The rest of the afternoon did not go as Faith would have liked. She didn't like seeing Buffy so sad, so depressed. It was like when she arrived in Sunnydale except instead of showing any noticeable emotion, she only showed the negative ones. It was the complete opposite of what she was like that very morning and Faith hated seeing it.
Once they got back, Faith had led Buffy back to the bedroom where she immediately curled up on the bed and fell asleep. The other woman had watched for a few minutes, rubbing her back gently, before going out to the living room and trying to do anything to take her mind off the situation. She did as much of a workout as she could in the small room, watched TV, even tried to take a nap on the couch. Nothing worked and in the end, it just made her more frustrated.
The only solution she could think of was for her to leave, to get out of Buffy's life, but that was the last thing she wanted. Buffy was helping Faith fly right, whether she knew it or not, and Faith didn't know if she could afford to lose that. Having someone who genuinely cared about her made her once pathetic life worth living and made her want to do good. She also loved her more each day and couldn't imagine her life without her.
If she did leave, she didn't know if that would help Buffy that much at all. It might just help her friends and Faith didn't want to help them. She only really cared about Buffy. The fact was, her leaving might make her worse off and there was no way Faith would do that to her.
After about an hour and a half, Faith walked back to her room to find Buffy in the same position but now awake and staring out the window. She walked over to that side of the bed and knelt down beside it, giving Buffy a weak smile.
"Hey, B . . . how are ya feeling?" When she didn't respond, Faith leaned up the kissed her forehead, running a hand gently through her hair. "Do you think you made the wrong choice?"
"I didn't make one," Buffy answered quietly, stilling looking out the window. "It was made for me." She paused then gave Faith a panicked stare as she finally realized what she had asked her. "Do you not want me here?"
Faith quickly pulled Buffy into a tight hug, wanting to get the thought out of Buffy's head as fast as possible. She never wanted her to think that. "Of course not, baby. I want you here all the time. I love you too much to ever let you go."
Buffy pulled away slowly and looked at Faith with slight disbelief, not quite believing what she just heard. "You love me?"
Faith froze for a split second, realizing what she just said and was now afraid of what Buffy's reaction would be. "Uh . . . well, yeah."
Buffy just looked at her with an expressionless face. She was shocked by the statement, still not fully believing Faith would ever feel that way about her. As she looked at the other woman's face, however, she could tell she was sincere. Not knowing how to quite say what she wanted to or even if she could, she leaned in and brushed her lips against Faith's, creating the lightest of kisses.
Faith responded slowly, moving one hand to the small of Buffy's back and the other a little higher, keeping her in a secure hold. She broke away with a couple more light kisses before lying both herself and Buffy down. They stared into each other's eyes for a few minutes, just holding each other. Faith was also trying not to show her nervousness on what Buffy might or might not say.
"I . . . I really do love you, Buffy," Faith said, moving a hand to caress her cheek. "I always did. I just . . . I didn't know how to handle it. I was afraid of what you'd say. I didn't want you to reject me."
"I don't know what I would've said before." Buffy moved her hand up Faith's side slowly, taking a deep breath in order to say what she needed. She wanted to say it so badly and she knew Faith needed to hear it. "I . . . I love you, too."
Faith needed to take a moment to realize what Buffy had said before grinning widely. The words Buffy just spoke were the ones Faith had dreamed of for more than three years. She quickly pulled Buffy to her and kissed her furiously. She loved the feel of Buffy against her even if they had clothes on. Just having her there with her was enough.
When they broke apart, Buffy brought her hand up to Faith's cheek, caressing it ever so lightly. She closed her eyes, enjoying the feel of Buffy's hand and the knowledge she was there because she loved her. Faith knew right away she'd never get sick of hearing that from Buffy just as much as she'd never get sick of saying it. When she opened her eyes, she saw the other woman grinning at her.
"You're incredible. I hope you know that."
"You're the one that's incredible," Faith countered. "I still can't believe you're here with me. I don't think I deserve you."
