Chasing the Girl
Spoilers: All six seasons
Notes: Feedback is not only welcomed, it's appreciated. I take
every critique (good or bad) into consideration. Besides, it's the only
thing that keeps me writing.
Summary: After six years Faith is summoned, as a last result, to
New Orleans to help Buffy, and quickly finds that she is not the girl that
Faith once knew.
Print Version: Adobe Reader
"Fuckin A." Faith beat at the steering wheel
as her car jerked forward. "Fucking dog." She muttered under her
breath. 'Gone 30 minutes and I've already killed something.' She thought.
"If I believed in omens, that would have been shitty. Thank god I'm
not the religious type." She pushed one black lock behind her ear."And
now I'm talking to myself as well. Well, what can I say? Faith, why the
fuck are you doing this? Six years later and you're probably the last person
she wants to see." She glanced at her reflection in the mirror. 'Six
years didn't change much...' She thought, as she flicked her third cigarette
out of the window. '...cause she's the only person I want to see.'
Six year ago, Faith left. She got off the bus in Memphis while the others
were going for food, and she was looking for a way out. Before getting off
the bus with the others, she left Buffy a note:
"I'm done. Not too much to hang around for. You know me, B, not the
hanging around type. Life's for the living and we got a lot of that to do,
not being the Chosen Two anymore. I'm thinking about getting my groove back,
or finding my groove, you know that makes no sense, I'm just going away.
You see, B, you and me, even if we're not the yin and yang anymore, we're
still two halves. The way I see it, it's why we can't get along. Love/Hate
and all that shit. Whoever said there's a fine line there had it right,
cause there is, at least for me. Not to scare you or anything, but hey,
I guess it doesn't matter cause I'm gone, but it was different for me than
you, I mean. I wanted to be you, yeah, you got me there, but I wanted you
more. To crawl into you and never leave. Not to play on my famed sexual
innuendos but I wanted to be in you, physically, yeah, but emotionally as
well. Shit I could have sex, I'm not afraid of that, but sex is sex is sex,
I say. The fact that every time I look at you I want to devour you scares
the hell out of me, but what scares me more, is I'd rather have you hold
me and tell me things I know you'll never say. I want to promise the world
to you, be the world to you. Cause you've pretty much always been it to
me. I still can't come to terms with that, and well, rejection was never
my friend. And I can't look at you everyday and ignore it. I would give
my life for you to feel the same way, but I'm learning not to be so damn
stupid. Now that I've spilled my soul, and pretty much told you shit you
already knew, I'm gone. I hope you know if you need me, well, Red's a little
more wicked than I remember with the Wicca stuff, so she can find me. Anyway,
I asked her. Don't forget me, I'd rather you hated me. Love, Faith."
She put it on Buffy's seat and took off in the opposite direction that the
gang went. She had gathered what little money she had and hitched to the
bus station, and yeah, glutton for punishment that she was she headed to
Boston and she never left.
'So much for seeing the world and all.' She thought. 'Get my groove back,
that's a laugh, unless you count stripping as a groove, then okay, got it
"Oh, who the fuck am I kiddin, one call from Red and I'm in my car
and headed to New Orleans cause Buffy needs me, seems shit never changes."
She told her reflection as she merged onto the interstate.
Faith pulled into the parking lot of the Harrah's Casino 24 hours after
leaving Boston. The Casino, set on the bank of the Mississippi, was right
in the middle of the city. Getting out of her car, she turned full circle
checking out the scenery. 'Well,' She thought. 'B or no B, this might be
a little fun. Nothing like being in a city known for taking it easy.' She
pushed her sunglasses on top of her head and looked for the entrance.
2 Days Earlier.
Faith had just returned home from grabbing a pack of smokes when she noticed
the light on the answering machine.
"Figures, no one calls me for days, I leave for 10 minutes and I get
a message." She said as she pushed play.
"Faith, Willow, yeah I know, I found you, I already knew. I've kept
tabs on you a long time. You never moved, so that was easy. So not the point
of the call. Look it's a long story, but the point is Buffy. I need you,
well she needs you, I mean I guess she needs, but she hasn't said, of course
she wouldn't, she doesn't say..."
Faith would have been thinking something cleverly witty about the long-winded
diatribe, but she had pretty much lost all feeling in her legs when she
"Okay scratch all of that, Buffy needs help and you can help her. She
doesn't know it, but we do. We meaning Ken and I. Xander pretty much said
screw her this time, I mean she left a pretty big bruise the last time,
and he's in a bad place anyway, self-esteem wise, a guy can only take so
much, and well after the stuff with Dawn and her boyfriend, and then she
forgives her and invites her to stay, and then the pool incident, oh god
that was awful, well, in any case, we can't really count on her help anymore,
plus I'm pretty sure we should have tried you first anyway. Oh well, live
and learn. Anyway, Kennedy is giving me the signal to wrap it up, you can
call me at work, I work in Security at Harrah's Casino, oh yeah we're in
New Orleans, just figured I should tell you, just cause we know where you
are doesn't mean you know where we.." BEEP.
And that was it. The message was cut off and no more. At least none Faith
had waited around for, she heard:
'New Orleans, Buffy needs help' and where Willow worked. It was enough.
Faith stepped inside the casino and squinted at the flashing lights and
noises that bombarded her senses.
"May I see some ID, miss?" The man at the entrance asked.
Faith eyed him."What for?"
"Umm, standard procedure, ma'm."
"Oh, I just thought, 'He'll never mind.' Here." She fished in
her backpack and got out her wallet. "Listen, do you know a Willow
Rosenberg, she said she worked here, something about security?"
The guy was still eyeballing her ID and looking at her. 'Damn and it's really
me, too.' She thought.
"Here." He handed her the license. "Willow, yeah, she's our
assistant director of security, why?"
"I need to see her."
"What's your name?"
"Dude, I just gave you my ID. Faith, member?"
"Oh yeah, okay. Hold on." He said. Faith watched him as he turned
his back and mumbled something into his walkie-talkie. She was about to
tell him he could find her at the bar that seemed to be calling her name
with watered down drinks, when he turned around.
"Ms. Rosenberg is on her way." He said to Faith's departing back.
