Title: The Sunset
Rating: R for sexual scenes and language
Spoilers: Season 3 to Season 7
Summary: A reunion between the two slayers under tragic circumstances.
Dedication: For Dani who firstly introduced me to BTVS, who loved fanfiction and most importantly lived her life to the fullest, even to the last day.
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon and co. owns the characters, etc. I claim to won nothing but what is of my own creation.
PART ONE: THE SUN SET
A day had ended and a life had started.
Buffy smiled as watched the sunset and the darkness blanket the city from her apartment window. She had just ended a telephone conversation with Xander who joyfully told her about the birth of his son, to be named Jesse. He was to be a little brother for Tanya, and would make the Harris family complete.
She looked at her calendar before slipping into bed. Muttering obscenities under her breath as she remembered that she had a doctor’s appointment in the morning. She hated doctors and would never understand how her sister became one. But Dawn was happy with her profession, her boyfriend, her dog, her life in Chicago.
“Cancer?” as the word left Buffy’s mouth, she laughed in disbelief. She was a slayer and slayers don’t get ill. The doctor sat in silence opposite her, waiting for Buffy to stop. Buffy regained self control and looked back at the doctor. “Okay, so I’ve got cancer… what do I do to get better?”
The doctor sucked in her breath, before speaking, “Ms. Summers, it’s not that easy… your tests show that there is a tumour growing on your lung, and in these cases we would usually recommend surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.”
Buffy saw the serious expression and sobered up, “Yeah, so when do I start?”
The doctor shook her head, “Unfortunately, your tests also show an extensive history of injuries to your body, particularly your heart and lungs… these treatments wouldn’t work considering the damage already in existence… chemotherapy could possibly extend your life span.”
“A forty per cent chance of success, and if it worked, it would add an extra six months onto your life… but I will warn you that side effects include exhaustion, illness, and hair loss… we can set it up if you want us to.”
Buffy sat in silence, the news reeling in her mind, she was dying. She looked up at the doctor, smiling weakly. “How long have I got left?”
Buffy left the doctors in shock and disbelief. She couldn’t believe it. It couldn’t be true. She was a slayer, and slayers don’t get ill, especially with terminal illnesses like cancer. It was crazy and she refused to believe it.
The fact sank in as she made coffee in her apartment. Smashing the cup against the wall opposite her, she screamed that it was unfair.
The thoughts continuously went through Buffy’s mind as she sat in her apartment, after returning from the doctors. She had been informed that she had cancer, and it was untreatable. She cried and screamed, breaking every object within her reach at the injustice of it. Once all the breakable objects became broken, she slumped down and cried… Cried for the life she wanted so badly and yet it was still taken from her. As the tears subsided, she started thinking of her friends, no not her friends, her family.
She sat down in the armchair holding a glass of wine listening to the stereo beat out melodies and tunes as she thought of how to tell everyone. Sighing, she shook her head, she wouldn’t tell them, not yet. Dawn would only be upset and would try and convince her to have treatment. Xander didn’t need it, he just had another child and he was happy. Willow and Giles were in England working on the Counsel, training new slayers and happily settled into their lives. Giles was seeing somebody, and just starting a new relationship, he didn’t need this. And Willow, well she just ended the latest relationship and didn’t need to have more bad news.
Buffy didn’t have anyone else, no husband, no kids… no one else to tell. She had wanted a family but couldn’t find the person to settle down with, to commit her life to. Not when her mind always drifted back to a figure of the past. She recalled he mother telling her that she was glad to have no regrets before she went to hospital for surgery. “Buffy, it is important in life to fight for what you want… to have no regrets.”
Buffy took a deep breath before making her decision. She stood up, picked up her cell phone and dialled. Tapping her foot as she waited, regarding the mess she had just made of her apartment. Smiling, she shrugged, she was dying, what did she need an apartment for anyway? Registering a voice on the other end, she regained her attention. “Hi, Angel, it’s me Buffy…”
PART TWO: THE QUEST
Buffy sat behind the wheel in her rented car, watching the activities in the building opposite her. Mechanics of genders, fixing cars, overalls covered with grease, laughing and joking with each other. Buffy watched as one person wheeled out from underneath a car; she gasped and unknowingly held her breath as she watched the person stand up and stretch, Faith. The dark slayer’s brunette tresses were longer than she remembered but still as wavy, grease smudged her defined feature, her navy overalls hung down from the wastes, leaving a stained white vest top. As the tanned body was stretched, the toned muscles revealed themselves, a slight sheen of sweat reflecting the summer sun. Faith turned and smiled at her co-worker; Buffy exhaled at the smile… she still was beautiful. Buffy shrunk down behind the wheel when Faith turned to her direction. She slid up a few moments later and saw that Faith was gone. “Damn!” As the word left the blonde’s lips she saw a car pulling out from the garage, with Faith behind the wheel, he dark eyes hidden behind a pair of sunglasses. Buffy started the engine and followed her.
Buffy stopped the car at the corner when she saw Faith had stopped hers. Faith stood out and a pair of black trousers had replaced the overalls. Not as tight as she had remembered, Buffy smiled to herself. The door of the house, Faith was approaching flung open, and a little person, a little boy, his legs carrying him as fast as possible. “Mommy!” Faith smiled and kneeled down to catch the child, receiving a suffocating hug in return. Buffy’s smile had quickly turned to shock.
‘Faith has a kid!’ Buffy thought as she studied the child. The little boy looked about three or four, had dark hair, and dimples. She watched Faith pick the little boy up in her strong arms, and saw her smile as the little boy chattered. A woman appeared from the house and talked to Faith as Faith tucked the boy safely into the child seat in the back of her car. She watched as Faith kissed the woman on the cheek before stepping into the car herself. Buffy remained stunned as she watched Faith pull away and drive onwards. Snapping back to reality, Buffy followed her.
The house was a small bungalow, isolated from the rest of the suburbia, on a cliff with a fantastic view of the sea from behind it. The garden surrounding the house was huge and in abundance of flowers and trees. The little boy ran from the car up the steps and into the porch, waiting impatiently for Faith to open the door. Faith strolled behind him, before stopping to turn in Buffy’s direction. Buffy slid down the car quickly, swearing under her breath. Faith smiled wryly as she looked over her sunglasses at the car. Turning back to her son, she let him into the house and glancing at the car one more time she entered the house herself.
“Shit.” Buffy started the engine but did nothing to move the car. “Shitty fucking shit!” Buffy closed her eyes in frustration and sat listening to the low hum of the engine. She jumped when she heard a knock on the window. Turning to see who it is she was surprised to see it was Faith’s little boy. Rolling down the window, the boy smiled at her. Buffy saw the resemblance when she was faced with the little boy up close, same dark hair, dark, deep eyes, same dimples and same smile.
“Mommy wants to know if you are going to come in.” The boy’s dark brown eyes twinkled. Buffy just let her mouth drop open. “Well are you?” Buffy’s realised the child was still speaking.
“Are you going to come in?”
Buffy opened the door and stepped out only to fall back in as the seat belt trapped her. The boy giggled at her clumsiness, and Buffy could only smile. She unfastened the belt and on exiting the car the second time, her hand was grabbed by the boy’s and tugged towards the house. She barely had time to close the car door.
“Mommy, she’s here!”
On hearing no reply, she was dragged into the kitchen where the boy let go of her hand to clamber onto a chair to eat his cereal. Buffy stood awkwardly in the doorway, studying her surroundings. It was simply decorated, with all the normal kitchen appliances in place. There was scribbled drawings taped to the fridge, and magnets of the alphabet placed on the freezer door.
“What’s your name?” Milk dribbled down his chin, as the boy spoke.
“Em… Buffy… what’s yours?”
“Liam… I’m four.” The little boy held up four fingers proudly, and Buffy couldn’t resist but to smile.
Buffy sat down at the table and watched the little boy eat, managing to get more on the table than into his mouth.
“Hey B…. fancy seeing you again.”
Buffy turns to see Faith leaning against the door frame, her long dark hair still wet from the recent shower, a sly grin adorned her face, brown eyes sparkling. She was donning baggy black trousers and black vest top.
“Yeah, I was in the neighbourhood and thought I’d stop by…” Buffy winced at the stupidity her words sounded.
Faith laughed slightly before walking over to Liam to clean his face with a napkin. Kneeling in front of him, she kisses him on the forehead before lifting him down from the chair. “Go and watch some cartoons, Kiddo… Mommy has to talk to this lady…”
Liam gleefully runs to the living room, and soon sounds of cartoons can be heard. Faith wipes up the table and rinses the bowl out in the sink, fully aware that her blonde counterpart was watching her every move. Turning around, she studies Buffy and notices that she is nervous… that was new… Buffy nervous?
“Okay, B… what’s the big bad?... But I’m telling you, I am not jumping to help… I’ve got responsibilities now…” Faith points in the direction of the living room where her son was giggling.
“There’s no big bad,” Buffy said softly, breaking eye contact with Faith.
Faith obviously confused walks towards her, “Okay, B, you follow me from work to here… I haven’t seen you in seven years… You don’t just turn up at my home for no reason. So why are you here?”
Buffy blushed at the fact Faith knew she had been following her.
“I just wanted to see how you are.”
“I’m five by five.”
Buffy smiles at the Faithism she recognises from the old days. She looks back up at Faith, and sees her reflection in Faith’s eyes.
“Faith, you’ve done well for yourself.”
Faith laughs, “Don’t patronise me B… What were you expecting? Me, living on the streets, screwing around, in prison… Dead!”
“I didn’t mean it like that… Maybe, I should go.”
“Maybe?” Faith replies harshly. Buffy blushes, willing herself not to cry. She stands up and looks at Faith who is leaning against the counter, watching her.
“Okay, I’ll go… Goodbye Faith.”
Hearing nothing from the dark slayer, Buffy turns and leaves. She runs from the door into her car, losing her battle with her tears. She closes her eyes, willing them to stop. She is interrupted by a knock on the window. Expecting to see Faith telling her to move, she was surprised to see Liam again. He is smiling. Buffy opens the door.
“Why are you crying?”
“I don’t know… a bad day I guess.”
“Mommy wants to know if you want to stay for dinner.”
Buffy looks up to see Faith standing on the porch. The blonde hesitates before speaking.
“Maybe I shouldn’t…”
The little boy’s bottom lip fell into a pout, his dark eyes grew bigger. “Ah Great! Puppy dog eyes,” Buffy mumbled under her breath. She smiled slightly. “Okay, I will be there in about five minutes.”
The boy smiled with joy before running to tell his mother. Buffy looked into the mirror and recomposed herself before stepping out of the car. She walked into the kitchen and saw Faith stirring something in a pot on the stove. The dark slayer looked up, her eyes locking with Buffy’s. She smiled gently, and Buffy could only reciprocate.
PART THREE: THE MISSING PAST
“Liam, time for bed…” Faith ignored the protest, and picked him up in her arms. “Hey Kiddo… what did I say to you before?”
“The earlier I go to bed, the earlier I can get up… but I don’t want to get up early.”
“Yeah, well I do,” Faith said kissing Liam on the nose. The little boy squealed at the contact, so Faith continued the attack of kisses on the little boy’s face. This led to the eruption of laughter and kicking of limbs that Faith had to place him back on the floor. She launched into an attack of tickles, causing Liam to scream in giggles and laughter. Buffy watched the scene, smiling at the love that enveloped the pair. Faith realised that she was being watched, looked up and smiled before stopping her attack.
“Right Kiddo, bed time… and a story! Say goodnight to B.”
“Goodnight Liam… sleep well.”
The two descended down the hallway into what is assumed Liam’s bedroom. Buffy turned and proceeded to wash and dry the dishes used for dinner. Seeing that Faith had not returned, Buffy grabbed her coat and went to leave.
“Leaving without saying goodnight B.”
Buffy turned and saw Faith standing in the hallway behind her.
“Sorry, it’s late… I need to get a hotel.”
“You can stay here for the night… we have a spare bedroom.”
“Yeah… I mean if that’s okay with you…”
“Good… Right, want a beer?”
The two were seated on the couch in the living room, with some Jimi Hendrix playing quietly in the background. They had not exchanged any words since settling down. Buffy felt awkward and wished she could find her voice again.
“How’s the gang?”
“Fine… Willow and Giles are in England, Xander is in San Diego, he has two kids… and Dawn is in Chicago, she’s a doctor…”
“Do they know you’re here?”
Buffy shook her head, and Faith could only smile.
“So B, why are you here?”
Buffy hesitated before speaking.
“Faith, I needed to see you… to tell you that I wish things could have been different… that I still think about you… I wanted to know that you were okay.”
Faith lifted an eyebrow, amused at Buffy’s words. “Wow, there’s a change in your tune… why wait for seven years?
“Because… because, I started thinking about something my Mom said, about having no regrets… I wanted to fix my regret… you.”
Their eyes met briefly, before Faith shook her head in disbelief. “B, it’s too late… some things can’t be changed, some things shouldn’t be changed… I have my life now… one free from Sunnydale… one free from the Scoobies… one free from you… and to be honest B, I don’t want that back again…It’s too late.”
Buffy felt like her heart had been shattered into pieces at Faith’s words. She stood to leave, before feeling a hand on her arm pulling her back down.
“B… you’re not going to get a hotel now… get your stuff from the car and you can go to bed.”
The two stood and went to the car. Buffy lifted her night bag from the back seat. Faith stood back from her. Buffy closed the door and turned around to find herself face to face with Faith. Green eyes locked with brown eyes, and the bag fell to the ground. Buffy lifted her hand and stroked Faith’s cheek with her fingers before leaning up to capture the lips that she had dreamed about for a decade. Seconds passed before Faith pulled away. She stepped back and looked at the blonde.
“I’m sorry B… I can’t.”
Buffy glanced down at Faith’s hand and saw no wedding band.
“Come on, let’s go inside,” Faith said as she picked up Buffy’s bag. Buffy watched Faith’s retreating back and sighed as she followed. Faith showed her the spare bedroom.
“I usually leave at 8… let yourself out… B, it was good seeing you… but, things are different now.”
Buffy nodded as Faith wished her goodnight and closed the door. She fell backwards onto the bed crying.
PART FOUR: ACCEPTANCE
Not being able to sleep, Buffy crept out into the living room, careful not to wake up anyone. She stood at the book case studying the numerous photos, mostly of Liam in the various stages of his life. One photo caught her eye. It was framed to the wall, and printed in black and white. It only showed Faith and Liam’s faces from a profile. Their noses almost touching. He would only have been a few weeks old. Buffy let her fingers trace the outline of Faith’s face. She turned and saw that not a single photo showed a male figure.
“Huh… no father!”
“Nope… I don’t even know who he is…”
Buffy jumped, turning around to see Faith wrapped in a robe. Faith smiled before walking to the photo she had seen Buffy caress.
“Good photo… a nurse took it and gave it to me as a gift.”
She followed Buffy to the couch, sitting down beside her.
“Liam was a shock to say the least, but he is the best thing in my life…”
Buffy nodded before speaking quietly, “Liam?”
“Why ask when you already know how he got his name?”
Silence fell upon the two. Faith decided to break the silence.
“I’m guessing from the kiss that you’re not seeing anyone… or are you?”
Buffy shook her head, “No, I haven’t been seeing anyone for a long time… you?”
“No… it’s just me and Liam… has been since I knew about him.”
“You’ve changed Faith.”
“What, no more psychopath… no, I’m not that Faith anymore… I’m not the same Faith, you’ve met those years ago.”
“No, I guess you’re not… Does Liam know?”
“Know about his mother being a slayer, or know about his mother being a murderer? No, he doesn’t… I’ll tell him when he is older… B, why now… why wait seven years to see me? Why decide to be friends now?... it never worked before, we were never friends to begin with.”
