Title: Forsaken 1/1
Disclaimer: The Buffyverse
belongs to Joss Whedon and company, while Anita Blake
belongs to Laurell K. Hamilton and company.
Notes: Set AU after the fight with Kakistos in BTVS Season Three.
Summary: What if things in Sunnydale had gone differently after Faith and Buffy fought Kakistos?
As she stood trembling under the hot spray of the showerhead, Faith felt that she’d never be clean again, no matter how hot the water she bathed in or for how long she stood under the scalding spray. She was tainted by what she had done that night and haunted by the familiar face of a young woman.
The scalding water turned her flesh red and it stung; yet Faith stayed standing under the water as unreleased tears burned her eyes. She had not right to feel pleasure or anything but pain. She had used Buffy, the golden Slayer of Sunnydale, to help her destroy Kakistos and then she had taken off. Faith had been more concerned about finding power than playing by the rules or even helping the one person that had saved her. She couldn’t be bothered with Buffy’s personal battles, once Kakistos was ash.
A year had been spent with Edward and Faith had reveled in the freedom to slay vampires and demons without following the law or the rules set by the Council. She had found a way to use her power, as a Slayer to it’s fullest. While she had been having the time of her life, Buffy had been fighting an insane vampire desperate for revenge.
When Buffy had fallen and been turned by Angel’s insane child, Faith had been learning how to use her power to destroy the monsters that Edward sought out for her. She didn’t even spare Buffy or Sunnydale a thought.
And then everything had come to a head when Buffy finally found Faith. Instead of a soulless monster intent on destroying a Slayer, Faith had come face to face with a guilt-ridden shadow since Buffy had been cursed with a soul by Willow’s dying breath.
Edward had stepped back, melting into the long shadows of the night, while Buffy had pleaded for mercy. Faith’s hand had clenched reflexively around the stake that she always carried as her heart hammered frantically in her chest. She knew that she was at fault for the ruin of Buffy’s life and she had to pay the price for abandoning her sister Slayer.
She had staked Buffy and watched in horror as she had exploded into dust and ash. The brunette had collapsed to her knees in her grief as the enormity of the consequences of her actions a year ago hit her. Motionless in her pain, grief and horror, she barely took notice of Edward’s gentle hands lifting her and carrying her away.
His words rang hollow in her ears as he told her that she had been given a choice a year ago. She could either fulfill her destiny as a Slayer or be controlled by a bunch of men who allowed monsters to roam freely while they obeyed the laws of the land. All Faith could hear were Buffy’s quiet pleas and she only saw Buffy’s expression of gratitude as Faith had driven the stake through the blonde’s chest. It didn’t matter that she had saved so many lives in Edward’s battle to destroy the monsters, because she had betrayed Buffy, the first person who had freely helped her.
Faith remained under the spray of water, even as it turned from scalding hot to ice cold. Her hands clutched together, she tried to make sense of what had happened and how everything had suddenly turned wrong. Instead of making sense of anything, she only felt empty and numb. She barely registered Edward opening the shower door to turn off the water.
As he bundled her up in a thick and warm towel, Faith was too numb to even notice the gentleness that he took in touching her. Gone was the stiff and harsh taskmaster who had guided her through a thousand slayings. In Death’s place was a man who had faced the same decision that she had. He picked her up and carried her to his bed and tucked her under the covers like a beloved and favoured child instead of a weapon.
And she was still too wrapped in her own pain and guilt to take in the gentle and loving look on his face as he sat down in a chair across from the bed, prepared to watch over her. He knew, even if she didn’t, that she would heal from his horrendous wound. She might never be the same, but she would heal even if she became colder and more detached. Edward regretted that she had had to destroy the girl she had loved and abandoned but there was no remedy for it. Faith had made her choice a year ago to follow Edward.
Edward knew as he listened to her breathing that she would survive this, his Slayer was a survivor. She would survive just like he had survived destroying the monster that Anita had become. A long time ago, he had made a choice that had dire consequences, just like she had. At least they had one another on the dark and lonely road that stretched endlessly in front of them.