Summary: AU, Faith reminiscing some memories…
I'm sitting here, alone, waiting for something or someone. I don't even know anymore.
Only the sound of the rainstorm outside keeps me company. The steady rhythm of the raindrops reminds me of the good ol' times when it was just you and me in our own little bubble. Cuddling on the couch under a blanket with Mr. Gordo squished between us, or a midnight picnic on a warm summer night during patrol.
I'll remember and cherish those moments, because that's all what's left.
All those restless nights, where we'd talk about our future and do all the other lovey dovey crap—it seemed like everything we did was right. We couldn't go wrong when things looked so fucking perfect.
Yet somewhere, deep inside us, we knew things wouldn't last forever; life of a Slayer isn't a fairytale.
A bitter chuckle escapes my throat when I think about the day it all changed. When the other shoe dropped, its thud rumbled and echoed so loudly the earth moved.
Angel needed some help in LA, and we had a bitch goddess from hell on our hands. You told me to go, that you'd hold the fort and keep the gang safe. I still don't know why I believed you. How could I be such a fool? That night I gave you a kiss goodbye, told you that I loved you, and drove to LA.
Things in LA didn't take long. I was on my way home, watching the sunrise and thinking about you, when I felt it. I can still remember how painful it was, it was like someone was slicing me from the inside. Everything hurt, I couldn't breathe, and then abruptly as it started, it stopped. The pain was gone, but the hole was still there.
Only then is when I saw that I was in the middle of the desert; the road somewhere abandoned behind me. I didn't even notice when I steered off it.
I tried to calm myself, took a deep breath and searched within me for the one place I felt at peace, at home, but it was gone. My connection to you was gone.
I tried to call your house, your cell, but no one answered.
I got back on the road, I was in Sunnydale in 11 minutes (when it's supposed to be a 36 minute drive, I see it as my own little personal record). The town was glowing in that new day sunlight, but I was in the dark, I was lost.
On my way to your house, I spotted this humongous crane. When I look back at that time I can swear it wasn't there when I left, and something within me pulled me there.
When I got there I saw Giles' lame excuse of a car was parked by what looked like a construction site, and I knew something wasn't right.
I killed the engine and ran inside. There I saw them: the gang was standing all around you, and they were crying, especially Spike, he was sobbing like a little girl. All I could think was 'what the fuck is going on here, and why are they all standing there like a bunch of idiots?!'
"What the fuck is goin' on here?!"
"Don't 'Faith' me Giles! What happened to Buffy?!" I run to Buffy's bod…I couldn't even say it. It felt wrong. Buffy's side and kneel next to her.
"She jumped", "She saved the world", "She saved me" Anya, Willow, and Daw…oh god, Dawnie! I'm torn between staying beside B and running to Dawn.
With a tear rolling down my cheek, I leave Buffy's side and turn to Dawn. I take a couple of steps towards her, open my arms, and in a second she's holding me tight. I hold her to me, I can feel her hot tears against my neck and how her body's shaking from the silent sobs. And I can't help but think how we're alone. The one person who made our family whole is gone and now it's just us.
It takes me a few minutes to notice the warm feeling that's spreading across my stomach. I check my stomach and find that my shirt is moist but it's not water. It's blood.
"Squirt? Dawn, you're bleeding."
She doesn't respond. I am not going to lose her. "Dawn!" I say firmly, this time I get a response. A whimper, but still it's something. I gently push her from me to see three long gashes across her stomach. "Dawn! What the hell happened to you?" I look into her eyes searching for the answer, but all I see is a blank stare, like she's caught up in something.
"What starts with blood must end with blood. I started this; it's my fault Buffy's dead."
"Don't say that, Dawnie," Xander says.
"But it's the truth! It's all my fault! It should've been me!" I grab her chin and force her to look me in the eyes.
"Don't you dare say that shit again. We can't point fingers here and say who is to blame. Buffy's a Slayer, it's her duty to protect the world and the ones she loves. So don't you dare say it should've been you. You understand?" She sniffles loudly and says ' yes'.
