This story is the sequel to Too Soon. It's going to seem awkward at first but I promise, at the end you'll see why. You might recognize the first chapter since I decided to combine the sequel with another story I started, Shadows To Admire. Hope you like it.

Deal With It – (1/?)

"Alright, you've got to calm down," Faith warned, trying to settle her mother down. Her mother stalked up to her and smacked her across the face with the hardness of the back of her hand. Faith grabbed her face and ran her tongue along the inside of her mouth where she had just been struck. "Knock it the fuck off now, alright?" she said, getting angrier by the second, but still holding onto an inner control that an onlooker couldn't really understand.

"You watch your mouth," Gina, her mother, warned.

"Whatever," she answered, motioning to walk out of the kitchen.

"Where the fuck are you going?"

"To go do heroine in the bathroom," she answered again, with the same sarcastic yet non-confrontational tone.

"I'm your mother and you have no right to…" Gina quickly trailed off in her words seeing her daughter hadn't had any basis for her comment. But, as she also was aware of, she knew her daughter was a lot quicker than to just let her slip up slide by unnoticed. Without a word Faith took off towards the bathroom. She threw everything off of the sink and opened the cabinet behind the mirror before looking under the sink. Finding nothing she continued to rip apart the room. Gina finally came in, being sure to give her daughter space,

"Faith, stop it."

"Where is it? Where the fuck is it?" she screamed hysterically, still throwing things around the bathroom.

"Baby, I don't know what you're talking about…" Gina said, attempting to soothe her. Faith caught her mother's quick glance towards the toilet and immediately threw the lid off of the water tank. She might've been hysterical before but when she saw it hidden there her face crumbled and she couldn't stop the tears from running down her face. She pushed past her mother and walked out of the bathroom, absolutely furious and inconsolable.

"Baby, please stop it… it's not that bad… why are you being like this? You're so emotional…" her mother babbled as she followed her daughter into the small living room, which resembled a narrow hallway more closely than an actual room. There was a small couch with a thin blanket thrown on top of it and some clothes thrown on the other end of it. It was Faith's bedroom. Faith grabbed a pair of jeans off of the floor and picked them up, taking the few dollars she had in the back pocket out and putting them in the pocket of the jeans she was wearing now.

"What the fuck are you doing?" her mother asked again, quickly realizing her daughters intent. She knew better than anyone that her daughter was no bullshit and that she needed to be taken seriously. "Firecracker…" With that, Faith grabbed her keys off of the floor and threw them quickly at her mother. They hit her stomach even though she attempted to catch them, then fell to the ground. Gina picked them up off of the floor.

"I'm done."


"I'm done with you."

"Faith, I'm not one of your fucking boyfriends, I'm your mother."

"No, you know what, ma, shit… most people, you know, normal mother fuckers, they have kids to actually have a kid and you know, be fucking parents. It's just my fucking luck that my fucking mother pops out a kid so she can get a parent. I'm done fucking taking care of you. Obviously I'm not doing a good job anyways… so I'm out. I'm done. Best of fucking luck to you trying to figure out finances for your new found hobby… try not to kill yourself, alright?" she said, now walking towards the door.

"Faith, you listen to me. I'm your mother!"

"Yeah, and now I'm off to try and find the silver lining to that fucking horrifying fact."

"You walk out that door, don't you dare try and come back," Gina threatened. Her daughter shrugged and walked out the door,

"No problem."

Faith jumped out of her daze with the sound of the car's screeching tires on the pavement. She looked over at the driver, Willow, to see what the hell was going on. Willow was already jumping out of the car. Faith looked in front of the car, only a couple yards beyond the halted vehicle, and saw what Willow had stopped for. There was a girl lying in the street with Willow now crouched over her. She slowly got out of the car and sauntered towards the girl,

"Yup, I guess I'm back in Sunnydale."


"So what the hell is up with there being another Slayer floating around?"

"Not just floating around, she was incarcerated!" another Potential stated in shock. She received several blank stares from her peers and several of them asked in unison,


"In jail," she specified condescendingly.

"Oh," they all agreed, once again in perfect unison. Kennedy noticed how all of their brains were melting into one and she stated in a horrified tone,

"We've all been spending way too much time together…"

"Well what do you expect, we live together, we train together, we eat together… hell, we do everything together…"

"It's kind of a miracle that no one's tried to kill one another yet," Kennedy laughed.

"Yeah, usually spending that much time together makes people kind of hate each other."

"So what do you guys think about the new Slayer?"

