By Kita (Donna M.)
TITLE: Of The Beast
((Four Parts, same plotline. Buffy. Spike. Angel. Darla.))
AUTHOR: Kita (Donna M.)
EMAIL ADDY: Kita0610@aol.com
RATING: Hard R for yuck and violence, some het and m/m, f/f slash sex, references to rape, some non-con sex, and some references to beastiality. Yes, beastiality. It's implied. It's mystical. It's still rated R.
TIMELINE: Takes place after Redefinition and Checkpoint. Some spoilers for all eps til then. All is fair game.
SUMMARY: The nature of the beast within us all. Four viewpoints. Two male, two female, two Sunnydale, two LA. (For the IMPROV list, each has *one* of the necessary words.)
DISCLAIMERS: I don't own any of 'em. If I did, I wouldn't be pondering existential crap like this. I'd be waaaayy too busy keeping the boys happy.
DISTRIBUTION: Lists, archive as desired. All others, please ask. Thank you.
THANK YOU'S: Maayan, My Jess, Lar, Kass, Sam and Te. Who all said, in one way or another, that I could do this. And Puca for kicking my butt in the beginning.
FEEDBACK: Are you kidding? I'm not above beggin.
``So, you ever have that wolf dream, B?``
Startled by the conjured half-memory, she shook her head. ``No.`` Too fast, too obvious, and Faith caught it. Raised one dark brow, licked her over-red mouth.
Thwarted from her attack of sarcasm by an attack of the fanged variety; the conversation and the company blessed dust for the evening.
She hasn`t thought about since then. Buried under the avalanche of Apocolypses and College Calculus, the Initiative and Insta-sister, it remained, an untouched icon.
She was in a forest, and it was a night without a moon. The trees were so thick she could not even find the stars. She was not afraid.
In a small clearing she saw them, circling a large fire. There were at least eight of them, in every size and color she could imagine. Their paws shuffling along the fallen leaves made a noise like the rustling of large, soft feathers. They made no other sound, but she heard it anyway. They called to her. They called her by name. She wasn`t afraid.
She walked toward them, to the warmth and the light of the fire, and she shed her clothes. Leather jacket, blue jeans, white tee, cotton underwear. She pulled her boots off last, and dropped them as she went. The biggest one lifted its head and scented the air as she came closer.
When she stood before them, she knew what they were. Not werewolves nor witches, not men in shapeshifter`s clothes. Wolves. They weren`t even pretty to look at, really, except in that distinctly predatory way. The way that fear looks pretty on the face of an enemy. Thin, almost bony frames covered in fur matted by blood and dirt, with eyes ranging from yellow to orange in the fire`s glow.
He lifted his head once more and looked right at her, his teeth covered in shiny spittle; the scent of blood, rotted meat and the hunt on his jowls. And she wasn`t afraid.
She laid down there, by the fire. And when they took her, one by one, it was she who howled.
She thinks about it often now, alone in the darkness with no male arms around her, and the sound of chopper blades repeating in her ears. She thinks about it all.
How Faith wore her sex like armor. Daughter of fire and flames, kisses like hot, wet silk. Just once; before he returned from Hell. Buffy remembers feeling almost clumsy next to that self-assured need. Grave soil and bits of crisp, broken flowers in their hair, taste of salt and buttered popcorn on their skin. But loneliness was never assuaged in that embrace. It was doubled, multiplied with every breathy moan, every stolen graze of fingertip on flesh. She thinks about that too now, and realizes it could have been different..could have been...comfort. But she was too afraid to lose, and Faith was too afraid to win. And then it was just too late.
The first time with Angel, tender and sweet and glowing like copper pennies. She watched his face when he came; his eyes pressed shut, his soft mouth open, expression strangely unguarded for one fleeting moment...and she still remembers thinking, ``oh..*that`s* what this is...`` Thinking that the next time they made love, she would be less nervous, less self-aware, and she would feel that as well.
There was no next time with Angel, at least not the one she thinks of as...hers, and the irony of it is not lost on her. Least of all the fact that she had her first climax in his arms only after she goaded his half-conscious alter ego into feeding from her.
Laying there on cold stone, beneath his weight pressed full upon her, listening to the wet sounds of her life being suckled away. The scent of burnt leaves. Taste of his sickness and poisoned sweat.
There were cruel fists in her hair, and a sharp knee between her legs, and the hands that stripped her from the waist down were cool and implacable. His first thrust forced her back into a bow.
And she wrapped her legs around him, and she howled.
Since then, since those bittersweet nights of secrets long kept, there has been only the wolves.
Once or twice, she had come close with her new lover. When Riley would accidentally hold her wrist too tightly at her side, or nibble too earnestly at the soft flesh of her shoulder. Not the neck. No, never there. Sacred ground and icons.
But she would never tell him, never dream of whispering those words. (Please can you..won`t you...please...harder...)
How could she phrase such a need? Blond, gentle, eager Riley. He would never have understood. She stopped faulting them all for that a long time ago. For wanting her to carefully tuck away the darkness when she was finished walking inside of it, for needing to be shielded from the complete reality of who she Is.
