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More Than Human, Less Than Human

by Nemo


Rating: NC17
Spoilers: Season 2 slightly, and Season 3 of course for Faith.
Distribution: Oralfxatn's site, otherwise ask and ye shall receive.
Not my characters, no harm or profit intended.
Notes: English spelling where relevant. This is the first femme slash story I wrote.
Dedication: To Gina G and London Lisa, the brains behind this operation.Summary: Desperate straights call for desperate measures.

Print Version: Adobe Reader PDF


"Its better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." I forget who said that originally. Probably a good thing. If I knew I'd hunt them down and kill them for being a fuckin' idiot. The pain of losing a loved one is unbelievable. Having to watch them slowly deteriorate in front of you - well, let's just say I'd rather be somewhere else. Anywhere else. But I can't leave. So I just sit here by Buffy's bed, in a soulless room in the Hospital, waiting for the end.

"Faith." I jump at the sound of Xander's voice. I hadn't heard him come in. He touches my shoulder softly. "You should go home, Faith. Get some rest, eat something."

"No, I ..." The strain in my voice is obvious. "I, we... I spent so much time running away. Finally we were getting somewhere. But now..." I trail off again. I will not cry. I refuse to cry - I have to be strong, for Buffy's sake. As long as I believe in her, she'll be okay. She has to be. I look at Buffy, and take her hand. Her tiny frame is shrouded with tubes and monitors and esoteric equipment, so that she almost looks part machine. Her face is drawn and pale -barely recognisable as the energetic young woman we all love. She's been unconscious for two days now, feverish and delirious before that.

"Have Willow and Giles come up with anything?" I can't look at Xander as I talk. If I do I know I'll start to cry. Instead I stare at the back of Buffy's hand, waiting for an answer that I already know.

"Sorry, no. But when they do, they'll be here soon as. Its only a matter of time - Buff's been through worse than this before. She'll bounce right back, she always does." I envy his optimism. No ifs, only whens. "Why don't you see if you can help them? Has to be better than sitting here. I can sit with Buffy. I've got my cell phone, so if anything changes I can let you know."

The automatic refusal is almost on the tip of my tongue before an idea hits me. It's almost shocking; definitely a last ditch, but it might be worth trying if all else fails. I need to speak to Willow.

"Thanks, Xan. I think I might just do that." I get up, looking at Xander for the first time. He's surprised at my change of demeanour, but grateful. "You'll ring me if there's any..."

"Of course. Don't worry, Faith - in a few days it'll be like this never happened." Yeah. Or B will be dead. I can't let that happen.

Part One : Dangerous Plans

The rest of the Scooby Gang look up as I enter The Magic Box. I'm entrusting Buffy's life to a group named after cartoon sidekicks. Not that I have any choice. Unless...

"Ah, Faith. Has there been any change in Buffy's prognosis?" Shit, Giles sounds like one of the Doctors at the hospital. They got a million long-ass ways of saying 'she's dying'. He blinks at me short-sightedly, determinedly trying to rub a hole in his glasses with a handkerchief before replacing them.

"No. I thought maybe you might have something?" I can tell by their expressions that they haven't found anything. Except that it turns out I'm wrong, not for the first time and I daresay not for the last.

"We have, but..." Willow stops, struggling to say something. 'Oh oh' I think to myself. 'I'm not gonna like this'. "...we found a reference to the demon that attacked Buffy, but..." she halts again, scared to tell me the bad news. Probably wondering if I'm gonna go nuts and smash up the place. Right now that's looking like an attractive proposition.

"Just spit it out, Red. In case you haven't noticed, time's kinda running out here." Willow looks appealingly at Giles, who clears his throat. Tara and Anya just stare at the floor. You know its time to be worried when Anya's got nothing to say. Finally Giles breaks the silence.

"Sit down, Faith." I plonk myself down into a chair, and wait for Giles to continue. "I believe this is the demon you and Buffy saw, yes?" He slides an open book towards me. On the facing page is a line drawing of a nasty little number. It's got stubby little legs but massively developed shoulders and arms. Instead of fingers it has long, slightly curved claws. Imagine Wolverine from the X-men crossed with an Orang-utan. I nod at Giles.

"Ugly little fucker isn't he?"

