So that being said...here's chapter 1 of the first fic.
TITLE: From Heaven Above to Earth I Come
AUTHORS: Eurydice & Pepperlandgirl
SETTING: 6 months post-NFA
DISCLAIMER: Not ours, which is a shame because usually we're nicer to them than Joss was.
The pack was heavy, the weapons unwieldy, but Faith didn’t feel it, adjusting the weight automatically as she trudged over the snow. The cold bugged her more than any discomfort; she’d spent too many years in southern California and lost her tolerance to winter. Not even moving around since the collapse of Sunnydale had reattuned her.
She hadn’t had to take the assignment. She knew that. But when it came down to it, Faith knew she was the best choice. Everybody else was all ready for the holiday, paired off and tinseled up. She was the lone nutcracker. Why ruin the others’ Christmas when she was the only one who wouldn’t be leaving somebody behind?
The cabin was exactly where Giles’ source said it would be. Willow’s teleportation spell had moved Faith from the comfort of the Council library, all decked out for his little Yuletide soiree, to the Scottish Highlands, but her aim had been a little off. Faith had ended up traipsing an additional mile, following the ever-brightening glow of the crystal, until now, the hideaway for the demon in question loomed on the horizon.
Moonlight made the unbroken snow sparkle; there wasn’t even a path leading up to the low-slung door. Illumination through the small windows broke the darkness surrounding the cabin, and the way it danced along the surface suggested it came from a fireplace. The smoke curling from the stone chimney confirmed it.
Well, Faith thought, at least it’s going to be warm.
The closer she drew to the building, the more brilliant the crystal she carried became. By the time she reached the front door, Faith was forced to put it into her coat pocket to shield its brightness, and even then, it glowed through the dark fabric. She covered it with her hand as she peeked through the nearest window.
The interior was golden cozy, with a Christmas tree in the far corner and two stockings hanging from the mantle. On the small table in front of the couch was a tray, with a teapot, various cakes, and a single steaming cup of something she assumed was tea. A book lay open next to it.
But it was the sight of the dark head, leaning forward to pick up the cup, that made Faith freeze. It belonged to a dead man.
He looked up as the wind whistled through the small cabin, blowing in a flurry of snow. The fire danced in the draft, and a log snapped—a surprisingly loud sound in the silence. Wesley straightened slowly, his glasses reflecting the brightly colored Christmas lights. He removed them, his eyes focusing on her—if anything, he seemed more surprised to see her than she was to see him.
“Faith?” Wes stepped forward. “Come in. Shut the door. You look a little…frozen.”
Without taking her eyes off him, Faith pushed the door closed behind her. “And you’re looking a little…alive.”
Wesley replaced his glasses and held up his hand, as if he was studying it, double-checking her claim. “Yes. It’s quite remarkable, isn’t it?” He looked down at his shirt and slacks. “I found these clothes in the bedroom. It’s just through that door. There might be something dry in there for you.”
The image that whoever had brought Wes back had done it with the man only in his birthday suit made Faith grin, but she followed his direction, sliding around the edge of the room to the closed door he indicated. The bedroom it opened onto was dominated by a huge bed in the middle of the floor, thick blankets and heaped pillows making it look even higher. The whole place screamed set-up, but damned if she could see what it was. They were the only two in the joint.
The rogue Slayer and a dead man.
Merry fucking Christmas.
She found the clothes in the closet, pants and tops hanging alongside the men’s. The idea of changing into something dry was appealing, but it would put her at a distinct disadvantage if the man in the other room turned out to be somebody just posing as Wes. It was the most obvious possibility. Wes had been dead for six months, killed in the same battle in Los Angeles that had nearly killed Angel and Spike. Just because Spike and Buffy could come back from the dead, didn’t mean the same held true with Watchers.
Being cold won. She’d fight better if she was warm anyway.
