I'm not stupid.
I knew why Willow was here. Before she spoke, before Angel did. I knew why she was waiting in the hotel when we came back. The only reason why she would come.
Buffy was dead.
She gave us the story, in strong detail for Angel's sake. Because Angel would want to know all the different ways he failed to save her. It was just another bad guy that wanted their Hell on Earth. I'm so used to these pointless apocalypses that I'm numb. Buffy died to save the world, and we knew that she would, but it doesn't make it any better.
Gunn takes Fred upstairs and I go to change my cloths, because I never felt so ridiculous and awkward in my life.
I come back in sweats, and I see everyone sitting silently and separated. I sit next to Willow, hugging my stomach.
"The funeral's tomorrow."
"How are you holding up?" I ask, not having a clue what to say.
She's red eyed when she looks at me, but the look in her eyes was something I've seen before. Back when Buffy disappeared for the summer, and back when I was rich and stupid.
But I'm not stupid.
I saw that look then, and it had strenght and power, and it was fake. Like a bad actresses fifteen minutes of fame. Willow wanted to be a Slayer then, wanted to turn the dark side of the world to dust, and wanted all the untouchable people in Sunnydale to notice her. Of course, things are different now. We've grown up, Buffy's dead, and Willow's crying because this is what happens when Slayers make friends.
I could never do anything in Sunnydale, but we're in LA right now, and I want to do something for her. The funeral's tomorrow, so I convince Willow to stay the night because there's a very important step in the grieving process that she's avoiding.
We make our way back to my apartment, and Dennis puts something acoustic-y on the radio, while Willow settles herself on the couch.
I bring drinks out, and they seem gone before I even set them in front of her. But I keep bringing them and Willow's Slayer eyes slowly turn into her own. Her strong voice is stuttering and awkward, and it seems like High School again. Except for the three year difference, a drunk Willow, and the fact that Buffy was still dead. Yeah. Just like High School.
She's listening to me talk. I'm telling her about L.A. and all those supernatural things that make my life so interesting. She doesn't want to do the talking tonight, because she's going to be doing plenty tomorrow. She's going to be strong and dab the make-up of a Slayer underneath the dark circles. Because Buffy's gone, and that's just what Willow does. Just like High School.
I realize that I've stopped talking and Willow's staring at another empty glass, and I'm still nursing my second drink.
"I shouldn't have stayed." Her voice is small, and shaky. She could be on the verge of crying, or just slurred from the alcohol.
"Well, you're in no condition to drive now."
"The alcohol. It makes it better, doesn't it?"
"No, Willow." I top off her drink with my homemade screwdriver. "It just makes you drunk."
"That's fun too." She smiles at me, all lopsided and inappropriate. I had forgotten about it, that endearing way she has that got Xander swooning. All innocent and geeky. I kind of get what he saw in her now. I kind of got it back then too.
"You're all different." It came out of her mouth as one word.
"Well, plastic surgeons can do wonders these days." I joke.
"Nooo, you're all...smart. And blonde." I was always smart, Willow. But I let it go, because it's the smart thing to do.
"Oxymoronic, much?" That makes her laugh, so it's easy to forget. I guess she has the right to question my intelligence. She was the only one at that school that was smarter than me. Maybe in more ways than one, but my mother taught me to flaunt other things than my brains, and Willow's mother spent five minutes a month with her. Other girls with that kind of absent home life usually turn into the whores and junkies of the world, but Willow's too smart for that.
"You 'member the closet?" She asks, randomly.
"The one you came out of?" I smile, and her eyes are as glossy as they come.
"You did too." I'm sort of confused, wondering if she was tossing some kind of lesbian suggestion my way. "Spike. When he came to the school that first time. We were in the closet."
"You mean the closet in the literal sense. Not the symbolic, sexual orientation way."
I think I'm using too big of words for her, because she's looking kind of confused.
"I remember." I clarify.
"It was like--like the whole time I just wanted..." She trailed off, and for a moment I thought that what Willow wanted back then would remain a mystery. But then she's looking at me again.
And I'm not stupid.
She kisses me. Stumbles onto my lips, tasting like salt and alcohol. I give this to her, this moment, because I know it's something she's wanted to do for a while. Not because of arrogance, just that I know.
And, okay. I kiss her back.
But suddenly my act of comfort between two almost-friends turns into something else. It turns into that tingly feeling you get in your lower stomach, and it's not exactly unpleasant. Willow must have gotten her footing, because her tongue snakes into my mouth slightly in a very experienced way. I'm suddenly aware that Buffy's dead, and I'm paying my respects by letting her friend live out some twisted teenage fantasy. I lightly push her away, and Willow's lips find their way to my neck leaving a trail of shivers in their wake.
"Willow, no..." Necking with Willow on my couch wasn't in my day planner for this week.
Her tongue teases the back of my ear, and my body starts to react in ways other than shivers.
"Cordy, yes." She taunts. And when did this thin redhead get so bold?
I pull my neck away from her in a rude kind of way, because it's best for both of us if she stops. She doesn't look hurt. Just determined. Like this isn't something she wants, it's something she's going to have. It's new, but kind of old. Those hidden needs for power deep in the psyche of a nerdy sidekick. It's sort of dark, in a completely kind of way. But it's only there for a moment, and then the green in her eyes come back.
"I've had practice, ya know." She's smiling seductively. "I-I can make you feel all kinds of good feelings." I'm not doubting that. But I'm guessing she got all that practice with someone other than herself. It makes this wrong, in all kinds of ways.
"I know how those special parts work." her fingers dance along my inner thighs, and I jump a little. Willow moves to idly trace the waist of my sweat pants and I can see her pupils dialate from arousal. It makes me feel dirty, flushed, and that tingly feeling just keeps getting lower and stronger. It makes me feel all those feelings I haven't felt in a long time.
Feelings I like.
Her lips are moving lower. I feel fingers under my cloths. Taking them off. She's on top of me, and my nails dig into her bare back. There's a rhythm that she can't keep steady, and I can't keep up with.
And the whole time, I'm wanting to stop her. It's not worth the regret she'll feel in the morning. And it's not worth giving her another reasons to hate me. But all I can do is watch red hair between my legs until I see stars.
Maybe I am stupid.