I Heard a Rumor
After Willow gives Giles a warm welcome after returning from England to Sunnydale, post-magic recovery, the gang believe the two had a love affair. Buffy is the only voice of reason until...(PG-13)
Making Sense
Set 10 years post finale, a brief encounter forces Willow and Buffy to look deeper into their relationship.(PG-13)
Making Plans
Spicier sequel to Making Sense with Buffy's thoughts on the 'morning after'. (NC-17)
Private Conversations
Set during season five, Willow and Tara do a little experimentation and magic in the bedroom, with unexpected results. (R) 
Anya's List
Convinced that D'Hoffryn is going to kill her, Anya makes a bucket list, but she needs Willow's help with number 8. (NC-17)
Tough Love
Tara becomes the victim of a gay hate crime and the scoobies get a glimpse into the not so rosy side of Willow and Tara's life. (R
Ice Cream Dreams
So what if Xander's dream didn't end when he crawled into the back of his ice cream truck in the season four ender. (NC-17; Pairing W/T/X)
Interview With A Vampire
Willow visits Angel after her 'black magic bender'. (PG)
You. Me. Formal Wear.
Xander is stuck for a date to his contractor's association so he turns to 'old reliable' with unexpected results (PG-13)
12 Weeks
Chronicle of Willow's collapse  in 'Grave' until her return back to Sunnydale in 'Same Time Same Place'. Warning contains difficult topics like death, suicide and other unpleasant feelings.  (R)
Virgin Sacrifice
Willow needs a virgin for a spell and Kennedy is more than happy to help. (NC-17
Karamel Sutra
Willow sends Kennedy on a mission for a little Ben and Jerry's. (NC-17)
It's What I Do
Set after season seven, 'Get it Done'. Willow and Buffy have a chat and Ole fashioned scoobie bonding. (PG)
Show Me
Tara's in a horny spurt and tries to convince Willow to blow off a class.  (NC-17)
Coming Out All Wrong
Will and Tara come out, stumbling, to one last person in the Scoobie circle. (PG)
Coming Out of the Bedroom
Tara decides her love life with Willow needs spicing up & smut ensues (NC-17)
To Those Who Wield 
Set during the season 6 breakup of Will and Tara, the two ex's must work together and do battle with their vampire alter egos who are threatening their existence. (NC-17)
Set after Chosen and before our virtual season, Watchers. (PG-13)

Title: To Those Who Wield

Author: CN Winters and Susan Carr

Fandom: Buffy fanfiction, Willow fanfiction, Buffy slash fanfiction, Willow Tara fanfiction

Disclaimers: Joss owns ‘em. I’m just borrowing ‘em.

Rating: NC-17 for grown up stuff like sex, language and violence.

Paring: Will and Tara; Vamp Will and Vamp Tara

Feedback: CN Winters (cnwinters71@yahoo.com) or Susan Carr (skeeter451@mysticmuse.net)

Synopsis: Takes place during season six after Tara and Willow’s break up and Willow’s recovery. We took the liberty of letting Vamp Willow live when she returned to her world just because we can. Anyway, seems Vamp Willow has returned to ‘Buffy’s Sunnydale’ again, this time with her new lover, Tara Maclay, to wreck a little havoc.

Special thanks: To Chris Cook for the ultra-cool banner


Part One

Willow Rosenburg walked between her best friend and his fiancé feeling as if she were Joan of Arc on her way to the stake. Oh wait, she thought to herself, been there, done that…this is worse.


"Don’t wanna hear it, Will," Xander said, tightening his grip on her upper arm, pulling her forward as she tried to slow them down. "I’ve got a mission to perform and by all the hairy gods in this and any other dimension I’m gonna do it."

Anya nodded and tightened her grip on Willow’s other arm. "You should know after all this time that he’s not going to give up on this, Willow. You might as well get used to the idea. Besides, you look very nice for a change. You haven’t for some time and it’s starting to get boring."

Willow groaned and hung her head, unconsciously looking over the outfit she was wearing. Earlier at the house, Dawn and Anya had put together the ensemble when they all…except her…had come up with this crazy idea.

