Tara let out her breath. The answer came in a form she hadn't been expecting and she was pleasantly surprised by Willow's response. She had figured on losing the friendship. Well, that's not true, she had figured on Willow feeling the same, otherwise she wouldn't have said anything. She would have kept it a secret as she had with Faith a few years earlier. The crush she'd had on Faith had long since dissapated, however, so it wasn't an issue now. Anyway, that crush had been based on how cool Faith was. Tara hadn't known all the insecurities Faith held, all she saw was the confident bad girl. She'd had a thing for bad girls then, though she'd never admit it. Now? Now she had grown up enough to move past the sheer erotic thrill she got at the idea of a bad girl doing naughty things to her and moved on to the idea of a love that could last for a long time being more appealing.
Deep down, she had known that Willow and her shared a connection. Something deep that neither could define, but both felt. Tara recognised it more than Willow did at this point, she knew. Willow finally broke the contented silence that had enveloped them with a simple question. "Tara... What are you doing tonight?"
Tara smiled at her, knowing why she asked and thought about it. "Nothing. Dad and Donny aren't home, they went to a game." She grinned a moment more before adding "Why?" even though she knew the answer.
Willow grinned cheekily. "Well, I was wondering... if maybe you'd like to go on a date with me." Willow marveled at the way her stomach still felt all acidy and nervous when she already knew the answer.
Tara nodded. "Of course I want to."
Willow smiled adorably and hugged Tara in excitement. The hug lasted longer than she meant it to, but neither girl wanted to let go. They luxuriated in the feel of their bodies pressed together for close to a minute, before Tara reluctantly pulled back out of fear the hug would last TOO long and scare Willow. When she had pulled back far enough so that she could look at Willow's face properly, she stopped, even though she was still really close to the other girl. "Where do you want to go?"
Willow thought about that for a moment, it was something she hadn't actually thought out before asking. Multiple possibilities ran through her head, before she finally settled on one. One singular resturant that would hold all the romantic atmosphere she had been hoping on for their date. She had noticed, on her way to her house when she was just moving in, a small Italian place on the corner of Sunnydale's main street. She knew the place was expensive, but she got enough in allowance to cover it easily. "How about Mario & Luigi's... you know, on the corner of the main street?"
Tara's eyes went wide, she knew that resturant. She had been there only once, with her mother. They had enjoyed the food immensely, it was a wonderful resturant, but they hadn't been able to go back because of how expensive it was. Finances had always been tight in the Maclay household, so Tara couldn't imagine spending that much on a date. "Willow... that place is too expensive... why don't we just go to Joe's?"
Willow frowned slightly, realizing that Tara was right. The expensive resturant should wait for a more important date. A more important date?!? This is our first ever date. What could be more important than a first date? Then it hit her, all at once. The only date more important than the first. Senior prom. Of course! How could I forget prom? I have to take Tara to prom. She probably didn't go last year, and neither did I... Prom is supposed to be really special. A night you remember for the rest of your life... I want to make Tara's prom the specialist night of her life. Well, so far. I'm sure there'll be specialer nights, like her wedding night. Or the first night she... No, Willow, don't go there. It's way too soon for that kind of thinking. "You're right... We should go to Joe's... That is, if you even want italian... here I am, just being all ‘tralala... I'm assuming what you want for you and not asking you what you'd prefere' being all pushy... What kind of food would you prefer, Tara?"
Tara grinned, doing her best not to laugh at how adorably worried Willow looked. "Italian's fine, Willow."
Willow smiled sheepishly. "Sorry... I panicked."
"It's alright, really. We um... we should probably get to work on the lighting program... you said that's how you wanted to do it, right?"
Willow nodded, all business now. They had decided that it would be easier for future lighting generations if they hooked all of the lighting commands and movements up to just a simple button on the computer, so all one had to do to move a light, or turn it on, is click. "Yeah... you need to manually move the light the way it should move with the program, so I can record the movement and save it, ok?"
Tara did just that as Willow got to work, tapping away on the keyboard. An hour later, they had catalogued a fourth of the light movements commonly used in the shows. Willow pushed back from the computer and smiled up at Tara from the chair. "I think that's good enough for today... We have a date to worry about." And, as if the fact that they were going on a date just hit her, Willow smiled brilliantly.
Tara picked up her jacket and walked over to where Willow was sitting, not that it was a long walk, three steps maybe. "Are you ready?"
Willow kept the smile and stood up. "I'm very ready. I'm so ready that I'm... well... prepared. Because being prepared is the same as being ready and... can you stop me when I do that?"
Tara laughed. "Aw, but I learn so much about you from your babbles."
"Like what? That I'm a freak?" Willow picked up her backpack, slightly sad now.
Tara took Willow's hand. "No, Willow... I learn how you think, the thought processes that run your brain. I learn how truly complex and smart and interesting you are. By listening to the babble, I know you better... Plus... It's really cute."
Willow's smile returned and she squeezed Tara's hand in her own, wanting to keep it there forever. And they wordlessly began the walk to the resturant, and their date.