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A Time to Live

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Summary: Willow and Tara become Dawn's guardians after The Gift

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Gilmore GirlsbelginteiFR1514113,450135435,1512 Jun 0527 Jun 10No

A Time to Live

Title: A Time to Live 1/?

Author: David A. Knapton


Archived: If you want but it is polite to let the author know you are doing so

Disclaimer: I own nothing. The characters belong to the owners of BtVS and Gilmore Girls.

Spoiler: I am making it season 1 of GG starting around Cinnamon's Wake and of course season 5 of Buffy, (I’m making Dawn and Rory are the same age in this story.)

Rating: Could be any rating? But no higher than 12A-PG13


Summery: Willow and Tara take Dawn to live in the more normal town of Stars Hollow!

Notes: I got the idea for this story from the challenge below (Strange you may think considering it is completely different! But it may give you some insight into my psyche?)

Thanks so much to my great beta Sarah.

‘’ = Thought. [Flashback] = Ah duh Flashback

Feedback: If you wish


In this World Giles died of his injuries in Weight of the World.

(Giles still lives in this world and running the Sunnydale Gallery for Dawn.)

And Dawn succeeds in sacrificing herself in the Gift.

(Yes except it was Buffy that jumped in this story as per canon.)

Having had enough pain.

(There may well be pain?)

She leaves Sunnydale and whether through chance or divine intervention.

(After being rejected by Hank Summers, Willow and Tara become Dawn’s guardians and after the Council get Faith out of prison and guarding the Hellmouth they decide to move away from Sunnydale where Dawn has suffered so much pain (See there was pain?) Willow applies for the post of computer teacher at her mother’s old school - Chilton.)

She ends up in Stars Hallow.

(They end up living in Stars Hollow.)

Staying at the Inn.

(They take the house next to the Gilmores on the other side from Babette.)

The girls end up getting close to the Broken Slayer.

(Well no Slayer but they do all get close.)

Sort of becoming a Surrogate Mother and Sister to her and help her heal.

(To Dawn, yes!)

Can Be any Pairing. Het or Slash

(Well it has Willow and Tara.)

Please note I am English, so is my spelling. Live with it.


Willow, dressed in what Dawn described as her school ma’am clothes, sat outside Headmaster Charleston’s office, still ten minutes until her appointment. It had been a hectic two weeks. Willow had been so far ahead in her college classes that it had been easy to get UC Sunnydale to allow her to graduate two years early. Giving her the chance to take any of dozens of jobs she had been offered both in the public and private sectors, but in the end, surprisingly, it was at the suggestion of her mother that she applied for the position of the Computer teacher at her old school in Hartford.

Sheila had hoped one day for her daughter to attend Chilton but just after she married Willow’s father she had been offered tenure at UCLA and so their small family had moved first to LA then after a couple of years they moved up the coast to Sunnydale when the opportunity to travel, giving lectures around the world, came up.

The wholesome atmosphere of small town America calling to Sheila from her own childhood, she never realised how wrong she was when they moved to Sunnydale when Willow was three.

Sheila had contacted her favourite teacher from Chilton who just happened to now be the headmaster and he had been more than pleased to see Willow.

Tara had also been lucky and been able to transfer to the University of Connecticut at short notice, so she would be able to stay with Willow and Dawn rather than visit only on the weekends.

Willow looked up when she heard the buzz of the phone; the secretary picked it up, “Yes Headmaster ... Yes Headmaster, I believe she has a free period ... Yes Headmaster.” She replaced the receiver and looked at Willow, “Headmaster Charleston will see you now, please go straight in.”

Willow rose, fiddling with the handle of the new briefcase Tara and Dawn had bought her yesterday, “Thank you,” she said going to the door, she smoothed down the front of her skirt before knocking. She opened it when a ‘Come in,’ came from inside.

As Willow opened the door and stepped in, an overweight grey haired man, rising from the chair behind the desk and walking towards her with his hand extended, confronted her. “Ms Rosenberg it is a pleasure to meet you at last, I’m Headmaster Charleston,” he shook her hand.

“Thank you Headmaster, I’m pleased to finally meet the teacher that had such an influence on my mother’s early years.”

