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ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By sailor80


My whole life, they told me to have faith. Faith would make me strong. Faith would help when I couldn't help myself. Faith was firm and stable and something I could stand on. Faith would let me know myself, see clearly, make the right decision even when it was hard.

They were wrong.

Faith is a beautiful girl with the darkest eyes I've ever seen. Faith is a girl who dances like music was invented for her. Faith burns brighter than the sun.

If I knew what love is, I'd feel that for her. But she confuses me, and I'm not sure how I feel. She's another soldier in this war, called to me by the death of a girl who was just becoming my friend. Faith is fire and rage that is nearly uncontrolled.

Everything she asks, I give without question, without thinking, without hesitation. Everything she wants from me, she takes, her lips bent into a red smile that never reaches her eyes.

I can hardly hear anyone else. Their voices become dimmer each day, their worried eyes part of the background. I don't want their opinions. I don't need their affection.

I need Faith.

Not so long ago, I would have been ashamed. I'm not now. I don't care who sees or hears when she pushes me against a crypt and orders me to be silent. I don't care who smells her on me after she pushes me to my knees and demands that I sate her lust. I don't care that she leaves bruises and bite marks. I don't care that sometimes she uses the stake instead of her fingers. I only care that she makes the burning stop, that the ache subsides, that for a few seconds, I can just be.

It's nowhere near that complicated for her. She wants me. She takes me. She owns me. I'm hers now, not Joyce's daughter or Willow's friend or Giles' Slayer. I'm Faith's to do with as she pleases, when she pleases, where she pleases.

They're going to separate us, to break our bond. I can't let that happen, even if distance and time were enough to accomplish it. She tells me, when we stalk through the darkness, what will happen and what I will do. She tells me to believe that because I am hers, she will take care of me, give me what I don't even know I need.

She tells me, laughing, to have faith.

And then she is gone.

I do what I am supposed to do. I don't pretend to enjoy it or make any attempt to revert to who I was. I keep my head down and focus on what she promised.

It's hard.

I find myself out later and later each night. Giles, Willow, and Xander take turns. Willow even tries to help me. She never gives up, even after the others conclude that they can't help. Willow somehow manages to keep up with me. Every night, she is there, waiting on the porch for me to slip outside and begin my circuit around the hellmouth. I guess Willow has some faith of her own.

But I'm just waiting.

The End

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