She Who Was My Love Chapter 1
Aftermath in flashback
Author's Notes: New year, new stories. I was looking for something to write over the holidays and I couldn't let this go. So here it is. I hope you like it.
"So what do we do?"
Well that's the question isn't it?
"There isn't much we can do Joyce."
I honestly don't know what we can do. It's been three months since it all happened and I still don't know what to do. At first she seemed okay, well as okay as anyone could be if they'd lost the love if their life. She made it through the funeral without breaking down, clutching to Joyce for dear life.
Dressed in an all black suit, tear stained cheeks never letting up as Buffy's casket was lowered into the ground. I shed my share of tears that day as the best friend I've ever had was put to rest. But when it was all said and done and I cried until I couldn't cry anymore, all I could think about was Faith and how she was hurting.
Afterwards she seemed okay. She came to the Scooby meetings and talked about whatever big evil decided to set up shop since Omega bit the big one. She even invited Spike to the meetings cause of how he'd helped out during the big fight. And then she'd go out and slay, she even asked me and the gang along sometimes, when she was sure we wouldn't get hurt. She was unstoppable, she was like this force of nature tearing through anything and everything that could hurt people but leaving the harmless demons alone. She said Buffy never would've hurt them so neither would she.
But any evil demon was dead the second it stepped through the city limits, and given the power Faith has at her fingertips I'm not surprised how dead they got. I managed to hack into the hospital records, whose halls were now Omega free thanks to Faith, and we found out that what Omega had done to her was the reason she was able to kill him. The drugs that were supposed to give her the power to kill Buffy were actually dependent on the spell focusing that power toward Buffy.
But with the spell broken through their love, Faith's slayer healing simply absorbed the drugs into her system, making her stronger than any slayer before her... even Buffy. But things were not all systems go in the slayerverse. The demon population may have become a staggering minority in Sunnydale. They had gone down by 75%... I had the numbers done. There was one place Faith wouldn't go.
One place she avoided at all costs, and the last quarter of the evil demon population had decided to set up shop there because of it. But that is by no means the worst of it. The worst of it was that Mrs. Summers told us that Faith had all but stopped sleeping. Faith moved into the Summers home a couple weeks after the funeral at Buffy's mother's request. I think Joyce, she asked me to call her Joyce after everything we've been through, I think Joyce just believed that it's what Buffy would've wanted.
We've never really talked about it, it just doesn't seem important. But Faith's lack of sleep was important, she couldn't function like that. Joyce told us that Faith, for whatever reason, had all but stopped sleeping. And when she did sleep it was never for a full 8 hours. Joyce said the longest she'd seen her sleep since it became erratic was 3 hours. The reason Joyce noticed this was because when Faith woke up she would wake Joyce up with the sounds of her leaving to go slaying.
The most disturbing part though, was there was too much food in the kitchen. I know from experience with Buffy that after patrolling slayers can get really hungry, but if Faith was eating she wasn't eating at home. Something had to be done. But the second we brought up the subject she bolted like there was no tomorrow. All of the sudden it wasn't safe for us to go patrolling with her any more. She stopped coming to the Scooby meetings, she just spent all her time patrolling for something to slay.
We couldn't get near her. She wouldn't stay still long enough to say two words to us. But we kept trying, and every time we caught a glimpse of her she looked more and more tired. But she never let up. We even went so far as to call Angel to see if he could help. He came down for the funeral and spent some time with her. He said she was grieving and that she cried a lot when he talked about how incredible Buffy was. But he said that she'd be okay eventually. I guess she was hiding what she was feeling behind her grief.
This time when he came down he had to track her down, and he said it was a lot harder then he thought. But when he caught up with her he managed to have a conversation longer than 30 seconds. She was dodgy at first he said, asking about Cordy and Wesley and how he likes living at a hotel and all that. It wasn't until he finally ran out of things to talk about that Angel finally brought up what I told him about Faith. And then she got dodgy again. He said she tried to talk about something else, anything else, but he kept pushing.
He told me that it was only after she tried to kill him that he finally let up. And then she bolted... again. But before she left she told Angel one thing, I remember it as if I had heard the words come from her myself.
'I promised Buffy I'd keep her friends safe. And I'm gonna keep that promise, even if it kills me.'
