Buffista Fic 2: They Said It Couldn't Be Done.
[NAFDA] Where the Buffistas let their fanfic creative juices flow. May contain erotica.
Hey there, lovely people! Dana already gave me some pointers for this, but could I possibly trouble y'all to have a quick shufty at the following before I post it over to the Yuletide Treasures (New Year's Resolutions) archive? It's Sandman fic, Daniel/Desire:
Where Angels Fear To Tread
Desire is standing perfectly still in the precise centre of the heart of the Threshold, poised and patient, when the summons comes. Desire has been waiting for it.
“Sister-brother?” The voice is Dream’s, unmistakeable, and yet the intonation is as unlike Dream’s as it could possibly be. Tentative. Entreating, almost. Something that is not quite a smile – something almost a grimace – stretches Desire’s mouth for a moment.
“I am holding your sigil in my hand, sister-brother, and I stand in my gallery. May we speak?” It’s there again in the voice – not weakness, exactly, but something yielding – an openness that the previous aspect of Dream had never displayed around Desire. It is almost – innocence.
Desire finds it unexpectedly maddening.
“Oh, very well,” Desire says, in a tone almost convincingly casual, mildly irritated, unconcerned. No hint in that rough-warm voice that Desire knows the newest incarnation of the Endless has been visiting his siblings, or that Desire has been all impatience, waiting for this call. No hint that Desire has been burning to see this new Dream again ever since leaving the Dreaming: the white shock of hair like a dandelion clock, the new mouth tender with lack of living – head to toe he is glorious, uncomfortable proof of Desire’s final victory over the King of Dreams. “In the Dreaming, or the Threshold? Or somewhere in between?”
“The Threshold, if you will.” And that, too, is different; Morpheus was acutely aware of the dangers of facing an enemy on their home ground. For preference he would always have chosen his own territory, or at least somewhere neutral, rather than hand over the advantage. Desire is trembling at the offer of advantage freely given.
Dream shivers into solidity while Desire is still considering the ways in which the game has changed, now that this new piece has been placed on the board. Desire is taken aback once more at how like – and unlike – Morpheus this creature is. The features are the same - strong, pale and angular – but the expression is not the same at all. There is a pause, and Desire’s chin comes up in challenge while Dream’s unreadable eyes seem to take in every inch of his sister-brother. Today Desire’s hair is slicked back, emphasising the stark beauty of the androgynous face quite bereft of makeup. The full-skirted dressing gown Desire wears is of embroidered crimson silk, open to the navel, belted at the waist. It falls to the floor and pools like blood around bare white feet. Desire is conscious of the effect and shifts slightly, feeling Dream’s attention snagged by the glimpse of one pale crescent slice of nipple fleetingly exposed. Desire smiles mockingly up at Dream through artfully tangled eyelashes.
Dream’s answering smile is unexpectedly open. “You really are the most astonishingly beautiful thing I have ever seen,” he says simply, almost absent-mindedly, as if commenting upon the weather. Desire freezes. “I wonder – could we talk?”
“You’re here, aren’t you?” snaps Desire, wrong-footed and irritable. Dream has always been (or claimed to be) impervious to the beauty of Desire – but things change.
Dream nods, unruffled. “My thanks,” he says, only then glancing around at the moist flexing walls of the heart. He seems fascinated, ignoring the banks of screens, the plush chairs and soft cushions, the things that make this into a living space. He is staring straight at the naked meat beyond.
Desire itches to slap him.
“To what do I owe this unaccustomed honour?” Desire demands, sinking down gracefully onto a chaise lounge and crossing one long leg over the other. A soft breeze twirls the silk, affording Dream erratic glimpses of pale toes and calves. Desire is interested to see that Dream watches for each flash of skin.
Dream cocks his head, and seems to consider. After a moment he pulls up a footstool and perches upon it, all elbows and knees at awkward angles under the extravagant white silk of his hair. Desire watches him narrowly. “We have not been friends, I think,” he says at last. Desire’s smile is dazzling.
“We have not. We are not. Make no mistake about that, elder brother. My lord Morpheus.” Desire watches the new facet of the Lord Shaper flinch from the name, and files this reaction away for further consideration.
“I am not Morpheus. I am Dream of the Endless - but I am not who I was. Who he was.” He pauses, and Desire remembers the strangeness of meeting with a new twin sister long eons ago. The first Despair wore writhing symbols of crimson on her pallid skin, and tore out her dark hair in hanks. At times she used a scourge upon her flesh, keening all the while, and her back ever oozed with fresh scores. Her wordless howls of misery were a long-familiar music, an irritation only missed when they were silenced forever. Desire had adored her. Her new self was a more tranquil, but no less dangerous, companion. Still her, in essence – and yet not. Not at all. “I am older than gods and suns, older than universes. I am older than you, Desire. And yet I am new-minted, and a stranger to you. And you to me." Dream shifts awkwardly on the footstool he has chosen, but Desire makes no move to offer a more fitting seat and it does not seem to occur to Dream to demand one. "I would have us be friends,” says Dream at last, and there is an unmistakable note of loneliness in his voice.
Desire’s laughter is uncalculated. Astonished.
