by Hayley

Chapter Five

How long is the honeymoon period exactly? 'Cause I think mine and Faith's is over.

It's not that we're fighting or anything. The most we've argued about is what we should eat for dinner. We don't argue about when she needs to help me or who should look after Tyler when there's a patrol issue. She's amazing with my son and he loves her. After me he even prefers her over anyone else. We end up in bed together every night.

We've been together, or whatever you want to call it, for over a month but I always get the feeling Faith's not completely with me sometimes. It feels like her mind is somewhere else and I have to snap her back to reality. She always seems to be thinking about something important and whenever I get her attention she frowns and only smiles once she looks at me.

Everything about our days is making me think she doesn't like living here. Don't get me wrong, the first couple weeks were beyond great. I went back to slayer headquarters and did my normal things. Faith helped a little but mostly she was on the phone or online with her center and played around with Ty. The best part about those days was every night after Tyler was asleep there was lots and lots of sex.

Then Giles started getting into conversations with Faith about the fact that it was her duty as a slayer to be more involved with our operation here. It was pretty easy to see that wasn't what Faith wanted and the first time he brought it up she let him know calmly that while she was okay with helping out here and there if I needed her to, she had no interest in having an active role in what we were doing. It wasn't her path anymore.

I wish he would've left it at that but Giles didn't like her answer and kept pressing the issue. Each time Faith was shorter with him in her response until the last two times. Both of those times ended in screaming matches that attracted large audiences and had Faith walking away screaming how she wasn't about to work for him.

If that wasn't bad enough, Giles has been pressuring me to convince her since he wasn't getting the job done. The only time I tried she told me she didn't want to fight with me so I dropped it. I didn't want to fight either. I realize that didn't helped matters at all but Faith and I had already done enough fighting to last a lifetime. The last thing I wanted was to add to that. We both liked how our shaky friendship turned into an increasingly serious relationship.

The last two days Faith didn't even come to headquarters at all. I think she didn't want to have another argument with Giles about what he thought she should be doing with her life. I can understand that but I've been missing her during the day and I know Tyler has. Faith had been putting Tyler down for naps so he's been waiting for her to do it and almost refuses to sleep.

I've had a busy afternoon with training so I ended up driving home early with Tyler and I know something is off immediately. Faith's car is parked in the street, not in the driveway.

When I walk in with Tyler Faith is sitting at the kitchen table, looking very serious. I'm almost about to ask her why her car is in the street but that's when I notice her suitcase by the couch. It's packed.

I quickly put Tyler down in his little play area in the living room and turn to Faith. "What's going on?"

"I gotta go back." She's so quiet I barely hear her but that's something I definitely can't miss.

"What do you mean you have to go back?"

Faith looks at me and sighs. "I can't do my job by phone, B. It doesn't work. I can't deal with any of the problems there 'cause I'm here."

I'm still a little confused. "So you're just leaving?"

She stands. "I got people telling me their problems over the phone and I can't do anything. Then I go to slayer central to help out or maybe take Ty for a little and Giles corners me and gives me grief because I'm not doing my slayer duty. I can't do it anymore."

I can't believe what I'm hearing. "What was all this then?" I wave my arms around dramatically. "What, did you think it'd be fun to play house for a few weeks?"

"That's not what this is and you know it," Faith says strongly and I see her eyes dart to Tyler quickly. I look over for a split second, too, only to see him playing happily, not noticing our fight at all.

"That's what it looks like, Faith," I say angrily. "It looks like you got bored and are going back to whatever you were doing before you got here."

Faith shakes her head angrily. "Do you really think this was what I expected when I got here? I was supposed to stay for a couple weeks, a month tops, to help with whatever big bad was causing trouble and then I was supposed to be gone. I didn't expect all this, Buffy. I thought we'd barely be talking, not that I'd end up living here with you. I stayed as long as I have 'cause of you and Ty."

I know she's right. If nothing had been going on between us she probably would have left once she was healed enough to go back to Miami without having to answer any questions at why she was injured. She definitely wouldn't have stayed the weeks and weeks longer than what she planned. It makes me wonder what she's been telling the people working for her about why she's still here.

We don't say anything for a few seconds. I'm trying to think of something to say that won't come out as angry and heartbroken as I feel but I can't think of anything. I don't even know how to tell her I want her to stay.

"Come with me."

What did she just say? "What?"

"You and Tyler can come with me." The look on Faith's face tells me just how much she wants that more than any words could. "I have plenty of room and if you don't like it, we can get a new place. I mean, they don't need you here."

Why did she have to say that? Now the sweetness of her offer is washed away by the anger I feel over the last part of it. "Are you kidding me? I'm a slayer, Faith. Of course I'm needed here. I run all the training and patrols. Why do you think I'm able to drop everything and come with you? I have a whole life here."

Faith scoffs. "What the hell to do think I've been doing? I have a whole life back in Miami that I left thinking I'd be back in a couple weeks. I have responsibilities there."

"But you're a slayer, Faith," I say, trying my best not to yell. I don't want to upset my son. "I don't know why you can't come back and work here. Giles has a point when he says this is what you're meant to do. It's in our blood, Faith, and we should be showing these younger girls how to do what they've been called for, too."

