CUPS
Or, conversations on a one-year anniversary.

S5.E15.x (taking place a little while after "I Was Made To Love You")
Warnings: some mild sexual innuendo
Pairing: Tara & Willow

Willow, Tara, and other characters from the television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel were created and are owned by Joss Whedon.


Tara got back to her dorm room a little after 6PM Thursday, leaving her with less than an hour to prepare for Willow's arrival for their dinner date that evening. They had spent the morning at Mr. Giles' apartment as the gang went through the debriefing of Buffy's confrontation with Warren and the steps still needed for the disposal of April's body. After a late pizza lunch, they parted company. Willow left for her afternoon classes after securing Giles' promise that April would not be done away with before she had a chance to inspect Warren's creation more closely, while Tara went to the library to spend a few hours working on a research paper for a history of science elective. She made good progress on it and, her coursework satisfied for the time being, she was at last free to enjoy the much-anticipated date tonight. A quiet dinner at their favorite Italian restaurant and an early turn-in hopefully uninterrupted by either demon, sexbot, or Slayer-needing-witchy-help was the extent of the night's planned agenda. If they even made it to the restaurant. Her body was already humming, thinking of Willow.

Just before 7, there was a knock on her door. Tara didn't think it would be her girlfriend. Willow and she had passed the point of knocking before entering each other's dorm rooms long ago. But when she opened the door, it was indeed her Willow…

…And her annoying floor mate Eileen, nattering on and on about hubs and bridges and Ethernets and uplink ports and addresses as Willow stood, her beautiful mouth slightly open, eyebrows furrowed, apparently in shock that she had met someone who could actually out-babble her on a topic she had been born to babble on. Knocking had been a desperation move to see if she could get a little help here from Tara, who perhaps was familiar with this strange personage and knew how to turn her off without using a spell, as Willow was sorely tempted to do. She had the feeling Tara would probably frown upon that and so refrained as she was on her best behavior tonight, though her fingers were twitching with the self-restraint.

Tara put two and two together. It seemed as if her techie girlfriend had walked into the ambush of Eileen in full swing of bemoaning her latest woes, her busted PC blues. Eileen subscribed to the slightly modified adage, "[my] misery loves company" and had made known her need for assistance far and wide to her unsympathetic floor mates and the overworked, surly university IT team. At last, wishing out loud for someone with the technical smarts to take her complaint seriously so she could finally download the absolute tons of email she, one of the more popular girls on campus, was sure to have been sent the past few days alone worked, as just out of the blue, here was Tara's computer geek girlfriend to rescue her from an overflowing inbox. It was like magic.

Tara frowned. Willow was not on a service call tonight. Not for Eileen, anyway. The girl needed to get a clue, like Willow's enhanced appearance—the beautiful curl of her copper, shoulder-length hair, the carefully applied touch of makeup that further emphasized her big green eyes and the dips and swells of her kissable lips, the black jeans that hugged at her squeezable, tight bottom, the white stretch blouse that was unbuttoned at the top two buttons, framing the inverted triangle of pale, freckled skin that naturally led one's eyes downward to perfect, modest cleavage… Or even a clue like the bunch of pink and red roses and the crookedly gift-wrapped box tucked under Willow's arm.

"Oh hey, Tara, I was just asking Willow here about my computer problem, you know, the one I told you about? And she was just…" Tara's eyes hadn't left Willow. In fact, the girl seemed transfixed, her normally bright blue eyes half-lidded and dark to an almost alarming degree. Eileen turned to Willow, to see if this was normal.

Perhaps it was, because the redhead seemed to be in a similar state. Though her eyes were wide open, they had also deepened to an emerald green and had not let go of the sight of Tara in her long skirt and deep red blouse fitted close to her frame and her full chest. Tara's hair was done up, with loose blond tendrils falling on either side of her face. She wore no makeup. Her Mona Lisa smile and raised eyebrow were all the embellishment she needed. Without a word, Tara reached out to take Willow by the elbow, and pulled her inside.

"I should really just get a Mac, huh?"

Willow did not have the wherewithal to nod as the door closed behind her.


"You don't mind the change of plans?"

"Um, nope. I'm finey-mcfine fine with the, you know, eating in."


"Willow? Sweetie? Are you done with your cup?"

"…heheh…what a funny phrase…"

"Hon? Did you want some more wine? Willow? Willow…? WILL!"

