Return to Love Thy Neighbour Chapter Nine

Love Thy Neighbour

Author: Shai
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: All the characters belong to Joss, that lucky man!

Willow lifted her arms and put them around Tara's neck, as Tara entered the house and walked towards Willow's room. If it had been a normal situation then Tara was have undoubtedly marvelled at how wonderful it felt to have Willow right there, but under the current circumstances all she could think about was getting Willow to the safety of the room.

Meanwhile Willow, cold as she was from her brief 'dip', was dreading the moment when they'd reach the room and she would lose the contact that she had with Tara's body.

"It feels so nice being so close to her" she thought, as they reached the bedroom. Tara walked through the doorway, moving towards the bed, and gently placed Willow on the mattress.

Upon losing contact with Tara's touch, Willow immediately felt cold. She began to shiver and put her arms around herself, wishing that they were Tara's instead. Tara noticed the action, and immediately went to the closet to take out a thick blanket, opening it up and draping it around Willow. "One moment" she said, and rushed out of the room, only to return seconds later with a towel and a lose pair of warm sweats and a t-shirt. Putting the clothing on the bed, she handed the towel to Willow, saying "Dry your head," before she sat down at the foot of the bed and began to take off the crape band from Willow's wet leg, since it was drenched.

Willow did as she was told, her eyes not once leaving the way Tara's hands delicately moved around her foot, so as not to hurt her, and how her brow crinkled in concentration as she looked at the swollen joint.

"Hmm... I'd say that the swelling has gone down a little bit more today. But you have to be careful."

Looking up she asked in the gentlest of tones "What in the world were you thinking Willow?" Her concern was completely evident in her tone.

"About you" Willow thought to herself. Since she couldn't say that aloud (could she???) she said "Oh I wasn't thinking, no siree! My mind seemed to have just gone blank back there," she finished, trying to make a joke out of the affair.

From the look in her eyes, Willow could make out that Tara didn't see any humour in the situation. After staring at Willow for a few seconds Tara said "Willow, please be more careful. If something happened to you, I... I..." she trailed off into silence.

"Oh please complete that sentence, please," Willow's head almost exploded with her screams inside her mind.

The silence was broken when Tara sighed and rose. Handing Willow the clothes that she'd brought with her she said "Here... change your clothes... you'll feel better. I'll bring dinner in here." With that she turned and left the room. Willow watched her go, closing the door on her way out, and sighed herself, before stripping the wet garments and changing into the one's Tara had left for her. Tara was right. The clothes were more comfortable, and smelled of Tara. Willow was breathing in their scent, when there was a knock on her door.

"Come in" she called, and a second later Tara came into the room, carrying a tray that had two steaming bowls on it. Tara walked around the bed and placed the tray on it, before sitting down herself.

Willow noticed that the bowls contained chicken soup. Tara looked up at Willow "Since I think you had better keep your hands inside the quilt in case you catch a cold or something, I though it would be better if I fed you." She stared at Willow, her eyes asking whether that was alright. Willow nodded her head.

Smiling, Tara picked up a spoon and stirred the contents of one of the bowls before scooping up a spoonful, blowing on it gently to cool it, and moving the spoon towards Willow. Her eyes not missing a single movement that Tara made, Willow opened up her mouth like an obedient child and drank the soup. Tara smiled again, before picking up her own spoon tasting the soup herself.

They ate on in silence, with Tara alternating between feeding Willow and drinking the soup herself.

After they were done with the soup, Tara went to the kitchen to get the simple macaroni and cheese that she'd made, and again proceeded to alternate between feeding Willow and then herself.

"It's good" Willow commented, her mouthful of the macaroni that Tara had just fed her.

"Thank you" Tara said, blushing a little at the compliment.

"You cook a lot?"

"Yeah. Learned pretty young. My Mom's a whiz in the kitchen. She taught me everything I know," Tara finished.

"All the more reasons that you'd make an ideal girlfriend," Willow said, and then stopped, realizing what she's just said. She turned to look at Tara, who was staring at her with an unreadable statement on her face.

Neither said a word, and there was an awkward silence, in which Tara kept feeding Willow. Suddenly Willow sneezed... thrice. "Looks like you're catching a cold," Tara said, her voice concerned.

Willow continued to sneeze throughout the meal, and by the end of it she definitely had a headache. Worried Tara felt her forehead, and realized that Willow was running a slight temperature.

She left the room with the plates, and returned to the room with a glass of water and a tablet, which Willow took without even asking a question. Ten minutes later she was asleep, tired from the happenings of the day. Tara sat there on the easy chair next to the bed watching her like a mother hen, and soon fell asleep herself.

The night passed and the morning dawned. Willow woke up feeling much better the next morning, and the first sight that greeted her took away any signs of sickness that she might have felt. "She's looks so adorable" she thought to herself, smiling at the vision that met her eyes.

It was true, Tara fast asleep in an easy chair, her blonde hair spread around her, with the most peaceful look on her face was indeed an absolutely adorable sight...

Continue to Love Thy Neighbour Chapter Eleven

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