Happy Fucking Birthday
Happy Fucking Birthday!!
Another year. Why fucking bother?
And what the hell is it about Birthday's that makes me so contemplative anyway? Just another day, right? A day just as shit as every other. Nothing special. Never has been.
Doubt it ever will be.
I look across at the stack of cards on the table. Cards from my family, cards from my friends... look a bit closer, can ya see them? Yeah, that's right. Not a fucking one.
Surprised? No. Me neither.
I can't blame anyone. I mean, I didn't TELL anyone. Why bother? I'd rather have nothing, then a whole lot of pretend somethings. I can see it now...
Red all full of fake smiles... 'Oh happy birthday, Faith. Here's the magic potion I made JUST for you, drink it up now... don't choke.'
And there'd be me, retching my ass off, probably half way to turning into a toad or something.
Or what about Xander, bet he'd be just full to the brim with good wishes. Maybe he'd ask me to dance and cop a quick feel, slide his hands all over my goodies... and we all know that's exactly what I want for my birthday... a horny little butt monkey gagging for some action. No. I can live without that. I get enough of that the rest of the year.
I'm trying to make this day special.
Giles would probably pull it off the best, but then he's British, so pretty much used to being full of shit. He'd maybe have gotten me a nice new weapon... oh wait, no. Buffy is his special girl isn't she? I'd get some second rate, maybe rusty, nothing special about this baby, useless piece of crap. A metaphor for me.
Yeah, I'm feeling good.
And Buffy. Ha fucking ha. That's the real reason I didn't say a word. Not a single fucking word. I couldn't bear it... not from her. I know what she thinks of me... she doesn't think of me. She probably less then thinks of me. And who can blame her? She's the real deal... I'm just the inconvenience. The second. The after thought. Nothing but a reminder that one time, just for a second... she didn't win. She wasn't best.
Bet it eats her up inside. Poor bitch. One second, B... try living like that every fucking second, and then come crying to me. But ya wouldn't would ya? You don't need me. I'm just a nothing to you.
I ain't slaying tonight. I'm not needed. I can't even do the one fucking thing I'm good at on my birthday, because Buffy's got it covered.
Her face when she was telling me... like she was doing me a favour, like I'd be so fucking grateful that she was helping me out. Did I forget to say thank you? I guess my momma forgot to beat the manners into me, she was too busy beating the shit out of me to care.
Well I don't care either.
They can all go to hell.
After they finish with their little 'movie night'.
'Oh Faith, don't worry about patrolling tonight. The gang are all coming over to mine to watch videos, I'll do a sweep when I walk them home, ok?'
'Whatever, B... I don't give a shit.'
'Is something wrong, Faith?'
I loved the way she's trained her eyes to pretend like she's really concerned. Well I can see through that bullshit. Don't even bother with the act, Blondie... really, didn't anyone tell you I'm not worth it?
Of course I didn't answer her. What would have been the point, huh? I gave her the look I reserve for all the people that piss me off, the look I give to everyone, and then I got the hell out of there.
Maybe if she'd asked if I wanted to watch a movie? If I wanted to hang with the gang? Maybe then I would've given her a different look. But she didn't.
And I'm glad she didn't. Why would I wanna hang out with them bunch of losers?
Do ya know the worst fucking thing about tonight? Starving my ass off, that's what! I'm so sick to death of being hungry, no money for eating, no money for shit. Drinks I can scam... let the 'butt monkeys' feel my goodies, and I can drink all night. But food? Sometimes if I'm lucky... but then do I sound lucky to you?
Yeah. I go hungry a lot.
Tonight I managed to scrape together the change for a burger from that greasy shitty place down by the docks. Can't even think of the name of it, might not have a name... it certainly ain't no five star joint, that's for sure. Hell, I bet the rats that hang around outside, taste better then the burgers.
Won't be long and I'll probably have to find out for real. There's something to look forward to. A slayer eating rats. Nice. Maybe I'll share them with the other slayer, seems only fair... we're in this deal together, right? The chosen two?
So why is it that only one of us that ever gets chosen for anything, huh?
No answer? No, me neither.
