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The Twisted Road Home

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This story is No. 2 in the series "The Twisted Road". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Xander’s tired. Faith’s wounded. Willow has PTSD and Wesley’s a mess. It’s their job to rebuild the council. House may be Cordy and Giles’ only hope. What could possibly go wrong? (SEQUEL to Xander's New House) *COMPLETE*

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > House, M.D. > Multiple Pairings
Television > Criminal Minds
Television > Quincy, M.E.
(Recent Donor)DeepBlueJoyFR1549209,0571539060,0999 May 1114 May 14Yes

Breathe in deep, You're not asleep, Open your mind

Xander couldn’t remember ever having breakfast with a woman he hadn’t spent the night with… Unless he counted pre-apocalyptic gatherings with Buffy, Willow and other slayers, that was. But then again, he wasn’t interested in them, so they didn’t really count. Then again, he’d only ever had breakfast with one woman he’d been interested in and that had been Anya.

Allison. They’d had a great dinner and he’d walked her home from the restaurant. It had all been very platonic, but that was because Xander had been afraid to ‘try’ anything. Allison Cameron was extremely easy to talk to and they could easily have talked all night if she hadn’t had work the next day and he hadn’t had meetings scheduled. Allison was smart, sweet, kind, and a first in Xander’s history, relatively normal.

Part of why Xander hadn’t even tried to kiss her goodnight had everything to do with a certain ride in a cat bus. Still, it was clear to them both, that the conversation wasn’t over. He’d taken her hand at the end of the night and they’d stood there awkwardly. He’d almost given into temptation, but Xander just wasn’t quite ready. He could almost hear the Anya in his head egging him on and that made him even more hesitant. He’d been surprised when Allison had suggested they meet for breakfast. Since her day started early, Xander was hurrying to their appointed meeting spot.

“Hi,” she said, as he came through the door.

“Good morning,” he found he was beaming at her, grinning like a kid on Christmas – though admittedly a much better Christmas than the kinds he’d been used to.

“It’s good to see you,” she said, reaching up impulsively to give him a quick kiss on the cheek, and making him blush.

“It’s good to see you too, Allison,” said Xander feeling seventeen different kinds of self-conscious. He decided to be bold and leaned in to give her a very brief peck in return, which as she turned instinctively toward him, became a momentary kiss on the lips. This made them both blush. Somehow, the quick kiss had turned into a very big deal and they stood inside the front door of the diner, staring at each other.

“So….uh… Breakfast,” said Cameron, recovering first.

“Breakfast sounds good,” said Xander, feeling so much more awkward than he had the night before. Awkward, but suddenly exhilarated.

______


House overslept, but he woke up in a surprisingly good mood. No one could say why, but he attended his clinic hours without protest. By eleven am, Cuddy came to find out what was wrong.

“I’m fine,” he said.

“That wasn’t my question,” said Cuddy. “I haven’t asked you a question yet.”

“You wanted to know what was wrong,” said House.

“I want to know what you’re up to,” said Cuddy, suspicion clouding her features.

“Me?” said House innocently. “Whatever gave you the idea I was up to anything?”

“You’re not making waves. Either you’re possessed or you’re up to something.”

Cuddy scowled.

“Maybe I’m possessed!” said House, grinning at Cuddy, who just scowled harder. “Possessed by the demon of diligence and goodwill! How is this a bad thing?”

“Now, I know you’re up to something,” said Cuddy, her frustration evident as she turned to leave.

“You really are mean,” said Cordelia as Cuddy walked away.

“You’re the one who wanted me to behave,” said House.

“You’re the one who wanted to see me dressed like this,” said Cordelia, wriggling her tongue at him.

“It was worth every moment,” he said, leering at her curve-hugging leather mini skirt.

“Whoever said the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach?” Cordelia said, perching on the exam table and slowly crossing her legs in a way that revealed nothing, but successfully tortured House anyway. She reached up and undid one button on her very tight red cardigan.

House wriggled his eyebrows hopefully. Cordelia just grinned at him. House called his next patient.


______



Wesley woke up to the sound of the door closing quietly as Willow fled. What the hell had he done? Had he really slept with her? The activities of the previous night came flooding back. Sleep had not had a part in it for a very long time. It had been quite a revelation as Wesley had become acutely aware of feelings he really hadn’t wanted to face. The fact that Willow had crept out of the room at the first glimmer of dawn really didn’t augur well for how she must feel. What had he been expecting? She’d lived most of her adult life as a lesbian. Just because she’d taken a few moments of comfort with him, it didn’t mean… Well, that was the rub, wasn’t it? Wesley had no idea what any of it meant. He did know one thing, however. He had very much looked forward to waking up beside her, to making love to her again, to kissing that soft skin and touching her until she whimpered with pleasure. How could he have been so foolish? Now, he had to face her across a conference table and he had no idea how to handle that. How could he have exercised such a consummate lack of judgment?

