Willow stands under the showerhead until the water runs cold. She’s never felt quite like this after a spell: nauseous and shaking, like her insides are all twisty. Amy was right about the long-lasting nature of that guy’s magic, though—she can still feel it coursing through her, and that’s pretty great. Willow definitely prefers this over the weakness she felt yesterday after returning from the Bronze.
She wills the water to turn hot again, feeling her power snake through the new pipes of the Summers’ house, but she can’t stop shivering and sobbing, so she shuts the taps off and steps out onto the bathmat, teeth chattering loudly in the suddenly quiet room. Gritting her teeth, she wipes her tears away with her towel. She shouldn’t be upset right now. She went out, had fun, and she deserves that, doesn’t she? Her world shouldn’t have to stop just because Tara…because Tara…
Willow stares at her slowly emerging reflection in the bathroom mirror as the steam from the shower dissipates, her hair flat, her eyeshadow running. Her eyes seem darker all of a sudden. Is that new? Tara’s toothbrush is still on the counter. Willow feels blood and magic pounding in her ears. “It’s not my fault,” she says to the empty bathroom, the empty house. “Everyone’s acting like—but I didn’t—I was just trying to help!”
The magic swells inside her, and the mirror cracks, fissures spreading across Willow’s reflection like veins. Damn. Now she has to look up a glass repair spell.
What Willow needs, she decides, toweling her hair dry with the slight assistance of an anti-static charm, is another distraction. Something to take her mind off this thing that feels too much like guilt, distract her body from this aching longing and the aftereffects of her nighttime magic. Something big, and exciting, and difficult enough to occupy her brain for a few hours. Some Willow time.
Willow smiles at her cracked reflection. She knows just the thing.
“You again,” says a voice that is her voice but slower, lazier. “I thought you just got rid of me. Missed me so much you had to pull me back thirty seconds later?”
Wait—this is interesting! This must mean time operates differently in different dimensions. Willow has the sudden urge to jot down some equations, frustrated once again that UC Sunnydale’s introductory quantum mechanics course conflicted with Programming Systems and Paradigms last semester. Instead, she looks up from her spell casting circle at the figure in front of her. Sure enough, she looks exactly as Willow remembers: her own body wearing clothes she’s never bought, her own face with an expression that isn’t quite hers. With a start, Willow realizes her vampire double is wearing the same shade of green eyeshadow she herself just re-applied after her shower.
The other Willow tilts her head to one side. “You’re not fuzzy anymore.”
OK. Probably time for an explanation. The problem is, Willow isn’t really sure why she’s done this anymore. She’d remembered the spell being harder, taking more time. She hadn’t expected to come face to face with not-Willow so quickly, and now she has, she isn’t quite sure why she wanted to in the first place.
“Let me guess,” the other Willow says, pouting. “You decided to kill me after all, because you’re no fun.”
“No!” says Willow quickly. “No killing. I just wanted to see—whether I could do it? And ask—I don’t know. I wanted to—” It all sounds so goofy now that she’s saying it out loud. What did she want to ask her? They have nothing in common, right? After all, this creature is evil. Willow isn’t evil, so she definitely didn’t want to ask about that.
“Where are the others? Why did you change? Where are we?” asks the vampire, taking a step towards Willow, her boot resting on the edge of the circle.
“See, it’s actually been a few years. For me. Three years. I’m in college now. And I—I don’t know, I was just trying out some spells?”
Not-Willow seems to consider this. “You still with that white hat?”
“Who? Oh, Oz. No, he um—we, um—I’m not actually with anyone. But there was someone else. But she—yeah. Not with anyone right now.” Willow shrugs.
“She?” The other Willow raises her eyebrows.
“Um, yep. Kind of gay now.”
Not-Willow grins. “Aren’t girls fun? Of course, I like ‘em best when I can snap their necks afterwards. Hey…” the vampire narrows her eyes and steps into the circle, her leather boots inches from Willow’s crossed legs. “Is that why you brought me back to your no-fun world? Decided you want to snuggle after all?”
