These are obviously not my characters, I'm just borrowing them from Joss Whedon, Aaron Spelling and anyone else who owns them. My apologies if the handbinding ceremony is not strictly wiccan, everything I could find was very general so I wrote my own.
If you have issues with people of the same sex loving each other, or live someplace where that's illegal (in which case, consider moving) please move on.
Background and difference from canon:
Buffy: Seeing Red did not end with Tara's death. Therefore the rest of Season 6 did not happen and the parts in Season 7 that had to do with Tara's death also did not happen. Willow and Kennedy obviously did not get together. Kennedy got together with Faith instead, meaning that Faith and Wood did not get together. Willow and Tara remained happy and did the spell to turn all of the potentials into slayers together. They graduated from UC Sunnydale before the town shut down. After the destruction of Sunnydale the whole gang (Buffy, Dawn, Willow, Tara, Xander, Faith, Kennedy, Giles, Wood, and Andrew) went on a cruise in the Mediterranean.
Charmed: Starts somewhere in early season 6 since that's where it would be.
Pairings: Willow/Tara, Kennedy/Faith
Rating: basically PG
Willow stood on the deck of the cruise ship looking out over the Mediterranean sea. The cruise was almost over, and they still hadn't talked about what they would do next. She felt her soulmate walking up behind her and turned with a smile.
"Hi baby. I was just thinking about how fast this cruise went by."
"Yeah it did. But still, it seems like a lifetime ago that we watched Sunnydale implode."
Willow turned around again to watch the sun set. Tara moved behind her and wrapped her arms around her girlfriend.
"So have you thought about what we should do now?" Willow asked softly.
"Yes, I have. As long as it's with you I'm happy, love." Tara answered. "Um, actually, I had an idea." She gently turned Willow around so she was facing her and knelt down on her knee, feeling quite stupid but vowing to do this right. She reached into her pocked and pulled out a small ring box, opening it to reveal a beautiful if small diamond ring. She took a deep breath.
"Willow Rosenberg, will you marry me?"
Willow stood in shock. "Marry you? Baby I don't think we can."
"Well no, n-not legally, but emotionally we can. There's a wiccan ceremony for two women..." Tara trailed off and looked down, suddenly afraid this was a bad idea. She changed her mind when Willow pulled her to her feet and kissed her passionately.
"Of course I will marry you. I love you Tara." She said as soon as she had to break for air.
Tara took the ring out of the box. "Can I..." she asked.
"Of course. But you should have a ring too!"
"If you want to get me a ring then you can, but I want you to wear yours. I hope you like it..." she said as she slipped it onto Willow's left ring finger.
"Tara, it's beautiful. But how did you...where did...when.."
"I bought it when we stopped in that port in Greece. Remember, Giles took you to do something? He was in on it. He leant me the money too, but I'm going to pay him back." She explained, knowing her love would wonder where she had gotten the money.
Giles was in on this, huh? What did he think of it?"
"He wondered why it had taken me so long." She said with a blush. "But it was just him, nobody else knows."
Willow kissed her again.
Tara felt like she might burst with happiness. The past year had been one of the best of her life. Willow had gotten control of her magic and was now even capable of performing white magic, especially when she cast with Tara. The witches had acted as surrogate mothers for the dozens of SITs while they were in Sunnydale, but they were happy to see most of them return to their own families, albeit as full slayers. She and Dawn had fully repaired their relationship and she was pretty sure that Dawn thought of them both as her older sisters just as much as Buffy. But it was the care of the SITs that had actually brought the idea of marriage to Tara's head. She found herself daydreaming of a time when she and Willow would raise their own children. She had already thought about being with Willow for the rest of her life but this solidified it. She waited until the battle was over, but in the following days she resolved to ask Willow to marry her. Realizing she needed help to distract the redhead while she bought a ring, she asked Giles to do it. He suggested lending her money, knowing she had very little. She protested, but Giles insisted so that she could get Willow a suitable ring.
"Baby the sun is set." Tara pointed out. "I think we're late for dinner."
The gang met up for dinner at what had in the past week become their usual table. Willow and Tara were the last to arrive.
"Hey girls, we were just talking about what we were going to do after the cruise." Xander greeted them.
"Well, Tara and I were just talking about the same thing. Actually...we have an announcement to make." She grinned at her fiancée.
"What is it Will?" Buffy asked. Then her eye fell on Willow's hand and her mouth dropped open.
