Willow's chin was firmly resting on top of the dog's head. Her right arm, which was currently hugging him around the neck to keep him from biting if he became too excited, was gently petting the Sheltie behind the ears.
"Good boy, Ricky," she whispered calmly to him.
He tried to turn his head to look back at her, but Willow kept her hold around his neck, her bicep hugging under his chin.
The rest of her body was leaning over his back, her chest keeping him laying down on the exam table, while her left arm was resting over his back and holding Ricky's left leg behind the elbow.
Willow's thumb rolled over the top of his leg above his elbow, pulling his vein more tightly in place as a cotton ball wet with alcohol, wiped over the area just below her thumb.
Buffy gripped the dog's leg just on the other side of the redhead's hand with her left and used the index finger of her right to feel for the vein. The syringe cap holding the syringe in her mouth, made a slight whistling noise as she sucked on the cap, keeping it between her teeth.
Once the blonde was confident she had found a good spot on Ricky's vein, she pulled the syringe itself, from the cap and brought it down to his leg, gently pushing the needle under his skin beside the vein as she held it still with her right index finger.
Ricky groaned slightly from the poke, but settled down, as Willow cooed in his ear.
"Shhh, handsome. You're okay," she said, kissing the soft hair on the top of his head.
"What a trooper you are," Buffy smiled and looked up at Willow. "Let up," she whispered.
The hacker slowly removed the pressure from her thumb that she had used as a tourniquet and lifted it completely off his leg, as Buffy covered where the needle had entered with her own thumb and quickly pulled the needle out of his skin.
Willow covered the blonde's thumb with her own as the Slayer pulled hers away and took the syringe cap from her mouth, placing it back over the needle.
She moved away from the exam table and turned around to the counter behind her, setting the syringe containing Ricky's blood, down on the check-in sheet.
The redhead slowly removed her digit, caressing it over the small wound to make sure it wasn't going to bleed. Satisfied that it wasn't, she let go of his leg and righted her body to stand, letting the dog stand up as well.
"You were a good boy," her voice smiled.
Turning his body toward her voice, the Sheltie happily licked the woman on the face several times.
Willow laughed and pulled her face away from his range. "You want a cookie for being such a good patient?"
Buffy heard her best friend's words as she set the timer for Ricky's Heartworm test. Walking a short distance to the right, she lifted the lid off the dog biscuit jar and pulled one out.
Turning back to the table behind her, she held her palm out to the dog, who happily took the treat from it and contentedly munched on the cookie.
"Here you go, mom," Willow said to Ricky's mom, who was sitting in a chair behind her. As she gratefully stepped up to him, the redhead moved away from the table to go to the sink and wash her hands.
A few minutes later, while Buffy was typing some notes on the computer in the Sheltie's file, the timer went off. She turned around to the test and seeing that it was negative, she smiled and hit the off button on the timer, walking back to the monitor.
"I'll get the Doc, Buffy."
"Thanks, Will," the Slayer said, not taking her eyes away from the computer screen. She finished typing and turned towards her client. "The Doctor will be right up, Mrs. Wolfe."
Taking that as her cue, Willow finished drying her hands and threw the paper towel away in the trashcan beside the sink.
Stepping to the left, she opened the door to the back of the clinic and walked to the computer in front of the Surgery room, where Tara was typing some notes on a patient's file.
"He's all ready for you, Dr. Maclay. His temperature was normal and his Heartworm test is negative."
Tara looked up from the screen and smiled at the hacker. "Thank you. You did the test already?" she asked, her right eyebrow raising somewhat.
"Oh, was I not supposed to do that before your exam? I'm sorry, it's just... the last Doctor I worked with liked to have everything that could be done by his Tech's, completed ahead of time and I kind of do it that way out of habit now." Willow frowned, hoping the new Doctor wasn't angry with her.
"No," Tara quickly jumped in, reassurance seeping from her words. "It's fine; great, actually. I like it when people think ahead."
Willow felt her heart rate increase when the blonde stood up and squeezed her shoulder gently.
"Thank you," she said, one more time. Pulling her hand away from the warm shoulder, she took her stethoscope off from around her neck and turned for the door. It was time to meet Ricky.
The Hospital Director looked expectantly at the young Doctor when she turned back around.
"W-will you help me, Willow?" Tara's voice was somewhat hopeful sounding.
"I'd love to, Dr. Maclay," her heart pounded in her chest, as she walked to the door that the other woman was holding open for her.
"Hey, Will... think fast," Buffy, said as she tossed a pen at her friend from the door.
"Thank you." Willow caught the pen in mid-air and immediately started writing something down on a note pad.
"Is that the closest Clinic from here?" Tara asked, from her position beside the redhead.
"Yes, ma'am." Willow was finding herself somewhat distracted by the closeness of the other woman. She was standing close enough that the hacker could feel her body heat caressing her skin.
"They should have some in stock. I can't believe we ran out. I'm sorry about that." Finishing up the Clinic Transfer Form, the hacker put the pen down and tore the sheet from the notepad.
"It's okay. I like the Heartgard (r) Plus the best, so it's kind of my fault. I've been sending it home with clients all day." The blonde felt kind of bad for allowing them to run out of certain sizes of the Heartworm Preventative, but she wouldn't back down from her favoritism towards the product.
Willow turned to her, looking into her soft blue eyes and had to force herself from becoming lost in them. "I'll just have Buffy order more next time."
Physically tearing herself away from Tara's gaze, Willow stepped around her to get her keys. Walking past the other woman, the faint smell of flowers passed through her nostrils from the Doctor's hair and she almost swooned. Damn, if she didn't smell good.
The young Doctor watched the hacker walk over to the counter, adjacent to the door leading to the front and grab her keys. "I'll be back as fast as I can, Dr. Maclay. If you need any help, just ask, Buffy."
