Title: The Words We Could Never Say
Fandom: Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Timeline: Post "Chosen", though has nothing to do with the season 8 comics.
Summary: There was a lot of emotions Faith thought she would see from Buffy, but jealousy was never one of them.
A/N: This is a remake of the story She's Mine that I wrote when I was 17 (I can't link it on here, but it was on AFF under my old pen name Sapphire Smoke). Seriously, if you find it, read at your own risk, but for the love of god read this first. Ha. I cringed when I read it. Man... my writing then... but, anyway. I thought it would be fun to do, remake something from almost six years ago. It'll probably be a bit longer than that was. Alright, yeah, it will be. But that's cause nothing flowed well in that one. For. Real. I'll probably change some things up too. Hell, already am. Alot. Er...
Faith feels like she's back in high school being in this fuckin' thing.
Not that she actually finished it, though she was there for a good year and a half. But the heat in the bus is making the air stale, which would have been bad enough if it wasn't tainted with the distinct smell of blood and sweat to polish it all off. It ain't like it was hell, nah. Faith's been in hell, and this wasn't it. She's not complaining; not really, not after everything. But fuck, some air would be nice, y'know? Crack a damn window and just let her finally breathe. It's felt like so long since she's been able to just breathe.
It's always one thing after another, hasn't it? Shit piled on top of more shit topped off with some shitty fuckin' sprinkles. Mother's a drunk, Watcher's dead, that whole evil stint that just… fuck. Blame it on the adrenaline and the hormones, or something. The fact that she's only got half a brain. Whatever. That whole screwed up mess and the whole screwed up mess that came after when she tried to just fuckin' off herself since obviously the world would have been better off. The whole disaster that was B comin' to Angel's side of town to tell him that she ain't worth fixing. Jail. Angelus. Coming back to Sunnydale. Buffy. The First. B… fuckin' Buffy.
She just needs to breathe.
But that's how it was, wasn't it? Save the freakin' world, again, whooptie-friggin-do… and then you find yourself stuck in a hot crowded bus, driving down the highway towards the next apocalypse. There's a metaphor in there somewhere probably. Faith looks out the window, watching the scenery roll by like nothing ever happened. The rest of the world is so ignorant; content on seeing only the things they can handle seeing. Faith maybe misses that a little. Not that she wasn't ignorant as fuck even when she did know that the things that go bump in the night actually existed, but regardless.
But it's over, right? For now. Sunny D is a crater in the ground, something that's gonna baffle scientists for freaking years probably. It ain't like she misses it; it's nothing like that. That place was filled with bad memory after bad memory. Hurt, pain, destruction. But there was something about it that she can remember; maybe only briefly in the back of her mind that just didn't completely suck. Lights, heat, moving, laughter, music, lipstick, fuckin' leather pants and freedom. If only for a moment.
Coming back there was more of an unconscious decision rather than something that was fully thought out and planned. If she did plan it out, maybe she would have thought twice, but even now she doubts it. Job, destiny, something like that. Guilt, maybe. Redemption was probably on the menu too. But she's told that Buffy needs her and like some electric pull she finds herself back to where the nightmares started.
B was looking for all the help she could get, but Faith's pretty damn sure the last thing she was looking for was her. But it ain't a choice, never was. Never will be. It rips her apart inside and fuck, yeah, maybe that's where the violence came from in the first place; being so unwanted. But it wasn't like she should have expected anything different. That's how her life was since the minute she was born; unwanted. But it was different with B, but things were always different with her, weren't they? Slayer connection; dreams. Makin' the bed and counting down till the world ends. But Faith's world already ended when she met Buffy.
Or maybe it just began. Hell, she was never too good with all that deep philosophical crap.
Stupid little girl crushes and the desire to be noticed. Stand out in a crowd and have everyone just see who she was, or more like who she wanted to be. Sexy, wild, untamed and uncontrollable. Passion and anger and lust and love. It was all about feeling. Feeling anything, really. Feel just to know she's alive, that she's still standing and she's still fighting, despite it all. But she felt too much and she felt it too fast and god fucking damnit she seriously blames the whole slayer thing for it all. Feeling her when they weren't even touching. It was intoxicating and new and she just wanted to wrap herself up in it and just let go.
Letting go is what started the whole mess though. She let go without realizing where the hell she was gonna fall to.
