Red, Red, Red (A Sorta Fairytale)
SUMMARY: In bocca al lupo. Crepi.
AUTHOR’S NOTES: This is much, much more sexual than I’d originally intended. I hope you like it anyway, Lee! Also, limitless thanks to myhappyface, beta reader extraordinaire.
PROMPT: Written for southernbangel for the 1st annual oldschoolbtvs No School Like the Old School Ficathon.
She is busted sneaking into her room in the early hours of the morning, dawn bloody on the horizon, still wearing the raw scent of arousal like a cheap perfume. Her mother misses the smell that Buffy is sure clogs the air, Agent Orange, but she is severely grounded. Not so badly as during the Era of Ted – no nails in the windows – but still, pretty harsh lockdown. After two nights missing Buffy due to her actually obeying her mother for once, Angel comes to visit. He ends up crawling through her window and into her bed without too much convincing.
“I don’t want to get you in trouble,” he murmurs, his lips frost-burning hers, her jaw, her collarbone, even as he lets her lead him down from the windowsill, as he lets her draw him onto her mattress, on top of her, against her.
“Trouble? No trouble. I’m not breaking any rules, and the door’s locked—”
Angel’s mouth stills in the bowl of her collarbone. His whole body is still for a moment, and he exhales a harsh breath: not a sigh, but laughter.
“So your mom won’t disturb us,” he says.
Buffy tries to meet his eyes, to reassure him that Joyce is in a deep, reliable Ambien twilight; but his head is bowed, his mouth twisted into something that might have been a smile, had his body not been so rigid and heavy against hers.
Buffy has been patrolling for over an hour with no trouble of any kind – she’d come across what she’d thought was a freshly-disturbed grave, but it turned out to be just an abandoned jacket – the first time she sees the animal. She is in Restfield Cemetery, walking aimlessly between the tombstones and twirling her stake like a miniature baton, when she spots a flash of gold eyes in her periphery. She turns, stake raised, muscles alive with purposeful fire.
Buffy has never seen a wolf before in real life. The animal, the silver-gray of unpolished metal, about half her height and most of her body weight, stands silently still, regarding her with its wild yellow eyes. It is frighteningly beautiful, and her heart races, unsure whether she is in any real danger.
She is nervous to be undressed in front of him, but his hands contain a subtle sorcery that she can never keep track of. While he drugs her with kisses, his hands loosen laces, work free buttons and snaps, separate cloth from flesh. Buffy awakens to find herself all but naked.
“Want you,” he growls against her, his touches growing insistent now, growing past the magic so she can feel them. Everywhere.
“Anything of interest on last night’s patrol?”
“I saw a wolf,” Buffy volunteers. She’s tired, and sore; Angel didn’t leave until the sky was smoky pale with pre-dawn.
Giles’s brow wrinkles. “A werewolf? Yesterday wasn’t the full moon, was it—”
“A regular wolf,” Buffy says. She uses her pen to carve out doodles on the slick, red surface of her French notebook. Stars, stakes, Buffy and Angel forever.
“Did he call you to the wild?” Xander asks, his grin lopsided and eager.
Cordelia rolls her eyes and elbows Xander in the ribs. Buffy’s nose wrinkles; the two of them together still gets under her skin.
“Xander, don’t be a doofus,” Cordelia suggests.
Xander continues as though he hasn’t heard her: “Did you dance with it?”
“Enough with the westerns, Dirty Harry! If you think we’re having another movie night ever, you can think again—”
“Dances With Wolves is not a western; it’s a story of redemption—”
“What was Kevin Costner redeemed from: proper hygiene?”
Giles is wearing his Out of Patience face.
“These excellent points aside,” he says dourly to Xander and Cordelia, and then turns his attention back to his Slayer. “You weren’t hurt, were you?”
Buffy looks up from her notebook. “Huh? Nope. Balto wasn’t there for a fight. We just . . . I don’t know. Faced off, I guess. But no teeth.”
Buffy checks out a book about wolves from Giles. It’s not unlike the nonfiction books she remembers using for reports in grade school: the sentences are all short and dry, and there are a lot of pictures.
A dominant wolf may stare down a submissive one, pin it to the ground, or ride up on its shoulders.
“Glad it didn’t do that to me,” Buffy says, thinking of last night’s visitor. Tall ears, keen eyes.
Plus, you know, the teeth.
