DISCLAIMER: Large chunks of this story are the property of Joss Whedon (BTVS/Angel), Ilene Chaiken (L Word), and the various multi-conglomerate media corporations (i.e. Fox, UPN, and Showtime).
AUTHOR'S NOTE: 1. A response to GayNow's fanfic challenge #2 on the Kittenboard that pays homage to JustSkipIt's stories. 2. I was aiming for fluffy and humorous with a romantic flair. It may have landed in the confused-arched-eyebrow area with a smutty burst.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By Fun In Dysfuntion
Willow entered her home and loudly announced her presence, "Tara, I'm home. My school days are officially over! There's woo and hoo in the air 'cuz I just finished the last of my finals for this semester."
"Congratulations, sweetie," Tara called out from the next room.
The redhead walked into the living room where her beautiful girlfriend was curled up on the sofa watching television. As she approached Tara, Willow asked, "Hey, whatcha doing?" briefly brushing the blonde's lips in a small kiss.
Slightly embarrassed at being caught watching another reality show, Tara mumbled, "Survivor: Ash Island."
"Are you serious? I thought you gave up watching these shows after Fox aired 'STD Island'," the quizzical redhead responded.
"That was 'Temptation Island', and yes, that was repulsive. But, this one is pretty good. There's even a lesbian couple in it," Tara asserted.
Willow sat down next to her girlfriend and snuggled onto her shoulder. She still wasn't convinced that these shows were very entertaining, but she enjoyed being with Tara and focused her attention on the show.
"Is she dating one of the other women on the island?" Willow asked as she watched a small, spry, blonde woman giving a brief confession while sitting on a beach shore.
"No," Tara answered, shaking her head, "The lesbian couple just left. They were the ones who walked into the woods."
"Uh, ok. Are you sure? Because she's," Willow pointed at the confessing blonde, "definitely setting off all of my gaydar alarms."
"Your what?" Tara asked incredulously.
Willow repeated, "My gaydar. She is setting off my gaydar tingles."
"You don't actually believe you can sense people's sexual attraction, do you?" Tara asked in a disbelieving tone. Staring at her girlfriend with lightly furrowed brows, she tried to assess the redhead's seriousness.
"Well, not for everyone, but for some. I knew about you," Willow maintained and added with a chuckle, "even though I didn't know about me. But still, that counts."
"I tell everyone I'm gay. I practically introduce myself as Tara 'Not-really-much-for-the-timber' Maclay," the blonde bantered.
"I knew the first day I met you at that Wicca group," Willow stated in a self-satisfied manner.
Tara suspiciously eyed the redhead. She didn't quite believe her girlfriend's claims. She started to counter the redhead's assertion but was distracted when she heard a knock on the front door.
Opening the door, Tara was surprised to find Fred nervously bouncing on the balls of her feet.
"I found Moira!" the brunette exclaimed as she burst through the entryway, striding into the living room, and pulling the surprised blonde behind her.
"Who's Moira?" Willow and Tara asked simultaneously.
"That's Moira!" she pointed at the two confused women, "Moira is that gut physical attraction between two souls. I've found my Moira."
"Huh? Who? Ok. Start again. If possible, don't say 'Moira'," the mildly irked redhead chided.
"Her name is Raia. She works over at the café near the Espresso Pump. And, she's always really nice when I go in there for ice cream, and then there's ice cream. Oh, yeah, she, um, smiles a lot at me, and, uh, sometimes she sends over these extra little treats that I didn't order."
"Has she asked you out?" Willow inquired.
"Hm..no " the brunette answered uncomfortably.
"Have you asked her out?" Tara asked.
"Uh, no There are a few technicalities, which I need to work out. It's not Maxwell equations, but it's definitely not wave-particle duality," the brunette disconcertingly replied.
Tara turned to Willow, relying on her Fred-lingual skills to interpret.
"She means that there are problems, which are not exactly simple but not overly complex," she responded to her girlfriend's implicit question. Shifting her attention back to Fred, she asked, "So, what's the problem? Other than the lack of date-age discussions."
"Well " the brunette hesitated, "I can't read her signals."
"You can't read her signals?" Tara asked, once again feeling the need for Fredian translation.
"Ohhh ." Willow surmised the issue at hand, "She's not setting off your gaydar."
