Faith moves like liquid metal, like a snake, like something without any bones, and I'm watching her in a lesbian bar, a bar for lesbians, a place where the word dyke is used in a friendly manner and not as an insult spit out of the corner of a drunken frat boy's mouth. Where I got in because the bouncer and the lady with the guest list took one look at me and decided my very fake ID was okay after all.
I shouldn't have come to LA at all, but I couldn't help it. Faith hurt Buffy, and then she hurt Tara, and then she ran away from all of her troubles without even a catchy phrase to say good-bye with. The police are looking for her, and I should tell them where she is. Let them handle the Slayer, the rotten no-good Miss Hurts Everybody. But I'm here and I'm on my second cosmopolitan and there are so many very sexy women in the club I can't believe it. Not that I'm looking. I have my very first woman-type girlfriend to do spells and smoochies with, but it's kind of nice to look at girls and not have to check myself because I'm not in a come-out-to-Buffy-or-Xander-or-Giles mood.
But Faith knew. She just looked and boom, there was gay knowing, and if she knew just by looking, maybe they all know. Or maybe not. But I need to talk to Faith. Make her...I don't know, but she can't wreck lives and skip out like a deadbeat dad.
"Hey pretty," someone with a phone sex voice murmurs in my ear, the words tickling the hair on my neck. "Enjoying the floor show?"
"Oh, I..." I say in a high voice, a scared to be at an LA dyke bar voice that makes me even more embarrassed. "I know her."
Phone sex voice smells good. Like Chanel and margarita salt, which is a bad thought to have when there is a Tara at home and not even out-ness among friends and family.
"Do you?" she asks with a lilt. "What's her name?"
"Faith," I say. "I need to talk to her. She hurt some friends of mine at home and I--"
"Just have to go out there, march up to her, and tell her to never ever do it again," she says, running her hand down my spine before pulling back quickly, but not before I shiver. "You go, honey."
"I will," I say. "Thanks for the confidence."
When I turn around, whoever she was is gone, and I'm going to march right up to Faith right now. Marching right up to Faith, who is slithering between a fabulous boy in shiny purple pants shaking his ass and a gorgeous girl who looks kind of like Cordelia.
I am going to singe her tailfeathers. Or ears. Or something.
Her body crashes into mine, rubbing against it. I turn around and her eyes meet mine, and they're so dark and so lost and she's just so strong that for a second, I go back to wondering what it would be like to have a Slayer body touch me in a sexy way. Probably there would be bruises and pain, but Riley seems to do okay with Buffy and Faith in Buffy's body so maybe it would be not awful. Even emphatically not awful.
"Willow," Faith says. "Where's the gang?"
"Not here," I say. "I came alone."
She considers the idea, clearly not quite sure I can be believed, but when I don't flinch when she runs her hand over my ass, her shoulders relax just a little. And it's kind of fun to notice that fabulous purple pants boy is a little pissed off at me for dancing with Faith.
"Why?" Faith finally asks.
"Resolution," I say, the word I was looking for deciding to get found just in time. Faith laughs at me, throws her head back, slithers away from me and shimmies her hips.
*Whatever twists your panties*, she seems to be indicating with the come-on-Eileen smile and fuck-me dance.
I shouldn't be here. But here I am, hands on her faith, fingers tingling because I can feel her muscles and tendons under her skin and Faith could snap me in two just with an errant twist of her hips, barely concealed in her tight leather pants. Here I am, breathing as hard as I bet Xander did when she took his virginity.
And here she is, grinding herself into me. I can feel her breasts push against my back and it's hotter than I already thought it was.
"You're not having enough fun," Faith shouts in the general vicinity of my ear after two or three songs' worth of awkward dancing followed by pulling away followed by grinding followed by awkward dancing. She grabs me by the wrist and I realize I'm stuck following her into the bathrooms, which are dirty, huge, and dark. "All this seeking and looking and anger must have you feeling a little down, Will."
"I'm not down at all, thank you," I say primly. "I am, perhaps, a little distressed that you hurt all the people I love and ran off without saying you were sorry."
Faith bares her teeth at me like she's smiling, but I know she's not. She's the crazy girl, and I'm the one standing with her near a wall that could turn conveniently violent if Faith decides she doesn't feel like playing anymore.
