Return to Saint Michael's Chapter Three

Saint Michael's

Author: They_call_me_si
Chapter rating: PG-13
Overall Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: If I owned Willow/Tara lovin, I would never leave my bed. Since I do not live in my bed, I do not own them.

The first thing Willow noticed the next morning, other than the annoyingly high pitched sound of an alarm ringing in her ear, was that she was warmer then she normally was in that room. Reaching over she hit the off button on the alarm clock next to her bed. The pillow caught her head as she fell back into the bed, curling up in her blankets. Green eyes roamed around the room lazily and she took note of two things; the window was closed and Tara's bed was made.

"She must not have come home last night." The redhead mumbled, closing her eyes. "Whatever." She wasn't tired, but she didn't want to get up either. It was easier to simply lay in bed and ignore the face that the sun had come up. If she closed her eyes tight enough and turned her back to the window she could pretend that it was still night, that she still had...

Her second alarm went off with a shrill scream, making Willow jump. "Damn." She sighed, throwing her covers back to make her way across the room. Slapping her hand down on top of the alarm she turned it off and looked around the room again. Her mind wondered before she could stick a leash around it's neck and pulled it back and she was left wondering where Tara stayed last night. The girl didn't have any friends. Everyone at Saint Michael's, including some of the teachers, hated her. Maybe she met someone last night and went home with her. She thought idly as she made her way to the dresser to get a clean uniform.

A shiver of disgust that she didn't want to spend too much time analyzing danced up and down her spine. With a quick shake of her head she pushed away all of her thoughts that had anything to do with her less then lovable roommate. Her mind had too many other things to work over. She didn't need to be worrying about what or who her roommate was doing in her free time.

Shedding her clothes slowly she slipped on her robe, grabbing a towel and her shower things. In her mind she knew that she didn't need a shower and it would be a waste of her time, but she couldn't stop her feet from moving forward. Something about the warm water surrounding her stilled her mind and refreshed her body much better then even a one hundred years nap could.

She took her time this morning though she shouldn't have. There were some days when she needed to let the water take her over for a little while, escape what was happening in the real world and let her mind run off on it's own. It was the only time her inner child dared show it's face these days and the freckle faced redhead within was thankful for that at least. The world could be a big, scary place and sometimes she wished it would just go away.

Turning off the water with both hands she stepped out of the shower stall and dried off as best she could before wrapping her robe around her slowly chilling body and tying her hair back in a towel. She made her way back to her dorm room with her arms crossed over her chest. A few people passed her, some giving her weak nods while others offered up bright smiles. All she could do was return a half hearted smile to each that acknowledged her before pushing the door open and slipping into her room.

Warmth found it's way around the redhead as she dressed and she was glad for that, though part of her wondered if the new warmth had anything to do with her sudden lacidazical outlook on life. Once that was done she dried her hair and pulled it back, deciding to attempt make up. It didn't take her long to figure out how everything worked. She'd spent a lot of time watching Buffy do make up a few times before going out to the Bronze.

Taking a look in the mirror she shrugged before moving to her computer to check her e-mail. A small piece of paper with the word Princess written neatly on it sat agains her screen and she looked down at it quizzically. With a quick glance around the room to see if anything else had been moved, she picked up the note and opened it slowly before reading.


I know you probably think that I didn't come home last night, but I did. You were completely unconcious, which surprised me because usually you're so aware of the things around you I figured you'd be a light sleeper.

Oh well, no matter. I closed the window when I got up this morning. I just got tired of hearing you complain about it. But I need you to open the window before you leave for class. My crayons, chalks, and charcoals work best if they're cold, and I've found a new inspiration to start drawing again.

I have some time off between classes today, so if the window is closed I'll see that you don't really want to play the getting along game and won't make any more attempts at it. The ball is in your court now, Princess. It's up to you where the game goes from here.

Demon Spawn

Willow read the note twice, a slow smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. If Tara wanted to play she was all for it. The blonde truly didn't know who she was messing with. Forgetting about her compulsive need to check up on what was happening at home she took a seat on her bed and found an extra notebook. She took her time as she scribbled down a response before folding the piece of paper and leaving it on Tara's pillow.

With a glance at the clock she sighed and started to get her things together for the day ahead of er. If she didn't leave soon she would miss breakfast and while the idea of missing a morning meal didn't bother her she knew that if she wasn't seen in the dining hall Tara would look at it as a small victory. And there was no way Willow was going to let that happen.

