sun which had been shining not half an hour ago.

Tara slipped her coffee slowly, and looked up suddenly when someone knocked hard into her shoulder, but they disappeared amongst the countless other Sunnydale inhabitants. She managed to spill a small amount of coffee on her top and groaned. Everything was moving too fast.

“Hey T, what’s up?”

Tara tried to cover up her groan with a cough. An energetic, constantly hormonal slayer was the last thing she needed right now.

“Hi Faith.” She smiled weakly up at the brunette.

“Now, I don’t want to jump to conclusions T, but are you unhappy to see me?” Faith reached out, stopping Tara’s slow shambling down the street and cocked her head, eyebrows wiggling up and down.

“No. It’s just…” Tara’s smile disappeared. She shrugged her shoulders.

“Come on Tara, if there’s something you want to talk about, feel free. Emotional rescue gal at your service.” Faith grinned, and did a small impromptu bow.

There was so much Tara wanted to talk about. Everything. She wanted to fill this silence with something. She could feel it all on the top of her tongue, itching to burst out, but again, like every other time she held back. She didn’t want to discuss this with Faith anyway.

“I’m just having a bad day, that’s all. But there’s nothing really to talk about.” She looked down at the small coffee stain on her t-shirt and sighed.

“Yeah, I get you.” Faith studied the girl’s bowed head for a bit. It began to rain lightly.

“Huh. Pathetic fallacy.” Faith looked at the sky.

“What?” Tara looked up again, flinching when the cool droplets landed on her skin.

“You know. Pathetic fallacy. They use it in movies and stuff. When a character’s sad it starts raining or something to that affect.”

“Oh.” Tara knew what it was obviously, but for a moment there Faith had sounded a lot like Willow.

“Yep. Never go to a movie with Giles and Dawn unless you want to get an earful of that stuff.” She motioned to the rapidly moving crowd of people around them, “Wanna get out of here?”

~.~.~.~.~.~.~

Tara ran her trembling fingers through her hair as she walked up the front steps of the Summer’s home. Her arm shook as she tried to turn the key in the lock, resulting in dropping the little piece of metal onto the wooden planks of the landing. The strain of her trip up to the Espresso Pump that morning had been too much for her, and Faith had had to support her as she escorted her home, her arm wrapped tightly around Tara’s shoulder. After realizing the girl wanted to be alone, Faith had left her with a gentle squeeze to her hand, and walked back out into the pouring rain. Tara hadn’t even noticed that she’d gone. Now she stood here, alone, outside a locked door, drenched through with water, and all she could think about was Willow.

The mixed scent of rain and grass sent her head into a dizzying state and she saw the redhead standing right next to her, smiling at Tara as she bent down to pick up the dropped key from the ground. She turned to the blonde and grinned, holding the key out towards her in offering. Tara’s heart broke when she saw that smile. Her knees grew weak when she noticed the clear outline of Willow’s torso standing out through the drenched clothes. The tiny muscles in her arms. Her chest, heaving up and down, joint in pace with Tara’s own. The loose pants she wore were clinging to her legs, and Tara eyes followed down, taking in the smooth muscle of her thighs. She chuckled when she noticed the bright blue flip flops on Willow’s feet. Willow had seen them in a shop, and bought them because she said they matched the colour of Tara’s eyes.

“You’re all wet.” Her voice choked slightly on the words, and she folded her arms to stop them from shaking too much.

Willow grinned and moved a step forward, a hairs breath away from touching Tara.

“I can’t really feel it.” She frowned a little and ran her hands through her hair, mimicking Tara’s earlier actions, “Tara, you’re shaking.”

Tara’s lip quivered, and she gulped, trying to swallow the sob threatening to escape her mouth.

“I miss you.” The simple words hung for a moment in the air as the two girls watched each other.

“Baby, despite all the eccentrics of Sunnydale, we can still catch colds.” Willow looked upon her lover sadly, taking in the state of Tara’s body. She had lost weight. The curves we less obvious now. Her hair had been cut, sitting just bellow her shoulders, very much like the first time Willow had met her. Her face though, looked drawn. Ghostly. Dark bags were forming bellow her eyes, and her lips were dry, chapped slightly.

“Will, I need-” Her voice broke, and her shoulders shook. “I need to hold you again. I just need to feel you.” Her eyes shone with unshed tears.

Willow moved closer, her hands coming to rest on Tara’s hips, softly massaging the flesh, calming her shaking body.

“There baby. Can you feel me?” She wrapped her arms around her waist, bringing their foreheads together, her breath mingling with Tara’s.

Tara nodded, bringing her arms up around Willow’s thin neck, feeling the skin she had longed to touch. Her hands mapping the shape of her head, her shoulders, her back.

“I had the worst dream last night. I though you were dead.”

Willow just wrapped her arms even tighter around Tara’s waist, and brought her lips softly to Tara’s chapped ones, tenderly placing her skin against the other girl’s skin. The key fell out of Willow’s hand as she lost herself in Tara’s mouth, and it came to land once again on the landing, ignored by both girls.

“I love you.” Tara pulled her lips away and looked into Willow’s eyes, her hand cupping the back of the girl’s head.

She bent down to pick up the fallen key and felt Willow’s arms slip away from her waist.

When she straightened, the key clenched tightly in her palm, she was once again standing alone in the rain.


~.~.~.~.~.~


The Reality


Have you ever wanted something so desperately you’ve only caused yourself more pain by trying to get it? You’ve just totally lost it, your senses, your ability to think practically, your mind? That’s what I’ve done. And every day it’s getting worse. I don’t care about anything anymore. Myself least of all.

I feel as if I am wasting what you did for me. You saved my life, but I’m just killing myself again.

Goddess Will.

You came to me today. I felt you, I saw you. But I know it was just my mind, because how on earth could you be here?

Everything. Every little thing reminds me of you. I mistook Faith for you. I didn’t buy Mocha because you used to drink them. I avoided the normal route home. Sometimes I even sleep on the couch, because when I roll over at night and your not there, it kills me.

Xander said something funny yesterday after we got back from Dawn’s. We were walking up the driveway, me and Buffy, and he came out of the house with this look on his face. It was kind of scary. We asked him what was wrong, and he said he thought we should sell your laptop seeing as we won’t be using it. He didn’t say your name or anything. Just pointed towards the house, and in these exact words, “We should sell the laptop. It’s not like we have any use for it.”

It just seemed so cold. So un-Xander-like. He’s trying to get rid of everything that’s yours.

And everyone’s been acting this way. It’s as though they’re all getting over it, your death. Everyone except me.

I’m not letting any of them into our room. It’s full of your belongings. Sometimes I think you’re still living here, and for a moment, for a split second, I forget everything that’s happened to us, until it all comes rushing back.

Mr. Giles left. He’s in England now. He caught a plane pretty soon after your funeral, and although he’s called a few times, we still don’t really know how he is. I don’t think he prepared very well. We went to his apartment a few months back to get the rest of Buffy’s weapons and a few books, and there was an unfinished glass of whiskey on the bench. Then Buffy went upstairs and came downstairs with a suitcase, half-packed. It’s obvious he hadn’t been there because the small pot plant was terribly overgrown, and partly dead. But it was still strange, that he would leave in such a hurry.

It’s been raining most of the day and Buffy’s sitting downstairs with Spike. They have…a relationship now. It’s not perfect. It’s not the healthiest either, but they are happy most of the time, and Spike is a good comfort for Buffy.

Xander, however, hates the fact that Spike spends so much time around us now. When we found out about Spike and Buffy, not too long ago, I remember he refused to talk to her for days and threatened to stake Spike, but gradually he’s coming around. Although he does try to avoid them together as a couple.

I don’t know why I’m telling you this. It’s just, I guess it’s almost as though your death caused Buffy to find something in this world which makes her happy. She say’s he’s different. He’s not the crazy, blood-thirsty Spike anymore. He helps her. He’s concerned for her. He doesn’t love her like I love you but he’s close to it.

So they’re downstairs now. I walked past them on my way up and they didn’t hear me until I tripped up the stairs – I was still shaken from my ghostly encounter with you – and instead of Buffy, Spike ran over to see if I was alright. I guess it was just then that I realised there was something definitely different about Spike. I think he has a soul.

I found this last night in your laptop bag which I saved from Xander’s deadly hands. I didn’t realise you’d kept it. Willow darling, there are so many things about you that I still don’t know. I keep finding things, just little things, like this. It has been four years since I’ve seen this, but it reminds me so much of you, of how we were, of how we should still be. Remember we wrote it during one of the Scooby meetings in the Magic Box? When Giles was prattling on about some demon? I just remember you kept wrinkling your nose because he was being so boring, and then you started running your fingers through my hair, so softly, and I could feel your fingernails scrapping gently against my scalp. You were looking at me with such intensity, that I could only squirm because of the emotions you were making me feel. Giles kept prattling on, getting annoyed at Anya’s fake snoring, and you kept staring at me with such a fire in your eyes that I could feel every inch of my skin heating up. It was so powerful, that passion I felt for you. I just wanted to run my tongue down your neck, and drag my sweaty hands up your hot body. To ravish you where you sat in the chair, and you knew it. You were teasing me, and I decided, if I couldn’t have you right then and there, it was only fair to return the favour. So here it is baby, the first of the many naughty notes we sent to each other. Forbidden to any human eyes other than our own. Except maybe Anya who’s seen most of them anyway.


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~.~.~.~.~.~

hope you liked it! Tell me if the idea of having notes and stuff like the above is bad :p Also, if the images dont work, i'll post you the link.

