Tara began following the conversations taking place in the room again, and first listened in on what Willow and Ira were talking about. This time she stared at Ira, and only LISTENED to Willow, without actually looking at the girl. "Must get plan into action!" the blonde told herself.
It turned out that Willow and her father were still talking about the handball tournament, so Tara decided to see what the two sisters were talking about.
"...so you've been stuck on the main features of the Treaty of Versailles all day?" Buffy was asking a very irritated looking Dawn.
"Yes Buffy" she said, sounding exasperated with her elder sister. "I really am trying you know? It's just... hard!"
Tara spoke up, "The Treaty of Versailles ... it was designed to establish the terms of peace between the Allied Powers and Germany... and it had over 400 articles... and stuff like that right?", ending with a slight frown gracing her features.
Buffy and Dawn were staring at Tara like they'd just seen a ghost, with their jaws all but on the floor. Hearing the sudden lack of conversation Willow and Ira looked up quizzically. Seeing Buffy and Dawn looking at Tara, Willow turned her gaze towards the blonde as well, with a questioning look on her face.
Tara caught Willow's gaze, and quickly shrugged her shoulders and looked away. "Must keep plan in motion!" she thought, looking back at her feet.
Willow looked back at her best friend "What happened Buff?"
Buffy ignored what the red head said, and instead turned towards her sister, asking "Was that right?"
Dawn finally closed her mouth and nodded her head, before asking Tara "How did you know that???"
Tara blushed, and said "Umm... I just happened to love history in school, and well, I have to admit that even now I love reading up about stuff on the World Wars and the likes..."
"That's brilliant!" Buffy said. "No really, I think it's amazing that you know, you remember stuff and, you know, things like that!" Her cell phone began to ring, and quickly glancing at the number she grabbed the small device and said in a voice giddy with joy "Zak!", before rising and walking towards what Tara presumed was the kitchen to continue the conversation.
"So what were you talking about the Treaty of Versailles for anyway?" she asked Dawn.
"I have a stupid history test at school day after tomorrow, and I've been studying al day, but I can't seem to remember anything!" the teen said, the frustration obvious in her voice.
"Umm, you know, I could help you... if you wanted that is..." Tara said.
"Ooh, you could? Thanks soooo much Tara!" Dawn said, and jumping up from her seat she quickly moved over to the blonde and hugged her.
Tara looked surprised for a second, but as soon as she realized what was happening she hugged the youngster back, simply saying "After dinner then?"
"Sure thing!" Dawn said.
Willow was sitting back and watching the whole scene unfold before her, and felt herself wishing that it was her who was hugging the blonde, not Dawn.
They were all sitting around the dining table now, mid way through their meal. Willow found herself continuously stealing glances at Tara, who was staring at her plate earnestly. They'd all complimented Ira on the meal, with Tara saying that she was "definitely glad she'd won the bet!".
Throughout the meal Ira'd been questioning Tara about handball, and how she'd started playing and things like that. The rest of them had listened to the conversation, which finally concluded with Ira saying "Well I must come and see you in action sometime. Willow was telling me a while ago about how good you are and things, and of course, USA under 21 doesn't come easy I'm sure!".
Tara had blushed, and gone back to staring at her place, as Ira struck up a conversation with Buffy, asking the girl he's seen grow up how she was doing. Willow was glad to be out of the talking bit, since that gave her more time to study Tara.
Tara was looking stunning tonight. When Willow had opened the door that evening, it had taken a considerable effort to get the girl's name out, what with the way Tara was looking. With her hair worn loose and slightly wavy, Tara had barely used any make up, going only with glossy lips. She was wearing a black full button down shirt, and a knee length black skirt, with black boots making their way up their way under her skirt. "They probably end at her knees" Willow had though, before she'd said the girls name back then.
Now Willow was back to staring at the girl, appreciating her very obvious beauty. "What's a girl as gorgeous as this one doing single?" she wondered. "I mean if I was a guy I'd be watering my plants with my own drool staring at her! Wait, I'm drooling anyway..." Willow thought. "That's ok though. Girls check out other girls everyday... something about scrutinizing the competition I believe" she told herself, recollecting something she'd heard on Oprah.
"Dessert anyone?" she heard her father say, and was brought back to the present world. Looking up she saw Tara looking at her, before the blonde seemed to slightly shake her head and look at her Dad set a huge chocolate cake on the table.
"Why'd she do that?" Willow wondered, as Dawn gleefully said "Ooh cake!"
Two hours later Tara and Dawn walked down the stairs to join Buffy, Willow and Ira in the living room with huge grins on their faces. "You're through???" Buffy said, glancing at her wristwatch, and then back up at the two girls in shock.
"Yup!" Dawn said cheerfully. "You can ask me anything you want about the first World War, and I'll give you detailed answers big sis!"
"Is that true?" Willow asked Tara.
The blonde nodded her head, smiling, before Buffy asked Tara "How????"
"She's really pretty smart" the blonde responded, smiling at Dawn before looking back at her still shocked sister. "She just needs to be a little more interested..."
Dawn cut her off "Yeah, and Tara really makes history fun Buffy. She knows all these facts and stuff that aren't mentioned in the text, and they're sooo cool!" She turned to look at Tara with a look that to Willow was adoration combined with worship.
"Well, thanks so much Tara!" Buffy said. "I never thought I'd hear my sis say 'history' and 'cool' in the same sentence!"
Everyone laughed, before Tara said "Hey no problem. Anytime Dawn needs help she can feel free to call me. I've given her my numbers".
Willow just stared at the girl, not able to take her eyes off her, as they all sat down, and began to make polite conversation.
Shortly afterwards Buffy and Dawn left, with Buffy saying that she'd had a tiring day at work and needed to get some rest before she was back to square one the next day. Tara bade them goodbye in the living room itself, with Dawn impulsively hugging Tara again, while Willow and her father saw them to the door.
They were back a few minutes later, and Ira immediately said that he needed to get some things packed for his flight the next day, and excused himself to go to his room for a while.
That left a Tara with the words "Keep the plan going!" playing in her head, and a Willow who had decided she hadn't had enough time staring at Tara's blue eyes that night, sitting in the living room together.
Tara tried to look everywhere but at Willow, and ended up looking at every inch of the room, before she realized that she had no choice left but to look at Willow. Taking a deep breath, she did just that, to find the redhead gazing at her intently, a small smile gracing her features...