Faith (_xfaithx_) wrote in iftomorrow,
Faith
_xfaithx_
iftomorrow

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I don't know what's worth fighting for.

The long white fistwrap tightened around my clenched hand and I glared at the heavy bag hanging from its iron post as though it were challenging me. The silent words it used to taunt me, though, came from voices in my own pretty lil' head. Spike's, Soulboy's, even fuckin' B.. it was like they were all swirlin' into one big circle jerk. "Fuck!" I hissed when I slammed a fist against the hard cushion which turned out to be the same hand I punched the wall with. It fuckin' hurt let me tell you, but it made the whole workout more intense. Pretty fuckin' wicked. The music I had blarin' from the radio sure didn't help the scene.

I began kickin' and punchin' away like there was goin' be no tomorrow for me and that THIS was gonna be the only method I had to get the fustrations out of me. As the workout stretched my mind lingered more, wonderin' exactly where the hell I was going. The look Soulboy gave me when I arrived in the hotel was pasted in my head like a pretty little polaroid and I pushed myself harder.. the moistoned sweat already buildin' all over my form.

Good thing I made a small retreat. Had to have a little time to myself to get my thoughts back together. I was one confused bitch with issues and that's somethin' that won't help everyone kick The First's ass. In fact, I think that's what made 'im get me. Yeah, that was fuckin' it. I gave the bastard that opportunity the moment I saw him wear Woody's face and let the emotions take control over me. I really needed to learn some self control.

I had to get ahold of myself so I stopped to regain my breath, my eyes waverin' over the radio which was now playin' "Easier To Run" by Linkin Park. Hilarious. Half the songs I was able to hear from them basically described my life, the entire mess I'm in. It'd be easier to ditch this joint and head my merry own way.. didn't understand what was stoppin' me. What WAS stopping me?

That's when I saw the amulet. Same one good ol' Willy popped out of.

A sigh left my lips and I shook my head, returnin' back to my workout when I felt the emotions pump through me again. Don't know what the hell was goin' on with that. I guess Spike was right in a way, I didn't know what the hell I wanted. It was nice for once to just be accepted by someone who didn't know much about the messy trails I had behind me... fuck, right now, it was just nice to be with someone period. Yet again, I still feel like I'm livin' within B's shadow. How'm I supposed to know who he was thinkin' of while we were doin' the horizontal mambo?

Did I care if he did or not? I don't know. I still don't like the idea though I'm always second place when it comes to her.. maybe that's what gettin' to me. Yeah, that's it. A breath was takin' in as I realized I was only confusin' myself more. Great.. fuckin'.. dandy. I was one hell of a piece of work.

The wounds upon my fist were beginning to open again but I really didn't give a shit.. I think the pain upon it was the only reminder to me that I was still real.

(( Open to anyone. Whoo angst! ))
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((Thread hopped from here.))

Faith was seriously making the heavy bag pay for something I had a feeling it was completely innocent of. But, then again, I think everyone who'd lived in this hotel over the last couple of years had taken advantage of the poor thing. Except Lorne. He usually took his frustrations out on his drink shaker.

When I caught sight of the frustration burning in Faith's eyes, I felt like I could use one of those drinks.

I stepped up and put my shoulder against the other side of the bag, keeping it from swinging back into Faith.

"Hey," I said, guaranteeing myself a place in the 'lamest opening line' hall of fame.

"I wanted to talk, but if you're busy, I--"

Stopping myself, I took a deep breath, then let it out. It wasn't something I needed to do, of course, but as a gesture, it did still help calm me down.

"No, we need to talk, Faith. About The First. About what happened at the club."

The flurry of blows against the heavy bag didn't stop, and I finally noticed the dark red stains on Faith's wrapped fists.

"Um... and if you wanna talk about why you're getting blood all over my punching bag, we can do that, too."
I was goin' through somethin' wicked fierce. It was like everything was catching up back to me, both from my past and all the crap that piled on me tonight. I just kept driving myself into that bag that I somehow wielded into something that I could just take all my fustrations out on.. maybe in hopes that it'd help me find release, find a little peace with myself right now. It was feelin' good, real good, until I saw him make his grand appearance behind it.

