You know how you finally think you have your life all figured out, only to figure out in an instant that you really didn't, at all? Well, that's me. I'm stupid like that. I mean... well, I'm not naive, I might be some kind of procrastinator or something but I'm not too gullible or anything like that.
Some might even say I've been around the block.
Seriously, I have. Think about it. I've been with vampires, a super soldier, had a couple one night stands that I didn't think would be one night. I've been with a slayer, been with a cop and yeah, I've gotten into a few of them.
Angel: Well I was young, I believed in miracles. Really, even though he was dead, well I somehow thought we'd grow old, have kids. Yeah I know.... but I did wake up. Okay...I actually was naive back then and let me be completely honest here, it's easy to throw yourself into a relationship when you didn't really have to worry about where it would lead, especially when you already knew it couldn't really go anywhere.
And with that thought, that pretty much sums up Spike as well. Not that I didn't love him cause I did in my own kind of way, it just wasn't that be all end all type of 'in love' that we need to settle into that ever after, because again, there was no ever after at all and again, where could it have led, nowhere. Plus, I didn't have the feelings, I was found lacking.
Riley, he was nice for a while, but even he knew that it wasn't going anywhere, only he decided to end it before I got around to it. Trust me it was way over before it ended. And yeah, at the end I had doubts, cause who really wants to be alone... but I'm thankful that the ship had sailed before I tacked on more time to something that was going to sink over time anyway.
Scott: Parker: The few others: One a blip, the others a mistake. I got conned. I'm not the first girl to get played; won't be the last. It wouldn't have worked.
That slayer: Well I knew I'd never feel anything for her; told her from the get go. I thought I'd feel that connection. I thought if I threw myself into her those couple of times that I'd feel that fire, but I never did. I guess my slaydar only feels.... and believe me I hate to say it... Faith.
I know right?
Of course, you realize that I've not mentioned....denial? Well I gave that up as well. Funny thing age does, it makes you throw out all the bullshit and innuendo, cuts right to the matter of the heart and well, the heart wants what it wants, when it wants and to hell with all the rest.
So, what am I listening to? I'm listening to my inner radar. And believe you me, I'm feeling it, her and everything that that entails.
Seriously, If I'm in my office and she drives onto campus. I feel that energy she gives off. As she gets closer the feeling grows. It's like a million butterflies fluttering in my chest.
I started keeping a journal of said butterflies.
I can without a doubt feel her. She ebbs and flows like a current through my veins. She's like the gravity of the moon, pulling against my tide. She the cause of high and low tide. She washes over my shore, constantly pulling at me, covering me in a fine mist. And it makes no sense and drives me absolutely crazy.
I've started to talk to Giles on several occasions about it but I always chickened out. I mean, I made such a big deal when she showed up, and I mean from the get go. I pushed and pushed until she couldn't trust me when she was younger and you know how that turned out.
It was easier then but now as an adult, well it's not so easy.
I think my slaydar is broke or something. I mean, it dulled after she left the last time. I was still in denial and after she pulled out of my orbit, she was cold. All I could feel was this lost coldness and then suddenly, it fired up again. The last time that happened I'd gotten with a slayer for a couple of one night stands, and I figured that maybe.... and it hurts me to say this, well maybe that it went both ways?
She'd been gone nearly a year, off fighting something or other and she came back with a couple of new tattoos, some kind of bird thing on the back of her neck from Albania and a tribal swish with some orange flower that managed to draw all your attention to it; it's placement, her hip. She had a few words printed on her waist and I'd nearly went blind trying to look at and read them.
She'd just made it back and she had to fly right back out to pick up a problem sit, slayer in training. I felt her flow, felt her electricity slowly slide from my body and then I felt the cold that her absence left but it wasn't like that desolate cold when we were estranged, there was a huge difference. She was on her way back now. Her gravity pulling and pushing against my inner being.
Anyway, when she entered my airspace I started throbbing. Seriously, throbbing. And I'm talking that low down tingle, that kind of throb. My breathing became labored, my eyes misted over and I could only lean back in my chair and let it wash over me. Acceptance instead of denial was doing wild things to my mind and body and I certainly wouldn't be complaining about the way she made me feel: Not anymore, not ever.
When she reached the school. Well, forgive me but my body began to sweat. I could feel her. Her power was up front, focused and it was giving me a full frontal.
Everybody stopped and stared cause the power she was projecting was phenomenal and I knew without a doubt that if I didn't step up this time and seal the deal, well I'd of lost out on something amazing and worse, someone else would swoop in and take her away. Because while we'd all grown up, she'd definitely grown the most of all of us. She'd become someone that even I wanted to aspire to. And her force was awakening mine, slipping past all my barriers, all our past misdeeds and in all honesty...and to put it bluntly: She was making my body and mind bounce off the friggin charts.
