"Finally! Good God, I thought someone would never reach me up here!" sighed Tara, exasperated from the boring weeks she spent doing nothing but playing with Miss Kitty. Her dress was tattered, but still presentable. Her hair was pulled back into a bun, but some loose strands hung around her perfect face. On top of her golden head, she wore a silver crown, with a sapphire stone in the center of it.
She began gathering what little there was of her clothing and turned to the redhead. The blonde stepped back and did a double take.
"I'm guessing you didn't seek me to ask for my hand in marriage, eh?" she asked. Willow, still entranced by the blonde's beauty, only nodded her head dumbly. Tara dropped her head, suddenly shy under the new attention. "So, um, why did you seek me?" she inquired again meekly, a glimmer of hope still evident in her voice.
"Er, um, well, oh boy, this isn't going to sound too romantic," stated Willow, scratching her red mess self-consciously. "You see, I um...well, I just wanted a challenge and the solution was, er pointed me in this direction. Almost like a sword point," Willow summarized. Tara nodded, but her eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
"Shall we?" questioned Tara, picking up Miss Kitty and descending down the stairwell already.
"We shall," muttered Willow, cursing herself for not telling the princess the truth. First impressions Willow, first impressions.
Tara took a step down unto the clearing of the hall, but she quickly retracted her footsteps and gasped softly.
"You didn't slay the dragon?!" she asked, mortified and frightened. She slapped her forehead dramatically. Willow then noticed a huge mass of sea green scales. Thankfully, the beast was resting quite contently and was turned away from the two women.
"I didn't see the dragon. I came through the other door," explained Willow as she pointed to the side entrance. Tara rolled her sapphire eyes and gestured frantically.
"You went through the side door instead of the front entrance? Oh, come on, even the common folk know you enter through the front draw bridge and slay a fierce dragon. That way, you earn the girl, not cheat!" hissed Tara, glaring at the redhead, who in return, glared back mockingly.
"Well excuse me if I decided that I'd take a short cut instead of the long, winding hills and random trials way. Do you know how many men have attempted to infiltrate this exact castle in order to win your heart and failed because they used the 'proper' door? Do you want to be saved or not? Cause if you want someone to save you the non-cheaters way, I'll return home to Daddy dearest and tell him his daughter refused to come home because I did not use the front door!" babbled Willow, now gesturing frantically herself. Tara looked at her quizzically, smirking as Willow finished.
"How do you breathe?" she questioned, looking at the redhead as if she had sprouted another head. The blonde tilted her head to the side slightly, some hairs falling down of their own accord.
"Why do you ask so many damn questions?" retorted Willow, but still blushing at the mention of her trade-mark babble.
"Do you have a sword?" inquired Tara, looking around their surroundings for a weapon.
"Again with the questions," remarked Willow, pointing an accusing finger at Tara. The princess sighed and withdrew a dagger from her luggage.
"Damn. Hate to be on your honeymoon," deadpanned Willow, giving Tara a skeptical look as the dagger appeared out of her case.
"Emergency uses, thank you very much. And I'll ask you to refrain from speaking about my married life again," she announced, extending the dagger to the peasant. Willow eyed the knife and then Tara, not missing the curves of the princess.
"Why are you handing that to me?" she asked, confused by the princess's actions.
"Um, you kill it. I do not kill things. The savior does. You are the savoir. Any part you do not understand?" teased Tara, swaying the weapon in front of Willow.
"Oh what, is that your 'proper' way?" asked Willow, using her fingers to put quotations around the word 'proper' when she spoke them. As the words left her mouth, a massive thud echoed throughout the castle.
Two silent heads slowly turned in the direction of the sound. Emerald and sapphire eyes meet with ruby red stones of fire as the girls faced the once sleeping dragon. It took Willow a half-a-second to realize that the dragon was about to spit fire at Tara, when the redhead pushed the blonde of the line of flames. Miss Kitty dropped on all fours and scurried of behind a pile of armor.