"Yeah well, I'll just be at the bar over there, so send her on over."
Faith said, without even turning around.
Faith ordered a beer and sat down at the bar. Propping her feet on the stool
she swiveled around and faced the entrance. What she saw almost knocked
her off her seat.
Willow, if it really was Willow and not some Alternate Universe Willow,
which would have made more sense, walked up to her and hugged her.
"Wow Faith, I call and call, and I never get you and two days later
you show up. I should have known better, I mean it is you, and the element
of surprise doesn't surpass you. Yep, that's Faith, always one for surprising."
Willow finally took a breath. "You look exactly the same. I mean your
hair's a little longer, but, do Slayers age, I swear Ken still looks 17,
makes me feel like a cradle robber."
Faith held up her hands. "Slow down, Red. Shit, let me get a look at
Faith eyed the redhead's ensemble first. Willow, in a short black skirt
and tight white top shocked her...the knee high fuck-me boots, as Faith
called them, sent her into a spiral.
"Oh, you know how it is, being professional and all." Willow answered.
"And the hair and makeup, nice, all grown up and stuff."
Willow's hair was shorter, layered, and with soft auburn highlights; and
she had on a shade of lipstick that reminded Faith of Harlot, something
she'd rather forget.
"Well, you know how it is, Faith. I mean, we grow up, right? I mean,
most of us anyway." She said as she quickly looked down at her hands.
"Hey, Lisa." Willow called the bartender."Give me a Gin Martini."
"Well, that's a grownup drink, Red, that's for sure." Faith eyed
her as she sat down. "So, about Buffy."
"Yeah, so what have you been up to, Faith? I know you stayed in Boston,
but why? No going out and finding yourself. No slaying duties taking you
places?" Willow asked.
"Way to dodge the subject, but yeah, I stayed in Boston. Worked some
odd jobs. I would have thought, if I hadn't seen you, that my life would
have shocked you. But you don't look easily shockable now."
"Anyway, I made a few friends, got in good with a few people and found
a job bartending at some upscale hippy joint downtown. It's cool and I make
decent money. After I cleaned Boston of the supernatural riff-raff, I figured
I had to do something."
"Yeah, you know, word got around that one of the original Slayers was
in town, made for some fast get away, figured I'd drive them all to Cleveland,
let you guys deal with 'em. By the way, why aren't you in Cleveland?"
"We left Cleveland about a month after we got there. I mean it snows
there. Did you know that? Snow sounds fun, but trust me when you're from
sunny California it isn't. And with all the new Slayers, well, they had
it pretty much tied up, they've got it all pretty much tied up."
"Yeah, I've noticed the lack of supernatural activity and figured I
was just really scary, but I guess a hundred bad ass girls scares 'em pretty
"Well, there's still quite a bit in New Orleans, so Ken has fun."
Willow answered, smiling at Faith.
"Ok, enough avoidance, Buffy?" Faith asked. She hated to make
Red squirm and Buffy's name seemed to do that, but there was a reason she
was here and she was getting antsy with the chitchat.
Willow avoided Faith's eyes for a few seconds, making Faith's tension meter
"Buffy. You got a few hours, Faith, cause it may take me that long
to explain it."
When Faith nodded, she continued.
"Look, I'm getting off in thirty, so why don't you hang around. Kennedy
was gonna pick me up but I'll see if I can catch her. You can stay with
Willow noticed the protest Faith was about to make and held up her hand.
"No, don't, Ken's got money, remember?" Faith nodded. "As
it is, we have four bedrooms. It's a big place. I didn't invite you to stay
to throw you off in some motel. Let me call her. I'll meet you out front
in twenty minutes."
Twenty minutes later, Willow sauntered out of the casino and looked around
"Nice car," She said, leaning in the driver's side window."but
it's New Orleans and rush hour, plus you've been driving all night, and
I know where I live, so scoot it."
Faith was too tired to protest and didn't really feel like driving anyway,
so she relinquished her seat to the redhead.
Willow whipped out of the parking lot at breakneck speed and Faith hurriedly
put on her seatbelt.
'Fuck,' She thought. 'Red's the driver from hell.' And she fished around
in the console trying to find her smokes.
"Bad habit." Willow observed, as Faith was lighting up.
"Yeah, well, it's the only vice I got. That's the first beer I've had
in months, and I don't have enough money to gamble." She said, blowing
smoke out the window, preferring not to look out the windshield as Willow
dodged in and out of traffic.
"It's weird. You being responsible. I mean, no offense, but who would
have thought you would get it together, and..."
Faith didn't know how to take that, and she was sure that it was an allusion
to Buffy, but Willow never finished, as she was cut off by some driver,
so Faith decided to wait.
Fifteen minutes later, Faith was trying to inconspicuously remove her fingers
from the death grip she had on her seat as Willow slung her car into the
circle drive. Faith opened the door, and on shaky feet, made her way to
the house. Swearing that she was never, under any circumstances, life or
death or otherwise, getting in the car with the redhead again.
"Nice digs, guys." Faith said, as she was escorted by Kennedy
into their home.
She was a little intimidated, but wasn't going to let it show in front of
another Slayer. Still, the house, with its circle drive and stone masonry,
overwhelmed the girl. Not to mention the antiques which littered the hall
and she figured the rest of the house as well.
"Thanks, it's a family house. I'd soon live at the HoJo," Kennedy
said, taking Faith's bags.
"So, you hungry?" Kennedy asked, as they sat in the study.
"I'd really rather just get to it, if you guys don't mind. I mean it's
good to see you and all, but I'm curious to know what the hell's the deal
with B, and why I'm the only one who can help."
Willow glanced at Kennedy before nodding her head. "Yeah, I guess that's
Kennedy grabbed Willow's hand and Faith felt a pang of loneliness at their
"I guess we should start from the beginning."
Faith sat for three hours and listened to Willow and Kennedy tell their
story. She was tired, her legs were numb, and she desperately needed to
go for smokes, seeing as after the first ten minutes she was smoking like
a chimney. After they had finished, they admitted they were tired and were
heading off to bed.
