Disclaimer: Joss owns all the characters from Buffy: The Vampire slayer. No copyright infringement is intended. This is a non-profit piece of fan fiction.
Distribution: The Mystic Muse http://mysticmuse.net
Feedback: You bet!
Spoilers: Up to Hush.
Author's Note: I started this story this spring and sent the first three chapters to The Bear asking him if it was worth continuing. I would like to say I appreciated his comments and inputs. One of the things he told me was to find a beta reader. Tony Kehoe was good enough to review this story three times. I refused to put him through a fourth: so, any errors that you find in this story can be blamed me.
I'm not a writer, but this story just wouldn't go away. If you believe that Buffy and Willow are soulmates, then you have a dilemma. If it was love at first sight, you can throw out every episode after the first show. [My personal opinion is that there is no such thing as love at first sight—lust at sight you bet, but not love.] If the two fall in love at a later date, then you need to make some sense of the events proceeding them as being a couple (the two biggies are the girls' feelings about their ex-boyfriends — Angel and Oz). The only deviation from the series was that Giles bought The Magic Shop at the beginning of season 4. I hope that you enjoy the story.
Summary: Willow and Buffy must perform an intimate spell in order to defeat the Gentlemen. But will it destroy their friendship?
CHAPTER ONE: THE BOOK
It was shortly after twelve when the slim red-haired Wicca, Willow Rosenberg, entered the dorm room that she shared with her best friend, Buffy Summers. Friday afternoon, no more classes, she thought as she placed her textbooks on her desk. This was really her favorite time of the day. She purposely scheduled her classes in the morning, which freed up her afternoons to study or to help out at The Magic Shop, or even to practice a little magic.
Buffy would not be back for a couple of hours. With the exception of Professor's Walsh's class that both of them had together, all of Buffy's classes were in the afternoons. Of course, being the slayer meant Buffy rarely was in bed by two, so getting up in the morning would be darn near impossible.
Walking to her closet, she hung up her windbreaker and debated on whether to have lunch or start reading a book that she had discovered in The Magic Shop the other day. The debate lasted only a moment—the thirst of knowledge easily winning over dining alone. With the decision firmly made, the young woman moved quickly to her bed and pulled up the corner of her mattress. Bending down until she saw the object she was looking for—a worn, thin, leather book. Grabbing the book and letting the mattress down, Willow sat down in the middle of her bed cross-legged with her elbows touching her knees. Taking a deep breath, she once again remembered what had forced her down this path.
Before that disastrous spell, she truly didn't believe how powerful a Wicca she could be. After all, she was only Willow. Without realizing what she was doing, she had caused Giles to go blind and made Buffy madly fall in love with Spike—just the memory of them kissing sent a repulsive shudder down her spine. She nearly succeeded in killing all of her friends. To make amends she baked chocolate chip cookies for them. The problem was that the cookies did little to ease her conscience or the feeling of failure. She remembered what she had told Buffy last year. How she knew what she wanted to do with her life—to fight evil. She remembered the exact words like it were yesterday: It's a good fight, Buffy, and I want in. So far, I've just been a liability to her, she thought in disgust.
Realizing she lacked the self-control and understanding of the fundamentals of magic, she went to Giles for help. Big mistake, Willow remembered.
Giles was quite firm in refusing to help. He told her that "based on his own experience, a person needs self-discipline, self-control and maturity before learning magic." Taking his glasses off and absent-mindedly cleaning them, he reminded her how dangerous spells could be. "People could go blind or die. Best to wait a few more years," he had said, and then turned his back to her and walked to the cash register, effectively ending their conversation.
Of course, Giles' rejection didn't stop her. She heard about a Wicca Club on campus. Going to the campus web page and clicking on clubs, she found out where and when the club would meet next. Seeing the club president's phone number, she gave her a call.
Another big mistake, Willow thought after her conversation with the president convinced her that the club was more interested in bake sales then magic. She thanked the president for her time, but decided never to go to one of their meetings unless she needed a laugh.
Running out of options, she had been borrowing books from The Magic Shop for the last two weeks. High on her list was books that dealt with herbs and their properties, simple spells, or meditation techniques.
It was nice to have a goal and a plan, Willow thought. Yesterday she realized that Oz had left her a little more than a month ago. The pain that had been crippling her had practically vanished. Not all of that had to do with her new magic curriculum. A lot of it had to do with the constant support that Buffy had provided her. Buffy was even supportive in her efforts to become a more competent Wicca. That in itself was a little shocking, since she always believed that Buffy didn't trust her potions or spells. Before patrols, the two of them discussed her progress. Just the other day, Buffy gave her a surprise quiz on herbs and when she aced the test the slayer presented her with a gold star.
She's always been there for me. I wish I could say the same thing about me being there for her, Willow thought wistfully.
Since Buffy had returned from running away to L.A. before their senior year in high school, the relationship between the two of them had been strained. It was mostly my fault, Willow sighed. Here she got kicked out of school. Was forced to kill her boyfriend to save the world. Kicked out of her house by her mother when she found out that she was the slayer. Kendra died. Giles was tortured and I was injured. She probably blamed herself for everything.
Willow still didn't know exactly what had happened in L.A., but things were tough for Buffy when she got home. Her relationship with her mother was tense. She was still dealing with the loss of Angel and being kicked out of school. The welcome back party was a complete disaster, beside the zombies showing up. Buffy needed quality time with her friends, with me… and instead we threw a party and essentially ignored her. She needed a hug and instead I was making out with Oz and playing footsie with Xander, Willow thought disgustedly at herself. I failed my best friend when she needed me the most.
Buffy had been a constant source of support to her since Oz left. Her own support in helping Buffy get over being used by Parker failed miserably. Believing that a person who had been thrown by a horse needed to get back on one as quickly as possible—unless that person was Jewish—Willow decided to play matchmaker. Another screw up.
Seeing her efforts fail when Buffy turned down Riley for the second time, she told Buffy that she should just go for it.
Pausing before replying Buffy said, "At least 90% of men want to get into a woman's pants before the first date ends. After Parker, my motto is to take it slow—and if a guy appears to be too good, then chances are that he probably is. Anyway I'm focused this term. Slay… study… and hang out with my best friend." Turning to face Willow with a big smile on her face she added, "Not necessarily in that order."
Flipping to the bookmark in the book on her lap, Willow soon blocked out the world and began reading.
Later The Same Afternoon
A few more minutes and I'm through with classes for the week, the blonde slayer muttered silently. A grad assistant taught this class, English Composition. She was two or three inches taller and about ten or fifteen pounds heavier than Buffy's slim form. She didn't have Cordy's fashion taste, but she did know how to show off her assets. She had a pleasant enough face with long black hair and brown eyes, but the boys in the front row were always mesmerized by her tight sweaters or the top of her unbutton blouses. The girl definitely has some serious cleavage going. This was fine with Buffy, since it allowed her to sit in the back and daydream when things got boring.
Today she thought about an incident that happened before Thanksgiving.
Buffy looked one last time to assure herself that the three camouflage army guys were retreating down the hall before bending over and helping her roommate to her feet. Looking at Willow closely to see if she was hurt, she noticed that her friend was paler than normal and was obviously shaken by what just happened. Guiding her to her bed, she gently pushed Willow down to a sitting position.
Leaving her for a moment, she closed and locked the door to their room before sitting beside her distraught friend saying, "Its all right, Will. I'm here. Nobody's going to get to you without going through me." Seeing Willow smile, she continued, "You want to tell me what all the excitement was about?"
"I was so stupid," Willow replied looking at her savior. "I was moping around… feeling sorry for myself when I heard someone knocking at the door. Without even thinking I said, It's open. Come on in. It was Spike."
The words were barely out of her mouth when Buffy grabbed her chin turning it to the left and then to the right looking for bite marks. "Thank God, he didn't have time to bite you," Buffy said with relief evidently in her voice.
"But he did," Willow said, disagreeing with the slayer. Seeing Buffy's eyebrows rise she continued, "In fact several times. Each time, an intense pain in his head stopped him. Took him by complete surprise. He told me that it had never happened to him before. My God… this is so embarrassing. I told him that maybe the problem was with me and not him. He assured me that it wasn't; he would drain me dry in a second if he could. Finally I began thinking clearly and bashed him over the head with a lamp and made a dash to the door. I just made it to the hallway when those guys grabbed me." Pausing to catch her breath Willow realized something, "Thank you for coming to my rescue. I don't know what I would have done… or what would have happened…"
Seeing her friend shivering uncontrollably, Buffy got up and pulled the blanket off her bed and wrapped it around the young Wicca. Seeing the forlorn look on Willow's face, Buffy decided to crawl into Willow's bed and pulled her into a tight embrace.
"Don't worry, Will," Buffy said as she rubbed her friend's back. "Tomorrow I'll call Xander and have him install a deadbolt and maybe a peep hole in the door so we can tell who's knocking. Tomorrow evening when I go patrolling, if I see Spike, I'll stake him. If I see the army guys, I'll kick them in the balls for you."
This got a chuckle from the red-haired woman. "Thanks, Buffy, you're the best."
Seeing her friend's eyes closed, Buffy continue rubbing her friend's back, making little circles using her fingertips until Willow's breathing was slow and steady. Now what? If I get up, she'll wake. Making up her mind, Buffy leaned over and kissed Willow on the forehead and then closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.
It was morning when Buffy slowly opened her eyes, staring in the face of her friend, who during the night had rolled over and was practically nose to nose with her. Such a contradiction… so powerful, yet so vulnerable… such shyness and yet so brave… you couldn't ask for a better friend. Willow had a kind heart, a gentle soul and a face like an angel. Only a fool wouldn't love her.
Gently getting out of bed in order not to disturb her still-sleeping friend, Buffy grabbed her stuff to take a shower and took one last look at her. That's the problem, Buffy mused. I'm not a fool.
Realizing that you are in love with your roommate presents its own unique problems. The first being that Willow was straight and was still trying to get over Oz. Telling her that I'm in love with her, Buffy mused, will probably destroy our friendship.
Her initial plan was to act normal around her Will and take plenty of cold showers, which turned into a complete failure. The showers worked temporarily and did nothing to ease her tension around her friend—besides; the cold showers were darn uncomfortable.
Her current plan was to be the best friend Willow could ask for and to take out her frustration on vamps, demons and every other evil creature of the night. After patrolling, a nice warm shower with plenty of soap and a healthy imagination (thanks to the internet) made her very relaxed. Since she started this plan, falling asleep hadn't been a problem; besides, her dreams had definitely been first rate.
Realizing that people were moving, Buffy closed her note pad and put it in her red backpack before getting out of her chair and heading toward the door.
Gwen, the graduate assistant, was at the door wishing everyone a good weekend, when she spotted Buffy, who was dressed in black jeans and a UC Sunnydale sweatshirt with her hair pulled back. "Dressing a little more casual then usually today, Miss Summers. I hope you at least have plans for the weekend," she said while looking Buffy up and down.
"Laundry," Buffy replied. "I'm down to my last clean outfit. Have a good weekend and I'll see you Monday," slipping out the door before Gwen's perfume could overpower her and leave her gasping for air.
Turning right, Buffy passed the main stairs and headed toward the corner stairs, so she could exit the building from the side door and make the trek to her dorm room. While taking the stairs, Buffy reviewed her plans for the weekend. 5 loads of laundry tomorrow… 1 load of sheets… 1 load of towels… 2 loads of clothes… and 1 load of whites. I wonder if mom can mend some of my clothes. The last few patrols have been rough on my outfits. I wonder if I can get a clothing allowance from the Watcher Council.
