leonhart_17: ([btvs] scoobies - yearbook)
[personal profile] leonhart_17
Title: Something to Talk About pt XIII
Rating: PG/PG-13
Disclaimer: Not mine, don't sue...
Summary: Willow recognizes a private anniversary and Joy gets curious...




Faith felt Willow's departure from their bed, she always did, but she knew exactly where her partner was going, and she didn't follow. This day was always private for Willow and her morning ritual was something Faith respected. She'd only met Tara the one time, but she could never resent Willow wanting to remember the other woman. Willow was always slow to talk about her first girlfriend, but Faith was even slower to push, fine with letting Willow deal with her emotions and memories at her own pace. And seeing sunrise on May 7th was one of the ways Willow chose to do that.

The Slayer knew that she wouldn't be able to go back to sleep, not without Willow, so she rolled over to put her feet on the floor just as their bedroom door, left cracked by Willow, was shoved open by their crawling son. "You got out again, Jackie boy? Did Mommy get you out?" she asked as she pushed herself up to meet him. He had rolled over onto his butt and put his arms up before she reached him and she lifted him easily. "You're awake early, bub."

The ten-month old just yawned at her and she started walking with him, sure that she could get him back to sleep. His curly brown hair tickled her chin as she paced and she sighed softly as he relaxed, heavy and limp in her arms. A few more minutes made sure that he was still down and she returned him to his walled bed. She and Willow were awake, but it was much too early for anyone else in the house.

Faith started coffee as she reached the kitchen, catching a glimpse of Willow outside under the tree in the yard. Her eyes lingered on the redhead as the coffeemaker did its work on the counter, bubbling and dripping noises filling the quiet. She couldn't help morbidly wondering if Willow would have a morning like this to commemorate her if she fell. Of course, falling for Willow and having children had changed her focus a bit and some part of her could even see a life where they grew old. But if it came, it was a long ways off and she knew it.

The gurgling machine finished its work, and she took a cup back to the kitchen table. Willow had already picked up the paper from outside and Faith sat down to read, enjoying the few moments of peaceful quiet. That quiet was disturbed when she heard Joy's bed creak overhead as the nine year old woke up.

"Morning, Mama," a sleepy voice greeted her a few minutes later, Joy waving.

"Morning baby," Faith answered, lowering her newspaper. "Got any requests for breakfast?"

The preteen gave the question serious consideration, chewing on her bottom lip. "French toast?"

Faith nodded, throwing back the last of her coffee as she stood up. "You got it."

Her back was to the table when Joy spoke again. "What's Mom doing?"

"Oh, you know… Meditating or whatever," Faith hedged without turning, cracking eggs into a bowl.

"She looks kind of sad or something," Joy said, her frown obvious in her voice. "Mama…"

"Mom's okay," the Slayer promised, not sure how much of Willow's business she felt comfortable sharing. "I'm sure she'll be inside soon."

Joy sighed petulantly, her head falling to rest on her crossed arms. "Fine," she groused, knowing that she was being put off.

"Hey, come help me with this," Faith called her over, touched by how much Joy obviously loved her mother. "You want to dip and I'll run the stove?" Joy didn't speak, but joined Faith at the counter. She jumped when the Slayer leaned over to kiss the top of her head. "It bothers you, doesn't it? When your Mom is sad?"

Joy glanced up at her, nodding. "I just don't want her to be sad."

Faith nodded back, smiling. "That's good, but being sad isn't always a bad thing," she said. "If it was a bad thing making her sad we wouldn't let her be alone."

"But if she's sad, doesn't that mean that it was bad?" Joy reasoned, frown on her face.

Faith sighed, nodding again. "It was a bad thing that happened," she admitted. "But Mom's sad about it now because she misses someone who died because of the bad thing."

"Who died?" Joy asked, voice reverential. She knew about death, had seen her parents and her other relatives in the aftermath of one of the Slayers' deaths. But to her knowledge, her mother had never sat outside and mourned one of them. Not like this.

