"Wow this is boring," said Faith as she hung her head upside down over the bottom edge of Willow's bed. "I cant believe there's not even a play station in here!"
"It's a rehab center Faith, not a dorm room," Willow drawled out.
"So what the hell do you do for fun?" questioned the brunette as she flipped herself over to look at her sister.
"You pretty much have to earn fun. It's a privilege," said Willow. "I have another two weeks before they'll give me my guitar."
"You mean they took your fucking guitar? That's bullshit!" yelled Faith.
"No that's rehab," Willow stated back. "Once I prove to them I'm stable they'll give me my guitar back. After that I'll have access to the game room."
"Wow, hate to be you," joked Faith.
"Oy is Tara here?" asked Spike, as his fist fell away from the door that had just opened up in front of him.
"And what would you want with her, Captian Peroxide?" asked Xander as he held the door ajar to block off the blonde males view of the inside of the house.
"That's funny Zoo Lander. Now why don't you go grab the little lass," sniped back Spike in a impatient manner.
"She's not here. What do you want?" Xander snapped as he crossed his arms over his chest. Pushing the door open with his foot, Xander took a step out onto the porch before leaning up against the door frame.
"I wanted to give her this," he slammed a manila folder full of papers into Xander's chest. "but since she ain't here, you can give'em to the misses."
"And what is this?" Xander asked in a skeptical voice as he unwrapped the ties holding the envelope closed.
"It's all the work that Willow's missed,"
"So why don't you take it to her yourself? She is you sister an all," he hissed the word sister as if it was a disgusting word.
"Cause I believe she would rather see Tara than me," Spike said as he reached into his pocket for a cigarette in order to distract himself from the conflicting emotions running through him. "I gotta go. You gunna give that to her or not?"
"Yea I'll give it to her," Xander said as he retied the envelope.
"Thanks," Spike said with a nod before turning around and walking down the pathway to the road.
"Who was that?" asked Anya as she came out of the kitchen with a washcloth slung over her shoulder.
"Get dressed," Xander said to the blonde as he closed the front door.
"Why?" she questioned her boyfriend.
"Just get dressed."
"So why isn't blondie here?" asked faith. "Isn't she normally here around this time?"
"She uhh... she has class till nine tonight. Damn it!" she yelled as faith hand beat hers to the pile of cards on the floor. "She said she might come by tomorrow."
"Oh," Faith responded as she placed another card on top of the ever growing pile.
"Damn it!" Willow yelled again as Faith's hand beat hers to the smaller pile of cards strewn on the floor. "I fucking hate this game!" Uncrossing her legs, Willow stood up while tossing her stack of cards to the ground.
"You're just upset cause I'm kicking your ass," Faith teased as she set a row of seven cards in front of her.
"Yeah yeah what ever," Willow brushed off the comment as she flopped herself onto the bed. "Yo you think next time you come you can bring a magazine or something. I really need something to read."
"Why don't you start with this," said a gruff male voice from the door way. Xander held up the envelope in his right hand then threw it to the redhead.
"Xander? What are you doing here?" questioned Willow as she flung her legs over the edge of the bed.
"We came to see how you are doing Will," said Xander as he stepped further into the room.
"We?" asked Faith, standing up to be next to willow.
"Yea Anya's here," Xander said as he put his hands into his back pant pockets.
"Xander!" Anya yelled from the hallway. "Xander, that man sexually touched me with out giving me any satisfaction!" she screeched before stopping to stand in front of her boyfriend. Rearing her arm back, she punched Xander in the shoulder. "An you didn't stop him!"
"Anya ... he's a security guard. That's his job, to make sure you don't have weapons or drugs on you." Xander explained to the feisty blonde as he rubbed his aching shoulder.
"Nice," Faith laughed at the dysfunctional couple. "So what is this shit?" she asked as she pulled the packet of papers out of Willow's hands.
"It's all the work that you have missed," Xander explained.
"And why do you have it?" asked Willow as she took the folder back from Faith.
"I was told to gi... I was told to give it to you. Plus I wanted to see how you were doing."
"Well I'm doing fine," Willow said with a wry smile.
"No your not," rebutted Anya. "Tara said you looked like shit."
"Ohh your girlfriend totally diced you!" laughed Faith as she brought her hand up to cover her mouth.
"She's not my girlfriend," Willow growled.
At the same time Xander also showed his disapproval "Tara is not her girlfriend!"
"Whatever, but either way Tara said you haven't been yourself," Anya continued.
"Well no-fucking-duh!" yelled Willow. "I only have a fucking cocaine problem and I was..." she caught herself before admitting her horrible last run in with Rack. "and I've been locked up here for god knows how long."
"So where's Buffy?" Asked Faith changing the subject as she plopped herself down onto the only chair in the room.
