Come To Me 

//It will never be enough//

 

 

AUTHOR: Leni   

DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Not yours. Not ours. (His)

DISTRIBUTION: Ask.

 

PAIRING: B/A, with heavy B/Aus overtones.

SUMMARY: Sometimes she hates to remember the past. But she does anyway.

RATING: R+.

TIMELINE: S3. 'Enemies'.

 

DEDICATION: For Lucey. This was written for her birthday. She celebrated her, erm, better I don't say how many candles her cake had... I'm under a death-threat here. lol. *hugs

THANK YOU to Hannah, for helping me with some ideas and a lot of support. *smooch*.

 

FEEDBACK: Please?

 

***

 

"Surprise me," he used to tell her. Oh, his face when she had thrown the phrase back at him on her birthday! Bittersweet memory, true, but there are times when she smiles at it. Maybe that had been the first inkling of what'd happen that night... maybe even without the Judge and the near-death experience they'd still have made love.

 

Or maybe they wouldn't have and she'd have never met the demon behind her boyfriend's soul. No, she doesn't kid herself with that. They wouldn't have kept from his bed any longer, not a month and maybe not even a week. Things had gone too fast, too far... It had been weeks before her birthday when she began wondering how it'd be to be with him, if it'd be as bad as her Sex-Ed teacher said or as good as the romance novels she indulged herself with.

 

In the end it had been so much better...

 

...and so much worse.

 

***

 

Sometimes she hates him.

 

She hates the way he looks at her as if she were a delicious meal on his table. She hates how she wishes that was true, that they could kiss so hard and so madly until he deposits her on that long table downstairs and sends her into oblivion again.

 

Then there are the times when he looks at her as if she were his goddess. She can't believe in gods and goddesses, but she desires to worship him as one. She wants to be a willing sacrifice under him, adore his body and name him Hers again.

 

She hates the way he touches her. Oh yes, he still touches her. Sometimes so lightly that she could almost think that his hands aren't there. Sometimes so harsh that she knows he's trying not to grab her and fuck her again. She can never understand why he must bury his fingers on her arms when he does not want her closer... but she won't complain when she sees the disappearing bruises on the next morning.

 

She hates the way he fights for her. How he'll defend her from the toughest demons and hiss "She is mine. My mate." to them as he'll never confess to her personally. But she relishes when she hears the words, just as she knows he intends her to.

 

She hates the way he loves her. She hates the way she loves him.

 

She hates how he can be so close and yet so forbidden. How can she restrain herself forever? How can she not want?

 

She wants to take him in her arms without fear. She wants to kiss him and see his unguarded smile afterwards. She wants her hands to travel over his body again, to learn of every muscle and every stretch of his skin. She would trace her fingers over his arm, drawing strange, mystical figures that will put his Gryphon to shame. She would memorise all of him, every movement and every sound. Once she thought she'd have all the time in the world to discover him, now, if she only had one more opportunity, she'd never do the same mistake again.

 

She wants to have him, and she knows he wants it too.

 

And she hates he'll never do anything.

 

And she hates she'd never let him anyway.

 

Or would she?

 

***

 

In her dreams she never stops him when he begins kissing her. Her subconscious won't let him stop either.

 

Sometimes she dreams that he comes into her room and awakes her with kisses.

 

She reaches for him with a whine, but he beckons her to silence and quietly puts the sheets aside. Just as noiselessly he lowers his body onto the mattress and spoons his body against hers. In her dream she can smell the cologne she chose for him and she falls asleep saying his name.

 

Occasionally she wakes up to find his scent on her pillow.

 

Sometimes she dreams that she's sixteen again.

 

They're in a park - no demons will bother them. The few they haven't slain are hiding in fear or behind a bottle at Willy's. Just walking, hand-in-hand, chatting carelessly about the first thing that comes to mind.

 

Many times, her dreams take her to that night when he was jealous of a dance. He'd tried to hide it, but she was thrilled to discover that, underneath the casual phrases and even more casual teasing, her two-hundred-years-old boyfriend was actually very jealous. She'd really kissed him then, harder and longer than any kiss she'd given before. Teasing him with her tongue against his lips, tracing it maddeningly slowly from one corner to the other, until his lips opened and he gave her free entrance. She'd shamelessly taken advantage then, doing all the little tricks he'd taught her and some she'd invented on the moment. He'd liked them all, he'd moaned and murmured incomprehensible words against her lips. They could have been English, French or Gaelic for all she cared, she only knew that he was so into her that he didn't care either.

