Return to Common Areas Chapter Five

Common Areas

Author: watson
Rating: PG-13 to R
Disclaimer: This story is inspired by and adapted from a Korean film called Il Mare. The story premise, of 2 people who connect across time, belongs to Lee Hyun-Seung, although I have deviated from the story somewhat. BtVS characters belong to Mutant Enemy, Fox, The WB, UPN and others. I own nothing. I am nothing.

After the Flower of Light spell Tara positively hummed with Willow. Every laugh she heard was Willow's. Every tender touch on her arms was Willow's. Every time she spotted red hair she thought it was Willow. She could feel her everywhere - while she painted, while she did her laundry, while she was at the store. Inside her, around her, all over her.

... and especially when she was in the shower. Unconsciously her hands would start exploring, all-over, everywhere. Warm hands softly caressing her breasts, brushing against her tummy and gently teasing her folds. Her eyes closed in exhilaration under the stream of hot water. Then a soft groan escaping her lips jolted her abruptly back to reality. She turned the shower to its coldest setting.

These were not okay feelings to have. She was so frustrated.

Willow was doing research on dimensional time travel. Initially she did a lot of reading on quantum mechanics, topics like relativity theory and multi-worlds theory, that described the physics of time travel. Although she understood the equations and hypotheses, none of them gave her answers that she was looking for.

So she turned to magicks. She knew there were spells that enabled people to travel to another time. Not alternate universes like the one created by Cordelia's Wish, but in her own universe, only another time.

Although if she traveled to that other time and interacted with people and even stayed there, she would have created another branch and what would happen to her original reality? Would she be able to return? Would it fade out of existence? What about the other paradoxes surrounding the whole concept of time travel? These were the questions in her mind, but not all she thought about.

All she thought about, every waking second, was Tara. She could feel the after effects of their spell, that left her breathless and yearning for more. More contact, more sharing of energy and more, more, more Tara. She wanted to sneak back into Sherwood Place and dig up the spot in the garden where Tara buried her flowers, even though they would probably have rotted away by now.

Buffy and Xander attributed her distractedness as Oz-related, but they did not realize those times she stared blankly into space was with a secret smile and not the sadness of a spurned woman. Anya would have noticed and questioned her relentlessly, but was too tied up with the post-Halloween, pre-Thanksgiving retail rush.

That time when Xander made a joke about too many girls and missing Oz, while he looked horrified at his inadvertent mention of his name, she did not bat an eyelid. No sweaty palms, no palpitations. She had not thought about him at all, since the spell with Tara.

That was one nifty spell.

"Are you sure you'll be alright?" Buffy asked as she threw her bag into the back seat of the Jeep.

"Of course. You know my views on Thanksgiving. It's never been important to me, but it is to many people, including your Aunt Arlene," Willow grinned.

"I can't believe it, we haven't seen her since Mom... do you think she wants something?" Buffy mused.

"Probably just to see you and Dawn. You say she had to move to a bungalow after her hip operation? People get a different perspective on life after something bad happens to them, they want their loved ones near," Willow said.

"Yeah. Sometimes I forget there's a real world outside, where getting injured is a big deal," Buffy said wryly.

"Hey, don't go all melancholy slayer on me again," Willow said as she playfully hit Buffy on the arm.

"Nah, I'm good. Now, one last time, you promise to call Xand and Anya for us?"

"Yeah, yeah. I just hope I don't get an earful from Anya. You know what they're gonna be doing, second honeymoon and all."

Buffy laughed. Dawn skipped out of the house, gave Willow a whirlwind hug and threw herself into the car. In no time at all Willow found herself standing alone on the front porch of Buffy's house.

She was on her own in Sunnydale. Buffy and Dawn gone to Illinois to visit their aunt, Xander and Anya to Mexico for sun, sea and frolic.

Apart from house-sitting, she had precious little else to do.

All the more time for Tara.

They talked about what they were doing for Thanksgiving. Ira and Sheila hardly celebrated so the last few years were spent with the Scoobies. It took quite a bit of manipulation on her part to finally convince the others that they could and should go away this year. The clincher was when Angel graciously agreed to send Spike and Gunn over to help with patrol.

"It'll help them get over the past few months. It's been hard on them, the survivor guilt," the one-time broody vampire, and now dragon slayer, explained to a hesitant Buffy. "And you're not around to complicate matters with Spike. They'll just come in for a few days and be out, if Willow doesn't want to, she doesn't need to bother with them at all."

Privately he also told the slayer that he thought Willow sounded like she needed some alone time, she was probably feeling overwhelmed by the others' fussing over her constantly.

Tara had an offer to join Paul and Becky, but Becky's pregnancy had become harder and she had been confined to bed so the dinner was canceled.

Two witches on their own at Thanksgiving. Whatever should we do?

*Laugh* I don't know. May be, um, let's see, I know! Let's do a spell!

Spell sounds good. Any ideas? I was thinking we should do one that celebrates the plentiful harvest season and the coming of winter, because it's Thanksgiving afterall. That's the only time my Dad would let Mom giving blessings at our table.

I can do better. I found one that reaches out to nature itself, at once giving thanks to the fruits it has provided and at the same time allowing the spellcaster to connect with the earth. It's from the druids and uses vervain leaves that's been gathered under the rays of a full moon and imbued with the moon's power. You infuse it into 3 types of oil, use the infused oil in a ritual bath before giving yourself an all over massage with it. It's very powerful and the effects are supposed to last well into the next year.

Tara gulped when she read that. It was so enchanting, so sensual. It did not take a lot to imagine another's hands massaging the oil into her body. Willowhands.

Are you sure we're ready for this? It sounds, well, kind of intimate, she wrote.

The reply that came back was full of revelations.

Intimate is performing the spell together in the same room, on the same day of the same month of the same year. There will be side by side preparations with much anticipation, a joint cleansing bath and real, not pretend or phantom, touching. The operative word is together. This is just a poor substitute.

I can't stop thinking about you.

I know it's completely the wrong thing to be admitting, Tara, but I feel like I'm that close to exploding. I went by to the apartment and talked to Paul, it's still empty, which is why it's so easy for me to drop letters to you. I've been thinking of moving back so I'm closer to you. But I want more. More than just exchanging letters and gifts. More than me being in one place doing a spell and you in another place doing the same spell and pretending we are doing the spell together.

I want to see you.

Tara literally dropped the letter when she read the last part. Her heart was beating so wildly and she had to sit down before she fell. Here was Willow practically confessing that, yes, she felt the same for Tara as Tara for her.

She put the letter down on her desk. There was more but she simply could not read further. She deliberately made herself busy, turned the radio on very loud and did housework around the apartment.

Later, finally when she could not stand it anymore, she made herself a hot chocolate and with shaking hands, took up the letter again.

I want to see you.

Not just from a distance like you did at the Bronze. I want full-on meeting, talking and coffee, there'll definitely be coffee of a mocha-y goodness variety.

I thought of a way. Not a spell or time machine or anything fancy. It's quite simple actually but it'll be a lot harder for you than for me, so it's only fair that you make the decision. I should have no right suggesting it, but it's just gonna be on my mind and I can't get rid of the thought and then I'll be wiggy and you with your Mensa level EQ will just get worried.

Here it goes.

Make a date in your diary. If you don't have a diary, buy one.

December 12th, 2004. Sunday. A day of the New Moon. 3pm. I'll be at the Espresso Pump.

Please come.

Continue to Common Areas Chapter Seven

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