DISCLAIMER: Don't own them as much as I'd like to. I am just borrowing them for my own depraved purposes. I'm sure Joss will forgive me.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Hooray for revisionist history. I have tried to give a whole new view on Faith's interaction with Willow here. Oh and I conveniently forgot "Mini-Faith" so Kennedy never existed other than as background.
SPOILERS: Any episode from the moment faith arrived till the end of the show.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Vree

Part 2

"So I wake up from the coma and am full of purpose. I'm gonna reform, become the perfect little slayer, become B. So I go trotting off to the House of Giles ready to announce my intentions, and lo and behold everything has changed. No WolfBoy, no Angel, and new members I've never seen. I decided to hold off talking to you until I knew what was going on. Then I got the package from the mayor. I don't know what I was thinking. Perhaps that it was the answer I needed to get back in all of your good graces, maybe make you forget what happened. Then when B and I fought and I realized what it did I thought well I wanted to know what's going on. Let me tell you it was a trip. I learned more about B's body in one bath than I knew the whole time we were sleeping together." Faith chuckled then became serious again with a sad look on her face., "then things went bad again. I went to the Bronze hoping a little dancing would put things back in perspective and I run into you and Tara. I was cruel and I'm sorry I never got to apologize to Tara for what I said. It just drove me nuts that you were with a girl. All that time I spent pining after you and you only had eyes for Xander and the WolfBoy. I think that was when I gave up. I told you at Buffy's that I would never let myself hurt you and I was being honest. I decided to leave. I had planned to go find some way to give Buffy her body back and move on with my life. You know what happened then. I had an attack of conscious at the airport when I realized Buffy wasn't able to help those people in the church and went to go fix it. God when I saw her there all I could think was no wonder you never wanted me. I looked at the clothes, the tits, the lipstick, compared that to the shy Blonde I had met the night before, and lost it. I don't know if Buffy has told you anything about that fight but about halfway through I just started whaling on myself and ranting about how horrible I was. It was not one of my brighter moments. Anyway Buffy switched us back and I ran. I remember spending the entire train ride to LA just hating myself. If I had had anything to kill myself with I might well have done it on the train. Instead I was just numb. Once I arrived in LA I crawled into the nearest bar and didn't leave until Lilah found me. She gave me a purpose… get Angel to kill me. Sure that wasn't what she was trying for but it's what happened. Suffice it to say he didn't and Buffy showed up to kick my ass some more and I almost told her sorry so she would kill me but I didn't want to put that on her. You know as well as I do that that particular stain never goes away."

Willow winced in memory and Faith leaned forward to grasp her hand in silent understanding. Their eyes met for a moment until Faith softly smiled and leaned back against her headboard.

"So while I'm running down the stairs to escape from the council guys she's fending off I realize that I had come to a fork. I could keep running, give up any hope of ever seeing you again, and spend the rest of my life hiding. Or I could own up to my actions in hope of one day starting again, perhaps finding someone who could even slightly fill the hole in my heart made by you. I decided it was time to own up to what I had become so I went to visit Angel's friend and turned myself in. My prison years were unremarkable. I had to crack a few heads initially so everyone would leave me alone. Mostly my days were workout, go to therapy (lots of therapy), read, and think of you."

Faith paused making Willow look up "What is it? What's wrong? Are you blushing?"

"Umm..er…yeah. I'm trying to be honest but this is kinda embarrassing." Faith smiled sheepishly and took a slug out of her now cold coffee before grimacing.

Willow chuckled, "Go ahead tell me…I can guarantee it won't go past this room and my brain."

Faith gave Willow a quick searching look before beginning to speak again, her color still high, "I had this kinda fantasy life. My therapist said it was healthy as long as I maintained some semblance of reality. I dreamed about what could have happened if I had told you how I felt, before B, after the clothes fluke. I dreamed that you would have chosen me over Wolfboy and none of that other stuff would have happened. Mostly though, I dreamed of being released and going back to SunnyD. I dreamed that B would forgive me and you and I would put our differences aside and become friends."