"Yes, he's uh... certainly one of the less appealing denizens of the Nether Realms;" I can feel a lecture coming on. Either that or a migraine - I haven't slept too much lately. "it's called a 'Hemlock Demon', because of the poison tipped claws. Not that the poison is actually Hemlock. If it was there wouldn't be too much problem. Unfortunately the toxin is extremely virulent, and unlike anything of natural origin. The only cure this volume lists is magical - a true healing relic of some form is required..." Giles trails off at this.

"But that's great. We find one of these relics, heal Buffy, hey presto!"

"I wish that could work. But a true relic of healing can only be wielded by a high priest, or a powerful cleric."

"So we get a relic, find a cleric..." I almost laugh at the rhyme. Almost. Giles certainly isn't laughing though.

"Faith..." he says, so softly I can barely hear him, "nobody has worshipped the Old Gods in centuries. Certainly not to the level we require. Even if we could find a relic, there would be nobody who could use it. Not any more." I can feel those tears welling up again, dangerously close to the surface. I can feel my heart racing, which is odd because I'm sure all the blood has drained from my head. My tongue feels thick. I swallow, desperately trying to manufacture some saliva in my mouth.

"But... but you and Willow know magic. You could do something..." Everyone can hear the desperation in my voice. I try to pull myself together before I shatter into a thousand pieces. Willow reaches across the table, takes my hand. Its funny, but now B's sick I finally get along with Red, and the rest of the gang. I'm not one of them, and I never will be, but I'm more than just tolerated now. I guess they can see the depth of my feelings for her.

"I'm sorry, Faith. That just wouldn't work." She's fighting back the tears as well. She sniffs, and then continues "But we haven't exhausted all the possibilities yet. That's just one book. We're looking for references to this, this 'ugly little fucker' elsewhere. Other books, on the net. Giles has contacted the Watcher Council. We're not done yet. We'll beat this, we always do."

"How long have we got?" I ask her, but Giles fields this one.

"A few days at most. Any normal person would have been dead in hours. Buffy of course has a far stronger constitution than any normal mortal. But she is failing, slowly and surely." I can't take any more of this. Think I'm gonna be sick.

"I need some air... uh, I'll be back in a mo." I rush outside, take deep gasps of cool air, and then light up a cigarette.

Moments later, Willow joins me outside. I'm glad it's her - I have some questions. "Are you alright, Faith?" I'm touched by the concern in her voice, on her face. I'm still surprised sometimes that she can genuinely care. I bet she hasn't forgotten me holding a knife to her throat .

"Yeah, I just needed some air. And some smokes." She squeezes my shoulder. "And, uh, I wanted to ask you something. About something you did before I showed up in town." She looks puzzled, but waits for me to continue. "When Angel lost his soul, you cast a spell, restored him. Buffy told me about it." She hasn't worked out where I'm going yet, but she will. She's a smart cookie. "And I was wondering, could you do that to any vampire? Restore their soul I mean."

"Um, well yeah. It wouldn't actually be the same spell - it would be more like the original Gypsy curse. And its not easy, or we'd just do that instead of killing vampires..."

"But you could do it?"

"Yes, but I don't see why you... oh my God!" She clutches my arm tightly. She's got it now. "Faith, no. You can't seriously want to turn Buffy! She'd hate that, and she'd never forgive you. Even with a soul, do you really think she could bear being a vampire? She's sworn to kill vampires!"

"But she'd still be alive, still be Buffy. She could fight the big bad, same as always, and we could ... be... together." Willow's looking at me, shocked.

"But that's the point, Faith. She'd still be Buffy, but she wouldn't be alive. She'd be dead, feeding off blood to sustain herself. She wouldn't want that, and I WON'T DO IT. I'd never do it, not in a million years." She obviously sees something in my eyes, because her tone grows harsh. "And you can't force me either. I'm not so defenceless now. I'd die before I had anything to do with turning Buffy." I look down, defeated. Those fucking tears finally make their appearance, and suddenly I'm on the ground, sobbing. Willow kneels beside me and puts her arms around me, rocking me and 'shushing into my hair. "I know you're scared Faith, but it will be alright. You'll see. Everything will turn out fine, and before you know it we'll be laughing about this." Eventually I pull myself together with an effort, and stand up, extricating myself from her embrace. I give Willow a soft smile.

"Thanks, Red. I'm sorry; I know it's a stupid idea. I just..."

"Its alright, 'F'. You're desperate. I know how that feels. But we'll think of something. Hey, I've never lost a Slayer yet!" She's painfully aware of how pitiful her attempt at levity sounds, but at least she's trying.

"Thanks again, Will. Think I'll take a walk, try to clear my head."