"Tara and I are getting married." She beamed.
"Nice ring Tara!" Buffy approved.
"Oh my god oh my god! Really! That's an engagement ring? Oh it's so pretty!" Dawn squealed.
"Yes, it's an engagement ring. I'm going to buy Tara one when we get to shore so she has one too. She asked me, so she was prepared." Willow explained.
"I didn't know that two women could get married." Said Andrew.
"Well, we can't really, it won't be legal. But we want to do it anyway. It'll have the same meaning for us as if it was. And Tara says she knows a wiccan ceremony."
"Is it gonna be like a real one though? Do we get to be in it?" asked Dawn, excited.
"I think it's basically the same, and yes, you can be in it." Tara answered.
Suddenly Willow looked at Xander, who had an odd look on his face. "Hey Xander, can I talk to you for a minute?" she asked. "Over there?"
He got up wordless and followed her out of earshot.
"Xand, I'm sorry, I should have warned you. Are you okay?" Willow asked, concerned. She knew Xander was still really upset over the loss of Anya in the fight against the First.
"Of course Wills, I'm so happy for you. Anyone can see you two are meant for each other." He gave his best friend a hug.
"Anya knows how much you loved her." Willow said quietly.
"It just seems so...pointless. If we had known what was going to happen ... she didn't even need to be there." He broke down.
"I know. I can't say anything that will make it better. I wish I could." She hugged him tighter.
Xander wiped his eyes. "Thanks, Willow, for understanding."
"I had another question for you, actually, while we're over here. Would you give me away?" she asked.
"Give you away? But...I...what about your father?"
"My father hasn't seen me in years. They didn't even come to my graduation. And you know they don't ... approve of my life with Tara. Anyway, even if he would do it, I don't want him to. I want you." She explained.
"I'd be honored." He hugged her again. "Now, let's get back to your fiancée, shall we?" he teased.
They walked back to the group with linked arms.
"Everyone, Xander agreed to give me away!" Willow announced.
"That's great Willow! I was kinda wondering about that, I was hoping you wouldn't want Giles to, because I was hoping he'd give me away." Tara explained, looking at Giles for an answer.
Giles' eyes misted over and he removed his glasses to clean them.
"Of course, Tara. I think of you all as my children and I'd be honored to give you away."
"Are you going to have bridesmaids? Ones for each of you, or what? How does it work with two brides?" Dawn asked excitedly.
Tara looked at Willow.
"Well I don't know, I've never seen a ceremony for two women. I guess we can do it however we want. I think we could just have joint bridesmaids, don't you Willow?"
"Sounds good to me. Do all four of you want to be bridesmaids?" she asked, looking at Buffy, Dawn, Faith, and Kennedy.
"Duh!" said Dawn and Buffy at the same time, then giggling.
"Sure thing Red, but are you sure you really want us?" Faith asked.
"Faith, we've had our differences but I think that's all behind us." Willow explained.
"Well yeah but we're not really the same as Dawn and B, you know?"
"Maybe Dawn could be my maid of honor and Buffy could be Willow's. You two can be bridesmaids. How does that sound?" Tara suggested.
"Well yeah, that sounds more right." Faith agreed.
"Besides, you two are our only other lesbian friends, you have to be in the wedding!" Willow put in. The lesbians in question rolled their eyes.
"How many times do I have to tell you I'm bisexual?" Faith groaned.
"Not while you're with me you aren't." Kennedy teased.
"You want me to be your maid of honor?" Dawn asked in awe.
"Of course Dawnie!"
"And you know I want you as mine." Said Willow to Buffy.
"So, who's going to come to this wedding?" asked Xander. "Practically everyone we know is in it."
"Well, you know, Andrew, Mr. Wood, you are invited of course. The gang from LA, I'm sure some of the new slayers would come, and we did have a few friends from school." Said Tara.
"You can invite Harmony." Suggested Buffy, giggling.
Willow rolled her eyes. "Sadly, I'm sure we will. And of course Fred, Angel, Lorne, Wesley, and Gunn."
The food arrived and the hungry group spent some time eating.
"So, have you thought about where you are gonna live?" Buffy asked. "That's actually what we were talking about before much more exciting wedding plans were announced." She grinned.
"I'd like to stay in California." Said Willow. "I don't know where though."
"How about San Francisco?" Tara suggested.
"Are we going to stay together?" asked Dawn, rather fearfully.
