Rating: NC-17 (Gina won't let me write anything else)
Pairing: Buffy / Faith
Disclaimer: I don't own them. Unfortunately.
Notes: I didn't finish my other Christmas fic, turns out it's gonna be long. So I posted this one. Only took me 6 months...
Print Version: Adobe Reader PDF
Ya know what really sucks about the holiday? People, running around, busting their asses for 15 minutes worth of Kodak moments. Yelling, screaming, bitching at each other so they can
spoil their little shit faced kids who swear they hate their parents anyway.
But what sucks more, is when you don't have a family to share it with.
I watch Buffy, and all her little friends, running around, picking gifts for loved ones, and not so loved ones, and I wonder if there's one in there for me. I don't really care either way, and even if I did I wouldn't let them know.
I ain't weak like that. I don't care. But free shit is free shit.
Well it's Christmas Eve, so I'll find out tomorrow.
But for now. I'm gonna go try to slay.
Unfortunately it seems like the undead have decided to celebrate in their own lairs.
I cruise three cemeteries and not a damn vamp in sight. Now this really sucks. It's not late at all, and I'm stuck on the most anxious night of the year with jack shit to do.
I find myself walking through Sunnydale, looking through the half covered windows of the happy families.
Brats all dressed in their pj's sucking up to Mom and Dad for just a few hours more, knowing they can wake them up at the ass crack of dawn and claw their way through thousands of dollar's worth of shit they don't deserve.
Man I even sound pessimistic to myself.
Jealously I guess. I can be honest. I always wanted to be one of them. To wake up on Christmas, and find more than my Mom passed out under the broke off branch we called a tree, and some new underwear two sizes too big.
It starts to get depressing so I head into town. I know I'm not the only one alone this Christmas. There's people in the bars, drinking away the fact that they got nothing and no one to go home to.
Maybe they'd buy a few for me. There's a gift right there. Alcohol pure and simple.
Sounds like a plan.
I head to Willy's. It's a cheap shot, but I might find something to kill there, you never know.
He's always busy.
But not tonight.
When I get there there's a whole 3 demons in there. All none leathal.
They were drinking and singing off key Christmas songs. The only real danger they posed was to my ears. And I don't think I can kill them for that.
Willy slides me a free one. It tastes like cat piss, which is probably what it is, but I throw it back anyway. I hang with the demons for an hour and head out. Even less to do in there, atleast outside I can breathe. They may be non-leathal but they smell bad.
Definitely not roses in there.
I head to a dive in the middle of town. I don't think B knows about it. Cater's to humans and demons alike, only it ain't got that 'No Violence' policy Willy swears he demands.
I'm itching for a fight. Just being around demons makes me wanna slay, not getting to is starting to bug me. And there's a certain 'ache' I don't feel like taking care of myself. Not tonight.
I'm halfway there when I hear something.
A scraping like something heavy's being dragged. Then it turns into a hissing sound, with some odd something in the background.
I'm pretty much in the middle of the street, surrounded by dark alley's. Prime vamp hunting grounds.
I just might get some after all.
I track the sound to the alley to my left, the street lights blinking on and off, giving me brief glimpses of something. I'm not quite sure. Whatever it is, it's wearing dark clothing.
It has it's back to me, shaking something in it's hands. There's a clinking sound then the hiss again.
I creep up on it in the shadow's, avoiding the ramdom light from the pole. I want a fight not a chase.
I'm nearly on top of it when it turns and looks right at me, though it shouldn't be able to see me. Seeing as I was stalking a teenaged girl.
"I said 'hello'. And I said it in english"
The little smart ass. Wait. I didn't say anything.
"It's not what you say. It's what you think"
She's reading my mind.
"Yes I am. Now please talk, all your subconscious urges annoy me" she cocks her head to the side "And come out of the dark, it's not a nice place to be"
"Are you a witch?" I try to take her measure in a glance. Painfully thin, but clean. A street kid maybe?
"Something like that. Why are you sneaking around in the shadows? This isn't a night for a kill" she starts shaking a bit. That's when I notice the spray paint can in her hand.
She's tagging the wall. There's a few random letters up already. But they aren't for the same word.
"You playing Hangman or something?" I nod towards the wall.
She turns to look at it, that's when I notice the blood, a dark dry patch of it, across her shoulders.
