She wasn't entirely sure why she was there, even as her feet carried her forward. The guard indicated which seat to take, and she met surprised brown eyes through the thick glass.
She hesitantly reached over and picked up the phone, holding it to her ear. She didn't speak though, both of them just staring at each other before the tension became too much.
"B, what are you doing here?" Faith asked, leaning unconsciously toward the partition.
Buffy shrugged, not sure how to answer that question. "I'm not really sure. I just wanted…I guess I wanted to see you."
Faith blinked, surprised by that bit of honesty. "Missed me, didn't you?" she asked, smirking.
"Faith," Buffy sighed, forcing herself not to smile. "I just wanted to see how you were."
That was her reasoning the first time, but it had been months since then, and she was still coming. Not a lot, but more often than she'd ever expected. Faith told her that Angel came to visit her as well, but he never checked the logs, never knew that he wasn't her only visitor, and neither Slayer ever mentioned it to him.
At first they hadn't talked much, at least not civil conversation, and they frequently had to be dragged away from the glass by each sides' respective guards as they screamed at each other.
But none of it had stopped her from coming back again and again. Neither Slayer wanted to think too hard about the compulsion to keep seeing each other.
Faith knew that she looked forward to Buffy's visits, sporadic as they were, but she wasn't sure it was only because it was an opportunity to see someone on the outside. Buffy didn't know why she kept driving to the prison, even after all the fights, all the ways they'd hurt each other, but with the way it was going at home, all the secrets she was hiding from her friends, fighting with Faith was refreshingly honest, and it felt good.
They talked as often as they screamed at each other, but as the months went on the conversations slowly became more frequent than the threats and hostility.
Faith was leaning back in her chair, feet propped up on the narrow countertop next to the glass. She had the receiver of the phone pinned between her shoulder and her chin as she listened to Buffy complain about Dawn, the Slayer struggling to deal with her sister now that her mother was gone. "I liked your mom," Faith sympathized, her hoarse voice surprising them both. Buffy gave her a look through the partition, surprised by the honesty. Faith shrugged, determined not to be embarrassed about having a real emotion. "She was always nice to me. Not so much the time I tied her up, but that was my fault," she conceded with a grimace.
Buffy stayed silent, not sure how to respond to that. They'd both made mistakes, but somehow they were still here, still kept coming back to this, sitting across from each other and talking honestly for the first time. "It sounds bad, B," Faith said, voice soft, scarcely audible through the phone that enabled them to talk to each other. "Anything I can do?"
It wasn't an offer she'd ever expected to make and it was obvious from the look on her counterpart Slayer's face that it wasn't anything Buffy had ever expected to hear from her. The small smile she got in answer was more than reward enough. "Thank you, Faith," Buffy said. "You might be the only person left that I can talk to," she confessed.
"Wow," Faith commented. "It really is bad over there."
Buffy nodded, tilting her head to hold the phone against her shoulder. "It's not so bad right now, though," she said, voice soft. She blinked as Faith sat up, putting her feet down and leaning forward. Something had just slipped out, something she wasn't aware of, but it was out there now and she couldn't take it back. If she was honest with herself, she didn't want to take it back. One look at Faith and she could tell that the dark-haired Slayer had felt it too.
"Thanks." Faith reached one hand up slowly, putting her palm flat against the glass. Buffy's hand pressed on the other side, the thick glass separating them. She hadn't felt so close to Buffy, not ever. They'd tried being friends before, but it had never quite worked. She'd always felt like the junior Slayer, the one without a Watcher, without the friends or family that Buffy had. And she didn't know why Buffy continually felt compelled to come visit her, but over time she'd come to anticipate the visits. They hadn't always been the most relaxing things ever, but they had both subconsciously decided to push through the awkward anger and leftover resentment. They couldn't physically fight it out, as they both would have preferred, but neither could Buffy seem to stop herself from coming back, so they'd been forced to talk it out, frequently at a high volume and with intervention from the guards.
The last few visits, though, had felt different. Less yelling, more honest conversation. It was obvious that Buffy was lacking someone to talk to, was stressed and desperate to get a handle on her life. Neither one of them had ever expected that she would get it from Faith. As much as they fought, they could relate to each other in a way that no one else on Earth could understand. No one else understood what it was to be the Slayer.
They couldn't actually touch, in fact, if they could have actually touched they probably wouldn't have done it, but this solidarity through the thick glass, this was a turning point for them. They weren't friends, not yet, but they weren't enemies anymore either. It wasn't over between them, possibly might never be over between them - whatever it was between them - friendship or partnership or dependence… This felt different, though. This felt like equal footing.
I don't know if anything else will come of this... and I hope someone likes it.