AN: Here's an Easter present for everyone who celebrates. If you don't celebrate, just enjoy this story about our two favorite girls! Please read and constructive criticism is always welcome. I apologize for any mistakes. Tara's thoughts are italicized. Thank you! ~ThatsWTLoveBiotch
Tara watched as a small redhead in a green plaid dress walked up the stairs of the school, stopping to talk to a brown haired boy on the way.
She walked into school with the rest of the kids as the first bell rang.
"Better not be late on my first day of school. Mom warned me not to get in trouble." Tara mumbled to herself, quiet enough that no one else could hear.
She met a girl named Cordelia in her first period history class and shared a book with the girl.
"If you're looking for a textbook of your very own, there's probably a few in the library." Cordelia suggested to Tara as the bell rang and they both stood up.
Tara and Cordelia walked out of class together and passed the water fountain on the way to the library.
There's that girl from outside school. The same beautiful red hair and innocent look on her face.
"Willow! Nice dress! Good to know you've seen the softer side of Sears." Cordelia snickered at the nerdy girl.
Hey! I think her dress looks very nice on her.
Willow looked nervously at Tara, as if she was in the way. Tara's eyes pleaded to Willow silently not to think she was friends with Cordelia. She would much rather spend time with Willow than this super bitch.
Willow insecurely spoke up, "Oh, well, m-my mom picked it out."
Tara winced at the stutter in the girl's speech. She too used to struggle with a stutter and knew how embarrassing it could be.
She kind of makes it sound cute though. Maybe I can help her out of it with time. Let her feel comfortable around me so she doesn't stutter anymore.
Cordelia rolled her eyes and stared at Willow again. "No wonder you're such a guy magnet. Are you done?"
Willow glanced down at the water fountain and then back up at Cordelia. "Oh!"
Then, she was gone. Running off toward the double doors on the other end of the hallway.
Wow. How do I always manage to make friends with the people I don't want to be friends with, but I can't be friends with the people I want to be friends with. Tara internally sighed at her ability to choose all the wrong friends.
"You wanna fit in here, the first rule is: know your losers. Once you can identity them all by sight, they're a lot easier to avoid." Cordelia looked pointedly at Tara, as if she was forcing Tara to become a member of her clique.
Tara glanced down the hallway where that beautiful redhead disappeared to and saw Willow look back at her before rushing off down the hallway again.
"Look, I don't know how they run things around here, but where I'm from, it's considered bitchy to be rude to people. If fitting in here means being nasty to everyone considered 'low man on the totem pole', I certainly don't want to fit in."
Cordelia looked as if she had been slapped by Tara's words. "I can tell you really don't care about fitting in around here. You just committed social suicide."
Tara rolled her eyes and started walking toward where Willow disappeared to.
What did I just do? I stood up for a beautiful, insecure girl that's what I did.
Tara spotted Willow outside eating lunch out of a brown paper sack and closed her eyes, taking a deep breath before she approached the girl.
Tara tapped her on the shoulder and her inside melted as the girl swung around and looked at her.
God, she's beautiful.
"Uh, hi! Willow, right?" Tara asked, sitting down beside the redhead.
"Why? I mean hi! Uh, did you want me to move?" Willow panicked, frantically looking around and starting to collect her things.
Tara put a hand on the girl's shoulder so she would stay sitting. "Why don't we start with, 'Hi, I'm Tara!' and uh, then let's get straight into me apologizing to you."
Willow gave a confused glance at Tara, unsure as to why this girl she thought she had just met was apologizing to her.
"I was with Cordelia when you were at the water fountain. She was kind of mean to you and you don't deserve that. I stood up to her after you left. She deserves to be knocked down a few pegs." Tara explained, trying to resist the urge to reach out and stroke the beautiful red hair blowing in the wind.
"Oh. I'm sorry I didn't recognize you. And thanks for that, but it's fine. Cordelia is mean to everyone, not just me." Willow looked down at her own hands, which were nervously fidgeting.
Tara stood back up, which Willow inferred meant Tara didn't want to stay in her company. She sadly looked down at the ground and said in a miserable voice, "Well I guess I'll see you around."
