You Pull The Strings

Chapter Nine

“Fucking bitch,” Faith cried as she pounded her fist into Spike’s contorted features. “Thinking I fucking raped her. She fucking used me, I didn’t use her.” She struck him again, hard and fast. “That’s all I’m worth though right? All I’m fucking worth.”

Straddling Spike’s waist as he lay prone beneath her, Faith slammed her fists furiously into his face, splattering blood all over her from his broken nose and various cuts around his eyes. She was out of control and couldn’t see anything but the look of disgust on Buffy’s face. The betrayal that she could see in her green eyes. The hurt, the failing, the tears.

She couldn’t make sense of the emotions running through her. She was mixed up at the best of times, and now she just felt lost within herself. With every swing of her arm she barricaded herself behind her walls and defences, locking everything inside.

“Why? Fucking why?” Faith sobbed, slumping forward onto spike, tears splashing down from her to mingle with the blood on his face.

She had one hand twisted into his short hair as she used the other one to desperately prop herself up. She was spent. Physically and emotionally. She looked down at his expressionless mask and dipped her head down towards him, capturing his bruised lips with hers.

The slaying lust and the rage inside became a blurred haze; needing to take any action she could to dull the pain inside her. She wanted to feel it all slip away so she didn’t have to think anymore. The fight had left her, so now she was compelled to continue her grasp for oblivion in another direction. Another she knew just as well as she did violence.

Spike slipped out of game-face and met Faith’s lips with his own just as hungrily, his own lust during the battle taking him beyond the point of conscious restraint too. They devoured each other as they disappeared into a frenzy of passion. Faith was giving in to the adrenaline rush, and how easy it would be to just become exactly what Buffy thought she was.

She had lost control to Buffy, and to herself when she had threatened Willow. She just wanted to throw her hands in the air and forget that she gave a damn about anything now.

Faith stood up abruptly, ripping her lips from the blue eyed vampire. She took deep breaths to replace the feeling back into her body. After running a tidying hand through her hair, and wiping blood from her nose, she pulled him to his feet and buried everything but the raw elements of herself deep inside.

“Come on, barbie. You wanna fuck me?” she asked coarsely, grinning at Spike’s obvious confusion.

Faith narrowed her eyes waiting for his response, the dark fierceness in them slicing through the thick atmosphere between the two would be enemies. She didn’t want to have the time to stop and think. Thinking was just too damn painful.

Spike wiped the blood from his face as he composed himself from the beating he had just received. He was lucky that throughout most of the fight, Faith had been holding back.

“Sure,” he replied, not asking why or waiting for explanations. “This way, pet.” He strode off towards his crypt.

Faith walked beside him not saying a word. Neither of them seemed to feel the need to explain their actions, or discuss what was about to happen. Deep inside, Faith felt repulsed at the prospect of having sex with a vampire, but it did more to drive her on than stop her. She wanted to kill the hurt little girl inside her. She wanted to destroy the part of herself that craved love and longed for Buffy to give it to her.

Strolling nonchalantly into Spike’s crypt, Faith took in her surroundings, curling her nose at the faint hint of dampness in the air. The sheer stinging cold feeling of death was almost oppressive, and it made her skin crawl, but it made her want to embrace it and call it her own. To her it was real, reachable. Spike was reachable, and at the minute he was exactly what she needed.

The clammy stark nature of the small crypt was broken up here and there by ornate candlesticks; the thick lengths of wax throwing out an eerie glow to trick the dark into shifting. A small draft caused the light to flicker and dance on the ceiling and walls. It could have been called romantic, but it wasn’t. The dancing light was mocking, not moving.

She noticed Spike had sheets on his bed, despite the fact he would never feel the chill of the cold air again on his alabaster skin. To the side of the bed was a bottle of something she could almost call her salvation. She grabbed the bottle of JD and proceeded to down half the contents.

Dead. She wanted to feel dead. Like the man stood in front of her removing his shirt and exposing his wiry torso to the candle lit room. She watched as he unbuckled the belt to very familiar leather trousers. They were more alike than she cared to think. And whilst she watched him, she realised. . .she was worth no more than this.

Faith replaced the top to the bottle and threw it onto the crumpled sheets of the bed. She knew she would be needing more of the strong liquor soon, as she didn’t want Buffy suddenly popping into her head and stealing this from her. She didn’t want thoughts of Buffy stopping her from taking out the anger, the hurt, and the entire lack of hope that was drowning her into its icy waters on Spike.

She prowled her way over to Spike, claiming the desire in his eyes. He looked stuck somewhere between cocky and sure and being way out of his depth, despite his years at perfecting cruelty, and absolution from thinking it was wrong to take at other’s expense.

Scratching her black painted fingernails down his pale chest, Faith leaned in close to his ear. “I want you to fuck me hard, Spike. Fuck me so I forget who the hell I am. Just don’t ask me why.” She pushed him down onto the bed and leapt on top of him, unzipping his trousers.

