The world ended. Not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with the smallest of sighs.
Faith watched it go. It felt as if she was at the bottom of a waterfall and suddenly the river had ran dry. The sky ran clear and the world re-assembled around her in the shape of a memory. A memory that rapidly became fact as all her senses told her she was back in the real world.
"So," she said, cat-stretching upwards and feeling wonderfully relaxed, "Where do we go from here?" There was a soft heat inside her body. A glow that made her think of cats and fires and for some weird reason mulled wine. She wasn't even sure what the hell a mull was but she wanted some. Or it. Whatever.
It was good. It was very very good. It was like Christmas and technicolour films and it was like falling in love.
She smiled softly at the memory of him; his lips on hers, his teeth edging on her ear and the warmth of their bodies intertwined as one. His breath was her breath and her movements were his.
She missed him. And now, for the first time in a long long time, she wanted him back. It wasn't – it wasn't lust. It was – more than that. Like she wasn't whole without him. Like she'd only just realized she was missing an arm.
There was a car, a shape in the corner of her eye. It was parked awkwardly; as if the driver had left. Cars left like that usually meant that there was some sort of unlockage and unlockage meant that she could totally boost the car without feeling any sort of that annoying guilt she now tended to feel in such situations. Frankly the driver was asking for it.
He opened his eye. His bandage wasn't raspberry-stained with his blood anymore. He was kinda disappointed that his makeshift bandage hadn't turned into a raspberry beret but that was a cross he was willing to bear.
"Well," he said, "That was fun. If the definition of fun means mental torture coupled with a Hannah Montana marathon." He took stock of his surroundings. Nothing wanting to kill him. Always a plus. His car in the distance and an empty road. Also a plus. Meant he could get back to civilization and continue his hunt for his woman.
He walked towards it, his head fixed on the ground as he tried to process what had just happened. Something had been trying to kill him. One day he'd have to publish a guide on Hobbies for the Nasties that Didn't Include Trying to Kill Him. Yeah. Sounded good.
Once he found Faith.
A cough distracted him. So he screamed. It was an understandable reaction. He was after all kinda tense.
"Hey," said a voice he'd dreamt about hearing, had dreamt it murmuring words in his ear, a voice that was so beautifully familiar, a voice he couldn't quite believe he was hearing, "What are you doing here?"
"I," he said, "Am here for the waters." Suave. Be cool. Don't fall at her feet and beg for forgiveness. Don't beg for her to make you whole again.
"There's no waters," replied Faith. A confused expression rested on her face, "Middle of the countryside dude. I guess there's scrub or something and can't you slice a cactus in two or something? Are there even cactuses up here? Do they grow this far North? What the hell are you on about waters for anyway? Who'd come to the back of bleeding beyond for the Waters? "
"Shut up," said Xander and a small glimmer of amusement cut through the air and broke the tension. The air – the air in between them – seemed to sizzle with a sudden electricity and the two of them took an awkward, coltish step towards each other.
She wanted to hold him. So bad. Wanted to feel the rhythm that came with the unity of bodies. Screw the poetry. She wanted to fuck and to rut and to take him there and then and reclaim herself inside him. She wanted to own this wondrous man.
"Missed you," she said, her outer words betraying none of her inner turmoil.
"Yeah," he said, equally cool, equally a wreck inside, "Me too."
"Did you – did you just come back from a trip?"
"Like a journey?"
"No. Like drugs. Like when you get high for the first time and suddenly everything's all oompa-loompa."
He shook his head. "Not like that. But yeah. I did 'trip'. It was – somebody – "
"Trying to kill-"
They understood each other. Always had. Always would. She had the ability to read him and as for her, she was like an open book to him. All body language and eyes that spoke volumes if only you knew where to look.
"Cordelia. For me. She was a – tried to kill me."
"Wow." She didn't want to tell him about hers. But then, in the same thought, she knew she had to. No more secrets. "Gigi. Was mine."
"All that means to me is a really bad film."
"She was a – a Slayer. I killed her. One of – she was – "
"It's okay," he whispered, hurting to see her like this. "It's okay. Faith. We – we faced our demons and we won. We're back." He looked quietly up at her and the hope and love in his gaze made her feel that maybe she'd found her missing part.
"Missed you," she said again, and she stepped into him, fitting into him, and she felt him begin to cry and that made her start to cry, "I missed you," she said again and the two of them dropped to the ground, kneeling, their bodies locked together, and he wrapped his arms around her and held her and said, "Don't ever go," and she nodded and ran her hand down his spine, feeling his shape, embracing his warmth and then she rested her hand on him and pressed her lips against his, the two of them riding each other, his hand released his grip and span down her thigh and she guided it towards her sex, unbuttoning her jeans and forcing his hand into her, feeling his fingers touch her and she arched her back, moving instinctively with a rhythm that came so naturally and felt so right and she leant forward, tossing her hair slightly, allowing her skin to press onto his, releasing her grip on his hand and racing to his face and grabbing it, framing it, her eyes locked onto him, drinking him in and then she took him, pressed her lips to his and claimed him as her own.