Disclaimer: I own nothing but the idea for the story. I thank Joss Whedon and J.R.R. Tolkien for the loan of their wonderful characters.
Story Set end of season 7 for Buffy and after Aragorn is crowned and married in Lord of the Rings. Ignores Angel timeline completely.
'....' means private thoughtsChapter 1. Sunset Dreaming
Since Sunnydale had disappeared, the Scoobies and the Potentials had headed for Los Angeles where Angel had been happy to put them up at the Hyperion.
So here it was, February the Fourteenth and Buffy once again was feeling lost and alone with nobody to call her own. Her thoughts turned to Spike who was probably the closest one to really understand her, but he was gone now.
Sighing heavily she finally kicked off her shoes and threw herself on her bed at the Hyperion. She had scored a bedroom on her own by virtue of being the longest living slayer, while all the potential slayers had to double up. But that didn’t matter as she lay on the bed and fell asleep as soon as her head touched the pillow.
When she opened her eyes she was in a room very different to the one she fell asleep in. Contemplating the furnishings she wondered who had chosen this particular style. Strangely somehow it was comforting, the bed was large and covered in a luxurious silver coverlet edged in forest green tassels. The wardrobe, the chest of drawers and the small bedside table were of the same golden wood as the full length mirror which was standing in one corner. All had the same intricate pattern of leaves which was the obvious theme for the room.
There was a large rug by the bed in forest green with silver flowers entwined forming the border. The only other colour in the room was that of the curtains which were silver with azure blue stripes.
There was a tapestry on a standing frame in one corner of the room which depicted a beautiful garden with a woman dressed in medieval clothes. She was holding a golden haired infant with twinkling azure blue eyes in her lap while at her feet was a toddler holding onto her skirts.
Finally her eyes and feet were inexplicably drawn to the much larger tapestry on the wall opposite the bed, which depicted a warrior with long golden hair lying on top of an ornately carved stone slab. A bow lay next to him and Buffy had to admire the magnificent weapon. On the other side of the warrior was a pair of equally well made knives. The warrior’s face was young, yet it showed that he had seen conflict and knew how to use the weapons that lay with him.
What stood out the most was that in his long slim hands he held a yellow flower against his chest and his face had a serene smile that brought light to the otherwise gloomy scene. She had to wonder what could bring such an ethereal being to the point that he would welcome his death, but her own experience of death answered the question for her. She felt like she was in the presence of a kindred spirit and couldn’t help but reach over to touch his face, but pulled away fast when sudden warmth filled her entire body.
Quickly trying to divest herself of the feeling of familiarity that had arisen inside her heart, Buffy hurried to what appeared to be the window, but when she threw the curtains open it revealed a balcony with a view of the sun beginning to set over distant mountains.
Her reverie was interrupted at that moment by a quiet knock on the door before it opened and someone entered the room, she turned and nearly fainted for there in front of her was a young man who looked exactly the same as the one in the tapestry. Then she looked into his eyes and fell into the azure pools never wanting to surface.
The young man seemed to have noticed her reaction for he suddenly blushed and bowed his head before speaking in a soft lilting voice, “Forgive me, My Lady, I did not know this room was occupied.” He finished with a small embarrassed smile.
Buffy looked up, then became aware that she was standing in front of the window with what was left of the sun streaming through and probably enough to illuminate the dainty silk nightgown she had woken up in.
The young man was now averting his eyes as he turned back towards the door, “Wait please, let me throw something over my nightgown, then perhaps we could watch the sunset together. I usually don’t get to see it with another living person.” She pleaded. He nodded still with his eyes averted by staring at some point on the floor in front of him.
Buffy reached over and grabbed the robe that was on the chair next to the bed, putting it on hurriedly before making her way to where he was standing.
The slayer took her unexpected visitor by the hand and led him to the window; he didn’t seem to mind her forward manner. So they stood hand in hand not saying another word watching the dying of the day.
As the last of the colours began to fade, she looked up into his face and without thinking she reached up and planted a grateful kiss upon his luscious lips again feeling the same warmth and familiarity she had received earlier from the tapestry.
She was surprised by the fact that he didn’t try to pull away and returned the kiss with the same amount of affection. When they broke apart she explained breathily, “Thank you for helping me to enjoy a sunset again. Until now I had always resented them for what they meant in my life. Now I can think of you instead.”
He smiled and it was as if the sun had never gone down, “It was truly a pleasure, My Lady. But now that it is over I should be going as I still have to find my way back to my own room and get ready for dinner. Would you grant me the honour of escorting you to dinner?”
Thinking quickly Buffy shook her head sadly, “I’m sorry I have um…duties to attend.” At that moment she knew something in her life had changed including her role as a Slayer.
“Then may I at least know your name, so that I may find you again?” His voice was mixed with disappointment and hope.
“Not a good idea, Sunshine, as being around me tends to reduce your life expectancy dramatically. I wouldn’t like my bad luck to rub off on you. So don’t tell me your name either, OK.” Buffy replied with reluctance.
“As you wish, but I can assure you that my life expectancy as you put it, is not in danger of being shortened as my kin are known to live very long lives. May I have your leave to watch the sunset with you again on the morrow?” He countered apparently taking her statement in stride.
