After practically woofing down her lunch, Joy dragged her mother out of the restaurant before she had even really finished, barely giving her time to pay for the sandwiches they just ate.
"Are you in a hurry or something?" Buffy asked, knowing fully well what her girl's rush was.
"I just want to get there," she replied as she unlocked the doors and got behind the wheel.
"Oh, so it's not because you want to know what happened? Cool, I can take a nap then," Buffy faked a yawn and curled up as much as she could in the passenger's seat.
"I didn't say that! So spill!"
"Gawd! You are just so gullible!"
"Stop stalling! Please Mommy?"
"Now that's the magic word!"
'I remember light flooding my closed eyes. I recall thinking 'Why is it so bright? It's midnight?' I slowly opened my eyes and saw the man from earlier sitting in the chair facing my bed.
"Good Morning. How are you feeling?" He asked with a gentle grin.
"Like I got hit by a truck," I tried to laugh, but that was incredibly painful. He frowned and his eyebrows furrowed.
"Maybe you shouldn't crack too many jokes, you might crack a rib. I guess I should leave out the flirty jokes too," his eyes widened as he realized what he said, "Did I just say that out loud?" He looked to the floor, a blush spreading over his cheeks.
"You did, but does that mean I can't make any flirty jokes?" I gave my sweetest smile, and he looked back to eyes.
"You can if you want to," the grin returned to his face.
"Well, maybe I might." I looked around the room and saw that we were the only people in the room. "Where's Willow? What about Tara?"
"They're in the next room over."
"How are they?"
"Well, Willow woke up earlier, but went back to sleep. The doctors said that she had a broken left arm and concussion, but she'll be fine."
"And Tara?" He looked away from me again.
"Is she d-d-d-dd-dead?" I finally managed to ask. My heart was pounding. 'She can't, she isn't. If she is you better lie to me. Please lie to me.'
"Oh, no." he answered kindly, "but, she was really hurt. She is in a deep coma. They have absolutely no idea when she'll wake up. I'm sorry," he stood up and sat on the edge of the bed and gently placed his hand on my shoulder. I started to cry and I reached out and pulled him to me. He put his arms around me as his gently lowered himself to the bed. I remember feeling his hand rubbing my back and his other hand running the length of my hair, as him whispered over and over again, 'it'll be alright.'
It was odd, how he just let me cry. I don't know how long I cried, but he still did make an effort to make me stop, just to make me feel better. And somehow he did. I gently pulled back and looked into his blue-grey eyes, soft and kind. "I'm sorry I got you all wet."
"Better me than you...er I mean, it's okay really. I'll take your tears any time."
"Sorry, umm, it's William right?"
"Yeah, how did you know?."
"I overheard you and the police talking last night."
"Oh," he blushed slightly. "You heard that?"
"Yes, and thank you. For everything."
"Bollocks. It's was nothing," he away and scratched his head.
"But William, why are you here? Not that I mind or anything."
"Oh, I came to see if you and your mates were alright. I sent your parents to go eat something."
"Of course. They send they're love."
"How long have I been sleeping?"
"Well, the accident was Saturday night..."
"It's Monday afternoon."
"Wish I were. So would you like me to go get your parents?"
"That's alright, let them eat," as I finished saying that there was a light knock on the door.
"Is she awake?" It was Willow, her voice full of hope.
"Yes I am. Come in Will!" The door slowly opened and Willow walked in. She looked tired, she had a black eye and a bright pink cast on her broken appendage.
"Hi Buff!" Willow greeted. I could tell she didn't feel half-way near as cheerful as she was trying to be.
"Hi Will! Come sit down." I pointed to the other chair next to my bed.
"Hello William." Willow waved.
"Willow," he greeted her with a nod, "I'll leave to let you ladies catch up. Bye Buffy, Willow, I'm happy your alright."
"Goodbye, oh and William?"
"Could you come visit me soon?"
"Sure luv. Bye," and with that he left the room.
"Willow you know him?"
"Yeah, he's visited everyday since we got here, once in the morning and once in the evening, checking on the three of us."
"Wow. So how are you holding up?"
