DISCLAIMER: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all the slayerettes belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is my first story in Buffy-verse. Please let me know what you think of it.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Faith's Hope
By Buckster


Chapter Six

Later that night

Faith was just sitting on the bed, looking at the book Kennedy had given her when Buffy came up to bed. When she noticed Buffy was in the room, she quickly put the book in her pocket and moved over so the other slayer could sit down.

"So, did you talk to Red about the girl we found? Any word on how she is doing?"

"Yeah. She woke up before Willow left and said she had a message for me from the guy that stabbed her. Said his name was Caleb and he had something of mine."

"Any idea what it could be?"

"Nope, as far as I know, I am not missing anything. I'm thinking maybe tomorrow you and me go out to this vineyard he is supposedly holed up at and take a look around."

"Sounds like a plan to me."

"So, now that that is over with, how is Kennedy doing? She seemed pretty out of it when you took her up to bed."

"She's doing ok. We had a nice talk about some things. The connection is getting stronger, and not just on my end. She was out this morning because she couldn't sleep. Seems we were sharing dreams. She found out what happened to me after Dad took her away. She basically found out everything I was trying to protect her from."

"Like what?"

"Basically, our mother's temper. For some reason, she really hated Hope. Nothing she did was ever right. I did the best I could to keep her from getting hit, but I couldn't be there all the time."

"Where was your dad when this was going on?"

"He was always working. He had these grand dreams of starting a business and striking it rich."

"So money was more important than his kids? That is just sick."

"Yes and no. He always stood up for us when he was home, but that wasn't very often. When it got really bad, he did what he could do. At least he got Hope out of there."

"Why did he only take her? Why not both of you?"

"Mom wasn't really abusive to me back then. Plus it happened when I was in school. Dad found out when the hospital called him for the insurance information because Hope had 'fallen down the stairs' and had a few broken bones. He went, picked up Hope, and tried to get me, but because he wasn't on my birth certificate as my father, he wasn't allowed to take me out of school. He did try, but in the end, he did what he thought was best."

"If you understand everything, why do you seem to hate him so much?"

"I don't know. Hope gave me a lot to think about tonight. I'm still pissed at him for leaving me, but he didn't know what would happen after he was gone. It's really complicated, and I haven't really figured everything out yet. Listen, I'm tired. Let's talk about this more tomorrow, ok?"

"Yeah, see ya in the morning."

The next afternoon

All the potentials, the Scooby Gang, Giles and Andrew were sitting in the living room, waiting on their daily speech from Buffy. They were all anxious about what the girl that Willow and Faith found had said.

"Ok guys, I know you have all heard the message I got from Caleb. He has something of mine, and I intend to take it back. Faith and I will be going out to the vineyard to see what is going on. The rest of you will be here researching and training. Kennedy, I want you resting. That means in bed, trying to get better. I know you are doing better, but I want you in tip-top shape if we need to actually go into battle with this Caleb guy."

"But, who's going to lead the training, with both you and Faith gone?"

"Giles can handle it. Willow, can you make sure Kennedy rests. And I mean rest, no making out up there you two."

Blushing, Willow answered, "Yeah, I think I can handle that." Turning to Kennedy, she said, "Ok, you heard her. Up to bed with ya."

Once the two were in the bedroom, Kennedy started to feel tired and laid down. Almost immediately she fell asleep. Willow waited till she was sure the other girl wasn't going to try anything, and when she was sure, she went back downstairs to work on some research Buffy had asked her to do about Caleb.

After a few hours, she decided to go check on Kennedy. When she got up there, she noticed her thrashing around on the bed. Willow ran over to try to comfort her girlfriend. When she got there, Kennedy sat straight up and said, "Will, you have to lock me up now."

"What are you talking about? Why would I have to lock you up?"

"Look, I don't have time to explain it to you. Just, how strong are the chains in the basement?"

"Strong enough to hold Spike when he had blood lust."


Kennedy's head went back, as if she was in incredible pain. When she looked at Willow again, the red-head saw something she thought she would never see again. Kennedy's normally brown eyes were now the yellow eyes of a wolf.


Chapter Seven

"Kennedy, how could you keep something like this from me? This is big, and I don't mean in the, 'My girlfriend has a tongue ring' kind of way."