“I’ll do whatever you want, Slayer. No questions here,” he nodded, grinning as she reached into his pants, leaving him in no doubt that she knew exactly what she wanted.

* * *

Faith stumbled out into the harsh light of day, recoiling slightly at the audacity of the sun to dare to shine on her. She was hung-over, she was bruised, and she was sore. Fucked raw sore. But it felt good, because she could deal with the feeling. She knew it, like an old friend.

Pulling her jacket close around herself, holding herself, she blindly made her way back to her motel room, confident that nobody would be there waiting for her or giving a damn about her. Nobody gave a damn unless she was screwing up, and Buffy had already made it clear that they were through as friends. She wouldn’t be there no matter what.

Faith grew bitter as she imagined Buffy sat at school, bitching to Willow about her. About how Faith had ‘fucked her over’. About how she had been stupid to trust her. Faith shook her head, concentrating on the pain in there and between her legs.

“Fuck it,” she mumbled to herself. “If she can believe I’d do something like that, then I’m no better than a piece of shit to her.” Her subconscious agreed with Buffy that she was just that.

She had to be after what she had allowed Spike to do to her. He had risen to the challenge she had set him, and then some. His vampire stamina had seen to that. It made her feel sick on the one hand, but gave her a sense of achievement on the other. She had achieved her own self-destruction once again. Fitting snugly into the title of slut that Buffy no doubt thought suited her well.

Slut. User. Nobody.

If that’s what Buffy’s opinion was, who was she to disagree. Faith had lost the will to disagree; she didn’t have the heart for it. Buffy had taken it, and tossed it, even if she wasn’t aware that that’s exactly what she had done by throwing around such ridiculous accusations.

The door to her room was shut, but not locked. She pushed it open, sweeping her lifeless eyes around the small space. Nothing had been touched. Her bag still sat on top of the bed, half packed. Her sheets were ruffled and messy. There was a dent in the wall with her blood smeared nearby it. A larger bloodstain on the floor.

Faith stood looking at the stain, its deep red hue betraying the defences she had attempted to resurrect by using Spike. She ran her injured hand through her thick hair, examining the floor around the stain. The knife had gone. The knife she had pushed into the terrified face of Willow. Buffy had taken it back.

It spoke volumes of how Buffy had not only taken back the gift of the knife, but how she no doubt had taken the gift of her friendship too, and any unrealised hope of them being more to each other.

Faith closed the door shut behind her, sealing out the light from the day. Taking a deep breath she made her way into the bathroom and turned on the shower. She closed her dark eyes, waiting for the water to run hot. She opened them quickly as images flashed before her. She saw Buffy’s tears as she questioned and accused Faith. The hurt behind the anger. The expression of betrayal. Disbelief. Shock. Hurt.

It kept coming back to the hurt she saw in Buffy’s eyes.

But Faith hadn’t done what Buffy had implied then downright indicted her of. Faith felt bad - more than bad - for what she had done to Willow. And she felt angry at herself for being weak with Buffy and allowing her to get her way, but she wasn’t going to feel guilty for anything more. She hadn’t touched Buffy. As much as she had wanted to, and as close as it had come. . .she wasn’t the one who should feel guilty.

Even knowing that, all she could see was the hurt in Buffy’s usually cheerful green eyes. She felt like she truly had stolen something from her, just thinking about that look on her face as Buffy spat her hateful words at her.

Steam from the shower wrapped its way around Faith’s body, pulling her from her thoughts. She began to peel off her clothes, being careful not to aggravate her bruised ribs, and the scrapes marring her lightly bronzed skin. The night and the morning had done its best to heal her, but she still looked pretty beaten up.

She stepped under the cascade of hot water, sighing as it surged over her chest and trickled its way down her legs to the cracked off-white surface of the bath. As the water flowed down the plug hole, she could see it was no longer pure. It was tainted by her blood. From her cuts, from the scrapes, and from the dried red relic of her violent night with Spike from between her thighs.

She felt as impure as the water quickly vanishing with a gurgled cry down the plughole. She felt weak as her hands came to rest on the tiles in front of her. She felt drained. Drained of emotion. Of everything she held safely inside.

Watching the water as it slipped over her, Faith noticed the two deep red puncture wounds just above her right breast. She lifted her hand to the blight on her perfect skin and instantly felt the need to vomit hit the back of her throat. She collapsed under the hot spray, falling to her knees as the alcohol in her system rushed from her stomach, discolouring the water even more, stripping its purity completely.

As her wet hair hung down in rivulets over her face, Faith laughed stiltedly at the imagery, at the sheer arrogance of the thought that entered her head.

Nothing around her was pure, because she wasn’t pure. She was tainted, now more than ever. Now more than she could possibly stand to be.



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