DISCLAIMER: Wouldn't I love to own em! But of course I don't, how much does that suck? Everything herein belongs to Mr. Whedon, Mutant Enemy, yada yada yada.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Ok, I wrote this in a completely different way than I've written anything. I started it back at the end of May and just wrote bits here and there when the mood struck me. And I've switched POV's back and forth between Buffy and Willow a little bit. Hopefully it won't get you too confused and hopefully it doesn't feel all that disjointed.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Summer Confessions
By Casandra


Part 2

With every single syllable I read I become more and more confused. Love letters. Buffy wrote me love letters when she was in LA the summer after she killed Angel. Three of them to be exact. Each one more heartfelt and raw then the one before it. I know I probably shouldn't have snooped and read them in the first place, but it's too late now. Knowledge is a powerful thing. And I've pretty much been knocked off my feet with the words contained on the crinkled notes. I can see the smudges of ink where she must not have been able to stop her tears from falling onto the crisp white paper. Every letter scrolled in her delicate handwriting, forming words that have left me in a complete state of emotional upheaval.

I don't know what to feel. Hurt that she never told me about her feelings. Confused that she actually feels that way about me. Scared that she might not have those same feelings anymore. I can't seem to come to a stop on any one of them.

I mean in all fairness, what's a girl to do when she finds a stack of love letters from her best friend, stuffed away for two years in an old black duffel bag? Is there some kind of standard for this sort of thing, because if there is, I wish I was aware of it. Because I honestly don't know how to broach this subject with Buffy. And I can't figure out if our kisses out in the ocean not more than 10 minutes ago make this all that much easier or even harder than it normally would be.

I decide to read back over each one, I honestly don't know why. Maybe to convince myself that I'm not imagining things, that my wishful thinking hasn't taken one step too far towards the crazy.

Dear Willow,

Ok, well I don't think I've honestly ever written a letter to anyone before. So keep that in mind when you read this. Of course that's not entirely true. You and I have passed so many notes around in class that I had to buy new shoes just to have a box to put them all in. Yeah, it gave me a good excuse to get some new boots, I can't help that, so thanks!

But I bet you didn't know I kept all of our notes did you? Yep, every single one. I have the one we scribbled back and forth in Ms. French's biology class from hell. Two full pages that we managed to sneak past her, using Xander as our aisle buddy. I have to admit, I was so tempted to ask him on more than one occasion to switch seats with me. I really wanted to be your lab partner. And not just so I would actually pass Biology. But just think of all the fun we could have had, passing notes back and forth all period long. Of course I should know better than to try and corrupt you into not paying attention in class! I've come to realize just how bad an influence on you I really am!

Do you remember the note we went back and forth with right when Ford and Drusilla came to Sunnydale? Or the one during 7th period English when we had that substitute teacher that was more boring than one of Giles' musty old books? I have every last one of them. I cherish them if I want to be brutally honest. Every word you wrote to me I have safely tucked away here in my shoe box. And I brought it with me. I couldn't stand the thought of not at least being able to live our friendship vicariously through all those words we've written back and forth to each other.

And that brings me to my main point of this letter. I'm so so sorry Willow. I'm sorry I left you the way I did. I'm sorry I left period. But I couldn't stay in Sunnydale after everything that happened. Your spell worked Will. In the last moments before I was about to plunge a sword into my lover's chest, it worked. I saw a flash of purple light in his eyes and suddenly he was Angel again. But it was too late, and behind his shoulder I saw the vortex open. So I'm sure you know what I had to do. I mean the world is still turning so I know you can figure it out. After all, you are the one that wears the smarty pants in our little family. And I know what you're thinking, you're blaming yourself. Whether it being for not casting the spell in time, or just doing it to begin with. It doesn't matter to me though Willow. I don't blame you. God, I could never ever blame you for trying to help me like that. So please don't blame yourself, I couldn't stand it knowing you're blaming yourself just because of my screw ups.

I honestly hadn't made up my mind to leave for certain until I saw you the morning after. Yes, I had went home and packed a bag, left my mom a letter saying goodbye. But I wasn't completely sure until I saw you. In a wheelchair. Because of me. I know you didn't see me, I was standing behind the tree over across from the courtyard out in front of the school. But I saw you and the gang, looking around, waiting for me. And seeing you like that, so hurt, it completely made up my mind. I put you in that wheelchair Willow, maybe not technically, but everything that's happened to you in the past 2 years, all the roads lead back to me. And I figured that the only way to protect you was to leave you. And as much as it killed me to do it, your safety and happiness is the most important thing in the world to me Will.

