Having a roommate was slowly killing the blonde teen. Her hands were broken, she was sure of it. The images were in her mind but she couldn't put them on paper. They simply refused to do what her brain told them to and it was all Willow's fault. Something about her just being in the room drove Tara crazy. Whether it was because the redhead was entirely too happy or not happy enough she wasn't sure. But it was annoying her and she didn't like it.
Not only did Willow disrupt her art but she disrupted her sleeping schedule as well. Whoever decided that night was made solely for sleeping was an idiot in Tara's eyes. Everything had turned upside down and it started when Willow moved in.
Classes weren't holding her attention any more then they had in the past but now she felt almost obligated to go. All five of Willow's alarms would go off two minutes apart, waking Tara up without fail. With nothing else to do during the day she felt that she had no choice but to go to class.
The redhead had only been there four days and she was taking control of Tara's life. And Tara was none to happy about it. She would take her life back even if it meant doing everything she possibly could to drive Willow back to her little town by any means necessary. But the redhead was stronger then she looked, which only proved to piss Tara off even more. If Willow was going to have a backbone it would be nice of her to show some kind of actual emotion.
Looking at the sketches hanging over her desk Tara wondered if she would ever get her art back. Maybe you need a drink or five., a small voice in the back of her mind spoke up as she sat down. It felt like years had passed since she'd been to the bar and she couldn't deny that she missed it. There was nothing a straight shot of vodka couldn't cure. She needed to get out of the room. If she didn't she was sure she would snap and attack Willow in her sleep. Which would be a very big problem for her. As much as she hated Saint Michael's getting kicked out was not her idea of fun.
Blank white paper stared back at her from her desk, mocking her inability to put anything down on it. She couldn't remember the last time she went this long without coming up with a decent drawing. Reaching over she picked up the phone next to her and dialed, leaning back in the chair she was sitting in. The phone rang twice before someone answered.
"Hey Sammy, its Tara." The blond said softly, trying her best to seem sweet.
"Tara, hi. It's been a while." Sam replied.
"Yeah, I know. Things have been really tense lately with the new room mate. But I'm thinking of going out tonight. Usual bar. Do you wanna come with me? It'll be fun." Tara swiveled in her chair, biting her lip. She heard the door open and close as Willow walked into the room. Rolling her eyes Tara turned her back to the girl, waiting for an answer from Sam.
"I don't know, Tara. Word on the street is your new roommate is pretty cute. Why don't you take her with you tonight?" Sam tease.
"Because I don't like her." Tara pouted. "I like you, though. I'll make it worth your while. You know you always have fun with me."
"I guess I can come out with you tonight. When and where?"
"I'll be by the pond when the sun goes down. Meet me there." Tara grinned, crossing her legs.
"Sounds like a party. I can't wait to see you." Sam said with what Tara could only imagine was a smirk.
"Great. I'll see you there. Be cute." Tara said before hanging up the phone, running her fingers through her hair. She turned and moved to her feet, standing in front of the full length mirror.
"There's a pond on campus?" Willow asked softly as she dug through her closet.
"Behind the science building." Tara replied simply, unbuttoning the first three buttons of her dress shirt.
"Oh. Is it pretty out there?" The redhead asked, laying her uniform on her bed.
"It's a pond, new girl. I don't know how beautiful they can be." Tara said, grabbing her bag and slinging it over her shoulder. Willow nodded slowly as she watched Tara make her way toward the door.
"You're going out tonight?" Willow asked as she changed from her pajama's into her uniform.
"Yes mother, I'm going out. Do you have a problem?" The blonde asked, resting a hand on her hip.
"No, no problem. I'm just wondering. I know you haven't been out in a few days." Willow said softly, pulling her hair up in a ponytail.
"I'm an adult, new girl. I know how to handle myself." Tara said before walking out, slamming the door behind her. Willow jumped, shaking her head. She didn't know what Tara's problem was but she didn't want to deal with it. The girl obviously had issues that needed to be dealt with and it wasn't her job to make it better. Her only job was to graduate at the top of her class and make her parents proud.
Breakfast was never Willow's favorite meal of the day but she made sure to eat something every morning. The dining hall was nothing special, but the food wasn't bad. Her stomach hadn't started digesting itself yet, which was a good sign. And she wasn't stuck eating alone like she'd expected to be. She had friends, people that she could spend time with so that she wasn't stuck with her insane excuse for a roommate all the time. Not that Tara was ever in their room anyway. The girl was definitely not the type to socialize. She was too busy hating the world to realize that there were so many great things in it.
