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06 January 2007 @ 11:34 pm
Window-Dressing: Ending #2  
Ending 2
 
“Do it…do it harder,” she groans, as he pulls at the pale column of her throat. She cradles his neck roughly against her, pressing him closer to the vein. It hurts.
 
He eyes her in the periphery of his vision, and is startled by the tears of relief leaking from her closed lids. Her blood is thick, decadent, laced with a dogging pain unlike the weary resignation of the last two. Something in her tone stops him, and he looks up into her eyes, which are full of sorrow and regret. This isn’t a warrior’s death; it’s suicide. Retracting his fangs, he staunches the blood with his palm and continues to dick her slowly, so he doesn’t jostle the wound.
 
“Begging doesn’t become you,” he tisks. He fists her hair and arches her head, forcing her to look at him. “Never known a girl to want it so bad as you.”
 
Faith gives a weak laugh, her heart slowing. “I’ve done all sorts of bad shit. Crap I’ll be paying for in the next life in a few secs.”
 
He searches her face. It’s not time for her yet. “You die, you gotta earn it.” He gives her a firm shake and pushes her harshly against the wall. Through the rushing in her ears, she makes out his contemptuous snarl. He sounds angry. What the fuck is his deal?
 
“Do it. Just do it,” she says with shaking determination, desperation. She clenches his collar even as he shakes his head and pulls back. “Why are you stopping? It’s over! Just end it!” she screams, a fiery rage suffusing her when she thought there was nothing left to feel.
 
“Can’t do that, Slayer. That’s not how this works.”
 
Her eyes widen a millimeter, and she stares at him, feeling betrayed, cheated. It’s hard to concentrate, but she swings sloppily anyway and punches him across the jaw. He holds her up and takes it. There’s hardly any force behind the blow.
 
“What the fuck is wrong with you, asshole!?” she yells and starts to struggle weakly in his grasp. He clutches her throat, squeezing her windpipe, and continues to rock his dick into her to quiet her down.
 
“Can’t take you like this when all the fight’s gone out of you,” he says simply. “You girls surprise me every time. Gonna see that you’re set right, though. Want to see the spunk you’ve got. Want you to give me everything you have.”
 
She starts to protest, but her mouth shuts. She feels nausea sweep over her, and her vision starts to blur. Her chest crumples against his, and she shakes her head.
 
“You fuck…gonna dust you…” she slurs, and then passes out against his shoulder, drool pooling on his duster.
 
******
 
The rain pounds the sidewalk in a staccato deluge on fractured concrete. Wesley regrets that his umbrella gave up the fight some blocks back. His trousers are soaked and hang limp on his legs, his coat held over his head doing little to staunch the wet that infiltrates. Just his luck. Hurrying toward the office’s stoop, he spots a dark shape laid out along the landing. He slows his steps and squints through his fogged-up glasses.
 
“What in the world…?” He approaches the thing cautiously, inching his way closer. In the dark shadows of the façade, he makes out the faint outline of a body, a female body. Rushing forward, he shakes the young woman in earnest.
 
“Angel!” he calls out for assistance. “Miss, if you can hear me, just –” Turning the woman over, he starts and falls silent. Her makeup has run down her cheeks in streaky smears, her hair limp and clinging to her face. She’s the last person he expected to find unconscious on their doorstep – Faith, his failure, his former charge. Cradling her head in his hands, he catches sight of the vicious bite on her neck. Her cheeks are cold, her face drawn and pale. Whatever – whoever – bit her took a lot, but…let her live?
 
He hears the clattering of heels, and the front door swings open, Cordelia outlined in the dim gloom of the hall. “Wesley, what the hell is so important that you couldn’t just come in like a normal person?”
 
A dark shadow slips out from behind her, and then Angel is crouched on the sidewalk next to him.
 
“Faith,” he murmurs, his eyes sliding over her. He feels an eager hunger tug at him when her blood tickles his senses. His eyes latch onto the bite and he feels his stomach sink when he recognizes the overpowering scent blanketing her. Looking around the deserted street, his brow drops uneasily.
 
“Let’s get her inside,” he says at last and hefts her effortlessly into his arms, Wes close at his heels, a puzzled expression on his face.
 
From across the street in an inky alley, Spike watches. “That’s right, Peaches,” he laughs. “Had a bit of a taste. Heal her up good, talk her off the ledge.” Taking a deep drag on his smoke, he flings it into a dumpster. “Third time’s always a charm,” he sings as he slips into the shadows.  

 
 
 
shawty got flava like a peach lifesaveronly_passenger on August 9th, 2007 05:03 am (UTC)
oh. my. god.

i could write a chapter-length comment about how fucking awesome this story is.

after i read the first ending, i was like, that was spectacular. no way ending #2's gonna top it. but then i liked the second ending even better. the plot twistiness--spike leaving her on angel and co.'s doorstep? such good plot twistiness.

both your spike and faith were written to the letter. i especially enjoyed your faith. her dialogue hit every note.

