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Crossroads

Title: Crossroads
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Author: Dralf
Wordcount: 545
Setting: Season 2
Characters/Pairings: Buffy/Angelus
Rating: G
Disclaimer: These are Joss Whedon's toys. I'm just playing with them.
Summary: After many nights with Angelus, she has a dream.
Notes: The moment I read the prompt 'Pomegranate' over at ba_rosebuds, I instantly thought of the Hades and Persephone myth. From there, I couldn't help but think of Buffy/Angelus and this grew from it. If you're unfamiliar with the myth, you can read a detailed account (with all alternate versions) here and a simple summary here. This rosebud takes place between The Wrong Kind and Games We Play though it isn't necessary to read those to understand this one.


Everything was bathed in red. The sky, the desolate landscape, and the single tree ripe with plump fruit were glowing with crimson light. Only her skin avoided the red tint as if it were too pure to be tainted.

She should’ve known nothing was really that pure.

Her eyes were drawn to the fruit. They were pomegranates and shone a brighter scarlet than the rest of her surroundings. Her stomach rumbled and her tongue ached for the sweet taste of the fruit. Anything to get rid of the dry, ashy taste currently dominating her mouth. She picked one, holding it close.

“I wouldn’t eat that if I were you.”

Her eyes darted to the speaker. “Giles?”

What was Giles doing here? With his tweed and glasses, he stood out in this red landscape even more than she did. And even though she wasn’t sure why this place felt comfortable to her, she knew that Giles definitely didn’t belong.

“Have you ever heard of Persephone?”

Buffy shook her head, fingering the fruit. Her appetite was still gnawing at her insides; her mouth still tasted like ashes, like death. She wanted – needed – to wash away the taste. She needed to fill herself with something – anything – so she didn’t feel so hollow.  

“Is it a demon?” It didn’t sound like a demon, but who knew? Demon nomenclature was wacky.

“No.” He smiled his usual amused and exasperated smile. “Persephone’s a girl. A goddess to be exact, but still a young woman. She was kidnapped by the god of the Underworld -”

Before he could continue with the story, another joined the scene. And unlike Giles, he fit in perfectly. “Buffy.”

“Angel.”

“Not Angel, Angelus,” Giles frowned.

She shook her head. She knew they were different, but they were the same too. 

“Aren’t you going to eat it?” Angelus prodded, motioning to the pomegranate in her hand.

“She won’t.” Xander announced. “So take your fangy face and get lost!”

Willow joined in. “Buffy’s good. She won’t do it.”

Giles nodded his agreement as did Cordelia and Oz. When had they all intruded her world?

Angelus smirked. “You really don’t know her that well.” He placed a hand on her shoulder, shooting chills up her spine. Her appetite screamed out even louder, drowning out the complaints her friends were shouting at the vampire.

Her hands cupped the fruit and in a single motion, she broke it in half. Scarlet juice drizzled out, staining her dress and skin. Ignoring the stains, she dug her fingers into the fruit, plucking out several seeds. She bit into them, delighting in the sweetness that flooded her senses. Finally the dead taste was out. Finally it didn’t feel like she was drowning in ashes.

Her friends gasped. “How could you?”

Buffy wanted to defend herself, argue that it had been the only way to get rid of that deadness and that it didn’t make her a bad person to want things like this, but her friends were fading fast. The only one who remained was Angelus, his hand still on her shoulder.

“You’ll never get out.” It was Giles, his voice now only a whisper in the breeze. But even that was gone and then there was just the red landscape and the red-lit couple.    


Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
a2zmom
Jan. 30th, 2012 03:00 am (UTC)
Excellent. Love the dreamy quality and the metaphor. Very well done indeed.
dralf_burns
Jan. 31st, 2012 05:27 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad to hear you loved it.
coalitiongirl
Jan. 30th, 2012 04:47 am (UTC)
This is lovely and haunting and I love the imagery you bring forth. Buffy as Persephone is a perfect fit- I can easily see her tempted to destruction by Angelus, especially in her dreams.
dralf_burns
Feb. 1st, 2012 04:41 am (UTC)
Thank you. Temptation is a powerful force and it's a large part of the Buffy/Angelus dynamic. Dreams are good for exploring that temptation with metaphor and seeing as the prompt was 'Pomegranate', I couldn't resist making this connection.
ares132006
Jan. 30th, 2012 08:45 am (UTC)
Lovely rosebud. I like how you wove the Greek myth of Persphone and Hades into the Buffy verse.

Buffy and Angelus. Excellent.

Ares
dralf_burns
Feb. 1st, 2012 04:42 am (UTC)
Thank you. This myth is one of my favorite Greek myths, certainly one of the most memorable. And it works so well with Buffy and Angelus - I couldn't not write this.
scribesds
Jan. 31st, 2012 09:41 pm (UTC)
I loved Buffy’s inclusion into the myth, and your atmospheric underworld descriptions were vivid. Buffy really should know better than to go munching things in strange places, and now she will have to face the consequences of that mistake.

Lovely rosebud.
dralf_burns
Feb. 1st, 2012 04:44 am (UTC)
Thanks! Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I've loved Greek mythology since I was little and it was fun weaving it into the Buffyverse via dream.

It's hard to resist something that looks so tempting. Even if it is in a strange place and it's better to leave said thing alone despite the temptation it presents.
leni_ba
Feb. 13th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
ooooh, Persephone! I love the myth of her and Hades; I'm sure I saw a happier version somewhere, where Persephone was not kidnapped but taken to the underworld for her protection, but I love the original too.

Love what you've done here with Buffy's friends. They loved Buffy, but they never took it well when she made a decision not to her liking.

And Angel/Angelus being the same, too. *claps* My favorite kind of B/A!
dralf_burns
Feb. 14th, 2012 03:07 am (UTC)
Thanks! I've loved the Hades and Persephone myth since I was little, so playing with it was fun. I've never heard of this happier version. Looks like I'll need to do some research because that idea is very intriguing.

They want the best for her, but they were never good at accepting her decisions if they didn't like them. I'm glad I captured that here.

I love that kind of B/A too!
leni_ba
Feb. 14th, 2012 03:18 am (UTC)
I should have mentioned it was a fanfic, haha. But if you'rre still interested: http://archiveofourown.org/works/143564

and there there's http://www.yuletidetreasure.org/archive/22/sowingsunlight.html , which follows the unhappily-ever-after and twists it into something a little easier to bear.
leni_ba
Feb. 26th, 2012 12:38 am (UTC)
or, you know, if you want a little bit of humor, Olympus style...
dralf_burns
Feb. 26th, 2012 01:00 am (UTC)
Re: or, you know, if you want a little bit of humor, Olympus style...
Thanks for the links!

*adds them to a long to-read list*
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )