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The Three of Us

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Faith slowly stood and stretched in Giles' living room. Several empty pizza boxes and soda tins were scattered about. "If that's all," she said, "I'm gonna go." Everyone chirped their good byes as Faith put on her duster and picked up her duffel bag. "Just a sec Faith," Buffy winced as she struggled to get off the couch. "I'll see you out." She followed Faith to the door and opened it. She motioned with her head for Faith to step outside onto the porch. Quietly closing the door behind her, she looked up into Faith's eyes. "I don't want anyone to hear this."

Faith furrowed her brow and looked down at the floor. Buffy reached out and gently put a finger under Faith's chin and lifted it so she could look directly into her eyes. "There are a couple of things I want to say. The first is thank you, for saving my ass. Despite what some people might think, that is exactly what you did. I wouldn't be here right now if it wasn't for you."

Faith blushed and turned her head away. "You fought him, I just helped finish him."

Buffy shook her head as she smiled. "He kicked my ass, you pulled it out, and I thank you for it. The other thing I want to say is," she paused and bit her lip. She looked back into Faith's eyes, "Now that we have dealt with Kakistos, there is a thought that you might leave. I'm going to tell you, that is not what I want. I want you to stay and to let me be your friend. You're the only person in the entire world that feels what I feel. I'd love to share that with you." As she was talking to Faith, Buffy had reached out and gently grasped Faith's hand. ‘Wow! This just feels so right!’ she thought. Faith was looking down and away from Buffy, but she was still holding her hand. "I dunno B, I’ve never had a lot of friends." Faith finally responded. "I don't usually do the relationship thing. Like I said, it don't work very well. I ain't got any plans to go anywhere, so I'll be hangin' around for awhile. Let's just see what happens, okay?"

Buffy broke into a huge grin at Faith's words. "That's all I want Faith, just a chance."

"Alright B, I'll see ya tomorrow." Letting Buffy's hand drop with a gentle squeeze, Faith turned and walked into the darkness. Watching her go, Buffy smiled, ‘Look at her work that! She knows I'm watching! I'm in so much trouble.’

Buffy walked back into the living room, and slowly eased herself onto the couch. "Are you sure you're okay?" Willow asked. "Is there something I can do? I want to help you know?" Buffy smiled and said, Thanks Will, I'll be okay in the morning." She shifted around on the couch to get comfortable and sighed. "Willow, tell me again what that green cloud was that disappeared into that portal thingie."

Willow smiled brightly, "It was just the essence of his magic going back to its own dimension. That's what made him so powerful against us. We were lucky to get the protection spell around Faith just before she hit the wall." She took Tara's hand in hers, "Kakistos wasn't strong enough for the two of us."

Tara blushed at the compliment. "B-buffy and F-faith did all the work. We just helped."

"Thank you for your help though, we really needed it. Speaking of Faith," Buffy looked at everyone in turn, "I talked to her for a moment and I've asked her to stay."

"Hmm," Giles murmured, "Now that Kakistos is dead, there's no real reason for her to stay. She has no connection to the Council, so she could leave if she wanted. But I do think it would be a good idea if she did stay."

Buffy smiled, "Thank you Giles. It is up to her and she didn't say no."

Xander looked between Buffy and Giles, “Why would you want her to stay? We’ve already got the best Slayer there is. We don’t need another one, do we?” Giles removed his glasses and started to polish them.

“We would like her to stay so she can help us with the Hellmouth. It would actually make things easier for the rest of you to have two slayers.”

“I guess so,” he mumbled.

“Don’t worry Xander,” Buffy said to soothe him. “We’re just adding a new face to the gang. She won’t be replacing anyone. Okay?”

Xander smiled at her explanation, “That makes sense now.”

“B-buffy?” Tara asked quietly.


“W-where does s-she live?” Everyone in the room just stared at Tara. With all eyes pinned on her, a crimson glow rose up her neck and into her cheeks. She quickly turned and put her head into Willow’s shoulder for a moment.

Giles looked around the room, confusion etched on his face. “What do you mean Tara?”

“Well, every t-time we see her, she’s always g-got her duffel bag and she’s really p-protective of it. She also s-seems to wear the same leather p-pants and only a couple of different tank t-tops.” She said quietly, and then looked back down at the table. “I think everything s-she owns is in that b-bag.”