“Oh how is your mother? I have not heard from her for a number of years now, except for a brief conversation on the telephone two days ago, and she missed the school’s last two reunions.”

“She’s well. She now teaches at Oxford along with my father,” said Willow.

“Well please pass on my best wishes when you next speak,” smiled Charleston.

“I’ll be sure to do that,” said Willow returning his smile.

“Excellent,” said Charleston, he then turned slightly and gestured to an obviously very pregnant woman, “May I introduce our present Computer teacher, Ms Tradler, who will be leaving at the end of the month to have her child. Unfortunately for Chilton, but of course not you, she has decided that she wishes to stay home to look after him,” Willow saw a twinkle of mischief come into the Headmaster’s eyes. “Ms Tradler, Ms Rosenberg.”

Willow moved to the seated woman, not wishing to force her to stand, “I’m pleased to meet you Ms Tradler,” she said shaking her hand.

“Please call me Lara,” smiled Ms Tradler.

“In that case call me Willow...” Willow frowned as something occurred to her, she turned back to the Headmaster, “You mean I got the job? But I thought I was coming here for an interview?”

Charleston smiled at the redhead, “Originally, yes, but after Ms Tradler and I read your transcripts, and knowing your mother as well as I do. You are without a doubt the most qualified candidate, so I am pleased to be able to offer you the position of Information Technology teacher affective immediately.”

“Thank you,” smiled Willow a little overwhelmed, “I can’t tell you how nervous I was coming in here!” she said letting out a sigh.

“I understand Ms Rosenberg. I have arranged for one of our students to show you around, normally Ms Tradler would do that but under the circumstances she will be unable to fulfil that duty,” said Charleston. “After the tour my secretary will have your contract ready. So before you go are there any questions?”

“Ah yes, thank you. I recently became the guardian of my best friend’s young sister, she’s sixteen. Her mother and sister died in tragic circumstances and after she was rejected by her father... Well my life partner and I were the closest thing to family she had... I was wondering if I could arrange for her to attend school here.”

“Of course, Chilton has always had the opportunity to supply its teachers children, or in this case ward, a full education. If you can supply her transcripts I’m sure we can accommodate the young lady as long as her grades are of a reasonable leave,” said Charleston.

Willow opened her briefcase and handed the Headmaster a folder, “I have them here... But please remember that the lose of first her mother and then her sister over the last four months has had an effect on her grades.”

“Of course,” said Charleston with an understanding voice. At that moment the phone on the desk buzzed, the Headmaster picked it up, “Yes Ms Swift ... Thank you, we will be there momentarily,” he hung up and looked back at Willow, “Your guide has arrived, so if there is no more questions, shall we proceed?”

“No, all questioned out!” smiled Willow.

“Right then,” said Charleston leading Willow back to the door, as they exited a student about Dawn’s age stood up and waited to be acknowledged. “Ah Miss Gilmore, this is Ms Rosenberg who will be taking over from Ms Tradler when she leaves to have her baby, will you show her our school then bring her back here when you finish,” he said to the student.

Willow tried without much success to keep the big smile off her face as the student did a double take, obviously curious as to how and why someone that was only a few years older than herself would be employed at Chilton. “Yes sir,” she looked at Willow, “If you will follow me Ms Rosenberg,” said the student moving to open the outer door for her.

“Thank you Miss Gilmore, see you later Ms Rosenberg,” said Charleston before turning to his secretary and asking her to print off the standard Chilton contract.

As she walked by the side of the student, who would occasionally give her side way glances, while showing her the campus, she smiled at her guide, “Let me guess, you are wondering how someone that is only a few years older than you is being employed at this school,” she said.

“No... I mean yes it is strange, I mean if you will forgive me, you look like you should be in college not teaching Ms Rosenberg.”

“Call me Willow, I’m not your teacher yet, what’s your first name?”

“Rory, Rory Gilmore, ah Willow.”

“Right Rory. Well up until four weeks ago, I was attending UC Sunnydale when my best friend died leaving her younger sister without any close relatives, her mother had died three month earlier and her father lives in Spain. He refused to take his commitments seriously, so rather than see Dawn, that’s her name, be placed in a foster home, my girlfriend and I arranged to become her guardians...” Willow started to explain.