Faith asked if it would be alright if she left to get some cigs, and Kennedy
gave her a key and told her she could walk down to the corner market. Willow
started to protest, but yawning just nodded her head, remembering Faith
was still a Slayer and could take care of herself.
'Jesus,' Faith thought, as she shut the door behind her. 'what the hell
did you do, B?'
She thought back to what the girls had just told her.
"After you left," Willow had started. "Buffy changed. I guess
it was in Cleveland when we first noticed it, but it didn't escalate til
we got here."
"What did she do?"
"She didn't talk about you leaving, it's like you weren't ever with
us. I didn't completely understand that til I found the note you left her
one night after we got to Ohio. I remember that I started to say something
and she just looked at me and said 'Shut up.' That was the end of that."
"Yeah," Kennedy added, "we weren't even allowed to say your
"Anyway, Buffy didn't talk about it and we didn't ask. Maybe we should
have. But as soon as the opportunity for New Orleans came up, we jumped
on it. Hoping a change of pace would help. "
Kennedy chimed in again.
"We were all in a slump by then. Sick of Cleveland. Sick of the other
Slayers. My parents had the house, so we decided it would be good. And Dawn
went with Giles; so Buffy, Xander, Will and I packed up and moved here."
"Whoa, hold up, Dawn went to England with Giles?"
"Yeah," Willow continued. "Giles got her in to a public school
there and we decided it would be good for her. We met with a little resistance,
but she knew it was better in the end."
"So, anyway," Kennedy finished. "the four of us moved here.
Willow quickly got a job with the casino. Xander found a construction company
willing to hire a guy with one eye, and Buffy and I were going to split
the slaying. New Orleans is full of baddies."
Willow stood up and walked to make a drink, she offered one to Faith who
refused and then sat back down,
"Pretty quickly we realized who was doing the slaying and who wasn't.
Kennedy was gone every night. Do you have any idea how many damn cemeteries
there are in this city?" She didn't wait for Faith to answer. "Buffy
was either sleeping or drinking, hanging out with some crowd she had ran
across one night on patrol. We ignored it at first. Figured she was just
trying to find the fun."
Kennedy added, "Xander stood up for her the longest. Said she never
got to really live a life. Give her a break, that sort of thing. We sorta
overlooked it. I mean Will and Xand were working cause they wanted to, we
had plenty of money, so we just ignored it."
"Then Giles called," Willow said. "we'd been here a little
over a year and Dawn was graduating. We had kept Buffy off the phone, making
sure her conversations with Dawnie were short cause we didn't want to alarm
them, but Giles and Dawn weren't stupid and they sensed something was off
anyway. Giles thought it would be good for Buffy, for all of us, really,
to attend Dawnie's graduation, so we all headed to England."
She glanced at Kennedy and then looked back at Faith. "We thought it
would be a good idea at the time."
Kennedy finished for her. "It wasn't."
They had proceeded to tell Faith the whole story. The drunken plane ride.
The indifference Buffy had in going in the first place. When they first
saw Dawn and Giles; Willow swore Buffy was crying, but she quickly hid it.
They were there for two weeks.
"A lot came out in those two weeks." Kennedy said, nodding to
Willow. "It ended with Buffy seducing Dawn's boyfriend right in front
of Dawn. In front of all of us. We were too stupid to see what was happening
until later that night when we heard Dawn scream and we ran to Buffy's room."
"Yeah, Jack pulling up his pants, Dawn crying, and Buffy was so high
she was actually laughing."
"Laughing? High?" Faith asked."What was she really on?"
"What wasn't she on?" Kennedy said. "She had scored some
high grade X the night before in some club she had gone to. With some chick
she met on the plane. And then she and this dick were in her bedroom screwing
and getting high. Dawn was just going to tell her goodnight."
"Needless to say the rest wasn't pretty." Willow sadly added,
"Giles told us to go home and get Buffy help. She had done the unthinkable,
as far as he was concerned, and that was hurt Dawn. He made us promise.
We made excuses for her, but we were as shocked as he was, as Dawn. Only
Xander didn't seem surprised."
"She didn't speak to us the rest of the way home. Xander told us that
he had known that she was trying all this shit. Seeing how far she could
take it. How he had gone to a bar with his buddies one night and he saw
her going into a bar across the street. He said he was curious, so he followed
her. Said she was 'leathered out' and then he knew why. Cause she was the
main act in some sick and twisted sex show."
Faith looked at Kennedy. "And?"
"And that's all, he wouldn't tell us what she was doing. Said there
was no need. We asked him why he felt he should keep that from us. He said
he confronted her and she told him to mind his own goddamn business. He
thought the trip to England would help. It didn't."
"So that was what, four and half years ago and you just call me?"
"Oh, we've only hit the tip of this iceberg." Willow said, and
poured another drink.
Faith walked on to the store faster. Wanting, craving, her nicotine escape.
She had gotten mad at Willow and Kennedy at that point in the story and
she was regretting the tone she used with them. 'It's so easy to fall back
into the role they want me in,' She thought. 'be the bitch, seems like B's
beating me in spades in that area.'
"Damn, Red, what the fuck is wrong with you guys?"
Faith stood up and started pacing the room.
Kennedy stood in an effort to challenge Faith, but Willow pulled her back
"This shit went on for a year and you let it go. It's a phase, and
you overlooked it. Were you all high?"
Faith was pacing, smoking and wringing her hands. Kennedy looked ready to
attack but Willow just sighed.
"Faith, we were all in a weird place. It wasn't like we didn't want
to help, but how do you help Buffy? You know how she is. We didn't know
why she was doing it; we didn't know how to fix it..." Willow trailed
off and started crying.
"Fact is, Faith," Kennedy said. "we really couldn't care."
"You didn't care?"
"No, I said we couldn't care. The First was still on our minds. Xander
had lost Anya. We were tired. We just wanted things to go on and we couldn't
deal with Buffy, too. When we tried to, and trust me the amount of times
we tried is numerous, she made it seem like we were blowing it out of proportion.
Like we didn't know what we were talking about. Always saying it wasn't
a big deal."
Willow had stopped crying. "And we believed her, because we wanted
to, because it made everything a little easier if we bought her excuses.
