You Pull The Strings

Chapter Thirteen

A trivial flame flickered to the left of her, standing proud on the dripping candle that was running little rivers of wax down to the tired old table below. Heavy eyes watched as it danced. Watching the glow and its handful of allies humouring the gloom.

Faith wanted to close her eyes to shut out every tiny image of her surroundings. The stark coldness of the crypt. The rough sheets of the bed she was lying on. And the vampire above her, groaning in his own world of pleasure. Faith looked away from the candle and screwed her eyes shut at a particularly violent thrust, the pain clearly signalling her lack of desire to be where she currently was.

“Keep your eyes open, Slayer. I don’t want you thinking of her,” Spike sneered down at her. “Not much point in thinking of that little tease anyway.”

Faith couldn’t help but know that to be true. Her own lack of self worth, the past weeks, and Spike’s views had all helped convince her that she was wasting her time being hopelessly in love with Buffy. She was never going to get what she wanted, only what she thought she deserved.

Not too long after stumbling to Spike’s dingy home, he had encouraged Faith to drink more than she thought was probably wise given the fact she had nothing in her stomach, and much less blood in her veins than was healthy - making her weaker than she had ever felt since being chosen.

After her first few mouthfuls of the pungent liquid she forgot all about what was wise. She sank into the warm flow of the alcohol down her throat and once again shut down her mind to function only at the basic level of consciousness. It was easier that way. Everything was.

The bleached blonde vampire had watched as she slid, far into drunkenness and defeat. He helped her descent, mumbling his opinions into her willing ears. Whispering, and nurturing her feeling of loss and dejection. He made sure Faith listened to him, telling her again that Buffy would never love her. That she would never feel anything other than regret at ever having even met her.

“Nobody’s good enough for that one. We’re all like pond scum and she’s bloody spring water. She may want you somewhere in that pretty little head of hers, but she’d never do anything about it,” Spike laughed as Faith fell deeper into her gloom at every word. “She’s too scared to drop the innocent virgin act. She’d never give any of it up. The friends, the adoring boys, the respect of her watcher. Not for you. You’re not worth it.”

She didn’t need to be told that, she already felt it. Despite knowing she had never and could never have taken advantage of Buffy in any way, Faith felt like she might as well have, just because of the way she wanted the other girl. But Buffy believed she had violated her, so there was even more reason to think Buffy would never reveal her true feelings. Or the feelings she maybe once had.

“I told you to keep your eyes open.” Spike struck Faith in the face as she hovered between differing states of consciousness and detachment.

Faith was no longer in complete control of her mind or body. Spike was. She had given up on even attempting to deny him what he wanted of her. Once again, she didn’t have the strength - physically or mentally - to fight. She just lay back and left Spike to do whatever he wanted so she could just be part of something, even if it brought bile to the back of her throat and tears to her eyes.

She realised that Spike was using her for more than just pleasure. He was loving the idea of controlling a slayer, having a slayer weak and willing to shame herself for him, unable to do anything more than just be what she thought she was right now.

“Ya know, I liked it better when you participated more, slayer,” Spike said harshly as he hurt her with his violent movements.

Spike’s cold dead body slammed into her, covering her own nakedness as she shivered from the chill emanating from him and the tormenting stone room encasing them. She wanted to push him off. With every thrust she wanted to say stop, but the words wouldn’t come.

They were stuck in her dry throat. No sound came from her bar the slight wince and moan of pain when she could no longer hold it in. She felt low and dirty for having nothing but this. She had fallen from the clutches of love to nothing, and it had broken her.

“Fuck, you’re so tight right now,” Spike groaned with relish as he continued the consummation of Faith’s downfall. “Guess I’m just gonna have to loosen you up a little.”

The pain was almost unbearable now, Faith’s lack of strength lowering her tolerance for it. She was on the verge of crying out, her mind clearing a little from the haze it had sunk into. She was becoming more aware despite her woozy head.

A sharp jolt intruded her thoughts, and the words finally came.

* * *

“Spike, wait.” She lifted her hands up to Spike’s chest, attempting to push him off, but he wasn’t listening let alone acting on her words.

Spike increased his violent thrusts as he grabbed her wrists with one hand, holding them tight above her head, holding her down with the other and pinning her to the bed amongst the devastation of the sheets.

Faith was surprised to find that she couldn’t struggle out of his grasp. She couldn’t release his grip on her. The thought crossed her mind that maybe her lack of blood and the fact that he had drank from her - swallowing down her thick red slayer essence - was causing him to be far stronger than she could deal with right now. Things had definitely taken a worrying turn, and now that she was fully aware of her predicament she realised she had totally lost all of her power and control once and for all. She was at Spike’s mercy.

“Ok, get off me. . .now,” Faith demanded, trying to sound confident and threatening; swallowing down her fear as he did his best to damage her.

