Return to Love Thy Neighbour Chapter Six

Love Thy Neighbour

Author: Shai
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: All the characters belong to Joss, that lucky man!

The next day Buffy left in the morning. Since it was a Sunday, Tara was home. Apparently she didn't work Sundays.

"I only work Sundays when I have to cover the finals of a major championship, or something like that" she's explained to Willow. Since it was the first day that Tara had gotten off since moving houses, she set about setting stuff up. Willow still couldn't move without crutches, so she just spent the morning in her room, watching 'The Wizard of Oz', which Tara had had at home. The morning passed, and at one o'clock Tara walked into Willow's room carrying a tray.

"Lunch," she said simply. Willow looked up at her and almost forgot to breathe!

Tara had been moving stuff all morning, and her face was red with the effort, making her look even more beautiful then she was. "If that possible" Willow thought, as she stared at Tara. The fact that Tara was dressed in a pair of shorts that were just that-short, and a t-shirt that was cut at the mid-riff didn't exactly help Willow stop ogling at her! Tara handed her a plate with two sandwiches and a glass of coke, took her own plate and sat down beside Willow on the bed, watching the movie. Willow was finding it extremely difficult to concentrate on anything with Tara next to her, still breathing a little heavily with all the effort that she'd had to put into house moving that morning. As it is Willow always became very aware of herself when she was anywhere near the blonde, and this time it was even worse than ever. After few minutes of eating in silence, Tara asked, "You want me to make you more sandwiches?"

"Nah, but thanks. I don't really burn as much as I eat these days, so I guess I just get full quicker," Willow explained.

Tara nodded her head and was looked like she was going to say something when the doorbell rang. Wordlessly Tara stood up and went to see who it was. Willow could make out the sound of some voices talking and some stuff moving, and a few minutes later Tara was back, looking quite pleased.

"Who was that?" Willow couldn't help but inquire, her curiosity aroused by Tara's expression.

"The delivery men. My piano arrived" Tara said, smiling.

"Piano? You play the piano?" Willow asked in an awestruck voice.

Tara nodded "Uh huh... We had this one at my house growing up. When Mom and Dad moved away, I got to keep it at my place."

Willow could see how happy that made Tara, so she just smiled and gulped down the last bite of her sandwich, wondering if she'd ever get to hear the blonde play.

"Well, I'd better get back to moving. You want anything?" Tara asked, as she stood up.

"Nope. I think I'll just take a nap for a while. Ok?" Willow questioned.

"Sure," Tara said, as she piled the plates and glasses back onto the tray, making for the door. "Sleep tight."

Willow lay back and was asleep in a few moments. Tara spent the rest of the afternoon finishing up around the house. She took only one break, which she spent quietly drinking from a cup of coffee while watching Willow sleep.

For some reason that she couldn't quite put her finger on, Tara found that she was drawn to Willow. When she was around her she found herself sneaking quick glances at the redhead.

She had been nothing like the full-of-attitude celebrity that Tara had expected. "She's more... down-to-earth and homely then I expected. Not to forget sweet and caring..." When Willow softly snorted in her sleep and moved, Tara left the room, not wanting Willow to wake up suddenly and see her sitting there watching her. "She's probably think I'm one of those crazed stalker people" Tara thought, as she tiptoed out of the room.

Willow woke up just as the sun was setting. Lying there in bed, she thought of the dream that she's just awoken from. For some weird reason, she had gone to Disneyworld, and she hadn't been alone... she'd been with Tara, and they were having an amazing time. She was just thinking about how they'd both been screaming on Space Mountain, when she heard the first keys of a song being played on the piano. A few seconds later a low, beautiful voice began to sing...

"How can I just let you walk away,
Just let you leave without a trace?
When I stand here taking every breath, with you?"

"Against All Odds" Willow thought, recognizing the Phil Collins classic. The voice went on...

"How can you just walk away from me,
When all I can do is watch you leave?
'Cause we've shared the laughter and the pain,
And even shared the tears.
You're the only one, who really knew me at all.
So take a look at me now,
There's just an empty space.
There's nothing left here to remind me,
Just the memory of your face.
Take a look at me now,
There's just an empty space.
And you coming back to me,
Is against all odds,
And that's what I've gotta face..."

