Disclaimer:- I do not own Buffy or any of the characters. But no one can stop my dreams!
AN:- Ok, three uploads in one day, that's gotta be some kind of a record for me! LOL! Anyway, hope you enjoy!
Faith, Buffy and a group of the Potentials stumbled through the door to the Summers house. What they had hoped would be a relatively uneventful teaching session for the girls had turned into the whole group being forced to kill demons. Demons that exploded into a hell of a lot of slime, now apparent by the state the girls were in, dripping goo on the floor as they walked.
They had no idea what kind of demon they had just fought, but right now, Faith didn't really care all that much. What she cared about was getting out of her ruined clothes and washing the slime off of herself. So, while Buffy and the Potentials went to tell Giles and Willow what had happened tonight, Faith did the smart thing and headed for the shower before anyone else could. If they let any more Potentials in this house, they were gonna need another bathroom… and a couple more bedrooms.
Once she was stripped and had the shower at the right temperature, Faith stood under the soothing stream, sighing in contentment as the hot water began to relieve her aching muscles. Her clothes had stopped the majority of the goo getting on her skin, but it was caked in her hair. Four washes and it was just about out, her hair back to its normal brown instead of streaked with green.
With her hair clean, Faith just relaxed under the massaging pressure of the hot water, waiting for the inevitable knock that would tell Faith her turn was over. That, however, was not what had Faith scrambling out of the shower stall. It was the emotions that flooded her mind and body, negative emotions of sadness and despair. Angelica's emotions.
It had been a month now since Faith had finally figured what, or who, was behind her strange emotions and had met Angelica… and it had taken a lot less than that for her to become completely attached to the young girl. Which is why it hurt her so much every time she felt these emotions, knowing just what the cause of them was.
Every time she went to see Angelica, took her home after a bad night, the time when she left her there was getting harder and harder. Someone she cared about was living in a situation she wouldn't ever dream on her worst enemy, and all she wanted to do was save her from it. But on the other hand, she couldn't justify taking her from one bad environment to another. Angelica may have been ok with the whole Slayer and vampire thing, but she didn't want to put her in a life or death situation. So, for now at least, Faith would do whatever she could for the girl until they figured she was ready and trusted Faith enough to deal with this. Right now, Faith was concerned with what happened when those feelings went… beyond just trust. Because lately, the feelings Faith was getting from Angelica when she was around her….
Her hair still falling in wet tendrils down her back, Faith slipped into the first item of clothing she could find and took the stairs about three at a time. As she grabbed her jacket from the chair she had thrown it on, Buffy, who was still speaking with Willow and Giles, turned to her.
"Faith, I was just telling Will… where are you going?" Buffy asked as she noticed Faith simply grab her jacket and head to the door.
"To stop this migraine in its tracks," Faith said as she left, letting the door swing shut behind her. Buffy just shrugged, going back to the demon discussion. She knew exactly where Faith was going, even without further explanation.
Angelica skittered around the room, picking up the papers and other items that were strewn around the place. She couldn't really see what she was doing properly, her eyes were that blurred with tears, but that didn't matter. She was just looking for something to keep herself busy.
She wanted out. She hated this life she was forced to live, no one deserved the things she was put through. But when she ever said anything about getting out, it didn't go down too well. Her father would go completely mad, and her mother… her mother did nothing as usual, choosing instead to drink herself into a stupor. More than anything she wanted to get out on her own, but the truth was… she was scared. Terrified even.
There were so many things she wanted out of her life that she couldn't get while under her father's control. She wanted to be able to get a good education, do something important with her life. She wanted an actual social life, to be able to go out whenever she wanted with those few people she could really call her friends. She wanted someone to love who would really love her, to know what it felt like to have someone truly care about her. Basically, all Angelica really wanted was a life she could call her own.
Before Angelica could stop herself, she let the sobs take over, her knees giving way as she collapsed to the floor amidst the papers.
"Hey, Angel," she heard a familiar female voice behind her. Not in the least bit shocked, Angelica turned to see Faith stood in her room by her open window. More than the voice, it was the use of the name 'Angel' that told her who it was. Faith was the only person who called her that.