An angry wolf’s ears are erect, and its fur bristles. The lips may curl up or pull back, displaying the incisors. The wolf may also arch its back, lash out, or snarl. A relaxed wolf’s tail points straight down, and the wolf may rest sphinx-like, or on its side. Relaxed or happy wolves may also wag their tails.
Convinced that her wolf friend wasn’t angry, Buffy abandons the text in favor of the pictures. She’s never really given it much thought before – she was never an animal-crazy kid; she’d never even had a pet that didn’t require a little plastic castle – but wolves really are beautiful, and she feels a primal connection to them. On the page, yes, but especially her friend from the cemetery. She feels special to have held audience with one.
Just, you know, not the teeth part.
Angel comes with her on patrol. For once, she’s less interested in finding an out of the way place to pull him to the ground and suffocate him with kisses than she is the actual hunt.
“It just stared at me! It was gray and had yellow eyes, and we just looked at each other for a long time—”
Angel slipped his hand around her when he met her at the Sunnyview mausoleums, and now Buffy is tugging him through the cemetery like a child navigating a bemused parent through the zoo.
“Just one?” he asks, when she finally breaks her soliloquy.
“Wolves are pack animals. It’s strange that you only saw one—”
Buffy wrinkles her brow. “Huh. Then where’s the phrase, ‘lone wolf’ come from?”
“I don’t know,” he says, and then his big hands encircle her waist and pull her close, and she forgets about it.
Wolves acting unusually within a pack, such as those crippled by trap or gunshot, are usually killed by their own pack members.
Buffy tries to read her wolf book, but her mind’s all cluttered with other thoughts. Angel thoughts. Last night, they patrolled together, fighting in perfect symbiosis. A dance of metal and wood and preternaturally strong muscles. Afterwards, sweating and exhilarated, Angel walked her home and spent at least twenty minutes properly kissing her goodnight.
It’s getting harder to say goodnight. It’s getting harder not to think of him. He’s taking over every aspect of her life, changing her behavior, crippling her, a disease she’s glad there’s no cure for.
Her mother is out of town on a buying trip. Angel feels guilty about spending the night in Joyce’s absence – something about taking advantage of trust or something; Buffy isn’t really listening – but Buffy manages to turn him around to her way of thinking after not too long or heated an argument.
The thin metal spires of her headboard dig so hard into her palms that her hands are numb, but she’s afraid that if she lets go, she’ll snap in half with tension. The way Angel looks at her, though, she knows that he’s very appreciative of the manner in which she’s splayed herself across the musk-sweet mattress: arms stretched above her head to the headboard, legs wide to allow him access. She is a compass; a starfish; a shining, bright diamond of the night sky. This is wrong; she knows it’s wrong, that she shouldn’t be doing this, that if her mother or Giles or anybody knew the things she is letting Angel do – the things she wants him to do – they would be shocked. They’d think differently of her. He’s old, too old for her, and he’s a vampire. Vampire; Slayer. It’s not supposed to work like this.
But it does work like this, so much smoother and brighter and more wonderful than the alternative, the furtive glances across the Bronze or the battlefield, no touching allowed. The way things are supposed to work out doesn’t quite fit; it’s clunky and falls off a lot.
Which leaves only this.
She hasn’t let him remove her panties, but she’s beginning to regret that decision. There’s an undertow pull from her womb that’s all his fault; he’s snake-charming her desire from her, to whet his own.
Her thighs are trembling, and pocked with a constellation of pleasure and pain: little red stars and livid crescent moons. Angel’s flat human teeth, as well as his lips and tongue, have traveled this land again, and again, and again. When he kisses her now, she tastes the memory of blood.
Angel spent the night. All night. When she woke for school in the morning, he made her breakfast. Angel was tranquil and languidly graceful in the morning, and not a bad cook. Buffy ate his eggs and flirted with him, and missed homeroom entirely because it had only been right to take him back up to her room and tuck him in, send him back to sleep with an orange-juice-and-toothpaste kiss. Well, she’d meant for it to be just one kiss . . .
“Buffy. Buffy. Buffy!”
A noise in her periphery pulls her back to health class. Willow is leaning over her desk – uh-oh; things must be serious if Will isn’t perfectly at attention – to whisper harshly at Buffy.
“Huh? What? I’m here.”
“You could have fooled me!”
Buffy frowns, and Willow immediately feels bad and adds, “You’ve just been, you know, Miss Stratosphere all morning.”
