Episode 10: Through a Glass Darkly
Willow and Tara are preparing for a special dinner with Willow’s parents, Ira and Shelia. Bob has been trying to get them back on “the mission”, but has agreed that at the moment they don’t have any information on where to continue. Cordy is off in northern California looking for other witches that might know more about the Awakening. Not wanting to wait around to see this domestic scene (and maybe a little uncomfortable with the connotations of what the dinner means) Bob offers to spend some time shaking down the any supernatural locals that might be left over.
The girls spend some time discussing exactly what this dinner does mean and what it means to them. Willow was introducing Tara to her parents, not as her “friend” or even as her “college rebellion or experimentation”, but as her lover, the woman she wants to spend the rest of her life with. This of course has made Tara nervous to make sure everything is perfect. Willow is nervous not because of that, but because she wonders what then the next step has to be for them.
Willow attempts to engage Tara in a conversation about what their future is going to be, will they stay here, where should the live, what should they do. Tara is too busy frantically getting dinner ready. She was making sure everything was Kosher, using new pots, pans and kitchen utensils. Tara panics when she discovers the wine they have for cooking is not a Kosher one. Willow tells her not to worry about it, they had another wine, but Tara insists on running out to the store to get more. Willow says she wants to stay home and look up something. Tara runs out to the store.
Willow spends some time researching various topics, mostly anything about witches, historical or otherwise but ends up on the website about gay marriage in Massachusetts. There came a knock at the door. Followed by Tara’s “Hello?” Willow went to the door, shouting out to “come on in”. Tara replied back that she can’t. Willow mentioned that she was only supposed to get wine, not a bunch of stuff. Willow opened the door to and Tara is just standing there. She smiled at Willow, saying “thanks, I needed you to do that.” She vamped out and attacked Willow.
Tara (real Tara) walked into the house (they are staying at the Summers’). The door was wide open and she started calling for Willow. Willow said she was upstairs. Tara went upstairs and saw Willow sitting on the stairs. She was holding a towel to her neck, she had been bleeding. Tara freaks out and asks what happened. Willow indicated that what happened was currently in the bathroom puking her guts out. Tara tentatively walked into the bathroom to see herself doubled over the toilet throwing up blood. The vampire Tara looked up at her and said “oh great, you too.”
Tara freaked out and runs back to Willow, who is fine, mostly. Vampire Tara left the bathroom, she looked awful. Willow tells Tara that she accidently invited Vampire Tara in and she attacked her. As soon as she bit her though, she began to retch, claiming her blood was “all wrong”. Vampire Tara looked at Tara and said that hers was the same. Willow, still sitting on the stairs, said that she was here for something. Something she needed them for. Tara asked if she (VT) had said that, Willow (surprised) just said she knew.
Vampire Tara talked to Willow and Tara, now in the kitchen, and told them she wanted something and her spell somehow brought her here. Tara asked her doppelganger what she was looking for. Vampire Tara looked to both girls and said “Willow” or rather her Willow, the one that made her into a vampire. She had been staked, but she wanted her back. Tara began to explain how you couldn’t do that and her spell must have backfired and brought her here instead. Willow had been silent this whole time. She had cleaned up and was using a glamour to hide her neck.
She finally said that they would help Vampire Tara, which surprised both Taras. Willow says she knows of a spell. But they will have to go to LA to get it. Tara said they shouldn’t do it. Willow said that they have too. Tara asked to speak to Willow in private and argues that Willow’s parents are showing up in less than an hour they can’t do anything between now and then. At that point Robert appeared in the kitchen, seeing Tara and Vampire Tara, Robert rushes over to protect the girls. Vampire Tara saw Bob and vamped out, saying “I killed you! What are you doing here!” The two supernaturals were getting ready to attack when Tara tried to get in between them. Bob was demanding that they kill Vampire Tara, Vampire Tara was vamped out and trying to get to Bob. She looked over to Willow and said “Willow! Help me!”and Willow stood and walked over to Vampire Tara.
Everyone calmed down to a stalemate. Tara was starring at Willow in confusion. Vampire Tara laughed a bit and said “I didn’t get her blood, but I got enough of my salvia into her system to make her a thral. Oh it will wear off soon, but long enough for me to get what I came here for.”
Tara agreed to find the book needed to bring back Vampire Willow. Bob would go with her. Willow would stay with Vampire Tara as insurance. If Bob and Tara are not back by midnight (now almost 5 hours away) she was going to kill Willow and vamp her.
Tara called Cordy, who showed up, and orbed them to LA.
Vampire Tara turned to Willow and asked seductively what they were going to do with all that time? Willow told her matter of factly that she needed to change because her parents were going to be there in less than an hour for dinner.
Tara, Bob and Cordy ended up in a underground cavern in LA. Using the maps from Willow’s research Tara broke into a run. Bob and Cordy followed her.
Willow had Vampire Tara change clothes, and was telling her that she was going to behave herself for her parents tonight or the deal was off. Willow told Vampire Tara that she agreed to this not because of the vampire thral but something else. She knew the loneliness that she was feeling, the loss, and would do what she could to help her, but vampire Tara had to help her in turn.
Ira and Shelia showed up, bringing wine. Dinner began, Willow was nervous and quiet. Shelia kept talking and to everyone’s surprise Tara was quite chatty.
After dinner conversation began. Shelia though could not help but comment that Willow needed to think of her future, what she planned to do with her life. Shelia wandered over to the computer in the living room and saw the website open on gay marriages. Shelia asked Willow if that is what she really wanted and that is she wanted to do. She continued on about how sure, she was young and her time with Tara was exciting, but sometime she would have to grow up. Shelia asked her if she ever wanted to have children?