Fred lowered her eyes and shook her head sadly. "For two days, I've been going over every single one of our interactions, and I, I just want to know before I " the forlorn brunette paused unable to continue.
"What can we do?" Tara asked as she placed a comforting arm on Fred's shoulders.
Fred looked up at her two friends and pleaded, "Help me find out."
Walking past the Magic shop, the three women ran into Anya locking up the store. Smiling, Tara waved and greeted the ex-vengeance demon, "Hey Anya."
After securing the door, she returned the greeting, "Hello," and began to dance outside the shop.
Puzzled at this strange behavior, Willow asked, "What are you doing, Anya?"
"The dance of capitalist superiority," she replied matter-of-factly.
"Looks like the hustle to me," Fred observed.
Pausing mid-step, Anya shrugged. "So, what are you gals up to this evening?" the curious ex-demon asked.
Uncomfortable revealing any information about Fred's predicament, Tara and Willow remained quiet, waiting for the brunette to broach the subject herself.
"By the overwhelming chorus of silence coming from my companions, I gather I'm supposed to explain," Fred sighed and briefly described her situation, "We are going to the café to find out whether I should ask a woman out."
"Oh, out for some sapphic searching. Can I help? What's the plan? And, why don't you just use your gaydar?" the enthusiastic ex-demon asked.
"Anya, what do you know about gaydar?" a startled Willow questioned the ex-demon.
"What? Just because I prefer my orgasm buddies to be of the male variety doesn't mean I can't tell when people are attracted to one another. Plus, I'm a 1,000-year-old ex-vengeance demon. I have skills. Mostly evisceration skills, but I have a few others, too," she huffily replied. "So do you want my help or not?"
"Fine. Finey McFine. As long as Fred's ok with it," an exasperated Willow responded.
Fred nodded her head and muttered, "Oh yes. Not doing real good here at the moment."
"So, what's the plan?" the ex-demon excitedly asked.
"No plan. We were just going to talk to her," Tara replied.
"So, you're just going to walk into the café and demand this woman show her lesbo street creds?" Anya challenged.
"Well, no " Willow demurred.
"Because you know how responsive people are when a stranger comes up to them and asks them about their potential orgasm buddies. Believe me, I know. Not very responsive," the ex-demon needlessly lectured.
"Do you have a plan, Anya?" Fred asked.
"Yes. Do you gals have your cell phones?" the confident ex-demon replied.
The women silently nodded, apprehensive about Anya's plans.
"Good. Because we are going on a mission to find out whether a certain young woman wishes to share her orgasms with Fred," the ex-demon announced delightedly.
The café was a few blocks away from the Magic shop. The group strolled slowly as Anya discussed the different aspects of the mission with a military air. She informed everyone that Fred would ignore the presence of her friends and that discrete communication would be maintained via conference calls on their cell phones.
At first, the plan appeared harmless enough. However, midway through Anya's plan, a crimson flush crept across both Tara and Willow's features at the thought of what the ex-demon had in mind, but they acquiesced to help their friend. Not until Anya reached the final phase of her plan did protests erupt among the women.
"Nooo. No way. I can't do that Anya," Fred paled at the thought of approaching the woman in the café.
"Fine. What about you?" the ex-vengeance demon looked at Willow.
Panicked, the redhead grappled for a coherent thought, "Uh, um ... various sounds of hesitation..."
Before Willow was able to voice her objection, Tara stood in front of her, partially shielding her from the ex-demon and firmly replied, "No." In a single word, the blonde conveyed with absolute clarity the rejection of this idea.
Anticipating the ex-demon's next thought, the redhead shifted her position to stand in front of her girlfriend, "Oh, frilly heck no. There is no way Tara is going to flirt with that woman."
"Alright! I can see where the entrails end. I will be the one who flirts with this woman. Xander won't mind. Actually, he might want to watch. Do you think I have time to call and invite him?" the ex-demon asked with a leer.
"NO!" all three women vehemently chorused.
Pouting, the ex-demon capitulated.