I'll never be able to thank god enough for gracing my life with your presence, even if I've cut our time together shorter than it might have been. But I could never have asked for a better friend than what you've been to me. And as long as I live I'll never forget what you mean to me. I love you Willow. Please, if anything, remember that. Try not to be angry with me, the thought of that cuts through me like a knife. And try not to worry about me. I'm ok, really, I just miss all of you so much. Take care of yourself, and each other.

Love, your best friend,


If she would have stopped with that one letter I probably wouldn't have thought anything of it. We've said I love you to each other plenty of times in the last 4 years. Well not so much in the last 4 years. If I really think about it, we never said it to each other until right before high school graduation. Almost a year after she wrote these letters. Not that it really matters, because knowing now that she felt it even back then is enough to give me all sorts of warm and tinglies. I've cherished our friendship, in fact, if I really want to be honest, it's the most important thing in my life. Her friendship is even more important to me than Xander's. And that's really saying a lot, because I've known Xander, even if we haven't always been close the way we are now, since I was a scrawling infant. Ok, well maybe not an infant, more like toddlers, but the difference is the same. But I've only known Buffy 4 years, and I feel closer to her than anybody, my parents and Xander included. I couldn't imagine her not being in my life, the brief thought that she wouldn't be my best friend any longer is the most chilling thing I can imagine.

I can live without Xander. I can live without my parents. And I've learned this year that I can live without Oz and Tara. But I honestly don't think I could live very long without Buffy. And after reading the last two letters, it's glaringly apparent that Buffy feels the exact same way about me.

Dear Willow,

It's me again. I know I haven't sent the other letter yet. I'm just not sure whether to send them all at once or not. Ok, yeah, I'm actually not all that sure whether to send them period.

Just in case you're curious, it's the fourth of July tonight. I'm sitting here in this dingy low rent apartment and listening to the streets below come alive with the sounds of bottle rockets and poppers and all sorts of other fireworks that the denizens of LA are reveling in at the moment. I just got done pulling a double shift at the diner. Yep, another shocker for you. I'm a waitress at a seedy grease trap. Aren't you just so proud. I go from saving the world to serving undercooked burgers to slimy, unwashed truck drivers. The mighty have fallen, that's for sure.

But that's not what's really bothering me. You are, Willow. God how much I miss you. I never realized just how much I took your presence for granted, but not being near you, not just being able to walk through the halls of Sunnydale High and talk about anything and nothing in particular with you, I can't stand it. I feel like I'm just completely drifting farther and farther away. And my anchor, my Willow, isn't there to pull me back in. How pathetically dependant am I? I wonder what you're doing right now. Did you and Oz take a blanket out to Weatherly Park and sit and watch the fireworks?

I was surprised last year when you told me that Sunnydale actually had a Fourth of July show. Vamp playground I figured. Who would have thought they would be too scared of errant fireworks dusting them! I really wish I hadn't gone off to LA with my father last summer. I missed out on all that time with you. We could have gone to the fireworks together. Oh, of course we would have had to share the blanket with Xander. But that would have been ok, we would have at least been together. I can only imagine what the tint of the fireworks do to your already fiery hair. It must look beautiful. I'm so sorry I won't have a chance to find out for myself. But Oz better appreciate it, or I might just have to come back and knock some sense into him. He better realize that he's the luckiest guy in the world to have you. So many times I felt like smacking Xander upside the head for not seeing what was right in front of him all those years. I hated seeing that disappointed look in your eyes every time he decided to pay more attention to everything else in a skirt instead of you.

I mean, how can anyone ignore you? You have this way about you Will, it just draws me completely in and I never want to find my way back out. That's exactly what happened the first day I met you. I caught one look of your sharp emerald eyes and I knew, just knew with everything that I am, that I needed to be your friend, needed to be in your life, someway, somehow. So yeah, now you know, that old excuse of getting me caught up on my school work was just a ruse. It worked though didn't it? Because here I am, 2 years later, and I can't imagine what my life would be like if I never would have gone out to you in that courtyard and sat down.

And now I'm getting all weepy. I'm sure you can probably tell, if you can even read this thing with all the splotches on it. So I guess I'll say goodnight Willow. Maybe I'll dream about you, us dancing together at the Bronze, or walking through the cemetery on patrol, a mocha in one of my hands, your own warm palm in the other. I love you Will, and God, I miss you so much. Please take care of yourself.



