Red Moon Rising by Hunter Ash

Title: Red Moon Rising Part 11
Author: Hunter Ash 
Copyright � 2001 by Hunter Ash. All Rights Reserved.
Email:
carrkjar@yahoo.com Feedback welcome!!
Homepage Addy:
http://www.hunterash.com/ 
Disclaimers:
The characters and show all belong to Joss Whedon, Fox, Mutant Enemy, Kuzui, and God only knows who else. The storyline, however, is the sole property of the author. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.
F/F romance
: the story assumes a loving and sexual relationship between people of the same gender and may even include 3 at the same time <G>. If this offends or is illegal for you, then please leave. Come back when you are older, have an open mind, moved, or changed your laws.
Spoilers:
Some general 5th season stuff, but nothing major.
Summary:
OZ is back and causes havoc when he demands Willow join him as his mate. Buffy, Willow and Tara have other ideas.
Rating:
R, violence, werewolf attacks, major character injury, angst, hurt and comfort. It�s Buffy, there�s violence.
Author's Note:
While this is not my first story, it is my first Buffy story. So�.kind words are hoped for�<G>. Oh, and by the way, this will be posted in parts. This being part one. Feedback always welcome.

| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 |

Red Moon Rising

Part 11

++++++++++++++++++++++

October 31

Joyce was surprised when the three girls brought in a very tired Giles and a tall stranger. She ignored both Giles and the stranger while she quickly hugged Buffy tightly and then the other two girls. Joyce had saved hugging Willow last and held tightly to the red-haired girl, letting Willow feel the warmth and love radiating from her.

"Willow, I..."

"Its okay, Mom," Willow said softly. "You would have done the same."

"Yes, and I'd do it for you, if I could," Joyce countered and hugged Willow again. Finally she turned her attention to the stranger and Giles� ragged appearance.

"When was the last time Giles slept?" she asked.

"Well, he didn't sleep last night or today," Tara answered.

"He didn't get much the night before either, he was guarding Tara and Buffy," Xander added.

"Xander, help him up to my room and put him in my bed," Joyce instructed and Buffy grinned at Xander's surprised expression. The young security guard, who probably didn't have a job any longer because he had called in sick for the last four days, helped the older man up off the sofa and up the stairs.

"Giles has been under such strain and lack of sleep has caught up with him," Joyce explained to the stranger. "And you are?"

"Special Agent Fox Mulder, Mrs. Summers," Mulder answered, pulling out his identification for her to look at.

Everybody looked uncomfortable as Xander came back down the stairs and sat between Anya's legs in front of her chair.

"Well, how about I tell everyone what I�ve found or figured out and then you can tell me where I�m wrong and fill in the blanks?" Agent Mulder suggested. "I do admit this feels strange, I feel like I�m in a job interview and I�m usually the one doing the interviewing."

"Well, it�s a little weird on our end," Xander countered.

"What do you think you know, Agent Mulder?" Buffy asked as she sat down on the sofa with an arm protectively around Willow and Tara on the floor between their legs, arms resting on the knees of both women.

Mulder's quick eyes took in the protective gestures of both Buffy Summers and Tara Maclay over Willow and smiled inwardly to himself.

"Well, where to begin?" he said thoughtfully. "I am one of Willow's email friends. We met on a couple of paranormal sites and began exchanging information over a year ago. She knew me as Grayfox and I knew her as Redwitch7."

"We both were so happy to find someone who wasn't a total kook and had good information," Willow said softly.

"And someone who wasn't out to meet you and become a cyber-stalker?" Mulder asked with a smile and Willow began blushing.

"Yeah, that was nice too," she admitted. "I like intelligent conversation."

"Me too," Mulder smiled. "We exchanged information, mainly. I found Red was very reluctant to talk about herself other than computer stuff and magick, nothing personal."

"Wills, you resisted your babbling?" Xander teased and Willow unlaced her fingers from Tara's hand to take time to throw a small sofa pillow at her friend.

"I began to suspect that Red had more than a casual interest in the occult," Mulder continued. "She corrected me once about some obscure demon and slipped about a friend having faced one. I became concerned that she was in over her head."

