"TARA!" Willow shouted as she ran up the stairs from the basement of their Las Vegas mansion. "Tarataratarataratarataratara!"
Tara was sitting on the couch petting Miss Kitty Ferocio and looked up when Willow jumped over the couch and landed next to her.
"Look what I found!" Willow said and presented Tara with a leather-bound bloodstained book.
"Our photo-album!" Tara smiled. "I've been looking ages for this! Where'd you find it?"
"I was cleaning out some bodyparts from the basement and I found it behind the freezer," Willow said. "It must have fallen down there somehow."
Tara lay her hand on her wife's lap when Willow opened the album and started leafing through it. "Oh, look," Tara said. "It's our wedding photo!"
"Still the best night of my life, baby," Willow said and then flipped to a photo of the two of them standing over a pile of slaughtered firemen next to a burned-out firetruck. "Oh, remember that trip to Yellowstone we took?"
"The Yellowstone we set on fire?"
"Yeah," Willow smiled to herself as she relived the memory. "Half the state was ablaze! Ah, memories."
Tara perked up when she saw pictures of them at their old apartment in Sunnydale. "Oh, this was right before we killed that Slayer, didn't we? What her name again? Candy something?"
"Kendra, I think," Willow said and looked at the mantle when a skull was perched. "How are you doing, Kendra?" she asked the skull.
"Hm," Tara said as she looked at pictures from their early days in Sunnydale. "We've been together for three years, Will."
"I remember the day we first met," Willow chuckled as her thoughts drifted to three years ago in Sunnydale. "I was so incredibly pissed off at the time..."
With one expert flick of the cue, the white ball sent the nearest red ball into the side-pocket.
"Boo-yeah!" Xander exclaimed. "Beat that, Wills."
Xander's opponent, the leather clad Willow, was looking on from the sidelines, leaning on her cue. "Hm," she said impassionedly. "I think you're actually gonna win this one, Xander."
"He dunks, he scores... And that's an entirely different game," Xander smirked. "But no biggie. I'm still gonna kick your ass."
The two vampires nodded to each other for a moment. The two vampires had been vast friends in life and their deep friendship had continued in unlife. Ever so often, they got together at the Bronze, the former club turned vampire-nest, to enjoy each other's company over a game of pool mixed with idle banter and joking around.
Willow chalked her cue for a moment, bent over the table and took aim. She mouthed a vile curse when the ball overshot the target and slammed into the side, only to impotently roll back to Willow and stop short just in front of her.
Xander smirked for a moment. "Uh, you missed, Wills."
Willow growled slightly. "I've noticed. And, you, Xander will notice it will be very hard to walk with a pool-cue shoved up your butt if you keep this up."
"Rrowl," Xander chuckled. "Claws are out tonight."
"Sorry," Willow sighed. "This... just isn't my night. Everything's going wrong tonight. My computer wouldn't start, I lost my keys and locked myself out, had this prime target all picked out for dinner and the White Hats steal him away and now I'm losing big at pool. What's the score?"
"You owe me five kittens," Xander replied.
"FIVE?!" Willow blinked. "How did that happen?!"
"Well, first you lost one, then you lost two and et cetera till five," Xander said.
"Time-out!" Willow called, dropped her cue and went to the bar. She took a cold bottle of Rolling Rock from the freezer, cracked it open and took a swig. She picked up another bottle and tossed it to Xander. "I feel like killing someone in various painful, yet amazing ways. I know, I'm gonna find that library White Hat Giles and beat him to death with a living crocodile!"
"Hey, here's a thought," Xander said. "If we were pornstars, what would ours names be?"
Willow bit her lip for a moment. "Hm, something with 'Red' in it. Lemme think for a moment."
"I gotta go with Biff Stiff," Xander said.
"I see you put some thought in it," Willow snorted. "I dunno. Red Vixen, maybe. That's Vixen spelled V-I-X-X-X-E-N!"
"Classy," Xander took a sip. "Was chasing this girl the other day. Cute girl, totally into dark brooding vamp boys. I had her completely in my thrall. I was about to bite her neck when I slipped over a wino's whiskey bottle and the spell was broken. Girl shrieked and took off. Caught up with her in the end, grabbed her and we both toppled into a bunch of garbage cans. Good blood, but it ended up being very noisy, smelly and dorky."
"Ouch," Willow chuckled before taking another sip from her beer. "I sucked dry this girl the other day. I wore this pink fluffy shirt, a camo, a long leather coat, put on some eye-shadow and hit the goth clubs. There was this girl, cute but dumb. Had her eating from the palm of my hand. We danced, we talked, I walked her home and she asked me in for a nightcap. I went in for the kill the moment she went over the edge. Heheheh, she came and she went!" Willow smirked. "Died with a smile on her face, though."
