Halfway To Anywhere
She was always awake at this hour, long after the other girls had drifted off to sleep. She'd spent so many nights lying in the dark, listening to their soft snores that she was now able to tell when any one of them was having a bad dream or on the verge of waking. So as she lay there now she was quite sure that they were all deep in slumber, and that she could move through the room in perfect safety. None of them would see her go.
Letting her feet touch the floor she swept her eyes over the seven other cots in the room, looking for one in particular. Even in such dim lighting she'd recognise the figure on it, and she felt a pang of guilt as she realised the devastation her sister would feel in the morning. She wanted to wake her, hug her and explain why... but she knew better. This wasn't something she could share with Dawn, with anyone. Even Willow wouldn't really understand that this was what was right. Any one of them would try and talk her out of it and she'd spent seven years having to think of everyone and everything else. Now that she didn't she was going to do what she wanted to do, and somebody else could take responsibility. It wasn't like she hadn't already taken twelve months to make this decision.
It was time to just be Buffy.
She reached under the bed and pulled out the duffel bag she'd filled earlier. There wasn't much; a few odd pieces of clothing, bank cards, passport just in case and a stake from force of habit. She slid out of her pyjamas and tucked them into the side pocket of the bag with one hand as she pulled the bike leathers out from beneath her pillow with the other. Sitting on the edge of the bed she started to pull the soft black material on and took a moment to think it through one more time.
She remembered when Giles had gone back to England, telling her that he was standing in her way. She'd become too reliant on him. He'd been right of course. Though would even he understand that she was doing the same thing now? With her gone the girls, the scoobies, they could find out what they were really capable of. She wouldn't be there to turn to, so they'd be forced to turn to each other.
Oh, she was under no delusions, this was not a noble gesture on her part - she was running away. Leaving with her lover, the person she'd spent so much time in the dark with, and who'd filled her so full of light. The one person is this barely habitable house they'd rented who'd let her be. It would be a shock, she knew, when they realised what had been going on right under their noses - how the Chosen Two who'd barely acknowledged each other at breakfast had, at nights, been so entirely involved with one another. Because Faith was the one person who'd understood - this wasn't their world anymore. And when she'd felt utterly lost and alone Faith had been the one to hold her and tell her it was ok, the one person she could break down in front of and the one person who she didn't feel she had to be responsible for. Buffy wasn't even convinced that she was gay; her sexual feelings were as indifferent to women as they were to men. There was only one person who could inspire anything like romance in her and she smiled as she decided on a word for it - she was Faithsexual.
Her fingers tangled in the bag strap and she guided it onto her shoulder. Tiptoeing across the room she paused a moment before slipping through the door and moving soundlessly down the stairs, listening all the while for anyone who might be up at this hour. Making her way to the kitchen she took the note from the front of her duffel and read over it once more as she taped it to the fridge. She couldn't help thinking that it should be longer, that she could have explained more. As it was there were only a couple of lines - one assuring her friends that they would both be perfectly safe and the other asking to be left alone. As much as she loved them all, she and Faith would be better off where nobody knew them. This was about making a fresh start somewhere where they weren't just `the Slayers' and where their rather messy history wasn't waiting to be dragged up by people whose business it wasn't.
She opened the trapdoor in the floor that led down to the tiny little garage and jumped to the ground below. Even in the dark she could see the beat-up Yamaha they'd acquired along the way and the lithe form astride it. Faith didn't seem to be aware of her presence as she made her way closer, confidence surging through her as she slid onto the back of the bike and wrapped her arms around her lover's waist.
"Got everything?" Faith turned to face the smaller woman, a massive smile on her face.
"Have now." Buffy grinned back.
"Then I guess we're ready to go. We leave now we should be halfway there by daybreak..."
Buffy's forehead wrinkled in confusion as Faith started the engine.
She could almost hear her lover smile as she replied.