Tara looked at her watch again, it was only just 6pm... yet she had been waiting outside the hotel for the last fifteen minutes. Time seemed to move so painfully slow when she wasn't with Willow. She sighed anxiously... any moment now. A quick check of her reflection in a nearby window lead her to smooth her palms over her dress for what must have been the tenth time... even though there wasn't a single crease on it.
When a car pulled up in front of her, Tara hesitantly kept her distance until Willow jumped out. The redhead was resplendently attired as always... although Tara was certain she would look just as gorgeous wearing a sack. Tara finally allowed herself to relax a little. Smiling, she walked to the car.
"You look r-really..." beautiful, gorgeous... sexy, Tara searched for the right word, "nice."
Willow grinned and did a little twirl for the sheer fun of it, "You look like a million dollars Miss Maclay... I'm a little worried though, I might end up with no company when some young man takes you off my hands."
And I might say the same about you, Tara noticed the car was waiting for them, "Are we going in the car?"
"You didn't think we were walking did you?" Willow ushered Tara into the car, holding the door open for her.
Tara stopped just as she was about to hop into the car... she realised with a thumping heart that Willow was holding the door open for her. It was the smallest of gestures and yet it meant the world to her. She didn't think it were possible to fall in love with Willow any more than she already had... clearly she was wrong.
"Is there something wrong?" Willow asked nervously, waiting for Tara to hop in, "It's the shoes isn't it? They really don't go with this dress... I was trying to be a little daring but obviously it didn't pay off, oh dammit, there's no time to change them... "
"Willow," Tara said quietly, she drew the redhead's gaze away from the cute shoes she wore and to her blue eyes, "The shoes are perfect."
Willow beamed brightly and made a sweeping gesture with her hand, "Your ride Miss Maclay."
"Thank you Miss Rosenberg," Tara settled herself in the car with soaring hopes, she had a feeling that this was going to be a night to remember.
It wasn't far and as the entered the small but charming theatre, Tara felt as thought it were her high school prom... a flash car, doors being held open for her and to top it all off, a cute date. She had never actually gone to her prom so she wasn't sure if it ever would have been like this... perhaps only in her dreams.
As it turned out, the play was a delightful romantic comedy of mistaken identities and lost chances written by a local Parisian playwright. The play also very openly addressed homosexual romance as two females made up on of the onstage couples. Although besides enjoying the play throughout the first act, both Willow and Tara couldn't help but wonder what the other was thinking about the relationship between the two characters.
"How are you enjoying it so far?" Willow asked nonchalantly as she sipped her drink during the intermission, watching Tara's bright, excited eyes.
"Oh I think it's fantastic," Tara admitted a little shyly, she couldn't help be enthusiastic about the play.
Willow grinned happily, she would have felt more than terrible if Tara wasn't enjoying herself, "Me too, I think it's super... and very funny."
"Although I'm having a little trouble following it, I kind of dropped French to focus on Latin and Greek at school... which was a little silly in hindsight because it's not like I'd ever see a play in Latin," Tara admitted reluctantly.
"Oh, you should have said so earlier... I'll help out!" Willow offered enthusiastically. The play was indeed very good and she didn't want Tara to miss out on any more of it.
When they returned to their seats and the second act began, Willow found herself leaning across every now and then to explain a particularly difficult piece of French to Tara. When offering to help, she hadn't realised how nerve-racking it would be! To lean over and be able to put her lips next to Tara's ear... Great idea Willow! she congratulated herself. She found herself enjoying the second act even more than the first.
As in all good love stories, the lovers quarrelled and the audience waited with baited breath to see whether they would be re-united. The eventual reconciliation came amid excited applause from the enthusiastic audience. Willow had to lean across to Tara and explain the dialogue as the two lovers made up. She whispered in Tara's ear, "She is saying how she never imagined ever finding someone in all the world for her... how she has been searching... now she's finally found her... no matter what, she loves her more than anything in all the world..."
Tara tried to discreetly to let out the breath she had been holding as Willow translated that particular speech but the redhead didn't move away. Her lips remained close to her ear, as if she were waiting for her next translation duty. However, there were no more words when the two actors on stage pressed their lips together in a gentle but passionate kiss.
