Violence Disclaimers: There is definite bloodshed and violence in this, if that bothers you then go elsewhere.
Pairings: Buffy(Beth)/Faith, Willow/Tara
Rating: R X (extreme violence, torture and non-consensual sex)
Spoiler: Not really, no. The story starts 3 years after what would have been Season 5. So everything after the beginning ep of Season 5 never happened.
Distribution: As our girl Faith likes to say, Want, Take, Have. Just let us know where it ends up.
Summary: An AU where Buffy is framed for the murder of Deputy Mayor Finch and ends up in the US Marines.
Feedback: A definite Must Have. Makes us write much faster, Thoughts, Opinions. We can be reached at either "mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" or "mailto:email@example.com".
3 Days Later
Faith moved back to where she had left Beth hidden, the last few days they had kept moving east and away from the prison. She had wanted to put as much distance between it and them as possible
She wasnt sure how, but Beth had managed to keep up with her despite the frantic pace she was setting. Exhaustion had finally overwhelmed Beth and Faith had been carrying her for the last few hours. She had finally spotted the house and left B hidden while she checked it out. The house had turned out to be abandoned for sometime, but it was what they needed for now, a place to rest
Faith blinked and turned from the window and back towards the figure sleeping on the bed a few feet away. Frowning Faith moved thru the doorway to the kitchen. Inside, Faith grabbed a bowl from the counter and moved towards the sink, as she turned the water on the faucet coughed brown sludge before a brackish trickle of water drizzled out. <Merle lived in a better class of shit-hole than this!> Faith thought angrily. Dropping the bowl back onto the counter, Faith turned and looked inside the refrigerator, the light inside flickered twice before blinking out and a strong odor of rotting meat flowed out. Faith slammed the door quickly. <Damnit! Were gonna have to move soon, we cant stay here> Turning back to the faucet Faith waited for the water to clear before she filled the bowl and padded quietly back thru the small house.
Faith walked back into the bedroom with the large bowl of water and some towels. Putting them down on the dresser she walked over to Beth who was still asleep on the bed. <God she stinks! I wonder why I didnt notice it before.>
Gently, Faith put her hand on Beths shoulder when a strong hand reached up grabbing her and knocking her off-balance before she was tackled to the floor and held. Faith lay still underneath Beth, B its okay. Its me, Faith. Listen to my voice B, youre safe. Faith gently ran her hand up and down Beths arm.
Beth leaned forward as she heard the voice, it was familiar somehow. She leaned close to the voice and sniffed the womans neck several times. She knew that smell!! Mate? Beth asked as the image of her tall, dark haired mate came to mind.
Uh yeah B, its me. Faith. <What is with the mate thing all the time? Did I miss something?> Faith wondered to herself.
Faith wriggled out from underneath Beth, B, we need to get these rags off you okay? Faith took the rags that were once a shirt on Beths shoulder and started to pull them off when she saw Beth smile widely at her.
Mate want to play? Beth grabbed the rags and started pulling them off of her.
Within moments Faith saw a naked Beth kneeling in front of herUhhhhh Buhhmm this is wash time. Not play time. Faith managed to stammer out. Instead of being aroused by the sight of Beth being naked, Faith was shocked to her core by what she saw.
Leaning closer Faith moved Beths long hair gently aside and she saw the multitude of scars, burns and welt marks that criss-crossed Beths back, shoulders and stomach. <MOTHER OF GOD!! What did they do to you B?> Tears fell from her eyes as Faith saw the older scars underneath the half-healed new ones that covered Beth. Faith gingerly touched Beths left side where she saw a large, purplish area by Beths ribs and she was pretty certain that Beth had several broken ribs there as well.
Faith reached over and grabbed a wet cloth from the bowl, her hand shaking as she took the cloth and started to wash the layers of dirt off of B. Faith wiped her eyes with the back of her free hand.
Beth heard sad noises and felt her mates sadness wash over her. She reached out and touched her mates face and felt the tears on her cheeks. Why mate cry? Do something bad we did? We hurt mate?
Faith heard the hurt in Beths voice, No B, you didnt do anything bad. I just got something in my eye, k? You stay still as you can while I clean you up some. <Snap out of it Faith, you cant go weeping like a little girl. Beth needs you to be strong for her, so suck it up!> Faith angrily berated herself and continued the process of washing the dirt off, rinsing and continuing to gently clean B.
After making several trips for clean water, Faith finally finished washing Beth from head to toe and got her into some clean clothes.
Faith looked out the shuttered window of the cottage she was holed up in with Beth. The last few days had been really rough on them both. They had been forced to flee several times when patrols had come close to where they were hiding, and after 12 hours of being on the run they had finally thrown off the French Army patrols and found this abandoned cottage.
Turning away from the window where she had kept watch, Faith looked over and saw Beth curled up on her side with a blanket on the floor, sleeping finally. <I dont know how the hell she could keep up with me. Not with the shape shes in.>
Faith looked back out the window as she felt tears in her eyes, <I wont let them take you back B, I promise.>
Yawning, Faith moved back away from the window quietly, trying not to wake Beth. As she moved past Beth, Faith heard her start mumbling, I wont break, Im a Marine. I wont break. Faith could see the tension in Beths body, Faith reached down and brushed a strand of hair away from Beths eyes and gently ran her hand down Beths back over and over. Slowly Faith saw the tension leave Beths body and relax, satisfied Beth would sleep Faith stood up and walked out of the room.
Faith hadnt gone far when she heard Beths voice crying out, NO! STOP!! NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Faith turned and ran back into the room with Beth who was shaking and crying. Dropping down Faith pulled Beth into her arms, Sshhh, its okay. Ssshhh. Youre safe nowFaith kept repeating the words as she gently rocked Beth in her arms and held her until Faith felt Beth fall asleep. Beth was wrapped around her like an octopus, but when Faith started to untangle herself from Beth she heard Beth start to whimper. So she stayed there and drifted off to sleep, in the arms of the one person she longed to be with
Faith woke to a sound she hoped shed never hear again in her lifetime. A faint keening sound. Looking around the room Faith saw that it was empty. Quickly she got up off the floor and headed towards where she heard the keening.
