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Tara stood in the near silent hall outside her bedroom. Inside she could hear Willows breathing, slightly laboured as though she were fighting tears. The sound chilled her heart and she fought to suppress her own sadness.
She knew the stifled tears were her doing and the thought that she had caused Willow pain broke her heart more terminally then the bullet that had taken her life.
Knocking gently on the door, she waited patiently for Willow to respond. The silence that filled the small area was deafening and she wanted to scream just to have something to hear.
Knocking again, she leant in towards the solid wood and rested her forehead against the solid door.
“Willow?” she whispered softly, “Can I come in?”
Tara heard Willow on the other side of the door, she sniffed a few times and Tara could almost see her wiping her eyes and nose. Only about six feet away and yet the gap that had opened up between them seemed an unbridgeable chasm.
“Come in.” Willows voice sounded much like Tara recalled herself sounding like when she had first met the redhead. Small, timid and meek but mainly lost and alone and Tara swallowed the bile that burnt the back of her throat.
Pushing open the door, she stepped into the room and it felt as though it had shrunk in size. Willow sat on the bed, her eyes darted past Tara as she entered and Tara knew that look immediately. It had been the exact same one she herself had used hundreds of times in her past. Willow was planning an escape if she so needed one.
“I’ll go!” Tara said, turning before she had really properly entered.
Tara closed her eyes, even now Willow had the power to stop her with nothing but a word. She wondered momentarily how it was that one whispered word could freeze her in her tracks and yet, when it really mattered, she couldn’t reign in her anger.
Tara turned and faced the redhead, forcing her eyes to meet those of her love.
“Why Tara?” she asked, despite the hushed volume, her words hit Tara as hard as if she’d yelled them at the top of her lungs.
Tara shook her head softly. “I….” she didn’t know, it was that simple. The one question in the world that she needed to know the answer to and she couldn’t even hazard a guess.