When they passed the Espresso Pump, all three women prepared themselves by slipping their earbuds in place and setting their phones to vibrate. Bells tinkled as the women staggered their arrivals at the café. Tara and Willow chose a small intimate table in the middle of the establishment. Pulling out her cell phone, the redhead entered in Anya's speed dial code. The ex-demon sat at a table off to the side and against a wall, pulled out a small notebook from her purse, and answered her call. After connecting with Anya, Willow made a call to Fred. The brunette just slid into a booth when she answered her phone. Anya, seeing the nod from the redhead, placed her call to Tara's phone.
"Raia is in the kitchen area. Black hair. Brown eyes," Fred whispered into her phone mic.
The redhead looked up, catching the young woman's warm smile at the newcomers. Her almost almond-shaped eyes sparkled. "Very nice," she complimented Fred. "It's the cute girl with black hair," Willow whispered to Tara.
Hearing Fred's description of the woman, Anya furtively glanced up and cheered, "Go you, Fred," while she scribbled in her notebook.
Willow scrutinized the young woman in the kitchen and whispered in her mic while Tara listened, "Dress is casual. Can go either way. Can you see her nails, Anya?"
"Short, well kept. But, she's working in a kitchen," Anya replied, scribbling more notes down, "Not enough visual info. I think we need to move on."
Tara and Willow blushed. They looked at one another, waiting for Anya's signal.
"Now," both heard the cue and lunged for one another in a passionate kiss. Willow wrapped her arms around her girlfriend's neck. She pulled the blonde closer to deepen their kiss. Tara softly groaned as a warm tongue slid against hers. Her hands wandered up to caress Willow's face.
When she heard gasps from the customers, Raia looked up to see two attractive women making out in the middle of the café. Nearly everyone was intently gawking at the couple. She dropped her gaze, wanting to give the women some privacy although it appeared that privacy was not a main concern of theirs at the moment.
"Abort," Anya whispered in her mic, her frustration obvious in her voice. She jotted some notes down before implementing the final phase of the plan.
Pulling apart, the red-faced Wiccans were breathless. Eyes dialated, the blonde gazed at her flushed girlfriend as a rush of adrenaline coursed through her body, intensifying her excitement. The redhead was dazed by the experience, but she was still able to recognize the intense arousal flashing across her girlfriend's features. Temporarily forgetting why they were in the café, the women were reminded by Anya's voice in their ears.
"I'm going in," the ex-demon declared and hung up her cell phone.
"This is it, Fred," Willow softly spoke to the brunette.
Fred was still stunned by her friends' display but forced her eyes away from the couple to watch the ex-demon approach Raia.
Looking up from the food that she was preparing, the raven-haired woman smiled at the stranger ambling towards her.
"Do you ever crave artichokes?" the stranger inquired, pointedly fixing her gaze on Raia. The stranger continued without waiting for an answer, her voice lowered conspiratorially, "I'm in the mood for artichokes. I just like the texture of the tender leaves scraping lightly against my teeth as I work my way into the heart. Do you happen to have any artichokes I could try?"
"We have a pretty good artichoke dip appetizer, but it's made with only the chopped hearts and served with half a baguette," Raia replied politely.
"I'm normally a baguette girl myself, but I just want artichokes at the moment. Um, nothing else?" she asked plaintively, her eyes probing.
"No. I'm sorry. It's the only dish we have," the raven-haired woman calmly explained as she lowered her eyes, signaling the end of the conversation.
"Oh," the ex-demon replied disappointedly, walking away from the woman.
When Anya turned around, the defeated look on her face conveyed to everyone that the mission had terminated unsuccessfully. The women staggered their departures from the café. Fred was the last to depart, looking over her shoulder at Raia before making her way outside.
Gathered on the street corner away from the café's windows, the group recounted the events of the mission.
Notebook in hand, Anya expounded on her notations, "It's just too ambiguous. Nothing about the way she looked or moved suggested that she might be gay--or straight for that matter. When she saw you two kissing, she didn't react negatively, but she didn't stare either. And, she just flat out ignored all of my flirting. What lesbian in her right mind rejects an offer to share artichokes?"
"A lesbian not interested in your produce," Tara ribbed. "Gaydar is a myth. We still don't know whether Raia is interested in Fred," she remarked.
"I never said it was an exact science. It's just a feeling," Willow rejoined.
"Well, what is your 'feeling' about Raia?" Tara asked.
