Tara watched as the band marched around the track to start the game. They stood on the field in a line along with the cheerleaders as the football team bounded on to the field, knocking over a few band members in the process. Willow frowned as she saw a few trumpets getting up from the turf and brushing themselves off before resuming the position. It was never like that in her old school; in fact hardly any one went to the football games. The band would occasionally play at the games if they needed some practice time, but usually they were off doing competitions or too involved in practice to care. Here it seemed like the whole school revolved around the football team. She sighed and marched off the field playing the cadence as the game started.
Tara stood on the track facing the stands and doing occasional cheers and lifts when the other team had the ball. They were pretty good at getting the fans riled up for their team. It had been mentioned, more than once last year, that they take back the half time show from the band and actually do their routine. Tara had liked the idea then, but now she didn't see why they would need to dominate every football game, plus the routine wasn't that long and to fill up a whole half time show with cheers would be a little boring.
Tara hadn't talked with Buffy and Anya much, they still seemed to harbor some hurt feelings about something. Tara wasn't sure what it was she had apologized, sort of, to them and thought they were cool with it, but they were acting rather strange. Tara shook it off this was a fun night and she was going to have fun. She glanced up in the stands and saw her parents cheering along with them. She smiled and waved, her parents rarely missed a game or competition she had. She wondered if Willow's parents would show up, since she assumed they were back in town.
"Ok guys two more cheers and it's J.V's turn." Tara said to the Varsity cheerleaders. They cheered as the football team exited the field.
"Hey Tare, we are all going to sit over there ok?" Anya said pointing at an empty bench.
"Ok, I'm going to go say hi to my parents, I'll find you guys later ok?" She said, hoping to make a get away and find Willow.
"Ok we'll save you a spot." Buffy said.
"Ok." Tara said making her way up the bleachers to find her parents. She felt bad in a way she had no intention of sitting with the rest of the cheerleaders if she could help it.
She found her mom easily since she was standing up waving her arms like one of those arm-flailing-tube-men. "Hi honey, you were great out there." Her mom said as she sat down.
"Yeah, got me cheering." Her dad commented.
"Thanks, ok we have to watch the band. Willow's in it." She said turning her attention to the field.
"Ah Willow." Her dad sighed like a love sick teenager.
"Dad!" Tara scolded and bumped him with her shoulder. They watched as the band marched on the field and into position.
"Ok which one is she?" Her dad asked.
"Well she plays the toms. I think that's her on the right, but it's hard to tell they all look alike. I think that's her though and the other is Matt." Tara said pointing the redhead out to her parents.
The band started in on their song, Tara didn't recognize it, but she didn't care her eyes were focused on what she thought was Willow. The band moved about making patterns no one could decipher. Once it was over the drumline started toward the track and stood in a line. Luckily Willow was on the side Tara and her parents were on so she could get a good view of the girl.
"Well this is different." Tara's mom commented. "Usually they just stand and play with the band."
The stadium was eerily quiet for a moment wondering what the band was going to do next, until the snare started in on his counts. Once the first mallet hit the drums the entire band started dancing on the field. At first the crowd didn't know what to do, but then some people started cheering and standing up in their seats. Tara and her parents followed suit. First the snare drums took a step forward and showed off what they could do, then the bass drums and finally Willow and Matt stepped forward and entertained the crowd with their rendition of part of a Fuel song.
"Wow she really moves those mallets fast." Her dad said. Tara had noticed it too, Willow was so precise in her movements they seemed to flow naturally out of her arms to her hands and then to the head of the drum. She was mesmerized by the redhead again and all she could say was. "Yeah."
Willow and Matt stepped back into formation to finish off the song. Once they had finished the band members moved back into their attention position like they hadn't been dancing at all and the entire crowd erupted in applause as the band marched off the field.
"Wow that Willow is really talented." Her mom said as the football players took the field.
"Yeah and insanely smart, she is pretty much a genius I think. She's in like every A.P. class we have and even the teachers say she is wicked smart." Tara beamed, she loved talking about Willow and for some reason she couldn't with her friends.
"Well good catch Tara." Her dad smiled.
"Well I haven't caught her yet." Tara said under her breath.