 

Without breaking the kiss, the balance of power had finally returned to the one with more experience; she hadn't minded, not a bit. His hands had stayed obediently at her waist, but she still remembers her mewls when they accidentally caressed her side. "More," she'd muttered, half-dreading he would do it, half-hoping the same. He'd acquiesced, done it gently and leisurely. His thumbs had grazed her waist, tickling her as they searched the hem of her blouse. She'd shivered when he slowly began lifting it, pressing her mouth harder into his and looking frantically for an explanation to those feelings in the union of their tongues. In her dreams she doesn't fear anything when her back bumps against a tree. She never gives a start when his now-warmer fingers encounter the edge of her bra. She doesn't stop the kiss nor stare at him with innocent eyes. She doesn't say some witty statement that clears the mood.

 

Oh no.

 

In this dream she continues kissing him and won't stop until she feels her body snugly fit between the trunk and his body. He never stops, but he caresses her through the cotton, and she sighs into his mouth. She whispers "Undo it." without even meaning to, but as soon as the words are said she knows she's wanted this since the first time he kissed her. He doesn't say anything, just looks into her... his eyes are so understanding and loving and pleading that some nights she awakes startled at the knowledge that he could love her so much.

 

***

 

Those aren't her best nights.

 

She'll just pace around her room all frustrated and mad. The first time was the worst - she cried and cried, angry at her dream-self for forgetting that only in dreams can she have him again. And yet, she cannot blame her; she remembers clearly the first time she knew he loved her, and 'startled' didn't cover it. In those nights she won't find any rest in her bed - just seeing it reminds her of whom she wants to have there. Of how the dreams go on when she does not wake up.

 

She knows all the possibilities to that dream, sometimes she can't believe that her only night with him could give the material for them. Her rational side wants to blame the mushy novels she used to read - before it was too painful to observe how every princess had her own prince - but deep inside she realises that she learned it all from him.

 

***

 

He taught her how he liked to be kissed. Slowly but harshly. Lovingly but passionately. He wanted her to be spontaneous and, damn it, she was as spontaneous as a sixteen-year-old could be.

 

He taught her how he liked to be touched. He didn't mind to feel her nails on his skin. She had grinned - actually grinned - when he shivered against her as she trailed her fingernails over his spine. A shiver and a sound so delicious against her chest that she'd smiled in pure self-contentment, glad that at last she was able to make him feel what he did to her.

 

He didn't even flinch the first time she scratched him. She had been sitting on his lap, her legs around his body, resting comfortably on the mattress. They'd been making out for a long time already, she had found him training without a shirt and the situation had quickly escalated. He'd already put her shirt apart when it happened. She really hadn't expected it. His kisses were falling against her neck, just like always, then he had gone lower and lower, carefully manoeuvring her body so that he could reach the so far unexplored territory. She had closed her eyes in pleasure, the sensation of his lips on her upper chest new to her. But at the sensation of his tongue licking her - surprisingly bare - breast; she'd just... reacted. Two harsh twin lines and two lighter over his back. He hadn't even cried out. Instead he had just gripped her hips tighter and brought her closer to his own body. "You liked it," she had whispered in surprise and he never denied it. She couldn't resist the temptation of kissing him again; harshly separating him from her breast, she encountered his mouth with hers and didn't let him go until they were clinging as if they were each other's lifeline.

 

She still remembers how it felt to be skin-to-skin for the very first time with him. Her nipples had tightened at the contact with his chest, and she had yelped in their kiss when she'd felt him caressing her between her legs. It was strange to feel the cloth rubbing against her skin and know it was his fingers moving over it, knowingly tantalising every nerve she didn't know she had. Somehow she had moved under his ministrations, so that she was kneeling on the bed instead. The sensations of his caresses added to her own movement had been delicious. "Angel," she whispered hotly in his ear, nibbling at it softly, "Please," a hiss as she lifted herself so that her whole body would rub against his.

 

She only remembers an "Oh God", and will never place the voice as hers or his; maybe they both said it. After that, her back was against the mattress, and he was over her, his body still over her panting one. He only stared at her, his loving eyes looking searchingly into hers. "Please," she repeated, not knowing if it was the right time to take this step; but sure she wanted it. But obviously he didn't think the same. His face lowered and he kissed her as if he wanted to swallow her. He kept playing her body with his hands, once the fingertips carefully caressing, next gripping her with such force that she'd discover the evidences the next morning. And yet he didn't undress her anymore, he stubbornly kept caressing her through her pants, no whimpers and no pleas being able to make him waver and finally give her what she wanted.

