Almost is Never Enough
Challenge: Faith Finds Out- 3rd Place Winner
“Faith? A word please?” I glance up from my comic and sigh. Havin’ a Watcher again is kinda weird, especially when he’s interrupting my readin’ time. Giles gives me his patented stern face so I get my ass up outta my chair and follow him in to the small room he likes ta call his office. I flop in the chair across from him and prop my feet on the desk.
He glares at me but I just smile all sunny and Buffy like. It always gets him. “What’s up G?” Did I forget to restock his booze or something? Nah. Can’t be that. I just bought him a new bottle of scotch. He furrows his brow an’ now I’m startin’ to get worried here. I mean we don’t always have the smoothest of relationships but I really feel like he’s strugglin’ with something. “You can just spit it out anytime here Giles. I promise I won’t flip the fuck out or anything.”
That gets a reaction. Giles blinks at me and gives me a slight grin. “Of that I have no doubt Faith. You’ve come quite a long way in controlling your temper.” My temper. I’d call it my psychosis but hey if he’s bein’ all complimenty I might as well go with it. “I’ve just received word from a friend. I’m afraid we’re needed in Scotland.”
Scotland? Isn’t that where big bad Buffy is? I open my mouth but close it again quickly. He said a friend called him, not Buffy. If it had been her, Giles would have just said so. “Is she…” Dead? No. I would have felt that. I did before. Giles gives a slight shake of his head and I sigh. Goddamnit.
“Buffy is quite capable of taking care of herself and all those with her but I have certain information that she may find necessary to the task at hand.” I narrow my eyes at him because we’re both past the point of lyin’ to each other. I mean. I trust Giles. Well. More than I trust a lotta people. He’s given me a reason to. So we don’t lie to each other. He’s straight with me an’ I’m straight with him. Mostly.
“Was all that British for ‘Buffy still isn’t talkin’ to me?’ Because ya could have just said so and I woulda got it.” Giles grunts and takes his glasses off. Uh huh. I hit a nerve. I knew it. I fuckin’ knew it. “She’s got an ass load of Slayers so she doesn’t need me. You go and I’ll hold down the fort. Don’t worry G. I won’t burn the place down.” Again.
He gives me a slightly disturbed look and leans back in his chair. “I’m afraid I can’t allow that Faith.” What? Okay I’m calm. Cool blue oceans, and warm breezes. Cool blue oceans and warm breezes. I’m fucking calm here.
“You’ve got to be fuckin’ kiddin’ me here Giles. I’ve been a big girl a long time now an’ I don’t need a babysitter.”
“No you don’t.” Well that shuts me up. He puts his glasses on and places his hands flat on his desk. I notice shit like this that I didn’t before. It’s his way of tryin’ to keep me calm. Didn’t I just say that I was fuckin’ calm? Okay so maybe I’ve got that tense, nose flared thing goin’ but I’m not about to reach over the desk an’ throttle him or anything. “I can’t allow it because I rather feel I need you there.”
My brows come up at that. He needs me? Or Buffy needs me? “Like I said. B’s got a gaggle of girls. What’s she need me for?” Heh. B and a gaggle of girls. Except for the extreme surge of jealousy I just got the visual is pretty nice.
“I didn’t say Buffy needed you Faith. I need you.” Okay. Wait. Did I just miss somethin’ while I was busy thinkin’ of Buffy and her nipples all over…wait. I’m getting sidetracked again. “Oh please stop whatever lascivious thoughts are going through your mind. It’s written all over your face.”
Ya know it occurs to me that I’d like ta have somethin’ of Buffy’s all over my face but I swallow that comment before Giles flips his wig. “Sorry Giles.” I can’t help the devious grin on my face but he kinda just ignores that. See we got a system, me an’ G. I think bad thoughts, he ignores them. Usually.
“As I was saying. Things between Buffy and I are such that she may prefer not to hear my information. I don’t blame her really and it may be of no consequence afterall but…you and I have gleaned quite a bit from our work.” Ah yeah. Twilight. Those fuckers are everywhere. I give him a nod. “Your first hand experience with the members of Twilight will be quite invaluable…”
Oh. I get it. He’s actually askin’ me to go. I blink and nod once. “I get ya Giles. She might not listen to just me or just you but she’s gotta listen to the both of us right?” Probably she’ll think that I did some weird thing to Giles and made him a zombie or robot or somethin’. She way overestimates my powers of mind control. “I’m in.”
Funny ‘cause Buffy normally underestimates me. Always has. But whatever. Giles breathes a sigh of relief and smiles encouragingly at me. “That is much appreciated Faith. I realize that your relationship with Buffy has been rocky at best and this is not the most comfortable of positions to be in with her.”
Ha. If he only knew what positions I’d like ta be in with his baby girl. I offer him a resigned smile. “Whatev, G. It’s the rules to the game right?” He gives me a confused look so I run my hands through my hair. “All hail before the Queen.” I’m up and out the door before he can say anything about that. The truth is that when Buffy needs someone, he’ll always be right there. They all will.