"After everything you've done to help, showing how much you care about me, love me? Of course you do. I just hope I can do the same." She leaned in and lightly kissed her forehead.
"You do." Faith held her tightly and rolled so she was on her back and Buffy rested on her. She ran her hand through her hair as she felt Buffy's fingers roam her body.
Buffy still couldn't believe Faith loved her. It was something that felt almost too good to be true. After everything the two of them had done to each other over the years, Buffy never expected them to get to where they were right now. Even though her life seemed to be falling apart, Faith was keeping her together. Every time she felt like nothing would work out, all Faith had to do was hold her and everything else went away.
"You okay, baby?" Faith asked, pulling her up so she could look into her eyes. "What can I do?"
"Just stay with me."
Patrolling probably wasn't the best idea for the two slayers. They had stayed in bed until it was nearly dark, cuddled against each other. Neither wanted to move or really do anything so they just stayed right where they were. They really weren't in any shape to do much else, both being emotionally exhausted.
After awhile, Faith started to doze off, feeling so comfortable she couldn't keep her eyes open. Once her breathing became steady, Buffy moved off her and pulled Faith into her arms. She knew the other woman was trying to be the strong one and take care of her but Buffy thought she should be able to take a break every once and awhile. She wanted to be able to take care of Faith as well. Buffy wanted her to realize at one point that she didn't always have to be the strong one.
Buffy just watched Faith sleep the rest of the time, drifting off every once and awhile herself. She traced Faith's beautiful face with her fingers, not wanting to disturb her from her much needed rest but unable to not touch her either. She thought about waking Faith up the same way she had done for her that morning but decided against it. She wanted the other woman to get some rest. She looked like she needed it and Buffy loved having her in her arms.
Once the sun had begun to set, Faith woke up and after several kisses from Buffy, the pair finally got out of bed. Faith made dinner and they ate in relative silence, stopping to smile lovingly at each other every couple minutes. They finished as quickly as possible and as soon as they cleaned up, Faith picked Buffy up and kissed her passionately, swinging her around the kitchen as Buffy laughed happily.
After fooling around for a few minutes, they grudgingly decided they should go on some sort of patrol. It was their duty as slayers, or at least that was how Faith put it, so they went out.
They walked to the first cemetery hand in hand, not really expecting much action. The minute they entered the place, however, that seemed to be all they got. The vampires were everywhere, rising or just roaming around, and the Chosen Two weren't getting much down time. As soon as they staked one, another came across their path.
"Hey, B," Faith called out as they saw one coming toward them. "Next time I say patrolling is a good idea, you shut me up, okay?"
"Sure thing," Buffy said back before running at the vamp straight on. She swung at him, her fist connecting with his jaw. He staggered back, one hand going to where Buffy hit him, and tried to ready himself for an attack but it wasn't soon enough. She grabbed her stake from inside her jacket and quickly stabbed him in the chest, dusting him. "You know, if they're all that easy, the night won't be so bad."
"Yeah," Faith agreed, running up to Buffy and looking her over to make sure she was okay. She looked past her and her eyes suddenly went wide. "I don't think they're just gonna let us stake them though."
Buffy turned and saw a group of seven vampires coming toward them. "Shit," she mumbled and looked back to Faith. "Maybe if we ask very nicely?"
Faith kept her focus on the vampires, two women and five men, trying to get a feel of how they moved. "I don't think that's gonna work, B." She quickly looked at Buffy to give her a wicked smirk. "You get right, I'll get left?"
Buffy nodded sharply and the pair raced to meet the group of bloodsuckers. Faith threw herself at two of the male vampires, toppling the pair over as well as herself. Buffy executed a running kick at one of the females, trying to take out at least one quickly to help their odds of getting every vampire.
The other vampires all jumped into the fray except for one. The tallest male, the obvious leader, leaned against a nearby tree and watched for a minute as the Chosen Two fought the remaining six. He didn't even seem very concerned as the rest of his group struggled against the slayers. He just looked disinterested.
