Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

One Perfect Moment
By Buddy
For Colleen

Willow spins on the chair as fast as she can and spares a brief thought to the fact her office door is open. But then it wouldn't be nearly as much fun if there wasn't a chance of being caught. Her head spins and her stomach starts to lurch and perversely she puts her foot down to stop the momentum so she can send it the other way.

"Interesting research," Fred says from the doorway. "Which particular department head is interested in the effects of speed propulsion on human balance and constitution?"

Willow puts her foot down again to stop the chair and slides out of it gracefully. She lands on her ass with a thud and ends up sprawled over the carpet. Fred blinks at masses of red hair and poseable limbs and for a moment before Willow climbs to her feet, she looks like a Centrefold without the nakedness.

"Owie." Willow manages to look about five years old as she rubs her ass, totally confusing Fred with the rapid change from one visual to the other. "That wasn't meant to be a part of the experiment."

"Well it's certainly different from hiding behind Knox's door and jumping out at him just as he started to fall asleep at his desk from exhaustion.

"Poor guy," Willow grins. "He actually shouted 'mommy' and stuck his thumb in his mouth."

"No he didn't. He told you next time you had to warn him when you wanted to play because it isn't fair if you get to hide before he's counted to fifty."

Fred perches on the edge of Willow's desk and gives silent thanks once again for female company that isn't dead or ditzy and bonus points; actually has a sharp mind. Plus she's kind of sexy in a generic way that makes Fred want to go shopping and let Willow choose her clothes and the movie they see at the cinema when work commitments allow it. It has nothing to do with how Willow sometimes makes her stumble over her words or the way Fred has suddenly developed an interest in sleepovers when she only has one bed and no inflatable mattress.

"It backfired, true. But it isn't my fault he has nerves of steel. Underneath that affable exterior, Knox is definitely hiding Superman. Hey! Knox is really Clark Kent, what an asset to the team." Willow grins and leans over to switch off her PC and Fred closes her eyes against the invasion of perfume in her nostrils before she jumps up from the desk.

"In that case we should let Angel know, he might give him a pay rise." She screws up her nose. "On second thought, maybe not."

"Ok I'm done. I'm ready for my next assignment because work is fun and it has nothing to do with my lack of a social life. Unless you're free and want to do something. Not that I'm only asking you because I don't have other options, even though I don't. Have other options, that is. Buffy's taking Dawn to a restaurant for some sister bonding time and Xander is probably busy having sex again because this is a day with hours in it and you're looking at me funny so I'm shutting up now."

"I'd love to do something later because I really don't have other options." Fred winces and her hands fly to her mouth. "Oh God, now I'm doing it." She takes a deep breath and cuts the air with the sides of her hands. "I would like us to do something fun together, and you would be my first choice, even if I had other options."

Willow smiles at her warmly and a blush creeps over Fred's face. "Me too, Fred, it's great to have someone to talk to who understands science and can appreciate the physics of magic."

Fred coughs and brushes non-existent hair from her face. "It can be your one fun moment for the day. Although the chair-spinning thing was pretty impressive." She hands her a postcard of two kangaroos kissing. "To add to your collection." Willow smiles her thanks and adds it to the camels, llamas and other animals on her corkboard, all of them lip locked in a bizarre parody of human affection.

"Actually I look for one fine moment in every day but it can be a fun moment too. Is there anything left to do today?"

"Well," Fred beams and Willow is fascinated by the curve of her lips and the way her nose thins at the end and her cheeks flush every time she does that. "How would you like to go down to the lab and check our progress on a certain construction worker's new eye?"


"Knox says the tests indicate it's ready so now you get to do your thing and Xander gets his depth vision back. As far as Christmas presents go, it beats a CD or a new tie. In fact it beats pretty much anything in the history of gift giving, unless you calculate life-saving organs into the equation but still, it isn't to be sniffed at. Xander's really lucky to have you."

"To have us you mean. He needs both of us to make it work."

"The working part is still up for debate but I'm almost positive that we can get him in for surgery tomorrow."

