Title: Not Your Ghost Anymore
Rating: R, ish
Disclaimer: Whedon owns Buffy, Smith owns TVD
Category: Vampire Diaries/BTVS
Pairing/Characters: Damon/Faith, mentions Faith/Robin and one-sided Damon/Elena
Spoilers: 2.09 for TVD, all for BTVS.
Summary: She only really hates two people: herself, and Damon Salvatore.
Notes: for thecomingnight at xoverxchange @ livejournal. Prompt, Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts”.
~0~Who do you think you are?
Runnin' 'round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
Tearing love apart
They say that she’s full of hate.
Sure, she does hate, but she’s not full of it. When she’s feeling particularly honest with herself, she’ll admit that the only thing she’s really full of is bullshit. But she hardly ever feels like being honest with anyone (let alone herself), so she just lets them go on saying what they want to say.
They say she hates her life. She hates vampires, demons, Buffy, Giles, the entire Scooby Gang-she hates everything and anything.
Apathy, she thinks, shouldn’t be counted as hatred. Vampires and demons are a fact of life; hate does nothing but cloud your judgement, make you weak. Slayers can’t afford to be weak.
And she doesn’t really hate Buffy and the others. She doesn’t always like them. But her feelings towards them are more of resentment than anything else. She begrudges Buffy and her perfect life, but she can’t really hate her. It’s very hard to hate Buffy, especially when these days they all feel so much like a part of one another.
In reality, she only really has hate for two people.
She hates herself. That’s a given, and everyone knows why. They keep trying to get her past it; sometimes she humours them and tries. It never really works.
But still, she hates herself.
And she hates Damon Salvatore. Perhaps most of all.
Faith is sixteen when she first meets him, and she’s been a Slayer for less than a month. Diana has managed to convince her of the importance of her destiny, of what she can accomplish. Shit, Faith’s more than ready to accept it, because it means being someone instead of being another nobody. And hell if this superhero gig isn’t the most fun she’s ever had.
She’s gotten good at dealing with the young ones. There seems to be a never-ending stream of vampires in and around Boston, and none of them appear to be too smart. She can walk up to them, stake in plain sight, and most of them don’t have the sense to try and run. She supposes they think they can take her. A little while back, they would have been right. But she’s different now-she’s strong
-and there’s never going to be another person who can put her down so easily.
At least, that’s what she believes at the first. Diana hates it, but sighs and shakes her head whenever Faith ignores her warnings. Youth and thoughts of invincibility
, Diana laments on a regular basis, why do they always go hand and hand?
Diana’s a regular old drama queen. Faith thinks she should have specialized in that instead of mythology and folklore. Diana usually tells her to be quiet, in a snooty British way that doesn’t really mean it. Faith kind of likes her Watcher-lady, mostly because when she smiles at Faith, it never feels like Diana’s looking down her nose at the girl. It’s not much, but in the end, it’s a lot.
Diana trains her, sends her to Sensei Kanno to learn how to fight, and generally tries to prepare her for what the dark is bringing for her. Faith grins and tells her to bring it, because she’s never felt this in control and powerful before.
And then she meets him. Damon Salvatore makes sure that she doesn’t feel too powerful for very long.
She supposes it’s sort of her fault, because she attacks him when he’s not really doing anything. But on the other hand, it’s really not her fault because he’s a vampire
and she’s a Slayer, and no one ever said anything about exceptions to this dance of theirs.
But he’s so much more than just a vampire. He’s older, he has tricks-it’s a lot like what Dracula does in those old black-and-white movies. But most of his tricks don’t work on her, because she’s a Slayer and all, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s stronger, faster, and smarter (she’ll admit it here).
Oh, but she gives him a fight. She might not be as suave or worldly or experienced, but Faith knows how to fight tooth-and-nail for survival. She’s always been fighting to survive, and nothing’s different now that she’s a little more Supergirl than before. He’s better than her, but she’s stubborn and creative, so she gets in a few good hits before he has her by the throat and slammed up against a wall.You know, it’s been a long time since I tangled with a Slayer
, he tells her, but it’s not as scary because he’s breathing hard (she made him work for this). You’re better than the last one. Spunkier too. I like that in a woman.
Then he kisses her, and she feels bad because she thinks she’s not supposed to like it this much. But oh man, is this guy hot! He’s all blazing blue eyes and sexy little smirks and hell if her legs don’t wrap themselves around his waist.Definitely spunkier
, he laughs and then drops her. She falls to the ground in a graceless heap, jumping back up into fighting position within seconds. He grins at her again, offers her a two finger salute, and she just lets him walk off.
She goes back to Diana that night, asks about vampires with special powers, and then lies when Diana asks her why.
He walks in the sunlight, and she’s not sure how he does it. She does know that he’s slick enough to find out where she lives and get himself an invite from her foster mom. Of course, she doesn’t figure this out until she’s in bed one night and suddenly, he’s in bed with her.Surprise
, he says and there’s danger in his eyes and his smile. But he’s still insanely hot and she doesn’t know why, but she wants him way more than she’s ever wanted anyone in her whole life. So she pulls him down with one hand while the other goes to make sure the dagger under her pillow is still there (she’s not a complete moron).