By the time I get done reading that one, I have a few tears sliding down my cheek. It's almost like I can feel all the emotion she put into her words, every pen stroke like she was bearing just a little bit more of her soul.

But it's the last one that really has me reeling.

Dear Willow,

Another month has gone by, and it's just getting worse and worse. All I think about is you anymore. I dream every night of you, of us, together. I wonder almost every single moment what you're doing, who're you're with, and if you're safe. If anything other than that, please god I hope you're safe. That's always in the forefront of my mind. That you might be hurt or even worse. And I can't even begin to describe the panic and fear that grips me when I think like that

And over the last two months I've started to come to realize some things. Some scary things. About myself, about you, about our friendship. I've re-read over the other two letters I wrote you. I know, I know, I should have sent them. If anything it would have just let you know that I'm not lying dead in a ditch somewhere. For being the Slayer, I'm an awfully big coward when it comes to matters of the heart, aren't I? But in reading over the letters, I realized just how much of my heart I poured out onto the pages. And in realizing that, I've come to know just how big a piece of my heart you really do own.

Willow, over the last two years you've unknowingly, to both of us I think, become the center of my universe. Everything that's happened to me since arriving in Sunnydale, you've always been there right beside me, literally from day one. I've always come to you when I needed comfort. And you've always been right there, offering it to me unconditionally. God, even when Angel turned you were willing to do anything to help me. Even after he almost killed you.

And since I brought up that subject, I might as well get more to the point. I'm being beat around the bush Buffy, and it's not helping either of us.

A few days after I had gotten out of the hospital last spring I had an encounter with Angel that I never told you about. I still wasn't up to full strength, but I had enough in me to tire him out so that I didn't have to go running. But what he said to me, I can still hear his words echoing in my ears as I write this.

Let me ask you something Willow. Did you ever wonder why Angel sent Xander away that night in the hallway ? Why he came after you first and foremost? And even later with your fish. He went after you first again. He told me that night that he knew right where to hit me. That he didn't need to bother taking out Xander and Cordy and Giles and everyone else first, because he knew that the second he took you away from me, the moment he killed you, it would have killed me too. He said it was almost too perfect. That I let myself love someone that much that all he had to do was snap your neck and he would have killed me with you. And of course I denied it to him. Besides the fact that if I admitted anything it would have just given him all that much more pleasure, and made you even more of a walking target for him. So I beat his face till it was barely recognizable, until he finally managed to throw me off of him and race back into the sewers. But his words have haunted me ever since.

Because he was right. I do love you that much Willow. If something were to happen to you, it would kill me too, I have no doubt at all about that. But it's not just his words that have me writing this. It's the dreams I've been having too. Dreams of us Will. Holding hands and walking down the beach together at sunset. Dreams where we're lying in my bed, watching bad foreign soap opera's together, you curled in my arms with your head resting gently on my chest, my fingers playing through your silken auburn hair. Dreams of us walking through the middle of Sunnydale, our arms wrapped around each other's waist, goofy smiles permanently plastered onto our faces. Dreams where I scoop you up into my arms and impetuously kiss you like there's no tomorrow. Dreams where we make tender sweet love for hours, holding each other close and hearing the rhythmic beat of each other's heart.

I love you Willow.

And I'm in love with you too.

And that is the reason I've decided to come back home to Sunnydale. Back home to you. Because to me, you are home. Whether I ever give you this letter or not, whether I ever tell you how much I really do love you, you forever will be home to me Willow. And I need to come back to you.

In love forever,


There aren't enough words to describe what reading that letter has done to me. My legs have turned to Jell-O and I find myself sitting on the floor with my back against the sofa. If the soft leather wouldn't be holding me up, I know I would be flat on my back, I'm that bowled over. Reading it the first time didn't affect me as much as this time. I think the shock factor is starting to wear off, the real meaning behind her words slowly seeping into my consciousness.

Buffy loves me. Buffy is in love with me.

Or at least she was two years ago. A lot has changed, for both of us. I can't be sure she still feels the same way. But oh Goddess I hope she does. Because with those few pieces of crinkled paper all my dreams of the past four years have suddenly come to life. And the thought that it's too late is paralyzing me with fear. Tears are working their way down my cheeks in a constant river of salty wetness.