 

"Come to me," she'd whispered finally, crazy with desire and longing to finally possess him and be His. He'd only shaken his head, denying himself and her, he'd peered into her with those adoring eyes of his and said "Not yet time, love." before taking her lips with his again. When he stopped he was fully lain over her, she had unconsciously secured him within her thighs. He felt so good against her that she almost cried. When he pressed his erection directly against her cloth-covered crotch she did yelp in surprise. "Shh..." He peppered her face with kisses, the strange words she'd heard before coming in-between. She bit her lip and let him do whatever he wanted. Just as she thought she was nothing but a breath of air in an isolated beach, she heard "Come, baby." and she let herself go.

 

***

 

That is one of her favourite memories in those dreamless nights. She plays it over and over in her head, sometimes adding a detail or changing the setting.

 

Other times she awakes when the sun is already up and her mom is knocking on her door. Then she understands that she was dreaming of the past again.

 

But she never tells anybody of these dreams.

 

Not her friends, she doesn't want them to be paranoid every time she's alone with her boyfriend.

 

Not Joyce. Her mother already detests him - why give her another excuse for her animosity?

 

Not Giles. He might be trying to support her, but who's ever understood a teenager in love? And who'd ever accept a Slayer in love with a vampire?

 

And definitely, in no way, shape or form is she telling him.

 

She's afraid that if she tells him about her dreams, he'll flee in the opposite direction.

 

She's afraid that if she tells him about her nightmares, he'll hate her for it.

 

***

 

Oh yes, her nightmares, can't forget about them.

 

They began shortly after she left Sunnydale, when she hid herself scared and trembling in the howling centre of L.A.. Everybody screamed angst and pain around her, one extra voice would never be noticed among them.

 

It happened the first night she wore her hand-me-down waitress uniform. She hadn't minded the loose-fitting blouse (Slayerness kept her slimmer than most girls) nor the too high skirt (against all probabilities, there was someone shorter than her), but when a drunken patron had grabbed her face by force and slobbered her lips and chin with beer-stinking drool, she'd freaked and run to the bathroom.

 

There she'd noticed it.

 

What her minuscule mirror in her room and the broken one in the staff's bathroom didn't show her.

 

She looked exactly like her.

 

The ill-fitting wardrobe, the disarrayed hair, the concealing make-up... she had become the mirror image of that waitress from so long ago (only three months) whom she'd rescued from...

 

(don'tsayhisname.don'tthinkhisname.don't!)

 

...him.

 

***

 

It had been one of those busy nights where demons seemed to flock onto the streets. She had just fought a pack of vampires, one of them foolish enough to attack her from behind instead of quietly retreating back into the night. The streets weren't familiar yet because she had just changed her usual patrol route. Her enemies had learned the old one yet again. The demons were smart things, she had noticed long ago that, if she stuck to a settled course, in less than two weeks she'd find nothing to kill. So that night she had gone to the edge of Sunnydale, the 'baddest side' as Cordelia deemed it.

 

There, walking past an alley she'd heard a soft cry. Immediately she'd set off to investigate. Be it a Luith or a simple vamp she was prepared for it.

 

But nothing had prepared her for her discovery.

 

There he was, kissing a girl and trapping her with his own body against the alley wall. Even in the darkness she'd been able to make out the girl's shabby 'Chicken Room' uniform, and the streetlight shone directly on her obviously dyed red hair. Whatever had caused her to cry out obviously wasn't distressing her anymore, as she kept clinging to him and moaning softly.

 

And he... He was wearing the leather pants she'd playfully chosen for her boyfriend (three months ago), the same shirt he'd worn to take her to the cinema, the same hairdo she'd adored for more than a year, and she could almost swear she could smell the same cologne they bought together at the mall... In that second there was nothing to differentiate him from her lover, nothing to tell her that the man caressing and kissing a stranger wasn't Her man...

 

...and for a crazy moment Jealousy stirred in her.

 

She strode to them determinedly, intent to stop that scene at once. If she had to go through them and rip them open just to exorcise it from her mind, then so be it. But the closer she got, the better she understood the situation. The redhead didn't seem to be participating at all. She wasn't clinging, she just hung limply from his grasp, letting herself be kissed. She wasn't moaning, she just mewled weakly when his grip got too strong.

 

The bastard had bitten her already.

 

The spell broke.