After a quick search through the house Faith found Beth sitting on the kitchen floor pulled into a tight ball, her arms were wrapped around her. Beth was covered in sweat and rocking slowly back and forth. Faith walked over to Beth and knelt down in front of her. When she reached out to touch Beth, Faith saw her flinch and pull away. B, its me Faith. Youre safe now.
Faith moved her hand slowly towards Beths face and brushed the long hair away that was covering her face. She ran her fingers gently down Beths jaw and cheek. Its okay Beth, Im here and no-ones gonna hurt you, ever.
Faith searched Beths face for any signs of recognition, but saw none. There was only fear in Beths face. B you know me. Somewhere in there you know me. Im Faith, youre slaying buddy. We used to walk through the park on down nights when the cemeteries were quiet. Wed sit on the merry-go-round and talk. I wont hurt you Beth.
Faith moved forward a few inches and stopped, Remember the time you took me to play miniature golf and how much I said I hated it. But you knew I was lying, as long as I was with you it didnt matter. Faith kept her voice calm and soothing as she spoke and saw Beth relax just slightly so she continued to talk.
Do you remember the night I kissed you? I do. There was a full moon that night and we were done patrolling. I looked at you and leaned over and kissed you. I just wanted to ruffle your feathers, but you kissed me back. Andandit was like nothing else B.
Faith continued to gently caress Bs cheek and saw her slowly stop rocking back and forth. Faith saw the fear slowly leave Beths face and a semi-recognition take over. Come back to me B, youre safe now and nothings gonna hurt you cause Im here now. Its okay.
Faith watched Beth move forward towards her until she was only inches away and then sniff her neck. .
Mate? Mate protect from bad men?? Bad men come and take away and hurt. Leave and then come back and hurt more. Tired of hurting pain. Want it to go away. Mate make it go away now? Beth asked almost pleadingly.
Faith nodded and put her arms around Beth, pulling her close against her. They wont hurt you again B. I promise.
Faith felt Beths arms hesitantly wrap around her before Beth settled closely against her. Is tired now, need rest. Safe now. Mate protect us.
Holding Beth closely Faith gently rubbed Beths back until she felt Beths breathing slow down, even as she fell asleep in her arms.
Gently Faith picked Beth up so as to not wake her and carried her into the master bedroom. She laid Beth down in the center of the bed and then lay down next to her. Beth immediately moved over and wrapped herself around Faith, holding her tightly. Faith saw a small smile played on Beths face as she snuggled close to her.
Closing her eyes, Faith felt drained emotionally and exhausted, she was scared by what she had found out and what could have happened to Beth to make her retreat into herself the way she was now. <I mean it B, Ill kill the next person who tries to lay a hand on you.> With a fleeting glance at Beth, Faith let the sleep overcome her.
The room was dark except for the few lights on the walls that kept the total darkness at bay. There was a large circular table in the center of the room, seated around it were seven black-robed and hooded figures.
A large figure at the top of the table spoke, Is everything prepared brothers?
Yesss, all hass been sset in motion. We need but one pieces for usss to complete the ritual Lord Vaarden The figure to his left replied.
What of the last piece? Another figure asked in a deep baritone voice.
Yes, what of the other? a silkily seductive feminine voice asked. We cannot verify that she has been removed from the playing field.
The large figure turned to look at the woman. She will be taken care of shortly.
A green-scaled fist slammed down on the tabletop across from the head of the head of the Council. The figure was tall and massively built even under the robes that hid its features. You underessstimate her Varrden. Three timesssess you hass tried to kill her and three timessess you hass failed. Ssshe is becoming too powerfulss. We should have destroyed her long ago, before ssshe could be a threat
No Sharas, you worry over nothing. It does not matter is she lives or not. She has been captured and is no longer a threat. Soon everything will be in place and then nothing will stop us. The Watchers Council and their annoying Slayers will be unable to stop it. The time of the Prophecy is almost at hand, nothing can stop it and we will rule once again.
Sharas hissed loudly, A foolsss you are Vaarden, underssesstimate thisss ones and you ssshall follow in your predecesssorsss fate. Do not forget her failure at the hands of the Slayers at Rakata. When Krakatau erupted we losst many of our brotherssss and sissstersss.
Enough Sharas!! I rule the Council and you will silence that forked tongue of your or I will remove it! We will have our Slayer and we will kill the other at our leisure, and thenthen we shall have what is rightly ours.
1 Week Later
Faith snuck through the bushes at the side of the house. Her eyes darting wildly, searching for any signs of inhabitants or patrols, she made her way quickly to the back of the house, keeping low to the ground. She pulled open the door and entered the darkened hallway.
Gripping the M4 rifle she darted quickly up the stairs. The stairs squeaked loudly underneath her feet and she flinched. <Damnit Faith! Damnit!> Faith checked the first bedroom and then the second room, they were all empty, just like the last house they hand been in. Quickly Faith darted back down the steps and out the door.
The driving rain hit her eyes and she blinked, covering them with her arm before moving back into the bushes where shed left Beth. Theyd been on the run for the last five days, and the skies had decided to punish them for whatever they had done wrong. She slung her rifle over her back with the barrel facing down and bent down next to Beth, and touched her forehead, feeling the heat coming off of her despite the cold weather and the rain that was coming down on them.
Okay Beth, theres a nice house waiting for us just a few yards away. Faith waited for a few seconds for Beth to reply but got none. Struggling to remain calm Faith pulled Beth upright and draped her arm over Beths shoulder, supporting almost all of Bs weight as they moved.
Beths head lolled forward and her breathing was coming in rasping hitches, but Faith kept up the pace. They had to get inside before someone saw them. Beth stumbled, losing her footing and nearly pulling Faith down into the mud with her as the rain came down harder.
Faith pulled Beth out of the mud and started forward again. Come on B, just a few more steps. But she couldn't even see the house through the sheet of rain. Beth started to go down again but Faith quickly grabbed her, she winced as Beth let out a moan of pain. I'm sorry B, here. She tucked one arm underneath Beth's knees and cradled her against her chest.
Faith...... hurt...... make stop.... Faith felt Beth rest her head against her shoulder as she collapsed into a wheezing fit.
You just need to a warm bath B. I'll get you some blankets. Just stay awake please.
Can't...... make hurt...... stop..... please.
****Beth slammed the door open to her room, storming across and into the bathroom. Leave me alone Tay.
Taylor smirked as the bathroom door slammed in his face. No can do Beth. Marines don't leave Marines. What the hell happened out there?
