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Damned If I Don't, Damned If I Do
Part Three of The Damned Series

Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, just the tangled webs I weave them into.
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Buffy hasn't spoken to Faith since Christmas night, but now something makes her snap. Can this lead to a resolution for the troubled two?


PART TWO: 31st December 2003

Chapter One: Gift Wrapped

Buffy sat on the window box in her bedroom and looked out at the forever falling snow. It hadn't stopped for nearly two weeks; it was a wonder they weren't buried under it yet.

Buffy and the rest of the Sunnydale survivors were completely overwhelmed by the amount of white stuff that kept falling. Who knew there could be this much snow in the world? Even Giles was having trouble coping with it all despite being from England where it was always cold, wasn't it? Willow had said it rained a lot over there anyway.

The only one at the camp who wasn't freaked by the extreme weather conditions was Faith, but that just proved to Buffy that Faith was warped.

The locals didn't seem to be affected by the cold spell at all and life around them went on as usual. Which was just as well, because otherwise the party they were having that night would have been a complete wash out. Or maybe that should be freeze out?

And talking of the party she really should be downstairs helping prepare, not sitting up here staring at nothing and busily not thinking about the prettily wrapped silver box shoved under her bed.

Maybe she should just think about it and get it over with?

With a sigh she left her seat at the window and squatted to reach for the present. She traced her name with a fingertip and then poked a little at the slightly torn corner. Over time she'd made a little hole there, but all she could see was plain white cardboard.

She might as well just open it. It had been a week since Faith had so nicely chucked it at her.

At first she hadn't opened it because she was so angry. Instead she'd shoved it under her bed, waiting until she calmed down so she wouldn't break the gift in half. Then she hadn't opened it because she didn't care that Faith had got her anything. Okay, so she was pretending she didn't care, same diff. Then, after she'd begun to calm down a little, she hadn't opened it because she didn't want to rouse the feelings it would likely stir in her. The gift was so nicely, lovingly even, wrapped that Buffy had no doubt that the same thought must have gone into the present. With the size, shape and weight of the box taken into account, Buffy had two ideas. It was either big jewellery, most likely a necklace that would inevitably turn out to be another spooky amulet, or, and this idea was actually her favourite, a stake.

Faith took pride in stake-whittling these days, putting in plenty of time and effort into each one, and she'd created some beautiful work in the past few months. One she'd even carved runes into the wood and filled them with molten silver, because it was surprising how many things needed silver to kill them. Since losing Mr. Pointy, Buffy often felt naked while patrolling and she had been hoping Faith would make her a new special friend, one with pretty silver in it.

Now though, the thought of Faith giving her anything at all was enough to almost start her crying, and damn it she was not going to cry over that bitch. Not for one second. That was why it remained wrapped. Only now, curiosity was killing a cat somewhere because she really wanted to know what Faith had chosen for her. Especially with Faith still wearing her new leather jacket almost constantly, claiming cheerfully that it was the bitter cold outside that meant she had to wear it around the house all day long.

And if Faith had made a stake just for her, well Buffy knew exactly who to try it out on first.

She fitted her finger into the tiny tear in the paper and pulled it open more. It tore in two easily and Buffy was left holding a plain white box about as long as her forearm. She turned it over in her hands and noticed some handwriting on the other side.

To B,
Figured this might help you out seeing as I can't. If you want any tips, just ask.
Merry Christmas.

Frowning a little, and even more curious, she pulled up the flaps of the box and peered inside and...


Turning red she dropped the box and jumped to her feet, surprise and disbelief twisting her features.

"I can't believe..." She threw her bedroom door open. "Faith!"

Chapter Two

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Part Two Quick-Jump:

Chapter One || Chapter Two || Chapter Three || Chapter Four || Chapter Five || Chapter Six

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