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19 July 2009 @ 12:17 am
Fic: Whatever's Left (BtVS - Willow/Tara)  
Title: Whatever's Left
Fandom: BtVS
Pairing: Willow/Tara
Rating: R
Summary: AU of Seeing Red/Villains/Two to Go/Grave. Warren attacks and rapes Tara. Written for passion_perfect's What If ...? challange, and for International Day of Femslash 2009.
Warnings: Sexual assault and strong language.
Spoilers: Seasons 6
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer. No profit made, no infringement intended.





Whatever's Left


Part 1
---------------

Tara is home alone, impatiently awaiting the scoobies return. Ever since her reunion with Willow last night, Tara can barely stand to be apart for a minute, more or less the four hours she’s now waited. She passes time by straightening up things around the house, smiling to herself at how she once again belongs here. Just as she’s about to go for a snack in the kitchen, she hears the front door rattle. She freezes as the wood creaks, protesting against forceful knocking.
“Who’s there?” she calls out uneasily, not making a move toward the locked door.

She hears the snap of the lock, and then an angry growl, “Where’s the bitch?”

Tara throws herself against the door, every muscle in her body straining against allowing this vile man into their home. “She’s not here, go away,” Tara shouts. She tries to chant a spell that would throw him from the door, “Воздушный- Воздушный стал-,” but her mind is racing too fast to manage the spell, and she hates the fear that’s taking her over. If only she weren’t alone, then she could still her mind enough to throw him into the next county.

Warren manages to pry the door open, sending her flying across the room. He slams the door, splinters of wood thrown into the air. Tara opens her eyes to find Warren pointing a gun at her.

“She thought she could do that to me? Goddamn bitch,” Warren rants, waving the gun in the air wildly. “And you,” Warren growls, his eyes focusing on Tara. “You helped her, don’t you? You helped the fucking bitch find me,” Warren accuses as he backs Tara against the wall.

“I-I-“ Tara stutters.

“Shut up, dyke,” Warren snarls. He turns the gun in his hand, smashing the butt of the gun into Tara’s cheek.

Tara bits back a cry, willing herself not to allow Warren the satisfaction. Summoning every bit of courage she has left, Tara shouts, “Get out of this house right now! Dissolv-”

Warren laughs, his foot slamming into Tara’s stomach. “You think you can tell me what to do, bitch? I tell you what to do.” His hands tear away at Tara’s clothing while he continues to place blows. “Lay still, bitch.”

---------------------

Willow left earlier than the other scoobies, eager to get home to Tara. The moment she sees the battered front door, she knows something is horribly wrong. She races to the door, her heart pounding. She pushes the door open and gasps. Tara is sprawled on the floor, unconscious, bruises and wounds almost obscuring her beautiful features. Her clothing is torn, exposing more of her beaten body.

“No,” Willow cries out, tears streaming down her face. She kneels beside Tara, covering her with her coat. “I’m so sorry, baby. I’m so sorry,” she whimpers.

Tearing herself from Tara, Willow searches for the phone. Her eyes land on Warren’s black jacket mid-search. Rage boils inside her as images of Warren and her girlfriend’s violated body flash before her eyes. His hands on Tara’s body, ripping away her bra, forcing himself on her... each though is worse, emotions coursing through her, out of control. As rage consumes her, Willow’s eyes darken.

------------

Willow walks to the Magic Box in a daze, vengeance bitter on her tongue. The black arts books fly to the table, Anya’s protests only murmurs in the blackness. The magick courses through Willow, taking away the last traces of fear and conscience. Darkness takes over, killing Warren the only clear thought in her head.

------------

Xander notices the door first.

“Buffy-“ He says softly, interrupting her rant. The seriousness of his voice stops her, and she follows his gesture to the door.

“Dawn, you stay here with Xander,” Buffy orders, grabbing a stake from her bag.

“I don’t want t-“ Dawn whines, until Buffy’s glare stops her.

Buffy pushes open the door, the stake gripped in her hand. She stops cold when she sees Tara lying on the ground. Buffy pushes away the flashbacks of her mother, becoming the slayer and protector rather than the girl. She checks Tara’s pulse, letting out a sigh when she finds one. Her eyes sweep over the room, checking for any signs that the monster is still here. The air is still, and she knows they’re long gone.