"Okay. You sure you'll be alright? I could come with if you like."

"No, that's alright. You'd better keep looking for a cure. I'll see you later."

"Later, Faith." She turns to go back inside, a troubled expression on her face.


A day later, and time is running short. I went back to the hospital, but I just couldn't stand it anymore. Looking at Buffy's face only made my stomach tie itself in knots. So I left Xander and the staff to it, and went to The Magic Box. If anything that was even more depressing. The grim atmosphere of forced optimism and fake hope left a bitter taste in my mouth. I didn't say a word when I walked in. Just stared at the Scoobs, who stared right back, hope dying in their eyes. I turned on my heel and marched straight back out again. At the doorway I halted at the sound of Giles' voice. "Faith! Don't think about doing anything... rash." I'm frozen on the spot. It could just be coincidence, but I know better than that. The little fucking bitch squealed on me. I didn't even notice my grip on the doorframe until it snapped and a piece came off in my hand. I didn't acknowledge him; I couldn't even bear to think about him, or any of them. They'd said they loved her, but they placed limits on their love. I don't have limits. So I went shopping instead.

It didn't take long to get most of what I needed. Heavy chain, and shit loads of it. Some real hefty padlocks. Manacles took a bit longer, but the Sex Shop in Sunnydale has a surprising variety of 'equipment'. The guy behind the counter was smirking when I went to pay, but he sure wasn't when I left. It made me feel better, but it was stupid. What if he called the cops? Still, he's none too likely to tell the Police he got stomped by a girl. I'll keep my eyes open, just in case.

I found a nice crypt in the cemetery, plenty of room, one careful owner. Practically a mausoleum in fact. There were even steel loops embedded in the walls - Christ knows what for, but they'd help me a lot. When night came I carried a couple of mattresses and some blankets down there. Stocked up with food and drinks, even got some magazines in case I had to be there for a while.

Tricky bit next. Time to pay a visit to Spike.

I wasn't in the mood for pleasantries, so I kicked down the door and invited myself in. Spike was on a sofa, watching some shitty soap opera, but he leapt up as I came in. "Je-sus Christ," he yelled, "what the fuck do you think you're doin'?" I looked around at what passed for his 'home'. I'd seen more comfortable tents. I rapped on the wall with my knuckles.

"Knock knock. Avon calling." I said sweetly.

"Fuckin' 'ell Slayer. I would have let you in. I thought we got on alright these days?"

"Stop whining, Spike. And get a haircut. I'm in a hurry, so I'll be blunt. I need your help." He grinned at hearing that. He obviously thought he was going to be difficult. He opened his mouth but I cut him off before he could say something I'd regret. "If you help me, I'll pay you, and I'll owe you one. Don't help me, and I'll stake you. Your choice."

"Well, when you put it like that. So, what do you need? Some new Big Bad in town? Too much for the Chosen to handle eh? So when the goin' gets tough, the little girlies come to Spike for some assistance. And where's Buffy anyhow?"

"She's in hospital, Spike. She's dying." Nearly stumbled over my words there. " She got poisoned by some demon, and there's no cure." Looking at the distraught expression on Spike's face, I guess he really does love her. Still, take a ticket and get in line. "I need you to turn her. Make her a vampire. You 'n' me'll look after her until Willow and Giles can restore her soul."

"Just like that eh? Nice and simple. And Willow and Giles go along with this, do they?" I didn't say anything. I didn't need to. He laughed, but there was precious little humour in it. "I guess not. And they're right. Even if I could, with this chip in my head, you have to be insane to think I'd do that to her. I love her!"

"So do I. And I'm not going to lose her. I'll do whatever it takes, and this is the only option left." He walks right up to me, playing the hard ass to the hilt. Starts poking me to emphasise what he's saying.

"Slayer, you are right off your fuckin' trolley. Earth to Faith! For Christ's sake, you're supposed to KILL vampires." I grin. Gently, I take his finger in my hand. And then I snap it. He screams, and its music to my ears.

"Motherfuck! You fucking bitch! I'm gonna..." I grab his neck with my other hand and slam him against the wall.

"You're gonna die unless you help me, Spike."

"Fuck you, bitch."

