Back by popular demand! You guys are amazing and the reviews are love, keep 'em coming!
Now with fanart by the amazing MistressAshley. Click back to Ch.1 to see Buffy.
Faith sleeps like the dead on the nights when she doesn’t have slayer dreams. When she’s not awake, when she’s not twitching and laughing and making dirty jokes while she prowls her territory looking for an outlet- Faith is a stone. She doesn’t move positions during the night and she doesn’t snore.
Dawn once called her sleeping patterns creepy, when they were on a stakeout in Wyoming, she said that Faith would have looked like a corpse when she slept- if only her eyelashes didn’t flutter from time to time. Dawn then asked what Faith dreamed of.
She’s stopped dreaming, regular
dreaming when she was nine and went to see It playing at an old revival house with a very Irish cousin of hers. After two weeks of nightmares, the nine year old Faith had trained her subconscious out of dreaming- it didn’t matter, really. Even before the clown nightmares, Faith’s never had a good dream in her life.
This is why when she starts dreaming again, she automatically assumes that it’s a slayer dream. Why shouldn’t she?
She dreams of battles, endless fights going on and on around her as she swings her sword in wide arcs, blood droplets landing on her face as she surges deeper and deeper into enemy ranks. This, of course, makes Faith think that she’s reliving past slayer lives.
This has been known to happen and though it most often happens to Potentials, even Called girls sometimes get past life dreams. They all share the same lifeline, the slayers, they share a destiny and a history and like Buffy once said in the dead of night, they all share a piece of that first demon’s essence.
Every slayer is damned in the same way. It would stand to reason that they’re all interconnected.
The dreams of battles continue in the same vein for a week, until it’s all Faith can do to close her eyes and react to the oncoming horde of demons.
She realizes that this is something different, not slayer
related on the eighth day. This is the night where she sees her wings.
They’re huge, with Faith’s size obsession that is the first thing that she notices about them of course. They’re black and gold and though she can tell that they’re solid and there, she can also see that they’re made out of every imaginable substance in the world. They’re like lightning and rainstorms and sunlight and for some reason, Faith gets the impression of spice
off her wings.
She thinks that her wings are a physical manifestation of her soul, of her beginning and her ending. Of the fire that burns within her.
Faith is a soldier, a warrior in these dreams. She leads her brothers into battle, she fights and she kills and she gets splattered with so much death that it’s only due to her grace that she’s still pure.
Sometimes, it feels that she’s drowning in the blood around her, choking on it, fighting to stay afloat while the crimson black sea laps over her head and she is only a flame in the darkness.
She dreams of her older brother. But maybe that’s not the right word.
Angels are closer to each other than anything else in the world, they’re closer than family, than friends, than slayers- they breathe the same soul and they tear themselves in such beautiful ways when one of them hurts, only to do it a thousand times more for their brethren. There is no gender differentiation between them and before language is invented, before the words ‘brother’ and ‘family’ are bandied about like so many multicolored lights, the angels all refer to each other as soul mates.
But some are closer to each other than others.
For example, Faith and her brothers and sisters are all so intertwined with one another that it’s quite impossible to fully understand where one ends and the other begins. They’re like a burning, writhing mass of power and grace and beauty all made into sentient beings.
Faith has thousands of sisters and brothers but six of them are her closest.
Her favorite, by far, out of all of them is the Morningstar. Lucifer.
Heaven’s golden child, their shining son- he is the closest approximation to a soul mate that Faith knows. He is the light of the Host, the most powerful save Michael, the most talented- hell, excuse the blasphemy, Lucifer makes each and every one of the angels tread in awe around them.
They are beings created by their Father into a life of obedience. They are created to serve Him and His orders and not question.
Lucifer must have broken the mold.
“Don’t you wonder,” he says one day, “about what Father means to do with this world?” His stare is hypnotic, ice cold and pulling. Cherubim have cried from the force of Lucifer’s stare alone, Seraphim avoid him if they can and the Archangels have never tried to really get close to him either.
Faith feels only affection for him, like for a slightly off older brother, like she hasn’t felt for anyone else- even her sisters who are the closest beings to her.
“No,” she answers truthfully, “I trust in His will.”
