Return to You Make Me Smile Chapter Sixteen

You Make Me Smile

Author: MissKittys Ball O Yarn
Rating: NC-17
Feedback: Please let me know what you think... cause I love feedback. I hope you enjoy. Please leave feedback on the You Make Me Smile thread on the Kitten Board.
Disclaimer: Joss owns it all. Except my brain... well, probably that too.

Note 1: This chapter focuses on some pretty serious subject matter. I wanted to be as sensitive as I could be while addressing it. Domestic abuse--abuse of any kind-- is no good.
Note 2: this has been edited about a million times since I posted it because I keep finding all these little typos and it's driving me mad.... (just thought I'd share... )

Tara was in the kitchen stirring a large pot of homemade organic tomato soup when she heard the front door open and Spencer shouting exuberantly. She turned in time to see her son and a very tired looking Willow come into the small kitchen. Spencer was behind Willow, steering her into the kitchen with his hands against her back, pushing.

"Mommy, Willow's here!" he sang out.

"Here I am," Willow reiterated cutely. She was surprised to be greeted with such enthusiasm, not to mention a little baffled by all the unexpected attention. It was certainly the brightest spot in what had been, up until that point, a rather crappy day.

"Well, are you going to kiss or what?" Spencer asked.

Her son was looking between the two of them with wide, innocent eyes, but Tara wasn't falling for it. "Spencer, why don't you go clean up your toys and then wash for dinner." She gave him her business look and he giggled behind his hand but started off, anyway.

"Okay. But don't kiss until I get back!"

Tara didn't know it was possible to blush on top of a blush, but Willow's face had turned scarlet and she thought the red head looked unbelievably cute in that particular shade of red.

They waited as Spencer hopped, literally, from view, in what was, a great impression of the Easter bunny before they finally came together.

"Hey you, wonderful-type person. I've missed you." Willow nuzzled Tara's nose and then pulled back, meeting the other woman's gaze. Tara's eyes looked bluer than usual.

Tara felt that some sort of explanation for her son's behavior was in order, "I told him about us this morning." She smiled and nuzzled Willow's nose.

"I can tell..." Willow giggled and leaned in to kiss Tara. Their lips met and Willow pressed closer, naturally wrapping her arms around Tara's waist as the kiss deepened.

"So how did it go?" Willow asked, pulling away from Tara's warm, sweet-smelling breath. She had to literally force her lips from Tara's, with what she felt took superhuman strength. Neither of them wanted Spencer to walk in and see them tangled up in each other. It was too soon for that.

"How did what go?" Tara was a little dazed from their kiss.

"The talk with Spencer..."

"Oh, he had a few questions 'slash' suggestions. But he has a good handle on things now."

"Like what kind of suggestions?"

"Nothing, sweetie. Just normal kid stuff." She didn't mention about Spencer asking for Willow to be his daddy. She didn't want to freak the other woman out when there was absolutely no reason to do so. Spencer had just been putting the context between the three of them into a framework that he could understand and relate to. Logan had never really been another parent to Spencer-- she'd barely been there for him at all over the past six years, so it was all very natural that Spencer relate a "father" into the equation, after all most of his school friends had both a mother and a father. She knew he knew the word lesbian; they'd been having that talk since he was very small, but she wondered now if he understood what that really meant.

Another reason Tara refrained from saying anything was because she understood that things like this had a tendency of working themselves out. All she had to do was look at Ginny and Ellen to see that much. Tyler and Maddy had adjusted well to Ellen joining their family, which gave Tara hope that the transition with Willow would go just as smoothly. Tara knew that Spencer adored Willow, and she felt in her heart that Willow truly and honestly adored Spencer just as much.

"How did your interview go?" Tara stroked Willow's cheek with the back of her fingers before stepping past the other woman to stir the soup that was threatening to burn. The milk she'd added needed constant stirring. When the contents of the pot were just the right consistency she turned the gas burner to the off setting and moved the pot to another section of the stove top so that it wouldn't continue to cook.

"Surprisingly well." Willow didn't say more, instead she grazed her finger across the cake sitting on the kitchen table. She brought her finger to her lips but it was intercepted before she could taste the vanilla-y sweetness. She didn't want to talk about Kelly, and now that Tara had the tip of the redhead's finger in her mouth she really didn't want to talk about Kelly.

