I Was Hoping
Disclaimer: The gorgeous women who I am about to put through a considerable amount of angst do not belong to me. Neither does the song. I own nothing but my ugly bridesmaid dress and chocolate body paint.
Author’s Notes: I know I said I was going to stop writing smut, but my computer stole the fic I was working on and put me in all states of a crappy mood. I feel the need to vent, so I’m writing this. It’s a brilliant song – ‘I Was Hoping’ - off her album (surprise surprise) Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie. Oh, and it’s Buffy’s point of view. This has a little background that is in my head, but must be shared in order to understand what the hell I’m blabbering about. Faith and Buffy are married. It’s about ten years on. Angst ensues.
Dedication: This one is for the President of the “SwayFic” club – Wlfgrrl – who shares my love of Alanis Morissette and who makes my amount of feedback look pitiful. I’m still working on that accent, and yes, I am still highly confused about the set out of Boston, but I will continue trying to understand it. Enjoy my friend :)
Feedback: The weather is crappy, so send me some happy thoughts to perk me up.
Listen to the Music
I’m at another one of these fucking benefits that Faith loves.
She’s the belle of the ball and I’m left nursing a drink in some secluded corner while she works the room with her dazzling smile and her skin-tight clothing. Faith enjoys success. I can see it in the way she grins when someone compliments her on how well she’s done, a diamond necklace hanging around her neck and me, draped on her arm. I leave her gesturing excitedly about her new project and walk out onto the patio, wondering when I stopped being her most important project. A man approaches me, a glass of champagne in one hand and a cigar in the other. Suddenly, I’m overcome with this urge to smack the glass out of his hand and the lascivious expression off his face. But I don’t. He’s human and he’s company. (As we were talking outside it was cold)
“Nice night.” My fingers tighten around my glass and it’s milliseconds away from shattering in my hand. Being treated like a piece of meat is one thing. Putting up with insipid small-talk is another.
“I’ve had better.” He tilts his head to the side and I recognise something in his eyes. Compassion. He *sees* me. “To be honest, I haven’t had a good night in eight months.”
“You’ve got me beat by a month. And 35 years.” I chuckle. He has bright eyes. (We were shivering yet warmed by the subject matter) “You here with anyone?” My eyes close for a split second before my defence mechanism kicks in and I try to ignore the thoughts that are desperately trying to push their way into my consciousness. (My wife is in the next room we’ve been having troubles you know please don’t tell her or anyone but I need to talk to somebody)
“Yes. I am.” She arrives on cue, trailing perfume and money behind her and she places an arm firmly around my waist, claiming me as a piece of her collection and displaying me for her benefit. The man with the bright eyes smiles, slightly embarrassed, and takes his leave.
She takes me in her arms and I stifle a sob that rises as a result. She lays soft kisses on my neck, praising my part in her happiness. (Wouldn’t it be a shame if I knew how great I was) Her hand is on the small of my back, tracing the vertebrae. (Five minutes before I died, I’d be filled with such regret) She brings her hand round to the front of my dress and cups my warmth, revelling in how wet I am for her, and I scream inside as I try to ignore her touch. I’m her prize. She lifts my dress and smiles, seeing that I am bare, and slides a finger into me. I’m oblivious to any stares that we may attract. I’ve stopped caring. She’s begging me to stay with her forever (before I took my last breath), and I’m weak, so I agree, gripping her arm as she thrusts into me. I want to speak, but my words are shielded by fear and overwhelmed by hers. “I love you B.” I smile and praise her. (I said you’re willing to tell me this now and you’re not going to die anytime soon) Does she think I control her destiny? Can she not see that the dead cannot guide the living? I have no place in my life for self-pity. My mind is a mixture of apathy and selective living, and I would be worried if she cared. But she doesn’t.
I do things for her that would normally make me happy, but they don’t. We adopted a healthy lifestyle that would put anyone to shame (And I said I haven’t been eating chicken or meat or anything). I think she takes pleasure in testing me, making me prove my worth, urging me to give up everything else for our love (And you said yes). She loves that I’ve changed for her, changed my life, changed my destiny, and I smile when she tells me this. I know I’m expected to tell her that she’s changed too, and I do, but I know it’s bullshit. (But you’ve been wearing leather) Our moments together are a series of fallacies strung together, creating a necklace of lies, deceits and half-truths, and they eat away at my heart, nibbling a little section of it every time I ask her if she loves me. She says yes, and I know she means it, but it means nothing to me. Then I question her, for my own peace of mind and she (laughed and said we’re at the top of the food chain). The jewellery she buys me burns my skin. I hate it. The very thing that took her away from me is scalding my neck, ears, fingers and wrists. She feels me going over the edge and withdraws her finger, licking it slowly and whispering into my ear. (And yes, you’re still a fine woman) She kisses me, biting my lip so that a faint trail of blood adorns it and motions for me to follow her. She takes my hand. (And I cringed)
We’re in the car, on the way home when she kicks off her shoes and rests her head in my lap. My hand automatically reaches out to stroke her hair and as I make contact with her raven locks, she sighs contentedly, causing a shooting pain to hit my heart. Time seems to stand still and we are momentarily back to when we first began. Declaring our eternal love and desire for one another, our promise to shield each other from the suffering of the past (I was hoping we could heal each other) and our pact sealed in blood that we would never lie to each other (I was hoping we could be raw together). I find myself unable to identify the moment where it all went to hell. I smile, thinking that Hell would be a welcome relief from my life as an insignificant shadow. I thought we were going home, but the driver passes our house and continues driving. I know where we’re going. We’re going to a place where the food is top-quality, the wine is imported and where I blend in with the scenery.
