Return to What's Your Tale, Nightingale? Chapter Four

What's Your Tale, Nightingale?

Author: Alcy
Rating: PG-13, possibly R a bit later on.
Disclaimer: The characters of Willow and Tara, Buffy and Giles all belong to TPTB, I'm just playing for a while.

Willow tapped her fingers impatiently on the side of her chair. She was sitting on the veranda of her aunt's house, sipping cool punch and listening to the insanely boring chatter of her cousins and their friends. Each was vying for her attention as though even the tiniest word from her was an earth shattering revelation. They were now outdoing themselves boasting of all the places they would show her and how impressed she would be...

Just the fact that any of you people would be there with me would be enough to ruin even Paris' most spectacular sights. Oh my god, I'm turning into one of those stuck up, obnoxious dames I can't stand! Willow took a sip of punch and tried not to look so bored and aloof. This in itself was a difficult task as when she was bored she tended to look aloof... and she was very, very bored...

"Where shall we go today?" Jacque asked, leaning much too close to Willow for her liking, "The museum has an exhibition from Egypt... "

Sounds interesting, mummies, ancient curses, mysteries, what more could a girl want... ? Willow's ears pricked up.

"No, no, no, she doesn't want to do anything so dull, not our Willow! Dancing at the club... they have this cool swing band... " her cousin Jean waved his hands dramatically to indicate his disapproval for stuffy old museums.

I can dance in New York... and with guys that don't want to make me step very hard on their toes...

"You know what," Willow put on a brave but tired smile, "I'm feeling awfully jet-lagged... I think I need a rest... "

Once she had dismissed her gaggle of followers by pulling a few of her best faux yawns, Willow grabbed her bag and camera, gleefully slipping out to explore the city on her own. Being the sociable, chatty young lady that she was, Willow didn't plan on being on her own for too long. She was convinced someone more exciting and fun to be with was bound to be waiting just around the next corner. If anything unexpected was going to happen... this was definitely the city for it. Okay Rosenberg, no obnoxious relatives in sight, eyes peeled... best sexy walk on... you can be gracious and charming when you want to... She was hoping to convey the image of a sophisticated young American women... despite the fact that she didn't quite meet up to such an ideal. How can French guys resist that?

Tara's greatest fears had long since been put to rest. She had been afraid Paris would not live up to her expectations, either that or she would be too terrified to leave their hotel room. However, after just two days it was everything she had imagined and more. Free of the constraints that had been imposed on her in New York, the young woman felt more alive than she had at any time in her life.

In between Mr Giles' very light work schedule, Tara had been given free run of the city. She had no problem stepping out and exploring wherever her feet happened to take her. Although she had only been able to visit a fraction of what she eventually hoped to see, the small taste had given her a hunger she'd never felt before. The markets, the gardens... Strolling the endless boulevards she could feel the history of the place... it was just as Mr Giles had said... magic.

Despite the magic in the air, Tara couldn't shake a nagging feeling that she was missing something. Which she knew was ridiculous as there was absolutely nothing she had left behind her...

Willow found herself at the Place de la Concorde and felt obliged to take a picture of the famous obelisk at the centre. She had been running around snapping pictures all day and it was beginning to grow a little dull... nice buildings, fountains, more nice buildings again. She had not totally forgotten the fact that she was lacking for company... she just hadn't found the right sort. It wasn't until she had brushed off the attentions of the fourth young man who had tried to talk to her that she realised she would never find what she was searching for in Paris...

Willow raised her camera to her eye, searching for the best angle to take a view of the obelisk. It wasn't quite right until she jumped up on the fountain ledge behind her. She snapped a picture, not bothering with a second because it was only a big stone pointy thing anyway. From her vantage point Willow surveyed the scene, cars being driven at full tilt around the roundabout as only Parisian drivers could, more tourists like herself except with a seemingly endless supply of film in their cameras... her gaze passed over a blonde gazing up at the obelisk with an enraptured expression before moving on to an oafish young man who was doing everything to attract her attention short of taking off his shirt. Okay, time to make a graceful exit before he gets the nerve to come talk to me... wait... blonde... blonde! Willow spun back around in time to see the back of the blonde girl her gaze had flicked over as she ran across the road. She turned her head only slightly but it was enough for Willow to recognise her.

Oh my god! "Tara!" Willow yelled as loudly as possible.

Tara stopped as she reached the kerb and looked around with a very confused expression. She had the distinct impression that someone had called her name... Stupid, Tara... stupid... She dismissed it as purely her imagination... she was in Paris... why on earth would anyone be calling for her?

Willow waved her arms over her head, she was so excited that she completely lost her balance. With a small, surprised yelp she slipped on the ledge and went crashing backwards into the fountain.

Willow coughed and spluttered as she surfaced. Blinking furiously she stood up and looked anxiously in the direction she had seen the blonde go. She couldn't see her anywhere. It didn't matter... it just wasn't possible anyway. Why on earth would she of all people be in Paris? Because she was just a... waitress... a shop assistant... what on earth are you thinking Willow? That she was just a nobody? Snorting at her own stupidity she managed to pull herself back on to her feet. She was now standing in a fountain in the middle of one of the busiest parts of Paris, absolutely drenched and people were staring. Willow really couldn't care less. Dammit, if that was a hallucination... then I just made myself look stupid for absolutely no reason... and yet why do I so wish it were real? Willow clambered up the side of the fountain and just as she was about to pull herself out...

Tara really couldn't believe that she was the person risking her life to run back across the road and through the maniacal Parisian drivers all because she thought she had seen someone. Someone she had barely met twice and was with all certainty still in New York. Tara Maclay... you have officially crossed the line from being quirky to being insane... Yet... there she was, soaking wet and pulling herself out of the fountain with a large crowd of onlookers gathering. Tara shoved her way through them...


Willow gasped in surprise as someone fairly flew at her in a flash of limbs... and blonde hair, she slipped and fell backwards into the fountain again. However, this time hands reached down and grabbed her by the shoulders, drawing her to back to the surface. When Willow finally managed to see through the water running down her face and into her eyes the first thing she saw was a pair of beautiful blue eyes. I wasn't dreaming...

"Hi," Willow said brightly, she paused to cough with her hand over her mouth, "Me again... "

Continue to What's Your Tale, Nightingale? Chapter Six

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