Return to The Game of Love Chapter Fifty-Four

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!

An hour later Tara was sitting in her office, working on some concepts for the concert, where there was a quiet knock on her door. "Come in" she called, not looking up from the computer that she was furiously typing away on. A part of her mind heard the door open and shut, but she continued working, until she heard a voice speak up...

"I know that this might be totally inappropriate but..." Recognizing the voice Tara looked up to see Buffy walking around her desk. Before Tara had a chance to say anything the petite girl had grabbed a hold of her right arm, and with surprising strength she captured the taller blonde in a bear hug! After holding onto the surprised girl for a few seconds, Buffy pulled back, and once again reached out to hold onto Tara's hand, quietly saying "Thank you."

Tara was about to protest, and it must have shown on her face because Buffy raised her free hand and repeated "No really, thank you Tara". Tara closed her slightly open mouth and merely nodded her head, a small smile gracing her features. Buffy continued " This job really makes life a lot easier for me...and I know that I'm only getting the job because of you...See, I'm sure no one at this station even knew I existed before you probably told them!"

'Gabby told her! I'm soooo gonna kill that woman!' Tara was thinking, and again it must've shown, because again Buffy said aloud "And don't think Gabrielle said anything to me about it, because she didn't. It's elementary my dear Watson" she joked, and this time Tara's faced broke into a lopsided grin. Buffy squeezed Tara's hand that was still in hers for a second, before pulling her hand back, and saying "So I start work tomorrow! And well, thanks again..."

"Ok, you can really stop that now!" Tara said, grinning.

"Alright... umm... ok, as a thanks, and I insist on this, I wanna take you out or something... you free this evening? We could do anything you want! I insist!" Buffy said, looking stubborn.

"Is that something you Summers girls enjoy or something?" Tara asked, her eyebrows raised.

"Huh?" Buffy asked, clueless to what Tara was saying.

"Taking people out. Dawn's already booked me for the evening. Apparently she thought she should "thank me" for helping her with History the other day, and now I have to make sure that I'm at the cinema by 7 sharp!" the blonde laughed.

"Oh ok! I guess she beat me to it. Well, I'm telling ya, I will, and I mean I WILL take you out another day. And don't think you're getting out of this missy! Don't forget I'm a Summers girl!" Buffy winked.

"Sir yes sir!" Tara mock saluted. Both girls smiled at each other, and Buffy asked "So, busy with work?"

"Yeah... we're playing the Californian leg of Michelle Branch's tour live on air on Sunday, and I have to get everything set and be in LA by Saturday afternoon to make sure that everything goes smoothly. So well, it's a lotta work right now!" Tara replied.

"Wow! Michelle Branch?! Willow's a huge fan of hers ya know? She's like her favorite singer! At one point I really thought I would throw her music system outta the room if I had to listen to "All You Wanted" one more time!" Buffy mock gritted her teeth at the memory. "Great, now it's playing in my head again!" she sighed.

Tara smiled at the girls exasperation, even as that one word played in her mind - "Willow". A moment later what Buffy had said registered in her mind 'Ooh Willow likes Michelle Branch! Tara can ask Willow to go along to the concert. It won't be a big deal... to Willow anyway. Just a friend taking another friend along to see an artist that she really likes. Ask her Tara, ask her Tara! Ok, first Tara must stop thinking to herself in the third person...'

"Tara? Tara?" Buffy waved her hand before Tara's face, snapping the girl out of her thoughts. "hey... you kinda spaced out there... everything ok?"

"Hmm? Yeah... yeah, yeah... I was just... just thinking of how much work needs to be done before I leave" Tara said, mentally patting herself on the back 'Nice cover Tara... aaaah! Stop with the third person!'

"Oh, ok... well, I better leave you to your work then! I'll see you at work tomorrow! I like the sound of that! No more flippin' burgers for me, no siree!" she grinned, as she turned and started walking towards the door. Tara sat back down, and watched as Buffy stopped at the door, turned to her and said "And Tara, really, than..."

"Go!" Tara said, cutting her off with a glare, although her eyes glinted with amusement.

"Fine!" Buffy grinned, and with a small wave she left the room.

Tara turned back to her computer, and re-read what she'd been typing before Buffy had come in. Her fingers hovered in the air over the keyboard, as she finished reading the paragraph, and thought 'Now, should or shouldn't Tara ask Willow to come to LA for the weekend to see Michelle Branch???'