Get out of here Taylor! It doesn't matter. Beth threw a punch, barely pulling it before her fist smashed into the wall.
Taylor sighed pacing in front of the door. It does matter. What the hell where you thinking Beth? You could have gotten us all killed. You know they are just looking for a reason to fry your ass. And as your squad leader
The door slammed open and Beth marched right up to him. Don't pull that higher ranking bullshit with me Taylor. You know as well as I do that I could kill you before you ever knew I moved.
Taylor backed up a few steps, raising his hands in surrender. True. But as a friend, what is going on with you?
Taylor watched Beth cross the room to the window. She pulled open the curtain slightly letting in the sunlight. This isn't me Taylor. She motioned to the fatigues she was wearing and the duffle she'd dropped in her haste. I.. can't do this anymore, Tay. This isn't me.
You're right Beth, this isn't the you from Sunnydale. He crossed over to her and turned her around so she could see the sincerity on his face. But this is you. This is the new you, and you love what your doing in the Marines. I know this cause I can tell by your eyes. On the practice field, the parade ground, even hanging out with the guys...your eyes light up Beth. Whatever's bugging you, it doesn't involve the Corps. So don't lie to me and please don't shut me out.
Beth sighed but didn't back away from him, Dawnie turned sixteen today, I promised her that when she turned sixteen I'd help her start a down payment for her first car. I failed her, just like I failed the guys during the combat exercise today. I cant to this anymore Taylor.
You made a mistake today Beth, that's what the exercise is for. And I've never met your sister, I know she doesn't blame you for anything. If she's a tenth of the person you are, she'd never do that.
No Taylor I can't. I'm tired of this, Beth waived her hands around, of having everyone looking over my shoulder and every CO trying to get the convict out of their unit as fast as possible. For the last year and a half Ive played by all the rules and I've had to do everything three times better then anyone else just to be judged half as good. I can't do that anymore.
Taylor reached over and grabbed Beth by the shoulders and shook her, Yes you will Beth, because that's the choice you made when you chose the Corps, so deal with it cause you're not going anywhere. And one more thing Beth, Marines don't say can't. It's not in our vocabulary.
Beth smirked at Taylor, Fine Mr. Smarty pants. Cannot, and stuck her tongue out at him before she picked up her duffle bag and headed back towards the barracks.*****
Faith kicked the door open, stumbling into the house. Rainwater pooled at her feet as she struggled to hold Beth and not lose her footing on the wet floor. Leaning against the wall Faith caught her balance and knocked the door closed with her foot. Walking a few steps, Faith felt her strength ebbing. Gently she laid Beth down on the floor, Beth shivered violently in her soaked clothing and her lips were blue from the cold..
T-T-Tired of pain. W-Want it t-t-to end... Faith forced herself up and towards the bathroom down the hall, <Gotta get some blankets and get B dried off and warm.> She pulled the linen closet door open and grabbed several towels and blankets. Turning Faith ran back towards where B was shivering on the floor.
Faith started removing Beth's clothes hurriedly so she could get her wrapped in some warm blankets.
A blow to the head knocked her back and Faith looked up from the floor and saw Beth struggling to stand up, barely able to stand, NO! Not again! I'll kill you first!
Beth fell back weakly against the wall, No! she mumbled weakly as Faith leapt up to grab her before she fell.
Ssshhh, it's okay B. You're safe. Faith said as she felt Beth weakly struggle against her grip.
Beth's struggles slowly ceased, B, I have to get you out of those wet clothes okay? You're safe with me here. Faith slowly started to remove Beth's clothes and got her wrapped up in the blankets she had grabbed. Picking Beth up again Faith moved her toward the living room and in front of the fireplace where she laid her down, moving over to the fireplace Faith threw several logs inside along with some kindling and after several tries got a fire started. Quickly she got it blazing and the heat began to rise, looking back Faith heard Beth mumble weakly and moved over by her side.
I'm tired Tay...always alone now. Tay? Faith sat silently trying to decide whether to reply.
Faith saw Beth shiver and put her arm around her and pulled Beth close to her. Yeah, I'm here Beth. Faith finally replied. Beth, why are you hiding? Faith asked.
Beth snuggled closer to Faith, "Not hiding, it hurt. Safer here now. Found Faith. Faith saw Beth smile as she said her name.
Are you sure it's safe there Beth? How can you tell?
It safe. If can't see, I can't hurt. Beside, Faith loves me, can feel it when she is nearby. All warm and comfy feeling from her. Beth smiled again.
You need to open your eyes look at the real world sometime Beth, you can't hide forever.
I'm afraid Tay, Im afraid of what I'll see.
Faith scowled as she heard B's words, What are you afraid you'll see B...Beth Faith asked, concern coloring her voice.
Afraid...mate leave... Beth yawned loudly, Hate....me... Beth drifted to sleep in Faiths arms, her head was pillowed on Faith's chest and she held Faith closely. Even in her sleep Faith noticed Beth seemed to hold onto her as if she'd disappear.
Faith eyes started to droop as exhaustion started to overwhelm her. Shaking her head, Faith tried to stay awake, but her eyes slowly drifted shut and her last thought <Gotta stay awake....>
Angel heard his private phone ring and picked it up on the fourth ring. Yes?
Good morning Angel. Giles said to get the pleasantries out of the way.
Angel sighed mentally, even after all these years he didn't like talking to Giles. The rift between them from when he had killed Jenny Calendar had never healed and had only grown over the intervening years. Yes Giles? What is it? he asked impatiently.
Ahh yes. Always to the point. I need to get in touch with Faith.
Faith? Why do you need to contact Faith Giles? Warning bells had gone off in Angel's head when Giles brought up Faith.
I have a problem over here and Willow asked me to contact Faith and ask her to come down to Sunnydale to give us a hand.
If Willow asked you to call, why are you calling me instead of Faith? She did give you Faith's phone number, right? Angel asked trying to mask his suspicion.
Of course, however when I rang her number there was no answer at her flat. Thats why Im talking to you, to see if you know where she can be reached.
Angel walked over to his desk and started scribbling notes on a pad. I see, well she's not here right now. Did you want me to have Faith call Willow when I see her?
Uh, no! No, have her call me at The Magic Shop actually it will be easier that way. Good day.
