Characters: Tara, Willow, Tara’s family.
Written For: Challenge 22: The Ties That Bind at drabblesoup.
Spoilers/Setting: Just after Family.
Summary: Tara learns the true meaning of family.
Disclaimer: I don’t own BtVS, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Joss Whedon.
A/N: Triple Drabble. For Boris Yeltsin on ff.net.
The ties that bind a family together can be complicated, and they’re not always based on love. After years of being told that she’s a demon Tara’s having to accept that her dad and brother lied to her, all because they wanted her to stay home and take care of them, do the cooking and the cleaning. That’s not love; it’s slavery. That’s what Willow tells her anyway.
Tara has never felt anything like the acceptance she’s found with Willow. She’s always associated family with duty and obedience on her part, tolerance on theirs, rather than love and respect. Her world has been turned upside down and it’s a bit confusing, but not really in a bad way. She doesn’t need to be afraid of herself anymore; her demon side was never anything more than a cruel fantasy created to keep her in line, there was never any truth in it.
Willow says Dad and Donny don’t deserve her and that Tara doesn’t owe them anything except her contempt, but it’s not easy letting go of the past. She’d thought she’d left it all behind by coming to college in Sunnydale, but they followed, intending to take her back with them.
“They have no right to call themselves your family. Everything they did and said was out of selfishness, and that’s not what family is about. Just because you’re related to them doesn’t mean they own you. You don’t belong to anyone but yourself!”
“That’s not true,” Tara tells her, smiling shyly. “I belong to you. Everything I am is yours.”
Family isn’t always about blood relationships; it’s about being there for each other, caring and sharing and supporting, no matter what. It’s about love, and trust, and believing in each other.
Willow and her friends are Tara’s family now.