Lifty

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Saving Myself


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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself (updated...26 jan!)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:49 pm 
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hey, dibs!

well, lifty i'm glad you had a good vacation, homophobes aside. breaks are so restful, it's a shame they have to end!

anyway, your update was very nice. you're writing Tara's sadness so nicely, i felt a big ache in my chest when she saw willow in the rain. i'm all about the angst, and you're doing it really well.

:( willow, come back! you can't leave a broken tara, it's just not natural.

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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself (updated...26 jan!)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:01 pm 
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Well, I have to say. It's interesting to see that Tara's the one left behind after Willow's death, what with all the fics the other way round. I like the idea.

(I think a change.... will do me good.)

It's very sad, though. Yes it is.

Plus, I have a lot of questions. And anxiety.

Oh, and that picture Tara drew is crazy funny!


Can't wait to see more!


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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself (updated...26 jan!)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:28 am 
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Tara's words and memories are so raw and thick with emotion. Your story is beautiful in its heartbreak, and it's literally making me cry. I actually just wiped away a few tears. That's how good this is.


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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself (updated...26 jan!)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 1:31 am 
Hey Lifty,

Good style of writing and I think the idea of inserting drawings and short notes helps in making the authenticity of their relationship more concrete. I'm truly loving the update and find your personal view of grief interesting.

I also kinda agree with taraslove as far as the issue of Willow's death is concerned. It's nice being treated to the other side of the scale.

Vi'


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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself (updated...26 jan!)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 1:47 am 
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:cry Well that was an very emotional update. I just keep saying in my head "Willow please come back!" Tara's pain and memories are really heart-breaking. Leave it to Anya to make it even funnier.
I have to honestly say that Tara's writing and pictures from the flash back her me :lol. Beautiful memories.
I'm very interested in were your taking this story.

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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself (updated...26 jan!)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:44 am 
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Great story... Reading about Tara after Willow's death is heartbreaking...

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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself (updated...26 jan!)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 5:56 am 
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That was definately worth the wait.

Tara's grief is almost painful to read about. I really feel like an intruder, and it leaves me with an uncomfortable feeling, like I'm being voyeuristic. But, that is just a testament to the power of your writing, and even though I know all will be well in the end, it doesn't take anything away from the journey we will be on with Tara. I'm not ashamed to say that the screen got a bit blurry at times. :sob

I loved the inclusion of the little notes, it was a wonderful way to show the happier times in Tara's life and gives her, and us, a more tangible reminder of the love they shared. They created an image for me that was akin to the whole 'volumey texts' scene in Once More with Feeling.

Loved everything about this chapter, Tara's blacksmith and princess story - so sad, and that line about finally finding happiness together only in heaven, I have to say it raised some questions for me, and then this:
Quote:
I feel as if I am wasting what you did for me. You saved my life, but I’m just killing myself again
.

Just that one word, again, I wondering if I'm putting too much signifance on it?

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 Post subject: Re: New fic: Saving Myself (updated...26 jan!)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 5:55 am 
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hey! another update! thanks for all the people reading :) nothing much else to say, so on with the feedback!! This next chapter has high rating! Maybe, Nc-17, im not sure. Neways, watch out!

Zooeys_Bridge: yay you got dibs! well done. Thanks for dibsing so quickly! Hmm, i know, it was incredibly restful. But it went so quickly, and i have to go to school tomorrow. first day of the year. damn...neways, Tara's grief, might i say, is bordering on slightly insane - visions of willow in the rain etc -- and that's very natural! Im glad you enjoyed the update. Your fb made me smile :)

taraslove: ahh, no anxiety! all will be good in the world, dont you worry :) but can you trust me? lol, we'll find out. Yeah, as much as i love the Willow mourning over Tara stories, i just kinda liked the idea of willow being the one who died, and how Tara copes (quite differently to Willow, no black mojo, just simple, natural grief.)

ask the questions! I'd love to answer them. If you're confused about anything just say! I tend to write extremely confusing stories, where i get to the point that i cant even follow what's happening. Its a bad habit. I should stop. Cheers taraslove!! :p

katjetson: Wow. I didnt realise it would have that effect. Hope your keyboard is ok. Your words just made me feel all warm and fuzzy. It's good to know my efforts are paying off. Thankyou so much :) It's this kind of reaction from the reader that really touches a writer's heart.

nimloth: Hey nimloth, glad to see your still reading :) It's good to know that you approve of the notes and stuff, hope you liked the drawings in this one! Have you ever heard of, or read, The Shoebox Project? That's where i got the idea of pictures and notes from. It's an amazing read, hilarious too, you really should (if you like Harry Potter, and even if you dont.) try it!! Thanks for the feedback!

MsKittyB: Hey! Thanks for posting! Hmm, 'willow please come back', maybe if you say it outloud your wish shall come true? lol. Yes, Anya is my sudden, spontaneous bringer of laughs. I love her character, i know that heaps of people found her slightly irritating in the series, but i found her hilarious, in a 'laughing my head off' sense! and i was incredibly sad to see her die :( Anywho, Tara is grieving and there really is only one way, or person, to stop that isnt there? So if i promise a happy ending, then lets bloody well hope Willow comes back!

Zampsa1975: I find myself getting a little teary when i write this story. Tara really is an amazing character, she so sensitive and selfless, she deserves a very happy life :) Thanks for the feedback! Hope to hear from you again :)

Paint the Sky: Wow, big feedback! firstly i have to thank you for waiting so patiently! This next post is slightly lighter in Tara's grievy thoughts in the 'reality' section. I decided to hold back a little from her spilling to many of her emotions onto the page, simply because when you're in her situation, sometimes it's easier to write about the things which made you happy. Too many sad words make a sad sad story. Hmm, this chapter might make you feel a bit more 'voyeuristic', so you out it.
This bit:
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
I feel as if I am wasting what you did for me. You saved my life, but I’m just killing myself again

.

Just that one word, again, I wondering if I'm putting too much signifance on it?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but yeah, that was a silly mistake on my behalf :p i really should read my storys in more detail. Once again, thanks for the feedback! It made me happy! Hope you enjoy next chapter!


Ok lovely people, let's get on with it!!!


Saving Myself


~.~.~.~.~.~


Chapter 2


~.~.~.~.~.~


Waiting for superman


I asked you a question that I didn’t need you to reply
Is it getting heavy?
But then I realised is it getting heavy?
Well I thought it was already as heavy as can be.

Is it overwhelming they use a crane to crush our lives?
It’s a good time for superman to lift the sun into the sky
Cos it’s getting heavy
Hell I thought it was already as heavy as can be.

Tell everybody waiting for superman
That they should try to hold on as best they can
He hasn’t dropped them, forgot them, or anything
It’s just too heavy for superman to lift.

They’re getting heavy
Well I though it was already as heavy as can be.

Tell everybody waiting for superman
That they should try to hold on as best they can.
He hasn’t dropped them, forgot them, or anything,
It’s just too heavy for superman to lift.


~.~.~.~.~.~


The Past


“Willow, get out of the bathroom already!” Buffy banged angrily on the bathroom door. Her frustration at the redhead was beginning to get the better of her. Very soon she would smash the door in with her fist, and she didn’t fancy paying for the repairs.

“No.” Willow shouted back, equally as angry. She has been in the bathroom for over half an hour with no intention of showing her face any time soon. Both girls had been standing on different sides of the door arguing for a good while now. Dawn was in her bedroom, but she couldn’t hear anything because of the headphones on her head. Tara, downstairs making dinner, had chosen to ignore her girlfriend and the slayer’s fighting, satisfied that they could figure it out on their own like adults. Only they couldn’t.

“But I need to go to the toilet, and if you don’t let me in who knows what will happen.” She groaned loudly and banged her fist again on the door in exasperation.

“Use the garden.” Willow shoved a large piece of toilet paper under the door which Buffy proceeded to stamp on violently

“Fine, I’m getting Tara.” Buffy stuck her nose in the air and walked towards the top of the stairs, keeping a close eye on the closed bathroom door behind her.

“Tara!”

Downstairs Tara groaned and put down the knife she was using to slice the tomatoes with. She had been hoping to avoid dealing with this. The last time she had interfered in one of these fights, she’d ended up covered in flour whilst trying to hold the two girls apart. Dawn had captured the entire thing on video.

Hoping to get away with ignoring Buffy, she continued cutting the tomatoes up. Just as she was about to wash the lettuce, Buffy’s voice roared again through the kitchen.

“Tara, Willow won’t get out of the bathroom!”

“Coming!” she replied, and made her way slowly upstairs, inhaling and exhaling deeply to prepare herself for what was to come.

When she saw the fight scene she sighed with relief. So far it wasn’t too bad, just a few scattered pieces of toilet paper and a red-faced Buffy.

“What’s up?”

“Willow’s been in there for ages, and I really don’t want to break a second door down this month.” Buffy looked at Tara pleadingly. “I promise I’ll be good this time. No attacking the redhead.” She smiled sweetly at Tara, before breaking back into a frown when Willow’s voice came from behind the door.

“Tara, tell Buffy to go away.” They heard a muffled bang from inside the bathroom.

“Willow, sweetie, can I come in?” Tara knocked softly on the door, putting her ear to the wood. For a moment there was no sound until a key was heard turning in the lock, and the door opened just a crack.

“Ok, but only you, not Buffy.” The redhead’s voice spoke quietly and Tara stepped into the bathroom, shutting the door behind her with a soft click.

Tara looked around the stark white tiled room until she spotted a blurry figure behind the glass in the shower cubicle.

“Will?” She moved towards the shower and was stopped when Willow’s voice spoke suddenly.

“No! Tara, you can’t see me.”

Tara suddenly grew worried. “What? Why? What’s wrong Will? Are you ok?” She took a step towards the shower curtain and added, “Wow that was a lot of w’s.”

“No! Tara, don’t come any closer.” There was a pause, and a deep sigh. “Something terrible has happened.” she whispered.