"Willow!" She heard her name being called from across the room and she smiled, spotting a few of the girls from her computer class. She grabbed some fruit and made her way over to the table, taking a seat.
"Hey guys, what's the what?" The redhead asked, leaning forward on the table.
"We were just discussing exactly how Maclay can get away with wearing that without getting slammed with detention from every teacher here." Lily, the only other redhead Willow had seen at Saint Michael's said, nodding her head toward the blonde sitting on the other side of the room.
"Lily thinks it's because most of the teachers would rather look at her then teach their classes." Sam said, taking a bit of her bagel.
"And Sam thinks that it's because she doesn't come to class enough and they just don't give a damn what she does. It's not like she's going to graduate and Saint Michael's won't take her back no matter how much money her parents throw at the school." Lily said, smirking.
"I don't spend enough time thinking about her to come up with a theory." Willow said with a shrug, taking a bite of her apple. "She's...I don't know what she is, but it's not nice."
"She's insane." Lily spoke up, poking at her eggs. "Completely, totally out of her mind. And nothing will ever bring her back to the world of the sane.
"Well whatever her problem is, I don't want to deal with it. She's not my problem to solve." Willow said, rolling her eyes.
"If you want to switch rooms, let me know." Sam said, looking over at the new girl.
"You'd switch rooms with me?" Willow asked with a small smile.
"Tara and I had a few classes together. We don't exactly get along, but she doesn't want to kill me in my sleep." Sam nodded, glancing at Tara out of the corner of her eye.
"I may have to take you up on that." Willow said before finishing off her apple.
"Just keep me posted." Sam said as Tara moved to her feet and made her way out of the dining hall. Willow looked around the crowded room, biting her lip.
"Everything ok?" Lily asked, stacking all of their trays.
"I just miss my boyfriend. I haven't had a chance to write him yet and I'm worried that he's worried I forgot about him." Willow said as she stood.
"I'm sure your boyfriend understands. I mean, new school, all with the moving away. This is what college will be like for the two of you in a year." Sam pointed out as they made their way to their computer class.
Most of Willow's day was spend in front of a computer working on syntax codes and writing programs. But just as with every high school, private or otherwise, there were still classes that needed to be taken. Not that Willow had any problem with the core classes she needed to take. English, history, math, and science were no problem for her. Until she started taking classes with Tara. For as much as the blonde hated school it was obvious to Willow that she was smart, she just didn't give a damn.
"I hope you've all done the reading for today because I am not in a good mood and am in no way going to play games." Mr. Calliway said as he walked into the room, setting his briefcase down on the desk in front of the room. All of the girls sat up straighter in their chairs, trying their best not to be called on. Even if they had done the reading getting called on in class was never fun.
Twenty minutes passes, all of which Willow spent staring at the clock. Tara had yet to show up and the redhead was sure her roommate was going to be in class. She'd even seen the blonde doing her homework the night before, though she didn't seem happy about it. Shaking her head she tried to rid herself of thoughts of Tara. She didn't need to worry about what was happening with the blonde. It wasn't her place to bother with what was going on in Tara's life.
The door to the classroom opened quickly, shocking everyone out of their lulled state. Tara made her w ay inside slowly, brushing her hair back out of her face. The entire room watched as she made her way through the room to the only empty seat in the room; right in front of Willow.
"You're late, Maclay." Mr. Calliway said, pacing in front of the room.
"I'm aware of that, Sir. I was making out in the bathroom." Tara said smugly, pulling out a notebook.
"Watch it." He said angrily, turning back to his desk. Tara rolled her eyes, keeping her attention on her notebook. She tuned out anything that could even remotely be related to an actual education. All she needed to do was sit in class and she would have the credit for it. Actual learning didn't need to happen as long as the credits were on her transcripts.
"Miss Maclay, could you please tell me what you picked up from the reading?" Tara looked up, setting her pencil down.
"She's crazy and everyone forgets that. People read this and think that it's a step in feminist writing and I agree to an extent. But you have to keep in mind that she's slowly going out of hers and everything we see is from her point of view. Her husband could be a malicious ass or he could be the most loving man on earth. We don't know for sure. The first person narrative makes the story interesting but it takes away from the credibility of the author." Tara's voice was calm, cool, and the teacher could help but laugh at her.
