Disclaimer: Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy, Inc. Own these characters. Blame me for the story, however.

Author's note: Thanks for your patience, thanks for reading. I hope the ending will live up to your expectations. If not, rotten tomatoes will be passed out after.

" This is the stuff dreams are made of"

Rated R for language, and sexual content

Goodbye: Chapter 4

Faith, Hope and Redemption

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A year later now.

Been back in prison now nearly a year. With some help from Angel, only got 18 months added to my sentence for my little 'escapade'. So, maybe if I am real good girl, I will be out in …what? 10 years. Yeah…that'll happen.

Seems like the council still has a thing against me. I get little love notes via other prisoners attacking me on a monthly basis to remind me that they care. So far, pretty lame attempts, but still keepin' my guard up. Never know when they'll send in a professional.

Get a visit almost weekly from Angel. He has been a rock. I don't know how I would cope if I didn't have someone I could talk to about all this. Seems we have more in common now. I suggested we start a support group: " People who hopelessly love Buffy Summers". Might catch on, who knows?

He brings me books. I mean besides the crap they serve up in that joke they call the prison library. Philosophy, history, literature. Never had much time before for books. Ya know me, Ms. Party Girl. Who wants to spend time reading Nietzsche,  eh? By the way…strange dude, that one. Some are interesting, some are dull as paint, some …ya go " Pffft...sure, right". Still… passes the time, gets ya thinkin' a bit.

He also keeps me updated on B. He doesn't have to, but I am glad he does. Seems she's coming around. Still lots of issues to work out, but she's more like herself… That is a good thing. Makes it almost worth being here. Almost.

I still have a picture of her. One of those cheap photo booth pics.  You know the ones. Strip of 3 for like 2 bucks. I kept the strip. Hid it. Getting kinda worn down now. Take it out every day. Look at it. Kiss it. Dream about her….damn, can't stop dreaming about her.

Does it ever get better? Does it ever get easier? When do I get to stop missing her so damned much? God, she still gets me. Even when I shove her outta my life, she still worms back in. Damn, damn, double damn. I miss her. All the time, I miss her. I miss being with her. I miss touching her…her touching me. I miss seeing that spark in her eye when she looks at me. I miss kissing her, God how I miss her lips on mine. I miss how after we made love, she would put her head on my shoulder, and look at me. Look like she could see me, the real me. I miss her tongue. God, what she could do with her tongue would make a demon blush. I miss the way she smells. Like vanilla. She gave me a real taste for vanilla. Angel brought me a vanilla sachet to….well… have something that smelled a bit like her. He said after they broke up, he kept one to help him. Ya know, if he weren't so dead, I could almost love that guy.

I miss most the way she used to say " I love you" she would stand real close, so I could feel her, and whisper it into my ear. God, It would make me shiver every time she did it. Sigh. Well, except in my head, I won't be hearing that anymore. Ahhh, B. Why was I so STUPID? I know somehow, I coulda stopped you, shoulda stopped you. None of this woulda happened if I had used my head, instead of my hormones. I might still have some small part in your life, if not for being stupid. Stupid, Stupid, STUPID!!!!!

Get a grip Faith. No regrets. She is getting better, and I am getting better. Maybe I can get outta this dump someday. Maybe by then, she will not be so angry with me. Maybe we can meet…somewhere, on neutral ground, and talk. Just talk. Try to understand each other. Begin again. Somehow. Yeah…that'll happen, when they start giving free passes to heaven.

" LIGHTS OUT  5 MINUTES"

Well, B… at least for a little while, you loved me. You saw me. They were the sweetest moments of my life. I had my little bit of heaven. Makes dealing with my hell a little easier(kissing the picture) G'night baby. Sweet dreams.

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December 6th … Had a visitor today. Should say, she came to visit. I wouldn't see her. B. Probably here to gloat. I guess she has that right. But I can't handle it. Refused to see her.

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December 7th … She came again. B. What? What is with her? Doesn't no exist in her world? Damn, B. please go torture someone else. Refused to see her

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December 8th …. Back again! Said no. Go away, leave me alone. Refused to see her

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December 9th …. What is her PROBLEM? Can't she take a hint. I don't want to see you, B. Go away. Go kill a vampire or something. Refused to see her, again!

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December 10th … OK, fuck her. Fine, I will see her. Great. Go ahead, gloat. Get it over with.

 I am in the visitor area. We are separated by a glass partition. Phones on each side. I am sitting in my seat, sweating bullets. What's she gonna say? What am I gonna say? Play it cool , Faith. Don't get weird. Just let her have her rant, and then it is over. She can go back to her life, and I can go back to my hell.

As I wait there, I think about our time together. Sorry, can't help it. Maybe it will help get through this. Don't know.

And I see her walking up. She has changed. Her hair is longer again. Her face looks a bit fuller, and .. .softer. She is wearing color again, instead of all black. Good, B. That shade of blue looks nice on you . Her makeup is demur and restrained. She is dressed conservatively. It works for you , B ( shit, she could be wearing a sack and it would work for her).

She sits down at the partition, and places her hand on the shelve in front of her. She says nothing, does nothing. She just stares at me

Her face has no expression. Her eyes are neutral.

God, she is doing a stare contest, and winning. I am getting freaked. I pick up the phone. She picks it up on her side.

" Ok, B. I am here. What do you want?"

" Hello, Faith" Her tone is cool, neutral

" Well? What do you want? If you want to gloat, go for it. I will listen. I am not going anywhere" I gesture around

" I'm not here to gloat, Faith."

" Then what is it B? What, you a masochist? Need a bit of abuse? Happy to oblige you"

Damn. Why don't you just say what you want to say, and go?