An’ I’m thinkin’ they’re all gonna be mighty pissed at me for stranglin’ Buffy the Great the last time we met up. Not that they don’t have a right to. I let my control slip. I can’t let that happen again. Not ever. I just wish she would have listened to me. Let me explain. But that’s just not the way me an’ B roll. I guess I better get ta packin’ my shit. This seems kind of the time is of the essence type of deal.
“No but really.” Oh God. I so knew this was going to happen. “Giles is coming here.” I lean back against the wall of the training room and sigh. This is not what I needed right now. Especially since Giles is probably bringing Faith here.
“Why Xander?” That’s all I want to know. Why Giles, why now? Why behind my back? He shrugs at me and swivels in his chair. You have no idea how badly I want to spin that chair until he pukes right now. “I mean it’s not like Giles has been around or making much use of that thing called a phone. Why did you call him now?”
Oh yeah I sound like a big whiney baby. I know it and Xander knows it. “Because we need help Buff. Giles and Faith have been in the trenches with this thing.” What’s that supposed to mean? I’ve been trenchy lately. You know. When I’m not sleeping with Slayers that are in love with me. Oh God. I give him a scornful look and rub my thumb over my brow. “I know you hate the F word Buffy, but I really think they might be able to help.”
Yeah I just bet. She’s going to walk in here and be all cocky and arrogant and some other third equally annoying thing and then we’re going to have to fight. Which is how it always happens. “Did we all just forget the strangling part of the last time Faith and I had a run in?” Xander looks away and I know he remembers. I know he remembered before he called Giles. And that only makes me angrier.
“No Buffy I didn’t forget. I was hoping you’d let that one slide.” Let it slide? Let it SLIDE! Is he out of his fucking mind? She tried to kill me. Again! “Okay okay I can see you’re not willing to work this out. I’ll just call Giles and tell him to give me what he’s got over the phone.” Hey. How come he didn’t think of that before?
I’m distracted enough that I don’t notice Xander dialing right away. Before he’s done I press my finger down on the phone hook and sigh heavily. “Fine. You have a point. Giles may have vital information and…it’d be good to see him again. Just keep her out of my face.” Because it seems that asking for Faith to be out of my life just isn’t going to work.
Xander gives me a grin and hangs up the phone. I think that he was just bluffing and I totally walked in to it. Well whatever. “So are you going to tell her?” Tell who what? I blink and look at Xander with a slightly horrified look on my face.
“Why would I tell Faith anything about my personal life?”
He shrugs again. Boy I hate that shrug. “I was talking about Satsu.”
Oh. Wait. Tell her what now? I blink at him and now it’s his turn to give me the sigh. I hate those too.
“I meant are you going to tell Satsu that Faith is coming here?”
Oh that. “Don’t see why I should. I mean it’s not like they’ll be bestest buds or whatever. Plus. I’m not in a relationship with Satsu. She’s heard the Faith horror stories so she’ll probably steer clear on her own.” Which I sincerely hope because Faith has a really bad habit of sleeping with my boyfriends…er…not that Satsu is my well she’s not a boy anything. But she’s not mine.
“Even though she’s in love with you?”
My hands come up to my face and I grunt. “I’ve already talked to Satsu about that. She can’t….we can’t…go down that road. I know how she feels but I just can’t feel that way.” Not about her. I like her. She’s fun and she’s got great hair and the sex was fucking amazing but I just can’t. I don’t think I can give her my heart even if I remembered who has a hold on it now.
“Uh huh.” Xander’s tone makes me feel a twinge of worry. I pull my hands away from my face and glare at him. There goes that damn shrug again. I’m thinking of breaking his collar bone to keep that from happening again. “She’s not the only Slayer that’s in love with you and you know it.”
Here we go again. “Since when did you become a Faith cheerleader? Because last time I checked she tried to kill you and all your friends right after she gave you the ride of your life.” Oh that was so not okay to say. I know it was wrong because Xander gets a hurt look in his eye and swivels his chair to face the computer console he was working at.
“Since she grew up. Which is more than I can say for some people around here.” Oh yeah. I hurt him bad. I start to reach out my hand to lay on his arm but I think better of it and get up to leave. This is not a conversation I want to have, and definitely not a thought I want to really think on. I’m sorry Xander. I really am. But this is water under the bridge thing can never be because Faith burned that bridge down. Right after pissing all over it.
I know I should be thinking about the part where I’m really angry with her and why that is but I think the glaringly obvious attempts to murder me say enough. Before I’m fully out the door I can hear Xander so I stop to stare at the back of his head. “You’re going to have to deal with this sooner or later Buffy. Before it’s too late for you remember what love is like.” I open my mouth to say something, anything that would sound cool and pun-y. But I’ve got nothing and he’s already tuned me out.
So I have to figure this out huh? Well I know where to start. And even though this could be considered leading someone on and even though I’ve already told Satsu that we can’t continue to do…well it. I’m on a bee line path right for her. I did learn something from all my years of Faithangst.
