Summary: A freak rainstorm and a purple ooey demon bring out feelings between Xander and Willow.
Disclaimer: Characters? Yeah, not mine. ::forlorn sigh::
A/N: I’m not exactly sure where to place this one, timeline-wise. There are no Willow/Oz or Xander/Cordelia relationships. Willow’s strong enough with the magicks to detect if something magical is afoot, but Angel’s not in hell because Buffy is no good to anyone when she’s depressed.
Thanks to my beta dragon_fly_1_23. You rock.
It had been raining for four days. At first, the showers had been a welcome relief from the usual stifling June weather; after the third day, however, it was just ridiculous. Schools were closed and parks were flooded. Weather reporters had given up trying to determine what was causing the anomaly, and were instead predicting flash floods and rain past the end of the week. But most of all, it was making the Scoobies suspicious.
"Is it over yet?" Xander asked in a bored tone, half-heartedly whittling away at a stake. Giles barely spared him a glance and remained focused on the large, ancient book he was reading. "No, Xander, it’s not over yet."
Xander sighed and put the knife and the stake down on the library table. "Well, then, is it really such a good idea for us to stay here? Of all the places to be stuck when the Great Flood hits, school doesn’t exactly top my list."
"We are staying here because it has the books I need, and we are also waiting for Buffy and Willow to return."
"Hey, speaking of which, why exactly did they go out there?" Xander asked. "I mean, are they splashing around in puddles or something? ‘Cause then I wanna join."
Giles pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to ward off the impending headache. "No, Xander, they are not ‘splashing around in puddles’. They are investigating the cause of this rainstorm, trying to determine if there is something demonic or magical at work."
Xander groaned in frustration, stood up, and started pacing in circles in front of Giles, much to the librarian’s chagrin. "It’s so boring
here! Can’t I at least pick up donuts or something? Ooh, or can I break into the principals office and change my grades?"
"I believe that’s more Willow’s forte, Xander, and no you cannot. Just because there is nobody else in the building does not mean you can go off gallivanting and wreaking havoc."
"But havoc is what I wreak best," Xander whined, flopping unceremoniously back into the chair. "Especially when there’s nothing to do but sit and–"
Suddenly, the doors to the library crashed open, causing Xander to yelp in shock. Buffy came racing in, Willow an unconscious heap in her arms. Both girls were soaked to the core; Buffy’s hair fell in strings around her face and her clothes clung to her body. Xander stared at her, momentarily distracted, until he noticed his Willow-friend.
"Willow!" he shouted, falling out of his chair in his haste, then scrambling to relieve Buffy of her burden.
"Giles, demon, outside," Buffy said quickly, grabbing a broadsword off the table and heading back out the doors. "Help."
"Xander, stay with Willow," Giles commanded, bringing an axe with him as he raced after his Slayer. Xander lay Willow on the table, not needing Giles’ instructions to make him stay with her. He pulled off his sweatshirt and used it to soak up the excess water on Willow’s body, but it did little good. He settled for rubbing her arms and legs vigorously, trying to warm them up.
Willow moaned and opened her eyes slowly, blinking and confused. "Xander?" she asked weakly.
"Yeah, Will, I’m here," Xander said, moving closer to her face so she could see him from her position on the table.
"What…" she tried to sit up but Xander put his hands on her shoulders and kept her down.
"It’s okay, Will, you’re in the library. Buff just brought you in, and you’re a little wet right now," he told her in a reassuring tone. His teenaged mind lingered on the last words of that sentence, but his concern for his friend overpowered his libido. "What happened out there? Did you make the rain stop?"
Willow shook her head. "We were almost done and there was nothing demony or magicky involved, but then this huge ooey purple thing jumped out at us and made a big wave crash on–"
She cut herself off with a sharp cry of pain and arched her back to make it stop. Xander, shocked, pulled at her shirt and accidentally ripped all the buttons off, sending the shirt flying onto the floor. "Merciful Zeus," he breathed when he saw her stomach.
"What? What?" Willow asked, panicking.
"Uh, Will," Xander began, trying to remain calm even though his best friend was very likely dying of some freaky demon disease, "there’s something purple and gooey attached to your stomach."
"Purple and gooey?" Willow shrieked, trying to get up and get it off, but was unable to move because Xander was holding her down. "The demon was purple and gooey! I’m having the demon’s child! I’m spawning Satan! Get it off, Xander! Get it off!"
Xander, trying to think quickly despite the large amounts of wet Willow-skin and potential mutant demon children, looked frantically around the library until he saw the knife he’d been using to carve the stake lying beside Willow on the table. "I got it, Will," he said reassuringly. He grabbed the knife and readied himself to stab the purple gooey mass right in its guts, but Willow squirmed out of the way.
