"Thanks so much for coming with me Buffy," Willow said as they lined up at the door of the most popular lesbian bar in town, most popular by the fact that it was also the only one.
Willow looped her arm around Buffy's waist, giving her best friend a quick hug before checking for the tenth time that her outfit was still as sexy as she had thought when she chose to wear it. After discarding almost her entire wardrobe, Willow had finally settled on a off the shoulder green top which set off her eyes to their best advantage. It was also daringly sheer to the point of being transparent. Her black skirt was split up the side, offering a tantalising glimpse of creamy thigh. Topping it all off were her favourite leather boots which reached just below her knee.
"Will, you owe me big time just for stepping foot into a place called the 'Sexy Kitten', you'll really owe me when I start having to fend off lesbians left, right and centre," Buffy was looking about nervously as though she expected to be pounced on at any moment.
In complete contrast to her friend, Buffy had chosen the dowdiest outfit she could find, tan slacks and a white shirt in which she still managed to look absolutely gorgeous.
Willow snorted, "What makes you think you are going to attract lesbians? You'll be pleased to know it's pretty obvious that you're straight."
"It is?" Buffy asked with a frown, "Do I have a sign on my arse?"
Willow grinned, "No, but speaking of arses we've been standing a few meters back from the most gorgeous arse I've seen all year and you haven't taken a single peek... just about every other woman here has. "
"Why would I?" Buffy said incredulously, "Anyway, who's arse?"
"Blonde in the leather pants and blue top... see..."
Willow discreetly pointed to the back of a young woman wearing a pair of black leather pants which clung to every curve of her shapely buttocks and legs. She wore a blue top which left a tiny strip of skin bare between its hem and the top of her pants. Willow's hand was itching to rest itself there, draw her into her body with a firm grip. Her blonde hair was drawn up and arranged at the back of her head, offering Willow a view of her pale and entirely biteable neck.
"Next to that skanky brunette in the belt that wishes it were a skirt," Willow suddenly realised that something was very wrong, wait a minute... beautiful blonde with a gorgeous arse and skanky brunette... Willow's jaw dropped and she clutched at Buffy's arm for support.
The blonde turned to hear something the brunette was saying to her and Willow saw her profile clearly. Any remaining traces of doubt were blown away when she recognised those lips and the nose... it was her.
"Will? Are you okay?" Buffy looked down to see Willow's nails biting into her arm.
"It's her Buff," Willow let go of Buffy and ducked further behind the people directly in front of them, lowering her voice to almost a whisper.
"Her? As in her hocus pocus her? Her that has Willow quivering at the knees and in other places that I ought not mention?" Buffy clapped delightedly as she stood on tiptoes to get a better view.
"Buffy!" Willow scolded as the blonde drew far too much attention to them, she had flushed a bright red, "Yes, I mean, yes to it being her... not to the quivering!"
Willow bit her lip when faced with the infamous Buffy stare that said she knew everything.
"Yes to the quivering as well."
"At the knees or in the other places I ought not mention?" Buffy asked mischievously.
"That's none of your business Buffy," Willow firmly.
Buffy nodded, "So yes then."
"What's your poison?" Faith asked Tara in a loud voice as they jostled for a spot at the busy bar.
"I'll have a diet coke."
Faith gave her a look of disgust before grabbing the attention of the barkeep, "Gimme two manhattans with double of everything."
Having procured their drinks, Faith and Tara made their way to a spot where they could watch the dance floor without being in the thick of the action. Tara sipped the strong drink and made a face as it burned her throat. Faith was already scanning the floor, a small smile on her face as her eyes drifted over the sweaty, half-naked bodies gyrating to the fast beat.
"This is ridiculous," Tara said, running a hand awkwardly over the leather that clung to her thighs, "How on earth did I let you talk me into wearing these... or even coming here for that matter?"
"You look gorgeous T, although I wouldn't advise having to go to the bathroom any time soon unless you have someone to help get back into them," Faith looked at Tara with a glint in her eyes, "Or unless you have someone to help you get out of them."
Tara flushed and took another sip of her drink even as Faith knocked hers back in one long gulp. She couldn't help but feel guilty that she was even here to start with. Although Giles had said he didn't mind babysitting Ashley in the slightest, Tara knew what a handful her girl could be. Giles wasn't exactly 'down' with the latest crazes for small girls and he couldn't stand being forced to listen to the schmaltzy bubblegum pop Ashley loved.
