They Live In This World
by Michelle K.

The world hasn't ended.

It was the first thing she said when she walked back into your life. She was smiling, her grin both brilliant and lifeless. Then, she kissed you, and you thought: the world could end tomorrow.

It also occurred to you that you didn't care -- after all, the world has to end sooner or later.

Then, she was sliding her hand down to your zipper. For a moment, you didn't think about anything; you were thankful.


She never asked to live with you, nor did you ask her to stay. But you didn't ask her to go either and, sometimes, that's all the invitation the down-and-out need.

Not that you're one to talk. You've heard the piercing screams of a million wars, lived on the dark side, loved and lost -- all the bullshit that should make you a tragic figure, but instead makes you wish you'd never been born.

Maybe she wishes she'd never been born, never been chosen, never lost her sanity, never regained it and realized what she had been.

You don't ask her. You just share a few rooms with her, not a life.


She never talks about what happened in Sunnydale. "We won. That's all that matters." Then that smile again, but she doesn't kiss you. Doesn't say another word. Doesn't move.

You think she might slam her hand into a wall, then wave it away with an apology. But she just leaves. You pretend not to hear her crying.

You pretend that you're not close to falling apart, too.


Angel's the one who tells you that Buffy died.

You never talk to Faith about it.


Lilah never comes to see you anymore; you actually thought she would've, considering that she was a figment of your imagination and, fuck, you've tried to conjure her up a million times over. But she's gone and that's fine, because you never loved her anyway...

Except you did, you fucking liar.

Sometimes, you think you might love Faith, too. Because she's redeemed herself, because she's still got that darkness in her, because you need to love something that's still breathing.

Whether or not she loves you...that's something you can't tell at all.


She takes you out to clubs, makes you watch as she dances with everyone who will have her -- which is, in fact, everyone. Her smile is less empty when she's out there, as if something's being filled by the uneven beats of bad techno.

When she comes back, you kiss her hard. Sometimes, you rush out to fuck in a dark alleyway, her legs wrapped tight around you. It feels so coarse, so dirty. Old you, the you Faith first met in Sunnydale, would pale at the suggestion of such an activity.

The new you keeps thrusting deeper into her. The new you doesn't know what he's made of any more.

You run your tongue along her neck, taste the salty sweat. You graze your teeth down the same expanse, not worrying about the thoughts it might bring up. Not worrying that she might remember Angelus, the familiar taste of lingering death; the knowledge that you would've sacrificed her for the greater good, that you'd be just as whole had she disappeared.

But, all things considered, she doesn't mind about the last one -- she couldn't care less about herself.

So, you bite her. She groans. You're not sure if she comes.


"Why didn't you get the shower fixed?" Her hair's wet, her body's bare, and you're not sure why you don't feel more excited. "You want something to remember me by?" she adds with a smile.

"I wouldn't really need that now, would I?" you comment dryly.

"You couldn't have been sure I'd come back. Unless you've gained a huge ego with that cooler attitude and perpetual stubble."

You shrug. "Maybe. Anyway, concerning the shower...I really didn't have time, I suppose."

"C'mon, admit it. You can't get enough of me." There's a pleading behind the playfulness, one that makes you hurt in a way you don't understand.

"I can't," you say.

When she kisses you, you can't breathe. You don't mind.


Silverlake: Authors / Mediums / Titles / Links / List / About / Plain Style / Fancy Style