Meetings and Introductions
Summary: He was wracked with guilt over the murder he committed four years earlier. She was mourning the loss of her lover. Will their one night together give them the strength to get past the pain that has been plaguing their souls, or will it simply serve as a distraction?
Disclaimer: As always, Buffy belongs to Joss, and Draco belongs to J.K. Rowling. I've used a couple of lines from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, though I have changed things up a bit.
I wanted to get this chapter out before I lost my muse. And I got it out... Yay me! And yes, I know Draco is sexy as hell. I love the Buffy/Draco pairing, as well. I've been wanting to write a story about it for a while.
Thanks to Kimmy and skyeblue for your wonderful reviews! I'm glad you're enjoying this little story so far! Keep the reviews coming, I love 'em!
“Oh, no problem about running into me!” Buffy yelled sarcastically at the back of the woman who had ran into her, made her drop her bag to the floor, and continued on without even stopping to say a quick 'sorry.' Buffy growled and knelt to hurriedly gather the things that had spilled out of her purse and onto the sidewalk. “Stupid woman. I ought to...” she trailed off in a quiet mumble, swearing under her breath.
Buffy had had a rough day. A rough year, actually. Ever since Spike had sacrificed himself to save the world, destroying Sunnydale in the process, she had been traveling the world in search of the hundreds, even thousands, of potentials Willow had called with her spell. Sure, traveling the world sounded fun and exciting, but after a while, it took its toll. Every week a new city, a new hotel, a new culture. As exciting as it was, it got extremely lonely. She missed her home, she missed her friends, and most of all, she missed Dawn, who she hadn't seen in weeks.
This week, she was in London, England. She had been called out by Giles, who was, with the help of Watchers from all over the world, helping to reconstruct the Watcher's Council Headquarters. He had also began to construct plans, with Buffy's and the newly-reinstated Watcher's Council help, a school for the newly-called Slayers. Why go to the Slayers? Why not bring the Slayers to them? It sounded like a pretty good idea to her. For the past year, since the destruction of Sunnydale, Giles had stayed in London, and she, and the rest of the Scoobies, rarely saw him. She had joined him a few times, but these visits were more to say hi and see how things were going. She was never one for the planning and organizing stuff. She left that to Giles. She was better at the kicking, punching, staking, and beheading aspects of life.
She sighed, throwing the last stake into her open bag. She had just gotten back from a meeting with Giles and about forty other Watchers. Being the oldest and longest-running Slayer in the world, they wanted her opinion on the best way to introduce the new Slayers to different mystical creatures. Having always been a fan of the hands-on approach, she had suggested capturing and bringing in these creatures for the girls to see and examine with their own eyes. Not the deadly, dangerous ones, of course, but your run of the mill vampires and demons. Of course, there had been that one guy, in this case, most of the guys, that argued for book learning. That had sparked an hour long debate, leaving Buffy groaning and begging Giles with her eyes to let her go. Buffy was all for letting them pick her brain for ideas for the new school, but sticking her in an enclosed room for hours with dozens of stuffy British men made her want to tear her hair out.
There was a twinge in her heart at the thought of her long blond hair; she had let it grow out again. It now fell to the middle of her back, just like he had liked it. The Slayer licked her lips, brushing away a stray tear she hadn't even noticed had formed and slipped out from under her closed eyelids. She wasn't surprised, though. Ever since he had died a year ago, Spike had been all she could think about. His bleached blond hair, bright blue eyes, and amazingly beautiful
body. But that's not what she remembered most about him. Although they were bitter enemies at the start of their relationship, it had ended with mutual feelings of desire, respect, and love.
She hadn't loved him in the way he had loved her, but she had loved him never the less. His love was real, romantic love. You know, passion, desire, love
. The kinds you read about in those romance novels with cheesy pictures of buff men with no shirts on the covers. She had loved him as a friend, an ally, a lover. She loved him because of his snarky attitude, the way his tongue curled against the back of his teeth, the slight tilt of his head when he was confused or being cocky. She loved him for his loyalty to her and the Scoobies even though he should have been fighting for the other side, his courage to love her even though she didn't love her back. But most of all, she loved him because he knew her. He knew who, or what, she was, and he accepted it. He knew her desires, her wants, her needs, both physical, mental, and emotional. He knew that she had some demon in her, but he didn't care because he had some demon in him, too.
