xvision_girlx (xvision_girlx) wrote in fashion__victim,

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...of times past...

Faith coming to my room to comfort me after a fight and another bittersweet good-bye with Angel, again, that was a little weird. But even I have to admit that I wouldn't turn it down even if I wanted to. I mean there's proud and sometimes there's just too proud. I hate being alone. Have always hated it, but I'd rather be alone than have to do deal with the trappings of something that wouldn't go very far because of a pesky curse.

I tried to tell myself time and time again, that if all we had was each other then I'd be all right. And well, maybe that was the truth in a sense. Maybe I would have been all right if I hadn't gotten taken up to the Powers That Be. But I did, and that's a fact that I can't change. It doesn't matter how much I want to change it, I can't. It's as simple as that.

And maybe I won't. Well, not this time.

Everything is so different. And I feel like because I'm not aspiring to be with Angel that I've been sort of cut off from my friends, who are my family. I mean I talk with Wesley on the phone, but I don't really get to see them everyday like I used to. Things are somewhat different and I'm not sure if I like the change or not. I mean some days I welcome it, but others I just wish it could all go back to the way it was in the beginning.

Some days I wish that Doyle were around. I miss him a lot. Things were so different when he was here. I mean I didn't have these pesky visions that nearly killed me to deal with and all I had to be was a secretary with the typing skills of a gnat. I think if Doyle hadn't done the stupid thing and get him self killed then things would be a lot different. I wouldn't have these visions and Wesley wouldn't have come to work for us, a lot of things wouldn't have happened.

But then I think about that and I wonder if I didn't have these visions then who would help all those people who are in pain? Would I even be needed anymore if I didn't have them?

For so long the visions made me special and hey let's face it everybody wants to be special. It's human nature to want to feel like you matter, to want to feel like you are needed. And then it became so much more than me just wanting to feel special. It wasn't just my life, but it was my purpose. Angel's mission somehow became my purpose and now I'm not sure what that purpose is anymore for me.

I mean I know I have to help Faith. Whatever is vying for her blood is not going to get their hands on her if I can help it. Hey, I'm Vision Girl and nobody messes with me and mine. Some things change, but some things don't. And this is one of them that I refuse to budge on. If that big nasty wants a piece of the Slayer then he's going to have to come through me because nobody messes with the Chase.

Faith was in my room tonight. Faith almost kissed me tonight. And Angel walked in on it. There's a part of me that wonders if Angel hadn't of walked in on it, would we have actually kissed and how far would we have taken it? Would I have liked it? Would we have both felt awkward about it afterwards? Or would I have just pushed her off of me and acted like I was mildly disgusted with her display of behavior in an attempt to cover up the fact that I might have liked it?

And why am I even thinking about her?

What is it about that girl that has my blood pumping and my body warming?

I shook my head as if to clear away some of the thoughts. I knew I was going to be a prune if I didn't crawl out of this tub anytime soon, so I heaved a big sigh and drug myself up out of the water pulling the plug on the way out so it could drawn. Once outside the tub, I reached for my big fluffy towel and dried myself off before pulling on my pajamas, shutting off the light and crawling into bed.

I was extremely tired and knew it wouldn't be long before sleep came. I needed it pretty much. I didn't have much energy, not after the events of this evening and with all of the thoughts that were pretty much busy taking up space in my mind.

'Faith as the big bad wolf.'

I murmured softly as I turned in my sleep laughing softly. Just the thought of that alone was comical in a weird sort of way. Yawning big I curled up between the sheets and rested my head on the pillow. I could feel the covers being pulled further up over me, it was Phantom Dennis and I knew it was his way of taking care of me. It wasn't long before I was asleep.

A raven-haired woman appeared on a hilltop; she was running from something it looked like. She was scared, I could feel her pain, and she wore a pendant around her neck. She kept reaching up as if to touch it. Whatever it was she was running from seemed to be after what she wore around her neck. I could hear bits of chanting and saw her lips were moving. She was obviously casting a spell of some kind, or was trying to.