Faith took a deep breath and held it. "She was you Mom's girlfriend. It was a long time ago, but Mom misses her."

"Is she always going to miss her?"

"Yes, baby. She is." Faith cleared her throat. "You got some ready?" she asked, changing the subject back to breakfast.

Joy speared an egg-soaked piece of bread with a fork and plopped it onto the flat griddle Faith wielded at the stove. They got five slices off the heat before Joy spoke again. "What was her name?"

"Her name was Tara," Willow's soft voice answered from the doorway behind them, both Faith and Joy spinning to meet her eyes.

"Babe…" Faith started, already sympathetic.

Willow shook her head with a small smile, lifting one hand to cut her off. "Faith, it's okay. I can talk about her, you know?"

"Will you tell me about her?" Joy asked, unable to help being curious about someone who clearly meant so much to her mother.

"Of course," Willow said, moving slowly into the room and taking her seat at the table. Joy abandoned cooking to slide into her own chair. "What would you like to know?" Willow offered, a soft smile on her face. Faith split her attention between the cooking and her partner, leaning perpendicular to the countertop so she could keep an eye on both.

Joy's answer was distracted as they all heard Jack start crying upstairs. "I've got him," Faith said quickly, pushing the griddle back off the heat and taking the stairs two at a time to retrieve her son. He was calm in her arms as she returned, wide eyes taking in everything. Willow held her hands up for him and Faith handed him over, returning to her cooking.

Willow dropped her head to put a kiss on her son's head, inhaling to catch the scent of his hair. "Good morning, Jack," she murmured.

"He broke out after you left this morning," Faith informed her. "But he settled right back down and went back to sleep."

Willow smiled fondly at her partner, shaking her head slightly. "I should have known you heard me. You always hear me."

"Better not cheat on me," Faith advised, pointing her spatula teasingly. They both knew there was no chance of that.

"Mama!" Joy grumbled. "Shh! Mom was going to tell us about Tara!"

Faith met Willow's eyes, searching for any sign that the redhead was anxious or didn't want to share, but there was nothing but love and peace. "Okay, sorry, Joy-rider."

"What was the question?" Willow asked. "How did we meet?" Joy nodded eagerly and Willow felt herself smile. "Well, we were in the same campus Wicca group in college, but we only just saw each other there…"

"Was she pretty?" Joy interjected, apparently eager to hear about this part of her mother's life and wanting all the details.

"She was beautiful," Willow answered. "I can show you a picture if you like."

"You've seen one," Faith said as she brought the first round of breakfast to the table. "At your Aunt Buffy's house." Joy looked confused, obviously trying to think, but Willow knew instantly which picture Faith was talking about.

"Oh yeah. Do you remember that picture of me and your aunts that's hanging in the hallway right by the kitchen door?" Willow said, trying to remind her daughter. Joy nodded but her expression was still confused. "There's another woman in that picture too, remember? That's Tara." Their daughter's expression was still doubtful and Willow patted her hand gently. "It doesn't matter. I have more I can show you."

"So you met at the witch meeting?" Joy asked, dragging herself back to the story as she took a bite of her first piece of bread. "Does that mean Tara was a witch like you?"

Willow was tearing up a piece into bites small enough for Jack, but she nodded. "She was. We saw each other there for the first time."

"Was it love at first sight?" Joy interjected again, causing Faith to laugh.

"This story is going to take a long time if you keep interrupting," she teased lightly.

Willow bit her lip, amused by the pair of them. If no one knew any different, there was no way to tell that Joy wasn't Faith's biological daughter. Their similarities amazed her. "It was. Of course, until then I'd only loved boys, so I didn't know that's what it was, but yes, I loved her that first minute."

"And then what happened?" Joy pushed, not sure if that was an interruption or not.

"And then our whole town got its voices taken away by some scary monsters and Tara came looking for me in the dark to see if maybe we could do something to get everyone's voices back." Willow could see that Joy was burning to ask what had happened next and she continued the story after a sip of juice. "She and I got trapped in a laundry room and she helped me move a big drink machine." She smiled fondly at the memory. "We didn't get our voices back until later, so we didn't get to talk about it, but that first time she touched me, I knew there was something between us."

