(Faith/Wesley)

The Meaning Of Innocence

She doesn't know the meaning of the word innocence. Not anymore. She hasn't for a long time. Being a slayer has hardened her and given her an edge. Her eyes have seen too much and the last shreds of anything pure in her were pulled from her piece by piece, leaving something dirty and gritty behind.

She is a lost cause and she knows it. It is Wesley who can't seem to grasp that concept. Poor, naive Wesley.

"Why won't you give it up?" she very nearly snarls at him.

His gaze doesn't waver. "Because you aren't all the way gone yet. There is still hope for you. I can see it in your eyes and I trust that it's in you to better yourself, even if you can't see it."

"I'm a lost cause, baby. A train wreck." She gestures down her body with two hands, palms facing up. "That's all that's left of me."

"I don't believe it is."

"Well you're wrong." Something flashes in her eyes and he catches it before she turns to walk away. He reaches out to her and his fingers latch around her wrist. Pausing, she glances back. Their eyes lock.

"I will not give up on you," he says.

She clenches her jaw and pulls form his grasp. Moving swiftly, she is soon out of sight.

"Even if I don't think I'll succeed," he tells the shadows.

fin.