Willow hummed a rhythm she hadn't been able to get out of her head since she woke that morning. She checked her watch and looked back to the old brick building on the corner of High Street. When Tara had told her where she'd be that evening, the redhead decided to greet her partner and surprise her outside the Veterinarian's office.
She was enjoying the light breeze and evening sun as she sat upon the hood of her car, waiting for the blonde's appearance. A quarter 'til eleven, as if on cue, Tara exited the building, but had yet to notice the redhead across the street. Her attention was drawn to the large hemp bag slung over her shoulder as she smiled down at the small, napping body.
Spotting her distracted girlfriend, Willow gracefully hopped off the hood as Tara began walking along the sidewalk. She guessed that Tara had used the oversized purse to smuggle the kitten out of her apartment and couldn't help but to smile at the sneakiness. The redhead frowned, wondering if Tara had some sort of keen sense of her direction because she hadn't looked up once since leaving the building. She thought about shouting Tara's name, but chose otherwise and hurriedly slid into the driver's seat before starting the car.
Drawing closer, Willow rolled the passenger's window down as she pulled alongside Tara. "Hey pretty lady," she flirtatiously wiggled her eyebrows, "wanna ride?"
Tara felt the car behind her slow and quickened her pace, but stopped when she recognized the voice. "Willow?" The blonde turned toward the voice with relief. "What are you doing here?" A delighted grin lit up her face.
Willow parked along the curb and joined her partner on the sidewalk. "Well, I waited outside the Vet to surprise you," her tone playfully changed, "but you totally ignored me." She held a hand to her heart in feigned hurt and added a pout for bonus, knowing she'd be rewarded.
"Aww," Tara gently touched Willow's cheek. "Did I hurt Willow-feelings?" She asked and giggled as the redhead's pout wavered, sighing into her caress.
"Yes," Willow nodded, relishing in delicate fingertips, "and you're going to have to try really hard to make it up to me." She grinned as Tara's face moved within whispering distance.
"I'm sure I can come up with something." The soft, promising words made Willow gulp, suddenly in need of support as she leaned back onto her car. "Now, how about that ride?" Tara continued, enjoying the reaction she received from her partner.
Coughing to soothe the dryness of her throat, Willow regained her bearings. "Your chariot awaits," with a silly grin she held the door open for Tara. Love-struck and slightly dazed, Willow almost followed behind the blonde but realized she was the driver. With another goofy smile, she sprinted to the other side.
Tara watched her girlfriend maneuver through slow traffic, taking in every possible detail as the redhead focused on the road. The temperature was fitting, considering the city's name, and Tara continued her observation with a content smile. Because of the heat, Willow had pulled her hair back into a short ponytail, and Tara watched a stray bead of sweat run down the side of Willow's neck before disappearing under the light blue top. She chewed on her lip, praying for more to follow. Her eyes briefly flickered to Willow's face.
Ooh, her lips are moving, Tara noticed absentmindedly as her mouth quirked into a smile. Soon her one track mind got the best of her and lowered its sights back onto the glistening neck. She felt a hand on her thigh and marveled in the warm touch while drifting back to her surroundings.
"Uh," Tara blushed, having no idea what Willow just asked her. "Um... huh?" Unaware that she was still gnawing on her bottom lip, the blonde's eyes grew wide in confusion.
When they stopped at the red light, Willow had noticed the look of concentration on her girlfriend's face. "Are you okay?" She repeated her question and brushed away the drop of sweat near her ear. The redhead missed Tara's silent whimper as she wiped her sweaty hand on her cargo-clad thigh.
"Are you hungry? We could stop and get something, if you want," Willow went on, figuring that the heat was getting to Tara.
"Y-Yeah, okay," the fog slowly began to disperse from Tara's mind. "That would be great," she nodded, dumbly, and grinned.
"Are you sure you're all right?" Another nod from the blonde as traffic began to move again. "Okay," Willow nodded back, "we'll just drop Miss Kitty off and-."
"Miss Kitty?" Tara questioned, smiling at the name.
"Oh, well... I just thought," Willow sputtered. "But if you... did you already name her?" She asked, a twinge of disappointment in her voice.
"No, but I like it. Miss Kitty," Tara mused, the smile remaining glued to her face, "it's fantastic. Thank you," she leaned over, kissing Willow's blushing cheek.
"Oh, I forgot to ask," Willow playfully slapped her leg as if to punish herself. "So how is she? What did the doctors say?"
