A smile flirted with Buffy's lips at thought of her best friend and roommate as she dug her keys out of the pocket of her fluffy white robe. Rooming with Willow was proving to be the smartest choice she'd made in ages. She was quiet as she unlocked their door, not wanting to wake her friend if she'd actually managed to get to bed at a decent hour for once. Some days it seemed like Willow worked even harder than Buffy herself did; always trying to find anything that might make the slaying easier, while carrying a heavy classload, working for Giles in the special collections section of the library, and also spending hours and hours keeping the newly singlefied Buffy company. Of course, that latter one was easy enough, since Willow too had recently found herself single once again, Oz having left Sunnydale shortly after graduation for a gig in Chicago. He'd called only a week later to tell them the band was doing so well he wouldn't be coming back anytime soon. The breakup had been friendly enough as far as Buffy could tell, with both of them agreeing that they were free to go their own ways and wishing each other well. The Slayer had expected massive tears, but her friend had been amazingly calm about the whole thing, and in the end, Buffy had been perversely grateful, because it meant they had a lot more time together than they'd had in ages.
The Slayer's step was perfectly silent until she realized the small room was still lit by the dull glow a computer screen. "Hey, Will," she murmured as she ducked inside and tugged the door closed in her wake, flipping the lock with an automatic twist of her wrist.
"Hi, Buff," Willow's disembodied voice responded.
Buffy tossed her string bag of toiletries onto her dresser, then paused momentarily while her eyes finished adjusting to the relative darkness. Willow lay stretched out in bed on her stomach, her laptop open in front of her, the tiny screen offering the only light in the small room. Buffy's eyes slid over her friend's narrow frame, noting the gently rounded curves visible under an oversize red t-shirt. Bare legs kicked randomly in the air, the slow movement drawing Buffy's eyes to creamy flesh and delicate feet.
"Good slayage?" the hacker asked--still studying her computer screen with the concentration that was unique to Willow and Willow alone-the question distracting Buffy from her silent musings.
"Wha'...oh...." Buffy dropped down next to her friend on the edge of the bed. "Decent," she allowed, resting a hand lightly on Willow's upper back, conscious of the warmth of her friend's body under her hand after hours spent in the cold night air. "A vamp and two imps. Typical Tuesday night...." She flexed her fingers, massaging very lightly as she peered past her friend's shoulder at the computer screen. "Any luck decrypting those files?"
"Mmm, that feels good." Willow rolled her shoulders under Buffy's hand before answering the question. "Not much...but I'm getting closer."
Buffy snorted something unkind under her breath, then muttered, "Who'd've thought vampires would go so high-tech?"
Willow sighed as Buffy's fingers stroked down the length of her spine before coming to a rest at the small of her back, laughing softly at her friend's rhetorical question. "Not very high-tech at least. If they'd ever heard of PGP, I'd never get through this." She reached up to snap her laptop shut, throwing the room into near total darkness, the only illumination coming from the thin moonlight shining in through the windows. After setting the laptop on the desk next to her bed, Willow rolled onto her back, folding an arm behind her head as she lay staring up at Buffy, very aware that the hand that had been resting on her back had simply resettled itself on her stomach. They shared a long moment of companionable silence, while Willow closed her eyes, letting the sweet smell of the flowery soaps and shampoo Buffy preferred fill her senses. Without thinking, she reached out, catching a few stray strands of still wet blond hair between fine boned fingers.
And felt her face flame with embarrassment almost instantly as the Slayer froze, her head cocking to one side. Even in the faint light, Willow could see Buffy's frown and she could feel the way her friend's hand stilled where it rested on her stomach. The hacker froze, suddenly barely able to breathe.
Sitting next to her, Buffy could sense as much as feel her friend's embarrassment and she was intimately aware of the shift in the gentle rise and fall under her palm, signaling a change in her friend's breathing.
"I...uh....just...you've already had a shower?" Willow murmured, hoping to cover what abruptly seemed like a hopeless gaffe with feigned ignorance of the obvious.
"Yeah," Buffy exhaled in affirmation. "I just took my stuff with me tonight. I didn't want to bother you by banging around if you were already asleep." Not that Will was ever asleep when she came in. When she wasn't helping with patrols or cases, she was studying, and if she wasn't doing either of those two things-a rare event so far-then she was worrying. Buffy couldn't remember the last time anyone had made her feel so cared for.
