She was numb. That was the only word she could think of to describe what had just happened.
It was her own fault. She knew that. She knew that when she ran away from her Willow in the hospital.
She just had been so close to the call. She was so close to telling her what was really happening in her mind but she had missed her chance. If she could have explained to Willow that she was sorry for sending her for the wine. Sorry for being angry at her for being late.
She was lying now again to herself. This is not what was causing her numbness. It was something else.
It was Susan. She had sent Susan here for Millo's things. She found a small relief in the fact that she had not made the call now. It took some of the sting away somehow. It didn't last long. The relief was all to brief.
She would go to the hospital again. She had something she needed to say to Willow. She wanted to tell her that she was sorry. Sorry that she had done this to her. Assure her that she understood her anger and that she would not blame her for any of the decision she would make about their relationship. That she would be there for her if she ever needed her.
She wanted to tell her that she still loved her.
She was thinking about how they had met. How she had been so determined that last night after they had found Joss to make her face up to how she felt. Admit that what she was afraid of was that she would up and desert her, leave her venerable and broken like that women had. Do to her what Susan did.
She had promised Willow that first night after they had made love that she would never hurt that way again.
She had lied to her.
She had done just what she had promised she would not do. She had run away from her. Left her there, in what had to have been the most horrible of circumstances possible. Unsure of what was going to be her future. Unsure as to whether or not she would ever get out of that bed and walk under her own power. She had sat there and watched the pain this women, this wonderful, beautiful, giving and trusting women had gone through over the simple task of changing her dressings. She had held her hand, looked into her eyes and tried to help it ease.
Willow was not angry at her for this and she knew this. It was her guilt that caused this to happen. She had to do this. She had to tell her Willow that it was not anything that was her doing.
Her decision was made. She stood up from her couch and made her way to the wall where her car keys hung. She had made it there and was about to walk out the back door when she heard the phone ring.
"Hello?" Tara answered.
"Tara .This is Leo."
"What, what is it Leo? Is it Willow? Did something happen?" She was panicking now.
She heard him scoff into the phone and say: "Sorry Tara. No such luck. I just wanted to tell you that I would be going to see Willow later and I will call you in about an hour to find out where you can send her things. If that's too long a wait I suppose you could go ahead and have them sent here."
Tara took a deep gulp. "What?" she asked as she began to shake.
"I said that I would call you and let you know where to send Willow's things. So now if you don't mind I'm going to go and see how she is and I'll ask her where to send them. Was that slow enough for you?" he said callously.
"Umm... yyy... ess. That's fff...ine," she said. It had been ten years since Tara had stuttered and she now was beginning to cry. "Tha... thank you." She hung up the phone and her keys fell to the floor. She leaned back against the wall to keep herself steady because the call had just taken her breath from her.
It was done. They were finished.
She didn't even want to call her herself and tell Tara where to send her things.
"Oh God," she said to herself as she began to shatter into a million pieces.
"Okay now Officer Rosenberg. We're going to start with some reflex testing. I want you to tell me when you feel anything okay?"
The doctor took the blunt instrument from his lab coat and pressed it to the bottom of Willow's right foot. He waited for a beat and when Willow didn't respond he moved it up slowly. Still nothing. He moved it up a little farther and when he got to the point of where Willow's toes were she said: "I feel that."
"Good. That's good."
He pressed it down just a touch firmer and began to bring it down again. Then he saw it. Her foot moved. Just barely, but it did move.
Sheila saw this and she let out a happy scream. "Oh Willow. Your foot just moved."
"Yes honey it did." She looked up at the doctor and Sheila noticed he did share her enthusiasm. He said to her: "Yes it did move. I think this is a wonderful sigh Officer Rosenberg."
He lifted Willow's leg up and bent it to the knee.
"Do you feel anything?"
"Okay, that's alright. Let's try this now."
He once again bent Willow's leg up but now he turned her foot outward as well.
Then Sheila looked at the doctor and saw the concern in his eyes. She remained quiet though. He let Willow's leg down now and began the same process with the other foot.
"I felt that," Willow said as soon as the doctor pressed the instrument to her foot.
He smiled and said: "Now that's very good news." He then lifted her leg like he had with the other one and Willow again stated that she felt something. Not much but something. "Now we have a lot more test here that we need to do, so, I'm going to roll you on your side for a minute okay? It's going to hurt you a little I'm sure, but it is the only way to do this test and we are running out of time here. I need to see if we are going to need to go back in a check the spine and the longer we wait the worse it can be. So, are you with me here?"
"Yes, sure, I'm fine. Let's do it," Willow answered.
Susan stood outside of Willow's room. She planned on knocking and trying yet again to get Willow to talk to her. She heard Willow scream slightly and smiled. She closed her eyes and forced the tears into her eyes and then bolted into the room.