Buffy had tried to explain it to herself. He had loved her with every single fiber in his being. He had even gone so far as to get a soul for her, to destroy himself so that she could go on living. She would always be his Goldilocks, his Slayer, is Buffy, even in death. But she didn't love him in the same way. She loved him, but she had not been in love with him. And this broke her heart. She wished she had been able to give him everything – her mind, her body, her heart, her soul – but she couldn't. She had already made that mistake once in her life, and she couldn't make herself do it again. She wasn't strong enough.
The blond sighed once again, hastily swiping at the tears that had fallen from her eyes and were now cascading down her cheeks. Every day she thought of him, and every day she cried for him. Even after a year, she felt the sting of her loss, and it didn't seem to be subsiding. She hid her pain from her friends, telling herself that they wouldn't understand why she was so upset, but she knew that they could tell that his death had affected her more than she let on. Every day she cried for the man she wished she could have loved, but as of yet, she had not found anyone else to fill the hole in her heart that had formed after his death.
Finally composing herself, she looked up, noticing the small, dirty looking building in front of her. It was smushed between a record store and a bookshop, and it looked much more worse for the wear than the other two stores. A small, wooden sign hanging by the door indicated that it was called “The Leaky Cauldron.” Most interestingly, no one else on the street seemed to acknowledge its existence. 'That's odd,' she thought to herself, watching as everyone else passed it by without a glance. Tilting her head to the side, she cautiously rose to a standing position and started for the door.
The second she touched the handle, she withdrew it, shocked. She had never felt this much magic in one place before. Well, other than the hellmouth, that is. Her mind screamed at her to be careful, but her curiosity got the better of her. After taking a deep breath, she clamped her hand down on the handle and pulled, jumping slightly at the screams and yells that assaulted her ears. Stepping through the door, she looked around, entranced. The bar was dark and shabby, and there were several tables covered with candles and empty beer mugs. The stone walls were covered with old pictures and newspapers, and metal chandeliers were hanging from the ceiling.
But this wasn't what had caught her attention. Seated at these tables and at the bar was the most bizarre assortment of people she had ever seen, each one giving off waves of magic that sent her Slayer drive into overdrive. Men and women of all ages were dressed in long, floor-length dress and bizarre hats, each with a glass in his or her hand and seeming to be having the time of his or her life. However, several creepy, off-putting people were sitting alone in the dark corners of the bar, watching the excitement warily. Making a mental note to avoid these creepy people, Buffy looked down the bar, her eyes zeroing in on the far end.
And that's when she saw him.
Draco continued to stare, his eyes not leaving her even as she shut the door, cutting off the light that had blinded him a second before. She was beautiful. Petite, with long blond hair and an athletic figure. She was wearing a simple outfit, jeans and a black t-shirt, but even so, she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. He brought the glass of whiskey to his lips, taking a sip as he watched her survey the pub. She looked confused, but intrigued at the same time. Then, slowly, her eyes swept down the bar and landed on him. Their eyes locked, and hers widened in surprise. For a moment, she didn't move, but a second later, she was walking toward him, her hips swaying. The next thing he knew, she was sitting next to him. This could have been because the seat next to him was the only open seat in the whole pub, but he ignored this fact.
“Hi,” she greeted softly, smiling at him. Her hazel eyes looked deep into his, and he sucked in a breath, amazed. She was beautiful. She was so young and innocent, but looking into her eyes, he saw that she carried wisdom beyond her years. She had lost, and she had fought, and she had been forced to grow up too fast. Just like him. He had no idea how he could tell this from one look into her eyes, but to him, it was as clear as day. This girl had been though hell.
“Hello,” he answered back. She was good, pure, alive
. She deserved more than a monster like him. He didn't smile. He rarely smiled anymore. Her smile faltered, but a second later, she was talking to him like nothing had happened.
“I'm Buffy.” He nodded, too entranced by her beauty to answer. “And you are...?” she prodded.
