A/N: I warned you this part was angsty and sad. Just reminding you all again. Sorry this idea came to me and stalked me until I wrote it out. I do have an idea for yet another part. Let me know if you guys want it, or if you can't take anymore. Maybe I'd even take suggestions. Super-duper thanks to Dutch, yet again! I was very anxious about this part of the fic and she calmed me down.
I busted into my old apartment by kicking in the door. I couldn't help but smile a little. I love property damage. I probably shouldn't be smiling. If I was some cheerleader or some prissy girl I would be crying about everything. But I don't cry, and I'm not a normal girl. I'm Faith. I'm a vampire slayer and I don't give up. Even if I die I don't sit around bitching about it. I don't give up and start taking things that aren't mine. Okay, so I did do the taking thing once or twice, but I don't do it anymore. I live in the now, and now I was going to take back what's mine.
The apartment was dark and smelled like him. Like leather and cigarettes and fall leaves mixed together. I remember that and everything else in my life as clear as glass; so what if some of the glass was cutting me up. I remember everything in my life, like Fall in Boston. It was one of the few things in Boston that didn't make me rage. The smell of Fall, the leaves matching the brick. I loved jumping in piles of leaves the color of a building. It was like wrapping myself in a wall so no one could get me. I want to hide myself in something else nowSpike. Just because I do. Not because he's the only thing left. What's safer than wrapping yourself up in spikes? I looked at the reflection in the window, and I can't help but think that covering myself in spikes or leaves or even paper bags could only be an improvement.
I'm really good at keeping secrets. My secrets about the way I really feel inside. Even people who think they know me would have to get inside my bodymy mind to know what I felt. Well, one person knew even before he got in my body, and it still amazes me that he knew. I am like the best actress ever. And the thing is I need Spike, I mean I need him so bad it's like someone is burning holes in my soul with a cig when he isn't with me. I know that sounds really selfish and soft, and maybe it is, but my other secret is that I know what he needs. He doesn't need some bonnie, all-American head-of-Slayer-Corp. girl to string his immortal soul along forever; he needs to be kept on a tight string by some bitch that doesn't let go. The bitch can say whatever she wants, in fact the bitchier the better. She can even pretend to be pushing him away, as long as she has him on that tight string and she is in reaching distance everything is five by five. So, I'm not selfish. I want to give him what he needs; I cracked the code and figured out how to make a champ happy.
I walked into the bedroom. All my stuff was still there, but he cleaned it. All my leather bracelets with the silver studs are stacked on top of each other on the dresser along with the one girlie thing I own, the Love's baby soft spray. My clove cigarettes are there too along with my Harley Zippo lighter and my lipstick, which I don't count as girlie because the color isn't some wussy pink. The mirror is above the dresser still with the devil girl and Rosie the Riveter stickers. It was funny how he could make things neat when he put them in the same place I did, but when I put them there they looked like a train wreck. Dana was worse than me. His girlie neatness with my stuff was all cool. It was like a shrine and I expected as much.
What wasn't cool were the other things that were there I didn't expect. He had taken the sketch pad out and the pencils, and he had put the drawings on the wall with the cheap art we have. What the fuck? I didn't want anyone to see these and he knew it. He had bought this stuff for me on a whim when I said maybe I could try to draw some demons I saw without him. He was actually really good at knowing what demons were what, and he'd get all pissy when I called him "my little watcher." He said he wasn't bloody little, and he had learned it all from experience and not from some book. I drew some of 'em, and he said I was good at it. I don't know if it was true. Dana loved everything I drew, which was probably a sign I actually sucked. I'd started to draw things that weren't demons. Things like Spike and Dana. I looked at the drawing of Dana. She looked much better in a fake drawing. I was probably trying to make her feel better. I don't remember.
Spike had pictures I drew of him, but they were never rightnever. I told him he moved too much, and that he was too hot to capture. His hotness was in the way he moved. So was mine or at least it used to be. But, I'm not the kind of chick that is going to feel down because she lost her hotness. Shit happens.
What bothered me was that my drawings were out; the one of that bitch was out. I remember drawing her as, and as soon as I got to the hallow, narrow eyes Spike knew it was her, Eve. At least I took her with me. At least she didn't get Spike or Angel. I knew it was wrong but I would have done anything, given anyone for them to be safe.
I didn't even know what it was all about until I had some time to think about it. There's nothing like dying and being reborn in some other chick's body to give you time to think, well that and prison. I just knew at that moment when I dove on pointy faced bitch before she could set that spell off that yeah, I was dying to save the world and all that crap, but I couldn't let Angel or Dana go down because it wasn't right, and I had to save Spikeit was beyond wrong, or right, if he died. So I stepped up. He was pissed about it, still is, that is part of the reason why we are having these problems. I didn't stop to think about the consequences, I just did it.
Now I know. You see, I knew it was right to die for Angel and Dana. I was ready. I'd have given myself, and I did. That was the way the dice rolled. I gave myself for Angel because without him I'd have been nothing; I'd have been like her Dana, who I felt I should give my life for because she was innocent. But, Spike, Spike was no innocent. I wanted to die for the Limey fucker because I couldn't live without him. I have so many feelings for the boy that a world without him is something I couldn't get through. Even if I had other people. No matter what. He was the only one I had these raging feelings about; the only one I had to have. Some people might call it love, but maybe it's just possessive bullshit. I don't know about love, that's Spike's department.