//Keep your Slayer friends out of our dreams//
//Willow wanted me to tell you to kick his ass//
Yes, yes, save us from the boogiemen won`t you, but please cover their faces when it is done, and not too many war stories in our presence, ok?
Yea. Truth be told, it still burns a bit.
Still, she can`t fault them. Because even she can`t wrap her mind around the Primal of it, except inside the gateway to half-sleep, when she is only twitchy Id.
Because she loves them all, she does; and so she lets much go. Lets it go because Willow smiles like sunflowers, and smells like white sage, and dresses like the Salvation Army exploded. Lets it go because Xander has the softest eyes, and the biggest hands, and he makes her feel safe by standing next to her, even though he can never offer her any sort of real protection. Lets it go because Giles had stepped into her life with a seamless grace, and she never had time nor inclination to mourn the lack of a true Father when she had one in him.
She loves them.
But they are so fragile.
Their bruises remain purple and yellow, their flesh criss crosses with silver scars, their bones shatter and take months to heal, and...the delicate bodies which house those she loves, they are all just so damned easy to break.
And she has read all the books which Giles thought he had so carefully hidden; she knows she is destined to die young, knows she is already the oldest walking Slayer. But next to her kith and kin, why, she is practically invincible. And to love them too deeply means to mourn their loss when they pass, and she just...there just isn`t time. No time for her to weep or to sow.
Of course *they* fear the darkness, of course they loathe the pain. For them, it heralds only endings.
It used to mean the same to her. She thinks she remembers...
No. She cannot recall for certain when her paradigm shifted so irrevocably that her nerve endings began to equate pain with pleasure. She is only aware that by now the need is shamefully familiar. She wonders sometimes if it is braided into the loops of her DNA, whether right next to the gene for Leaping Tall Buildings and Executing Flawless Roundhouse Kicks lies a chromosome made up entirely of thorns.
Born to slay monsters, hardwired to stop world destruction. Her legacy on this Earth not of creation, but annihilation. Why should bedroom be different than boardroom?
//Death is your art. You make it every day with your hands.//
Damnable crushing accuracy.
//I can lie to everyone else, but I can`t lie to myself. Or for some reason, to Spike...//
As much remains true, but it is the old half-truths and double entendres she dwells on now. In her empty bed these nights, with the time to roll them each around on her tongue. Their thick, unfamiliar flavors, sometimes, almost too much to bear.
Spike`s sucked in cheeks and fluttering dark lashes, his dropped tone and clipped, accented speech. Familiar flirtation to her now, but then, directed at another, she had missed its significance. In what remained of her innocence, it hadn`t even dawned...
//It don`t work that way no more, *Peaches*//
She had watched Spike and Angel fight one another and fight alongside one another, effortless grace and violent polish, never once acknowledging the whiplash of blood through her veins at the sight.
//Where`s the Great Pouff?//
Their shared history, so long and so hungry; how could she have *missed* it? What must once have been, without posturing or pretense between them. Sharp-toothed, punishing kisses and long, muscled limbs entwined. And it is the vision of them of fastened together, it is the image of their faces twisted in ecstasy, which raises the strangled cry in her throat when the only hands between her thighs are her own.
She knows there was a time when such fantasy would have horrified her. When in sleeping dreams she saw windmills and party dresses, not wooden crossbows and piles of ash. When intimacy meant sloppy kisses and groping hands over the mis-buttoned silk of her blouse.
But she *knows* so much more now, she knows so much more than she *wanted* to, and how can she be expected to UN-know it all?
Her righteous anger at Angel upon seeing Faith in his arms. Her ritualistic maiming of Spike. Cover the darkness, hide it away.
//You are not the source of me.//
A masquerade of light.
Angel thought that his leaving would force her into the Sunshine, but he hadn`t understood. That the darkness inside of her would not be banished by his sacrifice, by his will. That there are certain covenants which warmth and light simply cannot displace.
Angel. Faith. Spike. Herself. They have all shared what becomes the ultimate intimacy. And she knows now that it has nothing whatsoever to do with embraces, be they chaste or lust-filled. It is neither about saving lives nor souls. It is not about love, or friendship.
It is about the fellowship of Brutality.
//That final gasp, that look of peace//
It is about being The Bringer.
//The bloodcry, the penetrating wound//
They have each wrapped their arms around Death`s neck and they have..//danced// with Him. They have slept and cuddled and kissed and *fucked* on that godamn bed of bones.
So she will not kill Spike.
Because he is Angel`s familiar, and hers.
Because when he fights alongside her, guileless and savage, maybe for one single instant of grace, she feels just this much less the animal.
Because he is right, he has always been right, about every accursed thing.
Because she can love honey colored tussled hair and strong shoulders to lean on, she can enjoy ice cream flavored kisses and the most reverent of caresses. Because, oh, an adoring touch will lead her to the abyss, a fervent whisper of her name from between clenched teeth will make her crave the leap...
But it is only ever the invitation of violence that will make her *fall*.
Continued in OF THE BEAST II: SPIKE