"What, do you think what I chose to do isn't important? Is that it?" Faith yells. "Just because I don't want to stay and be second-guessed 'cause maybe Evil Faith might make an appearance doesn't mean I'm not doing something good. I don't need someone to guide me on that. That would be the easy way out."

I think now's the time where I jump to conclusions but I can't stop and think about it. "Are you saying I took the easy way out? Do you really think this was the easy choice? I'm the one who stayed and took responsibility."

Faith lets out what I can only describe as a sarcastic laugh. "There it is. There's what I was expecting to hear when I showed up. It took some time but your honest opinion is finally out in the open. Couldn't hide it forever, could ya, B?"

"That is not what I mean."

"Oh, come on," Faith laughs again and shakes her head, "can you ever just admit you like being the good one?"

"If I really thought that, why are you here?" Is she trying to make me angry? It's getting harder to keep my cool. "Sure, I would've asked for your help, we needed everything on this one, but why would I ever take it any further? If I really thought that, you never would've known where my house was, much less that you'd be living here. You sure as hell wouldn't be taking care of my son."

The look in Faith's eyes makes me think she's knows what I'm saying is true. I'm not sure she'll admit it though. "So this is it? I can't stay and you won't come with me."

Why does it seem like I'm at fault here? She's the one who's leaving. "Don't make this out to be my fault. You know I can't go with you. I'm not about to up and leave when there's so much I'm responsible for. I'm not that selfish."

Faith shakes her head. "And now I'm selfish for wanting my life in Miami. That's just fucking great."

"That is not what I mean." I feel like I might need to keep repeating that. Everything that comes out of my mouth seems wrong.

"You're saying a lot of things you don't mean, B," Faith says. "I have to get out of here. You don't wanna come and that's all that matters to me."

It finally hits me that she's really leaving. I'm not going to be able to convince her to stay. "Can we just sit down and talk about this? We've never talked about any of this before. I didn't even know it was a problem. What if Willow transported you when you needed to be in Miami? You could be there instantly."

"And how do I explain my instant presence to the people there?" Faith asks. "They don't know about any of this and I don't want them to. No one knows about vampires and demons and all that. They definitely don't need to know I can have a witch transport me wherever I want."

"Not really wherever you want," I put in, trying to lighten the mood even though I don't think it's possible, "Giles would never allow that."

Faith shakes her head again and I don't like that she keeps doing that. "This isn't getting us anywhere, B, and I need to get started on my drive. I told them I'd be back and ready to go in two days."

She picks up her suitcase and gives a long look to Tyler before turning away. I can't let her leave but I don't know what to say to make her stay. "Faith . . . don't go."

When she looks back at me and I swear she's trying not to cry. "I don't wanna fight with you, Buffy. We're not gonna agree on this. I don't want to be a full-on slayer and have everyone waiting for me to screw up and you don't wanna leave and come with me. I'm a little slow but I think that means we're done."

"I . . . I don't want us to be done."

Faith doesn't look back or even respond. She only walks out the door and tosses her suitcase in the trunk of her car once she reaches it. There isn't even a look toward the house as she drives off.

I stand in front of the window in shock for a few minutes. Every part of me is in denial that the woman who I know is the one for me just left me. My feet refuse to move away from the front window, almost like I'm expecting her to change her mind and come back. My brain knows better though. Faith is stubborn like me and there's no chance I'm going to see her car return even if I stand in front of the window for hours waiting for it.

When I finally look away, I start to cry. It's almost automatic. Tyler seems to know something is wrong, too, since he starts to cry as well. I quickly walk over and pick him up so I can try to calm him down but since there's no one to calm me down so it's pretty useless. We're both a mess.

"I'm sorry, honey," I say softly as I gently rock him. "I didn't know how to make her stay."

I don't think Ty believes me though because he continues to cry and it feels like he blames me for Faith not being there. I know that's not possible but I'm not thinking rationally anymore. At least Tyler's still small enough that I can hold him with one arm and send Will a text that I need her to come over with my other hand. I don't tell her why because of the fact I'm a little preoccupied but I hope she comes quickly without the explanation.

Tyler must be a little tired because he only cries for about five minutes before he ends up only resting his head on my shoulder. I get up and take him back to his room, thinking maybe a little nap will help. He didn't get one at headquarters because he wants Faith to do it. I can't even think about how I'm going to get him to take naps now.

When I sit back down I try my best not to all out sob but the tears fall anyway. We haven't had any fights like this before so it's not like I knew this was coming. Maybe we should've had fights about this. Maybe then we could have worked something out and I wouldn't come home to find her bags packed and ready to leave town.

There are so many questions running through my head that I can barely think. I'm trying to think of where I went wrong, if I can really blame Faith for her leaving. I really want to blame her for how I'm feeling but I know we're both to blame here. We never talked about the fact she left her life in Miami with every intention of going back. Our relationship was very unexpected to say the least. Incredible but unexpected.

I see Willow pull into the driveway but I don't get up right away. I don't know how to tell her or anyone else that Faith is going back to Miami. It doesn't feel real and in my mind it won't be until I say it out loud. Once I talk to my best friend it'll be real.

I can't believe she actually left.

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Chapter One || Chapter Two || Chapter Three || Chapter Four || Chapter Five || Chapter Six || Chapter Seven || Chapter Eight || Chapter Nine || Chapter Ten || Chapter Eleven || Chapter Twelve || Chapter Thirteen || Chapter Fourteen || Epilogue

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