“Xander? We need to call 911!” Buffy calls out as she moves Willow’s coat to check Tara’s wounds.

“Buffy? What happened? Who’s hurt?” Xander calls back, running to the door.

“Keep Dawn away,” Buffy adds, but Dawn is already at his heels.

“Tara?” Dawn gasps. “What happened to her? Why is her clothing torn?” Dawn yells, panicking.

“Don’t look, Dawnie,” Xander says softly, pulling her into his arms. “Buffy and I are going to take care of her, I promise. Can you sit on the porch so your sis and I have room to help Tara?” he asks gently.

Dawn’s eyes flash with anger, but she nods, her lip trembling.

Xander finds the phone, calling 911. Once he’s done he helps Buffy wrap the coat over Tara again.

“This is Willow’s coat,” Xander says with a hushed voice.

“I know,” Buffy replies, their eyes meeting.

-------------

Buffy and Dawn sit in the waiting room, their faces solemn. Xander returns from the hall.

“Anya’s on her way here,” Xander tells them. “Buffy, can I talk to you for a sec?” he asks.

Buffy follows him to the hall.

“Anya told me- she said that Willow drained all the books on the black arts. She’s lost it, Buffy. This time she’s really lost it,” Xander says with regret.

“Oh god,” Buffy says with a sigh. A moment later it all hits her. “Damn it,” she hisses, her foot kicking the wall. The wall trembles slightly, and she curses again at her stupidity.

“We’ll stop her Buffy. She’ll be ok,” Xander assures her, his voice more confident than he really feels. Under his breath he mutters, “Tara needs her to be ok.”

---------------------

Anya finds the 2½ scoobies dozing on the waiting room chairs, stress and worry getting the better of them. She places her hand on Xander’s shoulder, and his eyes flutter.

“Any news?” she asks softly.

Xander shakes his head. “Tara has a concussion, and several broken bones. They’re waiting to see if there’s any brain damage,” he replies, adding, “That bastard...”

Anya squeezes his hand for a moment before dropping it.

“We need to find Willow, Anya. She’s out for blood. If she finds this guy before-,” He stops himself, not waiting to think what could happen. “Can you think of a way we could find her? Maybe a locator spell?” Xander asks.

“I don't need a spell. I can feel her,” Anya replies softly.

“You can...” Xander trails off, confused.

“Feel her. Her thirst for vengeance, it's overwhelming,” Anya continues.

“Is that like, left over, from your vengeance demon days? That you can sense her?” Xander asks.

“Not left over,” Anya replies, biting her lip.

“Oh,” Xander replies, stunned.

The air is still between them.

Finally, Xander speaks, “So Willow's all wrathy - why didn't you go to her? Isn't that your gig?”

“Normally, I'd have to - but she doesn't want me,” Anya replies.

“If you know where she is - you can help us,” Xander demands.

“--I'll help,” Anya responds after a pause, “But I'm helping Willow. She's close to him. In the woods.”

------------------------------------

The forest spins around Willow, Warren’s footsteps echoing in the night. She hasn’t seen him yet, but his presence floods her senses, and she’ll easily hunt him down. She breathes in the foul smell he leaves in the air, realizing he’s only 3 feet from her now.

“You’re a stupid boy, Warren,” Willow says softly as she approaches him, her tone flat. He turns to look at her in shock.

“Did you not think I’d hunt you down?” She asks, making it clear that his stupidity and arrogance darkly amuse her. “Are you still under the illusion that you’re invincible?” She continues condescendingly.

“You can’t hurt me, bitch,” Warren replies with a laugh.

Willow raises her hand and calmly orders, “Dissolvo”. The spell sends him crashing into the tree behind him as a ball of light flies from Willow’s fingers. “So many ways to make you suffer, so little patience for you to be dead. It’s a real dilemma,” she says darkly.

Warren bolts, but Willow follows him easily.

“Capture!” he yells suddenly, hurling immobilizing plasmatic goo at Willow.