Chuckling at the thought of Giles explaining to the council about his expense account containing women's clothes on it. Too bad he's not an official watcher anymore; I would pay to listen in to that conversation. Buffy reached the bottom of the stairs and opened the side door, abruptly stopping before running into Riley.
Looking up into her hazel eyes and seeing who it was, a smile appeared on his face. "Hi, Buffy," Riley said, while not moving out of her way. "Our house is having a party tonight. Why don't you come over and celebrate the start of the weekend by having a few beers and listening to the band we hired?"
Beer, Buffy thought. After turning into cave Buffy, she had sworn off the stuff.
Seeing the young woman grimace at his words, What did I do now? he asked himself. Thinking furiously he added, "Bring Willow. I personally guarantee you both will have a great time."
Buffy was at a loss. How many times do I have to turn him down? Doesn't he understand the word NO? It can't be that difficult to comprehend—it only has two letters. Consciously lowering her voice a tad, she looked directly into Riley's face and said, "I don't date professors or grad assistants in a class I'm taking. I guess I'm funny that way. So if you'll excuse me, I've got things to do." Quickly moving past the disappointed young man, Buffy headed toward Stevenson Hall.
Watching Buffy walk away, Riley couldn't help but notice the tightness of the jeans Buffy wore, or her sexy walk.
What a great ass, Riley thought. I need a plan. Its not that I'm ugly or coming on too strong, so why won't she go out on a single date with me? That stuff about me being a graduate assistant is just crap. The Initiative has files on everyone. I wonder what her file would say. Maybe there is something in there that I can use to my advantage.
While climbing up the flight of stairs to reach her room, Buffy realized that she actually had a bounce in her step. In fact, being the slayer was usually pretty depressing—the constant life or death struggle could really get to you, but I feel GREAT today! Actually, I've been feeling great for the last few days—I wonder why?
Patrolling the last few weeks has been easier—less bad guys and no End of the Earth calamity. Having Willow move in had definitely been a godsend. The last few weeks had really brought them closer together. In fact, not dating had also been a plus. No more lying to boyfriends and more quality time for herself and her friends.
Yes, life is great!
Willow and I need to do something special tonight. Maybe go out for supper… maybe a pizza and a movie. Buffy smiled to herself. It will almost be like a real date.
Entering her dorm room, Buffy saw Willow cross-legged on her own bed reading a book, oblivious to Buffy's entrance. "Hi, Will," Buffy said in a little louder tone than usual to get her friend's attention. Turning away, she went to her desk and placed her backpack in the desk chair. Going to their little fridge, Buffy opened the door and reached for a bottle of water. Opening the cap, she downed a good third of it before plopping down on her own bed.
Looking at Willow, who was no longer sitting cross-legged on her bed. Instead she was sitting on the edge with both feet on the floor. Her hands were resting on her thighs, but the book she had been reading was nowhere in sight. The pillows at the end of her bed appeared to be hastily arranged.
"How was your day?" Willow asked while looking at her hand.
Is she blushing? Buffy wondered. "Not bad… what were you reading?"
"Reading. I'm not reading. Need a book to read." Showing her hands to Buffy she said, "See… no book… not reading. Ready for supper—I'm starved. How about you? I bet a slayer is always hungry."
From past experience, Buffy realized that babble mode for Willow would quickly become Get Out of Dodge mode. Moving swiftly to sit beside her friend and preventing her from fleeing, Buffy asked once again, "Will… what were you reading when I came into the room?"
"Oooo… nothing important, just some outside studying," Willow said, not daring to look at Buffy.
"Extra credit… can I help?" Buffy asked.
The reaction was not what the slayer expected. The Wicca started coughing. Her face turned bright red, scaring her roommate. Pounding her friend's back, Buffy told her, "Put your head between your legs and breath. Come on, Will, breath. Take it slow… in, then out… that's my girl." Still anxious at her friend's condition, Buffy handed her the bottle of water and said, "Take a sip. No gulping."
Taking several sips, Willow was trying to calm herself. Stay calm. Relax. She doesn't know what you were thinking. Looking up into Buffy's face, Willow could see the concern there. How did I ever get so lucky to have such a great friend? "I'm fine, Buffy. Thanks for the water," Willow said, smiling at her concerned roommate.
"So… you going to tell me what you are reading, or do I have to keep questioning you for the rest of the evening?" Buffy said with mirth evident in her voice.
Willow took stock and decided that she couldn't really make herself invisible or transport herself out of the room. And with her luck, the gods wouldn't strike her down in the next few seconds. Not knowing what else to do, she reached over to her pillow and pulled out the book, handing it to her best friend.
Buffy tuned the book over and read the title. What the hell? she asked herself silently, and read the title again:
A WICCA GUIDE TO SEX: HARNESSING SEXUAL ENERGY
CHAPTER TWO: THE TALK
A thousand thoughts were racing through Buffy's mind as she stared at the book. The silence between the two friends grew until Buffy could feel the uneasiness in the room. Hoping to break the tension, the blonde looked up into her friend's face and smiled, saying, "Are there any pictures in there?"
Two things happened almost instantaneously; the first one was Willow's entire face turned red. The second was the now blushing woman snatched the book out of her friend's hands and proceeded to hide it under her pillow.
Real smooth, Buffy. You know how difficult it is for her to open up and talk about things and here you are kidding her about a book on sex. In the last few years Willow had definitely came out of her shell, but in many ways she was still the shy sophomore that Buffy met the first time at Sunnydale High School over three years ago.
Reaching out and putting a hand on her roommate's shoulder Buffy said, "There is no reason to be embarrassed. All of us are curious about sex… its perfectly normal. I heard that guys think about sex every seven seconds. I'm sure that Xander beats the average big time."
Smiling now Willow turned to her and asked, "So it's perfectly normal… right?"
"Right. Unless you are planning to become a nun," Buffy joked. "Being a nun and sex is a big no-no. Look… we all have questions about sex. I think the reason we do is because we all have insecurities on the matter."
"Insecurities? You?" Willow replied with disbelief showing on her face.
"Yes, especially me," Buffy replied in a serious tone. Debating on whether or not to continue, she realized that opening up to Willow and sharing her feelings the last few weeks had been very therapeutic. "After Parker, I thought that the reason he didn't call me was that I didn't live up to his expectations in the bedroom." Seeing the stunned expression on her roommate's face, she quickly added, "It took me a few days to realize that the problem was that he's a jerk."
Rising to her friend's defense, Willow said, "Darn right he's a jerk. Besides, he's a dumb jerk. You can have any guy you want to be with by snapping your fingers…" which she did, "…unlike me." Sighing heavily and turning away from her friend she repeated in a much softer voice, "I think that's the real reason Oz left me… I think he was disappointed… he was my first and… I really didn't know what I was doing… I was nervous and…"
Seeing a tear running down the young Wicca's face, Buffy pulled her friend into a fierce hug. Rubbing her back until Willow's breathing was normal, Buffy released Willow and lifted her chin with her fingers until she could look directly into those dull green eyes and growled softly, "THAT… IS… SO… NOT… TRUE! Why would you believe something so absurd?" Next time I see Oz he's going to pay big time for hurting her.
"Because it's the truth," Willow said with a sigh. "What Oz and I had was nice, but I always expected more passion… fireworks… or being so in love that you couldn't keep your hands off of each other. Oz felt those things with Veruca. Maybe it was the wolf, but some of it was Oz. There was some part of him that I couldn't reach. Instead of staying and being with me, he left. He just didn't love me enough."
Pulling her friend into another long hug that ended with Buffy looking into Willow's eyes, she said, "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard you say. I don't have a lot of experience. I've been with a grand total of two men and I only had sex with them one time each, but I do know one thing—having sex and making love are two entirely different things. When you make love to someone, it's not about your own pleasure, but showing the other person how much you care for them. It isn't about technique. It about the gentle caress of your fingertips across his body… the way your eyes make contact with each other… it's about intimacy… its about two souls trying to reach out and commune with each other. Its opening oneself up and loving someone... its not about who's on top… it's about expressing your love for the person."
"Wow," a stunned Willow said while trying to comprehend everything her friend had said. "So what about Parker?"
Sighing, Buffy turned her face forward, away from her roommate's face and replied, "I was missing Angel. I was missing the intimacy… the… Let's say I was missing being loved. So I made the classic mistake. I mistook lust for attraction and sex for love. I've learned my lesson now. I want it all and I'm willing to wait for love. Meanwhile, all I need now are these…" Buffy wiggled her fingers, "…or a vibrator and a pack of batteries," she added, turning back to Willow with a small grin on her face.
Seeing a laugh trying to escape from Willow's mouth, Buffy shook her finger at her friend and said, "No laughing at your crazy roommate." Seeing her friend nod her head the young blonde asked, "Do you want to talk about Oz and you?"
"But he still left me," Willow was saying. "I must have done something wrong."
"Look—Angel left me. We couldn't be together because of his curse. We loved each other, but it wasn't enough. Remember when Oz caught you and Xander kissing—how devastated he felt." Seeing Will nod, Buffy continued, "Imagine what he saw on your face or what he felt when he realized he cheated on you." Placing a single fingertip on Willow's lips to prevent her from speaking, "It wasn't that he didn't love you. It was because there was a part of him he couldn't control and that part of him was hurting you. He couldn't stand it so he left. It doesn't mean that he didn't love you."
Removing her finger from her friend's lips, Buffy stated, "What he did was wrong. He should have stayed, but he didn't. He's a fool. You don't give up on love. It's too rare and precious in this world—just like you, my friend.
"But you gave up on Angel; didn't you love him?" Willow asked.
Not an easy question to answer, Buffy thought. "I honestly don't know. We really didn't date. In fact the only date we really had was the senior prom. Oh… we went to a movie once. We didn't talk long term… or talk about getting married… nothing like a normal couple would who were in love. Mostly we patrolled… fought evil. I guess you could say we lived in the moment." Smiling to herself Buffy continued, "He was a very good kisser. I mean after all he had over two hundred years of experience. I really miss the closeness we had." Another long pause while Buffy collected her thoughts, "At times my life really sucks. But in his arms, I felt safe. I felt that the weight of the world wasn't entirely on my shoulders… I miss that feeling. The best answer I have to your question is that if we were two normal people then, yes, I think we would have fallen in love, because we definitely had chemistry. But did I love him? The best answer I have is that I really miss him."
Willow just sat there waiting for Buffy to ask her about Oz, but it never came. Did I love Oz? That question was easier to answer a few weeks ago than now, Willow thought.
Willow remembered waking up the morning after Spike tried to attack her and the commando guys tried to kidnap her. It was still dark, but she could feel Buffy's breath on her neck and her arms around her. The feeling was incredible. This must be what heaven feels like, Willow thought. Not knowing when she would get another opportunity, Willow snuggled closer to her friend and went back to sleep.
She was drifting in and out of consciousness, when someone entered the room. Opening her eyes, she could see Buffy shutting the door. She was wearing a pair of grey sweat pants and a light green tank top. Her hair was wet and pulled back. She must have just taken a shower, Willow thought. God, she's gorgeous.
I can't believe I said that. Okay I'm not blind. Its obvious to everyone that Buffy is totally hot. Willow remembered last night, waking up to find her hand on Buffy's hip. She couldn't believe that she'd caressed her best friend's ass before removing her hand. The dreams afterward were quite naughty, involving her and Buffy. Who knew the slayer was double jointed?
Thinking about recent events she finally admitted to herself that her feelings for Buffy were deeper than friendship, but was it love? She needed to talk to someone, but telling Buffy was not an option. Buffy had been her friend, since high school when she could count all of her friends on one hand and still have fingers left over. There's no way I'm going to risk our friendship over this when I know that she only think of me has a friend, Willow mused regretfully. Rising out of bed she decided that she needed a very cold shower.