"Dammit, why do you always have to outdo me, Will?!" Xander scowled. "You get laid and I get laid out in the garbage."
"It's a style thing," Willow winked.
"The Ann Rice thing isn't usually your style, Will," Xander crossed his arms. "Changing your tactic?"
"Nah, just a change of pace," Willow shrugged. "Oh, remember Dirk Hubbert?"
"Four foot tall, pocket-protector, pants pulled up into his armpits?" Xander said.
"That's the one," Willow said. "I yanked his head off the other day, after he had invited me in. Man, he had some fancy equipment. Cutting edge computer stuff. Not to mention every single game console ever released! Including all the games."
"Wicked!" Xander said. "Are you keeping that stuff?"
"Most of it," Willow smirked. "If only to expand my collection. The rest, well..."
"Nah, too much effort," Willow shrugged. " I'll just keep what I want and sell the rest over a Fat Larry's Pawnshop."
"So, uh, is it all hooked up?"
"Is that another way of saying you want to come over a play a few old games?"
"Well, I..." but Xander never got to finish his sentence, because someone else came in to disturb them.
"Hello kiddies," Spike said as he entered the pool room, strutting as if he owned the place.
"Spike," Xander greeted. "How was the museum?"
"Bloody awful," Spike sighed. "Only one guard to feed on and very little of value to steal and sell. But there were dinosaurs, so Dru had fun anyway."
"Gotta love those dinosaurs," Xander replied.
"Don't even start," Spike sighed. "Dru wanted a live one as a pet. Broke her heart to hear the buggers are all extinct. Anyway, to cheer herself up, so got herself a little present. There's a new member of her family today and I need someone to show her the ropes. Dru's still too weak to go out alone with our littlest sister, so I want you to take her out, Red. Teach her to hunt and all that. Shouldn't be too hard."
"What?!" Willow protested. "And why me?!"
"One, because I don't trust Xander's busy hands."
"Hey, I resent that! I'll have you know my hands are perfectly lazy!"
"Two," Spike continued, ignoring Xander. "If you say no, it'll make Dru very unhappy. And if you make Dru unhappy, I'll turn you into a basketball and dunk you into the ocean."
Willow crossed her arms. "And why can't you teach her how to feed?"
"Are you kidding? General Hospital is on in ten minutes," Spike said. "Wouldn't want to miss anything. Dru and her new daughter are waiting for you downstairs. So get your arse down there, Red."
That said, Spike was off, headed towards his den and his television. When he was out of earshot, Willow exploded.
"Goddammit!" Willow slammed her fist on the bar. "Who does he think he is? Wants me to babysit some damn fledgling?!"
"You know, we're not exactly elders ourselves, Will. We've only been vampires for little more than a year. Not exactly amazing spiderman level of experience there."
"Great, just great," Willow sighed. "What else can go wrong tonight? I just know I'm gonna run into a stake or something..."
Willow stomped down the stairs, anger soaring through her veins. She was a vampire, dammit. And a darn good one. Humans, fledglings and even some elders feared her. How dare Spike just kick her around as if she was nothing? Powerful as Willow was, though, Spike was stronger still... and though she was insane, Drusilla could be very dangerous if provoked, so she had no choice but to babysit the fledgling.
She found Drusilla sitting on a small white bench outside of the Bronze and was about to send a few veiled quips her way, when she noticed the girl. A honey-blonde girl lay on her side, her head in Drusilla's lap while she gently stroked the girls hair with her fingers.
"Ssssh," Drusilla whispered to Willow. "Quiet. Miss Edith's little sister is blazed and confused. She is so newborn still. Oh, the world will scream at her feet on day? Would you like to meet her, Wicked Willow?"
Willow simply stared at the girl, who looked back at her with wide eyes. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, this was the single most beautiful girl she had ever seen. Unlife had just taken hold of her body, and like many young vampires, she was probably confused and hungry.
"M-mummy?" the girl whispered to Drusilla.
"Sssh, Tara," Drusilla shushed her. "Wicked Willow here's going to tell you all about the feeding and the blood and the entrails and the blood-soaked rabbits in the nights... Oooh, it makes my insides all stern and noisy."
"No, mummy," Tara looked scared and clutched to Drusilla. "Don't leave me alone, mummy..."
"It'll be all fine and dandy, my sweet young childe," Drusilla whispered. "Look at Willow. Doesn't she look nice? There's all sorts of naughty things that wicked naughty Willow can teach you. Wrafff!"
