I posted this unbeta'd fic on my own journal back in December and I didn’t quite like the way it turned out so I made some changes. I figured I'd see just how much life this community has left in it!
Pairings: Angel/Faith, Faith/Angelus
Summary: Christmas is fast approaching and Faith is getting antsy. Not sure why, she heads west in search of something. And the something turns out to be Angel.
Faith stood staring the Wolfram and Hart building for hours. She wasn’t quite sure what the appeal was, or what had drawn her to it, but this is where she hand ended up leaving snow-laden Cleveland far behind.
Spike had said that the building had been rebuilt quickly after it had been destroyed. Maybe Faith needed to see it with her own eyes. The shock of not knowing where Angel was didn’t help much either. They all pretty much figured he had to be dust by now. If he was still around he would’ve contacted somebody, right? Spike hadn’t even known what had happened to Angel. They got separated after some dragon swooped down on them and that had been it. No more Angel.
“Faith,” whispered a disembodied voice before it was carried away on the wind.
“I’m outta here,” she said aloud, not caring that people were looking at her like she had just lost her mind.
She hadn’t expected that anything would be left of the Hyperion, but there it stood in all its abandoned, crumbling glory. The longer her money lasted, the longer Faith could stay away from Cleveland. And let’s face it, she had stayed in places that were a lot worse than the abandoned hotel.
She got there just as the sun was setting. A little daytime recon suited her just fine. Electricity she could do without, it was the water she was worried about. If the Hyperion had water, she could make it her home away from… Well, wherever.
She pushed open the squeaky front door and it sounded like a really pissed off mouse. Dropping her bag, she figured she’d start at the bottom and work her way up.
Last time she had been at the hotel was when Wesley had come to get her. Come to think of it, that was the last time she had seen Angel, too. There was so much she had to thank both of them for, and now she’d never have the chance.
She was beginning to remember why she liked being alone. Why she liked having no ties to anyone. It was just too hard and a royal pain in the ass. She hadn’t pushed her feelings away all those years for nothing.
She was starting to feel a little hungry so she scoped out the kitchen. If it wasn’t in a can, it was useless. The refrigerator’s contents looked like they had taken on a life of their own, which was always a possibility, but that didn’t matter to her. There was no electricity, so no need for the hunk of metal and plastic.
After sorting through the dry and canned food that was left behind, including a twelve pack of beer that was long past its born on date, she had a nice little stack of food that would get her through. The water worked and so did the gas. A girl could go a long way on canned food and water.
Once she had made sure that she didn’t have any unwanted visitors, and noting all the dust and cobwebs everywhere, she realized that no one or nothing had been in the building for a very long time. She grabbed her bag and headed up the stairs.
She took Angel’s room. It was the neatest and most furnished of the bunch. She suspected, by the looks of it, that he had come back to the Hyperion once in a while. He had never let the old hotel go, and from the looks of it he had never planned to.
She cleaned up the room the best she could, the cobwebs and dust being the biggest obstacle. But after a lot of dusting, and shaking the blankets and pillows with everything she had, the room almost seemed livable.
She plopped down on the bed, laced her fingers behind her head, and stared at the ceiling. The same ceiling Angel had stared at. What did he think about when he was laying there? And as she wondered, her eyes grew heavy and she drifted off to sleep.
“Hey,” Faith said.
“You came,” Angel said.
“Uh… I’m here,” she said. “Although I’m not quite sure as to the why.”
“You’re dreaming you know.”
“I kinda got that.” She smiled. “Why am I here?”
“You needed someplace to stay.”
“Not what I meant and you know it.” Her voice took on the echo-quality only a dream could.
“We’re connected, Faith. Only you can help me.”
Before she could ask him what in the hell he was talking about, he faded from sight.
She struggled to wake up. The cobwebs that were in the room had taken root in her mind. Back in the bad-ole-days, she would’ve chocked her dream up to being nothing important, but she knew better nowadays. Angel was alive, he needed for her to find him, and he needed her help.
Too bad she didn’t have any idea where to start. Well, until she sat up and saw Angel standing at the foot of her bed.
“How come I can see through you?” she asked, jumping up and waving her hand through the air that was occupied by the Angel space.
“I’m not really here,” he said.
“But I can see you and I’m talking to you. I know I’m not dreaming anymore,” she said. “Are you a ghost? A vampire ghost?” She crossed her arms over her chest. “No such thing.”
“I’m kinda in between right now.”
“In between what?”
“This world,” he said as he looked around the room. “And another.”
“How can I help with that?” she asked.
He disappeared, and then reappeared along side her. Pursing his lips, he blew on her neck and a sudden chill erupted and ran down her spine.
“We’re connected,” he said.
“You keep saying that,” she said, shaking her head, trying to get the chill to go away.
“That,” he said, blowing on her neck again, where the scar of his bite resided, creating an even bigger chill. “And
“Okay?” Faith got was he was saying, the connected thing, but she still didn’t know what she was supposed to do about it.
