The Morning After
Howard Russell

[ ]

‘Come on and wake up, Buffy!’ Willow thought. ‘It’s 6:02 and I’ve got to go, please! I’ve been patiently waiting for what feels like hours now. Please, you’ve got to get up!’

Willow looked worriedly at the woman curled up next to her. Buffy’s head was resting on Willow’s shoulder. Her arms were tucked together between them. Her knees were pressed against Willow’s hip. And she showed absolutely no sign of waking up anytime soon.

Willow turned and looked at the clock on her nightstand again before slumping against her pillow. ‘6:03?! That had to have been five minutes at least! Come on! I can’t wait any longer!’

She lay there torn. Part of her luxuriating in the closeness, but a larger and growing part needing to leave. She squeezed her eyes shut tightly and small tears of frustration formed at the corners of her eyes. She fought hard not to squirm.

She turned her head so it was resting against the top of Buffy’s, ‘I’m sorry, but I’ve got to go.’

She opened her eyes and softly said, “Buffy?” She waited a moment but there was no response. She reached across herself and gently stroked Buffy’s hair. A little more loudly, “Buffy, please wake up.”


“Buffy, wake up for me. Please.”

“Whattimeisit?” Buffy said, still not really awake.

“It’s only six, but I need you to wake up.” Willow cringed at the whining note that had crept into her voice.

Buffy lifted her head and looked at Willow through bleary eyes, “What’s wrong?” As the possibility that there was a danger percolated through her sleep-hazed mind, she woke more fully and sat up. “Are you alright?”

Willow almost giggled at the image of fierce, yet naked, over-protectiveness sharing her bed. “I’m fine, Buff. Just fine. There’s no trouble.” She sat up and swung her feet to the floor, “I just need to go to the bathroom.”

As Willow stood, Buffy reviewed their sleeping positions as best she could and couldn’t figure out why she needed to be awake for that. She looked at Willow in askance.

Willow saw the look as she was slipping on her robe and answered, “Well uh, after we . . .” She completed the sentence with a meaningful look, “uh, after.” She shifted her feet and fidgeted with the belt of her robe, “It’s just . . . you know, first time and all.”

Buffy looked up at Willow as she pulled the sheet up, covering herself. Willow’s nervousness was starting to worry her.

Willow smiled sadly and her eyes dropped as she thought of all the heartache that Buffy had suffered in her life. She shrugged as she said, “I was just afraid you’d wake up while I was gone.” She looked back up.

Buffy still looked worried; not understanding what Willow was trying to say.

Willow moved to put her at ease. She smiled tenderly and reached down to touch Buffy’s cheek. She didn’t want to bring up the bad memories of what both of Buffy’s previous lovers had done so she simply said, “I just didn’t want you to wake up alone.”

Grrr . . . Argh.

ONE Internet!ONE Internet!