When she emerged from the bedroom, Wesley was pouring a second cup of tea. “I thought you might like something to drink.” He seemed nervous, like the man she knew a long time ago. “I’m assuming the clothes and the rest were meant for you. I can’t imagine who else it would be for. The question is, why? What are you doing here?”
The more he said, the harder it got to believe that it wasn’t the Wes she knew. Faith wasn’t ready to lower her guard too much, though, and kept her pack dangling loosely from her hand as she approached the couch.
“Giles got wind of something wanting to spoil the Christmas spirit here,” she said. “I was the best Slayer for the job.”
Wesley smiled slightly and looked around. “I don’t think there’s anything like that here. I was hoping that you would have some sort of explanation. I just woke up here. Everything was black and then everything was…” He looked to the tree. “Covered in tinsel.”
She took a step closer. “Lucky you. Willow’s mojo dropped me off a mile away.” Fishing out the crystal, Faith held it out to him, watching the way its internal lights caught and scattered slivers of silver around the room. “All I’ve got that you don’t is this.”
Wesley took the crystal, holding it up to the light and studying it with a thoughtful frown. “This is quartz, Faith. Nothing special. You could use it for low-level location spells, but nothing particularly powerful.” He bent his wrist, allowing the crystal to catch the golden light from the fire. “It’s pretty though, isn’t it?”
It was, but if what Wes was saying was true, it meant Faith had been sent on a wild goose chase. In the middle of winter. In fucking Scotland. Willow was a dead witch.
Dropping the bag of weapons that now seemed extraneous, Faith grabbed one of the small cakes and plopped down on the couch. “So why would Giles paint a target on you?” she asked. “I mean, you do know you checked out, right?”
He settled on the couch beside her. “Yes, I am aware of that. I remember it quite vividly, in fact, though it’s more like a movie I saw once, rather than something I experienced. I am alive now, though. Feel.” He grabbed her wrist without warning and put her hand to his chest.
Her fingers were still cold from the mile-long trek, but the hard wall of Wesley’s chest was undeniably warm, as was his hand holding hers in place. Through his thin shirt, the soft echo of his heartbeat resonated into her palm, and Faith looked up to meet the steady blue of his gaze.
“You’re making me look bad here,” she joked. “Now I’m the only one on the block who hasn’t flipped off the Reaper.”
“It wasn’t intentional. I didn’t actually ask to come back. It was nice, where I was. Warm.” He smiled and let go of her wrist. She didn’t immediately move her hand away. “I’m happy you haven’t had your dance with the Reaper yet, Faith. I’m actually really happy to see you.”
The thing of it was, Wes looked happy. There was a peace in his bright eyes that she didn’t remember from those days they’d hunted Angelus, as if he’d resolved whatever demons had pushed him to that precarious brink. From the way she’d heard it had happened to Buffy, being resurrected had been a bitch, hard and painful with more problems than she’d had when she had died. Wes seemed to have got the deluxe package. Maybe it came from the fact that he’d been dead longer. Maybe Heaven needed time to warm up before it actually did any good.
Slowly, she let her hand fall. “How long have you been here?”
Wesley shook his head. “It’s hard to tell. A day? Maybe two? There’s no way to contact the outside world, and I didn’t fancy getting lost in a blizzard. Maybe you were sent here to bring me back? Of course, that begs the question, doesn’t it? Why would the Powers put me in a cabin in the middle of nowhere? And why would they send you?”
“Maybe because sending me wouldn’t fuck over somebody else’s Christmas cheer.” But the joke fell flat, and she broke off a piece of the cake, trying to find an answer that would better satisfy both of them. “Could be ‘cause, no matter what, I’m still your Slayer,” Faith said. Her large eyes were sincere as she lifted her lashes again. “They knew I needed you.”
That seemed to rattle him. A shadow passed over his face, offering a brief glimpse into a more troubled mind than his calm exterior let on. “I had a lot of time to think. An eternity, it seemed. After awhile, my thoughts always seemed to go back to you. You did need me at one point, I think, and I couldn’t help you.”
