Chapter Five - Understanding
"So…?" Kennedy asks as she sees Faith walk in through the door of the castle. She practically pounced on her. But Faith's still sort of in her own little world and first and foremost she's pretty sure she needs to lie down.
"Where are we staying?"
"Sleeping, Ken. Me and you; where?" Faith asks.
"Oh," Kennedy says, and then points up the stairs. "You've got second on the right; I've got third on the left."
"Great, come on," Faith says flatly, grabbing her hand and practically pulling her along behind her. Kennedy follows wordless, not sure if Faith's in the process of having another mental breakdown from the way she's acting; she's very destination oriented and nothing else seems to be processing other than that. Kennedy does, however, end up tripping on one of the stairs from the force Faith is pulling her and she ends up making Faith let go of her hand before she smacks her.
"Jesus, I can walk on my own," Kennedy mumbles irritated. She wants to know what the hell is going on. But Faith doesn't seem to be listening as she grabs Kennedy's hand again, who makes a little yelp of surprise as she pulled up the last step and practically thrown into Faith's room, who closes the door behind them.
Kennedy looks at her, peeved at being thrown, as she watches Faith lean against the closed door and take a breath.
"What the fuck is up?" Kennedy asks.
"I need about fifteen shots of JD," Faith mumbles as she gets off the door and crosses the room to flop down face first on her bed. She stares at the wall.
"Um, Faith?" Kennedy asks, coming closer to her. "I'm sure you didn't drag me up here to watch you sleep." Faith doesn't move or say anything so Kennedy crawls on the bed and lies next to her, placing her face inches from hers. They just look at each other for a moment; though Faith seems to be staring through her rather than at her. "What's up?" Kennedy asks softly.
Faith chuckles a little scornfully and tells her, "What's up? What's up is that B joined the ranks of the MILF army; that's what's up."
Kennedy's eyes go wide. "No way. She's got a kid?"
Faith nods, curling her arms into herself, laying on them a little bit as she shifts to put her head on Kennedy's shoulder "Little girl," she tells her softly. It feels like her heart is breaking in half, and she doesn't know why. It shouldn't matter that Buffy has a kid; it's not like Faith ever pictured the white picket lifestyle with her anyway. Then again, with the fact that both of them are women, it never really occurred to her.
Is it wrong to miss something you never got the chance to have?
Fuck, how domesticated is she getting? This is so stupid. It shouldn't matter. It's been five years; Buffy has a kid. Big whoop. Buffy had to have been doing something with the last five years of her life, right? Why not pop out a child?
And Faith's the party girl; she likes to go out and get trashed and make an ass of herself. What Buffy has now is nothing she could have ever given her, so it's stupid to be mad at someone else for giving her what she wanted.
Faith wanted Buffy to be happy, right? That's… that's why she left; so she could be normal and happy. Hell, for Faith to end up being normal and happy.
Yeah, that one worked out for shit, didn't it?
"What's her name?" Kennedy asks softly, shifting on the bed so that she's lying on her back. She pulls Faith towards her and the brunette lays her head on Kennedy's chest. "How old is she; do you know?"
Faith shrugs lightly. "She didn't tell me her age… looks about three or four though." Faith lets out a breath, curling further into Kennedy. It's such a chick thing to do but she's feeling like such a fuckin' chick right now anyway, so whatever. A moment of silence passes between them before Faith tells her, "Her name is Fai." It comes out as barely more than a whisper.
Kennedy's eyes go wide. "Not like…?"
"I think exactly like," Faith tells her. She sighs, "Shit, I don't know. It's not her first name, I guess that's Margret. But the kid doesn't like it; wants to be called by her middle name."
"Which is Fai," Kennedy says, almost disbelievingly.
"Yup," Faith says, sighing heavily again. She starts playing with the hem of Kennedy's shirt, still staring at the wall. "Which is Fai…"
"Wow," Kennedy replies. That's a lot of process, and also poses a lot of questions. She runs her fingers through Faith's hair, knowing that she needs comfort right now. "Are you okay with that?"
