"I'm sorry for blowing that class off last week Will..." Buffy said, apologizing for the thousandth time.
"Oh... believe me when I say Buffy... .It's really fine." Willow spoke as she threw another outfit onto the bed. She had been in a good kind of nervous stupor all week in anticipation of tonight's class. Willow hadn't told Buffy, or any of her friends for that matter about Tara, because she wasn't really sure what she was going to do yet <I mean... the girl had a ring on her finger... she's married... Its as clear as... well... the ring on her finger.> Willow grumbled audibly at the thought of some big, greasy man hunk putting his natty paws all over Tara's body.
Buffy didn't believe Willow when she said she wasn't mad <The girl's obviously mad... I mean look at her...> Buffy thought as she watched Willow digging around frantically in her closet. <Hmm... She's probably trying to find something to go with that ugly smock...> "Look Will... how about if I go with you this time..." Buffy offered not really wanting to go but, still feeling guilty about having stood her best friend up.
Still in the closet, Willow practically smacked her head on the shelf directly above her when she heard Buffy's offer to accompany her tonight. <She can't go... I cant show up tonight with another woman...>Willow worried, as she tried to think of something that would discourage Buffy from coming. Then the perfect Idea came to her.
"Oh sure Buffy... you'd really like it I think... there are tons of women there and... here, this shirt will really highlight the beautiful colors in your smock." Willow said, tossing a fuzzy pink shirt over to Buffy. <Bingo!> Willow watched as Buffy picked up the offending material, holding it out in front of her for examination.
"Tons of women huh? No guys?... And this... fuzzy pink number...? ...That sounds... fun Will," Buffy said unconvincingly... "Hey! I have a great Idea why don't you blow off that class and come to my house instead... We could rent a movie... And you can even choose the movie this time..." Buffy said using her 'It's going to be the Best time ever' voice.
"That's okay Buff... you know how I am about attendance..." Willow said finally coming out of the closet and stepping over to the bed to choose an outfit.
"Yeah... remember in college when you had the flu and still went to class?" Buffy reminded her best friend.
"I had a test..." Willow poutily defended herself.
"Will... All I'm saying is... maybe you should just lighten up once in a while."
"I am light... as a feather in fact... feather like."
"Okay... okay... okay" Buffy said holding her hands up in a show of surrender. She was sure there was something going on with her friend, but Buffy didn't want to push her into talking about it.
"What do you think?" Willow said quickly taking the opportunity to change the subject. She picked up a brown corduroy skirt up off the bed and held it out for Buffy's inspection.
"It's nice." Buffy shrugged.
"UGHH " Willow groaned, going back into the walk in closet. <there was no way she was going to show up tonight looking... nice...>
"Will...? Your phone is ringing..." Buffy called in to the red head.
"Let the machine get it." Willow replied. She really didn't have time to talk to anyone. <Besides... It's probably just Xander. I'll call him back when I get home this evening.> Looking at the clock on the dresser, Willow started to panic. <I'm going to be late! No you're not. Calm down... you have twenty minutes Willow... put something on; drop Buffy home; then race like hell to get to class.> Feeling better at having formed a plan, Willow grabbed a long sleeve low-cut top off the bed and threw on a pair of jeans. <So much for the sexy look.> Willow frowned at her appearance, but she really didn't have time to do anything about it. "Okay let's go." Willow said rushing out her bedroom door. Sighing, Willow noticed that Buffy had not followed her out of the room. Turning around she poked her head back in through the doorway.
"Come on Buffy!" Willow shouted, hoping to spur her friend into action, who she saw was still sitting on the bed reading a magazine she'd found on the floor.
"I'm coming..." The blonde said, getting up off the bed,
"Hey will can I take this with me... ?" Buffy asked indicating the magazine in her hand. "There's a very interesting article on..." But Buffy didn't have a chance to finish her sentence because Willow was literally pushing her toward the front door. <Geeze she's strong.> Buffy thought. As she stumbled forward, her foot caught on the answering machine cord, pulling it from the wall. The flashing number, indicating Willow had a message went blank. "Will... your message." But by that time Willow was already getting in her car and glaring impatiently at Buffy.