"Damn that is one fine lookin' blonde!" Faith's enthusiastic growl interrupted Tara's worries, "Straight though... pity."
Her gaze drifted to the red head standing next to her and her eyes went wide for a few moments as she recognised who it was. She grinned at Tara and decided it was about time to draw some attention to themselves.
"Blonde where?" Tara asked in an effort to appear enthusiastic, half-heartedly scanning the room.
"Ah, can't see her anymore... c'mon T, let's go shake our groove things."
Faith lead Tara onto the dance floor, easily pushing her way through the tightly packed throng. It was as though the crowd were parting for her and she loved every second of it. She settled on a spot near the DJ, settling into a rhythm all of her own. Her hips gyrating wildly, an invitation for those watching to look and touch if they dared.
Tara felt as though her limbs were made of lead as she tried to find her own rhythm somewhere. However, she was totally lacking in any enthusiasm, her limbs barely moving. She just stood, moving from one foot to the other, looking as though she wished she were somewhere else.
Faith glanced up for a few seconds and saw the redhead watching them with an unreadable expression on her face. She smirked and then looked back to Tara who was dancing as though she were a paraplegic. There was no way she was going to attract any attention.
Faith laid her hand gently on Tara's waist, drawing her a little closer.
"Ah Faith, this is verging on naughty touching," Tara looked a little alarmed as she tried to back away.
Faith grinned, "You know I'm over you T, just trying to get you to at least look like you're having fun!"
"There was nothing to get over!" Tara laughed back, feeling slightly relaxed.
"I'm going to the bathroom, you'll be okay by yourself for a few minutes?"
"Yes Faith, I'm not going to get eaten up."
Faith winked as she moved off into the crowd and left Tara dancing alone.
Willow watched Faith dance with the blonde from the other side of the bar, Buffy had buried herself in a beer and was quite content. Faith's hand went to the girl's hip and Willow felt a sudden overwhelming feeling of jealously surge through her at just that tiny contact. She then watched as Faith moved away in the direction of the bathroom, leaving the other girl alone on the dance floor. If she was bothered by having to dance alone, it did not show. Instead she closed her eyes and lost herself in the music, body moving in a way that made Willow all quivery once more... and not just in her knees.
She sculled back the last of her beer and slammed the glass down on the counter before moving to the dance floor. Even as she pushed her way through the bodies around her, not taking her eyes from her goal, she began to loose her nerve. Her trademark confidence completely abandoned her and she was left standing on the dance floor, unmoving even as people jostled her from all sides. All she could do was watch the beautiful blonde as she moved in a sensual dance of her own designs. Her body swayed to the beat of the music and for just a moment she ran her hands down her thighs. Willow's mouth went dry wishing they were her hands.
Move you doofus! Move before someone else does!
Willow covered the last of distance between them in a few steps and she found herself standing just behind her. Swallowing her nervousness she reached up to lay her hand over that strip of pale skin at her waist. The blonde jumped, startled at the unexpected contact. Gently, Willow pulled that gorgeous body close to her own until her pelvis was pressed against the blonde's buttocks. Her heart was threatening to burst from her chest but she managed to retain some shreds of confidence as she lent her chin on the woman's shoulder.
"Just keep doing whatever it was you were doing, I'll follow," she said quietly in her ear.
With some hesitation at first, Tara resumed the movement of her hips. She tried to keep her distance, feeling awkward whenever she came into contact with the other woman's body. Yet the beat of the music was intoxicating, almost as much as the feel of a woman's body pressed up against her own. She felt the woman's hand snake further around her waist until it was resting on her stomach. Applying gentle pressure, the woman drew her back even further until her breasts rubbed against Tara's back. Tara felt a growing warmth in the pit of her stomach. She closed her eyes once more and lost herself in the wonderful sensations that were coursing through her body. Her hand drifted down to touch the one that lay over her stomach, she felt the slender fingers beneath her own.
Tara eventually turned in the woman's arms and she found herself face to face with Willow, the red head smiling shyly, two bright spots of red on either cheek. She stopped dancing in surprise. Willow's hand, which had been resting lightly on her hip, dropped back to her side.
"Sorry, I guess I took advantage in moving in like that..." Willow admitted, talking just over the thumping music.
"No," Tara replied quickly, willing Willow to touch her again, "I-I don't mind... my friend just went to the bathroom..."