Slinging her bag over her shoulder she made her way toward the door and then stopped. The big dilema now was whether to open the window or not. If she did she would be giving in to Tara, letting go of a small bit of control and putting them in an entirely new world. But if she didn't she would be stuck in this ridiculous, constantly tense environement that wasn't good for either of them. Making her way back across the room she pulled the window open and then left. Better to take a chance.

A few hours passed where both girls spent their time in classes. Willw had a new found energy, a slight smile on her face that hadn't been seen at Saint Michael's yet. It seemed that the new girl was finally getting comfortable in her new surroundings, finding her footing as some would say. Being away from home was slowly getting easier now that she was learning the rules of the game. All that was left now was becoming an active player.

Tara, on the other hand, had a new found focus in her classes. Se personally blamed it on the alcohol running through her system form the night before. Her mind was in a vaguely foggy, somewhat blurred state ad she liked it that way. She needed to pull a focus from somewhere and if her mind was clear the focus was already there and things got out of control. Teachers could see a new light in Tara and they liked it, though none of that mattered to the blonde. All she cared about was getting through her day so she could start drawing again. The fire was back and if se didn't start using it she was afraid she would lose it again.

Pushing the door to her dorm room open Tara was pleased to find the wind from the open window pushing back against the door from inside lightly. A small smile graced her lips as she walked intot he room carrying a tray of food. She closed the door with her foot and set her tray on her bed, curling up near the pillows.

The note went unnoticed for nearly five minutes before Tara felt the point of a piece of paper jabbing he rin the hip. With a confused tilt of her head she picked up the piece of paper and unfolded it slowly before reading.

Demon Spawn,

First of all, I don't care what you do in your free time. We aren't friends, so wherever you end up after a drunken night of doing God knows what, I don't care. It's none of my business and I would prefer it if you kept it that way.

Secondly, I would rather you not pay attention to the way I sleep. It's creepy and uncomfortable and just plain weird. Then again, I wouldn't expect anything less from you, demon spawn. It's almost exactly what i would expect from you.

Third, Don't and I repeat DO NOT call me princess. It's annoying and degrating because I know exactly how you mean it. I'm not here to play your games, Tara. I'm here to get an education and get into a good college, something I'm sure you know nothing about.

I opened the window for you. And before you get that smug smirk on your face I didn't do it because you asked me to or because it would make your life easier. I did it because it will make my life easier. If I can find something that will keep you content for a few hourse maybe it'll keep you quiet too. So I guess I'm not only doing myself a favor but society as well.

And who in their right mind worries so much about chalk and other ridiculous art supplies? What are you, five?


Tara read the note at least four times, not sure whether she should be offended or pleased by Willow's response. The sudden display of sarcasm both shocked and escited Tara, proving to the annoying blonde that the redhead did have a bit of fire in her. Folding the note slowly she slid it under her pillow and finished her lunch while she thought about what she would write back.

Pushing the now empty tray to the foot of the bed she grabbed a notebook and a pencil so she could reply. As soon as the pencil hit the paper her hand took control and she started to write. Making sure to choose her words carefully she wrote until her hand cramped and then scribbled down a few more sentences before tearing the paper free and folding it neatly. With a glance at the clock she moved to her feet and left the note on Willow's bed. She grabbed her bag and slipped it over her shoulder as she made her way out of the room.

She was running late, whic was not something new for her. Being on time for class was overrated. All the teacher did was crack a lame joke as shey walked into class and then take at least five minutes to unpack their things and get ready for class. It was a waste of time, really. She would much rather be late and catch the teacher actually teaching instead of having to wait for the teacher.

The halls were empty, though she didn't mind. It was much easier for her to walk to class without eyes follwoing her everywhere. The girls of Saint Michael's really were a judgemental lot and that was a harsh statement coming from Tara. As she approached the door to her English glass slowly she held her breath for a second before pulling the door open and taking a step inside. She wasn't as late as she'd hoped she would be, but still here was only one seat left, which would leave Tara's only option to be sitting in fron't of Willow. Scanning the room once more to make sure there was nowhere left for her to sit she made her way to the back of the room.

Seconds later she was sitting in front of the redhead, a fresh sketch pad sitting on her desk. She started sketching slowly, letting her hair fall forward to hide her eyes from the girls around her. Lost in a world of shapes and shades, colours and contours, she didn't notice the door open or Mr. Calliway walk in until she was called on.

"Miss Maclay, how ironic to see you in class two days in a row." Mr. Calliway's voice was playfull, almost mocking the fact that Tara would show up again after what had happened the day before.

