Balance
by Amanda
Rating: R

General Copyright/Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel the syndicated series and all other characters who have appeared in both shows are the sole property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy & UPN. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.
Date: 042804
Spoilers: ‘Dirty Girls’ with a twist of me. You know, the last season of Buffy. I know you all saw it.
Note: All works remain the © copyright of the original author. These may not be republished without the author's consent. Faith’s thoughts are in ITALIC.
Dedicated: To my missus.

There was a fog laying low in the forests as we walked. Stepping over a fallen tree limb, I wanted to wonder about the fog. It was nearing dawn sure, but fog? It didn't seem logical with the temperature and the weather the day before. But I had learned a long time ago that the weather in Sunnydale wasn't ruled by logic. Hell, I recalled snow. It's all about dramatic effects. Damn Hellmouth.

I cast a sideways glance.

Did B even get it?

That nothing here was chance.

Everything that happened in this town happened for a reason. The PTB were always pulling strings. Pulling them this way and that. Nothing was simple. Nothing was in her control. Not how she figured. Nope. It was all created around her, not for her, but to guide her.

But getting the great and powerful Buffy to understand that would be like trying to explain calculus to me.

A pointless exercise.

“I know how to stop the First.” I whispered through the damn fog.

“You do not. If it was so simple – I would have figured it out by now.” Was her retort from a few feet in front of me.

“Hm.”

I reached down and snapped the head off of a sprig of purple bleeding hearts. I brought the hanging flowers to my nose and I inhaled the faint scent.

Life that was just meeting death.

A sweet scent. It really was. So few people realized their own instincts, their cravings for the smell of death and decay. A home full of freshly cut flowers… they were all dying.

I moved closer to her without a drop of hesitation. The scent of dirt and blood mingled with the girlie peach scent of her shampoo and conditioner. No matter how often she scrubbed her hands, cleaned under her nails, the scent was there. Always there. The death and decay. Equitable with the fresh scent of young woman.

“Always the smartest apple in the bushel huh?”

“Smarter than you Faith. I haven’t been in prison.”

No. You would never admit to a mistake. You would never be so humble or so submissive that you would do what was right, what was asked of you.

“True. You ain’t been in prison B. You ain’t seen what I have seen.”

“Well, if I want a lesson, I’ll ask Xander. He seems to love those prison movies.”

Touché little Slayer.

“Don’t think.” She turned to face me, as I smiled and still sniffed the flowers. Her flat hand moved through the air with a whistle only a demon could hear, and knocked the flowers down. “That you are anything more than here on my good graces. You are here to follow my orders.”

I couldn’t help it. I laughed. Loudly… inside the cage of my mind.

“You do what I say.”

“Even when you are wrong?” I raised my eyebrow.

“I am not wrong.”

Mmhm.

“So we are following some mutilated zealot through the forests of Sunnydale, and it just so happens that we are following along a very well manicured path. A path that even now in this darkness and fog we can easily follow through the woods.”

She looked down. Looked at her unrealistic boots, the heels seeping slowly into the soft grass and earth from a trail that was forged either eons ago or mere seconds before.

“You lived and hunted in Sunnydale all these years, but we are on a path you had no idea about, we are heading to some place you before now never knew existed. And you still think that you are the one in charge here?”

“You are sounding like Angel.”

"I was in Angel's head."

And I know everything he knows. Every trick, every secret, every yearning. It's all in me now.

"Oh."

She just says oh. She is so wrapped up in herself she doesn't even know what this means.

"Yeah."

The sideways glance. There we go. She is wondering what it is I may know. Does she want to ask me how Angel feels? Does he still care?

What should it matter to you B? You're fucking peroxide boy. You spread for him like it is a gift from the gods and then you make him feel bad for it afterwards. Always a cock tease. How would you like to hear that description, straight from Angel's mind?

When I look back my past is jumbled. The heartache and pain you gave me, twined with the same you gave to Angel. How many of us have your slaughtered emotionally? How many more?

You still stand there and you still are completely oblivious. This is not a trap. This is more than a trap. More than you will ever allow that self-righteous mind of yours to acknowledge. It really is pointless. You are pointless.

I could feel the knot of anger being swallowed down as I tried to play nice nice. As I tried not to look at her, not think beyond what was happening at that moment. That we were walking here in the dark, along a path that was seeming more and more laid out as each breath puffed out of her painted lips. I tried to focus on the fact that I was here to do good. I was here to…

"So, this preacher dude, what's his deal?"

"There is no deal Faith. He's evil."

Evil huh? Such a simple word. Do you know what it means? Have you ever looked in the eyes of evil? I have.

A shudder moved up my right arm.

Evil.

It was…

"That simple?"

"Yep."

Every time I look in the mirror evil winks back.

“So we go, we kill the evil, we go home and then what?”

“Then nothing. Then you.” Buffy’s finger poked into my chest. “You go back to prison like a good little convict.”

Good?

“Me? Good Buffy?” I laughed softly.

“Shut up and do your job Faith.” She spun around, too fast, her heel catching in the soft ground. A millisecond was all it took for me to consider letting her fall, another to watch my own hand reach out and clutch her arm, to steady her.

“Careful.”

“Fuck off Faith.” She snapped, trying to yank her arm from the grip of my fingers.

I smiled.

“Let me go.”

“Have you not wondered about the First B?”

“What? Faith. You are the last person I want to have a philosophical debate with in the middle of the woods when we are supposed to be tracking one of the”-

A hard tightening on her arm shut her up.

I could just snap your arm. It just healed a little while ago, B. I can feel the bones all tender and weak.

“Faith?”

“You never listen. You never fucking see. You never have Buffy. Never.” I shoved her back, watching as she hit the large oak tree. In slow kung fu style slow motion the air forced itself from her lungs. “The way to stop the First? They have all told you. But you didn’t want to listen. No.” I sent a scalding punch across her cheek, feeling the crunch of bone.

That’s right. I am strong. Stronger than you, B, because,

“You are not supposed to be here!”

Her eyes rounded as I shoved the long double blade of the knife through her heart, through her back, affixing the blonde slayer to the tree behind her.

"Faith?" She asked, her eyes full of tears and round and shocked.

"Don't take it personally."

It’s all about balance B. You should get that by now. Good and Evil. Equal.

“There was never meant to be two.” I leaned forward and ran my tongue along her now tear-stained cheek.

No matter how much any of us love you, B, it’s about making things right, not making them the way you wanted them to be.

The End

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