See Chapter One for full disclosure.
The kitchen is dark as I enter except for the glow from the night-light plugged into the outlet next to the sink. I reach automatically for the light switch, placing my finger under the hard plastic extension. I notice how it feels, smooth with slightly rounded edges, enough to feel, but not enough to cut or harm in anyway. I raise my hand, savoring the momentary resistance and then it’s gone. Light fills the room and I miss the feel of the switch, the distraction it provided quickly fades.
I stand in place and slowly gaze around the kitchen. I take everything in as if I had just walked into a crypt and am now looking for the coming attack. But there was nothing to attack me here so I guess I’ll make coffee.
I focus fully on every step of making coffee. I let the water run cold and clear before I fill the carafe. Carefully, I pour the water into the reservoir, making sure not to spill a drop as if that water was the most valuable and precious thing in the world.
As I complete each task necessary for the making of coffee I finish by gently pushing the small round button and watch the red light come on. Now I sit and wait and watch the coffee drip, listening to the gurgling of the heated water. I wonder at the little pinging sounds as the first drops splatter on the glass bottom.
What sound is my heart making right now? When Tara died, I was too consumed with hate and anger to contemplate the sound of loss. I took her death as a personal affront. Buffy is alive, but somehow I feel that I’ve lost her also. And what is starting to hurt, is the slow realization that I didn’t lose her tonight, I appear to have lost her years ago.
How do you lose something that is always in front of you? You lose it when you don’t acknowledge it. In this case ‘it’ being in love with Buffy. Did I really fail to see her interest all these years? Was I really that blind? And does it matter that she was interested at all? If I loved her, shouldn’t I have let her know? Shouldn’t I have trusted her enough that even if she couldn’t return my feelings, she would remain my friend? But couldn’t I say the same for her? Why didn’t she tell me? Why didn’t she trust me enough?
Oh yea, we were teenagers. In High School and more afraid of how we fit in than we were of the demons we faced on a regular basis. After all, the demons could only kill you. That was nothing compared to the tortures classmates can put you through once you’ve been identified as being different, especially gay.
Ok, so I understand why Buffy just didn’t come out and say how she felt. So what was I doing, thinking, and feeling when she was dropping these hints?
As I focused on the past, my physical surroundings receded from my senses. Time no longer had any hold on me as my memories paraded by. I felt myself as participant and observer to these specters of the past. Buffy hugging me... her face lighting up as I walk into the library... her strong yet gentle fingers running through my hair as we watched a movie... ‘I kinda love you’ I hear and watch her say... and so many more. I lose track as I critically examine my responses. I would wave and say hi... I watch the movie and never run my fingers through her hair... I would hug her back, but rarely do I initiate... I keep talking over her shy admission like it was nothing, going on how my staying was all about how I wanted to join the fight against evil. Goddess, she believed me. Heck, I believed me. Why would either of us truly believe that I stayed for any other reason than her? Only a complete imbecile or someone so deep in denial they don’t know if they’re coming or going would believe otherwise. I was slowly coming to a conclusion as the Buffy/Willow parade went by... I was in denial.
But why, I know I loved her... in love with her I was and obviously still am or why would I be torturing myself like this. Only one answer remained as I weighed my options. I was a coward, and not just a normal everyday coward who runs away screaming in fright. No, I was too cowardly to even acknowledge that I was afraid.
What do you do now Willow echo’s in my head. All other thought process is drowned out in the reverberations of that one question. Soon it became just one word, my name... Willow.
‘Willow, Willow, the memories are gone and there’s this indistinct blob that’s’ slowly coming into focus. I blink my eyes and the blob almost looks familiar. Now there’s a pressure on my shoulder. I blink once more and the blob looks like Dawn.
“Willow, come on Willow. Buffy wakes me up last night with sex noises, god knows what guy it is this time. Just hope he’s human. And I finally get back to sleep after stuffing my ears with tissue and covering my head with pillows. Now I come down here and your eyes are all glazed and lost and you don’t hear me. Please Willow, you’re scaring me.” The Dawn looking blob pleads with me.
One more blink and I can clearly see Dawn’s worried face. Her eyes are all scrunched up, but even though she’s worried, she’s kept the whine out of her voice. Good girl Dawnie. I guess I’ll reward her by saying something.