Before Willow could answer, the raven haired woman came out of the café, searching up and down the block.
Locating Fred, Raia smiled and headed toward her. She was somewhat nonplussed that the stranger who had just hit on her and the couple who were making out in the café were talking with the brunette. Ignoring the people around the shy girl who had piqued her interest, she walked up to Fred.
"Before I lose my nerve again, I just wanted to know if maybe you might want to go out for some coffee?" she bit her lower lip, watching Fred's face for any discomfort caused by her offer.
Fred lit up at the invitation. In a slight Texan drawl, she replied excitedly, "I'd love to have coffee with ya'll."
Raia was surprised that she never noticed her Texan drawl before now. "Tomorrow at noon, ok?" she asked.
Beaming, Fred nodded. Her vocal chords stopped responding to any neural commands to form sounds.
"Meet me here," she said quietly and grinned, looking up at the nearby storefront, the Espresso Pump, and drawing Fred's gaze to follow.
Raia backed away as she smiled and returned to her job at the café.
"I knew it!" the redhead whooped gleefully.
Tara snorted, rolling her eyes at her girlfriend.
During breakfast the next day, Tara noticed her girlfriend's pensive expression and asked, "Whatcha thinking?"
Willow smiled cryptically and replied innocently, "Uh, not thinking. Just having a lot of happy non-thoughts."
"Uh huh. Why do I think you have something planned?" the blonde asked skeptically.
With a mischievous glint in her green eyes, she replied, "Maybe I do. But, it's a surprise."
"I thought you hated surprises," Tara responded, wondering what her girlfriend had planned.
"Nooo. I love surprises when they're for you," Willow replied, adding facetiously, "Surprises in my hot dogs not so much."
Holding Tara's hand, Willow led her to a shady spot under a blue oak tree. She spread out a blanket and placed the wicker basket down. "Whad'ya think?" the redhead asked excitedly.
Tara surveyed the smattering of trees across the grassy meadow that was interspersed with clusters of orange and yellow poppies. Her unwavering blue eyes held her girlfriend's before she replied, "Beautiful," making the redhead blush.
With the remains of their picnic piled near the wicker basket, Willow leaned back against a tree, wrapping her arms around Tara, who sat between her outstretched legs. The blonde rested comfortably in her arms. Feeling a chill breeze, Tara reached over to grab the extra blanket, draping it around the both of them before settling back into her girlfriend's arms.
"This is wonderful," Tara murmured contentedly, turning her head to capture her girlfriend's lips.
"Mm," the redhead agreed. She brushed her tongue along the blonde's lower lip, alternating between soft nips and soothing strokes. Tara parted her lips as a warm tongue slipped into her mouth and slid across hers. Groaning, she rubbed the tip of her tongue along the soft underside of Willow's before she enclosed her lips around it and sucked gently. Exhaling raggedly, Willow's hands wandered, starting from the blonde's shoulders, down her arms to her fingertips, and back up her shoulders.
"Hm. That feels nice," Tara sighed, breaking their kiss as she pressed her warm lips along Willow's jawline.
"You feel nice," purred Willow.
Tara recognized what the husky tone in her girlfriend's voice intimated. "There are people passing by in the distance," she said nervously.
The redhead bent her head to nuzzle and kiss the side of Tara's neck. Working her way up to the blonde's earlobe, she nipped the flesh and laved it with her tongue. She paused to speak softly in her girlfriend's ear, "True. But, we're under this blanket, and we're far enough away that we just look like a speck to them."
Willow moved her left hand upward. Her fingertips traced the side of Tara's breast over the spaghetti strap top, eliciting another groan from the blonde. The other traveled to caress Tara's shoulder and brushed the blonde hair away from her neck before traveling down her arm and lightly touching the side of her other breast. The blonde drew in a hitched breath. Her hands reached for the redhead's splayed thighs, gripping them almost painfully. Willow placed light kisses along the nape of her neck. The contact of wet warm lips sent a shiver down the blonde's back, causing her to arch. "Willow," she whimpered, as her hands flexed on the redhead's thighs.
Fingertips coasted lightly across Tara's nipple, earning a gasp in response. "Uh huh," she murmured, nuzzling the blonde's ear and running her tongue along the curved edges before she suckled on the lobe.
