DISCLAIMER: See Part 1
Two roads, one path
By Christopher Andrews
"What did you do?"
She stands up and looks at me.
What what has she done?
She looks down at Riley and then at the blood on her hands, she panics.
"B-Buffy this is this isn't "
"What did you do to him?"
I rush to his side to help him and Faith backs off.
"Riley Riley speak to me."
He's not breathing.
"Oh god Riley speak to me "
"Buffy he's "
I can't believe she did this.
I feel for a pulse.
I can't feel it, there's no pulse. He's gone, he's dead. Riley's gone and I never got a chance to say goodbye. I shouldn't have happened. He shouldn't have died this way. He deserved better than this. But she didn't think so. She killed him without a second though.
I look down at the stab wounds on his chest and see the knife.
That knife that, that's her knife. How could she do this to him? How could she do this to me? After everything we've been through, everything we've shared, she still killed someone close to me. She MURDERED someone I CARE about. How could she?
I stand up, wiping the tears from my eyes.
"How? How could you?"
"Buffy I "
"HOW COULD YOU DO THIS?"
"I didn't Buffy I swear."
I bend down and pull the knife out of Riley.
"Then how do you explain this?"
I start towards her and every step I take makes her back up.
"I-I I don't know I I don't know."
"Is that the best you could do? What happened to all your witty come backs Faith? How about 'he got what he deserved' eh? How's that?"
"Buffy please you gotta believe me. I didn't kill him."
"BELIEVE YOU? Like I believed you when you said you didn't kill those girls? Like I believed you when you told me you had feelings for me? FUCK YOU FAITH!"
She starts to cry.
"Please Buffy don't don't say these don't do this."
No no, I'm not going to get taken in because of my feelings.
"Do what? Tell the truth? You're not the kind of person who falls in love, you told me this yourself. How I ever thought you could ever have feelings for me is beyond me."
"Buffy I-I-I know I s-said that but I I do care about "
"Don't Faith don't lie to me anymore. Just don't Faith. I'll make sure you go down for this, even if I have to do it myself."
I take a swing at her and she doesn't even block it as it connects with her face.
Why isn't she fighting back?
"Come on Faith, fight back. It's not any fun unless you fight back."
"I'm not gonna fight you Buffy."
She's finally backed up against a wall and I pin her against the wall with my forearm across her shoulders.
"That's too bad cause I'm itching for some good old fashion violence."
I feel her knife in my hand. I put the bloodied knife to her throat.
"Or maybe I should just put you out of your misery. The way you put Riley out of his."
Her expression hardens but the tears keep streaming down her face.
"If that's what you gotta do to convince yourself you're right "
She straightens up against the wall despite the knife on her neck.
"Then do it."
I press the knife harder to her neck and stare into her eyes. I can see the pain in her eyes. I can hear it in her voice.
"DO IT! If you can't trust me then I don't wanna live. JUST DO IT! Kill me and become like me. But when you find out that I didn't do this, I won't be around to apologize to. I'll be dead cause you slit my throat and you'll have to live with that."
I stare into her eyes in silence.
I I I can't do it.
I release some of the pressure against her neck.
Even with what she's done I can't kill her, I still love her. But she has to pay. She has to pay for killing Riley.
I turn her around and shove her face first against the wall. She looks back at me.
"What are you doing?"
"You're coming with me."
I pull her arms behind her into a double chicken wing pulling it with all my strength. I put the knife in my beltline.
"Shut up! I may not be able to bring myself to kill you but that doesn't get you off the hook "
I pull her off the wall and lead her to my dorm room.
"You're going to pay for what you did to "
I look down at Riley's body lying on the floor a few feet away. I loosen my grip a bit as I feel myself start to cry.
"I'm sorry B, I know "
"I told you to shut up."
I push her into my dorm room.
"You don't get to be sorry."
I throw her face down leaning against the bed and my heart breaks for her.
No don't let how you feel get in your way.
"Murderers don't get to feel sorry."
I force myself to look away form her as I go over to my closet and take some rope out of my weapons' chest.
She has to pay.
I walk back over to her and she hasn't moved, her arms are still behind her back. I stand behind her and put her wrists together. I use the rope to tie her wrists together tightly.
"Oh don't cry. I bet you've felt a lot worse. I bet you've caused a lot worse. I know Riley did, you made sure of that didn't you?"
