Dr. Maclay, DVM

Author: Jennifer
Copyright (c) 2002 by Jennifer Johnson
Feedback: jennpurr@yahoo.com or willowtaralove@netzero.com. Please, give me feedback. Good or bad. Feel free to tell me what you think.
Disclaimers: All characters belong to Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy/UPN/FOX and whoever else owns the rights. This is solely for my entertainment. Please do not copyright this story. All original characters belong to me.
F/F romance: If the idea and depiction of a same sex relationship bothers you, please do not read this story.
Pairings: W/T eventually, X/A, G/Joyce, B, D
Spoilers: None
Angst Level: None
Summary: Willow is the Hospital Director of the Sunnydale Veterinary Clinic; Buffy is her Assistant Director. The Veterinarian at the clinic has left for work elsewhere, leaving a new Dr. to take his place.
Rating: PG to NC-17 (maybe)

My Thanks: To Danie. Thanks for being my beta/friend and for helping me out with all the suggestions. You truly are gifted for writing. I hope you continue to do so. And D, don't forget the catnip.

Dedication: To all the W/T fans. May we always keep Tara alive in our hearts.

Author's Notes: This story is absolutely AU. I may use some familiar dialogue throughout the story or mention things that may have happened on the show, but for the most part, the precipice of the fic comes from my imagination and former experience working with and growing up with animals. I hope you like this story and my way of having our girls meet up.

Additional Note: The ages of the Scoobies are around 25 years of age.

Story Note: Buffy has a daughter named, Brittany, whom carries the nickname of Breezy or Bre. I don't have kids, so hopefully I will do an okay job with writing Brittany's character. If anyone sees anything that is out of place or you don't agree with something, please let me know.

Story Note 2: Buffy IS the Slayer in this story. I'm going to try to stay as close to canon as possible. The only major addition is Brittany. Dawn may be mentioned a few times or given some dialogue, but I'm not really comfortable writing her, so you may not see much of her. Anya will probably be treated the same way. This story will mostly revolve around Willow and Tara AND Buffy, of course, since she works with Willow and is the Slayer. Joyce IS still alive and married to Giles. I just love the idea of them as a couple.

Story Note 3: I'll try to make the descriptions of the Veterinary clinic as clear as I can for you. It's much easier to actually see it in my head. I'm taking my experiences at the last clinic I worked at and placing it into this fic.
The clinic itself has an open concept to it. Instead of individual exam rooms, the exam tables/computers/work space is out in the open. Any customers, who come in, can see what's going on with the pets that are there to be seen.
There are two exam rooms in the front and an extra table w/computer incase a third is needed. It's setup behind the reception desk. In back of the exam room tables are five cabinets each. Mostly containing prescription medications.
To the right is exam room 3. To the left, exam room 2. Behind exam 3, there is a small refrigerator above the sink, which holds some of the vaccinations for the cats and dogs. To the right of it, start the cabinets.
On the counter top behind exam 3, are a microscope and some other testing machines.
Once you go through the door to the back, on the direct left, is a larger refrigerator. In it, there are more vaccinations and testing supplies. To the left of that, is the dryer. On the opposite wall, in front of the refrigerator is the washing machine.
To the right of the door, is another counter. On top of it, there is a machine called an Autoclave, which sterilizes the instruments used in surgery and for some other procedures. There is also a sink for washing your hands or washing the instruments after surgery.
When you walk further into the back, directly in front are rows of cages. The top row consists of medium sized cages, 3. The second row consists of smaller ones, 3; and the bottom row, has two large cages. Looking to the left, you will see the same set up. There is a door beside the second set of cages, which leads into an isolation room for ill pets that come in and need to be quarantined. Inside there are three rows: two medium cages on top, two smaller ones in the middle, and one extremely large cage on the bottom.
The room can also act as a dark room, if anyone is trying to use sensitive machines/gadgets to detect ultraviolet organisms. Mainly this would be used for the detection of ringworm, which with a certain light (black light), glows green.
From the main door to the back, once you pass the counter on the right, there is another computer to the side; above it are another five cabinets. In them are surgery supplies, anesthesia medications, gauze, IV catheters, syringes, alcohol, electric clippers for prepping animals for surgery, and there is also sterilizing solutions to spray on the prepped areas before the pets go into the surgery room.
If you look to the right of the computer, there is a smaller room, which serves as the surgery suite. The anesthesia/oxygen machines are hooked up in the corner of the suite, along with the other machines used for monitoring and lights.
To the left of the computer, is a sink used for various things. In back of the sink, and directly to the right, is the office. In the office, there is a door, which leads out of the clinic and to the outside. Or if you turn right, it will lead you into the Grooming Salon.
I think I have pretty much covered everything. If I missed anything, I'll be sure and give more detailed descriptions in the actual chapters. If you have any questions, comments, please feel free to ask them or tell them to me.
One more thing: The pet store/Grooming/Vet clinic is all in one building. If you were to look at the store from the street, you would see basically a pet store. On the outside of the building and to the right, you would see a door, above it the words: Grooming. The store building doesn't not have the words Vet clinic on it, but the sign by the street does, does that make sense? Just to clarify. If you get confused, let me know and I'll try to explain things better.