"Willow, what's wrong?!"

Oh god, I forgot that Buffy was waiting for me to get the first aid supplies. But in my own defense, I think I have a very good excuse for being preoccupied. I slowly look up at her, meeting her gaze timidly. "Buffy?" I barely more than whisper, while shakily holding the stack of papers up so she can see. She gets out of her chair and limps over to where I'm sitting on the floor and slides down next to me. I watch in rapture the way her strong muscles ripple underneath smooth tan skin. But I refuse to meet her eyes as she takes the stack of letters out of my hand and looks at them closely for the first time.

"Oh God." I look up into her face, her delicate beautiful face, and see it clenched in complete fear.

"Buffy.....what, uh, what exactly......" I trail off not really knowing how to broach the subject. I'm hoping she'll start, because I really want to know if she still feels that way about me, everything seems to have come to a standstill waiting to know if there is finally a chance for me to be with her.

"Will, where did you find these?" Uh oh, she's becoming defensive Buffy, definitely not a good sign. She always gets like this when she's afraid to face something.

"I was getting the bandages and ointment for your foot and I found them in a compartment in your bag." I tried to keep my voice as steady as possible.


She doesn't elaborate, all she says is 'Oh'. Which tells me absolutely nothing, except maybe for the fact that she doesn't want to talk about this. Which means that I guess I'm going to have to take the iniative.

"Buffy did you mean it?" Straight to the point. Where's my babbling when I need it? She turns her head to look at me, finally our eyes lock and for a split second I feel like I can see straight down to her soul. She hesitates before answering, but finally she sighs a bit and breaks my gaze.


"Do you still mean it? Do you still feel that way?" I don't remember ever being so forward and straight to the point about something this intense. But I needed to know. With every fiber of my being, I needed to know if she is still in love with me. She brings her eyes up to meet mine again, the green windows to her soul misted over with unshed tears.


I heave a huge sigh of relief, my shoulders sagging forward like a giant weight has just been lifted from them. My tears start coming even faster, the joy of knowing Buffy loves me completely overwhelming my senses.

"Oh god Willow, I'm so sorry. Please, just forget what you read, please! Just don't hate me ok?"

Buffy must have taken my relieved sigh as a bad signal, because the look on her face is enough to break my heart.

"Buffy, no you................"

"God, why did I even keep those? I mean I should have known that eventually you would find out. But I didn't want it to be this way! Can you ever forgive me Will?" She cut me off before I had a chance to finish telling her that everything was alright. That everything was perfect.


"I mean I probably would never have even told you in the first place. I mean Oz, hello, I definitely wasn't about to try and break you guys up by telling you." She cut me off again, babbling away, her face becoming more and more distraught with each word that passed her lips. She's apparently picked up at least one of my bad habits, who knew babbling was contagious?

"Buffy would you stop, please?" She turns her head back around to look me square in the eyes, tears marring her gorgeous features. Once I'm sure I have her undivided attention I slowly lean in and capture her silken lips with my own, reveling in the sweetness of her mouth for the second time tonight. I don't deepen the kiss, just try to convey all my love through the connection. I slowly break away and rest my forehead against hers. "I love you."

"What?" she asks me, barely whispering.

"I love you Buffy. I love you the same way you love me. I always have." I lean in again and bring our lips together for yet another sweet, wonderful kiss. Then I pull back to look into her sparkling green eyes.

"You love me?" Again she asks barely above a whisper, almost like she's too afraid to hope. And Goddess I know how that feels.

"Yes, I love you. I'm so in love with you that I can't see straight." Can't say that was my best choice of words, but it will have to do, puns aside.

"I love you too Will, so much. God, I love you so much!" The smile that lights up her face would be enough to outshine even the brightest of stars. And before I know what's happening she tackles me into the tightest embrace I could ever imagine. She's holding onto me for dear life, like she's afraid if she lets go, even a little, that I'll disappear and all of this will be a dream. And if it is a dream I'll be plenty happy to stay in Morpheus' arms with her for the rest of eternity. I honestly can't remember ever feeling so happy, so safe, so.............complete, than I do right now. It's the most incredible feeling I could describe and then some. But the spell breaks when I feel her start to pull away from me. No! Where'd my Buffy snuggles go?

"Will?" Uh oh, she has that hesitant look and I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

"Buffy, what is it?" I reach up and tenderly stroke away a strand of blonde hair that's come undone from her ponytail. I'm a little less worried when I feel her lean into my touch.

