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Beholden to Yesterday, Part Seven
Reply to Trixie or visit her websitePosted to the RoswellSlash mailing list June 12, 2001
Title: Beholden to Yesterday (7/?)
Disclaimer: We all know that Joss, Jason and Melinda own the BtVS and Roswellverses respectively. Let's not dwell on the unfairness
Rating: NC 17
Summary: Buffy flees to Roswell when she kills Angel, and finds love again... with Liz
Author's Notes: need to catch up? I know it's been a while since I put this out: http://www.geocities.com/trixie_ambition/fiction/beholden.html
AN2: The lake I use in the story is the one we briefly caught a glimpse of in "Wipeout" when Kyle and his Dad were fishing
Dedication: to all the people who wrote and asked for another part to this. Muchly appreciated;)
My guilty skin is like gasoline
It's burning out a hole in me
My guilty heart lies here in ruin, in ruin
Nobody knows me, no one will ever see
The distance between what is and what will never be
I lie in Liz's arms and draw deeply on the smoking cigarette. It's tip glows brightly in the dusk of my room. One of her legs slides against mine, sweaty and smooth. The sheets are soaked with our perspiration. She curves her cheek against my neck and kisses my collarbone. I feel her teeth scratch my skin and sigh softly. "Lizzie?"
She breathes out and answers, "Yes?"
"Are you going to tell... anyone about us? Are we going to tell anyone?"
She slips a hand over my belly, and I shiver slightly, the shock of her touch still making me tremble with some deep down desire. My fingers rest in the hollow of her lower back, which is pooled with sweat. I love this place on her body. I can feel the ridges of her spine, the curve to her hips... it's perfect and soft. She laughs at me when I kiss it, and bites her lip when I go lower. I love that look on her face too.
She finally swallows, I can hear it, and then she replies quietly, "Do you want to tell everyone?"
I don't know. I don't know what to tell her. Parts of me think Michael has guessed. For the past week since Liz and I first slept together, he has been sending me looks out of the corner of his eye. Smirks to. Like he's got a secret. It irritates me to no end. I can't figure out why he doesn't just say something to me. I've gathered that Liz isn't his favourite person. She giggled when she told me that, but I think it hurts her.
Maria doesn't know. She's too innocent for that. But I did catch Max giving me a quizzical glance once when he came in with Isabel and Alex and I was staring at Liz. I remember clearly- she was lifting the weight of her hair off her neck and I yearned to go over and kiss the nape of it- where it sloped to her back. I stopped for a second in the middle of the buzzing Crashdown and let myself gaze at her for just a fraction of a moment. Nothing, really. But Max saw me, and his eyebrows lifted and I hated him.
I think I might still hate him. I think I might hate him more than anyone else in the world right now. Besides Angel. I dreamt about him last night- after Liz made love to me and I made her come against my lips and we kissed and curled together in my bed, I dreamt.
He was at the Bronze and so was I. His skin was so pale, and it was a shock, since all the images of him in my brain have been blurry lately, shifting in and out of focus. I remember him arching an eyebrow at me, beckoning me forward and I went, my thighs brushing together underneath the silk of my dress. I was wet in the dream, and he knew it, because he could smell me. He drew me into his dark as night embrace and his belly felt squishy, and I realized his ribs were cracked and where I'd betrayed him was weeping blood hot rage.
"Angel," I whispered, as if speaking loudly would break some spell. I guess it would. I recall being afraid if I screamed or yelled he's go away. And I miss him. I wanted him near. "You're bleeding."
He smiled at me and bit my lip, taking it between his teeth and splitting it in two. My blood joined his and dripped down our chins and I whimpered, struggling in his rock hard arms. "I know, love." He murmured and then licked the salt of my tears off my eyelashes. "Don't you wish you could bleed to? Be here with me..."
I felt the sobs overtake my throat, and hot bile swept up underneath my tongue, mixing with the red blood, which choked my teeth and lips. "Yes, you know I do," I said urgently, trying to make him understand. He didn't. I could tell. In front of my gaze was a picture of Lizzie's face, sliding in and out of focus as Angel touched my face and my neck and I grappled with his shirt, trying to keep him with me.
But he disappeared. And laughed. When I woke up, I was weeping and my stomach felt as if it had been turned inside out, spilling my insides on the floor. Liz shifted in sleep and curved an arm around mine, as if she was trying to keep me with her. I recall feeling suffocated and like I was going to throw up, and I pulled away, running to the window and trying to breathe. The dusty air swirled around my mouth and I inhaled, wishing for a cigarette.
That was when I really started to hate him. And when I think I missed him the most.
"I think Michael already guesses," I tell her finally, and kiss her forehead, her taste of sugar and salt and sweat clinging to my lips. She moves her head so our mouths brush.
