In step, at last

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Title: In step, at last
Author: Kathryn Merteuil
Disclaimer : The characters used are owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, WB, Fox and probably some other people. I'm just borrowing them for a while.
Copyright :

All parts not copyright to another entity (see disclaimer) -- including content, presentation and xHTML -- are copyright Kathryn Merteuil © 2000.

Many thanks to Erin for beta reading and some excellent suggestions.

Spoilers : Late S4. Reference is made to events in "The Yoko Factor" and "The Prom".
Notes : Willow and Tara get to do something they couldn't do in public.
Feedback : Yes please.
Rating : G/PG-13

Willow sat at the gangs table in the Bronze. From the corner of her eye she could see Buffy and Riley locked in each others arms, even Xander and Anya seemed to be tightly embraced as they swayed in time with the slow rhythm as the DJ mixed from one smooch track to the next. Across the table sat Tara, the focus of her view. Her girlfriend. HER GIRLFRIEND! Wow, it felt good to even think the words. Ever since she had first told Xander and used the word without thinking, surprising even herself, she had been surprised at how good it felt on her tongue. "Tara is my girlfriend. My Girlfriend!" she thought to herself with a little smile.

Tara smiled back. "What are you thinking about?"

Willows smile deepened as she inclined her head towards Tara, never allowing their eye contact to break. "You!" she whispered.

Tara looked down for a moment but quickly looked back with one of her trademark warm smiles.

"Goddess, I love her.", thought Willow as she felt a stirring deep within her. They both looked at the dance floor, Buffy and Riley and Xander and Anya were still in their private worlds for two. Earlier that evening they had all been on the floor dancing to a mix of fast and not so fast tracks, once the slow dances started only two of the couples had been able to stay on the floor. Willow felt a longing to be able to take Tara in her arms and express her love in motion. She studied Taras face, was the same desire there? Possibly. Tara was so used to having to hide her feelings that it was sometimes hard to work out what she was feeling.

"Shall we go back to campus?" Willow asked. Tara nodded.

Together they left the Bronze, hands touching but not entwined. They found a bus back to campus and retired to the seclusion of the back. As they sat Tara put her hand in Willows. They clasped, sitting side by side in silent contact. At the campus stop they left the bus and walked, still in silent companionship, to Taras dorm.

"Do you want to come in?" asked Tara. Willow nodded and followed Tara into her cozy den. Removing her light jacket, she looked around and inhaled the faint remnant of incense. In her corner basket Miss Kitty Fantastico opened one eye to regard the pair, yawned then went back to sleep. Willow smiled indulgently and turned back to her girlfriend; that word was as sweet as ever.

Behind Tara, Willow noticed her radio. A sudden idea struck her. Tara looked to be about to ask what Willow wanted to do, Willow silenced her with a gentle touch to the lips and signed her not to move. Picking up the radio she turned it on and tuned it to the late night love song show, colloquially known as "Smooch FM". Lisa Loebs light tones oozed from the speakers.

Willow stepped in front of Tara gently put her arms around her and felt Tara reciprocate. They moved in closer and began to sway in time with the music. At first their movements a little awkward but then, as if a divine spell had been cast, in perfect synchronicity their bodies moulded to each other in a synergy of rhythm and love. Willow laid her head on Taras shoulder, inhaling the herbal scent of her hair, she felt Tara breathe.


She looked up into the face of love reflecting the feelings welling inside her, centimetres from her own. Tara tenderly, gently, emphatically, lovingly kissed her.

On the radio, the song mixed into "Wild Horses". Willow gave a momentary start remembering when she had last danced to this song.

"I-is something wr-rong?" asked Tara, starting to look a little afraid.

"Everything’s perfect. Just horses, you know." Willow said nodding towards the radio.

They resumed their slow dance, as graceful as swans at sunset, intertwined as the bean and maize of legend, souls touching at every point. Willow could hardly believe how good it felt to finally be able to dance with her love.

She lifted her head from its resting place and spoke the most beautiful word in her vocabulary: "Tara.". Tara looked into her eyes. Willow kissed her gently, then more firmly; as they kissed the kiss seemed to feed on itself and become more passionate. The radio went to a commercial break.

The pair moved to the beside. Willow reached down and turned the radio off. Slowly they collapsed onto Taras bed, still joined at the lips, hands and arms refusing to break their links. Momentarily their heads parted.

"I love you."

"I love you."

"Never leave me."

"I never could."

Their lips rejoined the embrace.

Kathryn Merteuil