Return to The Game of Love Chapter Fifty-One

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!

'Man, I'm tired!' Willow thought, coming out of her last lecture of the day. She walked out of the building, into the sunshine outside. Looking around she spotted Buffy, Zak and Xander sitting in the shade of a tree... . 'And Tara's there!' she thought, all her fatigue suddenly slipping away. She began walking their way, her steps a lot lighter than they were a few moments ago. She was about 50 steps away from them... Now 45... '44... 43... 42... 41...' she thought in her head...

Tara felt herself being watched and looked up to see the most beautiful green eyes settled on her. She couldn't help the smile that lit up her face. 'Definitely crushing!' she thought, not following the conversation that was taking place between the other three anymore.

Willow saw her smile and her heart skipped a beat. 'What number was I on? Argh! Who cares about numbers... I should just hurry up so that I get there faster... oh I am so totally crushing on her...' she thought, not caring about what would happen later. All she knew was right now it felt pretty damn good to have the person she was crushing on looking her way and smiling. 'If only she took those glasses off! I wanna see those baby blues...' she sighed.

Something told Tara that she needed to get her dark shades off. 'Screw the sun!' she thought, and was about to reach for her glasses to get them off when...

Willow was intercepted.

'Ok someone's got a death wish' Willow thought, as she so very reluctantly tore her gaze away from Tara and looked up straight into the face of...


"Hi..." Oz said, giving his girlfriend a sheepish look. Willow was about to say something when Oz reached a finger up to her lips and silenced her. "Wait, before you say anything, I need you to know how sorry I am. I've been a complete, utter fool, and I... I'm so sorry. I don't even know why I have been behaving the way I have. There's no way to justify it..."

Tara's eyes had widened in horror. 'Why is his finger on her lips????? She thought, her brow now creasing into a frown. She watched as Oz withdrew the offending finger, and looked at Willow. The redhead stood still, and Tara saw that her brow too had creased now. Still, she didn't say anything, and just regarded her boyfriend silently.

Encouraged by the fact that Willow hadn't yelled, or turned and walked away, Oz continued "Willow, I know I've been acting like a crazed, possessive boyfriend, and I'm so sorry. Please, just give me one more chance to prove that I'm not crazy... I don't know what got into me... I'd probably drunk too much last night, and all the other guys were seeing their girlfriends at The Bronze, and... but see, I'm still not trying to make excuses... just... please baby, gimme one more chance?" he said, his voice now taking on a begging tone. Reaching behind he pulled a rose out from behind his back, and held it in front of the redhead, his expression pleading.

Willow had stopped listening to him somewhere at '...crazed, possessive boyfriend...' She was lost in her own thought, 'He's my boyfriend. And he's always been good to me. So he made one mistake. Then why don't I wanna take him back? Because I wanna see where it's going with Tara... Stop it Willow! This is just some stupid phase you're going through. Oz has been bugging you, and Tara's just this perfect girl... so perfect... stop that! She's just great, and a complete contrast to Oz right now, that's why you think you've got a crush on her. But now Oz wants to make things ok again... and it'll all be good... and anyway, you're not gay... wait, am I? No! No, no, you're not... it's just a stupid phase, which'll be over soon enough... what you need to do right now is take that rose and let him know that it's ok... you understand, and still love him... I do still love him don't I??? Just take the damn rose!' Willow noticed that Oz was now just standing there and staring at her, hope written all over his face, as he waited for her to decide whether she wanted to take the rose or not.

Tara's heart stopped beating as she watched Willow reach out and take the rose from Oz's hands. Oz let out a visible sigh of relief, and pulled Willow into his arms. Tara watched him pull back slightly, only to capture Willows lips in a kiss.

Willow felt Oz's tongue dart out as it sought entry into his girlfriends mouth, but for some reason she couldn't bring herself to open her mouth, and let his tongue in. She kept her lips pressed firmly together, and seconds later the kiss had ended. She stared into Oz's grinning face, and smiled back slightly. 'Why do I not feel as happy as I should right now?'

Oz took her hand and they turned to walk towards where their friends were sitting. Willow saw that Tara had risen, and was slinging her backpack over her shoulders.

"Hey..." Willow said, looking around at her friends, with her eyes finally landing on Tara as Oz said a much more merry sounding "Hey' to the gang.

"Going somewhere?" Willow questioned Tara.

"Yeah... I just remembered that I had some extra work to wrap up that I'd completely forgotten about" the blonde said, in a voice that sounded normal.

'Is she ok?' Willow wondered. The blondes expression and tone of voice sounded normal enough, but Willow felt as if something was bothering her. 'If only I could see her eyes... I'd know...'

"Anyway, I've gotta go..." Tara said, "See you guys later. Bye" she said, to no one in particular.

Willow watched her departing figure with a heavy heart. 'Don't go...' she thought, even as Oz's arm crept around her shoulders as they sat down.

Reaching her car, Tara wiped a tear that had fallen out from under the shades, before getting in and heading to work.

Continue to The Game of Love Chapter Fifty-Three

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