She walked into the school wearing dark brown leather pants, cut low, brown square toed boots, the kind with the buckles. She had on a barely there, leather lace up halter and she appeared as if walking in slow motion. All eyes were on her and as she slowly passed by my door, her head turned and she slowly raked her eyes over my body before facing front and continuing to the debriefing room. I got up and walked to the doorway, watching her sway as she went into the office. I didn't bother going, I knew she'd plop down a report and head to her room to shower and sleep.
I turned and saw all the faces staring after her. My slaydar gigged me hard. My inner slayer whispered competition. My inner slayer got kinda pissed. And low and behold, not only had I been lusting after her but also my baby sis was caught out inspecting her goods as well as my bestie Will. Even her ex Kennedy was checking out Faith's backside. There were a few others as well, but those, my family and friends, checking out my pseudo girl, well they kinda stung.
We all gave each other the evil eye and turned back to what we were doing before 'miss up front and in your face' walked in.
I had one leg up on them though... cause if my slaydar was up and firing, I bet Faith's was too. I just needed to ping hers a bit and knock everyone else, if there was anyone else in the running, out of it. Finally get my girl, and that wasn't gonna be smooth sailing, cause lets face it, I'd done things to her, she'd done things to me but I'm a firm believer if something is really worth having, well its not always easy to achieve or get it but its definitely worth it in the end. Right? Nothing worth having is ever easy.
“Good morning Faith, I trust you had a good flight?” Giles stated, while flipping through the report laid out in front of him.
“Yeah, I did. Thanks.” She walked over to the small fridge, bent over and grabbed a water, opening it and downing some of it.
I admired her outfit. She'd definitely changed a lot over the years. She was wearing this light blue pen striped mini skirt with a white button up henley, the sleeves bunched up her arms. And she had on navy loafers. Faith. I know right? Her hair was pulled up with slight tendrils hanging around her face. She was like preppy perfect and sexy as hell.
Ooops, my slaydar pinged. She caught the surge of power and looked over at me, smirking, bringing the water up to her mouth. Oh how I longed to be that bottle. I could only watch and hope that she spilled it over the front of her shirt.
“Are you okay with that Buffy?” Giles asked, knocking me out of my stupor. I looked around at all the faces staring at me, each of them with knowing smirks on their faces.
My face burned. “Okay... so you caught me out.” I blew out a harsh breath. “I'm just really glad that Faith is back.” I smiled and turned to look at her and she was over in the corner talking with Kennedy. I'm pretty sure that my face turned green or that I went super nova because they suddenly turned and looked directly at me, concern over their features.
“What's wrong” Faith asked. “You having a stroke or something?” She walked towards me and handed me her water. “Here drink this, cool off a bit.” She hesitated. “You need me to call the Doc?”
I drank the water and glared at Kennedy. She looked back at me surprised and mouthed the words, “What?” She gave a shoulder shrug to emphasize her confusion.
I mouthed the words. “Back off.” Which seemed to make her scoff and smile, she turned her head to keep from laughing at me out loud. I glared at the others in the room who seemed to be having just as much fun at my expense as Ken was.
I cleared my throat. “So Faith... would you like to have dinner tonight, celebrate your return?”
She barely looked at me as she sorted through some paperwork, highlighting parts of it. “No thanks.”
“No?” I questioned, not believing my ears. I moved closer to her, because well I just couldn't believe it.
She looked up at me. “Well, I don't really think your girlfriend would like it; wouldn't wanna give her the wrong idea. Besides, if there's something you need to talk to me about, well you can just do it here and now.” She hesitated, her mouth opening as if she realized something. “Uh.... you don't have some kind of bad news or punishment to dole out do you?” She hesitated again. “I don't think I broke any rules or did anything....” Her eyes widened. “What do you know?” She asked, mischief dancing in her eyes.
I narrowed mine. “What have you done?” I asked, watching her as she feigned innocence. I shook my head, getting back to the point I needed to make. “And...I don't have a girlfriend Faith.”
She looked up at me, her face furrowed. “Yeah, well I spent two hours on a shuttle ride back to this place and some Asian chick sat behind me and talked up a storm about the both of you, so I'm guessing if you're single, you'd best let her know.” She turned and walked away from me.
I couldn't believe it. I had to straighten this out fast. “Wait.” I called out to her, following behind her. I reached out and touched her arm, getting her attention.
“Faith... I was with a slayer when I was in Scotland, it was nothing. She was nothing to me, just convenient. I told her from the get go that nothing was ever gonna come of it.”
Faith put her hand on my arm, a look of sympathy covered her face. She nodded her head as if something was behind me. I turned and looked and there was Satsu standing behind me.
Satsu scoffed, turned and stomped off. I started to go after her but stopped and looked back to Faith. “I'm telling the truth. That was a long time ago... and it was just a couple of times.”
“Doesn't look that way.” She cantered, sighing. “You should go fix it.” She stated, turned and walked off leaving me standing there staring at her back.