Faith was silent and Joy looked thoughtfully between her parents. "How did you and Mama meet?"

Willow looked across the room at Faith, smirking now. "She came to live in Sunnydale when I was in high school to be the Slayer with your Aunt Buffy."

Joy frowned as she worked on some mental math. "So you met Mama before you knew Tara? How come you didn't have love at first sight with Mama?"

Both of her parents were at a loss momentarily, exchanging confused looks. "Uh, well…" Joy knew bits and pieces of Faith's history, but revealing that she'd turned on her friends and even once held a knife to Willow's throat probably wouldn't go over well.

"Sometimes it takes people a while to get to know each other," Willow answered. "And your Mama and I are a lot different than how we were in high school. I had a boyfriend, and Mama…"

"Was kind of an idiot back then," Faith filled in the space. "I wouldn't have been good for Mom when we were that age. But it all worked out. Your Mom fell in love with Tara."

Willow gave Faith a soft smile, her cheek leaning against their son's head. "But after Tara died, your Mama was perfect for me."

Joy rolled her eyes, already having heard the story of how her parents got together with sarcastic commentary from Buffy. "Was Tara a lot like Mama?"

Willow couldn't help laughing, her own conversations with Buffy about comparing the pair springing to mind. "No, sweetie. Mama's tough and brave and Tara was tough and brave too, but in a different way than your Mama." She gave the watching Slayer a smile. "Mama fights and is loud and impulsive. Tara was gentle and quiet and sweet. But they're both strong and loyal and…"

"And we both love your Mom," Faith interjected quietly. "That's what matters, kiddo."

"That's right," Willow agreed, voice hoarse with emotion. "And I love them both too."

"So if Tara hadn't died, would she be my Mama?" Joy asked, her discomfort with that idea obvious in her tone. In Joy's eyes Faith hung the moon and the idea that she might have had different parents unsettled her.

"No, sweetheart," Willow assured her. "Your Mama is right there," she said, gesturing to Faith.

"Oh, okay," Joy sighed. "I'm not happy your friend died, but I'm glad Mama is my Mama." She frowned. "Is that bad?"

"No," Willow repeated, smiling sadly. "I'm not happy she died either, but I'm glad to have you and Jack and your Mama." She drew in a shaky breath and Joy hopped up from her chair quickly to hug her mother. She was big enough now that she found herself too old to sit in her parent's laps, a realization that neither Willow nor Faith were pleased with.

"I'm sorry Tara died," Joy repeated her sympathy and Willow was surprised to realize that she was about to cry. She found Faith's eyes over their daughter's shoulder, the Slayer looking completely at a loss on what to do.

Jack whimpered from Willow's lap, not aware of what was going on, but parroting his sister.

"Me too," Willow whispered softly, squeezing her daughter gently before she let her go, Jack slapping little hands to push his sister away from his breakfast. "Need some more, little Jack?" Willow asked, getting another piece of bread and tearing it up for him. "Want anything else to eat too?"

His hands flailed again in the direction of the bowl of fruit across the room and Faith moved to the fridge to get a banana from on top of it. She took the chair beside Willow to tear open the banana and put bite-sized pieces on the placemat in front of the baby. Willow's hand found her knee under the table, squeezing gently, and Faith glanced sideways at her. The Slayer mustered a strained smile, not sure how to react to Willow's tears.

Willow noticed her partner's reticence and frowned slightly. "Thank you, Joy. You're sweet. You can go eat your breakfast," she coaxed, giving the preteen a nod.

"Are you still sad, Mommy?" Joy asked as she took her seat again. It's rare that she called Willow 'mommy' anymore instead of the shorter and more mature sounding 'mom' and Willow couldn't help smiling.

"No, sweetheart. I'm not sad anymore," Willow assured her, squeezing Faith's knee without looking at her.