"Should have guessed you'd show up soon," Angelica said, forcing a fake smile. "I have a bad day and suddenly you're there."
"You know me, always here to help," Faith replied, moving away from the window and towards Angelica. Her eyes scanned the mess of a room Angelica was sat in, but said nothing about it, like she never did. In the same way that she never said a thing about it when she came in to find her sobbing the way she just had. Instead, she crossed the room and knelt beside Angelica, gently brushing back a piece of stray hair behind her ear. "You look tired."
Angelica just mumbled softly, leaning towards her slightly. Faith stood up, gently lifting Angelica with her. She placed her on the bed, tucking her feet up and under the blankets, then, as usual, slipped into the bed beside her. Instantly, Angelica moved, curling next to Faith. On the nights Faith came over when she felt Angelica's emotions, she had learnt that this seemed to be the best way to calm her. Just lying with her, holding her on the nights like tonight when she chose to curl up to her. And as much as Faith herself really didn't mind too much on those nights, she wasn't sure if recently, laying this close to Angelica was a good thing.
"So, are you going to tell me what happened tonight?" Faith asked once they were both comfortable.
"Same as always, what's really to tell," Angelica said, her head buried against Faith's shoulder, not moving even when she spoke.
"That doesn't stop me from asking, and it ain't gonna stop me from caring either," Faith said, her hand softly running through Angelica's hair without her being fully aware she was actually doing it. "So… tell me."
"Like I said, situation normal," Angelica said, relaxing into Faith's touch. "I just… I don't know how much longer I… I can last here. And I think that mi… might be in the… literal sense, Faith. I hate living like this… so scared to actually… actually… well, live. You read about cases like… like this, you know… kids hav… having terrible family lives. You just never… never think you'll be… one of them. Yet I'm stuck here… trapped… and I don't know what… what… what I did to get here. I try… so hard… but it seems like everything I do is… is wrong. And I don't know ho… how to make it ri… right. I so wanna make it… right Faith. I want a normal life… as simple as. Just what every other p… person on this p… planet gets the luxury of having with… without trying. Is that really such a te… terrible thing for me to ask for… Fa… Faith."
Again, the sobs and tears that had stopped when Faith had lifted her off the floor started up again, Angelica's head still buried into Faith's shoulder as she gripped to her.
"Oh, Angelica, I… I wish… it's just that…." Faith found herself stammering, sounding like the young girl crying in her arms. "I just… wish I could do something more for you. I hate seeing you in this much pain."
Funny thing? Faith actually meant all that. She cared about this girl and hated leaving her in a situation she knew all too well. She had spent years in an environment like this, and Angelica was the last person who deserved this. And to make matters worse, she blamed herself for everything.
"You do enough," Angelica said, turning to look up at Faith finally. "Just having someone around who c… cares about me… is more than enough."
"Come on, Angelica, even if you don't get it here, I know you have friends," Faith said, trying to cheer her up like she always did.
"Yeah, I have those few friends left who my dad's yet to scare away, but no one like you," Angelica said, cuddling closer into Faith's body. And with that movement came a slight wince of pain that Angelica tried to hide. But Faith saw it, and knew exactly what it meant.
"Where this time, sweets?" Faith asked softly, pulling back a little to look down at her.
"Where… what are you t… talking about," Angelica said with a clearly forced laugh. "You know, I… I just think…."
There was no hiding the truth from Faith, Angelica knew that. So, giving in, Angelica manoeuvred her body, motioning to Faith. Faith looked her squarely in the eyes for a second before she rose the hem of her pyjama top just a little, until it was sat just below her breasts, still covering them. But it was enough to see the start of a rather nasty looking bruise forming across her ribs. Her anger getting the most of her, Faith growled as she slammed her head back against the pillow, the arm that was still around Angelica tightening slightly.
"I'm ok, Faith," Angelica tried to reassure her, pulling her top straight and lying back beside Faith.
"No you're not," Faith said, her anger still evident. "You're so far from fine, and every time I come down I leave you here. I hate myself for it, but I do it the same. I just wish… well, there's a lot I wish, but…."