At this point Willow sat up in bed and reached for her crutches. Like a steel pin attracted to a magnet, she realized that she was being pulled towards Tara by some invisible force.

"I wish I could just make you turn around,
Turn around and see me cry.
That's how much I need to see you,
So many reasons why.
You're the only one,
Who really knew me at all.
So take a look at me now,
There's just an empty space.
There's nothing left here to remind me,
Just the memory of your face.
Take a look at me now,
There's just an empty space.
But to wait for you is all I can do,
And that's what I've gotta face."

Willow reached the living room and saw Tara. The blonde had her head ducked, facing the keys of the piano. She sang without any signs of strain on her face, and looked completely at ease with herself, a vision of complete beauty to Willow.

"Take a good look at me now,
'Cause I'll still be standing here.
And you coming back to me is against all odds,
And that's a chance I've gotta take...
Ohhh... take a look at me now...
Take a look at me... now..."

As she played the last notes of the song, Tara looked up to see Willow staring at her with a look of complete admiration on her face. And then she smiled... "Oh she's so beautiful" Tara thought, as she found herself smiling back, before shyly looking away.

"That was... amazing!" Willow breathed. Tara looked back up and smiled again.

They stared at each other in silence for a few seconds, both wanting to say so much but not sure exactly what.

Finally Tara broke the silence "You want to go sit by the pool for awhile?" Willow nodded her head and followed Tara as they walked out to the back of her house. Once there Tara pulled out a chair for Willow, and then sat across her. Again both realized that they didn't know what to say to each other.

This time it was Willow who broke the silence. "That's my room" she said, pointing.

"Where?" Tara asked, since all she could see were leaves.

"Behind that tree. I actually had the tree specially moved and planted there. When I moved in I had photographers outside my place 24/7, violating my privacy. So I just got the tree put there so my room was out of view. But I can still see from behind it. That's the cool part," Willow finished.

"Oh," Tara said, and then as an afterthought "Why do you live alone?"

"Well I moved out of my parents' place when I was just seventeen. I... I was in love with this guy, and we lived together for a year and a half, and that's when I started working. A couple of months later I walked in on him and another girl in bed, so I kicked him out. Luckily for me I got all the right roles, and pretty soon I was able to afford this place," Willow said, nodding towards her house.

For some reason Tara felt herself boiling with anger at the thought that someone could hurt Willow. "Why didn't you move back in with your folks?" She asked, surprised to hear herself asking so many questions.

"I don't know really know" Willow said. She was even more surprised to hear her answering so many questions. The only other person who knew so much about her was Buffy, and that too because they had been best friends since Willow could remember. "I mean, when I moved out in the first place my parents weren't exactly the happiest people in the world, and I didn't want to move back in and have them give me those 'We told you so' looks you know?"

Tara nodded and blurted out "So you're not seeing anyone right now?", and then thought that maybe she had gone too far with the questions.

Willow didn't seem to notice Tara's dilemma, much less mind the fact that Tara was getting personal with her. "No... I mean I have dated and stuff after that, but the guys from Hollywood... well... they're just a little too full of themselves... and the blind dates that Buffy's set me up on have been outright disasters! Most of the guys are so surprised to see me at the other end of the table that all they do is stare!" she grinned as she went on "So that's my love life. What about you? What's a beautiful girl like you doing single?" Willow suddenly realized how that sounded and blushed!

Tara would have noticed the red in Willow's cheeks if she hadn't been busy blushing and looking away herself! "Well" she started "Mine is the 'once bitten twice shy' story. Heartbreak in high school, and that was the end of my belief in true love I guess."

"Oh, one bad experience with a guy and you just gave up?" Willow questioned, a slightly concerned note in her voice.

"Well I didn't really give up... I just lost interest in pursuing anyone you know? Figured that I was better off alone... didn't think that I would get hurt again that way," Tara finished.

Willow nodded her head, understanding what Tara meant, as Tara continued...

"And by the way Willow, it was a bad experience with a girl, not a guy."

Continue to Love Thy Neighbour Chapter Eight

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