“Crash and burn.” Kennedy deadpanned from behind me.
“Fuck off Ken.”
“Oh come on Buff.” She hesitated. “What's wrong? Is your gaydar mucked up again?”
“It's not gaydar... it's slaydar.” I blew out a breath. “And yeah, thanks to Satsu.... I might've just lost my chance with Faith.”
“Yeah I heard she was hitting that shit pretty hard, trying to make her think y'all were still an item. Vi said she was laying it on pretty thick, giving out enough info so that Fai would know it was true.” She sighed. “I guess she bought it.”
“That's just great.” I breathed out.
“Want my advice as one of Fai's friends.” Ken asked.
I nodded yes. “Fight for her. And whatever you do, make Sat shut her mouth, even if you have to put your fist in it to shut it.”
“You think I'd have to take it as far as fists to get her?” I asked.
“Well, with all Sat's been spouting... yeah, I think you'll have to bust her in the mouth a few times, to make Fai even consider you're telling the truth.” Ken leaned in closer to me. “Or, let someone else have her, she's ripe for the picking. She's ready to settle down and when she finally chooses the one this time, there won't be any left over for you.”
Kennedy smirked at me, patted my shoulder and walked off. “Buck up buttercup... it's about to be a bumpy ride.” She laughed as she continued on her way.
“What do you mean by that?” I called out after her.
She turned, as she walked on. “Oh, I think we're all gonna take a shot this go round.” She laughed as she went.
I rolled my eyes, went back into the office and fell into a chair.
I found Faith in the dining room, sitting off to herself, sipping something or other and leisurely enjoying some kind of pasta. I meant to make a beeline for her but got stopped by some of the younger girls. I was being bombarded with all kinds of questions and froze instantly as I saw Satsu making her way towards Faith.
Jealousy soared, heat emanated from my body, my head was about to explode. I pushed my way through the throng of girls and headed directly for Satsu. Faith was just looking up at her, her face scrunched up in disbelief. I heard her mouth the words: “Bitch please.”
I grabbed Satsu's arm and jerked her around. “Just what are you playing at?” I asked, my voice stern, cold. “We were over years ago.” I ground out. “And just in case you're not remembering correctly, there never was much to start with.” I was being pissy but she was the cause of it.
She started to say something but I cut her off. “Shut.. up.” My voice, threatening.
Satsu smiled, her eyes cold. “Please... what... you want her now?” She ridiculed. “You said you'd never want a murdering whore like her... what... you slumming now?” She smiled, trying to drive a bigger wedge between me and what I wanted.
Before I knew it, Satsu flew backwards, her ass connecting with the hard floor and sliding to a stop when her back hit the wall. I stalked closer, intimidating, the slayer out in full force. “I always wanted her.” I seethed. “You're the one I didn't want.” I turned to look at Faith and found her gone. I looked back to Satsu. I was more than angry. “You were nice at one time. I didn't lie to you.” I inched closer. “I think you'd better head back to Japan, like now or you're gonna wake up tomorrow morning and find yourself a regular person again.”
I turned from her and looked at everyone watching the altercation. “Find something else to do.” I ground out and walked off.
I sought out Faith and found her in the library, searching through the stacks. She was laughing with Willow.
“Sure... sure.” Faith answered. “How's seven sound?”
“Sounds great. I'll swing by your room.” Willow answered.
“See ya later Red.” Faith said, smiling. Willow nodded her head in agreement, smiling as she walked past me. I gave her the ole green eye and she looked at the floor and walked just a bit faster.
I walked closer. “You're going on a date with Will?” I asked.
“What?” She coughed out, staring at me. “Uh, nobody mentioned anything about a date.” She was finding this amusing. “We're just gonna grab a bite to eat, catch up a bit.” She offered. I looked at her in disbelief. She sighed. “Look, all the while I was living in England, she's the only one that kept in touch, she's a friend. Her and Ken and if either of them wanna go out, talk and bond, well... that's what we're gonna do.” She arched her brows, daring me to continue.
“I get that.” I breathed out. “Sorry I wasn't as good about keeping in touch as I should've been.”
She laughed. “Hell B, not like we're friends or anything.” She continued perusing through the tomes.
I touched her arm, getting her attention. “We could be though, we could be more.... I'd like us to be more.” I admitted. “I feel this pull towards you and its so strong. It's only gotten stronger over the years and honestly, I'm tired of fighting it. I just want to grasp it and hold on.” My fingers curved around hers as I moved closer. “I'm tired of denying it, tired of denying you.”
She wouldn't look at me, keeping her eyes on the floor.
“You do feel the pull... don't you?” I asked, voice laced with worry.
