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  Part 10

Faith waited, her face inches from Buffy, who was busy staring Faith back in the eye. When she was just about to lose her nerve, the blond grabbed her hair and pulled her back, licking down the side of Faith's neck. Faith leaned back in the chair, hands still on the sides, as Buffy licked her way down and back up Faith's throat. She was trying to tell herself to stop the girl, to pull her hands out of her hair and get up, but Buffy leaned back and Faith opened her eyes.

"Don't close them." Buffy said, and Faith stared at her, watching as Buffy moved in to kiss her.

It took all of her strength not to close her eyes.

Buffy was sucking on Faith's lip, pressing her tongue against the outside of Faith's, waiting to be let in. Faith closed her eyes and Buffy stopped.

"Open your eyes." She said, and moved her hands to Faith's thighs.

Faith, for the most part, couldn't do anything but sit there and pry her eyes open staring at Buffy.

"Better." Buffy said, before attacking Faith's mouth again. This time full force, still looking deep into her eyes.

Faith was fast moving past uncomfortable at being stared at, to hot at being so dominated by Buffy. Any rational thought left her when she moved her hands to Buffy's side and Buffy grabbed them.

"You need somewhere to put these?" Buffy asked, holding Faith's hands to her chest.

Faith nodded.

Buffy ran her hands along the back of Faith's, and taking them, she grabbed Faith's breast. She squeezed and Faith's hands mimicked her actions.

"Do you like to touch yourself like that, Faithy?" Buffy asked, biting Faith's ear, before coming back around to stare into her eyes again.

"No, open them Faith, don't close them again. Look at me." She took Faith's hands and ran them up the brunette's throat, down her chest and back up to her breasts.

"I like to watch you touch yourself, Faithy. How many times have you done this thinking it was me, hmm?"

"God, B." Faith said, having a small moment of clarity, when Buffy started to lick the side of her throat again.

"Umm, B...oh god, B, please, I think we may need to...ughh." She said, as Buffy ran her own hands around Faith's thighs before grabbing her ass and pulling Faith into her.

Buffy spread her legs and rubbed herself suggestively on Faith's lap, all the while cupping Faith's ass, grinding faster and constantly kissing and licking any skin above Faith's neck she could find. Faith moved her hands to Buffy's thighs, causing the girl to relinquish her hold on Faith and lifted her up. She pulled herself up, face to Buffy's breasts, which were beginning to more than spill out of the corseted top.

"That's it Faith, I like it rough, bite them." She said, pulling her breasts free from the dress and looking at Faith.

Faith let the rush of the moment get the better of her and she licked softly before nipping in between Buffy's breasts.

"Oh god, that feels good, harder, I need it harder. Hurt me Faith, make me bleed!" Buffy was practically screaming at Faith, pressing her head to her harder. "I need to be hurt Faith, hurt me." She said, as Faith slowed down and then stopped to look up at Buffy.


"What are you doing, did I say you could stop?" She asked, slapping Faith across the cheek. "Do what I say." She said, grabbing Faith's head and looking down at her.

"No, B, get off me. You're freaking me out." Faith said, trying to remove Buffy from her lap.

"Oh, really?" Buffy said, grabbing Faith's crotch and shoving a hand down the front of her pants. She brought it up and licked it.

"Looks like you liked to be freaked out, F."

Faith took that moment to throw Buffy off of her and she landed on the bed.

"What the fuck is up?" Faith asked, staring down at her.

Buffy was lying on the bed, looking at Faith, she rose on her elbows and laughed.

"I always knew you were scared of me. Can't take it, can you?"

Faith bent down on her knees in front of Buffy. "Buffy, come on, tell me what I can do?"

"Well, Faith, you could have fucked me. That would have been fun." She said smiling at her.

"I'm sorry." Faith said, standing up.

"For what? Please, I can fuck whomever I want. You're not even a challenge, really," Buffy said standing .

Faith felt the words hit her face like Buffy had punched her.

"Not for that, B." She said. "You're pretty much right, there, on both accounts."

Buffy smiled knowingly. "Then for what, Faith, for being such a coward? Not taking the one thing you've always wanted." She said, pressing her body back into Faith's.

"No, for this." Faith said, as she punched Buffy in the face.

Part 11

Faith was amazed at the ease that she had in taking Buffy out of the club.

No one had even hinted at the fact that the dark haired girl was essentially kidnapping her. 'Probably glad to see the crazy bitch outta there.' Faith thought.

"Crazy bitch is right..." Faith mumbled, pulling Buffy into the passenger's side of her car. "...and I'm not sure which one of us it is."

She looked over at Buffy as she pulled out of the lot. She seemed to still be out of it, probably cause she was stoned out of her mind.

"Jesus, that's gonna leave a nasty bruise." She said out loud looking at Buffy's face. "Not unlike these here on my neck." She finished looking at herself in the rearview.

Faith drove for about an hour heading east out of the city. She wasn't thinking about where she was going or the fact that neither of the girls had a change of clothes, and it didn't even cross her mind that she had just basically kidnapped a badass, drug addicted Slayer, whom at any point was probably going to wake up and kick her ass.

