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"So," Marie began, once they were seated and had glasses of water. Her attention was firmly fixed on Kennedy. "How long have you and my daughter been seeing each other?"

She should have known this -- Tara talked about Kennedy often enough -- but she was enjoying her opportunity to give a (gentle) third degree.



Kennedy had to pause for a moment, but not because the question required tricky math on her part. She was-- and Tara might be able to tell-- actually pretty nervous about this, and had to take a few sips of water to deal with her suddenly very dry throat.

"We're a little fuzzy on the actual, um, anniversary date, but... just about a year and three months now."


"Since right around Thanksgivng," Tara supplied, also sounding a little nervous. She hadn't ever really had anyone to introduce to her parents before. "Uh ... Thanksgiving before this one. But we were friends for ... a while before that."


Marie nodded. "And you're graduating, aren't you, Kennedy? Any idea where you'll go next?"


As if Kennedy had, either-- she'd never dated anyone long enough to get to that point before, and now, after mentioning that particularly impressive span of time, she was half expecting to field a question about what her intentions were.

Which was sort of what this felt like, and her standard answers to the inquiry felt awfully flippant all of a sudden.

"Home to New York, at least for now; that's the general idea," she answered-- still felt way too casual, but at least it was honest? "I'm not really against the idea of moving somewhere else, though."

Oh, god, that sounded so flakey. She almost wanted to slide down in her seat a little bit.


"I always wanted to go somewhere," Marie said wistfully. "I was going to go to San Francisco after high school. But I was dating my husband by then, and well ... "

She glanced to Tara, hand idly running through her red locks.

"Before I really knew what I was getting into, I couldn't leave. You're lucky to have choices. Both of you."


She'd never really thought about it in those terms before-- never really thought about it as luck. In point of fact, Kennedy had always taken her options for granted.

She looked over at Tara for a moment, unsure what exactly to make of that, then nodded once, briefly. "Yeah," she answered in a quiet voice. "I guess we are."

Marie & Tara

"It was a long time ago," Marie said quickly, realizing she'd brought the mood distinctly down. "Not that I'm that old .... yet. What do your parents do, Kennedy?"

Tara looked mortified.


It wasn't as if Kennedy hadn't been thinking along those lines from time to time herself, albeit in a much vaguer fashion.

She shot Tara a look as if to say it's okay, really.

"Dad's a senior VP at an ad firm," she began. "Mom... runs a few art galleries around Europe. She's in Portugal now; kind of haven't seen her since I was nine."

Tara & Marie

"And she has a little sister," Tara piped up. "Jañe."

Marie nodded. "It sounds like they both must be very busy people!" she said, trying for diplomatic. "Does your mother like Portugal?"


"I think she loves it there, yeah." Kennedy traced a fingertip through the condensation on the side of her water glass, smiling wistfully. "Dad's out on a trip, so he couldn't make it, and my stepmom's a little too weirded out by all the, uh, not-so-normal that Fandom has to offer, so now Jañe's all bummed she didn't get to visit."

She flashed Marie a crooked grin. "Mostly I think she wanted to tease me about your daughter forever."


"I can go meet her," Tara offered. "Or ... maybe she'll come out for graduation, just so she gets a chance to tease."


"You sure you want to give her that opportunity?" Kennedy gave them a conspiratorial look. "She can be a really big brat."

Which she'd learned from Kennedy, who was going to let that detail pass without comment.

"So... how do you like Fandom so far, Mrs. Maclay?" she asked instead. "Pretty cool place, huh?"


"It's beautiful," Marie gushed. "I wanted Tara to find a place where she'd ... maybe fit in a little more, but this is beyond what I would have expected. I can guarantee nobody at home gets to go to school in a castle. And it seems like she's doing really well with her magic, too."


"She really, really is," Kennedy replied, pride evident in her voice. "We both decided this was totally the best school we could've ended up at... which, by the way, I'm glad you're here since I've been wanting to thank you for sending Tara here for, like, forever."

Tara & Marie

Tara squirmed a bit in embarrassed pleasure at the praise.

"We got very lucky," Marie said thoughtfully. "There was a letter offering her a place that practically fell in my lap at the right time. I figured summer camp might be good ... and now it's two years later."