Willow suddenly felt uncomfortable with her lips so close to Tara, she drew away slowly, trying to be casual. She couldn't look at the stage and instead stared down into her lap. She found herself imagining what it would be like to kiss Tara and she felt a strange but warm feeling in the pit of her stomach. Kissing... kissing Tara...
Tara was wiping away tears following the beautiful acting but at the same moment she chose to look across at Willow. The redhead was staring intently at her hands in her laps as though that was where the play was taking place. Tara bit her lip and felt tears of a different kind sting her eyes as she misinterpreted her inattention.
Willow looked back to the stage as the action moved to other characters but her mind was no longer on the play. She was sitting, lost in her own thoughts when a sudden thought fairly smacked her in the face. She recoiled as though she really had been struck, eyes widening. The words she was translating to Tara were merely pieces of dialogue from a play... and yet as she stole a glance at Tara... Willow knew then that she wanted those words to come from her, her feelings laid bare...
Oh holy crap... She looked across to Tara and finally let herself realise why she enjoyed spending so much time with the blonde. The unexplained feelings, the annoyingly but exquisite little flutter her heart did every time she laid eyes on her...
For the first time in her life Willow Rosenberg was in love...
Oh god... if she finds out, she might go ape... or she might not... but should I take that chance? What if she never wants to talk to me again?
When the curtain fell for the last time, Willow stumbled out of the theatre, listening to but not really hearing Tara talk about how satisfying the ending had been when everyone ended up happily ever after. It just served to make her realise that she wouldn't be able to look at Tara in the same way again. I need to tell her we can't be friends anymore before I let something slip and she finds out how I feel... oh god, no I can't! There was nothing worse than never seeing Tara again. Right, damage control Rosenberg... She had to smooth things over, make it seem as though nothing was out of the ordinary.
"It was beautifully acted... I mean, I understood so little of the dialogue in the first act and yet I knew exactly what was happening," Tara was saying as the walked out into the foyer, "Thanks for helping me out in the second though Willow."
Willow could only nod.
"It was very realistic wasn't it... the mistakes the characters made... but then the way they came together... Willow?" Tara only just noticed the redhead's vacant expression.
"What? Oh, I thought the play was realistic enough... in some aspects anyway. The relationship between Gabrielle and Claire for one thing, I mean it was very cute and sweet but it's not like that happens in real life... women don't really feel that way about each other," Willow was trying to find a way out of the turn her conversation had taken lest she completely give away how she felt, "I mean... normal people can't seriously be gay... did you see how well done the sets were?"
Tara felt herself come crashing back to earth from the cloud she had happily been floating on. Her heart hit the bottom of her stomach and she stopped walking. Willow didn't notice and kept moving, she was so caught up in her babble about how people couldn't be gay. Tara felt her fists clench unconsciously. Her gaze dropped to the floor as Willow proceeded to hurt the young woman more grievously with her words than any amount of brutal slaps.
"I am," Tara whispered to Willow's back, and I'm in love with you...
"Did you say something?" Willow turned to face Tara with a raised eyebrow and a friendly smile.
Tara fell apart when she saw the smile she loved so, tears fell down her face and she angrily dashed them away, snapping at Willow in a far harsher tone than she had ever intended to, "I'm gay!"
Tara's outburst attracted the stares of almost every other patron emerging from the theatre but neither girl noticed. The only gaze Tara cared about was Willow's and beneath the redhead's goggle-eyed stare she panicked. Willow was forced to watch, gaping and petrified, as Tara turned and ran out of the theatre foyer.
"Oh god," Willow whispered, watching the blonde as she fled out the theatre doors, her heart both fluttering and feeling like lead at the same time.
Everything that had happened over the past few days came crashing down on her like a ton of bricks. The little glances... Tara ducking her head away from Willow's stare so often... the way their hands had felt in each others grasp... not once had Tara drawn away from any physical contact they had shared. The constant blushes... My god Willow Rosenberg... you are the stupidest person on the face of the planet!
Willow sprinted after her but by the time she reached the street she couldn't see Tara anywhere...