Willow wasted little time wondering why Xander's ex-girlfriend was asking for her phone number, odd though it was. Instead she refocused her attention on the cables in front of her. She pulled a plastic tag out of her bag and wrote PRINTER in crisp letters on one side. On the other she wrote the model and serial number of said printer. Clenching her marker between her teeth, she attached the label to a cable and plugged it into the hub she had been in the process of installing. Just as she sat back to reach for another tag her phone blared out once more, sending her, once more, head first into the table above her.
She fished the phone out of her pocket all the while uttering profanities her mother had deluded herself into believing Willow still didn't know. She silently considered whether she should change her ringtone or just chuck the phone at Faith's head the next time she saw her prankster cousin.
Willow didn't recognize the number on her Caller ID. Must be Cordelia.
"Hello?" She answered as she rubbed the growing lump on her forehead. After getting no response she tried again. "Hello?"
Still there was no response.
"Cordelia? Is that you?" Willow's brow wrinkled. "Cordy? Aren't we a little old for crank calls?"
"Fine. Whatever." Willow gave an exasperated sigh. "I'm hanging up now."
She hit END on her phone and shook her head. A few seconds later the phone rang again. Checking the Caller ID, Willow saw the same number. She considered not answering, but the techno-gadget geek inside her won out.
"Hello?" She spoke into the phone. Hearing only more silence Willow was about to hang up, but a voice on the line stopped her.
Tara jumped out of her chair and spun around. Her eyes searched the room but found no one to go with the voice she heard. Slowly she walked around the conference table that separated her desk from that of the other gallery assistant and found the source of the noise, sort of. A pair of tennis shoes and a person's back poked out from under the desk.
The person leaned back from under the table, rubbing the top of her red head as she spoke into a cell phone. Tara vaguely registered the voice coming from her phone, until she heard the words. "...hanging up now!"
Tara opened her mouth to speak, but before she could get any words out she heard the clicking sound of the call being dropped.
She stared, unbelieving, alternately at the phone in her hand and at the woman kneeling on the floor. It took her a moment, but finally she hit the send button on her phone to redial. Sure enough, the ringing on the line coincided with music blasting from under the table.
After the second "Hello," Tara finally spoke.
Though she couldn't place it, Willow could have sworn the voice was familiar. She knew it wasn't Cordelia. Cordelia Chase never, ever stuttered. But she remembered one person who did. Couldn't be... Willow shook her head and answered.
"Speaking. Can I help you?" Willow heard the other person take a deep breath before speaking.
"H-hi, Willow. This is T-Tara...f-from the airport? D-do you remember?"
Willow's head snapped up. Tara!
"Yes, Tara! Yes! Of course I remember!" calm down Willow! "I mean, um, yes, I do." The redhead inhaled. "Hi."
For a minute the room was silent as both girls bit their lips.
"So, um, h-how are you?"
"Great! I mean, fine....Finey McFine!" Willow smacked her palm against her forehead. Finey McFine? Doofus! "How are you?"
"Good, I'm good."
"Good, that's good."
"Um...Willow? Can I ask you a question?"
"Willow, what are you doing here?"
"What are you doing here, i-in the gallery?"
"What? The gallery? How?" it occurred to Willow then that Tara's voice sounded incredibly clear, even for the best cell phone on the market. It was almost as though Tara...was in the same room.
Slowly Willow stood and turned around to find Tara standing not more then ten feet away from her, holding a cell phone to her ear.
The two girls stood stock still staring at each other until a slow lopsided grin spread across Tara's face and Willow's phone went crashing to the floor and shattering into several pieces.
Tara didn't know what to think as she watched Willow stand and turn to face her. The whole thing was so bizarre, the way they kept running into each other. It wasn't a bad thing, just...bizarre. After seeing Willow in New York and being unable to reach her (and yes, she had tried calling again,) Tara had been pleasantly nervous when Jo gave her the redhead's number. But she hadn't been prepared to find Willow sitting in the corner of her office. That thought gave Tara an interesting mental picture she shouldn't be having about someone who may or may not still have a girlfriend. But before she caught herself she was already grinning.
That is, until Willow's phone fell from her hands. She saw the phone falling but for some reason couldn't get herself to move fast enough to stop it from crashing to the floor and shattering. Both she and Willow bent down to pick up the pieces, but somehow, she couldn't tell you who for sure, one of them lost her balance, and they found themselves in a familiar position.
Tara raised herself on her elbows and let her eyes drift across Willow's face, settling on the crease that had formed between the redhead's eyebrows. Unable to hold back any longer, Tara's shoulders began to shake until she finally burst into a fit of giggles.
"What? What's so funny?" Willow asked, as she unconsciously lifted her hands to the blonde's hips and gave them a slight squeeze.
For a moment Tara said nothing, shaking her head as she tried to calm her giggles. After a moment she looked down at the redhead laying underneath her, smiling once more before speaking.
"We have got to stop meeting like this."