Return to The Game of Love Chapter Fifty-Nine

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!

Ding Dong

'You gotta be kidding me' Willow thought, slightly raising her head from the softness of her pillow, realizing that she hadn't imagined it the first time. 'Someone's actually ringing my bell at' she looked over at her alarm clock '6-fucking-30 in the morning!'

Ding Dong

"I'm coming, I'm coming" she muttered under her breath, climbing out from under the warmth of her comforter, slipping into her slippers, pulling on her robe and heading towards the door. 'I look like the dog's breakfast' she thought. Looking at her reflection as she passed her wooden dresser.

Ding Dong

"I said... I'M COMING" she practically yelled, pulling the front door of her parents' house wide open, to see Buffy and Xander standing right outside, both looking unnaturally awake for that hour of the day. 'Sometimes I really wonder why I like them so much' was Willow first and only thought, before Buffy launched herself at her redheaded friend and pulled her into a bear hug. "What the-????" was all that Willow was able to get out, looking over her friends' shoulder at her other childhood friend, who was looking at her with a sympathetic expression combined with a smile that for some reason looked to Willow like a 'You hang in there tiger!' one.

Buffy pulled back, not releasing her grip 'a painfully hard one might I add, Willow thought' on her friends' upper arms. "Look at you" the blonde said in a whiny-ish tone. 'What's she talking about?' Willow thought, still too sleepy to want to use her brains and figure out why her friends were acting, well, the way they were! 'Maybe I have drool all over my face' the redhead thought, self consciously raising her right hand and wiping her mouth with the back of it. 'Nope, all dry there', and with that, she let her hands fall back by her side.

"Yeah..." Xander finally spoke up "She does look bad"

Willow finally managed to get it together enough to come out with a complete sentence "Well, you guys are great for a girls ego" she said sarcastically.

"How are you feeling sweetie?" Buffy asked, her voice covered in concern.

"Sleepy" Willow stated honestly.

"I don't think she's really taken it in yet" Xander said, and Buffy nodded in agreement.

"Taken what in???" Willow asked, now completely confused.

"It's ok Will... break ups can be hard... we've all been there" Buffy said, now sounding more concerned than ever!

"Oh!" Willow stated out loud, almost kicking herself for not have gotten it earlier. Then she realized that the three of them were still standing at the door. "Why don't you two come on in... I'll make us some coffee" she said, turning around and walking towards the kitchen, followed by Buffy and then Xander, after he closed the door behind him. The latter two took seats at the breakfast table, as Willow got the coffee machine started. Minutes later the coffee was ready, and she set down two steaming cups in front of her still silent friends, before getting her own cup and sitting down on a third chair.

Looking at her two best friends in the whole world, she simply stated "I'm ok guys".

"Yeah right" Xander practically huffed, and when he caught Willow's questioning glance he explained "That's what they all say Will". Willow was amused to see Buffy solemnly nod her head in agreement.

"Seriously guys, I'm fine!" she said, feeling more awake by the smell of the coffee, with assurance in her voice.

"Uh huh" Buffy said, her tone making it obvious that she totally didn't agree!

"Hello?! Are you guys even listening to me? Guys! I'm the one who broke up with him remember? It wasn't the other way around!" Willow said, getting exasperated that her friends' didn't seem to believe what she was saying.

"That's true..." Buffy said, before light seemed to dawn upon her face, and she took a new direction "What did he do to you??? Did he hurt you? Treat you bad??? Just say the word and I'll go kick his ass for hurting my best friend!!!"

"Yeah... and I'll come too!" Xander put in, trying to sound as masculine as he could, and cracking his knuckles to make the threat seem more real, before reaching out and taking a sip of his coffee.