"What, her having a kid or it being named after me?" Faith asks, looking up at her. Kennedy shrugs a little.
"Both, I guess."
Faith lets out a breath as she tries to think about that. Is she okay with it? "I dunno Ken, I mean, ain't like I ever really thought about B havin' kids. Or me havin' kids. Or any of us havin' kids, y'know? Shit feels like it came outta left field; it's weird. Dunno if it's a bad weird or not."
"What about her name?"
"I don't even know how I'm supposed to feel about that," Faith tells her honestly. "I mean it's a bit fucked up, isn't it? Namin' her kid that she has with some other guy after her ex… whatever I was; lover or something. I mean that's fucked, right?" She doesn't wait for Kennedy to answer though, and she turns on her side, propping her arm up to hold her head as she looks down at her, "Y'know she told me she thought I was dead?"
"What?" Kennedy asks, making a face. "Did someone tell her that? Cause that is fucked up."
"No, I think she just convinced herself I was. It's all bullshit though; we both know it. Dunno why she even bothered with that crap with me; I mean I know when she died… I felt it. Like 'ripped me apart inside' kind of felt it. I dunno, maybe she convinced herself to make her feel better about her freak out."
"Yeah, I saw the bruise on your face," Kennedy says, giving her a smirk as she uses her finger to trace the light hue of blue and purple starting to form on her cheek.
"That was after. Can't say I wasn't expecting it."
"You'd be an idiot if you didn't."
"I'm already an idiot, Ken," Faith says, sighing as she hoists herself up off the bed to sit up. She lets her feet dangle over the edge while she feels Kennedy come up behind her and put her hands on her shoulders before she starts kneading the tension out. Faith rolls her neck to allow her more access and gives a little grunt of approval which Kennedy takes as a thank you.
"You're more honest when you're not wound tighter than a monkey's nuts," Kennedy explains, smirking. Faith cocks an eyebrow at that comparison but lets it go, even though that made no sense what-so-ever. Kennedy continues to knead her shoulders for a moment before she asks, "The kid cute?"
"Course the kid is cute; it's B's," Faith answers, like she's being stupid. "She's the prettiest little girl I've ever seen." Faith smirks, "Pretty sure B's gonna have a fuckin' nightmare when she's in older; kid's gonna be a knockout."
"Yeah well; every parent wants their kid to be pretty until they realize the shit they gotta put up with when all the other kids want them," Kennedy replies, using her knuckle to rub out one of Faith's knots. "Fuck girl, this shit is like two years worth of tension in one fucking knot." She bites on her tongue a little as she rubs harder; determined to get it out.
"Try five," Faith mutters.
While Kennedy works on getting it loosened up she asks, "So what'd Buffy say about helping Jaime?"
Faith scoffs, "Hadn't really got that far yet, too much screaming and hitting. We both need space for a bit; goin' back over there later." Kennedy stops rubbing the knot on Faith's shoulder and then leans on Faith's knee as she moves forward to look back at her.
"Not too much later," she tells her; voice all business.
"I know, don't worry. Ain't gonna let the girl die," Faith says. Kennedy arches an eyebrow at her in warning before she moves back and starts rubbing the tension out of Faith's neck. Faith groans a little in approval and hangs her head to give Kennedy more space to work. "I owe ya for this," she mumbles as Kennedy relaxes her.
"Yeah; head," Kennedy tells her. There's no joke in her tone, considering most massage sessions usually get paid back that way.
Faith smirks, "When would you like it delivered?"
"After you get Buffy to help with Jaime," Kennedy tells her, trying to point out how serious the situation is. But Faith already knows.
"Ya talk to Red?" Faith asks, changing the subject, but then moans, "Oh, fuck, right there," as Kennedy starts working on another knot.
"Not really," Kennedy says as she rubs the spot firmer, emitting another groan from Faith. There's a pause before she states, "I think she's fucking Satsu."
Faith's head shoots up as she turns to look at her. "Are you serious?"
"I don't know. They're all stationed in Tokyo together."
Faith rolls her eyes, "That doesn't automatically mean they're fuckin', Ken."
