Title: Wilfully Oblivious, 3/5
Rating: PG-13 for now, possibly NC-17 before the end.
Feedback/Concrit: darkhavens @ slashverse.com
Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. No harm, no foul, no money made.
Summary: "There are none so blind, as those who would not see..."
Notes: Written for stagesoflove 2006, Round 2, 'Exploring the Relationship Through The Senses', stage #3 Touch.
Also posted here.
Stage #1 - Sight, stage #2 - Hearing.
Buffy doesn't see the rumpled hair, the half-zipped jeans, the crumpled shirt with buttons mis-aligned; she just sees the livid bite mark on Xander's neck.
It doesn't register as a hickey, it can't, not when there's a vampire at his side. It's a visceral reaction, no brain required, a soul-deep Slayer's instinct - bite mark equals vampire equals must protect friend.
There's no personal animosity behind the blow - no hate, no 'Xander isn't gay', no 'Gods, not Spike!' Just bite mark equals vampire equals must protect friend.
She's completely unprepared for Xander to step into the blow, to deflect her killing rage from Spike onto himself. She's not prepared, but her reaction time's amazing, and she manages to pull the punch before it smashes through his chest.
His ribs creak in protest as he doubles over gasping, and then Spike is tugging him back and out of danger, moving to intercept the next swing that never comes.
Buffy stares at her still clenched fist, at Xander's pain-glazed eyes, at Spike's blue-yellow accusing glare.
"I… You…" She frowns and suddenly looks young and lost. "Xander?"
Willow's the one who sits them all down, fetches ice for Buffy's knuckles and scotch to soothe the furious vampire on the sofa. She sees the way that Spike can't keep away from Xander - hand on knee or nape or shoulder, thigh pressed tight against thigh. She sees the caring, the want, the love in every easy touch. She suddenly sees what Tara's tried to make her see for months now, with subtle phrases, careful whispers.
She wonders just how long she's been blind.