When I'm sure the rope is tight enough I pull her up off the bed to a standing position. Her head flies back against my shoulder. I feel her hair drape itself over my back and the softness of her neck against my shoulder and for a second I forget, I forget about what she did about everything and I just wanna be with her. And then I see it. Riley's feet lying there on the floor outside my door. I move away from the bed and push her toward the door.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm taking you to see Giles, so we can figure out what the fuck to do with you."
We leave my dorm room and head down the hall. I look down at Riley's body as we pass it. She stops for a second and I push her on and we head to Giles'.
I'll make things right Riley I promise.
She throws me down on one of Giles' chairs.
I look up at her.
Not that she gives a damn anymore.
She looks down at me with a steely glare.
She definitely doesn't care. I'm sorry B, not that you would listen if I said it but I am sorry B. I'm sorry I couldn't save Riley for you. I'm sorry you walked in on that at exactly the wrong moment and jumped to exactly the wrong conclusions at exactly the wrong time. Most of all I'm sorry you couldn't trust me when I said I didn't kill him. I guess we weren't meant to be like we once both thought.
No one else is here they must've all gone home.
"GILES ARE YOU HERE?"
Giles comes out from the other room with a rope on, putting on his glasses.
"Buffy? Buffy what is it?"
He rubs his eyes and then catches a glimpse of me in the chair, hands tied behind my back.
"Dear lord what's going on?"
"SHUT UP! I told you to SHUT UP!"
All right fine, I'll shut up.
Giles seems put off by B's anger toward me.
"Buffy has something happened?"
There are tears in B's eyes.
"It's, it's Riley he, he's been stabbed."
"Stabbed? Oh god Buffy, is he all right? Did, did you get him to a hospital?"
"He, he's dead."
Giles looks at Buffy for a few seconds with a look of reserved grief.
"I'm so sorry Buffy."
Giles would never look at me like that, especially not now.
She runs into his arms. He holds her tightly and I look away.
I don't wanna see what I'll never experience again. The warmth of her body against mine, the feel of those incredible arms holding me like only she can. I don't wanna se what I'll never feel.
Giles starts speaking again and I go back to watching them plan my doom.
"Do we know what killed him?"
B looks at me with that horrible glare.
This is normally where I'd interject and talk about how I didn't kill Riley, but she told me to shut up and that's what I'm gonna do. I don't have to say a thing the evidence will speak for itself.
"I found her over the body with his blood on her hand."
"That doesn't necessarily are you certain?"
She pulls the knife out of her belt and shows it to Giles, handle first. Giles takes it from Buffy and examines it, the blood still on it.
"This is Buffy where did you get this?"
It was deeply imbedded in Riley's heart."
There's a moment of silence as Buffy and Giles look at each other.
"What do you want to do?"
She looks at me and that angry look turns to painful.
"I don't know. We can't turn her in to the police they'd never be able to hold her."
Oh that'd be fun, a punch of police men and convicted felons grabbing at me.
"Not unless she went willingly."
At this point I'd be willing to do just about anything.
My heart breaks as her look turns back from painful to angry.
"And we can't kill her."
I look down at my knees at the end of the chair.
I can't look her in the eyes right now. That look hurts me more than any knife in the gut or punch in the face.
"So what are we gonna do with her?"
"Well, I hesitate to bring this up but I may have an option we should consider."
I look up at Giles.
I don't like the way he said that.
"What is it?"
"A short time ago I was visited by some old friends."
Oh good, cause I've got such a good history with THEM. My first was slaughtered by a huge vampire, the second was evil and the last one got fired from the council cause he couldn't control me. This could only end well.
"They heard of the murders and of Faith's escape from the hospital and they came to investigate."
They're investigating? They didn't just jump to wrong conclusion like B did? I'm almost shocked.
"What did they find out?"
B's gonna be kicking herself when the truth comes out, then again I'll probably be the one doing the kicking if I have my way.
"Nothing yet, they came to me to inform me of their plans before they proceeded. They didn't want you getting in the way."
"They promised to contact you as soon as they have some conclusive evidence."
"That could take days."
Days, weeks, it won't matter all I care about is them telling B how wrong she was about me.
"According to them they are using a new technique which should allow them to determine what occurred in a matter of minutes."
