Queenphoenix08 – She'll deserve all the hurt she gets! Some people will go to any lengths to get what they want.
Btvsobsessed623 – Glad you're enjoying it! I remember watching Xena when I was just a kid and then properly again when I was a teenager, but it's definitely a stock favourite in the community!
CurlyAkemy – Hehe, glad you got a giggle. I'm a big Who fan too, those t-shirts sound awesome! My only one is the Tardis drawn like Starry Night, but I love it too!
StephenPG – Not a crush, just liking her as a teacher! You won't feel sorry for her for too long…
(sorry it's late this week, storm and internet troubles!)
Willara4ever – Really glad you're enjoying it! :) The Mia plot begins to thicken!
"Pay attention now, students, pay attention, class has begun."
The bustle of people in the small theatre quietened down and took various seats as the professor walked onto the stage. Willow and Tara were already sitting near the front and smiling as they tried to stop giggling to each other and pay attention.
The squeaking sound of the door came once more as Mia skidded into class. Her eyes instantly sought out Tara and dropped when she saw her not alone. She was going to go over and sit by her anyway, but a stern look from the professor made her drop into the nearest seat instead.
"Willow, stop!" Tara whispered, trying to hold back a giggle as Willow discreetly tickled her outer thigh.
Willow couldn't stop herself from grinning, but did stop the finger-dance so they wouldn't get into trouble. She linked her fingers in with Tara's hanging hand to get rid of the temptation.
The professor stood in the middle of the stage and cast a slow glance around the room. It could be easy to mistake her look for one of disdain as she peered down through the glasses hanging from her nose, but when she spoke she revealed a nicer tone, though with an odd mix of jaded excitement at hearing the auditions.
"I will call you each down by name. Please come down promptly and state where your piece is from and the character you're portraying. Be silent while others are performing, if I catch anyone speaking you will leave this class and you will receive a zero."
That seemed to wipe any smiles off even the biggest class clowns' face and any last hum of disruption ceased.
The professor nodded with satisfaction that she'd gotten her point across and retrieved a notebook from her briefcase. She sat in the empty front row where no other student had deigned to.
"Walsh," she called after a minute of settling and a tall but thin boy made his way to the stage with great aplomb.
Willow was quite disinterested in watching the good, the bad and the ugly prance around on stage, so spent her time exploring the arena of silent affection by massaging Tara's hand.
Tara smiled and began to return it by brushing their fingers together, then turned Willow's palm over and began to trace letters in it.
Willow felt tickled at first but quickly twigged what Tara was doing.
I… L… O… ve you.
She bounced giddily in her seat, but the resulting creak caused a sharp look over the shoulder by the professor, so she quickly stopped.
She didn't have time to ponder how to return the sentiment as Tara was called up next. She watched as her girlfriend took the place under the spotlight with lightly flushing cheeks and a demure demeanour.
"Duet For One, Stephanie," she said, with a tiny nervous lilt, to the professor, who wrote it down, then gave her the nod to start.
Tara took a moment to prepare herself and found a dark spot to focus on so she could pretend there was no one else there.
"My grandfather gave me my first violin when I was four years old. Can you believe it? Four years old…"
Willow had seen Tara practice the monologue a hundred times over the weekend, but found herself just as captivated as if it was the first time. She listened with rapt attention as Tara's voice dripped with the emotion of a woman who found her life turned upside down and future snatched away.
She thought of how Tara herself had overcome such adversity to have a life outside of the abuse she grew up with; how strong she'd been; the fear she faced, and how she'd believed in a better life. It astounded her that Tara could use all her pain and channel it into empathy, even with a fictional character.
"…succumb to our fear or confront it directly. Brilliant. Where did you learn that Doctor? Did they teach you to say it in medical school?"
A couple of people clapped, Willow the loudest, when Tara finished and the professor looked impressed though remained as reserved as ever.
"Thank you, Tara. Rosenberg."
Tara felt a tingle at the back of her neck at hearing their names said in that order, but was quick to leave the stage.
"Good luck," she whispered to Willow as they passed on the way and slipped their hands into each other for the briefest and sweetest of encouraging squeezes.
Willow didn't know whether it was a good or bad thing to be following Tara's performance, but could feel the nerves she'd forgotten about coming back. She stepped into the same spot and had to cover her eyes so as not to be blinded by the spotlight until her eyes adjusted.
"Uh, it's The Glass Menagerie. And, um, Laura."
The professor noted it and gave her the nod, though Willow didn't catch it.
