TITLE: Fingertips
EMAIL: seraphcelene@yahoo.com
RATING: PG for themes
ARCHIVING: Essential-Imperfect, Buffy Fiction Archive. All others please ask.
SUMMARY: Faith, and what it means to be part of a line.
NOTES: Inspired, with many apologies, by Gayl Jones' CorRegidora and Toni Morrison's Beloved and Jazz. Shout out to Here's Luck. This fic is un beta'd
FEEDBACK: Is like air and highly addictive. In other words, yes please!
DISCLAIMER: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Warner Brothers Company, UPN, et al. I'm just taking them out for a little exercise.

"Like creatures in fairy tales, we've
shrunk and we've swollen and we've
swallowed the cosmos whole."
-- Jasmine Vijh, Jasmine


Faith knows what it is like to be the sound of her feet coming from a long way off. To be the before and after. Her past, present and future coiled into enough rope to hang herself with. She knows that girl on the other side of who she is now; the one who hasn't come yet and who has already been. Faith knows who she used to be, was going to be, was never allowed to become.

Her name is inscribed in the name of her ancestors. Faith - confident belief; allegiance. It is the beating of her heart. The same pounding-out-loud rhythm that has always been, always will be.

She can taste it on the edge of her tongue. Feel it with the tips of her fingers. Name it with her last breath. It is lodged in that deep down place they call her soul, hiding behind her eyes and crouching inside her throat. She can not breathe it without being consumed.

Faith swallowed them whole, these named unknown, along with her mother and her mother's men. Just beyond the reach of her fingers. The knowing in her gut. The fall of her tears. She beat them until they bled and their cries filled up that empty-only place some other girl used to live in. That place of longing for tomorrow in the absence of today. This moment, now. Perpetual yesterday.

She understands this like she understands the flavor of blood and the salt in tears and the smooth curve where a man's thigh meets the bottom of his ass. Hairless and soft and woman-smooth. I love you spot.

Hungry woman-child older than eternity. Purer than Mary. More despised than Jezebel.

Too-full demon girl, filled with everything that doesn't make her who she is. Defines who she should be. Who she would be if they got to her sooner and told her everything there was to know. But that is not the way the waves break against the sand. It is not as deliberate as that, although it is a way of withholding and retaining.

Power beyond the reach of her fingers and the hurt in her voice.

The arms of mother-love strangled by jealousy. Red and green behind her eyes. Blue and yellow along her jaw. Angry and sore between her legs. Mother hands rocking away the scent of bourbon. Bile in her hair, pain in her back.

Faith's pierced heart left wanting. Blond hair in her hands, blood-red on her legs. Muffling the sound of feet walking away or coming from a long way off because that is not all of who she is and never will be. Shining, hazel eyes holding her arms, down. Tied to the bed and to the past and to the present and to the future of who are you gonna be when you grow up. Picking up her mother-love from her mother's boyfriends. Spinning in crazy circles until she felt less and heard more of those others coming for her, wanting her, needing her. Belonging to her.

And she loves them. In the beat of her heart and the kiss of her mouth. Bruises beneath the taste of her blood. On her teeth. On her tongue. Sweet, sticky, woman-taste; and more. Dark. Foul. The corrupted flavor of something like spice in the back of her throat.

Faith hears it. The leathery wings beating in her pulse, match the cinnamon impulse in her veins. Maybe, they didn't consider that this would happen when they made her, them.

All of them. The one in all of them. A girl in every generation. One girl in the world.

Superstar; dance edged madness. Longing for. Denial of. Crawling along her skin, whispering in her ears. Faith is not alone by herself. They are there, in the ether. In the past, present and future. Beyond the stretch of her hands, the quivering in her chest. The remorse in her heart. Tears are in her eyes. They were, are and will be. Always.

Faith is not alone.

She is part of a line.