Return and Fall
Rating: I guess PG-13 to R (Do to a little fooling around)
Faith sat in the car with Willow during the car ride back to Sunnydale in silence. Faith gazed out the window as Willow concentrated on the road. The red head stole peeks every now and then of the dark slayer. Faith had really changed. The wounds that the brunette suffered seemed to be healing better.
"You feeling better?" Willow asked gripping the wheel. Faith looked at Willow and shrugged.
"I'm five by five Willow," Faith merely answered. Willow just couldn't believe the way Faith was. She was just…so different. She was basically silent and almost brooding. Pain showed on the dark slayers face as she sat in thought.
"What are you thinking about, Faith?" Willow asked curious. This person that she grew to hate had become someone totally different and it confused Willow. Faith sighed and turned towards the red head. She seemed to be hesitating.
"Willow?" Faith was trying to find the right words, "I know this is nothing coming from me really…but…well, I have been thinking a lot…I mean being in prison gives you a lot of time to do that, you know? And I was so horrible to you…and…and I wanted to say I was sorry for everything I have done to you and the others." Faith paused and shook her head gazing out of the window again. Willow felt that Faith wasn't done yet speaking. She was quite shocked as well as impressed by the brunette.
Faith took a deep breath and sighed. "I screw up a lot. It's what I am…what I do…and I know I can't make up for what I have done. No matter how much I wish I could. It's so complicated Willow. I don't talk like this…and Angel…he was the only one who never gave up on me. I wasn't going to give up on him…even if I had to die…" Faith said all this looking out the car window.
Willow actually felt pity for the girl. When Willow first saw her again she felt the rage, the anger. But she seemed different. She seemed hollow. Willow tried to make sense out of all that Faith was saying.
"Go on," Willow encouraged listening.
"You know? I was ready to die. In fact, I thought I was going to…and I was ready…I was ready because I knew I was nothing in this world…that I was a mistake. But Angel pulled me out of that…he made me understand a lot of things." Faith shook her head and turned to Willow again.
"I don't know how I am going to do this Willow. I'm coming to Sunnydale to help you and the gang because you said you needed help… but…well…" Faith looked down at the hands folded in her lap.
"What is it?" Willow asked. Faith never stopped surprising her. The dark brunette looked up again. Her eyes held so much pain and emotion that Willow had to look away. When she looked back at her the emotion was gone as soon as it came. Faith always kept her walls up. But Willow saw that little bit of emotion from her. Faith leaned back in her seat.
"Well…I'm kind of scared." Faith admitted and winced. Willow knew that the brunette hated herself for saying that to her. Willow looked over at Faith and gave a reassuring smile.
"Hey, it's ok to be scared. Don't worry, I won't tell," Willow said looking back to the road. Faith smiled and Willow looked over again.
"There's that cocky smirk of a grin that I'm used to," Willow said smiling.
Faith nodded and smiled sadly a little before sighing.
"Yeah…but I'm not her any more…I don't know what I am…" Faith said almost silently as she leaned into the door and stared out the window again shutting herself off. Now it all seemed to make sense. Neither Willow nor Faith knew why she opened up like that the way she did to the redhead.
For Faith, that was the first time she opened up to any one besides Angel. But she owed it to Willow after all she had done to her.
Willow was fitting all the pieces together. Faith was called at such a young age. No one really knew about Faith's past. No one cared to ask. This made Willow feel guilty a little bit. Faith was just a girl brought into the world of monsters and she had to grow up fast.
Faith was afraid of how the others would react. But then again she deserved everything that she got. She had to make amends. Pay for what she had done.
Willow figured out that the attitude that Faith puts up was all a front, an act. She hides behind that because she doesn't know who she really is. She protects herself.
Faith was so exhausted that she didn't even have the energy to put up her front at the moment. So Willow was lucky to see her like this. Faith always punished herself for all the things she had done. She couldn't even sleep anymore without having horrible nightmares. She was afraid to see Buffy again…Buffy…the very name pierces Faith's heart. Faith hung her head in shame the rest of the car ride to Sunnydale.
