Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer is property of Joss Whedon & Mutant Enemy. Anita Blake is property of Laurell K. Hamilton.
A/N: I tried for tender and it came out grim.
“Gracias a la vida que me ha dado tanto,
Me dio dos luceros que cuando los abro,
Perfecto distingo lo negro del blanco,
Y en el alto cielo su fondo estrellado,
Y en la multitudes el hombre qye yo amo.” - Violeta Parra “Gracias A La Vida”
+++ Lacuna +++
His skin is very hot to the touch and she can feel the beast he tries to deny moving like a ghost beneath pale flesh. He likes to kiss her with his eyes open and every time he presses himself against her and kisses her it feels like it’s the last one. And he goes to work and then he comes back and first they screw like bunnies and then they eat dinner and then they indulge their mutual fascination with each other’s bodies and make love, like lovers should. It’s a twisted tenderness, but they’re both so twisted it’s a miracle there’s any tenderness at all.
She leaves him tangled in their sheets and slips into the night when her phone vibrates at 2 am. He pretends this part of her life isn’t an issue. That they’re playing house and that everything will be all right.
So when that day comes when he rises off the floor after a lupanar gone wrong, scenting the blood of his wolves all around him and for a moment he doesn’t know what he’s seeing as he watches her cleave a swift path of death through the attacking wolves with a knife – a cold blade – his world comes to a crashing halt.
Anita’s there too. Shooting her way through fur, flesh and bone the two of them making a macabre tableau – one golden and one dark – the only two women he’s ever loved covered in blood with grim smiles that echo each other on their faces.
It strikes him with incredible force as he rips and tears through the wave of teeth and claw that the honeymoon is over. He knew what she was. He learned the words and he learned the meaning. Such a fierce title – Slayer – for this beautiful haunted girl. But here she is – that dark creature – standing in front of him with sorrow eyes and power dancing along her blood stained skin and curling off her like smoke from a fired gun.
He learned what she was. In a dark room she told him her life in short sentences, in plain words that tried to disguise the pain she breathed for being ripped from her world. And he held her and said nothing because there wasn’t anything to say to a girl with sad green eyes haunted by memories of a life that could never again be hers.
So when she cleans her knife on her jeans and raises guarded eyes to his stormy ones she must see the confusion – the revulsion – clearly etched on his face. Richard had tried to learn how to love, but the only emotion he nurtures is hate – so much of it – that it blinds him to hope. Even when hope is barely over five feel tall with her heart on her sleeve, bleeding for all the world to see and has shining green eyes that offer peace.
But it’s Anita who sees. Anita who understands. Because she understands Richard’s hate better than anyone and she is the one who stands beside Buffy, all force and anger, and looks at him with disappointment in her eyes.
He walks away, bends his large body around her small frame, afraid even to touch the air around her, afraid to feel her power skim over his skin – tender and familiar – and drives into the night.
It is Anita who takes a silent Buffy to her place, who washes the blood off, who brushes her hair who wraps her in blankets who lets some of the pard sleep around Buffy just so that she won’t wake up alone. It’s Anita who brings coffee to Buffy’s room in the morning, who sits there in semi darkness – and silence – drinking her own. She understands. She too once loved Richard and was loved by him. She too had seen that terrible look of revulsion directed at her, the woman he professed to love.
There is a day when Buffy rises and showers and dresses and puts on her clothes and spends a little more time in the bathroom covering up the dark circles under her eyes.
Anita watches her chat with Micah, joke tenderly with Nathaniel, banter with Cherry and generally be what she appears – bright young thing – without the darkness and the knives. Anita doesn’t buy it for a second.
So when Buffy picks up the phone and calls Richard, when Anita hears her heartbeat clearly across the room – a trapped, shuddering bird – she smiles ruefully. Love is like that, she thinks. You try to forgive someone you love, even if they pick at an old wound not yet fully healed, even if they deny you, even if every time thereafter when they look at you with tenderness you will remember that other look – the repulsed one – you still try to keep the one you love.
Anita agrees to drive Buffy over to Richard’s because Buffy doesn’t drive and it’s only twenty five minutes but if feels like a small eternity.
“I’m going to say good-bye.”
Buffy’s words come from her reflection in the window, ghostly pale and half invisible. Anita frowns.
“Where are you going?”
That seemed a logical question to ask.
Neither one spoke any more.
They spotted Richard standing in the doorway. Buffy leaned forward looking at him with burning eyes.
Anita caught her scent on the air, felt her power lick across her skin – it was intoxicating – death magic, life magic and a brimming well of sorrow and the darkness that was surrounded by the light of her very being. She should have driven away. Should have left them to their reunion, but she stole a look at Richard and stayed where she was.
There was a tenderness in his face. A broken tenderness but nonetheless a clear intent to be forgiven. Richard loved Buffy. The realization struck Anita with a force of a slap and she grinned maniacally – gleefully – with utter pleasure. Buffy opened the door and the love bloomed across Richard’s face like a flower opening to sunlight and Anita could see – long before Buffy would reach him – how he would open his arms, how she would go to him, how they will hold on to each, how they would love, dance, touch, smile, fight, make-up, live.
Buffy turned to her then. Eyes green like a cat, bright like a flame. He smile was cavernous and tender.
“I hope I remember.”
Anita was going to ask what she wanted to remember but Buffy was already moving towards Richard and the his arms were around her and they were kissing and they were crying and Buffy was looking him in the eye and saying – I love you – in her crystalline voice and then she was gone. Melted into light and smoke and Anita felt an aftershock of power hold riveted in the air before it dissipated like it was never there.
Richard fell to his knees with a roar that rang through the night for a long time.
Buffy didn’t like dreaming. After she came back from the dead she slept little and tried to avoid dreaming at all costs. Every time a dream stole into her mind it smelled like wolf and love and there was a tall man with luminescent eyes and he stood across a chasm from her and all she always remembered from the dream was that she was meant to remember something.
But she never could.
“I give thanks to life that has given me so much,
Gave me two eyes that when I open them,
Perfectly distinguish black from white,
And in high heaven star-spattered firmament,
And in the multitudes the man I love.” - Violeta Parra “Thanks To Life”
P.S.: The translation of the first couplet posted in original Spanish is mine as are any mistakes contained therein.
Go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d_h5CZPyjQ it’s the most beautiful rendition of this song by Mercedes Sosa.