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Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy. I do not own Twilight. If you think I do, please make your way to the nearest insane asylum and let the nice doctors give you some medicine. Oh, wait, they have their own Maggie Walsh? So sad for you.
Timeframe: for Buffy, post-Anne
. For Twilight, pre-Twilight
. Definitely pre-Edward, anyway.
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Something smelled sparkly. She groaned and burrowed more deeply into whatever warm, dark thing was making her nice and toasty. And there were so many things wrong with that statement that her little-inner-voice-that-could woke up and started hammering away at the spot between her eyes. She groaned again, pulling herself inward, her body contracting into a small ball on the bed. The bed. The bed? Wrinkling her nose, Buffy took a deep breath. Lavender and sage -- and she resolutely did not think about
her mother using a similar blend for her bedding -- and that familiar, elusive scent of diamonds and ice. It’s a cold scent,
she thought, her mind drowsy. Maybe the Big Bad of cold scents.
She smiled, humming softly to herself as she drifted between dreaming and waking.
A throat cleared from somewhere to her left. Her eyes snapped open as she flew upright, one hand bracing her weight against the headboard and one hand gripping a pillow so tightly that her knuckles whitened and her nails dug little holes into the fabric. She blinked. A seriously hot blond guy was standing in her room. She blinked again. Okay…
“My name is Carlisle Cullen,” he said, pale arms rising slowly, palms held out. “We met earlier, in the alley.”
At her raised eyebrow, his shoulders shifted and embarrassment colored his golden eyes. “Not like that,” he said quickly. “You had vanquished a group of vampires and fell unconscious due to your injuries and what seemed to be a persistent case of malnutrition.”
His gaze left hers, and she had the oddest feeling that he was blushing – internally, anyway. “Your condition was less than ideal,” he said in a soft voice. “I’ve cared for you as long as I could. There was only so much that could be done while you were unconscious.”
Suddenly she was aware of soft fabric pulling across her skin. Looking down, she was startled to see a long white sleeve covering her arm from shoulder to wrist. She stared, not quite seeing. Her jacket had been black. The white cuff was unbuttoned, sliding down her lower arm. Her eyes widened as she looked directly downward and saw a man’s dress shirt as her newest outfit. Checking a little closer revealed that the shirt was her only
outfit. Looking back at -- Carlisle -- her nostrils flared, her lips pursing. Her eyes narrowed.
The man must have been able to read minds. His own eyes widened as he realized just what she was thinking. “Wait,” he said quickly, his hands supplicating. “Wait, let me explain. Some of your injuries required a more thorough examination, and it was the only thing I could find that would allow sufficient access.”
She growled. The fabric around the pillow squeaked as she tightened her grip. His eyes widened even further, the bright gold irises fully surrounded by white. “That’s not what I mean,” he said, his voice desperate. “There was internal bleeding. I had to wrap your ribs. Look!”
His eyes seemed to catch on something within her -- there was something underneath his desperation. Studying the peculiar expression in his eyes, she was startled to see his concern. He was concerned for her? She paused, studying him further. It had been a long time since some had cared about her, or at least cared about what happened to her. The pillow lowered in her hand. Not since her mom and Giles. Not since Willow and Xander and Oz. Not since Ang…The bottom dropped from her stomach, a black void echoing in its place. Her eyes burned, shining in the gaslight. Slowly, her grip on the pillow grew slack.
“I mean you no harm,” he said, the pale lines around his eyes fading.Knock, knock, knock!
One eye fixed in her direction, he made his way to the door, exiting the room and shutting the door behind him with a soft click. Great, just great. He just had to have a damn fine ass, too.
Sighing, she relaxed slightly, slipping down the headboard to seat herself on the bed, the pillow in her hand as precious as Mr. Pointy. Only slightly less pointy. Buffy looked down, snorting to herself. All hail the Pillow-Fighting Princess.
Rolling her eyes at herself, she stuffed the pillow behind her back.
Voices, too soft to be heard clearly, drifted through the cracks in the wood. One was bright, swirling vowels around like water, the consonants click-clicking like tap shoes. The other was pitched low, the accent soft and lilting, moving like a bow across a violin. She sighed, a sudden longing for home aching inside her. Just once, she wanted to hear Giles lecturing about stolen jelly donuts or Xander grumble about replenishing his Twinkie stash. Drawing in a sharp breath, she listened to the sound of another door opening and closing, followed by the soft sounds of booted feet moving across a wooden floor. She hugged her arms around her knees, ignoring the twinging pain around her ribs. She rested her head upon her drawn knees. Mostly, she just really, really, really wanted some of her mom’s hot chocolate. A tear rolled down her cheek. As the door opened, she quickly scrubbed at her face, swallowing back the tears.