"I can't reach you, if I'm facing in this direction," the flustered blonde complained.
With deep throaty chuckle, the redhead whispered in her ear, "I like the way you're facing."
"Oh " she suspired; her already pounding heartbeat redoubled.
Tickling the blonde's ear with her warm breath, Willow softly spoke, "I saw how our display at the café aroused you." She lowered her head to suck on the pulse point below Tara's ear.
"Ah " Tara moaned from the combination of the memory and caresses, eliciting a rush of wetness.
"So, this " Willow's hand slid down to shallowly dip inside of Tara's jeans briefly before resting her palm on the coarse fabric on her hip, "is your surprise," the redhead murmured seductively, drawing shivers from her girlfriend.
Desire flooded through Tara's body. The blonde turned her head, locking her darkened blue gaze with Willow's. No longer capable of speech, she pressed her lips against the redhead's, exploring the warmth of her mouth and drawing the redhead's tongue into hers. Breaking the kiss, Tara leaned into the redhead, slowly rubbing her back across Willow's chest. Feeling the redhead's nipples harden under her motions, she dragged her nails up the tops of Willow's thighs. Resigning to her constrained movements, she relayed a silent promise as she shifted her hips, grinding her backside into Willow's center and drawing a whimper from her.
The redhead grazed her teeth along the blonde's shoulder muscles. Willow's hands slid under Tara's top, massaging up to her breasts. She stroked the undersides of the blonde's breasts, enjoying their weight in her palms. Her fingers fanned upwards across the coral nipples as they pebbled in response, provoking her girlfriend to arch and push her breasts into Willow's teasing hands. Rolling the puckered nipples between her thumbs and fingers, the redhead pulled firmly. She sucked hard on the side of Tara's neck, her labored breaths skimming across the surface of Tara's throat.
Sensations tore through Tara's body. Her whimpers turned to guttural moans. Every touch from Willow heightened the throbbing between her legs. Her hips slowly rocked to and fro, searching to release the pressure.
Willow's hands drifted downward as she sensed Tara's urgency. Idly running her fingers along the fasteners of Tara's jeans for a moment, she slowing lowered the zipper with one hand while releasing the catch with the other. With an audible groan, the redhead slid her hand inside the blonde's jeans, feeling the moisture soaking through soft cotton fabric of her underwear. Gliding under the last barrier of clothing, Willow's fingertips brushed the damp, wiry curls before sliding farther down. Tremors rippled through the redhead's body as Tara's arousal coated her fingers.
Tara tilted her hips, guiding where she wanted Willow's touch. Gasping, the blonde tried to stifle her moan as sliding fingers traced a path around her clit. She shivered as Willow teased her nipple, each tug sending another rush of wetness. She felt the redhead's warm quick breath against her ear, nearly matching her own labored breathing. Tara trembled as Willow rhythmically stroked her clit as the tension in her body coiled tightly. Arching rigidly, her unfurling orgasm ripped through Tara's quivering body. Her throat burned as she held in her scream. Anchored by the redhead's arms holding her, she collapsed against Willow.
Willow placed calming kisses on her temple, waiting for Tara's breathing to slow. "Alright?" the redhead whispered softly in Tara's ear, hugging the blonde woman close to her chest.
"Yes. Just intense," the blonde replied hoarsely.
"Enjoy?" the redhead inquired.
"Immensely," Tara answered throatily, curling herself into Willow's warmth. Drawing circular patterns on Willow's hand, she asked, "Curious?"
"Maybe," Willow responded, her ambivalent reply belying the desire in her tone.
Turning in Willow's arms, Tara pressed her lips briefly to Willow's, trapping the redhead's lower lip with her teeth and flicking it once with her tongue. With a devilish gleam in her eyes, the blonde flashed an impish grin while she crawled down the redhead's body to fulfill her earlier promise, silently slipping under the blanket.
The next day, Willow and Tara sat together in the kitchen, discussing the events at the café while they sipped on their cooling coffees. With no rain of toads or intentional armageddons in sight, the day boded well.
"So, what does it feel like when your gaydar goes off?" the curious blonde asked.
Willow replied in an adorable singsong voice, "It's like a mild tingle in my tummy."