“So we’re connected. I still can’t see how I can help you. I don’t even know where you’re at.”
“Lorne? The green dude?”
“I’m kind of where I was,” he said, glancing over his shoulder. “Find Lorne. Demon karaoke club. Caritas the second. Downtown L.A. I gotta go.
“Why? Where you going?”
“Angelus is coming and he’s a pain in the ass,” he said and then disappeared from sight.
After scarfing down a two year old can of cheese ravioli, Faith geared up to go out. As she strapped a stake to her ankle, she was trying to figure out how in the hell Angel went from fighting a fucking dragon, to being in land-oh-limbo with Angelus lurking in the shadows. Did that mean his physical body was someplace else? That’s how Orpheus had worked the last time. It was a mind-fuck, nothing else.
And now she had to find a demon club in downtown L.A. How in the hell was she supposed to do that? Not like she could look it up in the yellow pages.
She had to find Lorne. And if she did find him, how was he going to help? Wesley had gotten the drug in the first place. Lorne had just bitched him out about it. Yeah, Fred had shared that little tidbit with Faith once Faith had begun to feel better. And if it hadn’t been for helping Angel, she might’ve actually thanked the green guy for his concern.
Using her Slayer sense for all it was worth, Faith headed out into the chilly California night. It didn’t take her long to find the downtown nightlife that wasn’t exactly human oriented.
One street held nothing but demon bars and clubs. They weren’t exactly hard to miss. Not like they melted into the background.
She checked each door as she walked by, and as she was about to go to the last one on the street she felt a cool featherlike touch over her neck again. The chill shot out to even more places on her body this time, and the outcome wasn’t all that unpleasant.
“Angel…” her voice trailed off. She didn’t know how, but she knew it wasn’t Angel this time.
“Faith! How good it is to see you.”
Heaving a sigh, ignored him and kept walking toward the next building in line. Angelus followed, calling her name out from behind her. “Taking me someplace private? I like it.”
She stopped walking and spun on her heels to face the ghostly image of Angelus. “You two taking turns?”
“I don’t like taking turns,” he said, running a ghostlike finger down her cheek. “And I don’t share.”
She couldn’t feel his finger exactly, but her body reacted like it would have if he had actually touched her.
“Neither do I.”
“Once Wesley was out of the way I figured I could have you to myself, but…”
“But nothing. Not going to happen.” She pushed her hand through the space that would’ve occupied his face had he been corporeal. “Especially like this.” She wasn’t sure why he couldn’t feel her presence, but she could feel his.
“He wants you to come in here and play.”
“I doubt it, but don’t forget if he dies, you die. Or did you forget that?”
Angelus laughed. “I didn’t forget that. This is my second chance to set things right. I’ll make sure to take care of him in good time,” he said as he pointed to his head. “And by the time you find us in here, it’ll only be me left. Then I can have all the fun I want to have. You, my dearest Faith, would be number one on my list of fun.” His hand trailed over her breast and it reacted instantly, her nipple feeling tight against the soft fabric.
“Not going to happen,” she said.
“That’s what I love about you, Faith. Your lips say one thing,” his finger grazed over her nipple again, “and your body says something entirely different.”
“Son of a bitch.”
“Sorry, sweetness. Can’t do it.”
Angelus had distracted Faith just as she was about to go into Lorne’s club. She should’ve expected as much.
“Can’t or won’t?” Faith asked. She had thought that once she had explained the problem he would’ve helped no questions asked.
“Last time I saw Angel I told him I was out and I meant it. This is what I do now,” he said, as something flashed across his bright green face.
“I’m trying to help Angel.”
“That’s your choice, sugarplum,” he said. “This is mine.” He indicated the packed club, the lights, demons, music, and free-flowing drinks that surrounded them. “I lost this once and I’m not going to chance it again.”
Faith couldn’t blame him for not wanting to chance it all, but this was Angel they were talking about.
“I don’t know what your issues with Angel are, and I don’t give a flying fuck.” She leaned closer to him over the table. When Lorne tried to back up, she grabbed him by the collar. “I don’t know where you’ll get it, but you’ll get it.”
“It’s not safe and I don’t allow it in my club. Or violence,” he said. “There’s a protection spell.”
“I don’t recall asking. I’m staying at the Hyperion. Bring it to me there when you find it.” She let go of his collar. At least she didn’t get knocked on her ass for hurting the guy.
The expression getting more bees with honey than vinegar never crossed her mind.
Faith wasn’t sure how long she had waited before Lorne had shown up. As he handed a black case to her he said, “You might not come back this time.”
“Chance I’m willing to take,” she said, taking it out of his hand. Faith opened the case and saw a syringe and a vile filed with a dark green liquid. It was as she remembered.
“There was a time I would’ve done anything for him,” Lorne said.
“I still would.”