"Shut up, Spike." I slam him against the wall again for emphasis. "I ask, and you either nod or shake your head. I'm in a good mood, so I won't punish you if you feel the need to scream. Now, are you going to help me?" He looks at me, eyes wide and teeth clenched against the pain. He's trying to gauge how far I'll take this. Finally he shakes his head. I twist his broken finger; you could hear the splintered fragments of bone grinding together if he wasn't screaming so much. "How about now?" I ask in my most cheerful, polite telephone voice. He shakes his head again. I break the next finger - blood is dripping from his hand and pooling on the floor. Still he refuses. Another finger, another scream, another point blank refusal. "I'm trying to be reasonable here, Spike. But I don't have a lot of time. So lets move it along a bit. Say yes, or I'll break all your fingers. Then I'll smash your kneecaps and cut your hamstrings. You're immortal Spike. There's nothing short of decapitation or a stake in the heart that'll kill you. I'll operate on you - take out your liver, kidneys, stomach. Pluck out your eyes." I pull my knife, and tweak his groin with the point. "I'll emasculate you, Spike. Think you'll enjoy having your dick cut off?" He just looks at me like I'm a rabid dog, then spits in my face. I just grin. I don't even wipe it off.

"You've flipped, Slayer. You need help. Go back to your watcher and..." I smack him in the mouth with the hilt of my knife. It splinters several of his teeth, and blood cascades down his chin. It certainly shuts him up.

"Help me, Spike."

"Go to hell."

"You first." It's a cliché, but all the best lines are. After his fingers and knees have gone, his screaming starts to get on my nerves. He's beyond talking rationally now, so I cut out his tongue. I'd never realised just how long a tongue is - of course, you normally only see the end of it. Even so, I'm impressed. There's a horrendous amount of blood though. I leave him writhing on the floor while I search his place; there's a mini fridge with plastic bags full of blood, and there's also a petrol generator. Makes sense I guess. How else could you have a TV and fridge in a crypt? I find some rags and wipe the blood off as best I can. Spike's making some weird sort of noise in the back of his throat, and I wonder if he's drowning on blood. But no, he's a vampire. Doesn't need to breathe. I look, and he's throwing up. Who knew vampires could throw up? Its all blood of course, but it still lends him a slight air of humanity. I almost feel sorry for the bastard. I walk over, stake ready in my hand. I roll him onto his back. "Time's up. Time to call it a night Spike." He just looks at me. Never even blinks as I drive the stake through his heart. Never liked him, but he had more guts than I would' a' figured. I stir the dust with my hand. This is no time to get melancholy. I got to motor.

I make two trips to my mausoleum, lugging the fridge, and then the generator. I put some of the drinks in with the blood. Hey, I'm not squeamish. This whole affair with Spike has cost me time, and that's not something I have a lot of. I turn on my mobile phone - I have several missed calls. Guess who? It's the Scooby Gang. Or should that be the Brady Bunch? I ignore the missed calls and ring the hospital instead. Buffy's still hanging on, but she's pretty weak now. Can't be much longer. Time for plan B, no pun intended.


The first vampire is dust instantly as I lop his head from his shoulders. The others turn towards me, giving their victim a chance a run. Normally I like to take my time, play a little. Like the way a cat plays with a mouse. Its just nature I suppose. Vampire's play with humans. But then you get to the top of the food chain. That's where you find me. And I play hard. Not now though - there are still four vampires left, and the clocks constantly ticking. The closest one looks like a Grateful Dead roadie. He swings at me half heartedly and I sway aside before taking his arm with my sword. He reels back and I switch opponents, keeping the others back while I watch for an opening. I lunge forward, but at the last moment I turn aside and skewer the vamp on the right. I reverse, pulling the sword free and swinging full circle. Two of them jump back, but one-arm and the guy I skewered aren't so lucky, losing their heads and collapsing in a shower of dust. The last two are quick. They leg it in opposite directions. I throw the sword at one - horizontally, as if it's a Frisbee - and I'm off running after the last one almost before the blade leaves my hand.

This guy leads me a merry dance through the cemetery. But as he looks back over his shoulder he runs straight into a gravestone and cartwheels arse - over - tip over it. Then I'm on him, and I know I'm close. Long as he plays along - and he's got no reason not to. I sit on his chest, pinning his arms with my knees. Christ but this guy is ugly. Not only is he dead, but he looks and smells it as well. I lean into his face. He looks shit scared, as well he might. "Hi honey. I've got a little proposition for you." Straight away I know he's interested. No money on offer of course. Just a straight swap - his life, if he turns Buffy. Or his unlife I suppose.

I take him back to my cosy crypt, and chain him up. I feel like playing the hostess, so I even offer him some blood. What can I say? I'm a polite gal, I guess. Then I head for the hospital.


