"So where are you guys going tonight?" Buffy asked. She was laying on Willow's bed, with her head hanging upside down over the edge as she watched her best friend rummage through her closet.
Willow stopped her search and stared at her friend in horror. "I don't know! Oh god Buffy, I don't know!" She tightened her grip on the shirt she was holding, "I hadn't thought about it. All I could think about was that she said yes." Walking on her knees, Willow moved to the side of the bed. "What am I going to do?"
Buffy tried not to laugh at her friend's pitiful expression, "Relax Will, it's almost seven o'clock. You're picking her up at eight, right," she waited for Willow to nod, "okay, so that gives you a little more than an hour to decide," she smiled when the redhead scrunched her eyebrows and frowned.
"Well, that's not exactly a whole lot of time," Willow pouted, "what would you do?" "I'd go with dinner and a movie... keep it nice and simple," Buffy nodded, agreeing with herself.
"What?" She noticed a smile spreading across her roommate's face, before it disappeared into another pout. Buffy playfully rolled her eyes when Willow stuck out her bottom lip, making it tremble slightly. "I'll go check today's listings, and make the reservations," she sat up, shaking off the massive head rush, "just make sure you're ready by a quarter ‘til, okay?"
"Thanks Buffy," Willow grinned, "where would I be without you?" Buffy stopped in the doorway, "Should I really answer that?" When Willow tossed a ball of socks at her, she quickly dodged it and laughed as she went down the stairs.
I have a real date... with a real person, Willow couldn't stop her excitement as she turned back to her closet. Now, if I could only find something to wear, she thought before diving back into the colorful pile of clothing.
Less than twenty minutes later, she had decided on an outfit and quickly got dressed before joining Buffy in the living room. "Okay, how does this look?" Willow spun around and waited for her friend's opinion.
"Like I shouldn't expect to see you for the rest of the night," she winked to emphasize her approval of Willow's choice of clothing. "It's not like that." Not yet, Willow blushed, unable to stop the thought from popping into her head.
"Uh huh, right," Buffy smirked, "Anya told me what happened this morning...so will there be a repeat performance tonight?" She joked, loving the way her friend's blush deepened as she squirmed.
"No," Willow answered, a little too loudly, "I mean, we won't be doing that again," she smiled and replayed the events of the early morning, in her mind.
"Oh, you won't?" Buffy nodded, unbelieving. "I...," Willow huffed, unable to think of anything, "leave me alone," she said with a playful spark in her eyes.
"I'm just messin' with you. Here," Buffy handed the redhead a slip of paper, "I made reservations at that little Greek place down on Main St., and that's a list of show times for the theater across the street... I figured it'd be easier just to walk."
"Thanks," Willow checked her watch, "I guess I should go," she smiled nervously, before frowning, "Should I get flowers? I should get flowers, right?" She checked the time again, "I have a little time, I'll stop by and get some from the florist."
"Why don't you just go pick some from Mrs. Hamilton's garden?" Buffy shrugged when Willow stared at her, somewhat appalled. "What? It's free and a lot faster."
"Yeah, but somehow I don't think Tara's going to find a handful of rotting flowers, very romantic," Willow said sarcastically. She shook her head, amused by her friends' shocking, yet cheap idea. "I better go... don't want to be late." She stayed rooted in her spot and began fidgeting with her clothing.
"Willow, you look great," Buffy chimed in, "now go."
"Wish me luck," Willow smiled, making sure she had everything as she opened the door. "You won't need it," Buffy called back just as the door closed.
Tara had been watching from her window for the past ten minutes for any sign of Willow. It wasn't because the redhead was late, it was just that Tara had been too excited to do anything else. She looked down and smoothed over her outfit with nervous fingers, before glancing out into the parking lot.
When she caught a glimpse of familiar headlights, her heart began to pound even harder against her chest, and she had to remind herself to breathe as she locked her door and jogged down the steps. Once Tara reached the bottom, she steadied herself with a few deep breaths and greeted Willow at the gate.
"Hey," she whispered to the most beautiful sight to ever reach her eyes. Willow hadn't expected Tara to meet her, and she quickly hid her left arm from the blonde's view. "I saw you pull up," Tara explained, noticing Willow's sudden movement.
"Hi," Willow smiled, shifting from side to side, "um, this is for you." She pulled the long stemmed white rose from it's hiding place. Tara dipped her head, whispered a ‘thank you' and subconsciously reached for her date's hand. She pulled their clasped hands to her lips and placed a gentle kiss against Willow's knuckles.
Willow swallowed hard, her eyes focused on Tara's mouth, "Ready?" She cleared her dry throat and licked her lips as the blonde nodded.
The restaurant wasn't as crowded as Willow had thought it would be, especially on a Friday night. There were a few couples scattered around, some of which, were having conversations but other than that, the room was quiet. The girls were seated at a booth in the back, while they waited for their orders to arrive.
"It's really nice here," Tara said as she observed her surroundings, "do you come here often?" She turned back to Willow, loving the way she felt comfortable in the redhead's presence.
"Only a few times," Willow took a sip of her water, "I usually come here with Buffy. She likes their Baklava."
"Oh um, how long have you and Buffy known each other?" Tara asked.
"Since kindergarten," Willow smiled as she thought about her friend, "she stole my lunch the first day. But I got over it and we became friends after I explained to her the act of swapping instead of stealing." She laughed at the distant memory. "What about you? Do you keep in touch with your friends?"
"Some," the blonde paused, "I um, I didn't h-have that many friends." She briefly averted her gaze from Willow and silently cursed her awkwardness. Willow noticed the small stammer and decided to change the subject.
"So what made you decide to move here?" She repeated Anya's earlier question.
"My mother was born here," Tara's voice was strong and clear. A sad smile crossed her face, "I guess it makes me closer to her in some ways."
"Where is she?" Willow asked, already fearing the answer.
"She died four years ago." Unshed tears glistened in Tara's eyes, and Willow automatically reached over the table. Her first instinct was to apologize, but Tara quieted her before she could speak. "No apologies, remember?" She flashed a lopsided smile. "It wasn't sudden, and... and I'm just grateful that I was allowed to say goodbye." A single tear splashed, soaking into the tablecloth.
Willow nodded and gently squeezed the blonde's hand as she thought about her own mother and their indifference. Neither girl knew what to say next, so they sat in silence until their dinner arrived, and reverted to mild chitchat throughout the meal.
Holding hands, the couple made their way across the street. "Are you okay?" Willow asked for the second time since leaving the restaurant. Once again, she chided herself for bringing up Tara's mother.
"I'm fine... really," Tara smiled. Deep inside, she knew that she'd never get over her mother's death, and truth be told, she didn't want to ‘get over' it. Getting over, meant forgetting. And Tara vowed to never forget the woman who brought so much joy into her life. She glanced at Willow, one of the women.
"Okay," Willow nodded as they crossed the street. The line outside the theater was long, considering the time of night. She smiled at the thought of being with Tara in the darkened room, but her smile soon turned into an annoyed frown when she caught sight of the people ahead of them. "Great," she mumbled low enough for Tara to hear.
"What's w-wrong?" Tara followed her date's gaze, "Oh... do you want to leave?"
"Would you mind?" She smiled nervously, "It's just that Anya tends to be one of those people who enjoys talking back to the movie screen."
"I don't mind," Tara shook her head, "we um, we can go back to my place. If... if you-." "Okay," Willow's hasty answer cut the blonde off. "Okay," Tara agreed and the two hurried off before anyone could notice them.