Thinking rationally about it, Willow knew she should never have cast
To begin with, she didn't really know what she was doing. She had no training, no experience and no one to teach her. She only had Miss Calendar's old texts, and whatever she could find on the Net.
But it had seemed so much like a safe experiment. A spell to increase any existing amount of attraction between two people, however small, into nearly irresistible lust. Casting it on a pair she was sure had no attraction whatsoever between them sounded like a perfectly safe thing to do for practice.
She turned over in the bed, moving herself backwards a little so her back was pressed against Cordelia's front. Willow loved feeling her breasts push against her. The morning sun was already shining into Cordelia's overdecorated room, but in spite of hardly having slept at all during the night Willow didn't feel sleepy. Tired, yes, and sore here and there, but not sleepy.
From behind her, Cordelia's regular breaths caressed her neck.
"A couple of months ago, I guess," Cordelia said. They were sitting in
the back of her car, parked in the dark under a few trees a bit
outside town. It was the second or third time they'd went out
together, and the third or fourth time they'd made love. Willow hadn't
really understood what was happening yet, and she suspected that
Cordelia hadn't either.
"It was just after I got out of hospital," Cordelia went on. "Harmony and her cronies were being bitches as usual, and I was feeling lonely when this girl Anya showed up."
Their clothes were spread all over the car. Cordelia was half-sitting leaned against the passenger-side door, one leg stretched out along the back seat and the other wedged up against the back of the front seat. Willow was leaning against Cordelia's chest, long red hair spread over her breasts.
"She knew her fashion, and we got to talking. Soon enough we were talking boys, and I got into this vicious anti-Xander rant. I kept inventing all these nasty things I'd like to happen to him, and she kept egging me on. Finally, to like top it all off, I yelled that I wished I was gay, and her face got all veiny and she said 'Done!' in this Twilight Zone kinda voice."
Willow half listened to the story, half just enjoyed the feeling of Cordelia's skin against her own. She ran her hand over Cordelia's side, caressed her delicious breast.
"Then she looked kind of surprised and said that that wasn't what I was supposed to say, and then she just vanished into thin air. Which was weird all right, but, you know, Sunnydale? I didn't think more about it until a couple of days later when Harmony came to cheerleader practice without her underwear and I just couldn't stop trying to look up her skirt."
Cordelia's fingers played through Willow's hair.
"What about you?" she said.
Willow shrugged, as much as she could where she lay.
"I always was, I guess," she said. "I just never realized this isn't how everyone feels."
She cast the spell late at night, in her own bedroom. Everything went
just right, and she felt quite pleased with herself. At least until
the next afternoon when the gang was sitting around the table in the
school library listening to Giles and Cordelia walked into the room.
Willow couldn't take her eyes from her. As soon as she walked in, the rest of the room ceased to exist. All there was was this utterly, utterly divine manifestation of total loveliness. Distantly, Willow felt her heart speed up and her face start to burn with an intense blush. She felt a desire to be near, to touch, that was so strong that it was more like a physical need, a hunger, than a feeling.
And Cordelia looked back at her with an expression that clearly said that Willow wasn't the only one who felt like that.
"Willow?" Buffy said. "Are you all right?"
With an effort of will worthy of some ancient hero, Willow turned her gaze to her friend.
"Yeah," she said. "Fine. Just a little... lost in thought."
"Are you sure? You looked really way off there."
"I'm sure," she said. She tried to remember what Giles had been saying. "Research, huh? Which section should I take?"
"Thirteenth century demonography, I think," Giles said. He opened his mouth to say something more when Cordelia interrupted.
"I'll help her," she said.
Giles looked at Cordelia, clearly surprised.
"All right," he said. "Xander and Oz, take the 1950s Watcher's Council texts. Buffy..."
"I know," Buffy said. "Patrol. Poke nasty critters with pointy sticks."
"Quite," Giles said.
Willow got up and headed for the rear sections of the library before Giles had finished distributing the work, followed closely by Cordelia. She thought that she could feel the taller girl behind her, as if a strange radiation came from her that left Willow's entire backside tingling. She had a feeling that if she turned and looked behind her, she wouldn't get any closer to the intended books. So she didn't. She walked in among the tall shelves, eyes carefully trained forward and avoiding reflecting surfaces.
