Xander kicked her out of the ER. That was to say, she decided to exit voluntarily instead of putting his head through a wall and beating him with his own arm.
Wasn't worth the argument, and she hardly believed her side as it was. Their friendship wobbled on rocky ground before; last night caused an earthquake. But Buffy wasn’t thinking about him.
She was visiting Giles tonight. Once invited into her watcher’s apartment, she helped him and his recovering body back to the couch.
"You okay?" she asked.
"I will be. Jenny's coming by in the morning."
"Good. Hope that means you guys...I'm glad you'll have help," she somewhat backpedaled. "Uh, how's Willow? Is she
okay? Did she get enough...?"
"Her own, as it turns out. Willow's apparently donated regularly for the past year," he said.
Buffy couldn't not smile. "Of course she has."
"There was no reason to panic," he assured her. "You avoided truly endangering her life, and you knew that. It shows remarkable restraint given the extent of your injuries. Not to mention your age—in-in vampiric terms."
"That's me, 'Queen of Restraint,'" Buffy quipped cynically. "If the world wasn't gonna end, I—"
"Did you want to kill her?" he asked bluntly, staring hard.
." Funny thing, she wasn’t lying.
Thinking about it, her inner-demon hadn't played any head slideshows of carnage and slaughter since her rebirth. Minor correction—none involving friends and family. Beating Xander with his own arm was her idea.
"Wouldn't be able to eat her again." Still wasn’t lying.
There went the uncomfortable beat.
"That didn't sound sexual at all." Her sarcasm led to further uncomfortable. "Everything I just said? I can't believe my mouth said out loud. Where you could hear
Giles cleared his throat, and had the grace to press forward. “Doing whatever’s called for in service of the Greater Good is the harshest lesson a slayer learns. As we all aren’t horribly aflame, I’m not going to condemn you, I can’t.
“That said, you’ve tasted human blood. An experience you can’t tell me you were...put off by, considering you just admitted otherwise. And if Willow’s blatant refusal to look me in the eye—or say a word—is any indication, her experience wasn’t any more off-putting than yours.”
“It isn’t surprising. Getting bitten, under the right circumstances, is well-documented as being intensely...personal.”
Buffy nodded guiltily in agreement.
“I’d be very careful. Like dark magicks, people have sought out vampires the way they would a drug. The high is often addictive.”
“Which you’re like an expert on ‘cause of—“
“—my many youthful indiscretions. Yes, thank you,” he abruptly acknowledged. “I-I suspect having to contend with a soul from the beginning has influenced your demon. That may’ve helped you control yourself last night.
“But for all our sakes, don’t tempt fate. Once easily becomes twice. I’d also discourage Willow. Sooner rather than later.”
It was a week before Buffy saw anyone after that. Mostly she avoided her best friend and agonized over having given more into temptation than inevitability. When not actively avoiding, she searched for a new place to live—Angel's wasn't an option.
She thought it'd be less complicated finding an abandoned building. Sunnydale had always been a squatter’s market. All the daily fleeing and such.
Buffy celebrated her bad luck among a crowd at Willy's—her fellow demons seemed extra anxious in her company these days—when Willow came through the door. She and everything else in the bar smelled "human" instantly.
She spun on her stool, praying her nose was wrong. But nope, Willow waved and walked towards her. When a Reese’s demon (possibly not its name) sniffed her friend and drooled, walking turned into scurrying.
Buffy shattered the glass of foal she'd been nursing. Her eyes nearly went yellow.
"Maybe take your friend out the back, Slayer," Willy advised. "Seein' how it's a little bright. I don't need another mess today."
"Tell them that," she grit out.
"Feel safer telling you. You know, relatively. Don’t know why."
She stood up. "Windows covered, Willy?”
“I’m hurt you hafta ask.”
“Sorry about your glass. And the not paying."
"Eh, your money's no good here. If ya had any. Forget about it."
With that, Buffy intercepted Willow, daring the entire bar to be stupid. She took Willow's hand and dragged her into the storage room. "What the hell are you...? You shouldn't be here."
"You shouldn't either!" Willow argued. "Just because you're a vampire doesn't mean you have to hang out with...with...”
“Things like me?”
Buffy lifted the trap door that opened into the sewer.
“You aren’t like them! The only reason you’re acting like this is because...because you’re a big coward. A big, running away coward. You’re not supposed to, Whistler said.”
Buffy caught a glimpse of the healing punctures. They wouldn’t scar; it would almost be as if they never happened. She didn’t know how to feel, which was a problem.
“He also said he’d be around, but he hasn’t been. He ran away first.” She dropped into the hole. “C’mon, I’ll help you.”