“Even if it costs you your life?”
Faith thought long and hard on that question before she answered. “If it wasn’t for Angel, I wouldn’t have a life.”
“There’s more to life than just living you know.” He heaved a sigh. “But it’s up to you, sunshine.”
“What happened with you two?” She suspected it had to be big for Lorne to be in the anti-Angel camp.
His eyes didn’t meet hers for the first time. “Some hurts run too deep.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“Wounds don’t need to be physical to cause pain and they can be just as tough to heal,” he said.
Who was she to argue?
She was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the bed. The thought of doing whatever it took to help Angel didn’t bother her. The thought of shooting this shit up with no one around did, but there was no way she was going to let Lorne hang out. The guy was wigging her out by going on about friendship and loyalty and all that shit Faith could care less about.
Not two days ago she was wondering where she’d end up once she had left Cleveland, and now she was about to shoot up some shit that could kill her. Funny how fast shit changes.
Once the syringe was filled, and all the air bubbles were gone, Faith rolled up her sleeve. After closing her eyes, and taking a deep breath, she pushed the needle through her skin, into her vein, and pressed down on the plunger. She might’ve done a lot of shit when she was younger, but shooting up wasn’t one of them. She was and never would be a fan of needles.
It didn’t take long for the drug to start working. She had used more this time than she had the last since she was healthy, she figured she’d be stronger and would be able to handle it. And when the room began to spin a little bit and her vision started getting a little fuzzy around the edges, she tossed the used syringe to the floor and leaned back on the bed. If she was going to die, she might as well be comfortable.
When she opened her eyes, she wasn’t sure exactly where she was at first. But when her vision got used to the dim light it wasn’t hard to figure it out.
“Why here?” she asked. She wasn’t sure if it was Angel or Angelus standing next to her, but she guessed it really didn’t matter.
“I’m not sure. Lorne helped you?” Angel asked, sounding surprised.
“He wasn’t exactly thrilled with the idea,” she said.
“I could see that.”
She and Angel were standing in the middle of a snow-covered field. Faith wasn’t wearing a jacket, but she didn’t feel the cold.
“Why snow?” she asked. “It’s almost Christmas. I guess that could explain it.” A flash of something crossed his face. “What?”
“Nothing. Not important. Not anymore anyway.”
“What do we do now?”
“Find Angelus and finish him once and for all.”
“I thought we did that the last time?”
“Apparently it didn’t stick,” he said, sharply.
“Don’t snap at me!”
“I’m not snapping!” he snapped.
“Could’ve fooled me,” she said under her breath as she turned away.
“Sorry,” he said. “Little stressed.”
Look at that, vampire hearing even worked in limbo. “Just a little? How long have you been here?”
“I don’t know. Since the battle I’d guess.”
“That’s a while. Spike showed up in-”
“Spike? He’s alive?”
“Yeah, in his undead kind of way. He’s in Cleveland with B.”
“This is his fault.”
“How is it his fault?”
Angel glared at her, and then heaved an unnecessary sigh. “Give me time. I’ll figure out a reason.”
“So when does the walk down memory lane start?” she asked.
“I don’t think it’ll be the same this time,” he said.
“So he’s not a dumb as he looks,” Angelus said, coming up and standing next to Faith. She was now sandwiched in between the two of them.
“We look alike you idiot,” Angel said.
Neither Angel nor Angelus was incorporeal. They were as real as Faith.
“So are you two supposed to battle to the death now or something? ‘Cause if that’s the case, I’ll be more than happy to help Angel kick your ass,” she said.
“It doesn’t work that way this time, Faith,” Angelus said.
“This time it’s entirely up to you who gets out and who stays.”
“Okay. You stay, we’re leaving.”
Angelus laughed. “If only it were that simple.
She should have known it wouldn’t be easy. Nothing was ever easy when it came to her.
“What do I do?” she asked.
Angelus mocked wiping a tear away from his eye. “You have to care, Faith.”
“What in the hell are you talking about?” she asked.
“He’s right,” Angel said. “We were set up. I found out too late. You were already on your way.”
“Okay, I’ll rephrase my question. What in the hell are you two talking about?”
“Can I tell her?” Angelus asked. “I want to tell her.”
“It’s a mystical barrier,” Angel said.
“Just ruin it like you ruin everything else,” Angelus said.
“We’re stuck here unless you can get us out,” Angel said.
“But I’m not really here,” Faith said. “I’m lying in a dusty bed at the Hyperion.”
“No, you’re not,” Angel said. “You’re really here. Don’t ask me how it happened, I don’t know.”
“You have twelve hours, Faithy. You have a half a day to figure it out and fix it. If you don’t…” Angelus said.
“You and he go and I stay,” Angel said. “I’m sorry.”
“So your body’s not somewhere just waiting for the souled-you to jump back into it?” Faith asked Angel.
“No. This is it.”
“Shit,” Faith said.
