Disclaimer: I own nothing…

Summary: Set about three years after the 'Angel' finale. Buffy finally finds out that Spike is alive, but can't handle the fact that he kept it from her, so she runs. Both do their best to move on, but they find that it's not as easy as it seems…

Rating: R

Author's Notes: Wow… It's been over a year since I've updated… Sorry about that. College has been keeping me busy, not to mention all the computer problems I've been having… Anyway, hope you enjoy this chapter… There are only a couple more left, I think, and hopefully I'll have a little extra time on my hands to work on it this semester, though I can't make any promises.

Distribution: If ya want it, take it, just give me credit… And, if ya could, let me know where it's going.

Chapter 4: Siberia

"How's she doing?" Dawn's words were quiet, almost whispered as she sat across from Faith, sipping the cup of hot chocolate that sat in front of her on the table.

Faith sighed heavily, her eyes swooping down to stare at her fidgeting hands. "She hates herself for letting him go; she hates herself for hurting me…" She paused for a moment, running her hands through her long, dark hair before raising her eyes to Dawn's. "She just hates herself…"

"It'll all work out okay, Faith." When Dawn reached over to squeeze Faith's hand lightly in reassurance, she saw the older girl's eyes swell with tears… A sight she was in no way accustomed to.

"You don't know that!" Faith snapped, before hanging her head once more. "Dawn, she won't touch me… Won't come near me. She'll barely even look at me, for God's sake! How am I supposed to get through to her if she doesn't want anything to do with me?"

When Dawn saw the way the older girl's face crumbled, her heart broke. Faith had been the best thing to ever happen to Buffy, and now… Now Buffy didn't want to have anything to do with her? Not to mention how much Buffy had done for the rogue Slayer. And now, here was Faith willing to do anything in her power to make their relationship work, and all Buffy was doing was pushing her away…

"I'll talk to her." Dawn told Faith gently, as she squeezed her hand once more in reassurance, before getting up and moving to Buffy's door.

The room was dark, brightened only by the soft moonlight which filtered through the window… And there sat Buffy, at the window, staring blankly out into the night. Dawn knew her sister had felt, if not heard her, enter the room, so instead of saying anything, she just stood there after shutting the door quietly behind her, waiting for her sister to speak…

"I'm not trying to hurt her, you know." Buffy said quietly, her eyes moving from the night sky to her hands. "I just feel so guilty for what I did to her, that I'm keeping her at arms length… Because I'm afraid I'll hurt her again… And don't want to do that. I love her… But I've seen what love can do to people. And I've seen it fail. And if I'm with her… I mean really with her, again… I'm terrified that I'll break her heart. And I don't want to do that, because I love her, and I know what it feels like to have your heart broken…"

"What is love, if not pain?" Dawn asked quietly, watching Buffy closely as the older girl let out a resentful laugh. "Buffy, it's the pain that makes it real… You made a mistake, yes, but it's not too late to fix it. Faith loves you, and she has completely forgiven you… So why do you keep pushing her away?"

"You think I haven't tried to make everything go back to the way it was!" Buffy exclaimed, turning her angry, pain filled eyes on her sister. "You think I want this! Newsflash, I don't! But what happens if Spike comes back! What happens if I see him again! I cheated with him once… Who's to say I won't do it again?"

"That's a load of crap, and you know it." Dawn told her callously, crossing her arms over her chest and staring down her stubborn sister. "You're just being selfish! Again! You can't have Spike because he doesn't want you anymore, because you left him, and you think that gives you the right to be miserable and make everyone else miserable, too! Well guess what, Buffy – I'm sick of it! This isn't just about you! It affects Faith, too! If you don't want to be with her anymore, then tell her, damnit! Don't keep stringing her along like this, because she deserves better than that! I am sick and tired of you treating the entire world like crap because you screwed up when you dumped Spike! Now get off your ass and make things better like the rest of us, because I am through feeling sorry for you!" And with that, Dawn turned and stormed from the room, slamming the door behind her… And it was only a moment more before Buffy heard the front door slamming shut as well.