“Friends? Are you truly so naive?” Desire stares at this new Dream, searching for some clue to his new game. After a moment Desire becomes aware that Dream's eyes have fallen once more to the smooth flesh of Desire's exposed chest, and glances down to see the sharp, pale point of one nipple exposed, framed by a border of vivid silk. Dream is staring at it with the same fascination he showed for the walls of the heart in which they sit. Or perhaps – perhaps not quite the same. Desire licks lips that are suddenly dry, and is certain that Dream’s starry gaze follows the path of Desire's pink tongue.
“Why not friends?”
“You don’t have friends,” Desire replies, curtly. “Except our sister, perhaps, and that scrawny human. And I don’t have friends, Dream. Except Despair, who is very much more than a friend to me.”
Dream bites his lip. Desire has never, in all the eons of their acquaintance, seen Dream bite his lip. Dream is dull as ditch water, all restraint and responsibility and irritating alpha-male impulses unalloyed by any interesting kinks. Dream is devilishly hard to tempt into anything at all. He does not bite his lip, or wear an expression of open yearning. Dream can be broken (as Desire has finally proved), but he will not buckle or yield. He will not bend. He will not.
“Our elder sister is very kind,” Dream says, carefully. “I hope that we will become friends, but now – now she is still mourning him. Me. Morpheus.” There is pain there, which Dream does not try to hide. And that is new too, for Morpheus had always hidden his heart, even from himself. Tedious fool.
Desire watches with absolute incredulity as Dream stretches out one long hand, parts the blood-bright folds of silk and cups Desire's left ankle very gently. His thumb traces idle patterns over Desire’s skin and his expression is mild, even meditative - almost as if he is stroking an expensive and short-tempered cat. Desire's hiss of indrawn breath sounds very loud. “Can we not begin again, Desire?" Dream asks, softly. "We have much in common, you and I. We shape fancies and (continued...)
( continues...) fantasies. We work with impulses and instincts. We craft hope and fear. We should be - friends. I would have it so.”
Desire is not a prey to impulses or instincts. Desire shapes them. Desire is master-mistress of all cravings and compulsions, not slave to them. And yet. And yet.
“What if I have no wish to be your - friend, elder brother?”
“That is your prerogative.”
Dream smiles. He seems almost mesmerised by the slide of skin on skin, and it occurs to Desire then that old as he is, in this aspect Dream is still, in some sense, a virgin. The thought makes Desire’s throat tighten almost painfully. Around them the low rumble of the Threshold’s heartbeat is speeding up.
“So very beautiful,” murmurs Dream again, in wonder, and Desire shivers as Dream’s hand slides higher. Almost Desire suspects that Dream is not conscious of what he does, is simply exploring the shift in textures as he might explore the surface of the silk robe itself. It is the easiest thing in the world to let Dream continue, and so Desire allows it, out of curiosity as much as hunger. Certainly Desire cannot be trembling out of any kind of unsatisfied craving.
It is the first time that Desire has kissed Dream; although, if truth be told (as certainly it never shall be), it is not the first time that Desire has thought about doing so. The Endless have no need of sleep, but possibly there may have been one or two times when Desire decided to indulge – for Desire is all about indulgence, after all. And if, on those occasions, Desire had dreams in which Morpheus had abandoned certain poses of propriety and restraint – well, there is nobody alive who remembers them, now. Nobody but Desire.
Dream’s face is open and oddly soft when they break apart. Shocked. Fragile. A fledgling fallen from its nest, not yet knowing whether anything has been irreparably broken. His lower lip, which Desire has bitten very hard, is glossy and slightly swollen.
“This – I did not expect this,” he says, and there is something startled and helpless in his voice which makes Desire smile darkly. “I thought only to speak – I thought – I.” Desire darts forward again and seizes Dream’s mouth, fingers digging painfully into velvet-encased shoulders as Desire’s tongue slides over Dream’s even teeth and the smooth white legs legs wrap tightly around Dream’s back. Dream moans desperately against Desire's tongue, one large hand cupping the curve of Desire’s skull and the other clutching at Desire’s sharp hip. Desire shudders. This is how triumph should feel. Desire bites Dream’s lower lip again, hard enough to draw blood this time, and laughs against his skin.
“You entered my domain willingly, elder brother,” Desire says, bloodied lips brushing the pale shell of Dream’s ear as Desire tugs at the openings to Dream’s clothes. “Let this be a lesson in caution to us both.”
Fay, that is awesome! You captured Desire so well and gave voice to the new Dream, who we saw so little of at the end of the Sandman stories. It's very lush. I hope you write more.
I hope you don't mind, but I just friended you on LJ. I had a hard time figuring out which friends group to put you in, my buffista group or my fan fiction group. Hee.
Oh, that's just lovely, Fay. So vulnerable.
Wowza! That's wonderful stuff, Fay.
Yes, it was beautiful! And I could follow it because I am reading "Preludes..." right now, AIFG!
(Although kind of an investment, mentally. But in a good "there's life besides procedurals," way. But it will take me a while to read, I think.)
It is worth it, though, but it's not something to read before bed.
I still haven't gotten around to reading the Sandman, but that's amazing Fay.