Author’s Note: Written for angelsgracie for her birthday a few years back.
Once upon a time. That’s how all the good stories start, so I’ve been told, or at least all the fairy tales.
Of course, if you’d told me six months ago that I’d be describing my life as a good story or a fairy tale, I would’ve laughed in your face and told you to go to hell. I’m no damsel in distress, and I’m sure as hell no Cinderella, even if we did both start out with nothing.
Once upon a time there was a girl who had nothing–okay, so maybe that does sound like the start of a fairy tale. So does the next part, where the girl who has nothing and no one and desperately wants be be somebody meets this weird-ass stranger who informs her that she’s been called to be the Slayer, the Chosen One destined to rid the world of evil.
Make that one of the Chosen Two.
Yeah. That’s where the fairy tale starts to go wrong. When the girl who spent her whole life desperately wanting to be special finds out she can’t even be Chosen by herself. And then she meets the girl who fucked that up for her, and discovers that other Slayer has everything she’s always wanted. Family. Friends. A brooding vampire lover who is seriously easy on the eyes, even if he did have that little problem of orgasm making him go evil.
Some Cinderella story, huh?
Cinderella wasn’t so desperate to get out of her bitch stepsister’s shadow that she turned assassin-for-hire. Cinderella didn’t get to hate herself so much for what she’d done that she tortured a man in some sort of weird-ass suicide-by-vampire-champion attempt. Cinderella isn’t going to spend the rest of her fucking life trying to make up for the blood on her hands. I am definitely *not* Cinderella.
So then how the hell did I end up with B’s Prince Charming?
I look over at him now, sitting in the driver’s seat of the Plymouth. For a minute, the wind from the open top whips my hair across my face so I can’t see him, and I find myself irrationally wondering if he’ll still be there when it blows away again.
Angel. I’ve wanted Angel almost from the first moment I saw him, because he was hers. But I didn’t start to really fall in love with him until B followed me to LA, pretty much ready to kill me, and he stuck by me and believed in me even after she told him what I’d done to her. That I fucked Riley and tried to steal her perfect life. Even knowing how much I hurt his precious Buffy, he still took my side.
No one had ever done that for me before.
That’s why, when Wes told me Angelus was back, I knew I couldn’t kill him.
Still…I never thought he could feel the same about me. He loved B. He loved Cor. Angel was a champion; he belonged with a champion. Not with a fucked up shoulda-been champion.
Guess it’s no wonder I sometimes feel like I must be in that coma still; happy endings just don’t happen to me, so I must be dreaming.
But y’know what? I’ve pinched myself black and blue, but every time I wake up in another hotel room on this gypsy life we’ve carved out for ourselves, he’s still there with his arms around me. Every vamp or demon ass I kick, he’s right there beside me, watching my back. And hard as it is to believe, he really was waiting there at my bedside when I woke up, like some warped Sleeping Beauty story.
He didn’t wake me with a kiss, but in some ways I came to life for the first time when he told me that he loved me. That his curse was broken for good, that he was human and could be as goddamned perfectly happy as he goddamned pleased…and he wanted to be perfectly happy with me. Not B. Not Cor. Me.
Jesus, that has to be the sappiest goddamn thing that has ever come out of my mouth. But it’s true.
I sneak my hand across the seat and run it lightly up the inside of my knight in shining armor’s thigh, grinning when I feel him harden in response.
The sun is shining, the top is down, and Angel’s giving me that look, the one that tries to scold but fails miserably. According to the sign we just passed, we’re 57 miles from New York City, where we’ll be able to crash for a few days. Maybe do a little supernatural ass-kicking. And we’re happy. For the first time in my goddamned life, I’m genuinely happy.
“Problem, Lover?” I tease in response, and my slowly-defrosting heart warms a little more at the smile he gives me.
“Not if you want me to pull over to the side of the road and take you right here, no.”
Hey, now there’s an idea. I shift a little closer. “Is that a threat or a promise?”
Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty can go screw themselves, for all I care. This time, the bad girl got the happy ending. And she’s not giving it back.