Something Sweet

Chapter Eleven

Buffy, slumped in her distraught condition, laid her hands on the floor in front of her. She felt sick. She wanted to vomit. That was her first reaction. The next one was to get up and move. To get her ass in gear and get Faith back. She looked up towards Willow, who was wide eyed, mouth open.

“Will, car keys. . .now,” Buffy demanded as she stood on shaky legs, pulling her towel up with her and attempting to cover herself, but not really caring about it.

“Buffy, look. They’ve slashed our tyres,” Willow pointed out. She didn’t know what to do or say. Apart from gaping at the tires and their ruined chances of driving off after Faith and her captors.

She watched Buffy as tears continued to run down her face. Willow was temporarily stunned. Not only at the thought that maybe the council had taken Faith, and possibly having killed her by the look of all the blood. But also at the fact that Buffy had just been screaming out the fact that she loved the other slayer.

“Will, we have to get her back. I can’t. . .I can’t live without her,” Buffy cried into her bloodstained hands, her heart thumping in its pain. She slumped back down onto the floor.

Willow knelt beside the small slayer, worry etched into her pale features. She could practically feel the pain of loss flowing from Buffy. She reached out and touched her best friend’s shoulder, resting her hand gently there.

“Buffy, you should get dressed. I’ll call Giles and tell him what’s happened. Don’t worry, we’ll get her back,” Willow said quietly, trying be sensible, knowing Buffy needed her thinking for her right now.

“Giles,” Buffy said distantly, looking in the direction the van had taken. “We have to move, quickly. I’m not letting them just take her away from me.” Buffy stood.

She glanced down at the profuse amount of blood on the ground, attempting not to think about what kind of wound would produce so much of it. Buffy wanted to believe, had to believe that Faith was ok and that they could rescue her with the minimum of fuss.

It didn’t take too long for the two girls to get in touch with Giles and explain what had happened. Buffy got dressed hastily, washing the blood from her hands and face. She looked down at the crimson water in the sink she was using, at the water she had splashed over her tear stained face, and the tears came again. They seemed to be welling up from her heart. The small blonde gripped her chest and sobbed.

She just couldn’t believe that Faith had been snatched away from her so soon after they had discovered how much closer they could be. She wished now that she had taken the chance and told Faith that she had fallen for her. That she was in love with her. She might never have the chance now.

Buffy shook her head, dismissing the possibility of never seeing Faith again because she just couldn’t deal with it. She couldn’t deal with losing Faith or even contemplating it. She knew her heart couldn’t take that.

“Xander is on his way and Giles has called Angel and the gang so they can watch the airports and find out what they can. We’ll get back and do a locator spell to find her,” Willow said, trailing off as she watched Buffy wipe her face on the now pink towel.

“Ok.” Buffy nodded.

The two girls moved into the living area of the small cabin and sat uncomfortably on the couch.

Buffy was trying not to allow pessimistic thoughts to enter her mind. She knew she would just shut down and be useless if she gave into her worst fears. She had to stay focused on getting Faith back, and on the fact that the council would probably not hurt the girl even if there had been a struggle to take her away.

“Buffy, can I ask you something?” Willow enquired and looked over at her sad friend, who attempted a small smile. “It’s just. . .you, you were saying you love Faith.” Willow looked down at her hands, not sure whether she should be bringing the subject up.

“I do, Will,” Buffy admitted. She took a deep breath. “I love her. I’m in love with her. But I didn’t get the chance to tell her.” Buffy broke down again, falling into her friend’s arms.

“You’ll be able to tell her, Buffy. I’m sure of it,” Willow said, trying to reassure Buffy as she sat back and allowed Buffy to relax a little. “Does she. . .do you know if she feels the same about you?” Willow wasn’t meaning to pry, but she wanted to get things straight in her head. Wanting to understand her best friend’s suffering.

“I don’t know if she loves me. We kinda got together the other night, though,” Buffy explained and Willow’s eyebrows rose a little at her confession. “I’ve liked her for so long, Will. I was so scared to tell her. To tell anybody.” She looked up at the redhead and smiled sadly, tears welling and threatening to spill from the sea of green.

“It’s ok, Buffy. You can tell me now. I’m your best friend remember, so no judging here.” Willow did her best to sound positive.

She was a little shocked obviously, but she wasn’t about to stop being Buffy’s friend just because she happened to like another girl romantically. Judging Buffy or changing her view of her wasn’t even something she could imagine doing. They had been through too much together already for that.

“We used to flirt with each other and things. Well, it was mainly her flirting and me giggling, but you get the idea,” Buffy said wistfully. “I still wasn’t sure if that was just how she was though, and I didn’t know if she was interested. But I wanted her to be. Even if that’s wrong. . .I couldn’t stop thinking about her like that.” Buffy lowered her eyes, feeling strange telling Willow something she was still really trying to figure out herself.

