Chinese Burn

Hey all. This is a Faith-related songfic. It features the song 'Chinese Burn' by Curve (the song Faith and Buffy danced to in 'Bad Girls'). I looked up the lyrics and found out just how suiting it really was. This takes place after 'Enemies'. Enjoy!

She burns friends like a piece of wood.

And she's jealous of me because she never could

Hold herself up without a spine.

And she'll look me up when she's doing fine.

Faith's body seemed to move robotically in the flashing lights of the Bronze. A song very familiar to her was blaring through the speakers around her. This is our song. This was the song that she and Buffy's body's sang to when they cut loose. When Buffy drifted over into the mindless abandon that Faith felt every day. Chest heaving and body surging with adrenaline, the people around her seemed to obey a silent warning and never got too close. The only person besides a few mindless morons who had the nerve to ever dance near her was Buffy. Her opposite.

Her sister.

For so many years Faith had been alone. Wandering from town to town, doing good when she could. But after her watcher died and she became hunted, she saught out the one person she knew of that could help her. But aside from that one night in the Bronze, the two had never connected. Buffy was always on a higher plane than she was. While Buffy was exalted and loved by all, Faith was slowly slinking. Funny how no one seemed to notice. Or care.

Because that rage, it burns like Chinese torture.

She's just someone's favorite daughter.

Spoilt and ugly as she willingly slaughters.

Friends and enemies, they're all the same.

The Mayor was the only one Faith could count on. He took her in when Buffy had nearly given her away. He gave her weapons, clothing, a place to call her own. All he asked in return was her loyaltly and to do a few errands. Granted, those errands included murder...but she wasn't willing to give up the one person who seemed to love her. He recognized her for what she was: powerful. He put her unbridled passion to use and allowed her to rejoice in the freedom and strength she was born with. Something Buffy would never understand.

Even while slaying, the second she drove the stake home, she felt a burst of adrenaline. Buffy was always 'find 'em, dust 'em, leave 'em'. The blonde saw her lineage as a burden and something to be mourned. Slaying was all Faith had. And when the council and law threatened to take that away...something inside her snapped. She did recon for the Mayor, using the slight position she had in the Scooby Gang to find out what they knew and were planning. But now she was found out. Buffy and her boy-toy had played her and she was exposed. Oh well. It was getting difficult to continue pretending anyway.

All the same.

Crush her fame.

Burn her name.

She would never admit to Buffy how hurt she felt at each small betrayal and disappointment. She figured that since she and Buffy shared the same 'burden', they would be somewhat close. She couldn't be more wrong. She left Faith out of the loop; never inviting her to the meetings with the Scooby Gang or even trusting her enough to tell her about Angel's return from Hell. Meanwhile Faith had divulged more information to Buffy than she had to anyone. She told her about her watcher, even showed a moment of vulnerability. She revealed her past exploits, almost everything she could without become overly weak and she recieved nothing in return.

Even after Buffy's betrayal and lying about Angel, Faith tried to make amends. She tried to put it behind her and show her what it was like to live her life on the wild side. She took what she needed, lived life to its fullest and regretted nothing. Life was too short for regret or remorse. And Buffy may deny it, but she saw the way her fellow slayer revelled in the feeling of abandon. After a vicious slaying they came to this club, linked hands and danced off the excess energy. Only, with the music blaring and their hands clasped, the energy around them only seemed to grow stronger.

She'll break a promise as a matter of course.

She thinks it's fun to have no remorse.

She gets what she wants and then walks away.

And she doesn't give a fuck what you might say.

Why couldn't Buffy have just given Faith time to come to terms with what she did? Why didn't she understand that human casualties was an occurance in the slaying buisness? Didn't she see that Faith was sorry? She couldn't turn herself into the police! What would she say? "I'm sorry I killed that guy, I thought he was a vampire." Hardly. So she panicked, lied and tried to run away. And the 'Holier than Thou Buffy' tried to convince her to stay and get help. That she'd be her friend through it all. But the second Faith relented and stayed, Buffy turned her back on her. Where was the friendship?

Faith was actually a bit disappointed that Buffy hadn't figured it out sooner. The look of hurt and betrayal on her fellow slayer's face angered her and weakened her. How dare she look hurt! Buffy's the one who pushed her to this! She's the one who broke hollow promises of friendship! All Faith ever wanted was someone to depend on, and no matter how much she wanted to, she couldn't depend on the blonde slayer. She'd forgive and love Angel, despite the fact that he killed mass amounts of people. But Faith makes one mistake and nothing is forgiven or forgotten. "Loser." That's what Buffy had called her. Well, in a few days Buffy and her friends would be the losers. Her father-figure would rise and smite the people who hurt and betrayed her. And then Faith would be exalted and loved and accepted.

Because it cuts her up like Irish mortar.

Mother's pride is what we taught her.

Soiled and pretty as we happily taunt her.

Friend or enemy, we're all to blame.

As a shiver ran down her spine, Faith glanced over her shoulder at the doorway. Buffy and her gang had just entered the Bronze. Red and Xander were talking solemnly and Buffy was looking around. Ah Xander. She hoped the boy relished his one night stand with her. She'd be the best he'll ever have. She snorted when she thought about the night that she made sure Buffy had no feelings for the twit so she might pursue him. What ever possessed her to like him in the first place? Faith turned her body to face the entrance, still dancing to their song.

Feeling her stare, Buffy looked up and was slightly surprised at what she saw. Faith was in the center of the dancefloor, arms raised above her head. Her hazel eyes looked with the fierce stare of her once-friend as Faith began imitating the way they had danced. Buffy felt a tug of remorse in the pit of her stomach but couldn't tear her eyes away. "What are you looking at?" Willow asked. "Faith." Red and Xander looked over at her in a mixture of worry and shock. Faith smiled at their realization and couldn't resist the urge to tease the boy. She tilted her head and winked at him with a wide smile. The stony gaze her gave her was worth it. Looking back at Buffy, she blew a kiss and moved deeper into the crowd.

