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the vulnerability of faith

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This story is No. 1 in the series "The Vulnerability of Faith". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: She was chosen for a reason. To protect and save the world from evil. She shunned her calling & welcomed the darkness. Who knew she was the one that could save the world from the evil that actually could end it; evil that had a face of a friend.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Highlander > Faith-Centered(Moderator)DemonaFR183381,0290421,7792 Aug 032 Aug 03Yes

Part Twenty-Eight: Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands...Er...Figuratively Speaking

For Disclaimer and Notes see first chapter.

Part Twenty-Eight: Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands...Er...Figuratively Speaking

Meanwhile…

Spike tackled Buffy off of Faith and yelled for Willow and Cassandra to get her away from here. Buffy managed to get away from Spike and they both rose to their feet, standing, facing one another.

"You saved her? Why Spike? I thought you were *my* lapdog. What was she giving you something I couldn't," Buffy challenged him.

"Yeah, luv, she was. She listened and she cared and she always could relate to everything I had to say. She saved me from death after I escaped from you. She cared enough to save me. She gave me the strength I needed to come out here to face you pet – to make sure you died tonight. And if all that isn't enough for you to understand why I chose her over you then I'll let you in on a little secret luv, she is a hell of a lot better than you in bed!" Spike told her with sadness, confidence, regret, and every other emotion evident in his voice but those ice blue eyes held the truth. He had loved her but she was dead and this *thing* was not her.

"You didn't have the balls to cheat on me Spike. You were whipped on every word I had to say. You were a pathetic excuse for a vampire. Angelus at least had a soul to blame his love for me on, but you, you were worse, you had no soul to blame it on. There is no way that you could possibly love Faith and cheat on me with her," Buffy said confidently.

"I did cheat on you Buffy. Just once. That once was enough to let me know that you were shitty in bed though," he said to her, keeping his eyes on her at all times. She was starting to get mad and angry.

"I should have killed you when I had the chance. You are a worthless piece of shit Spike!" Buffy snapped at him and took a step towards him. "But you are alive still and for that I'm thankful."

"You couldn't kill me even if you tried," Spike retorted.

"I think I did something to you that is far worse than death. You have no balls, no dick, one eye, and no hands. I think that you are worse than dead right now Spike," Buffy shot back at him.

"I seriously doubt that Buff," he told her. They began circling each other.

"You think that you can take me like this? Faith couldn't take me and you think that you can?"

"Yeah, I don't have something that she had," Spike answered.

"Oh yeah, what is that?" B asked him.

"I don't have a death wish. Remember that thing I told you all Slayers have? Well Buff, I'm not a Slayer. I want to live forever," Spike announced to her.

"Too bad cause I sense your number coming up very shortly. Like now," she told him and then attacked him. He dodged a lot of her attacks but he couldn't beat her. They both knew that. She beat the hell out of him again, reopening cuts that were almost healed. Finally after fighting for only ten minutes she had him on the ground; he was cradling his now broken arm to his chest and coughing up blood. He looked up at her as she stood in front of him. She was bleeding as well from her fight with Faith and then Spike. She looked tired too.

"This isn't how it should be. You shouldn't be on your knees about to die in front of me. I thought that you were supposed to dance with me and you were supposed to kill me. I didn't think that it would be this way."

"Buffy…" Spike asked looking up at her, hoping perhaps that she was his once again.

"But I guess that it is fitting. I mean, after all I am the Slayer turned Vampire. It is only fitting that I still slay those of my kind that aren't acceptable. Which you are one of those Spike," she informed him and smiled evilly. "I had you there didn't I; I can do this tortured thing," Buffy told him and he looked at her sadly.

"I just want you to know one thing Buffy," he said to her, his voice getting softer.

"Yeah William what is that?" She asked him cockily.

"I have always loved you. I was only with her once and it wasn't cheating; it was just something that needed to be done for Faith's mental health. You are my one true love, the one I would step into the sun for, the one I would die for; you are my everything. I just thought you should know that," he told her and then he closed his eye and took in a shaky breath. He looked back up at her with tears rolling down the side of his face from his one open eye. "I love you Buffy, goodbye," he told her.

"What are you talking about Spike?" She asked him and he raised his head to something behind her and she started to spin around to see who or what he was acknowledging. She made it to see who it was right before the blade cut through her neck, severing her head from her body. The body turned to ash and fell all over Spike, mixing with his tears and blood on his face and body. Spike looked up at Buffy's killer and nodded a curt nod to him and then more tears fell down his face and onto the ground all around him.

