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Chapter Nine: The Morning After

Faith's in the shower when Buffy wakes up, trying to make sense of last night.

It wasn't just sex, she knows that. She'd be fuckin' stupid to think that is was; that it meant nothing to either of them besides getting off. They went on a date, for one, but for two… shit, that was probably the most intense fuck Faith's ever had in her life. It kind of freaks her out a little… or a lot, actually.

Her first instinct was to run when she woke up; always is. But she couldn't, and maybe that fucked with her head even more. She promised Buffy she wouldn't run; that she wouldn't leave her. Granted that came out in the heat of passion and in a whirlwind of mind-blowing, fucked up, emotional sex when they were pretty damn close to having an orgasm, so almost anything could be said under those circumstances, right?

But she meant it. Every single screwed up word of it.

Jesus. Is she in a relationship now? Okay, maybe she's going a little too fast here, but something is bugging her, tugging at her heart and making her stop and think about everything that's been going on: she's going to be leaving soon. And it… sucks.

Faith loves what she does, and she doesn't want to stop. It gives her a sense of pride and accomplishment, let alone allows her some small piece of redemption when she helps all of those girls. But she also feels like she finally got somewhere with Buffy, a place that she only used to dream about when she was younger… and of course it just has to have shitty timing. She doesn't know what to do about it, but she also has five days to figure that out.

God. The shit that can change in the span of forty eight hours, huh?

It felt too fast but also so god damn slow. It's been something that's been brewing for seven years now but it was a slow burn. Then suddenly the heat gets turned up and wham! So fuckin' quick.

Faith runs her fingers through her hair under the stream of hot water and lets out a breath. She might not be in a relationship but she's definitely been tamed a little, that's for damn sure. She sighs, bending over to turn off the water. All of her muscles are sore from last night and the hot shower helped a lot, but it's not like she wants the soreness to go away completely. It makes her smile; knowing it was Buffy who fucked her into oblivion and not some random, faceless trick.

Faith pulls back the shower curtain and almost jumps out of her fucking skin when she see's Buffy standing in the threshold of the doorway in nothing but her bra and panties, looking at her. "Jesus fuckin' Christ, B! Warn a bitch next time," Faith exclaims, startled. "Damn."

Buffy smiles a little, teasing. "What happened to your Slayer senses?"

"Too damn early for those," Faith responds as she climbs out of the shower and grabs a towel, starting to dry off. She's very aware that Buffy is watching her intently, drinking in every bit of Faith that she can with her eyes. She smirks and looks over at her, "See somethin' ya like?"

"Yeah, but your big head is kind of blocking my view," Buffy responds, amused. Faith chuckles and wraps the towel around herself before she looks back at Buffy and things feel awkward again. Buffy's looking at her in a way she can't describe, she can only feel. She's also not sure if it's all good; some is, yeah, but another part…

"So, uh…" Faith starts, looking at the floor for a second before training her eyes back on the woman in front of her. "Ya wanna get… breakfast or somethin'? Not real sure what you do the morning after…"

Buffy smiles, Faith's inexperience in this area making her feel like she can finally teach her something. She shakes herself out of her ‘wow Faith is amazing, but where the hell do we go from here?' mode and focuses on what's happening here and now. "Well first," she says slowly, walking over to her, "you kiss me good morning." She wraps her arms around Faith's neck and pulls her in for a soft, tender kiss that leaves both of them breathless just from the emotion behind it. When she pulls away after a moment she licks her bottom lip and smiles shyly, "And yes, breakfast would be good."

Buffy takes Faith's hand in hers and leads her out into the bedroom. She lies on the bed while Faith sits on the other side, grabbing the phone to dial for room service. "What do ya want?" she asks, looking over her shoulder at Buffy who's lying there with a smile of contentment on her face. Something about this moment is absolutely perfect.

"Whatever you want," she responds softly.

"Ya sure? Cause I eat some weird ass crap, just lettin' ya know."

Buffy tells her that whatever she orders is fine, and when Faith goes back to the phone she looks at the ceiling, wondering what the hell is going on. Well, she knows what's going on; she just doesn't know what it means. She does know though that when she gets back home today that she's going to have to talk to Satsu; break it off with her. She feels like such a bitch because she knows she's going to hurt her but she can't lead both of them on. Faith's who she wants right now, maybe has been what she's always wanted.

She wants to tell Faith about Satsu, to be honest with her… but she's so terrified of how she'll react. Faith's emotions have always been an unknown place for Buffy. She could haul off and hit Satsu, hit her, get broody and withdrawn, or just not care at all. Considering she only likes only one of those options, she doesn't like her odds. Besides… she really doesn't want to go ruining her perfect moment right now.

Buffy can hear Faith hang up the phone, but she's still lost in her thoughts until Faith flops down next to her on her stomach, looking down at her. "Food's gonna be a bit, but it'll get here," she tells her. Buffy just smiles a little, but it doesn't reach her eyes. She's still too worried about everything that comes after this to be completely happy and carefree.


"S'no big," Faith responds, crossing her arms and laying her head on them, still looking at Buffy. She's not real sure what they do now, so she just stays still. This is Buffy's territory, not hers. Kinda fucked how she's over-thinking everything, but shit like this makes her… nervous. If a situation makes her uncomfortable she's always just made sarcastic remarks or gotten pissed off, but something in her is screaming at her not to fuck this up. That this is some kinda doorway that's only gonna be open once so she better haul ass through it.

"Faith?" Buffy asks quietly, turning her head to look at the woman next to her.


Buffy moves so she's lying on her side, head propped up in her hand as she picks at the comforter between them. Okay, breathe Buffy… it's just Faith. She's… okay she's kinda scary, but not right now. Look at her, she looks so… nervous? Okay, well, at least it isn't just her then. She lets her hand find Faith's, dusting her fingertips across the back of her hand. "Uh…" she starts, furrowing her eyebrows together, feeling a little stupid. "I know this is… fast, and maybe not the best time to be having this conversation but what are we… doing, exactly?"

"We're lyin' down," Faith says with a smirk, avoiding the question entirely even though she knows what she meant.

"Faith," Buffy says flatly.

"We fucked last night?"

"Why is that in the form of a question?" Buffy asks, confused. Then she gives her a disgruntled look, but also slightly embarrassed. "And we didn't just… fuck last night, Faith. We…"

"Had sex?" Faith offers.

Buffy looks at her pointedly, but Faith shakes her head.

"No way, don't even think the words or I'll break out in hives," Faith tells her, holding up her finger to stop her before she tells her that they made love.

"You seriously believe you'll break out in hives if I say we—mffphh!" Buffy's sentence is cut off by Faith slapping a hand on her mouth.

"Ya tryin' to kill me?" Faith accuses, but she has a little teasing smirk on her lips. "Not to mention my rep. You spread that shit around and I'm done for; ain't lyin'." Buffy narrows her eyes and nips at the palm of Faith's hand. "Hey!" she exclaims, pulling her hand back.

Buffy sighs and lies back down on her back, looking up at the ceiling. "I guess it doesn't matter what we did, or what you call it," she says finally.

Faith's wary that she somehow won that round though, considering Buffy never lets her win at anything. Part of her doesn't wanna go into this whole conversation, but another part of her is screaming for her to; sayin' that she needs to just so she doesn't drive herself halfway insane later trying to figure it out herself. "Why?" she asks her.

"Because… does it even matter?" Buffy asks, feeling depressed all of a sudden. "I mean, what we did… does it even change anything?" Faith's still going to leave in the end; still going to leave her. Only this time she's going to leave a depressed and lonely Buffy who's probably going to take to eating three dozen quarts of ice cream and become content on dying alone.

God, she's dramatic this morning. Then again, everything with Faith has been dramatic. It's always been so much more with her; good or bad.

"I dunno, you tell me," Faith responds, feeling like she's the one who just screwed up Buffy's perfect world and therefore really doesn't have a say in how it turns out. Not like that's anything new anyway, she ain't ever had a say in anything when she's around the Scoobies, and especially around Buffy.

"I asked you first," Buffy says.

"What do ya want me to say?"

"Tell me if it changed anything," Buffy reiterates, looking at Faith like she's trying not to get her hopes up that it did.

"Of course it fuckin' did, B," Faith tells her like she should have figured it out for herself. "For fuck's sake, I took you on a date. Ya know you're the only one I've ever done that with, so something's already changed."

"I mean… now. After. What… what are we doing now?" Buffy asks her softly. "Has something changed that there can be an… after, with us? Or was that just it? Are we just going to walk out of this hotel room and pretend like it never happened?"

Faith takes a breath, sitting up so she can get some air. She really fuckin' doesn't like heavy conversations, mostly because she's freaked that she's gonna say something wrong, or say too much. It's different when she can just agree on feelings stuff, that way she doesn't have to be the one to say it first; lay it out there for everyone to poke and prod at. She can't handle that crap. If she says something that Buffy doesn't agree with then she… she fuckin' knows shit, y'know? Buffy can use it to hurt her later. So no, she isn't one to just share that type of crap.

Problem is, Buffy's having the same dilemma. She's terrified of telling Faith how she feels too, so basically they're getting nowhere fast.

"S'whatever ya want, I guess," Faith tells her, running her fingers through her hair.

"But I want to know what you want, Faith."

"Dunno what I want."


"Hey, you ain't exactly steppin' up and offerin' up the info either, Blondie," Faith snaps.

"I asked you first!" Buffy defends.

"Are we in grade school now? That ain't a valid reason," Faith retorts.

"Um, yes it is. Now just… answer, please?" Buffy asks, pleadingly. Faith sighs, shifting on the bed a little, trying to ease the uncomfortable feeling, but the problem is that it's in the air around them and has nothing to do with how she's sitting.

"I don't wanna forget, or pretend like it never happened, okay?" Faith answers quickly, defensively, but doesn't look her in the eye when she says it.

Buffy lets out a breath she didn't realize she was holding. "Well… good. I don't… I don't want to either," she tells her.

"Okay so… then it happened," Faith says slowly, not sure of what else she should say. They're both silent for a minute before Faith turns to look at her, asking, "So… what do ya want from me?" She needs to know that, if nothing else.

"What do you mean?"

"Like… am I just some bitch to screw when I'm around or…?" she trails off, not wanting to finish the question; voice it out loud. She'll take either option though, really.

"Or what?" Buffy asks softly.

Faith shakes her head. This is stupid. "Forget it."

"No, Faith… or what?" she questions, putting her hand on Faith's shoulder, trying to comfort her into telling her. It doesn't work.



Faith shrugs Buffy's hand off of her, getting defensive. "I said it's nothin', B. Will ya drop it? Fuck." She gets off the bed, starting to walk away. She needs some breathing room.

"Are you asking if I want you to be my girlfriend?" Buffy asks, surprising even herself when it came out of her mouth. Faith stops; freezing. She doesn't turn around and Buffy's starting to freak out that she's inadvertently backing Faith into a corner. "Sorry, I shouldn't have—"

"Yeah," Faith says softly, but still doesn't turn around. She folds her arms into herself and tells her, "S'what I was askin'."

"Oh," Buffy says, taken aback slightly that Faith actually admitted it. "Um… well, do you… want to be?" she asks carefully.

"I don't do relationships," Faith says flatly, the only answer that comes to mind because it's true. She doesn't do relationships, never has.

"You never dated either," Buffy points out quietly. "Until now."

Faith sighs, staring out the window. She got her there. "Yeah," she responds, just as quietly. This is too weird of a conversation. She can't have Buffy as her girl, right? That like… defies the laws of Physics or something. It's passionate between them, yeah, and the sex is… fuckin' amazing but it ain't like she could actually do right by Buffy in the long run. She just doesn't know how.

Buffy gets off the bed, crossing over to stand behind Faith. She wraps her arms around her torso, leaning her head on her shoulder. She knows this is starting to freak Faith out, and it's freaking her out too. "We don't have to talk about it," she whispers. "It's just… stupid titles anyway. We can just… be, if you want."


"You know, like… just do what feels right. If we start making everything titley and weird then things will get too heavy and I don't think I can handle that right now," Buffy tells her honestly, looking out the window with Faith. She can feel Faith start to relax into her, feeling a little better.

"Yeah, me either," Faith tells her quietly. She turns her head to look at Buffy, and the blonde smiles softly and leans in to kiss her.

"I still want more dates though," Buffy tells her with an amused, but challenging look. Faith laughs a little.

"S'fine. Already know what I gotta do. No bugs, no horseshit, and I need to let ya ogle the goodies; ain't too hard to satisfy ya, Twinkie."

"Mmm… not for you, no," Buffy purrs, sliding around to face Faith before wrapping her arms around her neck. She leans up a bit on her toes to kiss her, closing her eyes and enjoying the feeling of just being with Faith.

