Tara sat with her back against her favourite tree, her butt was cold as usual, but it didn't matter she was used to the sensation and instead of worrying about it she simply ignored it. It seemed silly, but a cold butt reminded her of her favourite place to be, the place where all her dreams and fantasies seemed to develop and flow into something more meaningful and as she sat here with her legs spread out in front of her and her chin resting playfully on Willow's shoulder, Tara couldn't help feeling like she had come home. This was not just a park to them, it was something else, comforting and familiar.
Willow tapped away on her computer happily nestled between Tara's legs, Her body resting against her girlfriends, she felt warm and safe yet her mind had difficulty processing the unbelievable truth.
"I'm in the park." She stated thoughtfully, her fingers left the keys for a moment as her brow knitted together. "I'm in the park with you, the blonde girl who was always writing."
Tara sniffled against the cold and wrapped her arms around her girlfriend's waist.
"And I'm in the park with the redhead who was always reading. It's surreal isn't it? Here we are months later sitting together."
"Did you ever check me out?"
"What?" Tara managed to choke out, she could feel her face begin to burn despite the cold.
"Y'know, did you ever think I was hot? Ever fantasise about me? That kind of stuff."
"What kind of question is that?"
"One you're avoiding obviously. C'mon I wanna know..."
Tara rolled her eyes and laughed at her girlfriends unconvincing pout, but she gave her 8 points for effort.
"I thought about you. Sometimes I wondered why you looked so sad, sometimes I wondered what you were thinking and sometimes I wondered how you'd look having an orgasm. No big..." The blonde shrugged trying to be nonchalant.
"No big?" It was Willow's turn to blush "That's big and kinda pervy. You thought that?"
Tara laughed at her girlfriend's childlike wide-eyed expression. "I thought that. I still think that." She smiled devilishly and kissed Willow softly before whispering "...And I'll find out soon enough."
Willow felt her heart begin to race at Tara's sexual innuendo and suddenly found herself unable to keep the mental image of them together from invading her thoughts, Their bodies tangled, mouths locked and hands roaming. Heat emanating from them in waves it was all she could do not to whimper and instead bit her lip, glancing at her lap top then back at Tara she was certain the blonde knew what she was thinking.
"Uh... I... I... Work." She managed to mutter and pointed at her computer.
"Sure." Tara smirked, pleased with herself.
Moments passed as they sat together, their breaths steaming in the cold and the crisp air surrounding them seemed silent, almost peaceful. Birds tweeted and the trees swayed lightly in the subtle breeze. Tara smiled thoughtfully, after all her wondering and wishing, the endless hours she sat in this very spot by her self just thinking about the mysterious redhead that now sat nestled against her. It all seemed like it had happened to someone else and she had simply been observing from a distance.
She looked at Willow, her pale silky skin accentuated her deep green eyes and made her red hair more noticeable, she was like some painting hung on the wall in some time old art gallery meant to be looked at and not touched.
Willow stopped typing for a moment and studied her girlfriends face, she recognised the look, she had seen it the night before and she smiled lovingly at Tara before resuming her work, understanding the blonde's need to just think for a moment.
"S-so I brought you here for a reason." Tara finally spoke and watched as the redhead immediately pushed her laptop to one side. "I brought you here b-because I thought it would be nice for us to come back to where we started from, t-this place seems like a symbol of sorts for how we got to where we are now."
Willow nodded her understanding and agreement allowing Tara to go on.
"When I used w-watch you, I always wondered what it would be like to hear you laugh, whether you slept on your side or your back, what food you liked, what job you did, what perfume you wore... because I didn't know the answers to these questions I made them up ...a-and I wrote about you, in my book, I mean. You're the main character. Since I met you everything you did I wrote about, but I never figured I'd have to tell you because I never thought we'd even be friends never mind girlfriends." Tara took a deep breath and bit her lip as Willow continued to stare at her, her face was unreadable and the blonde began to worry. "Are you mad?"
