DISCLAIMER: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all the slayerettes belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To thedatajunkie[at]gmail.com
SERIES: First of the Demon Series
There Once Was A Demon
By The Datajunkie
Anya glanced up as she spotted someone she recognized. Or rather something. "Wow. A Jauda demon. You don't see many of those running around unbound." She nodded at the tall black haired woman who had just sat down at the table next to theirs.
Willow put her book down and took a quick peek out of the corner of her eye. "She's a demon?" Anya nodded and resumed eating her lunch. Buffy was always on the look out for things that she might have to slay and wanted to know more. "So what's the sitch? She looks pretty non-threatening at the moment. Does she turn all green skinned and horny at night?" Everyone turned and looked at her strangely and Buffy clarified. She waved a hand over her head. "You know, horns?" They turned to Anya who was shaking her head.
"Just a little. Jauda are one of the more human-looking demons, but they're pretty rare. I'm amazed to see an unbound one, but boy did she pick the wrong place to be. Being in Sunnydale is like being a virgin on an island of volcanoes." Anya tossed her burger wrapper back into the bag and glanced up to find everyone watching her expectantly. "Oh, well I just mean that other demons will want to bind her to them."
Willow risked another quick look at the woman and then shrugged. "She's pretty I guess, but why would they-." Anya's laugh cut her off.
"No. I don't mean in a bed bouncing way," she paused and frowned slightly. "Well actually I guess I do mean that. But that's not the main reason. She's a kind of power booster."
Buffy rolled her eyes as Anya stopped again and began to pester Xander for ice cream. She tapped the table sharply. "Before you get ice cream you have to finish your report. And trust me; I'm way harsh in the grade department. Now talk."
Anya sighed. "Okay. Jauda demons can be bound to other demons," She paused again to consider and Buffy imagined reaching over and knocking on her forehead to see if anyone was home, which she was seriously beginning to doubt. Anya was nodding slowly. "Though you know, I don't see why they couldn't be bound to humans. I guess none could ever catch them though."
"Okay, okay! Don't be so grouchy. Once bound to a demon they enhance the demon's powers and make it way much harder to kill. Almost impossible in fact, because you'd have to kill them both at the same time." She knew what Buffy was going to ask. "No, I don't know how to kill one. Though I can tell you that they are an absolute bitch to catch. I spent three months trying to catch one in Greece a couple of centuries back. All that effort and I lost her to a slime demon. Why in the world would a slime demon want to boost his powers?" Disgusted, but still hoping for ice cream, Anya turned to Xander with pleading eyes. "That's all I know, really. Can we get ice cream now?"
Xander patted her arm stood up to leave. "Call me the Good Humor man. See you later guys." They could hear Anya asking him why he wanted to be called Good Humor and was this like when he had her call him master.
Buffy shook her head. "Way too much information."
Willow nodded slowly. "Way." She spoke softly. "I'm kind of wondering why you went third degree on Anya."
Buffy shrugged. "No reason. Always good to know what you might be staking the next day." Buffy watched the woman set her lunch aside and pull several textbooks from her backpack. The titles were eye-catching. "Quantum Physics? Advanced Calculus? I may have to slay this girl just to save her from herself."
She was only kidding, but Willow wasn't amused. "That's not funny, Buffy. She must have to live in constant fear of being caught and bound to whatever creepy, icky demon that finds her."
"Easy Will. I wasn't serious, but you know that it's probably only a matter of time before I have to face down a demon that's got its own energizer Jauda. I can't let myself feel sorry for her if I'm going to have to do the slaything." Buffy wondered what kind of masochistic tendencies had led her to Sunnydale. "She's definitely in the wrong town." Buffy stood up and crumpled their lunch remains into a tight ball. She tossed it high and watched it sink into the trash can several feet away with a satisfying smirk. "And she scores, of course. Some days it's good to be the Slayer."
Willow handed Buffy her books and glanced at her watch. "And some days it's bad to be the Slayer, especially when the Slayer is late for her last class." Buffy groaned took off running, calling over her shoulder. "See you later, Will." Willow waved and turned back to the demon. She was gone.
Willow looked up absently as the library door opened, tensing as she realized who had just entered. The Jauda demon smiled at Willow in greeting and then moved to an empty table beside her. She stacked her books on the table and pulled out a sheet of paper. Willow watched her head down one of the isles and felt a weird urge to follow her. Wondering why she was doing it, she got up and went after her. Not seeing her in the first few isles, she increased her pace, fearing that the demon had given her the slip. Willow turned the corner to the next section at a fast clip, making it impossible to avoid colliding with the person who was coming the other way. "Umph!" Books scattered across the floor and Willow felt herself falling backwards. Strong hands caught her around the waist and steadied her as she looked up a few inches into moss-green eyes. She stammered a thank you and pulled out of the demon's arms.
Kellem Duivel smiled at the faint blush that spread across the witch's cheeks and nodded her head in acknowledgement as she bent to retrieve her scattered books. She supposed that she could put her interest down to curiosity and that's all Kellem hoped it was.
Willow immediately dropped to her knees and helped her, though she really felt like running in the other direction. Her heart was thudding so loudly in her ears that she didn't hear the demon when she spoke the first time. A faint touch on her arm had her head whipping around in surprise and not a little fear. "W-what?"
Kellem saw the fear and realized that the witch knew what she was. Or at least part of it. "Easy. I said, my name is Kellem." She held out her hand and watched the quick war that waged in the other girl's eyes. She apparently decided that a handshake couldn't hurt and Kellem felt the warm clasp of her hand.
A revelation that made her blush again for some reason, Kellem noted and refused to release her hand when Willow tried to pull away. Instead she used her grip to pull her close and whispered softly. "I don't bite." Which wasn't strictly true, but this was no time to go into details.
Willow frowned at her and whispered back, "What are you doing here?"
Kellem quirked an eyebrow at that and smiled slightly. "Improving my mind?"
That startled a grin from Willow. "Good answer. But I mean besides that."
Kellem felt something twist inside of her at the sight of Willow's smile and spoke impulsively, "Trying to get a date for Saturday night. Are you busy?" Kellem watched the faint blush turn in to a deep rose and spread down the witch's neck. There was a stunned look of surprise in her eyes and Kellem knew she'd struck out. Well that answered her question she supposed, not a little disappointed. "Oh well, can't blame a girl for trying. See you around, Willow." She gathered up the rest of her books and left the stunned witch speechless. Funny though, she would have sworn
Willow drew a shaky breath and slowly got to her feet. She retrieved own books and left the library, trying to ignore what she feared was a tingle of regret.
Buffy leaned back against the tree and studied Willow. She had been chattering on for several minutes now about her run in with the Jauda demon in the library and Buffy was beginning to suspect that something more was going on. It wasn't what she was saying so much as it was what she wasn't saying. That and the tinge of color that would periodically fill her face. Unless Buffy was very much mistaken Willow was trying to hide something from her. Knowing from past experience that that was a bad thing, Buffy reached over and took her hand. "Will? Take a deep breath." The witch did as she asked and Buffy nodded. "Now let it out." The whooshing sound made Buffy smile and she squeezed the hand she held. "Now tell me what happened to make you so scrambled. Did she threaten you?"
Willow wondered if making a pass could be considered a threat. She felt her face heat again. 'N-no, not exactly." Knowing that Buffy wasn't going to let this go, she blurted it out quickly. "Sheaskedmeoutonadate."
Buffy blinked and mentally slowed the sentence down. A date? She asked Will The feeling that swept over Buffy in that instant surprised her more than what had happened. She felt herself tense as if about to do battle and had to remind herself not to crush Willow's hand as her other curled into a fist. Jealousy, she realized that she was feeling jealousy. Over Willow. In the back of her mind she knew that it probably made sense, in a weird, not quite sane way.
Willow peered at her anxiously wondering why she looked so angry. "I-I said no," she offered, fearing that Buffy might have thought that she'd accepted. Which she wouldn't have, because she wasn't like that. Nope she was Willow Rosenberg and she was as straight as a board. Really. Except maybe she had a little bitty, teeny tiny crush on a certain blonde slayer, but that didn't count. Truly.
Buffy shook her head slightly to clear it and focused on her best friend in the whole world who she was not being jealous over, but merely protective. Yeah right. Buffy ignored the snide little voice inside of her. "Oh I know. I mean I know you wouldn't, cause you're not like that," she finished lamely and ignored the voice as it pointed out how much Buffy wished Willow was like that. Shut up! "So I guess I better see what this demon is doing here. I'll meet you later at Giles', okay?" She was gone before Willow could respond.
Willow sat under the tree and stared morosely at the grass beneath her. She had an uneasy feeling that she may have upset Buffy in some way, but she could not even begin to guess how. It's not like she was hanging around the library trying to get a date with a girl .
Two black and white running shoes appeared in front of her and she raised her eyes, following the legs encased in worn blue jeans as they turned into surprisingly well-shaped thighs and swelled into the curve of hips. A blue t-shirt was tucked into the jeans and Willow swallowed as her gaze slid past a respectable bust line and rose to connect with laughing familiar green eyes.
Kellem crossed her ankles and sank gracefully into an Indian-style sitting position, much like Willow's own. "Hi. I'm sorry about if I embarrassed you before. I didn't realize that you were seeing someone."
Willow suddenly understood. Kellem thought that she and Buffy were Heat suffused her features and Kellem tilted her head to one side as she contemplated the young witch.
"You do that a lot, don't' you?" At Willow's baffled look she elaborated. "Blush, I mean. There's nothing to be embarrassed about. This is year 2000 for pity's sake! You shouldn't be ashamed to be yourself, even if that self is a lesbian witch."
Willow thought she'd swallowed her tongue. But the cheerful demon sitting across from her was not finished.
"I mean, look at me! I'm a demon for pity's sake! You can bet that once I faced that fact, accepting that I was gay was a breeze!" Silently Kellem admonished herself for teasing the younger girl, but she just loved watching the color drain from her face then rush back again.
"I-I-I-I'm not gay!" Willow was flabbergasted and she kept shaking her head as she spoke. "I date a musician, uh, well, actually he left me, but I'm not gay!" The last was a rather desperate wail and Kellem felt sorry that she had teased her.
She patted her knee in sympathy. "Hey, calm dawn. It's okay. I didn't mean to upset you. I'm sorry."
