By the time the taxi managed to wade through the traffic on JFK Boulevard to get to the 30th Street Station, it was almost 2am. Willow and Tara pretty much had the entire cavernous station to themselves; only a few brave souls were scattered about, either sleeping on the deep brown mahogany benches by the Track entrances or wandering about checking rail schedules. They walked up the ramp that took them to the local R-series trains and waited on the empty platform, a surprisingly cold evening breeze piercing their lightweight clothing. Within five minutes, the R5 pulled into the station.
Once they found a couple of seats by one of the doors in the passenger car, they continued chatting with each other in the easy flowing manner that started back at the Museum. Willow recounted most of her childhood in Sunnydale, sending Tara into fits of belly laughter with some of the more ridiculous stories of the scrapes she and her close friend Xander used to get into as children. Tara, on the other hand, was rather reticent in talking about her childhood, so most of the conversation centered around her life after high school.
All too soon, a conductor came wandering through the cars, yelling "Next stop! Newtown Square, Colonial Heights, Tyler State Park and Washington's Crossing. Please have yer tickets ready fer stamping and thank you for riding Septa." They hurriedly removed their tickets from their pockets for stamping and moved towards the exits as the train slowed to a stop. Willow shivered involuntarily as a blast of shockingly cold air hit her as she stepped off the train onto the darkened platform. "Brrr! I don't think I'll ever get used to how cold it gets at night here."
Tara nodded soberly. "Yes, it's odd the things you take for granted sometimes. Luckily I don't live far. Come on." She clasped Willow's hand firmly and headed down the stairs. Tara removed a black keypad from her jacket pocket and pressed a red button. A loud "chirp chirp" sounded from a black Jeep Liberty close to the stairwell. "Good thing I remembered to park close," she muttered. "It's a bit too nipply for walking."
Willow giggled at Tara's choice of words. "Nipply, eh? Dare I ask what that means?"
A mirthful grin touched Tara's lips as she put the key in the ignition and started the car. "It's a long weird story. The short of it is, a friend of mine and I got caught in a cold rain one day wearing very thin T-shirts. We were so chilled that our nipples practically stood at attention. From then on, cold or damp conditions always warranted the term 'nipply'."
Willow laughed so hard she hit her head on the window beside her. "Ow, oooh... that was just evil. Too funny! Buffy has just got to hear that story." Tara chuckled as she wheeled out of the parking lot and headed her apartment.
The lock turned with a heavy 'click' as Tara turned the key in it. She opened the door and waved her arm with a flourish. "Welcome to my humble abode, madam."
"Happy to be invited, milady," Willow replied, bowing slightly.
"Make yourself at home," Tara called as she walked towards her bedroom. "I just w-want to change into something warmer. I really am cold!"
"Take your time," Willow offered. "Yes take as much time as you need. I am ever a patient Willow tree." She walked slowly around the apartment, taking in the simple décor. Apparently, Tara had a liking for handmade hardwood furniture. The dining room table, end tables and chairs all were made of cherry mahogany, burnished a deep dark brown. Her diplomas and awards were hung in a little corner near the balcony, almost hidden from view. It was as if she didn't want anyone to see her accomplishments.
Continuing her tour about the living room, Willow's eyes were immediately drawn to the sleek Nakamichi stereo system that hung from one wall and the large collection of CDs that lay strewn upon the table beneath it. She had started to check out what artists were in the collection, when Tara came back into the room.
"There! All better now," she sighed. She was now wearing a cream colored silk Patagonia turtleneck and matching leggings. It didn't help poor Willow that the clingy fabric accentuated every single curve on Tara's body right down to her well defined calves. Willow's mouth shut with an audible click as she tried to regain her composure. Tara slid onto the futon couch in the center of the room and patted the space beside her.
"Come have a seat with me. Would you like something to drink? I'm kind of thirsty after all that dancing and sweating."
Willow almost dropped the stack of CDs she had in her hand after that last comment. "U-umm, sure. Thirsty. Yep... g-got any ginger ale?" she stuttered.
"Oh yes, as a matter of fact, I do. Be right back."
Willow took that time to try to calm down. She sat down on the futon, hands beneath her to stop them from shaking, breathing deeply. "Ok, Wills, now's your chance. Thank happy thoughts. And for God's sake stop being so nervous! It's not like you haven't been attracted to a girl before. You're as gay as stick!" She winced knowing that this time was different. Attraction was one thing, straight up, total I-can't-get-enough-of-you love was quite another.
"Here you go." Tara handed her a cold glass of ginger ale and sat down, their thighs touching ever so slightly. Taking a controlled breath, Willow decided it was now or never. She sat the glass down on a coaster and faced Tara.
"Hey," Tara whispered, her features creased with concern. "Are you ok? You l-look kind of pale."
Willow closed her eyes with a sigh, giving herself a few moments before answering. When she opened them again, they were a deep green, focused and clear. Tara searched them, trying to get a sense of what was going on inside Willow's head. She broke the contact momentarily to get up and put a CD in the player on the wall.
At first I was scared
She turned around and looked at Willow, her eyes looking for a sign, anything that said that she was ok. Tara sat back down beside her, took Willow's hand and placed it on her face. She re-established eye contact, crystal blue meeting forest green, hoping that would help Willow feel confident enough to say something, anything.
I was scared when I looked at my reflection
When she finally spoke, her voice was ragged, almost near tears. "Do you have any idea how long I've wanted this? How I've waited for a moment just to touch you?" she sighed. "How I've wanted to just be with you?"
I was scared when you touched my lips
Tara's eyes swam with unshed tears. She wrapped her arms around Willow's waist, pulling her close. Willow placed light kisses on her forehead, her eyes, her chin. They were soft butterfly kisses, tentative and ghostly.
I will let you breathe through me
The sound of their breathing filled the room, seeking attention like needy children. Tara pulled back from the embrace, causing Willow to blink at the break in contact.
"You know, you're kissing me everywhere but where I want you to."
"Well, where do you want me to kiss you?" Willow asked, hoping for the answer she'd been waiting for so long.
"Right here," Tara breathed, gently placing her hands on Willow's face in order to acquire her lips, closing what seemed like a chasm between them.
Whenever I'm alone
The dam that Willow had so desperately been trying to shore up, finally broke, her passion for Tara spilling over and taking control. Their kisses remained soft and probing even as their need increased. Their breathing synchronized, almost as if they were becoming one with each other. Willow leaned back on the futon, pulling Tara with her so as not to have one single second where they were not touching.
I was scared when you came into my room
The mood of the song flowed through them like liquid fire, stirring their intense emotions, coaxing them into plumbing the depths of their need.
My heart beats your blood
Soon, clothing was a barrier that could not be tolerated. "Umm, " Tara moaned. "Off... all of this must come off..."
"Your wish is my command, milady," Willow smirked, leaning back so that she could tease Tara by removing one article of clothing at a time... very slowly.
"At the rate you're going, we could be here all night."
"That's the idea," Willow smirked, her left eyebrow cocked mischievously.
"Good thing that I don't need much sleep," Tara breathed, reclaiming Willow's waiting mouth.
Night bled into the steel grey of early morning. Dawn was ushered in by the soft sounds of desire finally fulfilled.