In a partially lit study, Joyce sat before a table filled with notes of her latest patient, her mind trying to piece together the information she gathered through her check up. With a pencil in her hand and reading glasses on the bridge of her nose, she started to reread the notes, trying to fill in the missing blanks her notes. They would not be able to finish until she took every medical test available. Impatiently, she began to tap it against her papers as her knee jerked up and down. The blonde doctor let out a frustrated sigh as she placed the pencil into her mouth, chewing on it.
I need to ask Tara if we should get an expert in here... Goddess. Drusilla may have taken good care of this girl physically but this too much. Joyce stood up abruptly, pushing back the chair. Dropping her glasses on the table, she rubbed the bridge of her nose, breathing in deeply, trying to shake the images of the girl's body out of her mind. The doctor turned towards her opened window, her hazel eyes scanning the night sky as she wished the sun would rise so she could take flight.
Faith closed the door quietly as she tiptoed into her room, her eyes closing intently on the figure laying in her bed. The brunette shrugged off her armor and shirt, allowing them to slip onto the ground with a muffled thud. Slowly, she climbed into the bed, biting her bottom lip in hope that the dip of her weight wouldn't disturb the blonde Cougar curled underneath the covers. Faith wrapped herself around the girl's body, pressing her torso into Buffy's back, surrounding the blonde with her long arms. The Cougar shifted to face her Mistress and pressed her face into the crook of the brunette's neck. Faith placed light kisses on the top of her head, hugging her tighter against her body.
"You should be asleep by now, B." The brunette admonished gently. Buffy lifted her head to catch Faith's eyes and whispered an apology, before returning her head to the other woman's neck. The warrior scowled slightly. "Baby? What's the matter?"
"Nothing." Buffy replied, her voice muffled. Faith pulled back and made the Hybrid look up, staring hard into her light aquamarine eyes. The blonde broke their gaze. "You don't have to worry about it."
"If it's upsetting you then it's enough to get me worried." Faith replied, pressing her lips on to Buffy's forehead, before teasingly whispers; "Plus, it's keeping you up on the only night you get peace from me. Come on, now. Tell me. Or I'll have you beaten." The brunette threatened. The blonde pulled away, slipping out of her Mistress' arms and grinned sadly.
"You wouldn't do that.." Buffy replied, picking up Faith's right hand squeezed.
"Oh yeah?" The Mistress asked, her eyebrow raised as she retracted her hand from her pet's grip. "What makes you think I won't?"
"Mistress, I've done worse things than not telling you what was bothering me and you never raised your hand. Not even when I scratched you." Faith blushed, and nodded, before leaning in to gently place a kiss on the blonde's lips.
"Just a little bit at a time then... It'll be alright." The brunette encouraged.
"It's just... Willow... You know, the new girl that Mistress Tara got?" She paused for a moment as Faith stroke the side of her face, urging her to continue. "Well... We, Xander and I that is, know her..."
"You do? How?"
"She's our sister." Faith's hand stilled it's motions.
"Yes... We were born in the same tribe, to the same mother and on the same day. The birthing began the night before and ended at the start of the new day. Xander was born first. Then me. Then Willow... She was born as the day started and was different... She had a tail that didn't go away... It was supposed to but it didn't." Buffy whispered, the last part furtively, an angry look settling on her face, her body tensing. Faith sat up and pulled her feline into a tight hug, curling her arms around the blonde's waist. Lightly, she placed soft kisses on Buffy's left shoulder, trying to ease the tension away from the blonde's body. "It.. It made her weaker than us. She was sick but Mother kept her because many of the females in the tribe were not able to give birth to children that year..." Buffy shook her head. "There was a sickness... that year.. and it seemed only the strongest females were able to mate successfully." The blonde leaned forward and laid her head agasint Faith's broad shoulders."But I think... Willow would have been better off killed as a cub."
"Whaddya mean?" Faith whispered, stroking the blonde's long hair.
"Mother ignored her... Oh, she was kept in the house but Mother refered to Willow as 'The Mistake' everytime she wasn't around... Willow was... is very fragile... Willow didn't realize that Mother did not want her, she just assumed she didn't do great things often enough for our Mother's praise... And when she began to fight for her attention, she only got into trouble. Once Willow managed to recieve the kind end of Mother's temper... but it was only for a short time... and it was after she... came home with bruises and cuts. There was so much blood for such a small girl..."