The car comes to a halt and she lifts her head out of my lap, smoothes her hair, puts her shoes back on and opens the door. I step out after her, always trailing behind her and take the arm that she offers – the moment in the car doing nothing to allay the hollow feeling in my chest. We walk into the restaurant and are escorted to a table in the centre of the room where people can gape and gawk at us. I know she loves it, but she never bothered to ask me if I didn’t. This is why when she looks at me, unable to look anywhere else, my eyes tell her how dead I am inside. Her mouth curves into a smile and she licks her lips, leaving me wondering how something so beautiful and perceptive, cannot see that I am a shell. We eat. We drink. She smiles. I disappear. Bit by bit, so that I am convinced that one of these mornings, she will wake up and I’ll be gone. She won’t see me – but then, that’s nothing new. The cheque never arrives and she waves at the diner who has taken care of it for us as we exit. (We left the restaurant where the head waiter (in his 60’s) said “goodbye, thank you for your business you’re successful and established and we like the frequency with which you dine here and your money”) I feel bile rising at the back of my throat as he grovels. (And when I walked by they said, “thank you too dear”) I flinch and she sends me look as if to say ‘don’t make a scene'.
So I don’t. (I was all pigtails and cords)
The engine purrs and I think somewhere, in the deep recesses of the person who loves me, she knows that I’m lost. (There was a day I would have said something like “Hey dude I could buy and sell this place so kiss it”) I know that would have made her laugh, but I don’t have the strength to perform any more than I have to. The voice in my head is oozing with martyrdom and I block it out. The world has no desire for another hapless soul who thinks they deserve happiness. (I once too thought I was owed something) She once told me: “Look, I’m not so good at apologies, mostly because I think the world’s out to screw me, so I’m generally more owed than owing”. She still believes it only now, due to her successive rise in the world, it’s become a reality. I understand why she treats me as if I owe her something. I was the one who held her back, tore down her defences and screwed up her life before turning my back on her. But she came back and unleashed her revenge in the worst way possible: she made me love her. I still do. I fucking love her.
Our house is cold. True, it’s tiled and there are a thousand pieces of art and plants that demand a cool climate, but our warmth towards each other used to nullify the cold. We had heat between us that would melt an iceberg. We made love on every bed, every floor, every desk and every day, and when we weren’t pleasuring each other, we were pushing each other to new heights. (I was hoping we could challenge each other) Her lop-sided grin and juvenile sense of humour made me remember why I regretted not having all of my childhood, and I remember her eyes looking up at me adoringly, aching for my approval as I threw my head back and laughed. (I was hoping we could crack each other up) Then there were days when we said nothing, merely basking in the presence of each other, communicating with a look, a touch, a wink. When we made love on days like that, I used to cry. I still cry.
She closes the door and I’m on my way to the stairs when she grabs my arm and brings me to her, kneeling on the floor as she buries her face in my stomach. Her arms are like snakes wrapped around my waist and it’s a nice change to be suffocating somewhere else rather than my chest. Her hands travel down my thighs, tracing the shape of my calves until she stops at my ankles, gripping them between her hands as if trying to squeeze the marrow out of me. I haven’t moved. Only my breathing shows that I’m alive and it increases in pace as she lifts the hem of my dress once more.
“Take it off. I want to see you.” I comply and the garment lands on the floor with nothing more than a whisper. She stares at me unabashedly and reaches up to trace a palm between my breasts. This is about power. (I too once thought when proved wrong I lost somehow) This is about her refusal to never be a victim again. She hates the word, so she’s killing me with pleasure. My eyes water and my insides struggle to deal with the infinitely small amount of happiness that I have allowed in. (I once too thought life was cruel) I want out. I want to be left alone and ostracized from everything that involves me feeling. I can’t do it. She has her tongue in me and my knees are too weak to run. I imagine the argument I want to have with her, but I would have to wait for her to start.
(It’s a cycle really)
(You think I’m withdrawing and I’m guilt tripping you)
(I think you’re insensitive and I don’t feel heard)
(Do you believe we are fundamentally judgemental?)
(And you said yes)
(I don’t believe in revenge in right or wrong good or bad)
(You said: “well what about the man that I saw handcuffed in the emergency
room bleeding after beating his kid and she threw a shoe at his head)
(I think what he did was wrong and I would’ve had a hard time feeling
compassion for him)
(I had to watch my tone for having you feel judged)
I know it will never happen. I’ll leave her, or die trying. She knows that how she has me now is the only way she’ll ever keep me, in addition to what I remember of our love. If that goes, so will I. A whimper escapes from my mouth and she withdraws her tongue, replacing it with her finger so she can see me, as I stand above her, brazen and weeping. She slides up my body and I can feel every pore open itself to her touch. She wraps her free arm around me and bites my shoulder as I breathe raggedly into her ear.I have trouble recalling if we’ve had a conversation.
She increases the pressure of her teeth and my body presses up against hers, assuming a position that was the defining factor in our relationship. (I was hoping we could dance together) We sway gently and the tears fall freely from my eyes, drowning her shirt in salt and water. My hips begin to buck and I know that she’s won again. I lean on her until my vision is clear of desire and tears and then I look at her, expecting fire-drenched eyes. What I see rips away the layers that have hindered my love for her as her chocolate eyes mirror mine in tears. I clasp her to my chest and her sobs rack her form heavily, reverberating against my naked flesh. I remember what it was like to be the strong one, to comfort, to touch, and I do so. I take her face in my hands and kiss and lick away her tears. (I was hoping, I was hoping) She smiles at me and I smile back.