Tara shuddered slightly when she heard the fear in the redhead’s voice.

“Oh my god, did Dawn give you a makeover?” Tara’s voice trembled. Her heart filled with dread when she imagined her beautiful girlfriend covered in sparkly eye shadow and bright red blusher.

“No. Much worse than that Tara.” Willow’s hand crept around the edge of the curtain and slowly drew it across.

Tara gasped loudly when she saw the redhead.

“Willow.” The word barely made it past her lips as her bright red girlfriend emerged from the shower recess.

“I have been attacked by the only demon Buffy cannot slay.” There was a long pause where Tara watched her girlfriend and Willow looked ashamedly at the floor tiles. “The sun.”

Tara tried not to laugh. Admittedly the redhead must be in a fair amount of pain, but the sight of the bright red girl standing in front of her was almost too much to handle. Her skin pretty much matched the colour of her hair. Tara could only compare her to the tomatoes she had been cutting up for dinner.

“Oh Will.” She couldn’t manage anything else without losing all self-control completely.

At that moment Buffy burst into the room to see what was happening. She almost fell over in shock when she saw her best friend.

“Geez Will, what the hell happened to you?” Buffy latched onto the sink for support as tears of laughter came to her eyes.

Willow looked up suddenly and ran to hide behind Tara, who was having violent flashes of de-ja-vu of being stuck between the two girls.

“Hey Tara,” Buffy composed herself enough to manage a few words, “Recon we can cook the chicken fillets on Miss Walking Oven here?” She gestured to the redhead and burst out in laughter.

Tara frowned at the Slayer who choked on her laughter and faked a serious face.

“What I meant to say was, this must be awful for you Willow, to mistake Red Nose Day for Red Body Day.” She guffawed again, and bent over, her hands on her knees, shoulders shaking violently.

Willow stood up straight behind Tara, her hands clenching in fists around the material of the blonde’s top. “Hey Buffy, remember that time you turned up to that party dressed like a fairy and it wasn’t even a costume party?”

All humour fled from Buffy’s face, to be replaced by anger. “Yeah well, at least I’m not the one who forgot to put sun screen on this morning before going to the beach. It’s kinda your fault Will.”

“Yeah? Well so is your face!” Willow stormed past the two girls out of the bathroom. Tara followed her out, giving the slayer a stern look on the way past. Buffy cringed, and decided to give the two witches some space, fleeing to her sister’s room.


~.~.~.~.~.~


“Feeling better baby?”

Tara sat cross-legged in the bed next to Willow who was lying flat on her back, her head on a pillow. Her hand rested lightly against the redhead’s burning forehead as she gently massaged some lotion into it. Willow shut her eyes and sighed as the blonde’s cool hand granted her some relief from the heat.

“Yeah.” She mumbled and turned her head into the blonde’s touch.

“I think I’ve covered most of it.” Tara took in the sight of her girlfriend’s moisturizer covered body. The redhead had removed most of her clothing, and now lay in a pair of shorts and a small blue tank top, giving Tara easy access to most of the sunburn.

Willow peered mischievously at her girlfriend, “Not all of it.” She smiled cheekily, and ran her hand slowly up the blonde’s arm.

“Is that right? What did I miss?” Tara ran her fingers gently through Willow’s red hair, catching onto the game quickly.

Willow pointed to her lips, and looked at Tara innocently.

“I didn’t put any lotion on your lips? We must fix that.” Tara reached for the bottle, knowing what Willow really wanted but deciding to play along, squeezing a small amount onto her finger, until Willow’s hand stopped her.

“No, I don’t need any lotion. You have”, there was a pause where Willow placed her hand gently on the base of Tara’s neck, pulling her down until their lips were a hair’s breathe apart, “other ways of healing me.” She licked her lips in anticipation, bringing her other hand to the small of Tara’s back.

Tara shifted her body so that it lay gently on top of the petite girl, her arms on either side of Willow’s head. She could feel the warmth radiating from the small body beneath her. Willow’s hand continued to cup the back of Tara’s head, and she moaned slightly when she felt Tara’s legs come to rest between her own two legs, spreading them apart gently.

“Gods Tara.” She squeezed her legs slightly around Tara’s, causing the blonde to press her body down harder against the redhead. They both moaned simultaneously as their breasts came in contact.

“Goddess, I knew I was a sucker for redheads, but who thought a walking, talking tomato could seduce me?” Tara chuckled quietly, and smiled down at her girlfriend, who raised her eyebrows slightly in humour.

“Yes well, this tomato is going to give all the other vegetables a run for their money.” She frowned slightly and cupped Tara’s cheek, “or am I a fruit?” Willow bit her lips, her face the picture of bafflement, “Tara, am I a fruit or vegetable?”

Tara just looked down at Willow in slight disbelief. “I am about to make hot, sexy love to you and you’re asking me about vegetables?” She placed two fingers lightly on Willow’s lips, stopping any words that were about to be said. “Hush my little cherry tomato.” She whispered, and bent down, her lips seductively brushing across Willow’s.

Willow slowly edged her hand underneath the hem of Tara’s top, dragging it up the blonde’s body, her nails tickling the hot skin of her back. Tara shivered when she felt Willow’s nails trailing up her spine, and she ground her hips down into the redhead’s, causing Willow the thrust her hips up slightly into the contact.

Feeling the heat roaring from her centre as it rubbed down against Willow’s, Tara moaned and pulled her top the rest of the way up her body, over her head, throwing it off the side of the bed. Willow watched in wonder as Tara threw the clothing away and lowered her bra clad torso down to rest back upon her own body. She felt herself growing weak as Tara’s breasts connected with her own. She could feel the coolness of Tara’s skin as it touched her own over-heated skin.

“Is this what you had in mind?” Tara spoke, her voice breaking through the haze in her girlfriend’s brain as she rocked her body gently against Willow’s, thighs rubbing against her girlfriend’s sensitive centre, her breath brushing hotly against Willow’s lips. Willow nodded rapidly, and tugged hard at the base of Tara’s neck, crushing their lips together in frantic passion.

Tara groaned as Willow’s tongue plunged desperately into her mouth, and the hand at the back of her neck securing their lips tightly against each other’s. She thrust her hips down hard and brought her own tongue up to meet Willow’s, stroking it rhythmically in her mouth. The redhead wrapped her legs around the blonde’s, holding their centres together tightly, both girls seeking delicious friction through the layers of material.

Willow broke the heated kiss, panting heavily as her hand clutched tightly at Tara’s naked waist, her hips grinding upwards. “Baby I need-” She was silenced when Tara’s lips once again captured her own in a frenzied kiss. Willow’s hands drifted to the blonde’s bra, quickly undoing the latch and pulling at the straps. The girl’s lips separated for a moment as the material came away from Tara’s body completely, before plunging back down into the kiss. Willow’s hands ran up the taught muscles of the blonde’s back, and down her sides, running heatedly along her ribs before dipping underneath, between their bodies. Tara groaned into the kiss when she felt Willow’s hands squeeze between their bodies to cup her naked breasts roughly. She could feel the heat of the girl’s hands as they massaged her skin, and tore her lips away from Willow’s to lick along her jaw line and suck at the hot skin of her neck, tasting the salt of the girl’s perspiration on her tongue, her head nestled tightly in the crook of the redhead’s shoulder.

Tara brought her hands down to clutch at Willow’s waist so that her entire weight lay on top of the redhead, one hand squeezing between their bodies to cup Willow’s centre through the thin material of her shorts. Willow’s hips jerked up hard at the sudden contact and her legs wrapped themselves tighter around Tara’s thighs, her mouth open, eyes squeezed shut as she moaned Tara’s name loudly. Tara continued to feast at the girl’s neck, sucking hard on her pulse point. Willow’s hands squeezed Tara’s breasts hard, rolling her nipples between her thumb and finger, causing Tara to moan into her neck.

Tara pulled her hand away from the redhead’s centre, ignoring the groan of protest, and brought her hands to the base of the girl’s tank top, removing it quickly from the redhead’s body, exposing Willow’s breasts. Pleased that the redhead wasn’t wearing a bra, Tara lowered her lips down to her left breast, sucking on the stiff nipple, her hand cupping the other breast gently in the palm of her hand. Willow arched her upper body up into Tara’s touch, one hand holding the blonde’s head whilst the other clutched at Tara’s shoulder, nails digging softly into her skin. She moaned as the blonde’s tongue ran heatedly around her swollen nipple, and whimpered as Tara’s teeth bit down gently at the swell of her breast.

Tara continued loving her girlfriend’s breast, and brought a hand down, dragging it against the hot skin of the redhead’s stomach, before reaching the waistband of the girl’s shorts. Willow’s legs now wrapped themselves around Tara’s lower back, and she felt the blonde’s hand slip underneath the elastic of her panties. She panted frantically in anticipation, tugging at Tara’s hair, urging her on. The blonde’s lips left her breast and she brought herself back up the redhead’s body, staring deeply into her girlfriend’s green eyes as her hands gripped the edges of Willow’s shorts, pulling the material of both the shorts and the panties gently down her legs, her knuckles rubbing against the smooth skin of her thighs. Willow stared back up at Tara, both their eyes darkening with desire. Willow panted in unrestrained lust, her hips thrusting up into Tara’s in urgency as the blonde completely removed her shorts, leaving the redhead naked beneath her.