I just know I really only have these feelings for Spike. I had a little something like it for Angel but it was totally different, with Angel I felt like I could never die if he was there, with Spike I felt like I could die and it would be all right. I think maybe I felt a little like that for the stupid bitch that was sleeping in my bed now. But I know I didn't feel like that about anyone else, like I didn't feel it for crazy D. It was wicked important that I protect her. I wanted her to have a good life. I thought she could, but maybe everything worked out for the best here. Yeah, I know it did. It wasn't like I felt all crazy about crazy D. I guess she just wasn't enough to feel crazy about. She just didn't have that uungh, you know? So, it's five by five she's dead and I'm alive.
It worked out fine the way it did, even though things were lying around that shouldn't be. One of the things was B's naked bony ass in my bed, but unlike the drawings I knew she'd be out here. It was just too perfect that she was here like this for me to surprise. Most girls would freak out or cry, if some other chick they had always butted heads with had obviously just boned their man, but not me.
"I knew you'd be here," I said all quiet-like as I flopped on the bed next to her.
B's eyes opened, and immediately got huge. What color were they anyway? Blue? Green? Blue-green? Magic color-changing eyes were the only thing Spike and B had in common. Well, that and a bed, and they were both having really fucked up thoughts about the person I was.
"I know how it is. I've fucked him too, and I'd look for any opportunity to slip back in, or have him slip back in. So, I knew. I just didn't know I'd be getting the added bonus of full frontal B out of it. Well, it's more like added minus. You've lost a lot of weight since our teeny bopper sleep-overs. I guess you're one of those can't-be-too-thin-or-too-rich-bitches now," I said.
"Spike," B croaked out to him.
I could tell she hadn't heard a goddamned word I said. She never fucking did. I remembered it all now. How she always let the boys get in the way. So she was totally missing how I was saying it was okay she fucked my man. I got why she did it. I could let it go. I was even fucking telling her I liked the sight of her little ass naked in my bed. I'd like to see even her best friend Ms. Witch say that to B if B had done the same to her. It would never happen, even though the witch is 100 gay now. And the main reason it wouldn't happen wasn't because B wouldn't go for that kind of girl power if her life depended on it. It wouldn't happen because B's best friend wouldn't forgive people, even if they slept with boys she thought she liked in high school. It didn't matter. B wasn't ever going to see the ways I could be a big person. This was all going to be about how I busted in to a place to harass her and how I wasn't myselfagain. It wouldn't matter what she did to me. I could take it. But she wasn't doing anything. She just lay there and called for Spike.
"Wow, you really have gone soft, B. Calling for help for the big strong vamp. I guess that's what happens when you're not out in the field," I said.
Her eyes just grew wider, bulgy even. I could tell she heard that. She always got stuff that pissed her off. She drew her fist back to hit me, but then she just froze there. Her eyes bugging in and out, her mouth making a jagged line. I wanted her to hit me. God knows she would have, a few years back, if I made that kind of crack. She didn't though. Maybe she really was getting soft and that would be a shame.
They say she is the best, and she thinks that's what pisses me off, and to my surprise, that's not it. I like her being the best. She's always been a solid mark I could measure myself by no matter what happened between us. What does piss me off, what gets my quality psychotic rage going, is that she never fucking saw who I really was. She didn't want to. I made sure I tried to see who Dana was, and yeah, what I saw was a damaged girl I had to help mostly. But I tried to see other things in Dana too. B didn't even try. She wanted me to be seriously damaged and I was more than thatmore than Dana was and ever could be.
That feeling of needing to make B happy, that feeling that I had for Angel and I had a hundred times over for Spike, it didn't seem to be there for B anymore. And that is almost worse than not having it, even though she never felt the same way back. I dunno. Maybe nothing hurts more than feeling that way and not having it bounced back to you. But I don't care about B bouncing back anymore. She always does it without me and I do it without her. She'd bounce back and do something without Spike's help. I was the one that needed Spike's fucking help here, not her.
"Hello, love," Spike said to me all 'Clock Work Orange'-like.
Shirtless in denim, his hair looking bent and curled at the ends. Some brown was growing in with the bleach. Any look would work for him but this was one of the best.
"Hello, baby," I said, "Isn't it lonely to have to smoke out on the fire escape alone after screwing? Don't you want someone smoking in bed with you, in every way?"
"You know she doesn'tdidn't want you to smoke," was all he could say.
He stopped looking at me then. He never used to stop looking at me. And there it is. That fucking feeling. Thank God I'm really good at hiding it. Sometimes it backfires on you like a bad engine. When I saw him again my brain got flooded. He used to tell me how every engine needs a spark, but we had lightning in a bottle. He once said we had one mean machine. Nothing could stop us. I guess some people have to be stopped. I remember when they locked me up. Well no, Dana got locked up; I wanted to go.
"I-I'm glad you're here," B gulped.
She managed to find all her frilly clothing and she put it on with Slayer speed.
"Oh, I'm sure you are," I grinned, "You couldn't have planned this more perfectly, right? I mean, you knew I'd hear about you coming to town to take my man, and you wanted me to see it."
"I'm not here for Spike," she said, "I'm here for you. I want to help you with-with all that happened. I know you're in pain. We all are."
"Pain?" I said and then laughed, "Why should I be in pain? Oh, because you were, when you came back from the dead, right. I forgot. If I'm not doing things the B way; they're wrong. Face it, B. I'm better at you with comebacks. Always was."
"Oh god," B's voice broke, "She sounds...she isI didn't know it was this bad, Spike."
"I tried to tell you, love. You should just go on and let me handle it," Spike said.
"No, you can't. Not alone. I know you," she said.
"You don't fucking know him. You don't even know yourself, B."
"I wouldn't be one to talk," Spike said and laughed, but it wasn't his laugh.