She sighed. “You know...” She raked her hand through her hair. “ I always have... and I didn't react very well to it when I was younger... but Buffy.” She hesitated. “This has 'bad happening' all over it.” She stiffened just a bit, seeming to think over her words. “You've got your girl accosting me all over the campus... and that's nothing compared to what we did to each other when we were kids.” She pulled in a shaky breath. “Buffy, you put a knife through me to feed me to your vampire lover... it's never really healed, sure there's scar tissue but the friggin thing still hurts and haunts me at times, like the knifes sliding in again...” She pulled away from me, her hand sliding out of mine. She turned, tears building. “I might never be able to carry a child to term or even get pregnant.” Her voice trailed off, she shuddered as tears finally broke free, several slowly running over her face. “How are we supposed to get past the worst we ever did?”
I felt the flush of guilt cover me. “You did things to me too.”
“I agree.” She stated calmly. “I went to jail. What did you do?”
The room got extremely quiet. We just stood there looking at each other. I didn't know what to say and it was obvious, she wasn't looking to rehash anything.
Tears had been building up behind my eyes and I couldn't keep them in any longer. I took a few deep breaths to steady myself. I reached for her hand and pulled her over to the sofa. I fell back against it, watching as she sat next to me. I breathed in again, my breaths shaky on exhaling. I reached for Giles' expensive scotch and pulled two glasses over toward us. I poured doubles and handed her one, palming my own before taking a much needed gulp. I watched as she followed suit, watched as she gave into the burn as the liquid warmed and consoled her.
I took another drink. “Hear me out okay?” I asked, watching as she nodded she would. “I think we finally need to sit down and get everything out in the open. Talk it through... try to forgive and move beyond.... cause Faith....” I looked at her, making sure we had eye contact. “I can get over our past but I can't get over you. I realize that now.” I watched as she sipped some more scotch. “I'm so sorry, every time I see that scar, every time I see what I did... well I die a bit inside. It hurts me more than you'll ever know or understand.”
I wiped a few tears. My voice cracked. “And hearing the repercussions of my actions....” A sob escaped and I fought the tears back. “All I can say is that I want you and I will spend the rest of my life trying to love away everything hurtful and awful that I ever did to you.” I pulled in a shaky breath. “Don't you think that you could do the same for me, just love all the awful away?”
I noticed her tears streaming over her reddened cheeks and I reached out and thumbed them away, tilting her face up to look into my eyes. “And if you want babies and can't have them or carry them, well I can without a doubt tell you that I would carry them and have them for us.”
She broke down in tears and I pulled her into my arms, squeezing her. “I'm so sorry I took that away from you.” I whispered.
“I'm so sorry.”
We sat there for hours, hugging, holding onto each other, crying and whispering our apologies and pleas of forgiveness. We were still crying when Willow interrupted us. “Hey....” She broke us out of our somberness. We both turned and looked at her. She brought in a few take out bags and some drinks. “I thought you both could use some food.”
“Thanks Will.” I absentmindedly wiped at my eyes. She smiled at both of us. She nodded, before adding. “Faith we'll catch up tomorrow, okay?”
Faith nodded at her and we watched her leave us, closing the door behind her.
We ate in silence.
I woke up with a smile plastered on my face. So much weight had been lifted from my years and years of stored up guilt. I felt good about the day, felt great about Faith... was feeling a little guilty about giving Satsu an ultimatum followed by a good old fashioned threat. But, nevertheless I had to make sure she hightailed it out of dodge. So I pulled myself out of my comfort zone, from the safety of my room and made my way to Will's office.
“I guess you're making sure she left?” Will asked as I entered.
I nodded. “Yeah, I can't really have her doing the stuff she was doing.” I sat down and adjusted myself, getting comfortable. “Especially with things so new and fragile.”
“So... you and Faith...” She put it out there and waited.
I took a deep breath. “Well yeah, nothing official... But we did talk through our past... and she's got the whole 'vibe' thing happening with her as well.”
Willow laughed. “You mean your 'slaydar'?”
I pursed my lips, taking the jibe in good stride. “So...” I let the question hang there, waiting.
“No, she's not gone.” I looked up at her. “She's in the commons, her plane won't leave until tomorrow, so you'll have to keep them a part for a bit longer.”
“You know, I don't get why she'd do this? I mean, I didn't lie to her. I told her from the start that it wouldn't ever go further than, well where it went.” Frustration was evident in my voice. “Plus, it's been a couple of years.... so why would she try to keep me from getting close to Faith?”
Will sighed. “She was in love with you.... she got burned.. she thought she'd have you and you'd fall for her and when it didn't happen... well it burned. And now... with all the gossip about you and Faith, that something was between you and especially how powerful it was... well she didn't want you to finally get what she couldn't give you.” She got up and went to the coffee pot, poured us both a cup and came back over, handing me one.
“Thanks.” I stated, sipping it. “It's good.” I offered.
“Will?” I asked getting her attention.
I waited until she looked up at me. “Are you interested in Faith?” Concern and worry making themselves vocal.