"Will, just please, I can't hold it off much longer. I'll explain everything later, honest. Right now you need to go get some help."

"The only one here that can maybe help is Spike. Buffy and Faith left already."

"No, not Spike. He'll make it worse. Do you guys have a tranq gun?"

"Yeah. We used to need it for my ex-boyfriend."

"Go get it. Don't bring anyone else. I don't know if I can control myself around anyone else."

"Ok." With that, Willow ran out of the room and got the gun. When she got back to the room, she noticed it was empty. Looking around, she saw the window was broken.

"Oh goddess. I'm too late. I have to go get Giles. We need to find her before she hurts anyone."

Meanwhile, at one of the cemeteries, about halfway between the house and the vineyard, Buffy and Faith were walking and talking.

"Good thing there is a full moon tonight. Should make it easier to see what is going on out there."

"Don't you have night vision? I thought that came with the whole slayer package. I haven't had a problem seeing in the dark since I was called."

"Maybe we just got different skills. Everyone is different."


They fell into silence for a while after that. Suddenly Buffy heard Faith call out.

"Faith, what's wrong?"

"I don't know. All I know is something is wrong with Hope, but it feels different. Like she is in pain, but not." She then doubled over, clutching her stomach. "Oh God B. It hurts."

Buffy ran over to the other slayer. When she got over there, she pulled up on Faith's chin to get her to look at her.

"Faith, open your eyes. You need to calm down and concentrate."

When Faith opened her eyes, Buffy was in for a shock. Instead of Faith's normal brown eyes looking at her, she now had glowing yellow eyes.

"Oh God Faith, what happened to you in prison?"

"What do you mean? Nothing you wouldn't expect to happen. A few fights, but nothing out of the ordinary."

"Did anyone in there bite you? Think hard. It's important."

"Eww no. I think that would rate as out of the ordinary. Why do you want to know?"

"Faith, I think you are changing, and not in a good way. We need to get you back to the house."

"B, what's happening? Oh man it hurts."

"Think Faith. You were around when Oz was."

"Can't think. Pain too bad. Hurts all over. Can't feel Hope anymore." Then Faith fell to the ground. The only sounds in the night were those of Faith's transformation. Next time Faith looked up, it wasn't the slayer looking at Buffy, but a wolf. The older slayer didn't know what to do. She wasn't prepared for this, so she didn't have a tranq gun, and she knew she couldn't take on Faith in this form without seriously hurting or even killing the other girl. Just when she thought Faith might attack her, another wolf came running up. She watched the two wolves sizing each other up, then the two took off into the woods together. When Buffy regained her senses, Willow had caught up to her.

"Buffy, we have a major problem. I need your and Faith's help. Kennedy is a werewolf and she escaped." Looking around, she then noticed Buffy was alone. "Buffy, where is Faith?"

"Seems Kennedy isn't the only one. Faith is one too. I guess the other wolf that came was Kenn. How could we not know about this? Shit, how could Faith not know?"

"Huh? Kennedy acted like she knew what was going on. I have no idea how she kept this from us all this time. If both of them changed tonight, maybe it is hereditary. We have to find them before they hurt someone."

"They ran off into the woods together. Kennedy kept Faith from attacking me. I think she may have some control of herself in wolf form. Willow, they weren't really like Oz. They were actually wolves, not like a cross between a wolf and a human. I'm not sure if the connection I have with Faith will work with her in this form, but I'll go see if I can find them. You go back to the house and get them both some clothes. They'll need them in the morning when they change back. Meet me in the clearing in the middle of the woods, ok?"

"Ok, here take this," Willow handed Buffy the tranquilizer gun she had with her. "Just in case. Even if Kenn can control herself, we don't know if Faith can. Better to be safe than sorry."

"Did you bring any stakes or anything? You going to be ok by yourself?"

"Buffy, I have been doing this for years, of course I will be fine. Just take care of yourself. I'm just worried about Kennedy and that injury of hers. There was blood in the room after she changed. I think she tore it open again. Please find them and make sure they are ok.'

"I will. I'll make sure nothing happens to them, or because of them. God, I thought we were through with this when Oz left. With everything else happening right now, this is the last thing we need."

