Title: Underneath the Drowning Water (Book 2)
Rating: R, for now, going into NC-17 eventually
Summary: Fighting her way back to sanity after Angelus’ attentions the previous spring, Cordelia now has to deal with his return from hell. AU of BtVS s3.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Notes: Part of my Persephone series of fics, this is part 6 of Book 2. The previous four ficlets that make up Book 1 have been organized under a tag and stored in my memories. These are under the same tags. This installment is unbeta’d, and it probably shows. I’m not sure what I have can be beta’d, since it borders on nonsensical.
Feedback: Always appreciated.
The moon is a stalker, hanging with its face in her direction as she brushes through the trees and roots sticking up from the dirt. His scent is faint but there, a cold trail that will lead her home.
It’s cold but she can’t feel the freeze, damp, but the water trailing down through her hair and into her face is of no consequence. She has the strangled hold of him leading her on, the smell of leather and blood thick in her nose.
She’ll have him if she’s just patient, ignore the roughened rocks with jagged edges against her soles. What is that pain compared to the space that keeps her from him? It’s a fire that licks at her insides, burning without consuming, cracking her open until her blood runs free.
She’s got her love in her hands, and she means to make him feel it.
His house is a cold brick of mortar and terror, dancing in and out of the shadows of the overhanging oak trees, dutiful guards over a secret dungeon. Windows barred and panes cracked, dried leaves brushing roughly against the glass.
But it can’t keep her out the same as it couldn’t keep him in, before. It swallows her into its depth as it expelled him nightly, on his happy way to suck her blood and leave her dried and near dead, all for the love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
She moves through the halls she saw in her dreams, in and out of the rooms that saw her terror. She could still hear her screams in the walls, her panicked and sallow face in the mirrors.
She haunts this mansion.
She knows where he sleeps.
She opens the door and sees him as he must have seen her, before. Exposed in sleep, head to the side, neck laid bare to the cold air. She drips night dew like Ophelia after the river, crossing the rotted carpet, her prize in her hands. Why does he even sleep at night, she thinks as she climbs up onto the bed, careful, so careful, not wanting to wake the spider.
She was the fly, before.
Now she’s the cat, come to swallow the spider.
She crawls over the mound of his covers one handed, right over him until her knees are pressed to his sides, trapping him. She gazes down into his truly angelic face, peaceful in repose.
She feels the rise and pucker of her nipples, the apple tart bite of his kiss between her thighs.
The chilliness of his flesh is as familiar to her as her own skin, the sound of her own voice.
She reaches because he tattooed the need into her psyche, tracing with her fingers the skin over his withered lump of a heart. No chambers pumping, no blood churning. It’s merely still beneath her probing touch.
Pulling herself straight, she raises her hands, joining her fingers together over the smooth grain of the ash stake she brought with her, whittled down to a sharp point with her own hands.
Worked with loving care.
He brought her into his nightmare world of darkness and shadows, left her floundering in the mud and roses, half dead and half not.
She’s going to bring herself back into the sun again.
She breathes and closes her eyes, arms thrusting down as she envisions the stake driven home through flesh and bone –
And his eyes open.