Willows Penance

BY : Eagleblaze
Category: -Buffy the Vampire Slayer > FemmeSlash - Female/Female > Tara/Willow
Dragon prints: 3340
Disclaimer: I do not own The Buffy verse, Show, or characters, Joss Whedon does. I do not make any Money/Profit from this, it is only for fun.

Chapter three

Willow snapped out of her daze when he started unchaining her, tilting her head in confusion. She gasped when he threw her to the ground and jumped on top of her, and stared at him fearfully. He pushed his lips to hers violently, biting her bottom lip hard enough to draw blood, making her gasp. He took the opportunity to shove his tongue in exploring the inside of her mouth roughly while she struggled weakly, hitting him with her fists. He stopped kissing her, licking her blood off her bottom lip before dropping his weight on her and ripping her bra off despite her shriek {No no no no! No! Not this! Anything but this!} She bucked her hips in an effort to fling him off, though he moaned at her efforts. 

"Mmm… yeah… keep it coming baby.." She whimpered, still hitting him 

"Let me up! Get off!" He snickered 

"Aw… But we havent even started our fun yet.." She whined in fear as he ripped her panties off, taking in her whole body with his hungry eyes. He started exploring it with his hands, stopping to pinch her every now and then. 

"Please dont…" She begged softly, only getting another snicker. He leaned down and licked a trail from her collarbone down.. She yelped and shoved him when his tongue traveled down the valley of her breasts

"Aw, dont like me touching you there?" She shook her head meekly, and he instead bit her left breast, causing her to cry out in pain. She was so wrapped up in the pain that she barely realized as he pushed her legs apart. He stopped biting her, grinning when she realized her was positioned at her opening. Her breathing quickened out of fear and she struggled harder, yelling protests. 

"Please! Dont! Please no! No!" Her protests changed to a scream of agony as he thrust forward, putting his full length inside of her with a single thrust. "No! No! Tara help! Tara!" She screamed as He pulled fully out before thrusting back in, repeating the process over and over, his pace quickened as he grabbed her breasts, squeezing roughly despite her screams. She had felt no pain like this, and she couldnt focus her mind elsewhere. She couldnt save her mind from this pain at all. There was a weird sound as the vamp turned to dust, though she didnt seem to notice anything except that he wasn't inside her anymore, though the pain was still great. She curled into a ball, her body shaking with pained sobs. 

"Oh goddess… Willow… Willow sweetie…" She curled up even tighter 

"Trick.. Its a trick…" She mumbled, shaking in fear

"Oh my God.. I.. I need to.." She heard the sound of puking from the fake Xander, but didn't fall for it. She knew it was all a trick. 

"Willow… I'm so sorry.." She knew Buffy couldnt be here. It was a trick. Besides, why would she? None of them should forgive her for what shes done. She felt a hand gently touch her shoulder, though she flinched away

"Trick.. Trick… trick…" 

"Willow Sweetie… Its not a trick.. We're here…" She slowly lifted her head, a sob choking her when she saw Tara

"No… Its a trick… Nobody would want me…" Tara had tears flowing as a steady river down her face, and Willow flinched again when she moved her hand to her cheek, cupping it gently

"Oh sweetie… Of course we do…" Willow shook her head slowly 

"No.. I'm a monster.. I hurt you and Dawn.. And everyone…"

"No.. You're just.. Sick… You've been so brave.. I'm so proud of you." Willow sniffled, allowing herself to be pulled into Taras arms, wincing as the pain made itself clear again, and there was a slick sticky feeling between her legs

"R-Really..?" Tara nodded, brushing her hair out of her face gently

"So proud…" 

"Oh god.. Shes bleeding.. We have to.. We need to take her to a hospital.." {Bleeding? How… oh…} She whined as Tara tried picking her up, pain jolting her. 

"Sorry Sweetie.. I have to pick you up.." Tara started lifting her up again and she whined in pain. She reached out to try and grab onto Tara, clutching at her shirt with a whimper "I know… I know.. You're so brave.." Willow gritted her teeth to keep from making more noise. 

