Feather Roads - Water




"Pool party!" She said flopping down on the sofa next to me.

I tossed the movie video we had rented for that evening back on the table, missed and let it flop to the floor.

"Hey hey," Xander protested making a grab for the cassette. "That's no way to treat a classic." "I would hesitate to file 'Animal House' under the classics." I replied.

Xander reverently dusted the tape off before gingerly setting it back on the table. "Philistine" He muttered.

"Pool party!" She insisted again.

"An excellent idea Willow." Xander said sitting back on the floor. The three of us were sitting in my living room. Me, lounging in the corner of the sofa, Willow had dropped onto it's opposite corner and Xander lay on the floor with his legs up resting his feet in the space between us.

"However certain factors prevent the possibility of a pool party, lack of said pool being on the top of my list." He finished.

"Not a wiggworthy problem." Willow said, shoving his feet off the sofa with her own and then resting them in my lap. "There's the public pool."

"The public pool?" Xander sputtered. "What you mean lair of the beautiful people, denizen of the fashionable ones? Those who's layers of skin cream, bronzed tans, state of the art sunglasses and gortex laden speedos with personalities of such shallowness that even Cordelia, at her worst, would still define them as 'Tacky'?"

"That was in high school Xander." Willow said. " We just finished our first semester of collage. I'm sure they've matured just like Cordelia did. Foot rub..please?" This last bit was addressed to me. I let out a breath as one unfairly put upon but moved to comply. Willow purred as my fingers kneaded the muscles of her arch.

Xander seemed to think about that for a minute. "You might have a point my Willow shaped friend. I'm sure they've matured, achieved their true potential. The finally reached their lifelong ambitions and we have little to fear from their ilk now."

"Mmm.. so you think finally became respectful adults then." Willow asked. Her dubious tone implied she didn't believe that possibility for a second and me, knowing Xander, didn't either.

"I think they became mannequin actually." Xander quipped.

"Well.. either way, being mature adults, or plastic mannequin, they're not a problem so...Pool Party!" Willow triumphantly smiled. Pleased at her logic.

Xander opened his mouth, raising his hand imperiously to reply and froze. Maybe he was mulling over Willow's argument, not finding any weakness's he remained like that.

"Bang. Yer dead." I said. "Willow-Logic defeats Xander-Witt. Flawless victory."

"Yay me!" Willow crowed. "We'll go get the swimsuits... after Buffy finishes my footrub."

Xander stood up. "Kay then, pool party it is. I'll head back to ..the basement, grab a suit. Meet you back here in thirty?"
v I nodded slaving over Wiccan toes. Willow just mumbled something about escaping the horror of Jim Belushi pretending to be a zit.

Xander headed for the front door. "You've only postponed the inevitable." He said. "You will be Belushi's..oh yes. You will be his." and shut the door behind him.

Two seconds later he poked his head back in the room and managed one small victory.

"I'll give Anya a call. We'll see the you two wackies in a bit okay?" Then shut the door before Willow's cushiony projectile of doom could impact with his face. I didn't say anything, I'm just a foot rubber.


An hour later Anya and Xander walked through the front door. He had switched his jeans for a 'high school' Xander Hawaiian printed pair of swim trunks, he seemed somewhat proud of that.

Anya came in behind him, wearing what some might term a 'Bikini'. Atop her head she had a large, wide brimmed straw hat. She was also wearing sunglasses.

The total effect made me think that someone had convinced June Cleaver to pose for Playboy.

"I got a new swimsuit!' Anya declared happily doing a slow three-sixty. "What do you think?"

It was white, and I had no intention of mentioning what that would mean as soon as she jumped in the water. With minimal amount of coverage, the tiny pieces of fabric that were supposed to, I guess, allow for modesty were connected by very thing golden pieces of string. String that looked like it had the tensile strength of tissue paper.

"I think when you take it off it'll shrink to the size of a gum wrapper." I said. Willow nodded.

"As fascinating as the topic of my girlfriends swimsuit is.." Xander interrupted.

"You don't think my swimsuit is fascinating?" Anya interrupted him while giving this really..quite effective set of puppy dog eyes actually.

"Uh..." Ah.. it's not everyday that you see someone with Xander's capacity for wit become flustered.

