To the Waters and the Wild Title: To the Waters and the Wild
Author: seraC
Spoilers: AtS - Damage
Rating: R for content and light horror
Archiving: Essential-Imperfect. All others please ask.
Summary: Between Galway and the sea.
Notes: Written for the Lyric Challenge using lyric's from It's a Fire by Portishead. Plot derived from Open Challenge #19 at Your Mission. Title from Stolen Child by W.B. Yeats.
Feedback: Is like air, highly necessary. In other words, yes please!
Thanks: To Kyra Cullinan for beta services. Thank you!
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel the Series and all related characters belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, UPN, The Warner Company, et al. I'm just taking them out for a little exercise.

"They'll call it chance, or luck, or call it Fate --
The cards and stars that tumble as they will.
Tomorrow manifests and brings the bill
For every kiss and kill, the small and great."
-- Neil Gaiman, Reading the Entrails: A Rondel

To the Waters and the Wild

Thirty miles from Galway, before she reached the sea, Dawn picked up a girl with short, dark hair and a wide mouth. Ivory-skinned and rosy-lipped, her curling, too-bright smile recalled shark's teeth, jagged and sharp.

"Get a grip," Dawn muttered to herself, guiding the rental car to a stop by the side of the road. "You've spent way too much time on the Hellmouth."

The girl, tall and pale -- beautiful Irish girl -- slid gracefully into the passenger seat and flashed Dawn a sunshine smile. She had eyes the color of the sea before a storm -- thunderous gray and some blue. Newborn eyes, large and glistening, her dark pupils were too large even in the low, peek-a-boo light created by sun flashing through clouds.

There, on the edge of the world, between Galway and the sea, with the road stretching twisted ahead of them, she told Dawn that her name was Aislinn. "That's pretty." Dawn peeked at the delicate, pale-skinned girl. "I'm Dawn."

"Dawn." The rosy, sunlit smile deepened. Aislinn leaned in close, suddenly, and inhaled deeply. "Faire is the name for the Dawn where I come from," she whispered.

The sound of her name, liltingly sung in a rich accent, curled into a low knot in Dawn's belly. She shifted slightly, thighs rubbing together, and resisted the urge to look over at the pearl-faced girl beside her.

"I'm going to Inis Mor," said Dawn breathlessly. "For the day."

"Then so am I," was Aislinn's reply.

They crossed to the island on a ferry, gasping from the speed, laughing, and drenched with sea spray and salt. At the dock they rented bicycles and followed the winding road past miles of stone walls to Dun Aengus, past stretches of sandy beach and the blue-gray sea.

Dawn insisted that they stop often to take pictures with the camera Willow had given to her before she had left Florence. Aislinn pointed things out -- white horses, the way the sky met the ocean, patches of bedrock, yellow flowers -- and touched Dawn often. Fingertips grazing her cheek, a hand on Dawn's bare arm, at the tiny curve of her waist. Then Aislinn would smile, a wide, glittering, sun-filled smile packed with sharp edges, and Dawn's body tightened.

They left their bikes at the base of a hill at one of the furthest points of the island and climbed to the top, to Dun Aengus perched on the edge of a cliff. The ancient fortress guarded a two hundred-feet sheer drop and the ocean stretching away, lonely and gray.

Arms thrown wide, Aislinn stood near the edge and let the wind whip around her body and through her hair. It lifted the tail of her shirt and snatched her voice away.

Dawn stood back, wary of the whipping wind, before finally crawling along the broken stone on her belly to lie at Aislinn's feet. People were blown over all the time, Dawn had been warned.

Aislinn stood in the arms of the angry wind and laughed.

They returned to the mainland before sunset, hiking through miles of shell and white rock under the suddenly blazing sun. They skidded down hills, bikes fishtailing madly, as they laughed into the splendid blue of the endlessly empty sky. The ferry took them back, exhausted. Dawn's dark head curled into the crook of Aislinn's pale neck during the entire ride.


The drive to Doolin felt like forever. Dawn assumed that Aislinn slept in the passenger's seat until she reached over to gently touch the silver ring on Dawn's left hand.

Hands, a heart and a crown turned outwards.

"This is very old," Aislinn said in her clear, ringing voice.

Dawn swallowed at the caressing stroke on the top of her hand. "It used to be my sister's. An old boyfriend gave it to her. I took it out of her jewelry box."

Aislinn touched the ring again and hummed. She didn't ask anything about Buffy. She hadn't asked Dawn anything about her sister the entire day. She only seemed to want to know about Dawn. All about Dawn.

"You know, wearing the ring with the bottom of the heart pointing away means you're free to be claimed."

"Yeah," Dawn said. Her eyes never left the road. "I heard something like that."

Aislinn stroked the ring once more before reaching up to cup Dawn's cheek. Her wide mouth tilted into a huge, blinding grin, rosy lips spreading over even, white teeth. "You are so very pretty."


In Doolin they shared a meal, Irish stew, accompanied by Guinness for Aislinn and Strongbow for Dawn.

They parted ways at the bed and breakfast. Dawn finally recalled Buffy's warnings and got a room of her own. Aislinn's smile fell slightly when Dawn said goodnight, once more bringing to mind sharp, gleaming edges.

