disclaimer in part one
Text enclosed in * * represents thoughts.
The Morning After
by: Rebecca Carefoot
Buffy sighed with relief as she pressed the equals sign on her calculator
and scribbled in the final answer on her math test. She turned back to the
first page of the test and was about to force herself to go over the problems
again when the bell's shrill tone interrupted her concentration. Her hand
clenched involuntarily in surprise, cracking her pencil into two pieces.
She sighed, stuffed the broken writing utensil in her bag and gathered up
her test. She dropped it off on the teacher's desk and felt that a weight
was lifted from her shoulders. The blonde girl even felt a small smile lift
the corners of her mouth as she waded into the crowded high school hallway.
She made her way towards the library, hoping that Giles would give her the
By the time she reached the library, Willow and Xander were already there, perched next to each other on a tabletop and laughing at some inane thing or other.
"Hey," she called, announcing her presence. Willow turned at the sound of her friend's voice and smiled.
"How'd the test go?" she asked.
"I'm pretty sure I didn't fail," Buffy said with a thumbs up sign.
"Well, look at the smart math girl," Xander said with an answering thumbs up. "Get down with your bad self!"
"Thank you, thank you," Buffy said taking a bow and blowing kisses left and right. "Of course I can't take all the credit," she continued with a sweeping gesture towards Willow. "I couldn't have done it without my fabulous tutor. Take a bow, Will." Willow bobbed her head several times, acknowledging the wild applause Buffy and Xander were giving her. Giles emerged from his office at the sound of the clapping. The three teenagers turned their grinning faces and their clapping hands toward the Watcher, who responded with a smile and a blush.
"So anything brewing on the Hellmouth tonight?" Buffy asked when the applause had died down.
"Well, I..." Giles began.
"Because I really think I deserve a day off, and I never get to do anything fun. And I mean it's been a pretty hellish week for me, so I really don't see why you won't let me have one measly night off. You really need to lighten up, Giles," Buffy interrupted, speaking quickly and stridently.
"Buffy!" Giles interrupted loudly, when he realized that she wasn't finishing her speech any time soon.
"What?" she asked plaintively.
"I was about to tell you that I think it's qui-quite right you should have a day off. After all, you did burn the vampires out of their cavern home; it should be a little while at least before they are able to regroup."
"Oh," said Buffy a little subdued. "Thank you, thank you, thank you," she continued, her exuberance returning. She grabbed Giles' hand and began to pump it vigorously, a silly grin on her face.
"She appears to have lost it, Captain," said Xander in his best Deanna Troi voice, which was remarkably similar to his normal voice. He was rewarded by a playful slap from Buffy. Hamming it up, he fell backwards under the force of her blow and lay still on the table for a moment. Willow waved two fingers in front of his face.
"How many fingers do you see?" she asked.
"Fourteen," Xander mumbled, then grabbed her hand to pull himself up. He grinned at the assembled company. "So what's the plan for tonight's fabulous free time?" he asked Buffy. "We going to the Bronze?"
"Can't," Buffy said. Xander motioned with his hand for her to continue. "I'm going to hang out with Angel," she elaborated.
"Then I guess it's just you and me," Xander said to Willow, putting his arm around her.
"Well, that's all right with me," she said sneaking her arm around his waist, a wide grin fixed to her face. He dipped his head down to plant a quick kiss on her lips. She caught the indulgent smiles Buffy and her watcher wore as they observed them, hugged Xander a little tighter, then released him and grabbed his hand. "We're listening."
"Well, if we're all taking the night off," Giles began. "I believe I have some cross-referencing that I can get started on." With that he darted for the safety of his office, where he wouldn't have to watch any public displays of affection.
"I think we scared him off," Willow stated matter of factly.
"What a tragedy," answered Buffy with a grin. "Willow, you going to come home with me to set things up?"
"Okay," said Willow. She turned to Xander, "I'll call you when I get home and then we can figure out what we're going to do and all that stuff."
"Sure," said Xander, "Just leave me out of the little group...I see how it is. Keeping secrets, three's a crowd. I get it." Buffy and Willow exchanged a look.
"Girl stuff," they said in unison.
"What? I'm not girlie enough for you?" he asked.
"Much too manly," Buffy answered.
"Well, when you put it that way," Xander said puffing out his chest. Willow slyly tickled his ribcage, deflating his chest in a hurry. "No fair," he complained. "Tickling is definitely not allowed."
"You don't want to know," Buffy said.
"I'll be the judge of that, thank you very much." Xander protested. The discussion was cut short by the jangling bell, which sent the trio scrambling to gather up their books.
