Of what, PMM? Yr Dammed Epic I have heard allusions to, but have no actual idea what it's about?
Simon ,'Objects In Space'
Buffista Fic: It Could Be Plot Bunnies
Where the Buffistas let their fanfic creative juices flow. May contain erotica.
Oooh, yes, connie. Look at the confrontation scene. Sense the pent up sexual tension.
Yep. Part One of the DE.
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. "
"It's not you," she added. "Even before I tripped over you I was prepared."
Buffy pointed to her discarded stick. "Exhibit A, one strong piece of driftwood."
"I was finished. Done. At peace. And then I wasn't, and suddenly, nothing made sense anymore. Not my friends, not my family, not my enemies. And I made the least sense of any of it. The idea that it was all just a hallucination, that none of the pain and confusion was real made so much sense to me. So much sense that I almost killed everyone I loved so I didn't have to face the reality of my life."
"The reality is my friends decided to bring me back from the dead because they loved me and they thought I was in hell, and now I can't even talk to them, because they're still filled with some fucked-up combination of guilt over what they did and frustration with my inability to get over being ripped out of heaven."
"The only person I could talk to was Spike, which is wrong, and I ended up fucking him so I wouldn't have to listen to what he had to say, which is even worse."
The expression on the ex-Watcher's face wasn't the disbelief or disgust she'd expected. It looked uncomfortably like compassion.
Any port in a storm?
Buffy gave a wan smile. "I guess so."
She'd never noticed how young Wesley was. At 18, she'd just lumped him in the adult category and left it at that. She hadn't really thought about him much, even before he'd left Sunnydale. After that, the time she thought about him was when she'd gone to LA to confront Faith. Despite the lines of worry and exhaustion on his face, she figured he was only about a decade her senior. Only 5 or so years older than Riley. Not that she was thinking about Wesley that way.
"Where are you staying?" she asked.
He shrugged and wrote I hadn't given it any thought.
"Why don't you come back to my motel?" Buffy winced at how that had come out. "I mean, it's late, you don't look like you're in any shape to go anywhere tonight, and besides, I think the manager kind of expects me to show up with a strange man, and I'd hate to disappoint him. Not that this is a come-on...far from it, I mean...you're a good-looking man, but I'm so not ready to deal with that sort of thing, not after Spike, and besides, you used to be my Watcher, and you don't look like you're in any shape to... " She stopped as he pressed a note into her hand.
Yes, I'll stay. And yes, I'm well aware that it was not a come-on.
She smiled again, a twist of rue to it. "I must have sounded pretty stupid. Want to head back now?"
It wasn't really a question. She stood up, grabbing the closest stick.
"Follow me. It's not far."
She waited until he was standing and gently took him by the hand to lead up to the trail. They walked slowly and silently back to her room, pausing occasionally so he could catch his breath.
"It's not very impressive," she warned him as she unlocked the door, "but at least it's inside and there's a bed. Which you should take, by the way. I'll be fine in the chair."
Wesley was too tired to argue. He set his backpack next to her bags before staggering to the bathroom. Buffy listened to the water run while she arranged a blanket and pillow on the chair. He came out as she was turning back the covers.
"Make yourself comfortable--well, as comfortable as you can. I think the mattress has seen better days. Possibly the Crusades. I'm going to go brush my teeth and let you get ready for bed now."
She took her time in the bathroom, flossing carefully and brushing until she heard him slide under the sheets. He was already asleep when she walked back into the room, so she quietly turned off the lights, slipped off her jeans, and curled up in the chair. The light from the parking lot kept the room too bright for comfort, so she covered her face with the blanket and drifted off.
The sound of a struggle woke her. She bolted out of the chair ready to fight whatever it was until she realized "it" was just Wesley, face turned towards his pillow as he fought against his nightmare. Buffy shook him awake as gently as she could. His eyes flew open and he raised his hands as if to shield himself from someone.
"Shhh...Wesley, it was just a dream."
Not knowing what else to do, she sat next to him and wrapped her arms around him. He clung to her as though his life depended on it.
"Shhh...it's okay. It'll all be okay."