Part two : Showtime

I'm getting some odd looks at the hospital. I duck into a washroom and take a look at myself in the mirror. A crazy woman looks back at me. She looks about twenty, with dark hair and - if I say so myself - a damn good figure. But her face is smudged and dirty, her clothes are torn, and I definitely do not like the glint in her eye. I wouldn't trust her as far as I can throw her - and I am her. I wash my face and hands, but there's not too much I can do about my clothes. Luckily my top is red and my pants are leather, so you can't readily tell that I'm covered in a fair amount of blood. I don't smell too good, but there's no point worrying about it now.

As I peek round the corner of the corridor, I see Giles come out of Buffy's room. The rest of the 'gang' are gathered outside the room. For a moment my heart stops beating. What if I'm too late? Maybe she's dead already? Or they found a cure and she's recovered? For long seconds I'm frozen to the spot. Then my resolve returns, and I stride down the corridor towards them.

Willow spots me first, and turns to the others. They line up outside Buffy's room, determined looks on their faces. Under different circumstances I might have laughed. I come to a halt just shy of them. Giles is in the centre. He looks like a stern father - or how I imagine a stern father would look. Don't honestly recall much of my dad. "Faith, where have you been?"

"Oh, you know, Giles. Here and there. Around." I look past them, at Buffy's room. "How is she?" Willow looks like she wants to say something, but Giles glances at her and she stays silent.

"She's close now. She'll be gone soon."

I can't keep the bitterness from my voice. I don't even try. "Just say it, Giles. You mean she'll be dead."

"Faith, she knew the risks, just as you do. She's already lived longer and accomplished more than most Slayers. Just let her go. It's her time." Willow starts crying quietly, and Tara wraps her arms around her.

"That's not good enough, Giles. If you won't help her, I will. Please get out of my way."

"You know I can't do that, Faith." Giles has put on his resolve face. The only way I'm gonna be able to move him is by force. I have no problem with that. Not any more. Still, I do try.

"Please, Giles. Just step aside. I don't want to hurt you." He actually curls his lip at me. Uptight English bastard.

"I'm not so easy to subdue as you might think, Faith. I'm not moving, and you're not going past." Arrogant little prick. I shrug. Then quick as you like I launch a jab at Giles' jaw. Unbelievable! He actually saw it coming. He grabs my wrist and pulls in the direction of my swing, throwing me off balance. Out of the corner of my eye I see something swinging towards my head; I dive to the floor and roll back to my feet. Shit! How did I not notice Xander had a baseball bat? He's overextended though; I reach out and grab the end of the bat, then shove hard, knocking the handle into his stomach. He loses his grip as he doubles over and I smash him in the face before flipping the bat, catching it by the handle. But Giles is already on me, throwing punches. He can really move for an old guy - I'm impressed. But whatever he used to be back in the day, he's a librarian now. And I'm a Slayer. He's way out of his depth; he just hasn't realised it yet. I ride the punches to my body, block those to my face, and then lightly tap him with the bat. Anya's trying to pull a retching Xander aside - no threat there - but Willow and Tara are a ways off, hands linked, chanting some hocus pocus shit. Willow's eyes are turning black, which I take to be a bad sign. But she's defenceless until her spell's finished. I bodycheck the two of them, landing on top of Willow, then punch her out. I turn - "Don't even think about it Tara." - and raise a finger to emphasise my point. The blonde witch looks at me. She's not going to risk losing Willow to protect a dying Slayer, and we both know it. She nods her assent, and crawls over to Willow as I get up and go into Buffy's room, stepping over the unconscious Giles.

B looks so frail and defenceless lying there, her face framed by a soft halo of golden hair. Like an angel. Gently I remove the tubes and monitors, setting off various alarms in the process. This place is gonna be crawling with staff and security in a minute. She seems almost weightless as I lift her into my arms. I can just feel her breath against my neck as I hold her. "Not long now, honey." I whisper. "Faith's gonna make everything okay." Stepping back out of the room, I hear a shout at the far end of the corridor. Nurses and security guards, all running this way. "Tara, tell Willow to get her shit together if she wants to restore Buffy's soul. I'll be in touch with the location."

"Faith, please don't do this. This is wrong, you know it is."

"Sorry T. It's already done." Its time to make like a shepherd and get the flock out of here.


