Title: Nothing But Ash
Author: Sapphire Smoke
Beta: Frass
Fandom: Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Rating: M
Pairing(s): Buffy/Faith
Sequel To: "No Such Animal" which is a sequel to "Bleed Me Dry, My Love"
Summary: No one is shoving a soul down Faith's throat. No one.
A/N: This should be the last in the series, but who knows lol.


I wake up in a wave of fury and vengeance; my throat dry from screaming, my eyes wild, my arms grasping onto the firm steel bars that hold me captive as I try with everything I am to bend them to my will. Nothing budges though, the magically reinforced pieces of shit. I scream into the darkness of the room, scream about how I'm gonna rip out every single one of their throats and make them eat their own eyes. But my words just echo off the walls, falling on deaf ears. No one is here. No one cares.

Not yet.

I don't have to sleep; I don't have to rest, so I keep screaming. I keep pounding on the walls and kicking the bars and makin' one hell of a 'ruckus', as Giles would say (I'm going to rip out his heart and show it to him later, maybe feed the thing valve by valve to Red), and I know someone's gotta get sick of the noise soon and have to come down to deal with me.

I need to get the fuck out of this thing. Vampires aren't meant to be contained. Fuckin' like containing a tiger; just askin' for trouble if it ain't already domesticated as fuck like the ones born in zoos.

I ain't a fuckin' attraction. Not that I wouldn't mind children comin' a bit too close to the glass. Mmm… children taste like cotton candy. Sugary, sweet, and fluffy. The thought makes my mouth water. What I wouldn't do for a little redheaded step child right now.

It takes all of about an hour before someone does finally venture down the stairs to the basement where I'm being kept. Slowly, cautiously, like they aren't one hundred percent sure I don't have superpowers that can make me walk through fuckin' steel bars. I fall silent, a wicked smile spreading across my face as I tilt my head to the side to peer at Giles. He stands at the bottom of the stairs, looking at me like he's sad he has to see me this way. Fuck him.

"Faith," he says softly.

"Come give us a kiss, G," I purr, one leg slipping between the bars, wrapping my arm around the same one. I stroke it suggestively and lick my bottom lip.

He doesn't react to it in the slightest. Well, fuck, he used to get all flustered. This is becoming less fun.

"How are you feeling?" he asks me, like I have some sort of fuckin' sickness.

"Five by five," I respond, my hand still stroking the bar suggestively. "You know me though, H&H runnin' my life." I snake my tongue out and lick the bar, keeping eye contact with him. "How 'bout you help me out? I've always wondered how my mouth would feel wrapped around your cock. All the blood rushing to it so generously so I can sink my teeth in and bleed you dry."

That makes Giles flustered. Actually, he coughs, backing up a few steps. I'm sick of playing games though so I slam my hands against the bars, making them shake but not budge. "Let me out," I demand dangerously, my voice coming out a growl.

"You know we can't do that. Willow is preparing another spell, but it probably won't be ready for a couple of weeks." He says it like he's apologizing.

"I don't want a filthy soul, ya fuckin' Neanderthal!" I scream, slamming my hands into the bars. I want to tear everything to shreds and finger paint the walls with blood. "Who the fuck made you God, huh? Who the fuck came and gave you permission to 'save' anyone?! Fuck you! FUCK YOU! When I get outta here I'm gonna beat you to death with your fuckin' liver!"

He just looks at me sadly and leaves. Just fuckin' leaves me here with my anger and my rage and my uncontrollably thirst that's threatening to consume me whole and spit me back out again. Kinda like what frogs do with their stomachs when they throw up. Spit the whole fuckin' thing out, claw it open, empty it, then swallow it again. That's what this fuckin' feels like and it's driving me insane.

Gunn comes down later with food, or what he thinks constitutes as food. I throw the container of pigs blood at him, scream more obscenities, throw in a couple innuendoes and death threats and I'm left alone again. I find myself in the corner of the cell, trying to focus on anything but the hunger that's coursing through my veins. I start clawing at my arm, trying to use pain to distract myself. The smell of my blood intoxicates me though and I start drinking from my own vein. It's old blood, nothing close to fresh but it's still human from the last person I drank, and it dulls the hunger for a little while.

I know they're watching me. Somehow, I know they're watching me. I can feel it.

I can feel B too. The connection feels so tortured and it'd be delicious if it were anyone else. It'd be delicious if I couldn't fuckin' feel it like it was my own feelings. It makes me scream and swear to kill everyone in horrific ways again, my nails scratching against the wall as I desperately try to find a way out. I'm an animal. Animals aren't meant to be fuckin' trapped like this.

Every morning I get a container of pig's blood. The first couple times I throw it, swear, scream, my usual charade. The third day I try to taste it, my hunger becoming uncontrollable and I spit it out automatically. It tastes like liquid shit. I dip my fingers in the container and smear "FUCK YOU" on the wall in the blood, then throw the rest at the stairs when someone's coming down. They quickly go back up.

By the sixth day I can't drink from myself anymore and the thirst is driving me out of my mind. I can't think, I can't see, I can't feel. All I need is blood and it's the only thing I smell when I get the container that morning and I drink it hungrily, two solitary drops sliding down my chin and my neck as I devour it.

B always said I was a messy eater. I lick my lips and bark at Fred who came down to check on me. Her eyes go wide and she scurries back up the steps.

It still tastes like shit, but there's a point where I can't taste it because it doesn't matter anymore. It's nothing like the feeling of drinking a human. You don't feel the power, the exhilaration, the satisfaction. Everything about it is mediocre but fuck it, it's better than nothing.