"Faith? Yeah, we've met," Willow grimaced slightly.
Tara smiled shyly, "I have to say t-thank you so much for the violet, it's beautiful."
Willow found herself smiling once more, feeling slightly bold enough to ask a question that had been on her mind since she first laid eyes on the blonde, "I didn't have the pleasure of asking you your name last time we spoke, I seem to remember making a hasty and somewhat undignified exit before I had the chance."
"It's T-Tara," Tara ducked her head.
"Tara," Willow repeated, savouring the word as though it were precious in itself.
The two women stood in the middle of the dance floor, the only still bodies in a crowd of flailing limbs. Willow found herself moving to the beat unconsciously, her hips swaying, willing Tara to stay here with her. The blonde looked about nervously as though she were wanting to make an escape. Gently, Willow reached out and placed a hand on Tara's waist, the skin of her fingers tingling at the feel of the smooth skin beneath hers. Slowly they resumed their rhythm and every other body on the dance floor was forgotten.
"Where's Buffy?" Willow wondered aloud, standing on tiptoes as she tried to spy her friend where she had left her by the bar.
Willow felt somewhat guilty that she had been so preoccupied dancing with Tara she had not thought about her friend sitting alone for all this time. She could not see Buffy anywhere. Tara frowned as she finally realised Faith had never returned from the bathroom... and that had been more than a few hours ago.
"That's odd," Willow mused, she drew out her cell phone and set a quick message, where r u?
Tara felt guilty at the time that had passed, knowing she had promised Giles she would be home before midnight, "I should get going... a friend is watching Ashley for me, I shouldn't be home late."
Willow had been dreading that sentence... or rather words to that effect for the last few hours. She felt her good mood begin to ebb as she had absolutely no idea where she stood with Tara. Sure enough the blonde had spent the better part of an hour dancing with Willow's hand on her waist and even the pressing of their bodies together. Usually though, at this point of the night she could tell exactly where she stood as there had been a few hours of groping and making out in the middle of the dance floor and Willow could safely ask the young woman back to her apartment. Tara had to go home, their circumstances were so different.
"Well, thank you for a wonderful night..." Willow began, "Will you be alright getting home?"
Tara gulped, "Um, h-home isn't too far away... I w-was going to walk..." she couldn't quite believe she was actually going to go through with this, "C-could you walk me home?"
Willow grinned as though she had cream on her whiskers, "Sure thing."
"Um, thank you for walking me home."
Willow shifted from one foot to another, feeling as though she were a teenager once more.
"I'll be seeing you then," Willow was at a complete loss, usually at this point in the evening she would make a witty comment to relieve the tension or simply draw the other woman into her arms for a goodnight hug that all too often became something much more.
"W-Willow, w-would you like to come in... for some c-c-coffee," Tara was staring at her feet as Willow turned around slowly.
"Coffee would be great, because I love coffee!" Willow had to fight to keep her mad enthusiasm in check.
Willow couldn't say another word as Tara led her inside and through the door to the stairs at the back of the store. She just followed the beautiful blonde, going over witty but sensitive conversation topics in her head.
Tara opened a the door at the top of the stairs that led to their home and an awful feeling suddenly gripped her when she realised that Giles would be sitting up waiting for her. He would see her come home with Willow in tow and there was no way she could get out of it save by telling Willow she couldn't come in for coffee even though she was at their front door. Taking a deep breath she pushed the door open.
Giles had been lying on his back on the couch, a look of pure boredom fixed on his face as he watched some god awful late night made for TV movie as they didn't have cable or a DVD player. He almost feel from the couch when Tara walked through the door, relief evident all over his face. However, when Willow walked through the door a split second later his jaw dropped and he did fall off the couch. As he scrambled to his feet he tried to appear as though nothing had just happened, although standing with a stupid grin on his face he failed miserably.
"How was Ashley?" Tara asked as she closed the door behind Willow.
"Excellent, we made burritos and had a rousing game of junior monopoly... she cleaned me out completely."
Tara smiled and turned to Willow who was standing awkwardly by the door, "Ah, Giles... this is a friend... Willow Rosenberg... Willow, Rupert Giles, he owns the Magic Box."
"Pleased to meet you Willow," Giles crossed the floor and shook Willow's hand firmly.
"Likewise," Willow replied in a confident voice even though she felt as though she were being introduced to Tara's father.
