Dust and Sunlight

Dust and Sunlight

by Cynamin

Disclaimers: Angel’s mine. He lives in my closet and I take him out when I’m feeling depressed. :0) No, really – I’m not Joss, so sadly, they’re not mine. Neither is the title or the lyrics; they’re “Flora’s Secret” by Enya.

Rating: PG-13 for vague sex

Content: B/A

Spoilers: Nothing specific

Author’s Notes: This is an odd little scene that came to mind when I was trying to go to sleep last night. Rather pointless, but wouldn’t leave me alone. In truth, it’s all NutMeg’s fault for a silly IM comment yesterday: “What, did Angel ‘shanshu’ during sex?” This is the result… And because I don’t explain it in the story, let’s just say Angel’s curse was fixed at some point in the past.


Lovers in the long grass
look above them
only they can see
where the clouds are going
only to discover
dust and sunlight
ever make the sky so blue

They lie together on the grassy hillside, far from the battles that have recently been fought. Here the smoke and dust are missing from the air, and the stars above shine clear on a navy backdrop. It will not be long until dawn, yet they do not wish to move.

Angel’s coat lies beneath them, so the grass no longer tickles their necks. Their hands are clasped one in the other, and their gazes are locked on the stars above. Yet still they take comfort in each other’s presence, warm against cool, dark and light together. The silence is broken only by the sound of Buffy’s breath and the soft breeze through nearby trees. The air carries on it the smell of spring flowers in full bloom.

Soon, they will have to leave this place and the comfort of each other’s sides. That reluctance is greater than the silence between them.

Afternoon is hazy
river flowing
all around the sounds
moving closer to them
telling them the story
told by flora
dreams they never knew

“Do you ever dream?” Buffy asks after a while.

Angel is slightly startled by the question. “What?”

“Do vampires dream?”

Angel’s brow furrows slightly. “I dream,” he acknowledges.

“What do you dream?” she presses, her voice soft and curious.

“You don’t really want to know that.”

Buffy’s hand unclasps from his, and she rolls onto her side to look at him. He does not meet her gaze, but he feels her pressed against him. “Yes I do,” she insists.

Angel pauses for a moment before answering her questions. The words are slow and thought out, so as not to convey the emotions underneath. “I’ve been a vampire for nearly 250 years. Even with my soul, the demon’s instincts and urges are there. My subconscious doesn’t make for pleasant dreams.”

“Nightmares?” she asks with an undercurrent of sympathy.

“They’re not nightmares if some part of you enjoys them.”

They fall silent again. Buffy rolls onto her back to regard the stars again. The sky has not yet started lightening, but it will soon.

Silver willows
tears from Persia
those who come
from a far-off island
Winter Chanterelle lies
under cover
Glory-of-the-sun in blue

They hold hands. Angel wants to leave this moment no more than she does. “And you?” he asks. “What do you dream?”

She shrugs as best she can from where she lies. “Slayer dreams aren’t pleasant dreams, either.”

“Tell me,” he insists, gently rubbing his thumb across the back of her hand.

Buffy frowns, though he does not see it. “Well, there’s those dreams – the ones where I fight and die as Slayers of the past. Or there are premonitions – more gloom and doom and disturbing images.” She sighs heavily. “And there’s my dreams, which are pretty much more repetition of the same. Death and fighting.” She does not let go of his hand this time as she goes to look at him again. “But what about the other kind of dreams, Angel? You know…”

He glances at her, meeting her gaze at last. “Wishes?”

Buffy nods and smiles slightly.

He tears his gaze away from her eyes. “I try not to wish for things,” he says honestly. “That just…leads to disappointment. I do what has to be done. No wishing about it.”

Letting her head rest on his shoulder, Buffy swallows hard. “That’s depressing,” she remarks honestly. “No wishes at all?”

He does not answer, because there are certain things he just can’t say. “What about you? Do you…still wish for things?”

“All the time,” she says honestly. “Mostly, I wish things could be…different, you know?” She lets her fingers play across his still chest.

