Chapter Four

Faith awakes with a feeling of being caged in having nowhere to turn. This feeling had crept up on her since childhood and nothing good came from her when it happened. The last time she recalled feeling like this was when she wigged out after the mistaken killing of the mayor's aid. She looks around the crypt trying to find a quick solution of everything but there was none that would come to mind, minus her old way of doing things; hurt them before they hurt her.

Willow comes back in the crypt seeing the look on Faith's face. All was ok last night but now, this look alerts her that if she doesn't think fast it would fall apart. "Faith, I have a plan if you let me help you." Willow speaks in a timid voice, afraid of the reaction of the volatile slayer.

"Yeah? You sure you want to help me? Y'know Red, I've had a lot of people in my life say they want to help me but none did." Faith looks at Willow with a cold stare.

"Faith, you said last night you trusted me, what happened?" Willow asks genuinely concerned. She knows she can't help the slayer if she shuts herself off from her but isn't quite sure of what to say. "Faith please, let me help you. Don't do this," Willow's eyes show fear as she speaks but not for her own safety. She is worried for Faith and what will happen if she allows herself to go off the deep end yet again. "Faith," Willow steps closer until she is close enough to touch the enraged slayer. "Please Faith, Let me in."

Faith looks at Willow and begins to calm down. "I don't know what happened Red. It all just felt like it was closing in. I'm sorry, I…" She looks away beginning to fear herself and wonders if she will ever get over the demons that have haunted her a lifetime and caused her mistrust in others. She can only hope that she can trust someone long enough to let them care for her and get rid of some of her insecurities.

"It's all right Faith," Willow rubs her fingers over the slayer's arm. "I'll help you I promise I will," she lifts her face to Faith's and kisses her. "You don't have to go it alone anymore."

Faith returns the kiss and pulls Willow into her arms. "It's not easy Red but I'm trying to do right."

The look in Faith's deep brown pools shows pain and anguish and Willow wants to take it all away. She wants nothing more than to make Faith be happy again. "Here's the plan Faith but you have to listen and do exactly what I tell you."

- - - - - - - -

Riley and Buffy are relaxing in the Bronze. The task of relaxing isn't going so well for Buffy but she's trying. She can't find her friend and fears for her safety. She is certain Faith has done something to Willow to make her afraid of turning against her. All the while, part of her is thinking maybe Faith has changed but she quickly pushes that in the back of her mind. "Slayer!" Spike races in yelling with blood on him.

"What happened?" Buffy jumps to her feet with a gut feeling that Faith is involved with Spike's current disheveled state.

"That fucking slayer-wanna-be did this to me. She was fighting with Willow and I tried to help. Thanks to this bloke and his band of merry demon hunters, I can't fight back!" A faked anger shoots through his eyes at Riley as Buffy charges from the Bronze with both men on her heels.

She rounds the corner heading to an alley when she sees Faith grabbing Willow up in her arms. She couldn't understand why Spike had to give their arrival away by screaming we're coming but Faith quickly drops Willow to the ground and turns on Buffy. "You wanna get it on now fucking slayer?" She questions Buffy with fire in her eyes.

Buffy looks at her friend who is trembling and crying. "Spike take her home please, this ends now. Riley go with them." Buffy says with a look to kill in her eyes.

"He should stay with you," Spike points to Riley as Faith darts around Buffy knocking him out then pulling her knife.

Spike jumps on her as Buffy whirls around but doesn't see Spike lifting Riley's key card from the unconscious man. "I'll take Red here home, deal with the bitch." Spike yells scooping Willow up and running off into the night.

"I should've killed you when I had the chance," Buffy shouts at Faith as the fight begins.

"Maybe you should have B," Faith retorts fisting Buffy several times. Buffy both tries to block and get in a few good kicks of her own.

- - - - - - -

"Do you think they maybe will refrain from killing each other?" Willow asks timidly as Spike inserts Riley's card, punches a few numbers and the doors to the initiative open.

"All we can do is hope Red." He says pointing her to the main office. "Everything you will need to clear Faith is in there. I'll stand watch."

Willow goes in the main office and quickly is in the legal records. A few keystrokes to change Faith's punishment and she's out of the office. "This was way too easy," she says to Spike as an alarm goes off. "It's Adam!"

"Bloody hell!" Spike shouts, as he begins to set demons free by deactivating the electronic locks. "Let's get the hell out of here!" He says as the two run out with Adam in hot pursuit.

- - - - - - - -

Riley opens his eyes, as Buffy and Faith are pummeling each other. Both slayers are beaten down, as Riley raises his gun to fire at Faith. "Adam," Xander shouts as he and the others run up. "All the demons in your so-called initiative have been set free too."

