Return to The Game of Love Chapter Seven

The Game of Love

Author: Shai
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Unfortunately neither Tara nor Willow are mine. Neither's anyone else in this fic for that matter!

The door was opened, and Willow, Buffy and Cameron made their way up to apartment no. 7. They knocked on the door, and moments later were let in by Emily.

"Hey! What are you doing here?" Cameron asked the girl who'd lost to them earlier that day.

"Well, I really had nothing better to do!" Emily smiled. Willow decided that she liked the girl. There was something nice about cheerful people! Emily looked at Buffy and Willow. "Hey, I saw you guys at the match today, but we haven't been properly introduced. I'm Emily" she said, extending her hand towards Buffy, who took it. "Hi, I'm Buffy", she said. Emily turned towards Willow and reached out again. Willow shook the extremely firm grasp, and simply said "Willow."

"So, you guys playing for UC?" Emily asked, letting them all into the living room. Willow looked around and immediately liked it. The room was quite spacious, and completely done up in pastel shades. A big mint green sofa, with powder blue cushions took up the middle along with a small glass centre table. There was a wooden cabinet that housed the TV, a large music system and couple of hundred CD's that were visible through its glass work. A three seater dining table sat in one corner, peach curtains for the windows. The living room also consisted of an open kitchen, that was just the right size. Another door led off to what Willow presumed was the bedroom, from where there were sounds of laughter coming out. Cameron made her way towards it, while Emily stayed with Willow and Buffy. Buffy said "Well, I'm a member of the squad yes..."

"But you don't have to play!" Emily smiled, understanding dawning on her. "Well thats not your fault, UC's just got a great team this year". She looked at Willow, "And you Willow?"

"Oh no, I couldn't play a game if my life depended on it!" They all laughed, and Buffy added "Willow's my best friend. She came to watch today, and the girls invited her over tonight. Speaking of the girls, where are they?"

"They're all inside the room, watching Friends! C'mon in you two" Emily said, beckoning Willow and Buffy into the room.

They entered the room, which was rather large. Like the living room, the bedroom too was mostly pastel shades. There was a huge bed, with two side tables, each with a reading lamp, and one holding a cordless phone. One corner of the room had two huge comfortable looking mauve colored arm chairs, and a black bean bag, all surrounding a small table. Next to the bean bag was a shelf on the wall that held another music system. There was a TV set in this room as well, although this one was a large flat screen. On the left of the TV there was a dressing table and mirror, while on the right was a door , from where you could hear sounds of a running shower.

Anya, Cordelia, Jessica, Sophie and Nicole were lying on the bed, laughing at something Joey had said. They looked up at Willow and Buffy and waved.

"Hey guys!" Cordelia said. Glad you'll could make it! Sit down...this edisodes soooo funny!" with that she turned her attention back to the screen.

Willow and Buffy looked around, smiling and saying their "heys" to the rest of the girls, some of whom were sprawled out on the floor, sitting in the arm chairs and standing out in the balcony outside the bedrrom. Then Buffy settled in on the bed next to Nicole, starting to laugh when she saw Ross' tan.

Willow was looking around for her host, but didn't see her anywhere. "Um, where's Tara?" she asked no one in particular.

"Taking a shower, she'll be out in a few minutes" Anya said, not looking up.

"She just got back from kickboxing class" Jessica added.

Willow, too, sat down on the bed. Soon, she was as caught up in the episode as the others, and didn't notice the sound of the bathroom door opening.

"Hey" someone said, and Willow looked up to see Tara walking out of the bathroom, dressed in a pair of tracks and a singlet. She had her towel thrown over her shoulder, which she now used to dry her hair.

"Hi" Willow and Buffy smiled at her.

"Ok, guys, I've ordered pizza. I don't know what everyone likes, so to be safe I've just ordered 3 large plain cheese's. That good?" she questioned, looking around. When everyone nodded she continued, "So it should be here in about 15 minutes and we can all eat. If anyone needs anything else, please feel free to ask me" she added, before walking out the room.

The Friends episode ended, and everyone began to make small talk. Buffy was soon in an animated discussion with Anya and Cordelia about the latest fashion going around, and Willow wondered where Tara had gone. Getting up from the bed she madeher way out of the room, to be greeted by the sound of someone typing. She saw Tara working on a lap top, sitting on the sofa with the Apple on the glass table before her.

"Hey" she said, approaching the blonde.

Tara jumped at the sudden voice, and looked up at Willow in shock, before she realized who it was and smiled. "Hey Willow".

Willow had seen Tara's eyes earlier that day when she'd taken her sun glasses off, but it was like she'd forgotten how blue they were. She'd not gotten to look at them for long then, since Tara had gone off to play the match, and every other time she'd had the glasses on. Now she was looking at them intently, noticing every small detail about them."What are you doing?" the redhead asked her, looking at the screen as she sat down a little away from Tara on the sofa.

"Oh it's just something I needed to send into work. I work with the Sunnydale Radio Station" she added. thinking that Willow wouldn't know.

"Oh yeah, Cameron told Buffy and me about your job on our way here. So do you like it? It sounds like a fun job" Willow said. She was still looking at Tara's eyes. Earlier she had somehow known that those eyes could be very expressive, but now that she looked closer, she noticed a guarded look in them. You couldn't know what the blonde was thinking or feeling when she had that look in her eyes. It was she didn't want anyone to look in... to know what was going on inside her...

"Well, yeah, I like it because I get to be creative and stuff, you know? But it isn't as easy as it might seem. Writing a script for one show every week, and trying to be different all the time is difficult."

"Yeah, that makes sense" Willow said.

"So, did are you liking handball?" Tara asked.

"Well, I liked what I saw today. You were really good Tara" Willow smiled broadly. Tara responded with a slow smile. "There's something so guarded about this girl" Willow thought to herself.

"Thank you" Tara said, "Although I've gotta tell you, I'm not the best player to watch. Cordelia's the real player. She knows all the moves, and really PLAYS the game. Me... well, I just have the power to make the shots."

"Well, I'm sure shes a great player, but honestly, I didn't see Cordelia's 'moves' win the game today!" Willow smiled, complimenting Tara, who once again gave that slow smile.

Just then the buzzer rang. "I guess thats the pizza guy" Tara said, getting up to let him in. A few seconds later there was a knock on the door, and Willow watched as the delivery guy very obviously flirted with Tara. Willow watched her very politely take the pizza, pay him and bid him a good night. The delivery boy left, with one last look of regret at the beautiful blonde he was unable to impress.

Willow watched Tara as she walked to the dining table to put the pizza boxes down. Onece again she noticed that there was a guarded look to Tara. It was obvious she was nice, but... "She...????" Willow just couldn't out her finger on it. There was something about Tara that told you she wasnted to keep everyone at an arms length. "I wonder why..." Willow was thinking, when Tara yelled out "Guys, the pizza's here! There's orange juice, Dr. Pepper, water and beer in the fridge if anyone wants any. Come help yourselves!".

A moment later a very hungry bunch of girls made their way to the table, ready to hog on some very cheesy pizza.

Continue to The Game of Love Chapter Nine

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