Once they were safely out of sight from the others, Cordelia's hand landed on Willow's shoulder and forcefully turned her around. The expression of fierce desire on Cordelia's face made Willow's knees go weak and her heartbeat go wild again. Her hands reached out of themselves to touch the alluring body in front of her, and she had to consciously force them down again.
"Cordelia," she said. "This is all wrong."
Cordelia raised an eyebrow. "Don't try to tell me you don't want me," she said. "'Cause I can see that you do."
Willow tried to swallow, but her mouth had gone all dry.
"It's not you," she said. "Or me. It's the spell."
"You cast a spell to make me want you like this?"
"No!" Willow said. "It wasn't meant to make anybody feel anything! I was just, like, practice."
Cordelia had kept moving closer, and Willow had without noticing it backed away until her back hit a bookshelf.
"But?" Cordelia said.
"I was only meant to increase what was already there, not to create anything. I don't know what went wrong with it."
Cordelia leaned closer. The smell of her perfume became stronger, and a few stray hairs brushed against Willow's skin.
"What makes you think it went wrong?" Cordelia said.
Willow blinked in confusion. "We... we're girls," she said.
"So?" Cordelia said, and the way she looked at her when she said it made Willow go all warm and tingly.
"But if it is just your spell," Cordelia went on. "How do we break it?"
"I...," Willow said. "I don't know how to break it. It ends if we..."
Willow's voice faltered as she thought about what she was about to say.
"If we act on the desire," she said, as a compromise between truth and embarrassment. "But to break it I'd have to ask Giles for help."
"Act on it?" Cordelia said. "Like this?"
She bent down a little, put her arms around around Willow's waist and kissed her. Willow's resolve not to touch Cordelia, not to get close to her or do anything inappropriate with her evaporated like a snowball in a blast furnace under the soft and warm touch, as Cordelia's wet and hot tongue gently pushed at her lips. She desperately threw her arms around Cordelia and returned the kiss as vigorously as she knew how.
"Oh God," she said when Cordelia finally released her. "Oh God."
"Right," Cordelia said. "Let's make up an excuse to get out of here, go back to my place and end this spell, OK?"
"Right," Willow said. She could vaguely recall that that was supposed to be the wrong thing to do, but she couldn't for the life of her remember why.
"Let's go," she said.
Willow knew that their relationship was serious when Cordelia
attempted to change her dress style and actually took no for an
answer. She didn't like it, that was for sure, and she kept
bringing it up every now and again for several months, but she
accepted it. She didn't even seem to mind being seen in public with
her less-than-stylish lover.
At first it had surprised Willow that Cordelia showed no reluctance whatsoever about coming out. She'd expected the ever so fashion-, style- and status-conscious cheerleader to want to hide her predilection for women as well as was humanly possible. But she didn't.
"I've never hid who I am," she said when Willow asked her about it. "And you're way cuter and smarter than Xander Harris, so you're a long step up in any case."
Now that she no longer saw Cordelia through many years' worth of accumulated dislike, Willow found that she really admired her strength. Cordelia had a will that sometimes felt more like a force of nature than a personality characteristic. When combined with a sharp tongue and, Willow slowly realized, a very sharp mind, it really was no surprise that she had ended up the social queen of Sunnydale High.
So when Cordelia tried for the eleventeenth time to get her to wear high heels and some dark-red leather jacket imported directly from Milan and Willow got so fed up with it that she just exploded and yelled that she'd never ever wear that stupid stuff, she fully expected to get dumped then and there. But that didn't happen.
"I'll have to choose between mousy Willow and no Willow, won't I?" Cordelia said, looking thoughtful.
"Well, you're not getting fashion-victim Willow," Willow said.
Cordelia put the jacket back into the huge walk-in wardrobe.
"Ok," she said, her back still turned towards Willow. "Want to go out for mochas?"
At first, Willow was too stunned to reply. Then a warm feeling spread through her. She smiled at Cordelia's back.
"What if you get to choose between mousy Willow at the Espresso Pump and naked Willow in your bed?" she said.
Cordelia turned around, and the smile on her face was like the sun coming out after a thunderstorm.