Riley lowers his gaze away from the women for a split second, as Buffy looks at Xander. This gives Faith the second she needs to kick free of Buffy's grasp and take off down the street. "Coward!" Anya shouts after her.

She runs through the streets until she catches up with Spike and Willow. "You're bloody free mate, now help us out here!" Spike shouts trying to dodge the firepower of Adam's many weapons.

"A little fire might do the trick," Faith says lighting an explosive and tossing it at the hybrid. He jerks backwards slowing down a great deal. "Bingo," She shouts running at Adam. Buffy and Riley enter the view of Spike and Willow.

"Ask questions later!" Spike shouts to Buffy, as he fends off a couple of demons.

Faith jams a sword into Adams circuitry, which only slows him down a bit more. He gives her a good right hook that sends her backwards as Xander, getting part of the picture at least, fires a blaster at him. It hits him in the human part of his face and he roars in pain. Faith then jams her hands in his chest with blood oozing from them due to the entry. She jerks out the hard drive that controls the lumbering hybrid. He lashes out at Faith with his demon hand but Buffy puts a sword through his back and finishes the job.

After the battle is done, the Scoobies just stand there looking at each other in silence. "Somebody better explain fast what is going on!" Riley shouts staring daggers at Faith.

"Faith is no longer a wanted woman and will be taking counseling for her mistaken killing as it should be," Willow begins. "We needed in the initiative and knew you wouldn't help us so did what we had to in order to help Faith. I am very attracted to her and believe she has changed so deal." She turns to Faith who takes her arm and the pair walk off leaving all but Spike standing mouths agape.

- - - - - - - -

Willow and Faith are relaxing on her bed after having showered and ate. "Long night huh Red." Faith says casually rubbing her hand over Willow's tummy.

"It's all over and you're free," Willow says, giving Faith a smile. "Now you're not obligated to stay or anything." Willow's efforts to block the doubts in her mind were proving to be futile. Faith was so beautiful and why would she want to be here with someone like Willow were her thoughts as Faith pulls her into her arms.

"I wanna stay Red," she kisses her. "All my life I've been misunderstood y'know? Nobody tried to see through my walls but you and I'm glad I let you see the real me." Faith kisses her more passionately.

"I only wish I would've tried sooner Faith," Willow says snuggling into Faith's firm embrace. "I would have known we had a lot in common; that we were only looking for acceptance and love."

"Yeah somethin' like that," Faith says smiling. "So Red, this ain't a graveyard." She quirks her eyebrows at Willow who grins.

"I think I'm ready," Willow says softly, as Faith begins kissing her along the neckline suckling the pulse point.

"You're gonna know you're ready very soon Red." Faith says in that low husky voice that Willow is growing more and more to love.

Faith slowly kisses Willow exploring her mouth with her tongue as she begins to undress her. "You're so pretty Red," she states continuing her trail of kisses all the way down Willow's body as her hands caress the hardening nipples.

Soft moans escape Willow's mouth as she closes her eyes to feel the sensations Faith is sending through her body with her tongue as she moves down to Willow's thighs. "Better take notes here Red, cause I like to receive too." Faith says in a low voice as she begins to pleasure Willow in her first sexual experience.

After the night of lovemaking is finished, the pair is lying in each other's arms. They are both truly happy for what is probably the first time. "I wish this could last forever Faith with no demons or evil. I wish Buffy and the gang would learn to know you half as good as I have and hope they will grow to like you soon."

"You're doin' a lot of wishin' there Red." Faith kisses her again. "Maybe one of them will come true."

"My main wish has come true Faith," Willow says returning the kiss. "I found somebody who will like me and not because of my inadequate magic abilities or because I'm Buffy's friend."

"Yeah Red it sure has," Faith pulls her in for a tight embrace. "I liked you when you were a little on the not so cool side but was to much of an idiot to let myself admit it."

The phone rings and Faith gets it. After a few seconds, she hangs up. "Even if we had no demons Red, life is gonna really suck sometimes so we have to grab happiness when we can get it." Faith says choking back tears. "Red, Buffy found Joyce dead when she came home. That was G-man on the phone."

Tears flood from Willow's eyes like a river as Faith holds her. "Buffy, I-I-I need to go to her and I have to make sure Dawnie is all right and I…" Faith wipes the tears from her eyes and holds her trembling body firmly as she places tender kisses on her face.

"You don't have to do a thing Red, I'm right here for ya. I'll be your strength when you're weak and when you have to be strong, I'll hold ya up just a little bit so you don't slip."

Willow cries even more at Faith's heartfelt words, as she returns the kiss. "I think I love you Faith."

"Ditto Red," Faith says kissing the redhead once more before they get some sleep. She knows that Willow will go comfort Buffy in the morning and will need all the rest she can get.