Angel waited until he heard Giles hang up and then walked out of his office and headed over to where Cordy was sitting at her desk. Just as he reached her Angel saw Cordy grab her head as she was assaulted with a vision from TPTB.
Kanjiro cool eyes hontoo-wa, Kooritokasuyoona hitomi o
Motteru koto shitteiru.
--Cool Eyes by Tachikawa Ryooko
Images bombarded Cordelia; Beth in chains in a small, dark, dank room. Beth screaming in pain as she was being tortured and beaten. Beth asleep in a bed somewhere wrapped around Faith.
With her head throbbing from the vision Cordy opened her eyes slowly, Beth. It was Beth, she was alive but she was being tortured and held somewhere. I couldn't tell where, they wouldn't tell me. God my head is killing me this time. Can't they do this without the mind-numbing pain all the time?
Anything else?" Angel asked.
Yeah, Cordy rubber her temples trying to make the pain go away. She was with Faith and I got the feeling they're ok. We have to tell Giles and her Mom Angel.
No we don't. Something isn't right. It's better if everyone thinks of her as dead for now, or at least its safer this way. I want you to go talk to Willow and Tara. Find out if they've noticed anything weird going on. Angel waited for her to nod before turning and walking out the door.
2 Days Later
Cordy pulled her car into the parking spot in front of the building where Willow and Tara lived.
Willow opened the door on the fifth knock. Hold on! Cordy? She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. It's what...
4 AM, Cordelia answered her.
Willow glanced at the clock in the hallway. Yes it is, and sane people would be asleep. What are you doing here?
Cordy made a hissing sound, taking in the dark circles under Willow's eyes. Retract the claws for a second witch girl, Angel sent me.
Willow opened the door wider, motioning with her arm for Cordy to enter. That's nice Cordy but its still four in the morning. Couldn't you have come at a more normal hour? Wait! Angel sent you. What's wrong?
Calm down Willow, take a deep breath. Is Tara here? Of course Tara's here.
Wills hon, come back to bed! Tara's voice called out from the bedroom.
Willow walked over to the bedroom door and stuck her head inside, Tara, get up. We have company, Cordy's here.
That's nice Will, Tara replied sleepily.
Willow walked into the bedroom and disappeared from sight. Minutes later Willow walked out followed by a still sleepy Tara wearing a blue robe.
Willow sat down on the couch and Tara sat next to her. So why did Angel send you here? Willow asked as Tara snuggle close and leaned her head onto Willow's shoulder and closed her eyes.
Two days ago I had one my fun, pain-inducing visions from The Powers That Be, it's about Beth Will...she's alive!
Tara's eyes popped open and she sat up. Willow's intense glare penetrated Cordy to the bone. If this is a joke Cordy...
Cordelia raised her hands in mock-surrender, No joke Willow. Beth's alive, I don't know in what kind of shape she's in, but she's alive though.
Tara studied Cordelia for a minute and then turned to Willow, She's telling the truth. Beths alive.
Willow's face turned ashen in shock, But we saw...the funeralwhataboutthebodyandtheMarinesandeverythingelse?
Willow, did you ever see Beth's body? Tara asked.
What do you mean Tara? I couldn't it was a closed casket... Willow suddenly remembered something Joyce had said during their fight, They didn't even have a BODY for me to bury Willow.
Oh my god Tara... Willow thought of Dawn and Giles and how'd they react when she told them. We have to tell Dawn and Giles, they have to know about...
No! We can't!
Will turned her head towards Cordy, What do you mean we can't Cordy?
That's the other reason I came down here. Angel thinks it might be better if people didn't know about Beth being alive. Better for her.
Outrage colored Willow's features, How can we not tell Dawn her sister isn't dead?!?
Tara interrupted Willow and put her hand over Willow's. There's something else going on here, isn't there.
Cordy could hear Tara wasn't asking a question, she was making a statement. Yeah, I don't know what. Angel clammed up and wouldn't say. He did want to know if anything strange has happened recently.
Tara looked at Cordelia briefly, What else is going on? You know something Cordelia.
I...I'm not sure. I didn't tell Angel because I saw something and I didn't understand it...I still don't.
What was it Cordy? Willow asked. Tell us, maybe we can help you.
Cordelia fidgeted in the chair for several minutes as she dredged up the memories of the vision and replayed them in her mind. There were two things, Cordelia closer her eyes as she started to speak. The last part of the vision with Beth was peaceful compared to the others, Beth and Faith were asleep in bed wrapped around each other. But it was the last image that I dont understand. I was standing on a hill looking at the sun when suddenly the sun turned black and the sky darkened and turned into night. The ground shook like there was an earthquake and there were loud screams all around me as if millions of people were screaming in pain. I dont know what it was and I dont want to.
Willow saw how visibly shaken Cordelia was as she recalled the vision. Cordy, what else?
Cordy finally opened her eyes and looked at Willow, It felt like the end of everything.
5 Days later
The last week had been good for both of them. They hadnt seen any patrols out here, and they had finally gotten some rest, something Beth had needed very badly. Beths injuries had started healing, although Faith suspected there might be some scars left. Beth had even managed to start gaining some weight back as her appetite had increased over the last week and she no longer looked like the scarecrow she had pulled out of the prison.
Faith walked back into the bathroom just in time to see Beth struggling to get up out of the tub and failing. Dropping the clothes Faith rushed forward and grabbed Beth before she could fall. B, you gotta be more careful! Faith instantly regretted her harsh tone when she saw Beth's face fell.
Was trying to get up, wanted to do myself. Beth's voice rasped out.
Faith sighed, I know B, but you're still weak. You've gotta take it easy right now.
Faith leaned over and snatched a nearby towel and then scooped Beth up out of the bathtub. Here's the wall B. Stay, I'll be right back. She leaned Beth against the bathroom wall and turned to retrieve another towel.
Faith turned around just in time to see Beth move her hands along the bathroom wall as she tried to walk using the wall as a guide.
Beths foot hit a patch of water and she tumbled backwards into Faiths arms who scooped her up and carried her into the bedroom before lying Beth on the bed. B, wouldnt it be easier if you opened your eyes so you can see? Faith asked, not really expecting an answer.
No! Light hurts!! If open eyes, feel pain.
Faith kneeled at the edge of the bed her hands held Beths, B, all the lights are off in here. Its dark, why dont you try opening them just a little? Please??
