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These Walls

Title: These Walls
Rating: PG-13
Characters: Tara, Willow, Dawn, Kennedy
Pairing: Willow/Tara, Willow/Kennedy
Words: 913
Setting: BTVS between 5/6 and 7

Tara leaned the final cardboard box against the doorframe, trying to adjust it, and adjust her grip to carry it up the stairs. As she stepped into the Summers’ household, she cast a glance to the living room on her left. There was something too ordinary about it- the weird fact that Mrs. Summers died on that couch, and it was still there and she wasn’t. She shook the thought out of her head, hoisted the box onto her hip and carried it up the stairs.

Willow looked up from the box of clothes she was unpacking when she saw Tara stumbling with the heavy box and rushed to catch it.

“Thanks, baby.” The blonde said as Willow managed to get the box over to the bed and plopped it down with a dull thud.

“No problem,” Willow said, resuming her task of emptying the boxes, ten of which were already completely unpacked. Dawn was in the process of flattening them out to take down to the basement.

“This is gonna be great.” Dawn said, flattening another box. The lips of the fifteen-year-old were fixed into a wide grin, but her gaze was vague, distant, and there was a slight hollowness to her voice. “It’ll be like… a big sleepover, and we can make brownies and watch movies and… it’ll be great.” She took a stack of three flattened boxes and flashed the witches a smile before she ducked out of the room.

Tara’s gaze followed her out and watched until she’d gone down the stairs. “Poor Dawnie…” she whispered.

Willow refused to look up from the closet where she was busy putting dresses on hangers. “I’m just… trying not to think about it.” She said. “It’s all making my brain hurt. I mean… there’s… a lot to do right now and we have to unpack and get the Buffybot running and make sure that… that…” she couldn’t think of anything specific but she knew that there was definitely something that needed to be sure of something. With a sigh, she closed the closet doors. “I don’t want to think about my best friend being dead…” She glanced over at Tara, looking her in the eyes. “Everything’s too weird.”

Tara sighed, she hadn’t moved from where she entered the room. “Yeah I get that… the weirdness, I mean.” She wasn’t looking at Willow, she was examining the wallpaper and thumbing at a slight tear in it. “Like this room… doesn’t it feel bizarre, we’re living in Mrs. Summers’s room. It’s where she slept… where she thought… where she did life things… Just think of everything these walls have seen.” She paused, drawing her hand away from the torn paper, not wanting to disturb it. “The walls were hers, her protection… it’s like we don’t belong here.”

“Protection? Not so much. So much crazy stuff happened in here.” Willow said, walking over to a nail in the wall. “Right here,” she said, pointing at it, “she hung this African tribal mask thing, and it turned out it raised the dead and we got attacked by a bunch of zombies during a welcome home party for Buffy.” She paused and looked at the wallpaper that had previously drawn her lover’s attention, “I think that might be zombie damage.”

The light chuckle that followed soon died, leaving the somber air that had previously infected the room. Willow cleared her throat and unpacked fresh sheets from a box and began to make up the bed. Something eerie about sleeping in the sheets a dead woman’d used.

When Dawn had come, retrieved more boxes, and left the room another memory jumped into Willow’s mind. “Oh, when Faith showed up and pulled the switcharoo with Buffy,” she waited for Tara’s nod of remembrance and understanding before continuing, “Well apparently, she came here first and held Joyce hostage and she was all tough older lady and didn’t let the she-bitch intimidate her.” She sighed as she fluffed a pillow, “She was so cool.” With a feeble smile she sat down on the bed.

Finally, whatever glued her to one spot wore off and Tara took up residence next to Willow on the bed.

“You’re right… this room’s seen so much…” Willow mused, turning to look at Tara.

Tara stroked Willow’s hair as she looked around the room. “Do you think we’re cut out for this? Being Dawn’s… well… moms?”

“We have to be.” Willow said. “Dawnie needs us… she doesn’t have anyone left now.” Tears tugged, begging to be spilled, but she did her best to blink them back. “And this is the Mom Room… so I guess it just… comes with the territory… we have to make to make it our place.” No use, the tears were flowing freely now.

Tara leaned closer, hand cupped around the back of Willow’s head, kissing away the tears. The gentle touch cause Willow to melt against her body, letting the sorrow drip away, letting her bask in the warmth that was being right where she belonged.

Willow moaned softly, arms grabbing at the pillow above her head as Kennedy’s trail of hot kisses slipped lower down her torso. Her eyes glanced around the room, half fogged. This room, Buffy’s old room where Willow just happened to sleep.

She let out a sharp gasp as the metal of the tongue ring touched sensitive skin and her eyes shut, thankful that the walls that had seen her with Tara weren’t here to see this.