Buffy one-off fiction: 'From Ancient Grudge'
There's recently been some discussion on the plausibility of a hookup between Willow and Faith, given how much they seem to hate each other throughout much of the show. Naturally enough, I have some thoughts on this; and I've ended up writing a short (1500 words) fic giving you a dialogue between them, sometime post-Chosen.
Rated 15 for strong language, since they do a fair bit of arguing in here. While the swearing is mostly Faith as you'd expect, even Willow gets provoked into using the odd naughty word or two...
This fic now has an Author's Commentary.
From Ancient Grudge
Right, we're through. I, uh, think...
Damn, Red, hell of a light show. You OK?
Apart from the blinding headache and the legs wanting to go in four different directions at once? Sure. Um, gimme a moment...
Don't take too long. We've got bad guys to find.
Uh, we're only supposed to check out what's going on, remember? Buffy said -
Yeah, yeah, I got the lecture. "Strictly recon". Damn, does she think I'm gonna just dive in stakes blazin'?
Well, uh... yes?
Fuck that. It's this whole new thing I'm tryin', called "actually givin' a shit whether I live or die." B oughta see that, if she wasn't so wrapped up in her own damn -
Shit. Sorry. Dammit, you'd think I wouldn't let Blondie get to me that way, after all this time. Although, heh - she's not really blonde, you know. Carpet don't match the drapes.
What? How do you...?
Been inside her skin, remember? First hand personal knowledge. What, you thought I meant we'd done the naughty together? Heh. Although as a matter of fact, we...
Shut up! I don't want to hear this, and I don't know why we're even having this discussion!
Yeah, like you've never thought about it. I've seen the way you look at her sometimes.
I do not! Buffy's my best friend. I don't think of her that way. I mean, sure, she's attractive, but I - just, no. Eww. It would be like sleeping with my sister.
How'd you know? You don't have a sister. Anyway, don't knock it 'till you've tried it.
Look, can we just stop with all the really disturbing sex talk already? I think I'm ready to cast that glamour now, anyway. So stand still and don't move.
Will, I -
Shhh! Stand there. Be quiet. And wait.
Animas tenebrarum, vos voco,
Advenite me et dictis meis parete,
Visus, sonitus, odoratus, gustatus, tactus,
hostes mihi celate nos, nunc et donec
potestatem vobis dabo ut abeatis!
That it? I can't see any difference.
You won't. But the bad guys won't be able to see us, or hear us, or anything, 'till I lift the spell. Well, unless they've got a Propinian Counterspell active, but I don't think they do. Pretty sure of it, anyway.
Yeah? What if you're wrong?
So you get that big fight after all. Don't tell me Big Bad Slayer's afraid of a few demons and cultists and things?
Hell with that. Just don't like surprises. Kinda bring back memories I don't wanna think about now. So come on, let's go.
Sure. I think it's that way. Uh, Faith?
When you said "don't knock it" - you didn't mean that you really have slept with your own sister, did you? I mean...
What, you think I'm some kinda pervert?
Um, as I said before: "well, er, yes"...
Heh. Well set your mind at rest, Red, I haven't. Though I'm kinda curious to know why you're so interested in my sex life all of a sudden?
What? I'm not!
So why are you blushing?
I'm, uh,.... oh, look! That must be the main cult temple up ahead! (Thank Goddess!)
Damn, there's a lot of them. I'm actually really hoping your spell won't fail now...
Mmm. Me too. Look, there's a balcony up there. Maybe we can get closer that way, hear what they're saying.
Good plan. Hey, will this glamour hold if I actually bump into these guys?
Don't know. It should, but let's, uh, not risk it, OK?
Gotcha. Come on.
Mind that one... Try moving down there a little...
Damn! Did you hear that?
Faith, d'you mind not standing so close to me? Your - uh, part of your anatomy is pressing into my arm.
That's what you're calling it these days, huh?
What? It's my arm. I've always called it my arm. Now shift up.
Oh boy. Giles was right. They really are planning to do it.
Shit. These guys are serious bad news. D'you believe what they're doing now?
Oh no. Please don't tell me they're gonna....
Eww. That is just all kinds of gross.