I can't wait to fuckin' force feed this shit to Gunn and make him choke on it. Then force feed bits of Gunn to Fred.

I want to carve everyone up into itty bitty pieces and put them back together again like Legos. Or maybe stack their bits like Jenga. Some game will be had with their remains, it really doesn't matter which one.

Red finally shows up on the eighth day. I've been waiting for this. I was wondering when she'd show her soul restoring face around here. The sight of her walking down the stairs makes me itch inside. Like bugs crawling under my skin; homicidal, frantic little insets. I want to take a knife and carve her mouth into a joker smile and then stab a straw through her neck and suck her dry like a juice box.

Fuck I'm making myself hungry.

She just stands there for a moment, staring at me. Looking awfully angry, actually. It makes me curious and I smile, crawling over to her slowly, like a panther. My eyes never leave hers.

"Is it true?" she asks me. I purr low in my throat as my hands wrap around the bars, pulling myself to her. Closer. I cock my head to the side and peer at her, saying nothing. "Is it true?" she asks, louder this time. Firmer.

"Well I dunno, Red. That all depends on what you're talkin' about," I say casually, running my fingernails down the length of the bar. I smirk. "Are we playin' a game? I love those. C'mere and I'll show you a real fun time, baby."

"Cut the crap, Faith," Willow demands. Her tone of voice makes me wet. I wanna fuck her than eat her heart. Or maybe vise versa, really not picky. "Did Buffy… did she turn you?"

I smile, seeing how much that one piece of knowledge fucks with her head. "That's not all she did," I respond with a leer. "You want the dirty details? Gotta warn ya though: Pay-Per-View costs."

Willow doesn't respond, she just turns and walks back up the stairs. She descends back down them five minutes later, holding something in her hand that has me salivating. She holds it up to me, almost taunting. "You tell me everything that happened since you saw Buffy and you get this."

A blood bag. A human blood bag, probably from a hospital. She has my attention.

But I still can't help but ask, amused, "What? B ain't up for sharin' time? You think Little Ms. Perfect's gonna lie to your ass?"

Willow raises an eyebrow. "You don't want it? Okay…" and she turns away from me. I growl, furious about this game but needing the blood so badly I can hardly stand it.

"ALRIGHT!" I yell, hitting the bars again with my hands, growling so more. She turns back to me, smirking. I'm gonna wipe that off her face one day. I sneer, "You want the PG, R, or X rated? It comes in many different flavors, sometimes with sprinkles. Rainbow would be your forte, yeah? Got plenty of those." I can't stop my mouth from running bullshit. Learned that a long time ago.

"I want your version," she states. "The truth. All of it."

I stare at the blood bag and she waits, but notices I'm not going to say anything until I get something out of it. She grabs one of the containers that held my pig's blood and opens the bag, pouring a little bit in it. She kneels down on the ground, ready to slide it to me. But she stops. "First you talk. If I like the story, you keep getting more."

I raise an eyebrow and my fingers tighten their hold on the bars. I can smell it. It's driving me fuckin' crazy. "I was hidin' out in a house ready to off myself when she found me." I eye the container as she pushes it towards me, but not far enough. I growl. "She came in; saw me in all my fuckin' humanity tortured soul bullshit glory I had goin' on with a gun to my head. I dropped it when I saw her. Thought she was some kinda ghost or a bad acid trip. NOW GIVE ME SOME!"

Red pushes the container to me and I grab it, drinking it hungrily. The taste is like fuckin' heaven and I moan as it slides down my throat. When I'm finished I push the container back and watch her refill it. Knowing I'm going to get more, I start talking. "She kissed me, bit me, vamped out, and then fucked the hell out of me on the floor."

"You let her? Even though she was a vampire?"

"What are you, vampirphobic now?" I ask amused. I lick my bottom lip and leer at her. "Don't tell me you don't look at her and wonder what'd be like, Red. I bet you used to jack off thinkin' about her when you were just a tween. You loved her, didn't you?" I cock my head, studying her. "You still love her. She's still undead and I bet you'd still love to shove your tongue up her cold cunt."

Willow doesn't even react to that. She just stands up, taking the blood with her as she walks away without another word. "Alright! Fuck! I'll tell the damn story!" I yell. She stops, turning. She raises an eyebrow, waiting impatiently for my answer. I hate that I'm playin' good girl just for a snack. "I was in love with her. That's why. Now gimme more."

"Was?" she questions, but doesn't seem too surprised by the revelation.

"Yes, was. Ya think I can love now? Now gimme my shit, witch!" I growl. She apparently decides that honesty was worth more blood so she slides it over and I grab it, devouring it quickly. I close my eyes as I feel it run through me and shove the container back to her. She refills it.

"Did she love you?"

"She still loves me," I correct her with a smirk. "She made me into this soulless fuckin' monster who can't love her back and she still couldn't get enough of me." I growl, primal as I wrap my leg around the bar, pressing my core to it, getting some friction. I moan softly as flash back to the sex me and B had. I really don't care that Red's standing there watching me softly get myself off. In a way I think it's sexier cause I know she doesn't wanna see it.

"Faith? Focus."

"Mmm…"I purr, my eyes meeting hers. "She kept me human for months, y'know." Willow's eyebrows get lost in her hairline and I smirk. "She chained me up to a bed and tortured me cause I wanted her too. Then I let her fuck me cause she wanted to. She used to shove all kindsa things up me, anything she could find. She loved watching how far I could stretch; how much it'd make me scream as the pleasure bordered on pain."

Willow looks sick. "She… raped you?"

