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Plea from a Cat Named Virtute

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"I made a search through every room, but all I found was dust that moved in shadows of the afternoon..."

The TV’s on again when Kennedy gets home, barely loud enough to hear, and she sighs sadly as she’s locking the door to the apartment. The fact that there’s no response to any of her movement tells her that Willow’s fallen asleep watching something mindless again, and she doesn’t bother disturbing her; she just goes to kitchen with the intent to down a glass of wine - she finds the bottle that she wants open and lukewarm on the counter already, a half-eaten sandwich next to it. The fact that Willow’s recent mood shift might mean that’s all she’d eaten that day doesn’t make Kennedy feel any better.

The past years had worn on all of them, but to be honest, Kennedy didn’t believe anyone had been quite so visibly affected as Willow. Not for lack of trying to hide it, of course, but hiding her mourning from friends she now seldom saw and hiding it from the woman sleeping next to her were different ballgames - one of which Kennedy just barely managed to refuse to play. There was only so much pushing she could do - she knew that too much of it would hurt rather than help - but it sometimes was hard to get more than a rueful smile out of Willow, which frankly wasn't enough for either of them. Still, Kennedy was insistent, and more patient than anyone would credit her with being, save for Buffy on a really good day.

"...pass around the easy lie of absolutely no regrets, and later maybe you could try to let your losses dangle off the sharp edge of a century..."

She tidies up the kitchen, turns the TV off, and scoops Willow up into her arms and carries her off to bed. Willow wakes and moans in annoyance at being moved but it makes no difference, and she’s nearly asleep again when they’ve reached their room. As Kennedy strips out of her clothes, she fumbles around the room, unwilling to turn on a light and thus functioning in the dim light filling the apartment.

She slips into a tank top and slides under the covers, and Willow turns toward her, hands on the button of her jeans, which Kennedy helps her undo, stripping the barely-awake woman until she’s comfortable, in just her underthings.

"lie down; lick the sorrow from your skin; scratch the terror and begin to believe you're strong..."

Kennedy strokes Willow's hair gently and kisses her forehead, and moves back to her own side of the bed only to find out that Willow has different ideas when she meets Kennedy’s lips with a needy kiss and wearily drapes an arm over her side. Her hand creeps down Kennedy’s skin, and Kennedy pulls away gently.

“Hey, no, go back to sleep.”

“I can’t stay asleep. Please, just, something, please. It’ll help,” Willow moans softly. “Just...every time...maybe if I…”

Kennedy shushes her and presses a mild kiss to her lips before pulling the covers off of both of them and leaving a trail of kisses down Willow’s frame. Willow’s moans remain weak, but she curls her hand behind Kennedy’s neck; when she repositions herself slightly so that her legs are propped open Kennedy redirects her attention to the insides of her thighs, leaving a couple hickeys, eliciting a number of legitimate gasps, and ensuring Willow’s awake enough for what’s to follow, a necessary circumstance further confirmed when Willow’s grip tightens on her hair.

She spreads Willow’s lips and lets her watering mouth drip onto her. Gentle swirls of her tongue are greeted excitedly with Willow grinding up onto her, and Kennedy tucks her arms under Willow’s legs and slides a finger inside her wetness.

"...stop the self-defeating lies you've been repeating since the day you brought me home; I know you're strong."

For the first time in a long time, Willow doesn’t wake up with Kennedy’s alarm for work the following morning, instead only curling into the warmth Kennedy's left, and Kennedy sighs in relief as she leaves the room, still able to taste her girlfriend on her lips.