A Battle Lost
by Prophecy Girl & Jessicle
Notes: This fic is really far from canon. It's just something that's been rolling around in my head for awhile, and I had to get it out. I tried to explain the alternate timeline, so hopefully the story isn't a total miss. This is also the first time I've really written with someone else [Jessicle], which is not an easy task even when you're in love. So go easy on us, eh?
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Faith slept. Curled tightly around her pillow, her face turned slightly sideways into the mattress, with one hand resting on the curve of her stomach. She hadn't gotten much sleep lately. Buffy had been tossing and turning all night, every night since they brought her back from the dead.
Since they ripped her out of heaven.
Since she'd slept with Spike.
Faith dreamed. She dreamed of happier times. Of being in love, feeling young. A time when Buffy held her hand tight as they waited for the pregnancy test results, and held her when she cried, and they decided that, mistake or no, they could handle it.
They were supposed to handle it together, they were supposed to do everything together. And when Buffy had jumped, Faith felt like she took every hope and dream she'd ever had to the grave with her. Nothing would be okay again without her.
So when Willow started talking about the spell, Faith listened. Damn the consequences, she needed Buffy. She needed her like air, like water. She was almost six months pregnant when they brought her back. She was almost seven months pregnant when Buffy told her she'd slept with Spike.
Faith told herself that Spike manipulated her, that he acted like her friend, that Buffy felt betrayed by the others--Faith included--and had nowhere to turn to. She was slightly drunk, and she felt like she owed him, and she gave in.
Faith told herself that it wasn't because she hadn't been in the mood for months. Wasn't because she was fat and cranky and sex was the furthest thing on her mind. Wasn't because Buffy didn't find her attractive anymore, or didn't love her anymore.
Faith told herself that the First was nothing, just smoke and mirrors, and they wouldn't all be dead within a few months. But even in her sleep, she knew she was lying.
Slowly, Faith woke up, yawning and stretching her arms, thankful that for once she didn't have a charley horse. She carefully rolled onto her back, the baby releasing his hold on her bladder, and sighed, glancing at Buffy next to her.
Buffy lay on her side facing her, her blouse unbuttoned and running her nails lightly over her chest. She looked into Faith's eyes and slid her hand down over her stomach and under the waist of her jeans, moaning softly.
Faith felt her insides jump, and she stuttered a little when she spoke, her voice catching in her throat. "Uh.. I can.. if you want some.. yunno. Privacy."
Buffy stilled her hand, frowning a little. "You don't want to watch?"
Faith opened her mouth, then closed it again, taking a breath. "Do.. do you want me to? Watch?"
"Eh," Buffy sat up and began buttoning her shirt. "You'll have to go into the bathroom to catch that show."
Faith furrowed her brows, confused. "The bathroom?"
"Yeah," Buffy smirked, an evil un-Buffy-like smirk. "Your girl's in the shower right now, getting all dirty."
And then it dawned on Faith who--or rather what--she was really dealing with. She hardened her expression and set her jaw. "You're supposed to be this powerful, ultimate evil, and your biggest concern is that my girlfriend is taking care of business in the shower?"
The thing wearing Buffy's face propped itself up on one elbow and raised an eyebrow, an expression that unnerved Faith because she'd seen the real Buffy wear it so often. "Maybe I'm mistaken, but.. aren't you supposed to be taking care of her business?" She glanced down at her chest, then looked back up with a wicked grin. "I mean, she's got some pretty nice business. So what's she doing in there taking care of it herself?"
Faith shuddered and angrily pulled herself out of the bed, grabbing her robe and tying it as tight around her protruding stomach as she could. "What do you know about anything?"
"I'm the big bad spirit. I know everything." First/Buffy sat up, shrugging and still grinning wickedly.
"I didn't know utlimate evil cared about my sex life," Faith snapped, backing up further.
"Lack of, for the record," it said, standing as well and moving a little closer to her. "I'm afraid I'm here for something a little more important than that." It patted the bed. "You might want to sit down for this." Faith defiantly crossed her arms, and didn't move. "Okay, don't say I didn't offer it. Those pregnancy hormones are really turning you into a bitch on top of everything else. But since I feel so bad for you, I'll spit it out."
Faith shifted impatiently, just wanting the thing to leave, but it continued talking, slowly running its fingertips over the dresser, Buffy's brush, pictures of them together. "See, I paid your girlfriend a little visit. A visit I know she hasn't told you about yet. And the way I work? I know your brains; I come to you in the form of the person I know ruffles your feathers more than anyone else. So here I am wearing your true love's face." She whispered, and her breath smelled like Buffy's toothpaste. "Guess whose face I was wearing when we had our little chat?"
Faith paled, and felt sick to her stomach. She knew, and worse, the First knew she did.
"You're lying," she whispered.
"'Fraid not," it said, Buffy's voice sounding childish and amused. "Not only did he take her body from you, but now he's got her brain, too. What does that leave you with?"
"Fuck you," Faith whispered, the world falling away from her slowly.
First/Buffy put its hands on Buffy's hips petulantly. "Don't get nasty. It's not my fault she needs somebody who fucks and not somebody who makes love. Or whatever it is you two used to do."
The remark stung, and Faith turned her back, unable to look at the thing wearing her lover's face any longer.
"What's going to happen when she gets tired of playing house? She was six feet under and clawed her way through her own coffin. She can only go on pretending she's a housepet for so long. She's seen the other side, Faith. She's got the darkness inside her and this life is suffocating the hell out of her. That girl in there is not the same person you used to know."
It came up and lingered behind Faith, and she felt its breath on her neck. It sent chills down her spine, and she closed her eyes briefly as it whispered. "You'd better change your ways and show your old face or she's gonna walk. Trust me. It's only a matter of time."
"She loves me," Faith said weakly.
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't she fall for you when you were coming down from your murdering spree?"
Faith whirled on the thing. "Right! Down! She could never be with someone evil!"
The thing grinned at her. "Spike might say otherwise."
"That was a mistake!"
"That was her, showing her true colors. Showing what she really wanted. Someone bad. If you want my opinion, Faithy, pop that kid out and start showing her your true colors again. Show her the Faith she needs."
Faith looked out the window, trying to swallow the tears that wanted so badly to escape her eyes.
The thing leaned close, giving her a genuine Buffy smile, and whispered. "Just between you and me.. I think you're kind of itching to anyway."
The bathroom door opened and the thing vanished into thin air as the real Buffy walked out in a robe, towel-drying her hair.
"Who were you talking to?" she asked, studying Faith. Faith bit her lip, and sighed shakily, turning and forcing a light smile.