Tara brought her hands back up to clutch at Willow’s hips, halting her desperate movement. “Please baby.” Willow panted heavily, her hands running down Tara’s sweaty back and underneath the band of her denim pants to rest against her girlfriend’s bottom, underneath the elastic of her underpants. Tara jerked downwards when she felt Willow’s small hands come to rest underneath her jeans on the hot skin of her ass, and she moaned as the feeling shot straight to her clit. In one movement Willow had undone the button of her jeans, lowered her zipper and pulled the material down Tara’s legs. The blonde shifted her legs until the offending material came away completely, and she could feel all her skin against the redhead’s naked skin as she settled down to straddle her girlfriend’s thigh, her own thigh pressing against Willow’s centre. It was heaven. Both girls gasped loudly at the sensations as they ground their bodies against each other, the bed rocking in a steady rhythm in time with their movements.

Tara clung at Willow’s sweaty hair, her fingers tugging the girl’s head up to her own and their mouths meeting in desperation. Willow squeezed Tara’s ass, pulling her down hard against her hips in an unrelenting rhythm. Moans filled the air as the two girls coupled frantically, lost in their love for each other.

Willow’s head fell back onto the pillow, her hair splaying out, her body arching up into Tara’s as the blonde once again attacked her neck, sucking and kissing the soft skin, her hands cupping the back of Willow’s neck tenderly. The redhead’s breathing grew ragged as she pulled the girl down harder against her centre. The sensation doubled as Tara thrust down harder onto the redhead, grunting with each movement as their centres came in contact with the smooth skin of their thighs. The intensity of the situation as the girls ground against each other became too much for both of them, and Tara’s head dropped from the redhead’s neck to rest helplessly in the crook of the girl’s shoulder, her body heaving desperately for air, the pressure in her centre building with each passing moment.

Willow turned her head into Tara’s neck and bit down hard into the soft skin as her body shook violently, arching up suddenly as tremors ran through her body, her chest rising and falling uncontrollably. The pain from the redhead’s teeth sinking into her neck soon turned into pleasure as Tara screamed Willow’s name desperately into the bedspread, the sound muffled, her hips jerking wildly.

Willow stroked the back of Tara’s head lovingly where it nestled snug against her shoulder, her other hand encircling the blonde’s waist. Their breathing gradually slowing as both girls descended from the intense moment of their climax.

Tara mumbled into the bed as Willow continued to hold her tenderly. “How are you feeling now?” She shifted slightly on top of the redhead, rolling onto her side so that her arm came to rest across the girl’s stomach, her leg flung carelessly across Willow’s legs.

“Perfect.” Willow’s arm wrapped itself around Tara’s back and the blonde snuggled tightly into her side, her other arm pulling a blanket over their entwined bodies.

“Sorry for biting you.” Willow whispered after a moment, but Tara was already snoring softly in her sleep.


~.~.~.~.~.~


Buffy came to check on them later, to see why neither girl had made it down to dinner. She found them in that position, fast asleep beneath the bedspread.

“Tara ate the tomato.” Willow muttered suddenly in her sleep and resumed snoring.

Confused, but smiling anyway, the slayer shut the door gently behind her and made her way back downstairs to watch T.V with Dawn.


~.~.~.~.~.~


The Present


Blinking, Tara woke up from yet another bad dream to the sound of the phone ringing loudly. She squinted her eyes and looked at the time on the small digital clock beside bed. It read 4.17am.

Rubbing her eyes tiredly she scooted across the empty bed to the buzzing telephone, locating the appliance with fumbling hands she pressed the talk button and held the receiver to her ear.

“Hello” Her voice was croaky from sleep, or lack of.

“Oh Tara, yes hello.” A deep British voice sounded from the other end, followed by the distant whining of an ambulance siren.

“Mr. Giles?” Tara sat up in attention. Giles hardly ever called, and he never called this early in the morning.

“Oh yes, sorry it’s me, and I really didn’t mean to wake you up, but I need to speak to Buffy urgently.” He sounded worried, and Tara frowned when she heard, yet again, the sound of the ambulance siren, closer this time.

“Um, ok, I’ll just get her. She only got back from patrol not long ago, so she’s probably still up. Hang on a second.” Tara tiptoed from her bedroom to Buffy’s room, where to her surprise she found the girl fast asleep and snoring like a donkey.

“She’s asleep, I’ll wake her up for you.” she whispered into the phone, and gently shook Buffy on the shoulder. The girl stirred, but didn’t open her eyes.

“Thank you.” Giles sounded distracted by something. Tara shook Buffy harder and she still didn’t wake up. She was about to shout her name when the slayer suddenly got off the bed and walked into the bathroom without giving Tara a second glance.

“She’s gone to the toilet.” Tara spoke into the phone again.

“Ok.” There was a pause in the conversation and Tara sat down on the bed, fiddling with the corner of the quilt. She didn’t know what to talk to Giles about. His mind was obviously occupied by other things, and Tara was too exhausted to make small talk. But this man had been like a father to Willow, and Tara decided if she wanted to talk to someone he would be the perfect person. Still, right now was not the time or the place. She sighed softly, watching the bathroom door for the slayer to return.

“So Tara, how are you managing?” The gentle voice drifted across the phone and Tara smiled sadly. It was as though he knew exactly what she had just been thinking, and if he did it wouldn’t have surprised her in the slightest. He’d always managed to somehow read her mind, even over the phone.

She was just about to reply when Buffy burst from the bathroom, struggling with a large piece of toilet paper in her hands.

“Tara!” She spotted the girl sitting on her bed holding a phone. “Phone!” She quickly crossed the room, losing the toilet paper and taking the phone from Tara’s outstretched hand. She smiled at Tara as she held the phone up to her ear. “Hello?”

Tara walked out into the hall, no longer feeling very sleepy. She heard Buffy’s voice drifting from the open bedroom door, “Oh hey Giles. What’s up?” Deciding she could do with an early morning snack, Tara walked down the dark stairs to the kitchen. The sun hadn’t started to rise yet, so the house lay in darkness, except for the light from Buffy’s bedroom and the dim glow of the moon.

She reached the kitchen, padding over to the fridge. Her bare feet touched the cold tiles, but she didn’t feel it. A thin moonbeam shone through the kitchen window, and for a moment Tara froze, just staring out into the ghostly shadows of the night. The trees in the garden looked like tall, thin skeletons as they swayed slightly in the breeze. Tara sighed and watched them, imagining Willow walking through the trees towards her.

“You ok bird?”

Tara jumped and spun around. Spike was standing in the doorway behind her, watching her carefully, one hand shoved down the pocket of his black jeans and the other playing with a small, metal cigarette lighter.

“Bit early for breakfast isn’t it?”

He looked eerie in the moonlight, like one of the tree skeletons in the garden. Tara shivered.

“I couldn’t sleep.” Her voice was still croaky from before. She kept watching Spike, not making any move towards the fridge.

Spike hefted himself up onto the kitchen counter, swinging his legs back and forth, still flicking the lighter. “Well don’t let me stop you from doing whatever you were doing.”

Tara gave a small smile and opened the fridge, taking out a banana. It felt cold in her hand, the yellow skin covered in little brown dots. She sighed and moved into the lounge room, noticing a large, black hammer sitting next to the coffee table. It was the hammer Buffy had been going to fight Glory with, but Tara was a bit confused as to why it was sitting in their lounge room. She noticed that Spike had followed her in, and was now lounging casually on the couch, his feet propped up on the hammer.

“What’s that for?” She gestured to the huge troll hammer Spike was sporting at his feet.

“Oh, you mean the hammer? Buffy was using it on patrol. Extra large demon baddy to deal with.” He sniffed and flicked open his lighter, waving it back and forth so that the shadows danced around the room. “She kicked his spiny, black ass though.”

Tara watched the flame flickering about for a bit, trying not to dwell on the weapon that sat at the vampire’s feet. Spike looked up when she didn’t say anything, noticing the way she was staring at his lighter with a faraway look on her face, and then how she looked down at the hammer. He could literally see her whole body cringe away.

Spike flicked the lighter shut, stuffing it back into his pocket. “Sorry bird,” he looked at her apologetically and nudged the hammer with his foot, “tough memories?” Tara nodded and sat down on the couch beside him, resting her chin on her hands.

“Wanna talk about it?” The moon glanced of the top of his blonde hair, now more ruffled than it used to be. Tara looked up and saw the genuine concern in his eyes, and the way he cocked his head slightly to the side as he peered down at her. Tara believed she could trust Spike. The way he had risked his own life to protect Dawn’s had been enough to convince her. His steadfast loyalty to the Summers sisters was enough to touch something deep in her heart.

All her life she had been surrounded by men who cared little for women, show them no respect and treated them like dirt. Men like her father and her brother. Despite what Xander thought, Spike was nothing like these men. Spike was a different kind of monster. He was reluctant to accept the evil within himself. Tara knew that beneath the tough, impenetrable surface, there was a simple, caring young man, who would do anything for the people he loved, and right now she knew she could well and truly trust him.

“I just want to take everything back.”

Suddenly it felt so easy, to open herself up. To empty everything that had been building up inside for an entire year.

Spike kept watching her in silence, waiting for her to continue. His eyes twinkled slightly in the moonlight.

“I feel so empty without her.” She felt the tears welling up and tipped her head back in frustration. Why did she always have to cry?

“There’s nothing you could have done bird. Willow had to do what she did. She was one stubborn young lady and no one could have persuaded her otherwise.” Spike was no longer looking at her, his eyes focused on something across the other side of the room. “I would do it, for the person I love.”

Tara looked hard at Spike, noticing how deep in thought he was. “You mean Buffy?”

Spike nodded and looked down at the ground. “I would do anything for that woman.” He spoke the words with such conviction that Tara couldn’t have believed otherwise.

“She really came through in the end, your red.” Spike was once again looking at Tara, his eyes steadily taking in the hunched figure. Tara looked up in question. “What I mean to say is, after what Glory did to you we didn’t know how she would take it, how she was going to manage. Just turns out she was a whole lot stronger than any of us were.”

