I realize it's been a while, but I'm back! And this chapter is longer. Enjoy and please do review.

Present day

"You're unusually quiet tonight, B."

"Well we're acting as bait, I figure we should stay silent until we run into the demons that so happen to be able to burn our flesh with a single touch."

"Okay...never mind, then."

They stroll around the cemetery, breathing in the cool night air.

But it's not like either of them expect she can stay quiet for long.

"So...why you been avoiding me?"


"You've been avoiding me like the fucking plague for almost two months now."

"A month and a half."

"Whatever. Either way, you've been avoiding me."

Buffy purses her lips and keeps her eyes focused in front of her. It's not like she really wants to get into this conversation now. Or ever, really.

Faith sighs and rolls her eyes as she fiddles with the gun holstered to her thigh.

She isn't sure how she expected the conversation to go, but she had been hoping it would go a little more smoothly than it was now.


They both turn to their left, hands immediately gripping tight on their guns.


"I'm not the only who heard that, right?"

"No, you're not."


Sshck sshck.

Now they turn to their right.



"I think we're surrounded."

"You think?"

"Back to back?" Faith asks.

Buffy says nothing as she turns to face her back to Faith's. It's a good idea.

"Come on, fuckers. You can come out now. Promise we don't bite."

Slowly but surely they see the shadows emerge from behind the trees and the tombstones.

"Lookie here, B. We've got company."



"Shut up."

The first sound emits from one of the demons, a loud, piercing shriek that dremels at their eardrums as it charges.

Faith draws a knife and throws it true as it thunks into the creature's head, felling it quickly as it came.

The others cry out as they charge.

"What the fuck, Faith?" Buffy shouts as she draws her pistols and begins to shoot.

Faith pulls out a gun in one hand and a short sword in the other.

"Well it's not like we need all of them, just one is enough. Killing the others is probably the best idea." She returns as she spin kicks a demon and slashes another down by the neck.

Soon enough they're all down, several dead, and the others tranquilized. Faith weaves in and out amongst them, observing as she goes. Eventually she stops at one, and putting gloves on, she squats down and ties its hands and feet together. As Buffy watches, she then walks by the rest and using her sword, slices off each and every one of their heads.

Just in case.

"How thorough of you." Buffy remarks sarcastically as Faith comes up toward her, dragging the chosen demon by a rope she's tied to its hands.

"I try."

Buffy rolls her eyes and turns around.

"Let's just get out of here."

Faith grunts and sheaths her sword, adjusting the rope she's holding as well. When she turns back around she's pulling out her gun.



Buffy hears the shout but before she can react, a fast - and heavy - force knocks her into the ground. She can hear her skin burning before she can feel it.

She screams.

Blam blam blam!

It's the last thing she hears before she passes out.

When Buffy finally comes to, she can hear voices beside her.

"She's gonna be okay, right?"

"Faith, you haven't gotten any sleep for the last two days. She'll be fine. It wasn't as deep as it could've been."

"Then why's she been passed out for so long? I didn't pass out when that one fucker took out my arm."

"She hit her head on the tombstone pretty hard; a slight concussion, but we both know she's been through worse."

"I should've seen it coming. I mean, it was way too easy."

"Well it's over, you managed to get Buffy and the demon back so it's not a problem."

"Yea, well, as long as she's okay."

Another voice joins the fray.



"I believe it's time for your treatment."

"Oh. Right."


Buffy opens her eyes and sees Faith and Angel sitting on either side of her bed, Giles standing slightly in front of the doorway.

"B!" Faith exclaims, a half-smile appearing on her face.

She looks awful. Her face is pasty white and drawn, she seems to be visibly shaking, and her eyes look yellow and bloodshot. Faith has been looking worse for the wear lately, but never this bad. Ever.

"God, you look like shit."

The brunette looks taken aback before chuckling.

"Well, speak for your goddamn self, princess."

"I bet I look fine. I just feel like shit, is all."

"Makes two of us, now don't it?"

"Faith?" Giles urges softly.

"Right, well, I was just checking in. Must be all the good energy I've got going, waking you up and all." Faith says lightly as she stands up and walks out the door, Giles following behind her.

Buffy and Angel both watch them go, before turning to look at each other.

"She wasn't really just checking in, was she?"

Angel sighs.

"She hasn't left that chair since she carried you in here except to question the demon for a couple hours yesterday. Didn't eat, didn't sleep..."

"She carried me in?"

"Wouldn't let anybody else handle you."

How flattering.




"So...we got the demon?"

"One of the many, yes. I don't know how she managed to carry you and drag it back to the van without more than two arms."

"Well, it is Faith. She's surprisingly resourceful."

"Yes, yes she is."


"So what's the treatment?" Buffy finally asks.

Angel sighs again.


"Angel, if there's something going on with Faith, I need to know."

"No, you want to know. There's a difference."

"Either way, I'd really appreciate it if you'd tell me."

There's a slight pause while Angel contemplates before he speaks.

"Buffy, if Faith wants you to know, she'll tell you. It's not my business to say anything."


"That's it, Buffy. No more."

This time, Buffy sighs. She figures it'd be easier by now, all the random surprises life throws at you, but it's not. Doesn't get easier, because the surprises get worse and worse. It's difficult for even her to quite grasp it, but she guesses she has to. At this point, adapting to life is all she's got going for her.

Then again, she's always been in habit of breaking the rules and changing the game.

"What information have we gotten from the demon so far, then?"

"We only got it started talking yesterday a bit because the tranquilizer kept it knocked out for a day and a half. But apparently they've built a whole new lair in the hole that is now Sunnydale."


"Don't worry, we were all kind of shocked."

"Go figure we'd all end up having to go back to that hellhole."

"It has an uncanny tendency to draw all the evil in the world."

"How the hell do you build a lair in a hole, anyway? Is that even possible?"

"I don't even know, we're still trying to get some sort of map out of the creature but it's taking a bit to convince it."

"Ha. I bet Faith's not too happy about that."

Angel grimaces.

"The only reason we got any information out of it is because of Faith. You should've seen what she did to the thing. Not very pretty."

"Wish I could've been there."

"She had everyone leave the room, but we could hear it screaming from outside. And when we went back in..." Angel shakes his head.

"Sounds pleasant."

"Oh, definitely."

"So when do I get to leave the bed?"

"If you're feeling okay, it should be fine. Willow put some ointment on the burns."

Buffy finally notices the bandages on the sides of her right arm and feels a thick pad on her neck.

"Oh wow. Didn't even realize."

"They were pretty light, thankfully. Good thing you had your jacket on, and that it didn't manage to hold onto you for more than a few seconds when it rushed you."

"Yea. Good thing." She repeats, sitting upright.

"Anything else I should keep an eye on?"

Angel stands up.

"Your head is probably still swollen; you fell on it pretty hard, but it should be alright."

"Mm. Well, thanks Angel." She says, swinging her legs over the side of the bed to get up.

"Don't thank me. Thank Faith."