Kennedy hits her shoulder, making her turn back around before starting to knead her muscles again. "I know that. But before you came back I saw them together. They looked… cozy," she spits the word out like it's vile.
"Define 'cozy'," Faith requests.
"They— damnit, Faith, just take off your shirt and lay down; I don't wanna have to go digging under your clothes for every single fucked up muscle in your body," Kennedy tells her, a little irritated with their position and the lack of room it provided.
Faith sighs but lifts her shirt up over her head and discards it to floor before lying back down on the bed on her stomach. Kennedy moves to sit on her ass as she unhooks Faith's bra, making the woman underneath her smirk and press her ass further into her just to get a reaction. The friction hits Kennedy in the right spot and she gasps quietly before her face turns to one of mild irritation and amusement as she smacks the back of Faith's head.
"Hey, we aren't doing that right now; not till after you deal with Buffy. Now are you gonna be good or are you not gonna get a massage?" she threatens, but it's light; almost joking but still very serious.
"I'm good," Faith says, but can't help but finish in a low, sexy tone, "I want your hands all over me."
"You know it," Faith says with a grin before closing her eyes as Kennedy gets to work on her lower back. "So ya gonna tell me about Red and Satsu?"
"Oh, right," Kennedy says, remembering. She makes a face and tells her, every other word coming out mockingly, "Satsu was all distraught over Buffy not talking to her, like that's any big surprise, and Willow was all holding her and telling her not to take it personally and blah blah. She kissed her on the fucking cheek."
"A kiss on the cheek doesn't mean she's lickin' her cunt, Ken."
"I know that. I was just saying."
"I thought you didn't care?"
"I don't! I massively don't." A pause, and Kennedy sighs. "Okay, I kind of do. I mean she's an ex, you know? A woman I was once in love with. It's just weird seeing that. I'm petty; I'm the type of person who prays that all their exes are miserable forever."
"You need a girlfriend," Faith tells her, then winces as Kennedy hits a tender spot on her back on purpose. "Okay, ow, it was just a fucking suggestion."
"I don't need a girlfriend," Kennedy tells her flatly. "All women do is like to tear out your heart and then step on it." A beat. "Well, you would know," she finishes lightly.
"Pretty sure I was the one doin' the steppin'," Faith tells her.
"Yeah, but you still were part of the vicious cycle; case in point."
"Well then find someone to fuck then," Faith tells her.
"I'm fucking you."
"Can't guarantee much fun with that anymore since my head is gonna be stuck up B's ass for awhile," Faith tells her. "Least while I'm here; can't think of nothin' else, really." Kennedy sighs, sliding her hands up Faith's back as she leans down to lay on her. She pouts a little.
"Yeah; I know that's true," she says, sounding a little disappointed. But it changes instantly when she asks, "What about Jo?"
"What about her?"
"She's a hot piece of ass; think she'd be a nice change of pace. I'm sure she wouldn't wanna do me up the ass with a strap on."
Faith laughs, "You know you love it; stop hatin'. But yeah; she's hot. Try it out. And if she's up for a threesome you know where I am."
Kennedy rolls her eyes as she strokes her nails up and down Faith's forearm. "You still owe me head," she tells her flatly.
"I know, I'll pay it up; don't worry."
"I never do."
"I can't believe you didn't tell me she had a fuckin' kid, G."
Giles doesn't seem surprised that Faith knew he was there, and as Faith turns around to look at him he gives her a small, comforting smile. It doesn't seem to do her much good though and she turns back around, staring at Buffy's house in the distance as she smokes her cigarette. She gave herself time enough to smoke three before she goes over there again; this is her last one.
Giles sighs a little and walks over to her, leaning against the stone wall that Faith's sitting astride. "Would you have given me the chance to?" he asks pointedly, then revises, "Before your trip here, I mean."
Faith takes another drag of her cigarette and looks at the little house in the distance. She'd like to tell him yes, that she would have let him tell her, but the honest answer would be no. Anytime he brought up Buffy's name she'd threaten to leave, change the subject, and when he wouldn't drop it she'd throw a fit and storm out. She's such a fuckin' child sometimes. "No," she answers finally. "Probably not."
