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Part 1, Falling In Love

Tara sat at the Espresso Pump one night. She'd been in Sunnydale for two weeks, was to begin class at UC Sunnydale and still hadn't found what she was looking for.

She imagined what her grandmother had told her of when she was ten, the dark one, and what her mother prepared her for, stopping the dark one at any cost, before her death a year ago would come to pass. Tara, however didn't know if she could do this, didn't know if she was the one.

She glanced up from looking through her class schedule for the umpteenth time to see a sad looking redhead walk in. Upon further glance, Tara saw the most beautiful emerald eyes she'd ever seen. Of course she quickly looked away out of shyness and not wanting to get caught staring.

Tara had always known she was a lesbian but her shy nature kept her dating life at almost a stand-still. So she just usually sat and watched the world and people go on without her. She wished she weren't that way but years of family trauma caused it and she feared she'd ask someone who wasn't even interested in girls out then she'd be so crushed and embarrassed. So why put herself through that, if they liked her they'd take initiative she hoped.

***********

Oz had just been gone a week, Willow was miserable and just knew her life would never be the same, no more dates, no nothing. Then she wondered if maybe all this was wrong from the get go. Sure she cared for Oz, but was it just part of her need to be special and be cared for that drew her to him. The status it gave her to date a musician? Not that that's the only reason she'd dated him but her soul searching the last few weeks was telling her she only felt important when she was doing a spell or hanging with Oz, it made her feel special to know a musician. Nevertheless, whatever the reason, he was gone, she was sad, she missed him, cared for him yet hated him for hurting her so, cheating on her was sure a fine way to let her know things weren't quite right.

She shook her head as she walked into the Espresso Pump then she saw them. The most beautiful sapphire colored eyes she'd ever seen. She just couldn't help but continue stealing glances at them and to beat all these eyes belonged to a girl. A girl with pretty blond hair that sprayed down hiding her face and her eyes would be hid as well if she hadn't have moved her hair away to eat her sandwich.

Oh Goddess, I'm staring at a girl, she thought as more babblethoughts went racing through her head. Why am I staring, what is with this and come to think of it, didn't I used to watch Buffy slay, Faith dance, oh Goddess, am I, am I?

She looked away then back again this time smiling and waving trying to act casual. When the girl returned a shy warm beautiful smile Willow felt as if she would drop. She knew right there, she liked this girl and tried to gain the courage to walk over and say hello.

*******

Tara felt a wave of Anxiety wash over her like a big jumping ocean wave when she saw the pretty redhead walking her way. She tried hard to relax herself but knew it was no use and waited for the embarrassing inability to communicate well to take over if the girl should speak. "Hi, I'm Willow," she said in a small sweet tentative voice as she held out her hand.

"I'm Tara," Tara stammered as she shook Willow's hand hoping the girl wouldn't feel the nervousness that she had to fight to keep her hands from shaking.

As Tara motioned Willow to sit down she stood to refill her drink gesturing to see if Willow would like one. Willow however, was busy, now she knew she'd caught a glimpse of the girl before, at the wiccan group maybe, or leaving the group at least because she'd've known right off if she stayed. Great, she thought, another one of those so called wiccans who only care about bake sales.

As Tara returned with their drinks Willow smiled as if to say thanks. "So," she ventured. "Do you go to UC Sunnydale? I think I saw you somewhere before."

Tara thought for a moment of where she could have seen her. She really didn't get out much, hadn't made but a couple friends, wasn't big on social events and knew she didn't have a class with her. "Yes," she answered quietly.

"Are you in any groups or clubs?" Willow asked trying not to seem to curious.

"I was," Tara said shuffling her feet looking down at the floor. "It wasn't quite what I expected so I decided not to go."

"I was in one of those," Willow said figuring she was right so her confidence built up. "It was a wiccan group only they really weren't into Wiccan and so I only went to two meetings."

Tara smiled, she rather enjoyed the babbling of the redhead. "That's the group I was in," she stuttered slightly as she spoke. "I guess I left before you joined."

"So you're into spells and such?" Willow asked, a touch of excitement in her voice.

"Yeah," Tara said shyly. She'd never been open about her magic tendencies as most people thought it was crazy and all fake.

"For how long?" Willow asked gleefully.

"Since I can remember, my mother taught me a lot." Tara said smiling seeing the excitement in the redhead's eyes.

