No words needed

Author Notes: Takes place post-Chosen.

It didn't take very long for Faith to find her. In the past couple of weeks she had developed an even stronger Slayer bond with Buffy, perhaps because she had, while sharing their power with the Potentials through the Scythe, simultaneously combined and strengthened her own. Without trying, she could almost always sense what Buffy was feeling, even if she didn't understand it, and she could usually find her fairly easily whenever she was looking.

She hadn't known where to look for Buffy when she slipped out of the abandoned, rundown motel she and all the others had been staying in until better 'Slayer Headquarters' could be obtained. Faith hadn't, when she set out after her, had any idea where the blonde Slayer might be going, and doubted Buffy knew herself. All she knew was the upset emotions she had sensed in her earlier… and considering the day's date, she didn't want to let her go off alone.

She had eventually felt her through their bond about a block away from the location Buffy had retreated to. When Faith finally found her, she stopped for a few moments, swallowing in suddenly sharp empathy and realization. She had not expected to find Buffy in a cemetery, particularly since it was still daytime, the sun shining brightly overhead.

But then again, it was Mother's Day… and with the destruction of Sunnydale, Buffy couldn't go to her own mother's grave.

Even from the cemetery entrance, a good distance away from her, Faith could see that Buffy was crying. She could see her body shaking, hear the hurt little cries she was issuing, little gasps that made Faith want to cringe at the pitiful sound of them. She could sense the tangle of emotions running through her, and her heart squeezed, her stomach knotting. She hated to see Buffy like this… god, she hated to see her cry…

Faith could not ever quite relate to the depth of Buffy's grief for her mother... at least, not specifically. Her own mother's death, when Faith was only fourteen, had been a relief to her in 

some ways. She had been hurt by her, rejected and abandoned by her, in so many ways that she had been forced to dissociate from her, to convince herself to hate her mother as much as her mother seemed to hate her. Of course she had grieved for her mother in her own way, but her grief had been minimal, more for the mother she had never had than for her mother as she had been. Any grief had been distracted by her complicated feelings for her and her anxiety as to her future now that she had no one at all to care- or refuse to care- for her. She had never known her father, so Faith couldn't feel one way or another about him. She didn't even know if he was alive or dead.

She had cared about her Watcher, if not fully loved her as she would have a parent…not as Buffy had loved her mother. She had cared deeply about her death, been agonized over it- but part of this was because of Faith's own perceived role in it, what she saw to this day as her failure to save her. She had not quite let herself grieve her Watcher's death either, but rather had shoved her emotions aside, buried them until they came out only in the form of nightmares.

Faith had grieved the Mayor, for she had loved him like a father- the father she had never had. But her grief for him had been heavily tainted by her confusion, her fear and rage… at Buffy, at him, but mostly, at herself. He had used her, beguiled her in the only way she was truly vulnerable… and yet, it was she who had allowed him to, she who had offered herself willingly. She had loved him… but she could not love him in the pure way that Buffy had loved her mother, the way that you could love someone wholly loving and good, who wanted only the best for you.

Faith could not fully relate to how Buffy must feel… but she could easily imagine. She remembered how stunned she had been when Angel told her of Joyce's death, how stricken that she had never been able to apologize to her for all she had done to her and her daughter. She remembered her sorrow for Joyce, for in her own way, Faith had also loved Joyce, even as she pushed herself away from her.

But mostly… Faith could remember how she had felt when she was told that Buffy had died… and how she would feel now, if Buffy died again…

She approached her slowly, softly, not wanting to startle her with any loud calls or noises. She knew Buffy must sense her, though her awareness of their connection might be muted by her 

intense feelings, but Buffy did not look up, did not acknowledge her presence. Before long Faith was standing right beside her, looking down at her, and still Buffy did not respond.

Buffy's breath was coming in ragged gasps, and she was trembling, her nose running, but she didn't bother to wipe it. She closed her eyes, but still tears seeped from underneath them, still she was sobbing in a way that made Faith's throat close over, brought her close to tears herself.

Without thinking any further, without wondering or even really caring if this was what she wanted, Faith slipped down onto the ground beside Buffy, pulling her into her arms. Holding her tightly, she began to caress her back and head, cradling her head to her shoulder and feeling Buffy's breaths shudder through her in response. She didn't say anything, didn't try to explain what she felt for her then, how she had found her. She just held her, and hoped Buffy realized that she understood.

For a while, Buffy was stiff in her arms, not easily adapting to this entirely foreign closeness between them, in more ways than one. But still Faith held her, not trying to speak, for she knew that nothing she could say would change anything… words were not what Buffy needed. It was never words that had helped Faith… just caring. Intense, demonstrative caring…

And when she felt Buffy's body go limp, felt her press her hot face against her neck as her arms went around her back, Faith knew it was sinking in after all. The two of them sat there, Buffy's cries tapering off, Faith's struggling to remain stifled, and their entangled limbs conveyed and bridged more between them than their words ever could.