back from her darkened window, watching as the person in the shadows of the tree kept a close watch on her window. Feeling her heart racing again, this not being the first time she’d seen the shadow beneath the tree. Tara wondered if the person knew they were being
watched, just as she herself was being watched.
She wondered if it wasn’t
somehow her fault. Oh, she knew she held part of the blame, after all, hadn’t
she had a hand in it, but she wondered if she wasn’t now to blame for the person standing in the dark, watching, always
Tara sighed and pushed away from the wall she was leaning against.
“I’m sorry, Sweetie.” She curled up on her bed and hugged
the pillow to her chest, allowing the feeling the watcher was waiting for to come forth and surround them.
It started innocently enough. Tara had just wanted to help. She didn’t realize that what she was doing would become habit.
Not just for her, but for the person outside, standing alone in the dark. Alone,
where they thought they should be. Tara wanted
to change that. That was what she craved now, but not sure if that would be allowed. She didn’t know if it was possible to change the unspoken rules they shared. She knew she had to try. This deep seeded
want… no, not want… need… this soul deep need, was slowly driving her crazy.
Buffy closed her eyes as she
felt the warmth and love infuse her. This was what kept her going day after day,
night after night. This was what she craved.
She’d wait as long as it took just to receive this. Fearing the
day it would stop, but knowing it wouldn’t as long as both of them were here.
Only the death of one of them would end this. Or so she hoped as she waited
Buffy remembers the first time
she’d felt it. It was the first night she was back. She’d said she was tired just to get away from them, but there was no way she’d be able to
sleep, she just needed to be alone. There were too many pictures, noises, voices…
just too many everything’s running through her head. She just wanted to
Sitting in her room she felt
the walls start to close in on her, finding it hard to breathe she opened the window.
That wasn’t enough, though. She found herself leaving her room,
practically running to get out the back door just to be able to breathe.
She remembers being curled
up in a chair in the backyard, staring at her damaged hands when she first felt it.
She’d closed her eyes, soaking in the warmth that she suddenly felt surrounding her. The love she felt was palpable, or so she’d thought at the time.
She’d basked in the comfort she’d felt until it disappeared just as suddenly as it had appeared.
She’d been thoroughly
confused after that. Was it just her mind playing tricks on her? Could she really have felt the comfort of where she’d been as if never having been pulled from there? She’d only had to look at her hands to know that it couldn’t have been
real. But that wouldn’t be the last time she’d feel it. No. She’d feel it again and again, not knowing where
it was coming from for the longest time, but embracing it just the same.
But then she knew. She knew where the solace came from.
Tara slowly lets the connection dwindle away, having found that it was less painful for her, and
she hoped for Buffy, that way. It having gone through her head often enough,
that the quick loss would be for the Slayer, exactly what they had done to her in reality… ripping her from Heaven,
just to leave her in Hell.
Tara felt the tears start as they did every night. She
wondered if the Slayer felt them, too. Goddess knows she’d shed enough
of them to water an Elysian field. She often wondered what it was like for Buffy,
where she’d been… but they’d never talked about it, how could they.
She could only hope that it
was like the pictures she’d formed in childhood, the dreams of a happy end only a child could conjure. Fields of wildflowers, streams crisscrossing the paths, animals and critters of every kind in abundance…
and the people you loved that had gone before… all waiting to welcome you with open arms, surrounding you with love. To be able to think as that child once again... perhaps wishful thinking… but
one could hope.
She promised herself that some
day she’d ask, but for now… she could only hope. She didn’t
realize how close she’d come to giving Buffy back those feelings when she made the connection each night.
Tara sighed and rolled onto her back, knowing that the dreams would come again, but being powerless
to stop them. In truth, she didn’t want them to stop. The dreams were what kept her going every day… gave her a reason for existing. Her mind wandered back to the one time that she had held the Slayer in her arms… arms that craved
to have that for real some day.
Buffy whimpered when she felt
the connection start to weaken, it was something that happened every night, but that didn’t mean she had to like it. Knowing Tara was laying in bed now, Buffy stepped
out of the shadows as was her custom. She longed to be there with the Wiccan,
feeling the arms for real that had once held her close. She gave one last longing
look to the window when the connection was severed before she slowly turned away, whispering as was the ritual. “Sleep well, Love.”
Buffy left to make another
patrol around Sunnydale before heading back to the cold, empty place she called home.
