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A Goodnight Kiss
By sailor80


I'm not what you think I am, Buffy Summers said silently.

Patrol was over, and she'd slipped silently into her home, stopping in the kitchen for a quick snack before taking an equally quick shower in an attempt to wash away the smell of death that was always in her nostrils.

Now she sat cross-legged on the foot of her bed, watching the other occupant sleep. There was enough light from the window for Buffy to see the details of Willow's features, and she held her hands in her lap so she wouldn't touch the other girl. What would you do if you knew? she wondered. You haven't flinched yet, no matter what I've said or done.

Willow shifted, rolling onto her side, toward Buffy's side of the bed and away from the window. Buffy's night vision was still sufficient to see the details of her best friend's appearance. Willow's arm reached across the bed, and she grumbled when she touched nothing.

I'm afraid, Willow. I'm afraid of dying, and I'm afraid of being alone, and I'm afraid I'll never leave Sunnydale, and the thing I'm afraid of most is losing you. I can't do this without you.

"Buffy, lay down," Willow said softly.

"Sorry," Buffy said automatically, and began unfolding herself. She stretched along the bed, and put her head on her pillow.

Willow put her arm across Buffy and moved a little closer. She was sleeping again within seconds, whatever woke her driven away by Buffy's presence.

Buffy put her hand on Willow's forearm and turned her head to look again at her. I'm afraid of us, or not us. I'm afraid you'll leave me. I'm afraid you'll hate me. I'm afraid you won't hear me. I'm afraid you won't believe me. I'm afraid, she admitted, you won't love me.

Buffy held those fears and her desires in check with a litany of excuses. We're 16. It's a phase. We have these life and death things exaggerating everything, and we don't have anyone else to talk to about them. I don't care. I want to kiss you. I want to hold you. I want to see you come out of your cocoon and shine.

"Busy thoughts?" Willow's sleepy voice interrupted Buffy's thoughts.

"Yeah," Buffy admitted softly.

"Wanna talk about it?" Willow opened her eyes.

"Nah. I'll try to think a little more quietly."

"You need to sleep," Willow answered.

"It's overrated."

"Yeah, but it beats detention. Which you'll get if you can't stay awake in class. And then you have to deal with the counselor and Snyder and your mother and Giles."

"And you."

"And me," Willow agreed. "What's bothering you?"

Buffy shook her head and moved closer to Willow. "Usual stuff, you know, I hate the Hellmouth, I hate vampires, I don't wanna die."

"I'm sorry," Willow said.

"Not your fault."

"I know, but I'm still sorry you have to deal with all that."

"You deal with it, too."

"It's not the same. It's not my responsibility."

"That's not how you act."

"What do you mean?"

"You act like it's yours."

"I want to help."

"You do help. More than you'll ever know." Buffy squeezed Willow's arm for emphasis.

"How can I help you get some sleep?"

Buffy's eyes closed as her mind threw up thousands of lewd and lewder scenarios. Some of them felt more like memory than fantasy, but Buffy tried to slow her racing pulse. She opened her eyes to see Willow watching her. "A good night kiss."

Willow blinked, startled at the response, before she pushed herself up and leaned toward Buffy. She kissed Buffy's forehead, lingering for a few seconds before murmuring, "Sweet dreams."

The End

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