I laugh. Ya gotta laugh at that. "Nah, Sugar. I loved every second of it. Wouldn't have had it any other way. I loved being B's toy. Now she loves being mine…" my hand slides down the bar, my fingers flicking the button on my jeans. I'm coursing with hunger, in more ways than one. I need to get off.

"Faith, if you want more, clothes stay on," she tells me firmly. I sneer but pull my hand away. I get rewarded by her pushing more blood towards the bars. I drink it quickly, gasping after the last gulp. I push it back to her and she refills it. Last round. It's out now. I eye it carefully. I need it.

"Why did she wait so long to turn you?"

I sigh, bored of this conversation. I want my blood and she needs to leave. I answer in a monotone, eyes rolling. "She needed my permission."

"And you gave it?"

"Obviously."

"Why?"

"Because. It. Looked. Like. Fun," I sneer, my eyes rolling again. That earns an eye roll from her and she gets up, about to leave again. Fuck. "BECAUSE I MADE HER LIE TO ME!" I scream. She stops, turning.

"Explain."

Fuck, will this never end? I'm gonna play twenty questions with her when I'm outta here. It's gonna be more or less along the lines of 'which body part would you like me to dismember first?' It's always more fun with audience participation.

Well, Wes would know.

I let out a heavy sigh and start walking along the length of the bars, my fingers dragging against them. My long fingernails keep making clicking noises after each bar I pass. "I made her be Buffy," I say in a bored tone. "She pretended she was Little Miss Tightly Wound again, like when she was alive, and she… made love to me," I spit the word out like it's vile. "I cried, she sunk her teeth in my neck during the orgasm… blah blah. Big love, big loss. Whatever." I stop, turning back to her. "The end." I look at her expectantly.

Willow looks like she's going to ask me another question, but then thinks better of it. She slides me the blood and I grab it. "You'll have your soul back once I get another orb," she tells me flatly, then walks away. I don't say anything, don't scream obscenities at her or death threats like I normally would because I'm too busy drinking the last of the sweetest blood I've had in a week and by the time I'm done she's gone.

Fuck. I'm not gonna get my fuckin' soul back. She can try all she wants, but it ain't happening. All I gotta do is get B down here and she'll let me out. Soul or not… she still loves me.

And that means I can use that to my advantage.

Buffy does come to visit me, finally, five days later. Pretty sure no one knew she was comin' down to see me otherwise they would've stopped her. She walks down the stairs slowly, cautiously. Her arms are wrapped around herself and she looks like a fuckin' mess. A terrified fuckin' mess. The last stair creaks and she stops, freezing, looking over at the cage until her eyes catch mine. I don't move, I don't wanna scare her. Not cause that wouldn't be fun, but because that wouldn't be smart. I just stay where I am, crouched in the corner, picking absentmindedly at the dirt beneath my feet.

I pretend to be scared. I figure it's my best way in.

"Faith?" she asks softly, like she's not sure if it's even me or not. No B, it's the freakin' Easter Bunny.

"Buffy?" I ask, just as soft, making my voice tremble a bit. I scramble up, standing, asking, "Buffy?" again, like I'm not sure it's really her either. "B…" I go on, making my voice sound weak and pathetic as I come over to the bars. I grasp them, staring at her, trying to make myself look as non threatening as possible. She still hasn't moved from the last step. "B, why are they doing this to me…?"

Oh yeah, I should get an Academy Award for this crap.

Buffy carefully comes off the last step, heading towards me. She's still holding herself like she's afraid she's going to fall apart if she lets go. I reach my hand out for her and beg, "B please, please help me… Buffy…"

"Faith…" she says softly, stopping right in front of my hand. She looks down at it, but doesn't take it. But then when she looks up at me her expression has changed; hardened. "Faith," she says again, but it's flat this time. "I have a soul… I'm not stupid."

I stare at her for a long time, challenging her. But she won't back down so I roll my eyes and sigh heavily, retracting my hand. "Well, it was worth a shot." I lick my bottom lip as I look her over, cocking my head to the side a bit as I study her. "Ya look like shit, B. What've they been feedin' ya?" I smirk. She doesn't smirk back.

"How are you?" she asks softly, ignoring my question. She looks like she actually cares. That's laughable.

"I've been in a fuckin' cage for almost two weeks, Blondie. How the fuck do ya think I feel?"

"Willow's having some trouble… getting another orb. The apocalypse…"

"Yeah, yeah, whatever," I dismiss, waving my hand a bit before I turn around, rolling my head dramatically before flopping heavily against the bars again, looking up at her. "I wish I could eat you," I tell her in a wistful voice. I slip one of my legs through the cage and grin.

"I'm still dead, Faith."

I smirk, then leer at her. "Wasn't talkin' about your blood, sweetheart." I was though, actually. I bet she tasted good when she was alive. It's such a shame I missed out on that. "Mmm…" I purr, sliding my hands up the bars and leaning my chest forward. "I miss the taste of you, B."

"Don't… don't play games with me," Buffy demands softly. She's still broken. I can see it, smell it, feel it. God I hate the fucking feel of it. "I still…" but she doesn't finish her sentence.

"Love me?" I ask, smirking. "Yeah, funny how ya can't turn that silly thing off, can ya?"

"You did."

"No, B. You did when you turned me," I correct. She looks down at the floor and tightens her hold on herself, grabbing onto the sides of her tank top.

"Hurts, doesn't it?" I ask softly, watching her. I try to keep most of the taunt out of my voice but it's difficult, and I know a lot of it still sneaks out. "Loving someone who can't love you back… because of what you did."