Beth turned and looked at Faith, What if hurt? Scared Feth-mate.
Faith ran her hand gently down the side of Beths face, Itll be okay, really. Are you afraid of the pain or what youll see B?
Beth was quiet for a long time before she spoke up, Faces, pain, blood
Faith's breath caught in her throat, the pain in Beth's voice was tangible. She took a deep breath, trying to calm her breathing. She had to be calm. Whatever happened to you in there, isnt gonna happen out here. You're safe now and I'm not gonna let anything hurt you Beth.
Feth-mate not run away? Not leave me alone if open eyes? Beth asked in a small voice.
A puzzled look came over Faith's face, <Run away? Why would I do that?> Faith wondered. B, I'm never going to leave you...ever!
Beth leaned forward towards Faith and stopped only a few inches from Faith's face. She could feel Faith's love behind her words wrapping around her like a warm blanket until the memory of what happened to her drove it away and all she was left was the cold fear once again. That her mate would leave and she would be alone.
Faith saw tears drip down Beth's cheeks and raised her hand to gently cup Beth's face. It's okay B, I promise. I lost you once and I'm not going to lose you again.
Feth not leave? Not hate me not being strong enough? Beth asked again still unsure of what she felt from her mate.
Faith climbed up to where Beth had pulled back into the center of the bed curled up. She put her hands on either side of Beth's face, Nothing, absolutely nothing matters to me except that you are alive and getting well and are close to me. That's all that's important. So you listen to me B, I'm not going anywhere unless you want me to. Okay?
Tears fell down Faith's face but she ignored them. And then it happened...
Beth slowly opened her left eye just a little, and then a little more till Faith could just see the green of Beth's left eye.
Faith leaned down slightly, See B, I haven't gone anywhere and she smiled at Beth as she watched Beth's right eye open slowly.
And Beth looked at her mate and saw the tears running down Faith's cheeks. She lifted her hand and touched Faith's face softly caressing it. Mate not leave, keep promise. Gently she pushed Faith onto her back and climbed on top of her straddling Faith's waist.
Leaning over, Beth brought her face only a few inches from Faith's, Loves you Feth-mate. Beth brought her lips to Faith's and gently kissed her lips as she felt Faith's hands hold her waist and then caress her back. Beth nibbled on Faith's lips and heard her moan softly into her mouth, Faith's lips opened and Beths tongue slipped past her lips to play with hers.
Beth moved one hand teasingly down Faith's side and slowly move around her ribs and then gently brush and tease Faith's breast.
Faith felt like she was on fire when Beth started touching her, it was everything and more then she thought it would be. Faith felt her nipples harden as the teasing touches from Beth drove her mad. She felt Beth pull her shirt loose from her pants and unbutton it, as a hand glidingly brushed her stomach and moved up agonizingly slowly again. Faith felt herself arch up into Beth's touch when finally she felt Beth cup her breast and gently tease her nipple with her thumb. Oh god, yesss!
Faith flipped Beth over on her back and turned the tables, with Faith straddling her. Faith gently pulled the towel around Beth off and looked down at the woman she loved and desired so badly it hurt. <But this isn't Beth...>
<But this isn't Beth...I can't...What if she thinks I used her? No, I won't do this. God I want to, I want her!!> Faith felt fingers push her bra up freeing her breasts and Beth's lips latch onto her nipple as the other hand cupped and teased her other breast. <Oh god, yesss Beth!!> Mustering all her willpower Faith forced herself to move up and gently move Beth back from her breasts. B, hold up 1 sec.
A confused look crossed Beth's face, Not understand. Want mate. Mate not want be with?
Yes, B. I want you more then anything. But not right now.
Not now? Why? Can feel you want, why not now? Beth asked, confusion was evident in her voice.
<Think fast Faith, we don't want to drive her away.> Because you're still getting over from being sick B. Right now you need to get better first, otherwise you might get sick again. Faith felt her body still tingling from where Beth had been touching her and was aching to be touched.
Beth snuggled closer to her pillow and tried to ignore the light that was hurting her eyes. She lifted her hand and blocked the sunlight and slowly opened her eyes. Everything was fuzzy and blurred for several minutes, her eyes unused to the light. Slowly her eyes adjusted and her vision cleared slightly, but she forced herself to squint to lessen the pain.
Beth felt her pillow move and turned slightly to notice for the first time that she was lying next to Faith. Actually she was sprawled across Faith's naked body and her head was resting....<Oh My God! Faith?!? Shit! I don't remember> Beth blushed as she looked at Faith's naked body and then she noticed...<I'm naked?! How the hell did I get naked and how did I end up in bed with Faith? God she's beautiful though>
Beth moved slowly out of the bed, trying not to disturb Faith and quickly pulled on the pants and t-shirt she saw lying on the floor. She looked around the room trying to find something familiar other than Faith. <Where the hell am I?> Quietly she made the way to the bathroom and reached for the light switch. Son of a... Her hand slammed into the light switch.
Faith moved her arm from her face where it had been covering hey eyes from the morning sun. Groggily she shifted onto her side and moved her arm over by Beth, but there was nothing there. <Huh?!?> Faith's mind struggled to clear itself, Beth? she mumbled.
Beth are you... When Faith saw Beth walk out of the bathroom and then suddenly cover hey eyes with her hands, AHHH! The light, it's... Faith jumped out of bed and pulled the shade down by the window, cutting off the sunlight and darkening the room.
Beth slowly lowered her hands, the harsh light was gone. Thanks Faith. Beth paused as she saw Faith standing naked in front of her and looking at her with a concerned look on her face. Uhmm, Faith? Aren't you feeling a bit drafty? Beth asked, unable to take her eyes off the beautiful, sexy....<Hey! Stop that!!!>
Faith looked down and noticed she wasn't dressed, then it occurred to her it was Beth talking... Beth?!?
Beth quirked an eyebrow, Who else would it be and where are we?
Faith started grabbing clothes and pulling them on, Uhmm. that's a long story B. Why don't we get some food and start with what you remember last and work forward from there.
Faith opened the refrigerator, pulled out the leftover cold chicken and walked back to the table where Beth was already seated. Cutting a leg off Faith dropped it on her plate, I guess you're lookin for an explanation how you're here. It's kinda easier if you tell me the last thing you remember.