"Well after yesterday I though I would come to class and make sure your students got a well rounded look at a world bases solely on interpretation. Otherwise who knows what chaos might happen." Tara said calmly without bothering to look up. her pencil kept it's hand numbing pace as she sketched whatever it was in her mind that only she could see.

"Why don't you tell us what you thought about Hamlet, then."

"The character or in general?" Tara asked, finally setting her pencil down.


"Well the character is a bit of a disappointment. All he does is sit an think about what he needs to do instead of actually doing it. And because of that everything around him goes wrong." Tara said calmly, resting her chin in her hands.


"From the beginning of the play Hamlet spends his time whining about the fact that his father was killed by his uncle. The one time he catches Claudius admitting his sins he wusses out because he's afraid his uncle will go to heaven. Big deal. Just avenge your father's death and move on. You aren't accomplishing anything by complaining about it."

"You're taking a very simplistic look at what's really going on here." Mr. Calliway said, taking a seat on the edge of his desk at the front of the room.

"Why make it more complicated? Shakespear does that for us."

"This isn't a class about making literature easier for you to understand."

"Isn't it?" Tara's cool confidence was countered by Mr. Calliway's slow movement to being frustrated.

"Why is this class supposed to be easy for you?"

"Because it's a class on interpretation. This class is based on what we think of the work we're reading. And all I see is a man that doesn't have the guts to do what he set out to do. Either put up or shut up." The room broke out in a chorus of giggles as Mr. Calliway moved to his feet.

"What about the other characters?" He asked with a forced calm that made everyone in the room uncomfortable.

"What about them? They all coddle the poor, crazy prince. Except Ophelia, and she runns off and kills herself after her father is killed. She's the only one in the entire play that gives a damn about him and in true male form he pushes her away because she is merely a woman and therefore has nothing to offer but sex." The room fell silent for a long moment before Mr. Calliway finally spoke.

"I think it's best if you keep your opinions to yourself from here on out." He said with a smug smirk of control.

"Then don't ask me next time." She said, turning her attention back to her drawing. The room was silent again before the class continued on it's way, leaving Tara lost in a world all her own.

Willow couldn't wrap her mind around what just happened. Never in her life had she seen anyone talk to a teacher that way. As much as Willow respected teachers she couldn't help but admire Tara for her courage. The blonde had her opinions and wasn't afraid to tell them. That was a hard quality to find, especially in a teenager.

"Miss Rosenburg, what do you think?" The strong male voice caught Willow off guard and she jumped slightly, her head snapping up.

"Could you repeat the question?" She asked calmly, her voice soft.

"How effective do you think the play within the play was?"

"Not at all." Willow responded, tilting her head to the side. She noticed Tara's frantic sketching slowly slightly and she fought off a smirk.

"What makes you say that?"

"Because it didn't do what it was supposed to. Hamlet wanted Claudius to admit that he killed the king so that he could kill him. And all it did was push Hamlet deeper into his fake insanity. And then everyone died." Willow explained, resting a hand on her knee.

"I see rooming with Miss Maclay has skewed your judgement." Mr. Calliway said with a grin, making his way around the room.

Willow slumped back in her seat and crossed her arms over her chest, glaring at the blonde head in front of her. Of course Tara would be making her life miserable by simply existing. Of course living with the blonde demon would put her behind in the eyes of every teacher in the school. Now she had to work doulbe to proe herself to everyone around her. She needed to get a new room if she really wanted to make it at Saint Michael's.

And yet living with Tara wasn't as bad as she'd thought it would be when she first met the girl. Willow was slowly learning when to talk to Tara and when not to. She was also learning not to take what Tara said personally because she was mean to everyone. Every time the blonde opened her mouth she said something in an attempt to get a reaction out of the person she was talking to. As long as Willow stopped reacting to Tara's instigating the world would continue spinning for another day.

Tara was not the type of girl to give in to anything and Willow could see that. Anything accept her art, of course. The one thing Tara let consume her was the desire to draw. And she was good. Willow didn't consider herself the type that knew anything about art, but she knew that Tara was good. The pictures hanging above Tara's desk made Willow feel something, though what she didn't know, and Willow could only guess that was what made it good.

Even watching Tara draw was interesting. She worked with such a desperate desire to get the images down on paper that she ignored everything else around her. Willow had only seen tara trawing a few times, but what she had seen made Willow want to know more of what was happening in Tara's mind. Her focus on detail would never have been known without loking at her...

The sound of a bell ringing, signifying the end of class, made Willow jump and she knocked her text book to the floor. Everyone turned and looked at her, a few giggling and a few others shaking their heads as they gathered their things and left the room.