And on that note, please enjoy!

Willow pulled up into the parking lot, eyeing an empty space; she pulled in and parked her Ford F-250, pushing the emergency brake into place before removing her keys from the ignition.

After un-snapping her seat belt, she reached over and grabbed her small black backpack. Slipping her keys into the front pouch, she zipped it up and looped the bag over her arm and onto her shoulder.

Grabbing her briefcase and a yellow, modem computer wire, the redhead flipped the door lock down and walked into the pet store.

The door she went through was adjacent to the main facility entrance. It leads into the Grooming Salon, which was built in front of the Veterinary office. It was also a shorter walking distance to the Clinic then going through the main door would be.

Upon entry, Robyn, the grooming manager, greeted Willow. She was seated behind the front counter, confirming appointments for the afternoon.

"Hey, Willow," the brunette greeted the other woman cheerfully. Pushing her glasses back up onto her nose, she smiled at her.

"Hi, Robyn." Grumbling under her breath, the hacker pushed her bag back up onto her shoulder, as it was sliding down her arm. She looped her other arm through the free strap to keep it in place on her back.

Setting her briefcase and the modem wire up onto the top of the counter, she walked over to the small door that led into the back of the Salon. It was off to the right side and pushed open from the outside.

"Where's, Brownie?" Willow asked with a grin. As soon as the words left her mouth, two paws barely latched onto the top of the door and a nose poked over the rim, sniffing the air. "There you are," the redhead looked over the top of the door and down at the puppy. Its nub of a tail was wagging from side to side wildly, making his butt wiggle in the process.

When Brownie saw who was greeting him, he barked lightly. Pawing at the door, he started to lick the air with his tongue, trying his hardest to reach his friend's face.

Laughing softly, Willow reached over the door and picked up the squirming puppy.

Over-exciting himself, the pup left a tiny puddle of urine on the floor, his little bladder not having full control yet. He grunted happily and started to lick the girl's face.

"Happy to see me, handsome?" the hacker chuckled when her ear was suddenly bathed with happy kisses.

Brownie pushed with his back legs upwards and hooked his paws onto Willow's shoulders. Pulling himself up the rest of the way, he rested his chin on her shoulder. His tail was still wagging, although not as wildly as before.

"I missed you too, boy." Rubbing her fingers through the soft fur on his back, the redhead cooed at the puppy.

Robyn just shook her head, looking back down at her appointment sheet. "He sure does like you. You should take him home."

Holding her right hand up in protest, Willow disagreed. "Oh, no! My house is not puppy proof-able right now." She smiled and then added, "... But if it were, I would do it in a heartbeat. He's so cute." Hugging the puppy close, she kissed the back of his head.

The Australian Shepherd lifted his head and began to bath his friend's face in kisses again. He lifted his right paw and tried to paw at her face.

Intercepting the appendage, Willow kissed the top of the pup's head and then lifted him back over the door and put him down. "Go... go play," she shooed him away.

Brownie took off in a dash and slid across the floor. He lay down and picked up his rope toy in his mouth, chewing on it happily.

"I can't believe how big he is getting." Watching him play, the redhead remembered back to when the ball of fluff was big enough to fit in one hand. He was the smallest out of the litter, the other four puppies dominating his size.