"How about this?" the teenager said, holding up a blue cotton blouse before the former demon.

"Not this time of year…besides, blue is too much like her mood," Anya peeked into the closet and pulled out a light brown silk top. "This is better. Find her something slinky to wear underneath it while I look for a pair of nice jeans. Grab her boots, too."

"Hey guys, what’s going on?" The Slayer poked her head into the bedroom, her brow wrinkling in confusion at Anya and her sister puttering around the room with Willow lying on the bed and hiding her head under a pillow.

"Xander and Anya are taking Willow out," Dawn said happily. "We’re helping her dress."

"That’s great, Will!" Buffy said. "Have fun. I’ll be home early after patrol so don’t feel like you have to hurry back."

"Buffy!" Willow cried. "I can’t do this!"

Buffy smiled at her friend. "Sure you can. After this last week, I think you can do anything. See ya!"

As the three of them turned the corner into the familiar alleyway, Willow once again tried to hold back.

"Look guys," she protested. "Can’t we just go somewhere else? It doesn’t have to be here. How about that place on the other side of town?"

"You mean…?" Xander began and then his face turned a pale shade of red. "Oh no, I’ve heard about that place. You’re not getting me any where near those Village People audition rejects. Nope, I like it here just fine, Will."

Willow groaned feebly once more as the warm glow of the Bronze’s neon sign reflected off the wet ground. They had arrived.

Xander exchanged jokes with the bouncer as the three bypassed the short line of teenagers and college students waiting to get in. Xander led the two women through the crowd to their usual spot.

"Thanks for saving us the seats, boys," Xander told the pimply group who looked at him first with confusion and then mild annoyance as they moved off toward the pool tables.

"That’s not nice, Xander," Willow chided softly. "That used to be us."

"We paid our dues, Will," he reminded her. "Let them save the world a few dozen times and then they can stick around. Drinks, anyone?"

"Yes," Anya said, not needing to state her preference.

"Water, please," Willow said, flopping down onto the couch. She looked nervously around at the crowd, hoping not to recognize anyone who had been here ‘that’ night.

"Ack!" Willow jumped as Xander tapped her shoulder with the bottle of water.

"Geeez, Willow," Xander said moving around and sitting next to Anya. "Will you please relax?"

"I can’t, Xander," she whispered looking down at the bottle in her hands. She rubbed some of the drops of the condensation between her fingers and her thumb—she silently wished the Hellmouth itself would open up and swallow her whole.

Anya looked at the witch intuitively and finally asked, "What did you do, Willow?"

Willow looked up at the ex-vengeance demon. I can’t do this, she thought to herself, feeling her hands start to shake again. It’s too soon!

"Last…" she began. "Last time I was here was with Amy, a-and we…"

Xander frowned at his friend. "What happened, Will?"

"Stuff," she whispered, finally opening the water and taking a long draught. "Lots of stuff. Mostly mischief, but we used people as if they were our toys."

"Oh," Xander said softly, trying to picture his sweet Willow abusing people that way. Sure, most of the people at the Bronze were jerks, but they didn’t deserve to be played with that way.

"Ohh, wicked!" Anya wiggled in her seat excitedly. "What did you do? I hope you didn’t turn folks into bunnies…’cause that would be just evil, you know."

"No, no bunnies," Willow admitted. "There were a few sheep though."

"Sheep?" Xander said, looking around as if expecting to see a herd.

"No more sheep, Xand," Willow said with a small wry smile. "No more magic. Not if I want Tara back."

"She’ll come around, Will," he said, ever the loyal friend. "You’ll win her back. Just give her time."

"Tara’s not a prize to be won, Xander," Anya pointed out. "Willow’s got to earn her back and it’s not going to be easy. In my day, I’ve turned quite a few men into sheep for a lot less than what Willow did to Tara."

"What’s the big?" Xander asked. "Just a couple of spells that went wacky."

"And yet!" Willow agreed.

"No! Not ‘and yet’!" Anya said. "You don’t realize just how much you’ve hurt her, Willow."

