To Those Who Wield
CN Winters and Susan Carr
Buffy fanfiction, Willow fanfiction, Buffy slash
fanfiction, Willow Tara fanfiction
Joss owns ‘em. I’m just borrowing ‘em.
NC-17 for grown up stuff like sex, language and
Will and Tara; Vamp Will and Vamp Tara
CN Winters (email@example.com) or Susan Carr
Takes place during season six after Tara and Willow’s
break up and Willow’s recovery. We took the liberty of
letting Vamp Willow live when she returned to her world
just because we can. Anyway, seems Vamp Willow has
returned to ‘Buffy’s Sunnydale’ again, this time
with her new lover, Tara Maclay, to wreck a little
thanks: To Chris Cook for the ultra-cool banner
asleep?" Dawn said softly as she lay on her side.
Tara was lying next to
her, looking up at the ceiling. "No," she
replied just above a whisper.
Dawn wasn’t sure
where to begin. "She won’t hurt you if that’s
what you’re worried about," she finally whispered
you," Tara retorted.
"Yeah but that
was before. She’s been doing really good lately. No
spells for almost two weeks."
Tara paused a moment.
"Did you really slap her?"
Dawn could hear the
grin in Tara’s voice.
"What do you
mean?" Tara asked.
"I know that the
accident was a kind of bottoming out for her
"She quit for you
too. She’s worried she’ll never get you back...Maybe
you should give her a chance? I mean I’m willing to
forgive her and she broke my arm."
"It’s not that
simple...I love her. A-and I miss her but...we need time
"I get that,
it’s just...I miss you. And I miss the two of you
together. You guys were the only thing constant in my
life after Mom and Buffy died and…"
Tara rolled over to
look at the Slayer’s sister. She stroked Dawn’s
cheek and smiled. "I told you—regardless of what
happens with Willow I’ll always be there for you.
"I wish I could
"You don’t? Why
not?" Tara felt her heart wrench at the
"Because you were
Willow’s ‘always’ and now you’re gone."
different Dawn. Willow…," she sighed, searching
in her mind for a way to explain. "She took my
memories. She changed…me… to suit her purposes. My
relationship with Willow became...about power—not
love. She wanted control of me. She messed with my mind,
just like Glory did."
answered. "Not ‘just like Glory did.’ Glory was
malicious and self-serving."
"And so was
Willow," Tara disputed. "I know you might not
see it that way Dawnie, and neither does Willow, but
that’s what it was. She changed me to fit her needs.
She wanted to end our fighting, to find some peace. But
she went about it all wrong."
said, the authority rising in her voice, cutting her
off. "What if Buffy did the same thing to you? What
if you guys were fighting and she did a spell to make
"But things are
different now," Dawn answered avoiding the
"How would you
feel?" Tara pressed.
she finally admitted.
"So you see where
I’m coming from?"
"Yes but after I
got past all that...I’d still love Buffy. And I’d
still want her in my life."
Believe me I do," Tara agreed. "I just
haven’t gotten past ‘all that’ Dawnie."
"So tell me? Will
you ever love her again? Do you think it’s
"I never stopped
loving her," Tara freely admitted. "I just
couldn’t live with her anymore. It was hurting us
both. And I know it’s not all Willow’s fault. I kept
give her more inches, you know? I kept scooting that
line she shouldn’t cross farther and farther
until...Maybe if I’d taken a stand earlier things
would have been different somehow. But all the coulda,
woulda, shoulda’s don’t mean anything in the end. I
have to focus on right now."
"Well, right now
she’s doing better," Dawn countered. "I hope
you take the time to see that. Maybe put that anger on
hold now and then?"
Tara smiled and leaned
over kissing her on the forehead. "I’ll
try...It’s getting late Dawn. Let’s get some sleep,
Dawn nodded before
rolling over on her side again. "Goodnight
Buffy leaned over the
edge of her bed. "You don’t need to sleep on the
floor Will. I’ll keep my hands to myself," she
Willow returned the
playful smile with one of her own. "Maybe it’s
not your hands I’m worried about."
Buffy gave a light
chuckle. "Come on up here. There’s lots of
"I don’t want
to wake you up Buffy."