I tried calling out to her. I wanted to warn her, but it looked like she couldn't hear me. I could feel myself moving, I thought that maybe if I could just get to her I know I could help her. Maybe she was trying to warn me about something. About anything, I don't know. All I know was she was in terrible pain and I could not only feel it, but I could sense it. It went deeper than anything I've ever experienced before.

I felt dizzy and sick with it. And then I watched as she caught her foot on something and tumbled. She tucked herself into a ball and rolled as her hand came up to rest on the pendant around her neck as if to protect it, to brace her self from the fall alone. It wasn't enough. He was getting closer to her. I couldn't really make out what exactly it was that was after her, but it looked like it was a man.

He wore a thick dark coat and one of those old-time hats; you know the kind that they wore back in Salem, during the Witch Trials. Only he wasn't just a man, he looked like he might be some kind of Warlock or something that had the ability to transform himself into anything he wanted to, including taking on the shape of any animal he wanted. I'd never seen anything like this before.

I tried calling out to the woman once more. Stupid girl, I don't know why she got herself into this situation and it seemed like I couldn't do anything to help get her out of it. All I could do was watch. It felt like I was having a vision. It was very painful and I felt it when he ripped into her. The claws of his paw tore painfully across her flesh drawing a painful burning sensation with it. Thick dark pools of blood rose to the surface and I not only felt it with her but also screamed out in pain myself.

I clutched at my lower abdomen with my hands as I doubled over in pain lowering myself to my knees and cried out in another painful gasp as heavy blood flow seeped through my fingers and dropped onto the ground staining the dress I was wearing. Whatever was happening to the young woman was also happening to me and I didn't understand it. All I knew was we were both badly injured and if we didn't get help soon we were both going to either bleed to death or end up crazed or confused somewhere unconscious.

I felt everything he did to her. Whatever happened to this young woman was obviously happening to me and I didn't understand. All I knew was I needed to find someway out of this. I needed to find someway back so that I could tell somebody what I had seen, but it felt like I was trapped. It felt like I had no choice but to watch and to be subjected to the same torture they were inflicting on this woman. And I couldn't understand why.

When I looked at this young woman she looked very familiar to me. It wasn't just in her face or her hair either, but it was in the way that she carried herself. It was in the determined look she had in her eyes, it was her eyes that connected us the most. And then once my cries of pain seemed to subside I heard it. I heard a voice soft in my ears or at least that's what it felt like to me. I don't know, I thought maybe I was crazy from the blood loss or maybe I was just hearing things. But her voice spoke to me and it sounded all too familiar.

'You don't belong here. Go back. Listen to me. Take heed to what I am saying. This is very important. They will kill you if they find you. You do not belong here. Go home. Go back to where you came from, you are much safer there. And forget about the amulet. Forget you met that man. That wasn't for you. You should have never entered that store. I fear all your loved ones are in danger now. Go. Leave as quickly as you came.'

That voice sounded like my own. I was stunned, if not from the ripping pain I felt across my abdomen but from the voice alone. When I looked upon the young woman, it was just like I was looking into a mirror. I could see my own reflection. That's weird. Not like nothing we ever do is weird, but this is weird in the sense of being completely weird.

'Who are you?' I called out to the young woman hoping she would be able to hear me.

'She can't hear you.'

I felt a whisper in my ear, the tickle of warm air brushing against it. Making my way to my feet, I turned to see the same dark haired woman I had seen earlier.

'Okay what in the hell is going on here?' I asked.

I turned back around to see the same woman still lying on the ground bleeding and I looked down at my own dress and saw that I was still bleeding too.

'Well this dress is ruined. And I didn't even get to wear it that long. That's just great.'

I know it's a little shallow to be worried about a dress being torn to shreds when I had other things like the gaping slash marks across my stomach to worry about and the woman I saw in front of me and standing beside me to worry about, but I the truth was I liked this dress. I didn't care if I didn't have it that long. I still liked it.

