Part Thirty: To Shanshu
For Disclaimer and Notes see first chapter.
Part Thirty: To Shanshu
Willow and Cassandra came back about an hour after I woke up from the Magic Shop where they were gathering supplies. They waited another two hours until Oz and the rest of the people returned. They needed Oz and Giles to cast the spell as well. So Angel had Willow, Oz, Cassandra, and Giles replace my soul. They secured it minus the happiness clause while Angel made sure the PTB totally anchored my soul. He left almost immediately after the spell was cast my soul was back in my body. He was gone for about two days while he traveled to and from L.A. to figure all this stuff out. He walked back into Giles' house where I was still laying on the couch recovering from my injuries I had sustained before my death. My neck was covered in permanent scars from various vampire attacks. I had a mark on my chest above my heart was where B had staked me, my cheek had a scar where the bone had come through when B had broken my jaw, and my knee had scars where the bones had broken through the skin. Angel walked in the door and we were all happy to see him again and glad that he made it back safely. After he nodded his head in acknowledgement to everyone else in the room he directed his attention to me.
"It's ok Faith, your soul is permanent. The PTB told me that you have the soul you had as a human, no weaker no stronger. So you will always have to fight to remain in the light," Angel informed me. He came over to give me a kiss on my forehead lightly not trying to be passionate at all. His lips burned my forehead. That is when I heard it. A heartbeat close to me, a new one to the room, and I knew it was Angel. I sat up quickly despite the pain and he looked at me curiously, cocking one eyebrow.
"You are human!" I exclaimed.
"What are you talking about Faith?" Cordelia asked from her position on the couch next to me.
"His heart is beating. He is warm. Angel is human," I gently said to them. Tears ran down my face unnoticed by me. Angel was in shock. Oz walked over to us. He sniffed Angel and then sadly nodded.
"He's human," Oz quietly said to everyone. Angel sat down on the chair closest to him heavily.
"To shanshu," Angel whispered and tears rolled down his face. He frowned in general and then looked up at me. Our gazes met and more tears rolled down our faces. I knew that I was going to live forever and Angel was now the mortal one of us. Angel was now going to die at any given moment. Our roles suddenly were reversed and I was terrified.
"This is not fair!" Angel yelled suddenly. He rose to his feet but collapsed to the floor completely distraught and in hysterics. I managed to get off the couch and down next to him on the floor. I pulled him against my body and he cried. His heartbeat got louder and louder in my ears and it became almost too much and I shoved him away from me roughly. I was in game face and fighting the bloodlust that had suddenly overwhelmed me.
"Someone get her some blood," Angel yelled out. He moved towards me and I growled.
"Stay away Angel. I can't control this," I told him angrily. I smelled blood before the bag was thrust under my noise. I hungrily bit into the bag and drained it quickly. I felt everyone's eyes on me and thankfully the bloodlust subsided. Angel took the blood bag from me and gently wiped the extra blood off my face.
"How long since you fed last?" Angel questioned me gently.
"When you fed me before you left. I haven't felt hungry since then until now."
"That was forty-eight hours ago Faith! I have fed like four times since then. I know you are like super vamp but come on! Faith, would you go forty-eight hours without food human food?"
"I…I don't like drinking blood Angel. I hate being a vampire. I hate that I have to feed from a bag of blood!" I cried to him and he pulled me into his embrace this time.
I spent most of that day to myself. I put myself on an eight-hour feeding schedule to stave off the bloodlust. I sat in the windowsill with sunglasses on to protect my newly sensitive eyes. They were the only part of my body that seemed to be affected by the sunlight. Cordelia came to check on me around mid-afternoon with her blood as an offering. I could smell her even before she got close to me.
"I told you I wanted to be alone Cordelia," I commented as she headed towards me across the bedroom to the window.
"I told you I didn't care remember? Besides I come bearing gifts, my blood." She snapped back.
"I don't want your blood. Keep it," I wearily told her.
"I'm worried about you Faith. A lot has happened to you in the past week. You won't talk about it with me either. I know if Spike were here he would know what is bothering you."
"Why would I tell him and not you?" I asked her, still not looking away from the window and the outside world.
"You know you would. He told me about two you know. I know about the sex and the lies. I know you two were more then just friends even though you never pursued it."
"You could never understand my relationship with Spike."
"I do though. He made me understand. He told me everything."
“You’re lying Cordelia. He would never tell you anything that happened between the two of us."
"The night of the vision that I got about your death. I called you to make sure you were ok. You left shortly after that call and drove to Sunnydale and went to Spike. You beat the hell out of him and then you cried and then you fucked him. The scratches, scars, bites, and bruises weren't from a group of vamps it was from one. Why didn't you let me help you?"
