Return to The Game of Love Chapter Fifty-Five

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!

She felt her before she saw her... Turning her head to her left Willow saw Tara walking her way. The redhead couldn't help it as she unconsciously gave the blonde a once over. 'Trust her to be in flip-flops! Mmm...the jeans fit well...and whoa, white just gives her an angelic look...' Moving her gaze higher, Willow gazed at the hardly done up face, and high ponytail, which brought out the structure of the blondes face. 'Ooh, the earrings are so sweet on her' she thought, smiling slightly at the sight of the big hoops Tara had chosen to wear.

Finally ending her observations, 'Ogling is more like it' she mentally reprimanded herself, Willow looked up to find herself staring into the blue eyes that she'd grown so fond of. 'Fond? Understatement!' she told herself.

Smiling at the blonde, Willow spoke "Hey Tara..." and was awarded with a "Hey" in return and a lopsided grin. 'Did my heart just flutter?!' the redhead wondered, her eyes slightly widening.

'What's she thinking?' Tara wondered, seeing Willow's eyes go round for a second. 'She looks is definitely good on Miss Rosenberg!' Dressed in a dark denim skirt that ended just under the knees, and a shirt whose top two buttons were intentionally left undone, Willow looked casual but not shabby. 'Yup, definitely gooood' Tara thought again, before looking back up at the green eyes that were looking her way.

"So... you here to watch a movie?" Tara asked, before mentally slapping herself on the forehead. 'Duh Maclay! She's at the freakin' cinema! What ELSE could she possibly be here for???' Tara's face reddened at her own stupidity.

'Why's she blushing??? It looks cute...' Willow thought, before nodding. "Yeah..." not wanting to waste time trying to put sentences together when she could just stare at the vision before her in silence...

Dawn and her friends were oblivious to the stare fest that was so obviously taking place before them, and the brunette spoke up. "Ok Tara, we've got the tickets! Ready to head in?" she asked, holding up the tickets in her hand.

"Yeah, but what about...?" Tara asked, gesturing towards Willow, so there was no question about what she was asking.

"Oh, don't worry about Will" Dawn grinned, waggling her eyebrows at a redhead who, Tara noticed, suddenly seemed to be slightly uncomfortable. "She's here with..."

"Me!" Oz said, appearing at Willow's side as if on cue and put her arm around his girlfriends shoulder, while reaching out to shake Tara's hand with his free one. "Hey Tara... how's it going?"

'Oh!' Tara thought, her happy little bubble going pop again, as she shook the shorter man's hand. "Not too bad Oz... you?"

Oz looked at Willow and sighed with satisfaction before looking back at Tara and stating "I couldn't ask for more right now!"

"Good for you..." Tara smiled, thinking 'Newsflash! You've got the most beautiful woman in the world by your side... what more COULD you ask for?!'

'This has got to be a nightmare...' Willow thought, squirming as Oz pulled her closer with his arm. 'Tara and Oz... and me, at the same place and same time... oh God! I hope we're not going for the same movie!' she prayed, dying a slow death as she realized how bad that could be.

"So what movie are you guys going for?" Tara asked Willow, just to keep the conversation going.

Willow shrugged "I let Oz choose, so I don't know what he picked..."

The group turned their gazes towards Oz, who seemed very happy with himself, as he held up two tickets in his hand "What else guys? When there's a movie playing with your name in it, you go for it! The Wizard of Oz!" he grinned. "Besides, it's one of Will's favourite all time movies, so that just about made the decision" he said, squeezing his girlfriends shoulder in affection.

Willow just gave a slight smile, while inside she died a thousand deaths. 'Oh nooooo' she groaned, as Dawn spoke up "Ooh cool! We're going for that one too! We could all sit together... unless of course you guys wanna sit together and, you know..."

'No no no no no no' Tara and Willow were thinking simultaneously. Tara prayed that the ground would open up and swallow her whole, while Willow was wondering if there was any lightening around that could do her a favour and strike her right then and there! "Actually, I'd like Willow to myself this evening..." Oz said with a sheepish grin, and both Willow and Tara let out low sighs of relief. 'I don't think I've ever liked Oz more than I do right now' Tara thought ironically. 'Oh God, but now I'm gonna think of them sitting together and... argh! I can't win!'