"I guess thanks would be a bad thing to say. But I would like to thank you for killing her. She never wanted to be a vampire. I was going to hold her until the day she died of old age. We were going to adopt kids and have a semi-normal family. Obviously that day never came. I am so sorry that you had to be the one that did this. I know how much she meant to you. I um…thanks for saving her and setting her free," Spike managed to get out and then looked back down at his ash and blood covered body.

"I did what needed to be done. She had to die and I knew that you and Faith could not kill her. I'm sorry it had to be me, but it is done. Come on let's get you inside. The sun will be rising soon."

"No need to help me anywhere mate. I am going to stay right here and well, I am going to see one last sunrise old man," Spike said and locked eyes with the man before him.

"Spike, I don't think that this is a good idea," the man argued.

"You always have to be right don't you. Can't you just let me make my own decision for once? Just once that is all that I ask for. I am nothing anymore. I am a vampire that betrayed his kind and killed them. I loved the Slayer, I mated with the Slayer, I killed alongside the Slayer, I have a soul-happy Poof of a Sire, and my best friend in the whole world that I just recently acquired in this century is a beautiful Slayer. She is going to die tonight, mate; I couldn't stop Buffy in time. Faith is going to die and *I* couldn't even keep *her* alive. I want you to promise me something. Promise me that you will look after her. Promise me that!" Spike said to the man. The man looked completely puzzled.

"What are you talking about Spike? You just said that she is dead."

"She is going to die very shortly, in minutes at the most. I gave her something, a present that she wouldn't have asked for, ever. I'm not sure that she will like it. I gave her life, eternal life. I left blood in the refrigerator at the house for Cassandra and Willow to use to save her. I told them if she was drained then to pour it down her throat, lock her up in chains and cast a few binding spells over her until they could get the Orb of Thesulah into the store and cast the restoration spell for her soul. Cordy can talk to the PTB and arrange for her soul to be anchored so she can have eternal happiness and what not. You just have to promise me something."

"What? Why did you do this? She would never want to be a vampire. She hates them with a passion."

"You know so little about her. You really do. I have so much knowledge of her from the limited amount of time that we have been talking to each other. Perhaps she was always honest with me because she knew I would give it to her straight and tell her everything I knew. She would do anything and I do mean *anything* for you. You are her life Angelus…you are her everything. Don't let her die unloved. Don't reject her when she becomes a vampire. She needs your support and your love. Can you give her that? Can you forget about Buffy? Forget about everything in this world except Faith? She did it for you Angelus… she gave up everything for you, for a chance with you. Everything that she has ever done has been for you since the day that she first saw you. Don't disappoint her in her eternal life. Love her, cherish her, worship her, and don't do her wrong. I know that you have it in there somewhere to be a good guy. That is my dying wish Angelus. Love her. That is it. That is the last thing that I ask of you. Love her no matter what she does or what she becomes. She has had too much pain in her life, help her heal, love her please," Spike begged Angelus. He got to his feet and looked up to his Sire's face. Ice blue eyes locked with chocolate brown ones.

"I hear the sunrise here in Sunnydale is amazing. You will have to tell me about it when we meet again. I have to warn you though you and Buffy will be waiting for a long time for Faith and me. We have a lot of things to take care of before we allow Death to come for us," Angel said to Spike. He dropped to his head and kissed Spike on the lips ever so gently. "Thank you for teaching me how to love her William. Thank you for showing me everything I needed to see," Angel told Spike.

"Love you Sire. Love her as you did me, love her as you did Dru, and love her as you did Darla. Don't love her as you did Buffy. Don't substitute her. She will never be Buffy. She is Faith. She is perhaps better than Buffy. She has some of the darkness and some of the light. She is a figure that has seen them both, touched them both, and chosen to fight in the middle, never fully siding one way or the other. Never let her side Angelus. If she chooses one side over the other then the world will end and hell will be brought forth on Earth. Dru told me that the day before you staked her. Dru knew about the betrayal and that you were going to kill her. She welcomed death and an end to this world. Don't let her side; keep her neutral. Love her, cherish her, and protect her and be ready to die for her. She loves you Peaches for some bloody ridiculous reason. Never forget that she loves you completely with her entire heart and soul. She is everything. She is everything," Spike whispered the last sentences to Angel.