Grabbing the dagger swiftly, Willow raced to an opposite end of the hall, distracting the dragon's attention from Tara. A line of flame shot toward Willow, who dashed out of the way, rolling behind a pillar.
Willow glanced around nervously, looking for anything to assist her in defeating the overgrown reptile. The heat from the flames still touched Willow's skin as she spotted rope-like vines that hung all around the castle's ceiling.
"Ok," she whispered, "one, two...three!" she breathed, darting over to the lowest vine hanging down. A trail of fire followed her, scorching Willow's path behind her.
Hoping gracefully onto the plant, she carried enough momentum to swing herself off the ground and in a circular motion, landing on the dragon's back.
"Not exactly what I had planned," Willow commented, as the dragon spun around quickly, bucking mildly. Even though the dragon was no bull, it still had enough movement to knock Willow back and forth wildly.
The dragon, not entirely sure what or who was on its back, thrashed and spewed flames ever which way. Some almost hit Tara, but the princess ducked out of the way, grabbing a wood branch off the floor. About the time Tara picked up the branch, Willow regained her balance and struck the dragon in its red eyes with the dagger. A loud roar of pain reverberated off the walls of the castle, and the sea green monster again thrashed wildly, throwing Willow off.
The enormous tail swung ferociously. On one swing, it connected with Willow's pale abdomen, sending the petite woman flying through the air. She landed with a hard crack next to Tara, who reacted quickly by pulling the redhead out of the line of fire.
Instead, she extended the branch in front of the blaze, making a torch of the wood. Pointing the torch at the beast, the creature backed away from the fire.
By now, the entire hall of the castle was up in flames; it literally looked like a stereotypical Hell. Willow, seeing the door unattended, seized Tara's tan wrist, and yanked her towards the door. Miss Kitty scampered out of the armor and out the door quickly. Being the kitten she was, her furry little feet only carried her so quickly. Willow scooped Miss Kitty up in her arms, taking the torch from Tara and lighting the dry vines they passed.
Crossing over the draw bridge, Willow, Miss Kitty and Tara all looked back to see the trapped dragon thrashing about within its confinement. The building caved in and Willow finally, yet reluctantly, let Tara's wrists go.
The blonde princess spun around searching the countryside with her eyes. Willow stepped forward, touching the blonde's arm lightly.
"Looking for something?" she asked, letting her eyes wander over the blonde's body yet again.
"No particularly. It's good to be out of that place. All cooped up inside a damp room...oh dear God, I must look like hell," she gasped at the realization, hiding her face in her hands.
"Well, I wouldn't say hell...hell bound maybe, but definitely not hell," smiled Willow, hoping a goofy smile would comfort the distraught blonde. After some moments of consideration, Tara's face appeared. She eyed the redhead carefully.
"Was that supposed to make me feel better?" she asked, smirking at her savoir. Willow turned cherry, but still held her smile.
"It did, did it not?" responded Willow, raising her eyebrow. After a moment of just staring at each other, Willow scanned the forest scene, looking for a pathway of some sort.
"Where is your horse? Your noble side-kick? Are you searching for them?" inquired Tara, searching the forest herself now for some form of life. The redhead rolled her eyes and looked at Tara.
"The noble sidekick and horse as you say wouldn't cross the wobbly bridge. So we're stuck having to walk around half the country to get to, hmm, what was the town....oh shit! I didn't tell Anya which town to meet me in! Oh fuck! Fucking fucker fucktown!" cursed Willow through clenched teeth.
"Your extensive vocabulary woos me," Tara deadpanned, rolling her eyes. She sighed heavily and turned to look into the abyss of the forest.
"Sorry, I'm not up to your standards princess," Willow responded mocking the term princess. She also turned and looked in the same direction. "Well," Willow drawled out, "I suppose we better get a move on."
The two characters wandered aimlessly into the green lush of forest, Miss Kitty scampering along side them.