Buffy is the strong one, Faith, you know that. Tell me what you would have
Faith thought, but did not say, 'I probably would have been in the thick
Instead she sat back down and muttered
"I don't know. So, what happened? If that was only the tip, where's
Kennedy answered first.
"It went downhill and it went downhill fast when we got back. We tried
the intervention thing. We begged her to see someone. 'Who?' She said. 'Oh,
I used to kill vampires cause I was Chosen, now I'm one of hundreds, so
I don't really have to anymore.'
'Who am I gonna talk to?' She asked us. She'd get all sad and weepy one
minute then the next she'd just laugh like we were idiots and didn't have
a clue what she was doing. She'd leave for weeks at a time, we'd never know
when she was coming back. If Willow wasn't good with the tracking spells,
we'd never know where she was."
"Where'd she go?"
"Miami, New York, Dallas, Mexico City, you name it, she was there.
I could track her pretty easily, but I never told her. The one time I mentioned
it, when I asked her what she was doing, she went off, told me to stay the
fuck out of her business and to go ahead and shove my head back up Ken's
ass." Faith looked at Willow stunned. "I swear that's what she
said. What could I do? We were losing her and she wanted to be lost."
"That's when Xander said maybe we should let it be. We can't help her
if she doesn't want it. So we did." Kennedy said, putting her head
in her hands. "And she left and she didn't come back, not for two years."
"She was gone two years? Where?"
"Here. She was still here, but we didn't see her. We wrote her off
and everything about her. Occasionally Xander or I would see her at the
market or on the French Quarters. She ignored us and we ignored her. She
built this whole other life, with another group of people, with a certain
Willow looked at Kennedy hesitantly as she finished. "She had made
a new life and we were not a part of it, not in any way."
Faith had held her breath at the mention of the other person. She wanted
to ask who it was, who was the person that made B give up her friends, her
life? What kind of hold did they have on her?
But she didn't.
"So, she has this whole life for two years and then she comes back.
Timing still doesn't add up. This would have been last year, so what's the
what? What happened between the time she left and now? Why did she come
back? Why is she not here now?"
This time it was Kennedy who stood up and started pacing.
"His name was Malcolm. He owned a bar on the outskirts of town. Several,
actually. They catered to the rich and eccentric. If you had money and knew
what you wanted, Malcolm could get it. You think of the worst thing you
can imagine, some sick fantasy of some twisted wealthy motherfucker, with
deep psychological issues, and Malcolm could deliver. Buffy was in one of
his clubs one night and he recognized her. Like I said, guy had connections.
He knew she was a Slayer and he knew she was into alternative lifestyles.
He also thought she was hot."
Kennedy looked at Willow as she rolled her eyes. "What? He did. Anyway,
he courted her, took her all over the place, showed her what money and no
inhibitions could do."
"And she loved it." Faith stated.
"Of course. By that time she was already into the scene and he was
the master. He liked her. She liked him. It was only a matter of time."
"Before they..." Willow said looking at her hands. "...before
they got, umm, married."
Faith had stood up then, again, and slammed her hands on the coffee table.
"What?? Married? She married some sick psycho fuck who's into god knows
what and you don't care?"
Willow moved to speak and Faith stopped her, trying to hide the thoughts
running through her head. Married? What the fuck, married?
"I get it you wrote her off, okay. So she had this whole other life.
What I don't get is why she came back? Why did she let this happen? Why...why
did you call me?"
Willow could tell that she was on the verge of tears and got up and sat
down beside her.
"What do you want to know first? Why we called you? It was after she
came back. She was drunk and she hit Kennedy hard, out of the blue, and
she screamed at her:
'Why'd you leave me? What did I do? You're the big bad girl and all you
do is run away. Run. Run. Run. You're a scared child.'
"It took us a minute to figure out she thought Ken was you." Willow
said, looking Faith in the eye. "That was a few weeks ago, before she
took off again, after all the others, the worst part, and I debated for
a few weeks and realized I should call you."
"Faith," She said, turning the girl to face her. "she's going
to do something. It's only a matter of time before she hurts someone. Before
the damage she causes becomes permanent."
"Already is, in my opinion." Kennedy said. "After what she
did to Rose. I don't know how Wills even wants to help her."
Before Faith could ask "Who's Rose?" Willow jumped in.
"It's because of Rose I want to help her, Ken. Jesus, we have a chance,
it may be our last but it's a chance."
Faith watched the exchange dumbfounded. "Who's Rose?"
Willow picked up a photograph from the coffee table. It had fallen over
when Faith slammed her hands on it earlier. In it was a picture of a little
Buffy finished snorting the line and looked over at the woman laying face
down on her bed.
"Hey," She said, crawling on top her. "you're not sleepy,
"Yeah, a little." She slurred.
Buffy brushed the long black hair off of her back.
"Stop it, I'm tired." The woman mumbled again.
"No, you're not." Buffy said, as she laid her body on top of the
She ran her hands down the side of the girl's breast and felt the catch
in her throat as she tried to breath.
"Still tired?" Buffy asked.
"Not really." The girl said as she tried to turn over.
"No no." Buffy said, as she held the girl, pulling her arms above
her head. "Trust me, you'll like it from behind, F."
"What did you call me?" The girl asked.
"Nothing, Maddie. I didn't call you anything, I said you'll like it."
And with that Buffy captured the girl's mouth with her own, starting her
hands back down the girl's back.
'Shit, it's hot.' Kennedy thought, as she pulled her convertible into the
driveway. 'And I'm sick of being hot. I think I may see if Will wants to
"What the fuck?" She suddenly asked herself aloud as she got out
of the car.
There, on her doorstep, was a very skinny, very tired looking Buffy and
she was holding a baby.
"I was wondering when you guys were coming home. It's hot as hell out
here." Buffy said standing up. "You gonna open the door or what?"
"Buffy, what the fuck, umm are you doing here? And who's that?"
"Look, Kennedy, can you just open the door and let me in and I'll explain
everything. Where's Willow?"
"On her way home, I think."
"Good, then I can tell you two at the same time."
Ten minutes later a stunned Willow and an only slightly less stunned Kennedy
were sitting in the kitchen watching Buffy trying to feed the baby a banana
and waiting for her to talk.