"Shut up," Buffy demands, but it's weak. She can't handle me this soon. She can barely handle her own head. She won't even look at me, which is how I know I'm winning.

"How does it feel?" I ask her, now more curious than anything else. I press myself closer to the bars; closer to her. "Having a soul?"

"It hurts," she tells me quietly, still looking at the floor. Her voice is barely above a whisper. "Everything… everything hurts. All the time…"

"And yet ya love me so much that you wanna put me through that?" I ask, almost amused. "You're a piece of work, B."

"I want to save you," Buffy tells me, finally looking up to meet my gaze.

"Do you feel very saved?" I ask her, taunting now. "Huh? Do ya? Ya don't look it. Ya look pretty beat down to me, lover." Buffy doesn't say anything and I trail my fingers up the bar, tapping them lightly. "You don't want to save me," I tell her quietly, my voice turning a bit eerie from the madness behind it. "You just want someone to feel it with you. You're selfish."

"That's not true," she says firmly, and I laugh.

"B, when you found me when I was human… what did you walk in on?" Buffy doesn't answer, but her eyes go a bit wider. I smile, nodding my head. "Yeah… exactly. Ya put a soul in this body and ya really think you're gonna be able to stop me from runnin' myself through? Dream on, baby."

"I can help you…" she tries. I laugh harder at that.

"You couldn't even help me when I was alive! Too busy wrapped up in yourself, in your problems. Like it or not, B, me and you both know that the only way to keep me walkin' on this earth is to keep me the way I am now."

"I refuse to believe that."

"Yeah well, refuse all ya want. Not gonna stop it from being true." Buffy swallows hard and I smile at her. "What's so wrong with this, huh? I can still fuck ya like this, Twinkie. S'really all you're after anyway, right? Good roll in the sack. I've always been the only one who could ever make ya feel like that, girlfriend. Me and you both are so close to hell and yet I could make you feel like you were almost touchin' heaven…"

"You really think that's all this is?" Buffy asks me, angry now. "Sex?"

"Isn't it?"

"You're a fucking moron."

"And you're the one fuckin' a moron. What's that say about you?"

Buffy stares at me. Our eyes lock and her gaze is dangerous. It's the most alive I've seen her since she walked down the stairs. She steps closer to me and she knows she's within arm's reach of me. I don't grab her though; I still need her to let me go. Trying to kill her won't accomplish that. She takes another step, and another… and finally she's right up next to the bars, in my face.

"I love you," she tells me firmly. "Not because of the sex, but because of who you are."

"Yeah? Ya like who I am now, do ya?" I ask, knowing full well that she doesn't. That she can't. Not anymore. Not with that nasty soul inside of her. I wish I could tear it out. My grip tightens on the bars as I think about that; to stop myself from trying. My hand twists around it slowly and Buffy can tell I'm fighting down an urge.

"What's stopping you?" she asks me curiously. I think she thinks it's her; that I don't want to hurt her. Maybe I don't; maybe I can't. I've never really thought about it. Everyone else upstairs… yeah, I'd rip them all to shreds and enjoy every single delicious moment of their agony. But B…

I don't love her. I can't; plain and simple.

…But I'm connected to her. Killing her would be like killing a part of myself. I think she knows that and I think that's why she dared to get close to me. She knows I'd never be able to. She was bonded to me as a Slayer when we were alive and now in death we're bonded by her being my sire. We're always connected, always. We can never escape it.

I don't answer her though, but I don't have to. She nods like she knows, bringing her hand up to wrap around mine that's on the bar. We look at each other for a long time and I can feel heat run under my skin where she's touching me even though neither of us have heat in our bodies. I kinda hate that about us; being able to feel things with her that should be impossible.

I fuckin' hate it. God I fuckin' hate it!

I tear my hand away from hers and step back. I'm getting angry very fast. I hate that she can stand there in front of me, nothing but a broken shell of what she was and I can't just rip her head clean from her body. I hate that in some twisted fucked up way she matters, soul or not. I scream, just cause it's the only thing I feel like I can do right now. I grab the empty container of pig's blood and throw it at the wall before I punch it. Buffy's unmoving.

"Faith…"

"Fuck off!"

"Faith… please…"

I whip around to face her, my hair tumbling in my face and my eyes wild. "Who the fuck are you?!" I scream, taking two long strides until I meet her at the bars. "Huh?!" I grab her by her throat but she doesn't fight me off. She doesn't have to since she doesn't breathe. "Who the fuck are you?!" My grip closes around her throat before I push her backwards. She stumbles and coughs a little, but her eyes never leave mine.

"I'm Buffy," she tells me.

"And why should that matter to me?!" I yell, slamming my hands against the bars. I'm angry because I'm scared. I've never been scared yet as a vampire and it's making me want to go on a killing spree. I grab the bars and push against them, then pull, trying to fight them but they don't move. "Why the fuck do you matter?!"

"Because you love me."

"I CAN'T LOVE YOU!" I scream at her, wishing that she could fuckin' get that through her thick head. "Don't you get it, B?! You took that away from me! YOU!"

"If you don't love me then why are you getting so worked up?" she asks softly. It makes me stop. There's silence that seems to stretch on forever.

"I can't love you," I repeat.

"Yeah… you can," she tells me quietly, looking me in the eyes. She takes a couple steps towards me and my eyes flash dangerously at her, but she doesn't back down. She's so sure of this; I can see it in her eyes. I don't get what her angle is and it infuriates me. "You just won't let yourself," she finishes.

"You're so full of crap," I spit out at her. "Is this how you get to sleep at night now? By convincing yourself the monster you created is still able to feel?"

