Playing Dead part 12
It's so quiet here, tucked away in the far room of a penthouse suite. For the first time since our arrival, I manage a moment alone. We need space and rest, especially Willow with her recent drain of magicks. She said she needed a quiet area to meditate, not only to restore herself but to see what more she can dig up on Ethan.
I hate having to depend so much on magicks. It's not that I don't trust Willow, I do. It's just, I'd feel much better when I can stake, decapitate and burn… physical attacks and solutions and not this mystical hoopla.
Xander also needs some alone time. He would never say anything but I can see he's tired. We all are. This ‘mission' is harder than we thought and becoming more difficult with every new twist.
I shove a comfortable chair closer to the large window and fall into it. A poof of dust makes my nose tickle and I cough, but it's still inviting enough for me to stay. I stare out at the view of the city. Weird. I've gotten used to seeing the twisted landscape of towers and trenches, eerie and desolate. I can barely imagine it used to be a busy metropolis.
Something breaks the silence. It's the faint static of the radio and I unclip it from my belt. Someone's trying to reach us, finally. The sound is almost reassuring and I quickly respond in hope to hear a friendly voice.
"HB this is CO, come in." I wait and listen. With the lack of response, I try again. "HB this is CO, do you copy?"
My heart lurches with the mild voice calling out to me through the static.
"I know you're there, Buffy. Most likely alone, listening. I've been assured this channel is secure so there's no need to worry about prying ears."
I don't know what to do.
"It's just us in the dark."
I look around to see I am alone, just me and him.
"It's come time to discussed matters, don't you think? One soldier to another."
It seems like an eternity for my voice to return. "I'm listening." Short and all business.
"You won't win."
"Not here to win."
"You've come to die, then?"
"Come to clean up a mess."
"What you call a mess, I call a new beginning."
"Beginning of what? A new world for vampires? You're just like the rest. No different than any other big bad would-be evil visionary."
"Perhaps. I guess it all depends on your definition of evil," he answers softly then after a pause, he asks, "How are you?"
I want to laugh. How am I? "Is it the customary enemy bonding moment because I gotta warn you, I'm clean out of tissues."
"Enemy," he chuckles. "We're not enemies, Buffy."
"Let's see, vampire, vampire Slayer. Last time I checked, that constitutes enemies. What's your story?"
"Stranger than fiction." His tone gives me chills. "Clear as the day you'll never see again, as bright as the sun sent away on a whim."
"Enough of the insane verse, if we're not enemies, what are we?"
"Reflections of each other."
"Vampires don't have reflections."
"Oh, but I do, Buffy. Not the common sort, trapped to flat panes of glass and metal. My reflection lives and breathes, a physical manifestation born free from light but seeking illumination, just the same."
"And I suppose you're the one whose gonna illuminate me?"
"You want to know, don't you? How it happened?"
I don't. I don't ever want to know.
"I already know all I need to. You took what you wanted and will continue to until I stop you."
"What I wanted?" The static signal intensifies with his sigh. "Of course, what else would you think? I want to see the sun die. To see the sky bleed, the rivers boil… to see trees wither and burst into flame..."
"Nice to know you kept a level head in all the apocalypse."
"It's what you want to hear, isn't it? What you need to hear so you have your proof that I am the monster you think I am."
"No, you were a monster the second you killed the only family I had left in the world."
"I wasn't the one who drove a stake through her heart!" He roars and it scares me, which scares me more.
"You did when you murdered Dawn and made her into a soulless monster like you!" I can roar too.
"Trouble is, I didn't make her into a demon, Buffy," he whispers soulfully, "…she made me."
"What, no Buffy?" Dawn asks, a pizza box in one hand and two six packs of my favorite import beer in the other.
"She couldn't be bothered, I'm afraid," I grumble a crusty response. "Looks like it'll just be the two of us. Do come in. Oh, sorry, let me help you with that." I take the pizza box from her and head toward the kitchen.
"Guess I shouldn't be surprised. Not as if you and I see much of her lately… or ever," she says sadly as she comes in and closes the door behind her. "So this is the new bachelor pad. Leaning toward swinging singles groovyness."
"Suits my needs well enough. Not too much space but enough for my books and things. Feel free to make yourself at home." I set the box on the counter and reach to take the beer from her but keep my distance, hoping she doesn't notice the scent of scotch on my breath.
"Feels like you." She wanders around, quickly taking in the atmosphere of the room then follows me into the modest sized kitchen. I gather some plates from the cupboard and she watches with a smile and says, "I approve. You did good."