"Here.. Tara, let me carry her.." Tara shook her head 

"I can do it." She growled protectively. Willow snuggled her head into her ex's chest weakly, trying to hide her face out of shame. 

"Er.. Shes uh.. Kinda.." 

"Oh yeah. Naked.. That's a problem.." 

"Xander. Put your jacket over her." Willow grinned weakly at Taras commanding voice, feeling a rough fabric cover her. "We're getting out of here and never coming back." Willow felt her eyelids start to droop, and for the first time in a while, allowed herself to fall asleep in the safety of Taras arms. 

 

*Taras pov* 

 

"We need a doctor!" Xander yelled as they rushed into the hospital. Lots of doctors and nurses rushed towards them, asking lots of questions, but they were all blurred to Tara. The only thing she was totally aware of, was the sleeping woman in her arms. She remembered the terrible sick feeling she had gotten when they arrived to find they were too late to protect her from being… She squeezed her eyes shut, tightening her grip on Willow. The sick feeling she had gotten seeing that happening to the woman she loved hadnt gone away. 

"Ma'am? Ma'am, we need to put her on the bed so we can examine her." She was snapped out of her thoughts as a nurse talked to her softly, a hospital bed positioned in front of her. Tears sprang to her eyes 

"I.. I cant leave her…" 

"Ma'am, we need to make sure shes okay. You three can wait in the waiting room, and we'll let you see her as soon as we know shes okay." Tara looked down at Willow, who was still sleeping. She reluctantly laid her down on the bed, the sleeping girl groaning quietly. “Thank you, Now, We are going to have someone ask you some questions soon, so please make your way towards the waiting room.” 

“Nurse, She has a fever of 102.3. We need to check her for infection as soon as possible, we need to go!” Tara tried to make her way back to Willows side, but Buffy held her back 

“Let them take care of her.. sh-she’ll be okay…” Tara bit her lip as they rolled Willow away quickly, the doctors and nurses beginning to check her over and hook her up to a machine. {She looks so small…} Tara thought solemnly as Buffy led her to the waiting room, not taking her eyes off of Willow until she was pushed behind doors and out of sight. 

“Dawn.. we need to get Dawn from school.. and Anya and Giles..” Xander mumbled 

“Can you Xander? I uh..” Buffy lowered her voice “Don’t want to leave Tara here alone..” Tara frowned, deciding not to tell her that she could hear them as Xander nodded, rushing away. Buffy turned to her with a grim smile, but she stayed silent. 

“We should s-sit down…” 

“Is anyone here for a Willow Rosenberg?” Taras gaze snapped over to a man that seemed to appear out of nowhere, carrying a clipboard. 

“We are. Question guy I assume?” Buffy called, sitting down in one of the chairs. The guys blank expression didn’t change as he walked towards them, gesturing for Tara to sit down

“I-I’d rather s-stand…” She stuttered, shaking her head. The man nodded slowly 

“Alright… Do you know what happened to Miss Rosenberg? We haven’t had the chance to look her over properly yet, but her injuries seem far from what a normal patient would come in with.” Tara looked at Buffy, unsure of what to tell him.

“We uh.. there were some guys who don’t really like me, ya know..? We knew they had taken her but uh.. they told us not to call the police.. but Er.. she was dropped off at our door like this…” The man narrowed his eyes, scribbling something down on his clipboard 

“Mhm… These men, are they criminals?” Buffy frowned 

“Uh.. kinda..?” 

“How did you get involved with them?” 

“Uh… old boyfriend.. really grumpy guy..” The man pressed his lips into a line, looking them both over 

“Okay.. well.. The police in Sunnydale are quite busy as always… but as soon as we can.. we’ll look into this. Have a good day.” He got up and quickly left, leaving them to stare blankly at the air. 

“Well.. I Uh.. I think we’re gonna be here awhile.. You should sit down.” Tara narrowed her eyes at her 

“I don’t want too.” 

“Tara.. look, I know this must be really hard but-”

“But what? Willow is in there being poked and prodded after being held by those monsters an-and tortured for weeks… and as it is.. we couldn’t find her before..” Her voice faded off and she sat down without thinking, putting her head in her hands 

“I’m.. I'm sorry..” Tara gritted her teeth 

“Sorry for what..? This isn’t your fault and I know it.. She’s done some really b-bad things.. no one can blame you for n-not wa-wanting to see her that night…” 

“Then why cant I stop blaming myself?” 