"YES! What?... Huh?"

"Willow, I called you like five times. Where were you?"

"Oh. I'm sorry, Tara. Was just thinking."

"Really? I never would've guessed. Is it safe to ask about what?"

"Oh sure. I was thinking about… but then it occurred to me… You know that phrase, 'drinking someone'…?"

"Oh? Oh. Really? You were thinking about that? And what about that phrase had that magnificent brain of yours working overtime again? Or maybe that's not quite right. Here, just put your cup down and let me see. Was it another part of you it was working?"

"T-Tara, that tickles!"

"Then I'm not doing this right because I'm definitely not trying to make you laugh."

"Oooohh…"

"Better. Hmmm, is it this part, maybe? Or was it this part?"

"T-T-Tara!"

"Or, maybe… here?"

"Oh God…"

"Although… You're really not wet enough to qualify."

"Just… keep doing… that and… I will be!… H-hey! What's with the stopping? With the sexy mouth all frowny, and the hand… Where'd Tarahand go?"

"Will, exactly who's drinking who in this daydream of yours?"

"What? Daydream? N-No daydream! I wasn't… I was… just thinking about… Angel."

"Angel."

"A-And Buffy. When Angel had to drink Buffy after Faith shot him with the poison arrow and…"

"Willow…"

"And maybe we can call him. And he can help us out here with our little hellgod problem? I mean, if we're gonna have a vampire around helping, I'd rather it be Angel than Spike. Angel—a little more predictable, what with him all soul-having, though he's not 100% there yet. Perfect happiness is surprisingly attainable in this day and age. Lucky I can do the ensouling curse in my sleep. The hard part would be just getting Anya to sell us an Orb of Thesulah at a reasonable price."

"Willow…"

"Plus, he's got minions! Okay, well, they're his team of mostly human demon-fighters, and he pays them, so technically not minions. I guess I just like calling Cordelia a minion."

"Willow, we need to talk."

"Talk? About what?"

"About tonight. We need to establish some guidelines for tonight."


"I'm sorry."

"About what?"

"That's just it. I'm always sorry. About something, some stupid or insensitive thing I've done or said. And here you always are, ready with the forgiveness and understanding. How do you do it?"

"Oh sweetie, it's easy when it's about us. And if I remember right, I've made my share of mistakes. Lies, demons, Magic Box, lives in danger, not that long ago? Ring any bells?"

"Yeah, but that was something huge and scary and overwhelming and you'd been living with it for twenty years. I don't blame you at all for being too scared to tell me about that. Plus your family? Not the friendliest or most supportive bunch, if you don't mind me saying—which, uh, I probably shouldn'thave brought up, since you didn't first."

"Will, it's okay—"

"I'm sorry—now see? That's more what I meant. It's the daily foot-in-mouth syndrome. I don't know how you can be so patient, being with someone whose mouth tastes like feet all the time."

"Will, your mouth doesn't… Um, I guess that wasn't your point. Why don't we just say that we've both made mistakes and accept the fact that we're bound to make more? The important thing is that we've been able to work through them to get to where we are now. I know you always mean the best, even if things don't go or come out the way they should. And I love that you care enough about my feelings to say something when that happens. Okay?"

"Well, okay. That's good. That attitude, I mean. Because you're right. Your feelings are the most important thing in the world to me. But that's just it, you know? I shouldn't even be upsetting you at all. Then I wouldn't need to apologize all the time."

"Well, you know part of it is me giving you a hard time. But the making up is fun."

"Oh, the making up is very fun. That's not even up for debate. But aren't you a little tired of me messing up all the time to begin with? For example, take April… Well, not take take April, because that would just completely invalidate my point…"

"April? Is this about April? Because if it is, I'm not upset, really, Will."

"It's just… I mean… I'd never… No other woman… I just don't want you to think…"

"I don't."

"I mean… with the… and the… It just makes you wonder, you know? But that's all it would be—just wondering. 'Cause really, I mean, come on, how realistic could he have made her?"

"Willow…"

"Okay, shutting up now. Sorry."


"Talk to me, Willow…"

"Oh God, Tara… that is just… Oooooooh… pfffff… How did you…? Pfffff… How… did you know…? That… oh, mmmnuh… baby… Just… Pfffff…"

"Sweetie? Should I keep doing it this way, or—?"