The best way to forget is to fuck your way through anything. I can’t think if I’m in a constant state of oh yeah. I turn the corner and nearly run right in to Satsu. See? If this wasn’t supposed to happen how’d I find her so fast?
“Buffy! I was just looking for you.”
Hrm. Okay well maybe that puts the kebosh on my fate idea. “And hey look you found me.” Satsu smiles and I think for a whole second a half that I could gladly look at that smile my entire rest of my life. Right up until Faith’s smile complete with dimples super imposes it’s self on her face. Fuck. Satsu clears her throat and I have the good grace to blush a little. “Sorry. I’ve been kinda of weird and off my game today. You had something you needed me for?”
She seems unsure so I step in to her personal bubble and rest a hand on her arm. “Uh yeah. I know you said we can’t be together like that again but…does that mean we can’t be friends either?” Um. Huh? “Because I’ve been getting the feeling you’ve been doing that whole avoid the issue thing.” Well maybe a little. Maybe a lot. “We used to have fun and stuff and I guess I’m missing that.”
She’s younger than me. I know this rationally. But why does she have to be so self aware and articulate? Couldn’t she throw a tantrum and make me not want this? With her. I don’t think anything is going to be easy about this whole situation. It’s going to be messy and heart breaking and I’m going to lose myself again. And it’s only going to get worse when Faith gets here.
I guess that means I should take whatever peace I can find and run with it. My arms work before my brain registers that I’m pulling her to me. And dimly in the back of my mind I know I shouldn’t be thinking about Faith while I’m kissing Satsu. But I am. At least until I feel hands on my waist, and the soft warm tongue that Satsu runs over my lower lip. Now the only thing I’m thinking is that I shouldn’t be doing this but god, she feels good. And she loves me.
I’m not just a passing fancy. I never will be to her. And that’s all I need right now. Well that and probably said soft warm tongue between my legs. Okay lets not get too thinky on Buffy’s bi-curious phase. Because that’s all this is. A phase with really good sex. A phase with really good sex and all that’s missing is the Slayer connection I know I should have but don’t.
The kiss gets deeper and I’m pushing her against the wall before I realize that there are people walking around. People walking around and talking about the fact that I’m sucking serious face with another Slayer. Satsu gives a tiny whimper that drives me in-fucking-sane with the need to have her. “Buffy?”
Her tone is a little too high when we finally break apart. But it’s different from Faith’s rough burr and that’s okay by me. “Can we just…go somewhere? Alone?” I know it’s plaintive and nearly begging but she just nods and takes me by the hand. I don’t know why but I need this. I need to just let go. And Satsu can help me with that.
I knew that taking this little trip with Giles would be a pain in the ass. I fucking knew it. As the plane takes off from Logan International I shut the window shade. The last thing I wanna see is Boston slippin’ away from me as we pass right over it. “This is gonna suck. You know that right?”
Giles folds his newspaper and gives me a mild look I don’t know how to read. “Very much so I’m afraid.” I snort and almost smile. At least he’s bein’ honest and shit. My fingers start tappin’ on the arm rest and Giles puts a hand over them. I glance at it for about a second before I force myself not to react to that. “We’ve a long way to go yet Faith. Perhaps a nap?”
Oh yeah. Right like that’s gonna happen. I just blink at him for a few minutes. “I’ll try.” It’s a compromise to appease him but really I ain’t crashin’ for awhile. “Been up all night so maybe…” The look in his eyes softens and I take my hand back an’ put it in my lap.
“Yes so I recall hearing.” Oh. I don’t say anything because well, it’s kinda fucked up to laugh at him when he’s all embarrassed and stuff. “You know Faith I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that.” Great so now he’s gonna weigh in on my sex life? I so don’t need this right now. I turn to face Giles because I know he has a harder time talkin’ about it when I’m starin’ him right in the eyes.
He shifts uncomfortably and I smirk. “What about it G?” Oh boy oh boy. I got the vein to pop out an’ I haven’t even started yet. This is gonna be fun. “Bein’ a lil too loud for ya gramps?” Giles gets that irritated huff he gets when ever I call him gramps.
“Yes actually but that wasn’t what I was referring to.” No of course not. He knows that I know what exactly he’s referring to. But I’m gonna play stupid because that’s easier than dealing. If I’m gonna be in a conversation I can’t run away from I don’t want ta have to do the work for it. “You seem to have a particular type…”
“You’ve been waitin’ a long time to get me cornered to talk about this haven’t you?” Yeah I can change the subject if I wanna. Giles gives me another one of his long suffering sighs. I knew it. I chuckle and wait for the stewardess to come up the aisle. Nice. She’s hot. Blonde. Narrow hipped. And hey lookit those green eyes. My tongue flicks out of the corner of my mouth as I ponder all the ways I could take her.
