"In fact just to be safe Tara, you should wait until you get back to your place to open it."
"O-okay." Obviously Willow doesn't want anyone to see what's in here. Should I be worried?
"I promise." Yes, I promise. If you really don't want anyone to see what it is you gave me, then I probably wouldn't want that either.
It took a minute for Willow to calm down, but it seemed that Tara's promise made her feel better. Tara didn't know whether to laugh at how cute the redhead was when she got all flustered or to be concerned about the reason the redhead did not want Tara to open her gift in front of the others. She stared at the package in her hands and smiled, but her smile turned to a frown when she saw the time on her watch. She had been at the hospital far longer than she planned. It feels like I've been here for days.
"I-I have to go anyway." Tara flashed the redhead an apologetic shrug.
"But you just got here!" Willow said, a little too loudly.
"I-I know, but I h-have to meet Jo. I just w-wanted to stop by."
Each of the friends took turns giving Tara a hug, including, to everyone's surprise, Faith. Last but not least however was Willow, and Tara could not resist pulling the redhead in just a little closer.
"Don't worry Willow, I'll wait." Tara whispered into Willow's ear as she slowly pulled away, causing her lips to brush against Willow's cheek. Out of the corner of her eye Tara watched for Willow's reaction, and the girl did not disappoint. She blushed and her eyes darted briefly to her friends.
"Thanks." Was all Willow could say. Her mouth had gone dry and her cheeks felt like they were on fire. The last thing she wanted to do was let go of the girl in her arms, but she had no choice when Tara took a step back.
"I-I'll see ya." She gave the group one final wave and turned to walk away.
Tara had only taken a few steps when she had a thought. She stopped and turned back to the redhead.
"Yeah?" The redhead smiled hopefully.
"My pencils, you still have them?" Tara asked, tilting her head to the side.
"Um, well, yeah."
"Have you used them?"
"I, um, no, I didn't want to, I mean not that I didn't want to want to, I just, you know, I've been saving them?" Willow could feel her ears burning in embarrassment.
"You should, you know."
"What?" The thoroughly confused redhead asked.
"Oh, um, okay."
Tara gave Willow a smile, and as she walked away, Willow couldn't help but wonder, did she just wink at me?