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by Scy

     Subject: [glass_onion] Fic: Miel 1/1 BTVS/Ats
     Date: Friday, August 16, 2002 1:57 PM
     Title: Miel 1/1
     Author: Scy
     Disclaimer: Notmine
     Improv: beam, color, dead, fairy
     Spoilers: For the finale of S6 BTVS, some A:ts.
     Notes: Benaresq and I were chatting, and she said
     Tara/Fred. Here is what I came up with.  'Miel' is
     Spanish for 'honey.'

She never went so far as to say that intelligence was the deciding factor, but someone who knew things, whatever they were could be spoken to. And, they had to have some sort of curve in their body, aural or whatever, that she could ease herself into. With Willow, it had been the power and kindness, but also eclipses that she had to work the redhead out of.

This one, hair longer than river grass, stared at the walls and read patterns off the flatness and angles. Not magic, sensitive. she lived in a place where there were still spirits who twirled around chandeliers and rose with steam to the ceiling.

It hadn't made sense to stay in Sunnydale. Willow and the others would adjust to her loss, not soon, but eventually. the strength of the group would hold them up, structured lattice of time which healed.

This place had spoken to her, its colors against the skyline were contradictions in fear and joy, and the occupants were likewise odd.

Fabric curled around hurts that were weeping and sentences of explanations that should have been voiced long before bandages were considered. The cloth, covering on people, carpets, furniture, the armor to keep the world from tearing them apart.

Somewhere like this she had not seen since the Scoobies. another group that needed a mother.

Here she could settle for a time, and there were those who would see her just enough. The vampire sleek and midnight dappled under the sky had inhaled like drinking and stared at her one evening, he needed more touching.

She can touch and skirt the two planes of existence, ducking in and out of tangibility with a thought) a young man that had abandoned a new love for the obligation of older friends, and while he brazened along his path, one watched. That man, learner, slowly poisoning his mind and heart with the souring bitterness of failure and loss.

The women too, needed to be held. The visionary was too focused on romancing all, without giving everything. she had power, but had lost that experience of knowing why she was gifted. None but the wide-eyed ever saw how much had been damaged, and they understood what had to be repaired.

Needed to be moved back into her place, and her age should not interfere with the fact that duty was laced with compassion.

And the one that bounded after slinking had to be seen as a repaired vase. Still in want of another coat of adhesive, and the hands that can let her bob through life without perfection. That is not her role, she is to tip the balances back when they are too ordered, no absolutes in her mind, but a certain kind of I know that.

Tara sits above them, crossed legs no worry as she floats, skirt hanging down, shades a ' whirling to her mood. She worried about one of them seeing things that she is modest about it times of mothering, but a concentrated flick sends a slip down, coating and reflecting back to any who might see. sometimes it takes only her presence to soothe, and then others she has to descend enough to follow and reason with them.

The Englishman mutters unkind words when she 'misplaces' his bottles, and he thinks about who might be doing such things, but he is too blinded by his own suffering to see her warmth seated beside him as he cries at night.

No one should ever know that a man like that can break down, it would erode the way people look at one another, but something has to be done to rejoin his separated parts. the boy, Gunn, thinks that he is too strong, but he needs humor and another look at himself. A woman to cosset is not what he must have in growing, that will confine, but someone to quarrel with over trivialities, and then to bundle off to bed.

Tara can see her laughter in front of her as it soaks into the walls and floors and each one of her charges. It is the fresh gum wrapper crinkle of color that drops an unanticipated dollop of sweetness onto the tongue, restoring each sense to a radiant brilliance.

The vampire is not deaf to her, he has smiled as peals of giggles shimmy and bounce around his home. Fred too, she is acutely aware of what is happening in the world, even if she is more attuned to the abnormal. Living as she has for so long makes her especially used to staying at rest within herself. buzzing, whirring gears she makes, always moving, but she will glance up to wink at Tara across the table.

When Fred plays music, it lives. The large rainbow of notes must be kin to her laugher, because often the two will move together. each individual sound is fluid in Tara's hands, and as Fred watches, she molds them as they move from solid to otherwise. around her arms, great scarves of sound, weaving and tossing them to the young woman, who turns to catch them as she dances.

Angel will observe all of this from a perch on the banister, not bothering to appear clumsy around them, looking as though he truly could leap up and there would be a powerful beating of the air as he took flight. He never sings, which Tara is thankful for. Fred told her that if anyone enjoyed that, they must really be nuts. Both women snickered, gently, at the vampire, and he only pretended to sulk before smiling at Fred again. That voice might be improved with his connections to others; cannot distinguish pitch when it doesn't matter, to the isolated, everything is the same.

Angel doesn't demand that Fred clothe herself in the more traditional apparel that some might expect of her. she could be in a rag one day and a ball gown the next. From a bit higher elevation it was clear to Tara that fitting each gender into a role had become habit. The main character in a story might be a princess, but she had to be rescued by a prince, as though a woman could not do anything for herself. After all, the commercials aimed at women used to be incredibly presumptuous, even portraying a housewife as a creature garbed in silk and pearls, spinning around her home, rejoicing in her new appliances. Or, 'any woman who can get stains out of this shirt is a woman worth loving.' Now it was more subtle; the woman was the only one moving around the house with the brand-new carpet cleaner, father on couch, children playing in the yard.

