Lifting the Curse

September 10, 2004:

Faith had been moving around, between downtown Boston sports bars, looking for the demon. She knew that the demon wouldn't look like a demon. She kinda expected it to look like a busty young woman, wearing a too small and too tight t-shirt, and maybe some tight short-shorts too. She'd be hanging with a bunch of guys who were probably drunk, and were mad about the outcome of some game, be it football, baseball, basketball, or whatever…or maybe they'd be mad about the impending NHL player's strike. All she needed was for some sports fan to be sufficiently upset, and T'plok'nic might show.

It was Anya who had told her about T'plok'nic, and the curse, one night just a couple of days before the destruction of Sunnydale. The conversation had started out with Anya asking Faith her opinion of Xander's performance as a lover. Faith had been reluctant to really discuss that. She still felt badly about the way she had treated him. She managed to deflect the conversation away from Xander, by talking about some of the other boytoys she'd had over the years, which led to Anya reminiscing about some of her past lovers, which had led in turn to her reminiscing about her years as a Vengeance Demon. She talked about some of the wishes she had granted over the centuries, and some of the wishes that had been granted by other Vengeance Demons. She told about the wish granted in 1920 by T'plok'nic.

Ever since then, Faith had spent at least one night a month prowling the places where sports fans would congregate, looking for that demon. She didn't really have much hope of finding her, but there were lots of vampires that prowled the same bars, so it wasn't totally wasted time.

She heard a woman laugh, and turned toward the sound. She could see the bimbo sitting with a group of guys, and she felt the tingle she got when she was near a demon. One guy, in a Bruins jersey, was loudly complaining about the latest turn in the NHL talks. Guys getting a million dollars a year going on strike to try to get more. "You know what I wish?" he said drunkenly. "I wish—"

Faith cut between him and the demon. "Hold that thought for a sec, would ya?" She turned toward the girl. "We need to have a chat." Her hand closed on the bimbo's arm, and she put some of her strength into squeezing it.

A human would have cried out in pain, but the demon just widened her eyes in surprise. "What do you want?"

Faith still wasn't sure she had the right one. Lots of demons went around looking like bimbos. It was a good way to lure a meal or whatever into some place more private, but she could see the blue-green jewel dangling between her breasts, so she smiled. "You T'plok'nic?"

Now the demon was really surprised. "I am, how did you know?"

"An old colleague of yours told me about you," said Faith. She gestured toward the back door of the bar. "We need to talk about something."

"Alright." T'plok'nic got up off her barstool, and started to accompany Faith toward the exit, over the objections of the guys she'd been with.

Faith looked back at them, and smiled. "Don't worry boys, this will only take a minute, and then I'll let her go."

They went out into the alley behind the bar. "So, who told you about me?" asked T'plok'nic.

"Her name was Anyanka,"

"Oh. Her." T'plok'nic didn't sound very happy. "She used to be one of the best, before she went soft. We'd work together sometimes. I'd grant a wish for some guy who was mad about how his team was doing, while she'd be granting a wish for his wife, who was mad that he was paying more attention to the baseball scores than her."

"Yeah, that's what she said," said Faith.

"So, what can I do for you?" asked T'plok'nic. "I don't feel any burning need in you to curse anyone."

"It's more a matter of cleaning up after some old business of yours," said Faith.

"Anyanka may have started undoing her wishes, but I'm never going to do anything like that," said T'plok'nic.

"Yeah, that's what I figured." Faith's hand moved so fast that human eyes wouldn't be able to track it. The blade of her knife sank up to its hilt into T'plok'nic's chest.

T'plok'nic's eyes went wide in surprise, as she collapsed onto the ground. Faith grabbed the jewelled pendant, and ripped the necklace off her. She pulled her knife out of T'plok'nic's heart, and backed away several feet before kneeling down, and placing the jewel on the ground. She waited.

Faith knew that T'plok'nic would recover quickly from the knife wound, but she wasn't sure what would happen if she broke broke her power centre first. She didn't want to kill the demon…well she did, but she was the new Faith now, and she didn't kill things she didn't need to kill, just because she felt like it. She waited until she saw T'plok'nic start to rise back up, her face transformed into the visage of the demon. She brought the hilt of her knife down on the jewel.

The pendant shattered between the hilt and the asphalt. A brilliant flash of green light filled the alley. T'plok'nic gasped, her face human again. "Why?"

"The Curse of the Bambino, girlie," said Faith. "I want the Sox to win this year."