No, Faith was just driving, intent on getting as far away from New Orleans as possible before the girl woke. She had just turned the radio up, thinking 'this is a good song', when Buffy stirred.

"Malcolm?" Buffy asked, raising her head.

"Nope babe, just me." Faith smiled at her, as Buffy whipped her head around.

"Christ, F, way to punch someone." Buffy said holding her head. "It's gonna bruise, too. I'm taking it that you didn't get any of my stuff when you carried me out, huh?" Buffy asked.

Faith looked at her stupefied.

"Umm, no, I was kinda in a hurry, didn't have time to think about your makeup." Faith finished, "Why ya not mad, B?"

"Oh, about you punching me, yeah, well, life takes us strange places, and it wouldn't be the first time." Buffy said, looking out the window. "You got a smoke?"

"Yeah. Here." She handed her the cigarettes. "You know, B, I know I did some crazy shit to you before, but unless I'm suffering from some memory loss here, which is highly likely, don't get me wrong or anything." Faith countered taking a lit cigarette from Buffy before continuing. "I don't think I ever punched you in the face and kidnapped you. Not while you were trying to seduce me, anyway."

"Didn't say it happened with you. Just said it happened." Buffy said, still blowing smoke out the window. "Nothing suprises me anymore, Faith. Guess it's better you than some guy with a pair of pliers." She finished.

Faith decided not to question what that was about and kept on driving instead, wondering where the hell she was going.

"Willow! Shit." Faith exclaimed after a few minutes. "I need to stop and call her, tell her I got...have...tell her you're with me."

"Fuck Willow." Buffy said, still staring at anything but Faith.


"Why fuck her? Oh, I don't know, she and that little lap dog she has stole my child. I think that's grounds enough to say fuck her." Buffy said, the first hint of anger touching her voice.

"Not the way they tell it, B. Way I hear it, you got drunk, knocked Xander around, almost let Rosie drown, and then told Wills you didn't want her anyway. Plus the little lap dog, as you refer to her, is basically supporting your child. I would think you would be a little more understanding. Oh, wait, no I wouldn't."


"What?" Faith asked.

"Oh, nothing, Rosie is all. Just you've been here one day and you're already calling her by her little Wiccan nickname. Did you fall for her like they did? One look at that little face and you saw me, and just knew this little girl had stole your heart?" Buffy asked.

"Don't be a bitch, Buffy. She doesn't even look that much like you. Her dad must have been dark and handsome, cause when we went to eat, the waitress thought she was mine."

"Her father was a dick."

"Yeah, well, her mother sounds like a bitch. Does it make you feel good to talk about your child like that? Do you think your foolin me with the hardass routine or the mother who doesn't care. Shit B, I had one of those and you're outta your league there." Faith gripped the steering a little harder.

"You did fall for her, didn't you?" Buffy taunted.

"Yeah, she's a cute kid. Not that you'd know. It took a while though, to be honest, she was a little shit at the restaurant. But when we got back, when it was just me and her, well, I've never had a kid fall asleep on top of me like that, with her little arms wrapped around me like she was afraid I was going to leave her. It didn't take much for me to love her, not after that."

Buffy looked down at her hands. She was barely whispering. "I did try, you know."

"Yeah, Will said you tried a whole two weeks. Look at you. Supermom." Faith couldn't hide the disdain in her voice.

"I deserved that." Buffy simply stated.

Faith cracked then. She pulled the car off the road.

"Fuck, B, you deserve a lot more than that. You deserved them taking her away, not letting you see her. You deserved me knocking your ass out. You deserve me leaving you here on this fucking highway and going back to see your kid. Cause I gotta tell ya, I'd pretty much rather be with her right now, than in this car with you." Faith released her grip on the steering wheel and turned back towards the window. "Buffy, you need to make up your mind, as it is, you've pretty much depleted any sympathy I had for ya. But, I came here to help you. And I think I still want to, but these mood swings, you need to pick a personality and stay with it. That little freaky sex display earlier and now this little admission of guilt, I'm thinking you don't know what you want. I will help you. My reasons for doing so may have changed or at least been altered, but I will help, but you've got to want it and you've got to mean it. Cause I'm not Red, and when I say you're getting one chance, I fucking mean it."

Buffy turned her head away from Faith and laid it back on the seat, there were no tears, no rebuttals, not one act of defiance.

"I've been waiting six years for your help, Faith, I'm not about to turn it down." She said, and then closed her eyes. "Wake me up when we get to wherever it is you've decided we're going."

Faith started the car and didn't reply, just pulled back onto the highway and drove off.

'Where we're going? That's the $64,000 question, isn't it?' She thought.

Part 12

"Ok," Faith said. "where the fuck are we?"

Buffy mumbled in the seat next to her before raising her head.

"How the hell should I know?"

"Ok, first of all, it was a rhetorical question. Second, can't really get rid of the bitch mode, can ya?"

Buffy started to say something when Faith cut her off. "And third, shut the fuck up and go back to sleep."

"Mississippi." Buffy said.


"Missi-ssip-pi." Buffy said, speaking slowly.

"Again, huh?"

Buffy rolled her eyes. "We're in Mississippi. See the signs." Faith glanced at the road.

"Oh." She mumbled.

"Okay, Faith, as much as this little road trip is amusing me, when are we going to stop?"