“Hurry, Faith. The clock’s ticking,” Angelus said, making a ticking sound.
Faith hated being pressured. Pressure pissed her off. If she was pissed off you might as well kiss her ass, because she wasn’t going to do anything for you. And now she had less than twelve hours to figure out what in the hell they were doing there and what in the hell she had to do to get her and Angel out.
She had to care. What the fuck did that mean? Care about what?
“This sucks,” she said.
They were no longer in the snowy field, Angelus had somehow moved them all back to Angel’s mansion that used to be in Sunnydale.
“How can I do it if I don’t know what it is?” she asked.
“Who do you care about besides yourself, Faith?” Angelus asked.
He was leaning against the fireplace, and if there was a way to wipe that cocky grin off his face Faith would’ve done it an hour ago.
“See,” Angelus continued, “I care about no one but me. Hell, I admit it. Angel over there cares about everybody and boy, I can tell you that does get old. But the real question is, who do you care about, Faith?”
“You can’t compare me to either of you,” she said. “I’m not like either of you.”
“Ding! Ding! Ding! We don’t have a winner, folks,” Angelus said. “You’re never going to get out of here if you think like that.”
“What is the hell are you even saying?” She turned to Angel. “How come he knows more of what’s going on than you do?”
“He doesn’t,” Angel said. “I know.”
“Then why aren’t you saying anything?” she asked.
“Because he’s afraid to,” Angelus said. “He knows what you have to do, but soul-boy doesn’t want to tell you, let alone have you do what it is. And if you don’t…”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” she said, bolting out of the high-back chair she was sitting in. “Will one of you just tell me what in the hell I’m supposed to do so I can do it and get the hell out of here!”
“You have to care, Faith. You have to tell Angel how you feel about him.” In a flash Angelus was in front of Faith, his voice taking on the evil quality that defined him. “You have to tell him exactly how you feel about him. If you lie just a little bit you’re mine.” He pressed his lips to hers roughly, pushing his tongue into her mouth, and before Faith could react, he had pushed her back onto the chair.
“Keep your hands off her,” Angel said.
“Think you can do it, Faith?” Angelus asked, and then ran his tongue over his lips. “Yummy.”
“Angel?” She got out of the chair again and walked over to where he was standing.
“You have to open up your heart, Faith,” Angel said.
“You’re kidding me,” she said.
“I don’t think she knows how,” Angelus said. “Guess that makes her mine.” He walked up and stood next to Faith, snaking his arm around her waist. “You can fight a little bit a first. I like that, but not too much. I don’t want you to wear yourself out.”
“When did this become about me?” she asked.
Angel shook his head. “I don’t know.”
As her and Angel looked at each other, Faith almost let the fact that Angelus was grabbing her ass slide. At the last minute she changed her mind. Grabbing his hand, she twisted his arm behind his back. “Will you back the fuck off for a minute?”
He growled and his face changed, showing his demon side. Once he wretched his arm free he said, “You got a minute.”
Okay, she was pretty much screwed, but in the scheme of things how hard could it be? It wouldn’t take her long, and they could be out of there. Five minutes tops.
“I won’t do it in front of him,” Faith said. “If that’s what I need to do to get us out, Angel, I’ll try. But I’ll be damned if I do it in front of him.”
“I know what he knows,” Angelus said. “Even if I’m not there, I’ll still know.”
Faith glared at him. “I don’t care. Do you get that? I don’t want to look at you.”
“Come on,” Angel said, grabbing her hand.
Faith and Angel were now alone, Angelus was nowhere in sight. Angel had taken them back to the Hyperion and they were standing in the bedroom. It looked dimmer than it had when Faith had been there earlier, but there were no lights to turn on.
“That’s how this is supposed to work?” she asked. “Just tell you how I feel about you and we can go back?”
“Yeah. Pretty much.”
“How will we know when it’s worked?”
“We go back.”
“And if it doesn’t?”
“How much time do we have?”
“I don’t know.”
“But no pressure or anything.” She sat on the edge of the bed. “I don’t even know where to start.”
Angel sat down next to her. “Neither do I. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not exactly an open book either.”
“Maybe I’m dead. The Orpheus killed me and I’m in hell,” she said, falling back onto the bed.
Angel leaned down next to her. “I’ve been to hell, Faith, and this ain’t it.”
“Good to know.” She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye and then turned away. “If I do this, I can’t look at you.”
“I don’t think that matters.”
“You saved my life,” she said suddenly, trying not to feel embarrassed.
“It was worth saving.”
She looked at him again. “Do you need to talk too or is it just me?”
“I think it’s just you.”
“Good, then shut the fuck up so I can get through this.” She stood up and started pacing around the room, wishing for the first time in over six months that she had a cigarette.
“No body had really ever given a shit about me before you did. You were the first. You could’ve killed me, and you should’ve after what I did to Wesley, but you wouldn’t even though I begged for it,” she said. “I never forgot that and I never will.”