"Whenever you're ready, Miss Rosenberg," the professor said after a minute, tapping her pen against her notebook.
"Right!" Willow said, hurrying to straighten up, "Sorry!"
She found Tara in the crowd who gave her a smile and a thumbs up, enough to give her the confidence to start. She took in a long, slow breath like Tara had shown her when they were practicing, and began.
"No, Mom, please! I have to say this. I can't go outside these walls. There's just too much pain! I can feel everyone staring at me–staring at this!" she exclaimed, pointing at her leg where the character in question had a leg brace, "Uh, you have to imagine the leg brace."
The professor's eyebrow twitched, which plummeted Willow's confidence, but she forced herself to continue.
"Um, the uh, noise! The noise it makes is too loud! I mean it's just so loud! That's why I dropped out of colleg–high school! I felt everyone's eyes staring at me, heard all the chuckles…giggles? Heard all the giggles–"
The professor held her hand up, then went so far as to stand to stop Willow.
"That's quite enough. Thank you," she said, indicating for Willow to take her seat again, "Next! Alvarez!"
Willow shoved her hands into her pockets and walked dejectedly back up the aisles.
"I fucked that up," she murmured, flinging herself into the chair.
"I thought you were great," Tara replied very quietly and leaned over to press a kiss to Willow's cheek.
Willow couldn't help but smile – she decided in that moment she'd much rather have someone believe in her even when she sucked than to actually be good at something.
"You were wonderful," she chanced a whisper back, "You were. I really felt it. Amazing."
Tara didn't risk continuing the conversation, lest they get caught, but did slink their fingers together again and rested their arms on the armrest between them.
There were only a couple of people left to audition and both girls half-watched, but were mostly just making eyes at each other.
"Cast lists will be posted outside the door before next class," the professor's voice broke through to pull their attention away, "I expect full attendance and dedication. Anyone who doesn't receive a role will be understudies and in stage crew. Each role on and off stage is vital to the production, so don't think any less will be expected of you. Good work today. Dismissed."
There seemed to be a collective sigh of relief that auditioning was over, Willow contributing largely to it. She stood up and handed Tara her satchel then lifted her notebook from the floor. As she straightened back up, she recognised Mia approaching them but was not getting a look back in return.
"Tara," Mia said as she approached, face lit up and looking right past Willow, "You were so good."
"Told you," Willow replied with a smile, nudging Tara's shoulder.
"I bet you'll get the lead," Mia interjected quickly, stepping forward as if trying to oust Willow out of the scene completely.
"You deserve it," Willow added on, oblivious to anything other than Tara getting some much-deserved props.
"You two are good for my ego," Tara replied with a light blush.
"You're just so amazing," Willow responded with a heart full of love, then leaned over and pressed her lips against Tara's.
Tara instinctively responded, but saw Mia begin to shift. She mistook the look of misery and contempt for one of awkwardness at witnessing a private moment and pulled away, then gently patted Willow's shoulder.
"Hey, we missed lunch," she said, turning a little redder at the clandestine reason why, and tried to deflect by looking to Mia, "Do you want to come with us?"
"Actually I have to go see a professor," Willow piped up, glancing at her watch.
"Oh you do?" Tara asked, clearly disappointed that they had to separate.
"Uh huh, I need to check on something for a paper," Willow replied, pecking Tara's cheek and giving her the sneakiest of butt squeezes with an accompanying 'look', "I'll see you later."
Tara tried not to blush more at the promise in that tone and took a bottle of water from her satchel to take a long sip as Willow left.
"So, um, do you want to get lunch?" she asked as her cheeks began to calm.
Mia hugged her folder tight to her chest and nodded keenly.
"Yes, I'd like that," she replied, barely able to hide the zealous enthusiasm in her voice.
Tara indicated for her to her to go ahead, and they headed from the theatre room in the direction of the cafeteria.
"Are you enjoying class?" Tara asked as they walked down the hallway.
Mia didn't say anything for a moment.
How could she reveal she had already taken this class a long time ago? That she was a theatre major, and an accomplished one at that, who had only been able to sneak into the class because the professor was new and didn't know her yet?
How could she say any of that without revealing the real reason she'd taken the class? She knew by the interaction she'd witnessed before that Tara wasn't ready to be receptive to her advances. There was work to do there yet.
"Yeah, it's interesting," she eventually replied, "I don't think I did too well with the audition."
That part was true, at least. She'd purposefully messed some things up, not anticipating Tara being as skilled as she was, in the hope they would be able to do stage crew together.