“I know,” he says, perhaps thinking of lost chances or things yet to come. They both leave unspoken the battles past and present. Though the darkness has been held at bay tonight, it will return. Perhaps not as strong, but it will still be there. “But we can’t change what’s happened,” he points out, wrapping an arm around her shoulders.

“Or who we are,” Buffy agrees with a touch of sadness. “But do you ever hope?”

And now at last Angel smiles as he meets her gaze again. It’s a tiny smile, the barest upturning at the corners of his mouth, but it’s a smile nonetheless. “Every day.”

She meets his smile momentarily before frowning oddly. “How can you hope when you don’t wish for anything?”

“It’s not the same thing,” he points out easily, at least in this sure of his feelings.

“But…”

He silences her with a kiss, and she does not protest because she’s been wanting him to do that since they first came up here together. It is gentle and cool, the barest taste of possibility. He releases her mouth after a moment and his eyes are shining. “Moments like this,” he says, his hand under her shirt resting on her bare back now, “keep hope alive.”

Her eyes are shining as well now. “I know what you mean,” she whispers huskily. And that glimmer of hope that had lain between them since they parted ways shines a little brighter now, a little stronger, that maybe this time they will not have to part ways at all. That maybe this time they can make the tender moments last an eternity.

Some they know as passion
some as freedom
some they know as love
and the way it leaves them
Summer snowflake
for a season
when the sky above is blue
when the sky above is blue

They take comfort from each other in a different way, now, warmth and cold pressed together. Physical comfort has not often been a part of their relationship, and it is different this time. It is not the desperate clinging to life that their first time was about, or the great hunger of the time that only Angel remembers. It is reverent, loving, a comfort above all else. They do not worry that they might be discovered here – those creatures that were not killed in the recent battles are in hiding for now, and no one else would come across them at this early hour.

Instead, they touch, and they feel, and they wonder. Hot and cold mingle until it seems there is no difference between them. Angel wonders at the warmth that seems to fill him at her touch; Buffy wonders at the feelings she never thought she’d know again, not with him. Their whispered cries replace the silence that had echoed around them so often tonight. And when it is over, only the sound of their heavy breathing disturbs the stillness.

“Angel…” Buffy whispers in awe, her hand trailing up his warm chest that testifies to the life within it, to his face, where her hand stops to capture the gentle puffs of breath that escape his mouth.

“Shh,” he whispers back, and holds her close, skin to skin. If any tears are shed as the night comes to an end, they are tears of joy.

Her gaze remains locked with his, shining with wonder. She giggles before she can stop herself.

“What?”

She smiles at him, pure and vibrant. “We need to get dressed,” she points out. “If we’re not back by dawn, people are going to start looking for us, and if they find us that would be embarrassing.”

He smiles back, the only unfettered smile she has ever seen from him. “I don’t want to move,” he replies.

“I don’t either.”

So they lay together, joy filling their hearts as they looked at the sky again. It was lightening to a paler blue now, the stars disappearing, and they did not move.

Buffy smiles, her hand pressed against his chest to feel his reborn heart beat. “You really mean you never wished for this?” she asks at last.

He pauses for a moment before answering. “I hoped,” he says at last.

If it is possible, Buffy smiles even brighter. “I dreamed,” she admits.

He smiles at her. “I know.”

Lying in the long grass
close beside her
giving her the name
of the one the moon loves
this will be the day she
will remember
when she knew his heart was
loving in the long grass
close beside her
whispering of love
and the way it leaves them
lying in the long grass
in the sunlight
they believe it’s true love
and from all around them
flora’s secret
telling them of love
and the way it breathes and
looking up from eyes of
amaranthine
they can see the sky is blue
knowing that their love is true
dreams they never knew
and the sky above is blue

They whispered admissions of love there on that grassy hillside. For the moment, they forgot the battles in the town below and forgot everything it had taken for them to get to this point. And though they had eyes for no one but each other, the two lovers – once separated by their very natures, now unexpectedly equals in every way – stayed there to watch the sun rise.

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