"Faith…" Kennedy stated, letting the name hang in the air for everyone to let sink into their heads before they answered the question. A lot of the girls shrugged and gave indifferent, slightly exhausted, shrugs. But then again, there were quite a few opinionated girls in the bunch.

"I think she seems really cool," one answered, only to be supported by several others nodding their head.

"I don't know," Kennedy said hesitantly, "she's seems like a bitch… not to mention I overheard Dawn saying she was some kind of a psycho. And you guys all heard Andrew talking about all those things she did… she's a murderer!"

"So is Willow," the first Potential spat back.

"That's uncalled for!"

"No it's not," she defended, "you need to learn how to keep an open mind to people."

"There's a difference between keeping an open mind and being naïve!"

"She's a Slayer! She's one of us, Kennedy. Just because you're feeling threatened doesn't make it okay for you to just act like you've already got her figured out. If you can actually spend some time trying to figure her out and see where she's coming from, then maybe your opinion would matter. The way you're going now, maybe you'll end up just making the same mistakes she did instead of learning from them."

The room fell silent for several long moments while her words sunk in. For the first time all of the girls forgot to think about dying in this big fight and actually thought beyond that. What if they were Slayer's and made a bad call or a slip or mistake? They knew Buffy made mistakes – they all had fun pointing them out… at first they had fun with it because she was so uptight and bossy, but really it was because it made it easier to laugh at her mistakes than to realize that they too could be making the same ones.

They all jumped as Faith walked into the room hesitantly. She hadn't been sent or asked to go but she thought she'd do something that never in a million years would she have done before – walk into a room full of girls who were probably talking about her after they'd had a brain full of B's opinion on her. Repentance sucked.

"Hey," she said hesitantly, "you girls are awfully quiet in here… did someone else decide to up and kill themselves because I've heard that happens on occasion in here," she joked slightly.

"No… ummm…" Kennedy began, "we were just talking…"

"Yeah," Faith agreed, "I could tell from all of the… talking." She stopped, thinking that maybe she was coming off the wrong way since she was trying a little too hard. She took a breath and reminded herself that she didn't care what people thought of her… "Well, anyways, there's a bunch of stacks of bowls on the table and even though it didn't really resemble food to me, I'm pretty sure it's dinner." Faith stood there, actually pretty sure she was hearing crickets chirping in the background. "Just thought I'd give you the heads up," she sighed. There was still no response and finally with a breath she added as she walked away, "Damn, we've got a room full of fucking B's, don't we?"

"See what you did."

"Whatever," Kennedy answered back, just as angrily as she walked away. She started to exit the room but stopped, realizing that Faith was just at the top of the stairs. Xander was walking up the stairs and Faith stopped short as if someone had punched her hard in the face; Kennedy was expecting her to turn around and have blood streaming from her nose. She stood there quietly waiting to listen to what they would say to one another.

"Xander," she said, almost too quickly in Kennedy's opinion, making it seem like she was shocked or scared to see him there. "Hey…" Kennedy watched her lean against the railing of the stairs, trying to give Xander as much room as possible to pass. Kennedy knew the guy was big, but he wasn't a fucking giant, Faith!

"I was just coming up to get the girls," he answered, ignoring her attempt at a 'hello'.

"Dinner, right?" she checked. He stopped after taking another step up the stairs,


"I just told them," she answered, pulling her arm up and motioning towards their room behind her.

"Oh," he said, seeming to regret the fact that he no longer had an excuse to continue to walk away from her.

"It smells good…"

Kennedy almost couldn't hold the giggle that was fighting to escape her lips. Only a few seconds earlier, Faith had been making fun of the way the food looked!

Faith didn't get any further response from Xander so she continued – babbling like an idiot, she thought –

"It's nice, you know… that you do that."

"What?" he asked blankly, making talking for her as difficult as possible, Kennedy observed. Usually he was really easy to talk, all of the girls at least agreed on that. This story must've been juicier than she had heard about if Mr. Nice was being… well, a complete jerk!

"I just remember you telling me a while back that you're parents weren't the type to do the cooking thing… mine either, obviously, and I just… well, I just-"

"You just, what?" he snapped.

"I just think it's really awesome that you give those girls the feeling that they're home… whatever that feels like. It probably makes this whole thing a lot easier for them…"

Kennedy was pissed at how nice Faith actually sounded to her after she had just called her a bitch inside. But she couldn't get over how Xander was acting!

