Author: Regala Electra
Rating: R Overall
Pairings: Faith/Wood, Faith/Buffy, Faith/Wes, Faith/Others
Spoilers: Set after the BtVS & AtS Series Finales
Series Summary: Faith’s seen The Muppet Movie. She likes to think of herself as a master of moving right along.
Part Four Summary: She can scream later.
Author’s Notes: Series of short ficlets featuring Faith's life post-Chosen. Er, I also am using these fics to set up a context for Faith in the Other Myths That Aren’t True Faith/Dean Crossover Series of Sexy Doom. You do not need to read that series to understand these ficlets, they are mostly BtVS/AtS oriented. Titles to each section are song lyrics, all credited.
wet with the midnight dew
Johnny Cash, God’s Gonna Cut You Down
Her jeans aren’t soaked with her blood, so Faith’s got that working for her. But they’re damp with salt water and demon blood, nasty cloying shit that almost fucking burns against her exposed skin.
She’s got this fucker cornered so she smiles. Smiling is easy for her. She once said to someone, Hell, it is the second best thing you can do with your mouth, smiled and then blown him outside of the club. There’d been a vampire out there in the alley. The vamp had figured he’d gotten two drunk or high humans to snack on and when she’d shoved that stake in, it had been sweet.
So fucking sweet. There are few things she welcomes, few things she believes in. But when that first gust of ashes and dust brushes over her skin, that’s all the fucking hallelujah she’s ever gonna get and it’s damn sweet.
She’d been tracking this bastard down for several days. He’d been making a ruckus and has almost knocked down a couple of young Slayers when they crossed his path. Now he’s messing with someone in the big leagues and Faith grips her sword tighter. She didn’t come back to California for nothing, so now, now she’s fucking smiling.
One good stroke. That’s all it comes down to; swinging toward him with all her strength, ignoring the shooting pain in her left hand. She can scream later. It’s a broadsword and she needs both hands to keep the balance right even though she can barely close her left fist. Doesn’t matter. Slicing this sucker is all that matters.
And that’s when it hits her, with a force unlike anything else.
Sand in the face would have been more sporting. Sucker punches and elbow jabs to the face, they’re expected. A shiv in the back, that’s almost neighborly. Losing a kidney just because someone needs to show top dog status —that’s almost polite. Faith’s never lost an organ and she’s had knives shoved into her gut...
And—it knocks her backwards—she’s faced Angelus and survived.
I've faced Angelus and survived. She doesn't say that. Doesn't know if she said that.
Orpheus. The kid. Angel’s kid. She and Wes making a plan to stop Angelus. They made a plan, she knows that part, knows there was a choice, a decison and that she'd gone in knowing what she had to do. This isn't anything like that.
There's memories that shouldn't be there bouncing inside her head.
Angel’s kid. Angel has a kid. There’s a kid out there and he’s Angel's—
Only, she can remember that that’s not true. And Dawn’s Buffy’s sister, only she knows about the Key stuff and and - fuck.
She sees three different lives in front of her, all with the same sucky ending. The sword drops out of her numb hands.
This is pretty fucking much at the end spectrum of not playing fair.
Faith sinks to her knees, barely able to keep herself upwards as she sinks down into the wet sand.
Blindness is easier. Her fucking coma was more entertaining. Taking Orpheus was less dangerous.
What did you do to me, she thinks (she whispers).
The demon’s voice is gargled. Good. Means she sliced the jugular even though her aim got all fucked up while she was making the kill stroke. —I am a servant of Vail. We are many. We will avenge his death. Restore memories— Maybe he says more. Faith can’t hear anymore.
There’s a dull roar in her ears and then, layers of voices piling up like a grisly car crash, only she can't see it. She can only hear it. Voices on top of voices on top of voices. Echoing and bouncing and saying different things or things that are off by just a word.
Dawn does and doesn’t open a door to Faith while Faith’s sporting Buffy’s skin and wanting (so desperately) Buffy’s life.
There isn’t a boy who doesn’t have Angel eyes, full of rage, telling her how he’s got powers too and she isn’t kicking his ass when he tries to stake Angelus. Except when there is. Was. There's a kid and his name is Connor and Faith had to put him in his place and she did. Only she didn't.
She knows now what that fucker said. —Restore time. All of it. All the parts that were taken and mangled and added and fucking subdivided. Faith doesn’t do math but all she knows is that right now, she’s got a head full of conflicting memories and salt and bile rising up her throat.
She spits blood and gags at the sharp metal tang.
Sight comes back slowly. Sanity doesn’t. The first thing Faith sees is the demon's corpse and she knows what to do. Without the use of her left hand, it’s messy, but she can slice pretty damn well and dismemberment is the least she can do in gratitude for this fucking gift.
Piece by piece, the parts drift out into the ocean and nothing’s changed. She still can feel it all burning inside her mind. She’s covered in blood now, but none of its hers. Well, except for the dried blood on her face. Blood flaking on her lip. Faith presses her lips tight together and closes her eyes one more time. The noise is getting duller and when she opens her eyes, her vision’s almost perfect again.
Only there’s a ghost off in the horizon’s distance, standing where the waves break over the sand. He’s got a violent gash on his neck that is and isn’t there and he doesn’t wear glasses anymore. Instead it’s a smile like a knife slash and matches the scar that’s sometimes there on his throat ('cept when it's not there). His mouth moves and she thinks it’s an apology. —I’m sorry.
When she manages to move away from the carnage that surrounds her bloody task, taking shaking steps towards him, he starts fading. Faith can still see the shape of him; it's translucent against the early morning light. And she starts following him as he glides (actually fucking glides away) further back, saying, Is there a way to fix this?
His mouth doesn’t move, but his voice, shit — it’s his voice — whispers in his head. —No.
She tries to laugh and can’t. Figures. This is, she pauses. This is a hell of a thing.
Faith stands in front of the ghost, her body screaming at her that she needs to rest, to gather strength. She can ignore that for the moment. Instead she stares at the ghost and says in a weary, brittle voice, In need of an exorcism?
There’s a sudden scrape of cold against her cheek and —No one should be forced to see the truth.
But she’s seeing it. Remembering it. And she’s gotta deal. That’s how she keeps on going.
To be continued