Kate Lockley doesn't cry.
As far as
she knows, she never has -- not when she broke her ankle in the third grade;
not when her mother died five autumns later; and not when, at sixteen,
she learned she was chosen to save the world from vampires.
Slayers don't cry, Kate reminds herself. I don't cry.
But somehow, saline is miraculously welling in her eyes and sliding down
She wipes at it compulsively with the back of her hand and struggles to
keep her voice steady. "I don't underst-- ...What are you saying?"
"I'm sayin' it was fun, K," the vampire breezes as she primps
in front of the mirror, unfazed by her lack of reflection. "We had
a good time. But I got places to do, so if you wanna call a cab..."
"A 'cab'?" Sheet wrapped around her naked body, Kate
shoots up from the bed in hopes that the jolt will wake her from this
nightmare. It doesn't. "What the hell is going on, Faith?"
"What's 'going on' is that I'm sick of hearin' all this whining,
Katie." For the first time that evening, the brunette bothers
to face her.
That's when Kate notices that there's something wrong with her eyes. Vacant,
inaccessible, almost frightening, they lack the sparkle of devotion,
of connection that she's grown so accustomed to. "Last night..."
Her throat constricts and she tries again. "Last night you told me
you loved me."
Faith cocks her head. "And the fact that you bought it? Your prob,
"Bought it? Faith, we've been together over a year... You said..."
She blinks back more tears.
"Yeah, well maybe I just said that to pry apart your creamy
virgin thighs." She shrugs. "And if you ask me? Wasn't worth
it." With that, she grabs her keys, makes for the door and slams
it behind her.
And just like that, Faith is gone.
Numbly, Kate sits on the bed. Her first lover's last words crackle in
the air, bounce off the walls, echo in her ears:
Wasn't worth it.
"What did I do?" she wonders aloud, desperately recounting
the day's events for clues, but all she can access is the pure sensory
experience: of Faith's skin touching hers; of fingers in soft, wet places;
of trembling at the edge of her lover's tongue, the sensation taking her,
twisting her, consuming her...
Kate shudders slightly along with the memory. When it was over, Faith
had choked: "I love you -- Jesus Katie, more than anything..."
"All a lie?" Kate helplessly begs of the empty room. And then
those damning words answer her: "Wasn't worth it."
she a bad lover? How could that be when the force of Faith's orgasm
practically registered on the Richter Scale, with all that accompanying
shaking and thrashing and groaning -- the groaning of her name, no
Sighing, she slowly unfurls the sheet from her body and bitterly recalls
the joy of waking up in that sheet; waking up in Faith's bed. It was her
fantasy come true: spending all their time together, talking, sparring,
making love... everything was going to be perfect.
The only trouble was, Faith wasn't in bed anymore. She was already stepping
out of the shower, selecting clothing from her closet... and ignoring Kate.
Except to say, "Man, had to scrub like a motherfucker to get the
smell of pussy off me. That's some potent slayer juice you got there."
And that's when the "Who are you and what have you done with my girlfriend"
line of questioning began. Followed by the blubbering.
Kate rolls her watery eyes. Pathetic.
Wiping her face again, she notices the intoxicating scent of Faith
on her fingers. She noticed it the minute she woke up; happily, fondly,
she savored it like a delicious secret revealed only to her.
Now it makes her sick.
Defeatedly, she slides on her pants, discarded that morning in the heat
of passion. Her seventeenth birthday; her first time. She'd marveled at
how perfect it was. How she wouldn't change a thing.
"God, you're so beautiful... so sweet, so pure,"
Faith had murmured. "This isn't right, baby, we can't do this. We
shouldn't--" But with another searing kiss, Kate made it clear that
this was something that couldn't be stopped, couldn't be contained. This
was dark, hot, thousand year old passion -- older and stronger than either
Well, it was. Wasn't it?
Maybe she's under a spell, Kate reasons while shakily buttoning
up her shirt. Maybe Witch-Monster-From-Hell's behind this. It wouldn't
be the first time she's tried to intervene.
"Or maybe I'm just an idiot," she mutters, wincing at the all-too-real
possibility of deception.
William's initial foray into the vampire's background made a convincing
case: "Your Faith is quite the enigma," he'd announced, book
in one hand, reading glasses in the other. "Apparently, she was notorious
for attacking teenage girls -- having been just shy of eighteen when she
herself was turned. It says here she had an unquenchable thirst for torture,
both physical and psychological--" Kate had cut him off with, "Are
you sure that's my Faith?"
Because her Faith bore no resemblance to such a monster: her
Faith was compassionate, thoughtful, heroic, sincere -- feisty and stubborn,
too, but so many exits past evil she couldn't make the connection.
Of course, Kate quickly learned the disturbing truth. Faith herself willingly
recounted some of the horrific things she'd done as a soulless vampire,
before the curse... no, the blessing that made her the anomaly
Or so she'd led her to believe.
Kate stands and stares at the hardly recognizable girl in the mirror.