"My vote's yes on that." Said Xander.
"Mine too." Said Dawn.
"Well, San Fran's not bad. Probably enough baddies to keep us busy. And it's nice and gay friendly." Faith put in.
"Sounds good to me." Buffy agreed.
San Fran it is?" Willow asked. "Giles, are you going to come
with us or go back to England?"
"Well, England doesn't really have much to hold me there anymore. I was thinking of staying with you." He answered rather nervously.
"Yay!" Dawn was clearly happy about it. Buffy jumped up and hugged him to show her agreement.
"I've been offered a position back in New York, I'm going to visit there after the trip but I will probably take that myself." Said Wood.
"I've got nowhere to go, I'll go to San Francisco." Added Andrew.
Three days later, the 747 touched down at SFO.
"I can't believe we almost landed in the water." Said Buffy, gritting her teeth.
"B, I can't believe you are afraid of flying. And we were never going to land in the water, it's just that the landing strip is next to the bay." Faith teased her friend.
"I don't care, it looked like we were going to crash into the water!" she exclaimed.
They collected their luggage and headed off to the hotel Giles had booked.
Willow went to Buffy and Dawn's room to talk.
"So, about living situations. Tara and I were thinking about getting a house, so we don't have to move, you know, um later, and we were wondering if you and Dawn would want to live with us."
"Later?" Buffy asked.
"You know, when we have kids. A family." Willow blushed.
going to have kids? When?" Buffy exclaimed.
"Well I don't know, not right now, but we do want them." Willow explained.
"I want to live with them!" Dawn interjected.
"We've lived together for so long now, and after that crazy house full of girls, I think Tara and I might rattle around in a house all by ourselves." Willow explained.
Buffy raised her eyebrows suggestively, and Willow rolled her eyes.
"Oh come on, you know what I mean."
"Like you said, we've lived together for a long time Will. But yeah, I'm with Dawn. If you are sure you want us I think we'd love to live with you."
The next day, Xander and Andrew, Kennedy and Faith, and Giles went apartment hunting. Xander and Andrew had become friends over the past year and figured sharing the cost would be good.
Willow, Tara, Dawn, and Buffy went to see a realtor. They wanted to rent with an option to buy, since none of them had enough money to buy anything now. They looked all day and were getting discouraged when the realtor pulled up at the final house. It was a beautiful large Victorian.
"How can this be in our price range?" Buffy asked bluntly. It was a nice house.
"The owners want to leave in a hurry so the price is very low. They want to sell, not lease, but they would accept a very low down payment, so it might be the chance of a lifetime. It just came on the market." The realtor explained. What she didn't bother to add was that strange things seemed to happen in the neighborhood so prices had been dropping. These girls were from out of town, they wouldn't have heard anything.
They walked inside the house. It was beautiful, if old. Dawn ran up the stairs. "Four bedrooms, and they're big too!" she yelled down the stairs.
Tara and Willow looked at each other. This was their house. They could feel it.
Willow slipped into the bathroom to call Giles and ask for his opinion.
"We'd like to make an offer." She informed the realtor when she reappeared.
"I can't believe we found a house the first day. And that the owners and the bank approved us!" Willow exclaimed. The day they looked at the house, she and Tara had put in an offer. They had gotten a call two days later telling them the owners had accepted it and the bank was processing their information. The house was theirs! They had just moved what little they had in. Giles had fronted the money for some furniture so it wasn't so bare, with an agreement to pay him back of course. Having Buffy and Dawn live with them helped financially too, since Buffy insisted on paying rent.
"And the previous owners are already moved out so we could move in so quickly." Buffy added.
"Don't forget, we got three apartments in that nice apartment building that isn't too far away." Faith said.
"Yup, life is perfect!" Dawn said.
"Don't forget, school starts in a week." Buffy reminded her.
"Almost perfect." She sighed.
"Hey at least you'll be a senior! Only one year to go." Xander encouraged her.
"Yeah, I'll be a senior in a new school. And when they ask me why I'm here what should I say, my old school got blown up?" Dawn whined.
"Actually, it was on the news, so you could tell them that. They just won't know that you were part of the blowing up." Willow suggested.
"Well anyway, I'm not going to think about school for a whole week."
The next few days found the girls settling in to their new home. They just shut the door to the extra bedroom for the time being. Tara and Buffy, the early risers, were having breakfast one morning when Buffy looked up from the newspaper.