"I didn't know you were coming so I don't know if there's enough food," he answered, his attempt to say something mean being really weak since there were literally stacks of food in the kitchen. Kennedy perked her ears, ready for Faith to snap out some funny line to break Xander in two or more pieces, like she was already accustomed to hearing her do.

"No, that's fine… I'm not hungry."

"That's good," he answered coldly.

Kennedy couldn't believe her ears. She knew she would cry if Xander were ever that mean to her and she was certainly one of the less sensitive in the group. She moved from her passive position in the doorway, unable to listen to Xander act this way anymore, and made herself seen in the hallway.

"Dinner," Xander notified her.

"Yeah, Faith said…" she agreed turning to give Faith a small smile but by the time she made the small rotation Faith was already all the way down the flight of stairs. Kennedy did a double take, unsure of whether it was Slayer ability that had gotten her down those stairs so quickly or if it was just the discomfort of the situation for her.

"I'll get the other girls," Xander stated, walking up the stairs in the opposite direction as Faith.

Now Kennedy certainly hadn't done a one eighty on her opinion of Faith, in fact, she was still pretty sure she didn't like her, but if anything, her curiosity had certainly been sparked. It was a fairly interesting thought when they all realized how unhappy Buffy was with her sister Slayer being in for a long-term visit, but the effect Faith was having was definitely rippling out well past just Buffy.

Faith walked into the bustling kitchen, now regretting that she left her coat with her cigarettes in it on the other side of the busy room. She was trying to stick to the perimeter as to avoid collision with anyone carrying large bowls of food towards the table.

"Buffy, how do you get those blonde locks to stay so shiny?" Andrew asked, maneuvering his way through the bustle with his video camera.

"What?" she asked, a little surprised by the randomness, but then she reminded herself that it was Andrew, and it was far less surprising.

"They're just so healthy… they flow and bounce when you walk and they're shiny… you'd never suspect that they were covered with demon guts and vampire ash on a daily basis. Am I right?" he asked, opening the question to anyone in the room. As she walked with two huge salad bowls in her arms, Anya answered,

"I know I'm jealous. Look at my hair! If you offered it to a horse it would turn it down over straw!" Andrew zoomed in momentarily on Anya's hair and added,

"Yeah, you should really try and get that silkier. Buffy, tell Anya what to do with her hair to make it look more like yours."

Faith almost let out a large sigh of relief once she made it across the kitchen, relatively unnoticed, to her pack of cigarettes.

"You know they say that stress is supposed to detract from your overall appearance," Andrew notified everyone. He spun around the room with his camera and stopped short when he realized Faith was in the room. He walked up close to Faith and zoomed in on her and said to Buffy, "see, I can tell that Faith is stressed out just by looking at her complexion and hair and…"

"You've been reading all the girly magazines, haven't you?" Faith asked, trying to step away from the camera. She'd had her share of them being in her face when they walked her in cuffs to one of her hearings.

"Faith, do you agree with me? Do you think Buffy is good looking and has held up her good looks even though she's under a lot of stress?" Andrew asked, putting on his best serious, reporter tone.

"B's hot, yeah…" she agreed nonchalantly. Interrupting Andrew's unofficial interview, Giles held a dinner plate out to Faith.

"You must be starved…"

"No, I'm good, G, thanks…"

Kennedy was standing by the table putting food on her plate when Xander walked in from upstairs. He was behind Faith, out of her view, when he came in.

"Don't be silly," he stated, "there's more than enough food here to feed our army, you need to eat something. Willow told me that you two didn't stop on the way here for food or anything."

"I'm really okay," she answered, pulling her jacket up off of the chair. She just really needed a cigarette! She walked out of the kitchen, past Xander, and began unlatching the front door.

"Where are you going?" Anya asked loudly.

"Do I need a fucking hall pass or something?" she asked with her usual attitude, "I need a smoke."

"No wonder she dropped out of kindergarten," Anya answered sarcastically.

Kennedy wasn't sure why, but the sound of the door closing firmly behind Faith hung in the air as though it was forcing her to hear it.


Most of the girls were scattered around the living room with their dinner plates balanced in their laps as they ate hungrily. Kennedy sat close to Willow at one of the many fold-out tables in the kitchen. As usual the various discussions of everyone in the house melded together to create, the now reassuring and comforting, hum that filled the house every evening.

"So some things never change, do they?" Buffy asked, speaking to Giles.

"What do you mean?" he asked. Kennedy could see in his face that he was worrying about something. They had all learned to read that in his features.

"Faith… where is she?"

"Wait, we're complaining about not knowing where she is?" Anya asked loudly.

"No, I'm just saying, some things never change."

