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TITLE: Thursday Night Dinners
AUTHOR: Kate Bolin
EMAIL: dymphna@dymphna.net
SITE: http://www.dymphna.net/fanfic/
SUMMARY: Traditions change over time. Dawn and Tara move on.
RATING: PG
FEEDBACK: Privately, please. It saves annoyance, and you're more likely to get a reply.
ARCHIVE: My site, list sites, otherwise ask.
DISCLAIMER: The characters and universe herein are the property of Joss Whedon, 20th Century Fox, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar, and Kuzui Productions. This piece of fan-written fiction means no infringement.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: For Ally. With thanks for Dolores for the beta.


Every Thursday night, Dawn would have dinner with Tara.

They would go to a small restaurant (usually of Dawn's choosing), eat dinner, and spend a few hours talking.

At the end of the night, Tara would walk Dawn to her house (Dawn would complain, occasionally, but you could never be too careful), and hug her tightly for a few seconds before walking away.

Sometimes Willow would open the door when they reached the house, and act as if she wasn't expecting them, but both Tara and Dawn knew better and paid her no mind. They'd still hug tightly, then go their separate ways, Dawn into the house where everyone talked but rarely said nothing, and Tara to the small room she shared in a house where people were glad to have someone so quiet.

Occasionally, the dinners were postponed. Most times, it was because there was another crisis in Sunnydale. Tara would softly chant protection spells in her tiny bedroom, being careful to keep the window open to prevent any complaints about the incense, and Dawn would either be researching (finally being considered "old enough" to read a book) or carefully hidden away from any harm.

Other times, it'd be final exams for both of them, and they'd curl up in Tara's small room, books and pizza boxes scattered across cushions, Dawn occasionally asking Tara for help and Tara occasionally muttering in Latin. Dawn wouldn't go home on those nights, curled up on Tara's bed while Tara read on until daylight.

One year passed, then a second, then a third, with a photo of Dawn in a long black robe, smiling as Tara stood next to her. Tara found a condo with just enough room for her books and her cat, Dawn moved into the UC Sunnydale dormitory her sister had spent a year in, and they still spent their Thursdays together, eating dinner and having long conversations.

The conversations changed over the years, sliding from boybands to composers, tv shows to theater, geometry to statistics. They filled their Thursdays with laughter...

Until the Thursday where, suddenly, they had nothing to say.

Dawn was twenty, Tara was twenty-five, and over a bottle of wine, the conversation stopped and they stared at each other, suddenly seeing what had been latent all along.

They stood, and over the remains of vegetable lasagne and garlic bread, they leaned in for their first kiss.


"Look at me! I'm dancing crazy!"
Kate Bolin | ICQ: 3326944 | AIM: DymphnaNet
http://www.dymphna.net | dymphna@dymphna.net


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