In an uncharacteristic show of empathic kindness, Willow knelt down next to Tara and took her hand. "It'll be alright, Tara. We were all fledglings once. But you need to feed."
"Hungry," Tara whispered. "I-is it normal to be this h-hungry?" Tara asked meekly. "I... I've never been so hungry in my entire life."
"Oh, yeah," Willow said. "Especially before you've fed the first time."
"Uhm," Tara added softly. "I-is it normal to have the urge to rip out someone's liver and wear it like a funny hat?"
Willow smiled broadly. It seemed that Tara had inherited at least some of Drusilla's violent insanity, which was something that simply delighted Willow to the very core. "Well, you can do whatever you want now, Tara. The world is yours, when you're a vampire. So if you want to wear someone's liver as a funny hat, by all means, do so!"
"There there, now," Drusilla said as she let go of Tara. "Mummy'll be right here. Now Wicked Willow'll teach you how to hunt. Catch a big juicy fluffy rabbit and hit it over the head with a looking glass."
Willow frowned when she noticed what Tara was wearing: a pastel colored dress billowing around her legs and unwieldy boots. "We'll need to do something about that," Willow muttered.
About 15 minutes later, Tara was wearing a black silky t-shirt, a pair of jeans, black tennis shoes and a long black leather coat.
"W-wow," Tara said. "Is this was vampires wear?"
"The previous owner did," Willow said. "Of course, I had to rip his head off when he refused to lend the coat to you. He won't be needing them anymore. The shirt is mine, though."
"It's, um, a little small," Tara replied.
"Yeah, uhm," Willow smirked after stealing a look at the way the small t-shirt hugged around Tara's chest. "It's the only one I had, but vampires don't need to breathe, so you'll be okay." 'And I'll get an eyeful for a nice bonus. Wow, I love that view', Willow thought.
"Um, please look me in the eyes," Tara replied softly.
"Oh, uh, sorry," Willow bit her lip.
And so Willow took Tara out for her first hunt. The two vampires holed up in a nearby alleyway and waited for the first passerby. When a middle-aged man walked by, Willow jumped from the shadows, covered his mouth and yanked him into the alleyway with her vampiric strength. Experienced as she was, she took the man's head in her hands and yanked sharply to the right. A loud crunch resounded through the alley as the man's neck was brutally, yet deftly broken.
"Alright," Willow said as she held the shivering man. "Let's start with the basics. He's still alive, but he won't struggle now. It's good practise material, but remember... not every kill will be this easy."
"W-what do I do?" Tara asked.
Willow took her hand and laid it on the man's neck. "Feel the blood. Let instinct guide you."
With a growl that came from the very depths of her lungs, Tara lunged to the man's throat, biting and nipping at his neck with her fangs.
"That's good," Willow smiled, guiding Tara a little, while at the same time taking a moment to run a hand through her soft silky hair. "Find the jugular... yeah, that's it. Well done. Drink it."
And Tara drank. She moaned in ecstasy when the warm blood touched her lips. She grabbed the dying man and proceeded to drink him dry.
"Yeah," Willow chuckled. "Feels good doesn't it? Your first kill, snuffing out someone's hopes and dreams. That warm blood pumping down your throat."
Tara finally withdrew from the now dead man and sank back against the wall. There was a little more color in her face now, and her mouth and chin were covered with blood, dripping down to the ground.
"Don't worry," Willow grinned. "You'll get better at feeding with practise. There'll be more blood in your mouth next time." She thought Tara looked so very, very cute with the blood dripping all over her chin.
Tara closed her eyes for a moment. She suddenly transformed into someone who was more confident, more sure of herself than she had ever been in life. "More," she whispered. "MORE! I want to drink... I want to kill!"
Tara's rebirth was complete now. As the beast within Tara was truly awakened, and a feral, bloodthirsty glint appeared in her deep blue eyes, Willow realized just how much of a monster Tara could potentially become... and she loved it.
"There's some more hunting techniques I can show you," Willow grinned. "Come on, Tara. Let's go hit the club scene!"
"Xand, she's a natural. A natural born killer," Willow said as she was playing pool with Xander the next night. "I could see it in her eyes. She's so vicious, Xander. Vicious to the core. She just couldn't get enough. It's true what they say, you know? The quietest, meekest, dorkiest people in life make the most evil vampires. Just look at us."
"Yeah, but at heart, we're still nerds, Will. But we're nerds with power, now."
"I gotta cut our game short, Xand," Willow said as she put down her cue. "Taking Tara out hunting again. Oh, crap, is that the time? She's probably waiting for me already. Gotta run!"
"You still owe me one kitten!" Xander called after her and waved goodbye.
