Summary: Willow comes home from her conference early. Set in 2012, California.

Rating: AO

Warnings: Um, mystically conceived kids. This isn't everyone's thing, heck, I'm not sure it's mine. But if you are really bothered by the premise, this might not be for you.

Notes: A not-quite PWP multi-chapter using a weekend sex-a-thon as the premise to explore some more serious themes, i.e. parenthood and marriage—otherwise referable to as the "holy heck, I'm middle-aged—how'd that happen?" stage of writing smutty fanfic. Also an opportunity to try some writerly exercises, i.e. writing memory, exposition, and sex. I am using this piece as a way to shake off the rust and ease myself back into a regular posting schedule in preparation for a couple of longer, more complicated plot-driven AUs, including re-starting The Coven.

Feedback: Yes, please. All kinds appreciated. PM/email, or right here is fine.

Willow fidgeted in the narrow coach aisle seat as the captain announced their final approach to San Diego International. The jet lag and the almost six hour flight from Providence had been getting to her for the last two hours, creeping softly over the edges of her excitement to be on her way back home. It was just after 1:00 AM local time and truncating the national conference at Brown she had just attended as a speaker from the scheduled five days to three meant her body had only just partially adjusted to the three hour time difference. But boredom and missing her family had pushed her to catch the last coach flight back home on stand-by rather than wait for her business-class return flight she was booked to take in two days, which would have landed at a much more reasonable hour.

The plane started its descent and the attendant who had been attempting to flirt with the redhead for the first two hours of the flight stood to take the PA handset to make the pre-landing announcements. It had taken the two hours for Willow to get a clue, before she finally raised her left hand and very deliberately wiggled her fingers to show off the thin gold wedding band that had been hidden when holding her iPad, smiling shyly.

The ring was not "legal" but was legitimate in every other way. Ten years with only the second person she'd ever professed her love for often resulted in her being oblivious to even the most aggressive advances of players of either gender testing the redhead's availability. Generally the cluelessness would first lead to irritation with their encroachments into her personal space, then eventually flattery and embarrassment as the realization sunk in about why they were being so forward, followed almost immediately by disbelief and the conclusion that surely she had misunderstood their intentions, even if they took the heavy-handed approach. Tara was the same—if anything, her lover was even more prone to the embarrassed self-effacement, maybe because Willow had been her first in every significant way.

The fairly good-looking young man had afterwards stayed away. Maybe he was embarrassed at his lack of success, maybe insulted. Whatever the reason, a female co-worker had handled Willow's snack and drink order instead. Now he was back, adjusting the PA system and advising Willow and her fellow passengers to power off their electronic devices, store their bags and adjust their trays and seat backs back into the fully upright position. Those standard airline phrases gave Willow an extra burst of adrenaline to be back home.

The wheels touched down and her heart skipped a beat as it always did when taking off and landing. Willow had acquired an acute fear of flying, ever since a life-altering event four years ago, when she and Faith had been kidnapped mid-flight from the small charter plane ferrying them over international waters between Scotland and Spain where they'd been Scoobying by a faction of Ban-Ghot demons who brought the two women to their hell dimension to be pawns in their civil war… It had been a long year in the human world for her young family, and a long seven years, give or take, for her and the rehabilitated Slayer in the hell dimension. Keeping track of time had often been secondary to running for their lives from the various demon clans out to prove themselves against the most powerful witch and one of the original two slayers in the human world.

Her first flight after her return had been rough, to say the least. Boarding the mid-sized DC10 had been smooth enough, but the shaking and general unease began pretty much immediately after take-off. She had spent almost the entire two hour flight from San Diego to Seattle to visit Dawn curled up in a ball under a travel blanket, tucked under Tara's arm which just barely made it bearable. Kera had been eight and Lily still shy of four at the time, and being infantilized like that was crushing to her, leaving Tara in an even worse position than had she traveled with the girls alone.

Better off without you...

That thought still haunted her, so once on firm ground in Seattle, Willow set her famous resolve to never be incapacitated like that, to the point of being unable to provide for her family, ever again.