It was a crazy person's laugh. I should know, having been around enough crazy people.
"But I know you, B," I said.
I had to just pretend Spike didn't have that crazy laugh because if I thought about it too long it would be like holding my hand to a stove top.
"Little Miss Can't B Wrong," I said to B instead, "Pretending everything is okay. That you want to help and you're in total control. And the thing is you are in control, but you only are in control to get what you want, and you knew this was the only way you could get it. You could only get Spike when he was confused. It's fucking brilliant, B. Better than my best work. You really are the bad Slayer now."
"Shut up!" B yelled, and she did hit me.
It wasn't the first time this happened, but it was the first time she was crying while she did it.
"Shut up!" she said again as I was on the floor.
I was holding my face. Her little fists were always hard on the old jawI remember. But, I was kind of happy with myself. I never got this much outta B before.
"Stop looking and me like that, and stop talking like that. You're not"B bit down on her mouth as Spike held her by one arm.
Whether he was holding her up or holding her back from running at me I didn't know. I didn't care. What I did notice was he wasn't holding her close. He was handling her like some clueless girl that just got attacked by something. I knew Spike thought B was more than that, but I could tell that he wasn't in love with her anymore. My brain did that flooding thing again.
"Not what, B?" I asked as I still felt a little dizzy from my brain flood. "Not going along with your little plan? Not agreeing with you and your crap? Not buying that I'm really a psycho loser spelled Slayer?"
"You're not her," B cried, "You're not Faith. Faith is dead."
"No!" I said through gritted teeth, "I'm alive. You're just jealous. Jealous because I came back from the dead too; only I did it better with no side-effects…Okay, so I have one little one. But it's not as bad as yours. Yeah, I heard about it. Depression, dry mouth, fatigue, an uncontrollable urge to use my man as a dildo."
Spike laughed, and it was his laugh. B looked at him as if he just started making out with Angel in front of her.
"I told you, love. You sure you still miss her? It really is like she's still here what with all the wackiness. But she's not, she's not, she's gone." Spike started out smiling and then nose-dived into crying.
"Spike!" I swallowed, "When are you going to knock this off? I'm right the fuck here! Did you just want to have one last time with B and you needed this as an excuse?"
"No, love. No. I wasn't trying…We were just giving each other solace and it didn't evenIs that what she would think if she saw this? Is that how she would feel?"
His voice rose up as serious as a heart attack as he grabbed me by my arms like the first time I kissed him. Wow, did I love him then. I could remember it so well. Only now he was yelling at me, pleading. Damn, I hated now.
"God, what did I do? I've been working so hard to make things right, to not betray her, and no matter what I do I'm a selfish bastard!"
He turned away from me and B, letting me go, and he was sobbing. I only remember him being like this one other time. It was when he had to kill Gunn only it wasn't really him. Gunn had been taken over by the dick-weed Senior Partners and there was nothing of the boy left really. He just knew how to act like Gunn and fool everybody. Spike had cried like a baby after he had killed Gunn like a man. I think that was when the feeling I have for him startedthe feeling that I could die and it would be okay if he was there. The feeling that I could be anything good, bad, ugly, and it would be okay because he was there.
Don't ask me why I felt it when he cried like a huge girl back then, or why I was feeling it when he cried like a big girl now. I felt it in spades as he wept. I had to snort for irony when I realized I felt for him now how I felt thenonly more. He had cried then because he knew Gunn wasn't really Gunn but some pathetic evil thing. He cried now because he thought I wasn't really Faith but some pathetic stupid girl.
"Spike," B was the first one to say something because my snort had kind of turned into this gagging thing on me.
It wasn't like B was doing much better with her talking. She could barely say his name, like her heart was actually breaking. No way. Why was she all weepy anyway? I doubted that B would cry because she lost a guy to me. But she couldn't be crying because she thought I died, and she gave a crap, could she?
"No!" Spike said as if B had just made some big argument, "Get - Get out of here. She's right. You come in here like the fire brigade, but you set everything on fire."
Then he looked at her fully in the face the way that he does, that way, like he's not even fucking blinking.
"I'm sorry, love. I didn't mean that. You're doing your best to help me, I know. You always helped me because you believe in me, but I need you to go," he said.
He looked at her and not me. He was saying this to her and not me. He had told me the same thing, kind of, a couple of months ago. That he was sorry. That I was trying to help, but wasn't. That I was killing him and I had to go. He could be such a fucking idiot, even if he didn't believe I was me; I was still keeping him alive.
"You know I can't go before I do what's right," she said in that don't-fuck-with-THE-Slayer tone, but her bottom lip was sticking out like she was five.
"And what's that exactly?" Spike asked softly, but it was bitter, and his voice had a tickle in it like it was funny. His voice was like his face; it could go from 0-60 in every direction at once and still make sense.
"Killing me? You and the great Council decide that was what's best? You all have a meeting after you ran the numbers on the chances of me going 'round the bend and killing every idiot in sight? Do me a favor: if you want to do it, do it. But don't tell yourself it was about thatthat it was for the greater good of the mission and that it had to be done and all that rot," he was crazy laughing again. "Do me a favor if you're going to do me a favor, Slayer. Admit the real reason. That maybe that's the only thing that will help me. I'd do it myself, but Faith, she wouldn't want that."
"I'm gonna start wanting it, if you don't shut-up. When will you stop talking about me like I'm not here?" I demanded.
"You...you killed those people, those lawyers, but youyou can't think that's what I came here for. I wanted...I needed..." B was sucking in breath.