"No, just a message" she turns back and I try not to stare.
She's kinda pretty. Dark hair, grey eyes, with tan skin. Even dressed in the baggy clothes she wearing she's cute.
I blush. Forgot she could read my mind.
"What are 'you' doing out here? It's not safe after dark" I look around the alley. It's empty and vamp free. I'm surprised given the blood on her clothing.
"Waiting" she said turning back to her grafitti.
"For what?" I tried to figure out what she was writing, it was hard with the light flickering the way it was. Then again she'd seen me in the shadow. Good eyes.
"For you. I have a message for you." she turned over her shoulder and smiled at me.
"What is it?" I could play this game. I'm good at it.
"Wait. I'm almost done" she turned back to her work.
"What's your name?" I glanced up at the sky, the stars dimly seem, but the moon glowed through, giving off a strange blue aura.
"I forgot my name" she said sadly, her head dropping a little.
"How can you forget your own name? You got amnesia or something?" I kick around some trash, I'm not real good with small talk, unless I'm trying to fuck you. Then I can go all night.
"I don't have amnesia" she discarded one can, plucking another out of the pocket of her hoodie.
"Then how'd you forget your name?" I glanced at the grafitti again. I could only make out and 'R' and maybe an 'M', but nothing more before the light flickered. She turned and met my eyes. Her grey gaze somewhat distraught, full of tears though none fell. She spun back to the wall.
"Because he has" she said as she meticulously when over a lines. A real artist.
"Whose he?" I was suddenly on edge. The tone of her voice changed when she'd answered me.
"I dunno. Let's talk about something else" she stepped back and checked her work before resuming, this time on a few letters of a different word, though the first wasn't finished.
"Like what?" I considered her back, blood aside she had good posture, the dark hair that came midway down was smooth, not a tangle in sight as it shifted with the cool breeze.
"Talk about the stars" she whispered looking up "How many do you see?"
I look up. There's not many, but I count them anyway. For some reason telling her the truth seems fitting.
"I see 16" I watch the night sky, each star like a beacon, some flickering like the streetlamp, others steady and strong.
"What are their names?"
"How the hell should I know?" I considered them "I don't see the little dipper or nothing"
"Then you give them names"
"Okay" I watched them all for a few moments "The one way over there to the right, the tiny one you can barely see. That's Willow. Meek but strong. So small but still shining"
"Okay" she started on another letter this time a new word.
"The big bright one right over our heads...that's Giles. The big daddy of stars, watching over all the little flickering stars, and the little meek stars."
She giggled and outlined her letters.
"And the twinkling one? That's Buffy. All happy and playing" I smiled at the sky, thinking of the stars namesake.
"Buffy? That's an odd name for a star" she discarded another can pulling another from her pocket.
"Buffy's and odd star" I defended.
"Fair enough" she chuckled.
"And the one that's far far to the left" I pointed up, not knowing if she followed my gaze or not "The one that's shining bright? That's Anabel, she's a wishing star"
"Are you gonna make a wish?"
"Yeah, but not now, at midnight" I pulled my leather jacket closer to me as the breeze got cooler. But she didn't seem to feel it. The only evidence of it's movement on her was the rippling of her hair as it passed.
"I'll make my wish now. You can wait for the witching hour" she began to sway on her feet slightly, humming to herself.
After a few minutes I started naming the stars again. Her soft humming continuing in the background.
I kept my eyes on the sky, naming all 16 stars.
People I know, people I knew, people I lost.
In the end I was left with one star and no name for it.
And the hissing of the spray had stopped, but the humming hadn't.
"One star left. What should I call it?" I asked her, never taking my eye off the steady blinking little dot.
"I dunno, whatever touches your heart to call it" she said and resumed her humming, a slow sad song it seemed. Maybe a lullaby? They always sounded sad to me.
I considered the star for several minutes "Something precious. It seems kinda weak ya know. Like it's slowly dying. How about Arabella?"
She gasped and the humming stopped. "That's...it's perfect"
I stood from where I was leaned against the wall, something suddenly putting me on edge.
The light went out when I took measure of my surroundings, blind, I listened for the sound of movement. But nothing came, the only thing I heard was the wind.
I glanced up at the stars, taking note of them all in turn, counting them as if the wind would have carried them away.
There were only 15. Arabelle was gone.