"Did you hear something?"
"Something like what?"
"Like...someone screaming. It came from that way.." she got up to look out the window at the house next door that the sound was coming from. She stood in shock for a minute. Tara joined her.
"Oh my god. There's a demon in that house." Tara said needlessly.
Buffy took off running next door. Tara followed her. She banged on the front door but when nobody immediately came to answer she tried the knob and found it open. She burst in just as a woman threw a bottle at the demon and it disappeared into a puff of smoke. The woman whirled at the sound of the door and flicked her hands at the intruders, freezing Buffy in mid-kick.
Tara backed up and flinched as the woman looked at her hands, then flicked them again.
"Why won't you freeze? Are you a witch?" she demanded.
"H-how do you know that? And w-what did you do to B-Buffy?" Tara stuttered, staring at her frozen friend in horror.
"Why were you breaking into my house?" countered the woman.
"Um...there was a d-demon. We were coming to kill it." Tara offered weakly. "But I guess we d-didn't need to. F-fix her, p-please." She pleaded.
"Well, I guess you must be a good witch if you didn't freeze, so I suppose if she's with you..." She flicked her hands again and Buffy finished her kick, then looked around in confusion.
"She did something to you. A s-spell or s-something." Tara tried to explain. "You were frozen."
"You're a witch?" Buffy asked. "You'd better be a good one! Tara, is she a good one?" she asked, raising her fists.
Piper cocked her head at the petite yet feisty blonde woman.
"Is she always like this?"
"Only when someone has just frozen me!" Buffy said, stepping closer.
"Well how was I supposed to know you knew what a demon was? I was trying not to be exposed, okay? Most people would have freaked out and called the tabloids if they had seen that."
"Did you kill it?" Buffy asked with interest.
"I vanquished it." She explained.
"Isn't that a fancy word for kill?" Buffy countered.
"So you're a good witch?" Tara interrupted.
"Yes. Piper Halliwell. Nice to meet you. You are too, correct?"
"Yes. I'm Tara Maclay. My girlfriend Willow and I just bought the house next door. This is Buffy, she and her sister Dawn are living with us." Tara explained.
"Let me guess, you got it cheap because the owners wanted a fast sale?" Piper asked.
"Yeah, how did you know?" Buffy answered.
"My sisters and I are the Charmed Ones. Evil sort of follows us around, and though we try to keep a low profile weird stuff still happens."
Buffy groaned. "Evil follows me around too, well sometimes I go and patrol for it but I was planning on stopping that. Living next to you they'll never leave us alone!"
"Maybe not. But hey, at least we don't have to hide from that angle anymore! Wait, why would you go looking for it?" Piper asked, confused.
"I'm a slayer." Buffy said as if that was explaination enough.
"God you'd think with the new ones waking up at least witches would have heard of us! Vampire slayers. Supernatural strength, fast healing, chosen to protect the world from evil? There used to be only one but now there's a lot." Buffy replied, slightly annoyed.
"Oh...um...sorry I haven't heard of you." Piper apologized.
"Hey Buffy, if the demon is dead we should get back. We're supposed to take Dawn school shopping today, remember?" Tara reminded her.
"Do you all want to come over for dinner tonight? Welcome to the neighborhood sort of thing? My sisters will love to meet you." Piper suggested.
"Sure, sounds good to me. We don't have much cooking stuff yet anyway so we've been doing takeout." Buffy agreed.
"Great! Well have fun shopping, come over around 6."
"The Charmed Ones live next door?" Willow asked incredulously.
"Yep. I'd heard of the myth of the Charmed Ones, and that they might be living now but I had no idea they lived in San Francisco." Tara said.
"What are Charmed Ones?" Dawn asked in between mouthfuls of cereal.
"Three sister witches with powerful active powers. One has the power to freeze time, one to move things with her mind, and the other gets premonitions. At least that's what the books say. I guess we met the freezing one, she froze Buffy. She killed a demon by throwing a potion at it though. Maybe we should learn more about potions. I liked that better than hitting them. It seemed safer." Tara explained.
"Wow, we live next to mega-witches!" Dawn was excited. "Can I learn magic now? Please?? Willow was my age when she started!"
"We'll see." Was all Buffy would agree to.
The girls returned, with new clothes for Dawn and some for the others as well, around 5:30. Dawn put on one of her new outfits and the others dressed nicely as well. Buffy rang the doorbell at 6:04.