“Two way street, Wes. Can’t help someone who doesn’t want it.”
“Hmm, quite.” He sipped from his tea, and the fire popped again. “You…you haven’t got anybody waiting for you?”
Faith shook her head. The heat was finally seeping into her flesh, reaching bones she’d thought frozen through. It made it feel like she was melting into the couch cushions as she leaned back, but for the first time in so many months, she welcomed the relaxation.
“I’ve been on my own for awhile,” she explained. “Giles is still rebuilding the Council, and with Watchers on the endangered species list, somebody’s gotta make the sacrifice. So it looks like you’re stuck with me under your tree this year.”
“I can’t think of anything I would want more,” Wesley said softly. “Though speaking of presents, would you like to see what’s under the tree? There are some rather festively wrapped packages.”
Her head swiveled to take in the sight of the brightly colored gifts, large bows trailing over the sides as an enticement. “Thought that was a Christmas morning thing.” Her eyes were twinkling when she turned back to Wes. “Unless you’re specifically in the mood to unwrap something tonight.”
Wesley smiled. “I am in the mood to unwrap something tonight, but I think I can save my gift for tomorrow morning.” He sobered. “How long have I been…gone? You’ve barely changed, so I suppose not too much time has passed. And what happened the night I died? Did Angel…?”
“He’s fine. B caught wind of what was going down in LA, and a group of us showed up to help out.” It still killed her that they’d gotten there too late to help Wes. Even now, at least once a week a dream would haunt her with the possibility of what could’ve happened if they’d only been a little bit earlier. “That was six months ago. Angel stuck around to do the clean-up, but Spike took off with Buffy. That was one reason why I volunteered for this gig. They showed up at Giles’ for the holidays, and five minutes later, Spike said something that pissed off Buffy, and then they were off. Being around them is like being on a fucking roller coaster.” She stretched out, toeing off her shoes to prop her feet up on the table. “Wherever you might’ve been might be Heaven to you, but this works pretty good for me.”
“Oh.” Wes sighed and smiled with clear relief. “Oh, good. Six months? That’s not too long at all.” He paused before adding, “And Heaven wasn’t too far off from this. Nice and quiet, warm, comfortable. Lonely, though. I wouldn’t have minded somebody to pass the time with.” He leaned over to put his cup on the table, and when he sat back again, he was just a little bit closer. Not touching her, not quite, but a minor shift of her weight, and their thighs and shoulders would be brushing.
“Looks like you found something to keep outta trouble with, though.” Faith nudged the book on the table with her foot, glancing at Wes with a sly smile. “You actually saying I’m better company than one of your musty old books?”
“This is a rather rare volume that I had been seeking out for several years. I found it sitting here on the table, like it was nothing more than a standard dictionary.” He leaned forward to pick it up and ran his fingers over the worn leather delicately. He closed it gently and set it aside, discarding it without a second glance. “I’d say that you are far better company than a so-called musty old book.”
The warmth in his regard sent a wave of heat through Faith, far more effective than the crackling fire only feet away. “Let’s make a deal, then,” she said. “Let’s pretend we don’t actually know how we’re going to get out of here without having to ski through a blizzard. It’s Christmas. Let’s treat it like that. We’ll figure out how to get home later.”
Wesley’s smile was almost playful. “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow? I don’t have a problem with that.” He made a sweeping gesture. “How would you like to start our Christmas celebration?”
Her gaze followed the arc of his arm, dragging Faith back to her feet to explore the room a little more carefully. It really was innocuous, with a certain old world charm that even she was responding to. Christmas usually left her uneasy; growing up, it had just been another reminder of how little she and her mom had. But for some reason, the festive décor here seemed apt, becoming a part of the room instead of overwhelming it.