“Because you're a good person… Oh goddess..” What the doctors had said before rolling Willow away hit her like a bus “Infection..” 

“Tara..? What’s wrong?” 

“They said she had a fever.. maybe an infection.. no.. her body’s too weak to fight an infection! What if it.. what if..” 

“Tara, look at me.” Tara turned her head reluctantly, still plagued by the thought of Willow dying. “The doctors will help her. Willow will be okay.” 

“Friends of Miss Rosenberg?” Tara jumped up, seeing an actual doctor. 

“That’s us.. is she okay?” The doctor frowned 

“You may want to sit down.” Taras heart lurched {No!} “Miss Rosenberg sustained several injuries such as burns, cuts and broken bones.. as well as.. It appears that she was raped, and rather harshly.. There appears to be no permanent physical damage, though she.. might not be the same person she was. It appears she has gone through a very traumatic time, and it is very important for you to be there for her.” Tara nodded slowly 

“M-May I see her..?” 

“She’s asleep right now, but you may see her two at a time.. I don’t think it’s a very good idea to have male visitors for a while.” Tara nodded sadly, and Buffy quickly got up. 

"Can I.. Can I go alone..?" Tara asked softly. Buffy frowned but reluctantly nodded "Th-Thanks…" She walked down to the room swiftly, taking a deep breath before pushing the door open. The soft beeping filled her ears before she saw Willow. She was covered by a pale hospital blanket, an iv sticking out of her hand. She was hooked up to a machine for vitals, and Tara was relieved to see she had a steady heartbeat. She slowly made her way towards the bed, her heart aching at Willows paleness. There was a nasty bruise in the shape of a hand that colored her cheek, her lips were cracked, dried blood caking the bottom one, and there was still dried blood on her forehead. She looked as if she would break. Tara choked back a sob, pulling a chair close to the bedside and taking her hand carefully. She made small, gentle circles on the back of it, wishing she could take away the pain she had gone through. "Oh Willow… I'm so proud of you.." The eyes in front of her flickered open slowly, tears leaking out. "Willow? Baby, are you awake?" 

"R-Really…? Are you p-proud of me…?" Tara nodded slowly, fighting the urge to gather her in her arms. 

"I'm so proud of you sweetie… you've been so brave.." Willow suddenly squirmed away, whining softly 

"C-Cant.. You cant see me like this.. H-He.. You.." Tara stopped fighting the urge and hugged her gently 

"I know.. I'm so sorry.." The beeping on the monitor sped up and Willows eyes seemed to glaze over, though she was wailing in distress. Tara tried desperately to calm her down, tears streaming down her face as well as Willows. 

“Ms. Rosenberg? Can you hear me?” Nurses rushed in, some of them holding Willow down as her arms started flailing, trying to hit them 

“No! Get away!” She shrieked, thrashing in the bed violently. Tara didn’t know what to do, but wanted to calm her down, the sight hurting her heart 

“Willow? Sweetie? Can you hear me?” 

“No! Stop playing with my mind! It’s a trick!” Willow yelped as the nurses stuck a needle in her arm, fighting even more 

“Hold her tighter! She’s gonna break it!” 

“No! Stop! I don’t want it!” The nurse pushed the medicine into her bloodstream as she screamed, the screams and fights calming down “No… trick… it’s a trick…” 

“No, Willow, Sweetie.. It’s not a trick… I’m here..” Tara finally choked out, taking Willows hand again, trying to stop the river of tears that continued to flow from her eyes. Willows eyelids flickered as she looked towards her, until sleep finally won, and she slumped back against the pillows. Tara sniffled, trying to swallow the lump in her throat as she turned to the nurse “W-What did you g-give her..?” She squeaked. The nurse frowned sympathetically

“Something to help her sleep… to calm her down.” Tara nodded meekly 

“I-Is she a-always going to be like th-this..?” The nurse glanced at Willow solemnly 

“Well.. from what I’ve heard, she’s been through a very traumatic time… It’s very possible she won’t be the same person. A lot of rape victims aren’t…” The nurse sighed “Who are you? A sister?” Tara gulped 

“Uh.. a-an e-ex..” The nurse nodded slowly 

“I should probably get back to my paperwork.. good luck with her.” After she had left, Tara looked at Willow sadly before leaning over and planting a gentle kiss on her forehead.