“Yes we were… before everything…”
“No B, we weren’t… you know nothing about me or my life… you used me when it suited you, and then when I killed Allan Finch, you left me…”
“I tried to help…”
“No you didn’t… you tried to get rid of your guilt, by putting it on me… I went psycho, you tried to kill me… Eight months I was in a coma! Eight Fuckin’ Months! Did you come see me? No!... I go to prison because you asked me… There for three years, again no Buffy present… I come to help you, and you ignored my existence… I was dirt to you… and then look at this… seven years later, you turn up expecting everything to be forgotten… but it can’t B…. I’ve a son, a job, a house… I have everything I need right here… I don’t need this shit from you.”
Faith sat down, tears sprang to her eyes. Buffy paled at the truth of her words. She knew that she should leave and let Faith forget about her.
“Faith… I’m sorry… I should never have come.”
“No, you shouldn’t have.” Buffy turned to leave. She couldn’t stay for a minute longer in the house. “But you did come, B” Faith had spoken the words so quietly that only a slayer could hear them. Buffy stopped in her steps. Faith stood up and walked towards her.
“B… why don’t we just start fresh? Try out being friends, see if it works… we’re different people now… maybe, we can be friends this time round.”
Buffy smiled before turned around, tears were streaming down her face. They enveloped each other in a hug, before hearing a quiet voice.
“Mommy, I heard shouting.”
“Hey kiddo, everything is five by five… isn’t it B?”
Buffy smiled, wiping her eyes with the back of her hands and nodded. She watched Liam wipe his mother’s cheeks dry. Faith picked him up. “Kiddo, B is going to stay here for a few days… is that okay?”
Liam studied Buffy before nodding his head, “Five by five.” Buffy laughed, while Faith shrugged with a smile. “What can I say? He’s my kid… do you want to stay?”
“Yeah, Faith I’d like that a lot.”
PART FIVE: NOT KNOWING
Buffy woke up early, being a slayer she didn’t require much sleep. She walked into the kitchen and saw that Faith was on the phone. Faith smiled at her as she walked in.
“Yeah sure… see you next week.” Replacing the phone in its cradle, she looked at Buffy. “Want some coffee?”
“Yeah sure… you’re up early.”
“As are you.”
The two drank their coffee in a comfortable silence.
“Fancy a spar…”
Buffy smiled and stood to get prepared.
The two were working up a sweat as they continued to throw punches and kicks into each other directions. Buffy dropped onto her heels, sweeping Faith off her balance. Faith fell onto her back. Buffy went to stand, when Faith caught her shin, knocking her on top of her. Buffy straddled Faith, pinning her arms to the grass and grinned.
“I win, Yay! Go me!”
“I’m just rusty… you know, haven’t slayed in a while…”
“How long is a while?”
“Since the day Liam was born.”
“Really, thought you were all about the slaying… the kill…” The last words left Buffy’s mouth in a husky tone. Faith smiled wryly before pulling her arm from Buffy’s grasp. She reversed their positions so that Faith was on top.
“I told you that I’ve changed… you on the other, well, age is beginning to affect you.”
“What? I’m so better than you…”
“Yeah, then explain to me why I’m on top.”
“Because you like to be on top.” Buffy wished the words hadn’t left her mouth, Faith blushed but did not move. Buffy bit her lower lip nervously, while Faith entwined their fingers. Clasping their hands, Buffy lifted her head. Faith saw what was going to happen and jumped up.
“Better hit the shower before Liam wakes up.”
Faith walked quickly into the house leaving Buffy lying on the grass. Buffy released an outward groan. “Shit!”
Buffy showered after Faith and dressed quickly. She went into the kitchen and was greeted cheerfully by Liam who was eating a bowl of cereal. Faith was sitting with him, drinking another coffee. She pointed to a cup of coffee waiting for the blonde to drink.
“So, I’ve taken time off work, what do you want to do today B? Has to be child-friendly.”
“You didn’t have to take time off…”
“I own the place… so I’m allowed to take time off. The perk of being a boss.”
“You own the place!”
“Yeah… I’m surprising you again…”
“Faith, you’ve always been full of surprises… I’ll do whatever Liam wants to do.”
Liam looks up as his name is mentioned. He smiles brightly at his mother. Faith laughs. “Liam, I created that look.” Buffy smiled as she saw Liam pull a sulking face, his lower lip pouting. “And I created that face.”
The little boy smiles again, “I love you Mommy.”
“But I never created that… Okay, we can go to the zoo… B, you do realise I hate the zoo… so you can take him to see everything… anyway, it’ll give you a chance to bond.”
Buffy was suddenly scared at the prospect of being alone with Liam. “What about you? Where will you be?”
“Waiting in the car park… I do hate zoos.”
“Just do.” Faith stood up. “Liam, let’s get you dressed.”
Buffy was surprised to see the friendly banter from Faith became serious.
Buffy held Liam’s hand as he pulled her towards the lion, making the appropriate roaring sounds. “Look, Buffy… Lions.”
“I see them Liam… so why does your Mommy hate zoos?”
Liam shrugged, before dragging her to the tigers. Liam was awe-struck by the appearance of the cubs, and his hyperactive behaviour calmed down. He just stood and watched them, while Buffy knelt beside him.
“Look at the babies, Buffy.”
“I see them…”
His sudden change in behaviour worried Buffy. He looked at her.
“Mommy told me about you… she said that you were special… and that you would take care of me…”
“Liam, what are you talking about?”
“Oooh… Laughing cats!”
Buffy stood and let herself be tugged by the little boy. “I hate hyenas,” she groaned.
PART SIX: TRUST
Buffy carried the sleeping boy gently to his room, laying him gently down on the bed. Faith pulled his shoes off, before covering him with the blanket. She turned on the nightlight and ushered Buffy out of the room. She turned back to kiss her son on the forehead. “Love you kiddo.” She turned off the main light and closed the door softly behind her. She found Buffy opening two bottles of beer in the kitchen. The blonde handed her one which she gratefully accepted.
“He’s wiped out… I think he likes you B.”
“Because I won him a giant teddy bear, or because I allowed him eat my ice-cream.”
“You certainly spoil him…”
“He’s a good kid.”
Faith smiled proudly before nodding, “Yeah, he’s the best.”
The two walked into the living room. Buffy was still worried about her earlier conversation with Liam. She wanted to know what the kid meant.
“What did Liam mean when he said that I would take care of him?”
Faith looked at her surprised. “What?”
“He said that you said that I was special and I would take care of him.”
Faith shook her head in disbelief. “Shit! He remembers that.”
“It doesn’t matter now, B… that was two years ago.”
“It does matter ‘F’… what is it…”
“Look Buffy! Drop it! It’s in the past!”
Buffy allowed yet again another awkward silence engulf them. Faith avoided her eyes completely before letting out a sigh. “Look B, I got into some trouble a couple of years back… money trouble… I didn’t think I had a choice but to give Liam up… I didn’t want him to go to some family… Angel couldn’t have him… Vamp plus kid, don’t quite work… I wanted him to go someone who would protect him… I thought of you, so I went to New York to find you…”
“New York? How did you know I was there?”
“Same way you knew I was here… Anyway, something turned up and I didn’t need to give Liam up… I came here, set up the business and the house, and tada, here I am.”
Buffy nodded, before looking at Faith. “What sort of trouble?”
“Money trouble… as in I had none… I got a job as a mechanic, but got laid off because I refused to fuck my boss… instead I broke his nose… he kind off went after me, so I took Liam and skipped town, with nothing but the clothes on our back and 70 dollars in my pocket… Anyway, met some dude in New York… saved his life, and his kids from some weird demon guy… he brought me and Liam back to his place… He was wicked rich and gave me a cheque for $500,000… I had Liam to think of so I took the money, came here, and well that’s how that happened… I can’t believe he remembered me telling him about you.”
“Wow, Faith… I wish you did find me, I would have helped you.”
“Yeah, I know… well, what’s your secret?
“Buffy, don’t play dumb… you’re hiding something, and not just from me, but from everyone…”
“Faith, I’m not!”
Faith raised her hands in defeat. “Okay B… Should have known you still keep secrets.”
“That’s not fair.”
“Whatever… I’m going to bed… Goodnight!”
Buffy let out an audible sigh as Faith left. Buffy laid across the couch and closed her eyes. She woke up by feeling herself being lifted. She opened her eyes and saw Faith carrying her towards the spare bedroom.
“Ssh… you can get nasty neck cramps from that couch… plus Liam will draw on you if he sees you… I taught him to do that… I’m just afraid if he did it to you, you would send him flying across the room.”
Faith laid Buffy on the bed and covered her up with a blanket. Faith went to leave before turning at the door. “B… I know what you did… with my records… Thank you.”
Buffy smiled as she rolled over to go back to sleep.
PART SEVEN: ALWAYS KNOWING
A few days had passed since Buffy’s arrival, and she settled well with Liam. Liam adored her and Buffy loved the little boy. She would play games with him, take him to places, and buy him new things. The latter caused problems.
“Mommy, mommy! Look what Buffy gave me!”
Faith walked into the living room to find Liam tearing open a box containing a train set.
“Aw wow! Kiddo, that’s great… B, can I speak to you?”
Buffy looked from the train set to Faith. She could in the dark eyes that Faith was not happy. She took a deep breath before heading outside to face Faith’s wrath. She found Faith pacing in front of the door.
“Why did you get him that?”
“Because I wanted to…”
“Don’t you think I can buy him new things?” Faith stopped her pacing and faced Buffy, anger dancing in her eyes.
“Yeah, I do… but I wanted…”
“Shut up, B! You can’t buy him or me.”
“Faith, listen to me… Faith, please.”
Buffy walked towards Faith and grabbed her arms. “Look at me.” Faith turned her face to her, her breath still ragged from rage. “Faith, I don’t want to buy you… I’m sorry, I should have asked before I got him anything… it’s just I want to…”
Faith’s anger slowly faded away as she saw the distress and sadness in the blonde’s eyes. “You just what B…” Her voice had reached a low husky tone as she asked the question.
Buffy allowed herself to breathe normally again, “I just wanted to say thank you to you both, for this… I promise no more presents.” Buffy smiled gently and inwardly sighed when Faith returned her smile.
“So B, a train set… wicked, coming to play.”
Buffy had learned not to spoil Liam after that afternoon, Faith still didn’t let her guard down completely around her, but she was happy with the second chance. They spent the days chatting and playing with Liam, catching up on lost life times. After dinner, the two women remained seated as Liam showed off his new school bag to them.
“When do I go to school, Mommy?” Liam asked Faith with excitement.
“In a week, Kiddo… now, it’s time for a bath.”
“Why can’t I go tomorrow?”
“Because there is no school tomorrow.”
“No fair.” Liam allowed his lips fall into a pout, which Buffy smiled at. Faith stood up, and grinned at her son.
“Liam, bath and bed… tomorrow, we go and see Meg.”
“Yay! Can I show her my school bag?”
“Yeah sure Kiddo… now bath.”
Liam ran to the bathroom to get ready for the washing ritual, while Faith grinned at Buffy. “How long does the loving school thing last for?”
“A couple of years I think…”
“Really? Wow! I wouldn’t know, didn’t spend much time there…”
Buffy urged Faith to continue gently because the past was rarely mentioned. Faith looked at her, her eyes softened. “My folks didn’t think school was important… so never forced me to go… more like forced me to stay at home. Anyway, better get him washed up.”
Buffy groaned with frustration as Faith left.
The following day, Faith introduced Buffy to her working world, leaving Liam with his child-minder. They were sitting in the office, Faith on the phone and writing in forms, as Buffy admired the surroundings, again photos of Liam papered the place. She waited patiently for Faith to hang up before speaking.
“How come you never asked me about my job?”
Faith looked up, arched an eyebrow at her before signing the paperwork. She stood up, put on her sunshades and held out a hand to pull up Buffy. “Jackson, I’ll be back on Monday week… you’re doing good without me.”
The older man grinned at her, giving a wink. “Does that mean a pay rise?”
Faith grinned before dragging Buffy to her car. Faith started the engine, and steered her car smoothly down the street. Buffy turned to her, “Faith you didn’t answer my question.” Faith kept her eyes on the road, turned on the radio and continued to drive.
Buffy sighed in frustration and looked out of the window to admire the scenery, She was amazed to see a stunning vista, from the top of a cliff, completed secluded from the world, she could only see the water far below her, and trees around her, only nature. Faith cut the engine, switched of the radio, and looked over at B before stepping out of the car. She sat on the bonnet, inviting Buffy to do the same. The two leaned back, and allowed the sun to warm their bodies.
“This is where I’d go to think?... Think about everything, life, Liam, slaying, you… Things I have done or haven’t done, things I wished I did differently, but I can’t change the past… B, I know that you are a psychologist, you live in upstreet New York, in a fancy apartment, you earn shit loads of money… you were seeing this guy, Justin at the time…” Seeing Buffy’s questioning look she explained, “I went to see you, but you were kissing him outside your apartment, that’s how I know.”
“Oh, that was two years ago… not seeing him anymore.”
“I guessed that… I just wanted you to know that I do know about you… that I’ve never stopped thinking about you.”
Buffy took Faith’s hand without looking over at her, hoping Faith wouldn’t pull away. When she didn’t, she spoke softly. “Thank you Faith.”
The two lay still just thinking for a couple of hours, neither speaking, neither moving, just lying still watching the birds fly overhead, listening to the ripple of the waves, the light breeze through the leaves.
Days passed and Buffy and Faith had grown comfortable with each other. Faith took a holiday, to spend time with her and her son. The two women hoped the time didn’t come to an end.
“So B, when you going home?”
“Getting rid of me now Faith…”
“I didn’t mean… oh shut up!” Faith said seeing Buffy’s teasing eyes.
“I quit my job, so I’m in no rush, but if you want me to go…”
“You quit your job!”
Buffy looked away from Faith’s questioning eyes. “Yeah, I want to live my life… do things differently… Faith, don’t ask me about it, just trust me.”
The two fell into a silent spell, before Faith lifted Buffy’s chin with her fingers. Their eyes met, “I do trust you B… now can you watch Liam tomorrow, I’ve got to go to work, and Meg is busy…”
Buffy sighed with relief that she wasn’t being pushed. She then realised that it was a two-way situation, she didn’t push Faith to speak and Faith didn’t push her to speak. Their friendship was based on trust and patience.
PART EIGHT: DISASTER
“Okay, Liam… what do you want to do today?”
Faith had just left for work, leaving Liam still dressed in his pyjamas and Buffy drinking coffee. The little boy smiled with milk dribbling onto his chin. Buffy shook her head. “No zoo…” The little boy’s bottom lip fell into a pout. Buffy shook her head but couldn’t resist a smile. “How about the fair ground?” Liam jumped of the chair and ran to Buffy enveloping her lower half into a hug.
“Yeah, Buffy! Can we go on the bumpers?”
“Sure… now let’s get you dressed.”
Liam ran to his bedroom, and ripped his pyjamas off in eagerness.
Later, Liam was licking his ice-cream cone in one hand, holding Buffy’s hand with the other. When he saw a horse, he let go of Buffy and ran towards it. Buffy yelled after him but the little boy ignored and continued running, not seeing a railing hang down from a wall. When his forehead collided with it, he screamed with agony and fell to the ground. “Shit!” Buffy screamed as she ran to him. Liam covered his face with his hands, blood seeping through his small fingers, screaming for his mother. Buffy turned him over and gasped when she saw the blood.
“Liam, let me see,” She asked gently trying to coax the boy’s hands away. Liam refused this crying for his mother. Buffy panicked from the sight of the blood, picked him up and ran straight towards her car. She broke all the road rules, getting him to hospital. “Help me, somebody!” She yelled as she ran through the doors of the ER. Liam’s screams had quietened to muted sobs. A nurse walked over to her, trying to pry the boy from her arms. Seeing that Buffy wouldn’t let go, she ordered the woman to follow her. Buffy laid Liam down on the gurney, and allowed the doctor to examine him.