Same wheat-blonde hair, same pale blue upturned eyes -- but those eyes are
red-rimmed and puffy, that hair is a shambles, and her shirt is buttoned
wrong. She can't go out like this.
Psychological torture. Once fun and games for Faith. In fact, it
was the way she'd conquered a certain young spell-caster several decades
earlier: "All I saw in Willow was a challenge," Faith had ruefully
confessed, eyes downcast. "I pegged her worst fear: that the magic
would fly outta her control, that it would, you know, hurt the people
she loved. So I..." Kate had to gently coax the painful memory out
of her. "...I killed her dad, her mom... and I made her think she
did it. Anyway... Her second week at the asylum, I broke in, murdered
everyone in my path and made her a vampire. Yeah, so... Evil demon witch
courtesy of yours truly."
"An unquenchable thirst for torture, both physical and psychological--"
"No," Kate's voice is harsh in the cold silence.
No matter how strong the evidence, she refuses to accept that Faith
has been acting for the past year and a half: fighting by her side,
tipping her off to every evil in town, getting chummy with her Watcher
and her best friend, being so conflicted about their relationship... It
doesn't make sense. And it doesn't explain why there's been no record
of Faith's destruction for nearly thirty years -- the thirty years she claimed
to have lived in penance.
"All I saw was a challenge." A vampire bedding a slayer -- there's
a challenge, no doubt about that. But if that was all Faith wanted,
she could have convinced her the very first night they met -- Kate was wildly
attracted to the dark stranger from the get-go, even before she'd raised
her arms to insist, "I know what you're thinkin', but I don't bite."
If she just wanted to torture her... well, score. But all of that... for
You're damn right it wasn't worth it! she wants to shout. But there's
no point. It's over.
Kate sniffles, pulls herself together, and leaves her lover's apartment.
* * *
This part always gets Willow hot.
Locking eyes with Buffy over the succulent neck they've chosen to share
tonight, she grins, swallowing ribbons of warm, luscious life. Around
their meal, they're touching, fondling each other and it as it
whimpers and mews. Like a cat.
Impatiently, Willow rips the girl's halter top, pushes her backward against
Buffy and sinks sharp fangs into the girl's right nipple. The victim still
has enough fight left to struggle vainly and sound a strangled cry. It's
music to Willow's ears.
Dazedly, she looks up at Buffy. "I wanna make our kitty cry the worst.
Can I, baby?"
Dinner's eyes widen in horror.
"She's all yours." Buffy wrestles the girl down on their bed,
yanks up her cheap miniskirt and pries apart her knees, holding them open
for her sire. Willow grins and dives down, biting into the girl's most
tender flesh. A sharp scream pierces the air.
Pleading whimpers spurring her on, Willow giggles as she finds new areas
to bite, each more soft and delicate than the last.
Buffy reaches down to caress Willow's head and laps at the blood still
trickling from the girl's neck, listening to the rattle of labored breath, hitching faster, faster, faster... It's funny to her, how people always
do that when they're so close to dying. Trying to hold on, hoping for
another breath after this one... Well, there won't be anymore.
At last, the girl lets out a long exhale, and doesn't inhale again. Her
eyes stare blankly at the ceiling.
Willow stops and complains, "Kitty's no fun anymore."
"I keep telling you," Buffy teasingly chastises. "That's
what happens when you eat too fast."
"But she tasted so good." She coyly licks her lips. "Wanna
Buffy smiles and crawls over the dead girl to press her lips against Willow's.
Their tongues mingle the heady flavors of blood and sex, their fangs cut
into one another's flesh. They reach for buttons and zippers as the kiss
deepens, turning hungry and hard...
"This a private party, or can anyone join in?"
Caught by surprise, the vampires take in their intruder: Faith, standing
by their bed with a woozy young girl at her side.
"It's Faith," Willow says, shrinking back with a pout. "Make
her go away."
Buffy, still in demon face, stands up confrontationally. "So. Come
here to get killed or just horribly maimed?"
"Cute." Faith shoots her a smile. "Came here to tell you
"In... what?" Buffy asks wryly.
With a short gasp, Willow stands to approach Faith slowly, carefully.
"She is. Buffy, I can feel it. Her soul, it's..." She reaches
out and touches her sire's chest. A blue light shimmers and fades. "Gone."
"It's a trick," Buffy says, and nods towards Faith's companion.
"You're so soulless, eat her. Right here in front of us."
Faith smiles wide, lets her face turn. "Thought you'd never ask."
Roughly, she bares the girl's neck and crunches down, sucking violently.
Willow and Buffy share an impressed look.
Buffy stops her. "All right, we get it. Share time now."
Amber eyes glinting in the candlelight, Faith tears the clothing from
the girl's back and throws her onto the bed atop the drained carcass.
Weakly, the living victim tries to scramble away, but a sneering Faith
tugs her close and unflinchingly snaps the tibia of each one of her legs:
Holding a limp foot in each hand, she shouts over the girl's screams,
"Will, you gonna do the panty honors or what?"
Overwhelmed with excitement, Willow squeals, "Faithy's back!"
Buffy nods in skeptical appraisal. "'Bout time."