17 days to go.......
Willow cleared away their breakfast things, well, lunch things while Tara showered. After loading the dishwasher, she pulled open the front door and was, momentarily blinded by the brilliant sunshine. Squinting into the light, she took a moment to allow her eyes to adjust before heading down the path to fetch the mail.
By the time she had fought to get all the letters and a parcel that had been crudely crushed into the box, Willow was sure that Tara would be out of the shower. Closing the door behind her, she was mildly surprised to find that Tara was still basking under the hot water.
Willow shrugged and headed back into the kitchen, sitting on one of the stools at the island, she began flipping through all the post they had received while they had been away. Her right hand went idly out for the radio and switched it on. The unmistakable voice of Steven Tyler from 'Aerosmith' filled the silent room and made Willow grin. The memory of a very drunken night at a local karaoke bar filled her mind. This song had been the one she had gotten up and tried singing for Tara, she hadn't known then how foretelling the words would be.
come and save me tonight,
You're my angel,
come and make it alright,
You're my angel,
come and save me tonight.
And now, almost 2 years since she had gotten up and made that plea, Tara had done just that. Forgetting the mail for the moment, Willow grabbed a banana and began dancing around the kitchen, using the ripe fruit as a microphone. Unknown to her, Tara had finished her shower and was stood, fully clothed in the kitchen doorway watching the impromptu performance.
Adopting her best Tyler stance, Willow continued. The state of permanent excitement she had felt since Tara had proposed often took control of her, making her have 'mad moments' as Vince had called them.
You're the reason I die,
You're the reason I give, when I break down and cry,
Don't need no reason why.
Baby, baby, baby.
Willow's voice cracked a little and she coughed, trying to clear her throat so she could continue. Tara's giggles in the doorway made her jump, dropping the banana which Miss Kitty stared at for a moment before returning her confused gaze to her redheaded mistress.
"I.... erm, well, I." Willow began, her cheeks flushed deep crimson at having been caught in her 'concert' Tara grinned as she entered the room and fetched herself another glass of orange juice before turning back to Willow who was staring in surprise at the banana that was resting under the stool. Placing her glass down and turning the vivacious redhead to face her, Tara whispered; "I know." before kissing the hot lips of her lover. Within the very Tara-ness of her life, Willow knew that, in that moment, Tara did know, understood perfectly, not just the insanity of her singing but her past, her reasons and, well, her.
As they pulled back from the kiss, Tara noticed the huge pile of mail that was laid out on the counter. "Wow, post uh?" she said, flopping down on one of the stools. Willow's excitement flooded her veins like electricity, "Yeah, it looks like loads of RSVP's for the wedding. Woohoo, we're getting married, in...." she paused briefly and Tara fixed her with a stern look, hoping that she hadn't forgotten the date. "17 days, 23 hours and...." looking quickly at her watch, she continued, "18 minutes!!" Tara grinned, an expression that turned into laughter as Willow began dancing around the kitchen once more, sweeping Miss Kitty up and spinning her carefully before plopping her back on the floor and dropping into the stool next to Tara.
They had entrusted Vince with the posting of all the invitations over two months ago and he had popped them in his bag, promising to deliver them on his way home. On his way back, he had been involved in a minor accident and the invitations were forgotten in the chaos, it had been only two weeks since he had posted them, the realisation of his mistake only came when he had joined a gym and got the bag from the boot of the car, opening it to find it full of invitations that should have been posted 6 weeks previously.
Thankfully, both Willow and Tara had understood and had called everyone to check they had received the invites before he'd realised. A large proportion of the inviting had been done over the phone, and hadn't set the wedding plans back at all. Caterers had been organised and numbers tallied, the written RSVP's were just polite protocol from their friends.