Tara smiled at Willow's reaction to her more than saucy move, but went on as if nothing had happened, "You haven't told me who you were going to interview... maybe I know her." She was more than a little curious about the mystery artist woman's identity as she knew most of the local artists, personally. And Willow's reticent to talk about it only made her that much more curious. But getting any info about the artist from her girlfriend was like pulling teeth. So she took Willow's palm in her hand and traced her lips up the inside, biting teasingly down on the very soft, very sensitive, pad at the base of Willow's thumb. Tara thought that with just a little more enticing Willow to tell her most anything she wanted to know. That thought sent shivers down her spine, and the way Willow was watching her made her heart beat faster in her chest. Her body grew hot under Willow's gaze, as all thoughts of teasing vanished.

Willow was, momentarily mesmerized by the sensations racing through her. "wha--?" It was Willow's turn to be dazed. She'd forgotten Tara's question all together. She'd forgotten anything at all that didn't have to do with the immediate action of Tara's mouth on her palm.

"Maybe I know her. The artist?" Tara prompted again, she could still taste the sweetness on her tongue from Willow's frosting covered finger, and feel Willow's skin against her tongue, but she let the redhead's hand drop gently. She was feeling bolder than usual, which left her grounded and more confident than usual too.

"Oh." Willow took a breath. "I don't want to jinx it," She said, finding her voice at last, and skirting the question once again. For some reason she didn't want to talk about Kelly; She didn't want to tell Tara that she had agreed to let Kelly use her apartment as a studio while she was in Japan for the conference. And she didn't want to have to tell Tara how the woman had flirted with her and nearly kissed her during the interview that morning. All she wanted to do was be with her girl and forget about everything that had happened that afternoon--forget everything in her life that wasn't Tara.

Tara must have sensed how she was feeling because she leaned in and kissed Willow, pulling Willow into her body. And when she did that, all thoughts of Kelly left Willow's mind, and when she felt Tara's tongue push softly into her mouth, she was filed with a slow moving warmth that spread from her solar plexus all the way down to her toes like molasses from a glass pouring spout.

But Spencer had returned from his bathroom duties, and they could hear him playing in the living room, so they didn't venture any further into that feeling of wanting each other. Instead, Tara pulled back, her arms still firmly around the back of Willow's neck, and Willow's hands slid up Tara's back to her shoulders and then back down again. She rested her head heavily in the crook of Tara's neck, nuzzling the blonde's soft skin with the tip of her nose before pulling completely away to put some much needed distance between them.

"That was... it was really hard to stop that time," Willow said heavily.

"I know." Tara swallowed. Her body felt hot, and the dress she had chosen carefully for that evening clung to her curves, stuck there by the layer of perspiration that was forming on her skin.

The back of her neck felt damp under the cover of her hair. She had it pinned up but the thin hair that had fallen clung to the back of her neck in wisps. "let's eat," Tara said, breathlessly. The sooner they ate, the sooner it would be time for their own private camp-out, and she wasn't at all sure how much longer she could wait to have Willow in her arms. The previous night seemed like years ago, and all she really wanted was to hold Willow and to feel her bare skin against her.

The evening passed; They ate dinner and then washed the dishes together and then sat around the kitchen table talking. Spencer was full of energy and had been entertaining them all evening with jokes he'd made up seemingly off the top of his head. Willow was completely enthralled with his off-center sense of humor and enthusiastic commitment to each joke he told. And he seemed equally enthralled with telling them which enthralled her even more.

"Do you know how to make time fly?"


"Throw your watch out the window!" Spencer doubled over, held his tummy, and laughed out loud.

The joke itself wasn't that funny and Willow had the funny feeling he'd scrambled the words around a little, but the sight of him so delighted and pleased with himself was just too cute. Willow couldn't stop herself, and before long, she too, burst out laughing.

Tara, who'd been watching the whole exchanged without comment was looking at them with eyebrows raised. "You two are so silly" she said to Spencer, ruffling his hair.

"Mommy... Do you know how to make a pig fly?"

Tara ran her finger under her chin as if she was really thinking hard about her answer "Throw a pig out the window?" she asked finally.

"Hey! I'm supposed to say that part!..." Spencer pouted but then laughed. "By the way, that's right, Mommy."

"You're funny," Tara said. "And now it's time for bed."

"Mommy..." Spencer said as the two of them walked down the hallway toward his bedroom, "I wouldn't really make a pig fly by throwing him out the window..."

"I know, sweetie."