Willow was still ruffled, but she accepted the apology. "As long as you realize that you were wrong, really, really wrong. Totally way off base." She mumbled a little more about how wrong Kellem had been until she seemed to run down.
"I'm sorry Willow. I just saw how that girl was looking at you and thought that it was mutual." Kellem casually plucked at the grass and waited for Willow to go off again. She really should try to behave herself better, but it was so much fun! To her surprise Willow didn't go off. Instead she blushed again and bent her head to stare at the ground.
"H-how was she looking at me?" As soon as the words left her lips, Willow wished she could call them back. But Kellem was already answering.
"Like the sun rises and sets in your eyes." Kellem suddenly understood the situation and she felt terrible about her earlier teasing. "The same way you look at her."
"R-really?" That hesitant, not-daring-to-hope question made Kellem's heart ache. To love somebody like that
"Yes, really. If you don't believe me then look for yourself. It's pretty obvious that she's gone over you." A shrill beep made them jump and Kellem pressed the button on the side of her watch to silence the alarm. "Damn. I have to go or I'll be late for work." She tore a piece of paper out of her notebook and scribbled a number. "Here. If you need to talk, give me a call. I usually get off at nine." Kellem paused and took Willow's hand. "I don't want to leave until I know you're going to be okay."
Willow forced a smile and shrugged. "I'll be fine. I'm meeting Buffy later. I'm okay."
Kellem nodded and stood up. "The eyes Willow. Watch her eyes." She raised a hand and turned to leave, still troubled that she had inadvertently caused Willow pain.
Willow picked up her backpack and rose, mumbling to herself as she left. "The eyes, huh? Okay, eyes it is."
From her position behind the tree, Buffy heard her words and felt a shiver of anticipation. She had seen the demon heading for Willow and had gotten as close as she could, which for her was pretty close. She told herself that she was guarding Willow, but she knew that the chances of the demon being stupid enough to try something on a crowded campus in full daylight were slim and none. In truth she had been more worried about the woman asking her out again and Buffy knew that she was developing major Willow issues.
Buffy heard the most amazing thing as she neared Giles front door. The sound of Willow yelling. At Giles. Not quite sure that had ever happened before, Buffy hurried inside, eager to see the show. She was disappointed to find that argument had returned to a lower decibel level. Oh well, maybe a yelling Willow was like a unicorn, existing in myth alone. Actually she wasn't too sure about unicorns. She'd been meaning to ask Giles. Buffy was jerked from her mental wandering by one word: murder.
Giles was polishing his glasses with furious motions and shaking his head as Willow glared at him. "I'm sorry Willow, but there is no other choice. Believe me, I-I wish there was, but a Jauda demon on the Hellmouth is like a-a time bomb waiting to go off. We must take steps to ensure that she isn't bound to a more powerful demon."
Buffy suddenly understood what steps Giles was talking about. "You mean I must take steps." Giles turned to her in relief. She would understand. "Ah Buffy I'm so glad you're, ah," he picked up a large book and opened it to a marked page. " here. I've been trying to explain to Willow why-."
Buffy interrupted him. "Why I have to murder this girl."
Giles blinked rapidly at her flat tone. "R-Really I hardly think you could call it murder."
Willow was glad to see that Buffy wasn't anxious to kill her either. "You see, even Buffy thinks it's wrong!"
Giles closed the book with a snap and tucked it under his arm as he began to polish his glasses again. "You've slain demons before, why would-."
Buffy crossed her arms in front of her defensively. "Why would I have a problem with this one?" Giles nodded. "Maybe because all of the other demons I killed have been trying to kill me or someone else or take over the world and any other number of demony type things! You know what this girl has been doing today? Going to classes. Going to work." She looked at Willow. "She works in that bookstore down town, you know the one?" Willow nodded, of course she did. It was her favorite. "She gets the same look on her face around books that you two do." Buffy couldn't find the words to express the sense of wrongness she got when she thought about killing this demon. "It's not right Giles. She hasn't done anything!"
"She is a weapon, Buffy! If she falls into the wrong hands then it could have terrible consequences for everyone. She has to be neutralized."
Willow spoke softly. "What a nice, clean way of saying murdered." She ran out the front door, slamming it behind her.
Buffy looked at Giles. "Can you at least try to find another way to 'neutralize' her?"
Giles reluctantly agreed. "I promise that I will try to find another way, but if I don't "
"Then I'll slay her."
Buffy caught up with Willow outside the cemetery near the collage. "Hey Will!" She matched her stride to Willow's and threw a companionable arm around her shoulders. "So what book did you make off with?"
"Wha-what makes you think I-." She stumbled to a halt and turned to Buffy. "That obvious, huh?"
"Not at all. I saw your reflection in the bookcase as you slipped it into your bag. So what was the book?"
"Torvin's Demonology. It's about binding demons."
"Cool." She pulled a book out from under her sweatshirt. "I tagged this one on the way out. The Illustrated Guide to Demons." Willow looked at her in amazement and Buffy shrugged. "Well, you can't have a research party with only one book."
Buffy closed the door of the small refrigerator and turned around to see one of her most deeply hidden fantasies before her. Willow had stretched out on the slayer's bed, her hair fanning around her face and spreading over Buffy's pillow. Maybe it was the conversation she had overheard and the fact that Buffy now knew how she felt about her, but the slayer was having serious problems focusing on anything but Willow. Willow flipped a page of the book resting on her chest and raised one knee, and the unconscious pose made Buffy's mouth go dry. The cans of soda she had been holding slipped free and only her incredible reflexes saved them before they hit the floor. She cursed silently and reminded herself that she was going to let Willow take her time. After the mess with Oz, Buffy didn't want to take advantage of her friend's possibly fragile emotional state.
"Here you go." Willow smiled up at her, held out her hand and Buffy thought she might melt as her over active imagination put other meanings to her actions. She quickly handed the drink to her and marched herself over to sit on Willow's bed. Willow's bed. I have got to control this! Just because she admitted that she wants you is no excuse to what I am I saying? Of course it is! Buffy looked at Willow again and sighed.
Willow read the page in front of her for about the fifteenth time and wondered how it had gotten so hot in here. She had seen the heated look that Buffy had given her from the fridge and had immediately hidden back between its pages. Her heart was racing and as she watched Buffy come towards her she could actually hear each thud as it careened off her chest. She popped the top and watched the slayer sit down on her bed with regret. Why don't you sit here? She mentally whapped herself in the head and took a long drink from the can, hoping to cool down a little.
The can Buffy was holding halted halfway to her lips as she watched Willow put her lips to the cold metal. The muscles of her throat rippled as she drank and Buffy bit her lip to keep a small sound in check. Willow lowered the can and Buffy saw the pink tip of her tongue sweep out to catch a stray drop.
Willow saw the slayer watching her as she drank and she would never know what imp of mischief made her lick her lips. The sound of Buffy's drink can exploding made her jerk and Willow saw the mangled remains clenched in her fist. Drink dripped from her hand and the small puddle on the carpet should probably be cleaned up, but as Willow met Buffy's eyes she saw what Kellem had seen. Without giving herself a chance to think, Willow set her own drink down and crossed to Buffy. The hiss of Buffy's sharply drawn breath was ignored as Willow knelt in front of her. She carefully pried the slayer's fingers from the metal and tossed the can aside.
Buffy couldn't speak, she couldn't breath. All she could do was wait and see where this beautiful witch wanted to take her.
Willow cupped her hand and brought it to her mouth. Buffy couldn't stop the low moan that escaped when she felt the first touch of Willow's tongue. The sudden heat against her cooler flesh was indescribable and when Willow took the first finger into her mouth to suck away the sweet liquid, Buffy thought she would faint. Willow couldn't believe what she was doing but it felt so right that she just had to continue and hope that Buffy wouldn't hate her. Wouldn't stop her. All of the signals she was getting pointed to the exact opposite.
The faint scrape of her teeth across the pad of her thumb made Buffy gasp and she automatically gripped Willow's shoulder in an attempt to steady herself. Once there, her hand slid up and tangled in the scarlet strands of Willow's hair. Willow dipped her tongue into the space between Buffy's middle and index fingers and suddenly it was too much.
Buffy used her hold on Willow's hair to raise her face and fell to her knees as she captured her mouth with her own. Willow felt the aggressive thrust of Buffy's tongue and welcomed it, dragging her hands up the slayer's sides and pushing her shirt out of the way. Buffy felt Willow's hands roaming over her bare skin and a small whimper escaped her at the quivering flesh she left behind. Willow broke their kiss long enough to tug the shirt up and off of Buffy and then she took her face between her hands and brought her back. Buffy was struggling with the buttons on the front of Willow's blouse, but as Willow began to suck on her earlobe she lost control and the thin fabric ripped. Willow heard the sound dimly but she was more interested in the fact that Buffy was now cupping her breasts and kneading them with agile fingers. The light tugs on her nipples made Willow tremble and she laved the hollow at the base of Buffy's throat, which made the slayer tremble. When her mouth closed over the tip of Buffy's breast, Willow heard an almost inhuman sound escape the slayer. Buffy shot to her feet, swept Willow into her arms and was across the room in an instant. Willow felt the soft press of the mattress below her and the firm body of the slayer above her, as Buffy lay on top of her, tossing the books to the floor. "Oh God, Will! Are you sure about this?" Buffy hated to ask, hated to give her a chance to stop this, but Willow was her best friend and she valued that above all else.
Willow saw the fierce struggle Buffy was going through and smiled softly. She raised her hands and brushed the hair back away from the slayer's face. "I'm sure, Buffy. I-I love you, you know?"
In that moment Buffy thought her heart might burst from pure happiness. "God. Willow. I love you." She settled herself against the sweet witch that had enchanted her and buried her face in her neck. Willow smiled as Buffy kissed her way down her body and gasped as she began to kiss her breasts with the utmost attention. Buffy's hands gripping her waist was the only thing keeping Willow from bucking under the tender onslaught and she grinned around the breast that filled her mouth. She let her teeth close around one sensitive peak and was rewarded by Willow's abrupt, "Buffy!"