"He's not who I'm worried about," she admits and I laugh, saying;
"Max would probably have a hernia if he knew."
She giggles despite herself, and falls back on the bed, her hands splayed as if to grip the ceiling. "He wouldn't take it well," she agrees and the shining mass of her hair obscures her face for a moment. It irritates me because I like looking at her. Her beauty to me- is so simple and yet so complex. In so many ways she reminds me of what I'm missing- her dark eyes and clear smile and haunted trembling hands. She's doomed, like me. Maybe that's our basic connection. Tugging her close, I kiss her and let my hands wander over the world of her back, finding my favourite spot with ease. It's hot.
"Let's keep it quiet for a little while longer," she suggests and I nod, knowing that she would say that. She's frightened, and I don't blame her, because while I'm just a ghost passing through this town, these people have seen her as a little girl- they've watched her grow up.
She has more to lose.
I move around the Crashdown with ease now, and it's better than it used to be. Customers may still grasp my apron with their angry, impatient fingers, but I can shrug it off with a smile and gritted teeth. Maria passes by me every so often and slaps my butt. It makes me laugh. She always makes me laugh. Yesterday she called me after she had called Michael and wept into the phone and I wanted so much to kick his ass for her. Her tears were bitter and her voice broke as she asked me "why can't he just talk to me?" I had no answers for her of course. What could I say?
Liz and I watched the stars all night from my bed, through the window and I asked if she and Max had ever had sex. It was almost an offhand question- and I knew I should be ashamed since it was so private. I wasn't. She coloured and then looked furious and said, "No." Just one word. I didn't press. Sometimes I get the feeling she thinks her and Max are sacred and that I shouldn't disrupt their past.
Then sometimes I think she wants to forget her and him and just be Liz. But those times are few and far between. I understand- I think it's the same with Angel and I. Except he's dead, and I have no choice.
I walk into the kitchen and smell the wall of heat before I feel it, beads of sweat sliding down my neck and spine as I lean against the wall and wait for Michael to finish an order of Saturn Rings that are sizzling in the deep fryer. He cocks an eyebrow at me and wipes grime off his face with one hand. "What?" I ask without inflection, the ache in my breastbone for smoke and nicotine becoming more pronounced with each passing second.
"Nothing," he replies and then grins. "Something. You and Liz. What's up with the two of you?"
I remain perfectly calm and shrug. "I don't know. None of your business I guess. I mean, there's obviously something up your ass but I don't ask what it is, do I?"
He laughs as if he can't help himself and looks at me strangely. "There's something about you, Buffy," he comments and flips a burger in the grill as it starts to blacken. "Something different."
"You're one to talk," I respond, as my heart quickens. I wonder if aliens can sense a Slayer. The thought of that word makes my palms itch for wood, my body throb for the fight and the kill. The need to patrol gets fierce at night- but as long as Liz is with me, I can stave it off. "Speaking of something going on... are you ever going to return Maria's phone calls?"
His eyes spin into blankness immediately and he replies with studied impatience; "You don't understand. It's not going to work. We can't be together."
Something about the way he's talking sends me into a black rage before I can stop myself. "You think I don't understand?" I snap, hurling down the menus I'm holding, watching them ping off the floor and fall into a heap at his feet. He stares at them and then me, startled and non-plussed. "You think I don't understand what both of you are going through? Well, I do, and I have one bit of advice for you, Guerin. Get. Over. Yourself."
Breathing out harshly, I blink back tears as I remember the feel of Angel's teeth splitting my lip and the taste of him right before he died. Turning away abruptly, I go outside into the ally and lean against the wall, trying to gulp down air, trying not to faint or run or do something stupid. I realize it's the first time in a long time I've allowed myself anger... allowed myself real emotion besides flippant disregard or lust.
Someone hands me a lit cigarette, and I recognise Michael's dirty fingernails immediately. I take the tube of burning paper and drug, and as I inhale, I wonder if he was taught to wash his hands as a child. He is pulling on my arm, and I realize he's trying to hug me, awkwardly. I let myself be held by him, curving myself into his chest. He smells like grease and smoke and soap and boyish musk. His T-shirt is soft and cotton, and it reminds me of Angel in some way that I don't understand. With shaking fingers, he touches my hair and my back, slipping over the pronounced ridges of my spine.
He doesn't talk at first, and for that I'm grateful. I can feel his chin resting on top of my head, digging into my scalp. After I take a few deep breaths, reluctantly I disentangle myself from his arms and he lets me go, leaning back against the wall, regarding me with something akin to fear in his eyes.
I smoke and stare back at him. "I loved someone once," I finally say, letting the words fall into the spaces between us. "And it was everything. I had to... let it go. I wish I hadn't now... no matter what the consequences." I pause and take another deep drag, watching his face. "All I'm saying is that... you should hold onto things like what you and Maria have. There's nothing worse than being alone. I think you know that."
