DISCLAIMER: BTVS is the property of Mutant Enemy and Twentieth Century Fox.
WARNING: graphic f/f sex and some bad language (Faith's a potty-mouth *grin*). also, there's a minor spark of slash between Xander and Giles, but nothing serious or detracting from the women. don't know if it'll go anywhere or not, but I wanted to warn anyhow. :o)
SPOILERS: Up until the end of season seven Buffy and season four Angel.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
PAIRING: Willow/Tara, Willow/Kennedy
The Further Adventures of Willow #3
The Morning After
Snuggling to the soft, curvy body was automatic, like breathing, and Willow was so comfortable and content that it took her a full minute to remember why the curves were different. That it wasn't Kennedy in her bed any longer, it was Tara. That sent a bolt of lightening, shock and happiness mixed, screaming through her. Opening her eyes, Willow at first saw only blond hair on the pillow.
She stared at the woman who meant more than the world to her. Stared at the sleep-relaxed features and closed lids that hid fathomless eyes. Without thinking, her lips pressed to the bare throat and Tara murmured sleepily, a pleased protest even as she yawned and curled closer to Willow. Tara woke slowly and Willow could feel every slide towards consciousness as the body in her arms shifted and the other woman sighed and gave little yawns.
When Tara's eyes opened, sleepy and content, Willow couldn't stop herself from rolling on top of her lover, pinning Tara to the bed as she feasted on the sleep soured mouth. Tara gasped in surprise but responded enthusiastically. Willow's fingers scrabbled at the pajama top, opening it quickly and baring the full breasts to her hands. She cupped them, squeezing and rubbing them until Tara groaned into her mouth.
Pulling from the seductive mouth, Willow bent her head to suck on a ripe, puckered nipple. Tara cried out in pleasure and Willow had a brief hope that Kennedy was nowhere around before delving back into her lover's body. She moved down, kissing and sucking at the pale skin hard enough to leave red patches in a trail down the hollow of the rib cage. Lingering at the belly-button, Willow's tongue played with the indent for a few minutes.
Tara knew exactly where Willow was going and her legs lifted for the pajama bottoms to be removed. She shifted down, putting her legs over the slender witch's shoulders and back as Willow moved into position. Humming in appreciation and need as her tongue licked into the moist recesses of Tara's body, Willow pushed a finger inside as well. Her tongue flickered lightly over the hardened nub and Tara cried out again, arching in need. The juice flowed faster than Willow could clean up and it was wonderful and messy and real, the smell thick and heavy.
Curving her fingers up into Tara's body, Willow pulled back enough to watch her lover's open-mouthed panting, lust and love slamming harder through her body. Withdrawing her fingers, to Tara's wordless protest, Willow covered the other woman and straddled Tara's thigh, pushing her own into position to be ridden. Tara moaned and grabbed Willow's hair, yanking her down for another, deeper and even hotter kiss.
It seemed an incredible eternity of rubbing and kissing and pinching and sucking before orgasm hit her, shocking a cry of release from Willow. She shuddered over and over, coating Tara's thigh even more as she came. Tara jerked and shivered beneath her, fingernails raking down Willow's back with enough fire to tell her that blood had been drawn.
Panting and complete, even as she rode out the aftershocks with gentle rocking against Tara, Willow collapsed onto her lover. Tender fingers combed through her sweaty hair and Willow slid her arms around Tara's waist, even though that squished them under their combined bodyweights. "It doesn't seem real."
Tara chuckled, a warm, surprisingly wicked sound, and answered just as soft, "Wait until your back starts hurting. Then it'll feel real."
Grinning in response, Willow didn't bother to reply. She sighed deeply and nuzzled half-heartedly at the breast within reach and closed her eyes. The world could wait a little longer while she and Tara slept some more.
Buffy flushed uncomfortably at the loud cries that echoed from upstairs and was glad that the girls were at school. Not that they hadn't heard Willow and Kennedy going at it before, but there was something more more about the sounds coming from the witches. She was also thankful that Giles and Xander were both out for the day. They'd all figured that neither woman would put in more than a cursory appearance for food throughout the day. There sure wouldn't be any discussions about the future.
As if on cue, the front door opened and closed and Buffy glanced over the kitchen door just as Kennedy came in. Abruptly grateful that the girl hadn't come in even a few minutes earlier, Buffy managed to force a smile as she greeted, "Hey."
Kennedy didn't return the smile, dark eyes hollow as she moved silently to the fridge. Buffy sighed to herself as the younger slayer made herself some cereal without speaking, but didn't say anything. She could very well imagine what Kennedy was going through, having gone through something similar with both Angel and Spike. Not exactly the same, of course, because at least Kennedy didn't have to worry about Willow turning evil, not this time anyhow.
Finally, Kennedy said, "I can't stay here with them together."
