"Are my screams loud enough for you to hear me?"
"Dawn where have you been, I looked for you all over."
"Hello Buffy." The older slayer looked at her puzzled, her sister didn't sound happy in fact she sounded devoid of emotion, cold.
"Face it, I don't want to talk to you."
"Why not? I'm sorry I left, I'm sorry this all happened. What can I do?"
"It's always about you isn't it Buffy? Why are you so important all of a sudden? I finally had a life, finally had something of my own and now you've come to take it all away. I don't want to talk to you, I don't want you near me, you should have stayed lost. That's how I feel, get it through your thick blonde skull." Dawn turned and flounced away.
"I'm worried about her Wes!"
"I understand that Faith but she is an adult. Dawn has asked for space and we have to oblige her to a certain extent."
"I'm just worried that she'll do something stupid and we'll loose her."
"I won't deny that it is a risk but…"
"She's in love with me."
Wesley looked at his slayer fondly, "You think that I didn't know that?"
"Really in love with me! Truly. Madly. Deeply."
"And that worries you because…?"
Faith clenched her fists and rubbed them across her face roughly, "Most of the shit that I did in Sunnydale the first time I did because of unrequited love. I did it because I was in love with Buffy and she just didn't see it, or didn't want to see it."
"And you think Dawn would be similarly motivated?"
"She's getting out of control, she needs our support and shouldn't be alone at a time like this."
"In principal that would work Faith, however if you force her to remain here it could make matters worse."
"She would be forced to watch you and Buffy every day."
"There's nothing going on with me and B!"
Wesley looked at her closely, "Dawn will need careful handling and in order to help her I need the full story, so stop lying to me and tell me the truth!"
"I'm not lying!"
"Lying omission is still a lie Faith, what happened between you two?"
"Me and Buffy?" Faith was trying to be her old self, cocky and self-assured. She was failing miserably because she was no longer that person and the problem with the whole situation was that she did care!
"You and Dawn."
So Faith told him the whole story and didn't leave anything out, she told him about every problem that she had been having with Dawn over the last few months, her worry that Dawn was starting to turn out the way she had. She told him about the other day, how Dawn had gotten her worked up and she hadn't been able to control herself and he was sympathetic but ultimately he was impotent. Although he did admit that she was right and that the younger slayer needed closer observation.
Dawn finished the hundred press-ups she had been doing and moved seamlessly into sit-ups. These last two weeks she had been working herself really hard and it showed. She had lost weight but had gained muscle in its place, she had never been in better shape. Feeling like she could take on anyone or anything she patrolled almost constantly, hiding her exhaustion and bruises from everyone who knew her. Even Faith, the older slayer had tried to contact her on numerous occasions but Dawn had made sure that she was unavailable.
She could sense the vampire long before he reached her position and yet she made no move to reach for a weapon and the vampire carried none. There was no scent of steel or iron on him, just the faint aroma of human blood and of something just out of her understanding. She stilled but never opened her eyes, her enhanced senses telling her everything she needed to know.
Buffy found herself hitting the ground, hard. It was the second time in as many minutes and she had lost count of the number of times it had happened in the last few weeks. "Do we really need to do this…?!"
"B, your training has taken too long already." By this point Faith was exasperated, she walked over to the side of the training ground and grabbed a pitcher of rain water taking a deep drink she turned to look at Buffy.
The blonde slayer was looking across the rubble into the dark depths of the alien forest, she was lost in thought. Faith walked up and placed a hand on her shoulder, "You can't change what happened. Just do your job and deal with it. Moping isn't gonna help anyone."
Her words were met with a brutal punch, it almost knocked her to the ground but she kept her feet. She looked at Buffy a trickle of blood running down her face marring the perfect skin. "That's what you've always wanted isn't it Faith? You've always been telling me to loosen up, to cut loose. We both know how that ended last time, are you so keen for me to do it again?"
"That was different B. This time you need to learn to fight with more than skill and witty one-liners, you need to fight with all that passion you keep hidden. If not you'll have a very quick death, you told me that you wanted to help us. I've seen no evidence of that!"