“Ma’am, what’s his name?”
“Liam… he ran into a railing… oh, fuck! Faith’s going to kill me… shit, I need to phone her.”
“His mother… God Damnit! Where’s a phone?”
“Let a nurse do that, give her the number.” The doctor said indicating a nurse nearby. To him, Buffy was in no state to talk to anyone. Listening to Buffy reel of Faith’s work number, he continued to examine the boy. “Okay, Liam… let’s see what you’ve done here… okay, Ma’am did he lose consciousness? Ma’am!”
Buffy snapped back to attention and shook her head. “Will he be okay?”
The doctor smiled, “Nothing a few stitches won’t sort out… head injuries tend to bleed more. No need to be concerned. I want to do an x-ray just to be on the safe side.” The doctor placed a hand on the shaking Blonde’s arm. Buffy sat with Liam, talking soothingly to him while a nurse placed some stitches on the gaping cut in his forehead.
“Liam!” Faith yelled out as she ran into the cubicle. She was worried half to death about the phone call.
“Mommy!” Liam said moving from the nurse’s hands into his mother’s arm. Faith kissed him repeatedly on the face telling him how much he loved him. “Is he okay?” She barked at the nurse. The nurse nodded and said that she had to finish the stitches. Faith reluctantly let go of Liam and asked him to lie down so the nurse could finish. She turned angrily to Buffy, “Liam, I’ll be back in a minute… You, outside now!” She said, pointing to Buffy. Buffy gulped before following Faith outside into the main area of the hospital. Faith shoved her against the wall. Buffy winced at the contact.
“I leave you with him, and he ends up in hospital… Jesus, Buffy! How could you be so stupid? So fucking careless… He could have been worse...”
“I’m so sorry Faith… I’m so sorry…” Buffy said as she leaned heavily against the wall, her voice cracking as tears filled her eyes. “He just ran off…”
“Buffy, I don’t want to hear it… Just go!” Faith said as she went to return to Liam. She did not look back but felt Buffy leave.
Buffy returned to Faith’s house, there were no lights on so Buffy assumed that they were either still at the hospital or asleep. She had just returned from driving to the airport, she was about to board when the sensible voice in her head told her, that she didn’t have time to run away again. She was here to try and do something right between her and Faith. Instead, she was hopelessly in love with the dark slayer. Everyone else in her life, no matter how much she loved them, she knew they were okay, and that she had done all she can regarding them. But Faith, she wanted release from the regret associated with the past, but instead found love. Love that was not being reciprocated. That was killing her quicker than the cancer… it had been a month since the diagnosis, the clock was ticking. She would not run away again.
She crept into the house and saw light from the back garden. She walked past Liam’s door, and saw the little boy sleeping with a bandage on his forehead. She walked to the back door, and saw Faith sitting on the steps outside, smoking a cigarette, watching the stars twinkle in the night sky. “Hey, B… thought you left us.” She whispered softly but without threat, not turning around.
“I did, but I had to come back… Is he okay?” Buffy said as she stood in the doorway.
Faith nodded, before looking up at Buffy, eyes red-rimmed from earlier tears. This appearance was reflected in Buffy’s face. “B, I’m sorry… about the hospital, it wasn’t your fault… it’s just…”
“Faith… don’t… there’s no need, I should have been more careful…” Buffy said as she crept forward, hoping not to upset the brunette.
“He’s four years old… little kids are always hurting themselves…”
“B, let’s forget it… it’ll give him something to ‘show and tell’ when he starts school…”
Buffy sighed with relief, and Faith sidled over, allowing Buffy to take a seat beside her. They sat in a comfortable silence for a short while. Buffy’s mind started to wander into a kaleidoscope of thoughts before Faith spoke.
“He was so small when he was born… I was so afraid to hold him… He was six weeks early, not that I knew this at the time… I had no idea when he was conceived. Anyway, he had to be put in ICU for a few days to get his breathing right… when I saw him for the first time, he was two days old… He was so small and so quiet… the nurse said I could touch him, if I wanted so I put my hand in the hole of the crib, and stroked his hand… he wrapped his fingers around my finger and I fell in love with him… I promised then that the night he was born would be the last night I slayed… that I would give him everything I never got… make sure he was happy and safe…. I know that I’m over-protective… but it’s better to be there always for him than never like my mother… He didn’t need a Dad, I hate Dads so I knew he would be better of without one… it would be just him and me…” Faith’s voice cracked with emotion as she spoke, her dark eyes glimmered with unshed tears. Buffy did not speak just listened intently feeling her heart wrench at Faith’s new openness. Faith sighed before continuing, “It was unconditional, the love I had for him… that no matter what he did or didn’t do… nothing would make me stop loving him… when he first called me Mommy, I fell in love with him again… When he came into my life, I felt real again… the thought of losing him kills me… I fall in love with him every time I see him…” Faith stopped speaking, and wiped her tears away from her eyes. She looked at Buffy and watched the tears stream down the blonde’s cheeks. She lifted her fingers and trailed them gently after the tears. “B… for the first time in my life, I have someone who loves me…”
Buffy grabbed Faith’s hand as they caressed her cheek. Allowing herself to drown in the brown eyes. “Faith… it’s not the first time…” Buffy took a breath and seeing Faith’s lack of reaction, she decided to further the motion by leaning in to catch the lips of her desire.
Buffy’s lips gently caressed the ruby lips, nipping and sucking them. Still holding onto Faith’s hand, she used her other hand to caress the cheek as she continued to kiss the lips. Faith still had not reciprocated, so Buffy licked her bottom lips, coaxing the brunette’s lips open with her tongue. She dipped her tongue in and out of the opened mouth and when she felt Faith finally catch her tongue with her own, she moaned. The tongues duelled with tenderness, and a sense of newness. Neither woman pushing the other to deepen it further. Their tongues glided and twirled around each other, dancing into each other’s mouth, their hands had not moved from there current positions. When air was in need, they pulled away, both flushed. Buffy’s eyes contained desire and love, so strong that Faith looked away. Buffy used her hand to pull Faith’s eyes back to her own. Faith caught her hand and held it before leaving go. She stood up. “B, I can’t do this… I can’t.”
Buffy knew that her quest was complete, she could do no more. She stood up and faced Faith, willing herself not to cry. “Faith, I love you… I’ve always loved you.”
Faith did nothing to stop her tears from falling, “B… it’s too late… too much has happened… I have Liam now… I can’t risk falling apart when this is over.”
Buffy knew Faith was expecting a heart-break in the form of a relationship ending. Knowing that this wasn’t far from the reality, Buffy knew what she had to do. “Faith, I’ll go back home tomorrow morning… I just wanted you to know.”
Faith caressed her cheek softly with finger tips before leaning in to kiss her lightly on the lips, “Thank you.” She turned away and walked into the house, not turning back.
PART NINE: THE TRUTH
Buffy lay on the bed in the spare room, which had become her own. Since she arrived in San Francisco a month ago, she had only spoken to Dawn once, and hadn’t bothered to contact the others. Faith became her world, and now she lost her. She was weak from crying, and her head was muddled with thoughts. How can she go back now? Could she tell the others about the cancer? She rolled over in frustration, wishing that she didn’t have to wait to die. She loved her family but she didn’t want them, she wanted Faith but Faith doesn’t want her. She opened her eyes to see dawn breaking through the long night. She climbed out of bed and started packing her things, her heart still crying but her eyes remained dry. Throwing the last of her things, not that there was much, into the bag, she pulled it onto her back. She walked quietly along the hallway, stopping outside Faith’s bedroom. She placed her hand on the door, little knowing that Faith was mirroring her actions on the other side of the door. Buffy sighed before walking forward, slipping into Liam’s room. She watched him sleep, before bending down to kiss him lightly on the cheek. He murmured before rolling over. Buffy walked away from the house, threw her bag onto the passenger seat, and sat inside the rented car. She knew that the charge was going to be enormous but she didn’t care. She had nothing to care about now. She looked up at Faith’s house once more before starting the engine and pulling away.
“Buffy!” Dawn squealed when she saw her sister in the waiting room of the hospital where she worked. She hugged her older sister tightly before noticing the sadness in her eyes. “Buffy, what’s wrong?” Buffy shrugged before burying her face into Dawn’s shoulder. “Hang on, Buffy… I’ll go get the day off, and then we’ll go home.”
Dawn left Buffy to clear this arrangement with her boss.
Buffy sat in the armchair of Dawn’s living room, nursing a whiskey. She still hadn’t spoken, and two hours had passed since her arrival. Dawn let her frustration get the better of her. “What the hell is it Buffy?... Where have you been for the last month? I went to see you last week, and you weren’t there. The door man said you hadn’t been back in a while… nobody has heard from you… God, I’ve been so worried.” Buffy winced at her sister’s worry.
“I’ve been in San Francisco staying with Faith.”
“Faith?” That was the last answer Dawn expected. “Why?”
“Because…” Buffy looked at her little sister and knew she had to be honest, “I’ve got cancer Dawn… and I needed to fix things before I, well you know…”
“What?... when, how, what? You’re a slayer, you don’t get ill… have you received any help… what?” Dawn practically slid into a kneeling position in front of Buffy’s chair.
“Obviously flaw in the whole plan of the powers to be.” Buffy made a weak attempt at a joke. “No, I haven’t received any treatment.”
“You have to Buffy, tomorrow, you’re coming with me. I know a great doctor, she’ll fix you up… you’ll be fine. Right as rain…” Dawn rambled, her voice cracking.
Buffy grabbed her sister’s shoulder, “Dawn, no treatment… I’m dying, and I’m okay with that… hey, I’m twenty-nine, I’ve outlived my life expectancy… I haven’t much in the way of time, and I would rather not spend it at hospital. Please understand that.”
Dawn’s tears began to descend down her face, as she cried into her sister’s lap. “Buffy, I don’t want to lose you… this is not fair. You’ve just had a chance at a normal life and it gets taken away from you… you can’t die.” Buffy stroked Dawn’s hair while speaking soothingly to her.
“Dawn… the normal life doesn’t work for me… I’ve lost what I’ve always wanted… I have nothing to live for.”
“What about me?”
“Dawn, honey, I know you’re okay… I know that you will be fine, and safe, and I am so proud of you… but you have to let me do as I am doing.”
Dawn allowed herself be pulled into a hug, nestling into her sister’s lap. If Buffy hadn’t had slayer hearing, she would not have heard Dawn’s mumbled question. “What did you lose?” Buffy sighed.
“Faith… I’ve lost Faith…” Sensing Dawn’s shock, she continued. “I love Faith so much, always did… I just waited too damn long to tell her… but she has her life now and I can’t be part of that… she is happy and doing well… God, I wish I had done things differently.”
“She’s stupid… not wanting you… not that I understand why you want her to. After all she did try and kill you several times…”
“That’s in the past, she is good now… trust me Dawn, she’s a better person than anyone would believe her to be.”
“Really, then why doesn’t she give you a chance?”
“Because of Liam.”
Dawn’s initial confusion subsided, “Oh, she’s seeing someone.”
“Hardly, it’s because of Liam she isn’t seeing any one. Liam is her son.”
Dawn jumped back, nearly falling backwards of the chair. “What! Faith has a son!”
Buffy nodded, nearly laughing at her sister’s face. “He is beautiful, just like her.”
Dawn stood up and began pacing, her head reeling from the news, her sister dying, in love with psycho slayer who has a son. Life was being unfair. She shouted at Buffy, “This is insane! This is unfair! Faith should be the one dying, not you… she’s the evil one… you died twice saving the world… she tried ending the world… so tell me why is she the one with the happy life and the kid and you the one with the sad life and the cancer… and then you tell me that your in love with her. She’s stolen everything from you, still is… how can you love that bitch?” Tears sprang from her eyes, as her voice cracked from the volume of her shouts. Buffy stared at her in shock. She stood up and tried to console the younger Summers. Dawn brushed her off and continued to glare through the tears.
“Dawn, life is unfair… you know that, and Faith doesn’t deserve to be punished forever because of what has happened…and finally, I can’t help who I love… I loved her from the moment I looked into her eyes after killing Kakistos. I just denied it for always, allowing myself to push her away. I was freaked so I wouldn’t let her trust in me… no wonder, she went mad… but she went to prison for me, she fought the First for me… she allowed me into her life again, and allowed me to tell her I loved her. I would have died regretting it, if I never told her I loved her.”
The two sisters were breathing hard from their rants. They calmed themselves down before Dawn spoke, “Does she know about the cancer?”
Buffy shook her head, “No, I don’t want her to… never to know. She would feel guilty… please Dawn, promise me you won’t tell her.”
Dawn hesitated before answering, looking into her sister’s pleading eyes, “Fine okay, I won’t tell her… but she’s still insane… for not loving you.”
Buffy smiled with relief and pulled her sister into a hug, “Thank you… and she does love me, I know she does… it’s just too late… too much has happened… Dawn, don’t tell the others about Faith.” Dawn nodded into her shoulder in agreement to this plea.
PART TEN: GAINING
Buffy placed books into her box, her sister doing the same at the other end of the room. The blonde slayer had decided to pack everything in, quit her life in New York. She decided to sell or donate her property to anybody willing to accept it. She had seen Xander the previous weekend and told him about her illness. He had cried, but understood that she wanted to live her life, every minute of it and not waste time in a hospital. They wept as they hugged their farewells; Xander had said she better come back, spend quality time with the kids.
Willow and Giles she told on the phone, wishing it could have been in purpose, but with the ocean being a barrier, she couldn’t. They both said that they would fly over, and despite Buffy’s protest, they were in the air as she packed. She would see them at their hotel that evening and say her goodbyes. She and Dawn would then spend the remaining week together, before she left for a final travel. She didn’t know where she was going to go, but she didn’t care. She wanted to watch the sunrise, listen to the birds sing, eat an ice-cream while on the beach, do things that she always took for granted.
“Have you told Angel?” Dawn asked as she sealed the box. Buffy shook her head.
“I can’t… he and I said our goodbyes a long time ago…” Buffy spoke quietly and without emotion, Dawn decided not to further that road of conversation. The two continued their work, interrupted by a knock at the door. “Were you expecting anyone?”
“Nope,” Buffy answered as Dawn went to answer it.
Buffy dropped the books in her hand as she heard the voice beyond the door. She then heard the running of feet, and looked up to see Liam jump up at her, wrapping his arms around her neck. Buffy swooped him up and hugged him tightly careful not to break anything. “Hey, how are you?”
“Five by five,” was the muffled answer in her neck. Liam tossed his head back, grinning wildly, showing his dimples. “I missed you Buffy.”
“I missed you too,” she answered kissing his forehead, on top of his small scar. She looked over to see Faith leaning against the doorframe, sadness in her eyes. Dawn stood a few feet from her, between Buffy and the dark slayer. Buffy smiled at Faith, placing Liam back on the floor. Faith returned the smile, but the eyes remained sorrowful. Sensing the discomfort from Dawn in the room, Buffy walked closer to her sister.
“Dawn, can you leave me and Faith for a while? We need to talk…” Dawn hesitated before glancing over at Faith. She reluctantly nodded. She grabbed her jacket and Faith stopped her from passing through the doorway by grabbing her arm gently. Dawn jumped from the contact, so much so Faith let go.
“Could you take Liam with you?... he would get bored of the adult chat.” Faith asked gently. Dawn didn’t answer, just stared at her in surprise, and then looked at the little boy who was chattering to Buffy. Faith seeing the hesitancy in the young woman spoke again, “I may be a psycho but my son isn’t!” Dawn saw the plea in the dark eyes and nodded in agreement. “Thanks Dawn.” Faith said gently before kneeling in front of her son. “Hey Kiddo, this is Dawn… she’s nice and she’s going to take you out for fun… will you go with her?”