Willow rushed down the stairs, flew through the lounge, ran out the door, punched out a White Hat who was lurking near the entrance and ran across three blocks towards the park where they had decided to meet. Tara was already there, and she almost literally brightened the moment she locked eyes with Willow.
"Sorry," Willow said as she skidded to a stop and plopped down on the bench next to Tara. "Got a little held up."
"It's okay," Tara smiled. "I'm glad you came. I, uh, couldn't wait..." she blushed and pointed at a bush next to the bench. Two feet belonging to a prone and drained body were sticking out of the bush.
"Hey, it's okay," Willow smiled wickedly. "It shows initiative. Did you check his pockets?"
"Uh, no," Tara frowned. "Why?"
"Oh," Willow said. "Check for the regular stuff. You know, wallets, watches, rings, jewelry, credit cards. It's our main source of income."
A search of the downed man revealed a wallet containing 175 dollars, a mastercard, a fake rolex, a wedding ring and a small golden chain.
"Nice catch," Willow said. "You can probably get another 75 if you pawn that stuff at Fat Larry's. I'll see if I can crack that mastercard when I get home and give you the cash it brings in."
Today, the two vampires played the tag-team seduction game. Female vampires liked to mix extreme violence with these headgames. Though bashing a person's head in with a frozen salami had its charm, playing the victim for a fool with the promise of a wild night with two beautiful girls was its own sweet reward... especially when the victim ended up with his or her throat being torn apart. Their first victim was a college student. Tara mostly observed the first time around, but put in every effort to look sexy and mysterious. The unfortunate boy came to a violent end on the dirty ground of a back alley.
Their second victim was a woman in her late twenties and required more of a set-up. After a few moments of dancing, some chatting and a fair amount of flirting. Tara was more open this time around and, Willow could see, eager to make a kill. To make a long story short, the woman invited them into her house, upon which, Willow and Tara immediately vamped out and rushed the woman. The woman was knocked to the ground, silently praying for a miracle when the two vampires were tearing into her throat and were lapping up the blood pumping from her jugulars. It was a bit ungainly to feed like this, with Willow drinking from the right side of her neck and Tara from the left. The less experienced Tara kept bumping into Willow. Willow, in turn, snaked an arm around Tara's shoulder and guided her slightly. As the last of the blood left the woman's body, Tara surprised Willow by turning towards her and brushing her lips against Willow's. Willow took the invitation with both hands and deepened the kiss to start and exploration of Tara's mouth. Her tongue slid across Tara's fangs, tasting their victim's blood on Tara's tongue.
"Oh," Tara said when she hastily broke the kiss. "I'm getting blood all over you."
"It's okay," Willow husked, eager to continue their kissage.
"But your leather... the blood'll ruin it!"
"I'll just steal a new suit," Willow shrugged, disappointed the kissage had apparently ended... for now.
A quick search of the house revealed some savings, more jewelry, some precious object d'art and a laptop. As the girls left the house, Willow suggested they'd take a break.
"Where are we going?" asked Tara when they entered a seedy looking warehouse section of Sunnydale.
"Icecream parlor," Willow said as she guided Tara up a set of metal steps and knocked on a thick metal door. A small slide opened.
"Yeah? What's da passwoid?"
"My fangs are long, sharp and toothy."
"Come on in, ladies."
The door was opened, revealing a huge muscular vampire who led them through a narrow tunnel. At the end of the tunnel was a room which looks exactly like a classic 60's icecream parlor. Several benches were filled with demons and vampires softy chatting, while the jukebox played 'Love me tender' by Elvis Presley.
Willow found that her usual booth was occupied by a chaos demon. After a show of force (and the sudden need to wipe the slime off her jacket) on Willow's part, the booth was cleared and she and Tara sat down.
"May I take your order?" sounded from the waitress, a perky vampire on roller-skates.
"We'll have an AB-negative sundae with chocolate-cherry topping. Extra large with TWO straws!" Willow said and turned to Tara. "You'll love this, baby. They mix blood with milk and they make this delicious ice-cream out of it. Expensive, but totally worth it!"
A few moments later, their sundae arrived. Both vampires took their perspective straws and tasted the blood sundae. There was sly eye contact between the two vampires during the feeding. Tara gave Willow a half-smile.
"So," Willow asked when they finished feeding for a moment. "How do you like being a vampire so far?"
"It's great!" Tara said. "I've never felt so... free in my life. There's no worries, you can do anything you want, you have power."
"Just don't cross an elder," Willow said. "Unless you're devious or strong enough to get away with it. We're hunting on the Master's territory. His word is law, but I'm hoping to stake a claim on a rich feeding ground someday."
