Buffy dreamt of crawling into bed. In the dream she had just come out of a very hot shower and she was still wet; she let the towel fall right on the floor and crawled in, gasping pleasurably at the contrast between his cool skin and her heat. He moaned, wrapping his arms around her, crushing her against him. Her body surged strongly; she'd been feeling anxious, she was in that part of her cycle. She felt engorged all over and she'd been craving a kill and hadn't had one recently. Something rose in her, an intensity, and she bit gently into his lower lip, holding on with her teeth. He rumbled, sliding his fingers around the back of her neck into her wet hair; he took a handful and clenched gently, pulling her head back. She heard a sound like a growl escape her own throat. She slipped her fingers into his hair and bit gingerly along his lips. His hand crept down her back and gripped one cheek, pulling slightly, so that her sex was opened. His thumb traced the very edge of her lips, back and forth. Buffy's hips undulated.
"AAhhh," she hissed, driving her sex up against his thigh.
His tongue rippled along her throat and he took her earlobe in his teeth.
"Slow," he hissed, his mouth full of ear.
"Nooooo," she whined, "I had a bad day,"
"All right," he reached down and deftly took her clitoris between his fingers, rubbing it delicately. Buffy arched and yelped, panting. He moved down in the bed and took it in his mouth, sucking on it and rubbing it roughly with his tongue; he slid two fingers into her and she exploded quickly. It was a long, drawn out climax, she yelled several times. He was over her then, holding both her ankles in one hand, pulling her legs up and to the side. He slid up onto his knees and hooked her ankles over his shoulder. He pulled her hips up to him and slid into her smoothly.
Buffy shouted. She threw her head back, gasping.
"Now!" she said.
"Just wait, wait," he muttered. He was rocking gently into her. Buffy gave a tremulous call. She arched, pleasure building through her with astonishing power, she trembled on the edge of it. He stopped moving.
"Hold it," he said, "Keep it, just keep it where it is,"
"WHAT?" She looked up at him, supremely annoyed. He caressed her legs, stroking them with his fingers. He smiled sweetly, slyly, at her. He slipped a hand over her belly.
"It's building, right here, right?" his fingers rested on her quaking stomach.
"Yes!" she panted, "But-"
"Keep it there," he whispered, "Don't let it move," He resumed stroking into her, and Buffy felt the skin all over her begin to tingle, she tossed her head. He took the center of her lower lip between his finger and thumb and pinched gently; she felt the spread of sensation stop. She whined in frustration.
"Angel!" she said, through his fingers.
"Hold it," he said. He lifted her legs, straightening them and bringing them up against his chest. He kissed the bottoms of her feet. Buffy's body contracted desperately. He moaned; she felt his sex throb in response. Buffy tried to reach for him, but she was in an impossible position to force her way with him, unless she wanted to break away completely, and there was no way. She lay on her back, her legs up, with him inside her and taking his sweet time about kissing every inch of her feet. She was trembling; she keened desperately. She reached down to take handfuls of sheet and began to pull herself up to him, needing his motion inside her. He seized her wrists and pinned them to the bed; she jerked her legs apart, eyeing him with a mixture of ferocious lust and anger, then slipped her hands easily from his grasp and grabbed his forearms, pulling on them and driving her sex onto his. He twisted from her grip and grasped the webs between her thumbs and forefingers in each hand and held them, pressing. Buffy flopped back onto the bed, her excitement subsiding. She gulped.
His hands slid under her; he turned her onto her side, staying on his knees, and she felt his sex twist inside her. It was a new range of sensations that took her breath away. He drew her against him and stroked into her again. His hands crept sweetly over her, up and down her stomach and breasts, along her legs, over her face. He leaned over her and put his weight on his hands, kissing her throat.
"Let it subside," he whispered, "Then start again," his voice was so full of desire, so soft and tender, that she tried to put her impatience aside. She sobbed a little, vying for self-control. He stayed still, running his hands over her body with enough pressure to be soothing, rather than arousing. Buffy sighed deeply, beginning to relax. He pulled completely away and she whined; he turned her again, onto her stomach, and slid a pillow under her hips. He crouched over her, kissing her back, the back of her neck, her ears. He put his weight on his arms, moving them under her, then he swung into her. She trilled, feeling the walls of her sex ripple along the thickness of him. She clutched the edge of the mattress in both hands.
He began to stroke into her, long, deep, loving strokes. Buffy was suddenly assaulted by a dizzying range of sensation; she felt pleasure creeping up from her sex, but instead of washing through her entirely it bounced along the inside of her stomach, through her throat, into her hands. She seemed to be holding handfuls of it, a kind of living fire. She moaned in wonder. Her mouth was full of it. It almost resembled an ache.