"Wow, I've never had anyone help me learn stuff. So I usually mess up everything I try." Willow said making a pouty face.

"I could help you sometime. I mean, if you want." Tara stammers looking out the window.

"That'd be great," Willow says happily.

**********

Three days after their first meeting and a couple more short visits for lunch, coffee and the like, Tara sat in her room waiting. Willow was coming over tonight and Tara was very nervous.

She'd found herself growing more and more attracted to the girl but she figured a pretty girl like that wouldn't give her a second look plus the fact she'd mentioned a guy named Oz that she'd had a bad break up with. So that probably meant she wasn't even gay.

Willow knocked nervously on the door, she'd been nervous all day in fact. She was slowly realizing she liked a girl, then it set in that she'd always been attracted to girls. This was all hard for her to deal with but something told her she had to do it quickly because Tara would be the light she'd been missing in her life since, well forever.

Tara opened the door giving a shy smile as she stepped aside to let Willow in. Willow's nerves quickly went away as she scanned the room which had text books, candles, herbs, and other witch craft related items including spell books. "Wow, you've got a lot of stuff here." She beamed pointing to a book.

"Yeah, that's my mom's book of shadows," Tara said pointing for Willow to sit down if she'd like.

"Oh wow, that's neat," Willow was very excited now. She'd known about people's books of shadows. They were sacred in that they contained spells, solutions and other important things to the spell caster who wrote them. She hoped one day to have a book of her own like that. She so wanted to get a look at it but dared not ask. After all they barely knew each other so Tara must hold this book close to her heart and surely wouldn't show it to an almost stranger.

Tara took two Pepsi's out of the mini-fridge handing Willow one before sitting on the bed next to her. "Willow," she said softly. "I think I see your problem, I mean why you sometimes mess up spells."

"Sometimes," Willow said smiling hoping Tara could help her with this. She wanted so badly to do things right, to help Buffy, to feel important. "That's an understatement, I screw up everything that doesn't have to do with class or computers."

"Because when you get all excited your energy fragments all over the place. Spells excite you and they take concentrated energy to work right. So you've got to learn to focus your energy." Tara said with no stutter in her voice. She truly understood Willow's lack of confidence in herself, she lacked in it in every category but magic.

"Ok so how do I concentrate or focus my energy?" Willow asked smiling. She was in envy of the shy blond, she knew far more about magic than Willow ever would or so she thought.

"Practice," Tara said picking up a pencil and laying it on the bed. "Watch."

She focused on the pencil till it began to rise in the air, in a perfect straight line it floated across the room then back down to the bed. "Now, look at the pencil, concentrate hard on where you want it to go and don't get distracted or think of what you can be floating next week. The here and now is what you need to focus on, ok?" Tara said softly.

"Ok," Willow said realizing how much Tara's soft warm voice calmed and soothed her. She really was beginning to like everything about the blond and began to wonder what it would be like to have Tara hold her, it would be so relaxing she just knew. Damn it Rosenberg, she said concentrate on the pencil, you've got to do this, to show her you're a good student which is probably all she thinks of you anyway.

Willow focused hard on the pencil, then slowly it began to rise, then after a short time it began to spin. Tara placed her hand on Willow's arm. "Relax Willow, you can do it, you're a very special person, I can feel it in your energy."

The second Tara touched her arm Willow felt something electricity go through her and something told her that was in no way magic. She began to relax though and the pencil straightened up and hung in midair till she brought it back down to the bed. "Look Tara," she squealed happily. "I actually did it."

Tara smiled at Willows jubilant face. "See just practice and time. I'll be glad to help you any way I can Willow."

"Do you really think I'm special cause I think you're the one that's special." Willow said in a small high-pitched voice. A voice that Tara was growing more and more to like.

"Maybe we both are," Tara blushed having never considered herself special.

They sat there smiling looking into each other's eyes then it just happened, they shared their first kiss.

Willow knew as soon as the kiss finished this was the one for her, this was the person who'd love her unconditionally, who'd spend her days and nights with her, she'd found love and was finally learning what the word love truly meant thanks to this shy woman with big dancing blue eyes.
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The authors own nothing. Joss, UPN, WB, etc. own Buffy, the show, the characters, the places, and the backstory. The authors own any original plots.