Title: Least Likely To Comfort
Disclaimer: These characters are not mine and I make no money off this.
Summary: Faith is the one who visits Buffy at Joyce's grave after the funeral and not Angel.
She didn't know how long she'd been standing there but she knew it had been hours. Her legs were practically numb and her uncomfortable shoes were making her feet scream with pain but she didn't move. It was almost as though she was stuck, her body unwilling to leave the spot even though her brain told her to.
Buffy kept staring at the ground. Six feet or so down laid her mother.
The funeral had been what anyone would expect of one. Things were said, nice things, people cried, said their condolences to her and Dawn and left. Her friends stayed behind as much as they probably could stand and then left as well, Willow and Tara taking Dawn with them.
Even though it was irrational on her part and she knew it, Buffy had the thought that until she left the grave it wasn't real. Once she left her mother was really dead and she was really alone. When she got home she would be the one responsible for everything, for Dawn. It wasn't exactly something she was prepared to do.
She didn't think anyone had ever looked at her and thought "there's a responsible young woman". Most of the time she knew the majority of those around her might not consider her all that knowledgeable about anything outside of slaying. Even she had to admit she didn't know the first thing about taking care of a teenager.
Day had become night while she had been standing there and she hoped that meant Angel might show. He obviously couldn't come to the funeral, being during the day and all, but Buffy knew he knew about the death of her mother. Angel was the type that would show up during a time like the one she was facing now.
About a half hour of darkness went by before Buffy had the feeling she wasn't alone. She started to feel that little tingle that told her a vampire might be roaming around but it felt a little different this time. She started to think whoever was close by was a vampire she needed to stake and that wasn't exactly something she was planning on right now. The normal slayer duties were taking a night off and Buffy didn't know if having to slay would be the best thing for her. She might be easy pickings for any vamp.
In couple minutes someone walked up and stood next to her. Buffy noticed the shoes and knew instantly Angel wasn't standing next to her. He couldn't exactly fit into the black boots next to her, not to mention there wasn't any way he could pull off heals. Buffy looked up to see Faith standing next to her, dressed in black and more conservative than she'd ever seen her.
Buffy looked at her wide-eyed, not knowing what to say. She hadn't seen her since Faith had turned herself in a year ago. After her lawyer got her off on a technicality, she'd told Angel she never wanted to see her in Sunnydale again. He agreed to that, telling her Faith would be working with him in LA. Seeing her here and now, not only was she heartbroken. She was angry.
"What are you doing here?"
"We heard what happened and I thought I'd come and pay my respects." Faith shrugged, hands in her pockets and looking more uncomfortable than Buffy had ever seen. "I'm sorry 'bout your mom, B."
"What do you care?" Buffy asked bitterly, looking away.
She was willing herself not to cry but she could feel the tears start to come. She didn't want to cry in front of Faith, showing her how weak she was at the moment. Buffy wanted instead to find Angel and confront him as to why he broke his promise. She couldn't deal with Faith right now. Not today.
"Your mom was cool," Faith said. "I was always jealous of you for that. One look and you could tell how much she cared about you. I never had anything like that."
"That why you tried to hurt her last year?" Buffy asked angrily, still not being able to wrap her brain around the fact that instead of her ex-boyfriend, whom she wanted there, she instead got her worst enemy.
"That wasn't right, I know that," Faith offered. "I knew I couldn't apologize to you for that since you told me not to so I wrote your mom a letter a few months ago to say sorry."
Buffy's mouth hung open slightly at the revelation. Her mother had never told her she'd had any contact with Faith since the last time she was in Sunnydale. She thought maybe she hadn't because of the history she had with the other slayer.
"I don't believe you."
Faith shrugged again. "I have no reason to lie, B. I'm not trying to fuck with your head or anything. I wouldn't do that."
Buffy looked away and wiped a tear from her eye quickly. This was not who she wanted here. She didn't want Faith telling her she was sorry. She couldn't deal with it and it took all her concentration not to all out cry. The events of the day and now Faith's arrival had Buffy overwhelmed.
She tried to compose herself as best she could and looked back at Faith, scowling. "Why did Angel even allow you to come here anyway? He promised me when you got your get out of jail free card that you'd never come back to Sunnydale."
"You make him sound like my babysitter."
"You need one."
Faith tried to smile but stopped and Buffy thought she wasn't because of the situation. Instead, she only looked sad. "I tagged along with him actually. I asked him if I could talk to you first. Ya know, if you needed to get some aggression out and use me as a punching bag."
Buffy knew Faith said what she did to make her laugh but in a split second her hand formed a fist and she swung out at the other woman. Faith didn't let her land the punch though. She used her slayer reflexes and caught her hand, using Buffy's movement to pull her into a tight hug.
The position was new for both of them. Buffy could tell right away not even Faith had expected it. As soon as her arms were around her, holding her close, Buffy felt Faith's whole body tense. She thought maybe Faith had never really hugged anyone before, outside of maybe Angel. They had certainly never been this close without punches being thrown.
It took a minute but they both began to relax. Buffy never thought she would ever feel comforted in Faith's arms but she was. She could feel just how bad the other slayer felt, how sorry she was that Buffy lost her mother, and it amazed her. Faith had never shown her in the past she was capable of such emotion.
