Born of fire and torment
Author: Jenny Haniver
Summary: Buffy is the slayer. Angel is a vampire. Different beginning and ending.
Notes: This story is for audacitygirl who is brave and wonderful and twisted and fragile. The opening quote is Percy Bysshe Shelley. The closing quote is Buffy. Thank you to Ares at BA_rosebuds for the prompt.
Hell is a city much like London— a populous and smoky city
Buffy is the perfect bait, she doesn't look at all dangerous. When he first laid eyes on her in London, she could almost have passed for a street urchin.
It's the summer of 1780 and Moorfields is crawling with the displaced. The riots are in full swing, and Darla has brought him to hear the sweet sound of his mother tongue spoken by Irish immigrants while drinking in the chaos. He has lived more in the last 30 years than he ever had while his heart beat, but she is something different.
Darla hisses--an angry, fearful warning, “slayer!”
She slips away almost immediately upon recognizing the slayer, but Angel is already trapped by his new obsession.
Her eyes call out to him, their weariness sweet and bitter like a fine ale, demanding that he drink. She is a slender lass-- the type that's not quite a woman, and yet no longer a child.
She is utterly at home in the chaos, hiding
her true nature as she slides through the shadows—wearing rags that clash with
the well-fed countenance no street urchin could attain—revealing herself at the
last moment to her unfortunate prey. Newgate prison is burning and the demons drawn to the fire
drop like flies
in her wake. A
ragged toothless husk of a man stumbles from the burning building—grabs at the
slayer's clothing (fool) and is slain before she has a chance to look at him
and realize that he is human.
The next night Angel follows her again, and the next night, and the next. Darla quickly tires of his fixation, but he must have her—despite his sire's impatient explanations that slayers should be avoided (or killed) not followed as if he were a stray dog. He smiles at her, a chilling smile that she has not yet seen from him. In the 30 years they have spent together, she has never been prouder or more unnerved. After that, she leaves her dear boy to pursue his obsession in peace.
After Darla leaves to lick her wounds in the arms of her mysterious sire, Angel spends every moment tracking *her*. He follows her to the modest home she shares with the watcher who is not quite old enough to pass for an uncle. She calls him her cousin, but there are rumors among the populace. Wesley is a scholar, and it becomes clear that his new obsession is somewhat accomplished. She can read and write in English, Latin, Greek, and French, as well as a few of the more obscure demon languages. It's also clear that she prefers the athletic arts. Bare-fisted boxing, swordplay, and archery are the rewards Wesley dangles to encourage her studies.
Angel is surprised and pleased that she hasn't noticed him yet, although it doesn't say much for slayer skills and training. He watches with amusement as Wesley commands her to hone and reach out with her senses while she grows increasingly petulant.
He begins to leave small gifts for her—tokens of his affection.
The ragged coat worn by the man she killed – the human. It could be rags from any of the prisoners who escaped, but he knows by the brief expression of torment on her face that she recognizes it for what it is.
Her eyes are sharp as they scan the night, but they are untroubled. She is a predator looking for her prey. She is not frightened.
He chuckles as he makes his way to the rundown inn that passes for his home in this dank city. She is already more diverting than he could have possibly imagined.
One night, after discovering a particularly gruesome kill he has prepared for her, his golden girl follows him through the Moorfields, past the shadows of the London wall, to the inn where he's staying.
The room says nothing about him, or so he thinks, but she drinks it in as if it tells her everything.
“Do you have a name?”
Her first words are a question rather than the typical threats. If he can keep her talking he might have a chance.
He smiles lazily, pouring all of his considerable charm – the irresistible coupling of danger and vulnerability he used to woo countless barmaids, merchant's daughters, and gay women from the streets of Galway – into his response.
He doesn't need a mirror; he can see his reflection in the complex play of light and shadows dancing across her face.
She picks up his sketchbook in a proprietary way and looks down at it for a moment. His smile deepens.
He's not sure whether she's referring to his name or the charcoal rendering, which she must recognize as the woman he left at her door two evenings ago. She held posies in her hand for the slayer.
“I'm the slayer,” she tells him casually.
But there is an undertone.
“What do they call you when you're not killing?” he asks softly. There's an edge to the question that forces her to maintain eye contact.
“I'm not sure that you need to know that,” she responds.
She lifts her sword and approaches slowly, allowing him ample time to reach for his own.
Minutes later (or possibly hours, or days) they are still dancing, spinning around each other with their dangerous weapons—deadly blades and even sharper words.
She falls once, and he reaches out to stroke her hair. She leaps up again, new life breathed into her desperate limbs. She is angry and tired, the call of blood warring with the girl who wants to put down her sword and create a new rhythm. Fighting with the demon in his own bedroom is the closest she has felt to alive in a long time.
In the end, she is the one who lowers her sword and says, “this is not how the dance ends.”
He knows that she is stronger, faster, and more dangerous. But in the end she is just a girl, and he has defeated so many others like her. She drops the sword as she reaches for him, not because she's given up, but because she is confident that she can defeat him with her bare hands, if needed. He looks at her for the first time with surprise.