A woman with short brown hair answered.
"Hi, are you our new neighbors? I'm Phoebe." She shook their hands, pleased not to get any negative premonitions.
"Nice to meet you Phoebe. I'm Buffy, and this is my sister Dawn and our friends Willow and Tara." She indicated the girls standing behind her.
"Paige! They're here! Piper is dinner almost ready, I'm hungry!" She yelled towards the kitchen.
A younger looking girl with light red hair emerged from the kitchen. "Hi, I'm Paige." Introductions were repeated. Dinner was indeed just done so they went into the dining room.
"Hey Paige would you run up and get Wyatt?" Piper asked.
be right back." She was gone in a shower of blue.
"What did she just do!"
"Oh, Paige is our half-sister, her father was a white-lighter, an angel, so she can orb like they can. It's really useful. She's not supposed to use it for household chores though!" Phoebe explained as Paige reappeared with a little boy who looked about a year old.
"Aw what's the big deal, they know all about us right?" Paige blew her older sister off.
"And that's my son Wyatt." Piper jumped in. "He's seven months now." She continued as Paige placed him in his high chair and the others sat down.
"He's so cute!" Willow cooed over the baby, which Tara watched with interest.
"Isn't he?" Phoebe agreed. She loved her nephew very much.
"Mama!" said the baby before disappearing in a flash of blue and quickly reappearing in his mother's lap.
"Wyatt! You know you aren't supposed to do that! You need to stay in your own chair." Piper admonished her son as she replaced him in his seat.
"Wow." Dawn said.
"Oh, he's half white-lighter too, Piper's ex-husband is an angel so he can orb too. We're trying to teach him when it's appropriate though..." Paige explained.
"And I thought life was weird with Will and Tara around!" Buffy joked.
"Yeah, like you aren't weird too." Willow shot back.
"That's right, you two are witches. Do you have active powers?" Phoebe asked.
"Well, not like you do. We can both move things with our minds, depending on the size, and we do spells and small things. Willow can speak telepathically. Nothing like your particular powers." Tara explained.
"I guess we have a lot of little powers instead of one main one." Willow added.
"You two are together?" Phoebe asked.
"They're engaged!" Dawn exclaimed.
"Really, congratulations." The Halliwells said in unison.
"Yes, we haven't set a date yet and I'm still looking for a good ceremony. I know I saw a wiccan one once but I can't find it again. It's obviously not legal, it's more ceremonial." Tara explained.
"Still, that's great. We have a lot of wiccan books upstairs if you want to see any time. Your ceremony might be in there." Paige offered, ignoring the glare she got from Piper at the offer of the attic.
"Thanks. I sort of lost all of mine." Tara said regretfully.
"How can you lose something that important?" Piper exclaimed, suddenly wondering if becoming friends with these girls was a good idea.
"Well, it's not like that. They were, um, destroyed. Did you hear about the destruction of Sunnydale a few weeks ago?" Tara asked.
"Oh god yes, we figured it had to be something supernatural but we didn't know since we weren't called to help. Were you there?" Paige asked.
"There? Ha. We caused it. The First evil was trying to escape through the hellmouth. In the battle to destroy it the entire town was destroyed. Unfortunately we didn't know it was going to happen so we didn't get anything out other than the clothes on our backs." Buffy explained.
The group continued to swap war stories and get to know each other. Both sides were wondering why they felt so free with their new neighbors, but it was a relief to have someone else to talk to.
Tara and Willow sat in the Halliwell attic leafing through old wiccan texts. Suddenly Tara stopped.
"Did you find it?" Willow asked.
"Not the wedding one, but another one that might be useful. I didn't know you could do this." Tara breathed.
Willow scooted over to read the spell, in her head of course.
An act of love we seek to do
A natural merging of us two
Women without the seed of man
Help us to fulfill our plan
I will serve as mother true
And I as only love can do
We seek your aid
As love we make
Create a new
From the love of two.
"A spell to allow two women to have a baby." Tara finished her sentence.
"It's incredible. I don't even want to know how it's possible, but it's beautiful. Make sure we remember that one." Willow said before kissing her fiancée.
"How about after we get married." Tara said simply.
"You mean...like soon?" Willow asked.
"I'm ready whenever you are. I don't want to push, but I would love to have a baby that was the product of our love."
"Wow. It's just a lot to think about. Do you think we really are ready?"