I watched her pull in a deep breath and release it slowly. “You know... Faith and I kept in touch after Sunnydale. She helped me get the scythe back and empower it again. And since then she's always had my back if I needed her. We're actually pretty good friends. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that the thought of the two of us hasn't crossed my mind.”
My jealousy level shot from 1 to 10. Willow held up her hand, stopping me before I could get started.
“And yes, we've both talked about it but... but." She reiterated. "You are like a sister to me and she would never want to do anything that would drive a wedge between us, so we both decided to get off that train of thought.”
I relaxed back against the chair. Willow leaned forward, her eyes sparkling. “But if you die or anything, I'd be on her like white on rice.”
I laughed in spite of myself. “I would haunt you so friggin bad.” I voiced.
“Touche.” She cantered before adding. “I'm not so sure about Kennedy though or Dawn for that matter. I've been seeing them give her the ole once over.”
“Oh please... everyone's given her the ole once over, then twice and then some more.” I rasped out, feeling a bit on edge. “Even Andy, and he's gay.” I added. “And now you're on the list.” I pouted at her.
She smiled over her cup of coffee. “Yeah... well then, aren't you lucky I love you?” She asked.
I nodded, smiled and sat there, enjoying the company and java.
I found Satsu in the commons area. She stood up as I entered the room. I took a deep breath and pulled the door closed behind me. I walked up to her, stood stock still and crossed my arms over my chest.
She broke. “I'm leaving tomorrow.” I nodded, as if adding yeah you are.
She sighed. “I'm sorry okay?” She looked at the floor before looking back at me. “I just knew that if the rumors were true, that this time you'd be.. well gone, for good... like completely off the market.”
I looked at her. “Let me be honest here... I was never on the market.” She nodded in defeat.
I got a tinging feeling in my chest. I looked to the door and smiled. Satsu stepped close to me, grabbed me around my waist with one hand and grasped the back of my neck with the other. She pulled me down and into her lips.
The door opened. I shoved Satsu back and turned, already knowing that it was Faith.
Faith stalled in the doorway. I looked at her. “It's not what it looked like.” I offered. I moved to close the distance between us but she held up her hand stopping me. “I was just reminding you that I'm gonna catch up with Red in a bit.”
I stepped closer. “Faith...” I whispered, moving closer. She nodded at me, trying to let me know that she was in control but barely. I could feel the anger and jealousy rolling off her in waves. She looked deeply in my eyes and I felt her find some kind of inner calm.
I saw Satsu, cross her arms and smirk, proud of herself. Idiot.
Faith blinked, cracked her neck and turned to leave but stopped, her shoulders stiff. “Yo, Sats... I don't wanna be running into you anymore.” Her voice was cold, calculated, eerily calm.
Faith was a blur as she crossed the room. She hit her so hard and so fast that I didn't even realize what had happened. The plaster caved along the wall. Faith snatched her from the indention, the plaster falling to the floor and pulled her up close, her face touching Satsu's. “Go ahead... make another move... it'll be the last thing you ever do.”
Satsu nodded in understanding, her eyes wide.
Faith slung her across the room, walked past me, stopping to reach out to me, her hand waiting. I hesitated just a second and looked over to Satsu, who was sprawled over the floor. I noted that she was okay and didn't need a doctor: I shook my head at her, turned and took Faith's hand and left with her.
I breathed out a sigh of relief, clinging to her, leaning my head on her shoulder and rubbing her arm as we walked up the corridor.
“Thank you.” I whispered. “For believing in me.”
She stopped and turned to face me, her emotions still revved beyond anything normal. “I believe we promised to leave all the lies, mistrust and violence behind... right?”
I nodded in agreement, a huge smile forming. “We did... and I know that had to be hard.” My hands kept rubbing along her arms, calming her, relaxing her further.
She scoffed. “You have no idea.” She took a deep breath and leaned her forehead against mine, comforting herself even more.
I pulled back and looked into her eyes. “She caught me off guard. We were doing the get out of town thing. I felt you and looked to the door and she just grabbed me.”
Faith pulled me to her, her lips easing over mine. I responded by leaning my body into hers, sighing into her mouth and moaning as her tongue gently touched mine. We pulled back, my lips instantly feeling cold from the loss of her heat. She smiled at me, fully, unrestrained, those dimples showing themselves and I fell a little bit deeper in love.
“Off guard huh? Like that?” She asked, still holding me close to her.
“No...” I breathed, trying to get closer still. “Not like that, never like that.”
“Good.” She whispered, leaning in to kiss me again, only this time with more passion, more intent. I got lost in a haze; a soft, lingering, warmth that traveled from my mouth all the way down to my toes and back again. My brain was firing signals to my entire body. I was lost in her, in her feel and I was doing nothing to find my way back.
