Faith hears voices outside her room. She can tell that one is Willow's
and that one is Kennedy's, but she can't hear what they're saying. She
lies in her bed, flat on her back, a lit cigarette dying slowly and
forgotten between her fingers. Sounds of the city filter mutedly in
through the closed window, as if to point out even more clearly that
Faith is not part of. Not part of the city, not part of the group of
new perky young Slayers, not part of the old Scooby gang. Just plain
not part of.
"It's no use, Willow," she says when she hears the door open and close. "I tried the belonging thing way back when and it didn't work out, remember? It involved this bit with you and me and a large knife held at your throat?"
"Things change," she hears Willow say, and there is a strange resonant timbre to her voice.
Faith sighs. "So you're going to try again, are you?"
She sits up and swings a leg over the edge of the old iron-frame bed.
"Give it up, Red, I'm..." she says, and the rest of the sentence dies before it can cross her lips. She sees Willow, and the epithet she just used has somehow turned oh so very wrong.
Willow is standing just inside the closed door, looking at Faith. She's dressed in blue jeans, short black leather jacket and a white t-shirt with a picture of a switchblade-wielding rabbit and the text "Time to die, nerd-boy!" printed on it.
And her hair is white. Not pale red or bleached blonde or faintly bluish but white, a white so pure that it almost glows.
"Willow?" Faith says. "What the...?"
"As I said," Willow says as she walks closer, "things change."
She puts a hand squarely between Faith's breasts and pushes her down onto the bed.
"I made them change," she says.
Before Faith left for Cleveland, Dawn told her that there was a sort
of life cycle to hellmouths. One would appear, and then slowly grow in
power until it reached a kind of plateau after a couple of centuries.
Then it'd stay like that, working as a kind of magnet for nasty stuff,
until some of the nasty stuff got to work at increasing its power.
Even if they were stopped, the work they'd done would remain, and the
hellmouth would be able to attract bigger and stronger nasty stuff.
Eventually, something would manage to open it completely, resulting in
the end of the world as we know it, or it'd be destroyed, resulting in
a huge-ass hole in the ground formerly known as Sunnydale.
"Lucky for us the first never happened," she'd said.
"Oh, but it did," Dawn had said, and then she'd gone off on a long and complicated rant on how all the really old demons looked like huge lizards, how newer demons looked hominid and how nobody really knew what happened to the dinosaurs. When she used the phrase "hellmouth-initiated extinction event" Faith stopped listening. She knew what she needed to know. There was a hellmouth in Cleveland, and although it was small and weak there was a point to guarding it. The better they kept the nasties away from it, the longer it'd be before they'd have to turn Cleveland into a huge-ass hole in the ground. Or, rather, a new bay in Lake Erie. So Faith got on a plane at Sunnydale International Fucking Airport and flew up to Cleveland Hopkins International Fucking Airport -- at the expense of the new Buffy-led Watcher's Council -- in order to keep an eye on the group of new Slayers who really did the guarding.
She'd had worse things to do with her time.
Faith is too stunned to even try to object when Willow climbs up on
the bed and straddles her hips. She leans forward, bringing her face
closer to Faith's. Her eyebrows are just as white as the hair on top
of her head. Even the eyelashes are that pure shade of white.
"I can feel you," Willow says. "But you don't know where to look."
At the back of her mind, Faith wonders what happened to her cigarette and hopes that it's not lying on the floor about to set the house on fire. At the front of her mind, confusion reigns.
"What are you talking about?" she says. "Of course you can feel me, you're sitting on me. And what's with the hair?"
Instead of answering, Willow leans forward the last little bit and kisses her. Faith is too stunned, too surprised to respond, so Willow ends up simply pressing her lips to Faith's and running the tip of her tongue lightly over them.
Her months of celibacy since Robin succumbed to peritonitis suddenly flare and betray her. She's never been that fond of Willow, but soft lips, body heat and hormones are hard to argue against. She's just about to open her mouth and let Willow's probing tongue inside when it disappears. Faith opens eyes that the never even realized that she'd closed and looks up at the white-haired girl, confused.
"You're alone," Willow says. "You're unhappy. I can fix the first. Maybe that will take care of the second."
