"Tara!!!" Willow yelled from the loft, "Have you seen my briefcase?" Tara shook her head, for someone who was usually so organised, Willow was having such a panic over this trip. "It's by the door sweetie, where it's been for the past two hours." She replied as she crossed her painting area and into Willow's office. "Calm down," she continued, kissing Willow tenderly on the forehead, "the trip will be fine and you'll be back in time to celebrate your birthday, just you and me." In the arms of her lover, Willow relaxed. "Did I pack my black suit?" she asked, a hint of panicked urgency tinting her voice.
"No, it's at the dry cleaners because you wanted it for the show on Saturday." Tara said, sighing deeply. "Now stop panicking and get your butt gone!" she finished with a giggle, slapping the firm buttocks of her girlfriend.
Laughing, both women made their way to the front door, picking up jackets and cases on the way. They drove to L.A International in near silence, Willow's nervousness about her trip making Tara even more nervous about her plan, although she wasn't she why. As they parked up and unpacked the car, Tara suppressed another giggle, "You're only going for three days!" she said as she dragged the large case from the boot and dropped in heavily on the ground. "I like to be prepared!" Willow told her, forcing a small pout.
After Willow had checked in, they sat on the uncomfortable seats and waited for the flight to be called. "I'm going to miss you so much." Willow said quietly as she rested her head on Tara's shoulder. She placed a kiss amidst the fiery locks, "I'm going to miss you too baby." Her hands stroking the small of Willow's back.
Over the loudspeaker a cheerful woman announced Willow's flight and Tara wrapped her in a bear hug, "You be good out there!" she said, tears suddenly stinging the corners of her eyes.
In the two years they had been together, they had never spent a day apart and three days suddenly felt like an eternity. Willow kissed her deeply, wiping the tears from Tara's eyes as she pulled back. "I love you." She said softly, kissing Tara once again. "I love you more." Tara replied as Willow turned to catch her flight. Flashing her a smile Willow said; "Not possible!" before disappearing into the crowd.
Tara returned to the house, her heart saddened slightly by her lovers absence. As she walked into the living area, Miss Kitty appeared, purring loudly and rubbing against Tara's legs, "Hey you." She said, scooping the cat into her arms and kissing her head fondly. She walked into the kitchen and set the cat down, pouring some food into her bowl before fixing herself a drink.
The phone cut into her thoughts and Tara jumped momentarily before crossing the wall and lifting the receiver. "Hello?" she asked politely. "Hey Tara, its Melissa." The ever cheerful tones of Willow's oldest friend filled her ears. "Hey Missy, you all set?" Tara asked, a smile lighting up her face. "Yeah, our flight was changed so we're coming in tonight." The woman told her, "Don't worry, we can get a hotel and meet up with you tomorrow if that's okay?" Tara shook her head before giggling, Willow loved the way she would gesture or nod or shake her head when on the phone even though the caller couldn't see the action. "Don't be silly, I'll pick you up tonight when I get Vince." Tara replied, her tone leaving no further argument. "If you're sure." Melissa said, "We're due in at 11.30" Tara noted down the flights details carefully on a pad of paper. "Ok, that's great, I'll see you tonight." Tara replied. As they said their good byes and hung up, Tara became overwhelmed with a mixture of excitement and fear. "So, we're really doing this." She said to Miss Kitty who had finished her food and had resumed her loving of Tara's leg.
Vince and Blaze were about 20 blocks from Willow's house, they had decided that Tara should get a surprise too so had opted to drive early. As the pulled up outside the perfectly manicured garden, Vince grinned, turning to his girlfriend her joked;" You think you can resist flirting with Tara this time?" she punched him in the arm, a grin curling the corners of her mouth. "You're so not even funny." She told him, getting out the car and making her way up the path to the front door. Vince leapt out the car and followed her, knocking loudly on the door and tapping his foot impatiently. On the other side, Tara frowned, she wasn't expecting anyone until much later and she was meant to be picking everyone up. Pulling open the door she stared in disbelief at her best friend, before she had a chance to say anything, he swept her up into his arms swinging her around. "Hey T," he said, "Got juicy sex details for me." Blaze followed them in and rolled her eyes. "You're disgusting Vince!" she said, pushing the door closed behind her. When Vince finally let Tara go she was laughing so hard she had tears rolling down her face. "What are you doing here already?" she asked through her laughter as she hugged Blaze. Vince adopted a look of hurt, "We can go away if you don't want to see us!" he said, a smile teasing his lips. Tara punched him in the arm and shook her head. "Don't be silly." She told him as sternly as was possible at the time. "Now sit yourselves down and I'll fix you something to eat." Vince beamed at her as he and Blaze sat themselves down on the couch.
"Hey Missy?" Chris called from the car, "Are you coming or what?" Melissa had told him that she would be out in five minutes, that was half an hour ago and still there was no sign of her. "I'm going without you in a minute." From the child seat in the back of the car, their 4 year old daughter giggled, "Mummy always makes us late!" she said. For her age she was incredibly smart, she was already reading books for 6year olds and was far too insightful for Chris' liking. He turned in the seat and smiled at his daughter. "Yes she does!" he replied, unable to hide the joy in his voice. "I'm hardly going to miss this!" Melissa told him as she dropped into the passenger seat. "We have plenty of time!" she finished, turning in her seat to make sure that Chelsea was strapped into her seat properly. "We had plenty of time a half hour ago!" Chris told her, starting the car and reversing out of the drive towards the home of his in laws.
"So, have you got everything?" Blaze was asking Tara. Vince had returned to the kitchen n search of more food, leaving the ladies to discuss the events of the coming days. Tara checked the items off in her head before nodding, "All except one!" she told her nervously. "The big one I assume?" Blaze knew that Tara always felt nervous making big decisions and this was the biggest one yet. Tara just nodded, "It has to be as perfect as Willow" she told her. The look on Blaze's faces confirming that that was going to be an impossible task.