"You embraced the Slayer that's still inside of you because it could easily mesh with your vampire side. You can hunt, you can kill, you can slay," Buffy tells me, taking the last step to close the distance between us. "But you closed yourself off to the connection between us. Not the love that we had when we were alive, that was gone. I know that because I can feel it now," she smiles a little, like the love she has for me actually makes it worth all the pain she suffers in her head because of her soul.

She reaches her hand up and brushes a strand of hair away from my face and cups my cheek. I let her, but I don't know why I let her. I can feel the heat again and I really wish I didn't. "But the love I felt for you before was… it was like leftovers. It flowed through our Slayer connection. But you would never allow it to because loving someone and being connected to someone when you're a rabid animal doesn't make sense to you."

"And it makes sense to you?" I snap, like she's being stupid. I don't know why I'm entertaining this, why I don't just back the fuck away from her; make her stop touching me, make her stop talking.

"No, but love doesn't have to make sense. That's the point."

I stare at her and she's unwavering in her beliefs, that much is obvious. But I have something that'll throw her for a loop. I raise an eyebrow, getting closer to her. "You told me you weren't the Slayer anymore; that you lost it. So how exactly did you 'love' me through that connection, huh?"

It doesn't throw her off like I think it will. "You can't just quit being the Slayer, Faith. But I did the same thing you did. I suppressed it because to me, being a Slayer and being a vampire couldn't mix." She says it so calmly, like she's had this big fucking revelation about life and the way it works and now needs to preach to the uneducated. Fuck that.

"So what, you're saying if I open up my heart," I mock the phrase and roll my eyes. "I'll be able to love you? Whatever."

"No," she says softly with a little smile as she touches my face. "I'm saying if you stop being such a pigheaded, self-centered moron you will."

I don't say anything for a minute, I just stare at her. Then I laugh, suddenly out of nowhere and she smirks. It was funny; the way she said it so lovingly. "That's so fucked up, B." But I find it fuckin' hilarious anyway. I get serious for a moment though, trying to figure something out. "Why're you tryin' to make me love you like this when you're so set on shoving a soul down my throat?"

Buffy looks at me sadly and I realize: they might not be able to get another orb. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't happy as fuck about that. I smile nice and big for her and she narrows her eyes.

"It's not… I mean… I guess I just need you to… feel me."

"Even like this?" I say with a smirk and I slip my hands through the bars and run my hands down her body. "I can feel you just fine, lover."

"Not like that," she tells me, but she doesn't move my hands so I slide them up to her breasts, cupping them roughly, making her gasp a little. She closes her eyes and I can feel the heat again; so much stronger.

"Ya know ya can't tame me," I purr at her as I tweak her nipples, making her moan. She grabs onto my shirt, maybe to stop me or maybe just to hold me. Either way.

"I know," she breathes out.

"And ya know if ya don't get an orb ya can't let me loose," I go on, sliding my hands back down her chest until they reach the hem of her shirt. I grab it and pull her roughly towards me and she hits the bars, but she can barely feel it. I growl and slide my hands up her shirt now, running my nails over her skin. "But part of you wants to, huh?"

I already know before she breathes out, "Yes…"

"Because you need me. No matter what form I'm in."

"Yes…"

"So do it."

Her eyes snap open and she looks at me for what seems like an eternity. "I can't…" she whispers. It's so full of regret and pain. I hate it. I hate those things on her. She should be happy; be by my side and happy as we take the world my storm together. Instead we're separated by bars.

"I'm so sorry, Faith…" she says, stepping back from me; away from me. "I can't…"

"FUCK YOU!" I scream, hitting the bars in fury. "FUCK YOU, BUFFY! Ya wanna fuckin' play games, Peaches? Is that it?!"

"No… I…"

"You what? Huh? You come in here and start spewing bullshit about how I can love you if I just try, how you need me, and then what? It's all fuckin' shit because none of it matters! You're a lying, selfish, pathetic sack of nothing!" I spit out at her, the rage igniting within me. I want to tear her apart, rip her fuckin' head clean from her body and it infuriates me that I know I never can. "FUCK YOU!" I scream again, just for good measure.

"You feel it now, don't you?" she asks me softly.

"Feel what?!" I scream at her. "All I fuckin' feel right now is PISSED OFF!"

"Why do you care?" she asks me, her voice still quiet. I don't say anything, I just glare at her. "Faith?" she prods. "… Why do you care, if none of it matters?"

"I don't," I growl, furious. I do. I care a whole fuckin' lot and I have no idea why.

"Seems like it…"

"Fuck. Off," I sneer at her. "Just get the fuck out, Buffy. Get the fuck away from me. The only use I have for you is what's between your legs and if you ain't lookin' to fuck me than you need to get to steppin', bitch."

Buffy looks at me for a minute before she finally does turn away, ascending the stairs. But she stops after about three steps and she looks back at me. "The connection," she answers me softly. "You feel it now. The heat, the warmth. You're forced to feel it now because I have a soul. That's what I was talking about. But it's not just physical, Faith. It's emotional."

"I don't feel shit but how badly I wanna sew your lips shut and gouge out your fuckin' eyes, you cunt," I spit at her; I lie to her. What's worse is that she can see it. I growl, my grip tightening on the bars.

"I hope we can get your soul back, Faith," she tells me softly before she's gone. She just walks away, just like that, leaving me there to scream and curse and hate absolutely everything about her; about me and her together. What we are and what we aren't. What we might actually have, even though it's fuckin' impossible. I can't love her, right? Half the shit I feel in me anyway has to be my body rejecting my diet. It's like indigestion for vampires.