"You really think so?" I smile gratefully, setting the plates beside the box and fetching some napkins. "It's not too… er, um… stuffy?"
"I'm not gonna say it's all cuddly with the decorative details. You're quite comfortable with the bare necessities of life and you're definitely not at one with any of the interior decorator deities. But it's got a certain indistinct charm. Kinda like its tenant."
That brings a shy smile to my face that seems to brighten hers.
"So how long are you renting the place for?" She decides to take on the task of serving, shooing me away with a wave of her hand. When I don't move fast enough to her liking, she bumps me playfully with her hip, nudging me aside. I give in, moving on to retrieve the parmesan and hot sauce she loves from the refrigerator.
"I'm not renting, actually. It's mine. Signed the paperwork last week."
Her face lights up with the news and before I know it, she's wrapped her arms around me. She's practically bouncing with excitement, two pizza slices flapping on either side in giddy celebration.
"You're staying, then? Not going back? I knew it! I knew it!" She pulls back, tosses the slices to the plate then gives me a proper hug.
"I'm staying," I gasp, amused as I shift us just enough to disarm myself of the toppings and return her warm embrace. "Had I known it would go over this well, I'd have told you last week."
Her animated excitement quiets and I feel her nuzzle in tenderly to me. It feels good to have her in my arms, again. It's been far too long since I've held her, since she's been held by anyone of her family.
"It'll be just like old times again. You, me, and Buffy. Like after mom…" she suddenly goes quiet and withdraws, face flushing. "Um… the pizza's going to get cold. We better…"
I nearly inquire what's bothering her, but chose instead to respect her wish to change the subject. "Let's get to it, then." I agree with a smile.
"Then the guy says, ‘I'll give you ten for the girl, twenty for the boy, and one hundred for the sheep'," Dawn bursts out with laugher which does more to inspire my own than the horrid joke she'd just told. We're both more than a little drunk, as evidenced by that rather blue tale. Even so, it's her happiness that draws me to laugh and smile. It's as if things are good again and everything is right with the world. If only Buffy was here. Regardless of the disconnection, I'm sure we'd both have appreciated a visit here and there. Especially now.
"God, I missed this," Dawn says with a chuckling tone, settling back deeper into the couch. I've never seen her so relaxed and comfortably numb.
"I miss you." She nudges my knee with her own.
"Thank you. I missed you too." A quick check of her bottle and I realize we're both dry. "Another round?"
"I probably shouldn't."
"I don't see why not. You're a responsible adult, fully capable of handling yourself, if need be." I encourage her, regrettably aware that I am far too intoxicated to be passing on parental advice. "Besides, I despise drinking alone."
"Is that how you see me?" she smiles, forehead creasing with expectation. "An adult?"
"And why not?" I return her hopeful smile, clumsily dropping my hand to her knee and giving it a tender squeeze. "You've given me little reason to think otherwise. You're a beautiful young lady, Dawn. Only a fool would fail to see it."
"I'm glad you think so."
"Why shouldn't we have this?" She pursues me as I escape to my bedroom. I shut the door only to have her kick it open in her rush to catch up. "We're both lonely with nowhere else to turn. Like the rest of the world, she doesn't care about us anymore. Why should we?"
"I'm sorry, Dawn, but its just… it's wrong."
"Wrong?" She questions, corralling me into a corner of the room.
Her hands reach for my face and I grip her wrists firmly before me, fighting to keep her at bay yet avoiding hurting her. My head is swimming drunk and now sickly with the thought of her inappropriate advances. She manages to break free from my grip and her hands roam my body.
"Wrong for two lonely people to come together?"
"Wrong for *us* to come…"
Lord, she's pressing up against me, her slight, lithe body slinking along mine and I can barely focus. I force her back, urging her with a shake to respect my refusal.
"I love you Dawn, I do. But not like this. Not * ever* like this."
"It doesn't matter. Not anymore. I can make you love me, in many more ways. In all the ways." She presses up against me, grinding her hip into my groin, coaxing me with kissing words along my lips. "Everyway that counts, you'll whimper your love, groan your love, scream your love for me."
"No." This can't be happening.
I try to pull away but find I can't. It's an exercise in frustration. I break free to be caught by her other hand. I gain freedom only to be pinned between her body and mine. All the while a frightening numbness spreads quickly to overtake my body. Could she have slipped something in the drink, the pizza?
"What have you done?" My accusation slurs.
"I gave you a little something to relax. Take the edge off." She smirks proudly.