Coming back to the present Willow scooted back to the middle of her bed and sat cross-legged. Looking at her roommate she said, "Oz was sweet. He wasn't the emotional type… he was really laid back." Seeing the amused grin on the slayer's face she continued, "It was great being a couple… having some one to go out with… it made me feel normal and less like a nerd."
Interrupting, Buffy said, "Will, you can't let other people's opinion influence yourself like that. The bottom line is, do you like yourself and not what other people think? I know that I'm proud and honored to be your friend."
Blushing now, Willow smiled at her, "Thanks. I don't know what I ever did to have a friend like you, but I'm going to keep you.
"Ditto," Buffy replied. "You want to tell me about the book you were reading when I came in or do I have to keep bugging you about it the entire weekend?"
Willow realized she couldn't say no to Buffy. Her roommate has taken an interest in her magic studies, asking her questions. It's been pretty nice to have someone to talk about her training. The two of them last week tried meditation to replenish their spiritual auras that she found in one of her… borrowed books. To her vast surprise, Buffy had no problem and now spent a few minutes every day in a meditation trance.
Not telling Buffy would hurt her feelings and betray their friendship. Oh well… how embarrassing could it possibly be? I just won't go into details, Willow thought. Taking a deep breath she began her explanation of the book.
"Well… a Wicca with enough powers could accomplish almost anything. But if she uses only the power within herself, it's somewhat limited and very draining. Also, it takes rest and meditation to build her powers back up… it could take days for her to regain her full powers.
"Using amulets and crystals that store magical powers helps… linking your powers with others like a coven allows you to draw power from others. Of course there are some dark ways to increase your power—making a deal with a being of higher power or sacrificing a life… a human life would generate the most power… the most magic. The quickest way to raise a great deal of magic without becoming evil is to have sex."
"Okay," Buffy said thoughtfully. "And exactly how is that done?" Seeing her friend's startled expression she quickly added, "the magic part, not the sex part."
Keep it general, Willow, no specifics. Regaining her composure, the Wicca continued her explanation. "The two people must purify their minds by fasting and meditation and then cleanse their bodies in a ritual cleansing. A pentagram is drawn and the two are linked together. The one who wants to harness the power must…" Frowning slightly Willow searched for the right words before continuing, "…must stimulate the other without losing control of herself. The longer you can delay the release, the more power is available to harness."
Nodding through Willow's explanation Buffy asked, "So going solo isn't an option?"
"No… not really," Willow said, blushing a bright red.
Okay, Buffy—delete image of Willow touching herself. Delete. Dammit, delete. Then a second image came to her, Willow having sex with some guy. Ew… dammit, Buffy, get your mind out of the gutter. "Okay, if you need to raise a great deal of magic quickly, you could have sex with a guy, but what type of spells are we talking about?" Buffy asked.
Should I tell her now or later? Later… much later.
CHICKEN, another voice in her mind answered her.
After the mental argument was over, Willow continued. "For example, when we faced The Judge or the mayor, if I'd had enough power… I could've struck them down with a bolt of lightening or transported them to another dimension… with very little risk to others."
"Okay," Buffy said. "I could see where having additional mojo would be a good thing, but having sex with some guy…"
Before losing her courage, Willow blurted out, "No, not a guy—a woman."
"A male release is mostly physical and it's really tough for a woman to harness the male energy. According to the book, it's infinitely easier for a woman to harness another woman's sexual energy."
"Oh." Thoughts of Willow touching another woman quickly became images of Willow touching her. Feeling the tension in the room beginning to build, time to end the talk, Buffy thought. "Let drop this discussion on ex-boyfriends, nonexistent love lives, and magic, and go out for a pizza and a movie… my treat." Seeing Willow start to protest, "Don't worry I can afford it. Mom made a nice commission this week at the art gallery and slipped me some extra money. What you say?"
Relieved, Willow got up and said, "It's a date."
Both of them added in their minds, I wish.
CHAPTER THREE: JUST ANOTHER QUIET MORNING ON THE HELLMOUTH
A Week Later
Buffy opened her eyes and was surprised to see the morning sunlight filtering through her dorm windows. Usually after a night of patrolling, she would sleep in till nine or ten o'clock, but the last few nights her sleep had been restless because of a dream. The dream was always the same—a little girl holding a box singing. Realizing it was some type of warning, Buffy had told Giles and Willow about it, but to date their research had turned up nothing.
Last night the dream had returned with a vengeance—repeating itself several times, leaving her restless and tired. Trying to go back to bed proved fruitless, since her senses were tingling with the excitement of impending battle. Deciding to start the day, Buffy threw the sheet and blanket off her body and swung her legs over the side of the bed to put on her slippers.
Raising her head, Buffy saw Willow sound asleep. Her friend was lying on her side with her face peeking out of her blanket as she hugged her pillow and stuffed cat. Wish I could get a picture of this. She is so adorable, Buffy smiled to herself, and then slipped out of the room and headed toward the showers.
Returning from taking a shower, Buffy quickly realized that this was not going to be your typical day on the Hellmouth. The entire population of Sunnydale had lost the ability to speak. After the initial panic of realizing that their own voices had been stolen, Willow and Buffy went over to Giles' to find out what or who was behind this, and to come up with a plan to defeat this latest menace.
Several hours later Giles finished with his briefing. It boiled down to Buffy would patrol and everyone else would do research. Instead of leaving right away, the blonde slayer found herself looking at a picture of The Gentlemen that Giles had drawn using a description from his—as Anya would say—organism buddy who was spending the weekend with him.
A touch on her shoulder and she turned looking into Willow's green eyes, which were filled with concern. With the white board around her neck that the two of them had purchased earlier in the day Willow wrote:
CAN I HELP?
Writing on her own white board, Buffy replied:
UPSTAIRS IN OUR ROOM
Nodding, Willow followed her friend out of the room.
Opening the door to their dorm room, Buffy allowed Willow to pass by her, prior to shutting the door. Walking over to her desk, the blonde slayer grabbed her red backpack and went over to her bed and sat down. Opening the backpack, she found a ballpoint pen clipped to a spiral ring notepad. Flipping to a blank page, Buffy took the pen and began writing:
FACTS ABOUT GILES'S BRIEFING
#1 THE GENTLEMEN STOLE OUR VOICES
#2 THEY ARE HERE TO COLLECT SEVEN HEARTS
#3 NO SWORDS CAN KILL THEM
#4 ONLY A REAL HUMAN VOICE CAN KILL THEM
#5 THEY ALREADY HAVE TWO HEARTS
Tearing the sheet from her notepad, she walked over to her friend's bed and handed the sheet to her. Sitting back down, Buffy continued to write:
#1 FIND THEIR LAIR – HOW?
#2 SNEAK IN AND FIND OUT WHERE THEY ARE KEEPING OUR VOICES
#3 RELEASE OUR VOICES
#5 AVOID CONTACT WITH THEM
DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS ON HOW TO FIND THEIR LAIR?
Buffy handed this sheet over to Willow and then waited for her friend to finish reading.
Willow finished reading the sheet and reached for the whiteboard. Uncapping the marker, she quickly wrote something down before turning the board over so Buffy could read it.
FOLLOW THEM BACK TO THEIR LAIR.
Opening her notepad, Buffy began writing again:
IF I FOLLOW THEM BACK THAT MEANS ANOTHER INNOCENT PERSON IS DEAD.
SUNNYDALE IS A BIG TOWN. I COULD MISS THEM COMPLETELY. THEN THEY WOULD MOVE ON TO THE NEXT TOWN AND KEEP ON KILLING.
I FIGURE IT TAKES 4 OF THEM—THEY MAY ALSO HAVE HENCHMEN—TO TAKE A HEART. ONE TO HOLD THE VICTIM'S LEGS. ONE EACH FOR EACH ARM. AND ONE TO REMOVE THE HEART.
IF I FOLLOW THEM BACK, I WILL BE OUTNUMBERED AND WILL FAIL TO STOP THEM.
CAN YOU WORK ANY MAGIC TO LOCATE THEIR LAIR?
Handing the sheet to Willow, she sit back down and waited.
The young Wicca was frowning, before lowering the sheet and looking at her friend. This is a suicide mission that Giles is sending Buffy on, Willow thought. His plan is for everyone to do research where it's relatively safe and send Buffy out patrolling alone. If she finds The Gentlemen, she's supposed to fight them… it doesn't matter to him that swords can't kill them… or she would be alone with no support or back up and outnumbered by at least seven to one. My God! The Charge of the Light Brigade had better odds of surviving than Buffy. Fuming now, Willow, if she could, would have cheerfully turned Giles into a toad. She's asking for help. She knows the odds, but she won't back down. How many times has she faced these odds wondering if she would ever see the next sunrise? Whatever it takes – I need to help her.
Getting to her feet, she walked over to Buffy and took the notepad and pen before returning to her own bed and starting to write:
THERE ARE SPELLS THAT I CAN CAST THAT WOULD ENABLE ME TO SENSE NON-HUMANS, BUT I NEED MY VOICE TO MAKE THE INVOCATION TO THE GODDESS OSIRIS.
I READ IN ONE OF THE BOOKS THAT I BORROWED FROM THE MAGIC SHOP THAT A POWERFUL WICCA COULD GO INTO A TRANCE AND VIEW MAGICAL FORCES, BUT I DON'T HAVE THAT TYPE OF POWER. ALL I CAN DO IS FLOAT PENCILS.
Willow handed the notepad to Buffy who quickly read her words and started writing again:
IF YOU HAD A LOT OF POWER, YOU CAN GO INTO A TRANCE AND FIND THEIR LAIR?
IF THEY ATTACK YOU, YOU COULD FLING THEM OUT OF THE WAY—RIGHT?
Buffy clipped the ball point pen to the notepad and threw them underhanded to Willow who read what Buffy had just written before she commenced to write:
IF I HAD THE POWER, I THINK THE TRANCE WOULDN'T BE TOO DIFFICULT. AND IF I HAD ENOUGH MAGICAL POWERS, I COULD FLING THEM TO THE MOON OR LET THE EARTH SWALLOW THEM UP WHOLE, BUT I DON'T HAVE ANYWHERE CLOSE TO THAT MUCH POWER.
Throwing the notepad and pen back to Buffy she waited for the slayer to finish writing:
OPENING THE EARTH UP ON A HELLMOUTH IS PROBABLY NOT A GOOD IDEA.
I KNEW THE GUY WHO WAS KILLED IN OUR DORM. HIS NAME WAS DENNIS. I SAVED HIM FROM A VAMPIRE ATTACK LAST WEEK. HE WAS SCARED, BUT HE DIDN'T LEAVE COLLEGE. HE WAS IN THE LAST YEAR OF PRE-MED. HE WANTED TO BE A DOCTOR AND RETURN HOME TO WYOMING AND TAKE OVER FOR HIS DAD WHEN HE RETIRED. HE STAYED AND NOW HE'S DEAD.
HE HAD A GOOD HEART—MAYBE THAT WHY THE GENTLEMEN SELECTED HIM. I'M SURE MURDERERS AND RAPISTS ARE SAFE. THEY'RE PROBABLY AFTER PEOPLE WHO WILL MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY DO WITH THESE HEARTS AFTER THEY COLLECT THEM. DO THEY USE THEM IN SOME EVIL RITUAL? OR ARE THEY JUST TROPHIES?
IF THEY WANT HEARTS FROM PEOPLE WHO WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE, I CAN'T THINK OF ANY OTHERS BETTER THAN OUR FRIENDS'.
THEY MUST BE STOPPED. AND I THINK I KNOW HOW.