"Slow, breath slower," he whispered, "Deeper,"
She felt as if she were being hoisted through the air several stories up, a breathtaking ascension. She was on an entirely different level, a place where the pleasure would be even more intense. She wasn't sure she could tolerate it.
"I love you," he moaned. She couldn't answer, she was making a series of hollow sounds that resembled, "Oh-oh-oh," and she was unable to do anything else. He buried himself in her, to the hilt, and she inhaled sharply, giving a little screech. His fingers closed gently around the base of her clitoris, massaging the sides of it.
"Angel, I can't-I can't!"
"Just a little bit more, hold it, hold it,"
She lay under him, trying to contain the pressure that was creeping through her, building steadily, about to split her apart. She was losing the battle. She shouted his name ugently, and he stopped moving. He was kissing her ear. His fingers worked her clitoris perfectly.
"Angel-Angel-I'm losing it-ANGEL!"
He fell deeper into his crouch, pressing his chest to her back. He spoke very softly into her ear.
"Tell me what you want,"
"Hard-hard-give it to me!"
He began thrusting deeply into her, pulling on her clitoris, growling faintly. Buffy's mouth opened wide in a silent cry; delight surged in her to an excruciating peak; she actually saw black, then colors, trailing away. She vaguely heard him shout. Pleasure pounded through her like a thunderstorm, leaving behind an incredibly clean sensation, it was like being washed through. She felt the cool spurts deep within her, then him slowing down. It was a more complete release than she had ever known. She lay gaping like a fish, veiled in sweat. All the fibers in her seemed to have loosened.
Every muscle in her body had softened, even the deeper layers within her; she felt a new, deep peace in her chest, in her thighs, in her feet, in her face. She smiled from pure bliss.
He lifted himself, falling away from her, and took her hand, pulling her so that she rolled onto her back. He brought her hand to his mouth and kissed her palm, wetly.
Buffy lay panting, then suddenly gasped.
"What?" he asked.
Buffy lay very still. She felt something deep within her begin to shift. It was a subtle, delicate sensation, a tinier movement than a drop of rain catching on a leaf, much tinier than a snowflake turning, a distant, shimmering sensation at the core of herself. Her eyes filled with tears.
"Oh my God," she whispered.
"What is it?" he was worried now, staring down at her. She took one of his hands and placed it on her belly. He looked at her curiously, then his face opened in wonder. He blinked at her. He moved downward in the bed and laid his cheek on her belly. He gently placed a finger there.
"Right here," he whispered.
"Yes," she gasped.
They were silent together, as if listening. After a time she felt a cool tear roll over her belly. She reached down and took his face in her hands, pulling him up to her. They gazed at each other, struggling to believe what was happening...and that they knew what was happening.
"Girl," whispered Buffy.
"Erinne," he said.
"Oh," said Buffy, "Oh, yeah. Erinne. That's pretty,"
"It means Ireland," he said, "But-"
She held his face and gazed at him, her eyes misty.
"I love it," she said, with finality.
He was suddenly on all fours, crouching over her, his eyes darting into hers.
"Do you know how much I want this?"
"Uh....yeah," she giggled, "I know,"
"Do you want it?"
"You know I do,"
He rolled onto his side and pulled her back against him, entwining his fingers over her belly, pressing his cheek to hers. They were silent for a time.
"Has this ever happened before?" she asked.
"I don't think so," he said, "There's no record of it,"
"Wow," she said, "Everybody's going to freak,"
"I don't care," said Buffy.
"I love you," he said.
"I love you," said Buffy, "This is going to be interesting,"
Buffy woke, speaking the words out loud as she opened her eyes. She stared at the ceiling. She cursed. She padded into the bathroom, staring at her face in the mirror; she sighed.
"Yeah," she said to her reflection, "Keep up those impossible hopes, Buffy. It's only been five years," She splashed water onto her face and rubbed it with a towel. She opened a bottle of moisturizer and stood frozen for a time, looking at nothing. Willow, she thought, I want to call Willow, but I'm too sleepy. She put the bottle on the edge of the sink and wandered back to the bedroom, crawling into bed. She clutched a pillow to her chest and felt the tears start. She buried her face in the pillow and squeezed her eyes shut. She slipped back into a dream.
Buffy dreamt of a pool of sunlight on a Persian rug, scattered with bright plastic toys. A tiny face with enormous, streaming dark eyes peered up at her.
"Ma-maaaa!" she whined, and Buffy reached to turn over yet another broken doll.