Buffy nodded, having expected that. "You can stay with Faith."
Kennedy arched an eyebrow at her and countered, "Faith?"
"Or you can stay with Robin, though I tend to doubt it'd be much fun living with the principal," Buffy pointed out, dry.
"Thought she might be."
They were silent for a while before Kennedy asked, "Does it ever stop hurting?"
The plaintive, pained question cut right through Buffy and she answered, "Not completely, but it'll get better, Kennedy, I promise."
"You must be happy about it."
The short, bitter statement startled Buffy and for a long moment, she didn't answer. It didn't help that Kennedy wouldn't look at her, because she couldn't gauge how much was real and how much bitterness at the situation in general. Leaning on the counter, she said, "I'm not, Kennedy. And look, if I gave you static, it was because I didn't think Willow was good for you."
At that, Kennedy gave her an incredulous look. "Excuse me?"
Buffy shrugged and explained simply, "Willow's too old for you, Kennedy. She was too old for you when she was your age, let alone now. That was going to come up to cause trouble, sooner or later, and I was hoping to head things off at the pass, but we see how well that worked out."
Kennedy continued to give her that look of disbelief, but Buffy didn't back down. Maybe she was wrong, but she didn't think so. Before the conversation could continue, though, the front door opened and closed again and Faith sauntered in a few moments later. The other Slayer took in the tension and observed, "Tense much? What'd I miss?"
"You didn't tell her, but you want me to stay with her?" Kennedy demanded.
Surprised, Faith asked, "Tell me what?"
Buffy sighed and announced, "Tara's back."
Faith blinked at her for a few moments then questioned slowly, "Tara as in, 'shot dead and pushing Willow into evil' Tara?"
"That's the one," Buffy confirmed.
"Damn. Sorry, Kennedy," Faith said sympathetically. "That's a tough act to compete with."
Kennedy stiffened and snapped, "Like you care!"
Faith shrugged and leaned against the counter beside Buffy. "Whether I do, or not, doesn't matter. You've got to decide whether or not you're going to suck it up and deal, or fight."
"Fight?" Kennedy questioned.
Seeing what Faith was doing, which was essentially setting Kennedy up for a fall, Buffy said sharply, "Faith! Knock it off!"
Smirking a little, Faith replied almost innocently, "What? Look, Buff, if the girl wants to fight for what she had, sorry, has with Willow, then that's her right. You shouldn't stop her."
Buffy glared at Faith, especially when Kennedy stood a little straighter, a determined look coming onto her face.
"I'm going to take a shower," Kennedy announced.
When the girl was gone, Buffy rounded on Faith with, "Are you insane!? You know that she doesn't stand a chance against Tara!"
"Speaking as someone who never gets what she wants, fuck off, Buffy," Faith said mildly. "Kennedy has every right to go after Willow and if it causes some friction in your perfect little house, then tough shit."
Buffy drew back, surprised. "I thought things were working out with you and Robin."
"My love life, or lack thereof, has nothing to do with it. You can't deny someone the right to go after the person they really want, no matter how you feel it might come out. For all we know, they'll wind up with a triad and wouldn't that just blow your whitebread little mind?" Faith observed with a quasi-malicious grin.
That hadn't occurred to Buffy and she was, indeed, appalled at the thought of something like that happening.
"Only two lesbians at a time, eh, Buff?" Faith needled.
Glaring, Buffy exclaimed, "Shut up, already, would you?"
Faith snickered and said, "Anyhow, Kennedy can stay with me if she wants, but I don't think that's necessary anymore."
"Thanks a lot."
Faith's grin got bigger.
Xander stared at the construction site without really seeing it. He knew that everyone was going about their work because it was a good crew that didn't need him to baby-sit them. His mind was in such chaos over what had happened the night before that he should probably just have called in sick, for the amount of work he wasn't getting done. It was clear to the guys on his team that he was somewhere else entirely in his head and they gave him the space he needed, thankfully.
Tara was back. Everything that Willow had gone through had been for nothing. All the pain and agony and heartache had been absolutely for nothing. And while he didn't think that having Tara around would have helped much with the final battle in Sunnydale, it wasn't something he could discount. Together, Tara and Willow had been incredibly powerful, even before Willow had gone dark side on them. Then again, if she hadn't died and Willow hadn't gone dark side, would Willow have had the power to pull off everything she had against Caleb and the First?
It was enough to make his head hurt, trying to figure it out.
Glancing over at Giles' hesitant call of his name, Xander smiled at the incongruous sight of the librarian/Watcher standing in the door of a trailer on a construction site. Dressed in his usual, proper attire of slacks, dress shirt under a vest, and good shoes, Giles looked every bit the Englishman. He grinned a little at the thought of actually using the word 'incongruous' just to freak Giles out, but figured the older man had enough going on right then. "Hey G-Man, what's up? Come on in."
