What There Is...
By Darcy Galvan

Title: What There Is...
Author: Darcy Galvan
Rating: G
Spoilers: Season 4
Summary: Buffy drinks a bottle of water, Giles performs, Riley witnesses training, sparkage.
Disclaimer: BTVS is soooo Joss/Mutant/WB/etc. property
Feedback: See Darcy. See Darcy grovel. Grovel Darcy, grovel. Wouldn’t you like to send Darcy feedback?
Notes: The title came from “What There Is In A Bottle of Ink” which is said to be what Victor Hugo was contemplating calling “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” The story was inspired by a car trip to San Francisco, the rearview mirror, and a bottle of Mr. Pibb (don’t even ask...)

What There Is In A Bottle of Water

She reached for the bottle of water with delicate hands that were somehow soft despite the weapons work and warfare they were subjected to. Comparatively, his own hands were toughened and calloused. He supposed it was all those lotions whose bottles were scattered haphazardly around her dorm room, their contents rubbed in by gentle, nimble fingers. The perfumed lotions whose scent drifted over him when she passed, enveloping him, clouding his senses until she was the only thing he could sense.

He’d missed her, in the confusing first year of college. The time of changes. Changing relationships, changing personalities, changing priorities and feelings. But they’d found each other again, as it should be. Now, watching her, he could drink it all in.

She put the bottle to her soft lips, brushing curls of sweat dampened hair off of her forehead with the fingers. She would never, in all probability, allow him to be the one to brush those strands away, run his fingers through her hair.

He saw the smooth curve of her neck and jaw, stretching and rolling under pale skin that glowed with effort and life, blood pounding, hot, just below the surface. A thin sheen of sweat shimmered on her skin, catching the light, making her shine in the sun. She shone without help. She could bring brightness to the deepest night. He was waxing poetic again; however, she deserved it all, every word of praise he could bring. The hollowing and rounding of her cheeks as she pulled another drink in. Her eyes closed in silent and innocent relief and enjoyment.

Far from innocent. All he could manage. Desire.

...In A Song

...Java Pump...Coffe? Mocha? Espresso Pump? The name was useless *Come see him,* the only part that mattered. She’d never seen him in this light.

His figure draped with graceful comfort around the guitar he held in his lap. His fingers moved over the strings and body, flowing and catching her in their simple, smooth movements. Gentle fingers that moved diligently through whatever task they were given. She often watched his artful hands remove the glasses in frustration or exhaustion; pains for her. The pinkie held regally, ring glinting in the light. Craved that touch, that the beautiful hands would move over her the way they moved over the strings now; the way they smoothed over her wounds when she came to him in an emergency. She wished she didn’t need emergencies.

The easy, familiar posture in which he performed hurt her. She could see the joy, the freedom he felt in this, it hung around him, humming through every inch of him and she wondered if he’d ever felt that with her. If he ever would.

She saw the clever, graceful fingers, the strong shoulders and proud, outstanding features. Prominent cheekbones, soft mouth, open, green eyes. He smiled at her and focused as the music reached a crescendo.

She imagined.

...In A Battle

He was invited for reasons he could only guess. He had accepted because of a jealous, curious heart. These training battles, sparring and exercising, had been common place in high school, he’d gathered. And even through all the time they’d spent, emotion and experience they had shared, there seemed to be something in this man that he couldn’t hope to achieve. He had to find what she saw.

The Watcher removed the sweater and stood in his tee shirt and jeans, tossing her a sword and taking up one of his own, falling into a practiced, as well as instinctually comfortable and ready position. She caught the sword and tossed a teasingly flirtatious quip at him. He rolled his eyes, but they were all aware of the smile that curved his lips.

After a moment’s unsure, silent pause, the two began and instantly fell into the routine. Jealousy, awe, confusion, sadness, and admiration flooded him.

They seemed to be filled with the glory, the freedom of the pattern and the furious and knowledgeable, yet respectful movements. The movements set down and learned before time and to be carried on now and beyond.

If he was her lover, the Watcher was her equal, her partner, part of her.

In the beginning he had thought he had them figured out. The kindly, caring uncle-type figure to her, the happy, youthful relative. He had become less sure in his initial assessment as time passed, however, and he had come to this session wanting to know what made the relationship of these two work. He had come wanting to know exactly what it was, and now that he knew, he wasn’t altogether sure that it had been for the best.

He saw it now. He had seen it, but wanted too much not to. The Watcher and Slayer fed off of each other, and the heat was felt in every motion. She thrust and he parried, a grin appearing. Witty banter flying as quickly as the attacks, the unconscious truths of their statements burning hatefully into his brain. He lunged and she sidestepped, tossing her hair. Eyes following and holding, caressing, communicating. The ritual, the passion shining. Painful.

...In A Kiss

Two mouths met and two hearts rejoiced. This prayed for, desired, and wholly unexpected fire of touch, flashed through them both, suffused them with heat unimaginable.

Her thoughts of a sweet, helpful, loving young man were pushed away. Not now, not now. He didn’t deserve that, but she deserved *this.*

Fingers and hands traced over flesh and clothing, learning the curves and planes the eyes and hearts already knew so well.

They ended the kiss, but their mouths were still in contact as they both broke into relieved, joyful laughter. Her cheeks pink and glowing, his expressive mouth stretched in a smile of pure happiness and pleasure. Open, green eyes meeting blue; shifting, searching, never breaking contact as they spoke back and forth. The hands continuing their explorations, though barely moving. Gently gliding, just to touch.

Two mouths met for a second time and two futures intertwined more tightly, deeper and more sure. The past four years passing between them, this newly acquired knowledge making some things clearer, complicating others. Joy overshadowing them all, filing them away for later discussion. Watcher and Slayer, friends, partners, lover and beloved.

< Took him damn long enough. >

< Took her damn long enough. >

She grinned again. < Mmmm...sparkage. >