“Hi Dawn, what are you doing up at this hour.” I said as if nothing was wrong, because nothing was wrong. The world wasn’t ending. No apocalypse to avert. So why do I feel like I’m dying inside. Oh yea, as Dawn just so eloquently put it, Buffy and sex noises last night. And Dawn thinks it’s a guy, but I know different. Yep, definitely different as in a horse of a different color but the horse is now a rainbow.
“Willow, its eight o’clock in the morning. The sun’s been up for hours. What are you talking about? Dawn’s concerned voice further jars me from my reverie.
Eight in the morning? I look out the kitchen window and see trees, sunlight and blue sky. All of a sudden I feel pasty mouthed; my limbs feel like they’re weighed down with lead. And I feel like I’ve been awake all night.
“Whowwww, guess I’ve been awake all night. Had a lot on my mind.” My voice trailed off as what was on my mind came flooding back.
“Does this have to do with Buffy and the guy she brought home?” Her voice was concerned, but heavily laced with curiosity.
“Yes and no. Yes, it has to do with Buffy and who she brought home, but not a guy.” I raised my eyebrows in what I hoped was enough of a hint.
“Buffy spent the night having sex with a girl?” Dawn’s eyebrows rose in surprise, then curiously reposed into a more thoughtful composure. I became curious as I watched Dawn thoughtfully process this supposedly startling information.
“Dawn, whatcha thinking? You started out looking surprised, but that didn’t last very long. Like maybe two seconds. Tell me, why aren’t you surprised that your sister, who in the past has only been with men, has just spent the night having wild sex with another woman?” I drawled out slowly, reminding myself how observant the young girl could be.
“Oh, I guess the only surprise I really have is that it’s not you she spent the night with.” Dawn spoke softly with a clear voice.
‘Me? Did she just say she was surprised it wasn’t me?’ Sharp needle pain above my eyes was the result as my eyes shot open in surprise.
Dawn’s eyes looked bemused but quickly displayed something more akin to sympathy.
“Even though I know you’re surprised, all I can say is you shouldn’t be.” Sympathy changed to stronger tones as I saw her rev herself up to lecture me.
“Let’s start with who she’s been with Willow. Excluding that one-night stand she had her first year of college, she’s only been with one guy and two vampires. And let’s look at the guy. A drug enhanced, secret government commando. Three, count them, three male resemblances. Now let’s look at the facts. The first one was a two hundred and forty odd year old, tall, dark, suave and handsome creature of the night and Buffy was sixteen. She didn’t stand a chance. And if you ask her, she still claims that Angel was the love of her life. How pathetic. He played a hormone driven teenager into complete stupiddom. And when he figured out no more sex, he latched onto the first opportunity he could to leave her. And not only does he leave her heart broken, he makes it look like he’s being the selfless, caring and noble man who is only doing what’s best for her.” Shivers travel up my spine as Dawn’s emotionally charged words roll across the small distance between us.
“What a crock of bull.” Each word was spoken slow and distinctly. Each word was laden with heated intensity. “But she wants to believe it because the truth hurts too much. And the truth is that she is, or at least was so afraid of what she really wanted in a relationship that she kept going after anything that resembled a male but really wasn’t.” Dawn stopped and caught her breath, her voice had become low and firm, repressed anger seethed with her every word.
“Angel leaving really hurt, because with him she could pretend to be in love with a man but had the best excuse in the world to not have sex. She was able to create this great fantasy but it was doomed, because no guy is going to stay around if there is no sex involved.” Dawn’s breathe hitched quickly in preparation for the next part. “Now on to Riley, who she only used to give the appearance of a normal relationship, even though nothing could be further from the truth. She used him. She used him as a cover and for sex. Again another doomed relationship. At least with Spike she was finally able to admit that’s all she was doing was using him, and that situation never would have even happened if Spike hadn’t taken advantage of the situation and Buffy’s vulnerability.” Dawn’s face was now flushed with her anger. It was becoming very apparent that Dawn was harboring strong resentment towards the way her sister had conducted her love life and those who had taken advantage of her.
