|Underneath It All
Author: Asher Monroe PM
-Chapter 24 Posted- When the crowd leaves and the noise finally stops, you begin to see what really matters. -Fuffy Post Chosen fic- ON HIATUSRated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Romance - Buffy S. & Faith L. - Chapters: 25 - Words: 95,962 - Reviews: 197 - Favs: 112 - Follows: 169 - Updated: 08-09-11 - Published: 05-11-07 - id: 3534304
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon is the owner of all and I am just playing in his sand box. Please don't sue, that would be such a drag.
A/N: This story takes place minutes after the very last episode of BTVS; Chosen. It will be Fuffy aka Faith/Buffy eventually in a romantic relationship. If you can't deal with this or think it's icky stuff, please click the back button and leave. Also might contain episodes from Angel: Season 5...eventually.
Chapter One: Now What?
Buffy stood off to the side, watching as the brunette in her bed took in the weapon that she had took from the freaky dude Caleb who dressed as a priest. He of course was anything but holy. "You feel it too, don't you?"
Faith basked in the power that flowed through her because of the red and silver scythe. "Damn. And damn, that's something."
"I know." The blonde smiled slowly.
"It's old. It's strong, and it feels like... like it's mine." Her brows quirked and she placed it beside her. "I guess that means it's yours."
The Cali resident shrugged, picking up the object. "It belongs to the Slayer."
"Slayer in charge, which, I'm guessing, is you."
"I honestly don't know. Does it matter?"
Sitting up more and pulling down her blood red tank top, the Boston girl tilted her head to the side. "It never mattered to me. Somebody has to lead. Let's vote for Chao-Ahn. It's harder to lead people into a deathtrap if you don't speak English."
The first Slayer chuckled and sat on the edge of the bed. "It wasn't your fault."
Deep brown eyes looked away. "I'm really not looking for forgiveness."
A smirk. "You're not?"
Faith frowned a little. "What do you want me to say? I blew it."
"You didn't blow it."
"Tell that to—"
"People die. You lead them into battle, they're gonna die. It doesn't matter how ready you are or how smart you are. War is about death. Needless, stupid death."
The younger female knew that was true but it didn't make it any easier to take in. "So, here's the laugh riot. My whole life I've been a loner."
Buffy was confused. "That's the funny part? Did I miss something?"
The Bostonian sighed. "I'm trying to—"
Holding up a hand, the older of the two nodded. "Sorry. Sorry. Go."
"No ties, no buddies, no relationships that lasted longer than... well, Robin lasted pretty long." She grinned as the memory flashed through her mind. "Boy's got stamina."
"Principal Wood? And you? And in my—" Ew!
The brunette was amused. "Don't tell me you two got wriggly."
The blonde shook her head quickly. "No. No. No, no. We're just good friends. Or mortal enemies, depending on which day of the—
was that the funny part?"
Faith wet her lips. "Okay. The point. Me, by myself all the time. I'm looking at you, everything you have, and, I don't know, jealous. Then there I am. Everybody's looking to me, trusting me to lead them, and I've never felt so alone in my entire life."
"Yeah." The former Sunnydale High student glanced down, surprised that her former enemy finally seemed to be getting 'it'.
The ex-con watched her. "And that's you every day, isn't it?"
"I love my friends. I'm very grateful for them. But that's the price. Being a Slayer."
"There's only supposed to be one. Maybe that's why you and I can never get along. We're not supposed to exist together."
A snort. "Also, you went evil and were killing people."
Her old friend nodded. "Good point. Also a factor." A beat. "But I get it now ya know? All this time I thought I wanted what you had and come to find out, you never really had more than I did. Sure you got the mom and the Scoobies but in the end we're more alike than I thought. Makes me really sorry for all the shit that went down."