"Jeez, Princess. If bells ringing scare you that much why do you need seven alarms to wake you up in the morning?" Tara smirked as she looked over her shoulder at Willow, closing her sketch pad.

"Don't call me that." Willow grumbled, packing her things and heading out of the room.

"It suits you." Tara said as Willow reached the door.

"I guess the nicknames fit then, don't they Demon Spawn?" Willow asked with a slight smirk, turning to face Tara, who had finally moved to her feet.

"I knew you had it in you." The blonde grinned, resting one hand on her hip.

"You don't know anything, especially about me. So why don't you go back to your little sketches and leave me alone." Willow knew she'd hurt Tara the second the words left her mough. Blue eyes flashed in a sudden anger Willow hadn't seen yet before Tara visibly pushed it back.

"Watch yourself." Tara ground out between clenched teeth before pushing past Willow and making her way out of the room.

The redhead stood stunned for a moment, staring out into the busy hallway. She hadn't intended on hurting Tara's feelings. Tara was good at making peoople uncomfortable. Willow didn't think tara could get uncomfortable or upset or anything that wasn't the urge to be annoying, quite honestly. Taking a few steps out of the room Willow made her way toward the dorm room. She was already ahead all of her computer classes so that the rest of the day was free for her. Her teachers didn't want her getting too far ahead of the group.

The window was open when she walked inside and the first thing she noticed was a note on her bed resting near the pillows. With a deep sigh she drobbed her bag on the floor and shut the door. Another big dilema presented itself. To open the note or not to. If she opened the note the neverending cycle of insanity that stemmed from Tara Maclay really would be neverending. What would happen then? Was she ready for that?

Willow didn't know the answer to those questions, but she did know that she couldn't just ignore Tara. Ignoring the blonde wouldn't make life easier. Ignoring Tara would only make her angry and if she could be this difficult without being provoked Willow wasn't sure what she was capable of.

Dropping onto the edge of her bed Willow reached out and grabbed the note Tara left for her. Pale fingers ran over the blank page beneath her hand. She wondered what the note said. Was Tara's tone sarcastic? Or was she finally serious? Was there even a difference? As she opened the not she heard a knock on the door. Seconds later she was pulling the door open, the new note stashed in te night stand next to the head of her bed.

"Sam." She hadn't been expecting to see her new friend standing on the other side of the door and Sam seemed just as surprised to see Willow looking at her. "What are you doing here?"

"I was working on my math and I can't figure it out. I thought maybe you could help." Reaching back she grabbed her book bag and pulled out her math book.

"Sure. I was just about to start my homework. What are you having trouble with?" Willow asked, pulling the door open so that Sam could walk inside.

"Um...the math part." Sam replied with a sheepish smile, taking a seat on the end of Willow's bed. The redhead laughed and took a seat next to her friend, digging through her own bag to grab her adcanced calculus book. It wasn't hard for Willow to figure out what Sam was doing wrong and once she corrected the problem the two girls worked in near silence for the next twenty minutes before Sam finished her work.

"How has living with Tara been?" Sam asked as she closed her notebook and leaned back on the bed.

"Interesting. It's gotten better though." Willow replied as she finished graphing her second function.

"Just yesterday you were complaining about the things she was doing to drive you nuts. Now she's fine?" Sam asked, astounded.

"I never said that." Willow replied, flexing her wrist after she put her pencil down. "I said she was better then she was, which isn't hard. She could put a hit out on me and it wouuld be better then the way she used to be." Willow joked, fighting back a yawn. It was still early and she didn't want to be tired. Homework still needed to be done and then if she got a moment to herself she could respond to Tara's note.

"She is difficult to get alone with." Sam nodded, running her fingers through her hair. "You just have to learn to work around her. Working with her gets to be too much."

Willow gave a small shrug as she picked up her pencil. Only three funtions left to go, and then she was done. Now if only she could find a way to get rid of Sam.

"I guess you just have to prove that you aren't afraid of her. If you show that you're afraid she'll prey on it."

"Like a dog." Sam laughed, sitting up on her elbow. Before Willow had a chance to say anything the door opened and Tara walked inside. The unmistakable smell of chlorine filled the room as Tara walked through, seemingly unaware of the fact that anyone was in the room as she kicked the door shut and dropped her bag on the floor next to her bed.

"What are you wearing?" Sam spoke without thinking and she fell back onto Willow's bed again, rolling her eyes. Slowly the blonde turned to face her roommate and her guest, one hand on her hip. Her eyes fell on Sam and Willow and the redhead could have sworn she saw a hint of disappointment in those blue eyes.

