Something Like Summertime
GENRE: Not fluff, but happy fic.
NOTES: Written for ljgould for her generous donation to the fire_fic fund.
SUMMARY: She's never had a choice before.
Something Like Summertime
Feels something like summertime
Top down ain't nothing but time
Radio's on and you're by my side
Feels something like summertime
~Summertime, Bon Jovi
Fog rolls in off the deep purple of the mountains that rise along the horizon, burning away into nothingness as it reaches the great open expanse of emerald grasses that stretch from its base. The sun is still rising, the last pink of dawn just fading, but already it grows full, yellow and hot, kissing away the mists of night. Buffy sits in the shade atop a hill, nestled among a grove of trees. Pine needles carpet the ground, their trunks rising around her tall and proud, branches spread wide above in a natural canopy. The sun drifts in through the weave of pine needles, falling soft on the covered earth.
It is late summer in America, lazily descending into fall, and it is the happiest time of her life.
Virginia, Colonial towns and battlegrounds, rich with the blood of soldiers and history. Sometimes, she forgets there have been battles other than hers. That other people have died for ideas bigger than themselves, for a better life and world.
It shames her a little, how she never thought about all those soldiers marching off to war armed with only muskets and faith, not even a calling. Just a belief. When she was younger, she would have felt it, sharp and grating against her heart, that at least they had a choice. But now that the world is filled with Slayers and choices, she finds herself only content to continue as she has for the last eight years.
She goes to him, winds her arms around his shoulders beneath the shelter of pines, sticky sweet scent thick all around them.
He likes to run in the morning, washed white, rocky path winding endlessly through the swells of lush green trees. Likes to feel his heart pound in his chest, his breath grow short and sharp. Likes to put his hands on her face and bend her backward, kissing her until she’s breathless, too, slides his fingers down her throat and feels her pulse pound through thin skin.
She loves how he still kisses her like he’s afraid she might disappear at any moment. Urgently and completely, his arms encircling her, hands touching her everywhere, mouth hot as the sun. Like he can’t get enough. Like it hasn’t been months since they came here to this tiny cottage by the lake.
He still can’t believe he’s alive. Blood rushes through his veins and he wonders if he’ll ever get used to it. If he’ll ever stop noticing it. Sometimes thick and heavy, sometimes racing, pounding, blinding. The pulse of it beneath his skin never fails to fascinate him, rivaled only by the sensation its presence brings. He can feel more now than he ever could when his body was just a husk. Skin is a canvas, alive; nerves and blood sending signals to his brain, sunlight and pleasure, the language of nature all over him, outside to in.
He can feel her fingertips, tracing patterns against the muscles of his neck, feather light, lazily teasing. The gentle sweep of fingernails through his hair, scraping almost imperceptibly, cascading chills in their wake. They spill down his spine, raising flesh in tiny goose bumps, and he can feel every nerve, every single tiny hair rise to attention and shiver with sensation.
He never tires of kissing her. Could drink from the fountain of her lips for the rest of his life, hot and sweet, taste of cinnamon and clove, tongues swirling, tangling slick and smooth, tasting, testing, teasing. Her skin is warm beneath his fingers, tips climbing the notches of her spine in slow, leisurely time, spanning its slow curve with tiny presses into the dip between bones. She shivers as his hands move over her like butterflies, and this is something new that he’s only just learning to enjoy. In the beginning it was always frantic, torn off clothes and demolished chairs, tables, staircases. And it was good, so amazingly intensely GOOD. But it wasn’t this. Kissing and touching and worshipping and tasting and relishing and living.
It’s something he’s still getting used to, having time.
They break apart for a moment, and she looks up at him, face catching in the sunlight, eyes glinting gold in the light, her smile the most beautiful thing he thinks he’s ever seen. That smile, for him. He feels greedy about it sometimes. Doesn’t want to share. That look, that glowing grin, the one that she cultivated when she was a teenager and lost soon after he lost his soul. He hadn’t ever thought he’d see it again. But she’s looking at him like he’s the only thing in the world, the only thing that ever mattered, and he’s just happy that she’s here, wrapped up tight in his arms where she always should have been.
