Author: Willohand
Rating: There will be NC-17 goodness eventually.
Disclaimer: Willow, Tara, Buffy & any of the other BtVS characters that might pop up belong to Joss Whedon, 20th Century Fox and mutant Enemy, which they all became by killing off Tara and breaking up everybody's favourite wiccan couple. All original characters are the creation of my own imagination. Oh, & the university really does exist.
Feedback: Greatly appreciated, please let me know what you think.
Summary: Set in Washington DC, Tara is a lecturer at Galludet University (school for the deaf and hearing impaired), Willow arrives as the university's new landscape gardener. Fluff ensues.
Note: Thoughts are in italics.

Dedication: This story is dedicated to Amber Benson and my friend Lanetra, who inspired it through their meeting and becoming buddies at the comic book convention a few weeks ago. A special thanks to Lanetra who is deaf and was either nice enough or crazy enough to let me use her life as a deaf woman as Tara's own. And to Amber who remembered Lanetra from their meeting two years ago. They hung out for most of the convention this time. Amber is so down to earth and so sweet of a person, this and for so many reasons, is why she is my muse.


Willow was having trouble finding Mr. Williams office. The university was much larger inside than she thought. It was almost nine and her interview was in less than ten minutes. As Willow was passing one of the classrooms she was stopped dead in her tracks by the most amazing woman she had ever seen. The woman was writing on the board. Willow watched as this blonde beauty wrote her way across the board, moving in her direction.

Tara could sense someone looking at her. She wasn't prepared for the emerald green eyes that were staring at her. Her breathe caught in her throat.

They stood staring at one another. Willow completely forgot all about her interview. Luckily Mr. Williams had sent his secretary in search of Ms. Rosenberg.

"Ms. Rosenberg hello, I thought you might be having trouble finding Mr. Williams office." She looked in the direction of Willow's eyes. "Oh Ms Maclay please..." she was asking Tara over. "Ms. Rosenberg this is Ms. Maclay." Tara signed to the secretary to call her Tara.

"Oh okay this is Tara. She is the art professor here." Willow watched as the women spoke in sign and waited as the secretary relayed what Tara was saying.

Tara extended her hand forward and Willow shook her hand holding it a little longer than she should have but she couldn't help herself.

"Tara, Ms. Rosenberg is our new landscape gardner."

"Willow. Please my name is Willow." She then watched as Tara signed to the secretary, who turned to Willow and said "She thinks you have a beautiful name." Willow smiled at Tara.

The secretary then walked out saying

"We really should be going."

Willow continued to stare at Tara. Actually she was now roaming her eyes all over Tara. She then stumbled out as Tara caught her.

For the rest of that school day Tara couldn't get the redhead out of her mind.

'Ohmygod was she really looking at me like that? Like she wanted to take me right there and then.' She thought to herself.

Tara saw her friend Lanetra and told her of her encounter with Willow.

*Present time - 3 weeks later.*

It was a beautiful day, summer was just a week away and Willow has not been able to get Tara out of her mind. Unfortunately she had been very busy with the landscaping of the university campus.

Willow knew from the moment she saw Tara that the blonde was someone she wanted to get to know. Willow also realized in order to be part of Tara's world she needed to learn how to sign. She signed up for a class the day after that first meeting. She had wanted to say 'hi' to Tara in sign. Days passed and she had no contact with the blonde. She only saw her getting into her car coming to work in the mornings.

Tara had noticed Willow around too, but was too shy to approach her. Plus with not being sure how they would communicate...

So she did the only thing she could, she talked to her friend Lanetra about what to do. She and Lanetra had been friends for going on three years now. She trusted her to give her sound advice.

Lanetra of course weighed all the options. She asked all the right questions and Tara had a little more confidence after their late night talks. Lanetra decide to meet the redhead by accident to find out what kind of person she was. And to make sure she wouldn't hurt Tara. Of course she didn't tell Tara she was meeting Willow.

It was a Thursday evening when Willow was sat in the living room of her house that she decided to write Tara a note. She wasn't sure what she wanted to say to her. She just needed to let Tara know that she wanted to get to know her better. She paced around her living room trying to come up with the right words.

As she thought about Tara's smile and her beautiful eyes the words started to flow.

Hi, it's Willow, the landscaper, and with a name like Willow I really couldn't have any other job could I?

Uhm, anyway, I, I was gonna quote some poetry for you, something along the lines of 'Shall I compare thee to a summer rose...' but then I thought about it and decided that I would probably just scare you off if I was that corny.

I just wanted to tell you that you are the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes on, from the second I saw you, you took my breath away. I was just wondering if maybe, you'd like to go out for uhm, for coffee sometime?
You see there was a point to this babbly little note. And this is my seventh attempt so, can you imagine what I threw out?

I wait, with baited breath, for your answer

It was early Friday morning and Willow woke with a smile on her face, as she passed the living room she skips over to the coffee table and picks up the note she wrote and slips it in an envelope, writing Tara's name on the front. Then she goes about her usual morning routine.

As she drove to the university she sang along with the music she had blasting on her stereo.

'I'm going to put the note on Tara's car just before she comes out of the building. That's at 3:30 every day. It takes her five minutes to get to her car from her art classroom.' She thought to herself, then continued her musing out loud, talking to no one.

"That means that by 3:40 after she's in her car and has given it time to warm up she will be reading my note."

Today Tara was looking extra special to Willow. Not that she didn't everyday... but today was note day.

Willow watched Tara pull up and park in her parking spot on the parking lot. She watched as Tara went to her trunk and removed her brief case. She wore a light blue skirt with a light blue top that fitted her in all the right places. Willow almost fell in the trench she was digging. Tara saw something in the corner of her eye and looked in the direction in time to see Willow falling backwards. Tara stopped and waited to see what had happened when she saw it, the red flaming hair poking out the ditch.

"Willow." She mouthed.

They made eye contact and smiled as Tara walked into the school.

Willow went about her day knowing that by the end of her day Tara would be reading her note.

The day passed fairly quickly for both ladies. Like clock work Tara was out and on schedule at her car. She noticed something on the window of her car. She looked around as she reached for it. The minute she was half way through reading it he stopped and looked around for Willow.

Willow of course was watching from a distance. She saw Tara smiling as she ran her hand through her hair. Willow didn't bother to hang around, she was sure that Tara's smile was a good sign.

'I can't believe it.' Tara thought to herself when she was done reading the note. 'She's so sweet. She wants to go for coffee with me... oh Ms. Rosenberg you have a date.'

Once in the car Tara was all smiles as she drove home. At the red lights she would touch Willow's note. She could smell the redhead all over it. It smells of strawberries, like Willow.

Now Willow was as happy as Tara. Then she had a scary thought.

"Shit I forgot to leave my number." She groaned to herself.

'Way to go Rosenberg she's going to think you're such a dork.' She thought. 'Now what do I do?'

Suddenly her great mood went all down hill from there. Once she was home she dragged herself inside. She called her best friend Buffy to get some advice. Buffy reminded Willow that Tara is deaf, so her calling would take some doing since Willow doesn't have the correct phone to receive Tara's calls. Willow breathed a little easier.

Once she had calmed down, Buffy asked all the usual best friend questions.

Continue to Growth Chapter Two

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