Disclaimer: Yeah, yeah, nothing belongs to me except the brain in my head, and that’s for sale. And the T.S. Eliot stuff fell in as a joke.
Rating: R for language (yeah, there is sex stuff referenced, and I say f***, deal)
Summary: Takes place after "Wrecked", cause I loathed that episode and the lame addiction parallels. Much more complicated than that, luvs! This is as happy as I get with fic. For me, this is downright fluffy. Oh, yeah, it’s Buffy/Spike.
Dedication: Starr and Will, and also to those anti-B/S’ers I love to debate with, who should be able to read what they want to into this.
Searing, swollen, she waits for the mental compromise. The sweet justification that wouldn’t seem to come. No, there is nothing rational here, no semblance of normalcy or of that-which-she-was to bear intrusively down, asserting itself into some solution. No answer that supposedly clicked in one’s head. It should have come by now…like those optical illusion puzzles, which were supposed to form some sort of clear picture if you held your eyes just the right way…and then …pop! There lies clarity. There lies…something. Something other than me on the floor in a pile of rubble with…
Okay, she is not thinking of that. She is going to wait for the eureka moment, the flick of the switch where everything falls into place.
Her body feels tight, tense. Muscles locked and frozen, the cramping in her legs so far progressed that it no longer felt or hurt, just tingled lightly. She has to smile internally as she pictures herself from an observer’s perspective. A small statue of a girl younger than she looked, frailer than she was, a girl huddled in a surrounding mass of crosses and garlic. Surrounded by the trappings of her trade, which….but no, no she wasn’t. Not her trade at all. Garlic and crosses, indeed. The internal smile breaks through, bitterly. Her, the Slayer, hiding amongst defensive ruins of protection, in a feeble attempt to retain a grasp on her identity. Not to keep herself safe from any demon, but to be safe from herself.
It was going to be a long night.
Sighing, she watches the second hand of the clock move. Three eighteen and eleven seconds…twelve…thirteen. She begins to count the mississippis with every stroke, a mind-numbing mantra that lasted until four twenty-three and seven seconds. Her ears register the small whimpers that floated through the walls from the other room…her mother’s room. Were they her cries too? No, she was long gone, too distant. The cries would not register here.
A small sob escapes her own throat. The incredible, unstoppable guilt…bad Buffy, bad. Yes? Of course yes. If she had only been here, her sister would never have been hurt, right? If she hadn’t been off reveling in her own destruction, being all reckless, and icky…. Her fingers traced over the wood of the cross, running continuously over the parallel grooves of the woodgrain. Yes. No. Maybe. Sigh. Whimper. Tick.
It wasn’t working.
Cool lips could feel so warm, you know, after hours of wet kisses. Soft little nipping kisses, and achingly hard kisses that threatened to smash mouths into pieces. Cool fingers could seem so alive and sensual, after thrusting into her body, teasing her, trailing her own damp warmth down her inner thighs. Not dead. No, definitely not…who am I reassuring?
She rests the cross against her forehead as she gathers her knees up closer, still feeling the tendrils of soreness creeping through her muscles. He’s not going to come here, she thinks, and wonders why she wants him to see….what? See how much she doesn’t need him? Well, then she was making a pathetic show of it. See how much she does? Then she wouldn’t be here, he’d give her another release in exchange for any crumb she’d throw at him. No, that wasn’t it at all. That is not what I meant at all…
Why was she doing this? He wasn’t locked out. And it would make her laugh inside for him to see her like this, and knowingly mock her halfassed defenses with one of those infuriating barbs of his. Then she would be ready, she could stake him once and for all then. But only after, only after.
She plunks the cross down heavily on the nightstand, and hears the crack of wood upon wood. He wouldn’t come, anyway, who was she kidding? This show wasn’t for him, but for herself. A cheap, dime-store version of the Dracula tale, all minimalist prevention and nonsense. Was the great seducer going to crawl through the window, scattering the false trappings away with a snarl and a knowing smirk? Hardly. And if she was in any real danger she’d just have had him de-invited. Again. Though it might be worth it for the look on his face, smug bastard. She folds her arms, annoyed now, because she was going to have to go to him the next time, for anything. He had made that clear enough. God, there was such hatred in his love.
She smiles, taking cruel pleasure in any thought of it. He loved her, oh yeah he did, she was sure of it now if she hadn’t been before. It was all-consuming for him, bundled up in passion and violence and something….fragile… that she didn’t quite understand. But it was there, flooding from every aspect of him as he willed that wave to crash down upon her. It was there in the fierce way he grasped at her, and in the way she had almost made him sob as he looked directly into his eyes, rocking against him as the world fell on top of them in a ruination of existence. And she had reveled in his pain as she fucked him, so beautiful in his intensity. What did that make her?