The three of them then stood in the middle of the room, all shuffling their feet with nothing to say until Giles realised that he was indeed the odd one out. He coughed awkwardly.
"Um, I'll be off then."
"Thank you so much for watching Ashley for me," Tara said sincerely.
"No problem... besides Faith was very convincing when she explained of your need to get out and... well, er, get out..."
"Thank you Giles," Tara replied and propelled him towards the door.
"Bye Mr Giles!" Willow called at his departing back.
The door shut behind him and Willow and Tara were left alone once more.
Willow sat nervously on the couch as Tara fixed two great big, steaming mugs of coffee. She had plenty of time to glance around at the space around her, noting that Tara's home was comfortable and inviting. When the blonde returned with their coffee Willow was interested to see she had let her hair down. It framed her pale face delightfully.
"So you're a detective?" Way to start an exhilarating conversation Tara! You might have well have asked if she was a natural red head... is she?
Willow took a small sip of her coffee and nodded, "I was applying for university when I saw a scholarship scheme offered for trainee detectives... I never really knew what I wanted to be so I thought I'd give it a go and six years later I'm working homicide in a city like this."
"It must be challenging?" Tara took a hasty gulp of her own scalding coffee to stop herself asking anymore stupid questions, she ended up burning her tongue.
Willow nodded, for a few moments a sad expression flickered over her features and Tara felt a shiver run down her spine when she sensed some of the overwhelming evil the detective had seen in her young life. It came as no shock to her however... Tara knew evil. She and Faith lived with it every second of their lives and it took everything she had within her to keep it from Ashley.
Willow's cell phone beeped and she quickly checked it to see a message from Buffy, @ home... alone. I hope u r not! She grinned and tucked the device back in her pocket.
"Sorry about that."
"Is your friend alright?" Tara asked quietly.
"She's fine! So," Willow smiled brightly, "Enough talk about work, it's Saturday night... well, Sunday morning at least, "Tell me about Tara Maclay."
"W-what would you l-like to know?" Tara felt uncomfortable talking about herself, she would much rather Willow kept talking for the rest of the night, she could listen to the red head's adorable way of talking for hours and still be intrigued.
"Passions, foibles... the whole enchilada," Willow said grandly.
"Um, I-I... there's not much to me really..."
"I doubt that," Willow replied with a kind smile, reaching out to lay her hand on Tara's knee in purely a gesture of reassurance.
Tara flinched slightly before becoming used to the warm weight of it resting there. She was even disappointed when Willow drew it away and went back to cupping her coffee cup with both hands.
"The store and Ashley are my life... my passions..."
Willow was desperately curious as to who Ashley's father was, how Tara had come to have such a beautiful little girl. Yet she knew... somehow she knew that was one question Tara would not answer and therefore it was one question that Willow would not ask.
"The Magic Box," Willow mused, "It seems strange in this day and age to think that such old superstitions are still held on to..." Willow suddenly realised what she was saying, "I'm sorry... I didn't mean to say it like that... I just meant..."
"I-I know what you m-meant," Tara replied with a small smile, "T-there are many people who don't understand... who don't believe simply because it is not real to them."
Willow frowned, "Real? You mean magic is real? Like Hogwarts kind of magic is real?"
Tara shook her head, "No... but yes, magic is very much real."
"Show me something then?" Willow sat up expectantly.
Tara shook her head, "I cannot... magic doesn't work that way, it's not something to see at a sideshow, nor is it to be used for selfish reasons like showing off."
Willow shrugged, feeling more than a little uncomfortable and out of her element. She set her coffee down on the table in front of them and was very much aware that the silence between them had returned. Tara's hair had drifted forward over her face as she ducked her head. Willow tentatively reached out and pushed it back, tucking the soft strands behind Tara's ear so they could not obscure her view of alabaster skin. A red hue crept into Tara's cheeks and Willow marvelled at her shyness. It reminded Willow of when she had been a awkward teenager, more interested in computers than people simply because she could understand them.
Tara slowly lifted her head to look at Willow, her blue eyes were smouldering and she did not even know it. Willow felt her throat go bone dry.
Willow found herself slipping her hand around Tara's waist once more, drawing the blonde into her body as she had when they were dancing. Now however, without the music and the atmosphere of the club, Willow's nervousness returned full fold. It was just her and Tara and an awkward silence in which their breathing could be clearly heard.
