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Hating You, Hating Me

by *AstariA51*
Rating: PG

Disclaimer: Based on Season 7 spoilers heralding the return of the lovely Eliza…man, do I love Faith. This is my first time writing her POV, so keep flames on low if my characterization is poor. She, and of course the Buffyverse in general, belong to the slightly (slightly??) sadistic creator of my obsessions, Joss Whedon. Also, M.E., Marti Noxon, and *sigh* 20th Century Fox (I said it, OK?). The song "If He Tries Anything" belongs to Ani DiFranco and Righteous Babe Records.
Author's Notes: Mildly slashy. Character death.

+1=2=3+

PART 1

Hey, B. You didn't think you'd see me again, did you? Yeah, thought I was taken care of in prison. Locked up there good with the nutcases like me. Guess even serial killers get out on good behavior if they're young and good liars and their friends can threaten demon lawyers. Don't ask me how Angel pulled that one off. Guess Wolfram and Hart owed him one. Now you owe him one. Good thing the judge doesn't know how many people I slaughtered, back in the day. I remember them all. Every one. Every face. How much I enjoyed seeing their eyes. That part kills me the most. And then there's the ones that were part of the Slaying. They blur. They blur for you too, don't they? You know what I mean.

Oh wait. That's why I'm here, isn't it. Because I'm helping you. Isn't that weird? Doesn't that piss you off just a little too much? You don't want to have your perfect world-saving record screwed up by the footnote "with help from ex psycho Slayer pal."

Not sure where the ex fits in there. Ex psycho? Naahhh. Still too many voices, rattling round inside this wandering brain. Ex Slayer? Nope, once one, always one. Even you know that much, Miss "Gosh-the Council/Giles/my boyfriend/that time of the month-is-pissing-me-off-I-think-I'll-pretend-to-quit-until-I-get-what-I-want!" Doesn't work that way, sweetie pie.

Ex pal? Yeah, maybe. Cause we were, you know. Friends. You don't remember that far back, but I do. I know you're trying to ignore me as we fight, but I got your back, B, and it's pissing the hell out of you. Which is what I want. But hey, I'm not letting these guys kill you, no way. They're not good enough to kill you. Trying their hardest, trying fucking hard to kill you and yours, despite the fact that Will's turned herself into a pretty damn scary witch these days, and Spike…well, damn. How the hell do you manage to snag these vampires? You little necro, you... I mean, even I'm not that fucked up. I can live with a nice pair of handcuffs every once in a while, but dead guys? It must have just about killed you seeing Angel looking after me. Must have killed you trying to pretend that Riley guy got it done for you. Not a bad screw if I remember, but I think you like something a little rougher around the edges. Little less lovey dovey Iowa farm boy, little more…Spike. Yeah. How come I know everything that goes on in your life before you do? Knew Red switched teams, if you catch my meaning. Knew about Spike. You can be sure I messed with his head when we switched bodies.

Yeah, I know you all right, B. Why do you think I've been sitting around in your dreams for so long? Haven't lately, but I guess you know that. Haven't intruded. Kept my thoughts to myself. Have you missed me, little sister? Don't lie. You hate me. You think you hate what I did to you, and you know what? That's cool, baby, cool. Cause I know you hate knowing that you could be me. Could have fun like me if you were honest to yourself. And even might be a nut job like me inside your sadistic little soul. I know you, Buffy, remember? I know you in and out. I've been in your body. And I got a hunch what turns you on. I know just how much like me you are.

Think I missed you? Think I missed you for a second? Yeah…yeah right. Last thing I needed was to have to be watching out for little Miss Perfect, with all the loonies in jail who either wanted a bitch or a victim. Gotta keep both eyes open there. Only reason I'm outta there is to keep the world from ending. You know, I hate life, but it's better than the alternative. I like to live it up. You remember. You were alive with me. Once. Once upon a time, long long ago…But I'm sure you'd never tell anyone that you ever lowered yourself to my level. That you stole from a store for the fun of it. That we went dancing all night – with eachother, no less – and laughed at Giles and Wesley and the respective sticks up their asses. Especially Wes. You'd never believe him now. A changed man, B. But you know what? It's all good. Five by five. I mean, what am I asking for? Fucking recognition? I tried to kill your boyfriend. Tried to kill you. Forget that all I wanted was someone to tell me what I was doing was what they wanted out of me for once. Forget that you and Angel aren't exactly best friends yourselves anymore, and you're screwing his archrival right now – he'd love that. You know, this whole thing's stupid. I did unconscionable things to you and I won't deny it. So I guess I don't deserve anything either. You don't need to remember that I taught you to have fun. That for one moment in your life, you were actually happy.

*****

	I'm invincible
	so are you
	we do all the things they say we can't do
	we walk around in the middle of the night…

	…when we walk round the street
	the boys line up to throw themselves at our feet.

	I say I think he likes you
	You say I think he do too 
	I say go and get him girl before he gets you
	I'll be watching from the window
	Come to your rescue if he tries anything

	It's a long long road
	It's a big big world…

	…We both carry a smile to show when we're pleased
	We both carry a switchblade in our sleeve…

PART 2

Hey Buff, what's the deal, huh? Lost your magic touch? This doesn't seem to be going too well. You out of breath? What's the matter? That blood on your sleeve? Red's not looking too hot over there. I'd go help her, but…I think you need more cover over here, and…you know, I'm not seeing too great. You know me, I'll be fine in a sec. Five by five, right? Just got some blood in my eyes.