This could be good.
"Wesley once told me about a new concept being pursued by the Watchers when he first came to Sunnydale. Apparently it was discovered that any demonic presence leaves 'trace elements' when coming into contact with things for a brief time. The council has apparently developed a reliable way to detect these 'trace elements'."
"So if they have these 'trace elements' then Faith did it?"
"No there wouldn't be."
"Buffy slayers are more human than demonic she wouldn't leave 'traces'."
"So then if there are 'traces' then she didn't do it?'
We should we should g-get them to t-test the knife. They should, should test the knife."
She isn't so sure anymore, I can see it in her eyes.
"We shall Buffy, we shall. They promised to call as soon as "
The phone rings. They look at the phone and I look at Buffy.
She's worried, she's worried about what they're gonna say.
Giles walks over to the phone and picks it up.
I tune out Giles as Buffy looks me in the eyes for a second I forget.
I forget that it never occurred to her that I was trying to save Riley's life. I forget everything and I just wanna kiss her. But then the world comes back around and all I can feel is anger toward her.
I look away from her and catch a glimpse of pain in her eyes as I do.
"Yes okay then, we shall see you here soon."
Giles hangs up the phone and turns to Buffy.
"Was that them?'
"So? What did they say?"
"They said they found evidence of demonic influence in the deaths of those two girls we read about in the paper."
"What what does that mean?"
What the fuck do you think it means? It means I DIDN'T DO IT.
"It means that Faith was clearly not involved in the deaths of those girls."
She starts panicking.
That's right B, you jumped to the wrong conclusions and now you have to live with them.
"Are you, I mean are they sure?"
"Yes, they were quite clear that the killer was of the demon variety."
She looks at me and I give her a cold stare before I look away.
"C-Call the guys I I want them here for this."
Yeah I bet you do.
"I I need to t-think."
Giles goes off into the other room to call the gang. She sits down on the couch in front of me so we're facing each other, not that she looks at me. She sits with her head in her hands looking at the floor, hair draped over her face.
So Miss Know-It-All doesn't really know it all does she?
What have I done? She didn't kill those girls.
I run my fingers through my hair, still not looking up at Faith for fear of the cold look she gave me earlier staring back at me.
If she didn't kill those girls then she probably didn't kill Riley either. Oh god, she must've been trying save him. But I saw him lying there, dead and bleeding with the knife in his chest, her kneeling over him and I just DECIDED that she killed him. It stopped mattering that she said she didn't do it. I didn't bother asking her what really happened. All I knew was that Riley was dead and someone had to pay.
"What have I done? How could I answer first?"
Oh god, she hates me.
I look up at her, brushing the hair out of my face as I get that sinking feeling right before I cry, a cold stare looking back at me.
"Faith I, I'm "
"What? You're sorry? You think that makes it okay?"
"No I "
"Do you think that's gonna make what you said back in the hallway okay? You think I'm just gonna forget how you treated me?"
"No I don't, I just "
"What, you just what?"
I don't know what to say.
"I don't know."
"You don't know? Wow, you don't know. What a great comeback B. Right up there with shut the hell up isn't it? Let me ask you something B. Did it ever even cross your mind to ask me what the hell happened to Riley?"
Be honest, you'll only make things worse by lying to her. Not that I could see things getting any worse.
"Did you ever stop and think that maybe, just maybe I was trying to save his life just before you walked up?"
"Faith I'm so sorry I should've "
"Answer the question B."
I was wrong, things are worse.
"No, no I didn't."
The tears in my eyes make it hard to look at her.
"So you saw Riley's body, you saw his blood on my hands and you just what? You just DECIDED that I had to be the one who did it?"
"Yes Faith I'm so sorry I was, I was in shock and I couldn't think properly. I came to the wrong conclusions I'm sorry."
"The wrong conclusion eh, you really think you came to the wrong conclusion? Whatever gave you that idea? You think that makes it okay?"
"No it doesn't and all I can say is I'm sorry and hope you might be able to forgive me one day."
I wipe the tears from my eyes and she looks away from me.
"Don't count on it."
You should've expected this. Faith doesn't trust people easily and when you finally got her to trust you, you betrayed that trust. You can't expect her to just forgive and forget. She may never forgive you.
"So what are you gonna do when those Watchers get here?"