They both sat quietly, the sound of the clock ticking from the kitchen echoing through the room. Somewhere a dog barked.

“Did it hurt her?” Tara felt like being sick. This question had been imbedded in her thoughts since Willow’s death.

“The spell?” Spike looked at Tara who nodded. “I think so. But it was quick. One minute she was standing there, all aglow with the powers, the next she was slumped against the wall. It was some pretty intense magic. I’ve never seen anything like it. Blew Glory to a million pieces,” He looked Tara over for a minute, “gave you your mind back.”

Tara bent over, her shoulders shaking, a soft sob broke the silence. The mental pain she now felt must be nothing compared to the pain Willow had felt as she died. Spike shifted closer on the couch, his arm reaching out to pat her gently on the arm. “If there’s anything I can do, just say.”

Tara leaned into his touch. “Can you tell me,” her voice broke slightly, “What happened? How she died?”

Spike looked at the broken girl beside him sadly. She truly was a shadow of the person she used to be.

“That I can do.”


~.~.~.~.~.~


The Reality


Anya gave me these photos. I’m not sure why she didn’t give them to us earlier. I think I’m just glad she hasn’t shown them to anyone else.

Image

This is when she caught us in the kitchen. You screamed and hid behind my legs when you saw her. Hmmm, I don’t think Buffy’s ever touched another Sunnydale Times since she found out what we’d used it for.

Image

We were asleep on the couch after Dawn’s 16th b’day party, but then Anya woke us up because she was giggling too much. She’s really not good at using the camera, hence her fingers are covering your face in this one.

Image

Anya took this outside the bronze one night. I miss seeing your smile. I miss seeing Xander looking that happy too. I remember Buffy refused to go in the photo because she couldn’t cover up the black eye a vampire had given her the night before. Anya got a shot of her later though and Buffy does not look very pleased.

Spike was actually in the background of this one, looking shifty as usual, but of course he’s a vampire so you can’t see him.

Image

Anya calls this the ‘Angry Buffy at the Bronze Series’. Buffy made Anya pay for it big time. She forced Anya into joining her on a trip to the pet store, “to buy a mouse for Dawn”, Buffy said, but we all knew it was to freak Anya out when she saw the bunnies.

Image

You and me at the beach last summer. Me with Xander’s to-cool-for-school sunnies, and you with your bright blue flip flops. I wanted to hold you like that forever. When we got home you hid in the bathroom because of your sunburn. You made such a big deal about it then, even though it was such a small thing.

Now I would do anything to have you back here, complaining about the sun and squabbling with Buffy.

I would do anything to make love to you again, the way we did that night.


~.~.~.~.~.~


so what's your opinion? Is tomato a fruit or vege?

enjoy! you guys are great :p

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Saving Myself


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 Post subject: Re: Saving Myself (updated...28 jan!)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:27 am 
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3. Flaming O

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:11 pm
Posts: 96
Dibsies!

Amazing writing, Lifty. The tomato scene was just adorable (and steamy :D), and your depictions of all the characters are spot-on. I can't wait to find out more about what happened to Willow, and what will happen.

And didn't Willow tell Cordelia what tomatoes were in the episode with the Frankenstein brother? I forget what she said though... :(

Edit: Ooh, I almost forgot: Great sketches! Ever consider doing comic fanfiction? Cause you'd be great at that, I'm certain!


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 Post subject: Re: Saving Myself (updated...28 jan!)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:38 am 
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5. Willowhand
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This fic is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I feel like, in just the few updates, I can count on it to put a warm smile on my face or tears in the corner of my eyes. It's, quite simply, a joy to read. I sound ridiculous and sentimental, but heck(ate) if it ain't true.

Quote:
Downstairs Tara groaned and put down the knife she was using to slice the tomatoes with. She had been hoping to avoid dealing with this. The last time she had interfered in one of these fights, she’d ended up covered in flour whilst trying to hold the two girls apart. Dawn had captured the entire thing on video.


Simple act (cutting tomatoes) and a cute, little memory (flour video). I love that you even wrote that. It makes the story so much more than just Willow and Tara. This way I care about everyone, and that makes it a more pleasurable story to read.

Quote:
“Yes well, this tomato is going to give all the other vegetables a run for their money.” She frowned slightly and cupped Tara’s cheek, “or am I a fruit?” Willow bit her lips, her face the picture of bafflement, “Tara, am I a fruit or vegetable?”


Oh, dear, sweet, SEXY, inquisitive Willow...

There was an episode of Seinfeld about the tomato just never really making it to the status of "hand fruit". God, a whole 30 minutes on the subject. Brilliant. Anyhow, tomato = fruit. Well, at least according to George Costanza...

Quote:
...she moaned Tara’s name loudly.


Let's hope Buffy is borrowing a pair of Dawn's magical, I-can't-hear-Willow-and-Tara-having-sex headphones.

Quote:
“Tara ate the tomato.” Willow muttered suddenly in her sleep and resumed snoring.


So, sleepy Willowbabble does indeed sometimes make sense.

Quote:
“I feel so empty without her.” She felt the tears welling up and tipped her head back in frustration. Why did she always have to cry?


Again with the perfect images you're creating.

Quote:
Tara leaned into his touch. “Can you tell me,” her voice broke slightly, “What happened? How she died?”

Spike looked at the broken girl beside him sadly. She truly was a shadow of the person she used to be.

“That I can do.”


Leave it to Spike or Anya (the two demons) to have the most heart. Or, at the very least, all the answers. That said, ohgod, Willow died at the end of the Season 5 instead of Buffy. Eep! I hope her resurrection (if that's how you intend to bring her back) is a bit more enjoyable. Even so, can we have a Willow-centered musical to explain her feelings when she comes back? :)

Please continue taking me to a Scooby land far, far away. I'm really obsessed with this tale.

* Best use of a newspaper, ever. Or worse use, considering what you want to see. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Saving Myself (updated...28 jan!)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:44 am 
Lifty, thank you for the presentation to the Shoebox Project ;-) . I had no inkling this project even existed but some of the journal entries quite sparked my interest. This is going to make someone I know very happy – she had always wanted to delve deeper into personality portrayals of Remus and Sirius ^^

On to the feedback of your story…

I love the way you are letting us explore the timeline of their relationship. It makes the metaphorical language and graphic imagery more of an enticing reading-feed. The interaction between Will, Tare and Buffy in "The Past" feels natural and it only serves to enhance that pervasive notion of loss that is explored later on.

And who would have thought a tomato-related scene could turn into something steamier :-D.

By the way, I agree wholeheartedly with magicdanw, these are pretty good sketches and "The Reality" is starting to tally as my favourite temporal description.

Vi


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 Post subject: Re: Saving Myself (updated...28 jan!)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:03 pm 
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19. Yummy Face
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Great update-y goodness... great pictures and Tara's memories of tomato-Willow...

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 Post subject: Re: Saving Myself (updated...28 jan!)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 2:01 pm 
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12. Recently Gay
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I thourougly enjoyed the interaction between Buffy, Willow and Tara also, a nice easy scene to dull the edge of the pain in chapter 1.

It hadn't occured to me that Willow could have died facing Glory, but that makes total sense since I did pick up some element of sacrifice on Willow's part in Tara's journal entry in chapter 1. So, that means Buffy didn't die, and if Buffy didn't die, and Willow's death was a mystical one...mmm, I suppose we will have to wait to see what happens.

Can't wait to hear what Spike has to say, and how awful it must be for Tara not to know how Willow died. So many questions to be answered, and so much more pain for Tara to endure..

Like Vi, the reality is my favourite part, not that that takes anything away from the rest as it is all good, but those 'chats' with Willow are very poignant. The comments Tara put under the photo's were sweet and funny, but those last two lines, well blurry screen time again :sob

Tomato - fruit or vegetable? Tomato is a fruit as it contains seeds. Trust me, I'm a gardener ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Saving Myself (updated...28 jan!)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:52 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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:sob That was beautiful and so full of pain.
I love the drawing's too. Every picture said a thousand beautiful words.
Quote:
'willow please come back', maybe if you say it outloud your wish shall come true? lol

WILLOW PLEASE COME BACK!! did it work lol? :pray
P.S- Tomato is a fruit. I don't know why, but everytime I asked someone they said fruit.

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 Post subject: Re: Saving Myself (updated...28 jan!)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:41 am 
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5. Willowhand
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hey guys! Sorry for taking so long. School is really busy already and it's hard to find much spare time. But im trying! Anyways, thanks for all the feedback, its was great! I am going to post an update pretty soon, probably tonight sometime. But i will leave feedback now, just in cases :p


magicdanw: Hey Magicdanw! Thanks for feedback :) I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter, and the next does definately explain some stuff!

Sadly i have forgotten what cordelia said too :( But she did say something :)

Again, thanks for the kind words. I havent really ever considered comic fiction. Maybe I'll give it a go when this is all over with. Thanks for the idea!


katjetson: Hey!! Thanks so much! Bring on the ridiculous sentimentalism!! If that is indeed a term :p I love your feedback, lol, i can always count on it to put a smile on my face!

I'd love to see that seinfeld episode. I've only seen a couple of episodes, but they're hilarious!

Glad you liked the sexy scene lol :p and yes, slayer hearing is quite a problem in the Summer household! If it makes you feel any better, Buffy was downstairs the whole time, and didnt hear a thing :)

Ah, a ressurrection, wouldnt you just like to know? And willow musical? What should we call it? Haha, we'll see. She's not the best singer so you'll probably have the sound on mute for most of it :p

Enjoy next chapter! Thanks for all the feedback!


nimloth: Oh, no worries! The SHoebox Project is absolutely amazing, and Sirius and Remus are fantastically written.

