Zig Zag Girls
by Scy

Almost everyone stared when the two of them went by; one tall and curved, the other small and lean. Both pretty, but their blackberry lipstick mouths were set in distant amusement and none understood what they were about.

In the apartment they shared, Faith lay on her stomach, eyes focused on her task deftly balancing on her pillow while applying a coat of purple paint to Willow's offered toenails. The two of them favored brash colors, leaving their feet bare so that others could take note of what they found interesting.

Willow took a pair of fabric shears from a sewing kit one day cut all of her hair. Orange slanting strands bounced upwards around her ears and her fair skin shone in the sun.

She dreamed of institutions where she would be required to paint exquisite landscapes of other worlds, then the warden/doctor would review her work and put her in isolation when elements were incorrect-though she couldn't understand how he knew right from wrong. The only part really remembered was the cloudy-day coolness of his eyes when she woke.

Nothing drove one away so completely as actions finalized with grief.

So many things that Xander had been able to pull her out of- yet being unnecessary wasn't repairable. Especially when more than ever 'part of' was so easy to see.

She knew what it was like to be a force unleashed. Having soil and plant move with her was something the ordinary people around her wouldn't understand. Buffy wasn't going to share it with her- guilt, denial, and a case of death that was looking to be permanent.

Spells had grown up to be a part of her, living in her skin, and she knew that they would never leave. Always vibrating and wriggling like snakes wanting to bite for amusement, and none of the carefully helpful coven had thought about that possibility.

It was like that first time love. A wide open place that frightened, but was so brightly lit by potential that she had to explore.

The Slayer pressed her witch into the wall and kissed her like it was a blessing. Faith liked to get as close as she possibly could- moved against the pole in some club, Willow would feel her, nudging with careful fingers, wanting to put hands under the jacket. Asking permission with tapping of the zipper, and when she obligingly put her arms on Faith's shoulders and slipped forward, hands resting on the bottom ribs, thumbs rubbing gently.


On the ground, burnt earth- where Buffy had revealed the last strike- how to close the Hellmouth at last.

A hand on her shoulder, strong, competent, and dark hair in her peripheral vision. Faith. Trembling mouth, soft with grief but strong. The Slayer was dead, long live the Chosen One.

Earth quivered beneath her, adjusting to the seals put down by the sacrifice. Digging fingers into the soil she sent her own locks to supplement the new ones.

"You alright Will?" Smoky voice in her ear, wild spiciness and comfort. She gripped Faith's arm.

"Yeah, I'll be okay." Tiny laugh, splintered but hanging in the air. "It's not like this hasn't happened before. I'm getting used to it."

She had been so tiny. Their enemies were always surprised that such a skinny little girl was the Slayer- the Chosen One, and that she could even dare to consider herself their equal. They fell down hard- except the First. A force that existed on a plane that never faded, no matter how many heroes wire-brush scrubbed the world clean of evil. Every beastie came from someplace and the primal force of the Slayer had a great opponent that had never been completely vanquished.

Until Buffy. Of course she had to make her death impressive. If a thing was to remain imprinted on the memory of night- it had to be magnificent. No water or bullets, Buffy would go out as she chose- and that decision made her sacrifice all the more powerful.

Willow could see the outline of her friend as the blond stepped through the portal to Hell, which inferno didn't matter- she'd taken the step, the dare, and the First with her.

Spike curled off to the side- the weeping accomplice, still insane but loved by the Slayer. Buffy had given more than one gift. Maybe at last he could find peace.

Up close she could smell the perfume Faith wore- honey and kindling. Potential energy skittered thought Faith, making her invigorating to be around as well as exhausting. Manic without chemical assistance.

The Earth beat its pulse through Faith- she was more in touch with what made night dark and beautiful than most stable people. It was all in the hips, walking, dancing, nearly all movement had something sexual in it. A shininess in her eyes, not quite a glow so much as a coating of light over the cornea that was almost backlit by the intensity of her.

Faith kissed her fingers as if she could lick the magic off her skin and swallow them down. She'd prodded Willow to find an incantation that she liked enough to ink onto her body.

Henna was so underrated. Having a sigil accessible on her body could be dangerous with perilous associations- the type that inevitably came up in their travels.

Easy to show Faith magic that wouldn't pose a threat to them. The brunette got a kick out of the little tricks- floating a pencil, playing darts without physical contact, and a myriad of other tiny amusements.

Distractions weren't the word for their pleasures, each of them knew what they were doing when they walked out of Sunnydale.

The redhead wasn't an orphan, not really, but she had divorced herself from all beloved familiarity.

There had been a time when she appeared cornered and eager to strike out, but only waiting. And there had been the other girl who had touched more blackest nights and found them delicate- full of promise and far off things.


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