All his doubts about his ability to do a good job flooded back.


______


The old Willow would probably have talked to Buffy about this. Maybe even Xander. Willow, however, didn’t know what she would say. Last night. She’d had sex. She’d had sex with a man. She’d had sex with a colleague. She’d had unprotected sex with a man who was a colleague. It had been unwise in every way she could think about and some she probably hadn’t yet. What the hell had she been thinking? How the hell had this happened? She wasn’t the sort of girl that had spontaneous casual sex. She took a deep breath and tried to not to panic.

The closest she’d come was Kennedy, and even they had been seeing each other before they’d ended up in bed. She’d known Oz for years. Tara for months. Of course, she had known Wesley for a long time, but she’d never really thought of him that way… Well, except that once in L.A…. but she’d been seeing Kennedy and she’d had an apocalypse to worry about at the time. She’d put the whole thing out of her head and carried on being a proper lesbian who didn’t entertain fantasies about Marlboro Man watcher types. She’d even deflected her momentary lust toward Fred, who probably hadn’t had any idea just how cute Willow had thought she was.

Ever since their very dark, joint spell, however, she’d been aware of Wesley. Much too aware. The second spell with the others had only made that awareness more acute. A small corner of her mind was also aware that she was at least a part of the reason Wesley was here and she had no idea what that meant. She couldn’t explain what she was feeling either. She hadn’t really looked at a man in years. Truthfully, other than her childish crush on Xander and her high school love affair with Oz, she’d come to realize she’d never really looked at men, never really noticed them as men. In retrospect, she’d decided that must have been part of why she’d seldom attracted the attention of boys. Her almost surgical attachment to Xander from childhood probably hadn’t helped either.

Not until Oz. Oz and she had bonded over common interests more than sexual attraction, at least on her part. She’d never tired talking to him. He was one of the few people in her life she never had to explain everything to or simplify. He was smart enough to understand her and unlike most of the boys she’d grown up with, even, at that time, Xander, he wasn’t so insecure that he needed to play head games. Since Willow had had none of the social skills that girls like Buffy or Cordelia had developed, dealing with someone so totally straightforward, and who was completely into her was very easy and the fact that she’d known he was a werewolf, had made things easy for him as well.

Sex with Oz had been nice. Warm. Sweet. Loving. He’d been considerate and eager to find ways to please her. If things hadn’t ended with him, she might never have even known that anything was missing. She might never have let herself notice herself noticing just how luscious the curve of a woman’s ass was, or just how intriguing a ripe pair of breasts was attached to the right person. Maybe. She honestly wasn’t sure if she would have ever missed the fire.

Fire had only come after she met Tara. There had been fire… and it had been magical, literally and figuratively. They’d been connected in every way, even though Tara hadn’t been as smart as she was, she’d been smart enough and Tara had grounded her and centered her both magically and emotionally. Being with Tara had been like coming home, if home was an ocean of color and feeling and peace. Willow honestly hadn’t been sure she could ever be with another person after Tara – even after their very first time together, and those feelings had only grown. Then of course, Tara was gone forever, and she’d felt hollowed out and broken and ripped apart – and that had lasted long after she’d tried to end everything for everyone.

Kennedy had been all about the fire and not a whole lot else - which was what was so disturbing about last night. Was it his skill? Was she really interested in men again? Interested in Wesley? It scarcely mattered. Their coming together had been intense. There had been plenty of fire, but there was something else there too… she wasn’t sure what it was. She just knew that she felt profoundly connected to Wesley and that was very confusing. Wasn’t she supposed to be a lesbian? She couldn’t stop thinking about his body this morning.

Maybe she should have stayed?

After all, the sex… well, the sex had been really, really great. That was more disturbing than anything else; no, she wasn’t sure what was the most disturbing. It was all very disturbing. Yes. She’d really done it. Yup. She’d really, truly had sex with a man. All night sex. Sweet sex. Rough sex. Borderline kinky sex. Sex that made her cry out. Sex that made her shudder. Sex that made her whole body sing. Just about everything but boring, mundane sex… She could still feel the imprint of him in her body – and she really, really wanted to do it again.

How was she going to look him in the eye across a conference table, with everyone else surrounding them without blushing, without thinking about… well, to be honest, a constellation of experiences she really hadn’t had time to process and couldn’t stop thinking about. For the first time in Willow’s life she was really, thoroughly attracted to a man – to his very… maleness. Now, she was feeling the textures under her fingertips, the slight roughness of his face against her… Oh god. She was panicking again.
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