the pearl

What If What Is Isn't True?

Buffy walked out of the library, her arms filled with books. She paused for a second, placing them on a bench, sighing heavily.

"Rough time being a college student?" a voice said from behind her.

Buffy whirled around, instantly going into battle mode. Her eyes widened when she saw who was standing there. "Faith?" she asked in a surprised whisper.

Faith looked at her former partner, her eyes gleaming bitterly in a sallow, thin face. "None other, B," she said softly.

Buffy blinked in disbelief, then swallowed. "W-What are you doing here?"

Faith waved her hand in the air nonchalantly. "I'm not here. I'm dead." She smiled sharply. "Some old lover's ghost, come to haunt the person who killed her."

Buffy looked at Faith's arms. "Last time I checked, ghosts didn't have scabs on their arms."

Faith looked down at her arms. "You found me out," she said, slowly running her hands over the track marks. "I didn't die." She looked back up at Buffy. "But I might as well have."

Buffy stared at Faith in shock, not knowing what to say. "I...I..."

Faith shook her head, holding up a hand. "Don't start," she said quietly. "Don't even start talking, B, 'cause anything you say isn't going to make any sense..." She slumped her shoulders, looking down. "I didn't think I'd see you here...Didn't think you'd be studying so late...but I should have known better..." Her eyes looked up into Buffy's, hungry, tired, vicious. "You're probably a good student, too...The model Slayer and the junkie fuck-up. What a pair..." Her bitter chuckle degenerated into a cough.

Buffy's confusion began to edge into frustrated anger. "How could you let this happen?" she finally spat out. "How could you?"

Faith straightened, glaring at Buffy. "YOU did this to me," she said, her voice calm. "I was nearly dead, you know? Coma, the whole nine yards. And when I woke up, I had nothing." She stepped right up to Buffy, barely inches from her face. "I didn't have a job, I didn't have a place to live, I didn't have anybody. I lost EVERYTHING. And it was all because of you." She stepped back, her eyes glittering with anger. "Just who the fuck did you think you were? Fighting evil, saving the world...what's the fucking use? More just appear. And you go on just as happy as you were before, because no one you care about gets hurt..."

Buffy glared at the other girl. "That's not true —"

"Let me ask you somethin', B," Faith interrupted. "When you chained me up in Angel's mansion, that first time, were you doing it because I was...oh...what did Angel say...'repressing my feelings about killing that bad guy' or was it because I tried to kill Xander?" She smiled, revealing missing teeth. "I bet you didn't give a damn about what happened to Xander...that didn't tarnish your precious 'Holy Crusader' image..."

Buffy's hand shot out before she could think, striking against Faith's cheek.

Faith stepped back further, out of range, the palmprint turning bright red. "I thought I was the one with control issues, B," she said quietly.

"Get out of here," Buffy said, her fists down at her sides, clenched tightly. "I don't ever want to see you again."

Faith's chuckle turned into a cough again, and once she regained her breath, looked up at the furious woman. "Well one of us hasn't changed," she said raspily. "Still trying to deny what happened, are you, B? Trying to forget that, just once, you let that sacred duty slide...that you were no better than any other murderer in the world..."

Buffy shook her head. "Go. Away," she said, her voice verging on hysteric.

Faith stood next to Buffy, her mouth close to Buffy's ear. "Are you denying what else happened that night too? Are you denying us?"

Buffy closed her eyes tightly, willing the memories away. Faith's hands sliding up her top, soft lips pressed against hers, Faith moaning into her ear as she thrust against her leg...

Buffy shook her head again. "No...." she breathed. "No, please," she begged in a soft low voice. "Please...go away..." She heard a low chuckle, soft lips kissing against her neck, an almost possessive squeeze around her waist, then heard the clatter of bootsteps growing gradually fainter.

She opened her eyes, revealing an empty walkway. She quickly picked up her books and hurried back to her car.

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