Return to The Game of Love Chapter Twenty-Five

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!

It was now 9:30 a.m, and Tara was ready to leave. Her shoes were on, glasses were in her hands, kit was packed, and car keys were dangling in her hands. She looked around impatiently at the rest of the girls, some who were even still finishing their breakfast.

"Doesn't anyone else realize that today's the finals???" the blonde thought, annoyed that no one was hurrying up. "Ok so maybe it's just 9:30, and we have to be there only at 11:15...and the stadiums just a 10 minute drive way....but it's still the finals..." she thought. "And you're in a tearing rush to see Willow..." her subconscious added. "Ok, where did that come from?" Tara pondered, opening her eyes wide.

Anya was sitting at the breakfast table, eating a scrambled eggs and toast, but while her mouth was working at the food, her eyes were trained on Tara. Anya had had noticed when her friend was ready almost an hour and a half before they were supposed to leave, and now, over 30 minutes later, she was engrossed in the mixed emotions playing across her blonde friends face. She seemed to be in some sort of deliemma, and Anya's curiosity finally got the better of her.

"Watcha thinking Tara?" she asked.

Tara was brought out of her thoughts by her friends voice, "What?" she asked, only having heard her name, and not the whole question.

"I asked what you were thinking" Anya repeated, taking a close look at the fair haired girl.

"Me? I was...I was..." Tara said, wondering what to say, since she couldn't tell Anya that she was thinking about seeing Willow that day. Then it hit her, "I was thinking about the game!" Tara said brightly.

"Hmm...worried?" Anya asked, her mind now turning to the match ahead as well.

"Yeah" Tara sighed. What Anya didn't realise was that the sigh was because of her save. Her mind turned back to Willow. Yes she was looking forward to seeing the red head again. Just the thought of her made Tara smile a bit. Looking at the time she once again let an annoyed frown show up on her face when she saw that the clock read 9:52 am.

"Why won't these girls hurry up???"

The alarm began to ring, and a hand reached out to stop it's irritating beeping. Willow Rosenberg stayed where she was, buried under her pillows, a small smile gracing her features as she remembered her dream. She and Tara had been walking through a beautiful garden. Willow was cracking some silly jokes that were making Tara throw her head back and laugh, and that was in turn, making the red head very pleased with herself. The garden was full of quacking ducks, exotic flowers and towering trees. The tress in turn were home to some of the cutest squirrels, and all in all it was a beautiful setting to be taking a walk in.

All of a sudden a red and white butterfly had flown straight into Willow's nose, making Tara break into giggles. At first Willow had pouted at the butterfly's choice of a place to rest, but when she'd seen how much it made Tara laugh she began willing some other butterfly's to join the one on her nose.

And that's when she'd been rudely awoken by the offending alarm clock. Now she lay back, smiling at the memory of Tara's laughter. "Wait...I had a dream of Tara? Tara and I walking in a garden? And I was all happy when Tara laughed????..." Willow began to freak out. "Ok think Rosenberg...think...what does this mean...see you've probably been seeing too much of the know, these past three days have been all handball...then why didn't I dream of the whole team????..."

*knock knock* "Willow baby, are you awake?" Sheila asked, popping her head in the door. Willow immediately sat straight up in bed, before saying "What's the time???"

"10:15 sweetie...what do you want for...." Sheila watched her daughter rush past her on her way to the bathroom as she completed her sentence"...breakfast?" Laughing at Willow's hurry, Sheila smiled at herself, making her way back downstairs to whip up some panckes for her daughter.

10 minutes later Willow was back in her room, the clothes she'd left at her parents' place before moving to the dorm surroundding her legs. The red head was standing in the middle of the mess clad in a pair of khakhee pants and a white satin bra. She couldn't decide on what to wear, but what she couldn't understand even more was her rush to look good for a handball match.

"It IS the finals" she tried to convince herself, but somehow it wasn't really working. She wanted Tara to think she was looking nice, and for the life of her she couldn't understand why. All she knew was that it was important.

Another 10 minutes later she stood studying her reflection in the mirror. She'd pulled on a simple white button down shirt, who's cut complimented the slightly lose style of the khakhee pants. On her feet she wore a stylish pair of leather loafers, and the over all effect got her approval. Brushing her hair quickly, she sprayed on some perfume and was ready to hit the road.

Looking at the time she saw it was 10:40. She rushed down the stairs towards the kitchen, where Ira was reading the morning papers and Sheila was making the last batch of pancakes. Running into the kitchen to quickly plant kisses on the cheeks of her parents, Willow quickly turned about and headed the othert way again, muttering "Gotta run gotta run...I'm late!!!" Grabbing some pancakes in her hands on her way out she ran out the door.

Smiling, Sheila and Ira exchanged a look that said 'kids', before going back to what they were doing.

It was 11:15 a.m, and a Mercedes pulled into the Stadiums parking lot. The lot was already almost full, with a lot of family and friends turning up to watch the Championship games. Still Tara managed to find a parking space easy, and quickly got out of the car, heading straight for the Stadium at a quick pace. Anya, Cordelia and Cameron who'd come with her jogged to catch up with her, as she kept a brisk pace till she got to the doors of the stadium. There the four girls showed their players I.D's, and were allowed into the building through a seperate entrance.

Tara took off her glasses as they entered the building. Walking through the changing rooms towards the playing area, the girls reached the court, and immediately saw that the bleachers were already beginning to fill up.

"There he is" Cameron said, pointing as she spotted Coach Giles standing amidst some reporters, talking to them.

The girls, who by now included the rest of the UC Sunnydale girls team, made their way towards their coach. Tara was looking around for Willow, disappointed not to see her yet.

And then Coach Giles shifted slightly, seeing his team arrive right on time.

There she was.

Willow rose from her place on the courtside bleachers, that were being covered by Coach Giles uptil that point. Tara made her way towards the red head, both smiling at each other.

"Hey," they said simultaneously, theirs smiles widening.

Continue to The Game of Love Chapter Twenty-Seven

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