Haha, yes, the timeline is all over the place, and that's the way i like it. As long as it makes sense to everyone else though :)

I am planning on delving a bit more into the grief of the other characters, such as Buffy, Xander, Dawn and Anya, because although we all love Tara a whole lot, i think that covering a broader spectrum of grief will help with the growth of the story.

Glad you enjoyed, and thanks for the feedback! Enjoy next chapter (and Shoebox if you;re reading it) :)


Zampsa1975: Hey! Thanks for the feedback.

The pictures are meant to please, so glad you enjoyed!!! There will probably be more in the future if you like!


Paint the Sky: Hmm, yeah, i was actually a bit dissapointed with the scene between Buffy, Willow and Tara though. It seems as though Buffy and Willow are always arguing, and as much as i tried, i couldnt see it going any other way. I will attempt to write a peaceful scene between the two best friends some time. Yep, this next chapter tells you about her death. I know it's not very original, but i dont want the story to become too complicated. Buffy didnt die, and you will see why :)

Spike has the ability to comfort people, in his own vampiry way :p

The reality is actually the hardest part to write, so im glad my efforts are paying off :) Im trying not to make it too corny :p

Haha, so it is a fruit. well would you look at that! So you're a gardner? That's cool. Our garden is very weedy and overgrown, we get lost in it.

Thanks dear!


MsKittyB: Thanks so much!

Hmmmm, that was some pretty loud shouting! it might have worked, we shall see :p

Tomato is a fruit, that is the general respose i've had, so thanks! Cos i totally had no idea :) Hope you enjoy the next installment!




cheers guys! Update soon!

_________________
If you're gonna get up, you might as well get up with me - Tegan and Sara

Saving Myself


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 Post subject: Re: Saving Myself (updated...28 jan!)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:36 am 
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5. Willowhand
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:42 am
Posts: 330
Location: Sydney, Australia
Here's the update, hope you enjoy it :) Sorry, it's a bit shorter than the others.




~.~.~.~.~.~


Chapter 3


~.~.~.~.~.~


Magic


You’ve got magic inside your fingertips
It’s leaking out all over my skin
Every time that I get close to you
You make me weep with the way you look through those eyes

All I see is your face
All I need is your touch
Wake me up with your lips
Calling me from up above

I need you

I remember the way that you move
You dancing easily through my dreams
It’s hitting me harder and harder with all your smiles
You are crazy gentle in the way you kiss

All I see is your face
All I need is your touch
Wake me up with your lips
Calling me from up above

Baby I need you to see me the way I see you
Love me wide awake in the middle of my dreams

All I see is your face
All I need is your touch
Wake me up with your lips
Calling me from up above

All I see is your face
All I need is your touch

Calling me from up above


~.~.~.~.~.~


The Past


~.~.~.~.~.~


Tara looked around the dorm room, taking in the twos beds, the two desks, the tall mirror on the cupboard, and the chocolate poster on the door behind her. This was the first time she’d been to Willow’s dorm room since their incident in the Espresso Pump two weeks ago. After that moment they'd been inseparable. They had spent many nights talking and staying up late getting to know each other in Tara’s humble dorm, and finally this afternoon Willow had invited Tara back to the room she shared with her friend Buffy.

Tara smiled, the corner of her mouth rising, and her eyes crinkling up when she noticed the telltale signs of Willow in the room. Buffy’s side of the room significantly lacked anything that could be counted as a book, schoolwork, and even stationary, whilst Willow’s had countless novels, pens, pencils, and Tara blushed slightly when she saw a picture of her and Willow they’d taken last week in the college grounds, amazed that the redhead had already had it developed.

She turned back to Willow who was kneeling on the bed, attempting to shut one of the windows, but failing miserably.

“Need a hand?”

“Wuh?” Willow jumped at the voice. They had been standing in silence for a while now, both girls tired from their late classes, and Tara’s voice startled her.

“Um, do you w-want some help?”

Willow noticed the uncomfortable stutter in Tara’s voice and nodded her head.

“Yeah, that would be great.” She smiled at the blond girl standing a few feet away from her, hands folded across her chest.

Tara moved forward, placing on leg on the bed, her knee folded, pressed between Willow’s two legs. The other she placed on the ground beside the bed, and reached across the window sill to grab the window.

Willow shivered when she felt Tara’s leg rest between hers. She shivered again when she felt Tara reach across, her breasts pressing lightly against Willow’s upper back, her breath brushing against her cheek. Willow could smell the sweet, soapy scent of Tara’s shampoo, and inhaled deeply.

Neither girl moved for a moment, both caught up in the sensations of the position.

“So, chilly night huh?” Tara spoke softly, her mouth close to Willow’s ear.

Willow nodded and gulped audibly. Enough for Tara to notice. Both girls were feeling anything but cold.

“We should probably try to shut this window then?”

“Yep. Definitely time to shut the window.” Willow brought her hand back out to grab the upper half of the pane, whilst Tara gripped the bottom half.

“On the count of three. One. Two. Three!” Both girls pulled hard, swinging the window shut with a loud crash.

They fell, laughing onto the bed, Tara landing partly on Willow’s spread-eagled legs. The laughter died down after a bit, and Tara sat up, absentmindedly picking at the thread on the duvet cover.

“Time for pj’s?” Willow asked. Tara looked down at her skirt and bulky boots and nodded.

Willow brushed Tara's hair aside absentmindedly, and smiled.

“Great.”


~.~.~.~.~.~


Whilst getting changed, Tara accidentally caught a glimpse of the reflection in the mirror on the cupboard door. Willow stood on the other side of the room, her back turned to Tara, stripped down completely to her bra and undies, in the process of pulling a yellow t-shirt over her head. Despite her fear of getting caught, Tara couldn’t help but giggle when she saw the familiar cartoon characters imprinted on the underwear. Powerpuff Girls. The giggle faded quickly when she realised she was looking at Willow in nothing but her underwear. She could feel her heart thumping loudly against her chest, and her body heat rising rapidly. She paused all her movements, enchanted by the slim, beautiful woman who stood in the room with her. She looked so small and vulnerable. Tara just wanted to walk over there and enfold her in her arms, kiss the base of her neck lightly, and hold onto her forever.

When she realised Willow had almost finished changing she broke out of the trance, hastily pulling on her t-shirt and shorts, feeling ashamed at having looked at her friend for so long.

“I don’t think Buffy is coming tonight, but just in case, I’ll sleep on the floor. Just so, you know, she doesn’t walk in a find a strange person in her bed.” Willow smiled at Tara, oblivious to the red flush on the blonde’s cheeks.

“N-no, Will. You don’t have to do that. I-I can sleep on the floor.” Willow loved it when Tara called her ‘Will’, but she hated it when Tara stuttered, simply because she knew it meant the girl was uncomfortable, and Willow never wanted Tara to feel uncomfortable around her.

She couldn’t help but notice how good Tara’s legs looked in the small boxers she was now wearing.

“And what kind of host would I be if I made you do that? A very, very bad one, with no manners. No, I will not allow it. I’ve heard stories about hosts who make their guests do things they don’t want to, and the sleeping-on-the-floor stories are the worst ones around. I mean, this one time-”

Tara strode across the room and placed her finger lightly on Willow’s lips, halting the babble immediately.

“We can both sleep in the bed then. If you like.”

Willow swore she saw Tara wink.

“Ok.” Was all Willow could manage as Tara turned of the lamp and pulled her towards the bed.


~.~.~.~.~.~


The Present


Spike and Tara sat on the couch in the Summer’s lounge room.

Tara looked the picture of grief.

Spike looked like he was faking bravado.

“Well, she was pretty vague about the spell and pre-occupied as well, you know, with you and all. So she didn’t really speak that much to anyone. But it got worse, after Glory took Dawn. I was only there for the last few days, so I can’t really tell you much.” Spike paused, clearing his throat, before continuing. “From what Buffy told me, after Glory,” he looked at Tara, “after Glory sucked your brain, Willow became detached, pretty much from everyone. They thought it was depression or something, but it turns out she had started planning this magic show right from the beginning. She was hell bent on making sure Glory paid big time for what she did to you.”

It occurred to Tara that this was the first she’d heard of what happened after Glory sucked her brain out. Sure, there had been hints here and there, like the robot Buffy in the basement, and the bone fractures in her hand, but she had just woken up, in a hospital bed. Alone.

She didn’t know anything of what Willow had gone through.

“The first time Willow tried to kill Glor-” Spike was interrupted.

“Wait, she tried to kill her more than once?” Tara shuddered to think of what the hell god might have done to her lover. If Willow hadn’t meddled with the magic’s so much she probably wouldn’t have stood a chance.

“Only twice. The first time was pretty much out of pure, blind rage straight after they took you to the hospital. She was a mess.

“Buffy saved her that time, though not before she managed to deal that hell bitch one good serving of pain. Then I think Buffy realised that Willow was the only chance they had of winning. Willow was the only thing we had going for us, and she was doing it all for you bird. Every last thing she did was entirely for you.”

Spike decided against telling Tara how they’d had to use her as bait to get to Glory. How Willow had spent sleepless nights caring for the blonde. How Willow had cried when they’d had to restrain her. How Tara had barely recognized Willow. Spike decided not to tell Tara that Willow had wanted to die. He knew that there was a chance the spell wouldn’t work, that Tara wouldn’t be saved, and that Willow had taken that risk just to end the pain.

“So when we went to the tower to face Glory that night, she was all kinda quiet, you know? It was like she didn’t even realise we were there. I mean Willow, usually in deep blabber mode when in a tough situation, but this time something was different. She was determined, and she walked there with you, straight in amongst all of Glory’s minions unarmed, like she didn’t give rat’s ass what might happen.