She takes Faith's hands in her own, moves them towards the bedposts. Faith is too confused to resist.
"Not that I don't want to fuck you," Faith says, "because you sure aren't the sad little nerd girl I used to know any longer, but the bump and grind thing doesn't fix the loneliness. Trust me on that one, I know."
There's a tingling in Faith's wrist, and suddenly it's stuck to the bedpost. She pulls at it, and it feels like a really soft and strong rope has been tied around her wrist. Twisting her head around, she looks towards the top of the bed.
There's a band of pure white light holding her arm to the bedpost.
"It worked with Buffy," Willow says, and there is a tingling in Faith's other wrist as well.
The new Slayers lived as a little commune in a large apartment in a
not so nice part of Cleveland that Faith didn't even bother to find
out the name of. There were six of them, from wildly varying
backgrounds and of pretty much the same ages. They were young and
serious and dedicated and they got along with each other in a way that
made Faith feel even more alone than she had when Buffy rejected her
way back in the Mayor's day. There were never any arguments about who
should do the dishes, or who should go shopping for food, or about who
borrowed who's clothes. Everything just happened, as smoothly as if
they'd all grown up together.
And they all treated Faith with a kind of reverence that made her feel both pleased and embarrassed. They'd ask her to tell tales of the days when there was only one Slayer, not caring that for as long as Faith had been one there had actually been two. To them, she was as special as Buffy. Buffy was the one that came back, the one that refused to die. Faith was the final one before everything changed, the last link in the chain of Slayers that went back into prehistory. She was the last one for who the Slayerhood was personal.
Sure, she told them. I was. And it sucked. Being the one and only, the end of the line, the place where the buck stopped. She told them to ask Buffy if they didn't believe her.
Of course they didn't believe her. They wouldn't have believed Buffy either, had she been there to tell them the same thing. To them, the time of the one Slayer was romantic drama, not traumatic life.
Faith envied them.
"You fucked Buffy?" Faith's mouth asks before her brain catches up
enough to realize that it doesn't really want to know. Far too many
feelings down that road, some unrequited and some thoroughly mutual.
"Your girlfriend's just outside the door," Faith says instead. "Don't you think she'll be kinda pissed off if you do this?"
She pulls her arms together, testing the bonds. There isn't the slightest bit of give in them, and Willow must have done something to the bed as well because even when Faith brings her full strength to bear the iron bedposts don't bend.
"Kennedy knows," Willow says. "It's all right. Don't worry. Relax. Just focus on me."
She runs her hands slowly down Faith's outstretched arms, and where they pass Faith can feel the warm air of the room wafting unhindered against her skin. Her heart starts beating faster, and a small tinge of fear makes her excitement grow unbelievably fast. Willow's small hands keeps moving downwards, baring the pale skin of Faith's shoulders and chest. Faith feels the cloth on her back dissolve into nothingness, replacing the smooth cotton of her white top with the rougher wool of the bed's blanket. Her breathing grows deeper, and when Willow's hands ever so lightly passes over and removes the cloth from her breasts Faith can't stifle a lustful moan.
"So, um," Faith says, fighting to control her breathing. "Is bondage a kink of yours? Because I really wouldn't have guessed. I thought you'd be more of a scented candles and rose petals kind of girl."
Willow clambers off Faith's hips and moves down her body, her hands working their magic over her belly and hips and legs, baring Faith's entire body. At the end, she fastens Faith's feet to the lower bedposts, just as securely as she fastened her hands.
"Right now," Willow says, sitting between Faith's naked legs, "you're my kink."
The Cleveland hellmouth was in the basement of a hospital. Not one of
the big, famous, trendy ones, but a small, run-down one at the edge of
town. The kind of hospital that didn't ask too many questions, and
that you really didn't want to get caught in even if it hadn't had a
gateway to various Hell dimensions.
The new Slayers worked there. Two of them as nurses, which they apparently where qualified as. Two were receptionists, one cleaned and the last one was the night watchman in the mortuary wing.
Faith couldn't imagine a more suitable job for a Slayer than that last one, and not surprisingly that girl had dusted more vampires than any of the others.