<Whatever... she's losing it.> Buffy concluded, silently getting into the car.
"Buckle up Buffy..." Willow suggested a second before she put the 'pedal to the metal' so to speak.
They sped down the street, Buffy holding onto the dashboard for dear life... <Nope... she's already lost it.> The blonde corrected herself.
Tara fiddled nervously with the little silver ring her grandmother had given her four years ago as a college graduation present. She had come into work a little earlier than usual this evening and had discovered that the power for the whole building was out. <Well... that's just perfect.> Tara told herself. Normally she wouldn't have bothered to call any of the students, But she happened to have the registry right there in front of her... so she picked up the phone, relieved that it still worked. Tara's fingers started to tingle as she ran them down the list... looking for one number in particular... <There it is... Willow Rosenberg... 777-3465> Tara repeated to herself. Dialing the number she waited for Willow to pick up. The answering machine came on
"Hi... this is Tara... Maclay... from art class." Tara tried not to let the disappointment show in her voice. "Anyway... it seems that there's a problem with the power and I have to cancel class tonight. I hope to see you next time..." Tara allowed her words to linger in the air for a moment before placing the receiver back into its cradle.
After calling everyone else on the list, Tara decided to write a note for the couple people who she hadn't been able to reach. Tara found a sheet of paper, and in the dark wrote the other students a general note letting them know that class would be on for next week. Tara gathered her purse and went out into the hall, she taped the note to the wooden door. Tara placed her forehead against the door, allowing the feelings of frustration to wash over her. She'd waited all week to see Willow again and now she would have to go through another week of waiting. <Life can be cruel sometimes.> Tara sighed heavily not yet finding the strength to pull away from the coolness of the door. <It's probably better this way anyway.> She thought, unable to convince herself of that deep down inside.
Tara had felt a spark that night last week when Willow had touched her and she hadn't been able to get the red head out of her thoughts since. Not even thinking she might have a boyfriend was enough to loosen the grip Willow had unknowingly on her heart.
Tara was still lost in thought when she felt a soft touch on her shoulder. Tara turned around and was surprised to see Willow standing right there in front of her. Tara felt her heart beat speed up, causing a fluttering sensation in her chest.
"Willow... hi..." Tara said, surprise evident in her voice.
"Hi..." Willow smiled shyly.
"It's kinda dark in here..." Willow said. <In no way is that is a bad thing though.> She thought. Actually the lack of light helped to ease Willow's nerves a little... .
"It's a... power thing... You didn't get my message?" Tara's words trailed off , leaving them in silence. <of course she didn't get your message...> Tara realized.
Willow shook her head. <That must have been Tara who called this evening.> She thought. She wasn't sad that she'd missed Tara's call though... If she had picked up the phone she wouldn't have gotten the chance to see Tara at all tonight. The large skylights above them allowed the natural light from the moon and stars to shine down on Tara. <She looks beautiful bathed in moonlight.> Willow's eyes caressed Tara's face.
"If... you want... we could still have class... I mean... I'm free if you are..." Tara held her breath waiting for Willow to answer. "Just the two of us." Tara added. Unable to look Willow in the eye, Tara lowered her eyes to the floor, examining the redhead's shoes.
Willow waited for Tara to look up again before answering.
"I'd really like that..." Willow replied, throwing caution to the wind. <Big, smelly husband be dammed!> Willow was surprised by her own very bold thoughts.
"We could... go to my place... I mean... if you want..." Tara suggested, certain that Willow would reject this idea.
"Alright..." Willow smiled uncertainly, The protection of darkness still fueling her confidence.
The two women smiled at each other. Neither knowing, what the other was feeling. Tara picked her bag up off the floor and the women headed out into the night.