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Wound Kinda Tight
lastguardian
woundkindatight
lastguardian
I looked out the window as Sunnydale went away, as my life in Sunnydale turned into distant past, and I wished it had turned out a little bit differently. I mean, I knew that Xander was going to be upset with me and I knew that Willow would probably be quietly supportive, but I definitely didn't expect Giles to be... let's just say that I'd counted on Giles being all stiff-upper-lip while Xander went off the deep end.

Giles, though... wow. Seriously opposed to the idea of me leaving the hellmouth, he started with the "sacred duty" line that I've heard one too many times for it to be at all effective, and then reminded me that Angel killed Jenny, tortured him... talk about a sucker punch, and we'd already been through this.

I won't remind you that the fate of the world often lies with the Slayer. What would be the point? Nor shall I remind you that you've jeopardized the lives of all that you hold dear by harboring a known murderer. But sadly, I must remind you that Angel tortured me... for hours... for pleasure. You should have told me he was alive. You didn't. You have no respect for me, or the job I perform.

First time I heard it, okay, I felt guilty. Because it was my fault for not telling anybody that Angel was back and also my fault for making with the accidental kissing, but today... I knew he was going to be mad, but no need to be unreasonable. Today when he brought it up, I just walked away because no, he was not going to throw that back in my face.

Especially when I was trying to do the right thing, but lucky for me, I always go into bad situations expecting an apocalypse. So most of the time I walk out thinking that wow, things weren't as bad as they could have been. Today? I just figure that Giles'll forgive me eventually. Plus, you know, if there's an apocalypse? I'm sure they'll swallow their pride and give me a call.

Breaking up with Riley was a breeze after that little confrontation, because he assumed that it was all his fault anyway. Sleep with my worst enemy hiding in my body and there are bound to be relationship issues, even if you really were a victim of circumstance. And Faith. I think that Riley maybe deserved something better, anyway.

Mom was just glad I was getting away from the hellmouth.

By the time I got to Angel Investigations, I was a nervous wreck. I needed Angel to hold me and tell me that everything was going to be okay, that we were going to be okay, that the past was the past and my friends would get over their reservations when everything had settled down. But he wasn't there. So I went downstairs into his apartment and waited.

Current Mood: confused confused

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woundkindatight
prodigal_slayer
After Angel's visit I couldn't really shake it. His presence, her presence. Both of 'em wrapped up together and around my brain, swirling around up there. I wished I could say it was all fuckin' hugs and puppies up in my head, but that was the furthest thing from the truth. Sometimes? I stared at the bars for so long I wanted to tear at them. Rip 'em away from eachother and kill any guard that dared to get in my way. Track down B and Soul Boy, and tear 'em apart limb by limb until it all stopped. Until there was just me, and silence. Then maybe I had that shot at bein' free like Angel said. Tear it out with the sharpest blade until I didn't feel anything at all.

Obviously that plan? Full of holes. The chances of my ass takin' out both of 'em were slim to none. Fuck. I was cocky usually, but not that cocky. Tried screwin' 'em both over before and it didn't worked. Never worked. I was never fast enough or strong enough or smart enough and apparently, I wasn't evil enough either. Second place. But mostly? I didn't want to. I wanted all that stuff that Angel had said to me. I wanted someone to watch my back, I wanted to watch his back. Second place didn't sound so bad all of a sudden, at least it was a place. A place just for me, where I could belong. None of the other places I'd tried to stick myself in ever worked out. I was like that one puzzle piece in the clearance puzzles. Ya know, the one that never really fits? So you try and squeeze it in because you want a complete puzzle. Except usually you ended up damaging the piece or wreckin' the whole puzzle.

I was tired of wreckin' the puzzle. Already knew I was damaged goods wrapped up in leather pants. Just one wicked little girl tryin' to fit. Thing was? Besides the Mayor no one had ever wanted me to fit. No one except Angel now. Man, you gotta love the irony of that. One vampire tryin' to sponsor two slayers. He's gotta be crazy for real.

