Title: Being Inside Joy

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Rating: T

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.

Prompt: Buffy Summers, #55 - Heaven, for tth100.

Summary: B:tVS, Star Trek. Glory's portal sent Buffy to a place outside of time called the Nexus. 500 words.

Spoilers: B:tVS post-"The Gift"; "Star Trek: Generations" (1994) and general TOS

Notes: Also an entry for the TtH Fic-For-All, #847 - Buffy/James T. Kirk. Shameless JTK fangirling. Because Guinan's description of the Nexus and Kirk's origins as a farm boy from Iowa made something go click inside my head.

"I can't remember very much... what it looked like or how long I was there... but I do remember how it felt... It was like being inside... joy"
-Guinan, regarding the Nexus, "Star Trek: Generations"

Buffy lifted her face to the sun, laughing, as Jim spun her around in his arms. Dust, kicked up from the straw underfoot, scattered the light around them in golden sparks; the smell of warm animals, of earth, of life, was heavy in her nostrils. When he set her back down, she stumbled against him just a little, half awkward footing and half artifice; she braced a small hand on his chest and smiled flirtatiously up into his tanned face. His arms came around her shoulders automatically, bracing her; the corners of his eyes crinkled up as he smiled affectionately back.

The shirt he was wearing today was 60's green and pleasantly textured under her fingertips, slashed down the front and accented with gold. Not the sexiest thing she'd ever seen, but it fit him, somehow; it emphasized the hazel flecks in his brown eyes and the blonde highlights in his hair. Much better for his coloring than the heavy dark red thing he'd been wearing when she had arrived-- however long ago that was.

There was a logo of some kind on the front of the shirt, something that had been on the red one as well, an arrowhead shape that suggested purpose and motion. She'd asked him once what it stood for; he'd opened his mouth to answer, looking imperious and determined, then paused and shook his head. "I'm just a farm boy from Iowa," he'd told her, with a lopsided, charming grin, and as the years had faded from him, she'd understood: whatever the symbol represented, like the silver cross necklace tucked under Buffy's blouse it was a part of his past that had no place in this eternal, euphoric now.

Jim interrupted her musings to plunder her lips in a quick, intense kiss; like everything he did, it was imbued with a wild passion that was everything she'd been missing in the other Iowan farm boy she'd known. He was so beautiful, in both form and spirit; maybe a little impetuous, a little brash, and a lot proud, but also charming, noble, chivalrous, and inclined to accept her just as she was. All she'd ever wanted was to be normal, and to be loved; he gave her both those things, and more. She was at peace.

He smiled and let go of her shoulders, then clasped one hand in his and turned to lead her from the stableyard. Lush countryside rolled gently around them, surrounding a rustic, two-story house with an inviting curl of smoke rising from its chimney; they'd just returned from a gallop in the invigorating spring air, and the promise of a warm meal was nearly as tempting for Buffy as was her companion.

She had no idea how long she'd been here, or even where here was, exactly, but none of that seemed to matter; for her, it was near enough to Heaven to deserve the name. She was happy, she was home. She was free.

She never wanted to go back.