Buffy allowed their eyes to meet, shocked at the sudden wisdom that the rebel was showing. Truth be told she hadn't been that happy to have her foe back at first, figuring that she hadn't really changed at all. But Faith was proving herself everyday and it made her feel better about going into battle with her. Yes, she'd screwed up with the girls but no more so than she'd did herself at the vineyard. Sometimes things just happened. "I'm sorry too. I really wish things could have been different between us. That we could have been...friends."
"No time like the present. Well considerin' we don't all die tomorrow." She joked lightly. "Tell ya the truth, there is no place I'd rather be then here helpin' with the good fight. With you."
Swallowing at the surge of emotion she felt, the petite golden haired girl stood and began to pace. She wasn't used to this side of her and she wasn't too sure how to react. Their past was filled with hurt and anger; understanding was a point they'd never crossed before. "I mean what I said the other night too. I am glad to have you back." Then she quickly changed the subject. "But you're right. I mean, I...I guess everyone's alone in some way or another. But being a Slayer? There's a burden we can't share."
"And no one else can feel it. Least we got each other though." A beat. "And thank God we're hot chicks with superpowers."
"Takes the edge off."
Blinking out of the memory, Buffy Summers folded her arms over her chest and continued to gaze at the giant crater that used to be Sunnydale, California. They'd did it! They'd take on The First and kicked its' ass. It was bad to say but there was a time when she wasn't sure if they could have did it or not. The odds were just so great and giving up seemed like a pretty good alternative to dying. But in the end everyone had brought their A game and the evil was stopped. Driven back deep into the ground, and Spike was the reason the ones who survived could say that.
Around her she could hear the chattering of her friends but she wasn't really paying attention to them. Her mind was on fire with thoughts, though she found it odd out of all the conversations she had ever had with anyone, the one she remembered the most had been with Faith. Then again perhaps she was just delirious from the adrenaline and the stab wound.
Giles stood behind the group, his group, staring at the open road all around them. He picked up the conversation the others were having. "Yes, because the mall was actually in Sunnydale, so there's no hope of going there tomorrow."
Dawn gasped. "We destroyed the mall? I fought on the wrong side!"
Xander pretended to tear up. "All those shops gone. The Gap, Starbucks, Toys "R" Us. Who will remember all those landmarks unless we tell the world about them?"
The ex Watcher nodded with a mock somber expression. "We have a lot of work ahead of us."
Faith glanced to Willow, a smirk playing on her pouty lips. "Can I push him in?"
The red head chuckled from where she leaned again the brunette boy. "You've got my vote."
Stretching, she groaned and kicked at the dirt, her muscles still screaming. "I just want to sleep, yo, for like a week."
Baby Summers shrugged. "I guess we all could, if we wanted to."
The witch smiled happily. "Yeah. The First is scrunched, so... what do you think we should do, Buffy?"
"Yeah, you're not the one and only Chosen anymore. Just gotta live like a person." The Bostonian came up behind the blonde, looking to her for a reply. "How's that feel?"
Dawn rubbed at a smudge of dirt on her own cheek. "Yeah, Buffy. What are we gonna do now?"
The pretty blonde in question said nothing as a light breeze tickled long strands across her face. That was a scary inquiry but not as horrible as the death and destruction she was used to. Of course the possibilities were endless and that made her feel better. She could do and go anywhere she pleased now. She could retire and live in Florida with old people. Pass the slaying torch on to one of the newer girls, then head to Bingo with Pearl. Or hit Atlantic City with Mabel to play the slots. Okay who were these people she was imagining all of a sudden?
Maybe she had a concussion or something. She did feel odd. Every bone in her body was singing, and although all that pumped up Willow magic was good for the ouchies, that hole in her abdomen was throbbing like a deformed thumb. A wave of heat wafted over her and everything began to spin. Well this was great. She defeats the bad guys just to be taken out by Ebola or something.
"Guys?" She blinked back the dizziness.
"Yeah little miss just like everyone else?" Xander snickered, though it didn't reach his eyes. Anything was better however than thinking about the woman he loved who was lying in that dark hole...dead.