"I know. Ok, get going before they get too far away for you to find. I'll meet you in about an hour or so in the clearing."


Chapter Eight

After searching the woods for almost an hour, Buffy still had no idea where the two wolves had taken off to. She decided to go meet Willow and start searching again. When she got to the clearing, she found Kennedy and Faith laying down being pet by Willow.

"I guess this means we don't have to worry about them hurting anyone." Buffy said to Willow.

"They were here when I got here. It's weird Buffy. They didn't even think to try to attack me. It's like they are aware that we are friendly. I mean, things were a little tense at first, but when they got a hint of my scent, they relaxed. We have a couple of hours till sunrise. Might as well just stay here till then since they are calm."

"Sounds good to me." Buffy sat down next to Willow. Suddenly the bigger of the two wolves went to Buffy and laid her head in the slayers lap. The four stayed like that till the sun came up and the two wolves changed back to their human form. Once they were dressed, the four slowly made it back to the Summer's house. They were all tired, but they knew they needed to talk about this before anyone would be getting any sleep. Once they got home, they all gathered in the living room to discuss what happened.

"Kennedy, why didn't you tell us about any of this? We could have been helping you this whole time." Willow asked.

"Usually I can control the change. I haven't lost that control for over a year now. I guess with everything that has happened in the last few days, on top of my worry about Faith tonight, was just too much. I know I should have told you sooner."

"When did all this start? Were you bitten? And what about Faith?"

"Well, it runs in the family. I first changed when I was 15. Freaked my watcher something awful. The morning after the first time, I called home and talked to Dad about it. He never told us, cause he was hoping it skipped us. Usually the first change happens at the start of puberty. I guess because of the slayer potential in both Faith and me, it held it off. With Faith, I think her being called held it off even longer. The connection we share probably triggered her change last night." Turning to Faith she said, "I am so sorry I didn't warn you sooner. I was hoping it skipped you like it did Charity. I just didn't sense it in you. Can you forgive me?"

"It'll be hard, but I think I can. Is there anything else you have been holding back?" Faith asked her younger sister.

"No, this is it. Now you guys know everything."

"How much control do you have exactly?" Buffy asked.

"Usually I have full control. I can change whenever. I just need more concentration to hold it back on the three nights of the full moon. I thought everything was ok when I didn't change the first night of it, but now I think it was just because my body was too exhausted. I guess I let my guard down and well, you saw what happened. I'm sorry I scared you guys."

"Goddess, Kenn. This is a big secret to try to keep to yourself."

"I know, but how exactly was I going to tell you? 'Oh Willow, I love you, but three nights out of the month, I may get a little hairy?' It's not something I really like to think about."

"Do you think you can teach me to control it?"

"I can try. It may be easier for you because you are a slayer. You're body is just naturally stronger than most peoples."

"Did your watcher ever tell you what you were like after your change? I mean, you aren't like most werewolves we come across. The others were more like a cross between a wolf and a human. You were totally wolf."

"I think that is because it is a family trait and not a curse. That and the fact I accept it when the change comes. Faith probably felt my acceptance, and that helped her also."

"Do you remember your time when you are the wolf?"

"Yeah. My human mind is mostly in control. That is one reason I got out of the house last night. That and the fact I had to go help Faith."

"How did you know I needed help? Near the end, I lost the connection with you?"

"No you didn't, it just changed. Your human mind couldn't sense me, but the wolf did. That is why you didn't attack me or Buffy."

"Once I have control, I'll remember? Because basically everything about last night is blank."

"Yeah. That happens the first few times. Once we get some sleep, I'll start to help you with everything. Tonight though, it might be a good idea to chain the two of us up. Not sure how strong my control will be when the moon rises."

"Sounds good. After we wake up, I'll look into getting another set of chains for the basement. Or should I look into collars and leashes instead?" Buffy said jokingly.

"I know you were just joking, but I don't think ankle and wrist restraints will work on the two of us."

"Ok, if this is over, I think it's time for some sleep. I guess we'll have to hold off checking the vineyard for a few nights."

When the four got upstairs, they split up to go to their rooms. Once Buffy and Faith were ready for bed, Faith noticed Buffy looking at her a little strange.

