Several hours passed while Tara relayed her life story, beginning with her early childhood spent in Oregon, the daughter of a bank manager. Her father's bank failed following the crash of '29, and the family made do with their savings during the increasingly long stretches when he could find no work. By '34 their accounts were running low, and they took to the road along with countless others. Following the trail of migrant labor, they ended up in Southern California, but by the end of the decade, even those jobs were becoming scarce, and Tara left school to work alongside her mother as a seamstress. Her father had been out of work for almost two years when he disappeared in 1940, leaving only a note that read "I love you; forgive me." Shortly thereafter, Tara's mother was diagnosed with tuberculosis, which rendered her unable to work and killed her within a year. Tara spent the last of their meager savings on a pauper's burial, then set out to look for her father. Jumping freight trains, hitching rides, walking when necessary, she retraced their journey to Oregon then back, but never found any clue as to his whereabouts.
By late '42 Tara was in L.A., alone and flat broke, but determined. Walking into the first government building she came to, she demanded a job - any job; sweeping floors, doing laundry - she didn't care. She refused to leave the building until someone either gave her something to do or arrested her for trespassing. The building she'd wandered into happened to be the regional headquarters for Military Intelligence. The new Operations Commander, Quentin Travers, was on his way back from a meeting when he encountered the scene in the lobby. He quietly observed the fiery young woman for a few minutes before he approached her.
Tara spent the rest of the day doing odd jobs for Travers - cleaning the office, filing, fetching his lunch. By the end of the week Travers had reassigned his Army Corporal secretary and given Tara the young man's job. After a month the Commander had encouraged her to take the Civil Service Exam, which she excelled on. By the time she'd been there six months, Tara had gone through all of the training to become a civilian covert operative for Military Intelligence, as well as finishing her high school degree at night.
In the spring of '43, Travers was transferred to Sunnydale, and suggested Tara make the move as well. In the absence of her own father, Travers took on a symbolic presence, offering his protégé advice and encouraging her career. Despite the relationship, Travers' frequent and lengthy absences on business and Tara's natural reticence to open up to people prevented a truly familial bond from developing.
Tara's first few weeks in Sunnydale had been difficult and lonely. She'd found a vibrant lesbian scene in L.A. for the occasions when she had the time and inclination to socialize. It wasn't until she met a woman who worked in the mailroom of her new office that she broke into Sunnydale's lesbian community. Sue had quickly become her best friend, the only person privy to both her secrets - that she was a lesbian and a spy.
The only one... until Willow.
As Tara wrapped up her monologue with the recent investigation, Willow shook her head and sighed.
"I still can't believe anyone thought I was a spy," she laughed. "I'd make a lousy spy. I mean, can you really see me being all secret code-y and danger girl and well, we all know how much I babble... and I'm pretty sure that's probably frowned upon... and-"
Tara shifted closer on the couch, her bent knee resting against Willow's thigh. Taking the redhead's face in her hands, she kissed her soundly. Willow sighed happily, a slightly drunk look on her face.
"That's exactly what I thought."
"What? That I babble?"
"That you'd make a lousy spy."
"So you never suspected me?"
"Hm... maybe briefly," the agent confessed, but on seeing the hurt expression quickly added, "but that was before I knew what you and Mr. Giles were doing... and you have to admit you were being kind of sneaky about that."
"I don't have to admit anything," Willow pouted. "Besides," she continued with a glint in her eye, "you'll never make me talk, Agent Maclay."
One side of Tara's mouth quirked into a grin and she crooked an eyebrow at the redhead, whose insides immediately turned to jell-o.
"Wanna bet?" the blonde purred, scooting still closer and trailing her index finger over the inside of one denim-clad thigh.
Uh-oh, Willow thought.
Tara pressed into Willow, her breasts trapping the other woman's arm against her side. Fluttering her lips up the redhead's jaw line to her ear, Tara hissed in her worst German accent:
"Ve have vays of making you talk."
Before Willow could react, the blonde had pushed her back down onto the sofa, where she used her slight size advantage to its full potential, pinning the girl in place underneath her strong legs. Willow made a feeble attempt to fight back but found it impossible, as she was not only giggling too hard, she was also quite happy where she was.
"Now zen... vot shall it be? Hot irons? Thumb screws? Hmmm... maybe... tickle torture!"
"NO! Stop! I'll talk - no more tickling!" Willow cried out.
Tara stared down at her hands, which were still several inches from the redhead's sides.
"I haven't even touched you yet."