"How old were you when you became a vampire, Willow?" Tara asked.
"Ripe old age of seventeen," Willow shrugged. "I'll be seventeen forever. You?"
"I just turned twenty three weeks ago," Tara said.
"Hm," Willow chuckled. "I always had a thing for older women."
Tara blushed slightly. "I bet there are some things I could teach you, Willow. To thank you for teaching me how to hunt."
"Really?" Willow raised an eyebrow. "That sounds promising." She leant forward, so that her face was inches away from Tara's, tilting her head slightly as if to kiss her. "What do you have in mind, baby?"
Tara smirked. "I dabble in some magic. I could try to teach you some spells, if you like."
If Willow was disappointed, she didn't show it. She sank back into her chair and pouted slightly, however. "No thanks, magic isn't really my thing. But when you fry someone with a fireball, I'd like to watch."
"You know, it is a bit depressing to never be old enough to legally buy a beer or something like that," Tara asked.
"HAH!" Willow chuckled. "If they don't give you that beer, you just pull their over the counter and ram their heads in the wall. Then you steal the beer, empty the cash register and run off into the night."
After finishing their AB-negative sundae, the girls made their way back to the bronze. Willow stopped on the opposite side of the street, in front of a small apartment building.
"I live here, on the third floor," Willow said. "When I was vamped, I tried to live at my parents house after I died but the place was just too big for me. Too many memories. So I bought this apartment after I cashed in my parent's life insurance policies. Yes, both my parents died so suddenly in a violently successful accident," Willow chuckled. "Who knew a simple household blender could cause so much trauma?"
"So..." Tara whispered softly. "I guess we'll call it a night, then?"
"I guess so..."
The two girls stared at each other for a moment.
'Alright this is it, Will, be sauve, be sexy, be sophisticated. Think of your best line', Willow thought. "Uh, do, uh... Maybe you, uh... Would you like too, uh..." Willow stammered. 'Geez, what are you, Willow? Human?'
"Wanna fuck?" Tara asked. Vampires, as Tara was learning, were nothing if direct.
Willow grinned broadly. "Hell, yeah," she unlocked the door, took Tara by the hand and pulled her inside. They walked up the stairs side by side, Tara holding on to Willow tightly while the other vampire slid her hand in one of the back pockets of Tara's jeans. Upstairs, Willow unlocked the door and opened it, until she realized...
Willow almost sprained her wrist when she withdrew her hand from Tara's pocket and Tara barely had time to fire off an undignified 'HEY!' when Willow slammed the door shut in her face. Like a speeding bullet, Willow ripped a thick cloth from the wall and threw it over a few shelves on the other side of the room. She then rushed to the door and opened it again, profusely apologizing to a rather miffed looking Tara.
"What did you just do?"
"Uh, nothing, nothing, I was just..."
"I heard something tearing," Tara said and saw the cloth hanging over a few shelves. "What are you trying to hide?"
"No, I was just..." Willow tried to stop Tara, but it was too late. Tara pulled the cloth from the shelves only to find them filled to the brim with computers and game consoles of all sizes and shapes.
Willow sighed heavily when her secret was out. "Sorry," Willow blushed slightly. "I... I didn't want you to think I... I'm a nerd... Girls like me usually don't... aren't into this stuff and..."
"Hey, is that an NES?" Tara asked as she picked up the device. "I would have loved to have one when I was a kid, but my dad wouldn't let me. Said it was a tool of the devil."
"Huh," Willow snorted, trying to salvage the situation. "I thought the Bible was the tool of the devil."
Tara chuckled for a moment as she put down the machine. "I don't think you're a nerd. I think you're a kick-ass evil killer with some slightly nerdy interests. You're so beautiful, Will. And so strong."
"Really?" Willow asked, shaking her head at her own foolishness.
"I still wanna fuck," Tara said slyly. Willow needed to hear nothing more. She grabbed Tara around the waist and threw her on the bed.
Sex between vampires was usually short, wild and violent, and Willow and Tara's first time was no different. Willow, being the eldest of the two, assumed the dominant role, which was custom during vampire sex. It was an almost bestial union, with plenty of growling and even a little biting. It was over relatively quickly, and it was more to serve as a relief of the sexual tension that had been building up between the two of them ever since they had met.
But after their initial lusts were sated, something else happened. With the tension relieved, the stage was set for a more gentle union. The two young vampires started a loving exploration of each other's bodies, with neither of them taking the dominant role. Gone was the growling, the scratching and the biting, replaced by soft kisses, gentle caresses and warm embraces. Tireless as they were, the two vampires kept making love... simply living the moment and revelling in each other's presence.