"What's happening in here. What are you doing to her?" she yelled.
"I'm sorry, who are you?" the doctor asked.
"Someone who's not welcome in here," Sheila answered.
"What do you want? Why are you here again Susan?" Willow said.
"Willow, please. Just tell her to leave," Sheila answered.
"Susan, why are you here?" Willow asked.
"I just wanted to tell you I was sorry about earlier. I didn't mean to upset you about your girlfriend. Despite what you may think I've been worried about you. You should know that," Susan answered. Sheila groaned and rolled her eyes.
"I know you didn't. Look, I'm really uncomfortable with you being here, so if you don't mind, can you just wait outside til we're done with this and then you can come back and talk to me afterwards?" Willow asked.
"Yes. Of course," Susan said as she looked at Sheila and smiled. She then walked out of the room, out the door and took out her cell phone.
"Hey, it's me," Susan said to the person on the other line. "Do you miss me? ... I'm doing great. As a matter of fact, this is working out much better then I could have ever hoped for..."
Leo arrived at the hospital about ten minutes after he had spoken to Tara. He was not at all looking forward to this. He knew how much Willow loved Tara. Hell they all loved Tara. He couldn't believe how she had changed her tune. He would never have believed anything like this could happen. They had all grown so close at the station this last six months.
He arrived at Willow's room and he knocked at the door.
"Yes?" Willow said.
"Hey Willow," Leo said putting on a fake smile. He walked across the room went down on a knee and kissed her on the forehead.
"How ya doing Red?" he asked.
"Well, I just got done doing a bunch of test here and to be honest, I don't really know yet. My mom and the doctor have gone outside to get some lab test and well you know my mom, she's following him all around the hospital I'm sure. I kind of feel sorry for him." Willow tried to smile, but it didn't work. "To be honest Leo, I don't think it's very good news. I have feeling in the right foot and slight feeling in the left but up past my ankle there's nothing on either leg. The doctor said that it could be just some temporary nerve damage caused from swelling, but to be on the safe side they want to go ahead with the exploratory surgery tomorrow and I don't think I'm even interested in doing that. I just don't see the point. I don't feel anything so what's the point? If it's temporary it will go away and if it's not, at least I have a little while that I can pretend it might."
"I have something I need to tell you Willow. Tara sent someone to the station today. She came to..."
"Willow, it's me. Can I come in now?" It was Susan.
"Um yes, sure," Willow answered. She walked in and said hello to Leo.
"Hi, Im Susan."
"Hi. Nice to meet you."
"What were you going to say Leo?"
"It's about Tara," he said as he cleared his throat.
"She sent someone to drop off Millo's things at the station today," he said.
Willow just stared straight ahead. "You mean his food so you can feed him till she can pick him up or...?"
"No. No Willow. She's not picking him up. She dropped all of his things off," he said as he looked down at the floor.
"Huh... okay... I umm, so will you guys take care of him till I or my mom can..." She was beginning to cry now.
Susan made her way across the room and took Willow's hand in her own. "I'm sorry Willow. Should I leave?" she asked.
Willow pulled her hand away from her. "Yes. Yes Susan please can you just go."
"Okay. I will. If you need anything, just call me okay?"
"Thanks but I don't think so Susan. I don't know what you're up to but I'm certainly not stupid."
"I'm not up to anything Willow. What have I done to make you think I'm up to something?" She then turned to walk out.
"I'm sorry Susan. I'm just not doing great right now. So I... I will call if I need anything. Thanks."
"Willow there's something else. She wants to know where to send your stuff."
Susan stopped now and turned around. "What?" she said in a voice sounding pained.
"Why are you still here?" Willow yelled now.
"I heard what he just said Willow. I'm not going to leave you now with no-one. I don't care what you tell me. You know how I still feel about you."
"I don't know a damn thing about you Susan. I don't want your help."
"Please. Willow. Just at least let me help with your things. I can bring them to your place or you can store them at mine. Just let me help. You'll never see me again. I just want to help you," she said crying.
Tara sat on the floor still. She hadn't moved from the spot. She held her hands tightly around the phone and just stared straight ahead. The phone rang and it startled her and she shook her head. She answered: "Hello."
"Tara? It's Leo. I'm calling for Willow. She said that she is sending someone by to get her things over there in a bit. I'll be there after shift to help as well. So if you could possibly start to pack them it would be helpful."
She took a deep swallow. "Yes. Sss...ure. What ttt...ttime?"
"Susan should be there any minute and give me a couple of hours."
"Okay." She hung up before she could wait for an answer and stood up to go and pack up Willow's things from the bedroom.