01. Family - She watched as Buffy talked to her mother, Willow, Xander and Giles; the soft smiles, casual touches. Jokes that weren’t meant to slice you open and leave you bleeding but were meant for others to laugh at. She watched and envied, Buffy had everything. It festered inside her, she couldn’t steal it, but she could try to take it. Want, Take, Have. That was her motto. She wanted what Buffy had, she’d had Xander but she couldn’t seem to make herself fit. She was always watching, waiting but they were too close, too tight. She find her own way, she always did.
02. Competitive – Twist to the left, roll, stake. “Three.” She called out as she kicked another Vamp in the face. An arm snaked around her waist, hard – yanking her backwards. She threw her elbow in the vamps face, twisted hard and staked him before leaping at the one she’d kicked moments before. “Four.” She heard a grunt off to her left and spared Buffy a glance just in time to see her back flip away from the tiny ninja vampire the other girl had called. Fine by her, she was ahead in kills tonight and that was just how she liked it.
03. Beginnings – She was four when she felt it the first time. Power; it lay warm and tightly coiled in the pit of her belly giving her the strength to look him in the eye as he hit her across the face. It was always just out of reach, like the good candy on the top self of the stores she couldn’t steal without climbing the shelves and getting caught. But it was there, and it was hers. Someday she’d find away to reach it and when she did nothing would stop her. If her daddy wasn’t already dead by then well, she’d kill him herself.
04. Danger – Returning to LA was a risk, but she wasn’t the kinda girl who backed down. Cordy, Gunn, Wes and Fred were long gone. Conner stayed, Illyria had nowhere else to go, and Dawn hadn’t strayed from Conner’s side since she laid eyes on him but it wasn’t her city. Not by a long shot. She missed him though, and the possibilities therein. Robin hadn’t worked out, no one had and it had been so long since she cared to try because it always came down to him. How they were like Angel, how they fell short. She walked in to the Hyperion wearing her heart on her sleeve and knew this was the most dangerous and the stupidest thing she’d ever done.
05. Humor – “I’m pregnant.” She looked at him, as he paused turning the page of the book he was reading.
“I’m sorry? What?” He replied, his confusion evident. They’d been sleeping together for almost four months and despite the fact she was in love with him he still held part of himself away from her. She didn’t know if he was worried about the curse or if he didn’t love her, it was something she didn’t want to think about too hard.
Angel stood, ran a hand through his hair and sighed. “How? Or better yet who?” They’d agreed on monogamy, so of course he would be mad.
“See that’s the funny thing.” Her breath tight in her chest as she forced out an ironic chuckle. “It’s either yours or I’m the new Virgin Mary. And honey with both know I ain’t no Mary.” She watched him fall backwards into his chair, and wondered what came next.
06. Eyes – She has green eyes. Faith jerked awake with that thought in her mind. She rested her hand on her belly, the curve of it was reassuring as she pushed away the dregs of the dream.
“Are you alright?” Angel sat next to her, his hand resting over hers.
“It’s a girl.” She swallowed hard. She didn’t want a girl, what if she was a Slayer? She didn’t want that kind of life for their daughter.
He looked at her oddly, his eyes knowing. “Are you sure?”
She nodded, “I dreamed about her. She has green eyes.” Her throat was tight and her eyes burned with tears. Hormones were making her soft.
“My Mother had green eyes.” He tightened his hand around hers before lying next to her.
07. Finale – She was tired. Her limbs weighed down with lead, her feet encased in cement. She blocked another blow, staggering backwards until her back slammed into the wall. It was happening; she was too slow, too old and done. Angel had warned not to come out tonight. He warned her and she’d laughed him off with a causal keep an eye on our daughter. A blow to her gut left her breathless, blood streamed into her eyes from the gash in her forehead. Thirty-nine wasn’t young, and it wasn’t old, unless you were a Slayer. Hunting was a young women’s game, but she’d never wanted to die old or in bed. She felt the vamp’s hands close around her neck and hoped Angel would forgive her.
08. Temptation – Tall, dark, deadly and Buffy’s. It figured. Every time she found something she wanted the bitch already had it. Just like fucking Barbie. She’s had a Barbie once, three days after opening it she took her mother’s lighter to it and burned it in the fire pit. Her mother had screamed at her for wasting their money but she hadn’t cared. Why would she want to play with a perfect doll that had everything she’d never have? She watched Angel walk across the room, his soul bleeding out on the floor around him, and wished she could meet Angelus. Now there was a vamp that knew how to party.
09. Ship – She’d been in LA a year now, and Angel still treated her like he always had. She was a good friend, maybe his best considering how few he had left but that was it. She knew he knew how she felt. She’d thought she’d seen a glimmer of…something that she could only hope was jealousy when Winchester had called needing her help again. Cas was missing and he needed back up he could trust, how that equaled her she didn’t know but she agreed to go. She’d watched Angel’s eyes narrow before he went upstairs.
She made the rounds, told a very pregnant Dawn to keep an eye on the guys and to stay off her feet. If she were lucky Dawn would have the baby while she was gone missing the Buffy and Angel show that was inevitable, it happened almost every time B came to town and she was tired of it. Same damn song, different verse. Spike offered to go with her, Illyria too but with her gone and Conner focused on Dawn LA needed them more than she did.
