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The dark haired woman casually strolled up to where the blonde slayer was perched on the ledge overlooking the subdivision around them. She sighed heavily and quietly took a seat next to her...whatever she was; arch nemesis, sister slayer, object of desire, other half, whatever.

They sat in companionable silence, each regarding the other.

“You've changed a lot.” The words, almost whispered, filtered slowly over to the brunette. She nodded, spurring the blonde to continue. “It's like you're totally different from before...” The words died off. She waited.

I scratched at my leg absentmindedly. “Yeah....” I hesitated, breathing in a slow, measured breath. “I was a different person back then B... literally.” I pulled in another breath. “Doesn't really matter now though, it's all faded over time.”

“Well almost all.” My heart skipped a beat or two. “You know, when that went down with Gigi....” I waited for her acknowledgment. “I wasn't trying to take you out, it just turned bad.” I breathed in. “She wasn't really operating on her own, ya know, she was being used by a warlock.... I didn't want you to kill her, ya know, but more than that, I was trying to keep you from getting fried by the lock.”

“We fell thru the window and I kept trying to tell you I was undercover but you just kept hitting me and calling me names and I just snapped and I fought back.” I wiped at my face. “I'm sorry.... I mean, here I was sent in, trying to protect you from them and next thing I know I'm holding you underwater.”

I sniffled. “I came to my senses and stopped. It was just a reaction to having you....” My voice trailed off.

“Attacking and accusing you?” She asked, looking over at me. I nodded yes.

“I'm sorry too.” She whispered. “I know we kinda did all this before, but I don't think it really sunk in at the time.” She sighed. “I asked Giles some of the hard, why'd he leave you all the money...” She hesitated, waiting for a response to which I remained quiet.

“I guess it didn't sink in because I didn't want to believe it.” She offered. “I mean it changes everything back then, the why's of it all.” She reached over and touched my hand. “I'm sorry for back then as well.”

I half smiled and glanced at her leg. “Hell B. You don't owe me any apologies. Wasn't like I was on the up and up back then. All I knew was survival... I'd been running most of my life, hiding, trying to be stronger and braver than I knew I was.”

She interrupted me. “Fai... you had a vengeance demon attached to you, not to mention your hijackers.”

I sighed out frustrated. “Doesn't mean it wasn't my hands that did those deeds B.. tomato tomahto..... semantics. Doesn't matter.... if things hadn't of played out the way they did, would I even be here now.” I cracked my neck. “Do us both a favor and let it go..... I have.”

“Have you?” She looked over at me. “Have you really?”

I half laughed. “More or less, some days I regress but I think I've pretty much put it behind me.” I wiped at my forehead. “Other days I drown in it.... I mean it kinda tore us a part before....” My words died off.

“Before what?” She asked, looking at me expectantly.

I shrugged, letting the silence fill the gap between us. She looked forward again, quietly thinking.

I pulled in a deep breath, closing my eyes and stamping down any emotion that was welling up inside me. “So you and blondie bear back together?”

She looked over at me. “Maybe, sorta, kinda.” She spat out quickly. “I don't really know, I'm thinking maybe yeah, I mean but...” She sighed dejectedly. “I don't really know.”

I nodded, gathering up courage. I turned a bit, my body facing her and I looked hard at her. “You know what we are to each other.” I stated. “I know you do.” I watched as she pulled in a harsh breath. I had to stop her before she got her spiel on. “Just listen, okay?” I winced at the pitiful way my voice sounded, almost begging.

I closed my eyes, steeled my nerves and continued. “Our past as bad as it was, well... you have to know that it was the most important thing to me.” I held up my hand to stop her from commenting. “I know it was all pulling hair like school kids but well.... you affected me... affect me.”

I felt my face constrict, my brow furrowing. “You always affected me. You always have.... didn't matter the when or the how.... I always ran away from you to try to stamp you out... took me growing up, getting out and getting a back bone to be able to come back and help again.”

We shared a bit of that companionable silence. “It's that backbone that I grew that allows me to sit here and say... please don't.”

She pulled in a harsh breath and I continued, cutting her off. “Please don't go back with him. He's dead B. Don't get me wrong. I'm not judging... but he's dead. Just like Angel is... dead and I love Angel but he's still dead and you and them well....” I bit my lip. “Spike is too, he's long gone and not buried. And you've already been with him and it didn't work out, no one has worked out with you B.”

Her annoyance came to the forefront. “It's not like you've had many stellar relationships.” She spat out.

I laughed. “No, no it really isn't.”

“But you would be stellar.” I admitted, a bit smug at her shock.
I knocked her shoulder eliciting a half smile from her. I smiled back. “I mean how many times do I have to pull your hair or break your crayon?” I asked.

I reached in my jacket pocket and pulled out a box of crayola. “Prolly owe you a whole box by now.” She reached out and took the offering, smiling.

I sighed. “It's real easy to put yourself into relationships that you don't have to really work at.” I looked at her smile as it faded. “I mean, you don't have to work at them because you really have no expectations of them really going anywhere... It's a defense mechanism.”

“It's safe and it's the cowards way out... I know cause I lived the cowards life for a long time.” I scooted a bit closer. “What are you going to do B... while you age and he stays the same? You gonna let him turn you eventually? What?”

She looked at me hard. “And kids, sure you can get sperm from a living person, but not a dead one.... and those pesky souls that are stuffed up their asses.... well, it's not like they are attached to living beings. Face it, being dead and having souls don't really mix well and well... there you have it.”

I breathed out through my nose. “It's like a time bomb waiting to happen and one day... well you've already lived thru it once and if you did have a kid, well how are you gonna keep them from running into the arms of another corpse if they're used to the ones you're keeping around?”

“Here's the thing.” I looked at her, waiting for her to look into my eyes. “It's you for me. I've accepted it. I'm not fighting it anymore and I think that you've grown up enough to finally acknowledge it as well.”

“I'm here. I'm alive. I'm warm. My heart beats and it beats for you. It's time to stop playing all these childish schoolyard games. It's time to choose me for a change. It's...” I looked into her face and I could feel dejection. “It's just time.” I breathed out.

I sighed and wiped at a stray tear making its way down my cheek. I stood up and looked at the girl that'd haunted my mind, dreams and desires since I was 17.

I smiled at her and started to walk away. “That's it?” She stated, standing up herself.

I scoffed. “What? You expected a Dolly Parton song?”

She smiled at me. “A girl has hope.” She stated.

I smiled a contemplative smile. “Well, for what it's worth. A part of me will always love you and a part of me will always be crushed when you choose another but I learned a long time ago that you have to let what you love go, especially when it'll never love you back.”

She nodded. “Will I see you again?” She asked.

I half laughed, half smiled, looking down to the ground before looking back up at her. “Maybe someday but I want what everyone else has found. I want that white picket fence and those 2.5 kids and I'm going to get it. Can't wait around forever while you try and figure things out.”

“Oh.” She mumbled, turning away.

“Yeah.” I whispered, reaching out and running my fingers through her hair before tugging it harshly.

“Hey!” She spun, reaching up and soothing her scalp.

I smiled at her. “For nostalgia.”

She nodded at me and smiled. We shared another bit of easy silence between us before I turned and walked away.