Wires And Love
by Amy

Willow picked Dawn up from school at three thirty.

"I could have walked home with the guys," Dawn said for the eight zillionth time. "I don't need a ride."

"Buffy thinks you do."

"Buffy thinks lots of things." Dawn rolled her eyes. "Dawn's too young to date. Dawn's too young to make breakfast. Dawn's too-"



"I think Buffy just thinks that a mile and a half is a bit much for you to walk."

"Well, I think that Buffy's gone crazy lately."

"Why's that?"

Dawn rolled her eyes. "Have you been at Tara's every night lately?"

"Not... every night."

"Right." Dawn flounced, as much as she could do so while strapped into the passenger seat of Giles's car. "All that she does anymore is stay in her room, listening to the same stupid CD over and over."

"Dawnie, is this your hatred of Cibo Matto again? Because your lack of taste isn't really a sign of your sister's insanity."

"No, Willow, this is a problem. Really. We may have to stage an intervention."

"What is it, Dawnie?"

"She's been listening to Britney Spears, Willow. For hours on end."

"Britney Spears? Buffy? Really?"

"If I hear 'Hit Me Baby' one more time..."

"Dawn, has Buffy been... talking while she's in her room?"

"Are you kidding? If I get within, like, two feet of the door, she yells at me to go away."

"But does it sound like she's... you know. Talking to anyone?"

"Honestly? She sounds like she's been..." Dawn trailed off, embarrassed.

"Been what, Dawnie?"

Dawn's face blossomed bright red. "Like she's been doing what you and Tara do together when you think I'm not listening. But with herself. And it's like all the time. It's sick. It's like she's addicted to... Do you think there was a succubus? Giles said that succubi are real. And this is the Hellmouth."

"Hey, Dawnie, relax," Willow said gently. "You learned about masturbation in sex ed, right? Or from listening to Anya?"

Dawn tried to look indignant. "I'm fifteen, Willow. I know what masturbation is. And I know how often is... normal. I think." She frowned. "Is seven tims a night normal? Oh, god, am I abnormal? I knew it! God! Why don't people tell me these things?"

"She's probably just frustrated. You know what Faith said about slaying."

"That it makes you want to curl up in bed with a teddy bear?"

"Um, yeah. Exactly."

Willow's words seemed to calm Dawn, but they only temporarily masked the fear the young witch was feeling. Willow had experimented with a lot of things in the past few years- werewolves, BDSM, lesbianism, tennis rackets- but masturbating seven times a night wasn't normal.

Especially since Willow didn't think it was really masturbation.

She went to the attic of the house, and it was just as she feared; the Buffybot was no longer in its corner.

Willow wanted to curse herself for leaving the batteries in, but realistically, she knew it wasn't her fault. How could she have guessed that her best friend would decide that her ideal sexual partner would be herself? Buffy never even set off Willow's gaydar.

You think you know a person...

Willow sighed. Dawnie was too young for this, and she really didn't want to get Giles or Tara involved. Tara thought she had destroyed the bot, and Giles... well, it would be icky to talk about this with someone that old. That meant it was her responsibility to talk to Buffy. She swallowed, gathered all her energy, and went to Buffy's door.

She knocked loudly: once, twice. No answer. "Buffy, it's Willow. I need to talk to you!" she called. "Buffy, this is important!"

She listened carefully. Buffy didn't even acknowledge her, but she did seem to hear a "Mmm, just like that" in Buffy's voice.

Definitely the Buffybot.

Sighing, Willow muttered the words to a spell, and the door swung open. Willow really, really wanted to be surprised at seeing Buffy lying naked in her bed as an identical naked figure buried her head between her legs. She really did not want to admit that this was what she'd been thinking about since Dawn planted the seed in her head, or worse, since the Buffybot had been created. As an erotic fantasy, sure, she could deal with this. But the more it became possible, the closer to reality it came? Well, it was more than a little creepy. It was kind of like the guy who broke his neck trying to give himself head. Frankly, Willow didn't want to deal with it.

"Buffy, stop," Willow said, as commandingly as possible, as soon as she flet she could speak.

