Return to Growth Chapter One


Author: Willohand
Rating: NC-17
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.

That evening, following a dinner of chicken and pasta, Tara set about her usual evening 'wind down' routine. She lit rose and hazel wood scented candles were around the bathroom and ran a warm bath, full to the brim with lily scented bubbles. As she lowered herself into the tub she allowed the warm water and soft bubbles to cover and caress her silky skin. Closing her eyes she took a beep breath, inhaling the many scents surrounding her.

'Mmmm, hazel wood, lily and roses, sweet, beautiful flowers. Flowers... gardening... Willow...'

The sweetest dreamy smile lit up the blonde's face.

Lost in the sensations of warm, soft bubble embrace and the scents of natures treasures, Tara's mind drifted to her various brief encounters with Willow. In particular, she reminisced her first, and longest, meeting with the beautiful, redheaded gardener. She remembered studying Willow's lips as she spoke, those perfect, oh so kissable lips. She had dreamed of those lips pressing against hers every day since that day. Images from those dreams seeped into her mind as she slowly rubbed bath crème over her body.

She could almost taste those sweet, honey lips, could feel them beneath her tongue.

As her hand travelled over her breasts she imagined cupping, squeezing and tasting Willow's pert, small, perfectly formed breasts. She imagined exploring the redhead's entire body. Her smooth stomach, muscular thighs, firm rounded ass...

Carried away in the wonderfully passionate visions her mind was creating, Tara soon found herself reaching down below the bubbles and between her legs...

Meanwhile, Willow was busy working on a spreadsheet. She was trying to sort out her accounts, doing all of the math with pencil and paper and getting very confused. Her best friend Buffy Summers is watching with a smirk on her face. Willow looks up

"Hey? Why is there a smirk on your face? Does seeing your best friend stressed amuse you?" Willow asked very annoyed. Buffy, seeing her best friend's flustered state, offers some helpful advice.

"You know they have these things called computers these days, they're actually programmed to do math and complicated spreadsheets and stuff for you. Oh hey, in fact I think I got you one of those contraptions last year as a birthday present."

Buffy goes rummaging through one of Willow's closets and walks back in with a laptop. Still in the box. She places it in front of willow saying

"See, your very own." Willow looks at the box then to Buffy

"Where did you find that? I was actually looking for it. This is my home and I couldn't find it. You walk in and here it is." They both laugh.

"You are somewhat distracted, plus my training came in handy." Willow's eyes go wide as she burst out laughing.

"So it took your CIA training to locate my laptop?" Willow just laughed harder. Special agent Summers was not amused.

"Okay, okay, don't make me have to use other methods I was taught to shut you up." She threatened laughing. Soon both girls were in hysterics. Willow looked at her watch and noticed the time.

"Oh Buffy I have to go. I have class tonight remember? I don't want to be late." With that Willow starts to get ready to leave.

"Tell me again about this woman who has my best friend stir crazy." Willow stops and looks at Buffy with a giant smile on her face.

"Buffy she is the most incredible woman I've ever met. I have to have her in my life..." Buffy cuts her off.

"She's deaf and you want to be able to be a part of her world, so you're learning to sign. Will, I think it's great that you're doing this. If this doesn't show her how much you care then nothing will. Well I have an assignment that has me leaving Washington. Again. I'll drop you a line and let you know when I'm coming back." They hug tightly.

"Buffy I say it whenever you leave on an assignment, but please be careful. I love you." She pauses and says. "I love you special agent Summers." Before things got too serious she then says, "Oh and Buffy... love the boots."

After her bath Tara had sat down with a nice glass of wine. She read and re-read Willow's note, smiling to herself as she absorbed every one of the redhead's words.

'She is so lovely and she thinks I'm beautiful. She wants me to go for coffee with her, that's like, a date. Willow wants to go on a date with me. Oh, I need to tell her yes. I need to tell her that I really like her too, but, how can I do that? Oh, I can send her a note, like she did. Yeah, a note to reply to her note. Now, what should I write?'

After finding some pretty pink notepaper and her favourite pen Tara sat down and pondered what to write. Half an hour later, she had settled on this

I can't tell you how happy I was after reading your note. Your babbling is so cute, just like you.

