AN/ I'm gonna mess with the timeline a bit in this story. Faith arrives to Sunnydale before all of the other Potential Slayers, no one is really expecting her.
The bus ride from Los Angeles to Sunnydale seemed to last forever for Faith, who was on her way to try and make things better with Buffy and help her any way she needed to be helped. She was nervous about seeing Buffy again, but she really wanted to apologize and try to start a new chapter with her former frenemy.
Two hours in the bus felt like two centuries for Faith and when she finally arrived to Sunnydale’s bus station, she took a deep breath and mumbled to herself:
“Back to Sunnyhell… it’s five by five, Faith. Nothing bad is gonna happen this time…”
She thought about how royally it had all gone to hell for her in the past, and just hoped that History wouldn’t repeat itself. She was different now, more mature and ready to make amends. Still, facing Buffy scared her more than all the demons in the world combined.
Trying to get rid of that annoying nervousness, Faith decided to go patrol over one of twelve Sunnydale cemeteries. Faith wondered how the rest of the town managed to fit in Sunnydale with all those graveyards. Oh, and forty-three churches. That was a bit creepy, but Sunnydale’s residents really needed to believe in something when they were constantly attacked by vampires and horrible demons.
Thinking about cemeteries and churches was way better than thinking about Buffy. Way less confusing, at least those were facts. When it was about Buffy, she was a complete mystery to Faith… and that mystery was about to get even more… mysterious.
Faith spotted a vampire and she was just gonna run to slay him, when she noticed Buffy sitting on a grave and actually TALKING to him.
“What??”, Faith whispered, and sneaked through the bushes to get closer, hoping to hear something that would explain why Buffy was socializing with the creature she was supposed to be slaying. Then she remembered Angel and figured seeing Buffy talk to a vampire wasn’t the strangest thing ever.
“The last guy I was with, it got really... I behaved like a monster. Treated him like... and at the same time I let him just take me over, do things to me that... if anyone knew what really went on between us, they'd never look at me again.”
Faith couldn’t believe her own ears. It seemed that Buffy didn’t just pull that stick out of her ass, she actually experienced some form of BDSM. Little princess tasted darkness and the more Faith heard, the more she thought her fellow Slayer wanted to drown in that darkness again...
“I'm afraid. I'm afraid of falling back into the way I was last year. I thought I was nothing. I have so much power, I didn't ask for it, I don't deserve it... sometimes I think... I think the relationship I
had last year was... like I wanted to be punished. I wanted to hurt like I thought I deserved to. “-Buffy kept opening up to the vampire and Faith just kept opening and closing her mouth like a fish, she never thought she’d hear those words come from Buffy…
And, in her wildest dreams, she never imagined Buffy would let SPIKE take her over and treat her like a sex slave.
“And I thought I was messed up.”, Faith whispered when she saw Buffy slay the vamp. Buffy entered the whole new level of messed-up-ness.
She watched the older Slayer shake dust off her clothes and walk away, like she had a burden pressed down on her shoulders. Faith couldn’t help feeling a bit sorry for her…
After walking all over the cemetery, trying to (unsuccessfully) find something to slay, Faith headed to Revello Drive.
Something was wrong, she figured it out as soon as she saw the door was open and the window was crushed. The house was dark, though, and Faith just hoped that everything was ok. After hearing Buffy’s confession monologues, she didn’t think that the blonde Slayer needed one more bad thing on her plate.
“Anybody home??”, Faith yelled and Dawn and Willow who were seated on the couch responded “Come in!”
When they saw it was Faith, Willow glared at her like she was shooting blades and Dawn said just “Don’t you dare attack Buffy again, Faith…”
“I come in peace, you believe it or not. Geez, Dusk, what happened to you?”, Faith asked, Dawn had a cut and blood on her face and she looked terrified.
“This… thing has been after us, taking shapes of people we lost… It’s been freaking us out, but this… it’s just taken its games to the whole new level. It knows us, Faith, it made me think that I was talking to Tara…”, Willow’s eyes filled with tears…
“And I thought it was mom… I don’t know anymore, but it seemed… she was so real…”
“Jesus… that sounds bad.”, Faith frowned. She expected something to be wonky in Sunnyhell, but this evil sounded worse than ever.
“Have you seen Buffy on your way here? I can’t reach her; she forgot her cell phone here.”, said Willow and cuddled up with Dawn, who really looked scared, she kept trying not to think about the possibility that Buffy might be lying dead somewhere… she worried every time her sister got in later than usually because the fear of losing her again was worse than anything.
“No, I haven’t. I’ve come here to look for her.”, Faith lied because she didn’t think it was necessary for them to know what Buffy had said, especially that bit about her being better than them, superior. That girl was seriously messed up and Faith thought she’d have to talk to her in private soon.
At that moment Buffy burst into the house yelling “Dawnie, are you ok? What happ-“, she abruptly stopped talking when she saw Faith and she just punched her in the face so hard Faith stumbled backwards.