After looking around the lobby, she realized she was saying goodbye. She was done, she’d fought and lost. That was fine, she was a big girl she could take her licks with the best of them. Letting go of this would be hard, forgetting how they felt like family even harder but it wouldn’t be the first time she’d burned her bridges as she was crossing them.
She hoisted her bag over her shoulder and looked at the stairs. Angel knew she was leaving and if he wanted to say goodbye well…he’d known where she was. A heartbeat later, when she couldn’t hear him on the stairs, pain like she hadn’t felt since the Mayor died sliced through her. He wasn’t coming. All this time and he wasn’t even saying goodbye.
“Well fuck you too.” She muttered as she walked to the garage. She’d get over him, but in her heart of hearts she knew she was lying to herself. She jerked open her car door, tossed her bag in the back and slid in. Maybe seeing Dean would help, he had a way of making her forget, what with the life threatening danger that he always managed to toss her way and what not.
She turned the key and had just shifted the car into reverse when the door opened. “Leaving without me?” Angel tossed his bag on top of hers. “I think it’s about time I met this friend of yours, don’t you?”
“Sure.” She grinned and backed up. “You’ll have a blast glaring at each other.”
10. Crossover – It was a shitty ass town, and she was in an even shittier bar waiting for some male hunter who was being touted as the second coming of God. Which she didn’t believe for one damn second. She threw back a shot of Jack, signaled the bartender for another when they walked in. The bar went quiet, as they walked through the building like they owned it. One was short, built like a brick shithouse and too damn pretty for words, the other wasn’t human but he wore his meatsuit well.
Pretty walked over to her and she threw back her fifth shot. “Faith?”
She smiled, winked and looked him over slowly. “Yeah, Pretty Boy, I am. You must be Dean.” She watched him smile, its edges just a bit feral and not quite reaching his eyes.
The other stepped forward, laid his hand possessively on Dean as if she hadn’t already heard the rumors about them. “We were told you could help us.”
“Well, the witch gave me the spell, all the ingredients and I borrowed the scythe from Buffy so I am ready to roll, Cowboy. You ready to play?”
Dean laughed; the sound was rusty but at the same time sent a shiver down her spine and his expression made her think of Angelus on his most dangerous days. “Honey, I am always ready to play.”
Category - One Character
11. Run – Her feet pounded against the hard packed dirt, the moon was as bright as the sun as she raced toward the young Slayer she was trying to save. She wasn’t a hero, she sucked at training but the girl looked at her like she was the second coming, or possibly the way most of the others looked at Buffy.
She wasn’t any of those things, her name was something Christians toted having but she’d always thought it was ironic because she’d never had it. Only right now she wished she did and she wished she knew how to pray, because she was still ten minutes away.
12. No – Faith set the phone down her mind racing. It was impossible; Buffy wasn’t supposed to die first – not this time. Except Buffy wasn’t dead she was missing, and had been for over a week, which in Slayer terms was as good as dead. She took a deep breath, looked around the room and tried to think of what to tell the others.
She walked over to Ava’s crib and pulled the blanket up over her shoulder’s. They wanted her in London, but Ava was barely a month old and she was just getting back into her normal exercise routine but that was not even close to slaying standards. Faith watched her daughter suck on her tiny fist and knew she couldn’t go, not yet or maybe ever. She was no longer just a Slayer, now she was a Mother too. Robin danced through her thoughts briefly and how difficult his life had been and this wasn’t what she wanted, not at all.
Except Ava was everything perfect in this world and worth fighting for. She turned away from the crib, closed her eyes and, not for the first time, prayed for her daughter to have a normal life.
13. Gone – She ran out the door, and the bottle smashed against just as it slammed shut. She was tired of this shit, being a kid didn’t make her a punching bag. Her coat was thin against the cold, but she didn’t care being out here was better than being in there with her.
A car drove down the road slowly, the driver paying entirely too much attention to her and she knew who he was. All the kids did. He was the pervert who always offered them candy, the one who most kid’s parents warned them away from.
He stopped in front of her stoop and rolled down his window. “You look cold sweetie, wanna hold your hands in front of my heater, the car is nice and warm.” His voice made her nauseous, it made her want to be able to touch the power sleeping in her – it made her want a mother who cared and would protect her.
14. Move – The music ate her up, tossed her around and spit her out. Faith closed her eyes, and just felt – no thoughts, no worries just sweat, music and hotties everywhere. Her heart pounded as she rubbed up against one guy and then another, she moved toward two more cutting a swath across the dance floor.
She was a Goddess, a Queen she had power in spades and it was alive; crawling underneath her skin looking for an out. Her head was light and consumed by the heady sensation, she lifted her hair off her neck, lifted her hands over her head and undulated against the hard body behind her.
15. Control – Angel smiled at her, and in that instant she knew it wasn’t him. This smile was too careless, too free – even more so she could see the sharp edges of it at the corner of his mouth. She wondered what happened, how long Angelus would play this game and if she had enough time to call for help.
