During the formal dinner celebrating Willow's progress in her therapy, Faith's mind was elsewhere. She tried hard but couldn't help the fact that she could not take her mind off of Dawn. She had heard Willow saying something about resentment towards the girl from Buffy but was certain that all would change. She could understand that Buffy wouldn't want more responsibilities then those that she already had plus having a sister thrown into your family would take some adjusting to. The main reason that she was certain things would change is because Buffy really didn't like Faith. Faith felt that the slayer would do anything to keep her from having a good break in life. "Faith," her aunt motioned towards everyone waiting to dance. "We're waiting for you to play that piano."
Faith looked at her family and then Willow who sat beside her with a worried look on her face. "Yeah sure," she mumbled and walked over to the piano. As she began to play, the smile on Willow's face was enough to take her out of the thoughts of Buffy and Dawn for the time being.
"We can't have you sitting here all alone." Marty Lehane said to Willow and picked her up in his arms. "Faith learned to play that when she was a small child and you can't miss out on the dance." The man gave Willow a friendly kiss on the cheek and began to dance with her in his arms. "We are so happy that Faith brought you with her Miss Rosenberg because you breathe a spray of fresh air into the family."
Willow was touched both at the man's kind gesture and for him calling her family. She truly liked these people and felt that she could call this place home forever. She only hoped Faith felt the same and began to worry about Dawn. "I just hope we can fix the other problem." Willow said softly, as she gazed at her lover.
"We will fix it Miss Rosenberg." Marty said with a smile as he dipped Willow downward to allow her to enjoy the full dance that he was doing.
As Faith finished playing the piano, forty-five minutes later, Willow smiled at the applause she garnered from her family and some of their staff. She saw that even Rob was more relaxed and smiling slightly. "Hey Red," Faith said and kissed her girlfriend gingerly. "Are you having a nice time?"
Willow had sat and talked with some of the younger members of the family as Faith played the piano. She was enjoying getting to know Faith's family and seeing Faith's talents other than those of the slaying kind. "Yes Faith, I've had a great time. These few drinks have helped me talk more too." Willow grinned, as another drink was placed in front of her and one for Faith also.
"I'm sure they have," Faith said with a smile. "Let's have this one and then we can go up to our room. At the Lehane parties, whomever is the last two gets to help clean up. They give the staff a little freedom for these things too." Faith leaned in for another kiss after she finished speaking.
"Let's go then," Willow said as she finished off her drink. "This was nice Faith and you really do have a great family." Willow continued speaking as Faith wheeled her chair out of the dining room.
"Yeah," was all Faith said as she lifted Willow from the chair and headed up the stairs. "I'm sorta glad to be home and not have to hide anymore. I get to be a slayer and have a family just like B. I got something on B though Red and that's you." Faith stopped on the stairs and looked into Willow's eyes as she said the last few words. She then leaned down and kissed the tip of Willow's nose and headed off towards their room.
"I wish I'd known all of this before. I could have helped you deal with it better." Willow said as they made it to their bedroom.
"It was to dangerous Red," Faith said and began to help Willow get ready for bed. "I just wanna know how am I gonna get D back. It's been on my mind all evening."
"Well," Willow said as Faith undressed herself. "You shouldn't do that in front of me Faith. It clouds my brain." She spent a few moments looking at Faith's gorgeous body and then smiled. "I don't know how I got so lucky as to have someone so beautiful as you Faith."
"I like when your brain is clouded baby." Faith said in a low husky voice that always turned Willow on, as she leaned down and kissed the redhead. "I'm the lucky one and don't let that booze make you think otherwise."
"Before you start doing things to make me forget everything that I wanted to tell you," Willow said with a sheepish grin, "I'm going to email Buffy tomorrow and then we will go from there. I think she may be receptive to the idea of you at least meeting Dawn."
As Faith began a trail of kisses over Willow's body, she decided that an initial meeting was fine. She also decided that if Buffy tried to keep Dawn from her, there would be hell to pay no matter the cost. "I love you Red," the slayer said and turned all of her attentions to her lover for the remainder of the night.
- - - - - -
Buffy read Willow's email over several times. She wouldn't have believed it but for the picture attached to it. Though Dawn's looks were altered somewhat, the resemblance to she and Faith's diseased mother was there. She didn't quite know how to respond, Dawn was sent to her to take care of and they went so far as to implant all of these memories inside her. Her options were limited and Buffy never was really good at being quick to decide important matters.
After spending a great deal of time explaining to Joyce how the Monks implanted memories into Dawn and everyone else, Buffy then laid the rest on her. She showed her mother. She showed her the email that Willow had sent and hoped that she would be able to help her with the decision. "This will be hard on Dawnie if we allow Faith to come into her life." Joyce stated with a hint of hesitancy in her voice.
"Exactly," Buffy said and hung her head. "They asked me to protect her at all costs and what better way to protect her than to get her away from the hellmouth, where she could be used to do all sorts of hellish things."
"Well Dawn was very unhappy for some reason this morning and I'm guessing that is because she found out the truth about herself?" Joyce asked in a concerned tone.
"Not all of it," Buffy hung her head. "She sort of pissed me off and so I stupidly told her she wasn't really a Summers. Technically now, she was re-created with Summers blood and so she is not really this Lehane kid any more."
"From what you told me," Joyce interjected sadly. "They used Summers blood, the key and some unknown things to create Dawn. What if these things they told you were unknown, were the things that made her Lehane. In which case, she could be both Summers and Lehane."
