Two days later Willow and Buffy were sitting in Tara's kitchen sipping coffee, when Tara walked in. "Hi!" she started, before stopping in amazement and looking around at her perfectly set up kitchen. She turned back and looked straight at Willow who shrugged her shoulders and said "Well, take out can really ruin your appetite you know?" before she went back to sipping her coffee, as if that explained everything!
"Tara? Hey I'm Buffy!" Buffy stood up and put out her hand, smiling when Tara shook it. "It's great that your back. I mean, it isn't that Willow isn't loads of fun to take care of," she said sarcastically, "but for the past two nights all I've heard are complaints that I can't massage a sprained ankle as well as you do!"
Tara turned to look at Willow, who was as red as a beetroot! "How is your foot?" she asked in a slightly amused voice.
"I think the swelling a little less, but it's still very sore and even the slightest movement sends a shooting pain up my leg," Willow said, still not looking at Tara.
"Sounds normal to me," Tara said, and Buffy nodded her head with a wise expression on her face.
"Yup it does. I know about this stuff too," she explained. "I'm a karate instructor you see. Pain's part of the game!"
Tara smiled, "I guess I'd better go and unpack. I'll be down in about ten minutes. By the way guys, thanks for setting up the kitchen." She turned to walk away, but stopped when she heard Willow ask "Tara? You want some coffee?"
"Yeah, I'll have some when I get down, ok?" With that she smiled and went out of the kitchen. Willow stared after her, and came back to reality only when she heard Buffy say "You know what? I like her!" before she sipped her coffee.
"So do I!" the thought never came to her tongue.
Tara, Willow and Buffy had just finished dinner, and Buffy had headed for a dip while Tara and Willow sat talking in Willow's room. Tara had decided that while Willow was staying with her, it was natural to call it just that. Right now Tara was filling Willow in on her trip.
"Martina was as co-operative as ever. She's always been that way, at least with me. Right now she's a little worried about her ranking. She's sure to lose her top spot to Jennifer Capriati this week, and she's not really used to being anywhere besides the top. I had a chat with her, and told her not to worry about that right now. She was bound to lose the ranking anytime now anyway, since she's been losing to all the poser players. She has to come up with a game plan to beat them. I told her to just concentrate on that, and getting back to top form right now."
"Are you two close?" Willow asked.
"Well we go back a long way. I took an interest in her game even before she made a name for herself. We actually play together whenever we have time. I advised her on her game at the start of her professional career. She thinks that helped her. She also calls me up if there's something she needs to talk about. So yeah, I guess we are close." Tara got up and sat down back down near Willow's foot, which she hadn't checked on since she's gotten back. She was taking the crape band off slowly when Buffy walked in, refreshed from her swim.
"Hey," Willow said, "Have a nice dip?"
"Yup! Tara it's so great having a pool to yourself. Now if only Willow would make sure that hers was cleaned more often..." she let off as she glared at Willow!
"Well you can come over whenever you want. Not only for a swim, even of you feel like dropping by," Tara offered.
"Thanks Tara, I'll be sure to take you up on that offer! Anyway, how's her foot?" Buffy asked.
"Hmm... The swellings gone down a little bit. Buffy could you do me a favour and me some ice from the freezer?" Tara questioned.
"Sure," Buffy nodded, disappearing out the door for a few moments before coming back with a bowl full of ice cubes.
"Thanks," Tara said, as she took a large cube of ice and began gently icing Willow's swollen foot.
Buffy began, "did I tell you that I watch your news broadcast every evening?"
In reply Tara just smiled, while Willow suddenly realized that Tara was a well known face too! "Why didn't I think of that?" she wondered. Buffy went on "Tell me, how the hell did you know that France would win the World Cup, even before the championships had started?"
"I don't know," Tara said, looking up for a second, "It was just gut instinct".
"Do you rely on your instincts a lot?" This came from Willow, who up till now had been biting down on her lip because of the shooting pain going up her leg every time Tara put a bit of ice on her ankle. Tara looked up and help Willow's gaze for a moment, "Most of the time, yeah."
Buffy yawned. "Well guys, I'm dead tired. You have no idea how tiring it can be taking care of a movie star with an almost broken foot!" she grinned.
Willow stuck her tongue out at her and said "'Night Buff!"
"Good night Buffy."
After watching Buffy leave, Willow turned her gaze back to Tara, and saw the blonde squeeze some ointment onto her fingers from a blue tube. Willow suddenly realized that those fingers were going to be on her skin in a moment, and her entire body shook in anticipation. Tara caught the movement, and looked up at Willow. Thinking that her foot was giving her trouble she asked "Does it hurt that bad Willow?"
"Oh! That's the first time she's said my name. She says it so beautifully!"
"Hmm... that sounds so nice... Wil-low..."
Suddenly Willow realized that her name was being phrased as a question! She snapped out of her dreamy state and looked at Tara, seeing the concern in the blue eyes of the woman across the bed.
"No, no I'm fine. Just a little fatigued I guess." The truth was that Willow was more awake then she thought she had ever been, but she couldn't explain that to Tara right now could she? She needed to understand it herself for starters!
"Oh ok! I'll just finish rubbing your foot, wrap it up again, and then you can go off to sleep. I don't want to keep you up."
Willow didn't want Tara to go, but she couldn't think of anything that would be a logical excuse to keep her here now. Five minutes later Tara was done. Saying good night, she got up, turned the lights off and left the room. Willow found that she couldn't sleep just yet, and kept tossing her head from side to side on the pillow. Every time she closed her eyes she saw Tara. Ducking her head, smiling, wrinkling her brow in concentration, speaking in that oh-so-soft voice...
Splash! "She must've gone for a swim," Willow thought. "Wonder if she's wearing that black swimsuit again... Stop that Willow Rosenberg," she scolded herself. "Why am I thinking like this?" Closing her eyes, Willow was soon soothed off to sleep by the soft splashing sounds. Her last thought before drifting off was whether she would've gone and watched had her ankle not been sprained...