"I think we are. I mean not right this second. We will both have new jobs, and we need to earn some money for the house, but I don't want to wait for years and years." Tara said.
"Okay then. Let's get married first, and then see where we are. Okay?" Willow said, kissing Tara again.
"Okay." She smiled.
Willow turned the page after noting which one it was.
Just then Phoebe burst into the attic.
"Hey guys. I just remembered, it'll be perfect for you!" She rushed over to the Book of Shadows, which Willow and Tara had been reluctant to leaf through.
"I know it's in here somewhere...we tried to use it for Piper and Leo...Here it is!"
"The wedding ceremony?" they leapt to their feet and went to look at the book with Phoebe.
"Yes, this is it! Handfasting. Oh and look, you're supposed to have bridesmaid types in the ceremony. Dawn will be happy about that. So, when should we do it?" Tara asked, turning to her fiancée.
"Well it's August right now. It shouldn't take too long to plan or anything. How about October?"
"How about November 1? It's auspicious to have a wedding on the first of the month." Tara suggested.
"Sounds good to me." Willow agreed, kissing Tara lightly.
"Okay, lovebirds, I'll leave you two alone. Glad I could help." Phoebe grinned and left the attic.
The next two months were filled with wedding plans and new jobs. Willow got a job with a computer company downtown. Tara got a job at social services where Paige used to work, and Paige decided to go back to work herself. Buffy, Faith, and Kennedy decided to open a women's martial arts studio, figuring that way they could use their slayer abilities to teach others what they knew. Of course, they kept their strength mostly under wraps. Dawn, Willow, Tara, Phoebe, Piper, and Paige dutifully signed up. But soon other students were coming as well and they started making money. Xander found a construction company owned by a friend of his former boss and was hired immediately. Giles got a job in a public library and Andrew bounced around from temp job to temp job.
A few days before the wedding, Buffy got a call from Angel.
"What?? I thought ... how?"
She listened for a long time.
"Of course, I'm sure they would want him to come. It's already vamp friendly for you and Harmony so that should be fine."
"Tell him I said hi. I'll see you soon, and...him too."
She hung up the phone with a weird look on her face.
"What's up? Who's coming?" Willow asked.
"Spike." Buffy said quietly.
"Spike?? What happened, I thought he was dust in Sunnydale." Tara asked.
"His soul was apparently captured in the pendant and it was sent to Angel. Spike came out of it as a ghost and they found a way to make him corporeal again so he's back to normal." Buffy said, not really believing it herself. "He's coming to the wedding. I hope that's okay."
"Yes, of course. Are you okay, Buffy?" Willow asked worriedly.
"I'm fine. It's just...a surprise."
"Hey guys, is there going to be magic in your wedding?" Dawn asked as she walked into the kitchen.
"No, not really magic, just blessings, that sort of thing. Why?" Willow asked.
"Well...I was thinking of bringing a date. If that's okay with you of course." She blushed.
"Sure, it shouldn't be anything a normal person can't see. Details, Dawn, who is it?" Willow teased.
"Ben." Dawn blushed again. "We've sort of been dating I guess. Nothing on our own but when we hang out with our friends....and stuff, you know."
"That's totally great Dawn, but are you sure you want to ask him to our wedding? Not everyone would feel comfortable there...." Willow pointed out.
"Oh no, he knows about you, he's cool. You think I would date someone who wasn't?" the girl asked incredulously.
The wedding went off without a hitch. Willow and Tara had chosen to have their ceremony in the woods outside of town, in the late evening so that the sun would be low enough for the vampires from LA to attend. The spell called for a high priestess to perform the joining, and Phoebe had explained that they had used Grams before. Luckily for the non-magical guests, the sisters now had a way to make their grandmother corporeal temporarily.
Hear these words. Hear my cry,
Spirit from the other side.
Come to me, I summon thee.
Cross now the Great Divide.
As the three sisters finished reciting the spell their Grams appeared in the pentagram of candles.
"Hello girls. It's time for the ceremony?" she stepped outside the pentagram, becoming temporarily corporeal.
"Yes it is. Thank you again for doing this, Mrs. Halliwell." Tara said. She still thought it was a little weird to have a ghost perform their ceremony, but she had spoken to Mrs. Halliwell a few times through the same spell and she seemed very nice.
"Oh no dear, it's an honor. And please Tara, call me Grams. Everyone does."
