Chpater 1A - Flashback: Love
Author: Cynthia Taz (email@example.com)
Disclaimer: All characters, sites and such from 'Buffy, The Vampire Slayer' and 'Angel' belong to Joss Whedon, UPN, WB, and et al. No copyright infringement intended. All new characters and the storyline belong to the author (Yah me!). This story is not sell or for any profit.
Summary: One year ago, she left. One year later, she came back... along with the Heaven and Hell.
This story is originally one of the stories that I tried to be crossing-over with the comic 'Lucifer' which belongs to Mike Carey and DC Comics. Since then, there had been lots of changes (including the character profile and more importantly, the pairing: it was originally a W/Angel pairing story...) but you might still find some stuff that's similar to the comic itself, just so you know.
Since 'Blood Ties' (a BtVS/HP crossover story) will still be my first priority on the update list and I'm still trying to find enough time to finish some of my other stories, this story wouldn't get update that frequently. The draft of this story is actually finished but it always takes a much longer time for me to do the editing.
Main reason I post it now because it includes flashbacks (and songs in the next chapter) - I'm trying it out to see if it'll be too difficult for people to understand. There'll probably be some other similar stories (well, not similar stories but stories that I wrote over the years with different style that I want to try out) posting on the web, so please, if u can think of a way to improve it, tell me! I'll be forever grateful!
This story contain spoiler of both Buffy (BtVS s6) and Angel (Angel S3: 'Sleep Tight'). It started at the end of BtVS s6 'Dead Things', when Buffy crying on Tara's lap in the Summers' house.
Aside from W/T, both Willow and Tara will also be paired with other characters, just so you know.
(feb 19 2007) I've cut the chapter 1 into 3 parts and corrected a bit of wording mistake (basically from 'own' back to 'owe'). I'll keep the own one back in my site.
- - - - - FLASHBACK (TARA) - - - - -
Tara sat on the couch, her hand slowly smoothing the slayer's hair as she kneed in front of Tara with her head on her laps, sobbing. The reveal of Buffy's sleeping with Spike had broken her heart. She knew Buffy was depressed, but she had never though the slayer, the protector of the world, would break down in front of her like that.
Slowly, the slayer looked up. The two blonds stared at each other, and before she knew it, they were kissing. The hand that was stroking the slayer's hair were now resting on the smaller blond's cheek, while the slayer's hands found their way into Tara's hair.
Suddenly, a thud drew the two blonds out of the quiet moment. "Will?" Tara whispered when she saw Willow stood there, books scattered around on the floor, her green orbs staring at them painfully.
"Willow!" Buffy jumped from her spot and moved towards the redhead.
"S-sorry." Willow's body started shaking as she took a step back. "I-I'll come back later." She spun and rushed towards the front door, only to be beaten by Buffy as the slayer grabbed her arm before she could leave, followed by Tara. "Let go of me."
"It's not what you think-"
"Don't tell me what to think." Willow's growl stopped the blond witch right on her track. Never once she had known the redhead that she had heard her growl. She swallowed as Willow's eyes switched from green to black then back to green again. "Don't tell me you're not kissing her." The redhead closed her eyes and took a deep breath, desperate to calm herself.
"Willow, please." Tara pleaded, taking a small step towards Willow. "It's a mistake. We did't mean to-"
"Please. Don't." Tara frowned a bit. "Don't explain. I can't take it. Not now." She opened the front door. "I... I need to go."
"Will, it's dark. You shouldn't-"
"Stop telling me what I should or shouldn't do!" Willow screamed, startled the two blonds once again. "JUST STOP! Just close your mouth for once!" Buffy looked surprised and hurt. "Just... stop."
"Willow, I know you're angry. But please..." Tara pleaded. "Don't leave like this."
"Don't leave like what?" The redhead was on the edge of crying, even though she refused to let the tears fell. "Don't leave like I have just seen my gir- my ex-girlfriend kissing my best friend? That I should just stay and watch you two get it on?! Or is this some kind of pay back? For my magic? Am I not punished enough?! O-or is it my karma for cheating on Oz by kissing Xander? You don't even like Oz!"
"Will, little harsh there." Buffy frowned. "Besides, you two broke up-"
"And I don't have the right to be angry. I get that. It's not helping by pointing it out." Willow hissed. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath again. "Buffy, can you wait in the kitchen?" She asked, her voice softened a bit. "I need to speak to Tara for a moment."