It's nearly time. I wanna be sick, I'm so nervous. Instead I take a mouthful of J.D., swilling it round my mouth before letting it burn its way down to my stomach. It does nothing to dispel the ball of ice in my belly. There's no way back from this now. If anything goes wrong, I am uber-fucked. I'll probably just kill myself, give the Scoobies a new Slayer to piss off. But its not going to go wrong. I turn to my house guest. "Remember. If she dies, you die." The vampire still looks scared, but he's fighting it, giving it some front.

"Look, I know my shit. Its easy man. Bleed 'em then feed 'em. Nothin' to it. She ain't gonna die." He crouches next to the unconscious Buffy, and leans over her.

"Wait!" He looks up, confused. I go over to her, push the hair back from her face, gently kiss her lips. One final kiss while she's still truly alive, even if only just. Whatever happens now, Buffy is dead. Just that there are different degrees of death. A deep breath, then "Okay, do it." I force myself to watch as the vamp bites into her neck, giving her a new scar to match the one she got from Angel. She never stirs as he slowly drains her body - not too far, just enough. Then he stops, and rips open his wrist with his fangs, dripping blood into Buffy's mouth. She stirs slightly, and he presses his arm to her mouth. At first she just laps at the bloody wound with her tongue, but then she bites down and begins to suck in earnest. I can see him wince in pain, but he lets her continue, watching all the while to gauge when he has to break free. Its horrible to watch, but compelling as well, like some Victorian horror come to life. Buffy is clearly growing in strength; she wraps her hands round her Sire's arm, trying to absorb all his blood.

"That's enough. Let go. Shit, get off me." He's trying to break free, but even vampire strength is no match for a Slayer. He kicks at her, and I'm there in an instant, holding him down while Buffy drains him. "Let me go, bitch. This ain't part of the deal. She's takin' too much." Eventually Buffy is satiated, and I drag Mr Ugly back. He ain't gonna die - vampires don't die from blood loss - but he's going to be feeling pretty fucking bad until he can replace some of the blood he's lost. And he won't be able to do that on his own, he's too weak. It's funny really. You can starve a vamp, and he won't die. But the longer he goes without blood, the less of a threat he becomes, and the less likely he is to get any more blood. Eventually he'll be little better than a husk, still alive, trapped inside his body. Right now, a six year old could kick the shit out of Mr Ugly. Course, I could care less about the vamp. But he did help me, so I stake him quick, put him out of his misery. No way was I gonna let him go - I'm not that far gone.

I approach Buffy carefully; she's chained up but I'm not going to take any chances. I sit down a little way from her, check her over. The blood on her face is startlingly bright against her pallor. Other than being so pale, she looks like her old self. Of course, she hasn't had 'the change' yet. That's still to come. She licks her lips, then tries to say something. I scoot closer, trying to hear. "Buffy? What is it honey?" I listen carefully, straining to hear.

"Faith....is that you? What's going on? Where am I?" I'm about to answer, but all of a sudden she screams.

"Buffy, what is it? Talk to me darlin'." She's hissing through clenched teeth, then she screams again. Her cries cut right through me. I throw caution to the winds, and lie beside her, wrapping my arms around her. Her skin is burning hot to the touch, but I can see and feel her shaking. Her breath is coming in gasps, but they get shallower and shallower, until she's no longer breathing. Her face is rippling under her skin, brows becoming more prominent and jaw changing shape. I carefully peel back her lips, and see her canine teeth growing before my eyes. I clutch my girl tightly and sob into her hair.

Eventually her spasms subside, and I reluctantly let go. Her face has returned to normal - she seems to be asleep. I feel like a complete wreck. "Time, " I announce to the room, "to get wasted." I grab that bottle of Jack Daniels and get to work.

I'm barely halfway through the bottle when I realise I have company. Buffy is sitting up, and staring at me intently. "Buffy! How are you feeling?"

"Surprisingly good, actually. Seeing as how I'm dead and all." She grins, and pokes at a canine with her tongue. "These chains are a bit of a bind though. Geddit? Bind. I kill me, I really do." She laughs, and it's the old Buffy. Except of course that it isn't. This is an all new Buffy. I giggle. Damn, I must be drunk. Or insane. Probably a bit of both.

"You make a damn fine looking corpse, B."

"Why thank you miss." She gets to her feet, and performs an awkward curtsey. "You got anything else I can wear? I don't think 'blood stained hospital gown' is my look." Shit she's taking this well. Of course, you don't see many vampires who are annoyed about being immortal killing machines. Buffy wouldn't want to be a vamp, but this isn't really her. It's a demon that happens to have her personality, minus a few important traits like a conscience. I get her a plastic bin liner that I had filled with some of her clothes, then while she's going through that I get some blood from the fridge.