Buffy backhanded one vampire and kicked another in the stomach while looking towards the lone vampire watching off to the side. She didn't like the fact he was just watching them and not doing anything. It wigged her out big time and she looked over to Faith to see if she noticed. Faith was having some problems of her own and was only paying attention to the three vamps she was fighting, not to the leader.
"Faith," she yelled. "Why isn't that one fighting?"
Faith glanced over to the vampire while kicking the legs out from under one vampire and fending off the other two. She decided right away she didn't like what she was seeing. "Don't know, baby." She took a punch to the cheek and growled, punching the vamp back harder. "Think we should take the fight to him?"
Buffy saw an opening and thrust her stake forward, dusting one of the female vamps. "Can you cover me?"
Faith jolted her arm backward, her stake hitting the chest of one of her vampires. Not looking back, she could feel the dust sprinkle on her hand. "I'll go over there and you go toward him."
As quickly as she could, Faith moved herself and her two remaining vamps toward where Buffy was fighting. Their two fights started to mesh and Faith did her best to get some hits in on Buffy's fight while still defending herself against her own opponents. They fought like that for a few minutes until Buffy thought her vamps were distracted enough and snuck out of the group. She looked back quickly to make sure Faith was okay before going off to find the leader.
She looked first to where she had first noticed him but he was no longer leaning against the tree. She turned her head and tried to figure out where he'd gone when she heard a laugh next to a nearby crypt. Buffy gripped her stake and headed toward the sound.
"The two of you fight well," he said as Buffy saw him leaning against the stone wall of the crypt. "Slayers, right?"
Buffy smiled sarcastically. "Why, yes . . . my name is Buffy and I'll be staking you tonight."
"You'd think that, wouldn't you?" The vampire grinned wickedly before leaping at Buffy.
She dodged him easily and thought for a second the fight would be quick, maybe even easy. Buffy soon thought differently as she was struck from behind almost instantly after the vamp passed her. She scowled and struck back with a kick as she turned to him, hitting his knee. He struck back quickly, nearly diving at Buffy, and they began to trade blows.
While she found herself incredibly occupied with the lead vamp, Faith was attempting to make quick work of the other four Buffy had left her with. For the first couple minutes, all she could do was fight two while letting her body absorb the blows the other two threw at her. All Faith could really think was that she was glad all of them weren't very good fighters. She knew she'd probably be dead if they were skilled.
Finally, she saw an opportunity and stepped into a punch as she swung at one of the males and he staggered back as a result. She positioned her stake in her hand so the point was positioned in the perfect spot and dusted him easily.
"One down," she said, smirking angrily as the blows from the other three didn't stop. "Come on you vamp motherfuckers. That all you got?"
None of them said anything, just snarled or growled as they all tried to attack together. They very obviously had never tried to fight as a team, however, and Faith could easily see flaws in their technique. One always was the main attacker while the others merely tried to distract her. It only worked for a minute before Faith just concentrated on one and tried to simply fend off the others.
Faith finally got sick of the back and forth she was having with her opponents after only a couple minutes, not to mention she was becoming concerned on how Buffy was fairing. She thought Buffy would have taken care of the other vampire by now and would have been back to help. She knew now she needed to take out her vamps quickly so she could find her girlfriend.
She grinned wickedly at the least athletic of the three and gripped her stake so she could use the length of it as a weapon. As hard as she could, she thrust her fist straight forward and connected with the vamp's nose. He stumbled back a few steps, holding his nose as the blood flowed out. He was so distracted by the injury he didn't even react as Faith dusted him.
For a moment, the cemetery was quiet and Faith could hear Buffy fighting close by. It sounded as though she was struggling slightly and Faith didn't like it at all. She wanted nothing to happen to the only good thing she ever had. She hit the remaining two vamps in turn, thinking if she couldn't stake them, she would at least hurt them enough so they couldn't fight back.