Certainly not one for garlic and crosses (in the mud?). But there they were, a testimony to her own fears, a penance for her own transgressions. She suddenly felt self-conscious and silly, just as she had when she had awakened…there, like that. No, this was wrong. All wrong, she had it wrong…
She was wrong. Isn’t that what he had said? And the words had burned her, cut into her as his words always did, because they melted through pretense and straight through all defenses. She hadn’t felt the same, after returning, and had been playing at normalcy. And there was that nagging difficulty….
If she was wrong, and had done this, she had no reason to feel the guilt. But if she wasn’t, and had still done this, by choice…
She shakes her head, but the memories and sensations still crowd her. Addicted to his body, his pain, her own, reveling in it and needing it…no, this wasn’t addiction. It was a fucking nightmare. Because she felt emotions in shuddering waves that came and went. Not love, but something. Her degradation had been his, her ecstacy, his. The blurry lines of her power and control over him fading into the shocks as he had made her come over and over again. And then, in his freakishly twisted way, he had denied her any more of himself, until she would admit something back. Just who the hell did he think he was? She was the one who would determine….everything…
She beats the door open, as usual, landing a few well-placed kicks on the stone and wood, even though she knows he doesn’t respond to it anymore. No, he’s all set up downstairs with his knives and stakes, daring anyone to challenge him. He’ll never look at me the same way again, she thinks, flushing. Always right, he’s always right, things have changed. Frustrated at the emptiness that greets her, she makes her way down the ladder, to the place he usually resides now, all homey and comfortable in a sick, junkyard mockery of human existence, parody that he was. Whether a parody of a human or a demon, she couldn’t decide.
He’s curled up under his blankets, eyes shut, a slight smile playing over his face. Oh yeah, he’s awake, and he knows it’s her. This was going to be his game, then. And how the hell did he ever get that bed in here? Through the tunnels? It certainly didn’t come through that hole in the ceiling…
"Forget something?" he asks, eyes still closed. "Or did you just want to…"
"Oh, shut up," she silences him, exasperated with his tone. It was always the same with him, that infuriating, deliberate cockiness. He really did get off on annoying the hell out of her, and she has to smile, enjoying the familiarity of it. Rolling her eyes a little, she sits down on the edge of the bed, grateful in the security that he knows enough not to make a move. The move is hers, now, he left it that way, relinquishing control by giving her back her own. When did I lose it?
His eyes flicker open, and she gives him her sardonic almost-smile, that one of understanding but not-quite-friendship they used to share, before she had torn into his mouth out of the desperate need to feel. It doesn’t seem so desperate, anymore.
"Just here for the free show, then?" he asks. "Cause I haven’t gone and hired myself out as an attraction to vampire addicts, yet." His tone is light, jesting, apologetic. As if to make up for the way he had spoken to her before, in his own obnoxious way.
"There’s so much," she begins, her words tentative. "I don’t even really know." She looks around, taking in very little, just searching her thoughts. Her hand plucks at the cloth of her pants. "Thanks for…umm…taking care of Dawn. You know, after."
"Yeah, well," he says dismissively, trailing off and sounding tired. "You know where to find me and all."
"Only because you never leave," she says sarcastically, noting with pleasure that the comment elicits a small smile from his lips. Relaxing a little, she kicks off her boots and leans back onto the bed, her eyes roving the mouldering ceiling. "Is that stable?" she asks, blushing a little as she jokes.
He looks at her curiously, his head still on his pillow. "So what’s this all about? Cause I told you before, no more of this hot and cold crap, or I'll.."
"Shh," she whispers. "Don’t worry. It’s something different this time. I’m not sure what, but…" she breaks off, threading her fingers through his hair as she curls next to him, such that he can rest his head on her shoulder. She can feel his muscles tense a little, as from someone expecting to be hit. "I’m just…I needed to give us something, okay?" Her voice is soothing, confident.
"Okay," he says, almost reluctant, still sleepy. His arm snakes its way around her waist, relaxing. "What’s that?"
"Morning after," she mutters, kissing his forehead lightly as her fingers continue to stroke his fine hair. Her body settles against his and a sigh escapes, as her eyes remain open, studying the shadows within shadows that fall around the room.
"It’s still the middle of the night, pet," he says in soft mockery. "It’s dark."
"It always is, Spike."