Then there was the whole Buffy thing. When it came to her? Most times I felt so outta control I could barely stand it. Then there was her, with her perfect fucking life. Doting mom and scooby pals, all lookin' up to her. Tellin' her she can't do no wrong. She was such a fucking control freak, she didn't get it. She didn't have the first clue what it was like to be trapped in my skin, and most times I didn't think she really gave a shit anyway. She was the reason though, or at least half of it now. She wanted me in jail, so this was where I went. I did it, just like I done everything else since I met her, for her. I had such a clear read on the little control freak too. She wanted me in in the clink. She thought I deserved it and a whole lot more. Not that I could blame her after the shit I pulled. Mean, I did take the clean marine boytoy for a spin. That had to piss her off for real. I seriously doubted that she wanted me out. Angel was fillin' in the blanks. But the fact that he had done it, even that not so little lie kinda made me want it more. Because he wanted it. Wanted me. Well, wanted me out of jail anyway. Problem was, I'd been lied to so much I wasn't even sure I could trust him. Wanted to wicked bad, but who the fuck even knew if I'd just be sittin' my ass behind bars for another twenty five years waitin' on him to bust me out. Waitin'. It was what I was best at.

"Hanley." The guard clinked her club against the bars, and I instantly stood up. "You're being released."

I didn't bother to ask why, it was what I'd been waitin' on all day. Didn't know how Angel managed to pull this shit off but I was glad he did. It was for real, he'd come through for me. Hadn't let me down, like everyone else.

I followed the guard through the prison, ignoring the Bertha's catcalling at me from inside their little cells. Oh yeah, bet they were real disappointed they couldn't get their hands on my hot little slayer ass. Too bad for them.

After I signed a couple forms, they ushered me off through the gates leavin' me with a feeling of 'what the fuck do I do now?'. Just as I was about to get nervous that I was about to be on my own again a familiar black car pulled up to the curb. A smile crept over my face despite how badly I didn't want it to.

"Hey." I said as I threw my backpack in the backseat and climbed into the passenger seat of Angel's car. Man, it felt good to be in leather pants again instead of that stupid jumpsuit. Blue wasn't really my color, preferred black.
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not_a_eunuch
woundkindatight
not_a_eunuch
I left the prison determined to find a way to get Faith out without having to stage a jail break. Sure, they looked cool in the movies, but the last thing Faith needed was to be a fugitive. She'd already be looking over her shoulder wondering when those bastards from the council would reappear. Once word got out that Buffy and Faith were in LA with me, there was no telling what the Council would try and do. We'd be ready for them.

The only way I knew to get Faith out, without breaking the glass and fighting out way through the guards, was to visit the devil I know. Wolfram and Hart, or more specifically, Lindsey McDonald. The prick was the one who orchestrated this disaster. He's the one who brought Faith in to kill me. He was the one who went to the cops when she double crossed him. Seemed like the boy was the perfect one to go to in order to clean up this mess.

I waited in my car for Lindsey to show up in the garage. It'd be quicker to visit Lindsey in his office, but those vampire detectors at the firm are a pain in the ass. I really didn't feel like kicking the shit out the security guards when I'd probably have to kick Lindsey's ass before the night was over anyway. It was a little after midnight when he finally emerged from the elevator and approached his car. I was out of my car and had him by the throat before he had the key in the lock. "We need to talk."

"Can't.talk.with.you.choking.me." Lindsey gasped out, but unlike when I harassed Lilah, there was no fear in his eyes. Just that amused punk look that Spike perfected over a century ago. I released the pressure around his neck slowly, but I didn't remove my hand. "You should learn to make an appointment, Angel. I'm a busy man."

"You're going to get Faith out of prison." I said, smiling a little at him when he scoffed. "I want her out tomorrow at Sunset."

"I want a vacation home in Maui, but I don't see either of those things happening any time soon." He winced when I let go of his throat to punch him in the face. Narrowing his eyes at me, he laughed. "Fuck you, man. She'll be up for parole in twenty-five years. That's just a drop in the bucket for your kind. I got shit to do, get out of my way."

"You're not listening. Either you get her released tomorrow, or I'm going in and getting her out. The first thing we're going to do, after we take out those guards, is come back here and start taking this place apart. Starting with you. I'm thinking your bosses won't like that. Especially when they find out you could have prevented it." I smiled at him as I straightened his tie. "Tomorrow. Sunset. I want to see her walking through those gates."

"I can't get her released in less than twenty-four hours, Angel." Lindsey protested, but we both knew he was already working on a plan to have her out by the time I'd requested. One thing about dealing with the devil you know; you can predict what will happen. Faith would be free tomorrow and hopefully Buffy would be back from Sunnydale.