"You needed his body. That much is obvious, and you thought this was a great opportunity since I'm in this one and Spike doesn't believe it's me. I get it. Nobody's perfect. What's with you guys? It's just sex. I finally realize what you two have in commonthe drama queen factor," I said.
"Is that really what she would think?" Spike smiled, "She would know; she would understand. She would know I still love her; it doesn't matter if I loved other people before. She would know she was the one. The one that made me happy, right?"
"Stop," B said to Spike, "Stop asking her those questions; it's just making it worse. You're making yourself miserable."
"No, baby," I said, "That's your job. I think he just said I was the one that made him happy."
"No," B said, throwing all her dramatic ability into play, "You're making him more miserable than I ever did, and you need to be stopped."
I knew that something was coming because her tone was all about being THE Slayer. She dodged under the bed and grabbed a weapon and then she was on me. Her teensy powerhouse body on top of me like a Mac-truck. She pointed her tazer thing at me.
"Aw, B, was this all you wanted? Me with Spike watchin'. Why did you get dressed?" I grunted as I forced the tazer away from me.
B seemed as strong as I remembered, no more, no less. So, the kid's body was stronger than I thought. It wasn't letting me down.
"What the bloody hell are you doing?" Spike growled and pushed B away from me.
Her bony butt hit the wall but she bounced back with all the spring of a Slayer. Impressive.
"Kill me once, shame on me. Kill me twice, shame on…you!" I said and I kicked her in the face with my boot, and it was MY boot.
It was a little tight as the girl's body had big feet, but I was able to get my boots on. I wish I could say the same for my damn jeans. Well, no body is perfect. Except maybe mine; too bad it's in the ground. Spike's was so perfect, that the damn chick Eve made it come back from being burned to nothing. Too bad it was just so she could get the two vamps with souls under control of the Senior Partners, who wanted to set off some ancient black magic to end the world, but everything had a price. And being stuck in this body and having everyone sell me out is mine, but it's cool. I'll work through it. Just like B worked through her resurrection backlash I'll fuck Spike. I just have to get him to see me. It didn't seem like B was going to see me anytime soon, as she looked bitterly at me after I kicked her down. What else was new?
"This stops now," Spike said and he helped B up. "What are you trying to do, love?"
This time he examined B's face all mother-bird like with the loving caresses and little touches. Maybe he did love her, and now that I didn't have my hot bod anymore, what could I do?
"Ew," I laughed and said, "I never heard you sound so Daddy-like, Spike. At least not in a serious way. So, that's how B likes it? Isn't it obvious what she's doing? Your golden girl is trying to kill me."
He didn't seem to think it was funny anymore. He didn't laugh Okay, so the sex jokes were getting old.
"I'm not trying to kill you. I'm trying to take you back to where you belong," B said.
"What?" Spike said, but I knew what B meant.
She just doesn't want to believe it's me because I know too much.
"I KNOW that!" I said, "Don't you know I know you, B? Even if you never wanted to know me. You are so predictable. What you want is the same as killing meworse. I know where you think I belong, in some cage like a fucking animal. You wanted us locked up…locked away where you didn't have to see us. You couldn't deal with us! If it was up to you we'd be all alone. No more people for us ever."
"It won't be that way, Dana. I pro"
"Don't you fucking call me that, you bitch! Dana is dead! She was too green, and she was too crazy and she needed me too much," I screamed and darted towards her.
I had her hair in my fist and I was gonna pummel her face. I was going to rip her to pieces. Do what I could never seem to do in my hot body. I'd do it in crazy D's good sturdy body. That's what I thought of D's body. It was good and sturdy for fighting. I used to tell D she was pretty. I guess she was in a sturdy, fighting way. I used to tell her that we were two hot chicks with super powers. That was kind of stretching it. Dana wasn't like me and she knew it. Now I had to live in her body, and have her memories. But no tears. I was still hot where it counted. I was still me, and Dana's pathetic memories were nothing I couldn't handle. It was when people told me I was crazy D- I lost it.
Then I was on the bed. My arms were pinned flat with my hands over my head. It was my man. He was pinning me down by holding my arms down with his knees. It was a quick way to restrain someone. I'd taught it to him. Yeah, I could even teach an older man a thing or two. Not that I was into restraining. Sometimes it just had to be done with Dana in the early days. Sometimes it didn't need to be done with Spike and me, but we did it anyway.
"Hi Spike," I smiled as he looked down at me.
"Hi love," he said, bearing down on me with all his strength.
"Well, this is hot," I said, "I'm not the crazy kid, Spike. She never thought it was hot when you did this. Well, maybe a little, but any sex-type thing just turned into fear with her. Sad. Don't you know it's me, Spike?"
"I know that's how it feels, love. But, what really happened is, that when Faith died all of her memories went into your head, and your connection to her was so strong"
"No! No! No! No!" I screamed.
Dana's voice had a good scream. I remembered it. I remembered the first time I heard it. I heard it in Rome in that candy-ass girl-bedroom they had her in, which was really a rubber room. The voice was strong and shrieking at once. I thought, this chick could go places. I wanted to bust her out even then, before there was any real reason.
"Slayers! We were both Slayers! But, I'm not hershe's not me! I'm better. I'm Chosen. I 'm the best. You can't take me; no one can take me. I can't die. I'm Faith," I yelled.
I head butted Spike and he flew off me. I kicked B again as she came at me. I realized I really was the best now.
"Wow, dude," I said, as I pulled Spike off the floor. I did a little less than gentle because I didn't know why he kept saying I wasn't me.
