Author: Regala Electra
Summary: The stories do not matter, nor the lies, it is only the truth in the reunion that remains clear when they meet again.
Author’s Notes: A part of the B/A-athon Month Today is my day and er, my fic. This veers between happy, sad, dark, depressing, with a little death, destruction, sex and exotic locations thrown in.
Feedback: Oh yesly. Twas ever so odd writing B/A after spending so much time in HP-land. And did I mention I just got past being insanely sick? *coughcough*
Easier to Lie
This is how it happens. They do not meet again. They are inches within seeing the other. They find themselves all over again. The patterns remain the same. He leaves.
Of course he has a reason. He always had the best excuse: it’s for her own good.
She falls in love with him so easily, she wonders why they ever parted. It is the pure simplicity of their complication that drives her so deep into his arms again. And then she remembers. This time, she leaves. She must - for his own good.
They will fall in love all over again. For it is not that is easy, but it is necessary, it rekindles a time that was and never was, a past that lingers in the corners of their minds, a time of hope, and when they touch, hands to hands, bodies pressed against each other so tight, perhaps some spark of hope comes between them and for a moment, they are forgiven and absolved of their sins.
They create as many stories necessary to survive.
They never had to fall in love again, for it was always there, etched deeper still in the heart, impenetrable no matter how many loves and new obsessions come their way. Theirs is a faithful love even when they forget each other.
And then they remember each other. A clash of tongues and duel of bodies, of course they can hurt each other, because it is so easy to do so. Bodies scream for satisfaction and they had so little, that they must make up for it, in flesh, and touch, all the sensations screaming for each other. When he slides his cock into her, when she screams, when he gasps and chokes, when they find release, through bitter tears and hot skin, they remember each other and the wounds open anew, an ache that shall never heal.
She remedies the situation by not mentioning the future. He asks not a single question of her present, such small talk has gone dry as dust, and he cannot bear to hear how she moves on so easily. Soon, they forget each other again. They find new loves, new paths to cross, and soon the only thing that remains are the ghosts of one another, haunting specters of the past, as airy and untouchable as their own broken spirits.
When she finds him again or when he seeks her for just one more time, they reunite with the joy inherent in the promise of just one more day.
He slides the delicate fabric off her shoulders and she slowly unbuttons his shirt, and they find ecstasy in just the remembrance of each other. And when they sleep, it is together, the curtains closed fast, so not even the world may intrude upon these precious moments.
When she wakes, she finds herself fearful of the promises of silence, so she begins to tell him of nothings, of pointless stories, lies interspersed with truths until she forgets how it really happened.
And he reveals little in his recounting, and she knows where to fill in the blanks, but says nothing.
Their stories never quite end and always are edged with sorrow. For the ending is too clear, and they cannot accept it.
They wait for the other to acknowledge time, and when neither says anything, they continue on, knowing the parting lingers closer as each moment passes.
So she listens to a heartbeat that isn’t there, and he closes his eyes and refuses to remember a day that grows more bitter with the passing of time, and when she asks him if he’ll stay this time, he lies and she accepts it with the grace of the sweetest acceptance, a kiss against his temple, and there will be more stories to tell. There will be more lies next time, and she hasn’t dared to profess her love to him, and nor has he.
La Plaza Dona Elvira
She is delicate and tanned as she sits at the table in the plaza of the old Jewish quarter of Sevilla. A smile plays at her lips while she sips at a bottle of Coke, no doubt amused by the small, old-fashioned bottle.
She belongs here in this warm sunny little square, a corner of her own personal world. The plaza is nearly vacant as it is midday and the siesta has halted the city, allowing a lazy sort of malaise to wearily pass across the few patrons occupying the tables, yet it does not touch her. The colors are vibrant and she is so different here, a calm joy reflecting as she raises her head, looking him dead on.
She is staring at him behind black sunglasses and she slowly sets down her drink. "Took you forever and a day, huh?"
He crosses the plaza, pulling back the wooden chair, and sitting across from her, laying a hand over her own. “Would you believe I’ve been chasing windmills?”
Her nose crinkles slightly, and she pulls off her sunglasses, the laugher clear in her eyes. “Are you about to tell me that monsters aren’t real?”
