Queenphoenix08 – Glad you liked it! I tried to include what I could from that scene, was pretty happy with what I could fit in :D
Graq the Wild Child 2 – Thank you, I'm glad it worked! And I very much agree with Tara being too non-confrontational, unfortunately it's all she knows.
Willowtarafan4life – Hi :) Willow and Tara make it easy to show their love! I have done some photography in the past but nothing I kept up/was ever good at. And Tara does get interest, she had Deon the waiter and AJ the jackass (that was less flattering, but stacked against pizza-asshole for Willow) and she's got a storyline coming up that features a major crush on her!
StephenPG – Wow! Thank you! :) :)
Dirty Tube Socks – That's what I meant – there's few as in, little reason to!
Things can definitely get released from evidence, but if a cop decided he didn't like you, I think he could tie it up too.
Ooh, you went hardcore! I think I *have* sat through a Nic Cage film but I don't remember enjoying it.
You and me are on the same page ;)
I tried to fit every line from that scene in, and got about 90% (plus the geek infested roots bit) so I'm pretty happy with the end result.
This chapter accepts your flowers and blows you a kiss.
Hey guys, there won't be an update next week 'cause I'll be out of town, but check back the week after! (March 13th)
"Are you excited? I'm excited."
Tara nodded from where she was sitting on the edge of the bed, watching Willow look through a beach bag.
Willow looked up, frowning slightly.
"You don't seem excited."
Tara shrugged one shoulder.
"I don't know what to expect."
"Oh, well it's not like a super special beach or anything," Willow replied, though wanted to convey her eagerness, "But still, I mean, the beach is fun."
"I mean I don't know what to expect because I've never been to the beach before," Tara clarified, not wanting Willow to think she wasn't looking forward to their plans.
Willow spun around, wide-eyed.
"Wait…you mean…ever? No beaches?" she asked, completely stunned, "Oh wow. This trip just got even more exciting!"
"What's the big deal?" Tara asked.
"I'm popping your cherry! Your beach cherry! Already did the other o–" Willow started, but quickly cleared her throat, "Just exciting…'cause I love experiencing new things with you."
Tara smiled at that and Willow let out a soft breath of relief that she'd recovered so smoothly.
"So, I thought we could get some deli sandwiches on the way to the T so we can have lunch on the beach…lucky, it's a nice day…we can get some sunbathing in. Oh, sunblock!"
She went to retrieve a bottle of sunblock from the bathroom, while Tara watched her go, appreciating her outfit choice.
Willow was wearing a pair of jean-shorts that cut off mid-thigh and a light blue tank top; the red design of a soda bottle and 'Wild Cherry Soda Pop' written around it matching the red bikini she was wearing beneath. Tara noticed the strap falling as Willow came back.
"Your bikini strap is down," she said, slowly looking Willow up and down, "You look... really hot."
"No, I'm cool, that's why I wore the shorts and no sleeves," Willow replied, then blushed when she realised what Tara meant, "Oh. I do?"
Tara's gaze was lingering on Willow's thighs.
"You should show off your legs more," she commented, her head tilting in admiration, "You have got great legs."
Willow's cheeks turned redder; she knew Tara liked her body but she wasn't used to such a vocal appreciation.
"I've never really thought about them before…just, you know, handy for walking," she replied, then gestured at Tara, "They're not nice and flexible like yours!"
Willow turned to try and look behind herself at her legs, while the glint in Tara's eyes was turning almost predatory.
"They're toned…and smooth…and your butt sits so nicely…"
Willow met Tara's eyes and felt that glint shoot straight between her legs.
"You know...we could skip the beach and screw all day."
Tara only had to think about it for a second.
Almost exactly twenty-four hours later, they stood in the same positions, in the same clothing, with Willow once again checking the contents of her beach bag.
"Okay, we're really going today," she insisted, folding a second towel in.
"You're tempting fate by wearing those shorts again," Tara replied with a crooked smile, "You were an animal last night…and evening…and afternoon…and this morning."
"Tearing a swimsuit off you was not the easiest feat of my life," Willow replied, though was grinning and there was a bounce in her step, "I think we broke our own record yesterday…but I lost count sometime between being bent over the nightstand and taking you against the door."
Tara blushed wildly, which Willow noticed and grinned more.
"Beach, take two?"
Tara looked down at her plain olive-green t-shirt and blue three-quarter-length cargo pants.