The light flickered and came on strong, the alley and the street were awash with yellow light.
"Hey the star's..." I turned to look but the girl was gone. Somehow she'd moved soundlessly past me, vanishing into the dark "..gone"
But the grafitti wasn't.
There written on the wall, the paint still dripping in places was...
I stood in awe.
She had said she had a message for me. She'd told me to wait.
And she'd kept her word.
I was supposed to rest.
I don't know how long I ran, but I know where I ended up.
I was breathless and tired, on Buffy front porch, banging on the door.
She opened it with a smile that turned into a worried frown.
"Hey Faith you okay?" she took my face in her hands, looking into my eyes.
"I, yeah I'm okay"
"You're late for dinner, but Mom saved you a plate. We expected you before now" Buffy grabbed my hand and dragged me into the dining room.
Around the table sat Giles, Mrs. S, Willow, Xander and Cordelia.
"Faith honey are you okay? Sit down let me get your plate" Mrs. S forced me into the chair next to Buffy's and disappeared into the kitchen.
"Faith you look like you've been through hell. Did you run into a vamp?" Buffy tugged my jacket off.
I shivered and freed my hands from the sleeves.
"Nah, just a bit cooler than I'm used too" I lied and accepted the full plate her Mom sat in front of me.
The food was good and I helped myself to everything, and a few things off Buffy's plate.
After dinner we went into the living room.
They had a huge tree with lots of gifts underneath.
Somewhere near midnight Giles excused himself and went home.
Willow and Xander were staying the night.
Willow's parents weren't home, and Xander wished his parents weren't home, so they'd decided to spend the Holiday with the only true family they felt they had.
I tried to leave soon after Giles.
"Faith honey you can't leave. This is a time for family. We have the room, stay the night" Mrs. S help my arm when I tried to head to the door.
"Yeah Faith. Stay with us. You can sleep in my room" Buffy offered with a smile.
I concided. It was easier. And I really didn't want to be alone. The girl in the alley was no doubt alone, and I couldn't help being grateful that I wasn't her.
It was almost one when everyone went to bed. I found myself waiting for Buffy as she finished a few things in the kitchen. I leaned in the open doorway watching her as she stuck the last of her Mom's pie in the fridge.
"So Xander doesn't attack it" she giggles scrunching her nose.
She sauntered up to me, glancing gleefully above my head.
"Hey Faith. You're under the mistletoe!" She grabbed me and spun me around.
I looked up, I was indeed under it.
"I owe you a kiss" B leaned in and gave me a chaste kiss on the lips.
She pulled back and looked into my eyes as I in turn looked into hers. And for the first time I noticed something different.
Her eyes were warm, no speculation, no lies, just an honest caring warmth that seemed to engulf my body with just the touch of her gaze.
And I found myself leaning in, pressing my lips to hers, and the second chaste kiss changed to something more. Something I never thought I'd feel.
And when Buffy pulled away I thought I'd never feel it again.
And she took my hand.
Her room was cool and dark, the window slightly open letting in the cool night air.
The glow from the blue moon lighting the room enough that we could see, forcing the shadows to hide under the bed.
She slowly undressed me, running her fingers over my skin as she touched me in passion for the first time.
Drawing invisible words, or just feeling, learning what it was like to touch.
When we were both naked she pressed me down into the mattress, kissing from my lips to my ears, down my neck to my shoulders. Soft trailing kisses the evoked more emotion than passion.
"I want you to know... I just need you to know..." her voice trailed off as words failed her.
I didn't push her for. When the time came she'd tell, but all I cared about was now. For the first time since I can remember I felt loved.
Just from the feel on her body on top of mine, to the way she gently held my head when she kissed me. The way breath bathed me in warmth when she sighed into my hair.
"I wanna go slow. Can I go slow?" She asked staring into my eyes. I nodded mutely. Tonight I was her's for the taking.
She started at my breasts. Taking each nipple into her mouth in turn, nuzzling them, licking them, even nipping at them until they ached with her attentions. She slowly moved down my belly, her lips and fingers tracing each rib, following the flow of muscle beneath my skin.
Touching me so softly that it hurt.
She kissed my belly button and trailed her fingers down between my legs, her lips following scant inches behind.