"Well, what about me?" Willow said, getting angrier. "I’ve been hurt here, too, you know! Hello! I’m the one she walked out on. She said we needed to work out our problems together, but she just up and left. She won’t even take my phone calls. How’s that gonna solve anything?"

"Going to that magic dealer wasn’t the way to solve your problems either, Willow," Anya pointed out.

Willow could feel her anger quickly being replaced by shame. "I’m not going near him again," she finally whispered.

"Good," Anya said sincerely. "Wacky spells aside, you’ve got a lot to make up to Tara just for what you did with that creep."

"What?" Xander said, confused. "Huh?"

Willow could see that Xander did not understand and had no intention of enlightening her old friend, but unfortunately Anya did not have the same compunction as she gleefully began to recount the magic exchange process to her fiancé.

"I need another water," she said, not wanting to face Xander. She jumped up and headed for the bar, absently tossing the empty plastic bottle into a waste can as she passed it.

"Hi Jose," Willow said pressing up close to the bar trying not to jostle the people around her. "Can I have another water, please?"

"Sure, Red," the bartender replied, turning around to the refrigerator.

Willow was bumped from one side and accidentally bumped into the person on her right.

"Excuse me," she said, absently reaching for her water.

"Willow," a soft sultry voice purred. Willow’s could feel her flesh crinkle in recognition. "About time you got here. What took you so long?"

Willow turned to the woman standing next to her. Her mouth opened in shock as she got a good look. The woman was wearing low cut leather pants over equally black boots. A silk top that was buttoned just underneath the swell of her bosom left most of her midriff bare in an upside-down V, the sides of the shirt playfully tickling the pale flesh underneath. Willow stared for just a moment at the exposed belly button, feeling all of the moisture in her mouth instantly dry up. She tore her eyes away and looked up at the flowing blonde hair and into that wonderful half-smirk which had always meant she was about to be ravished.

"Tara?" she finally squeaked.

"Expecting someone else, perhaps?" Warm blue eyes glinted playfully at Willow as a cool hand reached up to caress the redhead’s cheek.

"No!" Willow hastened to reassure her, but then a new thought popped into her head and she felt a flare of anger. "What are you doing here? I mean, I love the outfit a-and all, but…" This was not Tara’s normal attire. She was out to impress. That was for sure. Willow realized that maybe there was a someone in Tara’s life that she wanted to impress. Even though she didn’t want an answer Willow still asked, "Are you meeting someone?"

Oh that came out smooth and not the least bit controlling, Willow chastised herself.

Quickly she tried to make up for it. "I mean…you know, I’m only here with Xander and Anya…"

Suddenly Willow’s mind flashed to the look on Tara’s face when she and Amy came home from their night of partying—a look of shock and betrayal followed quickly by anger. Willow tried to explain that it was Amy the rat but perhaps Tara hadn’t heard in her rush to leave. Or maybe she thought there was something more going on. She felt the need to continue when Tara wasn’t responding.

"A-and for the record, that thing you walked in on the other morning…with Amy? That was nothing…I mean, she’s just a friend…a-and…"

"So warm," Tara’s purr cut through Willow’s babbling, as she continued to caress Willow’s cheek. It felt so good that Willow couldn’t help but lean into the touch "And you’re blushing, too. You are adorable."

"What?" Willow stepped back unable to think clearly while Tara was touching her. She sensed she was missing something important here. Last week she wouldn’t speak to me and now I’m adorable?

Willow’s thoughts faded away as Tara moved in and embraced her completely, pressing her long body sensuously into hers and Willow found herself pushed almost roughly up against the bar. "Oh gods," Willow moaned, feeling the hard points of Tara’s nipples tickling her own through the sheer fabric of their clothing. All thoughts fled completely as Tara’s lips came down on her own and the sounds of the busy activity surrounding them faded away into nothing.

Finally, in need of breath, Willow pulled away. "Oh Tara! I’m so sorry! I quit the magics—for good this time! A-and I want to make it up to you, all of it. Will you let me? Please? I mean I know it takes time...but I just want the chance Tara…"

"Don’t worry about it, Will," Tara said, a smile gracing her lips. "I found you…we’re together. That’s all that matters."