"And you were curious as hell," Joyce added and Mulder shrugged.

"Yes, I work on files that are listed as unexplained or unusual in the Bureau," Mulder said. "I've come across aliens, werewolves, vampires, and quite a number of unexplained things. I jump at any chance to investigate such cases. I pushed Willow for her identity and location. She refused and I pushed. She wouldn't talk to me for days until I promised not to try and find out who she was."

"You obviously didn't keep that one," Buffy growled.

Mulder shrugged. "I had already traced her email and identity when I promised I wouldn't. I kept the information stored for future use. I didn't hop on a plane and hit Sunnydale out of respect for Willow but I did begin investigating it."

"Oh boy," Anya mumbled and Mulder nodded.

"Lots of unsolved and unexplained cases in this little town, also a lack of interest by the authorities that I found curious," he continued.

"Sunnydale has a way of protecting itself from outsiders," Buffy complained.

"So it seems," Mulder smirked. "I did the usual investigative stuff on Willow and found she's a fantastic student and is associated with people who seem to always be in trouble."

"Buffy Summers?" Joyce smirked, teasing her daughter.

"Yes," Mulder agreed. "Burning down her previous high school, suspicion of murder, expelled, grades slip and come back up on a regular basis."

Buffy ducked her head a little and Tara squeezed her knee, trying to reassure the Slayer.

"Everyone around Willow attracts trouble, even Mr. Giles up there," Mulder commented.

"What do you think is going on?" Buffy asked cautiously.

"I think Sunnydale is like several other places I've found, it attracts the paranormal like moths to a bright light and your group fights whatever comes out of it," Mulder said bluntly. "I know there's a secret government unit working here also investigating the area and doing highly secretive research. The branch is called the Initiative and I don't think you're part of that."

"Your tone tells me you don't care for the Initiative?" Joyce asked with a frown.

"I have a habit of getting into trouble with secret government groups," Mulder smiled a small smile. "I don't like secrets, especially government secrets. From what I can gather, the Initiative captures what they term 'hostiles' and experiments on them. I've been able to piece together that Hostiles are demons, vampires, werewolves and other supernatural beings. One of the things that disturbs me is some reports I've come across where the Initiative is trying to train werewolves into being government assassins and shock troops."

Willow whimpered loudly and closed her eyes rapidly, a roaring filling her ears. She felt Buffy wrapping both arms around her and heard Tara's voice and felt the other witch's hand on her cheek.

"Wills, its okay," Buffy said softly. "It�s okay, nothing's going to happen to you, I promise."

"Willow, shhh," Tara added.

Joyce quickly crossed the room and knelt by the three young women and checked Willow's pulse with a frown.

"It�s racing like crazy," she said slowly. "Tara, grab one of those meds of hers."

"Yes, Mom," Tara dashed for the stairs while Mulder, Xander and Anya watched anxiously.

"She's clammy, Mom," Buffy said softly, feeling the witch's forehead.

"It's been a long week," Joyce muttered.

Tara returned with two different medicine bottles and Joyce quickly looked at the labels and picked one. The blonde witch pulled one out and dashed to the kitchen and returned with a glass of water.

"Come on, Willow, take this," Joyce urged and the witch sat up in Buffy's arms and took the pill obediently and then lay back in the Slayer's arms.

"I take it that is a major fear around here?" Mulder asked generally.

"Yes," Buffy admitted. "Tell us about that spell."

"Willow asked if I knew any werewolf cures and I went looking," Mulder explained. "I figured it wasn't a casual request, especially when I got the police report about the attack on her by her ex-boyfriend. I had a feeling it was serious."

"Daniel Oswald was Willow's ex-boyfriend and he was a werewolf," Tara confirmed.

"Oz tried to infect Willow with lycanthropy, the bastard," Xander continued. "He tried to hurt her and kidnapped Anya and me to force her to give in."

"He had a pack of werewolves, he was their alpha," Buffy said.

Mulder looked stunned and pleased at the same time. "A pack of werewolves?" he asked excitedly. "Where are they now?"

