Title: Before Term
Author: Kathryn Merteuil
Disclaimer :

The characters used are owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, UPN, Fox and probably some other people. I'm just borrowing them for a while.

Copyright : All parts not copyright to another entity (see disclaimer) are copyright Kathryn Merteuil © 2000.
Spoilers :

Season 5.

Notes : This fic is set just before season 6 around the time the new school year is starting. I am making the assumption that the High School year starts a few weeks before the college year and that "Bargining" (Season 6 Episode 1) is set after the High School year has started.
Feedback : Yes please.
Rating : NC-17 for sexual content



Willow sat in front of her laptop in the Summer's home dining room. With only a week and a half until the start of the new winter semester at UC Sunnydale her out of state friends were starting to email plans for new college year festivities. As she finished responding to a mail proposing a 'Greek Toga party' with a decidedly Sapphic theme, Willow felt soft hands gently embrace her waist as a honeyed voice whispered in her ear.

"What you doing?"

"Just answering some emails", Willow replied then turned her head to meet Tara's lips in a brief, but loving, kiss.

"Guess what!"


"We've got the house all to ourselves.", Tara inhaled the intoxicating scent of Willows hair, her herbal shampoo combining with her natural scent to create a unique perfume she found irresistible. "Dawn's at school. It's just you, me and the Buffybot. And I'm sure she's very discreet."

"Whatever are you suggesting?", Willows voice took on a questioning air whilst her eyes took a very much deeper meaning.

"Whatever do you think I'm suggesting?"

"Shut up Tara MacClay, You had me at 'Hello'."

Tara giggled, "I'm banning you from ever watching a Tom Cruise film again!"

Willow stood and adopted an expression of mock horror, "However will I survive? Please, please tell me what I can do to change your mind."

"I'm sure you could think of something.", Tara's voice dropped an octave, "Something to persuade me to be merciful."

Willow pulled herself to Tara and kissed her, slowly deepening the kiss until their tongues tangled and twined in consenting combat. Suddenly Willow broke the kiss and whispered, "Take me to bed or lose me forever!"

Tara laughed, "Willow!", but lifted the smiling red head from her feet and cradled her up the stairs. When they reached their room, Tara kissed Willow as the crossed the threshold and gently laid her on the queen size bed. Willow made to remove her shirt but was stopped by Tara's hands, "No darling. I want to." Willow felt a shiver of desire run through her. Tara didn't often take the lead in their lovemaking, not that she was ever unwilling or in the slightest bit reticent, but when she did Willow found it to be extra special.

Tara slowly unbuttoned Willows shirt, as each new area of skin was revealed Tara laved it with a kiss. When she had run out of buttons and exposed her lover's body, Tara pulled Willow into a kiss whilst slipping the soft material from the red heads shoulders. She quickly unfastened Willows skirt and slid it down her body, lifting each part as she progressed. Slowly, planting little nipping kisses as she went, Tara ascended Willows bare legs; her hands enjoying her lovers flesh until the reached her hips. Tara's mouth continued its journey to Willow's where it plunged into a heated attack on its mate. One hand stayed in place whilst the other released Willow's breast from the soft, black cotton, embrace it was held in. Tara suckled the exposed nipple whilst her hand repeated its action on the other before slipping around to remove the offending garment all together.

Willow felt Tara's hand slip from her hip to a more intimate juncture where it began to tease and stroke. "I need you." She said breathlessly, barely able to speak through the beautiful symphony her lover was playing on her body. Tara complied and slid the cotton briefs from Willows body.

"Not joining me in nudity?"

"Not yet." Tara returned to her welcome labour of loving the woman beneath her hands and tongue. She stroked her loves labia, at first tenderly but gradually increased the pressure, each step passing a little further into Willow, her thumb lightly touching or barely missing the small but vital piece of flesh beginning to emerge from its hooded hiding place.

"Please!", Willow gasped. Tara increased her pace, marginally, and began to caress Willows clitoris on each down stroke. She rolled a nipple between her fingers, tugging gently, whilst the other was treated to nibbling kisses and alternating hot and cold as Tara first bathed it with her tongue then blew on it's increasing hardness. Willows hips matched Tara's hand and her back arched to increase their contact as her eyes closed against the building pressure. The feeling of skin on intimate skin, the rising musk and Willow's soft cries of pleasure inspired Tara to increased passion.