Tara looked down at the bikini top and jeans she was wearing and was hit with a sudden desire to cover herself. The confidence that she pretended to have was forced, a facade that she put up in an attempt to seem stronger then she was and it normall worked. Resting her other hand on the same hip she clenched her jaw and stared at Sam angrily.

"You don't like it? Get out of my room." Tara said flatly, arching an eyebrow while she waited for a response. When she didn't get one she turned to her closet and started digging through her clothes in an attempt to find something to wear.

"You can't just kick me out. I'm doing homework with Willow." Sam finally spoke, her voice shaking.

"Oh no?" Tara didn't even bother to turn and look at the two girls on the other side of the room. "Because from where I'm standing, Willow's just visiting for a few days and then she'll be leaving. And unwatned guests don't have the privalage of inviting other annoying people over. So if you don't like what I'm wearing in my own room, get off your ass and get out."

Willow moved to her feet to step in between the two girls. A fight was about to start and Willow didn't want to see it happen. There was no doubt in her mind that Tara could kill Sam if she wanted to and there was no reason for bloodshed.

"I'm really not in the mood for you so why don't you go do whatever your type does in their free time." Sam smirked as Tara's eyes went wide and the blonde moved forward.

"And what exactly is my type? Blonde? Artist? Or are you playing the lesbian card? Because if that's what you're getting at you'd better hope princess here is stronger then she looks." Tara snapped, reaching up to tie her hair back.

"Enough." Willow snapped, standing between Sam and Tara. "Just...go take a shower or go draw or something. The chlorine smell is killing me."

Without wasting any time Tara grabbed the first thing she could get her hands on in her closet and walked out, robe and towel slung over her shoulder. The echoe of the door slamming made both Sam and Willow jump. A shiver ran down the redhead's spine and she closed the window instinctively. No uset trying to play nice anymore. Tara was angry and now all Willow ould do was keep her distance until the blonde cooled off.

"I think I should get going. Thanks for the math help." Sam said, clearly uncomfortable.

"No, you don't have to." Willow followed Sam to the door, practically tripping over herself. "She's just..."

"I really think I should. I'll see you tomorrow, okay?" Sam asked, leaning against the door frame for a moment.


"I don't think it's a good idea for me to be here when she gets back. If she's mad the only thing that we can do is get out of her way. Don't worry about me. Just make sure she doesn't try to kill you, cause that would not be good." Sam joked, making her way out of the room. Willow watched her go before closing the door and making her way back to her bed.

It didn't take her long to find the note from Tara and stare at it for a few seconds. If Tara was in the shower she had time to read and respond. Curling up at the head of her bed, she opened the note and started to read.


First of all, thank you for opening the window before you left for class. This room gets so warm during the day. I don't know how you can stand it. Then again you are practically a stick figure so I guess I can understand why you would be cold all of the time. Maybe you should consider wearing a sweater once in a while. It would be much easier for the both of us.

Second of all, my charcoals and chalks are my life. I am an artist, in case you hadn't noticed. Without all of my supplies I would probably be dead. Do I get on your case about your computers? I didn't think so. So don't get in my face about things you know nothing about.

I don't like fighting with you, Princess. I do it because it's what people expect from me. You've only been here a few days and I'm sure you've noticed the way people look kat me. They expect me to hate everyone. I am the only thin consistant in this crazy world so you should probably deal with that fact quick.

I'm not sure what you expected when you came here and I honestly don't give a damn. If you wanna make it here you'd better stop trying to be everyone's friend. Especially mine. I'm not the type to make friends. I'll be civil. Dn't expect anything beyond that because you won't get it. I may be a bitch, but at least I'm not pretending to be something I'm not. Which is more then I can say for you.

P.S. Don't get angry because I watch you sleep. It's the only time you aren't looking at me like I'm crazy. And it's the only time you're quiet.

The warm water hit the blonde's chilled body and shivered. Her head pounded with intollerence and the highly detested smell of chlorine. It wasn't swimming that bothered her and it wasn't the smell that got her either. What did bother her was being stared at while she changed. It was no secret around Saint Michael's that Tara was a lesbian, which inevitably meant gym class was hell.

Tara had no problem with physical activity, unlike most of the girls that attended the boarding school. There was just something about being stared at while she undressed that made her skip gym class every day for a month. But swimming was the most calming thing they were required to do. It wasn't nearly as strenuous as having to play soccer or basketball or even floor hockey. It was something about the water, Tara was sure, and so she let it wash over her in gentle waves. It was easier to pretend she was swimming alone if she didn't have to look at the other girls.