Liam studied Dawn carefully before turning back to his mother. “Can I have ice-cream?”
Dawn smiled her first genuine smile since Buffy told her about the cancer, “Yeah sure thing… lots of ice-cream.”
Liam grinned and allowed Faith to kiss his cheek before running to hold Dawn’s hand. The two left quietly leaving a silence between the slayers. They just stared at each other. Faith broke the eye contact, by picking up the dropped books and placing them in the box.
“Going some place B?”
“Yeah… away from here… away from everything…”
“Away from me?”
Buffy sighed before answering quietly, “Yes.”
“That’s not like you B, giving up!”
“Giving up… I tried to tell you, show you how I feel, but you won’t let me… so what do you want me to do, run after you?”
“So instead you’re running away!” Faith’s voice rang harshly into the air. Buffy sighed frustratingly before walking away from Faith.
“No Faith… running away is your deal!”
“You never gave me a choice B… you just pushed me away all the fuckin’ time.”
“Faith, my head was fucked up… I tried to be there but you just pushed me away!...”
“I needed time… but you Miss High and Mighty, decided to push me when I wasn’t ready…”
“So you decide to be evil instead… try to kill my friends, my family, me!”
“I never wanted to kill you B”
“What! Calling up an Armageddon isn’t a murder attempt, or taking my body and letting the counsel take me isn’t killing me…”
“I’m sorry B! Don’t you get it I’m sorry for everything I’ve done… God Damn! I went to prison for you…”
“Faith, in your words… It’s too late.”
The two women had stepped closer to each other, their faces inches apart, both breathing heavily from their shouting and rage. “B, I’m sorry…”
“Faith, I can’t do this… I don’t want to do this…” Buffy walked away, Faith grabbed her hand in her own pulling her towards her.
“So that’s it… I don’t get another chance…”
Buffy laughed, “Faith, I have given you so many chances in the past… you blew them… you hurt me so many times, I won’t let you do it again!”
Faith didn’t realise she had hit Buffy until Buffy fell back holding her cheek. Buffy’s eyes expressed shock. Faith stared at her hand in disgust before looking back up at Buffy, tears falling from her dark eyes. “B… I’m sorry…”
“Faith, I think you should go… I’ll phone Dawn, tell her to bring Liam back…”
Faith felt anger rip through her as she screamed, “Buffy! I was fifteen, I was a screw up… still am. I was fucked up… You will never know what I had done or seen before I met you… but it was bad. Then you fucking came into my life, and you hated me from day one… pushed me out, didn’t want to share your precious town, slayerness, Scooby gang with me… then I kill someone, and that was your escape… you could be the good righteous bitch again, while I became the evil psycho… Fine, I admit I screwed up and tried to fucking kill everyone… but I was jealous. You had everything I wanted, friends, family… fucking respect. I wanted you Buffy, just you at the end of the day… but you would never let me have you not even as a friend… so I wanted to take everything you had away from you… I mean, why did you deserve the perfect life and I didn’t? Why do you get the Mom? The friends who worship you… the lover who still adores you? Why you?... Then came the day you gutted me… you chose him over me. I knew then as I fell from that fucking roof… that I could never have you… taking your body proved that more! Then it all hits me… in the rain with Angel chasing me… I was evil and should be put down! It hit me that I hurt you… I mean how could I hurt a person I love so much?... but love fucking hurts, that’s how you know it’s real. Then there’s prison… and prison saved me!”
Faith was edging closer to Buffy, tears flowing freely from both set of eyes. Buffy was frozen into position as she listened to Faith open her heart to her. She wanted to answer, to comfort or to hit the dark slayer but couldn’t move. She could only listen to Faith as her voice became huskier as she continued to speak.
“I felt you die B… and I felt like I died to… Angel didn’t have to tell me that you were gone… I knew you were, and from that moment onwards I swore to myself, that everything I do from that moment onwards I would do for you… but you came back… and I felt that too. It fucked my head majorly… one moment you’re six feet under, next thing you’re back again… Maybe I did have a chance then to show you that I loved you and that I was sorry… but you never came to see me… Then there was the First… I come to SunnyD, help you fight the good fight, and then let you go… I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t love you anymore. It hurt to damn much! Knowing I couldn’t have you…”
Faith had fallen to the floor, crying whole-heartedly as she poured out her anger, her pain, her love to Buffy who still stood watching her and showing no emotion.
“But B… you know what hurts more than all that… you coming back into my life. I’m 27 years old… I’m a slayer, I’m a murderer, I’m a fugitive… I’m a mother… I’ve never been a lover, a girlfriend, a wife… you scared me… then you tell me you love me… and that knife you stabbed me in the gut with those years ago twisted even more… After fighting to forget you, to get over you… you come back and tell me what I wanted to hear you say… when you left, I believed that everything would go back to normal… that I couldn’t hurt again if I didn’t have you… I believed you leaving was the right thing…”
Faith wiped the tears from her face with her hands, not daring to look at Buffy. She felt Buffy move for the first time since she started to speak. Buffy knelt before Faith, lifting her chin with her hand and looking into her eyes. “And now Faith… do you believe it was the right thing?” Buffy caressed Faith’s cheek with the palm of her hand, comforted by the fact that Faith leaned into the touch. Faith closed her eyes and inhaled softly. She opened them and saw only love in green eyes. Faith stroked Buffy’s face gently with her fingertips, before bringing her face closer to her own, capturing the smaller woman’s lips. They gently allowed there lips to touch but as Faith let her hand travel into the blonde hair, the kiss deepened. Tongues battling with each other to gain dominance, moans eliciting from within, every niche within the mouths explored. Buffy held Faith’s neck, twisting the long dark hair in her hands as tongues glided over each other. Faith fell backwards, Buffy on top, neither breaking the kiss. Passion, Love, Pain, Pleasure were all exposed in this kiss.
“Mommy?” Buffy pulled back and looked up, while Faith leaned her head backwards. Liam stood with a face of a perplexed nature. Dawn behind him appearing shocked.
“So-sorry… forgot my… m, bag!” Dawn stuttered as stared astonished at the two women on the floor. The heat from them radiated of the walls. The two women took moments before realising their positions. Buffy jumped up followed quickly by Faith. They composed their appearances and watched as Dawn grabbed her bag. Dawn walked quickly backwards and out of the flat before returning to take Liam’s hand and drag him out, promising ice-cream. Liam seemed amused by the situation and allowed himself be bribed by ice-cream to leave again.
After hearing the door close, the two slayers faced each other and burst into laughter. When their laughter subsided, Buffy walked to the window and watched the activities on the street below her before turning to Faith, “We need to talk.”
Faith nodded, “Yeah we do… you start, I’m kinda talked out.” Buffy smiled at Faith’s weak joke.
“What happens now?”
“Well… I could pick you up and throw you on the bed and ravish you, but A) I haven’t had sex in so long I might have forgotten how, why so shocked B… I’m not a slut anymore,” Seeing Buffy arch her eyebrows even more from curiosity, she continued, “When I found out I was pregnant, I kind of stopped having sex… and B) I kind of want to take things slow.”
Faith watched Buffy as she turned to the window again, the blonde spoke softly, her voice trembling from fear, “How do you mean slow?”
“I mean… do it the normal way… go out on dates, meet the family, visits at weekends… you know take our time.”
Buffy felt yet again more tears spring to her eyes as she whispered, “Time”. Faith concerned walked up to her and stood behind her, placing her hand gently on her shoulder, urging her to face her.
“What’s wrong B?” She asked gently as she wiped the tears away with her fingertips.
Buffy closed her eyes at the touch, before leaning her forehead against Faith’s. She opened her eyes and felt herself drown in the dark abyss that is the brunette’s eyes. “Faith… Time, I don’t have time…”
“What?” Faith’s voice was barely a whisper. Faith trembled, hoping that her anticipation was wrong.
“Faith, I have cancer…. I’m dying.”
PART ELEVEN: LOSING
Faith pushed Buffy away, turning her back on her. She ran her fingers through her hair before fixing her glare onto Buffy. “What? How long have you known?”
“Two months.” Buffy answered trying to walk towards the brunette only to be evaded by side-stepping.
“Two months, before you came to see me… is that why you came to see me, ease your guilt, so you would die all good… guaranteed a place in heaven again! What, maybe this is third time lucky… maybe, you’ll stay dead for good.”
Faith knew she deserved the kick in the head and immediately fell into defence stance. The two circled each other as Buffy spoke, “That’s not fair Faith... Do you think I want to die?” She said as she swung a punch which Faith easily avoided.
“So you come and see me, hoping that I’m still screwed up… maybe, to make you feel better about how shit life is… but instead you find me successful, happy and with a kid… have everything you don’t have for a change… but that isn’t right, is it Buffy!” Buffy flinched at the tone her name had been stated in and jumped back from Faith’s high kick, grabbing her foot and twisting her around, so Faith lost her balance. Faith stepped back.
“Faith… I wanted to see you… to tell you how I feel!”
“No you fucking didn’t! You decided to try and destroy me, tell me what you knew would make me happy, fuck my head up again… you tell me you love me, but you used me… you planned to let me trust you, leave you into my life again… leave me fall in love with you all over again and then run off… confuse me, make me think…”
“Gee, did that fucking hurt.” Buffy said as she slammed her fist into the brunette’s face.
“Not much as this will.” Faith said as she delivered three fast kicks to Buffy’s midriff, and the dropping down to sweep Buffy’s legs from underneath her. The smaller woman fell, her head hitting the ground with a loud thud. Faith straddled her and began to punch her repeatedly in the face, shouting with each punch, “You bitch, you wanted to destroy me… let me think you could possibly love me before leaving me alone… I loved you B… I cried for you… I hurt for you… I… FOR…YOU!”
“Faith!” Willow shouted before chanting, effectively throwing Faith backwards, hard against the wall and trapping her there. Giles ran to Buffy’s side, gently easing her up to her feet. Bruises and cuts surfaced on both the slayers’ faces. Buffy watched Faith breathe hard as she pounded against the barrier that held her, crying hard with each punch. Buffy cried with her and stepped towards the barrier ignoring the others in the room. She placed her hand against the barrier, carefully keeping eye contact. Faith’s brown eyes flashed with rage and pain. She stopped pounding and stood still.
Buffy never removed her eyes from Faith as she spoke, “Willow, let her go.”
“Buffy, are you crazy, she tried to kill you?”
“Willow! Just do it!”
The barrier was dropped and Faith and Buffy just stood staring at each other before a small voice interrupted, “Mommy, you’re bleeding.” Faith broke the eye contact, ran towards the exit, sweeping Liam up as she ran. Silence was left behind as three faces watched Buffy.
“Buffy? What happened?” Dawn asked as Buffy sat down, hugging her knees to her.
“She knows…O God!” Buff answered as she erupted into a fountain of tears.
Dawn felt her heart torn, she wanted to kill Faith for hurting her sister, but also wanted to bring Faith back to her sister. She watched as Willow comforted her sister, talking soothingly while Giles cleaned his glasses before speaking, “Faith has a son?”
Buffy smiled weakly while Dawn answered, “Yeah, Liam… he’s a great kid.” Buffy nodded in agreement.
PART TWELVE: THE COWARD’S BRAVERY
“Hi Faith,” Dawn said as she stood in the doorway of the office at the garage Faith worked. Faith looked up at the young Brunette, a confident, beautiful doctor. Faith didn’t hide her shock but returned her attention to her paperwork. Dawn stepped forward and sat in the chair opposite her. Seeing that Faith would not look at her, she slammed her fist on the table. Faith jumped slightly and Dawn smiled satisfied, but Faith refused to look at her. Dawn decided to speak regardless.
“Jesus, Faith! She loves you… loves you more than anything or anyone in the world… and she’s dying, do you care? No, of course you don’t care… how could you, you have no heart… how you have such a wonderful son, God only knows?...” Seeing Faith react to the last sentence, Dawn continued. “Why my sister loves you, I will never know, but she’s my sister and I love her… and I want her to be happy, and for some bizarre reason, you make her happy… she’s in pain, and not the sort of pain morphine can fix… the pain that you caused and only you can heal… I wish it wasn’t you but it is… and fuck this.” Dawn stood up and went to the doorway before turning around. “I came here to see if it was true… that you were the person Buffy says that you are… but I don’t see her… If you truly loved her Faith… you would be with her, but as per usual you only take care of yourself.”
Faith raised her eyes to Dawn, “I have Liam to think of…”
“Don’t give me that bullshit… just because you have a kid, doesn’t mean you have to stop loving other people, stop letting them love you… Buffy loves you, she always did… just didn’t know what to do about it, but you went evil… and she had to do what she does best, save the world… which she did again and again… dying for people she loved… in the end she would have died for you… then, she given a chance for a normal life… something she has always wanted… you know what she did in the last seven years… you know what she’s been through…”
Faith shook her head, taken aback by Dawn’s forwardness. Dawn continued her tirade. “She met someone who she got engaged to, he fucked her over, and she couldn’t have kids… she could have protected herself… but she was weak from drugs… he used a bottle… she nearly died… Then she moved away from him, not knowing that Giles killed him… that she never will know… Since she went to New York, she cut everyone off… she put all her energy into her job, like she does with slaying, she never bothered confronting her own problems…she doesn’t speak to any of us anymore… she never will again… the first time I heard my sister laugh in four fucking years was when she phoned me from here, after first meeting you… I was so fucking happy, I didn’t know it was you that made her happy… but you did… and now you decide to hurt her…”
Faith eyes showed shame at Dawn’s words. She didn’t know, Buffy never told her. She always thought that Buffy was strong, and had the perfect life. Dawn saw the new pain develop in the brown eyes and she sighed. Not getting any form of response from Faith, Dawn walked out, her hands shaking from anger. She climbed into her car, slamming the steering wheel before starting the engine. She pulled out of the parking space and turned onto the road. She glanced into the mirror and saw a figure running after her car. Knowing it was Faith, she slowed down. She pulled over and rolled down the window. Faith stopped by her window, slightly short of breath.
“Dawn, where is she?”
PART THIRTEEN: TI AMO
Buffy sat on the lounging chair overlooking the sea, watching the sunset, the sky illuminated in purple and red as the darkness took its toll. She liked the dark, even if it meant that evil was lurking, it was a part of her, who she was, what she was born to do. She had left the States and everything home represented, instead she stayed in the place she fell in love with on her travels from earlier years. Italy, the country of love and passion, the two things she didn’t have… but this did not depress her, it made her indifferent to life.
She was dozing when she felt the shadow watching her. She opened her eyes and whispered, “Didn’t expect you here.”
“B… I’m so sorry.”
Buffy turned and locked her eyes with those of Faith, who was standing against the tree, ten metres from her.
“How did you find me?”
“Dawn… hell getting a passport though.”
“With Meg… Buffy, I am so sorry.”
“You already said that…”
Faith bravery grew as she walked towards Buffy sitting down on the ground beside her. “I’m an idiot.” Buffy smiled and nodded. Faith expected anger and hatred from Buffy, not this. “B, why didn’t you tell me about the rape?” Buffy looked away, obviously discomforted.
“The same reason you didn’t tell me about you… and the rapes you’ve through.”
Faith gasped, “How did you know?”
Buffy smiled, “It takes one who knows to know… Faith, I can’t fight anymore, so please don’t fight me.”
Faith shook her head before placing her hand on Buffy’s, “I don’t want to fight… I want to tell you… I love you… with everything that I am, I always loved you and always will, and no amount of denial can stop me knowing this… B, I’m stupid, a fool and I don’t deserve you… but I want a chance to make you happy. To show you how much I love you.”
Buffy looked at her, smiling, entwining her fingers in Faith’s, and pulling her towards her. She kissed her softly on the lips, before pulling her down to join her. Faith allowed herself to lie with Buffy. Buffy whispered into her ear, “Just hold me.” Faith wrapped her arms around Buffy, holding her tight against her body, kissing her on the head. Together they watched the sun set and the day end.