Track This
Kennedy reached over to brush her fingertips against Tara's hand in reassurance. "Best luck ever," she answered, tone light but genuine.

"I know you probably miss her a lot, 'cause who wouldn't, but if I think back to how we both were when we first met?" (That was a level of self-awareness Kennedy hadn't really possessed two years ago, by the way.) "It's been really good for us here. I guess part of that is-- you know, not having to talk around all the funky stuff that most people at home pretend doesn't exist?"


"Or if they admit it exists, it's to make us feel like there's something wrong with us for being involved," Marie said wearily. "I could never give up magic, though. It felt like it got passed down for some reason. So ... I did my best."

Though she often wondered if her best had been any good at all.


Anger flashed through Kennedy's eyes for a moment, but she kept any words on the subject of the rest of the Maclay family's attitude toward magic to herself. She used to think her stepmother's weirded-out reaction was bad, but that had been put into perspective by now.

"I'm just guessing here, but I think you did pretty well. And you--" slight emphasis on the word there, suggesting she was giving all credit where it was due, then a fond glance at Tara-- "raised one amazing girl. You know, I never really believed in magic before? And then I came here, and went to check out the magic reserves just to see what it was all about, and that's where I met Tara."


Marie caught the flash of anger, but didn't comment on it. She understood why the whole situation would make someone angry. She herself was mostly just ... old and tired about it.

"Really?" she asked, surprised. "I don't know a lot about the slayer thing, just what Tara mentioned" -- and there went Tara's cue to look guilty for mentioning it at all -- "but I'm surprised you talk about vampires but not about magic. It doesn't make sense."


Kennedy didn't mind; if it had been anyone else she might have, but she kind of liked the idea of being talked about under these circumstances.

"My Watcher was a little biased that way," she said by way of explanation, shrugging. "And it was a little... not so much in the things-I-can-hit category, so I didn't really get it. Can we just say I've learned since then?"


"She really has," Tara said, almost bubbly with relief that she hadn't gotten kicked under the table or anything. "She's the most supportive person I could ever ask for. Ever."


"So what you're saying is that you liiiiike her?" Marie teased. "Is this where I have to ask about her intentions?"


Oh, worst timing ever for Kennedy to take a sip of water; she didn't quite choke on it, but there was a good deal of spluttering when she set her glass down.

...most calm and collected badass ever.

"I--" She cleared her throat. "Are you asking?"


"Now I have to," Marie said with a nod and an aggressively calm sip of her own water. "Tara, don't get so red! It's a perfectly standard question."

Which Marie was enjoying asking more than a standard amount.

"I'm not interested in chasing anyone off with a shotgun, promise."


Okay. She could totally answer this question. Just... she needed a moment to think about it.

Finally, Kennedy took a deep breath and looked squarely at Marie. "I'm not... like you said, I'm graduating soon. And I'm-- we're both seventeen, so there's no really long-term plans or anything." Although she couldn't help, just for a second, thinking about the twins. "I mean, I'm not, like, shopping for engagement rings or checking out the real estate listings. But... Tara's the most amazing person I've ever known, and I love her. I really do, and I'd do anything to make her happy. I want you to know that."


Tara and Marie's eyes both filled with tears, and for that moment they looked very much alike. "And you should know that's all I could ever want for her," Marie said. "Thank you."


"Any time," answered Kennedy, more unguarded and genuine than most people ever got to see her. "And it's really cool that you get to check this place out. I see where she gets the amazingness from, by the way. As much as she's told me about you, I dig that I got to see for myself."

A pause, and a self-deprecating grin, then: "Also? It's kind of a relief to know you're okay with Tara dating a crazy girl like me."


"You're going to need to prove the crazy," Marie said. "A little crazy's good for Tara, anyhow. But she's got a good head. I trust her choices."


"I'm still not over her actually picking me," Kennedy admitted, not even making a comment about how it was an obvious choice because she was just that awesome, or anything like that. "Not complaining, though. Actually? I'm kind of really grateful. Best thing that ever happened to me."


From the look on Tara's face, it was clear the best-thing-everness was a mutual feeling.

[OOC: Preplayed with the splendid [ profile] brat_intraining. NFI, broadcast okay.]
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