I felt the sting of the pull of her hair while I watched the man begin to drag her off. I turned to the ghost lady or whatever she was that was standing beside me and took a chance in asking her.

'Where is he taking her?'

Although I probably knew she was just going to tell me the same thing she said earlier. She was going to tell me to go home and the truth was I would really like to go home. I had no idea where I was or why I was seeing this. Was this some sort of joke from the Powers That Be or was it going to be another vision that they sent to me? I don't understand this.

Sighing in frustration I stomped my foot and looked up at the sky.

'What the hell are you boys up to this time? What is it you want me to see? Haven't you taken enough from me already? Haven't caused enough pain? Feel the need to cause more. I don't understand.'

A searing white-hot pain shot up my spine as I felt my head begin to spin. I could feel it. I could feel my skin burning. I could even smell it too.

'Aw, God.'

I was scared. I could feel everything. I could feel the fired. I could feel the heat of the burning wood beneath my bare feet. When I looked down I noticed I still had my shoes on, but when I looked back up, I could see that we were in a different location. We weren't still on that same country road anymore. We were standing in front of a burning pyre.

And I was watching the dark haired girl being burnt to death. I could smell it. It was all over me, her senses, everything that was happening to her. I could feel my skin blistering along with hers. And when I could find my voice, when I could find the strength to talk without screaming in ultimate pain I asked the figment that was standing next to me, because that's what it had to be some sort of figment or ghost, what was going on.

'I thought they only burnt witches at the pyre?'

I watched as the fire grew higher and the flames started licking at her feet. Her skin was burning; there were blisters that were rising against her skin. She was screaming so loud I didn't think I could hear myself think. None of this was making sense to me. I didn't understand. And then I wondered if the Powers That Be had anything to do with this at all and if it was just Wolfram and Hart coming into my mind again, like they had already one once. I felt violated and trapped and as helpless as that woman tied to the burning pyre.

'Hey wait a minute, what the hell is going on damnit? I want to know what's happening. Why is it happening? Because I don't understand and none of this is making any sense. Who hell are you, lady?'

I was starting to get frustrated and I just wanted to leave but it was like I was stuck in some sort of time warp, trapped in a moment of history that had once happened but they were trying to re-create all over again for someone's warped sense of humour.

'Who the hell would be sick enough to do anything like this?'

I needed answers to all of my questions but it didn't seem like the figment seemed interested in giving me any of the information. I started to cry, really cry out in pain.

'Am I being punished again?'

I could feel the tears dripping off my chin as blisters started rising against my own skin. God this can't be happening again. I had gone through this once already, I couldn't understand why I was being tortured like this again. Did the Powers That be get off on seeing me in pain? Was this their handiwork? Or was this the work of Wolfram and Hart again? I mean lets face it they didn't hesitate to do it the last time, what would be able to stop them this time? It only made sense, what do you do to a person when you're trying to destroy them?

You generally go through the people they love and then move on from there. I remember it all too well. Lilah hiring that man to tap into a link in sync with the Powers That Be, messing with the phone lines jamming them in some sort of way and finding a way to send me week old visions of people who were already dead, all because it was part of her ploy to dupe Angel into going down to hell and bringing Billy back. God what a mess that had been.

'You're not being punished. She's being punished. Look closer and you'll find the two of you have more in common that you think. You have something that belongs to her. It belongs to you too. But if you were ever to wear it, if you are ever to put it on it would only serve to cause you much pain. Let this be a lesson to you. Do not be a fool and mess with things that you know nothing of. Go back to where you came from and leave this alone. The past is done. There is nothing you can do to change it. It is what it is. But aren't we all?'