God, what am I gonna do?
"I-I don't know I if they come and tell us that you didn't kill Riley then I'll, I'll untie you."
"IF!? IF they tell you I didn't kill Riley? Even after everything you've found out you're still not convinced I didn't do it?"
Why am I making things even worse?
"I didn't mean if was wrong, I didn't mean if I meant to say when WHEN we find out you didn't kill Riley."
"But you said IF. You're not really sure I didn't do it are you?"
"No I am Faith you gotta believe me."
"BELIEVE YOU? Like I believed you when you said you trusted me? Like I believed you when you said I deserved to be happy? Like I believed you when you said you loved me? FUCK YOU BUFFY!"
I deserved that.
"I deserved that Faith I know that but I'm not gonna give up on us. I'll do whatever it takes to win you back."
She looks away again.
I look down at the floor, hands in my hair.
She has every right to hate me after what I've done. But I won't give up, no matter what I have to do, no matter how long I have to wait I'll get her to trust me again.
There's a knock at the door. I look at the door and wipe the tears from my eyes.
"That that must be them the, the Watchers."
"That'd be my guess."
I get up and turn to Faith.
"This'll make things better, I'll show you Faith. Things will be better."
Giles comes in from the other room.
"Did you, did you get in touch with the guys? Are they coming?"
"Yes Buffy, I explained the situation and they should be here soon."
"Good, good they they should be here for this."
"Buffy are you okay?"
I look Faith in the eyes and after a moment her eyes leave mine.
"Yeah I'm okay."
Someone knocks on the door again.
"You should get the door."
"I suppose I should."
But I will be.
Giles goes over to the door and lets The Watchers in.
Whatever it takes
What the heck am I doing? Why the hell am I still here?
I'm still sitting here in this chair, hands tied behind my back, waiting for B's friends to get here so she can find out how wrong she was.
But that's not why I'm here, not really. She already knows she screwed up, that's not why I'm still here. I could get out of these ropes any time I want but I'm not. I want her to do it.
I look around the room. Xander and Giles are sitting in the living room with the furniture all around me. I'm facing toward the kitchen, Giles sitting in a chair to my left, Xander sitting on the couch to my right.
I want her to do it in front of her friends and those Watcher boys. I want everyone she cares about to see what a colossal mistake she made just so she knows that all her friends know.
I watch Buffy standing in the other room talking to the Watchers. She looks upset, good.
She is gonna be even more upset cause the second she unties me I'm out of here.
Willow comes in without Tara, interesting. Buffy comes in to see Willow.
"She said she was tired but she would do a little more research before she went to bed."
Buffy seems disappointed, she was probably hoping Tara could help her win me back and all that crap. Good luck bitch.
"Well um we should we should start the meeting."
She watches as the two Watchers come into the room.
"Okay Will, if you sit down we'll go ahead."
Willow moves to sit down next to Xander. Xander speaks up.
"Go ahead with what exactly?"
"These two Giles wanna bees here are Watchers, in case you didn't already figure that out. They came because they heard about the murders and the council asked them to investigate."
Oh good, more people who just naturally assumed I was guilty without proof. Worst of all they're British people.
"And they found something?"
"Yeah they did."
"We were able to determine with a negligible margin for error that a demon was directly responsible for the young girls' deaths."
"A demon? Meaning it wasn't Faith."
"Yes Willow contrary to popular belief I'm not actually a demon."
She looks at the floor, conceding. Xander on the other hand doesn't.
"But what about Riley? I mean, Giles said you found him lying dead on the floor with Faith's knife in his chest."
"We have made a thorough examination of the knife and we were able to get to the body before the police arrived. She was not involved in the murder."
"In point of fact we believe Faith may have been attempting to save Mr. Finn's life."
"Thank god someone finally said it, people tend not to believe me when I say things like that."
I stare at Buffy coldly with those last few words.
"See I told you she didn't do anything."
Yeah you can be all high and mighty with your friends if you want to, but you and me? That's a whole other story.
The gang looks all apologetic and stuff, which usually comes right before the apology.
"We're sorry Faith."
And here we go with an apology from Willow.
"Yeah we're really sorry."
Now Xander throws his hat in the ring.
"We were wrong to "
"Hey we're five by five guys. I guess I didn't really give you a reason to trust me. Come to think of it if I were in your shoes I probably wouldn't trust me either. We're cool, but B and I that's a whole story."