"Oh, I liked it," Tara replied kindly, "You have good projection."
Mia looked like she'd been complimented by Shakespeare himself.
"Thank you," she said, her smile lifting her face and showing off her dimples, "You'll definitely get a part in the show, probably the female lead."
"Oh, I actually don't want–" started to reply but was cut off as a large guy rushed passed them from the cafeteria and bumped into her, causing her to stumble back and her water bottle to go rolling away.
Mia went after it, then offered a hand to help Tara up. She felt her heart begin to race as they connected, but Tara only held on for as long as it took her to stand.
"Thanks," she said, taking her water back and putting it securely away in her bag.
"Um, are you okay?" Mia asked, cheeks flushed from the physical contact.
Tara smiled, thinking about her first meeting with Willow.
"Yeah. Being unsteady on our feet is something Willow and I have in common," she said as she held the doors to the cafeteria open for them, "Used to stumbling."
Mia felt her heart sink that their 'special moment' wasn't so special to the other party and dejectedly followed Tara into the cafeteria and through the line to get lunch.
She watched Tara pick out a salad and chose the same. She could show Tara they had things in common. She could win her. She just had to bide her time and spend it well.
"So, um, how long have you and…" she clenched her jaw for a moment as they sat at a table; even saying 'her' name made her jealous, "Willow been together?"
An easy and unassuming smile spread on Tara's face.
"Just coming up on eight months."
Mia flicked her fork dismissively.
"Oh, not even a year. Not that serious."
"Actually, we're pretty–"
"Hey, do you ever volunteer?" Mia cut her off when she saw the conversation turning the opposite way to what she wanted.
"Sorry?" Tara asked, confused about the conversation jump.
They only made sense to her when they were Willow's.
"Volunteer," Mia repeated, trying to keep her voice steady, "I, um, volunteer at a shelter. Just thought, if you had some spare time…we could always use an extra pair of hands."
"Oh," Tara replied, remembering her time spent volunteering during high school, "I helped out at a clothes bank back at…before college. I-I'd love to help."
Mia smiled both in excitement and relief. She didn't have a plan, per se, but securing some time away from classes and…Willow…well that had to be on the right track.
"Great! I'll, um, give you the address. I go there on Saturdays, it's the busiest day."
She ripped a piece of paper from her notebook and scribbled something on it, then handed it across the table.
Tara checked the address quickly and didn't recognise it, but knew Willow could do her computer magic and find it for her.
"I'll be there," she promised with a smile, folding the paper securely into her pocket again.
As she was pulling her hand back out, she felt the vibration of her cell phone and pulled it out to check. Her heart skipped a beat just from seeing Willow's name light up on the screen, but quickly started to pound as she read the message received.
She quickly flipped the phone closed and pocketed it while stumbling to stand.
"I'm really sorry, I have to go."
Mia did a double-take and looked at the untouched plate.
"You haven't had your lunch."
Tara grabbed her bread roll to eat on the way back to the room and cleared her plate away to the nearby trash.
"Sorry, um, Willow…needs me."
Mia let out a brief sigh.
"It was nice talking to you," Tara said, already backing away, "And the shelter, thanks for the info."
"I wrote my number on the back if you want to…" Mia started to reply, but trailed off dumbly when Tara was out the doors barely a second later, "Call."
Tara got back to their dorm in record time, bursting through the door red-faced, then leaning back against it as it closed.
Willow's was sitting with her legs swinging off the bed, expecting her, and smirked when she saw her.
"Wow, you must have run across campus."
Tara blushed on top of the flush of exertion.
"I told you to stop sending me dirty texts."
"Why?" Willow asked, standing up and walking right up close to her as she lowered her voice, "When they turn you on so much…"
Tara grabbed the door knob to steady herself as Willow pressed a kiss into her neck.
"I thought you had to meet with your professor."
"He wasn't there," Willow whispered against Tara's skin, "I made an appointment. For later. Much later."
Tara was struggling to maintain composure.
"How come you didn't meet us for lunch?"
"Because food isn't what I'm hungry for," Willow replied, scraping her teeth along Tara's neck, "I already told you what I'm hungry for."
She let her hand start to fall down to Tara's thigh, but suddenly stopped and stepped back when she felt a bulge.
"Um…do you have something to tell me? Or are you just happy to see me?"
Tara turned scarlet and reached into her pocket to produce the 'bulge'.
"Oh," Willow replied, somewhat relieved despite the absurdity of the alternative, "Oh, I'm sorry, I pulled you away from lunch, you didn't get to eat."