Going against tradition, Willow allowed herself to be dominated by Tara as their lovemaking progressed. Usually, a vampire would only allow herself to be dominated by a younger one after a deep bond of trust had been formed between them, as a stake to the heart could come from everywhere in a vampire nest. But even though Willow had only known Tara for a few days, she just knew she could trust her completely, and greatly enjoyed Tara taking complete control of their lovemaking.
The rest of the night, their lovemaking was once again on a more equal level, gentle and caring, going on until they finally lay spent in each other's arms.
"Hmmm," Tara whispered. "I know this is gonna sounds cliche, but this feels so right."
"I know what you mean, Tara," Willow said. "I swear, any more of that and my heart'll start beating again. And we didn't even use the whips or the branding irons."
"I never would have found a girl like you when I was alive," Tara said. "I'm glad I'm a vampire."
"Why?" Willow grinned. "Power, the thrill of the hunt, being able to do anything you want and to get away with it? Cause I like all three of those."
"No, if I hadn't been a vampire, I never would have met you," Tara purred and leaned in for a kiss.
"You're right," Willow said in between kisses. "That does sound cliche... but I kinda like it."
While the vampires continued kissing, it was Tara who first noticed it was getting more bright outside. "Will? The sun is coming up."
"It is?" Willow looked at the clock. "Wow, we've been kickin' boots for hours! Best night of my life, baby..."
"Uh, Will," Tara said, slightly more worried. "The sun is coming up."
Willow smirked and picked up a small remote control from the nightstand. "No worries, check this out." As soon as Willow pushed the button, a set of hyper modern electronic shades started to slowly lower down. "I stole these from..." but before Willow could finish her sentence, a small explosion sounded to the right of the window outside. The shades stopped lowering immediately and were stuck in place. "What the..." Willow jumped out of bed and looked outside, only to find the feet of an electrocuted pigeon sticking out of the control mechanism.
"Oh, crap!" Willow swore. "Stupid-ass bird!"
"Will! The sun is coming up!" Tara was starting to panic now.
"Uh, don't worry... don't worry," Willow said. "We'll just close the curtains."
"You mean the curtains you ripped off the wall to throw over your nerdy computer stuff?"
"Ah... there is that..." Willow gulped.
"Quickly!" Tara dragged Willow to the shredded curtain, threw themselves at the floor and quickly rolled the cloth around themselves, hoping to get as many layers of cloth between them and the sun's rays as possible and praying to all the demon princes in the Abyss that every part of their body was protected.
The two girls clutched to each other, holding on for dear unlife. Willow shivered when she felt the cloth warming up under the rays of the sun. No... It won't end this way... It can't end this way... I'm an immortal vampire dammit! I've just found Tara! Willow realized that Tara was as scared as she was from the way she was trembling. They were there to comfort each other in silence, and if something were to happen, they would die their final death together in each other's arms. There was an odd solace in that.
Time seemed to crawl as the two girls lay huddled together. Neither of them dared to speak or even move for hours on end, nothing beyond holding each other and keeping their eyes firmly shut. And finally, finally, after what had seemed to be an eternity, the light was becoming less bright and the unbearable heat was slowly dissapating.
"Tara?" Willow whispered. "I think... I think it might be over."
"A-are you sure?"
"Think so," Willow said. "I'll... I'll try to stick my toe out into the open."
"P-please be careful, sweetie."
Willow shifted her foot to stick her big toe into the light.
"Are you okay?"
"Just stings a little," Willow said. "At least I haven't burst into flames yet. I think it's safe."
Despite Tara's protests, Willow disentangled herself and threw off the cloth. Her exposed skin stung a little in the waning light of the sun, but their ordeal was definitely over. "You can come out now, Tara."
Carefully, inch by inch, Tara's head popped out from under the cloth, peeking carefully.
"Whoa," Tara whispered in relief. "I was so scared, Willow."
"Me too," Willow admitted while she lay down on the bed. Tara laid down next to her for a moment.
"I was out all day," Tara sighed, "Mummy's going to be so angry. I think I'd better get home."
"Wanna go hunt later?"
"Hell yeah," Tara smirked. "I'm definitely in the mood for some unadulterated violence right now."
Luck was in Willow's favor today. With one shot, she landed two balls in the side pockets and left Xander biting in her dust.
"HAH!" Willow whooped. "I no longer owe you any kittens at all, Xander! Let's see how many kittens I can take from you. Scared yet? Cause I'd be if I were you! Because if I were you, I'd be very careful around the red headed menace that'd be standing in front of me."