Willow nodded, then cleared her throat. "I've been sort of meaning to ask you...After you, you know, Slay.. You always shower, and..."
Buffy shrugged, while her hand resumed its faint movements, just barely stroking Willow's stomach through the thin fabric of her UCS night-shirt. "It helps me cool down," she explained. " Like take the edge off...."
Willow nodded seriously. "Oh, like me and camomile tea?"
"Sort of...." Buffy breathed doubtfully, thinking that lately the edge in question had had more to do with her dorm life than her slaying activities.
"But then I'm not all sweaty after a long day of hacking, as you would be. You know? After you slay and all, you'd be all sweaty and moist..." Willow knew she was babbling, but she couldn't seem to make her mouth stop working. Just like she couldn't quite ignore the hand moving ever so softly against her stomach, making the muscles quiver with the sort of awareness that she really wasn't sure she wanted to be aware of. "So a shower would definitely be called for. I mean, if there ever was a shower situation it would be then. Not that you'd need it or anything, cause you always smell nice and...." she trailed off as she realized what she'd just said.
Buffy's mouth tipped upward in a smile despite her best efforts to remain serious. "You think I smell nice?"
Willow took a deep breath, trying to calm her unsteady pulse. It didn't work and her voice came out sounding just as babbly as ever. "I haven't been smelling you or anything. Not more than would be perfectly normal for two girls who are roommates and spend a lot of totally innocent time together! It's not like I smell your clothes when you're not around because that would be strange and unusual... In a bad way, not in the good way...." Willow wondered why it was that the various dimensional holes, creatures, and assorted demons that were always trying to swallow, kidnap, or otherwise ingest her never seemed to appear at times like this when they would be most welcome.
The Slayer's answering words were gentle, just like her tone and the smile Willow could just barely make out in the dark. "I don't think you could ever be strange and unusual in a bad way, Will...."
Willow shook her head in disagreement, remembering her evil vampish self. "But, what about my demon half?" Now she had been nasty...in a sort of weird, funloving kind of way. "She was like the manifestation of all my strange and unusualness, and she was bad!"
Buffy couldn't restrain a soft laugh at the outraged note in her friend's voice. "But she dressed really well," she pointed out, chuckling again as she heard Willow's soft gasp.
"If you like the slutty, dominatrix look," the hacker jeered disapprovingly, then paused before continuing worriedly, "You don't do you? Like it, I mean?"
"I suppose it has its place..." Buffy responded, her tone thoughtful. She felt Willow's stomach muscles tense under her hand and took pity on her. " Like Halloween or something-" She had a sudden mental image of Willow--the real Willow, not the vamp version--all dressed up in the vampire's form fitting leather, every curve revealed and enhanced, while her eyes were still shy and uncertain. The Slayer swallowed hard, her pulse suddenly pounding so hard she could hear it echoing in her ears.
Willow, meanwhile, was already back in babble-mode, showing no sign that she had heard the last part of Buffy's answer. "'Cause I don't look good that way. I just sort of dork out and end up looking stupid and...."
Buffy hated it when Willow got down on herself that way, and brushed a light hand over her mouth, hushing her with a barely audible, "Shhhh." She trailed her fingers up to brush several stray strands of red hair off of Willow's forehead, enjoying the feel of the silky strands against her skin. "Will... You never look stupid. You are as far away from stupid as is humanly possible." She shifted on the edge of the bed, her change in position pressing her thigh against Willow's hip.
Willow swallowed hard and fell silent, suddenly incredibly aware of the warmth of Buffy's skin against her own. She should have just stayed away from the whole subject of the vampire-Willow because it was reminding her of something else about the evil undead...that whole 'kinda gay' thing. Her alternate self had been...well....very alternate...in wanting to get to know her human self in all new ways that still gave Willow erotic dreams so weird they bordered on being nightmares...or maybe that was the other way around. She wasn't entirely certain and finding a self-help book that covered what to do after nearly getting seduced by one's alternate-reality vampish-self had proven a major challenge.
