Requested by sweet_cleopatra (LJ)

Amanda/Clarice – the scene where Amanda meets the Willow family

Here With Me

"Everyone, this is Amanda Graystone. She's going to be staying with us a while."

The eyes of the people in front of her were suspicious and more than a little contemptuous. She hadn't expected the warmest welcome (considering how close knit the family was) but neither had she expected the open hostility that looked back at her. More than a few of them glanced at Clarice as if she was crazy to suggest such a thing and Amanda felt awkward, shifting on her feet slightly.

"Well, let me show you to your room," Clarice said finally when no one said a word and turned to Amanda with a smile. She ushered her out but not before throwing a meaningful look back at her family and then showed Amanda up. They climbed the stairs slowly and then down the landing till Clarice pushed open a door on the right. As Amanda stepped in she glanced around and nodded slightly. The room wasn't huge but neat and with comfortable furnishings. She eyed the bed and then turned back to Clarice who shut the door and leaned against it.

"Well? It's not grand-"

"It's perfect," Amanda interrupted and Clarice smiled at her before moved to pace a little.

"I'm sorry about my family, they need some time," Clarice said and Amanda eased herself onto the bed.

"I understand. If it gets too much then I can go home," she said evenly but Clarice gave her a look as she sat next to her.

"You're staying," she brushed back some of Amanda's blonde hair off of her face. "They will get used to you."

"I hope so," Amanda murmured and then felt Clarice's fingers stroke her jaw. At least this was familiar, the gentle touches and care she received from this woman. Amanda laid her head against her shoulder and Clarice ran her fingers through her hair, pressing a small kiss on her head.

"You belong here, with me," she said and Amanda felt her heart jolt. Though she didn't say anything, she felt the same and moved closer to her. When she was with Clarice everything else just fell into the background and her whole being just centred on the moments when they were together.

She lifted her head and her eyes glanced down at Clarice's lips and she took a breath, moving her head closer still. A sharp knock and then the opening click of the door made her snap back and they both looked wide-eyed at the heavily pregnant woman that stood in the doorway. Mar-Beth took in their expressions then ignored Amanda altogether as she turned to face Clarice.

"Olaf wants you," she said coolly and Clarice gently eased away from Amanda who flushed a little. She met the other woman's sharp stare for a moment before looking away and Clarice stroked her hair once more before telling her she would be back shortly. Amanda nodded and waited for them both to leave before she slumped back onto the bed and let out a sigh closing her eyes.

fin.


A/N: reviews are love.