The room appeared a little lighter.
“What just happened?” Faith asked.
“I think you’re doing the right thing,” Angel said. “Keep talking.”
Faith searched her mind for something else to say. That was what she always regretted not being able to tell him, but in whatever demented dimension they were in, it wasn’t enough.
Only one other thing jumped into her head. She figured it was over and done with, but now she wasn’t so sure.
“I was jealous of you and B,” she admitted. “Even watching all the pain you two were going through. I was jealous. How sick is that?”
“I don’t think it was sick, Faith.”
“When you played me…” She stopped, heaving a big sigh. This was a lot tougher than she thought it would be. “It actually hurt my feelings and you faking it, the kiss, everything. I kinda thought …”
“Nothing could touch you,” Angel said, finishing for her.
She shrugged. “I had feelings, but I didn’t feel ‘em. Not sure that makes sense.”
“Anyway, part of me knew I was being played, and when you kissed me… I wanted it to be real. I wanted you,” she said. “Not just because Buffy had you, it went beyond that, but because I wanted you. Have you seen yourself lately?”
He smiled and she was tired of pacing, so she sat back down on the bed next to him. “That about did it for me.” She glanced around the room. “How come the room isn’t any lighter?”
“Maybe because you’re not done.”
“I am. That’s the truth. How I used to feel – care - about you and how I feel now. I got nothing else to say.”
Angel looked thoughtful for a moment and then said, “Let me try.” His brown eyes rested on hers, the intensity made her nervous, but she didn’t turn away. “I didn’t fake the kiss.”
Faith’s lips tingled at the memory. “You didn’t?”
“You’re shitting me!” The way he shifted next to her, pretty much told her that he wasn’t shitting her.
The room got a little lighter.
“Looks like we both get to play. What now?” she asked.
He shook his head. “I don’t know.”
“This shouldn’t be that hard. We’re not stupid. What do people care about? What makes them feel something?”
“Pain,” he said.
“Pleasure,” she added.
“Lust. We’re never getting out of here. We are so screwed,” she said.
“Hit me,” Angel said.
“Hit me,” he said.
“What? You’re crazy.”
“There are different ways to feel.”
“Angelus didn’t say nothing about feeling in that way. He said care. I had to tell you how I felt. That I cared. I did. We should be done now,” she said.
“Since when does he give it to you straight? I think there’s more to it than that,” Angel said.
She was frustrated and getting to the point where she’d try anything. “Fine. Stand up.” Once he had stood she couldn’t do it. “I can’t do it.”
“Give it everything you got, Faith. I can take it.”
“Just do it.”
Clenching her fist, she pulled back, gave it everything she had, and punched him in the stomach. He stumbled back, but didn’t lose his balance.
“It was just a thought,” Angel said.
She wondered. “Hit me,” she said.
“Stop being a baby and hit me. We won’t know until we try.”
“Turnabout and all that shit.”
“Are you sure?”
She rolled her eyes. “I’m not sure about nothing. Just fucking hit me.”
The words were barely out of her mouth when his fist made contact with her stomach. Her breath caught in her throat, and she hunched over holding her stomach.
“Are you okay,” he asked, tilting her chin up with his hand.
She arched a brow at him. “Are you sure you’re not Angelus?”
“Trust me. You’d know if I were him.”
“Okay, that hurt.
“Look around,” he said.
Once she had gotten over the initial shock of having a cement fist in lodge her gust, she looked around. “It’s lighter.” Standing up straight she said, “Okay. What’s next?”
“Pain, pleasure, love, and lust.”
“We got the pain out of the way, and we could be here for days and I’m telling you, that love thing ain’t happening. I’m just saying,” she said.
By the look on his face, Faith knew that they both had come to the same conclusion at the same time.
“I can’t fuck you,” she said. “I’m not saying I don’t want to and you’re beyond fuck-worthy.”
Looking a little embarrassed he said, “Thanks. I think.”
“Can’t you just hit me again?”
“I don’t think it’ll work the second time.”
Stalking toward the bed, she sat down on it hard. “We are so going to do it aren’t we?” She put up her hand to stop him from talking. “Don’t answer that.”
She shook her head, trying to clear her thoughts. It was sex pure and simple. Yeah, so it was with Angel, and he was hot and it’s not like she hadn’t thought about it about a million and one times, but still. It was Angel for God’s sake.
“How do you want to do this?” she asked.
“I figured you knew how,” he said, with a quirky little smile that made her laugh for the first time since she had gotten back to L.A.
“Kinda got the expert label, huh?”
“I’m not half bad myself… Um, when I actually do it,” he said.
“Hold up,” she said, bolting off the bed. “What about that soul thing? I don’t want to be stuck with two soulless-yous down here.”
“My guess… not an issue.”
“Doesn’t make much sense, but then again what does in this shit hole?” she said.
