Return to Desert Heat Chapter One

Desert Heat

Author: Willow Watcher
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters of BtVS, they all belong to Joss Whedon and those others out there who have a claim in the series and all other things dealing with Buffy, but I wrote this story. The other characters are mine.
Note: Both In the Arms of the Angel and Rainbow Connection are sung by Sara McLachlan.

A knock came on the room. Tara opened it with a smile as bright as the sun.

"Now that's the kinda look only a visitor would give me. How ya doin' Tara?" Xander said as he handed the blonde a bundle of daises.

"I'm fine." She smelled the small bouquet. "Thank you."

"No problem. So shall I escort you to yon tavern for a night of singing, drinking and merriment?" He said as he extended his arm out.

"Escort away dear sir." Tara giggled as Xander led her away from her room.

Unknown to them, Willow watched from the office window. She pouted and returned to work on her computer.

Entering the bar, men around whistled and cheered as Xander proudly paraded inside with Tara holding onto his arm.

"Hey Xan, where did you find this beauty." A tall blonde man asked.

"Over at the motel but sorry Fred they're all out." Xander smiled and walked Tara over to a table in the far corner.

"What would you like to drink my lady?" He pulled out a chair and Tara happily took the seat.

"I think I'll have a martini." Tara told him.

"Um, is beer O.K.? They have whisky but they're not big on the mixed drinks unless you want to mix the liquor and beer. I wouldn't advise it though. You might end up tied to the welcome sign on the outskirts of town."

"You tried it huh?" Tara asked smirking.

"I'll never tell." Xander walked over to the bartender to get their drinks.

Music started playing and a couple of men got up and sang their own version of 'There's a Tear in My Beer' by Hank Williams.

Tara rolled her eyes and held her head up with her hands. Her father more or less tortured her and her brother with bluegrass music when they were kids.

"Not too much for the music around here either, are ya?"

Tara looked up into familiar eyes. "Hey!" She said excitedly and stood up. "I thought you were working?"

"Uh yeah, funny story with that. I was sitting over there in my office and working then I saw you and Xander leave and I didn't want you to get the wrong impression that I was ignoring you or anything like that because I'm not and I thought it would be fun to come over and relax a bit." Willow babbled out and grinned.

Tara smiled. "I'm happy you did. Here!" Tara moved over and offered her chair to the other woman.

"Thanks, so where's your date?" Willow asked.

"Right here!" Xander said putting the drinks on the table. "Thought you were staying in, little sis?"

"No way, when I know how you are with the ladies. Did you honestly think that I would let this beauty out alone with you? Not likely bro." Willow giggled.

Xander put his hand on his chest. "I am a perfect gentleman."

"As if! Gentleman maybe, but the perfect part, not even. And I'm not even certain about the gentleman part."

"And do you think you are better with the ladies than I am?" Xander challenged.

"Darn tootin'." Willow smiled and took a drink from his glass.

Xander took a seat across the table from the redhead. "Wanna put your money where your mouth is little one?" He propped his arm on the table.

"You loose every time Xan. Don't embarrass yourself." Willow smirked. She looked over at Tara and winked.

Tara grinned and winked back.

"I've been working out ya know." Xander wiggled his fingers. "Let's see what you got."

Willow sighed. "Tara, if I win will you dance with me?"

"Um well, I suppose." Tara answered totally confused.

Willow plopped her arm on the table and put her hand in Xander's.

"IT'S ON!" A man stood up from the bar and pointed at Willow's table.

"Now see what you've done." Willow told her brother.

"They're gonna see me win and then I'll get to dance with Tara." He smiled and wrapped his fingers over Willow's. "Ready?"

Willow nodded.

"Go!" Both of them shouted at the same time.

Xander pushed with all his strength and Willow pushed with all hers.

"Give it up Xan." Willow said through gritted teeth.

"Not a chance." He replied back. His arm moved forward.

Willow clenched her jaw and moved as hard as she could against his.

