Prior Claim
by Scy

The amount of times a truck got hijacked by demons or vampire was more than ridiculous, it was a sign that local law enforcement chose its battles.

Hopping out of the truck bed, Faith could understand that.

It wasn't that she made a point of looking for the sort of fight that left more than physical wounds, but when there was a chance to add to her own list, maybe even make a kill while eliminating an enemy, there was no reason to pass up the opportunity.

No reason except the cost to wardrobe. There was almost nothing worse than the sound of her only shirt being torn beyond a few emphatic stitches unless it was the growl of a vampire when she was out of it. Dangerously zoned into the atmosphere of a Sunnydale evening. A familiar sound brought her back though. Like the air was a seam being ripped- territory violated.

She understood the threat in that rasp and didn't care. New vampire, probably just clawed its way out of the grave. Stupid kid didn't know what she was.

Kicked one leg out and she felt better than she had since dealing with a hospital gown and the latest news. The vamp went down and she was over it, grinning.

Despite everything she still kept a stake close by and punched through the vamp like a revelation. More control than she'd had in the church.

Everything made sense again. She was better than this moron.

She'd told Buffy once before that a vampire and a Slayer were opposing forces. Being the 'twice revived' Slayer seemed to have convinced B that she could work past things like 'basic nature.'

Faith didn't pretend that she could 'resolve issues' that were wound up in power and purpose. She was what she had been born to be, and a vampire was a demon who happened to have parts of the person who'd been killed by the demon's entrance. There were no pretty stories to make up for that. Until she met Angel and understood why there could be trouble making sense of it all.

Some beings were such strange and attractive combinations that they demanded further examination. Preferably the kind that took a great deal of time and less clothing. But part of what made Angel so confoundedly attractive was the same loyalty that kept her from having a good time with him.

That was a change, because usually it wasn't so hard to draw a bloodsucker in. The young assumed the hum of her blood was too ordinary for wisdom, and the older backed off just enough to watch her move. In the end it was all about trying to get the Slayer. Some of them even had tallies of how many they had taken out.

That one such was still walking around spoke to a certain need that the blonde Slayer had for a familiar monster in her town.

After all, Riley had been too clean to fit the bill. Even Angel at his most '18th century gentlemanly' had been edgier. The farm-boy's innocence made him a sweet diversion.

Given their history, it seemed likely that B and her vampire would pick up further down the road. Until then he was out of the immediate group.

Though Angel had left, that didn't mean Faith had head out immediately. If she was going to call Sunnydale 'well done,' then she had to do everything.


Spike backed away like he could sense something odd about her and it was giving him a headache.

"Slayer." Like the introduction to every wannabe tough vamp's last struggle.

She smiled and took the ground he'd given her. With Buffy she would have let that space be recovered, once. But pretty face or not, Spike was a vampire.

"William the Bloody." Contrary to what everybody assumed, she had paid attention to her Watcher. Especially when it was 'gory history time.'

There was something interesting about the fact that Spike was more or less the same as he had been centuries ago, yet remade himself every so often. A demon and the remains of a man had been rattling around together for years until they were close to a single being.

Spike was a lot different from Angel; a fact that would probably make both vampires happy.

There was more to approaching him than just catching another potentially epic romance before it took over, like getting a taste. Putting her mark on in a way that B would pick up on. Experience advised that while B would debate herself out of a casual fling, just the stress release she needed, eventually she would give in.

When that happened, Faith would have gotten there first.


"You're Faith, the one that came up when Dru bagged the last Slayer." His smile was thoughtful, he still felt strongly about his ex.

"Yeah." Another step, she waited for him to work things out. It was fun, watching ideas try and connect with memory.

"We've met." Spike's stance was open, but still ready, as though he could hope to fend her off.

"Recently, in fact. Wanna know when?"

"I don't like Twenty Questions, Slayer."

"Oh come on, I bet we could have a good time with this."

"You're the other Slayer, Faith" He said it like she'd tried to join the winners' circle and hadn't dues enough to get in. That was normal, some demons thought that power got diluted and that she would be anxious to prove otherwise. As if she couldn't notice all the little details.

She recognized the way he looked at B. Or her in B's body. It was the expression of one who had sunk too deep to see a way out. Some things didn't take a mirror to be recognizable. He might hide it behind aggression and death threats, but that was romantic to a demon anyhow.

Knowing that Spike had joined the ridiculously popular 'Want B's Bod' club made her want to bite down. Impulse had never been something she made an effort to check. If it felt right, she went with it. All blood usually came out later, and if it didn't, she'd dump what couldn't be salvaged.

Most people would have made a statement with actual words. Faith had found that her fists were better than exclamation points.

"This isn't your town, Spike. It was never supposed to be."

Emphasis took him to the pavement.

He spat blood and retorts in her face.

She knocked him out, point made, and rubbed her hands clean on her jeans.

Even now she compared herself to B. Would the blond have done the same things, stumbled in the same ways, let certain things pass- be ruthless the way that Faith thought was important? Her history with Spike would have lent this encounter an air of intimacy that made it difficult to bring it to a close. She didn't have the same trouble; it was just that an actual dusting wasn't needed when the vamp couldn't hurt anyone.

Back bent, Faith felt her 'post fight jitters' roll into the coolness of a job well done. She felt like a cat who had shown claws and could now sit in the sun and bask.

A good adversary was the kind that survived and kept returning as a reminder of purpose. B already had a mirror, she didn't need something that walked only at night to tell her that she was the 'good one.'

Faith had pulled out the stops once, she could do it again. If nothing else, there was always the crackle of sisterhood to bring them together when things got too boring.


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