"Yeah. I promise you will. I have to do something quick, but can we meet back up tomorrow?"
Willow's head shot up at Tara's words. "Wait. You actually want to spend time with me?" Willow spoke slowly so her own mind could process the information.
Tara's eyebrows furrowed in confusion as to why nobody else would jump at the chance to spend time with this amazing, beautiful girl.
I don't care how long it takes, I'm going to prove it to this girl that she's special.
"Of course, Willow. I'll see you tomorrow." Tara waved goodbye to the red headed girl as she walked back toward the school building.
Willow finished her food quickly and went inside. She was working at the library this afternoon to cover for Giles and she didn't want to be late.
Willow was working at the desk when Tara walked in and went up to the counter.
"Hello? Is anybody here?" Tara called into the library, not noticing Willow crouched down below the desk.
Willow stood up quickly when she heard Tara's voice and smiled shyly.
"Ooh! Anybody's here!" Tara and Willow both laughed and the redhead blushed.
"Can I help you?" Willow asked, trying to act as professional as she could.
"I need Perspectives on 20th Century-"
Tara was cut off as Willow squealed and ran around her desk into the mass of books on the shelves. She walked up the stairs to the back room and grabbed the book, scurrying back to Tara.
"Oh. You must know where everything is, huh?" Tara joked, not expecting the answer she got from the shy girl.
"Well, yeah." Willow admitted, embarrassed at how nerdy she was, "I don't have many friends and I have a lot of free time, so the library is like my second home."
Tara gave Willow a friendly smile and waited as Willow checked out the book. "Name please?"
"Oh. Tara Maclay."
I thought she knew. It feels like I've known this girl forever, I guess I forgot I just met her this morning.
Willow smiled sheepishly as she handed Tara her book. Their hands connected and both girls took a sharp intake of breath at the spark they felt pass through each other.
Tara picked up the book and started walking out of the library before quickly rethinking her decision to leave and walking back to Willow.
"Hey. What do you say we go to the Bronze tonight? You know, to get to know each other. Cordelia told me about it and she said it was pretty cool." Tara smiled widely.
Willow have an apologetic look and hung her head. "I'm sorry. I was planning on staying in and doing someone else's homework."
Tara laughed, thinking it was a joke. Tara's giggle made Willow even more insecure about herself, mistaking it for Tara laughing at her.
When Tara saw Willow didn't crack a smile, she quickly realized it wasn't a joke. She laid her hand on top of Willow's and again felt the spark.
"I'm sorry. I thought it was a joke. Who's homework are you doing? Other than your own, I mean."
Willow sighed, "A kid named Percy. Snyder said I had to tutor him in history, which Percy took to mean do his homework for him."
Tara frowned. "That's not fair. What if I came over to your house and helped you do his homework and then if we have time left, we can go to the Bronze?"
Willow's smile lit up the room and Tara couldn't help but smile back.
"That sounds good. Can I get your number so I can tell you where my house is or give you directions or maybe just so we can even make plans because I have to make sure my parents are okay with it but they are hardly ever home anyway so it shouldn't be a problem but sometimes if I don't ask things they get mad and I really see this friendship going somewhere and I want you to-"
Tara cut Willow off by jokingly starting to walk away from the small girl.
Willow squealed and yelled for Tara to come back to her when she saw the blonde turn to walk away.
"Calm down, Willow." Tara wrote her number on a slip of paper and handed it to Willow. "Call me when you can."
Willow smiled and blushed. "Sorry about the babble."
Tara laughed and shook her head. "It's fine. We are studying sentence structure in my AP English class and that's a good example of a run-on so thank you."
Willow gasped and squeezed Tara's hand. "You're in AP English? Me too! We can study together! Only if you want though."
"Of course I want." Tara took her hand away from Willow's grasp and raised her book. "I have to go read this. But we'll talk tonight."
Willow nodded her head resolutely and smiled at the ground.
She's so beautiful. Studying could be fun, right? I bet her concentration face is cute. Okay, Tara. You have to calm down. No need to Willow-babble.