Rinsing the shampoo from her hair the blonde sighed. Samantha broke the rules. Yes, there were rules. And yes, Sam broke them. Tara wouldn't have a problem with Sam breaking the rules if it weren't for the fact that the brunette made up all of them to save her own ass. What would make her risk coming to Tara's room? A certain redhead popped into her mind and she growled as she soaped up her body.

She didn't want to blame this on Willow but there was no reason for Sam to show up in her dorm room. In all the time she'd known Sam the brunette never made the effort to come to her room and now because of Willow there she was sitting in her bedroom. Leaning back against the shower wall Tara closed her eyes and tried her best to keep herself calm. Getting angry would do no good. Sam was going to do whatever she wanted and the blonde was angry at herself for forgetting that.

Tara Maclay was not the girl that let things get to her. Tara Maclay didn't waste time or energy on the people around her. If somebody needed her they knew how to find her, otherwise the entire school knew to leave her alone. And one annoyingly bubbly redhead brought it all crashing down around her.

With a deep sigh she shook away her thoughts and turned the water off. Drops of water rolled down her back as she pulled the curtain back and stepped out of the shower stall with a shiver. The blonde dried off quickly and wrapped her hair up in a towel before dressing. The jeans were baggy and the tank top was tight but she didn't seem to care anymore.

The stares from the other girls were nothing she hadn't seen before and so she ignored them as she walked into the dorm room. The first thing she noticed was that Sam was gone, which made her either extremely happy or unmistakably disappointed and she didn't know which. The second tthing she noticed was that the window was closed. Without glancing at the redhead Tara made her way across the room and ripped the window open.

"Leave it." The blonde growled, tossing her clothes in the hamper. Green eyes followed the blond as she took a seat on her bed and flipped her head forward to dry her hair.

"It was cold in here." Willow defended from her curled up position at the head of her bed, laptop resting on her knees.

"Then put on more clothes." Tara shrugged, turning to look at Willow while she brushed her hair.

"This coming from the girl who thinks she's a swim suit model." Willow mumbled under her breath. Tara moved to her feet as she pulled her hair back in a ponytail.

"I had gym last period." The blonde said, taking a step toward Willow's bed.

"They have locker rooms for a reason."

"And do you know what that reason is? To stare at the school lesbian and make her feel uncomfortable. Not a game I like playing." The tone of Tara's voice made Willow set her laptop aside and move to her feet.

"Does everything have to come back to you being gay? 'Oh poor Tara, she likes girls. Let's hate her for ever and ever because she's different.' God, could you get over yourself? Nobody's afraid or intimidated by you. Maybe you'd have a few more friends if you weren't such a self absorbed bitch." Willow's voice bounced off the walls until it finally fell silent again.

Tara's eyes fixed Willow with a predatory stare and the redhead instantly regretted her words. Not because she might have hurt Tara's feelings and not because Tara was now proving her wrong but because Willow hadn't believed a word of what she just said from the beginning. Tara was the scariest person she'd ever met, and that included Cordelia when she was in a bad mood. Except that Tara was even scarier because Willow wanted to get to know her. Cordelia just picked on her, Tara tried to get into her head. And damn it all to hell, Willow wanted to let her.

"Didn't I tell you before? I don't like Sam. I don't want her around here. She's the devil incarnate." Tara's voice was calm and controlled, her eyes fixated on Willow's green ones. To the untrained eye she seemed in complete control of everything that was happening, but the blonde was sure her heart was pounding so hard you could see her chest moving.

"You can't tell me what I can or cannot do. Especially when it comes to things about this dorm room. My parents are paying just as much for me to be here as yours are." Willow's voice was even as she spoke. Tilting her head up slightly she tried her best not to sound scared.

Tara chuckled lightly, looking down before smirking up at Willow. She took a few steps closer to the redhead, brushing her hair behind her ears as she moved. She could see the fear in Willow's eyes as she backed up toward the door and the look of hopelessness was priceless when she realized that she had nowhere to go.

"Trapped looks good on you, Princess." Tara smirked, closing the distance between the two of them slowly.

"What's your problem?" Willow asked, crossing her arms over her chest.

"Are you still living here?" tara asked, putting a hand into the pocket of her jeans.

"Why do you hate me?" Willow finally asked, her voice wavering but her eyes holding strong. It was almost enough to make Tara break down and walk away. And then she remembered that it was because of the redead that her world was being flipped upside down and she steeled herself against whatever the redhead threw at her.

