Summary: There are all sorts of demons.
Author Notes: For Shrift & Nestra & Te
Story Notes: The "other" is for implications that might be upsetting for abuse survivors. This is a few years after "The Gift".
Disclaimer: Not mine. This is not for profit, but for love.
"I want you to do it," and the words are blasphemously beautiful coming from between her innocent lips, her pomegranate mouth. They break him in two, tear him right down the middle. He shudders with ravenous hunger and gut-churning nausea in the same split-second.
"What the bloody hell are you saying?" he demands, reaching out, his hand covering the scars, hiding the memory of his shame, hiding the memory of her blood ... falling. Red, jewelled, pulling the world apart.
"I want you to do it," she repeats, holding the other wrist out, sliding it over his parted lips, and the smell of her, jesus, the smell of her makes him hard and hungry and his tongue comes out and laps the raised white skin, the cool slickness of it, searching for the heat just underneath. She shudders, moans a little, pushes her wrist up so that it catches and the scent of blood is suddenly thick and heavy in the night air. He pulls away, glares at her, Big Bad at his baddest.
"You don't know what you're asking. You think you do, but you don't." He grabs her shoulders, shakes her with surprising gentleness, his fingers oddly tender on her easily bruised skin. "All you do is wake up monsters, little girl, not lay them to rest."
Her laugh used to be sweet,a little silvered; he finds he misses it terribly, finds that he hates this low, bitter crow-girl chuckle. "I know all about monsters. Gods and demons and witches and assholes who say "call me daddy" and take the locks off the bathroom door when he meets the new foster kid. There are all kinds of monsters out there," and for an instant he sees the ghost of bruises underneath her eyes, the shadow of blood where her legs show beneath her short, short skirt.
He feels it surge in him, feels his face shift. "Fucking bastard. Fucking, fucking bastard. I'll rip him a new fucking asshole, I'll eat his fucking throat out...!" and feels the bloodlust, feels a hunger that has nothing at all to do with appetite. He pictures the slick, smooth man in his split-level home nailed to the fucking front door, his guts wrapped around his throat and he is allowed to kill monsters, he still has that, and quite suddenly he wants it more than anything in the world.
Her hand on his brow, on the curled snarl of his lip, forestalls him, holds him as surely as chains, as little metal slivers in the brain. "There will always, always be another monster," she says, and they both know it's true and he was never really that good at lying, not when it counted. He is a bastard, a bloody, murdering bastard, but he has always been up front about it.
"Just ... do me. And then ... let me go," and her eyes plead with him, beg him and he has lived long enough to understand that sometimes the cruelest things are the greatest kindnesses.
And the thought of it only breaks his heart, not his brain, and that as much as anything tells him more than he wants to know.
So he pulls her in, and he kisses the scars on her wrists, the first scars, the last scars and all the ones in between. He lets his mouth drift up, slide into the hollows of her elbows, her shoulders, the dip between her apple-ripe breasts. Her breath is fast and dizzying and this will be sweet, it will be sweet, it will be as close to a faery tale ending as anyone in this fucked up Hellmouth could ever get.
He might not be prince charming, but she is ... she is still a princess beneath the sackcloth and ashes and the weight of knowing come too early. This could be beautiful, it will be beautiful. He will, for once in his godforsaken life, make it beautiful
When at last his teeth break through her sweet, innocent flesh she is adrift and dreamy on his shoulder, her eyes for the first time in over two years neither wary nor sad beyond bearing. He bites his tongue, offers a last salt-sweet kiss before she closes her eyes. He feels her heartbeat slow, feels her body cool to room temperature, and he holds her, holds her close and tight and does not let go of her until her eyes open, until she pulls away and sits bare and white and watchful. He just smiles, then.
"Is that what you wanted, love?" he asks, and she nods, gravely, seriously.
"Almost," she says, standing, holding out her hand. He takes it, follows where she leads.
He can taste Dawn on his lips, taste dawn in the air as they find their way to the grave. She sits down upon the grassed-over mound, leans against the stone. She pulls him down for a kiss, then pushes him away. "You'd better go now," she says, but he shakes his head, slides in behind her so that his back is against the grave marker.
"I promised your sister I'd stay with you," he says simply, and he pulls her back against him.
It hurts far less than he would have expected, far less than the sorrow in her eyes.
It is almost, he thinks as searing flames engulf them both, burning all misery away, a happily ever after, as close to a faery tale ending as one could hope for.