“So, all moved back in?” Xander poked his head around the door, pointedly not hoping to see either roommate in a state of undress.  He wasn’t disappointed.

Buffy was sitting on her bed, reading a book.  She waved him inside.  “Hey, Xand.  And yup, all moved back in.”

“Good.”  Xander sat on her roommate’s bed.  “You feelin’ any better about this whole college thing?”

She shrugged, noncommittal, but Xander knew what that meant.  The cheery ‘it’s just like highschool’ euphoria had worn off, and Buffy was back to feeling insecure and out of place.  Something that routinely boggled Xander’s mind, since there wasn’t any one who should feel less insecure or out of place that he knew of.  Okay, maybe Oz.  But Oz was different.

“Thank you.  For what you said?”  Buffy set down her book and looked up at him from underneath her lashes.  “That. . . meant a lot to me.  Knowing that you. . .”

Okay, so she was full into one of her maudlin fits.  That was okay, though, Xander knew just the cure.  But the funny wasn’t really coming, sitting here in her room, a single lamp by the bed offering the only light.  The book folded on the night stand was incongruous in Buffy’s room, but it didn’t feel out of place.  This was college.  A place for learning and growing and all the things he wasn’t. 

“Thank you, thank you very much,” he managed to joke weakly, “I’ll be here all week.”

That got him a smile, if a soft one.  “I was so mad,” she continued, mostly musing aloud.  “When I got here and it was all different.  Wills had this whole life here through Oz, and Oz, well, Oz would be at home in the middle of Alaska, I think.  He’s just comfy like that.  Giles practically shut the door in my face when I went to him before.  Cause you know the vamps had to follow me to campus.  And then all my classes and all these new people and. . . I was scared, Xander.”

“Of what, college?  It’s just a new place, Buf.  And hey, gotta dig the no Hellmouth in the library.”

“Just books.  Lots, and lots, and lots of books. . .”

Exasperated, Xander moved to sit next to her, glad when she half twisted to keep looking at him.  Buffy looking was key.  Buffy looking good was a plus, but so long as Buffy wasn’t retreating into that looking above your head, all-angst-all-the-time zone, he still had something to work with.  “Buffy.  C’mon.  I thought we dealt with the I’m eighteen and scared stuff, back at the Bronze.”

“We did,” she answered promptly.  “But one talk does not a well-Buffy make.  I need years of counseling to get me through my traumas, Xander.  Years and years.”

If he could get away with punching her arm, he would’ve.  But that would’ve hurt his fist, and she might retaliate.  A very big ow.  “Buffy, you’re one of the strongest people I know.  You’ll get through this.  You can get through anything.”

“Wow, Xand, load up those impossible expectations there,” she said, smiling slightly.  “But you’re right.  It’s arrogant, I guess, but it’s true.  I’m the Slayer and so long as I can fight, I can survive.”  There was a ton to be said after that little bombshell, but Buffy didn’t look like she was done.  “I just. . . I don’t want to do it alone.”

“Did you see the four of us carrying your stuff back?  Or were we just imaginary helpers?”

How come she got to hit him—lightly—when he deserved it, huh?  “Xander!  That’s not what I meant.”

“No?  Cause those looked a lot like your friends, to me.  You know, the ones who you said didn’t want to help you, or hated you, or whatever you were poor-meing about.”

“God, Xander, can’t I be serious with you at all?”

He grinned.  “Nope.  Serious-Buffy is seriously unfun-Buffy, and it’s my sworn duty to make sure that never happens.  Only fun-Buffy allowed.”

Giggling helplessly as he made exaggerated hand motions to accompany each ‘version’ of Buffy, she leaned into his side.  “Only fun-Buffy, huh?  I like fun-Buffy.  She needs to be around more.”  Somehow his arm was around her shoulders as she looked up at him, and it was moments like this when he realized how tiny she was.  Fitting under him and against him like a china-doll and just as delicately beautiful.  “Thank you, Xander.”

“For making you laugh?  You do have a sense of humor, Buffy, I’ve heard.  Poor attempts that might be to my own sense of wit—”

Her lips were soft against his and tasted of lip-gloss, the fuller lower lip slipping in between his easily.  Startled, he was unable to respond, even after she pulled away.