"What do you mean? Why would you guys be different?"
Buffy interrupts in a panic.
"Look that's not important, what's important is that Faith didn't kill anyone so we can untie her."
I move my hands against the ropes and they chafe.
"Good idea, these ropes are starting to bug the hell out of me."
Buffy moves to untie me.
"Perhaps we shouldn't."
I had the same though B.
"Perhaps we shouldn't let her go."
"Why the hell not? I want out."
I pull on the ropes a bit, trying to break them. Buffy confronts them.
"Why, why not? You said yourself that Faith didn't kill anyone. What's the problem?"
"While it is true that Faith was not responsible for the deaths of the two girls she is clearly not entirely stable. She also has a lot to answer for. The Council has authorized us to remove her to England to face their judgement."
Remove me to England? Dark, rainy, dank and away from Buffy. Could have potential, maybe I should let them do it.
"Remove her? No you can't remove her. Okay yes she's some bad stuff but she, she's sorry. She's really sorry and she's willing to do what it takes to change."
Giles makes his ever enjoyable contribution.
"If that's true Buffy then perhaps it is best that she face the council so they can help her deal."
She nearly goes insane.
"DEAL? The Council has no intention of helping her deal. They're just gonna lock her up and throw away the key. That's not dealing that's punishing."
"Buffy this should not be your decision. If Faith truly feels remorse this should be her decision to make."
Buffy moves between me and the Watchers and faces me in a panic.
"Okay fine, let's do that then. Faith?"
I look up at her in the eyes and I know what I have to do.
I know I only have one choice.
"Go ahead, take me away it's not like I have any reason to hang around here."
I can almost see her heart breaking.
She turns to face the watchers.
"You can't do this, I won't let you."
"It appears as though the decision has been made Ms. Summers."
"No it hasn't, I won't let it."
One of the Watchers moves toward me, trying to move past her and she freaks. She grabs his left arm and pulls it into a chicken wing, using her free arm to wrap it around his forehead.
Okay this is bad.
"I'll kill him if I have to."
This is really bad, I have to stop her.
I pull against my ropes hard and they get a little loose but they don't break. The gang gets up to try and calm her down but it doesn't help.
"Buffy what are you doing?"
"I'll do it, I'll kill him."
Buffy tightens her grip and everyone twitches except me.
I've got to get out of these ropes.
I pull even tighter.
"Buff you don't wanna do this."
"No I don't want to, but I can and I will if it means Faith stays here."
"Buffy why are you doing this?"
"BECAUSE I LOVE HER!"
The room falls silent and the shock sets in.
She did it, she admitted it. Okay, come back to reality with the life and death situation.
I pull against the ropes and they break. I leap out of my chair.
"I love her and and if they take her away I may never see her again."
I gotta stop her from doing something she'll regret, or I'll regret.
"Buffy, listen to me."
"I can't let them take you Faith. I love you too much to let them take you."
I have to talk her down.
"I get that B, but this isn't the way. This isn't the way to make me stay. In fact if you do this, if you kill him it'll give me every reason you can think of to leave."
I take a step toward her and she twitches.
"Let him go Buffy and we can talk about this."
We may not talk about this but I need her to believe it.
She starts to cry.
"Faith I love you."
"If you mean that then you'll let go of him."
She loosens her grip on him in a moment of indecision. I take another step to her and she lets go, throwing him into my arms and I catch him. He regains his balance and we all look at Buffy, distraught.
"I'm sorry I I shouldn't have I just, Faith I told you I'd do whatever it takes and I meant it."
I don't have a response for that. Okay this is too tense, I'm out of here.
I start toward the door.
"Okay this is kinda tense, obviously me going away isn't the best idea, especially with the whole apocalypse nowish vibe we're getting around this town. You guys know I didn't kill anyone so we can work on the whole trust thing but for now, I'm out of here."
I take one last look at Buffy before leaving.
Everyone's been looking at me since Faith ducked out. They haven't said anything, probably in shock. Who wouldn't be after what I've done, what I've said. I told them I was in love with Faith, and I am. That's not the way I wanted them to find out but they did and now they have to deal. I love Faith and that's not gonna change. We'll talk and then we'll deal. But not right now, right now I have to go after Faith before she gets too far away.