Fucking wasn’t something she talked about, it was something she did. If that was true, why was she just sitting there not doing anything?
“Come here,” Angel said.
She looked at him out of the corner of her eye. Maybe she was taking too long. Standing up and walking over to him she said, “Yeah, I know. Clock’s ticking.”
He placed the palm of his hands on her cheeks. “We’ll be fine as long as we don’t make it bigger than it is.”
Where was her hesitation coming from? Oh, yeah. That was an easy question to answer: It was Angel.
“I don’t think I can do this,” she said, feeling stupid and virginal and did she mention stupid?
“Cause it’s you.” She pulled away and sat back down on the bed.
Sitting down next to her he said, “And why does that make a difference?”
Why did it make a difference? Shit, because he was her best friend and she didn’t fuck her best friend. Not that she really had any best friends to fuck with in her shitty life. Why didn’t she see that right away? Angel was her first true friend.
“Because she looves you,” Angelus said, materializing out of nowhere. “She can’t fuck someone she loves, Angel. That’s not what makes our Faith tick.”
Faith flew off the bed and punched Angelus in the face. “I thought I told you to get lost.”
“Faith?” Angel asked, ignoring her and Angelus.
“Yeah, he’s right. There’s too much,” she indicated the both of them, “between us. It’s not right.”
The room lightened up.
Shock wouldn’t describe how she felt at the sudden increase of light. “Okay…?”
“Pain, pleasure, love, and lust,” Angel repeated. “Love and pain…”
“No longer an issue,” Faith finished for him. It was acknowledged and now she wanted it dropped.
“Pleasure and lust,” Angelus said. “I can help with those.”
There was only one thing left for Faith to do. “Angel,” she said. “You need to go. Angelus and I have something we need to do.”
Angel shook his head. “No, Faith. You can’t.”
“It’s the only way. You and me can’t happen. I won’t let it.” She glanced over her shoulder. “Him on the other hand? Kind of what I’m used to.”
“Are you sure?” Angel asked.
“Oh yeah. Now warp yourself out of here, or whatever it is that you two do, so I can get this over with. The clock’s still ticking.”
Angel needed to go before she changed her mind. She wouldn’t admit it, but the lust was pretty much taken care of when it came to him. She could’ve pretty much eaten him on the spot, but she wasn’t willing to sacrifice their friendship for momentary pleasure.
Angel squeezed her hand once, and after a flash of indecision he was gone.
“Well,” Angelus said. “I never would’ve thought it’d work out this way. Good things do come to those who wait.”
She spun around and slammed him against the wall. “Do you need to talk?”
“That’s what makes it fun,” he said, pushing her hard. She got tangled up in her own feet and fell on the bed. Using his vampire speed to his advantage, he was now straddling her.
“Oh, this is going to be fun,” he said.
“Really, I mean it. Stop talking already,” she said as she moved her face toward his and kissed him hard on the lips.
“Let’s just get the done.”
His gaze roamed over her body from head to toe. “Where should I start?”
“If you would let my hands the fuck go, I could maybe help you,” she said.
“I don’t want you getting away,” he said.
“Dumb ass, its my idea that I’m here,” she said, yanking her hands free. She shimmied her body out from under his and then crawled over to the edge of the bed where he was now standing. “I know how to get this moving.”
She reached for the zipper on his jeans and yanked it down. The button was the next to go. In one swift motion, she pulled his boxers and pants down over his hips.
“Never figured you for a boxer guy. Angel? Yeah. You? Not so much,” she said.
“What are you going to do now?” he asked, grabbing her head in his large hands. “Oh, I think I know.”
“At this rate, I’ll be out of her in no time at all.”
Faith took his stiffening member into her hand.
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that, Faithy.”
Keeping her eyes trained on his, she took his dick into her mouth and started to suck, stopping occasionally to lick him from his balls to his already moisture-beaded tip.
“You’re good at that,” Angelus said, the words coming out more of a moan than anything else. “But then you’ve had lots of experience.”
Faith bit down just hard enough for it to count and wasn’t surprised that it only made him harder.
“Do it, Faith,” he said, going in and out of his demon visage. “Make me come.”
She alternated between her mouth, tongue, and hand, stroking, sucking, and licking until his hips began to buck. Grabbing his ass with her hands, she forced him all the way into her mouth, the tip of his penis slamming into the back of her throat. She didn’t gag. Faith never gagged. Maybe Angelus was right and it did come from her experience. He came hard and fast, and she kept swallowing until there wasn’t anything left.
She didn’t really think about what she had just done. She was on autopilot. Her body reacted automatically while her head went someplace else.
He ran his hands up and down her arms. “Like I said, I only care about myself.”
Planting his hands firmly on her hips, he spun her around, her back now to him. His fingers slithered down her side like a snake, and before she knew what had happened, he had literally ripped her pants and panties off and had tossed them to the floor.