Tara jumped over the couch and grabbed her phone from its spot on the floor where it was charging when she heard it ring.
"Hello?" Tara answered trying to sound as calm as she could, not wanting Willow to know she just ran through an obstacle course of furniture to get to her.
"Hi. It's Willow. Uh, from school." Willow's shy voice came through Tara's end.
"Hi! So... are we on for tonight?" Tara hoped with everything she had in her that she could see Willow tonight.
Tara heard grunting on the other end of the line that made her heart stop.
Oh God! She's not doing what I think she's doing is she? Of course not!
"Um, Willow? You still there?"
Willow gasped and answered back breathing heavily, "Oh. Yeah. Still here. And I already did Percy's homework real fast so we could go to the Bronze tonight right away. I didn't think you'd want to spend the night in."
Tara was glad when Willow stopped herself from a babble, not knowing how to stop a babble over the phone.
"Either one is good with me. But if you want to go to the Bronze, I can walk to your house and pick you up. Is 7 okay?"
Tara heard another grunt before Willow answered back. "Oh yeah ok. I have to go. Talk to you later, Tara."
"Wait! You didn't give me your address. How am I supposed to know where you live?" Tara shouted quickly to keep from Willow hanging up.
Willow gave Tara her address and quickly hung up after saying goodbye for the second time.
Okay that was odd.
"I guess I'll ask her what that was all about later. Now I need to go take a cold shower." Tara mumbled to herself.
Why did Willow's grunting get me all hot and bothered? Was it because I was imagining her all sweaty and groan-y beneath me? Or maybe on top of me. She would be beautiful either way.
Tara washed her body in the shower, thinking of Willow the whole time she lathered her breasts and nether parts.
Tara dressed in a red shirt and leather jacket with a pair of dark, butt-hugging jeans. She walked to Willow's house and rang the doorbell exactly at 7 o'clock.
Willow answered the door with a disheveled look on her face, hair flung out on all sides of her face. She was wearing a dark blue sweater which contrasted nicely with Tara's red.
Tara gave Willow a goofy smile and motioned toward Willow's hair. "Not that it doesn't look good on you, but what happened to your hair?"
Willow laughed and straightened her hair out around her. "Oh. My printer was jammed and I had to rip all the paper out of it. It was a major battle, but I finally won." Willow held up her ink stained hands for Tara to inspect with a proud grin on her face.
"You are the first to face the menacing printer and win!" Tara laughed, acting as though the printer were some kind of demon.
Willow laughed again and Tara melted.
Her laugh is adorable and that is the sweetest smile I've ever seen. And her eyes. God, her eyes don't even get me started.
"So, are we gonna go?" Willow shut her door and started walking with Tara.
They talked about all kinds of topics on the way to the Bronze. Subjects ranged from their favorite stores to Willow and Xander's relationship.
"I think Xander might show up tonight. He's my best friend." Willow smiled at Tara, happy at how easy their conversation was going along.
"Oh. Are you guys going out?" Tara prayed the answer was no.
Calm down. You don't even know if she likes girls.
"No. We're just friends. We used to go out, but we broke up." Tara hoped Willow didn't see her smile and hear the sigh of relief she let out.
Willow had the most serious look on her face and looked straight into Tara's eyes.
Please say you're into girls. Please say you're into girls.
"He stole my Barbie." Willow started to smile, but quickly caught herself. She tried to see how long she could fool Tara before she started cracking up.
Tara looked utterly confused and Willow decided to stop teasing her.
"Oh, we were five." Willow finally succumbed to a fit of giggles at the look of shock on Tara's face.
"Oh." Tara cracked a smile also. She was unable to be upset in Willow's presence.
She could still like girls! There's still hope!
"I don't actually date a whole lot...lately." Willow admitted shyly, kicking stones shamefully.
"Why not?" Tara was intrigued as to why this beautiful girl didn't have a significant other.
Everyone in this town must be stupid to not see how amazing she is.
"Well, when I'm with a boy I like, it's hard for me to say anything cool or, or witty, or at all. I-I can usually make a few vowels sounds and then I have to go away."