Both girls turned to her at once. They moved like a single unit. "Hey, Wills," said Buffy guiltily.

"Hello, Willow! You're my friend, and you like computers!"

"Well, yes. Yes I do. Thank you for remembering. But that's not the point, because this... this is sick, Buffy! This is sick and this is wrong!"

"Willow," Buffy said slowly, "This isn't any sicker or wronger than you being with Tara."

"Yes! It is! Because Tara is human! And she's not my doppleganger!"

"Didn't you strip your doppleganger naked and put on her leather bustier?"

"That's not the point!"

"Willow, I'm just going to tell you this once. This isn't sick, and this isn't wrong. I'm in love with her."

"You realize that she's an it, right?"

"She's a she, Willow. And she gives very good head."

"Well, sure, until she runs out of batteries."

"Please don't talk about her like she's just a vibrator. I love her."

"Why? How? How can you love her? She's a robot!"

"She's more than a robot, Will."

"We're very pretty," the Buffybot explained. "And we're both recently gay."

"I just... did you ever look at someone and realize that they had everything you wanted?" Buffy asked.

I've never seen her this happy, Willow realized. She frowned. Of course, that could be because her boyfriends all tried to kill her. "Buff, are you sure-"

"I'm positive," Buffy said calmly. "I love her."

"Then why have you been hiding your relationship with the b- with her?"

"Because I knew you'd be judgmental like this. I love you, Willow, but you're just... well, you're not open-minded."

"I dated a werewolf and a witch."

"But judgmentally!"

The Buffybot frowned. "Willow, you date girls. Do you not like me?"

"No, I like you very much. And I hope that you're happy. But... well, you're having sex with yourself. You realize that, don't you?"

"I'm very pretty," the Buffybot repeated. "And I have nice hair. And I can have sex during the day."

"Well, that's a very good feature of yours."

"I'm fully equipped for nighttime sex, as well."

"I'm... that's great."

"I also like better music than Spike does."

Willow closed her eyes for a moment, then slowly reopened them. No, this didn't seem to be a dream. "Really?"

"Yes. Spike only listens to Billy Idol, and that's..." She frowned and turned to the other blonde.

"Loud and trashy and emotionless," Buffy filled in helpfully.

"Yes! Exactly that."

"Very good, sweetie."

"We have much better taste," Buffybot said proudly. "We listen to good music."

"Lately, we've been listening to some modern classics," Buffy explained.

"Yes. It's very enlightening. But I think we're prettier than Britney is. She bleaches her hair," the Buffybot pointed out.

"So do you!" Willow exploded.

"No, we just do highlights."

"Sure, of your whole head!"

"Willow, I'm really not comfortable with your speaking to her like that," Buffy said, frowning.

"Buffy! She is a robot! She is a robot I repaired solely for the purpose of having a backup Slayer, and instead of being saved in case of emergency, you're using her as a sex toy!"

"Willow?" called Dawn from down the hall. "Are you here?"

"Yeah, Dawnie, one sec!" Willow frowned deeply at the Slayer and the Slayerbot. "Buffy, your little sister is in the next room. Does this not bother you?"

"She dealt with Riley."

"Riley was human!"

"Willow, I asked you nicely not to speak that way about her. She's just as human as I am."

"Are you a robot?"

"Will, I just need help on a- whoa."

Willow spun around to see Dawn, her hand clenched tightly around a textbook. Her grip slipped and the book fell on her foot. Dawn barely seemed to notice. "Dawn?"

"Why are there two Buffies? Was there a multiplying spell? Why are both Buffies naked?" Dawn frowned. "There are two Buffies, right? I'm not just imagining this? I mean, I passed my vision test-"

"Definitely two of them, Dawnie. One of them's a robot."

"Oh, Spike's Buffybot."

"I'm not Spike's!" protested the robot. "I belong to Buffy, heart and soul."

"You don't have a soul!" Willow pointed out. "You're made of wires!"

"Wires and love."

"I told you something weird was going on," Dawn said to Willow.

