Title: A Closet of Our Own
Author: Jinni (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Distribution: The normal places.
Author's Notes: Just a quick piece. Takes place during senior year.
"We shouldn't be doing this. . . I'm an adult and you're --"
"Also an adult."
"You're a student at this school -"
"And you're not even a teacher."
Willow sighed, stepping back from her quarry. She fought to keep her lower lip from trembling, even though her heart was aching. "Look, if you don't want to do this anymore, just say so."
"It's not that, Willow."
"Then what is it, Wes?"
He sighed, removing his glasses and rubbing them on his shirt to clear some imaginary speck of dust or bit of fog. He did that when he was nervous, a habit much like Giles's own. It was one of many things he did that was endearing.
"This is wrong," he shrugged after a moment. "I am many years your senior."
"Six or seven." She corrected him absently, frowning. "That's not really that big of a difference, you know."
"And then there's the fact that you are, as of the last I heard, dating Oz."
Willow was the one to sigh this time, turning so that she wouldn't have to face him. It was true, she was still dating Oz, though the Goddess only knew why that was still going on. He was sweet and compassionate, but they had so little in common. Not like what she had with Wesley. They both shared a love of books and research. They both were 'fighting the good fight'. There, alone, were two things that she didn't have in common with her current boyfriend.
"He doesn't deserve this, Willow."
She nodded. "I know. It's just --"
"You don't want to let him go?" Wesley offered. "I'm not going to act like I don't care for you. I think that you and I could be good for each other. But I won't act like I think you're doing the right thing."
Willow opened her mouth to respond, a noise outside the door catching her attention. She reached over quickly, snapping off the light and hoping that no one noticed that the closet light had been on, and was now off.
"Shhh!" She hissed, stumbling forward in the darkness until her hands met the starched perfection of his shirt. "I'm just afraid. . ."
"Afraid of what?"
"Afraid I'm making a mistake. That what I feel for you will end. Or that you'll wake up one day and realize that you really -do- care about how young I am. And then what? I lose you and Oz is gone."
Silence spread around them, thick in the darkness of the closet.
"That's what love is," Wesley murmured finally, softly. "Taking those chances. Either you care enough about someone to risk it all - or you don't."
Willow felt her breath hitch in her throat. He made sense. He always did. She tried to chalk it up to the fact that he was older, wiser. But that wasn't it. He just thought more logically than she did when it came down to emotions.
She leaned foward, her hand creeping up his shirt, alongside buttons that she knew were white and pearly. She met skin at his neck, her hand sliding then to his chin, fingers fumbling for his --
Smiling in the darkness, she perched on her toes to replace her fingers with her lips.
He didn't respond at first, and she worried that maybe, just maybe, he was rethinking his relationship with her; just when she was trying so hard to make her own decisions about life and love.
When he yielded it was slow, like butter melting on a warm plate. His lips slowly lost some of that rigidity, and then began to move of their own volition. She sighed, molding herself to his body, pressing against him from mouth to toe. She loved this feeling, being with him. It was different from being with Oz. Different from anything she had ever felt before and she had to wonder if maybe, just maybe, this was what true love was.
"We shouldn't be doing this." He whispered as he pulled from her mouth, beginning anew a conversation she thought was finished.
Willow bit the inside of her cheek, weighing options she hadn't wanted to consider in the least. She could have Wesley or Oz. One man that she identified with, and another that had always treated her like a Queen, but that maybe she had little to nothing in common with.
Despite how obvious her brain was screaming it was, the decision was hard.
Because it hurt.
"I'll end it." She whispered at last, feeling tears bite her eyes as she did so. "He deserves better."
"And don't you?" As usual he was quietly conosoling, a rock amidst the storm of her emotions, just as he had been from the start. That was what had started all of this. Talking with him about life over a good book on demons or prophecies. Just talking.
And now it had grown into this; stolen kisses in a closet, nestled between brooms and mops. Selfishly, she didn't want to give this up.
"I do," she nodded in the darkness. If this was the right choice, then so be it. If it was the wrong one, she'd live. "We still need to keep this quiet for a little while."
He did, too. She didn't need to tell him the reasons for him to know that she didn't want to hurt Oz more than necessary and that cutting him loose and then going straight to Wesley would only do just that.
In the darkness she couldn't be sure, but she thought she could at least hear him, smiling.
"No, thank you."