Willow looked into Tara’s eyes, happiness filling her, but a part of her brain screaming out warnings, trying to cut through the lust. Shut up, you! She told her uncertainty. This is Tara!

"Hey Will! Who’s your friend?" Xander’s voice finally broke through to her. She kept a protective arm around Tara’s waist as they both turned to face him and Anya.

"Xander," Willow gave her best friend a happy smile, still too dazed by Tara’s presence to answer his question.

"Holy god! You’re Tara!" Xander’s eyes nearly popped out of his head as they raked Tara’s sultry form from head to toe. Willow glanced at Tara, half expecting her to be blushing from the obvious look, but Tara was just smiling as she too looked over Xander.

"Xander?" Tara laughed and Willow thought she could almost hear contempt in Tara’s voice. "Imagine that!"

Anya did a double take as she watched Xander’s reaction.

"Ow!" Xander grabbed his arm where Anya had pinched him, breaking his gaze on the blonde. Turning back to Willow and Tara he said, "I was gonna see if you wanted to place an order for something to eat but it looks like Anya and I might be dining alone."

Willow smiled. I know what’s on my menu, she thought.

"We’re leaving now," Anya said, pulling at Xander. "Nice look, Tara. It’s extreme, but good…stay away from Xander, he’s mine. You two have fun." As they began to give the pair some privacy Anya called back over her shoulder. "I told you that outfit worked, Willow."

"Uh…bye?" Willow waved slightly not knowing how to respond. Things were happening so fast, her head was in such a blur that she was afraid that any moment now she’d wake up and realize this was just another dream.

"Bye, guys!" Xander waved, pulling his fiancé after him.

"Come on, lover," Tara said, taking Willow’s hand. "Let’s dance."


Tara had the overwhelming feeling she was being watched as she ate her dinner in the student union and studied for her statistics test. Realizing that she wasn’t going to get any work done while constantly looking over her shoulder, she closed her books and took her tray to the counter. Her room was quieter and away from the unseen eyes that she felt following her. Deciding that maybe it was just her imagination, she shrugged it off and headed back to her Hall.

"Come here often?"

She was almost to her door when she heard a familiar voice in the nearly empty corridor. She stopped and turned around, clutching her books to her chest.

"W-what are you doing here?" Tara asked. She’d made it clear to Willow that she didn’t want to see her. The few times that Willow tried to call to chat, Tara hung up on her. It had been a while since Willow had tried to reach her so she was surprised to find her at her dorm.

"This is where my heart led me. Maybe I was always destined for higher education?"

Tara watched as Willow approached her but something was askew about the redhead. Tara heard about the car accident and how Willow had finally sworn off the magics. Tara was glad that her ex-lover was trying to get her life back in order. Of course that didn’t stop her from shooting a look of disapproval in Willow’s direction when she picked up Dawn for their latest ‘fun day’ together. Maybe Willow thought by kicking the black arts it gave her leverage to move back into Tara’s life. If that was the case Willow was sadly mistaken.

As her ex-lover approached Tara took in the sight before her. Black leather pants, leather boots…lots of…leather. But aside from her appearance her aura seemed different and Tara wondered that instead of kicking the magics that perhaps Willow had jumped in headfirst. She looked beautiful, Tara had to admit, but she was pale—as if she hadn’t been eating or resting properly.

"Aren’t you gonna invite me in?" Willow said as she approached closer—her voice soft and her steps gentle.

"What do you want?" Tara asked again, avoiding the question.

Willow was within arm’s reach now and her hand moved to touch Tara’s face. Instead of the contact she was hoping for Willow watched Tara back away.

"What did I do that was so wrong that you won’t let me in?" Willow asked, cocking her head, hoping for an answer.

Tara literally felt her jaw sitting on her clutched books. "If you have to ask Willow then you don’t deserve an answer."

"Such a plain Jane," Willow sighed.

Tara’s eyebrows pinched and she stopped from entering her room. "What did you just…?" This is totally pointless. She shook it off. "Why are you here?"

"You," she sighed as she strolled around Tara.

The blonde made sure to keep Willow in her sight the entire time, turning 360 degrees as Willow circled her and spoke.