Maybe this flight won’t be so boring afterall. “Yes well you seem to have quite a lot of other things to do and places to be whenever I mention you fucking Buffy.” Wha? I whip around to stare at him and blink. “Now that I have your attention, may I get on with this horrifying conversation?”
All I can do is nod slightly. I mean yeah I guess he can get on with it since he’s bein’ all bold and shit. “I’m all ears.” He sighs and readjusts himself so that he can face me more fully. I think that means he wants me to take whatever he’s got ta say seriously.
“Faith…” Okay I changed my mind. I don’t wanna hear it. Whatever it is I’m pretty sure I know how the song goes. Buffy’s out of your league. Ya practically killed her. You’re not good enough for her. Blah blah blah. As if I’d even bother to try an’ pry her legs apart. B is strictly dickly. At least that’s all she’ll ever admit to. “I think your feelings for Buffy are much stronger than you realize.”
That’s what he’s choosing to open with? “No shit Giles. I want your girl bad. What’s that got to do with who I fuck?” Other than they mostly have blonde hair, light eyes, and big attitude. What can I say? I like my girls bitchy. Makes it so much sweeter when I’m done ruinin’ them for other women. Heh.
He gives me another of his blank looks and takes off his glasses. I guess he just now realized he’s just as trapped as I am. That gives me a lil bit of comfort. “Well it’s clear you want her. Or you wouldn’t be attempting to sleep with every woman you meet that looks like her. But that is not what I’m talking about and you know it.”
Boy if he polishes those things any more they’re just gonna disappear. “Just getting’ my rocks off with the one that got away. What’s the big?”
“Faith you don’t have…rocks…” Oh well yeah he’s got a point there. I smirk at his look when he finally puts the glasses back on. “Honestly.” Oh yeah I got the exasperated British huff. I must really be workin’ his last nerve. “This is your chance Faith. To say the things you’ve never been able to say.”
And what? “Why? You think she’s gonna just forget the times I tried ta kill her and sleep with her boytoys? Or the fact that I jacked her Watcher right out from under her upturned nose? Fuck that Giles. B hates my guts. Can’t say the feelin’ ain’t mutual.” Most of the time.
The rest of the time I’m in every pub and bar I can find just lookin’ for someone who’ll make me feel half of what I felt when I was with Buffy. “Well, To be honest with you Faith I really don’t think that’s ever going to happen. Buffy is very determined to keep you at arms length. And given the history you share I can understand why. But you do share something. A bond. Something that does not translate over with the other Slayers. Something unique to the two of you.”
Right. That thing. I don’t wanna give anything away but I can’t help the way my hand moves to my belly and the long jagged scar there. There’s no bond between me an’ Buffy. Just lots of hate. An’ a lil lust thrown in for good measure. I mean I know she wanted me. She was just too fuckin’ homophobic to get over herself. “Yeah well don’t expect her to be in a listenin’ mood. And anyway everything that comes outta my mouth just gets fucked up in the end.” So there ain’t a point in stirrin’ the pot.
God I need a drink. Where’s that stewardess anyway? Giles notes my distracted look with a sigh. Again. Is that all he does anymore? “You’re in love with her aren’t you?” Uh. I stop looking around for my in flight entertainment and glare at him. Why does he always gotta push shit? Why?
“Wouldn’t know Giles. Never been in love before.” That was sort kinda a lie. I mean I know I said that we don’t lie to each other but I couldn’t just spit it out like that. Not with him lookin’ at me like that. With pity in his eyes. God that makes me nuts. “Let me up. I gotta pee.” I don’t, not really but the flight attendant is on that end of the plane. So I need a handy excuse to get up.
Giles knows I’m full of shit. He can tell by the look on my face. “Do try not to get us arrested again please.” I just flash him a cocky smirk and wait for him to get out of the seat. I could have just crawled over him but the last time we flew to Louisiana for a lead I did that. It didn’t go over well. Once I’m past him I stop an’ turn an’ give him a searching look.
He might not really see it this way but he’s kinda my bestfriend. “G?” Giles turns to look at me in exasperation. “I don’t know if it’s love but…” My shoulders come up in a shrug. “If I could do it over, I’d make it right. All of it.” Giles nods once and settles in to his seat. I bet he’s gonna be thinkin’ that one over all the way to Scotland. Me? I just make my way back to the flight attendant an’ give her my best come fuck me face. It works.
It always does.
“Buffy? Are you uh in there?” No I’m really not. I grunt and raise myself up on my elbows. Satsu’s arm is slung over my waist and it really does make me grin. Sex has always been good and even great. But sex with Satsu is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. And a hell of a lot better than masturbation. Okay even sex with Riley was better than masturbation. And he was a snoozefest.
I really shouldn’t be so critical of him. “Yeah I’m here. Hang on a sec Wills.” Satsu stirs and starts to wake up but I drop a few kisses on her shoulder when I slink out of bed. It puts her right back to sleep. Which is good. If she’s going to patrol with me later she’s going to need her rest. I dress really quickly and slip out of the room before Willow can catch a glimpse of what’s inside. “What’s up?”