Rory looked curiously at Willow at the revelation that the redhead was gay; “Oh that’s so sad, I live with my mum but I know if something was to happen to her my dad would not hesitate to have me live with him,” she interrupted Willow.

“That’s nice. Anyway, I was so far ahead in my classes that, under the circumstances, the college agreed to let me graduate two years early. As for being employed here! I thought I was coming to have an interview but the Headmaster just informed me that I was getting the job because my grades were so high and that my mother, who attended Chilton, is well known to him,” Willow finished her explanation. “So do you do the tour guide part very often?”

“No it’s just my week; every pupil is allocated a week each semester when they have to show any visitors around, as long as they are not doing lessons of course. Right,” said Rory coming to yet another door. “This is the main computer room where I assume you will be teaching most of the time,” she said opening the door and showing Willow the empty room.

Willow looked around very impressed with the equipment, “Top of the line, hmm I think I’ve died and gone to heaven!” she sighed before smiling at Rory. “So do you take many computer classes?”

Rory shook her head, “No just the basics which means one period a week, so I doubt I’ll see you muc...”

“What are you two doing in here?” someone asked from the door.

Turning Willow saw a girl with short curly red hair stood looking contemptuously at them, “Frencie this is Ms Rosenberg the new IT teacher,” Rory told the girl.

“Pull the other one Gilmore, no way Charleston would hire someone that is so obvious unqualified to even know how to turn on a computer, let alone teach here.”

Rory looked shocked but Willow smiled, a glint coming to her eyes, “I’m sure Headmaster Charleston will be interested in your obvious greater experience in such matters, I’ll be sure to tell him so after my tour. Come along Miss Gilmore I believe you have not finished showing me the campus,” said Willow in as much of a superior tone as she could muster before sweeping past her fellow redhead.

“Yes Ms Rosenberg,” said Rory playing along as she rushed after Willow.

When she caught up, she could see the smirk on the teacher’s face, “Is she still looking at us?”

Rory glanced back at the IT room, “Yeah. She looks worried.”

“Good,” giggled Willow. “So what’s next?”

“The only two places I need to show you are the library and the Lit classes,” said Rory.

“Well lead on McDuff,” said Willow chuckling.

“Well the library is this way,” said Rory gesturing to yet another corridor.


“And finally this is Mr Medina’s room,” said Rory showing Willow into the room where a man in his thirties sat going over some papers. He looked up on hearing Rory’s voice, “Mr Medina, this is Ms Rosenberg the new IT teacher,” smiled the brunette.

The man rose and extended his hand, “Max Medina, call me Max, pleased to meet you Ms Rosenberg. Are you sure you’re old enough to be teaching?” he joked.

Willow smiled, “Been getting that a lot lately Max, and please call me Willow. As I explained to Rory I graduated two years early and this is my first job, if you don’t count the year I spent teaching computer class at my old high school because the local school board was to tight to hire a replacement teacher when the old one was killed,” she finished with a little tightness in her voice. She sighed, “Sorry about that but she was my favourite teacher.”

“I understand,” said Max, just then the bell rang, “Would you care to join me for lunch?”

“Thanks for the offer but Rory has to take me back to the Headmaster’s office so I can sign all the necessary paperwork, then I’m planning on meeting my girlfriend and my ward for lunch, maybe another time.”

“Alright next week then, it was a pleasure to meet you Willow, bye Rory, say hi to your mum for me,” said Max showing them out and locking the door before heading towards the teachers cafeteria.

“I will, Bye Mr Medina,” said Rory.

“So that’s all then,” said Willow.

“Yes, it’s quicker if we cut through here,” said Rory opening a door opposite Max’s classroom.

As they neared the Headmaster’s office they passed three girls stood near some lockers, the three followed them with their eyes as they passed the taller blonde whispered, “Who’s that?”

At which the shorter blonde, who did not whisper but announced in a normal tone, “Probably another poor kid that just because she thinks she is good enough, thinks she can make it at Chilton.” Willow exchanged looks with Rory and they both started laughing, “What’s so funny Gilmore,” she called out.

Rory turned slightly, “You’ll have to wait until Monday to find out Paris,” she looked back at Willow and whispered, “It’s going to bug her all weekend about that.”

