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WARNING: If you haven't read the warning on the index page, go back and read it. If you don't, and you don't like what you find here, don't come crying to me.

Title: Faith

Author: Eleanor K.

Fandom: Buffy: the Vampire Slayer

Pairing: Faith/OFC

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Faith has a new dress.

Email: emungere@gmail.com

Disclaimer: Joss owns all.

Notes: This was done for a Livejournal meme where people pick one of your icons and you write a ficlet based on it. Here's the icon in question.

..__..

Another brown hotel room between Boston and Sunnydale. Faith doesn't remember what town she's in tonight. She thinks this is Ohio, and it's a big city, which narrows down the possibilities to Don't Care and Don't Fucking Care.

Leather pants--newly acquired, never mind how--lie on the bed. Faith stands in front of the mirror. She rubs at the goose bumps on her arms and moves still closer to the air conditioner. She's been sweating all day in unairconditioned cars with fat strangers trying to see down her shirt. The goose bumps feel good. Clean. So does the wet hair straggling down her back.

She pulls on bra and panties, both white and cotton. She stuffs the leather pants back in her bag and pulls out a dress. Also white, also cotton. Ruffled edges. Cool and floaty. She pulls it on over her head, but doesn't look in the mirror just yet.

There used to be this guy. He took her for rides on his bike--some fucking rice burner, but it went like a bullet from a gun--and left bruises on her wrists from holding her down when he fucked her.

You don't even dress like a whore, he told her. You dress like a slut, girly girl. Like you're there to be used. And then you wonder why people fucking use you.

Of course, that was before. Before superpowers and dead Watchers and road trips to Sunnydale, California, home of the Hellmouth, population shrinking nightly. She hasn't had much time to think about what she wears recently. But there was this little dress in K-Mart and no one was looking, and it fit in her bag so nicely.

She looks in the mirror.

The ruffles hit just above her knees, swinging freely. One strap falls down her shoulder. Her hair wets the cotton and makes it cling to her skin. She digs lip gloss out of her bag and slides the applicator across her lips. They look shiny and wet like her hair.

The door locks behind her automatically. Her wallet is stuffed under the mattress. If she can't get anyone to buy her drinks looking like this, she'll give up and go home.

She finds a guy easily enough. He's playing pool at the first bar she walks into. He is tall and dark with muscles that move around each other like pool balls when he takes the cue from her. He buys her bad beer, and she can feel how hard he is when he bends over her to help her break. Balls fly to all corners of the table. His hand is on her ass and then both hands are on her boobs, and then her knee is in his groin.

She leaves him gasping and goes out the back exit to the alley. Maybe it's not the clothes. Maybe it's just something about her. She wipes lip gloss off with the back of her hand. Translucent pink smear, shining in the streetlight.

The door opens and she turns just in time to get a face full of fist. Hairy knuckles, blood, pain. Her blood, but mostly his pain as she breaks his wrist and then his arm. He falls to the ground, rocking and whimpering.

"Shit!" she says. "Fucking son of a bitch!" Kicks him in the ribs. "That was my fucking *nose*!"

Whimpering, moaning. He's not much now.

She leaves him lying there, but only gets as far as the mouth of the alley. She sits on a trashcan, drumming one heel against it, scrubbing her face with her hands. Wanting it to rain. Wanting another shower. More air conditioning. Another drink.

Footsteps. Black boots stop in front of her.

"That was pretty cool."

Girl-voice, soft and low. Faith looks up.

"What, the part where he almost broke my fucking nose?"

The girl is taller than Faith, lean and hard. Spiky black hair droops over her forehead. Her T-shirt says, Boys are stupid. Let's throw rocks at them.

"The part where you totally kicked his ass."

"I like your shirt."

"Want to come back to my place and take it off me?"

Faith licks her lips and stands. "Are you picking me up?"

"I'm trying. How am I doing?"

Faith shrugs. The girl takes her hand and tugs her out of the alley.

"Come on. You can walk me home at least." She smiles, looking weirdly innocent through black lipstick and heavy black eye make-up. "We can go through the park and you can beat up the muggers."

"Sure," Faith says. She breathes in deep. "Sure. Sounds like fun."

Another gentle tug on her hand. "Better hurry. It kind of smells like rain, don't you think?"

It does. They barely make it across the street before the sky breaks open.
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