"Is this okay for the beach? I don't have any shorts, apart from sleep ones."
"Last time I checked beautiful was completely beach-appropriate," Willow replied, offering her hand.
Tara blushed some more and took Willow's hand. Willow threw the beach bag over her shoulder and led them out of the building and in the direction of the T station.
"You know, I think it's even nicer today than it was yesterday."
"Are you trying to find an excuse for us staying in bed all day yesterday?" Tara asked with a wry grin.
"I don't need an excuse," Willow retorted, bumping Tara's hip, "Besides we weren't always 'in bed'."
Tara kept her gaze down but Willow was still able to spot the smile, and offered one of her own right back. They stopped at a sandwich shop on the way and got some things for lunch as well as some bottles of water to last them the day before making their way to the train.
"We look like tourists," Willow commented, leaning over the beach bag on her lap as they sat on the train.
"Is that a bad thing?" Tara asked, trying to keep her feet as firmly planted on the floor as possible to prevent falling forwards.
"Well…" Willow started, then just hugged the bag closer, "I guess not."
Tara pulled the corner of the bag out.
"You'll squish the sandwiches."
"Sorry, Mom," Willow replied playfully, "Glad we got seats. I'm really excited. I haven't been to the beach in forever. I remember once when I was really, really little, my Dad took me to beach, don't remember my mom being there…anyway he barbequed and I remember his big burnt shoulders…"
Willow recounted the memory of what was her first trip to the beach, which only served to make her even more excited to show Tara.
"Look, Tara, look!" she exclaimed, an hour's bumpy ride and few minutes of walking later as the beach loomed ahead of them.
"It's very pretty," Tara agreed, "There's a lot of people."
"Yeah, I'm seeing like, 50 'my dads'," Willow replied, commenting on the abundance of beer-bellied shirtless men' with distinct tan/burn lines, "Come feel the sand!"
Willow took her flip-flops off and went running towards the entrance to the beach, but instantly yelped as the hot sand burnt her soles.
"Yow, ow, ow!"
She left her shoes back on quick-smart and looked sheepish as Tara caught up with her.
"Maybe try it in the shade."
Tara looked around and decided she definitely liked the atmosphere of the beach – children playing, families laughing, the sweet and salty smell of the confectionary sands and the bright blue of the water and sky.
"That smell…the ocean."
"This is kinda what Sunnydale smelled like all the time," Willow reminisced, "Though less cotton candy and more coffee beans. Hey look, a free spot, let's grab it, quick!"
She raced ahead and claimed a patch of sand, quickly laying the towels out for them. She sat on one and patted the other. Tara sat cross-legged on her towel.
"What do we do now?"
"Whatever we want!" Willow replied, smiling, "Wanna catch some rays?"
Tara nodded and Willow ruffled through the bag to find the sunblock, then stripped down to her itsy-bitty, teeny-weeny bikini.
"No yellow polka dots?" Tara asked, eyeing the minute amount of fabric covering Willow, surprised her girlfriend would wear something so revealing.
"Huh?" Willow asked, folding her clothes into the bag to prevent them getting sandy.
"Nothing," Tara replied, blushing, "W-want me to do your shoulders?"
"Yes please!" Willow replied, turning to accommodate, "Hey, be careful if you're putting your water back in the bag, I brought my camera."
Tara squirted some sunblock into her hands and began to luxuriate in the feeling of rubbing it into Willow's skin.
"Okay, I will."
Willow noticed Tara was being quite methodical with the application of the sunblock but didn't complain for a second. When she was completely covered, she turned and picked up the bottle.
"Want me to do you?"
Tara offered her forearms and Willow was disappointed she wasn't going to get any showing of skin, but didn't hesitate to slather Tara up as delicately as she had been.
"There you go," she smiled as she finished, "Do you want to read your book or talk or…?"
"We can talk," Tara replied, stretching out on her stomach while Willow sat cross-legged on her towel.
Willow started to feel self-conscious about just sitting around in her bikini when she noticed some predatory leers from around her.
"I should put my clothes back on."
"I don't mind the view," Tara replied, a crooked smile on her face.
Willow blushed, but made a reach for her clothes.
"Well you can see it whenever you want," she said, slipping the tank and shorts back on, "But your eyes are a lot prettier than the pot-bellied Irishmen around us."
More comfortable, they spent the next while alternating between taking in the sunshine and chatting until a small plastic green ball bounced off Tara's head and between them.
