The Next Morning

Tara sat up on the bed, naked but under the covers, stretching her leg lazily, smiling at Willow, who was currently stretched across the bed, draping herself over Tara.
"When did morning happen?" Willow asked playfully confused. Tara grinned,
"When the moon went down?" She replied, making Willow laugh quietly, then lean up to kiss her quickly
They pulled away and Willow moved, resting her head on Tara's lap and smiling, "I forgot how good this could feel" she said sleepily. Tara started rubbing Willow's arm and back, while Willow continued "Us, together." Sounding slightly guilty "Without the magick.."
Tara grinned, adding, "There was plenty of magic, Will"
Willow smiled, totally at peace, then sighed "It's getting late.."
Tara smiled slightly and asked "Wanna get up?" knowing the answer already.
Willow turned and answered "no, oh god, no.. I was just thinking about Buffy"
Tara realises something, "Oh. She's still not back?"
Willow shook her head slightly "I didn't hear her." Then, sounding worried, "She wouldn't talk about what happened at the magic shop when she got home last night, She just wanted to know how close I got to tracing the camera signal back to the Empire of the Nerds. And then she left again."
Tara says confidently "I'm sure she'll be okay."
Willow nods and adds "I'm not really worried about her going up against Warren and the others. I know this is going to sound crazy, but.. I think there might be something going on. With Spike and Buffy." At this, Tara starts looking slightly uncomfortable, but Willow doesn't notice and just continues "She looked so hurt when she saw him with Anya.. I think maybe--"
Tara couldn't stay quiet anymore "They've been sleeping together." She blurted.
Willow laughs and replies "No, I wouldn't go _that_ far"
Tara shook her head, more uncomfortable "No, I mean she told me, they've been sleeping together." Willow sat up, looking at Tara. Making Tara look slightly worried.
"Sleeping together? You mean like, the naked kind of together?" Willow asked incredulously.
Tara sighed, "I'm sorry I didn't say anything. I promised her I wouldn't."
Willow, sighed, looking hurt and shocked "Does everyone know? Am I the only one she didn't--"
Tara cut her off quickly, "Oh god, no. She didn't even mean to tell me, it just came out."
Willow, talking more to herself than Tara "How could she keep something like that from me?"
Tara smiled slightly "I think she was afraid of the look you'd get on your face, kinda like the one you're wearing now."
Willow shook her head "No, I'm not -- I'm just trying to understand.."
Tara nodded slightly "So is she."
Willow sits silently, absorbing everything. Feeling more concerned for Buffy than hurt.
"She probably really needs someone to talk to.."
Tara replied, "Probably.. You know, we've been kinda busy, maybe we didn't hear her come home."

Willow nodded and got out of bed, putting on an oversized football shirt as a nightie, then walked out of the room to talk to Buffy.

Tara just sat in the bed, waiting for Willow to come back. "Hope Buffy won't be too upset that I told Willow.. I mean, Willow was close to knowing anyway.. So it doesn't really matter..." Tara sighed and stopped trying to convice herself.
A minute passed, getting bored, she wrapped the bed cover around herself and walked out the door

"Is she back yet--" She spotted Dawnie "Oh. Hey."
Dawn looks stunned "You -- You two -- Oh my god!" She suddenly looks delighted "oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!"
Tara blushed and looked down "Think that's my cue to put some clothes on" Turning to go back into the bedroom, she started when Dawnie said loudly
"No! I'm totally not here! You guys do whatever you want. I'll watch TV! In the basement! Where I can't hear. Anything. Oh my god! Oh my god!" She dashes off, excited.
Tara and Willow smile at eachother, blushing slightly. Then Dawnie comes running back up "I love you guys!" Dashing off again. Willow and Tara beam at eachother.

Willow suddenly thinks of something "Are you hungry?" I mean, I'm partly dressed, I can go get us some food from the kitchen, 'cause that's where the food is and we've been sorta busy.." Just then her stomach decided to growl "And I think I'm kinda hungry." She giggled and looked at Tara questioningly "so whatcha want? You could put on my dressing gown and make those pancakes.. I love how you make pancakes" She smiled shyly.
Tara nodded, walked back into the room and came back out, quickly, with Willow's dressing gown on. "So do you have any maple syrup?" She asked, Willow just grinned, took Tara's hand and led her downstairs.
When they entered the kitchen they saw a note on the fridge, Willow walked over and read it, "Hey, it's Dawnie. She says she went out and she'll be back later. Oh and she says this 'if you guys make any pancakes, can you make me some and put them in the fridge? please? I love cold pancakes.. The maple sauce is in the cupboard next to the sink!" Tara laughed quietly.
"I missed this." She says quietly, smiling at Willow, who walkes over to Tara and kisses her gently
"Well, you're here now, you won't need to miss it anymore" Willow whispered, pulling Tara in for another kiss.

Later that day,
Willow yawned quietly "Baby, you wore me out.." She grinned.
Tara smiled tiredly "I think I wore myself out.." Then yawns quietly.
"Think we should go to sleep now? I mean.. We'll need all the energy tomorrow.." Willow suggested, smiling.
Tara shook her head "Not yet... One more time?" She asked playfully, Willow laughed and nodded, crawling closer to her girlfriend seductivly, before dissappearing beneath the covers.

The next morning,
Willow and Tara both woke up at the same time, gasping. Then they quickly cuddled eachother, both whispering "I had a horrible dream.." at the same time. It wasn't uncommon for them to share dreams, they supposed it was because of the magick that flowed through both of them. Tara whimpers and whispers "I got.." She trails off "It was horrible.."
Willow nods, crying and whispers "I watched.. I saw you.." Willow pauses and looks confused. "I can't remember it anymore." She states. Looking at Tara quizically.
Tara frowned and says quietly "I can't either. I could remember it so vividly. Strange."
The redhead wipes her eyes "Whatever it was, it must've been pretty horrible, I don't cry about nothing" Tara smiles at her and kisses her cheek. "Pancakes?" Willow asked softly.
Tara laughs and nods "lets get dressed first, then we can have pancakes, okay?"
Willow and Tara are standing in their room, obviously only just finished getting dressed.
Willow smiles, buttoning a white shirt "Hey. Clothes."
Tara grins "Better not get used to 'em." Watching Willow, she silently thanks the Goddess for giving her the courage to come and make things right again.
"Yes ma'am" Willow says, pulling Tara in for a soft loving kiss, they pull away, and hugging eachother, Tara smiles "Mmmm.. Xander"
Willow looks confused, "okay, not the response I was going for." Tara just smiles
"No, he's here." Tara moves away and walks towards the window, looking out into the garden.
"You think they're making up?" Willow says hopefully.
Tara smiles "I hope so" Then turns to face Willow, the morning sun making her skin and hair glow, "That's the best part.."
Willow grins and leans in to kiss Tara. After a few seconds, they both pull away and just smile at eachother.
*If I was to die right now, I'd die happy... Where did that come from?* Tara thinks, still smiling at Willow. Both just enjoying this time together, revelling in their love.
"Everything's so perfect" Willow whispers, beaming at Tara.

Suddenly the window cracks and Willow jolts back as her clean white top is suddenly splattered with blood. Her face locked in an expression of shock, horror and pain.

Tara stares at Willow's shirt, trying to comprehend what happened, "Your shirt.." Tara collapses to the floor.

Willow whimpers, "Tara?" she kneels over Tara, pulling her body onto her knees, "Tara? Come on, baby. Get up. Please. Tara..." She sits still, gently stroking her hair, sobbing
"no.. no... no.."