"You’ve got a gorgeous body under all that frump. Would it hurt you to show it off once in awhile? You know I love it when men…even a few women…look at you. It’s a wonderful feeling you know? Having their eyes feel you up. But you know the rules, don’t you?"

"R-rules?" Tara asked. Willow was scaring her beyond belief at this point. She felt trapped between trying to figure out what was happening with Willow and darting inside to the safety of her room.

"The rules," her ex-lover continued, "They can look but they better not touch. That body belongs to me."

Tara stopped being nervous at that point. She was mad—her anger bubbling up to the surface.

"Okay, first of all my body has always been my own. Second, I quit sharing my body with you when you raped my mind—not once but TWICE! And third…"

Tara didn’t get to her third point. Willow grabbed Tara by the arm and pulled her closer with amazing strength. The force that Willow possessed was much more than Tara had ever seen. It was almost as if she had Slayer strength and she was unable to pull away. She felt Willow’s tongue start at the base of her neck and move up to her earlobe.

"You’re mine," Willow whispered.

Tara couldn’t pull away. Willow was too strong. Her body trembled in fear but she knew she had to protect herself so she instinctively did the first thing that came to mind.

"Separate!" Tara shouted. The force of the spell shook both of them and Willow flew back into the wall behind her. Tara paused in shock. She couldn’t believe what had come over Willow. She watched as Willow shook off the jolt while her face contorted and shifted into vamp form.

"Disappointed now!" She raged with a snarl and a flash of her fangs.

Shock gave way to reality. This was why Willow felt different. She’d been turned. Without missing a beat Tara raced inside her room and slammed the door, locking it.

This was her place, her home. Willow couldn’t get in without an invite. Or could she? It was a public housing development and…and…hadn’t she invited Willow into her room, when she came by to pick up Dawn after a weekend sleepover? What if she’d already been a vamp that night? With two swipes of her hand Tara moved the dresser and the bed against the door. That should hold her. At least for the moment.

Tara told herself to concentrate. She had to think about this. Did she really see Willow vamp out? Was it just her imagination? Okay now whose taking a break from reality? This is Sunnydale. Of course she saw it. Willow was turned. She was soulless. She was gone. Forever. Yeah you decided to leave but you always hoped…

It was too much and Tara began to cry. Magic didn’t take her lover away in the end. A vampire had. But who? Who could be powerful enough to take her, to turn her? And why wasn’t Buffy there to stop… Buffy!

Tara picked up the phone, dialing as quick as she could. She gave a small prayer to any God that would listen, asking that Buffy be home tonight. On the third ring she heard the Slayer’s voice.

"It’s Tara. You’ve gotta get to my dorm, r-right now!"


"Dawn!" Buffy shouted, "Come down here!"

Dawn knew when her sister was mad. This was not one of the ‘you stained my favorite shirt and now your butt is mine’ yells. This was fear. She could tell by the urgency of Buffy’s voice and she flew downstairs. "What’s wrong?"

"No time to explain. We’ve gotta get to Tara’s and I can’t leave you in the house—just in case Willow shows up. It’s her house too and…."

"What’s wrong? Did Willow hurt Tara?"

"Tara’s okay. She’s scared but…Look, we’ll talk on the way. Get your coat."

Buffy opened the door to find Xander and Anya walking up the steps. "Thank God you’re here. You’re okay, right?"

Xander and Anya looked at each other before turning back to Buffy. "Umm…last we checked yeah. We’ve had a few disagreements about whether I should go black tux or white but..."

"Not the wedding," Buffy answered.

"What’s wrong Buff?"

"Tara just called," Buffy told them.

"She did huh?" Xander grinned.

"Surprised she could keep her hands off Willow long enough to dial a phone," Anya harrumphed.


"They’re at the Bronze," Xander told Buffy. "That’s why we stopped by. Figured we’d give you the inside scoop. Willow and Tara are patching things up."

"Feeling things up is more like it," Anya remarked. "You should have seen them. I mean…"

"That’s impossible," Buffy said.

"Why?" Dawn asked. "This is great news!"

"No. No. I mean Tara just called me from her dorm scared almost witless. Willow cornered her about ten minutes ago and…she morphed."