"What's up B?"

"Just thinking about something. I can understand why Kennedy would be submitive to Willow in wolf form, but why would you feel that way towards me? It's not exactly like we have been the best of friends most of the time we knew each other."

"I never really hated you. Even when everything was going on with the Mayor. I did my best to try to protect and help you."

"You had a funny way of showing it. I mean you tried to kill all of us at one time or another."

"Do you really think I couldn't have killed you all if I really wanted you dead? Think about it. The only one of your group I might have had a hard time killing was you Buffy. I had to act that way to keep the boss from thinking I had a soft spot for you all. I even helped you to kill him."

"Then why did you go to him in the first place? I wanted to help you so bad after what happened with Finch, but you just turned me away. Why wouldn't you let me help then?"

"Because I was ashamed. All my life I was told I was no good. You almost had me believing all that was a lie, then I go and kill a man. Even if it was an accident. All I kept thinking was, if it was you, you would have stopped. You realized before I did that he wasn't a vamp."

"That is only because I realized he was too easy to throw around. Even then it was too late. I don't think anything would have changed if the rolls were reversed."

"Maybe so, but there is no way to know for sure. We were connecting in such a great way till that happened. I'm sorry I didn't let you help me. I just didn't know how to take the support you tried to give. Will you ever be able to forgive me?"

"I did the second I realized how much you trusted me when you put your head in my lap last night. The vulnerability there was mind blowing."

"B, Buffy, what you saw last night, was me without the walls. I.. "

"You what? Talk to me Faith. Tell me what you are thinking. Don't put the walls back up now."

"I can't. Not yet. I need to come to terms with everything first. Just, do you think you can hold me tonight. I don't want to feel alone."

"Yeah, I think I can do that. Let's try to get some sleep."

They laid down with Faith in Buffy's arms. Buffy just laid there watching Faith as she fell asleep. Once she was sure the younger girl was out, she softly kissed her forehead and softly whispered, "I love you too. Please don't shut me out this time."


Chapter Nine

The next afternoon, Faith woke up to the feeling of being held.

'Oh yeah, I can get used to this.' Faith thought as she looked over at the blonde she was in bed with. She then thought back to the dream she had the night before. The one where Buffy had kissed her and told her she loved her.

'At least I think it was a dream. I mean, what reason would she have to love me? Especially now. God when will whoever is running things decide to give me a break?' With that thought, Faith got up and went to take a shower. By the time she had made it downstairs, she had a full-head of steam going. Thinking about what happened the night before, well, what she could remember of it anyway. She would just have to take everyone's word that she didn't hurt anyone. Now she was looking for her sister so they could start their training.

At that moment, Kennedy was upstairs, just waking up in the arms of her girlfriend. They stayed up a while when they got into their room, talking about what had happened. The SiT just couldn't believe how excepting Willow was to what had been revealed the night before. She was so sure the red head would not want anything to do with her ever again once she found out. That is what happened before, with her last girlfriend. Suddenly she felt a wave of anger coming through the link she shared with her sister.

'Well I should have known Faith took all of this too well last night. Maybe I should go down and talk to her or at least keep the others out of her way while she blows off some steam. Guess this means we won't be working on control today. Not with her as angry as she is now.'

Kennedy got up and took her own shower. While in the bathroom, she took a moment to check on the wound in her stomach. All that was there was an ugly pink scar, about the same size and shape as the one Faith had. Once she was dressed, she went looking for the dark haired slayer.

When she finally found her, Kennedy just sat and watched as her sister pounded away at the punching bag in the basement. After about fifteen minutes, Faith realized someone was watching her, and instead of turning around to see who it was, just stopped and used the connections she shared with Buffy and Kennedy to see if it was one of them. Those two and Willow were the only people she really wanted to be around that day. Once she realized it was her sister, she took a deep breath to try to calm down some, then turned around.

"Hey sis. You're up early."

"Faith, it is four in the afternoon. To most people, this is way late."

"True, but I have a feeling you and Willow stayed up and talked about what happened. I didn't expect to see you till almost sunset."

"Yeah, well it's a funny thing. I was laying there, just watching Willow sleep, when suddenly I felt a wave of anger I know didn't come from me. So, do you wanna talk about it?"