"I'm goin' to faint now. Just FYI." And then her green eyes were rolling up into the back of her head, and she was tumbling towards the ground a mili-second later.
"Whoa!" Faith stepped up quickly and caught her limp body right before she hit the pavement. "B?" She sunk to her knees, holding the blonde up at an angle.
"That's interesting." Giles mused, then checked her pulse. "Her pulse is strong and she doesn't appear to be in any remote pain. I assume she is just overwhelmed by everything that has taken place."
Dawn worried her bottom lip. "Shouldn't we try to wake her? I-I mean to make sure she is okay and stuff?"
"Too bad you don't have any like smelling salts!" Andrew shouted as he strolled over. "Cause those work perfect when someone has the vapors. Like I was watching this old movie where the southern bell passed out after the handsome soldier cut the strings to her corset. It was awesome."
The Boston native lifted a brow, but decided not to engage him in conversation. That would only lead to badness. "Yo why not just use some of those wild onions over there? It's all we got at the moment anyway."
Nodding, the former Key hurried over to the side of the road and plucked up a few, thrusting them into the brunette's free hand. She made a fist and crushed them together until the powerful odor arose up for all to smell. She then waved them back and forth under the unconscious female's nose. It was a funny situation if you honestly thought about it. The girl who defeated the ultimate evil swooning like a virgin on her prom night.
A low moan sounded and Buffy's brows frowned deeply. She blinked a moment later, the fuzzy images drifting away to morph into the faces of the people she loved. "What happened? Why am I on the ground? Did Faith hit me?"
Everyone gave a relieved chuckle. The librarian without a library removed his glasses to clean them. "You fainted. Are you alright?"
She sat up slowly and didn't protest when the dark haired girl helped her. "Sorry if I scared you guys. I got hot and then down I went. Guess everythin' is kinda puttin' me on overload." A beat. "We should be moving on or something. Get the wounded to the hospital and find a place to stay for the night."
"I'll go get the girls back on the bus." The Wicca related, glancing off to where her girlfriend stood. "Where exactly are we going?"
"Wherever the road leads." The Californian smiled, then took a deep breath. Everyone headed off to cart the newly empowered Slayers back onto big yellow, except for Faith. Wetting her lips, she tried to stand and was a little happy when she was offered assistance. "Thanks."
"No prob." The brunette voiced, her arm around a petite waist. "How's the stab wound?" Without much conscious thought, she lifted the flowy top and peered at the angry gash. It was healing fast, as in she couldn't see all the way through which was good. Still a stitch or two wouldn't be a bad idea. "Eh it's too deep to bleed anymore but you might need stitches."
"Meh! I hate needles!" Whined the golden blonde. "Can't we just slap a bandaid on it and call it a day?"
Faith chucked in her husky way. "We could try that first if ya want. C'mon." Leading her to the bus, they were the last to board.
Robin had been placed in the front seat and was currently fine; Vi had managed to stop his bleeding. Rona sat with her head resting to the chair in front of her, listening to the conversation of the two girls around her. Willow and the dark haired Kennedy were snuggled up behind Xander and Andrew, who were talking about Godzilla. Dawn flopped down in a seat to herself and just stared out of the window, while Giles got behind the wheel. He started up and they were off, heading towards the unknown for the first time in their lives.
She didn't remember falling asleep but she must have because she was now waking up. Yawning rather widely, Buffy rubbed at her itching eyes and glanced around. It was nighttime and the vehicle was still roaring on, passing nothing but open fields and trees. For the most part it was quiet, though she could detect a few whispering voices. Giles was singing to himself up at the front, probably to keep from falling asleep. All of her other friends were carefully tucked away, left to their own thoughts and their own grief.
Shifting, she blinked and noticed the warm form behind her for the first time. It was undeniably female and quite ample, which could only mean one person. Faith. Craning her neck, she found that her assessment was correct. They were at the very back of the bus, hidden away in one of the biggest set of chairs. The brunette was indeed curled up behind her, her back pressed to the window and her left leg bent up in the seat. Her left arm was up by her head, which was rolled off to the side, her long silky waves covering some of her face. Her right arm hung loosely beside her right leg.