"Who morphed huh?" Xander asked.

Buffy sighed. "Willow morphed into a vampire. Tara’s got herself locked in her room and she’s waiting for me to get there."

"That can’t be Buffy. Willow was with us."

"Yeah," Dawn added. "I saw Willow leave with them tonight. How can she be two places at once?"

"She can’t," Buffy replied as a look of concern washed over her face. "But if there’s two Willows here again…"

"That also means there’s two Taras because we just left a Tara-like person at the bar," Anya replied.

"Get back to the Bronze," Buffy told the pair. "Make sure that Willow leaves without Tara. We’ll meet back here after I get…Tara." It sounded confusing but she knew they’d understand. "Agreed?" she added just for clarification.

Buffy could see the concern rising on Xander’s face. "What if we’re too late Buff…?"

"We might be if we keep standing around—now go!"

Xander nodded and raced back toward the car with Anya in tow.

"Come on," Buffy told Dawn as she started to jog down the sidewalk. "We’ve gotta get to Tara’s dorm."

"You know my arm is still mending," Dawn retorted as she tried to keep up.

"If you don’t hurry I’ll put your butt in a sling too. No complaints. Just move."


Tara heard the knock on her window and physically jumped off the bed, dropping the cross she’d been holding. She’d never put much faith in the Christian belief but if it worked on vamps she’d decided long ago she’d have one in every placed she lived in Sunnydale. She released a sigh of relief when she saw it was Buffy.

"What took so long?" Tara asked.

"Dead weight," she nodded toward Dawn with a teasing grin, which earned her a slap from her younger sister. "Besides I saw Xander and there might be trouble ahead."

"You mean Willow getting turned isn’t trouble?"

"Come on," Buffy said stepping back so Tara could leap out, "I’ll explain on the way home."

"She’s still out there Buffy. I can feel her," Tara said with a slight quiver in her voice.

"I know. But I got a sneaky suspicion that the Willow at your door isn’t our Willow."

Tara paused. She knew what she saw. It was Willow. She was certain. But then she remembered the story.

"You mean Anya’s ‘Mistress of Pain’ vamp?"

Buffy gave a half chuckle. "Cute nickname but yeah."

"How did she get back here?"

"I’m not sure," Buffy confessed. "But we’ll explain what we do know on the way home."


"Oh Gods Will," Tara sighed in Willow’s ear. "You smell good enough to eat."

For a brief moment, on the Bronze dance floor, Tara morphed. Her fangs ached to pierce Willow’s flesh. The thought of being able to drink from Willow excited her beyond belief but this wasn’t the time or the place. She had a mission to see to. Her desires would have to wait until later. She took a deep, calming breath letting her face recoil into the one that Willow knew so well. Her hands worked their way down to Willow’s backside. She couldn’t help it. She wanted to know if this Willow felt like hers, tasted like hers. Her curiosity could get her staked if Willow walked in and found her fondling…Willow.

This certainly couldn’t be the fuzzy Willow that her Mistress spoke of during their planning. This Willow wasn’t fuzzy at all—tight denim jeans with a firm ass tucked inside. The silk shirt was a nice contrast Tara had to admit. The leather her Willow wore was often restrictive but this…this brown, smooth garment could be easily ripped off.

And didn’t her Mistress say she wanted Willow brought in anyway possible? She could always explain that she had to take this Willow to bed or to the alley or to the restroom stall or...Hell any place would do at this moment as their bodies swayed against each other on the dance floor.

"I wanna be alone with you," Tara whispered. "Would you take me?"

Willow couldn’t speak. Would I take her? Of course I’d take her. Anywhere she wants. Anything she wants.

"We could go back home. I’m sure Buffy’s on patrol a-and Dawn’s usually in her room with her headphones."

"No." Tara told her. "Some place private—alone. Someplace where I can make you scream."

Willow thought her legs might turn to jelly. "There’s always your dorm. I know there’re thin walls but…isn’t like they haven’t heard screaming before," Willow added with a sexy smirk.

Tara pulled back and gave Willow a long, lecherous look as she licked her lips. "Lead the way," she said nodding toward the exit.

