One (The Trapping Angels Remix)
by Wendy

Remix of One by nostalgia.

There was a black toad squatting in her soul. Its malevolence grew every night she patrolled and every time she killed a vampire. She'd thought it was her calling now, but as the dreams grew worse and her head grew ever more full of the horrors, she was driven to turn the knife on herself.


Faith's dreams were filled with the self-satisfaction of the truly sated. She'd slayed a little, danced a little and had a little downtime with Robin. Never was a man more aptly named Wood, and well, he almost had Slayer stamina. She stretched on her way to the shower, a pot of coffee scenting the air. She didn't think she'd ever stayed this long in one place. She was definitely someone that low rent motels were made for. Even back with her dad. But that was past. And with all the dinky new slayers about, she didn't need to worry so much about the next big bad to come a slice and dice. Giles still called her in periodically. To do some training, is what he said, always bringing another girl on her first visit to America. Faith took them to Disneyland and talked mostly. She was sure Giles only did it to keep her in the loop.

Mail awaited her next to a note from Robin that made her blush. Old Faith would never blush, but this new Faith. She wasn't all that different - except in every way that counted. Leather and blood and all that jazz were just the book cover. She flicked through the mail - postcard from one of her trainees back home in the Czech Republic. And a letter from Dawn. Taking the coffee to the couch, she slit the envelope open and started to read. Faith was content.


Seeds of madness came crackling through her head. She thought of evisceration and tearing and snapping. The man strapped her into a straight jacket and slid a pillow over her face. Even still, she tried to rip his throat out with her teeth. She choked while he raped her.


The world was in limbo, Willow said. Taking a deep breath before deciding what to do next. And Dawn went to high school, and Kennedy took Willow to the Hamptons. And Buffy went to college, and Giles continued to rebuild something from the ruins of the Watcher's Council. And Dawn was keeping a diary again.


The dark lady had enticed her nearer, lips sliding over already moist lips. She was powerless to stop the steps that took her across the room, despite the flames and a mad capering figure dancing deep in her black, hypnotic eyes. She kept thinking that there was something she was supposed to know about the figure as she felt her through being bared and the vampire start to sup.


The series of murders were nothing new. Giles thought it was something to do with there just being many more slayers in the world, the obviously the death rate would go up. But Angel insisted that there was something more sinister lurking there. And it ended up that Faith was the one chosen to investigate. This time, however, she didn't have to do it with a pickup truck and low rent motels. Angel bankrolled it, and Faith ended up in first class, penthouse suites and suits. It occurred to her, that Angel was trying to make her his new Lilah.


She had a face now, a body. The one who should have been. The one who would not have driven her spirit into a hundred thousand bodies. That would have been strong and carried her lineage for a few years before a slip would smash her into a million pieces. And the mess and the pain that was the Slayer would move on. The anonymous killings had not been enough. It. hurt. It hurt her more than she had thought possible, stretched thin as she was. A body and a face were all a girl needed.


After a while, Faith just started leaving the cash and moving further down the scale. And it was in one of these low rent, dripping tap in the bathroom hotels in a back street in Paris that Faith came across her first real lead. The dear maman of a slayer victim had been only too happy to let this nice American with all that cash have a look through her dead daughter's things. And to take her diary.

A dictionary and a few phone calls to Giles had resulted in Faith and Giles breaking the story of the last few days of poor Angelica's life. The dreams reminded Giles of something he and Buffy had fought against back when Faith was in jail. It was then that Faith had a description of a killer to follow.


The next girl she had to take, she'd followed for a few days. Stalked her through alleyways and streets and school. Making her nervous, scenting her fear like an antelope you knew you had caught and were just waiting for the kill. As her hands tore at the girl's throat, she was aware of being watched. A warning grimace was not enough, as this slight girl sped over to her and slapped her hands away.

It was then that the First Slayer recognised who she was up against.


It was always raining for her showdowns. Buffy got the daylight, or dawn. Faith, she needed the rain. It hid her and kept all those ever so guilty bystanders away. And it meant at the end, like the Slayer was supposed to be, that it was merely her and her enemy. There was no hatred in her. There was just an implacable need to get the job done so that she could go home and continue her life. It certainly gave her no pleasure to realise that her biggest fights always seemed to be against other slayers.

She put her thoughts to one side, and grasped the slick handle of the knife in her hand. She bared her teeth and felt her muscles starting to tense for the first jump. "Bring it."

They smashed into each other mid air, arms reaching to stop the weapon in the others hand. They seemed to hand motionless for a moment, before spinning away to circle each other. A flurry of blows, almost too fast for the naked eye spun each other from one end to the street to the other. Faith slipped in a pile of garbage that had spilled across the street and the Slayer leapt on her with a move that hadn't been seen since the dawn of time. Faith responded with a move that could only be called New York and swept the Slayer's feet from under her. They lay gasping in the road for a few precious seconds before gracefully scrambling to their feet, teeth bared, hands weaving, eyes black with purpose.

Their strength was equal, their reach. Their techniques could not be more different, but seemed to almost cancel out the advantages. Speed that was all that was left. And Faith, crucially seemed to have the edge, this time. She barred the Slayer's arm with her shoulder as she brought her knife up to slide into the heart.

Faith felt her knees go weak as she staggered away from the First Slayer. The Slayer was grasping Faith's knife as she slowly slid to the ground, a surprised expression on her face. Faith started to giggle with exhaustion as she dragged her hand across her forehead. She was not startled at the blood now coating her hand.

She stared at the Slayer until all light was extinguished from her eyes. Then turned and left. Faith knew that it was just the beginning of the hunt for the First Slayer.


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