Xander smiled and put down his cue. "So, you slept with Tara last night, didn't you?"
"Huh?" Willow raised an eyebrow. "How'd you know? Tara's not the type to kiss and tell."
"Well," Xander said. "You're insufferably perky right now and Tara was seen trying to sneak into the nest early in the evening. It's not that hard to put two and two together, Wills."
Willow got that faraway look in her eyes for a moment. "Yeah, we slept together last night. It was incredible."
"Yes!" Xander laughed. "Spike owes me ten bucks!"
"Spike and I took a bet. He said it'd take at least three nights before you'd sleep together. I said it'd happen before that," Xander said sheepishly. "Uh, why are you looking at me like that?"
Willow's eyes were on fire, she was gritting her teeth and her fists were balled. Xander gulped for a moment. Willow had been his friend for years, both as a human and as a vampire. When Willow had first been turned, it had been a change from day to night. In life, Willow's reasons for being consisted mostly of book reports, the internet and quiet academic pursuits. Vampire Willow, however, was more interested in physical pursuits. The first thing she did was a vampire, was to go on a rampage to horribly murder every single person that had wronged her in life. Cordelia, Harmony, Percy and both her parents were only a few of the people who eventually fell to Willow's merciless fangs. Vampire Willow was a creature of impulse and whim. She had seduced and bedded the most beautiful girls of Sunnydale, but all of them had ended up dead in various violent ways as soon as Willow had gotten tired of them, which was always quite quickly. She also terrorized the other vampires of the town if they even showed the slightest weakness. And now, that vicious girl was staring angrily at her.
But anger turned into mirth. "Hah," Willow chuckled. "You know me pretty well, Xander. I'll guess I'll make you pay up the kittens later, huh?"
As Xander watched Willow leave, he let out a sigh of relief. Sometimes, Willow was too intense even for him.
And so it went on night after night for months. Willow and Tara'd go out hunting together, they'd spend some time together and then they'd make love at Willow's apartment. Four months after they had met, Willow was watching Tara play cat and mouse with her latest victim. For her perch on the rooftops, she overlooked an almost maze like series of alleys.
Tara's victim, a middle-aged man scared out of his wits, desperately tried to get away from his attacker. The man knew that Tara was watching him from the shadows, but had no idea where Tara was exactly. Suddenly, the man cried when he heard something jump on a fire escape above him. The man ran for dear life, but he looked over his shoulder just in time to see Tara jumping down on him, fangs bared. The man screamed when Tara grabbed him tightly and sank her teeth into his neck. The game wasn't over though. Tara drank only briefly and then threw the man against the wall again before disappearing into the shadows.
"Oh, my Tara," Willow whispered as she watched Tara assault the dying man for a second time, viciously toying with him. "I love you. I love you so much..." If vampires had soulmates, Willow had found hers. And couldn't imagine spending any more days of her eternal existance without Tara. Tara was an equal, an equal in sheer evil and viciousness. They were meant for each other.
A few hours later, the two spent vampires lay in each others arms. Their lovemaking had been especially intense today. Tara'd been so very passionate this night. Willow held her tightly and nipped at her earlobe for a moment.
"I, uh," Willow started. "I've been thinking about getting a bigger apartment. Something big enough for the two of us. Something with plenty of room for all my consoles, for your magic stuff... and for a piranha pit!"
"Will?" Tara asked. "Are you asking me to move in with you?"
"Well, uh, y-yeah," Willow said quickly. "I... I'd really like it if... the two of us could go looking for an apartment together. Our own little love-nest? Our own little torture basement?"
Tara looked pained for a moment. "There's... there's something I have to tell you," Tara whispered. "I... I didn't know how to tell you earlier. Spike and Mummy are leaving for Brazil soon. M-mummy wants me to come with her."
Willow felt as if she'd been hit in the chest with a working jackhammer. "W-what?" Willow said. "You... you can't leave! You can't! I... love you."
"I love you too, sweetie," Tara said. "So very much, but..."
Willow closed her eyes. The blood bond. Not even a love as great as theirs could defeat the blood blond. Each vampire was bonded to her sire unless released. Like she had been blood bonded to the Master, Tara had been blood bonded to Drusilla.
"You could come with us," Tara offered.
"The Master will never release me," Willow pouted. "Not until the Plant is operational, and even then..."
"I'm sorry," tears streaked across Tara's beautiful face. She quickly jumped out of bed and gathered her clothes. "I'm so sorry, I... I..."
"Tara, please!" Willow called after her. "Tara!"
At the Bronze, things were the same as usual. Humans in cages, vampires dancing, same old music... same, same old. Xander cracked a can of beer and downed it. Even the beer tasted the same.
