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

The Rest Is Still Unwritten
By Croupier
For Voleuse

"Oh, my God!"

If there were ever an antithesis of the brunette in the gray suit, it was surely walking towards her right now, crossing the marble floor with alarming speed in electric-blue high heels. High heels that matched the electric-blue raw silk skirt, which in turn had a violently fuschia satin blouse tucked into it. Even as every Slayer instinct in her body tightened her muscles for a fight, Faith leaned hard on her new burden to keep her composure. She'd never been at ease in these situations, plus she had some bad associations with perky blonde types--baggage, I guess--and even as her fighting instincts continued to build, she thought This is stupid, this is stupid, this is stupid, this is stupid, not even knowing what this was, and all without time to think because the blonde blur kept walking towards her, talking faster with every step.

"I totally remember you! We went to Sunnydale together! You're that creepy biker girl who used to lesbo up with Buffy, right?"

"Um, that's one way to look at it." Faith pulled from her center, dragging her purpose up, focusing on why she was there. Steady. Extend a hand. "I'm Faith Lehane, from the Guts, Not Guns! program. And I'm afraid I don't remember you." There was an awkward pause while the blonde smiled vacantly from behind an exceptionally limp handshake. Just feeling the dead fish in her palm threw all of Faith's old defenses back into place, just like they'd been lying in wait. "Of course, I didn't spend much time in high school . . . I was kind of a juvenile delinquent back then. But that was before I went to prison . . . " She trailed off. Fucking Southie wannabe badass. Goddamnit. Can't you at least act like you're legit? Faith tried to stand still and not fidget with her hair. "And, um, now I'm here! I'm back! In Boston!" She tried to smile.

"Uh . . . that's so great! I'm Harmony Kendall," the blonde finally chirped, "and I'm in charge of the firm's annual Christmas charity drive."

"Just my luck," Faith muttered.

Harmony hadn't seemed to hear over the sound of her own chatter. Faith was at once relieved and abashed, as well as a little angry about having been caught off-guard. Wearing skirt suits and turnover-collar gauzy blouses--she couldn't even bring herself to call them shirts--had never stopped feeling like bad drag, and high school had been enough like bad drag the first time around. Running into someone who'd actually been at Sunnydale with her, having to follow that someone down a marble hallway, wasn't something she'd planned on. Hanging out with lawyer types for money was yet another thing that had wound up way down on her bad list, but someone who actually remembered her as--how had Harmony put it?--that creepy biker girl who used to lesbo up with Buffy was worse than what she'd come prepared for. Faith tried to take her uneasiness and quash it, the way she'd learned to swallow her confusion when she worked for the Mayor. She shook a strand of wavy brown hair back from her face and pictured Angel stringing a necklace made from Spike's teeth. Sometimes it was the only mental image that could calm her down.

"What have you been up to? It's been so long, like eight years, right? Can you imagine going to our high school reunion? I am so debating about whether I want to go or not. I mean, I kind of do want everyone to see that I don't look a day older than eighteen, but there were just so many gross people there! Like you! I mean, no offense; that outfit looks really cute, or at least it would have last fall. Do you feel kind of grandma-ish in it? I know I would, but then again, gray's not really my color. I like bright colors; I guess you can tell! So what have you been doing? After high school, I hung out with Cordelia for a little bit, and then I worked at this hellish law firm in L.A., and I mean, like, seriously hellish--"

Faith, who had been stumbling through Harmony's words as if through a room full of cotton batting, shook her head to clear it. "Wait a minute. What?"

"Oh. I worked at this hellful law firm. But then I quit that job, and--"

"No. You worked at Wolfram and Hart?"

"Yeah." Harmony's face was blank. "What, like it's hard?"

She opened the door to an office at the end of the corridor. Faith got the idea that the room had once been a closet, but what a sparkly closet it had become. Cutouts from magazines smiled at her from neon pink posterboard; what looked suspiciously like an Apple IIc took up the bulk of Harmony's desk space. Faith tried to find a place to sit down, but every surface was piled with fashion magazines and bottles of glitter glue. Faith began to move the piles around, hoping to find a place to put her ass so it could get the hell back out of this office and back to Wood. He's not even going to believe this shit.

"Um, what's this?" Faith picked up a heart-shaped piece of red posterboard. Closer inspection revealed the faces of Cordelia Chase and Lauren Conrad pasted at seemingly random intervals across its surface.

"That's my love collage." Harmony took the cardboard and pulled it close to her heart. "It's made up of things and people I love."

"I'd hate to see your fuck collage," Faith muttered.

"I have one of those!" Harmony bent over, leaving her blue-silk-clad ass in the air. Faith raised her eyebrows.