He looks at me without saying anything for a bare moment, and then swipes a hand through the tousled fringes of his hair, causing it to stick up every which way. He swallows, his throat working as he says quietly, "Thanksthanks for telling me that. Things are just... complicated, you know? I just think Maria deserves better than me."
With a sad smile, I reach out and touch his arm. His skin feels the same as it always does. Sweaty yet cool. My thumb glides down his flesh and I feel a little dizzy. It's from remembering. Remembering someone else's skin. "She loves you," is all I remark softly, but I hope it'll be enough.
I'm standing outside after that long shift from Hell, lighting a smoke and trying to get it into my mouth as quickly as possible, when I feel hands on my waist. Liz leans into my back and kisses the nape of my neck tenderly. "Hey," she whispers and I smile gently, feeling a rush of contentment as I smell her.
"Want to do something?" she inquires and I raise my eyebrows.
She laughs and taps my arm. "Get your mind out of the gutter, Buffy. I was thinking we could go swimming. It's so hot... I feel like I need to get away and I know about this lake out in the desert. Kyle fishes there sometimes. I already asked Maria if I could borrow the Jetta..."
"Ok," I answer easily, and flick some ash to the ground, leaning into her for a quick moment. "I don't have a bathing suit though."
She shakes her head. "Me neither."
I smile and we get in the car, driving out onto the desert road, the dust swirling around the vehicle like a cloak of yellowish orange. It reminds me of a picture I saw of the Titanic once, in it's grave far down in the deep ocean. I used to look at pictures of it as a child- it fascinated me. That was before the days of demons and the Hellmouth. I loved the Titanic- and I'd curl up in my room with big glossy photo books of Robert Ballard's expeditions, staring down at the broken ship in her orange shroud. Sometimes I think the desert is a huge sea of sand- and that I'm going to drown out here.
Liz holds my hand as she drives and I play with her fingers absently, twisting one of her rings around and around. Sweat drips down my skin, causing my shirt to stick to my back. It's so hot out here that I'm surprised I haven't started to choke. Gulping down some aqua from a warm bottle of water Maria obviously left in her car, I crane my neck and see the glint of water in the distance.
Liz stops the car by the side of the road and after locking it, we walk up the hill and slide a little down the side, the sand burning the backs of my calves. I hurriedly remove my clothes, anxious to feel the soft water against my skin. Liz watches me, and I hold out my hand, taking off her clothes for her, because in some ways, she's still shy- shyer than me, that is.
We slip beneath the rippling waters and it's cool, reedy and sandy. It feels wonderful and I sigh with pleasure, dipping my head under and letting it flow through my hair and down my face. My feet brush the bottom and I dive down, touching plant life and seeing fish swimming lazily away from us.
Liz's legs tangle with mine and we hold each other, kissing softly and then harder, the water getting in our mouths. I slide my hand down her flat belly, between her thighs, and she moans, whimpering against my lips in a way that drives me crazy. Swimming to the side of the lake, we kiss and kiss and lie at the edge of the water, her hands running down my slick back and hips. I kiss her breasts and nipples, their dusky rose colour beaded with droplets of water, that I lick off as I slam my fingers deep inside her dripping center. She groans and her head lolls back as the water laps at our calves and I slide my tongue between her legs, smelling and tasting her, as my fingers move roughly, fast, hard and deep.
When she comes around my tongue and my hand, she smiles shakily and kisses my lips, forcing me down into the wet sand, which makes a sucking noise against my back. It's greedy, just like her, and I feel so high as she makes my insides scream and my back arch. I cry afterwards, and she kisses the tears from my cheeks, holding me against her.
"I think I love you," she whispers dreamily, as the sun beats down and dries our flesh. I turn over onto my belly and she curves a leg around my hip. She smells like sex- musky and sweaty and a bit like the cool water we just came from. I kiss her lips and shake my head.
She smiles, her teeth glistening in the light. "Can I ever really know? Isn't thinking I love you, enough?" Sadness suddenly pervades her face. "I can't trust myself anymore."
"Yeah, me neither," I murmur and lift the weight of her hair off her neck, kissing the nape of it, like I wanted to that time I caught Max looking at me and I started to hate him. She leans into me, her sun-warmed skin hot against mine. She's so beautiful. Maybe I love her to. But I know... it's different than Angel. It's always going to be different.
I think it's different for her to.
She shifts onto her stomach to, and kisses my lips gently. She doesn't say anything, and she doesn't need to. I hear footsteps, and don't think about it for a moment. I don't connect it with Liz and I and this moment. And then I realize we're naked and wet and we smell of sex and I look up- into the eyes of...
"Max... Michael..." Liz breaths out in a shocked rush and I close my eyes.
End of part seven.
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