And it was then that the tears began flowing once more…

She knew Dawn was right. Dawn was always right… And Dawn wasn't afraid to tell her exactly what she thought about Buffy's actions… Which was probably the reason that, more times than not, Dawn was the only one who could get through to her. She knew she had to do something… Had to fix her life, one way or another… But she was terrified. What if she did nothing more than screw it all up again?

As Buffy stood in the doorway to the kitchen, her heart broke. There was Faith, sitting at the table, her head hung in her hands, and tears streaking down her cheeks. Faith had never been a crier. Not since day one… She covered pain with anger. It was what the younger Slayer had always done. Tears had never been an option for Faith… Not where love was concerned, anyway… And yet, here she was.

"Faith?" Her voice was gentle as she slowly moved toward the younger woman, taking a seat across from her. She watched as Faith wiped desperately at the tears she had shed, obviously making an attempt at hiding her pain. Buffy could almost see the walls go up as soon as Faith saw her standing there. And suddenly, the tears were gone, and there was nothing more than a cold glare. "I'm sorry…" Buffy murmured softly, her eyes locking with Faith's.

"Yeah." Faith's voice was bitter, as she tried to fight the tears that threatened to spill once more. "Well, guess what, B, sorry's not enough this time."

Buffy hung her head then, blinking away the tears that stung her eyes. "I love you, Faith." Her eyes rose once more to meet with her lover's, all the hurt she had tried to keep bottled inside clearly visible there. "I'm trying to tell you that I love you, and I'm sorry, and I want to make this all right. Faith, I want everything to go back to the way it was."

"For how long, Buffy?" The cold seriousness of her tone nearly broke Buffy's heart. "Until I try to touch you? Until he comes back again? For how long!"

When she reached for Faith's hand and the younger girl jerked away, Buffy's heart froze. How could they possibly get through this? It just didn't feel like it was going to work… "I think I should go see him again." Buffy stated calmly, her eyes wandering to her hands. "Just talk… Maybe try to sort some things out… I mean, I know he didn't mean it the way I took it or anything, but when I left there I felt like my heart had been completely ripped from my chest… And I think maybe if I saw him, and we talked, then maybe it would all go away… All this hurt… And then you and I would finally be okay again, and we could get on with our lives… Just you and me…"

For a moment, Faith was silent, and Buffy actually thought that she was considering it… Until, Faith looked her in the eye, barely constrained anger burning behind her gaze. "You go, and I'm gone."

The seriousness behind that statement terrified Buffy… But the fact was, she couldn't make things right in her life until she knew what Spike felt. She loved him. She had for a long time, and there was no way she could move on with her life until she knew that there was absolutely no chance for the two of them. Because, no matter how much she loved Faith, she knew in her heart that Spike was her soul mate. And that wasn't something she could just walk away from without a fight.

When Faith felt Buffy take her hand once more, she knew that the answer was not what she had been hoping for. And in her heart, she knew that she and the older Slayer simply weren't meant to be… Because Buffy's heart belonged to only one… And that was Spike. It always had been, and it always would be… And still, when she heard Buffy's whispered words, her heart broke all over again…

"I have to go…"

Gently, Sam ran her fingers over the cover of the photo album that she had just snapped shut, trying her best to keep her tears at bay. She felt like such a fool. She had given him her love and her trust, and for what? To have her heart torn out because he couldn't get over the woman she had always known he loved more than her. It was her own fault, and she knew it. It had been stupid of her to get involved with a man who was still holding on to his former love… And yet, she had done it. Willingly. Because he was charming and attractive, and amazing with her children… Because he was everything she had ever wanted, and the only man she'd had any interest in since she had lost her husband. But, clearly, she shouldn't have let him into her life or her heart…

"You're not gonna throw them all away, are you?"

Sam smiled at the tiny voice her eldest was using. She hadn't heard Krystal so quiet in a long time. "I was thinking about it, yeah." Sam answered with a sad smile, as she turned her eyes to her daughter. "Why?"

"I just don't think you should." Krystal's voice remained quiet as she glanced down at her feet, crossing her arms over her chest defensively, a tear she was clearly trying to hide escaping to slip smoothly down her cheek.