"And as for how you looked in that outfit," Buffy added. "I'll admit it's not your usual style." That was probably the understatement of the century. The Slayer unconsciously dropped her voice lower as she added, "But you looked good...really good," she exhaled. "Really, really good." For just a moment, Willow wasn't the only one in babble mode.
"Really? You think so?" the hacker questioned, sounding genuinely pleased and surprised by Buffy's words of encouragement. "I mean, like you think I don't look too geeked out? Cause I've tried to decrease my geek quotient this year, I just didn't think anyone noticed...."
Buffy's fingers followed the path of silky hair down from Willow's temple until her hand settled on a narrow shoulder. "I noticed," she whispered huskily. "I noticed. I notice everything about you, Will...." The Slayer shivered violently, suddenly aware of exactly where her thoughts and words were leading, where they had been leading every since she'd begun sharing a room with her friend. You can still back out, a distant part of her brain reminded her. It's not too late to avoid complicating your life one more time in one more way. As usual, she ignored the voice completely. After all, she was a Slayer, and it had recently come home to her that the profession chosen for her by an unkind god, didn't come with retirement benefits for a very good reason. She might as well live to the fullest. "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die."
"Cause I'm your best friend and all. You have to notice...."
Buffy shook her head in disagreement. "No...because there's no way I could not notice," she admitted breathlessly.
Willow went completely still, her stomach muscles and shoulder stiff and unmoving under Buffy's hands. "Uh....Buffy?" she croaked, her voice suddenly ragged.
Unable to resist temptation, Buffy stroked the silky skin at the base of Willow's throat, where it curved into her shoulder, with the pad of her thumb. She leaned a little closer, putting her lips no more than a few scant inches from her friend's. "Willow," she whispered very softly, realizing that somewhere in the last few minutes, her course had been set and there was no going back now.
Willow swallowed hard, her throat muscles working convulsively. "I...uh...Buffy..." Back to babble mode. This was definitely babble mode. Not to mention squeaky-voiced-extreme-panic mode, "I...you...what are you...I mean...what are...we...you...I...Buffy?" Her nerve endings on overload, neurons randomly misfiring all over the place, Willow could scarcely connect all the dots to come up with a picture of what was happening. "What are you doing?" she managed to get out a coherent sentence at last.
Oddly relieved, now that her decision was made, Buffy's lips drew upward into a sensual smile while her thumb continued the slow stroking. "What would you like me to do if you could ask for anything?" the Slayer questioned.
Willow's mouth opened, then snapped shut again as she became aware that her heart was hammering in her chest. "W-w-what do you mean?" she stammered at last. The hand at her shoulder trailed up her throat and along her jawline, fingers barely touching, then smoothed the hair back from her forehead. "I mean, you know, you don't have money, or...or computer parts...and...well...I mean, I think I've already got your friendship-"
"Unconditionally," Buffy assured her.
"So...I...I don't know what...what else...." Willow wondered if it was possible to die of babble mode. No, probably she couldn't be that lucky, because there was one thought that kept inserting itself into her brain, and no way was she gonna say that because it would change everything and Willow Rosenberg had already had enough change in her life to last the rest of her life and she just wasn't sure if she was ready for that one. "Because...like, you're the Slayer, and I'm...I'm just the computer-geek Slayerette...I mean, I-I'm like Thelma on Scooby...and you...you're...well...you're Buffy...and-"
"Would you like me to kiss you?" Buffy broke in cutting straight to the thought that had been on her mind for days, weeks, perhaps even months. Maybe it was that damn vampire version of her friend, making it so plainly obvious that she considered variety the spice of death while looking so sexy that it hurt to look at her; or maybe it was Angel putting thoughts in her head with his quiet insistence that the human and vampire were inextricably linked, that even when the human soul was gone, bits and pieces of humanity remained and affected the demon housing the body. Maybe it was even just her own damn hormones. Or maybe, just maybe it was the fact that the one person who was always, unquestionably and totally there for her, the one person who she could trust with anything and everything was lying on the bed next to her.
Willow froze, a tiny whimper the only sound that escaped from her lips.