The entire group stared open mouthed at the blonde witch. “I never asked,” Buffy answered, “did you Giles”

“Yes, I did mention it, but like most of her information it wasn’t forthcoming. I don’t think she wants us to know.” Buffy started to stand. “Where are you going?” Giles asked.

“I’m going to find her.”

“If she doesn’t want us to know, it will be very difficult to get that information from her. And with your Slayer connection, she’ll know you’re coming.”

“Damn!” Buffy put her hands on her hips. She was biting her lower lip as she thought.

“Hey,” Xander spoke, “maybe if you disguise yourself?”

“She would still feel the slayer connection, and we don’t know how she would react.” Giles answered.

“Willow,” Buffy turned towards the two witches, “would you two be able to do a glamour spell, and hide the connection?”

“Umm, yeah, I think we should be able to.” Willow was looking at Tara as she spoke.

“Uhh,” Buffy interrupted, “I’ll need to feel her, but she can’t sense me.”

Tara nodded her head in agreement. “I’ve g-got an idea. It won’t take long to d-do.”

She stood up from the table and went into the library to get the supplies she needed.

“Are you sure about this?” Xander asked. “If it’s going to be dangerous, don’t you think we should all go?”

“No,” Buffy answered. “It will seem like a confrontation and I don’t think that will help.”

“I don’t want you to get hurt."

Buffy smiled at Xander. “I’ll be alright; I’m just going to see where she lives. I don’t even have to get close to her.” Tara returned to the room and she started the spell with Willow.

When they had finished with the spell, Tara handed a small crystal to Buffy. As soon as she took it, her appearance changed. Her hair was longer and a mousy brown, her eyes were blue, and she had glasses.

“I like the other one better.” Xander deadpanned. Buffy lightly smacked him in the head. “This isn’t for you.”

Willow and Tara giggled at Xander. “As long as you have that crystal in your possession, it will work. If you don’t have it, you’ll lose the glamour, and even if you pick it up again, it won’t work.”

“Do I have to hold it all the time?” Buffy asked.

“N-no,” Tara answered. “Just k-keeping it in your p-pocket will be ok-kay.”

“We also did a quick locator spell. She’s in the downtown area.” Willow told Buffy.

“Alright,” Buffy put the crystal in her jeans pocket. Patting it she looked at Willow and Tara, “Thanks for this. I’ll see you guys tomorrow.” She turned and headed out of the house.

Stretching her Slayer sense, Buffy could feel a light tingle from Faith. ‘I really hope this works. I’m just getting her to trust me, and I don’t want it to blow up in my face.’ She sighed and started downtown.

Faith came out of the alley and almost ran over the mousy haired girl. “Sorry about that.” She said as she stopped. Buffy was holding her breath, ‘CRAP! She’s going to know it’s me!’ Faith furrowed her brows and looked closely at the girl. Buffy was holding her breath. “It’s okay.” Buffy squeaked.

“Do I know you?” Faith was looking the girl up and down. “There’s somethin’ familiar about you, but I don’t know what.”

“N-no, I don’t think so.” Buffy stuttered. Faith shrugged her shoulders and started to turn away. “Ok, sorry about that.” Buffy was gasping for breath as Faith walked away. ‘OH my God! It worked!’ She waited a few moments to put some distance between her and Faith, and then she turned to follow.

Faith was walking out of the downtown area. ‘I wonder who the hell that was. It almost felt like Buffy. Naah, my slayer sense musta been a little hyper or somethin’.’

Buffy tried to keep to the shadows as she followed Faith. ‘Where the hell is she going? There’s not a lot of anything out here.’ It was getting harder to be inconspicuous in the open spaces. Faith came to a stop at the entrance to Garden Grove Cemetery, and looked quickly in both directions before entering.

‘Why the hell is she going in there?’ Buffy asked herself as she quietly followed Faith. Keeping low between the tombstones a couple of rows from Faith, she tried to figure where she was headed. Garden Grove was one of the oldest cemeteries in Sunnydale, so with no new graves, there wasn’t a lot of vampire action and wasn’t patrolled that often. ‘What the hell is she doing? There’s nothing to patrol for.’ Faith stopped outside a mausoleum and looked around the area. Buffy had ducked behind a headstone and remained still. She knew that Faith would be able to see any movement with her night vision. She heard a creak as the door to the crypt opened and Faith slipped inside. Buffy turned her back to the headstone and sat. ‘Now what do I do. She can’t live there. If she’s a demon or something, that would explain it, but that would mean she’s probably evil. I need to know, and there’s only one way to find out.’ Buffy stood from behind the headstone, squared her shoulders and marched to the mausoleum. She paused outside the door and gently placed her hand on it. ‘I can do this.’ She sighed, took a breath and then heaved the door open and stepped through.