Willow felt Buffy's hand glide down her stomach and under the edge of her jeans. Her breath caught and she opened her eyes to find Buffy staring at her. Willow met her steady gaze and held it as the slayer's hand moved lower. The button and zipper were undone and Willow vaguely wondered how she had managed that without her noticing. All thoughts fled however, when Buffy's fingers breached the tangled curls that covered Willow. Buffy saw her eyes darken as she let her fingertips trace the wet folds and Willow's gasps of pleasure made her own body respond in kind. Willow pushed at the material of her jeans. Wanting it gone and then suddenly it was. Buffy tossed them aside feeling her throat tighten as Willow raised her knee, unknowingly mimicking her earlier pose and sending the slayer's control out the window.
Willow saw the stark desire on Buffy's face an instant before she fell on her and began an unrelenting assault. Willow clenched the pillow under her head and tried not to scream as Buffy's mouth moved over her and in her, making the young witch writhe in pleasure. Just when Willow thought she wouldn't be able to stand another instant of the intense sensations coursing through her, Buffy let her fall.
As her entire body convulsed, Willow could hear Buffy urging her on and felt the firm press of her lips against her forehead. Grounded by her touch, Willow sank back into her body and found Buffy waiting for her with such an arrogant look of smugness that she had to laugh. "Pleased with yourself, are you?"
Buffy grinned and nodded happily. "Oh yeah. It's not everyday I get to wow a witch with a little magic of my own." Willow returned the grin and sat up, pushing the slayer onto her back. Buffy felt her mouth go dry again as a naked Willow straddled her hips and leered down at her. "My turn, Slayer. Can't have you claiming to be a better spell caster than me." Buffy moaned involuntarily as the redheaded witch bent to attack her breasts and she managed to reply, "No, we, ah! Wouldn't want that."
Buffy stretched mightily and rolled over to wrap her arm around no one. Buffy blinked at the empty space beside her and then turned to see that Willow wasn't in her own bed either. Morning sunlight streamed in through the windows, bathing the room in a warm glow, but all Buffy felt was cold. She wrapped the sheet around her and wondered if she was doomed to this kind of thing.
At that moment Willow's head popped up beside the bed and Buffy jerked back in surprise.
She knew her hair was a little tangled and she was pretty sure there was a foolish grin permanently stuck on her face, but Willow didn't care. She loved Buffy and Buffy loved her back and Buffy was looking a little too relieved about something. Willow climbed back into the bed, leaving the books she had been reading on the floor. "What's wrong?" Buffy just shook her head and buried her face in Willow's neck. "Nothing. Just happy you're here."
Willow hugged the slayer tightly and wondered if there was a really nasty spell she could cast on some of the guys in Buffy's past. Especially Riley. Sleeping with the evil slayer was a major no-no, even if she had been in the body of the good slayer at the time. An unreasonable argument, but Willow had decided to forgo reasonable in favor of being in love. "Of course I'm here. You're here. Where else would I be?"
Buffy had to smile at Willow's perfect logic. "You're right, Will. What was I thinking?" Willow planted a quick kiss on her lips and started to retrieve the books, but then she paused and turned back to repeat the caress. A little slower this time and a little longer. Buffy sighed in pleasure and deepened the kiss. The books lay forgotten in the morning light as they found better things to study.
Buffy scowled at the t-shirt and shorts that Willow now wore and grumbled as she dressed. "I still say why get dressed when we can research perfectly well naked." Willow's smirk was not lost on the slayer and she pulled her sweatshirt down over her head before sticking her tongue out at her in response. The smirk turned into a grin and Willow patted the floor next to her. "Come on. We can play naughty later, right now we have to play study."
Buffy obediently seated herself next to her lover and muttered, "I'd rather play naughty."
Willow handed her a book and tapped her knee. "I know you would. But we need to find a way to neutralize a Jauda demon. I'm afraid that what I read this morning wasn't very promising."
An hour later they were still no closer to an answer and Buffy was beginning to think that she might have to slay Kellem in order to save her. "Maybe there's another book at Giles'?"
Willow shook her head. "These are the best he has since MOO destroyed most of his collection. He's been slowly rebuilding but you can't just order a nine hundred year old book from anywhere." Buffy nodded and read the passage about Jauda demons again. She wished that they had some kind of fault, a bad habit maybe, like eating small children or picking their teeth with the bones of their prey or anything to make this easier. "Well there's no way she'll be safe here. According to this, once bound, Jauda make the master they're bound to stronger in every way and much more difficult to kill, to the point of almost immortality."
Willow froze as a wild thought entered her mind. She tried to shoo it out again, but it had decided that it liked its new surroundings and made every indication that it was going to be staying for a while. Willow sighed and gave in, looking at the idea more closely. Considering the amount of danger that the slayer was exposed to and considering the fact that a harder to kill slayer meant a longer-lived slayer, Willow wondered if it would be possible to bind the demon to Buffy.
Buffy saw the faint twitch in Willow's eye start, which usually meant she was thinking of something that could be bad. "Out with it, Willow. What are you thinking?"
Willow drew a deep breath and exhaled. "Let's bind her to you."
Buffy blinked several times and tried figure out just exactly when Willow had lost her mind. "Uh, Will? Are you sure that you wanted to say what you just said?"
Willow nodded impatiently. "Think about it, Buffy. It would make you harder to kill. You would be stronger. You'd be a super slayer!" Willow was caught up in the idea now.
"Look Will, I don't think I'm allowed to be bound to something that I'm supposed to kill. It might even make the Watchers do something stupid like sending out their little goon squad again. And besides, what would Giles say?"
Willow lost her enthusiasm at that and agreed that Giles would not be pleased by such a development. "Yeah, you're right, but what are we going to do?"
Buffy tucked a strand of hair behind Willow's ear and sighed. "We don't have to do anything. I am probably going to have to slay her."
"But Buffy " Willow stopped seeing the dark shadows that were crowding the slayer's eyes. She didn't want to kill her anymore than Willow did. "I wish there were something we could do. She-she's nice! I don't think I would have had the guts to do what I did last night if it hadn't been for what she said." Willow realized that she hadn't told Buffy about her second conversation with Kellem. "Uh, actually, I-I meant to tell you about that. You see-." Buffy shook her head and smiled
"I saw her heading for you and doubled back. I heard what you guys were talking about."
Willow wasn't sure if she was relieved because she didn't have to tell her or mad because Buffy had eavesdropped. She went with a combination of both. "You listened?"
Buffy pulled her knees up to her chest and rested her chin on them. "I told myself that I was worried about your safety, but I was jealous." She saw Willow's grin and laughed. "Go ahead enjoy yourself. It's only fair."
Willow felt all fuzzy inside at her admission. "That's great! Well I mean, not great, uh, bad actually, well not bad bad, but unfortunate maybe."
Buffy leaned close and kissed her, effectively stopping her ramble. She pulled back and watched the color flood her cheeks again. "I get it Willow. Happy that I care enough to be jealous, but no reason to be, right?" Willow nodded and picked up the book on demonology again.
"Too bad we can't bind her to you." Buffy stretched out on the floor and began her morning exercises. "Then I wouldn't have to worry about you so much when we patrol." Willow watched the slayer count off sit-ups and felt her eye begin to twitch again as another wild idea sprang to life. Actually she was afraid that it was the first wild idea, but now it was growing, mutating into something weirder. She rapidly flipped through the pages of the book until she came to the part about the binding ceremony. She read it again and then, to make sure, a third and fourth time. It could be done. Maybe. She picked up the other book as Buffy switched to push-ups and checked it. The same vague wording. It was possible. More than possible if you looked at why it hadn't been done before.
Buffy counted silently to herself and wondered what Willow was planning. When she'd begun to speed through the pages, obviously looking for something, Buffy had hoped that she had an idea. But now as she watched her grow tense and for Willow, even pensive, she wondered if she wanted to know. Finally she sat back and looked up at her. "Spill it Will. You look like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders."
Willow didn't lose her serious expression. "No, just the fate of one life."
"What if we bound her to both of us?"
Buffy frowned. "How is that different than binding her to just me? Giles will still go postal." She didn't mention the Watcher's special Ops force. They didn't worry her. But Giles
"I don't care what Giles will think!" She blushed deeply and amended that. "I mean I do care, but Buffy we're talking about killing someone on the off chance that they might turn bad."
It didn't sit well with Buffy either, but after all of her years fighting demons, she had learned that sometimes it was best to stop something before it got started. "I know Will, but I could wind up facing something that I couldn't handle."
"Ah hah! Or you could be strong enough to beat anything that makes the mistake of showing its face in Sunnydale. Then there's ADAM. Y-you said that you had major problems with him last time, now you could crush him like a fly! And we wouldn't have to kill somebody who didn't deserve it."
"Yeah, but why both of us?"
"Because it splits the power. That's probably why it's never been done before. What demon in his right mind would want to share power?" Willow read the passage about the binding ceremony and Buffy was nonplused. "That's a little gruesome, Willow. Even for me."
Willow agreed that it seemed a bit much, but what choice did they have? "Well?"
"Let me think about it for awhile, okay?" Buffy glanced at the clock and groaned. "I'm gonna be late for class again. See if you can find out any down sides to this and I'll meet you later at the cemetery, okay?" She was dressing hurriedly as she spoke and was out the door before Willow could answer.
Willow looked down at the ink drawing of a binding ceremony that had been in the back of the book, glad that she had not shown it to Buffy.
Giles read the passage again to make sure and then closed the book with a decisive snap. He spoke softly, his words lost in the empty room. "There's no choice. She must die." Giles took his glasses off and laid them on the desk. Leaning back in his chair he rubbed his eyes and wondered if he should spare Buffy this and just do it himself. On the heels of that thought came the reality that this person, no matter how nice, was still a demon and a rather strong one at that. Besides, there was the problem of the demon's special defenses. He was very much afraid that Buffy was the only person who could slay the Jauda.
He wandered into the kitchen and put the kettle on without being conscious of it. Those that had them, so ingrained as to become an essential part of the whole, rarely noticed habits of a lifetime. Giles leaned against the counter and asked himself if he had done all that he could do in this matter. He'd consulted the books and information available to him, he'd even contacted some of his old friends who were still with the watchers, but they had been a tad overzealous in their insistence that a good demon was a dead demon. Giles' reply had been short and explicit and he very much doubted that he would be getting a Christmas card from them this year.
The whistle blew and Giles turned and stared at it in confusion. "Tea? Hmm." He returned to his desk and was just seating himself when the front door opened and to reveal a very determined Buffy.
