Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, much as I wish I
did. I'm just borrowing them for a bit of romp and play, and
am gaining nothing for this story but my own enjoyment.

Rating: PG...possibly PG-13?

Spoilers: if you don't know who or what Caritas is, don't

Archive: Piper and all the list archives. Anyone else, please
ask first, or at least give me a heads up and link back once
it's up.

Author: cheebs!

Email: chbkamen at optonline dot net

Site: http://bite.to/bloodandfire (I know people are visiting,
but no one has signed my guestbook. *pout*)

Feedback: would be greatly appreciated. :)

Dedications: Matt Johnson, whose incredible lyrics inspired
this and many other ideas. Thethe are one of the most
underrated bands ever.
// // = song lyrics

August & September

It's just another night at Caritas...or is it? The crowd
hums with excitement as a beautiful leather-clad brunette
takes the stage. There is no need for Lorne to introduce her;
the patrons all know her as the agent of their would-be
deaths. This is the only opportunity most of them will have
to look into her dark eyes, both haunted and haunting, and
live to tell of it.

She says nothing as she grips the microphone, looking down at
her scuffed and dusty boots. She shifts impatiently, awaiting
the first piano chords, and tangled curls obscure her face

The first chord is struck, and she begins:

// Suddenly last summer
I started going out of my head
In a tiny hotel room
Lying naked on a bed //

She grins, noting the lustful looks on a number of faces in
the crowd as they imagine what she sings. She is far from
shy, and well aware of the sensuality that emanates from her
in palpable waves. She also knows she is not the only One in
the bar tonight.

// I /knew/ what you were doing. And I /knew/ what you'd done.
Your life with me was ending. Your new life had begun.
But I was cursing your name. And I was cursing that room.
And I was praying for the strength, to stop loving you. //

Her eyes scan the room, finally coming to rest on a blonde
near the back. /She/ is the cause of the fire which burns in
the singer's body, and it is she for whom the song is

// I started writing you the letter
Which turned into the book
I was gonna reach across the ocean
& force you to look
But what kind of woman was I
Who would sacrifice your happiness, to satisfy her pride?
What kind of woman was I
Who would delay your destiny, to appease her tiny mind? //

Her smoky voice blends with the music, drawing the blonde in
as if a spell had been cast over her. She gets up from her
table and takes slow, measured steps towards the stage.

// Then you came back to me & I went down on one knee
With a glint in my eyes & a rose between my teeth
And I pushed out my tongue, for you to see
That I'd been dying of a thirst for your company
Then you quenched my lonliness with your tears
And our clothes fell away as we rolled back the years //

Leather creaks as the brunette goes down on one knee,
mimicking the words she sings. Her knuckles whiten as she
grips the mic tighter.

// But we couldn't deny it because we could not admit it
If our love was too strong to die
Or were we just too weak to kill it
Was our love too strong to die
Or were we just too weak to kill it? //

The question is more than just a lyric, and the emotion in
those bottomless obsidian orbs more than mere lust. Full with
barely restrained tears, they lock on the blonde's hazel eyes.
She pauses at the stage steps.

// Every moment in that room I closed my eyes in prayer.
Every moment I awoke I clenched my teeth in prayer. //

The brunette sinks down onto both knees now. Her head tips
forward, her hair hiding her expression completely, as she
continues in a voice raw with feeling.

// What kind of woman was I
Who would sacrifice your happiness to satisfy her pride?
What kind of woman was I
Who would delay your destiny to appease her tiny mind?
Who /could/ delay your destiny to appease her aching,
swollen pride?
Who COULD delay your destiny to appease her screaming
little mind? //

The blonde is shaken from her daze, and ascends the stairs.
She approaches the now-trembling brunette.

// You're mine...you're mine...you're mine...YOU'RE MINE!!!

On the last "you're mine," the blonde slips an arm around the
brunette's waist and raises her chin. "I'm yours," she agrees
in a soft voice, her face scant centimeters from the other
woman's. "Are you mine?"

In reply, full crimson lips capture pastel painted ones in
a fierce kiss. No words are needed between them; they have
ever been linked and had known the other's essence before
they had ever met. So it is with a not-so-simple kiss that
souls are fully bared for the first time since their meeting,
and the past is laid to rest. They leave the stage amidst
applause and catcalls from the other patrons, anxious to
begin the next phase of their lives...together.

July 9, 2002