Not Wonderful Anymore

She still wasn't sure why she went to the basement. Maybe it was to escape the oppressive arrogance of Kennedy for just a moment. Because, no matter how good the sex was, and it was great, the afterglow was always destroyed when she looked at the young Slayer's smug expression and knew what she was thinking. That she was better than Tara, that she had taken Tara's place. As if she had won a contest and Willow was the prize.

But she hadn't. No matter how many times she made Willow bite her lip until it bled to stifle the screams, no matter how often Kennedy told her she was beautiful, she would never, ever take Tara's place. Willow knew that she would never look into her eyes and know that she was wonderful. And Willow didn't know which made her feel more guilty, the fact that, so soon after Tara's death, she was fucking a girl she didn't even like, let alone love, or the fact that she was misleading said girl into thinking they had a relationship. Whichever she felt worse about, she felt bad enough to seek refuge in the basement. Spike's basement.

There he was, glowing pale in the dark, and reeking of alcohol, more alcohol than he had even consumed the night he kidnaped her; the night a lifetime ago, long before Tara and dark magick and trying to end the world, when spells were 'neat' and Xander's lips were her forbidden pleasure. Funny how just the smell of a drunken vampire could bring back the ghost of her innocence, a ghost she could almost see and touch, the way she wished she could see and touch her girl, her Tara.

Her reverie consumed her, and she somehow didn't sense him approach her, grab her, pull her to the floor, all the while mumbling unintelligibly about the First, and about Buffy, and about the soul, and about how much better things would have been for him and 'his Red' if he had just taken her and turned her when he had the chance. She could have fought him off with her magick, she realized later, but she hadn't even thought of that then. She wished she knew why that was. Maybe, somewhere inside, where there was nothing but despair and loneliness, she wanted this to happen. Maybe broken witches were like broken Slayers...maybe they just needed to feel.

Whatever the reason, she made her token struggle, and he responded with chuckling and tearing of fabric and the thrust of his cock inside a body too unused to men to make it easy for him, even if she had felt pleasure. Which she hadn't. Still, somehow it was all so much more than what she had with Kennedy that she wanted to weep with a strange kind of joy. All she could feel was the rhythm of him, hurting her, making her bleed, taking her without any care or thought, using her for his own pleasure, and, up until the moment he spilled himself inside her, she felt nothing else. Not grief, not loneliness, not even herself, just a pain that had nothing to do with love and the sense of oblivion she'd been seeking when she tried to end the world.

And then he slid out of her, rolled on his back, and passed out. She knew that whether or not he remembered what had happened in the morning, he wouldn't remember a thing. So she went upstairs, and showered, and did a cleansing spell to remove all the traces of him from her body. And as she did it, she wept. Because she didn't love Kennedy. Because she didn't hate Spike. Because Tara was dead. And because she would never look into anyone's eyes and know that she was wonderful. Not anymore.