Ignoring the coughing and sniffling coming from Buffy's bed, Willow winced
at a particularly grotesque illustration in Reynard's Mysterieux et
Obscurite Orthographie and quickly turned the page. The spells in the
book were fascinating - glamours to draw the eye of a loved one, potions for
clouding the mind, even an enchantment for forgetfulness. Willow was sure
that some of these spells could be useful when fighting demons - it was
silly of Giles to keep such a helpful book locked up. She picked up her pen
and started to copy one of the spells in her notebook, then switched to the
red pen for a word she'd need to look up in her French to English
Just then Buffy called out in a weak voice, "Willow?"
Irritated, Willow exhaled sharply, then was immediately filled with remorse.
It wasn't Buffy's fault that she'd caught the cold that was going around the
dorm. And she sounded miserable. Willow should have been glad to nurse her
back to health instead of taking notes on a book she wasn't even supposed to
be reading. She clapped the book closed, sending a cloud of dust into the
air, which set off a coughing fit of her own.
Buffy sat up in the bed. "Willow? Are you ok? I hope you're not getting this
thing - we can't afford for more than one of us to be sick at a time."
"No, no, I'm good. What do you need?"
"Could you get me another blanket? I'm freezing."
Willow pulled the comforter off of her bed and stacked it on top of the
comforter and blankets that were already piled on Buffy's bed. Buffy looked
small and pathetic surrounded by all the blankets and pillows. Her hair was
sticky and tangled in her face, her nose was red, and her eyes were glazed
and watery. Wadded up tissues were scattered on the floor beside her and
last month's Cosmo was soaking in a pool of orange juice that had spilled
from the overturned bottle on the bedside table.
Guilt made Willow overly solicitous. She bustled around, making Buffy some
Lemon Zinger tea and tidying up the mess. "I wish you'd take some cold
medicine- it would help you breathe."
"Breathing is good, but I hate the way that stuff makes me feel. I'd rather
be Sneezy than Dopey. I'm counting on my slayer healing to make it all
"At least take a cool shower - it might help with the fever."
Buffy looked suspicious. "Hey! Are you saying I'm Stinky?"
Willow wrinkled her nose. "Well, you do look kind of sweaty and. .
.not-so-fresh. . . I bet you'd feel lots better if you got cleaned up."
While Buffy showered, Willow carefully put the slipcover from The History
of Art on the magic book, and stashed it in her desk drawer. As
reluctant as she'd been to put aside her reading, she was obscurely pleased
that Buffy needed her right now. It felt good to be the one in charge for a
Feeling extremely virtuous, Willow heated up some chicken noodle soup for
Buffy and put The Princess Bride on the tv. Buffy insisted that
Willow snuggle beside her on the bed to keep her warm while they watched.
It had been too long since Willow had been this close to someone else. Oz
was gone, Xander was busy with Anya, and between school and patrolling, she
and Buffy hadn't had time to lay around and watch movies the way they used
to. In high school, she and Buffy and Xander used to do this all the time -
puppy-pile on the couch and watch old movies and eat popcorn - but then
Willow and Xander started fooling around behind everyone's backs and it was
never the same after that. Some of the innocence had worn off of it. Even
now, cuddled up beside Buffy, Willow realized that she was hyper-aware of
Buffy's body beside her - soft skin radiating heat, sharp elbows, and firm
calves thrown over Willow's legs.
Never looking away from the tv, Buffy reached for a tube of lip balm and
rubbed some on her lips. Willow inhaled through her mouth, tasting the
tingling minty flavor of it on her tongue. She thought, that's what she
would taste like if I kissed her. And the disturbing thing about that
thought was how much it didn't surprise Willow. It was as if she'd been
wondering what Buffy would taste like for a long time, without even
Buffy rested her head on Willow's shoulder, her damp hair leaving a wet
patch on Willow's pajamas. Her cough seemed better, although she was still
flushed and feverish. On the screen, Mandy Patinkin chanted, "My name is
Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." Buffy whispered along
in her hoarse voice and Willow couldn't help reciting it with her. Buffy
grinned up at her and Willow grinned back, basking in the moment of shared
Buffy snuggled up to Willow and sighed. "See, we don't need any stinky boys.
We do just fine all by ourselves."
"Yeah, who needs boys and their cooties! Boys are stupid."
A little hectic from the fever, Buffy's voice was louder and more excited
than usual. "Except Inigo - he's not stupid. And Westley. He's not stupid
either. But all the rest of 'em are worthless good for nothings. I think I'm
going to swear off boys. Give 'em up for Lent. When is Lent anyway?"
"Um, it's around Passover. But Jews don't really give up things for Lent. Or
"Huh. Well let's give 'em up anyway. Who needs 'em! We can take care of
ourselves just as good as they can. Better."