And in the midst of those powerful thighs was Buffy. Using that impressive cleavage as a pillow and napping very soundly. Her first reaction was to jump to high heaven and apologize, but noting that the Bostonian was knocked out she figured there was no need. Besides it felt kind of nice to be wrapped up and safe for a change. Carefree in a way. So, she laid her head back down softly and sighed.
Her mind began to drift once again, to past mistakes and redemptions. She could hardly believe that the end had came and went. That they had won. It still appeared out of joint, considering their seemed to be an apocalypse every year for some reason. It was probably the Hellmouth...and now that was closed. Spike and his soul had closed something which had taken thousands of years develop. He was the true hero. Him and all of those poor girls that were lost.
Feeling her eyes tear up, she pushed those thoughts away and played with the fringe on her shirt. Instead she focused on the fact that she was free. The burden of being a Slayer was not just hers to bear anymore. There would of course be repercussions to the spell that Willow performed, but they'd deal. It's what they always did after all.
"Buffy?" Faith whispered. "You sleep?"
She was tempted to lie, but didn't. "No. Did I wake you?"
"Nah. But you're snorin' did."
"I do not snore!"
A snicker. "Aight so you don't snore." A beat. "Trippy huh? The Dale being nothin' more than a deflated ant hill and us cruisin' to anywhere."
"Yeah." The other girl said softly. "Faith? What are you going to do now? I mean...now that things are different."
"Dunno. Never really thought I'd have the option to be anythin' other than a screw up. Tell ya one thing I ain't doin' which is turnin' myself in." She yawned loudly. "G said there is a Hellmouth in Cleveland. Maybe I should go there. What cha think?"
Buffy hunched her shoulders, trying to be nonchalant. Fact was she wasn't sure what she thought just yet. "Why don't you um, hang out with us for a while. I doubt anyone is all yeah, let's jump back into the fight this soon. Besides we have a lot of lost time to make up for. As friends...and stuff."
"Sounds five by five." Using her trademark comeback, the brunette looked out at the night sky. "After you dozed off I heard Giles on that radio thingy; Angel has got some rooms waitin' for us when we get into the city at some hotel. After we swing by the ER."
"Since when did he get enough money to get everyone a room?"
"Not sure. Said he'd explain face to face."
Nodding, the first Slayer shifted again and let her body relax completely. It should have felt odd to be snuggle buddies with her once enemy but it didn't. Perhaps after all they had been through and looking out for each other the past few days, there was no room for animosity. Whatever the reason, it felt nice to be comfortable around the convict now.
"And...that other thing?"
"Heh, what do you think, B?"
"I think I should get up before you molest me." The blonde teased, not moving. "I mean I am kind of weak in a way. Don't want you takin' advantage of me."
Pulling out her ciggies and lighting one up, she blew the smoke towards the open window. "I think I can control myself. Just don't go grindin' to me like you were doin' in ya sleep ten minutes ago or I might snap. Shag ya on the floor or somethin'."
Buffy couldn't help but giggle, not to mention it beat crying. "Shag. Learn that word in jail?"
"Yup. Learned alot of other things in there too." A pause. "Anytime ya need a license plate made just let me know."
"Yeah yeah." She closed her eyes. "Shh. Sleepy. Vampires, bad. Tree, pretty."
Faith glanced down to her but said nothing. Truth was she was a bit freaked that the blonde was going to tell her to hit the bricks at any moment. She'd did her duty with saving the world and now wasn't needed anymore. However, knowing that if she hung around it would be okay did make her feel better. She had no place to go if she left, and honestly she didn't want to leave just yet. There was a lot she had to make up for, a lot of sorries that needed to be said. And now that she and Buffy were on the same wavelength, perhaps she could come to get that thing The First/Mayor had mentioned.
And if not? Well, being apart of the gang for real this time was good too.