"Now, that's a really easy choice," she said. She walked slowly towards the chair where Willow was sitting, unbuttoning her blouse and dropping it on the floor while she approached. She stopped when she was standing with Willow's knees between her legs. She undid her bra and let her bare breasts hang free right in front of Willow's face.
"I'm dying for some coffee," she said.
Willow didn't even remember what lie they used to get past Giles. Her
mouth made something up while they walked past, and before he had the
chance to protest she was already following Cordelia through the
library door. The drive to Cordelia's house was also a blur, a vague
memory of Sunnydale streets swooshing past the car's windows at insane
speed as she tried damn hard not to start undressing Cordelia while
she was driving. They stumbled out of the car and up the stairs to
Cordelia's bedroom, kissing and tearing at each other's clothes all
the way. When they finally tumbled onto the bed, they were both for
all practical purposes naked.
"I've never done this before," Willow said, lying on her back the bed with Cordelia standing on hands and knees over her.
"You're not backing out now, are you?" Cordelia said, astonished frustration obvious in her voice.
"God, no!" Willow said. "It's just... I don't know what to do."
"Me neither," Cordelia said. She reached down with one hand an lightly ran her long nails along the inside of Willow's thigh. Willow gasped at the sensation.
"You're supposed to be good at the figuring out, aren't you?" Cordelia said. "So you just apply that brain of yours and do anything to me that you think I'll like, and if I do I'll do it to you too."
And Willow did. She started out with the simple things she liked to do to herself and, finding that Cordelia liked having them done her a whole lot, she improvised from there. There was quite a bit of fumbling at the start, and an occasional "Ouch! Not there!", but enthusiasm counts for much and they were both quick learners. When the sun rose, they were lying in each others arms, sleeping the deep sleep of the contentedly exhausted.
They woke late the next morning. Willow had a brief moment of panic when she saw the clock and realized that she'd miss English class, but decided that the morning after you lose your virginity is special and a good enough reason to skip class.
Only then she got to wondering if it counted as losing your virginity when it was with another girl. She was just about to ask Cordelia's opinion when Cordelia rolled out of bed and stood next to it looking down at Willow. The sun shone on her tanned body, turning it into a darkly golden wonderland beautiful enough to take Willow's breath away.
"So did it work?" Cordelia said.
Willow frowned. "Did what work?" she said.
"Ending your spell? You know, the reason we came here in the first place?"
"Oh," Willow said. "Right. Yeah, I think it worked. I mean, if I'd seen you like this last night we never would've made it to the car in the first place."
Cordelia looked away. "So now you don't want me any more?"
Willow sat up in the bed. "No!" she said. "That's not it at all! You're absolutely gorgeous and I want you lots. It's just that now it feels like I can resist the temptation to drag you into bed, if I have to."
The frown returned as a thought struck her. "Don't you want me any more?"
"You said that your spell only amplified what was already there, right?" Cordelia said.
"I want you," Cordelia said, still looking away. "I've wanted you for as long as I've wanted girls. So, well, not that long, really. But I thought there'd be no point in doing anything about it. I mean, you talked about boys and you dated Oz, so..."
Oz. Willow realized that she'd plain forgot about Oz. Somehow, he didn't feel important any longer.
"So," she said, "if you want me and I want you, why are you standing all the way over there? Not that I don't like the view, because I do, a lot, but, you know, wanting to touch."
Cordelia looked at her and smiled.
"Come with me to college," Willow said. "I think my parents aimed for
MIT without scholarships or something like that with my college fund,
so it'll easily get us both through UC Sunnydale."
They were resting on a park bench in the dark, upwind from the still-burning ruins of Sunnydale High School. Any other day, it'd be a really stupid idea to be out in the dark like that, but this was not a normal day. They'd stopped the Mayor's Ascension, and just about every vampire in town was busy fleeing for its unlife.
"I can't," Cordelia said. "It's too much money. I can't just take it."
Willow was lying on the bench, with her head resting in the sitting Cordelia's lap. They were both exhausted from the recent fighting, their clothes and faces spotted with soot and the occasional bloodstain. Willow reached up to stroke Cordelia's face.
"Hey," she said. "I don't want to go without my girlfriend. Please?"
Cordelia ran her fingers through Willow's hair.