"That soon?" Willow takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "I can do this. The Magicks are much more reliable than the anti-rejection drugs he would need to take for the rest of his life and it isn't the first time I've done this."

"It isn't?"

"I practised on Dawnie's new cat after she lost her tail, and I'm thinking that cats and Dawn really aren't mixy things."


"Willow waves her hand. "Never mind, just don't mention cats and weapons to her in the same breath. Unless you want her to be quiet for an hour; it works every time."

"Actually, I'd like to get to know her better and thankfully I don't have a cat or anything else that could lose its parts. But Wesley keeps her really busy and any time she has spare she spends with, what's his name?"


"That's it, Michael, from accounts."

"Young love; 'tis a wonderful thing."

Oz's image pops into Willow's mind but instead of the nostalgic pang that it used to trigger, it brings a smile to her lips and warmth to her heart. At least she knows where he is these days. Her smile falters as she thinks of Tara but then she's an ache that Willow knows is a part of her make-up now. Like red hair and green eyes and her tendency to slur her speech when she's tired. It's a fitting memorial and she wouldn't give it up for anything.

"I've let Angel know but I thought I'd leave you to break the good news to Xander. If you can get past his guard dog that is."

Willows snorts as she locks the office door behind them. "Lindsey's not so bad. Not once you get past the fact he's terrified in case Xander realises he's made a terrible mistake one day, and checks himself into a mental institution."

"I feel kinda sorry for the guy. I know he was evil an' all, who around here wasn't? But it can't have been easy coming back to work for Wolfram and Hart."

Willow pulls a face. "Maybe not ... but given Xander's track record, I'm still not convinced he isn't some kind of demon. But even if he is, I have to admit it's probably the healthiest relationship Xander's had so far."

"Nice suit, Gunn," Fred says as Gunn walks past them with a determined stroll. "Are you really going to court this late?"

"Actually, no. Been there, done that, beat their asses. And now I'm meeting someone for drinks."

Willow and Fred raise their eyebrows in unison.

"Is she pretty?" Willow asks him innocently.

"Not that it's any of your business but not only do they have blonde hair and blue eyes, they have a killer left punch, which is always handy in a bar room brawl."

Fred shakes her head at him. "I'm not sure this is such a good idea, Charles. Spike's a terrible influence on ... everybody."

"That might be true. But it's a good excuse to let my goatee down and change outta my suit, which is constricting even if it is smooth, and back into my street clothes."

Willow looks at him incredulously. "Who would've thunk it? Of all the people you could have made friends with ..."

"Spike was the only one. Besides, he makes me laugh; he does a tight impression of Angel and he can drink any one of my old crew under the table."

"Such wonderful qualities, he must be so proud."

"Don't be dissin' the way I relax. You should try it sometime before you get old and bitter."

Willow raises her chin. "I'm not dissing. I'm envying."

"Well you're welcome to join us, both of you."

"We have to go check on our ethically ambiguous cloning project. Maybe later."

"We'll be in the bar across the street unless we get lucky. If you can't see us, we ain't there."

Willow looks over at Fred and catches the way she stares at Gunn's retreating back. And if she feels a pang of jealousy she puts it down to nervousness about the operation; it has nothing to do with the fact she thinks they look good together or the way Gunn stares at Fred when Fred isn't looking.

"Are you wondering about his sanity or checking out his ass?"

"God, no! Neither one. I was just thinking that it's good that Charles socialises with Spike. He hardly comes into the office since Buffy and Angel got back together. He prefers to get his assignments directly from Wesley these days and the grapevine is sure kept busy with his sexual exploits," Fred sighs. "Guess he's making up for lost time and who can blame him?"

"So, you're not interested in Gunn then?" Willow tries for casual but it sounds desperate to her own ears.

"No, it's just that sometimes when I see him I get this feeling that there's something I'm missing or that I should remember. It's like déjà vu in overdrive." She opens the lab door and waves to Knox.

"Fred. Willow. Are you here for the unveiling?"