She covered me. Kissed her way to my neck, stopping only to lift my hand to place a kiss on it but turned it over at the last second to kiss my palm, only instead of kissing it she tongued the webbing right between my fingers. Lightning struck me right at my core. She might as well have been between my legs, because that's where I felt it. I sighed out, my body arching at the onslaught of feeling and emotion coursing through me.
I laid my head on her shoulder and she held me up. It's official. I'm hers.. totally, completely. “I'm yours, you know.” I whispered, suddenly feeling a bit vulnerable. “Are you mine?” I hesitantly asked.
“I've always been yours Buffy.” She whispered. “Since the first time I saw you.”
I closed my eyes and held on dearly, tears misting in my eyes. My mind soaring, realizing... she called me Buffy... this is real and it's finally happening.
I've been smiles all day, well up until I was told that Angel and Spike had entered the building. I mean first Satsu, and now the broody brothers. Well I wasn't gonna fall for anything this time round. I called for a group of slayers to attend the meeting as well. I could play the game too.
We stared at them as they just sat there and stared at me. “Did you have something you wanted to say?” I asked.
Angel furrowed his brow. “Couldn't we talk privately?” He asked.
I shook my head no. “No, no privacy for me with ex's, ever.” I breathed out. “It's a new rule.” I stated, nodding my head for emphasis.
“So it's true then?” Angel asked.
“Yeah, what he said.” Spike added.
I smiled and shook my head in disbelief. “So you came all this way to find out if I'm having a relationship with Faith?” One look at their faces let me know that I'd hit the nail directly on the head.
My eyes hardened and my voice became stern. “Yes, I am and she's the last in a long line of failures. And by that I mean, she is the be all, end all and definitely the end of this conversation.”
I got up and walked to the door, turning before I exited. “Do yourselves a favor, don't mess with her, or what we've found. We're both happy.”
“Wait Buffy.” Angel stood up. “We do have a bit more to tell you... the PTB has re-established contact with us.”
I turned around, sighed and walked back to my chair. “Alright.” I turned to one of the slayers. “Would you please get Dawn, Andy and Giles.”
Kennedy spoke up. “You want me to get Willow?”
I smiled. “No, she's busy... Dawn can fill her in later.” I smiled, feeling the bond with Faith, she was obviously feeling pretty good, happy. I let her good cheer wash over me as Dawn and Giles entered the room, followed shortly by Andrew.
I looked back to Angel and Spike. “Okay, lets get down to business.”
I've never been so glad a meeting was adjourned before. I mean, I was on edge toward the end. I'd been feeling Faith and she was so happy, then she got emotional and now she was under some kind of duress. I'd pretty much left the meeting in a hurry, telling Dawn to handle the news we'd been given. I couldn't deal with it. Faith was pinging every nerve in my body. I cleared the doorway and searched out for Faith, my slaydar picking her up instantly. Something was wrong and she was at Willow's.
I walked as fast as I could without running and was fast approaching Will's door. I got there and pushed it open, walking in without an invitation.
I stopped abruptly.
I almost flipped my friggin lid. Faith was lying on Willow's bed in her underwear. Will's hand was on some part of her southern region and she was leaning over her, palming her cheek and it looked as if she'd just kissed her.
Faith looked at me, tears in her eyes. “Buffy.” She croaked out. “It's not what it looks like.”
I tried to shake my flaring temper off. “I'm glad of that.” I tried to speak calmly. I still couldn't move though. My head was throbbing and I was still fighting off jealousy. “Buffy.” Willow got my attention. “Come here, help ground her.”
What? I walked over slowly and looked at Faith; it was obvious she was struggling and then I looked at her body. She had spell-craft supplies adorning her body, along with oils and incense. A tear leaked from Faith's eye and ran down the side of her face. “Help her.” Willow whispered. “It hurts.”
I noticed that Wills hand was over 'the scar' and I moved instantly. My hands held Faith's face as I leaned over and looked into her eyes, whispering words into her ear. A few sobs broke free from her and my tears started falling as well. It felt like it took forever before she finally relaxed and fell asleep.
I helped Willow to the couch and helped her lie down to rest before I pulled up a chair next to the bed, pulled a sheet over Faith and sat down next to her. I reached out and lay my hand against her arm, wanting the contact with her.
She woke me sometime later, touching my hand. “Hey.” She whispered, as I sat up and looked at her. “Sorry... I should have spoke with you first about it. It was just one of those spur of the moment things and we had the time and she had the supplies...”
I nodded that I got it. “It's okay.” I smiled at her. “Did it work?”
“I don't know.” She half shrugged, before raising the sheet to look at her abdomen. I moved the sheet back and looked as well. I sighed, ran my fingers over the area and leaned in and kissed it gently. I couldn't help it as a couple of tears fell.
Willow clearing her voice, interrupted my thought patterns. I turned facing her. “You think it worked?”
