It was seven p.m, and Tara was just locking her office, on her way out of work. Pocketing her key, she began walking towards the elevators, when she was stopped by her boss. "Tara?"
Stopping, Tara turned towards the voice, and spotting the tall, tanned woman she said, "Yes Gabrielle?"
"Everything ok with you?" Gabriele asked.
"Yeah... you know, it's just been a tiring day, that's all..." Tara replied, stifling a yawn.
It was true, Tara had left straight for work as soon as she was done collecting her prize money from the sports department at college. On her way out she'd spotted Willow standing talking to Buffy, Xander, Anya and Zak, and she'd been about to go over and say 'hi' when she'd noticed Oz sitting a few steps away from Willow, strumming his guitar. Suddenly Tara's feet had seemed to get stuck to the ground, and all she could do was stare. She watched as first Xander, and then Willow had pulled Buffy into hugs, and then walked away, as Willow had sat back down next to Oz.
'He's probably writing her a song... ' Tara thought. 'Someone like Willow deserves to be serenaded with songs that are written just for her... '
All at once Tara could take it no more, and turning she'd gone to her car, and gone straight to work, where she'd buried herself in things to do all day. Remembering that the kids were due to come over today, Tara had called up the school and spoken to Melody, and told her to collect the spare key from the neighbours, go into the house with the other kids, and watch a movie. Finally when even she had to admit to herself that there was really nothing left to do, she'd sighed and gotten up to leave.
And that's when Gabrielle had caught her on her way out. A part of Tara hoped that maybe Gabrielle needed something to be done immediately, which would give Tara an excuse to bury herself in work again.
"Oh alright. Wel, I wanted to speak to you all day, but it seemed that at any given point, at least one of us was busy doing something. I just heard you come out of your office, so I rushed out to speak with you" Gabrielle said.
Tara waited patiently for her boss to continue, and after taking a breath the taller woman said "We've tied up with Magnus Entertainment on the Californian leg of their Michelle Branch concert, and now we've got the exclusive rights to play the concert live on air!"
"That's brilliant!" Tara said, genuinely pleased with the news.
"Well, I know that you and Michelle have worked together before on one of her earlier tie ups with the station, and anyway I think that you're the best person for the job, that's why I've decided to send you there as the spokesperson and overall representative of our station..." Gabrielle said.
Tara took a moment to absorb what had just been said to her, and another two moments to understand that this was really a big deal, and then she reacted! "Me???" she said, her eyes going wide. "I'm the official representative????" Tara asked.
"Yeah..." Gabrielle said, smiling herself at the younger girls shocked expression. "You'll be making all the decisions, and pretty much calling the shots. Oh, and between you and me" she said, her voice dropping to barely a whisper as she moved closer, "you're in for a promotion and raise after the concert".
Tara's face held an incredulous look as she pulled back. "Why me??"
"Oh that's easy. You've been with us for like forever now, and everyone knows that you're one of the most hard working people in the station. It's your dedication. Tara, we all know that you give everything your best shot, and that's exactly what we need at the station" Gabrielle ended, smiling.
Tara was overwhelmed by everything that had just been said to her. All she could say was "Thank you..." and then shook her head, as she still absorbed it all.
"Ok, now you should get going. Celebrate Tara, it's your night!" Gabrielle said, and began to walk back to her office. When she was almost there she stopped, and looking back at the still stunned blonde she said "Oh, by the way, the concerts in LA on Sunday, and you have to be there by Saturday afternoon", with that, she opened the door to her office and disappeared.
Tara turned and continued to walk back to the elevator. On the way to the parking lot she thought about everything, and gave her mother a quick call to tell her the news. As she expected, her mother was as happy as she was about the new responsibilities, and proud that her daughter was being promoted. But what she was most pleased about was that the concert was in LA, and she would be seeing her daughter over the weekend!
"Yes Mom... I'll be staying there. No, no party! Mom! Fine. No I'm not bringing anyone! Mooommmm!" Tara said, smiling at her mother's line of thought. "Yeah Mom... I love you too... bye!" she said, hanging up with a grin.
On the drive home Tara passed a liquor store, and thought about what Gabrielle had said about celebrating. 'But who should I celebrate with?' she thought, stopping the car to go buy herself a bottle of champagne. She thought about Willow, and dismissed that thought, knowing it was silly. She bought one bottle anyway, and went back into the car, thinking that she would call and ask Anya and Cordelia if they were free when they got home. She tried her friends numbers on her phone, and as it turned out Anya was busy with Xander that night, and Cordelia had a family do. Both of them were happy for their friend, and promised that they'd do something tomorrow to celebrate Tara's success at work.
'Well, if there's no one else, I could always drink to myself' she thought, parking the car and getting out.
Letting herself into the building, she walked up to her house, and heard noises inside. 'The kids are watching a movie... good' Tara thought, turning the key in the hole and letting herself in.
Closing the door behind her she turned to look at the sofa and for the millionth time that day, was rendered speechless. "Willow?" she said, taking in the sight of the smiling red head seated on her sofa amidst the kids.