It was almost dinner time before Willow caught Faith alone again and if she didn't know her partner so well she wouldn't have noticed the stiffness in her shoulders while she walked their push mower back and forth in straight lines across the yard. Faith let the handle go to stop the motor and Willow stepped down off the porch once she was sure she wouldn't be coated in clipped grass immediately. "Here," she said, offering Faith a cold glass of water. "It's hot out here today. It looks like you're almost done, at least."

Faith took the glass, turning her head to wipe sweat on the strap of her tank top. "Yeah," she agreed simply, voice low. "Thanks."

"Well, I kind of had an ulterior motive," Willow confessed. "The water was a bribe."

"What's up?" Faith asked, finishing off her drink gratefully and pouring an ice cube into her hand and running it across the back of her neck.

"About earlier, the talk about Tara…" Willow started hesitantly.

Faith nodded, though there were the beginnings of a frown between her eyes. "What about it?"

"Faith, you know it's not a competition, right? You and Tara… I love you both. I always will," Willow said.

"I know," Faith agreed too quickly, meeting Willow's lips for a quick kiss. "I gotta get this done before dinner…"

"Wait," Willow said, hand on her arm to stop her. "Do you really know, or are you just obliging me?" Her eyes studied Faith's face for a long moment. "What is it?"

Faith shrugged, expression growing more uncomfortable by the minute. "Nothing."

"Bull," Willow denied, shaking her head. "Hon, talk to me! Am I doing something to make you think… I don't know, that I don't love you, that I'm not crazy about you?"

"No," Faith said simply. Willow looked unconvinced and the Slayer sighed, pushing at her sweaty hair with one hand, the other hand rolling the ice in her glass. Some of it had melted and she drank down the little refill. "It's stupid," she groused but Willow just lifted both eyebrows expectantly, free hand on her hip. "And I know it's stupid! It's just…compared to Tara I don't come off looking so good."

Willow started to object but Faith cut her off. "I'm not saying I'm - I don't really know what I'm saying, just… I'm loud and I don't think things through. I get myself in trouble, I know that! And I pick fights, all the time. I'm sarcastic and crude and don't know when to take a hint…" Faith didn't look at her as she spoke, eyes focused on a slow moving droplet of water on the side of her glass.

There was a pause and Willow started to speak but Faith interrupted again. "You still dream about her."

"Huh?" Willow asked, confused. "How could you know that?"

Faith glanced at her almost shyly. "You talk in your sleep. Sometimes you say her name." Willow's mouth dropped open, the witch completely at a loss about what to say in response. "It's fine, babe," Faith continued earnestly. "You always sound happy when it's her. I would never… you'll always love her, I know that. And I would never think anything different… You say my name sometimes too," she said, smiling a little smile. "It's hot. And I really do get it, Willow. I swear."

"Faith," Willow sighed, hugging her unexpectedly.

"Babe, no, I'm gross," Faith protested. "I'm all sticky and stinky and dirty."

"I don't care," Willow said, head leaning against the side of Faith's arm. The positioning was awkward, both of Willow's arms around either side of Faith, front and back, so that the Slayer's arms are pinned against Willow's body and under her locked hands.

"Will…"

"Nope," Willow denied simply. "I'm not letting go until you listen to me, Faith Lehane!" She dropped a kiss on top of the Slayer's tattoo since it was conveniently right in front of her face. "There is no competition here. There's not even a comparison. Tara was sweet and kind-hearted and soft-spoken and the least selfish person I've ever known. Finding her was a miracle for me." Faith sighed, nodding. She knew exactly how Willow felt about Tara because it was the same way she felt about Willow herself. "And you're energetic and loud and strong and you know just how to drive me crazy. But you're loyal too, and protective and passionate and you're a great mother. And you make me smile and you make me laugh. I have so much fun with you, Faith. And, as different as we are, you get me. You make me a better person. I never thought I would find that again, after Tara died."

"And you sure as hell didn't expect it with me," Faith teased dryly.