Tara tossed the bread roll aside, landing it squarely in the small trash can; impressing Willow since it had been done blind.
"Hey, you're go–"
She didn't quite get to express her amazement as Tara took a hold of her collar and crushed their lips together.
Willow quickly forgot about Tara's latent bread-tossing skills in lieu of the talented tongue pushing its way into her mouth.
She pushed her body right up on Tara's so they were pressing against the door and let her hands cup her girlfriend's breasts through her shirt.
Tara moaned quietly; never happier to be pinned against something. She had to stop herself squirming when a hand slid down under her panties and was surprised a moment later as she felt a chill from her pants being yanked down to her ankles. A bigger surprise came when she saw Willow drop to her knees.
"Can you keep yourself up?" Willow asked as she slipped the material around Tara's ankles and off.
Tara could just about manage a nod, though her eyes were darting around as if the door had suddenly become see-through and people were looking in.
She felt the exhilaration increase as her leg was lifted over Willow's shoulder. She began to shake with anticipation when she felt two fingers part her lips and the cool air hit her. Her hips scooted down a whole inch when Willow finally brought her mouth close to tease her, and she took hold of the doorknob again.
She felt Willow's hand move to her hip to help support her and was grateful for it; being quite so vertical in this situation was new. It took an awkward moment or two for her to figure out the rhythm of her hips, but Willow was as eager as ever to aide her movements.
Willow could feel the carpet burning through her jeans to her knees but was distracted enough not to care. Her hand squeezed Tara's thigh and cheek, using her grip to bury her face in more.
She let her tongue explore to its heart content but made sure to pay enough attention to the throbbing little bud to keep Tara's moans at large. It wasn't long before she felt tugging at her hair and knew Tara was close. She knew the position they were in wasn't conducive to drawing things out, so used a certain twirling tongue trick she'd noticed Tara went particularly crazy for.
True to prediction, Tara's decibel level and hip speed rose considerably; and while hidden behind her shirt, her chest flushed right up to her cheeks. She was beginning to writhe uncontrollably, so much so that she was banging back against the door in a steady rhythm, though was far from noticing.
She finally felt that first rush of release just seconds later and bit down hard on her lip to keep from screaming.
Willow kept up the action but moved away from more sensitive areas to ease Tara down. She let Tara's foot fall back to the floor, then slowly stood up, hands firm on her girlfriend's waist. She waited for Tara's eyes to open, then leaned in close so their noses bumped.
"You came running all the way across campus just because you read that I wanted to…" she said, whispering the message she'd sent into Tara's ear provocatively, "Do you really want me to stop?"
Tara was once again glad for the support as she felt her knees go weak.
"Never," she breathed out in one slow breath.
Willow ginned salaciously.
"Maybe one day you'll even send one back," she said, pulling Tara's naked hips against her clothes ones, "And I'll be the one to… come running."
Tara felt the cold metal of Willow's jeans button press into her lips but managed not to jump, though her pupils dilated and eyes clouded over.
"You turn me on… so much."
"Trust me," Willow replied in a low, provocative tone, "The feeling's mutual."
She used her body to push Tara right up against the door again and was about to take her lips so she could devour them, when suddenly a knock came from the other side.
Tara instantly tried to cover herself with her hands but remembered quickly that the door still wasn't see-through. Willow motioned for her to stay still, then went to open the door.
"Wipe your mouth," Tara hissed as her hand was on the knob.
Willow quickly shoved her sleeve over her mouth, then cracked the door open just enough to poke her head out. Grace, the RA, was on the other side, an eyebrow quirked.
"Is everything alright in there?"
Willow nodded once.
Grace tried to peer in behind Willow.
"I heard a lot of banging."
Willow could hear Tara's heavy breathing and raised her voice to compensate.
"Right," Grace replied disbelievingly, "Take them one at a time next time."
Willow nodded again.
"Uh huh. Will do. Sorry. Bye."
Grace regarded Willow for another moment, then shook her head and smirked.
"You missed your chin."
Willow made a hasty wipe as Grace walked back down the hall and Tara groaned behind her hands. Willow closed the door and leaned back against it alongside Tara.
"Maybe she thought I just ate a doughnut."
Tara remained completely motionless for a moment, before suddenly dissolving into laughter. Willow was completely surprised but found it contagious.
"Hey, laughing, laughing's good!"
Tara looked down and remembered how ridiculous she looked, which only served to make her laugh more. She staggered over to the bed so she could sit and cover herself, then hunched over as she laughed.