 

***

 

“W-Wow..” Tara snapped out of her sleep, lifting her head off of Willows chest slowly. Buffy took a step forward, through the door, looking at Willow “She looks so… so small..” Tara looked at Willow, Frowning. 

“Yeah… She.. Oh Buffy.. she woke up earlier a-and..” Buffy pulled another chair next to hers, not looking away from Willow. “Goddess.. she was /ashamed/.. lik-like it was her fault… She said I s-shouldn’t se-see her like this..” Buffy shook her head solemnly 

“I can’t believe I let this happen… how could I just /leave/ her?” Tara gulped 

“B-Buffy.. I don’t blame you. I-I know what Willow was doing was wr-wrong.. that’s why I…” She trailed off, hoping Buffy understood the rest of that sentence “She hurt Dawn.. you had to think of her… Nobody could have known she would have been taken… Had I been in your place.. I probably would’ve done the same thing..” They both tensed when Willow groaned, moving her head to the side. Tara moved closer “Willow?” 

“No… no… dont…” Tara and Buffy shared a look 

“She’s having a bad dream..” As if on cue, Willow started thrashing again, her voice picking up 

“No! Stop! Get off! T-Tara! Help!” Tara felt more tears grow in her eyes as she reached towards the redhead, trying to calm her 

“Willow, it’s okay! You're okay! You're in the hospital!” Willow didn’t seem to hear, her limbs still flailing in panic 

“Off! Get off! Plea-Please no!” Tara gasped and fell out of the chair as one of Willows arms hit her. Buffy jumped up and held her down, pushing her back onto the bed roughly as Tara scrambled to get up. “N-No! No! Help! Leave me alone!” 

“Miss Summers, back up!” Buffy glared at the nurse but reluctantly let go of Willow and moved away. Tara quickly got in front of Willow upon seeing the needle. 

“Th-that scared her last time.. I-Isn’t there an-another way?” The nurse looked past her at Willow, who still thrashed wildly 

“Other than stepping back and letting her handle this on her own, no. It’s too dangerous to try and calm a person in this state any other way.. It seems she’s already hit you once.” 

“B-But she di-didn’t mean..” 

“Just let me give her the medicine, and she’ll calm down.” 

“But.. What if it /didn’t/ actually calm her down? What if it didn’t take the nightmare away, and only made her sleep?! Only trapped her in it?!” The nurse seemed annoyed and Tara realized it wasn’t the nice one from earlier. 

“Just step aside please.” Tara shook her head, locking her jaw stubbornly. 

“Nancy, just let it go. Ms. Maclay is listed as Ms. Rosenbergs top emergency contact, anything concerning the patient should go through her.” Tara couldn’t help smiling smugly as the grumpy nurse scoffed and walked out, leaving the nice one from before. “Just stay away from her for a little bit. Once she wakes up, you can try to calm her down, okay? Just don’t get yourselves hurt.” Tara nodded as she left, wincing at the high pitched scream from Willow. 

“T-Tara…? Is that y-you..?” Tara spun around, smiling as she was greeted by soft green eyes. She rushed over, taking her hand gently 

“Yes Sweetie.. it’s me… everything’s okay.. you’re safe.. you’re in the hospital…” Willow nodded tearfully 

“Is he..” Tara gritted her teeth at the mention of the vampire 

“Dusted.” Willow nodded slowly 

“Good.” She looked down, playing with the blanket. “He said you wouldn’t come for me… that you didn’t care…” Tara frowned and went to object, but she continued “I knew it wasn’t true. I never doubted that you’d come… no matter what I did…” Tara gave her hand a small squeeze as tears leaked from her eyes “I-I’m so-sorry you had to see me l-like that-”

“Don’t start that again!” Tara suddenly snapped, regretting it when Willow flinched away. She quickly lowered her voice “Dont say that.. Nothing that happened is your fault.” Willow looked up slowly 

“But it is… I got myself into the magick. I hurt everyone, and no one could blame Buffy for leaving. If she hadn’t.. I probably would have ended up hurting someone again.” 