"Seems like someone thinks she's a literary genius." Mr. Calliway said, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Not a literary genius. Just right." The blonde said, picking up her pencil. Before Mr. Calliway could say anything else the bell rang, excusing the students. Everyone moved to their feet and filed out of the room, leaving Tara to be one of the last ones left sitting.
"If it makes you feel any better I agree with you." Willow said as she walked by, looking down at Tara.
"Awh, really? It doesn't." The blonde said, stuffing her notebook into her bag and making her way to her feet. Willow looked down to the floor before tilting her head back to look at the ceiling.
"Why do I even bother?" Willow mumbled, stalking out of the room.
"Because deep down you know I'm really a good person." Tara taunted, slinging her bag over her shoulder as she walked out of the room. Classes once again fell into the 'not important' category of life and so she made her way back to her room. She needed to clear her head, take a shower, and get ready to go out. And she didn't need the goody goody new girl poking around while she was doing it.
The outfit was easy to find. She knew what Sam liked and she knew why. Leaving an outfit on her bed she wrapped up in her robe and made her way toward the bathroom. Nobody was around, mostly because they were all still in classes, and she liked it that way. The water was hot on her skin, burning straight through her. Her world felt like a dream, something that her mind had come up with after a night of one too many Jell-O shots at the bar. Thinking was much too difficult with a sober mind. She needed a drink of something to cloud her mind enough for her to think clearly.
Stepping out of the shower she dried off and pulled her robe back on, putting her hair up in a towel. The dorm halls were full of girls already, which meant that classes were done and Willow would inevitably be in their room copying over her notes with different coloured pens. The window was closed when she walked into the room and she growled, stalking across the room and pulling it open.
"I'm cold." Willow said softly, looking over at the blonde.
"Well I'm boiling. I don't know what to tell you." Tara said with a shrug, taking her hair down out of the towel.
"I know what to tell you. Close the damn window." Willow said sharply, looking up at Tara.
"Excuse me?" Tara said, snapping her head back to get her hair out of her eyes.
"I said 'close the damn window'. It's cold and I live her too. You may not like me, but if you hadn't noticed I don't care. We don't have to get along but we can't kill each other."
"Maybe sitting in front of the computer every day has melted your brain and made you forget how it works around here, so let me remind you. I don't like people. At all. I've been stuck in this hell of a school for years and I've grown accustomed to my space. And right now you're in my space. You don't get to throw around demands, princess. It's not your place."
Willow was on her feet and standing toe to toe with the blonde before she finished speaking.
"I don't know what your problem is, but I'm tired of you acting like the world owes you something. News flash, demon spawn, it doesn't. If you hate it so much here, leave. You aren't doing anybody any favors here." Willow was acutely aware of the fact that Tara was only wearing a robe and she noticed that without all the make up Tara insisted on covering herself with every morning she was actually kind of beautiful.
"And what, go home? There's a fun idea." Tara rolled her eyes, turning and grabbing her brush from her desk.
"Your parents cared enough to send you here."
"You don't know a damn thing about me or my parents, so I suggest you watch yourself." Tara snapped, pointing the damp brush at the redhead. "They sent me here because I had the guts to say 'hey, I like girls' and they couldn't deal. Their solution? Sending me here. They didn't want to deal with me so they just shipped me off and ignore me. As soon as I graduate I'm free from them but until then I'm stuck. Not everything is a bed of roses for everyone. There are some people that have it hard."
"You think I don't know that? I'm well aware of the fact that life isn't all sunshine, puppies, and baking cookies. Life is hard. My life hasn't been amazing, but I don't let it get to me. Unlike you, who just decided hating the world is much easier then just dealing with it." Willow took a small step back, crossing her arms over her chest.
"I don't hate the world. I just find it easier to live outside of it." Tara smirked, brushing her hair.
"You're crazy." Willow shook her head, turning to walk away.
"I'm not crazy. I'm a lesbian. Though these days there isn't much of a difference." Tara rolled her eyes, turning her back to the redhead.
"Being gay doesn't make you crazy." Willow said softly.