Giles grimaced briefly at the nickname, but didn't protest it as he entered the trailer. "I came by to see how you were doing."
"I only ask because, well, you looked a bit thrown last night."
"Nah. My best friend's dead lover coming back to life isn't enough to throw me anymore."
Giles looked at him for a long moment, a faint smile rising on his lips, then asked, "When did you grow up?"
There was a trace of honest bewilderment in Giles' voice, but what made Xander smile in return was the respect in that simple question. "I honestly don't remember. Hey, it's almost time for lunch, you want to grab something?"
"Yes, thanks," Giles agreed, relieved to change the subject.
Xander smirked a bit at the evidence that, while Giles had come to give him a chance to discuss what had happened, or, more accurately, Xander's feelings about it, the librarian hadn't really wanted an emotional scene.
Some things, thankfully, never changed.
It was a good fifteen minutes later that they were seated at a local pub-styled restaurant and relaxing over a couple of beers. Giles, as expected, asked for a Guinness, but Xander just ordered whatever was on tap. Orders had been placed and both men were silent for several more minutes, not talking about what had to be talked about.
Xander bit the bullet and asked, "Now what?"
Sighing, Giles took his glasses off and began to wipe them clean, stalling for time as he thought over an answer. At last, he said, "I don't see where this changes anything, except for the immediate situation of Kennedy, Willow, and Tara. Tara is, after all, really herself, and no threat to anyone."
"Do we really know that?" Xander pressed, unhappily. "Willow's the one who checked her out and we know that Willow wants it to be her."
Giles stopped mid-swipe, clearly not having thought about that. Frowning, he questioned, "Do you think it's not her?"
"It seems to be, but we know how often 'seems to,' has come back to bite us on the ass," Xander pointed out.
The food arrived just then and Xander let the conversation slide again while he fixed his burger. Giles played with his food, but Xander didn't actually see him eat anything, which told him how upset the entire situation had the older man. Well that, and the Guinness before it was properly even noon on a workday. He waved the waitress over, picked up Giles' beer, ignoring the other man's protest, and held it out to her with, "Tea, please. A big, strong mug of Earl Gray or something else English."
The waitress grinned as she took the Guinness back with a nod.
Looking over at Giles' indignant expression caused Xander to grin. "Hey. You wanted to know when I became a grown-up, well, grown-ups take care of their friends and drinking isn't going to do you any good. You need tea for the stiff, British spine of yours."
Giles' lips twitched, but he didn't actually smile. Instead, he cleared his throat and replied, "Yes, well, you should have asked."
"Next time I will," Xander lied easily.
Giles gave him a suspicious look, but the waitress returned just then with a steaming mug and set it in front of him. The Watcher's nose positively wrinkled in anticipation and Giles unerringly picked up the mug without even looking, closing his eyes to breathe in the aroma. The steam clouded up his glasses and Xander had a sudden and completely visceral reaction to the longing look on the older man's face.
Sucking in a fast breath, Xander exclaimed, "I'll be right back," and hurried away from the table before Giles could even open his eyes, let alone question him. The restroom was a one-room deal, so he gratefully locked the door and proceeded to glare at his reflection, hissing, "What the hell was that!?"
Waking up to the familiar smell of musk and sweat brought a smile to Tara's face as she woke up again. She sighed in deep contentment, rubbing her eyes and opening them to a well-lit room and glanced over at the clock to find that it was afternoon. Willow was still plastered over her, sound asleep, and a gentle smile surfaced as she kissed the redhead's temple.
There was so much to take in, not the least of which being her death and the time that she'd lost, of which she still didn't know how long it had been. Long enough that Willow looked decades older, at least in her eyes, and they were no longer living in Buffy's home in Sunnydale. What would have happened to cause them to move out? How much time really had passed? Who was the dark-haired girl who'd taken her place? Why could Willow use her powers without any negative consequences?
Too many questions, all of which she was sure had painful answers. And as much as she wanted to just lay there with Willow in her arms, she knew that there were things that needed to be said and decisions to be made. Tickling just under Willow's chin, Tara murmured, "Wake up, sleepyhead."
Willow makes a sleepy, wordless protest and burrows closer, causing Tara to smile. She rubbed her hand across the bare back and continued, "Time to get up and at 'em, Willow."
Huffing in annoyance, Willow complained, "Too early. Five more minutes, Tara."
Tara grinned outright at that and slapped Willow on the butt. Willow jerked awake completely at that, outrage scrawling over her face before she grinned and straddled Tara. Taking Tara's miscreant hands, she put them over Tara's head and said, "Oh I don't think so missy."
Giggling, Tara wriggled but didn't really try to get free. "Good morning."
"Morning," Willow replied cheerfully. Staring down at her, the smile faded until there was only longing left. "You're so beautiful, Tara. I've missed you so much, baby, so much."
