Dazzling Darkness
by Amy

You have to give the darkness permission. It cannot take over otherwise.
--Madeleine L'Engle, A Ring of Endless Light

The club is just dim enough that if you're still, if you cling to the walls and try not to breathe, you can disappear.

She's never really done this before, never tried to hide, never blushed and ducked her head, never gave up the limelight to lurk in the shadows. But one of her promises was not to go clubbing. She'd sworn, first on her soul and then on her black leather pants after realizing that he didn't much value the former, not to go out, get drunk, fuck the first boy she saw.

Bruises have been fading slower lately, the result of piling them on one above the other, and seeing her in a glittery black halter top one night as she stopped by on her way out, he'd just said no.

"What?" she remembers saying. "You're not my dad. You can't ground me. It's my home, anyway. What I say, goes."

So he'd gotten her the apartment.

But how, she'd demanded, could she watch Buffy and the Wondertwins, plus their assorted groupies, if she had to stay home at night?


Be innocuous.

My little Faith, such a good actress. Can you do that for me?

Mine. Good. It was enough. Automatic nod.

But not now. Now is for slow and steady, dark and deadly, skulking in the depths of blackness while half-drunk teenagers play pool and listen to the K's Choice music, pretty but not danceable, unless you're Faith.

When you're Faith, anything can be danced to.

A few boys approach her, and rather than accepting or tearing them new ones, she smiles demurely and mumbles a polite no thank you. Sorry, but she's waiting for someone.

A friend?

You could say that.

Neither of them would, but...

She buys herself a soda. She wants beer, but beer involves talking people up, and even in Sunnydale, people will notice a girl in tight leather brushing up against them and flirting until their cock's a little harder and their wallet's several drinks lighter.

So it's cola. Just like Mom used to have her buy when she was passed out in the living room and Faith had school.

The good old days.

There's a commotion at the other side of the Bronze, and she can see it without moving if she's perched at the bar and focusing. The bartender must recognize her, because he says "the regular?" and she nods, hands him some money, and receives the change with a smile and a relatively inexpensive foreign beer.

Cheap beers mean you can buy more of them. Things work out so nicely sometimes.

Hawkeyed, staring, watching the motions. Xander (fucking tool, complete lack of control, decent body, no follow-through, no appetite for anything new, nothing but vanilla peaches and cream, just like that fucking-)


But pale Willow -- even more so than usual -- and her whole attitude is changed; her haircut is jagged edged, her makeup striking, and her pastel fluffy bunny shirts replaced by a leather fetish outfit even Faith-

No, Faith wouldn't blush at wearing it. Faith wouldn't blink.

But Willow would.

Faith stares at her, for the first time understanding how everyone in the fucking town wants to get in the geek's pants: Oz, Xander... fuck, probably Buffy.


Don't think about Buffy.

"Damn," mutters one of the guys next to her at the bar. "When did Rosenberg get hot?"

"About the same time you found you couldn't hide your erection with a beer can," Faith suggests with a smirk. At her comment, he knocks over the drink, soaking himself and the patron to his right with sticky alcoholic mess. If there's anything else sticky involved, she doesn't want to know. She laughs.

Low profile sucks.

She gets up and moves to another corner, leaving the man to nurse his battered pride and swollen dick on his own. From here she has a better view as Willow threatens patrons. Her eyes flash fire. She's talking to a boy, treating him like a cat playing with her prey. It's sick.

Faith likes it.

She sees Xander go over to talk to her. Of course. Willow goes all Predator and all that she gets is sympathy from the fucking Scooby gang. A minute later, Buffy goes and they're all talking, all three of them. She can't make out most of what they're saying, so she edges closer. Willow growls, and her eyes flash green and feral. The last words out of her mouth come across loud and clear.

"I don't like you."

The words sting Buffy harder than a slap, harder than a punch, harder than a knife. The horror running across her face is as thicker than it had been when Faith-

Not the point. The point is how scared Buffy looks. And how pleased Willow looks at the reaction.

This is a girl she can get behind.

Faith waits a few minutes to gauge response, and then walks over to Willow.

"Who are you?"

Faith doesn't let how offended she is show. She plays it cool. "You know me, Red. Don't play dumb."

"Who's playing?" she asks, all fake innocence and light.

"Cute." Faith smirks. "What, Buffy's friends all going Darth Vader at the same time? Where's Xander's light saber?"

Willow studies her. "I don't know you. But I don't think I like you either."

"You never liked me. But then, you were never a vampire either." Faith flashes a sudden smile. "Want to take it outside, Red?"

Willow bites her lip. "Fine."

The demon who was once Willow leads the way outside. Faith faces her outside, standing with her back to the wall, which gives her an advantage over the witch-cum-vampire. Willow clearly understands this; she keeps glancing over her shoulder in game face. Only when she watches Faith does she regain her human visage.

