As Willow made her way to the other side of the building where she and Chris held their practice session she couldn't help but smile. She opened the door to find Buffy signing and kidding around with half the student body from the college, most of which were Tara's students. They were all excited for their favorite professor. With the help of Raven, the students had their very own section. Tonight's show was to be picked up by some local television news stations and a cable network. Willow and Buffy got the student body organized, into the main building, and seated without a hitch. Wilow was in contact with Buffy through walkie talkies. Raven and Chris each wore one also, so everybody knew what was going on at all times.
As Tara sat getting her make up applied Jamie was getting her dress put on her. Tara could feel Jamie eyeing her. Just then Buffy came bouncing in. Seeing Jamie nearby Buffy cleared her throat as she entered, talking as she signed.
"I have something for a Tara. Is there a Tara Rosenberg-Maclay here?" Everybody looked at Tara. Buffy ran out and was back in seconds holding roses of every color. Tara blushed and dropped her head. Buffy purposely read who its from. She changed her voice.
"Yeah, so it's like from a woman name tree." Everybody looked at her. She continued, "Oh, I'm sorry. From a woman name from a tree. That would be a tree called... um, oh yeah, Willow. Your flowers are from Willow."
Tara couldn't help but laugh as she read Buffy's lips. Then Buffy walks over to Tara and lifts her chin so she was looking her in the eyes.
"Tara Rosenberg-Maclay, my best friend couldn't have met and fallen in love with a more beautiful human being than you." Buffy leaned in and hugged Tara. Everybody was, "awwww thats so nice."
Buffy turned and looked Jamie square in the eyes and said, "Tara, Willow's heart belongs to you.You had her from your first hello." She was signing this as well. Tara had nowhere to hide. One of the others whose make-up was done moved the flowers. Buffy walked over to where Jamie was.
"Um excuse me. Can you just give us two minutes please?" she asked the make-up artist. The woman walked away and it was just the two of them. Buffy made sure to give Tara her back while also standing directly in front of Jamie so Tara couldn't read Jamie's lips and know what they were talking about.
"I don't know you but I know I don't like you. You're trying to break up my best friend from Tara, who I happen to like very much." Looking back to smile at Tara, Buffy then left the area. Tara and Jamie both were getting dressed at the same time just a short distance from one another. Jamie glanced to see Tara's body. Her jaw dropped. Tara is... she's just... She's gorgeous. Oh shit where did that body come from? She's a god damn hottie. Tara was standing in her black backless bra and a white thong. Tara could feel Jamie eying her. She just concentrated on getting ready.
Raven came into the room and gathered the entire 35 people together. "Okay here we are. We all worked hard on this for so long. And tonight we go out and do it. Just remember you're representing me, my dance company's name is on the clothing you're wearing. That means one thing..." Her voice raised and everybody got nervous. She continued, "This means I demand attitude. I want a lot of swagger in your steps. I demand it. My name in this business has always meant one thing. I'm known for my attitude. So girls and boys... I want you to strut your stuff. I want you to prance out there. I want you to make me look good. I expect you to sashay. I expect hips in motion. I expect pelvic pumping. Girls and boys, this is it." They all could feel it growing and coming off one another. Putting her hands on her hips, "Now go out there with more then just some simple pep in your step. S W A G G E R... Give it to me. And remember I want long arms. I want heads held high. You are no longer just wives and husbands. You're not just a brother. Or a sister, or an uncle and mom or even just a grandmother. No, tonight for one night of your life you are and forever will be a 'Ravenette.' Now show me what that means to you."
Willow clapped her hands, "Okay line up. Line up people. And Tara you're last. Where is she?" Willow asked. Everybody looked at Willow. "Don't look at me, it's Raven's idea."
They all turned to see her with Tara standing next to her. Jaws dropped all around the room. Willow couldn't help it. "Eep" managed to squeak out. Jamie couldn't believe what she was seeing. No one could find the words. Everybody was staring at her. Buffy walked in and wondered what what was going on. Until she herself looked into Willow's smiling eyes. They are turning into a really dark green. Which means my best friend is... really aroused and oh my god... Tara was right. Willow's eyes do turn a different shade of green when she's ah ppfftt um yeah okay... Wait a minute if Willow's eyes are turning then that means... where is Tar...