"Nah, that's totally cool!" Dawn said, as she and her friends shared knowing smiles. "So should we get going? I mean we still need to pick up some much needed munchies before the movie starts, so..."

The others nodded and followed the teen into the cinema. Minutes later they were at the snack bar, and this time Tara was paying for her own food. She's been adamant that the deal was that Dawn could pay for her ticket, but food wasn't included! Tara knew what it was to live on an allowance, and didn't want Dawn to have to go through the rest of the week totally broke! Oz was paying for Willow's and his snacks, so the redhead just stood back and watched as the rest of them ordered. When everyone had gotten their stuff, they headed in to watch the movie, and once inside, Oz and Willow said quick goodbyes, and were about to head to what Tara unhappily realized was one of the darker corners of the theatre, when she felt something warm in her hand. Looking down she saw that Willow had slipped her own hand into hers, and gave it a slight squeeze, before following Oz to the seats he was guiding her to. Tara shook her head in bewilderment at what she'd gotten herself into, before herself following Dawn, Linda and Justine to their seats, which were more in the middle of the theatre. Settling down, she listened and joined in to the small talk the girls were making before the movie started, before the credits began to roll, and they quietened down.

15 minutes later...

'I wonder if he's kissing her...I hope he isn't...Why does he get to kiss her???'

23 minutes later...

'Tara's hand is so much softer than Oz's... Ok I can't keep pretending I have a nose itch when he wants to kiss me...'

47 minutes later...

'Don't think about them making out...Don't think about them making out...Don't think about them making out...what movie is this again?!'

An hour and 9 minutes later...

'Look at the screen, not at the back of Tara's head... Ooh she has the most beautiful back of a head I've ever seen... look at the light bouncing off her hair...'

An hour and 34 minutes later...

'Would it be rude to turn and look at them... at her? Is she looking at me? I think I can feel her eyes on me...ok ok I know, wishful thinking...'

2 hours and 10 minutes later...

'She's sipping her soda... ok, don't imagine her lips around the straw... ooh, lips around the straw...'

Finally, after what seemed like days, the movie ended, and they all began to file out. Since Willow and Oz were at the back of the theatre, they took longer getting in line to get out, and the two groups waved at each other across the theatre to say goodbye. Even though they wanted to, both girls ruefully realized that there was no point in seeing each other outside again, since Oz would be there, and Willow had to go off with him.

Tara, Dawn and her friends got out, and walked towards Tara's car. They'd decided that Tara would drop the girl's home, and 20 minutes later, Tara was parking her car, after having dropped the teen's home.

Once inside the safety of her own home, the blonde immediately decided to take another shower. Looking at the clock she saw that there was still a little over a half hour before Anya and Cordelia were expected, and quickly moved to the bathroom, where minutes later she was standing under a warm shower that soothed her.

Finally, she was out and changed into her nightclothes, since she knew that it was just Anya and Cordelia coming over, and they wouldn't be going out. At 5 minutes to 11 the buzzer rang, and Tara let her friends up. Less than a minute later they were in her house, the three friends exchanging warm hugs, which were followed by joyous congratulations directed Tara's way, before the three girls made their way into Tara's bedroom.

Try as she might Tara was not able to shake off the feeling of depression she felt after having seen Willow with someone else that evening. Sure she'd enjoyed Dawn's company... the girl had kept whispering to Tara through out the movie, pointing out things about the movie, and Tara really liked her, but at the back of her mind she kept thinking of Willow sitting in those dark corner seats with Oz, and... She barely followed the conversation they were having, and at one point interrupted Anya in the middle of a sentence with "Beer guys?"

Both Anya and Cordelia looked at her in surprise, and realized that she hadn't been following a word of what they were saying, and on closer inspection, they noticed she had a bit of a lost look to her. Sharing a knowing look, they turned their undivided attention to their blonde friend, before Cordelia announced with authority "Ok Tara Maclay... Spill!"

Continue to The Game of Love Chapter Fifty-Seven

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