Giles nods, glad she at least understands that. A silence passes between them before Faith says, "I still don't get why she won't leave the house though."
"Did she not tell you about her retirement?"
"She said she wasn't a Slayer anymore. Ya can't just quit that shit though," Faith says, looking over at him. "Can you?"
"Unfortunately no, but Buffy's been trying ever since Sean died a year ago." Off of Faith's confused look he clarifies, "Her husband."
"She had that house built for them after they got married. She was still an active Slayer then," he explains. "That's why it's so close to the castle. She wanted a semi-normal life, but knew enough that she had to be around because of her duties. For awhile her home life and Slayer life coexisted peacefully. The longest duration of time she took off was for her pregnancy; which of course was understandable."
Faith nods; she gets that. But she's silent, waiting for Giles to fill in the gaps.
"She wasn't on full time duty after she gave birth, but she'd fight whenever another apocalypse arose. Other than that, she slayed infrequently, but she still slayed. We all understood; life as a mother changed things for her, as it would for any woman; Slayer or not," Giles tells her.
Faith takes another drag of her cigarette and asks, "How did he die? Sean, I mean."
Giles sighs a little and fidgets with the glasses on his nose. "There was a prophecy that predicted a powerful Slayer, born from another. Now, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of Slayers all over the world now, so none of us can be sure if it referred to Fai or not; but one demon believed it did, probably because Buffy is, for all intents and purposes, the 'original.' He planned to steal her child, though to do what with, we still don't know."
"Sean tried to protect his daughter, didn't he?" Faith asks quietly.
"Sean… Sean was decent with magicks. Good, but nowhere near Willow or Josephine's talent. The demon came, and as Buffy and him tried to fight him off, he unfortunately got caught in the crossfire. It was a lucky blow on the demon's behalf and completely unavoidable, but Buffy blames herself. Ever since then she's been fit to renounce her destiny as a Slayer. I believe she thinks Fai will be safer that way."
"But that's fuckin' ridiculous; she needs to be a Slayer to protect her," Faith argues.
"I agree wholeheartedly. But she had Willow bind Fai's Slayer powers and has since retreated into what she thinks is normalcy. But she's become very… overprotective; bordering on paranoia. She barely lets any of us in to see Fai anymore," Giles tells her.
"Why? You guys are like her family," Faith says, not understanding.
"I don't think she trusts anyone to protect Fai but herself, and I believe that she thinks that since we still dabble in the other worldly goings on, that we will somehow bring it to her doorstep with us."
"Well if that's the case, why didn't she just move?" Faith asks. "I mean, her little suburban life is smack dab on the lawn of crazy."
"I'm not sure, she's never indulged her reasoning," Giles answers. Faith takes the last drag of her cigarette and flicks it onto the lawn as Giles sighs a little. "But," he continues, "I believe it's because she can't tear herself away from all of us, or from her destiny, no matter how hard she tries. I could be wrong, of course."
"Sure is a pretty theory," Faith says, "But she barely even batted an eyelash when I told her we had a Slayer in here dying. It's like she doesn't think it's her fuckin' problem anymore."
"She's just frightened," Giles tells her. "But I think you will help her deal with that."
"Me? Why me?"
"Faith, you renounced your Slayer duties to lock yourself in prison, if I'm not mistaken," Giles points out.
"Yeah, but that's cause I was all evil and shit; deserved to be in there."
"You weren't evil when you went in. You had done evil things, but were on the road to redemption. I think that road scared you though; you realized how hard it was going to be and didn't want to deal with it, and that's why you chose to lock yourself up. Not to offend you, but it was the coward's way out."
"Yeah, sure, that doesn't offend me at all," Faith replies sarcastically.
"It's a similar situation Faith; you both were scared of how difficult it would be, and thus chose the simpler option. But choosing the simple route doesn't magically make your problems disappear," Giles tells her.
"So B can't deal with bein' a single mom and a Slayer?" Faith asks. Giles nods.