Willow. My sweet Willow. She raises her brows and nods in the direction of the room I just left. “Nothing much. I was looking for you and a few of the girls said they might have seen you coming in this general direction. In a hurry. With Satsu…” Oh yeah. I forgot me with the not so sneakiness. I just give her a look and grin.
“So what’d you need?” She shakes herself out of her reverie and puts on a smirk of her own. Okay. I hope this doesn’t turn in the share part of our friendship. I’m not too sure I want to share Satsu with anyone just yet. Well okay so I told Xander. But that’s only because he was the first person to ask me how my day was and I couldn’t hold it in any longer.
Willow nudges me with an elbow. “How’re you doing with the whole Giles and Faith thing?” I tip my head to one side and kind of shrug.
“Better I guess. I mean yeah I’m not exactly jazzed about the idea of her being here but…” No I’m really not excited to be seeing Faith. Willow clasps her hands together as we walk. Something happened to us that we just can’t seem to get back. Ever since the incident.
At least that’s what I call it. She probably calls it the blame game. But I can’t fault Willow for thinking that something will happen to Kennedy by being around me. “So is that why you’re joining the ranks of queers?”
“No Will I’m doing it because….” Because I don’t want to think about Faith. Or anyone. Because I’m tired of being alone. Because I don’t think I can keep myself from going insane with the need to connect with someone. And Satsu is someone I connect with. “Honestly I don’t know anymore.” Maybe I am jumping in to this headlong because I don’t want to deal with Faith’s feelings toward me. Wow. I can even be avoidy in my innner monologue.
Willow puts an arm around me and I stop us in the hall. Well maybe I shouldn’t be too hasty with the avoidance with Willow. She is my bestfriend and she knows me better than I know myself most times. “Sometimes you just need to feel something you know?”
Exactly. I give her a relieved look and lean in to her hug. Thank God she gets it. I don’t know what I’d do if I really had to explain it. Well I guess I’d probably become as self actualized as Satsu. “At least I’m not sleeping with an evil vampire this time.” Because that was so wrong. So so so wrong. Willow laughs and presses a light kiss on my bowed head.
“Which is a good thing.” Okay so remind me again why I was so hesitant to keep Willow out of my personal life? “Believe it or not Buffy I get what you’re going through. Maybe for me it was a little different but I know that feeling of needing something all your own.” Yes. “Something you don’t have to share, something you can get lost in safely.” Yes and double yes.
God I love my Willow. “This is huge for me Willow.” She nods and I let out a tension filled breath. “And really hot.” Her laugh is contagious and it gets me going. We break apart and keep walking. I’m seriously hungry right now.
“Yeah well preaching to the choir here baby.” Yeah I guess I am. We share another laugh and head in to the mess hall. “Hungry?” Her brow quirks at my belly rumbling.
“Hungry is so not the word for what I am. I think ravenous is a better term.” Wills snorts and slaps a hand over mouth. What? I give her a questioning look that she just laughs even harder at. No seriously. What?
“I think Satsu would probably agree.” Oh. Well. Nothing much I can say to that. I just blink at her and grab a tray. And yeah the corner of my mouth quirks up in a little bit of a smirk. Oh God. I’m turning in to Faith.
“So this is the place huh?” I look up at the massive and imposing building. It’s pretty wicked. B’s got her own little castle. Guess my All Hail The Queen comment is pretty accurate. Giles nods only once but I can see him working to swallow the lump he’s got in his throat. This isn’t any easier for him than it is for me, and it’s probably worse since he didn’t get to spend most of his flight gettin’ his freak on.
Of course that’s also why we’re a day later than we should be. “Xander has informed me that we’re to walk right in. Willow already opened the barrier for us to enter. Yesterday.” I knew he wasn’t gonna let that shit go.
I glance up at him and sigh. “Told’ja Giles, I’m really sorry about gettin’ us arrested.”
“Again.” Well. Yeah. It’s not my fault that some fat bastard tried to grab my ass in the airport lounge after he saw me givin’ that stewardess a nice goodbye. I mean I had to defend myself. Right? He gives me a look and grips my shoulder with a warm hand. Any other person and I would have seriously hurt the hell out of them. But it’s Giles and I’m gettin’ used to him.
“Yeah well...this time it really wasn’t my fault.” His smile kinda makes things all better and we start to walk in to the main door. Right over the moat. No shit. A real moat. This is a fucking trip. When we’re inside the castle I take a look around. “Hey fancy...”
Giles chuckles a little but it’s cut short by a grating and annoying voice we’re both way too familiar with. “Giles!” We turn to catch Buffy and Willow making their way towards us. I steel myself for the looks and comments I’m going to get. Yep. This is me texting on my cell phone and not lookin’ at her. “Faith.” I don’t even have to look up to know the expression on her face.
