Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

By Morrigushout
For Faithtastic

Faith waits.

She doesn't wait for redemption, she thinks she got that by almost getting herself killed in bringing Angel back and saving the World, battling against the First.

She doesn't wait for friends, she always was the lone kind of Slayer.

She doesn't wait for Robin to come back home. She really isn't the kind of wife-y girl who cooks dinner and makes herself pretty for when hubby gets home from work. And anyway, Robin's even far too happy with his new Watcher job, ordering young girls around. Sometimes they won't see each other for days. And it's all right, 'case she does like Robin, but sure as Hell doesn't love him. He understands that and is fine with it. So, not waiting for Robin after all.

So, what is Faith waiting for?


Yes, it does sound strange, doesn't it? She, herself, snorts when she thinks of that. And she just thinks of that, because saying that aloud would be too absurd, even for an ex-psycho, never right in her mind gal like she is.

She hasn't always waited for Tara, mind you.

She waits for the dead witch since when they kissed for the first time... even if they never actually did.

It's simpler than it sounds.

The first time Faith met Tara, she'd barely noticed her. She'd been otherwise occupied at the time, enjoying the mischief of inhabiting Buffy's precious body, doing the major damage possible before flying for rosier horizons. Of course, the precious Bitch had had to ruin her plans once again, by showing and to show how better she was than her, how nicer, prettier, blonder and just...

Of course Faith doesn't think of Buffy as the Bitch now, 'cause they are back being friends now.

Oh, who is she kidding. She still think of Buffy as the Bitch. She always did, and always will. Does really her bottle-blondeness believe "B" is for Buffy? Poor dear.

Anyway, before B blasted her brave new world with saint glee, Faith had got to meet Willow's new beau. Well, belle, actually. And wasn't that a surprise. Mousy, nerd Willow a lesbian. Not a declared one yet, sure, but still a surprise. A surprise Buffy, clearly, hadn't unwrapped yet, so maybe Faith could have some fun with this shy lil' babbler to repay dear Willow of the nice way she'd always treated her?

So she'd hurt Tara. Say little mean words to her and made her flinch as if slapped. All the time, Buffy's face hadn't lost its sweet smile.

So many things had happened after that.

Enough to fill her with sneaky, cutting doubts. Enough to make her forget Tara.


She remembered the endless moment of darkness while Angel fought Angelus in his mind's alley, that horrible, vigil oblivion that made her float in the void, tortured by the terrifying awareness of her lack of senses.

Dread had taken possession of her as she was hit by the thought that she could remain in this limbo forever, condemned to eternal nothingness... like when she'd let herself fall off that roof... all that time, prisoner of cold darkness... maybe this was the punishment for her deeds... but not again... no, please... not that again...

She had wished to die then, anything would be better than this horrible, conscious non-existence... So she had begun to concentrate, striving to reach her body, just for the time necessary to order it to stop working...

And then Tara had come to save her.

Faith couldn't describe very well how she'd appeared. In that dark emptiness, her usually heightened senses weren't working. It had begun with what could be described like a hum, a blinking, soft, fireflyish light, a vibration... or maybe the first thing she remembered was the sweet, shy scent of acacia flowers caressing her too cold, too hot skin and soothing her fear, her desolation away.

"What the..." she'd muttered, confused.

"Faith?" the soft voice had called quietly.

"What?..." she'd repeated.

"Faith, don't be afraid... I'm here to help."


"I'm Tara, remember? Willow's... friend?"

"Willow... got lotsa friends. So lovely Willow."

"Yes, she is lovely, and she does have many good friends... but I was a particular one, remember? We met when you had taken Buffy's body. You were the first one to notice the real nature of our love."

"Mmm? Don't... remember... wanna sleep... so tired... let go..."

"I can't do that, Faith. I don't want to."

"Why... why. Yeah, remember you now. Will's little babbling thing. Babbling anymore?"

"No." Faith could feel Tara's fond smile. "Not anymore. Willow taught me not to. She gave me many reasons to stand for myself."

"Sweet. Still... still don't get it. Didn't treat you well, did I? So why 'r you here? Why... keeping me here, try to... get me back... what do you want from me?"

"I want you to live, Faith. You could make the difference, you could be the girl you always wanted to be... Willow was right, you did have a choice when you followed the Mayor, you made another brave one when you let them arrest you... now you have a chance to get everything you always wanted to have. What you always wanted to be. You could have friends, and be looked onto, you could be a paladin... you could be loved, Faith."

"Don't want your charity. Want to rest. Let go, witch. Let me die. Nothing good from me. Don't want... can't. Did my hero exit. Let me go like this."

"Why are you so eager to die? You think you're the only one who had a bad life? You of all people, shouldn't be so eager to drop the fight."