“You think you can just burst in here and attack my sister?!”
“Buffy! No, wait, you got it all wrong!”, Willow yelled, Faith was too busy wiping blood off her lips and nose.
“What the hell is going on?!”, Buffy yelled and when Willow explained it all she looked at Faith and said: “Geez, sorry, Faith. Didn’t mean to punch you that bad.”
“Oh you meant it, but hey… I would have probably assumed the same thing. Good to see you’ve still got it even after being… away.”
Faith couldn’t really say ‘dead’, it hurt her just to think about it cause she’d FELT it when Buffy died. She had been lying on the bed in her cell and she almost cried out, it had felt like a part of her had been ripped away…
Buffy noticed how hard it was for Faith to think about it, and she was surprised, but touched. She never really expected that Faith would mourn her.
“I always say I’m pretty spry for a corpse.”
Buffy gave her a little smile that, Faith noticed, never reached her eyes, and added “I’m going to get some ice. Sorry I hit you that hard.”
“It’s fine, B, really.”
“No, it’s not.”, Buffy said shortly and practically ran to the kitchen. Faith really wanted to know what was happening in that cute little blonde head…
She sat down on an armchair and tried to start a normal conversation with Dawn and Willow, but it wasn’t that easy. She didn’t know how to apologize for almost killing them all.
“Heard you were in L.A. How’s Angel?”, Buffy showed up behind her so quietly she almost jumped. And she did jump when the blonde Slayer gently placed an ice pack on her nose and lips. “Sorry again.”
Faith never thought she’d hear Buffy apologize so many times in a minute, so she just shrugged and said “It’s really ok, B. Angel’s ok now, all soulful again…”
“Good. Good to hear that.”, Buffy said, her voice quiet.
Angel’s still a painful subject too. It’s so insane they love each other so much and can’t be together.
“I heard Captain Peroxide got himself a soul too.”, Faith said, wondering how Buffy would react to his nick name. The guy she let take over her. I never would have guessed.
“Yeah, he did. He went through some really horrible trials to get it.”, Buffy said and Dawn added quickly:
“Because he fell in love with Buffy. I warned him he’d wake up on fire if he tried to hurt her again, though. I’m not to be messed with.”
Dawn’s glare directed at her almost made Faith wince. The littlest Summers was a tough cookie as well.
“I’ll keep that in mind.”, Faith gave a little smile to Dawn, and surprisingly, she smiled back. She noticed that Buffy crossed her arms on her chest and kinda retreated when Dawn commented about Spike hurting her. She wondered if he hurt her more than during those S&M games of theirs.
Just thinking about that possibility made her wanna ram a stake through his vampire body. She didn’t wanna ask anything, though, it was obviously a painful subject to Buffy.
Being in jail turned Faith into a more observing and careful person. She wasn’t reckless and thoughtless anymore. Now that she remembered jumping into a manhole to slay six vampires she couldn’t believe she could have been that stupid. Well, if she wanted to be honest with herself, she’d done many stupid things in her past and it was time to make up for them.
If Angel and Spike could make up for killing hundreds of people, I can do it too, Faith thought and decided to change the subject. “I just wanted to let you guys know I was back in town, but it’s late and I should just go to a motel…”
She was surprised when Buffy adamantly refused that idea “What? A motel? No, no, you’re staying here. I would, in normal circumstances, offer you the couch, but since the living room is in shambles, you’re gonna sleep with me. In my room, that is.”, Buffy decided to rephrase it a little, but her mind chose to go to a place where she was actually doing funner things than sleeping with her fellow Slayer and she blushed.
“Ok then. Well, thanks, B. I’m going out for a smoke.”
“Wait, I’m going with you.”, Buffy said and sat on the stairs next to Faith, who lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply.
“I’m glad you’re here. No way I could train a bunch of girls all alone.”
“Giles said you needed me and that’s all I needed to know. It’s time you and I fight together and show the motherfuckers we’re not to be messed with.”
“Thanks.”, Buffy said and just sat there, thinking hard. It was all so weird… So many thoughts flooded her brain at once, she thought her head might explode. Holden told her that Spike had sired him… Spike had a soul now and she didn’t know what to think… and Holden had no reason to lie to her. She’d thought about visiting Spike, but decided to do it the next day cause her blood was still boiling from all the confessions and shocks of the night.
“I’ll go back to jail when we beat this shit, whatever it is.”, Faith said, quietly.
It seemed that Buffy hadn’t heard her, she just stared into nothing, frowning. Now that it was so late and quiet, Buffy’s thoughts went to a very strange direction, and formed an idea that made her hear a PING sound that almost made her jump excitedly.
Creepy blind dudes.
Dawn saw their mother.
Willow thought he’d talked to Tara.
“The First.”- she whispered, her eyes wide.
“The First what?”- Faith asked, confused.