I think I would have liked you to quote some poetry for me; it definitely wouldn't have scared me off. Poetry isn't corny, it's very sweet and romantic and having you considered me worth quoting poetry for is a huge compliment.

I would love to go for coffee with you sometime. Would this Saturday be okay with you?
Oh, also, I'm going to a party on Friday night, if you're not busy, I'd love for you to accompany me, as my date.

I eagerly await your reply.

Love Tara

Finally satisfied with what she had come up with Tara placed the note in an envelope and wrote Willow's name on it in soft, flowing letters. Turning the envelope over she sticks the flap down and seals it with a small kiss.

As Buffy was driving along she made a mental note to find out everything she could about Tara Maclay. Though from everything Willow told her she sounded like a wonderful person, this was her best friend and she wasn't about to let her get hurt.

Not again.

Buffy pulls her car over and her minds drift back to last year.


"Willow I don't know what your talking about. That guy was a hottie; we would so look good together." Buffy said as they entered Willow`s house.

Willow went straight to the kitchen to put away the groceries. Buffy looked around and her training took over. Something wasn't right she could feel it. On instincts she drew her gun from its holster and scanned the living room. Willow was still teasing her about the guy they met in line at the store, but Buffy heard something else. It was coming from upstairs. Buffy backed her way to the kitchen her eyes scanning every corner for anything out of place. Willow noticed the look on Buffy's face and the gun in her best friend's hands.

Buffy's eyes were all Willow needed to see. She kept talking as if nothing was wrong. Buffy used the stairs in the kitchen leading upstairs. She passed Willow her work cell phone instead of her personal. This way her agency would be on alert. She gave Willow her code name and told her exactly what to say then she headed up stairs.

Before going she whispered to Willow to not come upstairs no matter what she might hear, and to keep up the conversation as if nothing was wrong. Willow shook her head in understanding and kept the teasing up as if Buffy was still there.

Buffy took the stairs two at a time. She realised that the noises were coming from Willow's bedroom. She cautiously made her way to the bedroom, slowly opening it's door.

Inside was a woman Buffy recognized as Willow new ex-girlfriend cutting up Willow's clothes. She had destroyed the bedroom. Things were over-turned and broken.

Buffy had taken a disliking to Carol after she tried to force herself into Willow's life following a short relationship of only a month. Willow had broken up with Carol because she was becoming very controlling. Carol blamed the break up on Buffy, saying that Willow loved Buffy more. Carol wanted Willow to stop being friends with Buffy. Period. No way was Willow willing to lose her best friend. Carol didn't take to the news too well, saying Willow chose Buffy over her and that she would regret it.

But Carol had no knowledge that Buffy is an agent for the government. Willow never discussed Buffy's personal info, so Carol took that as her protecting Buffy.

"Don't move you BITCH!" Buffy closed the distance between her and Carol. "Now drop the scissors before I have to help you drop them." She snarled.

Carol instead threatened to hurt Willow.

"Or what?" She challenged Buffy, she hadn't noticed Buffy's gun. Buffy smiled and put her gun back in it's holster.

"Carol believe me you don't want to fight me. I just might beat you to death for all you put Willow through. And I have to say, threatening my best friend isn't the smartest thing you could have done. For that alone I'm going to take pleasure in hurting you, slowly."

Carol stood and dropped the scissors.

"You want to fight for me for my Willow?" Carol asked. Buffy laughed a loud deep laugh.

"Your Willow? Willow was never yours. If anything she's my Willow. Always have been, since second grade. And she will never be yours." Carol's head shot up.

"That's because of you. You bitch." Buffy smiled.

"She's always going to be my Willow. The only way you can ever have her is if I'm not around. As long as I am you'll always play second fiddle to me." She started laughing at Carol.

Carol took a lunge at Buffy who side stepped her and gave her a wicked roundhouse kick to her temple. Carol went flying into the long mirror Willow had in the corner of the room. Even before Carol hit the glass Buffy was there landing punch after punch to Carol's head and face. One punch breaking Carol`s jaw.

