Disclaimer: Willow Rosenberg, Tara Maclay, and all the citizens of Sunnydale are the property of Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy.
Distribution: The Mystic Muse http://mysticmuse.net
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Feedback: Yes please!
Author's Note: This short story was written for the 'Anytime But Here' challenge on the Kitten Board, requiring each submission to be set outside the contemporary period, for Willow and Tara to have careers atypical of them, for the story to involve a notable event, and for a navigational device of some kind to be used.
I'd like to apologize in advance to anyone from Alabama for the unflattering portrayal. I hope Tara makes up for it. And hey, I also made people from Michigan sound clueless! Umm...I'd also like to apologize to anyone from Michigan. And Iowa...just to be safe.
Car, thanks for another fun challenge!
Webhost's Note: Special thanks goes to Chris Cook of Through the Looking Glass, MKF and Artemis for the graphics and source coding. Thanks, Chris!
Summary: Ladies and Gentlemen, the forty-seventh President of the United States of America.
"Willow Rosenberg appeared destined for greatness from childhood. At an age when most children were content to play with Barbie dolls and Tinkertoys, Willow was already reading the Constitution."
Willow's father, Ira Rosenberg, recalls: "We thought she was just coloring in her 'Great Documents in History' coloring book, but she was actually taking notes."
Mom Sheila adds: "I asked her what the different colors meant, and she said the blue was for articles she agreed with and the red was for ones she thought needed work. Can you imagine? She was 6!"
"A shy, bookish child, Willow excelled in school, eventually skipping two grades on her way to becoming, at 16, the youngest valedictorian in Sunnydale High School history. Rupert Giles, her former librarian, remembers her fondly:"
"Ah yes, Willow Rosenberg. She was truly the finest of all of them."
"It was during her high school years that Willow gave up her childhood dream of becoming a florist and began to consider a career in teaching."
Jenny Calendar, Willow's computer teacher: "She definitely had the gift, but she was so dedicated to learning that I think it frustrated her when the jocks she tutored didn't take it seriously."
"When asked by this reporter for his recollection, Percy West, assistant junior varsity boys' basketball coach at Podunk High School and a former classmate of Willow's, had this to say:"
"Rosenberg? That nerd?"
"Willow's tutoring may not have led to a teaching career, but it did offer her vital contacts for her first political aspiration: President of the Student Council. Willow lost that election to cheerleader Cordelia Chase, but would later dismiss it as 'a popularity contest.' Despite her disappointment, Willow made the most of her tenure on the Student Senate, almost single-handedly pushing through the 'Lunchtime Be Damned!" initiative, which allowed students to eat during whichever free period they chose.
Perhaps the most important event that happened to Willow at this time was meeting her future husband, Larry Blaisdell. Though the couple are adamantly private about their personal lives, in a 2007 interview with Larry King, Willow was candid about her childhood sweetheart…"
"We were paired off for a class assignment. You know, when you pretend an egg is a baby? We, um, we discovered we had a lot in common."
"True love was put on hold, however, when Larry accepted a football scholarship to USC and Willow headed north to Stanford, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with degrees in history and political science in three years. Willow returned to Southern California for the summer to rekindle her romance, but the fall would find her in Cambridge, Massachusetts, earning a law degree from Harvard. From there she went to the University of Michigan to complete her formal education with an MBA in 2006. But her heart remained in California, where Larry had taken a job as a creative consultant to David Geffen. Willow had numerous offers from top L.A.- area corporate and legal firms, but chose instead to take a position in the District Attorney's office, where she spent two years before the world of politics again beckoned. In 2008, on the eve of her first bid for Congress, she popped the question. Larry remembers their wedding…"
"It was so beautiful! Willow had on this gorgeous custom designed Vera Wang gown, and the flowers were just fabulous…did you know we both wanted to be florists? Oh god, I'm going to start crying again."
"They honeymooned at the home of friends in Provincetown, Massachusetts, returning after three weeks of wedded bliss to dive headfirst into her campaign. She won against incumbent Richard M. Wilkins by the narrowest of margins, but the grueling race had taken its toll. Larry would spend most of the next four years in Key West, while Willow split her time between Sunnydale, Washington, and her vacation home in rural Alabama.
"In her first Congressional term, Willow advocated a wide array of social programs and anti-discriminatory legislation, but as a freshman Congresswoman, she held little influence in the halls of power. She was reelected in 2010, but again found most of her initiatives stymied. Her push to have Wicca added to a list of protected religions did not even make it to committee. After two terms in Congress, Willow had had enough.
