Title: The Power of Love
Author: The Fallen Sky
Summary: Love has wounded her, and only love can heal her.
Warning: Sexual situations
A/N: This is an AU story, told from Xander's POV, which takes place in season two, sometime after the episode 'Innocence.' Buffy isn't handling the Angel situation well and turns to Xander for comfort.
Feedback is welcome. Enjoy.
He's awakened by the sound of his window opening. He should be freaked out by his bedroom window being opened in the middle of the night, especially in Sunnydale, but he's not. In fact, it's become a common occurrence over the last few weeks.
Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, he looks over at his alarm clock and notes that it's just before two in the morning.
Turning his attention back toward his window, he sees that she's already inside and closing the window behind her. He briefly wonders why she isn't more stealthy about the whole breaking and entering thing, but he figures she probably wants him to know she's there, because what's about to happen requires that he be awake.
Once the window is closed, he watches as she grabs the hem of her shirt and begins pulling it over her head as she turns toward the bed. After dropping her shirt to the floor, she unbuttons and unzips her jeans, kicks off her shoes and shimmies out of her pants, leaving her standing in only her bra and panties.
Under normal circumstances, he'd be giddy with excitement and paralyzed with awe at the sight of her in just her underwear, but these aren't normal circumstances. Besides, he's seen her in and out of her clothes every night for the past several weeks, and, much as it pains him to admit it, he's kinda gotten used to it.
Just then, she reaches behind her, unhooks her bra and slides it off, dropping it to the floor before hooking her thumbs in the waist of her panties, pushing them down her legs and stepping out of them, leaving her completely naked.
After having stripped naked in front of him, she straightens up and pauses for a moment, her eyes falling on him in the darkened room lit only by the yellow glow of the street light outside.
She does this every time, this...silent appraisal of him. And every time, he always wonders what's going through her mind, whether she's trying to talk herself into going through with what happens next, or if she's simply allowing him to get a good look at her, letting him appraise her, as if she's uncertain of her worthiness or desirability.
He doesn't know the answer and doubts he ever will, but he takes the opportunity to look her over, to take in her beauty. From the first moment he caught sight of her golden hair and crashed into that stair railing, he's always thought she was beautiful and sexy, and seeing her standing naked before him, bathed in a pale and unflattering yellow light, she's more beautiful than ever, the most beautiful thing he's ever seen.
His appraisal done, he looks her in the eye, and for the briefest moment he swears he sees relief, affection and even a modicum of joy reflected back at him. The moment is fleeting, however, and she's quickly on the move, stepping over to the bed, lifting up the covers and sliding in, cuddling up next to him.
He loves the feel of her body pressed against his, and his brain practically melts when she presses a warm, wet kiss against his lips.
It takes him a few seconds to respond, but he kisses her back with equal fervor, their kiss quickly deepening and intensifying.
His arms surround her, pulling her closer, his hands lightly caressing the heated flesh of her back and sides, and she moans lightly into his mouth.
They continue this way, kissing passionately, his hands exploring her body, for uncounted minutes, the pace unhurried, both of them simply enjoying the moment.
Then, suddenly, the mood shifts, and her hands, which had been alternating between tangling in his hair and cupping his face, have moved down his body and grasped the hem of his t-shirt, pulling it urgently up his torso.
Reluctantly, they break the kiss, and he allows her to pull the shirt up and off, tossing it off to the side.
A second later, her lips are back on his, her body once again pressed against him, only this time, it's flesh on flesh, and the feel of her soft breasts pressed against his chest has him moaning and feeling a growing ache in his groin.
Their kisses become more desperate with each passing second, and before he knows what's happening, her hand has snaked down his body and under the waist of his boxers, gently grasping his incredibly hard manhood.
He gasps and hisses as she slowly begins stroking him, a couple of light pumps to see if he's ready, and he's been ready since the moment he saw her slip into his room through the window, and also to signal that she's ready to move things onto the next phase.
Her hand releases him, much to both his relief and disappointment, before grabbing his boxers and pushing them down his legs. It's an awkward exercise trying to remove the final barrier between them, but, with a little finagling, he kicks the boxers free of his legs leaving them both completely naked.
She's kissing him again, her mouth practically devouring his as she rolls on top of him, the length of her body covering and pressed against his causing all manner of delightful sensations.
His arms are around her, holding her against him as she wiggles and writhes. He knows what's about to happen, and as much as he enjoys it, just once, he'd like for things to happen differently, so he holds on tighter, refusing to let her sit up, refusing to let her break the kiss.
Unfortunately, she's much stronger than he is, and she quickly breaks his hold and pushes herself into a sitting position. From there, she rises up on her knees, grasps his aching cock in her hand, and guides him toward her entrance.
