by Sienna



E-MAIL: sienna_tainted@email.com

DISCLAIMER: I own nothing, as usual.

RATING: light R, maybe. Dunno.


THANKS: to Copper, for being a such a goddamn sweetie.

SYNOPSIS: The night before.



We had been patrolling for close to five hours.


You greeted me at my door with a small smile and a kiss, which easily became three soft, loving ones, causing my nerves to buzz with excitement and liquid heat to shoot through my veins. Kissing you felt like there'd been something amiss since I saw you last night. It was an incredible relief to feel your cool lips pressed against mine...the end of a long drought.


We spent an hour before patrol at the Bronze, without my friends, for once. I pulled you near the stage and you enfolded me in your arms protectively. It made my chest ache, the way you held me so warmly, knowing that no one could arouse such intense love by merely holding me. I felt small and safe against you.




You are my favourite place to be.


You held my face and kissed me with soft lips as we danced, and everything around me disappeared....the music, the crowd, the background murmurs and clinks of cue balls and glasses of beer...leaving only you and me and the way you made everything so perfect simply by being.


We walked hand in hand through the cemetery, the ghosts of feverish, night-long make-out sessions and soft, comfortable talks everywhere I turned. Strange, how much had changed, how much we had changed. We are so much older, so restrained.


When had I ever been so satisfied with simply holding your hand?


We passed a timeworn mausoleum that had watched many of my kills -- the one you pressed me up against so long ago, kissing me fervently, your hands loving my face...breasts...hips...sliding around to caress the bare skin of my back...


Nostalgia was sifting through my thoughts, a rollercoaster of memories and sweetness and passion.


By early morning you were ready to turn in for the night, telling me twice that the only vampire I was likely to pummel was you. I only glared, pulling you close with an arm around your waist.


"Is that a dare?" I teased, after you said it the second time.


"You need to get some rest. It's after two," you chided gently, already leading me out of Restfield Cemetery. I yielded reluctantly, disappointed that our night was coming to an end.


As we walk now, I lace my fingers through the hand you slid around my shoulders, my other arm beneath your jacket, my fingers hooked through your belt loops.


Everything seems to be crumbling around me. Faith is against us, a once powerful ally now a violently dangerous enemy; the mayor's impending Ascension; the doubts you feel that I sense in my heart, the way you think that you're not good enough for me, that perhaps we don't have a future.


Your uneasiness scares me most of all. Your eyes seem to shutter your thoughts within you and it hurts that you won't let me see what you're thinking, that I can't comfort you.


I desperately want us to be the Normal Couple. Mom would badger you every time you pick me up for some together time; she'd disapprove of our relationship and lecture me about protection as I roll my eyes at her bluntness; we could enjoy romantic weekends out of town; we'd spend hours at the beach or the park or simply enjoying one another's company; hours making love; hours dreaming about our future together with giddy happiness.


What is most unfair is that everyone can enjoy this, except us. It's not unachievable. It's not climbing Mount Everest or winning the Nobel Prize. It's simply loving, and being loved in return.


The prom is coming up this week. It's the only thing I can look forward to, this normal girl stuff I've been waiting to do forever. And you'll be there.


You'll be there in a tux, looking the way you do.


We deserve one irresponsibly romantic night, with dancing and kissing and spiked punch. Unless, of course, sometime between now and then, the world ends or I lose all my hair or I die a Slayer-y death.


I could hardly be called paranoid.


I feel a profound need to keep you beside me as long as possible, as if I have to savour everything one last time. It's ridiculous, but it's there. I don't want you to walk me home, tuck me in, and leave me unfulfilled with a tender kiss. I don't know what I want -- or rather, I do, but that is forbidden and delicious, something I'm not permitted to enjoy. You are my deepest desire, and something inside me screams that I'm losing you.


We're both silent for the moment. Our feet are moving exactly in time; I subconsciously lengthened my stride to keep pace with yours.


There has been little room for denial in my life. You were a vampire, I accepted it. You lost your soul, I accepted it. I had to send you to hell, I accepted it. We couldn't touch, I accepted it. You were in pain, I accepted it.


I accepted everything, no matter how heart-wrenchingly painful it was, no matter how much I hated it.


Now I have to accept this awful feeling inside me, the one that taunts me with thoughts of impending agony. It is a small, untrustworthy feeling, but it's there, a tiny knot of terror in my chest.