Sometimes she even has the gall to invite me over for dinner at her place. I learnt the first time just how much she wanted me there. Now I make my excuses.
'Hey, Faith... mom asked if ya wanna come over for dinner tonight?'
'Aw crap, sorry, B... got a hot date tonight, some dude wants to take me out somewhere fancy, all that nice food and shit. Another time, yeah?'
'You always say that, Faith... don't you wanna eat at mine? Is mom's cooking REALLY that bad?'
'No way, the foods great... what can I say... I'm a girl in demand!'
She usually smiles at that comment. Raises her eyebrows up to the sky. It's easy for her to believe that I have all these guys on the go. It's what she thinks of me.
And so what if that's what I let her think, make her think? It's still so fucking easy for her to believe it. Faith the skanky ho.
Yeah. She knows me well.
The greasy burger is still in the bag. The bag is dark all over where the grease has worked it's way out. That's not what put me off though, I've eaten a damn sight worse. The slimey assed shit, that served it up for me is the reason I haven't touched it.
He's one of the 'butt monkeys' that likes to feel my goodies. Yeah, I let him a couple of times. I couldn't rustle up the change, and the rats... not THAT desperate, not yet.
I could see him checking me out tonight. See him rubbing his fat fucking little hands over his sauce stained pants, squeezing his small little prick, whilst gazing at my tits. Made me wanna hurl.
'Ah, my favourite customer... you not got any money tonight, sweetie? Need Gino to make you a special treat?'
I threw my pathetic bunch of coins across the counter at him, I wanted to throw my fists, I wanted to pound his head into the counter until it stained red with the assholes blood.
'Fuck you, Gino! Take your mitts off that minute excuse of a cock, and go make me a burger, yeah?'
I thought I was in charge. Thought I was calling the shots. So what he sneered at me? So what he told me that next time I wanted a freebie, I'd be sucking on that minute little cock of his? Not tonight, Gino, not tonight!
But he was the one laughing. Fucking asshole.
'Here's your burger, Bitch. I put some special sauce in it just for you, yeah. Now come back soon, honey... Gino give you lots of special sauce!'
I know what the 'special' sauce is. I was raised proper ya see. So the fucking burger sits in it's bag, making me wonder how hungry I can get before I even consider eating that shit.
I'm hungry as hell.
I got a birthday cake though. Stole it from the store on the corner. Dude in there is so fucking stoned half the time, he ain't got a clue what's going on. So tonight, when I snagged myself some smokes, I helped myself to a cake as well.
Nothing fancy, just a muffin. You should see it, looks so pretty with a candle rammed through the middle. Not a little candle neither... I had to take one of Giles's, and he only has those big fuckers, for like rituals and shit. I'm telling ya, with the smokes, the muffin AND the candle shoved down my pants... hell, I looked like a fucking transsexual! Best fucking tits I've EVER seen on a tranny.
I've gotta have something going for me, right?
Shame I didn't think to eat the fucking thing rather then getting all sentimental with the candle though. If I wanna eat it now, I'm gonna be spending half the time just picking the wax off of it.
I wanted to celebrate my birthday properly. Keep it traditional. Traditionally fucked up. Traditionally crap!
I wonder what they're watching?
Probably some Disney crap, some stupid fairytale bullshit, where everything is always 'happily ever after'. Maybe I'll break it to them one day... show them all what life is really like. Maybe I won't. Maybe I don't CARE what they are doing, what they think, whether she's laughing at the TV, whether she's wondering what I'm doing.
They. She? Keep it real, Faith.
It's getting kind of late. Maybe they're all done with the fun and games. Wouldn't want them up late on a school night, what would their mommies say?
Mine never even knew when a school night was. I forgot pretty quick too. Not complaining though... don't need it, don't want it. Schools too fucking innocent for me. I'd only corrupt it.
I sit in that shithole library sometimes, waiting for the gang to grace it with their presence, and I am so glad I ain't a prisoner of that place. She asked me once, like she gave a shit.
'Don't you want to go to school, Faith? I'm sure Giles could sort something out, maybe the council could make it happen... maybe Willow could do something?'
