"It's not the magic," she whispers, voice all air in Willow's ear. "This? It's not the magic."

Red comforter, spilling out forever, rubbing gently against the bare skin. Voices quiet, when did morning happen?

It was like an explosion, wasn't it? Powerful, controlling. Magic. It didn't matter what, going in that one spot, sensitive, proving, the explosion was everywhere, tingling in her fingers and echoing in her ears.

"It's not the magic."

She rested her head on the warm stomach, feeling Tara's breath, part of her, everywhere. "What's not? Where?"

Red hair on the red blanket, her fingers stroking it, bare skin on skin gentle, comfortable.

It moves fast, time passing, too perfect to be noticed, the want for this moment to last passes. Like an explosion. It moves faster when it's real, like drowning, agony, but you can't move. One tiny piece of metal changes everything. It's only one place, isn't it, hitting the sensitive spots, where it matters, but it's everywhere, fingers, ears, across time. It could end everything. It will.

Red, spilling out forever, slides smooth against bare skin. Don't get used to clothes, you won't have them long. Not forever, not for the rest of your life. It won't be long. Just moments, when you're wonderful. It will never happen again.

And then black, the way it pulls back the hair and slips over the eyes. The darkness of night, see the stars? Reach out, they're moving, maybe you can touch them. See, harmless. Floating and nowhere, in bliss. It's what you hunger, isn't it? You need it, you can't give it up.

And then a demon, calling, but that's not what scares her. It's the slow bullet, the ripping of the skin, the fire. This is your future, and she's screaming and falling.

Threadbare carpet, smell of craving and lonely. Brown couch, beaten table, Rack relaxed and sparking and smiling.

"What is it? When?" she gasps, not knowing.

"It's coming." Soon, she knows, she can feel it, there's no way to avoid it, it's already too late.

"It's not real, it's just magic."

He smiles, hand extends, pulls her up, helps her out. The rush comes back, just a little wired. Stronger.

"No…it's not the magic."