Set up - Xander has now gone to a pretty dark place where he no longer cares about anyone, not even himself. Faith is throwing herself into more and more dangerous situations in an attempt to prove to herself that she's not useless.
She looked up, one eye almost swollen shut, blood flowing from the gash on her forehead obscuring the other. So this was it. Endgame.
Somehow she’d thought she’d go out in a blaze of glory - or at least infamy. A death people would remember and talk about for years; not alone and forgotten, beaten to a bloody pulp in a dark alley by a nameless vamp who’d never even heard of a Slayer.
His yellow eyes glinted as he moved in for the kill. She could barely move and he only had to sway to one side to dodge her fist. The fetid stench of his breath made her gag as he leaned ever closer. The pain as he tore into her was unlike anything she’d ever known. Every instinct in her, Slayer and human alike, was screaming to get away from him but she was too weakened from the fight. As she felt the air around her grow heavy she stopped trying to struggle.
Without warning, he pulled away from her, the movement further tearing the wound in her neck. She knew the expression on his face, the shock as he felt wood pierce his heart; she’d been the cause of that look more times than she could count, but not this time.
Blackness was creeping into the edges of her vision as she tried to make out her rescuer. He was too far away; all she could see was a blurred shape growing larger as he walked towards her.
Dizzy beyond belief, she tried to clear her vision by shaking her head like a dog. She gave up on that idea as the extra movement sent her crashing to the ground.
Looking up, she tried to smile, she must be dead – there was no other explanation for what she could see in front of her. Licking her dry lips, she croaked “Hey Xander.”
His face was a mask of controlled fury as he snapped, “Faith, what the fuck did you think you were doing?”
She tried to answer but couldn’t get the words to form in her brain. He slung his crossbow over his back and leaned down to pick her up.
She couldn’t stop the squeal of pain as his hand brushed against the broken ribs on her left. For the briefest second the mask of anger dropped and she could see something close to worry on his face. And then it was gone; wordlessly he hoisted her over his shoulder and stalked out of the alleyway.
Agony flared through her with every step but she revelled in it; right now it was the only thing that reminded her she was alive.
He kept up a steady pace as they left the area in silence. She didn’t really notice – all her attention was focused on not passing out as each step jarred her broken ribs.
oh - the writing I got done today? Crimson Regret. It's being looked over right now (well, so long as Bill isn't on holiday or anything!) so it should be posted soon!