Shine, Little Glow-Worm
AUTHOR'S NOTE, FEBRUARY 27, 2013: I have made some continuity edits to Chapter 7. That is all. Carry on. :) * * *
DISCLAIMER: I owns nothin’. The Beeb owns Dr Who -- and the very Time Lords themselves, for all I know. Joss owns the Buffyverse. Making no money, just having fun.
DISCLAIMER PART DEUX:
In my li'l corner of the Buffyverse, the following things are different:
1. Joyce Lives! The Scoobs' den mother was just too wonderful not to include here. And I didn't care for how her illness was just *such* a soap-opera thing (though the episode 'The Body' made me weep absolute rivers).
2. The female Scoobies, with the notable exception of Anya for obvious reasons, all live at 1630 Revello, and adjustments have been made including Joyce's bedroom being moved downstairs to the den and Will & Tara have her bedroom.
I do quote some dialogue from S6E20, "Villains", in the beginning...
Response to Challenge # 4092: Tara, the Time Lord from BarbarossaRotbart. * * *
Willow heard a ping-crack noise.
“Your shirt…” Tara whispered.
Then she fell forward, limp.
“Tara?” Willow cried in alarm, hurrying over to her girlfriend. She took the taller girl by the shoulders, turning her over into her lap. “Tara? Baby?”
Tara lay unresponsive, blood slowly welling out of the hole in her blue top. Her eyes were closed.
“Tara…baby, come on! Get up!” Willow began to cry, her head telling her what her heart could not accept. Tara, her beloved, wonderful Tara, was dying, or dead, in her arms…
“No…” she cried. “No!” She rocked back and forth, Tara held in her lap. Grief and fury overwhelming her, Willow bared her teeth in a snarl, preparing to do…she didn’t know exactly what, but something, someone would pay
She looked down at Tara’s beautiful, peaceful face, stroking the silky hair back from her forehead…
…that was glowing
“What…the…frilly…heck?” Willow whispered incredulously. Not losing her hold on Tara’s body, she sank to a fully seated position.
There was a rich, golden glow emanating from Tara’s skin, stretching out to her extremities. As Willow watched, there came another, white-gold glow from Tara’s slightly open mouth that joined the other glow chasing over her. It was soon too bright to look at; Willow covered her eyes with one hand, trying to see through splayed fingers.
Tara’s body in her lap was shifting, rising from the floor as the glow encompassed it completely.
Willow scooted backward, banging into the foot of the bed painfully with one shoulder, unable to tear her eyes away from what was happening to Tara.
It might have been moments, it could have been hours…but at last, whatever was happening to Tara was done happening. The lights lowered her tenderly to the carpet near, but not on, where she’d lain when she first fell.
Willow swiped at the drying tears on her cheeks with one hand, scrabbling forward on her knees and the other hand to reach her girl.
“Tara…?” she whispered shakily.
The figure on the floor took a breath, then another. She opened one eye, squinting a little at Willow. “Will? What happened, did I hit my…” she started to push herself upright with one hand, the other reaching up to push her hair out of her eyes.
Her bright blue eyes.
“What the…Tara? You’re alive…but how?” Willow paled, her mouth opening for a stream of Willowbabble unlike any other ever seen as she pulled Tara into her arms and held her tightly. Tara held her back just as tightly.
“Willow, what happened? Why is there…” Tara pulled back from Willow’s embrace just a little. “Why is there blood
on our clothes?”
Willow gave her Resolve Face Extraordinaire ™, her mouth drawing into a hard line. “Warren,” she growled. “He shot…oh Goddess, Tara, he shot Buffy…and, and you! Tara, you died
, baby!” Willow’s hard façade crumbled and she began to cry quietly.
Tara pulled her close, whispering tenderly to her and stroking her girl’s bright hair lovingly. Then, the import of Willow’s words struck her.
“Warren shot Buffy? Is she OK?” Tara jumped to her feet, bringing Willow with her. “We have to get downstairs now! There should be some, some healing magicks in my mother’s grimoire,” Tara flustered, “we can help her!”
“Tara!” Willow tried to slow her down. “Baby, you just, um, un-died, should you be rushing around like that?”
But Tara was shaking her head firmly. “No time to explain, but I -- we
-- can help Buffy, but only if we go now
Dragging Willow in her wake, Tara took only enough time to stop in the bathroom and quickly wash where the gunshot wound had been, not giving herself a chance to think about it, and she and Willow both to don clean blouses and rush down to the backyard where Buffy and Xander were now waiting for paramedics to arrive.
“Oh, Goddess, Buffy!” With a burst of white magick, Willow levitated Buffy to the garden bench where she and Xander had just been sitting before Warren had burst into the yard. “Tara, what can we do? She’s hurt so badly…” Tears stung the redhead’s eyes.
“It’ll be OK, Wills,” Xander soothed, his voice shaky. “Your girl’s good with the fixy, she’ll make Buffy better…” he broke off, choking up. He wrapped his arms around Willow, and they stood close, comforting each other, heedless of the blood on Xander’s hands where he’d tried to stop the bleeding.
Tara was knelt beside Buffy before Willow had even finished with the levitation, heedless of the fact that the Slayer’s blood was seeping through the knees of her comfortable, faded denims. “Buffy? Can you hear me?” she called out softly.