"Goodbye my Childe. Take care of yourself and of Buffy. I don't want to have to kick your ass the minute I see you again." Spike grinned in return, mischief dancing in his eyes. "I love you William. Take care." Angel said to him and then he was gone. He walked away in the opposite direction towards the chaos and fighting still going on in the cemetery. He headed off to continue doing his job and to stop the Hellmouth from opening.

Spike stood there, tears rolling down his face as he cried for his lover, dead and lying around him. He cried for not being able to save her, for not being able to protect her. He cursed everything that he could think of for letting her die and become what she hated and feared. He cursed everything for not giving her a soul when she became a demon and for letting her do the things that she did to him. He cursed them for not allowing him to be able to kill her himself. Then in a moment of calmness and clarity he just realized that perhaps this was Fate's way of allowing him and Buffy to be together in the sunrise and together in the future forever. His last thought before his body was touched by the sun, as it rose over the horizon, was of a night he had spent with Buffy on a playground at the Sunnydale elementary school. Buffy had first admitted her love for him that night while they sat together on a swing, roughly two years prior. He smiled as his body caught fire and burst into flames, his ashes mixing with Buffy's on the ground in the cemetery.

**********

During the fight:

Cordelia and Gunn had stayed together to fight after Buffy and Faith had started their own personal fight. The sides of good and evil collided. The numbers of vampires to humans was favoring the vampires. Cordelia and Gunn were finally separated. Gunn held his own against the vampires, but Cordelia was not that lucky. She ended up face to face with Xander, the vampire.

"Well, well, Cordelia must be my lucky day. I never thought I would get to meet up with you. Look, you are all alone too! No Faith, no Gunn, no Angel, nobody but me," Xander told her. Cordy backed up into a crypt wall with Xander following her the whole time.

"I am never alone Xander. I always have something to protect me," Cordelia said to him.

"Oh so what is it?" He asked her and grinned, fangs gleaming in the moonlight overhead.

"This," Cordelia said and uncapped a small jar of holy water and threw it at him. It splashed all over his face, blinding him momentarily. She used this momentarily lapse in his vision to her advantage and as her chance to run. He caught her after a few steps, however, and shoved her to the ground. She cracked the side of her head on the metal gravestone plate. Blood trickled down her face as she tried to get up. Xander backhanded her sending her back to the ground. He jumped on her holding her down. He then grabbed hold of her hair and slammed her head back onto the metal plate a few times. She cried out in pain and tried to fight him off.

"Face it Cordelia – you are going to die. I'm gonna make you one of mine. You will worship me!" Xander said and bit into her neck. She tried her hardest to throw him off but he was too heavy. She managed to get a hold of a tree branch lying on the ground. With the last bit of strength she had she plunged it into his heart through his back. His face rose up off her neck in horror and pain to look her in the eye.

"Cordy?" Xander asked and then dispersed into dust. Her arms fell to her side and her body relaxed completely. She lay there looking up at the stars in the sky. Gunn fell to the ground next to her. His hand immediately pressed to the wound on her neck in a desperate attempt to stop the bleeding.

"Oh god Cordy! I'm so sorry I couldn't get away from them. They were too strong and there were too many. Baby, I'm here - hang in there - I'm here now," Gunn cried to her. Tears were welling up in his eyes and finally spilling down his cheeks.

"Gunn…" Cordelia got out.

"Yeah baby. I'm here, hang on till sunrise baby, just a little while longer."

"I love you Gunn. Remember that ok?" She said to him. He frowned and shook his head 'no' violently. He leaned down and kissed her lips gently, tenderly, and lovingly.

"God Cordy, you can't leave me. I love you so much baby. Come on Cordy what about all those little kids we were gonna have together?"

"I don't think I am going to make it Gunn. Find someone else to fulfill that dream with for me. Promise me you will find someone else to love for the rest of your life please. We'll meet again I promise," Cordy forced out. Her breathing slowing down, her eyes glazing over, it was hard for her to keep her eyes open at this point.

"No Cordy. You can't leave me. You can't; what am I going to do without you?"

"You are going to make due. Promise me before I die. Promise!"

"I promise I will try Cordy, but I won't love them nearly as much as I love you. I'll love you forever Cordy. I'll love you forever," he told her, tears falling down his face and onto hers. She took one last breath and closed her eyes.

"Thank you…" she got out and then she was gone. Gunn pulled her into his arms. Holding her tightly to his chest, screaming for someone to help him, someone to fix this, crying because his lover was dead.
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