“You die, you gotta earn it.” <-----prbably my favorite line, though it's got quite a few to contend with.

good f-ing hsow, l. i'm mad impressed.

(and, btw, happy belated b-day. xoxo)
ClawofCat: Spaith CoCclawofcat on August 9th, 2007 11:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I could see it really going either way, and liked both possibilities. The second ending was me really just leaving the door open to explore what Faith's journey might be like in this 'verse and what sort of confrontation she might have with Spike in the future. I always thought they were hot together. I look forward to writing the canon S/B/F.

I actually added about 1000 words last night right before I posted it. E wasn't really feelin' this fic, so I tried to add more emotional insight and stuff like that. It was hard for them to really connect because they're strangers and can't really play each other psychologically like Spike and Buffy can. All that history allows for a lot of pain.

Really glad you liked it though! Gonna start work on my Spander now. And then, hopefully, I can finish up "All Wrong," poor neglected child that it is.
shawty got flava like a peach lifesaveronly_passenger on August 9th, 2007 11:59 pm (UTC)
yeah. i have to admit i'm salivating over the rest of all wrong. i liked the first part a lot.
FemailoftheSpeciescafedemonde on August 9th, 2007 06:33 am (UTC)
Complete perfection here. God... this was nasty and dirty and raw and real and just like I see them at that stage of the game.

There was so much to take in, great job in riding that fine line between making this come to life for me and being overwhelmed with input. It's a great piece of work and I'd love to read about Spike getting another try.
ClawofCat: Spaith CoCclawofcat on August 9th, 2007 11:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow, thanks so much for your kind words, hun. I really wanted to give a sense of voyeurism with this fic, hence the first person, and a sense of utter despair. Faith is in a really sad state here, which is where the nasty/dirty comes from. She has no self-worth, and I think she would probably engage in utterly humiliating and violent sexual acts. For her sake, I hope that Angel can fix her up a bit.

And the second ending was done so that I can explore Faith's journey in this verse and what might happen with Spike. I've always thought they were hot together and I think there's a lot of potential for some really interesting interaction. Evil Spike is kinda my fav =)

ash_carpenterash_carpenter on August 9th, 2007 09:02 am (UTC)
Wow, this was awesome.

The writing is so vivid and real, and I loved the details thrown in along the way - it made it so very rich.

Raw and harsh and heartbreaking - there was just so much need here. Her confusion came through so well (and his). And I really enjoyed both endings.
ClawofCat: Spaith CoCclawofcat on August 9th, 2007 11:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading, honey! I've been hankering to do some Spike/Faith for awhile, and I really like the place I've taken them here. I needed that second ending so that I can come back to this verse at some point. I sure hope Angel can talk her off that ledge!

I opted for first person here to give it a real voyeuristic feel. It's like you're on them. And Faith is in such an utterly sad state. I just love to hurt my characters. They are so interesting that way. Poor darling. Though, like with Buffy, I dunno that Spike could just off her right away. He's always loved strong, damaged women and there ain't nothing more damaged than Slayer girls. Can't wait to continue working on my S/B/F.
Shapinglight: big bad wolfshapinglight on August 10th, 2007 09:27 am (UTC)
That was wonderful - hot and sad and very, very gritty. You write a terrific Faith.

Both endings worked for me. I could see Spike going either way, depending on his mood. Have a preference for the second ending though, simply because it isn't quite so bleak.
ClawofCat: Spaith CoCclawofcat on August 10th, 2007 02:13 pm (UTC)
*gasp* Omg, you read one of my fics! Seriously, I'm stupidly excited right now. As for Faith, she was a really wonderful character to work with given all her emotional baggage, especially at this point in time. Spike is always in my fics, but I realize that the stories often aren't entirely about him. I use him to reveal things about the people he is paired with. I always thought there was a lot of potential between the two of them, which is why I needed that second ending. I don't think their journey is done in that 'verse.

So...I'm gonna do it. Next fic is going to be slash. And...it's Spander. I was like "where the heck did that come from?" I dont even like the pairing. But I got a bunny, so lets see if I can make the man-love happen.
Shapinglightshapinglight on August 14th, 2007 11:29 am (UTC)
Good luck with that. I don't like Spander much either but you have to go where the fic bunnies lead you.

And I know what you mean about Spike. He's been described as 'the little black dress' of the Buffyverse, in that you can fit him in anywhere.
slaymesoftlyslaymesoftly on August 10th, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC)
Nicely done, CoC. I can't decide which ending I like best, but both are in character for that Spike. Spike and Faith are always a believable combo -even if/when they end up killing each other. :)
ClawofCat: faithclawofcat on August 10th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
Hey, aren't you in the UK canoodling with all the British fandom peeps? Hee, thanks for taking a time out on your vacation to read this. I really liked the possibility of both endings, and it left a way to keep the door open to further explore Faith and Spike's journey in this 'verse in the future. *sigh* Eventually I'll get to that s7 S/B/F I'm always going on about. I think it will be really interesting. Enjoy your stay abroad! I wanna see pictures!
Adjoviadjovi on August 10th, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC)
Holy moly. That was absolutely amazing. I thought ending #1 was perfection, then had my mind blown away by ending #2. Just the right tone...breathtaking and heartbreaking all rolled up into one. Fantastic work. :)
ClawofCat: faithbloodclawofcat on August 10th, 2007 07:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, sweetie. Very glad you enjoyed this foray into AU-land. I knew I wanted to do two endings: one where she lives and one where she dies. Good to know they both were a success.