She grinned when she came to a stop in front of the closed bedroom door. “Someone decided not to miss any of the usual suspects,” she said. Tilting her head back, she looked up at the sprig of mistletoe that hung from the frame. “That’s either wicked optimistic or cocky as shit. I can’t decide which.”
Wesley stood to cross the room and stand beside her. “It’s just a bit of decoration. But if I had been responsible for it, I think it would have been a result of wicked optimism.”
He stood close, so close that she felt the heat pouring off his flesh in waves. Slowly, Faith lowered her gaze to meet his. “’Tis the season for it,” she murmured.
It took only the smallest of stretches to brush her mouth across his, the softest of caresses to brace her hand against his chest again, the faintest of breaths to soak in the warm scent of his skin. And yet, even after she pulled away, Faith felt like she’d just bounded across the widest of chasms.
Wesley looked at her with bright eyes as she pulled away. The corners of his mouth lifted in a soft smile. “I think we can do better than that,” he murmured before tilting his head and catching her lips with his. The kiss was soft, and he gradually coaxed her mouth open, dipping his tongue between her lips to deepen the kiss. He gripped her arms lightly, pulling her closer against his body.
His words were an understatement. Perhaps it was because it had been a very long time since Faith had kissed a guy, or perhaps it was because the warmth and the season were starting to get to her, but sinking against the long lines of his body was as easy as breathing. She slid her hand up his chest, curving over his shoulder to cling to the back of his neck, and opened her mouth to him, their mutual exploration slow and sensual to match their moods.
“Think this is what the Powers had in mind?” she said when they broke apart for air, her voice low and husky.
Wesley looked around. “Romantic cabin in the middle of nowhere? If it’s not what they had in mind, then they’re sending us mixed signals. Which, actually, wouldn’t be out of character for the Powers.” He brushed his thumb across her lips. “I’d like to kiss you again.”
She answered him by pulling him back down, their breath mingling before the kiss stole it away. Once upon a time, this deliberate pace would have driven Faith crazy, forced her to take matters into her own hands and honed passions to razor-edges that would make them bleed. But she was different now, and this was Wes, and they had already shared enough of pain. She wanted the gentle invitation of his caresses more than she had wanted anything since Sunnydale. And if she couldn’t say it in words, she could definitely tell him with her body.
Wesley wasn’t in any hurry at all. Each kiss and each caress was deliberate and slow, as though he was reacquainting himself with the entire process, and savoring her like he would savor rich chocolate. She wondered how long it’d been for him since he had any physical contact. It may have seemed much longer than six months. He moved like a person realizing his boundaries, but as the kisses deepened and he pulled her closer, he seemed more interested in obscuring those boundaries. He backed her against the bedroom door, not allowing a single inch between their bodies.
There was nowhere to go except around Wes, so Faith hooked a leg around the back of his, allowing him room to press the line of his erection against her covered pussy. Strong hands smoothed over his back, feeling the muscles twitch at the touch, but not even that was enough for her, compelling her to pull the shirt free of his waistband. The first shock of bare skin to bare skin seemed to jolt through both of them, and she gasped as they pulled apart to stare at each other.
“Still feel like unwrapping something?” she asked.
Wesley pushed the bedroom door opened and spun into the room without releasing her. He guided her to the bed, his hands sliding beneath her shirt to brush against the small of her back. They stopped at the foot of the bed, the thick mattress pressed against the back of her knees. Wes stepped back so he could pull her shirt over her head. She shivered as the cool air moved over her skin, but she wasn’t left standing alone in the cold for long. He wrapped one arm around her, his free hand moving to her zipper.
Though Faith sought Wesley’s mouth, the fresh kiss failed to distract her from helping him, her hand slipping beneath the waistband of her pants to push the fabric down as soon as it was loose enough. His stopped when it encountered smooth skin, gliding around her hip to cup her ass, and she was left to shimmy out of the garment on her own.