"And what do you know about it?" Tara asked as she walked toward her bed to get dressed. "Have you ever been stared at in the locker room because the girls changing around you are afraid you're going to look at them? Have you ever slept in a bed next to someone you're in love with and you can't touch them? It's enough to drive anyone out of their mind." Tara said as she shed her robe, wearing a bra and panties underneath. Willow was amazed that she could get dressed beneath a robe without showing any skin. Willow was always a spaz about things like that.
"Well, no." She replied softly.
"Then you don't know why I would rather sit here with my sketches then deal with the people on the outside." Tara said, pulling on a pair of baggy jeans. Turning she looked at her profile in the full length mirror hanging next to her closet. She turned back to grab her tank top and pulled it on.
"What?" Willow asked as she took a seat on her bed.
"It's nice to see that you can express an emotion that isn't an entirely fake smile." Tara said, grabbing her hair dryer and heading toward the door.
"Screw you." Willow called as Tara pulled open the door, angry again.
"Anytime, love. Anytime." Tara smirked over her shoulder before slamming the door.
Just when she thought there might be a chance in hell that she and Tara might be able to get along the blonde had to open her mouth. Picking up one of her pens she started going through her notes again, putting them in order. She was starting to consider taking Sam up on her offer about the switching of the rooms. At least then she would be free of the devilish woman.
The door opened slowly and Tara walked into the room, a smug smile on her face. She stalked across the room and put her hair dryer away, grabbing her make up. Sitting down in front of her mirror she chanced a glance at Willow sitting on the other side of the room where she was watching Tara as well.
"Why are you looking at me?" Willow asked angrily, turning her attention back to the notebook in her lap.
"I could ask you the same thing." Tara countered as she began to apply her make up.
"Because you stalk through here like you own the place. And you don't. And it annoys me." Willow said, shifting uncomfortably under Tara's mirror gaze.
"I hate to tell you this, but you're stuck with me."
"No, I'm not."
"Oh really? You've found someone that would dare share a room with me? Do tell." She smirked, the left side of her mouth pulling up in a half smile.
"Samantha Pavion. She offered this morning and I'm very close to taking her up on it." Tara's face fell and she focused on making up her face, her eyes closed. Willow smiled to herself, glad that she had hit a nerve.
"Hate to tell you this princess," Tara said as she moved to her feet, pulling her bag up over her head. "But Sam is a pathological liar. And I'd kill her before the day was done. No way would Angelo let her move in here. Nice try though." Tara said, moving to the open window.
"I hate you." The redhead grumbled, falling back on her bed.
"Leave this open." Tara said as she slipped through the hole in the wall, landing on the ground with both feet.
"Don't bet on it." Willow sighed, staring at the ceiling. She didn't want to be there. No school was worth the hell she was being put through. As crazy as her life had been when she was back in Sunnydale she had people she could trust, people that she loved and that loved her. Her mind instantly turned to Oz and she fought back tears, trying her hardest not to let herself miss him too much.
Forcing her body upright she finished going through her notes. She couldn't let her emotions take control of her. There were too many things that she needed to do before she could rest. An hour and a half later she was covered in multicoloured ink and in desperate need of a shower. The sun was setting, leaving the room chillier than it had been during the day. Partly to keep herself from freezing to death and partly to piss Tara off she closed the window and pulled the curtains together so that she could strip for a shower.
Water always served to calm her down but she was too tense for even that to help her now. Letting the warmth seep into her bones slowly she tilted her head back and let the water wash over her. Tara seemed to know exactly what to say to push her to the edge of sanity. But she wouldn't let the blonde jade her. She was a happy person, grateful for everything that had been given to her. There was a distinct difference between the blonde and the redhead and Willow took solace in that.
But she'd seen something different in Tara today while they were arguing. Now more then ever she wanted to get inside Tara's mind, learn how she worked. The girl obviously had problems that she was dealing with on a daily basis and Willow had a big feeling that if someone could get through her rough exterior she would open up. She just didn't know if she was the person to do it. Talking had never been something she was good at. Normally her mouth would get ahead of her mind and she ended up babbling before she could stop herself.
Cold water shocked her enough to shut her mind down for a moment. Turning off the water she stepped out of the shower and dried off quickly before pulling on a pair of pajama pants and a t-shirt, wrapping her hair up in a towel. Girls were milling around in the hall outside the bathroom; some dressed up to go out and some just hanging around in their pajamas. A few of them Willow knew and a few just looked at her with sympathy, knowing that she was stuck living with 'the Maclay girl', which she'd heard people refer to Tara as.