Willow scrambles to her feet. “I never said that.”
“But you want to. I can smell it. Been thinking about me all these years? The question is, did you want to fuck me, or be me? Every queer girl’s dilemma, right?” Without warning, her vampire self pushes Willow up against the foot of her bed, the small of her back digging into the bedframe. Not-Willow licks her lips.
Willow takes a minute to collect herself, then mutters a chant that sends the other Willow reeling backwards, landing on her hands and knees on the floor of Willow’s bedroom.
“Hey,” says the vampire, pouting. “No fair.”
“OK,” says Willow, walking towards her vampire double. There’s nothing wrong with this, right? It’s just an experiment, and if anything does happen, she and Tara aren’t together anyway, and really, it hardly counts as cheating if Willow is only getting with, well, Willow. “Here’s how it’s gonna be. No being all…fang-y. I like being alive, and human. And I don’t know if you noticed just then, but I’ve got power now. Serious power. Remember that.” Willow feels a rush of heat between her legs as she stands over the leather-clad not-Willow. OK, so what if she has thought about this sometimes, in bed, in the shower, in the UC Sunnydale library late at night when everyone else has gone home? This is exactly what she needs right now—the perfect distraction.
Not-Willow smiles. “You wanna take charge? Fine. As long as we’re still playing rough.”
Willow pulls her vampire double to her feet and kisses her, quickly, before she chickens out. The other Willow ups the ante, running the tip of her tongue along Willow’s bottom lip and sliding her hands down Willow’s back to rest firmly on her ass. They kiss for a long moment, but then Willow starts to remember Tara’s lips, the way her girlfriend—ex-girlfriend—started off with tentative little pecks, then gradually worked up to more insistent caresses, pressing their lips together firmly, hand in Willow’s hair. Willow pulls back, willing herself not to cry.
“Backing out already? You’re no fun. Bored now,” the other Willow whines. She hasn’t removed her hands from Willow’s ass. Willow has an idea. Maybe she just needs to do different things, things she’s never done with Tara before. Things she’s never worked up the courage to ask for, from anyone.
She winds her hand into her vampire double’s hair and makes a fist, pulling not-Willow’s head back. “I’m just getting started,” she says, her voice surprising her with its coldness and confidence. She knows she’s growing wet now, her magic coursing through her, the weird aftereffects of Rack’s spell forgotten. Recalling that moment in the Sunnydale High library—so long ago, but how could she forget?—Willow sticks out her tongue and licks her way up the other Willow’s neck from her collarbone to her earlobe.
The other Willow growls, smiling, and then Willow bites the vampire’s exposed neck, digging her teeth in, determined to leave a mark. After a long moment, she pulls back and examines her handiwork. It’s so strange to see her own neck like this, her own eyes staring back into hers, cloaked with arousal. Willow turns towards the bed, then, inspiration striking, snaps her fingers and points to the mattress. When not-Willow obeys, sitting on the edge of her bed and beginning to undo her boots, Willow feels her nipples harden. Who knew she would like this so much?
She strides over to the bed and straddles her vampire double, pulling the other Willow’s hair once more. She pushes the vampire down onto the bed and begins unhooking her corset. She pinches not-Willow’s nipples, slightly harder than she likes to pinch her own, and the vampire wriggles beneath her, her lips parted, her eyes staring lazily into Willow’s.
“I like you a lot more now than when you were fuzzy,” says not-Willow, panting as Willow slaps the vampire’s breasts lightly. Willow smiles. No one’s told her that in a while. People keep telling her to change back to the way she was, when she was timid and uptight and everyone just thought she was the geek sidekick. She’s starting to scare people, but her vampire self doesn’t seem afraid. Or if she is, she seems to like it.
Willow slaps her double’s breasts harder, and the vampire smirks. “Don’t you have more tricks than that?” she asks, voice soft and almost mocking. “I thought you said you were a powerful witch.” She pouts. “If you don’t play nicely and hurt me lots, I might have to show you some of the tricks I know.”