Faith is silent for a moment, contemplating that for awhile before she says, "Is it wrong if I say I get it?" Giles looks a little surprised and Faith explains, "I mean like; her dad ran out on her, and then Joyce died way too young and B was stuck havin' to take care of Dawn. And that was just normal shit. So you fuckin' throw in the fact that B's a Slayer, and that her dude died because of her Slayer shit; if it were me, I'd be paranoid as fuck that my Slayer crap would end up killin' my kid, or even me. Cause if B get's offed, then Fai doesn't have any parents, y'know? Pretty sure B's tryin' to avoid that whole scenario."
"Of course I understand her side of it, Faith," Giles says in a patient voice. "But things like that can't be avoided. We cannot control the world around us. We can play it safe, but there is a difference between that and hiding; hoping that it will all go away."
"I know; I get it. But don't think B's gonna," Faith tells him.
"Well our first priority isn't solving all of her paranoia issues. We only need to find a way to get her out of her house for a half an hour to do a ritual, since that takes precedence over everything else considering there is a young girl's life on the line at the moment," Giles tells her, then pauses. "Or, I guess I should say; you need to find a way."
"Me?" Faith still feels the need to ask that question even though Giles has made it clear that yes, it has to be her. She still doesn't seem to get why though, outside of the whole running scared shit. "G, Buffy fuckin' hates me. Do ya see this bruise on my face?" she motions to the black and blue area on her cheek. "That was a parting gift, though I'm sure there's more where that came from."
"Faith, you have been the only one Buffy has even allowed inside for the last two months."
"Yeah, but it was only cause she was like, in shock or whatever. Ain't like I'm gonna get the drop on her again. Besides, how the hell am I gonna get her to listen to me? She told me I was nothing to her. Nothing," Faith stresses.
Giles smirks a little, clearly amused as he tells her, "Well I very much doubt that."
"How do you figure?"
"Faith, what did Buffy name her daughter?" Giles asks her pointedly.
"Yeah, but it's just her middle name. For all I know that could be after some woman on her husband's side of the family," Faith dismisses.
"Margret was Sean's mother," Giles explains. "Buffy chose her middle name."
"Still," Faith says, but doesn't seem to come up with anything after that.
"She still cares for you, Faith. She may hate you for leaving her, but that doesn't mean she does not care," Giles tells her. "As you know, I never approved of you two being lovers. However, I thought it was a horrible idea for you to completely separate yourselves from one another as well. Whether you both like it or not, you two are connected in some way, be it the Slayer inside of you or something more. It's more complicated than lust, and it's definitely more complicated than love. But I do believe that you both will always hold onto a part of one another, and I think that was Buffy's way of expressing the part of you that will never leave her."
Faith looks at him, cocking an eyebrow. "Do ya just sit around all day and analyze all our lives for fun or something?" She teasing him, and she can see his lips twitch in a slight smile.
"I'm a Watcher, Faith," he tells her, in too stuffy of a British accent to be completely serious. "It is my duty to watch and observe. It comes as a second nature."
"Sounds pervy if ya ask me."
Giles tries not to roll his eyes at that. "Yes, well, consider it what you will. I know all of you think I do not have a love life of my own anyway, and am thus forced to meddle in all of yours." The way he says it perks Faith's curiosity.
"Oh no way," she says with a grin. "You've been gettin' some action, haven't you?" Giles doesn't answer. "Who?" Faith asks, interested.
"You need to go see Buffy," Giles avoids, though Faith can see the little smile at the corner of his lips.
"Aw come on, I gotta know if there's a Mrs. Watcher in the future." A pause, "Or a Mr. Watcher; I don't' judge."
Giles sighs a little, but seems amused. "While homosexuality seems to run rampant through Slayers, I myself am not one."
"Whatever. Come on, give it up; who's the lucky lady?"
"That is none of your concern," Giles tells her, though is entertained by her persistence and her curiosity. "We don't have a lot of time, so if you would…" he motions his hand at Buffy's house. Faith sighs and slides off the stone wall, landing on her feet.
"Alright, fine. But I'm gonna find out one way or another," she promises with a smirk.
"I have no doubt."