"Now." Faith said, sharply turning into a parking lot of a motel.

"Okay." Buffy said, holding onto the door.

"Look, I'm gonna get a room. Look in the trunk of my car and see if there's anything we can sleep in, in there." Faith told her, getting out.

"Aren't you afraid I'll leave?" Buffy asked.

Faith leaned back in the car.

"Look, sister, you're walking a real thin line here. If I come out here and you're gone, I'm getting back in my car and driving back to New Orleans. I mean, you're making it pretty easy for me to tell you to fuck off. Don't give me a reason."

"Whatever." Buffy sighed, as she got out of the car. "How the hell do you pop the trunk?" she asked.

The girls walked into the room and Buffy threw the clothes on the bed.

"You always keep things to wear in your trunk, Faith?"

"Yeah. I don't ever know if today is a good kidnapping day or not. A girl's gotta be prepared." Buffy rolled her eyes.

"I'm gonna take a bath."

"Ok, I still need to call Willow."

"Sure." Buffy deadpanned.

"Uh, B?"


"When will it start?"

"When will what start?" Buffy asked back.

"The withdrawals. You know, from the drugs and shit."

"I've never had them."

"What? Not in rehab?"

"Nope, figured Slayer metabolism and all, it runs through my system too fast."

"So, you're not really addicted." Faith stated and Buffy gave her a questioning look, "If you were addicted, you'd have the withdrawals."

"I guess." Buffy shrugged.

"You mean to tell me you've been doing this, all this time, and you're not addicted."

"I don't know, Faith, it just felt good. I did what felt good."

"Go take your bath." Faith forced out.

"What's wrong?"

"Look, Buffy, I'm about two seconds away to slamming you through that wall - 'it just felt good.' You are fast making me reconsider this whole deal. I was wondering what it would take for me to get over you. Jeez, if I had known it was spend a few hours with the new 'feel good' Buffy, I'd been down here years ago. As it is, the thought of hurting you keeps entering my mind, and I'm starting to think it's too bad I'm reformed." She said, clenching her fists.

Buffy shrugged again. "Do what you have to Faith. If you think you can." And then walked into the bathroom and shut the door.

Faith picked up the vase sitting near the phone and slung it against the wall before picking up the phone to call Willow.

Willow hung up the phone and looked at Kennedy.

"Well, apparently they are somewhere outside of Biloxi, Mississippi." She said, "Faith sounded a little strained, but she said everything was cool."

"Well, at least you didn't have to do the tracking spell," Kennedy answered. "and it's probably good she didn't kill her or anything." She added.

"Which one?"

"Oh, I am thinking the murderous tendencies could go either way with those two." Kennedy said.

"Well, anyway..." Willow said, ignoring her. "I talked her into coming back. She said to call Giles, see if maybe they could come here."

"Why? You actually think that'll work? I mean Dawn pretty much...I don't know, everyone is sick of her, Wills, I don't even see Xander driving across town for her."

"Maybe. Faith said she needs tough love."

"Ohh, does that count physical pain, cause I'm up for that. I should've slugged her that night she left."

"No. You can't hit her. I'm not really thinking that's what Faith meant. As a matter of fact, I don't really think Faith knows what she means. She didn't describe how she got Buffy to go, but it sounded like it wasn't exactly voluntary."

"I guess we'll see." Kennedy said, she looked at Willow and sighed. "We're Queens of Second Chances, aren't we?"

"Way I look at it," Willow said. "somebody has to be."

Buffy came out of the bathroom dressed in the shirt and shorts she found in Faith's trunk.

She had removed the makeup she had on, and Faith felt a pang of remorse, staring at Buffy. She thought she could see the old Buffy there.

It didn't last long.

"Rush Tri Delta." Buffy said, looking down at the shirt she had put on. "Didn't know you were in a sorority, Faith. I didn't even know you went to college."

"It's been six years B, there's a lot of things you don't know about me." Buffy raised her eyebrows. "Ok, I wasn't in college, doesn't mean I wasn't in Tri Delt."

"The sorority?"

"Well, maybe just one of their sisters." Faith said.

Buffy smiled. "Do I want to know?"

"Not really here to talk about me, are we?"

"I guess not, but why are we here?"

"I don't know. We should go to bed." Faith answered.

"And then what?"

"And then tomorrow we're gonna head back to New Orleans."

"Dare I ask what that little trip will entail?"

"Well, if you don't want to know then I wouldn't ask." Faith said, taking off her jeans and getting into the bed opposite of Buffy's.

"You can sleep with me." Buffy said. "I really won't bite this time."

"I'd rather gouge my eyes out." Faith said, lying down and turning away from Buffy. "If it's all the same to you, that is?"

"That mouth is gonna get you into trouble one day." Buffy said, lying down as well.

Part 13

Buffy and Faith pulled into Willow's driveway late the next afternoon. They had slept well past lunch and only awoke after the telephone had rang.

"Hello?" Faith said groggily, looking over at the same time, relieved to see Buffy was still asleep.

"Faith?" Willow asked on the other end. "You guys haven't left yet?"

"We haven't even gotten up."

