"And now, here we are." Willow concluded. It had taken most of the night for the group to catch up on their goings on over the past 12 years and now, they finally thought they were caught up. "I can't believe you're getting married...... and to a woman!" Xander said again, all night he had been staring at Willow and Tara and no doubt imagining what it was they got up to behind closed doors.
Both Willow and Tara rolled their eyes at him... again. "So," Buffy said, eager to break into Xander's thought before her started drooling once more. "Where are you staying?" Willow and Tara looked at each other, Willow had figured that they'd get a B+B or something but, for once, she had neglected to book it before their arrival. "Erm," Tara looked up at the clock. "Wow, it's late." she looked to Willow who looked just as alarmed about the rapidly diminishing hours. "Oh god, it's so late. I... We..... I" she began. Buffy took to her feet, "Well that's settled then, you'll stay here!" she told them as she collected up the pizza boxes and rubbish from the table. "Really, are you sure?" Willow asked as she reached for the glasses that punctuated the screwed up napkins. "W-we don't want to intrude." Tara added. Buffy grinned at them warmly, "It's no intrusion, I'd like you to stay." she said as she headed for the kitchen, "Besides, where else are you going to find that's free, clean, with friends and open at this hour of the night?" The group laughed as they carried their crockery into the kitchen.
On return to the lounge, Xander yawned and stretched. "Well ladies, I better be making moves." he said as he heaved himself off the floor and stretched again. "I gotta go to work in the morning." Hugging each woman on his way to the door, he pulled it open and turned back to grin once more at Willow and Tara. "Congratulations!" he said again before heading out into the night.
Willow tried to stifle her own yawn, the journey had been longer than she'd planned for and the heat on the freeway had tired her out, that and the emotional reunions of the day had proved to be more than enough. "You two can take my old room." Buffy said when she saw the tiredness creeping over Willow's features. "I'll get our bags." Tara said, rising slowly to her feet, "Keys please sweetie?" Willow looked up at her with heavy lidded eyes and dug around in her jeans pocket for the car keys. "Put the roof up please baby?" she asked as Tara headed for the car. Turning back, she smiled at the sleepy redhead and disappeared into the night.
"Are you happy?" Buffy asked suddenly, taking Willow by surprise and forcing her eyes open. "Happy?" she echoed, "All my life, I've never been happier. Not a day goes by when I'm not thankful for finding Tara." she told the Slayer. Buffy grinned at her, it was obvious from the emotion that poured from her friend that she had found true and everlasting love. Without another word, Buffy pulled the woman into her arms and hugged her. "That's what matters." she whispered.
Tara pushed the door open and saw the old friends in a hug, as they pulled back she could see Willows eyes were full and she wondered what could possibly have happened to make Willow tearful. "I'm back." she said simply, causing Willow to jump slightly. Buffy leapt from the coffee table, where she had been previously sitting and wrapped Tara in a hug similar to the one she had witnessed on her re-arrival. "Thank you." Buffy whispered into her ear as they hugged. "What for?" Tara replied, careful to keep her voice low, the confusion wrinkling her forehead. "Making Willow so very happy. I might not see or hear from her as often as I'd like, but I really worry about her!" Buffy told her, her words turning Tara's confusion into pure joy. As they pulled away from each other, they shared a knowing grin before Tara crossed the room to Willow. Taking her hand, she pulled the redhead into her arms and the pair followed Buffy upstairs where she guided them to their room, leaving their bags just inside the doorway. "Sweet dreams." Buffy said as she closed the door softly behind her.
Willow sat on the edge of the bed and kicked off her boots before fetching her bag and searching for her toothbrush. Tara had slipped out of her clothes and was padding around the room in her underwear when a soft knock broke the silence. "Can I come in; I forgot to leave you towels?" Buffy called. "Erm, hang on a sec." Tara replied, grabbing her nightshirt and throwing it over her head. "Ok."
Buffy slipped into the room and crossed to the desk, placing the towels down she smiled once more. "I left the bathroom door open so you don't have to search for it." she told Tara before leaving. Both women smiled their thanks as Buffy left. Willow had found her toothbrush and was heading for the door when Tara slipped back out of her nightshirt and then, slowly, her underwear. "Don't be long!" she purred to Willow as she slid the soft black panties down her legs suggestively. "Yes ma'am!" Willow replied with a wicked grin.
