Disclaimer: all recognised characters belong to joss whedon. This is a work of fiction and no money is being made
Faith checks her watch as the last of the dust particles hit the floor. She's got an hour to get home if she wants to make sure that Dawn is still awake. A few years ago Faith would have shed her hunting clothes for party clothes and hit the dance floor. Hard.
But things were different now.
She was different.
Sometimes she stood in front of the mirror and stared; it wasn't vanity, she could see the scars hidden beneath the still young skin, and her ghosts still haunted her as fiercely as they ever did but now she had company. She no longer stood alone.
It was strange.
Faith's nature was a loner, the slayer thing had just enhanced it. She didn't like having to a answer to anyone and the power of the slayer was a hard instinct to tame. But somehow Dawn had done it effortlessly. Faith had no idea if it was because they were both inherently mystical; slayer and key respectively or maybe it was living with B but Dawn seemed to take whatever bullshit Faith threw at her without so much as blinking.
She'd saved the world. What was a pissy girlfriend in comparison?
Faith didn't like dwelling, she was a strictly a movin' on kind of chick but lately she'd realised that the list she kept hidden in the deepest recesses of her backpack with the reasons to bail were getting shorter. Dawn faced each excuse with her brand of no nonsense enthusiasm and Faith found herself sort of-kind of believing her.
And if not believing her
Believing in her.
Which frankly scared the shit out of her.
She wasn't built for this relationship shit.
That was B's gig, yet here she was on a Saturday night not heading to the nearest dive to work off her slaying high with a nameless stranger and a cold shot glass but to a tiny, cosy one bedroom apartment with a cat and too many books and a snarky, bratty, romantic girlfriend.
Faith didn't know whether the atoning she was doing had tilted the scale and that the powers that screwed had finally decided to cut her some slack or that Dawn was just experimenting with chicks (the matching stakes told her that she wasn't) but Faith was grateful because finally she felt like Faith, not the slayer or the screwup or the trailer trash. She was just Faith, the counterbalance to Buffy, and maybe she would always be in B's shadow but she had learned that Buffy lived in her own shadows and her demons were just as dark and scary. And finally she wasn't alone.
They may not have been anyone else's first choice but for them there was no one else. They were comfortable in the shadows.
Faith whistled a little tune as she tossed the stake into the air expertly. Yep, she'd die before admitting it but she was happy. And she was okay with that.