Chapter eight- Moving On

A few days later, the still stunned gang was at the Bronze. They didn't quite know how to act, what to say nor if they could forgive Buffy but everyone minus Angel decided to give it a shot. He and Buffy didn't even get to have a discussion about what had happened. She had gone round to the mansion earlier in the day and found a simple note that told her he was moving on with his life and it no longer included her. The gang had mixed emotions over his decision, mostly not blaming him in the least for leaving. She wasn't getting much sympathy and missed her slayer duties on top of everything else. "Faith, would you mind if I went along on your patrol tonight?" Buffy asked somberly.

"Na I don't mind," Faith said and looked at her girlfriend.

"It's fine if you come along with us." Cordy said flatly. She didn't much like the time that Faith was spending with Buffy alone. They seemed to be getting to close for Cordy's comfort and she planned to put an end to it. Faith had told her that Buffy was going through a hard time of slayer withdrawal since she came home and saw her old stomping grounds.

"Why don't we all just go?" Xander said in recognition of Cordy's jealousy. He thought that he might be able to stop a catfight that Cordy might actually be able to win since Buffy foolishly gave up her powers.

As the gang walked through the chillingly quiet graveyards, Buffy looked around. Her heart was in it; she wanted to continue the fight for the good of mankind, but that something inside her that used to drive her was missing. She stopped beside a headstone and stared into space for a moment. She then sank to her knees and sobbed. "B," Faith said and walked over to the broken ex slayer. "Why don't you let your friends here take you home. Maybe you're not ready for this."

"I'm never gonna be ready for this," Buffy said sarcastically. "I may as well apply for that college out of state that mom suggested for the last little while."

"Buffy get off your pity the ex slayer train!" Cordy yelled in exasperation. "You made this stupid decision now deal with it and move on! You hurt your friends badly, ran Angel out of town and now we're supposed to fall all over you and say, oh poor Buffy! Well excuse me if I can't do that because I don't feel sorry for you! You did the damage all on your own because you didn't listen to us all when we tried to get you not to get in bed with Angel!"

"Core stop it now!" Xander yelled and got in the cheerleader's face but Faith quickly shoved him away from her.

"C, you didn't have to put it like that but you're right. We can be here to support B but we can't fix her problems for her. X-man, you ever go up at C like you're gonna hit her again and you'll lose an arm!" Faith growled angrily. Her protectiveness of Cordy showed the brunette that Faith was really with only her and helped her to feel as if she could let her guard down somewhat.

"Let's all stop this now before it gets out of hand." Oz surprised everyone by speaking up. "Buffy, we're here for you but it's hard on all of them. You hurt them almost beyond repair and though they want to help you, the wounds are too fresh for them to carry you. You gotta give us a little help here Buff and then we can help you."

"He's right," Willow added. "We love you Buffy and understand the pain you were going through over having to kill Angel. We understand it because we felt that we killed you by not finding another solution. It stings real bad and isn't easy to get over but I am here for you."

The tears began to fall from Buffy, Xander and Willow's eyes as they hugged. "Take her home," Faith said with higher hopes now that they would all soon be able to move on.

As the Scoobies left, Cordy looked at Faith who had just lit a cigarette. "Faith, I'm really sorry for how I act sometimes. It's just me and I don't know how to put what I feel so I act like a stupid bitch. I was afraid that Buffy would try to take you away from me and I never really had something special like you. I've had all the material things that money can buy but that's not where it's at, you know what I mean?"

"Yeah C, I get where you're coming from." Faith turned and kissed her girlfriend several times.

"Would you mind bringing breath mints, I can't stand smoke-kisses." Cordy said and Faith just laughed at her.

"Deal and move on C," she said and kissed her girlfriend again.

- - - - - - -

Three years later, Cordelia Chase was packing her bags. She planned to leave Sunnydale and never look back because the pain was to deep. While Buffy went off to Chicago for college, Willow went to Harvard; Xander moved to the Midwest somewhere with Anya, Cordelia stayed in Sunnydale with Faith. They fought for the good of mankind for the next three years. They loved and laughed as well as shed tears during their time together.

The day they both knew would eventually come, finally came, Faith sacrificed herself to rid the world of some hell God named Glory and another slayer was called. It was all that simple, one dies and another takes their place. For Cordelia Chase however, there would never be another Faith in her life. She would never allow herself to love another as deeply as she did her slayer.

"I love you Faith, forever and a day, until we meet again." Cordelia said and kissed the picture on the headstone that read, Faith Lehane, friend, life partner, and, above all, a self-giving human being.

The tears flowed down her cheeks like a never-ending waterfall as she headed towards her car. She would go to LA and help Angel in the good fight because that is what Faith asked her to do.

A/N that's it peeps.