"Either heading home to their own territory or still hiding in the woods," Anya responded.

"What happened that Willow needed that spell, you said Oz tried, not that he succeeded," Mulder asked with a frown.

"Buffy...Buffy stopped Oz from biting Willow so he bit her instead," Tara stammered, reaching down to gently touch the Slayer's cheek and Buffy leaned into the touch with a sigh.

"Everything centers around you, doesn't it?" Mulder asked and Buffy opened her eyes as they filled with tears.

"Mom?" she asked as Joyce checked Willow's heartrate again and Joyce nodded with relief. Willow opened her eyes slowly and attempted to smile.

"I'm sorry, guys," she mumbled.

"It�s okay, your heart went a little bananas," Buffy said softly, kissing the top of Willow's head. "Rest and just listen, no talking."

"'Kay," Willow agreed.

Joyce noticed Mulder's frown. "We'll explain that in a minute. My daughter is a Slayer, have you ever heard of it?"

"Yes, a mythical warrior chosen by the higher powers to fight evil in this realm; enhanced strength, fighting skills and senses, usually a female," Mulder responded, accessing his mental database for half-forgotten facts.

"Always a female and always young," Joyce said bitterly. "The Watcher Council finds the next Slayer, trains the young girl on how to kill vampires, werewolves and demons, and sends them out to fight until they die."

"Mom," Buffy said softly, choking on her mom's emotions.

"I know, Buffy," Joyce said wearily. "You didn't have a choice about being chosen. That doesn't mean I have to like it."

"Watcher Council?" Mulder questioned.

"Group of library research types," Xander chipped in. "They send out Watchers to help the Slayer. The Watcher trains her, watches over her, does the research to help keep her alive and stuff."

"Rupert Giles," Mulder guessed and everyone nodded.

"He left the Council when I turned 18," Buffy added. "We both did. I'm still the Slayer but we don't answer to the Council."

"Why?" Mulder asked.

"Long story, too many secrets like the ones you chase," Buffy complained.

"Okay, save that one," Mulder agreed, leaning forward. "You were bitten by a werewolf?"

Buffy began to blush. "Yeah, Oz intentionally bit me to hurt Willow. He knew if he could get me into his pack it would hurt and weaken Willow. Oz wanted Willow as his mate in a furry like way and wouldn't take 'no' for an answer."

Willow whimpered slightly and Tara sat down on the other end of the sofa and pulled Willow's legs onto her lap and reached out to hold Willow's hand. Her other hand gently touching Willow�s legs, trying to reassure her lover.

"So Willow translated that spell which would transfer lycanthropy from one unwilling victim into a willing one," Mulder nodded. "She actually took that on herself, did she know exactly what that�s going to mean?"

"More than the rest of us, actually," Buffy said softly, stroking Willow's hair. "Oz was her boyfriend before he split to 'find himself.' She used to sit with him when he would change three times a month. She risked her life a couple of times for him."

Mulder frowned as he took in the gentleness and love the Slayer was showing for his computer friend. He was beginning to understand why both of them were willing to take on one of the most horrible curses he could think of: it was for each other.

"Why did you give her the spell if you knew it had such high consequences?" Joyce asked.

"Hurts," Willow mumbled as she scratched at the cast on her hand, pulling out of Tara's hand.

"The other bottle, Tara," Joyce instructed softly and watched the witch go through the actions of getting Willow to take another pill. The Slayer's mom knew that they all hated drugs and resisted taking anything, even when seriously ill, but she knew Willow needed some sleep without the pain.

"I read the doctor's report about her hand," Mulder said softly.

"It's going to be a long recovery, Oz practically shattered the bones inside," Joyce responded. "He gave Giles a concussion, he threw Tara through the front window, and he had vampires beat and bite both Xander and Anya."

"And he bit Buffy," Mulder added.

"Yes, then when she refused to join his pack, Oz attacked her," Joyce threw in.