Lucifer’s stare is slightly incredulous as he eyes her again. Sometimes it feels like the Archangels are the only ones allowed to exhibit some modicum of personality, some spirit while the rest of them are stuck in their carefully blank states.
“Do you?” he doesn’t speak this time, using the telepathic communication available to their brethren, his true voice reverberating through the core of Faith’s being like thunderclouds rolling against the sea.
“Yes,” she is firm on this. She trusts their Father with whatever designs he has for this newly created world in front of them. He knows what He’s doing and it is not the angels’ job to question Him, but to obey. This is their meaning, destiny.
“What about the,” the thunder drops in volume and Faith can practically feel
the disgust rolling through her as Lucifer says “humans?”
Faith frowns as they sit on the periphery of Heaven, watching the world beneath them swirl in an ever faster mass of human activity. They’re smaller than ants to them, tiny insignificant specks of mud trying to live in whatever ways they can, filthy and disgusting and yet Father loves them. He must.
Lucifer’s wings are curled around the two of them, shielding them from the curious eyes of the entirety of the Host as they sit together, speaking as they usually do. Out of all her brethren, Faith can only think of Michael who spends this much time with their beautiful and terrible brother.
“They are His creation,” Faith answers finally as time passes and none does at all. Time is not the same for angels as it is for humans. Millenniums pass in the blink of an eye and seconds stretch into eternity, time is a fluidly bendable concept for the beings that can stretch and twist it to suit their means.
“Ah,” Lucifer breathes out loud. His whole being blazes with power, with age and wisdom and the caprice of eons gone and still to come.
Yet, Faith can’t help but feel that she’s disappointed her favorite brother in some way that she still doesn’t fully understand yet.
“What about you?” she asks finally, the question that’s been bothering her since their Father showed them all His new favorite toy and Lucifer only closed his eyes and wept. “What do you think of humanity?”
If she breathed, then she would have held the necessary air within her, so as to give Lucifer the opportunity to be honest.
“They are a mistake,” he finally says and his words are a forest fire igniting something hidden and treacherous within her being. “They will bring Father’s creation to ruin,” he spits rage and somewhere below them, a volcano erupts over a city, “and we will be tasked with the cleanup.”
The feeling winding up Faith’s spine is unfamiliar, like rain drops falling over a parched Savannah for the first time. It’s slow, insidious as it makes it’s way to her heart and perches there like a herald of tidings to come.
Lucifer’s wings blaze red with fire and anger and grief that His most favorite creations have been put away in favour of those that would ruin His precious gift to them. Already the humans are congregating together, building civilization and ruining entire forests in their bid to put roofs over their heads. They are killing those put on Earth before them, becoming carrion, eating dead meat and it is absolutely barbaric how much they slaughter in the name of the Lord.
They’re worse than the mud that Father created in a fit of humor, at least dirt doesn’t try and kill those around it for being smaller and less able to fight back.
“I hate them,” Lucifer says with a solemn sort of finality that echoes and creaks and fills the cracks of existence around them with question. His face, his being is cold and Faith knows that he means this. He truly does hate Father’s newest creation.
This is the moment when she finally identifies the icy feeling working its way up her spine. She’s heard about it from the others, seen it at work down below and she knows that it signals nothing good to come. It’s fear, terror really, of things to come.
And still, she loves him with all her being. She loves him almost as much as she loves her Father and she’s laid down her life hundreds of thousands of times for the Creator. She loves her Lucifer’s impetuousness, his gentleness and his cruelty and his amazing capacity for loyalty. She loves his soul and his words are a poisonous infection, beginning to spread and terrifying her with their inevitability.
“I’m sorry,” Faith whispers to him in their language, words old and soft rolling off her tongue like pebbles.
Lucifer shrugs, or what could only be termed as the closest approximation to a shrug that an angel can do.
So Faith uncurls her own wings, a curious sensation, and wraps them around the two of them too. The darkness of her wings looks like night against the blood of Lucifer’s power. Her wings are solemn and light sucking and yet somehow, they are almost calm whereas her brother’s are a rageful maelstrom of emotions.
An eternity passes before the Morningstar twitches and curls closer to her until they’re side by side at the edge of the world and their wings are overlapping against each other, thunder and lightning and chaos and love until it’s just the two of them and the world falls away.
Faith tells Giles the next day that she’s dreaming of the devil.