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Undertow, Part Four
Reply to Trixie or visit her websitePosted to the RoswellSlash mailing list November 18, 2001
Title: Undertow (4/?)
Disclaimer: Joss and Jason own. Like I care;)
Rating: NC 17 (sex, blood stuff- it could squick you out, take heed;) )
Summary: After "Flooded" (but without the B/A ending), Buffy comes across Liz and Michael. She and Liz begin to fall for each other once more...
Dedication: to all the UC Liz shippers;) Y'all know who you are *g*
Muzak: I just found the PERFECT Liz/Buffy song (for this fic, anyway!) "Grace" by Chantal Kreviazuk- she's a Canadian singer, whom I adore:)
You still have grace, you still have mercy
To keep kissing my face
Even though I am wrong,
please don't go, without you, I am weak
Find myself drinking and sinking and seeking
Please don't go
It gets so cold
"Grace" Chantal Kreviazuk
I can feel the sun on my back as I draw off my shirt and pants, un-hooking my bra and sliding my stained underwear down my legs. Tossing them in a pile, I don't watch as Liz undresses slowly, her movements careful. I used to come to this deserted little cove when I was a child. With Dawnie and Mom and we'd splash amongst the creamy waves, making sand castles with our small fingers. Was there a dark cloud hanging over us even then? I shield my eyes and squint- gazing far out to where the mermaids and the shipwrecks dwell.
Maybe there was.
I don't know.
"What are we doing?" Liz asks, her tone wary, confused... soft.
I turn back and see the desire in her eyes. But she's afraid. I can't blame her. My hands encircle her tiny waist. "We're swimming, Lizzie. Just swimming."
"You left so long ago," she leans into me, and her rosy nipples- tiny- press into mine. Her breasts are small, perfect. Like the rest of her. The colour of ripe peaches and thick cream. I imagine them slick with water- remembering the day with the lake and the desert and the burning sand.
"I didn't want to," I say quietly. "You know that. But I had to go. I have commitments here. Still."
"Why did Angel break up with you?" her voice is brittle, angry. "You did leave Roswell for him, after all."
The sound of his name pinches something deep in my belly. I smile sadly. "I don't even remember. It seemed important then- like lots of things. I thought I had to kill him. He thought he had to leave me. Now... it's been so many years. We don't even know each other anymore."
She doesn't really respond for a moment, her eyes large and unseeing. I think she is remembering things that have nothing to do with me. And then she speaks. "Has there been anyone else? Were you... in love with anyone else?"
"I thought I was," I whisper. "After Angel... there was two. Parker- he was a one-night stand. He even had red sheets. It was meaningless. But Riley... I thought he'd be something more. We went out for a year. I was obsessed with him- at first. Wanted everything about him... the sex, the normalcy. I ignored my friends, threw myself into thisnormal thing. I thought it was what I should want. But after awhile... it was like, 'Goodbye novelty'- hello reality. I just... didn't need him anymore. It was cruel. He served a purpose. I wanted it to work, but it didn't."
"Did you break up with him?" she asks, reaching out with a shaky hand and trailing it in the salty waves.
"No," I say. "He left me. I made him go. I couldn't give him what he wanted... I was never there for him. Not, really. Not like I was for Angel... it was different. Everything about Riley and I should have been perfect, but it was empty."
She nods. "I know. I had someone- Sean- after... after things happened with Max. He was great, you know? Funny and normal. I slept with him and thought things would be better. But they just... I couldn't love anyone else but Max. He had this hold over me."
Laying back, I stare up at the sun, dreamily wishing myself into the sky. "And what about me, Lizzie? Do I still have a hold over you?"
I can hear her sharp in-drawn breath and she touches my face. A lock of her hair drips over my ribs and she leans close. "What do you think?"
I kiss her. Cupping my hand around her head, I bring her lips to mine and she slides over my body, her sun-warmed skin a blessed relief, after the cold of this Hell I've wandered into. Her mouth tastes like strawberries and her tongue is smooth as butter as it licks my neck. I feel her hand between my legs and know she likes the colour pink. I can feel the wetness on my inner thighs- the blood and musk staining her fingers as she sucks on my sweat-drenched nipples, my moans joining the cries of the seagulls as they soar in the sky.