Buffy continued rhythmically brushing the hair back from Willow's brow. "Because I've been thinking about that a lot lately," she admitted. "I don't know exactly when it started." She frowned. "But it's always there in the back of my mind...and being here...with you...it's like I've found a part of myself that I didn't know existed.... And sometimes lately, it's seemed like maybe you feel the same way." The hand on Willow's stomach slid down to rest on the bed, snug against her hip. The Slayer's eyes gleamed in the near-darkness. "So, Willow Rosenberg, would you like me to kiss you?" The question was asked so softly, Willow had to strain to hear it and if she'd still been capable of thought, she might have heard a note of fear in her friend's voice.
The answering nod was tiny, just the barest up and down twitch of Willow's chin, but it was enough. Buffy arched forward, groaning low in her throat as she tasted the redhead's lips for the first time. Electricity arced on that first sweet contact, driving both women to press closer, mouths working with passionate abandon as the kiss deepened. The hand on Willow's hair dropped to the mattress, bracing firmly enough to support more of Buffy's weight, while the front of her terry cloth robe brushed the front of Willow's shirt. And then their bodies were pressed together, curves fitting neatly, as Willow trailed a hand up Buffy's torso, fingers curling into the front of her robe to tug her even closer with insistent pressure. Without planning, Willow scooted to one side, making room on the narrow mattress and Buffy stretched out next to her, sliding a tentative hand down her side.
"You're beautiful," Buffy exhaled, pulling back just enough to stare into her friend's eyes.
"Me?" Willow's voice cracked mid-word. "No...I'm not...I-I'm just-"
"You're beautiful," Buffy repeated and kissed Willow again, her lips sweet and seductive. She hooked a leg over Willow's, rubbing up and down her calf with the bottom of her foot, thrilling to the feel of velvety soft curves. "Soft," she whispered as their lips parted again, then snatched another tiny kiss before continuing, "sweet." Another tiny kiss. "Brave-"
"No," Willow disagreed vehemently at that point. "You're the brave one. I mean, if it wasn't for you, we'd all be some demon's Lunchables by now." Then it was Willow who dropped a kiss on Buffy's lips before whispering, "Thank you."
Buffy slid a hand into silky red hair, fingers combing through the cool strands, taking pleasure from their texture. "Anytime," she exhaled then tasted Willow's mouth yet again. Their blood heated to the consistency of molten lead, the two women traded kisses and caresses, learning and exploring each other's bodies as they gave themselves over to the passion burning through their veins.
Willow groaned softly into the melding of their lips, instinctively snuggling closer as she trailed her fingers up the front of Buffy's chest, tenderly stroking the soft skin in the open vee of her robe. She trembled as she felt the Slayer's hand stroke her hip, her touch incredibly gentle and perfectly controlled. Willow trailed her hand downward, sliding her fingers just inside the thick fabric where she could feel the unsteady beat of her friend's heart.
"More..." the Slayer groaned through the kiss. "...touch me...." She shivered violently as she felt her robe parted to make way for curious fingers. Buffy wore only a delicate silk camisole under the robe and she could feel the heat of Willow's fingers as they traced the curve of her breasts, painting erotic patterns on her aroused flesh.
Their lips parted again and Willow hid her face in the curve of Buffy's shoulder, her ragged breath playing over smooth skin. Breathing every bit as hard, Buffy wrapped an arm around her friend's shoulder, spreading her fingers against the back of Willow's head to tenderly pet her hair.
"I-I don't know what...what to do next," Willow admitted, then pressed her lips against Buffy's throat, tasting the soft vibration of the Slayer's answering laugh.
"Well, it's not like I have a lot of experience." She'd had exactly one sexual encounter and that hadn't exactly turned out well.
Willow pulled back to stare at her friend in the faint light. "I guess that's true," she exhaled, looking a little lost. She'd expected Buffy to just magically know what to do.
"Just because I'm the Slayer, doesn't mean I know everything," Buffy deadpanned, the humor cutting some of the tension.
Willow snuggled closer again, sliding her hands around Buffy's waist under the robe. "I guess not," she allowed, then shuddered a brief moment later as Buffy's hand skimmed under her nightshirt, spreading against the smooth skin of her belly. "Then again," she gasped as awareness flared through her body. "Maybe you do."