Willow walked past their table with Tara’s hand in hers but then stopped. "Wait! Almost forgot my coat," Willow answered.

Tara followed and watched as Willow put it on, adjusting the collar. Tara reached up and fingered the lapel. "Umm…Leather," she sighed.

"You like?" Willow grinned.

"I love," Tara answered as she pulled Willow into a searching kiss.

Xander and Anya bolted through the entrance and looked around. Both of them only exhaled after they found the pair still there, kissing near the table.

"Got the plan?" Xander asked.

"I’m on it," Anya told him.

They walked up quickly but slowed down just before their approach to the table. "Hey look!" Xander said, "It’s the new not so new love birds."

"Yes, who are leaving now," Willow answered, making her way past them with Tara’s hand in hers.

"Hey wait up Will," Xander said, as he snagged by the arm, "Where’s the fire?"

"Do you really want me to answer that?" Willow retorted.

Xander felt a smirk come to his lips. Hell, yeah. No. NO! Bad thoughts. Focus Xander. Focus.

"Actually before you leave," Anya announced. "I’d like to have a word with Tara. It’ll only be a few minutes."

Anya didn’t wait for a rejection. She tugged Tara away from the circle, moving toward the bar. Once they were at a safe distance Xander turned his back to Tara and moved closer to Willow.

"We don’t think that’s Tara." Xander told her.

"Why because she still might have the slightest bit of interest in me?"

"Noooo, because Buffy got a call from Tara about a half hour ago while we were all here. Seems there’s a vamp Willow who set up camp in front of Tara’s dorm room."




"Listen to me Will. We need to figure out what’s going on. Just tell ‘Tara’ goodnight and make a date for tomorrow night. When we get home I’ll prove that’s not really Tara."

"Do you honestly think I couldn’t tell if it was Tara?"

"Willow, look at her," Xander said pitching a thumb toward the bar. "Have you ever seen that much leather on Tara—well at least in public anyway? Not sure what you gals do on the weekends at the dorm."

"Xander," Willow chastised.

"And what’s with the pale complexion?" he asked. "Yeah, Tara’s a fair skinned blonde but this one’s lacking a certain fleshy tone pigment don’t you think?"

Willow began to look with a keen eye for the first time all evening. "W-well," Willow stuttered. "Maybe this is just a new look for her and the pale thing…. lack of iron?"

It sounded ridiculous even to her.

"Willow, sweetheart, I know you want her back. And I know that if Tara walked in looking like that you wouldn’t be able to see straight—no pun intended. Hell even we thought it was her but now…Just come home with us tonight. If we’re right we saved your life and if we’re wrong then…the real Tara would love you as much tomorrow and respect your need to take things slow…We both know I’m right."

"Xander being right huh? It doesn’t happen often," Willow quipped.

"No it doesn’t but trust me on this one okay? I’m telling you…"

Willow gave him a slight tap and nodded behind him. He turned to see Anya and Tara approach.

Willow cleared her throat. "Tara, something’s come up and…I’m gonna have to call it a night."

"Did you get the too much too soon speech that I just got from Blondie?" Tara grinned as she pointed to Anya.

"Hey," Anya exclaimed, "…I happen to care very deeply about what happens to Willow." Every one in the small circle gave a suspicious eye. "Okay that sounds like I like Willow more than…well…ever actually. But I really do like you Tara! Your lips were never on Xander’s. And…"

"Anya. Please stop talking," Xander said with a polite grin.

"Anyway Tara," Anya replied. "Trust me when I say it’s just too soon. For all we know Willow could get back on the magics and go on some wild, free-for-all, black arts bender."

"Thanks Anya." Willow nodded. "I can feel your love and concern from all the way over here."

"She’s being sarcastic again, isn’t she?" Anya asked Xander.

"Yes dear but can we just go?"