Willow and Dawn were still there, but the only warmth
she’d felt had left when the Wiccan did that long ago night.
Tara had been standing against the counter in the kitchen, lost in thought it had taken her a moment
to realize that Buffy had come into the room. She watched as the Slayer stood
looking out the back door, rain pouring down in buckets not allowing her to go out as she normally would.
She’d hesitantly stepped
behind the Slayer, her arms, as if of their own accord, wrapping around the Slayer’s waist. She’d done it for comfort, but now… she wondered if it was the Slayer she was comforting or
Buffy never turned but she
did sink into the warmth behind her, wrapping her arms around the ones holding her.
That’s when she’d realized… “It’s you…”
Tara never had the chance to
question what the Slayer had meant, Willow had come banging
through the front door then. Tara had softly kissed the top of the Slayer’s
head, gave her a gentle squeeze, and slowly pulled her arms away as Willow
had walked into the kitchen. She did nothing to hide the exchange from Willow, answering the raised brow with one of her own. She’d done nothing wrong, and refused to allow Willow
to think that she had.
Buffy had stiffened in Tara’s arms when the front door opened. Her first
instinct was to pull away, but the arms wouldn’t allow it. She’d
stayed within the warmth until they were slowly removed. Sighing at the loss,
Buffy turned and nodded to Tara before she left the room.
She’d been afraid to make eye contact with the Wiccan for fear Tara would be
able to see right through her.
Tara had sadly watched the Slayer climb back into her shell and leave the room, but she’d understood. Buffy was still standoffish with everyone, she’d been surprised when the Slayer
had allowed the initial touch, let alone her leaning back into her and covering her arms.
Things with Willow had been strained to say the least before that, afterwards… it was all downhill. They’d finally come to the conclusion that things between them were over…
there was no need to pretend anymore. Tara had
grudgingly moved out shortly thereafter. She hadn’t wanted to leave, but
there was no way she could stay.
She’d found herself at
the window of her dorm room that first night. Old habits die hard. She’d become so used to looking out the bedroom window, down upon the Slayer who sat alone in the
backyard. She’d hear the Slayer leave her room, and then she’d leave
their bed to stand watch over the Slayer. She never knew her want to comfort
the Slayer had done just that. Not until the night of the day she’d held
her for real.
Buffy was in her usual spot
when she’d felt it. Now she knew where it came from. She’d thought it was all in her head, wishful thinking that somehow someone had been looking over
her, giving her a small piece of what she’d lost. But when the arms had
wrapped around her in the kitchen earlier that day, she knew. It hadn’t
been some unearthly being that comforted her. Buffy slowly turned her head, looking
up to the window and into the eyes of the one that was the comfort.
Buffy had sent back her own
hug of comfort and thanks that night. Whether the Wiccan knew it or not, Buffy
could feel her. She felt the turmoil within the Wiccan. The loss of the love she’d shared with Willow,
Buffy could feel it as if it was her own. She also felt the need Tara
had to comfort her. In that moment Buffy knew things had changed, though she
didn’t know if it was for the better or not. She knew things in her world
would be changing soon, and she couldn’t fault the Wiccan her choices.
Tara had watched as the Slayer slowly turned to look right at her, as if into her. One thing kept reverberating softly in her mind, over and over again.
“It’s you…” When Buffy gave her a nod and a soft
smile, Tara had felt it. She then knew that
Buffy could feel her, and in return, she could feel the Slayer.
As if in unspoken terms they’d
meet each night in their respective spots, Buffy always in her spot in the backyard, Tara
always at hers in the window. They’d continued each night until Tara left.
Tara had wondered that first night… could Buffy still feel her.
She hadn’t seen the Slayer for a couple of weeks and had begun to wonder if she was slowly going crazy. Who in their right mind stood night after night at their window? She didn’t know if Buffy had felt it, but Tara was thinking it was
time to stop the nonsense. When she’d finally come to the conclusion that
this would be her final night at the window, she saw the shadow beneath the tree shift and take form.
Buffy stepped out of the darkness
and into Tara’s sight, she’d felt the turmoil once again. She’d sent her own form of comfort to the Wiccan, letting her know she didn’t stand there in
vain. When the Wiccan nodded and smiled softly at her, Buffy smiled back then
stepped back into the obscurity of darkness.
And so it continued each night. Somewhere along the way things had changed, though.