"To answer the question," Mulder continued. "I didn't know the details of the spell, it was written in several languages and some of it in rare witch sigils. I was hoping she could translate it or I could. Finally a couple of friends of mine translated it and I discovered how serious the spell was. I emailed her over and over again, begging her to destroy the spell if she had translated it. I also begged her to contact me for help. I didn't hear from her and suspected she might try the spell."

"So you rushed to Sunnydale to save Willow?" Buffy asked with a frown.

"Something like that, I like Willow and the last thing I wanted was a friend turning into a werewolf or playing with Black Magick," Mulder explained.

"Black Magick?" Tara demanded, sitting up a little more straight.

Willow mumbled in her half-sleep and Buffy returned to stroking the redhead's hair.

"The person doing the spell calls on the spirits of the dark to 'send the great shape that makes men shiver'. Basically, offering to willingly take on the evil curse of lycanthropy, opening up the soul to the danger of being possessed or giving it up entirely," Mulder growled.

"Oh my God, Wills," Buffy whispered, tears filling her eyes. It was bad enough she had lost Angel once when the vampire lost his soul, the thought of Willow losing herself to the darkness was too much. "Tara, you're the Wiccan type, what happens when someone calls on this stuff?"

"Well, we're mixing belief systems in a way," Tara complained, watching Willow frown. "Any energy you do comes back to you three-fold. Wiccans normally don't believe in things like vampires, werewolves and other 'cursed' things. I've learned that lesson. To willingly call the curse of lycanthropy on yourself in ancient times meant selling your soul to the dark powers."

"Willow?" Buffy whispered again and the young witch whimpered.

"Tell me what happened," Mulder suggested.

"Oz had Xander and Anya and was threatening to kill them if Willow didn't give into him," Tara continued. "She tricked us and got out and went to Oz. Willow got him to release Xan and Anya and then kept him from biting her by stabbing herself through the heart with a silver dagger."

Joyce had heard the story from Giles but it was somehow more painful hearing it from Tara. She looked over and noticed Mulder frowning intently at the young redhead but with a touch of admiration.

"We got her to a hospital in time but her heart is recovering," Joyce explained. "She still gets tired easily and you saw what major stress can do."

"So Buffy was doomed to turn into a werewolf but Willow worked the spell, even with her heart in that condition, and took the curse," Mulder finished.

"Yes," Buffy responded as a tear escaped down her face.

"Why didn't she turn tonight? Was that the point of meeting with a platoon leader from the Initiative?" Mulder asked.

"How do you know that?" Tara asked in surprise.

"I checked around once I saw a couple of computer memos going back and forth from their headquarters and the Sunnydale unit, signed by Riley Finn," Mulder explained. "They had the names of Elizabeth Anne Summers, also known as Buffy, and Willow Rosenberg as suspected 'hostiles'. Then I found out he was in jail on the night of the first full moon."

"He's Buffy's ex," Xander smirked and pretended to duck from Buffy's glare.

"You ladies seem to know how to pick boyfriends," Mulder smiled.

"That's why they switched to a non-male gender," Anya said easily.

"Anya!" Xander choked.

"What, we can't talk about their change in gender choices for orgasm buddies?" Anya asked as Xander closed his eyes, wishing he could crawl under the rug.

"We don't talk about other people's sex lives to strangers," he tried to instruct his out-of-date former vengeance demon lover.

"We can't talk about our sex lives and the fact that you haven't given me orgasm for three days and now we can't talk about the three of them being orgasm buddies?" Anya questioned.

Tara and Buffy were both a very vivid red as Mulder's eyebrows rose in question.

"I think Anya and I will go...make popcorn!" Xander said as he pulled Anya to her feet. "Halloween...need popcorn for the movies!"

"Xander, I wish to stay and talk since we aren't doing it!" Anya protested.

"Anya," Joyce hesitated, <how to describe Anya to an outsider, even if Mulder was learning most everything about them?>

"Anya was caught in a nether realm for a really long time and she seems to have lost the ability to have any tact and we have to teach her social skills all over again," Buffy quipped.

Mulder shook his head.

"I've hit a gold mine here for paranormal experiences and I can't investigate it without tripping over you and revealing you to the government," he complained.