Willow is only trapped in the goo for a moment, as her eyes melt it away. Warren tries to run, but she blocks his path.

“You. Raped. Tara,” Willow spits out. “She didn’t do anything to you.”

“I didn’t- she- she wanted it. Wanted me to show her what real sex was like. You know lesbians can only ever have foreplay. You can’t have sex without a man,” Warren shoots back with false Brava.

Willow’s eyes narrow. “Irretite!” she commands, as vines wrap around Warren’s limbs, stringing him up.

“You're really asking for it, you know that?” He growls.

“I'm asking for it?” Willow asks incredulously.

“I'm gonna walk away from this- You- you women, always crying rape, when I’m just giving you what you want,” Warren sneers.

“She wasn't your first,” Willow murmurs in realization.

“First- who?” Warren asks confused.

“Tara. She wasn’t the first girl you raped,” Willow declares in disgust.

“I don't know what you're-“ Warren starts to lie, but Willow interrupts him.

“Reveal,” Willow orders.

Katrina appears in the darkness. “I should have strangled you in your sleep. Back when we shared a bed. I should have done the world a favor,” Katrina tells Warren, her pale face showing the rage that remains after he took everything else from her.

“You killed her,” Willow murmurs, his death sentence now set in stone.

“It - it's a trick,” Warren objects.

“Why, Warren? You could have stopped. You could have let me go...” Katrina asks.

“Make it shut up. Make it go away-“ Warren tells Willow.

“It didn't have be like that-“ Katrina continues.

“I'm not kidding!” He demands, panicked.

“How could you say you loved me, and do that to me?” Katrina asks, incredulous.

“Because you deserved it, bitch!” Warren snaps.

Katrina disappears into the night.

“Because you liked it,” Willow corrects.

“Shut up-“ Warren snarls.

“You never felt like you had the power with her. Not until you raped and killed her-” Willow accuses.

“God - women. You're just like the rest of them. Mind games-” Warren dismisses.

“Now you get off on it. That’s why you raped Tara. Buffy took away your power, and you thought raping Tara would make you feel in control again. Did it make you feel powerful, Warren? Hitting her, stripping her, violating her! Did it make you feel like a man? You’re not a man, Warren. You’re less of a human than the robots you make,” Willow rages.

“Right. You done yet? Or can we talk some more about our ‘feelings?’” Warren replies disdainfully.

Willow simply stares back at him with empty dark eyes.

“Let me - ! HELP! Somebody!” Warren cries out, panic suddenly overwhelming his pride.

“What's the matter? I thought you wanted to talk,” Willow says mockingly.

“No-“ he replies.

“Okay,” she says softly, “I'll talk.”

Willow waves her hand, ripping Warren’s clothing at the seams. His shirt and pants fall to the ground.

“What-- what are you doing?” Warren stammers.

“Shhhh,” Willow replies.

His boxers tear away, leaving him exposed to the cold night air.

“Did you think about how it felt to be humiliated and exposed? To be undressed against your will?” Willow questions. “Maybe you don’t care, though I wouldn’t go around showing that off if I were you.”

“Hey, hey - I'm sorry, okay? I-“ Warren tries.

“Want to know what it feels like to be violated, Warren? What it feels like to be invaded by someone else’s body? I think you need to. Feel it.” Willow continues, her voice hard.

She raises her hand, casting a spell. She thrusts her hand into his chest, leaving him in immense pain without a drop of blood.

“Every part of your body struggles to be free, but I overpower you, surround you, control you. My body takes over yours. That’s what you did. Can you feel it now?” Willow’s voice is menacing yet cold.

“I said - can you feel it?” Willow demands.

Warren moans and cries out, “Please, God... I did wrong, I see that now. I need jail. I need... But you - you don't want this. You're not a bad person. Not like me-“ he pleads.

Anya, Xander, and Buffy finally arrive, out of breath.

“Willow!” Buffy cries out to her friend.

Willow only looks at Buffy for a moment, before turning back to Warren.

Warren tries pleading again, “When you get caught - you'll lose them too. Your friends. You don't want that. I know... You're in pain but-“

“Bored now,” Willow interrupts. Willow pulls her hand out of his chest, raising it to cast her final spell. Warren’s skin rips off, flaying him alive like a biology dissection.

