Faith woke up before her alarm and tried hard to think of an excuse to stay home from work. She knew, however, she needed to show her boss she could be relied on and hadn't been there long enough yet to show that. Calling in sick would not look good. She needed to go.
She turned her head to see Buffy sleeping soundly next to her. She looked almost happy and Faith smiled at the sight. It was the first time she'd seen that since high school. Faith was overjoyed she might have something to do with it.
With a groan, she got up and walked out of the room. She showered quickly and got dressed, trying to be quiet so as not to wake Buffy. Faith didn't know what might happen with her and her friends and thought Buffy probably needed as much sleep as she could get to prepare for it. She didn't want anything to happen to her.
Faith made some breakfast and coffee before realizing she needed to leave. She went back to the bedroom and quickly wrote a little note for Buffy to let her know where she was. Faith knelt down beside the bed and brushed the hair away from her face before leaning down to kiss her forehead.
"Sleep well, baby," Faith whispered into her ear before walking out of the bedroom and the apartment.
Buffy woke up late in the morning, feeling the best she'd felt since coming back from the dead. For once she felt all the emotions she normally felt and it didn't scare her or upset her. In fact, she felt great. She'd forgotten how it was like to be okay with what she was feeling. She'd forgotten how great it was just to feel.
She looked around the room and realized that Faith wasn't in bed with her. Buffy noticed her clothes on the floor but couldn't see Faith's and wondered where she was.
"Faith?" she called out but didn't get an answer. She was about to panic when she noticed the note on Faith's pillow.
I had to go to work but didn't have the heart to wake ya. You looked so beautiful sleeping. I made some coffee and there's some juice, bagels and toast if you're hungry. Stay as long as you want. I'll be back around five and we'll do something.
Buffy smiled at the note, not quite believing how much Faith cared about her. It seemed too good to be true.
She wanted to stay at the apartment all day and wait for Faith to get back from work but knew she had unfinished business she needed to attend to. She needed to go back to her house and talk to her friends. They had to realize how important they were to her and that was why she did what she did. They also needed to realize how important Faith was to her now.
Buffy was seriously falling for Faith and she didn't know what exactly to do about it. She really liked her. She was even thinking about calling Faith her girlfriend and the term didn't even frighten her anymore. She just hoped the other woman felt the same way.
After a shower, she changed into her clothes from yesterday and noticed her work uniform hadn't been cleaned. She thought for a moment about cleaning it but knew she'd be back later so didn't worry about it. Faith would remember to take care of it if she didn't. She couldn't believe how she took care of her now.
Buffy sighed quietly, preparing herself for what she knew would be a difficult conversation. She didn't want to even have it but knew the longer she stayed away from the house the worse it would be. She quickly had some breakfast and left, hoping the day went as good as the night before.
The house wasn't quiet as Buffy had hoped when she walked through the door. She walked through the front door and was immediately confronted by Willow.
"Where the hell have you been?" she asked angrily.
Buffy scowled at her. "The way you ran out yesterday I really didn't think you cared."
"Of course I care," Willow responded, her voice losing some of its anger. "I just didn't expect you to be hanging out with a psycho."
"She's not like that anymore," Buffy said, wanting to defend Faith the best she could. She couldn't stand the others, her friends, calling her that. "She's changed and she's been helping me."
"Are we not good enough to help you?" Willow asked bitterly.
"That's not it," Buffy answered. "I didn't want any of you to feel guilty about bringing me back."
"Were you going to keep that from us forever? I mean, we could have dealt with it." She sighed. "We didn't know."
"I know," Buffy said sadly. "It was just so hard dealing with all the pain here. Faith just listened to me and didn't ask questions. She just did all the little things I didn't even realize I wanted."
"So you just chose her over us?" Willow spit out. "I just can't believe you, Buffy. She's evil, always has been and always will be."
Buffy tried the best to control her anger, thinking any fight wouldn't have a good outcome. "Don't you dare say that about her," she said between gritted teeth. "Faith has changed and if you gave her a chance, you'd realize that."
"She will not worm her way into our lives again," Willow said stubbornly. She didn't say anything for a second before narrowing her eyes at her friend. "What exactly is going on between you two?"
"That is none of your business," Buffy said, knowing the avoidance of the question would only confirm what Willow obviously thought. "Faith is welcome in this house, remember that. If you don't like it, you can leave."
Willow sighed. "I don't want to leave, Buff. I just don't want to have to pick up the pieces when she hurts you." She looked at her sternly. "She will hurt you, Buffy."
"No, she won't," Buffy said with as much authority as she could muster.
"I think we can give her a chance," Tara said, walking into the room. She looked at Willow sympathetically. "I know I wasn't here when Faith hurt all of you but people can change. We should see if Buffy's right."
Willow looked down, thinking. "All right, I'll try to give her a chance but no promises."
Buffy gave her a small smile. "Thanks, Will. Can you tell Xander for me? I'll talk to Dawn."
Tara spoke up when Willow didn't respond right away. "We will."
"All right, I'm gonna go back to Faith's apartment then I'll pick up Dawn after school. I'm gonna take her with me back to Faith's. I'll probably be over there the rest of the day."
Willow started to say something but stopped. She just nodded her okay and walked back into the kitchen.