"No!" she shouted. "What if it’s wired its demon membrane into my
membrane and if you kill it you kill me
? Why can’t you just leave it there and wait until Buffy comes back because she probably knows how to kill it and if she doesn’t then Giles will because he’s Giles and he’s really smart all the time and he’s gotta know about this thing and what it is and what will happen to me when I give birth to a demon baby–"
Willow cut herself off with a scream of agony and Xander watched in horror as the purple gooey thing churned and attached itself to more of her skin. Making quick decisions were never his strong suit, but his best friend’s life was very possibly at stake so he took a deep breath and carefully slid the knife between Willow’s skin and the mass of demon. She screamed again and Xander flinched as blood trickled down her stomach, but he steeled every bit of resolve he had and kept going. He cut around the thing until he’d reached the point where he started, then he slowly put the knife down. Willow had stopped screaming, which he took as a good sign, but silent tears were running down her cheeks and there was a constant flow of blood staining her skin.
Xander looked into her eyes and took another deep breath, and after she nodded quickly he grabbed the top of the demon spawn and pulled it off. Willow gasped in pain and almost cried out, and the purple gooey thing squealed in some sort of infant demon language until Xander took the knife and impaled it on the table.
Willow gave him a strange look, and he shrugged. "Until Giles and Buffy come back. They’ll know how to kill it good and proper."
She was about to reply when a loud crash sounded from outside. She gasped and sat up in shock, then gasped again when she discovered that her new position put her within millimeters of Xander’s mouth.
"I…" she whispered, staring at his lips. He had really nice lips. They weren’t all chappy like lots of other lips, but they looked like they’d be soft if she touched them. So she did just that.
In a moment of unprecedented bravery, Willow leaned forward and brushed her lips against his. Xander froze in shock, then quickly responded but placing his hand on her cheek and kissing her back. His other hand moved to her back and he got chills at the feeling of her bare skin under his fingers.
Suddenly, the door to the library slammed open and Willow and Xander jumped apart, both red-faced and stammering excuses at Buffy and Giles, who had just come in. Buffy watched them both with a suspicious look on her face, but Giles was oblivious.
"Well done, Buffy, well done! That was the most invigorating… did you see me? Did you see me when I sliced its arm right off?"
"Yeah, Giles, I saw," she said distractedly, still eyeing the pair that was sitting on the table.
"And now the rain will stop. Isn’t that amazing? One quick slice of the arm, with your help of course, I think its head really did need to come off, and the rain stopped!" Giles put the axe down on the counter and removed his glasses, still talking excitedly while he cleaned the purple goo off of them. He seemed too distracted by his fighting prowess to notice that Willow was both shirtless and bleeding. Buffy, however, stopped listening and walked up to her friends.
"So," she said casually, "when it’s raining outside and there’s a purple demon attached to your stomach, whatcha gonna do?"
"Uh, Buff, we can explain," Xander started, but the Slayer kept going.
"Take off your shirts and make with the smoochies, that’s what!" She grinned and Willow and Xander relaxed. "You guys, this is so cool! I’ve wanted you two to get together for, like, ever. And now you are! Willow, why didn’t we think of a sucking gooey thing on the stomach before?"
"Um," Willow said.
"You’re okay, though, right? Xander is all fixy with the kissing and the stopping of the bleeding?"
"Um," Willow said.
"Anyway, I think these demon guts might be acid or something, because it’s kinda starting to burn, so I’m gonna go home and change. You kids have fun!" Buffy winked and sauntered out of the library, calling Giles to follow. He obediently left the room with her, babbling on about the fight.
"So," Xander said, staring at Willow’s hand where it was holding his shirt to her stomach.
"So," Willow agreed. She watched him watching her, trying to figure out what he was thinking. Was this a ‘one kiss and we’re done’ sort of deal? Because she had just kissed her best friend in the entire world whom she’d been in love with ever since she could remember, and she’d just kissed him. She kissed
him. "Um," she said again, blushing furiously and moving to get off the table. "So, I’ll just… where’s my shirt? I’ll just find my shirt and then I can… Xander, where did you put my shirt? I…" Willow gasped. "I can’t believe I just said that. I never would have… that’s something I never would have thought of… I mean… Xander, where is
She stood in the middle of the library, bare on top except for her plain white bra, holding Xander’s wet sweatshirt to her stomach. Willow looked at him tentatively, really wanting to know where he’d thrown her shirt but also wanting to know what he was thinking and if he’d ever kiss her again. The look in his eyes knocked the air out of her. Nobody had ever looked at her that way before.
"Willow," Xander said softly, crossing the room to her. Not exactly sure of what to do, he placed his hand awkwardly on her bare back and used his other hand to brush a wet piece of hair off her forehead. She made a soft noise in the back of her throat when he kissed her, and dropped his sweatshirt on the floor so she could put her fingers in his hair. She’d stopped bleeding anyway, and she didn’t really need her shirt anymore.