Then why do I care?!

The next time she comes to see me, a week later; I still don't have an answer for that. Or rather, I do, I just don't want to acknowledge it. I refuse to fuckin' acknowledge something so fucking fucked up as that. I'm soulless; I'm a monster. The joy I get in life is from taking other people's. I'm happy when I torture people. Maim them. Destroy them. Eat them. I find joy in like nothing else I've ever found when I was alive. It's all I want to do, all I need to do. It's all I'm made to do and it drives me up the fuckin' wall that I've been in this cell for three weeks and not able to do a single fucking one of them.

I know when she comes downstairs this time that she has a purpose; I can see it in her eyes. She's followed shortly by Willow though and it gets my attention. I stand up, curious. I tilt my head as I watch them. Buffy looks upset, desperate. Red… Red looks like she's terrified, which is a first. She wasn't scared of me the last time she came down here.

"What's this? A threesome?" I leer, leaning against the wall, running my hands down my body slowly. "Knew you always wanted to pop Red, B."

"I don't like this, Buffy," Willow tells her, completely ignoring me.

"You promised," Buffy tells her. "Please… she won't hurt me." Willow snorts in disbelief and Buffy turns to me, "You won't hurt me, right, Faith?"

"I'm gonna tear your fuckin' heart from your chest, Blondie," I state flatly. There's no malice or emotion behind it though; it's just a statement. Buffy turns to Willow.

"She won't hurt me."

"Buffy…"

"Will, please…" Buffy begs, tears springing to her eyes. What the fuck is going on? This doesn't exactly look like soul restoration.

Willow sighs, obviously not liking whatever plan Buffy has. "Alright…" I narrow my eyes and start to move towards them, towards the bars, but Willow starts chanting in Latin and suddenly I can't move. Every inch of my body feels like I've been covered in cement and hardened. I'd scream; curse, fuckin' do anything but I can't even speak. What the fuck?! What the hell is going on?!

Buffy walks towards the cage and slides a key into the lock, turning it. The door swings open and all I can do is watch her step inside, turning the key back to lock it before throwing it as far as she can across the room, towards Willow. She stops chanting then and I can feel my limbs come alive again. I growl, hating that I have no fucking clue what's going on and it gets me angry. I lunge at her, slamming her against the wall, pinning her there. My fingernails dig into her shoulder.

"Buffy!" Willow cries.

"It's okay," she tells her, but doesn't take her eyes off of me. She lets me hold her.

"What the fuck is this? What game are you playin' now?! You come in here to kill me, is that it? You can't find a fuckin' orb and now you're gonna be the one to off me?! Think again, Princess."

"No… I don't… Faith, I… I came in here because I wanted to be with you…"

"What kind of fuckin' crack are you smoking? You wanna play house with me in a cage?!" I growl again, digging my fingernails in harder. She doesn't even flinch, she doesn't look away, she just looks at me with all this honesty and love and fuck I wish I could tear her throat out.

But I never can.

"Faith… stop. You're hurting me…"

My eyes flash and I snarl, "Good." But I push against her, getting myself off of her and letting her go anyway. I back up a couple steps, staring her down. I don't know what her angle is, but I'm sure as fuck I don't like it.

"Willow… can you give us a couple minutes?" she asks, looking over at her pleadingly. Willow looks absolutely against that plan, but apparently it was part of their deal.

"If she hurts you I'll kill her in a second flat," Willow states, then looks over at me. Her eyes flash black as a warning and I just smirk and blow her a kiss. Red looks between us again like this is the worst plan in the history of ever, then finally turns to leave. When I hear the basement door click shut, that's when I turn to her.

"What the fuck is this?"

"We can't find an orb," she tells me softly. "We don't think there are any left… not around here and we can't… we can't go out farther because of the… because of the…" she falls silent, looking depressed. Because of the apocalypse.

"So what is this, a good bye before you stake me? Fuck you, bitch. Give it a go if you think you can," I challenge, holding my arms out as I snarl my words at her. I know she can't kill me, or maybe I just know that she won't. Either way.

"No, Faith. This isn't…" she sighs, coming off the wall and walking towards me. I stay where I am. "This is so we can have… time together."

I laugh. She's got to be joking. "You made Red bring you in here so you can fuck me, you mean. I'm gonna be your little fuck toy, all locked up in a cage cause you can't let me go in any sense of the fuckin' word, huh? Ha. Shit B, you're a laugh riot. Keepin' sex slaves now."

"I didn't mean—"

"Oh yes you did," I say with a laugh, maybe a bit of a leer. Maybe I don't care. Actually, I'm pretty sure I don't care. If I'm gonna be locked up, if she can't find the balls to try to kill me and Red can't 'save' me than I might as well get a piece of her ass. "Look me in the fuckin' eye and tell me you didn't come in here with no hopes of getting laid." She doesn't even look at me. "Right, that's what I thought."

Buffy looks up at me, angry. A single tear slips down her cheek and she pushes me backwards and my back collides with the bars. "Fuck you, Faith! That's not what this is! Everything isn't about sex!"

"No?" I ask, smirking. I tilt my head to the side and look at her. "Then enlighten me, Princess. What the fuck is this?"

"I JUST WANTED TO BE NEAR YOU!"

"Well you're near me, Blondie. Now what?" I snap. I know this is some kind of game. Deep down I fucking know it; I just don't know what it is.