He holds his breath as the tip grazes her slick folds, a teasing touch that has her whimpering and him biting his lip in anticipation. After a few unbearable seconds, she presses the head into her entrance and slowly lowers herself onto him, not stopping until he's completely buried in her velvety, welcoming heat.
He fights to keep his eyes open, watching as he slowly disappears inside her body, relishing the slick tightness wrapped around him.
Once she's settled, she remains still, and he chances a look up at her face and sees her eyes are closed and there's a look of contentment on her face that he's only ever seen in the moment just after she's taken him in.
God, she's beautiful, he thinks and feels a longing and ache in his chest, that same longing and ache he feels whenever he thinks about her, the same longing and ache he knows she doesn't return but wishes she would.
Her eyes still closed, she reaches for his hands, lightly grasping them in hers and guiding them up her body before gently pressing them against her breasts.
Without thought or urging, he immediately cups her breasts, giving each one of the pert globes a gentle squeeze, reveling in the silky soft feel and the growing hardness of her nipples against his palms.
A pleasure-filled sigh escapes her lips, and he can feel her inner muscles clench for a moment in response to his actions.
As he continues to gently knead her breasts, her hands release his, drop down to his stomach and slide slowly up his torso, before settling on his chest.
After a moment's pause, she braces herself against his chest and slowly begins raising and lowering her hips, his length sliding easily in and out of her body.
The pace is unhurried and steady, as if she wants to savor the moment, savor the act they're partaking in.
Her eyes remain closed, and the only sound in the room is the creak of the bedsprings, the wet suction of his body moving in and out of hers, their shared, slightly labored breaths, and the occasional sigh and soft moan from her.
It continues this way, her with her eyes closed, slowly riding him, him, with his hands on her breasts watching in rapt fascination as various emotions flit across her face, allowing her complete control of the situation.
It's like a surreal dream, being here with her like this, a dream he's had many times, long before it became an implausible reality. Only, in his dreams, it's different. In his dreams, she comes to him in the daylight, holds his hand, kisses him, whispers her love for him into his ear as well as promises of things to come when they're alone, away from prying eyes. In his dreams, she allows him to undress her, slowly peeling away her layers of protection, both physical and emotional, allows him to really see the woman behind the facade, to see her insecurities, fears and doubts, as well as her hopes and dreams. In his dreams, her kisses are soft, unhurried, and filled with genuine affection, a means of conveying just how much he means to her. In his dreams, her eyes are open as she takes him in, allowing him to see the depths of her soul, to see how precious their joining is and how much she cherishes it and him. In his dreams, she makes sweet love to him and he to her, both of them reveling in their connection, relishing the love they have for one another.
In his dreams, he's not merely a means for her to forget her troubles, a way for her to temporarily soothe her broken heart and wounded soul.
In reality, he knows why she comes to him every night.
Her first love, a vampire, the one she gave herself to, mind, body and soul, the one who turned evil afterward, the one who's been wreaking havoc, killing and torturing, the one she blames herself for unleashing, the one she can't bring herself to kill, the one she still loves.
Contrary to popular belief, he's not an idiot. He knows she still loves Angel, knows that she's desperate to feel something other than sadness, heartbreak and guilt. He also knows that she chose him to help her forget, even if only for a little while.
At first, he didn't care why she chose him. Okay, so maybe that's not entirely true. He was a little upset that the only reason she paid him any attention, in that way, was because he was available and she knew how he felt about her, knew that he'd be there for her in any way she needed him to be, knew that he wouldn't ask more of her than she was willing to give, even when she knew he wanted so much more. However, after some initial reticence, he relented, deciding it was better to have the barest hint of a taste of what he'd wanted for so long than to never have the chance to experience it at all.
Things were fine, for a while. She came to him every night; they had sex, and by the morning, she was gone. During the day, they both acted as if nothing had happened, certainly a more difficult feat for him considering how he kept fantasizing about her, reliving the events of the previous night, but no one was the wiser. But, after a week of nightly visits, he found their encounters less and less satisfying. Sure, he enjoyed the sex, and he assumed she enjoyed it, too, because she kept coming back, and, not that he's an expert, because he's pretty sure he managed to 'get the job done,' so to speak. However, he wanted more than just sex. He wanted her to love him the way he loves her. He still does.
He's not sure if she'll ever love him the way he wants her to or even if she truly knows the depths of his love for her. He's afraid to even broach the subject, both because he fears the answer and because he's afraid that even the slightest disturbance to their arrangement could bring an abrupt end to it, and he's not sure he could live without having her this way, even if it's not exactly how he's always dreamed of having her.
He's pulled from his inner musings by her sharp intake of breath and the noticeable increase in the pace of her rising and falling hips.
His heart sinks as he realizes that she's passed the savoring stage and is in the 'get off and get it over with' stage. He hates that stage. It always makes him feel as if she's remembered that it's him she's having sex with, and the mere thought of it disgusts her, not enough to just stop and leave, but enough to want it over with as quickly as possible.
