Win and Lose



They’ve been sent into the stacks, told to find the weapons that will help Buffy fight the latest threat, told to search for them between pages yellowed and crackle-dried by centuries of darkness – no one can have read these books, not really. Xander imagines them being printed and never, not ever, being opened again until he dips into them, bending the bindings until they crack along with Giles’ patience and their secrets pour out in a flood of black, dust smudged ink.

Weapons are made of steel, of iron, of wood, not paper...he wants to fight monsters, yes he does, he really does, and that squirming in his stomach is down to too many donuts, too much coffee and if his eyes are made to focus on ornate twists of words any more, he’ll –

“Xander?”

Willow’s looking at him in that new way, the one where her eyes aren’t hopeful any more because she’s got what she wanted, she’s got him, his full attention, his lust, all directed at her, so she’s exposed in the beam, wide eyed and startled but not blinking, not looking away. Power. She’s discovered she has it and it’s sleeking her like gasoline on the road, dark rainbows, pretty and dirty. He caught Cordelia staring at her; speculative eyes, not scornful, saw Giles watch her hips sway as she reached up, high up, skirt hitching high up, to replace a book.

She’s blossomed, she’s bloomed. She’s turned into something more exotic than he’d imagined and if he even thinks about flowers that eat meat, he’ll throw up, because this is Willow.

She’s rubbing against him now, and the book falls from his hand, landing on his foot. She giggles and it’s the spark that sets him burning. The pain, the shame, the guilt and her eyes, confident and sassy...

There’s a small table against the wall.

They’re as deep into the stacks as they can be, so that the low murmur of voices from the front of the library reaches them dimly, distantly and the background noise of pages turning, pens scratching, keyboard tapping is lost, absorbed by the hungry books.

The table is just the right height.

They’ve never gone past kissing, past touching. He’s felt her bare breast curve up into his hand, felt her nipples swell and harden as his thumb flicked them, slid a hand to cup her between her legs, moist and hot but now he’s skipping pages and finding out whodunit before anyone’s even died because he wants to win this battle, fight this war his way, wants to just be –

He’s bending her over the table and she’s gasping and arching, fingers wanting to touch him, wanting to make him groan and whimper, make the sounds she loves to hear, lapping them up with her tongue against his lips, but he’s not letting her and he’s kneeling behind her, taking off one shoe, peeling down tights and panties, making her step out of just one leg of them, so that he can get to her. He runs his hands up her legs, spreading her thighs and yes, she’s whimpering now and he loves those sounds so much he forgives her for forcing them from him in the past.

She can’t make them though, not with Giles and Buffy so close. He stands up and places his hand palm down, fingers spread on her back. It slides up and grips her neck, gently, softly, and he whispers to her to shush or he won’t do it.

Her obedient, instant silence is like the quiet all around him; wrapping him tightly, squeezing him hard. She spreads just a little wider for him and he moves his hands to her hips, easing into her, inch by inch, feeling her tremble as she tries to be still, tries to be quiet...was he hurting her? Leaning forward, he slides his hand over her mouth, lets her bite down, lets her share the stabbing, sharp pain with him.

Then he’s moving inside her and he’s trying to be tell her to stay silent, to stop making those begging, pleading gasps, but it’s him, he’s doing it and she’s perfectly quiet, even when she comes, even when he sees her fingers crook into claws as she grips the smooth wood.

And when she turns her head and smiles over her shoulder at him, he sees that he’s given her one more weapon to use.



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