"When I said no one could take me that was just posturing, but when I get mad I am the best now. It is really like I do have Dana helping me. Whatever she was good for is coming out now. She had to die to reach her full potential."
"You gained Faith's reaction time along with her memories," B said, "which apparently was one of the best. That along with the primal connection you have to all the Slayers, it makes you extremely powerful. That's why you can't beyou have to knowThat's why I want to help you, so we can do good things with what you have now. Together. You don't have to be alone."
"You're full of it. You don't care about us. You never visited us when we really needed you. You just want to help so you can tell yourself how good you are. You never really gave a rat's ass about me. You're already the best, so why can't you just leave me alone!"
I charged B as I said this. I have the most interesting brain ever. I'm not saying it's the sharpest one in the shed, but it's definitely got style. Because while I was charging her to kill her (and that was what I wanted to do) I was thinking: Huh. I obviously do have that feeling for B after all because if I wasn't I wouldn't be so insane over her like this, and I was almost glad. I was glad even though I knew now that Spike and the bitch had to be right in one way. I was crazy again. The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I was trying to kill B again, and anyone could tell you it wasn't going to work. She would probably cut me and throw me off a building again. If that was what I wanted then I guess I wouldn't be crazy. But, then again, what rational chick wanted that?
I heard a crackle and I felt like every cell in my fucking body was being ripped out by its root and moved around. B had struck me down with that zappy tazer thing she had. I would have yelled, but I couldn't talk or move.
She had taken me down again. So, crazy again. I guess rising up from the dead and taking over another Slayer's body might do that to you. I realized that by definition Dana really wasn't crazy. She never repeated the same shit over and over. When she was a weak little nothing and that fuck-nut got a hold of her she stopped trying to get away. She even stopped screaming. She knew when the jig was up, like how it was up now and maybe I was dead.
Unlike me, when Dana was dead she knew how to stay down. When Dana became a Slayer, that was when she went off like a firecracker, but when they took her down, she stayed down.
That was why Dana was so scared of Spike with those stupid Slayer memories she had, (which I now had.What a prize.) Dana was zapped by memories of Spike because he knew how to make a Slayer stop trying. When he was evil he knew how to make them stay down. Dana got that, but didn't get how he did it. Maybe she was a little slow. Spike got you to stop trying by getting you to do it yourself, by making you realize that's what you wanted. He didn't drive a Slayer crazy to kill her; he drove her sane. If I was dead, that sucked because it would have been better to have Spike kill me and not B, like an honor, in some fucked-up Japanese Kung-fu movie "Kill Bill" way.
"What did you do to her?" Spike cried.
Of course, if I was dead again, in his eyes Dana would be dead and not me. He still sounded as miserable as he did when I was alive and kicking in her body. But talk about Spike being miserable. When I died it was worse. So much worse. Having Dana's fucking memories was so unfair. The best part of dying is that it's easy. Watching someone you love die is worse. The other best part of dyingusuallyis that you don't have to see the people you feel for more than you ever felt for yourself suffer through it, or so they say. Me, I have all of Dana's fucking memories.
When I died, Spike, he was…gone-like. He was still really there and he wasn't crazy, but he was gone. All the pieces of him that made him have that light in his eyes and that movement in his body, they all went away. It wasn't even like the evil pieces took a turn when he and Dana killed those Lawyers that helped Eve. I actually would have been okay with that because those evil pieces were still Spike. But, there were just broken-up, sad pieces and nothing else. Of course, the person that was most gone was Dana. She didn't even have the jagged sad pieces left. She totally vacated the premises, and that's when I came. I resurrected in her body because she wasn't using it anymore, I guess.
It seems sad I know, but there should be no tears. 'Cause ever since I fully came back in Dana's body Spike's been sad, but those bad ass pieces are back. He laughs at my jokes. That's how, deep down, I know he knows it's me.
"It's just a stun gun. It paralyzes her temporarily. She'll be fine," B said convincingly.
I believed her as I lay on the floor. I saw under my bed. Oh, that was where that shirt went. I always believed B about practical things like this. It was the tricky stuff that she didn't get. So, I wasn't dead.
"Oh," Spike said, "Well, all right, but as fun as this is I can't take much more of it, pet. So you better toddle off."
"Yeah. So, I guess I'll take her back with me now. It would be kind of weird to sit around and watch TV like this, weird and totally excruciating," B said.
"Take her back with you?" Spike asked as he picked me up off the floor.
I could still feel everything even though I was powerless to move. Leave it to B to have a doming device like this. Spike hadn't really touched me in so long, or at least that's what it seemed like. He seemed smaller somehow, and at the same time more chiseled out. But his hands were nice and sand-paper like, but the soft light side of sandpaper not the harsh dark side. He said it was from when he was human. Apparently people had to put coal in heaters, or he said men did, like he was trying to convince me he was manly back then. Even though one night I got the truth out of him. He said he never told anyone who he really was back then. Spike said I could get him to do anything with my mad skills. Cool to have the great Slayer killer at my mercy, huh? Not that I ever thought of him like that. He was just Spike. Dana was Dana but she was a Slayer first. But I didn't care about Dana. Dana was gone and Spike was here, and he was touching me. Holding my hand, touching my face. I could get the great Slayer killer back under me again, and that made me hot. Hot and trembley. Dana's hands sweat when she gets turned on.
"Well," B said, "I didn't think you'd be up to getting her sedated for when I make the big trip back to Rome with her."
I'd actually totally forgotten that B was there. I was so into Spike's hands.
"What?" Spike said and his forehead did that wrinkling-up thing. He went to go stand up to B; literally.