"Her political career might have ended there, were it not for the tragic death of California's beloved Governor Joyce Summers in the midst of her reelection campaign. The Democratic Party tapped Willow in her stead. Running against Sacramento businesswoman Anya Jenkins-Harris proved to be the fight of Willow's career, as both campaigns resorted to increasingly negative 'attack ads.' In one, Jenkins-Harris' husband, a childhood classmate of Willow's, claimed that she had once vandalized school property and pinned the blame on him. Willow adamantly denied the charge, and countered with this now infamous ad:"
"Anya Harris claims she knows what's best for California, despite being raised in Indiana and born in a foreign country. She claims to be 'a decider.' But how decisive can she be when she can't even decide on a hair color? Willow Rosenberg is 100 percent Californian, 100% redhead. Vote for the natural choice. Vote Willow Rosenberg."
"Willow won by a landslide, and news outlets nationwide ran footage of hundreds of voters sporting 'Rosenberg-red' wigs at the polls. With tearful hubby Larry by her side, she took the oath of office. In her first official act as Governor, she signed into law the long-delayed same-sex marriage proposal, which was just one of many accomplishments during her tenure. In addition to passing universal healthcare and expanding the state scholarship program, she also enacted stronger penalties for violent criminals-the so-called 'Warren Mears Law,' after the man who stalked and murdered his ex-girlfriend in cold blood.
"In the summer of 2016, Willow was contemplating a second term when she was again called on by the Democratic Party. Political prodigy Justin Christopher handpicked Willow as his running mate, and the pair became the youngest President and Vice President, respectively, of the United States. In their four years, they not only brokered a lasting peace accord in the Middle East, they also passed the National Marriage Act, allowing same-sex marriage in all 50 states, brought the War on Terror to a successful conclusion, and forced the auto industry to convert to hydrogen fuel cell cars. It was a shock to the entire nation when President Christopher declined to pursue a second term, but no surprise at all when Willow won the November primary by the largest margin in history, defeating her old schoolmate Cordelia Chase by 95% of the vote.
"Willow immediately tagged the well-known software designer and erstwhile rock musician Daniel 'Wolfman' Osbourne as her running mate, but Osbourne was forced to withdraw when scandalous photos of the Wolfman in a compromising position with notorious porn star Veruca were published in the National Enquirer. The question was on everyone's mind: who would Willow choose?"
"Tara Maclay was as unlikely a politician as you'd ever meet. Born and raised in Bensonville, Alabama, population 42-most of whom she was related to-Tara was home schooled by her parents, Doris and Jasper. When Tara was fifteen, her elder brother Donny drowned while performing high dives into a flooded quarry. Haunted by the death of her best friend and protector, Tara was determined to honor his memory by becoming the first person from Bensonville to graduate from college. She earned a degree in environmental science from Jacksonville State University, and won a scholarship to the University of Michigan's prestigious graduate program in Ecosystem Management. After graduating in 2006, she spent two years doing research on the beaches of Southern California, followed by a brief sojourn on Cape Cod.
"In 2008 she returned to Alabama to work for the state forestry service, spending months on end alone, studying the Shoal Creek region of Talladega National Forest. Tara might have remained an unknown Ranger, were it not for a freak hailstorm in the summer of '11 back in Bensonville that sadly took the lives of the entire town, assembled for one of Jasper's bi-weekly 'State of the Village' speeches in the Maclay's front yard.
"Tara reluctantly accepted the title of Mayor, but refused to move back to the deserted town, choosing instead to lease it to the Michigan Womyn's Festival, which had remained homeless following the 2009 realization by Michiganders that the festival was a haven for half naked lesbians.
"Tara felt most at home in the woods, and often found herself acting as nature and tour guide to stray hikers and school groups alike. It was in the winter of 2013 that Tara Maclay became nationally known as 'The Mayor Who Cares,' after bravely battling the elements to find little Carly Watson, who had wandered off on a Girl Scout camping trip, sparking worldwide media interest. Two days later, Tara and Carly walked out of the wilderness and into the nation's hearts! When asked how she'd done it, Tara said:"
"Well, Carly took apart the GPS to figure out how it worked, and the needle on her Official Xena Warrior Princess compass froze. Normally I'd just follow the creek…except for the layers of snow and ice covering it, so I couldn't figure out which way it was flowing. At some point I realized I could hear music off in the distance, and just kept following the sound. So really, that guy that kept blaring 'In-A- Gadda-Da-Vida' for 15 hours deserves a lot of the credit."
"Tara shied away from the spotlight, spending the next six months on sabbatical in Sacramento, California. When she returned home, she found to her surprise that she had won the 2014 Green Party nomination for U.S. senate as a write-in candidate. Despite refusing to campaign, or even accept or reject the nomination, she won the general election in a bizarre race in which the Republican and Democratic candidates were both viewed so negatively that registered voters of all parties rallied around their small town sweetheart. Betty Louise Plotnick had this to say:"
"Them other two fellers was all like 'vote for me, I'm so great,' but Tara acted like she didn't care neither way. I liked that. She's just real people, you know?"
