DISCLAIMER: I do not own Buffy: the Vampire Slayer, or any of its characters or storylines. It belongs to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy Productions, 20th Century Fox Television and/or related companies. I won't make any money with this story and no copyright infringement is intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story takes place several years after season seven of "BtVS". It doesn't really bother with the comic books and their storyline. It is a (loose) continuation of my story "Born to Run", taking place at least several months later. Reading that first would probably give a better introduction, though it is not strictly necessary. Flashbacks are marked with a "++**++" before and after the jump.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To gxtw[at]gmx.de
Run for Love
Buffy entered the coffee shop. Once she had detected Willow, she walked over and sat down next to her best friend. The redhead had asked her to meet here. She had been secretive about the reason, so Buffy tried to gauge her mood. And no, Willow didn't look particularly happy. After their greeting, Buffy fell directly into best friend inquiry mode.
"Will? Why are you frowning? What's up?"
Willow's eyes widened.
"Frowning? No, no, I'm not frowning. Nothing's up. It's just, she tricked me! Or, well, not really, no tricking. After all, she did play fair. At least, I think so ..."
Buffy smiled listening to Willow's babbling. Some things never changed. But finally she interrupted her best friend.
"Whoa, don't forget to breathe. Who tricked you ... not?" She quickly added the last word when the frown returned.
"Faith did. She was rather sneaky, but she did play fair, so you can't say she tricked me, can you?"
"No, probably not."
There had been a time when Buffy would have disagreed, but that was long ago. When Faith and Willow had started dating, she had felt protective for her best friend, even though her old rivalry with the dark slayer was already on the way to change into a nice camaraderie. But over time she had witnessed real love blossom between them, especially once their daughter had arrived.
When Willow didn't immediately answer, Buffy went on.
"So, but what did she do?"
"Well, it was like this. I had another argument with her about reading books, saying she should have a part in all aspects of Little J's life, when ..."
Several weeks earlier:
Suddenly Faith turned towards her with a glint in her eye.
"So you think I should do some reading and stuff, so I could talk with Joyce about it? Because an education should be well rounded and parents should be involved in all of it?"
Willow's face lit up. Finally it seemed her lover had got it.
"So, Red, isn't the physical training also a part of her development? Does that mean you would do some exercises to be prepared to be involved in that part in her education?"
Willow was lost for words.
"Of course, you could do something else, but running seems easiest and you have the body for it."
"Uh, I guess..."
"Great, I do some reading, you some running. Seems fair, Red, doesn't it?"
There was a big grin on her face. She leant over and gave Willow a quick kiss. Then she turned around and left the room, whistling.
"Oh, she really got you there." Buffy snickered. "So, why the face now? Didn't you say it was a few weeks ago?"
"Yes, it was. But today we had another talk. You see, she did have a point. So I decided I would do some laps around the training course, if she really did read a book. After all, it would be mostly for our daughter."
"And let me guess, she not only read one book, she read several."
"Kind of. She has enlisted to get her GED."
Buffy almost spew out her mouthful of coffee. "Faith is learning for a GED?"
"Yeah, so to counter it, I have decided to take part in the next Cleveland marathon."
"What?!?" Luckily Buffy had swallowed by now, because this time she would have been unable to stop herself from spraying the table. "A marathon?!?"
"Yeah, the next Cleveland marathon. It's in May, so that will give me about seven months to train for it. Will you be my coach for this? You know more than me about what's necessary to prepare for a run like this."
"Of course, Will, if you are really sure."
"I am, Buffy. Faith is doing this for me. She already has enlisted Giles to help her. You see, she even had considered for it to be a complete surprise, but then realized it will be much too time consuming for it to work as a secret. But still, this is huge. I have to do something big as well in response. Running a few laps around the training course just wouldn't cut it."
"No, I suppose you are right. So, when do you want to start?"
"As soon as possible."
Seven months later, third weekend of May
A slender, almost petite redheaded woman was running at the end of a small group. She had problems to keep up with the pace, even though this group wasn't really that fast. Actually at this point, they were more than two hours over the finishing time of the best athletes. But this wasn't about being the best. This was about determination, about finishing at all. But the woman, Willow, was struggling. It wasn't much longer, but she had no more reserves left. She wasn't sure she could keep going, if she lost the connection to the group she had been running with for the last few miles.
Suddenly she stumbled, almost fell. The others were too lost in their own world and didn't wait up. Willow tried to move on. It was more like walking than actual running, but she was just so tired. Even though she could already see the finishing line in the distance she had trouble to keep going. Suddenly she heard a voice.
"Mommy, you can do it."
Joyce was running towards her on the sidewalk. Moving fast Faith appeared at her side and stopped her.
"Remember, Little J, we have to stay on the sidewalk. Mommy would be unhappy, if she gets disqualified because of us."
A quick smile and wink in Willow's direction followed the statement. The redhead smiled back, or what resembled a smile in her state. The sight of her family gave her some more strength and she managed to fall into a slow run again. The woman and the girl in her life jogged on the sidewalk, easily keeping pace with her, with Little J every so often shouting encouragement. The people around them smiled at the trio. Willow had found her determination again, and just a few minutes later she crossed the line. A hug from her daughter was her first reward, quickly followed by one from her lover. Her trainer and best friend Buffy was next in line to congratulate her.
Willow was tired, but nevertheless ecstatic. She had done it! She had finished the race. A week ago, Faith had passed the last exam for her GED, now she had run a marathon. Both had made a step into their partner's world, sharing their love for their daughter.
Return to BtVS/Angel Fiction
Return to Main Page