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What Anya Knows
Title: What Anya Knows
Author's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author's URL: http://chelle.slashcity.org/
Archive: Ask first
AN: For Kamil. Thank you to Kamil and Steven for their encouragement.
One thing about Willow's power, it made her easy to find.
Anya glanced around the bar. She hadn't been here in a while. Absence hadn't improved it any. Willow was at a table in the corner, apparently not noticing the demons filling the place. Anya approached slowly, trying to think of something to say.
Willow was toying with the label on her beer bottle. To look at her, you'd think Willow drank wine, or girlie drinks with umbrellas and chocolate liqueur. But she drank beer, the darker the better. It was one of the few things Anya liked about her. There weren't any empties on the table, and Anya wondered if that meant Willow was still nursing her first or if the waiter had cleared them away, something which seemed far too efficient and clean for this place. On the other hand, Willow had slipped out of Buffy's impromptu war conference an hour before, and not even Willow could nurse a single beer for an hour.
"Not the safest place in town," Anya said, as mildly as she could manage.
Willow looked up at her and shrugged one shoulder. "They leave me alone."
How long had Willow been coming here? They had all assumed that the days of secrets were behind them—Buffy's relationship with Spike, if you could call it that; Dawn's stealing; Xander's doubts; and Willow's inability to control both her id and her power at the same time. Evidently they were simply acquiring new secrets to replace the old. Not surprising, really. Anya was beginning to suspect that it was their secrets that defined them.
Taking the chair next to Willow's, Anya gestured to the waiter. Once she had his attention, she pointed at Willow's beer. They waited in silence for Anya's drink to arrive.
The waiter put a bottle in front of her and Anya handed him a five. She hated giving up good money for bad beer, but at least it wasn't in a glass.
"Anyone else know I'm gone?"
Anya shook her head. "Why'd you leave?"
"It was getting a bit crowded."
It was a non-answer, but Anya let it slide. "You can stay with me tonight." The words were out of her mouth before she thought about it. If she'd thought about it, she'd never have said it. The idea of Willow in her space, in her home, was disconcerting. "If you want."
"Thanks, I might."
Startled, Anya stared at the woman next to her. Willow didn't seek out Anya's company and Anya didn't seek out hers, at least not before tonight. They were friends only because they had friends in common, and—now that Anya had gotten drawn into another of Buffy's battles—enemies. "You can sleep on the couch."
"Afraid the bed might be sexy?" Willow's smile had a bitter twist to it.
Yes, not that Anya would ever admit it. "Are you?"
Willow leaned back in her chair. "The spell was."
The spell they'd done together when Willow first returned to Sunnydale had been sexy, sexier than Anya could remember magic being. What was it with wiccans and girl on girl action, anyway? "Finish your beer."
Anya had never been subtle, hadn't understood the need for it, despite Xander's attempts to teach it to her. He called it tact. She called it deception, at least in retrospect. Looking at the guest sitting on her couch, Anya wondered if she should try and be subtle. Willow looked up at her, and Anya finished opening the second bottle before carrying them both to the couch.
Handing Willow a beer, Anya settled onto the couch, facing Willow and drawing her legs up under her. She took a long drink of her own beer, savoring the taste. If she had been alone, she'd have had wine, but beer was much more Willow. Maybe it was some sort of hidden butch quality.
"What are you smiling about?"
Anya shook her head. "Nothing." She reconsidered. "You."
"Me?" Willow's eyes narrowed.
"I was just thinking that you're kind of butch." She nodded at the bottle in Willow's hand. "With the beer."
Willow's eyes widened, and she began to laugh. Then she stopped, as though she'd realized what she was doing.
"You don't laugh much anymore."
Willow shrugged. "Not much to laugh about anymore."
"Why are you afraid to use your magic?"
"Evil. Killed people. Tried to destroy the world. Remember?"
"You were grief-stricken."
"Who says I'm not now?"
"You still miss her, but the anger has passed."
"What would you know about it?"
Anya ran her thumb along the edge of the bottle's label. She understood vengeance and she understood loss. "Nothing."
That brought Anya's head up and her eyes locked with Willow's. Willow never apologized, not to her.
"I have to connect…to use the power without, without it overwhelming me…I have to connect." Willow stopped and let out a quick breath. "To everything."
Everything. The good and the bad. Anya understood, or at least she thought she did. "And you don't want to."
"Because it doesn't hurt."
Willow looked down, breaking eye contact. It was all the confirmation Anya needed. Not hurting, feeling good, that would be a betrayal. Anya opened her mouth, ready to point out that Tara wouldn't have wanted this, that Tara would have wanted Willow to feel good, to be happy, to stand beside her friends and fight with everything she had in her. For once, Anya kept the words to herself.
Sliding from the couch to the floor, she knelt in front of Willow. "Willow."
Willow looked up, loss written across her face, and the thing inside Anya that had made her seek vengeance for other people's pain responded. Leaning forward, she pressed her lips to Willow's. The kiss was firm, but brief, an offer, nothing more.