"What's there to talk about? Seems just another way the powers that be have of fucking with my life. First it was being the second string slayer, then when I finally come to terms with that, I kill a guy. To deal with that, I go evil. Finally decide enough is enough and the only way to stop myself is to die, but guess what, that was just asking for too much. Instead I got a nice little eight month vacation to my own mind. When that is finally over, I was thinking, ok I should try to make things right with Buffy and the gang. But no, I screwed that up too. So I go to LA to try to start over, when this damn law firm decided to try to get me to kill someone. Good part was the person they wanted dead was a vamp. Bad part, it was Angel. So when I finally think I got the nerve to try, I realized what a mistake it would be. I knew it would be best for everyone if I was gone. Not just out of the city or state, but really gone. But no, Angel wouldn't do that for me. Instead, he got me started on the path of redemption. Then Buffy comes to LA and suggests I go to jail to make up for what I did. So I went. Spent three years in there. God it was worse than hell. The whole time I felt I should be out there, killing vamps and demons. Then Wesley comes and tells me Angelus is back and he needs my help. I didn't even think twice. I just busted out. So with Willow's help, we finally get Angel back, I she talks me into coming here with her to help with this big bad they have here. So I get here, and find out that my sister, who is supposed to be safe on the other side of the country, is not only a potential, but because of my little coma, is halfway between that and a slayer. While trying to come to terms with that, I then find out that not only her, but myself as well, are werewolves. So, sis, what in the hell is there to talk about?"

Kennedy just sat there in shock. She knew some of what her sister had been through, but not all of it. The part that really upset her was when Faith said she wanted to die. That just cut her to the bone. She felt partially responsible for some of what Faith was feeling. So instead of yelling back at her, she stood up and walked over and just hugged her older sister.

Faith didn't know how to respond when she felt the younger girls arms go around her. She was still in shock that she told her everything she just did. She hadn't meant for her sister to find out how much of a screw up her older sister was. When she felt the tears on her shoulder, she knew she had gone too far.

"Oh God Faith, I... I didn't know. I thought I did, but.... God, do you realize how strong you are? To have gone through all that, with you sanity intact."

"Who said it was? All I know is, right now, it's not a good idea to have me around a group of people."

"I know that. I feel the same way. Willow said she would keep the rest of the potentials away from us till we are ready. Unfortunately, we don't have the time to really get ready. Not with the First out there

trying to destroy us. Let's just deal with tonight, then we can worry about everything else tomorrow. Sound good to you?"

"Yeah, that sounds real good" Faith stepped back, breaking the hug. " So did you want to work on my control?"

"No, I think it would be a bad idea to try with everything going on inside that head of yours. We'll just have Buffy and the gang chain us up tonight. Then we have a month to worry about working on everything. I'll try not to fight the change tonight, to make it easier on you."

"I thought you accepted it?"

"I do, but that doesn't mean I like it. Why do you think I worked so hard to get the control to stop it? Besides, it hurts like hell. Just be glad you don't remember."

"You said the first time you changed you were 15, right?"

"Yeah, why do ask?"

"That was around the time you were told I was dead, wasn't it?"

"I think so. A lot happened that year."

"I wish I could have been there for you."

"Well, you're here now."

"Yeah. I don't plan on losing touch again."

"I don't think either of us have a choice in that. With this link we share. Why don't I let you get back to your training. I'm going to find Buffy and Willow and get things arranged for tonight."

"Ok." Reaching over, she gave Kennedy a small hug. When the younger girl got to the stairs she turned around. and said "By the way, I ever hear about you wanting to die again, I'll kick your ass. I finally got ya back. Don't plan on losing you again for a long time." With that, she took off running up the stairs.


Chapter Ten

On her way up the stairs, Kennedy was still reeling from what Faith had just told her. It explained a lot of the anger she felt from her. The only thing she wondered is why Buffy never knew how Faith felt. Kennedy could sense something had happened between the two slayers before everything fell apart. That was why it was so easy to keep the wolf in Faith from attacking Buffy the night before.

When she got to the the top of the stairs, Buffy and Willow were opening the door, on their way down. When Kennedy saw the older slayer, something in her snapped. She suddenly attacked the other girl, pushing her back into the kitchen and yelling at her.