I leaned over and whispered "I treasure these moments." to Willow. She giggled and reached up to cup my cheek, stroking it with her fingers a few times before letting me go.

"Tell ya what Babe." Xander had recovered. "Let's all head to the pool and we'll talk more about your suit when we get there." He turned to us. "Sound good to you guys?"

I imagined what would happen as soon as Anya jumped in the water...

"Sure." I chirped.

"Yeah." Willow said catching my eye. She'd read my mind. "That'll be an..interesting conversation."

"You got your suits?" Xander asked.

Willow patted her backpack that was lying beside her.

"Then lets go hit the pool campers!" Xander said motioning over his shoulder with a thumb. "Cars waiting."

"Ooo! Limo service!" Willow said.

"Actually, ten year old, with questionable breaks Cadillac service..but who's asking?" Xander said.

"I got shotgun!" Anya shouted.

I gave Xander a look.

"Relax." He held up his hands in mock surrender. "She knows exactly what that means and is not actually expecting to get a shotgun!"

And we went to the pool.


"Welcome to the Void." Xander intoned in a hollow voice as we came to the actual pool.

Willow and I had changed into our own suits in the woman's locker room. She was wearing a very un-Williow like two piece, like many of her clothes these days, it was a deep red in color.

Almost mauve. Mine was a simple bikini as well, blue.

Alright, alright, Willow picked it out for me last time we went shopping.

"Void?" Anya asked, her eyebrows scrunched up in confusion. "I thought this was a swimming pool not the edge of reality where no demon would think of going." She paused. "Though we did use to dare each other to do it all the time. That's how we lost Zürigiol, idiot never could turn down a challenge."

I took a few seconds to process that.

"There's a Void?" I asked.

"Sure." Anya replied. "Where did you think entropy came from? You think things just..run down on their own?"

"Well... yeah." Willow said. "I mean don't they?"

Anya gave a disdainful snort and shook her head. I think she muttered something about 'mortal thinking' but she was too quiet to make out exactly.

"I, myself, was actually referring to the shallow nature of those normally to be found here and their lack of mental prowess." Xander said.

"Oh look, a swimming pool." Willow said. "That's why we're here right? To swim? Not expose secrets of the universe that I'd really be happy not knowing?"

"Sure thing girlfriend." I said. "Let's go claim us some tacky orange lawnchairs and risk a serious case of melanoma."

I was rewarded with a smile from Willow.

"Uh.. all I want is a nice tan." Anya piped up.

We walked around the pool looking for a free set of chairs, or a table, or something. The pool was large, Olympic sized easily. Along one side, ours, was the back of the large building that held the other services one could get here. Racket ball courts, sauna's, even tanning booths if, for insane reason, the eternally sunny weather of Sunnydale wasn't enough for a person. Across from us was a small field, set up there were four volleyball course. The largest concentration of lawn chairs was on that side, a few had umbrellas to hide from the sun if we wanted.

Many, many, many, bikini laden girls sat, all were facing the volleyball courts watching as many, many speedo laden young men, all with perfect hair and teeth it seemed, tried to impress ladies by making mad dives after volleyballs where it would have been more effective, game wise, to simply walk under the thing and hit it back.

Willow saw me giving all the young men a derisive sneer but I caught the amusement flashing across her face.

"Don't. Say. A. Word. Wiccan mine." I growled.

"Ah Buffy, you can stop my words but not my thoughts." She giggled.

"I hear anything about 'Men, who needs them' and someone is going to be in serious trouble." I warned.

"I need men." Anya added, trying to fit in I guess.

"Hey!" Xander protested.

"Uh, I mean I need Xander type men." She amended.

"So you'd be happy with a clone?" Xander demanded.

"How would I know the difference?" Anya countered.

"Well..you just should!" Xander continued.

Willow had found an available table and she and I sat down, there were two more open seats but Xander and Anya, caught up in their 'debate' missed the fact that we had stopped and continued walking away from us.

"They're scary." Willow said.

"Yeah, but we love em' anyway." I replied.

"Sunscreen?" Willow offered.

"You rub my back I'll rub yours." I said.

"Deal."