He completely and totally rocks her world that night. She never figures out why her foster parents don’t come running in with all the noise they’re making. But when he’s pounding into her hard and his teeth are in her breast, all she can think to do is squeeze herself around him tighter and drags her nails all over his back.
In the morning, her bed is a mess of blood and sex. He kisses her, hard on the mouth, and promises to be back.
She honestly can’t wait.
Diana thinks something is up, but Damon’s always really careful about where he bites her. There’s nothing visible to the eye that can expose what’s really going on, and sometimes Faith feels bad about it, but mostly she doesn’t bother. Damon’s not like the rest of them, and she figures she’s pretty damn lucky that he wants to fuck her, not kill her, so she goes with it. She knows that if it comes down to it, if she finds him at some poor schmuck’s throat, that they’ll have to fight it out. But it hasn’t happened yet.
Besides, he’s almost sweet sometimes. He follows her on patrols, she feels him in the shadows, and once or twice he even helped out. Those times usually end with sex in a dirty alleyway, but damn if it isn’t fun.
It keeps being fun until Kakistos shows up.
Diana’s in a panic, books are flying everywhere, and Faith actually feels nervous for the first time since she was Called. She’s wary on patrol, no longer taking so many risks, and she’s careful when in the shadows.
Damon doesn’t like it. You’re a Slayer
, he reminds her. He should be scared of you
.Like you’re so scared of me, right?
she snaps back, because he’s being stupid. They both know she’s good, but she’s not great. She’s too damn young and Kakistos is the oldest vampire any of them has heard of. Diana is scared, so Faith is scared, and Damon acts like this is all old hat.You can take him
, he says with confidence and that bugs her. She can’t take Kakistos and Damon knows it. She wishes he would stop with the false cheer, because that’s so not what they’re about. She doesn’t really know what they are about, but it’s not this.Don’t worry
, he sounds irritated by the conversation by now. You’ll be fine
Damon lied. She’s not fine.
Kakistos comes, but not for her. He comes at Diana, and Damon damn well helps him. She gets in one good hit, one good slash with her stake, and Damon pulls her away while Kakistos holds his bleeding face with his cloven hands.You! You!
is all she can shout, crying and trying to pull herself free.Me
, he agrees, not the slightest bit put off by her anger. I needed that damn book, and she wouldn’t give it to me of her own free will. I had to do something. You wouldn’t understand, but Kakistos did. He made an offer, I pretended to take him up on it, and we need to hurry if you want to live
She doesn’t care about that. She wants to kill him. She gets a stake in hand and goes for his heart. He stops her, grabs her wrist and squeezes it so tight that she thinks it’ll break.You can die here, or you can get a move on
, he growls. I went back on my damn word for you, because I kind of like you. If you really want, I can go back and drop you back in his lap
.You killed my Watcher!
she screams, fingers curling into claws that go for his throat.Kakistos killed your Watcher
, he corrects her, and now he sounds amused. And I saved you, so that you can live to fight another day. Come on, Faith, did you really think a Slayer sleeping with a vampire could end well?
She feels numb, stupid and utterly devastated. He throws her on a bus, gives her a duffle bag that he packed for her, and some money.Sunnydale
, he says to her. That’s where the other Slayer is. She might be able to help. Of course, you might want to avoid telling her the whole thing where you were sleeping with the vampire that helped killed your Watcher. I bet she would take that badly
.I’m going to find you, one day
, she says, her voice one of deadly promise.
He just laughs and gives her one last searing kiss. I’m looking forward to it
She goes to Sunnydale. She finds Buffy. She listens to Damon and gives an abridged version of what happened in Boston. Kakistos comes, and with Buffy, she’s strong enough to kill him
Things go okay, for a while.
And then they go bad.
Maybe they were always supposed to go bad. A girl like her, how could they go right?
She does the bad girl thing to the hilt. She does the crime and then tries to do the time. But things get bad, get worse than usual, and her redemption gets kicked into overdrive because Buffy and the whole world need her to be better.
She does okay, she supposes. She comes out of it with Robin, for a while at least, and it’s funny because it’s the healthiest relationship she’s had, so that frightens her. When it ends, it doesn’t end badly. It’s weird to still be friends with someone that she got bouncy with, because she never sticks around long enough to get too close with those guys. She learned her lesson back in Boston, when blue eyes and dangerous lips cost her the only good thing she had.
So now she’s like this role model, the girl that went there and came back. Little girls with superpowers look up to her, like she’s someone to be admired, and it’s only Buffy and Robin that keep her grounded enough to get through it. It’s not easy, going from bad girl to someone respectable, and there are parts of her that fight it tooth and nail.
But she gets it, gets over it, and one day, it’s not as frightening as it usually is. It’s good, she can do good, and things finally make sense.
And that’s when he comes back.
