Playing by the Rules
Sequel to Phone Calls
Summary: The demons within and the
rules that guide them.
More B/S/A AU, post season 4 of AtS. I'm ignoring season 7 of BtVS. What
happened? Buffy and Spike have worked out their problems and live happily
together in Sunnydale. Angel comes to visit from time to time. (If you want to
know the details youíll have to read the other stories but this is enough.)
Season 4 of BtVS just finished airing here and "Restless" blew my
mind. Comparing it with the events of season 7 there are glaring
inconsistencies when it comes to The Slayer's origins. So, I came up with this.
Disclaimer: Still not mine.
Thanks: to my B/A girls: Sept, who
not only helped me overcome writer's block but also went way above and beyond
and did some amazing beta work; Xana, who read through some really weird first
drafts and still said "you go, girl!"; Chrislee, who I'm publicly
blaming for the explicit B/A in this fic - you are an evil influence!
I live in the action of death, the blood
cry, the penetrating wound. I am destruction. Absolute... alone. The Slayer
does not walk in this world.
-- First Slayer,
When you're a child, life is simple. The world is
defined by a clearly marked set of rules that establish order and
patterns.† You have a mother and a
father and they love you. You drink your milk, go to bed when you're told,
behave yourself. As you grow up you try to keep the foolish faith that there
are absolutes. You are the Chosen One. You are on the side of Good. Vampires
are the enemy.
Buffy holds no such beliefs anymore. Her paradigms
have changed often enough. She has learned to take these changes as they come.
And trust herself to make the right decision.†
With a bit of luck, she probably won't screw up too badly in the end.
Her life is, by her standards, remarkably normal. In a
very odd, twisted way.† She tends not to
over-analyse the fact that she's in love with two vampires. Because, one?
Vampires.† And, two? Plural.†
She tries very hard to ignore the fact that sometimes
her hands itch for the comfort of wood when they're around her, muscles
straining with the repressed need to pummel into flesh that should have long
ago turned to ashes. The rational part of her mind dismisses this urge - it's
just the primal power within her, the ever-present pull for destruction.
Deep down she knows better. She even thinks about it.
She feels strangely akin to these men.
Locked away in a Pandora's box inside her lie the whys. The knowledge that
there is pure, unadulterated bliss in the act of killing. That she's never
quite as herself as when she surrenders to the dance of death, body singing the
joy of completion as the dormant killer inside her awakens and she becomes the
weapon she's meant to be.
Only twice before has she felt this bond. Kendra and
Faith. Even her skin had screamed in recognition. Kindred. And the
fellowship and trust she had shared with those women, her sisters, remains
unparalleled. More than anyone else's, Faith's betrayal was the one that hurt
her the most. And that's her reminder, if one was ever needed, that utter surrender
is the path to madness.
Every night she fights her battles on two fronts. With
the demons outside. And with the demons within.†††
She thinks it's similar to what both of them
Vampires with souls? They are the ultimate freaks of nature,
always teetering on the brink of worlds. A mystery unto their own. She is the
She has learned to question the nature of things.
Appearances are deceiving.
Spike is a thing of beauty. Perfection made flesh and
flesh made eternity. Moves like a jungle cat, predatory and sinuous, flare of
hips and easy stride, all swagger and sensuousness. Yet, in sleep he looks like
an innocent. Stripped of leather and attitude, he is such a small man.
Buffy can't help noticing - they're all small, Angel's
lovers. She remembers Drusilla's a waif of a girl. Like some kind of delicate
crystal vase, she looked like she might break if moved too fast.† And Darla had been so lovely. So pretty she
managed to look graceful even in her Catholic schoolgirl outfits. Dainty little
Lethal killers, all of them.†
She looks into the mirror hung behind the bedroom
door. The one that only returns her own image. Dawn is gonna be so much taller
than she is. Like their mother. She wonders what strange combination of genes
clicked into place to make her look like this miniature of a woman. So slender
and deceptively fragile.
Angel's arms surround her and she leans against his so
much larger body, comforted by the familiar scent of soap and leather and
blood. So solid. So real. She closes her eyes because her mirror always
Did he hold them like this too?
What was it like back in the day? Are they that
Occasional flash of amber tiger-eyes, Angel's hand
curls possessively in the nape of Spike's neck. Sometimes, Spike shrugs himself
loose. "Hands the fuck off!" And sometimes, he drops back his head,
exposing the throat, lidded eyes and seductive smile.
Like some obscure ancient language, the codes of their
relationship remain ciphered.
The angels in her bed are of the fallen kind.†
There are hints here and there.