"Erinne, you just have to touch things more carefully, look, like Mommy," she said, but the child was deep in the throes of sadness, inconsolable. Buffy lifted Erinne and held her as her tiny body racked with sobs.
"It's just a doll, sweetheart...I wish you didn't get so upset," she said softly, rocking her. Buffy went through a mental checklist: Changed. Fed.
She wasn't feverish, and she'd been energetic as always today. Not quite nap time yet, but maybe a good idea. Her sleep patterns changed occasionally. Buffy started to draw the blinds through the house, kissing the little girl's head as she carried her. Erinne knew the routine and her mood changed.
"Da! Da!" she chirped.
"I know, I know," sighed Buffy, "Daddy's girl,"
Buffy opened the door to the dark bedroom. The covers stirred, and a deep voice, husky with sleep, sounded gently,
"Mo chrige," he said, and Buffy knew in the dream that it meant "my heart" in Gaelic. She also knew that ever since the baby had come more Irish was creeping into his vocabulary, at least at home. It was quite ordinary for her to walk into a room and find him speaking Gaelic to Erinne, sometimes animated stories, sometimes quietly, and that the baby raptly soaked it up. "Mmm," he rumbled, waking, "Little one,"
"Da!" said Erinne, wriggling energetically from Buffy's arms into the big hands that reached for her, "Da! Da!"
"She's been moody all day," said Buffy.
"Something she ate?"
"No. Couldn't be. But she broke another doll,"
"Oh," he said, bouncing her on his chest, "She'll get the hang of it,"
"It just bothers her so much...she cries and cries,"
"She has your heart," he said, "It worries her when she breaks her dolls.
She's very compassionate,"
"Isn't it a little early to tell that?"
"Is it?" He glanced at her, and Buffy thought about it.
"No, probably not. Maybe it's because she's getting so strong so early. That's got to be freaky,"
"I think you're right. But also, she just worries about things. She needs a lot of reassurance. But it's better if she knows how to ask for it than if she tries to be too tough. I don't want her to spend too much time crying alone just because she thinks it's weak to ask for what she needs,"
Buffy raised her eyebrows. "You've got her figured out already?"
"Of course not, I'll never figure her out. But some people worry more than others, and it's not a weakness,"
"Isn't it a waste of energy?"
"She's got to figure that out for herself. Nobody will be able to tell her that without making her feel that there's something wrong with her,"
"We all have different natures. I just want her to like herself the way she is,"
"That wisdom thing comes in handy sometimes, doesn't it, Daddy?"
The baby shrieked delightedly; he had her toes in his mouth and was humming on them.
"Angel, please, she needs a nap," said Buffy, with exasperation.
"I know," he looked solemnly at the tiny girl, "Nap,"
"Na," she replied.
"You're so smart," he marveled, "Aren't you smart like Mommy?"
"What's wrong?" his eyes shot over to her.
"Nothing, it's just-" she sat on the edge of the bed, "I'm just a little fried, I think,"
"You should take off for a while. Go do something fun,"
"It's my shift now, anyway," he pointed out. He rolled onto his side, pulling the baby to his chest, where she nestled contentedly under his chin.
"I have a meeting,"
"Cancel it. Tell them a lie and take the day off,"
They gazed at each other, and years of conversations flowed between them. Buffy liked to work, and he'd never had a problem with it, even if they didn't need the money. But he was right.
"Go play," he smiled.
Buffy looked at her hands in her lap and sighed.
"What's really wrong?" he said. He was onto her.
"OK-" she sighed again, "I know it's dumb but sometimes I think she likes you better than me,"
"The way she-"
"Buffy," he laughed softly, "You're with her most of the day. You have to be the bad guy most of the time. She probably does take you for granted, but mothers are central. They're essential. She needs you. She loves you more than she even knows,"
Buffy was silent.
"She can't do without you," he said, "And I can't. So don't get fried. Go play. We'll be here,"
Buffy stood. She looked down at the two blissful smiles. Already Erinne's smile had a sly, sideways quality. It was a little eerie.
"All right. You've forced me to be irresponsible and enjoy myself,"
"It'll be my fault," he said soberly.
Buffy started to close the door.
"Hey," he whispered.
She peered back into the bedroom.
"Kiss for Da?"
Buffy leaned over to kiss him and woke up.
Buffy cursed and jumped out of the bed. She hated these dreams. They were
just stupid impossible fantasies, things that would never happen. Why would
she bother to ask for all of that, even in a stupid dream? Why was she
torturing herself like this? She started pulling on patrol clothing. Go
kill something ugly, that would make her feel better. Something real and
solid, a kill. It was fifteen days now before he would step onto the pier
anyway, so time to start cleaning.