"Oh, well I was just checking, making sure everything was okay. I was worried, not that I had reason to be, I trust you and all, but you said you were coming back, and it's after one and yet, still you're not here, but you were asleep, so that's cool."

Faith cut her off.

"We're fine, Red. We'll be home soon. Bye." She said, and hung up the phone. 'Damn that girl can talk.' Faith thought. She got up and walked over to Buffy.

"B..." She said, gently shaking the sleeping girl. "B, get up. Let's go."

Buffy rolled over and looked at Faith. Faith was expecting a protest or at least some witty banter, but Buffy just rose and sighed.

"Okay." She said simply.

Pulling in the driveway, Faith glanced at Buffy and noticed her gripping the seat.

"It'll be okay. Let's get it over with." It was pretty much the longest sentence they had said to each other the entire ride. After thirty minutes of awkward chitchat about the difference in food in New Orleans, Buffy fell silent and Faith allowed it.

She chose not to look at the girl while she was driving, only glancing over once. Buffy was crying, silently, looking out the side window. Faith thought that it would be wise to ignore it and she did.

Faith opened the door to the house and peeked in.

"Honey, I'm home." She called to the house. Buffy was standing behind her, half hiding her small body with Faith's.

"Faithy." They heard Rose call, running into the room, Willow close behind.

"Slow down, Rosie, you'll spill your...juice." Willow was saying as the little girl splashed the juice all over the floor in her effort to get to Faith.

"Ken!" Willow shouted, staring at Buffy. "Bring a towel, she spilled her juice."

"Hey, baby doll." Faith said, as she picked up Rose. "Miss me?"

Rose put her hands on Faith's face. "Yep." She said, nodding emphatically.

Kennedy walked in with a towel.

"Faith..." She said, ignoring Buffy's presence, but not the look Willow was giving Buffy.

"...next time you teach Rosie a song about puppy sex..." She held up a hand as Faith started to speak. "...don't, cause I don't want to know. I'm just saying next time, give us a heads up first, I was talking to my grandmother on the phone and little Rosie was singing a song that gave Nana a nice little mini-stroke."

Willow, still staring with sad eyes at Buffy finally spoke to the girl.

"Hi, Buff." She said, looking down at her hands suddenly.

Buffy walked into the room from behind Faith. Faith was struck by Buffy's sudden lack of bravado as she answered Willow.

"Hey, Wills." She said, alternately looking at her and Rose in Faith's arms.

Faith was kissing Rose on the face and the little girl was giggling. Buffy noticed something in her hands. 'Mr. Gordo'... She thought. 'I forgot I even left him here.'

"What you got there?" Faith asked Rose.

"Mista G." The little girl said, looking at Faith. She suddenly had become timid when she saw Buffy and raised up and whispered in Faith's ear.

"She mean." The little girl said, pointing at Buffy.

Willow wondered what Rose had whispered, but thanks to Slayer hearing, Buffy had heard her just fine. She fought the sudden overwhelming urge to run back out the door.

"Sorry." She said, patting the stuffed animal and frowning. "I used to have something a lot like this when I was little." Buffy said, smiling slightly at the little girl.

Rose jerked the stuffed animal away from Buffy's hand and turned the other way.

"It mine." She said to Faith.

Kennedy and Willow stared hesitantly at Buffy, expecting the worst. Before Faith could answer Rose, Buffy said

"Of course it is. It's a pretty little piggy, isn't it?" She said gently, laying her hand on Rosie's back.

"Putty little piggy." Rose mocked, smiling at Buffy.

Tension averted, Faith smiled. "Why don't we get something to eat? We haven't really eaten anything that could be considered real food."

"Food." Kennedy said. "I forgot. I ordered Chinese. I'm gonna pick it up. Wanna go, Rosie?" Kennedy asked.

"Yep." She nodded, hopping out of Faith's arms.

Kennedy smiled. "We'll be back shortly." She said.

Faith looked at Willow and then Buffy.

"Guys, I don't mean to be the deserter and all, but I didn't get a shower last night and I feel dirty. Do you mind?" She asked, looking between them.

"Go on." Both girls answered simultaneously.

Faith turned around and walked out of the hall, leaving the two girls staring at each other across the room. 'Hope she doesn't kill her,' Faith thought to herself. 'hope they don't kill each other, actually.'

Part 14

Faith pressed her forehead against the shower wall.

'I'm not weak,' She repeated in her head. 'I'm not weak.' For the first time since she came to New Orleans, she really wanted to cry. She had spent all last night thinking about her encounter with Buffy, at the club and in her room. 'I almost screwed it all up. I was so close to letting her, Jesus,' She thought. 'I could have made it worse.' She ran her hair under the showerhead letting the soap and shampoo run down her back.

"I'm not weak." She said out loud, one more time, before getting out of the shower.

Willow and Buffy were sitting across from each other at the breakfast table in the kitchen.

Neither had spoken since Faith had exited. When Willow had turned to go into the kitchen, Buffy had just followed her.

Buffy looked down at her hands. "Did you want me to come back?"

"I don't know. Faith thought it was best, to bring you back here, I couldn't argue with her."

Buffy nodded. "You called her?"

"Yeah, a few days ago. I debated it for a while. I wasn't too sure I wanted to drag her into this. There was no point in hurting anyone else. And I didn't want to sacrifice Faith's feelings on a shot that you might reach to her."