“Go on.” Willow nudged Buffy, looking more than interested now. She not only wanted to know, but she could also see a small spark return to her friend’s eyes, and she wanted it to stay there.

“I just think she’s so beautiful. And she. . .when she looks at me sometimes, my stomach does somersaults,” Buffy said, and she couldn’t help but grin at how she now knew there were other things Faith could do to make her butterflies go crazy. “I found out the other night that she feels the same. I mean, that she’s attracted to me, and wants to be with me in that way.” She wiped her snivelling nose and sighed.

Talking about it just proved to herself how much she really was in love with the brunette, because it warmed her heart. And it made her feel more determined not to just sit and grieve about her loss like she was gone forever, but to look forwards to finding Faith and rescuing her, and telling her exactly how she felt. She wanted to say the words to Faith. She wanted to tell the gorgeous slayer that she loved her.

Willow could see the change come over her friend as Buffy sat up more and wiped at her eyes. A determined expression crossed her face and stayed there. Happy that now the other girl was feeling more hopeful, Willow decided to indulge her curiosity a little.

“So, when you say you err. . .got together the other night. Do you mean you. . .yunno. . .slept together? In more than a friendly way I mean.” Willow blushed at her own question.

“There’s no need to blush, Will,” Buffy chuckled a little. “We haven’t done that, yet. But we, well. . .we’ve gotten really close.” Buffy could feel herself getting hot at the memory, which only served to make her feel down again because they had missed the opportunity. At least until they got Faith back.

“I can see she makes you happy, Buffy,” Willow said, smiling.

It was apparent in the way the blonde girl’s voice seemed to change as she spoke about Faith. As if she was lighting up from the inside.

“You’re not freaked out about it?” Buffy hoped Willow could accept the way she felt about her fellow slayer, because she didn’t want to lose her friendship, but she also didn’t want to just go back to being friends with Faith. She couldn’t.

“No. I’m a little surprised. But, I guess I could always tell there was something there between you. Something different.” Willow was thinking back to all the subtle tension that seemed to spark between the two.

“Really? How do you mean?” Buffy was genuinely confused; she had thought she’d done a really good job of hiding how she felt.

“I don’t know really. Just small things like the way you would look at each other and smile. Or, how close you always seemed to be to each other, like when you sat together or stood near each other. Little things like that.” Willow watched as Buffy gazed at the remnants of the fire in the hearth, a sentimental little smile crossing her lips.

“We will get her back won’t we? She will come back to me?” Buffy whispered.

Despite her resolve to think positive, a trickle of salty tears eased from her eyes.

“She will, Buffy. I know it.” Willow stood up, determined not to allow Buffy to slip back into feeling like giving up. “Come on, let’s pack your things for when Xander gets here.” She made her way to the bags in the corner and began placing things in.

The two girls spent their time waiting for Xander clearing up the cabin, and packing away everything they had brought. Willow had gone outside to clear the mess and take what she needed out of her car. They would have to arrange for somebody to come out and retrieve them once they got back to Sunnydale.

Willow hadn’t tried to do anything about the large pool of blood in the drive, as there really was nothing she could do. It had dried into the hard gravel and dust of the ground now anyway. She tried not to think about it too much as she made her way back inside to wait for Buffy to finish cleaning out the bedroom. She had thought it would be best if she left her friend to that, as it was a personal space the two slayers had obviously shared.

Buffy was doing her best not to stop and look at anything for too long, and just place their things in the bags. She couldn’t help but stop and think, though, when she came to tidy up their belongings in the bedroom.

She looked at the crumpled sheets on the bed and felt her stomach tie into knots. She wanted to run out and bring Faith back, lay her down and make love to her. Let her know how special she was to her. But she knew she was going to have to hold it all inside whilst they made their way back to find Faith.

* * *

They arrived back in Sunnydale as the sun was readying itself to slip out of the sky. Buffy had kept quiet for most of the journey, allowing Willow to fill Xander in on what had happened. She didn’t tell him anything about how Buffy and Faith’s relationship had changed, feeling the blonde girl would do that when she felt the time was right.

“Here we are, guys,” Xander said, smiling a little but not getting much of a response.

They filed into Giles’ apartment. Buffy had become somewhat gloomy again; the car journey giving her far too much time to think about the events of the last few days and how things had changed and improved, to suddenly be snatched away from her. She just wanted to be happy. It wasn’t much to ask for as far as she was concerned.

She wasn’t asking for a longer life, what with being a slayer. She didn’t want fame or riches for what she did. She just wanted Faith by her side so they could stand hand in hand in the constant battle against evil.