“Wanna go down to the lake?” she asks, lacing her fingers through his, peering up at him through her lashes with that adorable little crane of her neck.
“Boat sex again?” he asks with a chuckle.
“If you’re lucky,” she says, the words spoken from one corner of her grin.
“Baby… I’m Irish,” he replies, moving in to kiss her as he grins back.
She rolls her eyes and laughs, tugs his hand and leads him down to the lake shore.
Light moves over the rolling surface of the lake like a second skin. Small, choppy waves glitter as they rush, blinding sun twinkling like star points at their edges. Wind sweeps in, warm and summer light, and she tilts her face up and back towards the sun, letting her hair flow like streaming gold.
Angel stands behind her, presses kisses along her neck, hands gentle on her shoulders. She leans back into his caress, pressing against his chest, thinking that thousands of miles away, across another body of vast water, her destiny still waits.
“What are you thinking?” he murmurs, brushing his mouth against her ear.
“Mmm,” she murmurs, snuggling against him. “Just… summer’s almost over…”
“We’ve still got some time.”
“I know. It’s just… You know. I never thought I’d want more than this. Being a normal girl, with you.”
“There’s nothing normal about you, Buffy,” he says, and she can feel his smile against her skin.
“Yeah, I’m beginning to get that,” she says with a wry chuckle.
“Why does that sound like a bad thing when you say it?” he asks.
“I was just… we’ll be going back soon. Fighting again.”
“It’s what we do,” he says, and she can feel him shrug.
“Is it?” She stops, puts her hand on his arm and turns to him. “Angel. You’re human now. What if… I mean, I don’t…”
“Buffy. Most of the time I was in LA, not a single person on my team had superpowers.”
“I know. But… you don’t have to fight anymore, Angel. We could… we could just live.”
“Is that what you want?” His eyes are so warm, so intense and loving her, and she has to look away, out over the water.
“I always thought that would be I wanted. But now that I have chance at it… I don’t know.” She bites her lower lip, blinks against the sun. “I don’t know if I know how to just… settle down. Have a house and kids and never think about the things that go bump in the night.”
“Buffy…” He turns her around gently, making her look at him. “What are you really worried about?”
Balanced sitting on the prow of the boat, she takes his hands, looks up at him. “Since I was sixteen, I never had a choice, never had to think about anybody’s happiness but mine. Now that I do… I think… I want to keep Slaying. Part of me thinks I’m not sure I know any other way to be. But, the other part… I just. I think it’s the right thing to do. Now that I can choose… it’s funny.” She shakes her head, smiling ruefully. “I want it.”
“But?” he asks, prodding her gently.
“But now… Angel.” She takes a deep breath, rushes on before her nerve can give out. “What about you? You’ve fought for so long. You don’t have to anymore. I mean, you deserve a chance to just… be.”
“Just because I won a prize doesn’t mean I have to quit.”
“I know. But you could.” She looks up at him, earnest. “I want you to have the life you want. I don’t want you to have to be chained to me, dragged along Slaying until we’re—“
“Whoa, whoa. Buffy…” He reaches out, touches her face. “Don’t you know? The only reason being human matters at all… is that it means I get to be with you?”
She smiles sadly, turns her face into his hand, never breaking eye contact. Her heart pounds and she swallows hard.
“I know. And maybe that’s great for now,” she says, sitting up, her hands moving through air. “But what about five years from now. Ten years.” She stops, looks up at him, imploring. “Angel, is it enough?”
He cups her face in his hands, looks at her, soft and wondering, like he can’t believe she’d even need to ask. “Buffy… it’s everything.”
He leans to close on her with a kiss, soft and sweet as spun sugar, and she surges up into his arms, throwing arms around him and pulling close. He takes her in his arms and turns her, laying her down on deck of the boat, kissing her like he’ll die if he stops. Hands beneath her, splayed across her back, massaging in small circles, chest pressing down against hers. Lays one leg over and between hers, and she rises against him, moaning into his mouth.