Willow finished reading the latest sheet from Buffy. She's right, Willow thought. Giles… Xander… other Wiccans would be prime candidates for them. Oh my God… the slayer would have to be on the top of their list. An image of Buffy being held down and a knife approaching her chest… Never… not going to happen… they have to come through me to get to Buffy.
Looking up into Buffy's eyes she mouthed the word - HOW?
Buffy's whiteboard was on her lap and she turned it over for Willow to read:
WE NEED TO HAVE SEX.
CHAPTER FOUR: HARNESSING THE POWER
Willow was staring at Buffy's whiteboard. She was focusing real hard at the words, but they refused to change. No… No… No… No… what is she thinking? Has she lost her mind? You can't decide on the spur of the moment and just say, let's have sex. We haven't even kissed yet! What in the world is she thinking? Oz and I dated for two whole months before I let him reach 2nd base. You can't have sex before a first date. It's like collecting $200 without passing GO!
Buffy was staring at her friend, trying to read what was going through Willow's mind. She's going into shock, Buffy thought. I need to keep her warm and elevate her feet above her head—maybe cool rags on the forehead would help.
Not being able to take it any more, Buffy got off her bed and went over to Willow. Maybe she's hyperventilating, Buffy thought. When Buffy touched the young red-haired woman on the shoulder, Willow jumped, startled. Mouthing, Buffy said, Its okay… just breathe." She then started to exaggerate breathing by taking deep lungfuls of air and exhaling until Willow started to mimic her.
Sitting down beside her friend, she smiled and mouthed, its okay, before starting to write in the notepad. Willow leaned over and read as she wrote:
YOU ARE MY BEST FRIEND. NOTHING WILL EVER CHANGE THAT—NOTHING! I TRUST YOU WITH MY LIFE… WITH MY VERY SOUL. THIS IS THE EASIEST WAY TO RAISE A GREAT DEAL OF MAGIC AND THAT WHAT WE NEED TO DEFEAT THE GENTLEMEN.
ARE YOU FREAKING OUT ABOUT MAKING LOVE TO A WOMAN OR FREAKING OUT ABOUT MAKING LOVE TO ME?
Buffy handed her the notepad and pen, which Willow took without thinking. She must be expecting me to seriously discuss this idea, Willow thought. She really can't be serious—I can't talk about this… about my feelings for her. Okay, Willow, think fast… and she began writing:
IT'S COMPLICATED. THERE'S FASTING AND--
Buffy seized both of Willow's hands and removed the notepad and pen from her grasp. Seeing Willow's stunned expression, Buffy mouthed, Just wait, and commenced to write furiously:
I READ THE BOOK THIS WEEK IN THE MORNING WHEN YOU HAD CLASSES. I KNOW WHAT IS INVOLVED. NEITHER OF US HAS EATEN SINCE LAST NIGHT SO WE HAVE ALREADY FASTED. WHY DON'T I GO HOME AND START TO MEDITATE? MOM IS OUT OF TOWN FOR THE WEEKEND.
YOU CAN SWING BY THE MAGIC SHOP AND PICK UP EVERYTHING WE NEED. DON'T FORGET THE CRYSTALS. BEING A SLAYER MEANS BEING FULL OF ENERGY AND VITALITY, WHICH PROBABLY MEANS A GREATER RELEASE OF POWER WHICH CAN BE HARNESSED.
WHEN YOU GET THERE, YOU CAN DRAW MY BATH AND ADD THE HERBS AND STUFF INTO IT. WHILE I BATHE, YOU CAN FASHION THE PENTAGRAM. WHEN YOU FINISH, YOU CAN USE MY MOTHER'S BATHROOM FOR YOUR BATH. WHEN I'M DONE, I WILL RETURN TO MY ROOM AND WILL WAIT FOR YOU. IF IT HELPS, I WILL EVEN WEAR A BLINDFOLD.
A BLINDFORD? Willow wrote.
I THINK IT MIGHT BE EASIER FOR YOU TO GET THROUGH THIS IF YOU COULD RATIONALIZE ME AS PART OF THE RITUAL AND NOT AS A FRIEND. WILL YOU DO THIS? Buffy wrote.
Willow closed her eyes, trying to decide what to do. One thought kept echoing in her mind, If I refuse and Buffy dies, I couldn't live with myself.
An image of Buffy being held down while a knife slowly descended towards her chest made Willow's eyes pop open. Looking at the notepad, she saw in her own handwriting one word: YES.
She felt Buffy pull her into a hug that she hoped would never end.
Later The Same Afternoon
After ensuring that her mother's car was not in the garage, Buffy entered the house and quickly searched every room looking for her and finding no one. Feeling a sense of relief, she entered her bedroom and hopped onto her bed where she quickly untied her shoes and kicked them off. Going to a chest of draws, she began assembling her outfit for later that night.
Sports bra and panties were removed from one draw. Socks were removed from another. Opening her closet, she bent down and grabbed her hiking shoes with steel tips. That's been a nasty surprise to a few demons, the slayer chuckled silently. To complete her outfit, she removed a pair of black stretch pants, which were plenty loose and allowed her to kick her legs high without coming home with ripped jeans. To finish the outfit, she selected a dark blue tank top that allowed unrestricted arm movement. After selecting a belt, Buffy placed the clothes in the chair beside her bed.
Quickly removing her clothes, she placed them in the clothes hamper and removed the terry cloth bathrobe from the hook on the back of her bedroom door. Donning the robe, Buffy walked down the hall to the bathroom. Thank goodness I had my period last week, Buffy noted. This morning I shampooed my hair and shaved my legs and underarms, so I'm good to go there. Walking over to the sink, the blonde woman placed toothpaste on her toothbrush and proceeded to brush her teeth.
After cleaning her teeth, Buffy rinsed with mouthwash. Wiping her mouth clean, she held her hand over her nose and mouth and exhaled. Okay… no bad breath. After a moment's hesitation, Buffy repeated the process.
Okay, only one more thing to do. Returning to her bedroom, she jumped on her bed and tossed the pillows onto the floor. Scooting back to the headboard, Buffy sat cross-legged and took a deep breath. Looking at the clock on the nightstand, it read 4:15. Will should be here in a little bit. Bathing should be completed by six... by seven the ritual should be completed… a quick meal and we should be on the streets by eight. Just thinking about the ritual was bothering her. The sex part with Willow as time drew nearer was beginning to make her sick in the stomach and giddy at the same time.
Okay, Buffy, focus. Don't think about The Gentlemen or Willow, you need to relax and meditate. The key work is focus. Taking a deep breath, the slayer closed her eyes. Focusing on her breathing, the slayer slowly forgot about her surroundings or the events that would take place that night, and slipped into a trance.
Same Afternoon, Approximately 30 Minutes Later
Willow entered through the front door without even knocking. She's expecting me… besides, ringing the doorbell would disturbed her meditation, she rationalized. Walking upstairs with a canvas bag that contained everything they needed for tonight plus a change of clothes, she quickly walked to Buffy's bedroom; peeking inside she saw her friend meditating on her bed.
I need to get this show on the road, Willow thought. She was surprised at the lack of hesitation on her part now that events were rapidly coming together. On the way over from The Magic Shop, she finally put her fears to rest.
There were appendices at the end of the book giving detail instructions along with illustrations on how to pleasure another woman. She reread those sections several times and even went on the Internet searching for additional information. The thought of making love to another woman wasn't wigging her out and she was forced to confront the fact that she may not be a lesbian, but she definitely had bi-sexual tendencies.
Of course when she imagined making love to a woman that woman was always Buffy. So after leaving The Magic Shop the questions she wrestled with was what were her true feelings toward Buffy. Were they more than friends? Did she truly love Buffy or was she simply infatuated with her? What were Buffy's feelings toward her? And what may happen to their friendship if they took it to the next level?
Okay Will, she gave herself a little pep talk. Buffy is your friend. We drifted apart during our senior year, but now we are closer than we have ever been. Therefore there's a good chance we are more than friends. Heck… Buffy was the one who brought up about having sex… that has to be a good sign.
Willow was beginning to feel like Lois Lane—did she love Buffy or did she have a really bad case of hero worshipping concerning one hot slayer, which was confusing her about her real feelings about the person Buffy?
I've seen Buffy save the world… face death… tackle terrible creatures without so much as a second thought concerning her safety, Willow reflected. One of the few times she completely lost it was when she heard about Angelus killing Miss Calendar. The image of Buffy dropping the phone and sliding down the wall crying nearly broke her heart. Buffy cares about people… those she knows… and those she never met. Seeing innocent people being hurt or killed hurt her more than if she was hurt herself… and that the person I love… not the slayer.
The revelation that she was in love with Buffy actually stopped her in her tracks. She realized that if Buffy stormed the very Gates of Hell that she would be at her side because there was no other place she would want to be. All of her uneasiness vanished after she admitted that she was in love with her best friend. She would make love to Buffy, and see where the fates lead them.
Not wanting to disturb her friend, the young Wicca continued down the hall and started to prepare a bath for her soon to be lover.
It only took a few minutes to prepare Buffy's bath. Willow made sure to mix enough herbs and salts for her own before adding them to the steaming water. Walking back to the bedroom, she touched Buffy's shoulder and mouthed, Hi. It's bath time.
Comprehending the words, the slayer smiled and hugged her for a long moment before walking out of the room.
Willow watched her friend exit the room. It's Showtime. Removing the remaining items from the canvas bag, she quickly constructed the pentagram except for one portion that she would complete once Buffy and herself were inside it. The pentagram itself was very simple, since the purpose was to focus and amplify magic inside it instead of summoning and holding a demon. Standing up and rechecking the pentagram against the diagram in the book, Willow could find no difference between the two.
Quickly removing her own clothes and hastily folding them, she put on the robe that she had brought with her from her dorm room, and grabbed the herbs and salts for her own bath. She felt a little uneasy walking into Joyce's bedroom, but noted that unlike her daughter, the bed was made and the room was spotlessly clean. Opening the door to the master bathroom, she walked in and opened the closet door, removing two big towels and a washcloth. Placing one of the towels by the tub, she drew her bath and added the herbs, grateful for a few minutes of peace from the hectic day.
Horse feathers, Willow exclaimed. This morning after discovering that their voices were gone, she had hurriedly washed her face and hands before dressing to go to Giles. I didn't brush my teeth this morning… or shave my legs or underarms… or even shampoo my hair, Willow noted with disgust.
Turning the water off, she went back to the closet and removed another washcloth. Moving to the sink and pulling the medicine cabinet door open, she spotted a bottle of mouthwash, a tube of toothpaste and one used toothbrush. Grabbing the toothpaste, Willow applied it to her finger and brushed her teeth the best she could. Rinsing her mouth out from a Dixie cup filled with water, she used the washcloth to clean her mouth before gargling with the mouthwash. Feeling a little cleaner, she removed her robe and stepped into the bath.
The herbs, salts and hot water were making her very relaxed. She closed her eyes for a few minutes, just to enjoy the sensation, before using the washcloth to clean her body. Going over the spell in her mind she couldn't find any reason for using these herbs in their baths. They didn't have any secret properties. You don't digest them, so they were not aphrodisiacs. Willow chuckled when a thought popped into her mind: Maybe you use them to smell good. After all, no one wants to sleep with a Wicca that smells bad.
Stepping out of the tub and onto the towel she had placed on the floor earlier, she opened the drain to let the water run out. Reaching for the other big towel, she hurriedly dried herself off and put on her bathrobe. Stopping by the mirror over the sink, Willow ran her fingers through her hair trying to bring some order to it. Realizing this was the best it was going to look, she walked out of the bathroom.