Some nights I twitch so bad it feels like I’m gonna
twitch right out of bed. You won’t get any sleep if
I’m in there."
"For the most part, the days are easier now. I no
longer just tremble out of the blue but...At night when
I try to relax or in the morning when I first wake up?
Yeah it’s pretty rough, especially when I’m tense.
And tonight…pretty high on the tense-o-meter, ya
"I’m sorry but
she has to stay here Will."
"Oh I totally
agree…I just wish my nerves would see it that
way," the redhead grinned. She watched a Buffy’s
smile faded. "What’s the matter?"
sorry," Buffy said and Willow could hear true
regret in her friend’s voice.
worry. It’s not like you jolted me up with evil
spirits. I did that all on my own."
mean...I’m sorry I didn’t see it. Xander and Anya
did. They thought you were getting in too deep with the
magics too. By the time I recognized it, it was too
late…If I’d been a better friend I would have
stepped in sooner. Maybe said something. Done
something…I don’t know."
"I’m a junkie
but that’s not your fault," Willow said honestly.
"I gave up everything I loved for the rush magic
gave me. Even after Tara left...I still didn’t want to
see it. She was being a hypocrite as far as I was
concerned—telling me not to do magic when she was a
witch too...It wasn’t until you were going to leave me
there in that garage that I realized...I had nothing
"I didn’t think
I could help you. And a helpless Slayer isn’t a role I
play real well. But…at the same time…I couldn’t
just leave you there, not after everything."
"Yeah I did some
damage that night."
talking about that night. I was talking about everything
you’ve done for me ...Slayers are supposed to live
solitary lives…I let you and Xander in on my secret
which is a major Slayer faux pas," Buffy grinned.
"But you know what? I’m the oldest living Slayer
in history. I think you’re one of the reasons why…I
couldn’t leave you in that garage."
Willow didn’t say
anything but Buffy could see she was thinking.
it," Buffy finally asked.
Willow smiled up at
Buffy briefly before a somber look returned. "I
miss her Buffy. And after tonight, when I thought it was
her at the Bronze, I miss her even more."
"Give her time
"Time. Okay. Yeah
I can do that...But…"
"How can I make
things right when she won’t even talk to me anymore?
You saw her tonight. She spoke to everyone but me. I
asked if she was okay and all I got was a nod."
around. I know it," Buffy remarked confidently.
"Well, I’m not
the most patient person in the world."
stubborn too," Buffy added with a perky grin.
great qualities. No wonder Tara isn’t rushing back to
Will. Rightfully so. But I also know that she sees
someone who’s dedicated and loyal and…at the risk of
sounding not so straight…sexy."
That make Willow
chuckle. "Point taken," she added.
A small silence passed
between them again before Buffy spoke again. "I
think you’ll get her back because a part of her never
left. She’s still hanging on. I can see it when she
comes to visit Dawn. I saw it again tonight."
"What makes you
"If Tara still
didn’t care she wouldn’t have looked as nervous as
she did when I ordered everyone to stay here. It might
not seem like it, and she might say otherwise, but she
still loves you Willow."
"I love her too.
I love her so much and it’s not like anything I’ve
ever felt...She just...fits. She helped me fill up those
empty places I had and since she’s left I just
Buffy offered with a comforting grin.
"Empty," the redhead echoed.
worry about it tonight. Tara’s here. She’s safe. And
in time you’ll see I’m right."
"I hope so,"
Willow told her.
Buffy reached over and
turned the light off. "Goodnight Willow."
Willow strode down the
main drag of Sunnydale, once again fuming at just how
sickening this world was. Her annoyance with her new toy
barricading herself away from her and then having the
audacity to call in the Slayer was nothing compared to
her anger at the groups of humans happily strolling
along oblivious to her presence.
This world is
no fun, she
thought to herself. And
where in all the hell dimensions is Tara?
As if on cue Willow
became aware of a familiar presence. Not bothering to
glance behind herself she quickly moved off of the main
street into an alley. When she had moved far enough in,
she turned and glared at the small light bopping
playfully about. She waited a moment and when it seemed
obvious the light was content to continue jaunting
about, she took in a small breath of frustration and
waved her hand.
she said and the sound of power filled the alley.