"Well, uh, what exactly does this mean? Are we, like, you know, a couple now?" She's blushing. Buffy is actually blushing. But she does have a good point. I mean I would love for us to be a couple. Love for us to do couply type things. I mean, that would make me Buffy's girlfriend. Just the thought of that sends tingles down my spine. But the problem is, I'm already Tara's girlfriend. Not a good sitch really. But the choice is easy. If Buffy wants me, I'm hers. I care about Tara, I really do. But Buffy's my heart, she's my everything really.

"What do you want?" Yep, better to find out how she feels first before I just come right out and tell her I'm willing to break up with Tara. Because I still have this overriding fear that this isn't really happening the way I think it is. Buffy slowly brings her hand up and cups my cheek in her palm, stroking ever so gently with the pad of her thumb.

"I want you. All I've ever really wanted is you Willow."

And that's all I needed to hear. Buffy wants me, I'm hers. It's really that simple. I think I've started crying again, because her fingers suddenly feel wet against my cheek, and she seems to be rubbing a tad bit more than she was. But hey, a girl has every right to cry when her biggest dream just became the best reality she could imagine. "I want you too Buffy. You have no idea how much." I lean in and place a soft kiss on her slightly parted lips once again, reaffirming my confession. Buffy starts to giggle though and it breaks the mood somewhat. "What's so funny, baby?" That just makes her laugh harder. Ok, I'm totally lost.

"I was just thinking, you're my girlfriend now, right Will?" I nod my head in an emphatic yes, but I still don't see what's so funny. "And you just called me baby, did you notice that too?" Actually, I hadn't realized I called her that. It just sorta slipped out. Can't say I'm sorry though. I really like the way it feels to call Buffy 'baby'. It's intimate, sweet, and I never realized how much I wanted to say that to her until this very moment. How much I wanted Buffy to hold me in her arms and just gaze into her eyes and call her romantic nicknames. I think I've become a total sap. And I honestly really don't care less right now! But now that I think about it, my calling her 'baby' made her laugh. That can't be all that good can it?

"Uh, well, I mean, it just kind of slipped out. I know, it's really soon and all, I can make sure not to do it again if it bot............." She shushed me with a gentle fingertip to my rambling lips.

"Will, don't ever apologize for something like that. I wasn't laughing really, I just couldn't believe all this is really happening. And just the thought of you being my girlfriend, it's amazing, and well I think I reverted back into the little girl that was such a hopeless romantic she could've put Danielle Steele to shame." And again Buffy blushes, it's so incredibly adorable. "And I swear if you ever tell any of the gang how you managed to turn me into a big old cornball..." She trails off, trying to give me her threatening 'Slayer stare', but it doesn't really carry the effect she was hoping for, because I can see the sweetest smile underneath it. Besides, I know she'd never do anything to me, not like I really am considering sharing everything that's happened tonight with the rest of the gang. No way, nuh uh, no siree. I can't even begin to think of the visuals Xander would start getting, or how many handkerchiefs Giles would go through cleaning his glasses. Or worse yet, how many crude none too subtle comments Anya would spout out. I think I actually shuddered at that thought, because Buffy is wrapping me up in another tight hug.

"Will, what's wrong?"

"Umm, what ARE we gonna tell the gang exactly? I mean, well I've had some time to adjust to certain things that go with all of this. But you haven't. Did you not want to tell them?" As much as it would pain me to have to show restraint with Buffy when we're around our friends, I'm willing to do pretty much anything to be with her. Even if it means keeping our relationship secret. Besides, hopefully she would come around after a few weeks and there wouldn't be a problem.

"Well I figured we could just wait and let them pick up on it themselves. I mean they're used to seeing you and Tara hold hands and..............." She trailed off the moment Tara's name came out of her mouth. And I know I'm going to have to reassure her that it's just the two of us from here on out. "Will, what about Tara?"

I take her hand softly into my palm, tracing little circles along her lifeline and up through her fingertips. "Buffy, I'm not going to lie and say that I don't love Tara, because I do." She casts her eyes downward away from my gaze, and her whole hand tenses up within my own. "But I'm not in love with her. I tried, I really did, to love her like that. I just couldn't. And if I really want to admit it, I'm not sure if I ever really was totally in love with Oz either. It's always been you Buffy. Since that first day I think. You've always been in the back of my mind whenever I was with someone else. And because of that I think I never fully opened my heart up to either of them." She's looking at me now. So intensely that I feel like our gazes are sealed permanently together. "Buffy, I want to be with you. Just you. I hope you believe that." I know the next words to leave my mouth are going to be the next obstacle. "But what about you? Do you love Riley?"