"Despite her initial reluctance, once elected Tara threw herself into the business of government. Over the next six years, she introduced several pieces of legislation, such as the bill to convert cars to hydrogen fuel cells and the National Marriage Act. Her fellow Senators universally praised her dedication. Iowa Senator Riley Finn recalls…"
"She was the hardest working woman on the Hill. I don't mind saying that a lot of us found the Vice President intimidating, but Tara volunteered to act as liaison, and I can't tell you how many late nights they spent poring over every detail of the NMA. She's really something."
"And so it was little surprise when campaign manager Buffy Summers made the announcement that Willow Rosenberg had chosen Tara Maclay as her running mate for this 2020 Presidential election. Concluding a groundbreaking race, Willow becomes the first female President of the United States, and did so in definitive fashion. In addition to taking an astonishing 83 percent of the popular vote, she and Tara won all but 57 electoral votes to defeat Jonathan Levinson and Andrew Wells by the largest margin in United States history. Levinson, looking pale and shaken, conceded a little over an hour ago, and now all eyes are on the Vice Presidential residence, where Willow and Tara have been watching the returns all evening in the company of family and friends. We understand the President-elect will be making a short speech, and we will come back as soon as she does, but in the meantime let's go to Debra, who's live in Austin…"
"They're going to expect your victory speech soon. Maybe we should put some clothes on?"
"Party pooper. I'm the President…I'm invoking my executive right of Tara-snuggles."
"I think I missed that one in civics class," Tara mused, extricating her limbs from Willow's and rising from the rumpled bed. "And since you don't get sworn in until January, does that mean I have to snuggle with Justin?"
"Nuh-uh!" Willow exclaimed, jumping from the bed and embracing Tara from behind. "It's a super top secret executive directive that I'll be enacting right after I take the oath of office."
Tara gave Willow a quick kiss and began dressing.
"Speaking of secrets…where's, um…what are we calling Larry now? First Laddie?"
"The First Beard is probably debriefing his favorite Secret Serviceman," Willow admitted with a grin. She paused with one leg in her slacks and looked up. "On a scale of 'barely raised eyebrows' to 'spontaneous human combustion' how scandalous do you think it would it be if we fessed up?"
"Don't even think about it!" Tara warned, yanking down her turtleneck and making sure it covered the large hickey on her throat. "One of us would have to step down. Besides, why rock the boat?"
"I guess. It just feels weird since we could actually get married now. I want everyone to know you're my First, Last, and Always Lady," Willow said with a pout.
Tara zipped up her skirt and enveloped Willow in a warm hug.
"We've been together for fifteen years, darling. You can wait another eight and write a tell-all book. It'll be huge."
"You mean sixteen years," Willow replied, pulling down Tara's turtleneck to kiss her bruised throat. "Two terms for me, two for you?"
Tara grabbed Willow by the shoulders and pushed her away to make eye contact.
"Don't make me impeach you, Rosenberg. I haven't forgotten the whole 'oh, I'm tired of the D.A.'s office, I'm gonna run for Congress, just this once.'"
Willow sighed dramatically.
"Alright, eight years and we'll let someone else have a shot."
"That's very magnanimous of you," Tara laughed, grabbing her hairbrush off of the dresser and running it through her tangled locks. "Now hurry up; the sooner you get out there and make your speech, the sooner we can get back to our private celebration."
Tara stood and straightened her skirt while Willow hurriedly buttoned her shirt and slipped into her shoes. The pair gravitated together, savoring a deep kiss before walking hand-in-hand out of the room and down the corridor, separating only when they reached the foyer and were joined by Larry, Buffy, Ira, Sheila, a half-dozen Secret Service agents and a small flock of friends and campaign staff. The din of the assembled reporters on the front lawn became a roar when the double doors were thrown open.
A thunderous cheer erupted from the crowd as Willow emerged, blinking against the blinding lights of a hundred flashbulbs. She reached back and entwined Tara's fingers with her own, raising their joined hands in triumph, and as she waited for the noise to subside, Willow leaned towards Tara.
"Do you have any idea how much I want to be kissing you now?"
Tara grinned widely and waved at the crowd before replying.
"If I have to preemptively strike your ass, I will."
Willow regained her composure almost immediately, and only had a brief moment to hope that pictures of herself with her mouth hanging open, staring wide-eyed at her very smug looking Vice President-elect wouldn't appear on the front page of every newspaper in the country the next day.
Buffy stepped up to the podium emblazoned with the Presidential seal.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, the forty-seventh President of the United States of America…Willow Rosenberg!"
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