Entering Buffy's room, she noted her friend was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the pentagram, facing her with her bathrobe on. Knocking at the door, Buffy opened her eyes and mouthed Hi to her. Entering the pentagram, Willow turned around and sealed the entrance, thus activating it.
Turning to face Buffy, Willow lowered herself to the floor, resting on her knees. Reaching to her left, she grabbed a small wooden bowl and a pair of scissors. Buffy moved her head forward and Willow used the scissors to clip a few strands of the slayer's hair and placed the clipping in the bowl. Willow then handed the scissors to Buffy, who repeated the process and placed the clipping from Willow's hair into the bowl before handing the scissors back.
Placing the scissors to the side, Willow picked up a needle. Buffy was holding out a finger, and she pricked it. The drop of blood fell into the wooden bowl along with their hair. Handing the needle to Buffy, she extended her finger and the ritual was repeated.
Placing the wooden bowl between them, Willow reached for five plastic bags that contained careful amounts of measured herbs. On the outside of each bag was a number written with a black magic marker. Opening the bag with the number 1 on it, Willow emptied the contents into the wooden bowl and stirred the contents.
After the last bag of herbs had been emptied into the bowl, a flash of smoke and blue flame burned the contents to ashes. Stirring the ashes with her finger, Willow painted a symbol on Buffy's forehead. Willow then handed the bowl to her friend, who repeated the process on her, and handed the bowl back.
Removing the bowl to the side, where it wouldn't get in the way, Willow sat cross-legged in front of Buffy and entwined her fingers with her friend's. Closing her eyes, she blocked out all other distractions and concentrated on the presence in front of her.
The first sensation was the warmth of Buffy's fingers. Minutes passed and she could now sense Buffy's slow regular breathing… then her heartbeat.
Opening her eyes, she could see Buffy's aura, a mixture of bright polish silver along the edges with a bright white light in the center. Seeing Buffy looking at her, Willow nodded at her friend's unanswered question. Getting out of the cross-legged position, she turned to gather the four crystals that she had brought. Hearing the rustle of fabric, she waited, giving Buffy a moment to prepare herself.
Turning back, she saw the robe had been folded and Buffy was using it as a pillow. The sash for the robe was being used as a blindfold. Buffy's hands were touching the side of her thighs and her legs were stretched out with her ankles touching… and she was completely naked.
Oh my God! She's beautiful! Willow exclaimed to herself.
Of course, Willow Rosenberg had always known that Buffy was drop dead gorgeous, but the sight of her friend's naked body stopped her in her tracks. She couldn't help but stare and try to memorize every last detail of the Angel that was in front of her. The slayer's body was toned and slimmed, but her figure was definitely that of a woman and not of an athlete. Her breasts, which were slightly larger than Willow's, were firm and inviting. The nipples themselves were slightly darker and wider and had a thickness to them, unlike her own. Her eyes traveled down the golden form, seeing the tan lines and the bikini cut on the sparse blonde pussy's hair.
Removing her own robe, Willow moved to the left of Buffy and lowered herself to her knees. Pausing in a moment of uncertainty in how to begin, she suddenly remembered when she was researching the atrocities committed against the Shumash during their recent clash with the revenge-minded warrior spirit last Thanksgiving that European men treated indigenous women like whores. They used their bodies for sex, but refused to kiss them.
I don't want to treat her like that. I want her to know that I'm making love to her… and I consider her the most precious thing in the universe.
Bending her head toward Buffy's face, Willow bestowed a soft brief kiss on the blonde woman's lips. Enjoying the feeling, she returned, this time sucking on her friend's lower lip. Slowly their mouths opened and tongues tentatively entered each other's mouths as the kiss began to deepen.
Realizing that she needed to maintain control, Willow broke off the kiss and began caressing the slayer's cheek with her right hand. After a few strokes, she was startled when Buffy reached up, grasping her hand and bringing it to her lips, where she bestowed several light caresses on the inside of her wrist. Still holding Willow's right hand, Buffy place it on her own left breast before dropping her hand back to her side.
Amazed at seeing her own hand massaging another woman's breast, Willow leaned down and started sucking the nipple on the other side. After a few moments, she gave the nipple a gentle bite and felt the body underneath her arch slightly. Straddling the slayer, she switched her mouth to the other nipple and continued her assault on the other breast with her fingers. Both nipples were hard now, allowing the young Wicca to become a little more forceful with her stimulation.
After Buffy's body arched for the second time, Willow stopped and gave her friend a long sensuous kiss on the lips. Scooting down Buffy's body, Willow trailed kisses from between the breasts to the navel. Reaching further down with her right hand, Buffy parted her legs and Willow could feel the wetness of Buffy's sex with her fingers.
WOW! I caused that, Willow thought in amazement.
Spreading Buffy's legs further open, Willow began with a light caressing touch with her fingers on Buffy's slit. Backing off, Willow began kissing the inner thighs of the slayer, followed by the soft caresses of her tongue. Starting with the right thigh, Willow moved her attention to the left one when out of the corner of her eyes, she saw Buffy's hand moving toward her sex. Can't have any of that, Willow mused while she softly slapped the slayer's hand, forcing it back to her side.
Moving forward again, Willow began licking the folds of Buffy's vulva. Teasing her with the flicking of her tongue while she probed deeper into Buffy's sex, enjoying the sweet nectar that flowed from the slayer's moist little center.
Willow noticed that Buffy's ass was coming off the floor, thrusting forward, encouraging her lover to go deeper. Need to slow things down, Willow thought, assessing the situation. She started to caress Buffy's thighs with her tongue and lips again.
Noticing her lover's breathing getting under control, Willow once again returned to licking the folds of Buffy's vulva—teasing her with her tongue. Each time the slayer approached release the young Wicca switched her area of attack: sometimes the thighs, other times the breasts or the stomach—each time allowing the slayer to ease back from the abyss of sexual release.
Raising her head, she could see the sweat glistening on her lover's body and the damp blonde hair matted to Buffy's forehead. Time for phase two, Willow silently thought.
Moistening her right index finger in her mouth, Willow inserted the finger into her blonde friend's tight little hole. The red-haired woman slowly caressed the inside of the hole before plunging her finger deeper. Buffy's pussy was glistening with wetness as Willow was pumping her finger in and out. After several moments, she inserted a second finger into Buffy's love tunnel and picked up the pace. Looking up, she saw Buffy using her thumbs and index fingers to milk her own nipples. Mesmerized at the sight, Willow continued her assault.
Seeing her friend's entire body arch, Willow decided that she needed to slow things down one more time. Removing her fingers, the young red-haired started sliding up Buffy's body.
Willow was enjoying the sensation of her breasts touching her lover's skin. When her breasts slid over Buffy's, she spent several moments rocking back and forth, letting them grind into the slayer's before capturing her friend's lips. This time there was no hesitation… mouths opened, allowing tongues to explore each other. Willow felt Buffy's hands caressing her back and dipping to her sides to touch the swell of her breasts.
Oooo… me like this, as Buffy used her thumbs to massage the sides of her breasts. Without thinking, Willow broke off the kiss and removed the blindfold from the blonde woman's head. Seeing Buffy slowly blink her eyes open, Willow stared into her lust-filled hazel eyes and mouthed, I love you.
Smiling, Buffy gave her a quick kiss and answered, I love you too.
Drinking in their mutually adoring looks, the young lovers resumed the exploration of each other's mouths until they were gasping for breath. Willow brushed back the sweat-dampened blonde hair from the slayer's forehead, wanting nothing more than to bury herself in Buffy's warm embrace. Stroking her friend's cheek, Willow saw Buffy mouth, Please. Nodding, she moved down, determined to bring her lover to the release she desperately craved for.
Kneeling between Buffy's spread legs, Willow placed each of her friend's legs on her shoulders. Leaning forward, Willow linked her arms around her lover's waist and pulled Buffy's pussy to her mouth. This time there was no teasing; Willow's tongue went directly to Buffy's rock-hard clit and started licking and then sucking on it. Shifting into her second sight, the young Wicca saw her friend's aura pulsating fiercely, growing brighter and brighter. Just about there. Capturing the bundle of nerves in her teeth, Willow used her tongue and gave it a few more licks before gently biting down on it and tugging it toward her.
As expected, Buffy came.
The slayer's hips were moving up and down and her entire body was arching like it was on fire. A flood of musky fluid poured out of her.
Willow was holding on for dear life when a mass of pure magical energy entered her body, filling her up. Her skin started to tingle like she was charged with static electricity, and still the magic flowed into her. Reaching for the crystals, Willow began transferring magical energy until the four of them could hold no more without fracturing, and still the magical energy was rolling off Buffy.
No longer needing to prolong the ritual, Willow removed her mouth from Buffy's moist sex. Changing into a half-kneeling position, Willow lowered her friend's body back down to the floor, but kept one of Buffy's legs straight up, resting on her shoulder. She quickly inserted two fingers, which immediately became three, moving furiously in and out of her friend's pussy. A short while later, Buffy's entire body shuddered for a second time for several moments, and then arched, before collapsing. Seeing Buffy's face and body climax was intoxicating. Unable to stop, Willow continued her assault while slipping her free hand to own sex and continued to stimulate both them.
After a few minutes, Willow's breathing was becoming ragged and her chest was heaving. Her need was driving her hands faster and faster. Anytime time now, she silently muttered to herself. Watching Buffy climax a third time drove the young woman over the edge and she joined her friend in nirvana.
Gasping for air, Willow was taking deep breaths, trying to slow down the racing of her heart while at the same time trying to control the emotions that were bombarding her mind. Removing her lover's leg from her shoulder, Willow placed both of her hands on the floor to steady herself until her breathing returned to normal. Looking down at her friend's exhausted body, only one thought was in her mind: I'm in love for the very first time of my life.
Bending down she bestowed a light kiss on Buffy's lips. Spotting her discarded robe, Willow tucked it over the slayer's sleeping form.
Deciding that her exhausted lover needed a short nap, Willow got to her feet.
Did I just ruin our friendship? She thought as she looked down on the slumbering slayer. God, I hope not. I need her friendship like I need air to live. Please God, make everything turn out all right. I need her in my life. Not for a single night, but for the rest of my life.
Barely managing to hold back the tears with all the emotions and uncertainties bombarding her, Willow started to focus on the tasks that still needed to be done. There are three things I need to do before waking Buffy up.
One: find The Gentlemen's lair.
Two: get dressed.
Three: fix us something to eat.
Moving to the side of the room with a clear view of her friend, who was still sleeping peacefully with a slight smile on her face, Willow sat cross-legged and concentrated on her breathing in order to calm herself. Slowly she cleared her mind of her worries and entered a trance with the purpose of finding The Gentlemen's hideout.
CHAPTER FIVE: A NIGHT ON THE TOWN
[Wake up Buffy. It's time to rise and shine.]
Rolling over and wrapping the cover tightly around her body she mumbles, "Five more minutes please."
She feels someone shaking her shoulder and saying, [Wake up Buffy. It's time to kick some demon's ass.]
Turning over, Buffy blinked her eyes several times before finally succeeding in opening them. Willow was in front of her wearing a fuzzy pink sweater and a worried expression on her face. Feeling confused, Buffy looked around and discovered that she was on the floor. Okay… something is not right. What am I doing on the floor? Looking down she realized her body was not covered by a blanket as she thought. Is this Willow's bathrobe? Taking a peek under the robe, Why am I… OH MY GOD!
Willow placed a hand on Buffy's shoulder, holding her down. [Buffy… can you hear me?]
Confused, Buffy noted that her friend's lips weren't moving, but she could hear her. Nodding her head that she could understand her friend, she waited for an explanation.
