Return to New Places, New Faces Chapter Six

New Places, New Faces

Author: Malorie Matos
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are the property of Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy.
Note: Thoughs in italics.

The bell indicating one minute to first period rang shrilly as Tara slammed her locker shut. It was the first day back form break. Tara had been anticipating the return ever since that night at the movies. Smiling to herself, Tara thought back to the how gorgeous Willow had looked in the glow of the theater.

Tara remembered how the light from the movie played across Willow's porcelain skin; how the redhead quietly giggled at funny moments and how her big green eyes gleamed at sad ones. She recalled how Willow had cast glances her way almost as often as Tara did and how-

"Earth to Tara!" Amy smirked at the blonde as she approached her on their way to first period.

Tara jumped a bit, not expecting to be pulled from her daydream so abruptly.

"Uh, head in the clouds much?" Amy teased

"N-not really" Tara tried defending herself, only to earn an all-knowing look from her friend.

"Well, yeah. I was j-just thinking-"

"About Willow, perhaps?" Amy interrupted

"M-maybe a l-little" Tara admitted. She had gotten used to talking to Amy about her feelings for Willow. It was nice to be able to tell someone.

The final bell rang just as they took their seats in Health. Michael greeted the two girls and they discussed their last days of winter break for a while before the teacher entered.

As Mrs. French blathered on about the reproductive system, Tara couldn't help but fall into her usual habit of staring at the redheaded object of her affection.

She watched as Willow carefully picked out different colored highlighters to mark her notes with and smiled inwardly at the girl's obsessive-compulsive antics.

The rest of the day was a bit boring as teachers struggled to get their students back into a learning state of mind.

Tara was relieved to get to math, amazingly. She had barely seen Willow all day and was thankful to have a whole other class period to listen to the redhead babble on to her friends and, every once in a while, babble to Tara herself.

She took her seat in front of Willow and her friends and they exchanged the appropriate smiles and waves. Tara was pleasantly surprised when she felt Willow lean forward over her shoulder, a couple minutes later.

"Hey Tara, how was your break?" she asked the blonde

Tara licked her dry lips before quietly replying.

"F-fine. J-just fine. Y-ours?" her heart was pounding and she didn't know if she could take Willow leaning so closely over her like this.

"Oh, it was pretty great," the red-haired girl replied innocently, unaware of the effect she had on Tara "I got to light the menorah this year. It's pretty know, if you're Jewish. I don't know how exciting it seems to you, though...It might seem exciting? Okay, stopping now. "

Tara giggled at Willow; she had missed the girl very much over the last few days.

Willow smiled at the blonde "It was really cool seeing you guys the other day. That was tons of fun. Did you have fun?"

"Oh, y-yeah. Of c-course I did." Because you were there, Tara thought. Or at least, she meant to think. "Because you were there..."

Willow scrunched her face up a bit, before smiling slowly.

Tara's eyes went wide and her faced flushed red. Shit! Oh my god oh my god oh my god! Holy crap, now what? AHHH!!!

"Uh, you guys. A-all of y-you guys; You, Xander, and Buffy; i-it was really f-fun because y-you guys were th-there. I-it made it m-more fun with more p-people there." She tried not to sound too conspicuous with that barely comprehensible false explanation. Tara ended with a weak smile.

Willow paused for a moment, trying to decipher Tara's worse-than-usual stutter. Then she grinned at the girl, flattered by her comment, but still wondering what made her sound so nervous all of a sudden. She brushed it off for now, though.

"Well, we had oodles of excitement as well. We should do it again some time. Maybe we could get together this weekend? You know, all of us guys." Willow suggested emphasizing Tara's previous use of the term.

Tara perked up at this proposal. She smiled and nodded furiously.

"Oh, y-yes, definitely we sh-should."

Willow grinned like crazy and placed her hand on Tara's shoulder, exclaiming "Great! I'll talk to Buffy and Xander!" before leaning back in her desk and getting back into geometry.

Tara could hardly concentrate the rest of the class period. She smiled down at her worksheet the entire time. When the bell rang for lunch, she almost squealed as Willow stood up, and once again put a freckled hand on Tara's shoulder, leaned down to the blonde's level, and said "Talk to you later, Tara."

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