"I'm ok, Faith," Angelica repeated, stronger, enough so to get Faith to look at her. "The fact that you do come when I need you is… perfect."
"Thanks," Faith said with a smile, placing a soft kiss on her forehead. "Like I said, I tend to worry when you're in pain."
"Yet that seems to always be the time when you show up," Angelica mumbled. "You know, I've… I have been wondering things about you lately."
"Oh, and what have you been wondering about me?" Faith inquired.
"I don't know, it's just that…. Well, I've known you for a month now, and it seems like you're only ever here when I'm in a bad emotional place. Not that I don't appreciate it, because believe me, I do, but I just… God, you're gonna think I'm crazy when I say this."
"I would never think you were crazy, so just tell me."
"Well… the way you just appear when I seem to need you the most, it's sort of like you're… you're not real, but… my own personal Guardian Angel."
"You know, I've been called a lot of things over the years, most of them terrible, but that…."
"I'm being serious, Faith. It's like you're always watching over me. I can be totally depressed and at the edge, wishing for no one but you to show up… and them there you are. Just like magic."
"This appearing by magic… good or bad thing?"
"Most definitely a good thing. Very good."
Angelica's voice was slightly mumbled, trailing off quieter at the end, and she almost instinctively snuggled closer to Faith, positioning her head comfortably in the crook of her shoulder.
"Tired?" Faith asked softly.
"Mmmm hmmm," Angelica answered sleepily.
"You should get some sleep."
"Does that mean you're gonna be staying the night then."
"If that's what you want."
"It's what I want."
Again, Angelica moved closer to Faith, her body curled along the full length of Faith's body. Faith moved herself, practically curling herself around Angelica, holding the girl tightly to her as, in what seemed like merely a matter of minutes, Angelica fell into a peaceful sleep, her breathing growing even against Faith's shoulder. But even though she knew she'd be there most of the night, like she usually was, Faith could not find that same level of peaceful sleep she envied in Angelica.
Like when she was in her own bed, Faith just lay staring up at the ceiling. The one difference here was the beautiful young girl pressed against her side, not that she was gonna argue that fact. She wasn't the kind of girl who liked to snuggle at all, yet, for some odd reason, being like this with Angelica felt right. But there in lay the problem.
Since this whole business with Angelica had started, Faith had gotten close enough to her that sometimes, she wasn't sure if the things she felt were coming from herself or Angelica, especially when they were this physically close. Which is why she figured the things she were feeling now had to be coming from Angelica. Because she never had feelings for anyone, she was a one night stand kind of girl. Yet whenever she was around Angelica, she just wanted to stay. They had to be Angelica's emotions, they just had to be. Because she knew Angelica's feelings, had done since she started having them. And if her mind wasn't messing with her… did that mean she felt the same?
Her always chaotic mind slowing slightly when Angelica mumbled softly in her sleep in kind of an adorable way, shifting against Faith again, Faith let her mind and body drift into sleep, a small smile gracing her lips.
When Angelica woke up next morning, the first thing she did was stretch her sleep ridden muscles. And the first thing she noticed was that Faith was gone, as usual. She always managed to persuade Faith to stay while she slept, though she had to admit it didn't take much, but she had no control over making Faith stay for the whole night. And Angelica hated that.
Thanks to her father, Angelica had lived quite a sheltered life. That sheltered life, along with her father himself and his 'treatment', had changed Angelica, the way she was around people and having a definite effect on her confidence. And all that meant that any friends she made didn't last that long, and guys rarely looked her way. Now the lack of friends bothered her a little, but the lack of a love life never had. 21 years old, she had never actually had a proper boyfriend, and that fact had never really entered into her mind. Until now.
Being around Faith, Angelica had learnt a whole range of emotions she had no idea existed within her life. She actually smiled when she was around Faith, felt happy for the first time, and was at peace during the nights instead of being scared to fall asleep. On the nights when Faith let her fall asleep in her arms, Angelica's normal nightmares were replaced by sweet, peaceful dreams… usually involving Faith.