Tara internally kicked herself. Boy. She likes boys. At least we can still be friends.
"It's not that bad!" Tara wanted to make sure this girl knew she was amazing and wanted and oh so lovely.
"No, It is. I think boys are more interested in a girl who can talk." Willow smiled innocently.
Maybe boys want a girl who can talk, but all I want is you.
"You really haven't been dating lately." Tara laughed. She was completely amazed by how naïve Willow was.
"It's probably easy for you." Willow glanced quickly at Tara before averting her gaze and looking down again.
"Yeah, real easy." Tara said sarcastically, rolling her eyes.
"I-I mean you don't seem too shy."
"Well, my philosophy, do you wanna hear my philosophy?" Tara hoped she would hear her out. This was her chance to make a move on Willow.
"Yeah, I do!"
She is too cute!
"Life is short." Tara answered with a nod of her head.
"Life is short." Willow repeated, absorbing this new motto and seeing what she thought about it.
Tara started to get nervous and her stomach was rolling with butterflies.
Do it. It's okay, Tara. It's now or never. Life is short.
"Not original I'll grant you, but it's true. You know? Why waste time being all shy and worrying about some guy, and if he's gonna laugh at you. Seize the moment, 'cause tomorrow you might be dead." Tara bought herself some more time by explaining herself before she moved in.
"Oh, that's nice!" Willow said.
Three, two, one. Go!
Tara leaned in to kiss Willow and caught the girl right when she was about to open her mouth to talk. It didn't seem awkward though.
Tara felt Willow realize what was happening and peeked at Willow to see what was going on in her mind. Willow's eyes were wide open, just staring at Tara. She was moving her mouth in a rhythm compatible with Tara's own lips, so she didn't seem to be too shocked.
Tara pulled away to see if her kiss was alright with Willow. She didn't want to seem disrespectful to just go around kissing who ever she wanted.
"Was that-?" Tara was cut off with Willow's lips on her own.
Willow pulled back after a moment and spoke. "I didn't know you felt the same way as me. I never would have kissed back, but then your speech about seizing the moment made me realize life is too short to not pursue something I'm passionate about. And I'm passionate about you."
She ended her small speech with a blush and another glance down at the ground shamefully.
Tara put a finger under her chin to lift it up. She took both of Willow's cheeks in her hands and traced her features lovingly.
"Can we skip the Bronze tonight?" Tara asked, but her attention was more focused on the gorgeous redhead in her hands.
"Sure. We can go back to my house and study or just talk and get to know each other." Willow offered with raised eyebrows and a shrug of her shoulders.
Tara laughed at the girl's innocence. "Okay. Yeah. We can take this as slow as you want."
Willow nodded and turned on the sidewalk to walk back to her house. She grabbed Tara's hand and started swinging it back and forth as they walked.
When they reached Willow's house, she grabbed Tara a coke and got herself a Sprite.
They sat down on Willow's couch and started talking. Tara's favorite part of dating was the stage where they got to know each other. Learning so much about someone you know almost nothing about is exciting.
"Tell me about yourself. And don't leave anything out because I'm not in a hurry." Tara smiled sweetly.
Willow took a deep breath and started speaking. "I was born here in Sunnydale. My parents don't really come around much, so I know how to take care of myself. But that's fine because I like being independent." Willow smiled sadly, trying to be strong for Tara.
She's been through a lot. I can tell. But she's still so strong and optimistic. I admire that.
"I met my best friend, Buffy, in middle school. We were two peas in a pod. Nobody came between us until one day. We were walking for ice cream and someone came from behind us and grabbed her. They stabbed her and ran away. I tried to apply pressure and stop the bleeding, but I couldn't save her. She was gone before the paramedics got there. I cried for weeks. Why did she have to be the one that was stabbed? Why didn't he get me too? Why couldn't I have stopped the bleeding enough to save her? The doctors said there was nothing I could do, but I still feel guilty. Here I am, four years later and I still can't tell the story without crying."
Willow sorta laughed pathetically and wiped her tears. Tara pulled Willow's head to her chest and stroked her hair.