"I'm very sorry," the mother of the family set up next to them said as a toddler bumbled over to get her toy.
"That's okay," Tara replied, handing the ball back to the little girl with a smile, "That's my favourite colour too."
"Tank yoo," the toddler said back and threw the ball in the air again back towards her father.
"She's adorable," Willow commented to Tara, smiling.
"Do you want kids?" Tara asked lightly, resting her head on her arms with her eyes closed.
Willow visibly did a double-take, blindsided by the question.
"Oh," she replied, searching for words, "I, uh…I don't think I've ever thought about it."
"I want at least two," Tara replied, not much weight behind her statement but still genuine, "A boy and a girl, maybe more."
Willow tried to steady her mind after it was thrown off, and let herself really think about the possibility of children…or at least the possibility of children with Tara.
I could get behind a Tiny Tara or two.
"Yeah…yeah, that'd be nice," she eventually replied, actually smiling at the thought, "You'd be such a good mom."
"You'd be such a great mom," Tara answered, her lips quirking up.
Willow shook her head, despite Tara not being able to see.
"I-I don't know…I mean, me? I didn't have much in the way of good role models."
"You're kind…and generous…with possessions, and with love. You have a warm heart and a warmer embrace. You're a big kid, really," Tara rattled off affectionately, her eyes never opening, "You'd be a great mom. You'd be the best mom."
Willow felt her breath catch in her throat for a moment – that someone loved her so much; that someone cared for her so much; that someone believed in her so much.
She looked at Tara for a second and thought of how much she'd grown herself since their meeting; how her whole life had changed by being in love and being loved in return. For a moment, she could almost see some babies, their babies, playing in the sand by them. They were gone as soon as they came, a trick of the eyes, but they were as real to Willow in that moment as they would be later.
It may have been many years off, but Willow knew right then she wanted a family with Tara – and that they were already forming their own. She still wasn't overly confident with her own mothering skills, but if she had Tara…well, then she could do anything.
"Thanks," she replied, trying to keep the choke out of her voice and pretend that she hadn't just had some profound epiphany, "Mind if I read my magazine? There's a cool article on the chimpanzee genome I want to read."
Tara smiled sideways again.
"You want to monkey around instead of talking to me?"
Willow giggled as she lay back and fished out her magazine.
"You're the funniest."
Tara smiled and people-watched the boardwalk as Willow read her magazine. After a while, Willow had devoured every article she was interested in and went to lie alongside Tara on her stomach.
"Watching the people," Tara answered, her chin resting on her hands.
"Do you ever make up stories for them?" Willow asked, "Like see that couple over there? I bet they're on their first date."
Tara looked to where Willow was pointing and smiled as she saw a man trying to win a teddy bear for a woman next to him at a game stand.
"They're definitely into each other."
Willow shuffled closer so their hips were touching.
"Not like those two," she said, gesturing to a bickering couple in the nearby parking lot. "I bet he forgot to lock up the house and she's mad because now they have to drive back."
They exchanged their ideas for various people they spotted around the place, until Willow felt the sun high above their heads and wanted to go for a swim before they lost the heat.
"Hey wanna go for a dip?"
Tara looked over her shoulder at the water and decided she had to at least had to try it.
Willow's face lit up and she instantly began to undress again.
"Would you mind keeping an eye on our stuff?" she asked the family next to them, then waited as Tara shyly stripped down to her swimsuit.
"Don't worry, no one's looking," Willow reassured, a little white lie as she had noticed a group of guys playing Frisbee nearby stop and stare.
She offered her hand when Tara had folded her clothes away, then led her down to the water's edge.
"Is this your first time in the ocean?"
Tara looked over and smiled the special smile, only reserved for Willow.
Willow grinned and dipped her toe in the water, then kicked out so Tara was splashed.
Willow ran right into the water so Tara would have to catch her and continued to splash, using her hands when it came up to their level. She noticed Tara stop when they were at waist-height and stopped too, thinking it was a good idea for her new-to-swimming and even newer-to-the-beach girlfriend to stay close to the shore.
She waddled over to offer Tara a secure hand to hold if she needed it, but was just met with a face and mouthful of water when she was on the receiving end of a colossal splash.
She grinned again as she spluttered and wiped her eyes, woman enough to admit defeat.
"You got me, you got me," she said, wiping her mouth, "Yuck, sea water is gross."