Buffy was about to speak.

"No, let me finish. I decided to call her because I couldn't give up on you. God knows I wanted to. I really wish I could just forget you, Buffy, but with the constant reminder walking around in the form of a two year old, well that's not easy. And no matter what you've done, Rose is still you're daughter. We would have had to deal with that at some point. I'd rather it be sooner than later."

"So you wanted me to come back so you could tell me you were taking my child?" Buffy asked, getting bolder. "Haven't you already done that? Taken her? She wouldn't even look at me."

"I'm surprised you care." Willow said.

"I'm not a fucking monster, Willow. If you want to believe that, than it's fine, but I'm not."

"Nobody said you were a monster, Buff. But you are messed up. You have messed up. Not just your life, but ours as well. Mine, Ken's, Xander's, especially Rose's, and now we run the risk of Faith's as well. Do you think it's worth it?"

"Do you? You're the one who called her. You're letting me back. Am I worth it?" Buffy asked, "I'm so sorry I've screwed up your lives. Forgive me. Guess we're even now."

"How's that?"

"I saved them enough, didn't I?"

"Get off of it, Buffy. Yeah, you saved our lives. We know it. We've paid for that, god, have we paid for it." Willow answered exasperated. "After all of this time, it's still all about you, isn't it? I can't figure out when our worlds became yours. It seems everything was, and fucking is, still about you. Like you're some goddess on an throne and we are there to please you."

"Shut up, Will." Buffy said rising. "You have no idea how hard it was. I was responsible for everyone around me. One misstep and that was it. You would've all died. No one seem to notice or care half the time. Don't you know that I knew it would have been easier if I'd have never met you guys. If I'd lived the solitary life I was supposed to. But I was selfish, I wanted to feel loved. I'm sorry for that. If I'd known how much I was screwing up your lives, I sure the hell would have dropped you."

Willow rose too.

"You did drop us, Buffy. Remember. You ran, you, not us. We tried to help and you ran away. From me, from Rose. I'm sick of this sanctimonious bullshit attitude you have." Willow came closer, her voice rising. "It is not all about you! Wake up and Grow up! You have a child. You are not Chosen anymore! And no one gave you a reason to screw up your life but yourself, so fucking deal with it!"

"I knew this was a mistake. You'll always judge me. Miss Holier-Than-Thou, Willow. No one better! 'Willow would never do this, Willow would never do that. Willow's raising her druggie friend's baby! They should saint her!' " Buffy shouted.

The tension in the room was getting thicker and neither girl was backing down.

Kennedy heard the shouting and ran into the room, Rose close behind.

"What the hell is going on here?" She shouted, grabbing Buffy's arms.

"Let me go, you bitch." Buffy spat in her face.

"No, not until you calm down."

"Oh, let her go, Ken. She can run back to her rock and crawl under it. We can't help her. We're not good enough." Willow looked at Rose who was standing in the doorway crying.

"Oh, Rosie, it's okay, shush. Don't cry."

Faith had heard the screaming and Rose crying in the other room, she ran in, seeing Kennedy holding Buffy's arms, and Willow trying to calm Rose down.

Faith took the child and rubbed her back, telling her it was okay. Kennedy dropped Buffy's arms and all three girls stared at Faith. She sat down at the table, Rose in her lap.

"Does everyone feel better now?" She asked, laying her forehead against Rose's. No one answered. "Somebody better answer me." She said. "Do you all feel better? Justified or whatever. I'm sure she does." She said, pointing to Rose.

They still didn't say anything, so she stood up.

"Buffy come on. We're going out to eat. Willow, you and Ken eat the food she brought and take a breather. Everyone needs to calm down."

Willow made a move to take Rose.

"No, she's going with us."

"I don't think so, Faith." Kennedy said.

"I do." She said. "You two need to calm down, and there is no way in hell I'm leaving her here with you."

"What about her?" Kennedy said, pointing to Buffy.

Buffy was about to say something, but Faith stopped her.

"Hush." She said, looking at Buffy. She turned to face Kennedy.

"She needs to calm down as well. But me, see I'm calm and Rosie wants to go with me, don't ya?" Rose nodded. "Besides..." She said looking between the girls. "...maybe it'll be good for the two of them. I'm also not giving you a choice in the matter."

Buffy left the room to change.

"Listen, Red. You two, get over it. There's a time and place for that, but it's not now. You're gonna be blaming yourself when she runs. I hate to say it, but we're just gonna have to take her sh..." She looked at Rose. "...stuff for a while. I know you wanna punch her. It's about all I have wanted to do since I found her, but," She hesitated. "be the better person. Don't let her trap you. You're just feeding her that way."

Faith grabbed her bag and Rose's as well. "We'll be back in a couple of hours. Don't worry about the kiddo. Buffy knows where I stand on that subject, and anyway, I don't think she'll do anything. I really think she wants to fix this. We have to give her a chance." Faith finished and walked out of the room.

"When the hell did Faith start making all the sense?" Willow asked Kennedy, sitting back down.

"Yeah, well, Faith hasn't had six years of this shit, Wills." Kennedy answered.

