connie, I was thinking about a follow-up to Steam. You know what? It could fit in fantastically well with canon...
Spike and Anya fuck, and Xander is heartbroken not just because of Anya, but because of Spike. And part of Spike's reasoning has to do with misery over Buffy and longing for Xander. And put all of these crazy kids together and you have HELL of a story.
I think you should do it. For the
pubic public good.
Know what? I'm gonna post part-fucking-one.
For the pubic public good.
Dammit, Elena, I'm on a phone call. How am I supposed to explain to this poor guy working on his email that I'm laughing at rude puns?
Edit: Hm, quoted text does not carry over typeovers. Hm.
Poor Xander, feeling unloved and abandoned and everyone's getting nooky but him. I'll have to look over that confrontation scene again.
Of what, PMM? Yr Dammed Epic I have heard allusions to, but have no actual idea what it's about?
Oooh, yes, connie. Look at the confrontation scene. Sense the pent up sexual tension.
Know what? I'm gonna post part-fucking-one.
La la la, would love to beta part 2...
It felt almost like the last time. She'd grabbed a bag, bought her ticket , and left a short note on her bed. Only this time, the bag was weekend-light, the ticket round-trip, and the note said she'd be back soon. Buffy shifted in her cracked vinyl seat and tried to ignore the smell of stale sweat and urine that clung to the interior of the bus.
The steady rhythm of the vehicle lulled her into a state midway between waking and sleeping. She stared out the window, occasionally focusing on something--pebbles in the asphalt or shrubs off the shoulder, it didn't much matter. Every time she focused, she let herself think before letting the scenery blur again, leaving the thought trapped on the roadside. Buffy knew it was only a short-term solution, a mental coat check. She'd collect her problems on the return trip. She didn't need them where she was going.
The worn-down sigh of the brakes startled her. She got up slowly, still stiff from the ride and the lingering effects of the demon sting, collected her things, and headed to a pay phone to call a cab. It cost more than she remembered, so she put a dollar in the vending machine for some stale candy she had no intention of eating, then headed back to the phone booth to make the call.
The driver was surly, and she was pretty certain he took the long way to the motel, but she didn't have the energy to argue. Buffy paid him, frowning at how much of her available cash she'd had to hand him. Lately, it seemed like everything came with too high a cost.
She checked in, ignoring the leering suggestions of the manager, and went to her room. With its faded shag carpet and beaten old furniture, it reminded her of Faith's room. She wondered why she found the idea comforting.
Buffy set her bags on the bed and locked the door . She undressed quickly and headed to the shower, wondering why it was that sitting on a couch for a few hours didn't leave her sticky and gritty, but sitting on a bus for the same amount of time did. She showered as quickly as she could, then did her best to dry off with the small threadbare towel provided. The jeans and t-shirt she picked out clung to her still-damp body, but she figured that as long as she was clean, she could cope with clammy.
She slid into her shoes and out the door, heading down road until she found the path to the beach. It looked almost the same as she remembered it. There was the strangely listing tree that Dawn had insisted on climbing when she was four, and the spot where she'd fallen and ended up lucky she only got the wind knocked out of her (except she hadn't, but Buffy didn't know if she had any memories about the tree that weren't monk-made), and the curve in the trail where Buffy had panicked because her mom and dad had rounded the corner when she wasn't paying attention and she'd thought they'd abandoned her. She hadn't been back since she'd learned she was the Slayer. It was safe here, the only ghosts from the past happy ones.
The sand crunched under her feet, and she wondered if it was worth the risk of broken glass and needles to take off her shoes and feel it squishing between her toes.
"Guess even the safe places have their dangers," she muttered.
Buffy wandered along the beach, admiring the sunset and losing herself in memory, a piece of driftwood swinging from her hand just in case. She didn't notice the man leaning up against a log until she'd tripped over his legs. She went sprawling, her makeshift stake flying from her hand as she caught herself.
"Ouch." She rubbed her wrists as she got up, and turned to glare at the man, wondering why the hell he hadn't told her she was about to step on him.
The bandage across his neck brought her up short, as did the empty look of recognition in the dark blue eyes.
She frowned, trying to place him. When she did, her eyes widened and she almost laughed.
He closed his eyes, and she noticed the tension in his face. He looked like he hadn't slept or shaved in days.
"What are you doing here?"
A quick expression of exasperation crossed his face, and he grabbed the pen and notepad off the ground next to him. He scribbled something quickly, and handed her the pad.
Does it matter? She read.
"You look like hell," she said, handing the pad back.
He wrote another message.
As do you, Ms. Summers.
"I feel like it, too." she mumbled.
Wesley raised his eyebrows.
She felt the urge to clarify.
"It hasn't been the easiest of resurrections. Lots of stuff has...happened, and I just wanted to leave it behind me for a couple of days."
She slumped down next to him and stared out at the water.
"I've tried so hard and it hasn't been enough, not for any of them, not for me."
"Besides," she added quietly, "I think after...well, I think that maybe it's a good idea for me to give them some space. Do you have any idea what it feels like to know you've betrayed almost everyone you care about for an illusion?"
The harsh inhalation of breath startled her, but not as much as the raw pain she saw on Wesley's face when she turned to look at him.
She suddenly realized what a bad idea it was for someone weakened by an obviously recent wound to be out by himself waiting for the sun to set.
"Do you even care that any vamps who happen to be out tonight will smell the blood on you from a mile away?"
He shrugged and picked up the notepad.
She stared at him, wondering what to say.
"I used to come here when I was younger," she stated suddenly. "I thought it was the most beautiful place on earth. We'd get a room in town for the weekend, and Dawn and I would build sandcastles and play in the water while Mom and Dad relaxed in the sun. I don't remember them ever fighting here, but maybe we stopped coming before that really started. It was always so peaceful. "
"I came out here because I needed that again. The peace. It's the one place I thought I could go where I wouldn't have to remember that I'm the Slayer, but I guess I was wrong. "