Crush Her Flame

The sun is a ball of fiery orange, sinking beneath the rooftop. Night is falling and the world is changing, strange and fearful things emerging from the blackening shadows. Blood still flows freely through the streets of Sunnydale. When the sun's glow has left the sky, fear descends upon the town and lives are snatched at random. Old and young alike are taken and their screams ring out through the deserted streets; but nobody hears.

Only two listen out for the cries and fight against the darkness. Theirs is a thankless job; they do it because it is what they were born to do. And through it all the tendrils of evil creep further through the town, tightening their grip of death. For every one they kill, another seems to rise. But they keep on fighting back, for it is their destiny.

* * *


Pulsating sound rains down around the crowd of people moving to the music. In the centre dances Faith, music throbbing through her veins. She is bathed in light of red and blue and her hair shines in the flashes. She dances with abandon, giving herself up to the bliss. This is the only place she is happy. Others gaze at her with unashamed lust, and she smiles and moves nearer, pressing her body up against theirs. Today she only wants to dance and tease. Sometimes after a slay has made her hungry and horny, she picks someone up and takes them home. Home is not much to see. She has moved above the seedy motels of the past, but her apartment is small and dirty and impresses nobody. But they are not there to admire the surroundings.

Man or woman, she fucks them with little emotion. Sometimes she does it hard and fast, other times she lingers, relishing the feel and taste of them. Always they are gone by morning. She does not let them stay. She only wants sexual release, unwilling to let anyone into her soul. It has always been so. She loses herself in the sex like she does in the music, blotting out the pain of other things. And there has only ever been one person for her.

* * *


Faith returned to Sunnydale for one reason, and one alone. This week, she hasn't heard from the other Slayer. She has caught glimpses of the blonde hair down darkened streets as Buffy punches, kicks and kills those demons she wants to face. But Faith doesn't approach her. She is silent until spoken to and keeps out of Buffy's way. When she wants her, Buffy calls. And Faith follows her wherever she leads. Sometimes she disposes of the demons Buffy doesn't feel like facing; sometimes it's a non-vampire problem.

Back at home, when Faith hears the phone ring, her heart jumps a little, just as it always does. Only Buffy ever phones her. No-one else has the number.

"Hey, B," she says, jovially.

Buffy replies, flatly: "Faith."

"So what is it to be today? Fungus demon causing a problem? Is there a team of vampire warriors just arrived in town? Or is it apocalypse time again." She says it all in a falsely cheerful tone which only hints at the sarcasm she feels.

"Nothing like that I just wanted to see you." So Faith gets wise to the purpose of the call. Today, her problem is not supernatural.

"See you soon, then, B," she replies, and the dialling tone sounds in her ear.

* * *


She rings on Buffy's doorbell and watches the blurred outline of the Slayer coming towards the door. She knows it's only Buffy who will open it, Buffy's the only one who lives there now. When she opens it Faith waits, as ever, to be invited in, in another of Buffy's power trips.

"Come in," she eventually says, and after a pause, "How are you?"

Like you care, Faith says, and says, "Five by five." But they don't bother with any more small talk, and they draw together as if by mutual agreement. Faith's lips meet Buffy's and her tongues enters the other's mouth. This is it, everything is worth it for this. She savours the familiar taste and the shapes of the lips and teeth and tongue, knowing that Buffy will want more soon. The kiss becomes deeper and more frantic, and Buffy pulls away, smiling, the lust keen in her eyes.

"Fuck me," she says, voice hard and low, and Faith does. Clothes are lost with frantic haste, fingers run over bodies. Faith traces patterns with her fingers and tongue on Buffy's beautiful pale body, obeying every move from the other that tells her where to touch. She feels the fire where her skin touches Buffy's and remembers every moment, every taste. Finally she brings the other to ecstasy, shaking and gasping, and she prays in that short moment that she will hear Buffy shout her name. She doesn't. She never does.

It's not always this; sometimes Buffy wants to reverse it, and she chains Faith to the wall, slowly removing her clothes and torturing her with her touches. Every time Faith reaches the brink of climax, Buffy withdraws, until Faith is begging her to return. There is no longer such a difference between light side and dark side. Buffy is different now, since so many of her loved ones died, and always when she's finished, her face grows cold and hard. She watches, stony-eyed, as Faith dresses and leaves. The dark Slayer knows the routine so well; she has done it herself on countless occasions. It hurts her more every time.

* * *


Out on the streets she fights with wildness and ferocity, beating the demons senseless as she has always done. Her red rage pours out of her from a boundless spring within her core. Everything she has suffered is concentrated in her fists as she punches everybody she has ever known. Her own body is covered with bruises. Bruises that only another Slayer could make, because Buffy has rage too, cold and icy, and she lets hers out on Faith.

Sometimes when Faith leaves Buffy, she vows that she will never return. That next time, she'll refuse. Always when the phone rings, she picks it up and accepts the proposal. She hates Buffy more than anyone else she has ever known. Over time, this hatred has mingled with the love so she can no longer distinguish between them. The passion they gave her has been diluted and she is but a smouldering ember compared to her former flame. Resigned to her fate, and if she saw such things, she would see herself as being of the colour grey. It doesn't matter any more (but it does matter, it always matters). Still the sun rises every morning and the world continues to revolve. She would like to leave Sunnydale forever. But still, despite everything, a small flame of hope burns somewhere deep inside her. That one day Buffy will love her in return. Every look of indifference she is given makes it waver; but it never dies. And she knows that all this hurt she feels is just payback for the hurt she gave. That her pain is sacrifice, this is her punishment. She knows also that she is lucky beyond belief to have even this acceptance and grace from Buffy. And above all, that no matter what Buffy does to her, she deserves it.

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