"Somehow, Ken," Willow said, watching as the girls departed. "I don't think that would've mattered."

Part 15

"Hope Kennedy doesn't mind us taking her car." Faith said, buckling Rosie in the back seat.

"We go for a ride?" Rose asked Faith.

Faith nodded and got into the driver's side, Buffy answered her.

"She's probably more pissed that we're taking her kid." Buffy said getting in.

"Your kid, B. Not theirs, yours. They will have to face that sometime and so will you." She said, looking at Buffy before starting the engine.

"I think Faith's right about controlling ourselves around her," Willow said, picking through her food. "at least until we decide when and how we are going to confront her. And I guess that should be with the rest of the gang here."

Kennedy nodded. "I called Xand."

"What did he say?" Willow asked.

"Pretty much what we thought. You've got to be fucking kidding. No way in hell. Why is she there? You're letting her near Rosie? Are Dawn and Giles really coming? Do you think Faith's stable enough to solve anyone else's problems? They were all pretty much rhetorical questions from there on out. Are you crazy? That sort of thing."

"So he's not coming?" Willow asked.

"Don't think so. He was pretty adamant about it. He said she was a selfish bitch, and that we didn't deserve to be treated this way."

"He may change his mind." Willow said with tinge of hopelessness.

"He may, baby, you know how he is. We should give him some time. Maybe you can talk to him, or Faith."

Willow looked at her food.

"I'm not even hungry." She said before continuing. "I don't think Faith will help, at least not with him. She pulls with him what she pulled with us a moment ago and it may not be pretty. Those two have a tendency to not be able to control their tempers around each other."

"Things change." Kennedy said.

"That's what I keep telling myself." Willow answered.

"Does no one in this town eat at home?" Faith asked bouncing Rose on her lap. They were waiting for a table.

"You should have said first available. It would have been faster than non-smoking." Buffy said, standing beside them.

"We can't smoke around the kid." Faith said looking up at her.

"Oh, I forgot." Buffy added, uncomfortably.

"This thing's buzzing." Faith said, holding the beeper up to Rosie.

"Buzz. Buzz." Rose said.

"That means a table is ready." Buffy said, looking at Faith.

"Oh, thank you, Buffy. I forgot, seeing as I'm a mentally deficient social pariah who never eats out." Faith answered, standing up.

"What?" Buffy asked. "You looked confused."

"That's my smoldering look. You should get them straight. "

"I'm sorry, I'll have to pull out my intricate files on Faith's looks and read up. I'm not current with the Faith lingo anymore." Buffy said, smiling at Faith.

"Well, get them out. These are things you need to know. I'm a complicated girl, and it's good to have notes." She said, following the hostess to the table.

"Wonder when they'll be back?" Willow asked, putting away the dishes.

"They haven't been gone that long, Wills."

"I know, I'm just worried. What if it was all a ruse and now Buffy and Faith are gonna take Rosie off and go do drugs or something. They may join the circus. Don't look at me like that. They're Slayers, they can do all sorts of circus-y things. And you know how much Rosie loves animals. She could ride the horses in the show. We'd never hear from them again. Except when it comes back to town, and they're all dressed up in pink and red sequined outfits swinging from the rafters and stuff. Or they could..."

"Whoa, hold up." Kennedy said knocking on Willow's forehead. "Are you okay in there?"

"I'm sorry, I'm being stupid. I'm a worrier, I know." Willow smiled. "Besides, I think maybe there was some MSG in that food."

"They stopped using that a long time ago, babe." Kennedy laughed.

"Yeah, take all my excuses." Willow laughed back.

Buffy sat down while Faith strapped Rose in a highchair. She pushed the seat over next to Buffy.

"What are you doing?" Buffy asked her.

"You wanna sit by mommy?" Faith asked Rose, ignoring Buffy.

Rose just looked at Faith. "I wanna cracker." She said.

"Get her a cracker, Buffy." Faith said, sitting down opposite them.

Buffy unwrapped the crackers and handed it to Rose.

"No, da good ones." She said, pointing at the crackers.

"Oh, ok the good ones." Buffy said, getting another kind. "Here, this better?" She asked Rose, handing it to her.

"Yep." She answered, smiling at Buffy with crumbs all over her mouth.

Faith watched as Buffy wiped the crumbs off of Rose's cheeks and smiled.

They looked at the menu, trying to decide what to order.

"What do two-year olds eat, B?"

"I really don't know Faith, what's on the kids menu?"

The waitress popped in, listening to their exchange. "The spaghetti's good." She smiled down at Rose.

"Ghetti, ghetti." Rose said clapping her hands.

"She'll have the spaghetti." Both girls answered at the same time.

An hour later, Buffy and Faith walked out of the restaurant with a giggling Rose holding their hands.

" 'Oh, the spaghetti's good.' " Faith mimicked the waitress, in a high voice. "Said the sadistic waitress from HELL. Are we idiots or what?" She asked, still wiping her shirt.

"Not sure why you're complaining, Miss-I'm-gonna-sit-across-the-table." Buffy said, shaking her head. "It's actually in my hair. I mean, look, I can feel it."

"Hold me?" Rose said yawning, and looking up at the girls. Faith and Buffy both bent down at the same time.