"Sorry," Tara replied, her foray into splashing having been slightly over-zealous, "Do you want me to go get the regular water?"
Willow shook her head, recovered from the 'attack'. She noticed Tara swaying in the water and reached out to hold her hip.
"Hey, watch the current. Don't float too far away from me," she said, moving them over slightly so they weren't in the way of a group of kids playing with a beach ball, "So, what's the verdict? Do you like the ocean?"
Tara let her hands tread the water and teetered back and forth before finally smiling.
"It's nicer than the rivers I've had experience with."
"Yeah, no kidding," Willow laughed, "The gentle wading in is much preferable to that jumping thing too."
"And all cell phones are safe," Tara smiled in response, "Wanna swim?"
Willow agreed with a nod and they started to splash around.
"You're like a fish!" Willow exclaimed proudly as they moved around, "I can't believe we've only had a few lessons. You look like you've been swimming your whole life."
"I had a good teacher," Tara replied, treading the water.
They played around for another little while until Willow's stomach demanded sustenance and they returned to the towels to eat their sandwiches. That wasn't enough to fill Willow however, and she was looking at the concession stands longingly just minutes later.
"You just had your sandwich," Tara replied, lying on her stomach so she could feel the sun on her legs and back.
"But it's the beach. Normal food limits don't apply," Willow reasoned, then jumped up, "I'm getting a hot dog, want one?"
Tara shook her head, but Willow persisted.
"Cotton candy? Pretzel? Fries? Ice-cream? Fried pickles?"
"That's a thing?" Tara asked, scrunching up her nose, then smiled, "I wouldn't say no to an ice-cream cone."
She reached for her wallet in the beach bag but Willow was already heading off.
"I got it," she said with a smile and went to the boardwalk to procure their foodstuffs.
She returned, walking slowly with a hot dog topped with mustard and relish in one hand and a chocolate ice-cream cone in the other.
"Here you go. Chocolate swirl for my lovely girl!" she said as she kneeled back on her towel and handed the ice-cream off, "Been coming up with that one the whole way back!"
"Lucky I'm not with you for your rhyming genius," Tara replied with a grin.
"Hey, you," Willow retorted, "Be careful or I will be forced to punish you! These hands are not afraid to tickle!"
She brushed her fingertips under Tara's shoulders, who squirmed playfully.
"You win, you win."
"Mwuhahah," Willow cackled, "And now for my hot dog of victory."
She munched happily on her snack, then decided to join Tara with an ice-cream.
"Ice-cream at the beach has to be at least in the top five of greatest things ever," she commented as she took her first lick, "I'm sure the ocean air makes it tastier."
"Maybe," Tara agreed, finishing hers off, "It's definitely delicious."
"Uh huh!" Willow concurred, happily catching the dribbles on the cone before they hit her fingers.
"Would you put some sunblock on me when you finish?" Tara asked as she settled down on her stomach again.
Suddenly, the ice-cream held little of the appeal it had before, and Willow chomped through it like a child being forced to eat their vegetables. She wiped her hands on the towel and made a grab for the bottle of sunblock.
"Where? Here? Everywhere?"
"Mmhhmm," Tara replied, already relaxing under the afternoon sun.
Willow stopped herself from straddling Tara's behind in order to apply the lotion, but did spend a long time massaging it all in. She slowly rubbed a generous amount into Tara's legs and thighs, then up to the exposed parts of her back and shoulders.
"That good, baby?" she asked, aware she was probably crossing the lines of 'respectability' in a public place.
She got no response, so peered over Tara's shoulder and saw her girlfriend's eyes had closed. She smiled to herself and moved off, figuring she'd have to entertain herself for a while.
Tara stirred about an hour later when the sun started to hide away and a light breeze picked up in the air. She had to quickly stop herself from getting a mouthful of sand, then started to slowly sit up, gently rubbing her eyes.
She noticed Willow wasn't on her towel, but caught sight of the red hair a moment later, just a few feet away, playing with the two-year-old girl and eight-year-old boy of the family next to them. Building sandcastles.
Willow seemed to notice eyes on her and looked up excitedly.
"Hey, we're building a castle! I'm in charge of the moat!"
Tara glanced at the parents, who appeared to be amused, then back at Willow.
"Don't forget the bridge."
Willow and the boy exchanged a 'how could we forget?' look and quickly went about rectifying the problem.