The redhead blinked once, twice and after the third time a smile began to tug at the corners of her mouth. "I used to wonder those things to." She admitted, her voice was low and thoughtful. "I tried to rationalise it as just me being nosey, but it was something more. I was attracted to you and every time I sat in that same spot on the grass it was because that was the best place to sit and stare at you without you realising." She paused for a moment, "I'm not mad... flattered, but not mad."
Tara half smiled at Willow's words, and held the redhead tighter. The smaller woman sighed contentedly and relaxed in her girlfriends arms.
"Did you only come out here to write when we didn't know each other?" Willow asked as she watched the water of the lake ripple lightly in the breeze.
"At first I came here to get some inspiration and I found something unexpectedly inspiring."
Willow turned in the blondes arms to face her girlfriend and they studied each other for a moment.
Tara's big blue eyes seemed to pierce Willow's as she gently tucked a stray hair behind the redhead's ear she then stroked her warm hand softly against Willow's cool cheek. A small smile formed on her lips as her girlfriends green orbs took in the features of her face. Tara couldn't believe how adorable Willow was, her cute innocence and childlike enthusiasm made the blonde's heart melt and as they sat in the peacefulness of their favourite place, small yet perfectly shaped crystals of snow began to fall from the sky. With elegance and grace they landed on the ground without making a sound and Tara knew the timing was right.
"I love you Willow." She whispered and watched as recognition of her words seeped into her girlfriend's mind. Her heart felt lighter as if speaking those three words had lifted a weight from within her chest and it was now free to beat again as normal.
"W-w-what?" Willow stammered unable to grasp the mere reality of what just occurred, she looked at the lake, the grass, the birds then back at Tara "Wh-wha-what?"
The blonde giggled at her girlfriends gaping mouth and placed her index finger beneath Willow's chin to close it.
"I'm in love with you Willow. You're incredibly smart and kind and beautiful and I'm in love with you."
"... But I... I..."
Tara placed her finger over Willow's soft lips to quieten her and gently shook her head.
"It's ok I don't want you to feel like you have to say it back, I just needed you to know. If there's one thing I've learned since meeting you is never to leave something you can do now until later. You could get hit by a car and never have the chance."
The redhead just stared at Tara, her frustration at not being able to tell the blonde what she deserved to hear almost broke her heart, she felt deeply for Tara, she knew she did, but the words just wouldn't flow. Instead Willow did the only thing she could think of and captured her girlfriends lips, trying to portray as much love in her kiss as possible.
The kiss was fierce at first, as Willow hoped somehow Tara would feel the love she wanted to proclaim, but the blonde lifted her hand and gently cupped Willow's face to calm her and take over. She soothed her girlfriend by softly stroking her thumb over the redhead's cheek and removing the doubt, insisting with her strokes that she wasn't angry or upset and when she felt Willow calm, Tara opened her mouth and deepened the kiss.
Willow stood unsteadily, her hands holding tightly to the crutches her physiotherapist had given her to move around with, and she slowly, but surely moved forward. Her left arm twitched a little with pain as it helped hold some of her weight, but it was a bearable pain and she ignored it.
Finally getting to where she wanted to be, Willow smiled in triumph. This was the first time she had been able to get anywhere in two months without somebody having to assist, but as she stood in front of her candle the redhead's smile turned into a frown and she realised something was missing, something wasn't right about this situation. In fact it was absolutely wrong, and definitely worth pouting about.
Searching the room, Willow saw what she wanted and hobbled over to it. Her cell phone along with her lap top used to be her most prized possessions, but looking at them now they didn't seem to demand her absolute attention like they used to.
Flipping her Cell open the redhead went to her phone book and found the number she wanted, she was about to dial when the idea struck her as ludicrous. Why would she want to tell Tara that she had just managed to get across the room on her own? Why did it feel so wrong that Tara hadn't seen her do it? Or been a part of it?
Willow manoeuvred herself awkwardly to the edge of her bed and sat carefully, wincing a little at the pain in her leg. She moved a stray red hair from her face then tucked it behind her ear, and thought for a moment.