On the other hand, the two nurses led the league when it came to non-vampire demons. Which probably would've turned Faith off hospitals completely if she hadn't already hated the places. When Dawn told her where the hellmouth was, she hadn't been the least bit surprised. School, hospital, it made perfect sense to her. Next time it'd probably be a convent. Or, maybe, a combination. The basement of a medical school for nuns.
When she first came to Cleveland and moved in with the Slayers, she made an effort to help out. She'd gone with them to the hospital, patrolled the less-used parts of it and generally tried to give them the benefit of her experience. She'd tried to give them pointers on how to fight demons, tell them about different breeds and types and the vulnerable spots of each. She told them what she knew about the hellmouth itself, and how the activity around it seemed to have a yearly cycle.
It took her a couple of days before she realized that they already knew. Not only that, when it came to fighting as a team they were quite a bit better than Faith. More used to it, she guessed. After all, they'd never really fought any other way. No wonder that they were coordinated and stuff. Rather than one girl chasing a demon until she caught it or it got away, one girl would chase it right into another who'd just kill it. Then they'd move and do the same to the next.
However reluctantly, Faith had to admit that as a team they were far better than she and Buffy ever were. Or Buffy and the Scoobies, for that matter. The new Slayers had set things up so that there were always at least two of them present at the hospital, and between the six of them they pretty much kept the area clinically free from demons.
All in all, it made Faith wonder why the hell she was there.
Willow is slowly kissing her way up Faith's leg, and Faith is
frantically trying to pull herself free. She pulls her legs and arms
to her as hard as she can, tensing muscles that she knows from
experience can bend steel until they scream in agony, and still the
bonds Willow has put on her doesn't give. She's not sure why
she tries so hard to get loose, because the feeling of Willow's warm,
soft lips against her skin is exquisite and she certainly don't mind
Willow playing with her body. It just feels like she ought to.
Willow's face appears above Faith's. She's standing on all fours over Faith, and at some point her blue jeans, leather jacket and the shirt with the sociopathic bunny has gone the same way that Faith's clothes has. Willow lowers her torso a little, touching her hard, pink little nipples to Faith's larger and darker ones.
"I'll let you go if you want to," Willow says. "I can't help you unless you're willing, so just say the word and you're free."
Faith licks her lips. Now that it's offered, she finds that she doesn't really want to be let free.
"We should have a safeword, right?" she says, trying to hide inner turmoil behind flippancy. "Because that's what all the sensible people do, isn't it?"
Willow shakes her head.
"No," she says. "You choose now, once and for all. Either you let me do what I came here to do, or you walk now. Once you enter Castle Perilous, there is no going back. The only way out is forward."
Faith looks at Willow's white, white hair, and the almost invisible little freckles on her face, and the oh so very tender gleam in her eyes. She decides, and the muscles in her arms and legs relax.
"I'll stay," she says. She's never been so afraid before, nor so incredibly turned on.
After a few weeks the way the new Slayers got on started to bug her.
It just wasn't natural. Six girls just barely old enough to get jobs
in a hospital living together in a flat with only two bathrooms, and
there never were any arguments over who should go first or
who used somebody else's makeup. After a couple of years in a women's
prison and a few weeks in a house full of Potentials, Faith knew what
large groups of women living together were like -- and this
so wasn't it.
She also noticed that she was the only one who ever went to the bathroom and found it occupied. The other girls seemed to just know when one was free. No asking, no checking. It was like they coordinated things by telepathy.
Only she didn't really believe that. If they were telepaths, why wouldn't they mention that? And why would they still speak to each other? Because they did. They had friendly arguments over what to make for dinner, or if they should watch Xena reruns or the new episode of CSI. Faith had suggested ER, because, hey, a couple of those doctors were pretty hot, but got thoroughly vetoed by the two nurses, who proclaimed the entire series unrealistic crap. Which was entirely irrelevant to actor hotitude, but whatever. Point was that they argued. With each other and with her. Loudly. So not telepaths.
But they still never tried to walk through doorways at the same time, and they never unintentionally blocked each others strikes in combat.