'Fuck school, B... 'school of life', that teaches me everything I need to know!'
'But don't ya get lonely in the days... if you came to school, maybe we could have classes together? I'd help ya catch up... I'd like to, and I KNOW that Wills loves helping with the tutoring. She helped me when I moved here.'
Yeah. I'd love Red having another reason to hate me. Another reason to look down at me. Bet she'd fucking love Buffy telling her she had to help me. Would fill her with joy. She'd be all... 'oh look at me, helping poor dumb Faith'... no thanks.
Maybe if she hadn't mentioned Red... maybe if she'd left it at, I dunno... if she'd left it at, 'I'd like to.' then I would have thought about it. But she didn't want to, she just likes to pretend, make herself feel good.
I don't need her. I MEANT I don't need SCHOOL. But yeah. Goes for both.
I wish there was some shit on the TV to watch. Wish the TV fucking worked. Period.
Maybe that's what I should have asked for when I blew my candle out.
I ain't telling what I wished for though. A girls gotta have some secrets. Something that the world can't rip away, something that's mine. And yeah, she might only be mine in my head... but it's something. Not enough to mean anything, but then tell me what means anything to me?
No answer? Another fucking birthday surprise.
Banging on the door!
Oh that's just great. I was hoping the prick that owns this dump would leave me alone today. I haven't got any cash to pay him, don't care how long he knocks on the door... and what kind of time is this to be looking for rent, anyway? Idiot.
He wants to feel my goodies too. No way. I start that shit, then I'm gonna be fucking paying like that for as long as I'm stuck here. I'll offer him some bullshit excuse, flutter my eyelashes, usually works.
"All right, I'm fucking coming already... leave the door on the hinges, ok?"
Although if the door was off, maybe I wouldn't have to pay at all. In my dreams. Free room? I never got nothing for free.
What the hell?
"Hey, Faith... you always so polite to visitors? I nearly left ya know, thought maybe I had the wrong room."
I think she HAS got the wrong room. Although I doubt she knows anyone else that lives on this side of town. I certainly never see her out this way very often. Make that never at all.
"What are you doing here, B? You get lost or something?"
"You know you really are quite charming, is that something you practice?, I could give you a few pointers, brush up your technique."
By the way she's smiling, I'm gonna guess that she thinks she's funny. I'm not in the mood to laugh.
"I like my technique just fine, thanks."
"Sorry. Do you want me to go? Are you busy?"
Is she serious?
"Yeah, snowed under, B... got a million and one things happening right now. Got a few friends round to watch a movie, hanging out, having a few laughs... ya know how that goes, right?"
That wiped the smile from those pretty little lips of hers. Made her eyes drop to the ground. I wanna tell her I don't give a shit. I didn't wanna come to her prissy little movie night anyway. But I can't.
"I, uh... you wanted to come over?"
"I don't go anywhere I'm not wanted, B. Not if I can help it."
She obviously didn't find what she was looking for on the floor, cos now those eyes are fixing onto mine again. Makes me blink. Makes me wanna close mine real tight.
"Why do you do that, Faith? Why do you assume you're not wanted?"
"Oh sorry... my mistake, I guess my invite got lost in the mail, yeah? Maybe the postman don't deliver out this way?"
Would sure as hell explain the lack of cards. Or did I explain that already?
"You wouldn't have come, if I had asked you. You never come when I ask you."
That's because you ask the wrong questions, Buffy.
"What does THAT mean?"
Huh? I said that out loud, didn't I? Teach me for staring at those eyes. Turns me into a fucking fool. Sweet.
"Nothing, B. Forget it, ok?"
She's regarding me like some freaking specimen in one of her science classes or something. Yeah, put me in a jar, and label me a 'Loser'.
I wonder how long a silence can last before it becomes uncomfortable, because I'm starting to fidget, and if this lasts much longer, I'm just gonna shut the door and get back to my party. Any second now it's gonna be jumping. Seriously. Sure it was slow to start... but hell, all the best parties get better as time goes on.
"Can I come in?"
"Can I come in?"
"I heard ya fine, B... just kinda wondering why?"