Buffy glanced at her watch as she left Giles' and realized that she was not going to make it to the cemetery before sunset. She cursed under her breath and quickened her pace. She had been wasting her time, with the former watcher and Buffy was beginning to suspect that Giles didn't want to find a way to save this demon. When she'd pressed him about it he'd gone all uptight and nonverbal, just handing her a crossbow and pointing at the door. Buffy slipped through the gates of the cemetery and removed it from her duffel bag. Maybe Willow can find out what's up with him.
The long shadows had crept across the gravel path in front of Willow until they had met the dark places of the graves and tombs around her, and then rose to form the eerie pall of night. Willow shivered and wondered where Buffy was and what might have delayed her and why wasn't she hurrying faster?
The faint breeze was chilly and Willow pulled her jacket closer around herself and tried to focus on the problem at hand. She had been searching everywhere she could think of online, but there was very little information on Jauda and Willow not happy about it. She had hoped to find enough information to convince Buffy that the binding ceremony was safe and had no side effects. Instead she had found next to nothing. They were just so rare that very little had been written about them.
There was a faint crunch and Willow stiffened, every sense on alert. The sound had come from behind her and she had a brief moment to wonder if it was a vampire and grip her stake before a hand settled on her shoulder. Willow yelled and whirled, lashing out with her stake. The dust settled thickly over her shoes as the vampire died, but she ignored it and stared at the two remaining vamps that were approaching her. Willow decided that discretion was the absolute best part of valor and turned to run. She got about two feet before they caught her and then Willow screamed, "BUFFY!"
A low growl filled the air and the vampires paused, looking around for the intruder. The growl came again, louder this time and Willow saw two brilliant green eyes glowing from the shadows.
Across the cemetery Buffy heard Willow's scream and began to run faster than she had ever run in her life, leaping over headstones and darting around tombs.
The vamp holding Willow shoved her to the ground and joined his friend as they approached the intruder. Willow had only brief glimpse of the creature as it exploded from the underbrush and attacked the vampires.
Buffy rounded a tomb, saw Willow on the ground and felt her heart stop until she realized that she was okay. A vampire stumbled backwards and landed at her feet, so Buffy did the sensible and staked him, wondering vaguely what had shredded his face into hamburger. The growls and snarls from the remaining combatants drew her attention.
The demon pushed its hand into the vamp's chest, ripping his heart out and handing it to him in the moment before he disintegrated. Blood coated her hand and Kellem licked at it absently as she turned to Willow and Buffy. "You okay?"
Willow nodded, staring at the woman demon. ""F-fine. Um, thank you?"
Kellem knew what she looked like and had thought that she had come to terms with her demon appearance, but something in Willow's eyes made her very self-conscious. She waved a bloody, clawed hand at Buffy. "Are you going to let her sit on the ground all night? She'll catch cold." Buffy jerked into action and helped Willow to her feet and tried very hard to remind herself that she was going to have to kill this beautiful demon. It was ridiculous, really, but there was something about her
Pale blue skin gleamed slightly in the moonlight and the wind made the black mane of hair seem alive. Buffy barely noticed the long-fingered claws or the two small horns that had sprung from her forehead as she was too caught up in Kellem's deep emerald gaze.
Kellem could feel the reaction they were having to her and sighed. "Damn. I'm sorry about this, but I can't help it. It's a natural defense mechanism for my kind. I'd like to find out what you two were doing out here, but I don't think I should stay here much longer. I can feel things starting to surface and they're going to sense that I'm around. I'll talk to you later Willow." Willow smiled softly and nodded, not hearing a word she had said. Kellem rolled her eyes and snapped her fingers in front of the blonde. "Hey! Snap out of it!"
Buffy blinked rapidly and focused on the demon in front of her. "What? You-." Kellem held up a hand to forestall any questions, she had only a few seconds before the girl fell back under the spell. "Take Willow home, okay? Now." She turned Buffy around and pushed her towards Willow who was still staring at her longingly. Kellem quickly made herself scarce, knowing that the effect would fade as soon as she left.
Buffy felt the fog lifting from her mind and looked at Willow. "How am I supposed to kill her now?"
Buffy virtually shoved Willow into their dorm room and slammed the door behind her. She hit the lock and kicked off her shoes as Willow fought with the fastenings of her jacket. Buffy caught the bottom and lifted it up and off of Willow, who immediately went to work on removing the slayer's jeans. Buffy tugged her own coat off and literally tore the shirt from Willow's back.
Willow grinned at the sound and then moaned at the touch of Buffy's hands as they moved hurriedly over her skin, trying to touch her everywhere at once. They tussled with their clothing for a few moments more until at last they were free and Buffy found herself on the floor with a very aroused witch on her hands in her hands. Willow felt Buffy push her legs open a split second before she felt the hot swipe of Buffy's tongue across her core. Willow's entire body convulsed as Buffy explored her and she saw the world curl in on itself as she tried to twist away, the sensations too intense. Buffy gripped her thighs and held her down as she continued to tease the fiery witch. Willow's arm flailed about wildly until she touched her jacket. She grabbed the cloth and bit into it, trying to muffle the scream of her release.
Buffy moved back up her body, kissing and touching Willow, bringing the fire back into her blood. Buffy finally reached her lips and devoured them until Willow could not tell where Buffy ended and she began. Slipping her leg between Willow's, Buffy brought them closer than they had ever been and began to move against her. The wild urgency that gripped them was relentless and Willow knew somewhere in the back of her mind that this was something else. She arched up, meeting the slayer's thrusts eagerly until they could stand it no longer and the tension burst over them in a frenzied rush, leaving them exhausted and trembling.
Buffy could feel her heart thudding against the wall of her chest and tried to pull herself back together. Willow was very still beneath her and she managed to roll off of her so that she could breath. Buffy stared at the ceiling and wondered what had just happened. "W-Wil?"
A lone hand wobbled into view and she answered. "Present. I think." She was aware of the feeling returning to her extremities and to her back. Which hurt. A lot. "Ow."
Buffy rolled up onto one elbow and looked down at her lover in concern. "Ow?"
Willow nodded pitifully. "Ow. Not a huge Ow, but Ow." She carefully sat up, wincing as the carpet reluctantly parted with her flesh. Buffy's horrified gasp gave Willow a pretty good idea of what her back looked like. "Wow. My first sexual encounter caused injury. I should write this down in my journal." She smiled slightly as she spoke, wanting to remove the look of mortification from Buffy's face.
"Oh God, Willow. I'm so sorry! We need to get you to a doctor." Buffy stood up quickly and immediately stumbled to the bed as she found out that her legs didn't want to cooperate just yet.
Willow was shaking her head. "It's all right, Buffy. I can take care of this. I have an herbal salve that should work." She had actually mixed it for Buffy and the myriad of small injuries that the slayer received. "You can help me put it on though." She picked up the remains of her shirt and shot a rueful glance at Buffy. "I'm going to run out of clothes if you keep this up." When this failed to bring even a tiny smile to the slayer's face Willow gave up trying to lighten the mood. Obviously someone felt the need to be dark and gloomy.
Buffy looked down at her shaking hands and then back to Willow. "What was that?"
To her surprise, Willow blushed and pulled her bag of magik supplies from under the bed. She rummaged through it, muttering, "I know that salve is in here somewhere. I had it yesterday when Tara and I were-." Willow broke off as Buffy knelt in front of her. Cupping her chin, Buffy raised her face. "Willow?"
Willow sighed and thrust the bag back under the bed, the small jar in her hand. Buffy noted that it was the first one she had picked up and knew for certain that Willow had been stalling. "Spill it, Will. You know what happened to us, don't you?"
"I think it was Kellem." The admission was reluctant. Willow knew what Kellem was, but nothing in the books or her research had said anything about this. "Jauda demons must give off chemicals tha-that make people and I guess other demons do the wacky."
Buffy remembered Kellem's words and nodded. "I remember. Barely. I'm sorry Willow. I would never hurt you, you know that?"
Willow stared at her in amazement. "Of course, Buffy!" She hugged the other girl fiercely and Buffy had enough presence of mind not to return the embrace.
"We need to see about your back." Buffy helped her onto the bed and took the jar from her. She followed Willow's instructions and spread a thin layer of the grayish salve over the badly scraped skin. Buffy screwed the lid back onto the jar and planted a small kiss at the nape of Willow's neck. "I love you."
Willow smiled and turned around. "What an amazing coincidence. I kinda love you too." She sobered though as the nights events replayed in her mind. "Buffy what are we going to do about Kellem?"
Buffy leaned back against the headboard and shrugged. "I don't know, Will. I don't think I can slay her after tonight. She saved your life." She looked at Willow, her eyes dark with the heavy responsibilities that weighed on the slayer. "That has to count for something, doesn't it?"
Willow agreed, but that didn't solve the problem. "I wish that I had been able to find out more about the binding. Everything is so vague."
Buffy frowned slightly. "Why can't we just ask Kellem?"
Willow's laugh was sarcastic. "I can see that now. 'Hey Kellem? What would happen if you were, hypothetically of course, bound to a witch and a slayer at the same time?' She'd run for the first normal demon she could find."
They sat in silence for a time each trying desperately to think of some other way to handle this. Finally, Buffy took Willow's hand and spoke, her voice low as if not wanting to be overheard. "I think we should take a chance."
Willow squeezed her hand and nodded.
The next night
Giles gripped the telephone tightly as he whipped the glasses from his face. "You're sure? There's no mistake? I see. All right. Y-yes, I will. Thank you, again." He pushed the button to disconnect and then punched in Buffy's number. Ten rings later he gave up and called Joyce Summers. An answering machine picked up and he cursed as he violently pushed the off button. It was times like this that he missed his old telephone, as it was simply impossible to slam a cordless phone.
The front door swung open and he turned in relief only to see Xander. Spike wandered in behind him and Giles resisted the urge to order them both out. "Oh please, come right in. Don't bother to knock." His sarcasm was ignored by Spike and went right past Xander.
"Hey G-man. I was wondering if you had seen Buffy or Willow lately. I've been checking the haunts, but they aren't haunting. Something up in the undead department?"