Buffy started with the story of Malcolm, how they met, what he did, and
finally who the baby was.
"...and this is Rose." She continued. "She is ours, was ours,
cause Malcolm's dead now, you know." She looked away.
"No, Buffy." Willow spoke for the first time since she had started.
"We don't know anything."
"Well, I didn't really love him and I honestly don't care, except that
all the money's gone and we don't have anywhere to go."
All this while Buffy was still trying to get the baby to eat, but she was
busy playing with some pots she had found in the lower cabinet.
"I've never even fed her," She said, looking at Rose. "we
had someone to do that."
And then she broke down.
"I'm so fucked, Will. I don't know how to function anymore. All I want
to do is score, and I have this kid, shit she's a year old, and she doesn't
even recognize me. She just stopped crying when Ken pulled up, she doesn't
even know I'm her mother."
When Buffy finished, the little girl looked around at hearing the word mother
and said "Momma" and proceeded to cry.
"See?" Buffy said. "She's looking for her momma and that
was never me."
Willow got up from where she was sitting and walked over to Buffy who was
crying into her palms, making the child cry even harder.
"Who took care of her, Buff?"
"Greta, some woman Malcolm hired. He said Rose got in our way, and
she did. Shit, Will I don't even really remember being pregnant. Everything's
"How did he die?"
"They came in one night and just started shooting, I don't even know
how they got past security. Greta ran into the room holding Rose and we
ran. Malcolm was busy looking for his fucking gun...and well, he got his.
We made it to the car when a bullet hit Greta. I caught Rose just in time,
she was so close to being hit. I jumped in the car and drove off."
"Who were the guys? Where's the car?" Kennedy asked, as she picked
Rose up and bounced her on her hip.
"I don't know. Someone he had a bad deal with. They don't even know
my real name. Don't care, probably. It doesn't matter, I have no way of
claiming any of Malcolm's things and as far as the world is concerned, she..."
She said pointing to Rose. "...she doesn't exist. As far as the car,
I drove it to the airport, bought two tickets in my assumed name with the
cash I had on me. Took a cab to the Garden District and walked the rest
of the way here."
"Damn, Buffy, how did you get mixed into this? I mean, we knew,"
Kennedy pointed to Willow and herself. "that you were in some serious
trouble, don't think we didn't. But this, this is like high-powered shit.
Malcolm Cole was a serious bad guy. Even I know that. I had no idea you
were with him."
"Yeah, well, it didn't do well with his connections to know Malcolm
was married. Or fake married, seeing as we used an assumed name and fake
birth certificate, to a Slayer. It doesn't matter, the guy was an ass."
"The guy was an ass?? This is what you've got to say?" Willow
screamed, the baby started crying so she quieted down. "What the fuck
were you doing married to this guy and having a baby that you said 'got
in your way' if the guy was an ass? What is wrong with you? I mean, who
are you? What do you want from us?"
"I married him cause he had what I wanted and I was what he wanted."
Buffy said, as she looked out the window. "And I almost died because
of it, worse yet, I almost killed an innocent child, my child." She
said as she held her hand out to the baby, who instantly started to cry.
"I need help, please Will, please help me."
Buffy fell on the floor and wrapped her arms around Willow's waist, crying
into her stomach.
Kennedy, sick at the display, took Rose and left the room.
"We're going to the store. The kid's gonna need things. I'd ask you
what size she wore, but I bet you wouldn't know." She said, and Willow
gave her a sad look.
"Look, Will." She said, ignoring Buffy who had slid to sit on
the floor, head in her hands, crying. "She's asking for help, and I'm
all for helping. Just not her. This little girl," She pointed to Rose,
who was busy playing with her hair, "well she's done nothing and doesn't
deserve this. She definitely doesn't deserve her." She said pointing
to Buffy. "So, I'll help her." She said pointing to Rose. "And
if you want to help Buffy, well that's your choice. Maybe Xander can pull
the slack, cause I'm not going to."
Kennedy turned and walked out of the kitchen, leaving Willow standing there
staring down at Buffy.
"Get up." She said, Buffy looked up at her through tears.
"I said get up, Buffy." She grabbed her by the hair, knowing the
Slayer in Buffy could knock her across the room but not caring.
"Get up. Get up. Get up!!" She screamed.
Buffy crying, pulled herself up on shaking legs.
"I don't know why I'm doing this," Willow continued. "cause
you screwed up. Big time, Buffy. You are not the person I loved, not my
best friend. But I'll help. But you're gonna play by my rules or you leave."
Buffy slid her hands around Maddie's body, grasping her breasts.
"Shut up." She said as she licked her neck.
She moved her hands lower, her head on the girl's back, listening to her
When she touched her clit, the girl moaned and was about to speak. Buffy
used her other hand to grab the girl's hair, jerking her head up.
"Don't talk." She said, as she slipped her hand down and forced
her fingers inside.
She sat astride her, pounding her fingers inside her, pulling her up by
her hair. Maddie's breathing was becoming labored and she knew she was close.
She could feel the heat pulling her in. She drove her hand faster, her palm
working the girl's clit all the while.
Maddie was humping her hand. Buffy pulled her head back further and licked
the girl's ear.
"Come." She said, and Maddie did.
After she finished, Buffy rolled over and lit a cigarette. Maddie tried
to snuggle into her.
"Get the fuck off me." She said and pushed her off the bed.
"You heard me, get the fuck off me. While you're at it, get your shit
and get out."
Buffy was looking out the window, not even acknowledging the girl.
That is until she climbed back on the bed.
She picked Maddie up and threw her into the door.
"Get out. You don't know me and you don't want to." She said,
and the girl grabbed her clothes and ran naked into the hall with Buffy
slamming the door behind her.
She ran her hand through her hair and looked for the bottle of wine they
had consumed earlier. She took a drink, and too tired to care about much,
laid down on the bed and fell asleep.
Buffy had played her part.
That night after she had left, Kennedy called Xander and went to his apartment.
She had explained what was wrong over the phone, not surprised when Xander
didn't seem shocked. She had gone to the store and was planning on staying
with the kid at Xander's until they decided what to do.