"Thank you, Willow. I appreciate your help." She smiled at the Hospital Director as she walked through the door. Tara almost slapped herself when she realized she was starring at the other woman's butt, as she left the room.
Thankfully, the redhead hadn't noticed.
Turning around, she walked into the office. "I think I'm going to love this place," Tara said for her own ears.
Walking towards the front desk, Willow stopped as she rounded the corner to walk out of the clinic.
"Buffy, I'll be back shortly. Will you help, Tar... um, Dr. Maclay, if she needs anything?" She blushed as she caught her mistake and quickly turned to leave before her friend could comment on her slip-up.
"Sure. I'll be glad to help, TARA... I mean, Dr. Maclay, if she needs any help." The Slayer snickered when Willow stopped walking and turned back towards her with a whimper.
"Shut up," the redhead squeaked, her cheeks as red as her hair. She stuck her tongue out at Buffy and continued on her way, turning the corner by the grooming salon and walking out of sight.
"Uh huh. She's hopeless." Buffy grinned and reached for the phone that was ringing.
Grumbling, Willow pushed open the door and walked into the back. "That was a really stupid thing to do," she chided herself. "Dumb."
The redhead had just turned on the water to the sink, when the door opened again and Tara walked through it. "Willow, are you okay?"
"I'm fine," she answered, looking up into the concerned face of the blonde.
Stepping over to her, Tara looked at the hacker's hand. She grimaced when she saw the blood trickling down from the wound. "Oh, Willow... that looks bad. Here." She reached up into the cabinet beside the sink and pulled out two glass containers. One was filled with Betadine/Water solution and the other, peroxide.
Reaching back into the cabinet, she pulled out a package of gauze and set it down on the counter top. Taking the lid off of the Betadine mix, she looked back to the redhead, who was still running her hand under the water.
"Give me your hand," she spoke softly.
Willow turned off the water and shook her hand a little, letting some of the water drip from her flesh as the other woman took a couple of Betadine soaked gauze squares from the jar.
"You don't have to help me. I can do this myself, if you have a patient up front..."
"I don't. Buffy is finishing up," the blonde Doctor interrupted her and took Willow's hand in her left. She gently took the gauze and scrubbed it over the wound. "Sorry," she apologized, when the other woman flinched.
"It's okay." Her green eyes locked with blue ones for a moment, just holding them, before she looked down to her hand once again. "That was a really stupid thing for me to do. Sorry."
"Willow, we all make mistakes. I've done that a couple of times myself. The problem is, cats can be so temperamental at times. You never know." Tara took another fresh gauze square from the jar and gently scrubbed the scratches again. "Just be careful next time."
Looking up again, the hacker nodded and smiled at the Doctor.
Throwing the used gauze in the trashcan under the sink, Tara turned the water back on and washed off her hand. She kept a hold of Willow's. She couldn't help, but notice how good it felt to hold her hand and how powerful it felt at the same time. It was like there was an instant connection as soon as their hands had touched. The blonde wondered if her companion had felt it, too.
Turning the water off again, she reached over and took some gauze that was soaked with peroxide and dabbed it on the scratches.
"I'll probably have scars once these have healed." Inhaling deeply when the gauze stung a little, Willow looked up again and watched Tara's face. She had a look of deep concentration on her features. Willow thought it was very sexy.
She averted her eyes quickly, when she noticed the blonde looking up.
"That looks a little better. Let me just..." Tara's voice trailed off as she turned toward the cabinet again and reached into it, grabbing some band-aids and some Panalog from the shelf. Then, taking some dry gauze from the paper package, she blotted up the moisture on the other woman's hand.
"I'm just going to put these on, okay?"
Willow nodded and smiled at her. "Thank you, Dr. Maclay."
Looking up, Tara locked eyes with the other woman's again before softly saying, "You can... c-call me, Tara if you like." She blushed and looked down.
"And you can call me, Willow. 'Cause, that's my name. Um... and you already knew that." She rolled her eyes at her own stupidity. "Stupid," she whispered to herself.
Giggling, the blonde smiled at her. "You're cute," she said, looking away.
"Thank you, so are you... and my foot just continues to live in my mouth today." Sighing, the redhead was relieved when Tara didn't pull her hand away from hers.
"Thanks." Tara smiled inside. Willow had no idea how adorable she was or how fluttery her stomach became when she called her, "Cute." She decided to keep that information to herself, however.
"Well, Willow, I think that's the best I can do with that." The young Doctor finished fixing the band-aids, treated with Panalog, into place and squeezed her hand gently, before reluctantly letting go.
The redhead felt the loss of Tarahand immediately and almost whimpered. Her hand just felt so good in Tara's. She had felt the instant connection when their hands met, just as Tara had, but she wasn't sure what that meant or if she wanted to know what that could mean; for the moment, anyhow.
"All set." The blonde turned away to clean up and put things away.
"Thanks," Willow said, again.
"No problem," the Doctor finished putting things back where they belonged and then turned towards her companion.
"I'm just gonna go check on, Buffy." Turning to go, she started to walk away, but quickly spun around again when she heard a voice speaking to her.
"Tara?" she smiled, cheekily.
"Can you try not to use my first name in front of clients, though? I don't want to appear unprofessional." Tara stood her ground and stuffed her hands into her lab coat pockets.
"I promise," Willow said, walking backwards towards the door.
The hacker blushed the color of her hair once again, when she bumped into the refrigerator beside the door and almost lost her balance. She laughed, hanging her head and as quickly as her feet could carry her, she was out the door.
Laughing, the blonde looked at the counter to make sure everything was clean, before smiling and heading back into the office. She wondered if she would be able to think about anything other then the gorgeous redhead for the rest of the day.