Title: Two Minutes

Summary: Or Five Endings Buffy And Faith Never Had

Rating: M

Warning: Femslash. Some of it a bit graphic and unpleasant.

AN: Obviously I stole the '5 things...' challenge, but I have no idea where it originated.

dark

It's always about knives with them. That was the thought that flittered through Faith's mind as she smirked at Buffy's determined face across from her.

They were both out of breath and blood covered them. They'd been fighting for too long, and Buffy was tired and cold and sore and she was fighting someone she was supposed to hate but couldn't.

Then it was a blur, a guard dropped, instinct taking over and blade sunk into flesh.

Buffy let out a whimper and fell to the ground her head hitting concrete with a sickening crack.

Faith backed up, bile rising in her throat, and stumbled to the ground.

Buffy's pained eyes turned to her, begging. Faith stared back.

For two minutes Faith watched as Buffy's skin paled, eyes went blank, chest shuddered, and then she was still, much too still.

Faith rose, approached, reached out, but then stopped. She pulled her hand away from where it hovered just above Buffy's cold lips, turned, and walked away.

She didn't look back.

the end

The world is ending, and Buffy is not honestly surprised. She is surprised that she is watching the world end with Faith next to her smoking a cigarette, but perhaps this is one of life's little ironies.

She almost makes a crack about lung cancer, but decides that would be a little too lame, even for her.

Faith is silent and still next to her, and Buffy thinks this may be the most calm they've ever been together. Figures it would take the final Apocalypse to stop their fighting.

It's almost beautiful, like a giant sunrise coming towards them a little too fast and Buffy decides to ignore her fear and enjoy the sight.

Suddenly Faith takes her hand and their fingers automatically intertwine, and Buffy has never felt so at peace.

Two minutes left.

There are worse ways to go.

fuck

Faith was not surprised by this. It had been brewing since they first met. It changed tones when Faith turned traitor, became tinged with hate but it was there, burning between them, perhaps made even stronger by their hostility.

Their kisses are like attacks, harsh and biting, teeth cutting into lips. Buffy's fingers are in her, hard and relentless and Faith is pretty sure that Buffy is trying to make her hurt. Faith's had worse, and she's wanted this as much and for as long, so she revels in it, in Buffy's loss of control.

But she's still Faith, so she flips Buffy on her back and takes her. And Buffy screams and scratches, bites and tells Faith she hates her, wants her, loves her. And Faith doesn't stop, just keeps working in Buffy, and thinks about how she hates her, wants her, loves her. Buffy arches, opens wider, holds on tighter.

It is not enough, it never has been, never will be.

Buffy is sobbing and chanting, hate you hate you hate you.

Faith stops her with a kiss, it's soft, gentle, says everything she can't say with words.

They come, Faith silently, Buffy crying and chanting, love you love you love you.

As soon as she can breathe again she pushes Faith off her, grabs her clothes and is gone.

It takes Faith two minutes to realise she'll never see Buffy again.

happily ever after

Faith awakens to the feel of soft lips grazing her neck. She sighs happily and squeezes Buffy closer to her side.

They are naked under the sheet, legs tangled, arms wrapped around each other, and as Faith presses a kiss into Buffy's hair it occurs to her that that this is perfection.

Buffy breaks the silence, "Do we have to get up yet?"

"It's still early."

Buffy gives a sleepy, satisfied moan and buries her face into Faith's shoulder.

They lay in perfect contentment and happiness, and two minutes later they are asleep.

light

It's always about knives with them. That was the thought that flittered through Faith's mind as she smirked at Buffy's determined face across from her.

They were both out of breath and blood covered them. They'd been fighting for too long, and Buffy was tired and cold and sore and she was fighting someone she was supposed to hate but couldn't.

Then it was a blur, a guard dropped, instinct taking over and blade sunk into flesh.

Faith gasped at the familiar agony, staggered and fell with a low groan. Buffy caught her and lowered her to the ground, kneeling next to her, her stomach churning and an acid taste rising at the back of her throat.

"Been waiting for you to that again for a long time, B." She laughed, a horrible, pained, gurgling sound. A trickle of blood trailed from the corner of her lips.

Buffy stared, her eyes stinging, her throat aching, her chest tight, and took Faith's cold hand, rubbing it between her own for a moment before realising the pointlessness of that act.

"Gonna stay till you know you did the job right?" Faith's voice was bitter and pained. It was not supposed to end like this, not by Buffy, anyone but Buffy.

Buffy said nothing. She leaned forward and pressed her lips to Faith's. She tasted blood and cigarettes and Faith's lips were too cold to be natural.

Faith's eyes burned into hers. Filled with regret and so many other things Buffy didn't want to think about. She didn't want to think about what could have been, of the different ways they could have shared that kiss, of how it could have meant so much more than goodbye. She had done what was needed, and among everything else in those eyes Buffy saw Faith's understanding. It didn't help.

Two minutes later the blood stopped flowing and Faith was still. Buffy lifted her in her arms and carried her home.