Universe: BtVS/Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Follows mostly book & movie versions.)
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended. The author is receiving no financial profit.
Warning: Mentions of femslash, mentions of violence.
A/N: I really like how in the book/movie Lisbeth takes control of her own life, and I think its perfect how she handles Bjurman. However, when I thought about adding Faith to the mix, it went a little differently.
Also, I couldn't find a Girl with the Dragon Tattoo category, either in literature or movies. Can someone let me know if there's a better category for me to put this in? Thanks.No Regrets
Faith took the piece of chalk and marked through the four straight lines. It was the 95th mark she’d made on her cell wall. It represented her 95th day in prison. Well, the 95th day of her most recent stint in prison.
Yes, Faith was in prison again. It sucked, but she was used to it. Besides, this was Swedish prison, which was pretty sweet compared to American prison, and for sure better than being dead. Even when they gave you a life sentence, you usually got out within twenty years. It wasn’t even crowded, which meant she didn’t have to deal with a roommate.
She spent most of her days reading, which was kind of new for her. Despite her previous lack of interest, each book Lisbeth brought was devoured quickly. Knowing that her girl had picked that book out just for her somehow made it worth every boring description, every confusing paragraph. After too many Russian novels, Faith had asked her for something more American. Lisbeth had responded with My Antonia, about a frontier woman who made her own rules. A smile grew on her lips at the thought.
Faith never thought she’d meet anyone more fucked up than herself, until she met Lisbeth Salander. After getting out of prison the first time, Faith had traveled around Europe a while, seeing what there was to see. For the most part, she wasn’t too impressed.
Then, a year ago, she stopped off in Sweden, the land of the midnight sun. Her life had enough darkness in it, and from May to July there was nothing but daylight. She decided to settle down for a bit, and got an apartment in Stockholm.
It was September 5th the first time she saw Lis. She had just started going to a boxing gym, and there she was; the oddest looking girl Faith had ever seen. She had pale skin, more piercings and tattoos than skin, and black hair that was shoved messily out of her face. Her odd eyebrows made her striking blue eyes stand out from her face, and her delicate mouth was always set in a grim line.
The thing that struck Faith the most about the girl was her intensity when she fought- there was a fierceness about her that was familiar enough to feel like she was looking in a mirror.
Without another thought, the dark slayer had jumped in the ring and began sparring with the slimmer girl. She brought her supernatural strength and speed down to about 60%, but Lisbeth seemed to have more than enough skill to keep up. Their blows were hard and fast, and the fight soon turned into a dance. Later, it turned into a different sort of dance up against the wall outside of the boxing gym, and it became horizontal at Faith’s apartment.
Their lovemaking was no less passionate than the fight, and both women were left sweaty and exhausted, but more satisfied than either could remember. Faith had known at that moment that she was going to hold on and never let go.
A few weeks later Faith was sleeping over at Lis’ place more often than not. A month after that all her things seemed to have moved in with her, and soon a year had gone by.
Things were easy with Lisbeth in a way that the troubled woman had never known. They didn’t ask each other questions about their respective pasts, nor did they care. All Faith knew was that she was falling in love for the first time, and it wasn’t as scary as she had thought it would be.
She never told her; she and Lis weren’t the types to need to hear those words. They’d been said too many times before from false lips, and only hurt ever followed. Instead, they showed each other with their actions, their devotion, and their quiet unconditional support.
That wasn’t to say that Lisbeth was without her flaws. She would disappear for days at a time, then return as if nothing had happened. Some days Faith thought Lisbeth cared more about her fucking computer than her. It drove her crazy when her lover ignored her advances, staring at that stupid screen, completely oblivious to the dark slayer.
Yet Lisbeth never said a word when Faith woke up in the middle of the night, left the apartment, only to return home covered in blood and bruises that would heal by the morning light. Faith didn’t have to apologize for being herself, for the darkness lurking underneath. Lisbeth made her feel like it was ok to exist, something that she had never really felt before that. The hacker just accepted her without question, and Faith tried to do the same in return.