"Go ahead." Faith said, smiling at her. "She's a little too saucy for me anyway." Faith tickled the little girl as Buffy held her.

"Rosie's saucy." Rose said.

"Looky what I have, Rosie." Faith said, pulling a chocolate mint she got from the restaurant out of her bag.

"Don't you dare." Buffy said, still holding Rose.

"C'mon, B." Faith said, opening the paper and handing the candy to Rose.

"Mmm shoclate, wanna bite?" She held the half eaten candy to Buffy's face, and before she could answer, smushed it on her lips.

"Take bite, B."

"Umm okay, take bite. See?" Buffy said, licking it off her lips. "Dirty trick, Faith." She said smacking Faith on the arm.

Faith was about to answer the giggling girl, when she heard someone.

"Buffy?" They said.

Both girls turned around and Buffy soon got quiet.

"Let's go, Faith." She said, turning back to the car.

Faith still stood there staring at the woman who had called Buffy's name, wondering who she was.

"Let's go Faith, now." Buffy said, slamming the passenger door.

Part 16

Faith drove out of the parking lot. Rose was sitting in the back, saying "BBBBB".

"What?" Buffy asked, turning around.

"Want Mista G." She said.

"Here, don't get him dirty." Buffy sighed.

"I not." She snapped, jerking the animal. "He mine."

"Of course, I know, I'm sorry, Rosie." Buffy said.

"He mine." Rose said again softly.

Faith looked at Buffy.

"Have some patience." She said, before smiling at Rosie. "You're a sleepyhead, aren't you?" She asked her.

"I sleepy." Rosie said, and yawned, laying her head on the side of her car seat.

"So?" Faith asked. "Who's the girl?"

"Mary." Buffy stated.


"Mary. We sorta dated." She looked at Faith's questioning expression. "Ok, we sorta screwed, more than once, which to me was dating."

"Watch the mouth." Faith said, looking in the rearview at Rose. Rose smiled at her.

"Hey, Faithy." She said.

"Hi, baby." Faith said, before turning back to Buffy. "And? Why the running away?"

"Not too sure how comfortable our little encounter would have been. Me walking up with a baby and all."

"Yeah, I guess you're right. But you can't run away from it, B. It's still there. Who would have been uncomfortable, you or her? Cause if it was her, I'm gonna have to say who cares. If she was bold enough to play with the 'feel good' B, and more than once, well she's not one who I care to impress anyway."

Buffy looked away hurt.

"I'm sorry, but that's true. If you were the one who's uncomfortable, well get over it, I mean we can have a dinner and talk and play with the kid, but again it's still there. You did a lot of damage, you're gonna have to face it or it won't go away."

"Don't you think I know that?" Buffy said. "I just ...tonight was nice, I mean, at least after we left Willow's. Can't I just have that? Just for one night?"

"I don't see why not."

"At least Rose's not scared of me anymore."

"Yeah, that's something. But it will still take time. The rest of them are not going to be as easy to convince that you are willing to change as a toddler is." Faith said. "I'm not sure I'm convinced myself." She finished, softly.

"I figured as much, Faith. I'm not denial girl. I know they hate me. I know you're pretty close to hating me as well. I am going to try to fix this mess, but I don't know how much more I can take."

"I think you need to look at it this way. Think about what Red and Ken and Xander think about what they have done for you. The begging, the pleading, the cleaning up your messes. Think about that. They have taken a lot more than you, and they may be a little bitter, but they're also willing to take some more. So, if Wills gets testy or Kennedy gets angry, my advice would be to shut up and listen. Most likely they're speaking the truth, but I'm guessing you already know that." She paused for a beat. " And... I don't hate you. May not like you very much, some of the time, but I don't hate you, and I don't think that they do either."

Buffy nodded, suddenly tired. She glanced in the back seat.

"Looks like our baby's out." She said softly. "I'm thinking she has the right idea."

Faith didn't answer her, glancing at Rose again, and then at the side of Buffy's head as she laid it on the seat staring at Rose.

'Our baby, fuck, why does this girl do this to me.' She thought.

Willow and Kennedy were waiting up when the girls got home. Kennedy saw the headlights pull into the drive.

"Fuck, did you know they took my car?" She asked, as they were getting out. Willow shook her head and Kennedy finished. "Here we were getting all upset about them being gone, and they took my car. What would have happened to the poor baby, if they HAD joined the circus. What do you think, Wills? He would have missed me, and they would probably just have abandoned him on the side of the road. I think those circus people travel different, you know, like on a train in Dumbo, oh no, no the poor baby. Oh, do you realize how close we came to disaster here? I'm glad I didn't know. Just keep me in the dark with things like that, okay?"

"You're real funny, Ken. A comedian. Really. I'm so glad you still have your humor." Willow said. "It's so utterly useless sometimes, but still so cute."

Faith and Buffy chose that moment to walk in. Buffy carrying a sleepy Rose. The two girls stopped giggling when they saw Rose in Buffy's arms.

"I'm going to put her to bed." Buffy said, walking out of the room.

Kennedy was too stunned to speak, so Willow went first.