"Sure you can. You're the Wolfram and Hart golden boy. If she's not out because of you; she'll be out because of me. Don't make me come back here tomorrow, Lindsey."

The meeting with Lindsey was concluded so I was off to have a talk with Cordelia and Wesley. I was pretty sure it wouldn't go nearly as well as the meeting with Lindsey. All I could do was present them with what was going to happen and give them the choice to stay or go. Maybe I should care more about them staying, but all I could focus on was figuring out how Buffy, Faith and I were going to make this work.

Current Mood: determined

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not_a_eunuch
woundkindatight
not_a_eunuch
I was more than a little relieved that Buffy didn't want me to go with her to tell Giles that she was moving to LA. There was a lot of history between me and Buffy's family on the Hellmouth, and most of it wasn't good. I knew she'd come back, with or without their approval, but I figured it would be easier on everyone if she handled it herself. Buffy must have thought the same thing because she didn't even offer to have me go back with her. I saw her off and waited for the hours to pass until the sun set and I could visit with Faith.

Truth was, I had no clue how to get her out of jail. There had to be a way, a favor to call in, hell something, but for the life of me I wasn't coming up with anything. Maybe I could scare Lilah or intimidate Lindsey into fixing the charges, but I couldn't do anything until I talked to Faith. This was her life and if I've learned anything from the last few days, it's that I have to at least give people a vote in the direction their lives take. Even if my natural instinct is to just interfere and try and fix it.

I had time to think about things while Buffy was gone and I was trapped in my apartment safe from the sun's rays. Buffy, Faith and I were in the same place for different reasons. The choices we made, the choices made for us by others, had left us battle scarred and more than a little leery of the world. We needed to have someone we could trust to watch our back, and we needed to be needed to watch someone else's back. Being alone came naturally to all three of us, but it never lead us to good things.

We were more alike than different. I needed them and I was pretty sure they needed me. Hell, maybe in time, they'd realize they needed each other.

I grabbed my coat just as the sun disappeared outside of the window that I'd been watching from. Made the short drive to the prison and signed in to see Faith. Kate made sure that I wouldn't have a problem visiting with her. Probably the last time I could call a favor in with her. I sat on one side of the glass, hand already resting on the phone while I waited for them to bring Faith to me.

Current Mood: determined

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not_a_eunuch
woundkindatight
not_a_eunuch
"I have a confession to make."

I watched from across the room as Faith gave her confession to one of the officers on duty. My stomach was in knots. She needed me to save her. I knew that. I knew it when she was standing in the rain and begging me to kill her. Faith wanted redemption, but she wasn't going to find it locked behind bars. There was no one she could save while locked in a cage. Especially not herself.

Buffy seemed torn as she watched the scene unfold. Things weren't good between the two of them, hadn't been in a long time, but I could tell it wasn't pure hatred or even smug satisfaction that Buffy was feeling. She knew that Faith didn't belong in a cage either. The problem was, would Buffy ever admit that?

She tore her gaze from Faith when they placed the hand cuffs on Faith's wrist. I followed Buffy outside, not before I looked back at Faith and took one last glimpse at her before they lead her away. She looked resolved to her fate and it hit long buried nerves deep inside me. I remember feeling like I was hopeless and there was no place else to turn, so I hid in the sewers and let the time pass me by.

I didn't want that for Faith.

Once we were outside, Buffy was the first to speak. That was usually how it went with us. Buffy talks and I listened, except, there were things that I needed to say to her. I'd walked away from Sunnydale and left things unresolved and having her so close to me now, made me long to explain my motivations, but I'm certain she could care less what my reasons were. I left her. That was all that mattered.

Look, I just wanted to -- I should go. Back to Sunnydale, because... I live there. Not here. Okay.”

"Is that what you want?" I asked her, reaching out, I brushed her hair from her face. It was just as soft as I remembered. "Is this how you wanted things to turn out, Buffy?"

I was the one who left, but I still had to know. Was this how Buffy wanted things to end? With Faith in jail, Buffy back in Sunnydale and me in Los Angeles. Did she get her justice for whatever stunts Faith pulled before arriving in LA? Does she really have a life to go back to in Sunnydale that doesn't include me?