“Excellent, you’re here.” Giles blustered into the living room with a large musty looking book in his hand. “I have everything ready for our locator spell so you’re just in time.” He nodded towards Willow as she removed her jacket and wandered over to his little circle of spell things and the like on the floor.

Buffy didn’t bother saying anything, as she didn’t know what to say or do until she had a goal. Until she knew where her dark slayer was, how to get there, and how to bring her back.

Giles assisted Willow as they went through the steps of the spell. He looked puzzled at one point and told Buffy that the council were attempting to deflect the spell with one of their own. None of it really made much sense to Buffy, as she watched, clasping her hands in order to keep from clutching onto anything else and breaking it.

“Ah, yes. . .I think we’re almost there,” Giles said, then spoke some words from his large book. A bright flash erupted in the room.

Xander fell off the armrest of the couch, Buffy raised an eyebrow and Willow clapped her hands.

“Got her. I mean, found her. She’s still alive,” Willow gushed and smiled over at Buffy.

Buffy could pretty much tell that Faith was still alive anyway. If she wasn’t, she was sure she would have felt different; maybe some kind of disconnection to their slayer link.

“Where is she?” Buffy asked. It was all she needed to know in order to head off after her other half.

“We have been able to pinpoint her whereabouts to a location about 50 miles south of Los Angeles. I believe that’s where they are holding her. I’ll call Angel and find out if he knows the area,” Giles said, pushing his glasses further up his nose and making his way over to the phone.

“Giles?” Buffy called out and moved over to the stalwart watcher. “Thank you. For helping me with this I mean. I know Faith isn’t exactly the model slayer, and she has issues with authority, but I know she’ll be really grateful that you’re helping her. Us.”

“Well, there’s no doubt that Faith does tend to require more effort in the watcher department. But I would never just abandon her to the council. I hope you are fully aware that I support you both.” He smiled gently at Buffy and continued on to the telephone.

Buffy stood by the couch. Xander had replaced himself on the armrest once he had crawled out of his cowering position on the floor, and Willow sat looking eager, perched on the edge of the cushion. Buffy didn’t want to sit down. She couldn’t. Her nerves were all on edge, waiting to tell her to ready herself for something. For action.

She listened in to some of Giles’ conversation with Angel. He basically asked the vampire to do what he could to find out where it was exactly that Faith was being held, and to get back to him. He replaced the receiver and turned to the group.

“Angel has offered to help us out with retrieving Faith from the council. I agreed that we would meet him not far from the location. Tonight.” Giles rubbed away at the lenses of his glasses.

Buffy frowned a little. She hadn’t expected Angel to really want to get that involved. She wasn't even sure if she wanted him helping. Faith was Buffy’s. . .well, girlfriend now, so it felt a tad awkward. And if she were being honest with herself, she wanted to be the one to rescue her.

“Giles, are you sure we need him on this? I mean, I know he can help with telling us about the location, but I don’t think he needs to be there,” Buffy pointed out as she looked over at her Watcher.

“Buffy, I believe we are going to need all the help we can get. The council has gone to a lot of bother to capture Faith, so we must be fully prepared for a battle. I’m sure he doesn’t mind helping out and offered the services of some of his own group of. . .err, demon hunters and the like. Turning down his offer could jeopardise our chances of getting Faith back,” Giles said softly but with confidence in his words.

“Why do you have to be all smart? Ok, we’d better get ready then,” Buffy nodded and made her way over to the weapons chest nearby.

“Yep, let’s get busy with it.” Xander sprang up from his position on the couch.

“Err, Xander I don’t think it would be prudent for you to come along. You too, Willow. This could be a hard battle,” Giles frowned as he looked over his glasses at the two friends.

“Is he attempting jest? He’s attempting jest isn’t he?” Xander nudged Buffy conspiratorially. “I mean, if it’s a fight. . .we’re all fighty and raring to go, right, Will?” he grinned.

“Yeah, definitely. Raring to go. . .‘cause Faith’s our friend too, and we don’t leave our friends to. . .well, be eaten by the big scary monsters or anything.” Willow nodded her head and crossed her arms defiantly.

“Guys, are you sure you want in on this? You don’t have to. I mean, we’ve got Angel and his crew, and. . .” Buffy trailed off at the sight of Willow’s resolve face. She should have known better than to question both her friend’s loyalty and devotion to the fight.

“That’s settled it then, we’re coming.” Willow looked pleased with herself.

Giles shook his head a little, but he had a smile on his face. He would never quite come to fully understand why two people who really had no obligation to put themselves in any danger, continued to do so for Buffy. And now it seemed for Faith too. He shrugged and went about making preparations for their drive and the fight that would no doubt follow.

Buffy smiled widely at her friends and took a deep breath. She fixed her mind on one thing. . .getting Faith back. She had to get her back. There was just no question about it whatsoever. Faith was her other half.

Now more than ever.



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