"Wow, I guess they hit it off, huh? Well, that's good. I know that they should hit it off. Her being her mother and all. Mothers and daughters should get along, we all know that, right?" She didn't wait for anyone to answer. "And Buffy's Rosie's mother, so the getting along is of the good, I have to say. She should put her to bed. That's really great."

Willow continued to babble and Kennedy rolled her eyes and Faith stared. Before she could speak, Willow changed the subject.

"Did you have a run-in with the pasta monster from hell again, Faith?"

Faith looked down at her shirt. "The pasta monster from hell is a two year old that sleeps in this house. You guys really should have known that, seeing as you're a powerful Wicca and you're a Slayer. But no, she goes unnoticed, until little ole me takes her out for food. Completely unaware that she changes from the cute little button she was to a mini-volcano intent on destroying the dining outfits of everyone within a 20 foot radius of herself."

"Spaghetti?" Kennedy asked.

" 'Ghetti, want ghetti.' " Faith answered, mocking Rose.

"You are so totally a sucker, Faith." Kennedy said.

"I know." She said, holding her head down in mock embarrassment.

Part 17

Buffy was busy trying not to wake Rose while changing her diaper and clothes, and of course that didn't work.

"Hey." She whispered, when she saw the little girl open her eyes. "Go back to sleep, huh?"

"I sleep with you." Rose said, rubbing her eyes.

Kennedy peeked in about that time. "Kenny." Rose asked. "I sleep with B?"

Kennedy caught her breath for a second. "I don't know, baby, why don't you sleep in here?"

Rose started to cry. "I sleep with B." She said this time.

Kennedy looked at Buffy, who was looking anywhere but at her. "Is that okay, Buffy?"

"Umm, yeah, it's cool, if you don't care." Buffy said.

"Alright then, you can sleep with Buffy. Goodnight." She said kissing Rose on the top of the head, before walking out of the room.

Willow and Faith were still up talking.

"So are they coming?" Faith asked.

"Yeah. They'll be here tomorrow afternoon at some point."

"What did they say?"

"Not much, just that they would help. Or Giles said he would, anyway. I think Dawn's getting forced." Willow answered.

"And Xander?"

"He says nope, no way in hell." Willow told her. "But who knows?"

"Well, we can't force him." Faith said. "I didn't tell her." Willow nodded. "I just didn't want to spring it on her and the timing really wasn't right."

"I understand, but you need to, or someone does, at least at some point before tomorrow afternoon. I'm going to tell Rosie goodnight."

Kennedy heard her as she walked back in the room. "She's sleeping with Buffy."

Willow looked down. "Oh, well I'm just gonna go to bed, then. Night, Faith."

After changing, Faith went to Buffy's room 'just to make sure everything is okay', she told herself. Rose was jumping on the bed, with Buffy holding both her hands.

"Thought you guys were going to sleep?" Faith asked.

"Not sleepy." Rose answered.

Faith looked at Buffy, who smiled. "I think it's bed time." She said looking at Rose.

Faith picked the girl up and swung around before laying her down on the bed, Rose giggled and grabbed Faith's hand.

"Faith lay down too." Rose said.

Faith blushed. "I think I'll sleep in my room." Faith said.

"No here." Faith looked at Buffy who shrugged.

"Okay, but just for a little while, til you fall asleep." Faith said.

Buffy laid down on one side and Faith laid down on the other, Rose grabbed both their hands and tucked them under her stomach and laid down as well.

Buffy looked over at Faith. She was busy staring at Rose's little face, who had her head turned Faith's way. Buffy closed her eyes and went to sleep.

Kennedy walked by Buffy's room the next morning and saw Willow standing at the open door staring. She looked inside as well.

Rose was laying on top of Faith's chest, much like they had found her the other morning. Faith had one hand on top of Rose's back and the other under the blanket. Buffy was lying on her side, one hand under Rose's chest and on top of Faith's. Her forehead was resting on Faith's shoulder.

"Guess Faith slept in here, as well." Willow observed, looking at Kennedy.

"You know, I don't know whether to find that cute or disturbing." Kennedy said.

"You read my mind." Willow said, walking off.

Buffy woke first.

She tried to turn over before opening her eyes, when she noticed someone was holding both her hands. Rose had one, on top of Faith's chest, Buffy thought. And Faith had the other, or rather she had Faith's, and she was holding it between her thighs.

'Oh, this is great, Buffy.' She thought. 'How am I gonna dislodge myself without waking Faith?'

Faith looked down at Buffy's forehead. Why am I still in this room? She wondered.

Why is Buffy's head on my shoulder? And why is my hand between her legs? She was beginning to panic. Buffy had slowly removed her own hand, leaving Faith's resting on her thigh.

'Oh shit,' Faith thought. 'she's awake.' She slowly slipped her own hand out as well.

"Sorry, B." She whispered.

"S'okay," Buffy whispered back. "my fault, anyway."

"You Summers girls are a lot alike." Faith mused, looking down at Rose.

Buffy kept her head on Faith's shoulder, not looking at her.

"When I was little, I used to sleep in bed with my mom and dad," Buffy started. "they finally stopped it. Apparently, I couldn't sleep without touching someone constantly. Mr. Gordo became my security after that."

"Maybe she's afraid someone will leave her." Faith stated."I know I was." Buffy countered.

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