"Why should I listen to you?" she demands quietly.

"Well, you seem to dislike Buffy Summers. That's the basis for a wonderful friendship already."

"You know Buffy?"

"You know I do. Stop playing dumb." Faith can feel her fist reaching for the stake in her pocket.

"Don't," Willow cautions. "You even think of trying to kill me, and I'll massacre you before you can touch wood."

"I'm not going to kill you," she says. "I'm just trying to make us evenly matched. You just have to grr, and you're all Irma Vep. I'm a little girl, all meek and... innocent."

"I don't believe you." She speaks like a child.

Faith throws her hands up, frustrated. "What, did you die and go retarded? That is so fucking sad. What happened to Brilliant Scholar Girl who'd turn me into the authorities in a second?"

"I'm not that girl anymore," she says after a moment.

"Well, obviously. That girl breathed."

"Are you a white hat?"

Faith looks down at her outfit, all black, not sparkly but certainly not the typical wallflower getup, and definitely not anything Willow might have worn before she got turned. "Do I look like white is my color?"

"What do you want from me?" the girl who used to be Willow asks.

"Buffy will let you come back to her," Faith says.

"I'm a vampire," Willow says pointlessly.

"Caught that." Faith winks and forms a gun with her fingers. "You're quick."

"She's a Slayer." The word is filled with nothing but loathing and hatred.

"And Angel was a vampire, and look at them."

"Angel?" And then, with recognition, "The Puppy."

"Yeah, the puppy. Whatever." Faith rolls her eyes. "Do you people have nicknames for everyone?"

"What do you want?" Willow asks again. She speaks warily.

"Power." Faith doesn't disguise her naked longing. She's too smart for that. Yeah- smart. Not that Buffy would believe it.

"How am I going to give you power?"



"Talk to Buffy for me."

"I'm a vampire."

"But you're Buffy's best friend."

"What do you want me to say?" she asks, guarded.

"Ask her... ask her about Faith."

"Faith in what?"

"Just Faith. Ask her."

"Why would I do that?"

"I'll make it worth your while."

"Meaning what?" The vampire raised an eyebrow.

"Are all vampires really inherently bisexual?"

"No." Willow leans forwards and kisses Faith roughly. "But I am."

Buffy slept with dead people. That's all she keeps repeating in her head as they kiss. Buffy slept with dead people, so this is okay.

Willow is nothing like she expected. It takes her a moment to realize that that's probably because she's a vampire, and vampires are nothing like people, and thus this Willow has been introduced to the vampire world and thus can't be a virgin in any sense of the world. "You like that?" Faith murmurs as she breaks away for the oxygen Willow doesn't need.

"Not bad," the vampire says with a hint of a smirk.

"What, like you got better from Xander? He couldn't last five minutes."

"You know Xander?" Willow asks suspiciously.

"You know it, Red."

"But he's all... good." She says good as though it were the worst insult she could bestow.

"Yeah, and I was his maiden voyage on the S. S. Corruption. And not just those chaste little kisses you got in, you rebel you."

"Right. Just kisses. Xander and I just... kissed."

Faith rolls her eyes. "Come on, Red. You don't need to play that game with me. I know you two kissed, and unlike the rest of your little Scooby clique, I don't give a shit."

Willow laughs, but it sounds nothing like her nervous giggles when she was alive. Faith appreciates that. The idea of fucking Willow before is nauseating.

Faith takes the lead, leaning in for another kiss, but rather than devouring the girl, she finds her dominance being questioned as the redhead begins probing her mouth with her tongue. Even more surprisingly, she finds she likes it, and she succumbs to the other girl's charms.

It's Willow, then, who rips Faith's shirt in two, who realizes appreciatively that Faith isn't wearing a bra, who immediately leans over to touch, to pinch, to bite- "No teeth," Faith commands weakly, but she doubts Willow even notices- to ravish her.

Faith wants to argue, but at the same time, she totally doesn't. Willow nips her way down Faith's body. Faith lets herself get lost in the moment, trying to forget who she's fucking. But that proves difficult a moment later, as Willow sheds all of her clothing and scurries up. Suddenly Willow's riding Faith's face like she's a fucking carnival ride, and Faith can't do anything but make it worth the E-Ride ticket.

Willow doesn't fuck like anyone else Faith knows. She fucks like it's the only thing that matters, like the only thing standing between eternal damnation and eternal bliss is how quickly the orgasm can rush through her, and that instant is heaven and that's all she's going to get.

Fucking Willow makes Faith realize that Hell wouldn't be so bad, maybe, not if you're like this, not if you're focused, not if pain is just another step in the dance that never seems to really want to stop and why would you want it to anyway? Eternity's a long time and an eternity of nothing but pleasure would get boring pretty quickly.