“Oh my God,” Xander gasps.

“Willow - no... What did you do?” Buffy cries out.

“He can’t hurt her anymore,” Willow replies, her voice cold.

Willow starts to walk away, and Xander tries to block her.

“Where are you going?” he demands.

“Hospital,” Willow replies shortly.

“Wil, you can’t. You can’t let Tara see you like this,” Xander pleads.

“I have to protect her,” Willow replies angrily. “I already failed her... twice,” Willow adds, each failure stinging and burning on her skin, as the moments when she realized it was too late to stop Glory replay in her mind, now intercut with images of the doorway, of Tara’s body posed like a broken marionette.

“Willow, please stop. It would kill her to see you like this,” Buffy tries.

Willow closes her eyes, and pushes her friends back with another spell.

“I have to,” she murmurs softly.

---------------------

Willow guards Tara’s room, interrogating anyone who comes within two feet of the door. She paces impatiently, anxiously awaiting any sign that the Tara she loves so fiercely still exists in the beaten shell lying in the hospital bed.

Finally Tara's uninjured leg shifts in the bed. Tara whimpers in pain as she accidentally hits her broken ankle.

"Tara?" Willow whispers, a hopeful smile forming. "Don't try to move, baby," Willow tells her softly, adding "You're hurt," regretfully.

Tara stops moving, slowly opening her eyes. Worry creeps into her face as she takes in Willow's darkened eyes and hair. She looks away from Willow, biting her lip.

"Tara?" Willow whispers concerned.

"You used magick?" Tara asks, her voice hollow. "Dark magick?" She already knows the answer, but she needs Willow to admit it.

Willow looks back at her lover, Tara's disappointment burning on her skin.

“Yes. I- he- Tara, he hurt you. Warren, he-,” Willow struggles to form the words, her mind racing and her heart sinking.

“I know what he did, Willow,” Tara replies. “What did you do?” she asks pointedly.

An anger stirs in Willow just thinking of Warren. Her mind is filled with his poison, and Tara and rest of the world fade for a moment. “I killed him,” Willow responds, her voice cold.

“You-you killed him?” Tara stutters, horrified.

Tara’s horror brings Willow back, and the pain in her chest starts to feel unbearable. “I got so lost, Tara... I found you, all beaten and- and- ... And then I saw his jacket, and this rage just consumed me. What he had done- I-I- I went after him, found him in the woods... he said all these horrible things- about you- and, and then I tried to make him feel the same pain he caused you. I just- I don’t- I- I killed him,” Willow confesses. Her body trembles, her eyes changing between normal and dark as tears well up.

“It wasn’t right,” Tara whispers sadly.

“I know- I’m so sorry- I can’t- Tara-,” Willow bites back a sob, clinging to her lover’s name for comfort. She tries again at words, though they feel hollow on her tongue, “I just felt- so dead inside, seeing you like that. Your dress was- your blood- he-,” she has to pause as disgust rolls in her throat, and she fights gagging and nausea. She finally manages to be articulate. “He tried to destroy what matters most to me in the whole world. He just took what he wanted... he didn’t even care,” she cries out, her anger bubbling again.

“But I’m still alive, Willow. You could have stayed with me, rather than hunting him down,” Tara argues.

“I’m sorry, Tara. I’m sorry, I’m sorry...” Willow whispers over and over, breaking down. Tears fall across her cheeks, and the darkness in her eyes and hair fading away. She tries again at words, “I couldn’t bear it, Tara. Finding you broken, exposed, violated... I hadn’t protected you. I hated him, and I hated myself, and the hate just grew until it swallowed me whole. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to make it right. I can’t- I’m- I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.” Willow breaks down again, her body rocking back and forth as she helplessly repeats the words, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry...”

“Willow?” Tara whispers, concerned. When Willow doesn’t respond, Tara gathers all her strength to call out, “I need someone in here! Buffy? Xander? Nurse? Help!”

Buffy is in the hall when she hears Tara’s cries and comes running.