"Look you guys h-heard what Faith said, she isn't going anywhere. So, so just go back to your Council and tell them we're handling it."
They move past me and go to gather their things.
Wow, I expected them to put up more of a fight.
"What no arguing?"
"The Council has ordered us not to interfere should you wish to come to blows over this issue."
"Well then that makes things easier."
Okay the guys.
I turn to them.
"Okay so I know this is gonna come as quite a shock to you guys, me being in love with Faith and all. Especially with the whole trust issue thing we've had going and I'd really like to stay and talk about this but right now I have to go after Faith before she does something we'll both regret."
I head for the door.
"We'll talk about it later."
I'm out the door faster then I've ever been. I almost fly down the stairs and I look up and down the street to see if I can see her. I notice her rounding the corner.
"Faith, stop "
She looks at me with a cold stare and I almost can't take it.
"What the hell do you want now?"
"Faith we can talk about this. We can get through this."
"You think so do you? I had the same thought that we might be able to work through anything "
I take a step forward and she takes one back.
"Right up until you tied me up and put a knife to my throat."
"Faith please what we have is too important to give up."
"Why? Because you say so? You'll forgive me if I don't see things your way."
"I know I messed up but I can't change what I did all I can do is hope I can make up for it."
"And how are you gonna do that? By snapping people's necks?"
"I said I'd do anything for you "
"Oh don't even TRY and pretend that you did that for me. You did that for you."
"Faith I was ready to kill for you, doesn't that means something?"
"Yeah it means you're a horrible selfish bitch whose only goal is to satisfy your own selfish needs."
"Look whose talking."
"Yeah well we weren't in love then."
She thinks we're in love?
"And we're in love now?"
"Don't change the subject."
"You brought up the subject."
"The point is when it came right down to it, you couldn't trust me. For all your fancy talk about love and trusting me with your heart and soul you couldn't do it. You would rather believe I killed someone then trust that I might actually try and save army boy's life."
"But I still love you. Even when I thought you killed Riley I still loved you."
"Well it's too bad I couldn't feel it because I sure as hell didn't see it in your eyes"
"I know and I'm sorry. God, how many times do I have to apologize?"
"How about none, cause you don't really mean it? I saw the hatred in your eyes. Things would've been so much easier for you if I had done it wouldn't it? Then you could've made me the villain like you always do."
She starts to walk away but I stop her.
"What the hell was I supposed to think? I found you over the body, hands covered in blood. What am I supposed to think?"
She looks at me and after a second it's like something dawns on her.
"I get it I see what this is. NOW we're getting to the truth."
"No Faith I "
"Hell you're expecting it. Why else would the thought of me saving someone never enter your twisted little head?"
"I trust you Faith, I really do."
Why is she saying these things?
"No, you don't How could you? Everyone you've ever been with has betrayed you. You gave it up to Angel and he went psycho, Scott Hope dumped you, Riley betrayed you when he wanted to lock me up and throw away the key which now I'm thinking wasn't the worst idea in the world."
"So maybe I'm not the only one who has trouble trusting people."
"Maybe I do. Maybe we both have things we have to work on but we can work on it together that's what people in relationships do. They work together through their problems "
"Yeah, right before the yelling and the fighting and the name calling and oh yeah the breaking up. Course now that I think about it we've already done the whole yelling and fighting thing, why don't we just skip step 3 and go straight to breaking up?"
I can't let her do this.
"No, I won't let you break up with me."
She backs off a bit and my feet feel like they have lead in them.
"Who said you had a choice?"
"Faith I get why you're angry I really do, if I were in your place I'd probably feel the same way. But breaking up with me isn't gonna make our feelings go away, and it's certainly not gonna change the fact that we're going to have to deal with these issues sooner or later."
"Maybe not but it might make me feel better."
She starts to walk away and I start to cry.
"Go ahead then, break up with me."
"Okay then we're broken up."
"Just don't expect me to stop loving you, because that will never happen."
My vision gets blurry as I start to cry but I manage to make out her stopping a few seconds to look back at me before leaving.
What do I do? How do I make this right? Tara she helped me before, maybe she can help me get Faith back. I'll, I'll go see her. Willow said she stayed home, I'll go see her and she'll make everything better.
Return to BtVS Fiction
Return to Main Page