Oh my god. That…not that again. Not there. No one else is allowed to stab me there. That's your spot. That's where you killed me.

"Faith?"

"Five by five, B. Watch your back."

It hurts more than I thought it would. After all, I was supposed to have died years ago, right? So why should I be scared now? You know, I don't think I'm going to heaven. Probably not, right? Probably some demon dimension where time passes incredibly slowly. Where you see your life on replay. Except it won't be my life, it'll be yours, you know to show me what I could have been. The girl everyone loved. And when they said I love you they meant it, they meant something that I still don't know. That I guess I'll never know. Something that's supposed to be central to being human, but how can it be central if I don't know what it means?

The girl that Giles was so proud of, the girl Angel was so in love with. The one that made friends immediately, and she didn't just make friends, she was kind and caring and bridged all the gaps between the nerds and the popular people. After a few hundred years of showing me perfect, sunny, beautiful you, with the perky little sister you were willing to die for and the mother who left a perfect tragic legacy of love, they get tired of the February sweeps and do all the reruns – all the crimes I've ever committed, all the kinky sex I've had, all the times I just let my parents do everything they did even after I was 10, 11, 12, 13, and I could have hit back, could have killed them, could have strangled the bastards in their sleep. The person I really am.

And of course for you, it's been two years. And you've forgotten me. That'll be the way it goes, right?

B. No – wait, B, you're not looking out well enough. You're getting tired. What the hell you doing, looking back my way? I'm dying back here, forget about me. Think they're gonna take a soda break while you get a first aid kit? Jesus H, you really do always have to be the fucking hero, don't you.

You know what? That's not the way it's gonna work tonight. If I'm not going to heaven, at least I can pretend. Not gonna lie down and die, anyway. Maybe I'll be less scared if I kill something while I do it. Cause I'm scared, B. Shit. I'm fucking scared. And this time it's not gonna be a coma. It's the end of the world as we know it, and I'm not feeling too good. I gotta kill something now, and maybe it's the something that's heading for you.

*****

	Tell you one thing I'm gonna make noise when I go down
	10 square blocks they're gonna know I died
	All the goddesses are gonna come up to the ripped screen door
	And say "what do you want dear"
	I'll say "want inside".

PART 3

"Faith…"

"Hey, B…"

"What happened?"

"Check on…Willow. Looked like she…was tiring out over there…had some big hocus pocus happening…"

"You're…"

"Yeah, someone really liked your stomach approach."

"Faith, just hold on. It's gonna be okay."

"Since when, do…you care so much? You…hate me."

"I don't hate you."

"Buff, lying looks bad on good lips."

She looks a little shaken, then forges on, "I don't. Maybe I did once. Just like you hated me. But that's over."

"Yeah. Everything's over, B."

"You're not dying."

"He-llo. Major torso wound. Heavy…blood loss. I…got a while, but it's coming. It's all good, B. Five by five. I'm ready."

"I'm not." It was almost a whisper. "I haven't forgiven you yet."

"Good. You shouldn't."

"You've changed."

"You have too," I say, feeling almost as if I'm falling into a dream, or crazy in the morphine-sedated way. "Older."

"More than I should be."

"But you're still a fire." I think she knew what I meant. Still a fighter, still a spirit. Somewhere inside her, anyway. "Hey…B?" It came out barely audible.

"Yeah?" She leaned close, her hands over mine like she could stop the bleeding by willpower. It felt good.

"Remember…something…okay?"

"What? Anything."

"Remember…that night, we went dancing…went out on the floor…of the Bronze…made every guy…in the place drool?"

"I forgot about that."

"Don't."

"Don't?"

"Forget…it's important."

"I…I won't, Faith."

"Cause…you know, even when…I was trying to kill you…I never did." She's crying now. I didn't mean to make her cry. And it's getting so dark, and I'm so very tired. "Buffy?"

"Faith?"

I took a huge, painful breath. "What…you said. Just like I hated you. Hated the way Giles loved you and the way you could just keep…doing boring…right stuff. The stuff I never could, the stuff people needed you to do." I grin at her, as much as I can, through the pain. "Don't…you…get it? I never hated you, B…I hated me. Who are you… to me? Just a girl….with a damn good…left cross…" I pull her closer, summoning my strength to whisper in her ear. "So why do I keep thinking about you?" She doesn't answer. And it hurts too much to stay. I close my eyes, and let myself fall into darkness.

It's dark, all around me, and I know I'm going, but somehow I'm not where I expected to be, and I can feel her in my mind; I know she's staying with me for a while. And somehow this darkness morphs into the dark of the Bronze and we're dancing…dancing, and I know she won't forget. And for a moment…just a moment, I think maybe I know what I was supposed to be feeling for 20 years of an empty life.

*****

	I say I think he likes you
	You say I think he do too
	I say go and get him girl before he gets you
	I'll be watching from the window
	Come to your rescue if he tries anything

The End

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