Rating: NC-17, eventually
Pairing: Willow/Lindsey, Giles
Word Count: 987 this chapter
Summary: Willow makes an unexpected friend at the coven.
Timeline: Through "Beneath You" (beginning BtVS S7).
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Joss et al.
Distribution: My site, the usual lists, anyone with previous permission. Anyone else - just ask.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Betas: velvetwhip & menomegirl
It had been two days since the Most Awkward Supper Ever, as Willow called it in her head, and she hadn't seen Lindsey since. She was starting to fear that Giles had succeeded in scaring him off.
Granted, she hadn't made her way down to the stables in those two days, but why should she always have to go to him?
Just as that thought finished forming in her head, she saw the very man she'd been thinking about, leaning against a tree.
Grinning, she went over to him. Later she would totally deny it if anyone noticed the spring in her step as she approached Lindsey.
"Lindsey, hey. Are your ears burning?" Willow greeted him.
"Hey yourself," Lindsey returned. "Why, were you talkin' about me?"
"No, but I was just thinking that you probably never wanted to see me again after that dinner," Willow said.
Lindsey grinned. "Giles has got nothing on my daddy when it comes to being a judgmental asshole."
"Then where have you been?" Willow asked.
"One of the horses got loose. Had to go chase her down. I ended up having to camp out in the woods overnight," Lindsey explained.
"Oh, well, that's good. That you found her, I mean. You did find her, right?"
"Yeah, I found her alright," Lindsey said. "She's back in her stall, recuperating from her adventure."
"Good. That's good," Willow said.
"You done here for the day?" Lindsey asked, nodding towards the building Willow had just exited.
"Yep, so done."
"I thought I might try giving you a riding lesson, if you're free."
"What did we say about horses and Willows?"
"That they're…unmixy. Just so you know, that's not a real word," Lindsey teased.
"Doesn't matter, it's still not happening," Willow insisted.
"Have you ever actually been on a horse?" Lindsey asked.
"There was a birthday party pony incident when I was four. I'd rather not talk about it," Willow said huffily.
Lindsey rubbed his hands together. "Then I'd say it's high time you tried again, on a real horse. Those rent-a-ponies are mean-spirited things anyway. Come on." Lindsey started walking towards the stables.
"Lindsey, I really don't want to ride a horse. I've been perfectly happy not riding all this time. No need to start now," Willow said, following him despite her protests.
"How about if you just come and make friends with one of the horses? Then you can decide if you still don't want to ride," Lindsey offered.
"I don't have to get on?" Willow warily asked.
"I'm not gonna hoist you up on her back against your will. Scout's honor."
"You were a boy scout?"
Lindsey laughed. "No, not really. Not much use for them in the trailer park."
"That's a pity party for another day," Lindsey said.
"I can take a hint," Willow said, holding her hands up in concession. "Unlike some people."
"You know, horses are really just as afraid of you as you are of them," Lindsey said, ignoring her last remark.
"Uh huh, yeah, sure."
"They really can be nervous creatures," Lindsey insisted. "Remember when you found me cleaning the stall the other day?" He paused until she nodded. "When I threw the shovel against the wall, the horses got scared. Loud noises, sudden movements - horses don't like those things."
"But they have those big teeth," Willow nervously said.
"Big flat teeth," Lindsey pointed out. "Horses are herbivores."
"Promise?" Willow's voice was small.
They'd finally reached the stables, and when Willow held back, Lindsey captured her hand and drew her inside.
Stopping before a stall, Lindsey clicked his tongue, drawing the inhabitant to the door. He rubbed the horse's muzzle in greeting.
"Willow, I'd like you to meet Nessa. Nessa, this here's Willow," Lindsey said.
"Hi," Willow nervously said, giving a little wave.
Lindsey grinned and pulled a piece of carrot out of his pocket. "Here," he said, giving it to Willow.
"Um, I don't think I really want to eat a carrot you've been carrying around in your pocket," Willow said. "No offense."
"It's not for you," Lindsey said, laughing. He took her hand and opened it, palm up, placing the carrot on her open hand.
When he started to draw her hand towards the horse, Willow jerked back. "What are you doing?"
"Not me. You're going to give Nessa that carrot. Best way to befriend a horse is to give them a little treat. I happen to know that Nessa here is partial to carrots," Lindsey confided.
Slowly, Lindsey drew Willow closer to the stall. Whispering in her ear, he said, "Just remember to keep your hand flat, and try to relax."
"Right, relax. That's easier said than done," Willow muttered. "Good horsey, nice horsey."
Nessa had withdrawn a bit as Willow and Lindsey neared, but Lindsey held Willow's hand steady where Nessa could reach it.
Willow's body was stiff in front of Lindsey and he almost felt bad for putting her through this imagined torture. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Willow squeeze her eyes shut.
"Willow, open your eyes," he whispered.
"Uh uh." Willow shook her head, eyes shut tight.
"You'd rather be surprised when she goes for the carrot?" Lindsey asked.
Willow's eyes popped open and she glared up at Lindsey, who merely smirked down at her.
During their exchange, Nessa had poked her head out to investigate the treat. She sniffed at Willow's hand for a moment before lifting the carrot up with her lips, causing Willow to giggle.
"That tickled," Willow said, still laughing as she lowered her hand.
"Not the end of the world?" Lindsey asked.
"No, not the end of the world," Willow agreed, looking up at him. "That's way scarier. Plus, I still have all of my fingers."
"Maybe you should trust me a bit more," Lindsey suggested.
"Maybe I will," Willow agreed, reaching out to pet Nessa's muzzle.
Continue to Chapter Six