It was 6:15, and Tara was back home, getting set for her evening out with Dawn. She'd just stepped out of the shower, and was browsing through her clothes, when her phone rang. Glancing at the number, she answered it as she continued going through her clothes with her free hand. "Hey Ahn!"

"Hi Tara" her friends perky voice came through the phones speaker. "Where are you?"

"I'm at home, getting changed to head to the movies with Buffy's sister Dawn. I have to see her at the cinema at 7..." Tara answered, pulling out a pair of faded blue jeans, and moving towards where her shirts were hung.

"Why're you going for a movie with Dawn???" Anya asked, not quite understanding why Tara was hanging with someone so much younger than herself.

"It's a long story..." Tara said, in a hurry to get changed and out of there. She pulled a plain white singlet from a hanger, and then proceeded to open her lingerie drawer. "I'll tell ya later."

"Alright" Anya conceded. "Anyway, I called to see what you were doing later tonight...say, 10-ish?"

"Well..." Tara thought for a second, "I should be back here by 10:30 at the latest, and after that, I don't have anything else planned. Why?"

"Cordy and I wanted to see know, to celebrate the good news and all!" Anya said, referring to their conversation over the phone the previous evening. "Sorry we were caught up with other stuff Tara..."

"Nah... I understand that..." Tara said kindly. "Well, why don't you guys drop in at about a quarter to 11, and we can hang at my place. Sound ok?"

"Great! See ya then Tara... and have fun with Dawn! Bye" Anya said, hanging up.

"See ya" Tara replied, and cut the call, before dropping her bathrobe and getting into her underwear. She glanced at the small clock she had in the closet... '6:22' she read, before hurrying up.

"Tara!" Dawn yelled, spotting the blonde as she walked her way.

"Hey Dawn" Tara smiled as she walked up to the younger girl, who enveloped her in a warm hug. 'Hmm, I guess that's another thing the Summers girls like to do' Tara mused, as Dawn pulled back.

She spotted 2 girls behind Dawn, and a moment later the brunette introduced her friends "Tara, meet Linda and Justine. Guys, this is Tara." The three smiled at each other, before Dawn asked the older blonde, "So, whaddaya wanna watch?"

Tara looked around to see that her options were a teen flick, a murder flick, and a special screening of 'The Wizard of Oz'. The last one was one of her favorite movies, but she didn't want the three girls to have to endure something they wouldn't like, so she answered "I'm game for anything. What do you guys feel like watching?"

The three youngsters looked at one another, before Dawn turned a sheepish face towards Tara and said in a low tone "Well, we thought it would be kinda cool to watch 'The Wizard of Oz', but that's like a really old movie, and we totally understand if you don't..."

"Ooh!" Tara grinned. "That's the one I really wanted to watch! Let's do it!"

"Alright!" Dawn laughed, and they all got in line to buy tickets. Dawn took money from Justine and Linda for their tickets, but refused to take the greens that Tara was holding out to her. "I told you, it's on me" she said, in a tone that left no room for arguments. Tara looked at her for a moment, before she pocketed the money again, accepting that it was useless trying to get Dawn to let her pay for her ticket.

They were still 8th in line to get their tickets, and the movie was starting in 10 minutes. Tara looked at Dawn and said "Listen, I'm going to the restroom... I'll be back in 2 minutes."

Dawn nodded her head, and Tara made her way to the restroom. There were a few women in there, and she had to stand in line for a few minutes. Her mind drifted back to work... 'Buffy said that Willow really liked Michelle should ask her to come along. I'm sure she'd totally enjoy watching her favorite singer from backstage, and hey, you could even introduce her to Michelle so they could talk. Yeah Tara, you should definitely ask her... the question is, will you be able to handle having her around?... You can't let your feelings get the better of you when you're around... But hey, she's your friend, and yeah, you should DEFINITELY ask her to go with you...and yes, you're still talking to yourself in the third person...a sure sign of madness...' Shaking her head, Tara finally got her turn, and went into the cubicle.

Two minutes later she was out again, headed to where she knew Dawn was waiting with her friends. She spotted the brunette in the crowd with her two friends, but it was the flash of red hair that really caught her attention...

'Uh oh Tara...' Her eyes went wide as she realized whose tresses those were.

Continue to The Game of Love Chapter Fifty-Six

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