Feelings had shifted and become so much more... question was, what to do about that fact.
Tara spent her time that day after classes pacing her room.
She’d told herself that something had to change, and she’d vowed to herself that it would happen tonight. Once that decision had been made, then the worry about the outcome started.
It had been getting harder
and harder to keep her true feelings from working their way into the connection each night.
It was time for the silent communication to stop, and the real communication to begin.
She knew that she’d fallen in love with the Slayer somewhere along the way, when exactly that had happened, she
couldn’t say. But it was real, it was palpable, and it was something she
didn’t want to deny any longer.
She just hoped that the Slayer
felt the same. There were times when Tara thought
she’d felt it, but wishful thinking and all… it wasn’t something she felt confident in relying upon. Tonight would either be the happiest night of her life, or the lowest. With thoughts of the latter, she’d almost talked herself out of it.
She didn’t know if she’d survive if it were that.
As the sun set, Tara stopped her pacing. She was grateful that a friend
had left for the weekend, asking her to feed her fish in her absence. Taking
a deep breath, Tara picked up the key and left her room.
Tonight she’d stand vigil from another window, one in which she wouldn’t be seen by the Slayer from as
she waited her arrival.
Buffy stopped on the edge of
the courtyard that she always stood in. Scanning the area as was her custom before
moving into her usual spot. Something felt off, but she couldn’t place
it. She double checked the shadows, but didn’t feel the usual sense of
threat if it were vampire or demon. Nothing set off her spidey senses. She took up her usual position to await the warmth.
Tara held her breath as the Slayer came in to view. She
noticed the hesitation and hoped that it wasn’t her causing it, but in a way, hoping that it was. That would mean there was nothing else out there. Taking a
deep breath, Tara turned from the window. “It’s
now or never, Tara. It’s time for the
truth… and the consequences.” She slipped out of the room, hoping
as she did that the cost wouldn’t be too much to bear.
Buffy had heard the soft footfalls,
but not sensing any danger she’d disregarded them, her attention focused upon the window.
Tara knew it was risky to walk up behind the Slayer without saying anything, but she took the chance,
anyway. When Buffy didn’t turn, Tara shakily
wrapped her arms around her as she took the final step closer to her.
Buffy stiffened momentarily
until she felt the warmth. “It’s you…” She wrapped her arms around Tara’s as she sank back into her.
“Yes.” Tara kissed the top of the Slayer’s head.
They stood for long moments
before Buffy finally turned in Tara’s arms, wrapping her arms around the Wiccan as she lay her head on her shoulder. “Is this real?” She barely
breathed out loud enough for Tara to hear.
“Yes.” Tara kissed her temple and rested her cheek there as she pulled the Slayer
They both basked in the warmth
of the other’s presence.
Tara finally kissed the Slayer’s temple, pulling her head back as she brought a hand up to
cup the Slayer’s cheek. “Look at me, Sweetie.” She kissed the Slayer’s forehead as she waited for Buffy to open her eyes.
“I don’t want the
dream to end.” Buffy whispered softly before she opened her eyes.
Upon hearing the softly spoken
admission, Tara let her heart be seen within her eyes.
Buffy whimpered softly as she
watched Tara’s eyes. What she saw there
made her knees go weak. Never in a million years would she ever think that the
Wiccan could return the love she felt. But it was there, plain to see.
Tara watched as first shock, then relief, and then love flooded the Slayer’s eyes. She whimpered softly herself as her eyes filled with tears, but happy tears for a change, as she slowly
lowered her lips to the Slayer’s.
Buffy choked back a sob when
she felt the lips softly brush against her own, holding tighter to the Wiccan as they both cried into the kiss.
It was a kiss of relief, of
love, of hunger and unforetold passion.
Tara rested her forehead against Buffy’s as she ended the kiss.
“Take me home, Sweetie.” She choked out over a sob.
“You are my home.” Buffy gently swept the Wiccan into her arms, carrying her from the shadows to her
Tara whispered a spell to unlock the door, she wasn’t about to let go of the Slayer now that
she had her.
Buffy used her foot to close
the door before she climbed on the bed, gently set the Wiccan down, and curled up with her.
Both doubted they’d sleep
that night as they held each other close, softly exchanging kisses in between the tears.
Tomorrow would be soon enough
to make dreams come true, tonight was about letting the reality of the dream come true, settle in.
There’s always hope…