Willow pulled the car up to the curb and shut off the engine. Faith made no attempt to move.
"Come on," Willow said opening her door. The other slayer followed her lead and got on out. Willow walked a few steps and turned around to Faith.
"Oh and Faith…I forgive you," she said smiling. The brunette lightly smiled and nodded her head.
They walked back up to the front door and went in. The house was a little bit of a mess. Everyone was in the living room and dropped dead silent when they saw Willow and Faith enter. All the potentials were seating around the living room. It seemed that they had walked into another one of Buffy's "talks".
"Um hi guys," Willow announced looking at everyone.
"Faith." Buffy stated from the center of the room.
"Why is she here?" Dawn asked harshly. Faith cast her eyes to the floor and shoved her hands in her pockets. She felt very uncomfortable.
"She helped out Angel and I brought her back with me to help us. You know, with the big bad and all." Willow explained.
"So this is the other slayer?" a potential asked, unsure, in an English accent.
"Yeah, unfortunately this is Faith," Xander answered from the couch. All the potentials went silent. Faith could tell that the gang must have told them about her.
"She isn't staying here is she?" Dawn asked crossing her arms. Willow quickly glanced at Faith who gave the redhead a pleading look. She wanted to get out of here.
"Faith, why don't you go out side for a minute while I speak to Buffy." Willow instructed.
"Yeah, why don't the rest of you guys get ready for bed. We are getting up early for training. We'll continue this later." Buffy announced. All the girls went in various directions. Some annoyed some keeping as far away from Faith as possible.
Faith practically ran out the door. She sat on the porch and put her head in her hands and sighed.
"What were you thinking Will?" Xander asked standing up. Willow sighed.
"It's a long story guys, and we do need her help," Willow explained.
"I'm not staying in the same house as a murderer." Dawn stated as she walked closer. Buffy turned to her.
"Dawn, go to bed," Buffy ordered.
"But Buffy.." Dawn pouted.
"No buts, go on," Buffy interrupted. Dawn sighed dramatically and went upstairs. Buffy turned back to Willow. "Ok now explain."
"Hey there love," Spike said sitting down next to Faith. He knew who she was, he could sense and smell her. Not only that but he had heard what they had said inside. He was on his way over when he saw through the window that they were having another “talk” and decided to wait. That was when he noticed the brunette had just entered and they began talking. Faith turned to look at him recognizing him.
"Hi Spike," she replied. Spike took out his cigarettes and offered one to Faith.
"Nah, no thanks. I quit," she answered. He shrugged and lit his cigarette.
"You doing ok?" Spike asked blowing out smoke.
Faith shrugged saying, "I guess…Oh and by the way, I am sorry about the last time we met."
Spike laughed. "Nah, no problem. Body swap, got it, it's ok. I know how you feel a bit around here. You are always welcome to talk to me," Spike offered. Faith smiled.
"Thanks. That does mean something…I hear you've got a soul." Faith said changing the subject..
"Yeah, so now we can both be two lost souls huh?" Spike asked leaning back on his elbows.
"You got that right," Faith replied.
"Ok let me get this straight…Angel has a son, Angelus was back, and Wesley broke Faith out to get Angel back?" Xander asked confused. Willow sighed.
"Faith could have broken out whenever she wanted to. She broke out only to help Angel…I told you it was a long story." Willow said looking at Buffy.
"She almost died saving him?" Buffy asked her. Willow nodded her head. "We do need her. We need all the help we can get right now."
"Buffy? ARE YOU CRAZY!? SHE IS A MURDERER!!! Don’t you remember what she has done to us?" Xander shouted.
"Xander, please, lower your voice! She's different now! I wish you guys could see it," Willow said. Xander shook his head.
Buffy stood in thought. The fire that was Faith, the cocky bad girl…didn’t seem to be present in her anymore. Something was different about the brunette…though she couldn’t place it. She did notice that much.