The small light was
pushed back by Willow’s force and burst into a
thousand stars against the wall of the building. The
shimmering coalesced to reveal Tara’s giggling form.
The blonde lifted herself off the ground and wiped away
a small trickle of blood from her mouth as she
"I told you I
didn’t like that spell, Tara!" Willow growled,
grabbing Tara’s arm.
big, Will?" Tara asked, moving closer to Willow,
nuzzling into her neck, a move that never failed to melt
the redheaded vampire. "It worked, didn’t it? I
found you. Second time tonight, in fact."
Willow pulled away
from Tara’s nuzzling and looked into her lover’s
laughing face. "You found the other me? Where is
"Xander and some
bottle blonde came to rescue her. I didn’t want to
protest too much until we were together again. You did
say to keep a low profile." Tara paused as she
tried to nuzzle into Willow, only to be brushed off yet
again. "Gods, Will…were you really with Xander?
What a dork!"
Xander was a lot different in our world," Willow
said absently, her mind going a mile a minute as she
reviewed and revised her plans only to be distracted by
her lover’s attentions. "Tara, baby, please.
I’m trying to think. We’ve got things to do,
cranky, sweetie," Tara purred. "This world
isn’t half as bad as you said. I kinda like it
Willow glared at Tara.
"Are you kidding me? This is a stupid world."
She pulled Tara to the end of the alley and pointed.
"Look at them! Just walking about without a
"Exactly! They’re not afraid of us. We can just
reach out and pluck them like fruit off the vine."
"I don’t like
it," Willow pouted. "I like them better when
Sweetie," Tara soothed. "You just want them to
be afraid of you, don’t you? I know and I’m sure
that they will be, too…once they get to know you. Now,
"No play. Play later, baby. Food now. And
Tara echoed Willow’s
sigh, knowing that her sire was right. Dawn was coming
soon and they’d need some place to stay.
"Okay," she agreed. "Before I bumped into
your other you at the Bronze, I found out there’s a
demon bar called Willy’s. That should be a good place
For the first time,
Willow smiled at her. "You did good, Kitten. So
good that maybe later I won’t have to be so hard on
you for doing that stupid Tinkerbell spell."
Tara smirked and followed Willow out of the alley.
Willy’s bar was
packed as the two vampires entered. Tara glanced at
Willow who gestured for them to separate and the pair
moved off into different parts of the room; Willow
moving to the back with Tara heading for the bar.
Opening up her senses, Tara scanned the patrons before
settling on a jovial demon with an excess skin problem.
He was talking to another female vampire, but as Tara
moved closer to the bar she purposefully brushed her
body against his.
there!" he said, turning to Tara. His vampire
companion took one look at Tara, shrugged and moved
away. Tara moved in to take her place, turning her full
attention on the demon.
drawled. "What’s your name?"
Clem," he said, grinning at her.
thirsty," Tara purred, running a finger sinuously
up his bumpy arm.
Clem blinked in
confusion for a moment, thinking she was giving her
name. "Oh! Uh, sure, what’ll you have?"
"I’m in the
mood for something rare, I think," she said.
"Maybe a nice AB negative?"
Clem thought about the
contents of his wallet, but when the hand on his arm
distracted him and he found himself placing her order.
Tara continued to
exchange pleasantries with the demon as she scanned the
room while sipping her drink, one part of her mind
constantly aware of Willow’s presence. She glanced at
her sire who was playing pool with a Mithrash demon.
Suddenly she felt Willow tense and move out of the light
from the table and back into the shadows. Tara followed
her gaze and saw the thin blonde vampire in a black
leather duster making his way purposefully through the
interrupted the demon’s story about drawing a five on
an inside straight the night before. "Who’s that
guy?" she asked, pointing her chin at the new comer
before he disappeared through a door leading to the
Clem turned in his
seat. "Oh, that’s Spike," he said, turning
back to her. "Nice enough fella. I don’t believe
all those rumors going on about him; he’s always been
sweet to me. Cheats at poker, though, but then again
don’t we all?"