Then, Lis’ guardian fell ill- she explained something about the courts and legal systems, but all Faith heard was the pain behind the words. She held her that night, but never saw Lis shed a tear. That’s how she was; tough as nails, and Faith fucking loved her for it. She had never met anyone as strong as her girl.
Things seemed to go downhill for Lisbeth after that. She got assigned a new guardian, Beer-man or something, whom she refused to talk about. Faith didn’t push it, but she noticed her lover’s foul mood after the first meeting. Lis had a fire in her eyes that would have made anyone else shiver with fear. It had the opposite effect on the slayer, and they had one of their most passionate nights ever.
After the second meeting with the asshole guardian, the fire in her eyes grew to a blaze. Lisbeth flew into a frenzy of activity, preparing electronics and buying strange equipment. Faith stayed out of her way, and tried not to worry about her lover. Concern would only make Lisbeth angrier, and she had vowed to be a place of calm for the other woman.
Before the third meeting, Lisbeth gathered her black bag, her mouth in a grim line, her body crackling with unspent rage and energy. There was a terrifying violence in her eyes that Faith recognized all too well- it was the look of vengeance. She remembered seeing it in the mirror, years ago.
“Goin’ out, babe?” Faith asked, hating the undertone of worry in her voice.
The other girl nodded, but didn’t meet her eyes.
A nearly imperceptible shake of the head. “Gotta do this alone,” she said quietly. Faith could hear the steel in her voice, and knew there was no changing her girl’s mind.
Faith watched her go out the door, something she’d regret for the rest of her life.
Hours later, Faith was pacing the floor, more worried than she could ever remember being. Her Slayer senses were telling her to run, her fists itching for something to hit. Lis had been gone longer than this before and had been fine, but something about this seemed different.
A loud thud sounded from the other side of the door, and Faith rushed to open it. The wood moved to reveal her lover, bruised and bloody, but it was the dried tear stains across her pale cheeks that scared Faith more than anything else. Her keys had fallen to the ground, the task of picking them up seemingly too daunting for her to accomplish.
Easily scooping up the petite woman’s body, Faith moved them to the couch. Lisbeth let out an involuntary whimper at the impact.
“Where does it hurt, babe?” Faith asked gently, her voice steady.
Turning away from the dark slayer, Lisbeth shook her head. Somehow, Faith already knew what had happened, and something boiled deep in her stomach, ugly and dark. A scream was working its way up her throat, but she shoved it back down. For now, she had to take care of her girl.
Running a warm bath, Faith carefully cleaned Lisbeth’s wounds, taking care not to show on her face what she was feeling inside. She knew Lis wouldn’t appreciate any pity or worrying over her situation. Life had taught her not to expect much, and Faith understood that better than anyone. Still, she wouldn’t let her girl go through this alone.
Drying her off with an intense tenderness, Faith settled Lisbeth under the covers of their shared bed. She retrieved some pain pills from the medicine cabinet and waited for Lisbeth to swallow them down with some water.
“Scotch,” Lisbeth mumbled.
“Not til you’re able to hold the glass yourself,” Faith said with a smirk. Despite what had happened to her that night, she knew Lisbeth was tough. It’d take a lot more than that fucked up guardian to keep her down.
Kneeling down at her side, Faith looked into Lisbeth’s eyes. Within those depths, she saw everything she needed to. Her love for this girl was unshakable. There was nothing she wouldn’t do for her. Anger burned inside her, anger at a world that would treat something as precious as Lis like this. How could you hurt someone like her? Couldn’t everyone see how special she was? At that moment, Faith felt like burning down the entire fucking country, and she knew exactly which Swede she would start with.
“You know what I have to do,” she said, her voice deadly serious.
Lisbeth shook her head. “I don’t want you to.” Her voice was steady, but Faith could see the turmoil in their blue depths, hear the pain underneath.
“It’s not up to you, or me. It was always gonna go down like this, we just didn’t know it yet.” Pressing a kiss to her forehead, Faith breathed in her lover’s scent one last time.