Now Willow REALLY wanted to laugh at her friends, even though she was touched by their concern. Thinking that it would be smarter to burn her tongue before she laughed out loud, she quickly picked up her mug and took a sip of the coffee, indeed scalding her tongue slightly. Putting the cup back down, she spoke up again "Guys, it was nothing like that. We just... well, I think we both wanted different things..." 'Yeah' she added to herself 'I want Tara' She looked at her friends, wondering how they would react if she told them how she felt about the blonde. 'Mmmmm Tara' she thought, going off into a mini daydream of the blonde's heart meltingly cute smile.

"You wanted different things?" Xander asked, clearly confused by what his friend meant.

"Yeah" Willow said, not explaining what she meant, deciding it was time for another sip of coffee. Putting it back down she realized her friends were watching her every move, and knew she had to say some more to pacify their curiosity. "You know how it can be... people grow part sometimes... I still love Oz-"

"Aww" Buffy said, her tone again sympathetic.

"Aww?" Willow asked, once again confused by her friend.

"You're still in love with him?! Poor you. Is that why you split up with him? Cause he wanted something else, and before he could dump you, you beat him to it???" Buffy asked, seeming to think she'd hit the nail on the head.

'Why didn't I ever notice how weird my friends are before?' Willow asked herself, amazed at Buffy deductive powers...or the lack of them! "No, no no no... that's so not it" she said, sounding exasperated again, "That's not what happened Buff! I said 'I still love him', not 'I'm still in love with him'! And I ALSO said that 'we both wanted different things', which meant that I wanted something different too!", Willow tried to explain as simply as possible.

There was silence for a few seconds, before Xander asked "What did he want different?"

Willow answered, although she was already dreading what she KNEW the next question would be, "He wanted, well, in a way, he wanted his freedom...he wanted to have fun at his age, and explore different possibilities" seeing her friends expressions begin to change again she hastened to add "but I have to respect that he didn't ask me for it. I brought it up because, well, I wanted something different too" 'Go me... I'm just bringing the question onto myself' she thought, when she heard the dreaded question asked by Xander...

"What did you want Will?"

Taking a deep breath, Willow answered honestly "I want to be in a relationship with someone whom I'm in love with" 'Chicken!!!!' she screamed at herself in her head. 'Why don't you just tell them?! Tell them that you want to be in a relationship with Tara, whom you think you're falling in love with!!!!' While her friends sat there in silence, thinking about what she'd just said, Willow added "I want to be with someone whom I can just think about and break into a smile... who's laugh I would give my right arm to hear... who would be the only person my eyes saw in a room full of people... someone I REALLY love... you know?" 'Tara!!!!!' her mind screamed.

"Mmm" Buffy said, a dreamy smile lighting up her face. "I see myself getting there with Zak... he's just so... so special..."

"And I already think I'm in love with Anya..." Xander said, a goofy smile plastered on his face as he thought of his girlfriend. "I mean, I met here and there was this instant connection! And I know she's full of sarcasm and wise cracks, but... but she really does feel like home guys."

Both girls smiled at their dark haired friend as he practically gushed at the thought of his girlfriend. A sense of camaraderie had now settled in the room, and Buffy looked at Willow again, and asked for the last time "You're sure you're ok then?"

"Mmm" Willow nodded, leaning to her left to hug her best friend. "Thanks for being so concerned though" she said as she hugged Buffy, and then turned to lean to her left and pull Xander into a hug "You guys are really great" she smiled at him, before ruffling his hair lightly and then sitting back properly in her chair.

The rest of their time together was spent discussing small things of little consequence, like teachers who they were convinced were reincarnations of the devil because of the amount of homework they handed out, and Buffy's soccer practice. Forty-five minutes later Willow stepped into the shower, as Buffy waited downstairs, watching early morning cartoons. Xander had left to go see Anya for what he called a "breakfast date", which had received a "how cute" from Buffy! The two girls would drive to University, and meet him on campus during their break. As she stood under the shower Willow couldn't help feeling guilty for not telling her friends the complete truth.

'Soon...' Willow promised her conscience as she dressed 'Soon...'

Continue to The Game of Love Chapter Sixty-One

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