Willow heard the noises and wanted to go help but she promised Buffy she wouldn't. Then she heard footsteps on the stairs. She ran over and Buffy was dragging a half beaten, bloody, unconscious Carol down the stairs. Willow took a few frightened steps back. She went to speak but was unable to.

She was frightened and Buffy could see it. Willow had grown scared of her ex.

After dragging her and sitting Carol in a chair Buffy waited then tossed water in her face. By this time Buffy's partner was there. As Carol came to, her jaw was hanging a little lower. She went to say something to Willow when Buffy put her gun in her face. She showed Carol her CIA badge and introduced her partner. Things were making a little sense.

"My job is why Willow never talked to you about me. Well that and she never fully trusted you. Now listen up, I'm only going to warn you this one time about forgetting you even met Willow." Buffy called out and two large men in black came in and pulled out their guns, pointing them at Carol. "Now Carol, I know these guys personally and I have informed them of your little obsession with my best friend. As of this moment all that is in the past right? So if you ever come within 1000 yards of Willow they will, on my order, make your life hell. We understand one another Carol?"

By now Carol was trembling having those guns in her face. Not giving her a chance to answer she was snatched up and Buffy took off her handcuffs and walked Carol to the door, letting her leave.

*End flashback.*

*Present time.*

Buffy got her car back on the road she had sad memories of the incident but she smiled to herself at the thought of having kicked Willow's ex's ass. She remembered Carol being sweet too. She would not have Willow go through that again, so she made a mental note to herself to run a background check on Ms. Tara Maclay.

Before Buffy even made it to the agency she was calling in to her partner.

"Yeah this is special agent Summers. I need to speak with agent Sanders or agent Simms. Yeah I'll hold. Yeah Sanders, I need you to do me a favour and I need this as fast as you can get me the info. Yeah something like that. Okay, last name Maclay, first name Tara. Got that? Tara Maclay right. I want everything and don't miss anything. I want it yesterday." Buffy hung up her cell and continued on her way in.

Meanwhile Willow was in class having a good time learning something new and different. Willow always was every teacher's favourite in high school and in college, much like Tara was. She's been taking class since she met Tara. She wants to surprise her on their coffee date by talking their whole conversation in sign. She wants Tara to see how much she means to her. Willow was a quick learner. The only letter of the alphabet she couldn't really get was j. After every class she stays behind and talks to the instructor about Tara and her fears of 'what if's'.

"Why don't we get out of this stuffy classroom and get some coffee." offered the instructor. "There is a little place only a few blocks from here. We can talk as we walk." With that Willow leaves her car by the school and they walk.

"So Willow I have to tell you I know Tara." Willow stops walking and just stares at the instructor.

"Y-You know who I'm talking about then? But how? I said too much about her."

"Come on lets get that coffee and I will explain" smiles the instructor.

As they sat drinking their coffee, Willow finally approached the subject of Tara.

"So Carly, how do you know Tara?" Willow asked, feeling a bit nervous. Carly took a big sip of her drink and said

"Well she's my girlfriend, that's how I know her. And I think it's cute, you going through all this trouble, but she's spoken for."

Willow dropped her cup of coffee all on her lap.

"S-sh she's your girlfriend? Oh shit. I mean, I'm sorry. I um... I, that is, I have to get up...I mean go. I have to go." Carly tried to talk her into staying.

"Hey Willow its okay. A lot of people want Tara. I mean you see her and you want her. This happens a lot, people wanting to get to know her if you know what I mean..." She winks at Willow.

"No it's not like that. I don't want Tara for that. This is not about getting her into my bed. I like her. I mean really like ...her. Sorry, you probably don't want to be hearing this." Carly grabbed Willow by the hand and pulled her back toward the seat.

"Listen, you don't fool me, you're just like everybody else. You only want one thing from her and that`s what's between her legs. You just want to fuck the beautiful deaf girl to see what its like am I right? Well I have news for you Willow. I'm telling you as of right now to stay away from her. Stay away from Tara. She`s way too nice to tell you, so I'm doing it for her."

Willow just got up and walked out the coffee shop dejected. It felt as though she was just blind sided by a wicked blow to her stomach.

