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Written for the fifth round of femslash_minis: Tara. I was assigned viciouswishes, who requested Tara/Justine, with no happy ending.

Title: Poison The Beginning
Author: voleuse
Fandom: BtVS/Ats
Ship: Tara/Justine
Rating: R
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: What she dreamed was of disappearing into the seen.
Notes: Set after BtVS 6.19

Justine is used to seeing ghosts.

As she walks past an amusement park, she sees a child standing at the gate, eyes hollow and dark, neck bruised. At the grocery store, she dogs the footsteps of a man with three leaking bullet holes in his chest. And at every corner, every alleyway, they congregate, throats torn, torsos peppered with wounds, festering and old.

Justine is used to seeing ghosts. She is not, however, used to ghosts seeing her.


One morning, she sees a misty silhouette begin to form in front of her. Hoping to avoid another unsightly spectre, she walks quickly forward and through the shadow.

And a female voice exclaims, "Oh!"

Justine stops and turns. Behind her stands a young woman, blonde and slim and surprised.

They stare at each other for a very long time.

Finally, the ghost says, "Um. Hey?"


The ghost's name is Tara. There is a hole through her heart, and a sea behind her eyes.

Justine knows these things, because Tara takes to following her around.

Not in a haunting sort of way, just a comforting one.

Tara apologizes, early on, and asks if Justine minds. "I'm not used to, you know, being a ghost," she explains. "I want to get the hang of it. And you're not scared."

"My own personal Casper," Justine says.

Tara winces.

Justine doesn't apologize, but shrugs. "Do what you want. I don't care."

She doesn't, very much. Tara is quiet, and funny, and not prone to moaning drearily, like some of the other ghosts Justine has encountered.

And truth be told, sometimes she enjoys the company.


One night, Justine asks Tara who shot the gun.

Tara goes silent for a minute, and Justine almost feels sorry about asking.

"I think," Tara says, "it was an accident. He wasn't aiming at me."

Justine doesn't ask anything else about Tara's past, and Tara doesn't ask anything about Justine's.

The silence between them, when Justine goes hunting, tells each enough about the other.


They settle into an amiable companionship, though Justine's sure she looks crazy, to the outside. Always talking and laughing and gesturing to the empty air around her.

Tara mentions it, asks Justine if she's worried about the neighbors.

Justine sloshes a shot of tequila against her tongue. "Fuck them," she enunciates carefully.

And she doesn't give it another thought.


Justine wakes one night, tangled in her sheets and sweaty, echoes of Daniel's voice battering against her skin.

She curses, shoves a hand under the waistband of her boxers. Presses her head back and arches, brings herself off with a rough and ragged groan.

Tara watches her from the foot of the bed. Her face is solemn and sad.

Justine turns her face away.


And one afternoon, Justine wakes from her nightmares with a start, because something is different. Something is changed, and if she hadn't ever seen Daniel leap through--

No. There was a portal. He was going to--

He was--

She shakes her head, because everything is cloudy, and Tara touches her shoulder.

"You okay?"

"Yeah," Justine says, "just felt funny."

Tara's hand is cool against her bare skin, her fingers trace soft circles against her collarbone.

Justine blinks. "You're..."

"Something changed." Tara frowns, gaze turned inward. "There's a ripple around you. A fissure."

She's having trouble thinking. Her entire body is loose, unknitting, except where Tara is touching her.

Justine puts her hand on Tara's, warm to cool, and Tara blushes.

Justine grasps Tara's wrist, pulls her close, and presses their mouths together.

Tara squeaks, but she moves forward, into Justine's lap, and their arms tangle, their legs tangle, and they writhe.

This feels real. This feels real.

This, and the ache in the center of her hand, a throb like bleeding.

Justine closes her eyes, twists until one of her legs fits between Tara's thighs.

Tara's mouth is wet against her breast, and Justine can't breathe.

"What's happening to me?" she gasps, because it's not just pleasure, it's an abyss.

Tara raises her head, puzzled, and her eyes widen as she looks at Justine.

And everything dissolves away.


A/N: Title and summary adapted from Jorie Graham's Orpheus and Eurydice.

Originally linked here and here.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 17th, 2005 06:48 am (UTC)
Oooh, this was lovely. Thank you so much.
Nov. 3rd, 2005 07:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you like it!
Oct. 17th, 2005 03:16 pm (UTC)
Darkly beautiful. The opening reeled me in. I don't know much about Justine, but I do like her as she's portrayed here. Enjoyed this!
Nov. 3rd, 2005 07:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Oct. 17th, 2005 10:19 pm (UTC)
This is really incredible. I love the way you wrote both of them, especially Justine. You capture the darkness around her, but also the less dark side.

I really enjoyed this! Thanks for sharing!
Nov. 3rd, 2005 07:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you like it!
Oct. 29th, 2005 01:30 am (UTC)
Jeez. This is fabulous. Clever, clever little story.
Nov. 3rd, 2005 07:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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