"You really want me to, huh?" she said.
"Didn't I just say so?"
Cordelia was silent for a while, her hand moving slowly over Willow's scalp.
"No," she finally said. "It's just too much money. I can't accept that kind of gift. Besides, it's not really your money to give away, it belongs to your parents."
"The only time they've paid attention to me in years was when my mother tried to have me killed!" Willow said. "I can so give that money away!"
"I'm sure you can," Cordelia said. "But I can't just take it. It's quite enough that I've been living with you for free since the IRS took our house."
Willow's face fell. "Will you at least stay in Sunnydale?" she asked. "We could still live together. We could get a flat near the campus!"
Cordelia smiled. "Or," she said, "you could lend me money and we could live together on campus."
"Yeah!" Willow said, her face shining up. Then she frowned again and hit Cordelia on the shoulder.
"Don't tease me like that!" she said. "I got all worried!"
"Sorry," Cordelia said, smiling. "But you're so cute when you frown."
Willow made a face at Cordelia. "I'll have you make it up to me when we get home," she said.
"Ooh," Cordelia said. "Sounds like an invitation."
She stretched out her hand and started moving it up under Willow's skirt, caressing the leg on the way.
"Hey!" Willow protested, closing her legs and holding her skirt down with her hands. "Not so private here!"
Cordelia pointedly looked around. "Nobody's looking," she said. "Besides, we're in shadow, so even if somebody was looking this way they wouldn't see much for the fire."
Willow looked around as well. Cordelia seemed to be right. She let go of the skirt.
"At least let's move into the bushes, all right?" she said.
Cordelia bent down as far as she could and kissed Willow on the forehead.
"Now where's the fun in that?" she said. Her hand resumed its voyage up under the skirt and continued into Willow's panties. She smiled at the warm wetness she found there. Not only Slayers got turned on by living through a fight.
"Just be silent," Cordelia said as she ran her finger along the slick labia, "and nobody will notice what's going on."
Willow bit her lip to stifle a moan.
"Now let's see how long you can keep that up," Cordelia said, grinning evilly.
For a few days after their first night together, they awkwardly tried
to pretend to the rest of the world that nothing had happened between
them. They walked around each other in school, surreptitiously giving
each other smiles and longing looks while trying to keep up their
usual stream of mutual insults. It worked well enough, as far as
Willow could tell, and although she didn't really like it she played
along for Cordelia's sake. Not that they'd actually talked
about it, but it seemed to Willow only natural that Cordelia would
like to keep her newfound taste for women private. So she did her best
She was taking her chemistry books out of her locker when she heard steps approach and stop behind her.
"Cordelia," she heard Buffy say from in front of the next locker over. "What brings you to the unfashionable part of town?"
Cordelia? What was she doing there? Willow put her books down and turned around.
"This does," Cordelia said. She put her arms around Willow's waist, pulled her close and kissed her deeply. Willow found her body responding in kind before she had consciously made the decision to, but that was all right. Holding and kissing Cordelia was, after all, exactly what she wanted to do every time she saw her. She relaxed into the embrace, put her own arms around Cordelia's neck and enjoyed the kiss.
She thought she could hear Buffy's jaw drop.
"W... Willow?" Buffy said. "What are you doing?"
Willow broke the kiss.
"I'm kissing my girlfriend," she said.
"So you don't want to keep it secret any longer?" she continued, turned to Cordelia, whose hands had drifted down and were now resting on Willow's ass.
"I never wanted to keep us secret," Cordelia said. "I thought you did."
"Me?" Willow said. "Why would I want to do that? You're the one with a social standing to lose."
"Girlfriend?!", Buffy said, carefully stressing every syllable she could possibly wring out of the word. "But you're..."
Cordelia turned to Buffy with a tired look.
"Oh, grow up," she said.
They were sitting under the pink UC Sunnydale Lesbian Alliance banner,
ready to talk to curious people and possibly hand them flyers. So far,
this being the seventh and last day of the information drive, nobody
had even tried to be nasty to them, much less seriously wanted to
talk. At the moment it was also lecture time, so the entire hall was
"Willow?" Cordelia said, her voice sounding unusually hesitant.