[Buffy… I'm not reading your thoughts. I reinforced our link that was established during the ritual with a little bit of magic. I'm projecting my thoughts to you and the link allows you to hear me. You can do the same, but you will need to concentrate. Go ahead and try it.]
Okay here goes. Concentrating, Buffy attempted to project her thoughts to Willow. [What time is it?]
[A little before eight… I heard you loud and clear.] Getting to her feet, Willow put some distance between the two of them. [The ritual was a complete success. In fact some of the power generated was lost, since neither the crystals nor myself could hold anymore.]
Willow was trying very hard not to look at Buffy lying on the floor with nothing on but an old ratty bathrobe that was barely adequate to cover the slayer's sleek form. [I decided that you needed a little nap before the activities started tonight. Why don't you get dressed and meet me downstairs. I have already done the reconnaissance and discovered where The Gentlemen's lair is located. I even made you a snack. It's downstairs in the kitchen. We can come up with a plan and hit the streets by nine. Sound okay with you?] Seeing Buffy nod her head, Willow turned around and headed for the door.
Seeing Willow walking out the door, Buffy hurriedly project, [Will… Nothing has changed. You are still my very best friend in the entire world.] Willow turned around her expression was guarded, but a smile slowly appeared on her face. [After this is all over we need to talk… okay?]
[Okay Buffy… See you downstairs in a few minutes.] With that Willow left the room.
Watching her friend exit, Buffy was mentally kicking herself. I should have told her that I'm in love with her and that she is the most important person in the world to me and I couldn't live without her. Thinking back on their recent lovemaking, the slayer couldn't help but smile, remembering her friend's tender caresses, and the passionate kisses that they shared. We didn't have sex. She made love to me. I need to find out if she is having second doubts. I would hate to ruin our friendship.
Uncertain how to go about determining if Willow was regretting the choices she had made this day, Buffy made herself two promises. One: no harm will come to Willow tonight. And two: she would do nothing to harm their friendship.
A few minutes later, Buffy was changed and actually bouncing down the stairs in anticipation of the look on Willow's face when she walked into the kitchen. Deciding to nix the dark blue tank top in favor of thin, white cotton one may or may not have caused her friend to take a second look. However, she also decided to skip the sports bra and had the tank top tucked into her pants in such a manner causing it to stretch tightly across her chest. The fabric was rubbing her nipples, making them stand out.
[Hi Will.] She was intently watching her girlfriend's face when she turned around. Willow stopped in mid turn and froze. Her jaw dropped and her eyes glazed over. [Oh yeah, she's interested], Buffy happily thought to herself.
The slayer had decided upstairs while changing that she needed to flirt with Willow in order to gauge her reaction concerning the two of them. Willow first reaction was a positive one.
Seeing the snack Willow had made for her caused a grin to appear on her face. [Peanut butter and banana sandwich.] Looking at her friend, Buffy projected, [Thanks Will, this is my second favorite snack.] Seeing the puzzled look on Willow's face, Buffy tried for a sexy leer and slowly let her eyes travel up and down the red-haired body.
Willow quickly turned away and went to the fridge and removed a pitcher of iced tea, and poured each of them a glass.
Okay… that went over like a lead balloon. I guess I need to put this on the back burner until after The Gentlemen are defeated. Frowning at not seeing Willow with any food, Buffy asked, [Don't tell me you're not eating]?
She heard Willow's projected thoughts in her mind. [Yes, I already did. Your mother had lunchmeats in the fridge. I made myself a big turkey sandwich with the works. I also had some chips. Now finish your meal so we can get to work.]
With Will's last statement, Buffy felt the temperature in the room drop at least ten degrees. Her entire demeanor has changes, Buffy notice. She's so professional and cold… I wonder what is going through her pretty head right now. For the first time today, the silence was getting on her nerves. Finishing the sandwich and iced tea, Buffy stood up. [Will, let's go into the dining room and come up with a plan to take out The Gentlemen.]
The two friends were sitting at the oak table in the dining room. Willow had a map of Sunnydale spread out between them. [Go west on Main Street and take a right on 4th, then travel four blocks until you hit Benton and take a left. Jackson is a dead end road off Benton. They are located in an abandoned two-story building. I sensed seven creatures with strong magical auras on the second floor and four to six non-humans on the first floor.]
Nodding her head Buffy asked, [Is the area heavily residential? Are there other abandoned buildings in the area?]
Pausing a moment before responding, Willow replied, [It's a pretty run-down neighborhood. There are some deserted homes and a vacant lot—mostly retired people].
[Okay, at least that's good news. How successful was the ritual and exactly what can you do?] Buffy projected.
Willow's entire face became animated, and she started moving her hands in front of her, barely able to contain the emotion inside her. [It's impossible to describe the power coursing through my body. I feel like I could fling a car halfway across the state. The Gentlemen will not present a problem.]
Not liking her friend's devil-may-care attitude, Buffy took a deep breath and grasped Willow's left hand with her right. [Did I ever tell you about my first watcher, Merrick?] Looking at her friend's face, she saw a puzzled expression and than a negative shake of her head. [Merrick was older than Giles. He must have been in his early 50's. He was two or three inches shorter and maybe twenty pounds heavier. He looked like somebody's grandfather and here he was telling me that I was a slayer. Of course, I didn't believe him. I really thought he was an escaped mental patient—a perfectly harmless nutcase. I went to the cemetery and figured that after no vampires showed up, I could talk him in going to the police station and they would help him.]
[I was wrong. A vampire did show up. Merrick told me that I didn't do too badly. All I could say is that I didn't faint or wet myself, but both of them were close calls. I did drop my stake, and then just froze. As soon as the vamp touched me, my body reacted instinctively. After a series of blows, which I still can't remember, I had him on the ground and the stake was in my right hand. I didn't even hesitate—I just dusted him.]
[Merrick trained me for almost four weeks. I was amazed at what I could do. Killing vamps was easy. Of course, Merrick told me that newly raised vampires were easy kills, but older vampires or Masters would be much more difficult to destroy. I didn't believe him. I thought I was invincible. He was constantly trying to tell me not to go rushing in like John Wayne, but to plan my attacks. He repeatedly told me that a slayer's number one goal was to survive. I ignored his warnings and that what got him killed.]
Using her hand to brush away the tears that had started Buffy continued, [I fell for a trap that a Master had set for me. I saw two vampires and dusted one in no time flat. The second one took off running into the school gym. I heard Merrick yell for me to be careful, but I took off and followed him into the building. Immediately I was jumped and had my arms pinned to my back. There were ten or twelve vampires with the Master standing a few feet in front of me telling me that he was going to drain me dry.]
[Next thing I knew, Merrick barged in with a sword in his hand. He slew one of the vamps that had my arms pinned, allowing me to free myself. The rest of the vampires wasted no time and charged. I couldn't win against those odds. I was looking at my own death, powerless to prevent it. Merrick brushed past me swinging his sword, telling me to run. I froze until I saw them snap his neck. I couldn't do anything for him, so I ran and ran and ran until I was safe. So I went home and came up with a plan to avenge his death. The following night I burnt down the high school gym and killed them all.] Buffy used her hands to wipe the tears running down her face and the tears still in her eyes.
Slowly raising her head in order to look into Willow's green eyes, Buffy sent, [Merrick taught me that a successful slayer lives to fight another day. In order to do that you need to come up with a plan that allows you the best chance of success with minimal risk to your life. I once asked you what makes some Wiccans stronger than others. You remember what you told me?]
Smiling, Willow replied, [I explained it by giving you this analogy. A good carpenter can strike a nail squarely with one blow and drive it deep into the wood. Others will miss the nail and take several blows, or even bend the nail, making it useless. A Wicca who has a feeling for magic can work spells with minimal effort compared to others.]
Nodding, Buffy projected, [I would hate to depend on you doing a spell that you had never done before. Not because I don't have faith in you, but because of the consequences if things turned out bad. It's possible that the magnitude of the magic would cause you to pass out. This would force me to stand over your body until I fell.] Looking intently into her friend's green eyes she continued, [Either we both survive or we don't.]
Seeing in Willow's face that what she was saying was finally sinking in, Buffy ended, [But it won't come to that. I've got a plan that for little risk to ourselves will allow us to destroy The Gentlemen. Let go upstairs and get some weapons before swinging over to The Magic Shop and picking up a few things. I'll tell you of the plan on the way over.]
Approximately One Hour Later
Riley had his back against the front of the store surveying downtown Sunnydale. The Initiative was out in force dressed in civilian clothes with the order to prevent civilian unrest.
A car horn blared to his right. The driver in the car was impatient with the group of kids crossing the street in front of him. A teenage girl in the group whirled around giving the driver the finger. Incidents like these were becoming more commonplace as people became frustrated and scared.
His own men were becoming uneasy. Dealing with hostile subterreans on an everyday basis had prepared them to expect almost anything, but this was entirely different. Doctor Walsh had said earlier in the day at the briefing to stay calm that the problem was been investigated. Its tough to stay calm when you don't know what going on, Riley mused.
Surveying the street again, he spotted two familiar forms walking purposely down the sidewalk on the other side of the street. Buffy and Willow… why aren't you in your dorm room safe and sound? Riley silently asked himself.
Buffy was wearing a long leather coat, which reached almost to her ankles. Willow had on jeans and a windbreaker. She was wearing a red backpack and was using a walking stick. The two of them were weaving in and out through the crowd on the sidewalk.
Waiting until they were almost directly in front of him, Riley looked both ways before crossing the street to them. Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw two men starting to push each other. Duty calls, Riley silently muttered to himself. Stepping in between the two combatants he focused his attention on the larger of the two men. He was attempting to defuse the situation when a blow by the smaller man struck him in the head from behind, knocking him unconscious.
Almost Midnight, Same Night
Peering through the binoculars, Buffy could see movement of creatures passing by the second story window in the abandoned building that The Gentlemen were using for their lair. I hate this waiting, Buffy thought as she lowered the binoculars and rubbed her eyes to ease the fatigue that was beginning to set in from staring at the building for the last hour. Buffy's back was up against the tree and she had extended her legs in order to relax a bit. She took several deep breaths to force oxygen into her system in order to combat the drowsiness that she was beginning to feel. Willow was to her right, sitting in a yoga position on her leather coat to keep the chill and dampness from her while she searched for any nearby magical auras.
The plan was simple, but was based on an unverifiable assumption: that Willow could sense The Gentlemen at a farther distance then they could sense her. To achieve the element of surprise the two friends had taken the long way to this spot by traversing gullies, woods and people's backyards. Now they found themselves at the dead end of a dead end street about one hundred and fifty yards from their quarries. If the bad guys headed directly for them, then the assumption would be wrong and they would have to run for it.
Buffy's musing was interrupted when the door of the abandoned building opened and four creatures that appeared to be rejects from an insane asylum scurried down the steps. Reaching over, the slayer tapped her friend's shoulder and pointed toward the building.
Buffy and Willow both watched as four of The Gentlemen floated down the steps a few inches off the ground. The four faced each other for several moments before heading down the street with their henchmen in the lead, away from the two of them.
It worked, Buffy exclaimed silently in her mind. Now all we need to do is wait for a couple of minutes until they can't sense Willow, then one powerful Wicca, one slayer, and a few specials from The Magic Shop will only have to face three Gentlemen. Not bad odds, as Buffy slayer's senses started tingling, anticipating the upcoming battle.
Buffy was staring at Willow's watch. Five minutes had passed. It was time to go. Helping Willow to her feet, she bent down and picked her coat off the ground and folded it twice before placing it under her left arm.
Moving cautiously forward, Willow gave a thumb up followed by three fingers. The code meant that Will could sense the remaining Gentlemen and only three of them were left in the building. Buffy held up two fingers and her friend nodded, which meant they were still on the second floor.