"Swim now or later?" I asked.

Willow pondered for a few seconds before grabbing one of the umbrellas and pulling it over so she was protected from the sun.

"I wanna watch you swim." She proclaimed.

I looked from my search through her backpack for the sunscreen. "Can we say that one more time for those in our live audience who didn't quiet catch it?"

"Please?" Willow said giving me a set of puppy dog eyes that Anya never could contend with.

"Sure, yeah..okay." I shrugged. "Why not? Can I ask why though?"

"Would you believe because I want to think I have a mermaid?" She asked.

"Bzzz..wrong answer, thank you for playing though." I said. I was still looking for the damn sunscreen. How much stuff could she put in this bag anyway? "C'mon Wills, fess up."

Willow looked away from me, drumming her fingers on the table. Finally after a few seconds she glanced back at me. "Promise not too laugh?" She asked.

I reached across the table and stopped her drumming fingers by taking her hand in mine.

"I'd never laugh at you." I said. "Unless you remind of that one time in the dorm where..."

"No no no no. No reminding of that. Never, nope. Uh-uh!" Willow interrupted, pulling her hand from mine. I could see a blush beginning to glow on her cheeks. She's such fun to tease sometimes. "I'll talk, I'll talk. Just don't mention that ever again. Okay?"

"Deal." I said. Resting my elbows on the table I held my face in my hands. "So what's up?"

"This is probably stupid." Willow grumbled. "But...remember when we did that spell so you could kick Adam's butt."

"A butt that deserved a good kicking, and kicked it was too." I said. "Considering it was less than a month ago, I remember it well."

"Yeah..well.. " Willow paused. "We all became part of you Buffy. Or..I mean..we all came together but.."

"But?" I prompted.

"I'm ..kinda jealous." She finally whispered.

"What?" I could feel a burst of the giggles coming on but I fought it down. I had promised after all.

"I'm jealous." Willow pouted. A Willow pout is lethal at close range if not defused quickly, and being in a public place the usual Pout-Disarmament techniques were not available.

"Jealous of what?" I asked.

"That..I dunno." Willow shrugged. "We're together and now everyone got to be a part of you. I just wanna see you swim okay? Something for me..just for me."

"But..you have things from just me that no one else ever had, or ever will." I replied.

"Yeah..yeah that's true. I just want to see you swim okay? Just..indulge me? Mmmmm?"

Willow can be incredibly sultry without even knowing it, her eyes don't half close giving her an air of mystery, nor can she do a convincing sultry purr. Her attempts have usually ended up with us both giggling on the floor after a fierce pillow fight. But.. sometimes..the light hits her hair just the right way, or she looks at you with just the hint of an impish smile and, well, I at least suddenly find myself willing to bend over backwards for her.

Then Xander and Anya showed.

Xander looked somewhat shamefaced and was holding four ice creams treats.

"Feeling somewhat foolish for not noticing that my bestest buddies had sat down," He said. "I decided to treat the treats with treats."

"Ooo! Slushy!" Willow said grabbing the offered goodie.

Anya took her ice cream as well. "I thought you said you'd give me lots of..."

"ICE CREAM!" Xander said loudly. "That's right Anya, you can have all the ice cream you want."

"You're so sweet." Anya purred and she leaned toward me whispering. "I knew he'd do that. He was just worried about me saying 'orgasm'." She looked over her shoulder where Xander was trying to get Willow to give him a taste of her slushy.

"C'mon Willow.."

"No."

"Please?"

"Nope."

"Have I told you how much of a bestest buddy you are?" Xander said.

"Yep, and as my bestest buddy you should know nothing gets between me and a grape flavored yummy." Willow replied.

"Aww.."

"If you wanted grape so badly you shouldn't have gotten yourself strawberry!"

"Anya says I taste better with strawberry flavoring." Xander griped.

"Kay, you taste better for Anya and I'll enjoy my grape flavored slushy." Willow said.

"Belushi will be my vengeance upon thee."

"Still not getting any grape slushy." Willow crowed.

"Oh...poopy." Xander grouched; sat down in his chair, and nibbled forlornly on the strawberry flavored goodie.

"He really is a sweetie." Anya whispered to me. I looked at Willow busily devouring her own ice cream.