Carlisle entered carrying a tray laden with a mug and what looked like a thick slab of bread and a bowl of soup. He caught her staring and smiled. “I did not know how hungry you might be,” he said, his voice gentle. “If it is not enough, I can ring for more.”
She didn’t move as he had set the tray on the nightstand, looking at her expectantly. In fact, it was several moments before he realized her reason for waiting and went to sit in his chair a few feet away. Keeping him in the corner of her eye, she bent forward, sniffing at the mug and bowl. Deciding that it didn’t smell too horrible, she picked up the accompanying spoon and began to eat. She quickly discovered that whatever it was tasted good
, the kind of good that shot down to your toes and the ends of your hair before curling slowly back into your belly. After a few minutes the bowl was dry, and she had set to work on the slightly toughened bit of bread, pleasantly surprised to find water in the mug. Eating her fill and licking the crumbs from her fingers, she sat back, her stomach almost but not quite aching.
Eyes still closed, she murmured quiet thanks. A lazy smile drifted across her lips as she lay basking in a blissful state of warmth and satiation. For the longest time, she had never felt so full. Breathing deeply stretched her healing muscles, but it was a good pain -- it also brought the familiar, elusive scent of ice and stars. The scent of something sparkly. One green eye cracked open. “You know, you’re not the first guy to buy me dinner before trying to kill me.”
He sat up straighter, his brows first furrowing in confusion before smoothing into strong, emphatic lines. Anger flaring in his eyes, he opened his mouth to speak just as she began to chuckle.
“Chillax, Goldy-Fang, I was kidding, well, not really, but somehow I don’t think taping me back together equals dead me.” She laughed at his expression. “Yep, I know you’re a vampire, get over it.”
She eyed him critically. “You’ve got a soul, too, which I am so going to beat Angel around the head with. Only one, my ass.” Eyes squeezing shut, she swallowed thickly in memory. Opening them again, she looked down at her hands, whispering softly, “Or, I would, if I hadn't...”
Swallowing back the tears, she breathed in, too deeply, too sharply, and the pain cleared her head.
“Angel? Do you mean Angelus?” Okay, so the blond guy wasn’t a fan of his. If anything, the look of disgust on his face should have made her feel better. The key words being should
. For some reason, all she felt was her heart growing heavier by the minute.
Sitting up straight, she tucked a strand of blond hair behind her ear. “Right, he's evil now,” she said sadly, before an idea flashed in her head. Chewing on her bottom lip, she thought out loud. “Or, maybe not. What year did you say this was?”
“1841,” Carlisle replied, visibly mystified.
She sighed, reluctant to let the idea go so readily. “Okay, so he's not with the soul-having yet, so I just have to sit tight for...fifty years?”
There was no answer to her question, if indeed it actually was a question. So lost in her own little world, Buffy barely heard him speaking to her. When she finally came back to reality, most of what he said had been lost, but when she interrupted him and asked him to repeat the last part, all he did was smile that dazzling smile with that damn fine mouth
and reach out to touch her shoulder.
“If you will let me, I would like to help you.” There was such sincerity in his eyes that she couldn’t help believing him. What were the odds,
she thought to herself, that I’d meet two vampires with souls?
She gave him a long look, longer than she could tell he expected. He was patient, though, waiting for her answer with impossible calm. It was that patience, that sense of calm that decided her: it had been such a long time since she’d known such peace... “Yeah,” she said; a tiny smile quirked at the corner of her mouth. “Why not?”
His smile sent her reeling; she had to make a conscious effort to breathe when he turned around -- showing off that damn fine ass
of his again, darn it -- to rummage through a definitely well-used trunk. Pulling out a items, he made his way back to her, laying them in front of her as if for inspection.
“Put these on,” he said, beaming expectantly.
Wrinkling her nose, she asked, “What're they for?”
He pursed his lips, trying and failing to hide a smile. “They are for you,” he said. His smile grew at her look of horror. “They are clothes. Male clothes. If you wish to travel outside of this room, you will have to go costumed as a boy.” At her horrified expression, he apparently lost the battle and a slight chuckle escaped his control.
She pulled the cap down low, hiding most of her face with its wide brim. “Well,” she demanded, spinning in place. “How do I look?”
“For starters, no man would twirl about for inspection as you have just done.” He smirked as she rolled her eyes. “Best leave the speaking bits to me, then, unless you’ve some fluency with French?”
She opened her mouth, about to retort, before thinking it through and shaking her head. Reluctantly, it must be said; very reluctantly and with no little amount of sullen resentment. It really wasn’t fair that all that skipping-French-class-to-save-the-world was coming back to haunt her.
He was looking at her critically, studying her, before wondering aloud what her name might be. “No,” he said, holding up a hand before she could speak. “Not your true name, which I doubt could lend credibility to your disguise. What name do you choose?”
She appeared to ponder that, thinking over the possibilities. “Giles,” she said finally. “Just call me Giles.”
And that's all for now!