"I know. You were right."

"The kids already talk about me. I live with the crazy lady and the two lesbians. Do you know what this is going to do to my reputation?" Dawn was turning colors.

"Dawnie, this isn't about you," Buffy said patiently. "This is about me and my love."

"Buffy?" Dawn said carefully. "Buffy, are you possessed?"

"Of course I'm not possessed! How can you even ask that?"

"I thought it was a reasonable question," muttered Dawn.

Buffybot frowned, confused. "I don't think anyone thinks Buffy is a possession, Dawn. But legally, Buffy owns you."

"She does not! She's my guardian, not my..." Dawn trailed off, then began again. "Never mind. Can you, like, put on clothing? One of you? Both of you? Because I don't really want to see my sister like this." She turned to Willow. "Maybe I should just come back later. I can hibernate for a few months, at least."

"No, Dawnie, it's okay. Buffy's just going to have to stop having sex with herself."

"I'm not having sex with myself." Buffy frowned. "I'm having sex with my girlfriend." Buffy walked over and hugged the Buffybot tight.

"She's a robot," Dawn and Willow chorused.

"A robot who looks exactly like you, Buff," Willow continued. "Do you not understand this?" She squinted at the pair. "Buffy?" Her eyes went from one to the other. "Buff?"

"We're the same, Willow. That's why we're in love," they said in unison.

Dawn leaned over to whisper in Willow's ear. "Um, maybe it's just me-"

"No, I can't tell which one's which either."

"Then how can you condemn our beautiful love?" one of them demanded.

"I'm no more or less human than she is," the other agreed.

"We're one being in two bodies. One beautiful, perfect, lesbian being with very good hair."

Willow rolled her eyes. "When did Buffy become a Platonic scholar?"

"Um, Willow, there's not much platonic about-"

"No, Dawnie. Like, relating to Plato. Origin of Love."

"Oh, like that song in Hedwig?"

Both Buffies smiled at that. "I love Hedwig!" one of them squealed.

"He's so cute! I mean, she is! I mean-" the second one floundered.

It was the perfect opportunity for Dawn and Willow. "That one's the Buffybot, right?" Dawn asked, pointing.

"I thought it was the other one," Willow said with a shrug.

"It doesn't matter if I'm made of flesh or metal," one of them said. "My mechanical heart beats only for her."

"That one's the Bot!" Dawn said immediately.

"Dawnie, I know this is hard for you," Buffy said patiently. "But you just need to understand that love knows no boundaries. I'd thought I knew love with Angel, but he lost his soul. My girl here? She understands pleasure."

"Oh, ew," Dawn muttered, closing her eyes to shut out the images that were suddenly flashing towards her.

"I'll never again need to worry about my mate losing her soul."

"That's because machines don't have souls," Willow said.

"Willow, that's bigotry!"

"That's science."

"Well, science this then!" Buffy said. "I have a soul. And she was made in my image. So she has a soul."

"Buffy, you're mentally scarring your sister," Willow said. "And we don't have the money for therapy right now." She frowned. "Okay, Buffy, get dressed, please." Willow gritted her teeth and tried to stay calm as they got dressed. She was well aware that only her and Dawn's presence was keeping them from getting back together, and frankly, it was icky.

When both Buffies were dressed, Willow turned to the one she was fairly certain didn't have a Radio Shack lifetime guarantee. "Now, Buffy, you're coming with me."

"Okay," they both answered.

"No. Buffybot, you stay with Dawn. Please."

Buffy looked upset, but the Bot smiled. "I like Dawn. She's my sister, and also the Key."

Dawn glared daggers at Willow, but forced herself to smile at the robot as her sister sullenly followed the witch out of the room. "That's right," Dawn said. "I'm your sister, and the key. And you like to buy me shiny things."

The robot considered this, and then smiled. "Yes! Yes, I do. You're my sister, and I enjoy purchasing shiny things for your amusement."

Dawn smiled. Okay, so her sister was dating a robot who was, for all intents and purposes, her identical clone. Things could be worse.

Maybe this way she could finally go on a date.


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