Tara asked. "What kind of rumors?"
said leaning in to whisper conspiratorially. "I
know that he’s always been close with the Slayer, but
I’ve heard that lately they’ve become real
close…if you know what I mean?"
"A vampire and a
slayer?" Tara mused. "What’s she like?"
"Oh, she’s very
sweet, too," Clem recounted. "Although the
other guys weren’t too happy about her freeing the pot
the other night I can tell you that! But she was just
doing her job…and from what I’ve heard, Buffy takes
her job very seriously."
Tara was surprised the Slayer Willow had encountered
last time had lasted this long…most don’t, at least
not in their world.
Clem nodded and sipped
at his drink. Tara watched and crinkled her nose at the
foul yellow liquid. "Clem, tell me more about
Spike," she said, knowing Willow would be more
interested in him.
seemed a little disappointed at her interest in the
vampire, but as she moved closer and placed a cool hand
on his leg, he found himself trying to be the
ever-helpful friend. Maybe he’d help old Spike find a
little distraction from his obsession with the Slayer.
And besides this one was very pretty.
eh?" Willow mused later after they left the bar. It
was now only a couple of hours until dawn and Tara was
beginning to feel uneasy.
confirmed, smelling the air nervously. "Floppy Ears
said that after Spike was neutered he took up with the
Slayer’s gang and has been helping them kill vamps and
demons ever since. He said Spike was especially fond of
the Slayer’s little sis…very protective-like, who
apparently is a real cutie herself." Tara smirked
at the thought.
think about it," Willow growled. "We’re here
to get something and I don’t want you
whatever," Tara said. "But Will…we’ve got
more immediate problems, in case you haven’t
Willow looked at Tara
with narrowed eyes. "Are you doubting me,
Willow…it’s just that…"
Willow whispered, leaning closer. "Tell me."
know," Tara bit the corner of her lip. "Maybe
it’s the sunrise…maybe it’s just this world. This
place is different, Willow. We can’t go back to our
world without what we came for, but if we stay here
we’ll still be in danger. Slayers screwing vampires;
vampires killing demons and protecting little girls;
witches afraid to use the incredible power they have.
This world is all wrong. How will we fit
Willow smiled kindly
and placed a comforting, loving hand on the blonde’s
cheek. "Don’t worry, my love. We’ll be fine, no
matter where we are. As long as we’re together,
nothing can defeat us. Haven’t we already proven
Tara nodded and leaned
into Willow’s caress.
"We’ll get what
we came for," Willow continued. "As for the
sunrise, I think we should go pay a little visit to
Spike…I’m sure with the proper gift, he’ll be glad
to put us up for the day."
Willow smiled. "Ummm,
if Spike’s been unable to hunt for a while, he’ll
appreciate a little present. Come, my love. Let’s go
find something suitable for him.
A short time later the
pair was strolling through the cemetery on their way to
Spike’s crypt. Tara’s floppy friend had been a font
of information and Willow was well pleased with her
companion. Not that I’d ever tell her that, she
chuckled to herself as she glanced at the blonde who was
easily carrying her burden. Tara felt her glance and
flashed a sweet smile of adoration at her. Nope,
never tell her, Willow thought, but
I’ll sure be happy to show her. She’s been my lucky
charm ever since I found her. I was so depressed after
Xander…after that blonde bitch took him from me, not
to mention causing the death of my puppy.
Willow seethed at the
thought of the Slayer still alive in this world, but the
picture of the blonde’s broken body lying on the floor
of the factory and the Master crowing his victory over
it soothed her distress.
Spike, Willow," Tara remarked. "From our
whelp," Willow replied, glad for the interruption.
She didn’t like to dwell on thoughts of the Master.
Tara asked, surprised. "I didn’t think Mistress
Drusilla had any childer."
doesn’t," Willow said. "At least, not now
and not any more that I know of. Her and Spike came to
Sunnydale not long after the Master rose. Fool that
Spike was, he thought he could defeat the Master. Spike
might have too, were it not for Xander." Willow
shrugged, not worrying about what might have been, only
Tara chuckled. "I
still find it hard to believe all you’ve told me about
Xander came from that pathetic thing I saw earlier
"As a child, Xander had a big heart. As a childe of
the Master, he was a monster. He rose quickly through
his sire’s ranks and soon gained notice. When Xander
defeated Spike, he became the Master’s right
you," Tara smiled proudly at her sire.