Giles pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and polished his glasses. "I'm not sure. Buffy and Willow were supposed to slay a Jauda demon, but I-." Spike interrupted him
"A Jauda demon? You sent them to kill a Jauda demon? Are you bloody mad?" Spike wondered how much Giles knew about the demons and he wondered if there was any way he could get his hands on it. "Why in the hell would you want to kill a Jauda? They're like sheep. Totally harmless. You-you're wasting the slayer's time with that one."
Giles sighed. "Shut up, Spike. We know what they are. That's why Buffy has to kill her."
Spike groaned. "It's a she? Oh that would be a bit of luck now wouldn't it? A Jauda demon a female Jauda demon comes to town and you send your trusty slayer after it. I can't win." He plopped down on the couch and stared at the ceiling.
"W-why does the fact that she's female-?"
Spike waved a negligent hand. "They're about three bloody times more powerful than the males and they're closer to their cousins in nature."
"Yeah, they're a sub-species of succubae." And wouldn't that have been fun. Spike settled in for a long sulk and ignored the stunned look on Giles' face. Serves him right.
Kellem moved quickly down the street, wanting to get home as soon as possible. The hunted feeling that seemed to constantly dog her was beginning to wear on her nerves. She had felt things in that cemetery last night, things that were too powerful to be all together in the same place. Something was skirting around the edges of her memory, something that might explain what she had felt, but Kellem couldn't seem to recall it.
Maybe I should switch to daytime hours at the store. She shook her head. That wouldn't leave enough time for classes unless she switched to night sessions and it was too late for that this semester. Well, maybe next time. She was approaching the worst part of her journey home when she saw Willow standing by the gates of the cemetery. "Willow?" The witch didn't answer, but waved her closer as she turned away. Kellem saw Willow enter the cemetery and groaned. "What the hell is she doing? You'd think she'd learned her lesson last night." She broke into a run, hoping to catch the young witch before she got into trouble again. She caught a glimpse of the redhead as she ducked around a small tomb and Kellem called out, "Willow!" She went around the corner and ran into a foot.
Kellem stumbled back just as it connected with her chest so that blow only grazed her. The ground introduced itself to her butt with a painful slap and Kellem groaned as she looked up at Willow. "Ow. That was not the reaction I was expecting. What the hell are you doing out here again?" The blonde had something in her hands and Kellem froze as the iron manacles clanked together. "What the-Wait just a minute!" Buffy ignored her and moved closer. Kellem panicked, doing a fast crab-walk backwards and then twisting around and to her feet. She sprinted across the damp grass and wondered what going on.
Buffy hit the demon low, bringing her down to ground with a hard thump. She tried to secure the restraints, but Kellem managed to grab them and tossed them away, into the shadows. Buffy scowled. "I wish you hadn't done that. Now we have to do this the hard way." Kellem shifted into her demon state a split second before Buffy's fist connected with her jaw, preventing the blow from rendering her unconscious. "You are not going to make this easy are you?" Buffy fell back as the claws swung at her face, but the attack was only a dodge and Kellem's foot struck the slayer in the stomach. Buffy felt her breath leave her body and staggered to her feet as the demon once again tried to flee. "Willow!"
The whispered sound of the tranquilizer gun firing was reassuring, as the Jauda had almost cleared the cemetery gate. Kellem went down almost instantly and Buffy looked around, spying the restraints lying at the base of a head stone. She picked them and went to fasten them around Kellem's wrists. No point taking any chances. Willow ran to them, her bag of magik supplies bouncing against her hip. Buffy was still trying to get her breath back. "I can't believe it. She won't even fight me." She drew several deep breaths. "This girl is too nice for her own good." Buffy smiled at the image Willow presented, the gun resting casually across the crook of her arm like a seasoned hunter. "Nice shot, Will."
Willow shrugged. "I've had practice."
Buffy nodded and bent down to sling the unconscious demon across her shoulders. "Let's get her to the mansion."
Giles checked their dorm room and then he checked all of the cemeteries near the college, hoping that Buffy was just patrolling. Xander had wanted to come with him, but Giles had insisted that he stay behind in case they came there. He said nothing about his fears, only that he was worried that Buffy didn't have all of the information she needed to slay the demon.
Giles knew how much Willow and Buffy wanted to save this girl, but he hadn't worried that Buffy wouldn't do what was best. He had discovered the missing books yesterday, but hadn't worried about it overly because he knew that Willow and Buffy would never try anything so dangerous as to bind a demon to one of themselves. But Spike's revelation had changed everything. He had assumed that the chemical scent that the demon released would only affect the opposite sex. Giles chided himself for becoming so staid in his thinking. Succubae were a different matter all together though. Buffy and Willow were just as vulnerable to her as a male would be and he had to warn them. If they fell under the demon's spell
Giles realized that he was wasting his time. There was only one place where they could perform the ceremony. As he headed back to his car he made himself a solemn promise to worry more often.
Kellem opened her eyes to a slit and cautiously surveyed her surroundings. She was lying in the middle of a large bed and she could feel the heavy weight of metal around her hands and ankles. She was naked. Damn. Kellem turned a little to the right and saw a small table covered with lit candles, bundles of dried herbs and small bottle of glowing yellow liquid. Double damn. Unless she was having a nightmare, she was about to be bound. She wondered what demon the blonde had been working for and fervently hoped that it wasn't a fungus demon. She was allergic to mold and the thought of sneezing her head off and spending the rest of her considerable life with watery eyes didn't thrill her.
Kellem turned to see the blonde standing at the foot of the bed and yanked at the chains automatically.
The blonde smiled and shook her head. "Don't waste your energy. Those have been demon tested, Slayer approved. You're not going anywhere." She turned to speak to the girl behind her and Kellem saw Willow. "Willow?"
Willow continued to grind the herbs in the mortar and didn't reply. Buffy sat down on the edge of the bed and introduced her self. "I'm the Slayer. My name is Buffy. You've met Willow, our resident witch-at-arms." Willow waved a little and returned to grinding.
The slayer? Why would the slayer be helping a demon? "I thought that you were one of the good guys. Why are you helping a demon become more powerful?"
"I'm not. I'm trying to keep from having to kill you." She picked up the spell book from the table and flipped through it idly as she spoke. "See my Watcher, well, my ex-Watcher, tells me that the safest thing would be to kill you now while it's still fairly easy to do. But I have little problem taking someone down who hasn't done anything. I followed you around, hoping you'd do something evil, but instead you were like super Boy Scout, without the boy part, I mean. And then you did the ultimate non-demon thing you saved Willow's life. I can't kill you after that but I can't take the chance of having to fight you later when you're more powerful. So we had to come up with another way."
Willow went to the table and picked up the bottle. She poured it into the bowl she held and immediately thick, yellow smoke flowed over the sides. Willow picked up a small silver dagger and looked at Buffy. "Once you're bound you can't ever be bound to anyone else, so we figured that we would bind you to someone safe." Buffy opened the book to the page Willow had marked and held it up to the young witch so that she could read it as she worked. Kellem realized that they were both wearing dark robes as Willow began to chant in a tongue not heard in a thousand years and she suddenly understood what they meant to do.
"No, you can't." Her whispered plea was ignored and she watched Willow dip the blade into the mixture and crawl onto the bed beside her.
"I'm sorry, but this going to hurt." Willow took a bracing breath and touched the blade to the center of Kellem's chest as she reminded herself that this was for her own good. The blade scored the skin slightly as she began to draw the ancient symbols that would bind the demon to her and Buffy.
Kellem winced at the burning sensation. "You can't do this! You're human!"
"Actually she's a witch and I'm a slayer. We've found that tends to tip the scale towards non-humanness." Buffy picked up the other knife, trusting in Willow's belief that this would work. Nothing they'd found in researching the spell suggested that this couldn't be done so they kept chanting and marking. Kellem tried to twist away and Buffy pinned her down. "You don't know what this will mean."
Buffy shook her head. "You don't realize how quickly you would have soared to the top of every demon's hit list. This is the Hellmouth! We're just lousy with demons here." Kellem hadn't known, but she should have. The strange desire to come here should have made her run in the other direction, but she hadn't. She could feel the energy building in answer to their call and knew that it was too late to stop. Kellem stopped fighting and watched them as they worked, trying to ignore the increasing pain as the binding fluid seeped into her wounds.
Willow finished the marks and, still chanting, stood up and removed her robe. Buffy did the same. Willow stood unashamedly naked before Buffy and lifted the blood tipped knife to her heart. She made the final tying mark quickly and Buffy did the same, frowning a little as she cut into Willow's skin. Willow sat back down on the edge of the bed and Buffy again mirrored her movements. Willow placed her hand on Kellem's chest and so did Buffy. In unison they spoke the final words and the power that had been so steadily building burst over them like a dam breaking under the strain.
Willow was breathing raggedly but she gave Buffy a thumb's up signal. Buffy looked at Kellem. She seemed to be unconscious and the wounds had healed. Leaving only the faint shadow of the heart mark against the light blue skin. Willow reached to release the manacles and Buffy laid a hand on her shoulder. "Are you sure she's not gonna go psycho?"
Willow hesitated. "Maybe you better be prepared just in case." Buffy assumed a defensive position as Willow freed the demon.
In a blur of movement Kellem gripped the back of Willow's head, pulling her down and covering her mouth in a deep, eating kiss. Buffy tensed, but wasn't sure she should pound her for a kiss. Gasping for breath Willow collapsed forward onto the bed as Kellem held out her hand to Buffy. She stared down at the demon in confusion; feeling like every nerve in her body was on fire. Not giving herself a chance to think about what she was doing, Buffy knelt beside them.
Kellem felt the building desire for her mistresses and reached up to cup the back of Buffy's head, as Willow slowly sat up and looked at them blankly. Doing her level best to devour Buffy's mouth, Kellem had not forgotten Willow.
Willow jumped slightly as the demon's free hand reached out and began to firmly massage her breast, pulling at the nipple until it hardened under her skilled touch. The low moan that escaped her made Buffy break the kiss and she turned to her friend. She saw Willow's eyes fall closed as Kellem's hand slid down her body and slipped in between her thighs. Shuddering, Willow stretched out beside the demon and took her breast into her mouth. Kellem's eyes closed tightly as the power swelled through her and when she opened them again, Buffy could see that they were a dull glowing yellow. Willow raised her head and whispered, "Buffy?" The same eerie fire burned in her eyes and Buffy knew that there had been some very large gaps in their research.
