Summary: I guess it's not much of a One Shot anymore huh? A look at a secret relationship between Buffy and Faith in Season 7.

Disclaimer: None. Nope Nobody. Not me. Don't own 'em.

Mad World

Epilogue

The wails of a heartbroken Slayer brought most of the house out of its sleepiness and into slight curiosity. They ventured slowly, slowly from their rooms and watched in a sympathetic silence as the fatherly figure attempted to comfort her. She had fallen to the floor, lying numbly against the wall with her head buried deep between her knees. Her fist was close to her mouth, attempting to drown out most of her pathetic cries. She was ultimately alone now. Giles had finally been able to pull his Slayer away from the bedroom where the body lay and downstairs for a cold drink of water, though that in no way seemed to console her. So there she sat against the cold kitchen floor, balling all into herself.

Upstairs, as quickly as was possible, both Kennedy and another potential wrapped the body in a sheet and carried it down the stairs. The rest of the bodies from the Bringer's attack were still waiting patiently to be buried from the previous night. Faith's body was set tenderly beside them and one more hole was quickly dug. As promised, a sort of memorial for those dead was put on the next day.

Each member of the house was present, standing in silence, crowded around the few holes where each body was to be buried. Some graves were forced to hold more than one body. Giles made sure Faith shared with no one. She deserved the most rightful parting than anyone else. As the mock funeral was put on, Willow stood sort of in front, quietly spilling out some neat Latin verses. Not a spell of any sorts, but a sort of remembering and parting words to be shared with the dead and the living. Buffy had positioned herself just behind everyone else, torpidly letting Willow's words flow through one ear and out the other. Giles still stood next to her as he had since the previous day. He hadn't once left her side unless she had wished to be alone in times of rest among other things.

All around me are familiar faces

Worn out places, Worn out faces

Bright and early for the daily races

Going nowhere, Going nowhere

Buffy couldn't imagine any other time where she felt grief like what she felt now. Her mind had sunken in to a place she couldn't quite comprehend. There was anger, yet understanding. She felt like she had risen to a higher place, yet sunken too low into the ground to be saved again. She was in heaven, she was in hell.

Their tears are filling up their glasses

No expression, No expression

Hide my head I want to drown my sorrows

No tomorrow, No tomorrow

Buffy's ears refused to hear the quiet cries of particulars beside her. They were crying because someone they loved died. Buffy supposed in a sense their situations were the same. But they weren't. They had only loved whomever they had lost. Buffy however had experienced something more for Faith than just 'love'. It was more than a feeling between them, and she had felt it. It was a way of life, a certain way of thinking. And although the feeling had bloomed late and left with an alarmingly early departure, Buffy was scared she would never feel that feeling again. She was scared she may even start to forget what it felt like. And that couldn't happen.

And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad

The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had

I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take

When people run in circles it's a very, very

Mad World, Mad World

Could she let someone else replace what Faith had given her? No, never. It was too vicious a thought to think of. There was no place she could go to, no person she could talk to, or any feeling she could feel that could replace the brief time in which her and Faith had shared.

Buffy stayed in position much longer after the memorial had ended. She stood stock still with her head slanted down and her eyes staring just through the freshly covered grave. It was haunting, thinking that her lover now lay, suffocated and caked in dirt, inside this lonely prison without someone beside her to warm that freezing body.

Children waiting for the day they feel good

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday

And they feel the way that every child should

Sit and listen, Sit and listen

Sometime once the sun had fallen; Buffy had seated herself in the cold grass and dug her hands beside herself. She knew she couldn't let herself be too marred by what had happened. She still had an army to lead. She still had a fight to beat and a life to live. Death would always be just a side of her job. She could never escape from death, sadness, or grief and she knew that. Death was after all her gift. And as long as she was the Slayer, she would have to live with it. God, she would. For Faith, she would.


Thank you Gary Jules for writing "Mad World", the muse song for this story. Okay, guys, I know you hate that this is the end or whatever, but I am promising a sequel so look out for that in the next month or so. Thanks for reading!