“It was all part of her plan. She told us to stay back whilst she destroyed the hell god, and Glory fell right into the trap. We all heard that blonde bitch scream, like there was no tomorrow. Bloody hell, red was just standing there, her hand on your head and Glory’s head, and there was this incredible light just flowing back and forth between you. Then we saw Willow, her face, it looked like something was tearing through her insides, and we realised the screaming, it wasn’t Glory, it was Red. Xander fainted, stupid pussy, and Buffy ran in there to stop it, but it was too late.”

Tara cried out softly in horror. Willow had been in so much pain. She tried to shake the image of her lover as she died out of her head, but couldn’t. Spike saw her anguish and decided he should probably stop.

“This too much bird?” He asked softly, but Tara only shook her head and waited for him to continue. “Ok, so Buffy tried to stop her, but by the time she’d fought her way through, Willow had collapsed. Something must have gone wrong with the spell, I dunno. Everything went white, I felt my own skin startin’ to sizzle, hurt like hell. Then the light was gone, and it was just your Red, slumped against the wall and Buffy was kneeling next to her. You were unconscious. Glory was dead, her minions were fleeing like the sodding cowards they were. Then everything went kinda quiet. She'd stopped the portal from opening. Giles had rescued Dawn, and they came back down, everyone just stood around you and Willow.

“Buffy checked her vitals, again and again. I had to hold her back after a while, she was getting desperate. No one wanted to say it. Buffy refused to accept that Red wasn’t breathing. You were alive, but barely.” Spike stopped, and cleared his throat. He was trying hard not to choke on his words. “She was so brave. What she did, I don’t think many would have the guts.” He put his hand carefully on her shoulder, “She loved you so much Tara, and you have to know that.”

Tara wept openly now, her body shaking uncontrollably as she twisted her fists in the material of her pyjamas. She tried to nod, but her head wouldn’t co-operate with the rest of her body, and all that came out was another flood of tears.

“If I had just…” the words refused to come out. She shook her head in frustration. Her breath came in large gulps.

“There’s nothing.” Spike gripped her shoulder tighter, “Nothing you could have done.”

“I just thought she would be around forever, you know?”

Spike nodded and shrugged his shoulders, “I know, but you still have me. I’m not getting any older.”

Tara smiled through her tears, and rubbed her eyes. “Why’s it so hard?”

“This is always the hardest part. You have to let go of the past Tara.”

“I can’t. I-”

“She’s gone bird, that’s it. Willow sure as hell won’t be coming back”

“I don’t want to get over her.”

“Well you’re going to have to some time.” He indicated her uneaten banana and her pale, trembling hands. “You can’t go on living like this. You’ll kill yourself.”

“Maybe I don’t care.”

“Heck, I’m not the expert, I mean, I’ve only died once, but it aint that great. Tell me bird, do you lie in bed every night wishing you had done something differently? Have you thought about her every second, of every day for the past year? Have you kept all her stuff? Do you have freezing cold showers just to feel something? When you shut your eyes, can you see her?”

Tara knew she did every one of those things.

“Does it make you feel any better?”

She felt something inside herself fall apart. Spike was right. He was so right. About everything. Tears fell unbidden from her eyes, and somehow she knew that this, talking with Spike, wasn’t going to change anything. Willow was going to follow her for the rest of her life. Someone like her can’t just be torn out of your life so suddenly, and then you’re expected to get over it. Willow was the purpose for her existence. She would forever be a part of her.

“Come now bird, I don’t think Willow would want you to be this unhappy. Neither do Buffy or Dawn. I mean, little bit told me the other day that you made her pancakes, but didn’t ask what shapes she wanted. What’s that all about?”

Tara smiled half-heartedly through her tears. She cleared her throat and looked down at the ground. “At the funeral her parents gave me this parcel, but they told me not to open it unless I was well and truly over her death.” She shook her head, “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to open it.” Tara could remember the awkward moment between her and the Rosenbergs. Neither parent looked like they had been crying, but Tara could see the emptiness in their eyes. She could see that their daughter’s death had affected them as much as her. As they handed her the parcel, it had started to rain, and most of the guests were retreating to the shelter of the trees. She had stood there, in the rain alongside the Rosenbergs, watching as they filled in Willow’s grave.

“I think you should.” Spike’s voice broke through the memory, cracking into her consciousness.

“What?” Tara replied.

“Open the parcel. See what’s inside.” He smiled sadly and stood up, stretching his limbs. Slowly he walked over to the window where the early morning rays of sun were starting to appear in the distance.

“At least it’s progress.”



~.~.~.~.~.~



The Reality


I wonder, if I was crying and holding you in my arms, would I feel any better?

I think the greatest tragedy of my life was when I started to doubt you, started to doubt us. What we had seemed so good, so perfect. I almost felt like I didn’t deserve it.

But I don’t want to die alone Willow.

People aren’t meant to die alone. We are born, we live life, we enjoy privacy. But when it’s time to leave, we never want to do it alone because we are scared of what happens after, what comes in the space between taking your last breath and the unknown.

Sure, we have our gods and goddesses, but they are immortals, they have a choice.

We don’t.

Mortality is our curse Will.

You said you’d always be here, when I’m sad. You said you’d always be here to stop me from falling.

You died, and now I have to face mankind’s greatest fear.

I think about you, when I’m scared, and alone, I imagine you’re still here with me, like you said you’d be.

I think about you all the time.

I don’t know where you are, or what you’re doing. I don’t know what’s going to happen with my life now.

I’m falling, and you aren’t here to stop me.




~.~.~.~.~.~



Cheers,

Lifty.

_________________
If you're gonna get up, you might as well get up with me - Tegan and Sara

Saving Myself


Last edited by Lifty on Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Saving Myself (updated...28 jan!)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:37 am 
Offline
5. Willowhand
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:42 am
Posts: 330
Location: Sydney, Australia
Here's the update, hope you enjoy it :) Sorry, it's a bit shorter than the others.




~.~.~.~.~.~


Chapter 3


~.~.~.~.~.~


Magic


You’ve got magic inside your fingertips
It’s leaking out all over my skin
Every time that I get close to you
You make me weep with the way you look through those eyes

All I see is your face
All I need is your touch
Wake me up with your lips
Calling me from up above

I need you

I remember the way that you move
You dancing easily through my dreams
It’s hitting me harder and harder with all your smiles
You are crazy gentle in the way you kiss

All I see is your face
All I need is your touch
Wake me up with your lips
Calling me from up above

Baby I need you to see me the way I see you
Love me wide awake in the middle of my dreams

All I see is your face
All I need is your touch
Wake me up with your lips
Calling me from up above

All I see is your face
All I need is your touch

Calling me from up above


~.~.~.~.~.~


The Past


~.~.~.~.~.~


Tara looked around the dorm room, taking in the twos beds, the two desks, the tall mirror on the cupboard, and the chocolate poster on the door behind her. This was the first time she’d been to Willow’s dorm room since their incident in the Espresso Pump two weeks ago. They had quickly become friends as Willow had offered to escort her back to the college and fend off any eyes that might be wondering to the unfortunate stain on Tara’s jeans. From there on, their friendship had blossomed. They had spent many nights talking and staying up late getting to know each other in Tara’s humble dorm, and finally this afternoon Willow had invited Tara back to the room she shared with her friend Buffy.

Tara smiled, the corner of her mouth rising, and her eyes crinkling up when she noticed the telltale signs of Willow in the room. Buffy’s side of the room significantly lacked anything that could be counted as a book, schoolwork, and even stationary, whilst Willow’s had countless novels, pens, pencils, and Tara blushed slightly when she saw a picture of her and Willow they’d taken last week in the college grounds, amazed that the redhead had already had it developed.

She turned back to Willow who was kneeling on the bed, attempting to shut one of the windows, but failing miserably.

“Need a hand?”

“Wuh?” Willow jumped at the voice. They had been standing in silence for a while now, both girls tired from their late classes, and Tara’s voice startled her.

“Um, do you w-want some help?”

Willow noticed the uncomfortable stutter in Tara’s voice and nodded her head.

“Yeah, that would be great.” She smiled at the blond girl standing a few feet away from her, hands folded across her chest.

Tara moved forward, placing on leg on the bed, her knee folded, pressed between Willow’s two legs. The other she placed on the ground beside the bed, and reached across the window sill to grab the window.

Willow shivered when she felt Tara’s leg rest between hers. She shivered again when she felt Tara reach across, her breasts pressing lightly against Willow’s upper back, her breath brushing against her cheek. Willow could smell the sweet, soapy scent of Tara’s shampoo, and inhaled deeply.

Neither girl moved for a moment, both caught up in the sensations of the position.

“So, chilly night huh?” Tara spoke softly, her mouth close to Willow’s ear.

Willow nodded and gulped audibly. Enough for Tara to notice. Both girls were feeling anything but cold.

“We should probably try to shut this window then?”

“Yep. Definitely time to shut the window.” Willow brought her hand back out to grab the upper half of the pane, whilst Tara gripped the bottom half.

“On the count of three. One. Two. Three!” Both girls pulled hard, swinging the window shut with a loud crash.

They fell, laughing onto the bed, Tara landing partly on Willow’s spread-eagled legs. The laughter died down after a bit, and Tara sat up, absentmindedly picking at the thread on the duvet cover.

“Time for pj’s?” Willow asked. Tara looked down at her skirt and bulky boots and nodded.

Willow brushed Tara's hair aside absentmindedly, and smiled.

“Great.”