…Until a loud crack! is heard through the room, making them jump apart and into a fighting stance at the intrusion.

"Willow?!" Buffy asks, eyes wide at the witch who appeared in the middle of their hotel room.

"Goddess!" Willow exclaims, holding up her hands to shield her eyes from Faith's nudity; the towel she was wearing having dropped to the floor when they jumped apart, ready to fight. Faith sighs, annoyed, and picks up the towel off the floor, wrapping it around her.

"The hell are ya doin' here, Red?" Faith asks.

"Trying to find you!" Willow exclaims, and now that her hands are down, safe from Faith's naked form, she looks pissed. "We called you guys like fifty times last night! We thought something horrible happened, but nope! You two have just been shacking up all night without a care in the world, haven't you?"

"Oh god," Buffy says, fear coloring her voice. If they called her that many times then something bad happened, something really bad happened. "Who died?!"

"No one died, but Satsu came pretty darn close! She's in the infirmary right now, I had to heal a mortal wound but she's still really banged up, Buffy!" Willow exclaims, furious.

"Is she going to be alright?!" Buffy asks, scared like hell now. She has to get home; she has to check on Satsu, make sure she's alright. Fuck, this is all her fault.

"Yeah, eventually," Willow snaps. "And why didn't you answer your phone? Do you have any idea how badly you scared everyone by not coming home last night, not even bothering to call? Not answering our calls?!"

Suddenly Buffy feels like she's living with her mother again.

"I…" Buffy starts, then her face colors in confusion. "Where is my phone?" She couldn't even remember the last time she had it, but she knows she doesn't have it now; she would have heard it otherwise. She looks over at Faith, who shrugs.

"I think ya said somethin' about it fallin' in the toilet last night, but you were kinda outta it so I dunno."

"The... toilet?"

"At the club."

"The…" How the hell did she manage to do that? "And hey! Why the hell don't you have your phone on you?" Buffy accuses, like this is Faith's fault when it's entirely hers and she knows it.

"Demon smashed the last one I had, gotta get another," Faith answers. Well damn, that didn't help either.

Buffy feels like she just got hit with a freight train of guilt. She left Satsu to do her job while she ran off with Faith and got drunk and had sex all night long. This is her fault; she should have been the one to deal with whatever it was that Satsu faced, not off all willy-nilly with her new quasi-girlfriend. God, she is such a bitch.

"Buffy…" Willow says, looking at her like she's about to lay out the same guilt she's already feeling.

"Don't, Will. Please… I already know," Buffy says, regret in her voice, as she runs her fingers through her hair. She starts gathering up her clothes around the room before pulling them on, wishing her heart didn't feel like a ton of bricks. Date over, obviously. She looks up a Faith, "Get dressed, we gotta go."

"You go with Red, my Harley's still outside. I'll get there later," Faith tells her, watching Buffy's pained expressed. She wants to reach out and comfort her (though she's not really sure how to even go about doing that), but Willow being in the room is making everything a little more awkward. Faith knows that she knows that they went on a date; she saw them in Buffy's room before they left after all, but it's still… weird. She ain't ever been close to Willow and she really doubts that Buffy's best friend thinks that she's a suitable match for her.

Buffy pulls on her shoes and stands up, coming over to Faith. She pulls her in for a soft kiss before giving her a small, but sad, smile, "I'll see you later." Faith nods as she watches Buffy walks over to Willow, grabbing her hand.

Buffy looks back at Faith, trying to tell her that she's sorry with her eyes, but she doesn't know if Faith noticed because all of a sudden she's in the hotel room one minute and the next she feels like her insides are getting ripped out and replaced upside down before she lands in the living room of the castle. She groans and holds her stomach, feeling like she's going to puke. God, she hates teleporting.

"Buffy!" Giles exclaims, almost spilling tea on himself as she and Willow appear in front of him. "Good heavens, where have you been? Where's Faith?"

Buffy holds up her finger, needing a minute to try to fight down the nausea. She takes a couple breaths before she tells him, "We got too drunk to drive back last night. Faith's fine, she's riding her motorcycle here." Damn, her stomach still feels queasy.

"Why didn't either of you answer your phones? That is terribly irresponsible of you both and—"

"Giles, seriously. I feel like I'm going to vomit, can you maybe save the lecture for later?" Buffy snaps. She's still bitter when it comes to Giles. Things are a little better between them, but not by much. She shakes her head, the guilt she's feeling making her voice crack, "I need to go find Satsu." That's what's important.

Buffy starts walking away, feeling her throat tighten and her chest become heavy. She feels horrible about what happened. And now she's going to go in there, look at Satsu; her wounds, her pride broken… and know it was all her fault. Fuck, she can't handle this.

"Buffy," Willow calls after her as Buffy exists the room and starts walking down the hell to the infirmary. "Buffy!"

Buffy stops, turning around quickly, upset written all over her face. "What? What could you possibly say that's going to make me feel worse, Willow?"

"Buffy…" Willow says softly, trying to comfort her, seeing how distraught she is over this.

"How am I supposed to do this?" Buffy asks, her voice broken. She's on the verge of tears and Willow looks at her sadly, wrapping her arms around her. Buffy feels one tear sneak out as she lays her head on her friend's shoulder, holding onto her. "How am I supposed to go in there and tell her that she got hurt because I was too busy fucking another woman?!" she cries, more tears squeezing their way out of her eyes.

"Oh, Buffy…" Willow says softly, sympathetically. She releases her and takes her hand, pulling her into another room so they have more privacy. Willow closes the door behind them and Buffy wipes at the tears in her eyes furiously, a choked sob escaping.

"This is all my fault…" she whispers.

"You didn't know that this was going to happen," Willow tries, but Buffy isn't listening. All the guilt is eating at her; consuming her.

"I can't do this," she tells her, sitting heavily in a chair. She puts her head in her hands and groans. "God, I can't do this… I was supposed to tell her… but I… I…"

Willow crosses the room to sit next to her, putting a hand on her leg comfortingly. "Your date with Faith went well, then?" she asks softly.

"It was… perfect," Buffy says, sniffing before another tear falls down her cheek. God, even saying that makes her feel guilty. She shakes her head and says, "I need to tell Satsu but I… I can't do that to her, Will. Not right now… not when she's already hurt because of me…"

"I don't know what to tell you," Willow says, regrettably. She doesn't know what she would do in that situation either. "I'm sorry…"

"When's the right time to break someone's heart?" Buffy asks softly, looking at Willow like she needs her to have all the answers.

"I don't think there is a right time for that, Buffy. But you need to… maybe not today, not in the state Satsu is already in but you have to, you know that…"

"I know," Buffy says quietly. Her face masks of distress and anger and she puts her head in her hands again, her fingers outstretched like she's going a little crazy. "God, I am such a selfish bitch!"

"No, you're not. You just made a couple bad decisions, that's all."

"Yeah, decisions that have already hurt Satsu, are going to end up hurting her more and if Faith… if she finds out… God, it's gonna kill her too…"

"Maybe you should tell Faith, at least," Willow offers.

Buffy shakes her head and says frantically, "No, I can't do that. It's gonna screw up everything, I know it will. I have to break up with Satsu first but I just… I can't walk in there and break her heart right now. I just can't."

Willow doesn't say anything because she has no idea what the right thing to say is. Buffy sighs heavily, wiping away her tears before she stands up. "I need to go see her," she says softly. Willow nods.

Buffy swallows, feeling horrible. She turns to look at Willow, "You'll be around for a best friend hug and cry later, right?" she asks, trying to give her a small smile but it barely comes out.

Willow nods and Buffy wraps her arms into herself before turning towards the door. God, she doesn't know if she can do this; go in there and see all the damage that she caused Satsu. Everything about this is entirely her fault; her fault for being stupid, selfish, secretive… and it's eating her up inside.



Chapter Ten: A Little White Lie

Buffy isn't sure if she can do this.

She's standing outside the door to the infirmary, one hand on the door handle, trying to get up the courage to open it. But it's been a whole five minutes and yet she's still standing outside like a coward. She doesn't think she can go in there and see how banged up Satsu is without breaking down, blubbering like a fool, and then spilling her guts about the real reason she was gone. She's going to feel guilty, she already does feel guilty and she wants to be honest; best policy after all, right? But getting it off of her chest right now wouldn't do Satsu any good.

It would only do her good, make her feel better; it'd be selfish.

Satsu didn't deserve this. Buffy tried to tell her that everyone she gets involved with either gets hurt or killed, but she didn't listen. Just like she knows Faith won't listen even if she tried to tell her the same thing. But Faith understands her life; has been around for so much longer. Satsu is so young, so eager… such a good lover, and not even just in the bedroom department. She's caring, attentive, sweet… and she deserves someone who isn't going to use her.

And probably someone who isn't in—lust! Lust… with someone else too, because that isn't right.

When Satsu is better… she'll tell her. But only when she's better; when she can handle it.

Or maybe it's when Buffy can handle it, which definitely isn't now. Crap, she's back at the whole selfish thing. Should she tell her? She could sit here and weigh out the pros and cons but then she'd probably be here forever, and she's already looking like an idiot just standing here, waiting for her hand to get the memo that she needs to open the damn—

"Ah!" Buffy screeches in surprise at the door suddenly opening. If it wasn't for her Slayer reflexes it probably would have knocked her clean out, but she jumped away just in time as Krista emerged, looking at her with that strange smile on her face that creeps Buffy out to no end.

"Hello," she says in a wistful voice. "Have you come to receive healing?"

"Err… no," Buffy says, looking at her a little funny. There's something seriously off about this girl, though she was providing Buffy with a much needed distraction, which she was thankful for. "I was just… going to check on Satsu. Is she awake? Because if she's not I should probably just come back later…"

"She's singing," Krista says with a smile as she plays with her fingers like they're the most fascinating thing she's ever seen.

Is she on drugs? Maybe Buffy should start ordering mandatory drug tests; she does house a bunch of teenagers after all.

"Singing?" Buffy asks. Satsu doesn't sing… does she?

"Mmm… she's singing praise of life and love," Krista tells her, though seems a little lost in her own world. "The angels saved her."

Yes, drug tests are mandatory starting today.

"Right… I'm just gonna…" Buffy trails off, pointing at the infirmary rather awkwardly as she backs away from Krista. The girl just smiles at her before Buffy turns, walking into the room with her eyes a bit wide. Okay so, yeah… she's going to have to talk to Satsu about how well Krista did on patrol tonight because right now she's a little worried about crazy slayers and pointy objects.

But her thoughts shift quickly from crazy slayers to Satsu in a matter of a second once her brain seems to stop avoiding the reality of the situation. Taking to Satsu about Krista isn't even in the realm of her thoughts anymore as she looks around the infirmary and is reminded of how much she hates hospitals. It's not exactly a hospital per se, but there are still white walls, the obnoxious curtains that separate the beds… it's close enough.

She needs to talk to Xander about painting this room a happier color. Something that doesn't scream, "Hey, you might die in here!"

Buffy starts walking slowly down through the aisles of empty beds and the nurse on duty gives her a comforting smile and a brief head nod, motioning to around the corner. Buffy seems to be holding her breath as she rounds said corner and comes face to face with Satsu lying on the bed nearest to the back, eyes closed as she tries to get some much needed rest.

Buffy tries to stop it, but a little gasp escapes her lips as she looks at the younger slayer on the bed. Her hand comes up to her mouth just as Satsu's eyes open to look up at her, and Buffy feels herself breaking a little. Bruises litter the girl's tiny frame; dark, angry looking welts that are in different stages of coloring. Her arm is in a sling and a gash on her forehead looks like it just got stitched up. Buffy's fingers are trembling as she stares at her, no words able to be emitted as the guilt slaps her across the face, the sting from it flowing through her entire body.

"Hey," Satsu greets her with a small smile, her voice a bit hoarse.

Buffy swallows, walking over to her slowly. Her fingers are still trembling, her mouth still hanging open in horror at what her selfishness did. The worst part about it was that she knew that this wasn't the worst of it. All of the blood had been cleaned up, all of her wounds attended too. Buffy can't even imagine how she looked before this.

"Satsu… I am so sorry…" Buffy chokes out finally, tears welling up in her eyes. She tries to blink them back but one falls down her cheek slowly.

Satsu looks a little taken aback by Buffy crying – she knew Buffy cared, but she never thought enough to shed tears over her. She always goes on and on about how if you're going to fight a battle people are bound to get hurt. She's detached herself from it since becoming head of an army, and though she's sleeping with Satsu, the younger girl never thought it would hold much more baring than that.

"I'm fine," she tries to reassure her, but Buffy sniffs, wiping away another tear that fell down her cheek. "Really, Buffy, it's just a scratch. I'll be fine in a couple days."

"You could have died…" Buffy whispers, looking distraught. "I am so sorry… this is all my fault."