Just "gross"? It was horrible! That poor man...
Hey, you rather they'd sacrificed some innocent virgin or somethin'? If big-ass demons feel like tearing their own worshippers into little tiny bits, it makes our life easier. Less killin' needed.
Yeah, but he was one of them, he trusted them, and then the way they just turned on him and pushed him into the pit... I'm gonna have nightmares for weeks. Those screams...
Fuck it all to hell, Red, you're feeling sorry for the guy? He's evil! Was evil. He was one of them!
Exactly, and they killed him! And maybe you're all fine with that, but I'm not, and maybe I am projecting a little, 'cause I don't like betrayal but I hate it when friends turn on you, and sure, maybe that's not something you care about -
The hell is that supposed to mean?
Well, it's not like you don't have the track history of -
Fuck you. You all gonna keep throwing that crap in my face forever? 'Sides, the way I hear it, you ain't exactly got much to boast about yourself. Hell, I killed a coupla guys, you almost blew up the world. But cute little Willow gets all forgiven, and I'm the one who's always gonna have to prove herself, and nobody's ever really gonna trust. 'Cause you've always looked down on me, all of you. It never changes.
We never change? You're the one still spouting self-pitying paranoia. "Poor me! Everybody hates me!" Ever wonder why, Faith?
I know why. You all think you're better than me.
Fuck that. I know I don't swear much but just, FUCK that. We're better than you? You wanna know what I thought when I first got to know you? Really? All your stories about wrestling alligators in the nude, and wearing denim and leather, and dating boys (and girls too, probably) and dropping out of school and talking back to grown-ups and doing all the things I fantasised about but never dared to actually do...
Shit, Will, you never -
Shut up! I'm ranting. Buffy and Xander were the only real close friends I had back in High School, and you came in and took them both away from me. And I couldn't really even hate you for it, 'cause you didn't do it to be mean or spiteful, you were just being you. Hell yes I resented you, but it was never 'cause I thought you were beneath me. It was the opposite.
Sure. Don't think I've forgotten what you called me. "Selfish, worthless waste," wasn't it? Yeah, I really felt the love there.
You'd hurt my friends by then. You'd hurt Buffy. She'd - we'd offered you a place with us, and you threw it back in our faces. You were all "take, take, take" and never give anything back. Friendships don't work that way. Heck, I don't work that way.
Yeah, well maybe I'd never had much chance to learn about this "friendship" crap, had I?
So maybe you should start. Now would be good. Or you can carry on with your edgy outsider, "I'm so alone" routine all your life. See if I care.
You? Care? Like you ever - oh fuck. Fuck! Look, I'm not wantin' to be best buds, and I'm certainly not lookin' for your pity. But I'm part of this now, and I ain't goin' nowhere. We're on the same side, an' perhaps we oughta start acting like it!
I am! I mean, I want to. I mean, I just, uh, *aarrgh*! Look, I'm sorry I snapped at you before, right? I was just kinda upset by that guy getting horribly tortured to death right in front of us. I'm funny that way. Friends again?
Hey, don't knock it. Friends are good. World's a better place if you've got friends. Heck, the world wouldn't even be here if I didn't have friends...
Yeah, alright already, I get it. I'm still not gonna do any of that hugging or bonding stuff, though. And you can paint your own damn toenails.
What? I don't even - how do you even know about that sort of thing?
Locked up for two years with a bunch of females, remember?
Faith, I've, uh, heard lots of stories about the stuff that goes on in women's prisons, and painting toenails never once featured in any of them.
Shows how much you know then, Miss Clever. Not a whole lot else to do when you're banged up in a cell together 24/7. 'Course, there were a few other things we did. Wanna hear about them?
Heh. You're blushing again.
Look, maybe we could pay attention to this huge army of cultists all around us? The ones planning to start the Apocalypse? Our mission?
Hey, I thought banterin' in the face of danger was a fine Scooby tradition, yo? Just tryin' to fit into the gang here.
Uh, thanks. Really, thank you. Look, I'm - I'm glad you're on our side.
Whatever, Will. We cool?
Yep. Uh...we're five by five.
So what does that mean, anyway?