“Won’t she try and get it out of you before you go home?” Willow whispered back.

“Probably, but I don’t fold very easily,” giggled Rory.


All the documents had been signed and now Willow was waiting by the gates for Tara and Dawn to arrive. As she waited, she went over some of the things Lara had given her in regards to the courses she would be teaching as well as the assignments she would be supervising when she started on Monday. She would help Lara Tradler with her classes so she could get a feel for things, slowly taking over more and more until she was running it all. She would not be allowed to change any of the lesson plans until after the New Year, at which time, with the agreement of the Headmaster, she could change it as she wished.

Willow looked up as she felt Tara nearby, smiling as her girlfriend and Dawn pulled up in front of the gates. Quickly getting up she hurried over to the car, “Hi guys, so where are you taking Chilton’s newest teacher for lunch?” she smirked buckling up.

“You got the job,” squealed Dawn trying to hug the redhead from the back.

“Yep it was a breeze, turns out that when they saw my transcripts they had decided to offer me it on the spot,” explained Willow, she looked in the back, “And they have a policy of accepting teachers children, so I gave them your transcripts and you can start with me on Monday.”

“What!” cried Dawn in outrage, “You want me dressing in kilts and a blazer!”

“Sweetie calm down, Willow and I talked about this. Chilton is one of the best schools you could ever hope to attend. Dawnie you need a normal life and we are going to give you it, even if we have to depopulate the eastern seaboard of evil,” said Tara as she pulled into traffic.

“Yeah as if that was possible!” scoffed Dawn before a twinkle came into her eyes, “Wouldn’t that mean depopulating most of Washington... I say go for it,” she giggled.

“Dawn that was very bad,” Tara tried scalding the teenager but unable to keep a straight face.

“Right bad, got it,” said Dawn a smirk still on her face. “Is there at least any cute boys that go to Chilton?” she asked Willow.

“Well I wasn’t there long enough to check out every student but I did see a couple of cute boys,” said Willow said pleased to see that Dawn at least was considering the idea of attending Chilton. “What, gay now not blind,” she said off Tara’s look.

“That’s ok then,” laughed Tara.

“So any idea where we are going to eat lunch?” asked Willow.

“Actually no. Not long after you left the hotel, the realtor phoned and said she thinks she has found the perfect little house for us in a small town called Stars Hollow. So Dawn and I thought we could all go and see it, maybe get something to eat there.”

“Great, when do we meet her?” asked Willow.

“Well I didn’t know how long you would be! So she’s going to meet us at Stars Hollow’s town square at three,” explained Tara. “So we will have time to get a feel of the town first.”

“Okay,” smiled Willow.


As they passed the sign announcing they were entering Stars Hollow, all three let out a gasp, Willow exchanged a look with Tara before looking into the back at Dawn, “You felt that too?”

“Yeah, what was that?” said Dawn a little worried.

It was Tara who answered, “I’ve never been to one, but I think this is a protected town! There are legends from all over the world that point to there being places of good to counter the evil that Hellmouths put out.”

“So this place is sort of an anti-Hellmouth!” said Dawn.

“Yes,” said Tara, she looked at Willow, “I don’t care if the house we see is falling down, we are going to take it, I can’t think of a safer place for Dawn to live,” she said firmly.

“So does that mean I won’t hafta go to Chilton after all...? I mean if this place is so safe why take the risk that something may happen to me while I’m away from here.”

“Nice try Dawnie, but you are forgetting that I will be teaching at Chilton so I can make sure you are safe,” said Willow.

Dawn slumped back into the seat folding her arms, “It’s not fair,” she pouted.

They parked the car just off the town square, as they walked along the store fronts looking at what the town had to offer they were suddenly confronted by a short fat woman who looked at them warily, “Why are you here?” she asked sternly.

Tara stepped in front of Willow and Dawn, “We seek only peaceful coexistence, we have no designs on those you protect Guardian,” she said respectfully.

“Then welcome sisters,” said the woman.

“Thank you Guardian, I am Tara, and this is my mate Willow and our ward Dawn,” said Tara.

“Everyone here calls me Miss Patty,” said the woman.