"Haven't you learned by now?" Tara asked, giving Willow the smallest of half smiles. "I hate everyone." She giggled.

"I don't believe that." Willow shook her head, looking up into Tara's eyes. "You pretend to be mean and scary so that people will leave you lone because it's easier that way. if you push people away it won't hurt anywhere near as much as it would if they walked away on their own. You're a coward."

Tara's eyes narrowed and she took four long, powerful steps toward the redhead with her back to the door. She could practically smell the fear on the redhead and she hid her pleased smirk behind her still damp hair. Once hand rested itself against the door while the other gripped Willow's hip gently. Leaning forward Tara was pleased to find Willow's wide eyes looking back at her with a mixture of fear and confusion.

"Scared yet, Princess?" Tara giggled again before pulling back and walking across the room to get together some of her things so that she could go drawing.

"You're out of your mind." Willow sighed, running her fingers through her hair.

"You're just angry that I don't fit into your perfect little view of the world." Tara shot over her shoulder as she grabbed her coloured pencils, chalks and charcoals, leaving the crayons on her bed.

"Where are you going?" Willow asked, pushing off the door behind her.

"Don't wait up." Tara grinned as she slid out the window.

"What a bitch." Willow grumbled, falling onto her bed with an exaggerated sigh.

Her flip flop covered feet hit the ground with a gentle thud and she smiled as the sun fell down on her. Maybe living with Willow wouldn't be so bad. The girl was quite obviously homophobic and Tara hadn't been able to truly mess with someone like that in years. The look on Willow's face was beyond anything she could have imagined. It was becoming painfully clear that no matter what happened between the two of them Willow Would fight to keep calm, not show any emotion. And it was becoming Tara's mission in life to make Willow crack.

Feet moving without needing to be told where to go Tara made her way toward the lake where she could get comfortable. There was something about being by the water that calmed her down to the point that she didn't need to think about what she was drawing. She oculd just let it go. And after that encounter with Willow she needed to get some energy down on paper.

The pencil danced across the page without hesitation. There was something on her mind and she needed to get it out. She'd been working on a new sketch all day but it just wasn't working out. There was something missing each time she attemtped to draw and now it all seemed to be coming together. Sitting with her back against the only tree trunk near the lake Tara forced herself to draw.

Eyes lost focus, fingertips went numb, and she desperately needed to crack her wrist but if she lifted her hand she would ruin the line and never remember what she was drawing. The sun reflected off the water as it set and she forced herself to keep her eyes on the paper, though it didn't really matter either way. But she didn't want to lose the small amount of focus she had.

Though it wasn't done yet Tara focused her eyes on the mussed lines marring the pure white papers in her hands and sher sketching slowed. Two eyes looked back at here, eyes of the same person in two different phases in their life. And they were both Willow.

"Damn." Tara mumbled, resting her head back against the tree trunk. She didn't want to keep drawing Willow but she couldn't stop herself. Letting her eyes roam over the right half of the page she soaked in Willow's features. The girl looking back at her was not the same Willow that she knew. Hair messy, eye half lidded, lips curled up in a half smile; this Willow was a girl that truly didn't give a damn about what people thought of her.

Tara knew that this half of Willow was one that she made up. She'd never seen that look on Willow's face and she was sure she never would. That look was the look of a woman with nothing to fear and nobody to answer to. The passion hidden in that playful smirk pulled Tara in, though it was obvious that the drawing wasn't even close to finished.

The other half showed Willow as everyone saw her. Hair down and straight as a pin, eye wide as though she was waiting for something to happen. Her mouth was tight and Tara could imagine that being the look Willow had on her face when she was trying to be intimidating. The light was slowly disappearing and if she wanted to finish her drawing before going back to the room she needed to finish soon.

"Stupid sunlight." Tara grumbled, looking up at the sky.

"Do all artists talk to themselves?" Sam's voice was unexpected but not enough to pull Tara's attention from what she was doing. Se had something she needed to finish and damn anything that tried to distract her.

"I'm busy." Tara replied without looking up, fleshing out the backround of her sketch before reaching into her bag.

"Since when are you too busy for me?" Sam asked with what Tara could only assume was a smile on her face.

"Since you start breaking rules, rules that you set for us to keep your perfect little straight girl immage." Tara looked up at Sam with an innocent smile.

"You're mad that I came to your room earlier." The brunette's voice was calm as she sat down facing Tara, who flipped her sketch pad over to keep Sam from looking at it.