I reached up to rest my hand against my chest. It was getting harder to breath; I could feel the flames consuming her. They were consuming me too. I knew it wouldn't be long before she stopped breathing and I was scared. I have never been more scared in my life. What did this mean? If she stopped breathing did that mean that I would stop breathing too? I had to find a way to get out of here. I had to find a way to get back home. I didn't even know how I got here.

This was all so…weird.

'What do you mean? I don't understand.'

I know I was repeating myself but I kept asking and asking and I never got an answer to the question. And then it occurred to me; maybe I knew what it was she was talking about. If I were to ever wear it.

'The pendant, you mean the pendant don't you?'

That's the only thing I had that I could think of, besides the dagger that I had bought and given to Faith as a gift. But I doubt if she meant that. And she said to look close and I would notice we both had something in common and okay aside from looking alike I'm guessing the only other thing it could be is the pendant.

But the question was, what did the pendant have to do with the young woman and why she was being burned alive?

I felt her when she passed. I heard her screams of agony and felt it as the flames overtook her body and burnt her to ashes. I could smell the burning flesh and was instantly sick. It felt like I couldn't breathe like my supply of oxygen had been somehow cut off and I was fighting my way back to consciousness. I could feel myself thrashing against the weight of the overwhelming darkness that was threatening to consume me as I fought against it.

Throwing the covers off of me I came to choking on air and trying to breath in as much as I could as if I'd never get to breath again another minute in my life. I felt weak and tired. I could hardly move and my chest was heaving. My head was spinning and I felt as if I were going to be sick.

'What the hell is happening to me?'

Oh god. This can't be happening again. Not again.

I looked down and saw the bed and my pajamas were soaked in blood. And I screamed.

I didn't know what else to do. I reached down and lifted what was left of my shredded pajama top up to reveal five deep gashes into my lower abdomen.

'Oh shit.'

I tried to compose myself as I reached up and with my other hand to brush my hair back again from my face and that's when I felt it. My skin felt like it was tough and old. It wasn't like this before, I could feel the skin peeling from my face and it felt like I had soars all over my cheek. Tears were dripping off my chin and I was shaking as I managed to make it to my feet and stumbled my way across the floor to the other side of my room, flipping the light on I dared to look into the full length mirror I had mounted against my wall and I screamed much louder this time at what I had seen.

There were hideous boils on my face as I reached up once more to pull the hair back down to hide them. They were gross, hideous and unclean and I was so ashamed. All I could do was stand there and cry. I couldn't understand why any of this was happening. Why did it always have to be me this stuff happened to? Why couldn't it be someone else?

I was supposed to be this famous actress by now who was off attending an after party somewhere, getting drunk on champagne and going home with the hottest guy in town. I wasn't supposed to be reduced to this. I wasn't supposed to have these visions, hook up with the only guy who ever came to L.A. to just get older and have all of these weird cravings, this strange attraction to a used to be psycho path down the hall sleeping in another room.

'Oh God.' I choked.


How was I going to explain this to her? What was I going to say? Gee, I'm sorry but after our little talk last night I went to bed and woke up with boils on the side of my face and open gashes on slashed across my stomach? I don't think she'd buy it. I don't know would she even care? I mean I know that caring isn't really her style much. But then, she could fool me.

I felt dizzy like I was going to faint from the blood loss. I was going to have to tell somebody. And Faith looked like the closest person. It would be stupid and pointless to call Angel over here in the middle of the night. I mean after the argument that we had. I knew I couldn't involve him. I could call Wesley though, or Fred and maybe even Gunn. But by the time any one of them would get here it would probably be too late and I'd have bled to death.

No, I was just going to have to wake Faith up and pray that she didn't attack me while I was doing it. I gripped the door handle and turned the knob as I pulled it back slowly, resting for a moment before I caused myself to faint, I drew in a slow breath and inched my way out into the darkened hall. I used the wall to brace myself so I wouldn't fall as I tip toed my way down to her room, once there I raised my hand to knock. I didn't know how light or heavy of a sleep Faith was but I figured Slayer sense and all she would probably hear me.

