I left out a few fics, mostly because I can’t remember where I saved them. Ah, to be absent-minded. It’s a joy, really, it is.
(I actually love all of John and Buffy’s conversations, but this part became my favorite just because I’ve always wanted John to really break out into a cussin’ spree and an evil villain’s handbook really could be written by these two.)
He grins at that, thumping his hand on the bar, announcing in a loud voice, "I'll drink to that! Seems it'll be much easier with a good guys and bad guys handbook. Especially the evil villain's handbook. Rule Number One: If your plan is so frelling fantastic, then do it, don't bore me to death with the details. Frankly, I ain't got the time when I got half the universe on my ass."
She laughs, her stomach's never ached from laughing before but it's quite close to that sensation, "Sorry to interrupt, but, 'frell?'"
"Sorry, it's become a force of habit." He downs the last of his beer and begins again, "Okay, Rule Number One: If your fuckin' plan is so fuckin' whoop-de-do fan-fucking-tastic, then do it, don't fucking bore me to fucking death with the fucking details!"
Five Ways to Finish A Raslak
(And I actually don’t hate Furlow, it’s just that I thought it worked really well within the 100 word limit to have this very intense and possible scene play out in such a heightened and brief way.)
"Furlow!" His smile is mad and his gun is aimed directly at her head. "How you doin'?"
She tips back on her chair; she's too far from her pulse pistol, and casually says, "Hey Johnny, how's about a last raslak to celebrate?"
The raslak's is on her tongue when he shoots.
She hears, "That's for John."
Fantasy, in Technicolor
(I love writing John in pain and having him not only internalize his pain, but to play with it on this dreamy, sub-conscious level was just really enjoyable to write.)
Drowning voices caught in the undertow. He sucks in hard breaths that rock through his body and is sucked underneath. There is nothing but pressure in his lungs; choking, choking, salt water burns in his throat. There is no struggle, no will; he remembers he should be outraged at this. He has nothing, no choice, nothing left.
There's a baby and a future and wormholes. Always wormholes.
He can't remember them.
Claws sharpen and his suit is torn apart, black and white clothes rip, piece by piece. Blood stains wash away in the water, and salt burns the fresh wounds. The red fades into the blue, and it's a blank, like a white noise sounding its horrific beauty. He doesn't open his eyes because that's a bad idea. If he sees, then the colors would make sense.
(I honestly think this is the best kissing scene I’ve ever written. This part actually took the most rewriting to do because I had to lengthen out part iii: interstellar, mostly because I just wasn’t that happy with it until I did my final edit. Plus I was really pleased with my Aeryn, as I couldn’t be as poetic and free-thinking like when I’m writing John, so I had to be straightforward even while telling a very complicated story that doesn’t make any sense until the final part.)
It is her understanding that if the directive fails, their mission is over, as are their lives. She laughs and her soundless cheer is noticed by John, he cautiously turns her around to face him in their embrace and he breathes, 'are you okay?'
While their plans never quite work out as well as they intend, this one, in case they find themselves speeding around the time-space continuum faster that sound and light, does work surprising well. Her signal is to kiss him twice.
His lips are dry and she stays a bit longer, offering the few wet drops clinging to her bottom lip, she parts her mouth and brushes his tongue with a gentle flick of her own. She leaves his mouth for a mere mircot, or it could very well be a lifetime, she can't quite remember how it works, before deepening the halted kiss, wrapping her arms securely around his neck.
Head lowering, he brushes her cheek with his forehead. That means, 'damn Aeryn, you're killing me.' It's not an actual signal, but she knows it well.
She taps her index finger against the back of the neck - she's asking about time. Not infinite time, but fallible time - her question is 'when is it going to right itself?"
He traces his thumb across her lips while holding her tightly in a one-armed grip. This is a weak attempt at distraction.
A scream cuts across their solitude and Aeryn listens impassively. They cannot inform Mike and Rita in time - as they are currently outside, above, below, and around time - to find something solid to hold onto, but she says it anyways, not caring whether she's saying it in English or Sebaecean.