Couple of days later we said our goodbyes with a small ceremony.
After everyone left the cemetery, even Angel was there, I stayed with you; I waited for you to sneak up behind me, grinning from ear to ear cuz you finally bought that stupid top you so wanted, or even just jump from behind some tree and yell 'psych', but nothing happened. All I could do is stare at the headstone that had your name on it.
I swear I could hear you bitch how being 6 feet under will ruin your hair.
Yet I couldn't shake the feeling I had in my stomach that you would return, like a phoenix from the flame, and maybe this whole death thing was just the PtB's twisted way of giving you some free time from your duty.
I don't even remember how many hours I stood there. I couldn't say goodbye when that feeling was in my stomach. That insane false hope kept growing within me.
You had to return to me!
You promised we'd always be together, and if I'd have to die to haul your ass back from the afterlife, I would've done it.
You're Buffy Anne Summers, death doesn't become you. "Death is your gift." I chuckle bitterly when I think about that stupid sentence. What kind of a gift is death?
And you, being what you are, fought your battles, knew the consequences but took the leap anyway—this time literally. You did what you had to do. Had your last victory and you gave your life for it.
There was no other Troy for you to burn…
Great, look at me. Metaphors from Greek mythology. I spend too much time around G's books.
A loud thunder jolts me from my thoughts. I notice that the rain had slowed down a bit, and the room is somewhat warmer. I chuckle to myself for thinking maybe it's you that's keeping me warm. You always knew how to make me hot with just a glance. Fuck. I miss you.
There's a knock on the door, I take a deep breath and let it out with a sigh.
What's gonna happen now?
The door opens and she walks in, "Hey."
"How're you feeling? God, that's a stupid question, I mean look at you…."
I can't help but smile at that, but I cover it quickly.
"Damn, B. I know I'm not as hot as I usually am, but still, ouch!" I say in mock hurt.
"No! That's not what I meant! You look good, very good…it's just…I was…and you are….How're you feeling, Faith?"
I smile again. That's so B.
"I'm five by five," I say, mask fully in place.
"Liar," and she can still see through it.
"So I'm three by five. 'S no big deal. I'm getting better."
"What happened to you, Faith?" she asks, and the look in her eyes is filled with so much care. It's killing me not to reach out to her, or hug her.
"I don't know."
"Faith, you're in the hospital! Satsu is in the hospital! You've been in ICU for three days! So 'I don't know' is not gonna cut it. What happened there?!" And now the care is gone, all that's left is anger.
"I don't remember," I say quietly.
"I don't fucking remember, ok?! All I know is I was out on patrol and the little shrimp jumped me!" I yell at her.
And now she's speechless, great. "Yeah, it looks like your girl doesn't like me so much."
"She's not my girl," she looks at the ground when she says that. She can't even look me in the eye and tell me she's got a new girlfriend.
"That's not what Dawn said."
"Dawn doesn't know anything."
I beg to differ, if she knew half the things Dawn knows she would never talk to her again.
"She saw you, in your bed."
"So, it could've been a slumber party."
Oh come on, Buffy, you could come up with something better than that. I bet you don't even buy that shit.
"You were naked and cuddling."
"I…we….It's not official."
Fuck. Me. It's true.
"Then what is it?" I get out of the hospital bed and walk towards B. My gaze is locked on her, and I know I got a predatory look in my eyes cuz she's walking backwards 'til she's trapped between me and the wall.
"Faith, what are you--" B looks a little scared, and I really don't know why, cuz in my condition she can take me with her hands tied behind her back and an iron ball chained to her leg.
"Just let me have this one last time." I close my eyes, and lean down slowly. We both let out a low throaty moan when our lips meet. Fuck! I missed her so much. I missed this, us.
Her hands tangle in my hair while my hands start roaming along her sides, tracing the familiar path from hipbone to shoulder blade, seeking the warmth of the skin beneath the clothes.
In a second her hands move from my hair to my shoulders and she's pushing me away. "Faith, I can't. I'm with Satsu." A tear rolls down her cheek and she lets out a shuddering breath.