"Willow exaggerated, she freaked out a little when she saw me. Really Buffy, I'm okay… see?" Satsu says, then picks herself off the bed with her good arm to sit up completely. She winces a bit from her bruises, but otherwise tries to act completely normal for Buffy's sake. "And it's not your fault," she adds.

Buffy scoffs bitterly, "How can you say that? I was the one who was supposed to be out there! This wasn't your responsibility tonight! I should be the one lying in that bed, not you!"

"You wouldn't be in this bed because you would have never let a demon get the upper hand like I did," Satsu tells her pointedly. "The fault is entirely my own, Buffy. And if Krista hadn't have jumped in when she did—"

"Wait," Buffy says, looking surprised by that revelation of information. "Krista…? She killed the demon?"

Satsu nods. "Jumped in and sliced it's head off." Buffy looks surprised and then Satsu adds with an odd look on her face, "And then she insisted she bury it and give it a proper funeral to cleanse it's soul."

"It's a demon; it's soulless," Buffy says, confused.

Satsu shrugs, but then winces from moving her broken arm. "Yeah, well don't tell that to her. She thinks everything deserves to go to Heaven no matter their sins. I think she's insane, but she's an amazing swordsman and right now I owe her my life, so if she wants to give demons funerals then I'm inclined to let her."

Fair enough.

"You still… you still shouldn't have been out there," Buffy tells her, another wave of guilt passing through her.

"I would have been out there no matter what. I was originally supposed to be in your patrol group."

"Yeah but this wouldn't have happened if I was there!" Buffy bursts out; angry and upset, mostly at herself, a little at the rest of the world and a tiny bit at Faith for being so damn… Faith-like and irresistible.

"It isn't your job to protect me, Buffy. I'm a Slayer too… and I messed up. It won't happen again."

"It is my job to protect you, Satsu! It's my job to protect all of you!"

"You aren't our hero; you're our teacher," Satsu tells her, fire in her own eyes from Buffy burdening herself with a responsibility that she shouldn't bear. "We didn't come to you for protection, we came to be trained."

"It doesn't matter! The fact is that this happened because I stupidly thought I could be a normal person for once instead of being a Slayer!" Buffy exclaims loudly.

"You can be both."

"Yeah, because that's worked out so well for me in the past," Buffy scoffs bitterly. She shakes her head, sniffing back the rest of her tears before running her shaky fingers through her hair. Satsu reaches out to her and Buffy looks at her sadly before taking her hand, allowing the younger girl to guide her down to sit next to her on the bed.

"I'm fine, Buffy. I promise," Satsu tells her softly. "Don't beat yourself up because you wanted to have a night off. Accidents happen."

"But I should have—" Buffy starts, but is interrupted when Satsu's lips meet hers. More guilt hits her like a ton of bricks in the face but she reciprocates, knowing neither of them is ready for the conversation she needs to have with her.

When they break Satsu tells her, "I'll work harder; train harder. This won't happen again." Buffy just looks at her sadly and Satsu brushes a piece of blonde hair away from Buffy's face before cupping her cheek lightly; lovingly. Buffy's heart breaks in half.


Buffy jumps away from Satsu quickly at the sound of Faith's voice from around the corner, making Satsu gasp in pain from the sudden movement. Buffy looks guilty and mouths, "I'm sorry," just as Faith rounds the corner and spots them. She gives Buffy a little smile, almost shy… but Faith doesn't do shy, right? Before Buffy can contemplate too much on the matter though, Faith looks at Satsu.

"Sup, Yuri? Ya look more held together than I thought you would be with the way Red was freakin'."

Satsu shrugs lightly. "She exaggerated. I'll be fine."

Faith's eyes sweep over Satsu's form and takes her in; every cut, every bruise. The girl's tough, she can see that. She also can see that Willow did exaggerate a little, but not by much. If the chick didn't have Slayer healing, she probably wouldn't be conscious right now.

"You'll be kickin' ass again in about a week, probably," Faith says, nodding her agreement.

"Can't wait," Satsu says with a little smirk. "I still haven't been able to take you up on your offer of sparring."

Buffy does not like the mental picture that arises in her head at that. Faith and Satsu sparring is a bad idea. Faith would say things, Satsu would say things back… and then it'd turn into a fight for real. So, no. Buffy is nixing that plan.

Faith's eyes twinkle and she smirks back. "Better give yourself two weeks before you attempt that, Junior. No way ya could keep up at only half form."

"No one is sparring with anyone," Buffy says firmly. Both Satsu and Faith look at her, a little annoyed.

"Ya ain't the boss of me," Faith tells her.

"I can take Faith," Satsu objects.

"In your dreams, Yellow Ranger," Faith laughs, but it's playful. Buffy rolls her eyes.

"Did you seriously just call her the yellow Power Ranger? You need therapy."

"You'd be the pink one," Faith says, snickering. "All valley girl and shit."

"There's only two women so who would you be, one of the guy ones?" Satsu asks, amused by this conversation. It took her mind of her pain at least. Buffy laughs at that.

Faith scoffs. "Please, I'd be Zordon. I made you bitches," she brushes her shoulder off in the most ridiculous way that makes both girls snort and makes Buffy forget why the three of them in one room should be awkward… until Faith moves closer to Buffy, sticking her hand in her back pocket, "Besides, think he always had a thing for the pink one." She winks at Buffy whose eyes go wide and she backs away from Faith, coughing awkwardly.

"He's still a guy and wasn't he a floating head in a jar? You're still low in the points column for that," Buffy says, avoiding.

"It wasn't a fuckin' jar, B. Besides, he still made them all and therefore… I'm the shit," Faith says, trying not to let Buffy's strange behavior bother her. But then again, maybe Buffy isn't ready to jump around and wave rainbow flags about what happened. Shit takes some getting used to, she guesses.

Satsu watches both of their behavior curiously, wondering what exactly went on during their little outing. She knows she has no right to be jealous; Buffy isn't really hers after all, but didn't Faith say she was over Buffy? Maybe she's reading too much into it though.

Buffy seems to notice Satsu scrutinizing though so she gives her a small smile, trying to show her nothing weird is going on and then tells Faith, "We should go; let Satsu get some rest."

Faith shrugs, "Alright. Itchin' to do some trainin' anyway." She gives a head nod to Satsu. "You're cool?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Buffy's right; I should sleep. I'll heal faster that way."

Buffy gives Satsu a small smile and tells her, "I'll check on you later, okay?" Satsu nods.

When they leave the infirmary, Buffy turns to Faith and says, "We need to talk…" She needs to let Faith know that there cannot be any obvious sexual or romantic indications between them in public. She doesn't need the whole world knowing her business and even beyond that, she doesn't need Satsu knowing before she has a chance to tell her.

Faith cocks an eyebrow, keeping her cool demeanor, "Figured."

Buffy purses her lips together, nodding to the stairs. "Come up to my room?" Faith just shrugs, her signature indifference, but Buffy starts walking up to her room, knowing she'll follow. When they get there Buffy closes the door behind her and Faith sits down on her bed, leaning back on her elbows.


"Please don't take this the wrong way…" Buffy starts, walking over to her. Faith scoffs.

"Yeah, great way to start a sentence, B."

"No, I'm serious. Please let me finish before you start getting all moody and defensive, okay?" Buffy asks, sitting next to her on the bed. She takes one of Faith's hands in hers, lacing their fingers together and looking up at her with a look of pleading on her face. Faith sighs.


Buffy licks her lips a little nervously, knowing she's going to have to mention all the good before she starts on the bad; cushion the blow or something. But spilling her heart to Faith was easier done in the secluded place of their hotel room; here it's too… real. It makes her realize that everything that happened really did happen and wasn't a figment of her imagination. But she needs to tell her this so she puts on a smile and squeezes Faith's hand lightly.

"Last night was… completely amazing. Really, it was," she starts.

"But?" Faith interrupts.

"Faith, please… just let me finish okay?" Buffy asks, pleading and yet annoyed at the same time. Faith just grunts something in response, obviously trying to pretend like she has no feelings either way. Buffy's gotten better at seeing through the façade of her defenses though.

Buffy takes a breath and continues, "And I would… I'd really like if we could continue to do this; whatever this is. I mean, you make me feel…" she blushes a little as she admits, "more alive than I think I've ever felt in my entire life."

Faith blinks at her, stunned a little at that admission. Sure, Buffy had sex with her and sure, Faith's not stupid and knows that that obviously means more to Buffy than it would to, say, her. Well, alright, that ain't completely true. Sex with everyone else always meant nothing to Faith. Sex with Buffy… that fuckin' meant something. That meant a whole lotta something. But it's still kinda fucked that it would mean that much to Buffy too.

"It was pretty fuckin' hot," Faith admits with a smirk. Buffy rolls her eyes.

"Thank you, Mistress of Romance," she says dryly. Buffy chews on her lower a lip for a moment though, before she tells her, "But I… I guess I'm not ready for the whole world to know yet."

There's the ‘but' Faith was waiting for.

Buffy quickly tells her though, "It's not that I'm ashamed or scared, it's nothing like that, okay? But we're still trying to figure out what this," she points between them, "is, and I just don't want everyone else jumping in with their two cents before we can even figure it out ourselves. Do you understand?"

Faith lets out a breath and then shrugs. "Yeah, I get what you're sayin'. Guess I ain't lookin' for people to be all up in my business right now either."

Buffy smiles before leaning over to kiss her softly on the lips. Her eyes flutter shut and all the feelings that Faith gives her runs rampant through her body and she sighs in contentment before she breaks. "Thank you," she whispers against her lips.

"Hey, I get it. Findin' out you're a huge dyke has gotta freak ya out a little," Faith says with a smirk. Buffy rolls her eyes and lets go of Faith's hand to push her lightly.

"Shut up! I'm so not a dyke; they have crew cuts and ramble on about cars and other mechanical things that would completely ruin my manicure."

"B, ya haven't gotten your nails done in years," Faith points out, looking at Buffy's hands. Buffy makes a face and closes her hands into fists, hiding her imperfect nails from Faith's gaze.

"Hey, it's not my fault I have to wield battle axes and stuff. After so many broken nails you kind of get tired of trying," Buffy defends.

"Ya just got lazy," Faith teases.

"I did not!" Buffy exclaims, then pushes Faith a little harder and giggle as her back lands flat on the bed. Buffy climbs on top of her, "Take it back."

"Nah, still stickin' with you being a big huge bull dyke with chipped nail polish," Faith says chuckling as she looks up at her.

"If anyone's a bull dyke it's you with your leather pants and misogynistic attitude," Buffy tells her, smirking. Faith scoffs disbelievingly.

"I ain't misogynistic!"

"Oh yeah, what's your ‘get some, get gone' theory then?" Buffy counters.

"A lifestyle. Besides, I did that with men too, not just with chicks. If I'm a woman hating asshole then I'm a man hating asshole too."

"Or just an asshole," Buffy offers, but it's teasing and Faith knows it so she flips her off, smirking. Buffy smiles and rolls off of her to lay next to her on the bed, propping her head up with her hand as she looks down at her.

"Yeah well that shit's dead now. Stuck around till morning, didn't I?" Faith says.

"Yeah… you did," Buffy says softly, playing with the hem of Faith's shirt idly with a big, stupid grin on her face. She looks up at her and tells her, "I'm happy you stayed Faith."

"Yeah well, it was really for the breakfast food. Which by the way was great, since ya had to run off without eatin' it," Faith jokes. Buffy pinches her arm softly and Faith yelps, pushing her lightly. "Fuckin' abuser."

"Can't you say anything sweet to me?" Buffy asks, pouting a little.

"Like what? ‘Your hair's like the sun' or some other crap like that?" Faith asks. "Ya want a damn poem?" Buffy rolls her eyes.

"No. I mean about… your feelings; what made you happy… with us," Buffy says, feeling a little shy and lame that she's asking Faith about that. She knows Faith doesn't do sappy, but damnit if anyone's going to be the one to break her, it'll be Buffy.

Faith shrugs, feeling self conscious. She doesn't usually talk about stuff like this. "I dunno. I liked that thing with your tongue ya did last night," she says, wiggling her eyebrows. That earns her another smack on the arm.

"Faith, come on… just say one tiny little romantic thing to me and I promise I'll make it worth it."

Faith raises her eyebrows, smirking. "Oh yeah? How?"

"Whatever you want."

"Don't say that; that's playing in dangerous territory," Faith warns with a grin.

Buffy blushes but says calmly, "I think I can handle anything you throw at me."

"Even if I asked for a strip tease?" Faith teases, knowing it'll make Buffy embarrassed. Just as she thought, Buffy turns about ten shades of red and Faith snickers. "Face it B, ya can't win this game and you're not gonna turn me into a sap."