All the strength she had been trying to show, all the willing not to break down, seemed to fade away instantly in Faith's arms and she began to sob quietly on Faith's shoulder. The other woman reacted with another move that surprised Buffy. She moved one hand to the back of her head, gently keeping Buffy's head against her shoulder, while the other began to slowly rub her back.
"I'm so sorry, Buffy," Faith whispered in her ear before softly pressing her lips against the top of her head.
"Why did this have to happen?" Buffy sobbed out, unable to control herself now that the floodgates had opened.
"Dunno, B," Faith said softly. "Life sucks, ya know? The good ones always go first."
Buffy moved her head back to look into Faith's eyes and was surprised at how much she saw in them. In the past, Faith seemed to always try to hide her true feelings on anything. Now she could see everything. She could see the sadness Faith had for her situation, how remorseful she was that she'd ever hurt her or her mother and even something that had her shocked. She could see love in her eyes.
Seeing all that the next move shouldn't have surprised her at all but somehow it did. Faith leaned in and lightly pressed her lips against Buffy's. It was a bold move on the other slayer's part since for all she knew Buffy would strike out at her for it. Buffy had to wonder what she thought she saw in Buffy's eyes that made her take the chance.
Not that she didn't like the kiss. It didn't even surprise that she did. Once she got over the shock of the gentleness Faith was capable of, she began to kiss her back.
Both of them kept it light as they kissed gently for a minute. When they broke apart, Faith rested her forehead against Buffy's and simply looked at her, seemingly waiting for her to make the next move. She wasn't moving away though which made Buffy think she didn't feel she was in danger of getting smacked for the kiss.
Buffy wanted to say something, anything, in response to the kiss but she couldn't. The day had drained her. There'd been too much emotion, from herself and everyone else, that she had nothing left. She had nothing to give Faith at the moment and she had a feeling the other woman knew it.
Faith placed a gentle kiss on her forehead and led them away from the grave to a nearby tree. She guided Buffy to sit down then sat down next to her, putting an arm around her and making sure Buffy had her head against her shoulder again.
"Have you been standing there all day?"
Buffy nodded slowly, tears still falling quietly. "Yeah."
"Everyone just left you standing there?"
"I was okay with that," Buffy mumbled. "I don't want this to be real."
"I know," Faith said softly. "I'd like to say it'll get better but I don't know that. I don't wanna lie to you."
Buffy thought of something that was in her mind when Faith first showed up but she didn't think she worded it right. "Why did you come, Faith?"
"I don't know if you feel it or not but we have kind of a connection, B," Faith said quietly. "A few days ago I about passed out 'cause it felt like someone had ripped my guts out. Then Angel told me . . . it all clicked. I had to come, B. It hurts feeling what you feel. I had to see if I could help at all."
"I don't think you can stop me feeling this way. I don't know what I'm going to do . . . about anything."
"You're strong, B," Faith said, tightening her hold on Buffy slightly. "Strongest person I've ever met. I know this sucks beyond all belief but you can handle anything. I've seen you handle anything and not so much as blink."
"This is my mom, Faith," Buffy said. "She was the strong one in the family, not me. I looked to her for strength. I don't know that be that strong."
"You're already that strong, B." Faith inched closer and rested against her a little more. "You have so people to help you, too." She paused. "I'll be there if you want."
Buffy looked up at her and saw her nervousness easily. She knew Faith wanted to be there and had risked Buffy's anger to even show up. It was a good risk though. She felt more comfortable with Faith now than she ever had, likely because the other slayer was finally letting her see the real Faith. All her walls were down. It made her want her to stick around.
"I think I'm okay with that."
Faith gave her the smallest of smiles before leaning in and giving her another gentle kiss. It shocked Buffy that she wasn't going for more since the other slayer always seemed to exude sex but not tonight. From the way she dressed to how she was doing everything she could to comfort Buffy, it all showed a new side of Faith. A side Buffy definitely liked.
"You shouldn't stay here, B. You should go home, get some rest." Faith gave her a concerned look. "I'm betting you haven't slept much."
Buffy shook her head. "It hurts to sleep. I dream of my mom."
Neither of them said anything for a minute before Faith stood up and pulled Buffy up with her. "Come on, you need to try to sleep. I'll walk you back to your house."
Not knowing how to respond, Buffy only let her begin to walk her away from the grave. She looked back sadly, knowing now it would be real. Her mom was really gone and once that thought hit, her eyes began to tear up again.
"Do you mind staying at the house with me?" Buffy almost whispered. "There's no one else there."
Faith looked a little hesitant but slowly nodded. "Sure, B. Just tell me what I can do and I'll do it."
Buffy leaned against her, suddenly feeling what she thought she always should have felt when she was around her fellow slayer. She felt safe and comforted that someone was there to help. She was even a little relieved it was Faith with her and not Angel. With him she might fall into an old pattern, especially with how emotional she was. It was all new territory with Faith and that was definitely of the good right now.
"Just stay with me tonight," Buffy said as Faith walked them out of the cemetery.
Faith gave her the smallest of smiles as she kept Buffy close to her, looking like she liked that she was able to be the strong one for her fellow slayer. "I can do that."
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