Tara crawled under the covers, the room was airy and reasonably cool but she still felt too warm so kicked all but a sheet to the foot of the bed. Willow reappeared minutes later and grinned at the sight before her. The sheet arranged to cover Tara but leave plenty of her body to see. She licked her lips as she dumped her wash things on the side before stepping out of her clothes and stretching. "It's disgusting how much I love you!" she giggled and crossed the room to slide into bed beside her fiancée. Tara smiled sweetly, her hand sliding up Willows naked back and caressing the soft skin at the nape of her neck. Willow moaned softly into the kiss that followed as her own hands mirrored Tara's perfectly. As they parted, Tara's smoky blue eyes swam with mischief and she leant in to kiss Willows neck, eliciting more giggles and moans from her. "We shouldn't, what about Buffy?" Willow said as Tara's lips continued kissing and occasionally nipping the sensitive flesh. "I could ask her to join us?" Tara said, pulling back to look Willow firmly in the eyes, her playful tone and mischievous grin lighting up her beautiful face. Willow erupted into fits of giggles which she tried desperately to hush with a pillow.
In her room, Buffy heard one of the ladies return to the room after using the bathroom and was trying hard to block out the sounds of giggling that were now emerging. Part of her wanted to be happy, the sounds of love and happiness that filled the house, warmed her heart and gave her hope, the other part was a little grossed out. Willow had been her best friend throughout high school and now, here she was in her house making out with another woman. Something about that thought made Buffy feel a little nauseous, it wasn't that Willow was in love with a woman that much she was sure of, it was that Willow was making out, period! "Some things I just don't need to know!" she whispered into the night before burying her head under the pillow and singing some random song in her head.
Wrapped up in Tara's arms, Willow felt safe, she knew the history of Sunnydale and that the things that went bump in the night were generally bad, but in Tara's arms she could forget all of it. The memories of her old life, of the geeky, unpopular girl she had been when she left, the struggles she'd had with her parents, and her sexuality, and the memories of Oz all faded away when she was in Tara's embrace. From behind her she could feel Tara's breath tickling her neck and she pressed back into the woman she loved, "Are you ok?" Tara whispered, Willow had given her reasons for not wanting to return to Sunnydale, but Tara couldn't help but think she had left some details out. "I'm always ok when I'm with you." Willow whispered, her eyelids drooping heavily as Tara kissed her neck softly. "I love you, Willow." she said between kisses, drawing another soft moan from her before sleep rapidly engulfed Willow.
Tara lay awake for a long while, watching her partner sleep was one of her guilty pleasures, a secret that she had never shared with anyone, even Willow. Absently she gently stroked the taut stomach of her lover as she watched her eyelids flicker, a clear indication that she was dreaming. Willow mumbled something into the darkness and Tara strained her ears to try and make out the words. Willow fidgeted, her head shaking from side to side as she continued dream talking. "No!" Willow mumbled, her arms pushing Tara's hand away as her fidgeting grew into something more like thrashing, "No, I can't!" she told the room, "I'm leaving, I have to be away."
Tara pulled back, suddenly cautious and unsure of what to do next. She knew that waking someone from a nightmare could often do more harm than good so she watched, hoping that Willow could either rouse herself or that she would escape from her dream torment. "The mayors a snake!" she said, her voice growing in volume and terror. Tara ducked under the flailing arms and wrapped herself around Willow, kissing her softly and whispering into the soft ear before her. "Willow, its ok baby, come back to me."
Willow thrashed under the touch. "No Oz!" she yelled before pushing Tara away and sitting bolt upright. Tara looked even more confused, Willow was coated in a fine layer of sweat, her breath shallow and rapid. "Willow?" she whispered making the redhead turn to look at her, tears forming in the corners of Willows eyes. "Are you ok?" Willow slumped back in the bed and snuggled close to Tara. "I'm sorry baby," she said, kissing the crinkled forehead of her stunned partner. "Bad dreams is all." she added a weak smile before kissing Tara once more and closing her eyes, vowing to tell Tara the entire story in the morning.
Buffy woke up sharply, "No Oz!" she realised immediately why it was that Willow didn't come back to Sunnydale on a regular basis.
After the incident at graduation when the mayor, Richard Wilkins III had transformed himself into a huge snake-like demon, Willow had made her announcement that she was leaving Sunnydale for good. Oz had taken the news badly and, for someone who was usually so placid and laid back, he went mad, yelling and shouting before he lost control and wolfed out. In his wolf state, he had attacked Willow. Luckily, Buffy had been close enough to intervene before he killed her, but she had been left with a large gash in her side that would defiantly have left an ugly scar. Being back in Sunnydale must have brought all the memories flooding back to Willow and Buffy wanted nothing more than to go in and comfort her friend but she resisted, knowing that Willow was safe in the arms of her lover. Buffy suddenly wondered how much Willow had told Tara about her time in Sunnydale. Would she know her true identity? Did she know about Oz? Buffy just wasn't sure but she promised herself she'd ask in the morning. She listened for a few more minutes and when she was sure that Willow had returned to sleep, she closed her eyes and allowed herself to be washed away in her own, more pleasant dreams.