"Krys, sweetie, what's wrong?" Sam asked gently, patting the bed beside her in invitation to her daughter, who accepted gratefully and took a seat next to her mother. "I thought you hated him?"

"I lied…?" The statement came out sounding almost like a question, and Sam looked at her daughter curiously, waiting for her to continue. "I hated the fact that I liked him… If that makes any sense at all. It was like, dad had just died, and all of a sudden there was this new guy in our lives, and I actually liked him… But I didn't feel like I should, ya know? It felt like I was betraying dad… But I liked him a lot. I mean, when I got in trouble, he would help me, and when I just needed someone to sit there and listen while I'd rant, he would… He was a really good guy…"

"Yeah… A really good guy, who cheated on me…" The pain in her voice was obvious as she fought away the tears that had been threatening all day.

"But didn't you tell him that it was over until he figured things out with Buffy?"

"You knew her name."

It wasn't really a question, and her mother really didn't seem particularly surprised, but Krystal felt guilty nonetheless. "He used to talk about her a lot. To me. He said she saved the world… I didn't really know what he was talking about most of the time, but it just seemed like he needed someone to listen. It was like he knew he could never be with her, but it just didn't matter, because he loved her so much that as long as he knew she was okay, he would be, too, ya know? And I never had the heart to be angry with him for that, because she's the one who left him, and I know I would kill for a man who was that devoted to me… And I know you deserve better than a man who's stuck in the past, but I liked him…

And he's all Aiden and Alana have ever known, and he's a great dad… So I really didn't know what to do."

"It's not your fault, sweetie." Sam told her gently, as she put a reassuring arm around her daughter. "I'm not blaming you for anything. I understand how you felt… And you're right, I am the one who told him to figure it out… I just never thought he'd actually pick her over me… I pretty much set myself up for failure here…"

"But maybe you didn't." Krystal told her quietly.

"What are you talking about Krys? He chose her."

"But how do you know that?" Krystal asked, looking at her mother curiously. "I mean, he came back to you. He told you. Maybe he wasn't saying he was going back to her. Maybe he was just trying to clear the air between the two of you… Because he doesn't want any secrets between you."

"I still couldn't be with him, Krys." Sam told her daughter gently. "He betrayed me. All I wanted him to do was talk to her. Make a decision. Not sleep with her."

"I get that, mom… I just think, maybe, that you should at least hear him out…"

Looking up at her daughter, tears obvious in her eyes, Sam smiled sadly. "I just don't think I can…" For a moment she paused, trying her best to blink back her tears. "It's a terrible feeling… When the one you love doesn't want you…"

By the time Faith got home the next day, she was gone. Nothing left but the note on her pillow that read:

You know I had to go.

We'll talk when I get back.

I love you.


And that was the moment Faith knew it was over.

It was a hard fact to realize. That she had been living a lie… From the very beginning. But she had been, and she knew that now. Because no matter what she did, and how much she loved, there would always be that shadow of what could have been for Buffy… And as long as Spike was still alive, it would never end. Because Buffy loved one, and only one… And that one would never be her.

So with tears in her eyes, she climbed into bed, and let the cover of darkness lull her into a restless sleep.

When you come back I won't be here

She said and gently pulled me near

If you wanna talk you can call

No it's not your fault

I just smiled and said let go of me

Now there's something I just gotta know

Did someone else steal my part?

She said it's not your fault

Then my heart did time in Siberia

Was waiting for the lie to come true

'Cause it's all so dark and mysterious

When the one you want doesn't want you too

I was drifting in between

Like I was on the outside looking in

In my dreams you are still here

Like you've always been

Then my heart did time in Siberia

Was waiting for the lie to come true

'Cause it's all so dark and mysterious

When the one you want doesn't want you too

I gave myself away completely

But you just couldn't see me

Though I was sleeping in your bed

Someone else was on your mind

In your head

When I came back she wasn't there

Just a note left on the stairs

If you wanna talk give me a call

Then my heart did time in Siberia

Was waiting for the lie to come true

'Cause it's all so dark and mysterious

When the one you want doesn't want you too