"He couldn't have been that bad." Buffy wouldn't let go of the whole Jack idea. After a brief fight with lock and key, the roomies entered and flopped down on their respective beds. "You said yourself, you hardly got to know him due to my untimely entrance. Give him a fair shot Will, you never know."
Willow was savoring every drop of her drink. I was wrong before, THIS is the best mocha ever. Her pleasant thoughts were stabbed away by Buffy's words. She set the warm cup down on her nightstand. She knew her best friend meant well, and it would be difficult to get her off this idea without a serious discussion. However, Willow didn't really know what this talk should entail. Way too many things were unclear to her still. The only two things she knew for sure were: 1.She didn't like Jack, and, 2.She definitely liked Tara. Maybe talking could help her figure some other things out. She just worried about how Buffy would handle the conversation. Willow had never been on this side of the relationship dilemma.
"Buffy," Willow looked down, suddenly very interested in the pattern on the carpet. She took in a full load of air, hoping that courage might come along.
Finally sensing that something serious was on Willow's mind, Buffy scooched forward to the edge of her bed. She's never at a loss for words. This is bad. "What's wrong, Will?"
"Well, I don't think anything is wrong, I mean, I've never thought it was wrong, I just never thought of it at all. Not in relation to myself that is. Not in relation to anyone really, it has just never come up I guess. Not with anyone I know...
Babble's back, kinda normal, but kinda not. Buffy interrupted her friend. "Will, honey, stop. You aren't making any sense." Buffy was becoming more and more concerned.
Still unable to meet her roommate's eyes, Willow spoke to the rug. "I don't like Jack, Buffy."
Relieved, Buffy giggled. "Is that all Willow? That's ok, really. I didn't mean to push you like that. I just, well, I hate seeing you so lonely."
Lonely? At that word, Willow's eyes snapped up to meet Buffy's. "Do I really seem lonely? Am I so obvious a loser?" Normally, that kind of comment from Buffy would not elicit such a reaction, but the emotions bubbling up inside Willow knew no other way of making themselves known. Willow felt tears forming in her eyes, and her chin began to quiver.
Buffy sprang from her own bed and sat herself down next to Willow. She took Willow's hand between her own. Oh gosh, what is going on here? "No, Will, I didn't mean it like that. I just, well, you do seem happy, well if not happy, then at least busy. You throw yourself into your schoolwork and your music so deeply. I know you're dedicated to both, but it just seems like you're using those two things to fill your whole life. Like you're trying to avoid letting anything else come in. I only try to get you to talk to guys because I know you're shy. I thought I was helping. I guess I just don't know your type, huh?"
At that, the threatening tears sprang from Willow's eyes followed by dozens of their friends. She was crying, unable to stop the water or the sounds anymore. Buffy quickly wrapped her arms around her best friend and protectively pulled her into her shoulders. Willow continued to sob while Buffy lovingly stroked her hair. "Shh, Will, it's ok, you can talk to me. What's going on?"
For the first time in the entire situation, Willow felt as if she really could talk to her best friend. She sniffed a few times, trying to clear the way for words. Into Buffy's shoulder, she mumbled. "The truth is..." Just say it "The truth is Buffy, I do like someone." She held her breath. god, no way to get out of this now.
Buffy grabbed Willow's shoulders and pressed her away slightly so she could look her in the eye. "Really? That's a good thing Will. I don't understand. Why are you so upset? Do I not like him? Who is he?"
He? How do we get past pronouns? I can't just blurt it out. "No, I don't think you do like this person. At least you haven't had anything good to say about...this person so far." The tears had slowed, but she couldn't control the sobbing. Nerves were making the shaking worse.
Buffy released Willow's shoulders completely, but remained focused on her face. "What's with the strange vocabulary here Will? Who's this person?"
Willow took a series of deep breaths. She wasn't sure what to say . After a few moments of mind stallage, she finally blurted out, "Tara."
Buffy's forehead wrinkled. "No, who is this person that you like? And who is Tara?"
Willow found courage just in saying her name. She wanted to say it over and over and over. It took a few seconds to realize that Buffy wasn't getting it at all. "Tara is the girl at the coffee shop, Tara is the girl who was dancing with Jack last night. Tara is..." She knew she had no choice but to finish the sentence now. "Tara IS the person." She winced, her shoulders tightening and rising almost to her ears. She froze and waited for a reaction.
The two sat in silence as the reality of Willow's words seeped into Buffy's brain. Her face fell as the knowledge finally took her. "Oh, OH! Um, Wow, really? I mean, again WOW! How did this happen? When did this happen? "
Willow relaxed a little and breathed. Well, she's not freaking out TOO much I guess. "Buff, stop, I don't know, I don't know how it happened, it just, well, happened I guess. Oh Buff, are you freaked?"
Buffy's efforts to hide the shock were only mildly effective. "Freaked, NO! No, Will, not freaked. Surprised? Yes, definitely surprised. This is huge Will."
"I know. It is huge. Are you sure you're not freaked? Cuz I kinda am."
