Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (tv), Angel (tv)
Characters: Fred/Willow
Summary/Teaser: Willow leaves town after "Tabula Rasa." Fred answers the door.
Warnings: explicit girlsex
Spoilers: "Tabula Rasa" (BtVS 6.08) and "Dad" (Angel 3.10)
Notes: This story predated "Orpheus" by a longshot, yo.
Word Count: 1550

Standard Disclaimer: Joss Whedon and co. own the characters, I'm just playing with them. I do, however, own this story, so don't steal it. Archive it anywhere; just ask first.

Feedback is always appreciated. Make me blush with praise or rip apart the story with criticism, or both.

This story predated "Orpheus" by a longshot, yo.

by Elizabeth Scripturient

"I walked. I - - I just started walking, because I couldn't bear being in the house, without her. And I just kept walking, and eventually it must have started raining, but I was already crying and I must have used magic, because no one could walk that far. But I'm just, I'm so tired."

Fred stared at this slight girl, absolutely saturated with water, hair barely perceivable as red, standing in the doorway of the Hyperion. She had fallen asleep over her books at the front desk and was the first one roused by the noise at the door.

Finally she found her tongue. "Ah, ah, come in then, I suppose. I mean, Angel Investigations: We help the helpless" -- her whole body had gone into receptionist mode, and she shook out of it into a more comfortable posture -- "all that. I'll, um, get you some towels, and, ah, looks like my clothes would about fit you, so you can wear one of my nightgowns or something, and um, I don't really know if we have any extra beds -- that aren't all dusty and smelly that is, after all, this was a hotel, so of course we have beds, but um, yeah, I guess you can sleep in my bed and, um, come in -- unless you're a crazy vampire, but I already said come in, so if you really were gonna eat me you would have already, right?" She was saved from continuing by Willow's half-setepping, half-falling, though the doorway. She brought out some towels and showed Willow (though she didn't yet know that was the woman's name) into the bathroom. After she emerged, she helped her into bed. "You get some sleep and in the morning I'll tell Angel and he'll figure out how to help you."

"No. Don't tell Angel. Please."

The voice sounded so plaintive that all Fred could do was nod, wonderingly.


Willow slept through until the next night. She kept nagging at the back of Fred's mind -- who was this woman? Where did she come from? And most importantly, why didn't she want her to tell Angel?

When she returned to her room late that night she found the woman awake, staring at the ceiling.

"Have you been awake long?" she asked with concern.

"No. Just thinking," she replied absently.

"You must be hungry. Do you want anything to eat? I have tacos in the fridge. I just love tacos. I could eat them all the time. And even in L.A. the taco places close eventually, so Angel bought me these microwavable tacos and we keep them in the fridge. He rook me there once, so I could buy them myself, because there's not a lot of time between sunset and the time the store closes, but I don't like to go to stores by myself -- I don't like to go anywhere by myself, because -- " She stopped.

"Yes, some tacos would be fine," Willow said, and Fred hurried down the stairs. She came back a few minutes later with three hot tacos.

"I didn't know how many you'd want, I mean, you slept so long you must have come a very long way -- "

"These are fine, thank you."

Fred fidgeted on the edge of the bed, watching Willow eat, not knowing what to do with herself.

After Willow finished the last taco and was sucking the sauce off her fingers, Fred said suddenly, "I'm Fred, by the way."

Willow looked up. "I'm Willow." She started to offer her right hand, out of habit, then stopped as she realized her fingers were sticky with spit and tomato stain. Fred laughed.

Willow remembered the first time she had seen Fred, the only time, before this. She had barely registered with Willow, one strange figure among many. Buffy was all she had been thinking about that time. Now Buffy was back and -- she mentally shook herself out of it as Fred was talking to her again.

"Do you want anything more to eat? I'm afraid we don't have anything else in the fridge, nothing for humans I mean -- " She realized her mistake and hurried on. "But we have lots of tacos. Lots. Angel buys them in bulk for me. Charles says they're not as good as fresh ones, but I'm still easing back into the world -- uh..." she trails off.