"Nnnguh… Oh God… ffffuh… That feels… Just… Mmmmmnuh…"

"Okay."


"Hey Tare, baby? Have you thought any more about next year, and the housing situation? I mean I know it's kind of early, but I kind of want to get it out of the way."

"Um, well, what about Buffy? I mean, since Joyce is getting better, she'll probably be staying on campus again next semester, don't you think?"

"I'd guess so. I mean, she could keep staying at home and just commute, I guess. It is only five miles. But hey, this is Buffy we're talking about, and we don't really want her out on the streets driving, do we?"

"Sweetie, you're making fun of her driving again."

"Oh yeah. I have to stop doing that. She really has gotten better. She hardly ever runs curbs anymore. Now why are we talking about Buffy again?"

"We were talking about housing next year?"

"Um, yeah…?"

"I just thought, if Buffy's going to be back on campus by next semester, that you two would be getting another double again? Maybe you should ask her about her plans?"

"Maybe. Or, I could just make my own plans. Or our own plans? I don't mean me, making plans for the two of us, 'cause that would be—presume much? But you and me, we, make our own plans? What do you think?"

"W-well, sure. We-we could."

"You don't think we're ready? I know it's only been a year, but what a year, you know? I mean, if anyone had asked me a year ago, before I met you—like, that right there, how strange does that sound? 'Before I met you,' that doesn't sound right at all. But yeah, of course, barring time traveling aliens or-or demons messing with the timeline, or some otherwise really powerful mojo—which, okay, Hellmouth under us, so more likely here than a non-convergence of mystical energy, but NO! No Tara would mean empty Willow. Not even weepy Willow—just… empty…"

"Hush, baby, the year did happen. And we are here, together, okay?"

"O-okay."

"So, um… you and Buffy…?"

"Huh? Me and Buffy—?"

"You and Buffy, to double or not to double? When she moves back on campus? Assuming Gl-Glory's no longer in the picture—"

"Hey there, missy! I thought we agreed, it's our anniversary, no shop talk tonight."


"I really liked the anniversary present, I mean… really liked it. But I wish you'd told me we were doing presents. I would've liked to get you something special, too."

"Baby, my present was seeing you wear your present. And taking it off you. Oh! And shopping for it. That was kinda fun, too. You should've seen Xander in the shop. Some of the stuff we looked at had his face so red I was afraid he'd pass out. Though he brought up a good question. What exactly is the point of crotchless underwear?"

"You brought Xander with you to Kitten Things?"

"Well, yeah. I sort of needed a second opinion about what to get you, and you know, it's kind of his specialty. What with all the special lingerie editions he gets with his Playboy subscription."

"And you'd know about that, how?"

"Er…"

"Never mind. So, you brought Xander with you. How did that work out, you bringing your first crush with you to pick out a negligee for your girlfriend?"

"Surprisingly well. Xander makes a more than competent wingman with this kind of thing. Wingman… Is that the right word? It isn't gal pal, is it? No, that doesn't sound right…"

"Um, I don't think there is a euphemism for what Xander is. You two are, um, pretty unique, I think."

"Well whatever you'd call him, he did surprisingly well. In fact, he was almost suave. Except for all the giggling. We almost made it out of the store without incident."

"Almost?"

"I guess shopping together, the clerk thought he was buying it for me at first. She was one of those people who could size you by looking at you? She took one look at me, double-checked the tag, casually mentioned the store policy against returning undergarments, and asked if I wanted to be measured before I bought it."

"Oh sweetie, I'm sorry."

"Aw, no biggie. I just told her, it's not for me, it's for my girlfriend. My gay, LESBIAN-type girlfriend! It's funny, how it gets easier to say every time. But the really funny-haha part was when Xander panicked and told her, 'and her ladies can fill those 34C cups just fine.'"

"Oh Goddess…"

"She rang us up without another word."

"You, um, didn't happen to mention my name, did you?"

"No. Why?"

"In case I ever want to shop there myself."

"Hey!... Oh… Hmm… No. Wait… I was right the first time! Hey!"

"…Hmm."

"What?"

"It's nothing."

"No, really, what?"

"Um, I guess… It's just that, well…"

"You can tell me anything, baby. Ask anything."

"Um, do you and Xander talk about me and Anya a lot?"

"Anya? Ew!"