I can hear it in the way she said my name. All hard and cold. “B.” Giles clears his throat once more and nudges me in the arm. Fine. I’ll fucking look at her. I sigh and tuck my phone away and finally look up at Buffy. God she’s beautiful. My brow comes up slightly at the slightly annoyed look on her face. “Heya Red.” Willow jumps just a hair when I address her.
She gives me a wave and hey not so much with the condemning. At least not yet. I’m cool with that. “You guys are late. Thought something might have happened to you.” Giles looks at me for just a second before shrugging at Buffy.
“Yes, well we’re here now. Sorry to inconvenience you.” Did...he just stand up to Buffy for me? I blink and look up at him but he’s got all his attention on B. “It has been an extremely taxing couple of days. Is there somewhere we can freshen up?” This totally takes Buffy by surprise. I think she was thinkin’ that he’d be all huggy and dad like to her but he’s not.
“Yeah sure. Sorry I just wasn’t thinking. Um. Willow do you mind? Satsu is waiting for me.”
And just like that the girl is gone. Probably some urgent Slayer business. Or she really freaking wants to get the hell away from me. Probably both. I glance around lookin’ for Kennedy but I don’t see her anywhere. “Where’s Ken?” Willow starts to lead us away but shrugs at the mention of her girl. Wait. I hope they didn’t break up or anything. I mean I wasn’t exactly thrilled with Kennedy at first but she grew on me. Kinda like mold.
“At home keeping things under control. Most likely pissed off that she’s not here for your homecoming.” Homecoming? I snort at that. Well at least it’s nice to know that Red is still a member of the Birkenstock Army. “So you guys have been doing the whole independent contractor thing. How’s that working out for you?”
Okay I know that she’s just tryin’ to make conversation but I got nothin’ to offer her. Never did. See me an’ Red we don’t mesh. She never liked me an’ well I wasn’t too sold on her either. I think it might have been a mutual jealousy thing. I was hornin’ in on her BFF time with Buffy. An’ well she got to see the parts about Buffy that B was too stuck up to show me. But I’m not gonna think like that here. I can’t.
It’ll just end up a fight or worse. “It’s been interesting. Right G?” He chuckles again and nods. Well I’m not the only one that’s havin’ a hard time making light conversation. “So these my digs for the next few days?” Willow stops at a door and opens her mouth to say something.
“Days? I thought...well...” Well what?
“Erm. I just kind of thought that you guys were going to stay here for awhile.” Awhile? I glance at Giles who clears his throat for like the millionth time.
“We have work to do as well, Willow but we’ll stay as long as we can.” That was pretty vague. “And my room?” Wow. Not only was it vague but he actually shut Red down. I don’t think he’s ever done that before. I give him a wink and slip in to my room.
It’s nice and basic. I’m good with that. Droppin’ my bag on the floor I flop in to the bed and tuck my hands under my head. So. Seein’ Buffy again, not the horrible thing I thought it would be. I mean. I didn’t get hit. Yet. I guess I’m gonna just have to see what it’s like here. I’m so fuckin’ tired I could crash right now. I think finally bein’ here is sappin’ me of all my energy.
Well that and the fact that I haven’t slept in like three days now. With a grunt I get up and chuck my boots in to the corner of the room before slinkin’ out of my jeans. I flop back in to my bed and close my eyes but I can’t get to sleep. ‘Cause someone decided now was a good time to knock. I sigh and roll over, with the pillow over my head. Right now I’m not in the mood to play nice with anyone. “Faith?”
Fuck. With a groan I get up and open the door. “What?” Xander’s eye bugs out just a little. It’s not like he hasn’t seen more than me in a tank and undies before. For a second I think he’s gonna keel over but he holds up a covered tray. It smells like food. Suddenly I’m over my tiredness and so fuckin’ hungry I could eat an entire cow. Hooves an’ everything.
“Uh hey Faith. I just thought you might be hungry so I...” I don’t even wait for him to finish before I grab the tray out of his hands. Xander just looks at me in that kinda scared kinda turned on way. I give my head a jerk by way of invite. He actually takes me up on it. Huh. Not bad. I’m actually kinda proud of him for takin’ the chance. “So I see you’re settling in well.”
I look around at the mess I’ve already made of the room. It’s not that bad. I give him a mild look before settling on to the bed with the tray on my lap. “Thanks for the grub, Xander.” It was nice of him to think of me. “Tryin’ ta keep me from gettin’ grumpy huh?”
His smile. I always remember his smile. “Yeah well we all know what happens when you get grumpy.” That actually makes me laugh a little. I take the cover off the tray and stare at the two perfect burgers on the tray. My eyes go huge and I think I might be droolin’ a little here. I glance up at Xander an’ do somethin’ I’ve never actually done before.
“Ya want one Xan?” Yeah. I’m big with the sharin’ now. Who fuckin’ knew? Xander beams at me like I never tried ta kill him.
“Sure! I was hungry but I figured I’d let you get your eat on before I started picking off your plate. I kind of wanted to keep as many of my parts as I already have.” Heh.
