CHAPTER FIVE

Lindsey wasn't sure what woke him up but something had. He looked over at Faith, who was also rubbing sleep from her eyes. Whatever it was had awoken them both and that made him nervous. Lindsey glanced over at the bedroom door and sat bolt upright.

"Dante! What are you doing here?" he asked, even though in the pit of his stomach he knew. Beside him, Faith's breath caught and she shook.

Dante fingered Faith's gold cross. "Just wanted to say thanks for making it all less scary and I hope you won't forget me. I won't forget you." The boy beamed and Faith started sobbing, pressing her face against Lindsey's shoulder.

Lindsey trembled, his eyes hot with tears. "When you get where you're going, Dante, look for my siblings, Joy and Adam. They're a lot of fun to play with."

"I will. Bye!" Dante waved and disappeared.

Lindsey folded Faith in his arms, then reached for the phone. "Mr. Holland, sir, sorry to call so late," Lindsey said, trying to keep his voice even. "I just got a visit from Dante, sir...yes, I thought so. I'm sorry to hear it, sir." Lindsey set the phone back in the cradle. "Dante's heart gave up about an hour ago," he whispered.

Faith crushed herself to him and Lindsey held her, pressing his face against her hair as he wept.

It was a beautiful day, the sun beaming down on Dante's funeral, as if the boy had arranged for the perfect day for the proceedings. Lindsey thought back to what he and Faith had done the last time they were in a cemetery and felt that much more depraved for it. Dante had been buried with Faith's cross at his own request. Faith, looking amazingly proper in her black dress, clung to Lindsey's arm, needy in a way he had never seen. But today he needed her just as badly.

They lingered as the rest of the massive funeral party left. The ground around the still-open grave was littered with flowers. Faith carried a live lime tree in her arms. Mr. D'Amato had requested everyone take a plant home with them as a gift from Dante.

"I'm not going to be able to have a shot of tequila without thinking of you, kiddo, once this thing fruits," she said, sniffing hard, trying not to cry. "Might not be a thing to tell a kid but hey, you were my boyfriend, right?"

"We're going to miss you, Dante," Lindsey said. "Hope you, Adam, and Joy are having a good time over there. You dad told me your last words, 'I have faith.' He said he knew you'd want me to know and I'll make sure they don't get forgotten."

Tears streaming, Faith shifted the tree pot on her hip, cursing softly. "Why does doing good always hurt so damn much? I don't want to feel like this."

Lindsey put his arm around her, leading her away from the grave. "Usually with Wolfram and Hart, this is not a problem."

"Good," she said bitterly and neither of them believed it.

Ficathon requirements

Another character you want involved: Faith
If other character is female, do you want them romantically paired: Yes
Three objects/things/places/people you want: a controlling relationship, doesn't matter who does the controlling, sex in a public place, and testing each other in some way
Two objects/things/places/people you don't want: don't want lilah or angel
What's the highest level of fic you want (they can write lower than what you say but not higher): NC-17