Tara finally had enough and defended Willow to Shelia. Telling her that she loves Willow and that is all they need.
Tara, Bob and Cordy worked their way to a temple. Inside there were scores and scores of vamps all on their knees chanting before a mummified figure. The figure stood up and beckoned them all closer. Cordy exclaimed “oh crap. A Lich.”
Tara demanded to know were the book they needed was. She used her nascent mage abilities (and a drama point) to set the kneeling vampires on fire. The Lich turns to her and tells her “that was very rude.”
Back at the dinner, Vampire Tara and Shelia are still arguing. Vamp Tara breaks down and tells Shelia how much Willow meant to her how she saw her when no one else did and how she took a shy, timid girl and made her into a strong woman and in the process did the same for herself. She said they were soulmates. Argument over, Ira agrees it is time they should go and maybe they would like to have breakfast in the morning.
They leave, and Willow goes back to Tara, still in the dinning room. She asked her if she had meant everything she had said and Vamp Tara said yes. She told Willow that without her, without her Willow, she didn’t see the reason to go on. She lifted her head and vamped out and said, “so if I can’t have her, I’ll have you.”
Tara (again the real one) was facing off with the lich. He called her a curiosity, that he had not seen her kind in a thousand years. She asked about the tome. He said he had it. She asked him if she had to fight him for it. He said, “No.” To everyone’s surprise. He told Tara he would give her the spell she wanted, for a small token, that one day she or her offspring would owe him a favor that he could call upon. Cordy and Bob told her not to do it. But Tara was desperate. She agreed. He asked for her hands. She brought them out and placed the spell parchment in them. She turned to go and he grabbed her wrist. His hand were strong and cold as iron. He left a black circle on the inside of her left wrist. A mark that would stay with her till she paid her debt.
Taking the spell Tara went back to Bob and Cordy and they orbed out.
Back at the house Willow had Vamp Tara on the other side of the table trying to keep it between them. The other orbed in with the spell. Vamp Tara calmed down.
Tara and Willow embraced and she gave Willow the spell. Reading it quickly she told vamp Tara they needed something of Vampire Willow’s. Vampire Tara goes to her duster and pulls out a pair of panties. Which gets looks from everyone. Vampire Tara corrects herself and says that her Willow hardly ever wore those and gives them a pair of padded bondage cuffs instead. Vampire Tara changes back into her regular clothes and Willow and Tara prepare the spell. (at this point my Willow player hands me a note).
They draw a circle in the basement and begin the spell. The spell is complex and even with Willow and Tara both reading it it takes some time. At one point Willow begins a secondary incantation, Tara keeps reading.
There is a flash of lightning and thunder. A rift appears that gathers itself into the shape of a woman. Another flash and the blackness becomes the naked form of Vampire Willow, pulled out of time and space. Vampire Tara runs over to her, putting her duster around her asking her if it is really her. Vampire Willow, confused, only looks up asnd said “you found me!”
Vampire Tara and Willow looked at their human counterparts and said “we don’t know how to repay you. Oh. Wait. Yes we do.” and they vamped out. They told the human girls that they were going to kill them and take their places in this new world. Tara gets ready to attack, but Willow says wait (and tosses me another Drama Point). Approaching Vampire Willow and Tara double over in pain and begin to scream. They fall to the ground while magical auras form around them. Soon they stand asking what they hell did they do. Though it is obvious. Willow had re-ensouled them both. Not needing the focus since they were soulmates they acted as each other’s focus. Willow told them they were not cursed, they could be happy together, just as long as they didn’t kill anyone and they stayed out of each other’s ways.
New unlife at hand Vampire Willow and Tara drive off into the night in Bob’ Thunderbird (much to Bob’s chagrin). Tara tells Willow that her spell was amazing and Willow tells Tara getting the time and space spell was also fantastic. She asked Tara how she got it so fast, and Tara promises to tell her some time.
The next morning Willow, Tara, Shelia and Ira all have a much more pleasant breakfast at the Rosenberg’s. Shelia tells Tara that her words last night really touched her and she would be proud to have Tara in her family.
They are leaving and Willow promises her mom that she will not be so much of a stranger anymore and that she is happy to bring Tara over. Shelia tells her Ira really likes Tara, but could not help but think she was a vampire!
Notes: Ok bit of a shift here. Less action and more drama. My Willow player had the idea from the start to re-ensoul Tara and Willow when she had the chance. She planned it well and paid me enough drama points to do it.
Tara’s player played both Tara and Vampire Tara. Which was a lot of fun.
I was beginning to lose my group here, so the big magical battle with Magnus (the lich) was scrapped in favor of the more horrific Faustian deal. Also my Willow player had to play Cordy in this session too.
No overt allusions to the Awakening except at the very beginning. I wanted to focus on characters here.
Giving up the Thunderbird was a spur of the moment idea by my Tara player. They felt they could teleport via the Ghosts of Albion spell to anywhere they really needed to go. I revisited them in my WitchCraft adventure "Vacation in Vancouver" they had joined the supernatural night life there and basically enjoying the hell out of themselves. They had not killed anyone, but had plenty of willing volunteers to give them the blood they needed.
Tara’s debt is not dealt with anytime soon, but becomes a major plot point for the next season.
The title is an allusion to Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s book In a Glass Darkly that gave us the first lesbian vampire tale “Carmilla”. As well as the Through the Looking Glass website, a site dedicated to all sorts of alt-reality Willow and Tara fics. http://www.uberwillowtara.com/
Next up: The girls come into their full power, but they might not be able to deal with it. Plus the Witches’ Committee is back and they are not happy about getting a depowered Amy and Beth instead of Mages Willow and Tara.