"Sorry," says Faith. "Guess you're not ready to explain to everyone that you like blonde pussy just yet, huh?"
That gets me flustered, and I try to push past her, only to find myself pinned to the wall by one small Slayerhand, and Faith's face maybe three or four inches from mine.
"Guess not," I say, feeling so angry that I could almost try a spell. There has to be something I could do to knock her out, and then I could call the cops. Or Buffy. Or Angel, whose office isn't so far from here, I think. Someone who doesn't sort of wonder what it would be like if Faith's hand was six or eight inches lower on her body. If maybe those prominent teeth were grazing my shoulder. "What about you?"
"I like it all," Faith replies. "If you people didn't get it the first time, that's not my fault. I woulda fucked you instead of Harris, Red, if you'd been the one around at the time."
My throat hurts from gulping so hard. "Is that right?"
"That's right," she says. "I could do it now, if I wanted."
It's like she took an electrode and attached it to my brain, because I jump and my whole spine sizzles with current and freakage, because Faith? Not wrong. She could do it -- do me -- and it would be something I kinda sorta wanted.
Then I whimper and Faith's eyes look confused and a little scared, like she realizes what she's doing, that I'm not just some girl to threaten and fuck and leave in a gutter. If I get hurt, Buffy would come back, and I can tell Faith doesn't ever want to face Buffy ever again.
"Don't worry, Red," she says too loudly, too brashly. "I wouldn't. Not when you're all about blondes."
She lets go, spins on her heels, and pushes her way out of the bathroom. I'm sort of lost. Blondes?
So for the second time, I follow her, even though it's stupid.
"Hey, it's my stalker," Faith says as I throw my arm around her waist, trying to look casual. "What is it, Willow? Can't get enough of the crazy killer?"
I gave her a dirty look to match all the dirty tricks. "I got plenty of you in Sunnydale, Faith," I say, trying to maintain dignity. "But like I said, I'm here for resolution. I think you should come back. Make up with people. Do something good for a change."
For a second I think I've gotten through to her. That I didn't waste a trip. That maybe if I just lean in and give Faith a kiss, a pat on the back, anything, she'll resolve all this mess.
But she shakes her head and my hopes crumble.
"I can't be good," says Faith. "Don't you get it? Maybe you and all the little Scoobies have goody-two-shoe genes and nice parents, but I don't. I don't want to be like you. Or B. There's no fun in it, and I'm tired of being what I'm not."
"You don't know that," I say hotly. "You could be anything you wanted if you tried. And for all you know, I could want to destroy the world and the only thing keeping me back is decency."
The look in her eyes suggests she finds this sort of far-fetched. Which is okay, because I do, too. I couldn't destroy the world. Not me. It's not in the Willow Rosenberg mental makeup, and also, I don't know how I would do it.
"Red. Willow. Go home to your vanilla girlfriend and your vanilla life," Faith snaps at me, expression dark and ugly. "I got bigger and better places to be, and I don't need to be your fucking Slayer stand-in. Maybe the wicca girl hasn't realized she's your Buffy-substitute, but me? I do. And I don't feel like it anymore."
Before I can protest, Faith looks away from me, up at a tall woman with the expression of a hooded cobra who's clearly been watching us a while. I can tell from her posture that she's done with me, she's more interested in finding better pussy and that hurts, even though it shouldn't. So I say something I should regret, but I don't.
"You're wrong, you know," I say. "You couldn't ever be anyone's Buffy-substitute, no matter how much you wish you could be. Whatever that's promising you, you'll still be hoping to be half of what Buffy is."
"Maybe so," she says, eyes still on the catwalk and those long lady-legs, like the women in the noir movies we watched on the VCR with whispers and secrets and shadows. "But at least I ain't settling for her pale shadow, Red. Some days, no matter if it's wrong or not, you have to dance to your own beat."
I'm gone. I'm really gone this time, but when I turn, I can't help but screaming out one last insult. I'm very small and petty, like Harmony, or, lord help me, Cordelia, but she's not walking away with everything. Not tonight. Not after knowing more of Faith's secrets than she'd like to admit.
"You think you'll win like THIS?" I ask with a sneer.
Faith shrugs. "You never know, Will. Maybe I'm playing to lose."
And then Faith smiles. Like a shark she smiles at me.
And this time, I turn my back and walk away for good.