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

Self Portrait In Two Colours
By Fen
For Elizabeth Scripturient

You're still amazed at how fast she can work a room. One minute she's standing next to you, her jewelry catching the light, flashing in your eyes, every time she raised her glass to her lips, or tilted her head laughing; the next, she is gone.

When you look you find her easily, she is back lit and golden and you plan the colors you'll use if she ever lets you paint her on canvas as you watch her work her way through the crowd.

Later, when you decide to take a break from the noise inside, you find her outside on a bench, drinking a gimlet and crying. She doesn't look up when you say her name, only waves your hand away when you move to cover hers. It hurts to see her this way, tears falling onto her dress staining the rich color a deeper red. It reminds you too much of blood.

It reminds you how fragile she looked the first time you saw her.

It was summer in L.A., and you couldn't leave town fast enough after he told you to go. The weather made you feel like you were suffocating and all the colors were wrong. Everything in the city was muted, like it was wrapped in a cloudy haze. You would have painted it in grays and blues, in tears and silence if you had been able to capture the moment.

The man you'd spent the morning arguing with could have been a slashing black mark or a pin point of light on the canvas; and it hurts more that you can't decide which even though he has broken your heart, than that he sent you away.

She had been standing on the corner outside the Wolfram and Hart building, staring at the retreating back of a man as he walked away from her. Except that she hadn't really been staring at him; more like staring through him. Even from a distance, you could tell that whoever he was didn't matter as much as who he had been.

The look on her face had made you want to touch her; the golden warmth that bubbled from her framed her face in a halo of light and firey curls; the perfect foil against the grey background of a city that was slowly suffocating. She sees you watching her and instead of looking away she bites her lip and then smiles. The blood rushes back making her mouth lush and full and without memory of how it happened you were standing in front of her your finger tracing the color.

"Perylene red and a raw sienna," She gasped at the touch and her breath warmed your finger tip, made you shiver. Up close you could see the thin veins and traced the color "And a little Prussian blue."

You told her you were leaving town and she asked you to leave with her, so you did. You sent your niece and sister away using his tickets feeling sure that they would be safe, two green living things amidst the dying embers of the portrait that your life is becoming.

You packed your paints and brushes and left your clothes; following her out of the fading city of angels with no idea of where you were going other than with her.

Seeing her now, crying alone in the darkness on a lonely anniversary makes you wish you could paint her with words. It worked so well the last time. But this time you can't, because five years have passed and he's dead and she had always been afraid of being right.

Later on, she'll appear in your room, still wearing that red dress, and you'll focus more on the teardrops than you do on her eyes.

"Silver and white," you'll tell her kissing them off her cheeks. "Crystalline glaze." You may both hate your life together some days, but you're made out of complimentary colors and can't seem to escape from the wheel.

You paint her with sweeping strokes, golden skin in rich umber and faded shadow like a sepia tinted photograph tipped in a soft shade of heather and ever deepening shades of glistening pink.

The pale peach and translucent blue of your own skin adds a brightness to the picture, long sloping lines and arched curves that seems to fade and blend into her own warmer form. You paint her with your fingers, and she cries out a flash of vivid sound in deep greens your own climax a faint silver tone against the background of color that pours from her.

"Cadmium red," she says against your lips; a little like art and little like pain and you can taste blood on your tongue.