"No, B, don't cry. You know I can't stand to see you cry. I never meant to hurt you, I swear I didn't. I never meant to do that to you." I back away from her and sit on the bed. "I just wanted to feel you again. From now on I'll keep my hands to myself. I promise."
"I…I gotta go."
"B! Just one more thing, please."
"Does she love you?" I already know the answer to that question. One look in Satsu's eyes and I saw it.
"Yeah, she does," B says it with a small smile tugging her lips.
"Do you love her?" I brace myself for that answer. There's no one in the world that needs B as much as I do, but if Buffy loves her I will never stand in her way to be happy.
"I don't know." The look in your eyes says something else, B. I lost the fight…
"Till you figure it out. I hope for her sake she treats you right…."
"Goodbye, Faith." She leaves the room, leaving me with one thought, one question. Late at night when you're sleeping in her arms, do you wish it was me who's holding you?
"Faith? Faith?!" I hear someone calling me.
"Whoa. Sorry, G. My thoughts ran wild for a moment there. You were sayin?"
"That's alright. As I was saying, our plane leaves in two hours. I presume you're ready?"
"Splendid," he turns to walk out of the room and stops. "Faith?"
"Are you ok?" he's concerned, I can't blame him.
"I'm five by five, G-man," he gives me a head nod and walks out of the room.
It doesn't take me long to get ready. I'm pretty much packed I just need to make sure I didn't forget anything. I walk around the room looking for things that don't belong in this place. I spot a picture on the bedside table. It's kinda old, way back from the Sunnydale days. I think Oz took it. We looked so…I don't know, happy? Careless? In love?
"Do you want me?" I ask, looking into her eyes.
"I mean, do you want me to stay here? I mean, with Angel back in the picture my services are no longer needed here." I'm just the second Slayer, the second choice.
"Faith, what are you talking about?" you ask, I don't know if you're acting blonde or really wanna know.
"I'm talking about you getting back with your boy toy."
"Why would I get back with Angel?" B, no way you're that blonde!
"'Cause he's your first love and all that shit. I'm not gonna get in the middle of that."
"Faith did you hit your head on patrol tonight?" What? How did she know?
"What's that got to do with this conversation?" and I dusted the fucker that threw me into that mausoleum.
"Oh god, you did?! You see? That's why you can't patrol alone. Where did you get hurt?" B starts checking my head for blood or any other sign of injury.
"Buffy, would you leave my head out of this! I'm trying to talk to ya here!"
"Well excuse me for trying to make sure that my girlfriend is ok."
"Well yeah, we've been together for a couple of months now, and I'm not gonna call you lover, not when Xander's around." That's understandable.
"So, you're not breaking up with me?"
"Why would I break up with you, Faith?"
"Well, 'cause Angel's back…."
"Faith, what Angel and I had was over a long time ago. What we have is so much greater than that."
"Really?" I really can't believe it.
"Faith, I love you."
"B, you're always telling me that you love me…it's just, yunno… sometimes I wonder if I should believe. 'Cause, B, you loved Angel then I came along, and that great love was gone. What if in a month or even a year from now someone hotter, smarter, better comes along? Someone you could take home to meet your mom, someone who could offer you a bright pink future. What will happen then?" I don't think I could take it…
"I don't know."
Fuck, I knew it! I can't let people get behind my walls! I turn to walk away, but she stops me with a hand on my arm.
"No, Faith! Don't go! I can't answer that question, because I don't even know what's going to happen next week, but I do know that I want you. Faith, I chose you over Angel not because you made, I mean, you make me happy. When I'm with you I feel calm, safe, loved. Don't you see it? No one could be hotter, smarter, or better. I've got you, and for me, it doesn't get any better than this."
I pull her to me, and our lips meet in the most gentle kiss. Slowly we build up the passion and there's some kind of urgency behind it, urgent to feel everything, anything. I flick my tongue against her bottom lip, in response, she parts her lips and gives me access into her mouth. We both moan when our tongues meet. Fuck, this. Is. Heaven. We kiss till we run out air. I press my forehead to hers and softly say the three words that terrified me more than any vampire ever did:
"I love you." And I mean every syllable.