She pulls on some black pants, and I unlock one arm at a time so she can put on a dark green top. I hand her the blood. Even as a vampire drinking blood she's fastidious, asking for a glass and being careful not to spill any. She makes a face as she drinks. "Urgh. Cold. Not nice."

"Sorry, B, best I can do." She shrugs. We sit a safe distance away from each other, and we talk over the rest of the Jack Daniels. It's nice. We don't mention her being a vampire, or what we're going to do next. She doesn't ask me to unchain her. We just chat, in a way that we never could when she was alive. Freaky, but nice. I know she's gonna flip her lid when she gets her soul back, and I almost wish it didn't have to happen. Almost. Eventually I'm too drunk, and too tired to stay awake any longer so I get the mattresses out and we turn in. "Goodnight B."

"'Night, Faithy." I smile at the name, and drift off almost instantly.

My sleep is disturbed by vivid nightmares. Buffy stabbing me; Buffy as a vampire, stalking the streets of Sunnydale, killing everyone in her way. Death and destruction rain down time and again, and always my fault. Finally the nightmares fade into more pleasant dreams. Buffy whispers that she loves me before leaning in and pressing her lips to mine, gently at first but then harder. Our tongues explore each other's mouths, while our hands start to wander. We lie down on the grass on a beautiful summer day, still kissing. I start to feel a burning sensation in my lip - painful, yet somehow it only heightens the pleasure. Something warm and salty runs down my chin. Shit, am I bleeding?

I wake with a start. No sunny meadows, only a mattress in a crypt. But Buffy is there, lying on top of me and licking the blood from my lip. I try to throw her off, but she grabs my arms and holds them above my head. "Noooo, baby. Bad girl." She's nuzzling at my neck now. I feel a shudder run through my body, half fear and half...

"No!" I struggle, but I can't budge her at all. This is bad. Very bad. "Uhhhnngh. Shit, B, no." It's also very, very nice. B's teeth graze my neck, but she moves back up without breaking the skin. She kisses me again, mashing her lips against mine. I'm not responding, I don't like it, I don't... fuck how can a kiss feel like this? But I've seen it happen, the victim mesmerised by the vampire, then the euphoria on their face when they feel the bite. She holds my arms one handed, and caresses my face with her other hand, then moves down and slides her hand under my top. I still can't move; her legs pin mine, my arms are held tight. This isn't possible. No vampire is this strong. How did she get loose?

"Buffy, the chains, how did you..." My back arches as she reaches my breast, pinching my nipple hard. "Uhh, B, oh... the chains... how... ummmmmm." Pull yourself together girl! Come on Faith, you're not done yet, not by a long shot. I slap myself mentally, trying to clear the fog from my mind. But her hand creeps across, massaging my other breast. She rolls my hard nipple between thumb and forefinger, pulling and teasing. Shit, maybe I should have turned her years ago. Fuck, what am I talking about?

Buffy places her lips next to my ear. "I'm stronger, Faith. Much stronger than when I was alive. The chains? I guess I just don't know my own strength." She laughs, a deep throaty chuckle. Christ she's sexy. "You will be too. Stronger I mean." I'm so distracted it takes me a moment to twig what she's saying.

"You... you're going to turn me?"

"Of course, baby. I wouldn't kill you. You've given me a new lease of life, kinda." She smirks. "And you're just so goddamn beautiful." She sits up slightly, and with barely a twitch of her hand rips my top off. She bends to take a nipple in her mouth. The feel of her tongue is... indescribable really. She licks and sucks at each breast in turn, lightly grazing my nipples with her fangs. She lifts her head again, looks me right in the eyes.

"I know how you feel about me, Faith. I've always known. But the old me would never have said or done anything about it. But now... now I'm not afraid of admitting to myself how I feel about you. Its you and me, Faithy, forever. Really forever. I'm gonna turn you, but first I'm gonna fuck you the way I've wanted to since that night in the bronze." She lets go of my arms: grasping my hips she plants wet kisses down the slopes of my breasts, moves on down my flat stomach to my navel. She brings her hands together at the top of my pants, and bursts the buttons. I tense, prepared to fight. She's made a mistake releasing my arms. I'm gonna beat her to a pulp, and... she slowly pulls my pants down, kissing along the inside of my thigh as she goes; she stands up, pulling my pants free, tosses them behind her. I spread my legs as she lies down again, all thoughts of fight or flight gone from my mind. I tell myself that I wouldn't have a chance, that she could catch me without effort. And it is true, but just a coincidence. I don't want to escape.

