"Hurry up, Faith," she says. "You're going to be late, and when we make it there won't be any left for you!"
"No fair, B," huffs Faith, as she struggles mightily to catch up. "You all had a head start."
But Buffy doesn't slow down, she never does. Faith needs her to slow down.
Faith can make her stop. Today's the day she'll make her stop.
The knife is an extension of her hand, cool, glittering in silver. It wants to be used. Faith wants to use it.
It is dishonorable to stab someone in the back. But Faith is evil, always has been, always will be. So that's what she does, plunging the knife between her shoulder blades. She falls, and Faith pushes her backwards so she can look into her eyes before she rams the blade into Buffy's gut where it belongs.
"Faith," Buffy gasps with her dying breath. "Why..."
Dancing. It's always with the dancing. So Faiths up on stage shaking her groove thing, and really enjoying herself by the way, when Buffy walks up behind her.
"Hey F! I got something for ya'!" she yells.
She stops mid-shimmy. Faith turns around. "Really, what is it?" she asks, happy and innocently, as Buffy brings the revolver up from her waist. Surreally slowly, Faith raises her hands in front of her. "No! Buffy!" Open palms don't ward off bullets. Buffy empties the gun into Faith's chest. The blood spurts out of her falling body in slow motion.
And Buffy smiles...
The dreams are unsettling. Slayer dreams tend to mean something, so she hates where these were going. Buffy is vindictive as hell, and she has this feeling in her stomach making her think that they really may have come so far just so they could kill each other.
And they both have the chance right now.
Buffy strolls from her room to where Faith is sleeping on the couch - or not. She's sitting up with her jacket overtop of her, watching Italian TV.
She watches Faith fidget on the couch.
Uncomfortable was an understatement. Not the situation, just the clothes. Pajamas just weren't in the plans for Faith's sleeping habits, but she could hardly crash at Buffy's apartment naked, especially with impressionable, innocent youth right next door.
"Can't sleep?" she asks.
Faith jumps a little. "Yeah. Dreams just too damned weird."
"I'll say," Buffy grumbles. "I don't even use guns."
Faith really isn't paying attention. "Mmmm? What was that?"
"Nothing," Buffy says too quickly. "Whatcha doin'?" she asks with a rhythmic lilt to her voice, all sleepy and distracted.
Faith shrugs. "Nothing. Just trying to watch TV. I can't understand a word they're saying."
"That would be the Italian. Try 33. I think we've got CNN."
"English?" asks Faith as she thumbed the remote. CNN's logo pops up on the screen (with English graphics, woo-hoo!). The TV was on mute, so they couldn't hear James Earl Jones' voice over, but they knew it was there.
"Nice," she says. "What's the deal with getting TV you can't understand?"
Faith scoots over on the couch at Buffy's unspoken request.
"It's mostly for Dawn," Buffy replies as she plunks herself down beside Faith. "Me, not so good with the languages, as evidenced by the many barely passes in my own academic career. She says it helps her by exposing her to Italian phrases that she wouldn't get in school."
"She ever try to teach you?"
"All the time. No dice."
"I'm so glad I have you to guide me around the city. If we're ever lost I don't know what I would do without you."
"Ha, ha. Nice with the sarcasm."
Nothing really left for them to say, at least nothing they felt comfortable saying. The two Slayers just sit in their PJs on the couch, watching silent CNN in the middle of the night.
Faith strums her fingers on her thigh and lets the air out through pursed lips. The doctors diagnosed her with foot-in-mouth syndrome during her last check-up.
"Dawn sure got hot in a hurry."
"Oh no," Buffy threatens in all seriousness. "Don't you start up with the innuendo around my little sister or I will definitely be kicking your ass."
Faith laughs, a giggly little laugh that was completely uncharacteristic of her. "Chill, B. Keep it down," she says, lowering her voice to a whisper into Buffy's ear. "Just trying to say that she's gonna be breaking hearts all over Rome, or more now that you've got the whole Eurotrip thing going on."
"No, no more Eurotrip. We're putting down roots, at least until Dawn finishes high school."
Faith shakes her head in disbelief. "Shit, B, you made her go back to school already?"
