She found herself mesmerized by the full pink lips and the way they said her name.
*I�m going to have to respond to her sometime, I guess, I mean, I am responding with the hotness, but she obviously wants something that requires platonic-Willow to speak,* she thought, rambling.
"Willow, a-are you o-okay?"
Shaking off her reverie, and trying to suppress her crimson blush, the red-head smiled unconvincingly and replied, "Yeah, I�m fine. Why?"
Tara canted her head to the side making blonde locks fall in front of her bright blue eyes. Like usual, she didn�t bother to brush them away. "I-I�ve been s-saying your n-name for the p-past few m-minutes a-and you haven�t s-said anything. You�ve just been s-staring at my m-mouth. I�m n-not drooling, a-am I?" she asked, her voice soft, as if she didn�t want to intrude on the air.
The way her friend looked right then set Willow�s heart a-hammerin� in her chest. "Uh, no, you�re not drooling, I�m just tired, you know, from that whole lack of sleep thing, so I�m just gonna leave now, get some sleep I think and try to not succumb to the lack of sleep thing again, you know so I�ll be leaving now-"
Tara reached out and grabbed the red head�s slender arm as she tried to bolt for the door. "A-Are you s-sure you�re o-okay? You f-feel hot... M-Maybe you�ve g-got a f-fever?"
*Damn right I do...but I�m not ill, I�m just in love...* Willow thought as she replied, "Oh, yeah, I�m fine, just, uh...PERIODIC! That�s it, I�m PMSing and tired and hot flashy and stuff, so I�m just gonna go now." Before she could stop herself, she turned and placed a soft kiss on the blonde�s cheek. Tara was so surprised that she let go of Willow�s arm. When the door to her room closed, she raised her hand to caress the lingering tingly warmth of the spot where Willow kissed her. She stood there for several minutes, unwilling to break the spell of whatever possessed the red-head to display such much-desired affection.
Willow flogged herself mentally for her little slip. *Damn it, Wills, get a hold of yourself. How are you going to explain that to her?* Her head was down and her brow creased in thought as she made her way from Tara�s building to the dorm room she shared with Buffy.
*Okay...so I�ve kissed her. No biggie. Friends kiss friends all the time. But, Gods, she smelled good. No, no...don�t want to be thinking about her smell. It�s like vanilla with a smattering of cinnamon...and so totally edible... Stop it, Willow,* she thought, walking without incident into Stevenson and heading to her room.
*Enough�s enough, Willow. You�ve faced off with daemons and vamps and rats and Alternate You, so I think you can handle a little crush on a girl. A teeny, tiny crush on a beautiful, charming, sincere, down to earth, adorable, cute, funny, sexy, tempting, seductive, wonderous...okay, maybe not so teeny tiny, but you�ve had crushes before, unrequited love and all that, you can deal with this.*
Willow put down her books and backpack and flopped onto her bed in exhaustion. *Okay...so I�m kinda gay. Big deal. Things could be worse...I could be getting it on with Giles.* The red head shuddered, then grabbed a composition book from her bedside table and turned onto her stomach, opening it where she kept the pen that kept her place in her journal. She flipped through the pages, scanning her past for a clue to her future, then sighed and returned to the point where her pen had stilled to continue writing.
"When did THIS start? I mean, I just flipped through my journal, hoping to get some insight about when it was that I started to have these feelings and thoughts about Tara. The only thing I can come up with is that it started with the so-called Wicca group...otherwise known as �The Day Willow and Tara Met.�
"Have I loved her
Willow stopped writing and stared at that fragment of a thought.
"Have I loved her
She blinked. *Did I really write that? Do I love her?* she thought. Willow ran her fingers gently over the indentations made by her ballpoint pen and smiled.
"Wow. I guess I really did write that. I love her. It feels good to say it, well, write it. Especially good to think it. I love her...so what am I going to do about it?"
*What AM I going to do about it...?*
Willow sat up, put the pen back into her journal and closed it, then stood. She grabbed the journal, her dorm key and slipped her shoes back on before heading out the door to go back to Tara�s room.
"Whoa, resolve face. Is everything okay, Will?" asked Buffy as she crossed paths with the determined witch in the hall. She was heading to their room to drop off her things before going to the Magic Box.