John doesn't hear what she says, but he also manages something while unable to hear his own voice. She thinks he is imparting her directions, at least there is now a definite chance for there to be an echo for the other two to hear in their own tongue, if it not already too late.
John kisses her, this one means, 'I love you,' and she taps him once across his cheek.
She feels one of his fingers curling a lock of hair close to her temple - 'I'm not saying goodbye' - and she screams, as loudly as she can manage, "Shut down the auxiliary capacitators!"
She waits in infinity. She shuts her eyes and opens them and it's the same. Nothingness and everything, John is nearby but she does not see him.
She feels a quick, but nauseating lurch. Her equilibrium erodes and she plummets.
John's arms are as tight as ever; her grip is equal, if not stronger.
Someone will hear her - someone must hear her, before all is lost.
Colors explode across her vision and she wonders if she looks just as pale and startled as John.
His eyes are reflected in great gas clouds and spiraling galaxies and distant nebulas - the blues of his eyes swirl for a mircot - cycles perhaps, they are still lost in the infinite - like a wormhole.
Then the stars pierce the black emptiness and she is free, her burdens lift away as smallish spots of vague colors - she makes out blues, yellows, and reds shine inexorably - a solid, ominous brightness.
It is the universe - the dimensions find their borders and she feels herself being enclosed, the greatness of the expanse dissipates slowly at first.
The sensation is awful - she feels joy, pure and bright, it infuses in every cell of her body and she is a part and not a part of this immenseness - and she has a greater purpose of being.
She nearly loses everything in this union, her name, her shape, her memories, she is to be a part of space and a part of her DNA does not mind this, the part that longs for space and travel.
John's forehead touches her own, how it can bring her back, she does not know, but it is another sign, he is - he is...
She can't remember. She shuts her eyes and tries to ignore the calling vibrating in every cell of her body.
Everything slows down and she can hear John say feebly, "I think we're gonna be alright."
Gravity does not stabilize - she is slammed into the ground and the wind is knocked out of her lungs in one powerful blow. The universe cuts like a knife, it slashes her shut; her skin pricks heavily with the weight and weakness of her flesh.
Her body feels unpleasant and wrong; she takes a long time to concentrate on the feel and push of mortality.
She opens her eyes to the gray pallor of the hospital room and wheezes out, "You just had to say that."
(I love the mirror reveal; I wanted to hint that while it’s Chiana, she’s in Aeryn’s body and it isn’t until the end that I really hammer in that image and I just like the little ripple of worry that passes in this sentence to highlight the instability of this ‘unrealized reality.’)
Later, on another world where the drinks are good and potent and the clubs dizzying and dangerous, she catches a reflection of them: Crichton with his mad dark eyes and white hair, shadows of gray that make him look frozen in age, and Chiana, tanned skin, dark hair nearly black in color, and sad blue eyes, and it's all just so *wrong.*
BtVS/AtS (by no significant order of stories):
(I should have just stopped after this opening. Man, I just think it really works. Opens up the obsession, the love, the details, and the whole atmosphere of the piece.)
He knows the last word she said to him, remembers how the air was hot and heavy, and they were sweaty and dirty and there was blood and death, the smell was like home and memories of them in battle, and her eyes were beyond her years and that clear tone, the pitch and trickle of each sound, the way her voice whispered out that final word, he can still recall that word perfectly in a hauntingly pitch-perfect copy of the moment.
Betrayer: selected parts
Part Four: Yet But a Shadow
(This part was done in Angel's POV and I just thought it really showed, ‘hey, Angel’s not just crazy, he’s bat-shit crazy!’)
There was great darkness and that was all he knew.
And then he opened his eyes.
And laughed for a long time, silently to himself. He wasn't there anymore. It was gone. He was free, free of the metal and the coldness and the darkness and the silence.
He still made no noise of recognition.
He wanted blood. Now. And there was fresh scarlet drops now like rivers pulsating in their veins and he wanted to tear into delicate flesh and suck down, drink it all, and it would be so good and he would be full and never, never the pain again.
He would be free.