Beth watched Faith start to eat the cold chicken and mentally sighed, this was not what she expected from Faith. She had also noticed the casual way Faith seemed to stay closer to her, almost protectively. Beth shook her head to clear her thoughts, I remember getting captured and getting beatings for a while, but after that things are kinda fuzzy. Especially how I wound up here. Beth quirked an eyebrow as she waited for Faith's answer.
Faith wiped her hands on the cloth next to her, I'm not sure exactly what happened to you inside that prison B. When I got there you were in pretty bad shape and really out of it. After I got you out of the prison our escape got blown to hell and we've been moving around while I took care of you for the last few weeks. I just found this place about a week ago, you were really sick and we both needed rest. Fortunately I haven't seen any French patrols so we've been able to stay and rest for the last week.
Beth looked at Faith intently, <She's not telling me something. I'm not sure how, but its like I can almost feel she's hiding something.>
Faith, what aren't you telling me?
Faith took a quick bite of her food so she couldn't answer and put a who me? look on her face.
Faith watched Beth patiently wait for her to finish eating and sighed mentally. What B? I told you what happened when I got in the picture and rescued your butt, <And a damn nice butt it is too!! Bad Faith! No more thinking like that, Beth doesn't like women 'that way'.>
Beth quickly reached over and snatched the chicken out of Faith's hands, Stop it with the stalling Faith, what aren't you telling me about what I don't remember.
If I'd arrived any later we wouldn't be talking B, when I found you it looked like you hadn't eaten anything in I don't know how long. And mentally you weren't in that great shape either.
Beth thought about what Faith told her and was quiet for several minutes, B? You there? She heard Faith and felt the concern behind her words.
Yeah, just thinking. One last question.
Okay, shoot. Faith replied.
How'd I end up naked in bed with you? We didn't.... Beth trailed off nervously, not sure which answer she wanted to hear from Faith.
No we...we Faith trailed off shaking her head. We didn't do anything B. Nothing at all.
Beth looked up at Faith, she knew Faith was telling the truth, just not everything, she also felt Faith's regret and sadness as it washed over her.
Beth looked at Faith for a few seconds, Faith wasnt going to say anything else she realized. I'm tired now Faith, I'm going to go lay down now.
Okay B. You... Faith watched Beth turn and walk out of the kitchen. ...do that.
3 Days later
Beth paced in the room she was staying in now. Some of her memories from the prison had started to surface, but she still knew there were large gaps that had yet to be filled in.
Last night she had woken up screaming and Faith had literally broken the door down to get in. After she had woken up she couldn't recall any of what had caused her to wake up that way.
Without even thinking, when she saw Faith she had pulled her into a close embrace and held her as she cried. She had felt safe in Faith's arms. Beth angrily stomped on her emotions, <I'm a Marine damnit! I'm supposed to be strong. How could I let myself fall apart that way? Because you need her, thats why> the thought came unbidden in her mind
Meanwhile on the other side of the house....
Faith was depressed, she knew it, the weeds in the garden she was talking to knew it. Everyone but Beth knew it.
It had been three days since she had told Beth about what happened and since then Beth had limited her conversations to; Yes, No, Maybe. Nothing seemed to draw Beth out of the shell she was hiding in now. She had more conversation with Cave-Beth then normal Beth. Faith sighed, <I guess I just have to deal. She's never going to forgive me or let me forget what I did,> she thought sadly.
Beth walked up behind Faith who was standing outside. Faith, I'm sorry. I've been a real bitch lately and I've been taking it out on you.
Faith turned around and looked at Beth, Accepted Beth. But I gotta tell you, you can't keep whatever it is bottled up inside. I know some of you're memories are coming back, why won't you talk to me?
Beth frowned, What are you talking about Faith? I'm fine. And they're just memories, nothing I can't handle.
Faith took a step forward, Bullshit B! Is that why I was holding you as you cried till you fell asleep last night or the night before that?? Whatever memories are coming back, you need to talk cause they're causing you to have nightmares.
Faith, I can handle it. I got through Boot Camp, 3 years in the Corps, combat and being a POW. I can handle a few bad memories.
Faith grabbed Beth by the shoulders, Wake up B! You're not handling anything and the sooner you realize that the better. Faith pushed past Beth and as she walked behind her she turned and put her hand on Beth's arm, Qui est effrayé maintenant? *Who's scared now?*
Faith never saw Beths' hand grab her arm or the punch the slammed into her jaw knocking her out.
Beth heard someone speaking french behind her and she just reacted. Before she could pull her punch she had hit Faith and watched her fall like a rock to the ground.
Shit! Beth dropped down and checked Faith to see if she was okay. <Okay, she seems okay. I just knocked her out.> Quickly Beth ran back into the house and got a small bowl with ice and water in it, and grabbed a towel as she headed back outside to Faith.
Beth soaked the rag, squeezed the excess water out and gently put it on the red mark where she had hit Faith. I'm so sorry Faith, I never meant for that. I just heard French and... <And that would be Faith's point exactly wouldn't it!>
Several minutes later Faith's eyes fluttered open, Ow! Shit that hurts B! You see my point B? Faith asked as she held the cold rag against her jaw. You need to talk...
It was an accident Faith, that's all. Why cant you leave it alone?
Because of this B, Faith removed the rag to show the ugly red mark on her face, you're a loose cannon right now and if you don't open up you're gonna kill someone. That's why!
How could you understand?
Cause I've been where you are right now. Except I made the wrong decision, don't do the...
Beth shushed Faith with a gesture, and turned towards the rear of the house and then turned back to Faith. Huey's... she whispered.
Faith got up and started moving toward some cover and just got behind a rain barrel when two French soldiers walked around the corner. Faith looked back for Beth but she was gone.
The two soldiers casually walked about quietly talking to themselves and then started walking towards the rain barrel where she was hiding and stopped only a few feet in front of her. They were so close Faith could smell the smoke on one soldiers breath. She quietly watched as one of the soldiers turned and started walking towards the house and towards Beth. Faith felt the anger and hatred rising in her stomach at what they had done to Beth.
Faith watched as the first soldier walked towards the house he passed a large patch of weeds which suddenly shifted slightly and Beth appeared behind the soldier. Faith saw him start to react and Beth wrap a strong hand over his mouth and a glint of sunlight off knife in her hand before Beth slid the knife across his throat slitting it and cutting off his cry.