Buffy narrows her eyes. "Fine... fine. Be romantic for thirty seconds and I'll give you a thirty second strip tease."

"No deal. In thirty seconds all you've be able to take off is your shoes."

Buffy rolls her eyes. "Fine, be romantic for thirty seconds and I'll let you feel me up while before we have to go train the other Slayers in…" she looks over at the digital clock on the bedside table, "fifteen minutes." She knows the way to Faith's heart is through her pussy, so she's willing to compromise with sexual… situations.

Faith groans. "Fifteen minutes?" She was looking forward to training before, but now she's got Buffy in bed and that kinda takes precedence.

"Mhm. So get to the mushy," Buffy says, smiling excitedly.

"Ya know I could probably feel ya up anyway without havin' to admit sappy shit, right?" Faith asks with a raised eyebrow; a challenge. Buffy pouts.

"Come on." She knows she could, but she won't give Faith the satisfaction of knowing that. One kiss from Faith and she'd let her hands wander wherever she wanted them to go. However she would like to keep the illusion that she isn't a completely horny mess when around her, so she avoids.

Faith sighs in defeat, "Fine." If this is part of being in a… whatever they're doing… and it makes Buffy happy then she'll try. She chews on her bottom lip for a minute in silence before she looks back over at Buffy. "Alright, first, if I say this, you never repeat it to anyone under penalty of a severe ass beatin'."

Buffy's starting to get that any and all romance comes with a violence warning label attached.

"Deal," Buffy says, excited. The only time Faith ever said anything romantic to her was when they were drunk and she even had to drag it out of her then. But she knows from experience that it's worth it. So she smiles and waits for Faith to try to figure out a way to voice her feelings.

"This is gonna sound so fuckin' stupid," Faith mumbles, rolling her eyes at herself.

"Please?" Buffy asks softly, prodding her gently. Faith sighs.

"Fine. Okay. So this is wicked retarded but… I dunno." She takes a breath as she gathers her thoughts. "Virginity is supposed to be this big deal, right? Mine never was so I never really fuckin' got it I guess… until you." Buffy looks confused because she's not a virgin and Faith definitely isn't either, so she's not sure where she's going with this. But she's silent as Faith continues, "But… I guess I kinda like that ya lost your lesbian one with me. That, I dunno, ya trusted me enough to be your first time. Cause that seems like somethin' that'd be important to you."

Buffy's stomach drops to the floor.

"I know it's stupid as hell cause ‘lesbian virginity'; I dunno if that even counts, but yeah… there's your sappy moment: it made me happy." She rolls her eyes at herself again and then looks at Buffy who tries like hell to smile and act like everything's fine.

She leans down and kisses Faith softly before whispering, "I'm glad that it was with you, Faith…" She didn't know what else to do, what else to say besides lie. That's something that makes Faith happy and she's not going to take that away from her.

Besides, a little white lie never hurt anyone… right?



Chapter Eleven: An Unexpected Visitor

"Faith, I think maybe we should—"


"But, this isn't exactly—"

"Do ya want everyone to hear us?"

"No, but—oh fuck, okay… Faith… we… oh my god."

Buffy stopped protesting after that. After all, Faith's hand was in her underwear with her fingers teasing her clit in a way that already had her panting softly into the stillness of the night. Granted, this probably wasn't one of their better ideas, seeing as they were in the middle of a graveyard with a bunch of other Slayers wandering around looking for something to kill. Buffy said the word to split up and they did, though made sure to stay within yelling range of one another – hence Faith trying to shush her with pretty much little to no success.

"Bite on my shoulder," Faith whispers in her ear, hearing Buffy's panting become louder each passing second as the pleasure rises within her. Buffy whimpers, her fingers digging into Faith's back as the brunette presses her flat against the mausoleum and more into the shadows. Buffy bites down as instructed, but as Faith's fingers slide into her she emits a loud moan that's barely stifled by her mouth being gagged.

It's been like this for the last four days; them constantly having sex. Faith's leaving tomorrow and instead of talking about what's going to happen between them they've both been avoiding it by spending as much naked time together as they could. Well, Buffy's tried to bring it up, but it always ends with wandering hands in naughty places and well, that thought ends up going completely out the window.

Buffy also probably should have known better than to try to bring it up right after they just killed one big ass demon, seeing as she's known about Faith's H&H theory for years now, but time was running out. But once again; wandering hands in naughty places though and, well….

Buffy's pants are halfway down her thighs and the cold stone she's leaning against makes her shiver from being in direct contact with her bare skin. She can tell Faith's trying to be quick now, knowing that trying to keep Buffy quiet was like trying to make a cat in heat shut up; it just was never going to happen. Faith's fingers plunge in and out of her and Buffy shuts her eyes tightly closed as she rocks her hips almost violently against her, needing the release.

"Come for me… come all over my fuckin' fingers baby," Faith breathes into her ear and Buffy's clit twitches in response as her muscles clench around her fingers, pulling her in deeper. She cries out, the sound still being audible through her biting just as Faith's thumb finds her clit. It's over almost instantly after that; Buffy holding onto Faith like her life depended on it while she rides out her orgasm in the middle of the cemetery.

"Jesus," Buffy breathes out, but it's all she can breathe out before Faith's lips crash against hers, the brunette's breathing still ragged. Buffy knows she has to do this quickly so she tries to collect herself the best she can as her fingers flick open the buttons on Faith's pants, not even bothering to pull up her own. Faith pushes her pants down herself, panting into Buffy's mouth as she grabs her hand and pulls it between her legs, groaning softly against her lips at the blonde's touch.

"Jesus Faith, you're—" soaked.

"Fuck me, Buffy," Faith breathes before her lips fall to her neck, Buffy's fingering slipping through her folds and finding her hard nub, building her up as quickly as possible.

Faith's easy to fuck once you know how she operates, which Buffy is thankful she learned quickly. Faith is all about being taken hard, rough, and passionately. Her clit isn't super sensitive so Buffy has to put forth a lot more effort into it, but if she touches her in just the right way she can have Faith pop her cork almost instantaneously.

Buffy's fingers tangle in Faith's hair and she pulls just hard enough to make Faith emit a growl against the skin of her neck. Buffy can feel her hot bursts of breath tickling her ear and though Faith is able to be almost silent the entire time, she can feel she's getting close by how hard her grip is on Buffy's hip and the slight twitches of her hips.

"Well, this is new."

"Fuck," Faith gasps just as she comes, slamming her hand into the mausoleum wall just as a voice is heard behind her. Buffy seems to be frozen in place, looking past her in horror and Faith growls, unhappy at being interrupted even though she came. Which, let's be honest, whoever the fuck is behind her should be thankful for.

Faith's growl seems to snap Buffy out of her daze though and she jumps away from Faith, frantically pulling up her jeans as she exclaims, "Kennedy!"

Well, Faith wasn't expecting that.

Faith turns around just as she pulls up her pants, not at all caring that she's flashing Kennedy at this point. Kennedy does look down, cocking an eyebrow before she looks back up at her, that stupid little smirk on her face as Faith buttons them. "Sup, K? Thought you were supposed to be in New York," Faith asks casually, trying to hide her smile, though mostly for Buffy's sake. She might be annoyed that Kennedy interrupted shit, but she's the only person Faith's ever really been close enough to call a friend, so having her back was a good thing in her book.

Not in Buffy's though.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Buffy hisses at the same time as Faith's question, her face bright red at her embarrassment at being caught.

"Hi to you too Buffy, I'm fine by the way, thank you for asking," Kennedy says snidely, then looks at Faith since she was the one being civil. "And I was, but Willow asked me to come back. Vi's taking over top dog duties for the week while I'm gone."

"Wait, Willow asked you to come here?" Buffy asks, sounding surprised. Willow didn't mention this to her. Why wouldn't she mention something as important as that to her?

"That's what I said," Kennedy reiterates. Then she points between them, "You two do realize that there are about five other Slayers around her wandering like lost puppies while you two bang like bunnies in heat, right? Which, by the way…" she holds up her fist to Faith who smirks and bumps it. Buffy slaps Faith's arm in irritation. She is not going to watch Faith and Kennedy do their ‘guy' bonding thing in front of her, it's just annoying. And they're both women, so guy bonding is just… stupid. Damnit.

"They're fully capable of taking care of themselves," Buffy defends hastily, since she knows that neither Faith nor herself should have left them on their own, even if they are within yelling range. "They're Slayers, Kennedy. All of them."

"Yeah well, I had to help out two of them take out a couple of vamps, which I'm guessing you didn't know was going on," Kennedy says flatly. She leads her own team now and she knows what it's like to be a leader, and while screwing around in the graveyard is always bound to be a fun time, you don't leave your team to fend without you.

Buffy shoves Faith hard in irritation, even though she's mostly just irritated by the entire situation; the girls, Faith leaving, Kennedy, "I told you we shouldn't have done that!"

"Hey, watch you're fuckin' hands, B. The troops survived, didn't they?" Faith asks, annoyed at being shoved around.

"That's not the point!" Buffy bursts out. "You only did it to avoid talking to me anyway, which is complete crap and I'm sick of it! Whether you like it or not Faith we actually have to have a discussion before you leave tomorrow!"


"I'm going to go round up the girls; don't get into any trouble that I'm gonna have to bail your ass out of," Buffy snaps as she storms off around the corner, leaving Faith and Kennedy to just stare after her.

"You'd think an orgasm would mellow her out a little," Kennedy says, watching her go. Faith just sighs and runs her fingers through her hair. She does know it's her fault, that they shouldn't have been fuckin' around when on patrol but she just doesn't wanna have that inevitable conversation. Once they have that shit's like… final. All etched in stone and crap. She just ain't ready to decide what the hell she wants to do. She loves what she does; helping girls but… she doesn't wanna leave Buffy either.

So no, she hasn't made her decision.

"So when did this happen then?" Kennedy asks, starting to walk with Faith back towards their meeting point.

"Couple days ago," Faith tells her, not at all surprised by the question. She knows Kennedy enough to know she'd pry, but she'll back off once Faith needs her to, which is why they get along.

"Can't say I'm not surprised; you two have always had sexual tension that could be cut with a knife. Little surprised Buffy actually stepped foot out of that closet of hers though."

Faith doesn't say anything for a moment as they walk side by side, the night air still and cool around them. "How'd you find us?" Faith asks, avoiding the subject of Buffy.

"Giles told me where you guys were patrolling; he thought it'd be a good idea to check in."

"You see Red then?" Faith asks, looking over at her.

"No. Don't know if I'm really ready too. Figured killing a few things would help with that," Kennedy says, letting out a breath. She shrugs a little, "I don't know what she wants; the whole reason I got stationed in New York was so it'd make the break up easier. Now she's calling me down here?"

"And you came runnin'."

Kennedy gives her an irritated look, "I'm still in love with her, so yeah. Not sure if that makes me a complete idiot, but I'm here anyway."

"I'm fuckin' someone who was once my mortal enemy; think I got ya beat in the idiot department," Faith says with a smirk as she digs around in her jacket pocket for her smokes.

"Yeah but you've been in love with her since you were like what, sixteen?" Kennedy asks. Faith shoots her a look as she opens up her pack and slides one of her Marlboros out.

"Ain't in love with B," she avoids, placing it between her lips. "Just wanted to fuck her since like… fuckin' ever."

Yeah, Buffy's been the center of her world for as long as she can remember, but that doesn't mean it's love. If it was then all the shit she did when she was crazy is really a whole fuckin' lot worse if she did it to the woman she's in love with. That's forty five flavors of fucked up right there.

Kennedy snorts in disbelief, "You still tell yourself that?"

"Fuck off, Ken," Faith says as she flicks her lighter, making it spark and flame as she lights her cigarette. She puts the lighter back in her pocket as she takes a long drag.

"Touché," Kennedy says with a smirk, but drops it. They walk in silence for a little while before they start to see the outline of Buffy's group in the distance. "So you're leaving tomorrow?" Kennedy asks.

"S'posed to."

"Which means?"

Faith shrugs, taking another drag of her cigarette. "Dunno what I wanna do yet. Probably ask G to stay for another week to figure it out," she tells her, smoke curling from her lips, exhaling it as she talks. "I dunno…"

"Does he know about you and Buffy then?" Kennedy asks, figuring the reason for the extended stay was for none other than the blonde slayer herself.

"No. Really ain't lookin' for people to be all up in my business," Faith tells her, then looks at her pointedly.

"Hint taken; don't say a word, got it," Kennedy says, then stops walking as soon as Faith does, which is what she can only assume is a safe distance out of Buffy's ear shot. "But what are you going to tell Giles?"

Faith shrugs as she leans against a gravestone, looking across the way at Buffy. "Whatever comes to mind first."

"So you're serious then... about this?" Kennedy asks, then gives a low whistle. "Gotta say, I'm a little impressed, Faith."