Part Five: Tis Madness, Yet There is Method In't
(‘It’s fun to rip apart someone’s dreams’ seems to be the overlying message of this chapter of Betrayer, which is also the part that took the longest time to write, mostly because I was struggling with the dynamics of Angel and Wesley and Connor.)
Connor turning to his father and saying the word "Dad," and meaning it in its purest, basest form, seeing his father standing in the sunlight, the dream, the hope, the lingering thread that connected Angel to his path, that gave him a reason when all others had failed, it too broke away and faded into ash that was unloved, unwanted, unknown.
Part Seven: Epilogue: The rest is...silence
(And I’m omitting the B/A sex scene, Buffy’s ‘parting’ scene, and any other B/A scene because, in reflection, I’m sort of sorry for having the B/Aness nearly overwhelm Wesley’s Evil Downfall O’ Fun and Insanity.)
How all seasons do inform against me," he commented before turning around. A grin and he replied, "Lilah dear, you've certainly seen better days."
"You...you fuck," she wheezed out, her appearance soiled by the best of terms. Hair oily and matted down, the slight singe around her clothes, the bruises...she had never looked more real. Forcing her voice to work, she snipped in her haughty tone, "Practicing Shakespearean soliloquies?"
Smiling, he toasted her with a quick tip of his champagne flute. "Only for my personal amusement. You must sit down and celebrate. It's the end of the world you know," he added cheerfully.
"It is...it fucking is, isn't it? You...I helped you. Gave you the plans." Even in her state, she remained icy cool, sauntering up like a cat circling its prey and not like the doomed creature she truly was.
"You never helped me." His eyes narrowed and he continued, "I did help you, but that doesn't quite matter right now. I'd say it's a good thing they let you out otherwise you wouldn't have lived long enough to watch the demons bring down Wolfram and Hart. The very creatures you tried to control...well, they're freed. Freed from both sides."
"It'll be a bloodbath. Thousands killed."
"Yes. Complete chaos. Completely...what you hadn't wanted. Perhaps you should run. Maybe you'll get to live a little longer. Thirsty?" he asked, filling up an extra glass he had next to the bottle.
(Don’t even ask me why I love this one so much. It seems that no one else liked it and I don’t care. I think I’ve done some of my best writing in it. It’s a ‘Five Things’ story so I divided my choices by the parts, although I picked two different sections for the last one.)
She's far too thin and like a razor, sharp and hard against the slash of ivory-light bequeathed by a sliver of a crescent moon.
She does not believe in anything anymore: she dreams of a bed of bones, of dark nights. Even in this summer splendor, she longs for winter and eternal things, like death so beautiful to behold it's horrific to see; it's a nightmare of wonder. She wants only to grasp it in her hands, once more, to become something unstoppable and endless, yet now, she cannot have that option.
He kisses her and his mouth is warm. It's a foul embrace, a violation of the memories of cold and secrets and a gloomy kind of love bred in death and not in life. She does not push him away, for this is his dream and to shatter it, to shatter the only fantasy she's allowed to have, she would not dare it.
She has failed him and she kisses him once, softly and gently for he deserves it even though she cannot return the love he claims to feel so strongly for her. It is like ashes on a rainy gray morning with church bells sounding nowhere for comfort to be sought.
She stretches out in the golden blazing sun, her skin afire with energy, a lust that cannot be fulfilled. She's only twenty-one, but she's so much older.
She accepts this with a final parting gift, a weapon she swore, once upon a time, never to use and the screams from the First never end from her mortal ending to her immortal beginnings, to the corners of her soul and the center of her broken body, the scream resounds from inside and outside of her and she presses on.
Now she falls again and again, deeper and harder, into the very nature of the being and the nature of destruction. Everything she has lost is torn out again; she does not cry out in grief, but in release.
Joyous, final, complete, and utter release.
lie to me now
(It’s an insane one, I’ll admit. The narration is completely screwed up, it’s just one long run on sentence, and it’s all about Spike. But I do love this little moment.)
what she does catch, and if already it falls between shaking fingertips like grains of sand, she'll ask for forgiveness, she catches a memory - sunburned shadow against white-stained light
Ah, I think I'll sleep now.