Chapter Twenty: Peaking out of the Closet

The next day Willow was laying in her hospital bed waiting for the doctors approval to let her leave. It had been a long few days in the hospital, unable to do anything but lay there in the bed. She hated not being able to shower without help or having to walk to the bathroom with an IV attached to her arm.

"Hey," a familiar voice said, causing Willow to look up into the blue eyes she loved so much.

"Tara, hi!" Willow exclaimed, excited by the blonde's presence as she tried to sit up in the bed.

Tara chuckled slightly at Willow's reaction and walked over to help the redhead ease up into a sitting position before smiling down at the redhead. "Someone seems happy."

"I am...I mean, I'm going home today," Willow explained, trying to explain away the real reason she was excited. "Will you come see me when I go home?"

"Of course I will, Sweetie. U-unless y-you don't want me t-too?" Tara asked, dropping her head to hide behind her blonde hair.

The sound of Tara calling her sweetie caused Willow's heart to began to race and instantly pushed her into babble mode. "Of course I want you to visit. I-I just know that you'll be busy here with your mom and all and I didn't want you to feel obligated to come see me. I would just like for you to come see me cause you know, you're my best friend and I miss you when I don't see you for a while, but I don't want to force you to come see me. I mean, I'll be better soon and I can always come see you, but I don't want..."

Willow's nervous babble was cut off unexpectantly as two fingers covered her lips, effectively stopping the redhead from speaking. "I promise I'll come visit," Tara whispered, smiling crookedly at Willow as the redhead visibly relaxed.

"Okay. Good...that's good. I want you to come see me if you want to come see me," Willow mumbled, still feeling extremely nervous.

Tara frowned at the redhead's words, not quite understanding what was causing the redhead to act so uncomfortable. "W-Willow? A-Are you okay?" Tara asked, giving Willow a concerned look.

"I'm fine. Finey-mcfine-fine. That's me..." Willow replied, nervously playing with the blanket that was covering her.

"Are you sure?" Tara wondered, knowing something was bothering Willow even if she wouldn't admit it.

"Yep. Positive. I'm positivo-girl," Willow told her, still fidgeting nervously as she spoke.

"D-do you w-w-want me to l-leave?" Tara offered, wondering if she was the reason for Willow's sudden nervous behavior.

"What? Leave? No! Please don't leave!" Willow exclaimed, her head snapping up to look into the confused blue eyes.

"Um...Willow? I-I'm re-really co-confused right n-now," Tara admitted, still not understanding what was going on.

"I'm sorry...I'm just confused any I'm not meaning to make you feel confused or upset. I just don't know how to react to certain things right now and my arm hurts and I'm tired, but..."

Tara felt her heart break for the redhead as she gently placed her hand over Willow's mouth again stopping another stream of Willow-babble from taking hold. " you w-want to t-t-talk about it?"

"Umm...okay. If...If I tell you something, will you promise not to freak out?" Willow asked, giving Tara a nervous smile.

"I promise," Tara told her, taking Willow's hand in her own.

"!" Willow mumbled, her words running together and causing Tara to frown at the redhead in confusion.

"Um...what? Can you say that a little slower, Will?"

" think I'm," Willow admitted, dropping her head to look down at her hands, afraid to look at Tara.

Tara sat there, confused by Willow's words until the realization dawned on her and she took Willow's chin her hand , lifting it so that green eyes met blue. "Do you remember who your talking to, Sweetie?" Tara joked, giving Willow a crooked smile. "I already came out of the closet, Will. You don't have to be afraid to admit something like that to me."

"O-okay," Willow said, feeling as though she was drowning in Tara's blue eyes. "There is...there's something else."

"What is it, Will?" Tara asked, moving her hand from Willow's chin to cup her cheek.

"'s this girl I like," Willow began, her nerves keeping her from admitting to Tara who the girl was.

"Do I know her?" Tara wondered, frowning at the redhead.

"Um...yeah. You do," Willow admitted, looking away from Tara.

"Is she one of our friends?" Tara asked, trying to figure out what Willow was too afraid to tell her.

"Um...I guess you can say that...I mean, she's my friend and all but I don't know if you consider her a friend or not. I mean..."

"Willow...its okay. Buffy and I are friends now," Tara told her, resting her hand reassuringly on Willow's arm.

"Buffy? What does Buffy have to...oh! No, not Buffy. Definitely not Buffy. She's..."

"Its okay. I won't tell her, Will. I can kinda get it. I mean she's cute and you two get along really well," Tara said, stopping Willow's need to deny anything.

"But...Buffy's not the..."

"You don't have to pretend, Will. I promise I won't say a word to Buffy," Tara told her, giving Willow a reassuring smile.

Before Willow could say anything else, the door opened and the doctor walked into the room carrying a clipboard with a bunch of papers on top and a pen. Feeling disappointed as Tara slipped from a room with a soft smile, Willow frowned at the forms as she filled them out, irritated that she didn't just tell Tara she had a crush on her instead of playing guessing games.

A/N: Thank you Gimpy72 for all the help with this story and all my others.