Her lace-covered nipples scraped across his shirt. “Let me touch you,” Faith murmured. With her pants gone, her hands were free to roam, sliding beneath his shirt and scratching a light path up to his chest. He caught his breath when she flicked a nail over a sensitive nipple. The next thing she knew, she was flat on her back, the pillows scattering around her.
Wesley straightened long enough to unbutton his shirt and shrug it off before bracing himself above her, his hands on either side of her shoulders. His chest slid against hers, creating a maddening friction, and her nipples hardened against his skin. He busied his mouth with teasing hers before sliding his lips down her neck, his tongue darting out to sample her skin. His erection strained against his pants and she fumbled with his fly, finally pulling the buttons free and pushing the material off his hips.
His cock jumped when she wrapped her fingers around it, but instead of the hard pulls she would have given a stranger or Robin or someone else, Faith began to caress the smooth length, allowing her entire palm to rub along it as her fingertips dipped lower and lower to the warmth of his sac.
Wesley shuddered above her, releasing his breath in a long sigh. He moved his hips forward, pushing against her hand, then pulled back, sliding his length along her palm. She tightened her fingers around his shaft and he continued to pump his hips. Wes curled his hand in her hair, pulling her head back to meet his mouth. He ducked as though he wanted to kiss her, but moved aside at the last second. “You feel amazing.”
His lips moved against her skin as the soft words floated to her ear, carrying a sense of wonder that left her trembling. Faith squeezed her eyes shut and turned her head, just enough to skim her cheek across the slight stubble of his. “I’m willing to bet we’re both going to feel pretty darn amazing once you’re inside me,” she murmured.
He kicked his pants off completely and kneeled, pulling her legs around his hips. He smoothed his palms down her body, gliding his hands over her soft curves, before gripping her hips firmly. The head of his cock nudged her lips and he shifted forward, entering her slowly. They both exhaled at the contact, and he closed his eyes for a moment, something like bliss washing over his face.
As soon as Wes slid inside her ready passage, Faith opened her eyes to watch the emotions play over his face. What he would see on hers if he looked, she had no idea, but she was fascinated by how he appeared both younger and older at the same time. Her hand came up, and her fingers ghosted over the planes of his cheeks, the slope of his nose, the curve of his lower lip. By the time his lashes lifted, her heart was pounding, her skin white-hot everywhere it made contact with him.
She didn’t speak, choosing to tilt her head just enough to catch his mouth in another kiss. This one was hungrier than its predecessors, and Faith felt the distinct catch of his teeth as Wes nipped at her lips. It made her pussy contract around his cock, and with a muffled groan, he immediately began moving, pulling back as if to relish her tightness before she eased her hold on him.
He curled his fingers into the pillow beside her head and his mouth seemed to be everywhere. He nuzzled her, licked her, and each time his lips brushed against hers, he would pause there long enough to kiss her breathless. He thrust into her slowly at first, pulling out all the way and then sliding forward until he filled her completely. But his patience seemed to snap before hers did, and his rhythm shifted into something harder, faster.
“God, yeah…” Faith breathed. His skin had grown slick beneath her questing hands, and she had to cling to him harder, tighter, more desperately with each quickening stroke. When his hand left where he held her hip, it outlined the dip of her waist in its upward sweep, finding the heavy swell of her breast. An unexpected pinch of her nipple made her cry out, and Faith arched away from the bed as the fire surged straight to her clit.
Wesley faltered a bit as she clenched around him, as though he temporarily forgot how to move. He smiled at her a little self-consciously before dipping his head and licking a trail from her neck to her breasts. She arched towards him as he teased the tip of her nipple with his lips before drawing it in the wet heat of his mouth. He pulled her sensitive flesh between his teeth, rolling his tongue over her hardened nipple as he resumed his previous rhythm.
His mouth on her made her own water, the temptation to flip Wes onto his back and get a taste of his salty skin and more almost too great. Faith resisted, though. She’d get her turn. She’d be able to lick and bite however she wished, and she’d get to feel him writhe as she took him to the brink. Just imagining it made her groan, and her nails dug into the taut curve of his ass as she urged him just a little bit faster.