Willow walked closer, looked at Faith's stomach, touched it. “It's still warm.” She patted Faith on the arm. “No way to really tell until....” Her words died off, but we got the gist. We wouldn't really know if it'd worked unless Faith got pregnant and if she did, well then we'd have to worry if she could go full term.”
I sucked in a hard breath and blew it out, making myself think more positive thoughts. We'd cross that bridge when we got to it but for now, well now I was going to pamper my woman.
Willow's laughing ended my happy thoughts. “You so thought I was doing your girl.”
Faith smiled, getting in on the teasing. I had to smile back at them. “Yeah, for a minute, I kinda did.”
Faith reached over, grasped my hand in hers and pulled me in close to her. “There's nobody else in this entire world I want more than you.” She whispered. She pulled me towards her, leaning in to give me a chaste kiss.
Our internal hums started pinging together, the heat ramping up between us, our chemistry mingling, merging and throwing sparks. I closed my eyes, reveling in the heady feeling, allowing it to cover and consume me. This was it. She was it. We had no more time to waste. This was our time and we were grasping onto it and rolling full speed ahead. So much time wasted, so much we allowed to get in our way before but now, we finally got it right, had it figured out. I smiled at her as my mind floated back to the here and now. “I'm gonna hold you to that, you know.” I stated.
She smiled, her eyes dilating, her dimples showing a bit of mischief. “Please.” She whispered. “Hold me to something, cause I'm really tired of waiting.” Her thumb caressed my cheek.
“Okay.” Willow stammered. “That's a bit... much... hot but too much and not in my bed.”
We turned facing Willow, a bit shocked at having forgotten she was in the room with us. We looked back to each other, laughing as we embraced.
“I love you.” I whispered. “You'd better.” She whispered back, adding. “I don't love many but I've always loved you.”
2 years later.
I felt her before I ever saw her. I smiled into the feeling that she always gave me, that feeling of warmth, just a hint of excitement, anticipation. I got up and checked my hair in the mirror and smiled over at the two children playing on the mat. We'd fell into becoming parents just like we'd fell into becoming partners, it was just meant to be. We dated for about 6 months and it was wonderful, she completed me more than I could ever imagine and I'm pretty sure it was mutual.
We'd went to Hawaii, a surprise from her and after lunch one day, well she surpassed any and all expectations that I'd ever dreamed of. It'd started with our suite being filled with a vast array of flowers, candies and concluded with me finding a beautiful dress laid out for me on the bed, herself one included.
We'd went to dinner later, a secluded little restaurant and we'd had the best time. After dessert, she gave me a snifter of brandy and we walked towards the outside pier. She stopped me in the doorway, leaning back against the frame, she tasted her brandy, and leaned in brushing her lips against mine, letting the warmth of the brandy fill my mouth along with her tongue. I felt her all the way down to my toes and when she finally pulled back, she had the most amazing clear eyes and they were shining against the moon.
She took my hand and pulled me along as she made our way from the pier down to the ocean, where we took off our shoes and walked hand in hand along the shoreline.
After a while and lots of kisses, smiles and blushing we came across this small hut, lit up against the backdrop of the ocean, the moon. Soft, romantic music was playing. I looked over at Faith and she smiled at me, waiting. Some woman came out, telling us that we were late and draped flower lei's over our heads before putting a flower behind one of our ears. “We're ready.” The woman told us.
“Ready for what?” I asked, moving forward. Faith caught my arm and turned me around to face her.
“I have a present for you.” She whispered, guiding me into the hut and over to a table covered with flowers. I looked at the decorated box, noting that the lid was placed on and held with tape. I pulled the tape and watched as the lid lifted up and fell to the side. I watched transfixed as pale pink balloons rose up, wrapped in baby's breath and ribbon.
My slaydar exploded as my eyes took in the message laid out before me. Written in script on the balloons was 'marry me' and hanging wrapped in ribbon were two diamond bands. I fingered the gold and pulled them from the ribbon. I turned a bit in shock and awe and looked into the nervous eyes of my other half, who was anxiously biting on that lovely bottom lip of hers.
That's all it took, her standing before me, heart on sleeve, worried of what I'd think or say. I cupped her face with my hands and pulled her to me and that's how our life officially started.
We got married under the moon to soft sounds of music, the ocean our backdrop. We danced, fed each other cake, had the obligatory photos snapped and I was whisked away to a bungalow over the water, where we soaked in a bath as we looked out at the ocean. We made love to the cadence of the waves and woke as the sunlight streamed across our bodies.
We returned to a party, where we had more cake, champagne, friends and family. It was the most natural thing as if we'd been like this our entire lives. And true to Faith's word, we did the couples counseling every week, well truth be told, we'd started going to counseling right after we started dating. I learned more about her life, from young to adulthood, the why's and vice versa.