Her voice softened and her eyes got a faraway look as she continued. “I remember that she would secretly watch you, and she would only do it when she was certain no one else could see her doing it, but she never noticed me. Afterwards though, she would go all lovey dovey with Riley and after he left, she would just go out and kill a lot of demons. I’ve been certain for years that Buffy wanted you. But she wouldn’t even admit it to herself, so she kept pursuing dead end relationships to hide from her true needs. I would get so mad at her sometimes I could just scream. In fact I think I did several times but she just thought I was being a spoiled brat. But I couldn’t ever confront her because when a person is in denial, the only way they get out is by realizing it themselves.” Dawn’s voice wound down. My eyes had closed and I had dropped my head, no longer able to deal with her words and the emotion on her face simultaneously. I felt warm soft fingers gently cover the back of my hand. Gentle pressure was exerted, and I had a sense of comfort. The warmth from her hand traveled slowly up my arm. I raised my head and opened my eyes once again.
“Willow, she’s been in love with you for so long. “ Dawn’s voice was soft with her need for me to listen as she began to further share her painful insights. “The way she would grab your hand to hold for no reason. She would always make sure she sat next to you on the couch during movie time. The way she would play with your hair. Buffy would do all these things and it wasn’t like you ignored them, but you never reciprocated. I just figured that you were totally straight and nothing Buffy could do would get you interested. You can’t believe how surprised I was when you came out with Tara. I remember Buffy coming home that night. I heard her talk with mom and then she cried herself to sleep. I was so angry at you for hurting Buffy like that. But then I met Tara and saw how happy you were and just figured that Buffy wasn’t your type of girl.”
Dawn’s eyes pierced my own with these final words. Ice formed in the bottom of my stomach, mixing with acidic heat already there. Heat and cold danced across my flesh as I leaped towards the sink. The cool porcelain feel against my face was the final goading as the bitter flow rushed from my wide-open mouth. My body arched and spasmed as vitriolic pools erupted from the core of my being. Soft flesh brushed my cheeks as my hair was gently pulled back. The sound of running water penetrated my final reflexive gagging. Placing my hand beneath the cool flow tempered the flush across my skin. The comfort that splashing the water on my face brought further eased the convulsive nature of my traitorous stomach. I gasped and began to breathe in big, slow motions. Wet comfort expanded from my neck as Dawn placed a wet cloth there, bringing to a conclusion the riotous actions that now left me with limbs of lead and my head filled with cotton.
“Coffee and empty stomachs don’t mix too well.” I slowly offered in explanation.
“Yea, especially when sweetened with emotional trauma.” Dawn’s sarcasm was somewhat tempered with a falsely happy lilt.
Thoughts slowly began to reappear in my noggin as I recovered. Unfortunately, none of them were yet of anything approaching coherence. I decided to see how far Dawn’s insights could carry me down this path.
“So Dawn, now that you’ve shown me the error of my ways, what do I do to fix them?” I made sure my tone was serious and watched her face to make sure she didn’t think I was being facetious.
Dawn’s face smoothed in careful concentration. I could see her weigh her possible reply’s carefully.
“That kidna depends, Willow.” She paused for a moment then finished her statement with my name for affect.
“Depends on what?” I reply to her intended pause.
“Are you in love with her?” Dawn carefully spoke each word. Caressing each syllable with need and curiosity.
I could see doubt and hope mixed into the expression on her face. I had only one answer.
“Yes. I love her and I am in love with her. Always have been, always will.” I professed these words to her desperately hoping her next ones would lead to my salvation.
Dawn’s mouth slowly curved into a delightfully impish smile. “Then you have to show her. And not just that you love her. She needs to understand why you denied her in the past. She needs to be assured that you won’t abandon her in the future.”
The sound of multiple feet descending the stairs and the rising volume of voices were like icy fingers trailing up my spine as I locked my eyes with Dawn’s.
“This should be fun.” Dawn’s muttered words were no comfort but she followed up quickly as she caught the fright in my face.
“You can do this Willow. I know she loves you.” She said with an encouraging squeeze of my hand.
I looked over as Buffy entered first; her happy face made my heart race and then quickly stops as I considered the probable reason for that exemplary smile. Looking quickly to Dawn, I watched her face carefully as the second party entered the kitchen. Dawn had turned towards the hall as Buffy entered. As Dawn’s face registered the appearance of Buffy’s companion, my heart turned to ice as I watched the obvious surprise cause her jaw to drop slightly.