By the time she walked the few blocks back to her car she was crying. The first thing she did was call Buffy and cried to her as she told her everything that had happened. Buffy thought it strange, there was nothing in the her file about any girlfriend. Buffy got the instructors name without raising Willow`s suspicion. She told Willow that she should talk to Tara.

"Oh Buffy I can't do that. Carly says that Tara asked her to talk to me for her, and that Tara was just being nice to me all this time. What I saw as her flirting was her just being well, I don't know, but she has a girlfriend Buffy." And Willow cried a little more.

"Will I'll be home in a couple of days and we will get this all straightened out. I promise."

After Buffy finally talked Willow into getting some sleep, she looked through Tara's file again.

'There is nothing in this file about any girlfriend. Who is this Carly anyway? Somebody who perhaps wants to be Tara`s girlfriend and decided to get rid of any competition. Okay I'm going to talk to Tara for Willow. If I don't Willow will never do it. Oh especially with this Carly woman having her think that Tara doesn't like her. But from everything Willow's told me and what it says in this file, I think Tara really is a great girl and she's just what my Willow needs in her life. Now how do I approach her without frightening her.' She wondered to herself.

By the time Monday rolled around Willow was a mess. She had spent her entire weekend thinking of Tara and what could have been. Willow dreaded going in to work this morning. She knew she`d see Tara getting out of her car and that the blonde would have to pass her to get to her class. Willow almost didn't go in.

She decided that if Tara and her couldn't be anything more then friends that she would find a way to live with that, but she wanted... no, needed Tara in her life.

All thoughts of having Tara as just a friend, flew out of Willow's mind when the blonde parked up and stepped out of her car. Willow's heart quickened at the sight of her. This morning Tara was wearing a very stylish two piece beige suit. Her hair was up and Willow saw Tara's ears and thought

'She has the cutest ears. Oh my... they're kinda pointy and I wonder what it's like to kiss them. Oh, oh, are they sensitive? If I blow on them will she get all skirmish?' Willow was so lost in her thoughts that she never noticed Tara stopping.

Tara stood there watching the sexy redhead.

'Look at her. She has got to be the sexiest woman I've ever seen. And she wants me. Wow dirt never looked so good on a person until now.' Tara was pulled from her Willow-thoughts by one of her co-workers.

Willow regained awareness in time to catch Tara smiling at her. Willow returned the smile with a wink. Again both woman looked away shyly.

As Tara walked with her co-worker she was being told there was someone waiting to see her. CIA special agent Buffy Summers was waiting in her classroom. Tara had no idea what this could be about. She walked in and Buffy signed who she was.

Right away Buffy took a liking to Tara. The smaller blonde spoke carefully about things without bringing up the file she has on Tara. Tara was very upset at the thought of Willow having to go through all that she had. She explained to Buffy that Carly is interested in her but she explained that she doesn't have a girlfriend. She is very interested in Willow and Willow only. She was touched to know that Willow had learned to sign just so she could be a part of her life. Tara told Buffy that she was planning to ask Willow out today. That she had written her a note.

Buffy told her that receiving a note from her would make Willow's day. Tara promised to talk to Carly and make it clear that she doesn't want to date her.

They made plans to get together again but under different circumstances, like a double date.

The moment Buffy left, Tara decided she wasn't going to wait to get this mess Carly had started straightened out. She left to go to the nearest flower shop and arranged to have a mixture of red and white roses delivered to Wilow's house while Buffy was there to receive them. She was glad she hadn't seen Willow on her way out.

Once back she called Carly asking her to meet her at the university when she got off at three-thirty.

'Why does everyone think they know what's best for me? Like I can't decide for myself. I'm so sick and tired of this. And Carly.. how dare she interfere with my love life? How many times can I tell her nicely that I'm not interested in more than a platonic friendship with her? Well after today she will know.'

Three thirty finally rolled around. As usual Tara was on schedule. The blonde was prepared for her chat with Carly, but what she didn't count on, was Willow popping by.

Willow had decided she was going to explain herself to Tara and let her know that even though she already has a girlfriend, that she still wants to be a part of her life.

