Return to Latter Days/Lonely Nights Chapter Ten

Latter Days/Lonely Nights

Author: Willownut
Disclaimer: Blah, blah, blah. Many characters are Joss Whedon's. Yada, yada, yada. No harm intended with the use of these revered characters. Peas and carrots, peas and carrots.
Italics are thoughts. For those who could excommunicate me or send me unwanted literature, I wish you no ill will. My thanks to LVK for the use of her song lyrics, you have my deep respect, and I would have asked first if I knew where you were.

Note: This story uses the Hybi 4 font to represent Willow's handwriting in sections. This font is available for download here: Hybi 4. If fonts are not installed on your PC, sections of this story will be rendered in large text. Fonts sourced from

(Day 4 - Sunday, November 11, 1984)

Beep. Beep. Beep.

A freckled hand darted out from under her pillow and tapped against the snooze. She could tell her red hair was going everywhere, so she slowly ran her fingers through it to see if she could put it back in some semblance of order. "Ow," she muttered quietly more to herself than anyone else. Water will make all things better. She instantly thought of Tara. Well that had to be a record. What was that, less than thirty-seconds awake?

She thought back over the events of the past few days. In just three days, she'd met the most amazing girl, had the worst day of her life, and possibly the best day in her life. Tara had made all things better ... she amended in her mind. And what had she said to Sister Smith? She looked sheepish when she got back after their chat.

We're meeting for breakfast-Tara made a plan. And she said she was non-plan girl. Hmmm.

What time is it? She looked over at the clock. Oh, plenty of time. She silently weighed out her options - shower or journal first. She opted for shower and grabbed her bathroom gear.

She was going over her Tara wish list as she stepped in the shower and let the water cover her head. My Tara list just keeps getting longer and longer. She mentally ticked through the items as she warmed under the water spray. She ran her fingers through her hair and massaged her scalp with the shampoo.

As she tilted her head back to rinse, her mind drifted to her conversation in the lounge. "Willow" she heard Tara's voice in her head and pictured the word forming on her lips. The image of Tara holding her arms open for her sent a shockwave through her. The intensity of the recollection was so strong she nearly lost her balance and she put her hand out against the tile to steady herself. Another stronger pulse went through her as her mind relived their embrace. She felt a familiar feeling wash through her.

Okay, that's bad. I just have to stop doing that.

As she ran soap over her body, she tried to think of anything else other than Tara. Her body betrayed her good intentions. Every image she conjured seemed to lead back to their unique exchanges and it didn't help that she was trying to wash. + Her nipples were hard and she was wet. Her lips tingled and she bit down on them trying to redirect her emotions. She recognized the signs of her arousal and tried to clean them away.

That's it; I'm done.

She turned the water off and reached for her towel to dry off.


The silence of the second floor was broken with a shrill yell. Willow nearly jumped out of her skin when she felt cold water re-drench her partly dried off hair. How had someone dumped an entire bucket directly on her head?

"Oh, you are sooo gonna get it!" She didn't really know whom she was going to get, but she knew vengeance was in order. Willow poked her head and upper arms out from behind the shower curtain just in time to see Tara laughing hysterically. She had an extra towel in her hand.

"Oh, you think bringing a towel to your little water prank will make up for the evilness that is you? Willow zeroed in on her with steely green eyes.

Tara took one look at Willow's eyes and she knew she'd made a colossal miscalculation. She had hoped that the stunt would help to redefine their "friendship" to redirect them back to a less "intimate" relationship.

Tara was unable to stop her eyes as they drifted from Willow's eyes, to her nose and mouth. She studied what she would later call Willow's resolve face. Then she looked down her neck to rest on Willow's beautifully sculptured freckled shoulders. She had not planned on the effect seeing a partially naked Willow would have on her.

She tossed the towel to Willow who had to reach out a little passed the curtain to grab it. Tara seeing a little more of the redhead, turned and scampered out of the bathroom back to her room. Yes, her caper had backfired.

Willow was alone with a fresh towel from Tara, a cold head and shoulders, and a new Tara moment to add to the rest of her Tara memories. Oh, Evil Tara. Willow was unable to control the growing smirk that thought produced. The smirk graduated to a huge grin as she considered her earlier thoughts of the non-non planning Tara. She is definitely a schemer.

She patted her head dry with the Tara towel and breathed in the scent of her detergent. Oh, now why did I do that? Willow chastised herself for adding more sensory input to her Tara bank of remembrance. She felt a fresh wave of passion flood through her. Oh no, stop it!

Was that look what I think it was, cause if it was we're both in big, big trouble.

Down the hall, Tara flopped on her bed. She was riddled with guilt. She tried to convince herself that she was flush from her brief run down the hall, but she knew that really wasn't the case. This is just so bad. How does she do that to me?

Tara looked over at her clock. There was still plenty of time before their "date" with the other sisters, but there was nowhere for her to go. She couldn't be alone, that was not allowed. She couldn't really talk to anyone about her feelings - that might get her sent home if the gossip chain were to bring it to the attention of the mission president. No this was a problem she needed to confront on her own and maybe discuss with leadership after she got a handle on what she was feeling. That left only one option. She just didn't have a lot of time, but she had to take advantage of the extra time she had this morning. She'd gotten up earlier to do her prank and she was already dressed.

