This must be what Angel feels like. Iím alone with someone IÖhave feelings for. I look into her night-colored eyes (but the eyes I remember were as innocent and blue as robinís eggs), I feel the weapon-calluses as she runs her hands over my skin, I smell the apricot scent in her hair (and the first faint whiffs of her bodyís musk, somehow smoky instead of the rich earth scent I remember). It should be wonderful, and it is, but Iím also afraid. So afraid.
In a way, itís even worse if I go bad, rather than Angel. In the way that Angelus would have to work really, really hard to destroy the world, while I still remember where that temple is.
Or what if I become Warren again? I know I got rid of Amyís spell, but she might have cast it again and I didnít sense it the first time. Itís been a year nearly to the day since TaraÖsince the last time I made love with anybody. What if I (murder her in my heart) forget her again? As bad as that would be, the first image that pops into my mind almost makes me laugh: Kennedy suddenly confronted with Warrenís boy-parts in the midst of making love to me. What if it happened in the middle of oral sex? Thatís another funny imageóthen the next image is more nervous-funny as I think about one lesbian accidentally getting another pregnantÖthen the funny goes away entirely as I start thinking about what (rape murder tie her down beat her bloody) Warren would really do to Kennedy. And every other girl in the house, if Warren had access to my magic. Which he would, if he was me.
Kennedy must sense me tensing up, because she strokes my hair, kisses my cheek, and says, "Itís okay, baby. Just relax. Remember my promise."
She promised to be my kite string. To let me fly without letting me go.
I try to make myself relax. She makes it easier. Sheís doing the most interestingÖthe most wonderful things with her (long fingers, strong, not soft like HERS but callused like Ozís only not like Ozís because Ozís calluses were on his fingertips from playing his guitar not in his palms from a weapon) hands and (I can feel the lipstick smearing off onto my skin thatís new neither of my lovers ever--) lips and tongue and itís been so long and it feels so good and I canít stop myself from moaning and writhing andó
And then she licks my neck.
Such a little thing. An ordinary thing that ordinary lovers do all the time.
But weíre not ordinary lovers.
I tense up again, but I force myself to relax again almost as quickly. Itís not her fault. She doesnít understand.
But all of a sudden, I do. I understand.
I understand that she doesnít understand.
She doesnít understand just howÖhow intimate it is to touch the neck of someone whoís been dealing with vampires for the last seven years. Iíve had Angelusí and Spikeís fangs scraping my skin, and my own bad self licked me. Harmony actually managed to bite me, and as pathetic as she is compared to the other three, Iíd be just as dead if Oz hadnít been there with that cross. Iím twitchy about my neck. But how could she know? I never told (Tara knew Tara figured it out on her own Tara never went near your neck until the night you turned your head and bared your throat and she knew just what you were surrendering to) her.
I understand just how little of the history that I take for granted Kennedy has been here for, or even knows.
She doesnít know anything about my past with Buffyóabout everything sheís been through, her past defeats and triumphsóso she doesnít understand how I can defend Buffy even in her crazy-going bossiness, or why it was so hard to finally (betray) relieve her of command last night.
Kennedy glories in the fact that Iím her girlfriend and Iím more powerful than Buffy, who she resents so much. But thatís all it is to heró"My girlfriend can beat you up". She doesnít understand how powerful I really am, or the price I paid for that power. The lifesucking incident notwithstanding, magic is still just a pretty lightshow that makes bad guys go boom and potentially makes her more in charge than Buffy.
Kennedy hasnít been here to see any of that, and I havenít had time to tell her (Tara knew Tara understood Tara listened. Would Kennedy listen?) those stories. So she doesnít understand. She canít. But even if I did (Would Kennedy listen?), I donít think she would.
Kennedy moves down my body, kissing my collarbone, then the topswell of my breast. I put thoughts of understanding out of my mind and hold to her tight. I cling to Kennedy because Iím lonely and afraid, and I need someone to hold and touch. More than that, I need sex in a way that goes beyond horniness, beyond that need to be held and touched. Itís like my whole body is afraid, not just my mind, and itís screaming "LIFE! LIFE! LIFE! " as loud as it can.
But even as I do, I know that Kennedy was right. I donít need to worry. Iím in no danger of (murdering Tara in my heart) losing myself tonight.
Maybe someday Iíll move on. Maybe someday, Iíll finally let Tara go and truly learn to love again. But as grateful as I amóand will always beóto Kennedy for being the first one after, the one to help me remember what it is to feel and touch and want someone, I wonít learn that with her.
I understand that now.