"Where were you when Faith wanted to die? How could you not know she needed help? Oh wait, now I remember, you were shoving a knife in her gut. How could you do that to her? How could you turn your back on your mate like that?"

A pin drop could be heard after Kennedy said the last line. Once she said it, she realized what she had sensed between the two slayers. They had mated. That is why she took Buffy's reaction to the accident so hard. Kennedy knew, but Faith didn't, wolves mate for life. That is one reason she was taking it slow with Willow. She knew how she felt, but not how the red head did. So she let Willow set the pace of the relationship.

Faith had just made it to the top of the stairs when Kennedy said the last line. She gotten frightened by the emotions coming through the link that she shared with both her sister and Buffy. Then the yelling started. When her sister said what she did about Buffy and her being mates, her jaw hit the ground. She knew she didn't tell anyone what had happened that night after her and Buffy had danced at the Bronze and was sure Buffy hadn't either. So how did her sister know what she did.

Buffy was too shocked to say anything. All she could think was why did Faith tell Kennedy what had happened. When she heard Faith enter the room, she realized Faith didn't know how Kennedy knew that either. The dark haired slayer was as shocked as she was at that revelation.

Willow was the first person to come to her senses. She quickly went to her girlfriend's side, trying to calm her down. "Kennedy, sweetie, you need to calm down. A lot happened back then. You can't know everything Buffy and Faith were going through."

When Kennedy felt Willow put her hand on her side, the cloud of anger that had her suddenly lifted. She then realized what she had said. She couldn't believe she just went off like that at Buffy. Silently, she lowered her head and let Willow lead her to the living room.

When they got there, Willow sat Kennedy down on the couch and sat next to her, never letting go of the other girl.

"Kennedy, how did you know Faith and Buffy are mated? From their expressions, I don't think they told anyone that."

"I could sense something was going on between them since Faith came back to Sunnydale. I just didn't know what it was till just then. I wasn't thinking, I was just reacting to what Faith had just told me, then seeing Buffy before I could process it all." Her head suddenly snapped up, "I need to apoligize to Buffy. I shouldn't have gone off on her like that. I don't know what came over me."

"I do, and think Buffy will understand. It was the wolf in you protecting her pack, her kin. You just lost control for a second. Don't worry about it. Right now, we need to get you and Faith ready for tonight."

"About tonight, I don't want you downstairs during the change. Then afterwards, don't come too close to me. After what just happened, I'm not too sure how my control will be. Can you promise me that?"

"But I want to be there for you."

"I know, but I am not too sure what will happen. It's different with Buffy and Faith. We don't have to worry as much."

"Because they are mates? That didn't stop Faith from hurting Buffy before."

"Like you said before. A lot happened. Plus Faith has changed now. I'm sure you can tell that about her. Even I can see it, and I wasn't here before. She would rather die herself than let Buffy get hurt."

"Yeah. You should have seen her when I told her what was going on here. It was like she couldn't get here fast enough. Ok enough about your sister and my best friend. I will be down there tonight. I've been through this before, Kennedy."

"You have? When?"

"In high school, I used to date a werewolf. Didn't you wonder how we knew what to do last night? Why we have tranquilizer guns?

"I just figured you guys prepare for anything. Did.. did you mate with him?"

"That is a hard question to answer. Yes we had sex, but I don't think you would call it mating. He held back a lot. Then he cheated on me with another wolf. When that happened, he decided to leave to find himself, to try to get some control over his wolf. When he came back, I had already started to fall for Tara. He accepted this and left again."

"Ok. I still don't want you down there tonight. Nothing I can say will change your mind then, will it?"

"Nope. That is one thing girlfriends do. They are there for each other, no matter what."

"But I might hurt you."

"But you won't."

"How can you be so sure of that when I'm not."

"Because I know how you feel about me. You feel the same way towards me that Faith feels towards Buffy."

"But it's different between them."

"Why? Just because they mated, once, years ago? I would think we had a stronger connection."

"Willow, wolves mate for life. Faith will never feel complete without Buffy now."

Willow's face fell a bit. "Oh, that's the difference then? So if we..."