I may not want to hear the answers to those questions, but I had to know. No time like the present to find out.

Current Mood: melancholy melancholy

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woundkindatight
prodigal_slayer
"I have a confession to make."

Funny how your entire world can turn around all in the matter of a couple minutes. You can go from a chick on the run, so much hate bursting in my chest- to sittin' in a jail cell with your hands cuffed together. Nothin' to do but sit and stare at the wall and wonder how the hell you ended up in this one very dark place. On second thought, I guess it wasn't really funny haha. More funny, told ya so. Not like this wasn't where everyone always expected me to end up anyway, slayer or not.

I told Angel I didn't think I could make it through the next five minutes and I wasn't kiddin'. It was violence, bubbling up from under the surface and threatening to burst at the seams at any minute. I wasn't ready for this. I couldn't do it, coudln't contain it. I couldn't stop myself. And every time I tried to squash the rage, one face came back and haunted me. A faint trail of blood from his lips to his chin, blank wide eyes. There was nothing there, I'd killed it. I was good at killing things. I was even better at destroying anything good that came my way.

I was so tired. Kinda weird that you could be tired after spendin' eight months layin' on your back in some hospital. So long sleeping and I hadn't gotten any rest. That's the bitch about a coma, you're always dreaming. And I didn't dream like normal people did, neither did Buffy. That one thing that connected us together connected me to the outside world while I was sleeping. Vaguelly I wondered if she would be my only connection anymore for the rest of my life. All the people I killed? I was willing to bet I wouldn't be seein' the light of day for a wicked long time. Lot of long lonely nights ahead of this slayer. Not really different than the rest of my life. Still I wondered how long she could brush me away before letting me in if I had nothing else.

Staring at the concrete wall, I had nowhere to go. All I could do was sit, and stare and think and wonder if anyone would even know. Is this what it was like for Angel? Just sitting down and thinking about every single fucked up thing you'd ever done? I didn't know how he did it. He had a lot longer to think about shit then I did. Hell, I wasn't even twenty years old yet and he was like six hundred or something.

The worst part of it all was that I knew. This place couldn't hold me. I was a slayer, I'd bust out of prison easy and no one'd be able to catch me. That was the bitch. The thing that made it different for me. Because I could get out. This was all about self-control and I didn't think I was that strong. I was never that strong.

But at least for the first time ever? I had a reason.

Current Mood: guilty guilty
Current Music: Cute Without the E- Taking Back Sunday

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lastguardian
woundkindatight
lastguardian
I couldn’t keep my eyes away from Faith as she sat in the criminal chair next to the officer’s desk. She looked so resigned, like - God, I don’t know. Like her world had been taken away and replaced with a giant, swirly, black hole. And while most of me wanted to high-five Angel for a job well done, there was this nagging little something deep down that felt sorry for her, because nobody deserved to have that look on their face.

Not even her, not even after twenty-four hours spent trying to steal, then ruin, my life, the stupid bitch.

I finally tore my eyes from hers and turned wordlessly toward the exit. I felt Angel close behind me and made it all the way outside before stopping to confront him. Or not confront, because this was stupid and LA was kind of a hike for a Slayer with a boyfriend and responsibilities and no car. What I needed to do, clearly, was say goodbye and hit the road.

Any time, now.

Instead, I looked up at Angel and stared at his face. He hadn’t changed at all in the last three years -- not on the surface at least. The vampire thing. I reached up to touch his cheek in the spot where I’d decked him earlier, but chickened out at the last second. I sighed and leaned back against the rail that was lining the walkway.

I wasn’t getting any closer to home, but right now? It didn’t matter. Last time I’d seen Angel, it’d been like twelve seconds and completely unfulfilling. Even if I was mad at him right now, even if he was mad at me -- being near him gave me back a piece of myself that wasn’t there when I was in Sunnydale and he was a complicated bus ride away. A piece of myself that I’d tried to find with a new hairstyle and leather pants and a college dorm and a new boyfriend and beer and Parker Abrams and chocolate.

I sighed. “Look,” I said finally, when I’d finally finished thinking about how much I wanted to kiss him, “I’m sorry. I just wanted to -- I should go. Back to Sunnydale, because... I live there. Not here. Okay.”

Well I officially was a contender in the babbly-badness contest. Right up there with Willow. Wonderful.
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