"It's okay, I know." Voice like a hand on a shoulder.

"You -- When?"

Voice like caramel. "I know. About Pylea." Voice normal now. "Not about what happened to you really, but I know Angel brought you back from another dimension. I was here in the spring, and Angel told me, briefly, who the other people with him were."

"Oh." Fred sits quietly, processing this new information.

Willow remembers again that night. Remembers the strong and fractured aura. It's stronger now, spiderwebs wrapped around the crackling. The strength of the core is firmer now, more solid. Still so fragile, though.

"I'm so hungry," she says, in a faraway voice, and Fred looks at her with surprise and concern. "I can, I can get you more tacos."

Willow shakes her head dreamily. "No, not hungry for that." She leans over and kisses Fred on the mouth. Fred yelps in surprise, but there is a tongue in her mouth. And a hand on her back. And Willow is leaning into her, and there are tears on her face, and Fred begins to kiss her back, not quite knowing what she is doing. She is lying down on the bed and Willow is kneeling between her spread legs, gown hiked above her knees, kissing her neck, and suddenly she isn't wearing any clothes, and Willow stops the shout in her throat with a kiss. When she has calmed down, Willow moves her mouth to her breasts, biting at the nipples, and Fred is feeling lightheaded. Now Willow is circling her navel with her tongue and working her nipples with her thumbs, and Fred is moaning and arching her hips. Now Willow's hands are on her sides and her mouth is on her private place, tonguing the flesh and the folds. And Fred is moist and Willow is drinking this. And Fred is moaning and arching and Willow bites down and Fred screams and Willow is thrown across the room but there is a rush and Fred doesn't see. Her eyes are closed and her head is pounding and she feels so hot and so good in that place and it's like the rest of her body doesn't even exist, is all tingly and floaty. Willow, meanwhile, is panting, and has the presence of mind to seek out any minds in the Hyperion -- there's a baby? what? never mind, calm the thing and ask questions later -- and stroke them, just a little bit: You're just hearing things; don't worry about Fred.

Willow is standing next to Fred now, stroking her forehead. "I'm so sorry," she repeats, soothingly. The pain in Fred's head goes away, and her body begins to feel like flesh again. Eventually she opens her eyes and looks up at Willow woozily. Willow has magicked her nightgown back on and is sitting next to her on the edge of the bed.

"You know, I miss doing magic that isn't about me. I never thought I would, because nothing I did was ever about me, and then I learned how to tap into this amazing power, and it still wasn't about me. but at some point along the line it was about me. It was about what I could do and I convinced people to help me, or I changed them, and it was all about me, but I'm so empty inside. The power is amazing, and I couldn't get enough of it, but I think I lost part of myself along the way, or I stopped letting people in, or something."

Fred stared up at her, wondering how she had made her feel so good and if she would do it again, but that didn't seem like the right thing to say. But she didn't know what was the right thing to say.

"You're still making it all about you."

Two heads jerked in surprise. Angel was standing in the doorway.

"She's very breakable you know, Fred is. Very broken already, actually. She's healing very well, getting stronger, facing her demons -- which can be the hardest thing, let me tell you. You could be really good for each other, actually, but right now you're just using her, and that's not good for either of you."

"How -- ? Wh-- ?" Words failed the open-mouthed Willow.

"I saw you come in. The door woke me -- vampiric hearing and all that, plus with Connor I sleep even lighter than I used to -- " off Willow's quizzical look, "I'll explain later. Anyway, I was going to leave you to yourself until you were ready. Buffy called." Willow's eyebrows shot up. "I told her you were okay, that you needed some time away." Willow relaxed. "You're a grown woman, so I'm not going to tell you what to do. But I need to protect Fred, and I've got a cup overflowing with other things to worry about, so if you want, you can stay and help, otherwise I may just have to ask you to leave."

"I think I'll stay."

Fred smiled.

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