"What are we gonna do?" Willow asked, brow furrowed. Buffy shook her head. "Nothing. Faith won't try anything with this many people here."

If she sits still like she knows she could,

She could win this game and be queen for good.

Save herself up for the cream of the crop.

Then she'll look up up when she's ready to stop.

Faith made her way over to the bar and sat down on one of the stools, the adrenaline buzz still rushing through her veins. She ordered a coke and waited. She grinned to herself when someone sat down next to her. "Hey B. Figured you'd stop by," she said and took a sip of her drink. "What are you doing here?" Buffy asked. Faith shrugged. "Cutting loose. My nerves are all jumpy. You know the feeling," she said and chanced a glance at the slayer next to her. Buffy looked away. "So, stop any evil forces lately?" Faith asked and played with her straw. "Kill anyone lately?" Buffy countered. Faith chuckled and looked up, pretending to think. "Not anyone worth knowing, no." She pushed her drink away and turned in her seat to face the blonde.

"So, do we throw down? 'Cause if we do, I'm sure someone's bound to get hurt. Someone 'innocent', anyway," she muttered with a roll of her eyes. Buffy stared at her for a second before shaking her head. "Not tonight Faith. Not here." Faith grinned and leaned back in her chair. "Still the self-righteous bitch." Buffy flinched but didn't reply. Faith stared at her for a moment before sighing. "You're way too serisous, B. It ain't healthy. But seeing as how you and your pathetic groupies are gonna be mince-meat in a few days, I guess you have every right to be this serious. But me? If it were my last days on earth, I'd be living them up." Buffy cocked an eyebrow. "Is that why you're 'cutting loose' now?" The brunette smiled. "Wouldn't you like to know?"

Because that rage, it burns like Chinese torture.

She's just someone's favorite daughter.

Spoilt and ugly as she willingly slaughters.

Friends and enemies, they're all the same.

"Why are you doing this, Faith? It's not too late." Faith had to laugh at that. "For what? More broken promises? Sorry B, but I'm over being your little lap-dog. I still can't believe that your groupies are." Buffy's eyes narrowed. "I'm not asking you to be my lap-dog. I'm trying to give you a chance--" Faith rolled her eyes, not wanting to hear any more. "A chance to what? Repent? Be the good slayer again? Walk in your shadow, fight the good fight and never get any credit for it? Sorry, but I'm not willing to kill the only person who ever really gave a shit about me just so I can be in your good graces again," she growled and took another sip of her drink. "Faith that's not--" She slammed her glass down and turned to look at her. "Isn't it? Aside from that night on the docks, how did you try to help me?" Buffy looked a bit uncomfortable. "You were already sided with the Mayor." Faith smiled. "But you didn't know that yet. So you still considered me a good girl. Tell me, oh warrior of the people, how did you try to help me? You stayed by Angel's side and helped his murderous ass. But how did you help me?"

Buffy was silent. The smile faded from Faith's face. "Face it B, you gave up on me a while ago. And if you're half as smart as you think you are, you'll give up on trying to stop the Mayor. 'Cause he's gonna own this town and pretty much everything else on this sorry earth and soon you'll find yourself pretty dead. Along with your friends, your family, even your watcher." Buffy stared at Faith evenly. "Like your's?" Something akin to deep sorrow flittered across Faith's face for a moment, then the dark slayer recovered, grabbed her glass and smashed it against Buffy's head. The glass shattered and Buffy was thrown from her chair from the blow. Everyone turned at the commotion, but Faith could care less. "Shut your mouth you low-life bitch," she growled. "You may be everyone's golden child, but you know nothing about me or my watcher. Or what it was like to watch her die. But I'm gonna take a lot of pleasure in watching my boss rip you apart. And trust me, it'll be wicked painful." She stared at Buffy for a moment, then looked over at the Scoobies. "Hey Red. Minute-man," she said, nodding to each with a grin.

She kicked her chair away, walked over Buffy and out the back exit.

All the same.

Crush her fame.

Burn her name.

"Have a nice time?" Faith looked over at the Mayor from her place near the balcony. She attempted a smile, but it didn't quite reach her eyes. Buffy's comment about her previous watcher still stung. Wilkins noticed and frowned slightly. "Did you have a run-in with that little blonde tramp?" That made Faith smile slightly. "Yeah. No biggie though. Broke a glass with her face." Wilkins chuckled to himself. "Thatta girl. I have something for you." Faith's eyes lit up and she leapt over the railing and down to her boss. He handed her a package which she tore into with child-like glee. Her eyes widened.

A pink dress lay folded in the box and she fingered the material gently. "It's...it's beautiful," she said softly. He smiled broadly. "I figured it was about time that you had something besides your street-clothes to wear. And with that...you'll certainly be a vision." Faith blushed slightly and smiled. "Boss...thank you." He took the box from her and put it on a dresser. "We can see how it looks on you tomorrow. You've had a long night and need to keep your strength up." Faith looked up at him. "Do you...do you really think we can beat them?" He looked at her for a moment, his expression serious. "With you by my side, there's nothing we can't do. The world won't be just mine, Faith. It'll be your's. You've come so far..." He smiled lovingly with fatherly pride and Faith couldn't help but smile back. "Now, let's grab an ice-cream and then it's off to bed for you." Faith laughed and followed him to the kitchen, her heart lighter.

All the same.

Crush her fame.

Burn her name.

-End-