Sister Dark
by Lady Grey


She was good. She was always good, because Mom started hitting if she wasn 't. Mom said stay in with her, she stayed and watched the stupid soap operas and passed Mom the tissues. Mom said go out, she went out and walked the streets till dawn or dusk (whichever came first), avoiding the hustlers and--sometimes--smiling at the pretty ones. Boy or girl, didn't matter. Beauty was rare.

When the odd British woman who looked over the top of her glasses appeared, offering Faith a safe place, she accepted. With a wary eye on this woman with a stake.



"Faith? I am your Watcher."

And she did what her Watcher said, and fought hard, and believed that she was Chosen. Anything to keep this new life, away from the old house and the shrieking woman. A room that didn't smell of cigarettes and Firebird, clothes she picked out, fresh stuff in the fridge...worth a few rules and regs.

She even behaved, mostly. Hard to, when the boys leered and the girls jeered, knowing that she could have thrown them longways across the hall and on their sorry asses.

But Slayers didn't. Slayers protected. Slayers didn't misuse their power.



Maud would know what to do. Maud always knew. So Faith ran and ran, trying to keep all the details straight. Really old. Cloven feet. Cat Crispies or something--Kakistos. He was out for the Slayer, and everyone dear to her. Which meant Maud. But Maud was smart, she'd figure a way around the old fangy dustbag. A few holy water traps, some well-aimed (from a distance) stakes--

"Oh...God...Faith don't come in!..."

Cut off with a squeal as Faith flung open the door, and watched Maud, her substance of things hoped for, fall neck-shattered boneless dead.



What a group. Xander like some kind of puppy, falling over trying to be friendly and not look down her shirt at the same time. Willow stuttering as she pointed out the exact place ("right there, see the tarnished handrail?") where she almost got sucked into--somewhere. Mr. Giles, who kept polishing his glasses whenever she said something, as if she'd steamed them up.

Buffy, B, pretty little blonde who pouted. Faith thought it would be so much fun to make her smile, make her laugh, see her dance.

Slayers are always alone. Sunnydale's golden, new. Maybe things can be different.



Faith looks at her. A bitter thing that even bruised and bleeding, Buffy shines. She shines brighter than the fire, brighter than Angel (liar) and his pretty pale skin, warm...

No warmth for Faith, no comfort. Cast off from the proper Slayer's hearth forever for her mistake, sold herself to the enemy for a Playstation and an apartment with barely a twinge. And now here's Buffy, at her mercy. One stroke, one, and out brief candle.

No. Other things she may have done, but she doesn't need to do that. She kisses B's forehead, whispers a promise and runs out.



The rain washes nothing clean, especially city rain. There's soot in it, and drecky smells, and it's blood-warm on her skin and clothes.

The blood's still on her, Wesley's blood, and B's blood, and that man in Sunnydale, and so many others, never going away. She did it, she did, and now she'll mingle her blood with theirs and it will all. Just. Stop.

Except Angel's not cooperating. He's not taking her blood, not for himself or to give to color the rain. He's just standing there.

How odd that she can see her reflection in a vampire's eyes.



Years. Time enough to learn a little more about herself. To consciously manage the strength, to not show when an inaudible buzz warned of supernatural danger nearby. To smile at her psychiatrist and caseworker, and not simply bare her teeth.

Then to take the jump through shattering glass, with Wesley (when did he grow muscles as well as a pair?) and face the thing she'd thought she knew who laughed out of shadows.

She was the light now. He was the darkness. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness--even though it recognizes it--comprehends it not.


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