Willow's fingertips travel slowly down Faith's arms, giving her a
sensation somewhere in between a tickle and a caress. She can't decide
if she likes it, but that doesn't really matter since she can't do
anything about it anyway. Willow's mouth is at her throat, gently
kissing Faith's skin and occasionally flicking it with the top of her
tongue. That, Faith is sure that she likes. She'd like to grab the
back of Willow's head and force her to press harder, to lick and touch
more strongly. But, again, she can't. Her hands clench up into fists
and a small frustrated sound escapes her. Faith is not at all used to
not being able to do as she wishes.
"How do you like to be taken?" Willow says.
"What?" Faith says, confused.
"How do you like to be fucked?" Willow says. "On top, forceful and a little bit rough, right?"
Faith nods. That is how she likes it.
"Thought so," Willow says. She bends down, and ever so gently breathes on Faith's stiff nipple.
Again, Faith groans and strains at her bonds. This is revenge, she thinks. For all the times I was obnoxious to her way back when. And why did I have to remind her about the knife and throat thing?
Willow kisses her way down from Faith's breasts, feather-light kisses that sometimes don't even quite touch the longing skin. They get closer to Faith's mons, and she can't restrain herself. She arches her back, lifts her hips closer to Willow's mouth. Willow quickly pulls her head away.
"Naughty," she says. "Be still, or I'll have to tie down your waist too."
She's smiling. It's a kind of smile that Faith knows, the kind that says be a good girl and I'll make it worth your while. It's not one she ever expected to see on Willow's face. All right, she thinks. I'll be good. She's got me where she wants me anyway, so I may as well play along. Faith lowers her hips, relaxes the powerful muscles in her back.
"Good girl," Willow says. She quickly runs a finger along Faith's engorged and slick labia, and Faith's resolve to stay still nearly breaks down before it's even got started.
"I'm going out," Faith said. "I'll be back in time for dinner."
She didn't know where she was going. She just wanted to get out of the flat, to be somewhere where she could be alone by herself.
"You'll miss the new CSI ep," Moon said. Moon was a tall dark-skinned girl, who claimed that she had precognitive powers due to her parents being high as kites on LSD and strange South American mushrooms when she was conceived. If not for the general spookiness of all the new Slayers, Faith would've liked her a lot. They both came from crap backgrounds that they'd never really managed to get away from.
"CSI's after dinner," Faith said.
Moon turned away from the potatoes she was peeling and looked at Faith.
"Nobody told you?" she said. "Dinner will be late tonight, to give Her time to get here."
Faith could hear the capital H in Her.
"Her who?" she asked.
Moon looked strangely at her. "Her," she said. "The White Lady. Can't you sense her approaching?"
Faith couldn't. The nearest to something strange she'd experienced lately was dreaming of Willow for the past three nights, and she hardly qualified for either of white, lady or capital-H her.
"No," she said. "I guess I'll just meet her tonight, then. Tape CSI if I'm not back in time, 'k?"
Moon still had the weird expression on.
"Sure," she said. "Will do."
Faith is sure she is going to go insane. She can't remember ever
having been this turned on in her entire life. Willow has been
stroking and licking and nudging and caressing and kissing her all
over for at least one and a half eternities, and never once has she
done anything hard or long enough to bring Faith to orgasm. Indeed, it
has become obvious that she is avoiding exactly that. It's a game that
Faith has played many times, but always from the other side and never
ever this well. It is as if Willow can read her mind, as if
she can tell exactly when to pull back to bring maximum frustration to
her poor victim. Faith is begging, constantly and incoherently, her
eyes squeezed shut as hard as she can manage, for release. It is as if
her mouth has a life of its own, because she can't see how her
inflamed brain could possibly do anything as complicated as form
words. Her resolve to keep her hips still has long since died, and
there is now a shining white band around her waist and the bed,
holding her down. Willow is licking her way up the insides of her
thighs, inching closer and closer to the craving flesh at their
Faith is quite sure that she'll stop before she gets there.
Something touches her nipples while the tongue is still licking her thigh. Fingers, must be.
Then something starts nibbling on her earlobe.
Faith's eyelids fly open. She bends her head to look down her own body. The mouth at her ear keeps playing as if nothing has happened.
There is white light playing over her body. Small clouds of brilliant whiteness are surrounding her breasts, and past them she can just see more like it between her legs.
"Look at me," Willow says, and her voice is coming from above. Confused, Faith tilts her head back and looks up.