Xander didn’t want to drag this out any longer. Willow closed the short distance and gave Tara a hug. That’s when she felt it. Or more to the point, didn’t feel it. Once Willow’s libido cooled down she could just feel something deep within Tara, telling her this wasn’t her Tara. Sure Xander pointed out the obvious—not so obvious—but still…This really wasn’t her Baby. Willow took Tara’s hands and for the first time all night she realized how cold they felt. Her Tara was always warm. In fact, her Tara would tease HER about the contrast of their temperatures. ‘Cold hands, Cold Feet, Warm Heart’ the blonde had told her one night as they snuggled in bed. Needless to say, Tara had some wonderful ways of raising Willow’s temperature that evening and many evenings.

In an instant, all of Willow’s hopes of reconciliation fell, shattering around her. Her Tara hadn’t returned to her. Her Tara wasn’t coming back. And why should she? You’re a strung out magic addict who doesn’t seem to do anything right—like recognize the love of your life.

"Call me tomorrow?" Willow asked Tara, willing herself not to cry, trying to keep up the façade.

"Sure," Tara nodded. "I’ll just head back to my place tonight."

Willow gave her a soft kiss on the lips and slowly turned to leave, letting Anya and Xander lead her away from the Bronze and the dreams she began to rebuild in her mind.

"Dammit," Tara sighed as watched the trio slip out the door. "On to Plan B."


Xander, Anya and Willow walked into the Summers house to find Dawn, Buffy and Tara in the living room. The three of them stood up. Buffy leaned down and picked up a crucifix she had on the table, tossing it to Willow.

The reforming witch caught it and looked at the Slayer with a questioning expression.

"Just testing," Buffy told her. "Seems your old friend’s back in town and paid Tara a visit."

Willow nodded and turned to Tara. "Did she hurt you?"

Tara shook her head but didn’t speak. They hadn’t spoken since the car accident happened and Tara didn’t feel comfortable saying anything. Besides she felt unnerved and tongue-tied where Willow was concerned.

"She’s okay and it’s really Tara," Buffy told them. "I saw her holding a cross when I got there."

"What’s going on Buff?" Xander asked.

"Isn’t it obvious?" Anya remarked. "When Vamp Willow got sent back she found the Tara of her world. Probably turned her."

"That’s our guess, too," Tara told Anya. "Evil Willow sired…me. Not me but you get the point…what we can’t figure out is how they got here."

"Or why?" Buffy answered. "But there’s gotta be a reason for it all."

Everyone looked at Anya at that point.

"It wasn’t me! Sure maybe I did it once before but that was a long time ago. I have no reason to bring her back. And for the record I didn’t bring her here the first time. That was Willow’s fault. She goofed up the spell like usual."

"You know what Anya," Willow began, her hands automatically going to her hips. She was on the edge of a rant but Xander piped in.

"Okay, no pointing fingers here ladies. Let’s try to stay focused."

"Xander’s right," Buffy replied.

"You’re two for two tonight," Willow grinned.

"Yeah. Right two times in a row—a new personal best," he answered.

Willow gave a half chuckle and began to take off her coat. "Well this isn’t something we can just ‘look up.’ I’m almost positive there’s nothing on record about Evil Willow since she’s not from this dimension."

"True. We need to talk to them," Buffy said. "And we need a way to know who’s who. We don’t need any Will/Tara switcharoos."

"We could paint their pinkies," Dawn offered.

"What do you mean?" Tara asked Dawn.

"Your fingernails…In health class our teacher said that’s how new parents tell twins apart. We could paint your pinkies so if we’re in question as to who you really are all we have to do is look at your hands. I’ve got some blue polish upstairs. I’ll go get it."

"And what do we do?" Xander asked.

"Get comfortable," Buffy told them. "No one’s leaving this house until we get it worked out. Agreed?"

Tara and Willow looked at each other. It was the first time since their break up that they’d been in a room that long together let alone staying the night. Maybe more than a night. Maybe lots of nights.

"Where are we gonna put everyone?" Willow asked cautiously.

It was then that Buffy caught the uneasy look between the ex-lovers.

"Let’s see…Well Xander and Anya can take your room Will. Tara can stay in Dawn’s room and you can sleep with me…in my room I mean," Buffy added quickly. Somehow Willow and Tara’s nervousness was getting contagious. "Sound okay?"

Tara and Willow both knew they were in for a long night.




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