Title: "Sounds of Silence"
Author: Mala
E-mail: malisita@yahoo.com
Fandom: BtVS
Spoilers: "Life Serial"
Rating/Classification: PG, B/S, ficlet.
Disclaimer: Grrrr aaargh.
Dedication: To saffron, because she said this was her favorite sound on earth ...and I think it may now be mine, too.

He doesn't even have breath...but his breath catches right before he starts the first syllable. You always notice that. Even when you found yourself turning away and cutting him off or punching him in the face, you always noticed that slight hesitation. That silence.

It stretches like an aching eternity when, in reality, it is only seconds.

His eyes always soften, too. Go from dark, stormy, blue to a light, misty gray. And only *then* do his lips form around the words. Hard, pink smirk gentling into a tremulous, uneven line.

You find yourself leaning forward, anticipating it...caught by his pause, his fear, his reverence. Part of you still longs to stop it. To deny it. To shut him up with a kiss that would fry both your brains and make any declarations unnecessary. And another part of you is addicted to the sound...to the gasp of miracle air that fuels something almost as beautiful as the gap in time that goes before it.

"I love you, Slayer."

You fill his empty shot glass to the brim with warm amber liquid. Fill your own. And then you smile. You really smile. You wonder if he listens for a breath...for space...for music. "Yeah. I know." Or for something you're not quite ready to say yet. "Bottoms up," you whisper, tilting the whiskey into your mouth and shuddering at the hideous taste of it. "Bleahhhh."

You wonder if he can hear it in your pauses.

You think he's known it all along.

And he's leaning forward. Anticipating it. Waiting for it.

For the night you're brave enough to say "I love you, too."


October 26, 2001.

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