Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. No copyright infringement is intended and I make no profit from this story. Kripke owns John Winchester and Whedon owns Illyria.For Every Sense, There Are a Million Memories of You
Like a finger brushing over the ridges of his brain, he felt her moving nearby, the sensation triggering random sensory responses as she glided around him.
A soft movement behind him initiated a faint sheen of stars behind his lids….Like when he pressed down too hard on his eyelids when he was young and the soft black erupted into swirls of color.
Or when he tried too hard to see in the dark to make out the contours of her face above his. He sometimes thought he could see her eyes glinting in the darkness of the room, but knew it was only the memory of that pale shade of purest blue that had burned its way into his memory forever and ever.
He knew every line and curve and hollow of her face and could envision her as clearly with his eyes shut as he could in a sunlit room.
Sometimes, they would play a game as he loomed over her in the darkness.
He would blindly run his fingers over her skin, softly brushing across the smooth expanse of her forehead, down the bridge of her nose, tracing around her eyes and grazing his thumbs over her lips and the lines that bracketed her beautiful mouth.
He would try to guess her mood from the set of her face, faintly teasing suggestions of Irritation, Scorn, Annoyance, Disdain – he had once secretly bought a thesaurus to memorize new terms to give her, as her singular expressions conveyed such a variety of meanings, even if they usually led to the same root words – and the skin under his hands would smooth into something…other, and he knew, if she had the ability, she would be laughing.
As she curved around to the right, a riff of half-remembered music….She looked so beautiful, even in her Fred guise, and surprised him by wearing the blue silk so he’d have that visual tie to Illyria.
They were undercover at a succubi hunting ground and spent the night dancing under the stars. She laughed gaily, enjoying the brush of air over the bare skin of her back and how the champagne tickled her nose. She demanded they keep dancing, surrounded by so many people, yet feeling so completely alone with each other.
She was entranced by the music, swaying softly on her feet when they stopped to take a breath, giving him the impression of a cobra undulating to the piper’s flute.
He was overcome with the need to keep her safe from the intrusion of the outside world into what they had made their own, the tiny corner of the universe they had carved out for themselves and claimed with their sweat and blood and tears.
He wondered what Illyria thought of the evening and asked her after they’d killed the creature, her black blood staining the garden path where they’d cornered the succubus. She told him it was quite bearable and he took her there on the soft grass under the stars, the blue silk of her discarded dress a luscious backdrop to the glowing color of her eyes and hair because, in her unique dialect, that meant she enjoyed every minute and he wanted that feeling to be burned into their memories forever.
He shifted his position and her movement brushed lightly over the top of his skull, bringing with it the soft scent of the sea and the taste of salt on his tongue.They went to the beach – a random day off that they rarely ever took. She claimed that while she had seen the ocean and disposed of the bodies of her defeated in it eons past, she had never seen any other purpose to it except as a useful barrier to keep others from attacking her stronghold. It used to teem with sharp-toothed leviathans at her beck and call, she told him, who would come to rend and tear any who dared set foot in its waters and would twine about her like overeager puppies, paying homage to their master.
He made her immerse herself in it, pulling her in until she was up to her thighs in the cold, salty water. When nothing coiled around her, she relaxed, gracefully gliding through the water as if it weren’t even there to block her way, not even struggling with the waves as she walked hip-deep along the shoreline. He laughed and rubbed sunblock onto her flesh so that her soft Fred-skin wouldn’t be burned. They spent the day lounging on the beach and playing in the water, sand plastered to their sea and sweat-dampened skin, sorting shells into piles that she dubbed Uselessly Pretty or Potential Weapon.
She hadn’t wanted to leave even as the sun began to extinguish itself in the water, the raw call of the wild power of the sea far too intoxicating to deny. She paced erratically along the water’s edge, the now bone-chill water lapping at their toes as he tried to pull her away, feeling a frisson of something like dread curl along his spine. She kept telling him that she had controlled all of it once, all of the earth and sea and sky, that its power had been hers – could he feel it? She could sense it humming in her bones, she told him. She grabbed onto his arm, mentally pushing at the bond that tied them together, and then he could feel it – the pleading call of…something begging mutely, Come back to us. We were made to serve you.
She cried silently then – a single tear leaking from her mocha colored eyes. She looked shocked at the liquid on her fingertips and asked him why it was so. He told her he didn’t know and, despite being human, felt a surge of pity for the former Demon-God who had lost everything that had made her what she was. He finally understood how truly alike they were – two creatures set adrift to find their own course with absolutely no direction but their own stubbornness.
He enclosed her in his arms, murmuring nonsensical apologies against her wind-blown hair for bringing her here and she said something that she never said before and never needed to say again – regret was for the weak and she did not regret. That was enough. He understood her meaning. His heart nearly burst upon hearing that, an exclamation of love that she had been almost incapable of uttering up until then.
Her presence bloomed in his brain and he opened his eyes to see her standing over him, the sun back-lighting her figure with a glowing aura of gold. She knelt at his side, her blue-brown hair falling forward to frame her sharp features.
He reached up with a lazy smile and yanked on her hand, pulling her down on top of him and nuzzling at the curve of her throat, sliding his hands over the familiar planes of her body as he tried his damnedest to make new memories to add to their endless reserve.Author's Note: Thanks to my beta hakirby, who busted her behind to beta nearly every last John/Illyria story I have in reserve. I tried something new with this one - it's written a little oddly and slightly tied to the lobes of the brain since I was wondering what the bond might feel like.