Despite her sheltered life, Angelica wasn't stupid and she knew exactly what all this was. Because without even realising it, this had snuck up on her, caught her right when she least expected it. This wasn't what she intended to happen to begin with, not at all. But being around Faith, it changed things, both within Angelica herself and with her outside life. And they were changes she liked, changes she wanted to see more of.
Because somewhere along the line, Angelica had fallen completely and undeniably in love with Faith.
Now all she had to do was find a way to tell all this to Faith.
Girlish giggles: 124
Shrieking laughter: 112
Running footsteps: 59
Cry of 'oh my God!': 211
That was how Faith had been keeping herself busy since she had gotten back home. Keeping a tally of the ever growing sounds she could hear coming from the band of annoying-as-hell Slayer wannabe's. When they were training, they were ok. Quite a few of them were good fighters and they were slowly becoming a proper little army. It was when training time was over and they were back to simply being teenage girls when the fun really began.
It wasn't like she'd slept much, or had anyone disturb her personally, thankfully. For whatever reason, Buffy and her little Scoobie gang hadn't said a word to her since she stomped through the door in the early hours of the morning, simply leaving her alone up in her room. And considering it had been so early in the morning when Faith had got back, and it was getting towards the later hours of the night now, she hadn't slept at all. That's because the last place Faith had woken up had been in Angelica's room with the young girl asleep in her arms.
Even Faith herself had to admit it never took much to persuade her to stay the night on Angelica's part. One little sad smile, coupled with the hopeful pleading behind those captivating blue eyes of hers, and Faith would do pretty much anything Angelica asked. No one had ever held that much power over Faith, man or woman. She was the one in control, always had been. But suddenly, along comes this gorgeous young girl, and everything changes.
When she went over to Angelica's, she was always hoping that she would be asked to stay, just so she could simply lie there with this girl in her arms. If a girl ever asked Faith to bed, or more like when, she usually did everything she could to end up in the girl's pants as well. But not with Angelica. With Angelica, she was simply happy to just lie by her side, watching her sleep. And that was something very new to Faith, something she wasn't sure she entirely understood. Although there was that little voice buried deep in the back of her head that told her why she did those things.
Her connection to Angelica.
Faith had had plenty of physical connections with women, that was for sure. But she had never felt the kind of emotional connection she did when she was with Angelica. And whatever it was, it went beyond just being able to feel the young girl's emotions. She was actually bothered when she was in pain. That had a lot more to do with Angelica herself than anything else. The more time Faith spent with Angelica, the more she realised she valued, even needed, the girls presence in her life.
Which is why, when she began to get one of her now amazingly common migraines, Faith was up and out of the house before anyone could ask where she was going.
Angelica waited patiently on the outskirts of the cemetery, her thick coat wrapped tight around her body to stave off the harsh wind. She'd been successful in getting out of her house, but had so far been waiting half and hour for Faith to show up, and was worried just how long it would be before her father realised she was gone. She was about a minute away from giving up completely when:
"Haven't we already had the conversation about the do's and don'ts of Sunnydale life?" Angelica spun to find Faith behind her, leaning casually against the perimeter wall. "And one of the big don'ts was wandering around cemeteries alone after dark."
"Well hello to you too, Faith," Angelica quipped with a wide smile.
"What happened to the frightened little girl my migraine told me to expect to find?"
"She doesn't have your cell number, so she figured throwing emotions at you was the only way to get in touch."
"Come on then. I'll walk you home and we'll see if we can't fix that, Angel."
Taking Angelica's smaller, softer hand in her own, Faith gently pulled her alongside her, the pair of them walking towards Angelica's place in that comfortable silence they so often fell into. As they walked, Faith dug her hand into Angelica's pocket, making her gasp as she pulled out her phone. A few seconds and button clicks later, Faith handed Angelica her phone back.
"Problem solved," Faith smiled at Angelica, making her laugh back.
