Close your Eyes and Dream
CHAPTER ONE, PART ONE: VERANO

Author: Irene (Hot Tamale) O'Ley!!!!!
Feedback: "Are you guys even listening? I need feedback people!!" Anya in "Hells Bells". Water, food, shelter, and feedback... necessities of life. Yes please. iwc1973@gmail.com
Pairings: W/T X/A B/D
Ratings: Well I suppose I can give myself a "10" 'cause I do think highly of myself. Oh, you must mean the fic, okay. PG, PG-13, R, NC-17, XXX, 4X, 5X, 6X... Okay-Okay, geez. PG-13 TO NC-17 as the story progresses. I'll give proper notification.
Disclaimer: Executives of the world of television, I'm just borrowing. No profits were made during the writing of this story. BTVS slanguage, characters, and etc. belong to ME, UPN, FOX, WB, and JOSS WHEDON...ughhh!!! So if you wanna sue, go ahead, take it, take it all...but I won't go down quietly.
Distribution: If ya'll ask, will I say no? NAAA!!! If ya'll like it, I'll let ya'll have it. Just let me know where it's going so I can properly brag to my friends'...neener, neener, neeeeeeeener.
Summary:
For Willow the wall of insecurities that she has built around herself to hide a scared little girl, will slowly start to crumble with the help of her friends and one Tara Maclay, revealing a woman ready to love and be loved.
For Tara, a painful memory of her past still haunts her. Can she learn to accept happiness and love? Or will her fears decide her fate?
Perceptions, realizations, confessions, and finally acceptance. "I don't sleep with every one I meet! What do you take me for?"... "It's always been you."..."Loving me isn't always easy."..."I need you so!"..."I love you."
Every story has to be about something, I suppose. For Willow and Tara the excitement of recently discovered emotions unfamiliar to both of them, a future together that seems unlikely, two women sharing one heart - one soul, and feelings that couldn't be denied. The sun will rise and the sun will set on a love that is and ever shall be eternal.
Note: This first part consists mostly of Willow and her relationship with her friends and her parents. I wanted to establish that first off, and a lot of what I'm using to establish who they are reflects that of the show. No hellmouth, nothing supernatural. I do however want to stick with the characteristics that they portrayed on BTVS. I will try my best. Tara and her family will make their appearance in the second part. Awhoowhaa...*Happily doing the Mexican hat dance*
Before I begin let me just take a moment to properly thank EVERY FIC WRITER ON PENS and THE ORIGINATERS OF "THE KITTEN-THE WITCHES- AND THE BAD WARDROBE" for keeping Willow and Tara still going strong.
1) To Jeanne, (Kindagay), for her lovely words of encouragement and loyal support.
2) To Sassette, who took the time to impart a few words of wisdom, and in helping me to finally take that first step, and make a smudge on a blank canvas.
3) And to my BETA, yay...I have a beta, the lovely and talented Madame Watson, okay girl what were you thinking? You have taken on another challenge in helping me. "Thank You" just doesn't seem enough. Your advice, suggestions, and inspiration...priceless. DYNAMIC DUO!!!
Okay people, throw your mittens around your kittens and away we goooooo!!!! Just finished watching the movie "Grease".
Thoughts in Italics.
Flashbacks will be clearly marked "Flashback and End Flashback".
Emphasis on words in bold.


A Season Called Spring
This season, when the warmth of God's whisper
Coaxes crocuses through dimpled crusts of melting snow,
He calls the greening grass to the sustenance of Spring's first sun while
Tickling the roots from down below.
This season, when returning robins find once familiar homes and begin to sing,
He instructs the buds to flower in the light and dance upon his wing.
Poem by Jeffery Osbourne Tar.

Spring Break 2002

A brother and his sister sat just two seats behind her yelling and obviously pounding one another.

A man who looked to be around 40, dressed in a business suit, and who could benefit from eating a vegetable every now and then, occupied a seat at the front of the middle section, snoring.

Even having her elbow struck by a rolling cart being pushed down the aisle by the stewardess, was not enough to upset Willow Rosenberg, for she couldn't be anymore happier than she was right at this very moment. She was coming home.

Spring Break, finally, she thought, sighing to herself. What ever possessed me to take double majors? All that work...ughhh!!! Yep, definitely ready for a break.

The winters in Boston were brutal for a girl who grew up in sunny, Southern California. If it's below 50 degrees outside, it's simply unnatural, she laughed quietly. So springtime for her was a welcome relief.