Willow smiled and squeezed her Slayer as she spoke, "Honestly, you don't have a lot in common with Tara, Faith. Buffy and I used to laugh about it, actually. That I could fall for two completely opposite women." Faith's arm bent at the elbow so that she could touch Willow's arm where it was wrapped across her chest, and she ducked her head to plant a kiss to freckled skin.

"You both have one very big thing in common, though," Willow continued softly and Faith turned her head to meet her partner's green eyes, already knowing what it was. "That I love you. Completely."

Faith nodded, unable to stop a smirk. "That's good to hear. Since you're marrying me next week." She hesitated. "I just, you know, I wanna think that Tara would approve…of me. With you. I want to be good enough for you."

The witch took a deep breath. "Faith, Tara only ever wanted me to be happy. You make me happy." Willow stood up on her toes to kiss the Slayer's cheek. "I can't see the two of you going to the movies together, but you're strong and loyal and you keep me sane. She would be glad I found you. You are more than good enough for me." Willow nodded her head leaning against Faith's shoulder. "And, for the record, it's a miracle that I found you too," she clarified. "You and the kids are my life, Faith." She took a deep breath. "Those kids are the best things either one of us have ever done."

"Definitely," Faith agreed, smiling. Her children were her weakness. She'd go anywhere or do anything for them without flinching. She tilted her head down to look at the top of Willow's hair. "Will…"

"I love you too," Willow answered, not needing to hear it. She rubbed her nose against Faith's arm. "But you really do not smell good," she admitted with a laugh, loosening her hands so she could swat the Slayer's stomach.

"Oh, that's how it is?" Faith questioned, suddenly pouring the remnants of her ice water down the back of Willow's shirt and causing the redhead to whoop loudly and shove her away.

"Faith!" The Slayer grinned playfully and backed away, waving Willow forward challengingly. "Oh, that's how it is?" the redhead echoed, shimmying to get the ice out of her shirt.

Faith laughed, dancing away as Willow swatted at her with one hand, the other still pulling on her shirt. "Watch it with all the tugging," she warned her. "I don't want all our neighbors peeping on my girl!"

"You're the one who started this little wet t-shirt contest!" Willow protested, though she couldn't help laughing at the slack-jawed look that instantly fell over Faith's expression. "That was not an invitation to go get the hose," she countered her fiancée's warning with her own. "The sun's going to be down soon, don't you need to finish the yard?"

"You want to help me?" Faith offered, eager to keep Willow around after their multiple emotional conversations that day. "You could just go get Jack and play out here while I finish," she suggested, smirking to answer Willow's smug expression.

The witch hesitated teasingly, still wringing out the bottom of her shirt. "Fine," she agreed. "But if I come back out here and you have the hose, you're sleeping on the couch," she warned, pointing sternly when Faith just wiggled her eyebrows in response. Joy was running through the kitchen and she caught her daughter by the shoulder. "Watch out. Mama might shoot you with the hose," she warned, laughing as she peeked out the kitchen door window.

"You look happy," Joy observed. "And a little wet. Did Mama get you with the hose?" she asked in disbelief.

Willow glanced down at herself, shaking her head. "Poured ice water down my shirt." She gave Joy a considering look. "Where are you heading? Want to help me get Mama?"

"Sure," Joy agreed easily. "How are we going to get her?"

"Go get those water balloons your uncle gave you," Willow said, waving toward the stairs. The lawn mower didn't start back up immediately and she knew Faith was readying her ambush. "And please don't act like I'm wrong. I know he gave you a bunch. Water balloons are Xander's favorites." Joy trotted off and Willow went into the living room to collect Jack from his playpen. "You ready to get Mama?" she asked, laughing when he giggled at her.

He gave her a grin and she bounced him against her hip. "Want me to drop them from up here?" Joy called from upstairs.

"Can you see her?" Willow called back, moving up the stairs to join her daughter in her bedroom. Sure enough, Faith was visible poking around in the bushes, something that would have looked innocent if she didn't know exactly what her fiancée was up to.