“Good morning.” Buffy brightly exclaimed. “Dawn, I’d like you to meet Helena. Helena, this is my sister Dawn.”
“Wow.” Softly left Dawn’s mouth and hope fled my grasp.
I felt my happy glow slowly melt away as Willow muttered something about needing to take a shower and rush by on her way out of the kitchen. The look on her face was, I’m not sure but I felt something tear around where my heart is. Heart rending, that’s the term.
I watched her fast retreating back when I felt a gentle hand caress my shoulder. I turned slowly while trying to mask the confusion I knew was all over my face. I think I wound up with a slightly sad expression but it couldn’t be helped right now as I focused on Helena’s concerned eyes. They’re so deep and soft. I can tell she cares and it makes me melt. I turn fully and put my arms around her and hold tight.
“Buffy, I think you need to talk with her.” She says softly while gently stroking the back of my head.
I open my eyes that I had shut tightly when I buried my head in her shoulder.
“Yea, I need to talk to her.” I acknowledged as I turned my head sideways but not letting myself lose contact from her upper chest. From this vantage I clearly saw my sister sitting quietly. She was so still and her eyes so attentive. I had only recently become aware that my little sister was a master at unobtrusive observation. Even as we locked eyes hers stayed passive, non-threatening and calm. She knew a lot more than she let on and I smiled at her.
Dawn rolled her eyes when she saw that I wasn’t going to ignore her like I usually do. I pulled back from Helena and gave her a soft kiss on the mouth.
“Thank you.” I told her quietly then fully turned towards Dawn. I walked casually over to where she was sitting on the counter stool and draped my arm across her shoulders.
“Morning Dawn. Anything you’d like to share with your big sister?”
Dawn stiffened ever so slightly. “Yea, your screaming kept me awake last night. Think you can wear a gag next time?”
I knew this was a diversion tactic but I wasn’t biting this time.
“I’ll consider it, but I was more interested in what you can tell me about what’s going on with the red headed Wiccan who just ran out.” I said slowly while turning her head so that I could see her eyes.
She started to look panicked with her eyes all bugging out.
“Uh, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She said nervously while trying to slide off the stool and get away from me.
I slid my arm lower around her waist and held her firmly. She struggled for a moment then huffed as she crossed her arms on the counter top and lowered her head to rest on her crossed forearms.
I leaned down and whispered as earnestly as I could. “Dawn, I love you and I love Willow. I need to talk with her but before I do it would be nice to know what I’m getting into so I don’t blow it. You know, like I usually do.
She raised her head and turned to face me. I think she saw how serious I was because her expression turned serious.
“You really mean that? You’re not going to go all denial Buffy?” She asked me hopefully.
“Yes, I really mean it. And I’m all past denial, and as you heard last night, I slayed that sucker really good.” I said while smiling and casually gesturing to Helena behind me.
Helena must have waved or something because Dawn lifted her hand and gave a little open handed wave over my shoulder.
Dawn looked back at me. She was nibbling on her lower lip while considering what to say. I forced myself to wait.
“I need to ask you the same question I asked Willow.” She said slowly then glanced over at Helena.
“But I think we should do this privately.” She said this part very softly, almost as a question, but not quite.
I considered Dawn’s request about going private. She obviously wanted to say some things that she thought Helena shouldn’t hear. But Helena hasn’t been anything but wonderful and supportive. I really didn’t want to hide anything from her.
I turned around a looked into Helena’s eyes. They were so caring with just a bit of worry at the edges. I smiled knowing I was making the right decision.
“Helena?” I started.
“I’ll just wait in the other room.” She spoke quickly thinking I wanted privacy.
“No.” I said softly. She stopped her departure and looked at me questioningly.
“I want you here.” I told her as I reached my hand towards her.
Her face broke into a huge grateful smile as she took my hand and came to stand beside me. I returned my attention to Dawn while holding Helena’s hand.
“Ask your question.” I told Dawn with confidence.
Dawn hesitated; I could tell she wasn’t comfortable sharing this with a stranger.
“You can trust her.” I said while covering her hand with my free one. At the same time I release Helena’s hand and slid my arm around her waist.