“Willow…” 

“Tara, I hurt /you…/ and I /still/ didn’t stop! Maybe.. Maybe..” Tara narrowed her eyes as Willow pulled her hand away gently, looking away from her “Maybe I deserve this… Maybe you should’ve let him kil-” 

“Stop. You don’t deserve this. I haven’t forgotten what you’ve done, believe me.” Willow sniffled as she continued, but didn’t look back at her. “But nobody deserves what… what he did to you.” Willows hands shook slightly 

“But I..” 

“No. You were.. sick. You needed help not to be tortured and ra-” She Quickly stopped herself when Willow started sobbing, guilt making her stomach flop. “Willow.. I didn’t mean to say that..” Willow didn’t seem to hear her, instead she folded into herself, wincing as she did. 

“I… I’m tired..” Tara nodded slowly as the witch closed her eyes. Tara frowned and rested her hand on Willows, rubbing her finger in small circles, watching as her body relaxed. As she fell asleep, Tara noticed she seemed to lean into her touch. She sighed softly. 

"Oh gosh.." Tara quickly looked to the door, relaxing when she saw it was only Anya. The ex demon crossed the room slowly and awkwardly, looking at Willow solemnly. "Is she dead?" Tara bit her lip to keep from getting angry 

"No. Shes not dead, shes sleeping." 

"Can we wake her up? Xander asked me to check on her, and I cant very well do that if shes sleeping. Besides, he said you wont leave the room and you're the only one besides Buffy seeing her freak who saw her awake." Tara sighed 

"Anya, she needs her rest… shes.. Been through a lot." Anya pouted, coming closer to the bed. 

"Is she going to die? Like Joyce did?" Tara gulped 

"I… hope not. I'm sure she'll be okay." Anya nodded 

"Good. I dont want anyone else to die." Tara couldnt help but grin. 

"Neither do I." 

"Can we wake her up now? I want to say hi." Tara sighed 

"I dont think thats a good idea.. We could startle her." 

"Oh. You mean, because the vamp raped her? Guess that makes sense. Sure that would make anyone jumpy." Tara bit her lip harder as she heard Willow sigh in her sleep 

"Anya, maybe you should go back to Xander, I'm sure he's getting worried." Anya pressed her lips together before leaving. 

 

*Willows pov*

 

She listened to Anya and Tara talk as she pretended to be asleep. She couldn't sleep anymore without nightmares, and didn't want to bother Tara with her thrashing when she did have one… or go into another one of those 'states' shes been going into… where it seems shes there again.. That everythings happening again.. She pushed those thoughts away and focused on the conversation going on. 

"Oh. You mean, because the vamp raped her? Guess that makes sense. Sure that would make anyone jumpy." Her breath hitched before she could help it, but she quickly played it off as a dreamy sigh. She was grateful when Tara sent Anya back out to the waiting room… not that she didn't appreciate the girls concern.. She was just too blunt. She heard Taras chair squeak as she moved and wondered if she was going to lay on her again. But she didn't, and Willow found herself slightly disappointed. 

"Willow… I'm so sorry.." She gritted her teeth to keep from telling her ex it wasn't her fault, and that she didnt blame her at all. She couldnt give away her cover, or Tara would pay more attention to see if she was actually sleeping everytime she thought she was… And Willow knew if she knew she didnt want to sleep, she would convince her to, and right now, Willow knew she couldnt refuse Tara anything. "Why didnt you defend yourself..?" Willow furrowed her brow slightly in confusion "Why now?" Her stomach flopped as she heard the hint of anger in her voice "Did you /really/ think I would prefer you got hurt?! Did you really think I'd prefer you go-got…" Her voice faded off into a soft sob and Willow quickly pretended to be waking up, knowing she couldnt fight the urge to comfort her. She turned towards her and opened her eyes slowly.