Normally, he just closes his eyes and envisions her looking at him with true want, desire and love as she bears down and rides him for all she's worth.
Tonight, he doesn't do that. Tonight is different, at least he wants it to be, maybe even needs it to be.
So, instead of just lying back and letting her use him as a human sex toy, he decides to do something, something he probably should've done from the start, something he's not sure he's got the courage to do now, but he does it anyway.
Mustering every last ounce of his courage, he pushes his hips off the bed and uses his body weight to roll them so that she's now on her back with him cradled between her thighs, his hands braced against the bed on either side of her holding his weight.
He feels a momentary sense of wonder and accomplishment at having successfully pulled off the change in position, but it quickly passes as he looks down at her and sees her wide-eyed look of surprise and confusion.
He experiences another brief moment of wonder and joy as he looks into her eyes, because this is the first time he's ever done that while they've been intimately joined. It too passes rather quickly, and he mourns its loss.
Silence stretches between them as they remain unmoving in their lover's embrace, each of them looking at the other, uncertainty written on their faces and in their gazes, both of them seemingly unable to speak.
He knows he'll either have to say something or take action, and he really doesn't trust himself to say something that won't ruin the moment, so he decides to show her what he's longed to show her since the moment he first met her.
Looking down at her with a solemn expression, he gently cups her cheek in his hand, caressing the soft skin with his thumb. She tenses at his touch, the gesture seemingly unwanted, but, after a brief moment, she relaxes and actually leans into his touch, clearly enjoying the affectionate gesture.
He continues to caress her cheek and slowly begins moving his hips, a gentle rocking motion rather than the rapid piston-strokes they were engaged in earlier.
Her eyes remain open and locked on his, and he can still see the confusion there, the questions she hasn't asked and is probably too afraid to give voice to. But, and he tries not to get his hopes up, he swears he can see something else swirling in those blue orbs of hers, something he can't quite put name to, something that causes a wonderful ache in his chest.
As he continues to rock his hips, he stops caressing her cheek and moves his hand back to the bed for support. His arms are locked, which gives him great leverage and a wonderful vantage of her face, but it feels like he's miles away from her. Seeking to get closer, if that's even possible, he carefully lowers himself onto his elbows, which brings him face to face with her, so close that her nipples lightly scrape against his chest with every movement he makes, so close that their breath mingles, so close that he swears he can actually see her soul looking back at him through the portal of her eyes.
He's heard the expression 'making love' before, and he thought he knew what it meant, but he was wrong. He's not so naive as to think that what they've been doing over the past few weeks is making love, but he can't make himself believe that it was just sex, either. In his mind, it was somewhere in between. Now, though, there's no doubt in his mind that what they're doing is making love. The mechanics of the two are the same, but the intent, the emotion behind them couldn't be more different.
As their intimate dance continues, he becomes painfully aware that he's the only one doing any dancing. His hips continue to move, gently sliding his hardness in and out of her softness, but he's noticed that she hasn't responded, not by moving her own hips in time with his, and not even by wrapping her arms or legs around him. Instead, she's just lying there beneath him, her arms and legs resting motionless against the bed, her eyes filled with a whirlwind of mixed emotions as they stare into his.
The more he thinks about what's happening, the way she's just letting him have his way with her and not participating in the action, the more he feels like he's doing something wrong and should stop. But, if he stops, he knows things between them will never be the same, knows that this...whatever this is they've become will end, knows that their very friendship may end, and he refuses to lose her, can't lose her. He needs her, and he's almost certain she needs him, even if only as friends.
His mind is made up. He's going to see this through. He's going to show her exactly how much he loves her, and the only way he can think to do that is to pour his entire being, everything he is and ever will be, into the physical act they're engaged in. He's going to make love to her as if this is the last time he'll ever get the chance, as if his life depends on it.
Even with his new-found determination and mindset, the physical aspect of the encounter doesn't change. He continues his languid pace, continues to look deep into her eyes. However, there's a definite shift in the air, an almost electric atmosphere that hangs thickly above and around them, heightening every sensation and giving every action a weight of importance.
She must sense it, because he can feel a tension in her body that wasn't there before, and he can see a storm of pent up and repressed emotion building up inside her, threatening to explode as he watches the color of her eyes seemingly darken.
He's not sure how long they've been at it, a few minutes, a few hours, a few days, but he's begun to feel the tell-tale tingle at the base of his spine that signals the end is approaching. His instinct is to increase his pace, sprint toward the finish line, but he holds back, doing his best to maintain his pace and rhythm.
His breath becomes more labored with each passing second, as does hers, which he takes as a good sign. Much as he enjoys the moment of release, he can't enjoy it this time unless she shares it with him.