"See?" said Harmony, arms extended. In her hands was a piece of green posterboard cut into a shamrock shape. "Here's my pom from my first cheer audition, and here's a penny that I found on my birthday in seventh grade--" she grimaced "--that I kind of wish wasn't on here because right after I glued it on there, Devon came over and tried to make out with me, but then he threw up because he'd brought me wine coolers and--"

Faith felt like she'd left the realm of reason at the door. Looking-glass. She fumbled for the point behind her visit, but through the yards and yards of cotton batting, she could only recall the words "You bothered to take this stuff with you?"

"Well, sure." Harmony seemed puzzled. "What do you take with you when you leave a place?"

Faith shrugged and spread her arms. If she couldn't talk, she could sure as hell posture. "You're lookin' at it." She paused. "Well, this and the beefcake." Beefcake? Jesus.

"Ooh, beefcake!" Harmony launched her ample bottom at the desk chair, where she bounced a little before settling in with one leg crossed over the other. "Tell me more!"

"Well, he has a good heart, and I think an Oedipus complex, and he definitely doesn't have a love collage." This, Faith thought, this was terra firma. She began to recite: "Robin Wood and I met in Sunnydale--" she gestured with a manicured hand towards Harmony "--and, upon leaving, we decided that we wanted to do something to better the lives of inner-city youth." She smoothed her skirt over her knees, feeling a little more in charge now. "He's an education professional and I have extensive martial arts training, so we decided to run a free after-school program teaching martial arts to kids fifth grade and up, in the hopes that we could keep them away from drugs and gangs and all that other stuff that I was involved in--" another gesture towards Harmony "--back in high school."

Harmony glowed. "That's super! And I have to give people like you money so we can get good P.R. and a bitchin' tax deduction!"

Faith felt a little let down. All Alice and no mushrooms. "That's it?"

Harmony's hands fluttered towards her. "Oh, no way, I mean, we have to work out when we're handing over the giant check; we usually do it right before the holidays, apparently?"

"It's that time of year," Faith remarked tonelessly.

"That's right! So we're here to make Christmas special for all the needy children of Boston. And some of them are really needy, if you know what I mean. Like, I was on the subway this morning and there was this guy who was holding out a hat? And it wasn't even a Red Sox hat? I mean, I don't like sports or anything--I'm not a big lesbo like you--"

Faith sputtered. "Not a big lesbo like *me*?"

Harmony seemed puzzled. "Well, yeah. I'm bisexual. Like Tila Tequila!"

Faith pictured Angel on a balcony, throwing Spike-tooth necklaces at throngs of girls with their shirts off. Calm it down, calm it down.

"I mean, Tila is hot. She's so hot that her website is called Tila's Hot Spot. I think she's hotter than Paris Hilton, but who isn't, right?"

"Harmony," Faith heard herself saying, "I'm probably more into guys than you are."

"Well, duh," Harmony smiled. "Aren't you into, like, everybody?"

"I'm not into you." Faith stood up. This charity thing had gone too far. "Look, I appreciate what you're trying to do for us--"

"For the kids," nodded Harmony.

"--And for the kids," sputtered Faith, "but I don't know if this is going to work out. I mean, you're crazy and totally gay and in fuckin' denial about it, and I'm trying to do something fuckin' meaningful, and this--" Faith threw her hands in the air "--this is all wrong. I mean, I'm wearing a skirt and--" she pulled her ponytail down "--it's not even leather, and this blouse is like made out of fucking taffeta or something--" Faith pulled at its buttons. "It's just all wrong."

A stillness from behind the desk pricked at Faith's Slayer senses. Somewhere, a warning bell was sounding deep in her mind. She looked over for the danger, but all she saw were Harmony's teeth pulling at a pink-glossed lower lip. "I normally--" Harmony slid off her chair "--don't do this. I don't go for biker chicks. But you're really hot like that, all messed up. Like Angelina Jolie was when I was in high school."

Faith looked at her darkly. "You are so fucking gay."

"Mmmaybe I am." Harmony was raking her nails over Faith's $3.99 stockings. "Mmmaybe I don't know. What's it to you?"

Faith closed her eyes. If she likes drag queens who happen to have been born female, then I'm her girl, she thought. She felt Harmony's mouth on hers. And through the yards of cotton, Faith's mouth pressed back a little. Harmony's kisses were the slow, tentative ones of a girl discovering just how much she liked other girls. For the very first time.

Faith pulled closer and wrapped her hands around Harmony's waist. She could feel herself, wet under the stockings. "It's not that I don't wanna fuck you," she breathed, "because I do. It's just that I'm not gonna totally fuck myself in the process."

"But I like to watch," murmured Harmony. "And I'm so glad," she whispered as she reached for the zipper high on Faith's bottom, "that you finally learned how to dress."

"No, Harm." Faith twisted away. Step on it. That's it. Step on it. "No. I'm gonna walk out that door. You're gonna cut us a check. No drama. No fanfare. No P.R. unless you guys wanna write a press release." She straightened her back, trying to gather her courage. She walked towards the door and reached for the knob. She was halfway out the door before she turned around.

"And if you wanna find out how bisexual you really are, we're down at the Y three days a week."