"Yeah." I said with a nod. "She is..."

I watched Willow for a few minutes.

"Hey! Xander damnit, you can't have any of my grape slushy either!" And I yanked it away from him, yay Slayer strength.

"Man!" Xander grumbled.

We sat in companionable silence for a few a while, just eating our ice cream. I finished first even though Willow had a good head start. I just can't resist a grape flavored ice cream treat I suppose..

Tossing the paper cone into a trash can I stood and declared. "I'm going swimming."
Anya stood up beside me. "So am I." She said.

I sat back down. "I'll watch." I said.

Anya gave me an odd look before shrugging, "Suit yourself." she said and walked toward the edge of the pool.

"And if you're lucky, your suit will still be suiting you after you dive." I muttered. "Literally."

"Say what Buffy?" Xander asked. Anya reached the edge of the deep end and prepared to dive.

"Xander, you do know that white swimming suits are usually transparent when they get wet don't you?" Willow asked.

Anya raised her arms over her head.

Xander took a moment too digest this information.

"Ah hell," He said. "I knew I forgot something. Anya!"

Anya jumped.

Nice dive.

She made an very small splash.

There were a few small bubbles.

All of us leaned forward to get a better view of Anya surfacing. Willow had a mischievous grin, Xander was looking increasingly nervous as the seconds ticked past. Not having a mirror I'm not sure what I looked like but it felt like a big ol'This is gonna be good' type grin; with teeth.

Anya surfaced near the ladder and effortlessly clambered out of the water.

Xander eyes's nearly popped out of his head and Willow gasped very loudly, then with a small shriek tried to hide under the table. I only rested my head in my hands and dearly wished I was somewhere else.

"Xander!!" Anya whined. "I lost my top!"

*******************************************************************************************************************************

I was so embarrassed. Not for Anya, not because of what happened to her either. I mean, it happened to her, not me. So why was I diving under the table.

Instinct I guess.

So I'm scrabbling under the table and I can overhear what everyone's saying.

"Anya put on my shirt." That was Xander.

"But I lost my top." Anya was still whining. "It cost money!"

"I'll get your suit but for now would you put on my damn shirt? Everyone's staring." Xander again. He was sounding a bit upset.

"It's not my fault. The water..and bad workmanship. I didn't know! I'm going to write a letter to the company. It's their responsibility." Anya said.

"Sounds like a plan babe, but please..hey..you! Yeah, you hormone boy, eyes sideways spud! Don't be starin' at the girl with no bikini..just stop drooling okay?" Xander sounded like he was ready to pop.

Buffy peeked beneath the table. "This pool party was your idea. Just bear that in mind." She whispered.

"Inviting Anya was not part of the program." I protested then I said, pouting. "Just wanted to have some fun."

"No worries babe." Buffy gave me a quick smile. "I'll deal." Then she vanished from sight.

"I'll get the suit." I heard her say.

'Hey.' I thought. 'I wanna see her go swimming!' Okay..so..I was obsessing.

I poked my head back from under the table. No one was staring at me at least so I awkwardly got back into my seat.

Xander had convinced his 'girlfriend' to wear his shirt. She was picking at the material.

"It's..rough." She complained loudly.

"You can get back into your suit as soon as we..get it." Xander patiently explained. "As long as you promise to not change back into it in public okay?"

"Why?" Anya asked. "It's a little late to be modest isn't it? I mean, they already saw enough didn't they? Does it really matter?"

"Yes." Xander said. "To me."

"Why?" Anya asked again.

"Because.." Xander shot me a look that was pleading for help. All I could do was shake my head and shrug. I wasn't going to ..couldn't have been able to assist in that discussion. Uh-uh no way.

"Because no one should be allowed to see my girl except me." He finished. The way he flinched I guessed he thought that sounded kind of lame. I thought it was sweet myself.

Anya must have also.

"You're so nice." She suddenly purred and reached over to cup Xander's face. "So nice in fact that I'm going to let you.."

I whimpered, and got ready to dive under the table again.

"Buy me all the ice cream you want." Anya finished triumphantly. I think, I'm not sure but I think I saw her wink at me.

