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Chapter 13

The next few weeks seemed to fly by since their talk and consequent apologies. Things between them had definitely changed and not a day went by without them talking at school, eating lunch together in the library, or at the very least texting. Both of them were enjoying their new friendship immensely. Willow was staying busy with the two jobs and helping Tara with the algebra. She was exhausted most of the time and for the first time in her academic career, was having trouble keeping up; especially since Chelsea started crawling.

The majority of the time she was with the adorable infant, she spent chasing her around the house and keeping her out of trouble. As the little girl became more active, the less time Willow had to spend studying. She finally started taking her for walks around the neighborhood in her stroller; stopping at her house so her Mom could watch Chelsea while she did homework.

If Sheila was bothered by Willow's frequent pitstops, she never complained. In fact, she'd become quite fond of the sweet baby and secretly looked forward to the visits.

Tara had also been busy, for many of the same reasons, but most of the time her mind was occupied with a certain babysitter. She felt lighter since apologizing to Willow, as if a great weight had been lifted. It was a long time coming and now with that out of the way, she could focus on other aspects of their blossoming friendship. Like for example, the non-friendly type feelings she was experiencing towards the cute redhead. She was seeing Willow in a whole new light.

Tara especially enjoyed their Thursday night study sessions. Sitting in such close proximity to the girl during these sessions had proven difficult and staying focused on the task at hand even more so, but somehow she managed to get through it. Every time their arms brushed or their knees bumped, it sent an army of butterflies marching through her stomach. Every nerve in her body seemed to be on high alert. It was all very confusing. She'd only dated boys, she had a baby and now she was entertaining naughty thoughts of the female variety. A very cute, very smart redheaded female that was currently speaking.

"The sky is green and the grass is blue," Willow said.

"Oh okay, that sounds right," Tara replied, having not the slightest idea what Willow said. She'd been too busy focused on the movement of Willow's rosy lips to actually hear anything that came out of them.

Willow grinned goofily.

"What?" Tara asked, realizing she'd been caught staring and now starting to blush furiously.

"You have no idea what I just said!" Willow teased.

"Y-Yes I do...something about color charts?" She said weakly.

Willow snorted with laughter, "I think I broke you," She said as she closed the book and began to gather her things.

Tara joined in the laughter and ran a hand through her hair, "Well, what do you expect? Letters aren't meant to be added! It's just not right."

"Well, maybe so, but I still think you're gonna ace that test tomorrow!"

Tara half smiled at her friend's enthusiasm. "I don't know about that, but I do feel more confident." Tara glanced sideways at the clock, "Oh my gosh, Willow it's midnight! Crap! Are you gonna be in trouble?"

"Tare, why do you always think I'm gonna be in trouble?"

"I don't know, it's just late and I don't want your parents to think I'm a bad influence or something."

"It's fine," Willow assured the girl, lying a warm reassuring hand on her arm, "I told my Mom I'd be late. She knows where I am, but I do need to get going. Will you call me tomorrow, after the test and let me know how you did?"

Tara nodded, slightly giddy from the brief contact, "Okay. Oh, before I forget, tomorrow night is the last game of the season and well, the last football game ever for us seniors and anyway, there's um, an after party for the squad or something and I was wondering if you could stay? W-With Chelsea until..." Tara's voice trailed off.

"Oh, um...I guess I can. How late?" Willow's face fell immediately.

"I dunno really, but the game won't be over until nine-ish and then the party thing so it'll be...late. I mean, it's n-no big deal if you can't. I was just wondering."

Willow shrugged and nodded, "Sure, who um, who all's going to the party?" Willow asked curiously, but trying not to sound too obvious.

"The senior cheerleaders and some of the football players. I don't r-really know." Tara wanted nothing more than to change the subject, she could see the apprehension and what looked like hurt in Willow's eyes. Of course she's hurt dummy. She's a senior and it's her last football game too. Then you go and throw a party she wasn't invited to in her face. When are you ever going to get it Tara.

Willow, on the other hand, had no idea what she was feeling. It was a cross between disappointment, envy and good old fashion jealousy.

Willow's jealousy was two-fold. She had always wanted to attend a 'popular' party, but was never invited. Then at some point, she realized it just wasn't worth the worry, but it still didn't stop the jealous twinge she was feeling at the moment. After analyzing her thoughts for a few seconds, she came to the conclusion it wasn't about the party; it was about Tara. She would be there with other friends, more specifically friends of the male variety. The large, hunky football male variety and that just wasn't sitting well with Willow. She definitely needed more information, but was afraid to ask; she wasn't sure she actually wanted all the details. Unfortunately, her mouth won the silent argument.

