Part I – Dark of Night
Xander and Red are dancing up a storm. I pretend to watch them as I glance over at Buffy and Kennedy. They’re talking business again, Christ, don’t they ever stop? I think about dancing for a minute, then decide I’d rather just keep drinking. I don’t want to have to deal with the fallout from needy, puppy-dog-eyes, dancing partners tonight.
We do this every once in a while, get together and cut loose. We have a good time. And me and B, well, we play our game: mad flirting, light touches, always kissing hello and good bye on the lips, hugs that last just a little too long. We’ve played it since Sunnydale, from almost the first night we met and it just continued over the years. No one understands our little game, but that doesn’t matter to us. We like to play with fire, always have, and probably always will. It’s never more than that though, a game. Well, there was that one time a few years ago when Buffy got engaged to that dude she married, but it was just that once...
Everyone was wasted that night; the others were passed out drunk in the living room at Red and Ken’s house. Then it was just me and B, in the kitchen, doing shots of Cuervo. I don’t remember when regular shots became body shots but that’s how it happened. We were pretty fucked up, flirting, laughing and having a good time. She salted the lime, rubbed it on my neck, then stuck the wedge between my teeth. Slowly she trailed her tongue up my throat over the line of salt and lime juice, lightly sucking all along the way. Jesus, I have no words to describe exactly how that felt, but absolutely fucking amazing comes real close. She pulled back, downed her shot, then gave me this incredibly evil grin as she leaned forward and sucked on the lime in my mouth.
It was wicked hot. When her lips touched mine I couldn’t help but close my eyes and try to stop time, savor every second. The next thing I knew, she pulled back, took the lime out of my mouth and promptly replaced it with her tongue. And just like that, things just got a whole lot hotter. We did some more shots, which lead to more kisses, then some not so light touches, stirring each other up. It’s like all the years of flirting finally came to head and, like I’ve done most my life, I just went with the moment.
I don’t know where I got the strength, but I ended up splitting and grabbing a cab back to my apartment. I knew we were toasted and it was just going to get worse. So I wanted to get out of there before things got really out of control and we did something we’d regret. But right before I left she held me in a tight embrace then looked me in the eye and said, “We will sleep together one day.” I started to shake my head but she took my face in her hands and leveled her gaze at me. “It will happen,” she said again, yeah right...
Whatever, so we’re good, not dwelling on it or nothing. It’s not like we ever talked about it, we just let it slide; you know, chalked it up to just a crazy drunken night, acting on impulses, tequila and flirting getting out of control, which of course is all true. And it was all good for these past couple of years too, until about an hour ago when Ken called for shots of Patron. Jesus, tequila kills me every time.
So we all down some shots of Patron, it’s just so damn smooth, and surprise, surprise, now we’re all whacked. Xander is babbling about some nonsense over on the loungy couch with Red and Ken. I can’t tell if they can see him as both their eyes are little slits let alone if they're even listening in their drunken haze.
B is sitting on the arm of the couch and I’m on a stool with my back to the bar watching her. She’s definitely not paying attention to Xander and the others, she’s staring off into space, looking kinda... I don’t know... like a million miles away and just plain… sad. She must have felt my eyes on her cause she turns to me, holds my gaze then raises her eyebrow as she tilts her head to the side. Fuck, I’m totally busted drinking her in just like all the ridiculous amounts of alcohol I’ve had tonight.
“Come here,” I whisper knowing only she could hear me.
She gets up and moves towards me, “Hey,” she tilts her head again and smiles. I can tell she’s pretty wrecked right along with me.
“Hey,” I smile back at her. She turns and wedges her body between my legs leaning her back into me. I close my eyes and allow myself to bask in the feel of her flush against my chest. Slowly I breathe in deeply then murmur, “God, you smell so good.” Son-of-a-bitch, I didn’t mean to say that out loud.
“Yeah?” she leans her head back on my shoulder, “it’s a new body spray.”
“No,” I no longer have control of my arms as they encircle her waist pulling her closer to me, “it’s your hair.” I nuzzle the back of her head. She groans in approval as I envelope her in my arms. Really, I can’t help it and I tell her as much as I murmur into her ear, “You’re just so huggable.” Taking one hand away I pull her hair to the side then rest my chin on her shoulder. I know I’m just torturing myself, but I – I lightly kiss her neck. God, she feels so amazingly soft, warm, perfect.
Right now I’m in my own world; just me and B. No one, no thing, no thought exists outside of this moment, it’s just us, and it’s surreal. My hands drift and start to caress the skin she has showing from her low rise jeans. I pull her tightly into me and slip the tips of my fingers just inside her waistband, then lightly strum my thumbs against her flat stomach.
