Everyone, except for the still grinning Willow, had their eyes trained on Dawn, waiting to see what she'd say.
"Well, I saw her in the paper today. I mean, hello! Am I like the only person in this house who reads the newspaper???" Dawn said.
Willow had managed to shake herself out of her happy daze, and was now following the conversation again. Hearing what Dawn said, she rose to pick up the newspaper from where it was lying on a side table.
"Tara was in the newspaper?" Ira asked, looking at the blonde in question.
"Yup" Dawn said. "She plays handball for UC Sunnydale... In fact, she's the captain!" she said, smiling at the now pink Tara.
Willow was standing near the side table reading the sports section of the Sunnydale newspaper, and a few moments later she walked over to her father, handing over the paper. Ira began to read the article as Willow sat back down.
"Nice picture!" she said, looking at Tara. If Tara had been blushing earlier, she now resembled human cotton candy.
"Thank you" she said, quickly looking down at the Persian rug under her feet. Ira had finished reading the news piece, and was now visibly impressed. However, the first thing he said as he refolded the paper was "Buffy! You were in the team too???"
Buffy grinned and replied "Technically yes... but...well, let's just say that my contribution wasn't that tremendous!"
Everyone laughed, before Ira said "Yeah... the article sorta filled me in on that!" Turning to Tara he said "So Miss, tennis... handball... sports queen much?!"
"Not really... I mean, I've just been having a good run I think..." Tara said modestly.
Willow looked at the blonde, and couldn't help but notice that her heart took a little leap every time she saw that face. Listening to what Tara was saying, Willow didn't have to take a close look to see that Tara really meant what she was saying, and said out loud "Rubbish! Tara, I watched you through the tournament, and trust me, anyone can see that you really can play. Ok, that was an understatement girl... you rock!"
Tara's eyes had connected with Willow's while the red head was talking, and a few seconds into Willow's short speech, Tara had stopped really following her words. Not that she wasn't interested in what Willow was saying... it was just that her eyes suddenly found Willow's lips very captivating, and didn't seem to be able to take her eyes off them. "Lovely lips..." she thought, unconsciously letting out a sigh.
Willow had finished talked and was now staring at Tara, wondering what was with the glazed look in her eyes. Hearing the blonde let out a sigh, she got concerned, and asked "Tara, are you ok?" Seeing the blonde fail to respond, Willow began to panic, and again questioned in a slightly higher pitch "Tara, you alright?"
This time Tara heard, and realized that everyone in the room was watching her. "Yeah, yeah... I'm good... just remembered some... .umm... some work that I have to finish off later tonight... you know... for the station..."
Everyone nodded their heads, and Ira began asking Willow about whether she knew Tara too. The two began to talk, and Tara let out another sigh... this time one of relief. "That was close... what's happening... I was just staring at Willow's lips! She really has great lips, oh yeah, definitely great lip!" She cleared her head "There! I'm doing it again! What's gotten in to me? Why in God's name am I staring at a girls lips??? Ok so the girls hot... .yeah definitely hot... ok, now I'm thinking about how hot Willow is" Tara's eyes went wide, and suddenly it hit her "Oh my God... I have the hots for this hot girl!" Tara turned to stare at Willow, and decided to tune into the conversation to make sure she wasn't being spoken to.
"...so I went for the finals straight from here..." Willow was saying.
"Ok", Tara thought, "She's still talking about the tournament... Ok, where was I? Yeah... ok I think I have a teeny tiny crush on Willow... which is ok... I mean it's something that'll pass" She thought back to her previous crushes, and nodded her head slightly. Tara's crushes always passed. Sooner or later "Usually sooner than later" she thought, something about the guy that she liked turned her off, and somewhere deep inside Tara knew that it was the fact that she was so hell bent on not letting anyone close to her that made her seek out and hunt for that one habit or just anything about the person really. "Of course, this time I'm crushing on a girl, which is something totally new... but well, I guess the same rules apply... oh yeah, she already has a boy friend anyway, which means two things. One, it would be totally not nice of me to try and break two people up, and two, she's probably straight anyway!"
The fact that it was a girl that she was thinking about what the least of Tara's concerns. Deciding that the 'infatuation' would soon pass, Tara tuned back into what the others were doing, with one final thought. "I just have to make sure not to concentrate on her lips!"