 

He wasn't Hers, she didn't want him to be. She hadn't had a vision of herself in that waitress' plight and she didn't want to claw her eyes out for occupying the place she belonged to. She didn't, damnit!

 

In a moment of blind fury she grabbed him by his shoulders and pushed him away from the girl. "What the f-," he snarled, "Oh, it's you," his voice a mix of curiosity and cruelty. She heard the girl's body crumple onto the ground behind her but she couldn't do anything about it. If she turned back for only a second... "Yes, me. Fancy meeting you here. No girls on your side of the town?"

 

He only smirked in response, not even bothering to answer. Two long strides brought him to a scarce half meter in front of her. She gripped the stake in her hand, reminding herself why she held it. "Oh lover," he tsked, "You'll play with me instead?" And without waiting for an answer he attacked her.

 

His first objective was, of course, the stake in her hand. Twisting her wrist until she cried out, he didn't loosen his hold until he heard the wood clattering on the floor. She punched him in the abdomen, sending him straight into some boxes. She never got to relish the sound of his body hitting the concrete. He had been quick, grabbing swiftly her arm again, making her tumble onto his chest. "Aw Slay-." She cuffed him in the mouth just so he'd shut up. He responded by sending her flying to the opposite wall, her body hitting noisily a trash can and making it fall.

 

She rose as soon as possible just to have him grabbing her shoulders, blending his lips to hers and hissing "Game's not over." into her mouth. With a last lick he disappeared from view, leaving her too stunned to react. What had just happened?

 

The answer was in the group of people coming from the restaurant, attracted by the noise of their little fight. "Hey! Whatever happene--- Oh God, Nella?"

 

She watched as a blondish guy had run to the girl's fallen form and kneeled at her side. She quickly assessed the redhead's state. "Nella? Baby, answer please! Nell?" She'd be fine. The bite was there, but apparently she was only his toy for the night. Oh, he'd have killed her, that was for sure, but not until he was done playing with her. Nella was lucky she'd arrived mid-game.

 

"Phil?" a feeble whisper strong enough to make everyone sigh in relief. Someone said he'd call an ambulance immediately. Phil took the girl's hand and kissed it, murmuring sweet, worried, in-love nothings. "I was so worried, I came pick you up and they told me you had left already..."

 

She blocked the concerned words of a concerned boyfriend. Her fingers unconsciously caressed the kissed lips. "Not over, Angelus."

 

The man who'd wanted to ask the blonde girl about the situation blinked. Hadn't she been in the alley just a second ago?

 

He couldn't have known she had a challenge to meet.

 

***

 

Her eyes had run startled over her mirror figure. They settled stubbornly on her blonde hair. She was blonde, she was blonde, she was blonde and not redhead and she wasn't lonely and helpless in a dark alley with a soulless demon in control of the situation...

 

...because she'd rid the world of him.

 

An angry knock had sounded before she gave free way to her tears. "What are you doing here, stupid?" a shout into her face as soon as she opened the door. Her boss was always adamant that this bathroom was only for customers. "You better get out right now if you don't want to go back to the streets."

 

She had breathed deeply, nodded and went back to work.

 

But the damage was done, that night she had maintained her eyes open as long as she could, nearly knowing what she'd encounter in the dream realm. Of course, not even a Slayer can fight off Morpheus for a long time.

 

***

 

In her nightmares she finds him again.

 

It's already past two in the morning when she tracks his steps down to the exact point where she knew she'd find him. That same alley.

 

There's nobody there by then, the redhead and her boyfriend are probably in the hospital and all the other men have returned to their homes. The 'Chicken Room' is closed until the next day. That leaves a Slayer and a vampire in a dark, narrow alley.

 

"You are late."

 

She nods. His words meant a date and she can't deny it anymore. "Had a run in with your sweet Dru," she announces. It's true, she spotted the brunette near the mall. But in her dreams she stakes her and is left pondering her last words: "It'll never be enough", before turning back and going find the next vampire, the next pretext not to go to her unwilling appointment.

 

It's his turn to ask for his protégé, or maybe to insult her with an "It shows." as he disapprovingly scrutinises her rumpled appearance. But this time he doesn't say anything witty, nothing to hurt her even a little bit.

 

There's only silence coming from her, too. She hasn't stepped closer since she recognised him between the shadows. She stays on the street, staring at his half-hidden leather-clad form. He always provokes her into fighting, and most of the times she takes the bait. Their bodies dance under the streetlamp, neither truly winning, neither truly losing. No word trespasses their lips except for unintelligible grunts. Here she punches him on his shoulder blade, making him stumble backwards. There he pulls her hair in a brutal movement, she loses her balance and the fist aimed for his mouth scrapes harmlessly against his cheekbone. He grabs her by the shoulders again, his movements exactly like before...