"Yeah..." Buffy sniffed, "Several of the older children decided to push her around... They ended up hurting her badly. But Willow fought back. It... was the proudest moment of her life... Mother gave her the heart and liver of the her kill... Willow was so happy that night..." The blonde started to let loose the tears that she had held back, remembering their mother hugging her younger sister, the organs that were still warm from the hunt, and the tears that Willow cried the next week when she found out their mother's love was not permanent or unconditional. Faith rocked Buffy gently, whispering calming words into her ears. When the blonde quieted, she started again "She was so innocent... but now... she's different... Faith... She's not the same... She doesn't even remember us..." Buffy hiccupped, tightening her arms around her Mistress' chest. Faith cooed gently and stroked the blonde's side.
"Shh... it's alright... We'll go talk with Mistress Tara first thing in the morning... We'll even talk to Joyce and they'll make it better... It'll be alright." Faith promised. Buffy nodded, sniffling quietly as the brunette moved to lie down, her hands keeping Buffy from moving away from her chest. The blonde rubbed her cheek agasint Faith's shoulder before giving it a suggesting lick. Faith lifted her head and smirked softly. "Baby, you're tired. Go to sleep, B."
"I love you, Faith." Buffy uttered, stroking her fingers lightly over the brunette's skin. Faith shivered with desire and quickly moved to still the blonde's hand, giving her a stern look. Buffy burrowed deeper agasint Faith in reply.
"I know, babe... I know." Faith whispered as she felt her Cougar's breathing slow.
Lying in her nightgown on her bed, Mistress Tara tugged off her newly aquired ring and examined it in the light with a scowl. The insignia of Drusilla... She thought as she turned the ring from side to side to examine it's blood red gem and characters. Tara let out a soft sigh as she placed it back on her finger, her mind wandering off the ring the blonde had seized and onto the prize she found in that small room. Red hair... Green eyes... So beautiful. I wonder what happened to her while she was with Drusilla... Liquid Bliss isn't some commodity that Masters like Drusilla willingly offer to costly item property. Tara shifted and spared a glance at the entrance of her Cougar's room. The Mistress let out a soft sigh and rubbed her forehead as she felt a headache brewing with each thought that started to race through her mind. This is going to be a long night.
It hurts... hurts so bad... Willow whimpered as she shook from the cold, trying to be express her pain through soft noises without attracting attention from the guards. What did I do-do to them? The redhead coughed, gagging on the blood that filled her mouth and uttered a shuddering groan. Hurts... The redhead sniffed as tears slipped down her face and under the steel collar that held her to the wall, causing her to itch. She moaned quietly as she tugged the steel wrist restraints, beginning to hyperventilate as the pounding ache of her pain mixed with the annoyance of the itch. She let out a ear-piercing cry that she cut off by smacking her head agasint the stone wall. Shh... shh... quiet quiet.... th-they'll forget y-your here... quiet... Willow growled softly at herself, hiccuping quietly as adrenline rushed through her veins, dulling the pain. Good... quiet... q-quiet... The redhead stilled, stiffening as she heard the quiet footsteps and the faint chinks of keys entering the hallway. St-stupid! Th-they he-heard you! Willow clamped her eyes shut as she heard the door to her cell jerk open.
The redhead gasped for air, coughing violently as water dribbled out from her mouth. "Poor cubby." A gentle voice called as a cool hand stroked her forehead. "Did mummy hurt you? Of course she did... Open your eyes for mummy." The voice cooed into her ear, warm air brushing the side of her face. The redhead opened her eyes and whimpered as a dark-haired woman ran her long fingertips through her hair and placed a kiss on her forehead. "Good girl, drowning so prettily for mummy... Ready for more fun?" Drusilla asked before striking the hyrbid twice across the cheeks preventing the tired Cougar from nodding off. "You are such an agreeable play-toy... Mummy just lurrves this game... If you be good for mummy and drown, mummy'll let you sleep... okay?" She asked as she watched Willow shiver from the cold. Drusilla grinned and abruptly tightened her grip on the redhead's hair and striked her across her face twice once more, causing the redhead to gasp in pain before shoving her head down into the pool and under the water. Willow flailed flimsily as she held her breath. It wasn't before long she gave into the need of oxygen and swallowed in water, allowing her lungs fill and slip...