Xander's eyes lit up when he realized he almost had her pinned down.

Willow yelled out in frustration as she pushed and pushed but Xander's strength was overwhelming.

Tara saw the other woman struggle. She liked Xander but she wanted to spend every moment with Willow. She leaned forward. "You win and you'll get more than a dance."

Willow's eyes widened. With strength that she didn't know she possessed she pushed with all her might and slapped Xander's arm on the table making him fall out of his seat.

Everyone in the bar cheered. The came up and patted her on the shoulder then went about their business.

Xander peered over the table at the grinning redhead. "Getting stronger I see. Must be all the typing you do on that computer of yours." He got up and took his seat.

Willow grinned and rolled her eyes. "Yeah, that must be it. Wouldn't have anything to do with a certain..." She looked over at Tara, "...someone?"

Tara looked at Willow with a shocked expression. "What did I do?" She said with innocence.

"Oh nothing." Willow leaned in to Tara's ear. "So Miss Maclay, what little extra thing did you have in mind other than a dance?" She pulled back only to have her head pulled to where Tara's breath was tickling her ear.

"Maybe a handshake or maybe a kiss, depends on how good you are." Tara gave a tiny kiss on Willow's ear causing the redhead to shiver.

"How come all the women are gay? Is it me? Do I smell bad or have horrid breath?" Xander asked looking at the interaction between the two.

Tara giggled. "You are a great guy Xander. If I was straight I would totally go for you."

He smiled brightly. "Well, I'll take that as a compliment. Will you still have one dance with me though? Call it a consolidation prize?"

"You bet." Tara looked over at the beautiful redhead. "So tell me a little about yourself Willow."

"Me? Oh nothing much. I've lived here all my life and I told you about Xander." Willow answered. She really wasn't much for talking about her life. Actually she never had anyone wanting to know about her life.

"I know there's more to Willow Rosenberg than that." Tara said urging the woman to go on.

"I design houses."

"Oh that's cool!" Tara said excitedly.

"It pays the bills." Willow shrugged her shoulders.

"Pays the bills? Oh c'mon Will, you are a..." Xander leaned in closer. " woman."

"XANDER!" Willow slapped him on the arm.

"She gets paid twenty thousand dollars per design." Xander smiled and leaned back in his chair to avoid another slap.

Willow blushed and picked at her finger nails.

"Wow! You must be pretty good. But if you have money then why are you here?" Tara asked.

"This is my home. I love it here." Shifting uncomfortably in her seat she sighed but kept her head down.

"I have been trying to get her to leave this one horse town for years but she won't budge." Xander said reaching for his beer but Willow grabbed it up and took a long drink.

"It took me a long time to move from Alabama. For me it was really hard to leave but knowing that my friend needed me kinda gave me the initiative to get out. It's kinda lame but sometimes you have to follow your heart. Do what makes you happy, ya know?" Tara said taking a drink from her own glass.

"Personally I wouldn't know. The only heart following I have ever done was to buy the motel and that scared me to death thinking what if it fell under or what if I couldn't keep it up or what if someone stayed there and they fell down and sued me or..." Willow was cut short by Xander's hand over her mouth.

"This is the most effective way of shutting her up." He smiled and removed his hand.

Willow pursed her lips together.

Tara giggled. "Well, I feel like singing. Wish me luck." She rose up from the table and walked over to the stage.

"Sing?" Xander and Willow both said and looked up at the stage.

Tara walked up nervously to the bar. Normally she would never do something like this but tonight she felt like she could do anything.

She talked to the man who was operating the karaoke. He smiled and placed a CD into the machine and handed Tara the microphone. Instrumental music started flowing out of the speakers. With her hand shaking Tara raised the microphone to her mouth.

Spend all your time waiting for that second chance
For the break that will make it ok
There's always some reason to feel not good enough
And it's hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction, oh beautiful release
Memories seep from my veins
They may be empty and weightless, and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight

Willow looked into Tara's captivating blue eyes.