"Didn’t Mistress Drusilla object to losing her
"When she first
came to Sunnydale, Dru wasn’t really herself. A pity
for Spike because if she had been, he’d never have
been beat. The Master in his mercy spared her and was
able to help Dru later on. She’s grown into the
creature you know today."
awesome as you, my love," Tara smiled.
get you everywhere, Kitten," Willow teased.
"Be good now…we’re here."
Willow pushed open the
door to the crypt and entered the dim space, leaving
Tara to follow behind. She paused once inside, taking a
deep breath and immediately sensing the presence of the
other vampire. He may be neutered, she thought but
he’s old and powerful…a master in his own right.
And, he’s Dru’s. Willow knew enough of the
Drusilla of her world to respect the childe of this one.
"Can’t a body
get a bit of rest, then?" the blonde vampire’s
voice growled through the dimness. "It’s nearly
dawn, I’ve had a bugger of a night, what the hell do
you want from…" Spike’s grousing stopped as his
company moved into sight.
hell!" he whispered, his body freezing in shock at
the scene before him. Tara allowed the woman she was
carrying to fall to the stony ground of the crypt and
Spike glanced dumbly at the unconscious form, a small
part of his mind registering the faint heartbeat as the
only one present in the crypt.
"Oh Red," he
said softly, looking back at Willow who appeared to
ignore him as she looked around the crypt. Tara stood
back and let the scene unfold. Willow reminded her of an
alpha wolf approaching another in a play for dominance.
Willow murmured and the dimness of the crypt was
replaced with a soft glowing light.
Willow said, finally turning and facing the vampire.
Spike continued to
look at Willow. From what she’d learn about Spike from
Clem, Tara knew that Spike was not a regular vampire.
Clem said that he truly loved the Slayer, despite how
awful she’d treated him over the years. Tara could
understand a vampire in love and looking at Spike as he
looked at her Mistress she knew he also had
feelings—even if just friendship—for the Willow of
"Oh Red," he
repeated, and then seemed to snap out of his daze as his
face flashed anger. "Who the hell was it? Who the
bloody hell dared? Tell me and I’ll snap the git in
two. I was supposed to be your sire, and I damn well
would have been had it not been for this cursed
Willow laughed, the
sweet sound filling the chamber. "Relax
Spike," she said. "You may still get your
chance if you play your cards right and help us
Spike shook his head in confusion. "Wait a minute!
I saw the Slayer earlier tonight and she didn’t say
anything to me about this. Sure, I know you two have
been on the outs since you broke the bit’s arm, but
she’d have mentioned something if you’d gone
missing. You didn’t just rise. I can smell you all
over Blondie here so you’ve had time to sire her and
she doesn’t have the stench of a fledge. What the
hell’s going on, Will?"
Willow chuckled at
Spike’s rambling, feeling better for the first time
since walking into the crypt. He may be a master, but
he’ll be putty in her hands.
"Tara and I have
come a long way and we’re quite weary, Spike,"
Willow said. "We’ve come to ask for your
Willow said and smiled at Spike’s frown. "Another
place…like this but different. You wouldn’t like it.
You’re not there any more. In fact, I watched as you
were locked into a cage and lifted up into the
Spike chuckled at the
thought. "I did that to the bleedin’ Anointed
Ponce." He swung around and with a quick jump
landed on top of a tomb, where he sat and relaxed as he
quizzed Willow. "So, the two of you are from a
parallel dimension. Why are you here? And what the hell
do you want from me? Other than hospitality, that
"We came for
something and we’ll get it, too." Willow said
slowly moving around and sitting across from him on the
other tomb. Spike took a moment to appreciate her
shapely form, knowing he could and that the vampire
wouldn’t mind. He always did admire Willow and he’d
meant it when he said he wanted her to be his.
he asked, finally lifting his eyes to meet Willow’s.
whispered and Spike could feel his skin crawl. "We
need it. We want it. And we’ll have it."
"For what? And
from what?" he asked. He reached for his smokes in
an attempt to shake off the chill.