Walking up the steps to the door, Buffy was puzzled at the sound she was hearing. Looking down the street she spotted the four henchmen approaching them at a rapid clip. [Willow… we got trouble], Buffy projected and pointed at the incoming attackers. The plan was fast unraveling. Instead of taking on a fraction of their opponent in a surprise attack, the table was turned, and they were facing all of the enemy at once. Even worse, they could be attacked from behind at any moment.
[Buffy!] Willow projected. [The guys in the building must have sensed us and telepathically called for help. What do we do?]
[Are our three homebodies still upstairs?] Seeing Willow nod, Buffy continued while removing the crossbow and the sword that hung from her back. [No change in the plan. Back me up and I take these four out. Then you hit the second wave and fling them back to buy us some time. We then race upstairs and release our voices as planned. If the guys come downstairs, we hit them next—okay?]
Seeing her friend nod, Buffy finished loading the second crossbow bolt and knelt to steady her aim. At ten yards she fired the first bolt and then moved slightly to the left, firing a second time, hitting another creature. Dropping the bow, she barely had time to pick up the sword before being bowled over by one of the minions. Falling down, the slayer managed to bring the sword up, driving it deep into the creature's stomach. Rolling and getting to her feet, Buffy spotted the fourth creature dead with four knives sticking out of its chest.
[Easier than floating pencils], Willow grinned.
[Thanks], Buffy replied. [Are our friends still upstairs?]
[Yep, haven't moved a muscle], the Wicca said.
[Good.] Looking down the street, Buffy could see the other four Gentlemen about thirty yards away. [Okay Will… fling them back and give us a few more seconds.]
Seeing her friend nod, Buffy bent down and picked up the staff and the red backpack that Willow had dropped. What the hell? Buffy turned around at the sound and saw Willow with her arms extended shooting streams of electrical energy at their adversaries.
The Gentlemen appeared to be like dancing puppets, caught up in the energy flowing from Willow's outstretched hands. Their movements became jerky and their clothes started to smolder as one by one they fell down. Turning to her friend, Buffy barely managed to catch the unconscious Wicca as she fell to the ground.
[WILLOW! WAKE UP!] Not getting a reaction, Buffy checked her friend's pulse, sighing in relief when she found a strong steady one. She started shaking Willow. Seeing the Wicca's eyes flicker open, Buffy projected [WILL! WAKE UP! YOU NEED TO WAKE UP NOW!]
Rummaging through the backpack, Buffy found only two crystals remaining. Damn, Buffy muttered silently. Checking her friend's hands she saw that the Wicca was still clutching two drained crystals. Oh my God! She drained herself and two crystals. Prying the drained crystals from her hand, Buffy inserted an used crystal into the red-haired woman's hand.
Shaking her friend, Buffy shouted [WILL. WAKE UP! YOU NEED TO WAKE UP RIGHT NOW!] Seeing her eyes flutter open, the slayer grabbed the Wicca's hand and moved it so Willow could see the crystal. [WILL. YOU NEED TO DRAIN THE ENERGY FROM THE CRYSTAL RIGHT NOW!]
Seeing her friend's eyes were still closed, Buffy was ready to slap her when she noticed the crystal was glowing and color was returning to Willow's cheeks.
Slowly the Wicca opened her eyes. [Help me up, Buffy.]
Pulling her up with both hands Buffy asked, [Are you okay]?
Taking several deep breaths, she nodded. Looking up she was surprised to see the four Gentlemen she had attacked struggling to their feet. That's not possible, she thought.
[Will… we don't have much time… same plan has before. Are you up to it?] The slayer asked anxiously, since they were out of options.
[Yeah, Buffy. I'm good to go.] Willow responded.
Nodding acknowledgment, Buffy picked up the staff that Willow had with her and handed her the backpack, before heading into the building. Spotting the stairs, the girls moved quickly across the room. Turning to face Willow, Buffy projected, [You know the plan. Remember, stay close to me. Exactly where are the Gentlemen?]
[All three of them are at the top of the stairs near the opening], Willow replied, handing the slayer a clay jar from the backpack and keeping one for herself.
[Okay then, on three.] Seeing Willow nod, Buffy continued, One… Two… Three… Now.
Both girls lobbed the clay jars underhand up the stairs. Closing her eyes, Buffy waited until she heard Willow ignite the flash powder in the containers. As they rushed up the last few steps, the three Gentlemen appeared disoriented, blinded by the bright flash of the powder. Using both hands on the staff, the slayer struck The Gentleman on the far right, knocking him into his neighbor. Gaining the second floor, Buffy rained a series of blows on her opponents, allowing Willow to slip by. As soon as the Wicca had passed, Buffy used the end of the staff to strike one of The Gentlemen in the chest, knocking him down the flight of stairs.
The remaining two split up and attacked the slayer from different sides. Turning swiftly, Buffy attacked the one on her left who was closest to Willow and forced him down the steps. Looking down, she saw the other Gentlemen advancing up the stairs. Suddenly her staff was seized at both ends and pulled back in an attempt to crush her windpipe. She felt herself being lifted off the floor. With no leverage she was helpless to prevent being slowly strangle to death. The Gentlemen advancing up the steps were near the top with their little surgical knives out and hideous smiles on their faces. The room was beginning to grow dark when all of a sudden, Willow screamed.
CHAPTER SIX: THE AFTERMATH
The increasing pressure of the staff against her throat was gone. She barely realized that she was falling before hitting the floor hard. Stunned for a moment, she drew in a deep breath of air into her oxygen deprived lungs. The slayer rose slowly to her feet desperately trying to clear the fog that was still enveloping her mind.
Scanning the room, her eyes focused on The Gentlemen who appeared frozen with their arms along their sides and that hideous smile on their face. Slowly they started to vibrate.
Not good. Not good at all, Buffy thought. Turning toward the still screaming Willow, the slayer hurdled over a table and grabbed her friend by her waist. Buffy pushed her friend against the wall and shielded the young Wicca's body with her own.
Splat! Splat! Splat!
Hearing the strange noise, the two friends turned around and stared at the headless corpses of The Gentlemen.
Facing the red-haired woman, Buffy anxiously asked, "Will… are you okay? You're not hurt are you?"
Still appearing shaken from the ordeal Willow replied, "No, I'm fine except for one killer headache."
"I can imagine with all the magic you did tonight. Tell you what—Doctor Buffy prescribed a good night sleep. Let go home and put you to bed." Moving forward to put her arms around Willow, she was stopped when her best friend placed her hand on her chest.
"Buffy, I want to apologize for almost getting us killed. I was so sure that I could stop them. I'm sorry. I try my best, but I can't do anything right. I can understand why if you don't want me around. You'd be better off without me… just like Oz."
The last few words were spoken so softly that Buffy almost couldn't hear them. Willow was looking down at her feet, afraid to look her friend in the eyes. Tears started to run down her face and then she turned away from the slayer and started sobbing.
Her sobbing broke was breaking Buffy's heart and got her feet moving. The slim blonde went to her green-eyed friend and wrapped her arms around her friend in a tight hug. Rubbing Willow's back, Buffy spoke into the young Wicca's, "You are my best friend and I will never leave you because… I'm in love with you."
Smiling, Buffy waited for Willow to say something. Willow tried, but no words came out of her mouth. A look of stunned astonishment was on her face and then her eyes slowly rolled back and she fainted.
Catching her, the slayer lowered her unconscious friend's body to the floor. At this rate I need to bring smelling salts with me. She lightly patted her prone friend's cheek and said, "Will… wake up, Will."
The young Wicca's eyes flutter opened and a puzzled expression was on her face. "What happened? How did I get on the floor?" Willow asked as she struggled to sit up.
Moving around to help her friend to her feet, Buffy said, "I don't know. I told you that I was in love with you and you fainted. I haven't been able to decide whether or not that a real good sign or a real bad sign."
Willow turned her head to face her and said, "You're in love…" Buffy nodded her head, but Willow kept on talking, "… with me?"
The slayer grasped her shoulders and looked directly into those wide green eyes, and said, "Yes. I, Buffy Anne Summers, am totally in love with Willow Danielle Rosenberg. I consider myself the most fortunate person in the entire world to be your friend, but I would truly be blessed if you felt the same way about me as I feel about you."
"Why me?" Willow asked in a little-girl voice. "I'm nobody special."
"You're wrong, my love," Buffy responded quickly. "You are the most thoughtful and considerate person I have ever met. I never heard you say a really derogatory comment about anyone – not even Cordelia. You're brilliant and funny and willing to risk your life for complete strangers. I love watching your face—your smile… that pout of yours… and the way your entire face light up after a successful spell. The highlight of my day is when I'm with you. And when I'm not with you, I can't get your out of my mind. You are all that I think about and all that I dream about. I'm head over heels in love with you and have been for some time."
"How long have you been in love with me?" Willow asked shyly.
"I finally realized that I was in love with you when Spike tried to attack you," Buffy replied. "But the truth is—I was in love with you from day one. It took almost losing your for my heart to convince my mind of the fact. Swallowing and taking a deep breath, she continued, "Will… do you love me?" Buffy heard her voice crack when she asked the question.
Willow brought her hand to the blonde's woman cheek and began stroking it, "Of course I do Buffy. I truly expect for you to come to your senses one of these days, but for now I'm seizing the moment."
"Seizing the moment?" Buffy questioned.
"It was the same advice you gave me the first day we met," Willow's expression turned into a smile, remembering the incident.
Sitting at the bar at the Bronze, high school was suppose to be different, Willow thought. Unfortunately, nothing had changed over the summer.
Looking up at the voice, she spotted Buffy. Willow looked around to make sure she was the one the new girl was addressing. "Oh… hey."
Taking the seat beside her, Buffy ordered a soda and turned to her saying, "You here with some one?"
My God! She's talking to me. "No… I'm just here. I thought Xander was going to show up." Why is she talking to me?
Buffy was looking directly at Willow with a puzzled expression on her face. "Oh… Are you guys going out?"
This close, Willow could see how beautiful Buffy was. The silver cross around her neck drew her attention. Without even thinking she replied, "No. We're just friends. We use to go out but we broke up."
Willow saw a concerned expression on Buffy face. "How come?" the blonde classmate asked.
Buffy saw the little pout that was forming on Willow's face. "He stole my Barbie." Seeing the puzzled look on Buffy's face, "Oh… we were five," the red-haired sophomore answered.
Stunned, Buffy replied, "Oh."
And then there was silence. Come on, Willow, say something clever, don't be a nerd. "I… I don't actually date a whole lot… lately." My God! Can't I keep my mouth shut? All I do is babble.
Looking at Buffy, she saw the same expression as before—puzzlement and concern. "Why not?"
"Well… when I'm with a boy I like… It's hard for me to say anything cool or witty or at all. I can usually make a few vowel sounds… then I have to go away." Great! More Babbling. I just need to shut up or maybe I'll get lucky and have lightening hit me.
"It's not that bad," the concerned blonde teenager said.
Puzzled by Buffy continuing questions, Willow decided to bite the bullet and level with her. "No, it is. I think boys are more interested in a girl who can talk."
Willow could almost hear a small laugh escaping from Buffy's throat. "You really haven't been dating lately," an amused Buffy said.
"Its probably easy for you?" Oh yeah. With that hair and those looks, she probably has to beat the boys off with a stick.
Willow saw Buffy's face drop and heard her say in a small voice, "Yeah… real easy."
Oh, oh. DANGER. Think fast. "I… I… You don't seem to shy."
Suddenly turning to face Willow, Buffy somewhat questioningly asked, "Well, my philosophy… do you want to hear my philosophy?"