"But I could make him fly by putting him in a nice safe airplane--one with seatbelts and everything. That would be nice, wouldn't it, mommy?"

Spencer crawled into bed and tucked his feet up under his blanket. Tara ruffled his hair. "That would be nice, little man." She kissed his cheek and then pulled back to sit down at the edge of his bed.

"And we could go too...on the plane. You and me and Willow too if she wanted to." Spencer yawned.

"Where would we go?" Tara brushed her son's hair back from his forehead. But he had already drifted off and didn't answer her.

"What's this? A walk-y talk-y?" Willow put the speaker to her mouth and with a sultry look in her eyes, said; "Come in Sexy-vixen. This is red-mama. I repeat: Sexy-vixen this is Red Hot Mama-Yama. Come in. Do you read?"

"It's a baby monitor." Tara was barley able to suppress a giggle.

"Where's the other end?" Willow dropped the monitor onto the bedspread and looked up at Tara, panic-stricken. Her fun had come to an abrupt end thinking she had just unwittingly revealed to Spencer that his mother was a sexy vixen!

"Don't worry, sweetie. He can't hear us," Tara said sweetly.

Willow didn't look convinced.

"And isn't Spencer too old for a baby monitor anyway? I mean, I know I haven't been around that many kids in my lifetime, but I'm pretty sure that once they start conjugating their own verbs it's a sure sign that they are too old for one of these." Willow dangled the base of the monitor by its cord.

"I dug it out of a box in the garage. I thought we might need it tonight," Tara explained demurely.

"A little sure of ourselves, are we?" Willow teased, grinning. It was nice to know that Tara had been thinking about making love as much as Willow had been all day.

Tara nodded, looking through her eyelashes at the red head. Now it was her turn to be sultry. She crawled onto the bed and placed the baby monitor back onto the nightstand while kissing Willow's mouth thoroughly as she did so.

Willow responded to her kiss and the two of them fell backward on the bed with Tara on top of Willow's smaller frame. Unfortunately the moment was interrupted by the sound of the bedside phone ringing. They let it ring the first time, but when the caller phoned again Tara gave Willow an apologetic look and moved off of her to answer it.

When Tara hung up she looked annoyed. Willow had been able to tell by the context of the conversation that the caller had been Logan and that Tara wasn't at all too happy with what her ex had had to say, but When Willow asked her about it, Tara shrugged it off, saying she didn't want to spoil the moment. Before she could say anything else Tara leaned across to claim Willow's mouth with her own once again.

But it wasn't the same. Something just didn't feel right, and Willow found it hard to concentrate on Tara and her lips while the thought of Logan hung like a cloud over the bed, threatening to pelt them with acid-y type rain at any moment. Yet somewhere along the way her body had switched over to autopilot; she was going through the motions-- her hands cupped Tara's supple ass, her lips devoured Tara's soft lips, and her knee slide provocatively between Tara's legs and up the inside of her thigh, but her brain had become preoccupied with the phone call, and her heart had become numb, except for the steady thumping in her chest.

In the interim while Willow's brain/body was fighting to regain a connection Tara's shirt had somehow made its way clear of her body and onto the floor. Willow's shirt was halfway to joining Tara's shirt on the floor when her thoughts became suddenly clear in her mind. Her body stilled against Tara's and she cupped the other woman's face in her palms. "Tara wait." What she'd wanted for so long was finally happening and all she could think about was how she wanted Tara to tell her about what Logan had said on the phone--tell her about what had upset her so much.

"Y-you don't want to?" Tara couldn't keep the hurt from her eyes or from her voice.

"Yes I want to. I want to make love with you.." Willow stroked Tara's cheek. "There's just... there's something..." She stopped, fumbling for the right words to tell Tara what she was feeling, but the right words were not there, and the only words aligning themselves up on her tongue were the few words she knew she shouldn't say. "Tell me about Logan, Tara."

Tara was confused. "You want to talk about Logan? Now?" Logan was the furthest thing from Tara's mind at that moment. She had no idea about the inner turmoil spilling through Willow's body. Tara was so used to being unnerved by Logan that she didn't even know when it was happening anymore, and it hadn't occurred to her that Willow could feel her and be hurt by her lack of response regarding her ex.