Most of that part of her life though was more due to confusion though. Physical feeling wasn't anything she was new to. She lost her virginity at twelve and yeah, not she's exactly happy about she became such a little slut at a young age, but there ain't no point on dwelling about it. But it was all confusion and needing to feel. It didn't matter with who, it never really mattered. Conquering; might have been about that too. That might have been how it started with B; just needing to conquer her. The first slayer; the best. Faith was sloppy seconds and her teenage ego was not about to have that written in the history books.
It wasn't like Faith was new to sex or sexuality at that time in her life, but finding herself feeling like this strange blonde bitch owns a part of her soul from day one was confusing and fuckin' scary. Maybe it's some slayer mystical thing; two slayers, one soul or some crap like that. But now being in a bus full of slayers and not feeling like a single thing has changed between her and any of them, she knew that conclusion was pretty much made of shit and excuses. And it freaks her out, even now. Knowing that it wasn't just because of the slayer thing. Knowing it was just her and her fucked up head and loving things that destroy her.
And yeah, it's gotta be love, doesn't it? There's no other explanation for this whole… whatever. Shit-fest. It'd explain why the hell she hurts every time Buffy looks at her. Why she ran down to her own personal hell without even thinking twice about it. Why she feels the pull and the ache and the desire to just make everything better. Not that she really thinks she could.
Buffy… Buffy's accepted her, if only for the moment she needed to. Clocked her once good in the jaw and then gave her the keys to the ride as she ran off and cried. But she came back, and shit went south and then back north again and… fuck, explosions and craziness and hell… here they were. In this freaking bus, and Faith ain't gotta a clue on how this is gonna play out from here on out.
Faith looks over as she feels someone slip into the seat next to her. She cocks an eyebrow at Dawn, who slinked down low, knees on the seat in front of her, clearly not wanting to be seen by anyone at the front of the bus. "What's up, shortie?"
Dawn makes a face at the nickname, but doesn't say anything about it. She looks up at her, and asks in this way that makes Faith know that the kid knows she's doing something wrong, "You got a cigarette?"
Great, cause that's what the kid needs. A smoke. And just what she needs, right? Having B ride her ass cause she gave her one. Yeah, no thanks.
"B know you smoke?" she asks, knowing full well the answer before it comes out of her mouth.
"Bad for you, y'know."
"Thanks for the health lesson, Faith, but I did take that class in school," Dawn retorts, smoothing out her jeans with her hands. Anxious. She can see it with how her fingers twitched and she shifts a bit at the anticipation. Damn, is the kid addicted already?
But Faith knows that feeling. Cigarettes were her nasty little habit she picked up in jail. It wasn't like she had anything better to do than just work out and smoke all damn day, anyway. And yeah, watching Dawn crawl inside of her own skin makes her feel a bit for her. She knows what it's like when you're out. Besides, the girl could usually not bear to even be within a ten foot radius of her. She's nice enough to her face, now anyway, but Faith knows she's still upset about the shit that went down years ago. So being here, asking her for one? Gotta suck.
She's sliding the pack of smokes out of her pocket before she can think about how this is gonna probably get her screamed at for the next couple hours about how she sucks at being a role model, but it ain't like she didn't know that already. She's not asking to be anyone's mentor. She flips open the pack and offers it to Dawn, and she pulls one out and gives Faith a little smile. Small, but it was there.
"Don't light it up here; windows are busted. Won't go down. Wait till we stop," Faith tells her, and she watches Dawn's fingers tap lightly on her jeans. Lightly, but almost erratically. Damn, well, she needs a cigarette too anyway. Faith stands up, leaning over the seat in front of her as she calls out to the front:
"Hey! I need to pee."
"Charming," Buffy responds dryly, looking back down at her. Faith just shrugs. Charming was never something she was anyway. She watches Buffy sigh and lean over to talk to Giles. When she turns back she tells her, "Ten minutes. Think you can hold it or do I need to find you a Gatorade bottle?" Snarky.
"Ten minutes is cool," Faith responds, slipping back down into her seat. Dawn gives her another appreciative look.
"So when this start, then?" Faith asks her as she settles back in, rolling her neck a bit to get the kink out. Even if she didn't need a smoke, a rest stop at this point was vital. It was too cramped and too damn hot. Dawn looks confused for a minute, so Faith motions to the cigarette between her fingers that's waiting to be lit.
