"Hey Wills! These bags are all clothes right?" Tara heard Buffy ask as she followed Buffy into Willow's new home. "Can we put them in the bedroom already?"
"Yeah. Here, let me grab something." Willow said, moving towards the door.
"I got it. See if Tara needs help." Buffy tilted her head in Tara's direction before disappearing into the bedroom.
Tara smiled and shook her head.
"I'm okay." She adjusted the bag slung across her shoulder and followed Buffy.
"Okay. Oh, Xander and Faith should be here in a couple of minutes. They stopped to get food, pizza, it sounds like." Willow's muffled voice called out from the living room.
"Great! I'm starved." Buffy rubbed her hands together and licked her lips as she walked into the living room.
Tara giggled from behind Buffy.
"You're always starved. Where you put all that food is a mystery."
Her smile turned to a full grin when Buffy huffed to the sofa, grumbling as she sat.
"What? I have a high metabolism!"
"Sure Buffy." Willow said as she and Tara shrugged at each other in amusement. "It's not like we don't know how much time you spend in the gym. Anyway, I thought we'd wait to bring everything up until after they got here, what do you think?"
"W-Will your things be okay out there?" Tara asked as she moved to sit next to Buffy.
She glanced at a nodding Willow, hoping that Willow hadn't noticed the rare appearance of her stutter for questioning later.
"It's fine. There are security cameras on all the driveways, so the guard is keeping an eye out." Willow replied.
It wasn't long before Xander and Faith arrived carrying boxes of pizza and several plastic bags.
"Geez, Xan. Were you planning on feeding an army?" Willow joked as she relieved him of part of his load and led them to the coffee table.
"For your information, Miss Smarty-pants, we brought drinks, chips, cups, and napkins too." Faith spoke before Xander could.
Once the boxes were opened and the other items were laid out, Buffy was the first to grab a slice of pizza.
The others laughed as they got situated around the coffee table, Xander on the loveseat, Faith and Tara on either side of Buffy, and Willow in the armchair across from Xander. The next few minutes were spent passing slices to each other, pepperoni for Faith and Xander and cheese for Willow and Tara, and distributing drinks.
"The place looks great Will." Xander commented before taking a monster bite from his slice.
"Thanks. The table should fit perfectly over there." She pointed to the empty space behind Xander.
"You measured it again before we got here, didn't you?" Faith smirked as Willow blushed lightly, her eyes darting between Buffy and Tara.
"I just wanted to be sure."
"Sure Red. Anyway, it'll look good with all your new stuff." Faith waved her arm around.
"Faith! Be careful!" Willow called out, tempted wrap Faith's hand in napkins. From the corner of her eye she saw Tara move to reach for some napkins as well.
"Okay, okay!" Faith groused, leaning forward. "Whatever. Anyhow, I noticed all your stuff still in the truck. You girls waiting for us to do the heavy lifting?"
The others laughed as Willow blustered something about needing energy and not wanting to stop in the middle of bringing things up.
"Faith's just teasing you Will." Buffy said to her friend as she nudged the girl next to her. "Isn't that right Faith?"
"Sure thing B, teasing." Faith glanced over at Buffy before turning back to Willow and shrugging. "'Sides, there's something else I'm curious about, and maybe you can help me with this Blondie," Faith continued, looking past Buffy to give Tara a teasing grin, then turning back to Willow. "You rented a U-Haul, right?"
"Yeah?" Willow hesitated, almost afraid to hear where Faith's mind was going.
"See, that's where I'm confused."
"Confused about what?" Willow said, kicking herself for responding when she saw the mischievous glint in Faith's eye. She glanced over and noticed Tara watching Faith warily.
"Now I know I'm not known for being the sharpest nail in the box, but I thought the whole U-Haul thing was for moving in with lesbians, not for moving out." Faith said.
Willow turned bright red as Faith looked on smugly, until a smack on her arm caused her scowl.
"What the hell B!" She turned to face Buffy.
"What?" She continued to scowl as she rubbed her arm where Buffy had slapped it. "Geez, you're lucky you love me."
Willow busied herself getting another slice of pizza as she tried to reign in her blush. As she leaned forward she couldn't help but notice that Tara had shrunk back into the couch, trying to hide her own blushing face behind her hair.
Tara never went on dates.
This bothered Willow.
It wasn't that Willow wanted Tara to go out with anyone that asked her. And it wasn't like no one asked Tara out at all.
Willow knew for a fact that there were a few grad students in the UCSD Psych department that had asked Tara out but had been politely turned down in favor of, well, prior commitments that always seemed to go unspecified and never seemed to actually take place. Unless, of course, Tara's idea of a prior commitment was to sit in front of the TV eating pizza and watching a movie with her roommates or curling up in her bed with a good book and a cup of tea.
And who wouldn't want to ask Tara out in the first place? She was beautiful, intelligent, beautiful, interesting, beautiful, had an unusual sense of humor, and well, just look at her!
No, Tara should be and had been asked out many times. And she always politely declined.
And for some reason this made Willow happy.
And that is what really bothered Willow.
Why shouldn't she want her friend to date? To be happy? Why shouldn't she want Tara to go to a see a movie or have dinner with some nice boy?
And why did Tara always say no in the first place?
These were questions that lingered in Willow's brain.
And one chilly winter day, after having witnessed Tara turn down yet another overture from the barista at the Espresso Pump, Willow couldn't keep her questions to herself anymore. Well, she couldn't keep that last question to herself anymore.
"What's wrong with him?" She had asked, not so gracefully.
"W-what?" A confused Tara had responded.
"Sorry, I mean, why won't you go out with him? He's asked often enough." Willow said, tilting her head in the barista's general direction.
Tara had shrugged.
"I guess he's j-just not my t-type."
There was more to it than that. Willow knew because 1) that was a very vague answer and 2) Tara was stuttering.
"Then what is your type? I mean, so far it hasn't been the intellectual slightly older man type, or the athletic guy like the runner that asked you to homecoming, or the skater boy type from the video store, or the wannabe artsy type like this guy. So then what? What is your type?"
As soon as she finished talking Willow felt as though she had overstepped her bounds. Tara seemed to have shrunken into her self, her posture hunched and her face hidden behind a curtain of hair.
"I'm sorry Tare. I, I didn't mean to pry. You don't have to answer that. Let's just forget I asked, okay?" Willow reached out to touch Tara's hand, but she quickly stopped herself as Tara flinched.
"N-no, i-it's okay. I-I mean, that's what f-friends talk about, right?" There was no mistaking the hesitation in Tara's voice, despite the reassuring smile she was attempting to give Willow.
"No, you don't have to tell me what kind of boys you like. It's none of my business, we don't have to talk about it if you don't want to."
"I don't." Willow's guilt would have thickened, but Tara continued. "Like boys, I mean."
"I d-don't like b-boys. M-my type...I mean...I like g-girls."
"Girls, Willow. My type are girls, women." Tara sat up and all trace of her stutter disappeared. "I like women Willow."
"Oh," Willow could feel the full meaning of Tara's words sink in, "okay."
And it was okay. Yup, most definitely okay.