Faith and Second Chances: Broken Faith

author: Lucinda

rating: pg13

main characters: Buffy, Riley

disclaimer: I do not own any charactrs from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

distribution: TNL, Wic, Paula, Cat - anyone else ask first.

set in season 4, just after the body-switching has been reversed.

He felt like his whole life had been turned upside down all over again. First, he'd felt like his whole life had been a lie when he'd discovered that yes, demons and vampires were real, and he would be helping hunt them. Things had gone twisted again when he learned that the Slayer was real, and he was dating her. Now? Faith, the other Slayer, had somehow switched bodies with Buffy. It hadn't been his girlfriend that he'd held last night, that he'd tried to sooth from whatever inner nightmares haunted her, it had been Faith, in Buffy's body.

About next, someone would probably tell him there really was a tooth fairy.

On second thought... the way things tended to go in this place, he didn't want to see what they'd do to the Tooth Fairy. Probably some sort of nasty little thing that crept in and fed on emotions or dreams... stole the breath out of sleeping children... Something disgusting and terrible.

Buffy was sitting in his room. On the chair, her arms folded across her chest, glaring at him. Riley blinked, trying to figure out exactly why she looked so furious. He'd tried to learn how to read people, to understand their moods and behavior. Right now, that practice was saying that she was furious, and someone was in deep trouble. Probably him.

"Hey. What's wrong?" He smiled, hoping that he could get out of this with no broken bones. He still remembered that sparring session they'd had...

She stood up, moving towards him in an angry motion that was almost stomping, but far too quiet. Her eyes were cold, angry, not the loving eyes of the girl he'd held close. "How could you do that? How could you... with HER?"

"Buffy... I.... I thought... I thought she was you." Riley felt at a loss. His girlfriend was accusing him of cheating on her, because he'd... they had... except that it hadn't been Buffy after a rough day, it had been Faith.

"WHAT?! You thought she was me? How could you not notice? How could you not know that something wasn't right?" She looked just about mad enough to spit nails, to borrow one of his grandfather's favorite expressions.

Riley know in that moment that things would never be the same between himself and Buffy. "I knew something wasn't right, but I thought... I thought you'd just had a rough day."

"A rough day? My God, Riley. A rough day is a bad test, a broken nail, maybe car troubles. She stole my body! She took over my life! That is not a bad day." Buffy's eyes were bright with fury, and was that... a tear trickled out of the corner of her eyes, making her lashes a spikey shimmer. She wiped it away with an angry motion.

"Buffy..." He reached towards her, wanting to offer apologies, sympathy, whatever it took to make her see that he hadn't meant to hurt her.

She swatted his hand away with enough force that it almost made him loose his balance, his hand tingling and almost numb. "NO! No more words, no more anything. Don't touch me. Just... don't."

"I'm sorry." He felt like he was standing in a house of cards that was toppling slowly all around him.

She just glared at him, stalking across the room, exiting in a huff, slamming the door behind her. A picture fell from the wall, the glass cracking as it hit the floor, and the plastic cup that he kept by his bed in case he was thirsty in the night toppled, water splashing over the floor.

"Well, that didn't go very well." He knew that that had been a break up scene. He just felt lucky that he didn't have any broken bones. Just a bruised heart. He had expected bad, but not quite that bad.

end Broken Faith.