"I'll see you tonight, Will," Buffy called as the red head hurried out of the library. She began to follow, pushing open the swinging door.
"Buffy, wait up," she heard Xander call. She turned to wait for him , and once he had caught up they walked together down the hallway.
"So what's what?" she asked.
"I just want to make sure that there's no hard feelings," he began.
"About what?" Buffy asked.
"Well, about the fight that we had a few days ago. About Angel?"
"Oh God, it seems like months ago." Buffy said. "Was it really only a few days?" Xander nodded. "Well, don't worry about it," Buffy continued. "That is so totally last week." She nudged him lightly in the ribs. "You and Willow seem to have reached a new level in your relationship."
"Yeah," Xander said. "It's amazing how your entire viewpoint can change in just one instant."
"Wow, listen to deep thoughts man."
"I just can't believe it took me this long to realize how perfect she is. When I look at her my heart sort of melts," Xander paused and grabbed Buffy's arm. "You promise to tell no one I said this."
"I take it to the grave," the Slayer answered solemnly.
"This is where I get off," Xander said, stopping in front of his classroom door.
"And I will see you later," Buffy called over her shoulder.
"And you will tell me what you and Willow are doing."
"We'll see," Buffy called as she entered her class. *Don't hold your breath,* she thought to herself as she took her seat. The rest of her classes passed quickly in a flurry of note-taking and question answering. Soon enough the final bell rang and Sunnydale High spilled over with students escaping into the warm sunlight. Buffy stood in the shade of a tree, waiting for Willow. She wasn't as sensitive to the sun as she had been, but she didn't want to stay out in it longer than she had to. Finally she noticed her best friend walking toward her through the crowds.
"Hi, Willow!" she exclaimed.
"You're in a good mood," Willow said with a smile.
"Well, I'm out of school and that's a good thing. And you're here and that's a good thing."
"And you're going to see Angel tonight," Willow interrupted.
"And that's a good thing," they said in unison.
"C'mon," Buffy demanded. "We're walking. My mom couldn't pick me up." Buffy slipped on her sunglasses and linked Willow's arm with hers. Together, the two girls headed towards Rubello Drive.
Buffy threw down her bookbag beside her bed and picked up her purse. Willow
peeled her own backpack off her shoulders and sat down on the bed as Buffy
stuffed her wallet and a stake into the tiny blue handbag.
"So where are we going?" Willow asked.
"We have to stop by the drugstore," Buffy answered as she snapped the purse shut.
"Oh right," Willow said. "Why?"
"I have to buy a pack of condoms, Will," Buffy explained. She watched apprehensively as her friend turned an unhealthy shade of red. "Are you okay with this?" she asked. "I mean you don't HAVE to come with me..."
"I don't?" Willow squeaked relieved, then brought herself back to reality. "But I'm your friend. I have to give you moral support."
"Goodie," said Buffy, secretly relieved that she wouldn't have to go through this alone. The two girls headed back out and walked to the nearest drugstore.
"Will they sell them to you?" asked Willow. "You know, cause you're underage."
"I think so," answered Buffy nervously. "I look like I could be 18, don't I?" Willow studied her friend, sweeping her eyes from Buffy's flawlessly made-up face, to her short black skirt, to her knee high leather boots.
"Yeah," she answered truthfully, and a little jealously. Buffy smiled at her as she pulled open the glass door to the store. They walked into the air conditioned environment and exchanged a befuddled glance.
"So, I guess we go back to the pharmacy part of the store and look around?" Buffy said uncertainly. Willow nodded without speaking and Buffy was a little alarmed to see the girl's slightly greenish tinge. "Breathe, Will," she whispered. Willow nodded again, gulping a breath of air. Buffy strolled up and down the aisles nonchalantly, a calm look on her face. *Please don't let the clerk guy ask if he can help me,* she screamed inwardly, keeping her carefree look firmly in place. As she walked down Aisle 12 she turned her head left and right, scanning the shelves. Near the end of the aisle she spotted them, the condoms. She carefully walked past them looking to see if anyone was watching, then she unhurriedly turned around and approached them again. She looked around for Willow, who was having little success hiding her panic as she lagged behind her more confidant friend. Buffy motioned impatiently with her hand, and Willow sidled reluctantly up to the condoms.
"Which one should I get?" Buffy whispered.
"Ugh," came Willow's strangled gasp. She grabbed a random package and shoved it at Buffy. Buffy studied the box.
"Ribbed for her pleasure," she read. "Well that's good, right?"
"Sure, pleasure good," Willow said inarticulately.
