"Hi Mom" Tara said, walking up to where Susanna and Willow were sitting, their coffee cups now empty. Susanna noticed that her daughter's attention was not fully on her, and after Tara had briefly glanced at her when she greeted her, the young blonde had looked back in Willow's direction before saying "Hey Willow".
"Hi" the redhead breathed back, grinning widely at Tara, and Susanna noticed that Willow seemed to have forgotten that she was there as well! 'Note to self : I need to check this situation out in great detail' Susanna thought, before she cleared her throat, which seemed to break both girls out of their reverie.
"How was work sweetie?" Sussanna asked.
"Oh it was good" Tara replied with a satisfied smile. "Everything seems to be in order, and Michelle was happy with the voice check today, so it looks like we're set for a hassle free show tomorrow."
"What time is the show anyway?" Willow asked.
"The show starts at 6, but I'm gonna have to be there at about 4, just to make sure that the last minute preparations go ok. I could send one of the stations cars to pick you up at around 5:15 if you don't wanna go earlier with me" Tara said, but Willow shook her head, "No, I'll go early with you. I think it'll be kinda fun to see what goes on behind putting together a successful concert".
Tara smiled "Alright then, that's settled". Marie came out the house at that moment and Tara was asking her to bring her a cup of coffee when there was a shout of "Make that two coffees please Marie". All three women looked up to see a tall man walk their way, and Willow noticed that he was dressed to impress in a light gray suit with a blue tie.
At 6 feet Donny was taller than his sister, and had his mother's darker blonde hair. Donny wore his hair floppy, and Willow knew for a fact that Buffy would love his look. He had a tan which was a give away of the fact that Donny liked the beach, and Willow was sure that under that suit he had a six pack that would make most girls drool. 'There are some things you can tell just by looking at someone' Willow thought.
"Donny!" Tara exclaimed, her pleasure at seeing her brother obvious in her tone. "Little sis!" Donny grinned as he got to where Tara was standing and the two hugged. "You look good" he said, "And I'm sure Mom's already pointed out that you've lost weight!" he grinned.
"Don't get her started again" Tara mutter good naturedly under her breath, as Donny leaned down to kiss his mother on her cheek, before he stood straight again and looked at Willow. "Since Tara hasn't had the manners to introduce us yet, lemme introduce myself. I'm Donny" he said, reaching out his hand to shake Willow's.
"Hey!" Tara said indignantly, "I do not lack in manners! You just got here!"
Willow laughed and shook Donny's hand "I'm Willow", before sneaking a look at Tara who still seemed to be in a huff. 'God, she gets cuter by the minute!'
"What are you doing back this early Donny?" Susanna asked, liking the feeling of her whole family being together again.
"Well, one of my meetings got canned because my client's down with the flu, so I figured I'd get back early and change for the party" Donny shrugged, as Marie came out with two coffees.
"Oh my God! The party!" Susanna exclaimed, looking at her wristwatch. "Willow and I have been chatting for so long that I completely lost track of the time!"
"Relax Mom, the party's not for another one and half hours" Donny said, sitting down in one of the empty garden chairs.
"I know! There's not enough time to get ready. I can't have photo's of me looking shabby appear in the paper!" Susanna said, apparently getting panicky now!
Tara, who had also sat herself down in an empty seat, quickly looked up at her mother. "Papers???? There's gonna be press at your little get together???"
"Well, just some reporter friends of mine, who insisted that they come when they heard about the little party" Susanna said, without looking Tara in the eye, because she knew her daughter wouldn't be pleased.
Tara sighed "Why do I get the feeling that this party is not gonna be very 'little'" before picking up her cup and sipping her coffee, as Donny smirked "You think?!".
Willow was just sitting there, watching the family interact. She liked that they all seemed to get along well, and she herself had really enjoyed talking to Susanna that afternoon. The woman had no hang up's at all, and Willow could tell that she made one very cool Mom.
Susanna got up "Well, I better go in and start getting dressed." She looked at Willow and Tara "Girls, your dresses will be in your rooms. Pick whichever one you like for the party". She then turned her attention to her son "And Donny, there's a tux left for you in your closet, so wear that will you?" Donny nodded his head and Susanna smiled at the company before walking in the direction of the house.
Donny looked at Tara "So lil sis, how're things in good ol' Sunnydale?" he asked, and the two began chatting about the town that they'd both grown up in. Willow sat this one out, and watched the siblings interact, concentrating more on Tara. She smiled softly every time the blonde spoke, and watched every move she made. 'Ok, now I know for a fact that I've fallen for this girl, so now what?' she wondered. 'Is Tara even interested in women? Is she interested in me? How do I find out?' Willow was so lost in her own thoughts that she didn't realize that Donny was saying her name. Suddenly she realized that Tara was staring straight at her with an expectant look on her face. She looked back at Tara quizzically, her face a question mark. "What?" Willow asked.
"Donny was just asking you whether you'd been in Sunnydale all your life" Tara said, repeating her brother's query.
"Oh!" Willow said, feeling stupid to have been caught not listening. "Umm, yeah, born and brought up in Sunnydale. But I have been out of Sunnydale, since my parents are cabin crew with Air France and take me out of America during my holidays most of the time. And I have been to other parts of America too, so well, I haven't really been in Sunnydale all my life, and..." Willow trailed off to see the Maclay siblings smiling at her. 'God, she gets cuter by the minute' Tara thought, not knowing that the redhead had had the same thought about her less than 30 minutes ago.
"Yeah yeah, laugh at the rambling redhead" Willow said, grinning along with the siblings, before Tara looked away to her wrist watch. "Ok there's an hour left before the guests start arriving, so I think we'd better get a move on things if..." her cell phone began to ring. Tara looked down at the number, and not recognizing it she muttered "Now who could this be?"
Clicking the green button she spoke "Hello? Yes? Coach Giles, hi! Uh huh...uh huh...really? That's brilliant! You betcha! I'll see you Tuesday. Thanks, bye!" she said, cutting the call with a very pleased expression. Looking up she found 2 pairs of eyes looking at her. "Good news?" Donny asked, and Tara nodded. "I've been called for the National's camp again.
"Oh that's wonderful! Congratulations!" Willow said, genuinely happy for Tara.
"Yeah" Donny seconded, obviously proud of his sister. "When's the camp?"
"The week after next" the blonde said, "And National's are next month, so I hope I make the final cut, because Coach Giles says that if I make National's again then nothing's gonna come between me and the American side this year!"
"Wow! Impressive!" Donny said. "So where's the National's camp this year?"
"That's the best part! It's in Sunnydale, but National's will be in Tampa Bay, Florida" Tara answered.
'Oh no! She's going away!' Willow thought, as alarm bells started ringing in her head. 'I don't want her to go away' one part of her said, as the good part said 'Stop being so selfish Willow Rosenberg!' As her mental dilemma continued Donny asked his sister "Anyone else I know make it?"
"Well there's Anya, Cordelia, and do you remember Faith?" Donny nodded. "She's been short listed too. Even though Faith's not from our university she'll be training with Anya, Cordelia and me under Coach Giles until the official camp starts". Tara said, still smiling.
The alarm bells now sounded like a fire engine in Willow's brain. 'Faith?!?! Isn't she the one who the girls said had a thing for Tara???? And if she makes the cut she'll go to Tampa with Tara! Oh this is no good, no good!'
Oblivious to the redhead's mental turmoil, Tara turned to Willow, "Anyway, you ready to go get ready for the party Willow?"
Nodding her head, a very troubled Willow managed to smile at Tara as the blonde led her brother and the dazed redhead into the house.