"Not worth it."

"What? You or life?"

"Both. Let go. Just wanna... just wanna rest."

"You think Death is rest? You are wrong. It's all but that."

"Like you know."

"I do. I'm dead."


"Yeah? How sad. And you coming all the way down from you lil' cloud to, what, do angelic stuff? Pick someone else. Go to Willow. If you're dead, go comfort her. Fuck her. Do the Patrick Swayze show. Whatever. Don't waste your time on me... just leave me alone, make everyone a favour, yeah."

"I'm the last thing Willow needs now. And the first you need."

"Yeah? That why?"

"Told you why. 'Cause Willow doesn't need real dead people talking to her right now... and you... you need to be shown."

"Shown? Shown what?"

"What life could be like... if you earn it."

Faith had drawn in a sharp breath as Tara had appeared before her, above her, beside her, place had no meaning where they were, but Tara was there, smiling at her, and that made the darkness, the cold, less maddening... and that was comfortable.

The shy blabbing bundle of fluffy clothes Faith vaguely remembered had been replaced by a beautiful woman, shining with serene benevolence. Tara's face had thinned, but in a good way: her delicate lines were now showing off in all their discrete grace. The shapeless clothes she'd seen on her had left their place to a light floral dress that clung to her rich body.

The eyes that had posed on Faith were shining with... fondness.

Tara had held her arms out to the dark Slayer, and she had wanted to sneer, say she didn't to the group hug thing, but she had craved the touch, the warmth, the comfort so much after that creepy void... so she'd taken her hand and let the blonde enfold her into a warm embrace.

The witch had just held her for a while, stroking her hair, and after a while, Faith had relaxed with a rough breath, and the tears had come. Tara had let her cry off all the pain, and then scream off all the rage, and then cry off some more pain, until it had become more bearable.

Finally, with a sniff, Faith had withdrawn, and Tara had leaned over and kissed her heated forehead, then, with a last, gentle squeeze to her shoulders, she'd let go.

"Go now."

The dead girl's words had alarmed the exhausted Slayer.

"What? Just, just like that? But... no! I still have questions! What happens now? How do I get to you? What happened to you? Why you? Why did they send you to me? Who did? Do I have to give Willow a message?"

Tara smiled at the unusual rush of words from the habitually cool girl. "Don't even tell Willow you saw me. Told you, she doesn't need that now." With that, she began to fade away. The fight noises drifted off to the Slayer's sensitive ears.

"Hey! That's it? You come here, give me a hug and I should get back to my shitty life?!?"

"Told you, you have to earn what you want."

"But I was ready to die to help Angel!"

"That would have earned you a good death. Now you have to earn a good life."

Then Tara was gone, and Faith had a souled Vamp to help.


She had followed Willow back to Sunnydale after the red witch had restored Angel's soul, and there she had met a much more mature, confident, thinner and tired Buffy.

Ironically, of all the people she'd hurt back in Sunnydale, it had been the very Slayer, the one she'd hated the most, the one she had wanted to destroy for real, the only one to greet her friendly.

She had had to fight her way through both the other Scoobies' and the potential Slayers' diffidence.

The only other one who had understood her had been Spike, who shared her difficult situation: like her, he wanted to help, but wasn't trusted... and the thing that hurt the most, was that both former baddies knew their allies were in their own rights with their distrust... Hell, even Spike didn't trust himself... and Faith... Faith wasn't so sure about herself, either.

And having to take Buffy's place when the blond Slayer had fallen in disgrace, an unwanted usurpation, surely hadn't helped. The girls left under her care were angry and scared and hard to control, and that new bitch Willow had found herself was just plain... well, she simply was a bitch.

Dealing with Kennedy had helped Faith get a little more confident with himself, and had earned her the other Slayers' respect. They had seen the harsh girl as their clandestine leader, and beating her down verbally had made Faith a lot more powerful to their eyes than any Slayer trick could have. Like a pack of beasts, they had simply followed the new Alfa.

After all, Faith might have had to thank Kennedy. She always worked better when she was pissed.

And Robin... well, Robin had been... interesting. A little too cool, too bold, maybe. But in the end, he'd raised her sincere attention, and that was pretty rare. A Principal, who'd have thought. Things had begun to look up, when...

The underground expedition had been a blast. Literally. She remembered shouting orders and obscurity and... small red numbers screaming death at her.

Then the darkness had claimed her once again.




"Faith, wake up..."


A chuckle.

"Come on, you big girl, wake up. It's me. Tara."



Faith jerked awake. "Tara?!?"

This time Tara was already reclined by her side. Her dress this time was a dusty blue, but other than that, her soft beauty hadn't changed since the last time.

"What... what happened?"