Willow feels fear, and anger, and arousal bubbling up inside her all at once. She holds the other Willow down by her hair and breathes on one of her fingers, smiling as her fingertip begins sparking with electricity. She tried this on herself once, but she’s never done it to anyone else. She runs her finger down not-Willow’s neck and chest, stopping to swirl the crackling fingertip around both the vampire’s hardened nipples, watching her double thrust her hips up to meet Willow’s descending hand.
Willow mutters another incantation and their clothes are completely removed, neatly folded on the bedside table. Tara never liked doing that, but Willow is impatient, eager to sink her finger inside her double and make her squirm some more. Not-Willow is looking up at her expectantly, obviously enjoying the sting of the electricity. Willow has another idea.
She shifts the other Willow until she’s lying fully on the bed, head by the headboard, arms and legs spread-eagled. The vampire pouts at the loss of Willow’s finger, but then gasps as Willow binds her wrists and ankles to the legs of the bed with crackling orange bands of energy. When Willow first learned this spell she learned how to coat the power in softer magics so as not to burn the flesh of whomever she might be using it on, but this time she doesn’t bother, letting her vampire self feel the full force of the spell. It’s strange to see her own face so lost in sensation, riding these waves of intensity, eyes closed. Willow wonders if that’s what she looked like last night as she floated on the ceiling, feeling more magic at once than she’d ever felt before.
She returns once again to touching the vampire with her hand, increasing the power of the electricity in her fingertip and extending it to the rest of her fingers as well. Her double is shaking, her face contorted in pain and pleasure, her body moving supplicatingly, trying to get closer to Willow’s fingers. This is better than in Willow’s fantasies—she’s never imagined having this much control could feel quite this good. She increases the current in her fingers once again, and not-Willow cries out, straining against her bonds.
Willow lowers her other hand to her own clit at the same time as she parts not-Willow’s labia with her still-crackling fingers. The other Willow groans and then whimpers as Willow’s fingers reach her clit and begin to rub, sparks still flying out of her fingertips. Willow knows just what the other Willow likes, because they both figured it out when they were thirteen and stumbled across their first lemon fanfic—light but solid pressure on the clit from underneath, small, steady strokes using both index and middle fingers. Willow thanks her younger self for making sure to practice equally with both hands, because she’s doing just as well at touching herself as she is at touching not-her.
Their noises are so similar, rising in tandem, and Willow knows she’s close now, and if she knows anything about her basic anatomy, which of course she does because she’s put a mirror between her legs many times (for science), her double is close as well. To push herself over the edge, she concentrates on tightening the bonds around not-Willow’s wrists ever so slightly, watching her not-self whimper as the energy burns her skin. And then she’s coming, and her double is too, the same soft, satisfied noise escaping both their throats, the same sigh as they both settle back down again.
“You’re a lot of fun,” says the other Willow, once Willow has released her. “Sure you don’t wanna play some more?”
Willow shakes her head. Dawnie will be home from school soon, and there’s still that mirror to fix.
“OK,” shrugs not-Willow. “But hey—didn’t you say you had something to ask me?”
“Uh, no. Not really.” Willow was just curious about what it feels like, not to worry about being good. What a stupid question, she thinks. She's glad she didn't ask it.
“So you brought me here just to play? And now you’re sending me back again?”
“I was bored. And I thought you liked your world?”
“I do. But I like you, too. I like what you’re becoming.”
Something about the way the other Willow says that makes everything Willow has managed to forget since her double arrived—not guilt, she won’t call it guilt, because that would imply she did something wrong—settle back into the pit of Willow’s stomach. “I think it’s time for you to go,” she says coldly, handing not-Willow her clothes and re-lighting the candles of her spell casting circle with a now-fiery fingertip.
As Willow chants the words and her double fades back into her proper reality, though, Willow can’t help but smile. It’s nice to know in the middle of all of this there are still some things she can control.