“Malfoy. Draco Malfoy.” Great, way to sound like James Bond.
“It's nice to meet you, Draco Malfoy.” She looked away from him toward Tom, and he walked over, waiting patiently for her order.
“What can I get you, Miss?”
“What's good here?” She was talking to him again. He was caught off guard. Draco Malfoy wasn't afraid of beautiful girls. Beautiful girls were his thing, his passion, his hobby. He sighed. They were... before all of this had happened. He had been with his fair share of girls in the last four years but none that had meant anything to him. He hadn't lost his Malfoy charm, bedding girls left and right without even straining a muscle, but here he was staring at this girl with googly eyes like he was a teenager again.
“Try a butterbear,” he suggested, his voice coming out raspier than he had intended. She nodded and smiled at him once again before turning and ordering her drink from Tom.
“So, Draco Malfoy,” she started, twisting around so that she was facing him and crossing her legs, “what's your story?” Immediately, Draco started to panic.
'SPIKE,' her mind screamed, but she frowned. It couldn't be. Spike was dead. Her heart twinged at the mention of his name, but she forced herself to ignore it. It wasn't Spike, but it looked an awful lot like him. From what he could see, he was slender with a built body, blond hair, and pointed features. A definite yum in her book. Intrigued, she walked toward him.
Once in a while, she would see someone who caught her interest. Then she would pounce. Want. Take. Have. Faith had taught her this many years ago, and she still kept it with her. Although to a lesser extent than her psychotic sister-Slayer, when she saw something she wanted, she went for it, no matter the consequences. That's what she had done with him. Ever since his death, she had been trying to find a man to fill the hole he had left in her heart, but so far, she hadn't had any luck. Maybe this would be the one. Maybe he could ease the pain and teach her to live again. Clenching her jaw, she pushed Spike from her mind for good, finally reaching the young man's side and sitting down on the stool next to him.
She had seen him watching her. The second she had walked into the bar, she had felt his eyes on her, and as she had made her way over to him, his gaze had not faltered. Dropping her purse on the bar, she looked over at him, gasping slightly as she got a good look at him. He was beautiful. Pale gray eyes and flawless features.
“Hi,” she squeaked, mentally smacking herself in the face for the effect he was having on her. He hadn't even said one word to her, she thought, annoyed with herself, and she was blushing like a schoolgirl. She didn't have any trouble with hot men. Want, take, have, remember? Then why did she feel so drawn to this man? Tilting her head, she frowned. The magic and power was pouring off of him in waves, just like everyone else in the bar. Magic? What? But she forgot all of this the second he opened his mouth to respond.
“Hello.” He didn't smile back. Looking into his eyes, she was shocked at what she found. Pain, guilt, regret. The same emotions she carried with her every day were being reflected back at her through this stranger's eyes. Could he be the one? The one who would finally help her heal?
“I'm Buffy,” she said, smiling at him. Again, he did not smile back. “And you are?” she asked, slightly annoyed at the lack of effort that this man was putting forth. Pain or no pain, there was no need to be rude. She was about to turn around and leave him alone, when he replied.
“Malfoy. Draco Malfoy.” Buffy smiled at him, noticing the way his eyes widened slightly.
“It's nice to meet you, Draco Malfoy.” Suddenly extremely thirsty, she looked away, scanning the crowd and immediately pinpointing the bartender. He was a bald, toothless man with an energetic smile and a kind face.
“What can I get you, Miss?” he asked, walking over to her. Buffy hesitated. She didn't know what to get, as she rarely went to bars. Just something about this one caught her eye... Panicking slightly, she turned back to Draco.
“What's good here?” He hesitated a second, and Buffy knew that he was going over a few options in his head.
“Try a butterbear,” he suggested, and she nodded, turning back to the bartender. With a smile, her hurried off to get her drink. Appeased, she turned back to her new friend.
“So, Draco Malfoy,” she started, “what's your story?” She was genuinely curious. She wanted to know what was going on, why everyone in this place screamed power and magic. And he was the perfect person to tell her.
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I'm expecting this to have only one more chapter... We'll see how that turns out.