Beth pulled the soldier down and into the tall weeds of the garden, taking his assault rifle from his limp grasp. The first soldier stopped only a few paces from Faith, still not seeing her. Henri, he called out as he turned and two rapid shots rang out and Faith saw the soldier fall. Faith got up and moved over to the soldier, turning his body over she saw two closely placed bullet holes where his heart was.
Faith watched as Beth started walking over to her, shouldering the assault rifle. Well these two wont be bothering us, were gonna have to dump their bodies somewhere else though, Beth said casually.
Faith hadnt felt afraid for a long time, not since Kakistos had murdered her Watcher in front of her and chased her out of Boston. She thought after that nothing would shock her, she was wrong. As Beth walked towards her Faith backed up several steps. Thats fine B. But Ive got some things I need to do. K? Faith took a wide berth around Beth, never taking her eyes off her until she was far enough away. And moved quickly inside the house.
Faith stepped inside the house and quickly shut the door behind her, and willed her hands to stop shaking, it wasnt death that bothered her or made her squeamish. But Beth had killed those two guards without a thought, and before thatFor the first time in her life Faith was afraid, afraid of what would happen when Beth lashed out again, would she be dead as those soldiers?
Beth watched as Faith had back away from her and then walked around her and back to the house. At first she was confused by Faiths reaction until she had seen the fear in Faiths eyes. Faith was afraid of her. Beth looked down at her hands and dropped the rifle, one hand was covered with the soldiers blood. Beth stood there staring at the blood on her hands. What had she become?
Beth walked up behind Faith who seemed preoccupied doing something. Faith?
Faith jumped as Beths voice startled her from her thoughts as she oiled and cleaned the hand gun on the table. Jesus Beth! Can you not sneak up on me? She said as she turned around and a step back.
Faith, Im sorry I hit you. I shouldve checked on you sooner, but I just gotdistracted. Beth went to put her hand on Faiths, but Faith moved her hand away. Beth saw her Faith was careful to keep some distance between them.
No prob B. Its not like I havent gotten a shiner before.
Beth winced mentally at Faiths reply, she knew that Faith had been beaten when she was younger by her father. Beth moved back slightly and saw that Faith seemed to relax a little.
Uhmmm, Faithabout this afternoon with the hueys Beth said nervously, afraid she would drive Faith further away.
You dont owe me an explanation Beth, Faith replied.
Whos shutting who out now Faith? Beth snapped.
Maybe, but can you blame me B? Faith replied angrily, her nervousness about Beth fading. You almost knock my head off and then I see you kill two soldiers and then afterwards you act is if its nothing.
This is war Faith, us or them. Those are the choices. Period.
Yeah it is B and thats not the problem. The problem is I look at you and you know what I see?
Beth shook her head.
Me four years ago, when I was a crazy psycho killing people for the Mayor, thats what. I know this is war and people die, but youre so damn casual about it as if death means nothing to you. And I was right where you are now B, my problem was I made the wrong choices and look what it got me; hated, stabbed, in a coma for two years and trying for the rest of my life to make up for a fraction of what I did.
Its not the same Faith, Im a soldier and this is what I do. Kill the enemy.
Yes it is B. You need to look at yourself real close and see if you like what youre becoming. Faith rubbed her thumb gently of the back of Beths hand. Because Ill be honest with you B, what I see scares me. Not the person, but the path she is starting to go down. Okay?
Beth thought about Faiths words for a minute before she spoke again. Okay.
Faith let go of Beths hands and started to walk away when she felt a hand on her shoulder. Turning around she saw Beth. Wha When a pair of lips met hers and she felt Beths tongue tease her lips to open before slipping past her lips to play with her tongue. Faith returned the kiss with equal passion as the two moved against each other and continued for several more moments and Beth slowed down and moved back slightly.
I want you to know one thing Faith SpencerI love you. Beth said very seriously before walking past Faith and towards her room.
Beth closed the door behind her and sat down on the bed. <Okay, I admit it. I love her more than anything. Its weird to finally admit it. But I cant stay here, not after what I did. Shes right about me being a loose cannon and Im not going to put her in danger because of me.> Beth started throwing her clothes and pulled out the knife, the Browning 9mm pistol and ammo she had taken from the dead hueys this afternoon.
After she was done throwing what she would take with her in the Alice Pack, Beth pulled out a piece of paper and started writing. <When she goes to sleep Ill slip out then, by the time she wakes up Ill be too far for her to find me. Hopefully thisll explain why.>
Faith woke up suddenly with the feeling that something was wrong. Getting out of bed, she picked up the 9mm pistol from the chair by her bad and quietly padded out of the room. Moving quickly and quietly she moved though the house, <What the hell? No soldiers, and everything is fine. So whaoh shit! Beth> Turning Faith ran towards Beths room and slammed her shoulder into the door and tearing it off its hinges. Faith looked over at the bed and saw it was empty except for a piece of paper lying on the pillow. She reached over, picked it up and moved into the hallway which was lit and started reading.
Since youre reading this you know Im gone. Ive thought a lot about what Im doing. You were right about me being a loose cannon and right now Im too dangerous to be around. I couldve killed you this afternoon and I couldnt live with myself if you were hurt or worse because of me. I need to get away and figure out what Ive become, someplace where I cant hurt anyone.
Dont look for me, just go home and try to forget. Tell Mom & Dawn and the others that Im okay and that I love and miss them.
I meant what I said to you earlier Faith. It took a long time to figure out, but I love you and I will always love you with all my heart, nothing will ever change that.
Giles entered the hotel room, tossing the keys onto the table and bolting the lock. He shuddered at the filth on the door.
Rupert? Startled he turned around one hand moving to his chest. Joyce. How did you get in here?
It wasn't hard. The nice... um, slob at the desk let me in.
Ah yes, well that's Joe. He's the night manager here. Why are you out at night? He paused for a second noticing the weariness about her. Nevermind. Why are you here?
I wanted... I needed to talk to you. I was going to come earlier this week but Dawn got into trouble again at school. Joyce took several steps forward. She won't talk to me Rupert, its like she blames me for this...
She shouldn't, I'm the one who was wrong. I shouldn't have hid that information from you. Giles started to pace back and forth slowly. I'll talk to Dawn later about that.
