Author: Kayla Shay
Disclaimer: Don't own Buffy or Smallville, just playing with them.
Series: Leaving Home - Part 2
Note: This is a challenge response for 20 Minutes With Tara and also 20 Minutes in Metropolis (Metropolis comes in to play at the end) at TTH. Also, this is a *true* 20 Minutes in Metropolis fic as I wrote this in Metropolis, Illinois. Visit http://www.roadsideamerica.com/attract/ILMETsuper.html for more info on Metropolis.
Started at 4:30pm CST...
Chloe rushed through the doors to the Torch office. Her mind was set on doing research for the newest meteor freak to appear in Smallville. If all went like usual, she would have a new entry for the Wall of Weird, but a presence in the office brought her up short. “Tara? Is everything okay?”
The older blond practically jumped when Chloe said her name. She had dried tears on her face and her eyes were puffy and red. There was light purple color beginning to appear under her right eye.
When Tara hadn’t responded, Chloe walked over and rested her hand on Tara’s shoulder. She felt the shudder go through Tara as she touched her. Something was seriously wrong. Tara was always quiet and shy, but this, this was not normal.
“Tara, what happened?” she questioned again, in hopes of getting her to talk. It finally worked.
“They-- They kick--ed me out,” Tara stuttered as she choked back a sob. “They said I -- I was a freak.” With that, Tara buried her head in her hands and began crying.
Chloe’s mind went into overdrive. “They? You mean your dad and brothers?”
“Ye—Yes,” Tara responded. “They said,” she paused as if considering rather to tell Chloe, “they said that I wasn’t natural. That I can do things I should-- shouldn't. Said that I -- I was no kin to them.”
Chloe’s mind was split. The reporter in her wanted to learn what Tara could do, why her family called her a freak. Was it a result of the meteors? But the other half saw a friend in pain and didn’t want to make matters worse. “Do you have some place to go, to stay?”
Tara looked up with a light flicker of hope playing on her eyes. “Just-- just my aunt, my mom’s sister, out in California. But-- But I haven’t see her in years and don’t know how to reach her. All-- All I have is what-- what's in the bag.”
Chloe glanced off of to the side and saw the bag stuffed with clothing. She came to a decision at that moment. Her friend needed help and she was going to give it, even if it meant putting her curiosity to the side. Her hand still resting on Tara’s shoulder, she said, “What’s your aunt’s name? We can find her.”
Sometime later, Chloe was standing at the bus station in Metropolis saying goodbye to her friend.
“Here Tara,” she handed the other girl one hundred dollars, “you need this more than I do.”
Tara looked down at the offered money. “No-- no, I can’t take that. You-- You've already done more than enough.”
Chloe smiled at the girl, “You know I won’t take no for an answer.” She then stuffed the money into Tara’s jacket pocket.
Tara looked into Chloe’s eyes. “I can-- can't thank you enough.”
“Last call!” came the shout from the bus driver. “Metropolis to L.A., please board now!”
“Well-- Well… Thanks Chloe. Thanks for everything.” Then Tara shocked Chloe to silence by quickly leaning forward and kissing her on the lips. She lingered for just a moment and then sprinted to the bus.
Chloe stood there, too much in shock to even wave goodbye.
Ended at 4:50pm CST...