By Norwalker

A short story, complete.

Summary: A/U story. What if things had gone differently that night on the roof?

Rating : R

Category: Romance/ Angst

Pairing: Faith/ Buffy

Timeline/ Spoilers: End of season 3

Dark. All of it's dark. It's been that way for awhile.

You can barely make out the walls of your cell, the only light coming from a small barred window high up on the eastern wall. The light is getting brighter, so she knows it must be morning now. She turns towards the light, wishing you could feel it on her skin. Wishing it would burn you, set you on fire and reduce you to ash. But it's too far away. Too far to reach, the manacles on your wrists not letting you move much. You pull against the chains again, like you've done 100 times already, but it's no good; they're too strong, and too tight. You sigh, and lean against the wall, staring at the light.

At least the screaming has stopped now. God, it was horrible… all night long, the screams, the shouting, the wet sounds as it fed. Oh, god it kept feeding and feeding. I thought I'd go mad listening to it. Your anger returns, and again you struggle uselessly against your chains. Then you gives up, hanging limp, your head down, your lank, dirty hair covering your face. You try again to sit, but the chains are too high on the wall. You leans, exhausted beyond measure. Your body gives out, and you dream. You're in a field, a field full of flowers and grass and sunshine. Willow is there, smiling at you. " Wake up, sleepyhead" Willow shakes you gently" I wanna show you something."

Willow grabs your hand, and pulls you along to a thick patch of trees and flowers. Willow puts her hand to her lips, her soft ruby colored lips, to shush you. She points down, and you see something wonderful. A bevy of hummingbirds, seemingly flying in formation, are feeding on the flowers. Their wings beat so fast, they're invisible, and the tiny birds resemble fairies, dancing on the air.

You're enchanted and fascinated by the tiny birds, watching as they flit from flower to flower. You look up, to say something, and stop. The sun is shining just perfectly behind your friend's head, bathing her fire red hair in a soft corona. She's smiling, watching the tiny air dancers, her soft green eyes following them in awe and wonder. You wonder why you've never noticed before how beautiful she is. For a brief moment, your heart is full.

You turn back to the flowers, but something's changed. Something is terribly wrong. The tiny birds have stopped flying, and are lying dead on the flowers. The flowers themselves have wilted, died, and blood is dripping from their petals. Dark, red blood, blood that seems to burn and smoke. Frightened, you stand up, and look towards Willow. She's on the ground, her body ripped into shreds, her blood flowing in tiny rivers onto the tall grass. But it's no longer grass … the field is full of shattered glass. You walk carefully to her, but you cut your feet. You fall to your knees, and you look up. You see it, coming for you, and you're frozen.

And you scream, and scream, and scream.

You wake up screaming, in the dark. Alone, in your cell, shivering from the damp and fright.

Then the tears come again, streaming down your face. You cry for her, and for the others, because that's all you can do. Cry. That's all you're good for now, crying over them. Was I ever any good for them? You wonder, All I ever did was bring them danger. I risked their lives, tossed the dice, and this time, I lost.

But it's worse than that, this time. Much worse. It wasn't a toss of the dice that killed them. It was you. You alone. You could've stopped this, you could've done what you should've done, but you didn't. You didn't, and they paid for it. Paid with their blood, their flesh, and their lives. Paid for your sins. You're awful, dirty sins.

Because you know you betrayed them, and you can never make it right.

You hear a noise, the scrape of a boot on stone, and you look up sharply. She's there, in the shadows, watching you.

She emerges from the shadows, into the dim light. Even here, in this awful place, the light seems to cling to her, highlighting her dark hair, sparkling in her dark deep eyes. Her lips seem wet, and shine.

It's more than that, so much more. She brings her own light, her own energy. Even here, in this hole, that energy charges the atmosphere. Her scent fills your nostrils, and you take it in like a drug. You crave it; no, you crave her. You feel the lust, the desire build in you, touching you in your most secret, private places, little sparks turning to raging fires inside you. Already you feel the effects, how damp you are , how helpless you are.

You hate it. You hate what she does to you, how she makes you feel. It made you do what you did, betray your friends, betray the world, so she would have you. That night, so long and yet but a couple of days ago, when you went to … kill her, god, you can't even think of doing that now, but you went to kill her. You went to kill her, and feed her to Angel. Angel! God, he's dead. Dead, I know he's dead… because I didn't do what I should've done. He died, thinking I'd come back him… hoping I would, and I … Oh, god…. You wish you had a knife, a knife to cut your heart out. You hate your heart, what it's done to you. You wish you could stop feeling these feelings. Guilt, self-loathing, and pain. All because you betrayed them, and went to her. Gave yourself to her, worshipped her.