November 11, 1984

It's only Sunday and I'm in big trouble. I've met someone who has the potential to knock me off my path. I don't want to waver in my commitments, but the pull I feel to her is so strong. This isn't the way it's supposed to be.

The day I met her I felt a connection immediately. There is something about her. She seems so familiar. We talk and we laugh, and I feel closer to her than I do anyone. At first, it just seemed like we had a special relationship that you sometimes have with people. I thought it could be that I'm just feeling extra vulnerable and alone. We are all a long way from home and looking at eighteen months of service. I guess I didn't appreciate the impact that would have on me here - finding a friend.

She's really smart and quirky. I like that in a person. She uses colored pens to remember things, and we had a great scripture study the first night here. We really communicate well about lots of things.

The next day, she had a bad day. That's when I let my guard down the first time. Watching the events unfold for her as they did just melted by heart. I wanted to reach out and make it better for her. I stayed out late and watched her fall apart in front of me. I wanted to hold her and protect her. I opted for chocolate. Seeing her like that - well it overwhelmed me. I'm starting to have dreams about her.

Yesterday, we got set apart. The mission president warned me to focus on my calling and to utilize the tools I've been given. I need to avoid temptations that would distract me from the work. There was a lot more, which I'll add later, but right now, I need to resolve the conflict I'm having about this thing.

I managed to stain my sweater; there was a red spot. It was super obvious. I caught Sister Rosenberg looking at it. Truth be told, I think she was really looking at me, but I dismissed it at the time until she started to babble. She does that, it's charming and very telling if you listen carefully to what she says.

I think she said between the lines that "she is abnormally observant when it comes to me (which she was embarrassed to admit and shouldn't have said out loud), and that I had caught her staring at my boobs." She said all that kneeling in front of me. Then she offered me her jacket. I spent the rest of the day smelling her on the suit coat and daydreaming about her.

I was so distracted I couldn't really concentrate in class. At lunch, she was struggling with this little mustard packet, which was about the cutest thing I've ever seen. I can't help it when I talk to her; it's as if I have to flirt. It's so bad, but she really seems to like me.

Then we had the get-together in the room. We were all on the bed doing a photo and, oh, I don't even think I should admit this, but I cuddled with her. I could have stayed there forever lost in the feel of her. Naturally, there was a party going on, but the first opportunity I got, I made a break for it. She came along too. I don't even know if she consciously meant to. We're just in-synch like that.

While we were alone, she sang for me. I can tell how much she hates her voice and how very hard that was for her. She's very self-conscious about it, and it's too bad because I think she probably could be a good singer if she just let herself learn how to do it right.

She just is so vulnerable. She seems to admit things to me without even meaning to. I mean I think stuff; I have a few things I'd like to know about her for instance - the color thing - but she admits her feelings and organizes them I think, maybe even names them. Her "Tara wish list" I think is what she calls it.

She's kind of a touchy person. She touched my face. I don't know what came over me, but it was the most amazing thing anyone ever did. That's not the worst of it. Later I hugged her - I mean I really hugged her. I never wanted to let her go. When she touches me, I feel like I'm on fire.

So I was thinking that I needed to find a way to step back from her and today I implemented stage one of my grand and yet painful plan. I dumped cold water on her while she was in the shower. That SO wasn't the best idea.

She practically jumped out of the shower. I'm so glad she didn't come all the way out, because I don't know what I would have done then. The emotions and reactions I had just from seeing what I did of her - well ... I'm sitting here all out of breath. I don't think it's from running the short distance down the hall.

I want to know what to do but I don't. This is so new for me. I've had crushes before but never ever like this. I've been here three days and my future suddenly is in jeopardy. I want to do the right thing, but the right thing is so hard. I don't feel worthy of this calling or the covenants I've made.

I know I'm supposed to keep a happy wholesome record of my mission, but guess what - this is the mission - my mission - and I'm not going to white wash this. It's hard and a struggle and I'm facing demons I thought I'd buried long ago, but you know what, you can't bury things - they come back.

Tara had left the door ajar and didn't hear the others come down the hall until Willow poked her head in and said, "I'm back." Tara looked up just in time to see Willow wiggle her fingers in a wave.

Conley looked up from her scriptures laughed and in her best little girl voice said, "They're here."

Willow caught on immediately and said in a high-pitched voice "CarolAnne, CarolAnne."

Colson jumped in, clearly on the wrong page again and said, "Who you gonna call?"

Kitchen started to laugh walked over and patted Colson on the shoulder. She remarked a little more quietly to her, "You keep trying sweetie; you'll get it right one of these times. We were doing Poltergeist and you did Ghostbusters - which makes me suddenly want some hot cocoa with marshmallows." She addressed the group a bit louder, "We all ready to head out?"

As the Conley got up to leave, Kitchen continued with Colson, "You work on your 'Gizmo' and I'll give you a lead in sometime - you'll be the hit of the party." Kitchen smiled warmly. Colson appreciated the gestured and nodded. She could do the friendly gremlin, but ones fed after midnight scared her.

She heard Smith asking Conley: "Did that midget lady freak you out too?" Kitchen shook her head to herself and smiled.

Tara took one last look at her journal, read the last line again: 'you can't bury things, they come back,' closed the cover and headed out to face the day.

Continue to Latter Days/Lonely Nights Chapter Twelve

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