She still had flight fear even now, even in larger planes like the current 747. Since that incident and after her powers had been restored a year after she had brokered them away with one of the ruling clans in exchange for her and Faith's return, she had concentrated on her defensive skills. One skill that remained elusive, however, was teleporting. When push came to shove, she could accomplish a trip short distances with some proficiency, but teleporting cross-country still took a lot of power that tended to come with a heavy price. On the practical side, doing so undocumented would raise too many questions that couldn't be explained with non-Sunnydale logic. Considering Sunnydale was now a crater in the ground after Buffy's epic battle with the First over seven years ago, she couldn't count on Hellmouth vibes explaining odd happenings that still tended to occur around her as a practicing mega-witch, one of if not the the most powerful in the world. Besides which, Tara didn't approve of using the big magicks in such a frivolous way anyway. Flying was much easier and actually a thrill, but hardly a practical way of traveling twenty miles much less 2,000.

So Willow sucked up her phobia, which she had come to terms with by facing in her usual logical, methodical way, so that rather than a paralyzing terror it was now mostly an acute anxiety mixed in with a healthy, normal dislike of traveling through airports.

She thought again of her love, and unconsciously smiled what many would consider a very goofy grin. As soon as the plane touched down, Willow had powered her iPhone back on but had kept from calling and waking Tara, conscious of the hour and excited to surprise her with her early return. As an independent programmer, Willow had the luxury of working from her home office, allowing her to take care of Dani and the older kids when school let out, before Tara's own school day ended and she came home. With this invitation for Willow to speak at the academic conference on Technology and Postmodern Religions, Tara had taken the week off to take care of the kids. Xander had stepped in to take them over the weekend until Sunday evening, just after her regular scheduled return. So that gave Tara and her at least one and a half days of uninterrupted alone time. That was a rare commodity since Dani was still just 14 months.

Almost from the beginning of her relationship with Tara, both had realized a healthy amount of sexual lust was an integral part of their attraction—as much as the profound spiritual feelings they had for each other. That hadn't lessened with the familiarity of years of sharing the same bed. Even now, part of her early return scheme had as much to do with the rare event of the kids being out of the house and having Tara to herself for a day and two nights, uninterrupted. She was reminded of that fact by the pleasant warmth between her legs, thinking of her woman.

The desire stayed strong as the plane taxied toward the waiting gate but she quelled it to a pleasant hum as she waited patiently in line for the full flight to deplane, then made her way to the baggage claim area with the rest of her weary fellow travelers. Another twenty minutes later, the baggage carousel finally spat out her one piece of luggage, at least made easier to spot with the yellow stand-by tag, a little fuller than when she had left, holding some souvenirs for the kids and a special present she had picked up for Tara during a jaunt into the older and seedier part of downtown Providence. Riding in the taxi home, she let the want flow free reign through her, so that by the time the cab pulled up to their two-storey detached Victorian in Chula Vista, her panties were decidedly damp.

She was buzzing anew with anticipation, leaving her briefcase by the side table in the foyer and not bothering with any of the lights, instead heading straight to the main staircase off the entrance to the second floor to their master bedroom at the end of the hall. She left her bag just inside the door of their bedroom, kicked off her shoes, shed her jacket, shirt, jeans, and bra, tossing them onto the stuffed armchair in the corner. She pulled on the first tee shirt she found from her top drawer as she quietly approached their bed. Tara's curvy form under the sheets made her nipples hard. They brushed against the cotton almost painfully as she slipped in behind to spoon her lover, barely refraining from pushing her mound into the sleeping woman's behind. However, she couldn't help running her hand from Tara's hip underneath her tank top across her stomach to just underneath one full breast. Tara did not wear a bra when she slept. It was one of the many wonderful things Willow appreciated about her lover. She maneuvered herself to lean into the dark blonde hair and breathe in her welcoming, familiar scent…

"Gary, no," Tara groaned. "I need to get my strength back before Willow gets home…"