"Tara? Whats the matter..?" 

“I… Why didn’t you protect yourself..? With magick..?” Willow looked away, biting her lip. 

“I.. I didn’t want to risk hurting anyone again. Th-There’s already so much in my system.. and I decided it would be better if I… stopped sooner then later…” Tara furrowed her brow 

“But.. /you/ got hurt because of it..” Willow didn’t look back, afraid to see disappointment in Taras eyes. 

“I… I know but… sooner or later the magicks would’ve hurt me anyway.. and.. t-this way… I won’t hurt any other people in the process..” She glanced back at Tara briefly, and found she was looking down. “Any more than I already have… I don’t.. I don’t want to hurt anyone anymore… If.. if you guys want.. when I get out of here.. I’ll take my stuff and go away.. you won’t have to deal with me anymore..” 

“No!” Taras head shot up and she quickly grabbed Willows arms, shocking and scaring her. She let out a tiny squeak and flinched and Tara let go “No. We aren’t going to send you away.” Willow frowned {She just feels responsible… but why? All of this is my fault.} 

“Tara… I know you probably feel obligated to help me cause of everything before… but… It’s not your fault.. it’s mine… And maybe since I’m so dangerous i /should/ go away.. go somewhere secluded so I never hurt anyone again…” 

“God Willow! I don’t feel /obligated/ to do anything! Is it too much for you to believe I care about you?!” Willow flinched at her tone but tried to hide it. If Tara was angry with her, she had every right to be, and Willow knew she deserved it. So if Tara wanted to yell, Tara could yell. 

“N-No… I know you’re a very c-caring person but.. I’ve hurt you… I’ve hurt everyone.. and I don’t know /how/ you could still care..” 

“Would you /stop/ with that?! Yes, you’ve done very bad things! I haven’t forgotten, and I probably never will!” Willow lowered her gaze to the bed sheets, fiddling with it. “You /have/ hurt everyone, but that in no way means you should go away into some secluded forest to be found by Goddess knows what, to be killed! I know you didn’t use any magick to defend yourself from /any/ of the things he did! Not even…” Willow gritted her teeth and Tara paused, skipping past the rest of the sentence. “And that’s a step in the right direction… So is not wanting to hurt anyone. Maybe you /are/ dangerous. Maybe it /would/ be safer if you lived somewhere else-” Willow dug her teeth into her lip harder {I knew she would come to her senses..} “-But I’m willing to give you a second chance… Because I do believe this is something you’ll be able to control. But if you do something like this again.. I… that’s it. If you don’t give the magicks up for good this time… I /will/ ask you to move away.” Willow gulped, looking up with tears in her eyes 

“R-Really…?” Tara looked up slowly 

“Really,” Willow gulped when Tara locked eyes with her, looking at her, suddenly stern. “What do you choose?” 

“No more magick! Ever! I promise!” Tara narrowed her eyes 

“You’ve said that once before.” Willow frowned at how little she could be trusted, though she understood it, and knew there was a good reason for it. 

“I-I know… But this time… I-I mean it. I promise.” Tara sighed 

“This is.. this is the last chance, Willow.” 

“I-I know…” Taras lip quivered and Willow yelped as she launched forward. She braced herself for pain, having flashbacks from her time held captive. She allowed herself to relax when she was pulled into a hug {Tara would never hurt me. She’s trying to comfort me.} As if Tara noticed she had been scared, she backed up, looking at her in confusion. “I.. Just.. I’m just a bit jumpy…” Tara nodded, ducking her head

“O-Oh… S-Sorry..” Willow frowned, guilt making her stomach flop again. 

“No, it’s fine… Really. I guess I’m just gonna be like this for a bit…” Tara still didn’t look up and Willows frown deepened. {Great job. Now you’ve upset her. She’s nice enough to give you a second chance, and you upset her.} Willow failed to stifle a groan as a wave of pain ripped through her, grabbing her lower stomach and leaning down.

“Willow?! What’s wrong?!” Tara asked in a yelp, scrambling towards her 

“H-Hurts…” She moaned lowly. Tara quickly pushed the call button, pressing it repeatedly until a nurse rushed in. 