"Ahem!" I heard Buffy behind me. I turned around in my seat. "Gonna get the top now." She announced.

Xander, not having a clue of earlier conversation didn't really react much. I guess he was thanking his lucky stars that his girlfriend hadn't embarrassed him in public again. He was looking heavenward regardless.

"Thanks Buffy." He mumbled.

I nodded.

She jumped.

I am defiantly partial, so biased and pro-Buffy in my heart, that even if my head insisted otherwise, my heart would believe she eclipses the sun. Mm..that's a bit extreme but I fervently believe she is of a level of peachy-keeness that I have yet seen to be equaled.

Now was no exception.

She bent her powerful legs and leaped into the air, love blinds sure, and how much of it was just love blinded eyes and how much of it was reality I'm not sure, nor am I caring.

She arched through the air, warm sun reflecting off every strand of hair, skin with just the right amount of color so as not to burn but not be too dark, drinking in the warmth, muscle tone with just the right amount of softness to be attractive. She just hung in the air..perfect.

And very, very real.

All mine too.

"CANNONBALL!!" Buffy screeched.

Oh no.

The resulting tidal wave crashed over me and I was soaked. I let out an outraged scream as cold water ran over me giving me a serious case of the jitters. My towel, my suit..my book.

All covered in chlorine laden pool water. Cold, chlorine laden pool water.

"Buffy!" I screeched. "You're gonna so get it!" I stalked to the edge of the pool waiting for her to surface.

She broke the surface a second later flinging her hair in just the right way so more water crested up and splashed me.

"Xander catch!" Buffy called and threw him a soggy piece of white material. He snatched it out the air.

"We'll be right back." Xander called back to us as he and Anya went to the changing room.

I noticed one young man leering at Anya as they walked past him. Her arm shot out and with a shove he was launched off the edge into the pool.

"You're rude." Anya declared but I wasn't really paying attention to that.

No, my concentration was on another blonde who was treading water in the deep end of the public swimming pool smiling at me with a mischievous grin.

"What's the matter sweetie?" Buffy murmured. "You said you wanted to see me swim, you just didn't say how."

"Bufffffyyyy.." I growled.

"Come and get me!" She dared.

Hah, just because I dived under cover when an associate walked around topless she thought this witch would be afraid of all challenges.

I dove in after her but she bolted. When I surfaced she was halfway across the pool.

"Over here Willow!" She called. I took off after her. She was in the shallow end now and started running from me while I stuck with the front crawl. She let me catch her of course.

There's no fun in chasing if you don't catch eventually.

I did a surface dive as soon as she was within reach, wrapped my arms around her thighs, braced and pulled her legs out from under her. I saw her head a fuzzy blob but it was enough and I reached out and gently took her face in my hands and pulled her in for a quick aquatic smooch. Then I pushed away and broke the surface laughing and swimming as fast as possible.

Of course she overtook me in a heartbeat. Her arms wrapped around me from behind and she lifted me off my feet. She gave me a quick peck on the neck that no one could have seen since it looked like we were just playing, and whispered. "Teasing a Slayer is a no-no."

"Buffy?" I asked.

Then louder she sang. "Scuze me while I kiss the sky!"

I think I must have said something along the lines of "WhoooaaaaAAAAHH!!" Cause with a toss, she hefted me ..up mostly.

She was holding back, wouldn't do for a five foot five, uh..I'm not going to mention her weight..college student to throw her best friend straight up a good twenty feet. No, I only made it up about six or so which, from my point of view, was high enough thanks ever so much.

"Buuuffffyyyy!!" I screamed as the water came rushing up to meet me. I saw her, standing shoulder deep off the side. She waved.

After my splash down I sank to the bottom and plotted my revenge. Didn't have long to wait either. I closed my eyes to keep the chlorine out and felt her arms grab me and a second later I was cradled in her arms.

"Willow?" I heard her ask. She sounded nervous. I decided to not be THAT cruel as to scare her ..just un-nerved her a bit. I rolled out of her carry and splashed her in the face.

"Gotcha!" I laughed.

Buffy blinked a few times as water dripped from the few locks of hair plastered to her forehead.

"You..you.." She sputtered. "You JERK! I was worried about you!!" And she retaliated.