From beneath him, he feels her start to writhe, the tension in her muscles becoming more apparent, and her eyes seem to glow with a spark from deep within her soul. The spark fascinates him, calls to him with its beauty, almost pleads with him to unleash it so that it can blossom into the raging inferno it longs to be.
A few seconds more of movement, his control slipping, sweat beading on his brow, and he can feel her inner muscles clamp down on him, trying to hold him in place, and then those very same muscles are rippling, milking him, coaxing his essence from his body and into hers.
Her eyes go glassy, her mouth slightly agape, a soft, drawn-out sigh escaping her, her entire body going rigid.
At the same moment, his control fails him, and, unable to hold back any longer, he presses his entire length into her body, his hips stilling as his rigid shaft pulses, releasing his warm, sticky essence into her welcoming body, a low, satisfied groan rumbling through his chest and into hers, his vision seeming to explode with brilliant stars.
Sometime later, he's not sure how long because the sheer intensity of the experience overwhelmed him, nearly causing him to black out, he slowly becomes aware of his surroundings, particularly of the warm, slightly sweaty body beneath him. Blinking to clear the cobwebs, he looks down at her and what he sees surprises him.
Her face is relaxed, her skin glowing, and he swears it looks like she's got the barest hint of a smile tugging on the corners of her lips, but it's her eyes that catch his attention. The confusion and uncertainty he saw there just a few short minutes ago are gone. Her eyes aren't cloudy, awash in turmoil, instead they're clear, but he doesn't see joy or contentment there; he sees a young woman who's hurting, whose heart has been broken. He sees his best friend, the woman he loves, desperately pleading with him to take the pain away, to make her feel whole again.
His heart breaks for her, and he wants to take her pain and make it his own, but he can't. He feels utterly helpless. So, he does the only thing he can do, he cups her face in his hands and presses a gentle kiss to her lips, a soft, slow, love-filled caress meant to show her she's not alone, that he's here with her and that he loves her.
When he pulls back, he sees her eyes are glistening with unshed tears, and he watches as those tears pool up to the point of overflowing, watches as a single tear slips from each eye and begins rolling down her cheeks.
He wants to wipe away her tears, to tell her everything's going to be alright, but he doesn't. He knows she needs this, needs to cry, needs to let out her pain, to share her sadness, so he lets her, his own eyes feeling a bit misty as her tears continue to flow.
He presses his forehead to hers, his eyes slipping shut, and he feels her body begin to tremble as if her sadness is forcing its way out of her. Her arms slip around his shoulders, her legs wrapping around his waist, pulling him gently but firmly closer to her, pressing his body into hers, clinging to him as if she's drowning and he's her only lifeline.
She continues to tremble beneath him, the tremors steadily becoming more pronounced until it feels like she's shaking. His natural instinct is to wrap her in his arms and hold her, but with him lying on top of her, his weight pressing her into the bed, he doesn't think he'll be able to do that. And that's when it occurs to him that his full weight is resting on her, and he's instantly concerned that he's making it difficult for her to breathe.
Much as he doesn't want to ruin the moment, his concern for her welfare forces him into action. As gently as he can, he begins pushing himself up, trying to support his own weight, trying to give her the room she needs to breathe comfortably. However, as soon as he begins the motion, she responds by holding him tighter, using her superior strength to keep him pressed against her. Apparently, she's more afraid of him leaving her, of losing her lifeline, than she is of suffocating.
He's touched that she needs him so much, but he's still concerned for her physical well-being, so he decides on a different course of action. Much like he'd done earlier, he decides to switch their positions. Pushing against the bed, he uses his strength to lift them both before shifting his weight and rolling onto his back.
The action takes only a few seconds, but her grip on him never loosens, if anything, she's holding him tighter than ever, and while it's a little difficult for him to breathe because of it, he doesn't mind.
Now that he's on his back and his arms are free, he wraps them around her, his hands slowly and gently caressing her bare back in an attempt to soothe her. He's not sure if he succeeds, because her response is to press her face against his neck and her body shudders with silent sobs as she continues to unleash the sadness that she's kept inside for so long, too long.
As they lie there, her tears hot against his neck, their bodies entwined, he wonders if this moment is just the beginning of something truly wondrous between them, or if he's served his purpose, done his duty, helped his friend begin the journey to healing her broken heart and wounded soul. He won't lie, he very much hopes it's just the beginning of something more, and yes he knows that makes him a terribly selfish person because he's thinking about romance while his friend is in the middle of emotional turmoil, but he can't help it. He loves her and will always love her, and he can't help it if he wants to be with her, wants her to love him back. Still, he's too afraid to get his hopes up, and he'll be forever grateful if all that comes of this is that she begins to heal, that she starts to return to the girl she was before the Angel incident, even if all they'll ever be is friends.