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Willow woke with a twinge in her abdomen, mirrored by an ache in her back, and groaned internally.

Time of the month.

Years of shit eating habits and stress had fucked her cycle up good. Though it was happening on a more regular basis these days, thanks to Hannibelle’s mandated dining hours, stress-relieving sex and the occasional relaxing spot of hunting, it was still difficult to predict when Shark Week and its associated terrors would strike.

She should really move. Take a shower, clean herself up, all that.

But she was so comfortable.

Hannibelle was a long line of heat and musk curled up behind her, her breasts soft mounds pressed to her back. Even puffs of warm breath caressed Willow’s bare shoulders. Gentle sunlight streaked in through the windows, and the air was still and quiet and cool. From the streets below faint sounds of human and vehicular traffic rose, yet they were so distant they acted merely as a soothing soundtrack rather than jarring noise. It was tropey, but she felt herself and Hannibelle ensconced, separated from the rest of the world like this.

God, she didn’t want to move.

Bleeding out all over Hannibelle’s million-count sheets, then. And for decidedly un-sexy reasons.

Hannibelle twitched. She woke with little fanfare - the subtlest switches in rhythm, slow awareness in her muscles, the covetous spread of her hands over Willow’s belly and a soundless kiss brushed to the nape of her neck.

“Good morning,” she rumbled. Her voice was a slumber-rough rasp, the somnolent purr of a sunbathing cat.

“Mm,” Willow grumped.

Hannibelle smiled, and Willow felt it against her skin. One of her hands drifted to trail over the curve of Willow’s side, the other travelling south to creep unceremoniously under the waistband of her panties.

Willow slapped her away.

“Sorry, sorry, just. Period. God, I’m gross. Sorry. I should get up.”

“Ah.”

Willow sighed and made to leave, but found her progress halted by the tightening of Hannibelle’s arms around her waist.

“We’ll change the sheets. Stay a little longer, love.”

Willow turned around and nuzzled at Hannibelle’s cheek. They spent the next few minutes in easy silence, Hannibelle’s palms tender against Willow’s ache.

-

“I’ll shift my last appointment to a later date, mano meile.” Hannibelle pushed the other earring into her lobe, and swept a freshly-washed Willow into her arms, bestowing her with a kiss on the forehead that inspired a scrunching of the face not unlike a disgruntled puppy. It was horrifyingly endearing.

“Okay. I’ll just be here, you know, feeling like shit.”

She rubbed lazily at the lipstick on her skin. Hannibelle shot her a look that read you ridiculous girl, then set off to work.

-

She came home to disaster.

Willow had allowed Winston on the bed, and was snivelling angrily into his (shedding, lord give her strength) coat. Hannibelle’s tablet listed dangerously in her careless grip. A half-eaten bowl of homemade gelato sat melting on the nightstand.

“I just - the dogs, video,” Hannibelle parsed from Willow’s impassioned sniffling. “Fucking sad.”

She swiped aggressively at her nose with the dangling sleeve of Hannibelle’s dress shirt, the one that had been sent for laundry and subsequently vanished. Willow claimed to have never seen it before. “Hon, you’ve got a thousand shirts”, indeed. (In hindsight, the pet name was highly suspect. Hannibelle should have twigged.)

Hanging unbuttoned and loose off Willow, it appeared to have been cleverly abducted from her side of the wardrobe. Well. It did suit her.

Hannibelle petted Willow on the head and hummed commiseratingly, smiling when her mess of a spouse keened and pressed into the touch.

Later, she pretended to listen as she committed Willow - adorably engulfed in her stolen clothing - to paper. Flopped dramatically in the armchair opposite hers, Willow paused in her systematic annihilation of a batch of disgustingly rich chocolate brownies (hot from the oven, of course).

“Why’re you sketching me? I feel gross. I probably look gross. I’m all swollen and vile.”

An innocuous platitude: “Nonsense, darling, you are radiant in your fertility.”

Preoccupied as she was, Hannibelle didn’t catch the theatrical roll of Willow’s eyes.

She also didn’t catch what she was nodding along to (see: pretending to listen), a suggestion in Willow’s bright tones. This proved to be a fatal mistake, for it turned out that she had agreed (“You promised, you said you always keep your promises,”) to picking up a new dog from the shelter before the end of the week.