Tara looked around warily, no one close enough to overhear, “Does anyone here know of your guardianship Miss Patty?”

“Only one, my predecessor Fran who passed it to me when she felt age calling her, she runs the bakery,” said Miss Patty.

“We will keep your secret Miss Patty,” smiled Tara. “Could you tell us where we can get something to eat?”

Miss Patty pointed the way they were walking, “Luke’s is nice,” she said. “We will talk more later but for now I have a dance class to teach, goodbye sisters.”

“Goodbye Miss Patty,” said Tara.

They watched as Miss Patty crossed the square and disappeared behind the gazebo, “What was that all about?” asked Dawn looking at the two witches.

“Well you know how a Hellmouth can sometimes have the Slayer guarding it,” said Tara.

“Of course I do, what has that got to do with anything?” said Dawn.

“Well places like this also have there own form of Guardians, Miss Patty is Stars Hollow’s.”

“What, she’s some kind Slayer?” scoffed the teenager.

Tara laughed, “No of course not, she is a witch that is why she could sense Willow and me... and you as well?” Tara mused.

“And you knew she was this Guardian how?” asked Willow as they started walking again.

“I told you, I read about it, and the way she confronted us, it seemed a good chance she was warning us against doing anything to endanger the people or town,” explained Tara as they reached the door to Luke’s.

They sat at a table near the door and began looking through the menu. After a few minutes, a well built man in a flannel shirt and wearing a baseball cap backwards came over with a pad and pen. “Hi welcome to Luke’s, what can I get you folks?”

“You wouldn’t happen to do double mocha latte’s would you?” asked Willow hopefully.

“Sorry lady we only sale your basic coffee here.”

“Oh well then two basic coffees and a coke, we haven’t finished deciding on our food yet,” said Willow.

“Right be back with your drinks in a minute,” said the man leaving.

“Woo they do chilli fries here,” said Dawn.

Willow looked at Tara smirking, “I think we will be eating here quite a lot if Dawnie has her way.”

“Yes, but we like chilli fries too,” Tara pointed out.

“Right,” smirked Willow, “So we take the house, regardless of its condition and we eat here all the time... Sounds like a plan,” all three laughed.

After lunch the man came back to the table picking up the empty plates, “I get you folks anything else?”

“No thanks, we really liked it though and will probably eat here a lot,” said Willow.

“You planning on staying in Stars Hollow?”

“Yeah we are just killing time while we wait for the realtor to take us to see a house. I’m Willow by the way and this is Tara and Dawn,” said Willow.

“I’m Luke, this is my place,” said Luke.

“Nice to meet you Luke. So what’s it like living here?” asked Willow.

“It’s alright once you realise that it is filled with weirdo’s,” smiled Luke nodding towards the window. The three looked to where he nodded to see a tall thin man walking beside a very short fat woman pulling a trolley with a cat laying on it.

“Believe me when I say we have seen weirder things where we use to live,” laughed Dawn.

“And where was that?” smiled Luke.

“Sunnydale California,” said Dawn.

“Nice place?” asked Luke.

“Sometimes and definitely different,” laughed Willow.

“Willow I think that’s the realtor’s car,” said Tara.

“Yeah, we better go,” said Willow as they began to rise, “It was nice meeting you Luke, we’ll probably see you again.”

“Pleasure meeting you too. If you do move to town and you need anything don’t be to shy to ask for help, I may hate some of the people in this town sometimes but they are all good people.”

“We can tell,” said Tara.


They meet the realtor who they then followed to the house that was for sell, which turned out to be very well maintained.

“Mr Uphill was very found of this house,” said the realtor unlocking the front door, “But the winters can be very cold around here and his son finally persuaded him to go and live with him and his wife in Florida,” she explained leading the three inside.

To their left was a spacious living room, in front of them was a flight of stairs leading to the second floor and to the right was a hallway that led to a kitchen/dining room combo. Beyond that was a small room Willow thought would make a good office/study for all the work she would inevitably be bring home.

The upstairs consisted of two largish bedrooms, a bathroom and a small box room that could be used as a bedroom if anyone from Sunnydale came to visit! The realtor led them back down the stairs into the lobby, “So what do you think?” she asked.