“I think I won the bet,” she panted. Her head spun, and her muscles ached, and everything inside was coiling tighter and tighter as Wes pounded her ever closer to orgasm. “Except amazing doesn’t even begin to cover it.”
“I thought about you,” he said, lifting his head. “It seems like I spent an eternity thinking about you.”
“What…?” A faint lick of fear made Faith slow, a surprise shiver running through her veins. “Why?”
He brushed her damp hair away from her forehead. “Because my biggest regret was that I couldn’t help you…” He paused, both of them still as he held her gaze. “But I knew that you were going to be all right. And I wanted to see that.”
Without breaking eye contact, Faith lifted her head and traced his mouth with the tip of her tongue. “I was just all right,” she murmured. “Now I’m five by five.”
His smile was bright and utterly unlike anything she had ever seen. Nobody, especially Wes, had ever smiled at her like that. Before she had the chance to really bask in its warmth, he was kissing her again, sliding against her, fanning a fresh wave of heat through her body.
She shifted from goading Wes further to circling him with her arms, her body blushed with their combined fire. Every time either of them altered the rhythm, the other followed, the tangle of arms and legs and mouths and hands never faltering from stoking their desires. Faith felt like she was flying, the pillows like air beneath her, and when it burned too bright to hold back any longer, her flesh exploded in an array of sensation that made the world dip and swim.
Wes moaned her name as she shuddered around him, the sound vibrating through her skin. He rocked forward once more, his body trembling, his eyes bright. “God…Faith…” He rested his forehead against hers as his breathing returned to normal and the tremors subsided. “I don’t know who sent you, but I’m happy they did.”
She was still falling, falling, falling, when his voice joined her like a gentle, warm rain. Breath had been precious before, but the sharp stab that went through her chest at his words gave her something to cling to, her eyes wide as they locked with his. Was that what this was? Was that what she was feeling? It had been so long, years even, since she could honestly say she was happy. Even the time she’d had with Robin had been tainted by the question of whether or not he really knew who or what she was.
But Wes knew. Wes had known for a long time.
Wes was happy with her anyway.
Her mouth was quivering as she kissed him one more time. “Who says you weren’t sent for me?” She couldn’t resist the teasing challenge in her tone. “I distinctly remember asking for someone tall, dark, and not dead from Santa this year.”
Wesley chuckled softly as he rolled off her and onto his back. “Clearly, you were a very good girl. Next year, ask for a couple million dollars. If you can bring the dead back to life, that should be cake.”
Though she was sticky and slick, Faith followed the line of his body, settling on her side as she propped her head up in her hand to look down at him. “You think this is permanent?” she asked. “If I fall asleep, you’re not going to go up in a puff of smoke when it turns midnight and leave me alone here, are you?”
“I don’t think so. I haven’t opened my gifts yet, have I? They wouldn’t take me away before we finish our Christmas celebration.” He sobered. “I wish I could offer you a better guarantee than that, but if it’s up to me at all, I won’t leave you alone.”
Her hand drifted over his flat stomach, watching the muscles twitch as she moved lower to his semi-erect cock, still shiny with their combined fluids. “Other trick is to not fall asleep. Can’t wake up holding nothing that way.” Her eyes gleamed with a playful dare. “Unless you’re not up to it. But seein’ as how you’ve been in the land of the lonely for the past six months…”
He traced the line of her hip, his fingers drifting to her inner-thigh. “I assure you, I’m most certainly up to it. I’m feeling very…energetic.”
Faith grinned. “Well, hold onto that energy, slugger. Right now, I just want you to lie still.” Leaning in, she licked around the nearest flat nipple before making a path down his abdomen straight to where his cock rested against his thigh. Without another word of warning, she grasped it at the root, holding it away from his leg as she sucked the head past her swollen lips.
To be continued in Chapter Two...