"It ain't like how it seems," Faith says, taking another pull from her cigarette before flicking it off into the distance. It's exactly as it seems, but she ain't about to admit to it yet. Pussy whipped, ball and chain, whatever the fuck ya wanna call it; Faith knows Buffy's the one that's gonna turn her whole fuckin' world upside down.

It kind of terrifies her, which is the reason for the indecision.


"No. I'm just… figurin' out what the fuck's goin' on. Same reason ya came back here when Red asked," Faith says pointedly, though she's still looking at Buffy across the way, who was now making her way over to them with five other girls in tow behind her.

"Point taken," Kennedy says, then looks over to see Buffy walk up to them.

"We should head back," Buffy says to Faith, making a point to ignore Kennedy. She knows that she was once her best friend's girlfriend, but she can't help it that her mere presence irritates her all to hell. She always questions her judgment and undermines her authority in front of the other girls and she's pretty sure this visit will be no different.

"Lead the way," Faith says, pushing herself off the gravestone to stand up. Buffy gives her a look she can't decipher and then flickers her eyes over to Kennedy before pushing past them and leading the troops out of the graveyard.

Kennedy looks at her with an eyebrow raised and whispers, "I'd guess PMS, but..."

"Shut up, Ken."

"Hey G, ya got a minute?" Faith asks, leaning against the threshold of the library doors. Giles looks up from his book and removes his glasses rubbing the tiredness out of his eyes.

"Of course," he responds, blinking a bit before replacing the glasses back on his nose. "Come in."

Faith looks at him as she walks into the room. "When's the last time ya slept?" she asks him, watching him try to stifle a yawn. She flops down on one of the big armchairs and revises, "Actually scratch that; are ya doin' the whole obsessive research thing cause the world's about to end again? Cause seriously, the PTB better quit with this shit for a bit."

"As far as I'm aware, the world is not ending," Giles says with a little amused smile. "I've just been catching up on a bit of light reading while we're here. After all, when we're on the road I can hardly carry a library in my back pocket."

Faith raises an eyebrow at the big book he was just leafing through. "Light readin', huh?" she asks skeptically. She shakes her head, knowing better that to even get into Giles and his geek parade. "Actually though… wanted to talk to ya about that; leavin'."


"Yeah, uh, unless Red found us some dires I kinda wanted to see if we could stick around for another week or whatever," Faith says, trying to act casual but she know she's avoiding his gaze. Giles looks at her curiously.

"May I ask what prompted this? Usually you're already packed and ready to leave two days into your visit."

"Just thought maybe the other girls aren't so ready for me to leave. Ya heard that Jenna knocked Angela clean out in that… Anger Management or whatever they got here, right? Girl won't listen to anyone else but me for some reason and she almost took a chunk outta B two days ago when she tried to ‘enforce her authority', or whatever," Faith waves her hand absentmindedly still without looking at him fully.

"Weren't you under the impression it would be Krista that would have the most problem with your absence?" Giles asks, surprised.

"Yeah well, surprisingly enough she's actually fittin' in here. Well, kinda. Everyone thinks she's fucked in the head, which she might be. Even Mariah's doin' okay, Red told me yesterday she's got someone teachin' her sign language so she can communicate outside of just throwin' me the finger."

"Faith," Giles says seriously, looking at her. Faith finally lets her eyes meet his as he tells her, "You and I both know that Jenna will be fine. You're an excellent Slayer, but you've always been a horrible liar. If you don't wish to indulge your real reasons as to wanting to stay longer, that's alright with me. As it so happens, Willow has only located a few minor incidents, but nothing that requires our immediate attention. If you wish to stay another week then it's fine by me as long as nothing comes up."

Faith nods, pressing her lips together tightly. Alright, well she should have expected that; Giles has always been able to tell when she's pulling a load of crap outta her ass. "Thanks," she says before giving him a small smile.

"Faith?" Both Giles and Faith look up and see Buffy standing in the doorway, looking all Slayer. "Can I talk to you for a minute?"

"Duty calls," Faith says, smirking as she gets up. She gives Giles another appreciative smile before turning and following Buffy out of the room. When they get far enough Faith asks, "Jeez B, what's with the serious? Ya look like your dog just died."

Buffy grabs her hand and opens the door to the basement, leading her down to her private gym. But the door is barely closed behind them when Buffy's arms are wrapped around Faith's neck and she kisses her passionately. Faith has to hold onto the wall before they both go tumbling down the stairs and when Buffy breaks she says a little breathlessly, "Damn B, ya didn't think to wait till we got down the stairs at least? We coulda busted our heads open."

"I heard what you said," Buffy says with a smile. "You're really going to stay for another week?"

"Ya know eavesdroppin' is rude," Faith tells her with a smirk, starting to walk down the stairs. Buffy follows her.

"I wasn't eavesdropping! I just… happened to walk by when you were talking to Giles and I just happened to overhear you," Buffy defends. She grabs Faith's hand when they reach the bottom of the stairs and laces their fingers together before pulling her over to the bench to sit.

Faith snorts, "Yeah, right." She sits down next to Buffy and tells her, "But it ain't like I'm just gonna up and leave on ya. We still got shit to figure out."

"Which would probably involve more talking and less sex," Buffy points out, but she's blushing a little as her mind wanders back to the graveyard not an hour before and Faith smirks at her.

"Yeah well, ya know me; screw first and ask questions later."

Buffy is silent for a moment as she dusts her thumb over the back of Faith's hand, looking down at them entwined together. "I'm glad you're staying, Faith. And I'm sorry… about before. I didn't mean to snap at you like that."

"S'Cool, I get it. Ken's always rubbed ya the wrong way. Gettin' caught with your pants down in front of her musta sucked," Faith says, but smirks a little in remembrance. Buffy groans a little, burying her head in the crook of Faith's neck.

"God, that was so embarrassing!"

Faith chuckles softly, "Coulda been worse."

"How, exactly?" Buffy mumbles against her neck.

"Coulda been all the Slayers gettin' an eyeful ‘stead of just one," Faith tells her. Buffy groans again softly and shakes her head.

"That would have been a nightmare. I have an image to uphold."

"As a stuck up tight ass with no sense of fun?" Faith jokes, "Or the fearless leader who never gets laid?"

Buffy pinches Faith's arm, making the brunette jump and flash her an annoyed glare. "None of the above, asshole," Buffy says, but is giggling a little. She lets out a breath and leans against the wall, looking across the room. She shrugs, "Well, I guess maybe partly. I don't need them seeing me when I'm vulnerable."

Faith looks at her confused and Buffy rolls her head against the wall as she turns to look at her. She gives her a small smile, "You, I mean. You've always made me weak, Faith… at the same time you've made me stronger." So that might be a bit sappy, but Buffy meant it.

"Ya know that doesn't make sense, right?"

"Yes it does, and you know it," Buffy tells her, pushing herself up from leaning against the wall and turning around to face her. She sits up a little so she can swing one of her legs over Faith's, straddling her. Faith cocks an eyebrow at her and Buffy plays with the hem of the brunette's shirt as she tells her, "I know I'm your weakness too, otherwise you'd be leaving tomorrow. You'd have left the night we had first had sex."

"Cocky, aren't ya?" Faith retorts lightly, but she looks at Buffy and knows it's true, there's no point in denying it.

"Not cocky, just right," Buffy tells her, sliding her arms around her waist as she leans her head on her shoulder. When Faith wraps her arms around her she whispers softly, "It's always been different with us, Faith. You know it has. We contradict and complement each other at the same time."

Faith lets out a small breath. "Yeah…" She runs her hands up Buffy's back, who sits up to look at her before her lips touch hers tentatively. They kiss slow and soft, something they haven't really done. It's always been wild and passionate between them, but this was different. Faith could feel the emotion coming from Buffy with each breath and it scared her a little with the intensity of it. But Faith has spent her whole life running so she doesn't break the contact, knowing this is one of those moments that are almost like a test.

Buffy's the one that pulls away first, her eyes searching Faith's before she purses her lips together and smiles a little shyly. "It's getting late; we should probably get to bed. I need to check on Satsu; hopefully she'll be getting out of the infirmary tomorrow." Faith nods as Buffy starts to climb off of her.

"S'Cool. I'm beat like hell anyway."

"And we have to train the girls bright and early," Buffy says with fake chipperness before she makes a face of distaste. Faith smirks.

"Yeah well, we're the teachers. We can just sit there and dictate."

Buffy laughs a little, "You're so lazy."

"Just pointin' out the upside."

Buffy smiles and leans in to give her another lingering kiss. "Goodnight Faith," she whispers against her lips before she pulls away, starting to walk up the stairs.

"Night B."



Chapter Twelve: The Pain She Causes

The sun is shining through the window, the birds chirping outside like the world really is one big happy place. Buffy can hear children outside playing and laughing, but only faintly; distantly. The white sheets are cool against her skin, but the rest of her is warmed from Faith's body which is tangled half on top of hers; holding her. It's too perfect, too serene to be real. Her eyes flicker up to look at Faith who smiles softly at her, running her fingers gently through her hair. It's a smile full of nothing but love and contentment, when so often Buffy sees pain behind Faith's eyes even when she's happy.

"The knight returned to the castle," Faith tells her softly, tracing Buffy's jaw line with her fingertips. "She will earn the Queen's favor."

"The King doesn't approve," Buffy says, a little betrayal shining behind her eyes.

Faith chuckles, "The King never does."

Buffy sighs and rolls over, taking Faith's hand with her and drawing it to her chest, having Faith spoon her from behind. She stares at the far wall as she whispers, "The time draws closer."

Faith kisses her shoulder softly, "The Queen will fall. The King's battle plans will come to pass." She brushes some of Buffy's hair away from her neck gently.

Buffy looks over her shoulder quickly before moving a little away from her, letting go of her hand. "It is not the King's wishes!" she defends harshly.

Faith looks at her a little sadly, "But it is with the King's hand that the solider moves; manipulated like a pawn."

"The King will not order it."

"The King already has." Buffy doesn't say anything; she just looks at her like she needs an explanation, so Faith gives her one. "The blows that strike the Queen have been delivered without the soldiers knowledge; she is being used," Faith tells her seriously. She reaches out and takes Buffy's hand in hers. She brings it to her lips and kisses it softly, "What comes to pass is the King's doing… and then the solider will follow her no longer."

"Neither will the Queen," Buffy whispers sadly. She feels a tear fall from her eye and she regrettably goes on, "I will be the one to deliver the final blow, not my soldier…"

Faith gives her a sad smile before leaning up and capturing Buffy's lips in hers in a soft kiss. Buffy reaches out to her desperately, needing for it to not be true; needing to somehow make it better. Faith presses her hips hard against her, her tongue seeking out more contact within in Buffy's mouth. But when Faith breaks suddenly, she whispers against her lips in a voice filled with anger and hate, "You will
destroy me."

Buffy pushes Faith away in shock and when she looks at her all the rage and pain is written across the brunette's face. It frightens Buffy and she tries to move away, but Faith lunges, looking like she's going to rip Buffy's head from her body. She braces herself for the impact, eyes wide in terror… but it never comes.

Buffy gasps hard as she sits straight up in bed, waking from her dream. Her heart is pounding a million miles an hour and her hands are shaking as she pushes the covers off her body. Her brain seems to be going too fast for her to really comprehend anything, but all she knows is that she needs to see Faith now.

Her feet carry her quickly out of her bedroom and down the hall to Faith's room. She pounds on the door frantically and when she hears Faith swear inside she takes that as an invitation. She opens the door and asks, "Faith?"

"What? For fuck's sake, B, I'm tryin' to sleep," Faith groans sleepily, pulling the covers over her head.

Well, Faith in the morning isn't always the most pleasant thing in the world, obviously.

"Faith, did you have the—"

"Of course I fuckin' did, but I'm too goddamn tired right now so get the fuck out," Faith snaps from underneath the covers, already knowing why Buffy chose to burst through the door at this unreasonable freakin' hour. The dream also got her pissed like hell at Buffy and even though she doesn't know why she still can't help but let it come out.

"But don't you think we should—" Buffy tries, but is interrupted once again.

"Fuck off, Buffy! Ya wanna talk about this shit so bad you're gonna have to wait till the morning!"

Buffy looks at her like she's just been struck. Faith's been so sweet to her lately that this bitchy version is actually hurting her. Her bottom lip trembles a little, and maybe she's just too emotional because of having a bad night's sleep but she lashes out angrily instead, "It is morning, you lazy asshole! We have to train the girls in an hour so guess what; rise and fucking shine, Faith."

Faith flips her off before Buffy backs out of the brunette's room, slamming the door behind her so hard the wall actually shakes. She doesn't deserve this! The dream messed with her too but that doesn't give her the right to be bitchy about it! She furiously wipes away the fallen tear and glares at Faith's door like that's the cause of this morning's unpleasantness.