Charmed by her girlfriend's cuteness, Tara placed her hand on the redhead's stomach, rubbing in small concentric circles. "Tummy tingles?" she repeated.
Willow inhaled sharply. In a slightly strained voice that was half an octave higher than usual, she replied, "Uh huh. But that's giving me more of, um, a surge, definitely not a tingle."
Enjoying her effect on the redhead, she gave a half-smile before she leaned in for a quick kiss.
"I'm telling you, the tingle was there every time Raia looked at Fred," the redhead claimed.
"I don't know " although the blonde was certain of her girlfriend's acute observational skills, she was still doubtful about the accuracy of Willow's interpretations.
"Ok. I can see that I'm not gonna convince you this way," the redhead ceded with a sigh. As soon as the words left her mouth, she was suddenly struck by inspiration.
Noticing the change in her girlfriend's demeanor, Tara suspected ideas were coalescing behind those intelligent green eyes. "Ok, give. What are you planning?" she inquired.
Distracted from her thoughts by her girlfriend's question, the redhead asked, "How do you do that?"
"Magic," the blonde quipped.
Smirking, Willow responded, "Exactly what I had in mind."
The confusion on her girlfriend's face prompted Willow to continue, "Have you heard of the docruempath spell?"
Tara thought for a moment. When the relevance of the spell dawned on her, she answered smiling, "Yes it's for Wiccan couples who are at an impasse. It's to help one person understand the experiences of the other by switching their essences for a day." With a glint in her blue eyes, she added, "You know, I love it when you do the brain thing. It almost justifies your quirky colored pen fetish." To dispel the redhead's small pout caused by her teasing, Tara assuaged her girlfriend with a kiss, nibbling lightly on her lower lip.
They gathered the ingredients together and cleared a space in the living room. They sat facing one another after they lit a brown candle. With one hand, they sprinkled chickweed into the other's cupped palm, encasing the herb between their hands. Closing their eyes, they recited the spell. A blue glow emanated from one joined hand that traveled along the arm of one woman, through her body, and out to the other, creating a circuit.
Tara felt light-headed as she concentrated on maintaining her deep, steady breaths. A soft tugging sensation was drawing her away from her body. At first, she was unsure whether the spell had worked, but as she opened her eyes, she discovered her body sitting across from her.
Tara called out, "Willow, are you ok?" The question sounded strange to Tara's ears because it was asked in Willow's voice.
"Yes, I'm fine. It just took me a little while to orient myself," Willow responded in Tara's voice. Furrowing brows in contemplation, she rhetorically asked, "Did my voice just ask me whether I was ok?"
Tara stifled her amusement at her girlfriend's attempt to wrap her head around the absurdity of that question, suppressing some of the giggles that poured from her.
Willow smiled as she watched herself laughing. A strange sensation rushed through her new body. She found herself mentally grappling against impulses to reach out and touch the body in front of her. Shocked, Willow remarked, "Whoa. Impulsive much?"
Tara smirked. She knew what Willow was feeling. Keeping herself from pouncing on the redhead was something she dealt with everyday. What she didn't know was Willow's reaction to her longing. Responding to the blue gaze, small electric currents raced through every nerve ending and zeroed in on a centralized location of the redhead's body. Mirthfully laughing, Tara retorted, "I wouldn't talk. Horny much?"
Willow lowered her gaze, embarrassed by Tara's awareness of her body's visceral reactions. Tara discerned her discomfort and reached out to caress her chin, nudging Willow's gaze back up before she softly spoke, "Never be ashamed of what you feel for me. I never am."
Nodding, Willow absorbed the sentiment behind her girlfriend's words and leaned forward to place a small kiss on her lips. The effect was instantaneous and potent, sending heady impulses through Willow's new body as she quickly pulled away.
"I think we need to spend the day apart," Willow suggested with a tremor in her voice, "I'm, uh, I'm finding it difficult not to touch you, uh, me."
Reining in her own amorous inclinations, Tara squeaked, "I agree."
Wandering past shops, Tara spotted Xander walking toward her on his way to work. Upon seeing Willow's oldest friend, a pleasantly warm sensation flowed through her new body. Tara was loath to lie to him, but she also dreaded the idea of spending the rest of the day explaining why she was currently possessing Willow's body. The last thing she wanted was to trigger hyena flashbacks for him.