Tara didn't answer her and Willow didn't ask again. Instead, her fingers found the tiny scar on Tara's neck and traced it with the tip of her finger. Why hadn't she noticed before the thin scar running like a river at the base of Tara's hairline? Her mind circled around to the possible causes of such a scar; she was so consumed in that thought that she didn't feel Tara grow still under her touch and the silence that enveloped them.

With that simple touch Tara knew what Willow was really getting at and it had nothing at all to do with the earlier phone call. "You know, don't you?"

Willow nodded, not trusting her voice to be steady, but then she had to know; "Why didn't you tell me, Tara... why didn't you say something?"

"What would you have had me say?" She was furious with Ginny for giving away her secret. She knew it had to have been Ginny because no one else knew about the terrible things that had happened between she and Logan during the course of their turbulent relationship.

Willow regretted causing the pain she saw in Tara's eyes. She should have let it go and simply waited for Tara to trust her enough to confide in her. But the words were already out there and there was no taking them back. "I don't know..."

"I'm fucked up because my ex beat the shit out of me the whole time we were together? Would that have made you happy? Would that have made you want me?" Tara made a small gasping noise and covered her mouth with her fingers. Tears gleamed in her eyes when she looked at Willow. She hadn't meant to swear. She hadn't meant to feel such inner loathing at having been made to think about it for the first time in two years. "I-I think you should go."

"Tara...I think we should talk about this." Willow wasn't ready to leave. Tara needed her, and she wanted to be there for hold her. To make everything right again.

"Please. Just go."

Tara regretted those words the instant she heard herself saying them. She didn't really want Willow to go. She wanted her to stay. She wanted her. But Willow had gotten up and was shrugging her shoulders into her top. Willow turned to her and said something that Tara couldn't quite understand, but she could read Willow's eyes and they were soft and gentle. And then Willow was gone and Tara was alone.

She brought her legs up and rested her chin on her knees. Tears stung her eyes and she let them fall without wiping them. Their salty warmth wet her cheeks and she could feel them sliding down her thighs, making those wet too. Why did she tell Willow to leave? What was she so afraid of? Why couldn't she face the truth of what Logan had put her through without the pain and the fear of remembering? Those questions berated Tara as she cried.

Willow sat at the kitchen table in her apartment sipping absently at the chamomile tea she couldn't recall brewing. She'd cried the whole car ride home, and now her tears had dried, leaving streaks of tightness in their wake. She'd turned on the light over the kitchen sink, but hadn't been able to bring herself to turn on any others. Everything except the kitchen was shrouded in an inky coating of darkness. All she could think about was Tara and the hurt she'd seen in the blonde woman's eyes. Willow kicked herself for not just letting the phone call go--for bringing up Logan's abuse before Tara was ready to talk to her about it.

Willow was brought up from her thoughts by the sound of knocking on her front door. She answered the door, mindless of who it might be, her thoughts were still with Tara and what had happened between them that night. How did things get so fucked up, she thought as she pulled the door open.

Willow wasn't prepared for the sight that greeted her outside her doorway. Tara was standing there. She was holding Spencer, who was sleeping with his head against her shoulder. The little boy was in his pajamas, his sock-less feet poking out of the bottom of Tara's jacket which covered him.

"I'm not okay."

Those were the first words out of Tara's mouth, and those were the words that brought Willow out of her own dazed numbness. She could see that Tara had been crying too, and she moved to help The other woman with the little boy in her arms.

They put Spencer to bed in Willow's guest room, And then they moved to the living room. Willow waited in the living room while Tara put on the pajama's Willow brought out of the bedroom for her. Tara changed in the bathroom, and hung her wet things over the glass shower door.

When Tara came out of the bathroom Willow found herself afraid of doing or saying something wrong so she stood there and waited for Tara to make the first move.

Tara came to her, but it was some time before Tara spoke, and then when she did it was like floodgates opening.

"Don't," said Willow, simply. She reached out and brought Tara's hand down. There would be no censoring that night.

Tara went on, "because that's what happened. And I let it happen. I let her do it to me. I let her make me feel like nothing." She let out a cry of relief before the tears flooded her completely... it felt like a weight had been lifted off of her simply to say those words-- a weight that she hadn't even known had been there. "I'm sorry I got so upset with you earlier."

Willow was there instantly, pulling Tara into her body. Tara molded to her and let Willow hold her while she sobbed uncontrollably against Willow's chest.

After a while Tara relaxed and her tears dried. And she said; " I left her after the last time I couldn't take it anymore. I packed Spencer's clothes and my clothes and I left."