Buffy's eyes followed Willow's eyes to see Tara standing with Raven. Buffy's eyes went wide with surprise and pride. Softly, but loud enough to be heard by others, she said, as she took in Tara's appearance: "Oh my god. Angels are real. They do walk the earth. You're really an angel." But she also noticed Tara's eyes. Ohmygod... ppfftt I think I see what Willow means about her eyes. Whoa... so blue. So... so...
Then Buffy, as she looked directly into Tara's eyes, almost as if in a trance, she started to speak. "Under Her Spell. With hypnotic eyes, how easily she seduces. With her beautiful personality how readily we succumb. With a glimpse, a look and stare from those amazing blue eyes, all resistance fades."
Buffy reached Tara and stood in front of her. Everybody was watching and listening. Willow was reciting the very same words as if she knew them by heart. Tara's heart skipped a beat while she was reading Willow's words of love. I always felt a little uncertain even though I know Willow loves me with her pure soul. This amazing woman always seems to surprise me, first by being here then by asking me to carry her child and now... she wants me. She really wants me and... needs me. She needs me. But still the scars that others before her had left cuts were deep. Deep marked in my soul. I never fully opened up to the others and even with Willow I still have parts of me I protect. And she still wants me. Why? Tears welled up behind Tara's eyes.
Willow... my Willow, do you really mean all those words? My heart screams out wanting everything to be real and not a daydream. Every single last word? You mean the world to me. Reading every single word Willow said, trying to capture every tiny emotion, to remember it forever. I don't want to lose you either. You are the first person that really cares who I am!!! I, Tara Maclay, not the perfect person, who can't even hear, and still... you want me... you need me. Do you even know what you do to me? Ohhhh god Willow I love you so much. Tara continued to watch Willow's mouth. You have given me so much love and... letting me be the first to touch you... to make love to you. I will always cherish that moment deep in my heart.
Tara's love grew and grew since the first time they met and was still growing. She never felt love like this before. She couldn't believe this. Nobody ever done anything like this for her before. Never!!! But then again, Willow wasn't just anybody. Such beautiful words coming from the most gorgeous loving woman on earth. I'm not letting you slip away! You're mine! You're mine and I'm yours eternally.
Buffy (and Willow) continued, "With her warmth, kindness and gentleness we surrender to the magic that is Tara Maclay."
Chris cleared his throat and Buffy was pulled from her trancelike state. She smiled and said, "Original poem by Willow Rosenberg, dedicated to Tara Maclay." Everyone looked at Willow and started to applaud. Tara looked at Willow and went to take a step, then courage overtook her. Not caring who was watching them Tara took a step towards Willow, with tears running softly down her cheeks. Tara stopped and knelt down in front of Willow, reaching for and holding her left hand.
"All I want to do is show you how much I love you and make you mine forever by name and in my heart." Willow froze. Buffy grabbed hold of Faith and jumped up and down excitedly. Faith covered her mouth holding back a squeal. The room went silent as all eyes were now on Willow and Tara. "Willow will you marry me? Will you be mine forever? Will you marry me?" Tara asked. Raven smiled at Chris. Jamie was shocked. Chris smiled at Faith and Buffy...
Willow was staring at Tara with watery eyes. Blue met green. Green met blue. Everything around them faded to black. Willow got down on her knees, level with Tara. She leant in and kissed her passionately. She said, in a husky emotion filled voice while touching Tara's eyes, "How can something be so warm and inviting yet so intense at the same time? I mean, with just one look into your eyes, suddenly I feel like I'm free falling off the highest mountain. Your eyes the-they pull me in, and what's more I want to take that leap into your comforting eyes."
Willow kissed Tara again on each eye. They sat staring into one another's eyes until Buffy walked over and gently touched Willow's shoulder. Leaning near her best friend's ear she whispered, "Willow? Will, you haven't answered her. Will she's waiting for your answer." Then Buffy stepped back into Faith's waiting arms.
Willow's eyes went wide. She stood up, bringing Tara with her. Grabbing Tara by her waist and spinning her around, "YES! Yes I'll marry you. I love you so much Tara. God baby yes. My answer is yes." The room erupted with cheers and awwww's and applauds. Raven could see that the girls needed a moment so she ushered everybody out into the corridor. "Make it fast we go in three minutes," Raven whispered as she closed the door.