When she tasted me for the first time I was afraid I'd come right then. The manipulation of my lips by her tongue had me arching off the bed. She wrapped her arms around my thighs and bore down as she sank between my folds, kissing me like a love.
Toying with me inside and out. Touching me in ways I can't begin to explain.
"Please" I begged her.
"I am" she said into me. I could feel the vibrations of her voice inside, and I came.
She tasted me until she drank me dry. Crawling up my body and finding me in tears. I hid my face in her neck and cried like I hadn't since I was a little girl.
"It's okay. Whatever it is it's okay. Just rest." she whispered.
And I did.
I lay in her arms for what seemed like hours. Staring out the window at nothing. Trying to focus on the sky but finding no stars to name.
"I'm sorry Buffy" I whispered.
"It's okay. I've never seen you cry before. I'll take that as a gift" she kissed my forehead.
"I can give you a better gift than that. Tears aren't worth anything" I argued. I couldn't look her in the eye, so I left my head on her shoulder, facing away from her as she held me in her arms.
"Tears are priceless, if given for a reason" She whispered. "Now sleep, there'll be enough to do when the sun rises"
"But what about you? I didn't touch you at all" I rubbed my nose into her skin. She smelled so good. Like Lavender and...well I dunno but it was nice.
"You can make it up to me" I could hear the smile in her voice.
My eys grew heavy and I stopped fighting the fatigue. As I started to drift off Buffy began tohum a eerily familiar song.
I dreamed of the alley.
Girl in all.
Only this time she wasn't wearing the blood stained sweatshirt. It was more like satiny pajamas, a goldish white.
She seemed out of place standing in the filth of the alley.
And there was no Graffitti.
Just me, her, and the damn street light. But it wasn't flickering.
"I take it you go the message" she smiled at me. Her eyes no longer sad.
"I guess I did if you say so" I considered her. How different she looked without the baggy clothes.
"There's an old indian legend" she paced around, moving through the alley but not picking up any of the grime on her pristine clothing "That when you name a star, it's a praying for the person you named it for"
"How did you know I knew them? That I named the stars after real people?" I leaned against the brick wall. It was smooth.
"The same way I knew your name is Faith, and that you're the slayer"
I just gave her a look.
"It's past midnight" she smirked at me.
"I didn't make my wish" it bothered me for some reason.
"That's okay. You made mine" she started humming again. The tune from the alley. The tune Buffy hummed as I fell asleep.
The alley began to fade, and she began to walk away.
As it grew hazy and I knew I was waking up she paused and turned back.
"Faith I want to thank you" she said softly.
"You helped me remember my name. I'd forgotten, because of him"
"Oh" I had no idea what she meant "What's your name?"
She smiled and gave a little wave
I woke up to Willow shaking me and Buffy, babbling something about it being late enough to open gifts.
Buffy gave me a special smile as she pulled on her robe and left the room with Willow.
I pulled on my clothes and thought long and hard about the night before.
The girl in the alley, the song, Buffy, the dream.
A knock came at the door, and Mrs. S stuck her head in.
"C'mon sweetie, can't keep the family waiting" Mrs. S smiled at me and held out her hand.
The opening of gifts is a hectic thing. I sat back and watched Buffy, Willow and Xander create a veritable tornado as they ripped paper and threw it everywhere. Unwrapping sweaters and hats, new outfits, and stuff animals, and in Willow's case a book or three.
I lounged on the couch with Buffy's Mom. Watching them with a smile as they compared gifts. Bragging and moaning over each, and promising to share.
"Aren't you gonna open your stuff Faith?" Willow asked as she swatted a piece of wrapping paper Xander was teasing her with.
"I got stuff?" I frowned. I hadn't really expected... Well I wasn't gonna pass it up.
I sat on the floor next to Buffy, and the piled 6 gifts up next to me.
I unwrapped my goodies far slower than they did, setting the paper aside and smirking in their direction. I only got rolled eyes in return. I uncovered a knife, a short sword, a diary, two pairs of leather pants, and a photo album.
I looked around at my friends, touched that they'd even include me in thier holiday, and said as much.
Giles showed up a few hours later, more gifts in tow. All of which were rapidly torn open. Weapons for Buffy, Krispy Kremes Gift Certificates for Xander, and of course, more books for Willow.
I watched from the couch with Mrs. S as they sorted their Christmas horde and arguing over her had the largest cache.