"I have to say that I see quite a change in her," Giles defended firmly.

"Yeah, she wasn't holding a weapon when she came in the door," Xander muttered.

"Hey!" Willow interjected. Kennedy was slightly surprised at the sudden change from her silence. "I don't think that's fair. You know, when I was in LA it's not like I had much more than a, 'hey, we really need your help and you'll probably die,' but you know what, she's here and she's not complaining at all! She's here because we need her here, not because she likes the company."

The room was silent. Kennedy almost wanted to put on an overly proud, slightly mocking smile that Willow was her girlfriend.


Faith had walked down the block a short way so she was just out of earshot of the house. Sitting on the front porch was almost as bad as being inside because she still had to listen to all of the bullshit they were shitting out of their mouths anyway. She sat on the curb of the sidewalk and savored every noxious puff of smoke from her cigarette – God had she needed this smoke!

She told time by the lights turning on and off in various parts of the house. Then she watched the light to Buffy's room go on. It was at just the right angle of the house that it set a shadow off of the tree she was sitting close to. It lighted the area around her just slightly and cast her into a dark shadow. She went through two cigarettes before Buffy turned off the light making Faith guess that she went to sleep. So the perfect one does sleep… she joked in her mind.

Flicking away her cigarette she got up off of the curb and walked back towards the house. She wasn't sure why that prompted her to move; she hadn't thought that it was specifically Buffy that had been keeping her out. She came up with a little one person game with all of her time in prison – she played shrink. She'd focus on one of her actions and then analyze why she might've done it. It was lame but hey! Was it that she felt like because Buffy was asleep everyone else was asleep? She rationalized this because she was the leader and naturally she'd be the last to get some rest… Or could it be at the other spectrum of things that now that Buffy was sleeping she felt responsible for the house somehow?

Faith noticed that this game was a lot more fun when it didn't involve such deep rooted issues. She walked up onto the porch and with a quick glance around her she walked in. She walked slowly towards the kitchen, unsure of whether B had the girls bunked on the floor somewhere. Opening the fridge she almost cried with joy at seeing a six pack of beer. She grabbed two and headed back outside for the porch. Within an hour she had finished the entire six pack; surprised that she got such a buzz off of so little but angry that her tolerance had dwindled enough for her to be as slammed as she wanted to be at the moment.

She heard footsteps in the house and she hoped that no one would come out and bother her. She doubted anyone would want to anyhow… but to her surprise and slight displeasure she heard the knob turn and watched the door open. She practically fell off of the banner she was currently sitting on when she saw Xander walk through the door. He saw her, so he was coming out to see her on purpose she concluded, and he closed the door softly behind him.

The way he looked right at her threw her a little. The boy she remembered used to glance up at her every so often then return to his fascinating shoelaces. She lit another cigarette and took a deep inhale.

"That's bad for you," he commented. His tone surprised her; it was more of a stern statement than a caring reminder.

"I can put it out if it bothers you."

"No," he answered.

"Xander, if it bothers you I'll stop."

"Well that's different," he commented to himself but loud enough for her to hear. She swallowed and he added, "I really don't care."

"Well that's different too."

"A lot of things have changed," he answered as he walked over to her and stood right next to the banner she was sitting on. He put his hand on her hip in almost an embracing fashion and both of them looked down at the contact. Faith felt her breath cease to exist for several moments and he felt empowered by it. Just the simple touch of his hand – not even skin to skin – there were layers of clothes in between, but it made her blood boil. It had been so long since anyone had touched her other than an inmate taking a swing at her or a guard roughly grabbing her arm and pushing her down a corridor. She remembered Xander but she also remembered what she had done to him. She knew what he'd been through and how she'd been a big part of the reason he was where he was at now.

She couldn't deny that she actually wanted him. In a flash she saw the whole act run though her mind quickly. She could feel him grab her waist and pull her down in front of him. She could feel him kiss her roughly and feast on her neck. She could feel him inside of her, remembering the way he felt. She could look into his eyes and see the fire that was only dulled by the pleasure she had just given him. She felt it all in an instant flash… but, unlike what her foresight was earlier in her life, she also thought about what it would all feel like after that.

He moved his lips quickly towards hers but even quicker than him she turned her face away from him, staring down at her own shoulder. He lifted his hand away from her hip and took a small step away from her.

"I didn't think I was really your type, Xander."

"What can I say? I'm desperate," he spat angrily. She nodded, accepting the insult. "Didn't think I was ever really your type either, Faith."