“I’m kind of a back door man,” he said.
Faith took a deep breath. Not exactly what she had in mind, and not close to being one of her favorites, but it really shouldn’t come as a big surprise.
“Just do it,” she said, preparing for the white-hot flash of pain that was sure to come. She would never discount vampire stamina again.
“Oh, I’ll do it and you’ll cry, Faith. You’ll cry like the little girl that you are,” he said, his voice sending chills throughout her body and not in a good way.
His thumbs were now painfully digging into her hip bones and if Angelus was anything like she suspected he was, he’d force it into her when she was least expecting it.
His finger eased into her. “Tight. Just the way I like it.”
She tried to relax. It wouldn’t be as bad if she just relaxed. She took a deep breath and said, “Waiting.”
His hands gripped her hips even harder. She knew she was going to be bruised, but that was okay. She was a Slayer and she’d heal fast. The silence was quickly replaced by a sudden crash behind her.
“Get the fuck out,” Angel roared. “This isn’t happening.”
Half-naked and curious as hell, Faith turned around and saw
Angelus splayed out on the floor. The fury in Angel’s eyes could’ve dusted the vampire on the spot.
“It was her idea you dumb fuck,” Angelus said, scrambling back to his feet.
“Where exactly is the pleasure in that?” Angel said. “Her pleasure, not yours.”
“Her. Idea,” Angelus countered.
“Get out,” Faith said.
“But…” Angelus began.
“But nothing. Get out.”
“Are you okay?” Angel asked, walking over to her. “I couldn’t…”
“Thanks, but I could’ve handled it.” And she could’ve. It might’ve taken her a little longer to bounce back, but she would’ve.
Angel handed her a blanket from the bed. She quickly wrapped it around her waist.
When Faith met his intensity-filled eyes, it didn’t make her feel uncomfortable like it usually did.
“We’re running out of time,” she said.
She dropped the blanket to the floor. “You know what they say… No time like the present and all that happy shit.”
He nodded his head and then pulled her to him. Their lips touched tentatively at first. As the kiss deepened, their bodies molded more closely to each other.
The events of the day had taken their toll and Faith couldn't do much of anything except react. His hands and mouth were all over her. Where one trailed off, the other one picked up the abandoned trail.
His lips toyed with her lips, his tongue teased her tongue, and his hands cupped her ass and pulled her closer to him. Close enough that she could feel his hardness pressing up against her. He didn't stop there. His kissing and teasing never lingered in one place long, but long enough to make her shudder. She moaned as he trailed his tongue down her neck and across her shoulder. He continued down, pushing her back against the wall, teasing each nipple briefly with his tongue, not favoring one over the other. He didn't stop there, but continued down her stomach, circling her bellybutton with his tongue.
Her breath caught in her throat. He was now on his knees and spreading her legs open. She didn’t put up any resistance as he placed one of her legs on his shoulder.
His tongue immediately found her essence, and it took all of her strength not to collapse to the floor as he teased her with his tongue and fingers, her legs growing weak.
"Fuck…" she said, breathlessly as Angel brought her to a body-shaking release.
“We haven't actually fucked yet," he said.
She slowly moved him toward the bed, pulling his shirt off over his head. She undid his pants and slid them off, his boxers tossed aside after that. Both of them still standing, she began feathering kisses along his neck, his ears and his face. Reaching out, hands on his chest, she pushed him back, and then sat on top of him. She leaned forward, keeping her nipples just out of reach of his mouth. Every time he tried to snare one, she'd raise herself up just far enough so he'd miss.
When she had leaned forward to tease him once more by running her tongue down his neck, she was too slow and he was ready for her, flicking his tongue out quickly, he licked one of hers and pulled it into his mouth.
She couldn’t control the reaction her body was having, so she pushed herself up to her knees. Positioning herself over him, she began to slowly lower herself. She stopped when she barely brushed against him.
"Faith…” Angel moaned.
Breathing even harder, Faith lowered herself a little further, his tip just inside her. He wasn’t close to being small and on some multidimensional level he was bigger than Angelus.
"You’re huge," she said as she eased herself down a little more, still not taking all of him into her. She knew that all he had to do was push his hips up once, and it would be over, he would be completely inside her, but he restrained himself.
She slid all the way down. “Fuck." She began moving up and down, slowly, her fingers splayed across his hard stomach muscles.
He matched her speed at first, and then he started thrusting faster. His mouth found one of her erect nipples and his hands grabbed her hips. He lifted her up and slammed her back down.
Sitting up, Angel buried his face in Faith’s chest. He held her tightly, thrusting even harder than he had before. She was on the verge and she knew it wouldn’t be much longer before everything spilled over into another release.
Before she could say or do anything else, he had lifted her and moved out from beneath her. He took her by the waist, and turned her slowly around on her knees, facing away from him.