Hoping Xander hadn't noticed her, she quickly ducked into the nearest shop. To her dismay, Tara found herself in a couture store. Her first instinct was to bolt, but she resolved to remain there until the coast was clear.
"Willow? What on earth are you doing here?" Cordelia haughtily demanded.
Tara cringed. A chill spread throughout her, erasing her earlier experience of warmth. Praying for a small apocalypse to distract the discourteous brunette, she replied as casually as possible, "Uh nothing. Just, um, browsing."
"Are you sacrificing your tragic fashion sense? Did you run out of goats?" the ex-cheerleader sarcastically asked.
Incensed at the brunette's unprovoked attack on her girlfriend, she retorted, "Cordelia, your mouth is open and sound is coming from it. That is never good." In the corner of her eye, Tara descried Xander as he walked past the shop. "Let's reschedule this vapid tête-à-tête. How does 2pm next never work for you?" she vented her riposte. Without waiting for a reply, Tara turned her back on a gaping Cordelia.
Leaving the store, Tara caught a glimpse of a familiar blonde woman walking by toward the corner deli. A strange tingle radiated from her stomach. 'No way,' she thought.
She recalled her prior encounters of the day, and she was certain she hadn't felt this strange sensation before now with any of the other people. The unexpected tingle sparked Tara's curiosity. She followed the familiar woman at a distance, observing the blonde greet a brunette already seated at a table. The tingling intensified briefly when the familiar blonde covered her female companion's hands with her own and leaned close to say something, which elicited a blush from the brunette.
Astonished at her discoveries, Tara mused, 'Huh. Willow wasn't imagining her gaydar. Who knew Buffy would resolve this argument?'
Back in their bedroom, Willow and Tara lay on their bed, staring at the ceiling and discussing the day's bizarre events.
"It was strange being Tara for a day," Willow pondered out loud.
Desiring to elicit details about Willow's day, Tara inquired, "How so?"
In nearly epigrammatic proportions, Willow averred, "You've got moodar."
"I can sense cows?" Tara asked, feigning innocence.
Ignoring her girlfriend's deliberately obtuse response, Willow elaborated, "No, you can sense people's moods. Every time someone spoke to me, uh, you, there was a brief moment where your body mirrored their mood. It was like a small echo of their emotions. Is that how you do it?"
Tara reflected on the question for a moment and replied with a shrug, "I've never really thought about how I do it. I mean I just can gauge how they are feeling when I talk to them."
"So, how about you? Any gaydar alerts?" Willow asked with piqued interest.
"As a matter of fact, there was one," Tara replied nonchalantly.
At her girlfriend's acknowledgement of her gaydar, Willow failed at her attempt to refrain her smug smile. Curious, she pressed, "Anyone I know?"
"Yes. Now that I've gotten over the shock of it, I'm wondering why you never mentioned anything to me about Buffy," Tara admonished.
Willow replied candidly, "Well, it's never come up, and she's never said anything to me. She's been in many different types of relationships. As far as I know, all men. Some were vampires, some not. I just know that there was one guy who was a lesbian."
"I was just a little surprised " her voice suddenly trailed off, as her brain finally grasped the last part of Willow's statement. Startled, she asked, "Wait. What? Who? Male lesbian?"
"Riley," Willow simply stated.
Pausing for a moment to absorb the befuddling information, Tara replied knowingly, "Oooh."
"Well, Buffy was out on a lunch date with Faith today," Tara revealed, discussing the details of her gaydar experience.
"Faith? The I'm-gonna-introduce-the-business-end-of -Mr.-Pointy-into-that-evil-skank-for-hitting-on-my-Angel Faith?" Willow asked in disbelief.
"Uh huh," Tara confirmed.
Refraining from the persistent urge to resume the crash position, Willow acknowledged the perturbing information for a minute, uttering sedately, "Aaah."
As the exhaustion from the day's discoveries began to take its toll, Tara sighed, "I'm tired."
"Yeah, me too," Willow replied, yawning.
"After we switch back tomorrow, we splurge on us time." Tara suggested drowsily, snuggling up to Willow.
"I think I can be persuaded," Willow replied, drawing her girlfriend closer as they both drifted into a peaceful sleep.
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