"But..." Buffy hesitated for a second. "Okay."
After Buffy had disappeared from the kitchen, Tara opened her mouth to explain, but stopped when Willow held up her hand. "Don't. Just... I need to know... do you still..."
"Of course I will always love you. But..."
"But it's not the time?"
"Time?" Tara looked up at the redhead. "Will, there's just so much to work through. Trust has to be built again... on both sides... We'll have to learn if... if we're even the same person we were, if we can fit in each other's lives..." She paused. "It takes time."
"How long? A Week?" Willow pushed. "A month? A year?"
"You really don't get it, do you?" Tara frowned, somehow annoyed. "Not everything in this world can be rushed, not every problem in this world can be solved in a blink of an eye! You can't just expect everything and everyone following your speed, to meet the deadline you set!"
Willow's eyes dropped and turned away. "Guess it doesn't matter then." She whispered. "Since time is not something I can offer anymore..."
"What? What are you talking about?"
Tara blinked, her anger that had built up earlier disappeared when she heard the last word. "L-leaving?"
"I have to. I'm sorry." She moved towards the front door. "Those stuffs in our- my room... You guys can keep it. Or throw them away. Whatever you want."
"No!" The slayer suddenly appeared from the kitchen and grabbed the ex-witch's arm. "You can't leave!"
"I have to." Willow said, not surprised that Buffy had heard every word of the conversation. "This is not your decision, Buffy."
"No! You can't run away! You coward! I won't let you run away!" Buffy shouted angrily, tightened her grab on Willow's, but the redhead didn't even seem to register the pain.
Tara grabbed Willow's other arm. "Willow, please! I need you! I l-"
"No." Willow turned and smiled sadly at the blondes. "You never need me. Not you, not Buffy, not Dawn, not Xander and certainly not Anya. I'm the one who need you guys..." She slowly excused herself from them. "Always has been. It's time for me to spread my wings." She opened the front door. "I'm sure Giles will be more than willing to come back. Just tell him about the... situation."
"Please." It was Willow's turn to plead. "Let me do this. It's hard enough... I can't..." She turned and wiped away the tears that had fallen from her eyes. "I had to do this." She stepped out of the house. "My best wishes for you both." Paused. "Be happy." She whispered, and closed the door behind her, leaving the two crying blondes in the house.
"I love you..."
- - - - - END FLASHBACK (TARA) - - - - -
Tara sighed as she leaned back and let herself sank deeper into the couch. It had been almost a year since her ex-girlfriend had left Sunnydale. But no matter how hard she tired, no matter how many times she reasoned to herself, she just couldn't stop feeling guilty for Willow's departure... guilty for hurting Willow.
"Get a grab, Tara-girl." Tara whispered to herself, before looking away from the doorway where it had all happened and focused on the book in front of her. After Willow's departure, Tara had thrown herself into the world of Wiccan, studying hard in order to replace Willow's role in the Scoobies as the resident witch. With Giles' connection, the blond witch had gone for the coven in Beth during the summer, studying with them, and had received the title as 'high priestess'. Tara knew it was an honor to be gained the title, especially for a 22 who had only studied in the coven for three months. Sometimes Tara just couldn't help but doubted - doubted if she really deserved the title.
And this latest big bad would be the first test for Tara as a high priestess. The seer in the coven had just informed her a week ago that something bad was coming for the Hellmouth, and the Scoobies had been trying to find out exactly what it was ever since. Tara had tried several spells, asking for the Goddess' guidance, but every time she would receive the same message as the one the seer had received: 'When love was dispersed, the mouth of Hell would become the revenge of the exiled. Fight could not be fought but only for the chosen: choice made, and the soul would become the savior of all.'
The gang had figured that 'the chosen' was Buffy, as she was the Slayer on duty, and that whoever seeking revenge would try to open the Hellmouth; but other than that, they had no clue whatsoever on the meaning of the message. Tara knew Buffy was worried that 'the exiled' was Glory - since she was an exiled Hell Goddess, and she definitely had reasons for revenge, especially towards the Scoobies. Tara just hoped that it wasn't her... the witch wasn't sure if she was brave enough to face the Goddess who had once drove her insane... literally.
Shaking her head, Tara looked up, her mind drifting from the latest big bad to Willow once again.