"One day in the Initiative's hands would kill Willow," Buffy said firmly.

"I know," he grumbled.

"So what happens now?" Tara asked.

"Well, I'm going to go back to my motel room and see if I can check out the Initiative from a different angle," Mulder announced. "I'd like to see you all again, tomorrow."

"I think we can work that," Buffy nodded, glancing at Tara and Joyce and waiting for their nods of approval. "Now that Oz is dead and not stalking Willow any more, maybe we can get back to semi-normal."

"Yeah, normal for Sunnydale," Tara threw in.

"Tell him about the time the entire swim team turned grew scales and stuff!" Xander called from the kitchen.

"Quiet, Jackyl-boy!" Buffy teased.

"Hey!"

"You are going to love talking to Giles and Willow when they're awake," Tara grinned.

"I'd like to explore whatever options there might be for Willow," Mulder said softly.

"Thank you, Agent Mulder," Joyce said gratefully. "We'll see you about 3 tomorrow? I want the kids and Giles to sleep as long as possible and I know Xander is planning on watching movies all night."

"Sounds good, I can spend the morning doing some stuff on my end," he agreed and shook her hand as she opened the door for him. "I'm grateful all of you are trusting me. I know Buffy's life is at stake if any other government found out about her."

"Yeah, mutual destruction deterrent," Buffy growled. "The Initiative keeps quiet because I know their secrets; I keep quite about them because they know mine."

"I don't think any of us could make it without Buffy," Joyce responded with a sad smile. "Goodnight, Agent Mulder."

"Goodnight Mrs. Summers," Mulder smiled, his brown eyes soft and compassionate.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Buffy gently sat Willow down on the edge of the bed and Tara began unlacing the witch's shoelaces while Buffy helped pull off the oversized sweatshirt. Willow mumbled and sat fairly motionless while the two women undressed her, letting them do the work for her. Between the two of them, they managed to get Willow into an oversized t-shirt for sleeping and got her into her bed and tucked in.

"Is she going to be okay?" Tara asked softly.

"I think so, she'll sleep with those meds and we can come back and sleep with her later," Buffy said.

"Later?" Tara whispered as Buffy turned and melted into her arms.

"Yeah, we can watch movies with Xander and Anya or..." Buffy teased, leaning up into Tara for a kiss that left both of them breathless and weak in the knees.

"How about the �or�?" Tara suggested, leaning against the door and pulling Buffy with her.

The Slayer answered without words, pulling at Tara's sweatshirt until it was off over the witch's head, all the time kissing passionately. Buffy lifted Tara's t-shirt and pushed her lace bra aside to wrap her lips around one of Tara's beautiful nipples.

Tara growled and ran her hands through Buffy's hair and over the Slayer's back. Tara grabbed Buffy's shirt and yanked it off Buffy as Buffy's hands grabbed at the front of Tara's jeans, pulling them open.

"Oh Goddess," Tara moaned as she heard Buffy growl and pull Tara's t-shirt off and the Slayer's hands worked the catch at the back of Tara's bra, freeing her breasts for a full frontal assault from the very aroused Buffy.

"Buffy! Let�s move this to my room," Tara suggested. She knew that Willow probably wouldn't wake up but she didn't want to take that chance. They still hadn't talked about being affectionate with each other beyond kissing and holding hands or the concept of three in a bed, sexually. She didn't want to upset Willow in any way but Buffy's lips and teeth were getting hard to ignore.

"Now!" Buffy demanded, barely hanging onto any control from Slayer lust, not even taking the time to wonder why she was being hit with it without a night of slaying.

Tara slid to the floor with Buffy following, the Slayer never letting up from Tara's breasts and neck. The blonde witch felt her jeans being pulled off her and attempted to sit up to try and regain logical control of the situation but was met by Buffy's lips as the Slayer slid her own jeans off.

Tara moaned and accepted Buffy's tongue and began dueling with the Slayer as Buffy's hands were everywhere. The witch felt her body jerk when Buffy lowered herself on top of Tara, the feel of skin to skin was so wonderful it was almost a physical ache. Tara felt Buffy's back arch as the Slayer moaned at the contact.