She cupped her hands and swung em' a one-eighty..three inches below the surface of the pool.

Can you say 'Tsunami'?

The wave of water literally knocked me off my feet and I was so surprised that I got a mouthful of water and went under. I hadn't had time to take a breath either so I was floundering under the surface, I didn't have the presence of mind to simply stand up.

Again I felt strong arms drag me to the surface and Buffy was holding me, yet again, like a babe in a cradle.

"Oh God, oh hell..I'm sorry..I'm sorry." She rattled on. Only I can be called a babbler. "Willow, c'mon babe say something. You better not be faking again or you'll really be in trouble. Just please don't be in trouble now!"

I coughed a few times and shook the water out my eyes.

"Sunbathing." I gasped.


"Right there, yes." I gasped. About ten minutes had passed between the two gasps, this one was resulting of Buffy, who still felt really guilty something I was capitalizing on like all get out, was giving me a vigorous backrub while rubbing in a healthy coating of sunscreen. Hey, I'm a redhead, I burn easily.

"Now my calves. C'mon..don't wimp out. You nearly did drown me." So I was feeling evil.

Sue me.

"You are enjoying this way too much. You know that don't you." Buffy said.

I lifted my head and looked over my shoulder. "You betcha!" I said.

"You are evil Wills." See?

I put my head back down and just...sighed..in contentment. It felt so nice. Warm sun, warm skin, warm hands.. just..relaxed. Peace..calm.. quiet.... aaaahhh...

"AaaaaaahhhHHHHH!!!!" I said. Or screamed actually. Xander stood over me with a bucket in his hand. The bucket was empty. The bucket had been full. It had been full of water.

Cold water.

Very cold water.

Buffy had collapsed onto her back, laughing her sweet ass off. While Anya, who was sitting at our table, once again wearing her ..less than durable swimwear.. was giggling behind her hands.

"Alexander Harris," I thundered scrambling to me feet. "You are a dead man!"

Xander has an inborne ability for fast talk, passing the buck, dodging responsibility and moving out of harms way. This time, they all failed him.

"Eeeep!" He said and ran. "It seemed like a good idea at the time!" He hollered over his shoulder.

Instinct.. I knew what to do. 'Grab' it commanded and I did. Reached out..reaching, reaching...there. 'Wait' ' it said and I waited. Xander was running fast, he was right next to the edge.

'Now' Instinct commanded, 'Pull'. And I pulled.

Directly underneath his feet, I felt it, a small divit of earth bulged upward for just a split second, Xander lurched toward the pool, arms pinwheeling wildly seemed about to regain his balance, so I just pointed my finger in his general direction and gave the air in front of me a swift poke.

"Nnooo faaaiiiirraaahhh!" Xander managed to cry before falling into the pool.

Now it was my turn to laugh out loud as Xander swam back to the edge of pool and hoisted himself out. His shirt was plastered to him, defining his physique. Anya wolf whistled.

Buffy and I stared at her for a few seconds and she shrugged. "Well, construction workers always whistle at the girls." She said.

"Ah." Buffy ah'ed. "Okay." She turned to me.

"Willow," She said quietly. "Was that you using your powers for less than good intentions?"

"Uh..." My brain jammed. "It was practice?" I offered feebly.

"Naughty, naughty witch." Buffy curled her fingers so they looked a bit like talons. "Tickle monsters gonna getcha!"

"Oh no no no no no. Tickling bad. Please no, not tickle monster, tickle monster is bad enough but tickle monster in public? In front of everyone? That's real bad, I won't do it again! Promise, cross my ..er..star of David my heart..whatever. No tickle monster here, not in front of people. Nope, no, please. Anything but that."

Mouth reports to central command that 'Babbling' is a go.

Xander approached me from the other side peeling off his shirt. Anya whistled again and shouted something like, "Take it all off baby!" but I was too far gone into a full blow 'We have a possibility of Embarrassing Behavior in Public Place at Willow's expense' based panic attack to take full notice.

Xander walked over to us and shook his head violently splashing all of us.

I didn't mind that much as I was already cold but Buffy and Anya object with vehement shrieks of disapproval.

"There." Xander said, hands on his hips. "Now we're even."