"Yea… I do," a sincere Willow responded.
"Life is short."
Puzzled, Willow parroted, "Life is short."
Taking a sip of her soda before looking at Willow and saying, "Not original, I grant you, but it's true… You know, why waste time being all shy and all worried about some guy if he's going to laugh at you. Seize the moment because tomorrow you might be dead."
"Well that's nice." She's actually talking to me like I'm somebody… or like a friend.
Buffy was watching the crowd and got to her feet. "Um… I'll be back in a minute."
Guess I was wrong, Willow thought. "Oh… that's okay you don't have to come back."
Looking her right in the eyes, Buffy replied, "I'll be back in a minute." With that Buffy walked away.
Still drinking her soda, Willow was thinking about what her new friend had said. "Seize the moment."
"I recalled taking my advice almost made you a vampire snack," Buffy replied.
"Yes it did," Willow replied, "but it was the beginning of a journey that led us to this moment, and I wouldn't change anything." Moving forward, Willow's arms encircled her friend waist and stared into Buffy's hazel eyes.
Buffy leaned forward feeling Willow's warm breath before capturing her lower lip in a series of soft kisses before claiming her girlfriend's mouth. Deepening the kiss, Buffy's tongue gently entered Willow's mouth. The kiss continued until oxygen became a concern for both of them.
Relinquishing Willow's moth, Buffy pulled the Wicca into a hug and whispered into her ear, "You are wrong Will. Tonight was all my fault. I was the one who blew it concerning the Gentlemen. If we had waited a few more minutes, then we would have had no problems. Instead you watched my back and killed one of the henchmen and then delayed the rest of The Gentlemen long enough to keep them off our backs until you could find out where our voices were being stored and for you to release them this saving my life. You did great sweetheart. Don't every doubt that!"
Lifting her chin so she could peer into those wonderful green eyes, Buffy could see that Willow really wanted to believe her, but wasn't totally convinced yet. "You did great. You saved my life. Wait until I tell Giles what the hero you are!"
This got a chuckle from Willow.
"We're not going to tell him everything that we did today… are we Buffy?" Willow asked tentatively.
"I may be insanely in love with you, but I'm not that crazy. Let go home." Buffy replied.
Releasing her girlfriend from her arms, they headed toward the stairs. "Ew," Willow said staring at the dead bodies and the goo that were once the Gentlemen's heads littering the floor and the steps. "These shoes are brand new and now I'm going to ruin them."
Picking up Willow in her arms, the slayer cradled the young woman. "Never fear, my love, your chariot awaits," she declared, and proceeded down the stairs and out of the building.
Riley had been searching for Buffy and Willow since he had regained consciousness from the blow to his head. Going down one street after another he was ready to give up until he heard a scream. How is that possible? he thought to himself as he picked up speed, running in the direction of the commotion.
Running hard for half a mile, Riley saw four prone figures by the steps of a rundown two-story building. Examining each of them to determine what killed them, he was about to enter the building when he heard voices from the inside. Releasing the safety from his weapon, he quickly hid around the corner of the building waiting for whoever or whatever to come out.
Riley was more than a little shocked to see Buffy and Willow walk out of the building and down the steps. He was about twenty yards away close enough to hear the girls' conversation.
Willow was pointing at the dead creatures; turning to Buffy she asked, "What should we do with these?"
Buffy was already bending over one of the creatures, removing the knives from its chest. Wiping the blood from the knives on the creature's clothes, Buffy responded, "Now you know why I like vampires. A stake through the heart and poof, nothing but dust." Standing up and stretching her back she continued, "I'm going to drag them inside and close the door. Maybe Giles and Xander will come by tomorrow and help me dig graves."
"Let me give you a hand?" Willow said as she moved toward on of the creatures.
"Don't worry, Will. I can handle this all by myself," Buffy replied as she grabbed one victim in each hand and proceeded to drag the two creatures inside the building.
After repeating the process for a second time, Buffy descended the steps and took the crossbow and sword from Willow and slung them across her back. Retrieving the leather jacket, Buffy put it on, effectively hiding the weapons from the outside world. Seeing Willow with her backpack and staff in her hand, Buffy asked, "You ready to go?"
"You know, Buffy," Willow responded. "My feet are killing me with all the walking we did today. We really need a car."
Buffy was laughing now. "With my driving skills walking is much safer. Besides, let's go home and I'll give your feet a massage tomorrow."
The girls started walking down the street. Willow bumped into Buffy, saying something that caused the blonde woman to laugh. Willow slipped her hand under Buffy's leather coat. Buffy in turn slipped her hand around Willow's waist and into her pants.
Watching them walk away, Riley did a double take to make sure his eyes weren't playing tricks on him, but the image didn't change. Watching them until they vanished from his sight, Riley left his hiding place and muttered to himself, "She's fucking gay?!"
Scanning the now deserted street, Riley entered the building, noticing the four dead creatures that Buffy had dragged in earlier. He noticed several strange creatures on the stairs missing their heads. Walking up the stairs gingerly he reached the second floor and counted seven headless creatures. What the hell happened here? he asked himself.
Knowing that he had to report this, he made sure his communication device was scrambled and secured. "Riley to home. Riley to home. Come in," he spoke into it.
"Riley, this is Doctor Walsh—do you know what happened?"
"Not one hundred percent certain," Riley responded. "I heard a scream and went to investigate. I saw two civilians exit a building from which I ascertained the scream originated. After they left the area, I went in to investigate. I discovered eleven dead hostiles of two unknown types. There was four of the first type. Two had been killed by crossbow bolts. One had been killed by a sword thrust to its stomach. And the last one had four knives embedded in its chest. The seven inside all died of the same cause. It appeared that their heads simply exploded. Over."
Several seconds of static ensued until Doctor Walsh's voice was heard. "Secure the area and send us your coordinates. Wait for the clean up crew. Did you get an ID on the two civilians? Over."
Riley, holding down the mike button, stated, "I'm transmitting the coordinates now. I got positive ID of the two civilians. Their names are Willow Rosenberg and Buffy Summers. I repeat. Their names are Willow Rosenberg and Buffy Summers. Over."
"Copy your transmission, Riley. I want a full report on my desk first thing in the morning. Walsh out."
Tapping her fingers on the desk, Professor Walsh was thinking about this latest surprise from Riley. The most important thing in the world is knowledge, Professor Walsh thought to herself. Picking up her cell phone she entered a string on numbers and waited for someone to pick up. "This is Professor Walsh. I need a full background check on one Willow Rosenberg and one Buffy Summers. Both of them are students at UC Sunnydale. No cutting the corners on this one. I need a detailed report and I need it by the end of the week." Pausing for a second before deciding on the next step she continued, "I want 24/7 surveillance on them and surveillance equipment in their dorm room. Plan for Monday around ten. Both of them are in my class at that time. If they show up, I will notify you that it's okay to proceed. Walsh out."
Placing the cell phone on the desk, Professor Walsh leaned back into her chair and extended her legs, stretching the muscles in her lower back that were causing her discomfort after sitting all day. Feeling a little more relaxed, she closed her eyes and thought about the two seemingly ordinary young women, Willow Rosenberg and Buffy Summers.
What a night! Buffy thought. The stars were out and there was a full moon high in the cloudless sky. The birds were singing and the insects were chirping. She had her arm around her girl and her hand inside her pants. Therefore, no one could blame her in being a little bit disappointed when they walked up the steps leading to her mother's house. Reluctantly Buffy removed her hand and opened the door, allowing Willow to enter.
"Hey Will. Why don't you go upstairs and let me call Giles and let him know that we are safe?"
Turning around to face her friend Willow answered, "Okay… just don't take too long."
"I'll just be a minute."
Watching the red-haired girl walk up the stairs, Buffy couldn't help but admire her friend very sexy walk. Halfway up Willow turned around to face her and cried out, "I don't have anything to sleep in!"
Visions of Willow and herself sleeping in the nude bombarded her mind. Buffy's knees turned weak and she barely managed to lock them in place before she fell to the ground. Suppressing her thoughts she managed to utter, "How about your robe Will?"
"That'll work. See you in a minute," Willow replied. With that she turned around and walked up the stairs.
It was difficult, but Buffy managed to regain control of all of her limbs. Walking over to the phone, she hit the speed dial number for Giles. After the third ring, the phone was picked up and she heard Giles saying, "Buffy is that you?"
"Yes Giles, it's me. Willow and I are safe and sound without a scratch on us. I came up with a plan that needed a little bit of magic to work, which it did. Both of us are pretty tired and we're heading to bed. I tell you what. We'll swing by sometime late morning and give you all the details. Okay?"
She heard Giles' voice over the phone saying, "Okay. If both of you are safe, I'll see you tomorrow. Get a good night sleep."
"Okay, Giles. Good night." Buffy replied by hanging up the phone and headed up the stairs taking two steps at a time.
Entering her old bedroom, she saw that Willow was already in bed. Her friend was on the right side of the bed, but her body was lying on her side facing the middle of the bed with the sheet and bedspread wrapped around her.
The room was bright enough with the light of the full moon coming through the window that Buffy didn't have to turn on the overhead light. Walking over to where she had discarded her robe earlier today, the slayer saw out of the corner of her eye that Willow was tracking her every movement. I think its Showtime, she mused, chuckling silently to herself.
Buffy turned with her back facing the bed and slowly removed her tank top. Dropping the top to the floor, she unbuckled her belt and slid her pants down past her knees. She bent over with her legs slightly apart and her ass high in the air while she slowly untied her shoes making sure to slightly wiggle her behind for her girlfriend's enjoyment.
Kicking off her shoes, pants and socks, the slayer slowly stretched before running her hands down the side of her body until she reached her panties. Bit by bit Buffy pushed them past her hips and then gyrated slowly until they fell to her feet. Stepping out of them, the blonde woman walked over to her robe with an exaggerated swaying of her hips. Slipping the robe on, Buffy turned around facing the bed, making sure the robe was opened in the front and lightly tied with its sash.
Walking toward the bed she saw Willow eyes on her. Slipping under the covers, Buffy worked her left arm under her pillow and used her right arm to bring Willow's body right next to her. Kissing her friend on the forehead she murmured, "Sleep tight, my love."
Willow wormed her body closer to Buffy, foregoing her pillow and placing her head on her friend left breast. Speaking softly into the slayer's chest she said, "Good night, Buffy. I love you." After a few seconds she continued, "Have I told you that you are an evil woman?"
Chuckling, Buffy gripped her tighter, rolling onto her back, pulling Willow on top of her. "What can I say? I think you bring out this playful side of me. I hope you enjoyed the show."
Willow hugged her fiercely and gave a little sigh before saying, "I can't wait to see an encore." Shortly afterward she was sound asleep.
With her eyes closed, Buffy slowly drifted off to sleep with the feel of Willow's body pressing against her own. Her friend steady heartbeat lulled her to sleep and the smell of Willow's hair beckoned the slayer to join her friend in her dreams.
Buffy tried going back to sleep. She really did, but the morning sunlight was streaming through the window into her eyes. Willow was still on top of her with her head nestled under Buffy's chin. Willow left leg had found itself between her legs during the night and was pressing down on her center, producing a very warm feeling there. Her friend's left hand was under the slayer's robe resting on the swell of her right breast.
I'd be crazy to get out of bed, the contented woman thought while she enjoyed the sensation of waking up with her girlfriend. Glancing around the room, Buffy spotted her mother standing in the doorway with a stunned expression on her face. Seeing that the covers had been kicked off during the night, her mother was seeing a lot more of them than either really wanted her to see.
Not knowing what else to do, she gave her mother little wave of her hand and pulled the covers over the two of them, hoping to hold back the world for at least a few more minutes.
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