Willow jerked awake, flinging herself off of the cot and onto the floor with a surpised yelp and choked as her collar yanked her back. She scanned the room quickly and her eyes widened in fear as she could hear her Mistress' footsteps hurry towards her room. She emitted a small whimper and shuffled back towards the edge of the cot with her head low. No, bad bad. Shouldn't have fallen asleep, nono... No more dreams! Shouldn't have woken Mistress... Shame! She began to shake and quickly hid under the cot, grabbing her blue blanket just as the blonde Mistress entered the room. Tara stood at the doorway and smiled slightly as she watched the large blanket slowly slip under the cot.
"Willow?" She called, moving closer the the cot. "Come out from under there." Tara lowered herself to the ground and caught the redhead's eyes. "Willow, I mean it. Out." The blonde Mistress moved back as she waited, biting her bottom lip. Tara saw the smaller woman shake with tears in her eyes, clutching part of the blanket but couldn't figure out the reason. The lights are dimmed and there isn't anything except the cot in here... No windows either and only one way in and out, so shadows shouldn't have scared her... Oh! I didn't tell her to go to bed... Maybe that's why she's so frightened, she fell asleep.
"Willow i-is so-sorry, Mistress..." The redhead whimpered, tightening her grip on the blanket as she shuffled out from her hiding spot.
"Shh, it's alright. There's nothing to apologize for." Tara assured the Hybrid, holding out her hands, flexing her fingers encouragingly. Willow sniffed and rubbed her nose agasint the blanket before scuttling closer to her Mistress. The Hybrid stiffened for a brief when she felt the blonde's arms pull her agasint her Mistress' chest and slowly relaxed as she felt the blonde's fingers running through her hair, allowing her nails to gently scratch her scalp.
"Woke Mistress?" The redhead questioned, fiddling witht the blanket as she rubbed her cheek agasint Tara's shoulder.
"No, you didn't wake me. I was doing some thinking." Tara replied, laying a soothing kiss on the top of the Cougar's head. They stayed in this position for a few minutes before the curious blonde asked Willow why she hid under the cot. "Do you want to tell me what you were doing under that cot?"
"Fe-fell asleep, Mistress didn't sa-say so, and... Cubby thought it woke Mistress up. Willow is so-sorry. Cubby is sorry, Mistress..." A slim finger pressed agasint her lips, quieting the stammering Cougar.
"Hush. It's alright. I told you, I was already awake." The blonde Mistress reassured the girl, nudging the redhead to the side as she stood up. "And I don't like the name 'cubby' do you?" She asked as she unhooked the leash from the metal pole and gently tugged, signaling Willow to move. The redhead tightened her hold on her blanket.
"O-only if it pleases Mistress." The redhead replied, watching Tara's feet as her Mistress pulled Willow out of the Cougar's assigned room. Willow glanced around the room quickly, having been occupied with her blanket the first time she entered the room, and calmed down a notch almost automatically. The blonde Mistress' room was a sight to behold, with the walls painted a cyan-purple colour and the breeze that moved the thin white curtains of Tara's canopied bed. There was a desk, a few chairs and a chaise in the room but Willow was interested mostly by the bed's swaying curtains. The Cougar let out a small purr as the sight pleased her eyes before she returned her attention to the blonde.
"No... It doesn't." The blonde Mistress replied, biting her lower lip in thought. "Up you go," Tara instructed, nudging the girl onto her bed after a few minutes. The blonde watched with an amused grin on her lips as Willow's green eyes shot wide open in surprise as her small body sank into the soft mattress. "I think ‘Kitten’ would be more pleasing. Don't you think?"
"Yes, Mistress." Willow nodded in agreement, causing Tara to beam a smile towards the Cougar, who rested on her knees as she observed her blonde Mistress tying the length of the leash on the head board. She shifted slightly as the blonde moved onto the bed.
"Does Kitten want to sleep with her Mistress tonight?" Tara asked, lying down on her side and reached up to sweep Willow's hair to the right of the Cougar's face.
"Yes, Mistress." Willow breathed, turning her face towards Tara's palm. "If it pleases Mistress."