Tara grabbed the notepad that was magnetised to the fridge. It was pale yellow with fruit lining the border and text at the bottom that said 'Shopping List.' There was writing on it but it had nothing to do with shopping.
"Went to Bufs, (heart) Wil"
Tara had thought she heard the phone ring during the interview. She figured it to be a telemarketer, because it was around the time they usually called. However Buffy calling before noon on her day off probably warranted a crisis and thus Willow's attention.
She ripped the page with Willow's note off, grabbed a pen and began the list of ingredients for the tea. The two talked about tea in general with Tara touting the wonderfulness of making tea the traditional style.
"I may be a tea lover but I'll admit to tea laziness. Most of my tea comes in tea bags and I wouldn't be able to survive without my electric water kettle. I do however at least own a tea ball, which was actually my great grandmother's." The interviewer seemed to beam proudly.
They continued talking about tea until Tara finished with the list, adding a few tips to make the tea more effective. She tore off that sheet of paper but continued writing. This time it was a name, email, phone number and address in San Francisco. The topic was then turned to the exhibit proposed by the person who was written on the shopping list.
"I'll let her know the magazine should be in contact with her." Tara again ripped off the front piece and pushed the pad towards the brunette. "If you can write down your bosses contact info, I'd like to talk with her too. I'm sure she'll have final say over your, and the magazines, involvement but I'd like you specifically to work on it. That is if you have time?"
"It is a really great idea. I'd love to be a part of it, with or without the magazine. Besides I've plenty of spare time... too much in fact." As she finished her sentence and writing down the contact info, the front door opened and Willow appeared in the kitchen within moments. "Hello." She said quickly acknowledging the two. Willow headed straight for Tara as if pulled by a magnet and kissed her chastely on the lips.
"What'd Buffy want?" Tara asked, curious as to what Buffy's crisis was.
"Out of coffee, called in a panic, some meeting this morning, took some over." She replied in a classic short Willow run-on sentence, emphasising all points by waving her hands. She headed towards the coffee maker herself. "Speaking of which I could use more myself... Delaney would you care for some?" Willow asked the brunette.
"No thanks, I don't drink coffee." Delaney replied.
Willow turned and stared at her as if she were a vampire who had just implied that she didn't drink blood. "Are you insane?"
The girl took it with a small laugh. "Could be..."
"Why not?" Willow asked, hoping there was an acceptable reason.
"Don't care for it." was all she was given.
Willow continued making coffee but was not satisfied with the response. "What about mochas?"
"You are insane."
"Give her a break hon., I rarely drink coffee myself." Tara finally butted in.
"Yeah but you aren't opposed to mocha-y goodness." Willow turned back to Delaney. "Are you against caffeine or something?"
"No I drink tea." She replied.
"But that doesn't count." Willow pushed off her response.
"Actually the caffeine in tea can be quite significant." Tara pointed out.
"A lot of people switch to tea when their doctor tells them not to drink anymore coffee. They find it a suitable caffeine replacement." Delaney continued the tea argument.
"Yeah but you didn't switch did you?" Willow asked but it was more a statement.
"Nope, always been a tea drinker."
"See, insane." Willow had gathered all the evidence and came to her conclusion. And she wasn't going to budge.
That was until she received that look from Tara. "Uh...how about quirky? Can I get a quirky?"
"I'll give you that. Out of the multitude of adjectives you could have picked quirky is a good one. It certainly isn't used enough. Though if you want true funny, you could have called my tea habits queer."
Delaney now received an odd look from the other two. "What? I'm a journalist writer-type person. I enjoy a good play on words."
Tara shook her head and rolled her eyes, though obviously amused. The coffee was finished at that point. Willow set down a mug for Tara and clasped her own tightly as she sat down at the island. She spotted the many 'shopping lists' and immediately grabbed for them.
"What are these?"
Willow shuffled through them, the last one being the tea ingredients. She pulled it from the stack and held it out in front of Delaney.
"Go ahead.....say it. I know you want to."
Tara was starting to be worried about Willow and Delaney's interaction with each other. That was until the two burst into giggles.
"Delaney, would you like some tea?" Tara asked when the two finally settled.
"No I should probably get going. You know I have an article to write and everything." She gathered up the papers and placed them in her briefcase. "But we'll be in touch."
In a partitioned 'office', in a high-rise San Francisco building a brunette sat at her desk typing away. She had paused briefly to take a sip of her tea when a figure appeared at her 'door.'
"Laney, I had a phone call from Tara Rosenberg-Maclay." said the blonde now standing further into the cubicle. She paused carefully considering her words.
"And I was thinking that when Carol leaves for LA in 2 months, you could certainly use a little more space. It would be just in time for the party and you'll get to show it off to your new friends."
Delaney took in the information. Was she really getting upgraded into a proper office? Wait a minute...
"You know... I wish I had networking skills when I was your age. It took me a while to develop them. But alas you are still young. Tara was quite adamant about you being on the project. I would certainly put her in your list of friends if you haven't done so already." The blonde was now leaning against the desk her arms folded shaking her head at the naivety of the brunette.
"So they're going to come to the party?"
"I'm sending them an invitation."
"And the project?"
"We are in. As your boss I must congratulate you on getting involved in this because that makes the magazine involved. And the exhibit will be great publicity."
"This isn't about publicity."
"I know but that was speaking as the editor of this magazine. As a member of the gay community I must thank you. It's funny how I never really thought about it. I know the history of my family, I can even tell you about the history of this state. But as for the gay history of California, I have no clue, not including the particular history of this magazine of course."
"So call whomever you need to call and get this thing started, and in two months you'll have a little more room to work with." The blonde started to turn to go. "Oh and one last thing. When you talk to Tara don't tell her about the invitation. I want it to be a surprise."
Delaney shuffled through her papers and found a pale yellow slip, bordered by fruit. She picked up the receiver and started dialling.
Tara checked the mail before she walked towards the front door. She knew Willow must have had a busy day because it was waiting to be retrieved. Usually when Willow worked from home she'd always take a break to get the mail. That was unless she was really busy. And if she was really busy that also meant that she'd have at minimum one pot of coffee to herself, and wouldn't have eaten since breakfast either.
'She keeps this up she'll get sick again.' Tara thought. It was appropriate though because in her hands was the latest issue of the magazine which held their 'sick' stories. Maybe Tara could use it to remind Willow about the tea. Actually a better idea was one they discussed briefly last week. They needed a vacation, especially Willow who refused to work any other way than too much.
Tara entered the house and peered down the hallway. Sure enough Willow's door was closed. She entered the kitchen and placed the mail on the island. Spotting the coffee pot half empty she sighed and wished that was only the first pot, but knowing it was more likely to be the second, and not wanting to think about it if it was the third.
Tara started going through the mail. "Bills, Bills, Junk. Oh a letter from Dawn. More bills. Hey... what's this?" Their address was hand written but the return address printed in the corner said San Francisco. Tara grabbed a butter knife from the drawer and carefully opened it. She pulled out the folded card and opened it, catching the extra slip inside before it flew away.
The card read:
The note said:
Tara heard the office door open.
"Yeah?" Willow replied.
"You know how we were talking about a vacation..."
Okay just a final note. The idea for the exhibit is not fully mine. It came to me from seeing a seminar/talk/documentary poster for the LGBT history in my area/state during my undergraduate. I was unable to attend but thought 'hey what a great idea.' I'm sure it has been done before, probably in lots of different media, but I thought it would be fun project for Tara to be involved in. And I even did a quick google and happened upon the Chronology of Gay History in California in case anyone is interested.