Disclaimer: Don’t own BTVS or Anita. And that’s a cryin’ shame.
A/N: The series title is a line from a Modest Mouse song :)
Jinni’s Poetry Challenge #1
"Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality. "
-- Emily Dickinson - Because I could not stop for Death
By: Cousin Mary
He picked her up on a go nowhere road in the middle of the desert. How she got there he had no idea. He would have driven by, he should have driven by. But he stopped anyway.
She was a tiny thing. Smaller than Anita, but she had that same look about her. She was blonde though, and blue eyed. He would have driven past if it hadn’t been for the bag. The duffle bag by her feet with its strange bulges that spoke of things that weren’t cloths, or books or anything nice or not so nice girls carried.
That bag had landed in the back of his truck with a tell-tale clank. She’d smiled at him and thanked him for the ride. She smelled of dusty roads and diner food. She didn’t offer a name, he didn’t ask.
It was hours to any town on a map, a little closer to dots of houses that maps did bother with. She hummed along with the radio even though he could tell she wasn’t much for country. She had her jacket on her lap, there was at least one hidden pocket he was sure.
Not a shifter, despite the grace. Not a vampire despite the night. She wore a silver cross that glinted with the dashboard lights.
He wanted to touch her. Maybe to fight, maybe not. The road whispered things to him as they drove. She glanced at him from under mascara’ed lashes, she smiled when he caught her.
The hum of the road was lulling them both to quiet. He flicked off the heater when she started to doze, she stirred and cracked the window open to help a bit more. He found himself smiling back at her without even thinking about it first.
She frowned when he told her his name was Ted, it was as if she knew he was lying. She didn’t press him, but she didn’t talk again for miles.
A road-kill rabbit on the side of the road made her sad. A news bulletin about dead vampires had her hiding a smile. He was supposed to be driving her into town, but all he could think of was the tiny cabin he used to lay low when things went south. It was forty miles out of their way, but she didn’t seem to notice when he took the unpaved turn off. If she did she didn’t mind.
The sun came up to bathe her in gold and reds. The gold made her look immortal, like a renaissance painting of beauty personified. The red left her dripping in blood, a furious warrior who was always victorious. He shied away from his fanciful thoughts but they drifted back as she gasped at the view.
The road dropped down to reveal his cabin. It was nestled in the red rock of the desert valley. There was no one else for miles. No water, barely any vegetation or shade. It was hostile, almost desolate. Yet she looked so pleased to see it, so at peace. He never thought he’d meet anyone else who saw it the way he did.
Gravel crunched under the tires as he pulled up. He couldn’t even lift her bag to help her inside, but she just smiled and followed on his heels. The door wasn’t locked, there was no point. No one ever came out here. Except him and now her.
Her name was Buffy, a silly little name that like her silly stylish shoes meant to distract. She wasn’t lying though. Her eyes narrowed a bit at the name Edward, but that wasn’t a lie either. He was more Edward than anything else.
He went out back to start the generator. She flipped through his weapons lockers. She liked the knives and swords more than the guns, even though when he came back in she had a few of his more complex toys dismantled and half cleaned.
Her kiss was better than killing. Everyone he’d ever kissed disappeared from his memory, every kill faded away. Donna, Anita, even Van Cleef who’d he’d thought would ever haunt him withered away to dust. Blood pounded in his ears and his breath grew raspy and short.
Her hands were tan, beguilingly soft. Her skin made the sheets on his bed seem rough. He felt big and clumsy, but she smiled at him and that too went away.
They didn’t talk about when she’d leave. Some secret part of him hoped she never would. And to think, he almost hadn’t stopped.
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