Tara walked over to Willow. As Willow went to speak Tara stopped her by kissing her. In between kisses Willow was trying to sign. Tara stopped her hands by pressing her body to them. The kisses became heated. Tara is so touched. A light knock on the door brought them back as Willow pulled away gently and pointed to the door. Tara smiled as they headed toward it. Willow stepped back as Tara paused for a moment. She closed her eyes and concentrated. Willow watched for Tara's fingers. Thats where it started. The feeling. Tara's eyes fluttered and her breathing got heavy. Her eyes opened slowly as the rest of her started to feel the music too. Her body slowly moved to the exact beat. She made her way to her spot at the back of the line. Her dress was caressing her every curve. Willow watched her with love and lust.
"Easy there Red." Faith whispered. Willow's breathing was in short gasps. Aggressive Willow had now entered the psyche.
Faith pulled her out into the night air to calm her friend down. "Red? Red, you okay? Just calm down some. I know Tara looks amazing. Really, really, really amazing, but you can't have her just yet. Not until after the dance,"she promised.
Aggressive Willow was imaging all sorts of dirty little scenarios in which she took Tara. Now Tara's body was voluptuous, and she was no stick figure like some women today. In a society obsessed with youth, haunted by the spectre of ageing and all too ready to return to the waif look of the early seventies, Tara Maclay with her hourglass figure all but shattered the myth that thin is in and proved the old cliche that size does matter, while subtly announcing, "Curves are back." That's right, she wasn't a stick figure like her counterpart Jamie Srtrends. There was no child's play here. She wasn't a twelve year old girl, and didn't want to look like one. She was a woman and her body was that of a woman.
Buffy popped her head out to check on Willow. She noticed her. "Uh, Buf? A word?" She then snatched Buffy off her feet and out the door before Buffy or Faith knew what was happening. "Buf what the heck was that back there?" Buffy looked down at her feet.
"Um what? What do you mean Will?" she asked sheepishly. Willow glared at her. "Oh, you mean the poem thing? Pfftt... oh I don't know. I-I-I just..."
Cutting her off, "You saw it didn't you? You looked and saw what I've been trying to explain about her eyes didn't you?" Willow yelled excitedly. Faith stepped forward. She just stared at Willow and Buffy.
Just then Chris came out. "It's starting." The group ran in.
Willow took her place behind the scene. Buffy and Faith went out and found their seats. The music was pumping and the audience was clapping to the beat. Then Raven made her way to the stage. She danced there and the crowd went nuts.
"Ladies and gentlemen my name is Raven, and welcome to the fourth annual 'Ballroom Dancing in The Park.' My dance group and I are thrilled to be here for another year. Washington has always welcome us with open arms. This is our way of saying thank you for your support. Now sit back..." She paused. "No, in fact don't sit. Stand or dance in the aisles if you want."
Raven leaves the stage as the lights went down. If you'd listened, you'd have heard something that resembled heels clicking. As the lights went up the dancers were dancing their way onto the floor, with everyone hitting their marks perfectly. Tara and Chris were the last to emerge. Willow was lost in the the image of Tara. Chris had Tara by her right hand, held high above their heads. Chris was spinning Tara on to the dance floor with perfect flicks of their wrists. Tara comes to an abrupt stop and dropped into a full split directly in front of Chris. The crowd erupted.
Then out of nowhere came a small, high-pitched voice: "That's my mommy. The one in the pretty red dress... Whoa... Mommy you are so pretty," the girl breathed out. The dancer in the red dress was Elaine Right, stay at home mom to seven-year-old Morgan, and her sister, three-year-old Lizzie. Elaine, with the encouragement from her husband, came into this very nervous. She soon gained confidence in herself, her kids and family being her biggest supporters.
After Morgan sat down and the crowd hushed there was an announcement. "Ladies and gentlemen, the first dance will be the Rumba. Followed by the Cha Cha. Then the Salsa leading up to the meringue and ending with the Tango." The music was cued and the dancers started to move. Starting from a group each couple paired off and was dancing. Chris and Tara were the couple that everyone took their cues from. They were in the middle of the dance floor at first. But each couple got their time in the spotlight in the middle of the floor. Tara was in heaven. She had forgotten all about the news channel and the cable company that was broadcasting the event live. All Tara knew is she was having the time of her life. Willow too was just watching Tara. Her mind drifted back to Tara proposing to her. It made her breath catch in her throat. God she asked me to marry her. She asked in front of everybody. Now they all know she loves me. I'm so lucky to have her. I love you Tara Maclay. There was a flash of light that brought Willow back.