While Lisbeth watched, Faith dressed for battle. Motorcycle boots, dark jeans, and a hoodie. Opening the closet, she reached into an old blue trunk. Choosing carefully, Faith selected an array of her best knives, rope, a garrote she picked up in Turkey, and some other odds and ends.
With one glance over her shoulder, Faith saluted the woman in the bed, burning her image into her memory. “See ya soon, babe.”
She knew she’d never return to their apartment ever again.
At the trial they asked her why she did it.
“Why not take Bjurman to court? Let the state bring him to justice?” After all, Salander had video proof of the assault. It would have been as simple that. No need to get her hands all bloody.
The court just couldn't seem to understand any of it, especially why she hadn't left the scene of the crime. Hours after the torture began, the life finally died out of Bjurman's eyes, and Faith just sat there in his living room, smoking a cigarette. When the police showed up, she didn't struggle, didn't say a word. She let them take her. Faith knew if she had run, Bjurman's ward with a violent arrest record would be their number one suspect, and she couldn't let that happen. She knew her girl wouldn't fight the charges; life had taught her that it didn't matter. So, Faith stayed, and made sure there was no doubt who had destroyed the guardian.
No, Lisbeth wouldn't fight charges brought against her- but charges brought against her lover was another story. Thanks to Lisbeth’s testimony, most of the country was on her side. Only Faith knew how much courage it took on her lover’s part to make that video public. If it had been Lisbeth on trial, she was pretty certain that video never would have made the light of day. Her girl would have rather died than shown the evidence to anyone, yet she had made the exception for Faith. It only made her love the hacker even more.
Still, the manner in which she had decimated and defiled Bjurman’s corpse gave the law-abiding citizens pause. It was nearly impossible for them to fathom how a young woman could deliver such horrifying and cold-blooded violence. It made Faith laugh to see them get all disgusted over the murder. What’s the difference between what she did and the court sentencing someone to the electric chair? The courts wanted to pretend they were better than her just because they flip a switch to end a life rather than their own hands. But Faith was a realist, and she knew that in the end, it was all the same. Only in her way, she got to see the terror in the bastard’s eyes up close and personal, as his blood stopped flowing and his heart ceased to beat.
Faith rolled her eyes and let the lawyers prattle on about justifiable actions, violent tendencies, and dangerous psychopaths. There was no way she was explaining herself to the same authorities that locked up a thirteen year old girl, the ones who declared a genius like Lis to be mentally retarded, the ones who would allow a sadist like Nils Bjurman to be a legal guardian of anything.
During the trial, it came to light that out of the past twenty-five years, Bjurman had been assigned forty wards. Of them, sixteen came forward claiming he abused them in a similar manner. Most of them thanked Faith, while a few expressed reticence at using more violence to solve violence. They even set up a legal fund to help pay for her attorneys as a way to thank her. It helped Faith sleep at night, but she knew that wasn't why she did it. Bjurman had hurt her lover, and so he had to die.
In the end, the court decided that although Bjurman surely deserved to die, they couldn’t let Faith’s violent crime go unpunished. It would set too dangerous a precedent for future murderers. So, they decided to give her a slightly shorter prison sentence than what was first suggested, despite the gruesome manner in which she had exacted her justice.
In her mind, the only thing she had to explain was why she didn’t let Lisbeth do it herself. After all, if it had been her, she’d never forgive her lover for stealing vengeance from her.
But Lisbeth wasn’t a slayer, and destroying evil wasn’t her job. Bjurman was evil, and that meant it was the Slayer’s duty to end him. She had done it with a righteous zeal that made her almost believe in the sacredness of the Slayer line again.
Besides, who was Faith to let someone like Lisbeth go to jail? The girl was a fucking genius with so much to give to the world, whereas Faith was a nobody. Nobody was going to miss her if she was gone. She had already been to prison once, for a meaningless murder. What was one more mark on her ledger?
So now, here she was, back in prison again. Her girl visited as often as she could, and Faith spent the days reading and thinking. And every night she went to sleep with the one comforting thought: If she could go back in time, she’d do everything exactly the same. She had no regrets.