He smiles, “Oh they’re about as real as sunburns. Mortal skin is-”
She laughs, “You’ll get used to it.”
He takes her hand, bringing it to his lips. “Liar.”
Her smile grows fonder, a softness that is startling in her face. It is so easy to love her and so worthwhile. “Angel, I missed you.”
“Buffy,” he promises, “I love you.”
When they kiss, is like a burst of bittersweet oranges, and she gasps against his mouth, and he knows he shall never let her go.
le Pont du Gard
He nods, shrugging off his long coat and offering it to her. She takes it, with a nod. It has been a week and they are still not used to each other. She swears it was supposed to be easier when she planned it in her head.
He’d come to Europe and they’d see the sights. Well, he’d see how the sights had changed since he’d last been terrorizing Europe and she’d see what she kind of missed while shopping in Paris. Oh, and Milan. Oh and - yeah she’d sorta missed the cultural sights.
She wishes she had brought some nice swords with her because the tension lay thickly between them, the distance causing her to shiver. Angel’s silences had grown since his arrival in Italy and she can’t get him to say anything beyond his familiar monosyllabic routine.
So finally, she realizes it is time to say what she should fear the most. It comes out so easily; she wonders why she had waited.
“Angel, do you want to be here?”
He walks over to the edge of the aqueduct, looking across the wide river. “There’s nowhere else for me, Buffy.”
She braces herself, striding next to him. “That’s a pretty shitty reason.”
He turns to her, the fierce expression in his face half mad with regret. “Do you think it’s that easy? Buffy, I couldn’t save any of them. Not a single damn one.”
She tries to take his hand, but he refuses. She closes her eyes, feeling the wind against her face, feeling the first cracks of warm sun beginning to rise against her cheeks. “Let me save you, Angel. Please.”
He says nothing but when the first rays of dawn break across the horizon, he takes her hand. The journey is far from over.
He grabs her hand in the heart of London, they are lost in the crowd and she does not recognize him. He says her name, says it like a litany, like a prayer, and then, like sacred words that cannot protect him against the horror, and she breaks away from him, pushing her way into the crowd, desperate to remain hidden.
He seeks her, he always does, her scent mingles with thousands and still he knows her, he knows the way, and he will not stop.
He corners her in a dark alley, for of course it must end this way, if everything that has transgressed between them has merely been a prelude to this moment, he takes it eagerly and when she swings out, he knows her too well and quickly moves out of the way. He strikes before she expects it, pressing her against the stone of the walls, pinning down her arms.
It is not a kiss, nothing this savage and untamed can be a kiss, it is a wild reclaiming of what belongs to him, of what he needs, and she clings to him, and he forgets the need to possess and merely does, he lets her go and her arms wrap around his neck, angling him closer, tongues rough against the other, wet and fierce.
How it happens, clothes moving, torn off, shrugging and removing anything in the way, and then, that perfect slide into wet heat and he pounds into her with all the force that surges between them, somewhere between bitterness and hate and unyielding, terrifying love. And he says her name over and over again, but it is new, it is a curse, and he throws back his head, and says it a final time, and no more.
He leaves her to her madness, to her forced lies of normality and does not falter in his steps when he hears a choked sob, an apology called “Angel.”
City of Angels
She finds him crushed beneath the wreckage in Los Angeles. The war has spilled across the city, unstoppable, and had not spared any.
She drops her weapons, pulling away the heaviest of rubble, trying to free him, and hoping beyond all that he shall survive. He is bloody and broken when she releases him from the ruins, stained ash-grey and dark red, and she tries to wake him up, to get him to speak.
Anything, anything, for just one second, for just a goodbye, for a final goodbye, that is all she wishes for. She does not think about miracles. The price of them is far too much, and even when the tears fall, hot and burning onto his beautiful, broken face, she asks for nothing except for a single word. Just one.
She presses her lips against his own and they are cold and turning purple, and the blood creeps its way into her mouth and she savors it, for it is something. In nothingness, at least she can feel the horror; at least she can memorize his death.
And when she lies down next to him, her head brushes against his chest, and she feels his heartbeat. She cannot breathe and holds him until he grows cold.