"I don't know," Buffy said helplessly, looking at the covers of the many boxes. "I wish mom had talked to me about this." She looked at Willow, who was staring wide-eyed at the cardboard boxes. "We had the mandatory birds and bees talk, you know? But I don't think she really thinks I'm going to be having sex anytime soon." She paused for a second then continued. "Because she didn't give me the necessary details. I mean, it was really kind of a disgrace. Willow?"
"Huh?" Willow grunted, her eyes a little glazed. "Oh, parents." She made a visible effort to focus. "Mine gave me a talk too, but if was pretty cheesy. Nothing they don't teach you in sex ed."
"How about these?" Buffy asked, showing Willow one of the boxes. "I've seen commercials for them."
"Well, yeah, then they must be pretty good."
"Okay, then we'll get these," Buffy declared, glad to have made a decision.
"Um, do they have that ribbed thing?" Willow asked dazedly.
"Yeah, they do."
"Okay then," she approved. Buffy smiled at her friend.
"Will, I'm sensing that this is making you a little uncomfortable."
"A little," Willow confirmed.
"Okay, I'll go buy this. And you can go hang out in the nail polish area."
"Are you sure?" Willow asked doubtfully.
"Beyond sure," Buffy said, pushing Willow in the direction of elsewhere. It wasn't that she didn't want a little support, but in her befuddled state Willow couldn't do much besides make Buffy even more nervous. Hauling her thoughts back to the task at hand, Buffy took a deep breath, clutched her purse in one hand and the condoms in the other, and marched up to the checkout counter. She plunked the package down, feeling as if everyone in the store was staring at her. She felt her face heat up as she blushed involuntarily. *Stop that,* she commanded herself angrily. She stared challengingly at the clerk, daring him to say anything.
"That'll be 6.76," said the cashier, giving Buffy a sly wink which she duly ignored. She paid as quickly as possible, and clutched the small white plastic bag close to her chest. She found Willow, and the two of them practically ran out of the store, feeling eyes staring, judging, laughing.
"Oh God," Willow said when they were out of sight of the drugstore. "It's over."
"We did it," Buffy said with a grin. "This has to be a mile-stone or something; the first time you buy condoms."
"I'm just glad it's over. Really glad."
"Thanks for helping me out, Will," Buffy said. "I know this isn't your idea of a great time."
"What gave you that idea?" asked Willow with a smile.
"Gee, I don't know," Buffy answered innocently. "Just a lucky guess?" The two girls giggled as they turned down Rubello Drive, and headed for Buffy's house.
"So what do we have to do next?" Willow asked as Buffy opened the door.
"Nothing as traumatic as this," Buffy promised. She climbed up the stairs to her room with Willow close behind. With a careless motion she swung her purse and the little white bag over into the corner. "We have to pick out underwear," she said.
"K?" Willow answered doubtfully.
"Don't worry, Will, you don't have to look at me naked or anything. You just have to help me narrow it down." She opened her closet door and dug through the clutter, emerging with several hangers hung with lingerie. "Ok tell me which one you like better," she commanded, holding up two concoctions of lace and satin, one black and one red.
"Buffy?" Willow asked. "Where did you get all this stuff?" she paused for a moment of consideration, then continued. "I like the black better."
"I bought it."
"And your mom didn't mind."
"And my mom didn't know." Willow nodded knowingly as Buffy held up another teddy. This one had less lace, and frills. It was simple, creamy white satin. The neckline was dangerously low-cut and there was almost no back to the thing. The skirt was extremely short but it retained an elegance that the lacy black number could not. "I thought they would come in handy eventually, and some of them are actually very comfortable."
"It's beautiful," Willow said.
"Ok, two more." Buffy held up a green one that seemed to include a complicated system of garter belts and a long nightgown of pale pink satin.
"I still like the white one best," Willow decided,
"I think I do too," Buffy agreed. "Let me go try it on. I'm not sure if it'll fit. I bought it kind of a while ago." She entered the bathroom for a moment, and eventually emerged dressed in the lingerie. She twirled a little, sending the brief skirt flaring.
"Very sexy," Willow declared. "Angel is going to freak."
"That's the plan." Buffy headed back towards the bathroom. "I'll be right back."
"K." Willow sat on her friends bed, looking at the discarded lingerie. She swallowed a sigh. It was weird thinking about Buffy having sex. She didn't like to think about it really. On one hand she understood why Buffy wanted to do this. In a way she was excited for her friend. But on the other hand, it scared her. *Because in a little while Buffy won't be a virgin anymore but I still will,* she thought. *And once Buffy loses her virginity there will always be that something between us.* It was like Buffy was growing up, which was fine, only she was growing up a lot faster than Willow was. Willow buried her fears. *Things won't change too much,* she told herself. She looked up as Buffy came back out of the bathroom dressed in the black skirt and baby doll t-shirt she had worn to school. An excited smile lit her friend's face, and Willow smiled in return. *Things won't be that different,* she repeated to herself. She hoped it was true.