 

In other nights she feels too tired and too old to fall into his games, a bored glance is her only answer. Then he changes the rules, mentions the unmentionable and remarks how good a kisser she still is. "You practising with the mirror now?" She remembers his lips against hers, both in love and in... whatever this demon felt as he kissed her earlier. Probably she should attack him, either with her curled fists or with biting words, but she stays still.

 

He isn't pleased with her reaction, though. It's as if he wanted her to explode and make the world burn in her fury. He strides to her, and she is careful not to flinch when he grabs her by the shoulders again, his movements exactly like before...

 

It never matters how her nightmares begin, they always end in the same way.

 

He throws her to the ground, an exasperated sigh resounding between the brick walls. He grins above her, daring her to take her best hit at him.

 

She still doesn't say a word, but her eyes speak volumes from her position. They travel, against her will, over him - they go up his legs to the slim waist, then higher, widening at the stretch of skin displayed by the unbuttoned shirt. He's smirking when she reaches his face, and his next words always come in a conceited drawl. "Do you want me?"

 

Her body tenses at the bold question but the answer leaves her mouth anyway. Her "Yes." is only a whisper, but she could as well shout it in the immensity of the silence which follows. His eyebrows lift in surprise, but he doesn't have time to comment as she gets swiftly to her feet and launches herself against him.

 

***

 

Most of the times she thankfully wakes up in that moment... only to stay up all night with eyes wide open remembering how the sequence goes on.

 

Oh yes, she remembers it.

 

Sometimes she manages to bury it deep in her memory. But it always comes back. She can't even console herself with the knowledge that they fought, no, the second option is the real one. That night the only fight consisted in tearing each other's clothes off, struggling to be the first to undress the other completely.

 

She remembers kissing him, not the sweet, languid kisses she used to kiss weeks before. These kisses came with teeth and rage. She didn't care for loving or teasing him, she just wanted him to know that she was not a little girl anymore, and he shouldn't treat her as such. Did he really want to see a Slayer in action? Well, there she was. Clinging to his shoulders for dear life, her fingers deep into his flesh. Did he really want to break her? This was his best chance, as she offered her body to him so he could exorcise all her longings and dreams. And he did.

 

Oh yes, he did it.

 

He took her in his arms, his hands keeping her close, the distance so short that she was defenceless against him and he, helpless if she attacked.

 

And none cared.

 

He kissed her with wildness and resentment. He bit her lips repeatedly, sucked them into his mouth and then released them with a spat, as if he remembered whose lips he was taking. She responded in sort, never moving away when he tried to be dangerous, never fearing anything from her lover of a night.

 

Only one night. One night would be enough to keep their lusts dormant and go back to their enmity status. They had until dawn to remember that they had bizarre, new reactions to each other, they had hours to explore each one of them. From hate to simple dislike, from attraction to pure passion, from a memory to the bittersweet (hers), vindictive (his), denied (both) longing to be free again.

 

And for a lost moment - just one little second running scared after its mommy - she could have sworn they both loved this wild interlude.

 

Her fingernails travelled over his body, not teasing and never soft. She clawed at his skin, wanting to find the demon inside and toss him out. But she never could, and when she felt his own nails digging into her spine, she hissed against his lips. He traced her entire back, marking her as his own. She never cried out, not even when he gripped her thighs so hard that there'd be bruises the next day. Her bare legs clamped around his waist, rubbing against the leather he still wore. She whined pleadingly, he understood, lowering her back to her own feet. Seconds later the pants joined the jumbled pile of clothes on the ground. They stood still in front of each other, she only in her panties, her bra long ago torn and thrown away; he miraculously still clad in his shirt. She licked her lips in anticipation.

 

His hungry gaze sweeping over her body surprised her, did he really want her too? Because she did, and he was too clothed for what she had in mind.

 

Fighting off her apprehension, she drew closer... "Not fair," two whispered words as she ripped his shirt open, the blue silk caressing her hands. She shut up his angry protest with her fingers against his lips, then slowly traced them down his chin, his neck, caressing his chest curiously without forgetting a single centimetre. She wanted to remind herself how it felt to touch him, without fear and without fury prompting her. His sudden grasp on her wrist jolted her out of her contemplation, only then noticing that he'd stopped her hand just as it was grazing his pubic hair. She looked at him inquisitively, weren't all men supposed to like-?

