Tara sat up, pulling a tarot card from the inside of her left thigh, it made a sticky sound as it unstuck itself from her body. "I should have had these laminated..." She said through a smile. But yesterday she hadn't suspected that last night would turn out as it had. Willow was still next to her, asleep on the pasted paper scattered around them. Tara's hand went out to run itself along Willow's bare arm. She wanted to touch the woman more intimately but was unsure of the etiquette for such things. She didn't have long to think about it though, because in the next instant Willow was stirring under Tara's gaze. Tara started to remove her hand from Willow's arm, but was stopped by Willow, who, grasping her fingers was pulling her hand back into place. "Th-this is okay...?"
"More than okay." Willow smiled at the blonde's sudden shyness while, at the same time wondering where the vixen from only hours ago had retreated. Willow sat up. She could feel the cards she had laid on sticking to the skin of her back. Reaching around herself, she brushed what she could from her back. The other cards must have taken the hint, because they obliged her by loosening their grip to fall awkwardly to the carpet behind her. But Willow's attention was quickly drawn away from the cards, down to Tara's fingers, which had began to move lightly across the inside of Willow's arm.
Tara looked down at her fingers when she saw Willow's eyes travel there. She didn't stop the movement though, her fingers continued to caress Willow, while they sat there looking intently at each other. Tara loved the way Willow's green eyes were becoming darker and darker with each movement of Tara's fingers.
Willow felt the desire from earlier come crashing back in on her as she watched Tara's slim fingers. She felt the love she had for Tara crushing her lungs. Why couldn't she just say the words? What was she afraid of? Willow swallowed to keep from pouring her heart out to the blonde, not wanting to ruin the moment with the babble she was sure would take place if she was to attempt to share her feelings with the blonde. But it was getting harder and harder to hold back she had to do something. There was a split second of panic, which dissipated immediately once she found Tara's eyes. If she couldn't tell Tara how she felt, maybe she could show her in other ways. Willow focused all the love she felt for the blonde through her eyes, she hoped that Tara could see the love shining there inside the gaze.
Tara felt a wave of confidence flow through her. She felt love there between them. Tara wanted to open her mouth and tell Willow how much she loved her. But she couldn't. Something was stopping her; maybe it was all the other things that she had yet to say to Willow that stopped those three words from coming. Willow didn't know anything about her family. She didn't know that Tara lived in fear each and every day that her father would find her and do something terrible to her. But Tara could feel the need to tell Willow about the secrets in her life and that scared her even more than her father ever had. She didn't know how Willow would react if she were to tell her the truth. But one thing she did know for certain was that if she sat there any longer looking into Willow's beautiful green eyes, she would tell. She would tell her everything. Tara knew it wasn't the right time for that, so she forced her eyes away from Willow.
"What do you think they're doing?" Xander asked, putting the half-eaten piece of pizza back into the greasy white box living on the table between himself and Buffy.
"Who?" Buffy asked, her mouth was full of the bite of pizza she'd just taken; she had to find a way to talk without losing what she was chewing.
"Willow and her...lady friend" Xander chose his words carefully; he was still unsure of what to call Tara.
"I don't know...Whatever women do together I guess. Same things as guys and girls, I suppose...Only with less parts...or possibly more parts." Buffy frowned; she was actually still a little confused about that part.
"Yeah...definitely more..." Xander said, getting lost in his mental counting of just how many more parts it would take to make a lesbian.
"I know what women do together. " Anya said nonchalantly looking up from the book she'd been reading. Anya picked up a pencil and began a very detailed drawing. When she was done, she handed the piece of paper to Buffy, who examined it before passing it to Xander. "And then afterward there is an excessive amount of discussion and cuddling all of which eventually ends with one of them clearing a three foot space in the closet while the other dials the number to the local U-Haul Rent-A-Center." Anya lowered her eyes and went back to reading her book.
An open-mouthed Buffy and Xander examined the drawing again, turning the page upside down and tilting their heads to the side.
Willow watched the opaque outline of Tara's body through the foggy glass of the shower door. Willow tied the laces on her shoes while she tried to figure out what had caused the change in Tara last night. Willow knew there had been something wrong, by the way Tara had seemed to retreat emotionally from her. Willow bit her bottom lip and wondered silently if it had been something she had done or said that had caused Tara to pull away from her. Willow had wanted to ask last night, but hadn't been able to find the words...so instead of talking, they had made their way to Willow's bedroom. And even as they had held each other, Willow had still felt the separation between them. That separation had remained...and it was still there when Willow woke this morning to find Tara across the bed from her asleep on the far edge.
Tara leaned her head against the cool beige and blue tiles of the shower wall, as she let the water fall on top of her head to drip down her body. Things were different between them now, and Tara felt emotionally drained. There were so many things she had to think through, there was so much she had to tell Willow. The strain of all those 'had to’s’ felt like lead in her heart. She didn't want to, but she could feel herself pulling away from Willow; it was a survival technique she'd been forced to adopt as a teenager, and had never completely relinquished. She knew Willow didn't understand, but she couldn't talk about it now, if she tried, she knew she'd mess everything up.
"She hasn't called, Buffy... What if she never calls?...what if I blew everything..?" Willow gripped her best friends hands. It had been three days since Willow had last heard from Tara even though she'd left at least thirty messages on the blonde's machine.
"Get a hold of yourself man! It's not that bad. "
"No that bad?!" Willow practically shouted. How could Buffy stand there and say 'it's not that bad?'
"That's right. I said it. God that feels good...Read my lips. IT'S NOT THAT BAD."
"Buffy, I don't think you--" Willow started to inform her that she had no way of knowing how bad it had gotten, when the blonde reached out and with her fingers pinched Willow's lips together.
"Uhhuh. Deep breath. Inhale....exhale...now, repeat after me. My name is Willow Rosenberg and I am a hottie...If Tara doesn't call...then it's her loss. "
"Buffy I can't--" She started to say, but Buffy held her hand up to stop Willow's words
"Just do it. "
"My name's Willow Rosenberg and I am a hottie." Willow paused, feeling ridiculous. "This is stupid by the way. " She said, in response to Buffy's raised eyebrows.
"Humor me. "
"And if Tara doesn't call, it's her loss." Willow finished, feeling even more hopeless after the words were out then she'd felt before saying them.
"Not even a little bit." Willow pouted. She started to say something else to the tune of "get out of my house" when she was interrupted by the ringing telephone. Willow looked at Buffy with a blank expression. Buffy returned the expression...and all was silent in between the first and second ring of the telephone. By the third ring, Willow had snapped back to reality and was able to make a dash for the phone. "Hello?" She said breathlessly.