As the guests took their seats in the folding chairs their friends had set up in the clearing that morning, Grams took her place in front of them. First to walk up the aisle were Buffy and Dawn, the maids of honor. They took their places on either side of Grams. Next came Faith and Kennedy, the bridesmaids, who took their places next to Buffy and Dawn.
The group rose as Xander and Willow appeared and began walking down the aisle. At the front, Xander kissed his best friend on the cheek and whispered "I'm so happy for you Wills." before they stepped aside to await the other bride.
Tara and Giles walked slowly down the aisle, Tara's eyes never leaving Willow's. At the front, Giles and Xander presented Willow and Tara to each other. The women took hands and walked into the half-formed circle of Grams and their friends. Giles and Xander took their places behind them to complete the circle of seven. Grams spoke.
"Love is a beautiful and natural thing. We are here to celebrate the love of Willow Rosenberg and Tara Maclay. Today they ask for a blessing of this love." She smiled at the young women in front of her who only had eyes for each other.
"It is fitting that we perform this ceremony in the natural environment of the forest, surrounded by the miracle of life. The blessed couple's friends and family surround them with a circle of love and protection. In this case, the circle also represents unity. Willow and Tara seek to become one."
"If there is anyone here who has reason that they should not be joined, speak now." She paused, though everyone knew Willow and Tara were meant for each other and there was little chance of anyone speaking up.
"Now, in the presence of these gathered witnesses they will now express in their own words their love for one another."
"Tara, I love you with every cell in my body. You are everything that is beautiful and good, and you inspire me to become the same. There is no room for darkness when our souls are together. I vow to remain by your side for the rest of our life. I will love every moment." Willow had to fight the urge to kiss her love right there, knowing she had to wait.
"Willow, you make me complete. A few years ago, we were separated and those were the worst months of my l-life. But those months solidified my belief that our lives were meant to be entwined. Every day when I wake with you in my arms I thank those above that I was blessed with you in my life. I vow to remain by your side for the rest of our life. I will love every moment." Tara finished, with tears in her eyes.
Grams smiled at the young women. "I bind your hands together with this ribbon. It is a symbol of the love that binds you to each other, and a reminder that you now live as one. You must remain bound all evening and until you consummate your bond." Grams winked at them. Both brides blushed furiously, even though they knew it was coming. Willow took Tara's left hand in her right and Grams tied a red ribbon around their wrists.
"You may now kiss."
Tara and Willow leaned in and kissed, to the delight of the cheering people around them.
"Now, go and celebrate this union. Blessed Be." Grams finished the ceremony and the newly bound wives turned to leave. Giles and Xander stepped aside to let them out of the circle before following them down the aisle.
The entire group, minus Grams who went back whence she came, got in their cars and drove back into town to P3 for the wedding reception.
"So, do you think it will be hard to keep our hands together all night?" Willow asked in the back of the car they rode in.
"Not at all. We'll have to modify our dancing style slightly but I think we can handle it. I'm not going to complain about having to stay near you all night!" Tara pointed out.
Willow just grinned.
After a nice dinner, the music began and soon couples and groups were dancing.
"Oh, hi Paige, having fun?"
"Of course! I was wondering if you'd dance with me."
They moved out to the dance floor and started dancing to the swing music that was playing. Neither really knew what they were doing but it was fun. A slow song came on next. Xander looked over at Willow and Tara lovingly dancing together, their bound hands held up by Willow's shoulder and their unbound hands wrapped around each other's bodies. They're so in love I can feel it way over here, he thought. He was interrupted by the feel of Paige's hands around his neck.
"Is this okay?" she asked as they began swaying to the music.
"Um, where's your boyfriend?" he asked a few minutes later.
"Richard? Oh I broke up with him last week. He was getting crazy with magic, and being around me surely wasn't helping. We're both better off this way. We weren't really meant for each other anyway." She replied.
"Oh, I see."
They spent the rest of the night dancing together.
Tara held the front door open for her new wife.
"Isn't it nice of Buffy and Dawn to sleep over at Xander's?" Willow asked.
"I think it's more for selfish reasons, they think we are going to be loud." Tara giggled.
Willow giggled too, and responded by pushing Tara against the now closed door and kissing her passionately.
Tara's head fell back as they broke the kiss. "Wow, I think I like being married."
They didn't remove the ribbon until the next morning when they woke up curled in each other's arms.