 

With a swift movement he brought her tightly against his body. "Not fair," he mimicked wickedly and then tore her panties without warning. She wanted to scold him, but the words were lost in his mouth. She meant to knee him in the groin next, just to teach him that nobody played with the Slayer, but somehow the blow became a caress. He moaned then, looked at her with hazy eyes and caressed her knowingly downwards, until his hands fit against her bottom.

 

She didn't fight when he brought her even closer, letting his erection rest snugly between their bodies. A sound had escaped her then, something between a moan and a whine. She wanted him.

 

She didn't know for how long he had prepared this. For how long he'd known that they had to have each other again. She had known this would happen since the moment she saw him kissing the redhead. When her first response had not been to fight him off the helpless girl, but to kill her for daring to kiss this man. It hadn't mattered to discover the truth behind the scene, it hadn't mattered to see the bruised body of the girl on the ground afterwards. Why should it matter when that stranger had kissed the lips and touched the body which were rightfully Hers? Why should it matter when Nella had her own boyfriend and she only had a demon with the face of her love?

 

That's why she kissed him predatorily, because he was her demon even if he didn't want her. That's why she rubbed herself against him, demanding fulfilment and offering it. If she kissed him as if there was no tomorrow, it was because they didn't have one. And when she licked his chin tasting whisky and cheap whores, she didn't spit the taste in disgust but took it in to remind herself that this wasn't the man she loved. But for tonight he'd be the man to share her frustration and mad dreams with.

 

"Do you want me?" This time it was her voice asking. Husky and a little muffled against his skin.

 

His response was in the harsh twisting of her nipples, in the way his thigh intruded between hers and made her cry out. She hadn't intended it to happen so soon, but her body wouldn't obey her. She only remembers digging her nails deep in his shoulders so there'd be a link between her and reality. "What do you think?" he asked obnoxiously when she returned to her full senses.

 

Her voice was a pant, "That it will never be enough," and she bit him.

 

He moaned as her blunt teeth buried themselves unmercifully in his flesh, not deep enough to draw blood, but still enough to leave a wicked hickey for some days. "Don't tempt me," he whispered warningly. She raised her head and looked hard into him, her eyes reflecting the storm her body felt. "You're tempted already," she accused. He didn't deny it, but he didn't try to bite her either, and she knew he was too afraid of having a new Childe in his bed by the end of the night.

 

Time was a blur until the moment she felt the cold, damp cardboard against her back, her skin glistening with sweat under the light. Her body did not register the coldness of the place, on the contrary, she felt warmer than she had in ages (three months ago). She is still not able to remember how they got there, with her under him, her arms around his neck as they kissed passionately again. But she remembers her wild reaction as he entered her, breaking the kiss brusquely and searching the soft flesh of his neck instead. She remembers worrying it between her lips, licking, biting and kissing until she had felt him completely inside her. She remembers the sound he made, so like his souled self that she had almost cried. And when he kissed her, as possessively and nearly as unrestrainedly as on her birthday, she couldn't help but repeat the word she'd said that night.

 

"Mine."

 

His body tensed above hers. He scrambled back to his feet, leaving her incomplete and alone on the disarrayed boxes. His eyes were looking searchingly into hers, as if he suspected it was all a trap. "Come to me," she beseeched in a whisper, her body inviting and ready to welcome him. His pupils widened then, his memories obviously telling him that she had said those words before, with the same neediness even if not the same feeling.

 

And he came to her.

 

But only until dawn.

 

***

 

They never talk about that night. Just as they don't mention the Judge or her surprise party, or Jenny Calendar, or the body-snatching ghosts, or Acathla.

 

Sometimes she hates the fact that he'll deny it happened. But she mostly hates that he feels he has to, and that she won't take that first step either.

 

She definitely hates the fact that he doesn't even try to guess her thoughts as they walk. Of course, he must choose that exact point to ask her. "You've been silent tonight. Anything the matter?"

 

"Nope."

 

He just looks at her, his eyes probing but never demanding. "You sure?"

 

She ponders for a moment if she should tell him about her dreams and her nightmares but finally decides against it. Again. Instead she asks the other question which has been plaguing her mind since he told her they'd go out tonight. "What do you want to do?"

 

"Surprise me."

 

Her eyes widen and she gapes at him. He smiles at her. No, it's not like old times, but at least he's taking her to the cinema again. She grins, taking his hand in hers. "There's this foreign film..."

 

 

The End.

28/08/03



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