"The Master has
decided that Tara and I represent a threat to him,"
Willow explained. "He’s right, too. Alone we
wouldn’t be much of a problem, but together… we’re
almost powerful enough to take him down. He’s decided
to act preemptively and we barely escaped."
though?" he asked, understanding in his tone. He
was quite familiar with the power games vampires loved
to play. Played quite a few of my own, he
chuckled to himself.
"I’ve been here
before," Willow shrugged. "As stupid as this
world is, I knew it had what we needed to finally get
enough power to beat the Master."
said, speaking for the first time. Spike looked at the
doubles," he guessed. "Suck ‘em dry of their
witchiness and you’ll increase your own power
Spike," Willow purred. "Dru taught you
"You know Dru,
then?" Spike said, pleased. "How is Her
Tara giggled at the
nickname and Willow laughed. "She’s very well,
Spike. I’ll send her your regards when I see her
again." Spike knew from Willow’s tone that she
was well acquainted with Drusilla and shivered at the
"And what can I
do for you ladies, then?" Spike said, moving on to
business. "And more importantly, what can you do
time," Willow said, also glad they had reached a
level of understanding. "We need you to distract
the Slayer and her allies while we perform the ritual
with the witches. In return, we’ll take care of that
little problem in your head."
he said, absently putting a hand to the back of his
bleached head. "How?"
Willow cooed. She glanced at Tara. "What do you
say, baby? Teleportation spell?"
"It’ll be painful though, for us I mean.
Something that small buried in all that tissue? It’ll
take intense concentration not to take out a good chunk
of his brain."
"I think we can
manage," Willow said, turning again to Spike.
"What do you say, Spike? Want to take a
"Let me think
about it for a bit, eh?" After the debacle with
Adam, Spike didn’t just want to rush into things again
and knew the witches wouldn’t go for an immediate
removal. He’d have to help them first and wanted to
see just how trustworthy they were. At
least as far as anyone can trust a couple of lesbian
enough," Willow said. "In the meantime, we
brought you a little gift as a token of our sincerity.
Spike watched as the
blonde lifted the body from the ground. The girl was
finally coming around and Tara lifted her into position
and propped her next to Spike. The girl held a hand to
her head in obvious pain. Spike’s mouth watered from
the blood smell of the small head wound she must have
received when the witches caught her.
he started. "Not that I’m not grateful and all,
but if you know about the chip you know it keeps me from
harming any living thing."
Willow said. "How careless of us. Kitten, if you
Spike watched in
wonder as the blonde witch smiled sweetly at him, the
look reminding him so much of the gentle Tara of this
world he almost gasped as she grabbed the head of the
girl and twisted it viscously. Spike winced at the
sickening crunch as the neck snapped. The sound itself
really didn’t bother him; it was the face of the demon
who performed the deed which did. Of all the Scoobies,
he’d never expect Tara to show such brutality…even
in vampire form.
"There you go,
Spike," Tara said to him, laying the dead girl in
his lap. "Sorry it can’t be more, but at least
Spike looked dumbly at
the corpse, the smell filling his senses…intoxicating
him…tempting him. Despite the changes in the Slayer,
despite her uncharacteristic actions of late, he still
loved her and he knew Buffy would never approve of this.
If she ever
found out…this is not some playful mischief…how can
I prove to her that I’ve changed if I…?
Spike," Willow urged, feeling his reluctance.
"It’ll be our little secret. Enjoy."
Spike resisted only
for a moment more. Bugger this! he thought and
then, with a feral growl, his face morphed into its true
demon form and he lifted the still warm body to his
Tara gave her lover a
carnal grin, which she felt returned.
Willow paused as she
walked into the kitchen and found Tara seated at the
island counter. Immediately they both tensed but Willow
continued her journey to the cupboard, and pulled down a
box of cereal. Say something Tara. Anything! As
the seconds dragged on Willow knew she would have to be
the one to speak.
"So how’d you
sleep?" the redhead asked, still not turning around
to face Tara. Willow cursed the shakiness in her voice.
The silent treatment from Tara was killing her.
Tara finally replied.