“Taaaar…” Buffy whispered.
The taller girl smiled. “That’s right, it’s me, Tara…I’m going to try and heal you, Buffy, but I need you to hang on for me, please? Hang on, Buffy!” Tara caught Buffy’s hands between hers, and closed her eyes, her cheeks wet with the tears she’d tried to stop.
“Goddess Aradia, hear my prayer,” she began in a whisper. “Blessed Mother of Witches, Healer and Teacher, bless my hands, help me to heal this, the Warrior of the People, the Chosen One, the Slayer, beloved heart-sister of Your Daughters, Willow and Tara …” As she prayed and chanted, that same golden light eased out from her hands, surrounding and lifting the Slayer as it had lifted Tara herself earlier.
Buffy arched in pain, a cry escaping her lips. Tara flinched as though she could feel the pain herself; Willow flinched at the distress of her best friend and her beloved. Tara continued her plea, the glow growing ever stronger. Sweat broke out on Buffy’s brow, and on Tara’s, while Xander and Willow could only watch on.
Willow wanted so much to help Tara…but was afraid that her recent foray into the Dark Side of things would taint Tara’s efforts. Out of her pure desire to help
, she found herself praying to the Entity she had been brought up to believe in, as well as to the Goddess. “El na refa na lah...” Please, G-d, bring healing,
she began under her breath, the simple Hebrew meditation helping to center her.
Slowly, the awful hole in Buffy’s chest closed...a slightly flattened piece of brassy metal moving out of the wound as it began to knit itself.
The Slayer’s breathing eased, and the color began to come back to her face. Her eyes fluttered open, meeting Tara’s. “Thank...you,” she husked, swallowing hard. She coughed a little, then made as though to sit up.
Willow, Xander, and Tara all moved forward to help her into a sitting position, Xander sitting beside her and letting her lean into him.
Tara let go of Buffy’s hands, a quiet “So mote it be, blessed be” escaping her lips as she sat next to the Slayer’s right side. Before Tara could open her mouth to speak again, the yard was suddenly full of people in white uniform shirts and black pants, with stretchers and respirators and beeping medical equipment, and the newly-revivified Slayer was being sat on a gurney, poked and prodded while the three others were asked question after question. * * *
“Yes, it was Warren, Warren Mears,” Xander was saying to the chief paramedic. “The weapon he used was a small-caliber handgun, looked like a 9-millimeter...the bullet looks like it grazed Miss Summers, here,” he indicated Buffy as she was being examined. “There was so much blood...” Xander shuddered, swallowing hard at the memory. He went to push his hands through his hair, blanching as he saw the blood that still covered them.
One of the paramedics came silently up to him, handing him several large, warm sanitary wipes to clean his hands with.
Tara thought the paramedic looked a little like Buffy’s mother, Joyce; she had the same kind features and curling hair, but this woman was much younger and had dark hair instead of blonde.
The EMT patted his shoulder in a comforting way. “It’s all right, Mister Harris, just tell us what you remember about it. I’ve called the SPD and they’ll send someone right over to take your statement; I’m just interested in the medical aspects, though I have to say that Miss Summers looks pretty good for as much blood splatter as I see around here...” He broke off, flushing with embarrassment. “Sorry...I guess I’ve been watching too many CSI re-runs lately. Anyhow,” he went on, “Miss Summers will have to go to the hospital for observation, though in my professional opinion she’ll be just fine... Do you want to ride along? We can have Sunnydale’s finest meet us at the hospital instead.”
Xander cast a questioning look at the two witches, who had finished their own interviews and come over to him.
Willow gulped back the new tears that threatened, saying, “You...you should go with her, Xan.” She leaned back into Tara’s embrace, shivering with reaction. Behind Xander, she saw that the paramedics were strapping Buffy onto the gurney she’d been sitting on, and they lay a blanket over the Slayer, in case of shock,
Willow inventoried in her head, totally unaware that she, herself, was slipping into shock from the strange-even-for-the-Hellmouth events of the last hour.
Xander nodded, then pecked each of the girls quickly on the cheek, whispering something into Tara’s ear before sprinting for the ambulance that would take Buffy to the hospital.
“Will?” Tara felt the redhead slump against her, shaking. “Willow, baby?” She took up Willow’s hands -- Willowhands
, she smiled to herself – and was surprised to find them icy cold in her own larger, warm ones. “Honey, come on...let’s go inside, we have to do the Amazon thing, OK?”
The redhead looked wobbly, but the iron spine was rapidly reasserting itself. She nodded once, sharply, and wrapped her arm around Tara’s waist, holding the blonde’s other arm over her shoulder, like Tara was the one who needed supporting...
Oh boy. Now how am I going to explain what just happened?
Tara’s mind was awhirl with anxiety. I can’t just say, “Oh, by the way, honey, I’m a Time Lord; my real name is Taranualrelundar; and hey! If I get killed, I’ll just glow pretty like Lester Lightbulb for a while and have a whole new body!” Uh huh, that’ll go over well...like when I thought I was going to turn into a demon on my twentieth birthday, and cast that spell...and almost got everyone killed. Yep, that’ll be fun.* * *