Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

An Atlas Of The Beautiful World
By Croupier
For Don't Make Eye Contact

i. West

Glamour faerie wings gossamer hands cloaking only earth, the sheer earthiness of both of them. Brown skin against cream with a trace of peach. Once Cordelia had dressed Tara up in a flowing gown and lipsticked her in a color called Spiced Rum, and Tara had blushed at how pretty she could be. Once, Cordelia had borrowed a pair of Tara's jeans, and silently marveled at how fucking sexy she was when she butched it up a little. She'd wanted to throw a leg over a motorcycle and ride off into the sunset then, and she'd really wanted to throw a leg over Tara Maclay and ride her until dawn, and she did, pretending to power-trip on the genderfuck--only pretending, because nothing could be as powerful as Tara was, with the magic that suffused everything she did, carrying her through the world, trailing good karma in her wake. At some point that night the jeans had to come off, even if Cordelia did look like fifteen miles of hot, dry highway and blue desert sky in them. And at some point, they had to stop kissing, even though Cordelia tasted like Jose Cuervo Gold and Tara smelled like sun-beaten sage.


ii. South

Tamarind candy and pina coladas, sunlit streets and adobe missions, biting into the acrid slice of lime that came after licking the salt from Tara's body and slamming back yet another shot. And that lime slice was delivered with a sweet, wet, sloppy kiss from Tara's lips, and sometimes Cordelia spat out the lime entirely, just to keep on kissing Tara. During the day, they wore white linen shifts and turquoise jewelry, shopping at the street vendors and eating tamales from nearly every stand they saw, because dear God, who could get enough? Mornings were café con leche and pan dulce in the warm Mexican sun, and evenings were romps in the surf, in the hotel, or (once) in the bathroom at the smallest movie theater either of them had ever seen. Cordelia began to collect rosary beads, and they lit their hotel room with novena candles. Tara prayed to gods she had never spoken to before, thanking them for delivering her something this perfect.


iii. North

Sweating under their layers and shivering a little, they sat at the top of Red Mountain, looking out over Oregon in all of its primitive, hewn-out-wilderness glory. Tara seemed at peace, the sunlight glinting off her downy cheek, and Cordelia couldn't hold in her tears. It was just so ... huge. Tara liked the way Cordelia looked in her borrowed down and flannel, and loved the way the mountain air was curling Cordy's hair, just a little bit, just enough to make you think of how she looks her best when she's a little rumpled, and Cordelia didn't have to like camping to know that one got quite a head rush from an orgasm at 1,800 feet. They huddled together to keep warm that night, and when Tara whispered, "Thank you for doing this with me," Cordelia could only close her eyes and smile, because Tara was happy.



Cordelia sipped Chateau Petrus with her head in Tara's lap, listening to Tara read Lawrence Ferlinghetti out loud in the soft light of their room at the Mercer. Cordelia's shoe collection had expanded by a few pairs, thank you, Barney's, but they gave the stuffed rabbit Tara had won her at Coney Island some company. They strolled through tiny art galleries, Cordelia with pearls at her throat and a Kelly bag on her arm, looking for all the world like she was born to this, and Tara bought her first cigarette in honor of the Paul Auster stories she so loved. Cordelia laid a bouquet of Casablanca lilies outside of the apartments where Gia Carangi had lived, and the pair shared a joint in front of the Dakota, because Tara was too shy to ask Lennon's spirit to talk with her. The ghosts of New York had always walked through and between the city's living population, and when Tara closed her eyes and tilted back her head, Cordelia knew that Tara was just getting a little closer to them than most people did, and knew also that the ghosts saw Tara's loveliness a little more than most people did.

But no one saw that loveliness more than Cordy.