Willow leaned forward from her seat. She reached under with her right hand for her carry-on bag, currently situated by her feet. She positioned her bag onto her lap and pulled the zipper open retrieving her trusty laptop. She was feeling inspired.

Poetry for Willow had started out as a hobby. She soon realized that writing offered her an outlet for expressing her deepest feelings and emotions and a way to capture a moment in time. Plus she thought it was fun. This calls for a simple Haiku, an 'Ode to Spring', she thought as she powered up her laptop. No, that title doesn't do it for me...'Warm Spring Day? Like the title, but maybe in another language. Lets see, Spanish...na. French...not feeling it. German...to rough. Ooh...I know, Japanese! 'Atataka haru no hi' happy dance now. She began tapping away at the keyboard...SPRING, where the nights are cool and the days are warm. Where the sparrows twitter as they fly and daffodils dance in the sun...poet much? She chuckled.

Mother nature was obviously in the same good mood as Willow Rosenberg. The temperature for the rest of the week in Sunnydale was going to be perfect. The last time she had checked the weather report the forecast was calling for clear blue skies and warm days.


Willow had taken a flight from Boston late Friday evening after finishing her last lecture. Her best friends, Buffy Summers and Xander Harris had called her a week before and "guiltapalooaza'd" her into coming home for the weeklong break.

Willow missed her friends "The Scooby's". The last time they were all together, she remembered, was during the winter break of their second year at college. It was easier for Willow to fly from Boston than it was for Buffy and Xander to go up and see her. Money being the issue. Willow's parents were so proud that she had chosen to attend MIT, that whatever Willow wanted, financially speaking, it was given to her. Buffy and Xander, on the other hand, had decided that the University of California Sunnydale (UCSD) better suited their academic needs.

She smiled as a fond memory etched its way into her mind. Willow remembered the day the "Scooby" name had come to fruition.

Flashback
November 1996

One day during lunch Willow, Buffy and Xander started discussing their favorite cartoons of all time. They soon realized that "Scooby-Doo" ranked number one on their list followed closely by "A Charlie Brown's Christmas".

"Willow you'll be Velma 'cause she's the smart one and I think she's kinda gay. I'll be Daphne because...well...she's..."

"Not the smart one?" Willow smirked effectively cutting Buffy off.

"Funny Will." Buffy deadpanned. "So, where was I? Oh yes. Xander you're..." Buffy pondered while scratching her temple.

"Fred?!!" Xander asked expectantly.

"Ummm, no. I think Shaggy is more...you. Don't you think? I mean Shaggy's funny. And what's with the messy hair, the scraggly walk, and the way he..." Buffy didn't get to finish asking her question. Xander, it seems, was a little hurt and annoyed.

"I could be Fred," he pouted.

"Uh, no you can't. Besides he likes to wear a sailor suit. What's up with that?" Willow reasoned.

Xander, suddenly, was more than happy to be the scraggly, funny, and messy haired character.

Buffy glared at Willow. "It's not a sailor suit," she stated. "He wears a scarf, with a white shirt and tight blue pants. Where in his attire does it say 'sailor suit'...hmmm?" Buffy knew her fashion know-how would come in handy one day.

Willow chortled. "I concede it's not a 'sailor suit'...it's worse...it's a man with a scarf," she said rolling her eyes.

"So I guess we're the Scooby's then." Xander added. "Cool. One for all and all for one," he said placing one hand over the table waiting for Buffy and Willow to join him.

Buffy and Willow glanced sideways at one another trying to keep a straight face. They bit their lips desperately trying to hold back their laughter. They were both unsuccessful.

All Xander received was a peal of laughter from the 'Giggle Twins'.

"What?" Xander asked a bit confused and a little disconcerted.

With a knowing look and a confirmed nod from Buffy, Willow decided it was time to let her friend off the hook. "Xander?" she spoke softly as he looked up at her expectantly. "I don't believe 'The Three Musketeers' ever made a guest appearance on Scooby-Doo."

He blushed recognizing his mistake.

"Awww...we still love you Xan!" both girls said in unison.

"Come on Willow. Like Xander said...'One for all and all for one'." Buffy declared with a sharp nod.

They placed their hands over his, one on top of the other, and became the official "Scooby" gang.

End Flashback


Willow arrived in Sunnydale Saturday afternoon and immediately spotted her friends who were anxiously waiting for her to deplane. They ran towards one another, embraced, and burst into tears. There weren't enough hugs in the world for them at that moment. She was even happy to see Anya, now an official member of the gang and Xander's fiancÚ.

Xander met Anya his freshman year at college. He had taken a job as a carpenter / handyman at a construction site to help with everyday finances and school. Anya was the payroll clerk for the company Xander was working for and also a student at UCSD.