God, I love you, Buffy.
We left G's place and I didn't even notice we were boarding 'til my ears felt like they're gonna pop. I was on autopilot. That's what happens when I start thinking about you. My brain is like, numb, nothing's in it except you. And fuck, I sound like a lovesick puppy.
I look out the window. I love flying above the clouds; the sun is so bright. The sound of gunfire breaks my trance and I check to see what's happened. It's just the in-flight movie, The Dark Knight. I've already seen it twice so I don't care. Don't get me wrong, it's an awesome movie, but I don't feel like watching it right now.
I smile when I think about it, the dark knight. That's me, or the Dark Slayer as Andy likes to call me. If I'm the dark knight, that must've meant you're my damsel in distress. B, you'd have killed me if I'd ever called you `a damsel in distress', but I don't care. I'm willing to be your knight, your knight in shining leather.
I'd rescue you out of a tower of some castle, and if I remember correctly, I've already done that. Who would've thought the wiring in an old ass castle could cause a fire and that the drapes are so flammable?
I'd kill a dragon for you...or make it my pet. You know I never got how that donkey and dragon from Shrek had kids. I mean, how the hell did that tiny donkey screw a dragon?! Something is fucked up there.
And something is fucked up in my head. What the fuck am I thinking? We hit some turbulence. I fucking hate that shit. It's like the plane's gonna fall or something and I don't wanna die. I'm freaking out over air turbulence but I can't help it. I wanna be home already, then I won't care what happens to me, as long as I'm near you. Though, I know that if I die you'd probably find a way to make Red bring me back, you'd probably say something like "a Slayer is not a Slayer until she dies and comes back! At least once."
I've learned my lessons, when you're with Buffy Summers, The Buffy Summers, even death doesn't always have a hold on you. And you know me, B, if I don't wanna be somewhere I'll pack my things and go, but I'll always return to you. Being what I am, which is a love sick puppy or so it seems. Without you, there's no other place for me to be.
Fuck, more turbulence, I really hate that. Ok, think happy thoughts, Faith, happy thoughts…why can't I find happy thoughts when I need them?
Think, Faith, think, about anything, c'mon B, help me out here…
I stumble forward, straight into the door of your room. Well I hope it's your room, that's probably all the knocking I can do in my state.
I hear footsteps, then the door— the only thing that's holding me up— opens, and here starts the free-fall to the floor. Just before I hit the stone floor I feel someone catch me, and thank god for that. I don't think another hit to the head would do me any good right now.
"Holy shit! Buffy, Will, you'd better come over, quick!" Hey, Kennedy is here!
"What happened, sweetie?" I hear Willow ask.
"Oh my god! Faith! What the hell happened to you?" And here's my B, well she's not my B anymore. My former honey got herself a new Slayer to play with.
"You should've left the light on…."
"Faith, what are you talking about?" Funny you ask, 'cause even I don't know sometimes.
"You should've left the light on, then I, I wouldn't have tried…." It's like my brain and my mouth are not connected at all at the moment.
"Tried what? What happened?" It was what's her name! Satsi? Sushi? Shitzu? Jujitsu? Oh, whatever, fuck it. It was her!
I feel, what I think is, a tear falling on my face. I'm not too sure.
"What have you done to yourself, baby?" Fuck, I missed hearing that word coming from you. I know I should be feeling your fingers combing my hair away from my face, but all I can feel is my own blood running down my neck.
"I need to go…." I try to stir away from her. I don't need B to take care of me. She got her own Slayer on her hands, whatever her name is.
"Shh, relax. You're not going anywhere. You're with me, you're safe." I can't stop the tears from escaping. I needed to hear that, I needed her to say it.
"Buffy," I choke a half sob out.
"I'm here, I'm right here."
I've let the darkness take me after you said that. I really felt safe. Couple of days later when I woke up, Willow told me I said some weird stuff before I lost consciousness, something with leaving the light on. I thought about it while I was in the hospital but I couldn't think of a reason why I said that.
