Author: Beer Good
Timeline: A few years post-"Chosen"
Summary: Faith fights another kind of angel.
Warning: Character death
Disclaimer: If man is five, then the devil is six. And if the devil is six, then God is seven. And if God is seven, then Joss is eight. At least when it comes to his characters.
When it happens, it's in a fraction of a second, too quickly to even know where she slips up. One of the junior Slayers – a 15-year-old called just weeks earlier – is cornered, Faith dives in to take the heat off her and suddenly one of the demons has his entire fucking forearm in her belly, sharp claws shredding her insides to pizza topping and grabbing at her spine from the wrong side. She lops his head off with an arm that seems to work on autopilot, but then the sword falls from her fingers as if they die before she does. Through the fountain of blood she sees B and the others coming to her aid, shouting something she can't hear, but the hard stony ground leaps up and smacks her in the face and her last thought in life is that the undertaker better do a good job on that eyebrow.
When she wakes up, the heat is the first thing she notices. The air itself – if that is what it is – burns her lungs with every breath. She wants to not breathe but that doesn't seem to be an option. It's almost pitch dark, but the flames (of course there are flames) give just enough light to see by; broken, ragged, black rocks, nothing lives here. The pain kicks in when she tries to move; she winces as she runs her hand across her stomach and it's... not there anymore, just a gaping hole. Gutted me like a fish... If she had any doubts, they're gone now. Nobody survives that. She supposes that if she'd gone to the other place they might have bothered healing her; here it just hurts, but it can't kill her anymore than it already has.
"NO! No fucking way! I tried, damnit!"
Telling the pain to shut up, she makes a fist and pounds at the rock beneath her until the tears are under control. She staggers to her feet before she realizes that she's not alone.
She's surrounded by shadows. Voices
whispering all around her, a ghostly chorus of accusations.
(You useless little slut)
(I made him an offer he couldn't survive)
(Put that away. I'll scream... please)
(You spat on me)
(No real power here)
(They'll forever see you as a)
(Cold-blooded straight up KILLER)
"Right, so that's the deal, huh? Tormented by the ghosts of Christmas pasts?" She looks around, challenging the darkness to come for her. The voices fade away. "Newsflash: I kicked the First Evil's scrawny ass. I've both been there and done that. What else ya got?"
"Oh... nothing." The new voice is unfamiliar, and yet she recognizes it as it reverberates through the entire... room, cave, whatever this is, making the very air tremble in fear. "Nothing at all, Faith. That's the beauty of it: there's nothing left here."
The shadows part and he steps into her field of vision.
"You gotta be shitting me." The creature towers over her, black horns flaking with age, red fur stinking like death itself rotting, broken black wings hanging uselessly on his back, pitchfork carried with lazy and lethal familiarity. "I never woulda thought I deserved this kind of personal greeting."
He chuckles. "Oh, I make a point of offering personal service. After all, we have nothing but time here. That, and the knowledge that all your trying was for nothing. For people like you, there's no reward, no redemption, no hope, no life. You bought your ticket here the second you strayed, Faith, and all your attempts at atonement, balancing the scales, convincing your little friends that you were one of the good guys now... they were always going to be in vain. You fought for nothing – congratulations: you got it. Any questions?"
"Been rehearsing that speech long, have you?"
Laughter. She gets the distinct feeling he's not taking her seriously. And she decides.
"OK, then, here's a question: you any good with that thing?" She nods at the pitchfork.
He frowns. "Oh, as long as you don't make any trouble, you won't have to find out. I try not to fight unarmed girls, it's so... unseemly."
"Oh, I'm not unarmed. Show me yours..."
She's not sure where it comes from – it's as if it was with her the whole time even though her hands were empty; she reaches out of, somehow, grabs it and holds it up for him to see.
"...and I'll show you mine."
The scythe. Of course it's not the scythe, that's still back in the real world. Nah, this is more like this place's version of it, a different incarnation, meaner and sootier, glowing where the other one shines, but still unmistakably hers. Her power.
He looks at the tiny girl and her weapon, shaking his head. "I'm sorry... Was I not clear before about the no-hope thing? You lost. You fought, you lost, you came here, you're not getting out. You have nothing to fight for. Do I need to draw you a diagram?"
"So... what are you gonna do? Kill me?" Keeping eyecontact, she licks the tip of her middle finger and runs it over the scythe's edge; sharp as ever. "Come on, big boy. Let's get to it."
There's the briefest flicker of confusion in his eyes.
That's all the invitation she needs.
She holds out her scythe to Faith. A moment, and Faith takes it. Stabs the guy behind her without looking at him. And then goes apeshit on the fuckers.
- Joss Whedon, "Chosen" shooting script