The only one Willow was waiting on, one she herself had posted so that she could be as certain as possible that it would be on its way to its destination. One person from her past that she insisted on being there. It was her telling Tara that she wanted him there that had spurned Tara's insistence on going back to Sunnydale. So far he still hadn't replied, no RSVP, no phone call, no page, no email, nothing. Willow had thought that maybe he had forgotten about her, it had been so long since they'd had any contact that that was a perfectly plausible option.
Willow tried to fight the disappointment, refocusing her mind on the day and the woman whom she loved more than anyone or anything in the entire world. She forced herself to open a gas bill, then the telephone bill, then her credit card bill before digging into the ivory coloured envelopes.
Tara had fetched the pad on which they had written down the confirmations they had received already, either by email or phone and was double checking against the names on the invites before her.
As the blonde crossed off another name, Willow found her attention on Tara, the sun shining through the kitchen window and framing her in a perfect halo of golden light. Propping her head on her hand, Willow drank in the goddess before her, her blue eyes twinkling like stars as the sun reflected from her hair. "Who'd you know in England?" Tara asked, turning to face Willow who was still staring lovingly at her.
It took a moment for Willow to realise that Tara had spoken, "Uh?" she asked, smiling. Tara rolled her eyes, "Concentrate sweetie," she said with a giggle, "On the invitations..." she added as Willow seemed to be returning to her day dream. "Who do you know in England?" she asked again, slower this time as Willow's eyes still held that far away stare. Her question snapped Willow back to reality, "England?" the excitement bubbling within her threatened to spill out and cause more dancing, singing and who knew what else. She grabbed at the envelope and stared at the postmark before ripping the envelope open and pulling its contents out. Tara stared at her, her beautiful face crinkled in confusion. "Erm, Will?" she asked, but it was obvious that Willow was too engrossed in the letter she had pulled from the envelope to hear her.
Dearest Willow and Tara,
Firstly, congratulations on your big day, I would be absolutely delighted to attend your ceremony.
I am so very sorry that we lost touch, I did mean to get back in contact with you, but as time passes these things become much more difficult, I am sure you know how it is, 'real' life gets in the way and then, before you know it, years have passed and it seems almost awkward to delve into your past.
You can imagine how thrilled I was to receive your letter and good news, I actually danced, if you can imagine that?
I will be in America the week before your big day, Buffy has invited me to stay with her and Dawn so I will be there if you need any assistance at all.
I am very much looking forward to meeting Tara, from what you said in your letter, she sounds wonderful. I wish you both all the happiness in the world, it fills my heart to know that you have done so well for yourself and have found your 'true love'.
Until we meet again,
The silence that had filled the kitchen was shattered when Willow leapt from her chair, whooping and cheering. Tara visibly jumped and knocked her orange juice over with a loud clatter. Willow seemed oblivious to the mishap and clambered up onto the island, turning the radio up as she went. "It's gonna be perfect!" she sang, gyrating her hips and waving her hands, one still holding the letter. "It's gonna be perfect!!"
Tara stared in open mouthed astonishment as her fiancée put on the second impromptu show of the day. "Erm, Willow? Sweetie?" she called up to the redhead, her hand gently coming to rest at the back of her knee. "Who's the letter from?"
Willow jumped down from the counter and grinned widely, "It's Giles!" she replied, her voice bubbling from excitement. "He's coming!" Willow couldn't repress the dancing any longer and leapt back to her feet, dancing like a thing possessed.
Tara frowned slightly, "In England?" she asked, trying unsuccessfully to get Willow's attention.
In all the explaining Willow had done about Giles, she had neglected to mention that he was English. Tara had assumed that he was American and, not being told any different, assumed that he also lived in or near Sunnydale.
Willow managed to stop dancing for a moment. "Yeah!" she said, panting slightly, "He's English, that's a good place for the English... England!" she giggled before her uncoordinated dance continued into the living room.
Tara just shook her head, obviously she wasn't going to get any sense or static from Willow until she had calmed down and so she returned to the invites, a broad smile playing across her lips as Willow picked up singing in the living room.