"Willow, I trust your judgment. She can stay. She's got this one chance," Buffy said walking off. She needed to think. She needed to think about everything that was going on in her life. And with Faith coming now…it didn't make it any easier.
“I don’t believe it,” Xander mumbled a little bit.
"What's with her?" Anya asked. Willow shook her head.
Faith sat near the back door watching the sunrise. She did this quite a lot. She couldn't sleep. She just couldn't anymore. The nightmares had been getting worse. She would have nightmares of Buffy, sometimes of her mother, and of Alan.
Everything haunted Faith in her dreams. They kept getting worse. She just was too afraid to sleep. Faith heard someone approaching long before they came. She didn't care. But who came surprised her a little.
Kennedy came and sat next to Faith on the ground. Kennedy couldn't sleep that well and was used to waking up early anyway. She looked out of Willow’s window and saw Faith sitting out there alone.
"You're not afraid of me," Faith said as more of a statement then a question.
"No," Kennedy replied. Faith tilted her head and looked at her.
"The others are. Why aren't you?" she asked. Kennedy smiled at the slayer.
"I'm not like other people. I do know about you but I also know that people change. Just because someone says something, it doesn't mean it's who you are. I believe what I want to believe and I see what I want to see," Kennedy explained. Faith smiled. She turned back to the sun rising.
"It's beautiful," Kennedy said, observing the sun.
"Yeah…this is my favorite part of the day. Nothing beats this. Expressly when I got a good looking girl with me," Faith smirked. Kennedy laughed.
"See, you don't seem bad to me," Kennedy said looking back at Faith.
"Yeah well, what they did tell you was more then likely true," Faith said still looking at the sun.
"How come you're not sleeping?" Kennedy asked.
"I could ask you the same thing," Faith replied turning to Kennedy. Kennedy crossed her legs.
"I couldn't sleep, plus I am used to getting up early. What's your excuse?" Kennedy asked.
"Bad nightmares," Faith simply stated then sighed.
"That bad huh? You can't sleep at all?" Kennedy asked. Faith turned to her.
"I'm too…yeah, they are that bad. But every now and then I get exhausted and have to sleep. Which sucks," Faith stated. Kennedy nodded and looked back to the sun. Faith could feel the warmth of Kennedy's body close to hers. It felt nice. It was nice to have someone near and not afraid of her.
Buffy woke up from a good night rest. She walked around her room and got changed for the day. The sun was shining through the window. Buffy walked over to it and looked out. She saw Kennedy with Faith, sitting in the backyard and frowned. Buffy walked down the steps to the clatter of potentials eating in the kitchen.
Later on in the day, All the potentials were in the back yard training. They were split into several groups doing various things. Buffy was with one group, sparring and practicing on their fighting. Another group was practicing with weapons. Some potentials were lined up with crossbows, practicing their shooting. And some others were spread out in various places working on different things, exercising, doing flips, and such. Xander went to some groups who had weapons to help them.
Faith was in the corner of the yard practicing with Kennedy. They were sparing. Kennedy threw a punch and Faith easily blocked it.
"Whoa, hold up girl," Faith said stopping. "Ok, Kennedy, next time you throw a punch, you can level your fist higher and turn it slightly up like this."
Faith grabbed Kennedy's arm and showed her how to do it. Kennedy's skin tingled but she tried as hard as she could to ignore it.
"See? Now your attackers will think to block low when you're hitting high. Ok, now lets start again," Faith said getting back into a fight stance. Kennedy and Faith circled each other and Kennedy threw some of her same punches, waiting for the right moment.
Faith was being very easy on her and throwing little kicks and punches here and there in which Kennedy managed to block. Kennedy threw a punch that Faith improved and connected with Faith's face.
Faith stopped and rubbed her face for a second. "Right on, Kennedy," she said. It didn't really hurt, being a slayer and all. But Kennedy felt bad.
"Sorry. I didn't hurt you did I?" She asked. Faith chuckled and shook her head.