The gaze of adoration when Spike moves within her is
still the same. He holds on to her like a shipwreck survivor marooned on
undreamed island. Faintest tinge of dark despair in the poetry of his voice.
"Love you, love you, love you...."
What will he hold onto once she's gone? She fears his
soul won't save him, fragile, dangerous blend of strength and weaknesses he
"You'll take care of Dawn if something happens to
"Sworn it before. Still holds, pet."
"You will never ever turn her."
"I wouldn't! How can you think that?!"
He stares at her incredulously, as if she's gone
mad.† She doesn't doubt he believes his
own words. But the heart has reasons reason knows nothing about. And he's a
slave to his.
Angel is more secretive now than ever before. When she
asks about the agency, he says all is well and doesn't elaborate. Says he
doesn't like to talk about work, that he comes to Sunnydale for peace. Some
measure of it, anyway. Doesn't sound like a lie, but she can tell it's not the
whole truth either.
Lately he doesn't seem in control of his emotions. He
acts strangely. Fiercely protective, for one. She picks up his signature, that
special tingling in the back of her spine, at random occasions while she and
Spike are out patrolling. He jumps in mid-fight, snarling, and turns to them in
the end to check out if they've been injured, hands and eyes roaming over their
bodies and turning them this way and that. The first three or four times it
happened, Spike rolled his eyes, made a big show of hating it, muttered
"poof" and let him do it anyway. Buffy had just giggled.
Until the day they had to restrain him to keep him
from ripping to shreds some demon that had been lucky enough to get in a
particularly nasty blow to Spike's face, splitting his lip. Nothing much,
"Leave it be, Angel! It's dead!"
It took the two of them combined to haul him off the
His moods shift abruptly.
Soft rain of cool kisses down her thighs changes
suddenly to the scrape of fangs.
"You smell like him. He tastes of you." He
moves up her body and pushes inside her with little care." You think I
don't see you? The looks you trade?"
She tries to concentrate on his words through the haze
"Been fucking my boy while I'm away, Buffy?
Trying to take him from me?"
"What? Angel, what... oh God... yes...." And
then trying to focus "I mean, no!"
"No? Not fucking him? Trying to tell me he
doesn't do this to you?"† Tongue
liking the shell of her hear, hand reaching between their bodies, searching,
finding and pleasure bolts through her. Ridges brushing her cheek and that
voice, so close, so intimate.
"I know when he wants you. And I can tell when
you want him." The low rumble of a growl reverberates through her.
"Are you thinking of him now, lover?"
She freezes for a moment and then throws him off her,
shoving him away violently.
"What's the matter with you?" Screaming,
angry. She feels her hands close into fists, black tide rising, threatening to
But there are tears in his eyes. She unclenches her
hands and reaches for him, caresses his face. Gently.
"What, Angel? Tell me. Whatever it is you can
He looks so broken.
"I can't lose you, Buffy. I can't lose him,
"But you won't, Angel, you won't. We're right
He dreams of flowers and of a man with an Irish name.
Always the same name, whispered with such sadness. Another one of his ghosts?
She doesn't have the heart to ask him. She made that mistake before.
But he wakes up shaking and once, he did the weirdest
thing. She was only half awake and perhaps he thought she was asleep, breath
and heartbeat not betraying her, still even and slow. He turned to Spike and
burrowed his face into his chest and inhaled deeply. Scenting him. And then he
whispered. "Blood of my blood." Very quietly, like he was ashamed.
Later, she had wondered. What did he have to be ashamed of?†
After that, she tried to get some information. She
even did a search on the Internet but what she came up with didn't tell her
'Connor - of Celtic/Gaelic origin, meaning: strong
willed or wise; much wanted.'
Sooner or later they'll have to go to LA. Find out
what's happening. In the meanwhile, let him keep his secrets. Because crushed
between her and Spike, Angel foregoes his silence. He talks in moans and growls
and sighs and there's no need for words. There are answers to all the important
questions in the way he abandons himself, unguarded and wanting. There are
answers in the magic of his blood, tasted only briefly in Spike's tongue. His
soul already trusts them. Sooner or later, his mind will have to catch up.
If anyone were to ask her if she trusts them, the
answer would be, "With my life". Which is probably not wise. The wise
thing to do would be to stick to the rules. Kill them both.
But she was never very good at following rules. Or at
giving up. She won't give up on them - no matter how reckless that decision may
turn out to be. It would be like giving up on herself.†
"Come to bed, love."†
Come to think of it, she always did like to set her
I walk. I talk. I shop, I sneeze. I'm
gonna be a fireman when the floods roll back. There's trees in the desert since
you moved out. And I don't sleep on a bed of bones.
-- Buffy, "Restless"
~~ Finis ~~