Her hands hold mine to her then travel to my thighs, lightly rubbing back and forth. I can feel the waves of want roll between us. There’s always been an attraction here, but we’ve always been able to play it off, turn in into a game, you know, control it. Well, except for that one night... and for some reason right now. Through this alcohol and Buffy induced haze, I know this is wrong, but I consciously put that thought away, I refuse to let anything burst through this feeling right now. My heart is beating so loud I can’t even hear the music anymore. Then I’m struck, holy fuck, she’s right, I feel it in every fiber of my being. “It really will happen.” I’m incredulous by how true my words sound to my ears as once again; I didn’t mean to speak them aloud.
My voice seems to jar her from her own thoughts and I feel her tense up in my arms. She turns to face me; so close, her lips draw nearer then linger on mine for second, only a second. Buffy pulls away, her stare boring holes into mine, searching for something, then looking once again, so incredibly sad. She leans back into me and I close my eyes when I feel her breath against my ear, the warmth of her body against mine. She whispers softly, “I can’t… not yet.”
Swallowing hard, I nod as she leaves. Turning to the bar, I bow my head and sigh heavily, trying to shake myself out of this fog, this confusion that’s seems to have descended on me, cause I’m really not sure if I’m relieved or disappointed she left. Jesus, can someone tell me what the fuck I’m doing? She’s married for Christ sake. Not to mention straight. But God damn it, I want her.
Head now in my hands, knowing full well this one will put me over the edge; I flag down the bartender and order another drink.
Part II: Light of Day
I woke up to snow on the beach this morning; can’t tell you how much I love that. The best decision I ever made was buying this place “down the shore” as they say here. Couldn’t stay in Cleveland with the others anymore, it was getting way too... um, complicated. So I took off a few months ago and found this place. Now I’ve got my own little hideaway from the Scoobys. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still over there like 3 weeks out of every month, it’s just, now I have a place to get away from them. Yeah, who am I kidding? From her.
Anyway, it’s such an absolutely brilliant clear day. The sun is shining brightly; warm enough to take the chill out of the air, but not melt the snow. The denizens of the sleepy beach town I call home are still snuggled up in bed; those who have someone to snuggle I guess. Seeing as I don’t, I go out for a quick run. Nothing crazy, just a mile, just to try to shake the winter cobwebs, just to try to get a certain blonde out of my head.
When I get back I grab a mug of coffee and I head out to the beach. Brushing the snow off a big piece of driftwood, I take a seat and stare out into the water. It’s getting to be high tide now and the water is gently creeping up the shoreline, slowly swallowing the snow. It only takes about a minute before thoughts of her and that night at the bar invade my mind again... oh just fucking great.
It’s been months, but I’m still pissed at myself for losing control, getting drunk, letting it happen. Jesus, how can I be such an asshole? Ever since prison I’ve really been trying to do the right thing, you know? And I think I’ve been doing pretty good, but letting things get out of control with Buffy while she’s married is SO not the right thing. She’s not mad at me or anything. It’s like we’re ignoring it again, if we don’t address it, it never happened right? So what I kinda always liked her? So what we’ve got this attraction thing going on? And yeah, so what we’d be smoking hot together? It’s not like anything will ever come of this. Can you say never gonna happen? Ok, look, bottom line - I don’t want to disrespect her or her relationship, so I’m just trying to keep my distance.
But, damn, why, after all this time, all these years, am I consumed by thoughts of her now? Can I tell you I’m even dreaming about her? It’s as if a door’s been opened and I can’t for the life of me close it; it just doesn’t make any sense. And you know there are so many levels of wrong here; I can’t even begin to count them. My mind feels like it’s going to explode and I need to stay sharp, focused on the job, training the newbie’s, helping research the new Big Bad, that kinda thing.
Mindlessly, I shake my head then take a sip of my coffee which I immediately spray out onto the snow-covered sand. It’s ice cold. What did I expect, huh? I’m sitting here in a daze thinking about Buffy, reliving that night again like some love-struck kid. I’m such a fucking loser. Talk about wanting something you’ll never have, I gotta snap out of this. Disgusted with myself, I get up and walk back to the house.
When I get to the side door I look back out to the sea, how calm the water is. How it tries so hard to soothe me. Then it dawns on me, why I can’t get her out of my head. It just suddenly slams into my head: a flash, a memory that I’d forgotten in my drunken stupor that just now is unlocked from its cage in my mind. That night at the bar, she didn’t say “no” or even “stop”. I take a deep breath then let it out slowly as I start to feel my heart pounding in my ears. Completely floored, I remember now, she said, “not yet.”