"No fucking way." Willow whispered to herself. "I gotta... That was... I'm just gonna..." She mumbled as she slowly gravitated to the door.
"Red? Will? You okay?" Mandy followed her friend, concern and confusion etched on her face.
"No, I... I think... That was... No fucking way..." Willow shook her head in disbelief still drifting to the door while staring at the space where she had last seen shining blue eyes and long blond hair.
"Will? Willow?" She asked, stepping in front of the redhead.
Willow finally snapped out of her trance to tear her eyes away from Mandy, but she quickly returned to looking out the window.
"Oh fuck it. I'm sorry Mandy. I have to go."
Something in the way the redhead's face changed made the brunette take a step back.
So that's her resolve face full-on...
Before Mandy could say anything Willow had pushed past her and was out the door, running past the coffee shop window and down the street.
Hoping to catch a glimpse of long blond hair, Willow dodged and weaved through the people walking down the sidewalk. A crowd of students coming out of a building blocked her way. She tried to push her way forward, and received jeers and dirty looks in return. Willow strained her neck to look over the group, jumping up and down so as not to lose sight of the girl walking. Ignoring the protests of two particularly unyielding girls, Willow squeezed through. When she had finally made her way past the group the blonde was now further ahead of her. She called out, hoping to get the blonde's attention. The blonde turned her head but it was only to look down the street before crossing.
When Willow finally reached the crosswalk the light had changed and she was forced to wait and watch the blonde climb a flight of steps outside a local university. She tried to call out again, but the noise of a passing truck blocked her voice out. Bouncing on the balls of her feet the redhead swore to herself. There were too many cars passing by to attempt crossing against the light.
As soon as the hand changed to the little man Willow sprinted across the street and up the steps, trying to take them two by two. Again, the running? Not a good idea Rosenberg. After nearly tripping twice she gave up skipping steps. She reached the top step just in time to see the blonde disappear into a building. The blonde stepped into an elevator just as Willow reached the glass door. Willow pulled open the first set of doors but was stopped from entering the building by a security guard demanding to see Willow's student ID. Frustrated, Willow called out to the blonde, but the girl was facing a red-haired boy with a sparse goatee and did not see or hear Willow.
Taking a deep breath Willow nodded to the security guard who was asking her to leave. She took another look at the now closed elevator doors before making her way out of the building. As the glass door closed behind her Willow turned, placing her palm flat against the glass.
"Damn it, Tara."
"So you're saying that you ditched me yesterday to go after some chick?"
Mandy stretched back on Willow's couch, propping her foot up on the coffee table and folding her hands behind her head.
"I swear if I didn't know better I'd say you and Faith were related." Willow laughed as pulled Mandy's foot off the table. She dropped down next to the singer and sighed. "Yes I did, I'm sorry, I know, I'm a bad, bad friend."
"And?" The brunette quirked her eyebrow.
"And? And a bad, bad person?"
Mandy chuckled at her friend, reaching over and giving Willow a playful slap on the shoulder.
"Well that too, but no. And? What happened with the chick?"
"Oh. Um, well, nothing." Willow grimaced as she stared at her hands in her lap.
"WHAT? You disappear for hours, with no bye, see ya later, gotta go see about a girl and nothing... NOTHING HAPPENED?" Mandy shot up from the couch and stared down at the girl still sitting.
Willow nodded, not looking up. After a few moments, Mandy took a deep breath and resumed her place next to the redhead.
"Alright, so tell me about it."
The brunette saw Willow shake her head and gave her a nudge with her elbow.
"C'mon Red, out with it. I waited for a very long time, I think I deserve an explanation." Though the words were a little harsh, Willow knew from Mandy's tone that she was far from angry.
"C'mon Will, talk to me, the doctor is in."
Willow leaned back against the couch, resting her head back to stare at the ceiling.
When it became clear that the redhead was not going to elaborate, Mandy prodded. "You waited?"
"And... nothing. She didn't come back out."
The two friends sat in silence for a short while before Mandy spoke up again.
"That whole time... you were sitting out there? In the freezing cold?"
Willow nodded again, still staring at the ceiling.
"And they wouldn't let you in because you didn't have a student ID?"
Willow shook her head.
"And they let her in the building?"
Willow nodded again, but this time a small crease formed between her eyebrows as she realized her friend was going somewhere with her questions.
"What?" She asked the brunette. "What is it?"
"So she's a student there?"
"No! At least I don't think so. I thought she lived in California." Willow sat up, shaking her head. "Damn it. Either she's a student or she's visiting that guy she was with and he got her into the building."
As she sat back the redhead closed her eyes.
"Either way, she's here. In New York. And she didn't want to see me."