Buffy turns to see Willow peeking her head out her door, looking at her curiously. "Is everything alright?" she asks, seeing Buffy's distressed look and already having heard the yelling.

"Just great!" Buffy exclaims sarcastically, throwing her hands into the air. "I get shit for sleep, get shit from Faith, and why didn't you ever let me know that Kennedy was coming?"

Willow blinks after Buffy's little outburst. The two stare at each other for a moment before Willow suggests lightly, "Coffee?"

"Yes, please," Buffy groans, covering her face with her hands. Willow gives her a sympathetic smile before tightening her robe around her. She starts walking down the stairs to the kitchen, Buffy following her with heavy, dejected footsteps. She really hated that she shared that kind of dream with Faith and instead of being able to talk about it; Faith decides it'd just be better to scream at her. Weren't they past all the yelling and drama?

Obviously not.

Willow goes over to the coffee pot and pours them both a cup. Buffy slides onto one of the stools and puts her head in her hands, watching her. When Willow gives her a mug and slides onto the stool next to her she tells her softly, "I didn't tell you because you've been going through a lot of stuff with your own love life. The last thing I thought you needed was me coming to you asking for advice."

Buffy looks over at her, "Willow, you're my friend; friends talk about that sort of stuff. It doesn't matter if the world is ending; you can still talk to me."

Willow shrugs lightly and takes a sip of her coffee. Buffy fiddles with the spoon in hers, stirring it counterclockwise as she stares down into it. "So…" she draws out slowly before glancing back up at her, "So you asked her to come back?"

"Yeah," Willow says, looking a little confused. "I don't know, Buffy. I've just been thinking about her a lot; probably more than someone should after they break up."

"What's the acceptable amount of thinking time allowed?" Buffy asks with a smirk.

Willow laughs a little, "I don't know, but probably all the time isn't acceptable in the realm of… acceptableness." She sighs a little and takes another sip of coffee and Buffy waits for her to go on. When Willow puts her mug back down she tells her, "I think we gave up too fast."

"Maybe," Buffy agrees, shrugging a bit. "I mean, you still love her, don't you?"

Willow smiles a little, "Yeah, I still do…"

Buffy returns her smile, even though her heart still hurts from the dream and all her mind is doing is screaming FAITHFATHFAITH over and over. "Then you owe it to yourself to see if it can work this time around."

"Thanks, Buffy," Willow says, and slides her hand over the one that's resting on the counter, holding it. "Now tell me what's going on with Faith," she says with a little twinkle of amusement in her eye because she can practically read Buffy's mind just by the look on her face.

Buffy sighs heavily, "We just… had a really screwed up Slayer dream and instead of talking about it she screamed at me, swore at me, and kicked me out of her room."

"Faith isn't a morning person," Willow tells her seriously because come on; everyone knows that. One of the Slayers tried to wake her up the last time she was here and ended up getting thrown into a wall. Faith said it was on accident, that she "sleep fights" or something, but Willow isn't quite sure she believes her.

"It's more than that… I think that dream, it…" Buffy trails off, sighing again. She looks down at her still untouched mug of coffee and falls silent. She doesn't know if she wants to tell Willow what she thinks it means.

"What happened in the dream?" Willow asks.


"Buffy, it had to have been something."

Buffy chews on her bottom lip a little before she admits in a soft voice, "I think I'm going to hurt her, Will…" Even as she says it she knows it's true; it's just a feeling that's creeping up inside of her and making her feel sick.

"Buffy…" Willow says sympathetically, sighing a little. She squeezes Buffy's hand that she's holding a little and tells her, "I think you need to break things off with Satsu. You can't keep putting it off; the guilt is eating you alive."

"I know," Buffy whispers, looking down. "I just don't want to hurt her…"

"And you should tell Faith the truth," Willow goes on, looking at her expectantly. Buffy's eyes shoot up to look at her.

"No… no, I can't do that. Will, she'll…" she groans, "God I don't even want to think about what she'll do. Do you know what she told me?"

"What?" Willow asks, looking at Buffy's face mask with distress.

"She… she told me she was happy that…" she sighs heavily and covers her face with her hands as she admits, "that she was my first…" she shakes her head and clarifies, "girl, anyway. She said it meant something… and I just…" Buffy can feel her eyes start to well up with tears, the guilt washing over her like a tidal wave. She bites her lip hard, trying to stop the tears from falling.

"Oh, Buffy…" Willow says sympathetically.

"I can't ruin that, Willow. I just can't," Buffy says, her voice cracking a bit from the emotional strain. She takes a shaky breath, trying to calm herself down. She isn't going to cry this early in the morning. She has to train the girls, she has to… fuck, she has to break up with Satsu…

Buffy takes another deep breath, continuing to focus on keeping herself together. She is not an emotional wreck; she is the Slayer and she needs to start acting like one. She needs to be able to deal with her personal life like an adult and stop screwing things up because of her own fears.

She wants Faith; she needs Faith. She needs to stop being an idiot and making things complicated by lying and hiding things.

Buffy gives Willow a small smile before she stands up, "I need to go see Satsu," she tells her softly. Willow nods in understanding and Buffy turns to leave. But she's halfway to Satsu's room before Faith comes out of her own, stopping dead as she looks at Buffy. Buffy stops too, her breath catching in her throat; she doesn't exactly know what to expect after their little confrontation.

"Hey," Faith says softly, hand still on the doorknob; frozen, not knowing what to expect from Buffy either.


Now that Faith's fully awake, she feels a little bad for snapping at Buffy like that. She finally takes her hand off the doorknob and instead runs it through her hair a little self consciously, "Look B, I didn't mean to—"

"It's okay," Buffy says quickly, just glad that they aren't about to have another fight. She's still a little pissed about it, but after all she's doing she knows she has no right to be. Faith looks at her skeptically.

"Yeah? Cause I was kinda bein' a cunt."

"Don't use that word," Buffy scolds her in distaste. She walks over to her slowly and takes her hand, lacing their fingers together. She looks down at them; Faith's lightly mocha colored skin against her own pale white. "The dream messed with both of us; I get it. And… maybe we should talk about it. Later, obviously, since we have a class soon…"

Faith takes a breath and leans against her door, looking at Buffy, who finally looks up from their linked hands. "Fine," she says, but she doesn't sound too fine about the entire matter. The little warning voice in the back of her head keeps screaming at her to get away from Buffy before she hurts her.

But then again, she never listened to that voice.

"Faith," Buffy says, keeping a hold on her hand as she tries to pull away. "I swear I would never hurt you on purpose."

"It's whatever, B," Faith says, avoiding, like always. "Don't really wanna make a thing outta it; it's a dream. Don't always mean shit." Buffy sighs heavily at that and pulls her even closer to her so that they're toe to toe.

Buffy looks at her seriously, her face inches from Faith as she lifts her hand to stroke her face softly. "I swear I would never hurt you on purpose," she tells her again, annunciating each word. Her eyes search hers, trying to get that message across.

Faith stares back, like trying to see if she's being honest, and seems to come to conclusion that she is because she leans in and whispers, "Okay," before her lips meet Buffy's in a soft kiss. Buffy's wraps her arms around Faith's neck and is about to let her eyes flutter closed to dive into the feeling, but she catches movement out of the corner of her eye; Satsu coming out of her room.

The younger slayer took one glance at the two of them and Buffy's broke the kiss, eyes widening a little. But Satsu just turns on her heel and goes back into her room, slamming the door so hard the noise echoes through the hall. Faith turns around, startled and confused, "What the fuck was that?"

Buffy's stomach drops to the floor and she tries to give Faith a reassuring smile despite her nervousness, thanking the Powers That Be that Faith didn't actually see Satsu. "I don't know, let me go deal with it; probably one of the girls. Why don't you go get some breakfast before we train and then we can talk after, okay?"

Faith shrugs, not at all inclined to deal with mini-Slayer drama this early; that's Buffy's territory. "Whatever, long as I don't gotta deal with it."

Buffy leans up to give her a peck on the lips, "Okay, I'll see you in like a half an hour."

Buffy waits until she see's Faith disappear down the hall and she can hear her footsteps descending the stairs before she takes a deep breath, looking over at Satsu's door. Well, she was planning on doing this anyway so it's now or never. That was not her ideal scenario but hopefully she can repair the damage before everything completely falls to pieces.

Fuck, that really is a horrible way for her to find out…

Her feet carry her slowly over to Satsu's door and she hesitantly knocks on it. No answer. "Satsu?" she asks quietly. When she doesn't get a response she grasps the doorknob, her heart pounding in her chest as she opens it. Satsu is just standing there, arms across her chest, looking hurt and furious at the same time. "Satsu…" she tries softly, sympathetically, but she's interrupted.

"Kono ama!" she exclaims, pointing at her. "When were you going to tell me?"

Buffy's pretty sure she doesn't want to know what she just called her in Japanese. "Satsu…" she tries again; taking a step into the room towards her, but Satsu takes one back defiantly. "I'm sorry; I swear I was going to tell you today. I didn't want you to find out like that…"

Satsu's eyes are filled with the pain of a broken heart and it makes Buffy feel horrible. Her voice shakes a little as she tells her, "I thought more of you, Buffy. I know I was never yours, not truly, but it's fucked up that you let me continue to believe in your interest for me when obviously it hasn't been that way for a long time."

"No, Satsu, it's not like that. This thing with Faith… it's recent. I didn't—"

"Urusei!" Satsu exclaims loudly, and her tone makes Buffy fall silent. "I'm not stupid, Buffy! Don't insult me by pretending that your heart hasn't always belonged to her. And that hurts, but that's not why I'm angry with you right now!"

"Then…?" Buffy tries, but she can't seem to get much of a word in edgewise right now.

"Because you used me! You lied to me and I'm guessing you lied to her as well! Baka yariman, do you ever see past your own desires?! You live your love life the way you live in battle; you do anything to get what you want and make no apologies because of your damn pride, and you never stop to notice the people who get hurt in your wake because you believe you have to always see the bigger picture. But the problem is that your bigger picture is always formed to your desires; you're selfish!"

"I never used you!" Buffy tries to protest, but once again she's cut off before she can finish defending herself.

"Well I feel like some kind of practice run for you!" Satsu exclaims, her eyes flashing. Buffy's jaw drops a little.

"No! Satsu, that's wasn't what that was! I was with you because of you, not as some kind of test run for Faith. How can you think that?"

"How can I not?! You sneak into my room in the dead of night, take what you want and then you leave. You pay me no affections outside of the bedroom, you show me no loyalty, and yet the second Faith comes around you're so comfortable with what you have now that you let her kiss you in the middle of the hallway? How else am I supposed to feel about that, Buffy? Tell me!" Satsu yells furiously.

"What do you want me to say?!" Buffy exclaims, a bit desperately. She doesn't know how to answer that! She can't just be like ‘because she's Faith,' just because she doesn't know any other reason. It seems to be her reason for everything, after all. "I'm sorry, alright? The last thing I wanted to do was hurt you!"

"Well – and feel free to take all the offense to this as you want – you really fucking suck at it," Satsu tells her, jaw clenched. "You could have just been honest with me when you started to feel things for her! I would have been upset but I would have understood. Instead you lie to me, make love to me, take care of me when I'm injured all while fucking Faith behind my back. That's insulting!"

Buffy could lie and say she isn't fucking Faith, but lies haven't been getting her anywhere good this past week so she doesn't deny it. "I'm sorry…" she says softly, eyes brimming with tears at how horrible she feels. "I'm sorry, Satsu… you don't deserve this."

"No, I don't," she tells her firmly, her own voice shaking again. Buffy watches the girl start to break in front of her, one single tear falling down her cheek. "I love you, Buffy. All I ever wanted was to see you happy, and if that didn't include me then I was fine with that. But for you to lie like that..."

Buffy walks over to her slowly, "Satsu…" Satsu stands her ground this time, allowing Buffy to come closer. But she stops in front of her once Satsu starts to speak again.

"That night that you two went out, the night I got hurt… was that a date?" she asks softly.

Buffy's heart clenches in her chest, but she doesn't lie. "Yes…" she whispers. Satsu scoffs, another tear falling down her cheek before she pushes Buffy away and sits on her bed heavily.

"So when you came back, when you saw me in the infirmary, you weren't there out of compassion, were you? You didn't care; you only took care of me because of your own guilt!" she accuses loudly.

"I do care about you!" Buffy protests, quickly crossing the distance to sit next to her on the bed. She puts a hand on Satsu's thigh and looks her in the eyes and tells her, "Of course I care about you, Satsu. Don't ever tell me that I don't. I might have not have ever loved you in the same way that you do me, but that doesn't mean I don't care."