"Maybe the bratty side of her comes from Lehane traits." Buffy said dramatically. "I know what we have to do." She put on her best resolve face and headed up to Dawn's room leaving Joyce with a sad yet proud look on her face.
- - - - - - -
Willow arrived home from therapy to a very quiet house. "Willow," Robert Lehane said, as he stepped towards the door with a briefcase in his hand. "A Buffy phoned for you. She said something about arriving tonight and so Faith took off with mom to get ready for something."
Willow's heart felt as if it were going to jump into her throat. "Dawn, those are the people with Dawn. Maybe they're bringing her here." She exclaimed excitedly, as Robert smiled then rushed out for his appointment.
"Hey Red," Faith called, having just came in from the kitchen door. "Rob tell ya the news?"
"Yes, are you excited?" Willow asked as her girlfriend leaned down to kiss her. "No wait let me do this." Willow, slowly and very timidly stood from the chair and kissed Faith on the lips. She quickly sat back down though, as the Slayer hugged her tightly. "I'm getting their Faith. Soon I will be able to dance with you again and maybe we will even have your sister with us."
Faith's emotions threatened to escape her, as she looked into the eyes of the woman that had stolen her very soul. "Red, this is all getting overwhelming. I just am so scared that B won't let me have my sister back and I am so happy for you." Faith pulled the redhead up in her arms and began to kiss her gently yet firmly.
"We'll deal with it all together Faith. No matter what life throws at us, we will get through it together." Willow said and returned the kisses.
"Red, this is all crazy y'know? I'm not good with this emotional stuff but it sure seems that it's trying to make me be." Faith smiled down at the woman in her arms and kissed her again.
"I'll do the emotional side and you do the strong silent type." Willow said with a playful grin on her face. Though Faith was not big on letting her emotions out, she was far from the silent type either.
"Dunno bout that Red," Faith said and returned Willow's mischievous grin. "Does that mean that, without a word, I just take you in my arms and carry you off to our bedroom. Then we make passionate love for the rest of the afternoon?"
"Mmmm," Willow said and returned Faith's kisses, which were more passionate with each kiss. "I think you can do the strong type better than emotional for sure."
- - - - - -
It was nearly 9:30 pm when the Lehane's doorbell rang. The entire family had wanted to be there but the matriarch decided that it was best only she and the two girls be at the initial meeting. "I'll get it," Faith said and moved nervously to the door.
Upon opening the door, everything went fuzzy as soon as she saw Dawn's smile. "Faith," Joyce called with alarm in her voice, as the brunette struggled to compose herself.
In turn, Dawn's features looked mixed up and clouded. It was as though something was trying to force its way through her mind but something else was blocking it. "Dawnie?" Buffy took hold of her sister and lead her inside with worry creasing her face.
Dawn could remember being a little girl and playing in the snow but it wasn't Buffy who played with her. It was Faith and they were right here at this house. "Faith," she said in a shaky voice, as the tears began to fall. "I can see it Faith. They're going to kill us all!" Dawn shrieked, as Buffy pulled her in a tight embrace.
"She remembers," Mrs. Lehane said with tears in her own eyes.
Faith moved to Dawn and Buffy stepped aside. "It's all right D," the slayer said and hugged her sister. "They brought you back to us and you never have to leave again. This is the real you, Dawn Lehane with a little mystical kick added in now is all."
"Dawn will you be all right?" Joyce Summers asked as she fought the tears in her eyes. The memories may have been implanted but they were hers and she loved Dawn like a daughter. "We could stay awhile if you want or you could even come back with us."
One of the servants brought out a large tray with drinks and snacks on it. He promptly left the highly emotional scene, as Faith and Dawn embraced and their tears mingled together as one. "No, this is my real family. In Sunnydale, something always felt off and I acted out. Now I feel like I'm at home. I'm sorry, mrs. Summers but this is my home. I have a real identity here and not just some ball of energy."
"D, it's ok if you call her mom." Faith stated, having seen the questioning look on Dawn's face. "They love you too and I would never try and keep you from them fully."
The Summers women had a drink and talked for an hour or so with the Lehane family. "Well this is it," Buffy said and hugged both Willow and Dawn tightly. "I will miss both of you so much and if you ever need me…" she trailed off and turned for the door.
"The same goes for me Dawnie. I still want you in college." Joyce said, as the tears flowed down her face like a faucet that sprang a big leak.
"I love you guys too," Dawn said and finally allowed the tears to fall.
"B," Faith looked at her sister-slayer and without words, spoke volumes. Their had been so much bad blood between the two women in their fight over Willow but that was healing now. Buffy was making a huge sacrifice by not putting up a fight for Dawn and Faith knew this. She also knew it was Buffy's way of extending the olive branch and Faith was going to accept it. "I'll take care of your sis, I promise."
"Thanks," Buffy said and smiled at her former nemesis.
As the Summers women left, Faith and Willow both felt sad for them and at peace for themselves. After such a long road of sadness and trials, their lives were slowly coming together in a positive way. Both women were secure in the notion that they were now strong enough to face any demon, whether it be real or man-made. They felt confident that, with each other's help, they would overcome whatever obstacles life threw at them. They also felt strongly that they could help their new family member, Dawn, get through the turmoil that she had to be enduring over the sudden changes in her life. Love, and a little stubbornness had got them to this place together. A place of comfort and peace and they hoped to always stay in that place.
A/N reviews please and I may do a sequel at some point though it's not a done deal. Thanks to everyone who has reviewed on this story and I hope you liked the ending.