When Tara had told Willow she was in love with her almost a week ago. Willow had felt guilty that she hadn't said those words back, and since then she had been questioning herself and her love for Tara. She found herself watching the blonde and everything she did, whether it was chewing on the end of her pen when she was writing, which was a regular occurrence, or sleeping, or singing along to a song on the radio. Willow knew that if she went for even just a week without seeing those simple things it would hurt, not just make her sad, but hurt as if something was missing. Like if one shoe loses another shoe then they're no longer a pair of shoes, it's just a sad old shoe all by itself. The redhead didn't want to be a sad old Willow all by herself, she wanted to be a pair, with Tara, forever. And that she knew was love.
The redhead looked at the door as a shrill of laughter penetrated the wood and filled the quiet room. It was her mother's laughter, only it sounded a little different as if it was just let free instead of trying to be subdued. Willow always remembered the way her mother laughed so her surprise was written on her face.
Deciding to investigate what was so funny the redhead grabbed her crutches and said a prayer so she wouldn't end up in a heap on the floor before she even got to the door, manoeuvring with the crutches was more of an effort that she had anticipated.
When she got the hall she could still hear the faint titters of a chuckle, that chuckle wasn't her mother's and when she finally managed to get to the doorway of the kitchen she saw her mother standing on one of the kitchen chairs trying to stick a pin in the wall to hold up the party decorations, she couldn't quiet get the decoration straight and this was causing her and Mrs Maclay to burst into fits of laughter.
"Willow!" Mrs Rosenberg shouted as the motion of her daughter shaking her head at them had caught her attention. "You're up, how are you feeling? Are you ok? Do you need something?"
"Give her a chance Sheila." Mrs Maclay chipped in playfully whilst helping her friend off the chair. "How are you sweetheart?" The older woman asked sincerely.
"I'm good thanks." The redhead smiled and received a hug from her girlfriend's mom. "I was just coming to see what you guys were up to, sounds like you're having fun."
"Well I was just fighting with the decorations to get them up for tomorrow night and Anna's kindly helping me, although I've come to realise she's more of a hindrance than a help." Willow's mom glared at her friend playfully and walked across the kitchen to inspect her work.
The decoration read "Merry Jewish Christmas." It hung a little wonky above an archway that separated the kitchen and the living room and a well placed piece of mistletoe hung just beneath it. Tinsel and glitter were strewn strategically around the room making it look very festive.
"So... um... is Tara coming over?" The redhead asked Anna hopefully.
"She was supposed to be coming here with me, but when I told her it was time to leave she waved her hand at me and carried on writing. A sure indication that she didn't want to be disturbed. Maybe..." The older woman was interrupted by the doorbell and Mrs Rosenberg went to answer it, pulling a chair out ordering her daughter to sit before she left the room.
A few moments later the redheaded woman came back into the room rubbing her hands together trying to warm herself from the chill that had drifted in through the door. An equally cold Tara walked in after her, her cheeks and the tip of her nose were red from the wind hitting her delicate skin.
"Oh Tara I wish you'd buy a car and stop walking in this weather!" Mrs Maclay exclaimed at the sight of her daughter. She rushed over and quickly took the blonde's coat from her, hanging it over the back of a chair.
Tara locked eyes with Willow and rolled her eyes playfully at her mother's over-motherliness.
"I'm fine." She sniffled then kissed the older woman on the cheek in greeting.
"So what do you think of these decorations?" Sheila chipped in, her head was in the refrigerator and when it popped back out she had a bottle of wine in her hand.
"They're nice actually." The blonde agreed as she stood back and admired them. "I like the red and gold colours they go well together."
Willow sat in her chair as her mother, Her girlfriend and her girlfriend's mother bantered playfully about how the decorations looked and what should go where. The redhead felt a sense of pride as she watched Tara charm her mother effortlessly and somehow knew she was ready to tell her mother about the relationship she was sharing with Tara, about the love she felt but couldn't yet proclaim and how happy she was by simply being with her. At this moment Willow felt secure, loved, wanted and special.
The redhead frowned, she felt all that and yet Tara's attention wasn't even directed at her.