'Faith,' I managed in a breathless half strangled whisper. 'Come on Faith open up. I need you.'

I managed to bang twice more on the door before I lost my grip and slid down to the floor, I could feel darkness seeping in but I fought it as hard as I could. I screamed in pain as my body felt like it was being ripped in half yet again, this time I could feel the wounds on my back and I knew I was bleeding even more.

'Damnit.' I cursed.

'Faith.' I screamed.

That's all I could do was scream and lay there in burning agony. What in the hell was going on? I felt a cool rush of air rush over me as the door finally opened behind me and I managed to look up at a half asleep Faith standing there looking out into the hall. It hadn't occurred to her to look down just yet. I could hear her mumbling all sorts of obscenities at Phantom Dennis.

'Listen Casper, I'm not one for your games. You got me?'

She started to shut the door as I looked up and managed once more, 'Faith.'

I wasn't sure if it was loud enough to catch her attention. Apparently it was because she looked down the last thing I heard her say was, 'What the fuck happened to you, C?'

All I could do was lay there, shiver and cry. I was shaking. I couldn't stop shaking. I couldn't answer her either, it felt like my voice was cut off from my throat and I was being choked. Once I was able to draw in a breath, I mumbled almost incoherently.

'Call Wesley, Faith. Call Wesley please.'

I knew he wouldn't care how late it was as long as she explained to him that it was me that needed him and what the situation was. He would be here in an instant. He was like that. I knew that I could trust him. I could probably trust Faith too if I gave her a chance. And maybe I should, because she hadn't given me any other reason not to. All past things aside that is. She deserved to be trusted after what we'd been through the last few days.

I felt her as she knelt down beside me, I reached my hand up and touched the side of her face softly as my teary eyes peered up into her confused one's. I didn't know what to say to her. I didn't even know if I could speak without choking. All I knew was if I was dying, which it felt like I was, then I wanted her to know that I appreciated her being there and what she'd done for me these last few days. I didn't want her to think that nobody cared about her. It was important to me to know that she knew I cared. Because I did. Maybe I wouldn't admit it out loud to her before, but I think I could now. Or at least show her.

'I'm sorry, Faith.' I said simply.

I watched as her eyes searched my worried and confused. She was half-afraid and she didn't know what to do. I could see the anger in her eyes too. She battled with her own emotions. I wondered what was going through her head. She didn't give anything of those thoughts away. She looked down at me as if she pitied me. The way she looked at me, it looked as if it pained her to see me this way.

Was this my Faith? Was this the old Faith that I knew who once said fuck the world and everyone else in it too? Was this the Faith that would swear on any given Sunday that she didn't give a rat's ass about anyone except herself?

'Jesus, C. What the hell happened to you? And what are you sorry for?' She asked.

She was freaking out. I knew she was. And it was okay because any normal person would be freaking out if they were seeing what she was. I knew she wasn't used to this. Hell I don't even think I could be used to this even though something similar had happened to be once before. Stuff like this, the hard stuff, the bad stuff you never get used to it. It just keeps happening and you just have to find ways to deal and survive. Sometimes you won and sometimes you lost. I just hoped that this wasn't one of those times when we lost.

Her face still filled with confusion. If she was half asleep before she was fully awake now. I could feel her hand resting against my forehead. It was cool to the touch but my skin burned anyway. I didn't understand any of this and by the look that crossed her features she sure as hell didn't have any answers either. She was just as confused as I was if not more.

'Faith.' I whispered and she paused for a moment.

I knew I had her attention.

'My visions are manifesting. I don't have the strength to explain right now. I need help, that's why you have to call Wesley. Please, I don't know how much longer I can hold on. I'm so tired and it's getting harder.'

Was that a look of fear that crossed her features? If it was she masked it well as I watched her lean down and press a soft kiss to my burning forehead. Since when she did she become so tender?

'Faith, people do care. You know?' I said in a ragged breath.

