Willow giggled hysterically at Becca's hilarious imitation of their rather anal boss as Becca drove home through the bustling and lively Old City section of Philadelphia. Sometimes the English woman had the tendency to totally drive her mad but there were times when she knew just what to do to ease her mind.
"You know, luv," Becca drawled lazily. "This whole 'stuffy supervisor' bit is starting to be too much old hat for you. That could be a problem, " she finished with a smirk.
"Well I don't see you complaining when I get Cole off your back for being snippy with him," Willow huffed, a slight pout on her slightly tanned face.
"Now I'm not saying that the whole routine doesn't come in handy," her friend commented. "But frankly, dear, you're losing your edge. Missing a certain someone has made you a tad testy lately and, if I may be so bold, it's getting you off your game." Becca's right eyebrow quirked up in concern.
The redhead sighed in defeat, knowing that Becca obviously was up to something. "Ok, ok, I give. What should I do?"
Her friend smiled a wide, toothy grin. "Well now," she smirked, cranking up the music that had been playing softly in the background. "Now that you ask, I think it's time you cut loose."
Willow snorted in derision. "And just how am I supposed to do that?"
"Watch and learn, Grasshoppa." Becca veered off Chestnut Street and headed toward Independence Mall.
"Umm, Bec. What're we doing?'
"Getting our feet wet," she chuckled.
She pulled up to the front of the large fountain that graced the park across from the Liberty Bell Pavilion, managing to dodge flying bicycle messengers and lumbering tourist trolleys in the process. Twangy, vibrant country music poured out the small car, causing more than a few heads to turn their way.
"Oooh Bec, I don't know about this. Isn't this a tow-away zone?"
"Aw c'mon, live a little, Red... time to walk on water."
She grabbed Willow by the hand and hauled her out of the car, skipping lightly past onlookers and bathing suited children to the ledge of the fountain. She let go of Willow's hand and cannonballed herself into the water, earning excited squeals from the children within.
Willow just stared after her in abject horror, knowing that she'd be expected to play along.
"Come ON, Will, come play!" Becca jumped out of the water, spraying the redhead in the process. "Dance with me and just... let... GO!" and with that she tossed Willow into the cool water.
She came up sputtering, her face as dark red as her now soaked hair. "Wha- what in the world are you doing?" she gasped.
"Trying to get you to live a little, Willow," her friend said in a more serious tone, concern showing openly on her pretty face. "How long has it been since you laughed? Since you smiled? I know Tara has been gone for quite a bit now but for heaven's sake, dear. She'd want you to be in better shape than this." Just then, the music that had been blaring out of Becca's car speakers changed to another song. Her eyes lit up suddenly, her lips pouted into a little O. "Oooh I love this one. Come on Will, let's see if there's a bit of an exhibitionist in ye."
She pulled the still-dripping redhead out of the water and began dancing around the children, hand curled around an "air microphone" singing along with the song.
I have always been a little shy
Willow couldn't help but notice that her friend's joie de vivre was terribly infectious. She found herself bopping along to the bouncy tune and feeling lighter than she had in months. The song made her think of Tara and her girlfriend's smiling eyes appeared in her head, warm and loving. Next thing she knew, she'd hopped onto the stone lip of the fountain and started singing as well.
You keep bringing out the free in me
As the last notes of music died away, Willow could hear sporadic claps around the crowd, with Becca clapping the loudest.
"That's it!" she exclaimed. "That's the ticket! Now, I think it's time I take you home to get dry before you catch a fever and hallucinate that you're an American Idol contestant." Her eyes softened for a moment. "God Will, I wish Tara could've seen you. She's a lucky girl, no doubt."
The hacker was shocked to the core. She'd never had the opportunity to see Rebecca, the person; she mostly just got to see Becca, her office mate or Becca the party girl. This... well this seemed so uncharacteristic that she had no idea if her friend was being serious or making fun. Willow didn't trust herself not to ruin this unguarded moment so she simply nodded.
"I'm actually the lucky one, but thanks for saying that."
The Brit narrowed her hazel eyes slightly, as if she'd been daydreaming. "Yeah well, don't get all soft on me, Red. A girl's got a reputation to maintain after all, eh?" She wrapped a slender arm around Willow's shoulder and tugged her towards her car. "Time to go, sweets," she said, pointing at one of Philadelphia's finest, a rather testy policewoman who glared at them and tapped her nightstick impatiently on the ground.
"Why is it that every time I hang out with you, I get into trouble?" Willow murmured to no one in particular.
"Ahh, you love me. Admit it!"
"Heh, whuuutever. Take me home, will ya, Bec. I haven't checked my machine yet and I don't know if Tara got in yet."
"Anything for you, toots," Becca grinned. She tossed the lady cop a rather wicked grin, turned the key in the ignition and pulled out into the evening crush of traffic.