I kept thinking about it occasionally, and I finally figured it out last year. As cliché as it gonna sound, you were the light I was searching for. It was like all the lights were on, but I was in the dark 'cause I didn't have you. It's like walking into a candy store and being surrounded with everything you like, except the only thing you want, the only thing that can satisfy the craving, isn't there.
All this candy shit is making me hungry. I turn to Giles and ask when we're gonna land, and he says in a few more hours. Damn. I get some peanuts from the flight attendant, I don't like airplane food and Andy probably made a huge dinner for me so I'm gonna stick with that.
It's getting darker, and even when I'm thousands of feet above the ocean I can feel the Slayer within me searching for the next kill. I need to distract myself before I join her 'cause I'm going crazy sitting here doing nothing. Giles tells me I should try to sleep but I can't sleep when the Slayer part within me is so on edge. So I guess it's back to memory lane. It's kinda fun remembering the good times and not-so-good times. Those make the good ones even better.
If it was any other person, if it was any other place, I probably would have been long gone.
But I can't leave, not when you're in that fucking bed, in this fucking hospital.
I want to pull you to me. I want to hold you close so I could feel your heartbeat instead of hearing that awful beeping sound.
I keep replaying the events of that evening in my head. We were having fun at the beach, went to dinner at some restaurant, wandered around, went to patrol, dusted 4 vamps, and then we saw them: two grave robbers. I guess they got scared or something 'cause what other reason did they have to shoot at us? They ran away and we stayed there, you were on the ground, blood staining your shirt.
My clothes are covered in your blood, too. I held you to me and screamed at you to stay with me, to not let go! Between screaming I called an ambulance that took us here.
I've been sitting here for hours, waiting for you to do something, anything, just show me that you're alive.
Some hours later I feel a slight tugging, I lift my head from my arms to see you watching me. I pulled you to me and kissed your face like it's the air I need for breathing.
When I pulled back to look into your eyes, to see my B, you asked me in a broken and tired voice to hold you.
If it wasn't you, I would never have done any of those things. I guess that's what you do when you love someone.
That's one of the days I don't like to remember, you looked so small in that bed and that room was so white it gave me a headache.
But thanks to that day I saw just how much you meant to me, how much the possibility of losing you would affect me. Even though losing you couldn't even be compared to that, even if it's losing you to someone else.
I walk into the castle as if I own the place. I figured, I lost the girl but I still got the attitude. I spot B talking with some Asian chick, so this must be Satsu. I check her out. I gotta see what the girl has that I don't. She's cute, I'd give her that, but I'm way hotter.
I step up to B, "Got a room for a stray Slayer?" I ask.
"Faith. What are you doing here?" When she hears the name the little sushi moves behind B and puts her hand on her back.
"I need a place to stay."
"Why here?" Shitzu asks.
"The Slayers live here, I'm a Slayer…." I look into your eyes, B, and I'll be fucked if I don't see longing in them.
"I'm sorry, Faith, we're out of-" The shrimp says, but Red cuts her off.
"Faith!" She comes over and gives me a hug.
"What are you doing here? You need a place to stay?"
"Yeah, but Satsu here was about to say you're out of rooms, so I'll—"
"What? There's a vacant room by our room, I'm pretty sure Buff even said that it's your room…."
"Aww, B, you shouldn't have."
"Yeah, you shouldn't have," Satsu says between clenched teeth.
"Come on, I'll take you there," Will says.
"Thanks Red," I say and follow her.
I can feel your gaze, B. There's a part of you that still wants me. I know there's a part of you that's just burning for me. But knowing you, you'll let it burn away just to prove your point, just to show me that you don't need me.
And I fucking hate it.
"Here we are, this is the Scooby floor. This is Xander's room," she points towards a door. "Dawnie's room is next to his, and Buffy's room is the last door to the right."
"Cool. Thanks, Will, I think I'm just gonna rest for a while and later patrol a little."
"Okay, if I remember correctly it's Satsu's night to patrol with her squad…."