“Wha—what was that?” he asked thirty seconds later, voice gone whispery and hoarse.

Buffy smiled nervously, absently playing with the ties of her shirt.  “That?  That was just. . . me thanking you.  You know, for being you.  For being there, whenever I need you.”  She gave a strained laugh.  “For wanting to be.”

Xander knew that the smart thing was to leave now.  Say his thanks and escape, before things got too crazy and confused and just wrong, because Buffy, kissing him?  That happened routinely in his head, sure, but never in real life.  He wasn’t the one Buffy wanted and he’d come to terms with that.  Okay, he’d given up hope and sulked for a while, but the result was kinda the same, right?

He was her friend.  And he’d gotten used to being just her friend.

“I missed you so much, this summer.”  He almost missed her words, they were so quiet, and he noticed that she was still leaning against him, even though his arm had dropped from her shoulders.  “I mean, I know you had this great adventure all planned out and it sounded really exciting but. . .  I was afraid you wouldn’t come back.  That you’d find someplace you liked better.  Cause, you know, Hellmouth.  We’ve got that low mortality rate working for us.”

The joke was bitter and flat, but Xander was cupping her face and pulling her close enough that he could seal his mouth on hers, kissing her desperately, and didn’t really hear it, anyway.  And he was stupid, very stupid, because he knew he shouldn’t be doing this, and the ache he heard in her voice was real, not a fantasy, but his response was always the same.

There was a brief moment of panic, as she registered the move, and then she was kissing him back, hands on his arm and his side, the touch insistent but not urgent.  And it was. . . amazing.  He couldn’t figure out what flavor her lips gloss was, even when he ran his tongue over her lower lip, so he sucked harder, trying to place it.  Strawberry, maybe.  Something-berry.  Good.  He wanted to shut out the thundering sound of his own pulse banging in his ears so he could hear the soft sounds they made together.  He wanted to freeze this moment forever, because he knew that he wasn’t going to ever get another chance.

Except suddenly she was on her back, body undulating under his.  Okay, so not stopping.  Instead there were his hands under her shirt, playing at the edges just underneath her bra, while hers were gripping his ass.

Oh, god.  Was he really going to do this?

“Xander, I want—I—”

He was supposed to turn that down, of course.  But he was male and stupid and so turned on he couldn’t think straight.  So he flicked open her bra, pushed up her shirt and sucked one nipple into his mouth.

“Oh, god—!”

When he switched to the other nipple, she buried her hands in his hair.  She didn’t let go as he kissed his way down her belly, too stunned and a little confused to go as fast as his erection was demanding.  Pushing down her pants, he halted with the first hint of pubic hair became visible.

“Buffy?”  It took a second or two for her to lift her head and her eyes were glazed when she met his.  “Do you want this?”

It was a cliche.  Even he knew that. . . but he didn’t think she did.  The tiny part of his brain that still had blood in it was telling him things about Angel being her one-and-only.  He’d had make-out sessions and one humiliating evening trying to go down on Cordy, Faith, twice, and a girl named Heather a few times while he was in Oxnard.  It didn’t make him a super-stud but it did make him more experienced than she was.  And he was her friend.

For answer, she wriggled and tugged and kicked—while Xander lay half on top of her—until she’d stripped off all her clothes.

Naked Buffy.  Underneath him.

Naked Buffy was also stripping him, or trying to, since he was staring at her dumbly.  “Buffy—”

She kissed him, hard, and all the blood completely left his brain and there was only Buffy, and naked, and wanting him.  Really wanting him.  Without a spell or something magical affecting her judgement—or his.

So let himself be stripped before kissing her back and flattened her onto the bed, rubbing their naked bodies together and trying not to think too hard about this being Buffy, so it wasn’t over before it really began.  This time, when he kissed his way down, he didn’t stop when he reached her pubic hair, even when he heard a note of panic in her breathing.  Her legs didn’t want to open, even when he tugged lightly.

Obviously, Angel hadn’t gone down on her.

Which, according to Heather, was something every woman should experience and had made sure Xander got a decent education in.