Faith felt Buffy’s even breathing against her chest and saw that the smaller blonde woman was asleep. She gently pulled herself away from Buffy before picking her up with equal gentleness, carrying her to the bedroom inside the small villa. Faith went to the room, she assumed to be Buffy’s and tenderly, lay Buffy down, covering her with the blanket. She stood up and went to leave to find another bed. On hearing Buffy whimper from the loss of contact, she turned around. “Faith, stay with me.” Faith took her shoes off and got into the bed, pulling Buffy to her. Sleep came quickly.
It was still dark, when Buffy opened her eyes, she nestled into her pillow that is Faith’s chest and listened to the even heartbeat. She looked up and saw that Faith was still sleeping. She gently pulled herself out of Faith’s arms and sat up just to study the dark slayer. She had only ever seen Faith sleep once before and that was when she was in a coma, so that didn’t count. The dark slayer looked so young, innocent, pure, all worries pushed aside as she lay in peaceful dreaming. Buffy carefully traced Faith’s face with her finger tips, before leaning down to capture the ruby lips with her own. Applying little pressure she ran her tongue over the lips, and smiled inwardly when the lips opened granting her entrance. She dipped her tongue in slightly, just licking the tip of the other tongue, before furthering the journey and exploring the mouth. She felt fingers brush through her hair, and a tongue swirling around her. Another hand rested on the small of her back. She lifted her leg over, so her knees were astride the slender hips, her hands resting on the pillow, the mouth she was devouring in between. She slowly laid her body down, allowing breasts and groins to make contact completely. They both groaned at the touch, deepening the kiss further, tongues gently caressing, lips sucking, and teeth nibbling. They pulled an inch apart for air before resuming the kiss, the second being more passionate and hungrier than the first. Faith’s hand slowly running up and down the length of Buffy’s spine, Buffy’s fingers trailing down Faith’s cheek to her hip. Pulling apart again, Buffy whispered, “Make love to me.”
Faith opened her eyes and saw reassurance in the green eyes. She lifted her head to capture Buffy’s lips again, while her hand roamed under the back of her shirt, stroking her spine gently. She lifted her body so she was seated, still not breaking the kiss. Wrapping their legs around each others’ waists, they pulled their bodies tighter and deepened the kiss. Buffy buried her hands into the dark mane, while Faith’s hand skipped to the front of the blonde’s shirt, trailing her nails across the toned abdomen. Unbuttoning Buffy’s shirt from bottom upwards, she pulled it off, their kisses became more frantic and desperate with need. Buffy dragged her hands to the hem of Faith’s top and yanked it upwards. The two broke apart just to remove the shirt, immediately returning to each other. Faith’s hands travelled to the clasp of the bra, undoing it effectively and removing it as Buffy did the same with hers. Faith pushed Buffy gently backwards, lying between her legs, kissing her hungrily, her hands kneading underneath the firm breasts. Faith broke away, trailing kisses and nips down her jaw to her neck, sucking intently on a pulse point eliciting a moan from Buffy whose hands were roaming the lengths of Faith’s back. Faith kissed and nipped the collarbone reaching the hollow of her throat, where she dipped her tongue in the crevice before licking, kissing and sucking her way southwards.
Faith’s nail scraped gently downwards along with her tongue, scraping over the already erect nipples to the waist before returning upwards, as lips continued to kiss downwards, licking the navel. Her fingers teased, tweaked, pulled and rubbed the nipples, the heel of her hands massaging the breasts, her lips fluttering across the waistline. Nails dug in her back marking them, whimpers and moans filled the air as she kissed upwards towards the breast, replacing her fingers with her tongue, she allowed her free hand travel to the waistband of trousers, her tongue licking, her lips sucking a nipple, her fingers still toying with the others. Buffy arched upwards to help in the removal of the remaining clothing as Faith returned to kiss her lips hotly, passionately, bruisingly, her hands pulling the clothing away. Licking her way down the centre of Buffy’s torso, she pulled the trousers from her feet. Scraping her nails from her ankles to hips to ribcage, tongue making the journey from navel to cleavage to hollow to lips, only to crash into the waiting tongue. As tongues duelled, Buffy leaned forward, reversing positions, Faith underneath her, she dragged her hands over the breasts, kneading, pulling, her mouth abruptly leaving lips to kiss the open skin, her mouth jumping from one breast to another, suckling and nipping, gently grazing her teeth across the skin, she pulled off Faith’s trousers swiftly, allowing one hand trail up the inside of a leg. A single moan of need and want left Faith’s lips, her hands pulling Buffy’s face back to her, catching the lips again, biting the lower the lip as she rolled then over, a thigh between her legs. Her warmth and desire spread throughout her body, causing all nerves to tingle. Feeling Buffy arch upwards to make contact, she pulled away from her lips, locking eyes as she ran a finger across the abandoned, swollen lips, Buffy caught the finger in her mouth and sucked it, not breaking eye contact. Faith pulled the finger out from between the teeth, sucking it also, mixing her tastes with the sweetness already there. She then allowed the finger to journey southwards, between the breasts, dipping into the navel to the awaiting warmth. A gasp, a moan, and rapid breathing ensued, as a finger caressed the tense bud of nerves. Hips rocked on Buffy’s thighs smearing them with nectar as the finger followed by a second entered her, a rhythm in tune with the rocking, breathing increasing in velocity, sweat seeping, nails scraping skin, eyes never leaving each other, as the build up of desire and love drove through their bodies. Lips met as climaxes were reached. Collapsing against Buffy’s body, allowing her breathing to return to normal state, Faith kissed the skin within reach. She lifted herself up, and looked into Buffy’s eyes, tears filled both pairs of eyes, and Faith allowed her tears to fall, merging with Buffy’s own.
“I love you B.”
“I love you too, more than you could ever know.”
Kissing each other gently, before settling into each other arms to allow sleep take them.
PART FOURTEEN: FAMILY
The sun streamed in through the window, bouncing of Faith’s eyes, causing her to waken. She looked down to where she felt weight on her body. Buffy had used her chest as a pillow, and was laying half on top of her. Faith smiled as she reflected upon the night before, idly stroking Buffy’s back. She bent her head slightly to kiss the top of the blonde hair which was tickling her skin ever so slightly. Buffy smiled into her chest before looking up to kiss the offered lips. Both women moaned softly at the contact.
“Good morning,” Faith said softly. Buffy kissed her lips again before laying her head back on the chest.
“Morning, just listening to your heart beat… you’re alive,” mumbled the blonde into the soft skin.
“Good to know,” Faith responded while continuing to stroke her back. “So this is Italy… I’ve never been to Europe before.”
Buffy lifted her head to look into the dark eyes, “I’ll show you around… but first.” Buffy kissed Faith lips softly before deepening it with her tongue, sliding herself on top of Faith’s body. Hands and tongues journeyed over the sculpted bodies, exploring and caressing, loving and pleasuring.
Late in the afternoon, the two lovers walked the length of the sandy beaches, hand in hand. They walked in comfortable silence, every so often catching each other’s eyes and smiling. They watched the ripple of the water, the gulls fly low over the tide, and children playing in the sand.
“B… my return flight is on Sunday,” Faith spoke softly hoping not to upset the blonde with her news. Buffy didn’t answer just kept walking. “B, I need to get back to Liam, I can’t uproot him… he’s settled in school. He loves it, why, I don’t know… but I can’t take him out and bring him half way across the world… B… please come back with me, stay with me and Liam…” Not hearing a response, Faith stopped walking. Buffy walked further by only a few steps before turning around.
“I saw this place when I first travelled to Europe, and I fell in love with it. Italy is passionate, cultural and beautiful, it is what dreams are made of. When I found out I was going to die, I wanted to die here… I didn’t want to go back to the States.”
Faith looked down at the sand in disappointment and felt trapped within a choice: Buffy or her son. She felt Buffy walk closer to her but didn’t look up.
Buffy continued, “When Mom died, she was alone, neither Dawn nor I were there… Dawn said that I should be with family, she, Xander, Willow and Giles were always my family… but everyone I know died alone, Mom, Anya, Jenny Calendar… so why should I be with family? Why can’t I choose where and how I died when I always know that you are alone at the end of the day…” Buffy sighed as she stopped before Faith and raised her chin with her finger so she could see the dark eyes which were glistened with tears. “But then I found you, and you know why I went to look for you? Because Mom said to me before she died that she had no regrets, and I thought to myself, that my only regret was never being honest with you… telling you that I love you. Tara died without regrets, she went back to Willow and died in her arms, with only love in her heart… you give me love in my heart and even if I died alone, I would know I have no regrets and that I have that love… I’m not making any sense am I? Faith, Italy is beautiful, but you are incredible… Dawn told me to be with family, you and Liam are my family and I will go back with you… if you let me?”
Faith smiled and pulled Buffy into a hug, kissing her gently on the lips before letting her hands rest on the blonde’s waist. Faith simply nodded and smiled when Buffy smiled. “So what now?” the brunette said letting her hands slip under Buffy’s top. Buffy grinned and pulled Faith in the direction of the house.
PART FIFTEEN: THE NORMAL WAY
“Mommy!” screamed the little boy as he ran out into the garden into Faith’s arms. Faith pulled him up and into a big hug, kissing him on the cheek. She smiled at Buffy as she climbed out of the car, and let Liam wriggle out of her arms. She laughed as Liam charged into the blonde slayer. Buffy knelt down to receive the hug and the kiss from the little boy.
“Meg, thanks… can I ask a favour?” Faith said as she took the bag of Liam’s belongings from the woman. Meg nodded and led Faith into her house leaving Liam chatter to Buffy about school. Buffy was so absorbed that she didn’t notice Faith disappear into the house and return.
“Liam, are you in your pyjamas yet?” Faith called out of the kitchen as she heard the little boy giggle. She heard more splashes from the bathroom, and went to investigate. She saw Liam laughing as Buffy sat by the tub completely drenched. Faith laughed at Buffy’s pout before pushing her out and telling her to get changed. As she left, faith turned to her grinning son and winked. Liam winked back and stood up to be wrapped in a towel.
Buffy walked into the bedroom and saw a light, lilac summer dress lying on the bed with a note laying on top of it. Buffy smiled as she read the not, ‘B, I said I wanted to do everything from the beginning. But considering that everything is not in order, I think we should follow the pattern. Put the dress on and I will see you outside, Love Faith.’ Buffy changed slowly allowing her skin to feel the satin of the material, and she relished in doing her make up and hair. She wanted to amaze Faith in her appearance.
An hour had emerged, and Buffy left the bedroom, the dress fitting her perfectly, her make-up complementing, her hair up, with a few loose strands framing her face. She walked into the living room and received an applause from Liam who was sitting in Meg’s lap. Buffy smiled and looked around for Faith. Seeing Meg point outside, she left the house and followed a path of rose petals to a car. It wasn’t Faith’s car, but a hired black car. She stopped as she heard footsteps from behind her. She turned and gasped as she saw the dark slayer. Faith was wearing tight fitting black trousers which flared at the ankles, a light grey halter neck showing a generous cleavage, and an ankle length leather coat. Her hair was wildly tamed, her make-up perfect. Faith smiled showing dimples as Buffy audibly moaned at her appearance.
“Wow!” Faith smiled as Buffy had spoken.
“Ditto!” She responded, equally awestruck at the blonde’s beauty. “So shall we go?” She opened the car door for the blonde, and followed her in.
“Where are we going?” Buffy asked as the car moved, her hand holding Faith’s.
“On a date… a damn fine restaurant, a walk on the beach… all the usual date stuff,” Faith answered as she inhaled Buffy’s scent and kissed her on the forehead, swiftly moving to her lips. She allowed her lips linger there as they kissed.
“You planned this?” Buffy asked as the kiss finished. Faith nodded.
“Well, it would be a damn huge coincidence if everything just turned out like this, and you my beauty, don’t believe in coincidences, if I remember correctly. Or leprechauns.”
Buffy smiled and snuggled into Faith’s arms, and enjoyed the scent and the security Faith provided for her.
The meal was beautiful, the company even more so. The private table was held on the balcony overlooking the ocean, the stars and candles providing the light. Faith and Buffy decided to walk home instead of the car. They walked alongside the coast in the direction of home, when they passed a graveyard. Both slayers stopped walking and talking. Faith arched an eyebrow at Buffy, Buffy nodded in answer to the unasked question, ‘Just one last time?’
The two walked through the cemetery, their hands still holding each other, caressing with thumbs. Hearing the birth of new vampires, they let go and immediately launched themselves into defence mode. Buffy ripped the end off her dress, apologising to Faith.
“Don’t worry B… always loved your legs,” Faith said as she crept towards the awakened vampire. She jumped onto the back and wrapped her arms around his neck. Buffy, meanwhile, sensed a vampire from behind her and threw him over her shoulder. It was in that moment the two slayers looked at each other and read each others minds, ‘No stakes!’
Faith was thrown onto the ground, hitting her head of a gravestone. She felt a cut and the trail of blood seeping outwards. She kicked her leg up, knocking her vampire off her, before jumping upwards, giving a volley of punches to the face.
Buffy was crushed against a tree, scraping the skin on her neck, arms and back. She flew forward in a kick and pushed the vampire in the direction of the other vampire. She fought back to back with Faith both shouting at each other.
“No stakes… what sort of slayers are we?” Buffy yelled as she received a punch to the jaw and gave one back.
“The best sort…” Faith mumbles as she felt a crushing blow to her stomach. She bent over and Buffy rolled over her back to fight the other vampire.
Faith dropped down and kicked the vampire of balance, before running and jumping onto Buffy shoulder’s into a tree. Buffy smiled sarcastically as she leap-frogged into the air, kicking both vampires square in the chest, knocking them down. She heard a snap and a thud and saw Faith back on the ground with a branch in her hands. She was about to throw it to Buffy when a vampire ran towards her.
“Would you get over it already, I am a slayer… I kill you,” Faith said as the vampire ran into the branch. Faith laughed as the vampire turned into dust. She then turned her attention to Buffy.
Buffy was in trouble, the vampire had grabbed her shoulder and yanked it out of place. “You mother-fucker,” Buffy yelled, “I hate it when people do that.” She used her other arm to grab the vampire and push him against the tree. Raising her hand to catch the branch Faith had thrown, she staked him. “Congratulations… you are my last vampire.” She felt unusually emotional as she dropped the branch and fell to the ground.
Faith sat down behind her and wrapped her gently in her strong arms, kissing her gently on the back of the head, “You okay, B.”
Buffy shook silently with tears, “It’s over… isn’t it? I am no longer a slayer.”
Faith spoke to her soothingly, holding her close. “B, you’re a slayer… not just a slayer but theslayer. You are everyone’s hero, all the slayers’ hero… my hero.”
Buffy turned and hid her face in Faith’s shoulder as Faith tenderly stroked her hair.
“Jesus Christ! What the hell happened to you two?” Meg exclaimed as the two slayers walked through the door. Faith immediately placed her finger in front of her mouth to indicate silence.
“Sssh! Liam is sleeping… we’re fine, believe me we look worse than we feel.”
“But her shoulder is hanging off!” Meg shouted as she pointed to Buffy who was wincing as she sat down in an armchair.
“Again, with the shouting! Sssh!,” Faith said before turning to Buffy, “Shit B… your shoulder looks bad! Want me to fix it?” Buffy nodded her consent so Faith walked over to her kissing her lightly on the head before expertly replacing the dislocated shoulder. Buffy gasped with pain before flexing the muscle. She smiled her gratitude before pointing to Meg who was stunned into a frozen place, her mouth hanging open. Faith laughed before escorting Meg outside.