Satsu says nothing; she just stares at her, angry tears falling from her eyes. Buffy feels one of her own falling and she lifts up her hand cautiously before she wipes away one of them from Satsu's cheek. "Satsu… please believe me when I say I care about you. You are sweet, attentive, loving… and I will always hold a special place in my heart for you." She sniffs as she watches another tear roll down Satsu's cheek and she leans in and kisses her forehead. "I never meant to hurt you…"

When Buffy pulls away Satsu leans up and captures her lips with hers, her tears splashing against Buffy's cheeks. Buffy kisses her back softly, another tear falling from her eyes as well. It was a goodbye and both of them knew it. Satsu grabs her shirt, pulling her closer as a sob releases from her lips at her own desperation. Buffy strokes her cheek and kisses her back deeper, trying to convey a thank you for her being there for her when she needed someone. The kiss meant so much and yet was so final and when they pull apart Satsu breaks down and sobs as Buffy wraps her in her arms.

"Shhh…" she tries to console her, her own cheeks wet from crying now. She strokes her hair and kisses the top of her head as Satsu buries her face in the crook of her neck. "I'm sorry… I'm so sorry…" she whispers.

And as the two of them hold onto each other during the final moments in their relationship, they both are unaware of the figure watching them from the doorway, who slips away quietly, not sure what exactly they just witnessed.

But they knew it wasn't anything good.



Chapter Thirteen: Faith Finds Out

Faith lay back on the benches, one foot propped up as she looks at the sky. Bringing the cigarette between her fingers to her lips she takes a good long pull, knowing she's gonna need the nicotine to be able to survive this training session. For one, it's too damn early; who the fuck thought it'd be a good idea to train at seven in the morning? For two, while Buffy can stand there and tell her she'd never hurt her, the fact of the matter is that's what Buffy's good at.

Faith's always blamed herself for the pain that Buffy causes her, knowing it's because of who she was or what she'd done. But she's been on the straight and narrow for a while now, and even though Buffy's been good at hurting her by drudging up past shit; she's got this nagging feeling that that's not what the dream was talking about. Besides, hurting her and destroying her; major fuckin' difference.

But maybe a part of her already knew Buffy would be the one to destroy her in the end and that's why she's not as freaked as her blonde counterpart. Buffy's always owned her completely and with that type of power it's easy to destroy someone. Faith fought like hell to keep it away from her once, but she's since given up on that front. She just found it really fuckin' pointless to try to fight something that's clearly inevitable.

Besides; love is about pain, right?

Faith chokes on the smoke she just inhaled, coughing as she sits up after she just had that thought. Love? Where the fuck did that come from? She coughs a couple more times, her hand to her chest as she throws the cigarette to the ground. Fuck all of that; she is not in love. She is not fuckin' in… fuck.

This can't be good.

"You're like a walking ‘Truth' billboard," Kennedy says with a smirk as she climbs up the bleachers two at a time. Faith flips her off during her coughing fit.

Kennedy flops down on the bench next to her and slaps her back hard, making Faith cough one more time before hitting her thigh in annoyance. "Fuck, Ken!"

"Just trying to help," Kennedy says with that shit eating grin of hers. Faith rolls her eyes, the coughing finally subsided. She groans a little though, leaning back on her elbows against the bleacher seats a row up. Fuck. Love.

She can't be in love. Faith Lehane doesn't do love; maybe infatuation, but not love.

Or obsession; she'll take obsession over love at this point too. Fuck… LOVE? Hell no. But if she's so sure it's not love then why the fuck is she trying to justify it in her head?

"What's eating you?" Kennedy asks, looking over at Faith's pensive look. Faith's eyes flicker over to look at her and she shrugs.

"Nothin'. Just… thinkin'."

"About Buffy?" Kennedy asks, like she's afraid of that answer. Her tone makes Faith arc an eyebrow.

"Somethin' ya wanna share with the rest of the class, Ken?"

Kennedy wrings her hands together a little. "Look, it's probably none of my business…" she starts.

"Well that's probably true," Faith says with a smirk, but Kennedy shoots her a glare.

"Faith, I'm not one to start stuff…" Faith scoffs in disbelief and Kennedy revises, "Okay, maybe I am. But you're my friend, and I don't know if you know everything that's going on, and hell I probably don't either, but I know what I saw and I don't want you to get hurt."

"What the fuck are ya talkin' about?" Faith asks, looking at her like she better start making some sense and quick. She's starting to make her nervous and Faith really doesn't like that feeling, especially after the dream she shared with Buffy last night.

"Hey," Kennedy says, holding up her hand to Faith, wary of her tone. "Don't start getting all ‘Angry Slayer' on me. I'm sure Buffy's already told you anyway. She's all Ms. Righteous and Truthful," she mocks the words a little.

"Tell me what exactly?" Faith asks, her patience starting to border on nonexistent. "Ken, don't fuck around."

"Satsu—" Kennedy starts, but is interrupted.


Both slayers turn to look down at Buffy at the foot of the bleachers. She calls up to them, "Can you give me a hand with these mats, please?" She looks frustrated as she pushes the blonde hair out of her face and kind of kicks at the pile of mats in front of her that she's been trying to drag by herself. Strong or not, there are a lot of them for one person to carry. But Faith doesn't give half a crap about the mats, she's just staring at her, jaw tightening.

"What about Satsu?" Faith asks in a low voice, eyes locked with Buffy's. A horrible feeling starts to creep up from the pit of her stomach as her mind automatically goes to the worst possible scenarios. Pessimistic maybe, but she knows better than to be optimistic and then have the rug taken out from under her.

And it gets worse when Kennedy doesn't say anything, realizing that Faith obviously doesn't know. A part of her wants to tell her; thinks that Faith deserves to know, but another part... that one's telling her that if she does in another two minutes there's gonna be a full on brawl.

But Buffy is obviously a cheating fucking bitch and Faith doesn't deserve that, so Kennedy tells her quietly, eyes glancing at Buffy, "Buffy just broke up with Satsu twenty minutes ago."

She might have broken up with her, but she still lied. Once a liar, always a liar in Kennedy's book.

"Faith!" Buffy calls, irritated at being ignored. "A little help would be nice, please?"

Faith's hand that's resting on the bleacher seat tightens its grip and the metal bends under the force. But she laughs a little, like it's absurd, because it is, right? "You gotta be shitting me."


But both of them are ignoring Buffy. Kennedy looks at her sympathetically while Faith laughs again, trying to keep the absurdity of the moment and ignore the wave of disbelief and recognition that's starting to hit her. It made too much sense but yet it didn't make any at all.

The way Satsu would look at her… she thought it was just some fuckin' crush. But Buffy actually…?

"I'm not shitting you, Faith," Kennedy says softly, putting a hand on her knee. "I don't know how long she was seeing her or what exactly went on between them but… what I saw was definitely a break up."

Faith pushes herself away from Kennedy, not needing the small pity gestures. She was starting to feel sick, like something crawled up her throat and died. Her eyes flash and Buffy's trying to call her back down but the words don't compute in her mind, all she can think about is all the times she's seen them together and how fucking obvious it should have been, even though Buffy tried her best to hide it.

"She said she's never been with another chick," Faith says, eyes still locked on Buffy. Her voice breaks a little though as she says it and she winces, getting furious at her own emotions.

"Faith!" Buffy tries again, but she's not getting any response. "Ugh, fine, nevermind!" Buffy yells annoyed, looking furiously over at the two of them up there before picking up the heavy mats and dragging them across the way to the other end of the field where they'll be training the girls in a little while.

Faith's fingers are still gripped onto the bleachers and her muscles twitch with the wave of strength that passes through her arm as she tightens her grip. "She fuckin' told me that she was happy I was her first…" her eyes never leave Buffy as she speaks, her voice coming out very detached and dead.

It's not like they said they were exclusive… so that's not what's bothering her. Actually, maybe it partly is. After all, Buffy would flip her shit if she went off and slept with someone else right now, wouldn't she? But that's not the big part. The fuckin' big ass part is that Buffy lied to her about it. How many fucking times did she have the opportunity to just be honest? But instead she just fucking sat there and told her she was happy that Faith was her first!

"What did you see?" Faith asks her, trying to control herself for at least thirty more seconds. "When you saw them… what exactly did you see?"

Because she's Faith: The Good Slayer now, Faith; the one who apparently needs to start thinking before she acts. So here she is thinking, sort of; getting the fuckin' facts before she jumps up and starts bashing heads.

Kennedy watches the emotions pass over Faith's face and she goes on, figuring she deserves to know the whole truth because if the roles were reversed, she'd want to know. "I heard Buffy tell her that she never meant to hurt her. I… looked in, to see what was going on, I thought it was you she was talking to… but I saw her kissing Satsu. They were crying…" she watches Faith's jaw lock tightly and her muscles in her arm start to twitch, "Faith, I'm so sorry…" she tries.

Something inside Faith snaps.

"You lyin' sack of shit!" Faith screams suddenly at Buffy, who stops trying to get the next mat and looks up at Faith shocked and confused. The brunette stands up after punching the bleacher seat hard, making the sound rattle as her eyes flash black. She starts taking the bleacher steps two at a time to reach her, and Buffy steps back instinctively into a defensive pose. "When the fuck were you going to tell me?!"

"Faith!" Kennedy tries, but she knows it's already useless. She's following her though, knowing that if this gets too out of hand she's going to have to try and stop it.

"What are you talking about?" Buffy asks, eyes wide at Faith's furious demeanor. Her stomach drops to the floor though because she already knows what this is about; the only thing it could ever be about. No, not now, not after she just broke up with Satsu… she can't handle this. She was trying to do the right thing finally and it…

"You fuckin' know what!" Faith screams, jumping off the last of the bleachers to land in front of her. She sneers, "When the fuck were ya gonna tell me you've been bangin' Satsu, B?!"

"Faith, please… you don't understand…" Buffy starts, backing up a little with her hands in front of her as both surrender and defense. She doesn't want to fight but she's not sure that's gonna be enough to stop it from happening.

"Damn fuckin' right I don't understand!" Faith screams, feeling the burning fire of her blood coursing through her veins. Her hand twitches, curling into a fist and she can see Buffy eye it cautiously before noticeably readying herself for a physical fight. But Faith isn't going to hit her… not yet. Her upper lip curls into a sneer and she taunts her furiously, "Did ya like it? Huh? Ya get a thrill outta bangin' kids, B? Never knew you were such a Chester Molester; I coulda dressed up in a little princess costume and wore pigtails if that's what got ya off."

"She's eighteen, Faith!" Buffy screams, shocked and offended that Faith would call her such a thing. "Fuck you! She's an adult!"

"She looks like she's fourteen, you nasty fuckin' bitch. All high voice and hero worship; bet that shit just gets your panties all kinds of soaked," Faith taunts, fury rising in her like a slow burn before the explosion. She advances on her and Buffy continues to back up, not knowing what to do. Buffy's feared Faith before, but it was nothing like this. She's not scared of her this time because of the possibility of getting her ass kicked; after all, she can defend herself. So no, she's more scared because she's not going to be able to stick up for herself this time because it would only make her lose Faith faster.

And she can't lose Faith. She might not deserve her but she still doesn't want to lose her. Besides, what the hell is she gonna say in her own defense?

"Faith, please don't do this," Buffy begs softly, still taking steps back for each step forward Faith takes. "Let's just go inside and talk about this calmly, please…"

"We are talkin', Princess," Faith sneers with a smile that in no way gives comfort to Buffy, nor should it. Then again, neither does the fence she just backed into; trapping her. Faith slams her hand down to wrap around one of the spokes by Buffy's head, making her noticeably jump as she leans in, her face an inch from hers and tells her, "but I don't think calm is on the menu right now, lover."

"Faith…" Kennedy warns, watching the two of them carefully. Seeing Faith eye Buffy in a predatory manner doesn't exactly look safe.

Faith growls, turning her head to look at Kennedy, "Stay outta this, Ken! I ain't gonna fuckin' hurt her; we're just havin' a little chat."

Buffy looks at Kennedy, her eyes flashing with hatred and as they start to brim over with tears. "Why would you tell her?!" she screams, furious. She'd also like to know how the hell she knew, but that's not what's important right now. She must have known how Faith would react and yet she did it anyway!

"Because she actually gives a shit, B. Unlike some people," Faith sneers, turning to face her again. They lock eyes while Faith addresses Kennedy, "Ken? Some privacy would be nice."

"Faith, I'm not gonna leave you to—"

"Kennedy!" Faith yells, turning around furious. "Fuckin' leave. Me and B got some relationship issues," she mocks the word heavily, "and while I ain't the wife beatin' type, I will completely fuckin' take you down for tryin' to interfere. Love ya to death but back the fuck off."