She laps at my pussy, like a cat with a bowl of cream. Tongue flat, not penetrating me, just lathering me up, so to speak. Her hands caress my thighs, then I feel a finger run down my arse crack. "Oh Christ B, that feels so... um, yeah, baby girl, ohhh" she runs her tongue down to my arsehole and back up again, then starts to lick round my clit in ever decreasing circles. I gasp as she sucks on my clitoris, and wrap my legs round her head. She leaves my clit instantly and starts kissing me, working towards my belly button, forcing my legs apart again as she moves up. I almost scream in frustration.

"You fucking bitch, B. Don't tease me, please. Get back down there." She laughs as I wrap my hands in her hair and try to push her back down. She's the proverbial immovable object, but she relents and moves back down, her tongue working between my lips. I feel waves begin to build deep in my abdomen as she fucks me with her tongue; she slides up to work on my clit with her mouth and I'm moaning as she slides a finger deep inside me. She continues for a few seconds, and then brings her finger to her mouth, sucking my taste off her hand. She returns to licking my pussy, this time spreading me open with one hand, fucking me hard with her tongue. Her other hand moves to my clit, rubbing her thumb back and forth against me. I'm getting soooo close now, I'm practically trembling. I pull hard on her hair and grind my hips desperately against her face. "Ohh, Buffy, yeah... shitttt, thas so ..."

I'm starting to lose the power of speech, but I'm sure she knows where I'm coming from. As I start to lose control she slides two fingers into me; I feel my muscles spasming around her and I'm screaming her name like its the only word I know.

As I come she keeps working at my clit; I start to come down as she licks her way back up to my breasts, leaving a trail of sticky juices on my belly. "Was that good, baby?" she asks. I can't talk, only gasp like a stranded fish and nod. She laughs again. God I love her laugh. It's so good to hear it again. "What do you know, I think she likes it." She's not wrong. I just lay back and relax as she massages my breasts, and licks the sweat from my cleavage. Managing to gather some strength, I beckon her towards me. She winds her way upwards, never taking her lips from my skin. After an eternity of soft caresses she finally makes it back to my face.

"Buffy," I breathe, "take your clothes off." She grins.

"Yes ma'am!" She stands and lifts her top over her head. Her breasts are full and pert, the nipples standing proud. She chucks her top aside, and begins to unbutton her pants. Buffy turns her back on me, bending over as she pulls her pants down. She's so... beautiful doesn't even begin to describe it. She tries to step out of the pants, but gets tangled and has to reach down to pull them off. She's got a great ass. I crawl up behind her; grasping her hips I lick her out from behind. She sounds almost like she's purring. I moan in disappointment when she turns round and pulls me to my feet. "Not your turn yet. I'm not finished." I pout, but she just laughs and kisses the tip of my nose. "Poor baby." Wrapping her arms around my waist, she picks me up and moves to the wall. I wrap my legs around her as she slams me against the wall, and we kiss deeply. She slides her hand in between us, and thrusts two fingers into my wet pussy. I moan as her fingers fuck me; she slides a third inside, and pumps me as fast as she can. The friction is incredible; I can already feel another orgasm building up. She starts kissing my neck, then sucking at my pulse. Oh oh.

"Not yet, Buff. Please I wanna..." Every muscle in my body clenches as she bites down on my neck, the pain exquisite. She pulls at me, draining my blood. I should be scared. Should be fighting.

"Buffy..." I sigh. My heart pounds, the blood roaring in my ears. I feel so light headed, like I'm floating on a cloud. She stops for a second, and I'm vaguely aware of her gashing open her wrist; salty blood drips into my mouth. I grasp at her wrist, weakly at first but with ever gathering strength as her vitality flows into me. B bites into my neck again, and I feel the pounding of the blood in both our bodies, flowing from one to the other in a closed loop. Never have I felt so close to anyone as I feel to Buffy at this moment, our bodies flowing together, merging until I can no longer tell where I end and she begins... She holds me through the tremors, through the pain of the change as the demon works on my blood, whispering my name into my hair. When I awake, I'm in her arms. She grins at me as I sit up and straddle her; she tries to speak but I place my finger on her lips. "Shush... my turn now..."

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