Well that’s two
words – it’s an improvement I guess. "Me
too," Willow admitted quietly.
Tara watched as Willow
walked to the refrigerator and pulled out the gallon of
milk. She poured it into a cup, missing it on occasion
as her arm jerked. Setting the jug down, Willow took a
Tara knew her presence
was unnerving Willow to the point she couldn’t pour
milk without spilling it. As Willow reached for the
dishtowel to clean up, Tara quickly looked back down at
her bowl, not wanting to make accidental eye contact.
Tara saw Willow move
out of the corner of her eye. With both hands on the
bowl Willow moved it to the island. Then she turned back
grabbing the cup with two hands as well. Tara’s eyes
shifted slightly to watch Willow pour some milk into the
bowl and pick up the spoon that she had set inside it.
As she raised her arm to take the first bite Willow felt
a spasm again and watched as the contents of the spoon
returned to swim in the milk below.
At the sudden movement
Tara turned to her ex-lover but Willow still couldn’t
quite meet her eyes. The redhead grinned for show,
trying unsuccessfully to hide her embarrassment.
"Looks like today
should be an oatmeal morning," she joked with a
nervous grin. "Stays on the spoon a lot easier than
Willow tried again but
this time she held her wrist tight and led the food to
her mouth. Hey,
great! One bite down. 30 more to go.
"Are you okay
Will?" Tara asked.
Willow answered after she swallowed. "It’s just
withdrawals. Sometimes I still get the shakes when I
Willow tried to take
yet another bite but again she didn’t make it to her
lips. Feeling defeated she put the spoon back in the
bowl. She felt ashamed; embarrassed. She’d sunk so low
she could barely feed herself anymore. And worse, Tara
was probably watching her with an ‘I told you so’
Dawn had been right
the night before. Willow was trying—really hard. Tara
had seen enough. She took the bowl and the spoon before
holding the cereal out to Willow’s lips.
"I don’t want
your pity. You don’t have to do that," Willow
told her unable to look in her direction. She
couldn’t. She didn’t want Tara to see how helpless
"It’s not pity.
Just eat," Tara said moving the spoon closer.
Willow finally looked
up and met Tara’s eyes. Instead of the harshness
she’d come to expect she found genuine concern.
Reluctantly Willow opened her mouth to accept the food
and chewed. Tara returned with another spoonful but
Willow just couldn’t stand it anymore. Not that she
minded Tara’s attention and concern at the
moment—she was grateful on a certain level. But she
knew that once this vamp mess was straightened out Tara
would be gone again. And eating alone would be all the
more difficult than it already had become.
Willow said, rising from the table. "I can make
"Hey, I’m just
returning the favor okay? There was a time I couldn’t
eat without help."
"I didn’t do
that as a favor," Willow told her. "I
did it because you were my life. A-and I would never
walk away from you—ever."
Tara put the spoon
back down in the bowl. "But I walked out on you. Is
that what you’re trying to say?"
"I’m not saying
anything," Willow sighed in frustration.
She picked up her
cereal and walked to the sink, tossing it in carelessly.
After running the water and the garbage disposal, she
turned the kettle on and opened up a package of instant
oatmeal. She poured it in the bowl and returned to the
stove to wait for the water to boil.
Tara watched silently
as Willow’s body twitched two more times.
scald yourself," Tara remarked, not unkindly.
Willow heard Tara rise
and step behind her. "Wouldn’t be the first
time," she said. "You might as well sit
The blonde threw her
hands up. "You’re not guilt tripping me here
Will. I won’t let you."
"Only you can
make yourself feel guilty. I do remember a few things
from Wacko Walsh’s class."
"You just don’t
get it Will. You don’t get any of it!"
"What don’t I
get, huh? That you walked out on me like everyone else I
ever gave a damn about?!"
"That is so not
"The Hell it’s
not! I love you Tara. I was gonna spend the rest of my
life with you but things got a little rough and you took
off!" Willow knew she should do something to cool
them both off, but was unable to stop the hateful words
from spilling out of her mouth.
get a little rough Willow. You raped me! You took
something from me to make yourself feel better without a
thought or care of how it would effect me! Not just once
but TWICE. Even after I gave you a chance to pull things
together, you didn’t love me enough to stop corrupting
me. Instead you…you think you’re a Goddess!"