"Xander! DUDE!" one of the annoying younger vampires ran up to him. "You gotta see this, man. Check out your girlfriend!"
"Will you piss off, already?" Xander spat. "You're fast approaching a Wesley Crusher-level of annoying."
After punching the younger vampire in the gut the couple of times and throwing him into the wall, Xander decided to check out the back room. What he saw tore his heart out. Drusilla sat lazily on a makeshift throne with a very concerned looking Tara sitting crosslegged at the foot of the throne. Willow sat on her knees, about a meter away from the throne, her eyes downcast. All around them were younger vampires who had come in to fill the role of curious onlookers. Most of them were younger vampires who'd been beaten up or threatened by Willow in the past. Now, however, they were spouting insults at Willow and some of them were even throwing things at her.
"Will!" Xander started to move towards her, but was stopped by Spike.
"No," Spike said. "Wait."
Willow whispered again. "Please, Drusilla. Please. Release Tara from your blood bond."
Drusilla, however, seemed less than impressed. "Beg first. Beg. Like a cute doggie. Nasty Willow must bark like a doggie!"
Willow hesitated for a moment. "Wruff," she said softly.
"Willow must bark as if she means it," Drusilla cocked her head.
"Wrrruuuuffff," Willow replied, more convincingly this time. The younger vampires around Willow laughed and hurled some more insults to her. Willow, a proud and fierce vampiress, was deeply humiliating herself in front of Drusilla and the entire Sunnydale vampire community. And judging by the look on Tara's face, it was breaking her heart.
"Mummy, please," Tara said. "No. Stop this."
Drusilla watched the boisterous younger vampires for a moment. "HUSH!" Drusilla told them. "Or I shall have your eyeballs and have a big eyeball tea-party with Miss Edith and Tara!"
Not surprisingly, the younger vampires fell silent.
"Now," Drusilla said. "You want to take sweet Tara away from her mummy? How can a mother cope with the loss of her precious child? Oooh, it makes my insides all squiggley and frightened."
"I love Tara," Willow spoke bluntly. "I... ask that you release her. Please. Grant me this boon."
"Ah," Drusilla bit her lip. "Nasty naughty Willow had been playing nasty naughty games with my sweet child, has she? Nasty naughty Willow wants her for more naughty nasty wicked games?"
"No!" Willow protested. "I mean, no mistress Drusilla. Not only for that, I mean. I... Tara and I belong together. I know it. I feel it."
Drusilla turned to Tara. "Child? Do you want to leave your mummy? Do you want to stay with nasty naughty naughty wicked Willow?"
"I love Willow," Tara said. "And Willow loves me."
"But..." Drusilla pouted like a sad little girl who just saw her puppy being run over by a republican in an SUV. "Mummy loves Tara too."
In the meantime, Spike had moved to Drusilla side and gently rubbed her shoulder. "Let them have each other, luv," he said. "Love is rare for our kind."
Drusilla rubbed her lover's hand for a moment. "Children grow up so fast these days," Drusilla said. "But the toaster also spoke to me last night and told me that you two are made for each other. Toaster has never been wrong before, so... I release you from the blood bond, my precious pet."
"Oh, thank you, mummy!" Tara embraced Drusilla for a moment.
Willow slowly rose to her feet. "Thank you, Drusilla."
"BUT!" Drusilla menaced at Willow for a moment. "If nasty naughty Willow ever breaks my precious child's heart, I will find your heart and feed it to Toaster!"
Willow and Tara embraced gently. Tara had been freed and could stay with Willow in Sunnydale now. It was then that Tara vamped out and menaced at the younger vampires still in the room. "I think," Tara said. "That some mass stakings and eviscerations are in order, sweetie!"
Willow vamped out as well. "I think you're right, baby."
Xander laughed while the younger vampires started to realize that they had made a very, very big mistake. For now they had not one but two unstoppable vicious vampiresses to deal with. And they were out to celebrate through carnage. That meant many of them would not survive the night.
He decided to hold on to the kitten owed Willow for another day and returned to the main hall, chucking at the screams from the already dying younger vampires.
"Hmm," Tara said as she petted Miss Kitty Ferocio. "So many memories."
Willow closed the photo album and gently put it back on the shelf. "Now," she said as she watched their victims. Two members of the fine 'Boyscouts of America'-organization hung gagged and bound from the ceiling. "I think I'll be going for my disemboweling patch. You?"
"I think I'm going to help that one on the right earn his blood donation patch."
"How altruistic of you."
"I'm in a good mood."
"I love you, you know?"
"I know. I love you too. Now let's go kill these merit-badge humpers."