"There would be a better angle from the porch roof," Joy suggested, not doing enough to hide her hopeful tone. She saw the expression on Willow's face and gestured. "It's only one floor up!"

"Absolutely not," Willow denied flatly. "You're not climbing out on the roof to play a joke on your Mama." The girl gave her a pleading look and Willow sighed. "No," she repeated. "I know you're your Mama's daughter, but I'm saying no." She pointed out the window. "I'll go down and let her think she's won and once she's over here, you let her have it, okay?"

"Okay," Joy agreed, smiling in spite of being forbidden from playing on the roof. "I'll open the window once the hose goes off."

"Good girl," Willow said, giving her a kiss on the top of her head. She glanced down at Jack. "Ready to go get wet, baby boy?" He just grinned and clapped his hands happily. "Take that as a yes."

Faith had moved the mower and was making a show of cranking it up again, but Willow was sure the hosepipe was laying just behind her in the shrubs. "Hey, babe," the Slayer greeted her, wiping fresh sweat from her brow. "And my little man!" Jack giggled when he saw Faith and Willow felt her heart jump in her chest. It was never old to her to see Faith with their children. The kids adored their mother the Slayer and it was incredible to watch Faith's normally impenetrable walls just melt with them.

"I can't wait to marry you." The thought slipped out before Willow realized that she'd spoken aloud but Faith's wide eyes made it clear that she'd heard her.

"Aww, well that makes me kind of think twice about spraying you with the hose," Faith complained, winking at her. "Being all sweet and stuff…" She paused for a long moment and Willow grinned, silently giving her acquiescence for what she knew was coming. Faith flicked one foot back sharply and the hose nozzle was suddenly in her hand. "I'm not much for thinking twice, you know."

"I know," Willow agreed, shaking her head as she backed away from the advancing Slayer. "Jack?"

"Water won't hurt him," Faith reasoned with a grin. It went without saying that she wouldn't spray him directly.

"Let's let him crawl some," Willow countered.

Faith shrugged. "You've got about ten seconds, babe."

Willow laughed, moving quickly to put Jack down on the freshly mown grass out of range of Joy and her soon to be raining balloons. She felt the cold spray hit her squarely between the shoulder blades and she whooped as she shimmied away from the water. Faith was limited by the length of slack she could get out, but Willow managed to draw her out to a distance that Joy could reach with her balloons.

The first one bounced off the Slayer's shoulder but popped and splashed her jeans. "Hey!" Faith yelped in surprise, eyes moving up to spot Joy launching another one from her window on the second floor. Faith tried to shoot it out of the air with the hose, but it only succeeded in popping the balloon early and dousing herself in a sudden downpour.

"Good one!" Willow called encouragement, squealing as speaking up brought Faith's aim back to her. She was already wet, her shirt clinging to her and her jeans not far behind, but she ran from the cold spray and Faith was hit with another balloon while she tried to turn to keep Willow in the path of the water.

Another water bomb hit the Slayer and she sprayed the house next to Joy's window in warning. While she was distracted, Willow jumped on her back and Faith let them tumble to the ground as they both laughed. Joy landed another balloon next to her joined parents and whooped loudly at her success before she wisely retreated inside and shut the window.

Willow flopped into the grass on her stomach beside Faith as the Slayer turned over, both soaked and breathing hard. "That was fun," Willow said, grinning. "You weren't expecting the water balloons, were you?"

"No," Faith admitted, curling one arm behind her head. "I wasn't expecting you to get our daughter to bomb us."

"She wanted to get on the porch roof," Willow said, rolling her eyes. "She's your daughter for sure."

Faith grinned with pride, glancing down at their wet clothes. "That's not so bad, is it?" There was some small glimmer of her earlier doubt in her tone, and Willow leaned up on her elbows to look down at her partner.

"That is absolutely not bad, Faith," the redhead said firmly. "Joy loves you almost as much as I do." Jack was swiping his hand through the grass and giggling and Willow hooked the back of his diaper to pull him closer, spurring another around of laughter from the baby. "And so does Jack." His smile at the sight of his parents supported her statement and Faith let out a deep breath.

