I did say I would get back to my writing ... but procrastination tends to win ... anyway, I have chapter 1 of a new fic!
It is set immediately at the end of "Hells Bells" in BtVS's Season 6 .... and the plot bunnies came from a prompt on schmoop_bingo of First Date.
1260 words, and no warnings needed!
Again I want to give a million thanks to mabel_marsters ... she has been a true saint in her patience! Thanks, Mabel.
Hope that you enjoy ......
There’s A First Time for Everyone
“You OK, Buffy?”
Tara slowly approached the shell-shocked girl. “Buffy, were you hurt?”
She looked at Buffy where she sat slumped against the wall, her head in her hands, slowly settled down next to her, and tentatively put out her hand to touch the slayer’s arm. As there was still no response she tentatively put out her hand to stroke Buffy’s arm. She didn’t want to startle the slayer by doing anything too suddenly, but wanted to comfort her.
“They were my promise,” Buffy said. “I told him that, you know, only a few hours ago.”
“What do you mean?”
“When I saw Xander while you were helping Anya to dress, I told him that they were my hope, and the proof that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”
Buffy began to gather her thoughts and realised that although today’s events had shocked her, that for others - and one in particular - their lives had irrevocably changed.
“Did you see where she went?” Buffy asked.
“I think she went with Hallie and D’Hoffryn. If so, at least she is being looked after, although I wonder if we’ll ever see her again.”
With her emotions running wild, Buffy began to understand what an amazing, compassionate woman Tara was. She had never really taken the time to get to know her, because soon after she had become involved with Willow, they had all been fighting The Initiative, and for their lives. Then gaining her sister, losing her mom, and the fight against Glory had taken over. Buffy suddenly understood how narrow she had allowed herself to become.
“Tara, I’m sorry.”
Tara looked almost as shocked as Buffy had done only minutes before.
“What have you got to apologise for?”
“You’ve always been there, and I’m only just realising how special a person you are.”
The smile on Tara’s face, combined with the tears in her eyes reminded Buffy that the Maclay family had rejected their daughter. Buffy leant forward to hug Tara and found that comforting embrace being returned. The two stayed like that for many moments, and anyone who looked at them might think it was an uncomfortable position for the two girls to be in. Yet for them, the peace and love they shared, brought about more healing than either of them could imagine.
They slowly untangled their arms and relaxed against the wall, continuing to enjoy the harmony they had discovered, and been in need of for some time.
“So, Buffy, why did you think I needed to be apologised to?”
“I realised you have supported us all, yet no one ever thanks you for that love.”
Tara simply smiled. Her shyness not allowing her to know how to answer, yet they both understood that Buffy’s message had touched Tara’s heart.
“So,” Tara said. “Are you OK? I mean, not just physically after the fight today, but overall.”
“Oh, things are fine.” Buffy dismissed the deeper thoughts that such an innocent question posed. “Dawn and I are getting along well, and I’m getting used to the smell of fries on my clothes.”
“And, Spike?” Tara was determined to ask the question that had been lingering in her mind for some time now. She knew Riley had blown up the crypt, but had never managed to discover the complete story.
“Spike’s fine. Didn’t you see him here today with a ho ... ummm girl.”
“Come on, Buffy. That isn’t what I mean, and you know it.”
As Buffy didn’t answer Tara’s unasked question, she decided she ought to be a bit more direct.
“Why was he here with a girl, when he loves you?”
Still no answer, but when Tara looked sideways she saw that Buffy was silently weeping. Although her first instinct was to take the girl back in her arms, Tara realised that Buffy had to come to terms with her feelings. When a few weeks ago, Buffy had admitted that she and Spike were having a violent relationship, Tara had hoped that Buffy would end things, for both their sakes. Yet, as she watched the tears falling, Tara understood that it had been more than physical release for the couple.
Tara tried again to get an answer, and this time she was successful.
“I told him that I didn’t want to be with him,” Buffy muttered.
“When was that?”
“When Riley was here. He knew that Spike was trouble, and reminded me that I shouldn’t see a demon as anything more than something that’s wrong.”
“What!” For a quiet girl, Tara could be determined when she wanted to be. “You listened to Riley? This the guy, who turns up married, having left you by going to those same demons to suit his purposes.”
“But it’s wrong,” Buffy said quietly, although whether she was trying to assure herself or Tara, was debatable.
“Just because Riley said so?” .
“No. It just is.” Buffy shook her head. “Look at Angel. I was with him, and people died.”
“Did you get on with Riley’s friends?” Tara asked a few moments later.
“Would you have gone out with them?”
“Don’t you see, Buffy? They were similar, yet you went out with Riley for a reason. I know it fell apart, but at first things were good. So, back to the question of the day. Angel and Spike are both vampires, but they are different people, aren’t they?”
“But ... Um ...” Buffy stumbled to think out a reply.
“But, what? Come on, there’s only the two of us here. Talk to me. You know I don’t gossip.”
“But, everyone will be upset, “ Buffy at long last muttered her answer.
“Everyone? Who? I won’t be,” Tara assured her. “But, even if I was, it’s nothing to do with me. I’m a lesbian and not everyone accepts that, do they?”
The silence again stretched between them, but this time it seemed more peaceful. Tara knew that Buffy had a lot to think about, and they both knew that Tara would listen to anything that she needed to say.
“Spike has helped me, he’s been there.” Buffy broke the silence.
“I can believe that. He was there for us all, but especially Dawn, over the summer.” Tara nodded.
“He taken what I’ve given, and accepted when I wouldn’t give him what he wanted.”
“Spike is a very real person, isn’t he? He loves with his whole heart and body.”
Tara deliberately ignored the smile that softened Buffy’s lips at the reminder of the vampire’s loving body.
“Do you think ...” Buffy trailed off.
“Do I think what?”
“Do you think he would forgive me?” Eventually the quiet question crossed Buffy’s lips.
“I’m sure he already has.” Tara sounded so positive, that the broken girl began to hope. Maybe Spike would listen, maybe she had a chance.
They sat for a bit longer, then Buffy decided that if she didn’t pluck up the courage now, she would never risk herself again, possibly with anyone.
“Tara.” Buffy sounded more her usual self, to Tara’s pleasure. “Would you do me a favour?”
“Could you ask Spike to go to The Bronze tomorrow night? Use any excuse, even arrange to meet him there, or something,” Buffy’s voice began to peter out again.
“OK. I’ll tell him eight o’clock,” Tara said, and stood up before her companion panicked. “I’ll go there now.”
“Oh, OK.” As Tara guessed, Buffy was already worrying, but she was heading out of the building before the slayer had a chance to completely chicken out.