Willow giggled. "It's like my mom says about her gynecologist, 'You wouldn't
go to a mechanic who didn't own a car.' Only a woman can really understand a
Buffy smirked and Willow became aware of the unintended innuendo. "I mean. .
.you know. . .a woman doctor. . ." Willow felt herself blush, and the
words started to rush out of her mouth. "'Cause a man can't ever really know
what it feels like to have cramps. And you'd think it would be weird having
a woman touch you there, but it's not. I'd rather see Dr. Bell than have
some creepy old guy. . ." Buffy snickered and Willow trailed off helplessly,
then smacked Buffy's arm. "You know what I mean!"
Buffy cut her eyes at Willow and her voice dropped to a conspiratorial
whisper. "Have you ever wondered what it would be like? You know, with
Willow felt caught out by Buffy's question and wasn't sure how to respond.
Her eyes locked with Buffy's and neither of them said anything. They were
breathing in a matched rhythm, in and out together, and Buffy's breath
tickled Willow's nose.
When Buffy spoke again, her voice was even quieter and a little uncertain.
Their faces were very close together now and it seemed the most natural
thing in the world for Willow to lean in that extra tiny bit and brush her
lips across Buffy's. She was afraid Buffy would recoil or push her away, but
instead she closed her eyes and relaxed into the kiss. It was clumsy at
first, but then Buffy opened her mouth and Willow slid her tongue in and it
was like kissing anyone, really. Buffy's lips were softer than Oz's but not
any more so than Xander's. They kissed for a while, exploring one another's
Willow wasn't sure what to do with her hands. She put them on Buffy's back
and then raised them to tangle in her hair. Buffy gripped Willow's shoulders
tightly, and the almost-pain was encouraging. Buffy might look fragile, but
she wouldn't break. Willow pulled her in closer and kissed her more
Buffy pulled back and started to say something but Willow shook her head.
She was afraid if either of them said anything, this would stop, and she
really, really didn't want to stop now.
As if she understood what Willow meant, Buffy bit her lip and nodded. Willow
touched Buffy's breast through the fabric of her pajama top and cupped it in
her hand. Buffy squeaked in surprise and then caught her breath when Willow
rolled her nipple between her fingers. It was easier to know what to
do - instead of worrying that she wasn't doing it right, Willow just
remembered what she liked, and did that. Buffy looked questioningly at
Willow as she slipped her fingers under the waistband of Willow's pajama
bottoms. She skated them along skin there, then moved lower. Keeping her
hand on the outside of Willow's underwear, she rubbed lightly between her
Willow moaned and pushed up against Buffy's hand. She felt an aching need
for more; more pressure, more friction, Willow didn't exactly know
what, but she knew she needed it. Buffy pressed harder and kissed Willow
again, and Willow moved her hand between Buffy's legs and mimicked her
movements, then, getting daring, she pushed Buffy's panties aside and
touched the slippery wetness underneath. They were both short of breath now,
gasping into one another's mouths and making desperate, whimpering noises.
Using one hand, Willow unbuttoned Buffy's pajama top enough to mouth at her
nipple, sucking it into her mouth and making Buffy keen and squirm against
She had been wrong. This was completely different from anyone else. Maybe it
was because Buffy was a girl, or maybe it was because she was the slayer,
but there was something incredibly satisfying about making Buffy sound so
helpless and needy, about feeling her coming apart like this. Willow felt in
control in a way that she never had with a boy, like she was the one making
Buffy's hand had stopped moving. Now she was just holding it against
Willow's body, letting Willow rock herself into it, as Buffy tensed and
shivered. Finally she stilled and took a shuddery breath. Without opening
her eyes, she began moving her fingers again. With her other hand, she held
Willow's hip, holding her still. When Willow's moans got louder, she kissed
her, swallowing up the noise. Then the world was tilting and the pressure
that had been building in Willow's body exploded and pleasure flooded every
nerve of her body, bright and clear and sharp.
The movie had ended and the room was dark except for the blue screen on the
television. Buffy furtively wiped her hand on her pajamas, and laughed
awkwardly. "I guess you're going to get this for sure now." Her eyes were
big and vulnerable, exposed.
And as soon as Willow had that thought, she felt exposed herself, like in
those dreams where she showed up late for an exam, and then realized she was
naked. "Um, I'm kind of sleepy now. . . I'll, uh, see you in the morning,
She ignored the hurt sound Buffy made and scuttled out of Buffy's bed and
onto her own. Curling up under the sheet, Willow thought about Xander and
how things had changed after they kissed. She thought of Buffy getting all
freaked out about what they'd done, and her heart raced with panic.
Something tickled her memory and she knew what she had to do. She waited
until Buffy's breathing became deep and even, then she went to the desk and
pulled out the book she'd snuck from Giles' collection and turned to the
memory spells. All she needed was some Lethe's bramble. . .