"Hey." is what he said to me but I didn't bother to lift a gaze on him. My eyes remained locked on my target and I continued swingin' punches and kicks all over with me pushin' myself even farther. News flash Soulboy, you ain't makin' this any better. "Hey," I barely muttered in return as my features hardened even more. He was beginnin' to go off on somethin' that I was payin' no attention to really.. I just didn't feel like hearin' it. Maybe later when I'm a bit more calm and he's more of someone who wasn't about to fuckin' judge me like he did back there.

"No, we need to talk, Faith. About The First. About what happened at the club."

Oh hell was I stoppin' now. I just rolled my eyes, my punches now concentrated right in the center where Angel's stomach would've been located if if wasn't for this damn thing between us. What the hell does he want me to do? Draw him a fuckin' picture with flowers and moonbeams? "Nothin' more to tell," I growled out sharply, ".. he came, he saw, he conquered. The bastard has a body and is strong as all hell. Any questions?" My movements suddenly came to a quick halt and I straightened myself, finally able to look at him within the eye. I was breathin' hard though and I could use a damn shower -- maybe if he realizes there isn't much more I can tell him he can be on his merry way and I can get one.

"Um... and if you wanna talk about why you're getting blood all over my punching bag, we can do that, too."

"Problem solved," I replied as I lifted my hands and walked away from where I stood and toward the radio to which I promptly shut off. The song was gettin' annoyin', anyway. "If you're so damn worried 'bout the bag I'll clean the mess. Was gonna do it anyway." I looked down and eyed the hand that was all bloodied and torn.. I'll take care of that later if my healin' powers doesn't click in first. Right now, though? I just wanted this conversation to be done with.

It was somethin' along the lines that I hated bein' around someone who could make me feel so fuckin' small.

I was silent a long moment before I decided to break it, my head turnin' so I could somewhat look at him over my shoulder. I lowered my voice a bit though but I really didn't mean to sound that much of a pussy. "Are we done here?"
"Hey."

Well, it was at least good to know Faith and I could still establish a good line of communication. Faith's punches against the bag got harder and harder, until I had to set myself to keep from getting knocked on my undead ass. I knew plenty about holding in anger and frustration, but I had a hundred years of practice on Faith, and besides, when she did it, there was a tendency for it to detonate at the worst possible times.

"Nothin' more to tell... he came, he saw, he conquered. The bastard has a body and is strong as all hell. Any questions?"

I sighed. "Only the kinds that don't have easy answers, as usual."

"For starters, if The First has gotten as badass as you say, and I believe you, then why didn't it finish the job? You're a Slayer, Faith, and last I heard The First was trying to erase that word from the dictionary. But, it let you live." I frowned, then backpedaled. "I mean, I'm glad it did, but it still doesn't make sense."

"If you're so damn worried 'bout the bag I'll clean the mess. Was gonna do it anyway."

Shaking my head, I circled around until I was a few feet closer, though the 'stay the hell away' vibes Faith was radiating were as clear as anything. A hell of a lot clearer than what might possibly be going on inside her head, especially.

"Are we done here?"

"Are we ever done with anything, Faith? Wasn't that what our little mutual head trip was all about?"

I shrugged off my jacket, tossed it aside. Over at the wall rack, I picked up two wooden fighting staffs and tossed one to Faith. I wasn't exactly a trained and certified counselor. I wasn't even a very good person for common sense advice. But I did fluently speak Faith's primary language-- actions.

"Tell you what-- you got some frustrations, I'll give you a hell of a lot better fight than the heavy bag. What do you say?"
"Only the kinds that don't have easy answers, as usual. For starters, if The First has gotten as badass as you say, and I believe you, then why didn't it finish the job? You're a Slayer, Faith, and last I heard The First was trying to erase that word from the dictionary. But, it let you live. I mean, I'm glad it did, but it still doesn't make sense."

"What'm I, a fuckin' mind reader?" I asked, my voice sarcastically casual while my eyes remained focused on the only thing that existed in my world at the moment -- the nice ol' blurry vision of Angel. "I dunno.. maybe he wanted ta hit me up in the sack? Maybe he wasn't out to kill anybody in the first place?" I sighed, my hand lifting as my fingers trailed through my dark strands, finally turnin' around again to meet my companion eye to eye. The fustration of not knowin' why either was pretty bland upon my face. ".. maybe he wanted me to send a message -- get us all packin' and runnin' out of here. Ya never know."