6 months later, after our honeymoon phase; I tried to get pregnant but it didn't take and then Faith tried a few months later and she conceived. We were ecstatic. We had so much hope, so much anticipation put into our new family but tragedy struck. She was only able to carry her for about 5 months before we lost her. It was just too hard a thing to live with for us to take the chance and try again. We grieved together for months. It was a hurt like no other. We overcame it though, finally. We'd talked about me giving it another try but life stepped in and we found ourselves becoming parents to two girls.
We weren't sure what really happened. All we knew was that Jess, their mom, stepped in front of some kind of demon to protect her husband while out and she got surprised from behind. Both perished, gone far too soon, and their two children were suddenly left all alone. Giles took the girls and called us; and one look at Faith's face told me that she was in. So we took in the kids and our lives changed.
The little girls, Alona and Marin, ages 5 and 3 took to us like ducks to water and we'd formed a quick bond. The new council helped push the adoption through and we went from party of two; to party of four.
Anyway, back to the here and now. Faith had went to go retrieve another slayer, she'd been gone for days but now she was again back in my orbit. The slayer she'd went to retrieve had done a lot of damage and the police ended up shooting her on site. Faith had called me in the middle of the night crying, the slayer had been pregnant and had went into early labor and died just after giving birth. Before she passed, she'd given Faith the rights to the baby and after holding the newborn, she just couldn't leave the little slayer tot behind. So she'd ended up staying a few extra days getting stuff organized.
She'd be here any moment with our new bundle of joy. I could feel her getting closer. Our girls, looked up, them also feeling her as she got closer. They smiled excitedly and I mirrored their faces. We still needed a name for our newest addition, but we could worry about that later, first things first. We had kisses to pass around.
My heart started beating faster. I could feel hers running rampant as well. My lip trembled as I felt her turn the corridor approaching us. My body quickened, my eyes hazing over. She suddenly appeared in the doorway, hesitating slightly. I looked to the bundle in her arms and then followed the length of her arm all the way down to her hand, where she was holding the hand of a little boy, who was probably a little over a year old.
She looked up at me, her eyes questioning. I smiled at her, watching as the girls ran at her, grabbing hold of her legs. She squatted down, enveloping them and placing kisses on their heads. I knelt beside them, reaching out for the little boy and tears sprung forth as he melted against me, wrapping his little arms around my neck. I smiled up at Faith and leaned in kissing her. She smiled big, her body relaxing when she realized that I was okay with her bringing another into our fold. “His name's Joey.” She offered up. “I found him in Cera's apartment with a baby sitter when I went to see if there was any family to notify.” I reached out and gently fingered the baby's head, smiling at her. “I couldn't leave him behind.” She added as if explaining.
I looked at her. “No, you couldn't.” I reached out and palmed her cheek, before squeezing her shoulder, letting her know it was alright.
We moved into the office, sitting on the floor. I held the baby and Joey, while she played with Alona and Marin.
Her voice, interrupted my thoughts. “I thought we could call her Cera Joyce.... Cera in honor of her mother and Joyce in honor of yours.”
I nodded, liking it. And in that instant, we'd went from party of 4 to party of 6.
After all this time, she was still managing to amaze me. And she did daily. She'd never had a family before and she was determined to get this right. Everything that she'd never had, she made sure to give it to us and I'm not talking material things. She listened to them, made time for them, played with them. She parented them and told them she loved them and she made sure that she touched them, hugging them numerous times daily.
And me? Well, she made sure that we never went to bed angry as a matter of fact before bed each night, we'd recline and hold each other, talking about our day, what happened, what we liked, what we didn't. And we'd discuss things. I'm not saying she always gave me my way, because she didn't, I'm saying that she valued what I thought and she listened.
Those times when we'd make love.... well I always felt so much emotion from her, she put everything she had into us, as if there would be no tomorrow. It didn't matter what we were doing. Kissing; touching, hugging, having sex. Everything was done as if it was going to be our last. She'd taken up a new motto: If my time runs out tomorrow, then I want every second of today.
And in every second that she lived, well I knew beyond any shadow of any doubt, that I was loved, revered and wanted.
Our friends always asked about us because they never got to see what I saw and felt and all I could tell them was that I just knew. The signs were neon, like...she always smiled when she saw me. She left me little notes and sometimes a flower that she'd stolen from Giles' garden. She made a me cup of coffee each morning, sometimes breakfast. She let me know in a million different ways that I was important. It was all those little things combined that let me know that I was special to her.
It was a look, a touch. Like I was life itself, sustenance. It didn't matter where we were, how far apart. I could suddenly feel her. I'd look and find myself locked into her line of sight. It was only growing stronger; our bond ebbed and flowed, grew and withdrew, ignited and sparked.
Life was good and we were pinging all over the place. We're the Lehanes, party of …..? We're going to leave that blank for now, because I know Faith will eventually go out of town again... Maybe next time she'll bring home a puppy?
I smiled, my emotions soaring, my slaydar singing happily and bouncing off of hers.