They had not known this would happen and didn't know what it meant. Buffy looked at Kellem. "What is this?" She tried to fight against the desire that was sweeping through her, but Kellem merely laughed at her efforts and pulled her down onto the bed beside her. Buffy shivered as the demon began to lick and bite the underside of her jaw. She could hear Willow gasping as Kellem continued to pleasure her. Buffy could feel something inside of her trying to get loose and she swallowed hard as she resisted the sudden urge to bite Kellem. Willow was struggling against it as well, but the pull was too strong. She felt her teeth sink into the demon's throat and dimly heard her scream. The sound was one of pure pleasure. Kellem laughed wildly as the waves of release crashed over her and Willow. Buffy pulled away and saw that Willow was curled up into a ball as the sensations continued to bombard her. Buffy reached out to her and touched her shoulder lightly. Willow looked up and Buffy could see the blood on her lips and the faint, lingering traces of power in her eyes. Instead of repelling her though, the sight seemed to increase the urgency and she turned to find Kellem waiting patiently. She held out her arms. "Come Slayer. The power is waiting for you." Buffy went eagerly.
Giles could feel his heart hammering in his chest as he took in the scene before him. He'd been too late and as he watched Buffy succumb to the demon's lure, Giles did the only thing he could. He worried.
Willow stretched her arms high over her head and curled into the warmth of Buffy's back, wondering vaguely when they had kicked away the covers. It wasn't that she was cold, in fact she was toasty, but the fact that she was lying there naked was jiggling something in her memory, something that she needed to remember. The smell of incense lingered in the air and Willow was trying to recall why she had lit it when an arm slid around her waist. The very distinct feel of a female form pressed against her back shocked Willow into a totally awakened state and she rose up slightly to look down at Buffy's sleeping face. If Buffy was there, then who ?
Memories of the night before began to careen through her mind and she couldn't stop the startled exclamation from escaping. "Eep!"
Buffy jerked awake and rolled to her feet, looking for attackers. She blinked sleepily and looked at Willow in confusion. "Will?" Willow carefully sat up, easing the arm from around her waist. When she was free she lurched off the bed and into Buffy's arms.
They stared at the sleeping woman left on the bed as Kellem murmured softly in her sleep and again her arm reached out, seeking her mistresses. When she found only empty sheets she reluctantly opened her eyes and saw them standing across the room. She smiled slowly and sat up, completely at ease with her nudity. "Good morning. Sleep well?" She could see from their identical stunned expressions that they had remembered everything. "Some night, huh?" Kellem hide a smile at Buffy's flinch and Willow's blush. "No point in blushing now, Scarlet. You certainly didn't last night."
Willow's moan of dismay triggered Buffy, who stepped forward menacingly. "Back off!" Kellem felt the roll of power lash against her, pushing at her until she fell from the other side of the bed. Buffy saw her climb slowly to her feet, her hands wrapped around her waist as if she'd been struck.
"No need to get rough, I was only teasing." The level of power Buffy was wielding now surprised Kellem. The ability to cause pain with words alone was something that Kellem had only heard about in myth. She saw her clothes folded over the back of a chair and felt the sudden urge to cover herself. She knew that what she was actually felling was Willow's intense desire to hide. Kellem spied their clothing next to hers and she reached for Willow's shirt, knowing that the other stack must be Buffy's as she could see a wooden stake sticking out of one jacket pocket.
Buffy saw it as well and mistook her intent. "No!" The demon's reaction was immediate. Buffy saw the other girl sail backwards several feet, crashing into the wall and slumping to the floor with a sickening crunch. She didn't hear Willow's cry of dismay, as she was too busy trying to understand what she was feeling. Kellem was hurt. Buffy could feel it, knew that several of the demon's ribs had cracked and knew that her head had struck the wall too hard. The odd sense of connection was creepy and she shivered in reaction as she joined Willow at Kellem's side.
Willow was also feeling the connection, but more than that, she was feeling the building pressure of magic waiting to be called. She put her hand on the demon's head, ignoring Buffy's protest. Unbidden, the words tumbled from her mouth and Willow realized that it was a healing spell. The iridescent glow that emanated from her hands was warm and comforting. She moved them down, seeking the other injuries and healing them as the power continued to pour from her. Finally she felt the call fading and sank back, feeling oddly refreshed and not in the least bit tired. Kellem stirred and looked up. "Mistress." Still reeling from the healing energy and from the strength of the bond, Kellem pulled herself across the floor and gripped Willow's hand, kissing the back with a reverence that frightened the young witch. She looked at Buffy helplessly. "Buffy?"
Kellem heard her and stiffened slightly. She had not forgotten her other mistress, but she was a little afraid to approach her. Kellem released Willow's hand and carefully moved to her knees. Buffy watched in disbelief as she bent forward until her head rested on the floor in front of the slayer. "Forgive me Mistress, I meant no harm." Suddenly Buffy understood that Kellem had not been reaching for a weapon with a surety that shook her. Somehow she knew that Kellem wouldn't hurt either of them couldn't hurt them. Buffy reached down and caught her by the shoulder's, lifting the demon to her feet. "What's happened to us? What have you done?"
Kellem shook her head in confusion as her head began to clear. "What have I done? I did nothing." She gestured to the remains of the ceremony. "It was you two that bound me." She laughed harshly. "You don't have the slightest idea what that means, do you?"
Willow shook her head and retrieved the book. "It didn't say anything about," she made a sweeping motion with her hand. "Whoosh! Off the bed. Or Whap! Against the wall. O-or about the s-sex, it definitely didn't mention anything about that, but i-it said that the binding would strengthen powers and make us harder to kill, b-but Buffy couldn't do anything like what she just did before!" She ground to a halt, winded and flustered.
Kellem groaned and pressed the heels of her hands against her eyes. Hard. "I am not hearing this." She stalked over to the chair and began to pull on her clothes with abrupt, angry motions. She tossed Willow hers half snarling, "Here, put these on before your shyness infects me as well."
Willow caught them gratefully. "W-what do you mean?"
Kellem sighed and took the book from her. "I can't believe it! You used this? It's amazing that it worked at all." She flipped through the pages until she found the spell and read through it silently, aware of every movement the slayer made as she dressed. Kellem glanced at Buffy and then at Willow. "It shouldn't have worked. This spell is totally screwed up. Which makes me wonder why it did work." She closed it with a snap, tossed it onto the bed and approached Willow, who was fumbling with the buttons of her blouse. "Here. Let me." Kellem accomplished the task quickly, ignoring the hard stare that the slayer was drilling into the back of her head. Shaking her head at Willow's blush, she leaned forward and kissed the tip of the witch's nose. "Easy, Scarlet. I'm not the one that bites, remember?" Kellem immediately turned and held up a hand to forestall Buffy's attack. Which is what it would have been. "Calm down, Buffy. I think I'm beginning to see how the spell worked, even though it was worded wrong."
"I think you'd better take a big step away from Willow and go park yourself on that chair where I can see you." Buffy took Willow's elbow and guided her to the bed. She sat down beside her and crossed her arms over her chest.
Kellem resisted the urge to stick her tongue out and spread her hands in an all-encompassing gesture. "Well. Here we are." She propped her bare feet up on the table and leaned her chair back until the front legs left the floor. "Force of will."
Buffy frowned at her inexplicable statement, but Willow got it. "Ooh, yeah! That might be it!" She turned to Buffy. "See, you really didn't want to kill her and I really didn't want to kill her so we sorta just willed it to work, right?" She saw Kellem nod and smiled hugely, as if receiving an A. Kellem felt the sense of pleasure reach to her across the room and shifted slightly as her body responded. This was going to be Hell on earth, wanting them both.
"So what didn't the book tell us?" Buffy could feel herself growing angrier at the demon that kept sending her Willow mushy looks.
Kellem knew that they weren't going to be happy about this. "First off, I think I'd better explain exactly what type of demon I am. The Jauda are kind of like succubae." She watched the color soar into Willow's face and sternly forced herself to focus on the discussion, trying not to think about how far that blush went down. "We draw our power from sex and please don't yell at me Buffy, but the nature of the bond itself is sexual." She hunched her shoulders a bit waiting for the slayer's reaction.
What have we done? Buffy mentally chastised herself for not listening to Giles and slaying her. On the heels of that thought came the reluctant admission that she'd had valid reasons for not wanting to kill Kellem, but they were rapidly dissipating with every look exchanged between Willow and the Jauda. "Why can I do- what is it that I'm doing, anyway?"
"It's a very ancient skill called "Words of Power." Kellem shrugged, not sure how Buffy was able to do it. "I've never hear of anyone in this century wielding it. I do know that the skill is something that only a master can use."
"A master vampire?" The slight rise of stress in Buffy's voice made Kellem wonder. "Not a vampire. They aren't the only things that can be masters. Demons, sorcerers, and a few other supernaturals. It's like the top most level that you can achieve within your kind. I guess you're a Master Slayer."
"How does this work? I wasn't even aware of doing anything when it happened."
Kellem didn't know. "I really can't say. My information is a little sketchy."
Buffy was silent for a moment and when she spoke her voice was low and tense. "So the sex thing was what? A power up for you?"
It was Kellem's turn to blush. "Ah, actually it created power for all of us. As a matter of fact, that's how the power is, um, exchanged." The more Kellem explained, the more she braced herself for another trip into the wall. She felt like she was walking through a minefield, picking her words carefully, so as not to set Buffy off.
The scowl that blanketed the slayer's face did not bode well for her future well-being. "Is that why you keep making 'meaningful eye contact' with Willow?"
Kellem straightened suddenly, her chair settling back on the floor with a clatter. Oh Hell! A green-eyed slayer was the last thing this situation needed and Kellem decided to cut to the chase. "Actually it is." She stood up, careful not to make any sudden moves and crossed to where they were sitting. To Buffy's surprise, Kellem sank to her knees in front of her and took her hands. "To be bound is the turning point of a Jauda's existence. Everything that I was before is irrelevant. The only goal that I have now is to please you." She looked at Willow. "Both of you, though I'm not sure how this is going to work." Kellem raised Buffy's wrist and kissed the soft skin, inhaling the slayer's distinctive scent and drawing strength from the emotions it provoked. She looked up into Buffy's eyes. "There's no need for you to be jealous, Mistress. The feelings that I show so openly to Willow are the same ones that I have for you. However you don't desire that kind of contact from me."