"You're such a fucking—" she starts, but instead finishes by colliding her lips to mine; kissing me with every ounce of passion she has in her. I smirk at first, but hurriedly reciprocate; feeling like it's been a lifetime without feeling Buffy's touch. I growl low in my throat, a growl of satisfaction, but she then she pulls away.

"Knew it was about sex," I say, smirking. She slaps me across the face, fucking hard, and I moan at the feeling. There's my girl.

"It's about love, you stupid, soulless fucking bitch," she pants out, grabbing my shirt to pull her closer to her. There's not a breath of air between us and all the heat, the fucking fire and passion that Buffy makes rise up in me is threatening to escape.

"Well then let me love you," I tell her, pushing her backwards now until she's the one with her back against the far wall. It's not about love for me, at least I don't think. I have the answer to my question but love and sex are two very separate things, at least they are when I'm in this form. But if it has to be about that for her… fuck it. Watch me give a shit. Hungry and horny… and I'm always one or the other. Right now I'm the latter.

My lips meet hers again and Buffy moans softly against them, her hands grabbing onto my tank top as she holds me to her like she's afraid I'm gonna let go. But I ain't gonna let go. It's been weeks without getting laid; only an idiot would pass up this chance. I bite on her lower lip hard, splitting it, then sucking the blood from the wound. But I pull back, making a face and spit it on the ground.

"Fuck, you taste like pig."

"Fuck you," Buffy snaps, her eyes brimming with tears again and she pushes me back. "You're drinking it too."

"Not by choice."

"Then don't fuck me," Buffy tells me, looking way too god damn upset over one fuckin' jack ass reply. Jesus, what the hell is up this bitches ass today? I don't want to fuck a crying mess. I roll my eyes and step away from her, holding my hands up in surrender.

"Fine. I won't. You can just stand there and watch me get myself off then, Twinkie," I smirk as I start to undress myself.

"Faith! That's not— fuck. Faith, I wanted to… to… talk…" Buffy tries, but after every layer of clothing is discarded on the ground she seems to lose her train of thought as she stares. I purr and walk slowly backwards, naked, until my back is pressed up against the bars.

"We can talk when we're dead," I tell her, sliding my hands down my body. Her eyes follow them whether she wants them to or not.

"We are dead."

"Dust, then." I smirk and change positions a little, wrapping one of my legs around the bar and facing my hips towards her as much as I can to put myself very unashamedly on display for her. Buffy's eyes go wide as she stares at how wet I am. "Bet ya wanna taste it," I taunt, sliding my fingers through my folds and then spreading them, opening myself up to her wanton eyes. She swallows. "Come on B, me and you both know that you're gonna end up on your knees. Let's just cut the crap and get to fuckin', baby. This is what you wanted, isn't it? Soul or not… this is still only the one thing you can have."

"I… fuck," Buffy breathes, watching me play with myself. "I-I wanted to… I mean this is… I still…"

"Ya gonna finish that sentence anytime this year, cupcake?" I taunt her. She scowls, but strides over to me and slaps me across the face again. I think she gets off on hitting me. I moan, grabbing her shirt and tearing it clean off of her. "Come on lover, let's take that Hell ride together. Front row seats and an all you can eat buffet." I take her hand in mine and shove it between us quickly, making her fingers get covered in my arousal. She gasps, but presses into me more like the good girl I know she is. "That's it baby… just let go…"

"This isn't what I wanted," she whispers, looking at me like the worlds freakin' ending or something. What is with her? Jesus Christ. The world's already ended, sweetheart. Take a fuckin' look out the window.

"Yeah? Well it's what I want,"I tell her. My eyes sweep down Buffy's form and I'm dissatisfied with what I see. "Get naked," I order her. Buffy just looks at me and she looks... broken. But she steps back and starts to take her clothes off, piece by piece. It kinda aggravates me. Buffy would never roll over and play dead just 'cause I said so, soul or not. What the fuck did they do to her?

"Ya wanna play prison bitch, B?" I asks, taunting. "'Cause that's what you're acting like."

"Just fuck off, Faith," Buffy says quietly. "Please just... for once, shut up. Be happy I'm letting you do what you want and stop analyzing."

I cock an eyebrow and pushe myself off the cage, stalking towards her. "Ain't analyzing anything, Peaches. Just sayin'... if ya wanna play, we can play." Buffy backs up as I come towards her until Buffy's back is up against the wall and I'm looming over her.

"I don't want to play games," Buffy whispers as I press my naked body flush against hers. "Just kiss me..."

"Ya seem like you wanna-"

"FAITH, JUST FUCKING KISS ME!" Buffy screams, pushing her back hard. I smirk, loving the anger that's rising up in her. I lick my bottom lip before crashing my lips to hers, making Buffy emit a low moan into my mouth that vibrates me to the core. Buffy's hands tangle in my hair and she's kissing her like it's the end of the world and she wants to go out with a bang.

Man, she must be hella sexually frustrated.

Buffy gasps out my name as my lips fall to her neck and I sink my teeth in. I don't drink from her though; I ain't lookin' to drink old pig's blood anytime soon. But I like the feel of it dripping down my chin and down Buffy's shoulder. Buffy's nails are digging into my back and I lift my head, wiping away the blood so it gets on my fingertips. "What the fuck is this?" I ask, touching Buffy's necklace. It looked like some tribal crap.

"Don't touch that!" Buffy exclaims.

"Why?"

"Dawn… she gave it me," Buffy says, breathlessly. "Why do you care about the necklace anyway?" she retorts, grabbing my hand and sliding it between us. "Touch me."

"Look who's tryin' to wear the pants," I said, amused.