Kisses down her neck, he licks across her collar bone with dragging heat, teeth scraping lightly, fingers pulling at the buttons of her shirt. She twines her hands in his hair and holds him close as he moves down, tongue tracing trails of fire down her body, swirling around each nipple and sucking slow before moving down the center of her stomach, dipping into her navel. He slides her from her jeans with insistent grace, pausing a moment to look at her, bare and flushed beneath him.
“God… so beautiful,” he says, then bows to kiss her stomach again, sliding lower, defining the inner crease of her thigh down to where her legs meet, and she spreads apart for him, mewling against the torturous heat of his mouth, hips begging as they thrust against the air. She looks down through lust filled eyes, sees him pause, just looking at her—and then he licks her through the cotton of her panties, tongue dragging straight up the center of her. She twists and cries out, pleasure shooting through her like tiny sparks from her stomach all the way down to the soles of her feet. So good, but it’s not enough, not enough—
“Angel,” she breathes, her very voice a plea.
He slides her panties from her in one smooth motion, and then settles back between her thighs, arms wrapping around her legs, pushing them up and apart. Languorous strokes of his tongue against her wet, hot flesh, suckling at her clit, flicking against it like it’s the best thing he’s ever tasted, savoring every moment. She makes a strangled sound deep in her throat and tugs at his hair, hips rising against his mouth, belly filled with volcanic heat, spiraling out from the center of her in ragged waves.
He works her slow, letting the waves rise in her belly until she’s straining against the scorching heat, skin trembling and every nerve singing until he slides a finger inside her and presses upward, sending her spilling over the edge. The world explodes behind her eyes, and she throws back her head, mouth working with senseless sounds as she twists beneath him, arcing and pulsing like lightning come to life.
Her head hits the wood hard, and she bites down on the inside of her cheek, breathing out in a furious stream as he keeps going, never ceasing his inexorable rhythm, relentless in drawing out her pleasure, and she slips again, falling over the edge into bliss and white-hot light, toes curling against the deck.
She reaches for him as she cascades down the other side. “Please Angel. Need you now, oh God—“ And he is there, kissing her as he kicks from his pants, hands on her hips as he shifts his body between her legs, and she can feel him there, hard and waiting, tip pressing against her threshold, slick and hot and still needing.
He breathes deep from her mouth, and then pushes inside her with a single thrust. She gasps as he fills her suddenly, hips bucking against him and lips mouthing against the curve of his jaw. He stays there a moment, still inside her, and she pushes up against him slow, eyes open now as she stares up at him, and he smiles, brushes the hair from her brow.
Her hands slide down the curve of his back, feeling the muscles flex beneath her palms, then grips his ass hard and moves against him again, needing. He smirks down at her for a moment and she tries to glare back, the force of her annoyance lost in her lust. He finally rocks into her with rolling thrust, the head of his cock scraping against the bundle of nerves inside her, coiled tight and thrumming, super sensitive, and she rises up off the deck, gasping against his chest.
He fucks her the same way he ate her out; long, slow, maddening strokes that form an inexorable rhythm, pushing her onward and upward with inevitable building pressure, hips relentless in their goal. One hand grips her shoulder tight, the fingers of the other buried in her hip, holding her tightly in place as he grinds and rocks in and out of her.
“God Buffy. So tight… so wet. Always so ready for me,” he gasps, head falling against her, mouth nipping at her collar bone.
They come together like a shotgun blast, kissing and straining beneath the sun.
The trees that nestle against the mountainside have grown golden tinged with red, brushstrokes of orange and brown painted through them. Against the blue-purple of the mountains, they blaze, brilliant and vibrantly alive.
Buffy stands on the porch of the cottage, leaning against the rail, staring at the place where they meet. Angel moves up behind her, slides his arms around her waist and leans in, pressing a kiss into the shell of her ear.
“Ready?” he whispers.
“Just saying goodbye,” she answers turning inside the embrace of his arms to face him. “How about you?”
“If you’re asking me for the millionth time if this is what I want, the answer hasn’t changed in the last five minutes,” he says with a smile.
“You’re not worried?”
“Never,” he says, pressing his forehead against hers. “As long as you’re still my girl.”
She wraps her arms around him and kisses him as the sun crests the horizon.
It is fall in America, on her way to England, and it is the happiest time of her life.
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