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(Fic) Two drabbles: 'The Choice of Achilles' and 'Torment'

9th June 2008 (22:06)
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A couple of drabbles, one about Tara and one about Kennedy. For author's notes, see the first comment.

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The Choice of Achilles

When Achilles was young, his mother learned his two possible destinies. A slow grey life, years stretching into emptiness - or passion and anger, early death and glory everlasting. Fearful for her son, she hid him away among the women at court. But there crafty Odysseus found him, and Achilles never hesitated as he grasped the sword.

Tara had never understood his decision. What could ever make such a price worthwhile? But when she read the red-headed girl's aura, saw their futures written there in all their possibilities - in that moment, she understood Achilles' choice. 

And made her own.
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Torment

Kennedy writhed in agony, biting her lip to keep from screaming. The cold white sterility of the room stank of sweat and fear. The masked man spoke, something sharp gleaming in his hands, and she shook her head in frantic denial.

Willow couldn't bear it any longer. She reached out her mind to her lover, begging her to share her pain, let her bear the burden through their link. The torment was worse than any she'd known; but they clung on, riding out each wave, until they crested and broke. A thin wailing filled the room.

"Congratulations. It's a girl!"
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Comments

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th June 2008 21:22 (UTC)
Author's notes
tara

beer_good_foamy's recent drabble about Tara for Open on Sunday reminded me of an idea I had a while back, which became the first drabble. What if Tara had actually seen her life and death written there in Willow's aura, during Hush... would she have shrank back, run and saved her life: or taken the same choice as Achilles, for "passion and anger, early death and glory everlasting"?

For those unfamiliar with the myth, Achilles' mother Thetis tried to shape her son's destiny pretty much as described here, by disguising him as one of the women of the court. But Odysseus needed to get Achilles to fight in the Trojan War, so he went in disguise as a peddlar, and lay out his goods for his customers to see. All the women at court loved the jewellry and clothing and other pretty things; but Odysseus had put a sword in among his goods. Achilles immediately grabbed that, and so his disguise was broken.

He went on to lead a short but passionate and violent life, before dying under the walls of Troy, and is still talked about over 3,000 years later.

As for Torment, it is of course a sequel to my fic 'Matthew 1.23 Except Not', and yes, this is an fpreg story and Willow's the other mother, thanks to magic. What the doctor in his surgical mask was asking is "Are you sure you don't want an epidural?" :-)

I've written so many stories about death recently, I thought one about birth would make a nice contrast.

Posted by: woman_of_ (woman_of_)
Posted at: 9th June 2008 21:40 (UTC)

Great depth, lovely drabbles, so much emotion in so few words

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th June 2008 21:44 (UTC)

Thanks! That's the thing about drabbles; stripping away the dross until only the emotional core remains...

Posted by: The Mezzanine (deird1)
Posted at: 9th June 2008 21:57 (UTC)

Very nice.

I liked the Achilles parallel, particularly.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 9th June 2008 22:09 (UTC)
tara

Thanks! Tara might seem to make an unlikely choice for epic heroine, but given the kind of life her family had planned out for her, I honestly believe she'd see those two years with Willow (and helping to save the world) as the better destiny...

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 9th June 2008 23:18 (UTC)

Awww, to both.

You know, I like the idea. Though I do believe Tara would be smart enough to look for a third option - ie use her knowledge to avoid an early death. She doesn't like messing with natural order, but she's no fatalist. But yeah, I really like the idea.

Also, I just finished A Farewell To Arms yesterday and it's nice to read a delivery that works out OK. ;-)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 11th June 2008 11:20 (UTC)
tara

I thought your last sentence was refering to my artistic delivery until the penny dropped... And while I sort of agree with your other point, it's Willow (and Buffy) who refuse to obey the universe's rules and find get-out clauses...

Thanks!

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 11th June 2008 11:50 (UTC)

it's Willow (and Buffy) who refuse to obey the universe's rules and find get-out clauses

True; I guess it all depends on how set in stone and how detailed the premonition would be.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: 10th June 2008 10:10 (UTC)

Hi,
I really like the idea of Tara reacting that way. I've recently been reflecting about a lost love, a relationship that ended badly. Despite that, like Tara, I wouldn't give that time back for anything.

As for the Kennedy drabble I must admit I had Tara in my mind as well. I can imagine her looking on and being so happy for Willow and Kennedy.

Thanks.

Ray (kerkevik@btinternet.com)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 11th June 2008 11:22 (UTC)
kennedy

I pretty much agree that Tara would be overjoyed that Willow found love with someone else once she was gone.

Thanks!

Posted by: zooeys_bridge (zooeys_bridge)
Posted at: 19th October 2008 00:30 (UTC)

beautiful.

i'm firm in my belief that tara is the type of selfless, silent behemoth who would willingly walk into Willow's world despite the dangers. and in fact, she did.

and you characterized it so wonderfully in just two paragraphs and four words. my hearts all a flutter.

:)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 19th October 2008 19:55 (UTC)
tara

Thank you. ;-)

Ther ewas always a lot of depth to Tara - and given what she thought the rest of her life would be like when she was 18, I can see her choosing to go with Willow even if she knew what would happen...

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