They rested in comfortable silence as the sun flirted with the tree line, and Joy laughed as she jogged into the yard. "Gotta go!" she called. "It's almost dark."

"Have fun with your Granddad, okay?" Willow called after her. "We'll see you tomorrow."

"Okay," Joy agreed, already running off into the dusk.

"She's staying with Giles tonight?" Faith asked.

Willow nodded, swatting one hand to her partner's stomach. "She would stay with Buffy but she'll be with us, remember?"

"Right." Faith nodded, checking her watch. "We've got to get going. Where's Jackie-boy going?"

"Buffy's got a few of the under-aged Slayers coming over to watch him. I didn't think inflicting both of them on Giles was very nice," Willow answered, shaking her head at the watch. "I can't believe you still wear that thing."

Faith moved her arm protectively as she adjusted her watch, stroking the worn leather band fondly. "Hey! I like this watch! My girlfriend gave it to me."

"Oh, well I guess that makes it better," Willow said, smiling affectionately.

"She gave me this too," Faith said, holding up her left hand and spinning her ring on her finger.

"Well, that's much nicer looking."

Faith grinned, her left arm lowering to slip across Willow's chest and her hand curled around the top of the redhead's arm. "We should get up," she said, though neither of them made a move. "We're supposed to be going to a party, remember? For us."

"Remember how our parties are always better?" Willow countered, letting herself be drawn closer.

"But if we're not up and moving you know B's going to interrupt us," Faith pointed out, leaning her head forward to look at Willow. The redhead moved to lean over her lover and in to kiss her. Almost like clockwork, Buffy cleared her throat behind them.

"Joy told me you two were soaking wet and kissing in the yard and I'd rather not have either one of you die when a vampire attacks while you're otherwise distracted," Buffy said, sounding amused despite her hands on hips pose.

"Our own daughter ratted us out?" Faith complained as she sat up.

"She's keeping you from getting arrested for indecent exposure," Buffy countered. "Because that's not a fun Bachelorette party. So you, get up and finish the yard, and Will, you go change." She clapped her hands authoritatively. "We're doing this! Even if it is still weird that both of you are going to the same party." Buffy had advocated in favor of having separate parties but the couple had put their feet down on the issue, wanting to celebrate together. She wandered closer and picked up a crawling Jack, who cooed happily to see her, and clapped a hand against her face.

The couple exchanged grins as they got up off the ground. Their life was strange and they knew it, but they wouldn't change it for anything. "Fine, we're going," Faith groused, playing grumpy because even with two kids and a week away from her own wedding, some things never changed.

[part 14 here]

Date: 2011-07-10 04:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladycallie.livejournal.com
I had to take a break while reading this chapter, it was so powerful. I love that you love Willow and Tara. They way you honor not just their relationship but what Tara changed for who Willow was and who she became; it was one of the things that drew me into this fic.

But it breaks my heart too. I think Willow and Faith are perfect together and their family is precious and dear, and so I really appreciate that you allowed Faith to be a little jaded, not of Willow's relationship with Tara (although mentioning that Willow still dreams of her, and to have Faith say it, was gut wrenching genius), but of how she compares. Faith has a hard time seeing herself as worthy and they way you had Willow explain it to her was loving, gentle and honest... exactly what Faith needed to understand.

In short, this chapter was excellent. Be proud of it!

Date: 2011-07-10 03:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leonhart-17.livejournal.com
This is such a relief to read! I was actually really nervous about this one because I really do adore both relationships and I've been wanting to have them talk about Tara for a while now (and this chapter went through more drafts than any other one I've written for this story...) but I wanted to get it right...

I'm glad you liked that line about Willow talking in her sleep - I really liked it too! I reworked that conversation so many times, but the part about Willow dreaming about Tara has been in there since the beginning... And comparing Faith and Tara is kind of what got me started writing this thing so I wanted to have them talk about it and I thought it turned out pretty well but I wasn't sure how anyone else would like it...

Thank you! I really am so glad you think so!

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