Well I might have stabbed him with a fork if I had any utensils. “How’d ya know I was jonesin’ for a burger?”
He gives me a shrug. “I didn’t. I just wasn’t all that comfortable with you and silverware.”
Ah. He’s waitin’ to see if I flip the fuck out on that. I just laugh and take my burger off the plate before handing him the other. “So ya got smarter with age huh?” Xander gives me a nod and gestures around the place.
“Well when you’re Buffy’s right hand man you tend to grow up a little.” He’s always been B’s right hand man. He just doesn’t know it. “So I hear you and Giles teamed up to fight the good fight.”
Yeah. I give him a nod and bite in to my burger. It’s the best fuckin’ thing I’ve ever tasted. “Yeah. Turns out we’re not so bad a team.” He gives a nod and pauses before digging in his jean jacket for a couple of bottles of somethin’. Please let that be beer. “If ya tell me that’s beer I might marry you.”
Xander gets a far away look on his face before he uses his key chain to pop the top on one of the bottles. “As appealing as the idea is of a wedding night with you is...I think that ship has sailed for me.” Right. Anya. I wanna kick myself for makin’ him think about that.
“Sorry.” My head dips down because I don’t wanna see that hurt look on his face. It makes me think of all the things I did to hurt him an’ everyone connected with him. A bottle floats in to my line of vision an’ I take it. For a second I think I’m seein’ things but then I realize that the bottle is clear and the beer is green. “Um Xan?”
He looks over at me and shrugs. “Well it’s close to St. Patrick’s Day. I figured you wouldn’t mind a festive beer.” I laugh at that and take a sip. Not bad. “Plus I thought you were one of those Black Irish girls.”
“Pretty much all I know about bein’ Irish is Boondock Saints and Lucky Charms.” I didn’t grow up with a real good family unit. Not one that was proud of who they were anyway. He laughs and sips his own beer. Ya know this isn’t half bad. It’s almost like havin’ a friend other than my old man. “So you been doin’ the whole leader thing huh?”
He gives me a nod and swallows a bite of burger. “Yeah it kind of just seemed logical. I know everything that Buffy knows mostly and I’m good with the girls.” Yeah I just bet. I give him a lewd look.
“Yeah me too.” Xander almost chokes on his burger at that but I just keep my expression neutral.
“That’s kind of a thing with Slayers so I hear.” Wha? I blink and look at him. Really look at him. But he’s givin’ nothin’ away. That’s okay. I mean this many girls all cooped up together...lets just say I’d be surprised if it wasn’t happenin’. Whatever. I shrug and go back to my burger, content to just sit and hang with someone I’m not fuckin’ an’ not takin’ orders from. Not that I take orders from anyone.
So I know that I shouldn’t be hiding but I am. And I know that I probably shouldn’t be hiding in Satsu’s room. But I so am. She looks over at me from her spot in the bed and raises her brows. “So do you want to talk about it or are we going to just have more sex?”
Uh. I look at her and shake my head. “Not really much to talk about. I just had some free time and thought you might want to hang out.” Okay this isn’t hanging out in the strictest sense of the word. I don’t hang out with Willow and Xander the way I hang out with Satsu. That would just be weird and wrong. Okay I should just admit it. I’m not hanging out with Satsu I’m using her.
Fuck. That is so not what I was going for. “Uh huh.” I sigh and lower my head to rest in my hands as I sit on the edge of the bed. I owe her more than this. She deserves better. God, why am I such an asshole? I must really be turning in to Faith. “I’m just your distraction aren’t I?” And again I say. FUCK!
I turn my body and scoot back up the bed until I’m close enough that she can’t avoid my gaze. “That’s not what I wanted this to be.” And to be fair I tried to warn her about getting hurt caring about me. “I’m...really out of sorts right now.” Why do I feel like I’ve been saying this to my significant others all my life? I sigh softly and run gentle fingers along her jaw so I can tip her head up.
“It’s okay Buffy. I knew that when this happened the first time.” No it’s really not okay. Leaning in I give her a soft kiss and follow it up with another. She doesn’t fight me on it and well lets be honest here. Why would she? We just spent a couple of hours making each other very very happy. “So this is the back to the sex part huh?” Damnit. I stop my kissing and pull back.
“I should probably go huh?” Satsu doesn’t look at me when she nods. I fucked up. Again. Why am I always doing this to people? Wait. Why am I always doing this to myself? I get dressed quietly but I’m not sure why because I know she’s not asleep. As I tug on my shoes I try to salvage this in any way I can. “For what it’s worth I’m...”
“I know.” Wow. She couldn’t even let me get out the apology. I clench my jaw and try not to sigh. Well I tried. I stand on slightly shaky legs and open the door to her room. “Buffy?” Am I going to get something chucked at my head? Because if I am I really don’t want to turn around and catch it right in the face.
But of course I turn anyway. “Yeah?” I’m wary because I even though I don’t see anything in her hands, that doesn’t mean she can’t chuck something at me. She is a Slayer afterall. And a damn good one, which is why I felt so close to her.