"Buffy," Tara said softly and looked into Buffy's blue eyes, asking permission. The Slayer nodded and Tara mentally opened her own shields and felt Buffy dropping hers and accepting Tara's emotional and physical connection with her.

Buffy thought she would explode into a powerful orgasm right then just from the intensity of the contact. The total desire radiating from Tara was astounding and Buffy felt her own reflected back at her and moaned as she began to shake. Her own body jerked and bucked against Tara when she entered the witch slowly and began to slide down Tara's wonderful body.

Tara cried out as Buffy went between her legs, her hands clawing at the rug underneath her. She tried to muffle the sounds the Slayer was pulling out of her and finally grabbed at a discarded shirt and bit down hard. Tara felt her body rocking of its own accord as Buffy's tongue tormented her and the Slayer set a rhythm with her fingers.

Buffy moaned as she looked up and saw Tara's blue eyes darkening and felt the connected energy hitting her as the witch's muscles contracted and expanded, clenching down on Buffy's fingers and then demanding more. She couldn't believe the sight of the beautiful woman thrashing and calling her name. Buffy wondered if she looked half as wonderful as Tara did in the throes of passion.

Tara muffled a scream and half sat up, touching Buffy's face before falling back and arching her back with another muffled scream. The Slayer grabbed onto Tara's hip; wrapping her arm around the witch's abdomen to try and maintain contact with Tara so she could finish pleasing the beautiful woman in her arms.

"Buffy!" Tara cried out and bit down on the t-shirt again as her back arched and every muscle tightened, almost crushing the Slayer. Buffy felt her own body jerking as Tara's waves hit her. Buffy kept up the pressure until Tara's muscles managed to stop spasming and her body stopped jerking.

Buffy crawled along the carpet and took the gasping witch into her arms and gently rocked Tara as the witch's body shook from the intensity.

"Oh Goddess, Buffy," Tara gasped. "How long did you kill me?"

Buffy smiled shyly. "I don't know," she admitted. "I couldn't get enough of you."

Tara shifted and smirked at the Slayer.

"What the heck came over you, not that I'm complaining much except for the rug burn," she grinned.

"I'm not sure," Buffy blushed. "Full moon?"

"Goddess, don't tell me both of you are going to be this frisky on full moons," Tara laughed lightly, running her fingers along Buffy's ribs and noticing the Slayer's quick intake of breath.

Buffy was about to say something and found her words caught up in Tara's lips as the witch turned in her arms and returned the Slayer's earlier attack. The witch moved her body half over Buffy's and the Slayer grabbed her behind the head, pulling Tara into the embrace.

Tara's teeth went to Buffy's neck and her hands between Buffy's legs. She felt the Slayer open her body and her mind to Tara at the same time and moaned as they connected again. Buffy cried out and clung to the witch.

"Oh God, don't go slowly, please!" Buffy begged, her arousal hitting the overload level of earlier.

Tara whimpered and thrust into Buffy almost roughly and the Slayer jerked and cried out in pleasure. Tara moved her leg and hip into Buffy, adding weight and pressure behind her fingers and Buffy clawed at Tara's back.

"Oh God, so good," Buffy begged as she wrapped herself around the other blonde. "Tara!"

Tara felt like her own body was on fire as she felt Buffy climb higher and higher on the waves building between them until Buffy's body was rigid and clamped down on Tara's fingers. The witch pressed her thumb against Buffy's clit and the Slayer screamed Tara's name and clutched at the body holding her.

Tara felt Buffy lifting her sometime later and muttered something as she wrapped her arms around Buffy's neck. Then she felt Willow's familiar energy on one side and Buffy on the other. Tara turned to move an arm over the red-haired witch's ribs and felt Buffy snuggling up to her from behind as they fell asleep.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

November 1

Willow woke up feeling hung over and like she had been chewing on someone�s socks all night. The red-haired witch winced as she got out of bed and gathered up clean clothes. Willow did manage to smile as she looked down at the bed and saw Buffy wrapped around Tara, blonde hair blending on the pillows and limbs intertwined.