Willow brought everything back to a place she could understand. Ever so slowly, Willow lifted her other hand up to cup Tara's cheek, running her thumb along the strong jaw line. There were so many words Willow wanted to say and yet she was sure that she could not string any into a coherent sentence.
Beautiful, breathtaking, want to kiss you so much, take care of you, hold you close, stroke your hair your skin your breasts... and god they're gorgeous... just like you and I think I'm falling in... Willow gulped and almost choked.
Instead she let her body do all the talking, which in the state she was currently in was probably not the best course of action. Insistently and yet gently at the same time, she pressed Tara down into the cushions with the weight of her body. Willow kept her upper body weight off Tara by placing her hands on either side of the blonde, her thigh however was nestled securely beneath the blonde's. She held back even though Tara's face was flushed, her lips parted slightly in anticipation.
"Tara?" Willow asked quietly, waiting for an invitation before she would go any further.
Tara gazed up into Willow's eyes, seeing sincerity in her emerald eyes. There was desire too but she doubted if it was even half of what she felt for the woman lying above her. Ever so slightly she moved against Willow's thigh, letting out a sharp breath at the stirrings between her legs. Willow responded to Tara's movement, setting up a slow but insistent rhythm of her leg against Tara's mound. Ever so slowly she lowered herself down until their bodies were pressed together, their lips close enough to feel each other's breath...
"Mommy?" Ashley's small voice spoke up from behind them.
"Ashley," Tara hastily pushed Willow back and crawled out from beneath her, brushing her hair back from her face as she did so, "Ashley, go back to bed..."
"I just wanted a drink of water," she whispered.
"I'll bring you one, now hurry, scoot!"
"Okay," the little girl replied quietly before smiling at Willow, "Hi Officer Willow."
She ran back down the hallway, leaving Willow kneeling on the couch next to Tara who was sitting with her head in her hands.
"She's cute..." Willow began as Tara looked up.
"Ms Rosenberg, thank you once again for walking me home."
"Ah, like I said don't mention it... is something up?"
"You should go, it's getting late."
"This was all a terrible mistake Willow."
Willow felt as though she were the villain and it hurt, "Have I suddenly gone dumb all of a sudden? Because I thought you were into me at the club and just now... you asked me in and now you're trying to play all innocent?"
"Tara... I-I..." Like you a lot... give me a chance please! but Willow felt her disappointment turn to anger. It surged through her and erupted even as she was fighting to hold it back, she stood up, "I don't need this! I don't need a woman who can't let go of her responsibilities and let herself have some fun. If you don't want me to see you ever again then tell me to my face, don't leave me hanging like this!"
"Fun?" Tara asked in disbelief, "What do you mean by fun exactly?"
"We danced, I walked you home, you invited me in and just now we were all snugly-wuggly... I just thought..." Willow felt worse with every passing second.
"What? That we were going to fuck?" Tara asked coldly, "You're right Willow, I don't want to see you ever again."
"Likewise," Willow shot back as she spun on her heels and began storming towards the stairs, "I don't know what sort of person you think I am to make you think that I wouldn't respect your situation."
"I know exactly what type of woman you are Willow Rosenberg and I can assure you that I am not the slightest bit interested in anything you have to offer..."
"You were a couple of minutes ago!" Willow protested, "And now you're trying to make me out to be some sort of villain who takes advantage of lonely single mothers!"
"I'm sorry," Tara sighed, everything was coming out wrong, "I'm not trying to vilify you Willow... I just don't think you're the right woman for me..."
"No, because I'm not perfect!" Willow spat back, her heart was hammering in her ears, her blood pumping, "Well, I've got news for you... you aren't perfect either! What just happened between us was perfectly normal... people feel things for one another and it leads to a little something called sex and you can't deny that you want it just as much as I do... and I really can't believe I'm stuck in babble mode now! Look Tara... I-I..." Willow swallowed painfully but she would not meet Tara's liquid gaze, if she had then she would not have been able to say the horrible words which poured out of her mouth in her anger, "Goddammit Tara, why should I be the one to apologise here?"
She slammed the door with all the force she could muster and it fairly rattled on its hinges and ran down the stairs at breakneck speed. Willow did not stop until she had run several blocks in the wrong direction. Gasping for breath she doubled over and put her hands on her knees.
"That went well," she whispered miserably into the night.