"Yeah, everything�s fine. I�m not gonna be able to make it to the meeting today...you think you could fill me in later?" Willow asked.
The Slayer nodded. "Sure, no problem."
The red head smiled then started walking again. "Great! Thanks, Buffy!"
"Bye, Will," the Chosen One said to her friend�s retreating back. She was puzzled, but figured that her friend would talk to her about it later. Buffy shrugged slightly and headed to their room.
Willow noticed that people gave her a wide berth as she crossed the quad towards Tara�s building. *Resolve face must work on EVERYONE...* she thought.
The closer she got to the blonde�s dorm room, the more she had to will her legs on. *Maybe if I look at myself in the mirror while I have resolve face on, I can make myself more resolved to do the thing I got so resolved about in the first place.*
Before she knew it, she was outside Tara�s door. *Ooh...distraction. I have to remember that,* she thought as she positioned herself to knock. She could hear Kate Bush�s strikingly beautiful voice through the thin door, wishing to make a deal with God. Willow breathed slowly to steel herself, putting super extra resolve face on, the resolve face reserved for getting Buffy to stay home one night from patrol to heal or to make sure there were no anchovies on her half of the pizza.
One last exhale and she raised her hand and knocked on the door. A few seconds later, Kate Bush was turned down and the door opened to reveal the blonde, her eyes puffy and red, presumably from crying. Her surprise at finding Willow there was surpassed only by her surprise at finding Willow pushing past her into her room. The red head tossed her notebook onto the bed, then wrapped Tara in a very warm, very welcome embrace.
"What�s the matter? Are you okay? What happened? Why didn�t you call me?" came Willow�s curious onslaught. Tara was taken aback the first time the red head showered her with so many questions, but she soon learned that when she does that, it means she really cares for you.
"Oh, g-geez...it�s, uh...don�t w-worry about it," the blonde replied, wiping away tears with the sleeve of the fluffy gray sweater she was wearing. Willow held Tara at arm�s length to study her eyes.
"Of course, I�m going to worry about it. I don�t want my Tara crying," she said.
The blonde smiled slightly. "Your Tara?"
Willow�s eyes widened, but this had to be done. No more waiting. She guided Tara to sit on the bed, then she stood in front of her, lifting the journal into her arms. "I want you to read something, okay? And I don�t want you to say anything until you�re finished. This might seem a little odd, but I don�t know what else to do. If I were more experienced then maybe, but I�m not-"
The blonde pressed her fingers to Willow�s mouth to silence her. "W-What do you want m-me to read?"
Willow smiled, then opened her journal and flipped backwards through the pages until she came to the page that detailed the day she and Tara met, then she handed the notebook over. "From here."
The blonde nodded and scooted back on her bed to get comfortable. Willow stepped backward and sat Indian style on the floor by Tara�s desk. She watched the blonde read through her life, giggling, frowning...just about every emotion rippled across Tara�s face as she read Willow�s thoughts. Finally, her face became unreadable as she read the current day�s entry. The red head took notice right away and her heart sunk. She turned her head away, unable to look at the friend she�d lost, yet unable to stand and leave.
Slowly, Tara closed the journal, then climbed off her bed and crossed to kneel in front of Willow, the notebook in her hand.
Her voice was like a siren�s call. The delicate red head could no more ignore that voice than Buffy Summers could ignore her calling.
"Willow, please...don�t shut me out now."
Gradually, she brought her emerald green eyes up to look into shimmering sapphire. She was expecting to see hate and disgust, but instead found love, whole-hearted and genuine, reflected back at her. Willow smiled.
"You don�t hate me?" She had to be sure.
"Of course not. I can�t hate what I love..."
They stayed that way for a few minutes, staring into each other�s eyes, unwilling to move for fear of breaking the spell or waking up. Finally, Tara opened the journal to the last used page and grabbed a pen from her desk and wrote something. She handed the pen and notebook to Willow and waited.
The red head strained to read the small handwriting, which said: I want to kiss you, but don�t know how to start this.
Willow smiled and wrote: Me either...but all I�ve dreamed of since we met was kissing you so I suppose we should start from the lips.