"She's with her new boy toy," Xander said with a slight roll of his eyes.< div>"He's such a hunk! He has nice big hands, and muscles and..." She stopped as she noticed her boyfriends expression. "Oh but I like yours better. They're so much more manlier," said Anya as she gripped Xanders upper biceps tightly.
"Right, well it was nice of you to stop by," said Willow, hoping the couple would take the hint.
"Actually Will, can I speak with you?" asked Xander as he disengaged himself from Anya's death grip. "Alone if that's alright?"
Looking to her sister for an answer then back to the disheartened looking man before her, she shook her head slowly. "Sure."
Willow threw herself back onto her bed as Xander skidded the chairs from the corner, the one Faith previously sat in to the side of the redheads bed.
"Well Xander, how is everything going?" Willow said with false bravado. "I see you're still dating Anya."
"Yeah, six years and going strong. I also started my own company in New York, Harris Construction. Yeah I know, very original, but I couldn't think of anything else."
"I'm surprised you didn't name it Harris Hardwood Inc.," giggled Willow as she looked over at the blushing man.
"Uhh...crap. I didn't even think of that," smiled Xander, his grin spreading from ear to ear. "Dame, I'm gonna have to call Tito now and have him change the name." He teased, "Do you think Anya would like it?"
"If you put a giant picture of your penis in the window...yeah! Definitely," Willow smiled as she started to relax around her old childhood friend.
"But I might draw in the wrong crowd if I do that," shaking his head slowly back and forth "I don't wanna do that Will, not on sixth avenue. Have...have you seen what walks down sixth avenue?"
"From the look on your face I can only imagine," she let out a soft snort that was soon covered by robust laughter from both of them.
Trying to slow down his laughter so he can contradict Willow's statement. "Trust me Will, if you saw what goes on down there, you wouldn't want to show off your dick either." Realizing what he just said, Xander tried to correct himself but only succeed in making it worse. "Or dildo...tit's...I'm not helping! I'll just shut up."
"Wise choice," she let out a toothy grin to show the slightly older man that she was not irritated with him. "So what brought all you guys back to good old Sunny D?"
"Joyce actually," admitted the carpenter. "She got pretty sick so Buffy decided to transfer to UC SunnyDale. Tara didn't want Buffy to come back all by herself and Anya didn't want to be left in New York alone."
"You don't have to answer this if you don't like," said Willow, a slight hint of nervousness showing threw he voice, "but how did you all..." she trailed off, not knowing how to finish the sentence or if she actually wanted to.
"Fine each other in the Big Apple?" asked Xander, knowing exactly the question and answer Willow was looking for.
"Yea," she replied.
"Well apparently Tara was accepted to Parsons School of Design and Anya got into John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which isn't that far away. As for me, I go where ever Anya goes."
"That doesn't explain anything," she said with a negative shake of her head. "Tara left way before you guys did."< /div>
"Four months isn't that long Will."
She shot a deadly glare in his direction, as if to dare him to say that statement again.
"Right, well as I was saying, we didn't know she was there...what with her leaving and not saying anything. So imagine my surprise when I bump into her one day at the grocery market." Xander recited the incident that took place nearly four years prier. "So we get to talking, she asks me how I'm doing, I ask her how she's doing..."
"Xander!" Willow interrupted, not needing to know all the small talk that took place on that day.
"Sorry. Well basically she tells me she's going to school here and I tell her so is Anya, just a few blocks down. After that we decided to make dinner arrangements for the following night that way she and Anya could catch up."
"What about Buffy?" asked the redhead.
"She came later, I believe Sophomore year," Xander said as he scratched his head to recall what happened next. "Oh right...Tara was opening her mail to see who she would be dorming with."
"Out of all those people at Parsons, how did they get a room together?" questioned Willow, bewilderment stamped all over her face.
"Buffy requested Tara," said Xander. "Apparently she knew Tara was there."
"How?" Willow asked before suspicion started to brew in her head. "She new didn't she? She new all along that Tara was in New York and she never told me!"
"Willow," Xander said, trying to calm the redhead down.
"Did you know?" she asked, a feeling of betrayal started to wash up into her stomach. "Did you Xander?"
"No I didn't," he said as he scooted his chair closer to the bed. Grasping one of Willow's shaking hands in his, "Willow, I swear I did not know Tara was in New York until I ran into her."
The two friends stayed in that same position for what seemed like hours. No one daring to talk in fear that they might break this special connection that they just made. Continuing to hold her hand, Xander stared at the wall in front of him thinking about what he would have done if he did know in advance that Tara lived in New York.
"Is this a private affair or can anyone join in," said a voice from the doorway."Can I help you?" asked Xander as he was brought out of his own thoughts. Standing up from his chair, the grip he held on Willow's hand slowly started to slip as he faced the newcomer.
"Oh I'm sorry, I always forget to introduce myself," said the stranger, stepping further into the room. "I'm Willow's teacher, Professor Baldwyn...but you can call me Rack."