Buffy kicked out at Faith hard, the brunette was expecting her attack and grabbed her leg. "If this is how you wanna play…? Let's do it." She threw Buffy clear across the clearing before pulling herself into a fighting stance watching for her next move.
"C'mon B what're you waiting for."
"Wanted to give you a chance."
The two slayers fell into the easy banter that had once been their mainstay, even when they had been enemies there had been the chance for needling each other and at those times like today, it kicked their fighting into a higher gear that nothing could ever match. In that moment for the briefest time it was as though they had never been apart.
At one point back in old Sunnydale they had been evenly matched except when Faith had not been concentrating when Buffy could get through her defences, which was where her experience had come in handy. But now Faith was the experienced one, her fighting had always been more technically correct, she now had superior stamina and she was more than a match for the smaller slayer.
She aimed another series of kicks at Faith, the brunette let the one aimed at her mid-section connect but grabbed the other slayers leg when she was aiming a higher kick. Yanking on said leg she pulled her off of her feet, Buffy twisted trying to evade and as a result they both fell to the floor.
Buffy found herself pinned under the body of the other slayer. Fighting and struggling she was held firmly. "How does that feel B?"
Faith just laughed, "Or what?"
Fighting even stronger against Faith, Buffy twisted and writhed. She was absolutely furious, willing to do anything to get away. "You bitch!"
"Sticks and stones B. By the way, the meat you had for dinner…that used to be a Chaos Demon."
Ramming her hips upwards Buffy tried to dislodge Faith, putting a hand between the brunettes' thighs she pushed hard. Throwing her aside she jumped on top, straddling her she grasped her hands, stretching them above Faiths head.
Faith could have easily thrown the other girl off and they both knew that but she remained still looking up at her captor. "Truth hurts doesn't it B?"
"Maybe I don't care."
"Yes you do! Don't ever try and convince yourself otherwise. Our strength lies in our passions, it's not enough just to fight because a Watcher tells you to or because you think it's right. You have to need to fight, want to fight, let your emotions lead you. Passion will give you the strength that you need to stay alive here, you need to let yourself feel, let go of your inhibitions."
Buffys eyes blazed in anger, burning into Faiths. Any vampire or demon would have been quaking in its boots at the incandescent fury in her eyes. "Angry B? That's good."
"Is it?" Faith had always managed to test Buffys self-control and for the second time she snapped. "Is it really? Do you really want to see what I want to do?"
"C'mon B, what you gonna do?"
They both glared faces inches apart, teeth clenched Buffy almost growled in her anger and frustration. She was breathing heavily from her earlier exertions and from trying to contain her emotions. Something had to give.
Releasing hands, Buffy roughly grabbed the back of Faiths head. Too quickly for the other girl to react, she pulled her into a kiss. There was nothing gentle about the contact, it was a fight for dominance, not unlike the one that they had just been having. Faith flipped Buffy over so that she was on top; she kissed the older slayer hard, just for a moment letting the beast within her free.
But only for a moment.
Faith violently tore herself from the blondes suddenly clutching arms. She looked down at her counterpart, lying breathless and dishevelled on the floor. Buffy stared up at her mutely, putting shaking fingers for swollen lips. Faith swallowed hard and walked away.
Two faces stared out at them from the darkness. One was contorted by rage and hatred, the other by anguish and pain. "Do you see now Oz? Faith doesn't care about you, she doesn't care about anyone but herself."
"I still love her Dawn."
"She obviously loves Buffy, you're nothing to her." Dawn didn't add that if she had had her way, it would have been her lips bruised by Faiths kisses and that Oz never would have had a look in anyway.
"What do you want me to do?" There was anger mixed in with the pain this time when he spoke. As he listened to her answer he grew angrier still, gripping her arm tightly, so hard that he was hurting even a slayer. Dawn smiled, he would be perfect, there was nothing quite like unrequited love. Or a woman scorned for that matter.