Willow found Tara the next morning before school, sitting in the techie lounge. Well, lounge was a strong word for the back room behind the stage that was used to store wood and an old couch, but it was a central hangout for the techies. She sat down on the couch next to Tara, who was finishing her homework. "Why didn't you do that last night?"
Tara looked up. "What? Oh... I um... I had a lot on my mind last night."
"Oh... Like what?" Willow asked, strictly out of curiosity, having no idea that everything Tara had been thinking was about her.
Tara was silent for a moment. There is no real way to tell someone you were thinking about them all night and that's why you didn't get anything done. It's not a good idea. "Just... things."
Tara was saved from having to explain further when the bell rang and she got up to go to class. "We uh... we'll be late."
Willow stood there slightly baffled as Tara rushed off toward the class they shared. The redhead followed, but at a distance. She didn't want to crowd Tara, since there was obviously something bothering her.
Willow didn't push it, and found that Tara didn't actively seek her out. During lunch, Willow decided she needed to talk to someone about this, but couldn't figure out who to turn to. Then it hit her, and she called upon the only person she knew she could always count on.
She knew Polly would be just waking up for school at this time, and she hoped that she would have enough time to talk before she had to leave for class.
The girl answered her phone in her usual cheery tone, since for some reason defying all explaination, she was a morning person. "Hello?"
Willow smiled to hear the voice. "Hey Polly..."
"Willow! Oh, it's great to hear your voice. How are things going? Shouldn't you be in school?"
"I am in school, Poll. I just wanted to talk to you."
Polly heard the worried tone in the other girl's voice and her smile faded. "Willow, what's wrong?"
Willow sighed slightly, Polly could always tell when she was upset. "I have this thing... this huge crush thing..."
Polly grinned until she remembered that Willow was upset about it. "And he has a girlfriend?"
Willow grinned slightly, since even her lesbian best friend assumed. "No... SHE doesn't..."
Polly smiled widely. "She? She being...?"
Willow hesitated, before speaking her name timidly. "Tara."
"I KNEW IT!!!" Willow had to hold her phone away from her ear. "I FUCKING KNEW IT!!!" She could still hear from a foot away.
Willow was laughing when she brought the phone back to her ear. "You done?"
Polly laughed also. "I guess so... just... I KNEW IT!"
Willow jumped, having almost forgotten Polly's tendancy to do that. She was too late to move the phone away, so she switched ears. "Stop that. I need advice."
Polly became serious almost immediately, wanting to help her friend. "What do you need?"
Willow took a deep breath, ready to spill her heart. "I'm scared, Polly."
Polly allowed Will a moment of silence to say something else before asking, "Is she gay?"
"Yes..." Willow smiled, that small fact giving her a gigantic glimmer of hope.
That small bit of news gave Polly a good feeling about Willow's crush. It seemed, that unlike her other crushes, usually on teachers, this time she actually had a chance. More than a chance if they really had been holding hands on a somewhat regular basis as Willow had said. "So what's the problem? All you gotta do is tell her you like her in a more than friendly way and get with the smoochies."
The redhead sighed slightly, switching the phone to her other ear. "I can't just tell her, I mean, what if she doesn't like me the same way I like her and she thinks I'm some kind of freak for getting a crush on her so fast and she doesn't want to talk to me because it's weird or something?"
Polly grinned despite herself and tried not to giggle. She failed miserably. "Will, sweetie... if the girl has any brains at all, she already loves you. You have nothing to worry about, ok? Just... go tell her now."
"Now?" All the blood drained from Willow's face. "I couldn't tell her now... she'll just laugh at me." Even though Willow knew Tara would never do that. "I can't tell her now."
Polly sighed. "Willow, I know you. If you don't tell her now, you're never going to tell her, just wait and hope for her to bring it up. Now go march yourself right over to wherever she is and spill it!"
"Fine. I'll tell her now." And Willow resolved to do just that.
At the same time that Willow was talking to Polly, Tara was having a very important conversation with Xander. She had found the boy cuddling with Anya in the drama hall, and politely asked if she could speak with him. Anya had glared at her, and after much convincing by Xander that Tara wasn't trying to steal him with her "lesbian wiles", she went away, leaving the two alone to talk.
Xander smiled at the blonde and put an arm around her. "So, Tara... what's on your mind?" Tara frowned, looking down at the floor. This immediately made Xander worry a little, because she hadn't avoided eye contact with him in a long time. "Are you ok, Tara?"
Tara nodded. "Just... a bit worried. I um... Willow."
"You um Willow? What does that mean, Tare?" Xander wasn't at all good at picking up on subtleties, and it's not like Tara gave him much to work with.
Tara looked up, meeting Xander's eyes. "I like her."
Xander nodded. "I like her too. She's a very nice girl... why are you so worried by that?"
Tara looked down again, then back up. "I um... I like her, Xander... a lot."
Xander nodded slightly. "Oh..." Then he really understood what Tara meant. "OH! That's um... how does she feel?"
"That's the problem, Xand. I don't know. I mean... I guess we're pretty close, and she didn't seem freaked when I told her that I like girls..." Tara found slight hope in that fact, though her accepting her didn't mean she was the same way...
Xander grinned slightly. "So she didn't react like Buffy?"
Tara laughed slightly, "No... Willow didn't fall into the orchestra pit from shock."
Xander laughed. "Good thing there were all those matresses in there thanks to 'The Princess and the Pea'."
Tara nodded, then got serious again. "What should I do, Xander?"
Xander thought for a moment. "Just tell her, I guess. I mean, Willow seems pretty cool. I don't think she'd freak out on you or anything."
Tara nodded, knowing that Xander was right. Willow would just tell her if she didn't feel the same way. "I'll do it. I'll... I'll tell her after school."
Xander smiled. "Good... do you mind if I go find Anya now? She's probably sulking."
Tara smiled back. "Go ahead, Xander... and... Thanks."
Xander gave the girl a hug, picked up his bag and stood up. "Any time." He walked away as Tara sat there trying to plan out how to tell Willow her feelings.
That's where Willow found her a few seconds later. "Hey Tara..."