Return to Hit/Miss Chapter Twenty-Four


Author: eklipsej
Rating: PG for now... will up that if necessary.
Disclaimer: All Buffy characters were created by and unfortunately belong to the creators of BtVS, other characters that might pop up are mine.
Note: Thoughts in italics.

Room 42, room 42, 42...

Tara walked down the hallway of the university building, eyeing the numbers above each doorway. Though class had only been in session for a few days, she had been busy settling in and getting oriented with the internship the school had set her up with that she hadn't had time to look for all her classrooms before the semester officially began. This was the last class Tara had yet to go to, and hopefully she would find the room before she ended up being late.

28, 30, 32, at least I'm going in the right direction.

As she walked past room 36 Tara's eye caught a flash of red hair, but she was already past the doorway before her brain processed it. Quickly she turned back and stuck her head in the doorway, but saw only a man in a suit standing next to a podium, looking at a piece of paper in his hands. Tara giggled. The man, presumably a professor, had a frustrated expression on his face and it looked like he was talking to himself, like he was practicing his next lecture. She scanned the room for students but was disappointed when all she saw was a bunch of guys sitting around talking or looking at textbooks, an Asian girl sitting in the front arranging her pens, and two blond girls sitting in the back row flipping through a magazine.

The professor looked up at her then and made to speak but she gave him a sheepish grin and walked away.

Get a grip Tara, you're probably just seeing things. Wishful thinking as usual.

She sighed as she finally found the right room. She was just in time, the professor walked in right behind her and shut the door behind him.

The class flew by quickly. The professor distributed syllabi, reviewed the books and other reference materials they would be using in the class, and gave a brief overview of what the class would be like.

As interesting as the class seemed, History of Modern Art, such as it is, Tara couldn't seem to concentrate. Instead she found herself distracted by thoughts of a certain redhead.

She had been in town for over three weeks, and several times Tara thought she saw Willow walking into a building or sitting in a shop, but it would turn out to be someone else. Or like what had happened before class, it wasn't anyone remotely resembling Willow at all and Tara was just seeing things.

Before she knew it the class was over, and Tara was surprised to find the course outline written neatly in her flowing script. She didn't remember taking notes. Sighing, she packed her books and checked her watch. She had to be at work in half an hour.

"So what seems to be the problem?" Willow asked the man who had summoned her.

"This thing won't recognize my flash drive." He frowned. "I have a presentation on there for this class."

Willow gave a tight smile and took the flash drive from him and bent down to look get a closer look at the CPU. She found the USB port and plugged the drive in. As she stood Willow could have sworn she saw a familiar face disappear from the doorway. Her heart did a little jump before she internally chastised herself.

Get a grip Willow, she doesn't go to school here. Remember, you hacked into the school system after you saw her last year? And by the way, stalker much?

She took a deep breath and looked down at the monitor embedded in the podium, ignoring the persistent agitated rambling of the professor next to her. Willow sighed as she clicked the mouse over the little My Computer icon, then selected the flash drive from the Explorer window.

A few minutes later Willow managed to escape into the hallway, leaving a bewildered and slightly embarrassed professor behind. Apparently he was used to just putting the drive into the USB port and having a little Window pop up asking what he wanted to do.

I can't even believe I'm thinking this but some people should not be allowed within fifty feet of a computer.

Willow checked her watch and let out a relieved breath. She dug the walkie-talkie/telephone out of the small duffel she brought with her and called into the main office.

"Home, this is LittleRed." She cringed as she spoke. "Johnson 36 is taken care of. I'm off for the day."

A squawking noise followed by a female voice jumped out at her. "Ten-four Little Red, Johnson 36 is crossed off. See you tomorrow!"

Willow shook her head at her teammates and the ID name they had given her. Apparently they had seen her getting out of her car the day they distributed the radios.

Well, if a silly and unfortunately somewhat fitting nickname is the worst thing I have to deal with from my coworkers, who am I to complain?

The redhead climbed into her car and dropped her duffel onto the floor of the passenger seat. She checked her watch again and smiled, seeing that she had just enough time to get a mocha before heading her next stop.

The melody of Soak Up the Sun brought Tara out of her reverie. She fumbled for her phone and smiled at Jo's number flashing across the screen.

"Hey Sweetie, how's LA?"

"And your cousin?"

"She what?" Tara practically skidded to a halt as she reached the gallery doorsteps.

"You're kidding. You're not kidding."

"Ah yeah, hold on." Tara opened the gallery door, practically yanking it off its hinges. She gave the girl at the front desk a wave as she went up to counter and grabbed a pen and paper from behind the counter, mouthing her thanks.

"Okay, go ahead."

"Got it... I will! Really I will! I promise. Okay, I'll call you later. Thanks Jo."

Tara smiled and thanked the receptionist as she returned the pen and headed for the main office.

She sat at her new desk and stared at the name and phone number she had written down.

Willow jumped as the heavy guitar licks of Bring Me to Life came roaring out of her pocket.

"OW! Shit!" She yelled to no one in particular as she rubbed her head where it slammed into the desk she was under. After a brief search she found her phone and smiled when she saw Xander's phone number on the screen.

"Hey Xander."

"Yeah I'm okay, just remind me never to let Faith near my phone again... No she changed my ringtone and turned the volume all the way up. What's up?"

"She did? Why?"

"Um, okay, thanks for the heads up."

"Yeah, see you later."

Willow pressed the end button on her phone and shoved back it into her pocket. As she contemplated the mass of cables in front of her she couldn't help but wonder, Why would Cordelia Chase want my phone number?

Continue to Hit/Miss Chapter Twenty-Six

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