Robyn had decided to keep him, hoping to maybe show him one day. She was optimistic though. He was growing more everyday, but he was still smaller then his other brothers and sisters. 'Oh well,' she had thought. 'If I can't show him, he'll just be a house dog.'

Interrupting Willow's train of thought, the groomer spoke. "The new Dr. seems nice."

Smiling, the younger woman looked away from the pup and to the brunette. "Really? Good... I was hoping she would be. I can't wait to meet her."

Robyn was somewhat taken aback by this. "You haven't met her yet? I thought you hired her?"

Walking back over to her stuff, she picked up her case and the wire and dropped her arms to her sides. "No, not yet. Dr. Washington interviewed and hired her. When she came by for the Hospital tour, I was away at a meeting."

Dr. Washington was the Clinic's owner. He currently lived in L.A. managing one of his other Hospital's, although he does stop in about once a month to check on business and things.

Nodding, the groomer understood. "I see. Well, she's nice, so I think you'll like her."

"Great," Willow smiled and walked over to the door to leave the Salon. "Well, I'm gonna head that way. I'll see you later."

"Have fun," Robyn said, grinning.

"I will." The redhead looked over the counter at the puppy, who was happily keeping himself entertained with his toy. "Bye, Brownie," she cooed.

Hearing his name, he looked up, his rope still in his mouth. Brownie tried to bark through the material, but it only came out as a muffle.

Laughing, Willow pushed the door open and left the room, heading for the Clinic.

Willow paused to look at the puppy one more time through the glass of the window, just to the right, outside of the entrance to the Veterinary Clinic.

The Grooming facility, being encased in a long rectangle of windows, was designed as such so customers could look in and watch their pets or other people's pets, while they were groomed and pampered.

The Clinic and Salon were both housed inside of a Pet Store, which was large enough to be quite comfortable, as a home to the other two occupants. It was more or less advantageous this way. Customers could go into the store to buy their pet supplies and discover the Pet Clinic or Salon and bring in even more business if they decided to use one or the other or both.

The window Willow stood at now, made up the end of the rectangle, connecting the panes of glass. She had turned her head to the right when she heard a noise, but was startled when Brownie let out a loud yap to remind her of his presence.

Looking back in at him, he laid his head down on his paws, his stubby tail moving back and forth. It made his whole body move with its fierceness.

Tapping the glass, the redhead watched as he barked again, making Robyn look away from her task at hand and over to him.

Smiling, the groomer gave a small wave when she saw who had her puppy excited.

Chuckling softly, Willow turned away and walked through the open entrance to the Vet. The buzzer on the left wall beeped to alert her presence. The sound came from a small black box anchored to the wall, to aid in the alert of customers, if you didn't happen to be right there to greet them. <>The redhead cursed the device, inwardly for its noise. Even though it was a good thing to have, that didn't make it all the less annoying.

Hearing Buffy's voice, she smiled.

Walking ahead, she passed the reception desk, throwing a smile at her best friend who was currently on the phone talking to someone.

Once you walked into the facility, the reception desk was one of the first things that greeted you. It was tall in size; the top of the counter reaching up to the top of your chest, while standing in front of it.

To the left, against the wall, in front of the front desk, was a scale to weigh the pets on. Occasionally it served as a convenience for the clients or employees as well, if they wanted to weigh themselves. And to the right of it, if you are facing the scale, was the start of two benches for the customers to sit on. The second sat adjacent to the first, against the opposite wall, so it looked much like the top of a triangle.

The two benches were mostly enough, but on those busy days, sometimes metal folding chairs had to be brought out from the back of the Clinic. It was a somewhat rare occurrence, but it did happen.

Rounding the corner of the reception desk, Willow walked past the printer on her right, resting on another short desk. It was much like that of the front desk, except it was shorter and smaller in size. Pushed up against it, was another small table like the one the printer sat on. On top of it was an appointment book.

There was another desk about a foot away from it, pushed up against the wall, on the right side. The computer screen faced the front of the clinic and was encased in an open area that looked like a box. The table connected to it, to the left, served as an exam table if needed.

She walked around to the back of the counter, looking out into the store from the door to the clinic. Setting her briefcase down and unhooking her arms from the straps of her bag on her back, she placed them both down on the floor, modem wire still in hand, the redhead waited for the Slayer to get off the phone.

