"I still don't get it Xander, I just don't see how this is possible!" Willow said, frowning at her best friend. "I mean, seriously, what are the chances?"
Xander laughed and threw his arm over the redhead's shoulder.
"What can I say? They were slim to none, but now, I don't know. Ours is not to question why..."
Willow's frown deepened. I can't believe it, I can't believe that's her. It's just not possible. And Xander attempting to wax philosophical? This is just so bizarre...
"Look, Wills. Just talk to her okay? You might really like her."
Letting out a sigh, Willow nodded. The two friends made their way through the crowd and back to their seats, where Willow dropped down onto one end of the large blanket.
"Besides what if one of these random redheads I introduce you to is actually your mystery red-haired computer programmer girl?"
Shaking her head at her friend, Tara began picking at the remains of her sandwich.
"Jo, you know the odds of that are slim to none..."
"But it's possible!" Jo broke eye contact with Tara as she tried to look around. She pointed just behind Tara. Tara allowed her gaze to follow the path of Jo's fingers as they led to a couple sitting on a blanket several feet away. The boy was grinning goofily, and his dark almost black hair fell in front of his eye every so often. The girl he was with had slightly longer than chin length red hair but her back was turned to the two friends observing them.
"For all you know that girl right there could be her!"
Tara's eyes widened in shock when the redhead turned, allowing the roommates to see her face.
"Oh my God! That's the girl from the airport!" she gasped.
Jo looked from Tara to the redhead and back.
"Are you serious?" Jo asked in disbelief. She had managed to shock even herself. She had been curious about her roommates dating life, or lack thereof even when they had first moved in together. Tara never seemed to go out much, absorbed as she was in her school and artwork. And it wasn't really for lack of interest in the blond. Jo herself had witnessed Tara turn down three people in succession. For Jo, it had become one of the great mysteries of life: What would it take to turn Tara Maclay's head? What kind of person would it be that could bring her out?
So when Tara told her about the girl at the airport, Jo had latched on. Finally, she had an small idea of Tara's type, though she had already known that Tara was a lesbian from day one. Slowly, Jo started introducing Tara to every smart redheaded woman she knew, but much to Jo's disappointment, Tara reacted much in the same way as she had to this, her latest match-making attempt.
So let's get a good look at this girl that finally got Tara Maclay's attention. Who got my roommate to give up her precious colored pencils to a complete stranger.
Again, Jo turned to watch the girl she had pointed out, this time giving her a more thorough assessment. After a minute of silence, Jo's brow furrowed, and she turned to her roommate.
"Um Tara, are you sure?" She asked her friend softly.
Tara simply nodded her head, unable to find the words she needed.
Jo looked back at the redhead, confused. Huh. She's pretty, I guess...
"Tara? That's your mystery red-haired computer programmer girl?"
When Tara turned away from the couple they had been watching to face her friend, the expression on her face was a mixture of shock and confusion.
"What? No, that's the other girl!"
At this, Jo was even more confused. "The other girl had red hair too?"
"No she was blond, but that's her, I'm sure of it. Maybe she dyed it?"
At a loss for words, both girls turned back to watch the couple Jo had singled out earlier. Moments later, the couple turned to look behind them, and motion behind the couple caused Tara to gasp again.
When they arrived at their blanket, Willow lay on her back and threw her hands over her head. She watched as Xander handed a cup to the girl sitting next to him.
Lord knows why, but he really likes her... lucky him I guess. Willow sighed again when Xander's face broke into a wide grin at something said by the redhead sitting next to him. How is this possible? Oh, pay attention Willow, she's talking to you.
"So Willow, are you making a lot of money with your computer work now?"
Willow sighed, She really is abrupt isn't she?
"Well, I've still got a year of school left after this summer, but I'm already making a little bit on the side doing consulting work for small businesses back East."
"That's a good plan, cash in on your skills before you graduate! What kind of consulting work? Does it pay well? Is that what you were doing at the airport? Do you get to travel? Oh, do you get paid to travel? If you don't you should get paid to travel. That's valuable time spent." The other redhead asked.
Willow couldn't help but laugh at the barrage of questions about money. "No, that time I was on my way back to New York from spending the holidays in Sunnydale. I mainly do stuff like network and database administration for smaller businesses in the city, ones that can't afford to pay a lot to companies that specialize in that stuff. Oh, it's like, I'm a computer freelancer! But I'm starting an internship in the fall with a computer company based in upstate New York. Maybe I'll get to travel and get paid for it then."
Xander looked back and forth between the two redheads, relieved that the two had found something to talk about. He had been nervous about introducing his new girlfriend to his childhood friend. His nervousness was heightened when Willow had told Xander about their first meeting. Obviously Willow had already formed a slight dislike for the girl, but hopefully now that they were talking and getting to know each other Willow's first impression of the girl would at least be softened.
"What kind of small businesses? I'm opening a store in Sunnydale. Maybe you could recommend software for tracking inventory. Oh, and I'd like to keep a customer database so I can send regular customers notices about sales and new products so that they'll remember to come and buy more. Since you're Xander's best friend and I'm his girlfriend, you could do it for free."
Xander could almost hear the wheels turning in his best friends head as her eyes lit up in excitement. He knew that Willow had probably thought of at least twenty different ideas before his girlfriend had even finished talking. His suspicions about Willow's excitement were confirmed when Willow ignored the last part about doing the work for free, instead sitting up and rattling off suggestions while simultaneously digging into her bag for paper and pens.
"Tare? Hello? Anybody home?" Tara had been staring silently at the couple for several minutes. Though her roommate wasn't exactly the most talkative person in the world, Jo had to worry when Tara wouldn't respond to her name being called. She shook her hand in front of Tara's face, an action which drew something close to the desired response.
Tara blinked twice, before muttering under her breath. "No fucking way."
Though spoken quietly, Jo clearly heard and was shocked by the words that came out of her friend's mouth. Tara never swore, Tara hardly ever even used replacement words like heck or darn or shoot or freakin'.
"Tara, are you okay?"
The blond blinked again, shaking her head slightly. "That's her..." Tara whispered.
"Tare, I know. You already said... what's up? Was she that awful?"
Jo's last question brought Tara out of her reverie. Turning to her friend, she shook her head again.
"N-no, th-that's HER." Emphasizing her point by stressing the last word, Tara pointed in the direction of the man and woman they had been watching. "B-Behind them. Th-that's her..."
Jo's head whipped back and forth between Tara and the redhead Tara pointed to several times, before her own eyes went wide and she echoed her friend's words.
"No fucking way!"