"Yeah, but I knew you were going to, so I anticipated," Willow admitted sheepishly. "I'm really ticklish."
Tara collapsed in hysterics on top of Willow, who quickly broke down too. As their laughter subsided, Willow brought her arms around the blonde's back. Tara sighed contentedly before moving to rest her chin on the redhead's chest, looking deeply into her lover's eyes.
"What are thinking about?" Willow enquired softly.
"I'm just astounded at how well you've taken, um, everything."
"I did work for the government too... as you know," she said with a grin. "I know how they do things... and yeah, big surprise, but... it doesn't matter anymore, does it?"
Tara shifted to one side and propped herself up on one elbow. Picking up one of Willow's hands, she absent-mindedly stroked and played with the digits.
"Well, that too, but I actually meant... you know... this - us. I didn't think that before me you'd ever-"
"OH! No... but I did go to an all girls boarding school my last two years of high school, and my roommate Senior year... she was... and I kinda once walked in on her and her, uh, girlfriend... you know... in bed."
"Oh sweetie," Tara laughed, her nose crinkling in amusement. "What happened?"
"Well... see, that's the worst part, cause when I walked in and she saw me, she screamed my name... and her girlfriend was, um... busy... and didn't see me... and she thought... well, it was just... not pleasant."
The women collapsed in another fit of giggles, which sent Tara rolling off the couch onto the floor, pulling the redhead along with her. After a moment, Willow moved to get up off of Tara, but was held fast.
"I like you right here," the blonde stated, her expression suddenly serious.
"I think we'd be more comfortable in a bed," Willow persuaded, easing herself up and reaching for Tara. Gazing into each other's eyes, they walked hand in hand to Willow's bedroom.
Once inside, Willow reached to switch off the light, but Tara's hand on her own prevented it.
"Leave it on... I want to see you."
Willow looked down, feeling suddenly overcome with shyness.
"Tara... you know I... I've never... with anyone."
"Sweetie, it's alright - I haven't either," Tara soothed, wrapping her arms around the redhead's waist. "We'll just take it slow, okay?"
Willow nodded, lifting wide green eyes to blue as she brought her arms around Tara's neck and kissed the blonde, slowly at first, then deepening as mouths fell open for eager tongues. Tara pulled the redhead's hips into her own until they were pressed fully against each other, leg to leg, breast to breast, and they both became acutely aware of the hindrance of clothing.
As Willow released each button on Tara's blouse, the blonde unzipped her own skirt, pushing her slip down along with it and stepping out of both. The redhead took hold of the hem of Tara's chemise and pulled it over the blonde's raised arms. Tara unbuttoned Willow's shirt, inhaling sharply as she discovered her lover's bare breasts underneath.
"I, uh, wasn't planning on going anywhere today," the redhead admitted, self-consciously bringing her arms up to cover herself. Tara gently pulled them away and brought them to her own hips. Running her hands over Willow's collarbones and neck, she kissed her lover lightly.
"That's good, cause I don't plan on letting you go anywhere in the near future."
Willow felt her knees go weak at the raw huskiness of Tara's voice and she hastily unhooked and flung aside Tara's bra. The blonde fumbled with the buttons on Willow's jeans, which the redhead shed along with her panties in one fluid motion while Tara quickly removed her own.
Willow's eyes slowly drifted over her lover's nude form, finally reconnecting with their blue counterparts, back from their own visual inspection. Beautiful, both women thought as they moved to embrace again, kissing fiercely as they clung to each other.
Tara's earlier anxiousness had dissipated over the course of their conversation, but when she felt Willow's body against hers it came back, magnified both in scale and intensity. Unlike her previous nervousness, which had been largely the result of fear, the current of adrenaline now coursing through her was entirely fueled by desire.
The numbness Willow had experienced was gone as well, and she felt bombarded with the sight, feel, smell, sound and taste of Tara. Never breaking their kiss, Willow backed over to the bed, pulling the blonde along with her. When her legs hit the mattress, she yanked back the covers and lay down, propping herself up on her elbows as her eyes locked on her lover's. Tara crawled up over the redhead's body, grinning deliciously. Willow's eyes closed and she dropped back onto the mattress as she felt Tara's breasts gliding over her bare skin. When they reached Willow's own modest chest, both women moaned as their stiff nipples raked together.
Willow opened her eyes to glittering sapphire pools, and she grasped Tara's neck to pull her down for a passionate kiss. The blonde complied gladly, thrusting her tongue into the willing mouth before retreating to nip at her lover's lower lip. The redhead lifted her head and whimpered as Tara pulled away, but dropped it back down when she felt Tara's hand on one breast, firmly kneading. The blonde lowered her lips to the neglected mound, which she sucked into her mouth hungrily.
