You hear stories about her when you make your way to the Hellmouth. Well, of course you did. You couldn't go anywhere near a demon bar without hearing a whisper about The Slayer. You know some of them aren't true (A Hsl'acnk demon ran into her. It said that she was built like a 300 pounds quarter backer. But you've seen a picture of her, the Golden Slayer. You know that she is a five foot three – at the most – blonde ex-cheerleader, who looks like a strong breeze could send her flying. You tell the demon so. Before you kill him, of course. You are a Slayer, after all. Have to keep up appearances.)
There are some you aren't sure of – really, blowing a supposedly indestructible demon to Timbuktu using a grenade launcher? Like anyone in their right minds would believe that – and some make you excited and nervous and terrified all at once because your Watcher told you tales about her when she was still alive and suddenly you start to put a lot more belief in those fairytale like stories she told you than you ever did when Diana first told you them after a hard day of training.
One story says that she is insane and will kill you as soon as look at you; that it doesn't matter if you are human or demon, if you have done something wrong or if you are an innocent. You scoff and act like you don't believe that one for a second. As you travel, you try to forget that one, but it keeps coming back and you can't help but be a little nervous as old fears come back – will she like me? Will she accept me? Will she live up to D's stories? You tell yourself you're being an idiot (again) and remind yourself who told you that one.
Another that she is like a saint –said that she would destroy the wicked and save the good and that no matter what she would survive and everyone would live happily ever after. You laugh in the demon's face and tell them that they're clearly a few fries short of a Happy Meal. Later, you whisper that story to yourself as you fall asleep. That night you dream of a tiny angel-like being with hair like spun gold and emerald green eyes, holding a flaming sword and protecting the world – and you – from the monsters in the night. It's the best night's sleep you've had since you were Called and you started to get the dreams of the past Slayers.
Several days later, you make it to Sunnydale. You pause at the sign where someone has painted out the 'dale' and written 'Hell' above it and you smile to yourself because this is where you were born to be.
You run into your hero – though you will die before you ever admit it – outside the only club in town and use her stake (and yes, you are delighted that she let you use it) to dust a vampire. You stand up and pretend that the confused look on her face doesn't bother you, because how was she supposed to know that there are two Slayers in town?
You don't know what it is that is wrong but she is acting like you being here is the worst thing ever and she doesn't seem to notice that those stories you are telling her awed friends (and can they be any geekier?) are really for her benefit; that you are trying to get her to notice you, to like you, to want to be your friend. It hurts when she leaves for some reason that you don't listen to (your brain turns off when she says that she has to go) and you wonder silently as you regale her friends with tales of your more outrageous antics, 'what did I do wrong?' it also crosses your mind that maybe she doesn't like me and maybe I'm not good enough and you nearly hit yourself across the back of your head because you have only been here for about an hour and you still have time to make her realize how much you admire her (you refuse to say you worship the ground she walks on. Your obsession hasn't gotten that far out of control. Not yet anyway.)
Her Watcher reminds you of Diana and if that doesn't hurt you don't know what will. His tweed and British accent and occasional stutter all make you think of the wonderful woman (and you realize now with a pang that you never told her that, next to The Slayer, she was your hero) who rescued you.
You keep pretending that it doesn't kill you a little inside with every look she gives you and everything about her body language is all but screaming at you that she doesn't want you here. You try to get close to her friends, in the hopes of getting close to her, and it doesn't work. She just starts to hate you that little bit more and it makes you feel that little bit worse.
But it gets better and you have to bite the inside of your cheek so much you are nearly sure that I is going to bleed just so you don't start grinning like a lunatic at the most random of times. You love it when she leaves her science class for you to go hunting and dancing and you love the way she is more than willing to dance so close with you (even if you do say that it's for the boys). You realize when you dance with her that you like her more than just a friend and that scares you because she has Angel (and you know you will never understand how she can put up with a vampire) and you have a policy of 'get some, get gone'. So Wesley, the new Watcher comes and you allow yourself to feel the tiniest bit of relief because now you won't have to act like you were dancing for the boys that crowded around the two of you and not her (only her, you wish that you could dance for her and only her forever).
That night, the two of you are out in one of the cemeteries (and you let yourself wonder just how many cemeteries the place needs before people start to realize that something is wrong), doing what you have been Called to do and you have just slayed a pack of demons and the two of you are covered in slime from the waists down – and how were you supposed to know that the demons would do that? – and you look at her and without thinking (like usual), you open your mouth to make a joke and instead what comes out is I love you and you want to kick yourself and run away and hide under you bed because she doesn't love you, you know she doesn't love you. She loves Angel, the vampire with a soul. But you don't because you never show fear or weakness.
And she looks at you, with her green eyes, slightly too big for her pixie-like face, and she says something. And you know you must have misheard, because it sounded to you like she said I love you, too and you know you heard wrong because someone so perfect can't love someone so messed up. It's impossible.
But she's standing close to you now, so very, very close. So close that you can smell that mix of perfume and slime and her breath. And she's leaning up to you and you just realize now how small she is – and before you know what you are doing, you lean down and met her full, pink lips and can taste that pizza the two of you shared before you went out and you can taste strawberries and you know that you wish that you can just keep kissing her like this forever. Your arms make their way around her waist and hers wind themselves around your neck of their own accord and she breaks away what could be an eternity or a second later and you feel vaguely annoyed that humans need oxygen. Then she's pulling your hand and tugging you along the path and you keep going and keep going and never once complain because this is her pulling you along like a doll and you would never complain about her. You don't think it's possible.
You wake up from what seems like the best dream you have ever had and you feel annoyed and tired and you ache (clearly from all the Slaying). You reach a hand up to rub your eyes to try to wake up a little bit but they get caught in something on the way. You force your eyes open against their will and they widen suddenly when they show you that there is a tiny blonde girl (who you recognize) in your bed and you are both quite clearly naked and you honestly can't help and don't care when a huge grin sneaks across your face.
You lie back down; quite content to fall asleep again though you would much rather stay awake and watch her, but she is moving around and making discontented noises so you wrap an arm around her waist and pull her close to you and you just about resist kissing her soundly when she sighs happily in her sleep and cuddles closer to you than you thought was possible.
And you close your eyes and go to sleep and dream about forever because you know that it has to be possible because this was possible. Because Buffy Summers somehow found it in her perfect heart to love you, Faith Lehane, with your messed up mind and even more messed up life.
So you fall asleep reminding yourself about all the stories you had heard on your way to the Hellmouth and with a genuinely happy smile on your face, you swear to yourself that although you knew that the rumors weren't all true, you didn't know just how amazing the Slayer was, because you had been thinking just of the Slayer.
You hadn't even thought of taking into consideration the fact that maybe (just maybe) Buffy Summers would be even better.