"So, do you have a date to the party?" She asked nonchalantly.

Tara shook her head, "No, no date." Willow was relieved. "But I was asked and I still m-might...I'm not sure." Tara said as she ducked her head. She didn't really want to go with anyone to the party, but she also didn't want to be the only one there without a date either.

"Oh, anyone I know?" She asked trying to sound chipper, even though her stomach was tied in knots.

"Do y-you know Scott?"

Willow cocked her head, "Scott Hope?" Tara nodded. "Not personally, but he's in my AP biology class. He seems nice. Why don't you want to go out with him?" Willow could not believe she was having this conversation. She didn't want Tara to be dating anyone, ever, but she couldn't seem to put a halt to the endless supply of questions currently circulating through her busy brain. Did Tara want to date a boy or a girl or anyone at all?

Again Tara shrugged, "He is, but I-I don't know. Like I said before, I don't really have the time."

"Hey come on, sure you do. I think it'll be good for you to get out there again." Willow was proud how she was able to sound convincing, yet inwardly chastising herself. You're encouraging her to date. What the frilly heck is wrong with you? Well, we are just friends and friends are supportive, right? The argument and confusion in Willow's head continued.

Tara was crushed. She wasn't sure what she expected. She thought or hoped that Willow was experiencing similar feelings towards her, but now, in the wake of her statement...Tara was pretty sure they were only friends and nothing more. Otherwise, she wouldn't be pushing her to go out with Scott.

Tara nodded slightly, "Maybe I'll just catch up with him at the party or something, that way it wouldn't be like a real date. Anyway," Tara said abruptly, forcing an end to the conversation, "I guess you need to go and I need to get some sleep."

Willow nodded, allowing Tara to walk her to the door. The atmosphere between them was quiet and tense. What had started out as a promising evening, had turned into an uncomfortable silence with a heaping side of confusing feelings. An invisible wall was erected, maybe they were only meant to be friends. Maybe all this conjecture was simply just that. Pure speculation without any merit to back it up. As Willow walked out into the cool dark night, she decided that it was time to figure out what she was feeling...once and for all.

Willow had never had a 'girl-type-friend' before, there'd only been Xander and Jesse, so maybe this was how it is between girls. She really had no idea and nothing to measure it against. As Willow lay in bed after coming home from Tara's, she thought about her relationships with the only other two 'girl-type-friends' she had, Amy and Anya. She thought about what it would be like to touch them, to kiss them and immediately cringed at the thought. Yuck! In fact, she didn't get very far at all; the thoughts were just too horrifying.

Willow shifted her mind back to Tara and decided to think about doing those things with the blonde instead. At least now she had something to measure it against; even if it was an unpleasant something. She closed her eyes and allowed her mind to wander. She imagined Tara descending upon her; plump moist lips crushing into her own and the feel of Tara's naked curvaceous body...her arousal was almost immediate. She slid her hands under her shirt and brushed her palms across two taught nipples. Willow moaned quietly and when the throbbing between her legs became unbearable, she slid a hand down her stomach and under the elastic of her pajama bottoms. She was startled, but happy to find herself completely soaked. One thought kept circulating through her mind.


Willow smiled, enjoying the slickness, sliding her finger back and forth, faster and faster until...her body began to shake and she clinched her teeth. Her back arched and she squeezed her nipple as she came hard against her hand.

Willow collapsed on the bed, panting hard. "Wow," She whispered..."That was so...intense." A lazy smile graced her lips as she turned onto her side; pulled her stuffed puppy to her chest and drifted off to sleep with happy thoughts of a certain blonde.

Just as the bell rang for lunch, Willow folded the note and smiled as she tucked it into her pocket. She secured her backpack over her shoulders and headed down the hall to drop the note in Tara's locker, hoping the blonde would get it before her math test. She realized she could have just texted Tara, but she knew a hand written note was a more personal gesture.

"Hey Wilster! Where you headed?" Xander exclaimed as he ran up from behind her and fell into step.

Willow's brow furrowed. Damn it! "Oh hey Xand, just um...I-I needed to get something out of my locker before lunch." The last thing she wanted was for Xander to see her dropping off the note and instigating a barrage of questions.

"But your locker is the other way. Say, you didn't fall and hit your head or something, did ya?" He asked with a wry grin.

Willow smiled sheepishly, trying to figure out a better fib to tell Xander. "Oh yeah, I guess I wasn't paying attention."

"Well, I think I should turn you around and get you back on the right track," He said as he frantically grabbed her elbow and attempted to turn her around.