She stroked his hair and kissed his forehead and cheeks as she rocked him until his panicked gasps changed to harsh, nearly silent sobs. Buffy felt his shaking ease, so she kept caressing and kissing him until somehow one of them shifted as she was about to press her lips to his cheek and she found herself kissing the corner of his mouth instead.
Her tongue darted out before she could think, teasing his lips until they opened. She'd forgotten lips could be so warm. She covered his mouth with her own, hands tangling in his hair as she tasted him, gently licking the curve of his lower lip. A hint of hesitation, and he was returning the kiss, lips moving against her, hands loosening their grip to stroke her back. The warm breath mingling with her own felt foreign and familiar and right, and suddenly she found herself on top of him, pressing into his body urgently as his hands slid under her shirt.
His heart pounded against her chest. She rocked against him, hips echoing the rhythm. The cool air of the room hit flushed skin as he pulled her shirt over her head, leaving her clad in just her bra and a thin pair of panties.
It was too much clothing.
She sat up, pulled off first her bra and then his shirt. Kissed him again as she pushed his boxers down while he slid her underwear off of her and slipped himself inside her.
The coupling was raw and quick. She was gone by the time he woke up, leaving just the room key and a note of thanks.
---- "I'm sorry... what?"
The doctor's face was a study in learned kindness. "Is there a chance that you could be pregnant?"
The hum of the fluorescent lights seemed to grow louder in time with the buzzing in her brain.
"Maybe--just a slight chance. More of an off-chance really, almost a no-chance." Buffy wasn't sure who exactly she was trying to convince. "I had a light flow a week later."
"Flow or spotting?" he asked.
"Spotting, I guess."
"It's possible that what you noticed was implantation bleeding. It's fairly common, and your symptoms are consistent with pregnancy. At this point, I can't think of what else it could be. Everything else checks out as normal."
A quick test and a physical exam confirmed the worst-case scenario, and explained weeks of fatigue and dizziness that she'd just attributed to the most recent string of nasty events in her life. That is, until the nasty events had gone out with a bang and the symptoms remained. One encounter, pushed to the back of her mind after Tara's death and everything that followed it, had set a reminder notice, delivery scheduled for mid-December.
She could kick herself for being so stupid. She hadn't thought of the possibility until the doctor mentioned it. In her defense, contraception wasn't really an issue when one's main partner was, well, dead. So perhaps it slipping her mind during an impromptu fling with someone who was still breathing was understandable. Or maybe she was just rationalizing so she'd feel like less of an idiot.
The urge to revisit the comforting insane asylum hallucination was strong, as was the urge to just curl up in her bed and not deal. Buffy let herself in the front door planning on indulging in a vacation from coping for the rest of the day. Life, however, had other plans in the form of an overly-concerned 15 year old girl.
"Buffy, did you find out what's wrong? You're fine, right? Just tired?"
"Just pregnant," she replied absently.
"Buffy, that isn't funny. Stop joking and tell me what you found out."
She looked at Dawn and frowned. "I just did."
"I'm going to take a nap, Dawnie. I'm tired, and I can't really think right now. Can we talk about this later?"
She walked up the stairs, not bothering to pay attention to Dawn's protests. Her head was spinning, her stomach rolling, and she just wanted to lay down on her bed until it stopped. The rolling got worse, and she sprinted to the bathroom just in time to lose her breakfast. Buffy hoped the nausea was a one-time deal brought on by stress. She rinsed her mouth out and stared at her reflection. She looked the same. She felt the same.
She still couldn't quite believe she was pregnant, had been for several weeks, in fact. It wasn't the sort of thing you normally overlook. Of course, she still couldn't quite believe Tara was dead, Willow had flipped, or any of the rest of it, but unfortunately, not being able to wrap your head around something wasn't the same as it not being true.
Telling Dawn had probably been a mistake, but Buffy hadn't been able to filter the words before they came out of her mouth. At least it was out in the open and she wouldn't have to worry about hiding anything. Oh G-d, how was she going to break it to everyone else? With any luck, they were all as shell-shocked as she was and it wouldn't be a big deal. Although she'd thought that before, and it had kind of backfired.
She somehow doubted Giles would find anything to laugh about at this turn of events.