"Okay, Mrs. Morgan, we'll see you tomorrow morning at 7:30 A.M. ... Have a nice afternoon. Bye." Buffy set the receiver back into its cradle and finished typing in some notes on a patients file into the computer; having saved them, she turned towards Willow and greeted her.

"Hey, Will," she said, smiling.

"Hey, Buffy. Surgery for tomorrow?"

The blonde confirmed the question with a nod.

"That computer still giving you trouble?" The hacker looked at her briefly, before looking back to the screen of the computer. Running her finger over the mouse pad on the keyboard, she exited out of the current file and went to the main windows screen, double clicking on the MSN icon.

"Yeah, it's been acting kinda wonky all day. It'll start to dial up, then give you an error message." They watched intently as it started to dial up to the Internet service, but just before it made a connection, a little box popped up. "See. Just like the one it gave you now." Letting out a sigh, Buffy scrunched up her nose at the machine. "Stupid junk."

"Buff, it's probably just the modem wire. I bought a new one today. See?" Willow brought her left hand up into the air and showed the other girl the new wire. "I'll just replace it and see if that works. Is the new software being, "Stupid junk," too?"

The Slayer smiled and stuck her tongue out at the other girl. "Mock my insults." Making an over exaggerated sigh, she said, "And yes... it's being stupid, too."

"I think Corporate's almighty, genius new software needs the kinks worked out." Rolling her eyes, her opinion was quite clear. She clearly wasn't impressed. "Why don't you go ahead and take down the other computers and we'll reboot the whole software. Take down the ones in the back too, including the office." The hospital director knelt down on her knees, placing the wire onto the top of the desk and crawled into the open space below the system.

"Sure thing, boss." The blonde mock saluted the other girl and turned toward the back, taking time to take down the three other computers in use.

The exam room machines were acting fine, but the system used for printing out labels for the medications, which was setup on the back counter to the left of the room beside the door, leading into the back of the clinic, had been acting up as well.

Buffy shut it down and then went through the door to the back, letting it shut behind her.

Willow went to work, unplugging the computer and trying to remove the old modem wire. When it wouldn't come out, she mumbled under her breath. Giving it another pull, she pulled too hard and hit her hand on the side of the wall.

"Ow!" Shaking her hand and rubbing her injured flesh, she glared at the culprit. "Dumb wall." Giving it a final death glare, she went back to the wire that was currently giving her grief.

The hacker gave it another attempt and was finally able to pull it free. "'Bout time."

Throwing the old wire behind her, she heard someone come behind the counter. Turning her head slightly, she called out behind her. "Hey Buff, can you hand me that wire on top of the desk? Please?"

Glancing at the voice briefly, the blonde turned around and found the wire she was talking about. Picking it up, she placed it in the hacker's out stretched hand.

"Thanks," Willow said, taking the connector and hooking it into the computer.

"Mmm, hmm," the blonde replied.

Once it was all set up and the machine was plugged back in, she backed out of the cubbyhole and stood back up. Stretching her back, once on her feet. The redhead turned the system back on and waited for it to boot up.

Backing up a step, Willow turned around and was about to address her friend, when she collided with a woman she had never seen before and knocked her off balance.

Tara lost her footing and her arms flailed out beside her.

Reaching forward, the hacker grabbed her around the waist and tried to steady her, but when the blonde grabbed onto her arms, they both fell.

The latter fell onto her back on the mat, with Willow falling directly on top of her. The redhead tried to brace her weight with her arms, so she wouldn't hurt the other girl.

Once settled, they were nose to nose. Tara had a somewhat stunned look on her face as she stared into the pools of green above her. Her breath that had been ragged from the tumble, now started to calm. As she took in the contours of Willow's face, she swallowed. Her eyes glanced briefly to the ruby lips of her companion, before coming back up to rest on her eyes again.

The hacker didn't know what to say. She was well aware of how close her face was to the other woman's, but yet, she couldn't seem to move. Or did she just simply not want to? Staring into Tara's blue eyes, she smiled shyly and licked her lips. Finally pulling her face up a little, she let out a heavy breath.