She comes to you, and suddenly she's so close, so close. You can feel her heat, her sensuality, washing over you. You want to break these chains, you want to grab her and hold her and take her. But you hold back, trying to press yourself into the wall, anything to get away from her. You turn your face away, wanting, not wanting to look at her. Not daring to look at her.

She puts her hand on your cheek, and it burns like fire. She turns your head, and your looking into those eyes. Those eyes which go on forever, drinking you in. And you want to be drunk, drunk in her eyes, her dark, deep eyes. You're helpless, she rules you, body and soul.

" It's over, B " she says softly, caressing your face. Her lips so close, you can feel the tickle of her warm breath on your lips.

You mind screams It's NEVER OVER!. But then you realize, she means the battle. You turn and look at the small window in your cell, and says, softly" It… it's… it really is, isn't it" You hang your head in shame.

She takes your face in her soft, warm hands, and lifts it to hers. " No, baby, we promised. No guilt." She kisses you softly, and your heart flutters in your chest.

" But it's wrong… I… it's wrong. I betrayed them all." You cry, the tears coming back. You hate yourself for loving her more than life. But you do.

" No tears, lover" She wipes the tears away with her thumb. " I kept my promise."

She backs away, and you feel bereft. She's leaving you, and the thought chills you to your heart. Then she removes the scarf from her neck, and you see it. The marks. The bite of the vampire. Angel's bite.

" H- he's alive" You stutter in disbelief. " how"

" After…" She pauses, the heat of the night you spent together coming clear in her, and in you" After we were together, I went the mansion. I took a couple of the Mayor's thugs with me, and we easily KO'd Willow and Oz. He was nearly dead, and oh so delirious. I fed him. He thought it was you, B. I had to force him" She laughs. " If he'd only known he probably would've drained me. But I managed to get him off before he did. The … others collected me, took me to the hospital. You should've seen Wilkin's face. He nearly had a cow. But… Angel's alive… or well, he's not dust, anyway."

You're heart starts to beat furiously in your chest. " The others" You ask, daring to hope.

"They're ok, I got 'em out, like I said I would" Faith says, quietly" They didn't want to go, they thought I killed you. They wanted to fight me sooo bad."

" D-Did you tell them" You ask, you're heart like a stone in your chest.

"That was the deal , B. No lies. I'd get them away, and safe, but you had to do what I wanted. You had to tell them the truth." Faith smiles, a hard smile. " Boy, they wanted to so not believe me. They thought I was lying. Figures." She shrugs her 'who cares' shrug. " Anyway, after I played the tape… they believed." She sees your expression, and grins ruefully" I don't think they're your fan club anymore, babe."

" No" You say, feeling empty, feeling lost. Everything and everyone you've known, everything you believed, gone." They probably pretty much hate me now."

" Pretty much" She agrees. You start to cry, and she comes to you, slipping her arms around you, holding you. She has you, you hers; you know it, and she knows it.

" What now" You sob, the loss hitting you. She releases you, and steps back, looking deep into your eyes. Again, you feel her power over you.

" It's a whole new world for you and me, baby" She says. She reaches into her jeans, and pulls out a key. " Starting now."

She unlocks the manacles, and you're free. You rub your wrists where they were, the soreness a small price.

" I'm sorry baby, but you agreed to it. I had to do this" She says, pulling you close. The heat overwhelms you, and your mind goes fuzzy with desire and lust. " I know you, Buffy. If I'd let you free, to wander, to go, you would've gone. You… that's you, you would've given it all up, to do what you think is right." She kisses you, and your mind whirls. " You're mine, do you understand? You're mine" She kisses you again, devouring your lips. More, more, god I need more your mind screams as you surrender. " This is right, do you get it"

" Yes, yes, yes" you whisper, kissing her, surrendering to her totally. This is right, this is what you want. More than anything you've ever wanted before.

She lifts you, and you put your arm around her neck. You nuzzle her, and then … this pungent aroma hits you.

" God, I so need to bathe" You blush, knowing she's got to be able to smell you.

" You're such a girl" she laughs, then kisses you again, and you forget bathing, your smell, anything but her warm soft lips on yours.

She carries you to the door, and you take on last look at your cell. The dark has swallowed it up, and it's like a bad memory… gone, forever gone. You feel her gaze on you, and you look at her. Her expression is serious and questioning.

" Gotta wonder… was it worth it" She asks. You know it's the key. The key to your new life.

You just look at her, and smile.