" Why?"

" Why what, B? Why does the earth spin? Why is the air blue? Why do vamps like blood?  You came to the wrong girl for those questions"

" Why'd you do it?"

" You know why. What? Have amnesia? Thought I made it clear that morning in the motel. Money. To humiliate you. To take you down a few notches"

And suddenly, your calm exterior cracks. Your face turns gets flushed. Your eyes are …fiery

" Stop it Faith. Just stop it. I want the truth. Why? Why'd you do it?"

" Gee, B. What, did whatever treatment you got make you deaf? I just told you…" But you cut me off

" GODDAMMIT FAITH. FOR ONCE. THE TRUTH"

"Fine. Whatta ya want to hear? Some little fairy tale? Fine. Here's your fairytale.

" Once upon a time, A slayer died saving the world. But, her friends, always at the ready, brought her back. But they goofed. They got it wrong. Instead of saving her from a hell dimension, they brought her back from heaven. Woe is me, the little slayer couldn't handle it, and was all broken inside. So she wandered around, acting dead."

" One day, the Evil Rogue slayer showed up at her grave. But strangely, not to gloat. She poured her heart out to the grave, telling our heroine, who she thought was still dead, how she felt about her. How she really felt. And lo and behold, the heroine happened to be in the graveyard about that time. And she told the Evil Rogue slayer her story, and how she loved the Evil Rogue slayer too. And how she hated her life. So, they ran away together, to live happily ever after… NOT."

" Seems  somewhere along the line, the rogue slayer fell madly crazy completely in love with our little slayer. She was nuts about her. And the rogue slayer saw that the little slayer, instead of getting better, was getting worse. So, the rogue slayer betrayed the little slayer to her friends. Why, you ask? Because the evil rogue slayer knew that the little slayer would be lost forever unless she realized that whatever she had lost in heaven , she had friends who loved her, friends who cared for her here on earth. And so, the little slayer was brought back home , and her friends loved her, of course, and she lived happily ever after."

"But  what happened to the evil rogue slayer, you ask? Why, she is in the hell of her own making, just as she deserves. So remember boys and girls, Never be stupid and fall in love, because it is only hell to pay when the debt comes due. The end"

" Now, B. Will you leave me in peace. Please?"

And you look at me, and … goddamn you , you are crying. Stop it B, I didn't mean to make you cry . Stop it

" Cut the act B. It's only a fairy tale"

You bite you lip , and get a grip on yourself. But your voice is still quavery when you ask:

" Do you love me? Did you ever really love me?"  Oh god, B. Not much. Only with my whole fucking soul.

" No, B. I never loved you" Liar, liar, fucking stupid liar.

" Truth, Faith. Give me the truth. Never, not even a little?" Your eyes are pleading with me. Stop it damn it B, STOP HURTING ME!!!

"FINE. I LOVED YOU. I ALWAYS LOVED YOU. I AM CRAZY MAD INSANE IN LOVE WITH YOU!"

" Happy NOW B? Happy to see me tortured? Happy to know I can never have you again? I  have to live this miserable life without you forever? Is that what makes you happy. Fine, be happy . Be so fucking happy I can't stand it"   and shit, now she has me crying too

DAMN YOU TO HELL B, DAMN YOU TO HELL. I jump up. This is so over. I slam down the phone and turn to leave, but you are knocking on the glass.

I see you mouth over  and over " I love you too, I love you too don't leave I love you too"

I sit back down, stunned. I pick up the receiver.

" What?"

" I love you too, Faith. I never stopped loving you. I am not as dumb as you think I am Faith. I was fooled by your act that day. And for a day or two longer. But I figured it out. And I tortured Giles until he admitted the truth. That you had set the whole thing up, to save me. I knew you couldn't  mean what you said to me. Not after  being with you. Not after the way you treated me. Not after you made such sweet love to me so often. No matter what you said that day,  I  knew it wasn't fake. But I had to hear it Faith. Had to hear it from your lips."

I sit there, stunned. I …don't know what to say. But I know  I have  hope. Hope that someday we can be together, start again.

I am getting all blubbery now, but I don't give a fuck. I just sit there and cry, because I am so happy. I finally have something to look forward to when this hell of mine is over.

And then, you do something so totally unexpected, I am just floored

" There's more Faith"

" What?"

You push a letter through the slot in the glass. I take it, and read it:

From: The Governor's Office, State of California

Date: December 1, 2002

Subject: Your petition of Pardon for one prisoner 776857-555  aka  by the single name of  Faith

Dear Ms. Summers:

After careful consideration of the facts of the case, and after your heartfelt testimony in behalf of the above mentioned prisoner, and due to the additional testimony of  one  Rupert Giles, and  Ms. Willow Rosenberg, the governor is inclined to grant your petition conditionally.

Said prisoner will be granted conditional pardon on January 3rd ,2003 subject to the following conditions:

1) Said prisoner will be on  probation for the term of  five (5) years from the date of release.

2) Said prisoner will, upon service of said probation will be granted full pardon

3) Said prisoner will be released into your custody, and into the custody of aforementioned Mr. Rupert Giles. You will be responsible for her conduct, and to see she meets the requirements of this pardon

I must say, Ms. Summers, I was particularly impressed with your passionate plea in defense of  said prisoner's actions, and for detailing the mitigating circumstances. My congratulations on your successful petition

Respectfully,

Robert Jamison, Chair, Board of Parole

I sit, stunned. Redemption. My hell is nearly over… I look up, and see your eyes shining with tears

I can only ask

" Why B? Why?"

"'Cause, that's what you do for someone you love. You save them"

Fin

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Ok, now my story  is complete. I know…I can't resist a happy ending . Sue me.