"Buffy...Buffy..." she groans helplessly as I turn her over, my hands and lips and tongue searching for the hollow her lower back, sweet in it's perfection, slick with ocean water. The tide is coming in but I don't feel it. She pushes herself against my face and I remember- God I remember- how addicting she was- as I grip her knees tightly with my Slayer hands (killer hands) and drink her come. She screams. Just once- and it's a wind chime in my memory. The sound of death.
We're drowning in each other once more.
Lazily, I swim, the slaps of my legs against the water a soothing sound. Liz drifts close to me, her hair wet over her tanned shoulders, her mouth red and swollen. All I can see is blackness. The water is dark, cold, curling around is like a serpent, it's claws opening around its prey. Overhead the stars burn.
"What are we doing?" she asks.
I shrug. "Something extremely dangerous? Swimming at night is never a good idea."
She giggles, ever so slightly, and I remember that sound too. "That's not what I meant, and you know it."
I smile, a little. "I know. I don't know what we're doing. We're... we're doing what we want. And why shouldn't we? I've certainly had enough shit in my life lately. I deserve some happiness. So do you."
She flips over onto her back, her hair fanning around her, disappearing into the water so all I can see is a white face and black ocean. "And who says we make each other happy? Can kissing you make me forget Maria?"
"I don't want you to forget Maria," I murmur, a pain lacerating through my stomach. "I won't forget her. But we could...dull the pain."
"Use each other," she says without inflection.
"No..." I mutter, and reach out for her hand through the water. Her fingers are like pale fish. The moonlight shines on her eyes, turning them into diamonds. "Well, yes. Maybe. But... I want to forget things. Don't you?"
She nods, her legs tangling with mine. "Was that all we were ever about? Forgetting?"
"No... but I don't like to think we were something more," I answer bleakly, and kiss her lips. They taste bitter, like tears and a touch of something else. Pink. Pressing my cheek against hers, I listen to her wary reply;
"Because it makes me wonder if I made a mistake. Leaving you."
She doesn't respond and I don't blame her. We stare at the stars, the water lapping hungrily at our skin as we drift for a long time, but never seem to reach the other side.
When we enter the hotel room, I notice the light by the side of the bed is on, casting a strange, watery glow over the room. Michael sits by the window fast asleep and holding something in his hand. As we edge closer, I realize it's a picture of Maria. She's turning around- probably at the photographer's urging- and is half-smiling. She looks beautiful and my chest squeezes.
Liz gasps and points to Michael's eye. Blood rings the outside of it, which is quickly blackening into a purplish bruise. She sighs wearily, "He must have gotten into another fight. Would you stay here for a moment while I get some ice?"
"Sure," I reply, guessing from her tone that this happens often. She leaves the room, dropping the sodden towels we brought on the way out. I shift uncomfortably. My underwear are damp from blood and sweat. The room smells like sex. Michael shifts drowsily, his eyes opening.
"What are you doing here?" he asks, squinting against the light. He places the picture of his dead lover on the windowsill carefully. "Where's Liz?"
"She's gone to get ice," I reply. "What happened to your face?"
He shrugs, then flinches at the obvious pain. "Some jerk at the bar. I didn't like the look of him."
"Or maybe you were just feeling sorry for yourself?" I suggest lightly.
He scowls. "Shut up, Buffy. You don't know anything about me. I don't think you ever really did."
"Didn't I?" I murmur. "We were friends."
He barks with harsh laughter. "Friends huh? Maybe so. But Liz was a mess after you left. She just got smaller and sadder every day. Maria missed you like Hell. Maybe I even missed you a little. Friends don't do that to you. Don't expect to just pick up where we left off."
"I understand," I say softly, and I do. He's lost the love of his life. Nothing will ever be the same again. "Did you... what happened with you and Maria before she died?"
"What do you mean?" he asks, startled.
"Something happened. I can tell."