“I’ll get off when I’m done, pet.” His grip tightened and he slipped into his grotesque game face.

“Spike, stop, or I’m so gonna kill you.” Panic was beginning to rise in her as she tested her strength and found it lacking.

Faith pushed her body up to get the message across that she wanted up, and him off her, but her actions only served to make the blonde vampire more determined. With the room growing darker and more ominous, Faith increased her struggling but she was becoming weaker by the minute. The real world was slipping away and sharp fangs descended.

“No. Stop!” she yelled, but he smirked at the panic.

“That wasn’t what you were screaming at me last time, slayer. This time. . .I’m gonna drink from your neck, and you’ll just lay there and fucking take it,” he laughed.

Pointed teeth gripped her flesh, ripping at the delicate skin as she screamed out in defiance.

Faith could instantly feel the tug of her blood from her veins as it slipped out and down his throat. She had no strength inside her to fight. The cold penetrated her to the bone. A mist descended over her, and the lust fuelled vampire threw himself into the ecstasy of drinking slayer blood.

He wasn’t going to stop this time. He was draining her, and it wasn’t going to take long. She could feel herself giving in, but whimpered out a last ditch attempt at release.

“Stop, please,” she pleaded, knowing he wouldn’t. “B-Buffy,” she cried meekly into the darkness, her heart slowly pounding in submission, a rhythm entirely for Spike. She closed her eyes as her tears flowed freely.

Salt water mixed with blood on its path down Faith’s slender neck, past the hungry mouth sucking at her and onto the bed below. She could feel the spills seeping into the mattress as if she were nothing but the blood and tears. Like she was no more than a vessel for her pumping heart. Her broken heart. Disappearing with the cruel lust of a vampire too damaged himself to realise his mistakes.

“Stop,” she sighed. Her voice was weak and strained. Her pulse a distant murmur in the background as it grew faint and almost unrecognisable.

Faith was being pulled from her pain. Being encouraged to limp away, as she knew she had nothing to hold onto, or for. She knew she would never have the one thing she wanted and needed. She would never have Buffy’s love.

The failing slayer closed her bottomless brown eyes, allowing the slithers of light to fade along with everything she had once hoped for. She couldn’t hold on any longer. The suffering and the loneliness just wasn’t a good reason to live. She couldn’t bear knowing that she had threatened Willow and lost Buffy.

Buffy, who was the one pure thing in her life. There was no hope there. Everything had fallen from her grasp because of her own weakness.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Buffy,” she cried softly. Tears, blood and an aching hunger for release of any kind took over. “Buffy. . .I’m sorry.” Faith’s heart slowed to a dangerous pace.

She recalled all the times she had laughed with Buffy, fought beside her, with her. Regretted being an ass to her. Remembered the touch of her lips and the caress of her hands and fingers over her body. Everything was Buffy. She was so deep inside Faith’s heart that all she could think of as the world faded was Buffy. All she could hear - over the sound of sucking and grunting - was Buffy.

In the tumbling dark ahead of her, Faith gripped onto the last whisper of her name on Buffy’s lips; calling for Faith. Searching. Filtering through the raven dusk of the lonely journey ahead. . .Buffy’s voice, soft and faint. Her voice, calling out Faith’s name.

“Faith, hold on!” The words resonated around the harsh cell of Spike’s crypt, now anything but soft and faint.

Faith wasn’t sure what was happening; caught between the pull of eternal sleep, and the sound of somebody crashing through the heavy door to the dim and dusty room. Another yell and suddenly a weight was taken from her. Spike was no longer attached to her body or her neck.

“Get the hell off her,” came a firm warning.

Faith forced her eyes to open and take in the sight of her saviour Buffy, who had launched the stunned vampire into the far wall where he hit the hard stone with a force stronger than any mortal could survive. His eyes barely had time to register the girl rushing towards him before his world ended. He scattered away to dust in the dirt he had festered in.

“B. . .Buffy,” the word stumbled from pale lips as Buffy fell to her knees besides the blood soaked bed.

“Faith, oh God, don’t die. Please don’t die,” Buffy pleaded. Tears rolled down her cheeks, splashing onto the cold and trembling skin of the drained slayer. “Please, don’t leave me. I’m sorry. Faith, please.” The choked words faded on the breeze, as Faith fell silently into the swirling abyss too close now to escape from. “You told me you’d never leave me, Faith.”

Hands of ice reached out to the waiting slayer, pulling her away from the voice she loved, the girl she loved, the life she just wasn’t meant to live without the pain and the sorrow of forever being alone and on the outside looking in.

It all faded out of view. Out of reach. Out of time. And she was swallowed by the nothingness she had run from all of her short life. Faith let go. Surrendered. She ran no longer.

“You told me you’d never leave. You said you’d never leave me. Never.” Sobs cried out into the night, but it was too late. . .

Faith had already gone.



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