"Gee you're smart. Let me guess, you're going to Harvard?" Tara tilted her head to the side, arching one eyebrow.

"Even if I came to see you?"

"It doesn't m atter why you showed up at my door Samantha. What matters is the fact that you showed up at all. What happened to needing boundaries?" Tara asked, leaning forward slightly.

"But I came by to see you. It's not my fault you weren't home." Same looked over at Tara with a coy smile.

"Jesus, you've seen RENT one too many friggin times. This isn't a stupid jealousy thing. Why would you come by my room looking for me? You wouldn't even call me when I had a room to myself. Now you're showing up at my door? It doesn't make sense."

"I came by to talk to you. About the two of us." Sam said sofly, throwing her hands up in the air. "There are some things we need to go over."

"You're the wone showing up randomly. I've kept my part of the deal."

"My ass you have." Sam growled, rolling her eyes.

"Have I once come to you, in public at this school, and tried to talk to you? Have I told anyone that I know you? Have I don't anything at all to even insinuate that we know each other?" Tara asked, cocking her head to the left.


"Then why are you suddenly so paranoid that someone will find out your dirty little secret? I'm not exactly proud to know you either."

The two girls sat in silence for nearly four minutes simply staring at each other. Tara couldn't believe what she was hearing. Something was making Samantha paranoid and there was no way Tara was going to let her get away with blaming her for it.

"What now? What new hoops do I need to jump through?" The question lingered in the air, settling between the two girls waiting to be answered. Sam closed her eyes and bit her lip before meeting Tara's eyes again.

"I want to be able to hang out with Willow." Sam said with a hint of finality.

"And I'm stopping you from doing that how?" Tara asked, setting her sketch pad on the ground.

"Because you share a room with her. And being there with the both of you will be nothing but uncomfortable." Sam leaned back, resting her hands on the ground.

"Funny thing is, that's not my problem." Tara said with a shrug, reaching into her bag to grab her coloured pencils.

"Not yet, but it can be." Sam threatened causually, smirking. Tara growled without thinking, shifting so that she was crouching, ready to pounce on Sam.

"That a threat?" She asked, her voice low.

"It can be." The brunette have a small shrug before being knocked flat on her back, a very intimidating blonde straddling her waist. The two wrestled for a few minutes before Tara ended up victorious. Sam rolled her eyes and tugged at her hands, which were being held down by Tara.

"Let's get a few things straight right now." Tara said firmly, leaning down closer to Sam, her hair hanging down to hide their faces.

"Do you think anything straight could ever come from you?" Sam grinned, trying to be funny. Tara sat up and crossed her arms over her chest.

"You're not amusing." Tara replied, giving Sam enough room to sit up a little bit.

"Well you're sitting on my lap. If I'm not funny I'll be groping you." Sam grinned, resting her hands on the blonde's hips. Rolling her eyes Tara pried Sam's hands off of her and put them back on the ground.

"You want to set some new rules, fine. I have no problem with that. But you will not kick me out of my own room, understand? I don't care who you are or who you think you are. You've never controlled me in all the time that you've known me. And you aren't going to start now." Tara said confidentally, sliding off of Sam's lap.

"How am I supposed to get to know Willow if you're always there?" Sam asked, crossing her legs indian style.

"Not my problem."

"I hate when you say that."

"You don't know a damn thing about me."

Sam bit her lip and moved to her feet. Tara watched the other girl with lazy eyes, hating herself for being even the least bit attractive to the devil woman move to her feet.

"I think you should know Willow hates you." The brunette said with a grim smile, resting her hands on her hips.

"What do I care what the new girl thinks?" Tara asked, leaning back against the tree once more. "She's not my favorite person either."

"You may be good at pretending around other people, Tara, but I see right through you. There isn't much you can hide from me."

"Just because I tolerate you when I go out at night doesn't mean that you know me. Today was the first time you were in my room. You don't know me. You will never know me. So watch what you say before you say it." Tara said calmly, her eyes on the reflection of the moon on the lake.

"You want to get in her pants." Sam said evenly, a slight smirk on her face. Tara moved to her feet, slinging her bag over her shoulder after she made sure everything was in it. Making her way toward Sam she walked slowly, adding a little sway in her step.

"Jealous?" The word hung in the air between the two of them as they looked into each other'e eyes for a few long moments.

"You wish." Sam replied, doing her best to hide a smirk. Tara simply shrugged and walked away. She didn't need Sam's aproval to do anything.

"MACLAY!" Tara didn't stop, but she did turn around.

"Friday night!" The blonde yelled and she was sure she could see Sam nod.

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