They hit it off almost immediately. Xander was at times put off by Anya's "straight fowardness" and her insatiable appetite for many "orgasms". But after some time, he deemed those qualities to be "Anya-esque".

Two years later, Xander Harris proposed to one Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins on her birthday.

"What a better way to celebrate capital superiority than on our nation's birthday and mine...YAY!!!! Anya had exclaimed through sobs of joy, wrapping her arms around Xander and placing fervent kisses all over his face. "I love you Beady Eyes!!!"

Willow was away on a trip with her parents over that summer and couldn't be there to congratulate her childhood friend. It was Buffy who had called her and told her the news. She wished she could have been there for Xander. Willow made a vow to herself on that day that she would do everything she could to spend more time with her real family, than with her parents. It would be difficult, but her priorities were now set in stone.

She had figured that spending time with her parents would reconnect them as a family. She spent so much time alone while growing up, hardly ever seeing her parents. Off to another conference or lecture for days, weeks, and on one occasion, a whole month. Her mother had once told her that she was old enough and intelligent enough to take care of herself. Her father agreed. And to think they're both Senior Associates of Psychiatry for the study of Childhood Development...piffle. Willow thought dejectedly.

Buffy and Xander were her real family. Buffy's mom was a surrogate mother for her and Xander. His parents are worse than mine. Sure they were always home, but instead of home cooked meals, a bottle of Jack Daniels graced the dinner table. And the yelling.

Even Dawnie, Buffy's little sister, wasn't as annoying as Buffy had made her out to be. After all she had a huge crush on Xander and idolized the redhead.

"I wish I were an only child," Buffy had said one day after finding Dawn in her closet trying on her clothes.

Flashback
1998

Buffy and Willow burst through the front door of the Summers' residence. The door slammed hard behind them.

From the kitchen, Joyce winced and shook her head in frustration. "Buffy the door!!! You are going to knock the hinges off one of these days young lady," Joyce admonished.

"Sorry mom!" Buffy yelled back. "Come on, hurry up Willow, Xander said he'll be here by 7:00pm to drive us to the Bronze. I so wanna look good tonight. Something tells me that Angel will be there. God I hope so," she swooned with a twinkle in her eyes.

The two best friends reached Buffy's room. Buffy frowned when she saw her bedroom door slightly open. Funny I closed it this morning...Dawn! She thought, gasping and narrowing her eyes. She paused and a mischievous grin graced her face. She looked over her shoulder at Willow and gestured for her to be quiet by raising her index finger to her lips. Willow chuckled.

"Shh..." she whispered as she wrapped her fingers around the door handle and slowly pushed opened the door. "Be vewy, vewy, quiet. I'm hunting...DAWN!!!!"

Buffy's face paled. The sight of Dawn wearing the black leather pants she was expecting to impress Angel with now sported a torn zipper and lotion?

Dawn froze when she heard her name. Buffy was quite smaller in stature than her, even though she was older. She had convinced herself that a little lotion might just aid in pulling up the stubborn pants. And the zipper, well, that was an unexpected surprise.

Willow's eyes widened and her jaw hit the floor.

Buffy was mortified. She began to whimper. "I wish I were an only child." she was now sobbing.

Despite Buffy's 'troubles', Willow couldn't help but laugh. She quickly placed her hand over her mouth to hide her mirth, as her shoulders continued shaking.

Sometimes Buffy doesn't know how good she really has it, thought Willow sadly.

Willow walked over to the petite blond. Now standing in front of her, she placed a gentle hand on Buffy's shoulder. She searched her eyes hoping that she could reason with her best friend and avoid Dawn's untimely death. "Buffy," she started. "I know you're upset at Dawn right now, but I know you love having the little brat around. Who else would push you out of the bed just to annoy you and who would blame you for everything bad that happens...and taunt you with that hideous plush monkey you hate so much. Who would take your make up and use it for their coloring books, I had a lot of coloring books but no one to share them with...share and share alike...see you guys are so alike, you don't even notice it. One day you will look back and say...Hey remember that time when you blamed me for setting that fire in the garage during Christmas and I didn't get that sweater that I wanted? Well anty up Dawn, I'm collecting old debts...and..."

She babbled on and on about the joys of sibling rivalry until nearly passing out. If I had a sister, I'd like her to taunt me with that hideous thing, and if I ever owned a pair of leather pants, I'd share with her, she thought after regaining some of her strength.