"Willow, Tar....... Oh god, Oh god!" came shocked voice from the doorway.

The lover leapt apart in shock and turned just in time to see youngest, and surviving, Summers rapidly retreating.

"Oh Goddess" Willow cried before burying her face in a cushion and diving from the bed away from the door, mortified.

"Willow! Willow are you alright?" Tara asked, returning to earth with a crash. From the floor all she could hear was "Oh, Goddess" interspersed with the occasional "Dawn!" and incoherent sound. "I'm going to go check on Dawn. Will you be alright?".

A muffled "Yes." rose from the floor. A moment later Willows red flushed face lifted from the cushion. "I thought Dawn was at school?"

"So did I. Why don't you get dressed and join us when you're ready?"

"Might take some time. I can't believe she saw us."

Descending the stairs she heard Dawn in the lounge quietly chanting "Oh God, Oh God." As she entered the lounge Tara saw Dawn sitting with her head in her hands. "Hi" she said gently.

Dawn lifted her face, "I'm so sorry. I came home and thought I heard you upstairs, so I went up to ask if you wanted to go to the mall or something and....Oh God. I'm sorry. I should have called out or something."

"Dawn, I'm sorry. We should have closed the door. We thought you were at school." Tara's face took on a questioning look, "Actually, why aren't you?"

"Sewer main burst or got backed up or something. School closed for the day and they sent us all home. We should get a phone call this evening or first thing tomorrow to say if it will be open again before the end of the week. They said 2 days at least to fix it and get the school cleaned up.", Dawn found the words tumbling out of control from her mouth as she attempted to cover her embarrassment.

"OK. Do you need to ask me anything? About what you saw? Anything you want to talk about? " Tara asked. Whilst they had made it clear from the outset what their relationship was, Tara and Willow had tried to stay reasonably platonic in front of Dawn, not wanting to make her uncomfortable.

"No, not really," Dawn hesitated, "It was just a shock to see you, well... I'm just embarrassed that I walked in on you."

"I'm sorry that we embarrassed you. Was it just that we were, well, intimate or was it...."

"That you're both women? No!" Dawn regained her composure, "Way I figure it, it's how much you love someone that matters, not their gender. Hey, I'm a thousands of years old ball of energy; made into human form by a bunch of monks using the DNA of slayer, who became my sister; and was nearly sacrificed by a crazy goddess with bad hair; incidentally nearly bringing about the end of the world. Who am I to criticise anyone for being who they are?"

Tara pulled Dawn into a hug. "You're sure that you're OK?"

"Totally. Now go back to Willow. If I know her she's probably still sitting on the bed working herself into a nervous breakdown." Dawn smiled as she returned the hug, "I'm going to get some lunch."

Tara hugged Dawn once more then turned and climbed the stairs to see how Willow was doing. Behind her she heard Dawn say "Children these days, one track minds." in a passable mimicry of Giles' tones.

Dawn shook her head before heading to the kitchen in search of lunch. Tara paused her ascent then turned to follow Dawn into the kitchen, wanting to make sure that she wasn't just putting on a brave face. At the door, Tara was stilled by the scene before her.

"Hello Dawn, my sister" said the Buffybot, it seemed to be partway through polishing the cutlery.

Dawn paused and seemed to almost double take. Even months after losing her sister, Dawn still sometimes had difficulty with the robotic replica. Willow and Tara had briefly discussed introducing some changes to it's appearance to help Dawn to differentiate it from her lost sibling, they had eventually decided that to do so would probably be more painful for all concerned.

The Buffybot saw the tear forming in Dawn's eyes; it put down the knife it had been shining and ran the "Comfort Dawn" program that Willow had installed the previous day. The Buffybot pulled Dawn into a close embrace.

"Don't worry Dawnie.", the Buffybot placed a gentle kiss onto the top of Dawn's head and began to gently stroke her hair, "It'll all be alright soon."

Tara felt Willow step behind her and turned as she felt Willows arms encircle her waist. As Dawn sobbed into the Buffybot's shoulder, Willow and Tara drew each other into a comforting embrace.