Willow picked her head back up and kissed Tara briefly. "Thank you. I'm sorry for unloading on you like that."
"It's perfectly fine. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. But the doctors are right. It wasn't your fault." Tara assured.
I think I'm falling in love with her. Imagine her mothering my children and waking up next to her and seeing her smile everyday as soon as I wake up and right before I go to bed.
"Did they ever find the guy who did it?"
Willow frowned and leaned her head against Tara's shoulder. "No. Enough about me. Tell me about yourself."
"I grew up in New Jersey. Moved here a few days ago, obviously. I realized I liked girls about three years ago. Dated a couple jerks. Mom and dad divorced when I was nine and I've been living with my mom ever since." Tara took a sip of her coke and set it back down on the table gently.
"I'm sorry about your parents." Willow responded sadly.
"Eh, it's fine. I'm over it."
"Hey, Tara. This is me. It doesn't have to be all 'good' and 'fine'. This is the room where you don't have to be brave. I still like you. If you're upset, you can be upset." Willow smiled at Tara and hoped Tara took her words to heart.
"It hurts a little bit still. But for the most part it actually is fine. I have to move on and accept I can't change it." Tara smiled sadly back at the redhead.
Wow, she's so sweet. And funny. And perfect. Can I marry this girl now?
"Let's talk about a lighter subject now, okay?" Willow suggested.
"Ok. My favorite animal is a bunny. I like the color blue and my favorite food is lasagna." Tara laughed.
"My favorite animal is a dolphin. I like the color purple. I think it stands for royal. I've always wanted to be someone royal. Anyway, my favorite food is anything in sight." Willow joked and Tara laughed again.
"You're funny, you know that?" Tara smiled.
Willow blushed and diverted her gaze. "Really? You think I'm funny?"
"Of course. You act like you're shy, but I see past the charade." Tara winked and half smiled.
"My shyness is definitely not an act. But I'm glad you think I'm funny. You're funny too. We're funny together."
They spent the rest of the night chatting and laughing and sipping their drinks. Tara eventually left, with much protest because she didn't want to leave Willow alone all night in this big, lonely house.
The next day, Willow was working in the library again so Tara went to visit her during her free period.
"Hey, beautiful." Tara greeted the redhead.
"Hey, Tara." The redhead glanced up quickly from her work to greet the taller girl.
"Doesn't this place creep you out? I'd hate being somewhere so quiet. This place kind of gives me a wiggins." Tara laughed and leaned in for a quick kiss from Willow.
"It has that effect on most kids. I love it though. It's a great collection, and the new librarian's really cool!" Willow excitedly told Tara.
She's so expressive. I love it. It's like I know exactly how she's feeling just by her facial expressions.
"He's new?" Tara asked, running her hand along the edge of a dusty book, pretending to be interested in this new librarian.
"Yeah, he just started. He was a curator of some British museum or The British Museum, I'm not sure. But he knows everything and he brought all these historical volumes and biographies and am I the single dullest person alive?" Willow frowned with a shake of her head.
Tara loved when Willow cut off her own babble, it was just adorable. But when Willow cut off her own babble with an insecure question, Tara hated it.
Why doesn't she know how amazing she is?
"Not at all!" Tara's tone was joking, but the way she was staring straight into Willow's green orbs proved just how serious her statement was.
Willow smiled and leaned in for another kiss, coughing when she accidentally slammed a dusty book down in the process, making dust float into her mouth and choke her.
"That's sexy." Willow laughed when her coughing subsided and she could get fresh air in her lungs again.
"The sexiest." Tara grinned and brought Willow's hand up to her mouth to be kissed before setting it down and patting it gently.
"I really need to go to the lab and do my English project, but I promise I will come visit you whenever I can." Tara blew a kiss to Willow, who enthusiastically 'caught it' and brought it to her heart.
I'm gonna marry this girl someday. Tara just knew, somehow, that her and Willow would work out. They'd have to battle some inner demons and face the harsh reality of being a gay couple in a straight world, but they would make it work and maybe, just maybe, they would be able to help turn it into an equal world.