Willow gripped the sheet with one hand while the other tangled itself into the blonde's thick tresses, holding her in place. The dew between her legs became a puddle as she felt her nipples being pinched and bitten, and she knew she could not hold back her release much longer.
"Tara... baby, please... touch me," she implored, her breath coming in gasps.
The blonde moved to lie next to Willow, snaking one arm under her lover's shoulders and pulling her into a kiss. Her other hand caressed down Willow's chest and abdomen, her fingers threading through damp red curls before grazing over the redhead's clit. Willow's hips jerked and she buried her face in Tara's neck to suck on the sensitive flesh. As her hand reached the source of her lover's wetness, Tara felt the throb between her own legs growing. Parting Willow's lips, she circled the opening with one fingertip.
"Willow... do you want-"
"Uhhh... yessss," Willow hissed, crying out as Tara pushed a finger into her.
Tara paused to ensure she hadn't hurt the redhead before she began thrusting slowly, adding a second finger when Willow's hips started rocking against her hand. Realizing how close the redhead was, Tara curled her thumb up to rub her lover's clit, which immediately sent Willow bucking off the mattress, her body arched and rigid as she came crying out Tara's name.
Willow fell back down, breathing hard, sweat glistening on her skin. Tara brushed her lips over the redhead's panting mouth as she withdrew her fingers and wiped them on the already soaked sheet.
"Are you okay sweetie?"
"Uh-huh," Willow slurred. "Better than o-k... I'm o-s at least... maybe even o-t."
Tara smiled as she stroked the moisture from Willow's brow and cheeks before claiming another kiss from her lover. Once her breathing had regulated, Willow rolled onto her side until they were facing each other, languidly exploring each other's mouths. After several minutes Willow gently pushed Tara onto her back and began kissing down her jaw line to her neck, which arched to allow the redhead full access. Quickly arriving at the blonde's chest, Willow palmed both full breasts while alternating between them with her mouth. Lavishing all her attention on Tara's already painfully erect nipples, Willow reveled in the sounds her lover made as she licked, sucked and nipped at the sensitive buds.
Nudging Tara's legs open with her thigh, Willow rolled in between them as she descended her lover's body, lips and tongue tracing down the blonde's torso. The redhead felt light-headed as she reached soaking blonde curls and breathed in Tara's scent. Parting her lover's folds with one hand, Willow delicately licked at the exposed flesh. Any concern Willow had over her lack of experience disappeared as the blonde's body spasmed under her tongue. Crooking one arm under Tara's thigh and holding it firmly, the redhead dove in with abandon, licking and sucking at her lover's swollen lips.
"Willow... more... need... inside," Tara grunted out her desire, which the redhead promptly fulfilled, thrusting two fingers deep and pumping vigorously as her mouth sought out Tara's clit.
As she sucked the engorged bud, Willow opened her eyes to watch her lover, mouth open, head thrown back in ecstasy, breasts swaying with every thrust of Willow's hand. The redhead felt herself on the verge of coming again at the sight. As Tara screamed her name, Willow moved up to straddle and grind against the blonde's thigh, simultaneously rubbing Tara's clit until they each came again.
Willow collapsed face down next to Tara, exhausted. Immediately missing the physical contact, she threw a heavy arm over her lover's chest, resting her palm on one heaving breast. Gazing into each other's eyes, they barely had time to murmur heartfelt words of love before sleep overtook them.
Sunday passed in a blur of lovemaking, with only brief respites for meals and the bathroom. At some point in the evening Tara confessed her desire to resign her position and continue her schooling. Monday morning, the soon-to-be-ex agent stood outside of Commander Travers' office with Willow by her side for emotional support.
"He'll see you now," Miss Summers announced, and Tara walked through the door with Willow behind her.
"What the- Tara, what it this?"
The blonde turned to look at Willow, who had come to a dead stop just inside the door. The redhead's face contorted as she looked from Tara to Travers, who closed his eyes and rubbed the bridge of his nose.
"Willow? This is my boss - Quentin Travers."
"Quentin Travers?!" Willow stated, her voice dripping with incredulity.
Tara frowned in confusion, uneasily wondering why the redhead was behaving in such a manner. Her lover's next statement did nothing to clear the confusion.
"Tara, that man's name is NOT Quentin Travers - it's Ira Rosenberg! Tara... that's my Dad!"