"I can't… I won't do this."
"Why not? It's not as if you have anyone else… like I have anyone. Give in, Rupert."
My heart lurches with her calling me by that name. It feels as wrong as her insistent strokes along my groin, as her breasts rubbing along my chest, as her tongue licking the outer edge of my ear. She kisses me lightly and I grimace at the leaping of my cock to greet her. She smiles, pleased by the uncontrollable reaction of my body to her unwanted proposition.
"I can feel you wanting me. You're all hard, Watcher. For shame! How long have you wanted this? Picturing me taking you into my mouth and…"
"No, I can't hear this…" I shake my head, praying that it is all just a nightmare, a sick, demented nightmare. "I won't…"
"Buffy turned her back on me, taking with her the only family I had left," Dawn curses at me. "Buffy took * herself* away from me. Now I'm going to take someone away from her."
"Dawn, you don't know what your saying. You're drunk and emotionally distraught. This isn't you."
"At least you're half right, Rupert."
I stop fighting when I see her eyes yellow, giving up all my hopes with the plumping of her brow. I should have known. Perhaps I did.
"Dear lord, no. Dawn." I reach out to cup her cheek, my thumb drawing along her creased demonic temple. "I'm so very sorry." I choke back my sobs.
"Don't be sorry. Be mine." Sacrilege, that's what it feels like as she grinds into me, licking her raping tongue along my lips to push though, passed and inside. Vulgar, repulsive blasphemy.
My body surrenders to the poison, no longer answering my orders. My legs buckle first, and I fold to the ground like a rag doll. She follows with perverse fascination until I collapse flat on my back. Dawn smiles satisfied and kneels beside me. She tears out the zipper to my jeans and admires what she's revealed.
"It's like unwrapping a gift." She gropes at my stiff flesh through the thin cotton fabric. "Aren't you going to sing for me?"
I wince as a finger delves beneath to scratch my cock with a rigid fingernail.
"So eager. But I have to get you warmed up first."
I pray forgiveness for my arousal, for my weakness, for my past, present and future sins as she wraps her hand around my pulsing cock and begins to pump, forcing me harder still. I try to pull away only to find my drunken body unable to escape. She watches with delight as she sets me hard in her determined hand.
"Dawn, don't do this. Please don't do this."
"Save your pleas for later. Now be a good little Watcher and keep those gorgeous greens watching me." She presses her chilled lips to mine, stifling my cries.
I am entombed with her as her fangs pierce and sink. She drinks leisurely, tenderly as her thin body rocks forward and back. I feel the chill of her flesh choking me and can't hold back my repulsion fueled sobs.
"Kill me," I gasp as she hastens the tempo, "End it here. If you ever cared for me, Dawn, please."
My feet go numb, numbness beyond numb, heavy and disconnected and icy cold. Then it moves up into my hands, as if it were an apparition possessing me. Soon, it claims my legs and arms, crawling along until I can only feel my mind trapped helpless and praying for the end as my cock stretches up defiantly inside her, driving her toward her inhuman orgasm. My eyes dry and stiffen as a chill settles the length of my dying body. I can barely make out the hazy vision of Dawn biting at her wrist. She holds her bleeding arm over my petrified mouth gasping for futile breaths.
I feel my soul die as I pour helpless pints of blood, spill hopeless trails of salt, spurt useless stains of seed, all the time begging for the end to my ill fashioned death at the hands of a girl I loved as my daughter, my very own.
"I'll give you a love that never leaves and never dies, Giles."
She continues to fuck me, still riding wildly as I feel my last breath leave my body. I hear the ecstasy of her climax as my heart finally stops, seeing her beautiful corpse writhe above me as I join her in death to the last words of, "You'll give me my revenge."
My God, no!
My stomach churns in disgust with the accusation. He's a demon, like Angelus, trying to twist the truth to hurt me.
"You lie," I curse him.
"I've no reason to, Buffy." His voice is regretful and ashamed. "Believe what you will but the truth was there the entire time, yours for the taking if only you'd open your eyes."
"I'll kill you for this," I threaten uselessly.
I won't give him what he wants. I won't take the bait. "You won't win, vampire."
"Didn't come here to win, Slayer." I can't deny the sadness clear in his voice.
"Then why? Why are you doing this?"
"To clean up a mess, Buffy."
The radio fills with empty static and I wait for more.
"Hey!" There's no answer. "You still… still there?" The radio slips from my trembling fingers to the floor. It can't be true. It's all lies.
Then why am I crying?