"You couldn't help me Cordelia. I went to him because I knew I could hurt him, make him feel physically what I felt emotionally, and it wouldn't kill him. It would have killed you. That is why I went to him."
"He loved you Faith."
"I know. We talked about us once. We almost ran off together, but the night before we were set to leave you almost died due to that stupid ass gang of children. I knew I couldn't leave you like that. I called Spike and told him it was off and he confessed he was about to call when I did. Although our feelings for each other were evident and in the open between us we also realized we could never date each other."
"That gang attacked me over a year ago."
"You would have left everything all for him? All of us for him?"
"I didn't, did I?" I snapped.
"I didn't even know you loved Spike. You played me well."
"No Cordelia. I didn't play you. Spike and I were not lovers. Even when we talked of running away the most we had done was kiss a little. I didn't fuck him until two months ago."
"He said he loved you, perhaps more than Buffy."
"Did you love him more than Angel?"
"No. Not even close."
"Then why leave Angel for Spike? Why run away with Spike?"
"I'm not a good person Cordelia. I do my good deeds now because I feel I have to atone for my sins, because it keeps me around good company and great friends, and mostly because when I am good I get to be with Angel. I get this feeling inside me sometimes that I can't control. A need to be destructive. I need to beat something up and sometimes I need to kill. If I don't get it out of my system then it gets worse. Angel watches me like a hawk and babies me unbelievably. I needed to get away and Spike gave me a way out. The plan was that he would come and kick my ass in front of a few demons and we would disappear for good, together. The only problems lay in us, in our hearts. He loved Buffy and Sunnydale. I loved Angel, and you, and Angel Investigations. So I dealt though my restlessness and finally got rid of it a month later when I attacked that pack of demons on the West Dock alone and almost died. It got rid of that feeling and I have been ok since then until two months ago when I learned I was going to die. I still have restless bottled feeling. Death didn't shake it. Knowing I did die but am still here didn't help it either. I know it has to do with Angel but I can't face him right now. He is human Cordelia, he's human."
"You can't back out on him. He's going through a rough time too. We all are. He got sentenced to death via being a mortal. You aren't talking to him at all, which is killing him."
"I know how he felt about me now. I understand why he was reluctant to get close and act on his feelings. I was able to die at any moment, being the Slayer only increased those odds. I am to live forever and he's going to die."
"He lived with that though. He loved you enough to live with it. He knew you could die and yet he still cared for you. Don't turn away from him. Don't lock yourself away and hide from him and from everyone else," Cordelia said. I remained silent. "We lied to you about how you were turned. Angel was going to tell you when he got back from L.A. but he got sidetracked with the whole human mortal issue at hand."
"You lied? What do you mean by that?" I asked finally turning to face her for the first time since she arrived in the bedroom.
"Well Buffy didn't turn you completely. We think she might have been able to because of the whole stake through her heart and then into yours, but we weren't sure. Willow and Cassandra brought you back here and then they poured vampire blood down your throat right before you died."
"Whose blood was it? Where did you get vampire blood? Who did this to me? I was finally going to get to die! Who gave them permission to fuck up my life because I surely didn't?" I yelled at her.
"Spike." She quietly answered and tears slowly rolled down my face from under the sunglasses.
"He did?" I asked in a tired, meek voice.
"He did. He drained blood the night before and put it in the frig for you because he knew Buffy would drain you and he knew that he couldn't save you alone. He told Willow and Cassandra their primary mission was to make sure you survived the fight one way or another. They followed his orders over yours to save you."
"But why? He's dead now."
"He traded his life for yours. He gave you the blood you needed to survive and he died in your place sort of. He did it for you and Angel. So you could be together forever. He didn't know about or count on Angel's gift of human life. He did it to keep you alive because he loved you Faith. He loved you so much, enough to be selfless and give Angel what he, himself desired for eternity. Spike gave you a beautiful gift Faith. Never forget that. You may have to drink blood for the rest of your life and you may not be able to do certain things you used to, but you still can walk into the sunlight and live on this earth. Some of the people that went into this fight can't do that anymore."
"He was always hardheaded. I told him forever wasn't my kinda deal. I was a get in, get what I want, and get out kinda girl. He always knew me better than my lies."
"Don't close out Angel. Spike did this all so you two could be together. Don't let Spike's death and gift go to waste," she told me gently. She placed a hand on my face gently and kissed my lips softly. "I love you always," she told me and I nodded to her. I mumbled "thanks" to her after she left the bedroom.
That night after dinner I walked out to the backyard to Angel. He was laying in the hammock in the yard watching the sunset silently.
"I was wondering if you would ever come back to me," Angel's voice commented as the swing remained completely still with no movement from him. I stopped a few inches away from him.
"Take me home Angel," I quietly whispered to him. He reached his hand out of the hammock and I interlaced my fingers with his before he tugged me haphazardly into the swing with him.