I was too weak to stop him from getting up and letting go of me. I was too weak to even say anything about it unless you counted grunting. Fucking B and her batman toys.
"You want to take her back to the land of leather shoes and one-dimensional people? Is that was this is really all about? To think I thought you actually came here for meto see if I was all right. You just came for your package, and you thought you'd get another one while you were here."
"You started it withSpike, I am here to see if you are okay, first and foremost. I wanted to do all I could for you, and I wantedI wanted to say 'goodbye' to Faith. Do you really think I came toto make things worse?" B said.
"No, I don't think that," Spike said, "I now think you're here because you think carting her away is what you have to do. But, you have to know that's not the way, Buffy. You thought if we shagged I would vindicate you somehow; smile and wave as you take her prisoner? Is that it?"
"Spike, please! You can't think that my being with you has anything to do with feeling guilty about having to take Dana back. I don't feel guilty about having to take Dana back. It's not that I want to do it. "B said.
"Oh, don't worry you're not going to. I'm not letting you take her anywhere, and I don't care how many Slayers you sick on me. You won't get her."
I smiled; Spike did know it was me. I looked at the white walls and saw my drawing of Dana. It was a face I could learn to be in. I used to look at it so much to know what she was feeling. I always worried she would lose it again. Little did I know she was just so stoked to be with me. She loved this brick box and these cracked white walls that was right near the god damned fire department with the sirens that were screaming now. She even loved that giant neon stripper that used to blink across from us, not for the kitsch, like me. She actually thought it was beautiful like art. Stupid kid. The stripper's been broken for so long now.
The sirens cutting through the hot dry night gave be her back up for drama. She sounded like a vice cop that broke into a shit-hole apartment trying to cart me away. It wasn't really a shit-hole though. Spike got those Indian rugs.
"Spike, I have to do this. She has a lot of power and she's not stable, so I need to help her get there. She has a lot of power and with the right" B said.
"See, Slayer, Buffy, you may have done anything in your power to save us or help us, but it all comes back to that with you, doesn't it?" Spike asked
"Comes back to what? Saving and helping? Why you and FaithDana do has the memories of me trying to help Faith like it is some kind of crime. Is that how Faith thought of it, is that how this works, and now you think it too? I won't apologize for wanting to help or save anyone, Spike. It's my job," B said with that decided face of hers.
The face that she makes sure she keeps still as she looks at you as if she doesn't care what you think one way or the other, but you can feel her body shaking with rage.
I saw the side of his face and it looked as sharp as jagged rock with that sneer. I gotta say I was a little surprised. I didn't think B would ever get the sneer, not the serious one. My man could surprise me.
"I wasn't talking about helping or saving; I was talking about power. It all comes back to power."
"Spike, I would give up all the power I had if it meant things could be different for Faith, for you. You have to believe that," B said.
Damn, whenever you got B with a good one she always seem to do something to make you feel like you shouldn't have hit her. B's voice was shaking now. She was back to be that shaken little Blondie. When I got Dana's memories I found out she thought B and "Buffy" were two different people. Maybe she was the sanest of us all. No, that's not what I think; I think she was a stupid kid.
"I suppose I do," Spike said, "I know I do, but you know things aren't different. Dana, along with Faith's smarts, is now the most powerful and you want to get hold of that...control it."
"I don't want..." B's face got as stony as mine felt. Then I felt mine move a little.
"Look, Spike, the girl has a history of danger and mental illness due to trauma. She just went through another trauma and lost the person that meant the most to her."
"You've done that a lot and you got better," Spike said as he crossed his arms.
"Yeah, well, I didn't have a psychotic break where I thought I was my dead friend," B said.
"Yeah, but if I remember you had one where you went catatonic for a bit, and then there was the time..."
"I didn't go crazy and start killing people!"
"Yes, and you can stop lording that over the lot of us at any time. The girl may have gotten a bit overzealous when Faith died," Spike said.
"She killed people; she got you to do it too. Spike, I know you're a good man, but with Dana being so unstable"
"Aw, Ma thinks Dana is a bad influence. This is what should tip her off that it ain't Dana. It's me," I said weakly.
My voice sounded like someone else's. Oh yeah. I sat up and coughed. Being frozen was over. I was made to move.
"Do you want some tea, love?" Spike asked me.
He looked at me fully. In his black button-down shirt now that was always unbuttoned with just him under it. I realized how he'd never looked at me like that until just now. I wanted to make some joke about how the British used tea to solve all problems, but all I said was:
"Spike, you're acting like I want to do this, like it's up to me. Dana was, and for all we know, is killing people. She's under a world of stress and she also thinks she is a woman who did try to kill a world of people when under a world of stress. And you want to English your way out of this with taster's choice? You can't," B said.
"No shit," I said, "Taster's choice is coffee."
"Sometimes I forget your shortcomings. Losing it, losing anything, frightens you so," Spike said to B in this weird way, like he felt sorry for her or something.
"Short comings? It's a shortcoming to realize that I have to take responsibility for the Slayers I made? You would see it that way, because you don't take responsibility for anything. All you've ever done is follow other people into their battles for the rush, "B said with that soft nastiness she had.
I wanted to tell her to fuck off, of course and knock her off her pointy little shoes. But I was kinda reeling. They seemed to talk to each other so fast. They weren't stopping for any smiles or chances for the other person to take it down a notch.
"Let's not pretend this is about me," Spike said.
"You're right. This part isn't about you at all, so you should get out of my face. She's a Slayer," B said, "I can't look the other way with this like I did when Angel went to Wolfram"
"You think you're the one to handle this because this is a Slayer problem and you're the one true Slayer and all. That's what you think this is about. Your responsibility to hold the line," I said.