Buffy tries to take this opportunity to try to slide away from Faith unnoticed but she slams her other hand down to hold the bar on the opposite side of her head; trapping her. "Nah B, you stick around for a while," she says lightly, but still keeps her eyes on Kennedy.

She can hear the pitch in her voice; feel the darkness in her head. She knows how crazy she sounds and she knows she's slipping, but she's got enough control… for now.

Kennedy gives her a warning look, but backs up a couple steps. "I see one fucking thing and I'll kick your ass," she tells her seriously.

Faith smiles at her, though Kennedy doesn't take that as much of a comfort, "Wouldn't expect anythin' less." She pauses for a second and then adds as an afterthought, "Oh, and tell the kids school's cancelled today." She didn't need a pack of mini Slayers coming out here to ruin her fun after all.

Kennedy continues to eye her as she backs up, making her way back to the castle. Faith watches her the entire way until she sees her stop, leaning up against the wall with her arms folded across her chest. Faith turns back to Buffy, who's still just standing there, trying not to cry.

"Ya know, I'm surprised at you, B," Faith says lightly, still smiling in a way that makes Buffy feel like she's going to break down due to very unwanted déjà vu. "Thought you'd be all high and mighty; defender of your fucked up morals. I'm still waitin' to hear this grand excuse I know you're just itchin' to tell me about why you decided to be a lyin' little cunt."

Each word Faith says is like a stab in the heart for Buffy and she can feel one tear finally squeeze its way out and fall down her cheek and it kills her to see no sign of compassion on Faith's face. "It wasn't serious..." she tries, but Faith just makes the sound of a buzzer before:

"Wrong answer. Lemme ask ya again, Twinkie; why did ya fuckin' feel like being a lying, slutty little cuntbag?"

"Faith, please stop… can't we just—"

"Ya know, this is really interesting," Faith says with mock fascination. "Here I am, callin' you a cunt and you have yet to even hit me. This is new, but I gotta say this whole doormat thing doesn't wear too well on ya."

"Do you want to fight me, is that it?" Buffy asks, her bottom lip trembling a little as another tear falls. Her eyes flash but she stands her ground. "Will it make you feel better if you hit me?!"

Buffy thinks it might actually make her feel better if Faith hits her. But if she hits her first then the guilt is going to be worse and she's trying… fuck, she's trying to somehow make this end in a way where Faith doesn't completely walk out of her life; she can't handle that.

"Actually I'm still waitin' for an answer. Tick tock, baby; time's wastin'." She looks behind her again to check on Kennedy, but she's not alone now. She's talking to another Slayer, who then looks at them and runs off; hopefully to spread the word that class is cancelled otherwise Faith will be one unhappy Slayer if she gets interrupted.

Kennedy is back to staring at her and Faith turns to face Buffy again, waiting for her answer.

"I…" Buffy starts, swallowing a little. "I didn't want to hurt you," Buffy tells her, and Faith laughs in her face.

"Yeah, ya did a spectacular job at that; well done." She places her tongue between her teeth in almost a feral way as she smiles at her, amused in her anger. "Sometimes I wonder what really does go on in that pretty little head of yours, B." Faith taps Buffy's head with her finger but Buffy slaps her hand away angrily, making her smirk. "'I fucked another bitch so I wouldn't hurt you', really, that's gotta be one for the books."

"I didn't tell you because I thought it would hurt you!" Buffy corrects, a sob sneaking out between her words. "Damnit, Faith! I broke it off! It wasn't anything serious; it wasn't like what's between us!"

"And what exactly is between us, huh?" Faith asks scornfully. "Because right now all it looks like is shitload of lies!"

"I'm sorry!" Buffy cries.

"You're sorry? Shove that one up your ass to get ya off, B, but don't fuckin' play that shit with me. How long have ya been fuckin' her?" Buffy doesn't answer her and Faith hits the spoke of the fence by her head again hard. "Tell me!"

"A little over a month," Buffy admits softly.

"So why the fuck did you tell me that you were happy that I was your fuckin' first?!" Faith screams, completely engaged by that because it meant something to her. For the first time ever, something sex related actually meant something to her and it ended up being a whole crock of shit.

"Because I wanted you to be!" Buffy screams, another sob emitting from her lips. "Fuck, Faith, don't you get it?! I've loved you since I was seventeen!" She pushes her back away from her furiously, finally finding some strength within her to stand up for herself even though she knows she shouldn't.

…And oh god, what did she just say?

Faith looks at her like she can't believe what just came out of Buffy's mouth. It's so absurd that she laughs, not allowing herself to believe that because that doesn't make any fucking sense. She shoves her back against the fence, pressing herself up against her as she hisses in her ear, "Liar."

"I'm not lying!" Buffy screams, upset and enraged herself now. She tries to force her off of her but Faith keeps all her weight against her; pinning her there. She's crying, sobbing, as she screams at her, finally admitting to herself and to her, "I think I fell in love with you the moment I first saw you!"

"SHUT UP!" Faith screams, her nails digging into Buffy's arm. "Don't you fuckin' talk shit like that just cause you're tryin' to keep me like some little trophy prize! Tame the wild bitch, right? FUCK YOU, BUFFY!"

"That's not what I'm trying to do!" Buffy exclaims. Her hand that's on her hip to try to keep Faith a reasonable distance away slides up her body and she touches her face lightly, crying, "I love you, Faith…"

Faith's eyes turn black with rage and she steps back, but only to give herself room to have a swing at Buffy. Her fist connects with the blonde's chin and the back of Buffy's head slams into the metal fence behind her. "Don't you ever fuckin' say that to me!" Faith screams as Buffy's eyes meet hers, pain and sadness behind them as she rubs her jaw. But Faith doesn't care; Faith can't see anything past her own anger. "If you loved me you wouldn't have been screwin' that bitch behind my fuckin' back!"

She can almost feel Kennedy coming over to them to stop the fight though so she turns and screams at her, "Ken, one more fuckin' step and I'll put you in the infirmary; back the hell off!"

"Faith, please…" Buffy begs softly, grabbing onto her shirt so she can hold onto her, even just that part of her. "I know what I did was wrong; I fucked up, okay? I should have told you about Satsu. But please… please don't walk away because of this…"

Faith watches Kennedy stop and shake her head at her, looking furious with the threats but she also knows it really is none of her business and that hell, one punch isn't the worst they've done to each other. She backs up again reluctantly and Faith turns back to Buffy.

Faith stares at the blonde for a moment, jaw locked and eyes darkening. Then she smirks in this evil little way as she steps closer to her, pressing her body flush up against Buffy's. She watches her breathing hitch and Faith whispers in her ear harshly, "Ya wanna keep me, do ya?"

"Yes," Buffy breathes, wrapping her arms around her waist, trying to take any opening to have some kind of contact with her because she's not sure if it'll be their last one.

"And how exactly do ya plan on doin' that, when all I see when I look at you is walkin' cum stain?" Faith breathes into her ear.

"Faith… don't be cruel," Buffy chokes out, tears still falling from her cheeks. But she holds onto her tighter, knowing that any minute Faith is going to walk away from her. She buries her face in her neck, fingers clawing at the material on the back of Faith's shirt as her heart pounds heavily in her chest.

This is how battered wives must feel; being told they're nothing but shit as they frantically try to hold on to their abuser like they'll die if they let go. Difference is: Buffy knows she completely deserves all the horrible things Faith's saying to her. She cheated on her, lied to her, hurt her.

So this is like the abuser begging for forgiveness more than anything now.

"But I thought you loved me, baby," Faith mocks low in her ear, one of her hands gripping Buffy's hip so hard she winces. "If you loved me you'd love all sides of me, even this one; the one that only you can bring out in me, lover."

Buffy whimpers a little bit from the truth in that statement and how much it hurts. She can feel Faith smile wickedly against her neck.

"You love this power, don't you, B? The power to make me go fuckin' crazy and tear the world to shreds." Her nails pierce Buffy's skin on her hip and she cries out softly, but doesn't move away from her; if anything she holds on tighter, her breathing getting heavier. Faith cocks an eyebrow at her behavior, "Kinky, B. Didn't know a little pain would get ya off, but I guess it makes sense."

"This isn't—" Buffy tries to protest, but Faith retaliates by digging her nails in so hard that she draws blood. Buffy cries out again, burying her face in Faith's neck as she holds onto her. Somewhere in the back of her mind this feels like some sort of test and that's why she's not letting go.

"So this is why ya wanted me to be your girl, huh? We always hurt each other; you and me... and you get off on it like a sick fuckin' bitch. Bet you're pourin' down your thighs like a whore, aren't ya?" Faith sneers in her ear, before unexpectedly slipping her hand inside Buffy's jeans and cupping her pussy roughly, making her gasp hard. Faith snickers as she finds her proof, "Man, B, this shit really does somethin' for ya, doesn't it? Maybe I shoulda tied you up and whipped your uptight little ass instead of fuckin' ya like you actually meant somethin' to me."

Buffy wants to defend that it's just her, not the situation, but all she can think about is the fact that Faith's hand is in her pants out in the open where anyone could see. "Please Faith, don't do this here…" she begs softly.

"You really are taking everything like a little bitch today, aren't ya? Ya know, about a week ago if I tried this you would've knocked me out," Faith says, laughing a little cruelly as she slips her fingers beneath Buffy's panties, sliding her fingers through her wet folds. Buffy gasps and shakes a little beneath her, hiding her face in shame from Kennedy and anyone else who might be out there watching.

"I don't want to hit you," Buffy whispers in explanation, her fingers tightening their grip on the back of Faith's shirt. "I don't want to hurt you anymore."

"So you'll just let me fuck ya out here for everyone to see?" Faith asks with a smirk, pressing down on Buffy's clit lightly. The blonde cries out softly, biting down on Faith's shoulder for a moment to stifle it. But then she turns her head and breathes into her ear:

"I don't want you too… but I'll let you."

Faith really doesn't trust that answer, because it's so un-Buffy-like. "Why? This some kind of fuckin' mind game?"

"No! It's because I'm trying to prove that I want you; that'd I'd do anything for you. The only thing you respond to is sex so yes, here's me trying to do it your way, Faith," Buffy tells her breathlessly. But that makes Faith scoff in disbelief and pull her hand out of her pants. She laughs a little at the absurdity of that.

"You've gotta be shitting me."

"What do you want from me, Faith?!" Buffy exclaims, pushing her back a little as she gets fed up with all the games. She wipes away another tear on her cheek as she yells, "What do you want me to say, what the hell do you want me to do? I know you'll never accept an apology; that's not you. You're all about black and white proof; so I'm standing here, asking what the hell you need from me so you can understand that I love you and that I need you in my life!"

"You know what I needed, Buffy?!" Faith screams, slamming her back up against the fence and getting in her face again. "I needed for you to trust that you could tell me shit! I needed you to fuckin' trust me period and I fuckin' needed to trust you! After all the fuckin' bullshit between us you would think that that'd be important, right? Shit, I don't know the first thing about relationships but I was gonna try; and you just went off and fucked up everything because you're a selfish fuckin' bitch that doesn't give a shit that someone's in love with them; you just want everything you can take from anyone that's willin' to give it!"

Buffy blinks, taken aback by that, "Faith…" she asks slowly, not sure if she heard her right. "Did you just… tell me you loved me?" She feels like that's too much to hope for; that her brain was just playing tricks on her.

Faith shoves her back again, but then presses her lips to her ear as she whispers harshly, "I love you so fuckin' much I can barely breathe sometimes…" It's said with so much passion that Buffy believes every single word.

"Faith…" Buffy whispers, emotions welling up in her chest as tears do in her eyes. She looks at her, not being able to help the small smile that's threatening to escape as she touches her face gently. But then Faith's face changes and she laughs; the kind of laugh Buffy hasn't heard since she went evil. It's full of hatred and scorn and she steps away from her, every inch of her face showing nothing but amused anger at Buffy's pain, and Buffy feels her heart break in half before Faith even speaks.

"How's that for bein' lied to, Buffy?"

"Faith…" Buffy whispers, tears running down her cheeks. That was so cruel she can't even form a thought outside of her name. That's on a whole different level of lying then what Buffy did. She just stares at her in disbelief and heart ache, her soul feeling like it's ripping in half.

It's killing Faith; lying to her like that. Not that she doesn't love her, because she does; she knows that now… but telling her that it was a lie; that's what's fucking with her. But she's hurt, more than she's ever been and she doesn't know what else to do besides lash out in the worst way she can. She knows something like that will hurt Buffy more than any blows to the face ever will.

She starts to walk away, just needing to get the hell away from her before she does something she regrets even more. Buffy just watches her go, not being able to utter a single word as she slides down the fence to fall to the grass, sobbing as she loses the woman she loves. With each step Faith takes, Buffy's heart breaks a little more and all she can do is pray that she'll look back…

…But Faith never does.



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