Buffy threw her arms around her best friend and hugged her tightly. "Oh Willow, it's ok, I'm glad you told me. "
"Me too." Willow returned the hug with gusto.
Kara returned to her room after rehearsal to find her roommate lying on her back on her bed, staring into nothingness, hugging her pillow, grinning, and humming. "Well, I know you like your job, but this is something else entirely. Did you fall into a big puddle of happy on your way home?" Kara threw her keys onto her desk and leapt into the air, landing with a grunt on Tara's legs.
Tara sat up a little, making more room for Kara. She reached over and tousled Kara's hair, fairly sure the girl still had at least a little hang-over. "High on life, sweetie. How was rehearsal?"
Kara cringed. "That was cruel girl. Rehearsal was painful as it always is on Saturdays. Now stop changing the subject. What's got you humming this disgustingly sunny afternoon?"
Tara flopped back onto her back. "Well, it's not all happy I'm afraid. In fact it's a little troubling. I'm sure you'll agree." Receiving no response, Tara continued. "There's this girl..."
"A girl! A girl!" Kara forced herself up onto her knees and began bouncing on the bed. Feeling the effects of the motion in her aching head and stomach, she quickly ceased. "Oh, that was bad. But you got me all excited here. A girl? Who is she? Do I know her?"
Tara knew that Kara's excitement would be dashed when she found out who the girl was. First off, Willow was ‘the man stealer' from last night, even if they were being comical and light hearted about it, there was a twinge of female competition there, no doubt. Secondly, Kara had been around for not just a few broken hearted episodes where Tara had crushed on straight girls. With a presumed 1/10 ratio, the odds were always stacked against her and Tara was not known for her good luck.
"You know of her, yes." Tara preferred to remain cryptic for as long as possible, hopefully diffusing at least some thought of possible complications. "I do not believe, however, that the two of you have been properly introduced." She was trying to be difficult and her perma-grin was giving it all away.
Kara picked up a stuffed bear from the side of Tara's bed and smacked her roommate with it. "Tara Maclay, quit beating around the bush, young lady." Kara laughed at her own joke. "Ahh, I'll never get tired of lesbo-puns. Anyway, tell me who she is or Mr. Bear gets it." She held the toy in a symbolically menacing position, head ready to be severed.
Tara looked her stuffed friend in the plastic eyes. "Nothing but name, rank, and serial number, soldier, no matter what torture they threaten." Her quip was rewarded with another dose of fur along side the head. "Alright, alright, I'll tell you, just promise me the bear will live." When the two of them stopped giggling, Tara continued, "I believe you know her best as ‘the man stealer'."
It took a moment for Kara to get it. "DJ Red?" Her non-comprehension turned to disappointment. "Oh, Tara, not again. She left with Jack, a guy."
Tara found herself channeling Lynn. "I know, I know, but maybe she likes girls too?" It was a question more than an answer. "She came to the café today. We even spoke to each other. Before you get too excited, no I didn't initiate. She did, and just before that, Lynn said..."
Kara was never one to let anyone finish a complete thought. "She spoke to you? Wait, did she ask for something that happened to be on the menu? Cuz, that's what most of us like to call ordering, Tara."
"No, smartass!" It was Tara's turn to smack Kara with something plushy. "I mean, yes, she did order. But, in addition, we ran into each other when I was coming out of the bathroom after I spilled coffee on my shirt. She introduced herself and shook my hand."
"Well excuse me while I call the wedding planner," Kara teased, trying not to be too hard on her friend. "Tara, are you sure she wasn't just being polite? After all, you two have a habit of bumping into each other."
"No Kara, there was something more." Tara would not let herself get discouraged. "I felt something when our hands touched. Something powerful. From the way she looked right into my eyes, I could tell she felt it too." Tara became wistful at the memory.
"Oh babe, you are such a hopeless romantic." Kara watched her friend smile and smiled. "Well then, what are you going to do about this DJ Red, young lady?"
"Her name is Willow. And to answer your question..." Tara's face fell. "Probably nothing. I mean what can I do? You know I can't just go up to her and start talking. I guess it will be just another case of admiring from afar." She shrugged, a bit crestfallen. "Just meeting her is enough to get me through exams though. And on that note. I have to go check my laundry." Tara languidly slid off her bed, grabbed her fabric softener, and headed out the door.
Kara popped up off the bed and leapt onto her roommate smothering her with a bear hug. "There's no moping here lady!" She released Tara and spun her around so they could have a few more words face-to-face. "You like Willow. That's a good thing. I am sure you'll find a way to get to know her." She was glad to see a glimmer of a smile forming on Tara's face. "That's better. Now go forth and soften fabric."
From the abrupt end to the conversation, Kara knew this was a serious situation. She's right, she could never talk to the girl unprompted. She sat and pondered for a few moments. I think this calls for drastic measures. Kara picked up the phone and dialed a local number.
"Hey Lynn, it's Kara. Up for a little covert operation?"