Tara didn't know it, but Raven had set up all the dances with Chris for Tara to get three minutes to do a small solo. It wasn't until they were dancing the rumba that Tara saw it. At first she thought perhaps she was seeing things. One of my students here? No of course not. Just wishful thinking. Why didn't I just yell them about this. I wish I had. It would be great to see them see me. Then it happened. The lights were flashing on each student one by one. It was Willow's idea. She knew how much Tara wanted to have her students here. Oh my god... it's Kelly. And Tarrance and John... ohgod it's the entire student body. How? When? Who? Oh Willow... I can't believe she did this.
Tara danced her way over to her students. They were signing and clapping. Two students held up a big sign written in bold bright red letters. The sign read: 'We may not have a sports team but professor Maclay is our M V P four years running.' Tara read this and was tearing up. The anchor noticed the sign and had her camera man zoom in on it. Others whom Willow told watched and saw the sign too. In all whoever was looking at that channel at that time saw the sign. Willow was beaming with pride for her girlfriend.
Tara continued to dance. Her students couldn't believe this was their teacher. This was the first time most of them were seeing her outside her professor attire. The camera man started to zoom in and out of the crowd of the student body. When the students noticed the camera on them they wanted to talk about how proud they were of Tara. Buffy spoke to the anchor woman explain who the students were. Right away the news woman saw a great human interest story unfolding. She quickly pulled out her cell and called her boss, explaining what was happening. Her boss gave her the okay to run with the story. Buffy wanted to be in the background for obvious reasons, her job being the main reason. She didn't think her supervisor would be to pleased seeing one of his agents plastered all across the news. So she made a deal with the news woman that she'd help with her talking to the students as long as she was behind the scenes.
Once they came to an understanding Buffy escorted the news woman with her cameraman over to the student body. The students were excited at the idea of being on television. The news woman was from channel forty-eight. Her name was Sharon Kertz. The cameraman's name was Chip.
"Chip, I want you to zoom in and out of the students and get their reaction to Ms. Maclay. Got it?" she asked as she turned her attention to Tara too as she danced. This young lady is deaf? I'd never know it by the way she is moving and dancing to the music, exact timing. Amazing. This is going to be really good human interest subject. Home town professor, who's deaf... "Okay Chip, don't miss a thing. I want footage I can go through to jump start this baby." The students reading her lips were clapping and cheering at that piece of information. Buffy managed to snag Willow for a few minutes to talk to Ms. Gertz.
"Ms.Gertz this is Tara's girlfriend and my best friend Willow Rosenberg." Extending their hands the two met.
"So Ms. Rosenberg, what's it like having someone who is so obviously loved by so many people as your girlfriend?" Willow smiled as she watched the student body.
"Uh, well it's great. Her students love her. I love her," Willow stated simply. The news woman couldn't help but smile at her. They talked a little longer as she and Willow went through some of the students talking about why they were there instead of out on dates or with their friends.
"I mean here you all are indoors and you're mature young adults who on a friday night are here watching your professor instead of being on dates or hanging out with friends or partying. And I guess I'm wondering why?"
One student signed. Buffy spoke as the girl signed. "Because it's professor Maclay. She's the best I could ever wish for in a professor and a friend. And besides, look at her out there."
On the other side of the room Faith was chatting it up with Willow about Tara's sweet proposal when something caught her attention. Actually more like someone. She looked again.
"Is that? God, isn't that..." Faith looked again and the person was gone. Faith excused herself by saying she had to go to the ladies room. They both took off in opposite directions. Faith stopping momentarily to to check her weapon. Then she was off running again. I'm going to really do some serious damage to this bitch if it's her. Damn why can't people see that she doesn't want anyone else. Oh this woman is going to pay if she's back to hurt my Red. And Buffy isn't going to stand for her best friend getting hurt. Oh and Tara... I wouldn't want to be the one on the opposite side of Buffy when you're the one messing with Tara. She sort of adopted her as her sister. They seem to have adopted one another. Wait is that her? Shit she spotted me. Damn she's making a run for it towards the exit. Damn it! Where's Buffy?
Just then Buffy came into view but as a blur. She was out the exit door as well. By the time Faith got outside Buffy was standing there with her gun in hand cursing. Faith ran up besides her. Buffy turns to her, "You know who that was don't you?" she asked as the grip on her gun tightened. Faith put her gun back in its holster in her boot.