His next set of words left me wordless, however, and my eyes dodged to the side as always. I just stared at the old wall for a bit as a number of thoughts went circlin' around through my head. Jus' wasn't the best of days for me.. an' Soulboy always seem to know the exact shit to say to leave my mind pumpin'.

When he spoke again that caught my attention.. now he was talkin' my language. I watched him remove his jacket and grabbed a pair of bow sticks which was thrown my way. Oh, hell, he isn't plannin' to..

"Tell you what-- you got some frustrations, I'll give you a hell of a lot better fight than the heavy bag. What do you say?"

I caught the staff and a 'you gotta be kidding' smirk spread over my face while I brushed my hair back with a hand. "You ain't got the moves to ease my kinda frustrations, big daddy, but hell. If this is the best physical contact I'mma get for a while.." I twirled the staff around in front of me until it was vertical, letting the end drop to the floor with an echoed thump. "You sure you wanna do this? Aren't you afraid we're gonna.." My head turned toward the window that was left open an' I nodded to it. ".. end up out the window again?"

Didn't give him much time to answer that. Without notice I twirled the staff above my head and then swung it around underneath toward the back of Angel's knees in attempts to trip Soulboy to the ground. "So tell me," I began, that smirk never leavin' my face, ".. what's the cold shoulder deal with Sparky?"
"I dunno... I dunno.. maybe he wanted ta hit me up in the sack? Maybe he wasn't out to kill anybody in the first place? Maybe he wanted me to send a message -- get us all packin' and runnin' out of here. Ya never know."

Now that last part sounded like The First's M.O.-- terror tactics. So, either we were still enough of a viable threat to whatever it had planned, or it was just biding its time and playing with us. Or both.

"You sure you wanna do this? Aren't you afraid we're gonna... end up out the window again?"

I shrugged and turned the staff over in my hands, shifting weight from one foot to the other, trying to stay mobile. "First floor this time. I'll take my chances."

And take them I did. Faith spun her staff high, then brought it around and down, sweeping for the back of my knees. I jumped, tucking my legs up under me, over the arc of her staff.

"So tell me... what's the cold shoulder deal with Sparky?"

I set my left foot forward and pushed a set of two-handed jabs with the end of my own staff at Faith, high and low.

"Very simple, Faith." Taking a couple of steps back, I switched the staff from hand to hand. "I don't like Spike. Never have. Even when I liked him, I didn't really like him."

I narrowed my eyes. Honestly, Spike was about the last thing I was expecting Faith to talk about. But then again, this was Faith, after all, and I should have known that the real last thing she was going to bring up was herself and how she might be feeling. Well, I could be sneaky when I wanted to be.

"Why, Faith? You picking out china patterns with Captain Peroxide?"

Swinging the staff high, I reversed the movement quickly and aimed my swing at the back of Faith's knees this time.
I didn't have to bother stepping backward from the incoming jabs, instead twirling my own bo to parry the high jab, then sweeping the floor to block the low jab. Jeez, this was more like a warm up than a fight. I was hopin' it'd get better.

"Very simple, Faith. I don't like Spike. Never have. Even when I liked him, I didn't really like him."

"Shocker, chief," I taunted with a wry grin and swung my staff around my side aimed at his which was, as I'd anticipated, easily denied by a simple mid block. "We all thought y'all were, y'know, 'special' friends."

"Why, Faith? You picking out china patterns with Captain Peroxide?"

"Curtains," I answered with a little wiggle of my eyebrows. "Shoppin' for tapestries is, y'know, bonding." I kicked my leg up, not bothering to watch his weapon miss its mark while twirling fluidly around, my bo spiraling up over my head then around my back. The moment my eyes targeted him again I gripped the big stick and swung its end up between the legs of my opponent. Let's light them fires!
"Shocker, chief. We all thought y'all were, y'know, 'special' friends."

I grunted as I blocked Faith's staff, just barely keeping the smack of wood on wood away from my own fingers. My frown just kept getting deeper.