I got it. I got something. I was keeping up. Spike and B had a running engine of their own. It wasn't hot and smokin', like ours was. It was rusty and cold but moved really fast even though it had no business doing it.
"Right, Buffy now comes complete with a full set of army Slayer friends. Must be nice having all those friends; it's just like you to focus on the one that got away," Spike rolled his eyes, "or the two. But maybe it turned out that none of them were really friends. More like charges."
"And you think I'm happy that's true? You think I'm happy I have to clean up another mess Faith made..."
There was a cracking sound, very familiar to me from my upbringingthe sound of the bitch slap. I had never really heard it in this bedroom, well, not when serious talks were going on.
"Wow, never thought I'd do that again," Spike had that crazy person laugh and there were tears in his eyes as he shook his hand, "Funny how having a soul takes all the fun out if it, or maybe it was the awful thing you said. But it's not you're fault. You're not like Faith. Really all you can see of her is a mess."
B looked as stunned and as speechless as I felt as she stood there holding her face. I'm a little slow. It took me a second to realize what happened. Spike had bitch-slapped B! I didn't really get why. I mean, I'd never seen him do anything like that it my life. He had pounded on me a couple of times before he really knew me, and of course I've seen him rip heads off living bodies. But, a bitch slapnever. Part of me wanted to smack him and demand to know what he was doing, another part was scared shitless that this fight was totally out of my control, but mostly I started picturing Spike as a pimp or a Jerry Springer Drama queen who went around smacking people. I felt myself smiling, almost laughing. B looked at me with full outrage on. She didn't get that I wasn't laughing at her; she never got it.
"Well, I'm sorry I'm not as much fun as Faith, who let this girl out so she could suffer. Maybe you won a few battles with her help, but look at the price. She's out of control," B said with a cool shaking of her head.
I opened my mouth and I thought I was going to laugh again.
"Control was never my thing, but I never wanted Dana to suffer," I said. I realized how true this was.
I remember how strongly I felt about giving Dana a good lifethe best life, and it wasn't about me. I didn't want to impress anyone, or be, (What was that big word Spike used on B?) vindicated. (I think that's the same as redeemed.) I wanted to give Dana a good life because I knew she could do it. I remember I thought she could do it for herself, but I was wrong. Dana needed me. She couldn't be without me. Without Faith there is no Dana. She wouldn't know how to be. I didn't realize how needy and stupid she was until I got in her bodyher head.
"You don't think I feel awful she ended up dead, that I killed her!" I screamed at B, and then I was crying, crying so much I couldn't say anything.
Then I could feel Spike touching me again, hugging me. Wrapping himself around me like I wanted. I always think that when I get what I want I'll feel better, and I'm always sorta right and sorta wrong.
"I let her die! I killed her, Spike!" I said into his shoulder, "She can't be dead. She can't. It's not fair. She was happy."
"You didn't kill Dana. You are..." B started saying something.
I knew she was gonna say it wasn't my fault, for once, she was gonna say that. You think I would care.
"It'll be all right. All right? We'll do this together; suss this all out. You just can't expect to skip over the part that we lost her," Spike said to me.
"Spike, you're making it worse. She thinks you're talking about her, I mean not Faith. I mean, you can't do this…It'sit'sI mean are you just going to let her believe..." B stammered.
"Faith took it upon herself to breathe life into this girl, to make her someone real, and no matter what, that's what she is. You want me to take responsibility for something, well, let me take it. Walk away, Buffy," he said.
"I really want to, but I don't know if I can. If something bad happens because of her, to her, if something bad happens to youIt will be my fault. I made her. I made her with that spell," B said.
"Don't feel bad, B," I said, "If we never made Dana, she would have just sat in the hospital and rotted. Now the world is saved and I'm alive."
"Spike," B pleaded like she wanted him to do something again.
Her little lip sticking out, her ever changing round eyes misting, her hair was so long now she could pull it back in a school marm bun even though it was Barbie blond. I miss her old hair Ultra-Barbie blond and "sassy."
"You didn't make her. It's not you that she has in her head. She was never yours, and now she's mine," Spike said.
"True that, dude. True that," I laughed.
B looked at me all sad like, and then she said goodbye to me and Spike. I think she called me "Dana." I dunno. I tuned her out. I don't do dramatic goodbyes.
"Holy shit!" I said and I laughed the minute I heard Spike shut the door behind her. "Don't ever tell me you can't handle her again. Why didn't you do that years ago when she first came by when Dana was actually alive and an issue? You do know how to handle Slayers though, don't you? But, I think I should be on top for a while, and let's not forget about it."
I unbuttoned the rest of the buttons on his shirt, as I pushed him into living room, past the Sex Pistol poster and on to the couch. I climbed on top of him, but he just moved his head to the side like a dog submitting. I was afraid of this.
"You weren't just bullshitting B. You still don't think it's me. You think I' m Dana messing around. You want me to hit the road again," I said.
I sighed. This was such annoying bullshit, but it wasn't like I was going to cry over it. My eyelashes were still wet from crying over letting Dana die or whatever. But I didn't let her die. I died for her. I didn't have a clue I'd come back in her bod, and get her memories. I sat back on Spike's legs. It was a good thing he had the super strength because my legs were as big as his now. Not that Dana was a fatty; Spike just wasn't the biggest guy in the world, not outside of his pants anyway. I think I remember Dana seeing it once, that first time, and it scared the shit out of her. Poor girl.
"I don't want you to go anywhere. That was a mistake. I'm sure I'll make more," he smiled sadly.
