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Crazy Eights - Chapter 15

Dear God, will this rain ever stop? It makes me so tired I'm having a
hard time staying out of bed for more than ten minutes at a time!!

Anyway, to shake off the Rainy Monday Blues, I'm posting the very next
chapter of Crazy Eights for you. It might not keep you dry, but it might
make you smile.


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Friday evening found Willow Rosenberg holding court in her parent’s usually off-limits living room. Ira and Sheila were once again out of state following a lecture tour of some sort… Willow hadn’t bothered to ascertain which of her parents’ interests had taken precedence over their daughter this time.

She had her best friend, Xander, and his unusually abrasive girlfriend, along for the ride. And her one truly bright spot – Tara, fellow magicks enthusiast and truly wonderful girlfriend. They were all parked in front of the coffee table, which was piled high with doughy-cheesy-pizza goodness and caffeine-laden sodas – just the kind of junk food frowned upon in the Rosenberg household.

It made Willow feel like a true rebel – lesbian love interest and junk food – a winning combination in her book.

“So,” Xander began, his mouth full of food. “Are we gonna address the elephant in the room?”

“Not the actual pachyderm,” Anya clarified. “I’m sure Xander wants to know how he can break the claim between Buffy and Spike.”

“Jeez, Anya, way to go in the tact department,” Willow grumbled. “We’re not trying to steamroll anyone with our opinions.”

“I beg to differ. If Xander had his way, he’d stake Spike and carry Buffy off caveman-style into the woods for a ravishing.”

“Anya!” Xander turned a rather unattractive shade of blotchy red. “You know that’s not true. Well,” he amended, “most of it’s not true.”

“I-I’m sure it’s not like that,” Tara said, softly. “Xander is your boyfriend, after all, Anya.”

“That’s my point!” Anya shrilled. “He claims to love me, but he’s still got this ridiculously unrequited crush on Buffy. He breaks our plans at the drop of a hat to go out on patrol with her, and he’s extremely breakable with no super strength or battle training at all.” She shifted fractionally away from her boyfriend, “Why would he would insist on hanging around someone who obviously doesn’t want him when he has me?”

“Well, maybe if you gave him some space, occasionally…,” Willow suggested gently, but was met with a glare that could melt steel, so she kept the rest of her opinions to herself.

“Are we forgetting the whole point of this meeting, you guys?” Xander demanded. “Buffy is hanging around her second vampire – who is totally unsouled and evil and not to be trusted – and he bit her! He needs dusting, pronto!”

“You’re supposed to be Buffy’s friend.” Tara pointed out timidly. She seemed to gather her gumption and continued. “I don’t think that entitles you to choose who she spends her time with; who she might love. And, from what we found out, the claim is serious… and it’s none of our business.”

“Whoa, baby.” Willow tried to mediate the situation. “You don’t know what Spike was like when he first came to town. He kidnapped me and Xander, and tried to kill Buffy a bunch of times. It’s not like we don’t have a reason to mistrust him.”

Tara’s brow furrowed in confusion. “But you said that you and Buffy girl-talked it out and that you were willing to see what unfolded.”

“I know, I know. We did talk, and shared all the girly feels, and she seems so happy, but –”

“No buts!” Anya interjected. “Tara said it best. It’s none of our business, especially since they both seem so happy about the claim and their blossoming relationship. How would you feel if Buffy didn’t like the fact that you’re getting groiny with Tara? If she thought it was a perversion, and tried to get you to end the relationship?”

She pivoted to her boyfriend. “And Xander, how would you feel if Buffy told you that, because I’m an ex-demon with a millennia worth of blood on my hands, that she needed to stake me for your own good?”

“Hey!” Willow exclaimed. “She wouldn’t do that!”

“The Buffster’s not like that. She wouldn’t –”

“That’s right,” Tara pointed out softly. “Buffy wouldn’t try to dictate your personal lives. So why do you think you have the right to dictate hers?”

Both Willow and Xander shut their mouths. Neither one could come up with a single reason for their continuing interference in Buffy’s personal life.

Anya, turned to Tara and announced, “I knew there was a reason I liked you – you have brains in that pretty head of yours.” She considered for a moment, and then added excitedly, “You should come to more Scooby meetings. I think you’d make a valuable contribution.”

Tara blushed. “I, ummm…”

“Although I warn you, they’re not exactly welcoming. I’m marginalized. And ignored. And told that I just don’t get human ways.”

Anya’s eyes narrowed. “And I get ‘em, all right. I’ve spent a millennium punishing men for their ‘human behavior’,” Anya made air quotes, glaring in Xander’s direction. “If I had my powers…”

“All right, all right, I’m sorry, sweetie.” Xander had the good grace to at least look contrite. “I promise to try and keep my opinions to myself. You know we want you to be a part of our Scooby meetings.”

Tara looked surprised to be dragged into the tirade, but Anya continued, anyway. “Tara is a very powerful witch, who’s been practicing far longer than Willow. And yet, you all delegate her to outsider status and turn to Willow when there’s a need for magic.”

Anya turned to Tara. “I say it’s time we both stood up and demanded to be recognized for the amazing women we are!”

Tara cast Willow a look of quiet appeal and said, quietly, “Maybe if you’d show a little pride in what I bring to the table, I’d feel more comfortable with your friends. And they’d want to be friendlier with me… not just nodding at me in passing as your girlfriend.”

“I’m so sorry, baby,” Willow cooed. “I didn’t mean to push you into the background. Of course I’m proud of you. I wasn’t attracted to you only for your looks, you know. I love your big squishy brain, too.” Willow was relieved to see a small smile grace Tara’s lips.

“So,” Tara pressed, “in honor of me no longer being a wallpaper witch, are you and Xander willing to acknowledge Buffy’s autonomy in regards to her love life?”

“Well, Xander,” Anya demanded, “are you? Will you remember you have a willing orgasm-providing girlfriend of your own, and no longer need to fantasize about a woman who has no interest in you?”

Blushing red to the tips of his ears, Xander simply nodded.

Willow knew he was still going to have a hard time accepting Spike in Buffy’s life. He’d been hard-wired to hate vamps ever since Angel had gone on his rampage of murder and mayhem. The fact that Angel was Spike’s grandsire only added fuel to the hate fire.

Willow acknowledged that she would have to make some personal changes as well. Buffy was not her doll, to do with as she pleased. Buffy was entitled to make her own choices, even if Willow didn’t agree with them. It wasn’t her place. She’d have to repeat that as her mantra every night until it sunk in.

She took a calming breath and looked out around the room. “Okay, you guys. I think we’ve covered the stupid, stubborn and blind friends part of the evening. Whattya say we raid the freezer for Ben and Jerry’s, with heaping helpings of multiple toppings, and watch a couple of movies?”

“Do Tara and I get a say in what we watch this time?” Anya asked, with a mischievous sparkle in her eyes. “I say we go for something really girly-girly for a change. No fighting, no stupid Three Stooges, okay?”

“Girl-on-girl porn?” Xander asked.

His hopeful expression earned him several pillows tossed at his head.