Anya thinks I'm working late again, and she's annoyed with me. I wince at that piercing tone her voice gets...well, almost all the time, and I hang up the phone. I'll pay for that later.
I'll pay for everything later.
Tara knows that Will's gonna be with me; she's convinced that I'm studying to retake the SATs with Will's help. She's taken to giving me little encouraging nods during research sessions that make my stomach turn. If she only knew what we were really studying.
But that's the thing. None of them know. None of them see. They're ordinary people, even Buffy, in so many ways. And Will and I, we're so much more than that now. Or I will be again, once I get to her. I'm tempted to make the car go faster, but that would just waste precious energy, so I settle for making all the lights green instead. My hands are trembling a bit, but it's under control. Everything's under control.
Part of me knows all too well that I'm on the downward spiral. Hell's Slip `N Slide. I feel it mostly at times like now, when the magic inside me wanes and I can feel the hollow. That`s what I call that gaping hole getting bigger by the minute, leaking hope and caring and goodness from my body, leaving an even greater place to be filled. It's cold, it hurts, it makes me anxious, but I'm not worried. I know that Willow will help me fill it up with the magic, just as I help her. And the magic feels so much...more than anything that was there before, anything that's been lost.
I park the car hidden in the bushes in front of the mansion on Crawford Street, Angel's old haunting grounds, remembering the first time she brought me here, the first time she showed me, saved me, damned me. I should hate her for it, and I try sometimes when the need is so strong that the cold burns, but I can't keep that going. She's my Willow and I love her. And now, as always, I am what she's made me. Which is more than I would have been otherwise...
I don't want to talk about what we do here. I don't want to think about it. It sickens me even as I crave it, even as I feel my jeans tighten as I reach the door. She found the spells in some forbidden text, and we both know the sex makes them last, makes them stronger...but sex is isn't the right word for it. It's too tame for something this savage. Hell, fuck is too nice a word. That I want it so badly tells me how far I've come. How far I've fallen. No matter. The hollow wants what it wants.
I swing the door open and she's standing there, pooled in the light of a thousand candles that make her pale skin and red hair shimmer and shine. She's light, she's all light...except for her eyes. Her eyes are purely black, like staring into space, a void, a vacuum. And I barely wait to hear the door shut behind me before I pull her to me, all bruising kisses and bruising hands as she fumbles with my jeans and I stare into the emptiness of her. Into Willow's hollow I go, as she finds mine, and my breath catches as the candles flare and the magic takes hold, takes us both away, for how long I neither know nor care. All I know is there's nothing ordinary about me anymore. All I know is I am filled.
I'll pay for that later.
Xander. Candles. Tragic.