Really I am. I'm sure I didn't invite her to my party. I would've got a bigger cake and all, if I'd expected guests.
"You really are strange. I've come to see you, that usually involves actually coming in... and it's... cold. Yes. I'm cold, Faith."
She's too damn good to lie. Plus I know how fucking hot it is, the air con is shit in this place. Pretty much just a window that doesn't open.
"Fine, come on in... mind the roaches though, yeah. They're the only company I keep, be a shame to ruin that."
As she walks through the door, I can see her watching her step. Cute. I was only joking about the roaches. Never enough food around to attract the insects. Bonus.
She's looking around the room... taking in the flashy décor I'm sure. I could probably make a living from my interior design skills... it's the mildew I'm most proud of though. My favourite feature.
Her eyes have stopped on something, and I know what it is even before my eyes have joined hers.
The cake. My birthday cake. The one with the candle rammed through it's centre, covered in wax. I wonder if I should offer her a slice. See? I kinda know some manners.
"I'm going with muffin. You know any different?"
"Why on earth do you have a muffin with a candle rammed... oh."
"It's nothing, B, ok?"
And really, it IS nothing.
She turns around and looks at me again. She's looking at my outfit, her eyebrows are doing that little thing they do when she's trying to work something out, all knitting together... her mouth, that's turning down... just a little. I think I only notice, cos I notice things like her mouth.
"Why are you all dressed up, Faith? Why are you all dressed up and sitting in... and why, with the cake? And don't say 'nothing'... because I KNOW you think I'm stupid, but really, I'm not... in fact, I was just telling Giles this morning that I'm a lot cleverer then he gives me credit for... so no avoiding. What's going on?"
"You KNOW I think you're stupid?"
I think a lot of things. I don't think that.
"What? You said, 'I KNOW you think I'm stupid.'"
She did. I heard her. I listen to her.
"I said 'no avoiding', that was the bit I want you to focus on, ok?"
I can see her looking like she wants to sit down. I don't have comfy chairs. I don't have chairs. I move over to the bed, throw the 'special sauce' burger on the floor, and offer her my kingdom.
"You want a seat, B?"
Yeah, I'm smooth.
She does sit down though, kinda tentatively, but she sits.
I sit down next to her. It's a small bed.
I wish her eyes didn't look so... sad? Why do they do that? I see that a lot when she looks at me. I guess I make her sad. I'm not surprised... I never thought I could make her happy.
"...I want to ask you something, ok? And I know you're gonna do what you always do, you're gonna ignore me, you're gonna wiggle your eyebrows and make a funny..."
I do that? She KNOWS I do that?
"...maybe you'll throw in a cuss word and hope I'll go away, but I'm still gonna ask, and I'm not gonna go away, not until you tell me the answer, ok?"
What? How can I answer that?
Yeah. Good one.
"This uh... cake, thing, with the candle... which I just wanna say... it looks kinda silly, and if you had told me, I would've made you a MUCH better cake, and there would have been lots of candles, that fit, and didn't drip quite so bad... but that's not the point..."
She's bitching at my cake? Wait... she would've made me a cake?
"...the point is, why didn't you tell me?"
"Tell you what?"
"It's your birthday isn't it?"
Oh right. That.
"Does it matter?"
And the sad eyes AGAIN. Man, I wish I could make her smile. A REAL smile.
I wasn't gonna tell you my wish, was I? Oh well. Just keep it quiet. Like I said...a girls gotta have some secrets.
"Of course it matters! God... ALL night, all night, I've been going out of my mind wondering why you were so pissed at me today! I mean, I know you're always kinda pissed at me, and I don't get that either, but today..."
Always pissed at her? Is she crazy? She's just about the only thing in this fucked up life that I ain't always pissed at. I should tell her she's an idiot. Or is it me that's the idiot?
"...today, you seemed MORE pissed at me... and that upset me."
"Jeez, B! You don't need to fucking shout at me, ok!"
"Is that the cuss word to make me go away?"
And I can't help but smile a bit. So she knows me a little. Maybe.
"I didn't want to bother you with it, ok? I mean, what's the big deal right? Just another fucked up day, nothing special."