Pushing open the door Willow pulled her hair down and tossed the towel in the hamper next to her bed. Rather then wasting the time to try her hair she pulled it back in a ponytail, shaking out the extra water. E-mail was the fastest way she knew how to get a hold of anyone back in Sunnydale. They may not be the most technologically advanced group of people in the world but Willow taught them enough about computers that they knew how to e-mail.
Her laptop was far from new but it got the job done and she'd fixed it up as much as she could. The internet wasn't as fast as she liked but it was workable and that was all that mattered. Leaning back against her head board she sighed, wrapping up in her comforter. One e-mail from Buffy, one e-mail from Xander, and no word from Oz. With a deep sigh she opened the first e-mail, crossing her arms over her stomach.
Willow sighed, hitting the reply button and getting ready to type. She didn't know what to say but she knew that she needed to get a few things off of her mind.
Sending the e-mail Willow gave her eyes a rest, closing them. Her wrists hurt and she didn't want to type anymore. But she still had an e-mail from Xander and her need for a connection to Sunnydale made her ignore how tired she was. She opened her eyes slowly, focusing them on the luminescent screen before her.
A small smile crept across her face as she read the e-mail. Xander could always make her laugh no matter how bad she felt. The beauty of growing up with someone was how well they knew you.
She sent the e-mail and then shut down her laptop. Too lazy to get up and put the computer back on her desk she set it on the floor next to her bed, curling up on her side. With no word from Oz there wasn't much else she could do for the night. Homework was done, the halls were quiet, and she didn't have the energy to do much of anything. It was still early but sleep consumed her quickly. Her mind was too bogged down with thoughts of confusion to stay awake.
Hours later she was still sleeping when the window was pushed open and Tara stumbled in drunkly, giggling. The night had been an interesting one, though when wasn't her life interesting? Sam had been late to meet her which gave the blonde some time to lie in the grass and stare at the stars. She vaguely remembered what she had been thinking about then, but her alcohol sloshed mind couldn't follow a straight line of thought any better then she could walk a straight line.
"Too much vodka." Tara giggled, taking a seat at her desk. Her sketch pad was still open to a blank page and she sighed. Flipping through her old sketches she pouted, not knowing what else to draw. All of her drawings were violent, angry, dark images of things that people didn't want to think about. Maybe it was time for her to start drawing other things.
Staggering to her feet she stripped down to her panties and pulled on a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. It was dark in the room and she didn't want to wake Willow up because that would inevitably mean she would have to talk to the redhead. And she wasn't in the mood for another fight. She was too drunk to bother with that.
"Watch out for the tadpoles! They're getting away!" Willow mumbled in her sleep, rolling over. Tara giggled and slapped her hand over her mouth to stifle he noise. She made her way back toward her desk and turned on the light. Glancing over her shoulder she looked at Willow, hoping that the light didn't wake her up.
Her breath caught in her throat at the sight in front of her. Red hair fanned out around a slightly pale, angelic face. A small smile graced Willow's lips though her dream didn't seem smile worthy. Tara couldn't help but watch for a few seconds while she took a seat at her desk, pulling out some charcoals and coloured pencils. She needed to draw, clear her head of the images swimming around in it.
Red and green splashed at the page, twisting and spinning together until she could see nothing but the colours in front of her. Hand numb, she stopped and stretched it out, taking a second to examine her work. Tears welled up in her eyes and she looked away, biting her lip. She'd never drawn anything like it in her life. Beauty glared back at her; bright red hair framed a delicately pale face with green eyes staring through her with an unrestrained annoyance.
"Just like this afternoon." She whispered, putting her things away. Her brain was rapidly coming down from her high and s he didn't want to be awake without it.
The room was warmer then she liked it but the window was open. Hiding the picture in the shoe box under her bed she curled up under the covers, letting her eyes close slowly. Sleep was not something she enjoyed but she took part in it anyway.
"They won't stop until they find their leader." Willow grumbled again, turning her back to Tara in her sleep. The blonde rolled her eyes and turned her back to Willow, fighting a smile. Forcing away thoughts of the redhead in the bed across the room she let herself fall asleep. She didn't need to worry about Willow. She had other things to deal with.