His eyes are far away. They well with tears and he clenches his jaw and gazes resolutely out the window. "She called me from work. Told me she had big news. God... I can still hear the way she laughed. Teased me. She must have been in a hurry- she was going 100 when some asshole was driving home from a friend's. Drunk. In the fucking middle of the day. She died on impact. They told me... they told me at the hospital." He pauses, and picks up the picture of her again, touching it with his thumb, smoothing the tiny creases in the bent material. "They told me she was pregnant. One month."
I can't breathe. Tears swell and drip from my eyes, sliding down my cheeks. He doesn't look at me. Reaching out, I lay my hand on his. He doesn't return the gesture, but he doesn't pull away. "I haven't told anyone that," he whispers, his voice reedy. "Not even her Mother. Not even Liz. They... they shouldn't know. It'd be too much."
"What would be too much?" Liz's voice breaks the moment and Michael jerks away from me, standing and walking over to her. His hand brushes her cheek as he takes the ice.
"Nothing, baby," he mutters. "Just talking about the past. Thanks. My eye's really killing me."
"Buffy?" she glances at me questioningly.
"What he said," I tell her, my knees wobbling. "Just the past. I have to go, Lizzie... I'll see you, ok?"
She takes a step towards me. "But"
I know she wants to come home with me and I cut her off, "No. Just... stay... look after Michael. I really have to go. We'll... I'll call you tomorrow."
Hesitantly, she nods. "Okay." Michael goes into the bathroom, shutting the door. She rushes toward me, and tugs me into her arms, her lips on mine. I kiss her, feeling her warmth against me. Without her- I think I would sink again. I need her. Liz. She buries her face in my neck, whispering, "You will call me, right?"
"Hey," I murmur teasingly. "Of course I will. Night, Lizzie."
She smiles against my lips. "Night Buffy."
As I walk home, I catch a glimpse of myself in a shop window. My hair is tangled, hanging over my shoulders in a thick and salty mass. My skin is red, my clothes damp with seawater and scratchy with sand. Mascara smudges adorn the spaces underneath my eyes and I grimace, wishing for nothing more than a shower. I can see the copper-coloured stains on my pants and know they are from Liz's fingers and my insides. Will everything I do always be soaked in blood?
I step up the stairs to the door of my house, sighing as I wonder how I'll sneak in without Willow and Tara noticing. As I ponder this, I hear a slight cough in the shadows and breathe out.
He appears as if out of nowhere and tilts his head at me. "Where have you been?"
"Around," I answer vaguely. "Look, I'll make this easy. Tell me what in the fuck you're doing out here and I won't stake you."
"Waiting for you," he replies, flashing me a glare.
"Why? So you could watch me undress?" I inquire, folding my arms over my chest.
"Maybe," he drawls.
I sigh tiredly. "Get lost."
"What an original response," he sneers, and sniffs the air. "What is that I smell?"
"I don't know," I answer quickly.
"Blood," he continues as if I haven't spoken. "Blood and sex. What have you been up to, you naughty Slayer?"
"Nothing," I snap. "Even if I was, it'd be none of your business."
"Maybe so," he smiles toothily, but there's no warmth in it. Only a cold menace. "But I could make it mine. By say... telling my old Grand-Sire that you're back. Oh yeah. Don't look so surprised, Buffy. I know you haven't told the Great Pouf that you're alive and well. Wouldn't he be even more shocked to find that not only are you alive and well, but you're shagging someone else?"
"I am not sleeping with anyone else," I snarl. "And if you know what's good for you, you won't breathe a word of this to Angel."
"Or you'll what?" he laughs. "Get really mad? Threaten me for the thousandth time? And you are so shagging someone, you dumb chit. I can smell it all over you. Just like I can smell that it's that time of the month. 'Course, your mood gives that away."
In a flash he is up against the wall, my hand at his throat, holding him in place. "Look. If you so much as step foot in LA, if you so much as speak one measly word to Angel, I'll stake you this time, Spike. I don't have time for you." Suddenly I notice something. "Is that blood on your lips?"
He shrugs away, straightening his leather jacket. "It's pig's blood, blondie. Had myself a snack. If you're done beating me around like a I was your favourite punching bag, I'm gonna go."
I watch him leave, walking in the house with the feeling that something... something isn't quite right.
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