Willow managed to get her eyes more than half open after a shower and after beginning her second cup of coffee. Even as she poured the dark liquid she mentally scolded herself that she really needed to cut down on the stuff. She also knew that she was fuzzy because of the meds she had taken the night before.

Willow hated drugs, she had always been afraid of getting caught or taking something bad when she was younger and now she refused recreational usage because of the effects. The hacker-witch liked being in control of her mind and working magick was enough of a rush that Willow didn�t need drugs in her life.

<Until now,> she corrected herself. Now she needed them to occasionally slow down her rapid heart rate and to protect her heart. She also still needed them for the pain from the broken and mending hand.

<That didn�t mean she liked it,> Willow growled to herself.

The witch�s ears picked out the sounds of someone getting up in her room and trotting to the bathroom. It wasn�t long before someone came lightly tapping down the stairs and walked into the kitchen.

Willow grinned at the sight of a disheveled Slayer. The red-haired witch turned slightly on the barstool and held out her arm. Buffy smiled in response and snuggled into Willow�s arm for a warm, morning snuggle.

"Morning, you," Buffy mumbled.

"Good morning, Buff," Willow smiled as Buffy raised her head to kiss her. The witch smiled and reflected how she immediately felt better with the world when she was with Buffy or Tara or Buffy and Tara.

"How you feeling today?" Buffy asked, pulling out of Willow�s arm and grabbing her own cup on her way towards the coffeepot.

"Getting awake, I think," Willow smirked. "Those meds really knock me flat."

"What say I get dressed and we go and grab some bagels for everyone?" Buffy suggested. "Everyone was up kinda late and we can spare Tara cooking breakfast for everyone."

"Wondrous idea!" Willow grinned and Buffy quickly downed half her cup of coffee and leaned over the bar for another kiss before trotting back upstairs.

In a few minutes the two best friends and lovers walked quietly past a sleeping Xander and Anya on the living room floor and out the front door.

Buffy figured with Riley convinced neither of them were werewolves and with Oz dead, the first day of November was looking like the beginning of a good month. They wouldn�t have to worry about Willow�s lycanthropy for another 28 days.

The Slayer took it slow, enjoying the crisp morning air and the fact that Willow was feeling strong enough to walk to the bagel/coffee shop with her. The incident with Willow�s panic attack had worried Buffy but she grinned as she held Willow�s hand. The young witch looked better than Buffy had seen in a month.

Just to be sure of Willow�s continuing recovery, they stayed for a cup of coffee at the Espresso Pump with their bag of bagels and cream cheeses. Willow looked across the table and began blushing at the adoring look Buffy was giving her and the Slayer laughed, enjoying the witch�s blush and look of love she returned.

"I love you, Wills," Buffy said softly.

"I love you, Buffy," Willow responded softly as she reached across the table to hold Buffy�s hand. "What happened last night?"

"We finished explaining things to Agent Mulder, he�ll be back this afternoon," Buffy filled Willow in. "Do you have class today?"

"Yeah, Mrs. Santiago is coming over at 9 a.m. What about you?"

"I�ve got class at 10 a.m.," Buffy answered and looked over at the clock on the wall. "We should head back, everyone will worry if they wake up and we�re gone."

"I left a note in the kitchen while you were dressing but we should get back," Willow agreed.

"You�ll probably be able to go back to school soon," Buffy said encouragingly.

"Yeah, now that Oz is gone and Riley just hates me for stealing you instead of thinking we�re going to get furry," Willow smiled shyly.

"You didn�t steal me away from Riley, Wills," Buffy scolded with a smile. "I was never his, I was always yours."

Willow began blushing as they opened the door and stepped out into sunlight.

"Wills, you know I can never thank you for the spell you did," Buffy said slowly as they walked back towards the Summers� home.

"You don�t need to, Buffy," Willow began blushing again.

"We really need to talk to Agent Mulder," Buffy said thoughtfully. "Wills, he said something last night about dark magick and that spell."

