By Maquis Leader
Author’s note: Season 3 before The Prom.
The Night stood between them. That was how he’d come to think of it. The Night. Capital T. Capital N. Not to be confused with any other night. The Night.
They never spoke of it, never talked about it. They didn’t have to. A shared glance, the accidental touch, the scent of vanilla, the sound of rain… brought it all back to them. The sighs and moans. The touches and kisses. The joining of their bodies. The moment when their eyes locked as his seed filled her womb.
It was their greatest joy and their greatest heartache. She turned, as if hearing his thoughts, and smiled sadly. It was their worst nightmare come true.
The Night changed everything. Before The Night, they could kiss and touch. Take pleasure from and enjoy each other. He was the teacher and she the student eager to learn the many carnal delights he had mastered over two hundred years.
Now they touched each other sparingly. Kissed cautiously. And never on the lips. Cheeks, forehead, and temple only. Touching was restricted to shoulders, hands, and back only. Clearly defined Safe areas. With a capital S.
Before The Night, they had clutched each other close, rubbing and grinding their bodies together, panting and gasping with passion. Hands and fingers touching and exploring. Mouths and tongues licking and tasting. The giving of pleasure to the other was more important than the taking of pleasure from the other
Now they wrapped their arms around each other only when it became too much to bear, and only with a Safe distance of space between their bodies.
She turned away, the moonlight turning her honey gold hair silver, and he reached out to touch. Reluctantly he drew back. Touching was against the rules. Touching would lead to wanting. Wanting would lead to kissing. And kissing would lead to where they could never go again. Not since The Night.
He sighed. After a moment, she shifted closer to him, leaning against his shoulder. He pressed his shoulder to hers. It wasn’t enough, but it was better than nothing.
Nothing was all they could have now. The Night would be their only night. He pressed his thigh to hers. She pressed back. He looked at her. The delicate curve of her throat, the nose that crinkled when she grinned, the soft lips that begged to be kissed as they pouted.
Their only night. Should it be her only night? Was it fair to stay with her? Keep her at his side? Watch as she grew old while he stayed young? While she never knew a man’s touch again? Was it fair to keep her from enjoying the pleasures of the flesh with someone else?
Pain pierced his unbeating heart at the thought of her lying with another man. The image of her golden body under a straining, pumping body other than his own brought up a rage that flooded his vision red.
She heard the nearly inaudible growl and laid a warm hand on his arm. “I love you, Angel.” She said softly.
The Night would always be between them. An invisible barrier that kept them from touching. From kissing. From sharing their bodies. But it could never keep their hearts from yearning for each other. Their souls from calling out to each other.
The rage faded. “I love you, Buffy.” He said just as quietly.
The Night could never keep them from loving each other. Their love was eternal. And The Night was only one night.
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