Willow exchanged looks with Tara and Dawn before turning to the realtor, “We’ll take it. When can we move in?” she said.

“Excellent, I had a feeling you would love the house,” smiled the realtor. “You can take possession immediately, if you will follow me to my car we can sort out the paperwork.”

Half an hour later, they had all the paperwork sorted and the realtor handed over the keys. Because of the money they got from the sale of the Summers house in Sunnydale and the money from Willow’s trust fund her maternal grandfather had set-up for her when he died, they were able to buy the house outright.

On their way back to their hotel in Hartford, Willow phoned the storage company and arranged for all their possessions to be delivered to their new home at 18 Cherry Lane the next morning at nine.


Lorelai entered Luke’s with Rory, they had just returned from their Friday night dinner at her parents’ home. “Oh I almost forgot,” said Lorelai sitting at their regular table, “Babette said someone is moving into old man Uphill’s house.”

“So what are they like?” asked Rory.

“She didn’t get to speak with them but they looked like a nice couple of young women, they had a teenage girl with them though...”

“Her name is Dawn,” said Luke as he placed two cups of coffee on their table.

“You seen them,” asked Lorelai.

“Yeah they had lunch in here, seemed to be nice people... maybe a little too normal for this town though,” Luke smirked. “They came back later to tell me they had decided to move here.”

“So names, descriptions, criminal records. Details Luke,” said Lorelai.

“I don’t make a habit of interrogating my customers; I leave that to Taylor, Miss Patty and you,” said Luke.

“Okay you wound me, so what are their names?” said Lorelai.

“Well the redheaded woman is called Willow...”

Lorelai and Luke looked at Rory as she chocked on her coffee, “Are you alright honey,” her mother asked worriedly.

“Ah yeah, it’s just that I meet a Willow at school today, she’s our new Computer teacher. Was she about five two or three with red hair that just covered her ears?” Rory asked Luke.

“Sounds like Willow,” nodded Luke. “Isn’t she a little young to be teaching?”

“Well she just graduated from university two years early, so she must be really smart, and she told me she was offered the job because of that and Headmaster Charleston knows her mother who went to Chilton,” explained Rory.

“So any dark secrets we can use against them, you know so we can blackmail them into doing our laundry or... woo cook for us,” smiled Lorelai.

“No,” smirked Rory before telling them more, “But Willow’s gay, the other woman must be her girlfriend, you can’t use that to blackmail them though she told me about it in passing as I showed her around campus so she is pretty open about it.”

Lorelai suddenly smiled broadly, “Taylor is going to freak out over that,” she laughed. “He may want to burn them as if they were witches. What about this Dawn did Willow say anything about her?”

Rory’s face turned a little sad, “She’s their ward. She lost her mother to a brain tumour about four months ago and then her sister who was looking after her died in some kind of accident a month ago.”

Luke sat down his face sombre, “The poor kid. What about her father?”

“Apparently he lives in Spain and wasn’t interested in her, so rather than see her best friend’s sister put in a foster home Willow and her girlfriend became her guardians,” Rory finished.

“Oh god that’s terrible, how could any father do such a thing,” exclaimed Lorelai.

“Yeah I told her that I lived with you, but that if anything were to happen to you, dad wouldn’t reject me,” said Rory.

“Of course not honey, your dad loves you,” Lorelai reassured her daughter.

“And if he did, I can think of a dozen people in this town that would not hesitate to look after you... including me,” said Luke.

“Thanks Luke,” said Rory quietly.

“Right well I hafta get back to my customers,” said Luke avoiding looking at them as he got up.

Lorelai smiled knowingly at the empty diner, but said nothing. Suddenly her mood jumped up a couple of notches, “Hey you know what this means?”

“What?” asked Rory.

“Parties,” said Lorelai. “They hafta have a house warming party and then we have to have a ‘Welcome to the neighbourhood’ party. I’ll give Sookie the heads up when I get to work tomorrow.”


A/N: After starting part 2 I find myself leaning towards Madeline/Dawn with the possibility of a Rory/Paris pairing thrown in so I have a chance to have Lorelai freaking out at their lesbian neighbours ‘turning’ her daughter into one!
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