Returning to the living room where Buffy was sitting on the armchair, wrapped in a blanket, Faith sat on the couch opposite her. She lay across the length of it, patting a space beside her where Buffy promptly joined her. Faith covered the two with the blanket. She kissed Buffy lightly on the lips. Buffy not wanting the kiss to end placed her hand on the side of the dark slayer’s cheek, coaxing her to allow entry with her tongue. Faith welcomed the deepening of the kiss, rolling on top of Buffy as their tongues continued to caress each other. Buffy’s hand travelled to Faith’s hair, her fingers getting tangled in the long tresses. Faith responded with a wince of pain as Buffy’s fingers made contact with a cut made earlier that evening. Pulling her head away from Buffy’s she gingerly touched the cut, pulling her finger away to reveal drying blood.
“Baby, we should clean that up, come on,” Buffy said pushing Faith gently off her and leading her to the bedroom.
The two stopped at the doorway as the room was lit up with candles. Buffy faced Faith with a questioning look. Faith shrugged, raising her arms, “Hey, don’t look at me… I didn’t plan this, wish I did… must have been Meg.” Buffy grinned broadly and pulled Faith in, kicking the door shut behind her. “Man, my son is a heavy sleeper!” Faith whispered as Buffy feathered her with kisses, and pulled her on top of her onto the bed. Faith slowly responded to the kisses, before pulling back indicating her injury. Buffy gave her a sympathetic smile and slowly took of Faith’s top and pulled it over her neck. She then pushed Faith gently on the bed and pulled her trousers off her. Faith looked at her wryly as she lay dressed only in her underwear. “Do you do this to all your patients?”
Buffy smiled, “No… just my favourite ones.” She then kissed Faith with a promise of passion. Faith moaned softly as Buffy pulled back.
“You have more than one favourite patient?” Faith asked as she watched Buffy take her shoes off. Buffy shook her head and stood up again. “So am I your favourite patient?” Buffy nodded as she let her hair down. “And what do I get as a bonus for being your number one patient?” Buffy pointed to herself and whispered seductively, “Me.”
Faith grinned and slid to the bottom of the bed, sitting up she grabbed the end of Buffy’s ripped dress. She stood up as she pulled it over her head, leaving Buffy also in her underwear. They smiled shyly at each other as their injured bodied were illuminated by the candle light. Buffy tenderly stroked Faith’s face with her finger tips. Her eyes were drowning in the dark endless eyes of emotion opposite her. Faith leaned in and kissed her lightly, before tenderly deepening the kiss. Underwear was quickly discarded and Buffy pushed Faith back onto the bed allowing for gentle and passionate love making to ensue.
“Ow!” Buffy whined as Faith dabbed ointment on her scrapes on her back. She was lying on her front with Faith straddling her as she cleansed the wounds.
“Sorry… are you okay?” Faith asked, her voice filled with concern. Buffy didn’t respond, she just watched the flames on the candles flicker. Faith continued to nurse the wounds, kissing each one softly as she proceeded. When she finished, she slid off, and lay beside Buffy, facing her. “B, are you okay?”
“Yeah… just guess, I’m getting weaker,” Buffy said as she wrapped herself around Faith’s body, her fingers idly stroking the tanned, muscled body beneath her. They remained in silence before Buffy spoke again, “I’m scared, Faith.”
Faith sighed and kissed her gently, “I’m scared too. Scared of living without you, I’ve never been this happy in my life… I’ve never had a reason to be happy until Liam was born. When that happened, I was so happy and I never thought it was possible to be any happier. But you proved me wrong. Now I’ve got you, I don’t want to lose you.”
“I don’t want to lose you either… but Faith, I’ve been there… in Heaven I think… it’s okay, I just don’t want to leave you so soon. I guess the powers to be will let me wait for you.”
“What if I don’t get into heaven? I’m a murderer… I killed two people, and caused so much damage to people, your friends, even you! I don’t deserve heaven…” Faith felt tears trickle down her cheek. Buffy placed her finger to her lip to quieten her.
“Sssh, baby! You’ve redeemed yourself. You’re good now. Trust me.”
Faith smiled and kissed the finger, before whispering, “I trust you. And I’m not leaving you alone while you’re on this earth… and I’m not leaving you alone on any other earth.”
“That’s all I need to know,” Buffy whispered before trailing her finger down the length of Faith’s torso before stopping at a small faded scar. “I can’t believe you have this still, slayer healing should have made it disappear.” Faith smiled.
“Yeah… but I’m glad I’ve got it… it reminds me of what I could have been if I didn’t stop myself. Makes me remember how you saved me from myself. Makes me remember you… B, it’s a part of me, like you are… and God, when did I get so corny?”
Buffy laughed as Faith cringed at her own words. Faith rolled Buffy over so she was on her back and straddled her sitting up. She placed Buffy’s hand on the scar. “B, I love you.” Buffy responded in the same manner before leaning up to kiss her. Her hand gently caressed the scar before making it’s way up the body to the shoulders, down a toned arm, passed a tattoo and into a hand, where fingers entwined.
PART SIXTEEN: THE LONG SLEEP
Liam yelped as Faith hauled him off her back effectively with one hand and landed him onto the ground. Buffy sprayed the water gun at Faith while Liam ran and got his, laughing. Faith ran towards Buffy, pushing her to the ground, hand grabbing the gun before feeling water being sprayed onto her back. Liam laughed as he soaked his mother while Buffy slid from beneath her. Faith stood firing the gun she had just stolen from Buffy at Liam before turning her aim onto the fleeing blonde. Screams and laughter filled the garden. Faith frowned when her gun was emptied of water and ran to catch her son, tickling him so he would stop squirting his gun at her. Then a blast from a hose caught both of them. The two screamed as Buffy cackled as she continued to hose them.
“Right that’s it,” Faith said holding her hands to defend herself from the water but failing miserably. She winked at her son who winked back and the two charged for Buffy, pushing her to the ground and ticking her. Buffy squealed and dropped the hose.
“Stop it! Stop it!” Buffy pleaded between laughter.
“Say please,” Liam ordered while continuing to tickle Buffy’s torso. Faith laughed as Buffy begged and pleaded. Liam sat up satisfied before grinning at his mother. Faith grinned back, and Buffy sat up.
“When is Benny coming,” Liam asked as they regained their breath.
Faith shook her head, “Soon.” Liam was invited to a sleepover with a school friend. “So we better get dry… come on,” Faith said as she stood up.
“Benny’s grampa is dead… what is that?” Liam asked curiously.
Faith flinched and looked at Buffy who nodded to her. Faith walked away and stepped into the house. Buffy invited Liam to sit beside her on the grass.
“Dead, is to sleep for a long time… a very long time, and not to wake up.”
Liam’s frown crinkled with thought, “So why don’t you wake up?”
“Because… because… you are not meant to… everybody needs to have a very long sleep sometimes…”
“Not until you are very old.”
“When I’m five?”
“No, when you’re a hundred and five.”
Liam looked at his fingers, and saw that he didn’t have enough fingers, he sighed in amazement, “Wow, that’s very old.”
Faith remerged from the house with towels, handing one to Buffy she wrapped her son in one and pulled her onto her lap, hugging him close to her.
Faith smiled encouragingly at Buffy, so Buffy continued to speak, “Liam, I am going to sleep for a very long time, soon…”
Liam frowned at the thought, “You’re not going to wake up?”
Buffy shook her head, “No I’m not.”
“What will you do?”
Buffy didn’t know how to answer, as she felt the tears rise through her body. Faith decided that this was her cue, “What do you do in your sleep, Liam?”
Liam thought about it for a moment before smiling, “I dream.” He then grinned when he met a conclusion. “Will you dream, Buffy?”
Buffy nodded. Liam continued, “What will you dream about?”
Buffy got to her knees and brought herself directly in front of Liam and Faith. She stroked Liam’s cheek, “I’ll dream about you.” She then moved her hand to Faith’s cheek, “And I’ll dream about you.” The three smiled before a car horn beeped.
Faith jumped up, “Shit! Benny is here!”
Liam laughed at his mother swearing. Faith just grinned at her son before pulling Buffy off the ground.
PART SEVENTEEN: REFLECTIONS
“He’s finally asleep… a nightmare,” Faith said as she slid back into bed, where Buffy was sitting up. The brunette kissed the blonde lightly before snuggling into her body.
“B, turn off the light…,” Faith said as she closed her eyes to sleep. Seeing that the light was still on, she opened her eyes. “B, you okay?”
“Why don’t you like zoos?”
Faith sighed into Buffy’s chest, “Just don’t… B, it’s late and I need to check on the business tomorrow morning.”
“Okay,” Buffy said as she turned off the light and slid down into the bed. She pulled Faith closer to her, her arm on the slender back.
They lay in comfortable silence before Faith whispered, “My dad used to take me when I was little… I loved it, loved the cats there… when I was about seven, things were bad at home, worse than usual… Mom was drinking and Dad, well… he wasn’t right… Mom went mad, smashing things up… hitting me until I screamed. Dad came in and threw her off me, across the room. She hit her head and passed out… Dad took me to the zoo and he no longer was Dad… he comforted me, hugged me and kissed me… behind the lion cage, he asked me did I love him… I said yes, he said I should show him… I don’t remember screaming, I don’t even remember crying… I just remember pain… then it became normal.”
Buffy hugged Faith to her, kissed her gently on the forehead. “I’m so sorry, baby.”
“Why?... not your fault,” Faith whispered into her chest.
“Yeah, but I could have been a better friend…” Faith rolled off Buffy, sitting up and put a finger to Buffy’s lips to hush her.
“B, no regrets… okay… look I was screwed up, but now things are good.”
Buffy nodded and sat up also, “Are you happy?”
Faith smiled, “Yes I am… I have you, I have Liam… I have everything I could possibly want even though I didn’t know that this was what I wanted.”
“Yeah, I was kind of shocked when I saw that you had a son,” Buffy smiled as she spoke. Faith chuckled lightly.
“So B, you learned something about me… what about you?”
“It was painful… not the rape, but the aftermath… the weakness I felt, not being able to stop him… the stupidity I felt for being with him… the pain when I found out that I couldn’t have kids… then I was numb… I felt nothing anymore… until now,” Buffy said smiling into Faith’s saddened eyes.
“And now you’re dying… this fucking sucks!” Faith said, her voice quivering.
“Yeah it sucks, but it’s fact… so we live with it, and use time wisely… I’m happy now… a whole lifetime of crap for this time of happiness, it’s worth it.” Buffy said kissing Faith to punctuate the fact.
A scream followed by crying went through the air. Faith groaned and stood up, “Not again…” She went to leave when Buffy grabbed her arm.
PART EIGHTEEN: PRIDE
Faith stood at the arrival gates, watching the people about her through the darkness of her sun shades. She glanced up at the board again checking for the flight from Heathrow which informed her that it had landed. She shivered involuntarily; the coolness of the airport affected her, despite the heat from outdoors. She didn’t think it would be easy getting used to hot winters, or Christmas without snow, but she did. She had convinced Buffy that they should have Christmas with everybody, it would be good for all involved. Now she wasn’t so sure, how was she to fit them all into her house. She smiled slightly and suddenly felt nervous as she saw Giles and Willow emerged, both looking older than she remembered. She knew they were there in New York, but she didn’t exactly pay any attention to them. Giles was greying, while Willow looked sophisticated and mature in her late twenties. They smiled in recognition of her.
“Faith, it is good to see you, you’re looking very well,” Giles said as he deposited bags on the trolley. Willow nodded in agreement. Faith smiled, and shook her head as she realised, trust was never going to happen between her and the red-headed witch.
“Right, let’s get the car… Buffy will be happy to see you guys, but Xander should be there now with the wife and kids in tow… and Dawn arrived last night,” Faith spouted off as she led them out of the airport.
They sat in the car in silence as Faith steered her way home, she really was regretting Christmas. She pulled over just before reaching the house. Stopping the engine, she turned to face her guests. She took off her sunglasses and looked them in the eyes.
“Okay, I just want to get this off my chest… I’m doing this for B, having you in my house for Christmas. I think it would be good for her… If I had it my way, it would be just B, Liam and myself, but that isn’t the case. Now, I know you guys aren’t exactly 100% approving of me, but I am sick to death of trying to prove myself, so I’m not going to bother anymore… but I want us to be civil. My son is here too, and it’s Christmas and Santa is coming to town… and he is going to have a damn good Christmas as is B and so am I… anything goes wrong and I will kick you out! Okay?” Faith was surprised at her own monologue but she wanted desperately for everything to go okay. Willow and Giles were as equally stunned. They nodded mutely as Faith turned to switch the engine back on. She jumped when she felt a hand on her own. She moved to face her ex-watcher. she saw the pained expression in his eyes.
“Faith, how is she?”
Faith sighed, “She’s good… tired but good… you know B, she always goes out with a fight.”
The witch and watcher nodded in agreement and the journey continued again in silence.
“Oy! You two settle down! Liam… potatoes do not make paint,” Faith said as she grabbed the bowl of mashed potatoes from his hands. She stifled a laughter as she looked at the bemused little girl. She scooped her up easily in one hand and holding the bowl in the other hand, she allowed Liam jump on her back. She walked back into the house where everyone was sitting at the table reminiscing about the old days.
“Xander, very sorry but Tanya kind of got painted,” Faith said as she placed the little girl in her doting father’s arms. The adults laughed as Liam clambered down from his mother to the ground and went straight to Buffy. He climbed into her lap and she hugged him gently, kissing him on the forehead as she watched Amber clean up her daughter.
Faith placed the bowl in the sink and turned around. She leant against the sink and watched the activities at the table. She felt like an outsider when it came to the scoobies, always did and always will. Her eyes caught the green eyes at the head of the table. She smiled at the owner who smiled back. She mouthed an ‘I love you’ as she walked back to the table and sat down between Willow and Amber.
“Xander… you so crushed on everything with a pulse!” Willow exclaimed.
“Except me,” Dawn piped up.
“And me,” Giles added.
“That’s not exactly true,” Willow said.
“What!” shouted both the younger Summers and the watcher as they stared at Xander.
“Ssssh, you’ll wake Jesse… I never crushed on you guys.”
“What? Xander that’s a lie… do you remember the jacket guy?”
Xander blushed as Buffy laughed. The night continued in this manner, only to be interrupted by the baby at one point in the evening.
“Fuck! I forgot about the show… we did some stupid Roman piece didn’t we?... God, I hated Snyder for that,” cried Willow.
“Red, language!” Faith said quietly looking at her son, who was battling sleep in Buffy’s lap. Tanya had already lost the battle in her father’s arms. Willow looked suitably embarrassed while Giles stifled laughter.
Faith stood up, and went to Buffy to scoop Liam up in her arms, “Speaking of language… I think the little people should go to sleep, you know with Santa coming tomorrow. Amber, I set up a bed in Liam’s room for Tanya and Jesse… Liam, say goodnight.” Liam bent to kiss Buffy and waved shyly to everyone else and was carried to his room, the Harris family following. The remaining people moved to the living room to continue their conversation. Xander joined them soon after, squeezing himself between Buffy and Willow on the couch.
“So Giles, didn’t you have something to say?” Xander said in an oddly high-pitched voice.
Giles appeared confused and shook his head, a warning look in his eyes. Buffy saw it and spoke, “What?”
After a short silence, Willow spoke, “Buffy, we don’t understand why you won’t get treatment? It’s not too late… you could get better and live a…”
“Could being the important word there, Will,” Buffy cut her friend off, “Not a risk I am wanting to take… I’ve already told you. I’m happy… I’ve never felt so happy or safe in my life…”
“We’re talking about Faith here… MURDERER!” Willow almost shouted the last word causing everyone to flinch. Xander jumped up and went to sit on the arm of Dawn’s chair.
“Willow, so are you?” Everyone looked at Giles in surprise as he spoke. “Did you not skin a man alive?”
Willow felt anger seep through her, “Yeah, but that was different… I know I was evil and wrong but he killed the woman I love… Faith just killed people no reason.”