"I'll talk to her, Buffy," Tara said. "It'll be okay."
Buffy had to practically drag Dawn from the school to Faith's apartment. She wanted to be there when Faith got home from work and wanted to have her there when she talked to her sister. The young teenager was stubborn and Buffy wanted the moral support.
"Buffy, why aren't we just going home?" Dawn asked as they walked up the stairs to Faith's second floor apartment. "Now that everyone knows about how you came back, you don't need Faith anymore."
Buffy unlocked the door as she turned to her sister. "Just get inside and stop whining."
Dawn groaned and walked into the apartment. "Why do you have a key anyway?"
"Faith gave me one," Buffy responded, trying to hide her smile. She secretly loved that she had a key and that Faith trusted her enough to give her one.
The younger Summers gave her a confused look, like she didn't know why Faith would ever do that, but didn't say anything about it. The pair sat down and Buffy was about to turn on the TV when they heard the knob turn on the front door.
"B?" Faith called as she walked through the door. "I'm back. You still here?"
"Yeah, we're in here," Buffy responded, getting up to meet her fellow slayer. "I just left to go home for a while and then met Dawn at school."
Faith looked past Buffy toward the sullen teenager on the couch. "Hey, kid . . . glad you're here."
"No, you're not," Dawn remarked. "And I'm not a kid."
Faith smirked at Buffy as they walked fully into the living room. Buffy sat next to her sister and Faith sat in a chair next to them.
"So . . . why don't we order a pizza or something?" Buffy asked, trying to get a conversation going. She desperately wanted everyone to get along, especially her sister and Faith.
Faith nodded. "I'm okay with that. Dawn?"
"Whatever," the teen said dismissively. She folded her arms across her chest and looked indifferent to everything.
"All right," Faith said, looking to Buffy for any cues on what to say but she just looked uncomfortable. "B, let's go into the kitchen and order." She tossed the remote to Dawn. "Try to find something decent to watch."
The Chosen Two walked into the kitchen which partially shielded them from the living room before Faith pulled Buffy into an embrace, giving her a light kiss. They rested their foreheads together for a moment before Faith looked out to make sure Dawn was occupied before kissing Buffy again.
"Hey," Faith said with a grin. "Didn't know if you'd be here when I got home."
"We didn't get a chance to talk this morning," Buffy responded. "You should have woken me up."
"Nah," Faith said. "You needed to sleep." She leaned in, her lips just barely touching Buffy's ear. "I think I may have worn you out last night."
Buffy blushed. "I don't know about that." She took a step back. "Maybe we should order."
Faith nodded, smirking. "Okay." She reached for the phone and turned back to Buffy. "Why is your sister here?"
"I want everyone to get along, especially you and Dawn," she answered. "Now let's order something before she wonders what we're doing in here."
The whole night ended up being uncomfortable on all sides. The pizza came and everyone ate in silence. Every time Buffy or Faith tried to break it, Dawn would give a short answer and shot any hope of conversation down.
While Faith cleaned up, Buffy and Dawn moved back into the living room. As soon as she sat down, she turned to her sister with a scowl on her face.
"You could at least try, you know," she said quietly, not wanting Faith to hear her yelling at her sister.
"Why?" Dawn asked in a sarcastic tone. "I don't see why you want me to pretend she's not a psycho. Just because she was let out doesn't mean she's changed."
"She is not psycho," Buffy said through clenched teeth. "Don't you think I would have figured that out and gotten her away from us if that were true?"
"You haven't been yourself lately," Dawn said bitterly. "Not that you ever wanted your family and friends to know."
"That's not how it was," Buffy sighed. "I thought we've been through that."
"I think it's a load of crap, Buffy," Dawn said, raising her voice. "I can't believe you went to her over us. I can't believe you don't feel the need to tell me anything."
"Dawn," Buffy started but Faith walked in, stopping the conversation.
"Can you not attack your sister?" she said as strongly as she could without sounding angry, looking straight at Dawn.
"What you don't seem to get, Faith, is that this has nothing to do with you," the teenager said angrily. "Our lives were all better when you were in prison."
Faith scowled at her and clenched her fists, her anger rising. "Really? Were they all sorts of happiness just a few months ago? Were you really thinking about how great it was I was in prison then?"
Dawn mouth dropped open as did Buffy's. The younger girl started to tear up, looking like she was remembering the months without her sister. Without any response, Dawn turned and walked toward the door.
Buffy went after her, attempting to stop her. "Dawn, wait."
"I'm going home," Dawn said through clenched teeth. "You can stay here if you want but I can't be around her."
Buffy watched her sister leave before putting her face in her hands. Faith walked up behind her and put her arms around her.
"I'll go over there tomorrow and fix it," she said softly, kissing her neck.
"You shouldn't have said that," Buffy mumbled but didn't move away from Faith. Instead, she leaned into her.
"I know. I'm an asshole," Faith sighed. "I just got a little angry. She shouldn't blame you for any of this."
Buffy turned in the embrace so she was facing Faith. "Why can't everyone just let the past go?"
"It's hard," Faith answered. "I did a lot of shitty stuff. It'll take time." She paused, putting Buffy's head on her shoulder. "Let's do a quick patrol and come back here. Maybe dusting some vamps will make both of us feel better."
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)