Buffy was watching her girlfriend closely and wasn�t surprised when Willow�s head dropped and the redhead refused to meet her eyes. The Slayer stopped and turned Willow to face her.

"Talk to me, Wills," Buffy urged. "What exactly did you do?"

"Drop it, please, Buff," Willow countered with a frown. "It�s done and can�t be undone."

"Willow, what did you do?" Buffy repeated. "Is it going to hurt us?"

Willow sat down on a bus bench and Buffy sat down next to her.

"Possibly," Willow admitted with a shrug, her hair hiding her eyes. "I called on the powers of darkness to transfer the wolf into me."

"Wills!" Buffy exclaimed softly and the witch flinched and turned away. Buffy grabbed Willow by the shoulders and forced Willow to look at her. "Okay, we�ll handle whatever comes up. I love you! No matter what happens, I love you!"

The Slayer pulled Willow into her arms and held her tight.

"I love you and Tara loves you," Buffy repeated.

"I�m sorry, Buffy. I couldn�t find another way," Willow said softly.

"Werewolf or not, none of us are leaving you," Buffy said firmly.

"I love you so much," Willow hugged the shorter blonde tightly.

"Let�s get home," Buffy suggested and Willow nodded.

++++++++++++++++++++++

Xander stretched as the voices of Giles and Joyce reached him from the kitchen. He leaned over and kissed Anya awake. The former vengeance demon woke up quickly and grabbed her boyfriend behind the head and held him to her lips.

Xander finally extracted himself from Anya�s lips and sat up.

He grinned as they both glanced up and saw Tara coming down the stairs.

"Are Buffy and Willow in the kitchen?" she asked with a sleepy smile.

"I don�t know, I heard Joyce Mom and Giles though," Xander answered and leaned back down to kiss Anya as Tara went into the kitchen.

A moment later the two older adults and witch came back out into the living room.

"The note says they went for bagels and will be back shortly," Giles was saying.

"Bagels?" Xander perked up; unzipping the sleeping bag he was sharing with his girlfriend.

"Seems that Buffy and Willow have gone out for bagels for everyone," Giles repeated for Xander and Anya as he sat down in an easy chair.

"Excellent choice!" Xander agreed.

"We had better get back to your place, I must have a shower before going to work at the Magic Box," Anya suggested.

"I want bagels," Xander protested.

"It is time to move on with life," Anya said firmly. "You have to call into your employment and convince them you were dying for the last four days and I must go to work as well."

"Okay, okay," Xander grumbled, reaching for his tennis shoes.

"I�ve got class at 9 a.m.," Tara said in general.

"I�ve got to pay some attention to the gallery as well," Joyce commented.

"Yes, we only have to worry about the usual slaying duties for a month," Giles agreed.

"You mean we might have a �normal� Sunnydale life for a month?" Xander teased and Joyce threw a sofa pillow at him.

+++++++++++++++++++++

The next three days were spent with the three students catching up on their studies and spending time with Giles and Mulder. The Scooby Gang quickly grew to like the FBI agent, discovering he was as quirky as they were and very ready to believe them on almost everything they had seen and been through.

His biggest regret was that he had promised not to reveal any of the information he learned. Mulder made plenty of notes and copied files off of Willow and Giles� computers but agreed not to ever reveal where he had gotten the information.

It hadn�t taken much to convince the FBI agent that the government would be very interested in Buffy if they knew about the existence of Slayers and one thing was certain about Mulder, he didn�t trust the government. He suspected if the government knew about Buffy, the Slayer would disappear into a government research facility. Mulder was very surprised that hadn�t happened already since the Initiative had found out about the Slayer�s existence.

He also wanted to protect Willow. A werewolf with her hacking skills would be very attractive to someone like the Smoking Man�s organization and they�d never see Willow again either.

Special Agent Fox Mulder would have stayed longer in Sunnydale but had been called back to Washington DC on a case and reluctantly left the Scooby Gang.

Life did return to semi-normal for the gang for the next three weeks. Willow returned to campus, Buffy continued slaying and they all waited for the next full moon.

End

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