“What is it?” 

“H-Her s-stomach she says it h-hurts..” The nurse frowned and stepped forward 

“Lay back.” Willow whimpered and stayed in place, squealing when the nurse pushed her onto her back. “Can you hold her down please?” She asked Tara, who locked eyes with Willow again. {Please don’t…} Willow begged silently, knowing the nurses intentions were to push on her stomach. Tara mouthed an apology and put her hands on her shoulders. Willow could feel light pressure, and tried squirming up, whining when she moved. She felt Tara push down harder and whimpered, looking into her eyes 

“Shh.. it’s okay.. she just wants to check…” 

“Go-Gonna hurt…” Was all she could manage to choke out, breathing deeply. Without warning the nurse pushed down and Willow shrieked loudly, trying to grab her stomach again, but Tara held her down still. 

“Keep her down…” The nurse rushed from the room, coming back with the doctor. “Left kidney.” The doctor frowned and stepped towards her. Willow felt another whimper rumble in her throat and looked back at Tara. 

“It’s okay… just stay still, okay? You’re doing so good..” The blonde soothed softly. Willow nodded tearfully, trying to hold in her shriek unsuccessfully as the doctor pushed down in the same place the nurse had, pain jolting her. 

“Tara..!” She whimpered quietly as the doctor backed up. 

“You can let go of her now.. thank you.” When Tara let go of her shoulders, she grasped her hand instead and Willow squeezed back weakly. “It appears that her left kidney is failing, I’d like to take her to surgery as soon as possible. Nurse, go check the ORs.” Willow whimpered in fear, moving closer to Tara 

“Surgery..?” The doctor looked at her solemnly 

“If your kidney explodes, it will likely affect the organs around it. We want to take it out to prevent this… You can live with only one kidney, but not all organs are like that.” She looked back at Tara, seeing the same fear in her eyes. Had she not been in so much pain, she probably would have tried to tough it up and comfort her… but right now, she was limited to a child like state. 

“The OR is open sir.” The doctor nodded and the nurse walked over holding a mask. Willow whimpered. She knew that those kinds of masks were used to give anesthesia. She tried to struggle when it was placed over her mouth and nose, but that only made her breath it in quicker. The last thing she saw before passing out, was Tara watching her frightfully as she was wheeled out, her hand still in the air from when she had to let go. 

 

*Taras pov*

 

She rushed forward, wanting to be by Willows side until the doctors wouldn’t allow her to. She could see that Willow had already passed out, but still took her hand as she walked. 

“I-Is this a da-dangerous s-surgery?” The nurse frowned at her

“Every surgery has its risks-” Taras stomach sank “-But this kind of surgery isn’t normally fatal. Though I can’t promise anything.” 

“Will? Where are you taking her?!” Xander asked, rushing from where he was sitting

“Sir, please calm down. She is going in for surgery-”

“Surgery?!” Dawn gasped from where she cowered by Buffys side. Anya grabbed Xander’s arm tightly but stayed silent. Giles frowned and started cleaning his glasses solemnly. 

“Her kidney is failing. If you don’t want it to explode, I recommend you let us through.” Xander backed up slowly and The nurse looked to her. “I’m sorry, but you can’t come back here.” Tara frowned, kissing Willows hand gently before backing away. Giles put a hand on her shoulder as she watched Willow disappear behind doors. She slumped into a chair weakly. 

 

In the OR

 

“Doctor, I can’t find the bleeding!” 

“We’re losing her!” He gritted his lips in concentration 

“We should close her up sir..” 

“No. We are going to finish this surgery.” He deposited the redheads kidney into the awaiting bowl and started mending her artery’s. “Keep giving her more blood.” He commanded “And find the damn bleeding!” His stomach tensed as a long beep started “Damnit!” 

 

*Taras pov* 

 

Her heart seemed to stop when the doctor came out with a solemn look on his face, and his eyes cast down. She burst into tears

“No!” 