He tickled the back of her knees to get her legs to part, heading right for and—thank god—finding her clit on the first try.  He sucked it between his teeth and lashed it with his tongue.

Buffy wailed, then grabbed her legs and lifted them away.  “Yes,” she panted.

After only a few minutes, Buffy was tugging at his hair, mumbling something he couldn’t really hear.  Lifting his head he saw a condom packet in front of his eyes.  “Uhh,” he said, lips still pressed against hers.

She bucked and said.  “Willow.  She—she gave me a few.  Just in case.”  Her laugh was half euphoric giggles, half nervous.

He couldn’t move, entranced by the sight of silvery foil, so Buffy gave a huff of exasperation and pulled him up.  Ignoring his yelp of surprise, she ripped open the foil and pulled out a pale-white condom.  And then looked at it.

Xander realized that she was blushing.

“Here,” he said, taking it from her and placing it on himself.  Her warm, tiny little hands helped smooth it down, and Xander clenched his teeth at the feel.

When she darted down to lick it, he bucked helplessly once and then pushed her away.  Babbled something about stopping, and inside, and coming, although what he’d said, he had no idea.  Buffy understood, since she lay back down on the bed.

She golden hair made a halo, spread against the pillow.  The lamp had been turned off, at some point, but he could still see through the gloom.  The shape of her body.  The lust and nervousness in her face.  He leaned down for a kiss, not letting her deepen it.  “You’re beautiful,” he whispered.

Her answering smile was that of a young girl’s.

She probably didn’t need the pillow he slid underneath her hips, but he didn’t care.  Her legs went around his ribs as he guided himself and slowly pushed forward.  It was tight.  Very.  And Buffy was gasping before he’d gone an inch deep, face scrunched up in the not-quite-pain of entry.

He stopped about halfway, pulling out a little and then pushing back in.  Forced himself not to just thrust inside her, trying to draw it out as long as he could.  It was easier the second time, so he repeated the motion, going deeper with each thrust.

When he was all the way in, Xander made himself stop.

Tight, tight, tight, and hot and wet, and fucking rippling around him like she knew exactly what to do and god, Slayer muscles were going to ruin him for anything else.  But she’d do that anyway, because this was the girl he’d wanted since the first moment he saw her.  The one he’d dreamed of for four years and he was inside of her.  Inside.  And it didn’t matter if this never happened again because this was Buffy.

He started thrusting without conscious command, slow from physical reality.  But Buffy met each of his thrusts and soon they were moving easier and god, he wasn’t going to last at all.  Buffy was panting into his ear, hot breath cooling the sweat-trails on his face.  He was sucking on her skin, any that he could reach, while their hips banged together.  He wasn’t going to last long,  but he knew she was close.  He just had to. . . hang on. . . long enough. . . for . .

Buffy sobbed, head thrown back, hands digging furrows into him, while her muscles squeezed him like a vise.  He choked, not prepared for the suddenness of her orgasm, and buried his own cry into her neck and hair.

He kept moving afterwards, feeling her shudder around him as a second one hit her.  Women and their multiple orgasms.  But he was enjoying just the slow feel of her spreading to accommodate him, without getting lost in the haze of friction, so he didn’t mind.

“Wow.  That was. . . wow.”

Okay, preening, feeling incredibly smug and happy. . . also exhausted.  Easing out, Xander collapsed beside her on the bed, panting.  Sleep was so very in his future.  Soon.  Except he had a warm, soft Buffy curling up into his arms, so sleep could wait.  A little.

“Thank you,” she whispered, and again, Xander knew she didn’t just mean for the fabulous lay that was him.  “I—just thank you.”

He kissed her again and read the exhaustion in her eyes.  As much as he wanted to. . . Xander stood up and tucked Buffy under the covers.  “I’ll see you tomorrow,” he said quietly, hastily cleaning himself up and putting on his clothes.

He couldn’t stop going back for one more kiss.

“Xander,” she called, halting him at the door.  “I wish—I want to, I just—”

“It’s okay, Buff.”  And it really was.  He smiled reassuringly and opened the door.  “I’m not going anywhere.” 


*Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.