"The First set you up. There was a bomb."

"The girls!?"

"You were the closest to it. You saved lots of them with your warning. Could have ducked instead, save yourself. I knew you had lots of good in yourself... but you're going a lot faster than even I had thought."

So, the bomb had practically blasted in her face... was she...

"Tara" she asked softly "am I dead?"

Tara smiled. "No. You're hurt badly, but you were hurt worse. A normal human would have died from that blast... but you... you're going to recover in a couple days this time, honey, don't worry..."

Faith had leaned her head back with a sigh, only partially relieved. So, this was not over... "Do I have to get my ass so royally kicked to see you? Can't you just do a dream thing or something?"

Tara had shaken her head sadly. "No, I can't. I'm dead, Faith. I can't reach you in the land of living. Not without disturbing important balances. Moreover, it's not how this works. I can give you a push from time to time, not be by your side every moment. The Slayer has to be a lone warrior, even when she's circled by friends. Buffy learnt that on her own skin, and has come to deal with it. You have, too. Only, you don't have all the time she had. That's why they let me help you."

"But who lets you? And why you?"

"Because I asked. As for who, they are always the same. They have many names. Maybe you heard of them as The Powers That Be."

"You... you asked. Why? It's not like you had lotsa reasons to help me."

"Remember when we met?"

"Yeah, now I do. Asked Willow to refresh my memory. By the way, she told me what happened. To you, I mean. Sorry. Crappy way to go, and with former badass licence, may I say that bastard got what he deserved?"

Tara had stared out into the dark void that enfolded them, her beautiful eyes distant. "It wasn't worth Willow getting her hands bloodied. I... I was alright, I didn't even feel the pain, one moment I was with her, the one after I was... fine. But seeing what happened to her, seeing her so lost... I got lost once, you know? Well, I had always been lost when she found me the first time, but after... I got hurt, and got lost. And she... she found me. She took care of what was left of me and all the while she sought me, and in the end, she found me. Seeing her losing herself like that, not being able to help her, like she'd done with me... but Xander did, and now she's fine."

Faith had snorted. "Not with that bitch, sorry the French."

Tara had snickered. "You're excused. I might just be jealous, mind me, but I must say, I agree... I don't think it will last, though. Willow will realise Kenned doesn't have much to give her. But if she can help my girl to move on, and keep living... she's welcome to do that."

"Still haven't answered my question, blondie. Why you?"

Tara had cocked an eyebrow.

"Okay, okay, so not many people who would waste the time over me. But you... why did you? New Age good vibrations an' stuff?"

"I was telling you. When we met..."

"Don't need to rub my nose in it, Cherub. Don't really have a thing against two girl going at it. Have my own good share of stories. Was just getting some revenge on people I had... stuff going with. Nothing personal."

"I know. I knew, even then. Your aura... it was all wrong, blurred and warped and mixed with traces of Buffy's, and it was darkened with confusion, and anger, and pain... but I saw its core. And I liked what I saw. It was good. You're a good person, Faith... despite your attitude."

Faith had open her mouth to reply, but a soft whisper, and a sucking sensation at the pit of his stomach, had stopped her. She'd snapped wide, alarmed eyes on Tara.

"Don't worry, it's just... It's just life. Calling you back. Well, not literally. Your body is beginning to wake. Let yourself go, Faith. There will be some pain, but you'll be all right."

"No!" Faith had all but jumped Tara, locking strong arms around the blonde witch. The sucking feeling and the voices had subdued. "This time you don't do the Christmas Carol exit! What does it mean I'll be all right?!? You can't kick me back to life every time I get the chance to get some rest, and just disappear! You have any idea of all the shit I had to eat from that people?!? Dawn, Spike, that lil' bitch your ex got herself? And for what?!? Really felt no love on the streets! The only person who treated me like I was a big statue of crap is you, and you keep doing the "touch of an angel" trick and then you wash your hands of me! What do I have to do to be with you, conk myself on the head?!?"

Tara had tilted her head to the side. "What about Robin?"

Faith had lowered her head. "He's... nice, ok? No, not even nice. He's... a good soldier, I guess. Likes the fight. Likes commanding around. Maybe even likes me. Sure doesn't love me. A fuck ain't a declaration of love, know that?"

"I don't know, Faith. I never had one. Only made love, with one person, after I realised I loved her... so I really don't know. But he respects you, he's attracted by you... don't you think you should work on this to get more from him? You don't expect him to fall head over heels for you like in the movies, right? You're not the type."

Faith had snorted, but then she'd immediately returned serious. "Truth is... I don't think I could love him."

With that, Faith had stared at Tara from under her long lashes. She'd stared hard.

Tara's eyes had widened, and after a moment she'd whispered: "Faith, no... I'm dead..."