Tara put her clothes back on and found her book to read again, until the family started to pack up, much to the boy's disdain.
"I don't wanna!"
"Hey, listen to your mother," the father said to him with a thick Boston accent.
The boy seemed to know better than to disobey and grudgingly followed towards the car park.
Willow waved goodbye, then took the abandoned bucket and got some water from the sea to fill her moat. It took a few attempts, but it finally filled, much to Willow's delight, who made a scramble for her camera and started to photograph it.
Tara smiled, duly impressed by the quite striking temple they'd managed to build.
"That's very cool."
Willow lowered her camera sheepishly.
"Do you think I'm a big baby?"
"Not in the slightest," Tara replied with a smile, "I'm glad you had fun."
Willow beamed, then her face lit up.
"Close your eyes."
Tara complied and heard some rustling off to the side.
"Okay, open 'em," Willow said a few moments later.
Tara opened her eyes and smiled all over again when she saw Willow had written a message to her in the sand: 'How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways'.
As she read it, Willow used her finger to draw the infinity symbol underneath the words.
"Willow," Tara said softly, touched.
"It's true," Willow replied, pecking Tara's cheek, before her eyes suddenly went wide as she realised it solved a problem, "My assignment!"
She snapped her camera up from around her neck and got an angle on the sand, glowing orange from the reflection where the sun was just beginning to set. She stepped back and got just a hint of the tide lapping at the shore, then showed the photo to Tara, both excited and unsure.
"Is that lame?"
"I think it's beautiful," Tara replied in all honesty, "Can I get a print-out?"
Willow beamed from ear-to-ear.
"You bet you can. But I plan on reminding you every day," she replied, putting her camera away before she dropped it in the sand, "Guess we should head back…unless you wanted to stroll the boardwalk…maybe grab a bite?"
She trailed off hopefully, then felt Tara's hand in hers.
"I'd love to."
Willow bounced up on the balls of her feet excitedly and threw the bag over her shoulder, then walked with Tara up to the boardwalk. They strolled along, chatting until they reached the end, where a beat-up fortune teller machine was sitting.
"These things are funny," Willow said as she went over to it and put a quarter in.
It lit up and started to vibrate, while the 'crystal ball' moved up into the mechanical fortune teller's hand. It brightened even more, then a slip of card with printed text on it slipped out.
Willow picked it up and read.
Flattery will get you everywhere tonight
"What's it say?" Tara asked, curious.
Willow glanced between Tara and the fortune, then smiled.
"That you look really pretty."
Tara blushed and smiled, while Willow tossed the fortune before she was found out. She re-took Tara's hand and they started the stroll back.
"So all the seafood restaurants are out," Willow mused as they passed various establishments, "Kinda low on options."
"Sorry," Tara replied, "You can still have some, we just have to be careful."
"Uh uh, kissing is a very essential beginning, middle and end to my day," Willow replied, stopping to look at another displaying menu outside a restaurant, "They do pastas and salads and steaks here too. Does any of that appeal?"
Tara nodded and they found a table outside to sit at; a parasol looming above them and a nearby heater keeping them warm. The sky was turning a deep orange as the very beginning of twilight set in.
"I had the best day," Willow said to Tara as they looked through the menu after giving their drinks order to the waiter.
"Me too," Tara smiled over her menu, "I definitely like the beach."
Their drinks came soon after and they ordered their food; a steak for Willow and a Caesar salad for Tara.
"Mmhh, this is the life," Willow said as she sat back in her chair and sipped her iced tea through a straw, "Sun, sea…"
"Sitting with my beautiful girlfriend," she finished instead, offering a charming smile.
Tara quirked an eyebrow and hid a grin; she knew exactly when Willow was buttering her up to get into her pants - and didn't mind one bit. But it did deserve teasing.
"It's funny, we didn't do much, but I'm totally tired out from being here all day."
Willow's face fell, but she recovered quickly and even offered a smile.
"We can snuggle up close later."
"You're very sweet," Tara replied, knowing that offer was genuine.
Willow just smiled and sighed happily as she took in Tara's appearance.
"Sometimes I look at you and I really think you're an angel," she said, tracing Tara's features in the air, "Sun and shade and…you're just so beautiful."
"I'm surprised you're not whipping your camera out," she said, easing her embarrassment with a joke.
Willow let her hand fall back and smiled some more.
"Don't need it. I get to look at you forever."