Faith was standing there topless when the door flew open and the girl she had seen on the street stepped inside. She dropped into a fighting stance and yelled, “Who the fuck are you?”

Buffy stared at the half naked, wild eyed slayer in the candlelight. Putting her hands up in front of her, “Faith, its okay it’s me. I’m sorry I scared you.”

“I don’t know who the fuck you are, but you’re gonna get hurt. Why are you followin’ me?” She started to move towards Buffy. Backed up against a wall, Buffy tried to appease the other slayer. “Faith, wait, it’s me, Buffy.” Faith stopped and stared, “You don’t look a fuckin’ thing like her, ya don’t sound like her, and ya don’t feel like her! Who are you?”

“Oh, crap,” Buffy said, “Just let me reach in my pocket.”

Faith tensed as Buffy slowly put her right hand in her jeans and pulled out the small crystal. She bent down at the knees, opened her hand and rolled the crystal onto the floor. The glamour shimmered a couple of times then disappeared.

“It’s a glamour spell that Willow and Tara cast.” She stood up again and looked at Faith. She was still tense and in a fighting stance, but she could feel Buffy now.

‘WOW! She looks incredible!’ Buffy blushed and looked away from Faith. “Umm, if you want to put a shirt on that would be okay.”

“Huh,” Faith was still trying to figure out what was going on. Feeling the breeze through the open door on her nipples, she realized she was topless. “Right.” Buffy turned around while Faith pulled her tank top on. “Okay, start talkin’.” Faith crossed her arms as Buffy turned to face her. She glanced around the crypt and saw Faith’s duffel bag, a knapsack and a sleeping bag.

“We were talking after you left, and Tara asked if any of us knew where you lived. No one did. Giles said he had asked, so we knew you wouldn’t tell us. I didn’t think you’d be living here.”

“Where the fuck did you expect me to live?”

“I don’t know.” Buffy replied. “I never thought about it.”

“That’s obvious.”

“Why didn’t you say something?”

“Say what? Hi, pleased to meet ya, can I live at your house?” Faith said sarcastically. “I’ve been lookin’ after myself for a long time. I don’t need anyone’s help or charity.”

“Well you can’t stay here!”

Faith stared at Buffy. “It’s been workin’ fine so far! Where else am I s’posed to go?”

“Umm, my house?”

“I am not gonna live with you.”

Buffy looked hurt at Faith’s statement, “Why not?”

”I hardly know you. What about yer family? Don’t ya think they might have something to say about it?”

“Yeah, you’re right. My mom would have something to say. I think I’ll go home and tell her you’re living in a crypt. She’ll be here in a heartbeat and drag you home by the ear.”

Faith snorted. “No fuckin’ way will she come anywhere near this place.”

“Have you met my mom?” Buffy smiled at Faith.

“No, why?”

“That’s exactly what she’ll do. You can either come home with me, or she can drag you. Your choice.”

“You’d rat me out to your mom?”

“Mom and Giles,” Buffy smirked, “You wouldn’t stand a chance.”

“I could always leave.” Buffy blanched at Faith’s statement. Shaking her head, she replied. “You could, but it would make the rest of us unhappy.”

“Nobody’ll miss me after two days.”

“I would.” Buffy whispered. Faith looked at the blonde slayer with a pensive look on her face. “Like I said earlier,” Buffy continued, “I want to be your friend and get to know you. If you leave, that won’t happen and I’ll always wonder what we missed out on.”

“I already told ya, I don’t do relationships.” Faith looked around the walls and sighed. “They never turn out well.”

“This one won’t,” Buffy turned Faith’s face so she could look her in the eyes, “If you don’t give it a chance.”

“Your mom would come pull me out of this rat hole?”

Buffy smiled, “She’s a Summers, she’ll kick the door down and drag you kicking and screaming the entire way.” Faith smiled back at her.

 “I’ll go, but if I don’t like it, I ain’t stayin’.” Buffy laughed. “I can live with that. Now let’s get you packed.”