"Maybe if I had a type…" she offered, trying to be as kind as possible. She knew how angry a man was after rejection so she tried to minimize him feeling insulted.

"I forgot… you're not really that picky." He watched her features carefully but she maintained an unaffected expression as she took another long drag on her cigarette. Now he felt rejected. He always remembered Faith as someone who was very hard to phase but for some reason he thought he would be able to trip her. "And yet you won't even let me fucking kiss you! You'd probably go fuck some nobody down at the local pub right now but you won't let someone who you've slept with before even fucking kiss you!"

"You want me for all the wrong reasons right now."

"Oh because you ever wanted me for any of the right ones, huh?" he asked angrily. He stared at her for several long moments as the steam rose off of him in huge, furious, clouds. "I don't even fucking want you anyway… you're disgusting. Why would anybody want you? I used to think you were hot… but you know what, you're fucking ice cold."


She knew she should be more mature than this but there was just something about having an ex spit in your face like that. Xander thought she had taken something away from him that night they slept together but he was finally figuring out – whether he realized it or not – that she had empowered him in a way that only sleeping with him could. She stared at the nameless face asleep on the dirty bed as she pulled her jeans on. It was apparent that she had done this way too often in her life since an amateur would've been quiet, not wanting to wake him, but she knew there was little that was going to wake a guy after he had a night with her.

His dreams were taking him on endless wild fantasies with her that would now make her the lead in all of his dreams and all of his wants. His dream would make him believe they were meant for each other and that she had magically filled that one missing piece in his life, when all she had done was have a little one night quickie with him. The only good part of it for her was that she didn't have to worry about him waking up and trying to talk to her as she left.

She pulled on her leather jacket and was about to leave when she remembered the taste in his mouth. She'd made a mental note earlier when she first kissed him; he was a smoker. She went back into his room and immediately found his pack of cigarettes in his coat pocket.

"Thanks," she muttered sarcastically as she took the pack as her own.


"Has anyone seen Faith?" Kennedy asked as she poured herself a cup of coffee.

"Did anyone give her a place to sleep last night?" Willow asked, realizing they hadn't shown Faith anywhere to sleep. "Anyone give her a sleeping bag or even a pillow?"

"I'm sure she found someone's bed just fine," Xander answered. Buffy tried to cover up his angry comment and answered,

"I just didn't think of it… sleeping arrangements aren't really on the top of my priority list lately."

"Or maybe they are," Anya commented giving an obvious glance in Spike's direction.

"Is anyone worried? We are in the middle of a huge battle here!" Kennedy noted.

"Faith's been on her own for quite some time," Giles answered, "I'm sure she's fine." His response was one to soothe Kennedy but didn't lack a certain jab in Buffy's direction.

It was about ten o'clock when Buffy began to gather everyone for a meeting in the living room. Everyone had just quieted down to focus but that was quickly broken when Faith walked into through the front door. She had a cigarette in hand with thick, dark sunglasses on and her leather jacket and dark jeans with black leather boots. It was a very typical Faith look but it tweaked Buffy more than a little.

"Didn't mean to interrupt," she said apologetically. Kennedy noticed the strain in her voice that made it sound like she had either been yelling at the top of her lungs all night or crying. She also noticed the sharp displeasure on Buffy's face, not at her entrance but more at her effect on the crowd, especially after she spoke.

"Can I talk to you?" she said demanding more than asking as she walked quickly in her direction.

"I'm not much of a conversationalist in the morning…" A few snickers could be heard from the Potentials and Buffy snapped,


"Cool…" Faith answered calmly as though she were trying to soothe Buffy's anger. She hadn't said anything to make her seem cooler to the Potentials, she was just being her… but generally that was a person people really liked and wanted to be friends with. It was similar to the reaction she got her first time in Sunnydale with Xander and Willow and Buffy was just threatened by it.

"What the hell is the matter with you?" Buffy asked furiously.

"B, they can hear you…" she reminded.

"I don't give a damn! Where the hell were you?"

"Aww, were you worried about me?"

"No, I'm worried about them!" she snapped.

"Well if you want to look at it that way, B, if I drop dead then one of them gets the goodies and they're all the more safe, huh?"

"You're just fucking ridiculous!"


"Do you have any idea what kind of a bad example you're setting?"

"They don't know where I was-"

"I fucking do!" she screamed, letting out the underlying reason for her anger. Deep down inside she really did love Faith like a sister and the things she did to verify herself just killed her, piece by piece. "I fucking know where you were!"

