Return to Sodas and Snack Machines Chapter Eighteen

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.

Willow hurried out of the building with Tara in tow.

"Now you've got to come up with something for us to do for the next hour." Once the blonde noticed the sly grin on Willow's lips, she added, "Something productive that involves the outdoors."

They had just skipped their final seminar, which consisted of a video fit to be an after-school special, and were in the process of making their getaway.

"Does it have to be outdoors?" Willow asked, frowning. When Tara nodded, the redhead went on, her top lip out by at least a quarter of an inch. "C'mon, it's not like we have a whole lot of options here," she looked around herself.

"We could always go back inside," the blonde offered, smiling.

"Uh-uh," firmly shaking her head, Willow went on, "I refuse to sit through ‘The Dangers of Peer Pressure'."

"Go for a walk?" Tara threw out another suggestion.

"We're walking now," the redhead quickly dodged the incoming swat.

"Smarty," Tara joked, teasingly rolling her eyes. "Come on, I'm sure we'll find something," she said, leading Willow down the walkway.

Twenty-minutes and thirty-five seconds later, the couple found themselves back where they began.

"...Are you easily influenced? Struggling with peer pressure-"

"I think my butt's asleep," Willow grimaced as she and Tara mixed in with the stream of people leaving the oversized lounge.

Tara smiled, a little guilty for eventually leading the redhead back into PBS central. "Will chocolate cure it?" She asked and received an eager nod.

"I think it's a brilliant plan," the redhead said, mentally adding words to Tara's question. "I say we go fill ourselves with sugar until we explode."

"Um, I'm not so sure about the exploding part," the blonde said, hesitantly, as they headed toward the vending machine area.

"What were you thinking when you first saw me?" Willow asked. She lay on the bed, looking up at Tara who was bent over her suitcase. "I know it's kind of silly, but I want to know."

Tara looked up from folding a pair of jeans, her expression unreadable while images and thoughts stirred.

Willow smiled from her spot atop the covers, "You must've thought I was some kind of idiot, dropping my clothes all over the street like that."

"I never thought that," the blonde's truthful gaze rested on her girlfriend's. "Actually, I can't remember exactly what I thought." She shrugged, "I only knew that you needed help, and I wanted to help you."

"It's strange," the younger girl mused. When she did not go on immediately, Tara encouraged her with a lopsided smile. Willow began to roll onto her back, but sat up instead.

"Before this trip, I thought I'd be spending everyday in my room preparing myself for the coming school year or learning different ways to use what I already knew." The redhead pushed forward from the bed, "But I think I've learned so much more than I thought I would." She gave Tara a meaningful smile while reaching out to take hold of the blonde's hand.

"And what is it that you've learned?" Tara asked, flexing her fingers within her friend's grasp.

Willow pretended to think, a small grin stretching her mouth as she spoke, "Beware of massive bowls of Jell-O." She chuckled lightly before continuing, "No, seriously, I learned a lot, but it's so hard to explain... because it's here," she took Tara's hand and positioned it over the left side of her chest.

If possible, Tara's eyes grew brighter.

"And here," Willow moved the blonde's hand below her ribcage, smiling at the other girl's slightly confused expression. "You always give me butterflies," she said before moving the trembling hand a final time to rest atop her lips.

"And here," finishing, she kissed the soft fingertips.

Shimmering wetness dried as Tara blinked several times, swallowing. "Am I really there?" She asked, even if she already knew the answer. The mere thought that she could touch Willow in such a way caused the fluttering of her own tummy.

The redhead inhaled deeply as if she was short of breath, "Always." Heavy breathing excited the contour of Tara's lips when Willow moved forward, her quick gaze altering between the blonde's mouth and eyes.

"Thank you for the lesson." Bodies moved, connecting...

Continue to Sodas and Snack Machines Chapter Twenty

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