Title: Wilfully Oblivious, 4/5
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 #4 - Smell.
Also posted here.
Stage #1 - Sight, stage #2 - Hearing, stage #3 - Touch.
Buffy has walked in on them, had them admit the truth of the relationship to her face, both of them proud and defiantly determined - which was disturbingly cute - but, in the end, it's her nose that convinces her.
For as long as she has known him, Xander's always used the same shampoo, the same soap, the same detergent on his clothes. He's always worn the same cologne, a new bottle bought and wrapped by Willow, every year, for his birthday.
But no more.
Now he carries with him the slightest hint of musk, and Buffy thinks that maybe that's the real, unperfumed, him. He uses scentless soaps and lotions and he always looks well scrubbed. She's half-convinced that Spike has got him cleanse-tone-moisturising, and it kinda freaks her out.
Sometimes he comes to meetings dragging Spike along behind him, shrouded in the faintest haze of cloves and fresh tobacco smoke. She wonders if he tastes of it too.
He always smells of leather now, something she tries hard not to notice, unless he's got his jacket on - the strangely new, perfectly tailored leather jacket that Spike swears he won at kitten poker. She doesn't ask.
At other times, Buffy tries to keep her distance. The rumpled clothes, the hair in disarray, the sweat-sheened skin - she knows he'd smell of sex.
She got too close, just once, early on, and now she tries to stay away - the mental pictures drive her crazy. No one should have to think about their friends like that, too many naked limbs and fingers in odd places. It isn't right.
Sometimes she wishes she could catch a cold and keep it for a week or two, just to give her brain a break. Instead, she plays keep-away.