"Me and Spike?" Shaking my head, I stepped back, watching for gaps in Faith's defensive posture, sides she might favor, anything. Didn't see much. Friggin' Slayers.

"You know who's fault that is? Anne Rice," I said with a clenched jaw, still circling around Faith. "Writes those goddamn books with nothing but a bunch of male vampires swooning over each other... all of a sudden, everyone thinks we're a bunch of skinny, pale, sexually ambiguous..."

I stopped, realizing just who would really closely fit that particular description.

"Anyway, no." I paused. "Why, what did he tell you?"

Shaking off that uncertainty, I kept my feet moving, still looking for my opportunity.

"Curtains. Shoppin' for tapestries is, y'know, bonding."

I sighed, but didn't get much of a chance to make another comment. Faith was sending a very nasty message to the goolies, and even though they were never again to do as nature intended-- unless that Shanshu thing came through, that is-- a hit to the groin still hurt like a mother.

Throwing my body at the ceiling, I flattened against it, gripping the ceiling beams with my fingertips. Sure, it was vampire cheating, but I was sparring with a Slayer-- sue me.

Dropping to the floor again, I tossed the bo staff to the side with a clatter.

"Okay, cutting to the chase time," I said hotly. "Faith..."

My voice and stance quieted.

"I worry. I think you're a good person, and even though you're an adult and free to do what you want, I don't trust Spike."

I took a few steps and closed the space between us.

"But I do trust you."
"Writes those goddamn books with nothing but a bunch of male vampires swooning over each other... all of a sudden, everyone thinks we're a bunch of skinny, pale, sexually ambiguous..."

I mocked a pouty lip, idly twirling my weapon from one side to the other. "Doesn't leave much to the imagination when you say it like that," I teasingly complained as I kept myself faced with him as he made his little movements 'round me. C'mon, Soulboy, you're teasin' me 'ere.

"Why, what did he tell you?"

Above my grin I twitched my eyebrows in a suggestive fashion, my grip tightening around my staff and positioning it behind me as I awaited for an upcoming blow. "Just.. kinda, y'know," I shrugged my shoulders, ".. I hear things. The whole grapevine.. he said, she said -- ain't ever a pretty picture." I smirked to myself, growin' more amused with the whole Angel in paranoia thing.. not to mention watchin' him workin' his mojo on the ceiling. "Hey, Spidey? That's cheating," I grinned.

Now we're talking.

He came swooping down and I jumped back, ready to proceed back into our tossin' but instead he just tossed the staff aside. I blinked in confusion, my eyes dodgin' to stick and then back to his face. Now what?

"Okay, cutting to the chase time. Faith..."

I tilted my head and looked at him in my signature 'are you serious?' glare. I sighed with a roll of my eyes and leaned back against my weapon again. "An' here I thought I was gonna get my way out of this one by packin' in a few blows.."

Gotta love Angel -- the undead shrink.

"I worry. I think you're a good person, and even though you're an adult and free to do what you want, I don't trust Spike."

"You're actin' like you haven't had your share of neck before," I replied back casually with another smirk, "I mean.. c'mon Angel. He sacrificed himself on tryin' to save us.. dunno 'bout you but that throws up a pretty big trust flag for me." I tossed my bo aside when it hit me. The whole situation with me an' B -- yeah, I knew the girl didn't trust me fully. She probably never will.

A sigh of fustration left my lips and I rolled my head around to the side along with my body. "Oh right," I muttered, ".. of course. It's never enough."

"But I do trust you."

He came a few steps closer to me and I cast my eyes briefly toward the door. "At least someone does," I managed to whisper before my voice turned sarcastic. Hey, it was my nature.. not like I actually tried. "This gonna turn into a lecture?" I asked, quickly lookin' back at him again with boredom written all over my face. "That what you came down here for, really? 'cause hey," I smirked, raising my hands defensively, "I heard it all before, chief. Gonna tell me 'bout how I got bad taste in guys and I'm just addicted to leather n' all that crap. Well don't worry, daddy. I use condoms."

I turned around and grabbed my coat off the rack, sliding it on over my arms as though preparing to leave.
"Hey, Spidey? That's cheating."