Dawn looked down at my hand covering hers then up at my face looking for something there. She apparently found what she was looking for.
“Are you in love with Willow?” She asked with trepidation and a hint of hope.
I pulled Helena tighter to me and replied with the new found confidence she had helped me uncover.
“Yes, always have been, always will.” Dawn smiled hugely like I had just said something very amusing.
“That’s just what Willow said.” She answered my apparently questioning look. My heart soared hearing this and at the same time I felt Helena give me a squeeze of support and a soft kiss on the top of my head.
“Then you need to tell Willow that. You both need to be completely honest with each other about your feelings. No holding back, you need to trust in each others love.” Dawn tone was so serious I finally understood that this was important to her also.
“Especially about last night.” She finished after a slight pause and glancing at Helena for effect.
“I can do that.” I said after a moment’s contemplation. I then looked at Helena.
“Are you going to be OK with this?” I asked her concerned that in spite of her encouragements that she would be hurt.
She smiled reassuringly. “Buffy, you have shared something quite wonderful with me. Yourself. I will forever cherish our time.” She paused while choosing her next words carefully.
“From the first time you mentioned Willow I knew where your heart truly belonged. And if I can help you find its way and see you happy then I will definitely be OK.” Her sincerity touched me so deeply that I had to let her know how much it meant to me. I brought my lips to hers and kissed her softly. I let my lips linger as I tried to convey in that one kiss the love and truth she had awakened within me.
Breaking before the kiss could get too heated as I remembered Dawn sitting right next to us I returned my attention to Dawn. Dawn apparently had watched the kiss. Her eyes were slightly glazed and her cheeks flushed a slight pink.
I wasn’t sure of what to make of her appearance but suspected that I had embarrassed her.
“Didn’t mean to embarrass you.” I apologized.
“No.” She replied somewhat breathlessly. “You didn’t embarrass me. That was just… Uh…” Then Dawn’s face did show embarrassment as it flushed bright red.
“Hot?” Helena interjected with a knowing grin.
I saw the truth of Helena’s question as Dawn blushed even more furiously.
“Dawn, you little minx. So you get off watching women kiss.” I teased her.
“Is there something you want to tell me, or should tell me?” I asked with a more kindly tone dropping the teasing quality.
“Well I am made from you after all. Just because you’ve been denial girl doesn’t mean I have to be.” She mumbled with her head down trying to hide her embarrassment.
“Made from you?” Helena picked up on that quick enough.
“Uh yea, but it’s a long story.” I began to explain.
“Oh, can I tell her! You go talk to Willow and I’ll entertain Helena.” Dawn interrupted excitedly.
I laughed softly at her choice of words and decided to tease her a bit more.
“Just as long as you keep the entertainment to story telling miss gets hot and bothered watching girls kiss.” Then I gave her a big hug to show my appreciation and forestall any further embarrassment on her part.
Helena stood quietly after Buffy kissed her before leaving to have her talk with Willow. I could only see her back but I’m pretty sure she was watching my sister’s butt. As I sat quietly I ran over in my head what she had told Buffy and felt relieved that she knew Buffy belonged with Willow. Just hope it’s not some clever ploy. If it is, I’m ready, were used to ploys around here, from the clever to the down right stupid.
Helena turned and forced a smile. It was then I knew. She wouldn’t stand in Buffy’s way to be with Willow as I witnessed the pained expression she was trying to mask.
“Are you surprised?” She asked me softly.
“Uh yea, happy surprised but surprised.” I managed to get the words out after a moments pause.
“But it’s hurting you to do it, so why?” I asked slightly confused.
Her lips pursed in thought for a few seconds. “Because I can’t remember anyone making me feel this happy before. It’s not easy letting go. But I know it would be even harder later on.”
“So you’re willing to suffer a little now to avoid the big heart tearing, hole in the chest kinda pain later.” I surmised bluntly thinking she was just being practical.
“That’s part of it. I don’t think your sister has had much happiness in her life and if I thought I could make her happier than Willow I wouldn’t stand aside.” She paused as her face became slightly sad and she smiled slightly.
“But I’m realistic enough to see that I can’t and I want her to be happy.” She barely whispered resignedly.