"Willow…"

"I don't mean ew ew about Anya if I saw her without knowing her. But I do, so, ew! It's like, Buffy, ew, Anya, ew. Or not exactly the same, but, like… ew!"

"Okay, Will, I get it. A firm 'no' to you entertaining thoughts of Anya. But Xander…?"

"Huh? What about Xander now?"

"It's just… what you two have is very, uh, unique, and thinking of him helping you with this is just a little, um, weird, maybe? I mean, Xander was picturing me in all kinds of lacy underthings."

"Well, it's nothing he wouldn't have been doing before."

"Maybe not, but before it was Xander picturing both you and me, together. Now it was him and you, picturing me."

"Again with the huh?"

"It's-It's not that I don't trust you, because I do. I'd trust you with my life. It's just that…"

"Oh… Oh… I think I get it. I guess it did sound… but hey, Tara, it wasn't anything like that. I mean… it's Xander. My bestest bud since I was knee-high to a grasshopper's baby. And I'd trust him with my life. Which I guess means I'd trust him with your life. And I think I would, if anything happened to me, and I couldn't—"

"Gods, Willow, don't say that!"

"But you know what I mean, about Xander? Is that okay?"

"It's okay, Willow, it's more than okay. I know Xander is great. He's wonderful. He's the sweetest guy I've ever met…"

"But he's still a guy. And guys talk. And now when I'm with him something strange happens and I talk too?"

"Well, um… Would you think I was nagging if I said yes?"

"No. I get it. I guess I'm still trying too hard with him. I mean, with the whole falling out and drifting apart thing last year… It's still kinda weird, you know? All of a sudden, he and I have this new thing in common we can reconnect on, but he's been doing it way longer than me, and he's better at it than me. And Xander's never been better than me at anything."

"I would definitely not jump to the conclusion that he's better at it than you."

"You know what I mean. And I still feel kinda bad that I didn't go to him first after I figured myself out with the whole lusting-for-you thing. Looking back at it now, he really should've been the first to know. Maybe even before Buffy. And I know it hurt him more than he let on that he was the last. So now, we're back, we're trying again, and it's almost like old times, except for the whole, you know, shopping-for-sexy-lingerie-for-my-girlfriend thing, cause, hello, gay now."

"Will, you don't have to say any more. I trust you. Both. And I know it's very important that you two keep spending time together, without Anya or me there distracting you."

"You're really okay with it?"

"I am. I really am. And, um, it's good to know that he'd be here for you, too, you know? If something were to happen to me—?"

"Hey, that will never happen! I would die before I let anything happen to you… Anyway, let's not start in on the doomsday talk, okay? I'd rather think about something pleasant, like my girl, wearing sexy underwear. Or maybe even lose the underwear. The sexy all-over blush will do just fine."

"Willow…"

"Sorry. Can't take that back, Face facts, Tara. You're a hottie and can inspire naughty thoughts without even trying. If I were a guy, you'd be able to see how true that is."

"Oh Goddess, Willow, disturbing visual!"

"But I'm not, so you'll only be able to tell by feel."

"W-Well, that was a good recovery…"

"Thanks! I think I'm getting better at this spicy talk thing."

"Ummm… Willow…"

"Did I mention before? I really like your present."


"It's fine, Will, really. Not even a bump. See?"

"Are you sure? Because I have first-hand knowledge about these things. Head injuries—nothing to sneeze at unless you have a naturally thick skull like Xander. Just look at Giles."

"No, I'm okay. It just threw me a little, you know? We've never went that high before, or that fast. Coming up for air, and I hit my head on the ceiling? I'm more embarrassed than anything."

"Nothing to be embarrassed about, baby. Darn low ceilings! Someone should talk to the building code office about this before someone really gets hurt."

"Um somehow, I don't think clearance for people levitating off their beds was an allowance they put into the building code. We just need to be more careful. Maybe we should start doing our control exercises again? In fact, we probably shouldn't have stopped. Why did we stop, anyway?"

"Probably because listening to Giles rant against computers is more exciting?"

"What?"

"Nothing, baby."

"You think meditating with me is boring?"

"No! Absolutely not! One-hundred-percent NO!"

"Is that no spelled y-e-s?"

"No. It's n-o no. Or… maybe half n-o. It's just the n. The n for the 'with you' part. The meditating? Kinda y-e-s?"

"Willow…"

"Well, why is it such a big deal?"

