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Are We There Yet?

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“Willow told me. What you tried to do for me back there.”

 

The battle with Harth ended yesterday-or maybe even just earlier today. Buffy’s pretty sure exhaustion is clouding her mind. It’s part of why she’s out here with Faith, sitting on the bench in front of Xander and Dawn’s place instead of inside celebrating with everyone else. Sitting is definitely preferable to dancing right now.

 

That and because she just felt this overwhelming need to talk to Faith after what Willow told her inside. For a long time now she’s known that Faith is capable of a lot of good, but she had no idea that she could be so selfless.

 

“Was about saving the world. Figured you’ve sacrificed yourself enough already and it was way past my turn,” Faith doesn’t look at Buffy, but Buffy can see her cheeks turning a little pink. She’s not sure if it’s because of what they’re discussing or because of the beer she’s currently sipping.

 

“I know it wasn’t just for me, but thank you Faith,” she reaches for Faith’s hand, giving it a quick squeeze. “It-well it means a lot to know I have people in my life who would be willing to do that.”

 

Faith returns the squeeze as she turns to her with a grin.

 

“You’re still my dog, y’know? Always will be, B.”

 

Buffy laughs as she thinks back to the last time Faith called her her “dog’. In some ways it feels like a lifetime ago, so much has gone down since then. So much seems to go down between almost every one on one conversation she seems to have with Faith.

 

“Y’know I’ve known you almost half my life. Never thought I’d have that with anyone. Now I’ve got a whole house full of people who’ve known me that long. Its kinda nuts.”

 

The beer must be the latest in a line of many because she can see that Faith is fully relaxed now, chuckling to herself as she leans back against the wall of the house. She’s feeling plenty relaxed herself as she sips her own beer.

 

“I think its safe to say we’ve had more drama in that half life than most people have in their whole lives. That’s not even counting all the drama that’s sure to come.”

 

A slow, reminiscent smile spreads across her face as she looks at the girl sitting next to her. “On the plus side at least now the drama isn’t between us.”

 

“You think we’re finally ready to be friends now, B?” Faith asks and Buffy is surprised to see she looks genuinely curious. Like after everything she’s still not sure.

 

“I think we’ve been friends for a while now,” she replies sincerely. “Anyone who has had my back as often as you have lately is definitely a friend.”

 

“I meant more with the whole talking about things that aren’t demons and hanging when we’re not kicking ass.”

 

For a second she just stares at Faith, a little thrown. It’s been over a decade since they even came close to being friends like that.

 

Memories from high school of late night dinners after patrols at crappy diners, dancing at the Bronze and giggling together over bad TV in Faith’s motel room suddenly spring to mind. Before it all went bad, she had thought she and Faith could be friends like that.

 

Maybe they could be now.  

 

“Yeah,” Buffy smiles softly at Faith. “I think I’d like that.”

 

“Cool,” Faith grins back at her and raises her beer, “well cheers to not dying!”

 

“Cheers to not dying!” Buffy clinks her beer against Faith’s with a chuckle.

 

“So does that mean you’re planning on sticking around then? I mean here in San Fran?”

 

Faith shrugs, still grinning.

 

“Feels like as good a place as any.”

 

Buffy had been hoping that everyone would be staying close after what they’ve just been through, but Faith has never stuck around for long. Not since Sunnydale. And Buffy’s kind of surprised at just how happy she is to hear that Faith is planning to stick around this time. It’s like she’s finally getting a fresh start with all the people she’s ever cared about.

 

“Heard you’re thinking about becoming a cop.”

 

Buffy assumes that means Willow told her. She’s the only one who knows how seriously Buffy’s been considering joining up full time. It’s the first career she thinks she could actually be good at.

 

“It’s a definite possibility,” she admits.

 

“Think maybe that’d be kind of cool,” Faith looks down at her beer, suddenly seeming a little shy. Which makes no sense.

 

“Yeah it has its-“ Buffy pauses as it hits her. “Wait do you mean- are you looking to join?”

 

Faith looks back towards her and she doesn’t think she’s ever seen Faith look so unsure of herself before. She almost looks like a kid again.

 

“That be cool with you?”

 

There’s a part of Buffy that wants to be selfish and say no. That this is her thing and she doesn’t want to share.

 

But, those memories from when they were young float through her mind again. Before she was the danger, Faith used to be able to make dangerous situations feel a little lighter. She thinks about how they’ve always made a good double team when they’ve been on the same side, and now that’s even more true than it was back in high school.

 

Maybe this doesn’t have to be just her thing.

 

“It’s cool with me. Might even be fun,” she playfully knocks her arm against Faith’s and just like that all the uncertainty on Faith’s face disappears. She’s laughing to herself now, her grin bright as she returns Buffy’s playful knock with one of her own.

 

“Who’d have thought? The Chosen Two back at it again.”

 

Buffy’s not sure why that simple phrase sends a warmth straight to her heart. It must just be because she likes the idea of having a friend with her on this new journey. That makes sense.