The next morning, Buffy, Willow and Xander boarded a plane for Atlanta.
They were going to a hospital, famous for its rehabilitation of drug abusers.
It didn't take much prodding on their part to get her to go, because she
knew she needed help.
The plane ride was silent and so was the check-in at the hospital. The only
thing Willow said was
"Get yourself together, Buffy. You've got responsibilities now."
"I'm not the only Slayer, not anymore." She said, looking behind
Willow out the window.
"Yeah, and she wasn't talking about slaying, Buffy." Xander answered
for Willow. "Get your shit together. Cause this is it, as far as I'm
concerned." And he walked out leaving the two girls alone.
Willow hugged her and Buffy tensed at the awkwardness of it.
"I'll come get you, when you're better."
Buffy watched as Willow turned and walked away, making sure she was gone
before breaking down in complete sobs. 'How the hell did I get here?' She
Faith was walking slowly back from the store, looking around for anything
to beat the shit out of.
'You know,' She thought. 'any other person and I would be gone before the
word rehab ever got uttered. Why do I want to save Buffy?'
And then her thoughts went back to the child.
'Rose? Good god, she's got a kid. Two years old and she doesn't even really
know her. Do I want to? I mean, this is too much, a baby, drug dealers,
phony marriages, what the hell was she doing here? I am way out of my element.'
She walked a little more and then mumbled to herself.
"Like it fucking matters. All they had to do was say her name and I
ran." She thought back to Willow's final explanation.
"She was in the hospital for eight months." Willow paused at Faith's
cocked eyebrow."I know that's a long time but she wanted to stay and
they weren't completely sure she was cured. Turns out they were right."
"So what happened?"
"Well," Kennedy started. "she came back and she was gone.
I mean she was here, but she was a zombie. She would sit in a chair all
day long. Or just stare out the window. We even tried leaving Rose with
her once. Just for an hour, just to see how she would react. Rose was screaming
when we got back."
Willow finished for her. "And Buffy hadn't even moved from the chair."
She looked at Kennedy before continuing. "We thought Dawn could help.
She'd visited once for a while, just to see Rose, so we called her and asked
her to come."
"The meeting was tense," Kennedy said, "but Dawn seemed to
be helping. Buffy was saying more than yes and no, or thank you, so it was
an improvement. She even talked her into going swimming. So we thought we'd
make a day of it. Cook out in the back yard, Will was getting pretty good
with teaching Rose to swim," She paused when she noticed Faith's smile.
"but that is when the proverbial shit hit the fan."
"The pool incident." Faith said.
"Yep, the pool incident." Willow answered.
"Dawn was laying on a float in the deep end and I was inside getting
Rose some water. Xander and Ken had gone to the store for something, so
they were the only two outside with Rose. Buffy was laying on a lawn chair.
I just assumed she was watching her and then I heard a splash."
Faith looked away, pretty much guessing what Willow was going to say next.
"No, Rose didn't drown, if that's what you're thinking."
Faith exhaled the breath she was holding.
"But she could have. She walked right to the edge and jumped in. The
pool's pretty big and Dawn was screaming for Buffy to help, she was trying
to swim to her, but Buffy just looked at her, looked at Rose, and just stared.
I came out in the middle. Dawn was pulling Rose out of the water. Rose was
screaming, Dawn was crying and Buffy was just staring. I picked her up and
Dawn walked over to Buffy, still sitting on the lawn chair, and slapped
her. I mean hard, it knocked her back. Then she came over to me and said
'I'm leaving. I can't help and I can't take care of her.' I'm still not
sure who she meant, Rose or Buffy. She just looked tired and mad. She said
we allowed her to get this way, and we should fix it. And she left. "
Kennedy picked up.
"Xander and I were pulling up as the cab was leaving. We tried to stop
it, but...she must have told him to go on. When we got to the backyard,
Buffy was sitting there, tears rolling down her cheeks and Willow was soaking
wet, rocking Rose. It was a sight. Buffy just got up and left."
Kennedy got up and stretched her arms. "She was gone for a week and
when she came back she was drunk, she slapped me, told me I ran away, that's
where she was talking to you, I think. She came to get Rose, she said, Xander
was there and he was holding her. He told her she was crazy and to get the
fuck out and she knocked him, enough to send Rose flying out of his lap
and him onto the floor. She picked her up and tried to leave but Will stopped
"What did you do?"
"I told her to go ahead and ruin her life if she wanted, but don't
ruin Rose's. She looked at me and for a moment I thought she was gonna say
ok or you're right, but she just said 'Bitch' and handed me the baby. Then
she said 'I didn't want her anyway' and she walked out."
Faith stared at the two girls, stunned. "That's it, she just left?"
They both nodded. "So where are they now? "Buffy? Rose?"
Faith found that the little girl's named sounded funny on her lips.
Kennedy answered. "Buffy's still here. Tracking spell is still on,
but we haven't contacted her." She looked at Willow. "I didn't
want to even tell you."
"Oh, Ken took her to Xander's after I called. We didn't really want
to spring her on you like that. Not til you got the whole story."
Faith stood for the umpteenth time that night and stretched her legs.
"Ok, so why did you call me? I mean we all know how I felt about Buffy,
but this isn't B. What can I do?"
"Faith." Willow said. "If you love Buffy half as much as
you say you do, you'll help her. Find her, talk to her, I still think maybe
you're what she needed, maybe if we had called you, sooner...I don't know,
she's still Buffy, she's in there, I know, I can read her, but I'm not the
one who can help her, I'm not her other half."
"Yeah, well I'm starting to think I'm not, either." Faith said,
as she lit her last cigarette.
"Maybe, maybe not, Faith," Willow said. "but did you love
her? Do you still?"
Faith sighed and nodded her head.
"Then you have to help her. If you don't wanna do it for her, do it
for Rose." Willow, said as she handed the photo back to Faith.
Faith looked at the chubby baby in the picture and felt a knot rise in her
throat, she looked up at Willow and nodded.
"Of course. Tell me what I need to do?"
Faith woke to an incessant banging on the front door.
