Title: Salvation
Author: WhatBecomesOfYou
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Characters/Pairing: Willow Rosenberg/Tara Maclay
Table: Mystic
Prompt: 10 - Writers' Choice (Darkness)
Rating: PG
Warnings: None.
Word Count: 768
Summary: She's not sure when everything began to change between them, but she's falling for Tara.
Notes: Written for 10iloveyou on LiveJournal. Takes place sometime in season four.

Willow fumbles in the darkness.

There's something about the darkness that comforts her - a paradox, because the darkness is where the beasts and other nasty things lurk. Right now, however, she finds it comforting. She can hide; she's sure that in the stark light of day, she would be exposed.

She's not sure when everything began to change for her - between them. If her thoughts were broadcast, she'd be so flustered - more than her usual, anyway.

She's falling for Tara. Her friends would chalk it up to residual fallout from her breakup with Oz. It isn't that - it couldn't be - Tara is her salvation from the fallout. She's not sure what it makes her; it almost doesn't matter, because Tara is still only a friend. It won't be reciprocated.

Tara fumbles in the darkness.

She knows who she is, that much she doesn't doubt. She's never met anyone quite like Willow before, though. It's almost enough to let down her walls and let someone in. There's a definite kinetic spark between the two of them, that much can't be denied.

She hasn't let anyone in in a while though; she doesn't know how to explain everything to anyone. She doesn't want to complicate anything for Willow, but she knows that she's seeking out more opportunities to see her - soon, it may appear as though she's making excuses. Maybe she is.

There'd be no way something so great, something as great as Willow, could ever love her. Any feelings she has - any feelings she can sort into boxes and labels - would always remain unreciprocated.

It's how the world works for her.

They're sitting cross-legged in Willow's dorm room one evening while Buffy's on patrol - Tara's talking about something in one of her classes and Willow's trying, she's really trying, to pay attention to what Tara's talking about, but she keeps getting distracted by the way Tara moves her hands when she talks. "I told the professor that -" Tara stops mid-sentence, "are you even listening?"

"What?" Willow asks, sitting up straight. "Oh, uh, yes, yes, I was."

"Am I boring you?"

"No!" Willow exclaims, a little too fervently. She claps her hand over her mouth. "I mean, no, of course you're not boring me." She's afraid that the truth is painted all over her face: "you're distracting me and I don't want to do anything right now except kiss you."

Tara's expression is hard to read - Willow can't yet tell, she hasn't spent enough time with her yet - but it could be confusion. Or maybe it's boredom, or she's in deep thought about something or another. She wants to be able to tell. "Are you sure? We can talk about something else if you want," Tara says, a smile tugging at the corner of her lips.

Willow exhales. "Tara - I think -" she starts, only getting a few words out before stopping.


Willow finds herself moving on auto-pilot, almost, moving closer to Tara, seeing the space between them narrow. They're not that far apart now, a breath or two would connect them, and she stops. "Why do you keep stopping?" Tara asks.

"Because I don't want to do anything you don't." It's simple, it's straightforward, it's the truth.

Tara tilts her head to one side. "Funny," she says, "I don't see me stopping you." She puts one hand out as a tentative gesture, placing it on Willow's cheek - Willow almost feels as though her cheeks are burning from the contact. And the air buzzes around them as Tara leans forward, closing the final gap between them and kisses Willow. It's soft and it's short, and when they pull back for a moment, they're a little lightheaded and they have matching smiles on their faces.

"That was -" Tara starts, wetting her lips with her tongue and looking for all the right words to say.

"Really nice."

"Want to do it again?"

Willow leans forward to kiss Tara again and they laugh as their hands begin to explore backs and shoulders - all new places - and it's not going to be clean or neat, because that's not how life in Sunnydale is or could ever be, but they're going to have time for each other now.

There's no more darkness for them; they leave the light on that night.