As the band marched off the field and was out of sight of the audience they erupted into cheers and congratulations on a job well done.
"Dude Wil, totally sweet call on doing Fuel, the crowd loved it." Oz said hugging Willow. He pulled away and blushed.
"Yeah I have never seen anyone cheer for us during a football game, which was so sweet." Xander said.
"Yes Willow that was a wonderful idea, I must thank you for it." Dr. C. said congratulating her as well. "I really loved how you put that percussion piece together, I might not know the song, but it was done beautifully."
"Thanks, Dr. C. That means a lot." Willow smiled at all the praise.
Willow threw on some jeans and still had her Warriors hoodie on with her Warriors hat on backwards. It wasn't the height of style, but she was comfortable and warm on the cool fall night. She was one of the last people out of the locker rooms as she grabbed her toms and headed toward the stadium. She found her seat and set her drums down on the bleachers in front of her, much like at the pep assembly that morning.
Tara kept watching the band getting more and more impatient when she didn't see Willow. She smiled as soon as she saw Willow appear with her hat on backwards and a hoodie that was a little too big.
"There's Willow, gotta go." She said jumping up from her parents.
"Hey, come see us before we leave ok?" Her mom asked.
"Sure thing." Tara said making a break and all but running up the stairs to see the redhead.
Willow saw Tara making her way up the stairs to see her. She smiled before realizing there was no where for Tara to sit. She had mistakenly situated herself between Matt and Oz.
"Matt we need to switch spots." Willow said quickly.
"Just switch with me ok." Willow said pulling on Matt's jacket trying to get him to stand. Matt glanced down and saw Tara walking up the stairs.
"Oh I get it, you want to sit with your girlfriend." Matt teased grabbing his drum to move it in front of where Willow was impatiently standing.
"Yeah, duh, now hurry up before she gets here."
They made eye contact when Tara was a few steps away, they both smiled at each other and Willow felt her pulse quicken. She always wanted to remember this moment, Tara walking toward her. Her uniform skirt covering her track pants, her blond hair falling over her letter jacket, all wrapped up in a gorgeous package Willow wanted, bad.
"Hey." The blonde greeted.
"Hi. I'm so glad you are here. Here I saved a seat for you." Willow said hearing Matt chuckle from her side.
"You guys were great you know. I have never seen the crowd so enthusiastic, it was amazing."
"Yeah it was all Wils idea." Oz said leaning over to talk to the two girls around Matt. "She's an incredibly talented girl." Oz said almost longingly. Tara picked up on Oz's tone, but turned her attention to Willow who was waving off the praise.
"Yeah, but you guys pulled it off, so we're even." Willow said.
Tara smiled at Willow's modesty. She placed her hand on Willow's thigh causing Willow to intake a breath and hold it. "She is pretty great huh?" Tara said to the boys, but not taking her eyes off Willow. Willow blushed and dropped her head until she heard one of the trumpets yell, The Hey Song! Willow grabbed her mallets and started in on the song
Tara was having the time of her life, she sat almost on top of Willow, as Willow taught her a few songs. Willow would occasionally let her play by telling her which tom to hit at which moment. She enjoyed joking around with the whole drumline, it was like they had been friends forever.
"So that's why I thought I heard 'man I feel like a woman'. I thought I was going insane." Tara said laughing at the antics of the drumline.
"Nope, it's a tradition now. Any male in my car driving to the stadium, is hereby required to sing Shania Twain's 'I feel like a woman'." Willow said spinning a mallet in her hand.
Tara laughed and snatched Willow's hat and put it on her own head. Willow leaned over and whispered in Tara's ear. "You look cute in my hat."
Tara shivered when she felt Willow's sweet breath on her ear, it took everything she had to sit there and not ravish the redhead. She glanced at the play clock, only 2 more minutes to go. Tara sighed, she wished she had more time with Willow. Maybe they could get together this weekend she thought. She mirrored Willow's earlier movement as she leaned in and whispered in Willow's ear.
"I need to say bye to my parents, can you meet me back at the school, east lot?"
Willow only nodded at Tara's seductive voice. Tara turned to the others on the line.
"I have to go, but it was nice hanging out with you guys." She said politely.
"Sure, anytime Tara." Xander said waving at the blonde.