"What the hell?" She said out loud as she walked sleepily out
of the room. Looking on the pillow before leaving, she found a note:
"Faith, had to take Will to work, some sort of problem arose. Shouldn't
be gone long. Xander's off today, so it should be okay. Get yourself something
to eat and call if you need anything. K."
"Okay, okay. Hold on, jeez, what time is it anyway?" She said
glancing at the clock.
"8:00. Okay, that's not normal." Faith said, as she rushed to
open the door.
"Faithie," Xander said, pushing past her. "long time no see,
how's life?" She started to reply. "Really? That's good, you think
they have any food here?" Faith had just noticed the little girl, 'Rose',
she thought, as Xander walked past her into the kitchen.
"You know, I'm a bachelor. Yeah, the bachelor's life for me. So I have
no breakfast sustenance, I actually have nothing but cheetos and beer and
grape juice, which, as you can see, the little devil spilt all over her
shirt. I mean, come on, purple juice? What were the girls thinking? Don't
they make clear grape juice or something?"
Faith was too busy staring at the little girl, who up until that point had
her head hidden in Xander's shoulder.
The little girl picked that time to speak. "Hungry." She said,
pulling on Xander's shirt.
"I know, Rosie, let me see what they have." He opened the fridge,
handing Rose to Faith.
"Okay, eggs. You want eggs?"
She shook her head no.
"What about toast?" No again. "Well, we'll just go get breakfast
then, once we change your clothes. Where're the girls?"
Faith handed Xander the note.
"Oh, you wanna go eat with us?"
Faith was still staring at him, holding a giggling Rose about two feet away
from her body, suspended in mid-air.
"Umm, Faith, she doesn't have a disease, or anything." Faith looked
at him and cocked an eyebrow.
"I mean, if you had more clothes on, not that I'm looking or anything,
cause no offense, but way past lusting over Slayers, seems to get me near
killed and all, but she's not really gonna get juice on the top." He
said pointing to her. Faith figured out what he was saying and pulled the
child on her hip.
"Yeah, I'm not good with babies, Xander." She said, looking at
him like that was enough.
"I not baby." Rose chose to speak again.
"Of course you're not." Xander said, as he took her from Faith.
"How about I help the little lady change, and the big one can change
on her own, and then we'll all go get breakfast. My treat?"
They got back to the house about ten, with no sign of Kennedy or Will.
Faith had to admit breakfast was a treat, alright.
Just not the one he meant.
Seems the kid has her mother's demeanor, throwing a nice temper tantrum
when she didn't get her juice. It took both of them to calm her down, and
by that time Faith had lost her appetite and really just wanted to grab
a smoke and go back to bed.
"Shit." She heard Xander say, as she stubbed out her cigarette
and went back inside.
He had not mentioned Buffy and she hadn't asked. She marveled at how easy
it was for him to pretend the girl didn't even exist.
"What is it?" She asked.
Rose was on the floor coloring, and Xander was hanging up the phone. He
looked at her pleadingly.
"Oh no, didn't sign up for that. You gotta stay here til the girls
get back." Faith said, guessing what he was gonna say.
"I'm sorry, Faith, site emergency. I called Ken and they'll be home
in an hour or so. I just changed her, she's fed, and she'll probably just
take a nap."
"No nap." Rose said, looking up from her coloring.
Xander was backing up, hands in the air.
"Don't do this, Xand, I'm still a Slayer and I can kick your ass."
"You'll be fine. Like you said, Slayer and all, what's one little girl?"
'Jackass.' She thought. 'I never said that.'
When he had shut the door, she looked at Rose, who had noticed the exchange
and was about to cry, still timid of Faith.
"Oh, come on, don't do that." Faith said, as she scooped the little
girl up. "Come on, how about I rock you a little and sing a song, huh?"
The little girl nodded shyly.
Faith sat down in the chair and started to sing. "Wait. Can't sing
that song." She said. "No, I can't sing that one, either."
She said, thinking all of them over, one by one. "You know, Rosie,
I don't know any song that's not about sex, or, well, that's all I know
are sex songs. I'm a good role model, huh?" She asked, hugging the
little girl who was staring at her amusedly.
"Sex." Rose said, staring up at Faith. "Sex, sex, sex."
"Oh, no, don't say that." Oh crap, Red is gonna kill me. "Let's
not say sex."
"Sex." The little girl repeated, singing and clapping her hands.
"No no no." Faith said, trying to control her breathing, "How
about puppy? Can you say puppy?" She asked trying to get the little
girl to change her song.
"Puppy sex." Rose countered.
"Shit, Shit, Shit.' Faith said.
"Shit." Rose smiled at Faith.
"Okaaay, no more words, huh?" Faith said getting up and setting
the little girl down on the ground. "You don't want Red to get me,
The little girl shook her head.
"How about we take a nap?" Faith tried. 'Anything to change the
subject.' She thought.
"Nap. Couch." Rose said.
"What, you wanna lay on the couch?"
"You lay down." Rose told Faith.
Faith walked over to the couch and laid down.
"Like this?" She asked the little girl. Rose nodded and climbed
onto her stomach.
"You wanna sleep here with Faith?" Faith asked.
"Sleep with Faith." Rose copied, as she laid her head on Faith's
Faith put her hands tentatively around Rose's back and rested them there.
Then the little girl wrapped her chubby arms promptly around Faith's chest
and fell asleep.
Faith peered down at the little girl nuzzling on her chest.
'Shit, B.' She thought. 'What were you thinking, fifteen minutes and the
kid has me wrapped around her fingers.' She softly rubbed the little girl's
As she fell asleep, her mind drifted.
'Well, there's no way I can ever get back to Boston now.' Faith thought,
still rubbing her back.
"Well, Rosie, guess you hold the new record for making me fall in love
the fastest. Even got your mom beat." Faith mumbled to herself, as
she closed her eyes.
Faith quicky pulled on her clothes thinking about what she was about to
'I'm going to go get her, that's what I came here to do, to help, and I
will, I'm gonna help.' She was trying to reassure herself that this was
still a good idea.
"Faithy." She heard Rose call from her bathroom.
She went in and saw the mess Rose had created.