My heart ached as I saw her pain. I got off my stool with the sudden need to hug her. She was warm and soft where our bodies met but her back was firm with smooth muscles under my open hands.
I felt her slowly return the hug and I pulled her more tightly to me as I rested my head on her shoulder.
“You’re wonderful. Thank you so much for coming into our lives.” I said sincerely and I meant it, every word. I had given up hope that Buffy and Willow would ever find each other but now I was brimming thanks to this beautiful woman’s kindness.
“You’re… welcome.” Her voice hitched in the middle of her reply. I pulled my head back to look at her face. There was a single tear slowly tracing its way down her cheek. I kept my eyes locked with hers as I gently wiped the tear away.
“It’s my turn to thank you.” Her low voice sent little shivers down my spine and my eyes became focused on her lips. I couldn’t stop staring at them as I slowly memorized their shape and fullness. I began to feel warm and tingly all over as images of how we could thank each other began to play in my head.
My concentration broke as she carefully released me and stepped back.
“You were going to tell me a story.” She said nervously. Oh god, I made her uncomfortable.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.” I burst out suddenly afraid.
“It’s OK Dawn, but I think you should tell me your story now.” She said more controlled as she sat on one of the kitchen stools.
Smiling at her gratefully I sat also. “So do you want the complete story or the cliff notes version?”
“How about the reader’s digest.” She prompted me to begin with a gentle smile.
“Well, it began with this hell god named glory…”
I knocked gently on Willow’s door. “Will, it’s me. Can I come in?”
I had previously heard her moving around, now I couldn’t hear anything, not even her breathing.
After a few seconds I called out a bit louder. “Willow, I’d really like to talk…please” I added the please after a few seconds of continued quiet.
Then I heard her move. She was coming towards the door and after a few seconds it opened.
“Hey Buffy. What’s up?” Her forced smile didn’t fool me. I can tell when she’s scared or nervous. Right now she was both.
“Remember last night I said we’d talk in the morning. Well… its morning and I think we should really do the talking thing.” I was nervous also and was just trying to get things started.
She had the door open but hadn’t moved to let me in.
“It’s OK, you don’t need to explain anything to me. It’s not as if you owe me an explanation. I mean you didn’t do anything wrong like cheat, because to cheat you’d have to be in a relationship. And we’re not, uh in a relationship because old cowardly lion me didn’t let you know that I might want one. Well you wanted one and obviously you have one now, but I didn’t realize that you might have wanted one with me. And I did want one with you I just was too dumb to admit mumph...”
Willow was swinging her arms about faster and faster as she babbled. Her eyes were looking everywhere but at me. I decided drastic measures were called for before she ran out of air and I remembered what Oz said he did in situations like this, so I grasped her face between my hands and kissed her.
Her body was drawn as tight as a bowstring belying the softness of her lips. I continued to hold her face as I gently caressed her mouth with mine. Tenderly I caressed until I felt her body relax. When I finally felt her lips part after I began to suck on her lower lip I began to deepen the kiss, slowly entering her warm mouth with my tongue.
I felt her arms wrap around me, gently at first and then with greater strength as we both became more acquainted with each other. As we did I slid my arms around her neck and that’s when the passion started. Heat turned to fire that melted my brain and sent my blood coursing like lava through my body. Exquisite aches of desire cried desperately for attention as the rest of the world disappeared leaving only Willow and I existing.
But one small part of my brain was still functioning, damn it. ‘Too fast, not yet.’ It kept yelling at me until it finally got my attention. I very reluctantly pulled my lips from hers trying to find the means to speak. My breaths were short and fast, my heart pounding at incredible speed. I was actually panting like a dog in heat.
“Talk.” I finally managed to gasp between breaths as she was laving my neck with her tongue, sending heated shivers traipsing over my flushed body.
I buried my face in her shoulder and moaned as she suckled my pulse point.
“Oh god Willow. I want you so much but ohhhhhhh... we need to talk.” Desire warred with responsibility and responsibility was heavily out gunned right now.
“Ahhhh...” She’s nibbling on my ear. “Please Will. Talk to me.” I nearly groaned as my runaway body began to grind itself into hers, desperately seeking more contact.
“OK.” She sighed into my ear and then dropped her head on my shoulder.
