Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy, but I do own Sophie :)
AN: This chapter features Willow and a slightly older little Tara, enjoy!
When Willow rematerialised in the corner of a crowded room, she panicked, taking a quick look around to check if anybody had seen. Thankfully, it looked like her sudden appearance had gone unnoticed. Relaxing slightly, she surveyed her surroundings. It seemed like a celebration of some sort, possibly a wedding reception, was taking place, and all the guests looked to be dressed in formal wear. Willow glanced down at her own casual attire, feeling self-conscious and under dressed. She considered staying in the corner to avoid drawing attention to herself while she waited for the spell to pull her off somewhere else. For awhile, this was exactly what she did. But then she spotted a very familiar looking child standing at a snack table across the room. Willow would have known the girl anywhere. It was Tara, at about seven years of age. Willow smiled, but her smile soon turned into a look of panic when she saw the little girl reach for a snack that contained what looked like a shrimp.
"Maybe she doesn't know she's allergic yet" Willow thought to herself, panic growing as she began to push through the crowd, still trying to draw as little attention to herself as possible. She had to stop Tara from eating that shrimp. But Tara was on the other side of the room, and there was no way Willow could get there in time. She bit her lip to help herself resist the urge to cry out as her future soulmate bit into a food that could kill her. She continued to push through the crowd, panicking even more as little Tara began to gasp and clutch at her throat, showing the first telltale signs of an allergic reaction. As other's began to notice the child's stress they began to gather around, inadvertently blocking Willow's path. A kind looking woman who Willow guessed to be Tara's mother crouched beside the little girl, while the man she recognised as Tara's father stood nearby looking unimpressed. Willow hung back a little, waiting to see if they knew what to do.
"Tara, what's wrong sweetie?" Her mother asked. Tara tried to speak, but the swelling in her throat made it difficult. Tara's mother let out a cry of alarm as the little girl fell to her knees, still gasping. Her father just looked angry.
"Get up, girl" he barked. "Stop making a scene!" Willow felt hatred for her soulmate's father well up inside her, and she couldn't stand back any longer.
"Get out of the way!" she yelled, pushing people aside as she fought her way to Tara. "Let me through, she's having an allergic reaction!" She dropped to her knees beside Tara's mother who had pulled the child into her lap, then muttered a quick spell to conjure an EpiPen which she quickly plunged into little Tara's thigh. The older Tara had taught her how to use one a few months after they had started dating, in case of emergency. After a tense couple of moments, little Tara drew a shaky breath. Her mother gave a sigh of relief.
"Thank you!" she cried, clutching her daughter closer to her chest. "Whoever you are, thank you!"
"On that note" said Tara's father, eyes narrowed, "Who are you, exactly?" Willow was tempted to say 'Someone who loves your daughter a heck of a lot more than you do', but she didn't.
"My name is Willow" she replied. "I'm, uh, a doctor. I was on my way to the medical conference, but I must have got off on the wrong floor."
"Lucky you did" said Tara's mother.
"Yeah" Willow smiled. "I probably better go. The other, uh, doctors will be missing me." She stood and began to walk away, until a small, stuttering voice called her back.
"W-wait." Willow turned to smile at little Tara.
"What is it, sweetie?"
"You d-dropped this" she stuttered, holding the slightly crumpled ultrasound ultrasound photo out to Willow. She looked her future soulmate in the eye. "It's s-special, isn't it?"
"Yeah" Willow smiled, crouching to give little Tara a hug. "Very special."