"Yes?" Willow said. She turned to look at Cordelia, who looked worried and was looking away from her. "What's the problem?"
"I'm leaving," Cordelia said.
"But we're supposed to be here for another hour, almost?" Willow said.
"Not leaving here," Cordelia said. "Leaving Sunnydale."
Willow turned towards her so abruptly that she almost fell off her chair.
"What?" she said. "But... why? What about me? I don't want to leave!"
"I know," Cordelia said. "I'm going alone."
"You're leaving me?" Willow said, her voice thick with disbelief.
Cordelia looked uncomfortable. "Yes," she said. "I am."
She turned towards Willow and looked straight at her.
"Look," she said. "You're having the time of your life here. You like to study. You like the library and laboratories. You like the political things, like this."
She gestured towards the banner above them.
"You even like the social life here," Cordelia went on. "You go out to clubs and listen to bands, and if that isn't a huge difference to high school I don't know what is."
"But," Willow said, "you like those things too! Don't you?"
Cordelia shook her head. "It's just not my scene," she said. "I don't belong here. So I'm leaving. For Los Angeles, I think. Maybe I can find Angel and Oz."
"But," Willow said. "What about us?"
Cordelia got up from her chair, got close to Willow and hugged her head.
"I love you," she said.
"I know!" Willow said, her voice a bit muffled, since her cheek was pressed to Cordelia's belly. "So how can you want to leave?"
"Because you don't love me," Cordelia said, and there was a deep sadness in her voice.
Willow pulled free from Cordelia's embrace. "What?" she said.
"It's almost a year we've been together now," Cordelia said. "And never once in that time have you told me that you love me."
She knelt down so she was looking up at Willow.
"I believe that you consider me a very good friend," she said. "I believe that you really enjoy making love to me. I believe that you like being seen with me, and that you like not being entirely in the mainstream of society. But I can no longer make myself believe that you love me. So I'm leaving."
"But... but... no! You can't just..." Willow said.
Cordelia laid a finger across her lips. "Hush," she said.
She smiled sadly at Willow. "Listen to yourself," she said. "Not even now you can make yourself say that you love me. So, granted, mucho points for honesty. But I do love you, and I can't stand living like this any more. So I'll leave, and hope that I get over you."
She stood up, then bent down a little and kissed Willow on the forehead.
"Farewell, my love," she said. "I'll take what I need and can carry. The rest you can do whatever you like with. Most of it was bought with your money anyway."
And then she walked away.
Willow remained sitting, speechless. She hadn't even suspected. Part of her wanted to run after Cordelia, grab hold of her and yell at her that she did too love her.
Another, wiser, part knew that Cordelia had been right. She'd been more in love with plentiful great sex and with having a stunningly beautiful girlfriend than with Cordelia herself. And that really wasn't fair, to either of them. Even so, she felt tears gathering in her eyes. She cursed and angrily wiped them away.
Slowly, she became aware that someone was standing near her. She looked up, and saw a scared-looking girl with an armful of books clutched to her bosom as if they were a shield. She had long, straight blonde hair that she let hang so it almost hid her face, and she was dressed in a voluminous skirt and billowy blouse that both served to hide the shape of her body.
"Yes?" Willow said, trying not to sound all choked up. "Can I help you?"
"Um," the girl said. "I- I heard. I'm sorry. I h-hope you can m-m-make up."
Willow smiled weakly. "Thanks," she said, "but that doesn't seem likely. She's leaving town."
"Oh. I-I'm just s-sorry, then."
"I'll manage," Willow said. "Was there something you wanted to ask? I am here to talk about the Lesbian Alliance, if you're curious."
"I was just g-g-going to ask if you knew where t-t-the wicca meeting is," the girl said.
"Yeah, I do," Willow said. "I'm going there myself, so if you wait a few moments while I pack up the folders and stuff I'll show you. Nobody's coming to talk anyway so I may as well pack up early."
She got up and quickly shoved the remaining folders and pamphlets and stickers into her backpack.
"I'm Willow, by the way," she said when she'd hoisted the backpack onto her shoulder.
"T-t-tara," the shy girl said.
"Pleased to meet you, Tara," Willow said. "So, you're interested in the occult?"
Side by side, they walked off towards the wicca circle.