Fred remained unaffected by what she was 'supposed to be,' giving knowledge out like cookies, beaming all the while. "Unless you're a closet alchemist, you do not have the equipment to melt salt down to a refreshing beverage form."

It was relaxing to sit with the 'woman out of the cave', the human males acted thick in the skull, and Cordelia tried to be selective in her mental channel-surfing. Simple to span the miles that were between destinations, harder to do that when it was between two individuals. and even more so when they came from different species and moral outlooks on how life and the world should conduct themselves.

They eat together on Saturday nights, providing there is no demonic threat about to engulf the ignorant citizens of the city. Each of them takes turns cooking, and if Fred burns something, or Tara cannot find the butter at the last minute, Angel doesn't say anything. They all need this time away from the rest of the group, even though Tara is not exactly a conventional part of anything, she is still his people, and he takes care to look after her, even when she told him that she was doing fine, coping with her death he refused to listen.

Fred is trying to get permission from some university to do some further research, but there is the matter of her mental stability, or something silly like that, as she puts it with a flip of her long hair over a bony shoulder, and none of them say the obvious. Someone who spent so much time alone and then comes back unexpectedly is going to have some trouble in gaining employment again. But she likes to tell her stories about getting involved with her projects, and forget the days where she only wants to climb into the heating ducts of the hotel and scurry around with the rodents, ignoring the calls of reality and the trials she faces there. Being insane is alright with her, so long as she can do what she likes in such a place.

And after the meal, Angel usually cleans up, he makes a feeble joke about never doing anything to help his mother around the house at home, and that's why he needs to have everything orderly. The women look at him closely and leave him to his cleansing, knowing that if he scrubs his skin off, it will be healed by the time he joins them on the couch.

The arrangement is always the same, dinner, some talk, and a movie that one of them has picked out. There may be some gentle squabbling on the artistic merits of said film, but nothing vicious.

Afterwards, they tumble into the king-size bed that Fred bought out of a catalogue after the first month of meetings.

She had enjoyed being tangled with them, but being human meant that she required oxygen, unlike a ghost and a vampire. she also wanted space for pillows and her favorite stuffed toy as well.

And when Tara wakes up in the most dark of night, coolness along her front, and then there is the fidgeting line of skin on the other side, Fred whimpers, then stills when a small hand with painted nails soothes her, and the shape sitting up is brought back to the cuddle of blankets by another hand, male, but no less gentle.

Angel is always hesitant in touching them, as if he expects to be slapped for the presumption. They are patient with him, but not to the point of coddling. No verbal speech in bed once the lights are out, just the most honest of contact: `shhh, safe here, don't worry, no one can hurt you.' All of that in the smallest fingers on skin moist in the ebb of dreams chewing on the balance that this haven brings to each of them. It was a place of no expectations; the roles that they used to keep the rest of the world from suspecting the extent of their damages were discarded with clothes and water.

At night, it was their own thing, some sort of place that they made with the pain shared and all the bad things that they had inside them, all of that came out and said `you have a right to feel good once in a while dammit, so get out of this mope and get on with things.' Or at least that's how Tara explained it. Death had not removed her stutter or the blush that came over her when she swore infrequently, but she felt that if those qualities had been removed, she would not have known how to deal with others as she did.

Being dead makes her no less adorable, Fred likes to poke her in the arm and wonder how she manages to wriggle in mid-air, and flush so prettily, right before sending Wes tripping into Gunn's arms with a fwish of deft hands.

Ghosts can be as naughty as they like; she thinks that her minor infractions against what these men think they want is set aright by the way they look at each other. Emotion bubbles up around them and she has to don something cooler when they bicker.

Tara goes to libraries to sit in an armchair on the upper floor and look down through the railing to the people below. Busy, worried, circulating people. Likes the sleeping ones below, not exactly curled in their seats, trusting that in a library, their belongings will not be touched. An assumption that would be untrue anywhere else, but here, in quiet book pens, she sees little reason for defensive instincts. Doesn't talk to anyone, no eye contact, being a ghost lets her have own space, privacy without a room. Can always find a book to read, maybe spells, or a nice volume of fairy tales that she can summon so easily now.

Solitary. She walked through a crowd of people and yet they never realized she was there. So quiet that it was automatic for her to find an armchair in the library and huddle in its soft cushions. She was the girl who didn't talk, bent her head and only glanced at those who passed by. But now that was changing a small bit, she wore her hair up now on a whim, before it had been around her face constantly as armor. now there was that choice in the morning- to hide or not, to pull her hair upwards and let her nape stand out, downy hair and the places where she had let herself be held. And the blond witch understands the affections of all; vampires, humans, and the girl that came out of a Large Door.

She is Mother and shawl and lover and sparkly colors that sing, and now that she is dead, there is not limit on what she can be.


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