"Oh, shit, that's a little too much lipstick, don't ya think, baby
doll?" Faith asked, picking up the little girl and setting her on the
sink counter. "Let's wash it off."
"No, pretty, see?" Rose said, smiling a very red, very large smile.
"Yeah, okay, pretty, we'll just let Willow wash it off later."
Faith answered, thinking 'I'm a fucking sucker, huh?'
Willow and Kennedy had gotten home at lunch to find Faith and Rose asleep
on the couch.
"That Xander." Kennedy said. "Always one to do our bidding."
"Yeah, looks like it worked. We'll have to thank him later." Willow
answered. "It could have ended up like when we left her with Buffy.
"Oh, please, you knew she was gonna do fine. She's probably already
wrapped around Rosie's little finger." Kennedy whispered.
Faith opened one eye.
"You know, being a Slayer and all, Ken, seems like you would remember
Slayer hearing. So you set me up, huh?"
The hovering girls giggled.
"Well, then you won't mind that I taught her a couple of new words."
At this admission, Rose chose to wake. She looked at Kennedy and Willow
and rubbed her eyes before laying her head back on Faith's chest.
"Shit." She mumbled. Kennedy burst out laughing and Willow threw
a large throw pillow at Faith's head.
"Good job, potty mouth." Willow said.
"Thanks, Red, always glad to help." Faith countered, throwing
the pillow back.
Faith spent the rest of the day playing with Rose, avoiding the subject
which was bound to come up. After taking a bath and giving Rose one as well,
which she had ruined with Faith's lipstick, she got dressed and brought
the baby out into the living room.
"Give me the place, Red." Faith said looking at Willow.
"Are you sure you wanna do this tonight, Faith? I mean, you've only
been here one day?" Willow asked her already knowing the answer.
She wrote down an address on a sheet of paper and Faith didn't answer, but
put Rosie down on the floor.
Kennedy had sighed and gone to get something to clean her face, mumbling
something about being a sucker Faith's way.
"Here. She's in this vicinity. I figure a couple of those clubs are
to her liking, anyway, that's where I tracked her, I think Slayer mojo,
you know the tingling and all."
Faith nodded. "Well, I figure that will do the rest."
Faith bent down and gave Rose as kiss on her forehead. "See you in
a little while, sweet baby." Rosie smiled and clung to her leg, making
Faith weak in the knees. Kennedy grabbed her and told her they needed to
Faith turned to leave and Willow called behind her. "Don't let your
guard down, Faith. She's still a Slayer. And remember she's not the Buffy
Faith nodded, sighed, and walked out of the house.
Faith walked into the club.
'Will was right, gotta love that Slayer mojo.' She thought, as she handed
her ID to the bouncer.
When she finished she walked to the bar scanning the room.
'Come on, B, I know you're...' She didn't finish her thought as her eyes
came to rest on the back of a girl dressed in a skin-tight red and black
'B.' She thought. Even though she couldn't see her face, and her hair was
shorter, she knew it was her.
Buffy turned her head to the side and peered over at Faith.
With one hand crossed against her chest and the other holding a cigarette
to her lips, she motioned with her head for Faith to come over.
If Faith could have formed a cognitive thought, she would have been remembering
how strong the link between her and Buffy really was. As it was, though,
Faith was having a hard enough time telling her legs to move as she walked
across the smoky bar in the girl's direction.
She stopped to the left of Buffy, who had never taken her eyes of her, and
"Hey." She said.
Buffy, for her part, only looked at Faith, not seeming surprised, not seeming
really anything, as she motioned with her other hand.
"Leave." She said.
Faith was about to protest, when she noticed the blond wasn't looking at
her anymore but at the girl sitting on Buffy's right. It was the first time
Faith had seen her. Though she had her head on the table, Faith could see
her hand resting on the inside of Buffy's thigh, and she suddenly felt an
urge to remove it, forcefully.
"Leave, Julie." Buffy said again.
The girl got up and left. Letting her hand trail through Buffy's hair when
she moved, but she made no protest, only staring at Faith and smirking before
Buffy turned her entire body to face Faith, placing another cigarette in
Before she could go for her lighter, Faith lifted her own, and Buffy clasped
her hands around Faith, protecting the flame. After it was lit, she motioned
with her other hand.
"Sit down, Faith." Buffy said, pointing to the chair opposite
the one Julie had been sitting in earlier.
Buffy looked over at Faith and smiled. "Where you been all my life?"
She asked, resting her head in her right hand.
"Boston," Faith answered, lighting her own cigarette. "least
the last six years."
"I'm guessing this wasn't a coincidental meeting. I'm thinking this
is your kinda club, but hell, they have those everywhere, don't they?"
Faith nodded. "So with my impervious powers of deduction I can discern
that my child stealing ex-best friend called you. Am I right?"
"Got it in one." Faith answered, taking another drag. She was
staring at the dress Buffy was wearing, at Buffy's dark red lips and nails.
"Stealing my style?" Faith asked.
"Please, Faith, you could've never pulled off this dress." Buffy
said smoothing her hands down her chest. She quirked a half-smile when she
noticed Faith's eyes following her hands. She stood up and moved in between
Faith's knees, her hands behind her back, and leaned in and whispered into
"It's a little crowded in here, Faithy, let's say we go back to my
place." She said before licking the side of Faith's ear.
Faith tried to hold the breath that escaped her like a strangled sigh.
"Umm, okay." She said.
Buffy grabbed her hand and drug her to the back stairs before leading her
up. Faith was following, her eyes glued to the back of Buffy's dress, she
could feel the sweat on her palms. Buffy turned and smiled at Faith before
opening the door to a room at the top of the stairs.
"Come in." Buffy said, turning around and facing Faith. "I
don't bite. Not hard, anyway."
She laughed and Faith followed her into the room, sitting down in a chair
facing Buffy's bed. Buffy sat down across from her on the bed before getting
back up and sitting in Faith's lap, straddling her knees.
Faith kept her grip on the chair's arms and stared at Buffy, still too stunned
Buffy put her hands in Faith's hair and leaned down to whisper in Faith's
"What took you so long, F?" She asked.
Faith pulled back, looking at B. 'What the fuck am I doing?' She thought,
before leaning in.