“I’ll be okay you know.” I give a nod. “I love you but I know you’re...” She shrugs a little and finally looks me in the eye. “You’re a million miles away. I get that.” Does she really? Because I know that I barely get it. Satsu turns out the light and settles down in the bed again and I frown. Wait a minute. Is...she breaking up with me?
We’re not even really together but she’s totally breaking up with me. Wow. So just when I thought I couldn’t cry anymore...here I am. Standing in the dark of my not girlfriend’s room, right after she rocks my socks and kicks me out. God I’d love to hit something right now. I wonder what Faith’s doing. “I...” I what? I’m sorry? I don’t know so I’m just going to shoot from the hip here. “I’m not sorry about anything we’ve done Satsu. I’m just sorry I can’t be more human.”
I guess that’s the root of it. I mean here I am supposed to be all big and bad and evil fighty and defend the human race and I don’t even feel like I’m a part of that. I don’t feel like I’m a part of anything. I close the door behind me and just start walking. I’m not sure where I’m going or what I’m going to do when I get there. I just know I need to be gone for a little while.
It takes me a few minutes to realize that I somehow made my way to the other side of the castle. The side I swore up and down to Willow that I was not going to visit. The side that has Faith in it. She’s pretty much the last thing I need right now but it seems that my brain thinks otherwise. Or maybe my brain was directing me to Giles’ room. Hey that’s a good idea. I knock on the door that we designated for him but no one answers. I knock again just to be sure.
“No one home B. He’s on the phone with Woody downstairs.” My eyes close and I sigh. Of course she would be right there. I turn around and blink at Faith leaning against the frame of her door in a tank top and panties. She couldn’t have at least put on pants? Because someone not me might be eyeing her up right now.
Not that I care. And not that I’m eyeing her up myself. Because I’m really not looking at her legs. I’m looking at the evil shade of green she painted her toenails. Yeap. That’s what I’m looking at. “Fine I’ll look for him downstairs. And put some pants on will you?”
Faith doesn’t let me get far before she has to open her mouth. I knew coming this direction would be a bad idea. “Why B? Afraid someone’s gonna notice ya lookin’?” That stops me dead. I don’t know why it bugs me to hear her talk like that. She’s been doing it for years.
“Don’t flatter yourself Faith, the last Slayer I was eyeing up was a lot hotter than you.” She snorts at that and crosses her arms over her very ample chest. But I’m not looking at that.
“Right. You just hopped on the fun wagon with everyone else. You? Buffy the Great. Little Miss Prude. You. I’ll believe that when I see.”
Fuck you Faith. I take the few steps to get right in her face. My arm shoots out and I rest my hand against the wall by the side of her head. “I don’t give two squirts of duck shit about what you believe Faith.” I inch in just that much closer to her because I know her. And I know what she’s capable of doing. And I know right now she’s catching a nice whiff of someone not her all over me. “Just know she was everything I wanted and then some.”
Her face goes still the same way it does when she’s about to lose control. No one has ever noticed that before but I did. I noticed everything about Faith and she threw it back in my face every fucking chance she got. So right now she can get all still and angry because I’m just as pissed off. Probably more since I just got broken up with because I can’t stop thinking about Faith.
Okay did I actually just think that? Oh my...god... Satsu was wrong. I’m not a million miles away I was just on the other side of the castle with someone who so doesn’t deserve me. And when I think about how she is I don’t think I deserve her either. I had enough of Faith and her self destructo behavior in Sunnydale. I’m over it. I’m over her. “Good for you B.”
Huh? The anger in my eyes doesn’t really fade as much as cloud over as I try and figure that response out. Good for me? That’s what she’s going to comment? Good for me? “It was thanks.” Yes. I am really that big of a bitch. I back off when she doesn’t move. And that’s probably because I had her almost pinned to the wall.
Faith doesn’t smirk. She doesn’t smile. Hell I’m not sure if she’s breathing. “S’long as you’re happy.” Is this some kind of joke? I finally come to terms with that fact that I can’t get her out of my head and she’s happy for me? Wait. Even that was confused in my brain. I pretty much just bitched her out for no reason. Well no good reason. I really need to get out of here.
“Why am I even talking to you?” I take another few steps back until I’m across the hall from her. Faith is just standing there looking at me without one single expression on her face. And that little fact just weirds me out.
She shrugs again. That’s got to be an epidemic around here. Contagious shrugging. Ugh. “Beats me girlfriend.” God I hate her sometimes.
“And stop calling me girlfriend!” And now she’s laughing. Why is she laughing? Forget it I don’t want to know and I don’t really care. I’m going to my room to stuff my face with ice cream and cry my eyes out. Mostly because I don’t even know what’s going on anymore. I stalk off but not before I catch a glimpse of Faith watching me go in the reflection in the shiny shield mounted on the wall. It was all distorted so I can’t be sure but I’d swear she looked like I ate her puppy for breakfast.