Klaus is kind of a stupid name for a vampire. It reminds her too much of Santa Claus, and Xander totally agrees. They spend time snickering inappropriately while Giles and Willow are trying to explain how very bad Klaus is. Buffy eyes them from the head of the table and Faith still can’t believe they’ve gotten to the point where they discuss these things in boardrooms.
Mystic Falls is the town on everyone’s mind and the term ‘vampire apocalypse’ is thrown around with surprising calm and ease (but mostly because Dawn came up with it and she wants everyone to use it). Faith and Buffy are going, this Klaus guy worries people that much, and they get to pick a team. They argue over the list, bickering with less venom than in the past, and soon they’re both packing bags and hopping a plane to Virginia.
Mystic Falls is a tiny little town, a little reminiscent of Sunnydale with all the happy people and ignorance. The high school has a mortality list this year that, though nothing compared to good old Sunnydale High, is still pretty impressive on its own. The mayor even kicked the bucket a few months back and no one seems all that bothered.
But things are shifty. The sheriff is the first person to cross their path, and man is the lady suspicious. There’s something bigger going on here than just some old-time vampire making plans for a vacation home in town. Willow phones one night, talking excitedly about some Council and civil war vampires. It sounds pretty convoluted, but the witch swears by it.
It’s the third day there, when she’s taken some of the Slayers down to the Mystic Grill to pick up a dinner order, that she sees him.
Damon Salvatore. He’s standing by the pool tables with a group of people, of which at least two are also vampires. He’s knocking back a drink while the others seemed to be talking at him in an agitated way. He rolls his eyes at something said and then looks up.
He sees her.
It’s a miracle she doesn’t kill him right there and then.
Buffy looks disappointed when Faith tells her the whole story, but they both know she’s not in any position to reprimand anyone for sleeping with a vampire. They discuss what to do. Buffy mentions sending Faith back, and it sounds like a good idea.
But Klaus is suddenly there.
People start dying, not in hordes, but in large enough numbers to put everyone on edge. Buffy goes out to make contact with the local vampire hunter, some guy named Alaric, and comes back with pinched lips and worried eyes. Faith doesn’t need her to say it because she’s already figured it out.
Playing ally with Damon Salvatore pushes her very close to the edge. It does things to her sanity that frighten her. She feels less stable than she has in years. He knows it, seems to enjoy it, and later seems to feel bad about it. She can trace the guilt back to Elena Gilbert, and everything in this town seems to come back to that girl.Does she know, what the cost of your love is?
she asks him privately, when the only people who could possibly hear are the ones that won’t repeat their words.Do you?
he returns smoothly, and it’s cruel and so true. She hits him then, hard, and he lets her. He doesn’t resist, doesn’t ever try to block it or fight back. He just takes the full force of it, and she stands over him watching as his bones mend and his skin stitches itself back together. She knows he would let her do whatever she wanted to do to him, just short of killing him. It doesn’t make her feel better.
She wants him to fight
, needs him to fight because she wasn’t able to fight him back then. But the years have changed her just enough for her to know that this isn’t the time for it. She doesn’t have the luxury of indulging herself because there are other lives at risk. So she walks away from him, turns her back and forces herself to commit to the job. Buffy is proud of her.
But it still costs Faith, more than she thought it could. More than what’s fair.
But isn’t that always the way with Damon?
When Klaus is dead, ash at their feet, and the people of Mystic Falls are desperately trying to repress the horrors of the past few weeks, she has a choice.
He’s changed since those days in Boston. He’s less sure of himself, less in control. In all honesty, he seems a bit lost.
She knows it’s wrong, but she likes to see him like this.
He will let her have some sort of revenge. He seems almost resigned to it. She knows a suicide attempt when it presents itself, sees his eyes shift over to his brother and the Gilbert girl often enough to know what causes it.You’re never going to get a better chance than now
, he tells her, scotch slurring his words just a tad bit. He’s pathetic like this, self-destructive and looking for something bad to do because the girl didn’t choose him in the end. It’s stupid, because the girl never promised to do anything of the sort and this vampire who is so used to using people and spitting them back out, well, he’s stumped. He did the right thing and it still doesn’t give him what he wants.
Faith hates that she knows what he’s going through. But they’re both damaged enough to see what drives the other.The worst thing I could do to you, right now, is not do anything at all
, she finally responds, and it feels good to see the shock on his face. You deserve to die, a little bit, but you deserve to suffer more. Have fun Damon, and always know that your best wasn’t good enough
.You shouldn’t bait a desperate vampire
, he warns her, a sudden flash of anger in midst of the wallowing. I could do a lot of damage, we both know it
, she agrees, but then rather pointedly looks to where Elena stands with his brother. But you won’t, because you’re pitiful enough to always hope
She grabs her bag, feels Buffy at her back, and then smirks darkly at the vampire in front of her. I hate you, Damon Salvatore. I will always hate you. And her? She’ll never love you
And nothing, nothing
, has ever felt so liberating as walking away from him that day.