Buffy buried her face in Willow's throat. "I really don't know what to do either, Will," she admitted breathlessly. "This isn't exactly something I've ever done before. I don't suppose you...."
"Well, I saw a video once when I hacked one of those porn sites," Willow murmured thoughtfully. "But I don't think that's any help. You might have the dexterity for those positions, but I don't think I'll ever-"
Buffy kissed her, cutting off whatever else Willow might have said, then backed off enough to whisper, "I think you're just going to have to tell me what feels good." Her fingers flexed, stroking gently and Willow arched into the caress, a low moan bubbling up from her chest.
"That's a helluva start," the hacker whimpered.
Buffy's hand slipped lower and Willow's head snapped back on her shoulders. "That one's good too." Desperately needing more contact, she hooked a hand behind Buffy's head, tugging her into another kiss before dropping her hands and pushing her fluffy white robe back off her shoulders. Soon they were both pulling frantically at each other's clothes, tossing them aside with careless abandon in the quest to touch bare flesh.
Then last fabric barrier was gone and graceful limbs twined together, soft sounds and words filling the darkened room as they touched and caressed, learning the things that pleased each other.
"There," Buffy gasped almost inaudibly as she clung desperately to Willow. "God...that's...." Unable to express what she was feeling, she simply lost herself in another kiss, drinking in her lover's soft groans of pleasure. They were both damp with sweat and trembling, the pleasure so thick and rich that the lovers were left the with the paradox of wanting it to peak and never wanting it to end.
And then Buffy felt the storm gather and flare outward from her center even as Willow went rigid in her arms.
"Buffy," the hacker groaned softly, her muscles taut as her orgasm rolled over her like a tidal wave. The spasms went on for long moments as they surged together, clinging so tightly they might have been one body, until finally, the two teens collapsed back into the mattress, their bodies still.
Willow snuggled against Buffy, her body still trembling in the aftermath. The Slayer's eyes were closed, her breath coming in shuddery gasps as she wrapped an arm around her lover, drawing her up against her side. She felt Willow's lips press against her shoulder and then the silky fall of her hair splayed across her chest as Willow rested her cheek on her breast.
"I can hear your heart," Willow whispered very softly.
Buffy sifted her fingers through silky strands of crimson hair. "Mmm...must sound like a freight train."
"Kinda," Willow sighed and rested a hand on Buffy's chest. "But it's starting to slow down now." She closed her eyes, feeling her own breathing a pulse begin to slow. "I can't believe we just...I mean...I just never thought...." She realized she was back in babble mode, but somehow it didn't seem so bad this time.
Buffy smiled. "Funny...lately, it's all I've been thinking about."
"Really?" Willow yelped instantly, then calmed herself and said more smoothly, "I mean, really?"
Buffy's smile broadened a notch and she tugged Willow up until they were nose to nose. "Yeah...really," she confirmed, and then kissed her again. When the kiss broke, she petted silky hair back from her lover's face and then hugged her tightly. "I think maybe this has been coming longer than either of us realized."
Willow heard the serious note in her friend's voice and nodded. "Yeah," she exhaled. "I think maybe it has." They both settled into the sheets, relaxing in the aftermath. Buffy hooked Willow's comforter--which had gotten shoved to the foot of the bed-with her toe and tugged it up over them, cuddling Willow close on the narrow mattress. They fell into a pleasant silence, simply holding one another in the safe darkness of their room.
"This is gonna get more complicated before it gets simpler, isn't it?" Willow murmured sleepily after several long minutes.
"Mmhm," came the low reply, then Buffy pressed her lips to Willow's temple. "But we don't need to worry about it tonight," she sighed.
"But, Buffy, I was thinking-"
"Shhhh," Buffy shushed her. "Not tonight..." She stroked Willow's shoulder with languid fingers. "Now get some sleep." She closed her eyes, relaxing into the mattress. "And we'll worry about it all tomorrow."
Willow sighed softly.
"I promise, Will, it'll be okay." Buffy pressed a tiny kiss to the top of her lover's head. "And I always keep my promises. It's a Slayer thing, 'kay?"
"Okay," the hacker exhaled, trusting the Slayer just as she always had.
Soon, they both slept, nestled safely in each other's arms.