“I am not. I’m . . . maybe I’m concentrating on the lesson, did you ever think of that?”
Willow’s mouth quirks into a knowing, playful smile. “Buffy, I’ll give you five bucks if you can tell me the subject of today’s class.”
Buffy squints at the chalkboard, at a cartoonishly round, illogically proportioned figure that – presumably – Mr. Whitmore had drawn to illustrate a point.
“Um . . . today we’re talking about . . .” She squints harder. It doesn’t help. “Elephants?”
“In health class?”
Buffy’s face falls. “Yeah, okay, so not paying attention. I’m just a little sleep-deprived—”
“And daydreaming about a certain vampire.”
Buffy can feel the blush rush to her cheeks. “No, I just—” Willow grins, and Buffy gives it up. “Shut up.”
Angel’s hands are on her breasts, insistent and ungentle. Buffy is sweating and writhing desperately, stupidly into his touch; stupid because she wants him so badly that she’s rocking like a jockey in his lap, when she could just take it – let him take her – and extinguish the ache. Angel’s hands are on her breasts, and his face is buried against her throat. She isn’t scared. She wonders if that is stupid, too.
Angel growls, a low purr that fills his chest and rumbles against her, through her weak flesh, like his heartbeat does not. Angel is panting though he doesn’t need the air, and Buffy can feel him hard against her leg. Sophomorically, she is proud that she has this effect over him, that she is so beautiful and so sexy as to arouse him. But the grounded, adult part of her recognizes that it isn’t anything she’s done, not really, no skill that she’s acquired. And it recognizes that she should be afraid, because she has no idea how to restrain him, and no idea of what to do if Angel stops being stupid and takes her.
Angel growls again, and the sound vibrates along her temple. Angel’s teeth, his human teeth, fasten on her earlobe, tugging at the flesh, the tiny gold rings looping through her cartilage. She remembers getting her ears pierced the first time, six years old, after begging her mother for months. Nothing had ever hurt her as bad as the gun punching metal through her child’s flesh, and she cried and cried until Joyce bought her an ice cream in the food court.
Buffy thinks of Angel’s teeth – not his human teeth; his fangs, long and shining and scalpel-sharp – sinking into her. She doesn’t think she’d cry.
Practicing with the broadsword after school. She bests Giles by a large and vigorous margin three times before he requests a break. But she doesn’t want a break. She is flush with energy, ready and eager to go go go.
Buffy pesters Giles until he stops his break halfway through a cup of tea, and then disarms him with such force that his sword ends up imbedded in the collection desk. Giles is still picking himself off the floor when someone enters the library on little cat feet and deftly removes the blade from the wood.
Buffy smiles. “You any good with that?”
Angel turns the hilt in his hand, adjusting his grip. Buffy has a strong, fleeting muscle memory of what his hands feel like on her body, and shivers. Shaking, she grounds her stance and grips her own weapon tighter.
“Not bad,” Angel says, and in a blink, a whirlwind, they’re in the middle of the fight. The swords make high, staccato noises every time they come in contact; these notes become the harmony for the melody of the blades slicing through the air, the off-tempo bass of jumping and landing, the screech of moving furniture. Buffy has never fought Angel with a sword and she is sorry for this; he is beautifully graceful, and extremely competent with the blade. She finds herself defending instead of attacking, a position she is rarely in; he is literally keeping her on her toes. And off them—she avoids his assault by hopping onto tables, skipping over overturned chairs. In an attack that is both organic and masterfully tactical, Angel drives her up the stairs and into the stacks.
“Getting tired?” he asks. Buffy is breathing hard; Angel is not breathing at all, although he is slightly sheened with perspiration.
“Never,” she says, and takes the offensive and the element of surprise, suddenly charging him. Angel’s eyes widen for a moment, but he’s too fast and parries exactly where he should. Buffy is unwilling to give up the attack and pushes still further, and in a moment they’re on the floor, books raining down on them from the shaken stacks, swords still in hand.
She finally lets Angel take her panties off, and, if she were able to think about anything at all right now, she’d be mentally kicking herself for waiting so long.
His mouth is cold, but it’s talented, too. He is considerate and diligent and pays enormous attention to detail, and Buffy is almost certain that she’s going to die of a heart attack very, very shortly. She wishes she knew more prayers than oh my god oh my god oh my god, oh Angel!