Faith looked down at the floor knowing she wasn't proud of who she was or what she did but also knowing that there were parts of her that just weren't about to change.

"Why do you do this?"

"B…" Faith soothed, hearing her tone switching from angry to upset.

"I just don't fucking get it, Faith. Why? You're… you're too fucking good for that bullshit… I mean… have you looked at yourself? God damn it, Faith! You're just fucking stupid!" she yelled as the tears began to flow down her face. As soon as she realized she was crying she turned away from Faith. Faith reached her arm out and grabbed Buffy's hand but she snatched it away and walked past the living room and out of the front door, slamming it loudly behind her.

The Potentials and all of the other occupants of the living room had been silent, listening to Buffy yelling at Faith a few rooms away. The hum of conversation began after the room was silenced again after the slamming door. They all realized that Faith had a huge effect of Buffy but only Kennedy and the other gang caught the tears on Buffy's face.


"Hey," Kennedy greeted cautiously, walking out onto the porch where Faith was standing with a cigarette. Faith was surprised that anyone wanted to talk to her, especially one of the Potentials. She had kind of become accustomed to the possibility that one of the gang would come out to share some nasty words with her but she hadn't thought one of the girls would come out to say, 'hey'.

"Hi," she answered blankly. Kennedy looked at her for a minute, always trying to observe things. She was still wearing her sunglasses that somehow covered a lot of her face but managed to compliment it as well. She had a cigarette in hand but there had probably been at least a dozen since the first one she had seen her with that morning. Her leather jacket was slung over the banner that she was leaning on and her boots were untied.

She took all of this in, in only a few short seconds but she was sure – knowing Faith was so much quicker than her – must've noticed. She quickly brought her eyes away but something caught her attention that made her turn back. A dark ring around her arm, not the arm with the tattoo even, caught her concern and attention.

"You've got bruises on your arm," she stated. Faith glanced down at her arm, just as surprised as Kennedy was, and nodded seeing the small, dark bruises encircling her bicep.

As Kennedy announced her discovery Buffy was walking down the front path and up the stairs towards the front door, right past the two of them. She stopped, partially because she was surprised that Faith would be talking to anyone, but mostly because she was concerned that maybe she was hurt. "What's that from?" she asked anxiously. She was still confused about what had happened that morning and why Buffy had reacted so strongly.

"For someone so observant you're a little naïve kid…" she answered almost with a laugh.

"Am I missing something?" she asked both to Buffy and Faith, "Did you fight a vamp or something?"

"Umm…" Faith stalled, looking over to Buffy. Buffy just stared at her angrily waiting to see how she was going to answer. Accepting the entire lack of help from Buffy she answered, "Nah, actually I think those are from when I was in LA fighting." Kennedy nodded,


"Can I talk to Faith a minute?" Buffy asked. She nodded and walked back into the house.

"Her name's Kennedy.

"I know her name's fucking Kennedy!"

"Listen to the mouth on you," Faith joked, "makes me proud."

"LA, huh? You know you doing shit like that makes it cool to them, right?"

"It could be from LA. How do you know it's not?" Buffy answered by walking up to her and putting her hands around both of her biceps over the bruises, matching up the obvious grip that caused the bruises.

"Guy likes to hold you down when he fucks you, huh?" she asked angrily. "You might as well take out a fucking billboard ad, Faith." She quickly grabbed her leather jacket off of the railing and put it on. Buffy took another second to look her over, having both quicker and sharper eyes than Kennedy and she saw other scattered bruises. She pointed quickly to another on her neck and both of her wrists and commented,

"Make it hurt, huh?"

"Everyone's got their own taste," she said, feigning indifference but she still flipped up the collar of the jacket and tried to lengthen the sleeves.

"Yeah, but that one isn't yours…"

"How the hell do you know?"

"Because you liked Xander," she answered confidently.

"What?" Faith asked in almost a laugh. "Where the fuck do you get off on that?"

"You asked me about him," she answered, "that's more follow up than you've done on any guy."

"So what? I usually don't fuck guys I know… I knew him, you knew him, why not talk about him?"

"You liked him," she answered with more confidence than she would in stating the color of her eyes. "That's why you freaked when he went to you about Finch. You hated that he saw through your lie and you freaked out because he saw through it and still liked you!"

"B, that's all nice and good but that was years ago. A lot has changed since then."

"Apparently not," she answered giving a final glance at her wrists, then she walked into the house. Kennedy had stationed herself at the living room window just on the opposite side of the wall from where the two Slayers were outside. She was hidden from their view by the window shades, but she heard every word.