"Okay, enough screwing around," she said with a sneer. "Let's finish this."
As Faith was trying to finish off her group of vampires, Buffy was having far more trouble than she expected with the leader. He managed to counter every move she threw at him and he wasn't tiring at all. Buffy tried to stake him at every small opportunity but he blocked each move and it was all she could do to keep the stake in her hand.
"Faith!" She yelled for the other slayer, knowing she was going to need some help with this one but not wanting to say just that. She didn't want her opponent to know she thought she might be losing this battle, especially if she continued it alone.
Faith heard Buffy and didn't like the tone in her voice. She knew right away her girlfriend was in trouble and she needed to end her fight now. Using every last once of strength she had, she jumped and kicked the male vampire in the head, knocking him unconscious.
Faith turned her full attention to the female vampire, her movements now full of confidence. "No friends left . . . guess you're all mine now. Any last words?"
The female vamp sneered, getting herself into a fighting stance. "Your friend's probably dead by now."
Faith growled and punched her so hard her jaw cracked loudly. The vamp staggered back and Faith followed her. "That," she hit her again, "was the wrong thing to say."
All Faith needed was a kick to the stomach and another hit to the face before she had the vamp off guard. She staked her as quickly as possible then went back to the unconscious one and staked him, too. As soon as that was done, she jumped up and ran in the direction she thought Buffy went.
"Faith!" Buffy yelled back, wanting Faith's help as quickly as possible. Even though she was keeping up with her opponent, she wasn't gaining any ground either.
"She can't help you," the vamp snarled out, punching Buffy across her jaw. "You're both dead."
Buffy punched him back. "Not gonna happen."
Faith finally saw the fight and ran towards it. She kept a tight grip on her stake, thinking if Buffy could keep him distracted she could stake him in the back. It wasn't the way she normally liked to end a fight but if it needed to be done, she'd do it without a second thought.
While blocking some blows from the vampire, Buffy saw Faith running toward them and her line of sight went for her. Her opponent, however, saw this and grinned evilly, now knowing Faith would be trying to attack from behind. Taking a knee from Buffy, he bent over and grabbed a knife from inside his jacket. He stood up and backhanded Buffy across the face, making her take a step back. He turned and met Faith head on.
"No one hits my girl," she said, running at him.
The vampire said nothing in response, instead blocked a swing from Faith and reached out with his other hand, concealing the knife until the last second. Faith attempted to block his other hand but couldn't get there in time. The knife hit her left side, between her ribs, and she just stood for a moment in shock before dropping to the ground.
"I'm gonna taste slayer blood tonight," he said, grinning as he kicked Faith in the head with all his strength.
Buffy kicked him in the back, causing him to back a couple steps forward, and plunged her stake deep into his back. The vamp faced her and grinned as he turned to dust. Buffy watched him with wide eyes before seeing Faith on the ground and dashing toward her.
"Faith! Oh, God," she said shakily as she knelt beside her. She placed her hands nervously on her girlfriend, her eyes tearing up as she saw the blood starting to stain her shirt. "Baby, talk to me."
Faith opened her eyes and tried to smile at her, spitting up a little blood as she did. Buffy wasn't sure if that was from the knife wound or from a deep cut on her lip caused by the kick to the head. "Hey."
"I'm gonna get some help," Buffy said, trying not to panic. Faith looked in such bad shape but she didn't want her to see her panic. She wanted to be strong. "You're gonna be okay."
"I . . . I love you, Buffy," Faith said quietly, reaching a hand up to caress her cheek.
Buffy took her hand and kissed the palm lightly. "I love you, too, Faith," she responded, starting to cry now. She bent down and kissed her lips tenderly. "Please, stay with me, baby. You're gonna be okay. We're gonna get some help for you and everything will be okay."
Faith only smiled up at her, almost trying to be reassuring, as she closed her eyes.
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 || Chapter Fifteen (original) || Chapter Fifteen (alternate)