She caught Willow and set her down. They were face-to-face, her hands at Willow’s sides. The redhead’s teeth tugged shyly at her bottom lip. Buffy wanted to...
...get away. She needed to get away. From Willow, from Willow’s lip, from Willow’s neck. She wasn’t Angel, Willow wasn’t her, and this wasn’t anything like that, because they weren’t...they weren’t. Buffy blamed her demon.
At least Angel’s held out longer.
“The street’s this way.” Buffy let Willow go and headed the other direction.
“What should I tell your mom?” Willow called, not following.
Buffy stopped. “I left a note.”
“She thinks it’s her fault you’re down here like a mole-person, but it isn’t. It’s my fault. So whatever your bad feelings are? Mine are-are double. Double plus. Triple
“Nothing’s your fault. Quit thinking that.”
“I was too yummy.”
Buffy turned back, masking any reaction. “I shouldn’t’ve had to find out. You trusted me.”
Willow started to close the space between them. “But you did have to. And I still trust you, Buffy. When you bit me, i-it wasn’t mean, it was—“
“Don’t you get it? I still
wanna bite you! I don’t wanna kill you, or hurt you, I just don’t wanna stop drinking you!” Buffy yelled. “But there’re no free refills on Willows. You’d be dead anyway, ‘cause you’re not a soda.”
“I could be; I’ve had a lotta caffeine today,” Willow adorably joked in the dank sewer tunnel.
“Will, I’m serious. I can’t be around you. D’you think I like saying that? I hate it. I needed my best friend. But everything’s making less and less sense.“
Willow was in front of Buffy at this point. Then she rendered questions of sense temporarily irrelevant by kissing her. Soft, warm lips met cold for a count of five one-thousandths before someone’s base instincts and undead body kicked in.
Squeezing tight on Willow’s arms, Buffy drove her into the nearest wall. Willow’s back slammed hard, and Buffy swallowed the cry of pain. They didn’t bother counting their next kiss. To call it that was politeness. To call it soft was idiotic.
Buffy laid claim. As soon as Willow realized what she’d sparked, for the first time she couldn’t remember, her mind yielded. Beyond yielded. Pressed against one another, moving against one another, they made-out feverishly, trying for friction, anything.
Meeting the wall, Willow had bitten her tongue. Enough to bleed. Buffy’s tongue would eventually taste, and—CRUNCH, strike sewer.
Brick crumbled beneath her palm; dust shook loose from above. As Buffy had swallowed Willow’s cry of pain, Willow swallowed her unexpected orgasm. Fifteen seconds worth. Hips jerked, body convulsed, she had no control. Yet also no fangs.
The slayer vampire collapsed into the human girl whose once-naïve, once-dormant libido had been torture since last week, and needed attention now.
It encouraged said human to make her own marks, make her and Buffy even. Suddenly, fangs couldn’t sharpen fast enough.
Considering the full-throated loudness of her growl, it was weird that Buffy’s words were so quiet. She hissed into Willow’s ear, “Put your arms around my neck.”
Willow already had, and whispered into hers, “In the factory? You really were my first. Ever
Buffy growled again. Needy and low. Not once did she smell fear. What she did, she was about to feel. Her fingers slid past the hem of a red skirt, and kept going.
She hoped Willow didn’t concuss herself, smacking her head back like that. She was looking forward to being second.
“I just wanted to kiss you,” said Willow as they turned onto her street an hour later, hands clasped.
She’d refused to leave without Buffy, so they waited for dark, wandering the tunnels and sneaking glances at each other like they were on a first date. Like they hadn’t just had crazy-rough, underground, almost-sex. There’d been too many clothes, no place to lie down, and a severe lack of exploration.
The innocence of her original goal was hilarious in hindsight. They looked at each other, laughed, tried to hold most of it in, and eventually cracked up. Buffy asked why it was a goal at all.
“To see if I wanted you to more than bite me,” Willow answered easily. “And I did. More than I even knew.” Her blush shone through the night. “You don’t think I freaked? I plenty freaked. I didn’t know why it felt so good; I never had a-a bite wish. Danger is somebody else’s middle name.”
She squeezed Buffy’s hand. “It wasn’t ‘cause you’re a vampire. I would’ve liked getting bit if you weren’t
a vampire. But you are, and that’s completely okay, ‘cause you’re Buffy. Whatever we...I-I’m probably gonna like.” She frowned, then. “I have to break up with Oz. Me
. With my boyfriend. When did the world flip turvy?”
“You can’t break up,” Buffy said quickly, separating their hands and halting a couple houses from Willow’s. “Watch me discouraging you. Finally. Before it’s too late.”