"Touch me or you'll never touch me again," she counters, narrowing her eyes. Fuck, whatever. If she wants to play games, that's cool. She can think she's all 'big bitch on campus' for all I give a fuck, as long as I get my orgasm. I slide my fingers into her wet heat and she groans, closing her eyes and wrapping her arms around my neck as she buries her head in the crook of it. "Fuck, Faith…" Oh jeez, she's getting emotional again; I can hear it in her voice.

Well we can't have that. That's no fun.

I press down on her clit and she gasps, her fingers tangling in my hair and pulling it hard. "Fuck baby… please…" she begs, her lips close to my ear as one of her hands lets go and trails down my neck, my shoulder, down to my breast lightly.

"Well since you asked so nicely…" I say with a smirk as I slide three fingers deep inside. She gasps, then pants hard as she adjusts to me being inside of her. She kisses my neck softly, like she loves me, and she holds onto me like her life depends on it. "You like that?" I taunt as I start to slide my fingers in and out of her.

"I love you," she breathes and I roll my eyes even though I can feel the heat, the warmth, the love in her and it makes my chest pang a little even if I don't have a heart. Fuck that. I start slamming my fingers in and out of her hard, trying to make this just about sex and nothing else. She's moaning and panting by my ear, her nails digging into my scalp as she breathes out my name every other stroke. Her hand falls between us and she presses on my clit, making me gasp, "Fuck!"

I growl and my lips collide with hers, panting against her lips as she rubs my hard little nub quickly to get me to the place that she's at. "Faith… oh god, Faith…" she breathes against my lips and I can feel wetness on her cheeks and I know she's crying. Why the fuck does she gotta ruin it with all this touchy feely emotional crap? God, this must be how she felt when I was human.

"I love you… oh god, oh fuck, I love you…" she keeps panting, over and over against my lips as we both draw closer to the edge. She's crying more now and I wish she would just stop but that's not looking like it's gonna happen. She just keeps telling me she loves me over and over and Jesus I get it, okay? Maybe it's more for her benefit for mine, I really couldn't care.

Buffy's fingers are haywire against my clit and I scream, my fist slamming against the walls as I feel my orgasm start to pulse through my body. "B! FUCK!" I scream as I tumble over the edge, curling my fingers inside her to press against her g spot while I do so I can take her with me. She's all a mess of sexual high and tears as she screams my name and her declaration of love like she needs to tell the world who's making her feel that way. I ain't gonna complain about it.

I lean against her afterwards, trying to wait for my head to clear from the rush. Her arms are still wrapped around me and she's crying in my neck and I want to tell her to shut up about I don't have the effort. "Faith…" she sobs against my neck. I don't say anything and she holds onto me tighter. "Faith…" she tries through her tears. "Tell me… tell me you love me… even if it's a lie just please…"

There's a long minute of silence. Buffy's still crying against me and I want nothing more than to just rip things to shreds. But I stand there, letting her wrap herself around me and I tell her quietly, "I love you, Buffy." I don't know if it's real or not, but I said it, and that seems to be good enough for her. She pulls back to look at me, her eyes still brimmed with tears and she cups my face before leaning in and kissing me hard on the lips. "I'll forever love you… please remember that."

Oh fuck, I don't like where this is going suddenly.

I try to back away from her but she grabs her necklace, pulling it off of her before pressing it against my chest and saying, "Adhaero." She releases her hand but the necklace has seared itself onto my skin.

"What the fuck is this?!" I scream, trying to get it off of me. I pull at it, try to rip it off, hell rip my fucking skin off in the process but it doesn't move. "What the fuck are you doing?!"

Buffy's voice hitches as tears run down her face, "Forever, Faith. Remember that, please…" I vamp out, feeling more threatened than I ever had in my life and I come at her, but she mumbles:

"Subsisto."

I can't move, but I can still scream. "Buffy! Buffy what are doing?! You can't fucking do this to me, bitch! You can't fucking kill me cause it's gonna kill you!" I'm fucking terrified, more than she's ever been in her life. Buffy can't kill her… she just can't! It's BUFFY! She loves her! What the fuck is going on?!

Buffy's heart looks like it's breaking. Her hands are shaking as she walks up to me and strokes my face. "You're always going to be everything to me, Faith. Everything…"

"Buffy please…" I beg. I don't want to die. Not like this.

"I'm so sorry," she sobs, wrapping her arms around me. I wish I could move, but I can do nothing but stand there as she cries all over me. "I love you," she breathes in my ear before she kisses my cheek, pulling away.

"Buffy, don't…" I try, but she's stepping away from me. I get desperate, frantic. "Please, Buffy! Please! I love you; don't do this to me… B please…!"

She lets out one more strangled sob before she speaks the words, "P-Peruro perussi perustum…"

I scream, every inch of my body feeling like it's engulfed in flames. Buffy sobs and puts her hand over her mouth as she watches me, tears streaming down her face as I notice, yes, I am very fuckin' much on fire. It's spreading so quickly and tearing me to shreds that I only have time to desperately plead out, "Buffy…" as my life flashes before my eyes.

All the pain and all the guilt; all the joy and all the laughter. All of it. I see Buffy so much in all those short moments and I see the way she used to look at me. Everything becomes so much clearer when you're almost dead. She's loved me from the minute she met me, I can see that now. All the looks and all the shy touches. I saw the life we had and the life we could have had and it I wish everything could have been different.

But it wasn't and it never can be. I try to reach out for her but it's too late and I say her name with my dying breath before the fire consumes me whole and I'm nothing but ash on the ground.

Nothing but ash that's washed away by the tears of my former lover.

THE END