And then she was gone. Angel said if he had pushed her any further she probably would've killed him. He tried to track her down again but he never even came close, so he left her alone. He came back to Giles' and told us what happened. I couldn't believe it, we had to do something. She couldn't keep going like that. It wasn't what Buffy would've wanted.
And then it hit me. We have to make her face it. She has to face the one thing she doesn't want to face. And to do that we had to make her go the one place she didn't want to go... to the one graveyard she never visits. We had to get her to visit Buffy's grave. But it wouldn't be easy. Even in Faith's weakened state, she was still able to get the best of Angel. So we made a plan.
We needed to keep her distracted. If we kept her distracted until it was too late then we might have a chance. So we got a hold of Spike, and he was all too happy to help. Spike and Faith had sorta become friends since Buffy's death, before she became reclusive girl. They didn't really like each other, that much was obvious, but they were both loners by nature, and that made them friends I guess.
Spike didn't talk about the past. And Faith had no intention of talking about anything but the here and now, which worked out well for the both of them. It would always come up with the gang and I, no matter what we talked about, the subject of Buffy would come up. We learned pretty quickly that Faith's true love, and our best friend, was not to be discussed in Faith's presence. So instead we would just sorta stop talking when the subject came up until one of us could bring up another topic.
But that apparently didn't happen with Spike. It was all on our minds that night though, even if we never said it. We tried to keep our thoughts on other things, which got easier when we caught up with her a few blocks from our intended destination and actually talked about those other things. If Faith had been more alert she might've seen what we were doing. But as she was, we were enough of a distraction to keep her from seeing. It wasn't until she recognized one of the crypts we were headed for that she started to go nuts, and that was when they grabbed her.
Spike and Angel grabbed her and she started asking what was going on. So we dragged her, kicking and screaming at us not to make her do this, toward the one thing she'd avoided for 2 and a half months. It took us 20 minutes just to get her to look at Buffy's grave but she did. She looked at Buffy's grave and broke down. She fell on all fours and cried. She crawled over her lover's grave and just collapsed on top of it, her tears soaking the soil. She lay there and cried every last tear she had in her, clawing at the ground in an attempt to get closer to her.
Faith cried so hard she passed out from exhaustion. She wasn't hurt in any physical sense of the word, but after almost 2 weeks of getting less than 3 hours sleep a night and the emotional shock of what had happened she just couldn't take it anymore and passed out. So we made sure she wasn't in any danger of physical damage and then Spike picked her sleeping form up and carried her home. One of us stayed with her at all times while she slept for a day and a half straight.
I was on watch when she woke up. She slowly opened her eyes and sat up. I was surprised to see her wake up. We all figured she'd sleep longer. But she sat up and took a look around the familiar bedroom. I asked if she was okay and she didn't respond right away. She just closed her eyes and let out a deep sigh.
'Get out...' was all she said.
But I was so determined to help I asked again, this time asking if I could get her anything too. She didn't say a thing she didn't even look at me. It wasn't until I tried to ask again that she told me to get out a second time. So I did.
That pretty much brings us to this moment. Faith has spent the last two weeks up there in her... in their room locked away from the world refusing to let us even open the door while she's conscious. It's only when she falls asleep that we can get in to check on her. She seems to sleep pretty peacefully most nights, not sure where to put that one exactly but at least she's sleeping. That's a good thing... isn't it?
She has the occasional bad night where she doesn't sleep so well. But at least she's eating the food we leave her. That's why I'm here tonight though. The last two nights have been rough nights and the last meal was left uneaten. Things could get rough again, and we have no idea what to do.
"Faith loved Buffy... Faith still loves Buffy, totally and completely. There wasn't anyone Faith loved or trusted more. But it was more than that for them, their love was foretold. At least we think it was. Giles says the Book of Karameth doesn't mention them by name, but it talks of two forces of good with darkness inside and that's what a slayer is. A slayer is a force of good but their power comes from a dark place. And there never was more than one slayer at a time until Buffy came along. How many people can say their love was foretold? I don't know any. Their love brought them together in ways most of us can only dream about. For Faith to lose Buffy the way she did, well... I can't imagine the hell she's going through."
Joyce looks down at the coffee in her mug she brewed not 10 minutes ago in her kitchen down the hall.
"So what do we do?"
"I don't know Joyce, I just don't know."
I do know, at least I think I do. I just don't know if I can admit it to her just yet.
End of Chapter 1