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

Just Something That Happened
By Rimedio
For Thomas Madden

They will never mention it.

That much is understood almost as soon as it is over; in the first rush of logical thought, of realization of what happened. Sex. In some ways the sex is the least complicated part.

They had missed each other more than either was willing to admit, and no one was talking. That all of Buffy’s friends were working with her mother to make sure she was never left alone only made things more awkward. Buffy couldn’t help wondering if Willow was only there to make sure she didn’t take off back to L.A. Willow knew this, but felt powerless to reassure her friend, mostly because Buffy was partly right: Willow did want to keep her from running away. But that wasn’t the only reason she’d come over.

The evening started badly. Willow had to let herself in with the spare key because Buffy wouldn’t come to the door. She found her in her room sitting cross-legged and straight-backed on the bed. “Hey,” Willow said cautiously, and was rewarded only with a glance and slight nod of recognition.

So she’d perched awkwardly on the edge of the bed herself, and then, when it because apparent that no other communication was forthcoming she’d made herself comfortable, pulling up her knees and moving over to sit beside her friend. And eventually, after what felt like hours of silence she’d snaked her arm over Buffy’s shoulders and squeezed gently, trying to reassure without words, because she couldn’t think of anything to say.

Buffy felt as if the tentative touch was reeling her in from a million miles away. Slowly, very slowly, sensation returned and she could feel the scratch of the coverlet on her legs and the hardness of the wall against her back and Willow’s arm over her shoulders burning and solid and keeping her there. So she’d leaned into the embrace, wanting to experience solid sensation, to stay in the real world. And somehow Willow’s need to reassure and Buffy’s need of anchoring had led to a different kind of closeness.

Afterwards neither can remember how it started. They remember only fragments. Fragments which might make a complete picture were they to compare notes, (which they won’t) but more likely would not.

Willow remembers noticing how fine Buffy’s hair is compared to her own. How soft it felt falling across her face and how her fingers got lost in it, twisting and tangling, but never trapped. She remembers noticing how Buffy is actually smaller than her, how she felt like she might crush her, even though she knows how laughable that idea really is. She remembers too, how Buffy tasted, a taste she can’t begin to describe but that nevertheless awoke a strange need in her, one that rose up when Buffy kissed her the first time and grew stronger with each subsequent kiss.

Willow is almost certain that Buffy kissed her first, although she can’t remember what precipitated it, quite possibly something she herself did that was so eclipsed by subsequent events her brain never bothered to commit it to memory. She also doesn’t remember removing Buffy’s clothes – or her own for that matter – just the feeling of the entire length of Buffy’s naked body against her own, silky smooth, deceptively strong, and entirely unexpected. She remembers vividly the feel of Buffy’s skin against her mouth and Buffy’s mouth on her flesh. Bright spots of sensation that rise unbidden from her memory and cause her face to flush.

All this is in her mind, but what she will truly never forget is the way she felt in her first moments of wakefulness next morning: comfortable and satisfied. The feeling passed quickly, banished by the sinking realization of where she was and what she had done with whom. That moment before though, that stays with her; even as she makes her choice, deciding to bury this incident, to identify it as simply something unexpected that happened. There are reasons for this decision, so many reasons, from her desire not to have betrayed Oz again, to her own confusion about what she would have it mean. She doesn’t examine these reasons, sweeps them under the carpet and allows them to be covered in silence. She won’t break the silence if Buffy won’t – and Buffy doesn’t.

Buffy feels guilty. She had sensed Willow’s desire to make everything okay and feels like she used that desire selfishly to get something she needed and couldn’t ask for. That she didn’t plan for it, or intend it to happen, does not seem to make it better. Buffy remembers the exact colour of Willow’s eyes staring into hers after that first kiss. The kiss she didn’t plan, but took all the same. Maybe she would feel better if she could remember how Willow reacted, but she can’t.

Beyond the first kiss – which is etched permanently into her memory– she remembers only bits and pieces, small slices of exquisite time. Her hands sliding up Willow’s shirt for example, or Willow’s fingers working at her bra-strap. The first shock of contact, skin against skin, and someone’s undershirt – she doesn’t know whose – falling to the floor. There are less specific sensations as well, the pervading closeness of another human being tangled up with her, the sense of being here and now in a way she hasn’t been in a while; since maybe before Angel changed – the first time. She remembers feeling safe.

She still felt safe and present and aware when she awoke in the morning. Somehow that made it worse when the reality of the situation forced itself into her awareness. She is immediately disgusted with herself for using Willow this way, more so because it worked: she can’t remember when she last slept so well. In her disgust she wishes to forget what happened. Just something that happened, another item on the list of mistakes she has made. She felt an apology rising to her lips, but when Willow started the days in silence, Buffy held her tongue and her confession went unsaid.

They wrap themselves in silence, each believing they know what the other is feeling, neither one knowing how to explain to themselves or each other what has happened and what it might mean, both individually and for their friendship. Time will wear away the shock of the event and eventually it will be subsumed by all the little things that happen after, will cease to be so shocking, will fade into the background as their lives continue and the world fails to end – or to end because of this.