"Willow, I am not going to do this tonight. I'm not going to force you to do something you aren't ready for. I, I love you too much for that."

Willow stood up and paced across the room, "Oh wow. You really feel that way?"

Kennedy stood up and went to Willow. She gently placed her hand on the older girls cheek. "Yes. That is why I can wait. I know it will take some time. Needless to say, I hope not much more, but I will wait."

Willow looked deep into Kennedy's eyes. She felt everything the young SiT felt for her shining through. She tried to let everything she felt shine through back. "And if I don't want to wait? Will you push me away?"

Kennedy was a little shocked at what she saw in Willows eyes. Something she hadn't dared to hope for just yet. True, Willow hadn't said the words yet, but sometimes they weren't needed. "Are you sure? Once we do this, there is no turning back."

"I'm so sure about this. I need you, now." Willow then leaned over and slowly started kissing her soon to be mate.

Meanwhile down stairs Faith and Buffy were sitting on the cot in the basement, trying to get over the shock of what had happened in the kitchen.

"So, we're mated, huh? That wasn't just a get some, get gone we had back then?"

"I'm guessing not. I knew it felt different from my other, uh, encounters. I just thought it was because how I felt for you."

"Felt, as in passed tense? You mean you don't feel that way now?"

"What does it matter to you how I feel now?"

"Because it does. What we shared that night was special. It was incredible. I'd never felt anything like that before, or since."

"Then why did you turn me away? When I needed your help the most, you turned your back on me."

"I was scared. I didn't know if it felt the same for you. Then when the incident with Finch happened, you seemed to shut down. I didn't know how to get you to let me in. So instead, I pushed you away. It was my fault you went to the mayor, wasn't it? Because I couldn't give you what you needed."

Faith turned and grabbed Buffy's hands. "No, don't you ever think that. I was messed up back then. The night with you had me on an incredible high, then when I killed Finch, I hit rock bottom." Faith dropped Buffy's hands, stood up and went to look out the window, "So much lost time. So much water under the bridge. Can we ever get that back?"

Buffy went over put her arms around Faith's waist and laid her head on her back, "I don't know. All I do know is I am willing to try again. This time we can do it right. No more walls. No more secrets. We have to be open with each other. Think you can do that?"

Turning around, Faith rested her forehead on Buffy's, "All I can do is promise to try. I've never felt for anyone what I feel for you. There hasn't been a day that I haven't thought about you. I feel sick everytime I remember what I did to you. How can you just let all that go? I was so cruel."

"Because you are not that person anymore. Heck, I'm not the same person as back then. We've changed, grew up. Maybe the time wasn't right back then. I don't know. All I do know is how I feel now. I want to give us a chance."

"It's going to be hard. Especially now, with me turning all furry three nights a month. Think you can handle all that?"

"I've dated two different vampires. I think I can handle dating a wolf. Besides, you are going to work with Kenn on your control. If there is one thing I do know about you, you never give up. It's one of the things I love about you. I'll be there for you. It won't be easy, but I think we can do this together."

"Together, I like the sound of that." Faith leaned down and kissed Buffy softly. Once they were done, they just looked into each other's eyes for a moment. Suddenly, Faith got a huge grin on her face.

"Ok, what is that all about?" Buffy asked with a smirk of her own.

"Seems we won't be the only mates down here tonight. Also looks like we are going to have to set up by ourselves. My sister and Red will busy for a bit."

"Huh, what are you..... OH!!!! Damn, it's about time they got to it. All that sexual frustration was getting to me."

"Well, we have some time now if you want to take care of all that."

"Maybe we should just take it slow this time. Sound good to you?"

"It just might kill me, but I can try. For you. Just not too slow, ok?"

Laughing lightly, Buffy replied, "No, not too slow." Then she got a serious look on her face. "You do know how I feel about you, right?"

"If it is half of what I feel, I am the luckiest girl in this house."

"No, I am. Now lets go get those chains and stuff for tonight."

"Wow, never thought you were into kink. Besides, what happened to slow."

Buffy lightly slapped the other girl on the arm. "What am I going to do with you?"

"I can think of a few things, but I don't think we have time for that right now. Come on. Let's get set up."

Part 11

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