Arched eyebrows and one incredulous stare from Buffy later. "Um, yeah," she says.
"That's just cruel. What gives? She just went through the war to end all wars and here we are, only one summer later and back with the nose to the grindstone?"
"Dawn wanted it. She had to beg me to give up our wandering ways and enroll her here."
"Right..." Faith says, skeptically.
Buffy nods. "She's an eager beaver, and she's turning into a hell of a researcher."
"Bullshit. You mean this wasn't your doing?"
"Believe it or not, Faith, some people actually enjoy school. Just because you dropped out early doesn't mean that everyone else wants to."
"Fine," Faith says, raising her hands in defeat, or at least lack of caring. "You mind if I?" she asks, plucking a cigarette from her jacket.
"On the balcony. I've been bumping with smokers and their toxic fumes for far too long a time." She waves a dismissive hand at Faith and reaches for the remote.
Faith grunts and throws the cigarette down with as much force as was possible with a mostly air-filled paper tube. "I don't believe this!" she practically screams. "War's over, B. Enough with the hard-ass routine already! It was fucked up then, and now it's even more fucked up!"
"Excuse me for caring about my health! I don't want my little sister getting addicted, and now that it looks like I may get to live for a while yet, I'm going to try to avoid cancer. No smoke in my apartment. That's final."
"No wait. I was wrong," Faith says, mock cheerful, staring at Buffy but looking right through her. "You're fucked up! You think you'd learn something by now, Jeez!" shouts Faith, turning her anger to bear on Buffy. Her short fuse had just about lit the charge.
Buffy realizes that she had accidentally turned her simple anti-smoking sentiment into an attack on Faith, taken the wrong way. "Oh wait," Buffy grabs one of Faith's wildly flailing wrists, which was a bad idea because the fist that was attached to the other one struck her upside the head.
"Ow! Will you cut it out and listen to me?"
Faith stares her down but doesn't strike again.
"I'm sorry about what I said there. I wasn't thinking and I didn't mean it, at least the way it came across." Faith visibly relaxes, her angry, pouty frown leveling off. "I'm really glad I'm still, well, not exactly bumping, but friends, with you."
Buffy feels Faith's hand come to rest tentatively on her shoulder. "Thanks, B. That means a lot." She smiles. "Do we really have to do this fighting thing every single time?"
"Seems like it."
"As long as we're doing this, I'm sorry," Faith says, and Buffy is surprised. Shocked, more like it.
"You don't have to."
"I do. You may not think so but I don't want you to wonder. I'm sorry I turned on you, Buffy. You were my best friend. Actually the only one who didn't hate my guts, really. I'd never had one of those before, so I really didn't know what to do. I'm just screwed up." Faith was actually starting to cry. Dammit, Faith was never supposed to cry. "And I'm sorry for stealing your body. I'm despicable, and I feel real bad about what I did when I was you."
"That's alright, Faith," Buffy says, pulling the now bawling other Slayer into a hug. "It's alright. Wait - what did you do?"
Faith swallowed. Hard. "I, uh... Oh, right, you wouldn't have known about that..." Whoops.
"What?" Buffy demands. This sounds like it could be a shit dumping about to happen.
"I slept with Riley."
"You what?! Wait, I already knew that."
"And I cock-teased Spike."
Buffy rapidly lets go of Faith. "Oh. My God. I should kill you where you stand - sit. All this, everything, is your fault."
"Sorry?" says Faith timidly from the nook of the couch's armrest where she had taken refuge during Buffy's mini-tirade.
"No. It's alright. I can't be mad at you when you're trying to come clean. And it is kinda funny."
"So... we're good?" asks Faith hopefully.
"Yeah. Well, actually... I'd like to apologize too, Faith."
Now Faith was really confused.
"For what? I was the bad guy. Anything I got I deserved. There's nothing you have to apologize to me for."
Buffy scoffs. "Yeah right," was her sarcastic reply. "I left you for dead a bunch of times. You tried to make up and I just kept putting you down, no matter how much everyone told me you'd gotten better. You were my friend and I gave up on you too soon. I treated you like shit." Buffy averts her eyes, sadness almost overwhelming her. Almost.
"Oh. Yeah," Faith ponders. "Bitch."