"Nah, I'm five by five. Don't be sorry, it was a wicked hit," Faith said with a grin. She was proud of how well Kennedy picked up on things and fought. Buffy caught sight of Faith and Kennedy sparing and stormed over.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Buffy asked in a huff.
"B, I was just…" Faith was saying, but Buffy cut her off.
"Trying to hurt someone?" Buffy filled in. Kennedy was getting angry.
"B, I was going easy…" Faith was saying, but this time Kennedy cut her off.
"We were just sparing, Jesus Buffy," the potential said feeling irritated. Buffy raised her eyebrows in surprise of Kennedy's attitude.
"I need to have a talk with you…alone," Buffy said, looking at Kennedy and dragging Faith off to the corner of the yard. Kennedy shook her head and walked back over to the group Buffy was leading till she came over.
Faith sighed. "I don't want you sparing with anyone. You can't just walk in here and pretend nothing has happened. I'm leading this." Buffy was saying. Faith tried as best as she could not to get upset. She cared for Buffy but the blonde could care less about her and it hurt.
"You think I've forgotten? I don't trust you. I'm glad to have your fighting power but that is it. Do you know how much you have hurt me? All you have done? You can't just come back here and expect everything to go your way. All you have done to me and the ones I love I'll never forget. Do you even care? Do you even…" as Buffy was saying this, she crossed the line. Faith exploded.
"GOD DAMN IT BUFFY!" Faith yelled. Everyone in the yard stopped what they were doing and looked at the two girls. Buffy was shocked. And Faith also used her full name.
"You think I'm stupid!?! You think I've forgotten!?! I'm reminded everyday of my shitty life and all I've done. You think I love the fact that I did those things? If you do then you're not too smart. Don't you ever dare pretend that you know me! You don't know me! You never knew me! You never cared…" Faith was fighting back tears as she was shouting.
"I can't even sleep I have horrible nightmares. I went to jail Buffy! And you know why? I DID IT FOR YOU! It's what you wanted isn't it? And it was the right thing to do. I also did it for myself. You think I went there to have a grand all-time and party? No! For a couple years I sat and thought about you, and all I've done and what I did and who I became. And I know you don't care but I AM SORRY! God am I so sorry! But I know I can't say it because you don't give a fuck. And for me to know why you don't, because of me, hurts even more…I…I don't know why I'm trying…I don't know what I'm saying…fuck this…" Faith said walking away. She didn't even realize the tears that streamed down her face.
The other slayer ran to the back of the house to get away from her. Everyone stood there shocked. Buffy couldn't even form a thought.
"Good going bucko," Kennedy snapped and took off after Faith.
"Faith! Faith wait!" Buffy started yelling. Willow came and stopped Buffy.
"Buffy, don't," Willow said grabbing onto Buffy's arm. The blonde’s head was reeling. But Buffy just did what she usually did. She pushed everything into the only emotion she thought she should have for Faith…hate.
"What Will? Weren't you the president of the we-all-hate-Faith fan club?" Buffy growled. Willow sighed and let go of Buffy.
"She has changed Buffy. I can see that…" Willow started. Buffy interrupted her.
"Oh and just how do you know that Willow!? I know I have…" Buffy started. Willow spoke interrupting her.
"I know you're hurt Buffy. I know she has hurt you and trust me, she knows it. But did you think about it from her point of view?" Willow asked. Buffy was confused.
"Think about it. When Faith first came to Sunnydale, what did you see in her eyes?" Willow asked. Buffy gave her a look and thought.
"Fire, challenge, lust, excitement, action, adven…" Buffy was saying. Willow cut her off.
"Right. And other things too I bet. You saw emotion or other things through her eyes." Willow paused. "Now what have you seen in them?"
Buffy was struck. Willow had a point.
"Think about it." Willow said as she walked back into the house. Just then Kennedy walked out. Buffy looked up at her making eye contact.
"She's gone. I can't find her," Kennedy announced.