Especially with someone like Willow, who seems to be taking as much joy from the pain as the pleasure, as much joy from dragging her own claws (Faith can't quite call them nails) across her skin, drawing thin lines of warm red blood, as from the way Faith's moving her tongue, her lips, her teeth.

Fucking Willow shows Faith what it must be like to have sex with herself.

She loses count, after a while, of just how many times Willow gets off, of just how many times she can feel Willow's body tensing and exploding over and over, of just how many ways Willow can respond to it, of just how many things about Vampire Willow are different from Alive Willow. Faith definitely likes this one better.

Even if this one won't get Faith off.

"Jesus fuck," she mutters into Willow's thighs. She absently wonders if the words touching Willow's skin could make her blister and burn, but she doesn't want to know, not really. She's having too much fun. Her own thighs are slick and hot, and she can't figure out the best way to approach the subject of getting off with a vampire who used to be Buffy's best friend.

Willow doesn't explode into dust. She must have heard her, though, because she responds with a sharp spank across Faith's breasts. Oddly, Faith can tell that it's just her being playful. The witch-cum-evil-undead likes her. Wonderful.

It seems like years before Willow gets tired. Decades before she decides to stop and climb off of Faith. In the back of her mind, Faith gives thanks that she's a Slayer, because damn, she's exhausted, she can't even imagine what it would be like for a normal human to try and keep a vampire like Red satisfied. For one thing, at least the soreness will leave her in a few days, tops.

No wonder vampires didn't keep human pets.

When Willow rolls off of Faith, when she pulls on her clothing, she smiles at Faith, nothing like a Willow Smile, but something like the cat that ate the canary, except more, she supposed, like the dead cat who routinely eats other cats, or at the moment, the cat who's been eaten quite a bit herself.

Faith smiles back weakly and wonders if Wilkins has a decent heatlh benefit package. She's going to need days of bedrest from this shit. Days of bedrest and a new fucking vibrator.

"So... you'll tell Buffy?" she asks as Willow starts to leave.

"Tell Buffy?"

Faith rolls her eyes. "You'll ask her. About Faith. For me."

Willow looks distant, bored. "Right. Sure. I'll get right on that."

"Please?" Faith sounds young, suddenly, even to herself, and she would cringe except cringing would require too much muscle coordination from her right now, too much muscle coordination when it's taking all of Faith's efforts and a little bit more just to keep herself from getting off right here, in the middle of the alley.

But Willow's already gone.

Faith drags herself home, covered in whatever's left of her outfit, and slumps in her bed. She's so exhausted that she barely manages one half-hearted orgasm from three fingers and a mental image of a certain fanged red-head before she falls into a deep sleep.

It's a few days before Faith sees Willow alone again, one of those nights when she's training at the high school library with Buffy (god, Buffy...) but she's taking some down time while Buff trains with Giles, one-on-one, and Wes does research on something. Willow's playing Miss Marple at the computer while Xander gets donuts, so Faith slides onto the table behind her. "Hey, Red."

It's just like she had predicted. Buffy doesn't care if you're a vampire, if you're evil, as long as you're her friend. It's only when you're Faith that killing people is a fucking capital crime. Even when it's a mistake. Something inside her churns.

Willow turns and smiles a little. "Oh, hey, Faith. How goes the fighting? Down and dirty-like?"

She's so dorky. Faith can't believe she fucked her. She also can't decide whether or not Willow's speaking in double entendres. "You know it," she says lightly. "So what'd she say?"

"What'd who say?"

"Buffy." Faith edges closer to her. Her Slayer senses might be worse than Buffy's, but they're not dead, and she can't figure out why Willow's not feeling vamp-ish.

Willow looks at her like she's grown the head of one of those chicks from the Sisterhood of Jhe. "Um, I don't know, Faith. I see her a lot during the day. She says lots of stuff."

"Yeah, but about the thing." Faith leers, just slightly, just enough to make an impact.

Willow shrugs. "Why don't you ask her yourself, Faith?"

No matter what Buffy did to make Willow good, to make Willow human, she couldn't have forgotten this. God, this wasn't fair. "You promised! How could you not fulfill your end of the deal?"

Willow smiles gently. "You've been really stressed lately, Faith. Maybe some of that's making your brain all melty-like."

Faith remembers Willow's face late at night in the alley, finally satiated after god-knows-how-many orgasms. "Yeah," she says flatly. "You're probably right. I probably just need more sleep." She grabs her bag from Giles's desk.

"Where're you going?" Willow asks her.

"Home. Bye, Giles. Wesley. Later, B." She waves at Willow, who rolls her eyes but grins her greeting.

As soon as she leaves the library, Faith drops her smile. She's angrier than she can remember herself being since... well, ever. Of course she shouldn't have trusted Willow. Why bother? Willow's always been Buffy's favorite. She should have known better.

Well, she knows now. No more mistakes.

From now on, Willow Rosenberg is the enemy.


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