End Flashback


Buffy was going to have the house all to herself for the week and had invited Willow to stay over with her during Spring Break. Willow was staying in Dawn's room.

Joyce had agreed to entertain and chaperone Dawn and her friend Janice to Los Angeles and San Diego for the week. She made arrangements for them to visit a couple of theme parks and the world famous zoo.

That evening Willow, Buffy, Xander and Anya had spend their time reminiscing, laughing, talking and catching up with each other lives over pizza, soft drinks, and a variety of other snack foods.

The evening was winding down and the gang had decided to call it a night.

"So I guess 10:00am will be okay for everyone?" Xander inquired knowing how tired Willow must be after her long flight.

Willow on the other hand was too excited to show her fatigue. Something about tomorrow, Willow thought. A feeling that she had never experienced before made its way up her spine, sending jingly thoughts of anticipation.

Yawning Buffy replied. "Yeah 10:00 am is perfect Xan."

Willow and Buffy got up off the couch and escorted Xander and Anya to the front door. "I'm so glad you're home Will." Xander hugged the petite redhead and placed a small chaste kiss on her cheek.

"Hey! What about me?" Buffy mocked angrily, placing both her hands on her hips and pouted.

Anya sauntered over to Buffy. "Okay c'mere baby," she said in a sultry voice.

"Get away from me Anya, you pervert," said Buffy backing away from her, raising her hands keeping her at bay.

"No...I believe that title belongs to Willow. Say Willow did ya bring your scorecard with you? I bet Xander $50 big ones that you will have at least 3 orgasms by the end of the week. I know how notorious you are with the lesbian population, you're like a she-wolf stalking the poor, defenseless lesbian-lambs just grazing about on a hill...little lamb, little lamb, run as fast as you can, she's on the prowl." With a self- satisfied smirk, Anya's teasing continued . She was now impersonating the "Crocodile Hunter's" movements and accent. "Here we see the rare 'Lesbianes Tigris Felidae', or more commonly known as the 'Willow', from the island of Sappho, stalking her prey. Oh...she's a beauuuty!!! Look how she grins and bares her teeth, a sure sign that at any moment she will approach her prey, swoon her off her feet, and take her to her love nest to devour...HEYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!"

"Oh, come on Buffy...let her finish. It was getting good," Xander guffawed and bent forward clutching his stomach when he noticed Willow blushing a darker shade of red to rival that of her hair. She was about to pounce on Anya, when Buffy quickly intervened, pushing Anya and Xander out the front door effectively avoiding the 'Wrath of Willow'.

Willow knew that Anya's teasing was all in good fun. She just hoped that her friends didn't really think of her that way. She makes me sound like some kind of skanky ho, and I'm not. I've only had one girlfriend since my coming out and that was four years ago. Sure I go out with my fair share of women, but going out and having them spend the night, of the naked kind, are two entirely different things. In what twisted dictionary does that imply that I'm a she-wolf? Any-whoo love's so overrated. Who wants to be stuck with just one woman? Love...piffle. I say, have fun while you're young. Don't settle down to fast. Be picky. Don't get too attached and above all else respect yourself. The chances of getting hurt again are non-existent. You leave them before they have a chance to leave you, She thought miserably, trying to convince herself.

"Goodnight." Xander and Anya yelled and waved from their car, uninjured.

Willow and Buffy were waving back. "Night," they shouted in unison as the car drove away.

Buffy and Willow made their way up the stairs stopping at Dawn's room. "Do you need any help unpacking Will?" Buffy asked as they entered. "Dawn made some room in her closet for your clothes and stuff. She also left a couple of drawers empty for you," she said pointing to the dresser.

"Na, I'm okay Buff. I still know where everything is. But thanks," she said smiling at her best friend.

"Okay then. Well goodnight Will and make sure you get plenty of rest. We got beach duty tomorrow."

Willow frowned. A bit confused she questioned, "Beach DUTY? Are we lifeguards all of a sudden? Cos' saving damsels in distress..."

"As in 'Fun in the Sun' gutter-brain. You know swimming, volleyball, a cute boy....or in your case, cute girl."

"Got it, got it," she giggled. "Goodnight Buff," was her reply as she hugged her best friend.

Willow then set about organizing her belongings.

About an hour later Willow was now clad in her night jersey ready for a goodnight's sleep. She slipped under the covers, and with a final satisfying sigh, she exhaled a breath she didn't know she had been holding in and fell asleep.

A week of fiestas, hootenannies, shindigs, and overall fun was well on its way. And for Willow Rosenberg, destiny awaits her.


Continue to Close your Eyes and Dream Chapter One, Part Two


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