"Yeah I recognized her.What are we going to do? We can't tell them tonight. I want to do some footwork of my own first while you use your job to see if you find anything out," Faith said in a calming voice. Buffy shook her head in agreement. They hugged and right away Faith felt Buffy shaking. "B? Buffy? Oh baby don't. It's going to be alright you know. Nothing is going to happen to her. Promise you that. As long as she has you in her corner she's always safe. Okay?" Buffy looked into caring brown eyes and knew Faith would rather die than let anything happen. She kissed Faith and calmed herself down as she pulled Faith along inside.
Once back inside Willow came running up to them with a huge smile. "Hey you two. So, needed some alone time I see. Well get back in there because Tara's solo is coming up." Both Buffy and Faith smiled and bum rushed Willow dragging her along. Willow decided she herself needed some Tara time. She walked into the large dressing room and Tara was being helped out of her dress only to have another waiting. Willow couldn't control it. What happened next was beyond her control. She walked over to Tara and started kissing her back. Tara knew Willow was in need but she had to be in that dress so she was on her spot when the music started. Raven would kill her. But her Willow... (vixeny Tara has now entered the Psyche) Tara grabbed Willow, surprising her. Shoving her down into the chair next to her she straddled Willow and what happened next was beyond their control. From the outside you could actually hear them. There was loud moaning and screaming of names and a crash. Luckily it was Buffy who was witness to this. After a few minues Buffy decided to knock. The door was almost ripped off its hinges by Willow who was bleeding from her lips.
"Um, Will? Um, your, uh, lip... are you alright? How did it happen?" Buffy asked, as she couldn't hold in her laughter. Willow turned as red as her hair as she smiled and excused herself to the bathroom. Buffy walked in and watched Tara carefully. Tara turned to her signing "Oh, um, h-hey Buffy. How long have you been here?" she asked nervously as she dropped her head.
Buffy touched Tara's arm, smiling she signed, "Um, oh, I might have heard something, but it was only me so don't worry." Tara was at ease with Buffy.
"Buffy you have no idea what your best friend can do to me. Oh god shes just... just so... and the way her eye color changes. It's just..." They both started laughing.
"Oh god Tara... your dress. Raven is going to be here in a few minutes. We have to get you dressed or your main worry is Raven coming in and you not dressed. Here let me help you." They got Tara dressed within a few minutes of Raven appearing with advice and jokes and when Raven did leave Buffy couldn't help it. She had to ask.
"Um Tara, what happened to Willow's lip?" she smirked. The question caught Tara off guard so she answered it honestly and dreamily. "Oh that. I straddled her face after pushing her down into the make up chair. Oh and it was the one you could adjust and I..." Tara caught herself but a little too late. Buffy eyes grew large as she had trouble hiding her shock to Tara's truthfulness. She started to laugh nervously.
"Oooooooookay. There will be no more telling Buffy such details while I'm on an empty stomach. This is great talk for our first girls night. Save it for then and I want details. Wait! Do I? Do I want details?" she asked Tara.
Signing with a huge smile Tara signed, "Oh you want details. You wouldn't believe your best friend. She's such a little VIXEN!" Buffy stood staring at Tara.
Finally after a few seconds passed, "W-willow? Will? My Willow is a vixen?" she asked in surprise. Tara just smiled a huge smile and turned away from Buffy, leaving her new close friend in a state of shock. "Wait we are talking about Willow right? Um, Willow Rosenberg? You know about so high and with really green eyes and red hair... that Willow? She's a vixen?" she asked as she let the information sink in.
Buffy went looking for Willow. Meanwhile, Aggressive Willow was in the bathroom cleaning up her lip. Well that didn't go as well as I planned. But it was good. God she was so strong. She just whipped around and throwing me into that chair and attacking me. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! I loved it. She was so... so...
Willow was brought back by a hand on her shoulder. She turned and saw Buffy with a big smile. "So Will, how's the lip?" Buffy held back her laughter.
"It's fine. I, um, well something ran into it. I mean I ran into something, but I'll be fine. Just needs some TLC from Tara and I will feel much better. Come on I have to be out there." Willow turned and walked out. Buffy was grinning fighting the urge to die from laughter. Oh Faith is never going to believe this about her little Red.
Willow popped her head back in the bathroom, "Hey? You coming?" Buffy followed behind smiling all the way.