Always Toward Wholeness

By joan the english chick

A Vague Disclaimer Is Nobody's Friend: The characters and situations of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" are property of Mutant Enemy Productions (Grr, argh) and FOX Television, and are used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended. This story is property of the author, and may not be reproduced, retransmitted, or posted anywhere without my expressed permission.
Warnings/Ratings: This story is rated PG-13 for mild sexual imagery.
Timeline: Takes place after "Angel" episode "Sanctuary."
Spoilers: Basically every BtVS or Angel episode that Faith has ever appeared in.

   "Never to categorize, never to separate one thing from another--intellect, 
   the senses, the imagination, . . . some total gathering together where the 
   most realistic and the most mystical can be joined in a celebration of life 
   itself. Woman's work is always toward wholeness." 
      --from "Mrs. Stevens Hears The Mermaids Singing" by May Sarton

I miss you.

I miss the way you feel to touch, your flesh under my fingers. Sometimes you would casually throw your arm around my shoulders, or my waist, and it was like tiny electrodes zapping me everywhere you touched. I'm not ashamed to admit that I used to take those opportunities to touch you back. Did you ever even notice me copping a feel when we got tangled up while slaying? I wanted nothing more than to spread you out on some hard, cold floor somewhere, cover you up with my own body, warm you up. I would have been gentle -- well, okay, maybe not. I would have meant to be gentle. But really I would have wanted every inch of my skin on every inch of yours, all at once.

Of course, I never made a move. I was too scared, and whatever else. I don't know. I used to talk about boys with you all the time, hinting, nudging, hoping desperately for some kind of sign that boys weren't what you really wanted when you got skin-on-skin. Remember that time I interrogated you about Xander? You kept swearing up and down that you'd never "done it" with him. I so badly wanted to say, "Okay, and what about Willow?" I didn't have the guts. Man, could I kick myself for that now. Well, add it to the list.

I know you and the rest of your little band thought I was all about the killing and the sex. Probably sat around calling me slutty and skanky, tsk'ing about the way I flaunted my body, the way I always made slaying into something sexual. Well, I can't say you were wrong. Sex has always been a tool for me, just another weapon in the arsenal, lying there in my backpack next to the crossbow and the stake and the lovely shiny knives. I learned early on that if there's one thing vampires tend to be, it's predictable, and if there's one thing that always makes them stupid, it's human tits. Well, I guess that's two things, isn't it really? Hell, you know what I mean, B.

But I wasn't kidding when I said it makes me hot. Call it adrenaline, thrill of the chase, power-trip, whatever you want: I'm never so turned-on as after a good night of slaying. I couldn't understand you claiming not to feel the same way. I figured it was just another sign that everyone was right thinking you were the Good Slayer and I was the Bad Slayer. So that's another reason I didn't make a move on you, too. I mean, that would just be too expected, right? That's what a Bad Girl would do. I tried a little bit to make you a Bad Girl like me. Thought that might make you admit it, might make you want me. If it ever occurred to me to try being a Good Girl, I probably just laughed it off. Now it's occurring to me all over the place, and it's way too late.

I had another of those dreams again last night. Did you have it too? I always assumed you had the dreams with me, that they were shared. Now I wonder if I was wrong about that, because now I wonder if I was wrong about everything.

Anyway, the dream. I was here in jail, and you came in, just walked into my cell like the bars weren't even there. I was so scared. I thought you came to finish me off, decided you didn't want to let the justice system deal with me after all. But you just sat down next to me on this awful little gray mattress and said you were sorry. Ohmigod! I was like, ohmigod. I think I just stared at you for a while, 'cause that was seriously not what I was expecting. And then I said something stupid like, "It's not your fault, B." And you said, "I know, but I'm still sorry."

And then you kissed me.

It was better than I ever imagined, and believe me I've spent a lot of time imagining that. But in the dream it was just ... I don't know, it was like being kissed for the first time. I guess that sounds dumb, but that's how it felt. And it was so real, those dreams always are -- I could feel you all over, your hands on my arms, your hair brushing my cheek. I could slide my hands over your hips and dig my fingers into the flesh of your ass, and you were so warm and soft and I was sure it was really happening. You sat on my lap and kissed me and hugged me so hard I thought we would meld together and become one person. And I thought maybe if I could just figure out whether your jeans were zipper or button-fly....

But then of course the damn morning bell rang, and here I was all alone in my cell, in this reality that's my life these days. I guess that'll teach me to have hope for an easy resolution.

I can't stop thinking about you, though. I keep wondering if you had that same dream last night. Maybe you were all snuggled up with your life-size G.I. Joe, dreaming about sitting on my lap. Or maybe in your dream, it was me on your lap. Or maybe the soldier boy kept you up all night and you didn't have any spare time for dreaming. I wonder if he told you how I freaked out when he said he loved me. I mean, you. Whatever. Did he tell you what I said? I wonder if you can imagine what that felt like on my end. I can't really imagine how you must have felt being carted around from cell to cell, being cursed at and roughed up and treated like a ... well, like me. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy, which I used to think was you anyway, but now I know better.

God, listen to me, I'm not even making any sense. Well, that's no surprise. My life hasn't made much sense for a long time. I have so many regrets, like being so closed off to you at first. Maybe if I had been more open to your friendship ... but I'm done with if's. They never get me anywhere. Angel helped me see that. Funny, isn't it? First time we met, I tried to kill him. And just about a year later, there I was begging him to kill me. Life is full of surprises.

I don't know what I'm gonna do from here on. I mean, with the stuff inside my head. I don't like most of it, which is probably why I spend so much time thinking about you. It hurts, but there's a lot of good stuff in there too. You were all the good stuff that ever happened to me, B. So I think about you a lot. Sometimes I want you to come visit me here -- in five years maybe, or ten, when I'm fat from prison food and you're covered in scars from all the fighting. I could say to you, "Hey, remember when..." and you'd say, "Yeah, that was fun." And we'd both smile and think about the good stuff.

Of course, that'll never happen. In ten years you'll most likely be dead and I'll be -- I don't know. Wasting away here in my cell. What is it they say -- "a shadow of her former self." Yeah, that's me. I never wanted to be anyone's shadow, least of all yours. But that's how I ended up feeling. Funny thing though -- I didn't really mind, most of the time. At least not till the end when I realized that everyone kinda ignores their shadow. I won't ignore mine any more, that's for sure. I haven't got much else to do besides stare at it, anyway.

I feel stupid sitting here and talking to you in my head, B. I don't really want you to come visit me here, because it would just be bad. You hate me now, and you have every reason. But I feel like there's so much I need to say to you, and I gotta say it, even if you're not here to listen.

I'm kinda scared to go back to sleep, too. I'm scared that we might dream each other again and I'll say the wrong thing. Course, since when have I ever managed to say the right thing? So instead I'm just sitting here on this smelly mattress and missing you. Thinking about your face, the way you looked when I kissed Angel, the way you looked when I kissed your forehead, the way you looked when you found me in Angel's basement yesterday. The way you looked when you thought you'd killed me. The way your body felt when I was in it. The way it felt when I wasn't in it, when you touched me or I touched you, when we fought.

Do you think I really said that I hate you? I didn't. I don't think I've ever really hated you, not really. I hate myself so much there doesn't seem to be much room left for anyone else. I swear I don't hate you, B. I don't hate you. I don't.

I miss you.

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joan the english chick
Last updated May 30, 2000