'Cor, now's not the time for heartfelt talks. We have to get to you to a hospital and I have to call Wesley. I'm sure that'll thrill him, the sound of my voice waking him up in the middle of the night to tell him that one of his best friends is about half dead and will be dead if we don't get her to the hospital soon. He'll probably think I tried to kill you.'

I really wasn't in the mood for this conversation so I did the only thing I could.

'Hush.' I said in a soft tone.

I lifted my hand once more to brush the hair back out of her face again. She had such a pretty face; I didn't know why I hadn't really noticed this before. Or maybe I had many times the last few days I just refused to acknowledge it.

'What Cor, what is it?'

I could hear her voice. It was low and expectant. It sounded as if she was almost afraid of what I might say next. And I could tell she felt as if it were out of character for her. Believe me I knew the feeling all too well. But as much as a part of me wanted to come to a screeching halt and say what the hell are you doing, quit wasting your energy, another part wanted to keep going. Another part of me wanted to know what was on the other side.

'I care. I just wanted you to know that.'

I closed my eyes for a long moment and I could hear Faith's voice above me. My chest was rising and falling, so that gave her indication that I hadn't just kicked off yet. But she was talking to me. It was almost like she was calling me back to the land of the conscious and able. And it felt hard to open my eyelids because they had grown so heavy-lidded. My thick dark lashes fluttered a few times before I coughed and drew in another deep breath that hurt like hell and felt like my insides were burning and liquefying.

'Come on, Queen C. Don't do this to me. You don't get to do this to me. You don't get to die and just leave me all alone here, ya know. We're supposed to be in this together. Get your ass up and let's get you to a hospital. Fuck calling Wesley, he couldn't get here in time now.'

In sheer desperation I could hear her almost giving up as she struggled to get me to my feet and stopped for a moment. Was that a teardrop I felt on my forehead? Was she crying? Faith never cried or well I don't know if she ever did or not. I just always assumed that she didn't know how to cry. But obviously she was human and everybody has feelings so why not her? This felt strange and unusual but I knew I was in capable hands. I mean she was a Slayer for crying out loud. If anyone could help me, it was her.

I feel her forehead resting against mine now. My skin was burning; I could feel myself burning up. It felt like I was burning from the inside out. I had no idea what was going to happen next or if I was going to ever see the light of day again, the only thing I knew was that I had this strange urge to be close to someone who cared about me. And obviously Faith cared a lot more than she cared to let on. I could feel it in the way she touched me, in the way she reacted to me and yes sometimes in the way she looked at me.

She had been about to kiss me before Angel walked in and caught us and in a way I was more than a little upset about it, not because she was going to kiss me but because Angel had walked in and ruined it for me. I know he didn't mean to, that he was expected to show up but like I told him before he could have used common sense and knocked. I realized I had wanted her to kiss me. I would have welcomed it.

I opened my eyes slowly as I looked up into her face; she was still bent over me, her forehead pressed against mine. I assumed she was checking to see if I was breathing or not. I brushed my nose against hers and I could feel myself slowly fading. If I was going to do anything it was going to have to be within the next few seconds because I didn't have time to think it through. I lent up a little more with what little strength I still had left inside and brushed my lips softly against hers. It wasn't a real kiss, I know but it was enough to let her know I appreciated her being there.

I didn't know what type of response that would draw from her and I doubt I would find out right now anyway, because I collapsed back to the floor as I felt her draw away from me. It was probably partially in shock as to what had just happened and Slayer instincts kicking in for her to do whatever she deemed necessary to get me the help she knew I needed.

The next thing I heard before I passed out was her voice worried and tinged with fear as she dialed the phone.

'Wesley. I don't have time to waste with stupid vendettas. I said I was sorry, I meant it. Maybe I didn't apologize to you, but I did to Casper. But it's Cordy. I think she's been attacked by whatever it is that's after me. She looks bad, like she might die if we don't get her to a hospital. I need your help.'

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