Except, when Willow walked into the parking lot she saw Tara and Carly. She was frozen to the spot.

Carly noticed her and as Tara was signing to her she leaned in and kissed her. Willow let out a small gasp as she realised that Carly was signing her most private secret to Tara. Something that had slipped out, much to the redhead's embarrassment, during one of her many chats with the sign language instructor. Carly was telling Tara that Willow is still a virgin. Carly went on to tell Tara how she needed a woman who could satisfy her, and she made it clear that Willow wasn't that person.

Tara followed Carly's eyes to see a horrified Willow turn and run. She pushed Carly away and went to go after Willow, but Carly held her. She signed to Carly to let her go but Carly on held her tighter.

"She`s not good enough for you Tara. She wont fit into your world, our world. You need someone like me who is able to give you what you need" Carly was now yelling at Tara, the blonde easily reading er lips. "I'm the one who can make your nights memorable."

Tara signed for Carly to release her arm.

"Why? So you can run after her?" She asked, a cold look across her face.

Tara signed yes then pulled away and went running after Willow. She had no idea where the other woman had gone until she saw red hair a short distance ahead. Tara quickened her pace.

Willow was sitting under a tree crying and talking to herself. Tara approached slowly, she was afraid with all that had happened Willow might not want to be with her anymore. Willow spotted Tara and stood up, about to walk away until she heard the sweetest sound. It was Tara trying to say her name.

She slowly turned around.

"Tara? Tara did you just try to call me? To say my name..." She walked back to Tara and signed "Say it again, please."

Tara dropped her head and was signing

"No please I can't talk. I've never heard myself and I don't want to scare you off. I sound funny or horrible or worse like some kind of..."

Willow stopped Tara's hands and slowly brought them to her mouth and just held them to her lips. She then let go and asked Tara to read her lips.

"You could never sound horrible or funny. And I don't scare so easy. You were like music to my ears." Willow leaned her forehead against Tara's and looked into her eyes. Pulling back so that Tara could see her lips clearly, the redhead continued. "You're beautiful. Don't you know that everything about you is beautiful to me?" She leaned in again, even closer this time.

Tara could feel Willow's breath on her lips. Closing her eyes, and taking a deep breath, Willow slowly backed away. "Just so you know, I heard you and I love your voice." She signed. "In fact I think I'm going to have you calling out my name more often." She had spoken the words to herself but Tara had read them perfectly. As soon as she realised this Willow was filled with dread at the fact that Tara knows about her being a virgin.

The now blushing redhead held Tara tightly.

"I'm not going to force you to choose between Carly and myself. I care about you too much to do that. I'll still be your friend." Willow leaned in and kissed Tara on the cheek. "Well your girlfriend is probably wondering what happened to you. I better let you get back. Oh and Tara, my offer of coffee is there whenever you're free."

When Willow arrived at home she was so consumed with thoughts of Tara that she didn't even notice all the flowers that were in her living room. Suddenly she ran back to the living room. She dropped her glass of water and just stared. With shaky hands she opened the card.

Tara, instead of driving home, sat under the tree and thought about the day events.

'I t-tried to c-call her name. Ohmygod... I-I, no, no, no...I can't love her.' She thought to herself.

Her hand came up to caress the cheek that Willow had kissed.

She walked back to the parking lot, drove straight to her mother's and told her mother everything that had happened. All the while her mother was smiling.

"Tara? My baby girl I have just one question. Do you love her? And don't explain to me all the reasons why you can't again. Do you love her?" She waited patiently for her only daughter to answer.

Finally after minutes of waiting she took Tara's hand. Tara bit her lip and signed

"I love her with all that I am. But momma we only just..." Her mother stopped her from signing. She lifted Tara's face to look at her baby girl, who had grown into such a lovely woman, and clearly asked

"When can I meet her?"

Tara smiled and hugged her mother tightly.

Back at Willow's house, Willow was in shock.

'Tara? But how...? Whe...? She didn't have my addre... Oh, did I write my address instead of my phone number on the note? I don't remember... Got to call Buffy. No wait, she's not back yet. Red and white roses all over my living room, with a card from Tara.' She sat on the floor, taking with her some flowers.