"...There's another room to do yet!" Mrs Rosenberg's voice penetrated Willow's thoughts and the two older women went to inspect the living room leaving Tara to add a pin to a stray piece of tinsel.
The blonde finished what she was doing and went to her girlfriend then kneeled down before her so they were at eye level. Tara gently stroked the back of her hand over Willow's soft cheek and smiled lovingly.
"You have pensive face."
"I do not have pensive face." The redhead pouted as she lifted her hand to take Tara's and interlace their fingers.
The blonde raised her eyebrow and gently moved her hand to stroke the crease between her girlfriend's eyebrows. "That always gives you away."
"Uh, sorry girls." Mrs Maclay interrupted "I just came to get the bottle of wine, you're mother's an insufferable alcoholic." She smiled at Willow.
The redhead smiled back politely and let go of Tara's hand, an action that didn't go unnoticed by the either Tara or Anna.
"I'll see you girls tomorrow." Mrs Maclay nodded goodnight then picked up the wine bottle and went into the other room.
Tara turned to her girlfriend and reclaimed her hand, gently rubbing her thumb over Willow's soft skin. "You look tired, C'mon." She handed Willow her crutches and watched proudly as the redhead slowly, but surely made her way to her room, but as the door closed behind them the redhead turned to her girlfriend and eyed her suspiciously.
"What?" Tara questioned, not really sure what to make of the facial expression her girlfriend was currently sporting, she walked over to Willow's side and gently guided her to sit on the bed.
"Your mother didn't flinch, when she saw us all with the hand holding, she didn't say a word." The redhead's expression had now turned to confused and she began to twist the drawstring of her pants with her fingers.
"Well my mom knows I'm gay, and she's known about you and I for a little while too." Tara explained softly, she wrapped a hand around Willow's fidgeting digits and used her other to lift the redhead's chin so their eyes connected. "Is that ok?"
"Well I... I... well I guess so." Willow thought for a moment "Did she mind, was she mad when you told her? That you liked girls I mean, was she mad?"
"Well," Tara let go of Willow's hand and instead concentrated on another task. She lifted the redhead's arms in the air and pulled her shirt above her head. "She kind of already knew and had been hinting for a while before I actually told her. So she wasn't mad or even surprised."
The redhead nodded her understanding and bit her bottom lip. Tara swore she could see her girlfriend's mind working. Reaching around the redhead's back, Tara expertly unhooked her bra and the Willow held her arms forward as Tara pulled the straps down them, the material lightly tickled her skin and she shivered involuntarily.
"Sorry." The blonde whispered giving her an apologetic smile.
"I... I think I'm going to tell my mom. I think I'm ready to tell her, but... but... I'm scared. She could hate me and I don't want that, things have been so great between us lately we've gotten close. We've never been this close before and I'm worried that she'll get mad at me or worse, mad at you... and if she got mad you then I'd get mad at her. It'd be this great big mad fest and that, well, that's just not good..." Willow stopped to take a breath and lift her hips so Tara cloud remove her pants. In one continuous tug the blonde managed to removed them fully and neither woman seemed to pay attention to the fact that the redhead was naked. "I don't want her to hate me Tara... I don't want her to disapprove..."
"Shhh." The blonde spoke softly bringing her hands up to cup Willow's face, she placed a gentle kiss on her girlfriend's lips. "You're not alone in this Wil, it's your decision and if you feel you're ready to tell her then I'm right behind you, but ask yourself this, after everything that's happened in the past couple of months do you think your mother would be angry at you for grasping happiness?"
The redhead sniffled and shook her head, a faint smile tugging at her lips.
"Your mom seems like a wonderful woman, she has to be to have such a wonderful daughter, so give her a chance Wil, maybe she'll surprise you."
The redhead studied Tara for a moment, her sparkling blue eyes captivating her gaze and the love that flowed from them soothed her.
"Even when I... even when I'm at my worst you always make me feel special, how do you do that?"
"Magic." Tara laughed lightly and pulled her girlfriend into a hug.