Willow stared at her, confusion, fear, and longing moving in succession across her features. The longing was still there when Willow reached for her.
In it for the girl on girl action, Anya hadn't really understood when Willow had said that. Anya liked penises, always had. Other stuff was good, but in Anya's opinion few things compared to a fast, hard fuck, except maybe a slow, leisurely one.
She hadn't expected that Willow's hand in her would feel like her own. Or that having Willow's slender body in her arms would make her feel protective and tender and daring all at once. Or that Willow's mouth would be so, so sweet.
The tongue in her mouth was taking its time, as though now that it had ventured to this new place, it had decided to do more than play tourist. And the hand between her legs wasn't in any hurry either. It should have been languid—slow, exploratory kisses and gentle touches. Instead Anya's arousal was sharp, edged, but she didn't push against Willow's hand, didn't demand that Willow give her what she needed. It would be better if she let Willow do it in her own way and in her own time; Anya was sure of it.
She bit her lip to keep from crying out as Willow's fingers moved briefly and far, far too lightly over her clit.
Willow sucked softly on Anya's lip, soothing the bite, and her fingers moved closer and closer to where Anya needed them. She was on the edge. She knew it. Willow knew it. And Willow was going to take her to the place where one more instant of delay would lessen the pleasure and then take her over.
Anya tried not to whimper, and found herself groaning instead. She was so close, every muscle tight as everything in her focused on that one place. Willow's finger moved again and the tension let go, scattering her into a thousand pieces.
Willow was lying partially on top of her, perfectly still, one arm beneath Anya's neck, the other on Anya's hip. Tempting as it was to simply close her eyes and drift off, she couldn't do it. She might be greedy about money, but Anya was always generous with her bed partners. Well, most of them.
It took only the slightest effort to roll them over so Willow was on her back and Anya was leaning over her. Lifting a hand, she traced Willow's eyebrows and down along her cheek.
Willow closed her eyes. "You don't have to."
"I know." She pressed her lips to Willow's, intending a quick kiss, but Willow's lips clung to hers. So Anya stayed.
When Willow at last broke the kiss, Anya shifted her attention to Willow's neck. Smooth, delicate skin beneath her lips, and Anya tasted Willow slowly, pausing whenever she found an especially sensitive place.
Edging lower, Anya trailed her lips along Willow's collarbone before sitting back and studying the woman beneath her. Willow was pale and thin. It was hard to believe a body so small could contain so much power. But then look at Buffy, she was even tinier than Willow. The Scoobies were short, mostly skinny people with the weight of the world on their shoulders. There should have been irony in that, but for the life of her Anya couldn't find it.
She slid a hand from Willow's waist up over her ribs to a breast. A pink, crinkled nipple and curved flesh that didn't quite fill her hand. Still, a breast. In a thousand years, Anya had never touched a breast other than her own. Halfrek flashed briefly through Anya's mind, but she shook her head, chasing the thought away. There was already too much grief and guilt in this bed.
Focusing her attention on the woman beneath her, Anya slid her fingers along the side of Willow's breast. It was soft, softer than any part of Xander. Willow's nipple tightened still more when she brushed it with her fingers, and Anya found herself wanting to lean forward, wanting to taste.
Easier to caress a woman this way than a man. Willow's body seemed to just offer itself up to her tongue and lips, while a man's nipple had to be fought for. Easy to suck while brushing her tongue across the top, even easier to do it again when Willow shuddered.
When Willow's hands tangled in her hair, guiding her to the other side, Anya went willingly.
When Willow arched against her, needing more, Anya found herself sliding down, between Willow's spread thighs, without a bit of hesitation.
Holding Willow open with her fingers, Anya reached out with her tongue. Slick, Willow was slick; she tasted sweet and oddly pure. Anya moved her tongue slowly upward, gathering Willow's taste as she went. She wasn't certain where to go, what to do. Willow's hands guided her to the left and Anya licked the slightly rough skin she found there. Willow made a sound that Anya was certain was approval. So she licked again.
Anya ventured away from that place, exploring Willow with her tongue. Slipping into this crevice and under that fold before returning to where Willow most wanted her.
Before long Willow was lifting her hips in time with Anya's caresses, and the whimpering sounds changed to sobs. There was as much pain as pleasure in them, but that was okay. This was about connecting, after all, to everything.
Willow went completely still, and Anya sucked lightly at the skin beneath her mouth. Willow's entire body shuddered. Anya continued to caress her, each touch lighter than the last until the shuddering stopped.
"Tara." It was a whisper, coming out in the wake of Willow's orgasm, and Anya pretended not to hear it. Instead, she gathered the other woman close, encouraging Willow to relax into her. Surprising herself with her gentleness, she brushed the tears from Willow's cheek.
"Shhh." Anya wondered what she was sorry for, the crying or the things she had done to Anya months before? It didn't matter. Anya knew about loss, and she knew about vengeance, and she knew about comfort.
Pressing her lips to Willow's forehead, Anya stroked her hair until Willow closed her eyes.
Anya knew about friendship.