Their silence continued as they walked, only the closer they got to Angelica's house, the more it was out of nervousness for her. She had 'called' Faith her because she had to tell her… but now, the strength she thought she had moments ago was slowly waning with each step she took closer to her home. All she could think about was what her father would say. He had been a controlling figure all her life, and that went all the way to her choice of guys. She'd pretty much not been allowed to date full stop, her dad having scared off any guy who had shown the slightest bit of interest in her. She was absolutely terrified of what he would say if he found out the person she wanted to be with now was a woman.
Before Angelica knew it, she and Faith were standing outside her front door. The walk was over, Faith was gonna say goodnight, and if she didn't say anything now, she was gonna lose the chance she had made herself.
Looking up at Faith, Angelica could see her about to speak. It was now or never.
"Faith," Angelica began, trying to summon up that courage again. "There was actually a… well, quite an important reason I wanted to call you out tonight."
"Really," Faith said, trying to make it sound like she had no idea what Angelica was talking about. But in reality, she had been waiting for this since they had started walking back. Sometimes she thought that Angelica forgot that Faith could read her emotions, often knew what she was thinking. She had felt the turmoil of different emotions that had been racing through Angelica's mind, and she pretty much knew what was coming next.
"Well… yeah," Angelica continued, her gaze landing on anything but Faith. "It's just that… lately I've been thinking… well, I thought… I mean… I… I just…." Angelica took a deep breath, trying to calm her stuttering. It had taken her ages to get over her nervous stutter around Faith, and here it was back again, all because she wanted to say three little words to the girl in front of her. If only she knew that Faith actually found it adorable.
"I was actually thinking about you and me… about us… together," Angelica continued. "Ever since I met you, so much in my life has changed. I guess I'm… well, I got a lot more confidence, I'm not so scared of everything anymore, and for the first time ever I don't actually hate my life. And I know all that is because of you."
Faith said nothing. She didn't know what to say. She should have just stopped her, made an excuse and left before Angelica said any more. But she couldn't do that to her, and not just because Buffy and Willow thought it was best if she stayed on Angelica's good side. She did actually feel something for the girl, and she didn't want to hurt her. But what was she gonna do once Angelica had finished and said what she knew she was gonna say.
"I… God, this is hard," Angelica said, shuffling her feet. "I know what I wanna say, I just can't say it. I've never done this before. I've never even felt the urge to. But now, with you… this is different. I don't know when things changed, when all this started, I just know they have, and…. You see, the thing I'm trying to tell you Faith is that… I like you… a lot… like more than just a friend. I mean, I think I might actually… I think I love you."
Silence. That's what Angelica's confession was met with. She didn't dare look up for fear of what she might see written on Faith's face.
After what felt like an eternity of a silence so dense it was almost deafening, Angelica had to look up. And when she did, she didn't see what she had expected to from Fai8th. No look at deep shock at such a horrifying revelation from her, or even the ever hopeful look of pure elation at hearing something she had only dreamt of. Instead, she was staring intently at the ground, a look of resigned sorrow in her eyes. The kind of look you get when you hear news you're expecting but really don't want to hear. And all this tinged with… embarrassment, only this wasn't for herself. She was embarrassed for Angelica.
And that was when the reality of the situation hit for Angelica.
"Oh my God," she said softly, making Faith look up as Angelica's eyes flooded with tears. "I can be so stupid sometimes. Because you… you knew. You knew what I was feeling probably long before I did. And you just think… you don't…." Angelica broke off, the tears now choking up the back of her throat as well.
"Angelica, I'm…." Faith began, about to tell all, when her phone rang. Faith turned her back on Angelic and dug her phone out, not sure if this distraction was a blessing or not, to see Buffy's number flashing across the screen.
"Yeah," she said in monotone, and listened as Buffy reminded her that she had promised to take the Potentials out to train tonight. "Ok, B, I'm on my way," she finished, disconnecting the line.
Taking a deep breath, Faith turned, ready to tell Angelica they needed to postpone this conversation and give herself more time to think, only to find Angelica had left, just catching the door clicking closed. Watching it blankly for a minute, Faith finally headed back down off Angelica's porch.
Now what was she gonna do?
AN:- Ok, third and finally chapter for the day. So, what do you guys think of it so far?