"Like the bad guys care," I muttered as I dropped down.

Faith looked almost disappointed when I called a halt to the sparring session, and it's not like I was really surprised by that. She'd always been the kind of person who preferred solving problems through action, preferably violent action. If you could break it, then it wasn't a problem anymore, right?

But talking? Actually trying to communicate? Not, as Buffy liked to say, so much.

Then again, I wasn't exactly the poster child for being chatty and sharing my feelings with other people, but even I'd learned the lesson of how it was necessary sometimes.

"You're actin' like you haven't had your share of neck before... I mean.. c'mon Angel. He sacrificed himself on tryin' to save us.. dunno 'bout you but that throws up a pretty big trust flag for me."

Yeah, I'd heard about that. And I had a feeling I was gonna keep hearing about it, especially from Spike from now until doomsday. God, what was it with people and this supposed 'new' Spike? Honestly, the second that the bleached-blonde himbo opened his mouth, I couldn't tell any difference between 'new' Spike and 'old' Spike at all. He was still obnoxious, still a pain in my ass. But now, he had more women defending him than just Drusilla.

"Oh right... of course. It's never enough."

I sighed.

"It's not about what you do, Faith, as much as it's about why you do it-- you know that. I changed. You changed. He hasn't."

I took a deep breath, because even if I didn't need it, the movement just seemed to have the right kind of calming effect.

"Sorry. I didn't come down here to argue about Spike. Like I said, your decision."

"This gonna turn into a lecture? That what you came down here for, really? 'cause hey... I heard it all before, chief. Gonna tell me 'bout how I got bad taste in guys and I'm just addicted to leather n' all that crap. Well don't worry, daddy. I use condoms."

Faith passed me, and I shook my head at the empty air. "I didn't need to hear that," I said quietly, really not wanting to think about that image.

I turned around before Faith could head for the door.

"Faith, wait." I grumbled a little as I followed her to the other end of the room. "You've done so well. And from what I hear, you did a hell of a lot of good in Sunnydale. I just don't want that work to get set back by anything, that's all. But like I said, the trust is yours. Fair enough?"
"It's not about what you do, Faith, as much as it's about why you do it-- you know that. I changed. You changed. He hasn't."

My eyes stared a long time into his -- I couldn't believe he was sayin' these things. "No one gave you the medal to be the judge of that," I replied back pretty bluntly, still half wonderin' if the Soulboy is right -- either that or it's all 'bout his old grudge with his past playmate. Either way, his words still put a little bug in my ear. ".. whatever the case is, we're all doin' the whole path of redemption thing or whatever you like to call it. Some of us.."

I shrugged my shoulders, looking warily over somewhere else other than his face. ".. takes longer then others."

"Sorry. I didn't come down here to argue about Spike. Like I said, your decision."

I smirked. "I appreciate that," I said while crossing my arms over my chest. ".. an' I appreciate bein' able to exercise my human rights." I had to add that last jokin' comment before I was headed out the door but then he told me to wait..

Boy can he talk..

"You've done so well. And from what I hear, you did a hell of a lot of good in Sunnydale. I just don't want that work to get set back by anything, that's all. But like I said, the trust is yours. Fair enough?"

It wasn't until this my steps were halted for a second when I heard his words and my head shifted so that I could look at him over my shoulder. "Sure, chief," I answered, my tone remaining emotionless although a small smile came to my lips. ".. an' don't expect me to be breakin' that anytime soon. Keep that trust, will ya? For me." One last smile was made toward his direction before I was out the door and back in the hall.. findin' myself a hell lot calmer before -- but more thoughts were in my lil' mind this time.

I leaned my head back against the wall and closed my eyes to try an' collect my thoughts for a second. Doesn't matter how hard I tried, Angel has his way on jus' gettin' to me with his words.. maybe it's because he's the only one that believed in me when no one else would?

Damn it, what the hell was I doin'?

Slowly I opened my eyes and looked back to the door where I made my exit -- his words still echoin' loudly in my head, specifically one.

"But I do trust you."

"..." I kept silent as a felt a small lump risin' within my throat and just sighed out. With a shrug of my shoulders, I left the hallway.