Thank you Rupert. Why though? Joyce asked.
Why did you have that information? Why didn't you tell me? Joyce asked angrily.
Giles stopped his pacing, I got the information from a friend who I had asked to look into this. As for the second, what good would it have done you? Beth was dead... Giles reached out for Joyce's hand and gently held it in his own. Did you ever believe that Beth was guilty of murdering Finch Joyce?
No, never. I always knew Beth could never have done that. It had to be that other Slayer, Faith. That's what I never understood though, why Beth would protect Faith that way. Joyce stepped back from Rupert, I understand, I think. But I can't forgive you for lying to me. Not yet at least. I just need a little more time to work things out.
I understand Joyce. If you need me, you have my number at work. Joyce started to walk past him, I love you Joyce,
Joyce opened the door and stood in the doorway, I love you too Rupert.
Giles watched the door close.
Faith ran to where she heard the yelling and saw Beth. Beth was kneeling above a soldier and was holding a large rock in both hands and slamming it into his skull over and over.
Faith ran over to Beth and moved in front as Beth went to swing the rock down on the dead soldier Faith grabbed it, Beth! BETH!! Its over, hes dead!! Faith watched as Beth looked up and the crazed look on Beths face faded away. Its over B, he cant hurt you anymore.
Beth tossed the rock to the side and moved away from the soldier, Yes he can
Faith moved over by Beth, What do you mean? Hes dead, hes not coming back B.
He was one of them, Beth whispered.
One of who B?
One of the guardshethey Beth trailed off.
Faith put her hands on Beths shoulders, B, one of who? she asked gently.
Beth stood up suddenly, It doesnt matter, hes dead and they didnt break me. Her voice was cold and filled with contempt. Why are you here anyway?
Faith stood up, Im looking for you and it does matter. Who. Was. He. B? Faith asked stubbornly.
Beth tried walking past Faith, who kept moving in her way and blocking her. Out of my way Faith! her voice was angry.
Oh yeah? Make me B. Faith stepped back slightly to give herself room, <If getting B angry is the only way to make her talk>
Beth struck at Faith without any warning, only Faith was ready for her and blocked her punch. You call that a punch B? That was downright pitiful. No wonder you got captured, you fight like a little girl. Dawn throws a better punch then you do.
Faith kept blocking Bs attacks and staying on the defensive. Beths attacks became faster and faster and Faith continued to block them and let B wear herself down or so she hoped. Is this why you couldnt help Taylor B? Too weak? Too slow? Or is it that you need someone to save you all the time, Faith taunted Beth.
Damn you to hell Faith!!! I didnt fail Taylor and I dont need anyone to save me! Beth yelled back. I dont need anyone!! Beth yelled as tears rolled down her face, I dont need anyone Faith, and Beth fell to her knees sobbing.
Faith dropped to her knees in front of Beth. B, we all need someone at sometime. Faith moved till she was right next to Beth and put her hands on either side of her face gently. Right now you need to tell me what happened to you in that hell hole. What memory is so tearing you into pieces B?
I-I-I cant Faith
Yes you can B. Would you have told Taylor? Faith asked.
Nonever, Beth said almost inaudibly.
<What? I thought this guy was like a big brother, why wouldnt she tell him> Look at me B. Now tell me what happened.
Faith heard Beth mumble something but couldnt understand what she said. You gotta turn the volume up. Now what happened to you in there?
<I cant. If I tell her Ill lose her. You dont have her now either> Beths little voice answered her. I was raped she whispered. Beth kept her eyes focused on the ground as she waited to hear Faith stand and leave.
<What!> Faith almost didn't hear what Beth had said. Or maybe she didn't want to hear what Beth said, or the reality of it. Of all the things she thought could have happened, that wasn't one of them. Faith looked over at Beth seeing her tense and the stiff way she held herself.
No don't. Just go, I don't want your pity. <I know shes gonna leave> Faith watched Beth straighten her shoulders and the muscles tense in her neck. Please just go.
Im not leaving B. Thats what everyone else has done, but not me. Faith reached over and took Beths hands in her own. Stop trying to be a damn hero all the time B.
I thought you were afraid of me Faith, you said so. Beth asked
No, I was afraid of what you were becoming, cold and hard and uncaring. But I was never afraid of you. Tell me what happened B.
Beths eyes looked away as she brought the memory back of what happened. It was a few weeks after wed been there. Things had been pretty regular, they came dragged you out and then tortured you. Then one day they came for me as always, but they took me to a different room and threw me inside
Faith softly ran her hands up and down Beths arms as she saw the anguish in her eyes, I was wrongyou dont have to tell me B. I shouldnt have pushed.
Beth looked at Faith, No, you were right. I do have to get this out.
When they threw me inside this time there were five men inside and the guards said Have fun boys! I knew I was in trouble, I managed to kill two of them but I was tired and weakand they held me downand Tears fell down Beths face as she remembered what was done to her and struggled to find her voice to continue. And
Faith saw the agony on Beths face and pulled Beth against her and held her close, Its okay, youre okay, she murmured softly into Beths ear over and over.
Beth forced herself to continue, They forced some liquid down my throat and everything became blurry and I felt like I couldnt move. All I could feel was them pushing themselves inside me over and over until I passed out. Beth leaned back so she could look at Faiths face, afraid she would see disgust on her face. But all she saw was concern and love in Faiths eyes.
Im sorry B. Id kill the bastards that hurt you like that if I could, but together well find a way to get through this. Faith pulled Beth against her and held her in her arms and felt Beths arms wrap around her. I love you B, I have for a long time. Let me help you. Faith ignored the tears she felt in her eyes.
Ill try Faith, but its hard to let go of what they did. I just want to
I know. But we can do it, together. Nothing can stop the Chosen Two.
Beth moved back to look at Faith as she smirked, Youre lucky I love you F, otherwise Id have to hurt you for that corny Chosen Two
Faith kissed Beth gently on the lips cutting her off, Hah! I laugh at the smell of danger! a silly grin on her face.
I cant believe you said that! I thought only Xander said that.
Where do you think I got it. Faith smiled. Come on, lets get out of here. We have to get back and get ready to move, I heard its lighter further north east towards Belfort.
Faith and Beth stood up their hands still linked as they held on to each other and started the walk back.
Continue to chapers |14-16|