The rain begins again, weeks of torrential rain to pave the path for this apocalypse, and the corpse is washed of grime and blood and there is nothing beneath that mess that she recognizes.
She leaves him to the ash and the ruin, and continues on, sword in hand and axe hefted over shoulder.
Nowhere in Rome
She's almost normal and almost real, she can taste it, sharp on the edge of her tongue. When she closes her eyes, she is no one and she is just a girl. It is wonderful.
There is a knock at her door and she opens it, expecting Dawn.
Angel stands before her, the flickering of warm hope and potential for dreams shining in his eyes. He reaches out to her, but then hesitates, perhaps noticing her surprise.
"Buffy, I know this is-"
She slams it, standing at the closed door frozen with despair. There is nothing she feared more. And when she presses her ear against the door, she can hear Angel breathing for long moments before he finally leaves.
She wonders if he knows that she knows. If he even expected that she’d consider doing that, and a deflated sense of victory settles inside of her, sinking with the weight of the past she is trying to ignore.
Angel is alive and she is alive, but this time, she’s going to live.
It's better this way. As she watches him walk down the streets, closed off in her apartment, another nobody in a world of ordinary people, she breathes a wonderful sigh of relief, no longer afraid of what will come to pass. She’s passed the final test. She's almost normal again.
Here and Now
They never met again. Buffy gets married, gets divorced, takes up with someone exciting and new, and never has her heart broken. How can her heart be broken when she's mended it so thoroughly? No one can climb inside her ever again, threatening to undo the work she’s so carefully constructed.
She is almost happy in the still moments and has become wonderful at faking joy in the hectic, exciting times, and if it wasn’t for her eyes, she’s sure others would think her life an enviable one.
Sometimes, she tells a story that is like a fairytale. Of a love that did not die, despite death, and departures, and new lovers, beyond all that is possible. It is a beautiful story.
It is also just a story.
She grows old in cold places lost to snows and howling winds, and her joints ache, and she eventually gives up Slaying, and soon waits for nothing in particular, knowing that nothing shall come to her.
As the darkness floods her vision, she lets one fracture in her heart loosen, and darkly wonders if he’ll keep watch over her eternal winter grave.
Hiroshima, Mon Amour
They keep meeting over and over again. In seedy hotels and dank bars, and mysterious locations. He is following her - she is sure of it. He has to be following her.
So she goes elsewhere, to places she never thought of traveling, to dangerous cities and wild lands yet to be tamed by human hands. And when she finds herself at peace, when she is so sure she is alone and lost to the traveling way, she can feel him somewhere on the edges of this strange new place, and she knows if she turned around, he would be there, waiting.
She does not know why he waits. Why he has yet to approach her, even though they continue to meet, for yes, she is sure she caught his dark eyes staring at her one night, she is sure of it.
All he would have to do is kiss her. Is touch her, just above the elbow as she walks down the empty street, a single touch and she would be lost to him forever. She would part with this pretense, throw herself against him so eagerly and find solace in his mouth, in his body, in all of him.
So she continues down the street and keeps her head down just enough, allowing him to hunt, and wondering when he will finally make his move.
He keeps his distance and she continues walking.
The truth of the matter waits buried beneath deceptions and mirror tricks. It is not that spectacular. There are no exotic settings, no mundane moments, no particular revelations. It is not hazy and imperfect as a dream, with all the vague promises that this will work. That isn’t how reality works and that isn’t how they understand each other.
He returns to her and she returns to him. They stay together or they don't. They exchange bitter words or sweet nothings.
The truth of the matter is this: they loved, they love, and they still do.
In the distance, whether in the deserts of lost time, the suburbs of frozen mundane reality, the chaos of hectic cities, the dreams of beautiful otherworlds, in all these places, they are there, no longer waiting, forever linked, and perhaps, they are smiling, for even in death, in endings, there is still hope.
And when they awake, whether together or destined to be always separate, deep within, they are granted a gift few ever know, for they are made whole in the memory and survive despite the promise of a glorious new day. True love never fades away, it changes, it alters, but it is always there and shall survive, beyond eternity itself.