Willow sat at the airport, a large and rather unpleasant man had followed her to the airport, through duty free and all the way to the gate. He was removed for the building when he had tried to grope a young tourist.
It seemed like she had been away from Tara for months, despite speaking to her everyday and sending countless emails, Willow had missed her terribly.
As her flight was called, Willow collected her hand luggage and headed for the gate, thankful to finally be going home.
Chaos reigned at Willow's home, Vince was having a drama because he had split his best trousers, Blaze had offered to sew them up for him and had accidently sewn one of the legs up. Melissa was trying to scrub red wine from the large rug in Willow's office. Tara had been in there trying to find the disc with the pictures of a paint coated Miss Kitty on, she had tripped over the cat and spilt the wine the previous evening. Chris had learnt that he was allergic to cats and had spent the past few days sneezing, scratching and wheezing.
In the midst of the chaos, Tara appeared to be the perfect picture of calm. The dramas everyone else seemed to be suffering kept her focused and gave her something else to think about.
She had thoroughly enjoyed meeting Melissa who had told her all the embarrassing stories of Willow in college, her wedding, and an event involving the two friends, a duct tape and a long boat. Melissa had laughed so hard that she couldn't give Tara any details, instead telling her to ask Willow to explain the story. "What time is Willow's flight due in?" Vince called, breaking the calm that Tara had been trying to maintain, the mention of her lovers name made her heart race at the best of time but today it was worse. She looked up at the clock before answering, "About f-five hours." She said as she began pacing slowly, the nervousness building in her stomach and making her queasy.
"It'll be fine!" Vince said, hugging Tara affectionately. She rested her head on his chest, "I know." She said trying to convince herself of this.
Willow's plane landed and she danced off the aircraft and down the gangway. She felt like a love sick teen, her hands were sweating, her heart racing and her stomach turning somersaults. As she emerged into 'arrivals' her eyes scanned the crowd for her beloved. She saw Tara almost immediately and rushed through the crowd. "Hey beautiful!" she said, dropping her luggage and wrapping Tara in a powerful hug before kissing her deeply. "I m-missed you so much baby." Tara said, cursing herself silently for allowing her stutter to make a reappearance. Thankfully, Willow didn't notice but kissed her again.
As they drove back to the house, Tara listened as Willow told her about all the galleries she'd managed to see and, briefly, how her meetings had gone.
Tara couldn't help but grin as she stopped the car in front of the house, she knew Willow would just burst with excitement at seeing her old friend again and she too was excited. "Why with the grinnage?" Willow asked once they'd got out of the car. Tara just shook her head and guided the red head up the path. As they walked onto the house, Miss Kitty was the first to greet them, meowing loudly and rubbing against Willow's legs. She picked up the kitten and scratched her head fondly, "I missed you too!" she said lovingly as the cat batted at her hair.
Vince, Chris and Blaze were hiding up in the loft, sneaking peaks down when they could and burying their heads in the huge floor cushions to cover their giggles. Tara took Willow's case into the bedroom, making a mental note to sort out the laundry on Monday. "Missy?" she whispered, Missy's head appearing from behind one of the huge drapes hanging at the window. "She's on the hunt for food!" Tara said, a grin spreading across her face as Melissa shook her head.
Together, they wandered back into the living area, getting the thumbs up from the spies in the sky they went into the kitchen. Tara popped her head around the door of the kitchen, the only Willow part visible was her rear as she rooted around the huge fridge. Tara waved Melissa in who waved the others down before venturing in. With the gang crowded into the doorway, Melissa wrapped her arms around Willow's waist. "Mmmm!" Willow purred, straightening up into the embrace. "Wanna go to bed?" Everyone bit their lips, trying not to burst out laughing. "I don't think Tara would be impressed!" Melissa said with a laugh. Willow spun round, her face a deep crimson. "Oh my god!!" she squealed almost knocking her best friend off her feet as she scooped her into a hug.
"What are you doing here? How did you? When? Why?" Willow had so many questions but none of them would form properly. Melissa grinned, aside from the friendship and support that Willow offered, she missed this. The inane and insane babblings that emerged from Willow when she was overly excited. "Well," she began, "It's not every day that my best friend turns 30 and with Tara's show it seemed like a great time to visit." Willow hugged her again, squeezing the oxygen from her friend's lungs in her excitement.
As Willow pulled away, she noticed Vince, Chris and Blaze in the doorway and her shrieking started again as she barrelled into the group.
When Willow had finally calmed down enough to speak she ran to Tara, "This is the best birthday present ever!!" she beamed. Behind her, the others smiled conspiratorially as the lovers kissed tenderly, evoking 'oooooh's' and 'aaahhhhhs' from the bystanders.