Before Buffy could stop herself she asked, "What do I desire from you?"
Kellem hid her surprise and acted before the slayer could change her mind. She reached up and gripped the back of Buffy's head, pulling her down into a searing kiss. Kellem plundered her mouth, exploring her completely as she felt the slayer's involuntary response. She kept her hold on the back of Buffy's head, keeping her in place as her free hand slipped under her shirt and began to boldly caress the slayer's breast in firm, strong motions.
Buffy felt her temperature shoot through the roof as Kellem continued to play her body like a well-loved instrument. She was dimly aware of Willow watching them, but she was rapidly losing touch with reality.
Willow swallowed hard, knowing that she should be shocked or appalled or at least jealous, but she found that she was too aroused to care. Without a thought, she moved to the floor behind Kellem and slipped her arms around her, pushing her shirt out of the way so that she could touch her breasts. Kellem moaned at Willow's touch and the power began to hum through her. Willow pulled her hair aside and began to kiss the side of her neck as Kellem continued to kiss the slayer senseless.
Giles halted in the doorway and paled. Oh dear, not again. "Excuse me."
The three women froze and Buffy jerked away from Kellem to stare at Giles in shock. "Giles!" Her words, a high squeak, caused Willow to jump in horror. She quickly removed her hands from under Kellem's shirt and sprang to her feet. Willow reluctantly turned to face her mentor, her blush a deep crimson. Giles said nothing, but he was disturbed by the faint glow in Willow's eyes. Was the power that easy to summon?
Kellem rose with an easy grace and stared at the intruder in frustration. "Nice timing, Sport."
Her sarcasm was evident and Buffy frowned at her slightly, her eyes tinged with gold. "This is Giles. He's my watcher."
Taking this as a reprimand, Kellem turned to Giles. "I'm sorry, that was uncalled for." Knowing that things were about to get messy and determined to that it wouldn't, Kellem stepped forward and offered her hand in greeting to the older man. "I'm Kellem Duivel. I've heard little about you, but I do know that Buffy respects you deeply and therefore, so must I."
Giles shook her hand cautiously and resisted the urge to polish his glasses. "Y-yes. I've heard of you as well. It, ah, it seems that I am too late."
Kellem's eyebrow rose fractionally. Unless she was much mistaken, she had seen this man here last night after the first ritual had taken place. From the slightly embarrassed expression on his face, she grasped the fact that he didn't want Buffy and Willow to know that he had seen them. "I'm afraid so. The bond has been formed."
Buffy had no idea of what she was going to say to Giles. She decided to let him go first as she was definitely feeling defensive enough to defend.
Giles watched silently as the aura of power slowly faded from their eyes and sighed. "Well. Is there any tea?"
Giles interrupted Buffy, his trademark 'concerned, but trying not to show it face' plainly evident. "Y-You say that you merely spoke ?"
Willow clarified. "More like yelled, though actually it wasn't that loud, but I guess you could call it a yell it depends on how you define Yell. Maybe it was more of a low 'gonna pound you' sound. Although, it did kind of sound growly and-."
Kellem placed a hand on her shoulder, halting her ramble. "Breath Willow. Your brain needs oxygen." Willow stopped and drew a breath, smiled at Kellem and then turned back to Giles and Buffy.
Giles shook his head slightly as if attempting to shake Willow's explanation out and focused on Buffy. "You say that you were able to attack Kellem with your voice alone?" Buffy nodded. "Hmm. Did you feel anything when it happened?"
Buffy shrugged. "Angry. Oh, no wait! Not the second time. The second time I thought that she was going for a weapon." She smiled apologetically at Kellem. "Sorry about that."
Somehow this exchange disturbed Giles more than anything else that had happened. He could put the rest down to demon lure and circumstance, but the easy exchange that spoke of trust
He cleared his throat. "Yes, well obviously this power is triggered by strong emotions. You must take care, Buffy, until we find out what this power is and you learn to control it."
"Oh, we know what it is." Willow pointed at Kellem. "Kellem recognized it. It's called 'Words of Power" Cool huh?"
Kellem felt a little like a bug on a pin under the watcher's eyes and shifted uneasily. "I don't really know anything for certain, just what little I told Buffy and Willow."
His eyes narrowed and his voice was very soft. Which set every nerve in Kellem's body on alert. "Why don't you tell me then?" She did so, knowing that the watcher would have been a great deal happier to find Buffy and Willow standing over her corpse this morning.
Kellem watched Giles leave; waiting until she was sure he was gone before she collapsed onto the bed. "Whew! I feel like I've been on the rack for the last hour." She propped herself up on her elbows and looked at Buffy. "Is he always this tense? Or is it just me?"
Willow sat down beside her and patted her knee. "It's you, kind of. I mean, Giles is always a little tense, but today I think it was you, or actually we and you. Us, together, um, I'm not making sense am I?"
Buffy grinned at her uncertain look and bent slightly to kiss her on the forehead. "Yes you are. Willow-sense, but still sense." She glanced at Kellem, frowning as she felt the familiar tug of arousal. "What was that?"
Kellem held up both hands in innocence. "Don't look at me. I know you two think that I'm some kind of sexual generator, but I'm not. The bond connects all of us and what we're feeling."
Willow flushed and Kellem smiled slowly. "Ah. See it wasn't me. It was Willow."
Buffy looked startled. "Will?"
Willow shot to her feet and refused to look at Buffy or Kellem. "Hey! Don't we have a class right now? We should go, Buffy because we have a class right now. I think we're going to be late " She broke off and began to gather her magic stuff into her bag.
Kellem stepped very close, until she was brushing against Willow's back. She slipped her hands around Willow's waist and heard something hit the floor with a thud. Kellem pulled her back firmly and spoke softly into her ear, her breath stirring the flame-red strands teasingly. "Mistress?" Her hand moved to cover Willow's breast and she felt the witch's shudder. "It's Saturday." Willow moaned involuntarily let her head fall back against Kellem's shoulder.
Buffy watched them, scowling at this intimate scene even as she was aroused by it. "Willow." The flat tone of her voice made Willow jump and she turned to see the slayer's forbidding glare. "B-Buffy?"
"I think you're right. We should go." She stood and picked up the book Willow had dropped. "See you around, Kellem."
Kellem blinked at them in confusion. "What? Buffy you can't-." She broke off abruptly as she found a very strong hand wrapped around her throat.
Buffy resisted both the urge to tighten her grip and to pull her close and kiss her. "You're safe from any other demons so you can stay away from Willow now, understand?"
Kellem jerked away, ignoring the pain as Buffy's nails raked her throat. "The bond doesn't work like that. We're connected now and nothing, not even your jealousy, is going to change that. I can't stay away from Willow or you."
Buffy watched the blood well on the demon's throat and refused to let herself feel guilty. Or to lick the blood from the wounds. She was struggling with two distinct parts of herself and she knew that she had to get away from Kellem before she gave into either one. "You will." She spun around and grabbed Willow by the hand, pulling her along as she strode out of the room.
Kellem saw Willow wave as she disappeared. "What the hell was that about?" An image of Giles popped into her mind and Kellem studied it closely. It made sense. Buffy's admiration and respect for her watcher was evident as was his disapproval of what Buffy and Willow had done. "Well damn."
Kellem pulled on her tennis shoes and left the mansion. She stopped out side and took a moment to orient herself. She wasn't far from the campus and she began the walk back, wondering how this was going to affect her. The book that had been left to her by her mother would probably have the answer, but somehow Kellem knew that it was not one she was going to like.
Kellem closed the book with a snap and held up her hand to stare at it. The book had been far too helpful and she wondered how long it would take before she began to lose control of her human form. "Damn."
One week later
Buffy shifted restlessly and tried to get comfortable. Willow was curled into her side and she should have been a very happy slayer. She shifted again and Willow raised her head to look at her in concern. "What's wrong?"
Shrugging slightly Buffy brushed her sense of unease aside. "Nothing, just a little " She shrugged again and Willow nodded. "I know, me too." Willow sat up and the sheet fell to her waist, revealing her breasts. Buffy suddenly realized that the sight caused no reaction and scowled. That was not right. Buffy sat up quickly and kissed Willow. She took her time and explored her thoroughly, but the spark of desire was gone. She pulled back and stared at Willow in fear. "What's happening to us?"
Willow was afraid she knew. "I think it's the bond."
"Kellem is doing this to us?" The furious note in the slayer's voice did not bode well for a certain Jauda demon.
Willow frowned at Buffy's quick assumption. "No. I think she might be affected as well. We weakened the bond by staying away and that might be causing this." Willow was theorizing at this point, but it made sense. Sort of. She just wished that Buffy would realize that she had nothing to be jealous of and ease up.
"Then we need to talk to Giles."
Giles listened patiently as they explained what had happened, more or less. "I see."
Buffy rolled her eyes at his words and threw up her hands. "Great, then explain it to us!"
"You don't realize what you have done by denying the bond." He went to his desk and returned with an old, leather bound book. "The consequences are quite serious. When you joined with Kellem you created a power base with her as the generator. Jauda pull sexual energy into themselves and magnify it, then return it to their master or in your case masters. They can only do this one way."
"By sex." The flat tone of Buffy's voice spoke volumes and Giles shrugged.
"I did try to warn you."
Willow jumped in before Buffy could retaliate, uh, reply. "But what happens when the energy isn't returned?"
Giles pulled of his glasses and Buffy tensed. "I'm afraid that the ultimate consequences are death for all those involved."
Buffy heard his words echoing through her mind and tried to accept them. If they didn't sleep with Kellem they would die. Buffy shook her head. "I guess it's too late to slay her."
Willow gasped and Buffy winced at the reproachful look that the witch fired in her direction. "Buffy!" She went to the door and turned back to glare at the slayer. "I'm going to find Kellem. You do what you want."
"Will!" Buffy was right behind her as she bolted outside and she caught her arm. "Please, Willow! I'm sorry."
"That's no excuse, Buffy. S-she didn't ask for us to do this to her! We did it ourselves! We p-played God with someone else's life and now we have to accept the consequences." She took off running and Buffy let her go, feeling her heart clench. "Will."