I dismiss it for the moment and listen to you talk about how beautiful Ireland is in the spring. You know so much, you've experienced so much, and it's easy to feel young and unsophisticated. But you never make me feel that way; instead, I feel infinitely fortunate for moments like these, that I'm able to listen to your voice, your words weaving detailed, sun-kissed scenes in my mind.


"You should take me there one day," I say, knowing it is close to impossible but letting it slip out anyway. Then I wonder if it will make you sad and automatically want to take my words back.


But you smile, tightening your arm around my shoulders, murmuring, "I'd love to," into my hair.


Seeing you smile makes me smile and I sigh, wishing for the billionth time that you were human, even just for your sake and not my own selfish reasons. I push away the melancholy thought as quickly as it had come, not wanting to dwell on the possibilities once more, telling myself that I should be grateful for what I have with you, that you could still be in hell and I could be a grieving shell of myself forever, pain and sorrow carving out my heart and insides until only my skin was left to represent my existence.


An empty vessel without you to fill me.


That was a lonely, painful thought, and I press a kiss to the back of your hand, held tightly in my own. In return, you kiss my temple, reaching around to hold my cheek as you do.


"Let's go to your place for a while," I suggest, the cool gentleness of your hand and lips on my face making my cheeks flush with heat.


"Buffy, you should get some sleep--"


"Please?" I ask, stopping to look you in the eye.


You pull me beside you and we're walking again.




I grin, pleased with my little victory, despite its apparent ease. I can't bear to leave you tonight.


You feel unfailingly solid against me, and I can feel your powerful muscles work as you move. You make me feel warm. Safe. Always safe, something I desperately lack when you're not around.


When you're not around. It's an unbearable notion. Sometimes I need to sneak out at night to hunt in a futile attempt to ignore my relentless need to see you, touch you, longing to crawl into your bed and--


And let you do everything I know you've been wanting to do for much too long.


You let me enter the mansion first, removing your leather coat and throwing it over back of the sofa. My heart rate suddenly speeds up, as it often does when we're in an intimate situation. I smile coyly, holding my arms up to you when you turn to face me. Your mouth quirks in a smile and you slide strong arms around my waist, your cheek soft against mine.


I sigh contentedly, feeling as if I'd been holding my breath for an eternity. I am unceasingly grateful for this contact, and I savour the feeling of your chest pressed tightly to mine, my arms wrapped around your neck. After a while, you withdraw, kissing my forehead, your lips lingering.


When I open my eyes, your gaze is filled with heat, stirring a deep longing within me. You slowly unbutton my coat, pushing it off my shoulders, your fingers sliding down my arms. I'm already breathless, watching the concentration on your face, wanting you so badly my body is screaming for even the slightest measure of relief.


I arch up towards you, desperate for a kiss, holding your hips for balance. Tentatively, you brush your lips against mine, your fingers holding the ends of my hair. My heart is pounding now and a small, needy sound slips from my throat. You do it again, just touching your lips to mine, nothing more, and I let you, waiting. You bury a hand in my hair and kiss down the bridge of my nose, the dip above my lip, and finally, my mouth. I'm trembling from the sensuous reverence with which you touch me, powerful emotions swirling around our forms like mist.


Love. Passion. Worship. Lust. Need.


I kiss you back slowly, gently, and your lips part easily, letting me explore your mouth with sensuous abandon. I remember our first kiss, the urgency, the desire that seemed to snap to the fore the moment our tongues touched. I had never been kissed so hungrily, so deeply, before. You plundered my mouth and I fell into you forever, knowing true passion for the first time.


You once told me that passion was everything, and it was only you who showed me exactly what you meant.


Our kisses become more voracious, just like that night, and I can't think, can't move, my heart thudding against your chest. All I can feel is your body pressed against mine and the fire that always flares within me when you're close.


You are very, very close now. In fact, to be closer you would be inside me.


My whole body burns for you -- my fingertips, my lips, the heat between my legs, the blood in my veins.


You begin to back me up, half-carrying me to the sofa. I can't help but moan against your mouth when you settle on top of me comfortably, your hips somehow secure between my thighs. I'm not sure whether you did that on purpose, but thankful, nonetheless. It's been so long since we've been together like this -- like before.


Before everything.


I finally break the kiss, breathless. Your eyes are still closed as you gather your bearings, your forehead resting against mine.


"I love you," I whisper, kissing the first thing my lips make contact with -- your bottom lip.


"I love you," you answer fervently, opening your eyes. Your lips are warm and wet from kissing me, your thick hair slightly mussed from my wandering hands, evidence of your arousal pressing into my heat.