"Willow? Who is this girl? What's going on with you?" Mandy asked her friend. She sat quietly listening to the redhead talk about the blue-eyed blonde Willow had chased down the street. Willow finished talking an hour later.
For a few minutes neither girl spoke. Willow continued to stare at the ceiling while Mandy stared thoughtfully at her friend.
"Well she must be crazy." Mandy finally spoke.
"She must be crazy. She'd have to be to not want to have coffee with you, or try to get in touch with you when she knows you live in New York. Crazy."
"No she's not crazy Mandy... Just, she's just..."
"Just what Red?"
"She's just... she's beautiful." The redhead spoke so softly that Mandy had to strain herself to hear.
"What? Red, did you just say she was bountiful?"
"No! God no! Beautiful, I said she was beautiful!"
"Oh okay, so she's beautiful, not bountiful?" Mandy clarified, a sly smirk on her face.
"No! Well, yes! Yes she's beautiful and yes she's bountiful!" Willow's voice raised a pitch at her friend's question.
"She's beautiful AND bountiful, so in other words she's a bodacious babe?" The brunette continued to her friend's increasing frustration.
"Yes! Yes okay! Yes! She's a beautiful, bountiful, bodacious babe! But that's beside the boint! Point! Point! That's beside the point!"
Willow was now sitting ramrod straight on her sofa, her face almost the same shade as her hair. Mandy couldn't resist and began laughing.
"You did that on purpose!" The redhead pouted as she sunk back into the couch, crossing her arms across her chest.
"I don't know what you're talkin' 'bout Red." Mandy said, still smiling. "But you know, now that I know, it sure as hell explains a lot."
"Well, for one thing, it explains this." Mandy grabbed a large white envelope from the coffee table and dropped it on Willow's lap.
Willow sighed as she played with the corners of the envelope.
"Is that what I think it is?"
Willow nodded without looking up.
"So are ya gonna go through with it? Or does any of this change anything?"
"I... I don't know." Willow said in a small voice.
"Oh well what the hell Red, if it isn't meant to be then it isn't meant to be." Willow frowned at this. "But if it is, if it is meant to be, then it will happen. Just give it time. And all this?" The brunette waved her hand. "When it does happen, all this will just make it even better."
With a reluctant smile the redhead looked at her friend.
"That was... kinda deep Man." The smile spread on her face. "Are you feeling okay?"
Mandy grabbed the envelope from the redhead and swatted Willow with it.
"Fine, be that way. See if I ever give you advice again!"
"Okay! Okay! Sorry!" Willow squealed as she tried to bat the envelope away with one hand while reaching for a throw pillow with her other. Her hand made contact with cloth and swung around to hit the brunette right in the face.
"Oh no! Mandy! Are you okay?" Willow immediately released the pillow and leaned over the other girl.
"Yeah, yeah I'm fine." Mandy huffed at having been caught off-guard. "Anyway, so ya gonna open it or what?" She said, handing the envelope back to Willow.
The redhead took the envelope from Mandy. She stood, walked over to her desk, and took out a letter opener from the drawer. She returned to sit by her friend, this time opting to sit on the coffee table, facing the brunette.
"Here goes nothing." Willow took a deep breath. She inserted the tip of the opener into the corner of the envelope and hesitated.
"Will you just open the damn thing already! I mean look at it! It's not like you don't already know what's going to be inside!"
Willow nodded, her lips tightened and her brow creased into her 'resolve face.' She let out the breath she didn't know she'd been holding and with one swift motion ripped the envelope open with the silver blade.
She set the blade down on the table beside her and reached into the envelope, pulling out several sheets of paper and a few brochures. She bit her bottom lip as she read the first sheet.
Willow had forgotten she was not alone until Mandy snatched the papers from her hands. She had been unknowingly staring somewhere above the pages in her lap and had not heard her friend asking about the contents of the envelope. The brunette realized that he redhead had spaced out and had decided to take matters into her own hands.
"Alright Red!" She grinned at her friend, who was still staring off into space.
As she finished reading she didn't know whether to be relieved or disappointed. There certainly wasn't any bad news in the envelope, but still...
"Hey Red! Snap out of it!" Fingers snapping in front of her face brought Willow out of her trance, and the redhead smiled at her friend. "C'mon, this calls for a celebration."
She grabbed the redhead by the arm, pulled them both up to a standing position, and led them to the doorway. She tossed Willow her jacket and keys before putting on her own winter coat and ushering the redhead out the door. Willow could only laugh at her friend's enthusiasm and slight pushiness.
As Willow pulled the door shut behind her and locked it, the brunette rubbed her hands together and licked her lips.
"Yup, this definitely calls for some lemon meringue pie."
Just for a second, Willow's hand froze on the doorknob.
Damn it. Tara...