She tilts her head, crooks her eyebrow, and smiles at him sardonically. “Don't tell me this is your first time,” she taunts. The demon roars, but on the outside Angel only smiles.
The first kiss is awkward, like the first step of any dance. Her lips brush briefly past his but her eyes are wide open, watching him. He closes his eyes first, sure that he would feel her muscles coil, like any predator, before she sprang. She traces the skin around his eyes and kisses him again, deeper and more searching.
“What are you looking for, slayer?” he's afraid to break the fragile truce, but his quiet words demand to be spoken. He needs to know her, drink her, and possess her.
She doesn't answer for a long time, but she doesn't stop touching him either. Her fingers drop to his shoulders, dip beneath his silk shirt to trace the muscles he's been using to fight her.
“I want to know you,” she says finally, “I want to understand what I'm fighting.”
He hears her words, and behind them the unspoken desire for death. The part of her that is too strong to die, and too strong to keep on living the life she's been given. She wants to become, and happily he can help her with that.
He lowers her to the bed, and gently cups her breast. “I can show you my world, but you may be frightened,” he whispers.
It's all a game still. A romp in the sheets will a willing partner. He's had obsessions before, and even knowing that she's a slayer isn't enough to convince him that it's different. But she's his first. Not his first tumble in the hay, certainly, and not the first conquest he's bedded and drained. But she will be the first slayer open her legs for him—something that he looks forward to sharing with Darla—and she is not someone he can force if she's unwilling. Like taming a wild animal, or breaking in a horse, the trick will be to stay calm and soothing without relinquishing dominance.
The slayer looks wide eyed for a moment as he slides his unoccupied hand beneath her skirts, as if she has finally realized what she is doing, and with whom.
Her confidence in her fighting prowess has betrayed her. How many women has he bedded because they relied too much on their virtue to stop him? And when they succumbed to the fever of flesh against flesh, the flames of desire destroyed that paltry defense like they are destroying the slayer's resistance.
She clenches her legs together briefly, but his hands are insistent. Pushing past the layers of her skirts and her chemise, past her soft curls, and into her waiting heat. He rubs the little mound that elicits her pleasure. Over and over again, waiting for her to release. When she falls back, deeper into the bed, he follows her like an attentive lover. Kisses her again and drinks in the taste of her pleasure. Gives her no reason to fear him as he moves down her body again, sliding his head under her skirts. She whimpers briefly, something that might be a feeble protest. It's meant to be ignored and he does so without hesitation.
He leans in and laps at the juices leaking from her cleft. She is wet and wanting and dripping for him. He slides a finger inside of her and it takes all of his formidable control not to laugh out loud.
He leans in again, laving kissing along her stimulated lips, parting them and pressing his tongue inside, swirling the red muscle to taste every part of her. Far away, she moans into his pillow. Relaxing deeper into his spell, her only response a surprised “oh” at the invasion of another finger. He probes deeper, eliciting stronger and wilder reactions. Her muscles spasm around him, and she sits up involuntarily, crashing against him like the ocean in her efforts to draw him closer.
Her clothing is quickly discarded. He wants to *see* her before claiming her as his own. Like a horse for the purchase, he examines her hooves and her teeth. She is beautiful and powerful, and so small against him. He can feel her strength and her ruthlessness, probably better than she can. He smiles at her again as she lays back for him, leans in to lap at her child-like breasts. She moans again, and her eyes are imploring. She could be a waif begging on the streets of Moorsfield, but she isn't—she's the slayer, begging in his bed. The knowledge tempers him, slows and gentles his actions. He reaches for her, cradles her in his arms, kisses her as he makes the first foray into her slick wet passage. His cock twitches with the effort of not slamming into her. But he will do this right. He will kill her, drain her, keep her. She melts again, briefly, into the mattress, then bucks against him urgently. He groans with the effort of holding back, of denying the demon. He thrusts into her, finally, allowing himself the delicious friction. She wails so loudly he may need to kill the inn keeper when they're finished. Her eyes, following him steadily until now, fall shut in ecstasy. His lips graze her earlobe, burning a fiery path from her jaw to her lips where she plunders him as thoroughly as he's been plundering her. The motion of their bodies is frantic now, wild bucking animals with one goal. He twists and strains to provide the best angle, to ensure that she comes with him. And she does, biting down on his shoulder hard enough to draw blood, moans disappearing into breathy sighs as his cold seed fills her.
He pulls out slowly, spilling his seed onto the sheets. He looks at her thoughtfully, and she meets his stare without flinching.
“When I was a younger my parents called me Buffy. I've been Elizabeth for a long time now, and honestly, I'm a little tired of it.”
He realizes suddenly that the trap hasn't worked. The slayer is sated, flushed with exertion, but by no means incapable of kicking his ass.
She smiles at him as if she can hear his thoughts. A smile that widens when he tells her, “if you come with me, you can be Buffy again, forever”
When you kiss me, I want to die.