"Well you're batting a thousand so far…"

Faith smiled her full out grin, one of genuine happiness and joy about her situation rather than her usual half amused smirk. "Yeah I am. It's the other parts that haven't quite gone to fantasy. The parts where you and Tara had parted amicably leaving you looking for love in the arms of a woman you once viewed as your mortal enemy or the parts where we lived happily ever after in some extended Scooby family. But it's chill I've adapted to my new life. We have become good friends and B and I have become the sisters we always should have been. All in all it's a good life. Sure I have days where I walk by the bathroom and wonder what would happen if I joined you in your shower. But you were with B and I wasn't gonna interfere with that."

"Ah yes and look where that has gotten me. Sitting here nursing a heartache with cold coffee and a girl I once…how did you put it?...regarded as my mortal Enemy. This has been an interesting evening hasn't it?" Willow was reeling. She didn't know how to react to what she had heard. Everything she thought she knew about Faith was blown completely out of the water. Her mind kept flashing to the images that Faith had brought up of their history together. Only now she looked at them with a new perspective. How did I never notice she felt this way? What do I do now? And why can't I get those damn shower images out of my head? Sure she knew the slayer was hot.. I mean who could be living or undead for that matter and not know that Faith was gorgeous. She even admitted to herself that Faith had been the subject of more than one late night raunchy fantasy. But never had she thought Faith would be interested in her. For a roll in the hay much less the undying love she has been proclaiming all night...

"Willow…Willow…Hey Red."

"Hunh What?"

"You're babbling in your head again. Care to share?" Faith fidgeted nervously with her cup.

Willow recognized the nervous twitch and smiled "I'm not sure what to say. I'm slightly overloaded at the moment."

Faith's face started to fall "I understand. It's no biggie. I just thought you should know that I understood about B and all. Sorry for laying all this on you."

Willow reached out and grabbed Faith's cup, placing it on the table before grabbing Faith's hands. "You misunderstand me. I'm glad you told me it's just a lot to process and I'm not sure yet what to say. I will admit that I have thought of you in more than friendly ways." Faith's head shot up "but I will also admit that I'm scared. I don't know how I feel. I thought I loved Buffy but now I'm not so sure that it was as anything more than a friend. I need to think." She tried for a little humor "you know me brain first then speak…usually in babble."

Faith chuckled and tightened her grip on Willow's hands briefly, "yeah I can understand why you might be slightly overloaded."

"Tell you what. Seeing as it is officially the wee hours of morning. Let me sleep on it and we can talk more tomorrow. It will probably be a slow process. Can you wait for me to figure everything out?"

Faith leaned forward, looked intently into Willow's eyes and responded huskily "I have waited for you for 10 years and I would wait 30 more before giving up the shred of hope you have just given me."

Willow's voice caught as she uttered a soft "Oh" They looked at each other a bit longer before Faith shook off her paralysis and stood up, still holding Willow's hands.

"You should go and sleep." She pulled Willow to her feet. "Probably now before I do something stupid."

They were less than a foot apart as Willow looked into her eyes and said, "Like What?"

Faith didn't answer but leaned forward and placed her lips upon Willow's. The kiss was soft and undemanding but held a hint of restrained passion that took Willow's breath away. When Faith broke the kiss Willow raised her hand to the slayer's cheek.

"That was so very not dumb" They both chuckled "but I am off to bed. I have a program I need to finish tomorrow. Thank you again for telling me. I feel so much better."

"Um you're welcome. I guess I'll talk to you tomorrow."

"Yep" They looked at each other a bit longer before Faith finally pulled herself together and broke away.

"Alright get out. I'm not normally one to throw gorgeous redheads out of my room but I'm making an exception just this once. Next time I'm keeping you."

Willow laughed and made her way to the door, stopping again to take in the bookshelves. She looked back "Don't think I have forgotten the discussion about these shelves either."

Faith chuckled. "I look forward to it. Now off with you, Red. I need my beauty sleep."

"No you don't."

Faith's eyes followed the red-head out the door and her ears followed up the stairs to the kitchen. She flopped onto the bed and let out a huge sigh. Well, you finally told her. She didn't run away which is a good sign. Not even when you kissed her. Mmmmm Willow lips. K back on track. Hopefully she won't get to her room and freak. Given that parting shot though there does seem to be hope. And she did say that she had had a few less than pure thoughts about you. Hmmm I wonder what they were? Anyway you need to sleep or you'll be a wreck at work tomorrow.

And with that Faith drifted off to dream of dancing redheads while Willow lay in her bed thinking.

To Be Continued

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