“Tara? What happened? Are you ok?” Buffy cries out as she throws open the door. A moment after she sees that Tara is ok, she notices Willow, rocking back and forth.

“What happened, Tara?” Buffy asks as she cautiously makes her way over to Willow.

“She admitted she killed Warren, and then she was talking about how finding me- r-ra- you know- made her lose it. She started apologizing, and her eyes and hair faded, and then she-she broke down,” Tara tells Buffy.

“Ok,” Buffy replies. “I’ll calm her down. It’ll be ok Tara. I promise,” Buffy assures her. “Willow? Honey?” Buffy calls out gently as she reaches Willow. Willow doesn’t respond. Buffy carefully pulls Willow into her arms, leading her out of the room. Before she closes the door, she tells Tara, “I’ll take care of her.”

Buffy guides Willow to a chair in the waiting room, and pulls a chair around to sit facing her.

“Willow?” Buffy tries again, her voice louder and firmer. She tenderly brushes Willow’s hair from her face.

“Buffy?” Willow questions, looking up at Buffy as she breaks from her trance.

“I’m here, Wil,” Buffy replies with a soft smile.

Willow tries to bite back a sob, but it all tumbles out, turning into body shaking sobs. Buffy pulls Willow into her arms, rubbing her back gently.

-------------------------

Willow leaves the hospital in a daze, fleeing the weight of Tara’s eyes upon her. She freezes at the door, before forcing herself to open it. She walks up the stairs to their bedroom, hesitating as she sees Tara’s jacket. She flops onto the bed, tears welling up in her eyes as she moves from Tara’s side of the bed to hers. Her hand rests upon the pillow Tara slept on just hours ago, and she cries quietly until she’s too exhausted to stay awake.

-----------------

“Tara? Do you mind if I come in?” Buffy calls out softy from the doorway.

“You-you can come in,” Tara replies.

Buffy enters the hospital room, perching on the end of Tara’s bed.

“How are you holding up?” Buffy asks gently, her eyes meeting Tara’s.

“I’m al-alright, I guess. There’s just so much- I-,” Tara struggles with the words, worry heavy in her face and voice.

“I know,” Buffy replies, giving Tara a sad smile. Buffy moves closer to Tara, hesitantly taking her hand.

“Tara... Spike- he, um, he kinda tried to- attack me a couple nights ago. I was in the bathroom, about to take a bath after patrol, and he tried to... you know. I know it wasn’t nearly as bad as what happened to you. I’m not saying that at all, God... I just- You were really there for me when I needed to tell someone about Spike and I sleeping together, and all- And I just wanted to say that I’m here for you, now,” Buffy tells Tara, flustered.

“Buffy- th-thanks,” Tara replies softy, squeezing Buffy’s hand.

Buffy pulls Tara into a loose hug, allowing Tara to pull out of the hug if she becomes uncomfortable.

“I’m here, ok,” Buffy whispers softly.

When Buffy finally lets go of Tara, she notices that her friend seems to have relaxed slightly.

“Tara, I was thinking of checking on Willow... Do you want someone to stay with you? Would you feel comfortable with Xander and Anya here?” Buffy asks.

“S-sure,” Tara replies with a weak smile, “Buffy- thank you.”

Buffy returns the smile. “I’ll back soon, Tara. If you need to talk- here, remember?”

Tara nods, curling up in the bed, careful not to jostle her broken bones.

-----------------

Buffy can’t really face a big talk with Dawn about rape, but Dawn is surprisingly quite. Dawn can sense the devastation, and she’s withdrawn, trying to process it all. Buffy feels guilty for not comforting Dawn more, but she’s utterly emotionally drained.

“You can stay up late,” Buffy tells Dawn as they walk into the house, “I’ll call you in sick tomorrow.” She knows that Dawn is worried sick, and that nothing short of tranquilizing and kidnapping would make her leave Willow or Tara’s side. “Why don’t you make some popcorn, and pick out a movie? I’m going to check on Willow, and then I’ll come watch it with you,” Buffy suggests, deciding they could both use a bit of distraction.

Dawn nods, heading to the kitchen. Buffy goes upstairs to check on Willow.

“Wil?” She calls out softly, making out Willow’s form on the bed.