She handed the pen and notebook back to Tara and waited. A moment later, the blonde handed the notebook back to her. She�d written Okay. Willow looked at her and smiled, then closed the notebook and put it aside. Slowly, the red head inched forward, her eyes closing of their own accord. She wanted to keep them open to experience every single sensation that she could, but it was no use. *Besides, maybe there will be other kisses with her to try to keep my eyes open for...*
The two girls giggled after Willow accidentally knocked their foreheads together. Her eyes remained closed...Tara�s draw was too much for her. She kissed the tip of the blonde�s nose and fought hard to think: *Okay...nose is below forehead so mouth must be below nose...*
As soon as lips touched lips, both girls hummed their appreciation. It was like fine silk sliding against even finer silk. It was warm, enveloping, and all-consuming as they breathed each other in and exhaled their fears away. Growing bolder, a smile blooming on her face, Willow pressed her lips a smidgen harder against Tara�s, reveling in the softness. Before the red head could try to press on, the blonde took Willow�s bottom lip between her own.
Tara wrapped a hand around the back of the red head�s neck, pulling her in closer. Willow, in an attempt to do the same thing, lost her balance and toppled forward on top of the blonde. Shocked green eyes opened and looked into happily bemused, darkening blue. Willow noticed the flush that started below Tara�s sweater and coloured her cheeks and wondered if she looked the same. The red haired Wiccan hardly noticed the fact that in an attempt to become more comfortable as she lay atop Tara that she was straddling the blonde�s hips. Nor did she notice that Tara didn�t seem to mind at all...because she didn�t.
"What�s the matter?" Tara whispered, noticing a shift in Willow�s energy.
"How do I know when too far is too far? I don�t want to damage what we have or what we could have or anything and I love you so much that I can�t see anything else."
"I�m not sure, but I can tell you this...you don�t have to worry about damaging us. We�ll be going through this together..." Tara responded. Willow closed her eyes again and leaned her forehead against the blonde�s.
"I want this, I want you, more than you could ever imagine," she said.
Tara gave Willow a half-smile that was hers and hers alone and purred. "I have a very good imagination, love..." Haltingly, unsure in her actions, the blonde put her hands onto Willow�s thighs. She jumped at the warmth that poured through her jeans where the blonde touched her, realizing how they were situated, but just as quickly settled down, liking where she was, thank you very much.
A few moments passed and Tara and Willow spent them looking at each other. Slowly, the blonde started to sit up and, reluctantly, the red head moved to get off her, but Tara held her there. As they rose, Willow became more and more aware of the fire that was between them and how bloody hot she was. She took off her sweater and Tara gave her an unsure look, her cheeks blushing a deeper crimson than Willow thought possible.
"No, no...Tara. It�s just that I�m hot. We�re not doing anything we�re not ready for," the red head reassured as she tossed her sweater aside.
Tara nodded and said, "That�s the reason why I sat up...I want to get this sweater off." She reached down and started to tug at the waistband of the sweater, pulling it up over her head. When her face was hidden, she smiled widely and pretended to get stuck.
"Hey, uh, Willow...a little help here?"
The red head could hear the mirth in her friend�s voice, but played along. She grasped the sweater and tugged it off the rest of the way. When Tara�s head reemerged from the gray cocoon, her hair spilled all around her face and her expression was loving and inviting, that tingle inducing half-smile on her face. Tara�s hands and arms weren�t quite free of the piece of clothing and the red head used that to her advantage, pressing herself against Tara and kissing her. She passed her tongue lightly along the blonde�s upper lip.
Tara hardly needed the prompting before she accepted the red head�s tongue in her own mouth. Both women nearly passed out, the connection was overwhelmingly strong. Willow pulled away and tugged the sweater the rest of the way off, then threw it next to her own.
For the next few hours, Willow and Tara sat on the floor of the blonde�s dorm room, talking, kissing, and exploring, pulling back when their hormones threatened to take over yet pushing forward, needing the warmth of each other�s souls. The red head kept nodding off, no matter how hard she fought to stay awake, and finally, the two of them stood, pulled the blankets back on Tara�s bed, then snuggled together, limbs, hearts and souls entwined.
The last words through both their minds were "Just as it should be."