Wow, I didn't expect her to be that quick and decisive about it. Not that I really thought her and Riley were that totally solid. But I thought she did have feelings for him. I mean you don't sleep with a guy that often if you don't like him all that much, do you? Yeah, jealous and bitter about that damn frat house haunting. All that trouble just because Riley and Buffy couldn't come up for air. Oh yeah, super jealous. And the whole time before they scampered off upstairs to his room I was trying to distract her away from his roving eyes. Even sliding in a little trick question knowing she was unfortunately so wrapped up in Riley that she wouldn't even notice. But I had hoped that I could get her attention away from Dudley Do No Wrong, even for a few minutes. Nope, never spilled anything on her peasant top. I was just willing to do or say anything to get her mind off of that corn fed soldier idiot. Don't get me wrong, I like, er, liked Riley. Until he started taking Buffy away from me. I know, I know, we both had parts in it. But he was the reason I was without my best friend. Maybe if he hadn't come into the picture we would have been together right from the time Oz left. There was a couple of weeks right after the big breakup with my wayward boyfriend and before Buffy and Riley started dating that one of us could have said something. At least that way I wouldn't have to hurt Tara now. But I have to believe that I was meant to find those letters. That it was meant to work the way it did tonight. Maybe the cosmic powers are finally working for us this time instead of always against.

"Ok." That's all I really needed to know. She doesn't love Riley. That's plenty good enough for me.

She smiles at me, a genuine Buffy smile that lights up the entire living room. I can't help but smile back, the warmth, the love in her grin, it's contagious. "You're amazing, do you know that Will?" And her lips are upon mine once again. But this time is a bit different. I can feel the fire in her kisses, the passion, the desire, flowing straight from her eager mouth into my own. I gently part my lips, allowing her own roving tongue access to the deep caverns of my mouth. I return her gentle oral caresses with just as much desire, eagerly sucking her hot tongue into my mouth, deepening the kiss as much as possible. Buffy pulled away from me suddenly though, and for a brief moment I'm worried, until I feel her sweet lips start to trail a path of moist fiery kisses along my jaw line and down to my collarbone. Each kiss so soft yet passionate, igniting a fire within my body that I never knew could be started. It never felt like this with Oz and never with Tara. It's like my blood has turned into molten lava, racing through my veins, burning me in the best way imaginable. Every nerve ending in my body feels like it's coursing with static electricity. The feelings Buffy is causing with each sweep of her tongue on my bare skin, each soft kiss at the hollow of my throat, I've never imagined anything in my life could feel this wonderful, this perfect. I run my fingers through her hair as she ever so softly nips and sucks her way along my now bare shoulders and neck. I gently dig my fingers into her scalp a bit, bringing her head up and pulling her lips back into my own, crushing them together in 4 years of built up passion, love and desire. "I want you so much Will." Buffy huskily whispers, our lips still sealed together in a heated kiss. Her hand comes around from my hip where she had been holding our bodies in place, locked together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, and lazily starts to trail it up my sides, first over my ribcage and slowly around to the front of my stomach, just barely lifting my shirt up with her fingertips to ignite the already over sensitized skin of my abdomen. Her hand ever so slowly starts creeping farther and farther up my shirt and just as she's about to send me into a total hormonal tail spin, the phone rings. The damn phone rings!

"Oh you have got to be kidding me!" I think Buffy actually growled, literally growled, in frustration. 4 years of waiting just to get interrupted by the phone ringing. Yep, I'm pretty sure the Hellmouth has cursed us. Because this is downright mean. Buffy turns back around to face me after glaring at the still ringing phone for a few seconds. "Should I get it?"

"I think you better." We've already been interrupted, might as well make it worthwhile, at least as much as possible. Besides, only three people have the number out here, Giles, my parents and Buffy's mom. So whoever is calling, there's probably a pretty good reason. Which means smoochies are gonna have to be put on hold. Grumble Grumble. She heaves a very disappointed sigh, snatches another quick kiss from my swollen lips and hobbles over to the kitchen counter.