"breathtaking and heartbreaking all rolled up into one"
Woot! That's what I was aiming for, and I'd say that pretty much describes most of my work, emphasis on the heartbreaking. It's always more fun when everyone's just a little bit damaged. Thanks for reading!
Jodystrangebint on September 13th, 2007 12:00 am (UTC)
Perfect
Perfect evil Spike. I write them all "old" and redeemed, but this is what it would have been like. I'm glad you didn't have him fall in love with her or anything. I am also so happy when someone understands Faith.
ClawofCat: Spaith CoCclawofcat on September 22nd, 2007 06:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Perfect
Thanks for your comments! Glad this Spike and Faith rang true to you. They're very similar in a lot of ways, which Spike acknowledges early on in the fic. It's unfortunate that they didn't get a whole lot of face-time on the show though.

Given these circumstances, I think it would have been highly unrealistic to have him fall in love with her. Spike is definately a slave to lust, but I don't think love just blossoms out of nowhere for him. And Faith is such a complex, hardbreaking, interesting girl. At some point, if/when I get a plot bunny, I'd love to continue to write fics in this 'verse. Lots of potential for both of them.
Jodystrangebint on September 23rd, 2007 07:49 am (UTC)
Re: Perfect
Given these circumstances, I think it would have been highly unrealistic to have him fall in love with her.

Totally agree with you and I'm the BIGGEST person for wanting them to be in love. I think you really have them down just right & that isn't easy. In my mind, they could have either a love story for the ages, a good Bonnie and Clyde run or fight/sex to the death, depending on cirumstances. IMHO, people rarely get Faith. You ever do Post-Chosen/Post-Orphues Faith? I don't think many get that she's the same in a lot of ways, but she's all grown up. Buffy people( meaning the character, her friends, and pple who only watch Buffy) didn't see it because they will always see her as the old Faith. Something that really bothered me due to my deep seeded issues.
ClawofCat: faithbuffyclawofcat on September 29th, 2007 06:39 am (UTC)
Re: Perfect
You ever do Post-Chosen/Post-Orphues Faith? I don't think many get that she's the same in a lot of ways, but she's all grown up.

I haven't written any other Spaith aside from this fic, but I did watch her on Angel, and she certainly did do a lot of maturing. I've got a loosely plotted S/B/F basement fic sitting on my hard drive that I've wanted to work on for a bit. Whenever time allows, I look forward to working on it again. The three of them together have even more baggage, especially an older Faith and Buffy, plus a souled-Spike. Ha, it's going to be one big emotional mess. Oh, and hot, too.
The Anti-OTP: buffy: faith breathesnowpuppies on September 16th, 2007 03:47 am (UTC)
Awesome, awesome piece.

Well done.
ClawofCat: sexyfaithclawofcat on September 22nd, 2007 06:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! If I ever get another plot-bunny, I'd love to continue writing fics in this 'verse.
billiamthbloody on September 22nd, 2007 05:22 am (UTC)
Window Dressing
One of the best Spike & Faith peices I've read in a very long time. I might have to bother you to let me archive it. Billiant really.
ClawofCat: faith spraypaintclawofcat on September 22nd, 2007 06:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Window Dressing
Thanks so much for saying so. This is the first Spaith I've written, but it's a pairing I've always been intrigued by. Hopefully there will be more of these two sometime in the future.

Where were you thinking of archiving it?
Desdemona's Space Station and Bait Shop: Orange Kayleedesdemonaspace on August 15th, 2009 12:29 am (UTC)
**bows**

This is awesome. I love how your Spike is a real vampire, not a social worker in a black leather jacket. He's true to canon, but so much richer. This was a real pleasure to read.

Oh, and hot. Very hot.
ClawofCat: spike hostile 17clawofcat on August 21st, 2009 11:38 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it! I have a soft spot for a really evil Spike. Fandom loves him and I think we tend to put Spike in the best light in fic - intuitive, nurturing, courageous, brave, snarky, sexy. As such, I love a fic where Spike is an utter, depraved bastard. He was a very bad kitty during most of his unlife and getting to see the terribly dangerous killer in him is refreshing. It's very neat that you found this Spike to be "rich." Despite the danger, I tried to infuse shards of tenderness and intuition into him here. Spike doesn't get enough credit for using his head, so I made an effort to show what a predatory thinker he is.

Thanks for commenting! As for the hot, well, what can I say? I just can't help myself ;)