“I’m not Angelus,” he said as he moved up close behind her. Faith felt his hardness before she felt the rest of him. Bending over slightly, all she wanted was to have him back inside her again, her insides craving him. As she felt him sliding in, she moved back, taking him in once more, no more teasing. She was too close and she didn’t think she could take one more second.
Angel’s hands came from behind her. One finger fluttered over an already erect nipple. The connection sent a sudden jolt through her already over-sensitive body and before she could recover from that, his other hand found its way between her legs, his fingers squeezing, teasing and rubbing the most sensitive part of her. All his motions were perfectly synced and she wasn’t sure how much more she could take.
As he slid in and out, the tempo began to change. Whenever her gently squeezed her nipple, she would grind against him harder. Whenever he touched her warmth, she would shudder and then move even more quickly. She sensed the urgency in them both.
She felt his face shift against her neck and that’s when realization hit. "It’s what brought us here," she whispered.
She could feel all of him and in this position, his erect penis rubbed against that one spot deep inside of her, all it would take would be for him to hit it one more time--and when he did…
“Angel!” Faith felt herself tighten around him, her spasms grabbing onto every inch of him.
That was all it took for him. Her head shot back as she felt his fangs sink into her throat. He pulled her even closer and pushed into her even harder. Each thrust matched the sucking on her neck and then with one final groan he came hard.
She shuddered and Angel collapsed against her back. As her heartbeat began slowing down, she felt her own pulse return to normal.
She covered her eyes when she was suddenly blinded with an eye-piercing bright light.
Faith passed out.
She stretched and rolled over, bringing the blanket with her. The sense of the rough covers against her naked flesh wasn’t lost on her and that’s when the memories came rushing back. She sat upright looking for Angel.
Where was she?
In bed at the Hyperion, that she got. But was it in this reality or another? Did she fail? Were Angel and her trapped? Was Angelus free?
She threw the covers off and scrounged around for her clothes. She found her top and bra, but her panties and pants were trashed. A point in favor of being stuck in nowhere land with Angel, but if that was the case, where was Angel? And better yet, where was Angelus?
She yanked a sheet off the bed and tucked it securely under her armpits. Halfway down the stairs she stopped. She smelled food. Grabbing the bottom of the sheet so it was above her knees, she bunched it up and ran the rest of the way down.
Angel, she hoped it was Angel, was standing at the stove stirring something in a pot. “Angel?” she asked tentatively.
Turning around, he greeted her with a smile. “You’re awake.”
She nodded. “Yeah, but who are you?”
After tapping the spoon on the side of the pot, he put it down and walked over to her. “It’s me.”
She let out the breath she didn’t even know she was holding. “We made it back?”
“Yes,” he said. “Thanks to you.”
Flashes of what they had done came flying back into her brain. “Thinking you helped.”
He smiled again, wider this time. “Angelus got left behind where he belongs. He won’t be coming back,” he said with conviction.
“Good to know.” He offered her his hand. “What?” she asked accepting it.
“I think you had something to do with this,” he said, placing it on his chest.
Faith stepped back, her fingers lingering over his heartbeat. “How?”
He said, “Love, lust, pain, pleasure… sacrifice?”
“You sacrificed yourself to save everyone,” Faith said.
“And you sacrificed yourself to save me and everyone else from Angelus,” he said. “You wouldn’t have done it for just yourself.”
He was right. If it the threat had been just being stuck in eternity with Angelus, Faith would’ve dealt with it. But she couldn’t do that to Angel after everything he had done for her.
“What does that have to do with you being human?” she asked.
He shook his head. “I’m not sure.” He pushed her hair away from her neck. “Got to mean something though.”
She followed his hand and felt where the scar from his bite had been. It was no longer there.
“You got a guess?”
“Yeah, I kinda do.”
“Care to share?”
He walked back over to the stove and shut the burner off. Grabbing two bowls, he poured them some tomato soup. After motioning for her to sit, he put the bowls on the table and sat.
After handing her a spoon he said, “In the end I had pretty much cut myself off from everyone. I had to. It was the only way.” He glanced at the bowl in front of him and then pushed it away. “You were the only thing I ever did that was right, Faith.”
She heard the words, but she didn’t understand their meaning. “That doesn’t make any sense. You’re a champion.”
“And it always came with a price.”
“Saving you was the most unselfish thing I had ever done.”
“I’m not buying it.”
“I picked you over Buffy.”
She felt like she should know what he was talking about, but she didn’t. “I don’t get it.”
“My path was redemption. That’s what I did. I tried to set things right.” Using his spoon, he started playing with his soup. “Fix things I broke. And since I couldn’t undo things that I had done… Helping you had nothing to do with any of that. It was all about you, Faith.”
“I don’t buy it.”
“It doesn’t matter if you buy it,” he said with a smile. “Now, eat your soup.”
“You’re kind of bossy now that you’re human.”
They ate in silence for a while before he spoke again. "Faith?”
It was December 25th.