Quirking her mouth into a half smile, the blonde squeezed the other girl's waist with her arms, which had fastened on when they both fell to the mat. In a sultry purr, she whispered, "You gonna lay here on top of me all day?" She finished with a raise of her eyebrow.

Opening her mouth, Willow's eyes grew as big as saucers as she tried to push herself up with her arms. "Oh gosh, I'm so sorry."

Tara laughed at the other girl's sudden panic.

Stilling her movement, the redhead looked down at the other girl, perplexed. "What?" she asked, confused.

"Nothing," was her response.

At that moment, Buffy decided to come back into the room. She walked over, to look at the appointment book and that's when she saw it: her best friend, on top of the new Dr., on the floor.

Smacking a hand over her mouth, the Slayer let out a hearty laugh.

Turning her head away from Tara, Willow looked up at her friend, and glared.

"Geez Will... talk about falling for a girl." Buffy reached down and helped the other girl stand up. After doing so, she offered a hand to Tara and helped her up as well.

After brushing off the back of her lab coat, the Dr. readjusted herself and smiled warmly at the Slayer. "Thank you, Buffy. We had kind of an accident there." Looking into the redhead's eyes, she extended her hand. "I'm Dr. Maclay, by the way. You must be, Willow."

Blushing, the hacker suddenly found the floor amusing. She did however take the offered hand and gripped it firmly.

"Nice to meet you," the blonde smiled.

Letting go of a huge breath, Willow nodded and met the other woman's gaze. "You too, Dr. It's nice to finally meet you." Her shyness seemed to be slipping away, the more business-like Willow returning. She tried to let go of Tara's hand, but the blonde gripped hers firmly.

"Thanks," the other woman said, giving her hand a final squeeze and letting go.

Buffy looked at Tara and cleared her throat. "Dr. Maclay, should I go ahead and get the dog in the back ready for its exam?"

Raising her eyebrows and meeting the Slayer's eyes, the young doctor spoke, "Sure, that would be good. Thank you."

"No prob., Doc." Buffy was about to walk away, when she heard her friend's voice speak to her.

"Actually, Buffy, can I talk to you for just a second?" The tone of the hacker's voice was beckoning for a best friend moment.

The blonde couldn't possibly ignore that silent request, now could she? "Uh... sure, Will. I'll be back there in just a second, Dr. Maclay." She turned and addressed Tara, with the last part of her sentence.

Nodding, Tara silently agreed. Turning around to walk towards the back, she stopped midway and turned back around. Her eyes seeking out those of the redhead's, whom she found staring back her, watching her walking away. "You know, if I may say so..." she paused, determining silently if she should really say what her brain was thinking.

Deciding to do so, she spoke again. "Beautiful woman don't usually fall for me..." Smirking, she looked directly into the redhead's eyes. "And I do mean literally." That having been said, she turned back around and finished her walk to the door. As she pushed it open, she looked back at Willow and found her open mouthed, somewhat shocked look, enough of an answer to her statement.

Winking at the other girl, Tara disappeared into the back of the clinic.

Buffy crossed her arms over her chest and smiled. "Way to go, Will. Did I interrupt something when I came up here?"

Willow didn't say anything in response to her best friend's question. Instead, she turned towards her and whimpered. "Buffy, what state did she move here from? The, 'Oh goddess, she's sexy as hell,' state. Not that, hell is sexy cause... EW! That's just, ick and not to mention disgusting, which she is totally not. It's just..."

"Will!" the Slayer interrupted, before the other girl went into a full-blown babble. "Breathe." She smiled.

"Sorry," the redhead apologized.

"She is beautiful," Buffy agreed and smiled at her friend.

Throwing her hands up in the air, Willow walked around the other girl and towards the door to go out into the store. "I so don't need to be thinking this. I can't. We work together and that is wrong. Can't happen." As she walked out of the clinic, she stopped suddenly and walked back in. Looking at Buffy, she said, "I'll be back in a minute."

"Okay. I'm just gonna go help the Doc. I'll open the door so I can hear." The blonde started walking backwards toward the door.

"'Kay," the hacker replied and walked back out the front. The buzzer beeped when she walked through it.

Shaking her head, Buffy turned around and pushed open the door to the back, wedging the doorstop under it before going to help with the dog that Tara had already started to examine.

Continue to Dr. Maclay, DVM Chapter Two

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