You see the awareness on my face and sit up, leaving me bereft. I let you go reluctantly, unwinding my arms from around your neck, knowing you're uncomfortable and not wanting to ruin this moment we're having. I've done it before and I regret it every time.


Like the first time my hand brushed against your sex, accidentally, I grew flustered and you chuckled, a little uncertain; a few days after that, when you told me you couldn't have children and I rambled, trying to tell you that it didn't change anything; when you came back from hell and we almost kissed -- my distinctive memories of that day were that you were shirtless and I was fairly dripping with lust while we were practising tai chi; or when you came back from hell and we did kiss, passionately, enjoying every moment of it.


This time, I will remain calm.


I sit up and kneel beside you, studying your brooding profile. Pale, beautiful skin that I know is just as beautiful beneath your clothes. Dark eyes I fell in love with when we met. Sexy cheekbones. I smile inwardly at my choice of words. Then again, you have sexy everything, and it's unfair that you're so tempting because I want all of you.


I touch the back of your neck, running my fingers caressingly through your hair. You turn to face me, surprised. Maybe you're surprised because I didn't ramble, or become flustered, or try to flee. I lean over and kiss the corner of your mouth luxuriously.


"I love the way you feel," I say into your mouth, then add, "About me."


You laugh gently, relaxing, pulling me closer by the waist so you can kiss me fully. I adore that sound. I adore your soft, talented lips.


I will always adore you.


I pull away slowly, placing two more kisses on your mouth before moving off the sofa to stand in front of you, holding out a hand. You take it, your large hand consuming mine, and I lead you upstairs.


"What are we doing?" you ask warily.


"Just a nap," I promise, pushing open an elegant oak door to reveal the darkened quarters of your room. I don't mention any time I might be getting home, because really, I want to stay the night with you. I want to wake up in your arms, like the aforementioned Normal Couple. I want you to be the first thing I see when I wake up.


You don't object, which is unexpected, though I can tell that it is on the tip of your tongue to tell me that you should take me home.


Neither of us want that to happen.


You close the door behind us and my heart intensifies the already strong thumping against my ribcage. You seem larger in such a confined space, even larger still in my bedroom. Sometimes I wish I were taller so that I could reach you, but you seem to like my height and I keep my mouth shut.


Grinning, I toe off my shoes and step up onto your bed, looking at you from my new height triumphantly. You're wearing that little half-smile now, like an old friend, and move to stand in front of me, your eyebrows raised.


"Hey," I say softly, still smiling.


"Mmm," you murmur, before capturing my lips. I lean down, holding your cheek. Your fingers slide down the side of my neck and your lips follow, sipping at my skin. I croon, delighting in your attention, wanting to remove the sweater that moulds itself to your body so well. I want to be moulded around your body, envious of that piece of material.


Not allowed.


Your tongue touches the hollow at the base of my throat and I exhale deeply, a trembling breath, wanting this to go on and on, never wanting you to stop touching me. I drop to my knees, bouncing a little, then move back a bit to give you room. There is a hesitant flicker in your eyes, and I smile easily, pulling back the quilt and lying down. Finally, like you've just realised what's happening, you slip in beside me, reaching out a hand to stroke my hair when you're comfortable.


I want to make love to you more than anything. I'm drowning in your warm, dark eyes, watching the way your gaze travels over my face, like you're trying to imprint every detail in your mind. I know because I'm doing it now.


I touch your chin with my thumb, stroking your jaw line, running my fingers along your earlobe. You purr, deep in your chest, so it sounds almost like the beginnings of a growl.


Memories of our one night surges into my mind like a flood, and I swallow reflexively, my vision filled with images of you moving above me, your eyes closing as you climax. I can still hear your moans.


I want to see it...do it all again until we both can't move or talk or stay awake any longer.


You kiss me over and over, gentle kisses that make me love you even more, a feat I thought was impossible.


"You're so amazing," I murmur, smiling at you, blinking sleepily. It's warm in your bed, soft, and my tired body relishes it.


"I was thinking the same thing about you," you say softly, holding me against you with a firm arm around my waist. I move even closer, burying my face in your chest. You stroke my hair, causing my body to become relaxed and pliant. I sigh contentedly.


"Love you," I mumble, wrapping an arm around you as well so that we're cocooned cozily against one another. Your lips touch my eyelid and remain there, your nose brushing my forehead.


"I know," you whisper, so quietly it's more of a soft breath against my skin. It's becoming too hard to fight off exhaustion, and before my mind slips away, I vow to keep you with me for always.


I don't care what you think. I know we will make it.


How else would I survive?





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