Willow is hovering above her. She is leaning a little forward and her legs are pulled a bit up and apart, as if she was still straddling Faith's hips. Her hair is not just white any longer, but actually glowing, a brilliant coat of light stretching down her back. Pure white light is pouring from her eyes, from her open mouth and from between her legs. The beams of lights all point straight down at Faith, and where it touches her skin Faith feels the most exquisite caresses she's ever experienced. Once she sees it, it stops feeling like tongues and fingers and lips and teeth, and instead starts feeling like pure intense pleasure.
And it's still not enough to make her come.
"Willow?" she breathes.
"Look at me," Willow repeats. "Look at me."
Her voice sounds like it's coming from many places. As if it echoed in a huge cathedral, and every echo reached Faith's ears at the very same time.
"I am," Faith whispers. "I am."
The marvelous light spreads over her skin, bringing its wonderful touch to all her body except the few spots where she most wants it. She can feel tears born of frustration running from her eyes, and every muscle she has is taut as a steel wire. She's beginning to fear that if she doesn't get release soon, she really will go insane.
"Not with your eyes," Willow's supernatural voice says. "With your heart. Look at me inside you."
Faith doesn't understand. Her mind isn't working. She can't think, can't speak.
"I know you can," Willow says. "I can see you. I can see your pleasure. I can see your pain. I can see your loneliness. We can all see your loneliness. Turn inside. Remember the bright room. Look at me. I won't let you come until you do."
Bright room? Suddenly, she remembers Buffy, and a bed, and drops of blood. She remembers connection. Desperate for promised relief, her mind twists in ways Faith never imagined. Something primal, something animal deep within her brain, turns in a direction she never knew existed.
Faith closes her eyes, and sees Willow. In her mind, in that part of her from which her Slayer power comes, in that place where she and Buffy shared their weird-ass prophetic dreams, she sees Willow. Sees the White Lady waiting for her, smiling at her.
In the outside world, the exquisite touch concentrates between her legs, pushes into her and spreads its deliciousness all over Faith's most sensitive parts.
As the White Lady leans forward and kisses her, Faith's mind explodes into orgasm and the intense white light blasts her consciousness into pleasure oblivion.
Faith knelt on the concrete floor of the hospital basement, at the
very spot of the Hellmouth's center, waiting. In the distance, she
could hear running steps, and occasionally the screams of demons and
the clash of fighting.
In the distance, she could feel the other Slayers.
"There's a bunch of demons coming to try to open the Hellmouth," Kennedy had said at the late dinner the night before. "We're here to tell you about them."
"Mostly," Willow had said, and looked pointedly at Faith.
"We're just honored to have you here, Lady," Sarah had said, and the others had chimed in. And then they'd kept on in that vein all night. Lady this, Lady that, Lady until it spurted out Faith's ears. As far as she was concerned, Willow was a cute little redhead witch, and nothing more.
Faith smiled at the memory. Who knew that shutting herself in her room to sulk could bring such awesome changes. Sure, Willow was still a cute little redhead witch -- but also so much more. Faith could still feel her at the back of her mind, binding her together with all the others. She could feel Clara standing watch at the stairway down to the basement. She felt Jeanine and Myra running after the demon gang, herding them. She felt Moon, Helen, Sarah and Kennedy standing in side corridors, ready to make sure that the demons kept running the way they wanted them.
Faith stood up, held the sword at ready. The consecrated and magiced-on sword, that in this very spot could kill those demons with only a touch.
Further away, if she concentrated, she could feel Amanda lecturing a bunch of new Slayers. Rhona chasing a vampire in New York. Vi walking down a dark alley juggling an axe. Buffy fucking in a Rome park, with a guy and a girl. She raised an eyebrow at that last one. Way to go, little prudish straight girl!
She could see the demons at the end of the corridor now. The other Slayers were following close behind them, backup just in case the magic sword turned out to be not so magic after all. She saw them run, and she felt them reach out to her and lend her of their power. She felt the White Lady watching them all, loving them all, the children she bore through her magic.
Faith smiled. With so many at her side, how could she ever lose?
The demons stopped a few steps from her, uncertain about her confidence. She raised the sword and grinned at them.
"Hello, boys," she said. "Wanna dance?"