"It's the body, isn't it? You can't stand the body. You like them small boned, I was the biggest size you'd take. You pig! I mean, I know it's not like my old bod."
"It's not the body. I think you're adorable. You have a rough an' tumble way about you that could send any man over the edge…Just like Faith," he said keeping the smile, but I could tell it had something else underneath.
It was something I'd never seen him do before. He was forcing the corners of his mouth up, but those eyes. They weren't the smug ones with the pieces of good/bad light flicking on and off like a neon sign. His eyes were dark and fixed. Two dark blue sharp orbs fixed on dim -fixed on me.
"C'mon, Spike! Do you really think Dana could pull this off? She had the savvy of a ten year old. And she didn't have any mad skills in the way of the bedroom. Maybe she wanted you a little, but thatyouscared the crap out of her. She didn't understand me, us, she couldn't," I grumbled.
"You want to know one of the ways I know you're not Faith?" he asked in a casual way like he was asking if I wanted to know why he could beat me at poker.
He never would tell me about the poker thing.
"She wouldn't talk about you like this, like you were some foolish charge. She loved you and she would be devastated, devastated, if anything happened to you," Spike said to me.
He wasn't pushing me away. He was holding my face, so I couldn't pull away from him.
"No. No," I said. I was pissed. I thought I might cry again, thinking about Dana and me, but when I put my hand on his chest I felt like I was myself again.
How's that for irony.
"Maybemaybe I did care about the kid, but, but, it wasn't how I cared about you or even how I cared about that stupid bitch who just left," I said.
"You think she didn't love you because her memories of loving Buffy an' me feel different? But it doesn't mean she didn't love you," he said.
"II care about you so much, Spike. You know I'm not good with this stuff, but you are really pissing me off with not believing me. I care about you so much it makes this body shake. The way I felt about Dana never made me want to shake. If she was gone from me I worried. I wanted to do anything to make sure she was okay, but I didn't feel like I couldn't get through the next five minutes. You always made me shaky, but in the old body I could control it, and now I can't. I'm at the end of my fucking rope and if you say I'm her again, I'll lose it. I don't know shit about love, so I don't want to talk out of my ass and tell you I love you if I don't know how to do it. But I almost wished I said this in my old body if this is how you're going to be."
"Don'tWas sheYou shouldn't worry about that. I know what we had. I know exactly what we had, and youshe knew it too," he said.
I could feel his chest shaking with breath he didn't need. He didn't need to breathe or be going through this drama.
"Have, Spike, have, as in want and take. What would I have to do to prove it's me? Don't you want it to be me?" I asked and I kissed him softly on the mouth.
It was funny, doing it in this body, just a little lip on lip made Dana's hands sweat
"More than anything I've ever wanted in my life," Spike chocked back a sob.
"Well, when you want something you have to make it happen. I am Faith, there's no way I can stop being me. Thinking what I think; feeling what I feel. If you really were so into me for these past few years, like you say, you'd have the stones to get past this body thing," I said as I ran my hands up and down his arms.
His arms were these awesome ropey things. I was always looking at themtouching him, even when I first met him, and even then he always let me. Now he grabbed my hands roughly to make me stop.
"It isn't lack of courage. Let's have this metaphysical argument out, shall we?" he snapped. "Say you are her? For all intents and purposes you are. You have her memories, her thoughts, and her feelings. Hell, you're even starting to get her glare. These are the things that make a person who they are, right?"
"Fuck yeah. What's a metaph-?"
"It's an argument about what's what and why. Like, what if you have all of these things of Faith, but you really are Dana pushing Faith forward because Dana can't handle Faith's death?" Spike said.
"Heavy," I smiled, "Then I'm still your girl,"
"Well, that's the rub isn't it? Maybe we can say this is a way of keeping Faith alive, but if she is in fact dead it doesn't change that. The girl that dragged us out of Hell and took us to Heaven is really not here. Maybe she's there, in Heaven and she wouldn't mind if we..."
"Well, you know me," I said as I got off of him and looked out the window.
Maybe I was looking for that old neon stripper to come back. That old neon stripper was wiry and flashy and lived in an ugly box brick building in an ugly part of LAjust like me. I knew I wasn't dead. I knew I was the strong one and I survived. Spike had said something like this to me before, and I flipped out. I guess I was getting sane because I realized flipping out wasn't working. Maybe I didn't like when he said this because I knew Dana was in Heaven, but I remember not being so sure I'd make it.
"If that was true," I said with a laugh, "You could remember the ol' me. My hot bod, and how I died to save you because I wanted to. I really wanted to; I wanted you to live more than anything. But past is past and if you can't beat 'em join em. Have some fun."
I slowly walked back over to him and my fake leather couch I found on that pier that time. I smiled at him. I know my smile looked big and broad and goofy. That was Dana's smile. It made her look younger. She looked like someone's pure Italian niece that flew over just to see the fucking home town of some boy band; or the black and white old picture of some distant relative on her virgin wedding day. I couldn't believe that Dana had lost track of exactly how old she was. I felt myself licking my lips like I always did.
"Yeah, yeah, I do know you, all of you and there needs to be room for Dana in there somewhere. That's what Faith would want," Spike said.
"Well, Faith wouldn't want for it to be like a convent in here with the lack of screwing and she wouldn't want it to be like a constant funeral either," I said.
It was true. It's not what I would want. I don't want to keep referring to myself in the third person. I wasn't B. I wasn't- I wasn't anyone else. I was Faith now.
"No, no. She wouldn't," Spike said softly, his eyes off in some other stratosphere now, "Just-just give me time."