Dawn just shakes her head, "Oh. Just. The Key thing. It kind of messed with me. You think your whole life you're real only to wake up one day to find out you're just some mystical—whatever. It was just the stress, I guess. Used to bum them from Spike," Faith watches the emotion play over the girl's face at his name. A soldier they lost in the battle, but so much more than that to, hell, everyone else maybe. Some of them. But Dawn continues, not letting in control her, "But Buffy never took enough notice to realize what was going on. Too caught up in everything else."
Faith just nods; she got that. Waking up and you're whole life has changed. She used sex the first time and yeah, the second it was cigarettes. Though that was more of a wake up and realize you're life is over thing. Just gonna be the same thing day after day. It just kinda gets to you.
Dawn looks at her and states, "You never used to smoke either."
Understatement. Everything changes, all the time. One extreme to the other and back around again, making you dizzy and wanting to throw up. There's silence between the two girls again, and Faith looks up to the front of the bus, watching Buffy tend to one girl's wound on her arm. Always the savior, huh? She used to hate her for that. Now… fuck, whatever now is. Now is just now.
"So what's the deal with you two?"
Faith turns to looks at Dawn, confused. This whole talking thing was not just weird, it was unexpected on so many levels. "Me and B?" Faith asks, wondering why she wants to know. Why she even cares.
"Yeah." She flicks the cigarette between her fingers in anticipation. Maybe she's talking just to pass time.
Dawn looks at her in a way that makes Faith thinks she should have understand more of what she meant. She smooths out her pant legs again, pursing her lips together for a moment before turning her head to look back at Faith. "I was just trying to see if everything is cool between you two again. Or, okay, not cool exactly. Just… better. Than before."
Once again Faith is deep in the realm of 'why does she even care?' But she just shrugs, trying to make light of the situation. Like nothing mattered, when in reality everything mattered. "It ain't like we're besties or anything. Ain't ever gonna be that. Ain't ever gonna come anywhere close to that. You know. With all this rain of shit we poured on each other back then. But. I dunno. Guess she's… just whatever about it now. Maybe."
More silence as Dawn thinks about that. She takes a breath before saying, "She talked about you a lot. When you were gone. Locked up."
"Hate and anger, blood and guts probably."
Dawn shakes her head, "No. Not all the time." She's quiet for a minute, like she's trying to decide if she should even say anything. Faith just watches her, her curiosity spiked just due to the whole… adultness of this conversation. What happened to little annoying Dawn? Whiny and bratty? Who was this in front of her, and why the hell didn't Faith realize she had grown up until just now?
The world continues to just pass her by, huh. Figures.
"You made her sad, you know," Dawn says finally. She doesn't look at her though; she's looking at Buffy across the way.
"Angry," Faith corrects.
"No. I mean sad," Dawn says, then her eyes look over to rest on Faith. "She won't say it outloud. She likes it up there; where she can look down and control everything around her. She couldn't control you though. Maybe she thought you should be up there too with her. I don't know. But she was happy for a little while when you came. I remember that. She's been sad ever since the Mayor. She talks about you and I see it."
Faith doesn't really know what to say to that for a minute. It's weird, having this conversation with Buffy's little sister. She's really not so little anymore though. "I fucked up," is all Faith offers her, training her eyes back out the window. Another understatement.
"Yeah," Dawn agrees. There's more silence as they pull off the highway. "I looked up to you a lot, you remember that?"
"Yeah, kid. I remember," Faith says, her voice low and… shit. Sad. Yeah, she remembers. She remembers Dawn wanting to practically be her and how annoying it was when she would steal her favorite lipstick and try to talk like her. But now? Now it just seems so screwed up. A memory that never really happened. "Stupid thing to do."
"Probably. But I think I did it cause Buffy did. Younger sister syndrome or something."
That makes Faith turn to look at her. "B never wanted to be like me."
"I think she still kind of does," Dawn tells her, and Faith can feel the bus rolling to a stop as they reach their destination. Well, their designated rest stop. She shrugs a bit. "You were free. She never had that. With mom and me she could never just run off and do whatever she wanted. Think she envied you for it."
People were starting to pile out, and as Dawn gets up to leave, Faith asks, "When did you grow up?"
Dawn smirks a little, but it's almost sad. "When you weren't around."
Faith watches her leave, watches all of them leave. Damn. Yeah, alright, that hurt. It was supposed to though probably. It was all so messed up, every single part of this. Her life. The world. It's like she left and when she came back everything was all still the same but still so fucking different. But the world keeps turning.
Ain't nothing ever gonna wait for you.