"I love this woman. Wait, love? Did I just say I love Tara?" She asked of her flowers.

Tara got home and called her mother to let her know she made it. She then spent the rest of the night thinking of two words.

Willow and virgin.

'That beautiful, sexy woman is a virgin... Oh my god... She's never... I mean no one has ever touched her. GULP! I could possibly be the first woman to t-t-to k-kiss her and t-touch her...oh my, I-I'm stammering i-inside my own h-h-head. O-okay have t-to calm down.' She thought to herself.

She went about her nightly routine and tried to forget about the sexy redhead who earlier today had kissed her on the cheek. She tried to forget about what it was like being in her arms, looking into those green eyes and becoming completely lost.

'She pulled me into her and our foreheads met and I got so lost in those beautiful green eyes of hers. And she heard me say her name. Well try to anyway. She`s not going to make me choose, she really does care,' she thought.

She was finished getting her clothes and class assignments ready for the next day. With everything now out the way her mind instantly went to the redhead. Again.

She climbed into her bed and made herself comfortable. Suddenly she realized just how huge her king size bed really is. She imagined Willow in bed next to her. Her thoughts drifted to Willow being next to her. On top of her. Underneath her. Inside her.

She sat up abruptly. 'This is going to be a long night,' she thought to herself.

Willow had fallen to sleep on her couch with a handful of flowers and a big smile on her face. She was awakened by the sounds of keys in the front door and slowly opened her eyes to find Buffy walking in.

"Hey Will, sorry to wake you but I need to talk to you about Tara."

"No Buffy it's okay. She has a girlfriend, but she sent me all these flowers. Umm we all kinda had a run in today. That Carly told Tara before I could that I'm a virgin. It got messy with me running off crying. But um, Tara came after me. We talked and I think she really likes me, but she already has a girlfriend and I don't want her to have to choose so I told her we could still be friends. And Buffy, I want you to beat that Carly woman up really bad."

Buffy laughed.

"Will I don't think you have to worry about Carly too much. In fact not at all according to my friend." Buffy steps aside and does a hand motion.

Tara steps in. Willow can't believe it. She walks over and they just stare at one another not talking.

Buffy steps outside, closing and locking the door behind herself. Tara and Willow continue to just stare at one another. Finally Willow signs

"You know Buffy?"

Tara shakes her head yes.

She takes Willow by the hands and walks over to the couch. She sits, pulling a shy Willow with her. Tara looks Willow squarely in the face, into her eyes for one brief moment. What she sees is love. Willow does love her.

She takes Willow's face in her hands and pulls the redhead towards her, softly calling out "W-willow." Then she kisses her.

Willow's head is spinning. Tara was kissing her and she had said her name.

Tara tasted something salty as she kissed her Willow. She pulled back slightly to see Willow crying. They continued to kiss. Willow pulls back and signs "I love you."

Tara lays back while signing

"Oh yes! I see it there in your eyes. I know you do. I love you too." Willow lies on top of Tara and their kisses grow more and more passionate as the seconds pass. Hands start to roam. Willow-hands hold Tara by the waist and are slowly sliding up her shirt to naked, full, warm breasts. Tara pushes herself into Wilow's hands. She has never felt so alive.

Suddenly she sees something from the corner of her eye. It's familiar.

She adjust her eyes and she wakes up to her alarm blinking.

Tara sits up and tries to control her breathing.

'Oh god it was just a dream. It felt so real. I don't know how much more of these dreams I can take.' She thought to herself as she felt her wet panties sticking to her.

She gets up and heads straight to the showers. Between the heat from the water and the heat rising between her legs, she decides a hot shower isn't as good an idea as she first thought. She turns off the hot water and stands underneath the cold water, relaxing her raging hormones that so desperately whisper out to Willow.

'I know what I'm wearing today to catch the eye of a certain sexy redhead. I'll wear my baby blue top with my boot cut Levis and black short boots. Now my hair... Ummmm, oh I remember the look on her face from last week when I wore my hair up. Okay, hair up then. God look at me acting like a high school girl with crush. Willow the things you do to me...'

Continue to Growth Chapter Three

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