Willow saw an opportunity and bounced over.
"I'll really give you something to laugh about!"
Tara sensed the impending tickle attack but wasn't quick enough to avoid it as Willow's fingers descended on her. She giggled and squirmed and called out pleas to stop, but Willow not only managed to keep up the attack, but to use Tara's squirming to get the rest of her clothes off.
"Hey!" Tara protested, though not with much gusto, quite happy to keep 'squirming'.
Willow took pride in her tickling skills, but was just a mere woman and couldn't help but let her focus be taken away when two full breasts were staring back at her.
Tara blushed and thought to herself she had a secret arsenal against a future Willow-assault. She let her hands settle on Willow's waist.
"You're wearing an awful lot of clothes for someone who likes to take them off so much."
Willow absolutely melted upon hearing the evocative undertone anytime Tara became suggestive, and despite already having her girlfriend naked, it affected her as much as ever.
She took a hold of either side of her shirt and ripped it from her body, much to Tara's surprise and delight.
"You popped a button."
"I'll pop another," Willow replied, doing just that to her jeans and pushing them off over her hips.
Tara lifted her knees for Willow to sit back against and took a moment to admire her; the polka-dotted bra clashing with the duck-embossed panties only serving to make her fall more in love and turn her on harder.
"God you're hot," she said, voice tinged with breathless arousal.
She pushed herself up and threw her arms around Willow's neck to bring her close enough to kiss, then dropped them to undo her bra. She quickly pulled the fabric off and tossed it aside, then slid her hands up to cup Willow's breasts.
Willow tilted her neck back and moaned, then fell forward and pressed their bodies together. She felt Tara make a tug at her panties, then come back up when they were off to stroke between her lips.
She took in a sharp breath, then fixed her hips and let her own hand mirror the action on Tara.
Tara closed her eyes to savour the sensation but quickly opened them again when she felt Willow's forehead rest on hers.
"Hey," she said softly.
"Hi," Willow replied, smiling.
They took a moment to nose nuzzle, then shared a kiss and let their hands resume a more energised exploration and quickly settled into a rhythm.
Willow rode out the last waves of her orgasm watching Tara twitch from hers, then finally fell off to the side with a satisfied sigh.
"Uh huh…definitely gonna keep sending those messages."
Tara made a wearied noise of agreement and turned herself on her stomach, closing her eyes. Willow's eyes instantly fell to Tara's butt, which was very softly moving up and down as her breathing settled.
"You're looking at my butt," Tara accused without needing to see.
"Yep!" Willow agreed without hesitation.
Tara giggled quietly and kept her eyes close, a smile remaining. Willow smiled too and amused herself by playing gently with Tara's toes, then after a while lifted her nearby laptop up and started to play around.
Another little while passed until she came across something she wanted to share, but her girlfriend appeared to be peacefully asleep, unmoving.
"Tara, are you asleep?" she whispered and jumped a little when Tara's eyes instantly opened, alert.
Willow took a slow breath for a moment, then shook her head to focus.
"I wanna show you something."
"Do I have to move?" Tara asked, clearly unimpressed with the idea.
Willow smiled and scooted down in the bed so she could see the laptop screen.
"No. It's a video," she said, loading up said video, "A British Claymation thing…I watched it a lot when I was a kid. Just watch for me."
Tara obliged and watched the tale play out, littered with soft giggles and smiles.
"It's funny, I like it," she said as it ended, "I like the dog."
"I just read there's a new movie, a whole feature length one out," Willow replied, tone eager, "I thought we could go see it on Saturday."
"Oh, I kinda have plans," Tara replied apologetically.
Willow was surprised; Tara didn't usually have plans that didn't involve her.
"We could still go," Tara said, seeing the disappointment, "It's just Mia–"
"That's that girl right?" Willow interrupted, "That sits by us a lot? That you went to lunch with?"
"Yeah, we're kind of friends," Tara replied, waving it off with a hand gesture, "Anyway, she said she volunteers at a homeless shelter and asked if I'd be willing to help out."
"A shelter?" Willow asked, wary.
Tara shrugged one shoulder softly.
"A place like it helped me when I was growing up…get some food and clothes and stuff."
Willow's attitude flipped like a light-switch.
"I'll come too."
"Really?" Tara asked, touched.
"Yeah, I'd like to help," Willow said, completely genuine, "If that's okay."
Tara nodded keenly.
"She said they can always use an extra pair of hands."
Willow leaned down and pressed a kiss to Tara's nose.
"Great. Then I'm definitely in."