Return to Sodas and Snack Machines Chapter Six

Sodas and Snack Machines

Author: Onyxsundrops
Rating: PG-13 and up.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters, other characters are my own.

Tara's forehead took on a fine crease as she stared down at the cards in her hands. An eyebrow raised and still the blonde's gaze was fixed on her cards.

Don't laugh. I will not laugh. Willow told herself while watching her friend's expression. A tiny sound, too low to be heard, escaped her lips. I will not laugh, she repeated. Tara's tongue peeked from her mouth in concentration. New plan: don't drool. I will not drool. The redhead chanted, inwardly. Tara was the only person she knew that concentrated so hard during Uno. And honestly, the redhead found it incredibly cute.

Don't look up. She's looking at you. Don't look up. Tara started her own mantra when she felt beautiful eyes focus on her. Okay, cards. Cards. Blue. Green eyes. Yellow. Redhead. Geez Tara. She mentally kicked herself.

Tara placed a blue six over Willow's card, her shy eyes rising to caress the profile across from her. The redhead looked at the card then at her hands. Cards. Hands. The movement went back and forth several times. Willow mentally willed her green card into a blue. At least, that was the plan, but she failed and grumbled as she chose a card from the deck.

About five cards into the pile, the redhead paused. "Do you have all of the wild cards?" Suspicious eyes looked across the bed. With her hand still poised over the deck, Willow saw the blush coloring Tara's face while the blonde glanced at her cards. "You do, don't you? Aw, man," she added childishly.

Willow's eyes sparkled, shifting into a lighter green. Or so it seemed from Tara's point of view when the redhead continued. "I'll trade you." A slow smile grew on the other girl's face. "Two reds, a green and a yellow for your wild card." Willow offered, really not wanting to collect cards from the deck until she found the right one.

"But that would be cheating." Flashing a lopsided smile, Tara looked over with a hint of amusement in her voice.

"I know," Willow grumbled again, but still hadn't chosen any more cards. "I'll toss in some M&M's and a kis- Hershey's kiss." Damn hormones, her cheeks puffed in embarrassment.

Tara allowed herself a secret smile, but didn't make it too obvious that she had noticed Willow's slip. "Here," the blonde's lips curled as she lay the card near her friend's hand.

Grinning like she'd eaten ten bags of M&M's, Willow jumped to her feet. "Just give me one second." She searched around for her change.

"No, you don't h-have to give me anything," Tara held out her hand, meaning to stop the redhead before she left.

"But I want to." Green eyes held the blonde's blue. The seriousness in Willow's voice made Tara's outstretched hand waver.

"O-Okay." Tara flushed and shyly dipped her head.

"Okay, I'll be back in a jiffy." Willow grinned, stepping toward the door. "And don't look at my cards while I'm gone," she joked before taking off down the hall in her socks.

Once she was gone, Tara tried to still her breathing. Her heart threatened to spring from her chest and burst at the same time. I have a girl in my room. A beautiful girl. In. My. Room. She let the words roll from her mind, run through the surface of her lips and form into a smile. Her toes curled from the happy sensation and she couldn't stop the silly giggle that rumbled in the base of her throat.

Down the hall, Willow started, dumbly, at the vending machine. Unfortunately, it didn't have Hershey's kisses, but there were M&M's. She pressed the button, giving the machine a little hit when it looked as if the dispenser had jammed. M&M's in hand, she turned to leave but stopped and turned back to machine. The redhead didn't want to overload Tara with sugar, but she felt that she needed something else. Her eyes lit up when she spotted the item in the corner.

Willow bounced back into the room with two bottled waters, some M&M's, and a pack of animal crackers. Tara's back was to her, but the blonde glanced over her shoulder when she felt the presence. "Oh, Willow," Tara frowned, "you s-shouldn't have b-bought so much stuff."

"I couldn't help it," the redhead shrugged, "and look... animal crackers," she quickly handed the package over to Tara.

"H-How did you know?" The blonde looked from the package and up to Willow, bewildered and overjoyed.

"Lucky guess," Willow shrugged again, blushing when Tara smiled a ‘thank you'. "Oh, and your M&M's," she handed over the bag.

"We'll share." Tara grinned, opening the animal crackers as Willow took her seat. With her foot underneath her, the blonde shifted closer, moving over to offer Willow a cracker.

Gratefully, Willow took a few and smiled at the little shapes. "Is it weird that I have the sudden urge to watch the Lion King?" She met Tara's smiling eyes. "When I was younger, I used to put on these little plays with my animal-." The redhead paused, "Okay, now I'm starting to sound crazy, huh?"

"No," Tara couldn't hide her admiration of the girl across from her. "I used to, um, try to m-make them talk."

"Me too!" The response came out a lot louder than intended. Willow stared at the forgotten Uno cards as her face began to redden. Silence filled the room as rain poured, continuously, outside.

"Arrgh." The redhead's eyes snapped upward when she heard the voice. Tara was holding a lioness-cracker with a missing leg. With her fingers, the blonde made the cracker bounce up and down through the air. Willow laughed and grabbed a cracker from the pack.

"Oo oo," went the tailless monkey. "I am the ghost of doughy past. Surrender now, or I will be forced to eat your head." Willow moved the monkey so that it almost touched Tara's lioness.

"Arrgh, never." A loud crunch and the lioness' head was gone. Tara stared at the headless cracker and Willow's chewing mouth. "Hey," she frowned.

"I warned you." Willow smiled between each chew. "Oo oo, now I'm the Queen of th-." Crunch. The redhead gaped in surprise at the small leg that was left remaining between her fingers. "Hey!"

Tara grinned, finishing off the monkey's body. "I'm still the Queen of the jungle."

Continue to Sodas and Snack Machines Chapter Eight

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