"Tickle monster him." I said pointing.

"Good idea." Anya backed me up.

"Get em' girls!" Buffy hollered.

Xander turned to run. He didn't make it one step.


Five minutes later we all collapsed on the grass exhausted. Xander had stopped begging for mercy about two minutes into the tickle fest and was now gasping for air as Anya clucked over him. Occasionally jabbing him in the side which launched him into a fresh bout of chortling.

Buffy pulled herself upright and straightened out her towel. "Your turn with the sunscreen." She said.

"But all mine got washed off." I griped.

"Poor baby. Karma, using your witchy powers for selfish reasons. You're gonna burn." She looked up at the overhead sun. "Literally."

"Meanie." I stuck my tongue out at her.

"Don't do that unless you ..ah skip it." Buffy rested her head on her arms.

"But I like innuendo. Really." I whispered.

"Too tired." Buffy sighed.

"Not tonight honey I have a headache?" I asked while pouring a healthy quality of sunscreen into my hands.

"For cliché violation you should be shot. Oh, that's nice." She said as I began rubbing her shoulder blades.

"You sure about that death sentence?" I whispered to her. I moved my hands up and pushed away her hair and exposed her neck. I rubbed in some of the lotion and was rewarded with a purr.

"Sentence altered on grounds of new evidence." She whimpered.

"Like what?" I whispered back.

"Magic hands." She hissed as I massaged the tension out of her.

"Love you." I said.

"Received and reciprocated." Her voice died away.

"Buffy?" I whispered.

Silence was the answer, she was asleep.

Well.. this was fine, who was going to put the sunscreen on me now?

*******************************************************************************************************************************

I groggily woke up and looked around. Xander and Anya were snoozing themselves together on a towel a few feet away. Well actually Anya was on the towel, Xander was just..half on, half off.

I sat up and blinked a few times.

"Hiya." Willow said behind me.

"Hey." I said and stood up and stretched.

"Stretch anymore and we'll be having an Anya flashback." Willow says.

I turned around, she was seated at the table wearing Anya's straw hat and sunglasses and reading her book.

I grabbed a chair and sat down. "How long was I out?" I asked.

"Bout an hour." She said. "You looked so cute I decided to let you stay that way. I even went so far as soothe you when you began saying embarrassing things in your sleep."

I froze, I was pretty sure she was just joking but Willow has pointed out on several occasion that I do seem to mumble sometimes. She keeps threatening to record them.

"You're kidding." I said.

She just smiled and shook her head. I slumped forward and rested my head in my hands.

"Oh Gods, what did I say now?" I moan.

"Not tellin'." She declared. "But," And she held up a finger, "I will say that you have a vivid imagination."

I groaned again and slumped even lower.

"I mean, who ever would have thought of putting whipped cream on their pizza?" Willow said.

"What?" I perked up. "I talked about food?"

"Yep." Willow nodded. "And as we are on that subject I'm getting kinda hungry."

"Yeah, me too." I said sitting upright. "What say we bail and snag a pizza for the movies?"

"No whipped cream though." Willow wagged her finger in warning.

"No whipped cream I promise." I paused. "But I still want pineapples."

Willow rolled her eyes and said. "Go wake up those two and we can go okay?"


A few minutes later we were heading for Xander's car where it was parked. Xander and Anya were walking in front of us and Anya herself was eating another ice cream that she insisted Xander buy for her, despite our assurances we had lots back at my place. Guess she wanted to make sure he'd give her all the..er...ice cream she wanted.

Willow was walking beside me, we had both changed out of our swimwear though she still had on Anya's hat. She let out a heavy sigh.

"What's up?" I said. "You got to see me swim y'know."

"Yeah." She mumbled. "But what I really wanted to have happen didn't."

"And what would that have been?" I asked.

"Well..it's kinda cheesy but.." She leaned foward with a conspiratory smile and whispered. "I was kinda hoping some stud-muffin would come and try to pick you or me up and we could blow him off by doing smoochies or something. Shock em' real good and all his friends would laugh at him. Then he'd call us rude names and you could beat him up to defend your girlfriends honor."

I gave Willow a look.

"You're strange." I said.

"Darn tootin!"


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