In the arms of the Angel, fly away from here
From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the Angel; may you find some comfort here

Tara walked off the stage. Her heart was pounding hard as she approached the redhead.

So tired of the straight line, and everywhere you turn
There's vultures and thieves at your back
The storm keeps on twisting, you keep on building the lies
That you make up for all that you lack
It don't make no difference, escaping one last time
It's easier to believe
In this sweet madness, oh this glorious sadness
That brings me to my knees

Tears streamed down Willow's face. Tara caressed her cheek and wiped them away with her thumb.

In the arms of the Angel, fly away from here
From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
In the arms of the Angel; may you find some comfort here

Tara bent down and kissed Willow on the forehead.

You're in the arms of the Angel; may you find some comfort here

The applause resounded throughout the building.

Willow stood up and quickly wrapped her arms around Tara's neck. "That was beautiful." She silently cried.

"WOOO HOO! Way to go Tara!" Xander shouted clapping his hands together followed by everyone else in the bar.

"Thank you." Tara said holding onto Willow.

"I'll take that ma'am." Tara turned and saw a man holding his hand out for the microphone.

"Thanks." Tara handed it over to him and put her arm back around the tearful redhead.

Willow pulled back and wiped her eyes. "Sorry." She sniffed and smiled.

"Believe me I didn't mind." Tara grinned and helped Willow into her chair.

"Hey Willow sing your song." Xander said propping himself on his elbows.

"No Xander." Willow blushed and hung her head.

"You have a song?" Tara asked.

"It's stupid." Willow said lowly.

Tara grinned and lifted Willow's face with her finger. "I don't believe anything that comes from you would be stupid. I would love to hear your song. Please, for me?"

Willow sighed with contentment. This woman, whom she met just this morning, had made such a strong impact on Willow's heart that she didn't think that she could ever deny her anything. "O.K."

"HEY GUYS! WILLOW'S GONNA SING!" Xander shouted out causing the entire crowd to start whistling and clapping.

"Do you have to do that every time?" Willow asked her brother.

"Yep!" Xander laughed and reclined back in his seat.

Willow walked up to the stage. "You know which one Mac?"

The man nodded and put the CD in the machine.

Willow cleared her throat and held the microphone up to her mouth all the while looking at Tara.

Why are there so many
songs about rainbows?
And what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions,
but only illusions,
and rainbows have nothing to hide.

Tara's smile was beaming.

So we've been told and some choose to believe it.
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it,
the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Willow walked off the stage over to where Tara was and sat down at the table.

Who said that every wish would be heard
and answered,
when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that
and someone believed it.
Look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us star gazing
and what do we think we might see?

"Sing with me." Willow said and Tara pulled the microphone closer to her keeping her hand on Willow's.

Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell.
We know that it's probably magic.

Both women turned to face one another and smiled.

T: Have you been half asleep
and have you heard voices?
W: Yes, I've heard them calling my name.
T: Is this the sweet sound
that calls the young sailors?
W: The voice might be one and the same.
T: I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
W: It's something that I'm supposed to be.
Together: Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Willow and Tara placed their foreheads together.

La de dah de
De dum dah
La de dah
La de dah

Tara moved in closer to Willow. Their lips brushed together then they were ripped apart by Xander picking Willow up and swinging her around.

"That was great! You two need to do that number more often." He sat her down and gave her a big hug.

"Well that was a once in a lifetime thing so I hoped you enjoyed it." Willow said as she pulled back.

"You know what, I'm uh...I was wondering Willow if you wanted to go for a ride with me?" Tara said nervously.

"Sure. I'd love to." She looked over at her smiling brother. "You won't mind will ya?"

"Not at all. Tara, take my sister please?" He rolled his eyes for effect.

Tara rose up from the table. "Happy to do it."

Grabbing Willow's hand, Tara practically pulled her out of the building.

Xander watched them go. "I hope she is the one Will." He said and took a drink from his beer.

Continue to Desert Heat Chapter Three

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