“Potential Slayers have been getting killed all over the world. I think the First wants to end the Slayer line. First all of them and then you and me. If it kills them all and then ends us… You actually, cause you’re the active Slayer now, no other Slayer will ever get Called again.”, Buffy’s brow furrowed, she was seriously worried. She had no idea how to fight something that had no body to hurt.
“Killing Slayers all over… And no one thought about warning me. I got attacked in jail, but I thought it was just a random bully… Guess not.”
“Oh, god, Faith… I’m… I’m sorry. I thought you were safe… in jail.”, Buffy said and suddenly realized it was a very stupid thing to think.
“It’s five by five. So, we should probably go find the Potential guys and bring them here, right? No safer place than the Hellmouth.”, Faith joked a little and stomped on the cigarette butt to put it out.
“Yeah… I’ll call Giles as soon as I can.”
“Uh, B., I’m kinda beat. I just wanna shower and hit the hay. Haven’t had a good night’s sleep in ages.”
“Yeah, I know the feeling…”, Buffy said and looked away. Since she got resurrected, she woke up screaming or with a scream stuck in her throat and her body drenched in sweat almost every night. Just when she thought the nightmares would finally end, horrible scenes of Potential Slayers dying started appearing in her dreams.
“Uh, I’ll prepare the bed for you while you’re in the shower.”
Faith nodded slowly and headed upstairs. Buffy stayed outside for a few more minutes, she just needed to breathe in some fresh air because it felt like there was something weighing on her chest.
As she walked upstairs, Faith thought how different Buffy was. Now that she looked at her, she could see darkness. That Golden Girl vibe was gone. Like, totally gone. She had been screwing Spike, after all.
She felt like a new person after a nice shower, and when she entered the bedroom, Buffy was in bed, tucked under her covers.
There was a mattress on the floor, a pillow and a duvet and Faith slipped under the covers too.
“Yes?”, Buffy shifted to the edge of the bed and looked at Faith.
“Are you ok?”, Faith asked and thought how stupid that question sounded out loud.
“Five by five.”, Buffy said shortly. She wasn’t ready to get all confessional with her old frenemy.
“That’s my catchphrase, B. I know what it actually means.”
“I know.”, Buffy sighed, “Good night, Faith.”
“Night, B.”- Faith said, but couldn’t actually fall asleep straight away. She’d often imagined what reuniting with Buffy would be like, but every scenario turned out to be wrong. Buffy didn’t wanna kill her or fight her, she seemed to have forgiven her, but even though she was so close to her now, Buffy felt like she was miles away.
Tiredness took over Faith and she fell asleep like the dead. Still, habit awoke her at five thirty a.m. and she looked around, confused. It took her a moment to remember that she was in Sunnydale… in Buffy’s bedroom.
She closed her eyes again, thinking it was too early to get up, when she heard a quiet sob. First she thought she’d imagined it, but then Buffy sobbed again, louder.
Feeling a little worried, Faith got up and looked at her blonde counterpart. She didn’t look like the fearless hero now, she looked scared and innocent. Her brow was furrowed, and sobs kept escaping her. Her body shook and she rolled on the other side and kicked the duvet off the bed. Was the petite blonde fighting demons even in her dreams?
“Hey, B… hey…”, Faith decided to shake Buffy slowly, she hated to see her in distress. At the same time, she couldn’t help noticing Buffy’s body, which looked so fragile now that she was asleep. Her shorts were so tiny they barely covered her ass and the tank top she was wearing lifted up a little and exposed her toned stomach.
Feeling guilty about checking her out that way, Faith shook the blonde again. “Hey, B… You’re just dreaming… Wake up, you’re safe…”
Buffy jumped into a sitting position, her eyes wide and her breathing fast and ragged, like she’d just run ten miles.
“Faith?”, Buffy whispered, still looking bewildered.
“You were sobbing and thrashing… Uh, have some water.”, she handed Buffy a glass of water that was on her night stand. “Do you remember what you were dreaming about?”
“Another girl got killed. And… I woke up in a… a coffin.”, Buffy answered hoarsely. Her mouth was so dry and she drank the whole glass of water at once.
“It’s a… recurring nightmare.”
There was such a haunted look on Buffy’s pretty face and it dawned on Faith that Buffy had actually woken up in a coffin when they resurrected her and she felt horror creep into every cell of her body. She thought she would have died of fear if it had happened to her.
“You’re safe now.”, she whispered and surprised both Buffy and herself when she wrapped her arms around Buffy’s body gently.
“Faith…”, Buffy whispered and snuggled into her ex enemy’s body. She wanted to say something, but now that she was comfy and warm in Faith’s arms, sleep started overtaking her again.
I must be dreaming, Faith thought and pulled a duvet over their bodies. She never cuddled anyone before, but holding Buffy felt nice… Maybe even a bit too nice, and a moment later she was also fast asleep.