"And I could be in a couple days. But that's not the point, is it? You're still in love with her. And you demand she moves on, when you're never gonna let her go?"

"It's not that. You belong... you have to live, not... you can't live a life worth living if... if you keep wanting to come back to a dead person... it's hard enough for Willow, and she had a good life before she even met me... what will be of you? You're just starting now... And, now I ask, why me? You barely know me, you... you never fell in love in your life, you never even believed in love, and now..."

Faith made an angry dismissal gesture with her hand. "Don't you get it?!? Really? You're the first... the first person... who treats me like I'm worth something... and don't you even say B's name, you know she always treated me like... like some bad daughter, that you love whatever she does!"


"Robin doesn't know me! Robin will never know me! Robin just sees a woman tough enough to face him down in a rough fuck, he sees another soldier... doesn't give a shit about the rest, and why the Hell should he? He never knew the real me! The bad me! And don't tell me I'm not her, 'cause you know a part of me still is! And you're the only one who ever saw that part, and didn't pretend it wasn't there, or demanded that I destroyed it! You said it, you're the first one who sees me, all of me... and likes what she sees."

With that, Faith had slumped against the rich breasts, exhausted and humiliated by this unfamiliar feeling of being exposed, naked in a way she'd never been, with the very first person who meant something to her... in such a deep way. Not even Richard had meant so much for her. He'd never make her feel... modest.


"No, look, you really chose the wrong person to mess with, okay? None of this New Age crap with me! How the Hell do I know you're not the First?!? Maybe you're messing with me like you did with Spike, can't say I'm much saner, right? Maybe you just need someone evil to play your game from inside the good guys base, a plant or something, and you kept me alive so I'd do just that! So maybe I should just let myself die, for everyone's sake!"

Tara had reeled back at the dark Slayer's harsh words. "Faith, no..."

"No? Fine! Then give me a proof! Give me a proof you're better than him! Give me a proof you care, that I'm something worth risk something on instead than just another drone the First or even those great stuffy Powers toss around like it doesn't count a shit! You wanna save me?!? Do it for real!!"

For the first time since she'd manifested, Tara seemed to revert to the babbling girl Faith had once met. "O-okay" she'd answered after a long silence "I'll... I'll try and... come for you, okay? If... if you promise you won't try to find me unless you really, really need me. I belong to the dead, Faith. You... should look for what you need in life. But... but if you don't find it... when you'll know, if you'll ever know you can't find it there... I'll be there for you, okay? I... can't say I'd mind... being with you." The last words had been spoken so softly, only the Slayer's heightened hearing had been able to make them out.

Faith's heart had leaped, but to ease both herself and the blonde out of their mutual embarrass, she had smirked. "So what do I have to do, ask B to hit me really hard next time I need you?"

Tara had looked distant, again. "I'm afraid it won't come to that. This... this thing with the First, it's coming to an end... it's going to be over soon. Next time, there won't be middle worlds to float in... there will be either Death, or Life. Either we will meet again soon, and for good... or hopefully you will find something better than... well, a dead witch. Should you not... wait for Yule. On Solstices and Equinoxes, the layer between the world of the Living and the one of the Dead is thinner. At the peek of the longest night of the year, light a candle... and think of me, ok?"

With that, Tara had rapidly leaned over, and had planted a fast, shy, almost childish kiss on Faith's lips. Then she had retreated as hastily as she'd come, her head bowed, blond hair covering her blushing face, and had whispered: "Now go!"

Faith had woken up and prepared for the last battle with determination. She had to get this stupid little war out of her path fast, so she could get to the serious stuff, the war raging out in her soul that made the First pale and disappear on comparison. She had fought the First with a new, cautious but enthusiastic energy. She hadn't just thrown herself in the tussle, but she had given all of herself to it. She had to be careful now. And she had to win. 'Cause for the first time, she had a life to look on.


Faith has never been one for Christmas. All that jolly silly stuff, never got to her. She's never been one for New Age, Wiccan celebrations, either. But she can appreciate a celebration of the longest night of the year. It sounds so full of... possibilities.

She's let several months pass, and Seasons change. She's kept her part of the dial, and sought life. Found many things she needed, and she's happy with it. But she hasn't found the one she needs the most.

So she bought a candle, a special blessed one. The geeky clerk of the magic shop chirped for what felt like hours of rituals and symbolic colours, but screw her. She bought this one candle because it reminds her of Tara's eyes. Lil' witch got her bound that tight about her little finger.

Now Faith waits, on Solstice Night, sitting on the floor of her apartment, the candle placed before her. She waits for Midnight, when she will light it.

Faith waits for Tara, and smiles.

Faith waits for Tara.

Faith waits.