Tugging her hands free, Tara rubbed them lightly over Willow's thighs and said softly, "We need to talk."
Willow nodded, resting her hands on Tara's stomach. "I know. I just I don't care about anything else, Tara, just you. I know that's wrong and I know I'm a complete bitch for it, but I lost you before and I'm not going to again, not now that I've got you back."
"And the dark haired girl?" Tara prompted slowly.
Sighing, Willow stroked her hands over Tara's stomach and replied, "Kennedy. I know it's going to hurt her, and I'm sorry, but I can't help that."
It was going to hurt, but "Do you love her?"
"I do, yes, but not the way I love you," Willow answered honestly, pained. "It's not like I was killing time with her or anything, I'm not that evil, but she's not you."
And though Tara knew it had to be wrong to feel so much pleasure at something that would cause another person so much pain, Tara couldn't help it. That Willow still loved her so much was more than she could even hope for. "How, how long was I d-dead?"
"Almost two years," Willow whispered. "So much happened, Tara, so much."
Smiling, Tara drew her down and encouraged, "Tell me."
And Willow did.
Eyeing the living room clock as if it would bite her, Buffy tried unsuccessfully to get some work done. She had a lot of files to go through in order to keep up with her job as a counselor at the new high school, but she just couldn't concentrate. Despite hearing the shower, she hadn't seen hide nor hair of either Willow or Tara, so she had to assume that Willow was conjuring food for them to eat.
The Slayerettes were all due to get home any time now and she was worried about what would happen when they did. There was sure to be resentment that Tara could oust Kennedy so easily and Buffy wasn't sure what form that might take. Not that the girls would do anything to physically hurt Tara, but they were still teen aged girls and could be mean without employing any of their super strength.
Buffy had been relieved when Kennedy had left with Faith for a couple of reasons. It would postpone the coming confrontation for a little longer and it got Faith out of her hair. The other Slayer had the most annoying habit of being right about what did and didn't make Buffy comfortable.
It was almost two in the afternoon that footsteps echoed on the main stairs. Buffy glanced over at the door to find Willow and Tara, fully dressed, enter the room. Offering a smile of greeting, Buffy said, "Hey."
Tara smiled shyly and answered, "Hi."
Willow sat on the opposite sofa and tugged Tara onto her lap, where the blond witch promptly curled up around her lover. The happiness practically radiated from them and Buffy felt a twinge of jealousy. Forcing it back, Buffy asked, "You two hungry? I could cook something."
"You learned to cook?" Tara teased gently.
Buffy grinned and amended, "Well, maybe cook was a strong word."
"We're fine," Willow said. "I got us something while we were upstairs."
There was a brief, awkward silence as Buffy tried to figure out how to bring up Kennedy. Thankfully, Willow beat her to it by asking, "Where's Kennedy?"
"She's over at Faith's for now," Buffy answered. "But she does want to see you as soon as she can."
Willow sighed, but nodded. "I thought she would."
"I'm, I'm sorry you lost your home," Tara offered.
Surprised, though she knew that she shouldn't be, Buffy smiled and said, "Thanks, Tara. Um, are you two are you going to be up to meeting everyone? Because they're due to get home any time now."
Willow nodded and said, "That's one of the reasons we came down. To see Dawnie and introduce the others."
"She missed you a lot," Buffy said to Tara.
Tara nodded wistfully and replied, "I wish I could say I missed her too, but, I don't even remember being gone."
"Just that you were happy."
Buffy's quiet statement came out a little more forceful than she'd intended, engendering another awkward silence as they remembered when Willow and the others had brought Buffy back from the dead.
Finally Tara said, "I, I don't even really remember that much. I remember feeling the pain and looking up at Willow, and then being in the new magic shop feeling very confused and out of it."
The door opened and Dawn's voice called out, "We're home!"
"In here, Dawn!" Buffy called back.
Dawn screeched in happiness as she hurtled into the room and threw herself on top of Tara and Willow. There was a general pig-pile of laughter for a few minutes and Buffy couldn't help but grin at the sight as Dawn breathlessly talked and laughed with Tara and Willow. There was a tug of censure at herself for not feeling just as happy as Dawn at Tara's return and really, she didn't even know why she felt that way. Maybe she didn't really trust that it was Tara as yet.
It was the next, logical thought that caused her to draw up short.
What if it isn't really Tara? What if my Slayer instincts are kicking in to warn me that it isn't really her?
And Buffy nearly groaned aloud as she realized that, having thought it, she found that she did believe that it wasn't really Tara. But she kept the smile on her face as Dawn, Tara and Willow sorted themselves and introductions began to make the rounds with the other girls. This wasn't something that she would share with any of them.
Until she knew for sure, one way or another, Buffy wasn't going to even breathe a hint of her doubt to anyone.
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