"Yeah, I'll try to avoid meeting them. Anyway, thanks again, Will."
"No problem," she says with a smile. I walk into the room and throw myself on the bed. Looks like tonight's gonna be fun!
Yeah, that was definitely one of the worst nights I ever had. I still don't really remember what happened there.
I turn to G, again, and ask him when we're gonna land, and he says in a couple of hours. I feel like one of those kids that just keep asking "are we there yet?" but I can't help it.
I just wanna be home already, to sit with you under our tree, our own little haven, you know? I think that place is my second favorite after our bed. So many good things happened there. Our first kiss as a couple after you and Satsu broke it off, many talks about the future, returning from missions and seeing you standing there waiting for me 'cause you know that's the first place I'll go. We're like two teens in love when we're under it. I think the writing 'B plus F equals heart' kinda shows it. And the thing that I really love about this tree is that even when it's pouring rain we could sit under it and stay dry. It stays strong and keeps us safe.
We're landing, and good thing we don't have any luggage 'cause all I wanna do is get home already. We get off the plane, go through all the airport crap, and head out to my car. Like I'm gonna let Xander send someone to get us, besides, driving these roads in my preferable speed with Giles is a hoot! And I'm not gonna pass it.
We get to the castle, G's holding the seatbelt like his life is depending on it. I hope he didn't wet his pants like last time. That was a bitch to clean. It took days for the smell of wet tweed to go away. I get out and see all the gang standing outside, Will with Ken, Xan-man with a huge grin, and last but not least, Dawnie with Andy. Yeah, he's not gay, go figure.
We all hug, and talk about the mission for a bit, and then I grab two roses from Xander. I always take two roses with me when I go to see you, and he's always been nice and got them for me. I turn and walk towards our tree. I hear Andrew yell about the dinner that's waiting inside. I yell my thanks and keep walking.
I remember the first time I walked this path. We were both out on missions, separately, and my plane landed a couple of hours before yours. So I got back to the castle and made us a picnic basket, grabbed a blanket and went outside.
Just when I finished arranging everything, you arrived saying "I knew I'd find you here". From that day, we made it our little tradition to wait for each other under the tree whenever we return from a mission or someplace we've been apart more than 12 hours. That way every kiss is like our first.
And there you are, like always, under our tree. I kneel down and place the two roses by the gravestone; one deep red, the other, white.
"Hey baby, I'm sorry it's been a while since I stopped by. I've been out on missions all around the world. I even helped out Angel's crew with something…it's our anniversary tomorrow, 5 years baby! Out of them two years are without you, but I don't care 'cause for me you're still very much alive in here…." I place my hand on my heart, "And in here." I move it and press a finger to my temple.
"God, B, you should see Dawnie. Our little girl has grown up so much. You would be so proud of her. She's a Summers woman, she still acts like your bratty little sister sometimes, but she does that with more sophistication. I'm telling you, she's gonna run the council someday. And she's still with Andrew, the little geek makes her so happy, it's crazy." I run my finger on the engraved letters, like I do every time I sit here.
"Willow and Kennedy are thinking about getting married. And I think Xander found someone, he sounds happier…." I can't stop the tears from falling. "It's cold, baby, the bed is so cold without you, B. It's hard to breathe, every day is a struggle. The only thing stopping me from jumping from the tower is the gang. Plus, if I'm dead Kennedy's gonna be the head Slayer and I don't think the world is ready for that…. I hope you're ok up there, with your mom and Tara and everyone…. I miss you, baby. I love you, B." I leave a small kiss on the gravestone and start my walk back to the castle.
For years I've been doing this, keeping an internal conversation between you and me, and I still keep waiting for some response from you. Maybe I've finally gone crazy, who knows? It makes no difference what I say, I lie to myself. Because I know if I stop talking to you, it means you really are gone and I don't think I can take it, I really will go crazy.
So each morning I surround myself in a bubble of lies, waiting for you, my B, my phoenix to rise. Even when I leave, you know I'll always return.
Because there is no other Troy for me to burn.