She wasn’t Buffy; she didn’t think she had it in her to kill the only man she’d ever loved. She was strong but she didn’t think she could smile and pretend nothing was wrong while staking him.
“Faith?” He cocked his head knowingly. The game was on and only he knew the rules.
16. White - It was midnight, and she was wearing white. What a damn cliché’ her pseudo wedding was turning out to be. Dawn had put roses up everywhere, she hated roses, Buffy was her Maid of Honor - that wasn’t awkward at all – and Lorne was doing the ‘marrying’. Not that they could legally be married, Angel was still dead, they had no freaking idea how she got pregnant or if the baby was going to turn out normal. Not that Conner wasn’t normal and, Oh God, she was going to be a step-mother and step-grandmother. She stopped dead in her tracks; middle of the isle well the music was playing and hyperventilated.
She was getting married. In white. To a Vampire. While Pregnant. At Midnight.
Her hands shook, and she could see little bits of her bouquet fall at her feet. She looked up and saw Angel, his face paler than normal, as he stared at her. She loved him. She loved him and she knew that it was and wasn’t enough all at the same time. The weight lifted of her chest, her smile became real and she moved to take her place next to him.
She was marrying Angel and nothing else mattered.
17. Interlude – She walked out of the bathroom slowly, her body a mass of bruises – her hands cut from the shattered shower tiles – defeat didn’t sit well with her. Wes was in the kitchen, an open bottle of whiskey on the counter and one glass filled and one halfway to his mouth. He pushed the other glass toward her as she moved closer.
“That – could have gone better.” His voice was husky with alcohol, loss and anger.
She ignored him, downed the drink and poured herself another. She wanted to break something, and he was pretty breakable. It would be easy to break the bottle over his head, to have him in the same position he was before but she wasn’t that girl anymore.
He knocked the glass out of her hand, it shattered on the floor – the sharp bit of whiskey settled in the air. “You’ve gone soft.”
Her control snap and she shoved him against the wall, her arm across his throat. “I could do you easy enough.” His body was hot, no a freaking volcano against hers and it had been so long. Too long. His lips parted, and his eyes darted down to hers.
“I was right, you do like it rough.” She pushed him back harder, rubbing her body against his like a cat. He was hard against her hip, and she knew it was stupid – knew it was the worst idea ever but she was the queen of those.
“I like a lot of things Faith.” His were dark as he spoke and she wondered who he was thinking about. Except she didn’t really care because his fist was in her hair, yanking it back just a bit too hard and his lips were on her neck. Think was the last thing on her mind.
18. Conversations – “So you and Angel, huh?” Buffy walked into her room like she owned it.
“Nice to see you too, B. How’s tricks? I’m fine thanks for asking.” She watched Buffy frown, she’d thrown her off. Good.
“Don’t play games with me Faith.”
“Aw, but that is all we ever do.” She pulled out the fake pout. “Fine. Yes, me and Angel. We fuck like rabbits, he has the stamina of a God and hey, I’m knocked up.” She straddled the arm of the love seat.
“Wait – what?” Buffy sat down on the bed, “You’re pregnant?”
“I know right? Weirdness. But yeah, so we can’t throw down over this cause Angel would kick both our asses.”
“It – it’s his?” Buffy was pale, her hands were trembling and Faith could see a sheen of tears in the other slayer's eyes.
“Yeah, B, it is.” She’d won; she could afford to be nice.
“Oh,” Buffy took a visibly deep breath and smiled. “Congratulations?”
She walked over to the bed; sat next to the woman who should have been her sister but never would be, laid her head on her shoulder and admitted her deepest secret.
“B, I terrified.” She entwined her hand in Buffy’s, “What if it comes out wrong?”
Buffy wrapped her free arm around her, hugged her tight. “Well, will find away to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
19. Trapped - Prison wasn’t a cakewalk despite her Slayer powers. She had to keep a tight rein on them, ignore the slights tossed at her. The walls couldn’t keep her if she didn’t want them too, she was what kept herself here.
Her cell made her claustrophobic, the food sucked, there was jack shit to do and jack left town but it was where she belonged. She exercised, did her job – kept her head down and tried to do the right thing but it wasn’t easy after a life time of doing the opposite.
“Lahane, mail.” One of the guards called. Curious she went over to get it, and held back a smile when she saw it was from Angel.
20. End – When Faith didn’t come home he knew, he didn’t want it to be true but he knew. He paced the hotel all day, refusing to rest. He shook off Conner and Dawn’s quiet support, walked away from Spike’s offer to spar, and ignored Illyria. He watched their daughter, her oblivious laughter was like glass reverberating through him – shredding everything he’d allowed himself to hope for.
He watched the sky go from dark to bright to dark again, and headed outside. He felt Spike at his side and almost lashed out, he’d loved Faith too. They all did.
“I should have turned her.”
“Yeah, mate, but she would have killed you for it.”
He looked over at Spike, “But at least I wouldn't have to be without her.”
“True that.” Spike lit a fag, took a deep drag and turned to look at him. “Let’s go bring our girl home.” Spike’s words were a quiet balm on a wound he’d feel til he was dust.