Buffy was amazed that he didn’t seem to be put off; on the contrary he wanted to see her again. How could she say no? So she nodded a little unwillingly. He came forward and took her hand and kissed the back of it and she felt a pleasant itch begin after he had stood up again. Trying to take her mind off that, it was then she finally noticed that his ears ended in a delicate point which somehow suited him, even more strangely it occurred to her that this small fact didn’t seem to bother her at all.
As he reached the door, she remembered that she didn’t know where she was. “Hey Sunshine, how are you going to find me again? This isn’t my usual room.”
He looked back at her with a slight grin, his hand still on the ancient door knob. “Have faith in me, My Lady Sunset, amongst those who know me I am deemed the most accomplished of trackers, I will find you I promise.” With that he turned and left.
It was then that the scene faded and Buffy found herself standing by the window in her room hugging herself and smiling. The first time she had felt like doing so between leaving the ruins of Sunnydale and the persistent memory of losing Spike.
‘My Lady, Sunset’, she whispered to herself Yes, that was a name that she would gladly accept, for it made her feel special for a whole new reason, after all no two sunsets were ever alike. For Buffy that time of the day was when she more and more reluctantly began her slayer duty. Now thanks to Sunshine she would be forever able to really see a sunset and think of him.
The next day Buffy was woken by the itch on the back of her hand, but far from being unpleasant, she was carried away once more to the young man in her dream. She could almost feel his warm breath tickling the back of her hand once more and see his face in front of her.
She quickly had a shower and threw on some clothes before heading downstairs for breakfast. She was a little surprised to see the others were already at breakfast. As she busied herself with getting her own, Willow finally asked curiously, “Buffy are you alright, you went to bed pretty early last night and managed to sleep right through your shift. Luckily Kennedy took pity on you and went out instead.”
“I suppose I was just exhausted, what with Sunnydale and worrying about everyone, I haven’t been sleeping much.” Buffy replied truthfully.
As she ate her breakfast she remained in deep thought and the others gave up trying to engage her in conversation. By the time she had finished Buffy had decided. “Listen Willow, I think that early night did me a lot of good, would you mind rescheduling my shift again tonight so I can get another early night?” She gently rubbed the back of her hand and tried to stop herself from thinking about her dream as she waited for Willow’s reply.
“Well I guess so, some of the potentials are almost ready to go out alone or in pairs, and I’ll see if Wesley or Gunn would mind taking them out. Is there something wrong with your hand, you keep rubbing it as though it was itchy?” Willow was starting to get suspicious but then coming from Sunnydale it was a prerequisite for staying alive.
Buffy blushed as she stopped what she was doing. “No, there’s nothing wrong.” She replied sheepishly.
She went on with her day, training some of the potentials and seeing to whatever tasks Willow thought needed doing. Late in the afternoon she slipped out to the hairdressers and got them to braid her hair the way the lady in the tapestry had it.
Unfortunately the first one she ran into when she walked back through the lobby of the hotel was Angel. She tried to walk past him to go upstairs when he placed his hand on her arm. “Buffy, your hair looks beautiful, that style really suits you.”
“Well, um, thanks I think. I decided I needed a change and besides it’s much more practical.” She blustered back.
All at once she shook his hand from her arm and fled up the stairs muttering something about sunset.
With nervous excitement the blond slayer got undressed and into bed, hoping against hope that she would see Sunshine again tonight. Despite her anxiousness she fell asleep quickly.
When she awoke Buffy found herself in the same room as last night, but wearing a pale azure nightgown. She was once more by the window, but this night she was waiting eagerly for his knock.
“My Lady Sunset, it is your Sunshine. May I come in?” he called from outside.
She didn’t wait to answer instead flying to the door and opening it on his cheery face. “You see I told you that I would find you again” he laughed.
“Yes, you did, and I am really glad you did.” She laughed back before stepping away from the door so he could come in
Once inside with the door shut, he took her hand and kissed the back of it again producing that pleasant warmth. “I have been counting the hours till our meeting, My Lady.” The laughter was now gone from his voice.
“I must admit I have been thinking about you too, Sunshine.” Buffy replied just as seriously.
With that they made their way to the window as they had done the night before, once more there didn’t seem to be any need for words as they let the colours wash over them.
She so wanted to do more than just hold his hand but was afraid that he would take that as being too forward. But still she enjoyed the previously unknown sensation of being able to spend time with someone without having to be on constant alert, finding the emanation of sanctuary very soothing.
They turned to each other as the last of the colours faded, knowing that it was the signal for them to part company once more. There was a faraway look on his face as he reached up with his free hand and ran it slowly down her braid. “It suits you, Lady Sunset but ah… when it falls loosely about your shoulders it shines like a golden halo.”
He finished reflectively thinking she would not hear, “Surely a beacon for any man who is low in spirit.”
“Are you low in spirit, Sunshine, cos I have to say you don’t strike me as the kind to remain unhappy for long.” She asked inquisitively.
“In that you are correct, My Lady, it is just the thought of having to wait till tomorrow night to see you again that brings me low in spirit.” Sunshine sighed.
Looking in his eyes she could see his sincerity, she squeezed his other hand which she was still holding, “If it is any consolation I feel the same way.” The affection in her voice was proof of the words.
He turned her hand over in his and once more kissed it causing the itch and a pleasant warm feeling to surge to her heart.
“Until tomorrow night then, I wish you pleasant dreams, Lady Sunset.” She noticed him take one last longing look at her before quickly exiting the door.
Giving the door that had allowed him to leave her, a wistful look she reluctantly returned to her bed.
Happy Valentines Day 2012