“Ma’am..” She sniffled and tried to quiet her crying. “Ms. Rosenberg coded on the table-” Tara couldn’t help but start crying again 

“No…” 

“-But, once we found the source of the bleeding and gave her more blood, we were able to bring her back. She’s been brought back to her room, one of you can be there when she wakes up if you’d like, but I’d still prefer the two at a time rule.” Tara jumped up, rushing back to the room. She heard someone following her, but didn’t care. The only thing on her mind was to get to Willow. The doctor said she was okay, but she had to see it for herself. She practically crashed into the room, rushing to the bedside and taking Willows hand gently. 

“Oh goddess.. oh you're really alive…” She sat down in the chair slowly, reaching out to push some of the girls red hair back behind her ear. 

“Oh gosh… Even after all that… She had to go through Surgery too…” Buffy breathed from the doorway, sitting in a chair on the other side of the bed. They sat there in silence for a couple minutes until Buffy broke it “I just wish she would wake up…” Tara nodded in agreement though she also didn’t want her to wake up. She knew she would probably be in a lot of pain when she woke up. As if on cue, the redhead groaned softly, her hands immediately going to her stomach 

“No.. no… can’t be back there..” She whimpered, squeezing her eyes tighter shut and squirming in fear. Tara tightened the grip on her the redheads hand 

“Open your eyes! Sweetie, it’s okay!” Willow snatched her hand away, struggling to get up 

“Trick! It was all a trick!” She shrieked, tearing the IV out of her arm and jumping off the bed as Buffy leaped for her. She fell with a loud thump, shrieking in pain as she hit the ground. Tara got up quickly and rushed around the bed to see Buffy holding Willow down as she thrashed wildly “No! Let me go! Let go!” 

“Willow! Willow it’s okay!” Tara yelped, Rushing to kneel beside the witch's side. Willow looked at her, her lip quivering before she continued thrashing 

“Stop making me see her!!” Willow yelled at the ceiling “Stop giving me hope to just snatch it away!” Taras heart broke at that and she pushed Buffy off carefully before taking Willow in her arms and holding onto her tight 

“Shh… Sweetie… it’s okay..” Willows body shook as she cried, still trying to get away 

“Why… why…” 

“I’m here… I’m here…” 

“Should I get a nurse…?” Buffy asked quietly. Willow tensed 

“...Needle..?” She breathed, Burying her face deeper in Taras shoulder. Tara rubbed small circles on her back

“I think she’s calmed down now…” Buffy frowned 

“I Uh… meant for the IV… Her arm is kinda.. bleeding..” Tara pushed Willow back a bit, looking blankly at the blood on her shirt. 

“Oh… Sweetie?” Willow whimpered 

“I don’t want a needle..” 

“If you let them put the IV back in, they can give you medicine through that instead of having a bunch of needles…” Willow pouted, but let Tara help her up, wincing 

“I-I remember what happened now..” She mumbled as Buffy walked out to get the nurse 

“Hm? About what?” Willow looked down in shame 

“About the surgery… I remember they said it was my kidney..” She picked at her nails slowly “I-Is that why it hurts..? It’s… it’s not… I’m not… I'm not still there… right?" Tara grabbed her hand 

"No, you're safe… and I'm not going to let anything happen to you." Willow slowly smiled, setting her other hand on top of Taras. A nurse came in holding the drug for the iv, sighing when she saw the old one dangling in the air, and Willows hand bleeding. 

"Alright, Ms. Rosenberg, please give me your hand…" Willow looked at Tara with a small whine and Tara nodded. 

"Squeeze my hand if you need…" Willow grinned at that, not seeming to notice as the nurse began cleaning the place for the IV

"It's like I'm a little ki-" She stopped with a small squeal and Tara felt her squeeze her hand gently. 

"All done… dont pull it out again please." Willow looked at Tara and pouted 

"She didnt warn me." Tara grinned 

"She probably forgot." Willow nodded slowly, her lips turning up in a grin, though she looked out the window at the dark and quickly frowned, clutching the blanket tighter and pulling it up. 

"T-Tara…?" 

"Yes?" 

"Dont leave me please.." Taras expression softened and she climbed into the bed with her, and Willow moved over to make room gratefully. 

"Never… now get some rest." 



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