"What did you do? Where did you go?" Willow was stroking Tara's hair.

Tara had her head against Willow's shoulder, her eyes were open and she watched the clock on the wall. The second hand move rhythmically around its face, and there was only the feel of Willow's warmth as the seconds ticked by.

"I ended up at my parents house. They have a farm in Northern California--it's where I grew up." Tara sighed. "I didn't have anywhere else to go at the time. I didn't know anyone besides Ginny, and she had her own life. I didn't want to intrude." She pulled back and out of Willow's embrace. " They were so upset with me--" She was speaking of her parents then, "--when I made the decision to return to LA--to return to Logan--my father told me I was making a m-mistake, but I wouldn't listen. I was stupid. I hadn't lived enough to know as much as I thought I knew."

"Why did you go back?" Willow wanted to understand everything about Tara--she wanted to understand why such a beautiful, and strong woman would go back to someone that had hurt her so deeply.

"She said she loved me. She said she would never do it again. And Spencer was crying all the time, confused and not understanding why he couldn't go home. And I gave in because at the time I couldn't see any other choice. I wasn't strong then, Willow."

"Yes you were. You are strong and brave." Willow was still stroking Tara's hair, but there was something else she needed to know. "When you went back..." The words lumped in Willow's throat, but she had to get them out. "Did she continue to...did she hurt you again?" Willow found she could barely say the words out loud, but she needed to know.

"No. But she didn't love me. She stopped drinking, and for a little while I thought things were getting better, except that I didn't love her either. I couldn't love her and that caused a lot of tension between us...a-and for Spencer too. We didn't sleep together anymore and the only interest we shared was Spencer. There isn't anything I wouldn't do for him, Willow."

Tara's eyes were pleading with Willow to understand and the look that she gave her was completely stripped of defenses. Tara was so vulnerable and Willow just wanted to hold her and make everything better for her.

"I know. I can see how much you love him," Willow said, wanting Tara to know that she did understand, that she could see just how much Tara loved her son, but Tara had gotten up and had moved out of Willow's arms to stand before the large picture window. She no longer seemed afraid of the view.

"Tell me a secret, Willow... tell me something about you that no one else in the world knows..."

"I would never hurt you." Willow felt unbelievably small, yet immensely strong at the same time.

"I feel that." Tara spun around to face Willow, " I just don't think I can let myself believe that." There was a small ironic laugh from Tara and then she was crying. "I guess I'm more damaged than I let myself believe." And then Willow's arms where around her and she was crying into Willow's shoulder again, dampening the silk of her pajama top.

"You're not damaged. You're scared. I know, because I'm scared too, and it's okay." Willow stroked the back of Tara's hair. Part of her had been expecting this all along. How could she not be this way after what Logan had done to her.

"Why are you scared?" Tara sniffled.

"Because I've never loved anyone the way I love you, and I'm scared that I'll mess everything up in some apocalyptic way; and lose you because I'm too afraid to admit that I don't know what I'm doing."...Willow was stunned by the honesty of her own confession..."Tara.." she started to say something else, but the words died on her lips.

"I'm sorry for the way I acted. I'm sorry that I didn't tell you about all this before now." Tara's voice cracked and lumped in her throat as she sobbed even harder into the warm skin of Willow's neck.

Willow wrapped her hand warmly around Tara's neck and pulled the other woman's body more securely into to her own. Tara lifted her face from the safety of Willow's warmth and, their foreheads touched.

Willow kissed her. "Don't be sorry, baby. You have nothing to be sorry about. I should have waited until you were ready to tell me. I shouldn't have pushed."

Tara's eyes were closed, her ears still ringing from the warm endearment. She kissed Willow, wrapping her arms around the other woman's slim waist. " I needed to be pushed. I n-needed you to do just what you did. And now I just need you.... Make love to me." Tara was breathless with need, and she could tell that Willow was as hungry as she was, but the other woman pulled back.

"Are you sure? What about Spencer?" Willow remembered the boy asleep in the other room.

"He sleeps like a bear. He takes after his Mommy, and right now, I don't think I could take it if you didn't touch me."

"Where?" Willow asked breathily, her eyes were closed with desire.

"Anywhere. Everywhere." Tara warm gaze bore into Willow's skin.

"Come with me." Willow took Tara's hand and led her silently down the hallway and into her bedroom.

Return to Story Archive
Return to Main Page