the pearl

Credit In The Straight World

The lights were bright, harsh against her tired eyes. She squinted, her blue eyes rimmed with bright blue eyeliner, powder blue eyeshadow going up to the eyebrow.

She hated this. She absolutely fucking hated this.

She strutted out onto the stage, the floodlights blinding her. She did her routine automatically. Turn, thrust, buck the hips, unhook the bra. Turn again, pause for dollar bill, run hands over crotch, slide down bra, twist, buck, grab the pole. Thrust against pole, smile, pause for next dollar bill, thrust again, buck the hips, pull up the g-string against the crotch, fake a moan, thrust the ass, turn, turn, wave, leave.

She sighed as she grabbed her feather boa for the next song. This one was only slightly different from the first one, a little more twisting with the boa, the standard running it between the legs, waiting for another dollar, dance, dance, dance.

She grabbed the nearby chair and rocked her hips against it, dipping her head back to show off her tits as she thrust. That was always the money shot. Several dollars bills were slipped into her garter. She walked off of the stage, breathing hard, sweat dripping into her eyes, running her mascara, making her eyes sting even more.

She really fucking hated this.

She pulled on a robe, grabbed her cigarettes, and went to the back entrance. After a quick scan to see if there were any stalkers, vampire or otherwise, she lit a cigarette and leaned back against the wall, sighing heavily.

"Fuck..." she breathed, blowing smoke out as she spoke.

"Not now, but maybe if you give me your number..." a voice said from the alleyway.

Buffy closed her eyes. "Jesus," she said quietly.

"Not quite, B..." Faith said, sliding over into the light. She looked the other woman up and down. "God, really went downhill fast, didn't you?"

Buffy glared at the other woman. "I don't need this, Faith," she said tiredly.

"What do you need, darlin'? A better wardrobe? A pack of cigarettes?" Faith smiled sharply, leaning in. "A new job?" She stepped back, looking up at the large neon "Club Paradise" sign above the both of them. "God, B, when we did Amateur Night together, I didn't realize you'd keep up with this..."

Buffy shrugged nonchalantly, or, at least, tried to. "It pays the bills."

Faith smirked. "Right... Let me guess, you thought about college, and costs, and how, really, slaying isn't a marketable talent, and it all came down to showing your tits at Sunnydale's adult revue?"

Buffy looked at Faith, her eyes sharp. "At least I remembered my first job..."

Faith nodded. "Oh, yeah, right. Slaying." She chuckled. "Do you have any idea how much some people are willing to pay to know what a Slayer knows?" She pointed down at her finely tailored suit. "Like it? It's Prada." She smiled sweetly. "Never thought you'd see me in anything classier than a new wifebeater, huh?" She pulled a silver cigarette case from a pocket and pulled out a slim dark colored cigarette, lighting it with a equally thin lighter. The sweet scent of cloves washed over the scent of Buffy's GPCs.

"Faith, is there a point to this?" Buffy said tiredly. "'Cause if there isn't, I have to get back to work..."

Faith chuckled. "" She grinned. "You know, it's funny, B. All during that crazy year we spent together, you were so afraid of becoming me." She pointed her cigarette at her. "Absolute fucking fear of being me. And then it happened." She pulled up her blazer and shirt just far enough to reveal a scar down the side of her stomach. "You tried to kill me." She smoothed her clothing down and smiled bitterly. "You were so afraid of becoming me, and then you became me. Killing me for a guy...I mean, Jesus, Buffy, could you be any more co-dependent? And now look at you. You're stripping, you're miserable, and you can't stand the fact that I'm living high and mighty while you're barely able to get by." She chuckled. "You took my life, darlin'... And I..." her voice grew mocking. "Took yours." She shrugged. "Looks like I got the credit in the straight world."

"That's a straight world?" Buffy snapped. "You sold us out, Faith! You betrayed all of us!" Her hand went flying towards Faith's face.

Faith caught her hand before it connected and shook her head. "You ought to know better, B," she said, placing a light kiss on the palm of Buffy's hand. "I didn't betray you. You did."

Buffy fell back against the wall, gaping at the other woman. "No..."

Faith nodded. "Yep. And now, you have to live with it." She fished in her pocket and pulled out a few bills. "Here," she said, handing Buffy the money. "So you don't miss another rent check..." She leaned forward, gave her former friend a soft kiss on the forehead, and slowly walked away, her thick heels clacking loudly on the pavement.

This Angel/Buffy the Vampire Slayer story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at