"C'mon," Buffy told her with a smile. "I'm going to take a romantic picnic dinner type thing." She grabbed Willow's hand and led her back down the stairs. "I'm thinking some kind of sandwiches because I can't cook much else."
"Um, I hate to bring this up," Willow said hesitantly, not wanting to dampen her friend's spirits. "But does Angel eat that kind of stuff?" Buffy paused in her bustling around the kitchen, and turned to face the red head.
"I'm actually not sure," she said thoughtfully. "I guess maybe not." She turned to open the refrigerator, and peered inside. "But it's still a romantic thought...and I still have to eat."
"And he could maybe drink blood out of a wine glass or something...didn't they do that in Interview With the Vampire?"
"Tom Cruise," Willow said with a dreamy look in her eyes.
"Brad Pitt," Buffy answered.
"We need to rent that movie sometime."
"We SO do," agreed Buffy with a grin. "How about this weekend? We'll get together for some heavy duty drooling?"
"It's a date."
"Barring the apocalypse."
"Of course," confirmed Willow. Buffy had gathered up the sandwich making materials, roast beef, bread, lettuce, tomato, mustard. It only took her a moment to throw together two sandwiches. As she did that, Willow found a picnic basket in the closet and packed napkins, an old tablecloth, a couple of plates and silverware.
"How about snacks?" Buffy said. She opened the cabinet and took out a bag of chips and a few cookies. "Ooh, chocolates!" she exclaimed dumping them into the basket.
"Too bad you don't have any strawberries." said Willow slyly.
"What about drinks?" Willow asked. "I'll get the cups." She headed towards the plastic cups stacked high in one of the cabinets.
"Not those cups," Buffy said. "I'm going to take these." She grinned at Willow as she pulled two elegant wine glasses from their shelf in the display cabinet.
"Won't your mom be mad?"
"If she finds out," agreed Buffy. "But I'll just rearrange these..." She pushed the remaining glasses together to cover the space left by the two she had taken. "Tah da! Good as new."
"When is your mom getting back anyway?"
"And what are you going to tell her?"
"I'm leaving her a note that says I'm studying with you?" Buffy said questioningly.
"And then, you can tell your mom when you go out that you're meeting me there or something."
"It's not too much of a lie."
"Well, would you rather I said *hey mom, I'm going to go have sex with a vampire...and by the way I'm the vampire slayer...love ya, bye?*" Buffy asked sarcastically.
"I guess not," Willow conceded.
"Thank you so much Willow for doing this," said Buffy as she placed two bottles of Snapple in the basket. "I don't know what I would do without you."
"Hey, Buffy?" Willow asked. "Aren't you scared about this? I mean, are you sure you want to do this?"
"Well yeah, I'm sure. But that doesn't mean I'm not scared...want to know a secret? There's a part of me that is way terrified. But it's the smaller part of me. This is something I want to do, and I am going to do it. And I don't care what the consequences are because it has to happen sooner or later. All I'm doing is deciding that I want to do it sooner." Willow smiled wistfully, recognizing the determination with which Buffy attacked every challenge she faced. That was what made her the Slayer even more than her stregnth.
"And you're going to tell me all the gory details?"
"Whether you want to hear them or not!" The two girls giggled. "Ok, I'm pretty much ready," Buffy announced when their giggles subsided. She scribbled out a note to her mom and ran up the stairs. Scrambling across her bed, she picked up the condoms and the lingerie and stuffed them into a bag. "How many of the condoms should I take?" she called down to Willow.
"Take the whole box," Willow called back.
"I don't think I'll need all twelve," Buffy called. "But what the heck," she muttered. She grabbed her jacket, and stuffed a stake in the pocket. Then she stood for a moment in front of the mirror. She examined her make-up which seemed to be holding up, touched her hair lightly and checked her teeth for disgustingness that might be stuck between them. She tucked her brush into the bag and took a deep breath. "I'm ready," she called. After one last glance at the mirror, the tiny blond bounced down the stairs. Willow handed her the picnic basket and gave her a quick hug.
"Say hi to Angel for me," Willow requested.
"And you have fun with Xander tonight."
"Oh I will," said Willow with a smile. The pair exited the house and turned away from each other, heading towards their own experiences.