"Hello?" I can't remember the last time I heard Buffy sound so cranky. If ever actually. I really pity the poor person on other end of the line if it isn't something extremely important. "Mom?" Oh this can't be good. We've been gone for six hours and Mrs. Summers is already calling us. I'm only able to hear one side of the conversation, and Buffy doesn't seemed alarmed at all, just answering with a 'we're fine',. 'not much traffic', the standard 'how was your trip' replies.

As Buffy finishes up her conversation I slowly tiptoe over to the sliding glass door again and stare out into the moonlit, star filled sky, thanking each and every one of those stars for making my greatest wish come true. Buffy and I are together, finally, at last. Something I never really thought would ever happen. And now it has. Thank whoever it was that made me look in that compartment and find those letters. And thank Joyce for finding the bag to begin with. And not for the first time in the last half hour do I wonder if Joyce knew exactly what was in that bag, and THAT'S why she was giving both of us those strange little smiles before we left. I'm gonna have to give her a great big hug when we get back, because I'm starting to really think I'm on the right track with that theory. And if I AM right, that makes this even easier, because if she knows, she apparently approves. One less rather large hurdle to worry about. I guess I'm so wrapped up in my musings that I don't even notice that Buffy's hung up the phone, that is of course until I feel her slide her arms around my waist from behind and bury her face into my neck, causing the heat of a few moments before to start raging within me once again. She nuzzles my ear with her nose and then moves lower to plant a soft delicate kiss on my neck. I turn around within the circle of her arms to bring our lips together again, anxious to pick up where we left off. But as I lean into to capture those sweet silken lips, still slightly swollen from our previous activities, Buffy pulls away a bit.

"Shhh" Buffy silences my forthcoming protest with a gentle finger to my lips as she guides me over in front of the fireplace. Which just so happens to be burning brightly. Must be one of those remote gas things, because I didn't even have a clue she had started it up. She pulls a blanket from the back of the couch and settles it in front of the hearth, pulling me down with her and settling me in front of her and spooning me from behind. I sigh in utter contentment, staring into the flames a few feet in front of me, luxuriating in the feel of being completely wrapped up in Buffy's arms.

"I think we should wait."

Ok huh? That's definitely not what I was expecting from this little romantic fire setting. I have to wonder if she's having second thoughts. "Why?" Simple question, one word, so many answers could spring forth from it.

Buffy loosens her hold a bit and turns me around in her embrace so that we're facing each other. She still has her arms wrapped securely around me, but now we're within a hair's breath of each other's lips. She reaches up with one hand and ever so tenderly strokes my cheek. "I want the first time we make love to be the most special thing in the world. For both of us Willow. And it can't be, at least not for me, until you break things off with Tara." I start to protest, to tell her that it doesn't matter, that I'm not going to change my mind, that I want to be with her and only her, for the rest of our lives. But I realize she has a point. Even though I'm lying here in Buffy's arms, I'm technically still in a relationship with Tara. If we do this, no matter that my heart has forever belonged to the woman who holds me this very second, I'd still be cheating on Tara. "Willow, if we do this before you tell her about us, our first time together will always be tainted by it. I don't want that, and I know you don't either. Trust me, I want to do this more than I can tell you." I think I have a pretty good idea just how much she does, if the hand on my back that keeps inching it's way further and further south is any indication. "But I want you to tell her first. Can you understand that?"

"I understand Buffy. I know you're right. And I want everything to be perfect too. Just not sure how long I can wait though!" Oh boy, this is gonna be such a test in patience and willpower, I can tell already.

"Well then, just more incentive to get things settled with Tara as quick as you can." I shudder a bit at that, because I know that's not one conversation I'm really looking forward to. But the faster I do it, the faster Buffy and I can move ahead with our relationship. And I won't be having as much guilt about stringing Tara along that I'm starting to feel. I think Buffy must have felt the small tremor go through me, because she looks a bit hesitant. I lean in ever so slowly and catch her delicate lips in a sweet soft caress.



"Can you hold me? Just hold me like this. I know you want to wait, and you're right, but I can't bear not to feel your arms around me anymore. Not now." Yes, I've become addicted to the feel of her body pressed into mine, even if it won't lead to anything more right now. Just being in her arms, it's the most perfect feeling I've ever experienced.

"Always. You never have to ask again Willow." I nuzzle my cheek into her shoulder, burying my nose into the crook of neck as I feel her arms lock strongly around me once again. It may have been a long road from those letters, but it's finally led us home. To each other.

The End

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