"Are you sure?" Aislinn purred, tangling her long, elegant fingers with Dawn's. They stood so close Dawn was sure that the other girl could hear the fierce pounding of her heart. She stared into Aislinn's glistening eyes and almost relented, nodding because she didn't trust her voice to give the right answer.

Aislinn tilted her curly, dark head. "I guess that's that then." She stepped closer, pushing Dawn gently against the wall outside of her room. She touched the golden hollow in Dawn's throat. "Faire," she whispered and leaned in for a kiss.

Dawn froze, momentarily startled, before pushing back, pressing against the knee Aislinn slid between her legs. Tilting her head, she deepened the kiss and tasted the rich, dark flavor of Guinness, the sea, and something like nightmares.

Aislinn pulled away first, breaking the kiss. "Goodnight, little one."

A shaky goodnight was all that Dawn could manage.


The cider made her stumble, but Dawn checked the lock on the door three times before sliding between the cool sheets on the bed. She sank easily into sleep and dreamt of a girl with curling dark hair and a daggered smile.

Here, on the edge of the world, she said, her name was Aislinn. Aislinn means a vision in Gaelic. Or dream. In other places and at different times her name had meant other things. Sometimes, she said, she didn't have a name. Instead they called her incubus and later succubus. Once she might have been called Nahemah. But that was a very long time ago. Now, she is Aislinn and she is still one of Eire's oldest daughters.

"That's a pretty name," Dawn whispered breathlessly, languorously thinking of green and growing things and how quickly they rot.

"Dawn's a pretty name as well," said the woman crouched above Dawn. "A pretty name for a pretty girl. Faire," she smiled.

The pressure on Dawn's chest increased and she returned the smile, her eyes drowsy and liquid, through the pain.

"So pretty," Aislinn said again and the words fell like kisses across Dawn's cheek.

Dawn lay anchored and unmoving, bound to the wide bed, pinned beneath the fairy weight of a girl with turbulent eyes and dancing fingers.

Aislinn perched high, pressing down, squeezing tightly with ivory thighs streaked by the shadow of blue veins.

"You are my salvation," she said, delicately licking Dawn's full lower lip.

"Salvation?" Dawn's voice seemed to come to her from a distance.

"I suffer from want." Aislinn's shiny, blue-gray eyes darkened. Her wide mouth, red and full, frowned. "I want to be touched, to be heard, to be seen. I want to be wanted. And this salvation," she kissed Dawn gently, "I desire."

Dawn blinked heavily, struggling to breathe beneath the weight resting on her heart. She wanted to writhe against the pooling desire, the itchy, hungry, heavy feeling that burned in her belly and between her thighs.

"Your life is a farce," Aislinn sighed for her. "You were meant for greater things." She licked along the edge of Dawn's jaw, nipped lightly at her chin. Lithe, elegant hands peeled back the open collar of Dawn's shirt.

Dawn, heavy and languid, did not resist -- limbs unwilling, mind unsure. The image above her was startling -- wide, dark eyes in a face paler than new cream, vermilion lips and coal black hair. Fingers longer and more delicate than they should be, stroked across her collarbone, plucking away her clothes. Until Dawn was dressed in nothing more than the naked woman bowed above her -- hazy colors, luminous skin, and the press of something heavy on her chest. Something weighted in the elfin face above hers.

Aislinn sank down further, increasing the weight draped over Dawn's chest. Her long fingers circled Dawn's dusky nipples. She leaned down to lick and suck and pull, gently using her teeth until Dawn wanted to arch up into the caress. But her body refused to move.

"I will set you free," Aislinn whispered against Dawn's mouth, her slick tongue darting forward.

She tastes like the ocean, Dawn decided. Like wild and free. Sex and Magic. She tasted a little like how Dawn imagined Willow would, but more. A different blend. More sex than magic. More wild. More free. More of the rocky earth and storm-filled sky. More of something that tasted like dreams, maybe, lies. A dark, gritty nightmare flavor that filled and choked.

Dawn lost her breath and the dreamy world dimmed, strangled by the pressure on her chest and darkness crawling down her throat in the guise of a kiss.

With a gasp, Aislinn pulled back and for a moment her satin, ivory skin darkened. Her eyes were sly and black.

Fleeting, shifting dreamscape.



"Later," Aislinn smiled her dagger smile, "they called me succubus."

"Aislinn," Dawn tried to scream around the choking crawling down her throat. Buffy.

There was breathlessness and Aislinn crouched dark and naked above her, stroking skeletal hands along Dawn's collarbone. She was fiercesome with her too-big, sloe eyes and inky hair curling around the barely there points on her ears.

Dawn gasped and lay still, unable to shift the naked burden on her chest.

Aislinn crouched and whispered, smile flashing -- daggers in her teeth.

"Breathe on, sister. Breathe on." A sibilant hiss from her crimson mouth.

The world dimmed further still. Darker shadows seeped after the choking in Dawn's throat and into her heart. It ignited a craving. Desire. Want.

Dawn stirred against the sensation, finally beginning to push up against Aislinn sprawled over her.

"Mine," Aislinn crowed as she slipped the claddagh ring from Dawn's limp hand. "Mine," she said again, gently stroking Dawn's suddenly pallid cheek. "Faire. They will call you succubus," Aislinn whispered and watched Dawn's pale eyes darken into thunderous gray.