Before long Christmas movies were turned on and we all got comfortable. I found myself half leaning on Mrs. S as she absently stroked my hair, humming softly to herself.
Then I picked up the tune of her song and sat bolt upright.
"Faith? What's wrong honey? Did I pull your hair?"
"That song? What's it called?" I demanded as my heart began to beat faster.
"What song sweetie?" she asked obviously puzzled.
"That one you were just humming?" this was getting freaky.
"Um, Resting in Her Arms. It's a lullaby I used to sing to Buffy when she was a baby" she blinked several times "You don't like it?"
The Christmas Movie cut off : This is a 'Special Report' from Sunnydale Channel 2 News. The body of 17 yr old Arabelle DiNofrio was found this morning by a maid in her father's Sunnydale Mansion. Police say she was stabbed 16 times in the back and left to bleed to death. Sources say she may be the 15th victim of a Serial killer Police and the FBI have been searching for since mid April of last year...:
They flashed a picture of the girl for a moment and I stared into the face of the girl in the alley. The only subtle difference being her eyes were green in the photo, and I remembered them gray.
"I know that girl. I met her last night, before I came her. She was bleeding, but she was alive" I couldn't take my eyes off the screen though I couldn't hear anyting above the roaring in my ears.
"Faith the reporter said she'd died sometime before 4pm yesterday. How could you have met her last night? She was already dead. Maybe it was a girl that looked like her.." Willow frowned and glanced at Buffy then Giles.
"No. It's the same girl. Same name. She said she had a message for me. Told me to wish on a star" I stood up, becoming hysterical.
"She said she had a message for you?" Giles interrupted.
"Yeah. She spray painted it on the wall a block away from Willy's. I talked for her forever. Then the light went out and she disappeared. I came here..."
"Willow grab Caerdicci's Supernatural Encyclopedia" Giles pulled off his glasses and wiped his brow.
Willow scrambled past me and grabbed the largest of the book she'd received.
I sat back down next to Joyce and Buffy sat on my other side, wrapping her arms around me.
Giles flipped through the book muttering to himself before finding what he was looking for. He slapped his hand down on the page making us jump.
"You said she had you count stars?"
I nodded mutely.
"Did you notice anything else? A strange glow about anything?"
"The light kept flickering, and it was colder there than it was here" I thought hard.
"Anything else?" Giles ran his finger down the page "A blue glow?"
"There was a blue moon last night" Willow offered taking the pressure off of me.
"Yeah, and when all the lights came back up she was gone"
"She was what is called a Aegan. It's a departed spirit that cannot be released into the next life until it's told something it's forgotten"
"She said she'd forgotten her name. She dissapeared after I named the last star Arabella. She said that when you name a star after someone you know it's a prayer for them." I tried to recall the dream.
"Who did you name stars after?" Buffy asked rubbing my arm in support.
"After you guys. My old Watcher. My Mom. And some people I've met since I've been the slayer. 15 names in all. The last star I didn't have a name for..."
"And the name you gave it was her's" Giles finished for me.
"You said she left a message for you? Written on the wall. What was it?" Buffy asked turning my face her way as she looked at me with love in her eyes.
"It was Resting in Her Arms"
We sat around the table that evening, Giles pouring over books, Willow happily smirked at Buffy and Xander because her presents were useful.
"Well having such a signifigant blue glow would lead me to believe there's more than one Aegan. We might be dealing with all the victims." Giles sighed as we passed Cocoa around the table.
"You mean all the girls this killer murdered are ghosts like Arabella?" I frowned. It had to be a less happy existence then my was until this morning.
"Well that's the problem. Aegan's are only created when a powerful Witch or Mage is murdered." Giles cleaned his glasses again.
Much more and he'll clean a hole in the lenses.
"So we gotta find out about these other girls. If they're Witches or not" Willow said softly, her voice wavering.
I felt bad for her. She was turning out to be a pretty badass witch. And if this guy was preying on them...
"We don't know if this murderer is human or demon. Until we find that out, we cannot do anything" Giles actually sounded sad when he said that.
"I don't care what he is. As long as he's brought to justice" Joyce sounded upset and hugged me and Buffy close, as she reached out to touch Willow's shoulder.
"You have a point" Giles looked around the table at all of us "Are we going to do this?"
We all nodded silently.
Xander huffed and shook his head.