"Hey! Easy with the hands. What's gotten into you? It's no big deal, I'll just go the long way around." Willow was starting to get irritated with her best friend.

"What do you mean?" Xander said nervously.

"I mean I'll keep going in this direction until I eventually run into my locker. What are you doing over here anyway?" Willow thought he was acting strange and decided to turn the focus off of herself and on to him, knowing he would crumble under the pressure.

Xander threw his hands in the air and indignantly slapped them to his sides, "Geez Will, can't a guy look out for his best friend? So, this is what I get for trying to help."

"Um, blowing things out of proportion much?" Willow responded.

"Sorry, sorry. Hey, no big deal...I'm just gonna..." He trailed off as he started walking away backwards, "I'll see you in a few, at lunch that is..." He gave Willow a small wave, turned and rushed off in the opposite direction.

Well, that was weird. Willow was definitely caught off guard by Xander's odd behavior and nearly forgot about her mission, until she felt the sharp corners of the note poke her leg from the inside of her pocket. She turned and walked quickly to Tara's locker and slid it through one of the slats. She moved away rapidly, rounding the corner a corner and running straight into Cordelia.

"God, you are such a klutz!" Cordelia exclaimed as she bent to pick up a book.

"S-Sorry, I um...I didn't uh...expect to see anyone over here during lunch. I thought you guys always went out..."

Cordelia did a trademark eyeroll, "It doesn't matter what I'm doing here. What are you doing here? Geek lockers are on the other side of the school."

Willow's emotions were at war. Part of her wanted to shrink inside herself and slip away. The other part was sick to death of the bullying cheerleader. Luckily she was in a good mood and her butch side won out. Willow stood up straight and squared her shoulders, "I go to this school too Cordy, I can be wherever I want to be and I don't have to answer to you about it." Willow said as she brushed past the bitchy girl and headed towards the quad. Leaving Cordelia with her mouth agape and Willow with a huge satisfied smile stretching across her face.

A little while later, still grinning, Willow dropped down on the bench next to Jesse with her lunch.

"Hiya Jesse!" She exclaimed happily.

"Hey, what's with all the grinnage?" Jesse replied curiously.

"Well, I basically just told Cordy to shove it." Jesse raised his eyebrows. "Okay, not in those exact words, but the meaning was clear. What's happening here? Where's the love birds." Willow asked sarcastically.

Jesse nodded towards the other side of the quad. "They've been going at it for the last few minutes. Xander was a little late and Anya went ballistic."

"He was acting a little strange when I saw him earlier. Have you noticed anything different?" Willow asked Jesse.

"Huh? No, not really. Same old Xander. Hey, did you see that!?" Jesse practically shouted.

"See what?"

"That girl, she winked at me."

"Jesse I don't think-"

"Hey, I'm sorry Will, but I gotta go." Jesse said as he bolted from the bench to chase down the girl, leaving Willow alone with nothing but a sandwich to keep her company.

A few minutes later Xander and Anya finally stopped arguing long enough to eat their lunch; making for an awkward and quiet situation. Shortly thereafter, Jesse returned as well. He sat on the ground despondently; announcing that it was a false alarm and sporting a suspicious red mark, shaped like a hand, on his left cheek.

"Hey," Willow said, breaking the uncomfortable silence. "Is anyone planning on going to the football game tonight?" For a brief second she thought she heard crickets, as they all just stared at her blankly. "Well, don't everyone talk at once..."

The silence was broken when Jesse began laughing. "Ha, Good one Will! You really had us there for a minute."

"Um, I wasn't kidding. See, it's the last game of the season and I kinda wanted to surprise Tara and bring her little sister. Plus, it's the last one of our high school career and I thought it might be fun...or not..."

Anya shrugged, "All those testosterone fueled jocks chasing around a ball all night, it's just dumb and serves no purpose. If they were chasing money...now that would be interesting."

"Not everything is about money, Anya." Willow scoffed.

"Well, it should be," Anya replied indignantly.

"Will, not to be Mr. Buttinsky, but why the sudden urge to do something nice for a Cordette?" Xander asked.

"Well, she might be a Cordette by day, but away from school Tara is...she's um, she's pretty cool. I just thought..."

"I'm not saying it's a bad thing Will, just a thing. Anyway, I'm in." Xander said gleefully.

Anya pipped up next, "Well, if he's going, I'm going."

"Me too!" Jesse added.

Willow grinned broadly, "Great! We'll all meet at the ticket counter out front." Just as Willow finished, the bell rang and they all headed in opposite directions. Saying their goodbyes and agreeing to meet before the game.