"100% healthy," Tara beamed. Ears twitching, Miss Kitty roused at the mentioning of her name. She meowed in protest when Tara lifted her from the comfortable, towel-stuffed bed and placed her on top of the bag. The skirt Tara was wearing was slightly thinner than usual, and although the kitten's claws weren't long, she hadn't wanted to get scratched.
"Somebody's a little grumpy," Willow noted as the kitten chased her fingers, trying to catch one between baby teeth.
Tara laughed when Miss Kitty tried to do the same with her hand. Just as the furred body relaxed and closed her eyes, the car stopped and Tara was once again placing the tired kitty back into the bag.
"I'll be right back," Tara squeezed her partner's hand and exited the car, carefully putting the bag strap over her shoulder. Willow smiled and waited patiently as the blonde disappeared into the apartment building.
After putting out fresh food and milk for the animal, Tara skipped down the sidewalk, slowing her steps as she neared the car. Willow faced the other way, her lips moving as she sung along with the radio. Tara stopped, watching with a smile and thankful that Willow hadn't noticed her presence yet.
I'm only happy when it rains
Tara grinned at her little rocker as the redhead apparently began getting more into the song. Bobbing her head and drumming on the steering wheel, Willow's voice grew louder as she sung along with Garbage.
pour your misery down
Instead of 'me', a shriek escaped Willow's mouth as she jumped, finally noticing that she was being watched. "Ta-," she paused, trying to steady her breathing.
"Sorry." Tara suppressed her laughter as she slid into the passenger seat.
"I didn't bust your eardrums with my scratchy voice, did I?" Willow blushed, still mortified at having been caught singing. "It's just that I've had this song in my head all day. So I was excited when the station played it."
"I thought it was beautiful," Tara grinned. The song was still playing as she gave Willow's hand a quick kiss. "Keep going," she encouraged, noticing as Willow's other hand continued moving with the music.
If her girlfriend had shaken her head any harder, Tara was sure it would've fell off. "C'mon," she gave Willow a little shake as the redhead put the car in drive. "If you do it, I'll sing with you. Promise." She threw in a lopsided grin.
"It's about to go off," Willow halfheartedly protested.
"Well, we'll sing the next one." The blonde wasn't about to let her partner off the hook so soon. "Or." Willow's look was priceless as Tara held up a CD she had found in the side pocket of the door. It was clear that Tara wasn't going to relent, so she nodded, watching the disk slide into the player.
It was a mixed CD that Buffy had made during her brief 'trapped in the 80's/disco' period, and Willow had cringed every time she heard the stereo blasting from the next room. She had told her best friend that the CD was lost, but the redhead had actually hidden it in her car, knowing Buffy wouldn't search there.
"Oh, I know this one," Tara grew excited as the intro began. Willow groaned. It was obvious that her actions were coming back to haunt her as Love Is A Battlefield by Pat Benatar filled the car.
Prompted by Tara's voice and already knowing the song from countless hours of hearing it through thin walls, Willow joined in.
Anyone walking the streets of Sunnydale, heard the music before they saw the car as every artist from ABBA to Donna Summer blared through the speakers. Willow had given up her embarrassment long ago and loosened up as she and Tara sung song after song.
Eventually, Studio 04 died down with the Last Dance as the couple arrived at the small Japanese restaurant for lunch.
Giggling and still buzzed with adrenaline, the girls found a table near the window as the waiter greeted them with menus.
"What time is Xander's party again?" Tara asked after their drinks arrived and their orders were taken.
"Oh," Willow held up a finger and finished chewing on a piece of ice. "The 'party' party was canceled due to Xander's crabbiness and Anya's motherliness," she grinned, "but we're supposed to be meeting up later at the Bronze. That is, if Anya can manage to drag Xander out of the house again."
"Either way," Willow went on, shrugging as she fished another cube from her cup of ice. "Do you want to go dancing tonight?" She asked, reaching across the table with her dry hand.
"I'd love to." Tara's fingers laced with Willow's as she smiled into the redhead's eyes. Her gaze flickered to the mouth below and she suddenly cursed her single-mindedness, which seemed to be on repeat today. She watched as Willow twirled her tongue over the ice cube until it melted.
Her lips are doing that thing again, Tara noted. She blinked. Looked into Willow's eyes and blinked again.
"You sort of spaced out on me again," Willow frowned, concerned as she caught Tara's eye.
"Sorry." The webs fell away. "I'm just...," Willow took another cube, "hot."
The redhead glanced out the window, "It seems hotter than usual. Probably a heat wave."
"Yeah," Tara swallowed, "a heat wave." She wasn't talking about the sun. Continuing her self-torture, the blonde watched as each ice cube slowly disappeared.