"Bad. I couldn't be in that room anymore. It hurts to Tara that way, but at the same time, I want to stay and watch her."
"So, her mother said 'you should go see Buffy, I'll be here' right?"
"Hehe. Yeah. She looks so fragile. But she's not, she's strong."
"I know. I don't know how I'm able to not cry right now."
"Same here, I woke up and they told me about her, and it took my passing out to fall back to sleep. She doesn't deserve that. She has been though so much in her life and then this? Why? Buffy, why this? Why her? It NOT fair!"
"It will be okay, Will, she'll beat this."
"How do you know? HOW? What if she never wakes up? What if she dies?! What if she never finds out that I love her?!"
"I love her too Will, she knows."
"No, Buffy, I mean," she inhaled deeply, letting her breath out in a quick sigh, "I love her. I'm IN love with her. Like as in us getting married, having children, complaining that the neighborhood kids have their music too loud and finding out that our kid's over there, sending them to college, watch them get married, spoiling their kids, just growing old together. I love her!"
My jaw dropped, "Oh! Really, Will?"
"I can't believe it Will! You love Tare Will?" I couldn't stand it anymore. All those months of not knowing, questioning, all made as clear as day. I laughed, loud and hard.
"Why are you laughing?! Tara's in a coma and I'm completely in love with her, and just told you I'm gay, and you're laughing?" Willow looked mad.
"I'm sorry, it's just that I was trying to figure something out for, um a friend, and I finally know. I'm just relieved."
"What are you talking about?"
"Don't worry about it. I guess I'm just on emotional overload. I'm only going a little crazy."
"Crazy? Yeah, that sounds about right. Buffy will you just tell me what you're talking about!" Willow put on her resolve face.
"No fair! You know I can't fight that!"
"Man, she's gunna be mad, but I promised her I wouldn't tell anyone, especially you."
"Who are you talking about?"
"What about Tara?"
"She loves you, Willow," I put my hands on her shoulders, locking eyes with her, "while you with your parents over the summer, she told me that she was gay, and that she was totally in love with, and I quote, 'sweet, beautiful, smart, green-eyed, redheaded, wonderful Willow'. Well, ever since that we've been trying to figure out how you felt. So, six months later, relief."
"She loves me too?"
"Since she's known you," I offered a small smile. Willow smiled wide for a second and then burst into tears. I hugged her and cried too. 'Tara you better wake up. The woman that you love loves you too. You two crazy kids better get together soon.'
"That's what I'm saying!" Joy exclaimed.
"I know, but do you know what else I know?"
"What happens next!"
'Well, Willow calmed down after a while and my parents came in. I was glad to see them. They looked worried, but were happy I was up and about, or at least as much as I could be. I then asked them to do me a favor.'
"So will you?"
"Of course. I'll go get a nurse." So Giles got the nurses to move all three of us into a bigger room, that very afternoon. Then, of course, visiting hours ended just as we were settled. Our parents left and it was just me, Willow and Tara. Willow walked over to Tara's bed and carefully lay herself next to her.
"Hey Tare. I miss your eyes. Will you show them to me?" She gently kissed Tara's bandaged head. "Please?" She then lightly laid her arm over Tara waist. "You know there's something I have to tell you, that I love you," she sweetly kissed her.
"We're here!" Buffy exclaimed to her daughter.
"You mean there is here which is where we are?"
"Wow, California to Florida in three days? Either we rock or you drive like an NASCAR Racer."
"Umm both? But it's time to check into the hotel and I'm thinking Steak and Shake, only for the fact that they're the only place I know that's open this late at night."
"Sweet! My first meal in Gainesville!"
"And hopefully it won't be the last!"
"Are you trying to say something?"
"Like that what? You gunna come running back to Sunnydale to your Mommy after a week of classes? Noooo! Of course not!"
"Yeah, but if that happens you won't get your money back!" Buffy's eyes widened.
"Okay so you're going to be on the Dean's List..."
"That's better! Speaking of better, when are you going to finish the story?"
"Tomorrow morning before we start moving your stuff into your dorm room."
"I can't believe you're making me wait!"