"Willow, it's a big deal because magic can be dangerous, especially for someone who has as m-much raw power as you. W-We need to be able to control that power, keep the balance, especially those times w-we're most out of control, like when w-we're angry, or w-when w-we're making love?"

"You sound like Giles."

"Maybe because he's right about this?"

"Or maybe 'cause he's not twenty years old."

"Well, I am, and I feel the same way."

"Hey, Tare, I've got an idea. Let's mark this as shop business and talk about it tomorrow, okay? For now, we can work around it."

"Work around it?"

"Got rope?"


"Sleepy now, sweetie?"

"Mmmm…"

"I love you."

"Mmm…"

"Always remember, someone loves you."

"Mm…"

"So be careful when you go out saving the world, and always come home."


"I so do not!"

"Willow, you do. You did. I've been lying here next to you for the past 30 minutes watching you, and I can tell you that you very clearly did."

"No way. I can't be that… I mean that's…"

"Willow, it's nothing to feel embarrassed about."

"I'm not embarrassed!"

"Good, because you shouldn't be. In fact, I think it's kind of cute."

"You do?"

"Yes. It's just another one of those quirky things you do in your sleep. Like how you talk about computers and monkeys, all in the same breath. Strange, but adorable."

"Well, if you put it that way… Hey, wait. Did you say you were watching me sleep for 30 minutes?"

"Um, yeah?"

"Wow…Isn't that like, really boring?"

"It's the most thrilling thing in the whole world."


"…Oh, well, you know how it goes. With Oz, we kept bumping into each other. It just seemed like the gods kept throwing us together. Then when we finally really met, it turned out he was also some kind of technical genius, which I guess makes sense cause he's a musician, and was always wiring speakers and mapping chords in his head and stuff, but with him it was kind of a zen thing. He was just so… cool at it, you know? He was just… Oz. So anyway, we sorta had this thing in common. Then, you know, it was kinda because he, uh, went first."

"Went first?"

"You know, asked me out."

"All he had to do was ask you out?"

"Well, he was all cool and stuff when he did."

"Goddess, you're easy."

"Oh, that's a nice thing to say to your girlfriend."

"Okay. Sorry, I take it back. You're just a dork."

"But I'm your dork."

"Yes… You're my dork. And I'm your spaz… Oh yeah. Right there."

"Not here?"

"Okay. There, too."

"Now who's easy?"

"I am. Now less talking, more rubbing."


"Tara… Love you."

"I love you, too, Willow."

"Want you, baby."

"Mmmnnuh! Oh God, Willow…"

"So much."

You… have me… Right there!"

"You taste so good."

"Oh Will…mmmnnnn…"

"Every part of you."

"Will!"

"Say that again…"

"Mmmmnn…"

"Say my name again, like that, Tara please…"

"Mmmnn… Will…"

"God, I love you."

"Will!"

"You're so—"

"Will!"

"—so beautiful…"

"WILL!"

"…And I love you so very much."

"Mm…"


"There was that time, I would've thought that me and Buffy would always be doing everything together—well, everything two women who aren't gay… together can do, uh, together, without crossing some very important and necessary personal boundaries. But now… I was kind of thinking there's a different blonde I really want to shack up with instead. Make it official? I mean, your floor-mates already think I live here, anyway…"

"Willow… Really?"

"Really. Tara, I am so ready. If you are. So, what do you think?"

"I think we start looking into our options tomorrow. But right now… I think you just need to be kissing me right now."

"Kissing you?"

"And licking."

"Licking, huh?"

"And some sucking. Teasing—not too much, but some. Enough to feel good? And rubbing. And there definitely should be some mounting."

"Huh? Mountains? Like these?"

"Those'll do, but what I really meant was mounting. The action verb. Synonym for straddling. And riding."

"Urp."

"Don't think of horses, Willow."

"No horsies."

"Just us."

"Us only."

"That's the way. Where were we?"

"We were riding."

"Riding, yes, riding. Hard, long, fast, at first, then slow."

"Slow? Like a trot, or a canter?"

"Either. Both."

"Yippee-ki-yay! And afterward, we'll be tired?"

"But not exhausted. We'll be hungry. We'll have to eat. And drink…"

"Thirsty now."


Tara was full for Willow. The night turned into their one-year-plus-one-day anniversary before their celebratory cups were drained dry.


END