Buffy shook with anger as she spoke, “You weren’t there Willow when she killed Finch… It was an accident, we both were involved, it could easily have been me that mistake…”
“Yeah but I was there when she tried to kill me, she hurt you, she hurt all of us… God, she tried to kill Angel, she slept with Riley… she tried to steal your life… Fuck! She tried to kill your Mom.”
“But she didn’t… she went to jail… for me! I asked her to go and she did… She came to fight the First, she didn’t have to.”
“She only did it because she didn’t want to go back to jail… Buffy, can’t you see what she is doing to you… she is some slut who got herself knocked up, and decided to act this whole redeemed Mom figure.”
“Will, she isn’t acting… she is a redeemed Mother… I have nothing to forgive her for, except possibly convincing me to let you come down here.”
“What?” Dawn spoke. Xander and Giles just watched as the two fought. Buffy sighed as she looked at her younger sister.
“Faith said that I should have you here, one last time… you know for old times sake… I didn’t want it but then you guys arrived and I was so happy to see you all again.”
“Oh,” whispered Willow, guilt riddled her body for her outrage. Buffy turned back to her.
“Willow, I’m dying… there’s no other way out, but I’m okay with it… yeah I wish I had more time to be with Faith and Liam, but I have now, and that’s what I hold on to…” Buffy saw tears in her friend’s eyes.
“Buffy, I’m just going to miss you so much…” Buffy pulled her friend into her arms. Dawn instinctively hugged the pair, Xander followed suit. Giles stood and watched his children in sadness before seeing a figure at the door way. He looked up and saw Faith fighting back tears. He sighed, knowing she heard everything. Faith looked at him and ran out of the house.
Faith started kicking and beating a tree at the end of her back garden, crying hard as she did so. Giles watched her and walked towards her. He grabbed her from behind, “Faith, stop it.” He had spoken soothingly, hoping she wouldn’t attack him. Faith turned around and punched him in the chest. Hard but not too hard. He pulled her towards her despite her struggles. “Faith,” he said her name again because he couldn’t think of anything to say. She cried into his chest until no more tears were left. He moved her slowly over to the bench and sat down with her, holding her to him. They listened quietly to the sea below them.
“Why does she have to die?” Faith’s voice was husky from the tears.
“I don’t know,” Giles answered quietly.
“Can’t Red just heal her… isn’t she the almighty powerful one here?” Faith spoke harshly.
“Magic can’t interfere with the natural order of things.”
“Natural order. Fuck, she’s a slayer… we don’t get sick…” Faith felt tears come to her eyes again and she swallowed them. Giles gently rubbed her back.
“She’s had an unnaturally long life.”
“Yeah so have I… I am twenty seven, an old slayer… like she is. Why her?”
Giles could only shake his head. He knew what Faith was going to say next and wasn’t surprised by it.
“Is it the PTB... them bastards that choose us? Deciding that we have outlived our duties… Giles, is that it? I mean, am I next?”
“Faith, I don’t think so… I just think that it is life playing one of its nasty tricks on us again.”
“But it could be… what about Liam? He has no one but me… who will look after him?”
“Faith you are not going to die anytime soon…” Giles said as he moved so he was kneeling in front of the dark, rogue slayer. “And if you did… I promise you that Liam will be well taken care of… I promise.” Hearing no reply and sensing no reaction from his former slayer, he continued, “Faith, I am proud of you… I came here with the attention of taking Buffy away and getting her treatment… But seeing her today; I have never seen her this happy. She is my daughter… and all I want for her is to be happy. You do that. Also, you have made me proud as a watcher, you are a damn fine slayer. You are not second best, Faith! Buffy may have saved the world, but you have taken one step further… you have saved yourself and in turn saved Buffy. Without you, she isn’t complete. Thirdly, you as you makes me proud. Liam is a fine boy. You are a good mother, something I never thought I would say… but you are. He idolises you as does Buffy. You have a family Faith… and you put them first always. Faith, if I could do it all over again… I would have done things differently. But we can’t change the past, we only have now…” Giles voice had filled with emotion as he spoke. He felt tears in his eyes as he spoke. He brushed a stray strand of dark hair from Faith’s face, and looked her deep in the eyes, “And if anything ever happened to you, I would personally see that Liam knows that his mother was a strong, intelligent and beautiful woman… I would see that he is happy and that he is safe. You have my word… will you accept it?”
Faith pulled Giles into a hug and whispered a ‘yes’ into his shoulder. The two allowed themselves to compose themselves before walking into the house. Xander had left the room to tend to his crying son as his wife was sleeping, leaving the three women in the living room. Buffy smiled when she saw Faith but her smile faded when she saw that her lover had been crying.
“Faith, are you okay?” Her voice filled with concern. Faith smiled and nodded as she sat beside the blonde slayer.
“Five by five… just heard Red’s rant and rave, got filled with self-pity, staked a tree and then Giles sedated me…” Faith said, a jesting lilt in her voice.
Willow shrank uncomfortably into her seat. Dawn couldn’t help but laugh.
“You staked a tree?”
“Yep… no dust though. Man, I hate that… no slay… makes me double hungry and horny.”
Giles coughed uncomfortably while Buffy laughed as she quickly pecked Faith on the lips.
“Faith, can you show me my bed please?” The watcher asked, pleading to leave the discomfort of an all female room. Faith jumped up, her eyes catching the red-head’s briefly before showing Giles to the basement where she had hired three beds, one for the watcher, one for the witch and one for the key.
“Shit!” whispered Willow as she watched the dark slayer leave. Buffy patted her gently on the hand.
“Don’t worry, Will… she won’t kill you.” The slayer spoke jokingly.
Xander came in cradling his son, followed by Faith who slapped him on the back. “Right Xan-man, time to play Santa!”
Xander’s face lit up and he dumped his son into Buffy’s arms before following the dark slayer outside. The baby snored gently in the slayer’s arms.
PART NINETEEN: MEMORIES
“Mommy! Buffy! Santa came… and look what he got me.” Liam shouted as he cycled into the master bedroom. The two slayers groaned at the little boy’s enthusiasm. Buffy rolled off Faith and opened her eyes, as Faith pulled the blanket over her head. Liam jumped onto the bed. “Wake up! Wake up!” Buffy sat up and caught the little boy, tickling him as he squealed and giggled. Faith continued to groan before being poked in the side.
“Faith baby, it’s Christmas… you have to get up.”
Faith only rolled over under the blanket. Buffy smiled before looking at the pouting boy. She heard Tanya squeal with delight and shout for her parents. She heard Xander bound out of the room. She heard Jesse crying and Amber soothing him. She heard Dawn playing with a race track, competing with Giles. She heard Willow swear at the coffee maker, while wishing everyone Happy Non-Jewish day. She heard Faith move underneath the blanket. She heard everything and she looked at her little boy. She kissed him lightly on the forehead.
“I love you, Liam… you know that, don’t you? You’ll never forget that, will you?”
Liam shook his head and hugged Buffy tightly. Buffy knew that Liam had been told about her illness and that one day she would sleep forever. Faith and she had explained that to him. She didn’t know if he understood what it all meant but in that hug, she felt sure that he did. She pulled back, and smiled at him.
“Go show everyone your bicycle, while I get your Mommy out of bed.” Liam nodded and smiled proudly at his new bicycle. He bounced of the bed and got back on his gift. When he reached the door, he looked back and smiled at Buffy. He cycled out of the room and closed the door behind him.
Buffy felt a hand on her back and a gentle kiss on the nape of her neck. Faith sat up and wrapped her arms around Buffy’s waist from behind. She leaned her chin on the smaller woman’s shoulder, kissing it before whispering into her ear. “I’ll never let him forget.” Buffy turned around in her lover’s arms and kissed Faith tenderly. The kiss quickly deepened, as tongues sought each other out. Hands roamed over bodies, kisses explored, fingers caressed and tongues pleasured.
Buffy lay on her back, while Faith covered her. Faith looked up at her. The two gasped as they saw unleashed love in each others eyes. There was no need for words, a kiss sealed the message of love. “Merry Christmas, B”
The evening sky drifted over the roof of the house. Buffy could hear the mirth escalating from the living room as she kissed Liam’s forehead. Faith covered her son with a blanket. She stood back and wrapped her arm around Buffy’s waist as they watched the little boy sleep, a smile dancing on his lips. They could hear the gentle snoring from the little girl who had fallen asleep an hour earlier. Faith kissed Buffy’s forehead before whispering, “I think that’s the earliest he has ever went to bed.” Buffy laughed lightly, “Yeah, he’s had a busy day… spoilt rotten. I thought I spoiled him… but Faith aka Santa is so much worse than me.” Faith laughed, “Yeah, well sue me.” Buffy kissed Faith lightly on the lips before sensing the presence of someone else in the room.
“Sorry to disturb, but Jesse has finally dropped off… I swear he is worse than Tanya was,” Amber said as she placed the tiny baby into the crib.
“Believe me, Liam was worse… I swear the boy had huge lungs… he cried all the time… and now look at him, all quiet and angelic like.”
“Well, he was named after Angel so therefore an Angel.” Buffy spoke as she stroked the boy in question’s dark hair.
“Yeah, well Angel is no angel.”
“Nope… but you are.”
“God, you two are so corny.” Dawn said as she stood in the doorway, “Faith, you’ve a street cred to keep up.” Dawn mocked a scolding. Faith scowled and Buffy rubbed her arm sympathetically while Amber laughed softly.
“Anyway, you three… time to open our presents.” Dawn said, practically dragging them out of the room before closing the door gently.
After Amber left to tend to Jesse and also under a previous request from Faith, Buffy held her breath before speaking. They had all opened their presents and were admiring them individually when she found the courage to speak, “Okay, I got each of you something, you know, something special…” Buffy gave Faith the small packages to hand round. The small group opened their parcels in silence, and saw that they all received similar items, a book and a letter.
They read their letters silently, leaving tears trickle down their cheeks, while Faith held Buffy tightly. When they finished reading their letters, not once but twice, they folded them and all looked at Buffy. Their faces expressed understanding, love and admiration for the blonde slayer.
“Go on, open the books…” Buffy ordered.
The group obeyed and laughter, tears, exclamations and comments filled the room as they took a trip down memory lane through the compilation of photos that Buffy had presented them. Images of the past sprang to their present.
“God, I was such a geek,” squealed the red-head.
“And I was a loser,” spoke out Xander.
“But a loser with two eyes.”
“Hey, I resent that Summers.”
“While I was a man of tweed.”
“I think I was pretty cute… still am,” spoke out Dawn, receiving good-natured laughter.
“God, the Dingoes… Jesus, you took a picture of Oz, all wolf-man…”
“Remember those hideous green bridesmaid dresses…”
“Yeah, but Anya looked gorgeous!”
“Wow, Faith… you sure did look hot!”
“Hey, Xan I still am,” Faith yelled wearing a pout before looking at Buffy, “Aren’t I?” Buffy nodded and kissed her.
“Homecoming… ha! You and Cordy looked terrible…”
“Jenny… she was so beautiful,” Giles spoke softly.
“Yeah, she was,” agreed Willow.
“Hey, if Angel has no reflection, how come he comes out in photo image,” Xander asked.
“Same way Spike does… man, he was hot!”
“What, Buffy! You can’t say he wasn’t hot.”
“Fuck, the Initiative… Riley plus gun… I so looked better with a gun.” Xander stated.
“Tara’s birthday… she was so happy that night.”
“Mom! When was this taken? Christmas?” Dawn, asked pointing to the photo. Buffy nodded.
“Sweet Jesus! Andrew in Star Wars pyjamas… is he still a watcher?”
Giles nodded to Xander’s question, “Yes and I believe he still wears those pyjamas.”
Laughter filled the room.
“The potentials… hey, there’s a good photo of you and Kennedy here Willow.” Dawn held up the photo. Willow smiled fondly.
“Do you still see her?”
“Yeah, she’s doing well… and she still has her tongue pierced.”
“Will!” exclaimed Buffy, “Child present.” She pointed to Dawn where she was promptly slapped gently.
“I remember this photo Buffy… it was one of the first taken of us three,” Willow said as she indicated to the photo of her, Buffy and Xander at sweet sixteen. “God, we were so innocent back then.”
They continued to flip through the photos, comments filling the room. They then turned to a page where there was a montage of those lost, Jenny, Joyce, Tara, Anya, and Cordelia. Sighs filled the room as they took a moment to reflect their loved ones.
Turning the page, they gasped with awe. Buffy had convinced Faith to let her paste a copy of the first photo she had taken with Liam. The photo of where Faith held a newborn Liam close to her, so only profiles of their faces shown, their noses almost touching.
“Faith, you looked so beautiful there… you both do,” Willow said softly.
Faith met Willow’s eyes and smiled. An understanding passed between them in that moment.
The last page was a photo of Buffy, Faith and Liam, sitting on the bench, the sun streaking their hair, laughter lighting their faces, happiness filling the frame.
The group smiled as they closed the book and looked at the happy couple. Xander stood and went over to them. He pulled Buffy up and hugged her tightly, whispering his thanks and then pulled Faith up and did the same.
“Well, Faith… you and me could be in-laws… imagine our grandkids if Liam and Tanya get it on…”
Faith laughed and gently punched Xander while Buffy exclaimed, “Xan, they’re barely walking… and do not talk about your daughter or my son in that way.”
Faith turned stunned at Buffy’s words even though they were spoken in jest. She shook her shock off as the conversation sprang up again with Dawn pointing out that it could have been Willow and Xander who married, considering they had met that young.
Faith eased herself gently into bed, hoping not to wake up Buffy who had gone to bed earlier. She felt happy; she was accepted into the family. She had discussed with Xander the possibility of building a tree-house for Liam, arranging visits and the like. Buffy mumbled as she rolled over and laid herself half on top of Faith.
“Hey Baby,” Buffy’s voice and breath tickled Faith’s neck and Faith smiled.
“Hey yourself… have a good day?”
“The best, thank you so much… you?”
Faith paused before answering, “Yeah, I did… and Buffy, he is, you know?”
Buffy opened her eyes and looked at Faith directly in the eye, “He is who and is what?”
“He is your son.”
Buffy smiled and kissed Faith lightly. Faith grinned underneath her. Buffy sat up and flicked on the lamp. She reached over to her side of the bed, into her cabinet and pulled a small package out.
“This is for you… your Christmas present.”
Faith scooted herself up the bed and smiled, taking the present. Buffy watched as Faith ripped the paper of and opened the box. The dark eyes widened in a mixture of delight, awe and confusion.
“Faith,” Buffy said taking the box from the brunette and easing its contents out. “You said to me that you wanted to do everything the normal way… you know, date, get to know each other again, move in together, get married and have kids… grow old together… but with us, nothing is normal… and we can’t have those things, but I want you to know that you have me and that I love you with everything that I am, except for my cancer, because that bit sucks… you make me happy. I never thought it was possible to be happy, but you do that for me… I wish that I had longer, or that I came to you sooner… but time can never kill love… What I am trying to say is that I want you to wear this and every time you look at it, remember that I love you and that you have me always.”
Faith allowed Buffy place the simply designed silver band onto her wedding finger, before studying it. She looked up at Buffy, wrapped her legs around her lower back, her arms around her neck and looked deeply into her eyes. “And you have me,” Faith whispered, kissing her with all the love and passion she could convey.
CHAPTER TWENTY: THE GOOD-BYES
The goodbyes were hard.
Tears fell as Willow clung to her best friend. Buffy pulled back, gently pushing stray strands of red behind Willow’s ear. “Hey, Will… don’t cry… it’s okay.” Willow just shook at the words.
“Buffy, I’m going to miss you so much… if you need anything, and I mean anything, call me… I can fly over at anytime.”
Buffy smiled and shook her head. “Thank you, but I have everything I need here.” She looked back at Faith who was holding Liam in her arms, watching the scene.