"You are such an idiot."
So she knows me a lot?
"Thanks, Buffy... now it's a great day."
And I do wiggle my eyebrows and make a funny. She asked me to. Or told me I would. And I don't like to disappoint her. No more then I do anyway.
"Why didn't you tell me, Faith? I don't get it... sometimes I think we're friends, then just when I think we're getting closer, I don't know, maybe bonding... you push me away. Why? Do you really not like me THAT much?"
Not 'like' her? Fuck me... she isn't that clever.
"Shit, Buffy... of course I like you. You're the one with the friends and the stuff and the life... man, what do I have, huh? And don't tell me you wanna be my friend..."
I could get on a roll here. Doesn't happen often, but I dunno. Maybe it's the new found maturity, that comes with age. It IS my birthday, ya know?
"...cos I see all the little things you don't invite me to, all the nights I get to the Bronze, and you guys are all having a ball... no thought of asking me to join you. The movie nights, the Scooby meets... fuck, B... when was the last time you asked me to go anywhere that wasn't killing demons? Well?"
Yeah, I'm rolling.
"But... Faith, I DO ask you...
If those are tears, I'm gonna kill myself. If I have made her cry, you can fuck maturity, fuck getting older... I'm gonna end it all now. Is there no limit to how much of a screw up I am?
"... and always it's the same. I ask you to dinner, you say no. I even started to tell you that mom asked you, in case it was me that put you off... but still, no. I see you at the Bronze, you're always having fun, why would you wanna sit with us, Faith? I know you think we're boring, too slow for you..."
I pretend, Buffy. I pretend, because I don't want you to see how fucked up I am. How useless. How alone. Look at Faith... she's nothing. No one wants her. Yeah. I pretend.
"...I WANT you with me. Don't you see that? Are you really that blind? EVERY single time you turn me down, Faith... every time you tell me you can't come with me because you 'have a hot date'... it hurts. I want to be your friend. I NEED to be your friend..."
And I KNOW I'm not crying. It's just a reflection from her eyes or something. I swear it. There is NO WAY I am crying.
"...and it feels so useless. I thought when you got here, well kinda a little while after you got here..."
She tried to giggle, but with the tears, and the snot... it kinda came out more of a snort. Can ya see why I love her?
"...I thought we would be together, that we were the same, that we could help each other... be there for each other... but you always push me away. And I can't do it anymore. I... god damn it... I NEED you, Faith... can you deal with that? Can you at least try and be my friend?"
Can I? Can I stop pretending?
"I, Buffy... I..."
Words, Faith. Words.
"...I thought... I guess I thought, I wasn't good enough for you, ya know? You've got your friends, why the hell would you need someone like me? I know what I am, I know I'm worth shit...i mean I fuck pretty good, hell... I fuck REALLY good..."
"...well, I do! I swear it, B... shit, I'll show ya if ya want me too?"
And she's laughing again. Or snorting. Either way, I like it.
"I don't think I uh... maybe not just now, ok?"
Not just now?
"That's great, B."
Not just now?
"You were saying?"
Not just now!
I was saying?
"...right, erm... what was I saying?"
"Faith... you are something, ya know?"
Oh, I remember...
"Yeah, that's the point, B... I'm the kind of something that girls like you don't like. And I can deal with that shit, I've done it my whole life, right? But with you... I guess I didn't wanna do it... so I pushed you first, before you could push me."
And admitting it to her, admitting it to myself... it just sounds dumb.
"But I don't wanna push you, Faith. Ok?"
She does a funny little look now. But I need her to promise. I trust her ya see. She's too good to lie. And if she promises, then I'll believe her.
"I promise, Faith."
I believe her.
"Then I'll stop pushing."
"What... ya can't think of your own lines, B?"
"Yours are just too cool, Faith... can't help but pinch them."
"I'm too cool! And yeah, I promise."
We stayed on the bed, and we talked for a while. About this and that. That and this. I guess the kinda shit that friends talk about, yeah?
And I was right about the Disney films. Next time, I'm gonna choose the films to watch!
It was all nice. It was nicer when she went to leave though. If that makes sense.