~.~.~.~.~.~


Whilst getting changed, Tara accidentally caught a glimpse of the reflection in the mirror on the cupboard door. Willow stood on the other side of the room, her back turned to Tara, stripped down completely to her bra and undies, in the process of pulling a yellow t-shirt over her head. Despite her fear of getting caught, Tara couldn’t help but giggle when she saw the familiar cartoon characters imprinted on the underwear. Powerpuff Girls. The giggle faded quickly when she realised she was looking at her new found friend in nothing but her underwear. She could feel her heart thumping loudly against her chest, and her body heat rising rapidly. She paused all her movements, enchanted by the slim, beautiful woman who stood in the room with her. She looked so small and vulnerable. Tara just wanted to walk over there and enfold her in her arms, kiss the base of her neck lightly, and hold onto her forever.

When she realised Willow had almost finished changing she broke out of the trance, hastily pulling on her t-shirt and shorts, feeling ashamed at having looked at her friend for so long.

“I don’t think Buffy is coming tonight, but just in case, I’ll sleep on the floor. Just so, you know, she doesn’t walk in a find a strange person in her bed.” Willow smiled at Tara, oblivious to the red flush on the blonde’s cheeks.

“N-no, Will. You don’t have to do that. I-I can sleep on the floor.” Willow loved it when Tara called her ‘Will’, but she hated it when Tara stuttered, simply because she knew it meant the girl was uncomfortable, and Willow never wanted Tara to feel uncomfortable around her.

She couldn’t help but notice how good Tara’s legs looked in the small boxers she was now wearing.

“And what kind of host would I be if I made you do that? A very, very bad one, with no manners. No, I will not allow it. I’ve heard stories about hosts who make their guests do things they don’t want to, and the sleeping-on-the-floor stories are the worst ones around. I mean, this one time-”

Tara strode across the room and placed her finger lightly on Willow’s lips, halting the babble immediately.

“We can both sleep in the bed then. If you like.”

Willow swore she saw Tara wink.

“Ok.” Was all Willow could manage as Tara turned of the lamp and pulled her towards the bed.


~.~.~.~.~.~


The Present


Spike and Tara sat on the couch in the Summer’s lounge room.

Tara looked the picture of grief.

Spike looked like he was faking bravado.

“Well, she was pretty vague about the spell and pre-occupied as well, you know, with you and all. So she didn’t really speak that much to anyone. But it got worse, after Glory took Dawn. I was only there for the last few days, so I can’t really tell you much.” Spike paused, clearing his throat, before continuing. “From what Buffy told me, after Glory,” he looked at Tara, “after Glory sucked your brain, Willow became detached, pretty much from everyone. They thought it was depression or something, but it turns out she had started planning this magic show right from the beginning. She was hell bent on making sure Glory paid big time for what she did to you.”

It occurred to Tara that this was the first she’d heard of what happened after Glory sucked her brain out. Sure, there had been hints here and there, like the robot Buffy in the basement, and the bone fractures in her hand, but she had just woken up, in a hospital bed. Alone.

She didn’t know anything of what Willow had gone through.

“The first time Willow tried to kill Glor-” Spike was interrupted.

“Wait, she tried to kill her more than once?” Tara shuddered to think of what the hell god might have done to her lover. If Willow hadn’t meddled with the magic’s so much she probably wouldn’t have stood a chance.

“Only twice. The first time was pretty much out of pure, blind rage straight after they took you to the hospital. She was a mess.

“Buffy saved her that time, though not before she managed to deal that hell bitch one good serving of pain. Then I think Buffy realised that Willow was the only chance they had of winning. Willow was the only thing we had going for us, and she was doing it all for you bird. Every last thing she did was entirely for you.”

Spike decided against telling Tara how they’d had to use her as bait to get to Glory. How Willow had spent sleepless nights caring for the blonde. How Willow had cried when they’d had to restrain her. How Tara had barely recognized Willow. Spike decided not to tell Tara that Willow had wanted to die. He knew that there was a chance the spell wouldn’t work, that Tara wouldn’t be saved, and that Willow had taken that risk just to end the pain.

“So when we went to the tower to face Glory that night, she was all kinda quiet, you know? It was like she didn’t even realise we were there. I mean Willow, usually in deep blabber mode when in a tough situation, but this time something was different. She was determined, and she walked there with you, straight in amongst all of Glory’s minions unarmed, like she didn’t give rat’s ass what might happen.

“It was all part of her plan. She told us to stay back whilst she destroyed the hell god, and Glory fell right into the trap. We all heard that blonde bitch scream, like there was no tomorrow. Bloody hell, red was just standing there, her hand on your head and Glory’s head, and there was this incredible light just flowing back and forth between you. Then we saw Willow, her face, it looked like something was tearing through her insides, and we realised the screaming, it wasn’t Glory, it was Red. Xander fainted, stupid pussy, and Buffy ran in there to stop it, but it was too late.”

Tara cried out softly in horror. Willow had been in so much pain. She tried to shake the image of her lover as she died out of her head, but couldn’t. Spike saw her anguish and decided he should probably stop.

“This too much bird?” He asked softly, but Tara only shook her head and waited for him to continue. “Ok, so Buffy tried to stop her, but by the time she’d fought her way through, Willow had collapsed. Something must have gone wrong with the spell, I dunno. Everything went white, I felt my own skin startin’ to sizzle, hurt like hell. Then the light was gone, and it was just your Red, slumped against the wall and Buffy was kneeling next to her. You were unconscious. Glory was dead, her minions were fleeing like the sodding cowards they were. Then everything went kinda quiet. She'd stopped the portal from opening. Giles had rescued Dawn, and they came back down, everyone just stood around you and Willow.

“Buffy checked her vitals, again and again. I had to hold her back after a while, she was getting desperate. No one wanted to say it. Buffy refused to accept that Red wasn’t breathing. You were alive, but barely.” Spike stopped, and cleared his throat. He was trying hard not to choke on his words. “She was so brave. What she did, I don’t think many would have the guts.” He put his hand carefully on her shoulder, “She loved you so much Tara, and you have to know that.”

Tara wept openly now, her body shaking uncontrollably as she twisted her fists in the material of her pyjamas. She tried to nod, but her head wouldn’t co-operate with the rest of her body, and all that came out was another flood of tears.

“If I had just…” the words refused to come out. She shook her head in frustration. Her breath came in large gulps.

“There’s nothing.” Spike gripped her shoulder tighter, “Nothing you could have done.”

“I just thought she would be around forever, you know?”

Spike nodded and shrugged his shoulders, “I know, but you still have me. I’m not getting any older.”

Tara smiled through her tears, and rubbed her eyes. “Why’s it so hard?”

“This is always the hardest part. You have to let go of the past Tara.”

“I can’t. I-”

“She’s gone bird, that’s it. Willow sure as hell won’t be coming back”

“I don’t want to get over her.”

“Well you’re going to have to some time.” He indicated her uneaten banana and her pale, trembling hands. “You can’t go on living like this. You’ll kill yourself.”

“Maybe I don’t care.”

“Heck, I’m not the expert, I mean, I’ve only died once, but it aint that great. Tell me bird, do you lie in bed every night wishing you had done something differently? Have you thought about her every second, of every day for the past year? Have you kept all her stuff? Do you have freezing cold showers just to feel something? When you shut your eyes, can you see her?”

Tara knew she did every one of those things.

“Does it make you feel any better?”

She felt something inside herself fall apart. Spike was right. He was so right. About everything. Tears fell unbidden from her eyes, and somehow she knew that this, talking with Spike, wasn’t going to change anything. Willow was going to follow her for the rest of her life. Someone like her can’t just be torn out of your life so suddenly, and then you’re expected to get over it. Willow was the purpose for her existence. She would forever be a part of her.

“Come now bird, I don’t think Willow would want you to be this unhappy. Neither do Buffy or Dawn. I mean, little bit told me the other day that you made her pancakes, but didn’t ask what shapes she wanted. What’s that all about?”

Tara smiled half-heartedly through her tears. She cleared her throat and looked down at the ground. “At the funeral her parents gave me this parcel, but they told me not to open it unless I was well and truly over her death.” She shook her head, “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to open it.” Tara could remember the awkward moment between her and the Rosenbergs. Neither parent looked like they had been crying, but Tara could see the emptiness in their eyes. She could see that their daughter’s death had affected them as much as her. As they handed her the parcel, it had started to rain, and most of the guests were retreating to the shelter of the trees. She had stood there, in the rain alongside the Rosenbergs, watching as they filled in Willow’s grave.

“I think you should.” Spike’s voice broke through the memory, cracking into her consciousness.

“What?” Tara replied.

“Open the parcel. See what’s inside.” He smiled sadly and stood up, stretching his limbs. Slowly he walked over to the window where the early morning rays of sun were starting to appear in the distance.

“At least it’s progress.”



~.~.~.~.~.~



The Reality


I wonder, if I was crying and holding you in my arms, would I feel any better?

I think the greatest tragedy of my life was when I started to doubt you, started to doubt us. What we had seemed so good, so perfect. I almost felt like I didn’t deserve it.

But I don’t want to die alone Willow.

People aren’t meant to die alone. We are born, we live life, we enjoy privacy. But when it’s time to leave, we never want to do it alone because we are scared of what happens after, what comes in the space between taking your last breath and the unknown.

Sure, we have our gods and goddesses, but they are immortals, they have a choice.

We don’t.

Mortality is our curse Will.

You said you’d always be here, when I’m sad. You said you’d always be here to stop me from falling.

You died, and now I have to face mankind’s greatest fear.

I think about you, when I’m scared, and alone, I imagine you’re still here with me, like you said you’d be.

I think about you all the time.

I don’t know where you are, or what you’re doing. I don’t know what’s going to happen with my life now.

I’m falling, and you aren’t here to stop me.




~.~.~.~.~.~



Cheers,

Lifty.

_________________
If you're gonna get up, you might as well get up with me - Tegan and Sara

Saving Myself


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