She can hear deep breathing, punctuated by tiny sobs, but Willow doesn’t respond. Buffy lets out a sigh and heads downstairs.

------------

Buffy and Dawn are passed out to the Pretty Woman part of their Julia Roberts-fest when Buffy awakens to a knock at the door. She checks for drool as she makes her way to the door.

“Giles?” She cries as she opens the door, shocked and relieved.

Giles smiles softly. “You’ve cut your hair,” he remarks, and Buffy throws her arms around him.

“I came as soon as I heard...” Giles tells Buffy once she releases him.

“Did the Council--?” Buffy asks as they make their way into the living room, careful not to wake Dawn.

“The Council hasn't a clue. About much of anything, really. There's a powerful coven in Devonshire. They sensed the rise of a dangerous magical force here. A dark force, fuelled by grief,” he replies.

“Willow,” Buffy says sadly.

“I hoped not. Then a seer in the coven told me about Tara... How is she, Buffy?” Giles asks.

“Tara’s in the hospital. She has some broken bones, but there doesn’t appear to be any brain damage... I don’t know about how she’s dealing with everything else. Willow really scared her, Giles,” Buffy tells him.

“What happened?” He asks.

“Willow came to the hospital after killing Warren. She told Tara about killing Warren, and then she broke down. She kept repeating that she was sorry and rocking back and forth. Tara was really worried, and she cried out for help. I heard her, and managed to calm Willow down. Giles- Willow’s not herself. I don’t know-” Buffy trails off.

“We’ll figure something out,” Giles replies softly, squeezing her hand. “Is Willow here?”

“She’s upstairs in her bedroom. Last time I checked she seemed to be crying more than sleeping, but she wouldn’t talk to me,” Buffy replies, fighting a yawn.

“Go to bed, Buffy. I’ll go check on her,” Giles replies with a soft smile.

------------

Giles enters the bedroom silently, resting on end of the bed. Willow is facing away from him, her breathing deep and rough. Giles remains there, unspeaking and unmoving, until Willow relents and turns to face him.

“I killed him,” she admits, her voice hoarse. She draws a breath, and continues, “Warren. Not quite a man, more like a monster, but a human being, none the less.”

“I know,” Giles replies softly.

“Tara-” Willow’s voice breaks as she tries to explain.

“I know,” Giles interrupts her, his eyes a mix of sympathy and disappointment. “I’m very sorry about what happened to Tara,” he adds.

Willow nods, her eyes tearing yet again.

“Willow, you killed someone using powerful dark magicks. You can’t hide from it, and wait for it to go away. You need to find a way to account and atone for what you’ve done. And you also have Tara to think of. I know you love her, but she needs more than that. She needs to feel safe with you,” Giles tells her firmly.

Willow nods, then turns away from him.

Giles sighs softly, and makes his way to the door.

---------

In her dreams she’s Lady Macbeth, her hands irrevocably stained with blood. Everything she touches becomes tainted with his blood. When she finds Tara crying, she reaches out to touch her cheek and then pulls back, horrified by the bloody mark she leaves. “I’m sorry,” she whispers as she runs from Tara. As her revulsion and self-hatred build, the dark magick is stirred inside of her. The clouds swirl and lightening crackles as she casts spells that she doesn’t even know the words for. The earth splits underneath her, rivers flooding through the cracked earth. The rushing water pulls her under, and she makes no attempt to fight to the surface. She doesn’t deserve the life that air provides.

----
 
 
mood: pensivepensive
 
 
 
leonhart_17: [buffy] willow/taraleonhart_17 on July 18th, 2009 08:38 pm (UTC)
aww that is so heartbreaking! I like the dialogue you kept from the episode but changed the whole premise.

I don't know which is worse - her dying or this...and that's saying something because Tara dying is at the top of the list for horrible sad moments from Buffy...

can't wait to see where you go with this!
Arianillynarianillyn on October 27th, 2010 04:56 am (UTC)
Terribly gripping. The saddest thing to me is that Willow left Tara laying on the ground injured to pursue her vengeance.

Still, people can love each other tenderly and still make bad choices.

Thank you

Ariel