We stood like that as our trembling passions slowed. The aching pressures subsided but didn’t disappear.
“We need to talk. Talk about us.” More sincere and serious words I had never spoken.
“Us, there’s an us?” Her voice sounded like hope bubbling to the surface on a lake of passion. Goosebumps suddenly appeared on my arms.
“Of course there’s an us, always has been and always will. But we need to discuss what kind of us it will be.” I said gently as I allowed my hand to caress the back of her neck.
“I’m voting for more of the kissing and the other stuff that follows kissing us.” She teased while stretching her neck to afford my hand greater access.
“I want that also, but I want more. I want everything, giving and having. All of me for all of you.” I spoke the last part directly into her ear and punctuated it with a kiss.
Willow pulled her head back. She positioned herself so that she was staring into my eyes. I could see her eyes searching mine, desperately she searched and when apparently satisfied she smiled.
“You’re in love with me.” She stated with the truth of an angel’s kiss.
I felt myself blush as I responded shyly. “Yea, like I told you before. I kinda love you.”
“Oh Buffy, I’m so sorry. I was so blind.” Her eyes saddened in guilt and misted in regret.
“It’s OK, we weren’t ready then, but I think we’re almost ready now.” I consoled her, our eyes never parting.
“Almost? I’m pretty sure I’m ready right now.” She answered with a voice sounding like honey and sex.
I wasn’t sure how to respond so what popped out was a name.
“Oh, Helena.” Her head dropped till it rested against my chin.
I put my hand beneath her chin and raised her head until we were once again eye to eye.
“She came to me for help. I have to help her. I can’t ever repay her for what she has done for me so I need to do this.” I said hoping Willow would understand.
“For what, teaching you the joys of lesbian sex?” Willow’s voice rife with jealousy.
“No Will, besides I think I already repaid her for that.” I said teasingly.
“I’m talking about how she knocked down my walls.” I said thoughtfully as an image came to mind.
“You know that bible story about how the guys blew their horns and knocked down these big walls?” I asked her a question to distract her from her jealousy.
“Uh yea, Jericho.” She said quickly.
“Well I was like Jericho. I had these walls that just wouldn’t go away and they were keeping out happiness.” I paused to ascertain her reaction. Her eyes were thoughtful so I proceeded hopefully.
“She came along at the right time and said and did the right things. It was like she was blowing this powerful horn and my walls just crumbled. When they did everything just came out. I told her I was in love with you but was convinced that you would never feel that way about me. And then it became clear that just because I couldn’t have you didn’t mean I had to deny myself the type of affection that I had always craved deep down.” Her eyes began to widen in understanding.
“When we got home last night it was like I was on a drug. The weight of denial was finally lifted and I was free.” I paused here and my voice became soft and caring.
“I really had no idea that you would care if I was with another woman. But last night I was free and I had to fly. I couldn’t get bogged down in what ifs and I now know that hurt you.” I said with regret.
“But you need to understand that if it wasn’t for Helena I wouldn’t have kissed you. I wouldn’t be telling you that I want to spend the rest of my life with you. And if the idea of that sounds half as wonderful to you as it does to me than you owe her also.”
Willow’s eyes became wide with understanding and her mouth opened as she uttered a little “Oh”.
“When it’s done then I want us to start. And I want to do it right. Just like I told you I want everything. I want to take you on dates and picnics in the park. Romantic walks along the seashore. Cuddles on cold winter mornings. What do you say?” I asked while it felt as if my heart hung above a sword point.
Willow smiled, and it grew and kept growing like the Grinches heart. It was absolutely dazzling. I think I even squinted.
“YES!” She shouted.
We hugged each other in relief until I heard her next words.
“I need to help her also.” Willow said matter of factly.
“Uh Will, I have to go to New Gotham. Someone needs to look after Dawn.” I said carefully, suspecting I was walking on thin ice.
“You think I’m going to let my girl friend go off to the big city with a beautiful sexy woman all by herself? If you think that, you just better take another think or even three. Besides, it’s summer vacation. And that means Summers get to vacation. We’ll take Dawn with us. It has to be safer than the Hell mouth.” Her tone didn’t leave me room for dispute, especially since I didn’t really want to be away from her either.
“I love you.” Was all I said right before our lips melded once again.