“It already is,” Willow and her face resolved. “I’ve gotta. Just the kissing was better than with Oz. Better than better. After half a second. Half! I’m feelin’ kinda gay, and pretending I’m not? Pretending it doesn’t feel like I’m figuring out who I am? Isn’t fair to either of us.”
“Well I’m not. Gay. I’m a vampire. When we’re hungry, we don’t think about girl necks or guy necks—it’s all just blood. We’re pretty much animals hiding under streaky ‘people’ makeup.“
“That’s such a load of hooey! Ten loads!” Willow declared. “You never tried to have seconds. My tongue had a tiny accident, and you never tried. You could’ve, I woulda let you, but you didn’t. Sure kissed the heck out of me, though. Touched
the heck. Longer than I do!
She took Buffy’s hand back and smooched the corner of her mouth. “You might always want to, but you won’t. We’ll be super careful. I’ll take vitamins with lots of iron, and buy a huge gallon of orange juice for next time. Maybe in a bed.
“My bed.” Stiff from the mattress they didn’t use (among other things), she rolled her shoulders and popped something. “Didn’t know there was a ‘good sore’.”
Buffy abandoned denial for desperation. “Angel and I were careful...then we weren’t. He kept trying to warn me about our non-future, but I didn’t wanna listen. I loved him. It was the smartest decision never.
“Willow, think. Look at my paleness. Feel my gone pulse.”
“What if I loved you? What if I’m starting to? Shoot. Guess I wouldn’t be the greatest listener.”
“You don’t. You can’t. Pale! No pulse! Dead!”
“Tough poo,” Willow retorted. “But fine, I’ll just tune my...my new lesbidar,” she faced away, looking around, “to the bunches of other gir—“
Buffy’s eyes darkened. Like a preternatural clamp, she shot out and possessively, jealously, nabbed Willow’s right wrist. She pulled Willow back flush into her body and gripped the not-so-surprised redhead’s throat. “How’s this not scare you?”
“I saw your eyes. Both kinds. That’s how,” Willow gasped, getting her breath back.
“I don’t wanna be Angel.”
“Then good thing you’re a girl and the Slayer, with a soul that stays put. Bet the demon who’s keeping you pretty and kissing is worried worse than you. It’s not Angelus, it didn’t get a hundred years by itself to be evil and mass-murder-y.
“It doesn’t wanna make you mad. But it does wanna...play sometimes.” Willow gently moved Buffy’s hand from her throat, and turned to see Buffy still human-faced. “You wanna play too, and you should; you need to get along. Vampires can be vampires without killing people.”
“Since you.” Willow kissed her again and grinned. “I dunno what’s coming, but it’s my future. If-if I wanna glower at the forces of darkness from a safe distance and go home for naughty Bufpire kink, then darn it, I’m going to.”
Buffy attempted not to look so pleased at resigning. “I’d come back to ‘Now’ and shower.” Beat. “Suggests the girl who stinks like death chilled over.”
Willow shoved her. “This is why I said a bed next time! Mole-person!”
Moments later, hands together, they walked to Willow’s front door.
“I’ll tell Oz tomorrow. In (bad) person,” she told herself more than Buffy. “You talk to your mom. If you hafta move, we’ll help.”
“I can find—“
“Change,” Willow commanded, face again resolved.
Buffy obeyed, and Willow flicked her right fang. To which they both said, “Ow.”
Willow sucked on the tip of her stung finger, undeterred. “Not by yourself, missy. Not anymore.”
“I’d love help,” Buffy acquiesced, covering her mouth. “Is what I would’ve meant. If I was allowed to say things.”
Willow opened her door. “See ya tomorrow night? At the Bronze? ‘Dingoes’ isn’t playing, just a DJ.”
Sounded like questions, but Buffy doubted they were. “It’s a date?”
“I haven’t invited you inside yet...I hope it’s a good one so I want to.”
Buffy was left staring demonic-eyed and gob-smacked, at a closed door.
Willow slid down against the closed door until she sat on the floor of her parents’ foyer. Sat giggling madly over the past couple hours. She’d never felt so in charge or confident in her life. Who was Willow Rosenberg?
Other than a dirty, rotten cheater, she honestly wasn’t sure. She knew she’d be up until four in the morning rewriting a crummy apology-babble to Oz, but at the same time, she’d think back. She’d also think how this felt right. She felt right, liking girls.
Everything they’d done was so...so...umph
. Umph triple-plus. And she was all...and Buffy made her...again. In multiples. Go math. Buffy math.
They were going on an actual first date! Her and her vampire best friend. Because she stood her ground.
She giggled a while.
Didn’t mean she wasn’t also praying. Praying her mother never asked why she needed the heating pad for her back.