Willow and Tara were
so wrapped up in their argument they didn’t notice
that the whole house had come down to see the commotion.
Buffy and Dawn gave each other an uneasy glance. They
both wished desperately there was something they could
do to help their friends, but they were at a loss.
Willow gave an
exasperated sigh, "I do NOT think I’m a
"Yes you do! You
go around bending things to your will as you see fit
despite what it means to anyone else."
"Look, I quit! I
gave it up! Some mornings I have to wear a fucking
sweater because my fingers don’t stop shaking long
enough to button a blouse! Do you know what that’s
like? Oh wait, no you don’t. When you needed someone
to clothe and feed and bath and dress you, I was the one
there for you. And I did it because I love you and even
though you hate me—won’t even talk to me…"
Willow paused, trying to repress the sob that was on the
verge of coming out. "Now here comes the really
sick part…even though you can’t love me I would do
it all over again tomorrow for you! If something hurt
you again like Glory did, I’d still do it. I’d
always be there for you Tara."
Willow could not hold
back anymore. She collapsed against the cupboard sobbing
hysterically as she slid to the floor.
Tara couldn’t move.
She could only watch Willow shaking and twitching. Once
in a while she could swear she saw a flicker of
electricity pass over the back of Willow’s hands which
covered her face.
Buffy nodded everyone
toward the living room and they followed her lead,
giving the women their privacy.
Tara knelt down beside
Willow. She began to reach out, to hold the shaking
woman before her, but she stopped herself. She didn’t
want to give Willow any false hopes because she still
wasn’t sure if Willow could get over her addiction.
And she knew that, although Willow believed she hated
her, the truth was quite different—she left because
she loved Willow.
Tara was angry. She
felt betrayed by what Willow had done but she also knew
that she would continue to let Willow do as she pleased
if she had stayed with her. She had to leave for both
their sakes. And although it was true she didn’t talk
to Willow it wasn’t just her rage of what had happened
that kept her away. It was the fact that she knew Willow
would work her way back into her heart and she would
never get better. Tara left for herself. But she also
left for Willow too.
began, putting her hand on her knee. "You hurt me.
You destroyed my trust. But…" Tara paused
wondering if she should give voice to her next thoughts.
She took a deep breath. "I really hope you get over
this—for your sake more than anyone else’s. Despite
what you think I never stopped caring for you. We
just…we’re not real good for each other
Willow wiped her eyes
and took Tara’s hand in hers. "I’m sorry Tara.
I know you probably don’t believe me but…I’m sorry
I hurt you. And I’m sorry I lost your trust. You gave
up your family to stay with me and I…I…"
"Will, I gave up
my family to be me. You were just the frosting on the
cake," Tara grinned.
and fluffy that rots your teeth? That’s good,"
Willow sighed dejectedly.
Tara put her fingers
under Willow’s chin. "Ever eat a cake without
frosting? I can tell you from personal experience it’s
not very fulfilling."
"I made you feel
Tara wanted to choose
her words carefully. "Yeah," she said after
pausing in thought. "At one point you did
but…things changed Will. And I felt more scared than
fulfilled. When that happened I knew I had to
scare you again Tara. I promise. And I know that
doesn’t mean much right now. But I won’t hurt you
ever again. I mean it."
concentrate on getting off the magics, okay? Not for me.
Not for us. But for you. Okay?"
Willow felt herself
tear up. "I gotta ask…"
asked totally unsure of what had Willow on the verge of
"If I call are
you still gonna hang up on me? Not that I’d make it a
habit or anything but it would be nice to know…" Just
shut up now. It’s too much too soon, she told
herself. She shook her head and got up off the floor
with Tara following right up with her.
it," Willow said with a wave her hands.
"Forget I mentioned it. You don’t want me in your
life and I’m not gonna push but…Remember I’m
always here. Even if you never feel the same way again
Tara, I’ll always be here. That’s all I wanted to
Willow didn’t stick
around. She left the kitchen, heading upstairs. As the
kettle finally began to whistle Tara turned it off. Only
when she knew she was alone did she begin to cry