When she comes, for a minute she is sure that she is dying, and for a moment there’s terror beneath the debilitating pleasure. But then her orgasm rolls away, and her body feels leaden and sore but very much real, very much alive.
Angel stays between her sweat-slick thighs. He is looking up at her now with his dark, fathomless eyes, and he is unconsciously stroking her left calf.
“You okay?” he asks. His voice is low and hoarse, as from overuse, even though he hasn’t spoken for nearly an hour. His fingers draw small circles onto her calf, and the bruise between her legs begins to pull again.
Buffy can’t seem to fill her lungs with enough breath to speak, so she just nods. Angel crawls carefully over her. He is still fully dressed, and his clothes tickle her ultra-sensitive skin. She shivers.
He lays himself over her, resting on his forearms. What weight he leaves to her is reassuring, but his touch is maddening. He looks calmer than Buffy’s ever seen him. He appears so relaxed that Buffy imagines, with post-orgasmic logic, that if she touches him, he’ll give way to her fingers, like a liquid.
She tries to say, “I love you,” but all that comes out is, “I—” and then a sigh. She can’t breathe, and it has nothing to do with bearing Angel’s weight.
His mouth falls upon hers, and she is surprised because he’s warm from being against her, inside her, for so long. His mouth is raw with the heat and he tastes sweet and briny and faintly metallic, and Buffy flushes all over the moment she realizes that she’s not tasting him; she’s tasting herself. Angel milks kisses from her like he needs them to live, and Buffy is more altar than actual participant. Then his teeth graze the supple flesh of her bottom lip, devouring her, and she remembers something.
She pushes him gently away, and looks into his bottomless eyes.
“I want to see you,” she whispers. Her fingers trace the lines of his bone structure: the overhang of his brow, the dip of the corner of his eye, the unyielding angle of his cheekbone.
Angel almost smiles. “You don’t see me?” His kisses her again. “I’m right here.” And again, and again.
Buffy takes his jaw in both her hands, arresting his movement. She kisses him on the lips – once, softly, too short for him to reciprocate – and then turns his face away from her. She removes her hands, but he stays still for her, a styled and obedient mannequin.
She places her hands on his broad shoulders for leverage and presses another soft kiss to the rounded end of his mandible. She lingers a moment there, waiting for him to move, but he doesn’t. Her fingers dig into his shoulders as she sinks her teeth into the sensitive hollow below his jaw, where a pulse should throb.
She doesn’t draw blood, but Angel tenses, exhaling sharply. When she releases him, he turns to look her in the face. His eyes are spooked, desperate with an emotion Buffy isn’t sure she understands.
“Don’t,” he says, even though she’s let him go.
“I want to see you. All of you.”
The liquid is completely gone; Angel is tense and drawn, unequivocally stone. His head lowers, and his hands have balled into fists.
“You don’t know what you’re asking.”
Buffy sits up, forcing Angel’s head up, forcing him to his knees before her. “Show me.”
Angel is so quiet and still for a moment that Buffy isn’t certain he’ll do it. But then his face ripples, his eyes glinting gold, his fangs shining even in the low light of her bedroom.
“Is this—” he starts, but Buffy has captured his mouth with hers, is kissing him so insistently that his fangs cut both of them.
When Angel tastes blood, he tenses even more – Buffy would not, a moment ago, have thought this possible – and his hands curl tightly around her triceps, hard enough that pain spikes through her arms. He grabs hold of her and lowers her back to flat on her back beneath him in her bed.
She patrols alone again, but this time she is not lonely, and she thinks of nothing but the hunt. She feels pleasantly cloaked and insulated by her willing silence, by the cool and dark night. She feels a soft wind brush across her bare arms and is reminded of catching fireflies as a child, when night was forbidden and magic.
Buffy has almost crossed the boundary separating Restfield from land that is just land. Her mother keeps saying that any day now, someone’s going to swoop in and develop here, but Buffy doubts it. There is an inherent power to cemeteries—just like there is an inherent power to her. The earth was changed, changed to become something beyond what it once was, beyond what most people or places can ever be. Magical. Special. It isn’t coincidence that buildings built by cemeteries always fall into ruin; the magic spoils them, rots the walls, the hearts.
At the border, the wolf is waiting for her. His yellow eyes gleam in the moonlight, and his silver coat shines.
“Hello, puppy,” she says, and she lowers her stake. The wolf takes silent steps toward her.
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