Giles had followed them outside and gave Buffy a moment before clearing his throat and tapping the book in his hands. "I'm afraid that you don't have much time. The book says that the bond must be renewed regularly or the consequences ."
Buffy's expression when she turned to face him was indescribable. "Funny how you're suddenly the answer guy when before you claimed you knew nothing about Jauda."
Giles met her accusation squarely and nodded. "Yes, well that was before a friend of mine sent this by courier." Seeing the disbelief so plainly evident, Giles added defensively, "You can see the shipping receipt if you like."
Buffy exhaled and buried her face in her hands as she spoke, muffling her reply. "I'm sorry, Giles. I'm in attack mode and you were the closest target. I know you'd never do anything like that." She straightened and glanced in the direction that Willow had run. "I guess I have a demon to find."
Willow closed the program and spoke softly to herself. "She's missed all of her classes for the last two days." Very much afraid that she was going to be too late, Willow decided to try the bookstore.
The bell chimed merrily as she left the store and began to walk towards Kellem's apartment. Apparently Kellem had called in and quit the day before. She wasn't surprised to find no one at Kellem's. Willow groaned in frustration, realizing that she didn't know where else to look. They had barely gotten to know Kellem before the binding ceremony and Willow had no idea where a Jauda demon might hide if in trouble.
She reluctantly turned back in the direction of the college and started for home.
Buffy moved through the graveyard quickly, wondering if she was wasting her time. Just because every other demon in this town liked to hang out in cemeteries was no reason to assume that Kellem would. But she'd been there the other night, she reminded herself and stepped around a large tomb. She froze and stared at the scene before her.
On the ground was what used to be a student and Buffy spared a moment to wonder what the hell he had been doing in the cemetery as the demons that had been about to dine focused on her.
Willow pulled the covers up around her shoulders and shivered as the cool breeze from the open window blew across her. Funny how it had seemed fine to have the window open when she had been sleeping with Buffy. Willow climbed from the bed and swiftly closed the window, her gaze falling to the empty bed beside hers as she turned. Buffy had not come home tonight and Willow wondered how long this could go on between them.
She crawled back into bed and threw the blanket up over her head, wishing that there were someway to fix everything.
Willow blinked as she heard Kellem's voice echo through her mind. "K-Kellem?"
"Help me, Mistress."
Willow bolted upright as she realized that Kellem was in pain. She threw the covers back and got up, reaching for her clothes. Willow knew where she was.
Kellem had watched the sun slip down behind the tree line and wondered if she'd be around to see the next sunset. The sky had turned into a glorious mix of gold and crimson and she had turned her back on the scene as it reminded her too much of her mistresses hair. That had been several hours ago.
Kellem now sat curled up by the cold fireplace and resisted the urge to scream as the power within her fought for release. She silently cursed Buffy and Willow for leaving before she could explain just how important it was for her to stay in contact with them. Kellem smacked herself in the forehead for being foolish, ignoring the pain as her palm connected with one of her horns. She looked down at the blue skin covering her and raised one clawed hand in disgust. She had only herself to blame. She could have contacted Buffy earlier, but her pride had stopped her. Now she was paying the price.
She'd hidden here in the mansion when she had realized that she could no longer maintain her human form. Kellem resisted the urge to strike something and knew that the increasing level of violence was in direct proportion to her gradual loss of control. She drew a deep breath and froze as a familiar scent filled her senses. Kellem looked up and saw Willow. "Willow?"
Not quite sure she wanted to be closer, Willow stepped forward anyway, staring at Kellem's demon form in concern. "Are you okay?"
Kellem laughed harshly and the sound made Willow shiver at its desperate edge. "Not really, no."
Willow knelt beside her and reached out only to have Kellem knock her hand aside. "No! I have no control as it is. If you touch me I might Just don't." Every nerve in her body was screaming for her to take her mistress, to disperse the power and end this nightmare.
Willow dropped her hand and stared at Kellem helplessly. "I-it's the bond, isn't it?"
Kellem nodded and wished that Willow would leave. "Yes. Why are you here?"
"You called me."
Kellem froze. "What?" The faint rasp of her voice barely carried to the young witch, but she heard.
"I heard you calling for me." Willow reached out and gripped her arm. "In my mind."
"Sorry. I didn't realize " She trailed off and wished that she would stop touching her. "Please, Mistress. You have to leave before "
Willow shook her head. "How can I help you?"
The look Kellem gave her made Willow flinch. "You know." She curled her claws into her fists and looked away from her. "The power has been building since you left and there's only one way to release it."
Willow closed her eyes and considered the situation logically. Buffy's not going to understand, she thought morosely, but this went beyond jealousy. "All right."
Not hearing her, Kellem shrugged. "I understand, Willow. I just hope that you and Buffy will survive."
Soft hands cupped Kellem's face and turned her to Willow. "I said yes." She bent down and kissed Kellem, knowing as she did that Buffy would feel it.
Buffy barely ducked in time to avoid being decapitated and swore silently to herself as another demon joined the fray. She'd counted six so far and she had yet to slay even one. Either they were really good or she was really off of her game. Pain radiated through her body as she was struck from behind and Buffy rolled away instinctively so that the blade only sliced her back rather than cut her in two.
Buffy sprang to her feet and held her hands out at the circle of demons. "Time out!" The demons froze in surprise and Buffy took several deep breaths before speaking again. "Okay, time in."
Willow ignored the fact that the skin she was so busy nibbling was blue and focused instead on the driving need that filled her. Having given in to her desire for Kellem, the wild urge to mate had filled Willow as well and she gave herself to it gladly. Pesky things like consequences could be dealt with later, but right now there was only passion. She heard the sound of material ripping and pulled back to admonish Kellem only to find that it was she that had ripped Kellem's shirt. "Oops."
Kellem's reply was a feral growl that made Willow shiver deliciously. "I like your oops's. Do another oops." She pushed Willow's blouse up and took her breast into her mouth with a groan of relief. Already the power was ebbing out and she knew it wouldn't take much to release it entirely. She pushed Willow down on the bed and covered her body with a relieved whimper.
In the back of her mind, the part that wasn't concerned with staying alive and kicking these demon's asses, it occurred to her that she was beginning to feel better. Suddenly the odds didn't seem so bad and as she took off one of their heads with a roundhouse kick, she wondered what was going on.
Willow tried to move away from Kellem's mouth as it continued to torment her, but she only held Willow's thighs open for her assault. Desperate for something she could not name, Willow grabbed the tangled mass of Kellem's hair and pulled sharply. Kellem reared back with a snarl, but found herself the one being attacked. Willow shoved her back and straddled her hips, bending to nip at Kellem's throat.
The quick flash of pain was gone in an instant and then only the power remained.
Buffy froze in mid slay and cried out as the waves of energy poured through her. She sank to her knees, and the demon she had been holding slipped free. The three remaining creatures looked at each other and then back to the apparently helpless slayer.
Wave after wave of power crashed into her and Buffy knew what had happened to create such energy. In her mind's eye she could see Willow and Kellem together and was surprised to find that she felt no jealousy only a strong sense of longing. She wanted to be there with them. The demons had decided to attack her while she was down and Buffy almost smiled at their stupidity. She opened her eyes and focused on the closest. "Stop." Her words were but a whisper, but the effect was startling. The demon froze and stared down at himself in confusion. Buffy smiled slightly and it was not a pleasant thing. "Now die."
As the demon's chest erupted, the others turned to flee. Buffy rose and called to their retreating backs. "Not so fast, guys. I believe that we have some unfinished business."
Buffy entered the room and found Willow and Kellem in bed together. Willow jerked the sheet up to cover herself and ran a shaking hand through her tangled hair. She smiled hesitantly and gave a small wave. "Hi."
Buffy returned the gesture and then grimaced as the motion pulled at the wounds across her back. She tucked her hands into her pockets to take the weight off her shoulders. "Hi. Um, I guess I don't have to ask why you're here."
Kellem sat quietly, her arms wrapped around her knees. "I think the question might be why are you here?"
Buffy shrugged. "Apologizing. If you'll let me."
"Oh." Willow bit her lower lip and patted the bed. "Can we talk, please?"
Buffy shifted slightly and then sighed. "Will . I'm sorry." She looked at Kellem and offered a weak smile. "I guess I owe you an apology as well. It's not like you asked for this and then I didn't help matters by trying to shut you out."
Willow wrapped the sheet around herself and stood, approaching the slayer warily. "So you're not mad because we I mean that we had to um, release the power?"
Buffy shook her head. "Actually I think you two saved my life tonight." Her breath escaped in a hiss as Willow tugged one arm free and curled her fingers around her hand. "There were these d-demons "
Willow nodded but her attention was clearly elsewhere. "You're hurt." It was not a question. Willow could feel the pain that Buffy was experiencing and she waved for Kellem to help her. "Lie down and let me see how bad it is."
Buffy didn't care about her injuries. She was more concerned with how Willow was feeling about them now. "I'm okay but are we?"
The uncertainty in Buffy's eyes made Willow smile. "Of course. You could never make me stop loving you, you know? Unless I like hit my head or fell under a spell. But that'd take a really strong spell and even then that would be like a self-delusional thing and so I'd still love you under all that, but I just wouldn't know it. B-But you and Giles could fix that and then I'd get better and everything would be okay again .right?"
Kellem laughed and patted Willow on the shoulder. "Were you diagnosed as hyper when you were a kid?"
Willow blushed as Buffy turned to the demon. "Are we okay?"
Kellem's reply was to lean forward and place the softest of kisses against Buffy's mouth. "We're just dandy." Buffy reached out to touch her arm, wincing in pain as she did so.
Willow shook her head. "You're fine, my eye. Let's see what the damage is." She didn't look at Kellem, but then she didn't have to. Kellem took Buffy's other arm and together they led her to the bed. Kellem inhaled sharply at the sight of the long cuts across Buffy's back. "Geez, what did you tangle with tonight, a Ginsu demon?"
Willow paused in the task of removing Buffy's shirt and looked at Kellem in question. "Is there really a Ginsu demon?" Kellem blinked and then shrugged. "Who knows?"
Buffy smothered a laugh and let her lovers tend to her. While the thought didn't bother her any more she knew that this was going to take some getting used to. Especially with the other members of the Scooby gang. Well Anya wouldn't care, but Xander
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