"Eew! Can you not refer to my friend's potential new eye as though it were an exhibit?"

"Sure. I mean what kind of exhibit would it be anyway? Newly discovered works by Salvador Dali?"


"Sorry, Fred. I forgot to tell you I have a macabre sense of humour. It kind of comes with the territory." Knox pushes his chair away from his workstation and stands up with a pointed look at Willow.

"I don't know whether to be relieved that you weren't on the payroll before Angel Inc took over the place, or just to be thankful that we have you now."

"You can be both and I promise not to hold it against you. Now, show me what you got, mister."

Knox unlocks a huge metal door and brings out an aluminium box; wisps of fog obscure the view when he opens it. "We've tested it and it works perfectly, the lens has twenty-twenty vision and the optic nerve is possibly the healthiest I've ever seen. Although to be honest, I've only ever seen one cloned. Check it out."

Fred peers over the edge of the box but Willow hesitates. Knox shrugs his shoulders at her. "Go ahead, it's not as though it can wink at you."

Willow slaps his arm and Fred looks up in time to see the playful exchange. Maybe Willow isn't totally gay after all. Fred decides it isn't a problem if she isn't, because Knox is a nice guy and Willow isn't the kind of woman who would give up her girlfriends just because she had a boyfriend. Well, girl friends anyway, it isn't as though Fred has any prior claim on her. She bites her lip and looks away.

"He's right, you should take a look. It looks just like Xander's other eye. If you could imagine his other eye not actually being in his head already."

Willow closes her eyes, moves closer to the box and then opens them quickly. "It's an eye. And it's brown. And we grew it. We so rock!"

"This is a great moment." Fred says, solemnly.

Knox puts his hand over his heart. "It is a great moment. A new eye for Xander and a promise of level wainscoting for new homes in the West Hollywood area." He rubs his eyes. "Please tell me that the irony of him working there isn't lost on everybody else."

He draws in breath as Willow hugs him. "Thank you so much," she says and his chest muffles her words. Before Fred can move away Willow lets Knox go and pulls Fred toward her. She tucks a stray strand of hair behind Fred's ear and smiles at her. Fred feels sure that everyone in the room can hear the way her heart is booming in her chest; in fact her mother can probably hear it down in Texas.

"You, my friend, are coming with me, to show Spike and Gunn how to really celebrate." She puts her arms around Fred's waist and pulls her close, her breath a warm tickle against Fred's skin. "Come with me to tell Xander?" Willow can't resist a satisfied smile at the way Fred trembles in her arms and she wonders if this is today's fine moment.

"Right ... well. I'll be ... somewhere else."

"Knox, wait. Spike and Gunn are already over at Denny's. We'll meet you there later, ok? I just want to tell Xander personally."

"Sure," his smile is eager and Fred's heart sinks.

"Are you ready, Fred? I can't wait to see the look on Xander's face."

"Or the fear because if I were him, I'd be terrified."

"He has Lindsey," she says softly. "And you don't ever need to be terrified, I got your back." The door snicks closed as Fred's head jerks up and the moment freezes as she realises that they're alone.

"Willow I ..." Willow puts her finger to Fred's lips, leans in and narrows the gap between them almost completely.

"Don't say anything." She moves her finger and presses her lips softly against Fred's mouth. It could be a chaste kiss except she closes her eyes and holds it a moment too long. "Mmmm. You taste just the way I imagined. I hope you don't mind."

"Mind? No I ... it's fine. Was it fine?"

"I like to look for one fine moment in every day so I never forget that we're lucky to be alive and that time is so slippery. Growing up in Sunnydale taught me that. No matter how you try to hold on to it, it always gets away so you have to chase it and seize it and make it yours for as long as possible."

"I get that," Fred's voice is shaky and she would love to sit down before she falls down but at least for now she appears to be defying gravity. Willow laces her fingers through Fred's and leads her toward the door.

"That wasn't a fine moment."

"It wasn't?" Fred's voice is shrill and she stops dead in her tracks.

"No. It was a perfect moment."