Willow looked in the same direction and smiled, “I guess you do… it was fun… I mean, the good parts… not the fighting evil stuff, you know nearly dying… shit, I mean you saved my life so many times… thank you… oh God! But it was fun, I mean saving the world… and just hanging in the Bronze… I mean growing up together…”
“Willow-babble,” Buffy said as she hugged the red-head again, kissing her lightly on the cheek. “Willow… be strong…”
“Like an Amazon,” whispered the red-head.
“Huh? Anyway, be honest with yourself… love. Don’t be alone.”
“Buffy, with this family… loneliness isn’t possible… but I get you… thank you… O Goddess!” Tears sprang from Willow’s eyes again as she hugged Buffy quickly before dashing out into the car. Giles watched her get into the taxi and then turned to Buffy, gesturing for her to follow him outside, which Buffy duly did.
The tall watcher turned to his slayer, “Buffy, as your watcher, I could wish nothing more in a slayer.” The tall man looked at his friend, “Buffy as your friend, I am so happy our paths crossed and allowed us have this lifetime together.” Giles hugged Buffy tenderly and whispered, “Buffy, and if I could choose a daughter… you are her.”
Buffy cried softly into the older man’s shirt. “Thank you… and there’s no choice. You are my Dad.”
Xander paced nervously on the porch as he watched his wife tuck his children safely in the car. Buffy grabbed his arm to stop him and spun him around to look at him. She saw the tears stream down his face.
“Xander, you’re the strong one… you’re than man, and you’re crying.”
Xander smiled weakly, “I’m the heart… hearts cry when they break… I can’t believe this is it.”
Buffy nodded in agreement, “Yeah, weird huh?”
Xander nodded along with her, “Yeah, very weird… I’m glad you’re happy.”
“You too… you have a fabulous wife and great kids… take care of them the way you took care of me.”
“Of course, I’ll lose an eye for them… but then I wouldn’t be able to see, so maybe, I’ll lose a leg instead.”
The two old friends smiled before Xander spoke, “Buffy, we fight so many fights, and here’s one we can’t win… I love you…”
Buffy hugged Xander tightly, “I love you too.”
Xander whispered into her ears, “If I want, I could bring you back again.”
Buffy chuckled lightly, “I don’t think it would work this time.”
Xander pulled back, “No, I guess not…” Seeing Dawn in the garden, he kisses Buffy on the cheek, “Goodbye… no one is ever going to forget you… not as long as I’m alive… I’ll never forget you nor will I ever stop loving you.”
Xander walked away stopping to look back once more at the slayer before stepping into the car, to join his wife.
Buffy walked over to Dawn who was sitting on the grass beneath the staked tree and sat down beside her.
“Hey, Dawn… they’re waiting for you…”
“Buffy, I can’t lose you as well… I hate losing people all the time… what am I going to do without you.”
Buffy lifted Dawn’s chin with her fingers, and looked into her eyes. “You know what you’re going to do Dawn… you’re going to make sure they’re all okay, make sure Liam is okay… make sure Faith is okay… you’re going to be happy… you’re going to live.”
“Live for you.”
“No, live for you.”
Faith wrapped her arm around Buffy’s shoulder and held Liam in the other hand as they watched the two cars leave. They waved and watched the cars disappear. Faith turned to Buffy and saw tears stream down her face. She kissed the tears away and hugged her tight.
The doorbell rang and Faith looked at the clock which told her that it was too late for guests. Liam was fast asleep and Buffy was just drifting off. The New Year had seen Buffy get weaker with the illness. Faith grumbled as she went to answer the door, stopping before she answered it. She knew who it was before she even opened the door.
“Angel?” Faith said to the tall, dark, broody vampire on the other side of the door.
“Faith… it’s good to see you.”
“How are you?”
“Good… how’s Liam?”
Faith then laughed at the stupidity of the conversation in the doorway. Angel smiled with her. His expression sobered.
“And how is Buffy?”
Faith stood back from the doorway, holding the door open. “Come in and see for yourself.”
Angel stepped in and followed Faith to the bedroom where he stopped and watched as Buffy slept. Faith pushed him gently in before closing the door behind him. Angel walked over to the bed and sat on the end of it. Buffy fluttered her eyelids open and smiled on recognising the vampire.
“Angel,” she whispered. “You haven’t changed a bit… guess that comes with vampireness.”
“Yeah, it does… you know why I came…”
Buffy nodded and held her hand out to Angel who accepted it, kissing it gently. Buffy shivered from the coldness of the touch and then saw the warmness in his dark eyes.
“Buffy, I’m glad you’re happy… you deserved to be happy.”
Buffy smiled as she thought of Faith and looked at Angel.
“Sing to me…sing ‘Mandy’.”
Angel laughed slightly and then noticed that Buffy was serious. He cleared his throat, and sang softly and quietly as Buffy closed her eyes and fell asleep. He stood and kissed her softly on the lips, before whispering, “Goodbye.”
Angel walked passed the living room and saw Faith sitting on the porch, smoking a cigarette. She looked up at him and smiled weakly.
“You’d think I’d quit, after all this, wouldn’t you?”
Angel smiled and sat down beside her. He then held her hand and spoke so softly, “So you’re the cookie.”
“So Liam, how old are you now?”
Liam smiled and held up five fingers to show that he was now five years old. Buffy laughed at the old memory. She lay on the couch, wrapped in a blanket and watched Liam play with his new tractor on the floor as Faith tidied away the presents. Faith kissed Buffy lightly on the forehead, before smiling at her son. The doorbell rang and Faith glanced at the clock and then at Buffy before looking at Liam. Fear hit her eyes, it was time. Buffy closed her eyes and sighed.
“It’s too early…”
“I’ll get it, baby… you take all the time you need.”
Faith kissed her softly on the lips before leaving the room to answer the door.
Buffy watched Liam for another moment before calling him to her. Liam stood up and walked quickly to her, climbing onto the couch and into her arms. Buffy wrapped her arms around him, cradling him, smelling the shampoo in his hair, the faint tint of chocolate left on his tee-shirt.
“Liam… you’ll be a good boy for your mommy… you will take care of her won’t you?”
Liam nodded. Buffy felt the tears reach her eyes as she continued.
“You’re my strong boy, my best boy… I love you and I love your mommy very much… and I need you to take care of each other… and to remember that I loved you both… and that I’ll miss you.”
“Will you dream of me?” Liam mumbled into her chest.
Buffy voice croaked with tears, “Always”
“I love you Buffy,” Liam hugged her tightly before looking at her. His dark eyes that resembled Faith’s so much, yet held their own individual sense of understanding and love. She kissed him on the forehead.
“You better go, Meg is waiting for you… she’s going to take you to see Xander.”
Liam smiled and jumped onto the floor. “Can I bring my tractor?”
Liam grabbed his tractor and ran to the door. Buffy let the tears spill as she watched him leave. She closed the eyes as to ease the pain, but on hearing footsteps she opened them again. Liam hugged her tightly and whispered into her ear, “Goodnight… sleep well.” He then ran out.
Faith hugged her son tightly, kissing on the cheek. “Now you be good… I’ll see you soon, okay.” Liam nodded and took Meg’s hand, “I love you Kiddo.”
Meg squeezed Faith’s arm affectionately, “If you need anything, just call.” Faith nodded and watched her son leave. Buffy had said to her that she didn’t want Liam there when she died, that she wanted her last days to be with just Faith, so when Buffy gave her the word, she phoned Meg and Xander and asked them to take Liam until the time had passed. She sighed before stepping back into the living room. She sat down beside Buffy and hugged her closely, the two of them crying softly into each others hair.
CHAPTER TWENTY ONE: THE WISH
Faith was wishing Liam goodnight on the phone while Buffy idly flipped through the channels on the television. She smiled as she heard the little boy chatter excitedly to his mother through the phone. Faith hung up the phone, and wrapped her arm around Buffy, holding her tightly. Buffy flicked off the television and smiled as she snuggled into the comfort of Faith’s arms. She was weak and tired but surprisingly there was no pain. She guessed that the Powers to Be were giving her some relief. But she knew that it was nearly time.
“Faith, I don’t like the colour of that wall,” Buffy said as she pointed to the wall opposite her. Faith chuckled lightly, just enjoying the feel of Buffy. They chattered aimlessly for a short while before Faith let the question go.
“B, if you had one wish, what would it be?”
“Not to die.”
“Okay… stupid question, but I can’t grant that wish… though if I could I would…”
Buffy sat in silence thinking about the question. She rolled slightly so she was on Faith’s side and facing her. “I would wish that we did it differently… we met back then and didn’t fight… that we had those extra ten years…”
Faith kissed Buffy softly before smiling, “That I can do.” Buffy arched an eyebrow in confusion. Faith grinned, “Close your eyes.” Buffy was suspicious but did as she was told.
Faith’s voice was in a husky whisper as she spoke,
“You came into the alley and asked me if I needed any help, I said nope, and that I was a kick ass slayer. You smiled and I stopped for only a second. You’re beautiful, but I don’t tell you because I suddenly become shy. After my champion slaying, you invite me into the Bronze and I meet the Scoobies, we hit it off. You and I are the Chosen two, we kick ass… synchronised slaying, the new Olympic sport… We begin to trust each other, and I have a friend, my first real friend… I tell you about my past, the good and the bad… and you do the same, you even tell me about Angel…”
Buffy hugged Faith and spoke instead,
“Then Angel comes back from hell, I tell you and you convince me to tell my friends. We help him recover from the torment that he suffered as a group… he then asks me to take him back… I choose you… I go to Giles house because that’s where you lived… not in the motel. You answer the door, and I don’t even need to tell you how I feel because you already know. You smile that amazing smile as I step towards you. I took your face between my hands and kiss you…”
“And I kiss you back stroking your back gently. We pull apart because oxygen is needed… I tell you that I love you… always did, even before I met you…”
“And I say ditto.”
The two slayers laughed in each others arms. Faith kissed Buffy gently on the lips, seeking entry and being granted. When they pull apart, Faith continues.
“We find out the Mayor’s plan… and kick his ass to hell before graduation… we go to your graduation ceremony and I whoop and yell and clap when your name is called. You smile at me, as I go insane with pride. Afterwards we go to the Bronze and drink some, dance some and then I take you home… and we make love for the first time… and it’s magic… you are magic and I fall in love with you all over again… suddenly my hungriness and horniness is replaced with love and happiness…”
“I convince you to go back to school and I go to college… we meet Riley and the Initiative, and you already hate him… you persuade me not to trust the Initiative but foolishly convince me to break in… we find out about Adam and we take on all the slayers’ powers and kick his ass…”
“Yeah we do, and have mad passionate sex to celebrate.”
Buffy laughed softly, letting her hand trail under Faith’s shirt, stroking the toned torso. Faith gasps at the contact before continuing.
“And then we go on holidays to Mexico where I show you how much I want you and how much I love you… I ask you to move in with me, so we get ourselves a nice place… you go back to college and then we find out about Dawnie.. you worry but I tell you that you’re the best slayer in town and we’ll beat Glory…”
“But Mom dies… she loved you so much and you came to me when I told you, and stayed with me always… we move back to the house to be with Dawn… and Glory attacks and takes Tara’s mind… you swear revenge and when Dawn is taken by Glory and strapped to the tower… you beat Glory, saving Dawn and me… that night we came back home and after making love, I ask you to marry me… you say yes, and I cry…”
“But I’m sensible about it all… tell you to finish college first… while I worked at the mechanics to earn money… then the evil trio come into town… and Warren kills Tara even though we tried to stop him… we help Willow grieve and prevent her from killing Warren…”
Buffy smiled at this idea, Faith helping Willow. She kissed Faith’s neck, sucking on the pulse point making the dark slayer whimper. She smiled at the reaction before continuing the story.
“And then the First decides to make our lives hell… I worry and I’m scared and you tell me that we have fought so many fights before and always won and so we will win this one… and we did… afterwards, we marry… the wedding is beautiful. Our friends are there and you looked so beautiful. You wore a white trouser suit and when I see you I fall in love again… I give you my vow, telling you that Through good and bad, we are together, that through life and death, we are one, that through happiness and sadness, we are never alone, That no matter we are never parted…”
Faith slid her hand under Buffy’s shirt, stroking the back gently. She lifted Buffy’s chin and kissed her with passion and adoration. Buffy slid on top of her and responded to the kiss with the equal amount of love, possibly even more. Buffy pulled back and gazed into the brown eyes. Faith cleared her throat.
“I take you around the world… and you show me Italy… you fell in love with the country as did I, and we agree to live there… so we live and play there, each day passed, and my love for you just grew…”
Faith slid Buffy’s shirt off her head and adjusted her position so she could have her shirt removed also. Wearing no underwear made it easier for breast to be caressed, while tongues duelled in a race of passion. Buffy pulled back.
“And then we made Liam… he was ours, I stand with you at the birth, allowing you to break three of my fingers as you gave the world to our son… we watch him grow, and when he tells us he loves us… we know that everything is going to be okay, that life is ours, that we are each others…”
Trousers were quickly discarded, as love making ensued. Fingers, tongues and hands gently caressed and loved. Pleasure came again and again, words of love were expressed, promises were made, tears were shed.
The two lovers lay in each others arms, a blanket covering them. As they recovered, Faith whispered breathlessly into Buffy’s ear, “And we lived happily ever after.”
Buffy smiled, “Thank you.”
“For what?” Faith said as she kissed Buffy gently.
“For making my wish come true.”
CHAPTER TWENTY TWO: THE SUNRISE
It was early February, the early morning breeze filled the air, the leaves rustled in the wind, the sea rippled, the darkness brightening as the sun began to rise. Faith sat on the lounging chair, Buffy between her legs, her head resting on Faith’s shoulder. Faith’s arms were wrapped protectively around the small, weak slayer. A blanket covered them, protecting them from the chill Spring could bring. The two lay with their eyes closed, listening to the quiet tunes playing from inside the house, and they reflected on everything that allowed them to lie there. Faith mind drifted back to the previous night.
Faith found the letter in her bedside cabinet and sat down on the bed gently, not to disturb Buffy who was sleeping peacefully beside her. She opened it and read,
“My dearest, most beautiful and wonderful Faith, this is not goodbye, because goodbye is too final. Goodbye means I’ll never see you again, and I don’t believe that for a second. I’m with you all the way through this life time and the next life time. We’re a part of each other, can’t exist without each other. So this is just a take care until I see you again. I love you so much. I thought I would be scared of dying, but with you here, I feel no fear, just your love… Thank you so much for accepting me back in your life… for giving me a son, for giving me hope, feeling… for everything. You be good, you take care of yourself… you remember that you have me, for always,
So until I see you again, yours forever, Buffy.”
Faith folded the note and smiled. She looked at the sleeping slayer, and bent over to kiss her lightly on the lips, caressing her cheeks as she did so. She smiled when she felt Buffy respond to the kiss. Buffy deepened it by placing her hand behind Faith’s head, pulling her towards her.
The sun was starting to make its presence known to the world, as the two lovers lay on the lounging chair. The stereo switched to a new song; “If Tomorrow Never Comes” As Garth Brooks sang the lyrics Faith watched Buffy sleeping as the sky change to yellow, orange, red and purple.
“Sometimes, late at night I lie awake and watch her sleeping,
She’s lost in peaceful dreaming so I turn out the light
And lay there in the dark and the thought crosses my mind
If I never wake up in the morning
Would she ever doubt the way I feel about her in my heart,
If tomorrow never comes,
Would she know how much I love her,
Did I try in every way,
Show her in every way
That she is my only one.”
Faith kissed the top of Buffy’s head and whispered, “I love you, B”. Buffy let out a sigh. Faith closed her eyes, opened them allowing a tear journey its way down her cheek. She watched the sun rise.
A new day had started and a life had ended.